DEBATE ON REPORTS. - DEPARTMENT OF IRISH.
P. BEASLEY (Kerry, East) said he would like to explain how the matter stood in connection with the motion for a vote of £2,000. Last year they voted £500 to the Minister of Irish for books and literature, and the opinion was then expressed that a larger scheme would be required and consequently a larger sum of money. There was now an urgent necessity for text books, school books, and reading matter. He had been trying to organise Irish writers, and he found a large number of them were unable to do much owing to the difficulty of publication. A scheme had been drawn up for the production of books and for guarantees against loss to the writers and publishers. If this money asked for were allocated it would be money which the Dáil could expect to get back; it was more in the nature of a loan. A large portion of it would be spent in publications urgently required, such as text books on all subjects and Irish translations of standard works. It would be in the nature of productive money and would be of great assistance to Irish industries. The scheme was not yet in its final form.
The ACTING SPEAKER asked the Member for East Kerry did he now formally move the Vote.
The ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR IRISH said that he had moved in his Report that the Ministry be empowered to allocate this sum. He had reports from different schools to the effect that they were greatly handicapped for want of text books. It was merely a question of finance that these books were not available.
At this point the Session adjourned for lunch.
After the resumption the MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS said he thought it was not advisable to vote money for a scheme when there was not a definite proposal before the House.
The ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR IRISH said the scheme was already drafted. There was a great dearth of Irish books, and Aireacht na Gaedhilge decided four months ago to support Cumann na nUghdar. It was owing to the urgency of the matter he was moving for the money to-day. There were eight text books in the hands of people who were unable to publish them. The money might not have to be put down at all. All he wanted was to guarantee the publishers, but he could not do that unless the money was allocated. No books would be guaranteed unless their publication had been sanctioned by Aireacht na Gaedhilge.
The Report was then adopted.