DÁIL IN COMMITTEE ON ELECTORAL BILL. - DEPENDENTS' ALLOWANCES.

On the question of Dependents' Allowances, I would like to assure Deputies raising this question that not only during the past month or two have I given attention to the individual cases brought to my notice, but I have been for a considerably longer period after this whole question of relieving, at the earliest possible moment, those people who are entitled to allowances and who have not yet got them. The actual state of affairs is that payments are being made in 13,427 cases. Of those cases, 1,763 are only temporarily assessed, but payments are being actually made in the number of cases stated. There are 1,070 cases in the hands of our investigators at the present moment. Our investigators consist of special investigators in the City of Dublin, and the Customs and Excise officers in the country. There are 2,896 cases in the offices at Portobello, which have not yet been put into the hands of the investigators. In a large number of these cases the difficulty has been that there is no evidence of enlistment. This arises owing to the difficulties under which enlistment has been carried out in the different areas, and the difficulties we have experienced in getting proper records of such enlistments. It has been arranged that all these cases will be put immediately into the hands of investigators. A system was set out a fortnight or so ago by which these cases would be put into the hands of investigators on the one side, and suitable enquiry would be made through our Army organisation on the other side. At the present moment the cases are being dealt with by our investigators at the rate of about 400 a week, and I am satisfied that the arrangements that are in existence at the moment will clear off all the cases that we have within another month, and that the causes of complaints that have been in existence will be cleared away inside that period. I know the volume of complaint has been big, and I also know the difficulties of investigation, and the difficulties of dealing with these matters with fairness to the people themselves and with fairness to the public purse. These difficulties have been very great.

Motion made, and question put:—"That the Dáil do adjourn until Tuesday, January 16th, at 3 o'clock."

Agreed.

The Dáil adjourned at 7.20 p.m.