Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - I.R.A. Prisoners in England.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Holidays for Harvest Work.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Laethe Saoire Breise do Pháistí Scoile.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Revision of Annuities.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Acquisition of Lands.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Menlough (Galway) Lands.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Summerhill (Meath) Holding.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Investigation of Holdings.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Division of Estate.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - County Meath Estates.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Pump for County Meath Estate.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - County Cork Reclamation Scheme.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Provision of Telephone Kiosks.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Broadcasts on Agricultural Topics.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Telephone Attendants' Working Conditions.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Oldcastle (County Meath) Postal Delivery.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Kildorrery (County Cork) Creamery.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Farm Buildings Improvement Scheme.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Farm Improvements Scheme.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Farmers' Butter.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Purchase of Agricultural Equipment.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - County Kerry Flooding.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Drainage of River Erne.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Valuers' Evidence in Rent Cases.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Rent Restrictions Act, 1946.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Recognition of Conduct of Gardai.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Milk Supply of Mullingar Military.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Roger Casement Brigade I.R.A.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Auctions of Military Equipment.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Employment in Paper Mills.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Suburban Workers' Transport.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Reopening of County Cork Railway Lines.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Bus Services.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Farranfore Train Connection.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Water-Piping Supply.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Grants to Bog Workers.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Amenities at Howth.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Howth Playground.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Obstacle to House Building.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Cappawhite Housing Scheme.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Howth and Sutton Housing.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - County Westmeath Disemployed Persons.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Road Workers' Superannuation.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - County Limerick Water Supply.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Liffey Ferry Service.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Grants to Urban Councils.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - County Donegal T.B. Sanatorium.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Cost of Streptomycin Treatment.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Treatment of Tuberculosis.
Order of Business.
Financial Resolutions, 1948-49.
Committee on Finance. - Resolution No. 6—General (Resumed).
Committee on Finance. - Financial Resolutions, 1948-49—Report.
Committee on Finance. - Finance Bill, 1948—First Stage.
Committee on Finance. - Local Elections Bill, 1948—Report and Fifth Stages.
Committee on Finance. - Estimates for Public Services.
Committee on Finance. - Vote 45—Office of the Minister for Education (Resumed).
Written Answer to Question. - Liostaí Toghacháin.
 Do chuaigh an Ceann Comhairle i gceannas ar 3 p.m.
Mr. Larkin: asked the Taoiseach if the views of the Government on the granting of an amnesty to the I.R.A. prisoners in England, as indicated in his reply to a question on the 4th May, 1948, have been conveyed to the British Government and whether he has anything further to add on the matter.
The Taoiseach: The views of the Government on the granting of an amnesty to the Irish prisoners referred to, as indicated in my reply to the question of the 4th May, 1948, have been conveyed to the British Government and I believe these views are fully appreciated by that Government, by whom the matter is under consideration.
Mr. Larkin: Since the date on which the Taoiseach replied to an earlier question, has there been any further development in relation to this matter from the point of view of the British Government?
The Taoiseach: There have been further representations.
Mr. Larkin: No replies?
The Taoiseach: There have been replies, but I am not in a position to give any further details at the moment.
Mr. O'Grady: asked the Minister for Education if he will say whether the  customary ten days' leave of absence will be granted to children attending primary schools in rural areas this year to enable them to assist at harvest work.
Mr. Halliden: asked the Minister for Education whether he is aware that there is little likelihood of an appreciable change this year in the labour conditions for the saving of turf by private owners and for harvest work generally; and, if so, whether he will authorise the granting of the customary ten days' leave of absence to children attending primary schools this year to enable them to assist at these tasks.
Minister for Education (General Mulcahy): I propose to take Questions Nos. 2 and 3 together.
Consideration is being given at present to the question of granting ten days' extra vacation this year to rural schools and to certain other schools in order to enable the school children to give additional help at suitable work on the land and in the provision of fuel for the winter months.
I hope to be in a position to make an announcement in the matter at an early date.
Cormac Ua Breisleáin: den Aire Oideachais an bhfuil rún aige laethe saoire de bharraíocht a thabhairt san Fhómhar i mbliana do pháistí scoile chun cuidiú an barr a shábháil, mar a tugadh ar na blianta deireannacha seo.
Gearóid Mac Pharthaláin: den Aire Oideachais an bhfuiltear le saire bhreise sa bhFómhair a cheadú do na bun-scoltacha faoin dtuaith i mbliana mar a rinneadh blianta eile le linn na hÉigeandála.
Risteárd Ua Maolchatha: Tá ar intinn agam ceisteanna a 4 agus a 5 a thógaint le chéile. Tá breithniú á dhéanamh fé láthair ar an gceist maidir le laethe saoire bhreise do cheadú i mbliana do na scola náisiúnta sa tuaith agus do roint scol eile i dtreo is go mbeidh sé ar chumas na ndaltaí breis chúnta do thabhairt le hobair oiriúnaigh  talmhaíochta agus le habhar tine do saothrú i gcóir an Gheimhridh.
Tá súil agam go mbeidh mé in ann fógra do chur amach fén scéal go luath.
Mr. Ormonde: asked the Minister for Lands if he will consider revising the annuities payable by Mr. C. Crowley, the Glen, Stradbally, County Waterford, on the holdings which are the subject of the following references, Receivable Order Nos. B.1602/1 and B. 1602/2; Record No. S.9234, with a view to allowing him the benefit of concessions under the Land Acts, 1923 and 1933.
Minister for Lands (Mr. Blowick): These holdings were tenancies created subsequent to the passing of the Land Act, 1923, but prior to 14th October, 1933, and were admitted to purchase under Section 37 (1) of the Land Act, 1936, under Section 5, sub-section (e) of which the full annuity is payable and not the revised annuity provided for by the Act of 1933 in the cases of tenancies created before August, 1923. The Land Commission have no power to make the revision desired by the tenants.
Mr. Keyes: asked the Minister for Lands if he will consider acquiring the Fitzgerald lands, Duncaha, Shanagolden, County Limerick, for division amongst the uneconomic holders and landless men of the district.
Mr. Blowick: The question of the acquisition of the Fitzgerald lands at Duncaha, County Limerick, will be considered by the Land Commission.
Mr. Kitt: asked the Minister for Lands if he will state what steps have been taken by his Department to acquire the land in possession of Mr. John Parker at Cross Oughter, Menlough, Ballinasloe, County Galway, in view of the fact that it has been offered for sale and that there is much local congestion.
Mr. Blowick: There are no proceedings at present for the acquisition of the lands of Cross Oughter owned by representatives of John Parker but the Deputy's representations have been noted for consideration.
Mr. Kitt: I have been given to understand that the lands in question are being sold. If that is right, would the Minister be in a position to ask the Land Commission to withhold the sale? Would that be possible?
Mr. Blowick: The Minister will not take that line; I do not intend to interfere with a resale.
Captain Giles: asked the Minister for Lands if he will have the non-residential holding of Mr. Breen (formerly Handbury Estate) at Ginnetts Great, Summerhill, County Meath, inspected with a view to its acquisition for division.
Mr. Blowick: The Land Commission have no proceedings for the acquisition of this holding. The Deputy's representations have been noted.
Mr. Kyne: asked the Minister for Lands if he has received a letter from the County Waterford Land Settlement Association asking if he will have an investigation made of holdings already divided with a view to ascertaining what lands and holdings are not tenanted; and, if so, whether he has yet come to a decision on this request; further, if he will ensure that closer co-operation will exist in future between inspectors of his Department and the association on the question of land division.
Mr. Blowick: The answer to the first part of the question is in the negative. I may say, however, that the Land Commission are carrying out a systematic inquiry into the manner in which unvested parcels on divided estates throughout the country are being used by the allottees. Already in County Waterford a considerable number of parcels has been inspected  and such allottees as have been found to be unsatisfactory have been warned that their parcels will be taken up from them unless they comply with the Land Commission's requirements. I am glad to avail of this opportunity to make it quite clear that those cases of unsatisfactory user will be vigorously pursued. People who are allotted new holdings by the Land Commission must regard themselves as a specially favoured section of the community and those who do not work the lands as they should and who in some cases do not even live in the houses erected for them must expect scant consideration.
As regards the final part of the question all representations received by the Land Commission on the subject of land division are given due consideration.
Mr. Kyne: asked the Minister for Lands if he will state when the Maxwell estate, Moorhill, County Waterford, will be allotted by his Department and if he will take steps to speed up the division of this estate.
Mr. Blowick: It is assumed that the Deputy refers to an area of about 55 acres in the townland of Glennawillin, which, with an adjoining river embankment, is in the hands of the Land Commission. It is not at present possible to say when these lands will be allotted.
Mr. M. O'Reilly: asked the Minister for Lands whether he has under consideration the acquisition of the lands held by the Church of Ireland Representative Body at Patrickstown and Bellview, between Oldcastle and Kells, County Meath, for the relief of local congestion; and, if so, when a decision is likely to be reached in the matter.
Mr. Hilliard: asked the Minister for Lands if he will state whether the Land Commission has now any proceedings pending for the acquisition and division of the Rotheram estate, comprising 680 acres, at Bellview and Patrickstown, near Oldcastle, County Meath, and whether any of the initial proceedings have been taken to acquire the estate.
Mr. Blowick: I propose to take together Questions Nos. 12 and 13, which relate to the same lands.
As I indicated in reply to Deputy Con Lehane's question of 15th of last month, the Land Commission have no proceedings for the acquisition of these lands. The representations in regard thereto have been noted for consideration.
Mr. M. O'Reilly: asked the Minister for Lands whether any decision has been taken to provide a pump at the deep well sunk some years ago on the Rotheram estate, near Oldcastle, County Meath, and, if so, when the work is likely to commence.
Mr. Blowick: A pump will be erected as soon as the well has been sunk to a depth which will ensure an adequate supply of water fit for domestic consumption. It is hoped to complete the work this summer.
Mr. P.D. Lehane: asked the Minister for Lands if he will state the amount of the first estimate received by his Department for the reclamation scheme at Minane Bridge, County Cork, and the amount of the subsequent estimates.
Mr. Blowick: The proposals under consideration in this matter involve many engineering difficulties. The technical examination of these proposals is still proceeding and until this examination is completed it will not be possible to arrive at a firm estimate of cost. Estimates naturally depend upon the particular work to be done and upon the wages and costs prevailing at the moment of estimating, and I see nothing to be gained by my quoting to the Deputy figures described as first and subsequent estimates. What is important is the final estimate and that is not yet available.
Mr. P.D. Lehane: asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs if he is aware that there is great need for a telephone kiosk at Douglas, County Cork; and,  if so, whether he will take steps to ensure that one is provided there without delay.
Minister for Posts and Telegraphs (Mr. Everett): Provision has been made in the current year's engineering programme for the erection of a kiosk in this area, and it is hoped to do this work within the next four months.
Mr. Keane: asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs if he will consider having a telephone kiosk erected at Mitchelstown during the present financial year.
Mr. Everett: The provision of a telephone kiosk at Mitchelstown is included in the programme for the current financial year.
Donnchadh Ó Briain: asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs whether he will consider having a public telephone installed at Kildimo Post Office in the near future.
Mr. Everett: A public telephone call office will be installed at Kildimo Post Office as part of the Department's scheme to provide a public telephone at every post office which has not this facility. Owing, however, to heavy arrears of other construction work—particularly the clearance of waiting applications for telephone service—it has been necessary to suspend work on the call office programme for the present, and it will therefore be some time before a public telephone can be provided at Kildimo Post Office.
Donnchadh Ó Briain: What does “some time” mean? Does it mean three, six or 12 months?
Mr. Everett: It means by the time that we have all the arrears in connection with the telephone work completed. It will probably be January. We hope to have the arrears, which number 10,000, cleared off by then.
Mr. P.D. Lehane: asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs if he will state whether he will consider arranging for a series of broadcasts on  agricultural topics to be given from Radio Éireann in the near future.
Mr. Everett: At present, besides the usual weekly feature on gardening, the station is running a fortnightly series entitled “Talks for Farmers”, which will continue up to the end of August. Further talks on farming problems, afforestation, agricultural shows, etc., are in course of preparation.
It has always been the aim of the Director of Broadcasting to provide for agricultural talks and no effort is spared to serve the farming community in this respect.
Mr. Timoney: asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs if he is aware that in some post offices in Ireland night telephone attendants with seven years' service work seven nights per week, involving a total of 66½ hours duty for a weekly wage of £3 6s. 6d.; that they are allowed only seven days' annual leave and get no extra pay for bank holiday work; and, if so, whether he will take steps to improve the conditions of these officers.
Mr. Everett: There is one case where the pay and hours of attendance of a night telephone attendant are as stated in the question. The hourly rates of pay for telephone attendants are uniform throughout the country. Having regard to the light nature of the duties required, they compare reasonably with the rates of pay now existing in the post office. So far as attendance on public holidays is concerned, the officer is treated in accordance with the provisions of the Holidays (Employees) Act; he gets seven days' annual leave and is entitled either to a day in lieu or to one-fourth extra pay.
The attendance of the officer covered by the question is non-wakeful, that is to say, the volume of night telephone traffic is small and he is provided with sleeping accommodation.
Captain Giles: asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs if he is aware  that the postal delivery in the Moylough, Oldcastle area of County Meath, is entirely inadequate; and, if so, whether he will ensure that this area is provided with a daily postal service as soon as possible.
Mr. Everett: I have had the question of affording a daily delivery in the Moylough district, County Meath, carefully examined, but I find that the expense which this would involve would not be justified.
Mr. S. Keane: asked the Minister for Agriculture whether he has received representations in regard to Kildorrery creamery, and whether it is intended to leave this creamery under its present management or to amalgamate it with an adjoining co-operative society creamery, or to have it acquired by the Dairy Disposals Board.
Minister for Agriculture (Mr. Dillon): Kildorrery is the last creamery in Ireland to remain in private ownership, all the rest have been or are in the process of being transferred to co-operative societies.
The question of whether Kildorrery is to change rests entirely in the hands of the suppliers.
There are two alternatives:—
(1) absorption by Mitchelstown Co-operative Society;
(2) continuation of its present status as the private property of the firm of Gates and Company.
Inasmuch as Messrs. Gates and Company have shown themselves to be a public-spirited and honourable company who have dealt fairly with their suppliers, and who on many occasions have exerted themselves to serve their suppliers' interests, and as I believe they will provide in the years to come an especially valuable outlet for fresh cream in the London market, I strongly recommend the suppliers to maintain their existing trade relations with Messrs. Gates at Kildorrery, and I understand that the firm is always ready to discuss with their suppliers  any adjustment of their trade terms so as to ensure that mutual satisfaction will be an enduring feature of their business relations with their Kildorrery suppliers.
Mr. S. Keane: Is the Minister aware that an association called the Kildorrery Milk Suppliers' Association made representations to his predecessor in 1947 to have this creamery acquired?
Mr. Dillon: I believe that that is so.
Mr. S. Keane: Would that representation still stand as an indication of the views of the farmers supplying the Kildorrery creamery?
Mr. Dillon: If I were satisfied that a substantial number of the suppliers of the Kildorrery creamery desired that it should be absorbed by the Mitchelstown Society, I would take steps to ascertain the wishes of the suppliers and whatever the majority of the suppliers to the Kildorrery creamery wish to have done will be done.
Mr. P.D. Lehane: asked the Minister for Agriculture whether he is aware that many farmers who have applied for grants under the farm buildings improvement scheme are anxious to start building at once; and, if so, whether he can say when it will be possible to have the first inspections carried out and authorisation given for proceeding with the works in question.
Mr. Dillon: Inspections under this scheme have had to await certain staff adjustments and arrangements which necessarily have taken some time to complete. In addition it has to be recognised that not much progress under this scheme could in any event have been made so far, on account of the scarcity of building materials. I hope, however, that it will soon be possible to make a start on the inspections.
Mr. Sheridan: asked the Minister for Agriculture if he will state whether the farm improvements scheme will be put  into operation this year; and, if so, what will be the latest date for receiving applications.
Mr. Dillon: The operation of the farm improvements scheme is proceeding as usual in respect of a large number of applications—about 32,000— which were approved last year but the works under which were not completed by the end of March last on account of abnormal conditions prevailing during 1947.
It will take some considerable time before this large arrear can be overtaken and until that stage is reached I do not propose to invite fresh applications.
Mr. Halliden: asked the Minister for Agriculture if he will state the quantity of farmers' butter in cold storage at present and also the manner in which it is intended to dispose of it.
Mr. Corry: asked the Minister for Agriculture if he will state (1) the quantity of farmers' butter purchased by his Department from the date on which a subsidy was first paid to the date on which it was withdrawn; (2) the quantity of this butter which was found unfit for human consumption during the period in question; (3) the quantity resold for use other than human consumption; (4) the quantity which had to be destroyed, and (5) the total loss sustained by his Department on this butter.
Mr. Dillon: I propose with your permission, a Chinn Chomhairle, to take Questions Nos. 25 and 26 together. The total quantity of farmers' butter purchased by the Butter Marketing Committee during the period referred to was 16,427 cwt. The quantity found to be unsuitable for household use was 2,833 cwt., of which 695 cwt. was resold for manufacturing purposes. None of the butter has been destroyed. The manner of disposal of the remaining 2,138 cwt. of butter at present in cold store is under consideration and, until such time as a decision has been reached, it is not possible to say what loss will be incurred.
Mr. O'Grady: asked the Minister for Agriculture if he will state whether it is proposed to provide farmers with (a) free grants and/or (b) loans free of interest to enable them to purchase tractors and ancillary equipment.
Mr. Dillon: No.
Mr. Palmer: asked the Minister for Finance if he is aware: (a) that serious flooding frequently occurs along the River Flesk, County Kerry, between Loo Bridge Railway Station and Brewsterfield Bridge, a distance of about five miles, causing great damage to crops in the area and rendering large tracts of land marshy and unfit for cultivation; (b) that as a result of this flooding the Cork-Killarney main road is often impassable and a danger to pedestrian and vehicular traffic: and (c) that consequently there is an urgent necessity for carrying out a drainage scheme in the area; and, if so, whether he will sanction such a scheme as soon as possible.
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Finance (Mr. Donnellan): Drainage improvement works in the area to which the Deputy refers would be considered by the Commissioners of Public Works only as part of a comprehensive scheme under the Arterial Drainage Act, 1945, for the River Laune catchment area as a whole. It is not possible to say when such a scheme may be undertaken.
Mr. Sheridan: asked the Minister for Finance if he will state when the drainage of the River Erne will be commenced and, in particular, that of the Gowna catchment area which is liable to serious flooding.
Mr. Donnellan: Drainage improvement works under the Arterial Drainage Act, 1945, in the Gowna area would be undertaken by the Commissioners of Public Works only as part of a comprehensive drainage scheme for the River Erne catchment as a whole. It is not possible to say when the Ernecatchment  can be reached in the arterial drainage programme.
Captain Cowan: asked the Minister for Justice if he will consider the introduction of legislation to make available for affected tenants the evidence of the valuers appointed under the Rent Restrictions Act, 1946, in court cases arising for judicial determination under the provisions of the said Act.
Minister for Justice (General MacEoin): I am not prepared to consider a proposal to amend the Rent Restrictions Act, 1946, on the lines suggested by the Deputy.
Captain Cowan: asked the Minister for Justice if he will state (a) how many applications under Part III of the Rent Restrictions Act, 1946, have been made since the 1st November, 1947, in the County Borough of Dublin and the Borough of Dun Laoghaire; (b) how many have been dealt with by his Department; (c) what staff have been appointed to assist the district justice in the consideration of these applications; and (d) how many valuers are at the disposal of the district justice, and whether the Minister is satisfied that the district justice has ample clerical staff and valuers to deal with the volume of applications to be dealt with by him under this Act.
General MacEoin: Up to and including Saturday, the 22nd May, 973 applications for provisional orders under Part III of the Rent Restrictions Act, 1946, have been received in the Dublin Metropolitan District Court. These include applications from the Borough of Dun Laoghaire. The number of cases disposed of by the district justice assigned to the work totals 422, provisional orders having been made in 315 cases and 107 applications having been dismissed. In addition, 53 cases are ripe for decision and may be expected to be dealt with by the justice in the course of the next day or so, if, in fact, they have not already been dealt with.
 Applications by landlords under Section 31 of the Act for the revocation or modification of provisional orders total 80 to date, of which 64 have been dealt with and 16 stand adjourned.
As regards staff, on the clerical side, one senior District Court clerk and one junior clerk have been assigned to the work, while, on the technical side, one District Court valuer has been appointed pursuant to Section 35 of the Act to assist the justice.
I am disposed to regard the working of Part III of the Act which, as the Deputy is doubtless aware, introduced a wholly novel scheme, as being still in the experimental stage, and I think that it is altogether too soon to attempt to form any definite view as to what the ultimate staff requirements may be. I may say, however, that I consider that the existing staff is reasonably adequate for the work but, saying this, I do not wish to be taken as ruling out any possibility of an increase in the staff if and when I am satisfied that such an increase would be warranted. In this connection I may, perhaps, mention that the whole question is kept under constant review in my Department.
Captain Cowan: asked the Minister for Justice if he will state what rewards, if any, were made to Gardaí Stapleton and McCauley, who were instrumental in securing the capture of the men involved in the Drumcondra bank raid in September, 1946; and whether, in view of the devotion to duty at the risk of their lives shown by these men, he will now afford them an adequate measure of official recognition and appreciation.
General MacEoin: Garda Stapleton was awarded £10 and was complimented for bravery. Garda McCauley was awarded £10 and a favourable record. These awards were made by the Reward Board, with the approval of the Commissioner.
Captain Cowan: asked the Minister for Defence if he will state (a) how many pints of milk are conveyed daily  from Edenderry to Mullingar for the military garrison stationed there; (b) what is the horse-power of the military vehicle used to carry this milk; (c) how many journeys are done each day for the purpose; (d) how many military personnel are employed to carry the milk; (e) what is the daily cost of the milk and the daily all-in cost of transporting it to Mullingar, including cost of petrol, pay and allowances, etc., of personnel, depreciation etc. and (f) how long has this practice been in operation.
Minister for Defence (Dr. O'Higgins): As tenders could not be obtained from local suppliers for milk for Mullingar Military Barracks it has been necessary since June, 1947, to obtain milk from the premises in Edenderry of the only firm—a Dublin one—which was prepared to supply. A 28 horse-power military vehicle, on which only the driver is employed, is used to convey 56 pints of milk once each day, except Sundays and Army holidays, from Edenderry to Mullingar. The daily cost of the milk is 12/10 or 2¾d. per pint, and the daily all-in cost of transport including the factors mentioned by the Deputy is 10/11 or an average of 2 19/56d. per pint.
Mr. P.J. Burke: asked the Minister for Defence whether he is aware that there are some members of the Roger Casement Brigade, I.R.A., in County Dublin who have not received any official recognition for services rendered in the brigade; and, if so, whether he will consider the introduction of legislation to enable such persons to obtain pensions.
Dr. O'Higgins: I am aware that service in the Roger Casement Brigade, I.R.A., was not reckonable for purposes of pension under the Military Service Pensions Act, 1934. I am, however, examining the position.
Captain Cowan: asked the Minister for Defence if he will state the number of auctions of military vehicles and materials held during the four years  ending 31st March, 1948, and if he will indicate in respect of each such auction (a) the total purchase moneys received; (b) the total amount in respect of auctioneers' commission at 5 per cent. received from the purchasers; (c) the amount of auctioneers' commission actually paid to the auctioneer, and (d) the percentage of the purchase moneys actually paid to the auctioneer as commission.
Dr. O'Higgins: The number of auctions of military vehicles and materials held during the four years ended on the 31st March, 1948, was 40. The total purchase money received was £236,649 3s. 10d. and the total amount of auctioneers' commission at 5 per cent. paid by the purchasers was £11,832 9s. 6d. Owing to the administrative trouble involved it is regretted that the totals in respect of each auction cannot be supplied. It is not in the public interest to disclose the remaining information requested by the Deputy.
It can be stated, however, that the percentage of commission received by the auctioneers varies in almost every case and was in all cases less than 5 per cent. In this regard it must be borne in mind that my Department bears the cost of advertising, lotting the goods, and the auctioneers' duties consist merely of carrying out the auction.
Captain Cowan: Will the Minister say if, in fact, in some cases it was less than 1 per cent. that the auctioneers agreed to accept?
Dr. O'Higgins: I have already told the Deputy that it was less than 5 per cent. If he wants me to go further, I will say that in some cases it was considerably less than 5 per cent.
Captain Cowan: Less than 1 per cent.
Mr. M. O'Higgins: Is the Minister aware that in all cases the cost of advertising is borne by the vendor?
Dr. O'Higgins: In the case of Army auctions, advertising is borne by the State.
Mr. Dunne: asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he is aware  that workers in Clondalkin, Drimnagh and Killeen Paper Mills are at present on short-time and if he can say whether this situation is due or attributable to the importation of paper.
Minister for Industry and Commerce (Mr. Morrissey): It was recently reported to my Department that because of a falling off in orders for paper, the Drimnagh and Killeen Paper Mills might have to resort to short-time working, but I have no information as to the extent to which this was found necessary. I am not aware of any short-time working at Clondalkin Paper Mills. I cannot say whether short-time working at Irish paper mills can be attributed to the importation of paper, but I do not think it likely.
Mr. Dunne: Would the Minister consider making inquiries into the position with a view to discovering whether this short time definitely can be attributable to imports of foreign paper or not?
Mr. Morrissey: I can tell the Deputy that the imports are not as high as pre-war imports, but that in fact production at the Irish mills is greater than it was in pre-war days.
Mr. Dunne: asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he is aware of the great hardship which will be caused to suburban workers travelling to and from their places of employment in the Dublin City area as a result of the seasonal influx of visitors and holiday makers; further, if he will consider recommending to Córas Iompair Éireann the need for instituting a scheme of priority travelling rights for such workers by means of special ticket issues or other methods.
Mr. Morrissey: I sympathise with the object the Deputy has in view, but I am afraid that the scheme he suggests would be impracticable. It is expected that relief will be afforded by the improved provision for city traffic which Córas Iompair Éireann hope to make this summer with the new omnibuses which are being brought into service.
Mr. McAuliffe: asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he will consider directing Córas Iompair Éireann to reopen the branch railway lines from Cork to Macroom, and from Banteer to Kanturk and Newmarket, County Cork.
Mr. Desmond: asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he will consider directing Córas Iompair Éireann to reopen the Courtmacsherry branch railway line for general traffic.
Mr. Morrissey: With your permission, a Chinn Chomhairle, I propose to take Questions Nos. 38 and 41 together.
I would refer the Deputies to replies which I gave in Dáil Éireann on the 12th May to questions regarding the reopening of branch railway lines which were closed early in 1947 on account of the shortage of fuel. The proposals which I have received from Córas Iompair Éireann concerning the transport services they provide are being examined, and, though this examination will be expedited as much as possible, it will take some time to complete in view of the magnitude of the problems involved.
Mrs. Ryan: asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he will consider directing Córas Iompair Éireann to provide a bus service between Newport and Limerick, leaving Newport each morning at 8.30 a.m., to facilitate business people and school children.
Mr. P. Burke: asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce whether he is aware that the bus service in the early morning from Dublin to Ashbourne, via Finglas, is inadequate; and, if so, whether he will consider directing Córas Iompair Éireann to provide a better early morning service on this route.
Mr. Morrissey: With your permission, I propose to take Questions Nos. 39 and 42 together.
I am informed by Córas Iompair  Éireann that these and other proposals for additional bus services will be considered as soon as there has been an improvement in the supply of vehicles and of fuel oil.
Mr. Palmer: asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he will consider directing Córas Iompair Éireann to provide a mid-day train from Caherciveen, as in pre-war days, so as to connect at Farranfore with the 2.15 train now about to be run from Tralee.
Mr. Morrissey: I am making inquiries from Córas Iompair Éireann in regard to the transport facilities in this area and I hope to be in a position to furnish a reply in two weeks' time if the Deputy will then repeat his question.
Mr. Desmond: asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if in the event of trade talks taking place with Great Britain in the near future he will urge the desirability and necessity of making available as a matter of urgency to Ireland a sufficient supply of water piping to enable local authorities to proceed immediately with public utility schemes for the provision of piped water supplies throughout the country.
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry and Commerce (Mr. Cosgrave): The answer is in the affirmative.
Mr. Halliden: asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce whether he is aware that in bog areas many farmers with small holdings, as well as many cottiers, engage privately each year in the production of hand-won turf for which they find a favourable market and that such parties are not eligible for the special grants allocated to county councils to provide alternative employment for bog workers employed by those councils during the emergency; and, if so, whether he will make arrangements whereby petrol will be supplied to lorry owners for the transport  of such turf even though these lorry owners may not possess a merchandise licence.
Mr. Cosgrave: The answer is in the affirmative.
Mr. P.J. Burke: asked the Minister for Local Government if he will state what arrangements have been made for the provision of up-to-date public conveniences, shelters, seats and water fountains in Howth.
Minister for Local Government (Mr. Murphy): All these matters are primarily the responsibility of the Dublin Corporation. I am informed that arrangements have been made with the Great Northern Railway Company to take over a convenience at Howth Summit which will be reopened to the public this week; that it is proposed to erect a new convenience at Claremont; and that the question of providing a further convenience at the East Pier is being considered.
No representations have been received by the corporation as to the need for the provision of shelters in the area.
I am also informed that, as soon as materials are available, three seats will be provided in the vicinity of Sutton Cross, one at Strand Road, one at Corr Bridge and four on the East Pier.
In regard to water fountains, I am informed that no recent representations have been received by the corporation.
Mr. P.J. Burke: Is the Minister aware that representations have been made repeatedly on these matters and is the Minister further aware that from 30,000 to 40,000 people go out to Howth? I would like the Minister to make further representations to the corporation to have this work carried out, as it is very badly needed in that particular area.
Mr. Murphy: Do I understand the Deputy to suggest that representations have been made repeatedly to the Department on the matter?
Mr. P.J. Burke: No; to the Dublin Corporation.
Mr. Murphy: I have no information on that point but, certainly, I will make inquiries in the matter.
Mr. P.J. Burke: asked the Minister for Local Government if he will state when a playground will be provided for the 600 children of Howth.
Mr. Murphy: There are no proposals before my Department in regard to this matter.
I understand that representations were made to the Dublin Corporation some time ago for the provision of a children's playground at Howth, but it was considered that, in view of the open nature of the district and the natural amenities already available, the provision of further facilities of this kind was not urgent.
Mr. P.J. Burke: In Howth the children have no place to play except the roadside. Is the Minister aware that children have been brought to court very often for going into fields there to play? I would ask the Minister at least to recommend to the corporation that they should implement the section of the Police Act dealing with public parks.
Mr. Murphy: May I suggest to the Deputy that representations should be made by the parties interested in the first instance to the corporation? I would be prepared to co-operate in pursuing the inquiries if they are made in that way.
Mr. Dunne: asked the Minister for Local Government if he is aware of the fact that the operation of the Town and Regional Planning Act, 1934, in relation to County Dublin is in a number of respects proving an obstacle to house building; further, if in view of the present critical housing position he will consider revoking this Act in so far as County Dublin is concerned.
Mr. Murphy: The Planning Acts, properly administered, should facilitate orderly development. If there are instances in which the solution of the  housing problem in Dublin County is impeded by planning decisions I am prepared to examine them, but I am not yet satisfied that it would be in the public interest to submit proposals to the Oireachtas to repeal the Acts or to suspend their operation.
Mr. J. Timoney: asked the Minister for Local Government if he will state the reasons for the delay in commencing work on the housing scheme at Cappawhite, County Tipperary, and when the work in question is likely to commence.
Mr. Murphy: I do not find that there has been any undue delay in dealing with this scheme. Sites were acquired in the latter part of 1947 for a scheme of ten houses in Cappawhite. Contract documents were submitted to the Department and approved in February of this year. The issue of advertisements for tenders had to be postponed for a short time owing to difficulties in getting possession of the sites. The scheme was, however, advertised on the 12th May, the closing date for submission of tenders being the 22nd June. Until tenders have been received and considered, no forecast can be given of the probable date of commencement of work on the scheme.
Mr. P.J. Burke: asked the Minister for Local Government if he will state the estimated number of houses which will be built by the Dublin Corporation in Howth and Sutton during the coming year, and what arrangements have been made to date in regard to this work.
Mr. Murphy: A scheme for the provision of over 80 houses for the HowthSutton area is at present in course of formulation, but, as the Deputy will understand, I cannot at this stage say whether any of these houses will be completed during the coming 12 months.
Captain Cowan: asked the Minister for Local Government if he will state  what steps are being taken to provide employment in the Ballymore area of County Westmeath for persons disemployed through the cessation of the hand-won turf scheme.
Mr. Murphy: A grant of £7,000 subject to a local contribution of £2,333 was offered to and accepted by Westmeath County Council to provide employment for displaced turf-workers in the county. The council have unanimously decided to distribute the allocation over the 46 sections of county roads in proportion to the amount allowed by the council for maintenance during the current year. I understand that this provision includes the expenditure of approximately £440 in the Ballymore area and its environs.
Mr. P.J. Burke: asked the Minister for Local Government if he is aware that road workers in County Dublin are not yet receiving the benefits of the Local Government (Superannuation) Act, 1947; and, if so, whether it is intended to have the benefits of this Act extended to these workers at an early date.
Mr. Murphy: The adoption of Part III of the Act which relates to the superannuation of established servants is a matter for the local authority. I understand that the Commissioner for Dublin County Council has the matter under consideration.
Mr. P.J. Burke: Is the Minister aware that a number of those road men will be laid off work in the near future? I would like him to have the investigation of this matter expedited.
Mr. Murphy: I think the Deputy will understand that this Act is one which gives the county council discretion to adopt it or not and, because of that fact, I have no power to order the local authority to adopt the Act. I suggest that the cases the Deputy has in mind should be brought to the notice of the Commissioner for Dublin County and I am sure he will be able to deal with that matter in a sympathetic way.
Mr. Dunne: In view of the fact that we have not in Dublin County any democratically elected local body, but rather a county commissioner in whom all local power is concentrated, will the Minister not direct the county commissioner to take steps at the earliest possible date to bring the provisions of this Act into operation in relation to the road workers of County Dublin? Further, is the Minister yet in a position to indicate to the House whether or not the 40 men who were dismissed by Dublin County Council in 1946, after giving 50 years' service to the county council, will be covered by this Act by means of amendment at an early date?
Mr. Murphy: May I take the latter part of the Deputy's supplementary question first and suggest to him that it would be hardly fair to expect me to give an immediate answer to a question of that kind? The answer would depend on very many circumstances, particulars of which I have not got at the moment. The Deputy is, I know, aware that it is the present Local Government policy to restore the Dublin County Council as soon as possible and, for certain, this year. In the meantime, the views expressed in the Deputy's question will be conveyed to the commissioner and if there are any questions of urgency his special attention will be directed to them and also to the other matters that have been mentioned.
Donnchadh Ó Briain: asked the Minister for Local Government if he will state the reasons for the delay by his Department in sanctioning the proposals submitted by the Limerick County Council for the extension of the sewerage and the water supply from Newcastle West to Knockane.
Mr. Murphy: Documents in relation to proposed extensions of the Newcastle West water supply and sewerage services to Knockane and other areas have been approved, subject to certain minor amendments which have been communicated to the local authority. There was no undue delay in dealing with this matter in the Department.
Captain Cowan: asked the Minister for Local Government whether he is aware that the ferry service operated by the Dublin Corporation from North Wall to Ringsend is of an unsatisfactory nature; that the boat engines are bad and that, as a result, workers who have to use the service are late frequently; that the protection in the boats against rain is inadequate and that there are no shelters at the termini; and, if so, whether he will take appropriate action to see that these matters are remedied at an early date.
Mr. Murphy: I am aware that this service is unsatisfactory in certain respects and that the corporation have been considering means of improving it. I shall bring the matters complained of to the notice of the corporation who will, I am sure, do what is possible to remedy them.
Captain Cowan: Would the Minister ask the corporation to deal with it as a matter of urgency?
Mr. Murphy: Yes.
Seán Ó Grádaigh: asked the Minister for Local Government if he will state the reasons for refusing road grants to Kilrush and other urban councils; and whether he intends taking the necessary steps in the near future to ensure that urban councils can obtain the benefit of such grants equally with county councils.
Mr. Murphy: As a rule, grants are not made available from the Road Fund to urban district councils unless the urban authority is responsible for the upkeep of main roads in the district. In view of the heavy commitments of the Road Fund, it is not possible to depart from this rule.
Mr. Brady: asked the Minister for Health if he will state the reasons for the delay in carrying out the necessary alterations in the former industrial school at Killybegs, County Donegal,  which has been taken over for use as a sanatorium, and if, in view of the urgent need of providing beds for tuberculosis patients in County Donegal, he will take steps to expedite the proposed work so that the building will be ready for occupation as soon as possible.
Minister for Health (Dr. Browne): There has been no avoidable delay in my Department in dealing with this matter, and all possible steps will be taken to have the former industrial school occupied by tuberculosis sufferers as quickly as possible. Plans, prepared after discussion between officers of the local authority and of my Department, have been approved, and the next action in this regard lies with the local authority. I am still awaiting the local authority's proposals for the heating and mechanical services.
Mr. McGrath: asked the Minister for Health if he will state whether local health authorities are liable for the cost of streptomycin treatment administered to patients who are otherwise being maintained by them in a voluntary hospital; and, if so, whether the local health authority will be recouped for cost of such treatment by his Department.
Dr. Browne: Local authorities were informed on the 15th November that they may pay the actual cost of streptomycin up to ten grammes per patient, or in excess of ten grammes per patient where approved by the Medical Research Council. This charge is additional to the capitation charge payable in respect of patients sent by local authorities for treatment in voluntary hospitals and sanatoria.
The cost of such streptomycin will rank for recoupment from the Health Services Grant.
Mr. Kitt: asked the Minister for Health if, in view of the claims made for the efficacy of an African drug called umckaloabo in the treatment of tuberculosis, he will state whether this drug has been examined and found  efficacious; and, if so, whether he will consider making it available free of cost to the victims of the disease in this country.
Dr. Browne: The properties of umckaloabo were considered by research workers engaged on the chemotherapy of tuberculosis under a grant now payable to the Medical Research Council out of the Hospitals Trust Fund.
The drug was considered to be of no value in the treatment of tuberculosis. Accordingly, the Deputy will agree that there is no point in making the drug available.
Mr. Kitt: Is the Minister aware that in the book Burma Surgeon Returns, written by a member of his own profession, Gordon S. Seagraves, M.D., extraordinary testimony is given to the efficacy of this drug when used for the treatment of tuberculosis amongst German prisoners of war in Burma during the last war?
Dr. Browne: I am aware that various claims have been made for the powers of this drug in the treatment of tuberculosis over a number of years, both by qualified and unqualified practitioners; but I am quite certain in my own mind, as a result of investigations carried out by qualified scientists, that this drug is quite useless as a specific drug in the treatment of tuberculosis.
The Taoiseach: Business will be taken in the following order:—Nos. 4, 2, 5 and 6. In No. 6 are the Votes for the Departments of Education and Lands—Votes 45 to 54. If it is not already reached, it is proposed to take No. 5 at 8 o'clock.
Mr. Corry: What about No. 3? Will I get time for No. 3 to-day?
The Taoiseach: No, not this week. I conveyed that information to the Deputy this morning through the Parliamentary Secretary. It had been anticipated that the Budget business would be over last week but, as it was  not, the Deputy must give way to the more urgent Budget financial business.
Mr. Corry: It would take only five minutes.
The Taoiseach: The Deputy is optimistic.
Mr. Corry: It could not take more than ten minutes.
The Taoiseach: It could take ten minutes.
An Ceann Comhairle: It cannot take any to-day, Deputy.
The Dáil went into Committee on Finance and resumed consideration of Financial Resolutions.
Question again proposed:—
That it is expedient to amend the law relating to customs and inland revenue (including excise) and to make further provision in connection with finance—(Minister for Finance).
Mr. Colley: When we adjourned on Thursday night I was dealing with the question of catering establishments and hotels. These concerns will in future pay the full retail price for rationed goods. It is claimed that this measure will not result in any increase in price to the consumer. That may be so in regard to the larger hotels. However, as regards the ordinary restaurants which the ordinary worker in Dublin patronises for his lunch, where the prices are already pinned down to the lowest level possible, it is extremely likely—in fact it is certain— that the increase will be passed on to the consumer. In the very poor type of workers' restaurants around such places as Parnell Street, Summerhill and Marlborough Street, there will definitely have to be an increase and, as a result, this item in the Budget will work out as an increase in the fundamental items of food for the very poorest section of the community.
The Minister, in introducing his  Budget and referring to the increase in petrol, prefaced his remarks by referring to the number of new cars that had been taxed during the past 12 months. We all know that the increase in the number of cars was due to the fact that cars could not be replaced during the emergency. I think the Minister will find that a very large percentage of those new registrations are for commercial vehicles. This tax on petrol means, therefore, a tax on trade.
Mr. S. Collins: Is the Deputy serious?
Mr. T.F. O'Higgins (Junior): What about all the cars going to the races?
Mr. Colley: The number of miles travelled for pleasure purposes nowadays is infinitesimal. Already one firm in Dublin is threatening to make a charge for delivery. Undoubtedly we shall have an increase in transport charges. The Minister will be driven into the position of allowing it, after a short period of time. That, too, works out as an increase in the cost of living for the ordinary worker in Dublin. This increase in the price of petrol will also probably affect the price of milk in Dublin. The greater part of the milk supplied to Dublin is delivered by motor lorry, and when the price comes to be settled again, the increase in the price of petrol will have its affect by raising the price of milk. The most necessary food in the life of a child will under this paternal Budget be taxed.
So far, as a result of the Government's policy, large-scale unemployment has occurred. Week by week the figures show an increase in unemployment of somewhere around 7,000 on the figures for the corresponding period last year, that is, an increase of roughly 10 per cent. This is the work of a Coalition Government which set out to stop emigration. As far as I can see, they are making the road easy for emigration instead of doing otherwise. Some years ago there were great lamentations from the Labour benches about the emigration from the country, which at that time was due absolutely  to lack of materials during the emergency. To judge by these lamentations one would really have believed that the Labour Party had a cure for emigration. To-day, however, materials are not nearly in such short supply, but, due to other actions, unemployment is increasing and emigration is very likely increasing too.
During the election the Minister for Social Welfare gave us to understand that he had a cure for it. But, when he gets the responsibility, it turns out that he has no cure, except to pass it on to a commission to find out the causes. During the election he had no doubt that it was all due to the misgovernment of Fianna Fáil, but some weeks later he had grave doubts and he had to set up a commission to find out the causes.
Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. Norton): Did you people try to set up a commission? Do you not know that you did and then ran away from it?
An Ceann Comhairle: The Deputy need not heed interruptions.
Mr. Norton: I am trying to help.
Mr. Colley: Owing to this policy of the Government one very grievous thing is happening. For years we have been spending money on scholarships to send young brainy lads to the university. For a number of years most of those who have taken engineering and science degrees have been finding employment at home. Now, owing to this policy of cutting out the air services and other services which were started under the Fianna Fáil Government, a number of those young men are finding it necessary to emigrate. There is no work at home for them, so that all the public money that has been spent on their education is lost to this country, to say nothing of the other results of emigration. The Government seem to be going out of their way to bring about such results as that.
When one recalls the various motions put forward by members of the Government and their followers when they sat on the Opposition Benches for remedying a number of existing grievances, one is terribly surprised that the  Budget does not attempt to deal with one of them. We know how the Minister for Finance raved about the injustice under which the teachers were suffering. We know that the threeyear period attached to the teachers' agreement by the Fianna Fáil Government was regarded as outrageous. The Minister has now power to remedy that, but he has not taken one step to bring that remedy about one hour earlier than it would have been brought about by the Fianna Fáil Government. Then we had motions for increased personal allowances and children's allowances under the income-tax code. There is no sign of any such reliefs in the Budget. Various other matters were enumerated here by Deputy Brady the other night. No relief in respect of any one of them has been given under this Budget.
The comparatively small sum of £85,000 for mineral exploration has also been cut out. If there was one thing on which there seemed to be general agreement hitherto it was that we should spend some money on mineral exploration to see if the mineral deposits in this country were worth developing. When the Bill dealing with that matter was before the House last year I do not think there was any voice raised against it. But not one penny has been provided for the work. Judging by the way the other schemes which were attempted to be developed by the Fianna Fáil Government have been cut out or cut down, there is, perhaps, a bit of consistency about cutting out mineral exploration, in spite of the fact that Labour and Clann na Poblachta Deputies have objected to that. If this mineral exploration did reveal a valuable deposit, it is very possible that the Minister would say: “You could not go ahead with that because there is no guarantee that it will pay a dividend the first year,” just as he said about the air service, so that perhaps he is consistent in that. I think Labour and Clann na Poblachta Deputies ought to waken up to the fact that there is going to be no progress whatever, that they are going to have no chance whatever of carrying out the  policies which they set before the people.
Under this Budget, the cost of living will be increased. The price of certain foods will certainly be increased. The imposition of certain taxes will lead to an increase in the price of certain foods. But the drink trade, the one trade that statistics show was increasing every day and was able to bear further taxation, is the one that was picked out for special treatment and the duties that were put on under the Supplementary Budget were taken off. It is extraordinary that that one trade should get such exceptional treatment. The Minister quoted certain figures for the last few months to show why he was taking off these duties. Everyone was aware, however, that there was a complete hold-up in that trade during those few months because of the definite promise that these duties would be remitted. These are not the months that should be taken. If one takes the figures from 1942 on, or even from 1939, one can see the continuous increase in sales. The increased prices given for public-houses during that period show that the trade was booming. But that trade was deliberately given special treatment although, no matter how one looks at it, it seemed to be able to bear increased taxation more than any other trade. As far as I can calculate it, the old age pensioners are to get about £3 per head extra this year. That will work out at something over 1/- a week. It is based on the fact that we have about 150,000 pensioners, that a sum of £600,000 is being provided this year, a provision which makes allowance for some increase also in the case of widows' and orphans' pensions. The Labour Deputies and the Clann na Poblachta people have been telling us all through the years how we had been neglecting the old age pensioners. They told us last year that we were not giving them near sufficient, even though we provided £2,000,000 for social services and £1,000,000 for old age pensioners. We did that without asking for any increased contributions from those who subscribe to the various funds which make provision for social services. Yet these same Deputies seem  very pleased to-day that the old age pensioners are now to get something over 1/- a week more than they had been getting.
Minister for Finance (Mr. McGilligan): The Deputy voted against such a motion last October.
Mr. Colley: But that will be paid by subscribers to the social service funds. Out of those funds the Minister is going to provide £350,000 for the Exchequer instead of something for the old age pensioners.
The whole policy behind the Budget seems to be to stop any progress whatever—that we are too poor to attempt to do anything. That is much the same type of mind we on this side met with years ago when we attempted to do something in the way of bringing freedom to this country—that we were too weak to do anything. We met with that type of mind over and over again. Now, we are too weak to defend the country or to develop it. We will never be anything else unless some type of mind comes along and takes some chances. Personally, I cannot see the reason for that at all. Judging by what I know of other countries, we here are in as good a position to advance as any other country in the world. I am not satisfied at all that there are any good grounds financially for stopping development, but that seems to be the whole policy behind the Budget.
The figure of £1,250,000 has been mentioned in connection with further economies about which we have got no information. A policy of that kind may mean further unemployment when it is put into operation, and it is very likely that it will. The Minister is one who has never worried about unemployment, and his whole career shows that. It never worried him that anybody was thrown out of work. I hope I am wrong in that, because none of us want to see that. I hope, if it does happen, that the Labour people will show some more strength than they have shown up to the present about that sort of thing. That policy, if it is developed, will leave this country absolutely impoverished. We cannot stand still. We must go forward or else  we will go backward, and we are definitely going back, I think. As I say, it will leave the country very impoverished, but I hope that such a policy will not have gone too far by the time some other Government will have a chance of rectifying it.
We have been told from the Government Benches that the people are well satisfied with this Budget. Deputy Cowan was one of those who told us that. Just a few hours before he mentioned it, I had been speaking to a constituent of his and of mine, to a man who has never been a supporter of Fianna Fáil. He described the mentality behind the Budget in this way. He said:—
“The mind behind it is the mind of a man who looks at the flag floating over Government Buildings and says what use is that; it cost 2/6 a yard; it is sheer waste, take it down.”
I leave it to the House at that.
Deputy Connolly rose.
An Ceann Comhairle: The Deputy has already participated in this debate.
Mr. Connolly: I moved to report progress.
An Ceann Comhairle: The Deputy did, but he was not here the next day.
Mr. Childers: I do not want to keep the House too long on the Budget at this stage, but I would like to suggest to the House that when we are considering this first inter-Party Budget we have at the same time to think of the future working of democracy in this country. The problem for the present Government is to make one policy out of 12 effective. I should like to emphasise that point. There are some half-dozen Parties forming the Government. Each one of them at the general election proposed its own special policy, it made recommendations as to what it proposed to do in the industrial, agricultural, social and educational fields and, at the same time, it left in considerable doubt, as far as the electors were concerned, what compromise it was prepared to make if it took  part in a Coalition. It is no easy task for any Government in any country in the world, no matter how many years that country has had its independence, to turn 12 policies into one, and to produce a policy which the people know is going to be adopted and promulgated for the length of that Government's term of office. It has been tried at various times throughout the whole of Europe. I should like to hear any Deputy on the Government side of the House make a defence, as a whole, of Coalition Government in times of peace. I should like to hear any Deputy on the Government side of the House recite for me the names of democratic countries either with a longer or a shorter term of independence than ours which, in times of peace, have made a success of making one policy out of 12. I say 12 and not six because each Party—at least in the next general election that follows— must have two policies. It must have its own private policy and a policy in the event of a Coalition. At the same time I do not wish to be unfair to the Government. They have been only a short time in office. They can produce one policy out of 12. If it is a good policy, if it works, if it increases agricultural and industrial production, if it gives confidence to the people of this country, they will be congratulated. They will have achieved success where others have failed.
They will find, however, going through the history of democracies in Europe that, for example, Sweden, Norway and Denmark, to take Scandinavia, tried coalitions, but on the whole did not continue them for very long. They even preferred minority Governments, Government where Parties in a minority took all the Ministries and remained in office for a considerable period, with a majority actually in the House against the Parties in power. They will find countries which adopted a coalition policy during the war reverting after the war to a one-Party Government, even although that Party was in a minority. They will find a number of exceptions where Coalition Governments for a short period succeeded admirably, but they will not find  that it is easy to produce one policy out of 12.
In this country, on account of our short period of independence, Government has a profound influence on business and production. At the moment about 20 per cent. of the national income is taken in taxation. Government Orders and Government policy, therefore, have a considerable effect as far as the whole life of the community is concerned. People like to know what policy is going to be in respect of every aspect of Government. They like to know what the policy is going to be about tariffs, about the tillage area, about the improvement of farms, about the amount of money to be made available for certain services. The last Government made its mistakes like other Governments, but we were known to have a certain bias and a certain attitude towards the development of the country. As years went by and even in respect to the economic war and the Great War, the average business man, the average farmer and the average worker knew what our attitude was going to be. He knew we had certain well-conceived prejudices and certain well-conceived ideas. He knew that if we weighed certain things in the balance, we were always likely to put a little bit into the scales on one side or the other. The people of this country knew as far as tariffs and industry were concerned, that we were willing to take risks in assisting suggested new industries and that in reading all the memoranda put forward by the promoters of an industry there was always a little extra to be added to the balance. You could never judge these things purely on business principles, on purely financial principles. After we heard what the promoters had to say about the possibility of a market here, about the likely price of the goods manufactured here, about the employment to be given here, about the technical skill available and all the other factors, the people of this country knew that there was always some little weight to be put on one side or the other.
Mr. S. Collins: That was the political factor.
Mr. Childers: We in Fianna Fáil put the weight on the side of industry, a little extra risk going beyond the sheer ponderables in the situation. The same thing occurred in regard to social services. We on the Fianna Fáil side stood just half-way between the conservative world and the socialist or labour world. The people knew, as the years went by, that we would always take a risk, that we would take a little bit more out of the national pool of production and income if necessary to advance social services. We did advance these services. We advanced expenditure from £4,000,000 to £13,000,000. Labour made the complaint that we did not spend enough. People on the Fine Gael side complained sometimes that we spent too much and sometimes too little. They were divided in their views, but whatever the Labour people had against Fianna Fáil, they knew that the bias on the whole was always in the direction of providing more generous allowances and that our attitude was that there is no harm in taking a little more out of the national pool for social services. This brings stability in time of depression and is justified, because I suppose the majority even of those who might be described as capitalists now agree that the rate of private saving is not nearly sufficient in any industrial community in order to provide for the accidents of life, to provide for sickness and ill-health and all the other eventualities that face a man of small income. Therefore no matter what private enterprise may say, no matter what the taxpayer may say, you have constantly to go in the direction of making adequate provision for social services.
As I have said we, in Fianna Fáil, had that certain bias. The same thing applied to new and entirely speculative enterprises, such as the wireless station, such as air development, such as Irish Shipping Limited. I am very glad that, owing to the war, Irish Shipping Limited managed to develop shipping services for this country and that because of the peculiar circumstances which attended the operation of our new merchant service, they managed as far as I can gather to offset most of  their initial loss. If not, their position would very likely be that of the air company here. If we had not had the war, if we had not the peculiar, the automatic, protection afforded to our merchant service, the little group of ships that now exists might be exactly in the same peril from the action of the Government as the air service— evidence of an annual loss for years to come if the service were continued. Mercifully, as far as I can gather, the shipping service was a success. I have not heard if the Government have in any way inhibited its future activity. I should like to ask the Minister for Finance if there has been any change of policy in regard to Irish Shipping Limited since the election.
Mr. McGilligan: Did you read the Irish Press this morning?
Mr. Childers: I read a certain comment.
Mr. McGilligan: Deputy Lemass seems to have the answer to your question.
Mr. Childers: I am asking the Minister if he will give me an answer.
Mr. McGilligan: My answer would be directly contrary to that of Deputy Lemass. In any event Deputy Lemass is wrong.
Mr. Childers: I am very glad to hear it.
Mr. McGilligan: It is a pity the Deputy spoke before getting that answer.
Mr. Childers: I have indicated the general tendency of Fianna Fáil in regard to Government policy. When we start to examine this Budget in the light of the various policies of the Parties forming the inter-Party Government, we find an element of uncertainty. It would be good for the country if that uncertainty could be removed as soon as possible because, as I have said, Government influences business, influences production, influences industry and influences agriculture. To examine for a moment tendencies in policy, we will take the  attitude of Fine Gael towards the future industry of this country. I do not think I am wrong in saying that that Party has been divided considerably in the past ten years in regard to industry. I have heard Fine Gael Deputies speak of industry with very different voices. I have heard some who took a very definitely modern attitude towards Irish industry, who were prepared to accept tariffs provided industry became efficient later on —the general attitude of Fianna Fáil. I have heard other Deputies in Fine Gael, right up to the last few weeks, speak of industry in the very old conservative free-trade terms of long ago.
I have heard Deputies speak in the last six months in this way, that there should be no tariff on any new industry unless the raw material is entirely produced in this country. That is a matter which is of profound significance in this country. You cannot have stable business, you cannot have industrial development, if there is to be even that amount of difference in regard to industrial production as between different members of Fine Gael. In the case of England and Denmark—let us leave England out of the argument, because, if one brings in England, people are inclined to say: “ You are copying the English”—a higher proportion of Danish national production is involved in industry than is the case in this country. In spite of their success as an agricultural country, a higher proportion of their national income is concerned with industry and these raw industries almost exclusively are industries of which the raw material is imported. I mention that merely to show that the sine qua non of success in industrial production is not necessarily the fact that you have materials at hand in your own soil. You can import them; you can process them; and you can do it successfully and efficiently, and can produce a good article for home or foreign use. I am quite willing to admit that, if you have the homeproduced raw material, you may give a higher level of employment, and you are more likely to be efficient; but I have heard Deputies of Fine Gael disagree on that one subject alone, without taking into account the other five  Parties. There is every element there —from people who are almost free trade to those willing to give a very good chance to would-be industrial promoters in this country guided, as always, by the idea that eventually they are able to show a success by charging a price for their goods which compares with the English price or prices of similar goods in the same currency area or, alternatively, are able to export a good proportion of their produce—either or both.
Take social services. We would like to hear a more consistent approach to social services. We hear members of Fine Gael deploring social services. They would like to see no social services in this country.
Mr. M.J. O'Higgins: No necessity for them.
Mr. Childers: They believe that, if you can have all the wage levels and profit levels organised in some way, there will be no necessity for social services, that all the private individuals in the community, from the poorest to the richest, would save sufficient to provide themselves with retirement benefit, with widows' and orphans' pensions, with the means of paying sickness benefit, even if it be serious and unexpected, and the payment of the costs in respect of maternity. You have these gentlemen in Fine Gael, and you have others who take a different point of view, who believe that social services should be less or more, according to the state of the community.
You have the same thing in regard to their attitude towards our relations with the Commonwealth. A certain Deputy in Fine Gael before the election said it would be well to repeal the External Relations Act. You have others in Fine Gael who suggest that they would like to be closer to the Commonwealth, but who are not prepared to amend the Constitution or the External Relations Act. Equally, there are varying views, even in Fine Gael alone, with regard to agricultural policy. You have certain Deputies who, from platforms during the election, tempted the votes of the larger farmers by suggesting that it was time that compulsory  tillage went, implied that tillage was not particularly good in itself, and you have others who advocate no compulsory tillage but who admit that for the great majority of the land of this country, tillage is best for both grass and crops.
I leave Fine Gael then and come to the Labour Party. We have the Labour Party's programme in regard to social services. I do not want to exaggerate, but in my constituency the Labour Party programme for social services, while a little vague, certainly did not work out at less than £50,000,000 per year more on the Budget. The Labour Party equally in my constituency advocated the complete severance of all relations between road workers' wages and agricultural workers' wages. They went far out of their way to deride the work and verdict of the Agricultural Wages Board. They implied from platform after platform that, if agricultural wages were dictated by the Agricultural Wages Board, it was the result of the influence of a conservative and reactionary Minister for Agriculture. They asked, even if the agricultural labourers had to suffer under the Agricultural Wages Board, because the farmers could not afford to pay them more, why in Heaven's name should road workers, even with a 48-hour week as against a 54-hour week, not receive automatically all the wages a county council was prepared to offer them, and they stated freely that that wage, having regard to the fact that they were semi-Government servants, working under a local authority, should be in the region of £4 10s. 0d. to £5 per week.
What do we find? We find a certain Deputy of the Labour Party getting up in this House and speaking of the 55/- a week award of the Agricultural Wages Board, closely followed by the new wage of the road workers, as an act of the new inter-Party Government, when, in fact, that increase was the result of the Agricultural Wages Board's work and was consonant with the increases granted in former years in respect of the increase in the cost of living. Labour Party Deputies will recall the years before the war when  the agricultural worker's wage was between 27/- and 30/- per week. That wage has gone up steadily ever since. If I remember rightly, it went up from 44/- to 48/- between 1946 and 1947 and has gone up now from 48/- to 55/-. There is no credit due to the inter-Party Government as a result of the work of the Agricultural Wages Board and it would appear that the present Minister for Local Government has not given any ukase to the local authorities to grant wages entirely detached from the agricultural worker's wages. We see no indication of that. Maybe that will come, but at least we have not heard of it up to now.
When I come to the new Party, I find it hard to restrain my language, but I have always done so in this House and will continue to do so. Excuses were made from a platform in Westmeath last Sunday in regard to the wild promises which were made by the new Party in the election and which bear some relation to the Budget. Excuses were made that they were a new Party like ours when we came into office in 1932. Even if that be granted for the sake of argument, 15 years have elapsed, during which all the people of this country are supposed to have received some democratic and Parliamentary education, and if one takes a figure of 100 as the degree of exaggeration excusable in a new Party coming into office for the first time, one would at least take half off for a new Party coming into office in 1947, or are we to have a sort of flippant attitude towards democracy in general, that the more extravagant you make the promises, the better; that it does not matter how many years of experience of selfgovernment we have had, people coming into office for the first time can offer all the bribes they like to the electorate? The fact that 15 years have elapsed between one Party coming into office and the other is supposed to make no difference.
Mr. McGilligan: What percentage reduction would you make in the 1932 promises of Fianna Fáil?
Mr. Childers: During the election, I had occasion——
Mr. McGilligan: What percentage would you make? They went down by about 300 per cent.
Mr. Childers: If the Minister for Finance will not interrupt me——
Mr. McGilligan: I want to ask a question.
Mr. Childers: I propose to answer it. I had occasion during the election to read the publicity issued by the Fianna Fáil Party in 1932 and 1933. I am not in the least ashamed of it. We made certain promises which we did not keep——
Mr. McGilligan: Most of them.
Mr. Childers: ——and we made a great many promises which we did keep. I am not in the least ashamed of the record, but I will accept the judgment of any international arbitrator on a comparison between the promises made by Fianna Fáil in 1932 and the promises made by the new Party in 1948. They have sacrificed everything. They have nothing left of their programme except an emigration commission. They have given up the change in the currency and they have failed to survive the test put to them by Deputy Vivion de Valera when he asked whether, if the £ was to be changed, it was to be greater or less than the Irish £. Their social service programme was worth anything up to £200,000,000 a year. I will say this for the Labour Party: their social service programme was, shall we say, flying the kite a little too high, rather in the manner of Fianna Fáil in 1932. It was a dream but it was just within the bounds of possibility that if one altered the whole social system in the country and brought about a great change in our whole manner of living one might, in bare imagination, just arrive at the official Labour Party's social service programme. But one could not within 1,000 years arrive at the new Party programme. With them the sky is the limit.
A Deputy: You are convinced, then, that there was need for a change?
Mr. Childers: Take, then, the question of employment. We were told off  the platforms that if the new Party came into office everybody would be employed all the year round. We were told that there would be no unemployment.
Mr. McGilligan: Who said that?
Mr. Childers: The new Party.
Mr. McGilligan: Are you speaking now of '32?
Mr. Childers: No, I am speaking of '48.
Mr. McGilligan: Do you remember '32?
Mr. Childers: I have already referred to that.
Mr. McGilligan: You were going to bring back all the emigrants.
Mr. Childers: Does the Minister wish me to indulge in repetition?
An Ceann Comhairle: Order. Deputy Childers must be allowed to make his speech.
Mr. Childers: Perhaps I may resume my speech now?
Mr. Traynor: You are getting under his skin anyway.
Mr. Childers: I was speaking of the new Party. I was telling the House how on every platform in Westmeath and Longford they were talking of a new programme. They were talking of sweeping aside everything that had gone before. They were going to sweep aside the worn-out old men in Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael and all the other Parties. They believed in a new destiny. They believed in finding happiness and prosperity for everyone. O! what a fall is there? We were made to look like vampires sucking the life blood of the body politic and making vast sums out of Party office. We find now that all that is left of the new Party programme is an emigration commission—a body of gentlemen who are going to decide for us the cause of emigration and make remedy therefor.
I do not know that I need say very much more about the other Parties. I  could speak of Clann na Talmhan. I could refer to the fantastic claims which some of them made in Longford in regard to drainage. I could speak to them about the difficulties of relating the promises made in regard to arterial drainage to the practical difficulty of finding even one-tenth of the number of surveyors skilled in drainage levels who could bring about a change so that you could drain three or four main rivers in each county in Ireland at once. I could mention the difficulty of finding even one-tenth of the number of dredgers and of the special mechanical equipment required to create under-water explosions in order to break rock in areas where channels have to be deepened while water passes over them, in order to carry out main drainage at the rate, shall we say, of two or three main rivers in a county at once. That was the talk. That was what we heard. That was the promise made by certain speakers in the Clann na Talmhan Party. However, we shall pass that by.
Mr. Blowick: It might be safer to pass it by.
Mr. Childers: I do not wish to do anything except ask the Government to produce for us one policy out of the 12 as soon as possible for the benefit of the country. If they do that, they will not find that I shall cavil at what they do. They will not find that I shall be unfair, that I shall hit below the belt or that I shall criticise. I have never done that so long as I have been a member of this House. I am merely asking, for the benefit of the country, that the directives of this Government will result in a single policy as soon as possible for the sake of the country, for the sake of business men, for the sake of industrialists, for the sake of agriculturists and for the sake of those sections of our community who are profoundly interested in policy. I will be fair and say that this cannot be done all at once. I merely ask for a reply some time within the next three or four months.
Mr. Blowick: I thought we were going to break up long before that.
Mr. Childers: I would like to say something more on this question of industrialisation. I would like to emphasise that industrialisation is a most difficult matter for an inter-Party Government. There are always the imponderables. I think some of the Fine Gael speakers referred to this question. A group of promoters puts up a proposition for a particular industry. The industry, perhaps, uses half imported materials and half native materials. The promoters will say we can produce this article about 10 per cent. above the cost of the British article or 10 per cent. below it. You then put the question to them as to whether they have sufficient skilled labour here. The answer is “No, we will have to get key-men from X country to teach the workers here.” The next question is: “How long will you need a high tariff?” The answer is: “We probably shall need 100 per cent. to begin with because of competition which may take place and because of the effort that may be made by importers in their own right to keep us out of the market?”“Can you give any guarantee as to how long you will want the 100 per cent. tariff?” These people, being ordinary human beings, will probably indulge in a bit of bluff. No one can blame them for that. No group of promoters is likely to be conservative in its estimate. They will say what seems to them to be the right thing. That is inherent in all ordinary business transactions. The point is that risks have to be taken. It would be much better for this Government to inform us fully within the next three or four months as to what their particular bias is. If their bias is restrictive in relation to new industries this will help prospective importers and materials will flow in freely. If the Government has a bias towards home production and they so inform us, those who are prepared to take risks will be encouraged.
There is one factor in all estimates of new industrial production. It is an imponderable factor and it cannot be measured on paper. If you attempt to calculate this imponderable factor, you will have commissions lasting ten years —as they frequently lasted under the old Cumann na nGaedheal Government—in  which all the evidence says, “Take care; go slow; do not put on a tariff.” Everybody in this House knows what I mean. I am not accusing this Government of not being prepared. I am giving them an example of the necessity for giving a very clear directive to the people of this country for the next few years. In that connection some of the acts of the new Government have given rise to disquiet. I do not want to labour this point because it has already been debated at length by Deputies on our side of the House. When I had a professional position in the industrial world of this country I had occasion to read various reports on mineral development and I quite accept what the former Taoiseach said, with much regret, that he had found that on the whole the geological surveys by the British Government had proved more accurate than he thought and that the optimistic expectation of the Fianna Fáil Government as to mineral development had not been realised. At the same time, I am well aware that a number of new processes in regard to mineralogical development have taken place since the war. There are new and simplified processes of extracting minerals by means of electricity and centrifrugal separation, and so on. Before we take an extremely pessimistic view that, although we have practically every mineral in this country in small lots in the soil, we must abandon all major mineralogical development, we should make at least one final examination using the new processes evolved during the war for extracting metal from low-grade ores.
The psychological effect of the inter-Party Government's action must be considered. The cutting off of £85,000 does not seem to me to be a courageous attitude towards mineralogical development. If it were £150,000 or £250,000 we could have a good argument about it. If they had reduced the sum from £85,000 to £50,000 we might have felt —well, perhaps, that is right. But the complete elimination of £85,000, in view of the fact that there are new processes for extracting minerals, does not encourage industrial promoters, does not encourage people to risk  money in development generally. It is a psychological factor rather than a financial factor. It just does not look very well—that is my objection.
The same thing is true of air development—I will not go into that—and of wireless development. I made certain investigations since this Budget was introduced. I understand that most of the smaller countries in the northern part of Europe have short-wave stations, and Ireland seems to be the only one that has not a short-wave station. I know that the programmes of a great many short-wave stations are interrupted. I went to the house of a friend of mine who has a very powerful wireless set and, even with such a set, there is interruption and overlapping. Even in the case of countries that have an official short-wave length, regarded as useful to them and incapable of being interrupted by other countries, there is a certain amount of interference. If one listens on a modern wireless set, even to countries having an official short-wave, there will be interruptions. Notwithstanding all that, I wonder why we did not take the risk.
There are interruptions in the case of the B.B.C. Third Programme. Everyone knows that the B.B.C. Third Programme is constantly being interrupted by a Russian controlled station at Riga. If one travels through the country from Dublin one finds people with sets going back to 1937 and on some of these sets the B.B.C. Third Programme can be heard, whereas some people with absolutely new wireless sets cannot hear that programme at all.
I do not accept, without further technical explanation, the statement that we would not be able to hear on whatever wave-length were adopted. I can say this much, that, having travelled abroad for a few weeks since the end of the war, I found two things. The previous Government did a great deal to establish our position, to put this country on the map, to make us known as a separate nation. In spite of all the work the last Government did, there are a great many people who have not heard of our Irish music or plays or about Partition; they do not appear to know much about Irish life,  about anything Irish at all; they appear to consider us a sort of English colony.
In spite of all the work that has been done in making Ireland known to the world at large, there is still a great deal more to be done. Many people have an entirely false conception of our country, of how we live, and of our cultural standards. They think that our economic life is very much lower than it really is. I am prepared to gamble on the wave-length. I think it was a mistake not to proceed with the short-wave station; I do not think psychologically it is a good thing at all.
Coming to some other aspects of policy, I should like to ask the Minister some questions with regard to the road restoration programme. The former Minister for Local Government asked a question the nature of which was, “will the restoration programme arranged by the previous Government continue, whereby in addition to the receipts from the Road Fund, there will be added to that £1,000,000 in order to continue the high level of expenditure by county authorities for the restoration of our roads?” The question was asked, from what source would the extra £1,000,000 eventuate? The previous Government had agreed that the extra £1,000,000 would not be borrowed from the Road Fund, but would be a charge on the Transition Development Fund; in other words, that the future work of improving the roads would not be impeded and the expenditure would not be reduced through borrowing the extra £1,000,000 to continue the road restoration programme. The reply of the Minister was ambiguous.
I should like to ask him where the extra £1,000,000 is to come from. We decided to give extra grants for road restoration on main and county roads. We gave restoration grants for county roads that had never been given before. We gave these grants because we found that the roads had deteriorated during the war, owing to labour and supply difficulties. Owing to the appalling season in 1947, owing to turf work, owing to the continued scarcity of tar and modern road machinery, in spite of  those enormous grants and the excellent work done in most cases by road authorities, the average percentage of restoration effected on the existing skin of the main and county roads was only 30 per cent., as reported to us by the county surveyors in January of this year. In other words, another 70 per cent. needs to be completed before the Government can go on with the programme of modern road improvement, the distinction being between covering the skin on existing roads and widening and improving the roads generally.
If borrowing takes place from the Road Fund for the purpose of expending this extra £1,000,000 the rate of road improvement will be less when the work of restoration is completed. The difficulty the Government faces—it is the difficulty we would have to face if we had been in office—is that the cost of road work has gone up by 50 or 60 per cent., while the taxation of motor vehicles has increased by a very much smaller percentage. I suggest that it will not help if the Road Fund is used as security for the extra £1,000,000. What is the Minister's attitude towards that problem?
I should like to know from the Minister whether he can throw further light on the statement of the Minister for Industry and Commerce that the Government might have to restrict the importation of luxuries, even those paid for in sterling. The Minister for Industry and Commerce repeated to some degree statements by the ex-Tánaiste relating to our adverse balance of trade and the fact that part of the payment was secured from tourists and there were large importations of capital equipment valuable to the country, but there were large quantities of goods bought for sterling which were not necessary. That causes disquiet in the minds of business people. What is the Minister's attitude now towards sterling importations, and I should like to know whether he can give any idea of the trend in the future.
With regard to the production of turf, I realise that the Government is faced with great difficulty; I realise that the cessation of supplies of hand-won turf  to Dublin is bound to create temporary unemployment and I do not think that it is unfair to the Government to suggest that they could offset the difficulty created thereby. I represent a turf area and I am well aware that the private production of turf, added to the production by the county councils, meant a very large matter to the people concerned, and I know that with the non-importation of hand-won turf into Dublin you have got a firstclass problem. An arrangement had been made by the last Government with regard to the programme of machine-won turf on the larger bogs— not the small machines on the smaller bogs—to double the existing programme of Bord na Móna for machine production as it existed in, I think, December, 1947, and to go ahead with more development and to break new bogs for production with big machines for electrical and industrial uses, and I should like to ask the Minister for Finance whether it is a fact that that doubling of the programme has been abandoned by this Government. That bears no relationship to the difficulty of marketing hand-won turf in Dublin, but is a matter of the Government's long-term turf policy. I understand that the doubling of the programme has been cancelled. If so, that will present great disadvantages to small farmers and agricultural labourers.
I should like to ask the Minister for Finance whether he has considered, at least as a temporary measure—and a very unpopular measure it would be— to exclude the use of coal for domestic purposes in the turf areas. I should like to ask him whether the Government has ever considered that as a temporary policy—either complete exclusion of coal or partial exclusion. I am aware that a great many people in the turf areas prefer coal because of its obvious advantages from the point of view of purely domestic convenience. They may argue that one can use the waste, one can store it in small quantities, one does not have to have storage for it, one can leave it in the wet and one can leave it in an open place with no covering on it. All these matters are of interest to the housewife; they are all important and they  all count, but I should like to know whether this measure has been considered as a temporary policy, if unemployment continues.
I cannot see that the grants for drainage will effect a sufficient increase of employment to offset the decrease resulting from the cessation of the hand-won turf programme. I realise that this is a difficult matter for the Government but I would simply like to hear the Minister's views upon it. When the Fianna Fáil Government was in office we were belaboured from pillar to post with regard to a national drainage plan and I should like to hear from the Minister for Finance whether he has been able to decide some of the problems which affected us when we were in office with regard to the temporary cleaning of rivers which are not under the control of county councils. This may seem to be hitting below the belt but in view of the way that we were criticised when we were in charge of drainage I think that it is only fair.
There is a certain river in South Roscommon, in the district which I used to represent before the change in the constituencies, called the Cross River. It winds an indeterminate way through South Roscommon and it is not likely to come under any drainage scheme for many years. An argument has been put up by the riparian owners that if there could even be a temporary cleaning done on the river, if you could just blow up the trees, dig up the sand banks without the use of dredgers or without going below the normal level of the river, and if you could cut the reeds, it could then flow into the Shannon. Even if the tenants were willing to undertake the work with the aid of a contribution—which they were—the Board of Works considered that it would be impossible to effect the temporary cleaning of rivers not under the control of county councils and that a drainage scheme even under the guidance of angels would take four years. I should like to hear whether this Government, which was elected by what you might call drainage maniacs, would consider that the engineers of the Board of Works might revise their decision and take the risk of trying an experiment on a river, without surveyors,  by just digging out the banks, cutting the reeds, and blowing up the trees by means of a contribution either from the county council or from the road improvements scheme. I see Deputy Donnellan smiling over there. I know that he is finding the expert advice from men who are not merely theorists difficult to assess, advice from men who have not just read books and studied papers, but who are practical engineers.
I do not want to keep the House any longer except to close by referring to one particular aspect of Government policy with regard to the social services programme. I have already indicated that we in the Fianna Fáil Government increased the social services from £4,000,000 to £13,000,000. I have noted that the present Government's policy included an increase of old age pensions from 15/- to 17/- per week in the case of persons who are in receipt of the full pension having been regarded by the local authority as being in necessitous circumstances. It is a desirable thing and it is welcome, although it is not as large as was indicated. People who are not extremely necessitous cases, who used to receive 12/6, have also had their pensions increased to 15/-. All that is very desirable, but I have noted also that workers have got to pay some few pence per week for the medical benefits available to them under the national health insurance scheme. There is no longer a contribution of £450,000 to the widows' and orphans' fund. According to an actuarial examination made of the widows' and orphans' fund, the sum was considered necessary in order to keep the fund in pensions.
Mr. McGilligan: That is not so.
Mr. Childers: I am glad to hear the Minister say that.
Mr. McGilligan: A contribution of £400,000 for ten years will be sufficient. Because you were good enough to pay £450,000 for two years, that covered four years' payment.
Mr. Childers: The Minister does not know what I am going to say. The  contribution is no longer being paid; an extra sum is being paid by workers in regard to the national health insurance scheme and there has been an increase in the old age pensions. On the face of it that does not look very good for the people in the inter-Party Government who had faith in a colossal social security scheme. It does not look a very good augury for the people in the National Labour Party who had such faith in Dr. Dignan's proposals; it does not look well for the Labour Party who had faith in Dr. Dignan's proposals and in their own, nor does it look well for the new Party. If you could have a social security scheme of that kind it would cost £28,000,000, including the present value of the social services; an inevitable increase in the workers' contributions; an increase in the State contributions and an increase in the employers' contributions. It does not look to me to be a very good augury in issuing the expenditure of the Budget to increase old age pensions which are at the moment a matter of national assistance, and to take away from the widows' and orphans' fund £450,000 a year although the fund will need all the money it can get from the State, if you are ever going to have social security schemes put into operation. You tax employees for the benefits they will receive under the national health insurance system, when you can say that whatever employees may have to pay under a new national health insurance system, the State will at least have to begin by paying the existing medical service contributions. In other words, if you have a new social security plan that is going to cost so many millions and the State, in any event, from the taxpayers' pocket has to find £3,000,000 extra, they might as well begin by leaving the national health insurance fund where it is and pay for these extra benefits; they might as well leave the £450,000 to the widows' and orphans' pension fund, where it is, because it will need that money.
Mr. McGilligan: No, it does not need it.
Mr. Childers: As I said, the augury is not good.
Mr. Collins: That is rubbish, and the Deputy knows it.
Mr. Childers: In the light of the social services plan of the new Party, I cannot see any good augury when I look at the plan for social services in this Budget, but it may be that it is only a matter of immediate juggling with figures in order to overcome what they regard as a difficult situation and that later on we may see some ideal social services plan. We know it will never reach the levels proposed by the new Party or by the Labour Party. It may, perhaps, be a modification of the plan which was being prepared by Fianna Fáil but which was not yet completed at the time of the general election.
In conclusion, I would simply like to say that the country is waiting anxiously for a final and definite policy, a policy that is definite in regard to matters of vital importance such as tariffs, agricultural production, social services, a policy which is not going to be pulled from the right to the left as years go by, so that people will not feel that if the policy is based on one definite system it is likely to be accentuated in another direction through the influence of another Party. If this new Government can achieve that position, they will earn the commendation of every person in the State, if they get over the difficulty, as I have said, of producing one policy out of 12.
Mr. Sheridan: I do not intend to go into the technical points, pro or con, of this Budget. Fundamentally, it is a bad Budget, because it gives no incentive whatsoever to the agricultural community or to the industrial community. The people who now compose the Government remind me of the story of the lady and gentleman who got married. For the purpose of the story we will call the lady “Maggie” and the gentleman “Pat”. When they had left the church, Pat tapped Maggie gently on the shoulder and said: “At last, Maggie, we are one”. Maggie turned to him and said: “Yes, Pat, and I am the one”. It is easy to see that a marriage has taken place  between Fine Gael and the other small Parties, and it is easy to see, also, that Fine Gael is the one, that Fine Gael is directing operations. It used to be said in this House, particularly during a Budget debate, that it was very easy to see the dead hand of the Department of Finance. To-day it is very easy to see the dead hand of Fine Gael come back to life. Whether or not that is a good thing for this country remains to be seen. In my opinion, it is a very bad thing.
The people expected to get in this Budget some incentive with regard to expenditure that would allow of the development of agriculture and industry. Such an incentive is absent from this Budget. Any Government that goes out to save in these times, when development is necessary, when everybody and everything is crying out for greater development, will not remain very long the Government.
Mr. Beirne: Unlike the former speaker, I think this is an admirable Budget. As one of the members of the Party that helped in the formation of this inter-Party Government, while retaining their individuality and independence, I am proud of the Budget and will not offer any apology to any man, inside or outside the House, with regard to it. As a matter of fact, I have never been asked to offer an apology for it and, going through the country, north, south, east and west, I find that the Budget on the whole is a popular Budget.
Great things may be expected from the present Government, but we must all remember that they have been only a few weeks in office. When we have spent 16 years on this side of the House I do not think we will have to offer any apology to any section of our people. Our intentions are good; our intentions are sincere; our intentions are honest. I have been absolutely disgusted, and I presume many Deputies have been disgusted, at the length of this debate. Instead of the harangue that has continued here for the last ten or 12 days, we would prefer to have had helpful co-operation from the other side. If we got that co-operation the country as a whole would benefit.
Mr. Sheridan: Who are “we”?
Mr. Beirne: I have not heard any criticism from the opposite side that convinced me that there is anything radically wrong with the Budget. Great stress has been laid on turf production. My colleague, Deputy O'Rourke, referred to turf production in County Roscommon and gave some illuminating figures, which I wish to correct. I do not mean to say that Deputy O'Rourke deliberately gave an incorrect or wrong figure but, through an oversight or through some miscalculation of the amount spent in Roscommon, Deputy O'Rourke made a mistake. He said here on last Friday, I think it was, that last year the amount paid in wages by the county council for hand-won turf in County Roscommon was £74,000. I wish to correct that statement. The gross amount paid in connection with hand-won turf in County Roscommon was £74,000. He is absolutely correct. When he says “in wages”, he is absolutely incorrect. The amount spent, as he said, was £74,000, but I want to correct him on the point of wages. The amount of wages paid in connection with the hand-won turf scheme in County Roscommon was £48,000. The balance, which amounted to £26,000, was diverted to haulage and other transport costs.
Mr. B. Brady: Are there no wages in that, now?
Mr. P.J. Burke: Is that not wages?
Mr. Beirne: No. I do not agree at all. I do not agree that a man with a lorry hauling turf from the bog can be considered to be a labouring man. I do not agree that the transport of turf has a very high labour content and the Deputies should agree with me in that. The amount actually spent in wages was £48,000, and that is correct. Now, to compensate for that, we in County Roscommon this year have made provision for an additional £48,000 to be spent on roads, which counter-balances the loss on turf. We are told here that there is unemployment all over the country—I am interested only in one county, Roscommon—and that owing to the discontinuance of the hand-won  turf scheme unemployment is bad in Roscommon. I want to contradict that flatly.
At the peak period last year for hand-won turf production, we had engaged in Roscommon 827 men and four women on turf and on the roads we had 293 men, making a total of 1,120 men and four women. To-day, in 1948, we have made provision for and have actually employed at the present time 1,000 men on roads, we have 90 on drainage and 200 on Bord na Móna, making a total of 1,290 or 170 more than last year.
Mr. Burke: What about the private producer?
Mr. McGilligan: Who is touching him?
Mr. Beirne: We have made arrangements in Roscommon that our county institutions, the county home and the county hospital in Boyle, will use a certain amount of hand-won turf amounting to several thousand cwts. I hope the people in Dublin are catering for hand-won turf schemes in Dublin as well as we are in Roscommon.
The election promises have been brought very much into the limelight during this debate. I was rather interested in what Deputy Allen said here the other night. He accused our present Minister for Defence, Deputy Dr. O'Higgins, of speaking to some members of the licensed trade here in connection with the duties imposed by the recent Supplementary Budget and he preferred a very serious charge against him—almost a charge of bribery. He said it was a thing that should not have been done, that it was indiscreet, in bad taste, corrupt and all the rest. I do not see anything wrong in what he did. I criticised the Supplementary Budget during the recent election campaign, and rightly so, and I have no apologies to offer for doing so. I consider that the duties imposed on beer, tobacco, cigarettes and entertainment tax were unjust and unfair; and from the public platform and in speaking privately to members of my constituency, I told them that—not as a means of catching votes but, as I honestly believed, the taxes were unjust.
 Like Deputy Dr. O'Higgins I told them that if returned I would do my utmost to have those taxes removed. I see nothing wrong in that. It was a serious charge to make that it was improper for Deputy Dr. O'Higgins to meet certain members of the licensed trade in Dublin and tell them that if returned to power or if a member of the Government he would do his utmost to have these taxes removed. He told them that and carried out his promise to the last letter of the law. The taxes in the Supplementary Budget were unjust and wrong and hit certain sections of the community which we call the poor people. The man who drinks a pint of beer or a half of whiskey, or smokes a cigarette, cannot be accused of enjoying luxuries in this world, as these nowadays are necessaries. Particularly in Dublin, the man who works at the docks may have a sandwich for his lunch in the middle of the day, and a pint of porter is something to which he is entitled. It is most unfair that this section of the community should have been made pay in the Supplementary Budget and I am glad the day has come when those taxes have been removed from the poor people.
Who can grouse over the increase in old-age pensions? Can anyone in the Party opposite grouse? Is it not a step in the right direction? Has not the Government done the right thing in giving an increase in the starvation rate of pensions? Some of those who have tears in their eyes over there and have criticised us went into the Division Lobbies here last October and voted against a Labour motion to increase old-age pensions. Are they sincere or honest when they say they are in sympathy with the old-age pensioners and the widows and orphans? I do not think they are a bit sincere. We went out on platforms and told the people we would see that these pensions were increased. Have we not kept our promises? We have, and we intend to keep our other promises.
I was disappointed that the Deputies on the far side were angry and vicious in their vituperations in the last nine or ten days. I would ask them to throw in their lot with us, as good Irishmen, to come and assist us. We are going  to shoulder the burden of running this country through a crisis and we hope to succeed. We ask the co-operation of those on the other side. With that co-operation, we can make this country a better country than it is. While there is obstruction, such as we have had this week, harsh criticism, giving no credit for things that deserve credit, trying to pick holes in the things we have done, making mountains out of molehills, we cannot succeed. I would appeal to all the Deputies to co-operate with us in the future and not delay progress by a policy of obstruction which, I regret to say, has been carried on for many years past; and I hope that the future will bring us a change for the better.
Minister for Finance (Mr. McGilligan): After all that has been said in this lengthy debate, it is not possible for me to reply in detail to everything. I would like to deal with some of the points made by way of criticism of the financial proposals and then go on to more general matters of social policy which are to some extent affected by this Budget. To start with, we have had some comments, made rather lightheartedly if not completely hypocritically, by Deputy Childers. Deputy Childers, at this stage of our history, has the brazenness to talk about promises, to say that the promises made by the inter-Party Government, or members of it, are not capable of fulfilment. He criticised the people whom he alleges to have spoken in that way for being either rash in judgment or being deliberately misleading in their appeal to the public. I do not want to go back too far, but still fresh in the memories of the people since 1932 is the fact that we were not merely promised full employment in this country but such full employment that the emigrants were to be called back. I do not need to rub that in, other than to mention it. All that happened in the end was that the Government saw emigration increasing. It had been stopped by 1931—more people came back in 1931 than those who left. That was the beginning. That was the conclusion of a very successful effort under a native Government to stop the evil  tradition that had been started with the Famine, but the evil tradition of the Famine was restarted by Fianna Fáil. The two evil things that hit this country that gave rise to emigration were, first of all, the Famine in 1847 and, secondly, the advent of Fianna Fáil to power in 1932.
Mr. P. Burke: The Minister said his Party brought them back in 1931.
Mr. McGilligan: I said that more people came back in 1931 than went out —there was a surplus immigration.
Mr. P. Burke: It was a miracle.
Mr. McGilligan: It was very nearly a miracle but the Deputy's Party saw to it that the miracle did not last long. Emigration started again immediately in Fianna Fáil's time and went on developing and growing apace. Deputy Childers, amongst others from the Fianna Fáil Benches, says that the end of all the promises made about emigration by this Government is reduced to a commission on emigration. Next week I suppose we will read in the Irish Press that this is another of the Fianna Fáil plans that we are carrying out. I am sure the back-benchers do not know it, but the ex-Ministers do—that about Christmas time, in the month of December, 1947, the best proposal that the Minister for Social Services had for his Government was the institution of a commission on emigration. It was entered on the agenda for the Government on the 15th December last year and was removed from the agenda the next day. One of the paragraphs in the memorandum which the Minister supplied to the Government was to the effect that the end of the war had come and that the British control of emigration from here into England was likely to lapse. His proposal, facing that particular dangerous set of circumstances, was that this Government should abandon all restrictions on emigration. Therefore, the proposal in December, 1947, of the previous Government was: abandon whatever restrictions in the way of permits or visas there may be on the people who flock to England; throw the doors wide  open—and have a commission after the event to inquire into what has been done. That is a very different proposal to calling the emigrants home in order to fill all the vacant posts. That is the result of Fianna Fáil policy between 1932 and 1947.
Deputy Childers is very anxious to know whether we can make one policy out of 12. I do not know whether we can be successful in doing that—I do not know whether there are 12 policies to be moulded into one. I did find two cuttings amongst the library of cuttings which I have with regard to Fianna Fáil. I considered them of interest as an indication of the identity of policy that everybody who ever went into the Fianna Fáil ranks is supposed to have had from the day he entered that Party. Deputy Boland, then Minister for Justice, speaking on the 10th November, 1947, made a speech to such an effect that the heading it got in the Irish Independent was “Only Austerity Ahead, Mr. Boland says.” Three months later Deputy Lemass, dealing with the message of Fianna Fáil, spoke in such terms that the Irish Press gave him the heading “No Need for Austerity.” It is pretty difficult to reconcile the headings “Only Austerity Ahead” and “No Need for Austerity” that two members of a completely unified Party had. I wonder if it is possible at this stage to get rid of that particular type of nonsense which has been so much promulgated throughout the country. We are asked to believe that everybody who joined the Fianna Fáil Party—without any coercion, without any request made to him that he should sign on the dotted line— just immediately and naturally adopted the view on everything that every one of his colleagues in the Party held; that that is what they call a unified Party and that there is, therefore, no necessity at any time to worry or argue about a policy because the members of the Party always hold the same view on everything. If that is not so then I assume Fianna Fáil will be able to work out, as we have, a series of compromises. I always understood that Party politics did work on compromises, and that men having different views came together  and hammered out a policy. We will probably have to do so openly here in the Dáil. I do not think that is an unwise procedure. When there are so many different views on different matters, I do not think there is anything undesirable about it. I think it is preferable to getting behind closed doors and getting a Party to adopt a special line and later, when that line is brought into public debate, presenting it as representing the complete view on any particular subject of all the members of the Party. I agree that the members who support the present Government and even some of the members who form it have put emphasis on different points of policy. I have found nothing irreconcilable in their views and I do not think that we will find anything irreconcilable in them until we decide that the time has come to have a general election, say, when the full term has been run.
Deputy Childers feels that the last Government put Ireland on the map. He immediately countered that by saying that he met quite a number of people during his tour on the Continent who had never heard of Partition. It was an amazing preamble to an argument about the necessity for a short-wave station that the last Government had put Ireland on the map. If they have done so, they have done so without the short-wave station. I do not know what conclusion Deputy Childers was hoping to drive us to except that, as something had been thought of by the Fianna Fáil Government—whether practical or not—then anybody who succeeded Fianna Fáil as a Government must immediately adopt all the schemes Fianna Fáil had thought of. I was asked particularly about the turf situation and whether this Government had thought of excluding coal from domestic use in certain areas in this country. I had hoped Deputy Childers would go on to tell us that the last Government had considered that and would tell us what their answer to it was. I was wondering how exactly he would answer that because my complaint is that, in regard to the whole turf situation, they made a bad situation worse by sending emissaries all round the globe to see if they could not  get more coal and they succeeded in chartering over 40 liberty ships from America to bring American coal in. Having done all that, Deputy Childers, one who was responsible for that plan, asks—while we have all that coal—for the exclusion of coal from domestic use in certain areas in the country.
Mr. Butler: There is still an emergency, surely?
Mr. McGilligan: In respect of coal? Certainly not. Deputy Lemass on the 18th February could tell us that there was a ten years' supply of firewood in the Park. We have on hands a very large stock of American coal. At the present rate of disbursement there will be large stocks on hand next winter. That was the situation which Deputy Lemass, as Minister for Industry and Commerce, brought about. In those circumstances one thing was inevitable, namely, that turf production had to fall.
Mr. Butler: You are dealing with what was done as an absolute necessity. It was the most commendable measure during the emergency.
Mr. McGilligan: I am dealing with the result of what was done. I am not querying the motive. I am merely dealing with the result of it.
Mr. Butler: It is not an honest way of putting it.
Mr. McGilligan: They have brought in so much American coal that there would be large stocks on hands by winter, ten years' supply of firewood, and enough turf to last to the winter of 1949. The men who brought that situation about now want to know if we will refuse coal for domestic use to certain areas in the country in order to ensure that more turf than is required will be cut.
Mr. Butler: If the Minister is quite sure that we are facing peace then there may be something in his argument but we were not sure of that until lately, if we are sure of it now.
Mr. Morrissey: Your leader says war is inevitable.
Mr. S. Collins: And that the world is doomed.
Mr. McGilligan: I will come back to this when dealing with turf. I am asked about the situation which has been caused in regard to employment through the discontinuance of turf production on a major scale. The discontinuance of the production of turf on a major scale was accepted by the previous Minister for Industry and Commerce.
Mr. Morrissey: Hear, hear!
Mr. McGilligan: He set all the plans going which would stop turf production and leave no real necessity for it. Now he complains that more turf is not being cut.
Deputy S. Brady decided that he would run the argument that a lot of other Deputies have adopted in the House, namely, that various members of the groups that form the Government have made various promises in regard to various things. I do not remember any time limit being specified. I do not remember that all these things were to be done by the month of May of this year. If anybody had any idea that that was what was promised I want to disabuse them of that view. Plans that we have to carry out will require many years, and if anybody thinks of using as an argument the fact that some promise has not, so far, been carried out, I say to him that that argument would gain in strength as the months go by. It is not an argument now, in the month of May, considering that this Government came into power only in the middle of February.
I was associated with an earlier Government in the development of a certain river and I learned from certain education I got about the harnessing of a couple of great rivers to clean the Augean stables; and I would require several rivers and all the energy that would be developed from the harnessing of several rivers to get rid of any part of the mess that has been left to us to clear up. It will take some time to do it. I do not pretend that it will be within the range of the present Government to do it easily or to do it speedily. It can be done with speed  if we are inhuman about the results for individuals. It can be done very slowly and very easily by paying attention to the human personnel in the background. But as to the attempt here to make debating points with regard to certain things that were said and pretending to believe that these were promised for immediate performance—they were not. We have, however, given already a very good earnest of what we are at and we ask the people to take these things as an earnest of particular plans to which we have put our hands and from which we will not withdraw.
Mr. Butler: There was a promise of an immediate drop in the cost of living —a 35 per cent. drop.
Mr. McGilligan: The Deputy does not understand there has been a drop in the cost of living.
Mr. Butler: The housewife does not understand.
Mr. McGilligan: Possibly she does not. Is it possible that in this House a man should be found so unreasoning as not to believe that a reduction of taxation to the extent of £6,000,000 does not affect the cost of living, even on smokes and liquor? Is it believed that that does not affect the cost of living?
Mr. Butler: I am talking of the hard facts of the situation. What is the cost of living?
Mr. McGilligan: If the Deputy is talking about a cost-of-living figure, that is one thing. I am talking about the cost of living. I suggest that the cost of living has been very definitely reduced from what we found it and very definitely reduced from the high point to which it must necessarily have been driven if our opponents across the House had been left as a Government to handle this Budget.
Deputy Killilea complained amongst other things of the means test and our attitude with regard to old age pensions. There is a great deal of complaint of all sorts that we only provided £600,000. It is only £600,000. It is for a bit of the year. Deputies who feel that they have any bit of propaganda  value in stressing that there is only £600,000 provided, should make the most of it while the going is good, because it will not be long before they realise that the bill for the improvement of old age pensions which we stand behind will certainly not be less than £2,000,000 and may easily go to £2,500,000. Deputies who are complaining now about £600,000 only being provided this year must remember their own activities in a debate and a vote on a motion on the 22nd October last year. It was not an outrageous motion. It asked that the basis upon which income should be assessed for the purpose of the means test in the case of persons entitled to pensions should be revised. In reply, as reported in column 882 of the Official Report for the 22nd October, Deputy Dr. Ryan, who was then in charge of the Ministry which had to deal with this matter, said:—
“To carry out the terms of this motion, a very moderate motion, would, so far as I can calculate—it is difficult to calculate—involve a sum of between £500,000 and £750,000.”
The whole scheme which was proposed was going to cost £500,000 or £750,000 in the year. All those Deputies opposite who were members of the last Dáil went definitely into the Lobby to vote against that proposal—every man jack of them. Even for £500,000 for the whole of the year the Deputies were coerced into the Division Lobby against it. Now they complain because in these proposals of mine, which are only for a very limited part of the year, £600,000 will be given between modifications of the means test and certain additions to old age and widows' and orphans' pensions. They complain because it is only £600,000 for a part of the year. I do not suppose Deputies have really any complaint to make against that. I suppose they are really sitting back and wondering how it will be done. If the truth were known, I suppose they are gathering in their little clubs to prepare arguments about the fierce impact this will have on the cost of living, because Deputies will be saying that it will probably mean increased taxation and something that the country cannot afford. Deputy de  Valera, when Taoiseach, put himself on record as saying that no improvement in social services was possible in this country until production increased. We have had complaint after complaint. Deputy Butler is burning with a complaint at this moment about the meanness of the £600,000.
Mr. Butler: I do not want to interrupt the Minister. I would just remind him that we are talking about promises. It is for the reasons that he gave just now that we did not make promises during the election. Your colleagues here promised as high as £2 per week to old age pensioners.
Mr. McGilligan: I thought I could get Deputy Butler to speak, because he said “no” on the 22nd October, 1947, to the plan to give £500,000 in the whole year. That was too high for Deputy Butler to tolerate.
Mr. Butler: Talk about promises.
Mr. McGilligan: £600,000 in part of the financial year. If the Deputy waits until the end of the year or the beginning of next year, he will see the full plan and, as I say, it will not be less than £2,000,000, and it will be most likely in the neighbourhood of £2,500,000. If the Deputy thinks that we are not carrying out our promises, I think we are at least making improvements on what the Deputy wanted on the 22nd October last year.
Mr. Butler: No one will congratulate you more heartily than I will if you do that and reduce taxation at the same time.
Mr. McGilligan: Deputy Allen was very angry about our having reduced the taxes on beer, stout and tobacco. In that context, he had decided to use the phrase that we had sold out to the publicans. He spoke of the bags of gold which were jingling around us as we went around our constituencies, all derived from the publicans.
If Deputy Allen wants to discuss that, he ought to remember the general election financial committee circular which Fianna Fáil published, this circular sent round by 16 industrialists, dealing with the generosity and goodness  of those industrialists who helped them to obtain the substantial funds necessary for a vigorous and successful election campaign. There was a note at the end: “The subscription will be treated in confidence if you so desire.” I wonder were the bags of gold which came from that group heavier than those which the publicans are supposed to have given to the groups who comprise this inter-Party Government. One of the very definite things that weighed against Fianna Fáil in the last election was that very obvious revelation to the country of the money subscribed by these moneyed people and their support. I suppose nothing impressed the ordinary people down the country more than that, the people, say, who knew what Deputy Butler had done on the 22nd October last in connection with old age pensions. When they saw that this group of people were asking for support for a vigorous election campaign they made the ordinary calculation and that was, that the people who had made well out of this Government during the last 15 or 16 years were out in the open.
These circulars, of course, were sent out for every election prior to 1948, but I think this was the first time a circular was published openly. Whether or not they thought that it would be announced and that it was better to publish it openly, I know that it had a terrific effect on the countryside. That indicated where the money bags were. It meant that people made their own calculations and said that the people who wrote that circular had got good consideration for writing it. That affected a considerable number of people and helped us to get back again into the good graces of the people who did not feel that they had got fair treatment from the people whom these folk represented during 15 or 16 years.
There has been a great deal of lamentation in the house over what are called allegations of corruption. I have spoken in the House before on what I called the corruption of Fianna Fáil administration. I want to put myself on record as still saying that, but I must explain what I mean. I said that, as far as I knew, no person belonging to the Party with which I am associated  said that there was any personal corruption alleged against any member of that Government with the exception of the matter that was tried before a tribunal which led to the disappearance of a Parliamentary Secretary from that office. Outside that, any allegations that I have heard made were to the effect that Fianna Fáil had built up over years a very definite machine by corrupt administration. I asserted that they had done that, and they know they did it.
Mr. Butler: Why did you not expose that corrupt administration?
Mr. McGilligan: I understand, since I became a member of the Government again, that the situation that developed in Government buildings was that a particular member of the Government was always given charge of appointments. I think he had got to be known as the patronage secretary attached to the Government. The first person who was attached to the post ordinarily was the Parliamentary Secretary to the Department of Industry and Commerce, and the reason why he was so attached to that post rather than anybody else was that he was a person who was in close touch with, say, people like the branch managers of employment exchanges and with all the small people who can give out work to gangers on roads.
Mr. Butler: That is a terrible charge to make against the branch managers of the exchanges. The Minister did make the claim of privilege when collared.
Mr. McGilligan: I am going to read a thing that was said here.
Mr. Butler: It is scandalous.
Mr. McGilligan: It is outrageous, and this is what happened. Deputies will remember that in 1943——
Mr. Butler: It is very characteristic anyhow.
Mr. McGilligan: As I say, Deputies will remember that in 1943 Deputy Tadhg Murphy, now Minister for Local Government, brought forward a motion  in this House dealing with the appointment of an employment exchange manager and he revealed what was then accepted to be quite all right. I must say that Deputy Moylan did not pretend to deny that this was the ordinary procedure. It was a good revelation of what was happening. The little episode that Deputy Murphy brought out was that the post of employment branch manager at Mallow was vacant, and that a person called Gilligan was up for it. Miss Gilligan had apparently some political influence, or thought she had political influence, and she got an approach made to the Parliamentary Secretary, now Deputy Moylan. Deputy Murphy read the letter which Deputy Moylan sent to this young lady's father on that occasion. The letter was in these terms:
“Dear Mr. Gilligan,—I have your letter and a number of others in relation to Miss Nan Gilligan's application for the position vacant at Mallow. The appointee shall, in the first instance, be certified as competent and suitable for the position by the interview board. I believe Miss Gilligan will fulfil that condition. From the list certified as competent, I shall appoint the person best suited to the position from a political viewpoint.”
That was written, and there was no denial that that was the scheme. The qualifications, of course, were light. Deputy Moylan's letter indicated that pretty nearly anybody would qualify, and then “from the list certified as competent, I shall appoint the person best suited to the position from a political viewpoint.”
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Would the Minister give the reference?
Mr. McGilligan: Column 1736 of the Dáil Debates for the 7th April, 1943. That is what I mean by corruption. May I say that poor Miss Gilligan was done down eventually, because Deputy Moylan had to write a letter saying that he had to have regard to the claims of another applicant as being more urgent than hers, and in that connection one knows what “urgent” means—somebody in the neighbourhood  with a better political pull? Deputy Murphy raised all that in the debate and there was no denying that that letter had been written. There was no questioning of the construction that Deputy Murphy had put on that before the House.
Mr. Butler: Had Deputy Murphy the original documents?
Mr. McGilligan: He had. Deputy Butler is not long enough in Fianna Fáil to know what happened. The disappointed Mr. Gilligan gave the letter to Deputy Murphy. He was well in, as he thought, but then found that he was not—that there was a more urgent claim, and the correspondence was handed over. The letter was paraded and shown to quite a number of people and was not denied. I think that, in the next year, when this matter came before the Fianna Fáil Árd Fheis there was a considerable amount of anxiety over this revelation about the spoils system. There was clear evidence that it was in operation. The then Taoiseach made many attempts to explain that Deputy Moylan did not mean what he said when he wrote the letter. The plain meaning was not the one which the then Taoiseach read into it. The then Taoiseach got Deputy Moylan to agree before the Árd Fheis that the plan of Fianna Fáil was that the fruits of Government policy must go to Government supporters. There was the clear statement again of that. That was the best that Deputy Moylan could be brought to.
With all these things on record, am I doing the Party very much injustice when I say that they built up their whole Party system on administrative corruption? I think they did and I assert here now that they did. There is clear evidence of it. It takes some little time, I may tell you, to get people who were put in under such a system just smoked out, but the process is on, and I hope it will be continued. We will get an administration which will be based on merit. In that way we will get efficiency in the various posts that have to be filled and in the various classes of work that have to be done, and will get rid of that. I am sure people may come at  me in a year's time or so and say that there is still someone hiding in a post obtained under a corrupt administration. I may have to confess that it is so because all this cannot be done immediately. We are taking a big step forward on that and on other matters, and we hope to get success there, as in other things, too.
As far as this Budget is concerned, the situation I want to present to the Dáil now is that I made a mistake when I said that I was faced with a deficit in the Budget of £8,731,000. I am really faced with a deficit of £10,500,000. I stated that I was faced with an estimated deficit of £8,731,000. In addition there is £600,000 for old age pensioners in some part of the financial year. Further, there is the extra half-ounce in the tea ration at a cost to us of £487,000; that makes £9,818,000. If I have to bear the odium of putting on the 6d. extra on income-tax, there was a failure in the estimated revenue of £600,000. Adding all that together means that the deficit I faced was £10,488,000. I want that sum thought of and pondered over. It is a big sum. In 1932, we were able to run the country on just about double that sum. At that time the country was run on a sum of between £21,000,000 and £22,000,000. In the end, what this country has to suffer through Budget impositions is that a tax has been put on petrol, 6d. on income-tax and that certain things have been done, that have been talked of ad nauseam, to hotels and caterers; the subsidy on margarine and oatmeal has been removed, farmers' butter is now without a certain addition by way of subsidy while there are various devices I adopt in regard to unemployment insurance and national health insurance. I suggest that it is not a bad performance to have bridged a gap of £10,500,000 by two serious taxes, one worth £900,000 and the other worth £670,000—call it £1,500,000 between them—and then by certain devices in regard to farmers' butter, margarine and oatmeal and the various other things that have been spoken of, made up the remainder.
What would have been the situation if Fianna Fáil were still the Government?  They would not have made the economies that I have tried to make. They certainly would not have “looted”—that is the delightful word that has been used—the Widows' and Orphans' Pensions Fund. They certainly would not have off-shouldered the oatmeal and margarine subsidy on to consumers, and they would not have made any addition to the contributions called for under employment insurance and other schemes. They would not have stopped—it was still running when we came into office—the extra fuel subsidy even though Deputy Lemass said that we had ten years' supply of timber. Timber was still rolling in at the rate of 10,000 tons a week, for which a subsidy of £40,000 was required. It was still running when we came in but we stopped it. Aer Linte would certainly have been started and we would have been facing, I suggest, a loss of not less than £500,000 a year. Deputy Lemass said that we are in a deflationary period and his exhortation was to spend more. We should probably have to spend more and more if Fianna Fáil were in office. He certainly had the attitude that we should budget for a genuine surplus of several millions. If Deputy Lemass had any say in the framing of the Budget it would not have been a gap of £10,000,000 that we should have to bridge; it would have been something in the neighbourhood of £15,000,000. How would he have done it? He would not have done it by enforcing economies because they are taboo to him. He said there were only three types of taxation open—taxation on spirits or liquor, taxation on tobacco and taxation on incomes. These were the only three types that were left open to anybody. So not merely would you have continued the tax on beer and stout and the tax on tobacco, which we remitted, not merely would they have been left on, but they would have been increased.
Deputy Vivion de Valera said that, and there is no answer to him, these taxes would probably have to be heavily increased. Income-tax would also have been increased. Instead of that situation, I have succeeded by various devices in so narrowing the gap that in the end by one substantial tax —the tax on petrol—and by continuing what had been threatened, this extra 6d. income-tax, we are able to get over the difficulty.
There have been many comments as to the manner in which the gap has been closed, a criticism about nearly every part of it. The first item discussed was the question of the reduction in the Army. I copied down some of the spectacular phrases used about that. Deputy Ormonde thought that it was scandalous that this little defenceless island should be left to fall into the hands of the enemy. In fact, he thought that what was being done by the Minister for Defence would operate as an invitation to the British to seize the country. Deputy Lemass thought that we were destroying the efficiency of the force. Deputy Boland warned us that in this critical situation with war threatening, when the Americans were asking for £3,600,000,000 for an army, it was no time to cut down the Army. Deputy Burke said that we are insulting and belittling the Army by what we are doing.
I want to make one simple answer to all this. The last Government had no urge to economy at all; they did not want to save money; they wanted to spend it, but they had failed to spend on the Army last year as much as I am looking for by an economy this year. To do their worst in the way of spending, they could not ladle money out fast enough to exhaust the Vote last year and the Vote was not as big as this year. Out of last year's Vote, they failed to spend £750,000. That did not destroy the efficiency of the Army last year. Apparently it was no invitation to the British to come along and seize this defenceless island. None of these costly things happened, because the money was not spent.
I do not often find myself in agreement with Fianna Fáil but Deputy Killilea said that it was not too much to talk about, that it was very little in the end, and I agree with him, but Deputy Killilea is well out of step with his Party, when he puts that forward as a comment on the Budget. The Minister for Defence, Deputy Dr. O'Higgins, said he had been able to achieve this economy; that it was a  solid economy, and that he had achieved it without having to dismiss out of the regular Army any single person and without, as he said, impairing the efficiency of the Army in the slightest degree, without disrupting any Army plans there were for the establishment of the Army on a decent footing. It is surely not too much in a critical year, when every effort should be made to collapse Government expenditure to the smallest possible point, and when a determined effort has to be made to alter the price structure in the country, that the Government should be allowed to secure economy in this financial year by confining expenditure on the Army to the figure that the last spendthrift Government thought was sufficient to spend. They did not think they were breaking down efficiency. I do not believe that I am breaking down efficiency and I think I am entitled to save if the efficiency of the force is not affected. We shall see how it works out with regard to Army efficiency during the year.
The second matter about which a great deal of comment has been made is this question of taking of money from the Widows' and Orphans' Pensions Fund. Deputy MacEntee used phrases such as “malversation of public funds”, “looting”, “pilfering” and every other odious comparison that came into his head and he based every comment he made on an actuarial report which, I think, he dated in the year 1943. My colleague, the Minister for Social Welfare, has written to the paper which gave Deputy MacEntee a certain amount of publicity in this matter and I think that a mere recital of a paragraph from the actuarial report ought to be sufficient to put an end to these bogies which Deputy MacEntee and others are trying to arouse in connection with this whole matter.
As I understand the objection made to this, it is that I am not paying in the sum of money which ought to be paid in, and which has always been paid in, that I am bringing the fund to some near approach to insolvency and that, according to Deputy MacEntee,  investments would have to be sold, thus correspondingly weakening the fund still further and that the whole fund would come into a terrible and complete state of bankruptcy. The actuary who investigated this matter reported on 16th November, 1944, and paragraph 18 of his report is:
“Under the Acts, the amount of the Exchequer grants is prescribed until 31st March, 1945, and thereafter is to be such sums as the Oireachtas may determine. As indicated in paragraph 16, the sum paid during the last eight years, namely, £450,000 per annum, is substantially larger than will be needed in the future, and an equalised annual grant, during the next decennium commencing on 1st April, 1945, of about one-half of this sum, say, £220,000, is estimated to be sufficient, together with the contributions at their present rates and the interest on the accumulated assets, to meet all expenditure out of the fund for contributory and non-contributory pensions and the cost of administration thereof, and to secure that in ten years' time the invested reserves of the scheme will then be substantially equal to the present balance, namely, £3,900,000.”
The actuary, in fact, reported that the previous Government were paying too much into that fund. A sum of £450,000 was not required and the actuary says that, for ten years to come, £220,000 a year would do, and that, at the end of that time, every call on the fund would have been met and “the invested reserves would then be substantially equal to the present balance, namely, £3,900,000.” The reserves are now at £4,500,000 and the previous Government after getting that report—why, I do not know—put in two sums of £450,000 in each of two years. They made in two years what I would call a four years' contribution.
I say that I am entitled to save not merely £450,000 this year but £450,000 next year. I had not thought of it until this report came in detail before me. I think I have a good case for remitting any payment to that fund this year and next year. Certainly, on  the basis of that report, nobody can say that the fund has been brought an inch nearer insolvency and yet we have had all the propaganda of the last three weeks from the benches opposite, focussed to a great extent upon this point about the fund being brought to the point of insolvency and that either of two things would happen—the sale of investments would be necessary or the benefits given to the contributors would have to be reduced. They can be continued at the same old rate and the investments still kept at that high point.
The turf matter had to come very heavily into this debate. I wonder could we treat this matter seriously and not have it just as a matter for propaganda lectures to Fianna Fáil clubs in an attempt to do what I can only describe as serious fifth-column work—to disturb people who should not be disturbed, who should be allowed to get quietly back to their own avocations and who should be brought to realise that there is available work, and work in abundance, work which they used to do until, in an emergency, they were asked to remit their old labours and come into a new type of occupation in order to help the country through.
The late Minister for Industry and Commerce spoke here on 21st February, 1946. I propose to give certain extracts from his speech and I do not think I am parodying his speech or putting it unfairly if I say that, in dealing with the prospects as he then outlined them, he divided the matter into four heads. There was what he called the production of turf by people in turf areas, which had always gone on and which he hoped would continue; there was the production of certain hand-won turf for what was called the national turf pool; there was the production of machine-won turf by Bord na Móna; and there was coal. There was also in the background the provision of fuel of the firewood type. I think the Minister in February, 1946, definitely outlined the prospects in this way: turf production always went on for the needs of the people in certain areas and it was not affected to any great extent by the drive for the extra effort put into the winning of turf, and it  should go on. I see no reason why it should not go on, except that possibly the late Minister brought in too much coal; but the position being at the point of the importation of coal we had in 1939, there is no reason why anybody who used to produce turf for sale in the turf areas or for his own use should not continue to do so.
The Minister went on to look a little ahead with regard to the turf won by the county councils and he contemplated that as being a declining process, likely to end quite soon and all the more speedily if great quantities of coal could be brought into this country. The gap which had to be filled was that as between the then imports of coal as compared with what they were in 1939 and that gap was to be filled by turf, either hand-won or machine-won. He said that the whole thing depended on coal—whether we could get back to the coal importation of 1939. If we did, turf was going to disappear, except that turf which was always produced in turf areas for people's own use. Speaking on 21st February, 1946, at column 1335 the Minister said:—
“As many Deputies know, hand-won turf provides the basic fuel over large areas of the country and in some districts no other fuel can offer even a partial alternative. Production by persons resident in those areas, for their own use or for local consumption, averaged about 3,500,000 tons per year, and it is to be assumed that those people will continue to provide their own requirements by their own efforts in the future.”
Later, in column 1336, the Minister continued:
“On the most optimistic basis, it will be very many years before the production of machine-won turf will make good the deficiency in coal supplies and, as we move from the emergency to normal conditions, this machine-won turf, produced under the auspices of the Turf Development Board, will merely replace the hand-won quantities now being produced by the county councils and by the Turf Development Board, as agents for the Government during the emergency  and now being supplied on a ration basis in the non-turf area.”
Again, there was a forecast that machine-won turf under Bord na Móna auspices was going to replace all hand-won turf other than what people in certain areas produced for their own requirements or for local consumption. Later in the same debate, at column 1349, the Minister said that he would urge upon each individual turf producer in the country to keep up the supply, and here is the basis for that:
“that we must get this year at least the same production of hand-won turf as we got last year, because there is no likelihood that we will be able to get any more coal or even able to dispense with fuel rationing in the eastern area next year.”
It is clear from that speech that the Minister's view was—and he was announcing it quite clearly to the Dáil in February, 1946—that there were certain areas in the country where turf would always continue to be cut and there was no reason to interrupt that. Nothing that has happened since the 18th February has interrupted that.
There was then hand-won turf under the auspices of the county councils. That was going to be changed over to Bord na Móna and that hand-won turf was going to be replaced by Bord na Móna machine-won turf. The amount required from Bord na Móna would depend upon what coal supplies were likely to come into the country. The then Minister for Industry and Commerce got somewhat frightened at this stage about the fuel situation and in February, 1947, an Irish coal mission, with the benediction of the Government, was sent to the United States. That mission arranged for 500,000 tons of American coal to be shipped to Irish ports during the ensuing three months in 60 specially chartered Liberty ships. The Minister was, no doubt, acting in an emergency. He was taking steps to get in a lot of coal and, the more coal there was in the country, the less necessity there was for turf. The old importation of coal used to run about 50,000 tons a week. In 1946 the average was less than half that. Towards the end of the year 1946 the imports  fell to 17,000 a week and they continued to fall steadily. In February, 1947, there was less than 13,000 tons of coal coming in. The British were being pressed to increase their supplies and on the 21st March, 1947, the then Minister for Industry and Commerce met the British Minister for Fuel and Power. The best he could get at that stage was 11,000 tons of British coal of the lowest quality and there was no hope of improvement for an indefinite period. But, in November, 1947, the British Government undertook to supply 1,000,000 tons and the Minister grabbed it. The 11,000 tons were of course still to continue and that meant that, if the 1,000,000 tons were going to come in in regular instalments over the year, we had got to a position where we were having 31,000 tons of coal per week coming into the country.
Alternatively, if a considerable amount of the 1,000,000 tons was to be landed in at once it would presumably be put in the dump with the American coal that had come here. There is no doubt about it that by November a situation had been reached in which we had very big supplies of coal promised to us. The consequence of that upon the hand-winning of turf was obvious to anybody who knew and understood the problem.
Prior to that, of course, certain things had happened. In 1947 the then Minister for Local Government objected to the enlargement of the scope of his duties in connection with turf; he objected to county councils being asked to take any more responsibility with regard to the production of turf and he objected to any intention of continuing beyond the emergency that Minister's responsibilities for turf production through the county councils. In accordance with his views on the 18th August, 1947, a circular was addressed to county councils telling them that the Minister for Local Government had decided that county councils should not participate in the production of turf for Fuel Importers, Limited, after the 31st December of that year. The future production on behalf of Fuel Importers, Limited, was to be taken over by Bord  na Móna. There then follows in the memorandum that was circulated a list of 17 turf counties. There is another memorandum here about the difficulty of transport and as to what would be done with bogs and so on. County councils were definitely given their instructions on the 18th August. They were not to have any further responsibility for the production of hand-won turf. That was followed by letters from the Minister for Local Government in December, 1947, thanking the various county councils for all they had done and more or less bidding farewell to the whole scheme.
Eventually we come to this conference, which has been mentioned so often, held in the Department of Industry and Commerce on the 12th February of this year. There was a long agenda. A number of items appeared on it and one of those items was “turf development programme for 1948.” The decision that was taken was “no provision should be made in the 1948-49 Estimates for Bord na Móna hand-won turf scheme.” That was a week before the Minister left office they decided that. Part was not decided. “The question of the discontinuance of hand-won turf production by the county councils should be further examined.” Can anybody tell me that that meant it was going to be continued? That is the 12th February.
Mr. Morrissey: That is the statement Deputy Lemass has denied.
Mr. Lemass: That is in direct contradiction to the statement made by the Minister for Industry and Commerce, which I said was untrue.
Mr. McGilligan: What was that statement?
Mr. Lemass: That I had decided that the production of turf on the county council bogs was to cease.
Mr. Morrissey: I did not.
Mr. Lemass: The Minister for Industry and Commerce issued a false statement which is contradicted by that record. I never saw that record and never heard of it before, but that record contradicts the statement of the Minister for Industry and Commerce. His statement is untrue.
Mr. McGilligan: The Deputy was at the conference and that is the decision that was taken.
Mr. Lemass: As I said, I never read that minute. It was not prepared before I left office. Did I understand the Minister to read out the minute?
Mr. McGilligan: It means that a decision on the question of county council bogs was postponed.
Mr. Morrissey: The discontinuance of turf cutting.
Mr. Lemass: And no decision was taken on that?
Mr. McGilligan: Yes, and the agenda included a provision to stop the hand-won production of turf: “No provision should be made in the 1948-49 Estimates for Bord na Móna hand-won turf scheme.”
Mr. Lemass: That is quite correct.
Mr. McGilligan: I want to be quite clear about this. The winning of turf on what are called the Bord na Móna camps was done away with.
Mr. Lemass: Hand-won turf?
Mr. McGilligan: Yes, that was done away with.
Mr. Lemass: Those camps were going over to machine production. That was the decision.
Mr. Morrissey: Face up to it.
Mr. McGilligan: The camps affected were the following: Mucklon, Corduff South, Killinthomas, Derries, Drummod, Lullymore, Newbridge—Newbridge, however, is to be retained as a central store—Edenderry, Robertstown, Corduff Middle, Allenwood and Slane. They were all to be done away with as far as hand-won turf is concerned. The next sentence is: “The question of the discontinuance of hand-won turf production in the county council bogs should be further examined.”
Mr. Lemass: Did the Minister for Industry and Commerce issue an official statement to the effect that I had decided that the production of turf on the county council bogs was to stop?
Mr. Morrissey: He did not. Produce it.
Mr. Lemass: I produced the statement here. The Minister issued that statement and I contradicted it. Now I am proved to be right and the Minister is proved to be wrong.
Mr. McGilligan: Here is what the minute says: “The question of the production of hand-won turf on the county council bogs should be further examined.” What does that mean? Take it in the context of the date, 12th February. On the 18th February a very critical point is going to be arrived at here. On the 12th February the Minister did not want to take a decision because of that. Is not that what it comes to?
Mr. Lemass: The only matter I am interested in is that the Minister for Industry and Commerce issued a false statement officially.
Mr. Morrissey: Will you produce it?
Mr. McGilligan: The next item on the agenda for this conference on 12th February is the granting of hauliers' licences to persons engaged in the transport of turf during the emergency.
Mr. Lemass: May I intervene to ask that this official document will be circulated or made available in the Library to all Deputies?
Mr. Morrissey: It will be in the Library.
Mr. Lemass: I want the whole document.
Mr. McGilligan: You want the whole of the agenda.
Mr. Lemass: I am not taking the Minister's word.
Mr. McGilligan: There are 21 items in it.
An Ceann Comhairle: If an official document is quoted from, it must be produced in full for Deputies.
Mr. McGilligan: I will produce the whole document.
Mr. Morrissey: Is Deputy Lemass challenging his own decisions?
Mr. Lemass: It was the custom in the Department of Industry and Commerce to circulate minutes of conferences a week or more after the conference. The particular conference on the 12th February was held a few days before I left office. I never saw the minutes. If they are to be quoted here and used in argument, the customary procedure of tabling them will, I presume, be followed.
Mr. Morrissey: Do you challenge the accuracy of this document?
Mr. Lemass: I have not seen it and, therefore, I cannot challenge its accuracy.
Mr. Morrissey: Of course you cannot. Your ear is nailed to the pump in this matter.
Mr. Lemass: The Minister is under the impression that this debate is going to stop here. It is not. I will have ample opportunity to deal with this matter on the Finance Bill and I hope it will be possible to have the official documents by that time.
Mr. McGilligan: We will give you a copy of this. There are bound to be copies and I am sure the Deputy can have one. Item 10 on the agenda dealt with the granting of hauliers' licences to persons engaged in the transport of turf during the emergency and the point put up by the Department was the curtailment in turf production and haulage expected with the resumption of coal imports. What did that mean? It was quite clear that turf production was not only going to be lessened, but that turf haulage was going to be lessened because of the coal imports. This document says:
“With the curtailment in turf production and haulage expected with the resumption of coal imports, it was expected that persons engaged in the transport of turf would be approaching the Department for hauliers' licences. The matter would, it was expected, be required to be fully examined in the light of policy  regarding the grant of hauliers' licences. It was suggested that petrol allocations should not be made to newcomers for the present.
Decision: “A comprehensive review of the situation should be undertaken with a view to formulating policy regarding the attitude to be adopted towards applications for hauliers' licences by persons engaged in the transport of turf and timber during the emergency.”
If that was not putting a decision on the long finger for a week, then I do not know what it means. I ask Deputies to consider the meaning of that in the light of the existing circumstances. To me it was simply saying: “Do not bother me about these hauliers until we get the 18th February over us”. Is not that what it means?
Mr. Lemass: Certainly, but I am not to be represented as taking contrary decisions. That is what the Minister for Industry and Commerce did.
Mr. Morrissey: You are being found out at last on this matter.
Mr. Lemass: The Minister is being exposed—he made a false statement.
Mr. Morrissey: I have been accused of making a false statement——
Mr. Lemass: A false statement as Minister—over the radio.
Mr. Morrissey: Can you produce it?
Mr. Lemass: I will produce it.
An Ceann Comhairle: We will hear the Minister for Finance now.
Mr. McGilligan: Deputy Lemass, when he was Minister, clearly indicated that turf could always be cut. We expected that to be so. There can be no question about all these years preemergency when turf was cut. It will continue to be cut and I do not know what would happen to disturb that. But, with regard to turf being cut by county councils on bogs that were taken over by them under Emergency Powers Order, Deputy Lemass clearly saw that coming to an end. It was to be in part replaced by machine-won  turf cut under the supervision of Bord na Móna. But that was to depend on the importation of coal.
Mr. Lemass: There was a White Paper issued in 1946. If you adopt the policy outlined in that Paper you will settle the position.
Mr. McGilligan: On the 12th February we had reached the position in which we were getting in 31,000 tons of coal. That must have had an effect on the winning of turf by the hand process, or it clearly was going to have. The situation which the Deputy indicated on the 18th February as a result of these operations was somewhat interesting. I am quoting from the debate on the 18th February, column 59:
“There are a number of other problems which I am leaving to him——”
that is, to his successor.
“Most of them are problems resulting from the fact that efforts to accumulate stocks have been rather more successful than otherwise. In particular I want to refer to fuel. We have on hands a very large stock of American coal. At the present rate of disbursement there will still be large stocks on hands next winter. There is about a ten years' supply of firewood at the present rate of usage.”
Mr. Lemass: At the present rate of usage.
Mr. McGilligan: The rate of usage could not be increased and I do not know what the Deputy means by that interruption.
Mr. Lemass: The quantity of coal used is half the normal supply.
Mr. McGilligan: It is three-fifths.
Mr. Lemass: Am I right in saying that it represents half the normal requirements?
Mr. McGilligan: Three-fifths of the imports.
Mr. Lemass: Three-fifths of our normal requirements?
Mr. McGilligan: Three-fifths of our imports and, in addition, we have on hands a large stock of American coal.
Mr. Lemass: 250,000 tons.
Mr. McGilligan: Let me continue what the Deputy said:
“There is about a ten years' supply of firewood at the present rate of usage. In that regard a particularly acute problem is now coming to a head. There are a large number of people engaged in this business of felling and hauling firewood. Many are Army officers and soldiers who spent their gratuities on the purchase of lorries.”
Listen to this:
“That business must stop if for no other reason than the physical difficulty of finding further storage space for timber.”
Physical difficulty? It is not merely the Park in which the timber is stored; there are about 17 other dumps in the country, full.
Mr. Dillon: And you never mentioned the South African coal?
Mr. McGilligan: Deputy Briscoe is not in the House.
Mr. Dillon: But the coal is in the Park.
Mr. McGilligan: Deputy Lemass continued:
“All the storage space rented by Fuel Importers, Limited, is full. If this hauling of firewood must cease then these men have no other haulage business in which they can legitimately engage. It may be that a suggestion will be put forward to amend the Transport Act so as to give them the right to engage in public haulage of other kinds.”
He talks about that and then goes on to say:—
“There is, therefore, no easy solution of the problem to which I have referred.”
Mr. Lemass: You did not abolish turf rationing until six weeks afterwards  and you did not cut the price of timber. No one will buy timber at £4 when he can buy turf at £2 14s. 0d.
Mr. Morrissey: Those prices were in operation in your time.
Mr. Lemass: We were building up stocks.
Mr. McGilligan: In column 60 of the debates the Deputy is reported:—
“A similar situation exists in relation to turf.”
The situation with regard to turf and timber was that we had far more than we wanted. I do not know whether that is caught in the phrase: “A similar situation exists in relation to turf.”
Mr. Lemass: Far more people were prepared to buy because of the price.
Mr. McGilligan: The Deputy continued:—
“It is true that turf is still rationed, but it is rationed solely because of the subsidy arrangement. The price of turf in the eastern parts of the country is subsidised. The justification for the maintenance of the subsidy was that turf was rationed in that area. In the rest of the country turf was unsubsidised and unrationed. Now there are ample supplies of turf and rationing could be abolished, subject to the adjustment of the price or the subsidy arrangement relating to price.”
Later he said:—
“There is, however, in the dumps of Fuel Importers, Limited, enough turf at the present rate of distribution to last until the winter of 1949.”
There is the Deputy's statement. We have a ten years' supply of firewood, large stocks of American coal, and enough turf in the dumps to do us until the winter of 1949.
Mr. Lemass: If you kept up the ration.
Mr. McGilligan: Not merely was the Minister talking like that, but he was keeping up the supply of timber into this city.
Mr. Lemass: It had stopped before you came into office.
Mr. McGilligan: It had not stopped. We gave the order to stop it.
Mr. Lemass: The price was reduced a month before, and the measures which diverted it from Dublin were taken a month before.
Mr. Sweetman: The Deputy does not live on the Naas road as I do.
Mr. McGilligan: Ten thousand tons were coming into the city. On the 18th February the Deputy continued: “I think that my successor will be very relieved that there are no immediate fuel difficulties to face in the country but he will have problems to meet in relation to the stocks accumulated.... These stocks will not keep indefinitely as turf deteriorates and timber deteriorates even more rapidly, and clearly the stocks must be disposed of before they become useless.” That is the situation and does anybody expect that we were going to take a contrary decision, that we were going to have the winning of turf by county councils and on the bogs in the counties continue and have it sent into the city, when the dumps here are full between timber and turf and when we got a warning from the man who knows most about it that the stuff deteriorates rapidly and must be got rid of? I want to ask the House who is responsible for the closing down of turf cutting in this country. Was it not the Government that made that situation inevitable, that turf production would have to cease for a while?
Mr. Lemass: Now the policy of the White Paper will start again.
Mr. McGilligan: I do not know what that means, but we have ten years' supply of wood in the Park. That is the situation and then we have Deputies running round the country talking about stoppages of turf cutting and unemployment. Let them tell their constituents the facts. They will get them out of Dáil Debates—the reports which I have read—and official documents, and let them place the blame where it belongs. This would have to come sooner or later; Deputy Lemass  knows that and he had no scruples in saying that to this House in February, 1946. Now that he is in opposition, however, he, of course, finds it useful to say that this is a national development scheme and that it has been dropped. How can he expect us to use the stuff when the Deputy himself said that it was physically impossible to locate it in the place set apart for it?
With regard to unemployment, some of the Donegal Deputies were very vocal about unemployment in Donegal. I have heard figures quoted with regard to unemployment in Donegal which were vastly in excess of the number employed on the production of turf. I wonder what is the cause of the unemployment? I wonder is it because coal has been imported into Donegal? The present Government made no arrangements for bigger importations of coal into Donegal.
Mr. Lemass: You can stop it if you want to. Do not ride that horse now.
Mr. McGilligan: We are in the same position as the last Government when the Deputy did not stop it. Those Deputies who have been talking should get the ex-Minister and ask him if those facts are not correct, and I think that they can form their own conclusions. The production of turf could not go on for ever; it had to be brought to a conclusion and the conclusion was forced upon us because of what the previous Minister for Industry and Commerce, Deputy Lemass, had done, particularly in the autumn of 1947, and continuing into the early stages of 1948 and up to the week of his leaving office.
Further, in regard to unemployment, Deputies have spoken in this House of the difficulties that they have found in getting people to sign on for the alternative schemes which have been put into operation in the turf areas where unemployment was caused. I have heard people saying that it was impossible to get workers for farm operations, even in areas adjacent to bogs which were worked under county council auspices. I am sorry that Deputy Childers and Deputy MacEntee are not in the House at the moment  because they know full well what happened at a gathering in April, 1947, of the people most concerned all over the counties in getting up a special drive in connection with turf. They heard from those people that there was a scarcity of labour for turf cutting and where there was not a scarcity of labour there was a condition of demoralisation because people found it easier to get money from the so-called social service known as the “dole” than to work on the bogs. Deputy MacEntee asked at the conference table if he could take it that that was the experience of everybody and the answer was “Yes, all of us have had that experience.”
It is no wonder then if you go out with alternative schemes that you cannot get labour to work those schemes. Let those workers who have been unemployed hurry to their local branch manager to register and we shall see what unemployment we can mop up through alternative schemes. At the moment it is not easy to get the money which is being spent, so if Deputies, instead of doing their propaganda work here, would get those people to register for work of another type it would be better.
The £85,000 for mineral exploration is one of the great grievances I have to meet in connection with this Budget. Again I would like to remind the House what Deputy Lemass, as Minister for Industry and Commerce, said about the matter in October, 1947. In October, 1947, the then Minister with regard to the Slieveardagh Mines had abandoned——
Mr. Lemass: The deposits would have been worked by private enterprise which was given £50,000 for the development of the mine.
Mr. McGilligan: Two approaches of the Slieveardagh Mines were closed down by Deputy Lemass.
Mr. Lemass: They were not.
Mr. McGilligan: Ballylunty and Lickfinn were closed.
Mr. Lemass: £50,000 capital was provided to open new shafts.
Mr. McGilligan: They were closed by Deputy Lemass.
Mr. Lemass: £50,000 was provided.
Mr. Davern: Has £50,000 been made available or has it been cut down? That is the point people in Slieveardagh are interested in.
Mr. McGilligan: In column 112 of the Official Debates of October 8th Mr. Lemass said:—
“I would not say Slieveardagh is completely mechanised, or that production difficulties have been overcome. In fact, I am satisfied that that has not happened. The other mining operations of the company have been closed down.”
That is the limit of his advances for working the deposits. And later in column 113 Deputy Lemass said:—
“If, in fact, as we must always assume in mining operations the plans do not work out as they hope and a stage is reached where they cannot continue without further capital expenditure the decision of the Government will probably be to close down the work.”
Mr. Lemass: But was the £50,000 made available?
Mr. McGilligan: The £50,000 is on the Estimate at the moment.
Mr. Lemass: Will it be made available?
Mr. McGilligan: The sum I am cutting is the £85,000, which is entirely distinct from that.
Mr. Lemass: Then why bring in Slieveardagh? The £85,000 has nothing to do with Slieveardagh.
Mr. McGilligan: The poor Deputy from Tipperary who thought it was in the £85,000 brought it in.
Mr. Lemass: Has the £50,000 capital been made available or will it be made available?
Mr. Morrissey: Do not lose your temper.
Mr. Lemass: Answer the question.
Mr. Morrissey: Do not get angry.
Mr. McGilligan: Deputy Lemass made the case about Slieveardagh that he was sick and tired of it. I do not think I am parodying him in saying that.
Mr. Lemass: I did not say that.
Mr. McGilligan: That it had been offered to a private company and they would not have it, and he was washing his hands of it. It was advertised for sale.
Mr. Morrissey: Publicly.
Mr. Lemass: It was advertised for sale, not offered to a private company. It was advertised in the newspapers, for sale. When it was not sold, £50,000 was made available for its development. What has happened it?
Mr. Morrissey: It is still there.
Mr. Lemass: Is it going to be used for that purpose?
Mr. Morrissey: You will hear all about it.
Mr. McGilligan: What is the use of arguing about the £85,000, which I am taking, which has nothing to do with Slieveardagh but has to do with Mianraí Teoranta, with regard to which Deputy Childers quoted, when Deputy Lemass was out, what he called the rather mournful statement of the ex-Taoiseach which was to the effect that all the geological surveys and everything we had seemed to indicate that we had no worth-while mineral deposits in the country and I accept the tenor of Deputy Childers' remarks as being what I would myself say was the real complexion to be put on what the ex-Taoiseach said, that this money ought to be spent to get settled once and for all whether we had minerals or not. In fact, the emphasis was to get it settled that we have none. Certainly, there was no optimism about the thing.
Mr. Morrissey: Least of all by Deputy Lemass.
Mr. Lemass: There are experts' reports there. I am not an expert. Go on the experts' reports.
Mr. McGilligan: At column 147 of this debate Deputy Lemass told us what he expected. He said that these people were going to explore and develop; that that would be done in accordance with a systematic plan that was going to last for seven years. At the end of the seven years what was to happen? This:—
“At the end of that seven years' period, we should have a complete picture of the mineral resources of the country which will enable us to decide to what extent we should develop them commercially now and hold them as a sort of strategic reserve against another war or to what extent they are of no value either for commercial exploitation or reserve purposes.”
Nobody would get a lift in his heart from that statement about the future of minerals in the country. The Deputy went on to comment upon a phrase that was used in the debate by the late Deputy Hughes. He said, at column 148:—
“Deputy Hughes appeared to suggest that if the company finds workable deposits and wants to work them, it should go ahead and do so, and that the Bill should provide for that possibility. I do not think it should. If workable deposits are located and developed to the point at which they can be worked, and if it is decided that this company or any other State organisation should work them rather than that they should be leased to private enterprise, the Dáil should have an opportunity of expressing its view on the matter. As this Bill stands, Mianraí Teoranta could not do so. There would have to be other legislation which would enable the Dáil to decide whether it wanted the deposits worked in that way or in some other way. I think that is as it should be. I want no ambiguity in anybody's mind as to the view of the Government. It is that if workable deposits are located and developed to a point at which they can be exploited, they should be leased on some satisfactory basis to private concerns rather than that they should be exploited by Mianraí Teoranta.”
 There is the £85,000. People are talking in this House as if there was actual mining going on, that workable deposits had been found, that they were being got out, that there was commercial use found for them and that we had a purchaser for whatever was there. That is all-nonsense. These are all figments of the vivid imaginations of the Deputies. The money was provided there to allow certain development and exploratory work to be done and, beyond Slieveardagh, it had been definitely thrown aside by the Minister. The only other thing that was ahead was Avoca and with regard to Avoca I do not want to speak too much at this moment because there is a possibility of a scheme with regard to Avoca being worked out.
I cannot say what I would like to say in answer to Deputy MacEntee but I would say this: that I do not think anybody who comes here to work Avoca or any other mines will ever have imposed upon him the sort of confidence trick that would certainly be put upon him if he were to go by the phrase used by Deputy MacEntee in the Dáil. Deputy MacEntee gave a highly-coloured version of a report about deposits in Avoca. He never told this House that there were three reports, two of them very unsatisfying. The first approached was an Englishman. Nobody could say any penny would be spent on what he reported. The second was a Swede. His report could be described as equally unhelpful. The third was the professor to whom Deputy MacEntee referred. Really, it is something approaching dishonesty to promulgate to this House one of three reports, two of them bad and one middling good, and then to pretend that there is a whole field, not merely for exploration but for development, and that we are definitely and clearly putting that aside. We have other plans with regard to Avoca. I do not believe it is worth while spending this £85,000 a year in the way in which Deputy Lemass outlined in October, 1947—so that in the end we could get a picture of the mineral resources and see whether there was something we could exploit, and then exploit and hold them as a strategic reserve and later make up our minds  as to whether the thing was commercially workable or not.
There is any amount of information about minerals in this country—any amount of it. If there is anything in which the whole Geological Surveys report any possibility of good, I would rather tackle these and spend money on them, not on any further exploration, attempting to discover whether there are minerals there or not, but trying to get down to something and getting some good out of the country.
Mr. Lemass: Does not it show that in Avoca?
Mr. McGilligan: The Geological Surveys did not.
Mr. Lemass: Surely the Geological Survey was always very strongly of opinion that Avoca should be explored?
Mr. McGilligan: If they did, why call in three experts, two of them not being satisfactory in the end? Does the Deputy deny what I have said? I do not want to go into this in detail and I hope the Deputy will not press me to because at the present moment there are people interested. There were three reports. The Deputy knows that.
Mr. Lemass: I am querying the suggestion that the Geological Survey suggests that Avoca has no minerals or is not capable of being worked. The Geological Survey has always been strongly of opinion that Avoca should be explored. The past director of the Geological Survey was a director of Mianraí Teoranta. The present director of the Geological Survey also is a director of Mianraí Teoranta.
Mr. McGilligan: I want the phrase noted—“If there was enough there to have them explored.”
Mr. Lemass: You cannot be certain until you go down to look. It is also a fact that that Bill was supported by every Party in the House, including the Fine Gael Party.
Mr. McGilligan: I do not know whether that is so or not. I have not been able to look through the debate. I should imagine it probably was supported. It is only when one gets  behind the curtains and realises what the reality of the situation is that one can appreciate the phrase used in Dáil Éireann. The phrase used in Dáil Éireann certainly would not have enthused anybody about the exploration. Probably people said it was better than nothing but, when you get the reality and realise that what was said to the Dáil was putting the best face on a rather bad situation, then you begin to wonder whether or not the expenditure of the money was worth while. I do not think, in present circumstances, that it is. If money is to be spent, in exploration and development, I think there are better ways of spending it than that scheme of going on year by year paying £85,000 to discover whether or not we have any minerals, with a rather definite accent on the phrase that it is really to prove to people that we have none. That is the mood in which the money was voted.
I have been questioned with regard to what I am doing in connection with the cinemas and a great case has been made here about the hardship caused to certain cinemas. Let the situation be understood. There are 360 picturehouses, or thereabouts, in the country. Prior to the imposition of the Supplementary Budget only 11 of these gave variety performances. I suggest that only 11 have to be considered as in any way affected by the present financial proposals. It is true that, after the Supplementary Budget proposal being brought in, a great number of these houses went over to what are called live shows. The calculations that I have show that 248 of the cinemas had these live shows. A live show meant that they got in someone to play a tin whistle or strum the piano or play about with a melodeon or something like that for, say, two hours and five minutes. Then a two-hour picture show was run and, of course, the greater part of the performance, more than 50-50, was a live show and therefore the tax was remitted. I do not propose to allow those people to evade the tax in that way. It was never the policy that the tax should be remitted in those circumstances.
With regard to the 11 houses, here is the only information I have been able to get in regard to those places.  Half a dozen places were mentioned here in the House during the debate and with regard to the six mentioned, only one of them ran cinema variety to any extent prior to the Supplementary Budget. The rest had taken it on as a method of evading the tax. If they had not the habit of feeing variety artistes, I do not propose to allow them the remission. In regard to the 11 that had, one can weigh in the balance the statement made about 400 or 500 variety artistes being thrown out of employment by the new budgetary proposal, when I tell you that the places where these 11 cinemas operated were Lucan, Navan, Oldcastle, Kilcullen, Kildare, Naas, Baltinglass, Portlaoighise and Moville. It is quite clear that there could not be any great employment given to variety artistes in that number of the 11 that I have mentioned. I suggest that this is all humbug.
Some Deputies seem to have nothing much else to talk about in connection with the Budget except a case to be made with regard to some variety artistes, but the number has been magnified to some 500 or 600 in constant employment who are going to be thrown out of their occupations. These houses could not employ 400 or 500 even in five years. I suggest there is no real case for alleviating the effect on these people of the proposals that I have made. If it could be said with regard to any one of them that they were seriously in the cine-variety line and that they intended to continue that way, that they had built premises specially for that and that they were going to be handicapped in recovering their capital expenditure, I would suggest, in regard to such a particular picture house, that a case has been made. I have no information about any such place yet and I think my proposal should be accepted until such a case is made.
Deputy McCann told us of a picture house in Ringsend and either he or Deputy MacEntee says that the proprietor of the establishment told whichever of the Deputies was speaking that they had engaged in cine-variety. The investigation showed they never once had an artiste on their boards, and  could not, because the Dublin Corporation had certain regulations with regard to fire precautions which would preclude any such picture house having variety artistes. While I was told the proprietor of the picture house had so told one or other of the Deputies, the investigation reveals that it is a complete fabrication.
I suppose the greatest fuss caused in connection with these proposals is over the short-wave station. I think Deputy Derrig was the last man to speak about the short-wave station in operation, so that news and information could be transmitted to America, Australia and elsewhere, and millions of people of Irish descent could, by the turning of a knob, switch in and hear Irish programmes and news from Ireland. He talks about our great boast being that we have not material goods to give to people, but that we have a spiritual and national heritage and we could transmit that by allowing those people to switch in on their radio sets in America, to get whatever is to come from our short-wave station. That is a great picture. Deputy Little had very much the same thing to say. He talked of the thousands who were going to be disappointed by the disappearance of these proposals. Deputy Lemass used the phrase that many thousands of Irish citizens had been looking forward to the station as being the only means by which the Irish people could correct any misrepresentation abroad.
I cannot find out what the policy was in regard to this station. As Deputies here have expressed it, some say it was to enable those of our kith and kin abroad to listen-in to the Radio Éireann programme, while others talk as if it was going to be an opportunity to give them a new programme here at home, that they could switch on the new station on their sets at home and get a sort of second show as well as that which they get from Radio Éireann at the moment. However, the great complaint was with regard to propaganda through this use of the air, that it was the way in which we could tear down the paper wall around us and, when the occasion arose, could correct any misrepresentation; and if, in a  moment of agony, we were going to be invaded, we could have a last despairing cry sent to the world, so that the people abroad would know from those at home what the real situation was. That is a great picture. I do not care which of the two arguments is used— there is some policy in either, if you neglect the facts. What are the facts? Deputy Little almost cried aloud the other day over this. Deputy Little, while he remained Minister for Posts and Telegraphs, as far as departmental memoranda is concerned, stoutly opposed this scheme from beginning to end.
Mr. Little: That is not true.
Mr. McGilligan: He opposed it. The first memorandum that proceeded from the Deputy's Department was:—
“It cannot be too strongly emphasised that the view of this Department is quite definitely that it will be extremely difficult to get any wave-length free from all interference suitable for working from here to the United States.”
On that basis, he was all against it, I suggest. There is the situation and there is no doubt about it. We have not got a wave-length for broadcasting from the short-wave station, if it were erected.
Mr. Little: We are just as entitled as any other country to get one.
Mr. McGilligan: Just, but we have not got one.
Mr. Little: Everyone has a right.
Mr. McGilligan: We went to the conference in Atlantic City when the matter was thrashed out and we did not succeed in getting one.
Mr. Little: We did not fail, either.
Mr. McGilligan: The matter was left over to Mexico City in the autumn, when it was to be thrashed out again.
Mr. Little: October.
Mr. McGilligan: Certain arrangements had been sought, attempting to  discover whether we could have share arrangements on a short-wave with some other country, which would enable us to do a couple of hours' broadcast on a couple of nights in the week. We never got such a share arrangement, so we had no wave-length and we had not even a share arrangement.
Mr. Little: The negotiations were not finished.
Mr. McGilligan: This whole project started in 1945, when the negotiations for a wave-length had not even started and when the Post Office view, which I presume was that of the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs, was that there would be extreme difficulty in getting any suitable wave-length free from interference.
Mr. Little: It was not my view.
Mr. McGilligan: Notwithstanding that—I need not go through all the memoranda; the Deputy must know— eventually this was pushed across on him as being a matter of national importance. In other words, the answer was: “We do not care anything about your technical difficulties. Whether or not we are getting a wave-length, we want a short-wave station.” That is what it came to.
Mr. Little: It is not true.
Mr. McGilligan: That is on the memorandum issued. I am right and the Deputy must admit that no wave-length was secured.
Mr. Little: The Department put up the difficulties.
Mr. McGilligan: The Deputy says we can broadcast on any wave-length we like. And if we do, have we got a wave-length for the medium band— we have—and does that depend on our being, so to speak, reasonable people in connection with wave-lengths? If we came home and decided, as the Deputy suggests, that we would just go on the air any time and jam other people abroad on the short-wave, would not we be deprived almost certainly of our medium wave-length? I  suggest we would. So, for the purposes of showing ourselves off on the air, on some wave-length which we would not have for use as a rule and which we would use with other people and jam their programmes, resulting in the eventual disappearance of our right to the medium band, we decided to go on with the erection of the station. We further had tried to get a share arrangement and failed to get it.
Do not forget this, that the best Post Office information appears to be that the radio sets now being made in America do not include short-wave reception. They are off on some system called modulated frequency or frequency modulation.
Mr. Little: It is far from being widespread.
Mr. McGilligan: While not widespread, it is certainly coming in. In that event, a short-wave broadcasting station is a real white elephant. Think of the frustration that was ahead, people leaping around to get a short-wave station so that our nationals abroad could hear Radio Éireann's music or something during the emergency. We were in an unhappy situation; we had no wave-length and no sharing arrangement. The people whom we wanted to approach were getting out of short-wave reception as fast as they could and a new system was coming in which was making the old system obsolete before we could operate it.
Mr. Little: That is a complete distortion of the situation.
Mr. Lemass: New countries have established new stations and have got wave-lengths since.
Mr. S. Collins: Have we not tried travelling showmen? So we do not need a short-wave station.
Mr. Davern: That remark is typical of Deputy Seán Collins. He should not speak about the ex-Taoiseach in that fashion.
Mr. McGilligan: So long as it is not broadcast from the short-wave station it is all right. As a matter of fact  that would be a good place to broadcast the remarks about the ex-Taoiseach because they would not get out anywhere.
Mr. Davern: The people abroad know all about our ex-Taoiseach already.
A Deputy: And the people of Ireland too.
Mr. Davern: And the people of the world.
Mr. McGilligan: I confess astonishment at all the fuss that has been created about a station that was going to be dumb. We had a lurid figure in our minstrelsy about “The harp that once through Tara's Halls.” We now have added the short-wave station that never—and never could, as far as the arrangements were concerned.
Mr. Little: Do you propose to send anyone to the conference to try to complete the negotiations?
Mr. McGilligan: I wonder whether that would be good or bad. It is almost a complete stultification to have people looking for wave-bands when the evidence so far is that we would not get one.
Mr. Little: You certainly will not get one if you do not try.
Mr. McGilligan: I am wondering if it is worth trying. I have to get further information as to whether it is worth trying. I think the Deputy will admit that if the American sets are no longer capable of receiving short-wave programmes it is not worth while getting it.
Mr. Little: That is a complete distortion of the situation in America. The modulated system is not widespread, is not liked, and it is expensive.
Mr. McGilligan: I do not say that frequency modulation is the reason for this short-wave going out. There are two movements, one may make the other a certainty, but with frequency modulation coming in short-wave reception is going out.
Mr. Little: It is always used in time of crisis and war. That was to have been its main function.
Mr. McGilligan: We are not back in time of crisis. Some Deputies want this station erected so that in some emergency which is not precisely brought before the Dáil somebody would be able to broadcast something somewhere. What is it that is required? Why should we spend money on this unnamed emergency and for an unmentioned purpose in connection with it? I do not understand the reason and, until the Deputy is more precise about what he requires, I will pass the argument over. There is all the fuss about the closing down of this station. I suggest there never was a case for the building of it. My only regret is that I did not get into the Department of Finance in time to stop the expense earlier. The station is there at the moment. Deputy Lemass apparently thinks that four masts or three and a half are erected. I understand that one and a half is the figure. The Deputy will realise that there is no great contradiction between us because you have to have two to make a unit. There are one and a half erected. That is the situation as we know it.
Mr. Killilea: There are five masts there now. That means only two units.
Mr. McGilligan: There are three and a half masts and that means one and a half units.
Mr. Killilea: There are five masts up. I see them every day when I pass by them.
Mr. McGilligan: I may be mistaken. That means one and a half units. I do not know whether the unit, as it is erected, is the American or the European. Deputy Little went out of his way about some grand order of priority which was arranged first for North America; then, if you please, Australia and the South Pacific; then the European countries and, finally, South America. Certainly Deputy Little managed to get the European masts in very quickly, but whether they are the ones fully erected or not I do not know. The highest point of the futility about this station would be  if the masts erected for broadcasting to America should be those for broadcasting to the Continent. That might easily be the situation which will develop. However, it is only part of the whole background which is really an effort at frustration and futility of the worst type, and no good to the people in the country.
Mr. Lemass: Will the Minister give a licence for its establishment by private enterprise on a commercial basis?
Mr. McGilligan: If anybody offers I shall consider the proposal. I will do anything to save money on this project. It is desperate to see it there. It does not show up any Government, or the people who gave the lead to a former Government that they should advance as far as they did on the lines they did on that project with the information they had at their disposal.
I thought we had got rid of Aer Linte for ever once the decision was taken to close that service down. Apparently some people are still concerned about the closing of the transatlantic service. I would like to correct a few wrong impressions. I hear comments—I do not know whether they are supposed to be quotations or not but they are made as if they were— that the air services were supposed to pay from the start. I never judged that service on that basis. As far as I could I had inquiries made to find out if it was ever likely to prove a success. I never got anybody to state that it would. I do not know if anybody in this House, who has any knowledge of that service, would dare to suggest that it was likely to be a paying proposition. I saw no memorandum that came within miles of suggesting that. It was starting at a loss and it was going to continue at a loss, and a heavy loss at that. I understand that the estimate given in this House was in the neighbourhood of a loss of £150,000 per year. The real loss was something in the nature of £500,000 without paying the interest on the capital moneys which were sunk. There was a scheme which I thought showed a remote possibility of this loss being brought down to about £150,000 but it involved the  Constellations which were going to be leased to Aer Lingus at a fee of £500,000 per year.
If Aer Lingus was going to get £500,000 per year put on to its already overburdened back it only meant that we pretended to make the transatlantic air service a bit less of a deficit by off-loading part of the deficit on Aer Lingus. Any decent finance outlook with regard to the transatlantic air service would be that it started at a loss, continued at a loss, and never looked like being anything but a loss. The most bolstered-up estimates of receipts—even allowing that it was going to cater for all and sundry without any difficulty in connection with foreign exchange and including the possibility that Americans were going to travel in our planes rather than in their own —had to embrace all these certainly rather improbable events before one could bring the loss down to some moderate point. But it was always going to be a loss, and let nobody pretend to have any information to the contrary. We are having air services but, as far as I understand, every item in connection with them is, at the moment, operating at a loss. The two airport accounts are in deficit. Aer Lingus and its various branches are in deficit but nobody proposes to close them down for that reason. It was to be expected that company would have to bear rather heavy expense at the beginning but one would expect that a service running between here and England ought to find enough passengers offering to enable the service to pay. It may be that there were some mistakes made with regard to the set-up of the establishment which they were unable to rectify. There is no suggestion that I have heard of, at any rate no suggestion proceeded from me, about cutting down all the air services which show a deficit.
I am faced with a situation in which every single one of them is in deficit. The only one that has been stopped is the transatlantic service and I think it was a wise thing. I think we are going to give air development in this country a little bit better chance of proving itself to the people, of having itself established here as a good service, if we take away one branch which was  going to operate at a heavy loss and as far as I can make out, was going to operate permanently at a loss. Deputy Briscoe said that all the transatlantic air services were paying their way. My information is to the contrary.
Mr. Lemass: Airline shares are booming on the New York Stock Exchange.
Mr. Dillon: Every line is losing money.
Mr. McGilligan: There was a statement the other day about airlines carrying mails which, of course, would be another way of giving subsidies under a cloak. The great thing is to give a new Post Office contract and, instead of having the mails carried by ships, we should give enormously increased payments to the air service to carry them. That, of course, would bring down the deficit by what is really a subsidy.
When I heard Deputy Little talking about the authentic voice of Ireland going over the air on the short-wave station and when I got finally into my hands the scheme of advertisements for the transatlantic service, I began to feel that we did a very good day's work for this country in closing down quick and fast the transatlantic air service. The transatlantic air service had decided to advertise their comings and goings. Amongst others, they advertised in a paper called The New Yorker. I wish people could see the advertisements and the sort of typical little figure which, apparently, the advertiser had decided to make for the Irish transatlantic air service. It is very reminiscent of the bad old days of the stage Irishman—the little squat figure with the Irish features as portrayed in the pages of Punch years ago in derision of this country—the long upper lip, the long nose with the caubeen on the head. They had not the pipe, but only a shamrock this time. That was paraded in New York as being an advertisement under the auspices of Aer Línte or some of their advertising agents, in order to get people to travel by that service. On February 14th, 1948, over this amazing  parody of a figure supposed to represent an Irishman we had this: “Cushla machree, and would you look at what the Irish are doing.” On February 21st: “ 'Tis a proud day that's coming for the Irish”—with the little figure bobbing around. On February 28th: “It's a Shamrock that's coming ... the likes of which ye've never seen before.” On March 6th—this is preparing for the great flight which was to take place on St. Patrick's Day: “And did you hear the news that's going round—the Irish are flying on St. Patrick's Day.” That is a nostalgic horror as an effort at advertising. It certainly deserves immediate retrenchment. If that is the way the Irish air line was being paraded by advertisement through New York, I feel prouder than ever that I brought that to a finish. If that was the sort of stuff that was being paraded to promote the onset of our nationals on this country by the grand air service we were providing——
Mr. Little: Is not all that just a red herring?
Mr. McGilligan: It is a very malodorous one. Certainly I do not think Deputy Little would be guilty of broadcasting that type of stuff over the new short-wave station. If he did, I would not call it the authentic voice of Ireland calling. I am criticised for what I am doing with regard to wheat. What I am doing is what has been done in quite a number of countries since 1930. So far as I remember, about 1930 Sweden started a scheme of having the Budget not alone regarded as an annual matter, but of having certain parts of the Budget schemed out for a four or seven years' period. They were advised by good financiers that if they could make ends meet inside four, five or six years that was all that was required. They took into consideration circumstances in which certain expenditures were bearing very heavily on them in a particular year and in which they could see these circumstances ceasing, in the latter years, and they did what I have done.
Mr. Lemass: Those were depression years. They were fighting deflation, not inflation.
Mr. McGilligan: I thought the Deputy's view was that this was a deflation period. Has he changed to inflation now?
Mr. Lemass: I said that there are signs that we are passing into one. They started at a period when they were in the depths of one.
Mr. McGilligan: They continued it in the other stage. It was meant to even out these curves between deflation and inflation. Apart from any of these examples, I suggest that it would have been quite fair and reasonable, and that it is particularly fair and reasonable when the present year's difficulties have to be considered. This year the subsidy for wheat would have to be £6,850,000. In that £6,850,000 there is one item of 75,000 tons of Argentine wheat at £50 per ton, and the subsidy on that alone is nearly £2,500,000. The subsidy on the native 1947 harvest was £600,000 and for the native 1948 harvest £1,190,000. The subsidy on Australian wheat at a price of £35 per ton was £2,625,000. The real blister this year was the 75,000 tons of Argentine wheat which the then Minister bought the day before he left office.
Mr. Lemass: Would you have preferred to do without it? Could you have got it anywhere else for less?
Mr. McGilligan: Could you not have left it to your successor to decide?
Mr. Lemass: The statement that I bought it before I left office is not true. Negotiations had been proceeding for months and were concluded at that time.
Mr. McGilligan: On the 14th February the Chargé d'Affaires cabled to say that he expected an interview shortly with the head of the Argentine Grain Exporting Agency. There was a further cable received from the Chargé d'Affaires on the 16th February intimating that as a result of his representations payment would be accepted in sterling. The Minister for Industry and Commerce decided that the purchase should be concluded. Perhaps I was wrong in saying that it was the day before he left office. In any event,  it was finished by the evening of the 16th or some time on the 17th; certainly about 48 hours before he left office.
Mr. Lemass: What would be the bread ration now only for it?
Mr. Dillon: Exactly the same.
Mr. McGilligan: The then Minister deferred consideration of whether or not he would discharge the turf workers from the bogs on the 12th February to a later date. He is faced here with this purchase on the 16th February, when by the 16th Deputies knew what their fate would be on the 18th. That purchase of 75,000 tons of wheat at £50 per ton cost this country nearly £2,500,000 in the way of subsidy.
Mr. Lemass: If I had not closed the deal and the bread ration had to be halved, what would the Minister be saying?
Mr. McGilligan: The only thing that I can say about that decision is why could you not have left it to your successor?
Mr. Lemass: You might not have got the wheat.
Mr. McGilligan: You left turf and other things to your successor. There is nothing in the cables that I have seen to say that the bargain was not open on that date.
Mr. Lemass: Find out about that.
Mr. McGilligan: I will find out. It is not in this memorandum from the Chargé d'Affaires from which I have already quoted. Why should the Minister for Industry and Commerce have put this blister of £2,480,000 on the country within the last 36 hours of his Party leaving office? I think I am entitled to take that into consideration and to say that no such profligate purchase will be made in any other year, I hope. That was done by a Deputy who is now going around the country saying that I cannot pay for this year's bread for the country. I am not sure that I am bound to enforce on the people of the country that gorgeous  mistake of Deputy Lemass's and make them pay for it in one year.
Mr. Lemass: If that was a mistake I take it that the policy of the Government is to reduce the bread ration rather than purchase wheat from abroad.
Mr. Dillon: There is no foundation for that.
Mr. Lemass: Do not be trying to deceive the Dáil. There is no place else where you could have got it.
Mr. Dillon: Nonsense.
Mr. McGilligan: We are getting it from Australia.
Mr. Lemass: There is not a grain of Australian wheat coming in before September that was not purchased before your time.
Mr. McGilligan: We have got some from America.
Mr. Lemass: 75,000 tons.
Mr. McGilligan: No. Why should we look for that 75,000 tons?
Mr. Lemass: You prefer to cut the ration.
Mr. McGilligan: No. The tonnage of wheat, including this very dear 75,000 tons, is got by providing for this year 430,000 tons and budgeting next year for 460,000 tons. I am not trying to cut any ration, but I am providing that extra 30,000 tons of wheat.
Mr. Lemass: This country has not been allocated 480,000 tons for next year.
Mr. McGilligan: No one said we had. There is the native wheat.
Mr. Lemass: The Minister is talking about native wheat when nobody knows what the harvest is going to be.
Mr. Dillon: They do.
Mr. McGilligan: We believe we will get 100,000 tons of native wheat and 360,000 tons from abroad, or 460,000 tons in all.
Mr. Lemass: That will not maintain the ration.
Mr. McGilligan: I am not cutting the ration but I am cutting the heavy expenditure on the people. What is being done in regard to wheat is that recognising that this was a very bad year, made particularly bad by the bad bargain the Deputy made so late in his time, we feel that we could not ask the people to bear the whole of that in this year.
Mr. Lemass: If that wheat had not been purchased the ration would have had to be reduced on the 1st March.
Mr. Dillon: Nonsense.
Mr. McGilligan: The Deputy might say that with a good prospect of getting it over if he was sitting on this side. He was then able to bully and boast and rant but he cannot do it now. We have the documents.
Mr. Lemass: If the Minister looks at the documents he will find that the official view of the Department of Industry and Commerce was that even after that purchase the ration would have to be reduced.
Mr. McGilligan: Is that your own Department?
Mr. Lemass: The officials of the Department.
Mr. McGilligan: One does not criticise officials here, but they must have had a bad training.
Mr. Lemass: Look up the records of the conference.
Mr. McGilligan: You can take it that 430,000 tons are going to be sufficient to get us through this year.
Mr. Lemass: No, unless you have a big carry over.
Mr. McGilligan: Is it your contention that, without the 75,000 tons from the Argentine, we would have been left short?
Mr. Lemass: 430,000 tons for the year will not maintain the ration.
Mr. McGilligan: Deputies, I am sure, will realise how moderate I am in dividing out the cost of the wheat over  four or five years. There is a scheme to provide wheat at two dollars dropping by 20 cents each year. The Deputy's first view of that scheme was that it was going to be all right. Any information I have is that it is going to be all right. As regards the wheat purchased from abroad, if we take the four years, the price will not be the 2-dollar figure I have taken but $1.60. We estimate that we are going to get 100,000 tons of native wheat. If I only get what the Deputy mentioned, I will be relieved in the payment of a bit of money on, say, 30,000 tons of wheat.
Mr. Lemass: Are you only expecting 100,000? That is only one-third of the normal.
Mr. McGilligan: We are getting 360,000 tons from abroad. That is 30,000 tons more than the Deputy left us this year. A great many of these calculations may slide in my favour and I need not take the 2-dollar wheat all through.
Mr. Lemass: The present price is $2.70.
Mr. Dillon: The Deputy knows that the agreement is a 2-dollar ceiling.
Mr. McGilligan: Taking it that the agreement will be fulfilled it would be good finance and good economics to take the middle point of $1.60 wheat. If I do not look for 100,000 tons of native wheat but for 60,000 or 70,000 tons then I will save the subsidy on 30,000 tons. As regards freights, there is a certain view that they may not be as high for five years as they are to-day. Am I doing anything really to undermine the stability of the State in taking these factors into consideration? They are factors that can operate very easily in favour of the country. Am I not to take any cognisance of them but simply to budget for $2 wheat right through the five-year period, find out what I have to pay and divide by five?
Mr. Lemass: The only objection to that course is to describe it as an economy.
Mr. McGilligan: I have not described it as an economy. The Deputy can describe it any way he likes. I say it is  good both as a finance matter and as a matter of economics. It is certainly a good deal better than the Deputy would have done. He left us with 75,000 tons of Argentine wheat bought at £50 a ton, so that the Lord only knows what we would have had to pay in wheat and flour subsidies this year.
There was one small matter raised by Deputy McCann. He referred to the building programme for vocational education schools. Deputy McCann must know that there was a meeting on the 30th January of this year to discuss that particular matter. On the 30th January, the people who form the present Government were not in office and that matter has nothing to do with any economy measure I have adopted. It was developed before we became the Government. I have a feeling that Deputy McCann was at that meeting with the Departmental officers who discussed this question and that it was agreed to have schools of the size the Deputy now complains of instead of having them built on bigger lines. I ask the Deputy to take it from me that the records show that the Department's inspector, at the request of the Chief Executive Officer of the Vocational Education Committee, attended a meeting on the 30th January to discuss plans for these schools. Let the Deputy knock it out of his head that it has anything to do with any measure of economy which I have initiated.
Mr. McCann: Our plans were submitted for schools to accommodate 360 pupils. We were later asked to revise these plans so that schools would be provided to accommodate only 120 pupils.
Mr. McGilligan: That was the very matter that was discussed on the 30th January.
Mr. McCann: At no time was there a submission in regard to schools for 120 pupils. At all times we stuck to our submission that schools to accommodate 360 pupils should be provided.
Mr. McGilligan: I have pointed out that the Departmental records show that an inspector of the Department attended a meeting at which it was pointed out that while it was possible  that schools might be required to accommodate 240 pupils, he estimated that the existing demands would be met if schools were built to accommodate about half that number. He suggested that schools designed to accommodate about 120 could be erected at once and that the number could be added to if and when required.
Mr. McCann: The Vocational Committee never accepted that. Our plans were ready.
Mr. McGilligan: The Deputy alleged that this was being done as a measure of economy by the present Government. It was promulgated on the 30th January by people who certainly were not inclined towards economy.
Mr. McCann: Promulgation is not acceptance.
Mr. McGilligan: I have not said it was accepted. It was proposed by the Departmental inspector who was acting on the instructions of the last Government on the 30th January.
The matter of the reduction in the duty on wine has been referred to. I want to make one simple comment about it. There is, of course, a certain form of propaganda which it is open to Deputies to make in that regard but let them remember that they carried the existing taxation on wine, as they found it in 1930, up to the year 1946 when they made a change. The duty on wine, as I leave it, is higher than what the last Government put it up to in 1946. They went on again to raise it in 1947 by what a Deputy here behind me called a blunder. We tried to retrieve that blunder which stopped the consumption of wine. It drove people from drinking wine and sherry to drinking spirits. There have been many complaints made about the bad social tendency developed in consequence. I have kept that in my consideration but I have also the consideration that the Government will get more money by reducing the duties. I estimate that I can get £250,000 more from the people who drink wine. The last Government failed to get that duty by putting the tax too high. If there is any attempt to represent this Budget as being a  Budget for wine drinkers—and Deputy Allen is already preparing his propaganda—let him remember that the tax on champagne at the moment is higher far than it was between the years 1930 and 1946.
Under Deputy Allen's Budgets from 1932 to 1946 the duty on a bottle was 2/7; it is now 6/5. In 1946—I do not know why that was the year in which it was possible to get after the wine drinkers—the tax rose to 5/2; it is now 6/5. The only difference is that in 1947 the last Government put it up to 10/4 at which point it ceased to have any revenue value. We are now bringing it back, not to the point which would make it as cheap as the champagne which Deputy Allen could have in his palmiest days but to some reasonable figure at which we expect we shall get £250,000 extra by way of revenue. I suggest that that is not a matter which people should lament. There is no bad social tendency involved in it. It is a good social tendency inasmuch as I think it will keep young people from drinking spirits. When the last Government increased the tax they were not thinking of social tendencies but of some way in which they might get more money. They failed to get that money and I hope to get the money by a more reasoned view on this whole matter.
Quite a number of small points were referred to and certain features were paraded as putting impositions on the people. In particular, references were made to the extra contribution called for from those who are contributors to unemployment insurance and national health insurance. These calculations will be worked out in much more detail when the appropriate legislation comes before the House but I have made a calculation based on certain papers sent to me by the Department of Social Welfare. I have calculated that the cost to each contributor of this overloading will not be as much as 4d. per week. Do not forget that the tax remissions by the present Government on beer, stout and tobacco will involve a loss of £6,000,000 in revenue. The increase in the cost of a single packet of Players was 4d. I am imposing on  the weekly contribution under this scheme the equivalent to the tax which the last Government put on one packet of Players. If anybody wants to complain, I suggest that people throughout the country will be better pleased to pay these increased contributions than to have to pay the heavy extra tax on tobacco. Deputy Allen said that it was a tax.
Mr. Allen: Would it not be better to have it on the Players than to have put it on employees?
Mr. McGilligan: I think not. I think the employee would prefer to pay 4d. per week increased contribution than to have to pay 4d. extra for each packet of cigarettes which he purchases.
Mr. Lemass: He has no option.
Mr. McGilligan: He had no option under your tax; he had to pay it on the Players.
Mr. Allen: He need not smoke then.
Mr. McGilligan: Similarly in regard to margarine and oatmeal. I am told that these proposals would put up the cost of living. I notice that when Deputies started off on a flight of the imagination about these things they had little regard for the fact. I want to let the House know what the situation is. The withdrawal of the subsidy on margarine and oatmeal will mean an addition to the cost-of-living index figure—that is the index figure our predecessors left us—of .0445 of a point. That is the increase in the cost of living. If you take the old cost-of-living figure—and I would rather take that—it means less than half of a point in the increase. Balance against that the very definite reduction in the cost of living occasioned by the reduction in the tax on tobacco and liquor of various types. People would weigh in the balance seriously some sum of less than £200,000 against a remission of £6,000,000 and tell me that on balance the country has lost and that the cost of living has been increased. I suggest that that phrase cannot be used in the light of the figures I have quoted.
Mr. Allen: Are drink and tobacco included in the cost-of-living index?
Minister for Industry and Commerce (Mr. Morrissey): They were up to the time you increased it.
Mr. Allen: Are they or are they not?
Mr. Morrissey: You took them out last November to “cod” the people.
Mr. Allen: I cannot get an answer.
Mr. McGilligan: I am not going to answer that question, for this reason, that I am not concerned immediately with the increase in the cost-of-living figure. I am concerned when it comes to certain calculations based on that figure. I am talking here about the cost of living. Does Deputy Allen seriously suggest that if, on the one hand, the Minister remits taxation costing £6,000,000 to the people and imposes, in return, taxes that put on £200,000——
Mr. Allen: You had no option in the world but to remit them.
Mr. McGilligan: To remit what—the liquor taxes?
Mr. Allen: You had no option.
Mr. McGilligan: Why?
Mr. Allen: Because you sold out, body and bones.
Mr. Morrissey: You were not here when the Minister replied to that.
Mr. McGilligan: The Deputy is back again on this bags of gold business. He ought to ask his own leader what gold there was from those industrialists whose circular I quoted. Before Deputy Allen goes off on any panegyric about the publicans and their power, let him not forget that in this House Deputy Lemass said that he would probably have remitted these taxes himself—these taxes on the few “boozers”.
Mr. Allen: As a Government.
Mr. McGilligan: We did it as a Government. If Deputy Allen wants the quotation, he will get it at column 233 of the Official Debates of 9th March. I asked if Deputy Lemass was angry at our having remitted them and  he said: “Not at all; we probably would have done it ourselves.”
Mr. Allen: He did not say that people outside forced him.
Mr. McGilligan: I wonder will Deputies opposite realise that it is rather a significant thing that a Government built up from five groups— Deputy Childers wanted to fix the number at about 12—were found to be unanimous on one thing, that these taxes should be remitted. Deputy Allen says that the deputy leader of my Party sold my Party to the publicans.
Mr. Allen: That is true.
Mr. McGilligan: What about the other Parties? Were they sold also?
Mr. Allen: They sold out to the dog owners and other people.
Mr. McGilligan: Did they sell out to the publicans? It is a significant thing that five groups coalescing in government found themselves unanimous on at least that one point. Will Deputy Allen pause and think why that unanimity was brought about? It was brought about because the people who form the Parties supporting this Government are responsive to public opinion. As we went through the country, we found that public opinion was very alert, very vocal and very argumentative about the hardship they found as a result of these taxes, and, in the different Parties, we felt the effect of these appeals and five different Parties made promises.
Mr. Allen: A highly-organised body which used plenty of money—that is what affected all of you.
Mr. McGilligan: There are people through the country who were shouting about this. The publicans have not got the power in their votes, if they have it in their money, but it was votes that shifted the Deputy from this side of the House to the other, and a lot of the votes were swayed by the feeling created throughout the country by the imposition of these taxes.
Mr. Allen: It had nothing to do with it.
Mr. McGilligan: We are responsive to public opinion. We found ourselves coerced into accepting the appeals, and we carried out that promise. If the Deputy wants to measure bags of gold against bags of gold, let us get into a huddle with Deputy Lemass, or with whomever is treasurer of Fianna Fáil, and find out what accrued from the industrialists' circular, how many people subscribed and whether there was any consideration for it. Then we will know where we are with regard to selling out.
Mr. Allen: I justified those taxes on every platform for two months and headed the poll.
Mr. McGilligan: I have been asked about the Ferguson tractor. That is a question which is causing a great deal of anxiety. I know that farming interests feel that they have been prejudiced by the fact that the petrol tax has been raised and that those with Ferguson tractors which run on petrol have an extra amount to bear. It is not easy to find a way out. It is being examined. It seems to be clear that certain arrangements can be made with regard to unregistered tractors and agricultural tractors, really so-called. The difficulty is met when we come to the tractors used for work other than completely agricultural work, and, if anything is to be done with regard to the petrol supply to these, it opens up wide avenues for evasion and the full effect of the tax may be lost. However, Deputies can realise that, even though there are grave administrative difficulties, the matter is being very sympathetically considered. It may be that the administrative difficulty will prevent a successful issue to the considerations now going on, but the matter is being considered with a view to having it readjusted as quickly as possible.
Deputy Kissane was the only Deputy who was really angry about the increased petrol tax. He was particularly aggrieved because it would, as he said, and other Deputies joined him in this, put up the cost of living, because bus fares would rise. I see no reason for bus fares being increased because of the increased charge on petrol. I  have in recent months given a concession to both the Great Northern Railway and Córas Iompair Éireann in respect of the importation of certain vehicles which, so far as my calculations go, save them either the whole, or nearly the whole, of the extra money they will have to spend on petrol, so that they are no worse off at the end of the two operations than they were at the start. Apart from all that, there is no case made yet that I have seen for raising fares to the travelling public, because of this extra tax being levied on petrol. As a matter of fact, I feel that the situation has been altered in favour of the main transport companies because this tax is a rather heavy impost upon the people who use cars for private use and these are the people of whom the transport companies complain. They say that it is these cars mainly which are taking traffic away from them. We have hit these people rather hard with this petrol tax and, to that extent, we have done Córas Iompair Éireann and the Great Northern Railway a considerable service, in addition to the fact that we have given them in another concession the whole, or very nearly the whole, of what this tax will mean in any year to these two companies.
Mr. Allen: What will it mean with regard to lorry transport?—for instance, the transport of farmers' produce?
Mr. McGilligan: Farmers with their own lorries?
Mr. Allen: The transport of farmers' produce such as beet?
Mr. McGilligan: By private haulier or Córas Iompair Éireann lorries? If it is Córas Iompair Éireann lorries, I have answered the point.
Mr. Allen: It will put up the cost, anyhow.
Mr. McGilligan: I come, eventually and finally, to one last word about old age pensions. I have outlined, very definitely only in skeleton form, what my colleague, the Minister for Social Services, proposes with regard to old age pensions. Before pretending to have  any grievance about this matter, Deputies ought to wait and see what these plans are. They are going to involve the State in very considerable expenditure. It will not be less than £2,000,000 and can easily go to £2,500,000. Deputies facing me and pretending to lament that the date for the introduction of these reforms is postponed must remember that, as late as October last, they voted against any modification of the means test, and any lamentation from them is complete hypocrisy and would be understood to be such by the people who are likely to benefit under the plans which this Government are bringing forward. I had actually budgeted for more than £600,000 and I was told that I need not make any more provision because the difficulties of getting these books examined would delay the introduction of the easement of the conditions of these people.
Mr. Lemass: Why does the increase in the rate of pension have to await the decision concerning the means test?
Mr. McGilligan: Because we want to have it brought in at once. Is the Deputy aggrieved because of that?
Mr. McCann: No, but the increase could be given within six months. That was done last year.
Mr. McGilligan: It was done last year. But on the 22nd October the Deputy, with others, voted against giving £500,000 to these people.
Mr. McCann: We gave £2,000,000 last year.
Mr. McGilligan: You were asked on the 22nd October to give an extra £500,000 and you threw it out. That was an extra £500,000 in a year. I am giving an extra £600,000 in part of a year. Do not let Deputy Allen try us too much now. Let him hold his tears until the £2,000,000 scheme comes forward. He will have his opportunity then.
Mr. McCann: What do you propose to give in the full year?
Mr. McGilligan: I cannot estimate the figure at the moment, but it will  not be less than £2,000,000. The full details have not been worked out yet.
Mr. McCann: Relating the £600,000 now to the present cost of £4,600,000, I do not know what the full increase to the old age pensioners will be.
Mr. McGilligan: The scheme which will be introduced here in the autumn will involve this Government in an expenditure of £2,000,000 in a full year and it is more than likely that it will eventually go to £2,500,000.
Mr. Allen: In addition to the present?
Mr. McGilligan: In addition to anything that was done by the last Government—over and above all that.
Mr. Allen: Is that the full Beveridge plan?
Mr. Morrissey: It seems to be making you very sore anyhow.
Mr. Lemass: That is just knocking down what we proposed.
Mr. Morrissey: You might as well sing dumb as decry it.
Mr. McGilligan: Certain grievances have been voiced here with regard to the teachers. We were told that no mention had been made of the teachers. Deputy O'Rourke mentioned that. I do not like to answer him because I gather that he is so to speak off-side at the moment as far as the teachers are concerned. I am not sure that Deputy Butler was not expelled from the organisation when the teachers' strike was under discussion here.
Mr. Butler: No.
Mr. McGilligan: He must have been very close to it. So long as I do not break any trade union regulations by discussing these matters with the Deputies, I would ask them to wait awhile in that matter too. The Minister for Education has already made arrangements with the teachers covering quite a variety of their problems. Any number of details have been discussed by him with them and he has other proposals under consideration. He has agreed to have arbitration with the teachers on any matters that are outstanding. Naturally we have to  await the result of that. I have no doubt that Deputy Butler, who is now so anxious to have something done immediately for the teachers, will hardly be able to possess his soul in patience until the autumn or until next year perhaps.
Mr. Butler: I will await your Supplementary Budget.
General Mulcahy: What about discussing it on the Estimate for the Department of Education?
Mr. McGilligan: If the Deputy had been attentive to the conference that was held at Easter he would have observed that the Minister for Education was present at that conference, met the teachers there and had quite a satisfactory session with them and that he agreed immediately to the satisfaction of certain grievances—all costing the State money—and also agreed to establish certain other machinery to put an end to certain other difficulties.
With regard to the civil servants, things are not so far advanced. If Deputies feel aggrieved because there is no precise mention of either teachers or civil servants in this Budget they must possess their souls in patience. Certain promises have been made with regard to teachers and other people. We shall try to fulfil these promises as quickly as possible. I do not promise that they will all be attended to in the same year.
Mr. Butler: That is good news.
Mr. McGilligan: I was criticised on both sides of the House with regard to excess corporation profits tax. I have been reminded—though, indeed, nobody could remind me because my own phrases are still definitely ringing in my ears—of the comments I made about those people who had taken these excess profits and who had been allowed to take them. Deputy Dunne regretted the fact that we had not seen fit to reimpose it. Deputy O'Higgins indicated that I had asked traders to reduce prices and said that my appeal had not been met. That is a matter to which I want to return later. Deputy Keane, Deputy Hickey, Deputy Larkin  and Deputy Con Lehane all asked me to reimpose the excess corporation profits tax. These appeals came in the main from this side of the House. Certain people on the Opposition Benches spoke about it. Those speakers on the Opposition Benches nearly talked me into reimposing it. I had decided not to reimpose it. I had decided that on a plan. If that plan does not work out then people ought to know where they are. The excess corporation profits tax was put on here at a time when there was a standstill Order put on wages. There was supposed to be a balance between the two. People were not to be permitted to have increases in their emoluments. At the same time prices were to be controlled and, in particular, profits were to be controlled.
The Minister for Finance, Mr. Seán T. O'Kelly, early in the war said that he would not allow anybody in this country to make money out of the exigencies of the war situation. Inside a year in this House he said that the Revenue Commissioners showed that people were making money and that he proposed to take it off them. He did not go very far with his proposal. Later on he put on his excess corporation profits tax but he did not make any effort to ensure that people would not make money out of the exigencies of the war. He allowed profits to be made. He fixed certain artificial standards and allowed traders to make more money than they had made in the standard year by 50 per cent. Why he did that I do not know. That situation continued until 1946 and then the excess corporation profits tax was entirely thrown off. It was thrown off on a definite statement made here by the then Minister for Finance that he expected prices to go down and he wanted those people who had been allowed these profits to realise that they had them as a fund and that out of that fund they must reduce prices. I want to say that those people still hold that money as a fund. It is, in fact, our money and we can get it if we want it. The money is still there. It is known how much is there. The returns upon which these people will have to pay can be produced. I made an appeal on the Vote on Account both in this House and in the Seanad that the people who had  been let pile up these moneys should immediately reduce prices and give the consumers the benefit of those reduced prices. The moneys are considerable. I warned them in both Houses that if they did not agree to some such movement as that sterner methods would have to be taken with them. I indicated that while I was in opposition I might have been talking from certain newspaper returns, but I have definite information at my disposal now and I am speaking from records. They did not even pay me the compliment of even calling a meeting perfunctorily to discuss my proposal that they would be allowed to retain these profits if they reduced prices.
I want to address another exhortation to them now and I would like them to pay more attention to it. I still regard those moneys, because of the statement made by my predecessor in office, as due and owing to the community. If there is any excuse that can be made for the plan that was adopted of allowing industrialists to make 25, 30 or 50 per cent. more than they made in certain years it is so that they might have a fund to enable them to meet the difficulty that might arise if the market broke and they might have to sell in a cheapened market, having bought dear. They were allowed to have certain reserves for that. They have those reserves. I know the situation now. I am not talking from newspaper reports now. If necessary, machinery can be put in operation to get that excess corporation profits tax from those people back to the 31st January, 1947. I thought it was a better plan to ask those people to be good citizens, to take their prices and give the consumers of this country an opportunity of having a decent living by bringing the purchasing power of the £ back somewhere towards where it was in 1939 by reducing prices. I make that appeal again to all the traders of this country while there is still freedom to act and I warn them that if they do not act their inability to do so will draw corresponding good action from us. We can get the money. We know the money is there. I believe the money can be regarded as a debt owing to the community,  because those people were told at the start of the war that they would not be allowed to make money out of the exigencies of the war situation, and yet they have done so.
I would prefer to break prices rather than to go out to get that money. If I want to get the money I would have to go back retrospectively to 1st January, 1947. I do not like doing that. Those people ought to know the precarious position they are in and that that money can be taken from them. If I sense the feeling of the Dáil from every side of the House correctly, I believe there is a considerable view that that money should be taken from them. I have not proposed in this Budget to take it from them. I would like to see them giving it back to the community in reduced prices. I would like to see a movement of breaking prices started. These people can help it by using the reserves they have in considerable amount. They can use these reserves to ease the price situation for the whole community. I hope they will do that. I hope they will have meetings to see how it can be done, and if I can assist them by attending any meeting I shall be glad to do so. If they want to know what information I have and how far my records go, I will tell them. I would like them to see what is known about the whole situation.
I decided for this Budget that it was better not to adopt the bad system of retrospective legislation, particularly when it amounted to taxes, for taking money from people. Undoubtedly, it would work hardship on certain people. It may be that the money has been divided or set out in dividends; it may be the people concerned would not have enough resources to meet the full impact of the excess profits tax reimposed as from 1st January, 1947. But that may be what is in store if I do not get prices reduced.
I think the community is entitled to a reduction in prices. So far as I can see from the materials coming in, prices have broken on the other side and people here in trade are getting semimanufactured or raw material at considerably less prices than those at which they used to get them. I see no reduction  yet in the articles paraded in the shops and there should be a reduction
I want that aspect of the situation as I see it—being, as I phrased it myself, behind the curtain—seriously considered by the people whom I am addressing through this House. I would like to say another thing to all traders in this country. There is an attempt being made by propaganda efforts on the other side of the House to produce a sort of feeling of desperation. Deputy MacEntee and Deputy Lemass used the phrase that there is stagnation. I do not know why there should be. Deputy Childers asks—as if he did not know the answer—what is the Government's attitude towards tariffs and industrial activity. I thought I made that quite clear in the Seanad; I thought I had spoken enough there and that it did not require any further explaining. This Government wants industrial production. This Government will stand for every legitimate method of increasing and fostering industry.
I look back to the time when I started industrial development. I was criticised for not having big enough powers and not going fast enough. In any event, at that time we kept the cost of living down and we gave employment. I am not so sure that the headlong pace my successor set has been of any great benefit to the country. There have been three Governments. The policy of one was derided as being too slow and because there was not sufficient in the way of tariffs. The other policy we know. We came in here with no principle of changing the tariff policy. We may rationalise it. If we do, it will be done very carefully—the rationalisation.
The community has paid too dearly for the industries that have been started, or for industries to start which an attempt has been made, easily to see them fade away. A lot of the people's money has gone to build up industries and gone, unfortunately, to give enhanced profits to the people who did not act in a spirit of patriotism when they were grabbing business. I say that as regards some of them, not them all. Nobody in industry should have the slightest fear about a change of policy. The Government to which I  formerly belonged started industrial activity and we have not shown any signs of changing it; we have not given any proof that we desire to change it. People in industry ought to know that they are well settled in that industry. There has not been a Government that had a free trade policy or anything approaching it. If any people ought to feel well secure about a particular programme, the industrialists should.
Are we not entitled to ask a return from them? If industry is regarded as something to be protected—and nearly everybody in the community accepts that as an axiom—is it right that the people in entirely tariffed industries should demand from the community the profits usually associated with highly speculative industry? I do not think it is right. I always understood that the returns people expected from business depended on the risk there was in the business into which they put their money. A man in a speculative business looks for a high return in order that he may quickly recoup his capital. Persons in what might be described as the gilt-edged type of business look for a low rate of profit and do not look to get back their capital so soon. Surely Irish industry is in the second category and we should ask the people in that industry to remit some part of the interest rates they are looking for and they should not be all out to get their capital reimbursed to them at once.
They know there will be no change in the situation with regard to industry. I think we are entitled to ask of them that they should not look for any return on their capital that they might like to find if there was any fear about the tariff movement breaking down. They have every security and they have the knowledge that it will not break down. I add that to the other exhortation I have addressed to traders. During the war they were enabled to pile up funds. I ask them to take all I have said to heart. If I am wrong in what I say I should like to have someone to argue against me. I would like to meet such people either in public or in private so that we could have this matter hammered out.
I put forward as a reasonable point of view what I have said here, that it would be a better thing that they  should go back to lower prices than that we should get the money by way of taxation. We should leave it to them freely and decently to pass on this concession to the community through a reduction in prices. They should now break down the prices freely or a changed Government will meet the changed circumstances with regard to industrial tariffs. They are no longer entitled to say that they must make money as fast as ever they can because a change of Government might mean a reduction in their profits. We demand from them then a good, speedy and a considerable reduction in the prices of articles and if they do not give us that they will bring the other thing upon themselves. I do not like going back to the excess profits tax. I would much rather deal with the situation in the way I have described, but let these people labour under no mistake, because I am the only barrier between this House and the reimposition of the tax. From every quarter of this House I have had appeals made to me to reimpose it but I would appeal to the House to let my plan work for the present. But if prices are not broken down, then all the arguments which have been used round the House must have their effect and the trading community must expect that there will be a move in this House to reimpose either the excess profits tax or some better form of it and the excess moneys which they are making will be taken from them. I say a better form of the tax because the standard set by the excess profits tax was a fictitious standard. This standard was built up beyond which people were not allowed to go, but in effect people who were building up their business and who had not reached full capacity were taxed while it let people who had been profiteering before the war years get away with more money than they were in conscience entitled to. There will not be an excess profits tax but a tax that will cut deeper into the excessive profits which were made by those people during the war years and we will not be baulked by any artificial standard that was taken for the purpose of that tax.
I hope that the business community  will realise that these arguments are not coming from me, speaking as a Minister in this House, but are coming from the people generally as they were expressed in the House. The business people in the main made quite well out of the war and now it is time for us to see the more benevolent side of their activities. We want them to get prices to drop and we shall see that they drop and, if not, we shall have more to say to it in the future.
I have been asked by, I think, Deputy Vivion de Valera about the loan and what use I am making of the last loan. I have said several times in the course of this debate, by way of interjection, and I am trying to make clear to the people of this country, that I have no money to spare. A £12,000,000 loan has been got since this Government took office. All that loan has not been paid in but £10,900,000 has been paid in. I have not a penny of that money left for future development. That £10,900,000 has had to be spent to pay the debts left to me by the last Government.
Mr. Lemass: Is rural electrification going to be sabotaged too?
Mr. McGilligan: It is not going to be sabotaged. I am not talking about rural electrification.
Mr. Lemass: Is not that how it was going to be spent?
Mr. McGilligan: Every penny of it has been spent to meet the commitments of my predecessor.
Mr. MacEntee: Will the Minister give us particulars of the borrowings which he has made?
Mr. McGilligan: I can give you a sheet showing them.
Mr. MacEntee: Can the Minister not give them now? Does not everybody in this House know that you have only borrowed under Government control?
Mr. Morrissey: He has paid your debts.
Mr. McGilligan: I have paid your debts.
Mr. Lemass: Rural electrification, electricity generation, post office development, all the phones which the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs is now putting in—these are what you call debts, these are what you call extravagance. They were paid out of moneys under Government control, Departmental funds.
Mr. McGilligan: The money went to pay commitments which were already entered into. The suggestion was made at the time when the loan was being floated that I was borrowing against deficits which I was going to make and that I was, therefore, providing a fund. I would like to say that if that were my intention I have been frustrated in it and I have no money left.
Mr. MacEntee: So the Minister has made no provision for the borrowings with which he is balancing his Budget?
Mr. Morrissey: You did your best to sabotage the loan, anyway.
Captain Cowan: If Deputy MacEntee had come in he might have heard the Minister's explanation.
Mr. Morrissey: He was afraid to come in.
Mr. MacEntee: It was a rather dishonest explanation.
Mr. McGilligan: Very little of the type of enterprise in which the Government money is sunk is really reproductive. I think that it is true to say, with the exception of the Shannon scheme— the Shannon scheme proper—and certain advances made through the Local Loans Fund, nothing else can be really rated as remunerative, financially speaking. The cost of rural electrification is being borne by the Exchequer.
Mr. MacEntee: So you want to scrap that too.
Mr. McGilligan: I said nothing about scrapping it.
Mr. MacEntee: You are preparing the ground for it.
Mr. McGilligan: If I had been in office for the last 15 years the ground  would have been prepared for rural electrification before now. The Shannon scheme was completed in 1932 and I think it was 1946 before you began to think of rural electrification.
Mr. MacEntee: We had a report on rural electrification long before that.
Mr. McGilligan: The report was prepared and could have been furnished but it was not acted upon until 1946. It was not called for until late in the Deputy's period as Minister. The officials were prepared to furnish the information about rural electrification but they were not asked for it. You did not try to establish rural electrification as a project until later still.
Mr. MacEntee: I asked for a report on the question in 1940.
Mr. McGilligan: I do not want to criticise rural electrification but I have no money left out of that loan with which to finance any deficit. It is already absorbed by commitments which my predecessor left to me—I use the word “commitments” as being a lighter word than “debts”. The people of this country in fact subscribed to the present Government £12,000,000 but £10,900,000 of that money has been already involved in commitments so if anyone thinks that I am in an easy position and that I have plenty of money then he is mistaken.
Mr. MacEntee: Would the Minister tell the House if any of the Departmental funds from which these moneys were borrowed and which he has now repaid were invested in securities outside the country?
Mr. McGilligan: I could not tell you that at the moment.
Mr. MacEntee: Could the Minister tell us whether any of the money has gone into sterling securities?
Mr. McGilligan: I do not know what the Deputy is getting at there at all. If the Deputy wants to know how much of the moneys——
Mr. MacEntee: I want to know if the Departmental moneys, which were advanced  to the Government and which now, according to the Minister, have been repaid, have been reinvested?
Mr. McGilligan: I do not know what the funds are.
Mr. MacEntee: The Minister is obviously hedging.
Mr. McGilligan: I put a very small portion of Departmental funds into the loan, something short of £500,000. However, the Deputy can ask me these more detailed questions later, if he wants to pursue this matter.
Many points have been raised here of a general type that I would like to reply to but I have been too long at this already. Deputy Timoney raised the point that direct taxation is a better tax than indirect taxation. Of course, theoretically, everybody agrees with that. The only difficulty is when you come to definition, trying to find out what is your direct tax, what is the one that cannot be passed on. But we do know that during the period of office of the last Government, indirect taxation was very definitely advanced. The tax that people were made to pay without one being able to parade before the public what they were paying, of course, was very seriously increased. Some of the taxes that were levied at the ports by means of customs duty were very heavy indeed. I think if they had been proposed as definite taxes of the direct type, certainly years ago, they would have raised such protest that they would have had to be abandoned. To those who are investigating that matter with a view to finding out what percentage of the money is levied by direct taxation and what by indirect taxation, I cannot give a direct answer but I can assist Deputy Timoney, if he wants to pursue that matter, with certain figures, but be will have to take them with reservations.
I think it was Deputy McCann who said that the present Government, or I in particular, have no mandate for retrenchment. I suggest I have. I spoke on retrenchment. When so many others are trying to make antagonism between the Parties by saying that one wants to retrench and the other to expand, I want to say that I do not think these  statements are incompatible. I want retrenchment on certain things. I am not aiming at retrenchment for retrenchment's sake. I want to retrench on certain unessentials, certain extravagances, certain wasteful ways of spending money, in order to have moneys, which can be levied off the people of the State without doing too much harm, available for constructive work. It was put up to me that one of the groups that help to form the Government at this moment were very loud in their demands for increased expenditure for constructive purposes. I approve of their ideals and aims. I do not know if we have enough money to carry them out but I believe —I stated in this House my belief— that coincident with that, I can run a policy of retrenchment. I think it is surely worth while cutting down on these extravagances like the short-wave station and the transatlantic air service in order to be able to build up something that will give a return. Nobody ever said these things would give a return. I do not know whether they were going to be classified as social services or what category they were going into but they never could give a return. The only return that has ever been suggested is in the nature of prestige.
Mr. Little: And defence.
Mr. McGilligan: Defence! I am glad the Deputy almost breathes that and does not say it aloud. He dare not say aloud that that is an item of defence.
Mr. McCann: I enumerated items. I said that in respect of not one of those had the Government a mandate for retrenchment. Certainly not with regard to the Garda Síochána in the City of Dublin or mineral exploration.
Mr. McGilligan: I do not know that anybody has retrenched on the Garda in the City of Dublin.
Mr. McCann: Oh yes, they have.
Mr. MacEntee: They have stopped recruitment.
Mr. McGilligan: They have stopped recruitment? That is called retrenchment? I know I am faced with this  situation by my opponents, that they had run this State at the ideal expenditure, with the ideal number of men in the Army and in the Garda, with the ideal services in the air and by way of broadcasting and that any attempt to shift a penny piece or a single man out of those services is destruction. Of course, that is a clear view. It is a rather arrogant view. It is almost in line with the arrogance that said that people were heading for doom in this country if they voted the late Government out. It is surely arrogance to say that no change can be made in the Book of Estimates that were built up to £70,500,000, without incurring serious risk to the State.
Mr. McCann: I say your Party certainly had a mandate for it but these Parties had not.
Mr. C. Lehane: These Parties are able to speak for themselves.
Mr. Blowick: We will look after ourselves. Do not worry.
Mr. McCann: They were to give 5/- children's allowances and 25/- old age pensions.
Mr. McGilligan: Certainly, they are not going to get a 25/- old age pension this year.
Mr. McCann: They certainly will not.
Mr. McGilligan: But they are going to get far more than the Deputy would have given them if his Party were still the Government. Is not that a satisfactory answer to the question? I do want the House to understand that if I pursue, and I hope to pursue, a policy of retrenchment, I do not regard that as destructive and I do not regard it as in any way contradictory of the other policies of reconstruction and development, of which I myself approve and have often spoken about on platforms. I think it is possible to do both but I do not think it would be possible to find the money for some of the things that were desired, some of the things that were classed as socially desirable, unless savings were made on this hugely inflated bill.
 I have apologised in the Budget speech, I want to apologise again, that the economies that have been made so far do not amount to very much. Lump them all together, even putting the phrase economies on certain things that are really expenditure, there is only £6,000,000 out of £70,500,000. That is very little. If I cannot do better by this time next year I will let Deputies accuse me of failure. I think it can be done and I think better economies can be made without at all stopping any plans that there are for development, reconstruction and production. In fact, I think you cannot get the second desirable object unless I am aided to a successful conclusion in my efforts with regard to economies. I am going to pursue these and I believe that they are covered by mandates. There are mandates for both things and even both things to be done simultaneously and there is no incompatibility between them.
I have asked at the beginning what would the Fianna Fáil Budget be if they were running the State instead of this Government. I say that I was faced with a gap of £7,000,000 odd which, I have pointed out, when starting this speech to-night, should be really regarded as £10,500,000. That is only on the £70,500,000 in the Estimates and the Central Fund services as they are. Deputy Lemass has said he would want to spend more. He also said he would want to budget for a real surplus. I suppose a couple of millions.
Mr. Lemass: Only if I accept the Minister's thesis.
Mr. McGilligan: It is on your own thesis you say you would budget for a genuine surplus. Then there would be no economies. The £6,000,000 would not have been saved. There would be none of that. Suppose timber was still rolling into the country and there was a further subsidy required. The bill would have soared. Deputies ought to pride themselves on the mood in which they have been speaking in the House. They ought to be taking pride in my suggestion that the bill that would be put before the taxpayer would be well beyond what I  am presenting. How would they have found the money? Beer, stout, entertainment, tobacco and income-tax— these are the things that Deputy Lemass said were the only available sources of taxation. Have Deputies any idea in their heads what the bill would be?
What extra tax would there have to be, what extra tax on beer and stout, on cigarettes, entertainment and income-tax? It would be something phenomenal. That is the contrast I would like to get, as between that and the proposals I have, with my small little efforts at economy and my anxiety to save the people of the country heavier burdens than I think they should be asked to bear. In addition to all that, if taxation had risen— I think it was bound to rise in what my opponents were bound to do—there would have been no chance of getting prices down. If the cost of government goes up, there is certainly an added item in the cost of trade and business, so there was need to get prices down. I have tried to keep the cost of government as low as I can, for a variety of reasons, but possibly the biggest reason is an effort to aid the trading community and the business community generally to lower their prices, as I believe that is what the country wants and, if they can do that, we can get the purchasing power of the £ in some way restored to a decent level.
Finally, I have been jibed that the present Government is helping to keep up a Party, the leading members of which are Communists. There is very little charity in the people who make that sort of remark, without having any proof or attempted proof of what they have said. There is an obligation of charity on all public men and there is a special obligation——
Mr. MacEntee: Read the Locke Distillery debate.
Mr. McGilligan: Anything I said in the Locke Distillery debate is on record and may be looked at.
Mr. MacEntee: The Minister did not give the tribunal much assistance.
Mr. McGilligan: I did not. What I have said about the Locke Tribunal is on record and I stand over it. I say it was good comment and, as far as it was comment, it was backed by evidence. Deputy MacEntee is great at talking about Communism. He must know that to attempt to apply that phrase to people of this country is dastardly.
Donnchadh Ó Briain: What about 1931?
Mr. McGilligan: Such an attempt cannot have any effect other than to degrade people. It is definitely defamatory.
Mr. MacEntee: Does the Minister remember the gangster?
Mr. McGilligan: To say a man is a Communist means in this country that he should be ostracised from community life.
Mr. MacEntee: It means that he is.
Mr. McGilligan: It means certainly, as far as people of the Church to which I belong are concerned, that you have no touch with any such persons. Is that what the Deputy means when he says that sort of thing, in attempting to drive a wedge between the ranks here?
Mr. MacEntee: Will the Minister set up a tribunal?
An Ceann Comhairle: Order!
Mr. MacEntee: If the Minister sets up a tribunal, I will produce my evidence.
Mr. McCann: Will the Minister ask the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs about it? He is the only man who alleged to me that there were Communists in the Labour Party, before the election.
Mr. Commons: You were asleep for ten years—sleep for another while.
Mr. Little: Does the Minister suggest there are no Communists over on that side?
Mr. McGilligan: I believe they could all be included in our short-wave  station. I want Deputy MacEntee to realise that nothing he says in the way of jibes about Communism will have any effect upon this association of four or five groups of people. We have different views on certain political and economic matters. Some of us stress some points of policy more than others, but we all have certain things in common. We are against the programme the last Government had, of establishing a bureaucratic control over life. Deputy Dillon has said, with regard to agriculture, that he wants the inspectors to keep outside the farms down the country. We want that policy all over the country as far as we can. We want to get away from the idea of people being harried, persecuted and even investigated, by inspectors and investigators of different types. We feel that freedom of life is something that is desirable. Communists do not believe in that. We want to give that freedom and we believe we can give it. As I have said before—though my words have been parried here, as might have been expected in the House today—we want to get away from the idea that people have to be put on some sort of dole, under what are called social services but which are being magnified to the point that every man, from the cradle to the grave, will be “done well by” and that there will be a good little group of persons in control of a Government, with a hoard of civil servants and inspectors, to see that people behave—and if they do not behave along the proper political lines, they will not get the emoluments that the State provides for them. We do not believe that is freedom to live a proper life.
Mr. Butler: Neither do we.
Mr. McGilligan: The Deputy's Party operated as if they did. Deputy Childers, in a speech, claimed that the only Government worth anything in these times was the paternalistic arm of the State, operating through a well-trained group of civil servants. He claimed that as his aim when speaking in Cork about two years ago, and he certainly seemed to be expressing the view of the Government. They had this view I expressed before, that if you can control  certain things—ration books, family allowances, old age pensions, and that sort of thing—you may control votes and the greater the control you can impose on these little subventions to life, the more sure you can make your political power.
Mr. Lemass: Is this a lecture on charity, or a demonstration of the Minister's abuse of power?
Mr. McGilligan: It is a lecture on what I call a Christian concept of life, but it has its base in charity. It is expected of the human being that he will develop to the full height of his personality and will make his way in the world for himself and will be allowed to do that by being given a good wage and having the wage level attended to and not so much the social services level attended to. Then you get freedom and a better life.
Mr. MacEntee: The Minister ought to read his peroration to the Budget speech.
Mr. McGilligan: I want to read the Deputy another document. I have a quotation here from a very famous document about working-men's wages:
“If a workman's wages be sufficient to enable him to maintain himself, his wife and his children in reasonable comfort, he will not find it difficult, if he be a sensible man, to study economy, and he will not fail, by cutting down expenses, to put by some little savings and thus secure a small income. Nature and reason alike would urge him to this. We have seen that this great labour question cannot be solved save by assuming as a principle that private ownership must be held sacred and inviolable. The law, therefore, should favour ownership, and its policy should be to induce as many as possible of the humbler class to become owners.”
That is taken from the Encyclical on “The Condition of the Working Classes,” issued in 1891.
Mr. MacEntee: Address that to your left.
Mr. McGilligan: I am addressing it to my left and to the whole House. I am putting it forward as an ideal.
Mr. MacEntee: Address it to the author of The Vanguard.
Mr. McGilligan: I do not think I will find any lack of recruits to that programme. That was produced in 1891.
Mr. Morrissey: The only person who jeers at it is Deputy MacEntee.
Mr. MacEntee: I do not jeer at it, but at the hypocritical exhibition we have just witnessed.
An Ceann Comhairle: The Minister should be allowed to make his speech.
Mr. MacEntee: There are men sitting on those benches who have declared they want to abolish private property —and they are supporting that Government.
Mr. McGilligan: In opposition to this, which I think is sheer dishonesty on the part of Deputy MacEntee in trying to make people believe that the Government is permeated by Communistic tendencies. I want to give him that as a counterpoint. I would like to go further. That document was 40 years later dealt with again and the new document stated:
“Every effort therefore must be made that at least in future a just share only of the fruits of production be permitted to accumulate in the hands of the wealthy, and that an ample sufficiency be supplied to the workingmen. The purpose is not that these become slack at their work, for man is born to labour as the bird to fly, but that by thrift they may increase their possessions and by the prudent management of the same may be enabled to bear the family burden with greater ease and security, being freed from that handto-mouth uncertainty, which is the lot of the proletarian. Thus they will not only be in a position to support life's changing fortunes, but will also have the reassuring confidence that, when their own lives are ended, some little provision will  remain for those whom they leave behind them.”
In the same document in which those words were written that paragraph finished in this way:
“These ideas were not merely suggested, but stated in frank and open terms by Our Predecessor. We emphasise them with renewed insistence in this present Encyclical; for unless serious attempts be made, with all energy and without delay to put them into practice, let nobody persuade himself that the peace and tranquillity of human society can be effectively defended against the forces of revolution.”
That is 1914. I am glad to be able to read it to a Dáil Eireann of 1948. I want to tie up with what I have said the statement that a just share only of the fruits of production be permitted to accumulate in the hands of the wealthy, and I would like to add a passage from a Papal Encyclical to my own words. Traders, businessmen and industrialists in this country will understand what I am driving at. I ask them to reduce prices. This Encyclical adds that unless people attempt, without delay, to put these principles into practice, “let nobody persuade himself that the peace and tranquillity of human society can be effectively defended against the forces of revolution”. Deputy MacEntee wants to suggest that there are Communist forces operating towards revolution in this country. I refer him to this Papal Encyclical. Let me say that we are asking those who have accumulated certain profits to pay wages at a point that the workingman will have a little comfort and will provide some little property for him. Those are the most effective arguments against revolution. In that way we will be able to provide the peace and tranquillity of human society in this country.
I believe the Budget I have produced is an effort along these lines. I believe that when I cut out mere extravagance and get this country more precisely able to move along a path of reconstruction and profit we will more rapidly and speedily put into effect the principles of that Encyclical. That is the mood in which I want this Budget to be taken. In so far as it falls short  of it it is a bad Budget. In so far as it leads anywhere towards it it is better than any of my predecessors could have  done, although that is not saying much.
The Committee divided: Tá, 75; Níl, 60.
Brennan, Joseph P.
Browne, Noel C.
Connolly, Roderick J.
Costello, John A.
Crotty, Patrick J.
Dillon, James M.
Dockrell, Maurice E.
Doyle, Peadar S.
Esmonde, Sir John L.
Flanagan, Oliver J.
Halliden, Patrick J.
Kyne, Thomas A.
Lehane, Patrick D.
McFadden, Michael Og.
Madden, David J.
Mongan, Joseph W.
Murphy, Timothy J.
O'Gorman, Patrick J.
O'Higgins, Michael J.
O'Higgins, Thomas F.
O'Higgins, Thomas F. (Jun.).
Palmer, Patrick W.
Pattison, James P.
Redmond, Bridget M.
Timoney, John J.
Childers, Erskine H.
Collins, James J.
Corry, Martin J.
Crowley, Honor Mary.
Davern, Michael J.
De Valera, Vivion. O'Reilly, Matthew.
Rice, Bridget M.
Ruttledge, Patrick J.
Gorry, Patrick J.
Kennedy, Michael J.
Kitt, Michael F.
Lemass, Seán F.
Little, Patrick J.
Lydon, Michael F.
Maguire, Patrick J.
O Briain, Donnchadh.
O'Grady, Seán. Ryan, James.
Tellers:—Tá: Deputies Doyle and Keyes; Níl: Deputies Kissane and Kennedy.
Question declared carried.
Financial Resolutions Nos. 1 to 6 reported and agreed to.
Mr. McGilligan: I ask for leave to introduce a Bill entitled “an Act to charge and impose certain duties of customs and inland revenue (including excise), to amend the law relating to customs and inland revenue (including excise), and to make further provisions in connection with finance.”
An Ceann Comhairle: When will the Second Stage be taken?
Mr. McGilligan: On Tuesday of next week.
Mr. Lemass: Is it proposed to meet on Tuesday?
Mr. McGilligan: I understand so.
An Ceann Comhairle: It is no harm to fix it for Tuesday. If we do not meet on Tuesday, it can be taken on Wednesday. It cannot be taken sooner, but it may be taken later.
Ordered: That the Second Stage be taken on Tuesday, 1st June.
An Ceann Comhairle: I hope that Deputies realise that this is the Report Stage and that Deputies may speak only once on each amendment.
Minister for Local Government (Mr. Murphy): I move amendment No. 1:—
In page 2, after line 18, Section 1 (1), after the definition of “local authority” to insert the following:—“the expression `the local election year' has the meaning given to it in paragraph (b) of sub-section (1) of Section 2 of this Act.”
This amendment arises out of a discussion which took place on the Committee Stage as to the date of the next local elections generally speaking, with the two exceptions already provided for. As Deputies will remember, the proposals in the Bill visualise having the elections in 1950.
Arising out of the discussion in Committee, I agreed to table an amendment which would make provision for the earlier holding of the elections if that course was considered necessary. At the moment I am not in a position to state precisely the date on which the elections will be held. The amendment, however, seeks to give effect to the feeling of the House, so far as I could gauge it, when the Bill was in Committee.
Amendment agreed to.
Mr. Murphy: I move amendment No. 2:—
In page 2, Section 2 (1), to delete paragraph (a), lines 27 and 28, and substitute the following:—
(a) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Minister shall, before the 30th day of September, 1950, by Order appoint in respect of every local authority a day not later than the said 30th day of September, 1950, to be the appointed day for the holding of an election of members of that local authority and such election shall be held accordingly.
(b) The appointed day in respect of every local authority shall be in  the same year (in this Act referred to as the local election year).
Amendment No. 2 is consequential on amendment No. 1, and the same may be said of amendments Nos. 3 and 4 and of some later amendments.
Mr. MacEntee: Surely amendment No. 1 is consequential on amendment No. 2.
Captain Cowan: The Minister's amendment fulfils the promise he made to the House on the last occasion. I would ask him to have the elections as early as possible, and to give as much notice as possible in advance of the date on which they will be held.
Mr. MacEntee: I am afraid the Minister will not do that.
Mr. Murphy: Wait and see. I feel sure that Deputy Cowan will realise that, whatever may take place in connection with other elections, snap elections in the case of local affairs are neither desirable nor usual.
Amendment agreed to.
Mr. Murphy: I move amendment No. 3:—
In page 3, to delete paragraphs (b) and (c) of Section 3, lines 3 to 20, and substitute the following:—
(b) the election held in the year 1948 shall be deemed to be a triennial election,
(c) it shall not be necessary for the Minister, unless he so thinks fit, to appoint, under sub-section (1) of Section 2 of this Act, a day for the holding of an election of members of such local authority,
(d) unless the Minister so appoints a day, the election held in the year 1948 shall be deemed, for the purposes of determining the times for the holding of subsequent triennial elections, to be held in the local election year.
Amendment agreed to.
Mr. Murphy: I move amendment No. 4:—
In page 3, lines 28 to 36, to delete  paragraphs (b) and (c) of Section 4 and substitute the following:—
(b) the election shall be deemed to be a triennial election,
(c) it shall not be necessary for the Minister, unless he so thinks fit, to appoint, under sub-section (1) of Section 2 of this Act, a day for the holding of an election of such commissioners,
(d) unless the Minister so appoints a day, the first election shall be deemed, for the purposes of determining the times for the holding of subsequent triennial elections, to be held in the local election year.
Amendment agreed to.
Mr. Murphy: I move amendment No. 5:—
In page 3, to delete lines 37 to 39, Section 5 (1).
This amendment has been tabled to give effect to a promise which I made on the Committee Stage. As Deputies will know, it deals with the restoration of the Dublin Board of Assistance. It is in response to the very widely supported demand that was made in the House for the restoration of the Dublin Board of Assistance. Deputies will remember the circumstances under which that demand was made and the arguments that were advanced at the time in support of it. I should like to say, however, that it may be necessary, during the transition period arising out of certain proposals of my colleague, the Minister for Health, to make some special interim arrangements. It may be that I shall have to ask the House later to trouble itself for a short time to deal with that particular matter.
Mr. Briscoe: I am not quite clear as to what the Minister is doing now with regard to this amendment. It is quite true that the general consensus of opinion on all sides of the House is in favour of restoring the control of the board of assistance to the Dublin local authority. The Minister, on the Second Reading and Committee Stages, indicated that he thought it might be better to postpone its restoration as  a result of consultations and conversations that he had with his colleague, the Minister for Health. On the Committee Stage we on this side felt that if there was any danger of retarding what was contemplated by the Minister for Health it might be better to leave it over for a time. I am not quite clear now as to when this restoration is to take place, particularly as the Minister has just said that some interim period may elapse to enable the Minister for Health to take certain steps and so that these steps will not be retarded by the restoration of the board.
Mr. Murphy: The Dublin Board of Assistance will be restored within one month after the Dublin County Council has been elected. What I had in mind, when speaking a few moments ago, was that a situation might arise in which some liaison arrangements would have to be made between the Department and the Minister for Health arising out of proposals he has under consideration. It might be necessary to make provision to meet that situation for a very short period. It was in order to be quite frank with the House that I thought it well to mention that matter at this stage.
Mr. Briscoe: In other words——
An Ceann Comhairle: The Deputy cannot speak twice on Report. He can ask a question.
Mr. Briscoe: What I really want to do is to ask a question. Can we take it that the original Bill contemplated the restoration of the Board of Assistance at the earliest after the next Dublin municipal election? The Minister has admitted the principle, if you like, that it is desirable to have this board restored, but the position now is that it may, in fact, be delayed even after the election for the Dublin County Council if in the interests of the alterations contemplated by the Minister for Health that is found necessary.
Mr. Murphy: I suggest that the Deputy is trying to read into my statement something that it does not contain. I want to state without any  qualification whatever that the Dublin Board of Assistance will be restored within one month after the Dublin County Council elections have taken place. I would hope that by that date the proposals of the Minister for Health will be well known and that there will be only a short period, perhaps one of a month or a period of weeks, during which some temporary arrangement would be necessary. I am not in a position fully to define the period yet. I ask the Deputy to accept my assurance that the Board of Assistance will be restored automatically on the first legal date after the Dublin County Council elections have taken place.
Amendment agreed to.
Mr. Murphy: I move amendment No. 6:—
In page 3, Section 5 (2), to delete the words “in the year 1950” in line 41, and in lines 42 and 43 to delete the words “as amended by this section”.
Amendment agreed to.
Mr. Murphy: I move amendment No. 7:—
In page 33, Section 5 (2), to delete paragraph (b), lines 47 to 51, and substitute the following:—
(b) the members elected by the Right Honourable the Lord Mayor, Aldermen and Burgesses of Dublin, in the year 1948 shall be elected at a meeting of the City Council for Dublin held within one month after the day of election in the year 1948 of the members of the Council of the County of Dublin.
Mr. Briscoe: Would the Minister clarify this amendment?
Mr. Murphy: It is really a small change arising out of an amendment that has already been discussed. It deals with the city council side of the machinery setting up the board of assistance.
Mr. Briscoe: It really means that at the time the county council elections take place——
Mr. Murphy: The Dublin Corporation will elect their representatives on the board.
Mr. Briscoe: There could be no sort of selection before that particular date?
Mr. Murphy: No.
Amendment agreed to.
Mr. Murphy: I move amendments Nos. 8, 9 and 10 which are consequential:—
8. In page 4, line 20, Section 8 (a), to substitute “the local election year” for “the year 1950”.
9. In page 4, line 32, Section 9 (a), to substitute “the local election year” for “the year 1950”.
10. In page 4, line 47, at the end of Section 10, to substitute “the local election year” for “the year 1950”.
Amendments agreed to.
Mr. Murphy: I move amendment No. 11:—
In page 4, at the end of Section 11, to add a new sub-section as follows:—
(2) Every Order under this section shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after it is made and if a resolution annulling the Order is passed by either House, within the next 21 days on which that House has sat after the Order is laid before it, the Order shall be annulled accordingly, but without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done thereunder.
On the Committee Stage of the Bill, in response to a very wide demand for certain protective safeguards in connection with the making of Orders or regulations under the Bill—although the Bill itself does not afford very wide scope in that direction—I undertook to bring forward an amendment to meet the feeling that existed in the House in connection with the matter. This amendment is the result. I should like to say here again that the sole purpose of putting in the section, as it was originally drafted in the Bill, was to  guard against a situation that might arise, when some defect not foreseeable by the draftsman or the House would arise. It was felt that provision should be made for it. I think this proposal will meet the wishes expressed in various quarters of the House.
Mr. M.J. O'Higgins: I do not intend to repeat what I said on earlier stages of the Bill but I want to say that I think the Minister has gone a long way towards meeting the point of view put from this side of the House with regard to legislation by Order. I think this amendment does give the necessary safeguard which Deputies from these benches sought and I should like to express to the Minister our appreciation for having met us in that way.
Captain Cowan: I should like to say that while this amendment undoubtedly meets the situation arising out of this particular Bill, all the powers which this Bill proposes to give to the Minister are, in fact, available to the Minister under other statutes. To that extent this amendment does meet the particular position of this Bill, but as regards the general principle of giving power to make Orders, I do not want to commit myself on this Bill to accept that method or to say that the method adopted here would be acceptable in the case of other Bills. I want to make that perfectly clear.
Mr. Briscoe: This side of the House opposed the amendment introduced to the original section of the Bill, I think in the name of Deputy Cowan and others. We did so from the point of view that we felt that the Minister must have some overriding control. This amendment really does not introduce in a sense any new principle. It is quite right, as Deputy Cowan says, that in any event that power rests with the Minister. I want to know if the Minister has been advised by his officers and experts in this matter, because I am afraid that he will have to deal with so many local authorities that it is quite possible we may have resolutions calling for the annulment of Orders by local authorities over a variety of subjects. I can envisage a situation arising where, because of a certain position in the country, the  Minister might have to make certain Orders and he might find himself faced with a substantial number of resolutions questioning these Orders here.
The business of the House might not permit of the discussion of these resolutions in time to enable them to be annulled within the necessary 21 sitting days. I wonder if the Minister has satisfied himself that he is not leaving himself and his Department open to a position which could be very awkward and possibly very ugly? I say that in all sense of responsibility as a member of a local authority. Occasions will arise when the Minister will have to make Orders. I ask has he satisfied himself that he is not leaving this situation in a position in which it could be very troublesome and hamper very much the control of local authorities which is really exercised by the Minister on behalf of the citizens as a whole.
Mr. T.F. O'Higgins: This amendment deals only with Orders under the section, and the section only applies to the adaptation of statutes, Orders or regulations already made in connection with these bodies.
Mr. Lynch: I agree to a large extent with what has been said on this question of legislation by Order, with the reservation, that there are times of national emergency and times of emergency of a smaller nature than that which could be described as one of a national character, when legislation by Order is necessary. The Minister is a responsible representative of the people democratically elected—in fact twice democratically elected. He is elected in the ordinary course by the votes of the electors of his own constituency and he is elected democratically to his office in this House. Therefore it must be assumed that he is a responsible man and that any question of leanings towards bureaucracy could not arise if the Minister realises his responsibilities and his functions as a Minister. I would ask him, therefore, not to forgo in any other Bill of such a nature, his right to make Orders in cases where emergencies arise. He has in this amendment reserved to himself the  right of making such Orders when he says that even though Orders may be annulled by the House, that will be without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done in the meantime under the Orders. The Minister therefore has the sense to realise that this right of legislation by Order is necessary at least to some extent.
Mr. Murphy: I think Deputy Briscoe's fears in this connection are unfounded because, in fact, the scope of this Bill is very limited. It seems to do mainly one thing, to postpone the local elections and in the ordinary way to provide for the holding of local elections in Kerry and Dublin at an earlier date, so there is really no danger of any large number of Orders arising out of the operations of the Bill, if and when it becomes law. May I say how grateful I am to Deputy Lynch for his faith in my being able to retain my democratic principles, in spite of the fact that the history of the world has shown that the dictators of a later age were at one period democrats during their public career? I am very glad to find that, as a fellow-Corkman, the Deputy has some confidence in my being able to retain my democratic views in that and in other directions. There is no likelihood of any greater emergency arising out of the operations of this measure. In any case, I feel that if there were a large number of Orders arising out of the Bill, I can trust to the good sense of the Dáil. I have been in the House a long time and I have no reason at all to change the view I formed long ago that, if the responsible Minister takes the House into his confidence and asks for support, that support is never refused. I think this amendment will serve a useful purpose. It will provide the safeguards for which there was a strong demand in the House and will not lead to any infringement of what I know the House would desire to be the natural right and prerogative of the Minister for the time being responsible for the Department in question.
Mr. Briscoe: Can the Minister tell me whether if he found it necessary to suppress public representation on a board of assistance, this Bill, with this amendment, would not prevent him  from doing so, without its being discussed in the House afterwards?
Mr. Murphy: No, I do not think the Bill would prevent my doing that. I hope that is a contingency that will not arise for me.
Mr. Briscoe: I only asked the question to draw the Minister's attention to the fact that it could cover a much wider field——
An Ceann Comhairle: Than this amendment?
Mr. Briscoe: No, the number of bodies affected.
An Ceann Comhairle: We are dealing with an amendment.
Mr. Briscoe: The Minister said he did not believe the Bill could affect more authorities than are involved in the Bill.
An Ceann Comhairle: We are dealing only with the Bill.
Mr. Briscoe: I am asking whether the amendment will not affect local institutions which are not included in the Bill.
Mr. Murphy: I do not think there is the least danger in that connection. I am quite satisfied that the Bill will not put any serious limitations on the other responsibilities I have. Its scope, as I have said, is very limited, and nothing that can arise from it is likely to be a serious impediment to the discharge of the work of the Department, and I want to set Deputy Briscoe's mind firmly at rest in that connection.
Amendment put and agreed to.
Bill, as amended, received for final consideration.
Agreed to take the Fifth Stage now.
Question proposed: “That the Bill do now pass.”
Mr. MacEntee: The debate on this Bill has been in some ways very remarkable. If the records of the discussions on the Committee Stage are ever read by posterity, posterity will come to the conclusion that the present Minister must have been the original and  authentic prototype of the hero of the nursery, the good old Duke of York. The Minister started off by pinning his faith to the proposal embodied in Section 5 to postpone the new election of the members of the Dublin Board of Assistance. I do not suppose that anyone in the House will disagree with me if I say that was a very serious decision to take. I think we were bound to assume that it was taken after full consideration and after a careful examination of all the consequences it involved. Indeed, I think it would be rather uncomplimentary to the Minister to assume otherwise, because he has told us that he went so far as to consult, as he was bound to do, being a member of a Government, the members of which are supposed to be collectively responsible for all the major decisions of a Minister, particularly in relation to legislation, his colleagues, the Minister for Social Services and the Minister for Health.
Having heard their views, he came to the conclusion that it would not be in the public interest—that is the really important fact—to reconstitute the Dublin Board of Assistance upon an elective basis until the reorganisation in progress for a number of years had been finally completed. I would say that I very strongly agree with what I thought was the view of the Minister in that regard. The Minister then comes to the House, and, after what struck me as being a rather perfunctory discussion, reversed his decision, and said he no longer believed it was proper that the affairs of the Dublin Board of Assistance should continue to be administered by a commissioner and that he proposed to restore the elective body as soon as possible.
That drives us to one or other of two conclusions—either the Minister did not give the serious consideration to this matter at the outset which he ought to have given, or he allowed his better judgment to be overborne here by, shall we put it, considerations of the most commonplace political type, that he realised he was dependent on the votes of a certain number of Deputies and that, even though they were trying to induce, to coax, to cajole or even to coerce him into doing something he did not think was in the best  interests of the people, he was nevertheless prepared, because of the Parliamentary support he had, to defer to it. I should hesitate to believe that in fact the Minister would be overborne in that way, and I can only conclude therefore that this Bill was rather hastily drafted and that the Minister, in a moment of impulse, took a decision, which, when he had listened to the arguments here, he concluded was not a justifiable one and was therefore prepared to reverse his former attitude. I think perhaps that would be the fairer interpretation to place upon the Minister's attitude.
I think it is highly undesirable, and I think it will be generally conceded to be highly undesirable, that the Dáil should be faced with legislation prepared in this haphazard, happy-golucky way. When legislation is being prepared for this House, I know that the custom was for Ministers to study very carefully the details, to consult all the Departments likely to be affected by that legislation and then finally to submit the principles and heads of the Bill to the Government for approval and, when the Bill is finally drafted, to submit the final text to the Government for approval.
I assume that is still the procedure. I should hate to think for the sake of the country that that procedure, irksome as Ministers have often found it, burdensome as it undoubtedly is and, indeed, if one might put it this way, somewhat dilatory, has been departed from and that measures which are submitted to this House and which affect the interests of the people—in this case the interests of the ratepayers of Dublin—are being put forward without having received the careful consideration which they undoubtedly deserve and demand. I am very regretful that we should have had this volte face in relation to this Bill. I think it is a very bad beginning. I think it would be much better if the Minister had embodied in the Bill, as it was introduced, the proposals which are now embodied in Section 5, as amended. That would have been very much better because then we would have known that at least the Minister had made up his mind and that he had come to a decision over  which it was his duty to stand and which, if necessary, he would defend here in this House and either fall or stand by it. I think it would be a development, very regrettable from the constitutional point of view, if the custom is developed here of Ministers putting proposals before the Dáil in which they do not themselves believe. If that takes place then our legislation will, of course, become the sport and plaything of the political balance in this House. That is something which it ought never to be.
I think the Government are bound to nail their flag to the mast on occasions and this was a rather important occasion. As we have been told by the Minister himself, his colleagues, the Minister for Social Welfare and the Minister for Health, had very decided views as to whether or not the present system of administering the affairs of the Dublin Board of Assistance should or should not continue. They apparently were in favour of continuing to administer the Dublin Board of Assistance through a commissioner until effect could be given to their plans. Notwithstanding the fact that the Minister's colleagues took this view of the matter, the Minister himself here in the House throws his original proposal, with the proposals of his colleagues, overboard. I think that is a very bad omen and a very bad augury for the future of the Government. After all, the members of the Government must hang together or, otherwise, in the political sense of the term they must hang separately. I am not going to say that I would deplore any division in the ranks of the Government.
Mr. Murphy: Surely not.
Mr. MacEntee: I could not be hypocritical enough to say I would not. I am not going to be like the Minister for Finance who quoted the Papal Encyclicals with his tongue in his cheek. I am going to be quite honest. I do not want to see this Government hang together, but I do think, from the point of view of constitutional precedent and from the point of view of securing stable government and well-considered legislation in the future, it is exceedingly regrettable that the  Minister should have parted company with his own colleagues in the way in which he has with regard to Section 5 of this Bill.
Mr. Timoney: An gereideann tú é sin?
Mr. Larkin: Deputy MacEntee said that the Minister's attitude on Section 5 seems to be a bad beginning. There has been a bad beginning, but it has been a bad beginning so far as the Fianna Fáil Party is concerned in dealing with this type of legislation. Listening to their arguments on the Committee and Report Stages one is struck by the exceedingly laboured efforts they have made. As far as Deputy MacEntee is concerned, I think it would be a more truthful representation to say that he would prefer to see the commissioner retained. Deputy Briscoe, as a member of the corporation, spoke in favour of popular representation and on the Committee Stage expressed opposition to the Minister's meeting the viewpoint set out in the amendment.
One of the changes here is that it is generally accepted, both for the good of the House and for the good of the country as a whole, that there are issues coming before the House on which there can be agreement. On the Committee Stage we found ourselves in a somewhat similar position. I had occasion to indicate that when Deputy Lemass was a Minister in this House and we were on the Opposition Benches there were a number of occasions on which we complimented him for his attitude as a Minister and his willingness to meet us on the views expressed, even though he himself had come into the House with a contrary viewpoint. I do not think we ever had occasion to compliment Deputy MacEntee when he was a Minister. Possibly if we had, relations might have been much more friendly. It was unfortunate that we never had that opportunity.
Many measures go through this House in which no great divergence of political viewpoints is involved. So far as the board of assistance is concerned no issues of a political character  enter into the discussion. We are all concerned here with only one object in that regard and that is the carrying out of certain plans. I do not know exactly what influenced the Minister to accept the viewpoint expressed by those of us who spoke in favour of amending Section 5. On numerous occasions he has expressed his desire to see local government restored to the ordinary local authorities. What we are concerned with is to secure the expeditious carrying out of that plan. Possibly it was the Minister's desire to associate popular representation with such features of the management as would make it desirable that made him listen to our plea. I stated before that I had knowledge that the plan that will be put into operation. I have equal knowledge that the plan is not proceeding as quickly as many of us would like. It is not proceeding fast enough, particularly in our endeavour to get rid of the character attaching to that institution and its services on both the assistance and health side. There has been considerable failure there. To that extent we urge that the association of popular representation with the effort to put that plan into effect would be beneficial. To that extent, at any rate, I think we made a case.
It may appear, as Deputy MacEntee said, that it is a question of the Minister's giving way to pressure or bringing in measures that are not proper for consideration. I feel that the most important thing we have to face here is the fact that, while we have got consideration by a responsible Minister and discussions with other Ministers directly concerned, plus the collective view of the Government, there is still a recognition that all the wisdom, political, legislative and administrative, is not contained merely in the members of the Government. Both sides of the House have got a contribution to make on measures of this kind.
In the past we had similar measures and efforts were made by the Opposition at that time to convince the responsible Minister that it might be possible to remove the measure from the field of Party conflict because of its  character and type. It was even suggested in regard to one important measure that it might be dealt with more appropriately by a special committee. But we never could get that facility and the result was that we had acrimonious discussions here on minor points of detail entailing a waste of time. Many of the more important features of the Bill did not receive the consideration they should have got because of their own intrinsic merit or their effect upon those people with whom the Bill would be largely concerned when it passed into law. The attitude was adopted that the Minister had introduced the Bill and, no matter what argument was advanced, the Minister was not prepared to alter one comma in the Bill. That does not make for healthy discussion and it certainly does not make for progress. Because the Minister has listened to discussion in this House on this Bill and because the weight of that discussion bears largely on the side of the House supporting the Government, that does not in any way alter the fact that we have made a change for the better. Possibly, when Fianna Fáil have settled down a little more in the rôle of an Opposition and have ceased trying to labour for effect, they will be able to make equally valuable contributions. So far their contributions to this Bill have not been of great help and the laboured efforts they have made to meet the various viewpoints and adapt their tactics hour by hour have not been a credit to them.
It would be far better if we had an opinion expressed directly by Deputy Briscoe that, as a member of the Dublin Corporation, he welcomed the restoration of the board of assistance and he was prepared to support that proposal, rather than have Opposition Deputies entering into the peculiar type of tactics that they developed in Committee. It would, perhaps, have been better, and more honest, for Deputy MacEntee, with his background, to say that he still believes in the maintenance of the commissionership and opposes the restoration of popular representation.
Mr. M.J. O'Higgins: I would like to support Deputy Larkin's remarks.  Deputy MacEntee seems to think that the Minister for Local Government has made a bad beginning with the introduction of this Bill. I should like to congratulate and compliment the Minister very heartily for his introduction of what is, I think, his first Bill. He deserves to be complimented on the manner in which he introduced it. Deputy MacEntee describes the Minister's attitude as giving way to political expediency. If the views expressed by Deputy MacEntee were to be accepted, then the proceedings in this House would be all so much “cod” and eyewash.
After the Government was formed, the Taoiseach said it was his intention to make this House a deliberative Assembly and any measures submitted to it could be fully and freely discussed by all Deputies, whether or not they supported the Government. It was in that spirit the Minister for Local Government introduced this Bill. He treated the House as a deliberative Assembly. If Deputy MacEntee's viewpoint was honestly expressed—I am sure it was—and if it were accepted in its entirety, what would the position be? It would be absolutely futile for Fianna Fáil to move an amendment and it would be absolutely senseless for them to support it, because Deputy MacEntee's view contained the admission that they did not want the Minister to accept it and did not believe he should, and they thought the Minister would be doing a bad day's work if he were to listen to any arguments in favour of accepting amendments. That, in a nutshell, was the opinion expressed by Deputy MacEntee.
I am very glad that we have, in this Government, Ministers who are prepared to listen to the arguments advanced by all Deputies. I hope that will continue and that the House will always be treated as a deliberative Assembly. It is only now we are beginning to get the benefit of the Taoiseach's intention. We actually had a Fianna Fáil Deputy, Deputy Lynch, standing up here in sharp collision with the deputy leader of his Party on this Bill. All of us heard Deputy Lemass's defence of legislation by Order. I concede this to Deputy Lemass. I was impressed by the manner in which he  made his defence of what I still consider an obnoxious principle. To-day, I assume it was because of the views he heard expressed here, one of Deputy Lemass's colleagues is now converted to the idea expressed on this side of the House. Deputy Lynch stood up completely unashamed and said he agreed with what was stated here against legislation by Order, with the reservation that there are times when legislation by Order is necessary. I concede that to him.
The point I wish to make is that by reason of the way in which the Minister introduced the Bill and allowed a case to be made on the amendment and met that case, we have succeeded in securing one convert from the ranks of Fianna Fáil. I trust before this Dáil ends we will secure many more.
Mr. Briscoe: I think Deputy Larkin is a bad judge of what he has described as the laboured efforts of another member of the House. I took the view, with regard to Section 5, that the Minister, having explained to the House that as a result of consultations with his colleagues, the Ministers for Health and Social Welfare, it might be better to postpone the return of public control of the Dublin Board of Assistance because of the reorganisation that is taking place, that he had agreed to it. I was satisfied that the case he made was a case which one could accept. If that is to be interpreted as lack of co-operation and agreement with a reasoned statement, very well. Then one finds that, although the Minister may be quite clear that he accepted the principle of public control of this body, he only wanted this postponement for a specific purpose and that he would, afterwards, have to change from that.
There should be no taxation without representation. I occupy a position different from that occupied by Deputy Larkin. I approach this matter from a practical point of view. Deputy Larkin thinks that by the immediate restoration of public control of the board of assistance the representatives will be able in time to participate in the work of reorganisation.
Mr. Larkin: Plenty of time.
Mr. Briscoe: I am afraid that if that happens, instead of progress being made rapidly the Minister will find it retarded, because if the public representatives get back to control something which has advanced a considerable distance——
Mr. Larkin: It has not.
Mr. Briscoe: A certain amount of reorganisation has taken place. Deputy Larkin actually referred to that but now he says “there has not.” I do not know to what extent the particular Departments concerned wish to go before the position is reached where public control can take place. I am not against the restoration of the Dublin Board of Assistance, but I do say that the Minister must have had in his mind substantially sufficient reasons to have requested the House to wait until the job was completed, to that extent in any event where Departments have agreed and decided upon certain things. At least he was convinced of that, but now he comes to the House and he is convinced, notwithstanding what his colleagues requested, that what the House requested, without detailed information, can be accepted.
I have a very intimate knowledge of the workings of Dublin Corporation and its subsidiary bodies and I think that Deputy Larkin and Deputy O'Higgins can say that they equally have a detailed knowledge of what goes on and the tremendous amount of departmental and subsidiary organisations there are for us to deal with as public representatives. I feel that we are coming into the position now that may bring about discussions and questions. Even Deputy Larkin's own colleagues may question some of the things which may arise from the reorganisation with the result that the pace of the progress may be retarded. If Deputy Larkin considers that attitude of mind as something which he suggests is belaboured I present him with that. My approach to the Bill was, I believe—and I do not believe that it could be interpreted as anything else—purely from the point of view of co-operation, and I am afraid from my intimate knowledge of the  workings of subsidiary bodies such as Grangegorman and Portrane, that if we were to come in and to take control —even limited control such as we have in, say, city management—our coming in when they were advanced a certain distance might mean that the whole thing would be thrown back into the melting pot and reconsidered from another angle.
I was anxious that the Minister should consider the matter for the reasons which he gave and that he would not accept the amendment. I am wondering why Deputy Larkin has not concluded that the Minister was going back on his principles that he had expressed here and which we accept that he holds. I accept that and I wish the Minister to accept that from me. He has not given us details but I am sure he has sufficient details. All the Ministers who requested a certain line were probably advised in the matter by their officials and experts. The Minister has now accepted the suggested alteration as a result of the amendment introduced by Deputies on those benches and I say to him that I hope he will not regret it. I happen to know how detailed a consideration of all matters regarding Dublin Corporation is given by all members of that body. I do not say this from a carping point of view, but I would not be a bit surprised if Deputy Larkin's colleagues were the persons who could contribute to a hold-up as a result of wanting certain things done. Deputy Larkin nods his head as if he agrees with me.
Mr. Larkin: It would still be quicker than a commissionership.
Mr. Briscoe: I do not know that it would be quicker, but it is not a question of a commissionership alone but three distinct Departments, two of them new ones, dealing with the matter of reorganisation——
Mr. Larkin: Oh, no!
Mr. Briscoe: What did the Minister mean then by saying that he only wanted the postponement of the matter for a little time, unless the work would be completed by that time? Either  that is the position or not. If not, I am satisfied with the present amendment of the Bill, but if the position is as the Minister stated when he was introducing the Bill then I am not satisfied.
Mr. Murphy: Again I have to express my gratification for the great concern that has been displayed in connection with this. It is very good to know that I have two such competent guides for my infant steps as a Minister as Deputy MacEntee and Deputy Briscoe, and I would like to acknowledge their efforts to prevent me straying from the straight and narrow path. I do not think that I should trouble the House again with the arguments which I put forward in connection with this matter, when the Committee Stage of the Bill was under discussion. It is a fact, as I stated, that I was impressed with the discussion that took place on the Second Reading of the Bill, and in order to give expression to the view which I held long before I held any responsibility such as I have now, that is, that as far as possible measures going through the House should express the views of the members of the House, I accepted that amendment and incorporated it in the Bill without any reservation whatever.
The fact is, of course—I do not want to make more than a passing reference to it—that it is not what is in this Bill but what was in another Bill that is troubling Deputy MacEntee. It was a Bill which he introduced and rushed through the House shortly before the dissolution and it would be out of order as well as being highly undesirable that there should be any further discussion of that measure, but the difference between this measure and its predecessor is the difference between two Ministers, one of whom has had no experience whatever of acting as a member of a local authority, and the other who has some experience, be it good or bad, over a number of years. It was amusing to hear the references to hasty and impulsive legislation. I would have thought that from Deputy MacEntee's experience of that kind of thing, he would have found it best not to mention it at all. A notable example was the Bill which he himself was responsible for that was completely  demolished when its validity was tested. It was not the only example, and while I am glad to get good advice, I am not taking it from the reference to the precedent already set up with regard to bad, faulty and hasty legislation in the House.
I think that it is a good thing for this House to issue, as a result of its deliberations, measures that bear the hallmark of discussion in the House. I think that that is the most effective instrument for keeping in touch with the opinions of the people. The passing of measures by a machine majority is and always has been an objectionable procedure and I feel proud of the fact that I am the first Minister responsible for introducing a Bill that bears upon it the mark of consideration in the House.
I do not think that there is anything further that I need say in connection with the matter at the present time except that I am quite satisfied that this Bill will achieve to the fullest the purposes for which it was drafted and that none of the fears which have been expressed for my welfare in the future or of the Bill when it is in operation will, in fact, be realised.
Question put and agreed to.
The Dáil, according to order, went into Committee on Finance, and resumed consideration of Estimates for Public Services for the year ending March 31st, 1949.
Debate resumed on the following motion:—
That a sum not exceeding £174,950 be granted to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending the 31st day of March, 1949, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Office of the Minister for Education.—(Minister for Education.)
Major de Valera: The few remarks I  wish to make on this occasion are of a rather general nature but I think they are fundamental. I am afraid that in approaching the problem of education in this country we frequently get lost in the details of mechanism and we forget sometimes the broader aspect of the problem. With the world as it is to-day, the function which the Minister for Education has is perhaps one of the most important functions in the State and the proper direction of education will have more lasting and ultimately more important effects on the life of the country than perhaps any other activity of the State. I might put it this way: we have achieved a certain measure of economic and political freedom.
We have, as far as Twenty-six Counties are concerned, achieved what generations of the people fought and strove for but we have achieved these things under circumstances which make the preservation of liberty and of our national entity a more difficult thing than perhaps it might have been some hundred years ago. Because of the effective way in which the foreigner substituted his language for the ordinary language of the people over the greater part of our territory and because of modern trends in communication and, in particular, the ease with which foreign ideas and foreign ideals can come to our people, we run a greater risk nowadays than ever before in our history of losing our national individuality. Of course, if we lose that thing which makes us a separate nation and gives us what I have called our national individuality, then political and economic freedom and these other things are so much—I would almost call them shams, in those circumstances. Because, assuredly, as we lose that thing that makes us a separate people, a separate nation, because of our inferiority in numbers and our lack of physical resources, we must ultimately become absorbed and there will be no Irish people to enjoy the economic and political liberty which we have.
For these reasons it seems to me that the function of education is of paramount importance. I should say it is the greatest priority of any of the  tasks before us to preserve in ourselves our national outlook and our national culture, to preserve in ourselves that thing that makes the people of this country a nation and distinguishes them from other nations. It is, in other words, preserving the soul of the nation. As I said already, if that soul is allowed to die, the body dies also and there is nothing left to enjoy the political and economic liberty which we have.
That argument is an argument for ourselves but an important one. It means this, that having regard to the disadvantageous position that we are in in having no language barrier to preserve our culture, having regard to the dangers arising from the free drift of foreign ideas and foreign ideals into the country through the medium of a foreign language, it is an essential in our educative system that we counterbalance that by inspiring all our young people with the ideals that have inspired their progenitors, the ideals that enabled the nation to survive under the most adverse circumstances, so that these ideals may sustain those children when they reach maturity and are the backbone of the nation.
That general thesis will be agreed upon by all members of the House. In practice, what does it involve? It involves that in our educational system we must whole-heartedly adopt our national ideals, that we make no apology for our history, our nationhood or our traditions, that everything in our history which is inspiring to the young, which inspires them with the sense of pride in that they are Irish and the descendants of those Irish men and women who fought and died for that culture, must be taught to them. We must teach them their history. We must teach them in a sympathetic and even, if you like, in a propagandist way. We must teach them to admire their own heroes, the ideals that are to be found in Gaelic and the best of Irish literature in either language.
That is what we must do. I feel that at present we are not uncompromising enough on that, that we are a trifle too cautious, that our children in school do not hear enough about their own history. For instance, how much does the personality and work of Pearse  appear in our school curriculum? How much do we find of the ideals of Davis? How much do we hear of the exploits of, say, Myles Byrne, which are a thrilling enough story for any youngster, in which he will hear of heroes of other countries? How much of these do we give our children in school? If we do not give them these are they to get the inspiration that will fire them to take their place in the building up of this nation as we would all like to see it built up?
Therefore, on that ground, I would take this opportunity to say to a Minister, who is as solicitous as anybody else—I am glad to be able to say it— for the revival of our Irish culture: in that revival do not concentrate all the time on mechanics. Get at the spirit; get those live personalities from history to inspire our young people in the ideal of nationhood and Irish nationality, which inspired the generations in the past who fought and who have achieved by now some measure of the aims for which they stood. That, of course, is an argument for ourselves. It simply means that, if we are to get cohesion amongst our people, the determination to build up the nation which we would like to see built up here, we must have some common ideal to inspire our young people growing up. It is only some bond of that nature that will enable them to pull together, to put selfish interests in the second place and to co-operate in the common task.
Apart from that, the preservation of these ideals is an absolute essential to the preservation of the national individuality of this nation. I might even go further: there is another very good reason, more than ever valid to-day, for urging on the Minister to pay attention to the teaching of our traditions, to the development of our culture, to the teaching of our history, in the schools. It is this. We see in the world to-day a conflict of ideologies— we have the new from the East, characterised by many features which are grossly repugnant to us; we have the old, but, unfortunately, many of the adherents of the old order have lost, and now lack, the spiritual conviction and strength that they would need in  the crisis, in their watering down of the principles of Christianity from time to time. That conflict is going on in the world. In that conflict we, in company with a few other nations in Southern Europe, have a unique advantage. In our distinctive Irish culture, we have the philosophy of Christianity enshrined in an undiluted form. In our own Gaelic culture, we have that which England and many other States in the world have lost, in their career in search of material prosperity.
One useful legacy to us from the times of adversity is that, fundamentally, we have in our culture all the essential ingredients of objective truth. We must, therefore, preserve them and to do so we must preserve that culture. That is another argument—and perhaps, approaching it from another, a wider point of view, than the mere nation at home, an overriding argument—for the preservation and fostering of our own culture, our own ideals and our own traditions here at home. Nobody who has been brought up in that Irish Christian tradition can be at a loss for his philosophic basis. He is very sure of his ground and he does not need to speculate on new economic theories or grope in the dark for a new anchorage. For instance, nobody imbued with that culture would have to fall back on a form of socialism as a philosophy and you would not hear from somebody in this country a declaration that Socialism is “a way of life, not just an economic theory”. A declaration of that sort was made in another country recently, in their efforts to grope for a set of principles on which to act to meet modern conditions.
We have that stable basis in our own traditions and our own culture and we did not have to look to any modern `isms' or ways of life to try to find a norm according to which we can act together and develop this country. We have it already. It has been tried in the past and found sufficient for us. It will be sufficient for the future and may even be more. It is conceivable that, in the stability which we have in that, we may be a useful regenerating focus for a portion of the world again. That may seem almost a poetic aspiration, unworthy  of someone talking in a deliberative Assembly, but when one analyses it and when one can see what we have, in that unmitigated, uncompromising Christian tradition of our own culture, I feel perfectly warranted in making this statement.
For these reasons, I would like to ask the Minister to consider in our educational system at this time the particular need for inspiring our young people with our national ideals and traditions. Because of very frequent use, these may seem hackneyed terms, but they still express accurately in them something of fundamental worth. Let every child be inspired by these things, let these things be made living for them, let them be a guide for their actions, let these things be made living and so be proud of themselves and their culture and in that way contribute to this country taking its proper place in the Christian world and, if necessary, in meeting those threats from Russia or elsewhere that seem to be threatening the old civilisation at the moment.
I would ask the Minister, therefore, to try to achieve that aim and, as a means of achieving it, to emphasise the teaching of history, going beyond the mere mechanics of teaching a language, the teaching of something live, the inspiring of idealism in these young people's hearts, the beating down of cynicism, that cynicism that comes through lack of education and lack of enthusiasm for ideals. Instead of encouraging our children to be cynics, as modern trends would make them, let us try to make them enthusiasts, to make them idealistic enthusiasts. In that way, they can be brought to co-operate in the future and to set about the task which, unfortunately, largely remains to be done, of building up this nation as this nation should be built.
Captain Cowan: This Estimate is one of tremendous importance. I think we can safely say that with the new approach that has been made by the Minister to the problems confronting him a substantial and a desirable change will be brought about in the principles governing education in a short space of time. The fact that the  Minister has met the representatives of the teaching bodies, that he has discussed with them their difficulties and that he has indicated that he is prepared in so far as is humanly possible to meet and solve those difficulties is in itself a good thing. For many years many people have advocated the establishment of a council of education to co-operate with the Minister, to advise the Minister and to give the Minister a viewpoint outside what may be termed “the Civil Service approach to education”. That struggle has gone on for a long number of years.
The present Minister has now indicated that he proposes to establish such a council of education. One of the difficulties I can see in the way of a council of education and one of the difficulties which impresses itself on my mind is how this council of education is to be established. Will it be an elected council? Will it be representative of organisations? Will those representatives be elected by the bodies they are expected and supposed to represent or will they simply be appointed by the Minister, and, if appointed by the Minister, what will be their duties? What will be their responsibilities and what will be their tenure of office? I have received no indication as to what is proposed in regard to this council of education. If we are to have a council of education that will be respected, a council of education that will do the things we expect a council of education to do, I think it will be necessary for the Minister to come to this House and get statutory authority for the establishment of that council and it will be necessary to prescribe in the statute the formation of that council. The size of the council, the method of electing the members, the period of office and their responsibilities will have to be very clearly set out in an Act of Parliament. Any council that may be set up by the Minister purely in an advisory capacity without power and responsibility cannot, in my view at any rate, meet the wishes of all those people who, over the years, contemplated and recommended a council of education.
I do not know what the Minister's own views on the matter may be. I  can appreciate his difficulties with regard to those problems. He understands the demand for a council of education. He has indicated to the teaching organisations and he has indicated to us in this House that he proposes to set up such a council. It may be that at the moment he is considering names of people who might be very suitable members of such a council. I would ask the Minister to go slow on this matter of appointing a council of education until such time as he has had an opportunity of coming into this House and putting before it legislative proposals that can be discussed and adopted here and on which a council that will command respect will be established. If we get the proper kind of council of education now—if it is given the duties, the powers, and the responsibilities that it ought to have, if it is democratically elected and properly representative of the people and the classes that the Minister indicated it should represent—I believe that a great step forward in the interests of education will have been made.
I want to develop some aspects of that matter which I think are of importance and which, I think, ought to be considered by the Minister.
D'fhiafraí Gearóid Mac Pharthaláin den Aire Rialtais Aitiúil an bhfuil a fhios aige i dtaobh Liostaí na Vótálaithe (a) nach mbíonn i gcónaí idirdhealú ceart idir ainm bhaile an phosta agus ainm bhaile fearainn an vótálaí, agus (b) gur minic ainm áitiúil in ionad ainm oifigiúil an bhaile; agus an bhféachfaidh sé chuige go gceartófar an neamhréireacht sin.
Mr. Murphy: No complaints of the nature referred to in this question have come to my knowledge arising out of the recent General Election. If the Deputy sends me details of any cases he is aware of I will have them investigated and any necessary alterations made by the registration officer.
The Dáil adjourned at 10.30 p.m. until 3 p.m. on Wednesday, 26th May, 1948.