CEISTEANNA—(QUESTIONS).

The following questions have been addressed to me by the Deputy for Waterford:—

"(a) Arising out of the answers given by the Minister on Thursday, 11th inst.—

"(1) When were the Chief of Staff and the Deputy Chief of Staff empowered to authorise expenses such as those referred to?

"(2) Who gave them this power?

"(3) Were the expenses referred to incurred with the sanction of the Minister of Defence? If not, why not?"

The answer is that the Chief of Staff and the Deputy Chief of Staff made a recommendation that certain stores be purchased. The recommendation was supported by President Griffith and myself. It was reported to the Dáil Cabinet at the first opportunity and approved. Owing to the fact that at that time Cabinet meetings were not being held, the then Minister of Defence was not informed. As already stated, the money has been returned to the Dáil funds.

There is another question by Deputy Brugha:—

"(b) The ex-Minister for Defence handed £5,361 14s. 4d. to Finance Department in February; £381 0s. 0d. of this amount appears as refund in Finance Report; where is the balance, £4,980 14s. 4d., accounted for?”

In answer to that I would refer the Deputy to the Statement of Accounts of the 21st April, 1922 presented to this House. The item of £4,890 4s. 6d. appears therein as a refund and is shown in the same column of figures as the item of £381.

The item here entered as a refund for the Department of Defence is down as £4,890 4s. 6d. The amount should be £4,980 14s. 4d. if the Minister's answer were correct. But the Minister's answer does not correpond with the written answer I got three weeks ago, I think. The written answer was to the effect that this was money on hands when the new Minister of Defence came into office. That is not the same answer as has been given now, and even if the Minister's answer was correct, the amount is not correct. The amount shown here is £4,890 4s. 6d. The amount should be £4,980 14s. 4d.

That is a transposition of the figures. If the Deputy for Waterford will write the question down, I will have it looked into at the office. It is a book-keeping matter.

I can only take the figures before me. If the bookkeepers do not keep books correctly, that is not my fault. With regard to the answer given to the first portion, as I do not suppose it will be in order to discuss it, I probably will send on a resolution dealing with it.