Dáil Éireann



Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Reunification: Re-entry to British commonwealth

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Partition: Intervention of U.S.A.

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Problem of Reunification.

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Government Commissions.

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Seanad Éireann: Question of Abolition.

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Method of Election of Seanad.

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Revival of Irish.

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Gross Domestic Fixed Capital Formation.

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Motor Vehicle Exports.

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Employment in Business.

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Capital Expenditure of Manufacturing Industries.

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Shipping Statistics.

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Production of Wheat.

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Closing of Portion of Milling Business.

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Licences for Import of Woven Fabrics.

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Closing of State-Assisted Industries.

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Free Trade Area.

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Sea Emergencies: Provision of Shore Based Radio.

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Use of Helicopters for Life Saving.

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Employment in Semi-State Bodies.

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Tariff Reviews.

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Galway Unemployment and Emigration.

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Rural Electrification in Ballyvourney.

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Hearing Aids for Adults.

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Revision of Cork Dispensary Districts.

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Medical Attendance: Cork Complaints.

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Redundant Nurses in Sanatoria.

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Rural Midwives.

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Kerry Share-Fishermen: Investigation of Means.

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Bank Rate.

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Salary Increases.

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Recovery of Income-Tax.

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Tourists' Tax-Free Petrol.

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Inny Drainage Scheme.

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Arterial Drainage Priority List.

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Galway Gardaí: Clerical Workers.

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Judicial and Legal Appointments.

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Cow Byre Grants.

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Pigs Killed in Bacon Factories.

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Price for Grade B Pigs.

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Offaly Estates.

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Division of Galway Estate.

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Extension of Wexford Pier.

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Ownership of Woodland.

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Consumption of Forest Products.

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Forestry Statistics.

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Price of Forestry Land.

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - State Forest Thinnings.

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Purchase of Frigidaire Vans.

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Extension of Waterford School.

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Spangle Hill (Cork) School.

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Amendment of School Attendance Act.

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Functions of Naval Service.

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Charting of Irish Coastal Waters.

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - North Kerry Postal Services.

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Resignations from Postal Services.

Order of Business.

Transport Bill, 1958—First Stage.

Supplementary Estimate—Leave to Introduce.

Industrial Development (Encouragement of External Investment) Bill, 1957—Recommittal.

Supplementary Estimate, 1957-58.

Committee on Finance. - Vote 23—Miscellaneous Expenses.

Committee on Finance. - Estimates for Public Services, 1958-59.

Committee on Finance. - Vote 57—Defence (Resumed).

Committee on Finance. - Industrial Development (Encouragement of External Investment) Bill, 1957—Recommittal (Resumed).

Private Members' Business. - Increased Social Welfare Benefits—Motion (Resumed).

Private Members' Business. - Adjournment Debate—Complaint of Treatment of Cork Post-Polio Patient.



Do chuaigh an Ceann Comhairle i gceannas ar 3 p.m.

Mr. Tierney:  asked the Taoiseach whether, with reference to his recent statement to the English Press in regard to reunification, he has formulated conditions on which a united ireland would enter the British Commonwealth.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Taoiseach (Donnchadh Ó Briain) (thar cheann an Taoisigh):  The answer is in the negative.

Mr. O.J. Flanagan:  asked the Taoiseach if he is in favour of re-entry to the Commonwealth of a united Ireland, and if this matter is under consideration having regard to his recent statement in London on the subject of a united Ireland.

Donnchadh Ó Briain (thar cheann an Taoisigh):  The statement referred to by the Deputy was made in reply to questions put to me by representatives of the Press. The question of association in any form with the British Commonwealth arises only in connection with Partition. My views on the form of association that might be possible between a united Ireland and the British Commonwealth have been frequently expressed and are, I think, well know. They were again made clear at the Press conference in London. But, as the matter is hypothetical [914] there would be no purpose in elaborating upon it, and it is not under consideration.

Mr. Corish:  Would the Taoiseach be in a position to elaborate on the views to which the Parliamentary Secretary referred in that reply?

The Taoiseach:  I do not understand the point in the Deputy's question.

Mr. Corish:  If I am correct, the parliamentary Secretary said that the house and the country were well aware of the Taoiseach's views in respect of some form of association with the Commonwealth. I am asking the Taoiseach if he would be prepared to elaborate on these views?

The Taoiseach:  As I have said, the matter is purely hypothetical and there would be no point in my doing what the Deputy asks.

Mr. Corish:  I think the Taoiseach is being unfair to himself if he leaves these views unexpressed at a time like this in the light of his interview with the British Press.

The Taoiseach:  I was asked questions by representatives of the various newspapers on this, that and the other and one of the questions elicited a certain reply. I take it, it is that reply which has given rise to this question. Anything I had to say, I said it then and it is clear.

Mr. McQuillan:  It is not a bit clear.

General Mulcahy:  No.

Mr. O.J. Flanagan:  asked the Taoiseach whether, with reference to his statement at a Press conference in London that he would like to see the United States using her good offices to end partition, he has requested the American Government to intervene in the matter and, if so, to what extent and with what results.

Donnchadh Ó Briain (thar cheann an Taoisigh):  The answer is in the negative.

[915]Mr. O.J. Flanagan:  asked the Taoiseach if he will take steps to summon a conference of the three Governments concerned to discuss the problem or reuniting this country; and if preliminary steps will be taken to agree on a suitable agenda.

Donnchadh Ó Briain (thar cheann an Taoisigh):  It should be obvious that I am not in a position to command the attendance at such a conference of representatives of the other Governments.

Mr. Manley:  asked the Taoiseach if he will state (a) the number and names of the commissions set up by the Government in the past ten years, (b) the cost to date of each of these commissions, (c) the number which have furnished reports of their findings, and (d) the number which have resulted in legislation or other Government action.

Donnchadh Ó Briain (thar cheann an Taoisigh):  No commissions, as such, have been set up by the Government in the past ten years.

Three committees, however, have been set up by the Government during that period, namely, the Committee on the Devaluation of the Pound, which was set up on the 11th October, 1949, the Dollar Exports Advisory Committee on the 9th may, 1950, and the Atomic Energy Committee on the 24th February, 1956.

As regards these three committees, the particulars referred to at (b) to (d) of the deputy's question are as follows:—(b) nil, £110 and £1,965, respectively; (c) one and (d) one.

Dr. Browne:  asked the Taoiseach whether, in order to find out whether the public would prefer to see Seanad Éireann as at present constituted abolished, he will consult their wishes on the matter by means of a referendum or other suitable method.

Donnchadh Ó Briain (thar cheann an Taoisigh):  The answer is in the [916] negative.

Dr. Browne:  May I ask the Taoiseach what are his objections to having a referendum on matters such as the abolition of the Seanad and the revival of the language, remembering that they are not sufficiently important to be discussed at general elections? But public opinion is very important and it would be worth finding out what public opinion is on these matters.

The Taoiseach:  The position is that the Constitution was passed by referendum or general plebiscite and I do not think it would be desirable to spend money in having another plebiscite.

Dr. Browne:  Surely the powers are there to hold a referendum on matters such as this? Has the Taoiseach any objection to having a referendum on matters such as this?

The Taoiseach:  I have the objection that I do not believe that because some Deputy wants to have a certain thing put to the people it should be put.

Dr. Browne:  Could the Taoiseach tell us why he decided upon his own authority, and without a referendum, to abolish the Seanad on another occasion? That was a time when he was a very angry young man.

The Taoiseach:  I had sense.

Dr. Browne:  asked the Taoiseach whether he has yet decided on the personnel of the proposed commission to inquire into the changes required in the method of election of Seanad Éireann.

Donnchadh Ó Briain (thar cheann an Taoisigh):  I hope that an announcement on this matter can be made on the re-assembly of the House after the Easter recess.

Mr. Kenny:  asked the Taoiseach when it is proposed to set up a commission to inquire into methods of reviving the Irish language.

[917]Donnchadh Ó Briain (thar cheann an Taoisigh):  The matter is being dealt with, and it is hoped that the commission can be established at an early date.

Mr. Coogan:  Will the Parliamentary Secretary also ask that commission to find out what is the cost of killing the Irish language.

Mr. MacCarthy:  It is not killed

Mr. Coogan:  There has been a great attempt to kill it by emigration on the part of the Deputy's Party.

Mr. J. Lynch:  I have never heard the Deputy speak irish in the House.


An Ceann Comhairle:  Order!

Mr. Corish:  In view of the discussions that are going on and the controversy that exists about the revival of the language, would the Taoiseach not consider initiating a discussion here on this question so that we may at least have some unanimity as to whether or not the language is worthy of revival? My personal opinion is that it is, but I think we should hear the views of public representatives on it in this House. I would respectfully suggest also that that discussion should be conducted, for the benefit of everybody, in the English language.

An Ceann Comhairle:  That seems to be a separate question.

Mr. Corish:  I am asking the Taoiseach if he would consider initiating a discussion in the House?

The Taoiseach:  I shall consider that matter but up to very recent times there was unanimity in the House on this matter.

Mr. Corish:  It would be very good to have the air cleared.

[918]Mr. Larkin:  asked the Taoiseach if he will state for 1956 the approximate division of gross domestic fixed capital formation between (a) road vehicles, (b) rolling stock, ships and aircraft, (c) plant and machinery, (d) new dwellings, and (e) other construction.

Donnchadh Ó Briain:  It is estimated that in 1956 the expenditure on gross fixed capital formation was (a) £3,000,000 for road vehicles, (b) £7,000,000 for rolling stock, ships and aircraft, (c) £24,000,000 for plant, machinery and other equipment, (d) £14,000,000 for dwellings, and (e) £28,000,000 for other construction. The expenditure on private road motor vehicles, as on other durable consumers' goods, is classified as current consumption expenditure and not as fixed capital formation.

Mr. Moloney:  asked the Taoiseach if he will state the number of (a) new passenger and (B) new commercial motor vehicles, with the names of assemblers, exported to America and other foreign countries during each of the years ended 28th February, 1957 and 1958, together with the aggregate export value each year.

Donnchadh Ó Briain:  It would be contrary to general practice to publish statistics relating specifically to individual concerns. I, therefore, propose, with the permission of the Ceann Comhairle, to circulate in the Official Report a statement showing, in the Official Report a statement showing, in the detail prescribed in the Official Export List, the number and value of new passenger and commercial motor vehicles exported to each country of final destination in the periods referred to in the question.

Following is the statement:—

[919][920] DOMESTIC exports of new passenger cars and new commercial motor vechicles in the years ended 28th February, 1957 and 1958.

Description and Country of Destination Quantity Value
1957 1958 1957 1958
No. No. £ £
Passenger road motor vehicles, complete (except buses or motor cycles), new:
Great Britain 491 97,295
The Six Counties 30 7 10,245 1,368
United States of America 4,300 1,251,036
TOTAL 30 4,798 10,245 1,349,699
Motor goods vehicles, complete, new:
Finland 68 78,619
TOTAL 68 78,619

Dr. Browne:  asked the Taoiseach if he will state the total number of businesses established since March, 1932, employing (a) 50 persons and under, (b) 100 persons and under, (c) 150 persons and under, (d) 200 persons and under, (e) 250 persons and under, (f) 300 persons and under, (g) over 300 persons.

Donnchadh Ó Briain:  It is presumed that the Deputy's question relates to industrial establishments. Particulars of the year of establishment have not been collected in recent censuses of production. Particulars are available, however, of the number of establishments included in the 1931 census of production classified by number of persons engaged in October, 1931, and of the number of establishments included in the 1955 census of production classified by the average number engaged in 1955. I propose, with the permission of the Ceann Comhairle, to circulate in the Official Report a statement setting out these figures. The classes used differ somewhat from those specified in the Deputy's question as it would not be possible at this stage to determine the 1931 data for the desired classification.

In interpreting the figures shown in the statement it is important to bear in mind that the census of production is based on individual establishments (i.e. factory, workshops, etc.) and that in a number of instances more than one establishment may be owned by the same business. Each establishment has been classified according to the number of persons engaged in that establishment without reference to any other establishment that may be owned by the same concern.

Following is the statement:—

NUMBER of establishments included in the Census of Industrial Production and engaged in the production of transportable goods, classified according to number of persons engaged.

Number of Persons engaged in each establishment October, 1931 Average 1955
Number of Establishments
Under 50 2,043 2,764
50 to 99 150 329
100 to 249 95 204
250 to 499 22 87
500 and over 7 30
TOTAL 2,317 3,414

Mr. Larkin:  asked the Taoiseach if he will state in respect of gross capital expenditure by manufacturing industries in 1956 the amount spent on (a) plant and machinery, (b) vehicles and (c) building work.

[921]Donnchadh Ó Briain:  The particulars of gross capital expenditure by manufacturing industries in 1956 will not be available for some months. The gross capital expenditure in 1955 by establishments engaged in manufacturing industries and covered by the census of industrial production (excluding small concerns) was (a) £6,231,000 on plant and machinery, (b) £1,387,000 on vehicles and (c) £2,888,000 on new buildings, including extensions and substantial alterations

Mr. Larkin:  asked the Taoiseach if he will state the number and tonnage of vessels arriving at and departing from each port in the State from other [922] ports within the State in each of the years 1947 to 1957, indicating in each case the nationality of the vessels.

Donnchadh Ó Briain:  The official shipping statistics are not complied in the detail specified in the question, but I have had the information specially extracted for the year 1957. The preparation of similar figures for the ten years 1947-56 would entail an expenditure of time and labour which I do not consider that the results would justify. I propose, therefore, with the permission of the Ceann Comhairle, to circulate in the Official Report a statement showing the information required for 1957 only.

Following is the statement:—

THE number and net registered tonnage of vessels, including their repeated voyages, that arrived at and departed from ports in the State from and to other ports in the State in the year 1957.

PORT and NATIONALITY Arrived Departed
vessels tons vessels tons
Ards (Dungloe) TOTAL 3 410
Dutch 3 410
Arklow TOTAL 15 2,204 5 540
British 1 92 2 83
Dutch 6 943 1 198
Irish 8 1,169 2 259
Balbriggan and Skerries TOTAL 5 707
British 3 420
Dutch 1 97
Irish 1 190
Ballina TOTAL 1 180 7 1,307
Dutch 1 180 7 1,307
Ballinacurra TOTAL 2 326 2 326
Irish 2 326 2 326
Ballylongford TOTAL 61 976 61 976
Irish 61 976 61 976
Ballylongford TOTAL 4 521
Dutch 4 521
Baltimore TOTAL 1 95
Irish 1 95
Bantry TOTAL 1 18,767 2 425
British 1 18,767
Dutch 1 177
Irish 1 248
Belmullet TOTAL 1 180
Dutch 1 180
Buncrana TOTAL 1 177
Britsh 1 177
Burtonport TOTAL 1 180 1 180
Dutch 1 180 1 180
Cobh TOTAL 4 1,268 1 367
British 2 719
Dutch 1 367 1 367
Irish 1 182
Cork TOTAL 29 7,178 21 5,196
British 5 1,686 2 810
Duthch 23 5,303 16 3,533
Irish 1 189 3 853
Courtmacsherry TOTAL 1 143 1 143
Irish 1 143 1 143
Dingle TOTAL 2 324
Dutch 2 324
Donegal TOTAL 2 426 3 606
Dutch 2 426 3 606
[923][924]Drogheda TOTAL 12 2,922 16 4,292
British 3 899 3 527
Irish 3 1,605
Dublin TOTAL 109 22,684 144 25,273
British 12 3,088 18 3,589
Dutch 36 9,248 52 11,981
German 1 26
Irish 61 10,348 43 9,434
Dundalk TOTAL 11 2,670 9 2,201
British 3 799
Dutch 4 710 2 391
Irish 7 1,960 4 1,011
Dungarvan TOTAL 5 897 3 529
Dutch 4 716 2 386
Irish 1 181 1 143
Dún Laoghaire TOTAL 2 388 1 481
British 1 130 1 481
Dutch 1 258
Dunmore East TOTAL 3 482 2 355
Dutch 3 482 2 355
Fiddown TOTAL 4 492 6 1,049
British 3 366 1 140
Dutch 1 126 4 728
Irish 1 181
Foynes TOTAL 5 80 5 80
Irish 5 80 5 80
Galway TOTAL 2 526 9 2,270
British 1 173
Danish 1 130
Dutch 2 526 4 904
Irish 3 1,063
Haulbowline TOTAL 35 5,310 57 8,277
Irish 35 5,310 57 8,277
Kilkerrin TOTAL 4 861
British 3 653
Dutch 1 208
Killybegs TOTAL 1 220
British 1 220
Kilrush TOTAL 97 4,058 98 4,219
Dutch 1 161
Irish 97 4,058 97 4,058
Kincasslagh TOTAL 1 249
Dutch 1 249
Kinsale TOTAL 3 313 5 714
Irish 3 313 5 714
Limerick TOTAL 143 7,020 149 10,758
British 3 930 1 233
Dutch 3 725 6 1,384
German 137 5,365 1 351
Irish 141 8,790
Milford TOTAL 3 507 1 180
Dutch 3 507 1 180
Moville TOTAL 3 606 2 393
Dutch 3 606 2 393
Mulroy TOTAL 3 580
Dutch 3 580
New Ross TOTAL 2 333 9 1,721
British 1 141
Dutch 1 162 7 1,409
Irish 1 171 1 171
Passage East TOTAL 1 67
French 1 67
Passage West TOTAL 7 1,616
Dutch 7 1,616
Rathmullan TOTAL 1 147
Dutch 1 147
[925][926]Ring TOTAL 3 415 1 96
Dutch 1 130
Irish 2 285 1 96
Rosslar Harbour TOTAL 2 892
British 2 892
Rushbrook TOTAL 4 6,370 2 576
Irish 4 6,370 2 576
Sligo TOTAL 15 3,076 4 1,234
British 2 341 2 492
Danish 1 130
Dutch 12 2,605 1 255
Irish 1 487
Waterford TOTAL 70 14,318 26 5,569
British 5 1,340 3 1,255
Dutch 52 11,176 18 3,488
French 1 67
Irish 12 1,735 5 826
Westport TOTAL 2 347
British 1 173
Dutch 1 174
Wexford TOTAL 2 138 6 869
Dutch 1 16 2 292
Irish 1 122 4 577
Wicklow TOTAL 12 2,010 7 737
British 6 1,196 1 92
Dutch 1 208 1 180
Irish 5 606 5 465
Younghal TOTAL 2 318
Irish 2 318

Mr. O'Sullivan:  asked the Taoiseach if he will state the average amount of wheat produced per acre in the year since and including 1945 up to the latest available date.

Donnchadh Ó Briain:  I propose with the permission of the Ceann Comhairle to circulate in the Offcial Report a statement containing the desired information.

Following is the statement:—


ESTIMATED yield of wheat per statute acre in each of the year 1945 to 1957.

Year cwt.
1945 17.3
1946 14.4
1947 10.8
1948 15.8
1949 19.9
1950 17.9
1951 17.6
1952 29.6
1953 23.2
1954 20.1
1955 22.3
1956 25.1
1957 25.3

Mr. M.P. Murphy:  asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce whether he is aware that a milling company have closed down a substantial portion of their milling business at Shannonvale, with the resultant loss of employment to 15 permanent employees; and if he will make representations to the company with a view to securing the continuance of business there and the reemployment of these men.

Minister for Industry and Commerce (Mr. S. Lemass):  I have seen a newspaper report to the effect that a number of employees in a milling concern at Shannonvale have been laid off. The Deputy will appreciate that the undertaking in question is carried on by private enterprise and that I could not, therefore, discuss the affairs of the concern in Dáil Éireann. There has, however, been, over the last three years, a continuing reduction in the consumption of flour, and until this trend is reversed some repercussions on employment in flour production is to be expected. I understand that flour millers hope that the reduced extraction [927] rate now in operation may have beneficial effects on the level of consumption.

Mr. M.P. Murphy:  Would the Minister say whether or not it is contrary to Government policy to allow firms with monopolies of certain types of business to centralise their work with resultant adverse effects on provincial and rural centres as is the case at Shannonvale?

Mr. S. Lemass:  That is a very general question. As far as flour milling is concerned, each mill has a quota and I would not agree to the transfer of that quota to another mill.

Mr. M.P. Murphy:  A company such as this enjoys certain facilities from the State and now finds that it has a monopoly of the milling business or very nearly so. They are closing down their business locally and transferring to the headquarters in Cork City. That will have an adverse effect on the Clonakilty area as far as employment and the transport of goods are concerned.

Mr. S. Lemass:  I made it quite clear that as far as this mill may be owned by a company which has a mill elsewhere, it would not be allowed to increase its quota of production in that second mill by reason of the transfer of business. In any case, it seems to me that the problem of this company is that it has not got a monopoly in its area.

Mr. M.P. Murphy:  Do I understand that a milling company cannot increase its output quota in the other mill?

Mr. S. Lemass:  The quota fixed for the mill could not be increased by reason of a decision to transfer the business of that mill to another mill. It may be, of course, that the first mill would not be producing up to its quota at present.

Mr. M.P. Murphy:  Do I understand from the Minister that each branch of the milling company has a separate quota?

Mr. S. Lemass:  Yes.

[928]Mr. Tierney:  asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce whether he is aware that the granting of duty-free licences for the import of woven fabrics consisting of piece goods wholly or partly of wool of under 4½ oz. weight per square yard is seriously affecting native manufacturers; and if he will ensure that such licences will not be issued without consultation with the Irish firms concerned.

Mr. S. Lemass:  I am not aware that the granting of these licences is seriously affecting native manufacturers. The second part of the question does not, therefore, arise.

Mr. Kenny:  asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he will state the number of industries which have ceased operations in the period 1951 to 1957, the total amount received by such industries by way of State subvention, and the amount of such subventions repaid to the State.

Mr. S. Lemass:  Information is not available in the records of my Department as to the total number of industrial concerns which ceased operations during the years 1951 to 1957. During that period, six firms which received financial assistance from the State under the provisions of the Trade Loan (Guarantee) Acts, 1939 to 1954, or the Undeveloped Areas Act, 1952, ceased to operate. The total amount paid by the State in the form or grants or in fulfilment of trade loan guarantees to these firms was £187,734. The total amount repaid to date to the State in respect of trade loan guarantees is £7,503 but it is expected that some further sums, which cannot at present be estimated, will be received by the Exchequer when the realisation of assets of some of these firms is completed. Grants under the Undeveloped Areas Act, 1952, are non-repayable.

Dr. Esmonde:  asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce whether he has now any further information to give to the Dáil relating to the [929] envisaged Free Trade Area in Europe; and if he will give details.

Mr. S. Lemass:  Three memoranda outlining the nature of the Free Trade Area proposals and the proposals made in considering these have already been issued officially and made available to members of the Dáil. It is not necessaru, therefore, for me to outline the proposals again. The general direction of the Free Trade Area negotiations was entrusted by the Council of O.E.E.C. to an inter-governmental committee on which all the countries of the organisation are represented.

This committee have had five series of meetings: on 14th-16th November, 1957; 28th-29th November, 1957; 15th-16th January, 1958; 17th-18th February, 1958, and 11th-13th March, 1958. They have discussed various aspects of the Free Trade Area proposals, they have given directions for the drawing up of a number of Articles of a Free Trade Area Convention, and have referred certain problems to committees of experts for further study. Much detailed work remains to be done.

One of the most important points on which difficulty has arisen is the treatment of agriculture and agricultural products. The main problems on agriculture are:—

(a) the safeguarding of the interests of food-exporting member countries who would be opening their markets to industrial goods; and

(b) the avoidance of discrimination between one food-exporting country and another.

British proposals on agriculture were considered at the January meetings of the committee. No definite conclusions were reached at those meetings, and the matter may be considered again at the next meeting of the committee on 31st instant.

Another matter on which difficulty has arisen is the problem of the origin of goods. On this matter there is a different of opinion between those countries which consider that in a Free Trade Area member countries [930] should have freedom regarding the fixing of external tariffs and those which maintain that member countries should agree to operate a common external tariff. During the discussion on this matter at the last meeting of the committee the Italian delegate put forward a proposal which has come to be known as the “Carli Plan”. This is claimed to be a reasonable compromise between the conflicting views previously put forward. The proposal is based on the idea that, where the difference between the external tariffs of two member countries is greater than a limit to be laid down, the country with the higher tariff may levy, on goods imported from the country with the lower tariff, a compensating charge based on the difference between the two rates. The implications of the proposal are at present being studied by a group of trade experts in Paris who, it is expected, will submit a preliminary report to the inter-governmental committee at their meeting next week.

The requests of certain countries, including Ireland, for special treatment as countries in the process of economic development continue to be studied by the special working party established for that purpose.

In view of the uncertainty regarding some of the main aspects of the Free Trade Area proposals the Deputy will appreciate that it is not possible to make a more detailed statement at present.

Mr. Larkin:  asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce what additions are being made or are under contemplation in respect of the shore-based radio and radio-telephone facilities available in this country for initiating and carrying through operations for saving life and property in the event of an emergency at sea near our coasts.

Mr. S. Lemass:  The adequacy of the communication facilities, including radio facilities, required for dealing with marine distresses are kept under constant review by my Department in consultation with the Department of Posts and Telegraphs. No additions to [931] radio-telephone or radio-telegraph facilities are being made or are contemplated at the moment.

Mr. Larkin:  asked the Minister for industry and Commerce what steps have been taken or are in contemplation to make available the services of helicopters for life saving, ordnance survey, the removal or emergency medical cases in remote areas to hospital, hydrographic survey and the many other purposes for which helicopters are most suitable.

Mr. S. Lemass:  The question of the possible use of helicopters is a matter which is kept under frequent review by my department and other Departments concerned.

I would refer the Deputy to the reply to a question on this subject in Dáil Éireann on the 4th December last. It was then indicated that a detailed survey has been made of the practicability of providing helicopters for use in this country under a scheme whereby the cost would be shared by potential users but that it had been found that there would not be anything like sufficient support to make such a scheme practicable. I may add that such a service would be very costly

Dr. Browne:  asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he will state the total number of persons employed at peak periods by (a) Aer Lingus Teoranta, (b) Bord na Móna, (c) the E.S.B., (d) C.I.E., (e) Irish Steel Holdings, Ltd., (f) Irish Shipping, Ltd. and (g) Comhlucht Siúicre Éireann Teoranta.

Mr. S. Lemass:  The total number of persons employed at peak periods during the past year by the organisations listed were:—

(a) Aer Lingus Teoranta 1,880
(b) Board na Móna 6,720
(c) Electricity Supply Board 8,216
(d) Córas Iompair Éireann 21,414
(e) Irish Steel Holdings Ltd. 506
(f) Comhlucht Siúicre Éireann Teo. 2,352

[932]Mr. O.J. Flanagan:  asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce whether he will review all tariffs and their effects on the cost and standard of living as such a review is overdue; and whether only the British Board of Trade can ask for a review of any tariff on imports of irish goods to Britain.

Mr. S. Lemass:  The answer to the first part of the question is in the negative. I am satisfied that the existing arrangements for review are adequate. I do not know what is meant by the second part of the question.

Mr. Corish:  Is it not a fact that the Industrial Development Authority consider it as their normal duty to review tariffs from time to time?

Mr. S. Lemass:  Yes, but the practice has been that they carry out these reviews at the request of the Minister for Industry and Commerce.

Mr. Corish:  I presume that the Minister for Industry and Commerce asks them periodically to review certain tariffs?

Mr. S. Lemass:  When the occasion arises.

Mr. Coogan:  asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if, in view of the grave amount of unemployment in and emigration from Galway, he will state whether he has any proposals to deal with the matter.

Mr. S. Lemass:  I assume that the question relates to proposals for the establishment of new industries. As the Deputy will appreciate, the establishment of industries is primarily a matter for private enterprise and local initiative. There is at present before my Department, a number of proposals formulated by private interests which may result in the establishment of industries in Galway. Any sound proposals will be given every possible encouragement and assistance.

Mr. Coogan:  I addressed the question to the Taoiseach in view of the [933] fact that he made a statement here 12 months ago that the first thing he would do would be to deal with the problem of unemployment and emigration. Now it seems the Taoiseach passed the buck. I should like to know what he has done, if the Taoiseach will answer at this stage.

An Ceann Comhairle:  Question No. 24.

Mr. Coogan:  I take it the Taoiseach refuses to reply?

The Taoiseach:  The question has been dealt with in the usual way, a Cheann Comhairle.

Mr. O'Sullivan:  asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he will now state the provision relating to the inclusion of Ballyvourney in the rural electrification scheme.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry and Commerce (Mr. Hilliard):  I would refer the Deputy to the reply given on 19th February last to a question on this subject by another Deputy. There has been no change in the meantime.

Mr. Tierney:  asked the Minister for Health whether he intends to consider further a scheme for the provision of hearing aids for adults which would be applicable by the North Tipperary County Council.

Minister for Health (Mr. MacEntee):  The question of organising a general scheme for the supply by local authorities of hearing-aids to adults in the lower income group has been under consideration by my Department, but, having regarding to current financial and other difficulties, the introduction of such a scheme must be deferred for the present.

Mr. T.F. O'Higgins:  Will the Minister indicate any period in which such a scheme may be introduced?

Mr. MacEntee:  I cannot. Wait until the financial clouds pass and then I will tell you.

[934]Mr. Casey:  asked the Minister for Health if he will state in respect of the proposed revision of Cork Urban and Cork Rural Nos. 1 and 2 Dispensary Districts (a) the date on which revision proposals were originally made, (b) the date and nature of the most recent proposals made by the South Cork Board of Public Assistance, (c) the date and nature of the reply sent to the board and (d) when a final decision may be expected.

Mr. MacEntee:  Proposals were received in my Department from the South Cork Board of Public Assistance on the 16th May, 1957, for the reorganisation of Cork Rural Nos. 1 and 2 Dispensary Districts and Cork Urban Nos. 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 Dispensary Districts. No proposals have been received for the reorganisation of Cork Urban Nos. 1 and 2 Dispensary Districts. These are the only proposals for the revision of dispensary districts in the area before my Department.

It was found necessary to obtain further information from the board and subsequently to obtain vertification of the figures supplied. These inquiries were completed early in December last. The proposal is still under consideration and as the Deputy is aware, I have invited the Deputies who are members of the board to discuss the matter with me to-morrow.

In August, 1956, and again in February, 1957, it was suggested to the local authority that a temporary additional district medical officer should be appointed to Cork Rural No. 2 Dispensary District to assist the medical officer of this district, who appears to have to attend an excessive number of patients eligible for general medical services. The most recent proposal from the board related to the appointment of the additional temporary district medical officer to serve in portions of Cork Rural Nos. 1 and 2 Dispensary Districts. This proposal was submitted in November, 1957, and approved on the 27th January, 1958. I have since learned that the board does not propose to proceed with the making of the appointment.

[935]Mr. Casey:  As it is quite clear from the information now given by the Minister that the unfortunate delay n reaching a solution of this problem cannot be attributed to the action or inaction of any Deputy in this House on the South Cork Board of Public Assistance, does the Minister not think that he should now withdraw the serious allegations which he made against Deputy Desmond and others in this House?

Mr. MacEntee:  I have nothing whatever to withdraw. The Deputy must not have heard the answer to the question. The Department approved of the appointment of an additional temporary district medical officer to serve in portions of Cork Rural Nos. 1 and 2 Dispensary Districts. I have since learned that the board does not propose to proceed with the making of the appointment.

Mr. Casey:  Am I to take it that the Minister persists in the statement he made last week that Deputy Desmond and others are responsible for that state of affairs?

Mr. MacEntee:  The Deputy may take it that he has to carry his share of responsibility in this matter.

Mr. Casey:  The Minister is not withdrawing that allegation, Sir.

Mr. Desmond:  Is it correct to say, in relation to the deputation that the Minister is to receive, that this question was entered last Friday morning and that the letter from the Minister's office in relation to the proposed conference to-morrow was sent out only last Friday night?

Mr. MacEntee:  Deputy Desmond must be aware of the fact that I had agreed to receive this deputation some weeks ago but there was some slip up in the arrangements, not on my part. However, if the Deputy does not want to come, he need not come.

Mr. Desmond:  Further arising from the Minister's reply, is it correct to state that while some person or persons of the Minister's Party were asked to arrange for a deputation, up to the [936] receipt of the Minister's letter, neither Deputy Casey nor I, as two members of the board, knew anything whatsoever about any conference being fixed? May I also ask the Minister is it correct to state that it was only on Friday evening, at 6.30, that the letters were posted arranging for this conference to-morrow?

Mr. MacEntee:  I do not know exactly when the letters issued from my Department but, if the complaint of the Deputy is that the notice has not been sufficiently long——

Mr. Desmond:  No.

Mr. MacEntee:  I am quite prepared to postpone——

Mr. Desmond:  No.

Mr. MacEntee:  ——the deputation and, if there is any inconvenience to the Deputy, he need not attend.

Mr. Desmond:  May I ask the Minister why it is that, although we have been looking forward to this conference for the last four weeks, it was only on last Friday night that the Minister decided to grant that conference?

Mr. MacEntee:  You see, the Minister has a little more to do than to look after all the complaints of Deputy Desmond and he just cannot arrange that these letters should go out at a time which appears to be convenient to Deputy Desmond to receive them.

Mr. Desmond:  asked the Minister for Health whether he has received a complaint from a person (name supplied) residing at Ballincollig, County Cork, relating to the non-attendance of a dispensary medical officer; and if he will state (a) the date of the complaint, (b) the date of the departmental reply and (c) what action has been taken in the matter.

Mr. MacEntee:  I received a complaint from a person resident in Ballincollig in a letter dated 2nd December, 1957. The letter was acknowledged on the 4th December and, on the 9th [937] December, the South Cork Board of Public Assistance were asked to furnish observations on the matter. The local authority's report was received in my Department on the 24th January, 1958. Following consideration of this report, the question was investigated by a medical inspector of my Department at the office of the local authority during a visit to Cork early in February. Arising out of his report a further letter issued to the local authority on the 6th March and their reply was received in my Department on the 21st March.

Examination of the complaint is proceeding.

Mr. Desmond:  asked the Minister for Health whether he has received a complaint from the Cork County Council regarding the treatment of a post-polio patient (name supplied) from Crosshaven, County Cork; and if he will state (a) the date of such complaint, (b) the date of the departmental reply and (c) what action has been taken to investigate the case.

Mr. MacEntee:  On the 25th November, 1957, the county council transmitted to me a copy of correspondence relating to the treatment of a post-polio patient at the City Hall, Cork. The county council stated that the County Health Services Committee were not satisfied with the terms of the city manager's letter concerning the matter, which was enclosed, and adopted a resolution asking that the correspondence be submitted to me for investigation. The letter was acknowledged on the 26th November. The matter was referred to a medical inspector of my Department for investigation. The medical inspector communicated with the Cork County Medical Officer and on the 2nd January last the county medical officer stated that the patient had resumed his course of treatment on the 9th October, 1957, and up to early December when he entered hospital he had received three courses of treatment per week.

I have examined the correspondence regarding this matter. I find that it was investigated fully by the county medical officer and by the city manager. [938] The county medical officer was satisfied that the physiotherapist was doing her best under considerable difficulties and that the trouble arose out of the refusal of the parent of the patient to obey instructions. The city manager shared this view.

I accept the views of the county medical officer and the city manager and, in view of the fact that the patient subsequently resumed his course of treatment, I do not consider that there is any further action that I need take in the matter.

Mr. Desmond:  May I ask the Minister is it the county medical officer or the city medical officer who made the report?

Mr. MacEntee:  It was neither, but as I have pointed out the county council transmitted to me a letter stating that the County Health Medical Services Committee were not satisfied with the terms of the city manager's letter and that the matter was investigated fully by the county medical officer and by the city manager.

Mr. Desmond:  In view of the fact that the Minister has considered reports from all concerned, including the parent, is he satisfied that because of some unfortunate dispute between the official concerned and the parent of the child, the child was left for four or five months without any treatment and that, furthermore, the parent was informed by the official concerned that no treatment would be given to this post-polio case until such time as the parent would have apologised in regard to the argument that took place between the mother of the child and the official? Is the Minister satisfied that in such a case, where any dispute between a parent of a child and an official arises, the child must be made the victim of such argument between officials?

Mr. MacEntee:  There was not argument between officials in this matter. What happened was this. The parent, in disregard of the regulations, forced her way into the treatment room and remained there. Not merely that, but she was the cause of a certain amount [939] of dislocation and inconvenience to the other patients who were being treated. The physiotherapist in this particular case had a very difficult job; she had been dealing with conditions which existed consequent upon the epidemic of poliomyelitis which was experienced in Cork in 1956. If parents are not prepared to conform to the regulations they are primarily responsible for any inconvenience to which they are put.

Mr. Desmond:  Is the Minister aware that the official concerned gave an assurance to the county medical officer in the month of June that notwithstanding whatever argument might have taken place between the mother and this official the child was to recommence treatment and that treatment would again be given and that that treatment had not been given up to the month of August? Is the Minister also aware that the county medical officer had to admit, unfortunately, that it was because of the deciding view of the official of Cork Corporation, who apparently had full responsibility in refusing, over this argument with the mother, to give treatment, that the whole matter has arisen?

Mr. MacEntee:  If the mother had been so concerned about the child she could have complied with the regulations. Instead she wrote a letter which was, in my opinion, defamatory of the physiotherapist. I have said before and I went to repeat that parents must obey these regulations, and if they do not the whole system will collapse.

Mr. Desmond:  Are the officials supposed to obey the regulations at all? With the permission of the Ceann Comhairle I should like to raise this matter on the Adjournment.

An Ceann Comhairle:  I shall communicate with the Deputy in the course of the evening.

Dr. Esmonde:  asked the Minister for Health if he will state what proposals there are in regard to nurses employed in sanatoria who may become redundant owing to the closing down of [940] or the reduction of staff in such institutions.

Mr. MacEntee:  The arrangements to to be made in regard to nurses employed in sanatoria who may become redundant owing to the closing down of, or the reduction of staff in, such institutions are matters to be dealt with by the local authorities concerned in accordance with the appropriate provisions of the Health Acts, 1947 to 1954, the Local Government Acts, 1925 to 1955 and the Local Government (Superannuation) Act, 1956.

In general, the position under the foregoing legislation is that if the services of a permanent nurse are no longer required following the closing of a sanatorium or a reduction in staff, the nurse is entitled to compensation for loss of office or a superannuation allowance unless she refuses to accept alternative employment offered to her, the salary and emoluments of which are not less than those hitherto enjoyed by her, and her transfer to which is held not to alter materially her position to her detriment.

A nurse aggrieved by a decision taken by the local authority in her regard has a right of appeal to me and to the Minister for Local Government, in so far as the provisions of the Superannuation Act may be concerned.

In practice I understand that hitherto it has been found possible as a general rule to provide alternative employment in local authority institutions for permanent nursing staff who have become redundant as a result of the closing down of sanatoria or of the reduction of staff in such institutions. My Department will continue to give every encouragement and assistance to local authorities to deal on these lines with any future redundancies which may arise.

Mr. Kenny and Dr. Esmonde:  asked the Minister for Health whether any firm decision has been taken in relation to midwives in rural areas and, if so, what decision.

Mr. MacEntee:  I take it that this question refers to the future position of permanent dispensary midwives [941] employed by local authorities, part-time, on a salary basis.

It was found on investigation some time ago that in many areas the number of cases attended by the dispensary midwife on behalf of the local authority was so small as to render her employment uneconomic. Because of this and of the new situation brought about by the extension of free midwifery service to the middle income group and the giving of a choice of midwife to all entitled to the service, local authorities were asked in June, 1956, to review the position of the dispensary midwives in their areas. The local authorities were recommended to consider the retirement of dispensary midwives who are called on for fewer than 25 cases in the year. It was, however, recognised that the strict application of this criterion might have an adverse effect on the availability of midwifery services in isolated areas and, in addition, that undue hardship might be caused in individual cases. To meet this, it was suggested that in appropriate circumstances the midwives affected might be given alternative or additional duties which would make it possible to justify their retention. In some cases, also, it might be possible to appoint suitably qualified midwives as district nurses.

The review of the work of the permanent dispensary midwives is still proceeding and final decisions will not be taken until the number of cases attended by the midwives in the year ending this month has been ascertained. Local authorities are approaching the problem in a sympathetic manner and, where appropriate, will endeavour to assign the midwife alternative or extra duties which would justify her retention.

I should, of course, add that any permanent midwife who is retired will be dealt with for superannuation purposes as provided in the Local Government Superannuation Code. She would also be entitled to earn fees for attending Health Act cases under agreement with the local authority and to carry on private practice.

Mr. Moloney:  asked the Minister for [942] Social Welfare why a number of seasonal share-fishermen in the Cashen area, Ballyduff, County Kerry, have been selected for investigation of their means under the Unemployment Assistance Acts during the past 12 months; on what basis it is calculated that they have means, since they are scarcely able to maintain themselves from the proceeds of their catches; what circumstances have arisen which warrant that their relative means should now be increased; and whether, in view of the hardship imposed by the present system of calculating means for unemployment assistance purposes, he will now introduce amending legislation to rectify the position.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. Kennedy):  It is the normal practice of the Department to reinvestigate the means of holders of qualification certificates periodically where the income is likely to vary. The cases to which the Deputy refers come within that category and, in addition, representations were received in regard to the means already assessed. In the cases in which the investigation has been completed means have been reassessed on the basis of the facts established. Means are assessable under the Unemployment Assistance Acts in respect of annual profits derived from share fishing. Before an assessment of means was made in these cases particulars of the amounts paid to the men individually were obtained and due allowance was made for expenses. Deciding officers have no option but to raise the means assessment in any case in which it is found that income is higher than it was when the previous assessment was made.

Means under the Unemployment Assistance Acts are assessable from fishing on the net profits in the same way as for other self-employed persons and it is not proposed to alter the existing position by the introduction of amending legislation.

Mr. T.F. O'Higgins:  Can the Minister state when the previous investigation of means took place in these cases?

[943]Mr. Kennedy:  In these cases I cannot tell. The particulars were obtained from the purchasers of the fish—the actual amounts paid to the men. Allowance was made for necessary expenses before the assessment of means. That is always the practice.

Mr. T.F. O'Higgins:  Is it the position then that a complaint was made which was investigated and that led to reinvestigation of their means?

Mr. Kennedy:  This question has been raised in the Dáil practically every year by Deputies from Donegal to Waterford. If a person earns an average of £100 for three months it must be taken into account in assessing the means over the year.

Mr. Corish:  I know this position had obtained for many years but would the Parliamentary Secretary not reconsider that position? It means that a fisherman who works for a month in the whole year is debarred from obtaining unemployment assistance whereas the man who works in insurable employment could work for six months and still be eligible for unemployment benefit or unemployment assistance and may earn ten times more than the fisherman who is working for one month.

Mr. Kennedy:  You would have to extend the Act to include every self-employed individual in the State.

Mr. O.J. Flanagan:  asked the Minister for Finance if the bank rate will be immediately reduced in this country having regard to the steps taken to reduce the rate from 7 per cent. to 6 per cent. in England; and if he will consider authorising a greater reduction than the British reduction.

Minister for Health (Mr. MacEntee) (for the Minister for Finance):  The banks are at present reviewing their rates and an announcement may be expected shortly. The Deputy may be assured that due consideration will be given to all aspects of the matter.

Mr. Sweetman:  What does “shortly” mean, please?

[944]Mr. MacEntee:  I think the Deputy's knowledge of English is sufficient to convey the meaning of the word “shortly”.

Mr. Sweetman:  Does the Minister imply by “shortly” to-day, to-morrow or next week?

Mr. MacEntee:  Nothing more than the adverb conveys to the Deputy.

Mr. Sweetman:  It is not to the Deputy. It is for the House I am requesting the information.

Mr. MacEntee:  No, the Deputy is asking it on his own behalf.

Mr. Sweetman:  It is for the information of the House. To-day, to-morrow or next week?

Mr. Lemass:  It is usual to make these announcements on a Saturday morning.

Mr. Sweetman:  We can expect it next Saturday and not before?

General Mulcahy:  Read the Sunday Press.

Mr. MacEntee:  Excellent advice.

Mr. Sweetman:  Would there be any possibility that the Sunday Press would be late on this occasion?

Mr. McQuillan:  asked the Minister for Finance whether persons who are or were in receipt of salaries, emoluments and expenses of over £1,500 per year paid (a) from voted moneys or (b) from the Central Fund received increases with the last six months and, if so, if he will state the persons concerned, the amounts of the increases, the date from which they were effective, and by whom they were authorised.

Mr. MacEntee:  No increases in remuneration were granted in the past six months to persons in receipt of over £1,500 a year paid from voted moneys or from the Central Fund.

I have not taken travelling expenses and subsistence allowances into [945] account as such payments are designed to recoup out-of-pocket expenses.

Mr. McQuillan:  May I point out to the Minister that the question specifically requests information with regard to any increases that may have taken place in expenses of the people named in the question? Would the Minister say that he is not prepared to give the information as to whether or not increases in expenses have been given to any of these categories of people?

Mr. MacEntee:  Perhaps I was not distinct enough when giving the reply on behalf of the Minister for Finance. I said: “I have not taken travelling expenses and subsistence allowances into account as such payments are designed to recoup out-of-pocket expenses.”

Mr. McQuillan:  Surely the question specifically asks whether any increase took place in expenses? That would include travelling expenses and out-of-pocket expenses. Surely I am entitled to the information as requested in the question. Has there been any increase in allowances or expenses of any of the categories mentioned in the last six months?

Mr. MacEntee:  I have nothing to add to the reply which seems to me to be comprehensive enough. People cannot determine in advance the amount of travelling they are going to do and what their hotel charges will be when they are on duty. As I stated in the reply, travelling expenses and subsistence allowances are not taken into account because such payments are designed to recoup out-of-pocket expenses. If railway fares go up naturally travelling expenses have to go up in proportion.

Mr. McQuillan:  I asked the Minister whether any sanction was authorised. Will the Minister answer that part of the question if he is not prepared to give the amount involved? Was there any authorisation or sanction for such an increase?

Mr. MacEntee:  If the Deputy wants a reply to that specific question he had better put it down separately on the Order Paper for another day.

[946]Mr. McQuillan:  Very good.

Mr. Moloney:  asked the Minister for Finance if he will state specifically the appropriate cases in which the Revenue Commissioners take action for the recovery of income-tax under Section 11 of the Finance Act, 1954, rather than under Section 6 of the Finance Act, 1953.

Mr. MacEntee:  As I indicated in my reply to a question by the Deputy on 19th March, 1958, the care and management of the income-tax is entrusted by law to the Revenue Commissioners, and it is a matter for them to decide, by reference to the facts of each particular case, what would be the most appropriate action to take for the recovery of outstanding income-tax.

Mr. Moloney:  asked the Minister for Finance if he is aware that motoring tourists who visit certain European countries and use their own motor vehicles or self-drive vehicles are enabled through a system of vouchers to purchase specific quantities of petrol tax-free, according to the horse-power rating of the particular vehicle in use and the tourists' period of stay in the country; and whether, with a view to giving further encouragement to the development of the tourist industry here, he will introduce a concession in this country on similar lines.

Mr. MacEntee:  I am aware that in a few European countries, foreign tourists using their own cars may purchase a specified quantity of petrol at reduced rates. My information is that in these countries the ordinary prices of petrol are well above Irish prices and the reduction allowed to tourists merely brings the prices down to about the level prevailing here. I am not prepared to introduce a similar scheme here.

Mr. Fagan:  and General MacEoin asked the Minister for Finance if he will indicate the probable date on which the preliminary steps will be completed to enable the Office of [947] Public Works to proceed with the Inny drainage scheme, in view of the fact that there is a very large acreage of valuable land and turbary involved, and that Bord na Móna cannot get satisfactory results from their work owing to water-logging in the area.

Parliamentary Secretary to Minister for Finance (Mr. Bartley):  The preparation of a scheme under the Arterial Drainage Act, 1945, for the Inny catchment area is in an advanced stage, but is not yet completed. Pending exhibition of the scheme and compliance with the other requirements of the Act, it is not possible to state when actual works can be commenced.

Mr. Kenny:  and Mr. Rogers asked the Minister for Finance if he will state the priority list for the arterial drainage schemes, or, if such a list is not available, when it is proposed to proceed with the drainage of the River Moy.

Mr. Bartley:  It is hoped that a drainage scheme under the Arterial Drainage Act, 1945, for the River Moy catchment area can be put on exhibition towards the end of the year. Pending exhibition of the scheme and compliance with the other requirements of the Act, it is not possible to state when actual works can be commenced.

Mr. Coogan:  asked the Minister for Justice if he will state the number of Gardaí stationed in Galway City who were engaged in work of a clerical nature in each of the years 1935 to 1948.

Minister for Agriculture (Mr. Smith) (for the Minister for Justice):  Following is the information:—

1935 to 1941 6 members
1941 to 1944 4 members
1944 to 1948 6 members

Dr. Browne:  asked the Minister for Justice whether he will take steps to establish a suitable body on the lines of the Local Appointments Commission [948] or the Civil Service Commission to recommend persons to fill judicial and other legal appointments.

Mr. Smith:  The answer is no.

Dr. Browne:  Is the Minister aware that there is considerable public disquiet at the manner in which these appointments are made and at the fact that the spoils system operates among political Parties in this regard? Does the Minister not consider that it is about time that serious consideration was given to changing this system?

Mr. T.F. O'Higgins:  The Deputy expressed no concern while he was a member of the Party.

Dr. Browne:  I am talking about all Parties.

Mr. Smith:  I am not aware of any disquiet existing in the public mind in connection with this matter. The law clearly imposes upon the Government the responsibility for making the appointment. That was a deliberate act on the part of this House at one time. My own personal view is, apart from the law, that a Government is quite competent to make such an appointment and that a Government is quite entitled to set up whatever machinery it may require to advise it as to the qualifications, and even without such machinery a Government has at hand men who are qualified to advise a Government as to the comparative qualifications of those who apply for appointments of this nature.

Dr. Browne:  I am not questioning the law. I am asking the Minister would he change the law because I think it is unsatisfactory in its present working no matter what Party is in office. With very few exceptions——

An Ceann Comhairle:  The Deputy is not asking a question; he is making a statement.

Dr. Browne:  It is time a change was made in the way I have suggested. Is it not also true that they can make medical appointments and they must be equally wrong in that? Would the Minister not agree that the Local Appointments Commission or the Civil Service Commission——

[949]An Ceann Comhairle:  I cannot allow the Deputy to continue in this manner. He is not asking a question.

Dr. Browne:  Would the Minister not agree that in relation to other professional appointments, the Local Appointments Commission and the Civil Service Commission have established a very good record?

Mr. Smith:  The Minister has already stated that he would not at all agree with the suggestion made by the Deputy. The Minister for Justice shares the view which I hold also that, the law having provided that the Government should make this appointment, we feel as a Government quite competent to make an appointment of this nature, as competently as any Local Appointments Commission or Civil Service Commission.

Dr. Browne:  Political jobbery on both sides.

Mr. MacEntee:  The Deputy's own hands are not clean.

Mr. Blowick:  asked the Minister for Agriculture if he will state the date of the Government's decision to reduce the cow byre grants under the bovine tuberculosis eradication scheme and the date on which it became effective.

Mr. Smith:  The decision to suspend the double byre grant was taken on the 31st January, 1957, by the Minister for Agriculture.

General Mulcahy:  For further information, read the documents issued yesterday.

Mr. Smith:  I would remind the House that January of 1957 was a very harsh month. Money was scarce and votes were scarce too and votes were wanted at that time. Although this decision was made in january of that year, no public announcement of it was made because of the fact that there was a general election due in February or March. If there has been any hush-hush we know why it has been. We are well used to that kind of thing from the Deputies opposite.

[950]Mr. Blowick:  Will the Minister tell me why, if the decision was taken in January, 1957, the double byre grants were paid up to January, 1958? Was the decision made in reality by the present Government and did they then try to put it on to their predecessors?

Mr. Smith:  The decision was made to take effect as from a certain date but no public announcement was made of the fact that the decision had been taken, so the applications continued to flow in and continued to be dealt with. It is a wonder that a Deputy in this House who was a member of a Government and a leader of a farmers' Party would seem to be so innocent about these things.

Mr. Sweetman:  Is the Minister not aware that the minute of the 31st January, 1957, refers to six counties and six counties only? These were the counties of Donegal, Mayo, Galway, Kerry, Leitrim and Roscommon. Is the Minister further aware that that part of the minute that deals with the double byre grants as published yesterday shows that the minute and the decision dealt with these six counties alone? Is he further aware that when speaking in this House on a previous occasion he tried to make out that the minute referred to the entire country?

Mr. Smith:  The Minister is aware that, from the moment he mentioned this fact, a persistent attempt was made by members of the Opposition to put the responsibility for it on this Government. When I saw that I made up my mind that I would stuff that decision down the throats of those who made it.

Mr. Sweetman:  Is the Minister further aware that the effect of the publication of this document down the country has been to show him as trying to misrepresent the whole matter?

Mr. Smith:  The Minister can now inform the House and the country that he went around to meetings standing over that decision without making the slightest reference to who made it.

Mr. T.F. O'Higgins:  Is was your own decision.

Mr. Sweetman:  So well you might.

[951]Mr. Smith:  It was only when I sa that the people on the other side of this House, who have been quite good at this kind of thing all down through the life of their Party, were trying to shed their responsibility for this matter that I decided that I would make them take the responsibility for it. I decided that they would get enough of this thing before I was finished with them and so they will.

Mr. Sweetman:  May I inquire whether the Minister is going to defend his decision in this matter or whether he is going to try to misrepresent these minutes all over the country? He has not heard the last of it.

Mr. Blowick:  I want the Minister to give me an answer to the question I put to him. If the decision was made in January of 1957 by what authority were the grants continued to be paid?

Mr. Smith:  This poor innocent Deputy was in slumberland when the Government of which he was a member was making this important decision.

Mr. Blowick:  Answer the question. The Minister is trying to save the Minister for the Gaeltacht who made a false statement to the House in this matter.

Mr. Aiken:  You cannot bluff your way out of this.

Mr. Wycherley:  I want to ask a further question on this matter.

An Ceann Comhairle:  I shall not allow this discussion to go on interminably. There is a method by which this matter can be discussed in the House if the Deputy wishes.

Mr. T. Lynch:  asked the Minister for Agriculture if he will state the number and grading of pigs killed by Irish bacon factories during (a) January, 1958, and (b) February, 1958.

Mr. Smith:  As the reply is in the form of a tabular statement, I propose, with the permission of the Ceann [952] Comhairle, to have it circulated in the Official Report.

Following is the statement:—

NUMBERS of pigs slaughtered at bacon factories.

For Curing For Fresh Pork, Sausages, etc. Total
4 week period ended 1st February, 1958 104,002 8,983 112,985
4 week period ended 1st March, 1958 109,106 8,500 117,606

Results of grading of bacon pigs in weight ranges 1 cwt. 0 qr. 8 lb. to 1 cwt. 2 qr. 0 lb. and 1 cwt. 2 qr. 1 lb. to 1 cwt. 2 qr. 7 lb. deadweight.

Main weight range Subsidiary weight range*
1 cwt. 0 qr. 8lb.— 1 cwt. 2 qr. 0 lb. 1 cwt. 2 qr. 1 lb.— 1 cwt. 2 qr. 7 lb.
A B C X B1 B C X
% % % % % % % %
4 week period ended
1st February, 1958 67 21 9 3 34 31 28 7
4 week period ended
1st March, 1958 71 19 7 3 37 29 28 6

*N.B.—Pigs in this weight range comprise about 4% of the total pigs graded.

Messrs. Kenny:  and Rogers asked the Minister for Agriculture if he will consider proposals for the fixing of a minimum price for Grade B pigs.

Mr. Smith:  Every proposal seriously made to my Department for the improvement of the pig and bacon industry has been and will be considered, but I cannot see any prospect of acceding to the request for minimum prices for grades below B1 standard.

Mr. K.P. Egan:  asked the Minister for Lands if he will state what estates are at present in the possession of the Land Commission in County Offaly, the acreage involved in each case, and [953] when it is anticipated that distribution will take place.

Minister for Lands (Mr. Childers):  Particulars of lands on hands in County Offaly are set out in a tabular statement which, with the permission of the Ceann Comhairle, will be circulated in the Official Report.

It is hoped to allot about 1,000 acres of these lands in the course of the present allotment season.

Following is the statement:—

THE following are particulars of lands on hands in County Offaly, apart from remnants of allotted estates:—

Estate Record Number Lands Area (acres)
Ryan S.20364 Thomastown Demesne. 457
Minchin S.20789 Busherstown 422
Lovett Bennett S.20635 Grange 331
Curley M.5307 Creevagh 12
Gowing (Prendergast) S.21118 Kilmurry 389
Odlum S.21166 Clonyquin 206
Smith S.1006/29 Laurencetown 86
Rolleston S.21253 Franckford 226
Reddy S.1043/29 Ballybrittan 43
Carroll S.21274 Rath Beg 98
Atkinson S.21271 Cangort 371

Mr. Carty:  asked the Minister for Lands when the Land Commission proposes to divide the Rochford estate, near Gort, County Galway (Rec. Order No. M. 5901).

Mr. Childers:  Pressure of work in connection with other lands which had come on hands before possession of the Rochford estate was obtained in March of last year has prevented the allotment of this estate. However, the preparation of a scheme of division will be put in hands as early as possible.

Dr. Esmonde:  asked the Minister for Lands if it is intended to extend the pier of Kilmore quay, County Wexford, and, if so, when.

Mr. Childers:  A proposal for extension of the pier at Kilmore quay is to be considered as part of a general survey of fishing ports. I cannot say at present when any such improvement may be carried out.

[954]Dr. Esmonde:  In view of the fact that this is not an all-weather port and that it is a very important fishing centre would the Minister not consider giving it priority?

Mr. Childers:  It will be one of the ports to be visited by the consultant when he comes to this country.

Dr. Esmonde:  I hope the Minister will give it priority in view of the fact that it is not an all-weather port.

Mr. Childers:  I visited the harbour myself and I am well aware of its deficiencies.

Mr. Kyne:  asked the Minister for Lands if he will state in respect of a recent date the area of woodland (a) in private ownership, (b) in State ownership and (c) held by other public bodies.

Mr. Childers:  At the end of the present planting season the total area of woods and plantations held by the Forestry Division of my Department will be approximately 256,900 acres. The present total area of woodlands in private ownership is roughly estimated at 90,000 acres and it is estimated that there is a total of about 4,000 acres of woodland held by county councils and other public bodies.

Mr. Kyne:  asked the Minister for Lands if he will give from Food and Agricultural Organisation or other sources the consumption of forest products per capita in European countries including Ireland.

Mr. Childers:  The information required by the Deputy is given in a tabular statement which, with the permission of the Ceann Comhairle, will be circulated with the Official Report. The information is derived from the Yearbook of Forest Products Statistics, 1957, published by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations. Consumption is shown in cubic metres or metric tons per 1,000 capita.

[955][956] Following is the statement:—


COUNTRY Roundwood (cubic Metres) Sawnwood (cubic metres sawnwood) Plywood (cubic metres sawnwood) Newsprint (tons) Other paper and board (tons) Fibreboard (tons)
Industrial Wood Fuelwood Total
Albania Not available Not available Not available Not available Not available Not available Not available Not available
Austria 80 440 520 80 4.2 4.3 26 3.6
Belgium 490 50 540 140 4.1 1.0 37 3.4
Bulgaria 370 220 590 130 5.6 1.9 7.4 0.6
Czechoslovakia 810 220 1,030 310 9.4 1.7 30 2.0
Denmark 750 130 880 270 5.2 15 50 5.6
Federal Republic of Germany 600 60 660 200 12.0 7.1 47 2.1
Finland 1,730 3,040 4,770 330 10.4 14 50 18
France 470 570 1,040 160 4.7 11 30 2.1
Germany, Eastern 490 50 540 190 1.1 3.5 30 0.8
Greece 110 440 550 60 1.4 1.8 6.9 0.9
Hungary Not available Not available Not available 70 3.1 1.6 Not available Not available
Iceland 820 820 350 10.1 7.6 35 10
Ireland 300 40 340 100 3.1 10 20 3.8
Italy 210 180 390 80 2.8 3.4 14 Not available
Luxembourg (Consumption figures included in those for Belgium)
Malta 80 80 40 3.2 1.0 1.6 Not available
Netherlands 550 10 560 200 6.1 10 52 6.4
Norway 1,630 600 2,230 520 5.3 9.1 60 19
Poland 580 60 640 240 5.4 1.8 15 1.6
Portugal 120 390 510 35 0.7 2.3 5.9
Rumania 820 50 870 130 2.2 2.2 5.7
Spain 140 200 340 40 1.6 1.3 7.4 0.7
Sweden 1,720 860 2,580 410 6.9 23 69 21
Switzerland 690 320 1,010 250 5.0 12 57 4.0
United Kingdom 530 100 630 180 7.8 18 60 3.9
Yugoslavia 700 220 920 65 1.3 1.1 4.9 Not available

[957]Mr. Kyne:  asked the Minister for Lands if he will state (a) the number of acquisitions of land for forestry by size categories in the period 1950 to date, (b) the total area acquired, (c) the total plantable area, (d) the average size of acquisitions and (e) the average plantable area.

Mr. Childers:  The total number of acquisitions for forestry purposes in the period 1st April, 1950, to 31st December, 1957, was 1,596, categorised by size as follows: 1 — 50 acres 890, 51 — 100 acres 357, 101 — 200 acres 203, 201 — 300 acres 61, 301 — 500 acres 45, 501 — 1,000 acres 32 and over 1,000 acres 8.

The total area accquired in that period was 151,944 acres of which a total of 123,582 acres was classified as productive. The average gross size of acquisition was, therefore, 95.2 acres and the average productive size 77.4 acres.

Mr. Kyne:  asked the Minister for Lands if he will state the present ceiling price per acre for land acquisition for forestry purposes and the date on which it was fixed.

Mr. Childers:  It would be contrary to precedent for me to make a statement regarding price-limits in the acquisition of land for forestry purposes.

The price to be paid for every block of suitable land offered to my Department is determined by reference to the potentialities of the land for timber production as ascertained by inspection on the ground. The scale of land-values in departmental use has a normal upper limit but the limit is not absolute and its publication would tend to create a false impression that it was a standard price operating irrespective of the quality of the land.

Mr. Kyne:  asked the Minister for Lands if he will state the area of State forests thinned in each year since the year 1945-46.

[958]Mr. Childers:  The information sought by the Deputy is set out in a tabular statement which, with the permission of the Ceann Comhairle, I propose to have circulated with the Official Report.

Following is the statement:—

THINNING of State Plantations

Year Area Thinned (acres)
1945-46 2,072½
1946-47 3,172¼
1947-48 3,077¼
1948-49 3,484
1949-50 3,072
1950-51 4,060
1951-52 5,407
1952-53 7,747
1953-54 8,741
1954-55 9,256
1955-56 11,181
1956-57 9,730

Mr. Kenny:  asked the Minister for Lands if he will state the date on which An Bord Iascaigh Mhara purchased frigidaire vans for the distribution of fresh fish, the number and cost of the vans so purchased, and the use made of them since the date of purchase.

Mr. Childers:  I presume the Deputy is referring to insulated vans. I am informed that two such vans were ordered by An Bord Iascaigh Mhara in January, 1954, and delivered in March, 1954, at a cost of £1,320 each. One has since been used for delivery of fish in the Limerick area and the second is similarly employed in the Dublin area.

Mr. T. Lynch:  asked the Minister for Education if he will state the position regarding the proposed extension to the Sisters of Mercy schools at Philip Street, Waterford.

Minister for Education (Mr. J. Lynch):  There are two matters at issue in relation to the accommodation in St. Otteran's Convent of Mercy National School, Philip Street, Waterford. The first concerns the junior section of the school and the position in that regard is that a suitable site has been offered for a new building for junior pupils. The second relates to [959] the senior section of the school and in that connection consideration is being given to the question whether it would be feasible, as an alternative to the replacement of the building occupied by senior pupils, to improve conditions in the building so as to make it reasonably suitable for use for some time longer. A report is awaited from the Commissioners of Public Works in regard to the senior section and on receipt of the report my Department will communicate with the reverend manager in the case.

Mr. Healy:  asked the Minister for Education if he will state the present position with regard to the proposed national school at Spangle Hill, Cork; and when it is expected that work will commence.

Mr. J. Lynch:  I understand from the Commissioners of Public Works that they have authorised the reverend manager to accept a tender for the erection of the proposed new national school for girls and infants at Spangle Hill, Cork City. It is expected that work on the new school will be commenced at an early date.

Dr. Browne:  asked the Minister for Education whether he will introduce legislation amending the School Attendance Act to provide that a conscientious parent anxious to safeguard the health of his children may, if he so wishes, without fear of prosecution, refuse to send his child to a school which a competent medical authority has described as a danger to health.

Mr. J. Lynch:  I do not propose to introduce amending legislation to cover hypothetical cases. Apart from this I am satisfied that the existing legislation is adequate for its purpose.

Dr. Browne:  May I ask the Minister does he think it either right or just that a conscientious parent should be put to the trouble and expense of defending his case in court when he has no control over, and no remedy whatsoever for, the situation in a particular school?

[960]Mr. J. Lynch:  Where circumstances are such as those to which the Deputy has referred, the school attendance authorities as a rule inform the Department that they do not intend to prosecute people who refuse to send their children to school pending the outcome of an examination of the particular case by the Department.

Secondly, I should imagine that a person who is conscientious on the grounds of the injury that might be done to his child by sending it to a school which he thinks is below the standard required would welcome a prosecution in order to ventilate his particular grievance.

Dr. Browne:  I think the Minister does not understand the antipathy people have to going to court and spending money unnecessarily. Surely the Minister is aware that, in relation to factory and office premises, it is the employer who is charged in cases of dereliction in that regard. A similar position obtains in the case of landlords and tenants; it is the landlord who is charged and not the tenant. Surely in this case it should be the manager or the Department of Education since they are responsible for the position? They are the people who should be held responsible in court if they show any dereliction of their duty in that regard.

An Ceann Comhairle:  The Deputy has a bad habit of making speeches on supplementary questions.

Dr. Browne:  Is it not right that the law should be brought into line?

An Ceann Comhairle:  The Deputy makes speeches on every question.

Dr. Browne:  The answer is so unsatisfactory I have to try to elicit further information.

An Ceann Comhairle:  The Deputy has other means of ventilating the matter in this House, if he so desires, but not at Question Time.

Mr. J. Lynch:  If the Deputy has any knowledge of any particular hardships incurred by people who have to attend court in circumstances such as he has mentioned, I shall be glad to hear [961] about them. I have no knowledge of them.

Mr. Larkin:  asked the Minister for Defence if he will state the functions laid down for the naval service; and whether the present vessels are the most suited for fulfilling these functions.

Minister for Defence (Mr. K. Boland):  The naval service is an integral part of Óglaigh na hÉireann and its primary function in time of war would be the implementation of national defence plans in so far as they related to seaward defence. Its main functions in time of peace are training to fulfil its wartime rôle and protection of our fisheries.

As regards the second part of the Deputy's question, while the present vessels have proved satisfactory on fishery protection duties, I have no doubt that vessels more suited for fulfilling the functions of the naval service, particularly the wartime function, could be obtained if our financial resources permitted.

Mr. Larkin:  asked the Minister for Defence whether the British Admiralty have relinquished responsibility for charting the waters round our coasts; and what arrangements are contemplated for having this important and urgent work undertaken by the naval service.

Mr. K. Boland:  The charting of our coastal waters is not the responsibility of the British Admiralty.

[962] A hydrographic service has not yet been established in this country and I am not aware of the reason for the implication in the question that there is an urgent need for having such work undertaken by the naval service.

Mr. Moloney:  asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs if in the course of the general scheme of reorganisation at present being carried out by his Department he will consider establishing a district headquarters office in Listowel to service North Kerry postal districts.

Mr. Ormonde:  A general reorganisation of the postal services in the North Kerry area was carried out a few years ago and only minor adjustments are now being considered. It is not proposed to make any change in the status of the Listowel Post Office as upgrading would involve considerable expense and would not improve the service to the public in any way.

Mr. Norton:  asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs if he will state the number of persons of each grade, up to that of Post Office Clerk, who have voluntarily resigned from service in his Department in each of the years 1948 to 1957, inclusive, and for the months of January and February, 1958.

Mr. Ormonde:  As the reply is in the form of a tabular statement I propose, with your permission, a Cheann Comhairle, to circulate it with the Official Report.

Following is the statement:—


GRADE 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 Jan. 1958 Feb. 1958
Post Office Clerks, Full-time 13 16 12 17 17 26 40 37 32 44 3
Post Office Clerks, Part-time 1 1 1 1 1
Postal Sorters 10 6 2 6 2 1 4 1 1 3 1
Postmen, Full-time 21 24 24 39 22 42 55 112 69 91 5 3
Postmen, Part-time 24 24 39 34 38 43 59 57 43 64 3 5
Boy Messengers 62 28 27 14 13 9 28 27 17 22 1
Telephonists, Full-time (including Male Night Telephonists) 23 42 40 40 46 20 36 40 46 42 3 8
Telephonists, Part-time (including Male Night Telephonists) 1 2 2 3 2 2 1 2
Night and Sunday Telephone Attendants 2 4 10 7 10 6 10 12 11 6 3 1
Sorting Assistants 1 1 2 3 1 4 2 1
Warehousemen, Storemen, Packers and Porters 6 2 5 6 2 2 4 2 3
Telephone and Telegraph Mechanics 1 1
Female Stores Assistants 1
Watchmen (Stores Branch) 1 1 1 1 1
Technicians, Electricians and Installers 6 8 13 6 7 12 21 36 11 29 4 2
Labourers and Craftsmen: 22
Trainee grades (Learners, Youths-in-Training, Junior Mechanics, etc.) 11 25 13 13 28 21 27 20 26 3 2
4 7 18 24 14 14 14 18 7 9 3 2
Doorkeepers 1 1 2 3 1 2
Cleaners, Full-time 1 1 2 1 1 1
Cleaners, Part-time 1 1 1 3 6 3 6 4 3 2

(a) This table does not include resignations by female officers on marriage, or retirements of established officers on pension between 60 and 65 years. Established, unestablished and temporary officers are included.

[965]An Tánaiste:  It is proposed to take business in the following order: Nos. 1, 2, 5 and 6 and, in No. 6, Votes 57 to 35 inclusive as on the Order Paper. If not already reached, it is proposed to interrupt business at 6 p.m. to take, I understand by agreement, No. 2, a Supplementary Estimate and No. 6, Votes 57 to 35, and then to resume the Order of Business at 7.30 p.m. It is proposed to allow Private Members' Time at 9 p.m. this evening to finish the motion in the course of discussion.

Mr. Sweetman:  Is the Tánaiste in a position to say when the Budget will be introduced?

An Tánaiste:  It is proposed to introduce the Budget on 23rd April.

Mr. Kyne:  Could the Tánaiste indicate when the Government will be likely to take the Private Members' Law Reform Bill?

An Tánaiste:  If the Deputy asks that question to-morrow, I shall try to give him an answer.

Mr. Corish:  What time is there for the Private Members' Motion?

An Tánaiste:  One and a half hours are required to finish it.

Leave granted to introduce a Bill entitled an Act to make further provision in relation to transport. — (Minister for Industry and Commerce).

Mr. Sweetman:  This is a Bill we must have time to consider.

Mr. S. Lemass:  I appreciate that. As it is a Bill that must be passed in this session, it could be the cause of delay later on. If we could get the Second Reading before the Budget it would facilitate the House.

Second Stage ordered for Tuesday, 15th April, 1958.

Minister for Health and Social Welfare (Mr. MacEntee):  I move:—

That leave be given by the Dáil to [966] introduce the following Supplementary Estimate for the service of the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1958, namely:—

Vote No.—

23 (Miscellaneous Expenses).

Question put and agreed to.

Mr. MacEntee:  It is hoped to have the Supplementary Estimate circulated at 6 o'clock this evening.

Agreed that the Bill be recommitted in respect of the amendments on the Order Paper.

The Dáil went into Committee accordingly.


Mr. McGilligan:  I move amendment No. 1:—

In page 2, line 34, to delete “or has”.

This is a mere grammatical point. I notice that in the definition of a qualified (1932 Act) person you have a reference to a person

“who at the relevant time was or is and for not less than five consecutive years immediately preceding that time had or has been ordinarily resident in the State.”

In the next paragraph, which refers to a qualified (1934 Act) person you have the definition of

“a person who at the relevant time was or is and for not less than five consecutive years immediately preceding the 2nd day of July, 1934, had been ordinarily resident in the State.”

I do not see why there is “had or has been” in one case and “had” in the other.

Mr. S. Lemass:  A qualified person under the 1932 Act included any person who had been at any time resident in this country for five consecutive years. The 1934 Act was more restrictive than the 1932 Act. While it preserved the position of the person qualified under the 1932 Act, it qualified persons on [967] residence grounds only in respect of a particular five year period. On the other hand a person who was qualified under the 1932 Act as a shareholder was also qualified to hold directorships as a qualified person. That position was continued in the 1934 Act in the sense that if a person was qualified to be a director under the 1932 Act he continued to be qualified to act as a director in a new company formed after 1934. It is a complicated position.

Mr. McGilligan:  I am not bothered about the complicated position. I am only referring to a simple grammatical matter. I want to refer to a person who for the five preceding years had or has been ordinarily resident in the country. The same phrase occurs in both parts. In one it is “had or has been” and in the other it is simply “had been.”

Mr. S. Lemass:  Those are for a different qualification.

Mr. McGilligan:  I do not care a hoot about different qualifications. The qualification depends on being resident in the country for five years. That is what I am reading from. I am quoting now from (c) in regard to the qualified (1932 Act) persons:—

“a person who at the relevant time was or is and for not less than five consecutive years immediately preceding that time had or has been ordinarily resident in the State.”

I move now to paragraph (c) in regard to the qualified (1934 Act) person:—

“a person who at the relevant time was or is and for not less than five consecutive years immediately preceding the 2nd day of July, 1934, had been ordinarily resident in the State.”

Why is there “had or has been” in one case and “had been” in the other?

Mr. S. Lemass:  Because in the 1934 Act there is a special date mentioned. That Act qualified a person who had been ordinarily resident in the State for five years on that date. In the 1932 Act it is a person ordinarily resident in the State for any five years——

[968]Mr. McGilligan:  No, it is not any five years.

Mr. S. Lemass:  It is.

Mr. McGilligan:  Read it. It is five years immediately preceding that time.

Mr. S. Lemass:  Any time. The relevant time could be now.

Mr. McGilligan:  It could be.

Mr. S. Lemass:  That is in respect of the 1932 Act.

Mr. McGilligan:  In the one case you are looking back on what is clearly a past event, 2nd July.

Mr. S. Lemass:  The relevant time mentioned there could be now.

Mr. McGilligan:  It must be five years preceding now. It is all past, except the date from which you look. It is not worth arguing about. If the Minister wants “had or has been” in one case and merely “had been” in the other, let him have it. I will look forward to people reading his explanation and finding what clarification there is for it.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Mr. McGilligan:  I move amendment No. 2:—

In page 2, line 40 and 41, to delete “the 2nd day of July, 1934” and substitute “that time.”

I want to take away this date of the 2nd July, 1934, and make it the same as the 1932 Act, for five years prior to the relevant time, the relevant time being the time at which something falls to be done. The 1934 Act made this five years prior to a date in 1934. I found I had to advise people who became citizens of this country or had their nationalisation papers recognised by the Department of External Affairs that because they were not here for the five year period in the 1934 Act, they could not become qualified persons. It is ludicrous to give us that at this stage in 1957. The explanation the Minister gave of the “had or has been” and the “had been” is, I think, the one he meant to give us here.

[969]Mr. S. Lemass:  No, on the contrary. I am quite clear what the Deputy is trying to do here. I had no idea whatever what he was trying to do in the first amendment.

Mr. McGilligan:  It was merely grammatical.

Mr. S. Lemass:  In this particular case the Deputy is quite clearly trying to extend indefinitely the qualification time. The corresponding provision of the 1932 Act regarded as qualified persons those who had been resident in the country before that for any five consecutive years. In the 1934 Act that right as far as the qualification for shareholding was concerned was confined to those who were resident for five years before a specified date, 2nd July, 1934. The Deputy is trying to provide that at any time in the future a person who has five years' residence in the country can become a qualified person exercising all the rights of a qualified person in respect of both shareholding and the holding of directorships in Irish companies.

Since the 1934 Act was passed the Nationality and Citizenship Bill has been passed. It is, therefore, open to any such person who wishes to do so to apply for Irish citizenship and if that citizenship is granted to him, he automatically becomes a qualified person under the amendment of the Act which this Bill effects. I think that provision regarding citizens is such a significant departure from the position which obtained since 1934 that it is not desirable to go further in relaxation of these conditions at this time.

Mr. McGilligan:  As I understand the matter, under the Act of 1934, a person could have been a qualified citizen of this country and yet might not be a qualified person under the Act 1934 Act. That depended on his being resident here for not less than five years preceding the 2nd July, 1934. That no longer exists. Once a person becomes a citizen——

Mr. S. Lemass:  He is qualified.

Mr. McGilligan:  ——the third part [970] of that does not arise. Under the Nationality and Citizenship Act, 1956, every person born in Ireland is an Irish citizen since birth. So, the qualification demanded for a 1934 Act qualified person has been largely widened by having the introduction, first of all, of “an Irish citizen” and, whatever it means, “a person born in the State”. I do not know what the distinction is but, apparently, it is something different from an Irish citizen. In any event, it is an enlargement. Yet, the Minister baulks at taking out this requisition that a person must have been ordinarily resident here for five years before 2nd July, 1934, which only applies hereafter to somebody who is not either an Irish citizen or a person born in the State and I suggest one might as well widen it completely and say, a person who was registered here for five years prior to the relevant date.

Mr. S. Lemass:  I would not agree.

Mr. McGilligan:  How many people are ruled out?

Mr. S. Lemass:  The effect would be to give a person who is not a citizen the right of citizenship in this regard merely on the grounds that he was resident for some five years in the country.

Mr. McGilligan:  He got it under the 1932 Act.

Mr. S. Lemass:  But only in respect of the past.

Mr. McGilligan:  Yes.

Mr. S. Lemass:  The 1932 Act naturally confirmed the right to continue in business to any concern that was then in business. It did not carry forward into the future.

Mr. McGilligan:  There is the “relevant time” in line 32.

Mr. S. Lemass:  So far as shareholders are concerned.

Mr. McGilligan:  I am not talking about shareholders. I am asking about the 1932 Act.

[971]Mr. S. Lemass:  Under the 1934 Act, any person who was qualified under the 1932 Act, that is, by reason of having five years' residence here, continued to be qualified to act as a director of a new company but did not continue to be qualified to act as a shareholder for the purpose of the ownership of the prescribed percentage of the shares in Ireland. So that, the position now is that a person who was five years' resident in this country, even though he is not a citizen, is still qualified to act as an Irish director of a new company, in relation to the provisions regarding limitations upon the appointment of directors. He is not qualified to be accepted as an Irish owner of shares where it is necessary to have a prescribed percentage of those shares held by Irish citizens.

Mr. McGilligan:  It is only a question of how narrow this is.

Mr. S. Lemass:  The introduction of Section 6 has widened it very considerably.

Mr. McGilligan:  That is what I say. Bringing in “an Irish citizen or person born in the State” enormously widens the 1934 Act qualified person. What is the good of keeping this small limitation? How many people will it really leave out?

Mr. S. Lemass:  I would not know. That is the whole point.

Mr. McGilligan:  How many people were kept out in the past?

Mr. S. Lemass:  In any case, it would be preferable that the pressure would be there to acquire citizenship if the intention was to remain resident here.

Mr. Russell:  It reads peculiarly to me —line 39—“who at the relevant time was or is”. Surely “is” comes before “was”.

Mr. S. Lemass:  I shall ask the draftsman to consider whether he is prepared to put “is” before “was”.

Amendment, by leave withdrawn.

Mr. McGilligan:  I move amendment No. 3:—

In page 3, line 1, before “includes” to insert “means the national territory and”.

[972] I have two amendments that may be taken together—amendments Nos. 3 and 4.

Mr. S. Lemass:  They are not quite the same.

Mr. McGilligan:  No, they are alternatives. What does the Bill mean by defining this State as it does:—

“‘the State’ includes the areas now comprised in the State”?

If that is all it means, the definition might as well be left out. The definition means the area now comprised within the State. What does that mean? I want to have it in either of two ways, either that it means the national territory and, therefore, includes what we now have in the State, that is, the Twenty-Six Counties, or else to say, not that the State “includes” the area now comprised in the State but “means” the area now comprised in the State. I do not know what the Bill means.

Mr. S. Lemass:  The difficulty there is that, with the enactment of the Constitution, the Twenty-Six Counties of Ireland became the State but it is necessary to cater in this legislation for persons who were born or who were resident in these Twenty-Six Counties before they became the State. The advice I have got is that the use of the word “means” instead of the word “includes” would give a much narrower sense to the provision than is thought to be necessary. It certainly would leave some doubt as to the status of a person who was qualified by birth or residence in the Twenty-Six Counties before the Constitution was adopted.

Mr. McGilligan:  Tell me that again— that there is doubt as to the status of a person born in the Twenty-Six Counties before what?

Mr. S. Lemass:  Before the Constitution was adopted.

Mr. McGilligan:  Under the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act, 1956, an Irish citizen means a citizen of Ireland and Ireland is defined as the national territory as defined in Article 2 of the Constitution and an Irish citizen is every person born in Ireland, [973] that is, in the national territory. I presume this is all related to the qualified persons and in both qualified persons, that is, the 1932 person and the 1934 person, you have either “an Irish citizen” or “a person born in the State”. The Minister tells me that there is some doubt as to the status of a person born in the Twenty-Six Counties?

Mr. S. Lemass:  No. The use of the word “means” instead of “includes” might create doubt as to the status of a person who was qualified by birth or residence in the Twenty-Six Counties before the Constitution was enacted. The word “includes” is intended to prevent any such doubt arising. Taking the measure as it now stands, the qualified persons will be Irish citizens, defined as persons born in the 32 Counties before 6th December, 1922.

Mr. McGilligan:  Born at any time.

Mr. S. Lemass:  No.

Mr. McGilligan:  Yes.

Mr. S. Lemass:  It is persons who are born in the 32 Counties before the 6th December, 1922, born in the Twenty-Six Counties since that date, born in the Six Counties since that date provided they have declared themselves to be Irish citizens and, of course, persons who apply for and are granted certificates of naturalisation.

Mr. McGilligan:  One section of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act, 1956, says that every person born in Ireland is an Irish citizen from birth. It does not matter when the birth took place.

Mr. S. Lemass:  No. Persons born since 1922 have to declare themselves citizens.

Mr. McGilligan:  I am talking of the clause in the 1956 Act. Section 6 of that says, “every person born in Ireland is an Irish citizen from birth.” That is, born at any time.

Mr. S. Lemass:  Section 7 of that Act says:—

[974]“(1) Pending the reintegration of the national territory, sub-section (1) of Section 6 shall not apply to a person, not otherwise an Irish citizen, born in Northern Ireland on or after the 6th December, 1922, unless, in the prescribed manner, that person, if of full age, declares himself to be an Irish citizen or, if he is not of full age, his parent or guardian declares him to be an Irish citizen. In any such case, the sub-section shall be deemed to apply to him from birth.”

Mr. McGilligan:  What Act is that?

Mr. S. Lemass:  The Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act, 1956. That Section 7 says:—

“Pending the reintegration of the national territory, sub-section (1) of Section 6——”

That is the section which the Deputy has been quoting, which reads, “Every person born in Ireland is an Irish citizen from birth”—

“shall not apply to a person, not otherwise an Irish citizen, born in Northern Ireland on or after the 6th December, 1922, unless, in the prescribed manner, that person, if of full age, declares himself to be an Irish citizen or, if he is not of full age, his parent or guardian declares him to be an Irish citizen....”

Mr. McGilligan:  That is all he has to do?

Mr. S. Lemass:  That is all he has to do.

Mr. McGilligan:  Why then come back to say the State includes the area comprising the State?

Mr. S. Lemass:  That is a different question altogether. The question that arose there is the possibility of doubt arising regarding the qualification of a person who is not an Irish citizen but who is a qualified person by reason of residence in the Twenty-Six Counties before the Constitution was enacted.

Mr. McGilligan:  Is the matter of the State referable to anything of importance other than a qualified person?

Mr. Lemass:  No.

[975]Mr. McGilligan:  That is very useful. Would the Minister relate this matter of the State including “the area now comprised in the State” to the qualified persons?

Mr. Lemass:  It is a question of using the word “means” or “includes”.

Mr. McGilligan:  There is no doubt that the State now means “the area now comprised in the State”?

Mr. Lemass:  No, but the problem that arises relates to the status of persons who are qualified by reason of residence in that area before the Constitution was enacted and before that definition of State was enshrined in the Constitution. That is why the drafters of the Bill considered it desirable to use this phraseology. They feel the use of the word “means” instead of “includes” might be restrictive and might operate to prevent a person who was not a citizen but who was qualified on residential grounds prior to 1932, being regarded as so qualified in future.

Mr. McGilligan:  I understood the Minister to say that the word State means “the area now comprised in the State”?

Mr. Lemass:  Yes.

Mr. McGilligan:  And it goes on to define it as “includes” in this?

Mr. Lemass:  For the purpose of this Bill.

Mr. McGilligan:  It does not say so. But it definitely means that?

Mr. Lemass:  Yes.

Mr. McGilligan:  For the purpose of this Bill even though that is not stated? Does the Minister say when talking about persons born in the State we mean persons born in the area now comprised in the State before the Constitution was enacted? Is a person born in the Six Counties prior to 1937 not ruled in?

Mr. Lemass:  After 1922, yes.

Mr. McGilligan:  No, but prior to 1937? Is he excluded?

[976]Mr. Lemass:  If he declared himself as an Irish citizen—

Mr. McGilligan:  But apart from that?

Mr. Lemass:  He is not in on citizenship but he could be in under other headings.

Mr. McGilligan:  No. I am leaving out the other heads. Persons born in the Six Counties prior to 1937 are excluded?

Mr. Lemass:  Unless they become Irish citizens by declaration.

Mr. McGilligan:  Does that apply to people born of Irish parents prior to 1922?

Mr. Lemass:  No.

Mr. McGilligan:  Are they in?

Mr. Lemass:  No. This process of cross-examining can get us into difficulties. I have read out the definition of citizens as set out in the Citizenship Act. Any person who comes under that definition is a qualified person and some others, over and above those, are also qualified persons.

Mr. McGilligan:  The Minister says he has read out the definition; he has not. The Citizenship Act definition says: “Ireland means the national territory as defined in Articles 2 of the Constitution” and it also says an “Irish citizen means a citizen of Ireland.” At a later stage the Bill itself says that every person born in Ireland is an Irish citizen from birth and it goes on to speak of people born of fathers and mothers in different categories but they are all brought under sub-section (1) of Section 6. There are certain people who must make a declaration. It seems that the purpose of this peculiar phraseology which says that the State includes “the area now comprised in the State” is to cut out the people who must declare citizenship?

Mr. Lemass:  The purpose of using the word is to cover persons who were resident here for the prescribed period before the Constitution was enacted.

Mr. McGilligan:  Generally speaking in legislation the definition [977] section runs in a form of words to which there is a well recognised meaning and now the Minister tells us that the known phrase “the State” means “the area now comprised in the State.” Are we to read that as well for the purpose of this Bill? That it “means the area comprised in the State” and also “includes the area now comprised in the State?” Is not that ludicrous?

Mr. Lemass:  I think we are at cross-purposes. The Deputy tends to advert to the Citizenship Act; I am only thinking of the phrase in relation to a person who was for the prescribed period resident in the State being a qualified person for the purpose of this Act.

Mr. McGilligan:  Just as they are dealt with in (e).

Mr. Lemass:  The purpose of using “includes” is to make sure he is not disqualified, even though he has a residence qualification, by the fact that he had that residence qualification before the Constitution was adopted. So long as he was born in the area now included in the State he is qualified.

Mr. McGilligan:  Would the Minister look back at the word “company” as it is defined where it is not otherwise qualified, as “a company within or without the State.” That is on page 2.

Mr. Lemass:  There is a specific definition of an Irish company also.

Mr. McGilligan:  The word “State” is there used.

Mr. Lemass:  That is so.

Mr. McGilligan:  Does that have reference to the Twenty-Six Counties only?

Mr. Lemass:  There, it certainly has.

Mr. McGilligan:  Only?

Mr. Lemass:  Yes. It covers the area now included in the State.

Mr. McGilligan:  It is only the Twenty-Six Counties?

[978]Mr. Lemass:  Yes.

Mr. McGilligan:  And where you have an Irish company defined as a company registered in the State, is that the Twenty-Six Counties?

Mr. Lemass:  Yes.

Mr. McGilligan:  Why not say the State means the area now comprised in it?

Mr. Lemass:  The word “includes” surely incorporates the word “means.”

Mr. McGilligan:  It could then as well read that the State means the area now comprised in it and includes the area now comprised in the State?

Mr. Lemass:  Yes, means and includes.

Mr. McGilligan:  Means and includes?

Mr. Lemass:  That is what it really amounts to.

Mr. McGilligan:  I will leave it at that.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendment No. 4 not moved.

Mr. McGilligan:  I move amendment No. 5:—

In page 3, between lines 6 and 7, to insert the following:—

(4) Every word and expression used in this Act to which a particular meaning is given by the Act of 1932 or the Act of 1934 for the purposes of these Acts or either of them has in this Act the meaning so given to it unless a particular meaning is given to it by this Act.

Mr. Lemass:  I think if the Deputy will look at sub-section (2) of this section he will agree that it meets the point he has in mind here.

Mr. McGilligan:  Because it is construed with the Acts of 1932 and 1934?

Mr. S. Lemass:  Yes.

Mr. McGilligan:  Does that mean that any Act construed with another, also carries in the special meanings given to words in the original Act?

Mr. S. Lemass:  Yes.

[979]Mr. McGilligan:  The Draftsman has not always taken that view. Certain terms used in the 1932 Act were incorporated in the 1934 Act, and I take it they would now be construed together, and that all the special meanings given to words in one Act carry over into the other Act?

Mr. S. Lemass:  That is right.

Mr. McGilligan:  Certain definitions were given to “shares” which in that case may have a repercussion on this matter afterwards. It says that shares shall be construed as including stock but it excludes debentures and debenture stocks. It is meant to carry that meaning in, but when one comes to Section 3 now, it is meant to exclude debenture and debenture stock. I gather that is so?

Mr. S. Lemass:  That is a different question.

Mr. McGilligan:  I am referring to the legal significance given to the terms. I understood from the Minister that any word given a particular meaning in the original carries over that meaning. I think the word “shares” in 1952 is to be construed as including stock but excluding debenture and debenture stock. There is a definition given to “adapt for sale” which on the Minister's regarding of it is carried forward——

Mr. S. Lemass:  These definitions are not being changed. No definition is changed unless it is specifically changed in this Bill.

Amendment No. 5, by leave, withdrawn.

Mr. McGilligan:  I would like to say a few words on the section. In the case of the word company when used without qualification it is given a certain meaning. It means a company before or after the passing of the Act or within or without the State. I have already referred to the word “shares” which is particularly defined in the 1932 Act. So is “body corporate”. It is defined as a body corporate whether constituted before or after the passing of the Act or within or without the State. Therefore there is no necessity [980] to define either one or the other in this Bill when we carry forward the definitions. A company is to mean a company when used without special qualification, and it means a company whether before or after, and whether within or without the State. The question refers to companies outside this State. That does not mean companies in the Six Counties, but companies outside the State, in England? To be an Irish company, one merely has to be registered under the Acts of 1908 to 1924 and registered in the Twenty-Six Counties. That is all that is implied by this definition that has been carried forward to Section 3?

Mr. Lemass:  Yes, that is right.

Mr. McGilligan:  We have spoken in regard to a “qualified person” but I still do not know what is the distinction between the qualified 1932 person and the qualified 1934 person, between an Irish citizen on the one hand and a person born in the State.

Mr. S. Lemass:  The purpose of these paragraph relating to persons qualified under the 1932 and 1934 Acts is to include all citizens. That was provided for to some extent in the Act of 1956 but it was felt necessary on legal grounds to make it clear by specific provision in this amending Bill also.

Mr. McGilligan:  “A person born in the State” is intended to have a wider cover than a citizen.

Mr. S. Lemass:  Yes.

Section agreed to.


Mr. McGilligan:  I move amendment No. 6:—

In page 3, between lines 15 and 16, to insert the following:—

(2) Every Order made 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 such Order is passed by either House of the Oireachtas within the next subsequent 21 days on which the House has sat after such Order is laid before [981] it, such Order shall be annulled accordingly but without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under such Order.

This section is one of those sections which gives special powers to the Minister. The Minister is given power to declare that certain commodities are excepted for the purpose of the section. That is, they are completely outside the scope of the legislation. In one place we have the phrase “the Minister is of opinion” and in a later part of the Act the Minister “has to be satisfied”. I do not know what distinction is intended in this Bill as between these two words but these two phrases came under judicial consideration in the offences against the state legislation and it was there thought that the word “satisfied” meant a sort of judicial process of looking at evidence and coming to a conclusion whereas being of opinion meant a person's mind on a question. In any event whether the Minister is to be satisfied or of opinion that certain things are happening, he is given very considerable powers. He can exempt certain companies manufacturing certain commodities. I suggest that if that is to be the case he ought to give the House notice and I ask therefore, that one of the two types of control that there are in Parliament in regard to powers that are given to a Minister should be used. The one which I suggest should be used is the ordinary one where notice is given and an Order is laid before each House of the Oireachtas and if the resolution annulling the Order is passed within a certain period, the Order is annulled without prejudice to anything done under the Order. If the Minister makes an Order exempting a certain commodity he should at least notify the Dáil by Order and leave it to the House to annul it or leave it alone.

Mr. S. Lemass:  I gave some consideration to the possibility of inserting a provision of this kind in this Bill and I think I should tell the House that I came to the conclusion that it would be undesirable. I explained on the Second Reading of the measure that I expected that difficulties in availing of this section were likely to be so considerable [982] that I did not expect that a great deal of use would be made of it. These difficulties are likely to be associated with the definition of the commodities to be made excepted commodities under the section.

Therefore, I do not think there is any likelihood of the Minister for Industry and Commerce being able to sit down at any time and draw out of the blue a list of the commodities which are not being manufactured in the State to any substantial extent and publish that list as a list of excepted commodities because it is almost certain that some difficulty would arise or some danger of a situation which would prejudice the position of some firms engaged in manufacturing. It is more likely to happen that the making of an Order under this section declaring some commodity to be an excepted commodity so that anyone can engage in its manufacture without any question of licence or a certificate under this Bill will arise in connection with the proposals of a particular firm and as a consequence of negotiations regarding these proposals between representatives of the firm and the Department of Industry and Commerce.

In that case I think it would be undesirable to have a provision such as is proposed in the Bill because I have experience which has made it clear that companies would be reluctant to put forward proposals which might be made in that way the subject of discussion and criticism in the Dáil, particularly when it would probably be the affairs of a single firm that would be the subject of the discussion. The effect of putting in any power to annul as is proposed here would be to still further weaken the effectiveness of the section and would probably create a situation in which the section could not be used at all.

The experience which we have had in the past confirms the conclusion which was expressed in the report published by O.E.E.C. upon the problems of promoting American investment in Europe, that firms would be reluctant to engage in enterprises and to put forward proposals for embarking on enterprises if they felt that their proposals were likely to be the subject of [983] debate in Parliament or if they felt that there was any possibility that their proposals would be annulled by a vote in Parliament. I therefore think it would be undesirable to have this provision here.

Again I say that I do not contemplate any very great use of the section. The difficulties of definition associated with the making of exemption Orders would be such that the power given in the section is not likely to be availed of frequently. If it ever is availed of it will be in the circumstances I have described where a company is putting forward proposals and in negotiation of these proposals a decision to use that section rather than some other section to facilitate the operation of the company is taken. I am sure Deputies will understand that if a company feels the outcome may possibly be a debate here and possibly an adverse vote, it is not likely to put forward proposals. Such a provision would have a considerably deterrent effect upon the external company in that position. I think that the whole thing is undesirable and if it goes in I would prefer to drop the whole section. If this was to be the method of making exemption Orders I would prefer to delete it altogether.

Mr. McGilligan:  I understand that the Minister has three objections to my suggestion, one of which would be the difficulty of drafting the Order. You have to make the Order. That is something that cannot be put off lightly. You must, by Order, declare certain commodities to be exempted.

I took the easier of two methods of control. One is the requiring of the Order to be made and the other is by not making the Order operative until it is sanctioned by a vote in the House. That would be difficult and the whole process might be held up. The easier method of control is to have the matter put down and if there is an adverse vote in the House it can be annulled. The Minister thinks that a company might have some objection to having its business discussed here, but I have put down amendment No. 24 to deal with that aspect of the affair. That [984] would permit us to have the nullification of an Order which has been granted in respect of any particular commodity. It is the commodity which will be the subject of the Order and not the firm. I think the Dáil has a right to do that.

Mr. Lemass:  If the Deputy is satisfied with that I shall agree with it.

Mr. McGilligan:  The third objection of the Minister was that firms might object to their commodities being discussed on the Dáil. In that case it is always possible to put down a parliamentary question. I shall be prepared to have some agreement on the type of notice which I suggest in amendment No. 24.

Mr. Lemass:  I shall agree to that. I do not want the House to think that when the Bill is passed I shall draw up an Order specifying a number of commodities to be exempted. I do not think it would be feasible to do that.

Mr. McGilligan:  Very well, on the lines of my suggestion.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Mr. McGilligan:  I move amendment No. 7:—

In page 3, to delete lines 22 and 23.

I want to discuss amendments Nos. 7 and 8 together. I am moving to delete the ornamenting and adapting for sale of a commodity. This definition of a manufacturing process is made in sub-section (2) of the original Act which defines a number of things as being part of the manufacturing process. I have a note here about amendment No. 5 of the ministerial amendments of March 19th which deals with the processes to be exempted. It is clear by another amendment that this legislation by adaptation to previous legislation now only affects companies and not persons. I suggest a further simplification, that where manufacturing processes are done by a company and by mechanical power, it seems futile to put in the definition of altering and finishing. I think it is futile also to include as ornamenting and adapting for sale processes done by a company which [985] has fixed assets of over £5,000 and processes which are done by mechanical power.

Adapting for sale includes packing or bottling or labelling for sale and I think that we should not carry on from a previous Act, the definition of adapting for sale. It can hardly be considered proper in an Act of 1957, having regard to our experience since 1932, to keep up adapting for sale as something over which we must have control.

Mr. Lemass:  My trouble is that I cannot know what the effect of accepting these amendments might be. We are excluding from the scope of these Acts operations not carried on by a company, not carried on by mechanical power and where fixed assets employed are less than £5,000 in value. That means that all minor operations are now being excluded. If we think of processes of ornamentation and adapting for sale as processes to be done by a company with fixed assets in excess of £5,000 in value and using mechanical power in the process then we must be considering some form of manufacturing process.

I do not know for instance whether a court would hold that the term ornamentation would cover, say, textile printing. It is quite possible that a court would hold that the printing of a pattern on cloth already woven was a process of ornamenting cloth. I think it is better to keep the definition of manufacturing now in the Act untouched and to make our exemptions in some other way. We are exempting processes which do not require mechanical power and I would prefer to leave it in that way because no one can tell us what the effect of amending the definition would be. We might exclude a whole range of processes which we do not intend to exclude at all.

Mr. McGilligan:  The amendment I put down will merely take out two parts of what are regarded as manufacturing processes for the purpose of this measure—it has nothing to do with the 1932 or the 1934 Acts. In the context of the whole scheme of the Acts now being focussed upon companies and not upon individuals and [986] this Bill being referable only to goods produced by a manufacturing process, I suggest that, for this Bill and limited to this Bill, there is no real good in keeping in such things as “ornamenting of a commodity” or “adapting for sale of a commodity”. If one were taking out these things from the 1932 and the 1934 Acts, I could see an objection, but it is only proposed here to take these two things—ornamenting and adapting for sale—out of this Bill; it is very limited.

Mr. S. Lemass:  I am not quite sure what the Deputy wants. If the Deputy would be satisfied with taking these things out of this section, I think I could meet him on the point.

Mr. McGilligan:  “For the purpose of this Act” it says there.

Mr. Lemass:  If the Deputy would be satisfied to take out “ornamenting and adapting” for the purposes of this section, I think I could meet him. I would not really like to guess what effect the wider amendment might have.

Mr. McGilligan:  That is my difficulty. I cannot understand how a definition which relates to a whole Act could be made a sub-section of a section which relates to exempting or excepting commodities.

Mr. S. Lemass:  There is a point there. I should like to look into that and I shall consider whether we could not make the sub-section to apply only to the section.

Mr. McGilligan:  I am not worried about that because that is of no value whatever. That would mean that the power to except would not apply to such processes as ornamenting or adapting for sale. The less precise it is the less trouble I would have about the power to except.

Mr. S. Lemass:  I should not like to accept an amendment excluding a process of manufacture which would apply generally.

Mr. McGilligan:  Apply generally to this Act, but not to the other Acts.

Mr. S. Lemass:  Yes.

[987] Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendment No. 8 not moved.

Question proposed: “That Section 2 stand part of the Bill”.

Mr. McGilligan:  I think I have already made the point I want to make. I should, however, ask the Minister to find out what is the purpose of having a general definition as a mere sub-section to the first sub-section, which has special reference to the excepting of commodities.

Mr. S. Lemass:  There is a point there. I shall have to look into that.

Question put and agreed to.


Mr. McGilligan:  I move amendment No. 9:—

In page 3, line 45, to delete “primarily”.

I am trying to get some information on this matter from people who are experienced in law and I have not found anybody who can tell me what is supposed to be meant by this phrase. A company is to be excluded if it complies with certain conditions and this occurs in the fourth of these conditions:—

“that, of each class of shares carrying voting rights issued by it, not less than 50 per cent. have been made available primarily to Irish citizens or Irish companies which are managed and controlled in the State through being bona fide issued for public subscription in the State.”

I do not know how one can make an issue available primarily to one group rather than another.

Mr. S. Lemass:  What is intended is that the Irish citizen should be given a genuine opportunity to subscribe and to secure 50 per cent. of the issue, if the issue is over-subscribed. As I interpret it, the effect of inserting the word “primarily” is to ensure that in the event of an issue being over-subscribed there will be an onus on the proprietors of the firm to ensure [988] that Irish investors will get the first 50 per cent. of the shares.

Mr. McGilligan:  If that is all it means, surely it could be better described in a precise phrase because “primarily” as it stands will not have that meaning at all according to my advice. It was read by most people as being one way of anticipating what follows in the last couple of lines, namely, that it will be a bona fide issue for public subscription within the State and, being a bona fide issue for public subscription within the Twenty-Six Counties, will be regarded as being made available primarily to Irish citizens. In other words, if you have a public issue here the appeal ought naturally to be first to people here, either citizens or residents, but of course they would be mainly Irish citizens. There are very few aliens resident here at any times. I would suggest that, primarily, where there is over-subscription in a public issue, there would be special preference given to Irish citizens. I wonder is that in accordance with company law? I suppose we could change company law. I take it the Minister has considered that. It is, so to speak, the only ground there is for using the word “primarily”.

Mr. S. Lemass:  Yes.

Mr. McGilligan:  I suggest he might have that looked at again to see whether it could not be put precisely because, as it is now, if it falls for interpretation, I am warned it will be interpreted as meaning it was not issued for public subscription within the State.

Mr. S. Lemass:  I shall look into that. I think the definition could be clarified. I am not anxious to tie up this section with a great deal of provisions designed to ensure any precise situation but, rather, to give a general indication of what a company must do. That is why I would sooner leave it in the form in which it is if it could be interpreted in the way I want it to be interpreted rather than put in a number of restrictive sub-sections.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[989]Mr. McGilligan:  I move amendment No. 10:—

In page 3, line 48, before “each” to insert “in respect of”.

I am looking for information in respect of amendments Nos. 10 and 11. The fifth condition is that “each of such class of shares is quoted on a Stock Exchange”. The company has to state whether it does or does not claim with respect to the compliance conditions set out in paragraph (d) of sub-section (2) and then, if it does so claim, it looks for a quotation. It has to furnish to the Stock Exchange such information as the Stock Exchange may require to determine whether the claim is or is not well founded. If it is not well founded, a quotation is not granted; if it is well founded, it gets a quotation. But, if one is granted a quotation, is one then always quoted? I do not think so. I think quotation is granted only when business is being done. I think the phrase should be “in respect of such classes of shares after quotation has been granted by the Stock Exchange.” In other words, if you get your quotation to start off with, that satisfies the condition. As it stands here, I do not know whether that “is” is what might be described as a continuing present—is at a particular time quoted on the Stock Exchange. I do not know what Stock Exchange practice is, but I have always understood that you are quoted when there is business being done, but you might have had a quotation and, so to speak, fail to be quoted at a particular time. There may be some technical point in this.

Mr. S. Lemass:  I think the Deputy's amendments improve the section and I am quite prepared to accept the two of them.

Amendment agreed to.

Mr. McGilligan:  I move amendment No. 11:—

In page 3, line 48, to delete “is quoted on” and substitute “a quotation has been granted by”.

Amendment agreed to.

Mr. McGilligan:  I move amendment No. 12:—

[990] In page 4, line 18, to delete “condition” and substitute “conditions”, and to delete “paragraph (d)” and substitute “paragraph (d) and (e)”.

This is more or less the same thing. If the Stock Exchange grants a quotation it has complied with (a)—made a public issue—and (b)—it has a quotation.

Amendment agreed to.

Mr. McGilligan:  I move amendment No. 13:—

In page 4, between lines 18 and 19, to insert a new subparagraph as follows:—

(iv) An appeal shall lie to the Circuit Court by the company from the refusal of that Stock Exchange to grant a quotation under subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph.

This is a rather unusual thing to do. It may not yet get proper court recognition. The Minister is no doubt aware that certain legislation passed by the House has been declared unconstitutional. It is that part of the Solicitors Act which enabled a body, not composed of judges and which could not be described as a court, to strike people off the roll. The decision has not yet been reported in the Irish Reports, and it is not easy to say what the full effect of the judgment will be.

This at least has been revealed in the newspapers. In the Constitution it is said that in matters other than criminal matters, limited powers of jurisdiction might be granted to people or persons not judges or to institutions which were not courts recognised by the Constitution. The disciplinary committee had suspended and struck certain people off. They sought to justify what they were doing on the grounds that it fell within Article 39 of the Constitution which allowed people to exercise limited jurisdiction in non-criminal matters.

One phrase reported in the newspapers as the decision of the court was that the court could not consider jurisdiction to be limited if it affected a person's life, property or reputation or the reputation of individuals in the State. It appears that one resort [991] suggested may have to be made in regard to these various disciplinary committees and other bodies interfering with the property rights of certain people. The main resort will have to be that there is an appeal to the courts so that in the end the matter will rest in the determination of people who are judges and courts under the Constitution.

Here we are giving power to the Stock Exchange—a body completely outside parliamentary control and which does not purport to be a body of a judicial type—to make a determination in respect of certain things and to refuse to grant a quotation in respect of certain classes of shares. This means that the company, although it qualifies in every other way, is not to be regarded as an excluded company and will be prevented from having certain advantages granted to excluded companies under this legislation. For that reason I put down this amendment.

If the Stock Exchange refuse to grant a quotation, an appeal should lie to the Circuit Court. Appeals of this type are given quite often. They are given under the Gaining and Lotteries Act. Certain powers are given to members of the Garda and there is a right of appeal to the District Court in a variety of topics. In pretty nearly every case that could be thought of, that Act safeguarded the whole situation by bringing everything within the ambit of constitutional restriction.

This is very unusual. I do not know if there is any other piece of legislation passed in this State in which a body is given such powers—a body which has no parliamentary touch, which has no attachment to the Legislature, to the executive authority or the judicial authority but is completely outside them—and is given powers which may have an effect on property rights. For that reason I feel it is necessary to have an appeal to the courts.

Apart altogether from the constitutional matter and just as a matter of parliamentary propriety, surely it is improper that we should do it and that it is proper we should take a concrete point of view. This is a body differently constituted from time to time. [992] We do not know what its make up is. We do not suggest there should be people on it in a certain capacity to act in a judicial way and to make decisions of a judicial type. We know nothing about them. We simply define two Stock Exchanges, Dublin and Cork, and say they have the power to refuse and there is no appeal from them.

They may be flagrantly wrong. They might openly say: “We are not going to have this type of company coming in and being excluded from the scope of the earlier Acts.” They might set out to destroy the effect of that. The only resort is an amendment of the legislation. It is quite wrong to give terms of reference without asking for a special consideration for a particular majority or for notification of people. We simply say that the Stock Exchange will decide the matter and there is no appeal.

Mr. S. Lemass:  The Deputy does not give sufficient weight to the fact that at present the Stock Exchange Committee may refuse a quotation for the shares of any company and there is no question of appeal to the courts nor has any problem arisen in that regard. It is not unusual for the Stock Exchange to refuse a quotation where there is insufficient information about the affairs of the company available to possible purchasers of their shares.

The origin of this particular provision in the Bill arose from the examination of the measures that might be necessary to make the provision effective. We were trying to get into the position where we could say to any company that finances itself by way of public issue of shares: “Provided you offer 50 per cent. of your shares bona fide to the Irish public, you are free to carry on any business whether the Irish public subscribes to the shares or not.”

But the measures that would be required to make certain there was a bona fide offer would involve very considerable control of the operations of share issuing companies wishing to avail of that exemption including the giving of powers of investigation to the Minister for Industry and Commerce. The delay in producing this Bill arose from the fact that when the [993] draftsmen and departmental experts had got down to consider the measures required to make that provision effective, they produced a long series of sections of a rather intimidating character. I felt they could lead to a great deal of misunderstanding as to the intentions of the Bill. I said “It is good enough for me if the Stock Exchange Committee will give a quotation for the shares having regard to the reputation they have for integrity and the normal examination which they undertake to make sure it is a bona fide offer and the usual requirements associated with the public issue of shares. Providing they give a quotation, I am satisfied. That is why the provision is in this form.

I feel certain in view of the tradition of the Stock Exchange that if they have the power to refuse a quotation —and nobody ever questioned their power in that respect in the past— if we were to bring in a provision which would make their decision subject to appeal in the court, the Stock Exchange Committee would be unwilling or reluctant to co-operate in the way they have already done in the implementation of this idea.

It is clear that if we give the power of appeal to the Circuit Court from a decision of the Stock Exchange Committee a number of quite undesirable consequences could appear. The decisions of the Stock Exchange are essentially a technical matter and it is very hard to see how they can be made subject to review in a court. It is extremely improbable that any external company of repute which was refused a quotation from the Stock Exchange by the Stock Exchange committee would seek to force the Stock Exchange Committee to give them that quotation by way of court action and the inclusion of such a provision in the Bill might indeed operate against external investment in Irish industry as it would perhaps tend to raise doubts in the minds of external investors as to the integrity of the Irish Stock Exchange authorities. It might be a serious matter if the refusal of a Stock Exchange quotation of their shares precluded a company from engaging in manufacturing operations. It does not. What that section provides is [994] that a company which makes that bona fide offer of shares to the Irish public and gets a stock market quotation of shares is free to engage in any industrial enterprise it likes without coming near the Department of Industry and Commerce or even informing the Department of its plans. It is perfectly free, as if there were no Control of Manufactures Act at all. If, however, it is refused a quotation from the Stock Exchange Committee, on the ground that not sufficient information has been offered to investors or on the ground that the offer is not a bona fide offer to Irish investors to participate in their issue, then it is still open to the company to come and seek a certificate of exemption or a Control of Manufactures Act licence or in some other way to get the necessary authority to carry on manufacturing operations here. It is not prevented from engaging in manufacturing operations. It merely has to follow a different procedure.

If it wants to avail of this procedure, it must establish the fact that it is doing so in a bona fide way and the test we are applying is the granting of that quotation for shares on the Stock Exchange by the Stock Exchange Commitee. If it cannot pass that test or does not want to use that test, it has to use one or other of the other roads open to it and these roads will be open to it provided it has a bona fide and proper manufacturing proposition to undertake.

Mr. McGilligan:  It is no answer to say that the Stock Exchange at the moment can refuse a quotation. Here is a special power being given to the Stock Exchange. They have it entirely in their power to prevent a company which has complied with all the conditions, (a), (b), (c) and (d), from becoming an excluded company by refusing a quotation.

Mr. S. Lemass:  No, it does not prevent the company from carrying on manufacturing operations.

Mr. McGilligan:  “Becoming an excluded company” is what I have said. It prevents that. The Stock Exchange can exercise their general power to refuse a quotation. They can exercise that power in regard to certain [995] people. I am sure those other people are not without their rights against it. I am quite sure there is some investigation authority—there certainly is in London—to look after such things. Apart from that power, here is special power given to them in a special piece of legislation which is supposed to be liberalising legislation.

Mr. S. Lemass:  That is not quite correct. It is not correct in the sense that we are giving them power. We are saying that if the Stock Exchange Committee give a quotation, we will accept that as proof that the company has made a bona fide offer of shares. If they do not give that quotation, obviously the company has not passed the test that we are applying and must seek some other method.

Mr. McGilligan:  As I look at this Bill, there is one straight clause of liberalising character, that is Section 3. It is one section that we had that meant something taken away from the Department of Industry and Commerce. The excepted matter in Section 2, which has just been passed, is something that is under the control of the Minister. The certificates of exemption in clause 5 are something under the control of the Minister. This was the straight course open to everybody as long as he complied with certain conditions. It is the pivotal section in the whole legislation. The rest are still under the control of the Minister. People have to live in the shadow of the Minister. In this there was a straight course for people who complied with certain conditions. If they complied with certain conditions, they could become excluded companies. As anything else, they have to look for favours. That is the way I am putting it. This, then, was a straight course to take business here in certain ways, without having to bother about where the capital comes from. One of these conditions is that they must have a quotation. Then we see that the Stock Exchange are given complete control of that. Am I not right in that? If they refuse the quotation, that finishes the matter. They then have to hook off to the Department to see can they get exempt or [996] excluded. As far as this section is concerned, it is blocked by the Stock Exchange.

It is no answer, when I make that case and say we are giving certain privileges to outside bodies, to say that they can refuse a quotation to anybody. They can refuse quotations in the ordinary course of business, but I do not think that just entirely what they say goes, that there is no way of challenging it. I cannot say positively, but I have the belief that the other is the situation.

As I have already remarked, we do not say to the Stock Exchange, “You are to operate by a certain majority, to operate by a certain committee; you are to give consideration to various matters” and tell them what matters to give consideration to. We do not say any of these things on which, if they gave precise answers, one could see whether they were behaving in a proper fashion or not. Their answer is just simply, “No, we will not give you a quotation” and that is the end of it.

The sub-section which relates to them is:—

“The company shall furnish to the Stock Exchange such information, in relation to that class of shares, as that Stock Exchange may require to enable it to determine whether such claim is or is not well-founded.”

That is, the claim that they would bona fide give an issue to Irish people. The stock Exchange ask whatever questions they like on that and, if the company fails to furnish the information or if the Stock Exchange is not satisfied that the claim is well-founded, it will not grant the quotation.

I do suggest that that is bringing the Stock Exchange into a position that it never occupied before and in respect of what I call the most important section, the pivotal section in the whole bit of legislation. That is the reason why I thought, apart from the constitutional matter that I have raised, that it is not the proper thing to do to give that power to the Stock Exchange. I cannot suggest a way out. I should like to know what suggestions were made from the draftsman to the Minister and the Minister's instructions, to see if there is any middle way. I do not like to suggest that the [997] Stock Exchange should report to the Minister and that the Minister should be satisfied with their decision. I do not want it brought back that way. But here is an outside body with no association whatever with any of the three powers of Government, the legislative body, the executive body or the judicial authority, and you tell them that they are to decide and that we will accept their decision.

The Minister's second argument is that the Stock Exchange would not be likely to act in this matter if they thought there was an appeal to the court to say whether they were right or wrong. I have never associated arrogance with the Stock Exchange or certainly with any members that I have met. Why should they be annoyed if there was a right of appeal given? There is a right of appeal from all the courts up to the highest court. There is a right of appeal from every lower court to the one above it, or sometimes skipping one. Why not an appeal against Stock Exchange decisions? There are all sorts of people placed in important positions and even when important matters are handed over to tribunals there is such a thing that they may have gone outside their power or have acted contrary to natural justice and the matter can be referred to the courts and these people do not feel rebuffed by the thought that now and again some people may challenge their verdict.

If, however, the view is that the Stock Exchange would be so horrified at the thought that anybody would question their findings, then we had better do without the Stock Exchange and get some other body. I do not know if the Stock Exchange have said that or if it is just a thought of the Minister or, probably, only a debating point. If that is the case, we need not bother about it any more.

I am more interested in the amendment I put down now than when I merely thought to raise this matter of the powers given to the Stock Exchange, but, having heard the arguments made against me, I feel that this should be pressed and that there should be a right of appeal or would the Minister think of associating a judicial person with the Stock [998] Exchange in such determination, having, say, one judicial assessor giving him special powers with regard to the matter?

The Minister has not answered me. I doubt if there is any other occasion in our legislation where we have built up an Act around a particular set of circumstances and given an outside body the power to declare that one of those circumstances has not been fulfilled and, therefore, giving that outside body an authority or power to nullify the whole effect of the liberalising legislation.

Mr. S. Lemass:  The Deputy is not dealing with this question as a problem associated with the administration or the amendment of the Control of Manufactures Bill. Here was the problem. It was desired to allow any company submitting a bona fide offer of its shares to the Irish public to carry on any manufacturing business without reference to the Government, provided it made an offer of shares on the Irish market in a bona fide way so that Irish investors could take up the shares if they wanted to and it was free to commence manufacturing operations and did not have to come to Kildare Street to ask fro a permit. That is all it was desired to do.

How were we to check that the offer of shares was bona fide? How were we to provide that the offer would not be so framed or expressed that in fact only a lunatic would propose to subscribe for the shares? There are two ways of doing it. We could build up an elaborate series of safeguards rquiring the company to offer the shares here at the same prices as elsewhere; we could provide safeguards to ensure that if people made an offer to subscribe for shares they would be allotted shares. If we tried to do that through the Department it would mean a most intimidating series of conditions which would deter any company from seeking to avail of it. The company, instead, would adopt the very simple procedure of coming along to look for a licence if it were required rather than submit to all these tests.

It seemed there was one clear and [999] obvious way. There are persons in the Stock Exchange Committees who are normally engaged in assessing the claims of all companies who wish their shares to get quotations there. It is true that up to the present their sole function is to satisfy themselves that the company is a bona fode undertaking of the kind described by itself, that there is enough information about its operations available to the public to enable them to assess for themselves what the fair value of the shares is, and other matters of that kind. Here we ask them to do one other thing and that is to satisfy themselves that in fact a bona fide offer of shares has been made in the Irish market and we say, as those responsible for the administration of the Bill, that provided it passes that test of getting a quotation from the Stock Exchange Committee we are prepared to accept that it has in fact made a bona fide offer of shares on the Irish market.

The objection to bringing an appeal to the courts is that the implication is that the Stock Exchange Committee might refuse such a quotation improperly and it would imply there was some doubt about the integrity of the committee.

Mr. McGilligan:  Why does the Minister say that? It could simply be that they were wrong.

Mr. S. Lemass:  Wrong in the purely technical question of deciding the bona fides of the issue? I do not think that is a matter for determination by the courts. I doubt very much if the courts or anybody associated with them would contend that they were in a position to pass judgment on a purely technical issue of that kind. It is not a question of fact; it is a question of judgment having regard to the circumstances of each individual case. I would certainly prefer to leave it as it is and, in fact, I thought it was a very happy solution to a very difficult problem to use the Stock Exchange for this purpose and I was delighted when I found the Stock Exchange Committee willing to co-operate to that extent. I felt that what had been a real problem had at last been resolved. But we would be back [1000] in the old position in which we were before if this amendment were inserted. That is why I could not agree to it.

I resist the amendment with all the more reason because I realise that a company that is unable to get into manufacturing operations under that rule has other roads open to it and if it should happen that a company were refused a quotation by the Stock Exchange Committee by some mistake or misjudgment, it would still be open to the company to seek a certificate of exemption which, if the manufacturing operation was desired in this country, would normally be granted. I think it would be better to leave the Bill as it is than to attempt to solve the problem in the way the Deputy suggests. There could not be any other method adopted in the form of an appeal from the authority of the committee but the appeal to the Minister and in fact that is in the Bill already in the right to apply for a certificate of exemption. That is, in effect, what it means.

Major de Valera:  The Minister has put his finger on the kernel of the matter in his concluding remarks. There are alternative methods in this Bill to deal with the problem and, as the Minister said, this is nothing more than a provision of automatic procedure to cut out red tape about which we hear so much talk. This is a direct attempt to cut it out.

As regards Deputy McGilligan's amendment, I see considerable objection to it from another point of view quite apart from the fact that it is unnecessary. There is this to be said, that if the amendments were to be considered or any safeguards were to be added in this section, instead of adopting an amendment on the lines of Deputy McGilligan's, it would be preferable to add another sub-section saying that the Minister might thereupon give the certificate of exemption.

Mr. McGilligan:  You are at the wrong section.

Major de Valera:  It is Section 2 we are on.

Mr. McGilligan:  No, Section 3.

Major de Valera:  I am sorry. It is about the Stock Exchange. This is a [1001] qualifying section, and safeguards can be introduced elsewhere. There are other sections in the Bill, as the Minister pointed out, that enable the matter to be dealt with when it comes before the Department.

But there is another side to this. At present the machinery for quotation in the Stock Exchange is a certain safeguard for the public and we need not go into how it is all built up. If there was anything irregular or any infringement of anybody's rights or equities in the operation of the Stock Exchange there is at the moment the general power in the courts and the general legal remedies open to anybody aggrieved in that way. That power will still remain, but it would introduce a very obnoxious principle to bring in a direct power of appeal in the case of the Stock Exchange functioning in its normal way even when it is used for this purpose, because the inevitable result would be the transfer of the question of a quotation on the Stock Exchange from the Stock Exchange to the Four Courts. That would not be desirable. It is not a desirable one. There are two functions there. You have the protection of the rights and equities of individuals and companies and, as far as I know, we have had no cause for complaint in this State about the function of that machinery. If you confuse the two separate things—and this would be the first step of the confusion—you would open up the avenue to an undesirable state of affairs.

Mr. McGilligan:  Deputy de Valera arrived at a late moment without having read the Bill or knowing what section we were at.

Major de Valera:  I have read the Bill.

Mr. McGilligan:  He has said there is no necessity to give a right of appeal because it is there.

Major de Valera:  That is not a fair paraphrase of what I said.

Mr. McGilligan:  The Deputy has said that there is no necessity to put down a specific appeal because if [1002] equities are interfered with there is the right to access to the court. I do not accept that. The Minister tells me that if a company fails to get a Stock Exchange quotation, it can go to him. The great tribute that was paid to this Bill was that we would be able to get away from the Department of Industry and Commerce. This is one section which makes that possible but if that fails, according to the Minister, you can troop off to Kildare Street. Imagine a potential manufacturer who has been rebuffed by the Stock Exchange and goes to Industry and Commerce and says: “I want to get a certificate of exemption. I want this to be an excepted commodity and the Stock Exchange have turned me down.” Will he be well received under those circumstances? Those are the only circumstances I am considering.

The Minister tells me the Stock Exchange would not take any part if there was a right of appeal because it would mean their integrity was being assailed. In the courts there are appeals from a lower court to higher courts. Is it suggested that on every occasion when an appeal is taken that the integrity of the court appealed from is being impugned? Surely not. Under the medical Act, the dentists Act and the veterinary Act there are councils set up and they are given power to control entry on to the register of these different professions. The best example on the medical side is the disciplinary committee which is given power to strike people off to prevent them from holding themselves up as medical practitioners. They can still practise but only as quacks and they cannot sue for fees, or anything like that.

There are two headings under which persons can be struck off. One is that they have been guilty of some criminal act and have already been before the court and found guilty. The second is in relation to an appeal to the High Court. Does that mean that the person who takes the appeal is alleging that the medical opinion of striking that person off is dishonourable? Is the integrity of the committee being criticised? The same thing applies to [1003] the dentists or veterinary profession where there is also resort to the court in certain contingencies.

At a later point the Minister did say that a company which was refused could go to the Department on account of—he used two words; one was “misjudgment” and the other “misunderstanding”. Supposing there is a question of misunderstanding. Why should there not be an appeal to some body to set that right? Most appeals in the courts are taken on the grounds that the decision was wrong and that there was not a proper application or appreciation of the facts. That is all one would allege in relation to the Stock Exchange. I presume the Minister is not quoting any members of the Stock Exchange in the arguments he is making. If I thought he was actually presenting here arguments which were used to him, I would feel the Stock Exchange were not really a body to be trusted with this power. I presume he is merely giving us points in the debate. I cannot imagine any member of the Stock Exchange being so unreasonable as to say that any appeal against their judgment could be regarded as assailing their integrity or that by suggesting an appeal it could be inferred that they had acted from wrong motives. You could do something wrong without doing it from wrong motives. I am not satisfied with the arguments made against this and I believe there ought to be a right of appeal.

Mr. S. Lemass:  The Deputy is aware that the Stock Exchange Committee can refuse a quotation to any company in respect of shares for good reason and indeed have done so in cases where there was no suggestion of fraud or malpractice. In many instances I know that the Stock Exchange has said: “You must produce at least three balance sheets before we will give you a quotation because the earning capabilities of your company cannot be established without these three years' balance sheets to show.” There is, of course, no appeal whatever from the Stock Exchange decision in that regard.

[1004] My problem is that I want to exclude from the Control of Manufactures Act those operations which can be excluded without any prejudice to the undertakings we have given in the past or to any aspect of our industrial situation. We are taking power to exclude all commodities which can be defined as not being manufactured here to any substantial degree by ministerial Order. If we could get a defition of those commodities we could exclude them and anybody can make these goods again without any licence under the Act or any reference to the Department.

Secondly, we want to exclude any company which has made this bona fide offer of shares in Ireland and the only difficulty there was how we were going to deal with this matter. The Stock Exchange said they were prepared to co-operate. If they are satisfied the offer is bona fide they grant a quotation. That simplifies that procedure. Thirdly, we exempt companies that are engaged solely in manufacturing operations as defined in the Bill. In other cases we still have to keep some measure of control. The Deputy will appreciate that the type of manufacturers referred to here are those that at the moment cannot engage in operations here without a licence and what we are trying to do is to give them power to operate here freely. We are trying to bring them in. It is a solution of the difficulty that the Stock Exchange has agreed to co-operate in this matter.

Mr. McGilligan:  What I object to is that the Stock Exchange has been given this power under the Bill, a power which they have not had up to the present.

Major de Valera:  Is it not the normal procedure at the moment for the Stock Exchange to issue quotations?

Mr. McGilligan:  Can the Deputy tell me of any occasion since this State was founded in 1922 on which we gave a power like this to an outside body?

Major de Valera:  We are not giving them any power. We are not giving [1005] them any more power than they have at the moment.

Mr. McGilligan:  In this Bill we say that they are the people who are to control the matter.

Major de Valera:  At the present moment the Stock Exchange has wide discretion as regards its quotations. I would strongly object to any modification of that process by bringing in the courts, in the way the Deputy suggests. At the present moment there is machinery for the Stock Exchange to give quotations and all the Minister is doing is availing himself of that machinery. In my opinion the best thing would have been simply to say that the company is quoted on the Stock Exchange. Would that satisfy the Deputy?

Mr. McGilligan:  The Stock Exchange is being given the power to refuse the quotation.

Major de Valera:  They already have the power to refuse the quotation.

Mr. McGilligan:  In this case the company must comply with (d) and the Stock Exchange decide that. At the moment they do not decide it. At the moment the Stock Exchange has nothing to do with stating whether shares have been issued to Irish citizens or not. The fourth condition in this section is that 50 per cent. of the shares of the company must have been offered to Irish citizens, and the Stock Exchange has been given the power to say whether that has been done or not. Has the Stock Exchange any power at the moment to say whether there has been a bona fide issue of shares or not?

Mr. S. Lemass:  Under no circumstances will the Stock Exchange give a quotation unless they are satisfied.

Mr. McGilligan:  Let us get this straight. The power they are now being given is to say whether a company has complied with paragraph (d) or not. They have not got that power at the moment.

Mr. S. Lemass:  That is right.

[1006]Mr. McGilligan:  We are giving them that power now, and I think it is wrong to give an outside body any such power. Under sub-paragraph (d), as I read it, we are giving it to them.

Mr. S. Lemass:  The alternative is to give it to the Minister.

Mr. McGilligan:  I would not have that at all. Suppose that we do not give the power to the Stock Exchange. You would have a company claiming to have complied with paragraph (d) and if the Minister says that has not been done it can be taken to the courts and tried.

Mr. S. Lemass:  That is what I am anxious to avoid.

Mr. McGilligan:  I think that the courts are there to do that and I think that there ought to be an appeal against the refusal. If you take out the Stock Exchange and their control of the matter it is up to the Minister to investigate by court proceedings whether paragraph (d) has been complied with.

Mr. S. Lemass:  In this case a company can get itself into the position where it can no longer be challenged. When all these requirements have been complied with the position of a company is finalised and clear.

Mr. McGilligan:  But they can come back to the Minister.

Mr. S. Lemass:  Once they have got the quotation, they are in the clear.

Mr. McGilligan:  I think it is a great thing to have put the Stock Exchange in the place of the Minister, but I still think it is quite wrong to give such power to that outside body. That is the power which should be given to the courts.

Before we end on this matter, I think that amendment No. 12 is wrongly placed. It cuts out the word “condition” and puts in the word “conditions”. I understand that the Minister has accepted that amendment on the top of page 4 and that would mean that a company would state it had [1007] complied with paragraphs (d) and (e) while at this point it would still be trying to comply with (e).

Mr. S. Lemass:  I shall have a look at that.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Progress reported; Committee to sit again.

The Dáil, according to order, went into Committee on Finance to consider a Supplementary Estimate for the year ending on the 31st March, 1958.

Minister for Health (Mr. MacEntee):  I move:—

That a supplementary sum not exceeding £200 be granted to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1958, for certain Miscellaneous Expenses, including certain Grants-in-Aid, Compensation and other Payments in connection with Injuries to Property (No. 24 of 1941) and payments of Compensation for Death or Personal Injuries.

The purpose of this Supplementary Estimate is to provide an additional sum of £300 for travelling expenses and subsistence allowance payable to the official arbitrator appointed under the Acquisition of Land (Assessment of Compensation) Act, 1919, as amended.

Mr. Sweetman:  Might I mention two points, both of which hang together to some degree? I want to put it to the Minister briefly, because candidly, I am not quite clear whether I am in order on a Supplementary Estimate in doing so, that that does not comply with the law. The law is that there shall be a panel of official arbitrators and one person does not constitute a panel.

[1008]Mr. MacEntee:  Is that a decided case?

Mr. Sweetman:  If the Minister looks at the decided cases he will find that I am correct. That comment is necessary to deal with the point which is germane to this Supplementary Estimate, namely, that the effect of that is that there is some pretty substantial delay because of the inability of one official arbitrator being unable to get around to dealing with all the cases that are put to him. That is not his fault. There appears to be more work to be done than can be done by one person. If we had a panel of at least two arbitrators, it would be more feasible for them to arrange their sittings without quite the same amount of travelling and therefore this Suplementary Estimate might not be necessary again. I suggest that the possibility of its not being necessary is sufficient to make my remark relevant. I suggest to the Minister that before we come to the main Estimate he should consider the point as to whether or not it is correct to have only one person on the panel. The purpose of the Act was clearly to have a panel from which there might be some selection. Obviously, if there is only one there can be no selection. In addition to that there is, as I am personally aware, congestion at the moment.

Mr. MacEntee:  I shall mention these matters to the Minister for Finance. I am perfectly certain he will take advice in regard to that and will no doubt be able to discuss it on the main Estimate in due course.

Vote put and agreed to.

Supplementary Estimate reported and agreed to.

The Dáil, according to order, went into Committee on Finance and re-resumed consideration of Estimates for Public Services for the year ending March 31st, 1959.

Debate resumed on the motion:—

[1009] That the Estimate be referred back for reconsideration. —(Deputy McQuillan.)

Mr. Booth:  When we adjourned last night I was drawing attention to the fact that the Soldiers' Pay Section comprises a staff of 105, which is responsible for the pay of something over 11,000 personnel. On that basis, one civil servant is employed for each 100 of the other ranks of the forces, despite the fact that the pay is actually distributed by the officers of the units and the pay sheets setting out the full details are prepared by the clerical staff in the units themselves. This appears to me entirely unnecessary.

Reference was made last night by Deputy O'Higgins to the public relations aspect of the Defence Forces and he commented, I think rightly, on the fact that a closer contact was necessary between the public and the members of the forces. Such closer contact could be achieved if the forces were allowed to co-operate more with civilians in functions such as regattas, motor races and so on where the soldiers from the Corps of Signals could be used for communications work. This would enable members of the public to see the wireless equipment which is now being used by the forces and would also, in my opinion, give very valuable practice to the members of the forces. All too often, Army training is confined to stimulating certain conditions. If members of the forces were made freely available to civilian committees or bodies running functions it would be possible for them to demonstrate to the public the equipment used and, at the same time, get valuable training. It might be possible also to use the Corps of Engineers for bridge exercises and so forth. I would hope that the Air Corps would give displays from time to time. Nobody knows what aircraft we have. To most of us Baldonnel might be hundreds of thousands of miles away. There might be less misinterpretation in relation to the forces if the public were allowed to go into barracks on certain specified occasions to see demonstrations of Army equipment, [1010] preferably, of course, with something actually happening.

Mention was made last night by the Minister for External Affairs of our support for the forces of the United Nations. I would be happy to think that some opportunity might be given to members of our forces to serve with the United Nations overseas. If we really wish to co-operate, and we are doing so financially, we could reap a double benefit by sending our men to serve as observers and so forth, as legal advisers or professional officers. Such experience overseas with the troops of other countries could not be anything but advantageous.

Deputy O'Higgins, too, also suggested last night that public relations could be improved by more Army parades. I disagree with him entirely on that. First of all, we have not sufficient troops to put on a very big-scale parade and a small-scale parade is discouraging for everyone. Apart from anything else, it is just marching past and I would very much prefer that the troops should be seen doing the jobs for which they are being trained. Marching in sixes down O'Connell Street is not their main aim or object.

I recently came in contact with an interesting group who have formed an association of parachutists who operate out at Western Aerodrome. I am glad to say that they are now training with the Civil Defence units. I would hope that the Minister would keep this group under review from time to time because these are men who are training voluntarily and entirely from their own expenses. They are also training for the emergency dropping of supplies to people who may be marooned due to flooding or other disasters.

They are doing a dangerous job. They are all volunteers. They are paying for their training, for their parachutes and for the hire of aircraft when they are jumping. I should like to give some publicity to this very public-spirited group and ask the Minister to keep them in mind and give them any assistance in the future for which they may ask. They are not asking for any assistance at the moment. They are working under the [1011] supervision of the Department of Industry and Commerce, who actually issue licences in this regard, but I feel that the Minister for Defence also should be kept fully informed. I would be glad to inform him of any future information which may come my way.

Mr. Casey:  It has been my experience, since the publication of the Book of Estimates, that no Estimate has provoked so much adverse criticism as the Estimate on Defence. In fairness to the Minister and the present Government, I should say my experience has been the same over some years past. The feeling is rife throughout the country that the amount of money expended annually on defence is unwarranted. I know there is an extreme view held by a minority that we should make little or no provision at all, that we should have no Army, Navy or Air Force, because in modern times they would be ineffective.

I do not share that view, nor do the majority of the people, I think. There is unanimity—or as near to it as makes no difference—that the desirable policy for us is to have a good nucleus of Defence Forces which would be capable of absorbing recruits in times of emergency and capable of training them in the shortest possible time. But having made a decision that it is impracticable, for financial and other reasons, to maintain permanent Defence Forces here capable of resisting invasion, we should then confine ourselves to the main expenditure, to maintaining the nucleus to which I refer.

There is serious doubt as to whether over £6,000,000 per annum is needed in that regard. There is a widespread belief that we could maintain and finance a reasonable nucleus for much less than that sum. Looking over the details of the Estimate, we may say that the various provisions there are reasonable enough and, perhaps, in different circumstances, even desirable for a country of our size and resources. But at present when we are being exhorted on all sides to tighten our belts and to do with less than might be desirable under other circumstances, we are entitled to ask can we afford to vote £6,208,000 for defence?

[1012] We are particularly charged with asking ourselves can we afford, not alone the amount that was voted last year, but an increase in the Estimate for the coming year. Bearing in mind the exhortations which have been issued from various Ministers and the Government generally in regard to the need for economy, the people are justified in asking can we afford to budget for an increase of £37,000 on this particular Estimate?

We are all aware that there are financuial difficulties. It was pointed out by Deputies on all sides during the debate on the Vote on Account that there are many desirable projects which we cannot undertake at the moment because of the lack of finance. We must examine this increase in the Estimate in the light of those circumstances. We must ask ourselves are we justified in this increased expenditure for defence at a time when we have chronic unemployment and mass emigration, when so many sections of our people are living on mere pittances of social welfare benefits, at a time when we say to the aged, the unemployed, the widows, the orphans, the blind and disabled that unfortunately, because of our financial position, we cannot afford anything extra for them by way of social benefit. Can we then at the same time say: “We cannot afford it for you, but we will provide £37,000 extra for defence”? I do not think we can do that.

You cannot have the Minister for Defence defending that policy when, on the other hand, you have the Minister for Health explaining in the House and up and down the country that very many desirable hospital projects, new buildings, extensions, nurses' homes and so on, cannot be proceeded with under present circumstances. You cannot have the Minister for Education saying that while he is pressing forward the new school building programme in many areas, he is not going at the speed that either he or we would like. In those circumstances, I do not think the Government is justified in presenting to the House and the country a bill for defence in the coming year of £6,208,560.

The stage has been reached when we [1013] must examine the whole Estimate and ask ourselves can we afford the various provisions outlined there. I would ask the Minister to look at the provisions made for the F.C.A. and An Sluagh Muirí. The public generally do not appreciate the amount of money that has to be voted for that section of our Defence Forces. We find in the Estimate there are three large headings dealing with the F.C.A. and An Sluagh Muirí. In Y (2) we are asked to vote £372,659. In Y (3) we are asked to vote £19,000. Under another sub-head, not particularly earmarked as moneys for the F.C.A. and An Sluagh Muirí, we find in sub-head G a sum of £47,000 being subsistence allowances to officers, N.C.O.s and privates on duty with the F.C.A. That gives us a total under these three headings of £438,682.

Many people will be amazed to hear that figure. We are entitled to ask is that money well spent, is it money that we can afford in this particular branch of the Defence services?

Mr. Haughey:  That is for 20,000 men.

Mr. Casey:  I know that when Deputy Haughey was speaking yesterday, he felt it was money well spent. I do not believe, and I do not think that Deputy Haughey believes, that there are 20,000 men taking an active interest in the F.C.A.

Mr. K. Boland:  There are more.

Mr. Casey:  There may be names on a roll. You may have them when there is a whip-up on certain occasions. But I am speaking about the F.C.A. who are expected to attend their normal weekly parades and so on. I do not think that the 20,000 men mentioned in the Estimate is a true figure. Very often, many of these men are in the force of avail of a fortnight's holiday in the summer and very many of them regard it as being in the nature of a relief scheme. I do not wish to reflect in any way on the members of the F.C.A. Probably, like myself, most Deputies were in the F.C.A. during the emergency. The F.C.A. served a very useful purpose during that period but, in peace time, particularly in times like these, when there is such [1014] financial stringency, we must have another look at the F.C.A. We have a new Minister for Defence, a young man with a fresh mind on these matters, and he should not allow himself to be driven along or voluntarily go along the groove in which we have been moving in the post-emergency years as far as this particular service is concerned.

Notwithstanding the feelings of Deputy Haughey on the matter, who, I am sure, is quite genuine about it, my own personal opinion is that to vote almost £500,000 for the F.C.A. is a waste of public funds. I say that without reflecting in any way on the officers and men in that force who have the best will in the world and the intention of serving their country to the best of their ability. I have no doubt that they are bona fide in that regard but, I maintain that it is a waste of public funds and is a matter that the Minister should review.

Mr. Moloney:  My remarks will be confined to the Army as a whole. I am glad that I can congratulate the Minister on the efficient and excellent manner in which he has administered the Department in the past 12 months. I should also like to join with Deputy MacEoin in paying tribute to the Minister and the Army authorities for the fact that politics have been kept out of the Army during that period. That is a very satisfactory state of affairs and augurs well for the future.

A recruitment campaign has been initiated recently. Generally, these campaigns have lacked in the past that drive that is necessary to achieve satisfactory results. The usual practice is to advertise the fact that a recruiting officer will arrive in a particular district on a particular date for the purpose of enlisting men. That type of appeal is not generally effective. I would respectfully suggest to the Minister that the recruiting personnel might take advantage of the secondary schools and colleges and make a direct approach, to the principals of those educational establishments with a view to getting the senior boys to take an interest in recruitment. The census of population might also be utilised.

[1015] Information is available to the Army authorities and Government Departments from official statistics as to the families in which there are boys between, the ages of 18 and 20 years. The parents of such families might be circularised by the recruiting authorities and asked to make a contribution to the recruiting campaign. That might produce very satisfactory results. It has to be brought home to parents that the Army is an essential part of our military and indeed too our economic life and that we are all expected to make a contribution by way of personnel to that force, just as we would make a contribution to any of the voluntary organisations, such as the Red Cross, that exist for the general good of the State.

In the years gone by recruitment for the Army was regarded in a different light and it was usually the useless members of the family who were encouraged to join the Army. Since we achieved our freedom, and more particularly recently, the Army has come to be regarded as something more than it was a quarter of century ago. Probably the experience people had during the emergency was helpful in that regard. Now that we have made some progress in establishing what the Army should be it would be disastrous if we fell down on the job, and I would suggest that employers, particularly industrial employers who give work to large numbers of young people, should be asked to urge on their staff the desirability of joining the Defence Forces for a year or two. I appreciate that a shortage of manpower exists so far as youth is concerned at present and that is bound to militate against the success of the recruiting campaign.

That brings me to another question, the encouragement of the F.C.A. which now numbers 20,000. Last year's strength is given in the Book of Estimates as being the same as in the previous year and the last speaker doubted that there was that number in actual service. The Minister appears to be satisfied that such a number is in active service. I accept that is so.

I have some personal knowledge of the work that the F.C.A. is doing and [1016] I am anxious to take the opportunity to pay tribute to the Minister in the first instance and to the director in charge of the F.C.A. for the excellent manner in which the force conducted itself during the year. A good deal of lip service is given by all the powers-that-be to the advantages of the F.C.A. but in general none of us gives sufficient recognition to the personnel constituting that force. This creates a certain strain on those in charge of the force. Members have not been able to get the desired recognition on retirement and in cases where they seek public appointments.

I feel the system which existed many years ago whereby Army personnel got some additional marks when competing for certain public appointments was a good one. For obvious reasons we had different opinions about it at that time but since then we are almost unanimous as regards the Defence Forces in general.

To my own knowledge the men in that force are good, energetic and patriotic young men devoting their free time to parades and taking part in the prescribed exercises. They manage to get time off, if employed, or permission from parents otherwise, and go to the annual camps to improve their training. They make big sacrifices and, while some people may suggest that if they were not paid for that particular service they would not be prepared to co-operate, I do not agree with that at all. The amount paid to the volunteer in the F.C.A. is very small, and nowadays young people tend to put leisure first.

We should be proud that we still have boys prepared to put their country first. It is not fair that when they apply for jobs, whether in agriculture, in industry or public works, they get no preference at all. I think a good case can be made for some small preference. I would not expect very much and it would not be right that it should be very much because when one embarks on a policy of that kind many people are ready to complain and make a good case against it. I think we may have to depend on a voluntary force like this in the future because it is doubtful with the present shortage of [1017] manpower, if any Government in our circumstances will be able to secure the number of men required in a regular army.

I think the number in the F.C.A. is far too low. The figure I already mentioned represents only 800 men in each county. During the emergency the number was at least four times what it is to-day. Perhaps some of those then were not very fit for active service and the 20,000 to-day could be reckoned as more effective than the 50,000 during the period 1939-1945. Nevertheless, there is room for a big increase in the strength of the force now.

I take it it is Government policy to try to increase that number, that there is no maximum. All of us should do everything in our power to encourage young men of military age to come into the F.C.A. if they cannot join the permanent force. It is better that they should be in the volunteer force than in no force. Many of our young people are lacking in national discipline and possibly domestic discipline, and the best way they can get it is in the Army, if they have not got it in the secondary schools or similar establishments.

One of the great drawbacks as regards the F.C.A., I suggest, is the shortage of suitable halls. In a number of areas local councils have been able to provide halls but they are few and far between. It is rather a pity that the Department of Defence cannot work out some scheme with the Department of Local Government whereby local authorities could be encouraged to provide grants for the erection of halls, for which there is provision in the Local Government Act of 1946. The difficulty, of course, is that of getting the revenue to pay off the loan charges, but I believe the Department of Defence would find it good business to pay a reasonable rent for the use of any training centre, more particularly where suitable accommodation would be available in a local hall.

During the emergency period the biggest difficulty that those of us who were then associated with the forces experienced was trying to get suitable [1018] hall accommodation. In those days the number of public community halls available in my part of the country was very small. There has been some improvement in that connection since but I am afraid things are at a standstill again owing to the high cost of building.

Those halls could be used effectively as training centres for our voluntary forces, not alone the F.C.A. but other organisations such as the Red Cross, and so on. It is important now that we should take some positive steps in training personnel in civil defence, and halls for that purpose are needed for every type of personnel. I hope the Minister for Defence will work out some scheme with the Minister for Local Government whereby the local authorities will be encouraged to provide these halls for the purpose of training our military and civil defence organisations and as a secondary consideration, to provide accommodation for the holding of lectures and other social activities which are so desirable.

Mr. Coogan:  I rise to express my disappointment on once again seeing that in this Estimate there is no provision for acquiring such useful aircraft as the helicopter. This has become a joke as far as the West is concerned. We are told: “It would not serve its purpose. It would not pay,” and so on. Representations have been made by bodies all over the country for the provision of this type of aircraft. I wonder if we put the running cost of the helicopter against those of some of our jet aircraft which would prove the more useful in the long run, and more worthy of being invested in.

Another purpose to which the helicopter could be put—although you might argue that it is not the function of the Department—is the spotting of shoals of fish off our coasts. It would help our fishermen and repay indirectly any money spent on it. It would also deal with the foreign trawler menace off our coasts. More important still it would not be the threat to life which the jet aircraft represents as it flies so fast over us. When our naval service are approaching an area where [1019] these foreign trawlers are engaged they are at the disadvantage that the tip-off is given to the foreign trawlers and they are outside the limit by the time the naval vessel arrives there. In that way our three mile limit laws are flouted daily.

Another question on which I would like the Minister to lay more emphasis is that of encouraging voluntary effort throughout the country. I agree totally with the last speaker that it would be a good thing if the F.C.A., the Red Cross, the Order of Malta and other voluntary services were given more encouragement. It would be good economy, a healthy sign and would prove beneficial to some of our youth.

In relation to our Army bands, there are areas throughout the country that have never heard them. In a big town such as Galway we hardly ever hear an Army band. That is a tourist centre and it is reasonable to request that if one of these bands could not be stationed there for the summer season, they should pay a visit now and then.

For a number of years back the Galway Corporation have been burdened with having to provide houses for Army personnel. Our county medical officer has condemned the living conditions in Renmore Barracks in Galway and it is most unfair that the burden should be passed on to the corporation. I hope the Minister will bear in mind the points I am raising, especially to provide accommodation worthy of soldiers to live in and which will not have any stigma attached to it.

Mr. Loughman:  Deputy Casey was justly concerned with the increase in social benefits. However I believe that 1/- a week increase to every person on the social services benefit list would amount to no less than £2,000,000 in a year. That would be equivalent to practically one-third of the total Army Estimate. I am sure he would not wish that we should sacrifice the Army in order that all the people on the social services list should get 1/- a week extra.

We have already said we would all wish to increase benefits for these [1020] people but I think the great majority of the people would wish the men in the Army to get more consideration. Our Army suffers from a number of disadvantages that armies in other countries do not suffer from. We have a small Army and the careers of officers who joined are held up during the time they are in the Army, with no prospect for them except the ordinary stepping stone of promotion.

I should like to recommend to the Minister to consider if it would be possible to make arrangements for Army officers to take courses in the universities. The officers have to retire at some stage but, even if they never retired, I think it undesirable that they should be Army officers and nothing else. They should have some instruction in foreign languages, commerce or a number of the other faculties. Where officers wish to attend the universities every effort should be made to facilitate them. I should like the Minister to consider that idea very closely.

I also think that the men in the Army should be facilitated and encouraged to gain knowledge in occupations that would be useful to them after leaving the Army. They should not simply have to go around looking for jobs without having any training to assist them. While they are in the Army they should be allowed, in their spare time, to take up some form of training and should be encouraged to do so.

Deputy Coogan spoke of the provision of housing facilities for officers and other Army personnel. I think that is a very vital matter. When an Army officer is transferred from one district to another very often he has already purchased a house in the area which he is leaving and he has to leave his wife and family there and start scouting around to find a house in the district to which he is going. I think it is a great hardship to these officers and the same thing applies to the men. The Minister ought to induce the Government to provide more money so that there will be sufficient housing available to ensure that officers and men can obtain houses when they are transferred.

[1021] There is another aspect of Army life to which I should like to refer. I am told that recently the country lost the services of an excellent medical officer simply because, when he applied for a dispensary post in the country, his qualifications did not seem to be as good as those of an Army officer who came from England. I think that some special consideration should be given to an Army medical officer when he applies for a post in our dispensary or public health services. If such officers do apply for these posts and are given them they will remain in the country. They will not emigrate. They can be kept on the Army Reserve and will be useful citizens. If what I am told is correct, it would seem that membership of the Army Medical Corps is more of a hindrance than a help when these men apply for a post in the dispensary services.

These are two or three suggestions which I should like the Minister to consider about the Army itself. I think that we ought to be very proud of the Army, both officers and men. I remember a time when we had a British garrison in every town in Ireland. In those years, the reputation we associated with those men was that they were rowdy and that wherever they were there was trouble. In the town in which I live we have an Irish Army unit and I think they are the best behaved people in the town. It is wonderful to have an Army whose officers are top class and the men in which are a credit both to Army and officers.

We still seem to think of men who join the Army as men who took the shilling, got fed and got drunk when they got a little money together. We should regard our Army as affording a career for our men which would give them a reasonable livelihood. I regard the ordinary private soldier as being as good as a tradesman and until we step up the Army to that standard we shall not get the men we wish to join it.

I would not at all join with Deputy Casey in his suggestion that we should consider a reduction in the Army. He did not say that we should reduce it, but he said that we should consider whether the maintenance of the present Army is justified. I think the [1022] Army is not big enough and we should aim at a bigger Army, one in which our men would receive remuneration in line with the services they are giving.

Mr. Blowick:  There is one point which I want to put strongly before the Minister. That is the provision of some sort of aircraft which might be used by the Army to assist when we have these unfortunate accidents along the south and west coasts. From Donegal to Kerry, across to Wexford and up along the east coast we have had accidents and, unfortunately, we shall have them as long as people go to sea. I speak of one of which I have personal knowledge—the accident off Clare Island during the winter. I feel convinced, from the evidence given at the time, that one life or possibly two would have been saved if we had a helicopter based on Galway or Limerick.

The Minister for Industry and Commerce told us to-day that this matter did not come within his ambit and I think the Minister for Defence is the appropriate Minister to acquire at least one, if not two or three, aircraft. I should like the Minister to give his views on this matter. I think the helicopter would be the ideal thing. Lifeboats do terrific work when the need arises, but there are certain circumstances in which a helicopter or aircraft of some kind would be much quicker and would be able to spot survivors more quickly. They could save valuable lives in times of storm and danger in frail boats at sea.

I am sure the Minister has got a good deal of information from the experts in his Department on that subject. There may be a better idea than a helicopter. The Minister may say that a helicopter would cost money. Of course it will cost money, but I suggest that some kind of light craft able to ride out a storm or to drop food or lifebelts to people in danger would be of immense value even if it were only called into service once in 12 months.

I should like the Minister when he is replying to tell us what the cost of a helicopter would be, and if there is personnel available to man such craft. [1023] I am sure personnel could be made available with a little training. Has the Minister any other ideas on the subject? Something is necessary. It is no use our tearing our hair out every time there is a tragedy. We should make an effort to prevent any recurrence of what has happened in the past and the suggestion I have made is worthy of the Minister's consideration.

Mr. P.J. Burke:  This is a very important Estimate, one of the most important coming before this House. Deputies have said that we want a smaller Army and that we can do without an Army. The fact remains that the Army is the only genuine guarantee we have of the preservation of this democratic State and, if the Army fulfils no other rôle but that, it is of tremendous value because it is essential that we should ensure that no group of individuals will be empowered to usurp the functions of the democratically elected representatives of the State. That is why I regard this Estimate as so important.

We are very proud of our Army. I would like to see conditions improved considerably for the rank and file. I know the Minister cannot work miracles. He has not been long in office and so far he has done an excellent job. I should, however, like to see soldiering made attractive for the soldier. I should like to see conditions generally improved and more men encouraged to join the Volunteers and the F.C.A. I know that the State cannot afford to increase pensions, but I hope the day is not too distant when increases will be made. A stocktaking is due.

Deputy Loughman spoke about sending officers to the universities. I would approve of that where men are ambitious and would like to take advantage of a higher education but the ordinary soldier and the N.C.O. is also deserving of higher education. I believe there should be large-scale vocational education within the Army so that men would be equipped to take up positions on leaving the Army. Education, too, would be valuable from the point [1024] of view of those who emigrate. Those who have emigrated in the past suffered from a lack of education. Such education would enhance the position of our people who go abroad and bring prestige to the country.

Deputy Blowick spoke about a helicopter service. We have an excellent lifeboat service along the east coast and a reasonably good one on the south coast. But the position is very bad on the west coast generally. The people along the west coast could do a good deal to get a lifeboat service, if they want one. The Department of Defence and the Minister are blamed when accidents happen. Listening to some of the speakers, one would imagine an accident never happened before and that nobody was ever drowned before. I can remember numerous drownings in the sea, in rivers and in lakes. The people who left Clare Island should have taken some precautions that night. The boat was overloaded, and, if people take these risks, then the blame cannot be laid at the door of the Department of Defence. The Minister should not be castigated for his failure to work miracles. He could not know that these people were leaving Clare Island under such conditions. To have a helicopter overhead when a man falls into the sea is not possible. While I would like to see the country able to afford more helicopters, I think we must be realistic in the present situation. We have an excellent lifeboat service along the east coast. If public representatives and other interests on the west coast wanted it, I believe they could have a lifeboat stationed at some central point.

It is farcical to blame everybody when something happens. It reminds me of an old story about a sailor who was pulled out of the sea by a landman. This kindly man brought him to his house and revived him. The following morning he said to the sailor: “I suppose you will never go to sea again.” The sailor said: “I will never do another turn of work until I go to sea again.” The poor man who pulled him out asked him where his father had died. The sailor said: “My father and grandfather were drowned at sea.”[1025] The man then put the question: “Is that not a warning that you should never go to sea again?” Then the sailor asked: “Where did your father die?” The kindly man replied: “My father and my grandfather died in bed.” The sailor said: “I do not think you should go to bed again.”

Mr. Manley:  In general the people of this country have become quite conscious of the desirability of a small, well equipped and trained regular force. They do not hesitate or grumble about contributing in a reasonable way towards the maintenance of such a force. We have such a force now in our National Army. We are proud of that Army. We know it is quite efficient and can measure up to modern standards.

The Army was established in this country at a time of great confusion. It was built up during the Civil War. It is a tribute to the men who guided the destiny of the Army down the years that, in spite of all the political upheavals, the Army maintained its independence, its objectivity and its loyalty. As Deputy MacEoin said last night, any Government that came in to replace another got the same spirit of service and loyalty from the Army. That is what we should expect and what we would like to see maintained. I hope that spirit endures.

Recently I heard very caustic comment about retirals and promotions in the Army. I do not know how justified that comment was and I cannot go into the merits here. But in all sincerity I appeal to the Minister to be guided by the principles of seniority and priority if he wants to retain the confidence and loyalty of the forces over which he has charge.

In former days the personnel of the Army was provided by men who went into it from purely national motives, actuated by national ideals. That was the spirit of the Army at its establishment and that was the spirit of the Army during the emergency. In peace time I doubt if we can maintain the same morale, patriotic outlook and spirit in the Army as we had in the past. I think that no one goes into the Army in peace time except those [1026] who find that other jobs are closed to them. They only go into the Army as a last resort.

Singularly enough—I may be wrong in this—I think the recruiting campaign is always launched at a time when we have high unemployment. That may be a good thing from the material point of view but I doubt very much if it is a good thing from the point of view of getting the right type of recruit. Perhaps, through lessons and lectures in history while in the Army, the recruit may be taught to have pride in the vocation he has taken up and may be converted from being merely a casual soldier to being a soldier believing he is serving his country and in a position to serve it well.

This Estimate of £6,208,560 is really a rather staggering sum. Let us go back 36 years and realise that in those days with a mere volunteer force the Irish people won their independence. There was no charge on the nation. It was a question of personal sacrifice, and these people even subscribed out of their own meagre means. It is rather ironical to find now that to maintain this freedom we have to spend £6,208,560.

I should like to ask the Minister is this judicious expenditure at a time of high unemployment, at a time of emigration and of general economic depression? I can see no reason why he would not save £1,000,000 on the very Estimates before him without reducing the personnel of the Army or impairing its efficiency. A million pounds saved and converted to some form of national development would give wonderful relief in this country at present, even if the saving on the Army were converted to rehabilitating some of the men who helped to establish the freedom of this country and who to-day find themselves in distress, penury and poor health.

Deputy Casey mentioned the sum spent on the Reserve Forces in the coming year. While the numbers seem big, I am told that the attendances of members of these forces in various places is not very edifying. That is the way always with voluntary forces of that kind. Nevertheless, it takes [1027] quite a sum of money to maintain that force. For the transport of troops there is a sum of £57,981; mechanical transport, £86,788; petrol and oils, £85,000, making a total of almost £250,000.

In peace time, it is not easy to maintain an Army up to standard because of the inactivity. Soldiers cannot be all day marching around the barrack square, forming fours, and there is not sufficient activity to attract men into the Army at this period.

I personally believe that the Army in peace time is big enough without further recruitment. I remember, and I am sure Deputy Moher remembers, when the British occupied this country the army of occupation used to march regularly from Cork to Kilworth, a distance of almost 30 miles. Our soldiers to-day do not cross the street unless there is mechanical transport under them. I have heard very trenchant remarks made on that fact around Cork City. When the Army goes out to train its drivers, one Army truck will not do; they must have several. I do not see for what. I do not think it is right to ask the taxpayer to pay for that type of joy-ride. I am the last to cast any aspersions on the Army but there is that tendency nowadays. What is everyone's business is nobody's business and when transport is provided by the taxpayer the individuals in charge of that transport do not take the same care or give it the same attention as they would if it were their own private transport.

In peace time, also, the Army could be associated with national activities of other kinds. We were all horrified last week to read of the disastrous fires in the forests in Leinster when 100,000 trees were destroyed. I put this suggestion to the Minister and I think it is a practical one, that the Army cycling corps should act as wardens of these forests particularly during the summer months. If two of these cyclists went into every forest area and stayed in that area—they could still be paid by the Army and get their subsistence allowance and at the same time get a little contribution from the forestry branch—to maintain vigilance over the [1028] forests, which are such a national asset and which would safeguard against their being destroyed by thoughtless people during the dry summer months, that is one way in which some of the Army personnel could be used to bigger national advantage in peace time.

The military police could help the Garda sometimes, especially in the cities and congested areas, in the detection of crime and could co-operate with them so that there would be greater opportunity for capturing culprits at a time when crime is becoming so prevalent in this island of saints and scholars. It would help to promote in these men the conviction that, besides helping the Army, they could do useful work in other Departments of State.

Captain Giles:  As an Army man, I, also, would like to pay tribute to the Army of the last 30 or 35 years. The Army deserves the confidence of the nation and has got that, because the Army was established at a very critical time and had very critical work to do. The political situation at the time was fairly dangerous and explosive. Nevertheless, with each succeeding change of Government, the Army remained loyal to tradition and served every Government loyally, faithfully and well. That is something we should appreciate. If our Army had failed us in the hour of danger all would have been over with the nation, but the Army never failed us.

We are at the end of an epoch and starting a new epoch. The old traditional soldiers of the I.R.A. are passing out and we will have a new type of Army manned, more or less, by career men. At present a man makes a career of the Army and would not serve very long if he did not get his commission and did not know the length of service and what he would get on leaving the Army. Originally, those who joined the Army came in response to the call to national service. I never wanted to be a soldier and I answered the call and soldiered when I was needed and then left the Army to pursue my career. I should like the Minister to see that the Army fosters a spirit of patriotism, that it [1029] will not be a career Army, but will inculcate a spirit of national service. We want an Army in which we can have full confidence and we can have that if the Army is treated as it should be treated.

I agree with Deputy Manley that there can be great economies in the Army. £6,000,000 or £7,000,000 is too much to spend on a peacetime Army. There should be a very small foundation Army of about 5,000 or 6,000 as a nucleus which could be expanded in an emergency. Now that the British army of occupation has gone from the Twenty-Six Counties, I think there are too many outposts, barracks all over the country, which represent a burden on the taxpayers. The number of barracks should be reduced to four or five. There could be one in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Athlone and, perhaps, one in Dundalk. The Curragh Camp should be sold out and the land should be divided. Officers and men hate to go to the Curragh Camp. It is a most dismal place.

General MacEoin:  Shame. There is not a word of truth in that.

Captain Giles:  In the old days, the soldiers stationed there would go to Hell to get out of it. The Curragh should be sold and the land should be utilised for the production of food.

General MacEoin:  The Racing Board have it.

Captain Giles:  There are far too many barracks and their upkeep is too costly. We are not getting full value for the millions spent since 1922. If that money had been spent on developing the country we would not be in the economic position in which we are to-day. It may be good insurance to have 7,000 men standing idle while they are paid and fed but the return to the nation is very small.

Not sufficient attention is being given to the F.C.A., the members of which give their services free, gratis and for nothing. In every parish there should be 30 or 40 men in the F.C.A. but there is nobody trying to work up sufficient spirit to attract them. In every parish there are eight or ten decent men who will make the sacrifice [1030] but there may be 30 others who would come in if they were encouraged. Nobody is making an effort to encourage them. Every young man should be equipped in case of national danger to serve with a rifle or in the transport sections or in some other service. There are too many young men fighting shy of giving voluntary service, which shows a very poor spirit in a country of such tradition in soldiering. I would ask the Government to make every effort to get full service out of every young man from the age of 16 to 25 who should be proud to do something for his country. If that were so, there would not be two or three armies in the country. A spirit of national service should be inculcated in the young people and the F.C.A. should be made the foundation of national service. In that way, a great deal would be done to prevent the trouble, turmoil and internal revolt. There is no effort being made to do that.

The F.C.A. should be provided with a better type of uniform. The men hate to appear in public in the uniforms with which they are at present provided. They should be properly fitted out and there is no reason why they should not be when they are giving voluntary service. When we do recruit an Army, we should see to it that there is a future for that Army and that the men know where they stand. Since the Army was first established, there has been the problem of the demobbed soldier. I move to report progress.

Progress reported; Committee to sit again.

Question proposed: “That Section 3, as amended, stand part of the Bill”.

Mr. McGilligan:  I have described Section 3 already as the pivotal section and would like to be quite sure of the interpretation of it. The first sub-section is merely a definition of the expression “Stock Exchange”, being two bodies, the Dublin Stock Exchange and the Cork Stock Exchange. The [1031] second sub-section gives the essential conditions for a company to be an excluded company. The first is that it is a public company limited by shares and is an Irish company. I wanted to ask the Minister what is the meaning of saying it is an “Irish company” if it is merely—if we are to take the definition—registered in the State, under the Act of 1908 or some other Act. That will be a simple matter. Being a public company limited by shares, a guarantee is offered. I do not know why that should be so.

“Its Memorandum of Association and every Prospectus issued by it after the passing of this Act provide that the carrying on of a manufacturing process in relation to a commodity intended for export is a principal object”. What does that mean, I wonder? When company Memoranda of Association are drawn up they will set out the objects and the ordinary company will have 20 or 30 objects, sub-paragraphs in the object clause but the early one will be in regard to whatever is the manufacturing process carried on. If the company is formed for the manufacture of boots and shoes, it will say its object is to manufacture boots and shoes. Later the sub-paragraphs will deal with money and borrowing powers and then it will go on down to deal with questions of transport and power to acquire steamers and all types of things. These are put in because the articles may later be against the company if it tries to do something ultra vires its own objects.

I look at this phrase: “is a principal object.” There is never anything that can be really described as a principal object. There was once a certain school of thought that looked to the early clauses to see what was the dominant clause, as it is called, and all others were read as subsidiary or incidental to that. But the draftsman of company articles has long since forgotten that and it is entirely according to the will of the subscribers to the company how they will make their articles. Phrases used in one of the recognised books on the subject speak of company articles and says they may be “reasonable or unreasonable”; [1032] they may be “congruous or incongruous”, “wise or ridiculous”; they may be “specific or general”, and it is entirely inside the control of those who subscribe as to what they are going to be.

I am advised that if the company articles include in the objects clause one clause which says that the commodity to be manufactured is intended to be exported it will satisfy this condition. I do not know if that is intended but it would appear to be the manner in which it might well be dealt with.

At one time there was supposed to be a certain dominant or main clause and the others were taken as incidental or subsidiary to the earlier ones, but the application of what was called the prior object rule is taken with great caution by the courts which have rather set their face against it. However, if it was thought there would be some tendency after this to return to the primary object clause rule it could be avoided by putting in an independent clause with no relation to the other, saying “without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing...” and then go on to give a few specific clauses. What is aimed at here is export, and export, I suggest, in the ordinary run of things, could not be made the main clause, or the dominant clause, in the objects, because that would be whatever the process is, if it is the manufacture of shoes or the fabrication of steel goods or whatever business it will carry on. That will be the first object and will count as among the principal clauses.

One can put in very easily—as I said on the Second Reading, it would be an instruction to every draftsman of company articles—an export clause. That would, so to speak, make exporting one of the objects and so far as I can gather that satisfies the condition here. Personally, that is the way I would like it to be.

The other question is that 50 per cent. of the shares issued are to be made available to Irish citizens. I want to ask the Minister about this. It is an easy matter to have an issue made and to have it closed inside ten minutes if arrangements are made to have the shares taken, if, so to speak, [1033] the issue is arranged. That would not give any opportunity, but it could be claimed that it had been issued for public subscription in the State even though the list might close inside a very brief period. Apparently on the argument we already had that is to be handled by the Stock Exchange and that is the matter to which I object.

If the provisions here in regard to the excluding of companies means a liberalising, I welcome them. It would mean that nearly any company could fit in under such a provision if it simply provides an export clause among its object clauses.

I gather the Minister is inclined to accept the company if the Stock Exchange does and that it meets the two points (a) that it has issued shares in a bona fide way, and (b) that it has got a quotation. If it has got a quotation it does not matter what happens afterwards. If this is a liberalising provision in the Bill it is welcome and is, in fact, the only liberalisation in it.

Mr. S. Lemass:  To understand the section one must keep in mind what we are trying to do in this Bill. First of all, we want to remove restrictions upon the establishment of manufacturing businesses here to the maximum extent possible, while having regard to the obligations we have to companies already existing here had to the assurances of the continuation of the form of protection which the existing Control of Manufactures Act represents and to specific undertakings in that regard which were given in many instances in the past.

Secondly, we want to be sure that any new industrial firms established will add to the industrial organisation of the country. Nobody wants to facilitate—there is no reason why we should—the establishment of a company intending solely to supply the home market with commodities with which the home market is already fully supplied by existing companies. Therefore, we must keep in the picture the idea of new manufacturing processes or export trade. I recognise that this section introduces a certain element of risk that we may not achieve all these objectives, that a company may be [1034] established and commence manufacturing under the provisions of this section and may not do an export trade or produce a new type of product except under Section 2; it may indeed merely intensity competition on the home market with existing firms already supplying that market. It is a risk we can take subject to reasonable efforts to minimise it.

It will be understood that any foreign-owned company now can engage in manufacturing operations here provided it gets a licence but our experience has been that certain companies are reluctant to seek a licence, to submit their plans to the examination of departmental officials which is necessarily involved in the granting of a licence. Such companies if they have a choice of establishing their factories in other countries or in other areas where that condition does not apply will probably elect to go elsewhere if other conditions are similar. We want to get it understood that there are procedures by which external companies can get into manufacturing business here without seeking approval from the Department of Industry and Commerce or without requiring any formal permission to do so.

In this case we are dealing with the type of company that finances its operations by means of a public issue of shares. We are therefore thinking of rather large concerns which operate on capital subscribed by the public. Indeed, arising out of the discussion we had before the break it is, I think, recognised that the Stock Exchange Committee would not give a quotation for any class of shares unless there is a sufficient number issued to create a market. Therefore, only fairly large sized companies can hope to qualify under this section to the extent of getting a quotation for their shares on the Stock Exchange.

It is therefore possible for us to contemplate that a company of that kind going to the public for capital will be a reputable company and will not set out in its prospectus any intention which it does not genuinely mean to fulfil. If, therefore, they say in the prospectus when they are seeking subscriptions [1035] of capital by the public that it is their intention to engage in export trade, that is at least some assurance that they will do so because these reputable companies of large size are not likely to seek subscriptions from the public on any basis of false pretences. In that way we have a safeguard in having it proclaimed that it is a principal object of theirs to seek to develop an export trade, and we can assume they will genuinely try to do so.

We recognise that some companies formed with that perfectly genuine intention of seeking export trade may, in fact, fail to get it and will seek remuneration for their capital by selling their products in the home market in competition with existing concerns, but that is a risk we can take, particularly when the other provisions of the section are borne in mind. That requirement in paragraph (c) of the section, therefore, relates more to the terms of a prospectus in connection with a share issue than the provisions of the Memorandum of Association. It is common knowledge that most companies draw their Memoranda of Association in very wide terms and cover everything they might possibly do under any conceivable circumstances. But what we are aiming to provide is that the company when seeking capital by a public issue of shares will proclaim in its prospectus that export trade is tis intention. We believe that the companies that would be large enough to get capital in that way and qualify for the Stock Exchange quotation would not lightly default on a contract of that kind entered into with the subscribers of their capital.

As I said before, we have in this Bill tried to exclude as many developments as possible from the Control of Manufactures Act altogether, to create in relation to them the situation where people can engage in manufacturing operations without any reference to the Government or any Department of the Government. We have done that by providing for the possibility of exclusion of certain commodities from the scope of the Control of Manufactures Act entirely. We have done so [1036] by excluding companies which are engaged solely or almost solely in export trade and we are doing so in this section also by this provision, by which the larger companies which offer shares to the Irish public, and offer them in a bona fide way, will also be excluded. If we could go further I would be prepared to do so without going so far as to default upon the important obligations which we have acquired under the existing Act or involving the breach of undertakings given in specific instances to individual companies.

The aim is to liberalise the legislation while at the same time safeguarding the position in regard to these obligations and in this provision, although it is clear that some risk has been taken, nevertheless I think we can afford to take that risk. I believe also that the provision in paragraph (c) to which Deputy Mcgilligan referred is a safeguard. Admittedly it is not a safeguard that can be secured by any legal sanction but it is a safeguard having regard to the type of company that is likely to avail of this section.

Mr. McGilligan:  Three phrases have fallen from the Minister's lips. One is “a reputable firm;” the second is in relation to a company that would “default” on these obligations under this provision; and the third has something to do with dishonesty or “false pretences”. These words are incongruous in respect of this section. All that is required is that the memorandum says: “Amongst our objects is to export a commodity.”

Mr. S. Lemass:  And every prospectus issued by it.

Mr. McGilligan:  All it has to say is that that is a principal object. In other words, it is one of the intentions of the company. If the Minister will look at the ordinary object clauses drafted, say, by a boot manufacturing company he will see that they start off by saying that the objects of the company are: (1) the manufacture of boots; (2) the manufacture of shoes; (3) the manufacture of slippers, sandals, and so on. After that the memorandum will wander off into such [1037] things as the power to acquire railways, sidings, wharves and boats, and power to use these for the purpose of bringing in the raw materials or sending out the finished products. That is all that is required in relation to this provision. There is no question of false pretences as long as somewhere or other this stipulation is one of the object clauses, that it is intended to engage in the export trade. There should be no talk about false pretences or about what reputable firms will do. They are entitled to become an excluded company by that simple process.

Later in Section 4 you have reference as to what a company intends to do amongst its many intentions. The sales on the home market are incidental and, taking one year with another, are not more than 10 per cent. of the total output. As far as Section 3 is concerned, all the company is doing is expressing itself as manufacturing for export. There can be no question arising with a company afterwards if it fails to export and if it sells its products here in competition with other manufacturers.

Mr. S. Lemass:  That is quite right, but it must issue a prospectus in which it states that its principal object is the conduct of an export trade.

Mr. McGilligan:  What they say is that they are prepared to export. They say that if they can get an export market they will take it.

Mr. S. Lemass:  They must say that export is a principal object.

Mr. McGilligan:  No, they say that it is one of the principal objects—not the principal object—one of many objects. What you propose to do it what matters. What you do afterwards is subordinate. A firm complies with this section if it says in a memorandum or prospectus that it is going to do various things and it will export, if it can. If I am right in that interpretation I regard this as a liberalising clause and I welcome it.

Mr. S. Lemass:  The Stock Exchange must say that its shares have been offered to Irish citizens.

[1038]Mr. McGilligan:  The Stock Exchange has nothing to do with paragraph (c). They have nothing to say as to whether the provision about export is bona fide or a phoney. They say whether the shares have been offered to Irish citizens but they have nothing whatever to do with paragraph (c). That is a matter for the company itself and there should be no talk afterwards of a company which puts in that in its prospectus or memorandum and which does not intend to export. Such a company will take an export market if it can get it.

Mr. M.J. O'Higgins:  With regard to what the Minister and Deputy McGilligan have been saying in connection with paragraph (c), is it not the position that if the export clause is contained in the memorandum as one of the principal objects, even if there are 99 other principal objects, the proposed company could set out the entire 100 objects as principal objects provided that they include the export object?

Mr. S. Lemass:  Provided that it states in the prospectus that export is the principal object.

Mr. M.J. O'Higgins:  then the principal objects are one to 100, including export.

Mr. S. Lemass:  I am going on the assumption that we will be dealing here with large firms. This section does not deal with the usual kind of industrial concern which we have at the moment. The great majority of Irish manufacturing companies are not financed in this way at all. We are dealing, in this section, with companies and manufacturers who finance their operations by the issue of shares for public subscription and these companies must have a clause in any prospectus they issue setting out that one of their principal objects is the export market. It is a fairly safe bet that no company of that kind will be established or will receive subscriptions of capital from the public on the assertion that it intends to export without having that intention. There may be a company formed under this legislation which genuinely intends to export but which fails to do so and will then be [1039] confined to the home market. That may be a risk to some existing Irish enterprises but that is a risk we have got to take. We do not require now, as was required in the 1934 Act, that the majority of the shares should be held by Irish citizens but we do require that they must have been offered for subscription to Irish citizens. If Irish citizens do not take up these shares the company is still entitled to engage in manufacturing operations in this country.

Mr. M.J. O'Higgins:  The Minister is dealing with the matter on the assumption that the company is going to play up in its prospectus the fact that one of its principal objects is to export. I think I am right in saying that, equally under paragraph (c), a company may play it down if it wants to and still come within the section.

Mr. S. Lemass:  A company must state in its prospectus that the intention to export is one of its principal objects. I had given some thought to putting in an export condition but such a condition would become impracticable without having very stringent powers to enforce it and in the end I thought it better to leave the section in its present form without trying to impose any other restriction.

Mr. McGilligan:  I want to repeat again that the Stock Exchange has nothing to do with paragraph (c).

Question put and agreed to.


Mr. McGilligan:  I move amendment No. 14:—

In page 4, line 25, to delete “solely”.

I have referred already to the use of this word “solely” which I think is an unsuitable and indefensible word. The Minister has since changed that by sub-section (2) of the section and has gone on to say that taking one year with another the output which should be sold on the home market should not be more than 10 per cent. Ten per cent. is a very small proportion to [1040] make a distinction between a home and an export trade.

One can conceive of quite a number of businesses wherein the most suitable way in which they could develop would be to sell a considerable part of the product in the home market and sell the rest abroad. If they brought in capital and were giving employment I do not see any reason why they should be precluded from doing business here on foreign capital if, as my amendment would have it, half the product was sold abroad. I am glad the word “soley” has gone. It was indefensible. I do not know how it came to be kept in here. I suggest that my amendment should be accepted and that 50 per cent. should be the division rather than 10 per cent. and 90 per cent. The 10 per cent. would be very restrictive. Admittedly, it moves a little bit away from the word “solely” because that would mean the company was taken away from the control of Section 4 if even 1 per cent. of the product were sold at home. Ten per cent. is restrictive and I suggest there should be some better division. Perhaps the 50 per cent. is too large.

Mr. S. Lemass:  I think the Deputy misunderstands the section to some extent. A company coming in to do some process not done at the moment, or only to an inadequate extent, will of course be welcomed and facilitated in every way and given any permission, or licence, or certificate required to enable it to get into operation. We are dealing now with companies which will be allowed to operate without any licence or certificate, without being under any obligation to come near the Department of Industry and Commerce or any other Department.

What companies are we prepared to allow to work in that way, manufacturing commodities that are already made here by existing concerns which are supplying the whole of the home market? That is the question that arises. We are concerned here with companies that are doing something that is already done which, in relation to the requirements of the home market, can add nothing to our industrial organisation and can succeed only [1041] by putting some other company out of business. We say that these companies can nevertheless start operating here without a licence, or permission, or authority, provided they are financed in the way set out in Section 3 or provided that they the concerned mainly, or almost entirely, with the export market. It is true to say that the growth of an export trade in industrial goods comes in the normal way as an extension of the activities of a firm set up to supply the immediate market. Here, we are dealing with firms producing commodities in respect of which the home market is already fully supplied: we say to them that they are free to come in here and manufacture for export and we have modified the conditions of manufacturing solely for export to meet what will be the obvious problems of some of these firms. A firm manufacturing goods for export may have some portion of its product of secondary quality which it would not like to ship to an export market at all and which it is prepared to dispose of at cut price in the home market; or it may have a consignment prepared for some particular export market and find it is unable to deliver because of some governmental restriction, or other difficulty, or the financial default of the customer and have to dispose of the product elsewhere. Firms in the fashion trade which find at the end of the season that they have on hands good prepared to meet the fashion requirements of the season are in the some position; they will have to get rid to those goods before manufacture for the next season begins.

In the normal experience that type of product has to be disposed of as best it can. It would not usually exceed 10 per cent. of the firm's production. It would be a badly managed firm if it did exceed 10 per cent. Even there, we are not making the 10 per cent. very rigid. The sub-section requires that, taking one year with another, it should not average more than 10 per cent. If it wants to do more of its trade on the home market, then it has to come in under another provision of the Bill and, in the ordinary way, it would not get a certificate or licence to manufacture here unless it was adding something to the country's [1042] industrialisation. If it is merely coming in to cater for an already fully supplied market, it will not be permitted to enter unless it is an Irish company qualified to engage in any operation under the original Control of Manufactures Act.

Mr. McGilligan:  The Minister says that if one does not qualify under this then one can come in under some other provision. I understood the object of the Bill was to induce foreign capital in here.

Mr. S. Lemass:  To induce foreign capital into manufacturing operations which will extend the country's industrialisation.

Mr. McGilligan:  To do all that! The Minister talks these learned things, but they do not mean very much.

Mr. S. Lemass:  I will spell out the individual commodities if the Deputy likes.

Mr. McGilligan:  Not so many years ago the Minister said there was a scheme for the investment of £100,000,000. That is all forgotten now. We have not sufficient capital for industrial development. That is the latest phase. This is one way out of that position. It is certainly one way in which to preclude foreign capital coming in here. The one way in which to preclude foreign capital is to have industrialists going a begging to State Departments. They just will not do that. It was decided, therefore, to introduce this measure in which there are two or three liberalising clauses to enable people, without bothering the Department of Industry and Commerce, to come in here provided they comply with certain conditions, and to manufacture here. Amongst these conditions is that governing a company which carried on business solely for export.

As I have already pointed out, that was an indefensible phrase and that has now been modified by saying that it does not mean “solely.” It means not more than 10 per cent., taking one year with another. If there is a company that manufactures and finds it cannot do business and really has to [1043] sell about 15 per cent. on the home market, what then? That may be the only way in which to build up the business. The Minister says that company can come to the Department. But a manufacturer will not come to the Department. The whole object is to get people out of the habit or the necessity of going to the Department. The object was to get rid of these controls and any suspicion of favouritism. In order to get away from that, the company must comply with Section 3 or else it must manufacture and carry on its business solely for export, and that is defined as 10 per cent. of sales being home sales. If the company cannot comply with that, rather than go to the Minister for sanction, it will surely resort to Section 3. It will issue a prospectus and say it will do export if it can. There, they are no longer tied to what they do; it is only to what they say they intend to do.

They can easily comply with the first condition and the second and, if the Stock Exchange is prepared to quote, they will find it easy to comply with that condition. Yet, the Minister thinks it is a further enlargement to say that, if they do business in such a way that their home sales are only 10 per cent. of their product, they will qualify and they need not go near the Department. Then he says that, if they find that difficult, they can come back to the Department. The only valuable part of the Bill was that part attempting to get away from departmental control.

Mr. S. Lemass:  If a foreign firm comes into me to-morrow and says it is anxious to engage in the manufacture of boots and shoes for the Irish market, I shall tell the firm we do not want them; we have enough firms already established under existing law for that purpose, many of them doing an export trade. If, however, that firm comes into manufacture boots and shoes for export only, or intend to finance themselves under the provisions set out in Section 3, or intend to manufacture some excepted commodity under Section 2, then, of course, they will not have to come near [1044] the Department. We are talking of a foreign firm which wants to come in to supply the home market with a commodity with which it is already fully supplied; any such proposal must be subject to consideration and sanction by the Minister in charge of the Department of Industry and Commerce.

Mr. McGilligan:  Let me take an example. A company wants to come in here to manufacture boots and shoes. Under Section 3 all it has to do it to put among its object clauses “to export the products.”

Mr. S. Lemass:  It has to comply with all the provisions of Section 3. I regard that as a desirable development. One of the weaknesses here is that companies do not seek to finance themselves sufficiently by public share issues.

Mr. McGilligan:  A company comes into an already overstocked market as far as the manufacture of boots and shoes is concerned. They establish a big firm. They put among their object clauses “to export the product.” They manufacture here and do not export 1 per cent. Still they are a qualified company under Section 3. The Minister would regard that as a desirable development? I am glad to here it.

Mr. Russell:  I do not see how the Minister can possibly keep to a figure of 10 per cent. The original intent was that the product was to be sold entirely for export. You must allow a company to produce mainly for export, which I would take to mean over 50 per cent. I would regard that as a desirable procedure. I agree with Deputy McGilligan, even taking the Minister's own example. Suppose you get a firm manufacturing boots and shoes and assured of an export market. It is a better propsition than a company not prepared to look for an export market.

Mr. S. Lemass:  There are nine separate conditions set out in Section 4. If a company complies with any one of these, it can engage in manufacturing operations here. This is only one of them. We say that [1045] any company coming in to manufacture for export only is free of all controls. If it does not want to manufacture for export only, it comes within the other sections. It is not prevented from manufacturing.

This idea of exempting companies engaged in manufacture for export only is merely common sense. It is incidental to the Bill and not the main provision of the Bill. A company that conforms with any of these nine conditions is in a position to engage in manufacturing operations.

Mr. Russell:  There is this difference. Under sub-section (a) a company does not have to go near the Department. That is very important. Otherwise, they have got to go through the procedure under Section 3 and Section 5. That is why I say I do not quite see how you are going to arrange for a figure of 10 per cent. Ten per cent. of a company's production might flood the home market.

Mr. S. Lemass:  Why make the 10 per cent. larger?

Mr. Russell:  To my mind, the 10 per cent. is impracticable.

Mr. S. Lemass:  There are a number of companies already established in this country doing export only.

Mr. Russell:  I, personally, would favour letting in efficient companies that would be prepared to export mainly.

Mr. S. Lemass:  I am in favour of that, too. In these cases where they want to sell in the home market a higher proportion of their product—a commodity with which the home market is already fully supplied—I think the Department of Industry and Commerce is entitled to have a look at their intentions and decide whether they are to be approved of or not.

Mr. Russell:  I agree with Deputy McGilligan. I doubt if you can get around it.

Mr. S. Lemass:  We will get around that through paragraph (c), for example, where we give a company a [1046] certificate of exemption, having approved its proposals.

Mr. Russell:  I think they can beat you under Section 3 and Section 5.

Mr. S. Lemass:  The Deputy should not exaggerate the importance of Section 3. There are very few companies in this country established by the subscription of capital by the public on an issue of shares to the public. Even Irish companies which have a stock market quotation for their shares now did not start in that way. The issue of shares came at a later stage. There are not very many companies which, without the public having any previous experience of them, without having any balance sheet to show or any profit to record, can get money from the public on a pubic issue. I do not think there will be very many companies that will avail of the provisions of Section 3. I am not putting it forward as a broad road by which new companies can be established. No Irish company has attempted a public issue for two or three years.

Mr. Russell:  This is the document to encourage foreign firms to invest in the country. May be I am wrong in my interpretation but I think the Minister is encouraging new loopholes with Section 3 and Section 5.

Mr. S. Lemass:  It is perfectly true that I am creating loopholes. We are moving away from the 1934 position. We are opening new roads by which extra capital can be invested in Irish industrial development.

Mr. Russell:  I would like to see that under Sections 3, 4 and 5 a company would not get a licence unless it was prepared to manufacture a majority of its products for export.

Mr. S. Lemass:  I think that is the main effect of the Bill, and it is under Section 5 particularly that the powers are being given.

Mr. McGilligan:  I understood from Deputy Russell that this was the bait for foreign investment. I did not think that Section 5, which drives a man to the Department if he does not satisfy [1047] a Minister, is such. That is the thing we have found people just will not do.

Mr. S. Lemass:  I have not found it.

Mr. McGilligan:  The Minister has shut his eyes to the amount of foreign capital turned out by the fact that the people had to become obedient to members of the Government. They only part I regarded as of any value were Section 3 and 4—Section 4, mainly, because it precludes Section 3 and, apart from saying that people wanted to export, says that if people did export a substantial amount, they could free themselves from governmental control.

Now we are told that Section 5 is the important Section. I would not like to have this piece of legislation sent to Count McCormack and tell him he is to boost Section 5, if we wish to get American capital in here. The good clauses in this are the ones that get away from this sort of departmental control. They are Section 3 in its entirety and Section 4 in its early paragraphs. I want to point out once more that what is required under Section 3 is not actual export but a statement that the object is export.

Mr. Booth:  I would like the Minister to tell me if the believes that the type of industry he is trying to attract would be seriously engaged in the Irish home market? That is under (a).

Mr. S. Lemass:  No.

Mr. Booth:  For that reason it appears to me that the word “solely” is scarcely necessary. If we are going to attract that investment, that sort of firm will not be seriously competing in the home market and any restriction such as that would be most discouraging to a foreign investor.

Mr. S. Lemass:  I am trying to make this clear, that sub-section (a) lets in a company manufacturing some commodity in this country in circumstances where it would not be let in as a foreign company because of the present position of industrial development here, but where we will let it in is to do export. I am thinking of Irish goods as boots and shoes. We have enough companies in the country to [1048] provide all the requirement of the home market in those goods. We would not let in a new foreign firm unless it is prepared to do export mainly. That is the only reason why we would want it and if it is prepared to do export solely it can come in without any permission or licence.

Mr. Booth:  I see what the Minister is driving at. At the same time, an industrialist does not like his market to be limited and circumstances can easily arise where he would have to unload his products on the home market to some extent.

Mr. S. Lemass:  We have covered that by another sub-section.

Mr. Booth:  I should feel happier if the section said “if such company carries on business solely for export” or “if the majority of the trade went for export” but to say “solely for export” and then to say later that it means 90 per cent.—in sub-section (2) —appears to be clumsy and will give rise to misunderstanding. The average foreign industrialist will say that it is not worth while, that he is taking the risk of manufacturing in Ireland and will want to have some chance.

Mr. S. Lemass:  That section, as I have repeated, relates to foreign companies manufacturing commodities which we do not want in here except they are doing it solely for export. Is that clear? We do not want them here unless they are manufacturing solely for export.

Mr. Booth:  I cannot see that there in any danger of their coming to take the Irish market because it is so small. Any company that it would be worth while having, I would hope it would be far too big to supply the Irish home market, and, if it is far too big to do it, it is going to manufacture mainly for export and that has much more chance of attracting investment. But, if this is mainly for the protection of the home industry, which I think is largely unnecessary, we are back to the Control of Manufactures Act and not to the encouragement of foreign investors.

[1049]Mr. Russell:  When the Minister was introducing the Bill, he said—I quote from Volume 165, No. 4, column 533:—

“As we see the national need of the present time, there is justification for encouraging and facilitating external participation in the development of Irish industrial possibilities where these possibilities offer a prospect of securing development of the export trade.”

Then he goes on to say:—

“... one of the main reasons for preparing and introducing a Bill to amend the Control of Manufactures Act is to advertise as widely as possible that foreign investment in industrial development involving export trade is welcomed and will be facilitated.”

There is no question of percentages, 90 or ten or “solely”.

Mr. S. Lemass:  If a company wants to come inhere to do export trade and to supply the home market as well, it can seek a certificate of exemption under Section 5. That is clear? That is the scheme in the Bill. A company that wants to do both export and home market sales in relation to a commodity that is not an excepted commodity has to get a certificate of exemption and must come to the Department to get it. But we say to him, if you are only doing export, you do not have to come near the Department, you can go ahead and do it without question but, if you want to do both home and export trade, then you have to come to the Department to seek the certificate. That is why I say that Section 5 is the section most likely to be availed of under this Bill.

Mr. Russell:  I see the point, but I do agree with Deputy Booth that the less figures you have in the Bill, and the less reference to 90 per cent. and 20 per cent. and “solely” the better, because we may exaggerate the importance of the home market. A worth-while concern coming in here to export would certainly export that vast majority of its product.

Mr. S. Lemass:  There is a number [1050] of firms already that have got licences under the Control of Manufactures Act as it stands—to do export only.

Mr. Russell:  I know.

Mr. S. Lemass:  Licences which require them to export only, and they were quite willing to accept those licences and engage in business on that basis.

Mr. Russell:  But this si a new drive to bring in outside capital.

Mr. S. Lemass:  We now say to these companies: “You will not need a licence. You can go ahead.”

Mr. Russell:  I should prefer to say: “If you want to manufacture mainly for export you do not require a licence.” Maybe that is too broad.

Mr. S. Lemass:  It is too broad.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendment No. 15 not moved.

Mr. McGilligan:  I move amendment No. 16:

In page 4, between line 26 and 27, to insert a new paragraph as follows:—

(c) such company is providing substantial employment.

I see the emphasis now turns entirely on export. I thought what we were aiming at was to get employment.

Mr. S. Lemass:  We are aiming at getting industrial expansion.

Mr. McGilligan:  Would the Minister refuse employment on some phrase that it did not aid industrial development?

Mr. S. Lemass:  I see no advantage in setting up a new facory in Doublin to employ 200 if it means that you are putting 200 out of employment in Cork.

Mr. McGilligan:  I have not said that.

Mr. S. Lemass:  that is what this amendment would do.

Mr. McGilligan:  That could be modified to say “substantial new employment” or anything like that. I [1051] thought what we were aiming at was to get people employed. It is the great need of the time, particularly at this time, to get people employed. I have no idea of enticing factories to come in here which will give employment at one place at the cost of disemployment in another place. I do not see that a little competition would do any harm now add again. We have been suffering for many years under these companies with high-prices, bonuses to high cost producers. That has been done through the whole tariff movement. When I heard all the talk about inducing people to come in here, I had thought that, while we did want exports in order to get currencies of different types and to help our balance of payments, one of the things that was certainly present to the mind of everybody with anything to do with public life was employment. Supposing a company was giving substantial new employment and was not bothering about exports, did not even say in its prospectus that it was going to export but gave substantial new employment, why should not that company be favoured and not have to go to the Department to get any sort of licence?

Mr. S. Lemass:  What the Deputy is proposing is that a new company could come into, say, the boot and shoe trade, which is already fully catered for as far as home market requirements are concerned, and is in fact producing a surplus for export, would have to comply with no condition except that its factory would give employment. Of course, it would give employment but only, if its sales are confined to the home market, by putting other workers out of employment. There is no net gain. Therefore, we have to assume, in so far as the effect of the measure is to extend the area of industrial activity, that employment will inevitably follow. The whole purpose of the industrial policy of the Government is to create employment. That is different from saying that the mere fact that a company will employ workers will exempt it from supervision or control of any kind even though it may be recognised that the employment which it gives will be at [1052] the expense of other workers elsewhere.

Mr. McGilligan:  That is one big difference between us. I think companies that give employment ought to be free from supervision. I certainly think that a company that gives substantial new employment ought to be entirely free from any control by the Department.

Mr. M.J. O'Higgins:  Would the Minister consider an amendment on these lines as suggested by Deputy McGilligan if it can be so worded as to be applicable to new employment? I see that Minister's argument that there is not a net gain if employment is given in one part of the country at the expense of people employed in another part of the country but it is possible to foresee a case where a company would come in add give substantial new employment. I do not feel capable of setting out the reasons why that might happen at the moment but I can see that it could happen without displacing those already in employment. In such a case as that, is it not worth while, having regard to the general position regarding unemployment in this country at the moment, to give specially favourable consideration to an idea of that sort? Can it be done under Section 4 at the moment unless an amendment such as is suggested is made?

Mr. S. Lemass:  Certainly, indeed. That would be surely the test that would be applied to the application of any company for a certificate or licence under the Bill. the insertion of an amendment such as this means that the company decides for itself without any control or supervision that it conforms to that test and, therefore, can get into any business.

Mr. M.J. O'Higgins:  Is not that the attraction of the amendment in so far as enticing companies to come in and give employment is concerned?

Mr. S. Lemass:  The Deputy said that he recognises the difficulty that a new company supplying some goods to the home market could only give employment by putting other workers [1053] out of employment. The effect of the amendment is that the company decides for itself whether it is going to have that effect or not. In present circumstances if it does indeed add to the industrial organisation of the country the company will be facilitated but the check as to whether it is going to do that rests with the Department of Industry and Commerce.

Mr. McGilligan:  Could it not do it by displaced imports?

Mr. S. Lemass:  If it does, it will be facilitated.

Mr. Sweetman:  My experience in meeting businessmen of that type is that once you say they must get a licence they reply: “No, we will not touch it.”

Mr. McGilligan:  Probably the Minister has never met any of those.

Mr. Russell:  Is the Minister leaving in that word?

Mr. S. Lemass:  I think the Deputy should read sub-section (2).

Mr. Russell:  Is the word going to stand?

Mr. S. Lemass:  Certainly, yes.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Mr. McGilligan:  I move amendment No. 17:—

In page 4, line 33, after “business” to add “or any manufacturing process which was or is in the ordinary course of such business or forms or formed part of such business or was or is a reasonable extension of such business.”

I do not know whether this is met by the construing of the two Acts together——

Mr. S. Lemass:  I think so.

Mr. McGilligan:  These are words that come from the earlier Acts. It may be that these are carried in by construing this together with the 1932 and 1934 Acts. I wonder would that apply? As the section runs it means that the business has to be carried on [1054] continuously between the 2nd July and the relevant time. Certainly the earlier section provided that you might have a continuing business even though it was not a company identical in operation with the business in operation on the 2nd July, 1934. It might be that these are all accepted——

Mr. S. Lemass:  The position is that under the existing Control of Manufactures Act, 1934, and under the Bill as it stands companies which were engaged in manufacturing operations in 1934 and which comply with the shareholding requirements of the Act of 1932 are not restricted as to the manufacturing processes which they may undertake. They are free to extend and manufacture any range of goods. In so far as these businesses are concerned, therefore, the amendment is unnecessary and indeed appears to be slightly more restrictive than the present position.

The effect of the two amendments taken together would be that a company which has carried on continuously since 1934 would be entitled to do what it is already doing or a reasonable extension of it, irrespective of the manner in which its shares are now held. I would dislike a provision of that kind in the Bill because it would seem to me that it would leave the way open to external firms which were refused a licence or a certificate to engage in manufacturing operations here and who would not qualify under any sections enabling them to carry on without such a certificate of exemption, nevertheless to get round the Acts by acquiring a controlling interest in a firm of that kind. That would be undesirable. I think we should try to create a situation in which we would know what is happening where foreign firms are coming in to engage in manufacturing operations here. We should be in a position where we can approve of them doing so if we consider them desirable, or, where there is any indication that they would not add to the industrial organisation of the country, to say that we do not require such concerns.

Mr. Sweetman:  Do I understand the Minister to say where a firm has been [1055] manufacturing soap, for instance, for the five years prior to 1934 and continuously up to the present day, that, irrespective of this Bill, that firm is entitled to manufacture chocolate tomorrow if it so wishes?

Mr. S. Lemass:  There is no five years' condition. If it was a firm which was engaged in manufacturing operations in July, 1934, and which complied with the shareholding requirements of the Act of 1932 it is in that position.

Mr. Sweetman:  So the five years has reference——

Mr. S. Lemass:  Any firm in existence in 1932 was entitled to remain in that business or any reasonable extension of that business——

Mr. McGilligan:  Or any part of it? It could drop bits?

Mr. S. Lemass:  Yes, certainly. But the 1932 Act prescribed certain conditions which had to be met by a new company and these were tightened up in 1934. Nevertheless, any company formed between 1932 and 1934 and complying with the conditions of the 1932 Act was entitled to engage in any manufacturing operation in the future without restriction.

Mr. McGilligan:  Surely that is a misreading. Those phrases come from the 1932 or the 1934 Act, one or the other. Am I to understand now that when this paragraph (e) comes to be interpreted there will be a strict regarding of the business and that it must be whatever business was carried on between the 2nd July, 1934, and the relevant time? Suppose some manufacturing processes have been dropped to the benefit of production and enabling the firm to do better business, would that mean it was not the same business? Would that mean the business has not been carried on continuously?

Mr. S. Lemass:  No.

Mr. McGilligan:  It certainly is not so from the other portions where you [1056] agree to the clause “any manufacturing process which was or is in the ordinary course of such business or formed part of such business, or was or is a reasonable extension of such business.” All these things were allowed before.

Before the Minister starts talking about shares, there is nothing about shares in this. That will come in under paragraph 2 and I am not interfering with that. When you look at the business itself to see if it carried on continuously, let us say it is not identical and that it dropped certain processes that were no good or made extensions in directions it considered profitable. It would still be the same business but if a company is not to be in a position to develop or extend you may collapse it by having too rigid an interpretation put on the Bill.

Mr. S. Lemass:  I think the Deputy's amendment to this Bill would do less for these companies than the existing position allows. The effect of the amendment is to restrict the freedom of any company which carried on continuously in the State since the 2nd July, 1934, and which was formed in accordance with the provisions of the 1932 Act which is entitled to continue in that business or any other business without restriction. It is as fully qualified as a company 100 per cent. Irish-owned.

Mr. McGilligan:  How does that in terpretation come?

Mr. S. Lemass:  That is set out in the 1934 Act.

Mr. Sweetman:  How does this tie in with the 1934 Act?

Mr. S. Lemass:  The position has not been changed by anything in the Bill.

Mr. McGilligan:  These were terms which were given a special meaning and I understand that because the Acts are now being construed together with this Bill, these phrases will continue to carry these special meanings. At the very start of this discussion I asked was the answer to my amendments that these amendments were unnecessary because they are carried into this Act. If it can be construed in that [1057] way, as the Minister is now telling me, I will certainly withdraw the amendment.

Mr. S. Lemass:  The position is that this is a redrafting of Section 9, sub-section (1), paragraph (e) of the 1934 Act and replaces that section.

Mr. Sweetman:  That section is repealed.

Mr. S. Lemass:  This paragraph restores it.

Mr. Sweetman:  It is not the same wording, surely?

Mr. S. Lemass:  There is no limitation in that paragraph. It says it shall be lawful for a company to carry on a manufacturing business, any manufacturing business, provided that company was in business since 1934 and qualified under the 1932 Act.

Mr. Sweetman:  You do not arrive at the same position in law where you have an existing section of an Act and you take it out and replace it in this Act even with the same wording, because the relevant date is the date of the passage of this Act.

Mr. S. Lemass:  The date is specified in this paragraph.

Mr. Sweetman:  By specifying it in that way you do not throw the operation of the section back to 1934.

Mr. S. Lemass:  I shall read it again. Any company can engage in any manufacturing process—this is a condensation of the preliminary part of the section—provided such business (i) “was carried on continuously in the State between the 2nd day of July, 1934, and the relevant time and (ii) is, at the relevant time, a qualified business within the meaning of part 2 of the First Schedule to this Act.”

Mr. McGilligan:  What is the relevant section in the 1934 Act?

Mr. S. Lemass:  Section 9.

Mr. McGilligan:  There are five pages in Section 9.

Mr. S. Lemass:  Sub-section (1) paragraph (e).

[1058]Mr. McGilligan:  That is all about shares.

Mr. Sweetman:  Whether the arguments that have been made are good or bad, the Minister has certainly missed their point. Paragraph (e) sub-section (1) to which he refers, when it says “such business was carried on continuously”, means such business at the date of the passage of this Act. Is that not so?

Mr. S. Lemass:  Yes.

Mr. Sweetman:  It means that such business was carried on continuously since 1934 but the position under the 1934 Act is that a firm that started to make soap in 1934 and changed to making chocolate in 1944 is authorised still to make chocolate but under this section it is not such business that was carried on continuously since 1934.

Mr. S. Lemass:  It is not meant to be.

Mr. Sweetman:  There were two businesses carried on since 1934, soap for the first ten years, chocolate for the next ten years. Under the 1934 Act, because the company was authorised to manufacture, it was authorised to switch from one to the other. Now under this section, as it is any company that has changed its business from 1934 to the present time is caught under that clause (e).

Mr. S. Lemass:  The point I want to make is that it was fully entitled to change its business.

Mr. Sweetman:  Certainly. It was fully entitled to change its business under the combination of the 1932 and 1934 Acts but once this section comes in it is changed.

Mr. S. Lemass:  No it is not.

Mr. Sweetman:  Business in this context, in the examples I have been giving, is the business of making soap or the business of making chocolate. It is not the business of making anything under the sun.

Mr. S. Lemass:  No. It is a company carrying on business by way of trade or for the pupose of gain.

Mr. Sweetman:  Certainly.

[1059]Mr. S. Lemass:  If it carries on in the course of that business any manufacturing process, then provided the company was qualified under the 1932 Act it is entitled to engage in any manufacturing process and will be so entitled in the future and has been since 1934.

Mr. Sweetman:  I cannot see how that is so on the definition at all. I accept that the Minister wants to make it so.

Mr. S. Lemass:  It is not the purpose of this amendment.

Mr. Sweetman:  I will accept it is so from what the Minister said in the discussion, but it does not mean that as the section was phrased.

Mr. S. Lemass:  I think it does. Clearly the effect of the amendment would be restrictive.

Mr. Sweetman:  The amendment was put down because the section means to us what I have just explained.

Mr. Booth:  Would it meet Deputy Sweetman's point—I do not know if it meets the Minister's—if paragraph (e) read “such company (i) carried on business continuously in the State”, the emphasis being taken from the word “business” and laid on the word “company”. I think I can see the point the Deputy is trying to make. That would mean that the entity of the company was the entity that was being emphasised instead of the business. I can agree with Deputy Sweetman that it is a trifle vague.

Mr. Sweetman:  If the word “any” was put before “business” in sub-section (1), that might cover it all the way down.

Mr. Haughey:  “Carrying on business” in sub-section (1) merely means the existence of a commercial entity. It does not mean carrying on a particular business.

Mr. S. Lemass:  The point is that “business” for the purpose of this provision which was in existence before July, 1934, was not qualified in any way [1060] as regards the particular type of manufacture that was carried on.

Mr. Sweetman:  I agree.

Mr. S. Lemass:  That was the position under the 1934 Act and it still will be the position under this Bill.

Mr. Sweetman:  It is the position under the 1934 Act right up to to-day but once this section goes through it will not be the position.

Mr. S. Lemass:  If that section is amended as Deputy McGilligan wants it it will not be the position.

Mr. Sweetman:  I would be out of order in arguing the section on the amendment but if the section goes through the situation will not be the same as it is under the existing Act and I think it is the desire of the House that it should be the same.

Mr. S. Lemass:  It is precisely the same wording as in the Act of 1934.

Mr. Sweetman:  Certainly.

Mr. S. Lemass:  The words are in Section 9 (1) (e): “Such business is carried on continuously.”

Mr. McGilligan:  I cannot see where there is anything in this Bill which will allow the business to change, that is, that a business could either drop parts or add parts to it without changing the character of the business. I suggest that in some of the Acts there is a phrase which covers that matter and I think it must be in the later Act. I think the difficulty was considered as to whether a business could be regarded as being carried on continuously if it dropped or added certain parts. I think that was rectified by something that was put in in the 1934 Act.

Mr. Sweetman:  I notice that there is one word left out in this Bill which closely approximates the word which I suggested should be put in. I am talking now of the main part of sub-section (1) of Section 4 as compared with the main part of sub-section (1) of Section 9 of the 1934 Act.

Mr. Haughey:  The word “any” will [1061] cover manufacturing processes but it will not cover businesses.

Mr. McGilligan:  Do I understand it to be accepted that a business will be regarded as being carried on continuously even if it drops parts of its business or adds parts to it?

Mr. S. Lemass:  I would be prepared to put in the word “a” before business.

Mr. McGilligan:  Is it not agreed that a business will be regarded as being carried on continuously even if it has added parts or dropped parts?

Mr. S. Lemass:  They are entitled to engage in any manufacturing proposition they like.

Mr. McGilligan:  It will be regarded as having being carried on continuously even if parts are added to it or dropped from it. We want that in the Bill. Is it suggested that “such” business means that?

Mr. S. Lemass:  Yes. There was a provision in the 1932 Act by which a company then in business, no matter what it was, was allowed to continue in that business or in any reasonable extension of it. In the 1934 Act a qualified 1932 Act company was allowed to continue in that business or in any other business.

Mr. McGilligan:  How is that carried on here?

Mr. S. Lemass:  In paragraph 4 (1) (f) of this Bill.

Mr. McGilligan:  How does that carry on the extension?

Mr. S. Lemass:  There is set out a number of different provisions under which a company can carry on a manufacturing business. If a company comes under any of these provisions it can carry on.

Mr. McGilligan:  Is the Minister trying to incorporate paragraph (f) in paragraph (e)?

Mr. S. Lemass:  No.

Mr. McGilligan:  I am dealing only with paragraph (e) itself.

[1062]Mr. S. Lemass:  If a business is carried on continuously in accordance with the 1934 Act and is a qualified business, it can engage in any manufacturing process without restriction.

Mr. Sweetman:  What appears in paragraphs (f) (2) is “such manufacturing process”.

Mr. S. Lemass:  If a business has been carried on continuously it can now carry on any manufacturing process.

Mr. McGilligan:  That is not what is said here but it is what is said in the 1934 Act.

Mr. Sweetman:  That is what we want to do. Will the Minister admit that this Bill does not contain that provision?

Mr. S. Lemass:  Yes. It does not say a word about the same manufacturing business.

Mr. McGilligan:  I would be very glad to get a judge to say what all this means. I think there would be a lot of loopholes in it.

Mr. S. Lemass:  I think that if you study it you will find that it contains what you want. It continues the position in the 1934 Act.

Mr. Sweetman:  It does not. We have already discovered one difference and I shall have another crack at finding another one.

Progress reported; Committee to sit again.

Debate resumed on the following motion:—

“That in view of the great hardships which the high cost of living imposes on the unemployed, old age pensioners, the sick, and widows, Dáil Éireann is of opinion that all Social Welfare benefits should be increased.” (Deputy J. Murphy.)

Mr. Corish:  I have not a great deal to say on this motion because, to use [1063] a hackeneyed phrase, the motion speaks for itself. I want, however, to add some little to what I said on the 5th March when the debate was adjourned. The Minister interjected at one stage and asked: Does the Deputy remember his speech on the 1952 Budget? I assume he was referring to my observations on the increase in the price of cigarettes and tobacco in that Budget. I want to clear the Minister's mind now because my remarks on that particular occasion were critical of the fact that the Government allowed the price of tobacco and cigarettes to be increased to such an extent that practically £1,000,000 was put into the pockets of the tobacco manufacturers.

In this debate, when I spoke about the tax on cigarettes, I made it quite clear that the Labour Party would consider supporting a tax on commodities such as those on the clear understanding that the money so gathered would be devoted to the relief of the people mentioned in this motion—the old-age pensioners, those in receipt of unemployment assistance and unemployment benefit and contributory and non-contributory widows' and orphans' pensions. In the course of my remarks on the last occasion I mentioned—the Parliamentary Secretary may correct me—that some £500,000 would provide an increase of approximately 5/- per week to those in receipt of unemployment assistance and of widows' and orphans' non-contributory pensions. I think that could be done. Mark you, I know how reluctant Governments and Ministers for Finance are to hand out money for what are now described as non-productive investments.

It is true that money devoted to agriculture, industry and afforestation, is productive and brings wealth to the nation, but that does not necessarily mean that we should abandon entirely those who are no longer in a position to add their quota to increased production and to those who are absolutely dependent on the State. No matter from what angle we look at it, whilst we have many very excellent charities, the fact is that these are not in a position to cater for all those who [1064] have no income. The St. Vincent de Paul Society, and other charitable organisations, do a tremendous amount of work but people are now inclined, and rightly so, to look to the State to a large extent for certain types of assistance. What struck me in the last few days, especially yesterday, was the fact that we were able to get money for certain things when we are put to it, so to speak.

Yesterday we considered here a Supplementary Estimate for £500,000. Mark you, that £500,000 would do a substantial amount of good to those on unemployment assistance and widows' and orphans' non-contributory pensions. The Dáil yesterday agreed to provide £500,000 to offset the loss on the sale of wheat. I venture to prophesy—I should like my prophecy to prove inaccurate—that the Government will say to-night that we cannot provide £500,000 to come to the aid of the people mentioned in this motion. Because the farmers overproduced, the taxpayer has to pay. I had no quarrel with the Minister for Industry and Commerce when he announced that to the House yesterday, but here we are confronted with people who are expected to live on a miserable pittance and we say that the country cannot afford any more.

I have an appreciation of the difficulties of Government when it comes to raising money. It cannot be said of these people that they received any increases in recent years. As far as unemployment assistance is concerned, it is a long time since recipients received any worth-while increase. They received 1/- per week to offset the increase in the cost of living consequent upon the budgetary provisions of last year. Yet, yesterday we could produce £500,000 to offset the losses on the enforced sale of surplus wheat.

Again, this year, we find in the Book of Estimates that we are in a position to increase the amount provided for the Department of Defence. True, it is not a large sum. It amounts to something like £37,000. There, we are confronted with a situation in which we are asked to provide more money to intern young men in the Curragh and, because we have to do it, we provide the money.

[1065] We want to give more encouragement to the agricultural industry in relation to marketing and other things and, therefore, the Government this year is providing something like £2,750,000 for agriculture. Granted that may be a good investment since the purpose is to increase production, but it is no excuse to offer for our neglect of certain people dependent upon the State for their weekly income. These people are in a far worse position to-day than they were five or six years ago. The economy drive which has been in force over the past two or three years has gone a little bit too far in my opinion in relation to certain sections of the community.

The Parliamentary Secretary may say that local authorities have a responsibility for these people, and I entirely agree with him in that. If the State is not doing its duty by these people, certainly the local authorities are not doing theirs because all the evidence is—and this has been brought home to us very forcibly in the last few weeks and even this week—that the local authorities, in order to reduce the rates or maintain them at their present level make the first cut in things like home assistance, disabled persons' maintenance allowances and certain other cash allowances arising under the Assistance Acts and the Health Act of 1953. It is pretty difficult now for certain people to get the assistance they deserve and need from local authorities. These people must produce certificates to say they are incapable of work. The allowance made to them is very, very meagre indeed. I was in the Department of Social Welfare for a number of years and nobody knows as well as I do the difficulty the Minister has in trying to extract money from the Minister for Finance and from the Government. I would urge the Minister or the Parliamentary Secretary to make an effort on this occasion to come to the relief, at least to some extent, of the people mentioned in the motion.

If we feel that if we must provide something like £500,000 for losses on the sale of wheat and if we ask the taxpayers to provide more money, I submit we also have a duty to those [1066] people who need State assistance. We should ensure that in this Budget they will receive something to compensate for the undoubted increase in the cost of living over the last five or six years.

Mr. M.J. O'Higgins:  Are we going to hear anything from the Parliamentary Secretary or the Minister on this motion?

Mr. Kennedy:  I can speak when I choose.

Mr. M.J. O'Higgins:  Do the Government intend to contribute to this discussion? I think it is unfair to the House that we should be asked to vote on it without hearing the Government's viewpoint.

Mr. Corish:  We prefer to talk about transatlantic planes and greyhounds rather than people on the dole and widows and orphans.

Mr. Blowick:  The attitude of the Parliamentary Secretary on this motion is extraordinary. On a motion such as this the House should get a lead from the responsible Minister. Certainly, having the Parliamentary Secretary maintain a dumb silence on such an important motion is a very strange attitude on the part of the Government. It deserves condemnation. It almost amounts to contempt of the House. Every Deputy has the right to table any motion he thinks fit, whether it be wise, foolish or otherwise.

Mr. Kennedy:  We never denied the right to debate any motion.

Mr. Blowick:  The fact that the Parliamentary Secretary has refused to speak on the motion is treating the House and the subject involved with contempt. If this were a frivolous motion, I could understand his attitude. I hope we will hear the Minister, because Ministers have the advantage of statistics which the ordinary Deputy has not. They are in touch with the Department of Finance. It is very easy for a Deputy to look for money, but I know the job of the Minister for Finance might not be a very nice one.

[1067] I support this motion because I believe the old age pensioners are a very deserving section of the community. Since the removal of the food subsidies, they have felt the pinch very much. The one shilling insult given to offset the increase in the cost of living was merely a joke. But it was rather a bitter joke for those at the receiving end. I know several old age pensioners who have nothing to fall back on, and who have to try to make ends meet from Saturday to Saturday on the few shillings old age pension they receive.

The time has come when that particular section should get a decent increase. One of the so-called badges of civilisation is a democracy taking care of the helpless sections of the community. We must regard the aged, no longer unable to provide for themselves, and the very young as the helpless sections of the community. They deserve first attention.

One thing that has puzzled everybody is that every Government seems to have plenty of money for other purposes. The last speaker mentioned the £1,000,000 for runways. We are definitely treating the poorer sections of the people badly, and the part of the motion dealing with that is deserving of the support of every Deputy.

I shall not adopt the attitude that a Government should shovel out money whether they have it or not. The Government can only depend for money on taxation. Having been a Minister myself for a few years, I know the difficulty of finding money for good projects. The Parliamentary Secretary or the Minister might give us a scale of what 1/- per pension, 2/- per pension, 2/6 and 5/- would mean. The Government might get some useful assistance from Deputies to show where economies could be effected in some directions so that worth-while matters such as this could be given attention.

I would ask the Parliamentary Secretary if he has statistics available showing the number of old age pensioners here who are destitute or near-destitute? With the present cost of [1068] living since the removal of the food subsidies, there are plenty of old age pensioners on the brink of destitution, and not having the wherewithal to provide themselves with food. Such projects as the £1,000,000 for runways could wait until we have dealt decently with the section of the community I am referring to. I would ask the Parliamentary Secretary to give the House the benefit of his advice.

Mr. Cunningham:  I want to refer to one of the classes mentioned in this motion—the recipients of unemployment assistance. I listened carefully to the contribution of Deputy Corish, the ex-Minister for Social Welfare. He supported the motion advocating increases for the type of recipient I mentioned. It was amusing to hear him speak in the manner he did, having regard to the fact that, in 1955-56, when he was Minister, there was an all-out blitz, not to increase the payments made, but to reduce the number in receipt of them.

I want to refer to a section of those recipients whose cases were reviewed in 1955-56 and who, as a result of that investigation, had their payments disallowed. The class I want to draw attention to is that of married sons living on their fathers' farms. I am referring to farms of very small valuation in the congested areas. In cases that were investigated, some married sons with families living on those small holdings, who sometimes were able to get work with the county councils or on other public schemes in the area, but who when those works were finished, having exhausted whatever small unemployment benefits they got, had to rely on unemployment assistance, were cut off because a new system was adopted whereby they were supposed to get so much benefit from the farm, not which they owned, but on which they lived. The same applied to nephews living with uncles and to sons-in-law who were living on a small holding. That class were all cut off as a result of the blitz to which I referred. These people find that there is no work available. They are not the owners of the land but they all have got the hammer inside the last two or three years.

[1069]Mr. M.J. O'Higgins:  What does the Deputy think should be done about it now in relation to this motion?

Mr. Cunningham:  I am suggesting that it would be much better to have that action of the previous Minister made known——

Mr. Corish:  That is wrong. Do not be talking nonsense.

Mr. Cunningham:  ——than for the same Minister to come in here and advocate that increases should be given to a reduced number of unemployment assistance recipients.

Mr. O'Donnell:  You have the ball at your feet now.

Mr. Corish:  It is nonsense anyhow. There was no blitz.

Mr. O'Donnell:  I will be very brief on this matter. One matter to which I should like to refer is the fact that Deputies are at the moment being inundated with letters from constituents whose claims for unemployment assistance and unemployment benefit are being held up by investigation officers. Deputy Cunningham is just as well aware of this as I am. We are being inundated and the Parliamentary Secretary has been inundated. I should like to compliment him on the manner in which he is replying to the various queries that are being put to him, as to his predecessor.

Mr. Blowick:  That is more than I can say.

Mr. O'Donnell:  It is a fact that there is some hold up some place or other and I should like to see that blockage cleared. As Deputy Cunningham pointed out, unfortunate applicants for unemployment assistance at the moment are held for weeks and weeks before they are paid the arrears due to them. This may not be appropriate to the motion but it is certainly appropriate to the discussion which has arisen out of the motion. I should also like the Parliamentary Secretary to look into the fact that where an applicant is an applicant for unemployment benefit and there is some delay [1070] in investigating his case, pending the payment of benefit, assistance should be paid forthwith to the applicant.

Mr. Cunningham:  That is done.

Mr. O'Donnell:  Unfortunately, it is not done. It is only done when it is brought to the personal notice of the Parliamentary Secretary.

An Ceann Comhairle:  This is throwing the motion wide open in respect of administration.

Mr. M.J. O'Higgins:  All we want is the Minister or Parliamentary Secretary to speak.

Mr. O'Donnell:  I know the Minister is very anxious to get in and I certainly shall not stand in his way.

Rúnaí Parlaiminte don Aire Leasa Shoisialaigh (Micheál Ó Cinnéide):  Níl aon deifir orm.

Mr. O'Donnell:  I shall give way to the Parliamentary Secretary.

Mr. O'Sullivan:  This situation is preposterous. It is now 9.25. We understand that the motion is to finish at 10.30. Deputy McQuillan intimated when seconding the motion that he intended to reserve his right to speak. We assume, therefore, that the Government will afford Deputy McQuillan time to reply. The time is now advancing and the House awaits from the Government a statement as to what they think of this motion. It is treating the House with contempt that neither the Minister nor the Parliamentary Secretary has indicated his desire to contribute to the discussion.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. MacEntee):  We propose to reserve to ourselves the right that Deputy McQuillan has reserved to himself.

An Ceann Comhairle:  I shall call on the mover to conclude. I must bring the debate to a conclusion.

Mr. M.J. O'Higgins:  Before that is done, if you call on the proposer to conclude, does that convenience Deputy MacEntee by cutting him out?

[1071]An Ceann Comhairle:  I need not tell him to conclude, if he has to conclude.

Mr. M.J. O'Higgins:  Does the Minister intend intervening in this discussion?

Mr. MacEntee:  I prefer to listen. I have come to learn.

Mr. M.J. O'Higgins:  We want to get some kind of lead or guidance or policy from the Government.

Mr. Cunningham:  You certainly do.

Mr. O'Donnell:  We are getting none.

Mr. M.J. O'Higgins:  I do not accept that Deputy Cunningham is talking for the Government.

An Ceann Comhairle:  This conversation must come to an end. Deputy Murphy, concluding.

Mr. O'Sullivan:  No, Sir. I wish to contribute.

An Ceann Comhairle:  Very well.

Mr. MacEntee:  Here is the shy and bashful Deputy O'Sullivan coming up.

Mr. O'Sullivan:  This is a preposterous situation. The debate is now running into its second night and the Government have had time enough to look up all the matters relating to the motion. It has been customary for a Government to intervene early in debates such as this so as to give the House the advantage of the information that they alone have but on this occasion the Minister and the Parliamentary Secretary are sitting patiently, as mute as mice. The Minister for Social Welfare and Health is adept at using that phrase but to-night he is as mute as a mouse, although he can be pretty vocal when he feels like it. On this occasion he does not feel like it. The Parliamentary Secretary, Deputy Kennedy, who is responsible for Social Welfare, sat in very patiently through the debate, but he also is not sufficiently interested and does not feel that there is any obligation or responsibility on him to intervene to say that the Government think that this is a good motion and are prepared to [1072] accept it or that they think it is a preposterous motion and propose to oppose it. If they had done that and had given their reasons, Deputies would be in a position to give their opinions in relation to the motion.

This is a habit that has grown up since the election of this Government. It is represented as a strong Government, being in no way shackled by considerations other than what would influence a strong single-Party Government. One would think that they would come out in a forthright fashion in presenting Estimates or on the occasion of motions such as this with something positive, which would give a lead to the House.

On behalf of the Fine Gael Party, I want to say that, much as we sympathise with certain sections who are grievously hit at the present moment, we cannot feel that we can vote for this motion as it is worded. We think it is too widely-flung in encompassing all classes, as indicated in the motion. I wish to emphasise that we feel there are certain classes, particularly recipients of old-age pensions or blind pensions, widows and orphans, who are in a serious position now in consequence of the Government's financial policy, in consequence of the budgetary policy which took away the food subsidies with more direct effect on these classes than any other class. We feel, and we have said so, and will repeat, that the effort made to compensate those classes for the abolition of the food subsidies was insufficient.

Of late, in relation to every proposal to expend the taxpayers' money, we found every Deputy on the Government side referring to the fact that there is a limit on what can be provided by the Exchequer, that taxation has reached a certain point. The first Deputy to speak on the Government side, in fact the only one until Deputy Cunningham briefly intervened to-night, was Deputy Loughman, and I commend him on his courage in intervening at all in view of the encouragement he got from his front bench——

Mr. Blowick:  Lack of encouragement.

Mr. O'Sullivan:  Deputy Loughman referred no less than four times to the [1073] limitations there are on what the taxpayers and the Government can provide in the way of assistance. We hear this on every occasion. Surely those Deputies, when they took the deliberate action of taking away the food subsidies must have known the effect it would have on these unfortunate individuals. This is the time of year when the members of the Government are preparing for the presentation of the annual Budget. We are adjourning this week for the Easter recess: when we return the Budget will be imminent. Therefore, the Minister for health and Social Welfare is quite well aware, as are the other members of the Government because it is foremost in their deliberations at the moment, whether revenue is coming in at a rate which would make it permissible for them to meet the urgent demands of the classes so widely embraced in this motion.

There is a genuine sense of grievous distress among certain recipients of social welfare benefits. The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Social Welfare highlighted the position in a statement he made to the effect that there were gross abuses in relation to certain benefits. He was speaking with authority and was hearkened to with considerable attention and the feeling throughout the country was: “we can see certain abuses; we feel they exist, but now we have the parliamentary Secretary responsible for the Department saying these abuses exist and that they are numerous and grievous.” He back-pedalled in the House to some extent later on that point, but if these abuses exist he is the man who could correct the situation and who by wiping out those abuses could meet the more genuine cases more liberally, if, as he says, there is a great disparity between the genuine recipient of a benefit and a person abusing it. Surely then, without making the charge on the recipient that Deputy Loughman was so cautious and concerned about, wothout making the demand on the taxpayer involved in what Deputy Kyne so constructively advanced, that he and his Party would undertake deliberate taxation to meet the impact on the Exchequer of giving compensatory benefits to offset the bad [1074] effects of last year's Budget, something could be done by the Government?

The Government must now realise what they can do in this respect, and they are mute of malice in giving no indication of what they are in a position to do. We do not know, of course, but that before 10 o'clock the Parliamentary Secretary may stand up and say that it has been sought by all the Deputies, by every resolution passed by every Fianna Fáil cumann, by every letter written, by every resolution passed by various bodies interested in the welfare of the unfortunate sections of the community needing these benefits, that they should get some increase in their benefits to counter the savage impact of the dramatic increase in the cost of living which was only to be expected when the Fianna Fáil Party gained control.

It must be said that these recipients affected by the increased cost of living were warned in good time that should Fianna Fáil be elected what has happened, would happen. The Labour Leader, Deputy Norton, on several occasions during the general election campaign said he was convinced that if Fianna Fáil got into office the cost of living would be increased, as indeed it was. The Government has tried to say the benefits were abequate; we all know they were inadequate and the Government must face the responsibility for the consequences of the policy laid down in the last Budget.

On this side of the House we have always held the view, and supported with deliberate action, that these classes of the community should be the first charge on us because they are people incapable of looking after themselves and it was in that atmosphere exactly 11 years ago that the late Dr. T.F. O'Higgins and Deputy J.A. Costello tabled a motion here—at a time when the old age pensioners were receiving 10/- a week and were being required to go to the local relieving officer and prove themselves to be paupers in order to qualify for another 2/6—asking that £250,000 be given to permit the payment to old age pensioners of an extra 5/- a week. That was refused because then as now we had a single [1075] Party in office with a large majority, but within 12 months, following the election of the inter-Party Government in 1948, that pension was increased and the classes concerned were regarded as having first claim on the Exchequer. The country afforded it then. Since that other classes in the community have brought up their standards of living.

In concluding I would like to say that there are at least five minutes left and perhaps Deputy McQuillan would co-operate with the Minister if the Minister now expresses a wish to intervene even at this late hour and give us and the country the Government's view in relation to this motion.

The Fine Gael Party is not supporting this motion as a party because we think the motion as phrased is too sweeping and too wide in the way it is set out. There is expected from the Government in these weeks an appreciation of the grievous difficulties under which so many sections of the community are trying to exist. These difficulties have arisen in direct consequence of Government policy and therefore, the Government must bear responsibility for that. Since these people are suffering because of the deliberate policy of the Government, the Government must be more aware of it, than if these difficulties had arisen outside the orbit of Government responsibility. However, they were warned what the consequences of their actions would be and there is no excuse. There is no justification for the attitude of the Minister and the parliamentary Secretary in sitting dumb of malice, as mute as mice, not prepared to say what is the exact situation or what they think in relation to this motion. The two backbenchers who have spoken on the Government side, while expressing certain of these people, have not said what their Party intends to do or what they will do as Deputies in relation to this motion. We are waiting for the Minister or the Parliamentary Secretary, even at this late hour, to give the information he should have given when this matter was first introduced into the House.

[1076] We are not opposing this motion, because we realise it is being brought home forcibly to all of us that there are certain recipients of Social welfare benefits who are in distress and in dire need in consequence of the increase in the cost of living. It must be foremost in the Government's mind, in any proposals which they must be well advanced in preparing, to do something in the forthcoming Budget to meet the needs of the more needy sections who are recipients of public assistance and who because of old age or infirmity must be looked after to the greatest extent that the State can afford. That is our policy in relation to this motion and we still await, not quite hopelessly, a speech from the Minister for Health and Social Welfare or his Parliamentary Secretary which will indicate just what the Government thinks on this question.

Mr. Sherwin:  I would like to ask one question.

Mr. O'Sullivan:  Do not let us lose the opportunity now that we have the Parliamentary Secretary on his feet.

Mr. Sherwin:  it is question to the Deputy's side I want to put. Does the Fine Gael Party think that the unemployed man has enough?

Mr. O'Sullivan:  I did not say that.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle:  The Deputy is out of order.

Mr. Sherwin:  Is it the Deputy's opinion that the unemployed man with a family has enough in 41/- a week or should he get an increase?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle:  Deputy Sherwin is out of order.

Mr. O'Sullivan:  I referred to the unemployed quite definitely.

Rúnaí Parlaiminte den Aire Leasa Shóisialaigh (Mícheál Ó Cinnéide):  Bhíos ag éisteacht leis an díospóireacht seo ar fad agus níor chualas aon trácht ar an gcaoi inar féidir an t-airgead d'fháil i gcóir gach moladh atá déanta ag na Teachtaí chun níos mó seirbhísí a thabhairt do na daoine atá á lorg.

Breandáin Mac Fheorais:  Níl sé sin [1077] ceart, agus tá a fhios sin ag an Rúnaí Parlaiminte.

Mícheál Ó Cinnéide:  Rinne an Teachta Breandáin Mac Fheorais agus an Teachta Ó Caidhin tágairt dó ach níor chualas a leithéid ó aon Teachta eile, ón duine a mhol an rún nó ó aon duine eile a labhair ar son an rúin. Ní ouirtear aon scéim roimh an Dáil chun an t-airgead d'fháil. Is féidir moladh de gach saghas a dhéanamh chun níos mó airgead a thabhairt do gach duine. Ní mínítear conas is féidir íoc as na scéimeanna úd.

Dr. Browne:  That is not true.

Micheál Ó Cinnéide:  Tá sé sin fíor. Is léir go bhfuil an Dochtúir de Brún in a namhad don Ghaeilge. Is léir é sin i gcónaí.

Dr. Browne:  What the Parliamentary Secretary says is not true. I made two separate suggestions.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle:  Deputy Dr. Browne must cease interrupting.

Dr. Browne:  The Parliamentary Secretary is being dishonest.

Micheál Ó Cinnéide:  Nuair a bhí an Bille um Leasa Shóisialaigh ós comhair na Dála a thug níos mó airgead do dhaoine áirithe dubhras an méid seo:

“I have no doubt that this Social Welfare Bill, like every other similar Bill introduced in this House, will be criticised on the grounds that the increases proposed are not enough. I may say that nothing would give me more pleasure than to bring in a Bill providing for greater increases but, unfortunately, we cannot do more than the reserves of the Exchequer permit. As the Minister for Finance indicated in his Budget speech, the increases proposed represent the limit to which the State can go in the present difficult economic circumstances.”

That is the position and the cost of social welfare to the State represents a considerable amount of the national income. Last year it represented 6.6 per cent. and this year it represents 7.25 per cent. of the national income, or to give it in figures—and I am only [1078] dealing with our own Department, the Department of Social Welfare—the cost of these services was £29,500,000 last year and this year, with the Supplementary Estimate put in, they are costing £32,500,000. That is only for the social services administered by the Department of Social Welfare. If you add to them the cost of health services you have another £16,000,000, and you have a totoal expenditure of £48,000,000 on the social services. I cannot give statistical figures at the moment but I stand over this statement, that the cost of social services in proportion to our income in the State is greater than that of most countries in Europe. In England it is a negligible proportion of the national income, a highly industrialised country. Here our main source of income is agriculture. The cost of taxation is very heavy on the community and the proportion of that which is given to social services is very high indeed. In the whole debate here, there was no single suggestion with the exception of those from Deputy Corish and Deputy Kyne, as to how we were to get the money. Deputy Corish dealt with the figure, and he was modest in his assumption, of the cost of 1/- a week on old age pensions. He said it would be about £500,000.

Mr. Corish:  I said that the cost of widows' and orphans' non-contributory pensions and of unemployment assistance would be about that figure.

Mr. Kennedy:  taking the three which I have mentioned, old age pensions, unemployment assistance and widows' and orphans' non-contributory pensions, the increase of 1/- a week would cost £660,000. An increase of 1/- a week on childern's allowances would cost £1,634,000 so that the cost of adding 1/- a week all around to the present rate of benefits would be £2,718,000.

Mr. Sherwin:  You got back £7,500,000.

Mr. Kennedy:  I am talking about what the additional 1/- a week would cost.

Mr. Sherwin:  I am talking about what you took off.

[1079]Mr. Kennedy:  We gave it back. Another matter which I wish to refer to is that, in dealing with old age pensions, the sum involved for the present financial year is £10,400,000. The number of persons over 70 years of age in receipt of old age pensions is 78.5 per cent. of the total and the proportion ten years ago was 70.5 per cent.

Mr. Corish:  That is not much to be boasting about.

Mr. McQuillan:  What proportion of that number is in receipt of the whole old age pension?

Mr. Kennedy:  I could not reply to that. Much play has been made about the 1/- a week increase and the little that it would amount to. The ordinary unemployed family, averaging four, as a result of an increase of 1/- a week, receives 6/4 a week, when you take into account unemployment assistance and children's allowances. I am not contending that that is sufficient but those who have contributed to the debate and stated that all it would mean to a family is another 1/- a week will find that these figures contradict them.

Most people realise that we are a country of small farmers. Sixty per cent. of our people live on valuations of £20 and under. When we hear Deputy Murphy and Deputy Sherwin making the hard case for the Dubliner we feel that we could make an equally hard case for the people in our own constituencies—for the people in Connemara, in Donegal or in the peninsula in Kerry, who are on the 5/- valuation. We can find as hard cases in our own constituencies as there are in Dublin but we are endeavouring to relate the benefits we give to the capacity of the community to bear that expense.

I live in a village of 650 people and I see no very wealthy people there. There are hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of such villages all over the country. If I go into Mullingar I do not see any great wealth there and I know the standard of living of the people there. Whilst we would like the Government to meet all these calls, we have to bear in mind what the Government can [1080] extract from the people without wrecking the social structure, without wrecking the right to own private property and the right to private enterprise.

Dr. Browne:  Did the Parliamentary Secretary over hear of the democratic programme?

Mr. Kennedy:  We have always stood for that democratic programme.

Dr. Browne:  That contradicts what the Parliamentary Secretary has just said.

Mr. Kennedy:  Deputy Murphy made certain points and spoke of old age pensioners who are living alone. I know their case is pitiable but I contend that they are not the majority of old age pensioners. I contend that the majority of old age pensioners live with their families. The old age pension was never given as a living wage. It was given as a grant-in-aid and that is all we regard it as. That is how we regard the payment of unemployment assistance.

In the course of Deputy Sherwin's contribution, he compared the £12 per week that recipients get in England with the maximum amount a married unemployed man can get here. Surely the comparison is not a correct one? Is it contended that the unemployed man is perpetually in receipt of unemployment assistance supplemented by home assistance? If so, I would be inclined strongly to recommend to the Minister an examination of the register to see who are the unemployed people and who are the unemployable people. It would be quite good national policy to make a segregation and not have them down as unemployed when they are unemployable.

The man who may be in receipt of assistance to-day will probably be working on some bog in a week's time. They are not always in receipt of unemployment assistance. It does not represent the weekly income to the home in any sense of the word. Listening to the debate, and having observed the operation of social welfare for some time, I am strongly of the mind to recommend to the Minister to make a new segregation of those who are really [1081] seeking work—and there are the great majority—and those who are unemployable and in receipt of unemployment assistance all the time.

Mr. Corish:  They can only be deemed to be sick if they are non-employable.

Mr. Kennedy:  In the course of the suggestions made for economy, Deputy Sherwin spoke about the cost of the Army. There is a barracks in my constituency and the weekly wage bill there is £1,5000 per week. Is it suggested that that barracks should be closed?

Mr. McQuillan:  Is that not the suggestion made by the Bishop——

Mr. MacEntee:  Is the Deputy following the bishops now?

Mr. Sherwin:  There are hundreds of barracks all over the country costing money.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle:  Deputy McQuillan will get an opportunity of making his own speech and he must not interrupt.

Mr. McQuillan:  I am trying to be helpful.

Mr. Kennedy:  Is it contended that that barracks should be closed down and that the resultant saving should be devoted to social welfare? In that barracks men are being trained in the defence of the country. They are rearing families. they are in receipt of a substantial wage. Yet, the economy suggested is that that barracks should be closed down, the men should be dispersed and the money thrown into a pool. Remember, that suggestion would mean throwing these men on the labour market. That was one of the contributions to this debate.

Mr. Sherwin:  The Parliamentary Secretary is picking one barracks in his own constituency. what about all the barracks in the city here?

Mr. Kennedy:  To my mind there are not enough soldiers at all.

Mr. Sherwin:  I am sure the upkeep and maintenance of these barracks costs at least £500,000.

[1082]An Leas-Cheann Comhairle:  Order!

Mr. Kennedy:  Emigration is bad enough. I do not want to ship these men out of the country and end their careers in the Army.

Mr. J. Murphy:  The Parliamentary Secretary shoved a good few out in the last 30 years.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle:  Order!

Mr. Kennedy:  It is the duty of local authorities to come to the help of old age pensioners living alone and the local authorities supply these people with fuel at a nominal sum. I think it is sixpence per cwt. for turf. The same applies to those in receipt of unemployment assistance. I am not saying that the beneficiaries of unemployment assistance have all the things we would like them to have but no mention was made in this debate by Deputy Sherwin of the free milk for children up to five years of age, boots for a nominal sum and school meals. These things were not taken into account. The picture is not as black in Dublin City as the Deputy painted it.

Mr. Sherwin:  The Parliamentary Secretary is dealing with a small section. Let him deal with the general run and he will get a better picture. What about the poor old age pensioner who lives on his own?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle:  Deputy Sherwin has already spoken and he should allow the Parliamentary Secretary to make his speech.

Mr. Sherwin:  There are 1,600 with no means except their pensions, and the Parliamentary Secretary knows that.

Mr. Kennedy:  The Deputy has disturbed me in a well-prepared speech and I have lost the trend.

Mr. Rooney:  The Parliamentary Secretary is speaking with his tongue in his check.

Mr. Kennedy:  We have in the recent increase in unemployment assistance, old age pensions, widows' and orphans' pensions and children's [1083] allowances gone as far as the State can go in coming to the relief of the people to whom this motion refers. Deputy Corish complained about the £500,000 given to agriculture. I would answer him in this way. The growing of wheat gives substantial employment to the people he is interested in—the farm labourer and the manufacturer of farm machinery in his own constituency. This is a very desirable subsidy. Any subsidy that will help the farm labourer is desirable because it will keep him in employment.

Mr. Corish:  One thing I said was that I did not complain about it. I said we were confronted with a situation in which we had to provide £500,000 for the sale of surplus wheat. That is a very different thing. I then suggested that we ought to be able to provide a similar amount to come to the rescue of these people.

Mr. McQuillan:  If the Parliamentary Secretary can see his way to preventing the wheat rancher and the conacre farmer from operating, that subsidy will not be necessary.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle:  Deputies are getting away from the main motion before the House, which deals with increases in social welfare benefits.

Mr. Kennedy:  I am sorry I misinterpreted Deputy Corish. We have to make provision for the Army. We have to make those provisions which are necessary from a national point of view. Without increasing taxation, we cannot give any further benefits. The question we have to ask ourselves is: is the community able to stand up to increased taxation? Deputy Corish knows as well as I do that you get to a point in taxation where the last straw breaks the camel's back and you endeavour to get more money you get only less. It is my contention that we have reached the point here at which we cannot further increase taxation. If we want to maintain our present social services and bring down the cost of living we shall have to proceed very cautiously as far as increased taxation [1084] is concerned. We are very desirous of helping out in every way, the people referred to in this motion.

Dr. Browne:  The Parliamentary Secretary needs the money for the School of Advanced Studies, does he not?

Mr. Kennedy:  We must cut our cloth according to our measure. Deputy Dr. Browne is a theorist. He was born and reared with a silver spoon in his mouth. He was not reared, as I was, on potatoes and rough food, going barefoot to school. If he had been, he would know how the rest of the country lives and he would not be up in the clouds, full of theories, contending that the Connemara man is a kind of millionaire, instead of someone trying to eke out a miserable existence, unable to grow enough potatoes to keep himself and his family. But that is something of which we are aware and that is the situation we have to weigh.

Dr. Browne:  There is none left in Connemara. They have all had to emigrate; 750,000 have emigrated.

Mr. Kennedy:  There are plenty of people in Connemara.

Mr. McQuillan:  They came in only in the last few years.

Mr. Kennedy:  If Deputy Blowick can kill the Irish language, he will.

Mr. Blowick:  The Parliamentary Secretary is making a bad job of saving it.

Mr. Kennedy:  Deputy Blowick did not contribute very much to the revival of the language in his time.

Mr. Blowick:  Deputy Blowick and his family can hold their heads high.

Mr. Kennedy:  He comes from a county where there is a Fior-Ghaeltacht.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle:  There is nothing in the motion about the Irish language.

Mr. Blowick:  And a good job. The Parliamentary Secretary is slaughtering it as hard as he can.

[1085]Mr. Rooney:  When is the Parliamentary secretary going to tell us something?

Mr. Blowick:  Where is this well-prepared speech we are waiting for?

Mr. Kennedy:  I contributed as much as Deputy Blowick, if not more. I dealt with facts; the Deputy did not. He did not tell us how the money was to be raised. Deputy Corish and Deputy Kyne did.

Mr. Blowick:  That is the Government's job. Do not shirk your responsibilities in that way.

Mr. Kennedy:  It is time I allowed the mover of the motion in.

Mr. T.F. O'Higgins:  Would the Parliamentary Secretary answer one question? What is the cost of a 1/- increase to old age pensioners?

Mr. Kennedy:  £429,000. The cost of 1/- on unemployment assistance is £142,000, widows' and orphans' non-contributory pensions, £89,000 and children's allowances, £1,634,000.

I contend that the burden on the Exchequer is as much as this State can bear at the moment. We shall have to step up production to do better. As the financial figures come to light, it will be evident that the balancing of expenditure and receipts will be a most difficult tasks for the Minister for Finance. In these circumstances, we cannot accept the motion.

Mr. Larkin:  Having heard the Parliamentary Secretary on this motion, I did not think such utterances could come, even from a Front Bench member of the present Government. There is no doubt from what the Parliamentary Secretary said that the approach of the Fianna Fáil Government to this motion is in line with their callous betrayal of the workers last year by withdrawing the food subsidies.

The Parliamentary Secretary has suggested that he is thinking of advising the Government that there should be an investigation into those of our citizens who cannot find employment. For what purpose? Do the Government propose to export them [1086] physically, the way the bulk of our people have had to leave the country to find employment?

Mr. Sherwin:  It will amount to that.

Mr. Larkin:  In a situation where so many growing youths have absolutely no hope of finding employment in their own country, the Parliamentary Secretary's suggestion that there is any significant number of what he terms unemployable is a reflection on this Government—maybe on the Governments of our country for many years— and on this House.

Since the Budget last year a considerable proportion of our people in employment have been able to obtain some compensation. Surely those sitting behind the Parliamentary Secretary are not without knowledge of the difficulties and hardships of those relying on unemployment assistance, old age pensions, widows' and orphans' pensions and so on?

There is only one situation in which the Parliamentary Secretary and those for whom he speaks could possibly have their eyes opened. That is if they could hear the people affected by this motion, if they could go into the cities of this country and see the conditions under which those people are living and trying to provide some miserable existence for their families. Perhaps then, they might say, “We know there are difficulties, but at least we will do our best to relieve the position.” But the speech of the Parliamentary Secretary will give very little comfort to those relying on social assistance.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle:  Deputy McQuillan to conclude.

Mr. McQuillan:  I want to make it clear I am not concluding. I said I would reserve my right to speak at a later stage. I expect you will call on the mover of the motion, Sir, who was good enough to suggest he would curtail his time to allow me make a few comments on the Parliamentary Secretary's contribution.

The Parliamentary Secretary and members of his Party who spoke, expressed sympathy with the hardships [1087] undergone by the sections of the community mentioned in this motion. In the usual manner we are so accustomed to now, they paid lip service to the sympathy they had for the unfortunate old age pensioners and so on. Their attitude of mind reminds me of the well-known statement of Dean Swift when he said he never knew a Christian who could not bear another's misfortunes perfectly like a gentleman. It is no trouble in the world to the Front Bench of the Fianna Fáil party to bear the misfortunes and troubles of the unemployed, the widows and the orphans. They can bear all those burdens from the Security and well-being of their own homes. It is the unfortunate people concerned in the motion who have to undergo the hardship involved as a result of this Government's action only 12 months ago in abolishing the food subsidies and increasing taxation.

Fianna Fáil always boasted that they were the poor man's Party but there is not the slightest doubt in the mind of the public to-day that Fianna Fáil are tied hand and foot with big business and big business interests and big ranchers, both cattle ranchers and wheat ranchers. They have lost the support of the small farming community for whom Deputy Killilea claimed to speak here a few minutes ago.

A Deputy:  Nonsense!

Mr. McQuillan:  For many years past the public, what is left of it, were foolish enough to accept at their face value various statements made by prominent members of that organisation which is now in power. There was the foolish position of Deputy Kennedy as Parliamentary Secretary coming in here to-night to tell us that he stood for private property, that he was in favour of private enterprise. That he should deal with that on the question of old age pensions shows how far from reality that unfortunate Parliamentary Secretary is. When he had finished standing up for private property in the case of the gentlemen in his own constituency who own ranches from 500 to 2,000 acres, he told us his views on the [1088] Irish language and concluded by telling us that he was reared in his bare feet and spent his life swallowing hot potatoes.

Fianna Fáil have little sympathy with the section of the community which is not organised, which has no trade union to back it, which is defenceless but which we all agree in spirit should be the first charge on the funds. It is as accepted fact that every local authority and every Department of State has shown increases in estimates for institutions, for the Army, for all sections which have the power to get an increase to offset the increase in the cost of living brought about by the Budget. The present Minister, who now refuses to aid the old age pensioners, treated with contempt the trade union movement in the city when they were able to make a strong case for an increase of 10/- to offset the increase in the cost of living but, because that trade union had power, and rightly so, they were able to force the Miniser's hand and it was admitted by the Minister, when he had to agree to an increase of 10/-, that the case existed, and that that case existed due to the Budget implications of last year. The old age pensioners who have to pay the very same increases for butter, tea, sugar and everything else, because they had nobody to speak for them and were not a pressure group, have not got any such increases. The Minister or the Parliamentary Secretary for him can say that it is the last straw that breaks the camel's back, in other words that we can afford to bow to the wishes of the organised section of the community but, if asked to give one extra shilling to the weakest section of the community, it is liable to break the camel's back.

That is the case made here to-night. That case will not wash with the people. Fianna Fáil will have to move into the Division Lobby to-night to prove my words that they are no longer the Party that looked after the interests of the small and weaker sections of the community and the small farmers but have tied themselves hand and foot with the larger and more powerful vested interests. To a large extent that is due to the fact that many [1089] members of that organisation, which started of so well, have allied themselves for the last ten or 15 years to these large business concerns.

Mr. MacEntee:  Am I in order in intervening now?

Mr. O'Sullivan:  The mover of the motion is entitled to reply.

Mr. MacEntee:  One moment. I just want to be clear. I understood that Deputy McQuillan was not concluding.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle:  Deputy McQuillan intimated that he was not concluding.

Mr. McQuillan:  I understand, Sir, the mover has a right to conclude.

Mr. MacEntee:  I see. So Deputy McQuillan is taking advantage of the fact that he cannot be answered.

Mr. McQuillan:  The Minister got one [1090] and a half hours to speak and would not speak.

Mr. J. Murphy:  In concluding the debate on this motion, I wish to state that I am appalled at the callous indifference of the Parliamentary Secretary. Members of the Government party and many local bodies throughout the country have expressed support for this motion. The statement that there is no money to give these unfortunate people a further increase will be regarded by decent Christian people as a downright lie. I am still convinced that, with any kind of honest effort, the lot of the poorer sections of our people could be improved. The unemployed and the old age pensioners will continue to press for elementary Christian justice.

I have asked, and I now repeat my request, for a free vote of the House on this issue. I challenge the Government to allow a free vote of the House.

Question put.

The Dáil divided: Tá, 15; Níl, 62.

Blowick, Joseph.
Browne, Noel C.
Byrne, Tom.
Casey, Seán.
Corish, Brendan.
Desmond, Daniel.
Everett, James.
Kyne, Thomas A.
Larkin, Denis.
McQuillan, John.
Murphy, John.
Murphy, Michael P.
Russell, George E.
Sherwin, Frank.
Tierney, Patrick.


Aiken, Frank.
Allen, Denis.
Bartley, Gerald.
Blaney, Neal T.
Boland, Gerald.
Boland, Kevin.
Booth, Lionel.
Brady, Philip A.
Brady, Seán.
Brennan, Paudge.
Breslin, Cormac.
Browne, Seán.
Burke, Patrick.
Calleary, Phelim A.
Carty, Michael.
Childers, Erskine.
Collins, James J.
Cotter, Edward.
Cunningham, Liam
Davern, Mick.
de Valera, Eamon.
de Valera, Vivion.
Doherty. Seán.
Dooley. Partick.
Egan, Kieran P. [1091]Moher, John W.
Moloney, Daniel J.
Mooney, Patrick.
Moran, Michael.
Ó Briain, Donnchadh.
O'Malley, Donogh.
Egan, Nicholas.
Fanning, John.
Faulkner, Pádraig.
Flanagan, Seán.
Flynn, Stephen.
Galvin, John.
Gilbride, Eugene.
Gogan, Richard P.
Griffin, James.
Haughey, Charles.
Healy, Augustine A.
Hillery, Patrick J.
Hilliard, Michael.
Humphreys, Francis.
Kennedy, Michael J.
Killilea, Mark.
Kitt, Michael F.
Lemass, Noel T.
Lemass, Seán.
Loughman, Frank.
Lynch, Celia
MacCarthy, Seán.
McEllistrim, Thomas.
MacEntee, Seán.
Medlar, Martin. [1092]Ormonde, John.
O'Toole James.
Ryan, James.
Sheldon, William A.W.
Smith, patrick.
Traynor, Oscar.

Tellers:—Tá: Deputies John Murphy and McQuillan; Níl: Deputies Ó Briain and Loughman.

Question declared lost.

An Ceann Comhairle:  Deputy Desmond has given notice that he wishes to raise on the Adjournment the subject matter of Question No. 28 on to-days Order Paper.

Mr. Desmond:  in answering Question No. 28 to-day, the Minister made it clear that he agreed with the views of the county medical officer and the city manager but I wonder if the Minister knows of the verbal report of the county medical officer to a meeting of the Cork County Council Health Committee on October 8th? It is interesting to recall the facts in relation to this unfortunate case. In June of last year the father of this little boy approached me and explained his worry over the fact that the boy had not been getting polio treatment for four months prior to that date. He did explain to me that some unfortunate words of bitterness took place between the offical concerned and the mother of the little boy. I made it clear then —I have no hesitation in saying—that I would not condone, under any normal circumstances, anyone abudsing officials, if such should be the case.

I approached the county medical officer and explained the position to him. I told him I had been informed of a serious disagreement between the mother of the boy and the official concerned. I also told him that my interest, and my only interest in the case, was to try to get treatment for that unfortunate polio victim. The doctor promised to co-operate to the best of his ability and, let me say, he did that. Near the end of June I received a letter from the county medical officer stating that the boy was to be treated and that an ambulance was arriving for him on the following Thursday. As far as I was concerned that closed the case. Let me say, at this stage, that I did not approach the father of the boy then. I did not send the letter I received from the county medical officer to the parents because I believed that in view of the fact that the child was then going to get the required treatment that that was the end of it.

Time passed on and to my amazement around the middle of October the father made a further complaint to me. He informed me that no treatment had been given to the boy. Naturally, I was somewhat taken aback at that statement. I produced the letter received from the county medical officer and showed it to him. I made further inquiries from the county medical officer during the month of August and again during September. He, in turn, informed me that while he was anxious to do everything possible to help, his difficulty was that he, as county medical officer, had no control whatever over the official concerned—the physiotherapist—because that official was employed solely by the Cork Corporation and the Cork County Council were paying only for patients who were being treated there. I begged him to do everything possible. I told him that surely the child should not be made a victim of this unfortunate dispute.

October came and, as I informed the county medical officer, owing to the fact that no results had been shown, it had to be a case of raising the matter and discussing it at the health services meeting. That took place on Monday, 8th all members present, the county medical officer explained his difficult [1093] position. He reiterated his statement in relation to the fact that as the physiotherapist concerned was employed directly by the Cork Corporation, he could do nothing other than request that the treatment be given. Strange to say, near the end of that meeting the county medical officer did inform us that treatment was being resumed on the next day. All members present heard the discussion and many members took part in it. It was a unanimous decision of all members present—members of the Fianna Fáil Party, the Fine Gael Party, the Farmers' Party and the Labour Party —that the city manager be asked to inform the committee of the position, through the county manager,and to explain why it was that a service paid for by the ratepayers in Country Cork was not being put at the disposal of this unfortunate boy.

It is true that a reply arrived from the city manager in due course. it is equally true to say that all members were not satisfied with that reply. On unanimous decision again, the case was referred to the Minister for Health. The Minister's answer as given to-day now comes in. It is interesting to draw attention to his answer. He stated that after acknowledgment by his Department the matter was referred to a medical inspector of his Department for investigation. In the Minister's reply, he states that the medical inspector communicated with the county medical officer of health. Am I right in suggesting that the inquiry was made in writing? Am I right in suggesting that nothing else was done, according to the Minister's reply, except to write to the county medical officer inquiring as to the faots of the case?

The Minister informed the House to-day that he was satisfied with the reply and with what the county medical officer stated on the 2nd January. But it is important to draw particular attention to what the county medical officer stated in the report. Apparently, on the 2nd January, the county medical officer stated that treatment was resumed on the 9th October, up to early in December and that treatment was given three times [1094] a week. May I say prior to February or March when treatment was discontinued, owing to the unfortunate row, treatment was given twice a week? That child was left without any treatment between, roughly, around the middle of March up to the period in October.

Is it not significant that, according to the report of the county medical officer, treatment had to be given three times a week then to make up for that time lag? Is it not strange, as reported in the Minister's statement, that while that treatment was resumed on the 9th October the boy had to enter hospital again early in September? I know, of course, that the Minister in his reply will probably direct particular attention to the abuse given by the parent of the child to the official. I made it clear at the start, to the parents and to the county medical officer, that I would not stand for such abuse but, let me say this, that the statement made by the parent of the child concerned bears as much weight with me as a statement made by any official. If it be true that the words alleged to have been used by the official concerned were used, not towards the parent, but towards the unfortunate child itself, the towards the unfortunate child itself, the unfortunate victim of such a disease, then it would be very hard for any mother to hold her temper. Does the Minister know that?

The Minister's statement to-day makes it very clear that he got, through the inspector of the Department, a statement from the county medical officer on the 2nd January. May I ask why, if statements were being received, were they confined to the county medical officer? May I ask why the Minister was quite happy to accept the view of the city manager? Was it because the view of the city manager coincided with the view of the county medical officer? May I ask why the view of the county manager was not taken? May I ask the Minister, even at this late stage, was the pbysiotherapist in question asked for any statement? Did the Minister get any statement from the official concerned? Were the parents of the child asked for any statement? They volunteered [1095] statements at the very start. Did the Minister or the county medical officer get any statement, verbal or written, from the parents?

We now come to the important aspect of this case. The Minister is quite happy to accept the statement of the county medical officer on the 2nd January, but from what county medical officer may I ask did he get that statement? Is the Minister aware that the person who gave that statement as county medical officer on the 2nd January was a person who had, I believe, nothing whatever to do with the case in its early period? Is the Minister aware that when I, owing to my duty to all concerned, had to intervene on behalf of that child with the county medical officer, it was a different person held the position? Is he aware that the county medical officer who dealt with the case during June, July, August and October had in November or thereabouts, accepted the Position of city medical officer? We are, therefore, in a position that the Minister for Health is accepting a statement from a person—a very decent person and a highly qualified person—who had nothing to do with the case in the early months.

Furthermore, that county medical officer in january stated that the trouble arose out of the fact that the parent refused to obey instructions. Is the Minister aware that, because of the unfortunate row that developed between the parents and the oficial, the official made it perfectly clear to the parent that until she apologised to the official then, but not until then, would that child get treatment? Is the Minister satisfied when it is shown that even though that statement was made at the health services committee meeting on the 8th October it was not contradicted by the city manager or the physiotherapist as far as we were concerned? Therefore, we are in the extraordinary position of having no statement present to the Minister by the parents concerned.

We are told that because the woman refused to obey instructions, which in this case amounted to an apology to an official, her little boy would not get [1096] the necessary treatment, in that case between the months of the spring time and October, 1957. Is the Minister satisfied with all these facts? I should like to know where do we stand in relation to this case. I know, of course, the Minister made it quite clear long before now, that in his view I was antagonistic towards the doctors and the people concerned. I ignore that statement. I have no reason to worry about it. I believe in fair play towards all but, even at this late stage is it not possible by having the case reopened to have justice done? Let the Minister accuse me as one member but in this case he is accusing every member of the Cork City Council Health Services Committee. He will be accusing every member of his own Party on that committee who agreed wholeheartedly in having the case investigated.

The Minister should realise that in dealing with these cases under the Health Act we are on serious ground. As I stated last week we believed that with the introduction of the Health Act we would give to these people a service to which they were entitled. We called on the ratepayers to contribute to that service. We considered it was right and proper to do so but, in this particular case where we have the statements of all concerned, it is shown that while the ratepayers were paying for a service they were getting no return, and the unfortunate child in this case was not getting treatment. I would, therefore, ask the Minister to have the matter reinvestigated. I would ask the Minister to realise, should he wish to adopt the attitude of blaming a parent, that he has not got from any fair source the true facts of the case. I have no doubt that the inspector in this case did his work to the best of his ability and was animated by the best motives in the world, but he was asked by the Minister to investigate it only in so far as the county medical officer was concerned. There was no suggestion by the Minister that the inspector was asked to get a statement from anybody else. The Minister and I may differ in this case but the tragedy is that while we, as individuals, differ, if more cases like this come before the public people will lose heart and will lose faith in the [1097] health services if those services are not giving a decent, adequate service to people in need.

Mr. MacEntee:  I shall be very brief in what I have to say. Deputy Desmond was not present when this incident took place. Neither was I, but I have a written statement by the parent of the child which makes it quite clear that she insisted on remaining while the child was being treated, in defiance of the regulations, that not only did she remain there smoking and chatting but kept the attendant who was employed to look after confined children in earnest conversation. The physiotherapist quite properly said, in my opinion, if the regulations were not properly obeyed she could not deal [1098] with the number of patients present ing themselves for treatment. Deputy Desmond was not there; neither was I, but the matter was investigated by the inspecting officers of the health authority concerned, and I am not prepared to pass over their heads and hold an independent inquiry to satisfy the vanity of a woman who would not apologise in order that her child should be properly treated.

Mr. Desmond:  We shall have it on the Health Estimate. The Minister will not escape like that.

The Dáil adjourned at 11 p.m. until 10.30 a.m. on Thursday, the 27th March, 1958.