Appropriation Bill, 1958 (Certified Money Bill) — Second Stage (Resumed) and Subsequent Stages.
Housing (Amendment) Bill, 1958—Committee and Final Stages.
 Do chuaigh an Cathaoirleach i gceannas ar 3 p.m.
Question again proposed: “That the Bill be now read a Second Time.”
Mr. Lenihan: This annual debate on the Appropriation Bill gives the Seanad an opportunity of viewing the progress the country has made in the past year and the progress it is likely to make in the years ahead. Most people would agree that certain indicators can be taken to show what progress has been made or is likely to be made in the country. The first indicator is the national income of our community in any given year. That is the main financial indicator of the economic progress of any community. One has only to look at the figures in the Irish Statistical Survey for 1956 and 1957 to see the progress that has been made. In the year 1956, our national income stood at £457,000,000. In 1957, it rose to £477,000,000—an increase of £20,000,000 in the income intake of the Irish people as a whole. Even making allowances for the fall in the value of money, the increase has been in the nature of 1.8 per cent.
Mr. Burke: What table is the Senator quoting from?
Mr. Lenihan: Table I of the Irish Statistical Survey for 1957.
Professor Stanford: On a point of order, surely Senator Burke has been long enough in this House to know that we ought to address the Chair on these occasions? We can get into very easygoing ways.
Mr. Burke: I beg pardon of the Chair; I did not mean any disrespect.
Mr. Lenihan: The improvement as between the years 1956 and 1957 has been in the order of £20,000,000 and,  in regard to constant ratios, making allowance for the fall in the value of money, the improvement has been in the nature of 1.8 per cent.
The second great financial indicator of an improvement in the finances of the country can be the figures in respect of the balance of payments. I shall not go beyond these two indicators in my proof that the general state of the Irish economy in 1957—and that state has improved in 1958—was much better than in 1956 and much better than in preceding years.
It is quite clear that, prior to 1957, we had a trend of large deficits on our external account. The figures are well known to Senators. In 1957, the deficit was in the nature of £35.5 million. In 1956, the deficit was in the nature of £14.4 million. In 1957, there was a plus total, for the first time since 1946, of £9.2 million. Looking at it from a business point of view—the country must be operated in the way a firm or a business is operated—the country was making a profit last year of £9.2 million. In the current year, 1958, the trend seems to be that, at the end of the year, there is likely to be a balance.
The improvement in our national income and the improvement in our balance of payments position are two very cogent financial indicators that steady progress has been effected in our economy and that the basis has been laid for our economic recovery in the years that lie ahead. I would agree with certain Senators to this extent, that there is room for improvement in our economic state. There is still unemployment and there is still emigration. The net problem is very simple: we must raise the level of the national income to a point at which there will be sufficient expenditure by way of investment and saving within our economy to absorb more people in gainful employment. If we raise our national income above its present level, we shall automatically absorb more people in employment.
All Senators will agree that the progress as between the years 1956 and 1957—the progress and improvement reflected in an increase of £20,000,000 in our national income—should be  continued and, if it is continued, we shall have fewer and fewer people unemployed. The problem quite simply is to raise that national income figure. That can be done in only one way. I think everybody is agreed on that to-day. The only way in which that figure can continue to rise is by an improving, or increasing level of productive investment at home. In order to do that, we want increased investment, principally by private enterprise. The scope for increased investment in the public sector is limited.
The only way in which we can raise the productive investment, which is so necessary, is by increased private investment in this country. I spoke on this matter on the Finance Bill as well. It would be as well to nail one fallacy on the head which, over the years, has been propagated by certain people in a minority, and, from time to time, in the Seanad by Senator John O'Donovan. It is the fallacious argument that all we want to cure our ills, the ills of too low a national income and too low a level of productive investment, is by repatriating our foreign assets. I think that fallacy should be nailed once and for all.
What is needed is risk capital, accompanied by technical know-how, which will give employment. From time to time Senator John O'Donovan treats us to these discourses on the wonderful results that would accrue if we were to repatriate our external assets, that there are millions of pounds there which can be channelled into investment which would immediately cure all our ills. Senator O'Brien dealt with this point yesterday and I think the answer is quite clear from paragraph 47, page 32 of the Central Bank Report. I quoted this on the Finance Bill and I think I shall quote it again because it is very apposite:—
“Those who advocate radical alterations in the existing monetary arrangements fail to appreciate that shortage of money has not been a problem in this country, as can be readily seen from the graph on page 33. There has been growing realisation, in recent years, of the extent  to which internal credit is governed by external reserves, and by the effect on the latter, not of existing monetary arrangement but of the current processes of trade.
“There has been forced upon us a belated recognition of the basic effect, i.e., our failure to apply the available money to sufficiently productive use.”
This notion that there is a shortage of capital and the notion that by merely transferring huge amounts of our balances in Britain, to be used here as a cure for our ills, is completely deflated by a simple perusal of the table referred to in paragraph 47. In that table it can be clearly shown that Ireland, which is at the bottom of the table with regard to gross national product, has in fact one of the highest ratios of moneys supplied to gross national product. There is more than enough money available in relation to our total national product to supply any productive investment needed. That is as plain as a pikestaff.
Anyone perusing that table can see, in relation to money supply to gross national product, that Austria and Western Germany have the two lowest ratios in Western Europe and they are at the top of the table in regard to the gross national product. Their figures increased to 7.7 per cent. per year while ours remained fairly static. It is clear from the report that the problem is not one of money and that the repatriation of the millions of pounds that are in British Government securities will not solve our problem unless we have productive enterprise to which this money can be devoted.
It is not merely a transfer of items in a bank balance that we want; it is goods which can be channelled into productive use. This notion which Senator John O'Donovan seeks to put across, and with which Senator O'Brien disagrees entirely, that we can solve all our ills by financial manipulations, or jiggery-pokery of that sort, is ludicrous. We have to face up to the realisation that what is wanted is risk capital.
The Government during the year initiated certain legislation designed to  encourage external investment by way of private investment. We have had these various pieces of legislation before us which were designed to improve the position in that respect. I think that the best thing that the Government can do with regard to encouraging greater risk capital investment both at home and from abroad is by removing all the disincentives which unfortunately exist, and which tend to debar that type of investment in this country. The greatest single thing the Government can do is to prune and streamline the taxation code so that it is one which will encourage such investment as is needed.
Section 56 of the recent Finance Act is an admirable example of what can be done. It provides over 100 per cent. income-tax and corporation tax exemption on profits over a period of ten years. If that type of attitude were reflected in our income-tax code, in our stamp duties, death duties and legacy duties, and all through our taxation code, and if there were a rigorous pruning, it would not debar people from investing and I think progress could be made. The biggest thing which the Government can do is to remove the tax disabilities which tend to debar people from investing. I mentioned during the debate on the Finance Bill that consideration might be given to expenditure——
An Cathaoirleach: The Senator is advocating legislation and that is not in order on this Bill.
Mr. Lenihan: At any rate consideration might be given by the Minister for Finance to the principle that anything in our tax code which impedes our rate of investment should be ruthlessly expurgated. It is in that fashion the Government can assist the type of investment which is so badly needed.
While agreeing that our unemployment problem can best be tackled by providing more employment in industries, our biggest industry is agriculture and that is the basis on which we can build the industrial development which we desire. We must have a basic agricultural industry which is  working well. Yesterday Senator Baxter devoted some attention to this problem and rightly so. As a matter of interest it should be mentioned that the figures in regard to an improvement in the national income are particularly favourable in regard to the agricultural community. The improvement in the community as a whole in 1956-57 was £20,000,000 and the improvement on a percentage basis was in the nature of 1.8 per cent.
If one looks at the figures on Table 2 of the Irish Statistical Survey, one can see the improvement reflected particularly in the income from agriculture, forestry and fishing. The profits from these sources on a percentage basis between 1956-57 went up by nearly 2 per cent. In other words, in 1956 24.5 per cent. of our national income came from our agricultural profits and in 1957 26.4 per cent. of our national income was reflected by profits derived from agriculture; agricultural profits in 1957 were almost 2 per cent. higher than they were in the previous year. It is a reflection of the prosperity which the agricultural industry has enjoyed in the past 12 months. I hope that trend will continue. These figures are very revealing. Actually, the percentage increase in profits from the agricultural industry is higher than the percentage increase in any other sphere of our economy. Anyone who peruses Table 2 will see that.
I agree with Senator O'Donovan when he says that the Agricultural Credit Corporation has not been fulfilling its functions in a proper fashion. The Minister, however, has clearly indicated on several occasions that he is not satisfied with the present operations of the Agricultural Credit Corporation. I think there was considerable scope for expansion and improvement in the operations of that corporation. There is no doubt in the world that at the moment it is failing to supply the need for which it was originally instituted, namely, to supply the needs of credit-worthy farmers who cannot get that credit through the medium of the ordinary commercial banks. The corporation is on a par with the commercial banks if it is not even more conservative.
 The need in that respect can be satisfied only by a scheme of devolution whereby the Agricultural Credit Corporation would have local offices throughout the country. Operating as it does from Dublin, with no other office outside Dublin, it is too dependent on sources of information such as the Garda Síochána whose functions are not solely related to questions of credit-worthiness.
In regard to the progress made by the Government in the agricultural sphere, much importance is attached to the scheme in relation to the eradication of bovine tuberculosis. The estimated expenditure in relation to the bovine tuberculosis eradication scheme in the coming year is £1,820,000—an increase of over £1,000,000 compared with last year. That is quite sufficient evidence of the Government's determination to get rid of this disease which can be a blight on our cattle export prospects in the British market.
There is also an increase of £140,000 in the grants for the pasteurisation of separated milk. That is also, of course, designed to fit in with the elimination of bovine tuberculosis in the counties which have not been made into compulsory clearance areas. That increase of £140,000 is being expended by the Department of Agriculture on the pasteurisation of separated milk in our southern dairy counties. The increases under these two heads are good evidence of the Government's intentions in that regard.
The ground limestone scheme is continuing and I think it is a scheme which has worked excellently. As a corollary to that scheme, consideration might be given by the Department of Agriculture to the matter of a fertiliser subsidy of some nature. I know that the fertiliser bill at the moment is a very heavy burden on small farmers. Unfortunately, it is small farmers with a limited acreage who use the highest proportion of fertilisers. It is the small farmer who wants to make the most of his limited acreage who uses fertiliser to a greater extent than the large farmer. Consideration might be given to providing a fertiliser subsidy on a valuation basis. It would be a very necessary and important corollary to  the ground limestone scheme which has been such a success.
In regard to land reclamation, practically the same amount as last year, £2,600,000, is being made available for this very important scheme. In that connection, I should like to refer to one lack which I think exists in regard to agricultural development in this country, that is, the lack of sufficient attention to drainage. This is a matter which is of particular concern to the county from which I come and the neighbouring counties in the Midlands and the West of Ireland. I think the matter was referred to in the Report of the Commission on Emigration, page 150, paragraph 354:—
“Drainage is a necessary part of any programme aimed at agricultural development. Because of the relatively heavy annual rainfall and the extensive inland areas of level land and of bog, approximately 1,000,000 acres of agricultural land are subject to occasional flooding and water-logging—a serious matter for a country largely agricultural and relying to a great extent on the export of live stock and farm produce.”
The land reclamation scheme has done a lot of good work in getting agricultural land into production, but here we have a case where approximately 1,000,000 acres of agricultural land are suffering considerably in regard to productivity from occasional flooding; particularly in the Midlands and West of Ireland counties. It is a matter which has never been seriously tackled. The following paragraph of the commission's report goes on to deal with the larger catchment areas. On the figures, the operation of the Arterial Drainage Act of 1945 will continue for another 100 years as there are approximately 100 large catchment areas in the country. The activities of the Board of Works under this Act will continue for another 100 years before this job is tackled.
In addition to the Board of Works operating under that Act, there are the special employment schemes and minor employment schemes. Drainage is carried out under those schemes. Some drainage is carried out under old Acts of Parliament and in relation  to the land project, a certain amount of drainage is carried out through the Department of Agriculture. Then we have the Local Authorities (Works) Act grants administered by the county councils through grants from the Department of Local Government. These various schemes are operating and there is no liaison or co-ordination. Thought might be given towards having a national drainage authority which, in addition to doing drainage work, would also do the maintenance work. Apart from the larger catchment areas dealt with under the Arterial Drainage Act, there is no provision under the other Acts for the maintenance of drains after they have been cleaned. There is no provision at all for maintenance. If we had a national drainage authority to deal with the annual maintenance of rivers cleaned and drained, progress would be made.
It is a national question at the moment. Various Government authorities are operating and there is very little provision for maintenance. Considerable progress could be made if the problem were tackled properly through a single authority and not through the various Departments as at present.
There is just one other matter I should like to mention and, for a change, it is one of sincere congratulation to the Department of Agriculture on a scheme which they are operating in an area with which I am familiar. In the Book of Estimates under “Agriculture”, there is set out a temporary scheme for the growing of horticultural crops in the Athlone area. On that, £797, a very small amount, is being expended in the year 1958-59. Last year, the amount was £719, roughly the same. That money is being expended on a single instructor sent in by the Department of Agriculture in an advisory capacity to encourage market gardening in the areas of South Westmeath and South Roscommon in particular. That single adviser, at a cost for the current year of £797, is doing excellent work—far in excess of the monetary sum set out there. Over the past few years, he has organised contracts for small  farmers for the intensive growing of horticultural crops, for vegetable growing, for Brussels sprouts and onion growing.
That type of development is a very desirable one, especially in small congested areas. The small farmer is facing a problem at the moment and it is in the line of intensive market garden development that he is most likely to succeed in making a profit out of his small farm. I know there are literally hundreds of small farmers in the area mentioned benefiting very considerably from the expenditure of that small sum from the Department of Agriculture over the years. Initially, the contracts were placed by the adviser, who dealt with each farmer individually. The farmers now see there is a very good profit in intensive horticultural growing and as a result those farmers have formed themselves into a co-operative society which is dealing direct with the market in Dublin. The adviser has now gone out of it actually as an adviser to them, but has remained as adviser to the co-op. That sum spent by the Department of Agriculture is money well spent.
It is in that line that there may be some hope for our small farmers. I do not think they can fit into schemes of intensive corn raising, wheat growing or anything of that nature. They do not fit into the scheme of things as regards extensive cattle raising or sheep raising, but they do fit in in relation to intensive market gardening— vegetables grown intensively on a small acreage and sold at a profit, provided there are proper arrangements for marketing, as has been done in this case.
I should like to mention another factor in which there has been improvement—again in regard to the small farmer. There has been a considerable increase in our bacon exports this year. Senator Baxter was inclined to attribute all the credit for the improvement in our agricultural position to the cattle trade. In fact, in Table 13 of the Irish Statistical Survey we have the percentage change in volume of output of the principal agricultural commodities for 1956-57, and it shows that there  was undoubtedly an improvement between 1956 and 1957 of 6.2 per cent. in the output of cattle and calves. That is a very desirable thing and a grand thing to see, but too much emphasis can be laid upon it. The figure for output improvement for cattle is 6.2 per cent., whereas the figure for improvement in regard to pigs is 18.5 per cent. In other words, there is three times the improvement in our output of pigs in relation to our cattle output. That is important, because it is part of the economy of the small farmer. That increase of 18.5 in 1957 as against 1956 is very striking.
It might be no harm to mention, in conclusion, that that improvement is also due almost entirely to a very worthwhile Government subsidy in the past year, which is made available by the Department of Agriculture and ultimately from the Department of Finance, to the bacon industry. The amount spent last year from the Exchequer in subsidising that trade was £787,000. That is a very substantial sum and its value is reflected in the tremendous improvement in our bacon output, as shown by increased bacon exports, in particular to the British market. I notice that in the current year that is continued by the 1958-59 payment of £650,000 to the Pigs and Bacon Commission. That money —roughly three-quarters of a million pounds—is money very well spent, and most of the benefit of that goes to the small producer, the small farmer who depends on pigs for his quarterly cash income. There is no doubt that the credit in regard to that can be laid fairly and squarely on the shoulders of the Department of Finance, who made this money available to the Department of Agriculture to improve our pig production and thereby improve our bacon exports.
I believe the Seanad should have no difficulty in passing this Appropriation Bill, which sets the tone for a recovery which can be effected by Government in a stable fashion, backed by a substantial majority over the next few years.
Mr. McGuire: Senator Baxter, speaking yesterday, made a reference to Sir Compton Mackenzie's remark last week  in London, when he was speaking on something to do with the Wexford Festival. Sir Compton Mackenzie's remark was that he thought Ireland was the only civilised country left in Europe. Senator Baxter carried that compliment a little bit too far when he seemed to imply that we should not be too preoccupied with material things. I do not think anybody could accuse Senator Baxter of not being interested in the development of the country in every way. However, a really civilised country is one which is able to combine the material with the spiritual, putting each in its right place and working both harmoniously.
An Cathaoirleach: I do not think that fits into any of the Votes provided for in the Appropriation Bill.
Mr. McGuire: I think it does very much, as I happen to be about to talk about the material side of our civilisation, which is the side that Senator O'Brien, Senator O'Donovan and Senator Lenihan dealt with at great length.
First of all, I should like to show how it enters in. I was very sorry to see that for the past year or two—I do not know how long—the Cultural Relations Committee has been moribund, I understand, for lack of funds. I think it is a pity that this activity has been dropped. I had the honour of being a member of the Cultural Relations Committee for a number of years and I am sorry that enough was not made known to the public about its activities, under the Department of External Affairs.
I am glad to see that the Arts Council, which is under the Taoiseach's Department, is functioning still. I should like to see from all Governments a little more information about the work being done by the Arts Council and formerly by the Cultural Relations Committee. If there is one contribution we in Ireland have to make to the world, and in which we are second to none, it is on the cultural side. Our writers, our artists and our dramatists are world renowned. Nowadays, we are very much preoccupied, as we have to be, with the economic development of our country. I am sorry to say we are,  perhaps, one of the lowest developed countries in Europe. As Senators will see, the O.E.E.C. report classifies this country as being the lowest industrial producing country in Europe.
Practically everything that Senator Lenihan said is what I should like to say. I do not want to repeat it all, but I should like to reiterate some of the things he said.
I was not here for the debate on the Finance Bill, but I think the same line of country as was taken on that Bill was taken on this Bill by Senator O'Brien and others. Senator O'Brien stressed the question of our external assets and the assets which we have now available and working at home. Over the last few years, there seems to have been prevalent the belief that all we have to do for prosperity is to bring home external assets and to get more money made available by the banks here, the implication being that we have not enough capital available in our economy. I am not going to argue as to the amount of external assets that it is right for this country to hold and how much we should have working here. My opinion is in direct agreement with the report of the Central Bank on that subject and with the contentions put forward by Senator O'Brien.
First, I should like to say, as Senator Lenihan has already said, that there is no shortage of capital in this country and there has not been any shortage of capital. There has been a great waste of capital. What we want here is the right atmosphere in which capital can operate and new capital can be created. I am always flogging that point. The fact is that since this country secured self-government and has been working on its own as a separate unit, there has not been the right atmosphere for the employment of capital and the creation of wealth from that capital. In other words, there has been the wrong atmosphere. Capital has been used in the wrong way and much of it has been wasted.
I do not know if anybody has worked out the amount of capital that has been invested in this country since 1922 to  date, how many industries have been started and have failed, how many industries have started and are merely lumbering along, weighted down by all sorts of things, by taxation, by people trying to get too much out of the economy and out of industry before it is ready to deliver it.
Any successful businessman can remember the days when he was not able to draw very much out of his business, when he worked with very simple tools or, as was the case in my business, very simple fixtures and so on. It takes a long time before a business gets to the stage where one can take big money out of it and can do big things. We have been trying to take too much out too soon in every way. The State has been taking too much in taxation out of business and then saying that private enterprise has failed, that it has not succeeded. How could it succeed? One might as well ask a runner in the 100 yards race why he did not win for Ireland, when he was wearing rugby boots, whereas the others wore running shoes, and then say that he is no good, that he was beaten by 50 yards and ask what is wrong with our runners. That is what has been wrong with industry. All Governments have put too many weights on industry. The State has taken too much on itself in the belief that everything had to be directed and controlled and run by the State. Even now there are people who suggest that the State should take over more.
What is wrong with our country is that the State has been doing too much. Private enterprise has not been given enough rein or a chance to breathe. It is all very well for certain elements to suggest that protection is given. What is the good of giving protection with one hand and choking industry with another? It is no good to give a man protection when, if he makes money, it is taken by the tax collector and he has to start off the next year in perhaps a worse position than he was in the year before, never getting a chance to build up capital. Capital is necessary in order to create income and income is merely profits.
Furthermore, this country is anti-profit-minded. Profits merely mean a  return on money invested, out of which staff, expenses, improvements and all the other necessary commitments can be paid for. It is as simple as that. This country has not faced up to the question of creating the right atmosphere in which industry can operate and of conceding the proper return on money invested by our own people in order to enable them to live and to save. It is time we got down to that question instead of lumbering along from year to year producing Finance Bills and Budgets that are merely designed from one year to another. When any of us put up a proposition whereby capital could be built up and invested here, we are told that it would cost £1,500,000 and that the country could not afford that this year. When one refers to death duties, one is told by every Minister for Finance that the yield is £1,500,000 and that the state could not afford a reduction. When one mentions that there should be no tax on undistributed profits, that also is the argument put up. I will not go into the question of taxation because it would be out of order on this Bill.
Too much is being drawn out of the economy. I hope my Labour friends here will not take me wrong when I am simply forced to speak of a very important factor in the industrial life, namely, labour and labour costs. If the labour costs, whether the employers' costs or the workers' costs are too high, if they draw out too much without putting enough back in the form of work and brain, obviously, industry cannot succeed, will not be able to sell at the right price and will always be staggering along for want of money.
I have said enough about taxation in this House on many previous occasions and will not speak again on the subject now. We saw in to-day's paper that only yesterday, in Killarney, the President of the Trade Union Congress made a reference which I will quote. It is of importance because it has to do with the entire economy of the State and with the spending of money generally. It applies to every State body and to civil servants.
An Cathaoirleach: The point is, is  it connected with any of the Votes in the Bill?
Mr. McGuire: It is connected with the Vote for the Minister for Industry and Commerce because last year the Minister for Industry and Commerce, having regard to the economy of the country, summoned employers and workers together. It comes directly under the responsibility of the Minister and the talks on the 10/- agreement were initiated by the Minister.
Many speeches of the Minister for Finance last year directly bore on this subject of the nation being burdened with costs that should be deferred until such time as the country could bear them.
I quote from the Irish Press to-day, reporting Mr. Macgougan in Killarney yesterday:—
“In effect the situation that made the agreement of last year desirable no longer prevails and the time would appear to be opportune to declare that subscribing unions were no longer bound by the 10/- agreement.”
That, in fact, means that by the leaders of the trade union movements the workers are being told that the country is in such a situation at the moment that the 10/- agreement—which has not even been implemented completely in some industries—can be thrown overboard and we are to be off on another round of wage increases.
I have a responsibility. I happen to be nominated by the Federated Union of Employers to the Seanad and therefore I have a duty in that capacity to talk about these things. I have not met a single worker, and I do not suppose any Senator has, who thinks there should be a new round of wage increases at the present time. Yet the president of the Trade Union Congress sparks off this new atmosphere and in three or four months' time, he will come to employers and we will be told: “We, the leaders, are being pressed by the workers for another round of wage increases and what can we do?” In fact the lead is from the top. It happened the last time. It was started last time by Mr. Conroy. This time it is Mr. Mcguigan.
An Cathaoirleach: Is the Minister for Industry and Commerce responsible for this particular matter?
Mr. McGuire: He is responsible for the effects that will come from this particular thing and has made it clear. He has sent for me personally as president of the Federated Union of Employers on this subject several times during the last year and surely it is relevant to talk about it on the Appropriation Bill which has to do with the atmosphere in which the whole country will have to operate its economy. As a result of this there will be more expenditure imposed on the Minister.
An Cathaoirleach: Discussion on the Appropriation Bill should concern itself with the Votes.
Mr. McGuire: The Labour Court comes under this Bill.
An Cathaoirleach: The Senator will relate his remarks to that particular matter.
Mr. McGuire: I will. The next thing that will happen is that the case will have to go before the Labour Court for review. I am not pursuing the matter now, but I do say that, in the interests of the workers and the interests of the community, it is a terribly important matter that the value of money must be preserved, not only for the benefit of the workers but for the benefit of every person who is saving money. For anyone to take more out in the form of salaries or wages, at a time when production is not capable of carrying it or our economy is not capable of supporting it, is tantamount to depreciating the value of money or to increasing prices, as other people like to call it. Saying that prices have gone up is only another way of saying the value of money has gone down. I hope the Minister at the end of this debate will take notice of this call that has been sent out from the president of the Trade Union Congress and ask for restraint. It is no good employers protesting because they will be told: “You are reactionaries and you do not want to give us this, that or the other.” This is of national importance.  The Minister has called on the community in the past and I hope he will do so again to see that another general round of wages is not started in the present economic situation.
Speaking in a general way, I should like to quote from the report of the Central Bank on the question of our exports. Employers and all those engaged in industry must co-operate in an effort to increase our exports and must not do anything that will cause the products of our country to increase in price. The Minister for Industry and Commerce has been calling out and there are incentives in the Finance Bill to encourage more exports, which are absolutely vital. Last year, we got our balance of payments in order simply because of our agricultural exports, because the price of cattle went up and the terms of trade were in our favour. That was very fortuitous and may change overnight. Paragraph 35 of the Central Bank report says:—
“The difficulties of finding outlets for our agricultural and industrial products are likely to persist and may be aggravated by the probable falling-off in external demand. Increased external competition, combined with the general slackening of industrial activity in most countries, which is becoming more marked as the current year progresses, may also have an unfavourable effect. Concern on this score is sharpened by the fresh upward lift on the domestic side to production costs following recent wage and salary increases.”
And this is referring only to the last round.
“These increases will also be a major influence on aggregate home demand. If all employees were to receive an award of 10/- per week, total personal incomes would increase by about £17,000,000 annually.”
Since that was written incomes have in fact increased by £17,000,000. The drawing of too much unearned money at the present time to spend is causing an inflationary situation and will bring about a spending power here which will not only be reflected in higher  prices for our products but also cause a disequilibrium in our balance of payments by sucking in imports which we cannot afford to pay for with the goods we manufacture and by the cattle and other products we export.
The points I want to reiterate are that we must create the right atmosphere in order to improve our economy; taxation must be adjusted and a situation created in which business activity is made more remunerative in every way. Secondly, we must all work harder. Everybody should give more work for the same money and the result would then be that our money would be worth more.
There is another point to which I referred only lightly in the beginning. The time has come—and I agree with Senator Lenihan here and I think many Government spokesmen have referred to this matter again and again—to develop our undeveloped private enterprise. It is capable of quite substantial development. We have been talking about bringing people in from outside but our own people, in spite of all the talk against them, have not been given a fair chance. What has been given with one hand has been taken away with another. We should give a proper chance to our own people over a period of years to engage in industrial expansion of all kinds. Then we shall all be able to be paid well and it is only then that everybody can have the high standard of living we aspire to.
If we create the proper atmosphere, we can get from outside sources the men with capital and know-how, the people who have money and know-how to set up capital buildings which they can never take away. I saw a cartoon in an American newspaper recently. I think it was the New York Herald Tribune, and we might well copy the Arabs to a certain extent in this case. In the cartoon, two Arabs are shown looking at a group of Americans rigging up oil wells and one Arab is saying to the other: “No. Let us wait. We won't nationalise it until they finish it.”
We could take a lesson from that. We could bring people here and let them erect buildings and set up industries  for us. We hear people saying that such people are coming here to exploit us. This is a short-sighted view. They are building factories and other premises. I am not suggesting that we should nationalise these buildings, but if we give the people who set them up a decent reward, we will have something they cannot take away in the form of buildings, machinery, etc.
I hope we shall give private enterprise a real chance of developing. That does not mean that I want private enterprise to be supported by all sorts of sops and props. If any Government does that, they will take it away by some other means.
Finally, I want to deal with a totally different subject, but it is all part of this practice of always running down business and everything else. We have people running down our country nationally. We are told that we should not have the President's establishment, that we should not have an Army, that we should not have embassies abroad; and we are asked how can we afford them. Of course, we should have a President's establishment, an Army and embassies. These are all not only the ornaments of the State but an essential part of any self-governing community. The only thing is that we should be able to afford them and if the line I have suggested in my speech is followed, if we build up our country as an economically strong and wealthy country, we can afford a good President's establishment, a good Army, well paid and properly drilled, and proper embassies abroad. We must have embassies and consulates. We have not enough of them. We should have consulates all over England where our principal market is at the moment. One Senator the other day did suggest we should have marketing agencies in many places. That is part of the function of our diplomatic missions at different levels.
Let us have more constructive ideas and constructive talk in Ireland rather than destructive criticism and pessimism and everybody saying: “We are in a hopeless state.” Some of our newspapers are not helpful in this respect. Take for instance the letter page  of the Evening Mail. I never saw such a page of whiners. I do not know where they all come from. I was going to say that that kind of thing should be censored but that would not be democratic. What we should do is to project towards industry the spirit of adventure which we have always had in other spheres. Let us have the same decisive action and spirit of adventure in our industrial sphere as our patriots of the past had in the national sphere.
Professor Quinlan: I am very disturbed by what Senator Barry disclosed here because I was one of those who thought there was a real danger of a monopoly in the Tea Importers Bill, as introduced. I do not wish to elaborate on it at this stage but I hope Senator Barry's fears are not justified and that the non-subscribers to the company will get, as the Minister assured us, the same treatment as the subscribers from Tea Importers Limited. I pledge any support I can give Senator Barry to see that the Minister's assurance given to us here is upheld in this very important case.
To move on to the present Bill, I should like to open on the question of education because I was very disturbed by Senator Ó Ciosáin's implication that we should not have graduate emigrants. If that means we should not have emigrants at all, I am very much in agreement with it but, unfortunately, facing the situation as we are, despite our best endeavours and our best intentions, we all see that we shall have emigrants for some considerable time. If we are to have emigrants we owe it to the credit of the country abroad to see that those emigrants are as well trained as possible at all levels and certainly those must include a large quota of graduates. We must not restrict university education merely because some graduates have to go abroad. Our credit abroad depends on these people and we look forward to the day when those graduates will return and will place at the disposal of this nation all they have learned in other countries and hasten our development.
We hope they will be able to show  the firms with which they work in other countries, in England, America and so on, the opportunities that exist here and persuade them to come and found factories and industries here and that those graduates will return to help in carrying out that task. A nation in modern times is great solely by the way in which it develops the skills of its people. At the apex of that pyramid of education stands the university, and by modern standards we here reach only a fraction of the potential of our young men and women capable of benefiting by university education. We have just 8,000 students at our universities; New Zealand, with less than our present population, has 32,000 and has plans for another university to develop out of the agricultural experimental station at Pukura to cater for 8,000 students. All the people we get from the United States and elsewhere show that we are developing but one-fifth of the talent capable of benefiting by university education. If we have faith and confidence in the future of our country so we must have faith and confidence in our universities and we must expand those to be the spearhead of the development of the country.
One great ray of hope came in the past year. After years of starvation a space commission has at last been set up and I think those of us who have been in contact with it have been impressed by the very workmanlike, realistic and optimistic approach that the members seem to be taking to their task. We hope, when its report becomes available in the near future, it will set the pattern for a proper expansion of university facilities here. I would be failing in my task, however, if I did not support what Senator Dr. O'Donovan said very strongly and say that while there is great need for expansion, the manner in which U.C.D. has been left to become overcrowded, deprived of necessary buildings in the past 20 or 30 years is no credit to our nation and is probably responsible to some extent for our failure to develop faster.
The present Vote is just £700,000 for the universities and, as was pointed out yesterday, Queen's University is in  receipt of £1,000,000 a year. That gives some yardstick by which to measure our small contribution to higher education. Personally, I feel that if we are to have emigrants at all I would much prefer to see an emigrant go as an engineer or a doctor than as a dock-worker. He would have a far better chance of realising his potential abroad and also of being a greater asset to this nation.
To come to the second point, I want to deal in general with the finances of those bodies and I have here some rather startling figures taken from the Book of Estimates for the current year. We may take as a yardstick the Munster Institute as an institution run directly by the Department of Agriculture. There are two figures here, the amount voted from which one must take the Appropriations-in-Aid. I just note here the net figures taken from the Book of Estimates under the heading F (2). It shows the Munster Institute at £22,000 per annum; Ballyhaise at £20,500; Athenry at £22,400. We have Johnstown Castle at £91,000; Clonakilty, £13,000 and Grange Farm, £16,000, making a net total of £185,000.
I am not criticising the amount spent on these institutions—perhaps they are not getting enough—but we can judge the private institutions, those not so fortunate as to be run directly by a Government Department, and we can see how they are treated. If we take the Faculty of Dairy Science at U.C.C., its total grant is £26,000. Contrast that with £22,500 to the Munster Institute.
First I should say the figures I have quoted for the Government agencies are not strictly correct because over and above these figures there are stationery, pensions for the staff provided under another Vote and the Board of Works contributions in regard to buildings also under another Vote, so that actually £26,000 to a non-Government run body is probably worth no more than £17,000 or £18,000 to a Government run body, the remainder being made up on various other Votes. So that we reach the startling conclusion that the entire science faculty has just the same amount of public funds as are allocated to the Munster Institute.
 On a student basis, there are 77 students listed in the Statistical Abstract as attending the Munster Institute. These are in two sessions over six months each, whereas listed attending the dairy science faculty we have 112 students. We have 50 per cent. more students. Over and above this, research work is committed to the charge of the dairy science faculty. They are the only body carrying out research work on our major dairying industry, and that when you are dealing with an industry to which you have to devote a subsidy of £1,400,000 this year. It seems fantastic that only this amount is spent on research after whatever little amount is spent providing for the students.
The figures for the Albert College are even more striking. There are 352 students attending it, five times the number attending the Munster Institute, and the grant to it this year is £63,000. Therefore, I submit there is something wrong—not that the grant to the Munster Institute should be lowered or curtailed, but that the others are obviously in need of a big increase in their grants to carry out their tasks properly.
This does not apply simply to universities. It is even more glaring in connection with agricultural schools. We have seven private agricultural schools listed here: Mount Bellew, Copeswood, Warrenstown, St. Patrick's, St. Columba's, Gurteen and Multyfarnham. We are all aware of the excellent work these institutions are doing. The total Government grant to those, including capitation fees, is £25,000 for 303 students; yet the Department of Agriculture operates three schools in Clonakilty, Athenry and Ballyhaise to which total grants of £55,000 are made, or rather, the total cost of running them is £55,000, plus Board of Works, free pensions and so on, and they are dealing with 191 students.
If you want a yardstick by which to judge private enterprise, I suggest you have one here. For £25,000, private enterprise can train 303 students a year, while Government-run schools train fewer than half that number at almost treble the cost. In  other words, it costs between four and five times as much State money to train a student in one of the State agricultural schools as it costs to train a student in the private agricultural schools. Once again, I emphasise that I am not faulting the Government-run schools, but I am showing that if they are operated efficiently and economically, as we presume they are, then the others are living on what one would call a shoestring.
If we want expansion here, and if our young farmers are calling out for agricultural education, surely the time is ripe to give at least equal treatment to those heroic private bodies that are carrying on these schools, and ploughing in every halfpenny they can afford to increase their facilities. I think we owe them a debt and we should give them equal opportunities with State-sponsored schools.
In passing, I might mention that under this heading I see £42,000 for the Glenamoy experimental station, less £4,000 Appropriations-in-Aid, making a net of £38,000. I am all in favour of this, in that it has shot up from nothing in the Estimates two years ago to £38,000 now, but if money can be found for bodies that are run by the Department, then the same money must be found for other bodies doing the same work. I compliment Glenamoy on what it is doing, but I am quite satisfied that our private institutions, if given the facilities, can do even better.
Next I come to the Cinderella of our education. I spoke on it here last year; it is our adult education movement. We find here listed under sub-head M (7), £2,000, which is all the State can afford to educate the young farmers of Munster. Yet, by paring the programme to the bone, we find it costs £3,500 to carry out. That is very little when you realise that at present 300 young men, young farmers, trade unionists and lady leaders of rural organisations are undergoing these courses operated over two winters. They attend them for 20 weeks and travel distances from six to ten miles  to do so on two nights a week. They go through a very rigorous training calculated to equip them as first-class leaders of rural organisations, and I submit it is a disgrace to us that we should try to pare anything off an Estimate for such a purpose. We have not sufficient in the 300 who are attending these courses and we should ask the bodies operating them: “Could you spread this to more and do it quickly? Send us in the bills for what it would cost.”
You could say there was an increase of £500 since last year but why make two halves of a cherry? It is here as £1,500, but that is not correct because three years ago we had a grant of £3,000 and it was reduced temporarily at that stage to £1,500, due to a slight accumulation. We are now engaged in the hard process of getting it back again to the £3,000 level and I hope the Minister for Finance will see fit to restore this grant to what it was. In fact, I hope he will take a more progressive outlook and ask: “Could you spend £8,000 or £10,000 on this work?” Rural leaders under this scheme are costing a mere £20 per head to train.
Still keeping on the scientific side, one of the most disturbing factors I find is the neglect of our scientific Civil Service. It is a problem we have got to face up to this year. We are in the scientific age and, in the scientific age, the scientific Civil Service is the main weapon of progress in the future. When we look through the Estimates, we find everywhere that the scientific Civil Service is on a lower standing compared with the other Civil Service, and I think this is a topic the Seanad could very well take up during the next session. I think we could wisely spend an amount of time investigating this seriously and studying the corresponding report on the English system, the Barlow report, to see how far it applies here and then let us formulate our recommendations on that. I commend this to the Seanad for the next session.
At the end of this discontented service, we have the Meteorological Service. I speak with knowledge of this service because I am one of the refugees  from it, and so is one out of three of those who have entered this service because of the failure to recognise that night work, shift work and continued over work require to be rewarded or the scientific officer will not stay. Very wisely, in the past the Government insisted on very high qualifications, an honours science degree, for entrance to this service. The result is we can say without fear of contradiction that we have a service in this country manned by officers second to none. They have established an international reputation for their service.
Many people do not realise that much of their time is concerned with making forecasts for planes that overfly Shannon. In other words, they are the major centre of meteorological information and forecasts for Western Europe. Quite recently, Swissair decided to locate its main despatch office in Shannon for the jet age. We were selected in preference to London. Geographically, London was more desirable but, from the point of view of service and quality of staff, there was no doubt in the minds of those who made the decision—Shannon won. I suggest that this service should be adequately and speedily recognised for the great service it is and that proper salaries and conditions should be given to hold our scientists. Scientists are a precious commodity at present. They are in scarce supply everywhere. We cannot dictate the conditions under which we shall employ scientists. Our conditions have to meet a world demand. It is quite easy to make that adjustment in the case of Shannon.
The other scientific service I should like to mention is the agricultural officers who again are doing a great service at present, but against very great odds. There is, as yet, no proper apprenticeship training period for young officers. It is felt that young graduates when they leave the Albert College at 21 or 22 can then be sent out to advise farmers. In any other country in the world you have a graded apprenticeship period before such an officer is left on his own. Yet we have the ridiculous situation at present where some of last year's graduates are still unemployed—still unemployed  when we have but one agricultural officer to around 1,000 farmers and Denmark regards it as necessary to have one to 250 or 300. It is a case of nobody's baby. Nobody worries about it or takes the necessary steps to put those young graduates into apprenticeship and work before they too get a taste for emigration and find out the opportunities that lie beyond the seas.
The veterinary officers in the Department of Agriculture have been mentioned. That is just another symptom. If the officers will not stay in the Department and if the private practice is far more lucrative for them, surely the sensible thing to do is to make conditions in the Department such as will hold them; otherwise, we shall have to do without them.
Now I come to Vote K (4). I am very happy to see in this Vote again the grants to our rural organisations. It is a recognition of the work they are doing. This is a grant from the Counterpart Fund and, of course, that fund will provide only for a few years. When it does expire, I hope the Government will continue this as a charge on the Exchequer. The grants —£3,000 or £4,000—are small but they mean a great deal to a rural organisation. Anybody concerned with such organisations, realising the difficulty of raising that amount of money, will appreciate the stability and security it gives to those in charge of the organisations, the feeling that they have not to spend their days and nights raising funds and that they can get on with the more important task of developing the organisation for the betterment of their members and the community as a whole.
At the head of those receiving we have Muintir na Tíre. We should think very highly of the work done by Muintir na Tíre. It is difficult to assess it because so much of it is concerned with the development of the spirit. You cannot exactly put your finger on what they are doing but they are giving the people a sense of feeling they are somebody, that they have a part in the country and that they can be happy and contented living at home in their own parishes. I submit  that is a work that in many ways is far superior to the more prosaic work other organisations have to do.
In that regard I should like to quote just a few words from the Rev. founder of Muintir na Tíre, the late Canon Hayes, stressing the spirit of this and showing how, if we value spiritual things, we shall appreciate the grants given by the Exchequer to these organisations. Speaking in a broadcast in June, 1945, Canon Hayes said:
“We realised that the land problem—the flight from the land and the lack of production—was not merely economic. The merely economic solves no problem. It was more than economic. It was the whole life of the people that needed a stimulus. This should come from the people themselves with a true appreciation of their vocation. The parish is the next step from the home in a Christian order. We want it to be as Christian as the home. This is the real work.”
After Muintir na Tíre, we note that provision is made for Macra na Feirme and the I.C.A. Again, those organisations are in great need of funds because they are entering now on the second stage of their development. The first stage was merely to get across to our rural people the idea of organisation, to get them to come together, to exchange views and so on. Now that has happened and the leaders of those organisations, at town and county level, are more demanding on their headquarters. Naturally, they want greater services from the headquarters. They want their film strips, their various leaflets and so on, and all that requires money. Again, I am glad to see that these organisations are dealt with.
I would make a plea here that the other agricultural organisations that merit support should be given Grants-in-Aid. We have all heard about the multiplicity of agricultural organisations but it is quite an easy matter to define what an organisation is. It must have certain premises and staff to qualify for that. If you apply such a  definition or such standards you will find that only a couple of rural organisations qualify. I think it would be well that the work of the National Farmers' Association should be recognised and that they, in this development stage, should be given a Grant-in-Aid to ensure them a certain stability of income that would permit them to plan and expand on a surer basis. In leaving these, I cannot but refer to some efforts in the past year to try—in the case of wheat and other activities —to place certain schemes as responsibility on those organisations where the schemes, in effect, were only part of what the organisation had suggested.
The development of our country depends on the development of our rural organisations. We should treat these as very tender plants. We should recognise their fear of being drawn into politics. We should respect that and be scrupulously careful—Ministers especially—to avoid in any way using those organisations to enable Ministers to escape from some rather unpleasant tasks they may have to do. On the other hand, as I have said here before, I think the time has come when those organisations will have to face up to their responsibilities as members of the community and certain of their members take an active part in the political life of the country. This unnatural horror that many of the leaders of the organisations have of politics is not healthy. No matter what experiences have been in the past, the fact is that in a democratic State all sections have to play their part and at present I think the rural organisations or those coming from that section of the community should play a much stronger part than they are playing at present.
I want to come to a few brief comments on the Vote for the Department of Agriculture. I notice that many Senators are worried about the size of the subsidies and the size of the Vote, the feeling being as to whether or not we are getting value for the expenditure or whether agriculture can expand to justify these subsidies. There are a few facts that seem to have escaped notice that will give us hope and confidence for the future. One of these is a publication that came out last March  dealing with technological factors in the expansion of agricultural production in Western Europe, prepared by the United States Department of Agriculture. From this, we get certain very revealing figures.
There is a figure showing the indices of agricultural production in Western Europe in the period 1947 to 1955. The figures do not coincide completely with national statistics. In some cases, they have ruled out certain components in the national statistics but, as a basis for comparison, I would say they are more reliable than taking national statistics at their face value. In this, we find that, in the period 1950 to 1955, we had steady growth in Europe. There was actually a 10 per cent. average increase—that is, 2 per cent. per annum. The first thing we must realise about agricultural growth is that it is slow. In other words, 2 per cent., 3 per cent. or 4 per cent. is highly significant. In that period, the average for Western Europe was a 2 per cent. increase. Our rate in that period, as estimated by this team of American experts, was 2 per cent., so that we were at the average at that period. Our rate was four times the rate of Denmark and double the rate achieved by England in the same period. That is certainly very hopeful.
Granted that our total production was smaller than that of the other countries, we are interested to note, if we have a low production and we say we can get to a higher one, how we are climbing. The answer here is that we are climbing quite satisfactorily at a time when other agricultural economies seem to have reached the top. This period 1950 to 1955 is not altogether favourable to us because 1955 was a very bad year. If we take the period 1950 to 1954, we get the fact that our rate of production was the highest in Western Europe in that period, being equal with the rates in France and in Western Germany, at 4 per cent. per annum. That that is not a mere flash in the pan has been shown by the recent figure of 6.6 per cent. achieved last year. In other words, our rate of production is stepping up. We are climbing. As the Taoiseach put it,  others have reached the top; we are now on the way up. So there is real hope in that and, in that same period, countries such as Sweden and Norway actually declined. I am dealing with net figures because these are the more reliable figures.
The question also arises: What can we achieve? Again, there, we can take courage from figures given by international teams. Two years ago, a publication came out by O.E.E.C. on pasture and fodder production in Western Europe—their estimates of what could be achieved on a practical basis. They estimated that Western Europe could, with better grassland practice, increase its production by 42 per cent. We stand at the head of the table. They estimate that we could increase it by 60 per cent., the Netherlands by only 17 per cent. and Denmark by 24 per cent. Here are facts and figures that say that our potential to expand is greater than any of our competitors.
We can take hope and we can urge the Government to do everything possible to keep farm prices at a level that will prevent any slowing-down in our rate of production. To that extent we welcome the subsidies and it is to be regretted that the wheat position was allowed to become somewhat distorted and that some system of contracting acreage was not introduced, rather than this sliding scale which means the more wheat which is grown the less will be paid for it. We should guard against any setback at this very criticial juncture.
Of course this does not seem to touch our main problems at present, the twin problems of emigration and unemployment, but it does. The figures again speak for themselves. We have the fact that in Western Europe labour productivity has been increasing by 4 per cent. per annum over the past six years. It has been just a trifle higher in the United States, at 4? per cent., and here we have achieved a rate of 4 per cent. This is due to improved techniques, a certain amount of mechanisation and so on, but what it means is that unless agricultural production continues to expand at about 4 per cent. we shall have further losses in  the numbers working on the land and where can we find employment for those? To look at it more positively, if we can gear ourselves to a higher rate than 4 per cent. then increased labour will be needed to reach that figure.
Last year we hit 6.6 per cent. If we could gear ourselves to a rate of 5 per cent. in the future it would call for an absorption of about 4,000 additional workers per annum on the land. If we can reach 6 per cent. it would call for about double that number, so that the land emerges as the real key to sparking off the expansion of employment. Once we get the spark going, other avenues will open up because we shall need increased fertilisers and increased servicing of machinery; we shall have increased exports, sales and so on. Even housing would be affected. If we do succeed in any one year in putting 4,000 more workers on the land they will require houses. In other words, it takes a small spark to create the chain reaction which can lead to a measure of full employment here. As I submit, the land is the place we are to look for it.
If we are to look for it there, we shall have to change the outlook and mentality of people in regard to working on the land. We shall have to raise it from its present degraded position as being the last resort to which any young worker will turn, to a position of being a prized form of occupation and one which he is proud to hold. Essentially, you will have to create a social revolution and that social revolution can be sparked off by setting up conditions in which any young man who is going to work on the land—whether he is a farmer's son, a labourer's son, a city dweller's son, or wherever he comes from—if he is good enough, will have the opportunity, one day, of becoming an owner himself.
That is the target and that is the real answer to the question of unemployment. Create those conditions, get the people working on the land again and you will find the land of Ireland will yield what we know it is capable of yielding. One person to whom I was speaking recently said that for many  years we felt that our problem was an economic one but now it appears that it is more a social problem.
In conclusion, I should like to quote Father E.J. Coyne, S.J., who said, in reference to Muintir na Tíre:—
“We are not in this for what we can gain or get out of it, but for what we can give and grant to others and to the parish as a whole. Each member, if he is guided by the principle and moved by the spirit of Muintir na Tíre, is concerned with the welfare of the whole parish and as much concerned with the welfare of his fellow parishioners as with his own.”
If we take that spirit, and if we have hope and confidence in the future then we can spark off, on the land of Ireland, the chain reaction that will lead in the future to a balanced economy and a prosperous country where industry and agriculture thrive side by side.
Professor Stanford: I am going to talk about an Estimate which concerns this House closely. It is the Estimate for the Houses of the Oireachtas. What do we cost the country? Are we worth what we cost the country? That is a problem on which I am going to speak this evening. The Seanad costs the country approximately £40,000 per year. The Dáil costs approximately £128,000 a year and staff and other expenses cost £67,000 a year. That is, the whole Oireachtas costs £235,000 a year. Are we worth that? I believe we are, ultimately, and I believe I could prove it, but I am not going to try to prove it this evening. I am going to complain this evening about an aspect of this House which was made very clear to us yesterday afternoon during the debate on the Appropriation Bill.
I am going to complain about an aspect of Irish politics which I think is wasteful and destructive. It is wasteful in regard to our energy and money, and it is destructive to our morale. Much of yesterday's debate—far too much of it, in my opinion—consisted of impassioned deunciations and equally impassioned defences of the present Government. I want to emphasise  that there were some constructive speeches, and there have been many constructive speeches this afternoon, but yesterday afternoon we heard some speeches which were purely destructive and, in any sense, utterly mischievous.
Most of the debate which we heard consisted of moving up to and moving away from accusations of faslehoods and trickeries and hypocrisy vehemently made on one side and vehemently denied on the other. I know that there are certain excuses. I know that to some extent we are a tired and an end-of-the-year House. But even that does not justify this wasteful and demoralising influence on our politics today. I say it is wasteful first——
An Leas-Chathaoirleach: The Senator must indicate how he can relate this to the Appropriations Bill. The conduct of yesterday's business in the House was a matter for the House and for the Chair. Yesterday's business is complete. Judgment on it is not now, I think, to be passed in the form in which the Senator is passing it.
Professor Stanford: May I refer the Chair, and the House, to page 2 of the Estimates? I am referring to the cost of the time of this House. I am referring to certain wasteful aspects of it, and I am referring very pertinently to the debate on this Bill yesterday afternoon, and I submit that I should be allowed five or eight minutes to continue on this wasteful aspect of our life at present.
An Leas-Chathaoirleach: I do not want to restrict the Senator but if the Senator chooses to argue whether this House should or should not be in existence that is a case which can be made. As to the conduct of any day's business, the Senator himself is the greatest defender of the Chair and he will understand that the conduct of the business is in the hands of the Chair. Therefore, it is unbecoming to pass judgment on how the Chair permits the House to conduct its business.
Professor Stanford: I have not the remotest notion in my mind of criticising the conduct of the Chair. I am going to criticise, with the Chair's permission,  the wasteful technique of certain politicians in this country which, I think, is harming the country and costing us money.
An Leas-Chathaoirleach: I merely want to point out that so long as a member of this House is in order in making his case, the Chair would not interfere. It was perfectly in order for him to make his case.
Professor Stanford: I fully appreciate that.
An Leas-Chathaoirleach: That is not a matter to be argued with the Chair.
Professor Stanford: I do not intend to do that. I have no intention of doing that. I feel that the whole morale and economy of the country are involved in this aspect of our political life and, with your permission, I shall very briefly continue along those lines.
An Leas-Chathaoirleach: If the Senator wants to pass judgment on how the Chair permitted the House to conduct its business, there is an orderly way of doing that and a decision of the Cathaoirleach or the Leas-Chathaoirleach can be challenged.
Professor Stanford: I did not mention the Chair in any part of my speech. The Chair was not mentioned until the Chair itself mentioned it. The Chair was not in my mind. The Chair will not be referred to in any of my subsequent remarks. I must submit that the conduct of the Chair is not under review. I am going to consider one aspect of the present system of Party politics. If I am not allowed to do that, I will resume my seat.
An Leas-Chathaoirleach: The Senator is sufficiently intelligent to appreciate that the Chair cannot permit a case to be made which is not in order. If the Chair permitted any Senator to make his case, it must be assumed he was in order in making his case. The form in which he presented his case is a matter for the particular individual himself, but it was the duty and responsibility of the Chair to see that the Senator was in order. Once he was in order, any comment about how the business is conducted is a reflection  on how the Chair does its work. The Senator is not in order in continuing along those lines.
Professor Stanford: May I say once again with great respect that I have no intention whatever of commenting upon the order of this House?
An Leas-Chathaoirleach: I do not understand what the Senator's intentions are. I am only trying to understand the meaning of the words which he has used and that is the impression they communicate to me.
Professor Stanford: I do not want to refer to any disorderliness but to a wasteful and demoralising aspect of Party politics. I consider that what I have to say on the Appropriation Bill is as relevant as many of the rambling remarks we have heard here. If the Chair thinks I cannot do that, I shall resume my seat.
An Leas-Chathaoirleach: I do not want to restrict the Senator. He will appreciate the position in which he puts the Chair in a matter like this. I do not like restricting him.
Professor Stanford: May I continue a little longer and if the Chair thinks I am out of order, I shall most readily defer to the Chair? I suggest that destructive criticism of any Government is both wasteful and unjust for the following reason. Three-quarters of the present ills of this country are incurable by any Government, whether it be the present Government, the past Government or a future Government. No Government can cure them. The only persons who can cure them are ourselves and the people of the country. I have insisted before that it is a matter of morale, a matter of hard work, and a matter of intelligent work. It is not a matter of past Government policy, present Government policy or future Government policy.
I say that three-quarters of all this blaming one Government or another Government is entirely unjustifiable. We should blame ourselves and our  neighbours for the present state of the country.
The other thing I want to say is this. The criticism of any Government is unfair for a second reason. The average life of a Government in the past decade or so in this country has been three years. By the end of the three years when a Government has begun to get its policy moving, there is an election and another Government comes in. Very often there then are changes in policy. It is most unjust to cut the Estimates off at a certain point, when there was a change of Government and say: “All that was before that belongs to us and all that comes after that belongs to you”. It is untrue and wasteful to try to deceive people in this House or anywhere else by saying that Government policy is to be blamed for even one-fourth of the ills of the country.
There is a worse aspect still of these denunciations of the present Government, the other Party's Government. I want to put it like this. This is where I feel most deeply on the matter. I feel it is ultimately demoralising in a most sinister way if every Opposition —and sometimes Independent—member makes a scrapegoat of the present Government. Ultimately government in general will fall into disrepute.
It is always too easy to say that another group is to blame in order to avoid one's own responsibility. It is always too easy to make a scapegoat of the Government, or the Jews, or the Freemasons, or the Knights, or the Cromwellians, or the businessmen with the big cars.
An Leas-Chathaoirleach: The Senator must relate this to the Appropriation Bill and to the particular Minister who deals with what the Senator has in his mind.
Professor Stanford: I am relating this to the Government of the country and to the conduct of politicians in this country which, I think, is in some cases destructive and demoralising. There is a more sinister danger than this, a situation such as we saw in Hitler's Germany where, as the result of this kind of argument, a scapegoat was  made of the Jews. We all saw the horrors which resulted from that technique.
But there is no danger of that in this country. There is, however, another serious danger from these angry provocative denunciations of the Government. The danger is this. The ordinary people of the country will say to themselves: “If every Opposition thinks that the Government is always wrong, do we not need a completely different kind of Government? What use are the traditional Governments of this country?” They begin to look across the seas for more sinister forms of Government.
Secondly, if we make a continuous scapegoat of the Government, we are shirking our own responsibility. Then the people in the streets, in the shops, in the factories, in the fields—and they are the people who will cure our national ills—will begin to say:—“All right, the Government is to blame; why should we work hard or do anything?” The Opposition is telling us all the time that the Government is to blame, and the national morale of the country is steadily sinking. That is the double danger in this kind of thing—distrust of Governments and repudiation of personal responsibility.
Of course, I agree with the Chair and with every Senator in the House that if there are false promises they must be denounced, and if there are unwise policies they must be condemned; but we should not have this incessant dialogue that goes on all through the country at certain Party levels, of “It is your Party's fault”, “No, it is your Party's fault”, “No, statistics prove it”, “No, statistics tell lies”.
An Leas-Chathaoirleach: To what particular Department is the Senator relating his argument now—what particular Minister?
Professor Stanford: The office which costs a good deal of money—on the whole, with justification—which collects the statistics for politicians to use in the debates, Sir. I am not sure on which page of the Appropriation Accounts it appears as a public  service, but it is there and it costs us money. I am asking this, and this is the ultimate question—what does this kind of negative criticism do for the country in its hour of need? My answer is, “nothing at all.” The saddest aspect—and this relates to something that has come up very frequently in this debate—is the effect on emigration. When our young people read this kind of political abuse in the papers, they have the same feeling of shame and disgust as when young people hear their parents arguing in public. I am sure that as children, at some stage or other, we have seen possibly our own parents or some other parents quarrelling with each other for a moment and we know how heartbroken we felt. I feel that exactly the same thing happens when respectable and responsible politicians call each other hypocrites, cheats and tricksters.
An Leas-Chathaoirleach: I do not know what Department is responsible for that. I would point out that most of the Senator's speech is not in order in this debate. The Chair is the judge of that and the Senator is a very bold upholder of the authority of the Chair. The Chair is anxious that Senators should keep in order.
Professor Stanford: I am referring to emigration, I am referring to the fact that this kind of technique in politics is driving out idealistic young people—people we paid a great deal of money to educate and nourish—and, simply through despair and shame, they are leaving us on that account.
I have a constructive suggestion. Some people may say it is silly. It is idealistic, but I believe it is necessary. I suggest we need a “cease fire” in inter-Party denunciations and we need it soon. I suggest we should begin in the Seanad with this cease fire of angry and provocative deunciations. It would save ourselves a waste of effort, it would save tens of thousands of pounds ultimately in the Estimates; it would save some of us from the ravages of blood pressure; and, most important of all, such a cease fire, if it prevailed, would restore respect for Governments and respect for politics as an honourable  vocation. Surely that is one of the things we need most?
I believe a lot of the disillusion which is driving young people to emigrate would stop if we had that cease fire. The Chair has been kind in allowing me to say this. Perhaps the Chair now realises that I firmly believe it has much to do with the illness of the country at the moment. This kind of abuse is simply an old tradition in our politics, a kind of technique. It does not get us anywhere, but it goes on and it wastes time.
An Leas-Chathaoirleach: The Chair would like to ask the Senator whether he believes he is raising the prestige of the House in the estimation of the country.
Professor Stanford: It is not my intention to refer to the order of this House in any way. I am referring to the general tendency towards provocative denunciations between Opposition and Government, between Government and Opposition, which is festering in our body politic.
An Leas-Chathaoirleach: I have tried to get the Senator to relate that to the particular Minister who is responsible in the matter, and so far I have not succeeded in doing that.
Professor Stanford: I should appeal to a man who retains a great deal of the ideals of the old tradition in this country, to the Taoiseach; and I hope that the Minister for Finance will convey my views ultimately to him, foolish though they may be, as I am convinced they are not entirely contemptible. It is my solid conviction that the deepest cause of our national ill-health results from these provocative denunciations, from making a scapegoat of the Government, whatever the Government may be. I appeal to Senators, to politicians throughout the country, to consider the idea of a “cease-fire” of negative and destructive political criticism, to try to clear the air from the stale and sickening vapourings which we have right through the country. It is retarding the growth of our nation.
Finally, in saying this I do not  simply want to win the approval of the Government Benches at the moment and then that of the next Government, if the Chair allows me to say something of the kind, three years hence. That is no good. This “cease-fire” would suit the Government, obviously, as it would be harder for the Opposition to hold themselves back. The Government is a good target always for criticism in this country, which is partly an inheritance from the old days when Governments were generally unsympathetic. I appeal to the Opposition to consider the harm this kind of denunciation has done to the country in the past and will do to them when they ultimately return, as they will—and so the game goes on. If they would be magnanimous, if they would make the preliminary step, they could heal this malaise in the country's body, and they would deserve the gratitude of every well-intentioned citizen by taking the lead in an effort of this kind. We certainly will not be saved from our present state of illness by angry denunciations and counter denunciations.
An Leas-Chathaoirleach: The Senator has repeated that over and over again.
Professor Stanford: That is quite true.
An Leas-Chathaoirleach: Mainly out of order, as I have already pointed out. Would the Senator please realise that?
Professor Stanford: Perhaps, Sir, you will allow me to end in one sentence by relating it once again to the Book of Estimates?
An Leas-Chathaoirleach: For the first time.
Professor Stanford: With due deference, I think that is rather unfair, Sir, as the Official Report will show.
An Leas-Chathaoirleach: I shall permit the Senator now to relate it to the Estimates.
Professor Stanford: If this “cease-fire” in destructive political argument and denunciation which I have called  for should come about by the magnanimity mainly of the Opposition, I personally will look at page 2 of the Book of Estimates for 1958-59, the Estimate for the expenditure on the Houses of the Oireachtas, with a better conscience, Sir.
Miss Davidson: I hesitate very much to enter into this debate. In fact I might as well confess that I feel swamped by the enormous amounts of money involved in our national expenditure not to mention being also swamped by the learned discourses of our economist-Senators.
But, while the experts discuss the mountains of money required to carry on our national housekeeping, my mind seems to fix itself on the serious problem of waste in our national housekeeping. It also tries to wrestle with the question of what we can do to stop up the leaks causing the waste that is undoubtedly eating a very big hole in the national income. I know of nothing calculated to wreck a home quicker than waste. The same applies to the nation.
The Minister knows there is waste and I think it was on the Finance Bill that he said he was endeavouring to eliminate it, but I feel there is need for very stern action if we are to deal with this serious problem.
I have discussed the problem of waste with persons who have experience of national institutions. All admit there is waste. Some even go so far as to say there is appalling waste but few of them can offer a solution. I would feel much happier about the nation's future if the Minister would say to me, “I will tackle this problem seriously.”
We know that if waste is permitted in our homes our incomes just will not go as far as they are required to go. We, therefore, eliminate all waste, to the benefit of the entire family. The same thing must be done in our national family and I am certain that if firm, active steps are put into operation, the Minister for Finance will find himself with very considerable savings which he can apply to increase old age pensions, blind pensions, widows' and orphans' pensions,  unemployment benefit and assistance and other worthy objects.
It is quite unnecessary, I am sure, to give items to the Minister. He knows them already. I might refer to two small items which strike me forcibly every time I enter a post office. Money order and telegram forms litter every office and before you can write a telegram you have to discard a dozen crumpled, dirty forms and, even if you arrive early in the morning, most post office pens are bent beyond use. Tons of paper must be wasted on destroyed forms and mountains of pen nibs must be destroyed in the course of a year. We are so used to this situation that we are inclined to think it rather funny, but it is a leak from a hole in the national purse and it is time we mended the hole. I would suggest that whatever tonnage of paper is used for post office forms should be reduced and the balance should be used to produce posters calling on the public to help us achieve prosperity by the elimination of waste. This is waste by the citizens themselves. They overlook the fact that they must pay for the forms and implements they so thoughtlessly destroy. Perhaps this might be looked upon as small waste, but it is waste.
We all know the difficulties of C.I.E. and its costs to the public. Every train passenger sees the damage to railway property by young persons who break tables, hack up woodwork and tear and cut seat fabrics. A short while ago, on the Harcourt Street-Bray line, I found a seat in a large coach with the fabric covers ripped open and the foam rubber interior taken out, torn to pieces and scattered over the coach. Then we have the passengers, mostly adults, who rest their muddy footwear on the seats. All these things cause additional, avoidable expenditure. They are all waste of our resources.
Waste on a bigger scale exists in Government Departments and in institutions and the Government must tackle the problem seriously.
Often I have seen references to sales of surplus stores and have wondered how these surplus stores accumulated. I have also wondered at the prices received for the articles offered for sale.  I have here a newspaper cutting—Evening Herald, Dublin, 16th July, 1958—which reads:—
“Bidding was brisk at a disposal auction of surplus Garda stores at the Garda Depot, Phoenix Park, to-day.
There were tunics and trousers, hundreds of them, greatcoats and breeches, shirts and ties, leggings and point-duty waterproof coats and other articles of police attire.
There was braid for sergeants stripes as well as bedsteads, mattresses, blankets and 293 truncheon cases.
One man bought a quantity of handcuffs and whistles.
Waterproof coats changed hands for 10/- each; new type tunics with open necks made 3/6 and 4/- each, while the old style with stand up collars went for 6d. each.
The sale continues to-morrow when 500 cycles, carriers and tricycles will be sold.”
It seems to me, first, that this huge surplus should never have been allowed to accumulate—the notice says “tunics and trousers, hundreds of them”—and, secondly, that 3/6 to 4/- for new style tunics is not a price at all. Old style tunics sold at 6d. each. I do not know if the buttons are cut off these tunics before being sold but I do know that you cannot buy two coat buttons for 6d.
There may be some explanation for these surplus stores and I would like to hear from the Minister why public money is expended on unnecessary stores. It would not appear to be too difficult to forecast the requirements of a particular force from year to year. We know how many police, soldiers and other uniformed staff we have in our services.
Waste has to be eliminated from our personal housekeeping and waste must be eliminated from our national housekeeping. Otherwise, as a nation, we will go the way of the many families who had opportunities of considerable comfort but who, through their own waste and carelessness, have ended in  dire poverty, a burden on their fellow citizens.
I make a special appeal to the Minister to get after the waste and the wasters because I sincerely believe that, if he does so, he will accumulate a fund of money that will do much to put us a good distance along the road to security and prosperity.
Seán Ó Donnabháin: As usual, I shall be as brief as possible. We who sit and listen also serve, even though we have to listen at times to voluminous speeches which are not too interesting, as we have listened to-day to references about the difficulty of being always in order and of the necessity of addressing the Chair.
There are two items that I wish to associate with the Vote for Agriculture and which are of vital national interest. I was disappointed to find that the question of veterinary research was excluded from the functions of the Agricultural Institute. On Second Reading, I referred to the necessity for veterinary research, even though I have a certain objection to the word “research”, on account of the difficulty of its proper interpretation. I referred to matters of veterinary interest which are of vital interest to the agricultural economy in connection with the institute.
Unfortunately I missed this point during the debate, at which the Taoiseach was present, when the matter was raised by Senator Cole in an amendment of his. The Taoiseach said that veterinary problems would not be included in the work of the institute. I did not hear that statement and it was afterwards, on the publication of the report, that I saw that veterinary matters were to be excluded. The reason I relate it to this Bill is that I still think, on the wording of the Act, that veterinary problems could be included, because the definition of agriculture embraces the investigation of veterinary matters.
There are many matters which could and should be dealt with by the Agriculture Institute which cannot at present be dealt with properly by the Department of Agriculture in its laboratory or by any university. The  Taoiseach made the statement that veterinary matters were in a peculiar position. No university has full and adequate responsibility for the granting of veterinary certificates of qualification. The Department of Agriculture, through its institution, the Veterinary College, conducts the teaching, and the two universities, National and Trinity, now grant qualification degrees. That is an anomalous position. I would direct the attention of the Minister for Finance to that question again and suggest that veterinary research should be included in an agricultural institute, if it is to function as a really national institution for the benefit of the economy and the agricultural welfare of the country.
As regards the next point with which I wish to deal, I am speaking entirely on my own authority. I have no authority from the veterinary profession to speak on their behalf. However, there is a dispute going on for a considerable time between the Department of Agriculture and the organised body of the veterinary profession. The Veterinary Medical Association has asked the applicants for State appointments not to apply because of the unsatisfactory salary being offered. I feel very upset that the profession to which I belong may be held up to national ridicule for not pulling its weight with the Government and the State in regard to the eradication of bovine tuberculosis which, as everybody appreciates, is such a vital matter.
The publication of the National Farmers' Association referred to this matter and appealed for somebody outside to try to bring the parties in dispute together to solve this problem. I would appeal to the Minister to make some further approach so that the vital work to be done will go ahead without any delay. When the Bill in connection with the bovine tuberculosis scheme was before the House, I said that this was a problem which was discussed down through the years. In the '20s and '30s an appeal in this connection was made by the members of the veterinary profession, but they were not listened to. People said: “They are looking for their own advancement;  they want to get fees for themselves.” That was an unjust criticism because we have come to the stage when everybody is asking for quick results which cannot be obtained instanter but which require some years to achieve. However, if we had taken up the question then, we would be in a much more satisfactory position now, even though the beginnings would be small and the development slow. Now it is a matter of urgency and everybody is appealing to everybody else to do the best he can. As a representative of the profession here, I should be delighted if some satisfactory ending to this dispute were achieved so that we might proceed all the more quickly, belated though the effort be, with the work in hands.
There is no doubt that money is being wasted and will be wasted if there is not a sufficient central staff to cope with the work being done by the practitioners down the country. I will say this publicly, that practitioners throughout the country are making money quickly in their profession and if the situation is not followed up by central authorities in the checking and removing of reactors, much of that money will be wasted. There should be a sufficient central staff to deal quickly with the information at their disposal as a result of tests by these practitioners.
We should have a greater expenditure on intensive clearance areas. That means that if an increased amount of money is allocated for that purpose, we should have a greater number of people, both central and local, engaged in this work to keep us out of difficulty because we shall have some difficulty in our exports to the British market, if we cannot put up a satisfactory report within the next few years. The testing of cattle indiscriminately throughout the country and leaving reactors without anything further being done quickly will mean that money will be wasted. We must have a greater amount of intensive work over a wider area than at present.
That involves a great many difficulties in relation to the replacement of cattle. I do not wish to go into detail in that respect and delay the House in trying to suggest means by which the  position can be remedied. My main point is that the bovine T.B. eradication scheme should be taken up intensively in a greater number of areas and that all possible personnel should be concentrated in clearing those areas as quickly as possible. We should not confine the work entirely to the less infected areas; areas of greater infection should also be dealt with. There is no harm in saying that the areas of greatest infection are the dairying areas of Cork, Limerick, Tipperary and Kilkenny and we must get going in those areas as in the outer areas where the disease is much less prevalent.
Those who sit and listen here also serve a purpose and I shall not delay the House further beyond referring to these items in connection with the veterinary services as they affect the agricultural interests of the country.
Mr. J.D. Sheridan: I should also like to make a contribution in regard to the T.B. eradication scheme and this seems a suitable opportunity. As I understand Senators Baxter and Lenihan have already discussed the matter pretty fully I should like to add something new. This scheme is of paramount importance to us. As one of the provincial papers said recently, it would be national suicide to fail in the task. Unless we can clear the cattle population of this country of this dread disease by March, 1961, it simply means that Great Britain will be completely closed against Irish cattle by that date, and that is not very far away.
The Minister for Finance is a farmer, a man thoroughly conversant with the live-stock trade here. He was also for many years at the helm in the Department of Agriculture. He is well aware that the present high prices of cattle which have been so often mentioned here are due to the British subsidy on Irish cattle amounting at some periods to £25 per head. It is not difficult, therefore, for non-farming members of the House to visualise what the close-down of the British market would mean to us. The Minister for Agriculture stated here yesterday that, in the present prosperous  times, it might be possible to bring the export quota of Irish cattle to 1,000,000 head per annum and, as a practical cattle man, I would not disagree with him in that opinion. In plain language, if we can increase our export figure to 1,000,000 head, any Senator must appreciate, no matter how little he knows about farming or cattle, that this would mean a loss of £25,000,000 per annum if the British market goes. That is simply a matter of arithmetic.
Needless to say, this would be a disaster for the farmers and it would be a still greater tragedy for the Irish Government, whether Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael, for it would mean an almost dangerous collapse of the country's balance of payments position. Much has been said in the Dáil and in the Seanad about the T.B. eradication scheme. I have often preached on the subject over the years with, I am afraid, very little success but I am glad to say that the country is beginning to awaken to the danger and to-day every farmer is more or less alive to the need for it.
The day is not far distant when the agricultural economy of the country will collide so violently with the economy of Britain's agriculture that the repercussions here will be almost as serious as the economic war. Over and over again, I have said the only way we can get the farmers here to take real action is to offer them some incentive to have their herds attested. I raised this point with Deputy Dillon when he was Minister and later with the present Minister. I got the same reply from both sides: “The Minister for Finance would not, and could not, make funds available to provide incentives.” This House can take it from me that if some form of bonus is not offered to the Irish farmers the country's herds will not be accredited in our time.
I hear Party recriminations bandied about in this House and very often interruptions are made to win cheap applause by members of this Party and other Parties. This is a matter which concerns the bread of life for the country and yet we cannot provide the capital essential to it. I believe the  Minister for Agriculture is doing his best to tackle this great problem with limited resources but he is not a magician and certainly he cannot perform miracles. We are asking the Minister to do, in three or four years, what it took Great Britain with all the wealth and services at its disposal amounting to millions of pounds, almost 20 years to achieve.
The main reason I wished to contribute to this debate was to point out to the Minister for Finance that in Britain's drive for attestation her farmers were no more enthusiastic for the scheme at its inception than our own are. The introduction by the British Government of an incentive bonus of £2 per head per annum for every fully attested animal was the beginning of the acceleration of the scheme across the water. If this system succeeded so well with them, where their economy is an industrial one rather than an agricultural one, how much more important is it that it should be introduced here? If the Minister says the country cannot afford these inducements to help the farmer meet this heavy burden—because it is a heavy burden on any farmer who is going to have his cattle attested—then I appreciate and sympathise with his point of view.
I would not be the first to propose that we embark on some grandiose scheme that we cannot afford. I have often maintained in connection with this scheme that it represents the lifeline of this country, as Senator Baxter said yesterday, and indeed, the lifeline of any Government that wishes to remain solvent. I would appeal, therefore, to the Minister for Finance to make some effort to make the money available to the Minister for Agriculture to offer incentives and, in my view, if these incentives are offered they will be the biggest speed-up that the eradication scheme will, or could, possibly get in this country.
If I may be allowed to put it in one sentence, surely it is better to spend a few million pounds now on an export industry that realises close upon £50,000,000 per annum, when it is in jeopardy, than spend that money on these new fangled industrial empires  that we are begging to come to Ireland, and to which the Government are prepared to offer millions of pounds to help them become established here? I do not make this remark in any critical sense. I am not a politician. We have heard a lot of talk to-day about getting under people's political skins, but I have no such interest. I only know that our cattle trade over the years has been the substance which kept this country solvent. I would appeal, therefore, to the Minister to consider seriously before exchanging the cattle trade, which is the substance, for the shadow of some mythical industrial empire and I would repeat to him, and indeed to the House, the warning I uttered at a meeting a week ago, that it is much easier to lose a market than to regain a market after it has been lost.
Mr. Burke: I believe that the problem which we have before us in Ireland is rather more educational in its content than in any other respect. Argument and counter-argument can bring a great deal of futility. This morning, when taking the air before spending the evening in this House, I happened in passing a newsagent's shop to pick up the number of The Leader for July 12th. The news sheet outside the door bore the simple word “Statism”, and if I may be permitted to reflect on that and its effect, particularly on adult education, for a few moments here this evening, I feel I may make some constructive contribution to the debate.
We have tried for so many centuries in Ireland to regain our freedom that we thought when we regained this freedom that everything in the garden would automatically right itself. As Dr. Philbin, Bishop of Clonfert, says in this article “A City on a Hill”, in the autumn issue of Studies on page 264: “Our version of history has tended to make us think of freedom as an end in itself and of independent government—like a marriage in a fairy story—as the solution of all ills. Freedom is useful in proportion to the use we make of it.” I think there is great food for thought in what he has said, and also in the article in The Leader. We are expecting too much from the State. We make suggestions for the  enlargement of the Departments of State and then they beget State bodies of all sorts and sizes which the resources of the country are unable to maintain or sustain.
Speaking on a Bill last night I briefly commented on the rôle that I believed should be that of the Department of Agriculture. It was originally conceived to be educational and, when the farmer had reached a certain stage, the raison d'être of the Department of Agriculture would have in large measure passed away. In my opinion there is a further danger in the development of the State, and that is that we tend to develop a totalitarian condition when we cease to be individuals and hand over to the State the rights and the duties that we have.
The article in The Leader quotes much of the literature that has dealt with this subject. One of the first people in contemporary times who pointed out the problems that confront free men in this respect was the late Hilaire Belloc in his The Servile State and more recently a book was written, The Road to Serfdom, by Professor Hayek, which has often been quoted in this House. Professor Hayek had the valuable experience of living in Germany in a developing régime which then became totalitarian. I believe if we create the conditions that make it impossible to run the State freely we also create the conditions, the forces and stresses, that make up totalitarianism and semi-totalitarianism. Certainly we restrict the freedom of the individual, and this article in The Leader refers to the address which His Holiness the Pope gave at Christmas, 1952.
Just a few lines from that address will show how much His Holiness was perturbed with the development taking place. It states:
“In some countries the modern State is becoming a gigantic administrative machine. It extends its influence over almost every phase of life; it would bring under its administration the whole gamut of political, economic, social, and intellectual life from birth to death. No wonder then if in this impersonal atmosphere,  which tends to penetrate and pervade all human life, respect for the common good lies dormant in the conscience of individuals, and the State loses more and more its primary character of a community of morally responsible citizens.”
I believe that freedom is a very precious thing and that it is lost in little ways. We cease to become good citizens in little ways. Maybe we lose truth by telling little lies, but certainly we lose freedom by allowing the State to take from us our small rights, little by little, and maybe we find the big ones are taken from us before we know it.
I want to refer to a specific case that has a bearing on the rights and privileges of this House. It is a matter which was mentioned by Senator Barry recently. I believe it is one of the little rights and privileges being taken away. I am glad the Minister for Finance is here to-day. He is a man of great experience in political life. After the Taoiseach and Tánaiste, he ranks third in the Cabinet. The Tánaiste was unable to come to this House to answer the questions which Senator Barry wished to ask him yesterday.
From Volume 49, No. 5, of the Seanad Debates of May 24th, 1958, I wish to quote an undertaking given to me by the Minister and I want the Minister for Finance to convey to the Tánaiste, when he returns from the State business in which he is engaged abroad, the request made in this House. The first column I wish to quote from is column 473, in which the Tánaiste says:—
“I think it is certain that the tea wholesalers, who have been working on the preparation of this scheme for some years now, will be trying genuinely to make it work in accordance with the general aims we all have in view. If it should prove to be so, that the fears which Senator Burke has expressed are well founded, that the small trader is not getting a fair crack of the whip as he should get under these arrangements, then I will certainly revise the arrangements.”
I hope to show, in view of the Minister's undertaking that he would revise  these arrangements, that the reason for making such revision is now operative. But, first of all, I wish to go further with the assurance which the Tánaiste gave. At column 444, I said:—
“...this Bill will give an unfair advantage to the bigger business people as against the smaller business people. We ought to lean over in favour of the smaller business people, some of whom have been doing this business for two, three, four or five generations.”
At column 450, the Tánaiste said:—
“As wholesalers, the company is obliged by statute to give them the same service as if they were in the company. People outside the company will get the same service as those in the company are entitled to get.”
And at column 454, the Tánaiste said this:—
“If a person asks me what advantage a shareholder has over a non-shareholder, I do not see that he has any advantage.”
At column 460, I said in reply to the Tánaiste:—
“I should like the Minister between now and the next stage to examine the position with regard to the wholesalers in the country. I should like him to consult some of them. Taking the long view, I think it would be shocking to think that tea will be handled by a small group in Dublin or Cork, who have the £2,500 to put down, while people in other places, such as Kilkenny or Clonmel, have not. I think the privileges given to these people under these articles of association are wrong.”
I now wish to state I have been informed by Senator Barry, and he has had correspondence with the Tánaiste about this matter, that if a person is not a shareholder in this company, he will have to pay 5 per cent. agency fee on his tea. Let us examine that. That is a privilege. If it were given in another company, it would not appear to us in a very good light. For example, if I were living in Bray and brought State stock,  would anyone in this House think I should be allowed to travel at 5 per cent. under the rate an ordinary person would pay for the ticket? Further, if I bought shares in the E.S.B., should I get cheaper electricity? Any person who is a shareholder in the railway company or the E.S.B. will pay the same amount for the services as any other person, whether a shareholder or not. When they get the dividend, they get it on their shares, the same as anybody else. The same should apply to the tea company. The people who have shares in the tea company should get their dividend but should not receive additional privilege.
I want the Minister for Finance, an experienced member of the Cabinet, to investigate this matter. I think it is a very false principle. There is a responsibility on the State, in the interests of the common good, to see that the smaller wholesaler and importer will be protected. It is the duty of the State to protect these people rather than the larger people who are able to look after themselves. As I said, this is a small right being taken from us. These small traders in country towns are important persons in their small communities. Maybe their sons will be the people who will be called upon to act as leaders of the Fianna Fáil Party, the Fine Gael Party or any other Party in these towns. We want to preserve these small importers and not destroy them by giving an unfair concession to the large importers. I know that the Minister for Finance will consider the representations which Senator Barry and I have made and that he will see the principle. It would be wrong to give people who invest their money in a State enterprise a concession as well as a dividend. That gives them a privilege. We must not establish privilege in this country, because it is a democracy.
Leaving this aspect aside and going further, if we are to succeed in this country, it will be, as I said, through education and particularly through the promotion of adult education for all members of a democracy. I think we should thank a graduate of Cambridge,  now a Professor of Economics in Queen's University, Belfast, Professor C.F. Carter, for an article he wrote in the summer, 1957, issue of Studies. I want to quote a few lines from that, because it illustrates what this man, who has been looking at our economy objectively, thinks about us. At page 139, he says:—
“Material wealth comes from the application of human skill, intelligence and hard work to the free gifts with which divine Providence has endowed the world. We can do little about the natural resources of the country, except import Canadians to look for some more; the variable factors are hard work and the skill which is embodied in technical knowledge and able management.”
Therefore, we want technical skill and able management. Our friends, the Danes, about whom we hear so much, when they were faced with the problem of developing the arid peninsula of Jutland and the islands in the bleak Baltic Sea, did not set out to make themselves completely technological. They set up their folk schools 100 years ago. It was people inspired by things of the spirit who set about giving them that inspiration.
Business suspended at 6 p.m. and resumed at 7 p.m.
Mr. Burke: I was speaking of the folk schools that were started in Jut-land over a century ago and their effect on the outlook of the farmers who afterwards became the greatest farmers in Europe. The spiritual influence of that movement and the classical concept of education made the Danes wish to be the best farmers in the world—and they succeeded. A very interesting lecture on that subject was given some six months ago by Reverend Professor Dunning of the National University. From that movement came co-operativism, as we know it.
I think the Danes and the Dutch who were before us in these movements have a conception of that branch of educational thought which is somewhat different from ours. Recently, I discussed this matter with a Dutchman  and a Dane. I told them that in Ireland, in the handling of dairy products such as butter, and so on, it is a complete co-operative monopoly. One of them remarked: “We would not call that co-operation. We would call it co-operativism.” I think we have a doctrinaire approach to the matter which those who were more successful than we have not. Instead of looking to the State and to State companies to do things for us, maybe in the smaller things we might do more in our own lives, in our business and in our occupations. We would have much greater success if we paid more attention to detail.
Irish Shipping, Limited, has been very successful. I have often wondered about State help for people who live in sea towns who wish to have ships such as those which our friends the Dutch, the French and the Germans have—the small diesel coasters that come up tidal estuaries and rivers and that are run as a family business. They might contribute a great deal to our economy and give us that mercantile tradition in which we are lacking. We should study that matter. If the Danes and the French and the Germans can do that successfully, we might possibly do so also. A further advantage is that these ships could be built, maintained and serviced here in Ireland much better than the larger ships engaged in the intensely competitive tramp trade. Fortunately, we have been successful in that trade for many years past but, just as some people like mixed farming, we might like our shipping to be of a mixed nature.
In this House and in the other House and in organs of public opinion such as newspapers, there has been considerable discussion and thought on marketing. I often think we may go too far in that direction. We may think it is a panacea for our troubles. Patient continuation and an intelligent approach are the most important factors in marketing. If you are marketing a product, you have to stick it out, just as with a shop. Whether the times are good or bad, you have to keep your shop door open. The same applies to marketing. You must keep your product before the public.
Senator Lenihan mentioned the spectacular increase in our bacon exports.  To some extent, that is due to the fact that the idea of the people co-operating in that endeavour is that it will be marketed in Britain all the time. I think, however, that it is more correct to say that the results came from plans which were laid three or four years ago and which have been continued by the present Government. Both of our Governments, and other interests, deserve commendation rather than that it should be said that any one group, or Government, deserves the full praise-for the matter. I think it is praiseworthy for any Government to continue and extend any scheme started by another Government because it shows there must be greater wisdom when great minds think alike.
In conclusion, I should like to say that I was most impressed by what Senator Miss Davidson said about waste. It comes very well indeed from a person representing the Labour Party because I often think if people in commerce say it, it is taken adversely. She asked us to consider this as a national problem and urged that we should do something to prevent the destruction of public property and the ill-management of some of our Departments. To me, it has a philosophic consideration. If a farmer or merchant is managing a business and does not handle it properly, he will go out of business and that does not do any harm to anybody else. If various State Departments, or quasi-State Departments, are ill-managed, they are a drag on the State and tend to pull it down. It is a very sound conclusion that anything that can be done by a smaller body should be done by that body and the State should give the necessary encouragement and provide the conditions and environment, rather than that the State should do it itself.
I have nothing further to add to this debate except to ask the Minister, his advisers and the Cabinet, to consider the suggestions I have made. Many of them are the result of practical experience in business and in commerce. It is a hard road but it is tested by results, and if you make a wrong decision often enough in industry and commerce, you will go out of business. That is why I say the voice of experience  should be listened to in regard to some of the points I have made.
Tomás Ó Maoláin: Last year on the Appropriation Bill, I roamed over the whole field of the Estimates and occupied quite a considerable amount of the time of the House. This year, I do not propose to follow that procedure, but there are a few important aspects of the Bill, and the Estimates which it contains, to which I should like to refer. One of the aspects of public administration and of national administration in which I am deeply interested is that concerning foreign affairs. In that connection, I welcome the attitude of Senator Baxter and Senator McGuire, which, if I may say so, is in striking contrast with the ill-informed and ignorant attitude of certain public representatives—quite a number of them—certain newspapers and certain national organisations.
Senator Baxter made it quite clear that he was in favour of making our presence known to the world and he asserted that even if doing this involved spending a little more than we could wisely spend, it would be well worth doing so. I am very glad, from my point of view, to be able to say that the Government have been doing this and it is paying off. It is paying off in goodwill and increasing foreign trade. I am convinced that our diplomatic service abroad, small and inadequate as it is, is doing an excellent job and we have reason to be proud of those who are selected as representatives of this country to serve in other countries.
Ireland has come out of the back streets, one might say, and is now in the main thoroughfares. She has resumed the place she held during the years 1917 to 1921 as a leader amongst small nations who were struggling to assert their right to a place in the sun and a place in the council of the nations. Ireland's voice is again heard in international councils. She is heard at the United Nations particularly, and her views command respect. On this Bill, it is appropriate that I should congratulate the Minister for External Affairs on his far-sighted contributions to the Assembly debates last autumn, particularly, in my opinion, on Hungary and Algeria and on his proposals  for easing tension in Europe and Asia.
Those who suffer most from wars and international upheavals are the working people in every land and I commend to those who criticised the Minister for External Affairs for his handling of the position in the United Nations last year, to read the presidential address, to which Senator McGuire referred in another context during this debate, of Mr. Jack Macgougan at the annual meeting of the Irish Trade Union Congress at Killarney yesterday. I should like to read what the representative of several hundred thousand organised workers thinks of the way in which our representatives acquitted themselves in the United Nations' session last autumn. This report is from the Evening Press of yesterday. It reads:—
“Mr. Macgougan said that they congratulated the Minister for External Affairs, Mr. Aiken, on the constructive proposals that he made before the U.N.O. General Assembly and elsewhere aimed at easing international tension. It was to be hoped that he would continue his efforts despite senseless sniping from ‘uninformed parish-pump politicians’, of encouraging support for a middle way in international affairs.”
That tribute from the leader of a great body of organised Irish workers indicates to me that an informed public opinion amongst those who would suffer most, as I said, from international tension and war, is the best proof that the efforts of our representatives in the United Nations are deeply appreciated by those who would suffer most in the event of a catastrophe.
I am glad to be able to support Senator Baxter and also Senator McGuire in their plea for more trade representation in Britain. I should like to see the Irish Consular Service extended to centres such as Cardiff, Glasgow and Liverpool. I am all with Senator McGuire in that and I am convinced that the fact that we have an Embassy in London and trade representation there is undoubtedly a great asset to this country, but that asset  would be even greater if the trade contacts and the means of making them could be decentralised and extended to cities throughout Great Britain where the trade prospects and the tourist prospects offer great hope for further development for our efforts.
Last year on this Bill, I referred to the desirability of an extension of our diplomatic representation in the Far East. I suggested Tokyo as a base for South-East Asia in which our diplomatic mission could be centred to cater for places like Japan, China, the Philippines, Burma and even as far west as India. I was very happy to see during the year, since the last Appropriation Bill, that the Government of Japan had accredited a Minister to Ireland. I hope it will not be long before the Irish Government will be in a position to reciprocate this friendly action by the establishment of an Irish diplomatic mission in Tokyo.
I was very glad to hear Senator McGuire's references to the ignorant criticism with regard to the Presidency, the embassies and the other outward symbols of our independence which undoubtedly cost money but which any self-respecting nation must maintain in these modern times. It is too bad that, through the assistance of some newspapers, a public opinion is being created, based on ill-informed information, which derides and ridicules these symbols of our national independence. I hope that public men of all Parties will take it upon themselves, wherever they hear this ignorant criticism, to answer it and to show that whatever expenditure is incurred on these items in the Appropriation Bill is expenditure well worth while. It is expenditure which those who were making the struggle for the independence of this nation before 1921 would have decided on, no matter what the cost, had they had the opportunity of deciding.
Senator Baxter spoke of making our presence known. Another way, I am glad to say, in which the Government has made our presence known to the world is by the establishment during the year of an Irish transatlantic airline. It is undoubtedly a cause of great pride and satisfaction to every Irish  citizen of goodwill to see the Irish tricolour flying in the Atlantic skyways since April 28th of this year, and to know that a great American transport company has such confidence in the future of this Irish enterprise that it has invested £500,000 in it. When I saw the first Irish transatlantic service leaving Collinstown on April 28th, I could not help thinking what a pity it was that the first Coalition Government of 1948 were so feebleminded and shortsighted as to halt this great project, at a time when it offered great prospects and to deprive the service of the revenue which would have accrued to it during one of the most prosperous years for tourist and pilgrimage traffic we have had in this century.
I was rather amused to hear some of the Opposition Senators concerned on the Cereals Bill that a future Minister for Agriculture might not adhere to the promise given by the present Minister in regard to the use of surplus funds by An Bord Gráin. Listening to the whole of the debate, I thought to myself again what a pity it was that they and their colleagues in the Coalition Government at the time did not express similar concern when the Coalition sold the five Constellation airliners to the business competitors of the United States, despite an assurance from the previous Government that such a breach of an undertaking would not be tolerated by any successive Irish Government.
Opposition speakers from time to time have made great play with the promise made by the Minister for Industry and Commerce at one time that the Government would ensure the establishment of an airport in the City of Cork. It was suggested and hinted that there was nothing behind that promise except fraud. It is very pleasant to be able to say in the Seanad on this Appropriation Bill that there was definite action taken on that promise and that Cork will have regular air services inside two years from now. In addition, it is very satisfactory to know that major airport construction is in progress at Collinstown and Shannon in order to fit them for the rapidly increasing traffic and to fit  them also for their place on the world map during the jet age which is now upon us.
The expansion of the Aer Lingus routes to European cities, the progress of Irish Shipping which was referred to here during the debate and the steps taken to preserve the railways, prove, to my mind anyhow, that the Government are alive to the transport needs of this country and that they have shown vision, courage and initiative in these matters.
I again go the whole way with Senator Baxter in advocating the greatest possible investment in the tourist industry and I am in thorough agreement with the statements which he made at the commencement of this debate on this subject. Here again I am very happy to be able to say that this Government has a record for constructive achievement. It is satisfactory to note that in this, as in many other instances, the Senator's leaders, some of whom were bitterly opposed to tourist development only ten or 12 years ago, are now its stoutest propagandists and supporters.
I spoke at some length last year on this matter. I am glad that further progress has been made in many spheres of the tourist industry since then. I extend a welcome to the introduction of the cross-Channel and cross-Border buses. I believe their operation here when the programme gets properly under way, will bring a big influx of the package tour trade to Ireland. There are thousands of people in the midlands of England, particularly in the industrial areas of Lancashire and Yorkshire, who would like to come to this country, but because of various difficulties up to now, they were unable to do so and because of more attractive and more economic tours to continental areas, they did not see their way to come here. I am convinced that the permission given to foreign bus operators to organise these package tours direct from industrial centres in England, whilst it will do no harm to our own transport industry or to our own hotels, will be a great asset and a great advantage to the lower-priced hotels and guest houses throughout these 26 counties.
Having said that, I must say that  I am very far from satisfied that An Bord Fáilte has put the dynamic drive required into the provision of extra bedroom accommodation in hotels; and, as I pointed out last year, that is the key to the whole successful development of tourism in Ireland. Any Senator here who consults the proprietor of any hotel will find that the biggest bottleneck during the tourist season is the fact that there are not sufficient single bedrooms to go around. I know of hotels which, year after year, have found themselves in the position, at the end of the season, of being able to record in their correspondence files that they have turned away 300 or 400 people. They were people with money to spend, who wanted single bedrooms, or mothers and fathers who had a daughter and wanted a single bedroom for her, or engaged couples who wanted two single rooms.
Because of the lack of single bedroom accommodation and the fact that the practice is to let only double bedrooms, they were compelled to turn this trade away. If this trade is turned away from this country, they will undoubtedly go to other countries where a more intelligent attitude is adopted towards those who go on holidays on their own. So far as I can see, since last year, since I referred to this matter, An Bord Fáilte has done very little, if anything, to put drive into the hotels of this part of Ireland to construct an adequate amount of single bedroom accommodation. Until they do so, in my opinion, our tourist trade will be circumscribed; it will be limited to those who can utilise double bedrooms. Thereby we will lose a tremendous amount of traffic and a tremendous amount of money which, if An Bord Fáilte concentrated on the single bedroom idea, could be held for this country and could be guaranteed in the years to come.
From speaking to hoteliers in different parts of the country during the past 12 months, and particularly since the Tourist Bill was before us here in the Seanad a few months ago, I am afraid that An Bord Fáilte has not yet put a Panzer division through the red tape which surrounded them since their inception. I am afraid, too, from consultation  with hoteliers, that there is one department of An Bord Fáilte which needs to have a land mine put under it. That department is the architectural section and, so far as I can find out, it is the cause of much of the delay which has occurred in the reconstruction or extension of existing hotels, the addition of single bedrooms and the building of new hotels. I do not want to go into details, but I am aware of at least two cases in which actual discouragement was given to hoteliers who advanced this idea and who met with very little assistance from that section of An Bord Fáilte.
I hope that more effort will be made following the enactment of the tourist legislation here early this year. Some effort should be made to get down to brass tacks in this matter and to appreciate the fact that mere publicity, advertising and propaganda are not sufficient, unless adequate accommodation can be provided for those who respond to the publicity and to the appeals to come to this country. That accommodation, unfortunately, has not yet been provided and, to my mind, unless something is done to ginger up An Bord Fáilte in this direction, it will not be provided.
I have another complaint to make. An Bord Fáilte last year amended their hotels brochure to include guesthouses. At least, they produced a brochure in which guesthouses were listed and they thereby, in my opinion, accepted a certain amount of responsibility for seeing that foreign visitors, who become our guests during the tourist season, through staying in these guesthouses, are treated like human beings. Unfortunately, quite a number of these guesthouses have adopted the technique of taking in these visitors, of taking money in advance from them and, when they arrive, of telling them that their money covers only the bare meals and the bed, and not accommodation. In other words, once they have had their breakfast, they are pushed out; they come back for lunch and they are pushed out again; they come for tea and they are pushed out until bed-time.
That is certainly a most discouraging way to induce foreigners to come to this country—foreigners who are not  able to afford the facilities of the better class hotels, who are not able to arrange to stay in them and who are compelled, if they want a holiday abroad, to take a more reasonably priced guesthouse. When they come, they find that there is no facility whatsoever for them, whether it is rain or sunshine; there is no facility to read, to write, to sit down and gossip, or to stay in if they want to; they just must get out. I maintain that if Bord Failte O.K. a list of guesthouses—which last year I thought, as I said in the debate, was a blunder—it is their responsibility to see that a fair deal is given to the people who avail themselves of the information contained in this brochure and who come to Ireland believing they will get an Irish welcome and proper hospitality.
Last year, I referred also to one of the greatest grievances that tourists have. Tourists from Britain to the number of about 250,000 travel each year on cross-Channel ferries to Belgium, Holland and France. A very small trickle of them come here, but that small trickle, in view of the size of our country and of the infant stage of the development of this type of industry, is a very big thing. The biggest obstacle is the unreasonable freight charge on cars from Holyhead, Fishguard and Liverpool to Dún Laoghaire, Dublin or Rosslare.
I know there are difficulties. I know that it requires quite an amount of negotiation and discussion to get over it, but something should have been done, in view of the great potential of this new type of tourist. A man who goes on holiday with his wife and family and a car, who finds that the single fare for his car to Ireland would bring him to almost any part of the Continent, will go to the Continent and will not come here. We are losing that business because of the failure of whoever is responsible to ensure that there are reasonable freight charges for cars or to provide a car ferry in order to make quite certain that these people come to Ireland and will be able to afford to come to Ireland. There are many other aspects of tourist development that I should like to touch on, but it would take too long.
 Senator O'Donovan and other speakers from his side made the usual references last night to emigration and unemployment. Senator O'Donovan, particularly, referred to statistics quoted by the Taoiseach from the Statistical Survey. I must confess I was never much good at statistics, and therefore I do not propose to follow Senator O'Donovan through the maze of figures which almost completely pulverised me. Instead, however, by way of a change, I should like to quote, for his edification and enlightenment, the views of the former Taoiseach, Deputy Costello, who is his leader and whose views, I take it, will command respect from him. Deputy Costello, speaking at a Fine Gael Munster conference in Cork on June 15th, as reported in the Irish Press of June 16th, said:—
“The country's problems could not be solved by mere carping criticism or laments for what might have been. While we could not achieve a heaven on earth in this country overnight or even ultimately and while we could not achieve quick results, world circumstances being as they are, we may be convinced that prosperity could be built up and our problems solved gradually and eventually.”
“The political history of the past ten years ought to have taught our people that no politicians have within their exclusive grasp the cure for all our troubles whether unemployment, emigration or the development of our resources.”
“No politicians”—not even Senator O'Donovan or Senator O'Leary or even Senator Murphy, who, unfortunately, is not here. I commend that to those who have been bandying words around.
Speaking of Senator O'Leary reminds me that he seems to think that industrial development here is at a standstill. I should like to remind him and others who, during this debate, poked fun, to put it mildly, at our prospects of attracting foreign industrialists here that, according to a Dáil statement, about 60 active proposals for new industries are at  present before the Industrial Development Authority.
Senator McGuire urged that, in all this industrial drive, Irish firms who never got a chance should be given a chance. As far as I can see, from the information available, Irish firms are in the van of this development, but it might be encouraging to those who poke fun at the prospect of any foreigners coming here in response to the various trips that were made to various countries in Europe and to the United States to know that proposals are also being examined by the Industrial Development Authority from industrialists with an interest in doing business here from the United States of America, Britain, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Sweden, France and even Denmark. In my opinion, therefore, there is no ground for Senator O'Leary's assertion that industrial development has come to a standstill and that the Government are only fooling the people by talking about it.
On the general economic position, which was ably covered by Senator Lenihan, I should only like to add a few quotations because I do not think it is necessary to go into the whole field from A to Z. These quotations, which are from people who should know something about it and who, incidentally, cannot be accused of being Fianna Fáil propagandists, cheered me up as I hope they will cheer Senators who may have become rather pessimistic listening to some of the speeches here.
The president of the Trade Union Congress, whom Senator McGuire quoted in another connection, says that industrial production increased by 7 per cent. in the first quarter of this year and the employment position has slightly improved. The annual report of the Provisional United Trade Union Organisation confirms that the economy has improved during the past 12 months. The chairman of Macra na Feirme National Executive Committee, Mr. Fogarty, says that last year's increase in agricultural production shows that we are moving towards a full achievement of our farming potential. That is reported in the Evening Press of 18th July and may be of special interest to Senator Quinlan.
 The annual report of the E.S.B. records a further expansion in the sale of electricity. Sales of new cars are more than treble those of last year. Incidentally, the decision of the Government during the year since the last Appropriation Bill to restore the subsidy, representing 15 per cent. of the capital of the rural electrification project, which was withdrawn by the Coalition Government in 1955, means that the job will be finished by 1962, and by that time it is expected that about 280,000 rural homes will have light and power. Need I say that I am very happy to claim credit for the initiation of that rural electrification scheme for the Fianna Fáil Government at the time? Now, I have to come to something unpleasant.
Mr. Baxter: That is a pity.
Tomás Ó Maoláin: I had to deal with it last year. I regret that I must deal with it again this year.
An Cathaoirleach: It is on the Appropriation Bill?
Tomás Ó Maoláin: It is on the Appropriation Bill, Sir. Money is voted for it. It is called Radio Éireann. Radio Éireann is a State institution, the national broadcasting service. As such, a high standard of probity and integrity is expected from it, particularly in its news reports. Last year, I dwelt at some length on the discourtesy with which Radio Éireann treated Seanad Éireann and I am afraid I have to complain again that this discourtesy continues, but in a much more serious manner.
We have been used to hearing from time to time about discrimination in news reports in favour of the Government. I have been listening very attentively—I am a radio fan—to Radio Éireann for a long time now and the only discrimination I can see in their news reports is discrimination against those who support Government policy. I would not mind that if, by and large, their alibi held substance that over the year it is balanced. That is the explanation you get if you query it.
I want to draw attention to an extraordinary piece of news reporting which  occurred over Radio Éireann on 16th July at 10.45 p.m. A very important debate took place in this House on that date which was covered by Radio Éireann. I appreciate the difficulty of sub-editing longwinded speeches. I appreciate the difficulty of covering in 15 minutes the sessions of two Houses; I appreciate also the difficulty when speeches are rushed to the newsroom and have to be cut down, sub-edited and put out quickly for the announcer; but certainly I cannot appreciate the difficulty in any sub-editor or the news editor of Radio Éireann realising that if a Minister speaks in the Seanad in reply to a debate, he is entitled to a fair proportion of whatever time is devoted to a report of the Seanad proceedings of that day.
We have this extraordinary situation, that on 16th July, some six or seven minutes were devoted to the Seanad discussion on the Finance Bill. A number of speakers were listed as having spoken: Senator O'Donovan, Senator O'Brien, Senator Stanford, Senator Murphy, Senator Baxter and Senator Quinlan. That was all very good. There were three other speakers, however, but they happened to be from the Fianna Fáil or Government side of the House: Senator Ó Ciosáin, Senator Lenihan and Senator O'Callaghan. Radio Éireann apparently were deaf in one ear because they never heard them.
Even that is not my quarrel, that a completely one-sided, partisan report of a debate should be given. My quarrel is that, having capably sub-edited and summarised to the extent of a few sentences in each case—it was intelligently done, I must say—the speeches of the Senators I have mentioned, we find that the Minister for Finance who replied to the debate was given precisely 45 seconds of the time given by Radio Éireann to the Seanad report of that date. News reporting, if it is to be tolerated as representing “what happened in the Seanad to-day”, should at least try to be fair, and I leave it to any impartial member of the Seanad as to whether that is an example of fair reporting or not.
I spoke last year of the contempt in which Radio Éireann holds Seanad  Éireann. That contempt is never better exemplified than when the Dáil is not in session. When the Dáil is in session, Radio Éireann goes on the air with a report described as: “To-day in the Dáil and Seanad”, consisting mainly of “To-day in the Dáil”. But when Dáil Éireann is not in session, Radio Éireann fills in the period with a first-class jazz band or some equally exhilarating music. There is no report of Seanad Éireann as such outside what might be mentioned during the course of the ordinary 10.15 p.m. news bulletin.
Last night, there was no report of “To-day in the Seanad”. A very important thing happened here yesterday when Senator L'Estrange apologised to the Chair for what happened on Thursday last. It was important that that should have been reported by Radio Éireann because of the garbled account which was given in the Radio Éireann report on 17th July which gave a completely distorted and wrong impression of the remarks made by the Minister for Agriculture in reply to Senator L'Estrange. It was left to the listeners of Radio Eireann on that occasion to believe that the Minister gave an undertaking which he did not give. As I said, it was a completely garbled account of what happened here, and the fact that Senator L'Estrange withdrew yesterday in deference to the Chair should have been reported on the Radio Éireann news bulletin last night in order to give a fair presentation and a fair crack of the whip to the Minister for Agriculture, but it was not done.
These are not the only evidences of bias or stupidity or incompetency in the newsroom of Radio Éireann. I do not propose to go into them any further, except to say that if I knew how to go about it—I do not know, I confess—and if any more of this misreporting occurs, I would be quite prepared to put down a motion here in Seanad Éireann for the exclusion of Radio Éireann from the proceedings of this Assembly.
Senator Stanford in his comments to-night roused my ire, and I cannot help thinking that the principal thing of which he complains and the very procedure for which he thinks we  should hang our heads in shame happens in the great Mother of Parliaments in a far greater and much more excitable way than it has ever happened here.
Senator McGuire—I must say I listened very attentively to his speech and one item of it I fastened on, apart from his very sound references to our foreign representation—seems to think that this Arts Council which we have is a wonderful institution. Last year, I dealt in extenso with a certain case of what I regard as victimisation by this Arts Council. I would strongly recommend Senator McGuire, if he has any influence with the Director or any of the members, to ask them to examine their consciences in the light of what has happened since to the brilliant student whom they refused to entertain, whose case they refused to allow to be reopened, and to examine the progress since made by that student. I would ask the Senator to suggest—not so much to the members because as far as I understand the responsibility lies with the Director—to the Director that, in all fairness, since he was unable to appreciate the case which was made on behalf of that student and as developments since have proved the Director to be stupid and incompetent, he should resign and let somebody more capable take on the work of a very important institution.
Senator Quinlan very naïvely said he was disturbed by what happened to Senator Barry and he was disturbed again by what Senator Kissane said about graduate emigration. I did not take him very seriously in his references to university grants and the like. I would like to follow him down that path because I have ideas myself on them but again time is not available. However, I omitted to refer to a development in ordinary education in this country, the education which affects the great majority of our people which I regard as of supreme importance and for which I have pleaded in public and in private for many years.
Senators who were present will remember  my advocacy last year of the inculcation into the children in the national schools of a sense of civic pride and responsibility and of my urging that some steps should be taken before it is too late to make them conscious of the fact that they have a nation, that they have a flag and that they have a Constitution of which they should be proud. Whatever the obstacles were all these years to the display of the national flag outside the schools they have been overcome now in one case. It was very pleasant to read the following item in the Irish Press of July 22nd:—
“On their return from holidays pupil of five schools in the parish of St. Mary's, Athlone, will pledge allegiance to the national flag and the nation each day before beginning their studies.
“During the summer holidays a Tricolour is being placed in Clonconny, Cornamaddy, the Bower Infants' and the Marist Brothers' National Schools...”
The pledge which will be recited in Irish and English by the schoolchildren is:—
“I pledge allegiance to the flag of Ireland and to the Republic for which it stands—one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all.”
For years and years such practices have been lacking in the primary schools from which the children go to the secondary schools and universities. On such a practice is based their understanding of whether they are citizens of a free country or any country, and I think that is the most significant development that has occurred in this country for many years. Whether it is the clerical managers, the Department of Education or whoever it is that has brought it about, it is long overdue and everybody should appreciate the importance of it.
References were made by Senator McGuire and Senator Burke to-night to the need for civic spirit and civic pride. This is something that promotes these qualities; it has done it in the United States; it has made that  country a great nation; it has made Americans conscious of the fact that they have a country and they are proud of it. It is absolutely vital we should do likewise here if we are to counteract the anglicising influences which are all around us. Great credit is undoubtedly due to the Rev. Fr. Bennett, C.C., who is chaplain to the boy scouts in Athlone and who, as a consequence of a recent visit to the United States, came home with the idea that this could be done and should be done and has, with the co-operation of O.N.E., succeeded in doing it.
I hope that idea will be adopted in every primary school in the Twenty-Six Counties. If it is, and if children leaving these schools and going to colleges and universities go with an understanding of, and love for, the flag and the Constitution, we shall have far fewer complaints about lack of civic spirit and lack of understanding than we have to-day.
Mention of the Constitution reminds me that I should like to address a special plea to the Minister for Finance whom we have here with us—since I take it he will have to provide the money—not to forget that this year marks the 21st anniversary of the enactment of the Constitution in 1937. We have had stamps to commemorate far less important or significant events and wherever he gets the money he should make certain that before the end of this year—the operative date of the Constitution is December 29— money will be found for the production of a stamp to commemorate that tremendous event in the modern history of this country.
I do not think I should delay the House further except to say that I am in full support of the Appropriation Bill. I think we are getting good value for the money which we are asked to spend under it.
Mr. Prendergast: My contribution to this debate will be in relation to a subject which has already been spoken of quite a lot, but I feel the more people speak on it, the more important it becomes. That subject is the eradication of bovine T.B. I wish there had been more speakers two or three years ago on a motion which Senator  Sheridan and I put down in this House urging the speeding up of the eradication of bovine T.B. I think only one or two Senators, apart from Senator Sheridan and myself, spoke on it. Now, obviously, the House and the country are beginning to realise that speeding up the eradication of bovine T.B. is of vital importance to the economy of the country.
This year, I see the sum allocated to that project is £1,820,000, in comparision with £704,050 last year, which is £1,115,950 more, but this year there are, to the best of my knowledge, ten counties more in the scheme. In last year's scheme, there were only Sligo, Clare and the Bansha area, but this year we have the whole of Connacht and part of Ulster as well—I think Monaghan and Donegal. For the life of me, I cannot see that this extra £1,115,950 will be sufficient this year, in so far as there are ten or 12 counties involved as against two counties covered by the previous Estimate. However, that is a job for the Minister for Agriculture and he will have to try to make the money go as far as he possibly can, but I do not see how he can undertake the scheme as it should be undertaken.
No later than last Friday or Saturday, the British Ambassador to this country spoke at Waterford. He was very forcible in saying that, by 1960, the Irish cattle trade, and the Irish people, would find themselves in a very serious position when England will not accept our cattle unless they are free of T.B. When the British Ambassador makes a point of speaking on a subject like that, at a meeting which had nothing to do with agriculture, it is obvious he made the meeting an occasion to drive home to the Government and people of this country the importance of the problem.
There is a rumour throughout the country, which I have heard from two or three different sources, that the British Government have offered vast financial help to this country to assist the eradication scheme. I do not know whether they have or not. The Minister probably knows and I should like him to refer to it when he is replying. Possibly they have made such an offer, with strings attached, and I should like  the Minister to tell the House if they have done so. That rumour has been widespread throughout the country, and rumour also has it that the offer has been turned down. I hope the Government have not turned it down because obviously the reason this scheme is not making the progress it should be making is lack of finance.
I would urge the Minister, if he has not the money available from the sources from which it should be available, and if this offer has been made by Britain, to avail of it and, if the offer has not been made, to provide more money to help speed up the scheme. There is no point in my going into detail on how important the success of that scheme is to our economy. Last year, the cattle trade was worth £50,000,000.
There are possibly several reasons besides that of finance which contribute to the slow progress of the scheme. One important reason to which Senator Ó Donnabháin referred is the veterinary end of it. The Minister for Agriculture may state on some occasions that shortage of veterinary staff is responsible for lack of progress, but three years ago in this House, I told the Minister that he would not be short of veterinary staff, if that staff were paid on the same equitable basis as that on which our neighbour, Great Britain, pays them. Britain pays veterinary staff on an overtime basis, and we have young veterinary surgeons leaving this country on the day they are qualified to go to Britain where they can earn three times more than they can earn in this country, though there is three times the need for their services in this country. Surely that is a very important factor in the eradication of bovine T.B.?
I know that during the past three or four months the Department has advertised for veterinary surgeons in the newspapers and, not alone did it not get them, but it did not get any replies to its advertisements. It is difficult to see how the Department could get replies when they are not paying this staff on an equitable basis in comparison with private practitioners, and in comparison with the scale on which such staff are paid in other countries.  Every other aspect of this scheme has been mentioned and I shall not deal further with it.
The Agricultural Credit Corporation was mentioned by Senator Lenihan and I agree with what he said. He did say—and I understand this is the Minister's view also—that they have not been carrying out their functions in the way it was intended they should. I feel exactly the same and I feel that the Minister, now that he has a new chairman for the Agricultural Credit Corporation, will do something about that. As Senator Lenihan said, the Agricultural Credit Corporation is as conservative as, and possibly more conservative, than the commercial banks and I have had complaints from several farmers who made applications to the corporation that they did not get anywhere. I appeal to the Minister to see that the Agricultural Credit Corporation does its duty.
Pádraig Ó Siochfhradha: Ocáid é seo, is dóigh, gur féidir caint ar gach gné de ghnótha an Rialtais, agus ar na bearta atá déanta acu agus na nithe atá beartaithe acu le déanamh fós. Tá an-chuid trácht déanta ar nithe éagsúla an tráthnóna seo ach ba mhaith liomsa trácht ar cheann ar leith, ceann de na cuspóirí is tábhachtaí i saol na tíre. Is é sin ceist na Gaeilge—athbheochaint agus leathnú na Gaelige. Ní labharfaidh mé ró-fhada mar tá nithe dá mhalairt le plé agus beidh daoine ag feitheamh le caoi chun trácht ar na gnótha sin.
Maidir leis an nGaeilge agus le soláthar an Rialtais di, ní cóir a bheith ag clamhsán faoina laghad atá déanta.
Tá soláthar maith agus soláthar fiúntach déanta ag an Rialtas maidir leis an nGaeilge féin. I bhfoirm airgid, a rinneadh cuid de, i bhfoirm teagaisc agus in obair na scoileanna agus na gColáistí cuid eile de. Maidir le cuid an airgid de, ba mhaith liom, dá mbeadh an t-airgead le fáil, go mbeadh an Rialtas níos flaithiúla d'fhonn an teanga a chur á hath-úsáid agus chun go bhfeicfí toradh níos fearr ar an méid a caithfí.
Nílim ag déanamh ábhar díospóireachta de cheist an airgid le haghaidh na Gaeilge sa chaint seo agam. Tá mo shúil agus mo aigne dírithe go speisialta  ar na bearta agus ar an saothair atá á dhéanamh chun tairbhe aigne agus mian an phobail. Tá mo aigne dírithe níos mó ar an taobh sin de ná ar cúrsaí airgid, bíodh is go bhfuil mórán déanta agus go bhfuil mórchuid obair fónta ar siúl le blianta i leith. Is inmholta an Rialtas ina thaobh—agus ní hé an Rialtas seo ná aon Rialtas speisialta adeirim ach Rialtais na hÉireann ó 1922 i leith. Is inmholta na Rialtais as ucht an méid aitheantais a thug siad do thábhacht na Gaeilge sa tír agus d'fhonn cuspóirí na Gaeilge d'aithbheochaint le haghaidh an náisiúin agus an phobail. Tá mórán déanta. Tá riail in sna scoileanna—i gcoitinne ar chuma ar bith—go múinfí an Ghaeilge do gach leanbh scoile i nÉirinn. Tá sé sin á dhéanamh go sár-mhaith in áiteanna áirithe, go maith in áiteanna eile agus go leamh in áiteanna. Ach tá an prionsabal ann gur chóir go mbeadh eolas ar an dteangain ag gach duine óg. Chuige sin, tá sé socraithe ag an Rialtas ná hoilfí as seo amach, agus nach cóir go n-oilfí, múinteoir sa tír seo nach féidir leis an obair sin do dhéanamh go slachtmhar agus go hoilte agus tá sé sin á dhéanamh maith go leor ins no coláistí ollúna agus ins na háiteanna ina gcuirtear daoine in oiriúint don ghairm múinteoireachta.
San Stát-Sheirbhís féin, le tamall fada, tá riail ann gur ceart go mbeadh eolas ar an dteangan ag daoine óga ag teacht isteach dóibh, agus tugtar é sin fé ndeara. San Stát-Sheirbhís, de thoradh na hoibre ó 1922 i leith, tá mórán daoine óga a tháinig iseteach i Seirbhís an Stáit ag a bhfuil eolas ciosach maith nó, réasúnta maith ar an dteangain—nó ba chóir go mbeadh an t-eolas sin acu. Is mar sin atá, de thoradh hoibre agus mian an Rialtais agus, arís, is rud fónta é.
Is iad an dá cheist atá im aigne mar gheall air seo; bhfuil an gléas a ceapadh agus an obair a rinneadh torthúil mar ba chóir a bheith nó mar a cheapaimid ba chóir a bheith? An bhfuil greim níos láidre, níos fairsinge agus níos réidhe ar eolas na teangan ag muintir na hÉireann de thoradh na mbeart sin? Sin í an cheist a bhí inár n-aigne le déanaí anseo nuair d'iarramar ar an Rialtas fiosrúchán a chur ar siúl maidir leis an obair sin atá ar siúl againn—ag dul isteach ní  amháin i limistéirí oibre na scoile ach ag dul isteach ar an obair i gcoitinne. Sin é an rud gur dhein mé tagairt dó i dtosach mo chuid cainte agus is ar thoradh an fhiosrúcháin sin atá mise agus mórán daoine ag fanúint, féachaint cad iad na moltaí agus na comhairlí a bheidh ann. Ní thiocfaidh mé roimh-ré ar an scéal.
Tá rud amháin cinnte agus soléir inár n-aignc, ag daoine atá imníoch maidir le leas na teangan agus maidir leis an obair atá á dhéanamh ar a son, sé sin nach bhfuilimíd sásta leis na torthaí, bíodh is go bhfuil torthaí ann. Táimid den dtuairim gur chóir go mbeadh níos mó tortha ar na hiarrachtaí a rinneadh. Is ar an rud sin ba mhaith liom go ndéanfadh an Rialtas machnamh nuair a bheas aon cheist ann faoi airgead a sholáthar don ghluaiseacht seo nó chun athrú do mholadh chun torthaí níos fearr nó níos fairsinge d'fháil as an obair.
Tomás Ó Maoláin: Could we get an idea as to when it is likely the Minister may get in to conclude this debate? I think there is general agreement that we should try to finish the business to-night.
Professor Hayes: I gather there are two Senators on this side who wish to speak. I do not know if the Minister could get in at ten o'clock.
Mr. Tunney: I shall not be long.
Mr. L'Estrange: I cannot say how long I shall be. It all depends on the other side of the House.
Professor Hayes: On that basis, I do not know whether the leader of the House could make a suggestion to us as to when the Minister for Finance could get in.
Tomás Ó Maoláin: Might we suggest that the Minister make his reply not later than 10 p.m.?
An Cathaoirleach: 9.15 p.m.?
Professor Hayes: Suppose we aim at 10 p.m., and nearer, if we can do so? Is it then proposed to conclude the business on the Order Paper after that? Is it proposed to sit later than 10 p.m.?
Tomás Ó Maoláin: I suggest we sit until midnight, if necessary, to conclude No. 4.
Pádraig Ó Siochfhradha;: Ní chuirfidh mise moill ar an ghnó.
Professor Hayes: Is fíor annamh a dhéanann tú sin.
Pádraig Ó Siochfhradha: Nuair a thiocfaidh an fiosrúchán chun chinn agus nuair a bheidh moltaí dhá ndéanamh acu ba chóir go mbeadh na téarmaí tagartha leathan go leor chun fiosrúchán iomlán a dhéanamh ar an gceist ar fad. Do gheall an Taoiseach agus an tAire Oideachais é sin dúinn. Tá an Coiste ainmnithe agus beidh siad ag teacht le chéile roimh i bhfad agus níor mhiste dhóibh a fhios a bheith acu ó thosach gur fiosrúchán mór a bhéas ann chun gach gné de ghluaiseacht na Gaeilge a scrúdú agus go ndéanfadh siad moltaí do réir an eolais agus an chleachtadh atá acu ar chúrsaí na Gaeilge agus iad a thabhairt don Rialtas. Ba chóir go mbeadh fonn ar an Rialtas cur chun gnótha agus úsáid a bhaint as na cumhachtaí atá acu.
Ba mhaith liom tagairt a dhéanamh do ghné amháin eile, maidir leis an Stát-Sheirbhís. Tá an Stát-Sheirbhís lán de Ghaeilgeoirí. Is eagal liom gur beag feidhm a baintear as an nGaeilge atá acu agus is beag ócáid a ceaptar chun iachaill a chur orthu feidhm a bhaint as an eolas sin chun dul i dtaithí na teangan.
Tá, leis, an t-am tagtha nuair ba cheart do thrí Ranna Rialtais a ngnó iomlán leis an bpobal a dhéanamh i nGaeilge. Níorbh aon dhíobháil é sin a dhéanamh. Maidir le hAireacht an Oideachais, níl éinne a bhfuil baint aige leis an Aireacht sin, idir phobal, bainisteoirí scoile agus páistí, nach bhfuil eolas go leor acu chun litreacha a thuiscint. Tá sé in am tosnú leis an Aireacht sin agus Aireacht na Gaeltachta. Déarfainn, leis, nár chóir go raghadh aon ní amach as an Roinn Airgeadais nó as Ranna eile ná beadh i nGaeilge.
Sin iad na nithe gur mhaith linn a fheiscint ar siúl. Dá gcuirfi i bhfeidhm iad do chrothódh sé don phobal go raibh an Rialtas dáiríre i dtaobh  aithbheochaint na teangan. Níl aon chúis go raghadh litreacha amach i mBéarla ó Aireacht an Oideachais nó ó chuid de na Ranna eile. Bheadh an t-éileamh i gcás Cáin Incaim chomh feidhmiúil i nGaeilge agus atá sé i mBéarla.
Professor Hayes: Chomh mí-fheidhmiúil leis.
Pádraig Ó Siochfhradha: B'fhéidir. Is dóigh liom gur ceart go mbeadh ceist na Gaeilge beo i gcónaí in aigne aon chuid den Stát-Sheirbhís. Is dóigh liom gur ceart a bheith dáiríre faoi cheist na Gaelige. Is dóigh liom gur ceart é sin a bheith mar bhunphrionsabal againn. Do bhain na Giúdaigh feidhm as a dteanga in Israel agus rinne lucht na Fionnlainne an rud céanna i dtaobh a dteangan. Rinne náisiúin eile a bhí dáiríre i dtaobh aithbheochaint a dteangan an rud céanna.
Mr. Tunney: There are just a few points I should like to bring to the notice of the Minister. Practically everything concerned with the nation has been dealt with by other Senators. I was particularly impressed by the case made by two members of the Cattle Traders' Association in connection with the eradication of bovine tuberculosis. I hope the few words I have to say will help the Minister to do something towards the eradication of poverty.
I am one of those who fully appreciate how much has been done to improve the standard of living for the people of this country since we got native government. I give full credit to the Cumann na nGaedheal Government when they were in power. I give full credit to the Fianna Fáil Government and to the inter-Party Government. All of them did a certain amount to help raise the standard of living of the working classes and the people generally.
Senator McGuire made a statement this evening which was very important. He brought to the attention of the House that the representatives of Labour, the Government and the Labour Court and everybody concerned, felt that the worker was entitled to 10/- a week to cover the increased  cost of living brought about by the Government in connection with the withdrawal of the subsidies on bread, flour and butter. These workers are organised. Speaking as a trade unionist, I say they were very reluctant to accept the 10/- because they felt it did not cover the full increase in the cost of living.
You have the old age pensioners and the widows and because they are unorganised and unable to help themselves through any organisation they got a solitary 1/- per week. If the Government and everybody concerned agree that 10/- was a reasonable amount to cover the increased cost of living as a result of the withdrawal of the food subsidies, surely everybody will agree that to offer 1/- to the old age pensioners and the widows is unreasonable.
Last night we had the Minister for Agriculture in the Seanad with a Bill to set up a board to try to find a market for our surplus wheat. I seriously make the statement that there are many people in this country who would provide a market for flour and bread but, unfortunately, they have not the money to pay the price of them. I am referring to the category of persons I mentioned earlier. I do not wish any statement I make to be taken as political. I give credit to all Governments for what they have done but the Party to which I belong were never in power in this country to carry out their programme.
Senator McGuire made another very important statement. He said that the people of this country had got into a kind of despair. I back him up by saying that everywhere one goes one meets people saying there is no hope for this country and there are no prospects in this country. A kind of rot has set in the nation. It is a pity those people were not with us in 1918 when a different spirit was apparent in the country.
We talk a lot about emigration. It is a terrible state of affairs to find here people so devoid of national spirit and love of country that they resign their jobs—men drawing big pay—because they have to pay a bill of £36 income-tax in the year. They go over  to a country where they have to pay much more in income-tax. If I had my way, they would pay six times as much.
There is a bad spirit in the country. It is more or less due to the big Parties because they made so many promises to the people and broke them. I am not condemning any Party more than another. There have been so many promises made and broken so often that the general mass of the people are about to despair. This was illustrated by the recent by-elections in the City of Dublin when more people stayed at home than the total number who voted for all the Parties together. That is a bad omen. It is a spirit I do not like to see arising here. I should like to assure Senator McGuire that I believe it is due to the many promises made and broken.
I was formerly a very ardent supporter of the Fianna Fáil Party. I have no hesitation in saying that within that Party there are great men —men who gave great service to this country and who deserve well of it. When I joined the Fianna Fáil Party what went to my heart most was an expression of the present Taoiseach at the start of the organisation, when he said: “If we get back in power in this country we shall utilise the wealth of the country for the benefit of the people of the country. We shall give employment to all our people. Not alone that, but we shall bring back the many emigrants. We shall start to take from the rich and give to the poor until we reach that happy position where nobody will be too rich or too poor.” When I heard that, I said: “You are my man; that is the right idea.”
I believe that is possible. We have gone a long way towards the realisation of the ideal of nobody being too poor, but there still remain those few sections of the community to whom I referred—the sections on which the withdrawal of the subsidies bears most: the old age pensioners, the widows, persons in receipt of home assistance, the poor persons unable to provide for themselves. They get a shilling each when the workers get ten shillings each.
 I am not saying workers are getting enough. I would appeal to the Minister to put before the Cabinet that the old age pensioners, the widows, those least able to help themselves, get an increase because many of them are hungry to-night. I disapprove of the idea of sending butter to England at 2/- per pound when many of the children of those widows cannot taste butter from Monday to Saturday night. That should not happen, no matter what the financial position is. It is a wrong system. It was the policy of the present Taoiseach that the Irish people should have first claim on the wealth and food of Ireland.
I want to refer to a point made by Senator Ó Maoláin. He referred to C.I.E. If I were a member of the Board of C.I.E., I would be ashamed of myself. I believe they are most incompetent. That is a serious statement to make. You find a train leaving Westland Row at 9 o'clock for Westport and a bus leaving the Bus Station for Westport at the same time. Of course, the Minister can say in reply that they do not touch the same places. At one time in this country there were only the trains. The furthest point from any station in the Midlands is not too far. I think it is a most stupid thing that these people themselves are driving the railways out of existence, running a bus and train to Westport at the same time, and both practically empty, except during holiday periods.
There is a very important point I want to bring to the Minister's attention. It is a serious statement. I shall give figures to the Minister and the House to show that the Minister for Social Welfare, by his recommendation, is wasting money in Dublin. This point deals with the distribution of free and subsidised turf to the poor of Dublin. At the outset, I want to compliment the Minister for Industry and Commerce for introducing a scheme for free and subsidised fuel for the poor of Dublin during the crisis. That was to ensure that those least able to help themselves would be sure of at least one bag of turf in the week. That happened around 1940. Is it not a terrible state of affairs to  say that, in 1958, because it suits certain people, the same scheme introduced during the crisis is in existence? I want to compliment the Minister on introducing the scheme when it was needed. I shall go so far as to say that it was the most farsighted and worthy proposal ever made by a Minister in this country—to see that the poor at least would have a little fuel when some of us could not even get fuel for money.
In 1958, the same scheme is still carried on. I have approached the Minister for Social Welfare in connection with this matter and asked him to give these people money in lieu of fuel, so that they can themselves buy firing—briquettes, etc.—direct from merchants or fuel hawkers. I feel that in making that request I am expressing the desires of 99 per cent. of these people. I have brought to the Minister's attention the waste and demoralisation attached to the carrying on of the present scheme. I can give the Minister some interesting figures. The scheme cost £127,840. That works out at a cost of £5 16s. 10d. a ton for this turf. All that turf is not delivered through the various channels. Everybody knows that the merchants of this city, who pay trade union wages, ensure that you will get a cwt. or half cwt. of turf or coal. The price of turf is much less than that.
In addition to the sum of £127,000, the widows and old age pensioners contribute, by their miserable little sixpence, £20,000; the people on insurance stamps contribute £3,011; and the people on unemployment assistance, or the dole, as it is termed, contribute £10,000—all for the delivery of turf which has already cost £5 16s. 10d. per ton. I should like to impress on the Minister that he should take immediate action in this matter, in view of the fact also that the distribution of free turf is the lowest form of pauperism. I should like the Minister to visit Cabra, or Finglas, or some such area and see hundreds of people, on a winter's day waiting for this turf to arrive.
Many of the people who get the turf are not able to carry 1 cwt. of it. The widow, old age pensioner or the blind little boy is not able to carry that  weight. In the country people would be able to carry it because they are accustomed to carrying weights. Those people, waiting at the depots in all kinds of weather, probably have bad boots and clothing which affords them little protection. This is one of the greatest disgraces that we have in this country and it is costing the taxpayers and ratepayers thousands of pounds more than if the turf were supplied to the doors of the people getting it. I appeal to the Minister to have that scandal stopped. What must tourists think when they see a widow, an old age pensioner or blind person dragging a cwt. of turf along the street? It would not be so bad if either the State or local taxation gained by it, but they lose thousands of pounds.
There are cases of people who are not able to go themselves to collect the turf, such as blind people, and they have to pay somebody to collect it for them. They have to pay 1/- for its collection and then, humanity being what it is, they do not even get the full cwt. because some people are unscrupulous enough to take some of the turf from them. When I point out these things, I am speaking as the chairman of the board responsible for the distribution of this turf. If the Minister does not stop this scandal, at least he should, next January and February, send his private and confidential expert to the depots to see what is taking place there. I feel sure that the Minister will do something about this.
Another appeal which I should like to make to the Minister is to increase the old age pensions and the widows' allowance. There were many other points which I had intended to make but they have been referred to by previous speakers, and there is no need for repetition at this hour of the night. One matter I will refer to is in connection with health services. I want to compliment the Minister for Health— everybody may not agree with me—on the attitude he has taken towards polio vaccination. That was something that was badly needed as some of the medical profession were being unscruplous. Some were charging £15 for the three injections, some were charging £12 and the prices were out of  proportion in relation to what the workers could pay.
I compliment the Minister on his direction that a certain amount shall be charged. I think that charge is reasonable. On the other hand, I feel that some local authorities, or the managers, have been too severe in the matter of the withdrawal of the health cards from many of the poor people. I want the Minister and the House to understand that my sympathy always goes more to the person who has never drawn the dole, or assistance, or relief and who always tried to earn an honest living but whose wages are small. The fact that such people in permanent employment are in receipt of a small wage, means that there is a certain amount of poverty in the home and they are not in a position to pay hospital or doctors' bills.
I would make a special appeal to the Minister to use his influence with the Minister for Health to have his Department issue instructions to the managers to review the position in connection with the people deprived of health cards who were in receipt of them last year. The managers, after all, have the last word. The elected representatives of local authorities have very little power and, as a matter of fact, I think it is a disgrace that we should have them at all, while the managers have the power they have. However, the majority of the managers are fairly considerate and accept the views of the elected representatives.
On the whole question of the health services and what they are costing the nation, I feel there is great room for improvement. I am not going to suggest that we should go further in other directions, for it makes me smile when I hear certain politicians say that we should have free medical services. They cannot be free because somebody must pay for them. Somebody must pay the medical men and the specialists and somebody must pay for the medicines. I should like the Department also to give instructions to the different managers regarding such people as farm labourers, and other workers in the cities and towns who are on a low rate of wage, so that their  position in connection with the health cards could be reviewed.
As one who has been a worker all his life, I appeal to the Minister to introduce the pay-as-you-earn system of income-tax. If that were done, it would mean additional income for the State as well as being a great help to the people. It is hard for people who are in receipt of a medium wage, but who are still liable for income-tax, to have to pay their tax in one sum, or even partly, and therefore I would appeal to the Minister to introduce that system.
Mr. L'Estrange: Senator Stanford lectured the Seanad this evening on our general conduct and spoke about one Party blaming the other—the Party in power claiming credit for everything good which happened and blaming the other Party for everything that went wrong. As far as Parliaments go, I think we can hold our own in the world. We can hold our own with the Parliament in England and in France. In my opinion, criticism is no harm and it can often do a certain amount of good. It can often convert people and it can often convert Parties. There is no doubt that Fine Gael criticism over the years has converted Fianna Fáil to a large extent. Fianna Fáil are now operating the policy that Fine Gael once preached and are claiming credit for what Cumann na nGaedheal, the predecessors of Fine Gael, accomplished in years gone by.
It was interesting to hear Senator Ó Maoláin speak about rural electrification and about the E.S.B. The truth is, if he wants to know it, that in 1956-57, over 100 areas were converted to rural electrification, whereas in this year it is estimated that only 60 areas will be completed.
Mr. Lenihan: Who passed the Act?
Mr. L'Estrange: We can bring our minds back to 1924. Credit is due to the Cumann na nGaedheal Government for starting the Shannon Scheme, which the people on that side said then was a “white elephant”. To-day they come in and want to claim credit because 300,000 homesteads will have rural electrification in another five  years. The credit for all that is due to the energy, initiative and imagination of Deputy McGilligan when he was Minister for Industry and Commerce in 1924, and to nobody else. There could not be the industrial revival if the Government then had not established the E.S.B.
We have also converted other people. We have converted the Minister for Health, who had very socialistic ideas as regards our currency at one time. He has been converted now to the Tory or Conservative that he is to-day. If Senator Lenihan, when criticising Senator O'Donovan, would look at Volume 40, columns 1147-8 of the Dáil Debates, he will see that Deputy MacEntee said:—
“The £ is a millstone around the necks of the people and is dragging them down to the bottom of the sea.... The financial and economic position of the country would be much better if we had an independent currency instead of being tied to the sinking pound.”
Deputy MacEntee has come a long way since then. They realise now that what the Government of that day preached to them was correct. It is by criticism that they have been converted round to our way of thinking.
Fianna Fáil realise now the importance of the British market. We remember when they told us the British market was “gone and gone for ever, thanks be to God.” Even the Taoiseach admitted in the Dáil this year that it was the export of cattle that saved the country this year. It took Fianna Fáil a long time to come around, but perhaps, through criticism, they have been converted in that regard. They also thought very little of the cattle industry. The poor little calf, when born, had its throat slit from ear to ear. Now they have been converted to realise the importance of the little calf; and they are not slaughtering calves to-day.
Mr. Lenihan: The rivers of Westmeath ran red with blood?
Mr. L'Estrange: They also realised it was the duty of the people to respect the lawfully-elected Government of the  country. There was a time when they did not believe in that, but they have been converted and by being converted, perhaps they have helped to save this little country of ours.
The Government have been 16 months in office and we on this side have an opportunity now of reviewing the work of the Government. This also provides an opportunity of assessing the manner in which the Government have kept their promises. On the other hand, it gives the Government Party an opportunity to tell the people what they are doing and what they intend to do to redeem the promises they made in the last election.
We do not know what Fianna Fáil policy is now. They looked for a blank cheque at that time. I suppose that, now that they are a strong Government, they do not mind stating what their policy is. We know that their policy as regards wheat is to cut down the price by 10/- or 12/- a barrel. They will not do it themselves, but they set up a board to do the work they are not men enough to do. We know the farmers will get 6/- a barrel less for barley. We know the guaranteed price for pigs has been reduced 5/- a cwt. A few moments ago, Senator Ó Maoláin stated that neither the Minister nor any of the Fianna Fáil Party said that the price of wheat would be restored to 82/6.
Tomás Ó Maoláin: I never mentioned it.
Mr. L'Estrange: You did. You stated that the Minister did not, nor did anybody, make the statement that I accused him of making in Carlow-Kilkenny.
Tomás Ó Maoláin: I never mentioned the price of wheat.
Mr. L'Estrange: The Senator said that the Minister did not make the statement I accused him of making. In any case, Senator Lenihan asked last week for quotations to show that any Fianna Fáil man stated it. If he looks at Volume 170, column 723, he will see that Deputy Corry stated:—
“I told the people that they would  get 82/6 per barrel for their wheat and they believed it.”
Now, Deputy Corry is a Fianna Fáil Deputy and he made that statement in the Dáil.
Mr. Lenihan: In what year?
Mr. L'Estrange: Then he went on to make a most damnable statement, when he was questioned last week.
Mr. Lenihan: What year is that report?
Mr. L'Estrange: It is a report of 16th July, 1958.
Mr. Lenihan: That is not an election speech of March, 1957.
Mr. L'Estrange: Deputy Corry gets up himself and says:—
“I told the people that they would get 82/6 per barrel for their wheat and they believed it.”
He is criticising his own Minister in Leinster House.
Mr. Lenihan: He is not a Minister.
Mr. L'Estrange: Senator Lenihan asked last week for quotations.
Mr. Lenihan: From a Minister.
Mr. L'Estrange: You did not.
An Leas-Chathaoirleach: Now, no one interrupted Senator Lenihan when he was speaking. We would get on better if there were no interruptions. Senators may not like what other Senators say, but we have no control over that.
Mr. O'Callaghan: On a point of order, I think Senator L'Estrange should give the full quotation. He is taking that out of its context. He should give it in full.
Professor Hayes: No, no. May I protest against Deputy Corry being heard in extenso in the Seanad as well as in the Dáil? That would be too much.
An Leas-Chathaoirleach: Perhaps we could pass on.
Mr. L'Estrange: No. I have been asked to give them. Deputy Corry said:—
“Deputy Dillon and some other Deputies passed remarks in this debate about certain statements made by me. I make no bones about this.”
He was making no bones about it. Some Senators here are hiding behind it and are not prepared to admit it. At least Deputy Corry was man enough to admit that Fianna Fáil fooled the farmers of Cork and the farmers of Ireland. Deputy Corry said:—
“I told the people that they would get 82/6 per barrel for their wheat and they believed it.”
He goes on further, and I may as well quote it, as I was asked what he said:—
“I would not grow wheat at Deputy Dillon's price and I am hanged if I would grow it at a lower price.”
Now we have the Fianna Fáil policy from some of the Fianna Fáil Deputies.
Mr. Lenihan: One.
Mr. L'Estrange: Deputy Corry continued:—
“That is my advice to the farmers ...I am taking my own steps about the matter and I am advising my own people about it.”
There is Fianna Fáil policy now on the growing of wheat. At present they claim credit for everything that has gone right and they try to blame the inter-Party Government for anything that went wrong. They claim credit this year because our balance of trade was righted and the reason it was righted was that we exported £131,000,000 worth from this country. Remember that was an increase. In 1947, it was £39,000,000 and that had increased on the change of Government to £131,000,000 and, as Senator Baxter pointed out the last day, over £46,000,000 of that was for live stock alone. Surely there is nobody on that side of the House who can claim that the cattle that were exported or the  sheep that were exported, or even the pigs that were exported were all born since 20th March, 1957? Perhaps some of the pigs were, but, in any case, they cannot claim full credit for it, although they are doing their best to claim it.
They also claim credit because we are more or less out of the wood financially, but the credit for that is due to the courageous, though unpopular, steps taken by Deputy Sweetman when he was Minister for Finance, when the Government of that day were prepared to put country before Party and took unpopular steps but steps which they knew would right our financial position. They were criticised in this House for doing it.
I remember some of the Fianna Fáil Deputies and Senators lamenting the fact that oranges were 6d., due to the levy and that the levy should be taken off for the benefit of mothers and young children. The levy has since been taken off oranges, but oranges are now 7d. I should like the people on the Fianna Fáil side of the House to tell us where the profit is going. The levy is off but the orange costs, not 6d., but 7d.
We all know that an economic blizzard hit this country in 1955 and 1956, that Sir Anthony Eden stated that even Britain was in mortal danger and Britain had to take measures at that time also to protect her economy. We all know that the Government of that day had, if you like, hard luck because Argentine beef was being dumped on the British market and the price of our cattle dropped as low as £4 per cwt. To-day the price is anything from £7 to £9 a cwt. Surely Fianna Fáil cannot claim credit for that, because the credit for that is due to one man alone, that is, the Minister for Agriculture in 1948, who, in 1948, made the cattle trade agreement of that year and put a proviso in it that for every increase the British farmer would get his cattle, the farmer of Ireland would get a similar increase. As a result of that, to-day, no matter what Minister may be in power, whether he is competent or incompetent, the Irish farmer will still get any increase the British farmer gets for his cattle. It is due to that fact that we exported £131,000,000 worth of produce  last year and that our external accounts were balanced.
Deputy Dillon, in the inter-Party Government at that time, also started the land rehabilitation scheme and that scheme is being slowed down at the present time. Due to that scheme, over 1,000,000 acres of unfertile or bad land have been brought into production and I know people who have grown crops of wheat on land that at one time was flooded and producing nothing but heather. I know one man who is a Senator who, last year, got an average of 14 and 15 barrels of wheat off such land.
The lime scheme was also introduced. Now that scheme is also being slowed down and the price has been increased, despite promises made before the general election.
All Parties here claim that the one thing we want is increased production from the land and from the factories. When I talk about converting people, it might be no harm also to go back to Volume 81, column 1524, when we had Deputy Aiken, who is now the Minister for External Affairs——
Mr. Lenihan: What year?
Mr. L'Estrange: I have given the Senator the volume and the column.
“We are not helpless if we use our brains. The Lord has given us resources, and we have the means at the moment, so that even if every dama ship were at the bottom of the sea, we could have twice as high a standard of living in a few years.”
That is a statement that was made by an important Minister, a man who is still a Minister in the Government. If the ships were not available this year to take our cattle to Britain, Germany, France and other countries, where would this country be? Even if the ships were not available to take the 70,000 or 80,000 that had to emigrate, due to Fianna Fáil policy, where would the country be?
In any debate like this, we should give credit where credit is due. I was surprised at Senator O'Callaghan when last week he stated that we had an  increase in the number of cattle in this country. He said:—
“I think it was in 1953 that experiments were carried out in North Cork and in West Limerick in connection with white scour and aureomycin was discovered to be the remedy for the disease. We know that thousands of calves, reckoned at 60,000 or 70,000, were lost in years gone by due to this disease.”
I should like Senator O'Callaghan to think again because it was in 1949 that Deputy Dillon introduced aureomycin. The Minister can put his hand up as high as he likes, like Hitler or anyone else. He can say “Heil Hitler.”
Dr. Ryan: Yes, James Dillon.
Mr. L'Estrange: You have an overall majority and do not give a damn about the Irish people. You will be in power for another three years and can walk on them for the next three years.
Mr. Lenihan: That is how you held up your hand in 1930.
Mr. L'Estrange: I do not mind what way I held up my hand. I held my head up in 1935. I fought against those who stood for lawlessness and tried to break up political meetings and did not stand for democracy. If you have the I.R.A. to-day, they are only doing what Fianna Fáil taught them to do in years gone by and what the Irish Press with hate articles and hate campaigns is teaching them to do again.
An Leas-Chathaoirleach: The Senator need not go back to that time.
Dr. Ryan: Are we dealing with the Appropriation Bill?
Mr. L'Estrange: I do want to claim and I am not saying “I think” because Deputy Dillon stated it was in 1949—the Minister can ape Hitler as long as he likes.
Mr. Lenihan: Tell us about the 1930's.
Mr. L'Estrange: If I tell you about the 1930's, I will put you in your place. If Senator Lenihan wants to know the truth about the 1930's, his father was in the Free State Army and was Fine  Gael at that time and he himself a supporter of the Party on this side of the House.
Tomás Ó Maoláin: On a point of order, may I suggest that if this is to continue——
An Leas-Chathaoirleach: Is the Senator rising on a point of order?
Tomás Ó Maoláin: The point of order is this: we are debating the Appropriation Bill. Surely Senator L'Estrange should restrain himself.
An Leas-Chathaoirleach: I would suggest to many others in the House, as well as to Senator L'Estrange——
Tomás Ó Maoláin: He may have to repeat his performance of yesterday.
An Leas-Chathaoirleach: I hope my point of view on that will be respected all round. If we have no interruption, perhaps we will get on with the debate.
Mr. L'Estrange: If we have no interruptions, I will stick to what I have to say. We heard a lot of talk about false promises. We all know that the Taoiseach went around the country at the time of the last general election and spoke like a pious old preacher. He spoke about honour in public life. He spoke about lies and false promises. There is no man who has broken his promise or his word more often to the Irish people than the man who made that statement.
Tomás Ó Maoláin: Are we compelled to sit here and listen to this after the exhibition which Senator L'Estrange made of himself last week in regard to one Minister? Are we compelled to listen to insults to the Taoiseach?
An Leas-Chathaoirleach: There is no obligation on anyone to sit and listen if he does not like to hear what is said.
Tomás Ó Maoláin: Am I not entitled to sit here without having to listen to insults to the head of the Government?
An Leas-Chathaoirleach: As long as the Senator's remarks are in order and can be related to the Bill, the Chair  has no option other than to permit him to continue.
Tomás Ó Maoláin: Where does “in order” and insult stop? What is the difference? If this is to be allowed then we will have a bear garden.
An Leas-Chathaoirleach: I hope we shall not have, and I hope Senator Mullins will not contribute to it.
Tomás Ó Maoláin: I shall not and have not contributed to it, but I shall not sit here and listen to the head of the Government being accused of being a liar.
An Leas-Chathaoirleach: I do not think the word “liar” was used.
Professor Hayes: Senator Mullins will have to sit and hear people saying things he does not like. That is a fundamental part of parliamentary debate. There is no such thing as any form of parliamentary privilege or immunity in this respect for the head of the Government, and nobody knows that better than Senator Mullins does.
Tomás Ó Maoláin: When the allegation comes as part of a preconceived attack from the same Senator who was compelled to apologise yesterday, I think it is time to call a halt.
An Leas-Chathaoirleach: That is past now.
Mr. L'Estrange: I apologised to the Chair for what I said in the heat of the moment. If I ever say anything here that I should not say I shall be man enough to come in and apologise. The Senator should apologise for some of his actions in this House.
An Leas-Chathaoirleach: Let us keep the debate in order.
Mr. L'Estrange: Both the Taoiseach at Belmullet and the Tánaiste in Waterford took the same line on the same date. We all know it was agreed what they were to say. This appeared in the Irish Press on the 1st March, 1957, and surely Fianna Fáil Senators will believe what appears in the Irish Press:—
“The Coalition Parties were changing their tactics in this election,  said Mr. de Valera at Belmullet last night.... The opponents of Fianna Fáil were wondering what new dodge they could try to prevent the people from seeing... the real issue in the election....
You know the record of Fianna Fáil in the past, said Mr. de Valera. You know we have never done the things they said we would do....
They have also told you you would be paying more for your bread.”
There was a specific promise made to the Irish people and they all know that specific promise was broken.
Mr. Lenihan: On a point of order, the speaker has alleged from a quotation he has made that a promise was implied in that quotation. No such thing can be inferred from the quotation.
An Leas-Chathaoirleach: That is not a point of order.
Mr. L'Estrange: The Tánaiste said:—
“Some Coalition leaders are threatening the country with all sorts of unpleasant things if Fianna Fáil becomes the Government—compulsory tillage, cuts in Civil Service salaries, higher food prices, wage control and a lot more besides.”
The Tánaiste went on to say:—
“A Fianna Fáil Government does not intend to do any of these things because we do not believe in them. How definite can we make our denial of these stupid allegations? They are all falsehoods.”
The Tánaiste and the Taoiseach said those things were stupid allegations and they were all falsehoods. In a very short time after that they come in and remove the food subsidies. They have increased the price of bread and increased the cost of living despite the fact that in those two speeches they gave a specific promise to the Irish people that they would not do them.
Senator Lenihan queries what I have to say. Perhaps he would like me to remind him of point 15 of the 17-point programme which was signed by no less a man than the present Taoiseach. It  was signed “Eamon de Valera” in 1951 after the general election of that year when they were trying by hook or by crook to get the votes of the five Independents. They published a 17-point programme and point 15 was that they would maintain subsidies and reduce the cost of living. That promise to the Irish people was not made in the heat of a general election from a political platform where a person may say things he might not at other times state. It was made in the Fianna Fáil Party rooms and signed by the Taoiseach himself. Nine months after making that solemn and specific promise to the Irish people he came into Leinster House and removed the subsidies.
Mr. Lenihan: Reduced them, but maintained them.
Mr. L'Estrange: They reduced the subsidies by £11,000,000 and sent the cost of living up by 15 points. We also know that further promises were made. There were to be better times for all. There is very little sign of the better times for all. The cost of living was to be brought down and it now stands at an all-time record of 146 points. Unemployment was to be reduced. A sum of £100,000,000 was to be spent to relieve unemployment, according to the Tánaiste. That plan is in cold storage and according to the Minister for Lands they never had any intention of implementing it. We were to have more homes for the Irish people but £700,000 less was provided in the Estimates for houses. They were to put an end to the depression but we know that shopkeepers, small farmers, business people, old age pensioners, widows and orphans, never got it harder to live than at the present time.
I read in the newspaper the other day a letter from the Minister for Lands in relation to the cost of living. He stated that the cost of living went up 46 points since 1947. He pointed out that the Parties on each side of the House, when they were in office, were responsible for a rise of roughly 23 points each. Let us get the figures correctly from the official statistics. In February, 1948, when the inter-Party Government came in the cost-of-living  figure stood at 99 points. In May, 1951, when they were going out of power it stood at 109 points, an increase of ten points during their three years of office. Fianna Fáil came in and after the Budget of 1952 the cost-of-living figure stood at 127 points, an increase of 18 points.
The inter-Party Government came back in 1954 and the cost-of-living figure stood at 127 points. They went out in March, 1957, and the cost-of-living figure stood at 135, an increase of eight points. Fianna Fáil came in in March of the same year, and the cost-of-living figure stood at 135. They brought in their Budget of 1957 and between that Budget and other increases since, the cost-of-living figure is now 146. If you add 11 and 18, which represents the increase during Fianna Fáil's periods of office, you get 29 and if you add ten and eight, which represents the increases during the periods of office of the inter-Party Government, you get 18. Therefore, the cost of living during the Fianna Fáil reign of office increased by 29 points and during the inter-Party's term of office it increased by 18 points. As I say, those figures are taken from the official statistics and no matter how Fianna Fáil may try to contradict things, they cannot contradict what appears in those statistics. Because of that increase in the cost of living, increases of roughly 10/- a week have been given to road workers, civil servants, Gardaí and other people.
Recently a certain man was appointed Chairman of the Agricultural Credit Corporation. We hear much in this country about people holding two positions and about emigration but here was a position that could have been given to some poor man who might have to leave the country, or it could have been given to some man who had no other job, perhaps a graduate coming from the university who might have to leave for England in a week or a fortnight.
What happened in this case? The appointment was given to a man who had left his previous job with a pension of £800 a year. The previous chairman of this body had £800 a  year. The Minister does not give the new appointee an increase of 10/- per week despite the fact that he has a pension of £800: he gives him an increase of almost £10 a week, £400 a year, bringing the salary up to £1,200. He also has the £800 pension, a total income of, roughly, £2,000. Then the Government appeals to the workers and to other people and says: “You must be satisfied with 10/- a week. We can do nothing about emigration.” Yet, we have one man getting £2,000 a year. He is well paid for his work.
As we are discussing the cost of living, it is no harm to state that, as far as we are concerned on this side of the House, the inter-Party Government during its two terms of office from 1954 to 1957 never increased the cost of the essential commodities of life by even one penny piece. Senator Lenihan shakes his head and when he does that I shall give him figures to prove it.
Professor Hayes: Why would Senator Lenihan not stop shaking his head?
Mr. L'Estrange: The inter-Party Government came in in 1947 and the price of the loaf was 6½d. They went out in March, 1951, when the price was still 6½d. Fianna Fáil put the price up to 9d. in the 1954 Budget. When the inter-Party Government came back they did not interfere with the price but, according to the people on the other side of the House, they took a slice of the loaf. I do not know about that; I thought it was as big as ever. When Fianna Fáil came in they put the price of the loaf up to 1/1½d. an increase during Fianna Fáil's time in office of 7d.
Flour was 2/7 a stone after three years of inter-Party Government in 1951 but when Fianna Fáil came in it went to 4/5. The price was not increased until the change of Government last year when in the Budget it was put up to 7/6 per stone, an increase of 4/10 per stone under Fianna Fáil. Yet they will say that they have always tried to keep down the cost of living. Sugar was increased from 4d. to 7½d.; butter was 2/10 in 1951 and in the 1954 Budget Fianna  Fáil increased it to 4/2. The inter-Party Government came into office and brought down the price by 5d. to 3/9 but Fianna Fáil was not satisfied with that and increased it in the Budget before last to 4/4, an increase of 1/6 per lb. I claim that those four essentials of life, especially for poor people, are commodities that Fianna Fáil have taxed and increased in price more than anything else.
Unfortunately for many of our people at present there is a new brand of butter and it is called “Three Nones”—none yesterday, none to-day and none to-morrow because poor people cannot afford to buy it.
A Senator: This is not a chapel gate.
Mr. L'Estrange: All these things were done despite the promises made by the Taoiseach and other members of the Fianna Fáil Party. Yet we had the Taoiseach stating in the Dáil on February 26th that there was no evidence that the cost of living was increasing. Is the present Government losing all contact with the plain people of Ireland? Are they living on the moon? Their vote decreased by 4½ per cent. in South Galway.
Tomás Ó Maoláin: We won the seat.
Mr. L'Estrange: And in the constituency here in Dublin where they got 61 per cent. of the vote in the general election they got only 26 per cent. in the recent by-election. Despite the fact that they won the seat, the total Fianna Fáil vote was only 6,014 against a vote for the combined opposition of 11,569.
Tomás Ó Maoláin: But we won the seat.
Mr. L'Estrange: Because it was a by-election they won the seat but if it were a general election there would be a different result from those figures and nobody knows that better than Senator Ó Maolain.
Tomás Ó Maoláin: I know no such thing.
Mr. L'Estrange: We hear much about the confidence people have in Fianna Fáil, but if one goes to the SundayIndependent of June 1st, 1958, we find:—
“‘People are tired of Fianna Fáil’ says Fianna Fáil delegate.
“‘People are fed up with Fianna Fáil for charging 4/4 to the working man for butter and telling him that the children's allowances will make up for it,’ Mr. M. Hartney, Limerick City, told East Limerick Fianna Fáil....”
Tomás Ó Maoláin: Again, I have to correct the Senator. Will he now read the letter which Mr. Hartney sent to the Sunday Independent and which was published the following week?
Mr. L'Estrange: I do not know what letter Mr. Hartney may have sent when rapped on the knuckles by the Taoiseach or by Senator Mullins——
Tomás Ó Maoláin: I am asking the Senator to read the correction which Mr. Hartney sent to the Independent and which was published by that paper.
An Leas-Chathaoirleach: I cannot compel the Senator to read any letter.
Tomás Ó Maoláin: Then he has no right to make such statements——
Professor Hayes: He has every right.
Mr. Carter: He reads only the Weekly Independent.
Professor Hayes: I wonder if the Senators opposite——
An Leas-Chathaoirleach: Order! Senator Hayes.
Professor Hayes: Senator Reilly is not likely to improve the possibilities in regard to letting the Minister for Finance reply at 10 p.m. I thought that was the idea. Senator L'Estrange is not preventing that very desirable result but it seems to me that the Senators opposite have entered into a conspiracy to keep the Minister for Finance here.
Tomás Ó Maoláin: Surely at the risk of keeping the Minister here——
An Leas-Chathaoirleach: I cannot permit the Senator to speak again.
Tomás Ó Maoláin: The Seanad is not going to be used to misrepresent private individuals who have no opportunity to reply.
An Leas-Chathaoirleach: There will be an opportunity for the Senator to speak on another occasion but he has already spoken in this debate. I cannot compel Senator L'Estrange to make the kind of speech which Senator Mullins would like him to make.
Mr. L'Estrange: I think the Chair stated “as near to ten o'clock as possible”, but all the interruptions are only bringing fresh material to my mind.
Speaking before the last election the Tánaiste said that unemployment and emigration were the acid test of policy. The Fianna Fáil Government, he said, measured the effect of its work by these standards. If they are to be measured on these standards the result is very, very poor. In 1956 when the inter-Party Government was in office, in the month of July the number unemployed was 49,297. In the corresponding month of July this year the number of people unemployed is 52,971.
We all know that emigration reached an all-time record during the past year. It is reckoned that between 60,000 and 70,000 people have emigrated, and even Senators on the other side of the House have deplored the fact that the doors of small farms were being closed and the people were emigrating. That emigration is taking place, despite the promises made to the people by Fianna Fáil, both before and during the election.
There has been a great deal of talk about confidence returning. In the past, trade union leaders have been quoted when they were Fianna Fáil members of the Irish Transport and General Workers' Union, whenever they criticised the inter-Party Government. I now wish to quote from the Irish Times, of 25th April, a speech made by Mr. Walter Beirne, secretary of the organisation, who stated:—
“...the Government had promised to treat unemployment as a matter  of urgency and to give it priority during the last general election but the unions had been disappointed. This month they had 78,500 unemployed and there was not a solitary ray of hope from end to end of the Minister for Finance's Budget speech.”
That is what the leader of one union thinks of this Government. Mr. Beirne added:—
“The conference should show the disappointment that the trade unions felt at the Government's failure to implement its election promises, and at its failure to put forward any solution to the unemployment problem.”
We know, in fact, that even when the members of the Government were making those promises, they had no intention of fulfilling them.
When we talk about confidence, and about what people have to say about the Government, it might be no harm to quote from the Nenagh Guardian of Saturday, March 1st, 1958. A Fianna Fáil convention was held in Nenagh on Sunday, 28th February, at which Mr. Roger Williams, Cloughjordan, said:—
“Last year they had Mr. Lemass in Nenagh and he told them the object of the Government was to relieve unemployment, and he said: ‘Let us get cracking.’”
This was a Fianna Fáil delegate.
“They had waited for the Government to get cracking and the results had been very poor. There were almost as many unemployed to-day as there were 13 months ago, and in addition, 50,000 people had emigrated. That was very bad cracking, said the speaker. The delegates he spoke to were disgusted with the way things are going.”
That does not show a happy family.
Mr. Lenihan: It is free speech.
Mr. L'Estrange: It is free speech all right, but it does not show you are living up to the promises you made at that time.
Recently, the Minister for Lands was quoted on page 15 of a magazine  called Development as saying: “Moreover, our people do not suffer from the adverse effect of over-full employment.” I wonder is that the attitude of the Government of today? Do they want to see 60,000 or 70,000 people unemployed the whole year round so that the millers—the men over whom the Minister shed crocodile tears the other night—and all the big combines in this country, may get slave labour? Is that what the Minister for Lands stands for at the present time? Is that the whip they want to hold over those people? I am surprised that the Minister for Lands, or any Fianna Fáil Minister, should make such a statement.
We have heard a lot of comment about what the Government were to do, and about their plans for providing full employment. There is no doubt that when Fianna Fáil were in opposition, they were great people. They had plans for this, that, and the other —just let them get back into power— but when they did get back into power, we heard very little about their plans and what they intended to do to fulfil the promises they made to the Irish people. We have heard a lot of talk about what they have done in regard to the building of houses. I got figures on that from the Secretary of the Department of Local Government and I hope these figures will not be queried. I admit that no houses could be built during the war, but the war ended in 1945. In the years 1945, 1946, 1947— and I will give Fianna Fáil the year 1948 because they could argue they had the plans—only 1,515 houses were built. The inter-Party Government came into power then, and, in the next three years, 12,229 houses were built.
Despite all we have heard about 1956-57, there were 5,561 houses completed and built. Senator Colley shed crocodile tears during this debate last year about the poverty and unemployment among people who could not get work building houses in the City of Dublin, and said it was due to the inter-Party Government. Despite that, in 1957-58, only 3,559 houses were built, 2,000 fewer than in the year 1956-57 for which the inter-Party Government was so much criticised.
The very same applies to the number  of houses built by county councils under the Labourers Acts. In the four years after the war, when cinemas and dance halls were being built throughout the country and when licences and permits were being given to build them —there was one built in Mullingar—631 houses were built. That was between the years 1945 and 1949. There was a change of Government then, and, in the next three years, 8,191 houses were built by the county councils, 24 times as many as were built in the previous four years of Fianna Fáil Government. In 1956-57, 1,617 houses were built and last year, under Fianna Fáil, despite the great leadership that we hear about from Senator Lenihan, only 1,261 houses were built, a drop of 400.
A question was asked in the Dáil recently as to the total amount of loans made under the Small Dwellings Acquisition Act during the last five years. The figure for 1953-54 was £3.6 million; for 1954-55, £3.9 million; for 1955-56—the year we were criticised so much—the figure was £4,450,859; and in 1956-57 that fell to £2,897,000.
The Taoiseach recently stated in the Dáil that it was obvious that what we ought to seek is that which gives the best return, and at the moment it appeared that cattle gave the best return. When Senator Baxter spoke last week on this subject, Senator Lenihan took him up on it. As reported in the Official Reports of Seanad Éireann, Volume 49, column 971, Senator Lenihan said:—
“We had a further instance of statistical juggling from Senator Baxter in relation to our external balance problem.”
I think it was Senator Lenihan himself who was juggling with statistics when he tried to prove that the greater part of that increase was due to some miracle Fianna Fáil achieved since 20th March, 1957. In 1957, our national income was £477,000.000. There was an increase of £19,000,000 over 1956——
Mr. Lenihan: Hear, hear!
Mr. L'Estrange: Yes, “hear, hear”. It was due to the increased export of cattle, of carcase beef, of sheep and of pigs. It was due also to the increased  price which cattle fetched on the British market. There is no credit due to anybody on the far side of the House for that.
Our gross agricultural output—and these are the figures I want to get at— was £196,000,000. It had increased from £177,000,000 in 1956. That was an increase of £19,000,000. There is where your figure of £19,000,000 comes in— and remember that the Party on the other side of the House, the Government Party, could do nothing in those short years because those cattle and sheep were all born before Fianna Fáil came into office.
Industrial progress showed no change in total volume compared with 1956. We also note that the terms of trade are in favour of the Fianna Fáil Party. They have been in luck in that regard, because, in the past year, the cost of our imports dropped by six points and what we are getting for our exports, especially cattle, has increased enormously. As I have already said, the price of cattle increased by almost £3 per cwt.
We know that 1957 was a record year for production and exports from this country. It vindicates the policy the inter-Party Government pursued while they were in office. Our total exports were £131,000,000. Our exports of wool, for example, increased from a mere figure of £870,000 to £4,000,000 in 1957. Bacon exports increased from a mere £50 in 1947 to £4,250,000 in 1957. When the inter-Party Government were in office, the then Minister for Agriculture, Deputy Dillon, and Senator Baxter and I appealed to our farmers to produce more pigs. I remember that Deputy Dillon stated that if we could produce another 700,000 or 800,000 pigs for export, at £15 or £16 apiece, it would right our financial difficulties. The farmers answered the call and we exported to the tune of £4,250,000 worth of bacon.
We also exported £45,700,000 worth of cattle. When Senator Lenihan accused Senator Baxter of juggling with figures, he should have taken into consideration the extra £4,000,000 worth of bacon and the extra £6,000,000  worth of beef, fresh and chilled, exported last year. He should have taken those figures into consideration. Instead, he tried to bring out in this House that there was an extra £9,000,000 of industrial exports——
Mr. Lenihan: I said, due to the cattle trade.
Mr. L'Estrange: The Senator said it was due to industrial exports as a result of the courageous policy of the Government.
Mr. Lenihan: The Senator should quote me correctly. On a point of order, Senator L'Estrange has misquoted me. Indeed, he is misquoting from the Seanad Official Reports which he has in his hand.
Mr. L'Estrange: I am not. The juggling——
Mr. Lenihan: There is nothing about industrial production in the sentence the Senator was quoting from.
Mr. L'Estrange: I should like to deal with another question, mentioned by Senator Prendergast, namely, the eradication of bovine T.B. Nobody can exaggerate the urgency of this task. It has been repeated over and over again that it must be done immediately, but it does not seem to be sinking in that, unless we make a terrific effort to clear our herds completely of T.B. by 1961, we could be hit by the worst economic disaster that ever struck us. We have to guard against a big switch-over in Britain. The British farmers might themselves produce more beef. We all remember the time when Britain had to import 90 per cent. of her eggs. At present, she produces 80 per cent. of her eggs. The same might happen as regards beef.
There are certain people who have tried to sabotage the scheme for the eradication of bovine T.B. When some farmers in the south announced that they would not co-operate, we appealed to them to co-operate, in the interests of the nation. We pointed out to them that, even if they were hitting themselves, in one sense, they should co-operate in the scheme in the interests of the nation.
 I come now to the question of veterinary surgeons. From what I read in the Press last week and from what I heard Senator Prendergast say this evening, our veterinary surgeons are looking for the same conditions as obtain for veterinary surgeons in England and Northern Ireland. I should be behind the Minister in any action he might take to see to it that these gentlemen do their work because it is national work. They, or anybody else, should not be allowed to hold up the Minister or the country to ransom. Nobody in the Twenty-Six Counties gets the same facilities, terms or wages as his opposite number receives in Britain or in Northern Ireland. Our farmers are not getting it for their produce. Neither do members of the medical association. No professional people in this country are getting the same terms as their opposite numbers in Britain or in Northern Ireland. I do not see how the veterinary surgeons can claim it. I do not think they are entitled to it. An appeal should be made to those people to go out and do their duty. If our cattle are not free from T.B. by 1961, we could have one of the biggest depressions that ever hit us. It is imperative that the Government do everything in their power to ensure that this vitally important work goes ahead smoothly.
An Leas-Chathaoirleach: I take it the Senator is prepared to give the Minister an opportunity of speaking?
Mr. L'Estrange: No agreement was come to. I said I wanted to speak. I might be finished now but for the way I was interrupted from the other side. However, I shall try to finish within the next ten minutes. I would point out that there was no agreement on my part.
Tomás Ó Maoláin: I want to know if it was not understood from Senator Hayes that there was agreement that the Minister would get in not later than 10 p.m.
Professor Hayes: Yes, it was agreed to aim that the Minister would get in at 10 p.m. It was indicated that at least two persons behind me wished to  speak. Senator L'Estrange said he would speak for an hour. If he had not been interrupted, he would have finished long ago.
Tomás Ó Maoláin: Senator L'Estrange has been speaking for an hour and ten minutes.
Mr. L'Estrange: I have not. I rose to speak at nine o'clock. I took a note of the exact time I started.
Professor Hayes: Would it not be simpler to allow Senator L'Estrange to finish his speech now and to let the Minister get in? We shall finish the whole business by 12 o'clock, anyhow.
Mr. Carter: I think Senator Hayes is a little naive in this matter. I was listening to this arrangement. It was not mentioned specifically that Senator L'Estrange should deliver a diatribe for an hour. I have been sitting here all day and I put it to the House that I am as much entitled to speak as Senator L'Estrange.
Professor Hayes: I agree.
Mr. Carter: There was no agreement that he should monopolise the debate and keep us here until midnight.
Professor Hayes: Would it not be simpler to let Senator L'Estrange finish in a few minutes?
Mr. Lenihan: He has been speaking for over an hour.
Mr. Carter: If I understood it properly, he said he would end in ten minutes. In my view, he should end now.
Mr. L'Estrange: I shall finish when I like and take no dictation from the Senator.
Mr. Carter: If that be so, we are at liberty to break the arrangement.
Professor Hayes: Of course.
Mr. L'Estrange: Had I not been interrupted, I might have finished by now.
Mr. Lenihan: He has been talking for an hour and a quarter now.
Professor Hayes: If Senator Lenihan had more sense, the whole thing would be over long ago.
Mr. L'Estrange: We heard a lot about what the Fianna Fáil Government would do, if they got back, to restore employment and stem emigration. After a year's inactivity, the following steps were taken to create more unemployment and stop emigration: in regard to the Local Authorities (Works) Act in my own county council alone, they lost £60,000 this year; Fianna Fáil reduced the farm buildings scheme and the water supply scheme by £140,000 in this Estimate; they cancelled the double byre grant which was given as an incentive in regard to the Bovine Tuberculosis Eradication Scheme; and they cut the figure for new school buildings by £174,000.
Tomás Ó Maoláin: Wrong.
Mr. L'Estrange: They reduced the grant for private house building by £700,000.
Tomás Ó Maoláin: Wrong again.
Mr. L'Estrange: They cut the Gaeltacht housing grant by £27,000 and they cut the ground limestone scheme by £22,000 and imposed a freight charge of 4/- per ton. That is quite correct; that is not wrong. They cut the price of wheat by 12/-.
Dr. Ryan: Deputy Dillon did that.
Mr. L'Estrange: Forestry development and improvement was cut by £130,000. They effected a decrease in the total moneys for forestry of £36,000. They cut the urban employment schemes by £60,000. They abolished food subsidies to the tune of £9,000,000, but showed no corresponding reduction in expenditure. These are the great achievements of Fianna Fáil. These are the things which will relieve unemployment and end emigration.
In conclusion, I want to ventilate a matter which I think is of serious public importance. It is of particular importance to the Seanad. Recently the Minister for Industry and Commerce stated in the Seanad that  tea merchants who did not become members of Tea Importers, Limited, would suffer no disadvantage.
Mr. Carter: I think this is gross misrepresentation. We have had all this threshed out in the House to-day by at least three speakers from the opposite side.
Mr. L'Estrange: I will quote from the debate, column 444, Volume 49:—
“Mr. Barry:... What precise difference will there be between tea merchants who do not join this company and who import tea from the East and who have to import it through the company machine? What precise difference will there be in the advantage or disadvantage that will accrue to them?
Mr. S. Lemass: None that I know of.”
Let me quote from column 448:—
“Mr. Barry: Would the Minister indicate in figures, so that I could understand, what disadvantage it is to those who do not become members or shareholders?
Mr. S. Lemass: They suffer no disadvantage.”
An Cathaoirleach: The Chair wishes to draw the attention of the Senator to the fact that these matters were dealt with yesterday in detail by Senator Barry. There is no point in having a repetition.
Mr. Carter: And also to the fact that the Senator was to finish his speech at 10 o'clock. It is now five minutes past ten.
Mr. L'Estrange: This is one of the greatest examples of Tammany Hall methods we had in this country.
Mr. Lenihan: That is a filthy allegation.
Mr. L'Estrange: I will stand over it. Those people are asked to pay 3d. extra for every lb. of tea. If that is not a racket, I do not know what is.
Tomás Ó Maoláin: That is going too far. Arrangement or not, I am prepared to sit here all night.
An Cathaoirleach: The Minister, to conclude.
Dr. Ryan: I do not intend to devote very much of my time to the speech made by Senator L'Estrange. There are just a few points I should like to mention before I go on to more serious matters. I listened to the speech by the Senator on the Vote on Account. If anybody had the courage to do a little research, he would find that he has now made the same speech again. It does not impress me very much. It does not impress anybody. He spent an hour giving figures which were mostly wrong and always misapplied. They do not mean anything.
Mr. L'Estrange: On a point of order, the figures are not wrong. Any figures I gave are taken from official statistics.
Dr. Ryan: We will deal with some of them. The Senator takes up this brief which I have heard in the Dáil three or four times about some unfortunate fellow who made a speech at a Fianna Fáil convention at Nenagh. It was not behind closed doors. We are not like Fine Gael. What was said went into the Fine Gael dossier. I have heard it so often in the Dáil that I know it almost by heart.
There were many economic factors favourable to the situation last year and which brought about a balance in foreign trade. In fact, they give more than a balance. They give a favourable balance. The Senator claimed that was all due to the foresight of the inter-Party Government. If it was, they did it without knowing it. They certainly did not know about it when they went to the country in confusion to fight an election with despair. They went back in very much smaller numbers than they went out. To suggest that a Government of that kind had planned all this favourable trade for 1957 is going too far altogether with the joke.
There is one thing that I never let pass in regard to the Fine Gael propagandist, that is, the slaughter of the calves because I suffered more at the time. I was then Minister, fighting the British Empire and their allies the Blueshirts.
Professor Hayes: The allies of the British Empire?
Dr. Ryan: The Blueshirts as well as the British Empire. We had to fight the Blueshirts who were allies of the British Empire.
Professor Hayes: No such thing and the Minister knows it. The Minister is vexed.
Dr. Ryan: I must say that I always wonder and marvel at the cheek of the Fine Gael people who can mention the slaughter of calves at all or anything about the economic war—a Party that claims to be national and who sided with our enemies when we were fighting the economic war and did their best to defeat us. They should not say anything more about the matter now. They should keep silent.
The same Senator talked about our maintaining a lawful Government. We had to adopt very strong measures at the time to maintain lawful Government against Fascist Blueshirts. Indeed, the Leader of the Party at that time, Deputy Costello, boasted he would be in the same position before long as Hitler was in Germany and Mussolini in Italy.
Professor Hayes: Senator L'Estrange should be satisfied because he has vexed the Minister and the whole Party opposite. He has got under their skin.
Mr. Carter: With a clumsy speech.
An Cathaoirleach: The Minister, to continue.
Professor Hayes: Let us have some finance now.
Dr. Ryan: If Senator Hayes is annoyed, let him leave me to myself.
Professor Hayes: I am not in the least annoyed.
Dr. Ryan: Senator Hayes may be annoyed because Senator L'Estrange let him in for it by talking about the economic war and the Blueshirts. He should not have mentioned them. Senator Hayes has the sense to know that these things should not be mentioned.
 Senator Baxter said that we now all admit our errors in agricultural policy in the past. I hope we do. When I became Minister for Agriculture in 1932, the agricultural policy at that time was to raise live stock on grass and imported feeding stuffs and to feed our people on imported grain, imported fruit and mainly imported vegetables. That has all gone now. Now we all believe we can grow wheat, feeding stuffs, fruit and so on in this country. If Senator Baxter is sincere in saying that we are all admitting our errors of the past, it is something to be proud of.
A number of Senators, beginning with Senator Baxter, spoke of the trouble with the veterinary surgeons in the Department of Agriculture. I think Senators should leave that matter alone. Why should they assume the Minister is wrong and should give in? Surely no sensible Minister would adopt an attitude like that, unless he had some reason for doing so? One Senator asked me to speak to the Minister for Agriculture. I have discussed the matter with the Minister for Agriculture. I know the position and I am not inclined to ask him to go a step further.
Mr. Baxter: Nobody said the Minister is wrong. Nobody knows what is wrong.
Dr. Ryan: Well, it would be better not to talk about it then. It is simply mischievous talking about a thing like that. It is only giving the veterinary surgeons concerned a bit of encouragement to hold out when they feel that Senators are behind them and so on.
Senator Baxter talked about the Free Trade Area. He more or less found fault with the Government for describing this country as an undeveloped country economically. He went on to say he did not think we should try to be like the developed cities in England and the Continent. He gave the impression—I do not know whether he meant it or not—that the Government would like to see the cities of this country the same as the cities in England and the Continent, not only economically but culturally and morally as well.
 Senator O'Brien, dealing with financial matters, said that I should try to resist as far as possible Supplementary. Estimates, unless they had a productive purpose. I agree with that. I certainly would resist as far as possible any Supplementary Estimate, unless it has a productive purpose—I should say any sort of substantial Supplementary Estimate or new Supplementary Estimate. Of course, there are small amounts that must be met—amounts not provided through an oversight or where there was some change, not so much in policy, but in circumstances during the year. Generally speaking, however, I certainly agree with Senator O'Brien.
The Senator went on to say that, in the first four months of this year, the balance of payments had deteriorated. He understood the policy of the Government was to keep trade balanced. I stated in the Dáil, and I should like to state here again, that the policy is to keep it balanced, but we are not too keen on building up a surplus. We feel that painful methods will have to be adopted for that purpose. It is not necessary that it should be done. As long as we can keep it balanced, almost balanced or a little over-balanced, we will be satisfied to carry on and try to build up our economy on that basis.
The Senator concluded by saying that, in this matter of bringing in economic specialists to advise us, in the long run, they might not be as useful as the family physician. I quite agree with that. I think if we do bring in foreign advisers, we will probably get the family physician to advise us again before adopting any suggestion given to us.
There are one or two remarks I want to make on Senator O'Donovan's speech. He talked about the amount of sterling we had and of the case made to have it available for trade. He said that the whole sterling area has much less, in proportion, than we have, although, as he put it, they probably have 50 per cent. of the trade of the world, while we have much less than 1 per cent. That is the very reason why we have more proportionately than they have. If you had the whole  of the world trade, you would want none; if you had half, you would not want very much; but when you go down to a very small proportion such as we have, you want a bigger proportion of foreign exchange in order to keep things right.
Senator O'Donovan referred to a scheme brought in by the Agricultural Credit Corporation before the inter-Party Government went out and he said it was unworkable. That is true. I had nothing to do with that. That scheme was brought in by the previous Government and the details were worked out by the two Ministers concerned, the Minister for Agriculture and the Minister for Finance. It has proved to be almost unworkable. However, we may be able to make some changes in that scheme in the near future.
The Senator went on to talk about the amount of business the Agricultural Credit Corporation is doing, which he makes out is extremely small. He concluded his remarks on the Agricultural Credit Corporation by saying that, if the new chairman appointed by me does the job as well as I forecast, then he would certainly congratulate me on my choice. This matter was also raised by Senator L'Estrange. I do not want to dwell on it very much except that I want to make it perfectly clear again that when I said in the Dáil I was not satisfied with the amount of work the Credit Corporation were doing, I said I was not blaming the board for that, that I was blaming the policy being pursued, for which of course the Ministers are responsible, and blaming the procedure which had been laid down for the board.
Since then I have been accused of finding fault, as it were, with the board and staff and I would like to make it clear that I had no such intention. As I said in the Dáil any shortcomings there may be are due to procedure and policy and when I was speaking in the Dáil I gave as a reason for appointing the new chairman that he had administrative experience in agricultural credit and banking and that the knowledge would be useful in implementing a new policy which the Minister for Agriculture and I had been discussing  and which we hope to put before the board in the very near future. That did not take from the qualifications and experience of the board, the managing director and the staff.
It was so obvious to me that the managing director and staff had knowledge and experience of agricultural credit and banking that it never occurred to me to mention the matter, and indeed it was far from my mind to cast any aspersions on them in that respect. I was too well aware, over the years, both when I was Minister for Agriculture and since, of the ability of these gentlemen, of the managing director and the staff, and of their experience, and I might add, of their loyalty and industry, to say anything derogatory in reference to them in that particular position.
Senator Lenihan said that what we need is risk capital and that is exactly the right way to put it. I have expressed the opinion, both in the Dáil and here, that there is no shortage of capital for desirable projects—in fact, I think what we lack are the desirable projects. That is one of the reasons why I have expressed a wish for foreign capital to come in. It is not that we need the foreign capital but foreign capital coming in will probably bring projects with it and bring the knowledge, experience, technical requirements and so on that we need to start new industries here. I think we have got general agreement on that point and I need not stress it any more.
Senator Lenihan said we should try to regulate our taxation code so as to encourage risk capital coming in. Well, we have been doing that as far as we can. Senator McGuire also spoke about taxation and he stated that there was not a very favourable atmosphere for the building up of industries, one of the reasons being our taxation code. I do not know if very much fault can be found with it. After all you have practically the same type of taxation in all countries where industries have been built up and I do not know if we can blame the taxation very much for any slowness in the building up of industry here. We have been offering incentives in our taxation  code to new industries to come along, especially of the export type. It is not true to say that an industry cannot build up reserves on account of the taxation because after all they are only taxed on profits and only part of their profits is taken.
Senator Lenihan went on to talk about drainage and he appeared to think that arterial drainage would take 100 years to finish. I cannot say how many years it will take, but it will certainly be nothing like 100 years. Senator Lenihan is a young man and I am quite sure he will see the end of it in his time. With regard to his proposal for a national drainage authority, that has been advocated by many people. There may be something to be said for it but I must confess I never went into it very deeply and I never examined the merits or demerits of it but I certainly shall take the opportunity of doing so.
I mentioned already Senator McGuire's reference to the atmosphere with regard to industry here. He went on to say that the Government had put too much weight on industry. I presume by that he means taxation. He may mean restrictions as well but he probably means taxation. As I said already, I do not know if we can be accused of putting too much weight on industry. He then went on to talk about whether industry could stand any more or not. I was rather interested in his view on that matter.
At the present time if we take production in general we are just getting through, as it were. We may not have a deficit in our balance of payments this year but we certainly will not do much better. We are not going to have a very big surplus. We are barely accumulating enough savings to put into capital investment so that we are actually using up the whole volume of our current production. We are using up everything that is coming in in current production to satisfy existing consumption at home and if anything throws that out of balance it is going to be bad. We could not have more consumption. People cannot consume any more goods or services. If they do they will put things out of balance,  unless we produce more. Therefore, Senator McGuire is quite right when he ended up by saying: “Let us get going, produce more and then we can all be better off.” We are not in that position and we must be very careful with the economy as it stands and not strain it. If we were to spend more at present, by making money available in any way, it would mean that capital would be reduced and that would mean the future would be mortgaged, as it were, and we would not be as well off in three or four years' time as we should be if we carry on as we are and build up from our resources.
Senator Quinlan talked about technical civil servants, such as meteorological officers and agricultural officers, and he thought that they were not being treated as well as administrative officers in the Civil Service. That is a very old contention which goes on between the technical men and the administrative men. There are, of course, arguments for and against. It must be admitted that some of the administrative men are at the top but it must also be admitted that a great number are below the technical officers and perhaps when the matter is regarded in that light, things are fair enough as they are.
There is one thing on which I would like to make a comment. The Senator talked about an agricultural officer here having 1,000 farmers to look after, whereas in Denmark the agricultural officer has only 300. That is not the point. The point is that an agricultural officer here cannot look after a farmer unless he is invited to do so; and I think the fact is that the same proportion of farmers here have not invited the agricultural officer to look after them as has been the case in Denmark. If every farmer here had invited the agricultural officer to look after him, we would need more agricultural officers, but I do not see the use of putting more of them into any county if they have no work to do. They cannot make the work; they must wait until the individual farmers invite them to come. That practice is growing and the farmers are gradually falling into line; they are consulting the agricultural officers and I presume that, in time, we  will reach the same position as obtains in Denmark and those other countries which are always being quoted.
Senator Stanford spoke in general of the country's ills and he said that three quarters of our ills are outside the control of any Government. There is no doubt about that. In fact, he may be putting it too low when he says “three quarters”. The Senator said that there are many things which we could solve for ourselves and that no Government could solve for us. He wound up by asking for a “cease fire” between Parties. Well, there would need to be disarmament also.
Professor Hayes: A moral disarmament.
Dr. Ryan: That reminded me of what the great Abraham Lincoln said at one time: “In this great democracy of America, every man can curse the President, but the President must be allowed to curse back.”
Senator Miss Davidson spoke of waste. I quite agree with the Senator that there is a great deal of waste, both public and private. If I could do anything to eliminate waste, I should be very glad to do it; and now that it has been drawn to my attention I shall certainly see if we can have a campaign of that kind. I was not able to check up on the point Senator Davidson raised about the auction but I think the auction which was held by the Garda was not altogether as bad as might appear at first sight. For instance, I am told that the bicycles are practically all stolen bicycles which were found by Gardaí and which no one claimed. I do not think that the bicycles came out of the Garda stores. The same thing applies to a lot of the other things mentioned; it was mostly lost property or stolen property. I admit that there were tunics and so on, as mentioned by the Senator. I do not know whether they were secondhand or not. I shall inquire about that. The one thing which puzzled me was the sale of truncheons.
Professor Hayes: Yes, and truncheon cases.
Dr. Ryan: I do not know why they got rid of the truncheons. However, I  shall inquire about that. Senator Ó Donnabháin asked why veterinary research was excluded from the activities of the Agricultural Institute. I am not sure about that point. This institute has been under discussion for so long that I hardly remember now what the first proposals were. I think the point was made that the Department of Agriculture has a branch or sub-Department which is always called the Agricultural Research Department; and probably it was thought better to leave it there where it was. At any rate, the Department has a very big number of veterinary surgeons; and I suppose it was felt that it would be as well to leave veterinary research there—for the moment, at least. It is always easy to make a change, if it is considered necessary to move veterinary research into the Agricultural Institute.
That brought us on to bovine T.B., which was first raised by Senator Ó Donnabháin and then by Senator Sheridan and again by Senator Prendergast. It is undoubtedly one of the biggest problems we have; and I think everyone is alive to the fact that it is an extremely urgent one. Senators may accept it from me that the Department of Agriculture are doing everything they possibly can to get on with the job. They appear to be reasonably satisfied that they will be through in time with clearing the thing up. I must admit that, when one talks about 1962 and about what has been done already and how long it takes to do it, it looks as if the Department may not get through in time. However, they appear to be satisfied that they can get through in time with this job.
I do not know about the point of incentive mentioned by Senator Sheridan in this connection. Possibly it is true that the British gave an incentive of £2 per beast per year. That, of course, would be a very big amount of money here but I admit that if it were necessary we would have to face it. Senators must admit that at present we are giving a fairly big bonus. For every animal that is rejected we pay the market price, and, of course, we have to sell that beast afterwards, for whatever purpose it  may be suitable. It may be suitable only for use as meat meal, or it may not be suitable for anything but the hide, and so on. On the average, we get back only about half the amount we paid for it. That is the subsidy mentioned in the Estimates at present; it is fairly heavy and will be getting heavier as time goes on.
The Senator said that the agricultural industry was more worthy of support than any of these “newfangled” industrial projects. We all admit that and act on that assumption. I gave figures the last time I was speaking and I do not wish to delay the Seanad by repeating them now. Those figures showed that the amount spent on agriculture in the way of subsidies, grants and so on, was far and away bigger than the sums spent on other industries. Therefore, the Senator is not only right in what he says, but everyone agrees that he is right and everyone acts accordingly. The Senator wound up by saying that it is much easier to keep a market than to regain a market which has been lost. There is no doubt about that, and we all have to agree with that.
Senator Ó Maoláin talked about An Bord Fáilte, on which I think I will not comment at the present time, as I do not know much about An Bord Fáilte. I should say a word or two about the Senator's advocacy of something to instil a spirit of nationality into the children in the schools. I agree that something of that kind should be done, but how it is to be done I do not know. I have taken a note of the point about the 21st birthday of the Constitution. I think that has probably been adverted to already but, if not, we will see about it.
Senator Tunney, in speaking about the subsidised turf for certain classes of social welfare recipients, gave very interesting figures and made a very good case for a review of the whole position. I shall ask the Minister for Social Welfare to look at it and shall send the Minister a copy of Senator Tunney's speech.
Senator Ó Siochfhradha made a plea that some of our Departments might become wholly Irish. I do not know  if that is possible; it would be a great thing if it could be done. I can only take a note of that also and see if there is any hope of having it done now or in the near future.
Senator Tunney also referred to the allocation of health cards, which is a matter in which I was very interested, having been responsible for the Department of Health at one time. I always felt that county managers were rather restrictive in the issue of cards, but when it came to making inquiries of any county manager, he always satisfied me with figures that he was not too restrictive at all. This is a matter that the Minister for Health is watching all the time.
As regards the Senator's plea for a P.A.Y.E. system of collection of income-tax, the Income-Tax Commission, I believe, will report in due time on that proposal.
On the question raised about tea, I had time only to glance through the various publications last night. I found that the Minister for Industry and Commerce, in talking of the treatment of shareholders and non-shareholders, said that they would be treated on the same basis as far as freight, insurance and landing costs are concerned. That was repeated several times. There is no doubt about that. But he did state that, in addition to this charge, the non-shareholders would be charged an agency commission. It is only common sense that they would be because, when the Minister put this scheme before the Government—I remember this part of it all right—he said there would have to be some inducement to the tea importers to take shares in this company and, if there was no difference whatever between the shareholders and those who did not take shares, why would a man take shares, why would he tie his money up there? It was obvious that there would have to be some difference. If the commission charged is too high, there is an appeal to the Fair Trade Commission. It is exactly the type of case the Fair Trade Commission would deal with and they would be able to give their decision as to whether the amount charged was too high or not.
 I have said that the Minister for Industry and Commerce said several times that there would be equal treatment as regards freight, insurance, landing costs, and so on, but he did, as I say, make the distinction that the non-shareholder would have to pay an agency fee.
Professor Hayes: If he required the company to act as his agent, he would have to pay an agency fee.
Dr. Ryan: Yes, that is right. On 21st May, 1958,—Volume 49, No. 5, column 450—the Minister for Industry and Commerce, replying to Senator Barry, said:—
“What the Senator will be charged will depend on the services which the Senator requires. If the Senator requires this company to act as his agent, presumably they will charge an agency fee. Alternatively, he may buy the tea himself anywhere he likes—in Timbuctoo or anywhere else—and the company will act as shipping agent and will recover for the service of shipping the tea in bulk to him only the proportionate cost of the freight.”
So, the agency fee was undoubtedly mentioned. I have not studied in full what Senator Barry's case is, but if it is that this person—I am not sure if he was talking about himself or somebody else—was charged an agency fee where it should not have been charged, that is one matter or, if he was charged too high an agency fee, in that case, if he thinks it worth while, he should apply to the Fair Trade Commission to investigate the matter and they, as I have said, have full powers to adjudicate in a case of this kind. I think that would be the remedy.
Professor Hayes: Senator Barry's case is that a trader has to pay £18 a week now, where he had to pay nothing before and is getting nothing for it. That is his case. Whether it is true or not, I do not know.
Dr. Ryan: That may be, but Senator Barry made the case that the Minister for Industry and Commerce had given an undertaking. Whether Senator Barry is right in that or not is another matter. The Minister certainly  did not give the undertaking there that no agency fee would be charged. In fact, he said an agency fee would be charged to a non-shareholder.
Mr. Prendergast: In my contribution to the debate, I asked the Minister if it were true that an offer of financial help had been made by Britain.
Dr. Ryan: I am sorry; I am glad the Senator reminded me about that. No such proposition was made; the British have never suggested any such thing. If they did, I suppose we would be inclined to accept it, although I want the Senator to understand that we are not delaying this by one day for want of money. If the Department of Agriculture said to us: “We can go quicker if you give us another £500,000”, we will say: “You may have your £500,000.”
Mr. Prendergast: I am glad to hear that.
Question put and agreed to.
Agreed to take remaining stages today.
Bill put through Committee, reported without recommendation and received for final consideration.
Question proposed: “That the Bill be returned to the Dáil.”
Tomás Ó Maoláin: On a point of personal explanation on this stage, I fear that a reference of mine, when I was speaking at an earlier stage of this Bill to-night, to a certain aspect of the affairs of the Arts Council might be taken as a personal reference to the chairman of that body. The particular words I have in mind are “stupid and incompetent”. Should what I say be correct, will you please allow me to withdraw that reference?
Question put and agreed to.
Sections 1 to 11, inclusive, agreed to.
Mr. Cole: I move amendment No. 1:—
 In sub-section (3), before the new sub-section (2C) to insert a new sub-section as follows:—
() A grant by the Minister or a housing authority made under this section shall be in addition to a grant made by a housing authority in pursuance of a scheme for assisting persons in the sinking of deep bore wells adopted under Section 26 of the Local Government (Sanitary Services) Act, 1948.
Perhaps if I explained briefly what is behind the amendment it would be more comprehensible to Senators. While I relate my remarks to my own county, I have no doubt that in the future they will apply throughout the country. In Cavan County Council we have spent quite a large sum of money either repairing wells or, if necessary where no springs are available, boring wells. In cases where an application comes in from a school, a number of cottages or, as would apply under this section, a number of farmers, if there are a sufficient number and a suitable place can be found, the county council sink or bore one of these wells. The average cost of one of these wells to the county council has been something over £300 and I would say that the county manager has prepared a scheme for a further 120 or 130 wells at a total cost of £4,000 or £5,000.
I did suggest at a council meeting that where an application came in from, say, six farmers for a well in their vicinity, taking the cost to be around £300, instead of boring a well somewhere between these six farms, the council should divide the £300 amongst these six men—in other words pay a grant of about £50 each to them —if they are willing to sink a well in their own private property rather than put it on the road or somewhere between the six farms from where they would have to carry or pipe the water.
My reason for that proposal was that in Northern Ireland, with the advance of the bovine tuberculosis eradication scheme, if a farmer applies, as he must apply there, for a licence even to send milk to a creamery, he must have laid water  into his barn, not from a surface well or any covered well, but from a deep bore well. He can have whatever water he likes in his house but in his barn and for his cattle he must have water from a deep bore well. With the advance of the tuberculosis eradication scheme here, similar conditions will probably apply and it was looking ahead to that that I suggested a scheme to encourage farmers to sink a well on their own premises with the aid of a grant.
As far as I can find out, the only Act under which we could prepare a scheme is the Local Government (Sanitary Services) Act, 1948. The relevant part of Section 26 reads:—
“Where the sanitary authority having jurisdiction in any particular area have not provided a public water supply in the area or have provided a water supply in the area which is insufficient to meet wholly the needs of the inhabitants of the area, the sanitary authority, with the consent of the Minister, may, in lieu of providing a public water supply in the area... themselves expend money, or make a grant of money to any person, for the purpose of the provision, improvement or maintenance of any water supply other than a public water supply.”
The council could prepare a scheme under that section and give those grants. However, even the grant under this section and a grant of, say, £50, if the county council was prepared to give it, would not be sufficient to enable a farmer to embark on sinking one of these wells if the cost ran into £300, £400 or £500. It is very difficult for the Geological Survey staff or anybody else to make an estimate of what the cost of sinking a well would be in certain areas. I know places where they got water at a very short distance down but there are other places where they tried for it 300 feet down and then had to try elsewhere. There is a certain risk for the farmer and these grants should be, if possible, made additional so that the farmer will be prepared to take that risk and sink the well now that he might be compelled to sink in the future thus leaving a well derelict because nobody wants it.
The rural community have treated  the urban dwellers very well in that, as everybody knows, the schemes for the supply of water and sewerage through towns throughout a county are a county-at-large charge. The Government and the local authority should make every possible allowance to enable farmers and other people living in the country to sink wells by meeting, say, half of what it would cost to sink the well, if the farmer is prepared to undertake the work at all. It may be very costly but if the farmer is prepared to undertake the risk of sinking a deep bore well, the grant under this section should be in addition to whatever grant the local authority might be prepared to give.
Minister for Local Government (Mr. Blaney): The necessity for the amendment proposed by Senator Cole is not so apparent on examination as the Senator has explained it here just now. As I understand it, the sinking of any well under Section 26 of the 1948 Act would be regarded, and must only be regarded, as a private water supply and as such, not precluded in any way from subsequent benefit under the terms of Section 12 of the Bill. People, such as a group of the type the Senator has mentioned, five or six farmers or cottiers or some such group, who have benefited under Section 26 in the past and have a well in existence now, may, of course, apply under the Bill, in the ordinary way for the installation of water in their houses as envisaged under this measure and subject to the usual regulations. They are in no way precluded from doing so and may apply even in the circumstances outlined by Senator Cole, whether in the case of a well sunk or bored, repaired or reconstructed under Section 26 of the 1948 Act, always provided a piped water supply has not been provided. Section 11 of the Housing Bill of 1956 is the governing factor and a public piped water supply would be ruled out from the benefits provided under Section 12 of this Bill.
From what I have gathered from Senator Cole, the activities carried on by Cavan County Council to quite a big extent in the provision of these wells for groups of farmers or other  people may have been carried out, not so much under Section 26 of the 1948 Act, as under the Public Health Act of 1878. But even then, provided it is not a piped supply, provided it is a bored well or a well reconstructed or repaired, it would be a private water supply as distinct from a public piped supply which differs from the private supply as provided under these two Acts in that it is not in the complete ownership of the local authorities. The public supply we talk of in this Bill and other Acts refers to a supply that is publicly owned completely and entirely and water rights, wayleaves and everything else including the actual pipes that service the district or town, belong solely to the local authority. That is the public water supply, as envisaged in this and other legislation.
Anything that may have been done in the provision of water supplies for a group of people, as might have been done under the 1948 Act or the 1878 Act would not affect the position and people served by any such supply may avail—and I hope will avail—of the further grants now provided under Section 12 of the Bill. These are subject only to the ordinary conditions governing a particular aspect of this proposed legislation.
Mr. Cole: This would be a very expensive undertaking for a farmer and I feel he would want to be sure that he would get the whole grant before he would start on what would probably be an expensive job. He would think that if the county council would give £50 towards what would possibly be a £300 project, it would be very small, but if he were also getting £75 under this Bill he would say: “I have £125 in any case.” I take it the Minister will make some regulation as regards a percentage of the total cost if one can get both grants to ensure that a man will not get, say, more than half, or some percentage of the total cost. I think a farmer would like to be assured that he could get, if necessary, the £125 in a case where it would cost £300 or £400 to do the job.
Mr. O'Reilly: I took it, when I read this amendment, that Senator Cole had put it down for the purpose of getting the position clarified by the  Minister, to give the Minister an opportunity of making a statement and saying: “This is definitely what will be done.” Without criticising the Senator's drafting, I think if he had used the word “may” rather than “shall”, it would probably read more acceptable, but since it seems Senator Cole only sought a clarification of the position, we cannot argue on that point.
Another matter which is bound up with the position of the local authority, or the capacity of the local authority to pay a grant under Section 26 of the Sanitary Services Act, is the fact that the Department of Agriculture operates a scheme whereby a grant not exceeding £100, or 50 per cent of the cost, may be paid, or perhaps “shall” be paid, by the Minister for Agriculture in respect of the provision of water supplies in rural areas, where no public piped water supply exists. I suggest that scheme is bound up with this matter of paying grants under Section 12 of this Bill and I wonder if the Minister would see fit to-night to say to what extent it is possible for an applicant under Section 12 of this Bill to receive a grant from the Department of Agriculture in regard to water supply under the scheme operated by that Department.
So far as I know, there does not appear to have been any definite ruling as to where one scheme begins and another ends and I wonder if there would be a case, like that which Solomon had to decide, of two mothers, so to speak, claiming the child. If the Minister is sufficiently briefed on this issue—it is a very tricky point and if the Minister elects not to make a statement, I shall not quarrel with him —I should be glad if he would say something in regard to the point I have raised.
I think Senator Cole would agree that his purpose in putting down this amendment was to have the position clarified. He appears to be very partial to the bored well. I should like to remind Senator Cole and members of the House that as far as I have been able to ascertain by questioning housewives  when the issue was being discussed, housewives will always favour a rainwater supply for household purposes, simply because they feel it is better for household purpose generally, apart from cooking. Water from a bored well is not usually soft water. Hence, it appears from Senator Cole's statement that the position has been reached in Britain and the Six Counties that people can use rainwater for drinking, but their cows may not. Apparently we are heading towards that position here.
Since the matter has been raised, I do suggest the Minister should clarify the connection between grants under Section 12 of this Bill and the scheme operated by the Department of Agriculture. Further, I think the Minister would be wrong in making a definite ruling that only bored wells should be used because if the womenfolk were to be given the option in this matter, they would always elect for a tank of 3,000 gallons, in which rainwater might be collected.
Mr. Blaney: Again, in reply to Senator Cole on this matter, I am not too clear—as a matter of fact, I would say I am less clear—on the intent of the amendment proposed by the Senator. Do I understand from the Senator that in the case of a private individual, a farmer down the country, who wishes to bore a well, the cost of which will be possibly £300, £400 or £500, the amount of assistance available to him at the moment is inadequate?
Mr. Cole: Yes.
Mr. Blaney: Am I right in taking that interpretation?
Mr. Cole: At present he can only get a grant from the Department of Agriculture.
Mr. Blaney: Does the Senator give me to understand now that it is the total inadequacy, or the inadequacy of the total that is available to such a person, that he is concerned with?
Mr. Cole: Yes.
Mr. Blaney: Then the point is that Senator Cole does not agree with the limit to which we have increased grants  here, from £40 to £50, for private water supplies. Is that the real point at issue?
Mr. Cole: If he wants to sink a deep well, it is not sufficient. In future, we will probably have to sink deep wells and it would be a waste of money to allow people to pipe water supplies from a river, if they are now prepared to sink deep bore wells. I would like the Minister to try to clarify the three different grants in this scheme, perhaps not now, but in the future something should be done about that. To bring water into a house from a surface well could be done very cheaply, but the risk is that in sinking deep bore wells the cost will be greater in some areas than in others, and we would like some clarification on that.
Mr. Blaney: I do not propose to try to disentangle all the various grants here to-night. However, I would say that the excessive, or high cost, of boring these deep bore wells is a problem that can be dealt with outside a Housing Act altogether. Unless we were to increase the grants given in this Bill to an unusually high degree, we could not possibly come up to the point where we would be catering for these people in the way that Senator Cole wishes us to cater for them. I should say that there are other ways and means of getting these wells, as mentioned by the Senator, under the Public Health Acts in the ordinary way through the local authority, in groups or otherwise, and also under Section 26 for group supplies for private bore wells of the nature mentioned. If those two methods or means should be applied, then, as I have said already, the grants we propose can be availed of for the bringing of the water supply, from the supply so provided by the local authority, into the house for the purposes we have outlined in this Bill and in past Bills. If the water supply is other than a public piped water supply, we help them to bring it from where it is, subject to the usual conditions.
Mr. Cole: Subject to the limit that is there.
Mr. Blaney: That is the limit of £50.  Is that the limit the Senator is referring to now?
Mr. Cole: Yes.
Mr. Blaney: We are rather getting away from the problem if we try to start amending in this way. The fact, of course, is that the grant has been increased. It was £40 and it is now £50, and further than that I cannot help the Senator at this stage, though I should like to do so, if there was something further I could do.
Mr. Cole: At present in my county council, we have a scheme in being to give this extra grant for boring these wells, and it was suggested that the only Act under which we could operate it was the 1948 Act. If the Minister approved of that scheme under that Act, the county council could then divide the cost between individual parties. It would happen only in a very few cases because quite often there are cottages convenient to a school. It may be, however, that a farmer would be prepared to sink his own well, if a large grant were available.
An Cathaoirleach: Is the amendment being pressed?
Mr. Blaney: I should just like to clarify one thing the Senator has mentioned. If I did approve of the ultilisation of Section 26, I not only approve of the utilisation of that section but also of the Public Health Acts, and I go so far as to say there will be both utilisation of Section 26 and the Public Health Acts for the provision of these deep bore wells for group, or community, and isolated cases.
Mr. Cole: Individuals, too?
Mr. Blaney: Where either of the two is appropriate. I deliberately say that I encourage local authorities to avail of whatever section of the Public Health Acts is appropriate, and Section 28 of the 1948 Act, to do this costly boring that would be beyond the capacity of the individual to do. When it has been done in the ordinary way— the bringing in of water to these houses—it can be helped along by the  terms of the water grants I am proposing.
An Cathaoirleach: Is the amendment being withdrawn?
Mr. Cole: Yes.
Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Section 12 agreed to.
Question proposed: “That Section 13 stand part of the Bill.”
Mr. O'Quigley: I should like to get some clarification of this section. Grants will be made under this section if the local authority is satisfied that “after the proposed works are carried out, the house will in all respects be fit for human habitation.” Is it before the works are carried out that the local authorities must be satisfied the house will be fit for human habitation? If that is not the case, there certainly would be no good in proceeding with the work.
Sub-section (2) provides:—
“An advance under this section in respect of a house shall not exceed 75 per cent. of the amount which, in the opinion of the housing authority, the house, if sold in the open market at the date on which the advance is authorised by the housing authority, might reasonably be expected to realise.”
I can see that sub-section giving rise to great difficulty in determining the market price of the house. I wonder if the Minister can indicate how the market value will be computed. It is one thing to compute the market value of newly-built houses when there are houses of similar size and shape in the same locality but this is quite another matter. Unless a local authority has some yardstick with which to assess the market value of such houses, I fear that that section will give rise to difficulty.
Mr. Carton: I made that point before—that the difficulty is in arriving at a fair valuation. The system introduced  by the Minister's predecessor in this matter to my mind would necessitate the services of a quantity surveyor. Just as the last speaker has said, it is mystifying to me to know how you will value these old houses to fit in with a loan that may be given under the Small Dwellings (Acquisition) Acts. It would be very interesting to get a reply on that point.
Mr. Blaney: In reply to Senators O'Quigley and Carton, the first point raised was in connection with sub-section (1) (a) which reads:—
“A housing authority may, subject to such conditions as may be approved by the Minister, make an advance to a person (in this section referred to as the borrower) carrying out reconstruction, repair or improvement works on a house, provided that the authority is satisfied that—
(a) after the proposed works are carried out, the house will in all respects be fit for human habitation...”
The answer to the query would be that the suitability or the condition of the house would have to be decided upon in advance of the work being carried out. In other words, this condition would have to be applied in judging the house in its present condition. Otherwise, as Senators will agree, it would be rather late in the day to find that it was not suitable after the money had been spent on it.
In regard to the making of advances for these houses under the Small Dwellings (Acquisition) Acts, I think the round answer—it may not be very satisfactory though it is the only answer I can give—is that, subject to the limit imposed under this sub-section (2) of Section 13, the making of the general terms of the mechanism as to how these advances should be made must of necessity be a matter for the local authority making the advances and carrying the debt of such advances.
Question put and agreed to.
Sections 14 to 30, inclusive, agreed to.
 SECTION 31.
Mr. Carton: I move amendment No. 2:—
In sub-section (1), page 14, line 18, to delete “nine” and substitute “fifteen”.
I think that amendments Nos. 3 and 4, standing in my name, may be taken with this amendment. Amendments Nos. 3 and 4 read as follows:—
In sub-section (2), page 14, line 30, to delete “eight” and substitute “fourteen”.
To delete the Table and substitute a new Table as follows:—
PROPORTION OF INCREASE IN VALUATION TO BE REDUCED.
|Number of year after increase in valuation||Proportion of increase in valuation to be reduced.|
I shall try to be what most Senators to-day promised to be and were not— brief. I would say that, in the circumstances that the Dáil is not sitting, it is rather pointless to put forward an amendment because I can hardly see the Minister recalling the Dáil to settle my requirements. I should like to refer to last week's debate and to say that I was misinformed in relation to the Minister not receiving a deputation. I have since learned that such was not the case and I unreservedly withdraw my assertions.
I had quite a lot of notes and I intended to elaborate on them but, in fairness to the members of the House  who must be tired, as Senator Stanford said about five hours ago—and then went away; to rest, I hope—I shall give just the bare notes and not expect the Minister to waste much time in replying to me beyond telling me what he thinks, as briefly as he likes. I am also conscious of the fact that most of the arguments I have already made could possibly be related to what I have to say now but I shall do my best to sort them out from my previous statements.
The graded ten-year scale set out in this Bill is definitely a change from the old two-thirds for seven years' reduction. It is a change that falls short of being any benefit to anyone and least of all to the tenant-purchaser. In fact, after the third year of application of the ten-year scale, these benefits disappear and, on the eighth year, substantially more has been paid than under the old system and the period finally closes with a fine of £5 or more on the person who is being accommodated.
In submitting this amendment for the consideration of the House, I believe it interprets the feelings of all persons who took part in the earlier discussions, particularly those who think there should be a departure from the previous system. The points stressed by the Minister last week would indicate to me, at any rate, that he himself could easily be converted. However, I may say again that the Dáil is not available to give him his baptism or to finalise his conversion.
The Minister's argument seemed to be tied to the burden placed on existing ratepayers by the extended period involved by a scale taking a longer period than ten years to mature. This argument would be good if individual houses were taken in charge, as they are completed, but, in fact, local authorities only begin to assume responsibility on the completion of each scheme. The developer provides all services except water—which, in any case, is paid for separately—for 99 per cent. of the houses before the local authority take over.
As we all know, these Small Dwellings (Acquisition) Acts houses are  built in groups. In my locality, it is normal to build a scheme of 100 houses. The developer carries on with the building of the houses, makes his sales and allows the tenants to take possession. The only obligation on the part of the local authority, until that scheme is finished, is to supply water to the tenants, as they go in. The developer does everything but supply the water. He puts in the pipes, and so on. Therefore, the developer must submit the plans of that scheme, and the scheme generally, to the local authority to ask them to take it in charge.
By that time, 99 or possibly 100 people are paying rates and getting no service, except the water. Therefore, it is not a burden on the existing ratepayers in the local authority area, but by the application of supplementary grants, this theory may have weight where those grants are made. Where those supplementary grants are in operation, there is then a case that the other ratepayers have a slight burden put upon them, but in the area of Dublin City and Dún Laoghaire Borough Corporation, where they do not pay supplementary grants, the argument does not hold water at all.
We in the County Dublin have had a sad experience with supplementary grants because we are developing on the fringe of Dublin. By virtue of that, we had an arrangement with the Dublin Corporation whereby in respect of anybody resident in the City of Dublin who came to the county, we would pay the supplementary grant from the county council, the local authority. Of course, if anybody left the county to go into the city, the city agreed to pay the supplementary grant, always, of course, on a 50-50 basis. The result was that it cost the County of Dublin something like 5d. in the £ to pay supplementary grants to people coming from the city to the county. It cost the people of Dublin ½d. in the £ to pay supplementary grants for the thousands they had housed, both from the city and the county.
When we found ourselves in difficulty, we went to the Dublin Corporation to see if some alleviation could  be got from them. Dublin Corporation, as the House knows, have always been anxious about the ratepayers of the city. They refuse to consider one-eighth of a farthing which would have solved the difficulty. We then communicated with the Minister. I should like the Minister to consider legislation in the future whereby the local authority which has housed a person should get some sort of reward, particularly if the person housed is from another local authority area.
Let us take the case of Dublin and Dublin County. It is my view—I am sure it is the view of every right-thinking person—that the Dublin Corporation should pay the supplementary grant in respect of a person living in Dublin City who comes into the county and gets a house and who would otherwise have to be housed by the ratepayers in the city. I think that is a fair request for the Minister to consider. When we went to the Minister, he said, in effect, “a plague on both your houses” and left it to us, with the result that we had not the money to continue supplementary grants in Dublin. The position now is that on one side of a road in the fringe area supplementary grants of £137 10s. are being paid, while a similar house in the same scheme but on the other side of the road, which happens to be in the county, gets no grant at all. In those circumstances, the Minister should consider that aspect of supplementary grants.
My personal view is that the day supplementary grants were introduced into this whole matter of building was a tragic day because they pumped prices up to the sky and made everything artificial. With this grant, that grant and the other grant, most of the people who defaulted in their repayments were completely confused and in the end did not know whether they got the grants or not. In my view, benefits accruing from a cumulative or grading solution over 15 years are of immense value to the tenant and are in turn socially important to existing tenant-ratepayers because of the gradual development of rate responsibility over the longer period to the less stable newcomer to the area.  Those who know local authority work are quite well aware that it is a sad story for the complete little community if you have 20 or 30 houses with six or seven vacant.
I know that the 15-year graded cumulative system which I propose in this amendment cannot possibly be implemented. Nevertheless, we are talking about it and it is nice to talk. It is a pity that Senator Stanford is not back to see that we are able to talk without throwing things at one another. It is fair to say that at no time during the years envisaged in the 15-year scale will the new dwelling constitute a burden on anyone, unless, as the Minister says, a supplementary grant is paid. May I say here that if it did not constitute a burden on the ratepayers in the year 1925, when money was three or four times more valuable, I cannot imagine it will constitute a burden today.
The table suggested in this amendment has another quality and this quality is an important one. It preserves the resale value of the house which is the subject of a Small Dwellings Act loan. Heretofore, councils found difficulty in disposing of houses that were on their hands through the loanee defaulting in the sixth or seventh year with the full rates about to be imposed. If the full rate were on, it was nearly impossible to sell them. The adoption of the 15-years cumulative approach to full rates would give the local authority a better chance to dispose of such houses and also secure their true value and, as the Minister used the word “impact”, it would lessen the impact as the years go on. I do not want to cross swords with him as to when that impact comes. I say it does not come until the fifth or sixth year when the children come along but the Minister said it comes much earlier. I am not so certain that the Minister is a bachelor because of that reason.
The Small Dwellings (Acquisition) Acts are applied by the county council and by Dublin Corporation. They are also applied down the country, I suppose, but I am aware in the fuller sense only of my own council's activities. Just under £9,000,000 has been applied  to the Small Dwellings (Acquisition) Act type of house in County Dublin. In the corporation, they have applied something over £9,000,000 to the same purpose. All over the County and City of Dublin you have thousands and thousands of happy families because that money was spent not by a particular Government but spent since we got a measure of freedom in 1922.
Eighteen million pounds have been spent on this. It is being spent well. No money is being lost when it is being put into the building of houses for families. Our Constitution, the 21st birthday of which we will celebrate soon, is based upon the family. A sum of £50,000 in default for housing out of £18,000,000 or £19,000,000 is a negligible percentage. The Small Dwellings Act has been an outstanding success with successive Governments and councils. We should do nothing to impair it.
Over the past few years, we have suffered an economic setback which resulted in a certain amount of emigration and unemployment. In my experience, it is a fact that the small dwellings owner—the man who has bought his house under the Small Dwellings Act—who is forced to emigrate keeps his home and sends money back to his home because he owns a piece of property in his native land. The fellow who goes away with his family has no responsibility because he owns nothing in the country. Senators may check those facts with any local authority. They should not be forgotten.
I want to emphasise the desirability of changing this ten-year cumulative solution to my 15-year period. We cannot do that now. We would not ask for the recall of the Dáil, but I appeal to the Minister and his senior officials to examine the matter. I believe they are losing by not doing so. It would give satisfaction to hundreds and thousands of people in the future and, furthermore, it would give an impetus to the building of better type houses. At the same time, the money released from the Local Loans Fund would be applied to something of value in the future, rather than to the creation of derelict houses in the suburbs of the City of Dublin. I believe that the Minister and the House want everybody  in this country to own his home. The only feasible way for the ordinary working man to own his home is under the Small Dwellings Act. We should protect that Act. Every person who acquires a house through that Act should be nurtured to the full of the Minister's ability. I thank the Minister for listening to me and I do not expect any lengthy reply.
Mr. Blaney: I shall just reply to the point of the proposed amendment. I should like to say briefly that it is the principle of the graduated scale that is important rather than the period, because the main idea is to avoid the sudden impact as we have known it in the past where you had two-thirds for seven years and then the lot.
Mr. O'Quigley: I have listened to the speech by Senator Carton in which he argued very strongly in favour of this amendment. He finds he is wasting his time because the Dáil is not in session. I recall that, this time last year, we had a Bill dealing with the registration of commercial property—the Patents Bill—and on that occasion I remember Senator Stanford wished to draw attention to a number of amendments which were required in that legislation. It was put to him that the Dáil was not in session and we ought to let the measure through. As a result of that, we have an amended Bill which might well have been avoided if more time had been taken last year.
I am well aware that there are a large number of people in the City of Dublin very interested in this section of the Bill, and that there are a number of residents' associations in the city who have combined for the sole purpose of getting some amendment made in the Housing Acts to enable a scale of this kind to be introduced and made retrospective. As Senator Carton said, there are a number of people unable at present to meet the increase in rates when the two-third remission ceases. These people will not be affected in the slightest by anything contained in this Bill. This legislation is prospective. As I understand the position, we have nearly met our housing requirements in the City of  Dublin and the country generally. It is quite wrong that we should be enacting here legislation which we have had no opportunity of considering or expressing our views upon. I wish to protest at being put in that position.
Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Amendments Nos. 3 and 4 not moved.
Section 31 agreed to.
Schedule agreed to.
Title agreed to.
Bill reported without amendment.
Agreed to take remaining stages to-day.
Bill received for final consideration.
Question proposed: “That the Bill do now pass.”
Mr. Hogan: I want to make a simple suggestion. In discussing this Bill here a week ago, I noticed for the first time that there is a provision in regard to the supplementary grant for new houses and that there is a sliding scale which must be operated by the local authority in excess of the amount available to any particular person. Under that scale, a 100 per cent. grant is payable to people up to £12 10s. valuation. From £12 10s. to £27 10s., I think the rate is 66? per cent. I mentioned here previously that I believe there is only one section of the rural population in need of some extra consideration in the matter of building houses. These are the people in the lower valuation group—the people up to £25 or £27. The people over that are able, of their own resources, to build. I suggest to the Minister that the 100 per cent. grant should operate to £27 instead of £12 10s. That would mean that the man with the lower valuation could get the 100 per cent. grant. I do not know if that would have to be done by way of amendment to the Bill or not, but it would be helpful to these people.
Mr. Blaney: I should like it to be understood that while I appreciate the point raised by Senator Hogan, I  think it will be conceded right off that, by and large, this Bill has made new advances in regard to reconstruction, repair and improvement, and that it has left the question of the new housing grants almost as they were. In other words, the emphasis has been on reconstruction, repair and improvement and in only one case is there an increase given in regard to new housing grants. That increase is directed, to a very great degree, to the smaller farmers throughout the country, and the less well off people in rural Ireland. They get an increase of £25 for new houses where services are supplied in an area where public services are not, and will not be available. In the case of the farmer with a valuation under £12 10/-, once you allow for a supplementary grant, there is a net increase of £50.
The improvement that has taken place is directed, very specifically, to the rural community and to persons in  the lower income group living in isolated parts of the country where certain sanitary services are not available. That is indicative of the trend and it was something we bore in mind when framing the various proposals in this Bill. I should also say that, whatever increases have been given, in no case have we made any reductions.
Mr. Hogan: I am not pressing for any changes now but this matter might be considered at some future time. People in the lower valuation group, I suggest, would be unable to provide a serviced house while the people in the higher income group would be able and that would deprive the former group of the grant.
Question put and agreed to.
The Seanad adjourned at 11.55 p.m., sine die.