Wednesday, 2 December 1959
Dáil Éireann Debate
Mr. Desmond: asked the Taoiseach if, in view of the failure of the Government's Programme for Economic Expansion to provide any net increase in the volume of whole-time employment, it is the intention of the Government to introduce proposals for employment expansion; and, if so, if it is intended to publish proposals this year.
The Taoiseach: The assumption upon which the Deputy's Question is based is not correct. On the contrary, the Government are satisfied that their Programme for Economic Expansion, published a year ago, has already had an important beneficial effect on the economy and on employment which, since the beginning of 1959, has shown a marked upward trend.
Mr. Dillon: Does not the Taoiseach think that in the context of the question such figures might, with propriety, be made available now, in view of the fact that the last figures supplied by the Taoiseach in this context spoke of a decrease of 40,000 persons in employment as compared with two or three years ago?
The Taoiseach: Not with two or three years ago. As the Deputy well knows, in the last six months of 1956 and the first quarter of 1957 the decline in employment in this country was around 50,000. It is that fact  which the Deputy, I think, should bear in mind when he makes comment on what has happened over the last three years because it was that nine months period in the past three years which was entirely responsible for that situation. At any rate, Deputy Desmond's question relates solely to the consequences of the Programme for Economic Expansion published a year ago, and my reply relates to the effect of that programme.
Mr. Corish: If the Taoiseach refutes the allegation that there has been no increase in employment, surely this is the occasion on which he should give evidence to show there has been an increase, if there has been an increase?
The Taoiseach: I can assert, and I can produce figures to support my assertion, that there has been a substantial increase in employment in the course of the present year following upon the publication of the Programme for Economic Expansion.
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