Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - International Air Conference.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Trade Conferences.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Restrictions on Six-County Ex-Army Men.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Production of Electricity.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Liffey Electrical Equipment Costs.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Electricity Generating Station.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Price of Imported Fuel.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Imports of Swedish Timber.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Distribution of Fruit.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Anglo-Irish Trade Agreement.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - County Limerick Hospital Need.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Dublin District Milk Board.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Old Age Pensions.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Minister's Interview With I.N.T.O. Representatives.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Stealing of Cattle and Sheep (Swords).
Order of Business.
Lough Corrib Navigation Bill, 1945— From the Seanad.
Turf Development Bill, 1945— First Stage.
Public Health Bill, 1945—Second Stage (Resumed).
Housing (Amendment) Bill, 1945— Committee (Resumed).
Public Health Bill, 1945—Second Stage (Resumed).
Written Answers. - Erection of Houses.
Written Answers. - Minister for Local Government and Public Health (Mr. MacEntee):
Written Answers. - Repairs of Cottages.
Written Answers. - Land Acquired in County Dublin.
 Do chuaigh an Ceann Comhairle i gceannas ar 3 p.m.
Mr. P.S. Doyle (for Mr. McGilligan): asked the Minister for External Affairs if he will state whether arrangements have been made for the holding of an International Air Conference in Eire in the near future, when such arrangements were made, when and where such conference is to be held, and what are the matters for discussion thereat.
Minister for External Affairs (The Taoiseach): Under the Interim Agreement on International Civil Aviation reached at Chicago in December, 1944, and approved by the Dáil on the 19th April, 1945, the Provisional International Civil Aviation Organisation was established. The Council of this Organisation passed a resolution in November last requesting the Irish Government to convene a meeting of the States directly interested in air navigation in the North Atlantic area, and the Government have intimated their willingness to comply with the request. The conference will meet in Dublin on the 4th March, 1946. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the provisions needed to protect and support civil air operations in the North Atlantic area and the arrangements which should be made through the Provisional Organisation for the future maintenance of any needed Secretariat of a regional character.
Mr. P.S. Doyle (for Mr. McGilligan): asked the Minister for External Affairs if he will state whether arrangements  have been made for the holding of any conference in connection with trade in industrial goods between Éire and the United Kingdom, when such arrangements were made, when and where such conference is to be held and what are the matters for discussion thereat.
Mr. P.S. Doyle (for Mr. McGilligan): asked the Minister for External Affairs if he will state whether arrangements have been made for the holding of any conference in connection with trade in agricultural goods between Éire and the United Kingdom, when such arrangements were made, when and where such conference is to be held and what are the matters for discussion thereat.
The Taoiseach: The answer to both these questions is that no such arrangements have been made.
General Mulcahy: Will the Taoiseach say whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that the British Prime Minister, speaking on 6th of this month and declaring acceptance on the part of the British Government of the proposals made by the American Government for setting up an international commercial organisation in the interests of freer trade and the development of full employment in various countries, declared also that, in furtherance of these proposals, the British Government intended to enter into immediate negotiations with other countries, with a view to developing concrete arrangements which would bring about agreements for the reduction of trade barriers and so on, and will he say whether he has had any intimation from the British Government to that effect, or any invitation to discuss our trading relations with Great Britain in the spirit of these suggestions?
The Taoiseach: I explained to the Dáil in October that, although a review of mutual trade had taken place between the Tánaiste and the President of the Board of Trade, nevertheless the time for full-scale discussion had not yet come and that a considerable element of normality must be  restored to the general conditions governing international trade before it could take place.
General Mulcahy: Is the Taoiseach aware that an agreement has apparently been come to between Great Britain and the United States that, early in the new year, there will be the first meeting of representatives of various Governments directed to forming this international organisation, and that apparently between different countries mutually interested in developing trade with one another preliminary negotiations are going to take place with a view to seeing how far the economic well-being of countries in close trading relations with one another may be made to work in with the bigger scheme contemplated by the agreement apparently come to between the United States and Great Britain? In view of that, does the Taoiseach not realise that, apart from the return of normal trading relations in the world, definite positive action is being taken by other Governments with a view to bringing about improved trading relations?
The Taoiseach: So far as we are concerned, I can only say that we are always ready to enter into negotiations of any kind which we think will be generally valuable both for world trade and for our own interests.
Mr. Norton: Bearing in mind the fact that in recent months there has been a widening sympathy with Ireland and a generally increased desire in influential quarters in Great Britain to establish friendly relations with this country, would the Taoiseach give sympathetic consideration to the question of initiating discussions on the promotion of trade agreements which would be of advantage to both countries and thereby take advantage of a situation in which all the indications point to the possibility of the conclusion of an agreement favourable to this country?
The Taoiseach: There have already been informal discussions, as the Deputy is aware, and there need be no anxiety about the making of any approaches that may be necessary.
Mr. P.S. Doyle (for Mr. Cosgrave): asked the Minister for External Affairs if he is aware that a number of men from the Six Counties joined the Army here, and that, as a result, they are ineligible for Government sponsored work in the Six Counties, and if he will make representations to the Government there to remove these restrictions.
The Taoiseach: I have no information at the moment that men from the Six Counties who joined the Irish Army have been declared ineligible for work sponsored by the authorities in that part of Ireland.
Mr. P.S. Doyle (for Mr. McGilligan): asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he will state for (a) the year ended 31st March, 1944, and (b) the year ended 31st March, 1945, the cost per unit of electricity generated at (1) Ardnacrusha; (2) the Pigeon House, Dublin; and (3) the Liffey plant; and, further, to state the total number of units generated and sold to date from the Liffey plant.
Minister for Industry and Commerce (Mr. Lemass): The costs per unit of electricity generated are as follows:—
|Year ended 31/3/1944.||Year ended. 31/3/1945.|
These costs include operation, fuel, maintenance and repair, depreciation, interest and sinking fund, together with local supervision and superintendence. They do not include any apportionment of general administrative and overhead expenditure.
In regard to the Liffey plant, as the station is still under construction and, therefore, only partly capitalised and partly productive, the costs as shown are not a guide to the unit cost when the station is in full commission. The total number of units generated to 1st December, 1945, from the Liffey plant is 30,582,420.
Mr. P.S. Doyle (for Mr. McGilligan): asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he will state what is the actual cost to date of the mechanical and electrical equipment and works under the Liffey Reservoir Act, 1936, and whether the expenditure under this head is now complete.
Mr. Lemass: The actual cost to date of the mechanical and electrical equipment of works under the Liffey Reservoir Act, 1936, is £350,783. The expenditure under this head is not yet completed.
Mr. P.S. Doyle (for Mr. McGilligan): asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he will state the maximum quantity of turf so far won in any year from Clonsast Bog, and the average price per ton for such turf, delivered at or near Portarlington, in each year, to date, for which figures are available; to state what percentage of the turf so far produced at Clonsast Bog is suitable for use in a generating station; and further, to state what expenditure has been incurred to date on the proposed generating station near Portarlington.
Mr. Lemass: (1) The maximum quantity of turf produced at Clonsast Bog in any one year was in 1944-45, when the quantity produced was 48,323 tons.
(2) The Turf Development Board, Limited, has always sold its turf from Clonsast Bog ex works—which coincides with the site of the power station. The average prices for the following years were:—1939-40, 14s. 6d. per ton; 1940-41, 15s. 9d. per ton; 1941-42, £1 3s. 1d. per ton; 1942-43, £1 7s. 6d. per ton; 1943-44, £1 17s. 2d. per ton; 1944-45, £2 per ton. As less than one-half of the necessary machines have been available, it has not been possible to reach the planned output of 120,000 tons per annum, and this circumstance has had an adverse effect upon the cost of production.
(3) All of the turf so far produced at Clonsast Bog has been suitable for use in an electricity generating station.
 (4) The expenditure to date on the Clonsast electricity station amounts to £6,694.
Mr. P.S. Doyle (for Mr. McGilligan): asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he will state the average price per ton at which imported coal or other fuel has been sold to (a) Córas Iompair Éireann and/or the Great Southern Railways; (b) the Electricity Supply Board; and (c) all other industrial users supplied with such imported coal or fuel in (1) the year 1944, and (2) the period January to October (inclusive), 1945.
Mr. Lemass: The information requested by the Deputy is not available in my Department.
Mr. P.S. Doyle (for Mr. McGilligan): asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he will state what quantity of Swedish timber has been imported into this country from Sweden in each of the months from January to November (inclusive), 1945.
Mr. Lemass: The imports were in February 365 loads of wood prepared for butter boxes and 1,321,170 square feet of plywood; in March 331,310 square feet of plywood; in July 86,180 square feet of plywood; in November 675 loads of sawn wood in deals, planks or boards.
Mr. P.S. Doyle: asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he is aware of the dissatisfaction resulting from the allocation of imported fruit and dried fruit; that neither shopkeepers nor inhabitants in the larger housing areas of the city have obtained any supplies; and if he will consider the advisability of arranging for a more equitable distribution of the various fruits available.
Mr. Lemass: Apart from dried fruit, the only fruit imported recently were oranges and lemons. These latter fruits are being distributed through ordinary trade channels and I am not  aware that there is any criticism of the distribution of these fruits.
The quantity of dried fruit imported and to be imported is sufficient to meet only a fraction of the demand, being not more than 20 per cent. of the quantity normally purchased during the Christmas season. After consultation with the wholesale trade, arrangements were made to ensure that the dried fruit would be distributed to retail traders on the most equitable basis possible in the circumstances. The position of shopkeepers in newly built housing areas in the city is being examined, in consultation with a trade advisory committee, with a view to seeing whether any special provision can be made to secure supplies of dried fruit for them. The total supplies available for distribution are so small in relation to the demand that, even if special arrangements can be made for the newly built areas, it will not be possible to provide more than a fraction of the needs of these areas.
Mr. Norton (for Mr. Larkin, Junior): asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce whether his attention was directed to a statement asserting that certain steps will be taken in the near future regarding the implementation of the Anglo-Irish Trade Agreement of 1938; whether he will state what is the present position of the agreement in question; whether any action will be taken to implement its provisions in the near future or to negotiate an alternative form of agreement; whether it is the intention to continue the provisions designed to limit the operations of quota regulations as affecting certain industrial products; and, if not, what proposals it is intended to substitute for those relating to quota regulations; further, whether he will state if it is intended, before opening discussions with the British Government on this subject, to consult the various interests in this country which are likely to be affected by arrangements made under international agreement.
Mr. Lemass: I have seen the statement to which the Deputy refers. In accordance with its provisions, the  Trade Agreement with the United Kingdom, dated April 25th, 1938, remains in force until the expiry of six months from the date on which notice of termination is given by either Government. Notice of termination has not been given. Certain of the provisions of the agreement are, however, not at present being operated owing to prevailing abnormal conditions.
The agreement was concluded in circumstances different to those now existing or likely to exist for some time to come, and it is clear, therefore, that a revision of its terms in the light of existing circumstances must, at a stage, be undertaken. No decision has yet been made, however, as to when action to effect such revision can most usefully be initiated, nor am I in a position to indicate the form such revision might take.
With regard to the last part of the question, representations which have been made, or may in future be made by interested parties, regarding the provisions of the agreement will receive due consideration.
Mr. Skinner: asked the Minister for Local Government and Public Health whether, in view of the fact that persons residing in that part of the County Limerick formerly included in the area of jurisdiction of the Mitchelstown (No. 2) Rural District Council have to travel very long distances to Croom County Hospital, he will make the hospital at Fermoy a regional hospital, with power to accept, for treatment, patients from that portion of the former Mitchelstown (No. 2) Rural District Council area now included in the County Limerick.
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Local Government and Public Health (Dr. Ward): The reorganisation of hospital services contemplated in the Cork and Limerick public assistance districts includes new regional hospitals at Cork and Limerick, and a county hospital at Mallow. Fermoy is not intended to be either a regional or a county hospital centre. No representations have been received  in my Department from the Limerick County Council for facilities for the treatment of any County Limerick patients in Fermoy Hospital. I cannot, therefore, express any views regarding the latter part of the question.
Captain Giles: asked the Minister for Agriculture if he will state in relation to the Dublin District Milk Board the following information: (a) the total amount paid to this board from State funds in each year from formation to date; (b) the name and salary of each member of the board and the manner in which and the date on which each was appointed; (c) where a civil servant has been appointed, particulars regarding his Civil Service salary and allowances, and whether these are paid in addition to his salary or fees as a member of the board; (d) whether any, and, if so, which, of the members of the board are permitted, by the terms of their appointment, to hold any other directorship, office or employment, with details of any such offices; and (e) whether any conditions are laid down by him as a matter of public policy in regard to the method in which officers of the board are to be appointed.
Minister for Agriculture (Dr. Ryan): The following is the reply to the Deputy's question:—
(a) No moneys have been paid to the board out of State Funds. (b) The following are members of the board, appointed by me in accordance with Emergency Powers (No. 247) Order, 1942; Chairman: Mr. M.J. Mullally, appointed 26th January, 1943; salary, £700 per annum, inclusive. Members: Messrs. J.H. Breen and P. Harnett, M.R.C.V.S., appointed 21st December, 1942; allowance, £100 per annum, each. (c) Messrs. Breen and Harnett are civil servants and the allowance paid to them as members of the board is additional to their Civil Service salaries as principal officer in my Department and superintending veterinary inspector in the Department of Local Government and Public Health respectively. (d) The chairman is a whole-time officer. The holding of directorships  by civil servants is governed by the regulations made by the Minister for Finance. (e) The answer is in the negative.
Tadhg O Murchadha: asked the Minister for Finance if he is aware that the General Council of County Councils has urged a higher rate of old age pension with a modification in the means test applicable to old age pension applications, and if he proposes to give effect to the request in the near future.
Dr. Ryan (for Minister for Finance): The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative and the answer to the second part of the question is in the negative.
Mr. T.J. Murphy: Arising out of the Minister's reply, is he aware that proposals are before the British Parliament at present for providing minimum old age pensions for men at 24/- per week and for women at 16/- per week? In view of that, is he prepared to take any action to improve the position of old age pensioners here?
Dr. Ryan: I am sure the Minister is aware of that already.
Mr. Byrne: asked the Minister for Education if he will state the results of his latest interview with the representatives of the Irish National Teachers' Organisation.
Minister for Education (Mr. Derrig): I met the representatives of the teachers again on Saturday, the 8th instant, when discussion on new salary scales was resumed between us. I am not in a position to make any further statement on the matter at present.
Mr. P.J. Fogarty: asked the Minister for Justice if he can state how many cattle and sheep have been stolen within a five-mile radius of Swords during the past 12 months; if he can  state if any persons have been brought to account for same; and if he proposes to take any steps to deal with this serious matter.
Minister for Justice (Mr. Boland): During the past 12 months one cow was reported missing and probably stolen in the area within a five-mile radius of Swords. No person has been charged with the theft of this animal, but the case is still being investigated.
An Tánaiste: It is proposed to take business in the following order: Items 1, 2, 3 and 4. The debate on the Public Health Bill will be interrupted at 6.30 to take No. 4. When No. 4 is concluded, the debate on No. 3 will be resumed. If and when Government business is finished the remaining time will be available for Private Deputies' business. If the business as ordered is not completed to-day, it is proposed to sit to-morrow. If the business is concluded to-day it is proposed that the Dáil should adjourn to 30th January.
Mr. Norton: If Government business is completed to-day, I take it that it is not intended to sit to-morrow merely  for the purpose of taking Private Deputies' business.
An Tánaiste: No.
The Dáil went into Committee to consider amendments from the Seanad.
Minister for Industry and Commerce (Mr. Lemass): It is proposed to ask the Dáil to agree to the amendments inserted in the Seanad, and to take them now.
Mr. Lemass: I move that the Dáil agree with the Seanad in amendment No.1:—
At the end of the section the following sub-section inserted:—
“(2) The Board of Trustees may act notwithstanding one or more vacancies in their membership.”
Question put, and agreed to.
Mr. Lemass: I move that the Dáil agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 2:—
In sub-section (5) (a), page 7, paragraph (a), lines 1 to 12, inclusive deleted.
General Mulcahy: Will the Minister say what the effect of this amendment is? Is this a relief to local authorities in the matter?
Mr. Lemass: No. The sub-section which was delected provided for the transfer to the Galway Corporation of certain bridges over the Eglinton Canal, now being maintained by the board of trustees. The deletion of the sub-section is not so important having regard to other provisions of the section which enable the road  authority, the Galway Corporation, to make arrangements with the board of trustees for the reconstruction of the bridges if such reconstruction is required as a road improvement scheme.
Question put and agreed to.
Amendments reported and agreed to.
Ordered: That the Seanad be notified accordingly.
Leave granted to introduce a Bill entitled an Act to make better provision for the development, in the national interest, of the production, distribution and supply of turf in the State, and for this purpose to establish a board to be called Bord na Móna, to define its powers and duties, to dissolve the Turf Development Board, Limited, and to transfer its property and liability to Bord na Móna, and to provide for certain other matters connected with the matters aforesaid.—(Minister for Industry and Commerce.)
Second Stage ordered for 30th January.
General Mulcahy: Would the Minister say when it is intended to circulate the Bill?
Mr. Lemass: About the middle of January.
Mr. Norton: Is there any hope that we may get the Bill earlier, because it would appear to be fairly important?
Mr. Lemass: I think there is no chance of its being ready earlier than about the 12th or 15th January.
Mr. Norton: If necessary then, we could delay the Second Reading?
Mr. Lemass: Certainly, yes.
 Question again proposed: “That the Bill be now read a Second Time.”
Mr. Cogan: Yesterday I was dealing with one particular section of this Bill, the section which provides for the isolation and internment of persons suffering from infectious disease. I pointed out the grave danger involved in the enforcement of this section with out adequate protection for the citizen. I candidly admit that there is need for far-reaching power in regard to cases of this kind. On various occasions, when the Estimate for Local Government was under consideration, I have suggested that there was need in certain cases for special powers, but I never envisaged a Bill such as this which provides no safeguard whatever for the citizen except an appeal to the Minister. I maintain that an appeal to the Minister from a decision of the local county medical officer of health is not an adequate protection for the citizen. The Minister has many important functions to perform, many responsibilities, and in matters of this kind he is forced to rely to a great extent on the advice of his Department. When I raised that point yesterday the Parliamentary Secretary rather sneeringly suggested that the type of appeal board might be a farmers' organisation. I do not think the Parliamentary Secretary is wise in referring sneeringly to farmers. Farmers are a rather formidable clan, as the Parliamentary Secretary must know as a result of the recent elections, and they have a habit of cropping up in all constituencies, even the Parliamentary Secretary's constituency. But, while the Parliamentary Secretary may have put that suggestion forward by way of a sneer, I think it would be better to have an appeal board comprised exclusively of farmers rather than an appeal exclusively to the Minister because in a matter of this kind a board comprised of impartial, independent laymen, even though they might be farmers, would be preferable to an appeal board comprised of a Minister who must rely to a very great extent upon his Department for advice.
 But I do not suggest that the appeal board which would give protection to people affected by this Bill should be composed exclusively of farmers. In my opinion, the proper appeal board would be one upon which various important interests would be represented. The Parliamentary Secretary in his opening statement referred to the spiritual and material aspects of life which this Bill affected. I think, in administering this Bill, provision should be made not only for the material aspect of life but for the spiritual aspect of life. In my opinion there is nobody more suitable for membership of an appeal board of this kind, which would consider the rights of the citizen as against the rights of officialdom, than the clergy of all denominations. On such a board the Churches should be represented because this is a matter into which the moral law comes to a great extent; it is a matter in which the rights and dignity of the human personality are deeply concerned. There is no one more fit to decide what the rights of the citizens are and what the moral responsibilities of the State are than those who have been divinely appointed to the sacred vocation of religion.
I suggest, therefore, that on a board of this kind the clergy should be represented. Probably the medical profession should be represented and ordinary laymen should also be represented. Thus you would have a board to which the citizen who felt aggrieved could appeal with some confidence; that would provide at least some safeguard to the person who feels that, in the Bill as it stands, he would be exposed possibly to injustice. Injustice arises not only in connection with the arrest and internment of persons suffering from infectious diseases but also in connection with the interference with the rights of parents in respect of their children. I think an appeal board established in each county would be absolutely necessary because quite a large number of cases would probably require to be considered. I suggest that such an appeal board should be a purely voluntary body. We do not  want to add to bureaucracy in this State.
Having condemned that particular section of the Bill as it stands, I think it is only fair to say that this measure, while it has many bad points, has some good features also. It is only fair to say that it is a measure which has received considerable thought and it is a thought-provoking matter. It is a measure which I am sure will set everybody who has the best interests of the country and the best interests of social development at heart furiously thinking. That is why I suggest that it would be undesirable to force the Second Reading through the House. It would be better to postpone the Second Reading until after the recess.
The good features of the Bill which we must place on the credit side are the provisions in it for mother and child welfare, for improvement and establishment of bathing facilities, for the regulation of itinerants and people camping out, and so on, and also the regulations which are made for the protection of human food. All these provisions are good and desirable but against them we must weigh the disadvantages and dangers which are definitely and expressly contained in the Bill. We have, first of all, interference with the rights of citizens and the rights of parents. We have also the serious burden which this Bill must inevitably place on local taxation. During the past 12 or 13 years the burden of local rates has increased enormously. In 1931, £4,600,000 odd was collected from the local ratepayers. Last year £7,500,000 was collected. That is a very formidable increase in the burden of direct taxation on the people and, when we consider how inequitably the burden of direct taxation is distributed, we must take cognisance of the fact that a severe burden is placed on our people which it is difficult to justify.
It is particularly difficult to justify this increased burden in view of the fact that a very comprehensive scheme for social services, which included many of the things contained in this Bill, was recently propounded and published by the Most Rev. Dr. Dignan. In that plan there was provision  for the financing of better social services out of a scheme of social insurance. I personally believe that it would be better to have any further extension of the social services financed by means of a social insurance scheme rather than that it should be thrown on the rates. For a variety of reasons I think that would be desirable. It would be desirable in the first place because, in the case of social insurance, the burden would be more equitably distributed and, in the second place, it would relieve those benefiting by the scheme from the stigma of pauperism which is to a certain extent implied in the relief schemes which we are at present administering, particularly of the type advocated or prescribed in this Bill. I think it was very unwise and altogether wrong to have ignored completely the plan put forward by the Most Rev. Dr. Dignan and that at least good reason should have been given for rejecting that plan and substituting the provisions contained in this measure.
There is also implied all through this measure a formidable increase in bureaucracy and bureaucratic control over the lives and activities of our people. Provision is made in this Bill for an enormous increase in the staffs of the medical services throughout the country. The Bill will tend to bring more and more of the medical profession directly under the control of the State. The Parliamentary Secretary would have been wise if he had given some attention to the statement recently made by Most Rev. Dr. Browne, Bishop of Galway, when he warned against the increased interference on the part of the State with the rights of parents. He made it very clear that, even where parents were neglectful of their duties, that in itself did not justify the State in taking children away from their parents. There should at least, first of all, be a far-reaching attempt on the part of the officials of the State to persuade the parents to do their duty and, under no circumstances, should we have the hasty removal and the forcible removal of children from their parents and the breaking up of home life.
 The Parliamentary Secretary will, of course, in reply tell me that State officials do not act hastily, do not act drastically in matters of this kind. But everyone who has experience of administration on public boards knows that State officials are just as temperamental as anyone else, just as temperamental as politicians, and even as temperamental as Ministers, and that we have had cases in which officials have interfered to an extent which could not be justified in any circumstances. Only recently I had to protest very vigorously against a State official forcibly removing boarded-out children from foster-parents who were treating them properly. The children were being removed on the grounds that they were being transferred to a more prosperous home. But, notwithstanding that, force was used, and the Guards were brought in to take these children away from their foster-parents.
I have no doubt whatever that, if this Bill goes through as it is without amendment, force will be used, and used extensively, in the breaking up of families and the taking of children away from their parents, and in the removal of citizens to places of detention. I have grave reason to fear that the drastic powers we are giving to the Minister and his Department will be used extensively. I do not think that we, as members of this Parliament, can stand over such provisions unless the safeguards which I have suggested are provided. If we ensure that the necessary safeguards are provided, then we will have taken some steps to preserve the rights of the citizens. If the Minister wants to get those powers without any check or control whatever, I think the House will have to refuse to give him those powers.
I am sure that the Parliamentary Secretary, when replying, will devote some time towards extolling the integrity and high standing of those people who will be called upon to enforce the drastic provisions of this Bill. As far as the medical profession generally is concerned, its members are of the highest standard. The medical profession is one of the noblest professions in existence. Its members have inherited a high tradition of devoted  service to the community, and particularly to the suffering members of the weakest section of the community. Now that the Parliamentary Secretary is taking increased powers of administration over the medical profession and bringing it more and more under his control, I hope he will take adequate steps to preserve the high traditions of that profession, and will see that its status and dignity are not only maintained and preserved, but are increased.
Weighing up the pros and cons of this Bill, I think we will have to decide that the balance is against it. It sets out to tackle one of the joint evils which beset humanity—sickness and disease—but it proposes to tackle the evil by methods which cannot be justified either on moral grounds or on grounds of expediency. It is always better to seek to achieve good by inducement rather than by force. I commend the sections which provide benefits and compensation and inducements of that kind to people who have to be taken to sanatoria or otherwise interfered with or detained. These features of the Bill are desirable, but nothing that can be said in regard to the evil of the diseases it is sought to eradicate or with regard to the danger they are to the public, can justify the drastic provisions we have here.
Therefore, I ask the Minister to withdraw the Bill and reconsider the whole matter, not only in the light of what has been said in this House, but in the light of the Doctor Dignan report. I am sure that, if the Parliamentary Secretary is given an opportunity to introduce another Bill in the near future, it will be a vast improvement on the one before us now. If this House passes the Second Reading of this Bill, it will be the duty of the House to seek to amend it drastically, but I believe we would not be doing our duty to the people we represent if we were to allow the Bill to pass its Second Stage in its present form.
Mr. M. O'Sullivan: A perusal of this Bill compels the almost immediate conclusion that its terms are very definitely  in line with the growing tendency of late to centralise all the affairs of local authorities in the hands of the Minister, while at the same time imposing on local authorities financial obligations which are not primarily theirs. Running through this Bill as a whole, one confirms the idea that the Minister is completely dissociated from the affairs of local authorities. Deputy Mulcahy complained that, apparently, there was no co-operation between the medical profession and the Department in the framing of this Bill. My complaint would lie more with the fact that, since its operation will ultimately be a matter for the local authorities, no consultation appears to have taken place with the individuals who may be said primarily to represent the local authorities in a matter of this kind, that is, the county medical officers of health.
Previous speakers have referred to the undue strain this Bill will place on local authorities. I can well imagine the Parliamentary Secretary replying, as he has done on previous occasions, that it is the obligation of local authorities, particularly where social services are concerned, to ensure that they shall be met with the necessary amount of finance. He naturally will not twit members on this side of the House, particularly on these benches, with our obligations to the ratepapers. Recently the position of the ratepayers has become more clearly defined. There was a time when “ratepayers” was synonymous with industrialists and large shopkeepers, but that no longer obtains. Nowadays, every individual in the community, even those in flats and in small dwellings, is paying rates indirectly, if not directly. They are paying more in the line of direct rates than they have been in the past. For instance, the Dublin Corporation has 24,000 tenants paying rates directly. Their rates are anchored to the rents and, obviously, the rents go up and down in the same ratio as the rates go up and down. The ambit has been widened for people of that character and these individuals are now very deeply concerned.
Those of us who are public representatives, and closely associated with the  ratepayers, are placed in a position of responsibility, and on occasions we have to account for that expenditure. We have never hesitated, in my own council—and I am sure other representatives can say the same—where matters relating to social services arose. Local representatives will take the responsibility, but it is an undeniable fact that, in recent years, the policy of the Minister has been to unload his responsibility for local government on to the shoulders of the local authorities. That practice is extending. I can conceive no more easy task than that of the Parliamentary Secretary here this evening. He is interested in public health—a commendable interest, and one we all share—but his duties are comparatively light. He simply gives instructions to the Parliamentary draftsman to draw up a Public Health Bill under certain headings, stating that certain things are required. Then he makes certain that he will have the major portion of the control, and directs the local authority to carry out, with their own finances, the obligations that he places on them in a Bill of this character.
I say that, from a Ministerial point of view, that is work easily done, but it does not end there. To give you an illustration of the points I am making with regard to this Bill—that is, the question of centralisation of control, control in the hands of the Minister, and the financial obligations resting on the local authorities—I could not do better than refer you to Section 13 and Section 73. Section 73 deals with a simple matter; it relates to the examination of samples of food and drink, and it sets out:
“(a) provisions requiring the submission to the Minister by every proprietor of the food of samples of the food for examination of their nature, substance, quality or condition.”
Submission to the Minister, mark you. Why to the Minister? Why not to the county medical officer of health, the person most concerned? I will now refer to Section 13, which relates to the provision and maintenance of health institutions, and it says:
“(3) A health authority shall, whenever the Minister, by Order so directs—
(a) restore, enlarge or otherwise alter in accordance with the Order any institution maintained by them pursuant to this section...”
You will observe that a health authority “shall”. That means that in the morning we could be directed, as the Bill says, to restore, enlarge, or otherwise alter any institution; but there is no indication from the Government of their share of responsibility in the setting up of that institution. There is a complete disavowal of financial responsibility so far as the Minister is concerned, and it is all unloaded on the shoulders of the local authorities. One might understand that to a degree if the representatives of local authorities were taken into consideration, but so far as I know they have not been consulted.
I object to these two features of the Bill. I recognise the difficulty there will be in having this altered satisfactorily in Committee, particularly in so far as the financial clauses are concerned, because it is not open to any private Deputy to put down an amendment that will make a charge on public funds. This is a feature of the Bill that is agitating the minds of many members of the House, and I suggest the Parliamentary Secretary should recast his ideas in this particular respect.
There is another aspect of the Bill in which I am interested, and that is Section 34, about which we have heard quite a good deal. When the Sanatorium Bill was going through the House the Minister was applauded for his efforts in connection with it—and quite properly. We were all satisfied that it was his intention to give us a scale of allowances for the dependents of tuberculosis patients undergoing treatment in various sanatoria. I listened very carefully to the Parliamentary Secretary's Second Reading speech and I would subscribe to every word he said in so far as tuberculosis patients are concerned. It is perfectly true, and public representatives have experience of this sort of thing every day, that young men who are in employment  are wrongly continuing that employment, risking their own health and a danger to the health of others for only one reason. That is, that they are married, there are probably three or four children, and the young father knows full well that the moment he lies down, the moment he goes to a sanatorium, that is the end of his household. No provision is made, except through the medium of public assistance, to keep the roof over his family's head until he returns. Medical men—and the Parliamentary Secretary subscribed to that idea— have said time out of mind that it is almost impossible to attempt curative treatment with a patient of that description. The patient is inevitably worried about what is happening in his home. The answer would be, an adequate scale of allowances.
I was twitted when I raised this matter only two days ago on the Housing (Amendment) Bill. The Minister for Local Government suggested that I must not have read the Bill or the explanatory memorandum, because otherwise I would have observed the great news conveyed in Section 34; that was, that we would be in a position under this Bill to set up a scale of allowances of that particular type. I read the Bill carefully because I was interested, and I know all about Section 34, but my complaint remains as strong as ever it was on this particular subject. When the Sanatorium Bill was going through the Oireachtas the Dublin Corporation had it under observation and there are members of the corporation here, representing all Parties, who gladly took part in the discussion, and they decided, as a gesture of good will towards the Parliamentary Secretary, that they would guarantee, towards the scale of allowances of the type I have referred to, a 50 per cent. grant from the rates, conditional on an equivalent grant being given by the Government.
I put down a Parliamentary Question on the subject and the Parliamentary Secretary disclaimed all responsibility, from a national point of view, so far as a contribution from the Government would be concerned. We  are now told we have all we desire in Section 34. I say there is no such provision and the section is in line with practically every other section in the Bill in that responsibility is placed absolutely on the shoulders of the local authority. This section of the Bill is not a solution of a very vexed social question, a question that calls aloud for redress. There is, in my opinion, a lack of the necessary appreciation and recognition of the problem on the one hand, and of the position that the local authority occupies, on the other. I do not know in what way the position can be altered, but that again is purely a matter for the Minister. We have, it appears, an arbitrary decision on the part of the Minister in that the Bill has been introduced in this form without any consultation with people who would know something about the subject and who would have a more sympathetic understanding of the problems to be faced. That is the position that exists and it is to be hoped that the Minister will adopt a different attitude.
With regard to infectious disease, a good deal has been said on this question but I want to draw the Parliamentary Secretary's attention, especially, to Section 28. In my opinion, that section has been very loosely drawn and in its present form it would impose intolerable obligations on the individuals who would be named as in charge of public conveyances, persons such as, for instance, guards of trains and bus conductors in Dublin and other cities. The section says:
“(3) The person in charge of a public conveyance used for the conveyance of passengers at separate fares shall not convey therein a person whom he knows to be a probable source of infection with an infectious disease to which this section applies.”
Well, well—“whom he knows to be a probable source of infection.” What standard of knowledge must he have? He must know an individual is suffering from an infectious disease—and tuberculosis, in the words of the Parliamentary Secretary, is now listed as such.
General Mulcahy: He has a dictionary.
Mr. O'Sullivan: “... a person whom he knows to be a probable source of infection”. You can envisage a state of affairs where malicious and vindictive information could be passed in a matter of that kind and it could lead not alone to all sorts of personal embarrassment and humiliation, but possibly actions in the law courts. I cannot congratulate the draftsman on that particular section. The next sub-section is a good one, too:—
“(4) Where a person in charge of a public conveyance who is not the owner of the conveyance learns that a person has been conveyed in the conveyance while a probable source of infection with an infectious disease...”
That certainly is not legislation, and I am certain the Parliamentary Secretary does not desire that the section should stand in that form. In any case you will have a public outcry against it.
Dr. Ward: It is a pretty old principle in the law of this country—it goes back for the past 30 or 40 years.
Mr. O'Sullivan: There are an extraordinary number of laws, apparently, which have the value of age, but that is about all the value attaching to them.
Dr. Ward: I am only drawing the Deputy's attention to the fact that it is the law and has been the law for 30 or 40 years, but that he did not know it.
Mr. O'Sullivan: It has never been applied.
General Mulcahy: It is like the 1852 turf law—it will be applied now.
Dr. Ward: It is like some of the Orders the Deputy signed when he was Minister for Local Government, to which he now objects. He did not know he was signing them.
Mr. O'Sullivan: Section 30, dealing with infectious diseases, is also rather interesting. It reads:—
“Where a person suffering from an infectious disease dies in an institution and such person was admitted to or maintained in such institution by or on the application of or at the cost of a health authority that authority may arrange and pay for the removal of the body of such person to a place near his home and its immediate burial there.”
“... to a place near his home”—I wonder what precisely is meant by that?
Dr. Ward: A person might be in an infectious disease institution a long distance from his family burial ground and public assistance might be required to bring the remains back to the family burial ground.
Mr. O'Sullivan: My final remarks are in reference to the regulations under the Bill. A good deal of authority rests with the Minister in relation to the making of regulations and the success or failure of the Bill will depend largely on those regulations. Apparently there has been no co-operation, no consultation, as between the local authorities and those responsible for the Bill, but I appeal to the Parliamentary Secretary to assure us that, in relation to this important section of the Bill dealing with the making of regulations, co-operation will be enlisted, particularly so far as the medical staffs of local authorities are concerned. There is, for instance, the question of standards of food. We have no standard for the simple but useful commodity, cream, in this city, nor have we any standard for the very popular commodity, ice-cream. A whole series of matters relating to public health will arise out of these regulations, and I appeal to the Minister to ensure that there will be the closest co-operation with the local authorities in drafting these regulations.
I agree with Deputy Cogan that there are many excellent features in the Bill which aim at uplifting the standard of public health, but it is a great pity that they have been introduced in this rather arbitrary and unsympathetic manner, so far as a decision between the Minister and the local authorities is concerned.
Mr. Roddy: I agree with Deputy O'Sullivan that the Minister for Local Government, especially in recent years, has endeavoured to unload his responsibility on to the local authorities, and, at the same time, has tried to deprive these authorities of whatever little freedom they enjoy. It is a tendency which is not peculiar to the Minister for Local Government. The same tendency is noticeable in the legislation introduced by all the Ministers in recent years, and it is a tendency which, I suppose, will continue until the local authorities eventually react, and react vigorously, against it. I sincerely hope they will do so very shortly.
The Minister has told us that this Bill is but the first step in the codification of the public health code. He gave us only a faint indication of what the measures to follow this will be like. I do not know how many other measures there will be, but I have a hazy recollection of reading somewhere that there are about 100 Local Government Acts—some of them perhaps intermixed with the legislation of other Government Departments—and assuming that there are about 100, I take it that it will be necessary to introduce three other Bills about the size of this Bill to codify all the public health legislation.
If the other Bills are to contain the same drastic provisions as this, there will not be a scintilla of freedom left to the people of this country. If the other legislation which is in contemplation follows on the same lines as this, every man, woman and child in this country will be reduced to the position of a marionette, whose every action will be controlled by strings pulled by the Parliamentary Secretary in the Custom House.
Some of the sections in this Bill are positively dangerous, because they hold us up to the gaze of the world as a diseased, unclean and verminous people, and suggest that it is necessary to introduce the most drastic legal provisions in order to make us observe the simple, ordinary sanitary decencies of life. I wonder is the Parliamentary Secretary aware of the implication of legislation such as this. Is he aware  of the possible reactions of legislation of this kind, of its possible effects on us in various directions? Some of us can recall an anti-tuberculosis campaign started in this country in the early years of the present century by a certain distinguished lady. We know the effect that campaign had on the trade and industry of this country and there are sections in this Bill which bear some analogy to that type of campaign. There are sections which, if they are given legislative effect, are likely to have a harmful effect on the people of the country.
I submit that much of the projected legislation in this Bill is quite unnecessary, and, furthermore, that the Parliamentary Secretary could have achieved his end by propaganda rather than by the introduction of what I regard as insulting proposals of this character, because these proposals are really an insult to the character and habits of our people. If the Minister for Local Government embarked on an intensive propaganda campaign, with the object of bringing home to the people the importance of observing the elementary laws of health and sanitation, and utilised as agencies for the carrying out of that propaganda, the schools, the churches, the newspapers, local councils, the various social welfare and other organisations in the country, he would be more likely to achieve the objects he has in view than by these proposals.
I do not see for the life of me how it is proposed to make the people keep themselves clean by legislation of this type. I have never heard of any country in the world whose people observe the elementary laws of sanitation as a result of legislation. Surely the aims and objects the Minister has in view lend themselves admirably to intensive propaganda. I believe that if the Minister instead of introducing insulting proposals of this character, organised a propaganda campaign of that kind, on the right lines, on intelligent lines, and succeeded in getting the co-operation of influential people and organisations throughout the country, he would succeed in his object.
Mr. Allen: That is what Lady Aberdeen did.
Mr. Roddy: There are many sections in the Bill which cannot be enforced. I cannot see how the sections relating to the owners of houses, public vehicles and the owners of transport vehicles, and so on, are ever to be enforced, unless the Minister is prepared to employ an army of public servants for the purpose of enforcing them.
Mr. D. Morrissey: Of course he is.
Mr. Roddy: They can never hope to be enforced, and is it not making a mockery of legislation to include sections which the Parliamentary Secretary, I believe, knows perfectly well can never be enforced? I submit, furthermore, that proposals of this kind should never have been embodied in such a Bill as this, without the Parliamentary Secretary having first explored fully the propagandist field. It was only when propaganda failed that he should have resorted to drastic measures of this character. Now, the Minister is to unload more responsibilities on the local authorities. They will have to provide all the money for the purpose of giving effect to the Minister's proposals, and will not have a shred of control.
All through the Bill we have such phrases as “by order of the Minister”, “the Minister by order directs”, “it shall be the duty of the Minister”, and so on, but never once does the phrase occur, “after or in consultation with the local authorities”. The Minister is taking absolute power to direct the local authorities to spend money in any way he decides. If he wants the local authority to erect a public institution, he directs them to do so. In every respect he can direct them to carry out the provisions of the Bill. If he wants a local authority to embark on a scheme for the purpose of increasing the drainage facilities of an area, they must do so. It is true that in that case they may be able to recover some part of the cost. At all events, the Minister is taking to himself an absolute power of direction, and the local authorities must carry out his directions. That, as Deputy O'Sullivan has said, is autocracy with a vengeance. After all, if the Parliamentary Secretary really believes that this measure is  going to be effective for its purpose, does he not think that, if it is to succeed when it becomes an Act, he must enlist and have the support of the local authorities, and that it will be impossible to enforce it without having their assistance and co-operation? He could, and would, get valuable advice and help in various ways from local authorities if only he sought their co-operation and assistance. But no, he apparently has made up his mind that he is the one person in this country who knows anything at all about the administration of public health.
It has been suggested that he did not even consult the medical profession about the terms of the Bill. No matter how able or competent the Parliamentary Secretary is, he surely does not expect the House to accept it that all the knowledge and all the brains in relation to public health can rest in one solitary head. I say that he has made a cardinal mistake in incorporating drastic sections of the character I have referred to in this Bill, sections which will probably do a great deal of harm to this country. Secondly, he has made the mistake of ignoring the local authorities. It should have been his aim and ambition from the outset to enlist their support and assistance during various stages of the operation of the Bill, and to seek their advice wherever it was necessary to do so.
There is no Bill wholly bad. There are undoubtedly some good features in this Bill. I am sorry that they were not incorporated in a separate Bill, and that the dangerous ones were not dropped altogether. I do not propose to discuss in detail the various good features of the Bill, but there is one that is deserving of some comment, namely, the section relating to the provision to be made for the dependents of people suffering from infectious diseases. That, of course, was foreshadowed by the Parliamentary Secretary some 12 months ago. I thought that it would have been incorporated in some earlier measure. However it is better late than never, and it is a good thing to find it in this Bill.
The section relating to consultative  councils is rather vague. There is very little information given as to how these councils are to be constituted. Presumably, there is to be a number of them. The Minister can set up any number, apparently, that he likes. Will there be one for each health authority area, and will the local authorities be forced to bear the expenses of these consultative councils? It appears to me that there is already a consultative council in each health area, composed of, say, the county medical officer of health, the local medical officers of health and the county manager. With the chairman of the county council a body of that sort could or should form a consultative council in a health area. Therefore, it should only be necessary to establish a consultative council with headquarters here in Dublin. I take it that these consultative councils will be established for the purpose of giving advice on various forms and types of disease, and that each will be a specialist in its own particular line to give expert advice on particular matters referred to it.
Dr. Ward: That is the purpose of the section.
Mr. Roddy: So that it is not proposed to set up local consultative councils?
Dr. Ward: No.
Mr. Roddy: Section 95 deals with the disposal of bodies otherwise than by burial. I am interested to know how the Parliamentary Secretary proposes to dispose of bodies otherwise than by burial. I hope that he is not going to become too modern.
Dr. Ward: The Minister does not propose to dispose of them.
Mr. D. Morrissey: I am surprised.
Mr. Roddy: That is how it is phrased. That, at all events, is a small point. In Section 102, it is proposed that an officer of a health authority may arrest people because he suspects them to be suffering from some form of contagious disease. That seems to  me to be a very drastic power to give to anybody: that an official can stop a person on the street because perhaps he does not look too well at the moment or because, according to his information, the person may be suffering from some disease, and arrest him. It is an unheard of authority to give to anybody, that he may arrest a person because of his looks or of the way he is walking.
Mr. O'Donnell: It will be dangerous in future to develop the middle-age walk.
Mr. Roddy: In my opinion, it is a dangerous power to put into the hands of any individual. I think that, before any officer is allowed to exercise drastic authority of that description, at least he should have a certificate from some medical authority.
Dr. Ward: It is the county medical officer of health.
Mr. Roddy: It does not say that he is a medical officer. If a person refuses when asked, to give his name and address to his questioner, and tells him to go to some hot place, that person can be taken to the Gárda barracks where he can be detained for 24 hours.
Dr. Ward: It is the Guards will be responsible then.
Mr. Roddy: The section in any event is a terribly drastic one. There has been nothing like it in any legislation passed by this House or anywhere else. It is unfair to give one individual authority to exercise drastic powers of that character. After all, the individual is entitled to some freedom, but this Bill, from the first page of it to the last, is designed to whittle away bit by bit and little by little whatever freedom we enjoy at the moment. That is the most drastic section of all. The Parliamentary Secretary mentioned a moment ago about the Guards, that once a man is in the Gárda barracks the Guards will be responsible. Personally, I object to introducing the Guards into legislation of this kind.
It is not their function to see that the people of the country keep themselves clean. The Gárda were established for the purpose of carrying out  certain definite and specific duties. Their duty is to see that the law of this country is enforced and observed. In order that the people generally will have respect for the agents of the law, it is necessary that their duties should be confined literally to what they have been set out to be.
Dr. Ward: Who is to enforce this law?
Mr. Roddy: Duties of this character would be likely to demean the Guards in the esteem of the people of the country.
Dr. Ward: Is this law not to be enforced?
Mr. D. Morrissey: We hope not.
Mr. Roddy: We sincerely hope that this law is not going to be enforced. In any event, the Minister has many other agents besides the Guards. It is surely not the duty of the Guards to go around and see that a person keeps himself and his house clean. That is outside the duty of the Guards and I submit that duties of that kind should be exercised by some other functionary, not by the men who are responsible for preserving respect for the law.
Dr. Ward: I do not think the Bill puts that duty on the Gárda. It does not, as far as I remember.
Mr. Roddy: The Parliamentary Secretary mentioned in his introductory statement that there were few countries so well equipped as this country is in matters of public health. If this country is so well equipped in public health matters, why is it necessary to introduce such drastic provisions as are enshrined in this Bill?
Dr. Ward: To prevent the spread of disease.
Mr. Roddy: The Parliamentary Secretary is not going to prevent the spread of infectious disease by many of the sections incorporated in this Bill and the Parliamentary Secretary knows that perfectly well. I indicated a moment ago that the Parliamentary Secretary would achieve far more by propaganda and, before resorting to drastic provisions of this character, he  should have exhausted the possibilities of propaganda.
Dr. Ward: Listen, Deputy. I do not want to interrupt, but——
Mr. Roddy: You are never going to make the people of this country observe the elementary laws of sanitation by measures of this character.
Dr. Ward: How would the Deputy deal with a person suffering from typhus?
Mr. Roddy: There are many sections of the Bill that can never be operated and it only makes a mockery of legislation to include in a Bill provisions which can never be operated. Whether it is true that this Bill is the product of the Minister's own mind or not, I do not know, but I cannot imagine that if the Minister consulted medical advisers in this country they would lend themselves to proposals of this character. They know the country too intimately, they know the needs of the people too well, they associate with the people too frequently to be responsible for drastic legislation of this character which whittles away from the people every shred of freedom they enjoy at the present time.
Under the terms of this Bill, no person in the country is free, no person is safe. He is likely to be molested at every turn by some official or functionary acting on behalf of the public health authority. Again I want to stress that all that is entirely unnecessary. The improvements that the Parliamentary Secretary had in mind could be achieved by other means rather than by legislation of this character.
Mr. Allen: When this Bill was read by Deputies, I am sure most reasonable Deputies came to the conclusion that it was a comprehensive and far-reaching measure. I am sure the House expected from the Leader of the chief Opposition Party a different line of approach from that indicated yesterday. If the views expressed by Deputy Mulcahy yesterday evening, and to a lesser extent, by Deputy Roddy to-day, are the best available to the chief Opposition on the subject of the public health of this country, we  can only pray, God help the country. Deputy Mulcahy occupied half an hour yesterday evening telling us about this revolutionary measure. Of course, he was going to the Supreme Court immediately with it to have it declared to be not in comformity with the Constitution. He as much as told us so yesterday evening. I doubt if the House was ever treated to anything like the piffle and nonsense that he talked here. One would think there was no such measure on the Statute Book and in operation in this country as the Public Health Act, 1878. I wonder have Deputies read that Act. If they read it they will find that there is far more drastic legislation in operation under the Public Health Act, 1878 and certain amending Acts than is embodied in this measure as set out here.
What does this Bill propose to do? It is set out very clearly. Part II prescribes the general duty of the Minister in regard to public health and the establishment by the Minister of consultative councils. Is there anything revolutionary in that or anything that the House can object to? It sets out the duty of the Minister and prescribes that the Minister may establish consultative councils to give the Minister advice and assistance in matters affecting public health. Part III of the Bill provides for the provision and maintenance of health institutions; discontinuance of health institutions; agreement for use of institution; charges for institutional services; management of health institutions. I wonder what is wrong about Part III of the Bill?
Part IV deals purely with infectious disease. Is it suggested that there is no necessity to make regulations or provisions for the reduction of disease and to prevent the spread of infectious disease in this country? Regulations are in operation at the moment for the prevention of the spread of infectious disease. It was found by local authorities all over the country that the powers they had were not sufficient to prevent the spread of infectious disease. Any member of this House who was a member of a  board of health, even before the County Management Act came into operation, knows that for the last 12 years boards of health, every time they met, had to consider all kinds of difficulties with regard to the spread of infectious disease. Every member of a board of health in Ireland had the experience, time and again, of not being able to take the necessary steps to prevent the spread of infectious disease in their area. I see nothing in this Bill that I have not heard discussed 101 times at the boards of health in the past and I have heard the necessity for provisions of this kind discussed. I know also that the provisions embodied in this Bill are the recommendations of medical officers of health all over the country. I have heard time and again medical officers of health advocating the provisions embodied in this Bill for the prevention of the spread of infectious disease.
It is absolute nonsense for Deputy Mulcahy or Deputy Roddy or any other Deputy to talk about this Bill as being a revolutionary Bill. The provisions in this Bill are absolutely necessary for the protection of the people of the country. What would Deputy Mulcahy or Deputy Roddy say if there were no protection of the property of the country? Is it not far more important to protect the lives of the human beings in the country? There are drastic regulations in operation in this country at the moment to protect private property. But you have not sufficient laws or regulations to protect the lives of human beings. It is for that purpose the Bill was introduced and for no other reason whatever.
Part IV of the Bill deals with drainage. Does anyone suggest that there is anything in the Bill which is revolutionary in the matter of drainage? Is it wrong or unconstitutional or anything else to try to improve the drainage and sanitation of our towns and villages? It is an extraordinary thing that, when talking about this Bill yesterday, Deputy Mulcahy never refered to a single section of the Bill. One would think that he had taken his advice on the Bill secondhand; that this was the same kind of bug that bit the Fine  Gael Party some years ago when they stumped the country telling the people that the Constitution, which was introduced at that time, took away the rights of women. I am sure the House has made a discovery as a result of Deputy Mulcahy's statement yesterday that there is a new type of disease or bug that it did not need a scientist to discover. Part VI of the Bill deals with water supply. Is it suggested that the improvement of our water supplies or the provision of a pure water supply is unconstitutional or revolutionary?
Mr. Hughes: The Deputy knows well that it was not suggested.
Mr. Allen: Part 7 deals with temporary dwellings and the use of land for camping. Have we not heard 50 times in this House about the danger of disease and the danger to the public at large from encampments? We have heard on numerous occasions here about the nuisance that encampments create, whether itinerants' encampments or encampments at seaside places. Have we not heard that on several occasions from different Deputies, even on the Fine Gael side of the House? To take steps to regulate and to see that they are kept in a sanitary condition—there is nothing revolutionary or wrong about that.
Part VIII deals with baths, washhouses, bathing places, etc.; the provision of public baths; life guards and life-saving equipment; use of swimming baths and bathing places for entertainments; instruction in life-saving; contribution to certain societies; by-laws in respect of public bathing. I wonder what is revolutionary or unconstitutional about regulations in that respect. It also deals with bylaws for the regulation of swimming baths and bathing places and public baths or washhouses maintained by commissioners of towns not urban districts. Part IX deals with food and drink; regulation for prevention of danger from food and drink; standards for food and drink; examination of samples of food and drink; enforcement of regulations under Part IX; charges under regulations under Part IX; restrictions on  sale of food and drink by dealers in rags, etc. I wonder what is revolutionary or wrong about that? Does anybody suggest that Part IX is revolutionary or unconstitutional or that it should be brought before the Supreme Court to be declared unconstitutional?
Part X deals with county medical officers; assistant county medical officers; city medical officers; assistant city medical officers; district medical officers of health. I wonder what is wrong with that? We have all these medical officers functioning at present in every area in the country. It is only a matter of changing their names. All these medical officers are functioning very effectively at present with the goodwill of the local authorities.
Mr. D. Morrissey: At present.
Mr. Allen: These medical officers of health will tell Deputies that the laws which are in operation at present are insufficient to enable them to do their work as effectively as it could be done. Time and again they have told the local authorities that. Every member of a local authority knows quite well of cases of people going to cinemas and churches and to public market-places when there is contagious disease such as diphtheria or scarlatina in their house. We know of cases of people bringing children to a fever hospital and going directly from that to the cinema. Medical officers of health know that but they have no power to prevent it. They know also that there are carriers of diphtheria, scarlatina, and other diseases which they have no means of dealing with. They have no power to isolate them.
I can call to mind very vividly a very serious outbreak of diphtheria in a certain town in County Wexford about 10 years ago. The medical officer of health at that time took every possible step to stamp out that outbreak. In fact there was an outbreak of the disease three times in the one year. The medical officer started an immunisation scheme, in the course of which he discovered two carriers of the disease in one street. We had no power to compel these carriers to be isolated. The board of health had to get the local clergy to bring their influence to bear on these two individuals.  In the end it was a matter of bribing these two particular men to go into the local fever hospital and be treated there until they were fit to be allowed out again. These two carriers probably had been responsible for the deaths of 10 or 12 children in that area in a short period. What happened in that case is that the board of health had to pay these two particular individuals a sum of money which was double or treble the wages they were earning in order to get them to go into the fever hospital for a period of four or five weeks. Under this Bill compensation will be paid if people are taken away from their work, but they can be compelled to go into a local institution so as not to be a danger to the health and lives of a large number of people in their area. I do not see anything revolutionary in that.
I have read this Bill through carefully three or four times, and I was astounded to hear the statements made by Deputy Mulcahy yesterday and, to a lesser extent, by Deputy Roddy to-day. The only conclusion that one can come to is that, without considering the proposals in this Bill, they set out to attack it, thinking it might be good propaganda. That must be very disheartening I am sure for people who have worked for years in local authorities and who know the conditions existing in rural areas and in city areas and of the necessity for the large majority of the regulations embodied in this Bill. Every single regulation is the result of years of experience of local authorities in administering the Public Health Acts. We know that this House and local authorities have spent thousands of pounds in different villages and towns throughout the country in the provision of sanitation and water supplies. We know also that, in the very same towns, not a single person made house connections with the new sanitation or water supply. Miles and miles of new branch systems were put down, but no connections were made. We know that the people claimed under the old Public Health Act that, if they had an open drain of any kind in their yard, that was proper sanitation and  the public health authority was bound to make a connection with the house. If there were an old water supply, unless it was closed down completely there were no means of stopping the supply and compelling the people to link up with the new supply. We know that the things brought in under this Bill are absolutely necessary.
I am sure that medical officers of health all over the country will be very surprised to hear the views put forward by the chief Opposition. I am sure progressive people would be very pained to hear those views. It is necessary to have public health laws for the protection of human beings, as it is necessary to have laws for the protection of private property. Indeed, it is far more important in the case of human beings. We often hear mention of the conditions of the people and the need to improve the standard of social services and their means of livelihood. It is often said that, if we do not give them protection against disease, the House would be lacking in its duty. There is nothing in this Bill that I am afraid of, as I believe it is capable of being operated and does not take away the liberty of any subject. There are much the same regulations in relation to private property, to prevent a man from going into a shop in Grafton Street and stealing some shopkeeper's goods. These regulations are intended to protect the health of the people. That is all that is contained in this Bill, and I hope that the other members of the Opposition will take a different view on it. It is painful to listen to people who should understand it and to hear them approach it with a prejudiced mind without referring to what is in it. There may be sections which need to be amended in Committee or otherwise, but the general principle of the Bill is one that the country as a whole will accept and welcome.
Mr. D. Morrissey: We had one sentence uttered by the last speaker with which I am in complete agreement. He said it was painful to listen to people who approach this Bill with a prejudiced mind. Listen to the Deputy, who took us to every part of the Bill to show us there was nothing revolutionary in it. I have heard many  speeches in this House and I am sorry to have to say that the one we have just listened to from Deputy Allen is the most politically dishonest speech I have ever heard here. The Deputy told us he read the Bill very carefully, that he read it three or four times.
Mr. Allen: That is true.
Mr. Morrissey: He also told us that, having read it carefully three or four times, he could find nothing it it that had not been discussed and considered by the members of county boards of health when they were in existence. Did the Deputy hear discussed at the Wexford County Board of Health that a law should be made giving the right to take a person, certified by a district or other medical officer to be suffering from an infectious disease, against that person's will into the nearest hospital and perform on that person's body, against that person's will, any operation, major or otherwise, that that particular officer believed was necessary? Did the Deputy hear that?
Mr. Allen: There is nothing wrong about it.
Mr. Morrissey: There is nothing revolutionary about it?
Mr. Allen: No.
Mr. Morrissey: Did the Deputy know of this after his careful reading of the Bill—that, in accordance with its sections, if it becomes law, the Deputy's child or my child, a child for the purposes of the Bill being a person under 16 years of age, may be taken without his or her consent or without my consent as a parent, may be removed forcibly and compulsorily to a hospital, detained there at the pleasure of a particular person and upon that child's body there may be performed any operation?
Mr. Allen: The child must be suffering from a contagious disease.
Mr. Morrissey: Does the Deputy allege that that is in the Bill? Does the Deputy allege that that is not revolutionary?
Mr. Allen: Not in the least.
Mr. Morrissey: Will the Deputy say now that, either in Wexford or any other part of the country, he ever heard that discussed as a public health measure—the right to remove to hospital any person suffering from a contagious disease?
Mr. Allen: The right?
Mr. Morrissey: I do not mind the Deputy interrupting, as he is simply underlining my case. I am saying that the members of his Party, and particularly the Taoiseach, are particularly sensitive about the full democratic rights of this country and they say it is the freest democracy in the world.
Mr. Allen: You know what they are.
Mr. Morrissey: The Deputy's ideas on democracy and my ideas on it are poles apart, and I am delighted that they are. My idea of democracy certainly is not that a person against his will may be taken into hospital and operated on, that a child can be taken against his will.
Mr. Allen: Not operated on.
Mr. Morrissey: The Deputy said he read the Bill three or four times very carefully.
Mr. Allen: Talk about the Bill.
Mr. Morrissey: Did the Deputy hear suggested by any county board of health that, because a person was suffering from an infectious disease or was verminous, he should be treated as an untouchable and should not be allowed to travel by tram, bus or train?
Mr. Allen: Quite right.
Mr. Morrissey: Was that advocated?
Mr. Allen: It would be quite right.
Mr. Morrissey: There is nothing in the Bill, according to Deputy Allen, but what he heard advocated by boards of health.
Mr. Allen: And by medical officers.
Mr. Morrissey: Remember that infectious disease covers a wide range and it is not even fully covered in the Bill. If the Deputy read it carefully,  he would see that the Minister may make a disease be considered as an infectious disease.
Mr. Allen: Even the bug that struck you.
Mr. Morrissey: I am sure the Deputy did not hear the Wexford Board of Health advocating that, when an unfortunate person died, his relatives would not be allowed to hold a wake, that the parents and other members of the family would be denied the consolation and sympathy of their neighbours.
Mr. Allen: And quite rightly so.
Mr. Morrissey: Well, it is something to have the jackboot coming out in the open, it is something that we should get stamped here publicly, this new trend of democracy and freedom of the people.
Mr. Allen: Deputy Morrissey would not allow a wake in his house for a person who died of a contagious disease. Let him put it to himself.
Mr. Morrissey: I want to say this——
Mr. Allen: Do not be a superdemocrat at all.
Mr. Morrissey: I am not being a super-democrat.
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Deputies should address the Chair and not carry on a conversation.
Mr. Morrissey: May I suggest, with all respect, that you address that observation to the interrupter?
Mr. Allen: You address the Chair and do not mind the interrupter.
Mr. Morrissey: I cannot help it if I am getting under the Deputy's skin.
Mr. Allen: Not the slightest. It is a bug, which annoyed Fine Gael.
Mr. Morrissey: The Deputy, like the Minister, when challenged about certain of the most objectionable sections of the Bill, went back and relied on the good old Act of 1878, 70 or 80 years ago. Deputy Allen delivered the type of speech here to-day which, I am sure, was delivered in 1878 by the  people who wanted, for their own purposes, to brand us as the dirty Irish, and they had to make us clean, to make us wash ourselves by law. And not even the people who, for their own purposes, labelled us the dirty Irish went nearly as far as this Bill goes.
Mr. Allen: It is only the way you feel.
Mr. Morrissey: There is a lot in that, and I do not feel I have the right to make human beings do things against their will. The Deputy talked about safeguarding the rights of the human being. I have not the right to take a human being and do with him things that are against his will for instance, to operate on him to any extent against his will. I have no right to take a child up to 16 years and do that. I am prepared to pay perhaps as high a price as the Deputy for making this a healthy country. I will come to that in a moment. The Deputy talked about the danger to the State and to the health of the State.
Mr. Allen: The health of the people, I said.
Mr. Morrissey: The Deputy makes no distinction in his speeches between the people and the State except in so far as he makes the distinction that the State is superior to the people. I hope I am able to take interruptions as well as anybody else. I do not mind them if there is any intelligence in them.
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: It is becoming more than a matter of interruption. There are two Deputies speaking together.
Mr. O'Leary: It is a good job, at any rate, that Deputy Allen remained to listen to the debate. Most of the others have gone out.
Mr. Morrissey: The position is, apparently, that Deputy Allen desires to make a second speech on the Second Reading. The Deputy talked about caravans and the menace to the health of the nation.
Mr. Allen: May I answer Deputy Morrissey? He is addressing me.
Mr. Morrissey: I am addressing the  Chair. I referred to Deputy Allen. I am addressing the Chair and Deputy Allen, through the Chair, if you like. Does the Deputy know that there are thousands of families living in one-room tenements in this country, even after 13 years of Fianna Fáil government? Does he know that in the City of Dublin there are hundreds if not thousands of families living in cellars?
Mr. O'Leary: And have been for a very long time.
Mr. Morrissey: And are still, even after 13 years of Fianna Fáil government. Does the Deputy know that after 13 years of Fianna Fáil government, and after all our talk about national health, we are in this position: this Bill is dealing mainly with people who have been driven into disease because of conditions which have been allowed to continue in this country? Does the Deputy know that under the national health insurance code, with our cost of living at 293, if a man blessed with good health and who for the last 20 years has been in continuous employment, giving good service to the State and getting £2, £3, £4 or £5 a week, is stricken down with illness, the way this State will bring him back to good health, so as to be able to maintain himself and his family, is by giving him a maximum allowance of 15/- per week?
The Taoiseach and other members of the Government and of the Party are very touchy if it is suggested that there is any taint of dictatorship or any taint of Fascism about the Fianna Fáil Party or Government. Recently, the Taoiseach got very indignant because of the reference made by a Labour leader in this country. I do not purport to quote the exact words, because the Taoiseach had one set of words and the trade union leader concerned said that he was misquoted by the Taoiseach. For once the position was reversed, because it is always the Taoiseach who is misquoted. Anyway, he said—this is according to himself— that if things continued as they were going, this would become the last citadel of Fascism in the world. Was there ever a measure such as this introduced into any democratic parliament  in the world? If any measure deserves to be branded as a Fascist measure, with a Fascist mentality behind it, surely it is this measure.
Deputy Allen talked about a consultative council. The Minister did not consult the medical profession. At one time I thought that it was a good thing that we had in charge of the health services of this country a qualified medical practitioner. I have come to the conclusion now that it is a tragedy, because if there were an intelligent layman in the Parliamentary Secretary's position he would know that he had no medical knowledge and he would have the sense to go to the people in this country who could direct him along the proper lines. The Parliamentary Secretary does not do that. There is the mind of the dictator there.
There was an outcry in this country years ago when the people were asked —if you like, compelled—to clean the eggs that they were offering for sale. I want to come down to a point here that I have some personal knowledge of. I have reason to have knowledge of it. A fairly costly price had to be paid with regard to the expression “verminous”. I know something about that. The county medical officer of health in my county, in one town there, returned practically every child in the school as being verminous and his interpretation of verminous would apply to every school in the State. It was held that if a child had one nit or two nits in its hair, that child was verminous. None of those children would be allowed to go to school; none of those children would be allowed to go to Mass, to a cinema, or anywhere else. They were to be secluded into cold storage, as it were—a new class of untouchables.
The Minister sneered when Deputy Roddy talked about getting the result which he says he desires to get by a different method. Let me put this to the Minister and to the members of the House who live in rural areas. Do we not know that children in rural areas, some of them fairly adjacent to towns, have often to set off on a winter's morning, perhaps in the pouring rain, to walk two and three miles to a school and, when they arrive at the school, wet through, that  they have to sit there, perhaps without a fire—and certainly with not a very good fire—for four, five or six hours, very often without food? They have to sit there in their wet clothes and then trudge home again—and we are surprised because we have disease. Do we not know that in this country to-day, within a fortnight or three weeks of Christmas, there are hundreds, if not thousands of children going barefooted and are otherwise poorly clad? Do we not know that in the towns and cities to-day there are people so poor that they find it utterly impossible to purchase bed clothing and that the clothes they wear over their bodies during the day are thrown over them to keep them warm during the night? In these circumstances, are we surprised that they are verminous?
What is being done in this Bill to deal with that state of affairs? Do we not know that people in this country have been tied back to 3/-, 4/- and 5/- per week of an increase in their wages since 1939 to meet a cost of living that has gone up officially to 293 and actually much higher? Do we not know that, because of the high cost of food, firing and clothing, notwithstanding some of the schemes the Government seem so proud of, there are more people suffering from malnutrition in this country than, perhaps, at any other period? We are told about progressive measures in relation to national health. I challenge the parliamentary Secretary to say that this statement which I am about to utter is not a fact, that there are more people being denied entrance to hospitals to-day than ever before in the history of the country because there are no beds available. It is harder to get a bed in a hospital in the City of Dublin to-day than ever before. Do we not know that there are hundreds of people suffering from what Deputy Allen sneeringly refers to as infectious diseases who are not in hospital because they cannot get into hospital?
I have a letter here which I got yesterday from a man who is one of those recently commended, and properly so, by the Taoiseach and  Minister for Defence. He says he joined the National Army at 18½ years of age on 27/10/38 and served until 26/2/42. On that date, he was boarded and passed as medically fit, and he then served with the Army until 11/1/45. Remember that he went into the Army before the emergency, and presumably he had a medical examination going in. He was discharged from the Army on 11/1/45 as medically unfit with tuberculosis trouble. He then goes on to say that he had been told, as a number of these men have been told, that his illness was not due to his service in the Army. He adds: “I have proof for all my statements and medical evidence, if required. Now I am trying to live on 7/6 per week national health insurance benefit.” That is the rate of disablement benefit and that is what we are doing for tuberculosis.
We have to get down to the root of things, if we are in earnest. We have to get down to the causes, to the conditions, and face up to this, that, after five years of war, after emigration during that period on an unprecedented scale, and in spite of all the State-aided schemes of employment, we have apparently a hard core of 70,000 unemployed persons. Many of these —I do not know what proportion, but perhaps 30, 40 or 50 per cent—are the heads of families who have to try to bring up a family, to feed and keep them in a healthy condition, on unemployment insurance and unemployment assistance. It cannot be done.
This Bill to preserve and safeguard the health of the country, to cure rather than to prevent, this revolutionary measure, is produced by the same Department as has still in force an Order under which a man, the head of a family, will not get a full week's work, will not get even six days' work in the week. That is the famous, or infamous, rotation scheme Order, under which a man gets three or four days' work, but will not be allowed to work for six days. On what he gets for that work, varying from 5/- to 7/- a day, he is expected not only to keep his family in existence but to provide food that will keep them in good  health. It cannot be done, and all the Bills of this type which can be conceived in the mind of the Parliamentary Secretary, of the Minister or of the Department, will not put an end to disease, so long as we have in this country the appalling conditions we have.
What is the redress for anybody affected by the Bill? Again it shows the mentality behind it all. It is an appeal to the Minister. The Minister under the Bill takes complete charge of your body, if you are unfortunate enough not to have good health, to be suffering from an infectious disease, from the day of your birth until you go into the ground.
Dr. Ward: Before your birth in fact.
Mr. D. Morrissey: I might have known that the Parliamentary Secretary would leave very little out. He only stopped short in this measure of the gas chamber, and, if the circumstances were suitable, I am sure the Parliamentary Secretary would have an admirable Belsen Camp. That is the mentality behind it.
Mr. Moran: He would not be short of gas.
Dr. Ward: The Deputy will finish the boys.
Mr. D. Morrissey: There is one thing about it, and that is that, since this Party was first founded, since the first day this House sat in this Chamber in 1922, this Party, whether it was large or small, stood for the rights and liberties of the people all the time. If the people want to surrender their rights and liberties into the hands of the Parliamentary Secretary, and if they disown us for asserting, or trying to assert, these rights, they are at liberty to do so, so far as we are concerned; but let me tell the Parliamentary Secretary that so long as we are here as a Party, so long as we are here as a collection of individuals, we have a responsibility to the people, and we propose, with or without the Parliamentary Secretary's permission, to discharge that responsibility to the full. This Bill is a thoroughly bad  Bill. It is a dangerous Bill, and the like of it was never introduced into any democratic Assembly in the world. The only person who will endorse what is in it is the person who either believes in a complete dictatorship, or who, never having read it, knows nothing about it.
Mr. Everett: I am surprised by all the heat engendered in the discussion of this Bill.
Mr. D. Morrissey: There was a time when you would not be.
Mr. Everett: I should have expected that men who had given service on public boards, irrespective of which Party they belonged to, would have welcomed it. If there are certain sections in it to which they object, they could put in amendments on Committee Stage, but to condemn the Bill as it has been condemned here is, to my mind, simply to object because they are in opposition. I think I have, in my capacity as a member of public boards in my own area for the last 22 years, given the Local Government Department more trouble than any other Deputy.
I will say that I welcomed the appointment of the Parliamentary Secretary because I recognised that it was impossible for one man to do all the work that required to be done in the Department. I can say this publicly, that since the Parliamentary Secretary was appointed we in the County Wicklow have found him fair and impartial. I say that as a member of the county council in Wicklow on which the Government Party has not a majority. The Parliamentary Secretary will, I can say, give to Wicklow what he will give to counties in which the county councils are composed of a majority of his supporters. He is greatly interested in the affairs of public health bodies, and in the fact that they should get sewerage and water schemes going, so that they may improve in every possible way the amenities of their areas.
Deputy Morrissey asked if we were going to agree to take away from people the right to have wakes. At the present time, when patients die in  a fever hospital, no wakes are held. The deceased is taken from the hospital and buried in the nearest cemetery. We had no protest against that. I welcome the section which gives power to a local authority to have the remains of a deceased person removed for interment in the family cemetery which may be 20 or 30 miles away from the hospital where the death took place. If the ambulances of local authorities are used to take patients a distance of 20 or 30 miles to a hospital, surely the least we can do is to provide that, after death, the remains will be taken back to that person's locality and buried in the local cemetery.
We are told that the rights of parents have been taken away in connection with the school medical service. So far as the public health is concerned, that service has, in my opinion, been a wonderful achievement, and particularly as it is administered in our area. The unfortunate thing is that when the medical officer is expected to attend in connection with the scheme, children, who are often a source of infection to healthy children in the school, are kept away. In reply to what was said about compulsion, I want to say that it cannot be argued that we are interfering with the rights of parents. We have an Act which compels children to attend school and compulsory powers in connection with other measures. Section 21 of the Bill will be welcomed by the public sanitary authorities. The dispensary doctor in my area has been seeking power for the past three years to prevent children from attending cinemas. We have a county fever hospital in Wicklow. We have found that when the local medical officer of health closes a school because of an outbreak of disease cinema performances are attended by other children from that school. I have had experience in the last two years of epidemics of infectious disease in the county and of parents who had carried their children to the fever hospital attending the cinema that night. The local authority had no power to prevent that. There were no compulsory  powers to prevent those people from attending places of amusement.
I have consulted the medical officers in the County Wicklow about this Bill, and they are very pleased with it. It contains powers that they have been asking for for the last two or three years, powers which it is hoped will enable them to eradicate infectious disease outbreaks in the county. At the present time the local medical officer of health may find a child in a house suffering from typhoid, scarlatina or diphtheria. The father of the child may be in employment earning £2 or £3 a week. The doctor may ask him to remain at home for a day or so. His employer is informed and says it is all right. The house is disinfected. But under this Bill the medical officer of health can isolate that man. He can keep him at home so that he will not be in contact with his fellow-workers, wherever he may be employed. The local authority will have power to pay the man so that he will suffer no loss. I believe that is the proper way to try to prevent the spread of disease. The Bill makes provision so that that man and the other members of his family will not be hungry during the period of his isolation.
A good deal has been said about what all this is going to cost the rates. I have had a good deal of experience of outbreaks of infectious diseases in my county. I wonder do those Deputies who have been objecting to this Bill realise what the burning of clothes, disinfection and the rest cost the ratepayers? I am of opinion that the public bodies will not object to the cost because they will realise that if these outbreaks can be prevented a saving will result to the rates. We are told that the Minister will have power to do this and that the local authority will have power to do that, but surely we are not living in a fool's paradise. Do we not all know that at the present time more serious forms of infectious disease than those which we have been discussing are being brought into the country? Do we not want to have power, in our seaport towns and in other places, to try to protect our citizens from becoming infected, as some have in the last few years?
 I cannot see why there should be all this unnecessary alarm in connection with this measure. If all public representatives had the same experience as some of us have had in connection with infectious disease outbreaks, they would welcome this measure. The pity is that all parents do not realise that it is in their own interest to have their children immunised. In certain areas they will not take the necessary precautions of having their children who are attending school immunised. I remember that at one time, in the town of Wicklow, there was wholesale opposition to immunisation, but when a carrier brought in an infectious disease, when one poor man lost two children and when three children died in another house, the result was that the dispensary doctor had to get an assistant. All the people of the town flocked down to the dispensary to get their children immunised. My point is that it took five deaths to get that done.
I am glad to say that in my constituency there is no opposition to immunisation. Quite a large number of people have got it done voluntarily. If you have here and there a few slackers who object to it, then I think it is right to take power to compel them to get it done. Our public bodies are composed of men of common sense who try to act in a fair and just way to all sections of the community. I am certain that, when they are given the powers proposed in this Bill, they will use them as they have used other powers, wisely and well in the interest of the general community.
I was surprised to hear Deputy Martin O'Sullivan object to the use of a public conveyance for the purpose of bringing a person suffering from an infectious disease to a hospital. We are all well aware that some parents will object to having their child taken away in an ambulance. They will employ a hackney car to take the child to a fever hospital. At present there is no power, other than the power of public opinion, to inform people that that hackney car has been so used. I say it is right to take power to protect innocent people from travelling in a car of that sort. Surely, there is  nothing wrong in taking steps to protect people in such circumstances. I appeal to the Opposition to withdraw their opposition to this Bill. If they think it should be amended, they will have an opportunity of doing so on the Committee Stage. The Bill is necessary if the sanitary authority is to carry out properly the work that it is expected to do, namely, to try to eradicate disease from our midst.
Mr. Moran: I am rather surprised at the attitude which the chief Opposition Party has adopted to this particular measure. I thought this measure would be to a large extent non-controversial and that an attempt would be made by the Opposition to improve the law in relation to public health. Instead of that, we had the attack made by Deputy Morrissey, and all these references to the “dirty Irish”, and so forth. I do not think that attitude will help in connection with a measure of this kind. If we all put our heads together to see how far we could go for the general good of the community and how far the measures envisaged in this Bill should be allowed to stand, we would be doing much better work. The attitude of Deputy Morrissey on this Bill seems strange to me. He recognises that there is a problem to be met but he does not suggest in what way the problem should be met. He simply wants to sit down and adopt the attitude of the lotus eater—let things drift. He is not prepared to offer constructive criticism by way of amending any section that he objects to. He wants to throw the Bill out in toto.
Personally, I understand the Minister proposes to introduce further legislation of this kind. If the Minister directed his attention more to the dispensary side of the medical services in this country we might achieve some of the results that we are trying to realise. I do not think the dispensary system in this country is at all satisfactory. We are paying quite a lot of money for that system and we are not achieving any good results. We are in the position of paying medical men to live in particular areas without deriving any large benefit as far as the community is concerned. If we were to  try a panel system or some other system, we probably would achieve better results.
At all events, there is no doubt about it that numbers of the measures proposed to be taken in this Bill are very necessary. There is no doubt that many of these powers are essential for public health authorities who may be confronted with a certain position when cases of infectious disease arise. One of the most far-reaching effects of the Bill will be achieved by the provisions in regard to the maintenance of persons suffering from disease who are unable to make provision for themselves or their families. The provision made for them is very welcome indeed, and a forward step in dealing with this problem. It will be an inducement to persons suffering from infectious diseases to undergo treatment. Hitherto, many persons suffering from disease tried to keep working when they were not, in fact, fit to work, in order that they might provide for their families. In that way the disease was spread.
Some provisions in the Bill, I think, might be amended in Committee. One difficulty that I see arising under Section 29 is that there are so many different types of infeetious disease that, when you are making these regulations or taking these powers, if they are not exercised in a sensible manner, very peculiar situations could arise. Some of the provisions in Section 29, I think, embody an Emergency Powers Order. I think it was as a result of an outbreak of typhus in County Galway that the Emergency Powers Order was made, in 1942, to give authority to the county medical officer of health compulsorily to take a suspect, as it were, into protective custody. That is all right where you have an epidemic, but I should not like to see that power used where you had simply an isolated case of, say, diphtheria suspected in a child. I should like to see some further safeguard in the section for the individual. The danger that I see in this section is that every county medical officer of health will not be perfect.
In the medical profession, as in  every other body of men, you may get a peculiar individual who, possible, to show his authority or for some other peculiar reason, would exercise drastic powers under this section where they were not necessary. In fact, I know a case in which a medical officer of health, under the Emergency Powers Order that was in force, compulsorily took a child that he suspected of having diphtheria, although the child's personal medical adviser certified that the child was not suffering from diphtheria, to the local fever hospital. It transpired when the man in charge of the hospital took a swab and got a report back that the child was not suffering from diphtheria. It seems an extraordinary thing to happen. I do not say that that would be the rule, but I say it is a matter that should be provided against. There should be some method of curtailing the powers proposed in Section 29 in case they would be wrongfully used. I would suggest in respect of these powers, except in the case of epidemic or something like that, where you have to take drastic measures, that before the child is removed, in a simple case, such as diphtheria, the parent of the child should have some means of appeal forthwith to, for instance, a district justice in chambers or to the Minister.
There is another danger in this matter. The medical profession are notoriously one of the strongest trades unions in the world, and the members of that profession are not disposed to oppose each other or to give away the game on each other. Where a wrong diagnosis is made by one man, to a very large extent his colleagues will cover up for him, and you have the danger in this particular section of a child being sent into a place of infection such as a hospital, where there are people suffering from an infectious disease, although in fact a proper diagnosis may not have been made.
Although, as I have said, I agree that these powers are necessary in connection with the number of infectious diseases, it is to make provision against the abuse of these powers, in case there would be abuse of them, that I am suggesting to the Parliamentary  Secretary that, on the Committee Stage, some method should be found whereby such a thing as I have instanced here could not happen and whereby parents would not have a child taken forcibly from them where there is any doubt or where it has been proved that the child is not in fact suffering from the particular disease which is suspected. I am not so sure that, without a lot of co-operation, many of the measures envisaged in this Bill would be successful. For instance, in connection with the number of infectious diseases, one of the greatest difficulties has been what I call a hush-hush policy. One of the greatest difficulties of the medical profession in connection with tuberculosis has been that, until comparatively recent times, there was supposed to be a social stigma attached to any family, any member of which was suffering from that disease. The big difficulty was to get people to realise that tuberculosis was an ordinary disease, was not hereditary and, if taken in time, could be cured; that practically every individual in the community at some stage or other of his life had the germs of tuberculosis and that there was nothing socially wrong about having the disease.
I do not know that the Parliamentary Secretary will get the results which he expects under some of the provisions of this Bill. I am not so sure that the provision of certain penalties and the tendency, to a great extent, under this Bill to treat people suffering from infectious diseases as untouchables will have the desired effect. There are instances in which these powers would have to be used, but I think you would want to have very careful use of some of the powers sought in this Bill. If you take some diseases, particularly the disease referred to by Deputy Everett, in many instances the reason why these diseases were not treated in time was the fear of the individuals who contracted them of anybody knowing about it. The big difficulty of medical men was that it was only possibly in the advanced stages of these diseases that the patients came for treatment. Medical men to whom I have spoken about this matter nearly all agree that  it has been, in the main, such a fear that has prevented these diseases from being treated in time. When individuals feel that any disease they may contract would tend to exclude them from society, you have the danger of these people trying, by every possible means, to clock and hide the disease. The provisions of this Bill that would tend to fore these people out into the open or that would tend to compel people to give information about their being suffering from certain of these infectious diseases I think would have a particularly bad effect. I think it would only drive such people, who would be afraid of other people finding out what was the matter with them, to all kinds of lengths to cloak these diseases. Any of the provisions in this Bill that would be enforced may have that effect. That is a matter which I should like the Parliamentary Secretary to bear in mind before the Committee Stage.
The suggestion made by certain people that we have not sufficient hospital accommodation does not, to my mind, prove anything. The fact that our hospitals are overcrowded is a good sign of the public mind on disease in general. Many people are making use of the hospital services now who never made use of them before. I think that is due to the advanced state of our hospitalisation system and the fact that the public as a whole realise and appreciate that we have good medical officers and good medical services available for them. That is the main reason for the overcrowding of a number of our hospitals. It is a sign that the public are awake to the provision that has been made for them when they get ill. The better the hospitals are, the more modern they are, and the better the medical services are, the more people you have utilising those services, whether in hospitals or elsewhere.
As regards the financing of this measure, Deputy Cogan made a typical Clann na Talmhan speech. He welcomed the provisions of the Bill but, of course, some unknown persons should pay for all these provisions. The Deputy says that the local authorities should not pay for them. He does not suggest who should pay for the  benefits that are being provided in this Bill. He makes some kind of a suggestion about a contributory scheme. To my mind, the people who will be provided for in this Bill to a large extent are people who possibly are not in a position to contribute to any scheme. Many of the people who suffer from some of the diseases envisaged here, many of the families, for instance, who are verminous, due possibly to malnutrition or some other reason, are poor people. In the main, it is these people who will be deriving the benefits under this measure.
Notwithstanding the fact that Deputy Cogan welcomes this Bill, I have no doubt that we will have the same speech as usual from him when the annual Estimates come on complaining of the rising cost of rates on local authorities and the rising cost of government here. I do not know when we are going to get to the stage in this House when Deputies on every side will be prepared to face up to their responsibilities and be prepared to admit candidly that in a measure of this kind, dealing with social services and making provision for the eradication of disease, we are dealing with a necessary measure which is a step in the right direction. When will we be prepared to say we know that this will have to be paid for and, in view of the benefits it will confer on the people we represent, we are prepared to pay for it and we consider it good policy, in the public interest, to do so? There seems to be a particular line taken by some people in this House that, while complaining about the cost of certain measures, they welcome the benefits conferred under them.
In the main, from the Opposition Parties, and from the major Opposition in particular, there has been a completely wrong approach to this Bill. Practically every section in it is necessary, or the principles underlying the sections are necessary. It makes provisions that were long required in the interest of public health and of the community as a whole. On the Committee Stage, there may be some matters which we should endeavour to amend, if necessary. My own regret  is that, in addition to the matters being tackled in this measure, the Parliamentary Secretary has not gone further and started on the dispensary system. I hope he will make an exhaustive examination of the dispensary system, such as it is, and let us set about improving it in the near future, if we can, in the same way as he has set about remedying the wrongs indicated in this particular Bill.
Mr. Hughes: Nobody can deny the necessity for codification, extension and modification of the local government law and in regard to much of the subject matter dealt with in this Bill it is necessary to have an enactment. However, I feel that the Parliamentary Secretary has made a wrong approach to the whole problem of providing regulations to ensure a better standard of public health. Compulsion and force by the police method are altogether wrong and are doomed to failure. It appears to me that the Bill is another step towards the progress of an all-powerful State here. You have more regimentation, more State control, more centralisation and greater absolute power for the Minister, with the abrogating and ignoring of the power of the local authority. Right through the whole Bill we have it appearing that the Minister can do this and that, and that the Minister has power to make orders and direct his creature, the county medical officer of health, that he must do this and that, while the local authority is ignored.
Notwithstanding what Deputy Allen has said, I believe the Bill is not only unconstitutional but unchristian as well. It is not merely an infringement of the rights and liberties of the individual but in particular of the right of parents. It is a challenge to their responsibility and control over their children. It is an unwarranted encroachment and intrusion by the State into the most sacred unit of society, the family. Paragraph 11 of the Second Schedule gives extraordinary powers to the county medical officers and their assistants, that they can tap a man on the shoulder in the street and bring him in anywhere, strip him down and have him examined to ensure  that he is not suffering from a contagious disease or that he is not verminous or suffers from tuberculosis, and the examination takes place, regardless of his wishes. Parents must provide and afford such officers reasonable facilities for such examination, including permission to take blood tests.
The Minister proposes to usurp not merely the rights of parents but the function and authority of the Church. I say it is an unchristian Bill, because I do not think the State has any moral right whatever to interfere to this extent. The Constitution very specifically lays down the sacredness of the family as the basic unit of society. It stresses that the State cannot interfere with the family, unless the parents completely fail in their responsibility, and it is only then that the State can step in. The right and duty of parents are a sacred and God-given right and the proposals here are incompatible with the moral law. It certainly is a direct negative, so far as democratic principles are concerned.
Cleanliness is desirable and essential and no one is trying to argue against provisions to ensure a better standard in that respect. In comparison with other countries, I do not think we have a high standard of cleanliness and I am not trying to argue that we have. However, there is something more essential to the individual and to society than mere animal existence. If we subordinate everything to the material welfare of the individual, we become destructive of human and Christian rights and are travelling the road towards a socialistic State.
The House must not permit that sort of thing to happen. I do not think the citizen here realises, because of the slow process of transformation, that under this Administration there is a profound and fundamental change in democratic principles taking place. Not merely in this measure, but in other measures that have gone before it, we are approaching the all-power state of absolute dictatorship. The Minister is taking very extraordinary powers here and giving them to officials and to civil servants.
 The Parliamentary Secretary made reference to the necessity to ensure an equitable balance between the material and the spiritual aspects of life. Surely, he cannot point to any part of this measure that ensures an equitable balance between the material and spiritual aspects of life. I do not think there is any respect for the spiritual aspects of life in this Bill. It is a pagan measure in that respect. I am afraid the Minister does not appreciate the purpose of life at all. The ultimate purpose of life is eternal salvation and, so far as the Minister is concerned, he has no power to interfere in that respect. So far as our temporal welfare is concerned, he may be charged with some responsibility, but he certainly cannot interfere with the authority of the Church and he has no right whatever to say that a child cannot attend Mass on Sunday because it happens to have a louse in its head. He is possibly, under the Bill, denying the right to children to receive their first Holy Communion because they cannot attend church on a Sunday.
Deputy Allen and other Deputies are trying to suggest that this Party is merely out to criticise this Bill for political reasons. Those Deputies appear to be ignorant of fundamental principles. I say that this legislation will fail and, if I know medical officers in this country, they will not operate it. The county medical officers of health will not operate it. How can the Minister hope to succeed if he sends, in police fashion, a county medical officer of health as an interloper into the family circle? Mark the difference between the two. The medical officer is the confidant of the family. He sits down in the family circle, he knows the family's problems, he knows their troubles, he knows the health history of every member of the family, because that is essential from the medical point of view. They trust that man as their best friend, but is a man who is forced in, who goes in under State authority, armed with certain powers under a measure like this, likely to command the confidence or the respect of the family or to receive the co-operation of that family, or will he get anywhere towards ensuring that  there will be a better standard of cleanliness?
Is it not obvious that there is an important psychological aspect to this matter? Compulsion and police methods will not get people to take the necessary precautions to ensure better health standards. I suggest that the psychological approach here is absolutely wrong and if they attempt those methods it is inevitable that the law will break down.
The county medical officer of health will become public enemy No. 1 if he attempts to intrude in that fashion into the family circle, which is a privileged place. There is one place where the individual reigns supreme and has a moral right beyond the authority of this House, and that is in the family circle. No man can intrude there and dictate to him how he is to rear his family. That would be a violation of a very sacred principle and I will be surprised if those responsible for the moral welfare of the people will let this measure go unchallenged.
It seems an extraordinary state of affairs that under this Bill you are ignoring completely the privileged position of the medical officer, the doctor of a family, who can command the confidence of the family. It seems an extraordinary state of affairs that you are authorising the county medical officer to enter schools and, under compulsion, examine the children-strip young girls and examine them in order to see what their condition is. The medical officer can go into private schools, schools that have their paid medical officers— paying them fees for their attendance —and, acting under this type of legislation, have them stripped compulsorily and examined. He can compel them to submit to examination and order anything and everything necessary to preserve the public health.
I think that if the Parliamentary Secretary expects to get a favourable reaction from the people to that sort of thing, then he does not know the people of this country. You give power to a bus conductor so that if he suspects an individual of infection, and that includes vermin and tuberculosis, he can pitch him off a public car. We  have had warble fly inspectors in this country and now we are about to create louse inspectors out of county medical officers of health.
What sort of impression will this create outside the country? We are a food-producing country and will the people who are buying food from us, butter and other commodities, be impressed by all this sort of thing? They will get the impression that we are a dirty, verminous people and, if that is so, the food that our people are producing and handling is scarcely fit for human consumption. Is it fair to our people? Is that truly the condition of our people? Is that the general state of the community here? Is the position so dreadful that we have to take drastic measures of this sort, compulsory measures of this sort, to compel an ignorant community to knuckle down to the dictates of a Minister who is going to clean them up? If the Parliamentary Secretary thinks he will get away with that, or that it will be possible to operate such legislation, he is making the greatest mistake of his life.
The law as operated up to the present, so far as better standards of public health are concerned, was started by people who, so far as I know, had the idea of propaganda and co-operation and advice from county medical officers of health and public health nurses. Societies were or ganised along the lines of the Country Women's Association. A public health nurse going into the home of a mother and her family, sitting down for half an hour or an hour discussing home problems and giving advice on how to rear children, would be far more beneficial in the long run than police methods such as are suggested here.
Why should you bring in the Guards? The Guards were never established for work of this sort. I think it is an outrage to suggest that anything like this should be done and I appeal to the Parliamentary Secretary to reconsider his attitude. By all means provide enough staff for the county medical officers. Give them assistance where necessary to deal with the different branches of public health and make provision so that public  health nurses will go round and encourage the establishment of societies like the Country Women's Association where mothers will be brought together to discuss their problems and be given advice.
There is a mentality in this country where people question whether it is in the interest of the family that a blood test should be taken. We know that mentality is quite wrong, but you will not change it by compulsory methods. You will change it only by propaganda and education and advice, by confidence in the health authorities working in the interests of the people and not as their enemy. The moment you have recourse to compulsory methods, then the normal reaction will be that people will look upon the service as contrary to their interests and the public health officers will become the enemies of the people. I do not believe you will get the co-operation of any decent medical officer. From what I know of county medical officers and medical officers, they know that they must have the confidence and the willing co-operation of the people, if their work is to succeed. Surely their work cannot succeed, except on the basis of a human approach and of conveying to the individual mother or father that he comes into the family as a friend of the family. Why should the man who is in a position to command that confidence in the family circle, the family doctor, be ignored and passed over? Why is he not the instrument to be used to ensure a better standard of public health?
I have no doubt that measures and regulations are necessary to bring about improved conditions in the matter of public health generally, and there are provisions here for ante-natal clinics, child welfare centres and nursing services and regulations regarding public baths and playing grounds, as well as an admirable provision in regard to maintenance for tuberculous patients, but so far as I can see, all the expenses in this connection appear to be thrown back on the local authority. The whole policy seems to be to unload the financial responsibility for the operation of this measure  on to the local authorities and it is characteristic of recent legislation in relation to local authorities. So far as local authorities in the rural areas are concerned, it is thrown back on a particular section. I certainly feel that there should be a contribution from the central authority.
I do not think there has been any consultation. I believe there has been no consultation so far as the county medical officer is concerned, and I believe that a county medical officer would not advise the Parliamentary Secretary to proceed along the lines on which he has proceeded. All these compulsory provisions are backed by severe penalties. It is the one big snag in the measure, and, of course, it destroys the whole piece of legislation.
So far as drainage is concerned, I am not so sure that the proposals here will be an improvement on the old law, because, under the old law, where there were two or more drains, a local authority was bound to provide a sewer. According to this Bill, the local authority will indicate that they will lay a drain a certain distance and the people concerned will connect up by a combined drain. If combined drains are laid, I do not think it will operate in a satisfactory way, because it may give rise to a good deal of trouble in deciding the contribution to be made by each of the beneficiaries. However, that is more a matter for Committee Stage than this stage.
Section 98 sets out:—
“A sanitary authority may take such steps as are reasonably necessary to prevent injury being caused to public health or the amenities of any locality by reason of obstructions in any river or watercourse.”
We all know that much injury is done to public health because of the flooding of big rivers on which there is a difficult drainage problem. Annual flooding occurs on several of the big rivers, and not merely is damage done to agricultural land, but tremendous damage is done, in the towns, to houses, and especially the smaller and poorer houses. When the floods subside, a terrible mess is left, and it is these people, who find it very difficult  to provide fires to get rid of the damp, that suffer most. We have a national Drainage Act, and I wonder what efforts the Parliamentary Secretary has made to get that Act operated and so ease this problem. It is very little use putting in a section of that sort and throwing on the local authorities the responsibility of removing obstructions from rivers and watercourses, if there are huge problems all over the country arising from flooding. Obviously it is a national problem and nothing is done about it although legislation designed to deal with it is available.
I believe it is necessary to have some power to compel owners, especially of public places, to provide proper sanitary accommodation. We all know that the sanitary accommodation provided is very inadequate, and, as a matter of fact, very bad, and that it is kept in a very insanitary condition. Power to deal with problems of that sort are necessary, but I am afraid the power given in this part of the Bill is rather drastic. The accommodation required is rather too extensive, and while it may be all right in the cities and towns to do it, in the smaller towns and villages the power to compel owners of premises and private houses to provide accommodation and lay in water, could I think, be abused.
Deputy Allen talked about the installation of a water system in a town and about the number of people who would not take the supply. Surely there is another aspect, apart from the fact that some people may have a supply from a private pump. It may be that some people are unable to pay for the supply. The Deputy knows that there is such a thing as a water charge, and, so far as the provision of a water supply under pressure is concerned, surely an individual has the right to decide whether he will take it or not. We have no right to compel him to take these steps if he feels they are not necessary and if he has a private supply sufficient for his requirements.
There is nothing wrong about the provision which aims at controlling camping grounds and the nuisances  and abuses which result, except possibly the provision with regard to the period of 14 days. On some camping grounds you have the itinerants who go around the country and are a great nuisance. I believe that regulations are necessary in connection with the manufacture of food, and in regard to the storing and exposing of it for sale. We very often see in shops butter, milk, and cheese cheek by jowl with commodities that are bound to taint that food. We also know that meat is conveyed through the streets in anything but a desirable manner. The same applies to bread, which is often handled by people with dirty hands. I think that regulations are essential to ensure better handling of commodities of food, and that those handling them will keep their persons in a cleaner condition. The Parliamentary Secretary might also consider food which is imported in tins or packages which sometimes cause injury to our people. At present I do not think there is any redress for the individuals who suffer as a consequence of imported food in bad condition. Something should be done about that.
Deputy Morrissey rightly pointed out to the Parliamentary Secretary that it is not by compulsory methods that you are going to get a better standard of health. The county medical officers of health have, time and again, pointed out that the main cause of the incidence of disease in this country, and particularly of tuberculosis, is malnutrition. Therefore, the proper approach to the provision of a better standard of health is to ensure that the people have a good standard of living. The Parliamentary Secretary is setting up a committee to study dietetics. I am sure he knows that the standard of dietary of a lot of our people is exceptionally low and unbalanced. The protective foods that are essential to good standards of health are beyond the purchasing power of a lot of our people. I would ask the Parliamentary Secretary to consider the advice given to him in that respect by Deputy Morrissey. He indicated that working men who are forced to draw benefit and National Health Insurance have to try to maintain their families  and themselves on 15/- a week. The rotational system of four days which is operated and approved by the Department of Local Government is not conducive to a decent standard so far as the working classes are concerned. To approach this problem of public health in the right fashion it is necessary to consider a plan to ensure to every family in the country an income that would give them a standard of living conducive to good health.
I want to say in conclusion that you are not going to succeed by regimentation or by police methods or by ignoring the local authorities and taking power to dictate to them what they should or should not do. The Minister has taken exceptional powers so far as decisions regarding hospital accommodation are concerned. We all realise that it is necessary to ensure that we have ample hospital accommodation, but surely that part of the Bill that empowers the Minister to have a sworn inquiry and not publish the report but to come to a decision secretly to close an institution and afterwards compel a local authority, regardless of its financial position or its advice as to the capacity of the local people to pay for the service, is going a bit too far. If we are to succeed we must have the co-operation of the local authorities.
So far as the medical people are concerned and so far as schemes of public health administration by county medical officers are concerned, there also we must have the co-operation of the people. I believe that if the Minister had consulted the medical profession generally or the county medical officers of health that they certainly would not have advised him to approach this matter in the spirit in which it has been approached. I am convinced myself that it just will not work and that you will not get the officials down the country to operate this measure. I would ask the Parliamentary Secretary to withdraw the measure, to reconsider the whole matter and to approach this matter in a different spirit.
Dr. Brennan: I welcome this Bill as a definite advance in the right direction. The powers asked by the Parliamentary  Secretary are necessary and to my mind long overdue. I welcome that section which has consideration for the women and for children under 16 years of age, because everybody will appreciate what a hardship it is to have illness in a house. At least any doctor going into a house where there is sickness appreciates that apart from the worry on the part of the parent or relatives about the sick person there is usually a financial worry as well. This Bill is an effort to alleviate the financial side of it as far as young children and women are concerned. I think the Parliamentary Secretary is to be complimented on looking into that side of it. It will have the additional advantage of encouraging people to call in the doctor in time. In some cases, particularly those border-line cases between dispensary patients and those who are just not of the dispensary patient type and who are ashamed to call free medical advice, illness is allowed to progress. We all appreciate how important it is to get early diagnosis and early treatment of disease. This has been brought before the public mind quite well in the Red Cross campaign against tuberculosis: the early diagnosis, rest, proper nourishment and early treatment. These things are envisaged in this Bill and to my mind that is the most pleasing part of the Bill.
Some speakers have referred to the drastic powers which the Parliamentary Secretary is asking for in this Bill. Anybody who is in contact with infectious diseases will appreciate how serious they can be, not only for the patients concerned, but for contacts. When I say contacts I mean not only those confined to the patient's house but those who may have to sleep in beds which have been occupied by persons suffering from infectious diseases, in hotels and elsewhere. It is only by drastic remedies that we can eradicate disease.
It has been mentioned that there is venereal disease in this country. We may as well face up to the fact and try to remedy it and even to eradicate it. The only way we can do that is by giving powers to the Minister to  enforce regulations designed to prevent that disease. We should also have a campaign similar to the anti-T.B. campaign in this country. We are only burying our heads in the sand if we do not face up to that fact. Provisions that are considered drastic must, I think, be considered necessary.
There is another point raised by Deputy Hughes about nurses and doctors refusing to co-operate with the Parliamentary Secretary or to administer the Bill. I am quite satisfied that, not only will they be willing to co-operate with the Parliamentary Secretary in the enforcement of this Bill, but they have been looking forward to such a Bill for a long period. We have found from experience that we had not sufficient powers to cope with infectious diseases and I am sure the medical profession will be glad that the Parliamentary Secretary has had the courage to give them powers. The suggestions that have been made about bringing in the Guards and bringing somebody in to strip somebody, and all these things that have been said, are, in my opinion, all nonsense. Doctors and nurses can be relied upon to use tact and discretion and I am sure, when the people are educated properly, they will be willing and anxious to co-operate with the doctors. You have to guard against all possible risk and it is only a remote possibility that some of the provisions contained in this Bill will be enforced. I am quite satisfied that they will not be enforced.
There is another matter that I must refer to. It seems to me that dispensary doctors and nurses will be called upon to perform many extra duties apart from their present work. I am sure they will be quite anxious to do that. Dispensary nurses, as far as I know, will be put on a whole-time basis. I would ask Dr. Ward to consider the question of adequate remuneration for that service. There will be very little scope for dispensary doctors, and none as far as I can see for nurses, to do any private practice and I would ask Dr. Ward to consider that matter when the Bill is going through Committee.
An Ceann Comhairle: Would the  Deputy ask the Parliamentary Secretary?
Dr. Brennan: The Parliamentary Secretary. We have all noticed the recent advance in medical science and I think we would be lacking in our duty if we did not bring our public health law up to date and avail of the advances in science which are evident the whole world over.
Mr. Bennett: There are some things in this Bill about which all of us would agree and there are some things in it that the country could have done very well without. The Parliamentary Secretary has approached the good things in the Bill in the spirit in which the Government have been accustomed to approach matters in latter years—a spirit of compulsion rather than of co-operation with the people in general. Nobody denies that there is necessity for some of the provisions in this Bill but most of us believe that the reforms which the Parliamentary Secretary hopes to carry out could be brought about without the compulsory clauses that there are in the Bill. I do not believe that the compulsory clauses will work. The Parliamentary Secretary seeks to treat the Irish people in general as a body of people who are not amenable to any modern advance in the matter of health or the proper conduct of their lives. We are all going to be regimented under the will of the Parliamentary Secretary.
One cannot deny that, reviewing the past 20 years, there has been a great advance here in health matters generally and all things appertaining to health and, all in all, the people have fairly well co-operated. There was perhaps in past years a tendency on the part of the people to resist what one might call work-house methods. There was a tendency on the part of the country people to hide disease so that they would not be sent to the work-house, or work-house hospitals as they were then. But, in latter years, with the provision of good sanatoria and fairly comfortable hospitals, that tendency has not been so great and the people have come gradually to realise that in certain circumstances they have  to isolate themselves from their families and secure medical treatment. I believe that further advance in that direction, as far as the treatment of disease is concerned, can be brought about by the co-operation of the people, the clergy and people interested. Societies such as the Red Cross Society, to which Deputy Dr. Brennan referred, are doing a great deal to educate the people in that way. I believe a continuation of that process of education will eventually induce all the people that need treatment to seek the treatment without compulsion.
Nearly every section of the Bill has been covered, directly or indirectly, by previous speakers, and I do not intend to go over the sections. I wish merely to say that I resist the compulsory clauses of this Bill. Everyone in this House is anxious to improve the health conditions of the people. We believe it ought to be a central charge and not a local charge. The tendency, again, of the present Ministry has been to inflict all the cost of all the improvements in health and other conditions on the local farmer. In the last ten years the rates have gone up by an average of 65 per cent. In a certain section they have gone up by more than 65 per cent. When one takes into account that the lower-valued farmer, of £10 or £20 valuation, is relieved of rates, it follows that the people above that valuation—the average comfortable farmer of from £20 to £50 valuation—pays all the rates, practically speaking. He is the man who is going to bear all the cost of this particular measure, and it is going to be a considerable cost if it is put into operation, as we hope it will be. There has been a reluctance on the Government's part to offer any relief whatsoever. We had yesterday a motion put down by Clann na Talmhan to give that particular section some relief, by raising the limit of valuation by £10 or £15 so that the middle-class farmer would get some advantage, but the Minister would not accept it.
That is the section of the people on whom the cost of this particular measure will fall. It will fall definitely on the farmer of from £20 to £60 or £70 valuation. I am not talking of the men of £200 valuation, because  they are relatively few and therefore do not count. The burden of taxation in this country falls upon the farmer of from £20 to £60 valuation. These are the men who will bear the cost of this and who can least afford it. These are the men who are already carrying the burden of the rates in the local districts and the bulk of the other expenditure in this country. I should have liked to offer some laudatory remarks in regard to the Bill but, having regard to its compulsory powers, which I do not believe will operate, owing to the manner in which the Parliamentary Secretary presented it, the absence of any Government contribution towards the operation of the Bill, and the fact that all the expenses are going to be passed on to the local rates and, eventually, to the moderately small farmer, I feel compelled to vote against the measure.
Mr. Cosgrave: I move the adjournment of the debate.
General Mulcahy: I move amendment No. 2:—
In sub-section (1), after paragraph (c) to add a new paragraph as follows:—
(d) by the addition of a new paragraph as follows:—
(k) in reckoning the rateable value, or the aggregate of rateable values, for the purpose of this section, there shall be excluded from such reckoning any increase in valuation arising out of the sale of turf to county councils or under other schemes due to the existence of war or emergency conditions.
The principal section that is being amended by this Bill, that is Section 5 of the Principal Act, contains provisions by which persons who derive their livelihood mainly from agricultural pursuits shall get certain grants, varying according to the valuation of the holdings they occupy. For  instance, a person deriving his livelihood solely or mainly from the pursuit of agriculture is entitled under the Act, and will continue to be entitled under this Bill, if his valuation does not exceed £15, to a grant of £70 to enable him to build a house. If, however, his valuation is between £15 and £25, he is only entitled to a grant of £60.
If his valuation is more than £25, he is only entitled to a grant of £45. I am moving that, in considering the valuation for the purpose of fixing a grant that a person will be entitled to under sub-section (c) of the Principal Act, regard shall not be had to any increase in the valuation that has been made as a result of turf sold off a holding to the county council or to any other specially organised agency set up under emergency conditions for the provision of fuel for emergency purposes. From the cases in North Tipperary where increases of this particular kind have taken place I should like to take some samples. There is the case of one person whose old valuation was £16. If that man wanted to build a house, he would be entitled to receive a grant of £60, because his valuation lay between £15 and £20. But, after supplying turf to the county council for a couple of years, he found, quite unexpectedly, that an extra £25 was added on to his valuation, which raised it for the purposes of the Act to £41, so that, instead of being entitled to a grant of £60, he would only be entitled to a grant of £45.
Another case is that of a person whose old valuation was £20. After selling turf to the county council for four years, I think, he found his valuation suddenly increased by £21 to £41. In the same way, the grant to which he would be entitled under the Housing Act is reduced by £15. As a result of what is going on, and arising entirely out of emergency conditions and the fact that the turf was sold in emergency conditions, a number of people are not only finding themselves unexpectedly saddled with substantially increased rates, but in the position, if this amendment is not accepted, that they are likely to be deprived of portion  of a grant that they were normally intended to receive under the Housing Act, based on the original valuation of their holdings. That would be an outrageous wrong perpetrated on the men who would suffer in this particular way. I move this amendment therefore so that, whatever may happen when we ultimately get a chance of trying to redress the wrongs they are suffering from, at any rate they will not be wronged under the operation of the Housing Act. Does the Minister accept the amendment?
Minister for Local Government and Public Health (Mr. MacEntee): Not at all. I am waiting to hear the next speaker.
General MacEoin: This amendment has been moved by Deputy Mulcahy——
General Mulcahy: In a very mild way.
General MacEoin: I think the Deputy has been very discreet indeed in his language in moving the amendment. When I think of the manner in which the Minister met amendment No. 1 last night, I begin to wonder what is happening in this country. I want to say a few words in as discreet a manner as I can without wishing unduly to embarrass anyone. The Minister resists this amendment on the grounds of “Where is the money to come from to meet the expenditure?” Of course, it is quite a well-known trick of the Government that, when we or the Farmers' Party or the Labour Party propose an amendment, the Government asks: “Where is the money to come from?” Fianna Fáil speakers all over the country have led people to believe that we have absolute control of our own finance and that we are not paying any money to any external authority whatever. They say that the Ultimate Financial Settlement of 1938 relieved us of very great burdens—that is true and I am not disputing that—but they do not tell the people what the burdens are that still remain. We find the State to-day still paying an annuity of £4,355,800 to Great Britain. I suggest to Fianna Fáil that, if they have the courage to-day  that they had in 1932, there is at least £4,000,000 to meet this amendment.
An Ceann Comhairle: That is wide of the amendment.
General MacEoin: No, Sir. I will wait for the Minister to say whether he can accept this on the basis that it would cost too much. Last night he asked me, through you, where the money was to come from?
An Ceann Comhairle: If, every time a Minister or any other Deputy put that question the general financial policy of this country was debated, I am afraid they would be out of order many a time. The Deputy is aware that it is very often a rhetorical question.
General MacEoin: I have the figure and the sum in which he got it, and I am putting down here the exact figures, to show where the Minister and the Fianna Fáil Government can get the money to meet this expenditure. I think I am entitled to show them that. I think I am also entitled to say to even an Eamon de Valéra or a Dick Mulcahy that they could take steps to make that money available for the people of this country. As a free man I am entitled to do so.
An Ceann Comhairle: In the proper place, yes.
General MacEoin: I submit, on this Bill, because last night the Minister on amendment No. 1 asked the question: “Where was the money to come from?” I may be prejudicing him and I will give way to him to allow him to say that he cannot accept it, and if he makes the case that he cannot accept it because the money is not available, I am countering it already by saying the money is available, if he takes the necessary steps.
Mr. MacEntee: It is quite clear from the speech to which we have just listened that this amendment was not seriously intended. It could not possibly be seriously intended by any Deputy who had a proper sense of his public responsibility Deputy MacEoin asked me where the money is to come from, in fact, he has offered to tell me where I may get the money. Unfortunately,  if I accepted this amendment I would not get the money from Great Britain or anywhere else to make good the deficiency in rates, except out of the pockets of the neighbours of those who would benefit by it. If this amendment were carried, naturally the people who have seen the owners of these turf banks drawing substantial sums out of the funds of the county council would say to themselves: “Why are we going to be foolish enough to submit to be taxed in order to help a gentleman, for instance, who has drawn over £500 in royalties from the county council to reconstruct his house, who has drawn over £500 without even putting his hand to a sleán, who did not cut a sod of turf, who did not lift a shovel to drain his bog, who never put a stone on the bog to allow access to it, for whom the roads into the bog were built and the bogs were drained, and his property improved?”
Mr. D. Morrissey: So were the fields of Surrey.
Mr. MacEntee: On top of that, some of these men drew as much as £590 in royalties from the county council, yet it is proposed here now to give it to them with both hands, to pay not only the £591 in royalties but also to exclude from the calculations of their valuation for the purposes of this Bill the increase which has occurred in the value of their property by reason of the efforts of the State. I think I remember Deputy Morrissey talking very eloquently, when I was Minister for Finance, about the taxing of unearned increment. There was a time when the Deputy wanted ground rents taxed on the basis that they represented a certain amount of unearned income, arising from the development of the ordinary resources of the State by the community at large. Here is a clear case of unearned increment.
Mr. Morrissey: That is an invention, of course.
Mr. MacEntee: Deputy Anthony proposed and Deputy Morrissey seconded the amendment. There was a Private Deputy's Motion.
Mr. Morrissey: The Minister is not thinking about the time he made the valuation of five-fourths?
General Mulcahy: The Minister is inventing since he began to-night.
Mr. MacEntee: Here is a case of unearned increment. There was a virgin bog with searcely a ditch drained, without any means of access but an ordinary cart track. It was drained by the State, the roads were provided by the State and the value of the property was so increased that inside three years the owner of the bog has drawn over £590 in royalties, payable by the consumers of this State, payable by the neighbours of these gentlemen, in some cases; yet here it is proposed to ignore for the purposes of this Bill the increased value of that man's property.
General Mulcahy: What man is the Minister talking about?
Mr. MacEntee: One of the gentlemen to whom the Deputy has referred.
General Mulcahy: Would the Minister tell us who he is?
Mr. MacEntee: I am not going to mention names.
General Mulcahy: The Minister is drawing entirely on his imagination.
Mr. MacEntee: At any rate, the Deputy, before he put down this amendment, did not make the necessary inquiries, or he should have seen what the effect would be. I am now telling him, apparently to his surprise —I quite realise that if he had studied the material facts carefully he would not have put down the amendment— that he is now putting before the House a proposal which would have to apply to all others in that position. It would exclude the increase in the value of the holding from the calculations necessary for the purpose of administering this Bill and, if you do it in this Bill, you will have to do it in every Act where there is a limitation on valuation. Then we would arrive at the position where the increase in the value of any property was not to be taken into consideration for any purposes whatever. I think the amendment is ridiculous.
General MacEoin: The Minister has very carefully avoided the point I made that this money is available. He has said why certain people should not get certain advantages and he has made the case against Deputy Mulcahy's amendment that, because they have got this improvement, they should be put on an increased valuation. You might as well argue that, if I have a good crop of wheat in a field this year, my valuation should be increased automatically, or, alternatively, that because I have a bad crop of wheat, it should be decreased. The Minister can only base his argument on whether it is just or equitable and, finally, whether the State finances can afford it.
The Minister has carefully avoided the point I have made, that they are paying the British Government an annuity of£4,355,800, notwithstanding all the Fianna Fáil statements that that money is still available for a Government with the courage of their convictions to do all that is necessary for the housing of the people. I suggest the Minister should address himself to that particular question before he goes off upon a facetious subject as to whether Deputy Morrissey and Deputy Anthony did something 20 years ago. I suggest, respectfully, that he was completely out of order when, in his imagination, a motion was put down by Deputy Morrissey and Deputy Anthony.
Mr. Morrissey: The Minister alleges that he has a case before him where a person, whom he refuses to name, got £591 out of public funds in respect of a virgin bog.
General Mulcahy: A virgin bog.
Mr. Morrissey: It was a bog on which the owner never cut a sod of turf and never put a stone on the road. It so happens that I live rather close to most of the people immediately affected in so far as North Tipperary is concerned. It also happens that I have first-hand information of some of the bogs and the people concerned. Assuming the statement made by the Minister is correct, I can go to the other extreme. I know of a case where  the county council went in on a man's farm. This man had three acres of a callow field; his whole frontage was to the river, which he used principally for watering his stock-indeed, watering his whole farm. The county council went in on that piece of land and cut this way, that way, through the centre and the corners. It was one of the most valuable fields on the farm. After two years' cutting, the man, having gone to considerable trouble over the matter, got somewhere in the neighbourhood of £30.
The county council were not conferring any benefit on him; they destroyed a valuable field. On top of that, in one of the trenches cut and left unprotected by the county council, the man lost a valuable horse worth £40, for which he is not entitled to compensation. I am glad to say this, that I know fields in North Tipperary that were five years ago full of rocks and bushes and that could not be cultivated and grew nothing but scrub. By the utilisation of the farm improvements grant these fields were cleared and made valuable, and within the last two years they have been growing root crops and cereals. Will the Minister say that, because those fields were made fertile and the farm improved thereby with the assistance of a State grant, the Government should thereupon increase that man's valuation?
Coming back to the turf, in some of these cases the county council cut turf for one year and went away. In some cases they cut turf for two or three years and then went bag and baggage out of the place. There is no turf being produced in those places, yet the valuations have been increased very considerably and they will remain so for ever. Not only are the valuations increased, but these increases are to be used against the people to deprive them of grants to which otherwise they would be entitled. So far as I know, there is no law under which land can be reduced in value in this country. I am speaking out of the depths of my ignorance as a layman, but I believe that is so. No matter how much the land may have deteriorated since Griffith's valuation, and even if it is growing only bulrushes and is nothing  but a swamp as a result of flooding, there is no law under which you can get the value of that land reduced.
By a side-wind these valuations have been increased. The first notice these people got was a demand for rates. The rates had been substantially increased. I know this district and I know some of these farms. They are poor, mountainy farms, up on the sides of the hills. This is the first time in the history of those farms that the owners were able to say they had £1 to put on top of another. The Minister is now about to penalise them. If that is to be the practice, if valuations are to be increased and people are to suffer not only from the increases but from the other things instanced in this Bill, what is the use of talking about the national development of turf? Why talk about the development of our natural resources, if we use it to put liabilities on the people? If we suggested at any time, and particularly within the last ten or 15 years, that this House should do that, we would be accused immediately of sabotaging Irish industry.
General Mulcahy: This is not a discussion about the famous virgin bog the Minister has referred to. It concerns quite a large number of counties —Clare, Donegal, Galway, Kerry, Mayo, Roscommon, Tipperary. I take only the counties that are affected to a very large amount and for that reason I am anxious to address myself to a larger number of Government Deputies than are in the House at the present moment. I suggest there is not a quorum present.
Notice taken that 20 Deputies were not present; House counted, and, 20 Deputies being present—
General Mulcahy: This is not simply a case of this virgin bog the Minister has studied so very carefully. It affects nearly every county, but it particularly affects a county like Clare where operations in connection with turf production, through the county council machinery, were of such a nature that the present overdraft of the county council is £40,000; a county like Cork, where the overdraft is £47,000;  a county like Galway, where the overdraft is £46,000; Kerry, where the overdraft is £122,000; Mayo, where the overdraft is £57,000; Roscommon, where the overdraft is £59,000, and Tipperary South Riding, where the overdraft is £44,000. The North Riding of Tipperary which we are now considering has an overdraft of only £14,000, but, as a matter of fact, operations in that riding extended over £250,000 since the beginning.
We are dealing with the case of practically every person who sold turf or who allowed his turbary to be worked by the county council for purposes of the turf scheme, and we are not seeking by this amendment to put additional charges on anybody. I would not be allowed to move the amendment if it imposed additional charges on the country. I am seeking to secure that rights which were secured for these people earning their livelihood out of agriculture, under the 1932 Housing Act, will not be taken from them because they assisted the local authorities to provide turf during the emergency, and I think Deputy Morrissey is quite right in drawing an analogy between the production of turf and the production of wheat during the emergency. Why should a person who, before the emergency, was entitled to £70 grant because of his valuation, be deprived of that now, to the extent of either £10 or £25 because he assisted in providing turf during the emergency? It is not a question of putting an increased burden on either local authorities or the Government; it is a question of securing to people rights which they have.
The Minister has painted a certain picture of the burdens which have fallen on local authorities under this turf scheme. The Government gave very definite undertakings to local authorities that if they threw themselves into this necessary emergency work and did their share, they would not suffer financially, and, if the question were fully gone into, it would be found that the people who have been paying 64/- a ton for turf in the cities have certainly to a great extent  borne the brunt of the cost of this turf production. The Minister also attempted to paint the picture that we sought to look after the interests of persons who made substantial amounts out of turf production during the emergency. Apparently the Minister would almost put in the position of a racketeer the man, big man or small man, who gave his turf bank for turf production. It is a very interesting slant on the Minister's mind and very interesting that we get it in December, 1945, and did not get it in the early part of 1941 or 1942, when the Minister for Industry and Commerce and the late Parliamentary Secretary, Deputy Flinn, were filling the House with very long dissertations on what a magnificent thing it was to get our people to throw themselves into the production of turf.
The Minister quotes some virgin bog which has been made an absolute El Dorado for some person. I do not know whether he is to get £580 a year, or whether he managed to get that during the whole emergency, but apparently nothing was left undone by the local authorities out of their money, or by the Government out of their money, to build roads and develop this area in an extraordinary way. I only know of the cases about which I have had complaints and I know of only one case where a road was built into a bog. The Minister says that in the case he has in mind the man did not do a hand's turn. In the case about which I have information the man contributed £50 to the building of the road, provided two horses for a long period and provided his own men. He made a substantial contribution himself to any increased road facilities which were made available into the bog.
I am speaking of the people big and small in Clare, Donegal, Galway, Mayo, Kerry, Tipperary North and South, Roscommon, where there was big expenditure, and also in Carlow, Cavan, Cork, Kildare, Kilkenny, Leix, Leitrim, Limerick, Longford, Monaghan, Offaly, Waterford, Westmeath and Wicklow—of people in all these places, who, if they have not yet got the surprise of their lives, are apparently going to get it some fine morning  when their county manager wakens up to the Minister's attitude in relation to what has been done in the only place in which I know it has been done up to the present, North Tipperary.
The people who provided turf in the past were no more racketeers than the people who provided our wheat, and, if the Minister proposes to fall short of the financial commitments with local authorities into which he entered, it is no reason why local authorities should seek to get the valuations of these men raised in order to get increased rates. If, however, the Minister proposes to fulfil his commitments to local authorities, it is an outrageous thing and contrary to decent national administration that he should now seek, through the operation of the Housing Acts, to “scrounge” a possible £10 from an individual here and a possible £15 from an individual there who may want to build a house, or £25 under paragraph (h) of Section 5 from a person who might want to improve his home, simply because he had done his part in the general national work of seeing that, in so far as he could help, through his work or his turbary resources, fuel was provided for the country. I would ask the Minister to throw his mind back a little further than this particular virgin bog case. If he wants to stick to that case, then he ought to give us more information about it. He should tell us who owns the bog, and give all the details. We are here in the Parliament, and let us have from the Minister the information that he has. I would welcome all that, but even that would not be sufficient, because I have shown that there is a wide field over which this problem is going to arise if it has not arisen already, and that we have responsibility for dealing with it here. We are not asking for additional expenditure. We are asking that men will not be deprived of their rights because they served this country during a very serious emergency, and used their own resources in doing so.
Mr. MacEntee: It is quite clear that the Deputies who have been speaking  on this matter have not even taken the trouble to inform themselves of the governing factors in relation to it. Deputy Morrissey painted a pathetic picture about the man whose field has been taken, and, he said, cut up by trenches—probably these trenches were drains—cut diagonally and laterally across the field—and, to crown matters, that a valuable animal fell into the drain and was injured. A very sad case, all right—at least it would be if generous compensation were not available to the man whose land was damaged.
Mr. D. Morrissey: It was not.
Mr. MacEntee: If it was not, the facts can scarcely be as the Deputy has represented them.
Mr. Morrissey: I can assure the Minister.
Mr. MacEntee: I am not suggesting for a moment that the Deputy is trying wilfully to mislead the House or myself. It may be that the man is unaware of his rights under the Emergency Powers Order, 1944, because there it is quite specifically laid down that where the council of a county enters on land for the purpose of cutting turbary, the council
“shall pay by way of compensation to every person having an interest in the land such sum as fairly represents the diminution in the value of such interest occasioned by the exercise of any right of turbary over the land, or any right to prepare or store turf thereon”.
Similarly, if a right-of-way is exercised——
Mr. Morrissey: What is the Order?
Mr. MacEntee: This is the Consolidation Order of 1944. This appeared in the earlier Order issued in 1941.
General MacEoin: How is the damage assessed?
Mr. MacEntee: By an arbitrator, failing agreement.
General MacEoin: Who appoints the arbitrator?
Mr. MacEntee: That does not matter. If an arbitrator is appointed he is going to deal fairly and justly with the applications. Is the Deputy suggesting that the person appointed as arbitrator is going to operate dishonestly, and operate in public dishonestly? The Deputy ought, at least, have some regard for the honour of public officials of this State. One might as well say that a judge on the Bench would be guilty of dishonourable conduct, as the Deputy has alleged here that because a person——
General MacEoin: And I will prove it.
Mr. MacEntee: ——is appointed to be an arbitrator by the Minister, or by a responsible officer, or by anybody else, he is going to act dishonourably, and not deal fairly with those applications for fair and equitable treatment which come before him. That is what the Deputy is suggesting. There ought to be a limit to the insinuations and allegations which have been made in this House by Deputies in relation to this matter. These men are not here to defend themselves. A Minister or a politician on a platform might be fair game for that sort of slander, but men who cannot speak for themselves ought, at least, to secure the protection of every fair-minded man in this House, and I would not exclude from that category even Deputy MacEoin. I am sure that he spoke without due reflection, or he would not have been guilty of the interruption of which he was guilty.
General Mulcahy: Will the Minister give the number of the Consolidation Order?
Mr. MacEntee: The number of the Emergency Powers Order is 310.
General Mulcahy: What is the number of the Statutory Rules and Order?
Mr. MacEntee: No. 51 of 1944. Under this Order there is full protection for any owner of turbary, and the county council — and that means the consumers of turf — and the Government are bound to give full and fair compensation. There is no reservation in that matter. The owner is bound to get an amount by way of compensation  fairly representing the loss suffered by reason of such damage. That is the first thing that we have got to get clear in our minds: that if, by reason of these development works, any damage is being done to the property of any landowner that landowner is entitled to be fully and fairly compensated. As regards the plea for commiserate consideration for the amendment, on the grounds of damage to these people's property, the answer is that there is full and fair compensation awaiting them.
Now, to get back to the other point. We have been told by Deputy Mulcahy that these turbary owners were no more racketeers than the wheat growers were. Certainly, I accept that statement, but, if land is made productive to grow wheat, it is assessed, and a rateable valuation is put on it for the purpose of collecting rates.
General Mulcahy: When? Not during the emergency.
Mr. MacEntee: When it was being valued, and when it was producing wheat: when it was productive.
Mr. D. Morrissey: The Minister is on dangerous ground now.
Mr. MacEntee: No, I am not, for the land was originally valued on that basis. But, on the other hand, the Valuation Act clearly lays down that a turf bog is not subject to a rateable valuation unless a rent or other valuable consideration shall be payable for the same. Now, what has happened in this case? Until rents, royalties or other valuable considerations were charged by the owners of these turf banks to the community— the county councils were operating in these matters on behalf of the community—there was no rateable valuation put upon them. It was only when the people who owned these turf banks began to charge the community for the produce of them in exactly the same way as the farmer would naturally charge for the produce of his wheat lands, that they became subject to a rateable valuation. If the persons who have drawn, in some instances, up to almost £600 in royalties, are willing to forgo the royalties, then the county council would be equally willing to  forgo the rates. I think it is unreasonable to suggest that a public body should pay royalties amounting, over a couple of years, to almost £600, and yet be expected to forgo the £26 or the £27 which it proposes to collect in the way of rates. Finally, the position is this, that—though these bogs have been developed, though roads have been made into them, though they have been drained—if they cease to be productive, if the county council ceases to take turf from them, if the owners of the bogs cease to demand royalties, if there is no rent charged for the bog, and if the bog reverts to its original condition as a non income-producing asset, then, of course, the farmer can appeal. It does not cost him anything to appeal in a matter like that, and, if the facts are clear, the rateable valuation will be correspondingly reduced.
General MacEoin: Under what section?
Mr. D. Morrissey: I would like to get the Minister's authority for that statement.
Mr. MacEntee: I cannot accept in regard to this matter a proposal which the Deputy himself has shown this House is of far-reaching importance. It would cover practically half the community and, once accepted, would be impossible to resist in its application in other spheres. We must have a uniform law in this matter. Valuation, if it applies for one purpose, must apply for all purposes and it must be a fair valuation for all purposes. The people who would ultimately be most affected by the acceptance of an amendment of this sort would be the great majority of the ratepayers of the counties which would be affected by it.
Mr. D. Morrissey: The Minister, of course, completely avoided the point. I am sure a number of Deputies here, from Laoighis-Offaly, Kildare, Kerry, are very interested in this. The Minister said, “when the owner ceases charging a rent”. Let me tell the Minister, because it is quite obvious he does not know, that so far as the majority of the owners of turbary in this country are concerned, particularly where there were small pieces of turbary  involved, they had no choice in the matter whatever. The county surveyor, working under Emergency Powers Orders, went in, made whatever arrangements he thought necessary, cut the turf and gave the owner of the bog, not a price fixed per foot or per perch by the owner of the bog, but a price agreed upon between the county manager and the county surveyor, and the owner of the bog could take it or leave it.
Mr. MacEntee: That is all nonsense.
Mr. Morrissey: The Minister says it is nonsense.
Mr. MacEntee: Absolute nonsense.
Mr. Morrissey: Again, that it is absolute nonsense. I can assure the Minister that it is not absolute nonsense. The difference between the Minister and myself is that I have first-hand knowledge and the Minister has not. The Minister said when land was made arable and grew wheat that it was assessed and the rateable valuation increased. Let me repeat, for the benefit of some Deputies who were not here—it is a point which the Minister did not answer—if a county manager can increase the valuation of turbary merely because it was cut, and a certain sum, large or small, was paid to the owner, I want to hear from the Minister or any member of this House, under what authority, under what Act or section of an Act, the valuation of land can be reduced. I want to get that. I have been looking for that for a long time.
I am putting this up as an analogy— Deputies from the rural areas know what I am talking about—there are, as I have said, dozens, perhaps hundreds, of fields in this country that five years ago were nothing but scrub and rock. By taking advantage of the Farm Improvements Schemes, farmers removed the rocks and scrub and these fields have been for the last couple of years growing good crops of wheat and other cereals. Following on what it has been sought to do in regard to bogs, are we to take it that because a man's field was improved by the use of a State grant his valuation is going  to be increased? What I am coming at is this: Dealing with this particular Bill, the increase which is made in the farmer's valuation not only makes him immediately liable for a higher rate, but it debars him in many cases from getting the benefits under the Housing Acts because his valuation has gone beyond the prescribed limits. This is a very serious and a very important matter, and I want to ask Deputies— I do not care what Party they belong to—are they satisfied that farmers whose turf was cut by local authorities during the last four or five years are to have their valuations immediately increased? That is what is being done. I would be glad to get the authority from the Minister, but I doubt very much if the Minister's statement that those valuations can be reduced subsequently is correct. I doubt it very much.
I say to the Minister again, that this year the valuations of certain bogs have been increased where the county council have not cut a sod of turf for the last two or three years. Therefore, the question of ceasing to ask for royalties or to ask for rent from the local authorities does not arise. I know that the Minister is perhaps labouring under certain difficulties, getting information in a hurry, and so on, from the local authorities concerned, but it is a very important matter and there is a very big principle at stake. If we are going to have the question of the valuation of land in this country affected in any way, then it ought to be done directly and openly and ought not to be done like this. I think that is a principle which ought to commend itself to every Deputy. Again, if one wanted any further evidence of the trend of thought on the Government Front Bench, in respect of all these things, we have got it now.
General MacEoin: The Minister said that I made an attack upon officials of the State. I never at any stage of my life made an attack upon any official of this State, but I do make an attack upon a misnomer of the Ministry. The Minister asserts that a  person is entitled to fair compensation for the damage done and, if the farmer and the local authority do not agree, that it is fixed by an arbitrator. I want to point out to you, Sir, by way of personal explanation, that an arbitrator is a person agreed upon by two parties to a dispute but, if one party to the dispute nominates the arbitrator, I say he is no longer an arbitrator but a nominee of that party and that he is already a prejudiced agent because he is nominated by that party. Fianna Fáil made very great play, and rightly so, when the British decided that the arbitrator in the land annuities dispute should be confined to the British Commonwealth. Fianna Fáil said, “No, that would not be arbitration.” What was fish for them then must be fish for the ordinary citizen to-day.
The facts are that the county council have walked in, not in Longford only, but in Westmeath, Roscommon and several counties, and have taken over arbitrarily a plot of turbary, a piece of turbary or acres of turbary, whatever it may be. I have known them to go in on as small a piece as one acre and leave the farmer without a sod for the rest of his life. Not only that, but they dug holes and left the thing a disgrace to any one who knew the art of turf-cutting. The farmer says that the damage done to him is so much; the county engineer on the spot says, “not at all, it was only so much.” I know of cases in which it was agreed that the matter would be left to a local arbitrator but the Government refused to allow that and insisted upon Section 11 of the Order being enforced. The arbitrators must be appointed by the Minister. The Minister says that Deputy MacEoin made a charge against public officials. Who are the officials?
Mr. MacEntee: The arbitrators and nobody else.
General MacEoin: In my opinion, they are from a Fianna Fáil club in Sligo, Mayo and several other places.
Mr. Carter: Ah!
General MacEoin: Let the Minister who knows something about it talk. You are not at the cross-roads now. Let the Minister answer as to who the arbitrators are that he nominates to decide what damage has been done. If the Minister says to me that he appoints civil servants only or that the Minister for Industry and Commerce appoints civil servants only, then I withdraw any charge that they are in any way prejudiced or biassed, because my experience of civil servants is that they have never been biassed or prejudiced. I want to bear that testimoney to them, and I will not allow the Minister for Local Government to charge me with having done something I have not done. He has done that before and got away with it. He charged me with having said what I did not say. I say now that I did not say what the Minister charged me with having said. It was just what I would expect from the Minister for Local Government.
In this particular amendment the Minister is asked that, for the purposes of the Housing Act, the valuation should not be increased because of the effort that farmers made during the emergency. The Minister says that, if he accepted that, it would open up so many points that he would not know where to stop and that he must have some standard. I say that the standard is already established and that he is not creating any new one by holding fast to the one we have.
Mr. Allen: Deputy MacEoin was very wrong in what he said about the arbitrators. So far as I know, the arbitrators act under the Minister for Justice. We have arbitrators appointed in connection with the acquisition of land by local authorities and other things. I do not know, but I assume——
General MacEoin: Do not talk if you do not know.
Mr. MacEntee: The Deputy spoke and he did not know.
Mr. Allen: The Deputy said they were members of some Deputy's Cumann. So far as I know, the arbitrators are a well-known body of men  who act under the Department of Justice. I am sure Deputy MacEoin's colleague on his left will tell him who the arbitrators are.
Mr. Costello: Certainly, they are not under the Department of Justice.
Mr. Allen: The official arbitrators are well known. I do not know any of their names. They are appointed by the Minister for Justice and they act under the Department of Justice.
General MacEoin: Read the Act.
Mr. Costello: Arbitrators are not appointed by the Minister for Justice, but by the Chief Justice. They have nothing to do with this case.
Mr. Allen: This controversy has arisen on the question of whether, when turf bogs become a source of income to their owners, rates should be paid on them to the county council.
Mr. Costello: Not at all.
Mr. Allen: Yes at all. That is fundamental to the whole thing. Deputy Mulcahy objects because the local authorities in Tipperary and other counties apply to the Commissioner of Valuation for a revision of valuation of certain property if it becomes a big source of income which it was not before.
General Mulcahy: I object to that in an emergency situation. But that is not what we are discussing here.
Mr. Allen: If Deputy Mulcahy owned a farm in Tipperary and, during an emergency situation, that farm was found to contain a gold mine or a platinum mine for which he gets royalties, he would object to the local authority levying rates on his property for that reason. I wonder why Deputy Mulcahy objects to the local authority in North Tipperary, a democratically elected body, I am sure, seeking to collect rates on a larger valuation as the result of activities in that county which had not hitherto been carried on. Does he think that the valuations in North Tipperary should never be increased for any reason? If houses are built in North Tipperary during the emergency, should they not be  valued for rating purposes? Does Deputy Mulcahy object to valuations in North Tipperary being increased in any circumstances? That is fundamental to this whole argument—that the local authority should not operate the Valuation Act of 1852 in respect of turf bogs. Will Deputy Mulcahy answer that? Does he object to local authorities getting an increase in rates in order to provide for the social services within their county? The Deputy objects to it in all circumstances.
General Mulcahy: I wanted an opportunity to argue that yesterday, but you denied me an opportunity by your votes.
Mr. Allen: You have every opportunity now. I am asking a straight question. Does the Deputy object in all circumstances to an increase in the valuations in North Tipperary or any of these other counties? If farmers in these counties are fortunate enough to have their property improved as a result of the emergency situation, and to have the big income that they had not before from a certain type of property on their farms, does he object to these farmers having to pay an increased rate to the county council in North Tipperary or any other county that he mentioned? That is fundamental to his whole argument. If gold mines had been found on these farms, I am sure Deputy Mulcahy would raise a similar objection. The Valuation Act provides that, if turf banks are giving a revenue to the owners, then they become assessable for rating purposes.
There is no question of increasing the rates on land, as Deputy Morrissey maintained. The rates on land cannot be increased or decreased under the existing law, except in cases where the land is continuously flooded. Deputy Mulcahy, I am sure, knows that under the Valuation Act the valuation of land cannot be increased or decreased by any authority or by the Commissioner of Valuation. I think this suggestion of Deputy Mulcahy's is absolute humbug. I am sure local authorities will resent this very much. We have been very concerned in this  House on many occasions about the position of local authorities and the Government putting increased charges on them. Here is an opportunity now for certain local authorities to improve their revenue and it is objected to by the Leader of the Opposition. Local authorities are allowed by the existing statute law to apply to the Commissioner of Valuation for a revision of valuation on certain property within their county and, because they put the law into operation and valuations are increased, Deputy Mulcahy objects. He objects to these county councils being entitled to levy rates that will improve their revenue.
Mr. Keyes: Listening to Deputy Allen, one would think that the last had been said about this matter, that there was only one side which had equity and justice. He states that, where there was an improvement made in this turbary there was an obvious conclusion that the county council was entitled to make an increased valuation and to put on that increase. I have a case in mind, one of the individual cases concerned, where a man had three acres of cutaway bog at Annaholty on the Tipperary-Limerick line. The valuation was 10/-. It is now £19 and the property has been affected to the extent that it is excavated away completely and he is left with a lake. The Tipperary County Council, acting in the best patriotic interests for the emergency, utilised every available place where turf could be delved, using machinery and pumps where the ordinary holder was not able to use them. They came to that holding in conjunction with others on the North Tipperary side and excavated turf from a cutaway bog with a 10/- valuation on the three acres. Has it been improved? Deputy Allen says it has been, but I say that it is non-existent, that it is a lake now. They have given £18 or £19 a year as rental for that turf and there is a rate to correspond with that and he paid £12 6s., I think, as rate. He is finished with that now, as there is no more turf and he has a fine lake of water. It is an inequitable proposition that he should be levied on a valuation of £19 10s. So there are two  sides to every story. Deputy Allen seems to think that the Tipperary County Council (North Riding) have improved the holding and are justified in increasing the valuation.
Mr. Allen: I did not speak about the improvement of the holding.
Mr. Keyes: That is not the case in many of the instances. I am quoting a typical case. These people had to be brought to Nenagh Court to be prosecuted for non-payment of rates. It was advertised in the Press and that was sufficient notification, but they did not get any individual notification and the proceedings were not resisted. They now have to appear in court and they are liable, I take it, as the valuation is there. How long is that to remain on the people? They have given their holdings and have got a payment for whatever turf was in them and even what was below the surface was excavated in the national interests during the emergency. Is it fair to continue mulcting them to the extent of an increase from 10/- to £19 on three acres? If that is a fair and equitable proposition, I submit that the English language has lost its meaning entirely.
This matter calls for very careful investigation. I think that it would be necessary to have something like a private Bill or some other step like that might be taken as a matter arising out of the emergency. If people are going to have this adjusted—and I think it can be readily adjusted—as it was adjusted to meet the emergency, when there was a reduction from the original valuation, if there is a change, it should be made because of the destruction. They got a rental at the time the turf was excavated, and I think there should be something coming to them now.
Mr. MacEntee: They can apply for compensation.
Mr. Colley: Is it not a fact that under the valuation law a county council is bound to report for valuation any property in which there has been an increase in value? Is it not also a fact, under the same law, that a person concerned has the right to  appeal every year, if the value of that property decreases or if it becomes of no value? In view of some of the things put up by Deputy Morrissey and Deputy Keyes, I would say that there is the right, at any time the property decreases in value, to have the value reduced.
Mr. Morrissey: They have not. Let us get the Act.
General Mulcahy: If the old and distinguished practice of presenting white gloves had not gone entirely out of fashion, I would be delighted to present white gloves to Deputies Allen and Colley, as neither in Wexford nor in Dublin does the county council seem to have cut a sod of turf to help us out of the present emergency.
Mr. Allen: There is none in it.
General Mulcahy: Therefore, Deputy Allen and Deputy Colley have nothing to do, apparently, with this case we are arguing here. With all his virgin innocence of this particular question, Deputy Allen asks me if I would object to a local authority having the valuation increased, if somebody found in the virgin soil of Wexford gold or platinum.
Mr. Morrissey: Or Wicklow.
General Mulcahy: It is so near Wicklow that you might get it there. No matter where it may be, the very Act of 1852, which is being used to take back from those who provide turbary during this emergency some of the moneys paid to them for it, would protect a fellow who found gold and platinum, for a period of seven years. Section 12 of the 1852 Act, upon which people are relying to increase the valuation, says:—
“Provided also, that no mines which have not been opened seven years before the passing of this Act shall be deemed rateable until the term of seven years from the time of opening thereof shall have expired; and no mines hereafter to be opened shall be deemed rateable until seven years after the same shall have been opened”.
Mr. MacEntee: Now, would the Deputy answer Deputy Morrissey and put him right in regard to turbary?
General Mulcahy: I will answer Deputy Keyes and thank him for his suggestion. He suggested that this is a matter which might more satisfactorily have been dealt with in another way. I attempted in every possible way to have it dealt with more satisfactorily. I asked to raise the question on the adjournment, so that we might get more information. I put down a motion on the Order paper for the purpose of having a discussion and the Government would not grant time for it. The motion was:—
“That the Dáil is of opinion that the valuation of land, turf bog or turf bank should not be increased by the operation of emergency legislation; and more specifically by reason of the taking or purchase of turf therefrom by or for disposal through local authorities, or through schemes intended to provide fuel during the emergency contemplated by the Emergency Powers Act, 1939; and that proposals for any necessary legislation should be introduced forthwith by the Government”.
I had asked in my question that the prosecutions be held up until an inquiry had been made into the matter and we would see whether the action taken was a test action or not, if we could not get a discussion in this particular way. If the Fianna Fáil Party are going to do their best to see that, out of the so-called royalties being paid to these people for turf, the county council is going to snatch back some moneys in an increased valuation, then I cannot prevent it. What we are saying here to-night is: “If you are going to hound these unfortunate people like that—and they are being hounded—do not add, on top of that damage that you are going to do by reason of the valuation added on them in these emergency conditions, the withdrawal of the rights they had to get grants for housing before this turf business was ventured upon at all.” That is all we are asking here in this amendment. The amendment says that, assuming you are going to  do your damnedest in this matter of increasing their valuation, you should not, as well as taking additional rates out of them, withdraw from them also the rights that they have to get grants to improve their houses, if their valuation is under £25, to get £70 grant if their valuation is under £15 or £60 grant if it is under £25 or £45 if it is over that. That is all I am asking. That is all we are asking, but the Minister's attitude lights up a sinister move in the whole business, and the cloaking down of discussion of this matter in the more orderly way that Deputy Keyes speaks about draws attention to that, too.
What happened in North Tipperary, where there was a group of 12 who gave certain rights to cut turbary in a particular area to the county council? All their valuations were increased, all of them got bills for increased rates. Only five of them were summoned and when they asked to have an adjournment in order that they might get counsel's opinion, whoever was dealing with the case from the point of view of the State, objected.
Mr. MacEntee: What does the Deputy mean by “from the point of view of the State”?
General Mulcahy: Whoever was conducting the prosecution.
Mr. MacEntee: The court proceedings were on behalf of the local authority.
General Mulcahy: Whether it was from the point of view of the local authority or otherwise, they wanted to deal with five of them first; they did not want to break all their sticks together. For some reason or other they did not dare to take the 12 prosecutions together. They wanted to take five only and when they would dispose of the five they would take the remaining seven.
Mr. MacEntee: The Deputy is making statements he cannot stand over. Ordinary civil proceedings are not prosecutions.
General Mulcahy: I have not been consulting dictionaries with the assiduous  application with which Ministers have been consulting them recently.
Mr. Costello: Of course they were prosecutions, civil or criminal as the case may be. The Minister does not know what he is talking about. You prosecute criminally or civilly.
General Mulcahy: All that is apparently settled by the attitude of everybody who has been dealing with this matter from the Government side, and particularly by the attitude adopted yesterday. I want to say to the white-gloved Deputies from Wexford and Dublin, the only people we have heard on this matter, that if what they say is true that these valuations can be reduced, why should a man, who got royalties in 1941, 1942 and 1943 and who in 1945, when his valuation is increased, is getting none, be deprived of his ordinary rights under the Housing Bill?
These valuations are increased and increased rates have to be paid, substantially increased rates. Deputy Keyes gave the House one case and I gave another where a person whose valuation was only £16 and who was paying £6 odd in rates had his valuation increased by £25 and his rates by £16. I am only asking that these men will not be deprived of their rights to get grants under the terms of the Housing Act, 1932.
Mr. Carter: I should like to say a few words on this question of an increased valuation being put on bogs. This is merely a bit of propaganda from the other side of the House. I think the various county councils rose very well to the occasion when there was an emergency and when we had to rely on our own resources in order to warm our houses. The county councils came out and organised their workers. They took over bogs and they worked them well. There were people who thought it very hard to  give their bogs to us and now if they have minerals on their land it is only right to make them pay for those minerals.
I have been charged by Deputy MacEoin that I was not at the cross-roads. I do not know what the Deputy means. I was charged by another Deputy on another occasion that at one time I was at the cross-roads. I know that I am now in my own House of Parliament and not at the cross-roads. I am not ashamed of that. I did not run round to the cross-roads to get a strong vote and I do not have to go to the bog workers. I helped the people of my country in my time. I deprecate what Deputy MacEoin said here. He is an honourable opponent and I like him, but I thought it was a nasty thing to say that I was not at the cross-roads. I met him on platforms in my constituency. I was well able to fight him and I believe I would beat him on a vote.
There is another gentleman on that side of the House who made certain remarks about me. I am prepared to take whatever a man says if he says it in fair play. I back my Government and I think they are right every time —I am quite sure they are. I expect in the near future we will do bigger things, please God, with our valuations, as far as housing is concerned. I will ask the Minister to reconsider many little things with regard to the reconstruction of houses. I think that this is a great Bill—the Bill that is being brought in by the Parliamentary Secretary—and we will be well able to see that our housing will go forward and that we will not charge too highly for the houses. I deprecate some of the remarks that were made. I am sorry I had to cross swords with Deputy MacEoin because he said I was not at the cross-roads. I was as often at them as he was.
The Dáil divided: Tá, 34; Níl, 55.
|Anthony, Richard S.
Bennett, George C.
Byrne, Alfred. Costello, John A.
Dockrell, Henry M.
Dockrell, Maurice E.
Doyle, Peadar S.
Flanagan, Oliver J.
Halliden, Patrick J.
Cosgrave, Liam. McMenamin, Daniel.
Murphy, Timothy J.
O'Donnell, William F.
Pattison, James P.
Rogers, Patrick J.
Burke, Patrick (Co. Dublin).
Childers, Erskine H.
Crowley, Honor Mary.
De Valera, Eamon.
De Valera, Vivion.
Fogarty, Patrick J.
Gorry, Patrick J.
Healy, John B.
Lydon, Michael F.
Lynch, James B.
O'Connor, John S.
O'Loghlen, Peter J.
Rice, Bridget M.
Ruttledge, Patrick J.
Ua Donnchadha, Dómhnall.
Tellers:—Tá: Deputies Doyle and Bennett; Níl: Deputies Kissane and O Briain.
Amendment declared lost.
Section 2 agreed to.
Amendment No. 3 not moved.
Mr. Cosgrave: I move amendment No. 4:—
In sub-section (4), page 3, line 51, to delete the words “within seven years”.
I take it that the families to which this section will apply will already have had considerable expense in providing medical equipment and assistance of one kind or another, expense over and above that which a family not similarly placed would have. Other families that, in the normal way, would add a room to their house, would have the valuation raised. In this particular case, provision has been made to assist a family or household, a member of which has had the misfortune to contract this disease. I think, therefore, that no increase in valuation should be made. The whole purpose of the section, and the whole idea behind the scheme, is to assist those families not in a position to get a particular patient either to a sanatorium or a hospital, or who are unable to provide additional rooms or additional facilities. The section enables, in such cases, a local authority to build a room on the recommendation of the local medical officer, in accordance with a  particular specification. When that is done, the recipient is enabled to receive a grant of £100. The grant is payable out of local and State funds amounting to £100,000 for the whole country.
I suggest that the families affected by this are families that are not in a position to provide themselves with these facilities, and that there is no case whatever for increasing the valuation of their houses. If the Minister thinks that this proposal would defeat the object of the Bill, I suggest that a restrictive covenant should be placed on the sale of the house by the family when it receives a grant for this purpose. That would prevent the family, when the patient had been cured, and there is no longer need for the additional room, from selling the house. In that way the family would not escape the liability which would ordinarily accrue from the additional room.
Mr. MacEntee: I am afraid I could not accept this amendment. The effect of it, of course, would be to relieve this additional accommodation provided in the house of the obligation to pay rates. It would relieve it in perpetuity of that obligation unless we brought in another Act to undo the acceptance of the amendment. In addition to that, of course, there is no guarantee that the family, in respect of which this additional room is being provided, would remain the occupier even for as long as seven years. Perhaps that is one of the anomalies of even granting the present exemption for seven years, that the occupation of the house may change in the meantime though the additional accommodation is there, and, in normal circumstances, may fall liable for rating. In addition to that, we have the very important factor to which I do not think the Deputy has given sufficient consideration, and that is that in general—I am not going to say in every case, though I think I could say in the vast majority of cases—the whole cost of the room would have been defrayed by the State and the local authority. In view of the fact that both have contributed—the State very generously  and the local authority generously according to its resources—I think it would be unfair that property which they had provided should not become rateable at any time. I think that in these circumstances I could not accept the amendment.
Mr. Cosgrave: If the Minister is not prepared to accept it in its present form, would he accept an amendment which would allow it to operate, provided the family occupying the house on the occasion of the erection of the room still remained in occupation? I said originally that if the family were to sell the place, then the purpose of the additional room would be defeated straight away. It may be that a particular family receiving this grant would sell the house in a short time. Of course, not alone would that defeat the purpose of the section, but the new occupier or owner would be receiving an additional room which would not be liable for an increased valuation for almost seven years. I suggest that there should be some restriction on sale, and if there is, provide that the person who has received the benefit shall remain in the house until such time as he is prepared to agree to an increase in valuation. I suggest that the valuation should not be raised as long as the family that got the additional room remains in occupation.
Mr. MacEntee: I do not think that I can meet the Deputy at all in regard to this. Let us take the case where a family for whom the room is originally provided remains in occupation of the premises all the time. In that connection, we have to bear in mind the case which this provision is intended to deal with. In the vast majority of cases we can take it that the person in respect of whom the grant is given will be a person who does not require sanatorium treatment, that is to say a person in the early stages of this disease who, more than likely, will, with rest and care, be cured. Now, I think it is a great contribution to the welfare of the family to have provided the particular member affected with separate accommodation at a cost which may  be very considerable. When that person is cured, as we anticipate the vast majority of those concerned will be, I do not think that we would be justified in allowing that person, or family, to enjoy the use of these premises, and, in some cases, the ownership of this additional accommodation, free of rates as long as they remained in occupation. I do not think that would be reasonable. With regard to the other proposal, to impose a restrictive clause in the case of a person who may be the owner of premises, the Deputy justified his amendment very largely on compassionate grounds, that those who would benefit under the section would be people who had already been put to a great deal of expense by illness in their family. If they owned the house and, for one reason or another, say, because family circumstances had changed or because it was necessary for the family to transfer from one district to another or from one part of the country to another, if, because they had to do that, it became necessary for them to sell the house, this restrictive clause, I think, would inflict greater hardship upon them than the mere imposition on them of the obligation to pay rates for a period of years would do. I hope the Deputy, on consideration, will not press his amendment because, in all the circumstances, I do not think we would be justified in accepting it.
Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Sections 3 to 6, inclusive, agreed to.
Question—“That the Bill be received for final consideration”—put and agreed to.
Question proposed: “That the Bill do now pass.”
Mr. Cosgrave: On the Fifth Stage, assuming the owner refuses to allow an occupying tenant to have the room added, what is the position under the Bill?
Mr. MacEntee: I do not think that we have any power as the Bill stands to deal with that situation, but we are hoping that it will not arise. If it does arise it will be easy to ask the House to give us power to deal with it.
 I should like at this stage to say, if I may, with reference to the amendment which Deputy Cosgrave has not moved, that I agree that the situation would have to be dealt with.
An Ceann Comhairle: I take it the Minister is concluding?
Mr. MacEntee: Yes, I just want to put it on record that there is a position which has to be dealt with and I am going to see if I can deal with it in a more expenditious and more satisfactory way.
An Ceann Comhairle: That is in regard to amendment No. 3?
Mr. MacEntee: Yes.
Mr. Cosgrave: That is the one that had the chequered career.
Question put and agreed to.
Question again proposed: “That the Bill be now read a Second Time.”
An Ceann Comhairle: Deputy Costello.
Mr. MacEntee: I thought Deputy Cosgrave was in possession.
Mr. Costello: The Chair had ruled in my favour.
Mr. MacEntee: I have not the slightest objection; the ordeal will not be mine.
Mr. Costello: Because, I suppose, you will scuttle out of the House.
Mr. MacEntee: I have to go to the Seanad. I have more business to do there.
Mr. Costello: The extent to which opposition has developed to some of the fundamental provisions in this Bill and, indeed, the extent to which public indignation has been aroused is the measure of the failure which faces this Bill, which ought, from its subject matter, be a non-controversial measure. To any reasonable proposals designed to secure the public health, framed for the purpose of  preventing infectious diseases and dissemination, to any measures which would secure the clean handling of food in this country and in particular in this city, Deputies, on this side of the House at all events, would give complete support. But, when we find introduced into this House a measure which has been framed and designed without any consultation with any of the medical societies or medical authorities whose opinions would have been of the greatest weight in the public interest, we look with extreme suspicion upon such a measure. When the measure itself is examined in detail and when we find that the provisions in their general tendency are fraught with possible public danger and that in particular instances in the Bill the dignity of the human person is insulted and the liberty of the individual set aside, we can regard this Bill as nothing less than a monstrosity.
If I had any illusions left as to the practical application of the high-sounding principles in the Constitution, I would venture to add my voice to that of the Deputies who have already suggested in the course of this debate that many of the provisions in this Bill are unconstitutional. If I thought that any limit could be set to the reach of bureaucracy, I would have thought that this Bill had attained the ultimate extreme. This Bill has 113 sections and five schedules, but that is only a very small part of what the legislation of this country will be if this measure ever becomes law and ever comes into operation in full force and effect in accordance with the provisions contained throughout the Bill providing for the passing of rules and regulations, statutory Orders and bye-laws. Anybody who has practice in public health or who had to advise on public health matters will be familiar with the well-known text book, Vanston on Public Health. There are over 1,100 pages in that book on one statute alone. That statute still remains on the Statute Book and this measure provides, almost in every section, for the Minister or for some authority to make rules and regulations, statutory Orders and bye-laws to carry the provisions into effect. The  real provisions underlying this Bill will not be given practical effect to by the 113 clauses or the five schedules in this Bill: they will be given effect to by the multiplicity, I would say almost the infinity, of statutory rules, Orders and regulations which would be necessary in order to give effect to this measure if it ever comes into practical operation.
In the course of the lengthy speech read by the Parliamentary Secretary, so far as I know he never adverted once to the question of the cost of the practical application of this Bill. No indication was given as to what the cost on the public, on the taxpayer or the ratepayer, would be when these provisions are put into effect. On this side of the House, at all events, we have never shrunk, and never will shrink, from supporting any measure, whatever its reasonable cost may be, provided it is in the public interest, but what we object to is the squandering of public moneys and failing to make economies where economies can be made.
In the course of this Bill it is provided or envisaged that people suffering from vermin or people suffering from tuberculosis may be imprisoned and detained, their livelihood taken away from them, their persons insulted and their dignity as human beings taken away from them. In the course of the last fortnight I drew attention in this House to two cases that came within my own experience within the last few weeks. In one case, a family was living in one room, overridden by cockroaches, walked upon by rats, and threatened with vermin. The one object that these people had was to get a house. Under this Bill, instead of getting a house, they will be put in an asylum, or a prison, or a concentration camp, or an isolation camp. Is it any wonder that I say that the principles underlying this Bill insult the dignity of the human person and threaten individual liberty? This Bill, if it is to have any measure of success, ought to have been so framed and thought-out as to command the confidence of the public and to have behind it the strong force of  public opinion. What public opinion will there be in a case of that kind?
Deputy Hughes said here this afternoon that you must start on the fundamental, that you must start by taking away the cause of disease, that you must cure unemployment, and that you must provide proper houses. You must give decent conditions of living, which will prevent, far more than any police methods, the cause or spreading of infectious diseases. You must see that people are properly paid, and that, from the money they earn with the sweat of their brow, they will be able to maintain their families in decent comfort which will enable them to withstand the attack of disease. That is the way that the problem of public health has to be attacked in this country. It is not by imprisoning or isolating people who happen, unfortunately, to be afflicted with tuberculosis or any other infectious disease, that you will either cure the illness or cut out the cancer in the public health of this country, or command the confidence of the people in a measure of this kind; it is not by doing what is being done in this Bill, or is threatened to be done in this Bill, by treating the unfortunate humans afflicted not merely as lepers, but as if they were chattels to be moved about at the whim or opinion of every Minister or medical doctor or civic guard, acting either on his own initiative or by the direction of an offical carrying out the dictates of the bureaucrats under this Bill.
Some of the provisions of this Bill are startling in themselves. The general principle supposed to be underlying the Bill is set out in paragraph 3 of the explanatory memorandum circulated with the measure. “The Bill”, it is stated, “is intended to make the law conform more closely to modern ideas and practice as to procedure for the prevention and treatment of disease.” In the course of the statement of the Parliamentary Secretary was there a single word showing on whose authority that statement was made, or what is the  authority for saying that the provisions of the Bill, the monstrous provisions of the Bill, conform to modern ideas and practice as to procedure for the prevention and treatment of disease? Is it a pagan procedure and practice, or who is the authority behind it? It is easy for the Parliamentary Secretary to say in his explanatory memorandum that he is carrying out modern ideas and practice without saying whose ideas they are, where the practice emanates from, and on what it is based.
In Section 29 of the Bill provision is made for giving a permanent place on the statute law of this country to an Emergency Powers Order brought in by the Government in 1940. Under that Order, framed in an emergency period, very drastic powers were given, but it is proposed as part of the permanent statute law of this country that there should be a power of permanent imprisonment for any single individual, based upon the opinion of a medical doctor. I do not care who he is, I say that that particular provision is fraught with danger to the public interest. I make no allegation against individual medical doctors, but I do say that it would strike terror into my heart to know that my life and my livelihood and the life and livelihood of my children were dependent on the opinion of some medical doctor, whether it was professional or anything else. But the life and livelihood and all that is dear to a person—his personal liberty, his personal pride—is to be taken away without appeal to the courts, without appeal to anybody, on the opinion of a doctor. What is the justification for that?
Let me give Deputies an experience of my own that occurred in the last few months and let them pause before they vote for a provision of that kind. Deputies are aware that an epidemic of typhoid occurred in the last 18 months which was attributed to a restaurant car on a train. One unfortunate employee, a young lady who had become by her own skill and industry in attending technical schools  a skilled cook, had the misfortune to catch the germ in the course of her employment on that particular train. She was certified as having recovered by the people who had been attending on her in the fever hospital and she came out, having been certified completely free from the disease and a non-carrier. She went out to earn her daily bread and she obtained a position. The medical officer of health went to her employer and said: “Sack that lady at once; dismiss her from her employment”. She was dismissed there and then, and it is impossible for her to earn her living, although the fact was that at that time she had been certified by the people who had been attending on her in the fever hospital as being free from the disease and had been examined by the leading pathologist in this city subsequently and certified as not being a carrier.
Dr. Ward: Does the Deputy know that she could become a carrier again?
Mr. Costello: I have as wide a knowledge of matters connected with carriers of typhoid as any layman. I knew this much before the Parliamentary Secretary knew it, because it was only found out as a result of that case and the industry of the people who were defending the Great Northern Railway in that case, who found one man in this country, a man from the North, and who found it was possible to be an intermittent carrier without having it again. The Parliamentary Secretary's Department did not know it. She cannot become a carrier again. I challenge the Parliamentary Secretary to tell me as a matter of scientific knowledge or experience that she could become a carrier again. The Parliamentary Secretary will not be able to tell me—and if he does I will not believe him — that he has any grounds for his statement that she could become a carrier again.
Dr. Ward: What is the difference between an intermittent carrier and a person who becomes a carrier again?
Mr. Costello: The Parliamentary Secretary will not divert me from the task I am at.
Dr. Ward: No, but the Deputy is going to teach us on typhoid.
Mr. Costello: I will say, in answer to the Parliamentary Secretary, that neither he nor very many of his colleagues in this country can answer the question he has put to me. If the Parliamentary Secretary's statement to me is correct, then our fears are more than justified, because if a person with the mentality of the Parliamentary Secretary goes to examine an unfortunate person who has had the misfortune to have had typhoid and though every leading pathologist in this country says he is free from the disease and from being a carrier, then, possibly for political purposes, possibly for other reasons that may be found in the course of history, even medical history alone, he may be incarcerated and deprived of his position. And if he is deprived of his position, what is his family to do? It depends again upon the Minister's opinion. That may be carried out, in accordance with the provisions of this Bill, by force. Section 29 says:—
“(1) Where the chief medical officer of a county or county borough or the medical officer of a port sanitary authority, is of opinion, either consequent upon his own observations or consequent upon information furnished to him by a registered medical practitioner, that a person in the area for which such medical officer acts is a probable source of infection with an infectious disease and that his isolation is necessary or expedient in the interests of public health, such medical officer may order in writing the detention and isolation of such person in a specified hospital or other place until such medical officer gives a certificate (for which no charge shall be made) that such person is no longer a probable source of infection”.
He may be arrested and confined for the rest of his life. Under another provision of the Bill, his organs may be taken out forcibly. It is no wonder some Deputy from Fianna Fáil Benches, Deputy Dr. Brennan, I think,  welcomed the provisions of this Bill, as it will operate as a human dissecting-table for some medical doctors.
An Ceann Comhairle: I think that would be rather a reflection on the Deputy professionally.
Mr. Costello: There is no question about the Deputy professionally. I want to underline and emphasise the dangers of this to Deputies before they cast their votes for this measure— which ought to be an agreed measure but it is not—a measure that has not been submitted to professional bodies representing the medical profession as a whole in this country. Is that a Christian proposal? I do not care whether, in the course of my duties, I reflect upon any particular profession or not, provided I do what I believe to be my public duty. That may cause great amusement to the Parliamentary Secretary. His reputation is well known and so is mine, and the public can choose between them. Are Deputies going to accept this particular provision, that a person who is afflicted by Providence with a disease may be put into the hands of particular individuals, isolated and imprisoned, possibly for the rest of his life, without appeal? Letters of cachet are not in it, compared with that particular provision.
Deputy Hughes referred to paragraph 11 of the Second Schedule:—
“The requiring of adult persons to submit themselves, or the parents of children to submit such children, to examinations by medical officers of health to find out whether such adult persons or children are probable sources of infection and the requiring of such adult persons or parents to afford to such officers all reasonable facilities for such examinations, including the permission to take blood or other specimens for bacteriological or protozoological examinations or tests.”
 There is no appeal from that. However great the crank, however outrageous the requirement may be, it must be complied with. Anybody who has even a superficial knowledge of the history of medical education will know the vital differences which have arisen between various schools of thought and various views in the medical profession in the course of the years. Ideas change and views differ. Pasteur was decried publicly. The very fact that there is a change in medical outlook appears in this Bill itself, as vaccination is being dropped —I do not know why. For many years, we were told it was absolutely essential to have compulsory vaccination. People were prosecuted and protests were made, notably from Wexford, in recent years. There are people in England who object to vaccination. Now it is being dropped here except in cases of grave emergency—when it cannot effectively be put into operation. The only time we are to have vaccination against smallpox is when the need arises, where the risk of smallpox is regarded as serious. Apparently, the Department has not heard what occurred in England during the war, in areas where the risk of smallpox was serious and where the whole strength of the available medical force was mobilised to deal with the risk. It was quite unavailing. That is an actual experience in England in the last few years.
As regards vaccination—against smallpox, presumably—we are to wait until there is an actual risk—and then there will not be vaccine, nurses or doctors sufficient to cope with the threat. In spite of the experience in England, we are not bothering about that, but we are dropping vaccination and adding on all sorts of other things instead. Apparently, the medical fashion has changed in the Department. We are going to have other sorts of vaccination, as that appears to be more fashionable now. In the meantime, the vaccination against smallpox is to be dropped, for no apparent reason, to be taken up again when it will be too late to save people from the risk of very serious infection,  which occurs suddenly in the case of epidemics.
Section 19 contains another remarkable provision. It imposes on each individual citizen who knows that he is a probable source of infection the obligation to take the precautions specifically provided under this part of the Bill, that is to say, whatever precautions the Minister's regulations may set out to order. He is also to take every other reasonable precaution and, if he does not, he is guilty of an offence. Who is to prescribe what is every other reasonable precaution? In the course of my professional duties, I heard two doctors giving evidence as to how you would prevent the spread of the typhoid germ. There is a duty being imposed on people here to take “other reasonable precautions,” without the Minister or his advisers saying what they are. I cross-examined one gentleman in the box myself and he gave evidence that you can prevent infection in a fever hospital merely by ordinary washing of hands—“social washing of hands” were the words my colleague used in the case. He said all you had to do was to wash them and you need not bother about anything else. His colleague from another hospital said, on the same case and on the same side, that every house should have a soapy water, clean towels every few minutes of the day, and the nail brush immersed permanently in a bath of lysol. You can have your choice of those two. They direct you to take every reasonable precaution without telling you what it is. You will have one doctor saying you ought to have done this, and another telling you it is all nonsense; one saying that you must wash your hands and another saying that you should go into the kitchen every day, provide the servant with ten or 12 towels each day, have soap available and a nail brush immersed in a bath of lysol.
There is another provision to which attention has been called. Under Section 21, parents are prohibited from sending their children to school or to Mass if they are suffering from, or are a probable source of infection with, an  infectious disease. Under certain provisions that we find in this Bill, which ought to be a non-controversial Bill and which emanates from the Department without consultation with anybody, a person shall be deemed conclusively—you cannot get out of it, whether you know about it or not—to have reason to believe a child is a probable source of infection—and again the burden of proof is placed conclusively upon the people as in other sections.
If Deputies will look at Section 36 they will find that if one person gets an infectious disease from another, that person has a right of action, and there are circumstances set out in Section 36 from which one can draw the natural conclusion that the courts shall presume that such infection was the direct result of failure to take precautions. If a Deputy has a common cold, which is an infectious disease, and if he gets into a bus with that cold and another person gets into the bus beside him and that person gets his cold, there is an action against him and the presumption there, if you cannot rebut it, is that you are the probable source of infection.
Deputies will have to realise that this Bill affronts the human dignity and interferes with the liberty of the person. It ranges from permanent waves to cremation. I have been told recently by a medical gentleman that the practice of young ladies having permanent waves has led to nits and other little insects of that kind coming in ladies' hair, because they want to keep the waves so long that they will not wash it sufficiently often. A medical gentleman told me in all seriousness that that was his experience. The Parliamentary Secretary will take power under these regulations to stop ladies from having permanent waves.
In addition, he will see what bathing costumes they will wear. I wonder what official of his Department will be appointed as the arbiter of fashion of ladies' bathing costumes, and the extent of their bodies which they will be allowed to expose to the sun when sun-bathing. That is in the Bill. We have permanent waves, bathing  costumes, sun-bathing, imprisonment, cremation, lice, vermin and everything else.
That is the Bill that is supposed to command public respect. It is a Bill that creates a multiplicity of offences. It is a Bill which cannot be enforced. It is a Bill which will be evaded largely by the public, and it is a Bill which will bring the law—this particular law —into contempt. The only way that a Bill of this kind could command respect would be if it commanded the confidence of the public and had public opinion behind it. With such provisions as those to which I have very briefly adverted in the time at my disposal, no person could have confidence, and there could be no public opinion behind a Bill of this kind. This Bill is doomed to failure. It could not be the climax, because there is no limit to the reach of bureaucracy, but it is the latest example of the attitude of the Government towards the problems of this country.
Instead of dealing with the fundamentals, providing decent food, proper wages, decent houses, employment for the people, giving them education in washing themselves, and providing them with baths and a proper water supply with which to wash themselves, teaching them that the simplest precautions will be far better than any number of prosecutions, you are bringing in a measure the cost of which to put into operation will be colossal. Such a Bill cannot command respect, and can do nothing else but bring the law into complete contempt.
Mr. O'Donnell: In Part VI of the Bill on page 26, I have more than a passing interest. I am on the water wagon again. There does not seem to be much regard for rural life at all— it is all urban and city life. I do not object to that. I am one who has lived for 25 years in the city and I am rather interested in it. But it seems to be more for urban and city people. This Part of the Bill is most important and I must congratulate the Minister on it. I hope it will not be honoured  more in the breach than in the observance. In Part VI there are nine sections and 41 sub-sections. It starts off with Section 47, but Section 48 gives the gist of the whole thing, because it deals with a provisional water supply Order. Section 48 (1) says:—
“Where any building in a sanitary district appears to the sanitary authority of that district not to be provided with a satisfactory supply of water for domestic purposes, the authority may, by Order, require such building to be connected, in a specified manner and within a specified time after the coming into force of the Order, with the public water supply or with an existing pipe which is itself connected with a public water supply.”
I will not labour the point very much. I notice in Section 49 (2)—this section seems to be all “wheres” because there are about 12 “wheres” in it— that other interesting matters are dealt with. How many farmhouses in Ireland have the water more than half a mile away? The Suir runs in my native district in South Tipperary, and we have the best water supply in Ireland there. In the wireless Question Time recently the question was asked which county in Ireland has most counties surrounding it and the answer was Tipperary. There are seven counties surrounding it.
I have asked the Minister and the Parliamentary Secretary, and will continue asking them questions, concerning one very important matter. There is a certain amount of sympathy for it on the part of the Government and the Parliamentary Secretary and they will have to admit it sooner or later. It was approved by 12 county councils in Ireland. I refer to the snow-ball resolution sent from Tipperary. I was the proposer of it. Several counties marked it “read” and a few did not reply. The resolution proposes that a national survey of the water tables of Ireland be made with a view to getting an adequate supply of pure water into every home in rural Ireland. Some things were mentioned here to-day and  I do not want to be misunderstood. We are called the dirty Irish. We do not deserve it and many a fight has been made by Irishmen, in England particularly, where it emanated from. It has very often been said there—“the dirty Irish”. It is a favourite expression there and, to the honour of our nation, it may be said that be he big or little, an Irishman will fight on his back against it whether he comes from Derry, Antrim, Cork, Tipperary or Wexford. “The dirty Irish”—we always resented it. Deputy Morrissey was, I think,  misunderstood by another Deputy, and I did not like it either. We were called hewers of wood and drawers of water. We deserved it if we were the dirty Irish. We have not got water even to wash ourselves with, and, in my native county, the people have to go two miles for water. I move the adjournment of the debate.
The Dáil adjourned at 9 p.m. until 10.30 a.m. on friday, 14th December, 1945.
Risteárd Ua Maolchatha: asked the Minister for Local Government and Public Health if he will state in respect of each county health district for each of the years ended 31st March, 1940  to 1945, inclusive, the number of houses built under the Housing (Financial and Miscellaneous Provisions) Acts 1932-44, distinguishing between those built (by private persons) under Sections (5) 1 (a), (5) 1 (c) (i), (5) 1 (c) (ii), and (5) 1 (d), and (by public utility societies) under Sections (5) 1 (f) (i), (5) 1 (f) (ii), and (5) 1 (g), and by local authorities under Section (6) 1 (b) of these Acts; and the gross totals of such houses built in each county health district under the said Acts up to 31st March, 1945.
Houses, if any, built under Section 5 (1) (a) are included under Section 5 (1) (e) below.
HOUSING (FINANCIAL AND MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS) ACTS, 1932/44.
NUMBER OF HOUSES BUILT BY PRIVATE PERSONS AND PUBLIC UTILITY SOCIETIES UP TO 31ST MARCH, 1941.
|BUILT BY PRIVATE PERSONS||PUBLIC UTILITY SOCIETIES|
|COUNTY HEALTH DISTRICT||Small farmers under £15 valuation||Small farmers £15—£25 valuation||Agricultural labourers||Other persons||Total||Small farmers under £15 valuation||Small farmers £15—£25 valuation||Agricultural labourers||Total||GRAND TOTAL|
|(5(1)(c)(i))||(5(1)(c)(ii))||(5 (1)(d)))||(5 (1)(e)))||(5(1)(f)(i))||(5(1)(f)(ii))||(5 (1)(g))|
 HOUSING (FINANCIAL AND MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS) ACTS, 1932/44.
NUMBER OF HOUSES BUILT BY PRIVATE PERSONS AND PUBLIC UTILITY SOCIETIES UP TO 31ST MARCH, 1942.
|BUILT BY PRIVATE PERSONS||PUBLIC UTILITY SOCIETIES|
|COUNTY HEALTH DISTRICT||Small farmers under £15 valuation||Small farmers £15—£25 valuation||Agricultural labourers||Other persons||Total||Small farmers under £15 valuation||Small farmers £15—£25 valuation||Agricultural labourers||Total||GRAND TOTAL|
|(5(1)(c)(i))||(5(1)(c)(ii))||(5 (1) (d))||(5(1)(e)||(5(1)(f)(i))||(5(1)(f)(ii))||(5 (1) (g))|
HOUSING (FINANCIAL AND MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS) ACTS, 1932/44.
NUMBER OF HOUSES BUILT BY PRIVATE PERSONS AND PUBLIC UTILITY SOCIETIES UP TO 31ST MARCH, 1943.
|BUILT BY PRIVATE PERSONS||PUBLIC UTILITY SOCIETIES|
|COUNTY HEALTH DISTRICT||Small farmers under £15 valuation||Small farmers £15—£25 valuation||Agricultural labourers||Other persons||Total||Small farmers under £15 valuation||Small farmers £15—£25 valuation||Agricultural labourers||Total||GRAND TOTAL|
|(5(1)(c)(i))||(5(1)(c)(ii))||(5 (1) (d))||(5 (1) (e))||(5 (1) (f)(ii))||(5(1)(f)(ii))||(5 (1)|
HOUSING (FINANCIAL AND MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS) ACTS, 1932/44.
NUMBER OF HOUSES BUILT BY PRIVATE PERSONS AND PUBLIC UTILITY SOCIETIES UP TO 31ST MARCH, 1944.
|BUILT BY PRIVATE PERSONS||PUBLIC UTILITY SOCIETIES|
|COUNTY HEALTH DISTRICT||Small farmers under £15 valuation||Small farmers £15—£25 valuation||Agricultural labourers||Other persons||Total||Small farmers under £15 valuation||Small farmers £15—£25 valuation||Agricultural labourers||Total||GRAND TOTAL|
|(5(1)(c)(i))||(5(1)(c)(ii))||(5 (1) (d))||(5(1)(e))||(5(1)(f)(i))||(5(1)(f)(ii))||(5 (1) (g))|
 HOUSING (FINANCIAL AND MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS) ACTS, 1932/44.
NUMBER OF HOUSES BUILT BY PRIVATE PERSONS AND PUBLIC UTILITY SOCIETIES UP TO 31ST MARCH, 1945.
|BUILT BY PRIVATE PERSONS||PUBLIC UTILITY SOCIETIES|
|COUNTY HEALTH DISTRICT||Small farmers under £15 valuation||Small farmers £15—£25 valuation||Agricultural labourers||Other persons||Total||Small farmers under £15 valuation||Small farmers £15—£25 valuation||Agricultural labourers||Total||GRAND TOTAL|
|(5 (1) (c)(i))||(5(1)(c)(ii))||(5 (1) (d))||(5 (1) (e))||(5(1)(f)(i))||(5(1)(f)(ii))||(5 (1)(g))|
 HOUSING (FINANCIAL AND MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS) ACTS, 1932/44.
GROSS TOTAL OF HOUSES ERECTED IN EACH COUNTY HEALTH DISTRICT UP TO 31/3/45.
|County Health District||By Private Persons||By Public Utility Societies||By Local Bodies||Total|
HOUSING (FINANCIAL AND MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS) ACTS, 1932/44.
NUMBER OF HOUSES BUILT IN EACH COUNTY HEALTH DISTRICT BY LOCAL AUTHORITIES UP TO 31ST MARCH, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1944 AND 1945.
|County Health District||Up to 31/3/41||Up to 31/3/42||Up to 31/3/43||Up to 31/3/44||Up to 31/3/45|
Risteárd Ua Maolchatha: asked the Minister for Local Government and Public Health if he will state in respect of each of the years ended 31st March, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1944 and 1945, the number of new houses completed under the Housing (Financial and Miscellaneous Provisions) Acts 1932-44, (1) in each urban area by (a) local authorities, (b) private persons and (c) public utility societies; (2) in each rural area by (a) local authorities, (b) private persons and (c) public utility societies, and (3) the totals of new houses completed under these Acts by the 31st March, 1945, in each urban and rural area.
 HOUSING (FINANCIAL AND MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS) ACTS 1932/44.
NUMBER OF HOUSES BUILT IN EACH URBAN AREA BY LOCAL AUTHORITIES UP TO 31ST MARCH, 1941; 1942; 1943; 1944; 1945.
|URBAN DISTRICT||Up to 31/3/41||Up to 31/3/42||Up to 31/3/43||Up to 31/3/44||Up to 31/3/45|
|Passage West T. C.||70||70||70||70||70|
|Bandon T. C.||—||22||22||22||22|
|Bantry T. C.||8||8||8||8||8|
|Ballyshannon T. C.||80||80||80||80||80|
|*Dublin C. B.||9,802||11,044||11,812||12,537||13,333|
|Dún Laoghaire Borough||630||838||855||855||907|
|Balbriggan T. C.||34||34||34||34||34|
|Loughrea T. C.||25||25||25||25||25|
|Tuam T. C.||244||244||244||244||244|
|Droichead Nua T. C.||40||40||40||40||40|
|Callan T. C.||20||20||20||20||20|
|Portlaoighise T. C.||105||105||152||152||152|
|Limerick C. B.||942||1,310||1,310||1,646||1,646|
|Newcastle West T. C.||32||32||32||32||32|
|Rathkeale T. C.||20||20||20||20||20|
|Granard T. C.||48||48||48||48||48|
|Ardee T. C.||73||75||75||75||75|
|Edenderry T. C.||38||38||38||38||38|
|Boyle T. C.||58||58||58||58||58|
|Roscommon T. C.||—||—||—||—||—|
|TIPPERARY, N.R., Co.:|
|TIPPERARY, S.R., Co.:|
|Fethard T. C.||—||—||—||—||—|
|Waterford C. B.||758||816||816||826||838|
|Lismore T. C.||4||4||4||4||4|
|Mullingar T. C.||108||108||108||108||108|
|Gorey T. C.||66||66||66||66||66|
*Including Howth U.D.
 HOUSING (FINANCIAL AND MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS) ACTS, 1932/44.
NUMBER OF HOUSES ERECTED IN URBAN AREAS BY LOCAL BODIES, PRIVATE PERSONS AND PUBLIC UTILITY SOCIETIES UP TO 31ST MARCH, 1945.
|Urban District||By Private Persons||By Public Utility Societies||By Local Bodies||GRAND TOTAL|
|Muinebheag T. C.||2||—||90||92|
|Kilkee T. C.||20||3||42||65|
|Cork C. B.||276||271||1,876||2,423|
|Bandon T. C.||30||—||22||52|
|Bantry T. C.||23||—||8||31|
|Dublin C. B.*||4,949||2,076||13,333||20,358|
|Dun Laoghaire Boro'||718||—||907||1,625|
|Balbriggan T. C.||8||—||34||42|
|Loughrea T. C.||10||2||25||37|
|Tuam T. C.||91||8||244||343|
|Droichead Nua T. C.||10||2||40||52|
|Callan T. C.||—||—||20||20|
|Mountmelick T. C.||4||—||82||86|
|Portlaoighise T. C.||13||—||152||165|
|Limerick C. B.||363||24||1,646||2,033|
|Newcastle West T. C.||25||—||32||57|
|Rathkeale T. C.||—||3||20||23|
|Granard T. C.||2||—||48||50|
|Edenderry T. C.||1||—||38||39|
|Boyle T. C.||5||—||58||63|
|Roscommon T. C.||10||6||—||16|
|TIPPERARY (N.R.) Co.:|
|TIPPERARY (S.R.) Co.:|
|Fethard T. C.||8||—||—||8|
|Waterford C. B.||59||—||838||897|
|Lismore T. C.||—||—||4||4|
|Mullingar T. C.||20||2||108||130|
|Gorey T. C.||18||—||80||98|
*Including Howth U.D.
Grants to private persons and public utility societies for the erection of houses in Urban Areas ceased as from the 31st March, 1939, except in respect of houses erected by public utility societies for letting. The total number of such dwellings erected is 33.
The totals of new houses completed under the Acts in rural areas are shown in the answer to the previous Question.
Mr. Cosgrave: asked the Minister for Local Government and Public Health if he will state the number of cottages under the control of the Dublin County Council which have been repaired since 1939, the total cost of these repairs, and also the number of cottages still in need of repair.
Mr. MacEntee: The total number of cottages under the control of the Dublin County Council is 3,285.
In the period from 1st April, 1939, to 31st March, 1945, repairs were carried out to 3,052 cottages in the county health district at a total cost of £46,741. Repairs are still required to 554 cottages. Particulars in respect of the period since 1st April last are not yet available.
Mr. Cosgrave: asked the Minister for Lands if he will state the area of land acquired by the Land Commission and awaiting division in County Dublin.
Minister for Lands (Mr. Moylan): The area of land acquired by the Land Commission and awaiting division in County Dublin is approximately 300 acres.