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Dáil Éireann debate -
Thursday, 23 Apr 1925

Vol. 11 No. 2


I regret that the Minister has given no indication of any encouragement to the fishing and shipping industries upon which the greatness of this nation, if it is ever to become great, will ultimately depend. I also regret that he has not seen his way to reduce the duty on whiskey, for I am perfectly convinced the manufacture of poteen will never cease until the price of whiskey is considerably reduced. The Minister for Finance has the reputation of being a man of iron will. Well, this man of adamant, although he admits inferentially that he is opposed to protection, has gone down before the onslaughts of the protectionists. I am opposed to protection, and will ever be opposed to protection, for the protected always have to pay for their protection, and the cost of living is always increased by protection.

Deputies on my left are continually calling out for the reduction of artisans' and labourers' wages. How can that be done when they have to pay more for everything that they buy? The Minister says that the price of boots has not been materially increased. Well, the Minister has not, up to the present, got as far as the stage of buying boots except for himself, but I know that people down the country are continually growling about the enhanced prices that they have to pay, and their boots are very rough. I said that the Minister is opposed to protection; he admits it. The Government, he says, does not believe that it would be for the benefit of this country to establish a protective tariff. But why does he do it? He says: "The best hope of a substantial reduction lies in the better development of the resources and the industries of the country." That is quite right. But why should the nursing of inefficiency be carried on at the same time as the development of the resources and the industries of the country? Because protection nurses inefficiency. He referred particularly to the boot trade. I imagine that you are up against a dead wall when you try to manufacture here all the boots that you require. In the United States they have protection, but the Englishman is able to sell his boots there and to undersell the American. In addition, there are different kinds of boots that cannot be manufactured in this country, but which people must and do buy, and on which they must pay enormous taxes. In elaborating his argument, the Minister gave percentages of increases in employment, but why did he not give the numbers? Percentages are very safe, because no one will know the number of men employed. I am exceedingly sorry that the duty on musical instruments is not trebled. There is a plethora of pianos in this country, and they are a regular nuisance.

There is one sentence in the Minister's speech about income tax that he will require to explain. The tax is reduced from 5/- to 4/-; I am sorry he has not reduced it another 6d., to bring it under the English level, because it will really be of no use unless it is under the English level. We must get under the Englishman by some means or other to get trade. In referring to the arrears, the Minister said, "but we are satisfied that the reduction proposed will facilitate and expedite the collection of the old arrears. "Does he mean that the arrears are to come in on the 4/- tax, or on the old tax? That requires explanation. Another tax that I am quite opposed to is the dog tax, which is increased from 4/- to 5/-. The collection of the 4/- tax was quite illegal, and will the declaration in this statement make an illegality legal? Is the tax to be really 4/-, with a shilling for the stamp, to make 5/-, or will it be the old arrangement? If I have half-a-dozen dogs can I put down 4/- for each of them and 1/- for the stamp?

Ask Deputy Gorey.

Leave the dog tax to the dog experts.

I asked that yesterday when I discovered that the dog tax was illegal. I congratulate the Minister on the subsidy to the beet industry, because while I am really opposed to protection I am altogether in favour of subsidies for production. I maintain that if you give manufacturers protection they will more or less go on the old plea: "What was good enough for my father is good enough for me"; they will never try to get ahead. As long as you give them a protective tariff they will go on in the same jog-trot way and they will never try to improve to any extent. If you give them a subsidy on what they manufacture, you will arrive at the goal which it is our desire to attain, but protection is not the way to do it. These beet manufacturers will get a subsidy on the amount of sugar that they produce. If you were to give the same thing to the boot and to the musical instrument manufacturers, and all the others you have in this list, it would be far better for the country, far better for employment, than this imposition of tariffs, to which I am pleased to see that the Minister himself is actually opposed but which for one reason or another he proposes that the Dáil should adopt. This establishment of the beet industry in Cork is very good.

We want to get this right. Did the Minister definitely state that this factory was to be in Cork, because there is a good deal of doubt in people's minds as to what he said on that subject?

No, sir; I did not say Cork. The subsidies will be given to the people who run the factory, but as to the location they can elect where it will be.

The Minister made some references to the North Cork Development Association and people have connected the two things. I think they are wrong.

We simply indicated to the Belgian people that considerable interest was taken and considerable preliminary organisation had been carried on in North Cork.

I am not by any means opposed to the establishment of the factory in Cork. The Corkmen shout and they shout very loudly, but there are people who do not shout at all and they ought to get a look in, people who do their work as well as the Corkmen, if not better.



There is no question about it at all; it is an established fact. I hope that the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and the Ministry of Agriculture will give some encouragement to the western farmers to induce them to grow beet, because it can be grown in seaboard counties far better than in inland counties, and the lack of employment in the West is inconceivable. No one can conceive, or imagine, how the people there are able to live on practically nothing but fresh air, tea, and potatoes, and very bad potatoes.

Particular stress has been laid by Deputy Cooper and Deputy Egan on the tax on boots. I was very recently in Cork, where we have a boot factory. In the month of January, 1924, that boot factory was closed down. All hands were idle, and the homes were suffering. In the month of January, 1925, as a result of the tax put on imported boots, there was £900 a week paid out there in wages, or nearly £4,000 for that month. Better still, it was explained to me that so far from the price of boots being increased, the price would have been reduced this year were it not for the increase in the price of leather. The prices at which the boots made in Cork are sold never increased above the figure at which they stood before the tax was put on. I think it only right to let the Dáil know this. I might also state that two large additions have been built to this factory in order to meet the pressing demands and the increased trade which the boot tax, put on last year, has given rise to. For that reason, we in Cork, although we are very much shouted down if we ever speak at all, congratulate ourselves in giving a lead, at least in the manufacture of boots. We wear our own boots in Cork.

Now, there is another industry in Cork, and I am sorry that the Minister for Finance overlooked it. He did not tell us that he proposed to reduce the road tax on the Ford cars. Fords are giving a vast amount of employment in the City of Cork. They pay thousands weekly in wages, and it would be an encouragement to other firms to start if they found that the Government of the Saorstát was discriminating in favour of Irish firms who were turning out articles of that kind in this country. If the road tax on the Ford car were reduced because of the fact that it is made in Ireland, it would give a great deal of encouragement to other firms to start here.

I agree with Deputy Egan in what he said about reducing the tax on stout. I was a little surprised that no reduction was made of the tax on stout. I have no sympathy, and I never had any sympathy, with the whiskey drinkers. But stout is an article of food, and this was proved and admitted here by two very eminent members of the Food Commission when we were discussing the size of the bottles about seven or eight months ago. These two Deputies admitted that when it was under discussion at the Food Commission; that goes to show that stout had come to be regarded as a food. It is a food, especially for quay labourers, and for men working along the quay lines, and persons in similar employment who could not be running home for a cup of tea, or for a cup of Bovril, or something else like that. These people are able to get a bottle of stout which they take with their dinners. Now, if these men were running in for glasses of whiskey the danger would be that they might tumble into the river. For that reason I think it is a pity that the Minister for Finance did not make a reduction in the duty payable on stout. The country is deriving £5 per standard barrel from this much-abused stout. I think if that were reduced by £1, and if this generous firm of Guinness and the very generous firm of Beamish and Crawford would take another £1 per barrel off, it would mean 2d. per pint less in the price of stout to the quay labourer. I am not speaking for the publicans this time. I say keep on the tax on whiskey, and increase the tax on wine if you like. Wine is a stepping stone to the drinking of stout and whiskey.

Now I come back to the dole. I suggest it could be possible that the Government would frame some legislation so that this dole would be used as a subsidy in the case of some employment. That is to say, that the man who is drawing the dole would get it on consideration that he would work for an employer at the difference between the dole and the wages paid in that particular district. Take, for instance, the farmer. If a farmer went to the Labour Exchange and found there a number of men from his own district he ought to be put into the position of saying: "I want a man; you pay him the 15/- a week that you are paying him for doing nothing and I give him 18/-." That would be the difference between the rate paid in the district and the amount he was getting under the dole, whatever the difference was in the wages obtaining in the district. The State would gain by that, and both the farmer and the man drawing the dole would benefit. That would do away with some of the evils of the dole. Perhaps in talking about the dole I am talking outside the radius of the Budget; for that reason I will not go any further, as this is a very doleful story.

I am sorry that the Minister for Finance did not put a tax on manufactured flour and leave in the wheat free. In my district of East Cork— and the wise men come from the East —there are four flour mills fully equipped with modern scientific machinery. Now some of these flour mills are going idle. You will one day read in the paper that these flour mills in Midleton are shut down, and some weeks later you will see rejoicings because the Midleton mills have again been opened. If the Minister for Finance taxed all flour coming in, it would give much-needed employment, and it would be a benefit to our friends the farmers and also give them an inducement to grow more wheat. I am hoping that one of those days, when the Shannon scheme has been developed, that every farmer will have his own mill. Each man will be able to manufacture his own flour from his own wheat. This home-grown wheat would make splendid food for the people. Scientists and food experts say that all the good is taken out of the food in the by-products, such as bran and pollard. I am sure Deputy Gorey would do well if he used some of that bran and pollard. I am sure it would improve his health, and that it would improve my health. I see Deputy Sir James Craig looking rather surprised, but I am sure he knows better than anybody else that it would improve me, that is if I need improvement.

With regard to the tax on boots, as far as we in Cork are concerned, I am satisfied it is a boon rather than a tax, and I hope that a tax will be put on all wearing apparel. I am not able to describe wearing apparel in detail. I leave that to the gentlemen who are better acquainted with these things. As a result of these taxes you will have new factories springing up in the country very soon. The farmers will then realise the truth of the old song that used to be sung in the days when we used to have the Land League banners going round the country, "We can shear our own sheep and we'll wear it." Let them wear it.

The Farmers' Party welcome this Budget because it is as good as they expected. Perhaps, in a few particulars, it is a little better. I do not say that we welcome all its provisions. There are some provisions that we certainly welcome, but there are others that we object to. One form of taxation is maintained, and in fact extended, which we object to. The provision in this Budget that we specially welcome is the increase in the Agricultural Grant. Other Deputies appreciated the fall in the income tax, but to the agricultural community the increase in the Agricultural Grant is more acceptable. The reduction in income tax will benefit some people engaged in agriculture—not very many, comparatively speaking—but the increase in the Agricultural Grant will come home to everybody engaged in agriculture. It has been said from the benches on my right that the farmers have been the pampered pets of legislation—that they are getting everything. It might be well, therefore, to explain how this Agricultural Grant came to be given.

In 1898 legislation was introduced at Westminster, regulating the incidence of taxation in this country. Up to that time the rates on agricultural holdings were paid half and half by the landlord and the tenant. Under the Act of 1898 the whole burden was transferred to the tenant, and at the same time the provision of the Agricultural Grant was included. That was not introduced as a benefit to the tenants, but to relieve the landlords of their burden. At that time the rates in agricultural districts were about 1/10 in the £. In many counties at the present time the rates are 10/- in the £. In England in recent years the Agricultural Grant has been increased by 75 per cent That had to be done in the national interest, in order to preserve the agricultural industry in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. That was not done here. This is the first attempt made to increase the Grant here. In England agriculturists are not in anything like the same position as they are here. The majority of the farms in England are very large, while in this country they are very small. As a general rule farmers in Great Britain hold from 300 to 1,000 acres of land. We know what the average here is.

The proposed increase in the agricultural grant is not spoon-feeding, as some people imagine The increase does not come up to what the English Government thought was requisite in the circumstances for their agricultural population. The increase, however, will be a great boon to farmers and we welcome it. If the present conditions do not improve, we look forward in the next Budget to having the grant increased to the British level. I hope there will be no necessity for that. I hope conditions will improve—they would need to.

Comparison has been made by many Deputies between the remissions granted on certain importations and the impositions placed on others. It seemed to end there. Reference has been made to the taxation that has been taken off tea and sugar and transferred to other commodities. No reference, however, has been made to the burden of taxation which the country has to bear and its ability to carry it. Few countries in Europe are in the unenviable position of this country in respect to the taxation which we have to bear. In proportion to the population, we are in the unfortunate position probably of having to carry a greater national expenditure than any other country. Therefore, we naturally have more room for reduction in our national expenditure than those countries which are economically run and which have not to bear a large amount of non-recurrent expenditure due to disturbances or other causes. Very little comparison has been made between the weight of our burden and our ability to carry it. The time has come when everyone who takes an interest in the country must consider this question of the ability of the nation to bear the burden at present imposed on it. We are not able to carry this load of taxation. The estimated expenditure of 25 millions for the current year is more than this nation is able to bear—certainly more than it will be able to bear in future years. The best brains of the country would be well employed in finding means, consistent with efficiency, of reducing this annual burden. A committee similar to the Geddes Committee has been suggested as a means of reducing our national expenditure.

I have heard references in the Lobby and outside by Deputies on the Government benches to the 22,000 or 23,000 civil servants employed here. The number is certainly alarming. In the streets of Dublin you can hear people saying that officials are tripping over each other in many of the Government departments. I am inclined to believe there is a considerable amount of truth in that. It needs probing and sifting to the bottom. I think the time has come seriously to consider a demand that was made 6 or 12 months ago for the appointment of a committee, with a view to seeing if the national expenditure could not be reduced, and the overstaffing of the departments remedied. This country is not able to carry an annual expenditure of twentyfive millions or anything like these figures. National expenditure might very easily be reduced by from five to ten millions. Like other members of the community, our statesmen in recent years have been in the habit of thinking in very much larger terms than in pre-war years. Individuals who used to think in terms of shillings and pounds began to think in terms of "fivers" and hundreds, and have pretty well remained in that position. Even as individuals we have not curtailed our spending propensities. We are still spending more than we can afford and our statesmen seem to think in terms of millions when, perhaps, they should be thinking in terms of thousands. Our statesmen, as well as every other class in the country, have got to change that outlook. The present system of spending money indiscriminately must be remedied.

I will just mention one item which was referred to in the newspapers—the tax on tobacco. I will not make any suggestion to the Minister but call his attention to a few facts that came to my knowledge recently. I am not a smoker but I have been informed that it is a common thing for some young men to smoke cigarettes to the value of one shilling or one and sixpence in a day. That means that from 7/- to 10/- weekly is spent in that way. It is also said that some of the ladies are very little behind the men in this matter. This question is a very important one, as every penny spent on foreign-grown tobacco goes out of the country. Tobacco is not a food and it is not grown in Ireland. We manufacture, perhaps, the raw material into the finished article in a few places, but the vast proportion of the tobacco that comes into the country is unfinished and is grown in other countries. What these imports represent in money I cannot say. What does the medical profession say on this question so far as it affects the future of the race, especially if some young women smoke up to 10/- worth of cigarettes in a week? What will be the effect on the national physique? These facts deserve national attention.

If I were to choose between a reduced tax on drink and a reduced tax on tobacco, I would unquestionably favour drink. It may be said that drink, to some extent at least, is an article of food when taken in moderation. I do not think the same can be said of tobacco. Making a comparison of these two important items in the incidence of our taxation, I would certainly favour drink as against tobacco. To my mind taxation should favour drink rather than tobacco. It is regrettable to have to say that, but under the circumstances I think that even Deputy Johnson will agree it is justified.

The Farmers' Party object to the retention of the duties that were imposed last year, especially those on boots and on some other articles. We opposed these duties last year and called for divisions on them. Some of the Deputies who spoke against these duties walked out when it came to a division. I hope they will not leave this year when these proposals are challenged. We strongly object to the new duties, especially those it is proposed to impose on ready made clothing. Deputy Daly and Deputy MacBride referred to the fact that there is to be no duty on some tweeds that come into this country. Is it the policy of the Government; to allow in foreign "shoddy" and to tax the finished article? The better class of material used in this country is largely manufactured in Ireland. Of course, some of this class of material comes in, especially for ladies clothing, and there will be no tax on it, although it will be worn by better class people who can afford to pay a tax. On the other hand, the ready-made clothing that is largely used by the poorer people will be taxed.

It is said it is going to give us increased employment. Deputy Johnson gave us some figures yesterday which he confesses to-day are not quite right, but at the same time he made a case, if anyone has made a case, for the imposition of those new duties. It has not convinced us. I think still that in principle and practice this is a bad imposition. I think it will work out badly. The principle, first of all, is bad. The classes of people it is going to hit mostly in this country, the people who, without any doubt, are being asked to subsidise this imposition, are those who can least afford it. As I said, our opposition to this imposition of new duties is largely on principle. The more I can get in touch with labour here in connection with things that matter, the more I am losing confidence. I have very little confidence in the response we are going to get to this gesture, which aims at helping industry.

Nothing would please on these benches, and please me in particular, more than to see an honest response to the gesture that has been made to the industrial community. Nothing would please us more than an honest and whole-hearted response to this test that has been put up to the nation, and put up principally to those engaged in the subsidised industries. I hope that the latter realise it, and that the people engaged in industry of every description in this country, and especially those in the subsidised industries, are going to respond by doing their duty, as the people of this country are going to do their duty in paying for the subsidy. Manufacturers are expected to do their duty, and I hope they realise their responsibility, and realise that what is going to happen is a test. It is a test for the future, and I hope the response will be what is expected. Any duty like this is derived from public money, whether it be in the shape of taxes or otherwise, and the public is entitled to make a strict examination into what is being done, and what return is being given for the people's money. They are going to pay for it, and those who are paying for it are entitled to see that the return they get is equal to the return that would be given in any of the other countries engaged in industry. Output should be insisted on according to the world's standard of output. I should not like to see any other attitude than that, or to see any Party or any individual in the State taking any other attitude, because it would mean a confession of race inferiority, race degradation, and race dishonesty. It is up to every element of the nation to respond. We oppose this tariff, but as we have it we will insist, as far as we can, that a proper response is given to this gesture. This is a really great test, but if it fails, let those responsible for its failure bear the blame. I hope our opposition to this impost will improve the atmosphere and the attitude of those to be engaged in those industries, and that it will bring them to a right frame of mind, as compared with other people in the world engaged in the same industry. We must all live on a common standard, or, owing to the survival of the fittest, we will be supplanted by another race. If our opposition to this impost will bring men to realise what is expected from those who are going to be engaged in the industries, then our opposition will not be in vain.

I think, too, in discussing this Budget Deputy Figgis touched on a subject which might well deserve a great deal of consideration. He referred to a flat rate reduction in income tax, and he referred also to the different schedules. I think anybody who will compare the position now with that of seven, eight, or ten years ago, when the War was on and big profits were being made, must look at the question now from a different stand-point. Those schedules were framed then, and the same system has obtained since. I think we should have a revision of those schedules. An income then may mean a loss now to a good many people. The purchasing power of that income may be less but the same income is there. Especially in the schedules relating to agricultural land, what would be income then is loss now. I ask the Minister to pay attention to that, and I think Deputy Figgis has done a service in referring to those schedules.

Now, with reference to this subsidy to beet-root growing, the Government have treated this question very generously, for the subsidy is granted not in a declining ratio but at a rate which is maintained right through the ten years. I do not think the best advisers of the Government have their minds made up as to what is or what is not in beet-growing. Certainly a good many of us who have given this a lot of thought, are very doubtful, indeed, as to whether beet-root-growing is a boon to our agriculture or not. With the huge subsidy the Government has given for this factory the factory is able to pay a tonnage price of 54/-.

On a three years' contract.

Will the subsidy hold for ten years?

Therefore the growers will expect it for ten years.

It is subject to revision at the end of three years.

That brings the agriculturists up against it. This subsidy is all right; 54/- a ton is the price given to the agriculturist in return for this huge subsidy. When this subsidy is exhausted, after the three years, what, I wonder, will the price be to the grower and how will that price compare with what he could get for any other crop he might grow? Of course, as I say, we have not our minds made up. We have considerable doubt, but it is well to have this thing decided, and certainly the Government are putting up enough to test the matter anyhow. We welcome this test.

This Budget has imposed taxes on a good many of the things we do not produce. There are a few things we do produce and no mention has been made of them. I suggest an imposition on some of those articles would mean much more to the country, would be a much bigger help and would reach a good many more people than the impositions we have. Does anyone mean to suggest to me that an imposition on foreign bacon would not reach and benefit more people than this tax on readymade clothing? How many will this benefit directly, and how many people would a tax on foreign bacon and foreign butter benefit?

Would you support it?

I think I would. I will not make any definite promise. I am very careful on those matters.

I do not want to interrupt the Deputy, because it may not be fair to do so. But I told the Minister for Agriculture that I was prepared to stand for a tax on things like those if he was prepared to stand for it from the agricultural point of view, and he was not.

He has not consulted us on that, I am sorry to say.

Perhaps he read your resolutions at the Farmers' Congress.

The resolution at the Farmers' Congress, as Deputy Johnson knows, was directed against taxes on things we do not produce while taxes are put on articles we do not produce, no help being derived by agriculture at all. The Deputy also knows that as soon as this country is able to protect its agricultural products, we shall be whole-hearted protectionists. We made that statement time and again. He knows that our whole opposition to this protection policy is based on the fact that you are not able to protect agricultural products except by way of subsidy. Deputy Daly has made a case for foreign wheat, as opposed to flour. A great deal could be said on that. Again, we are up against a position that perhaps Deputy Johnson and his friends could right. The labour trouble has created a wrong atmosphere. The remarks I have made would apply to barley perhaps to a greater extent than to other products.

What is the view of the Farmers' Party on that question?

The leaders of the Farmers' Party say that except you are able to protect barley without subsidy —but I will not continue to repeat it for Deputy Davin. I think he has heard my view now.

You are afraid to go on with it.

Protection plus a subsidy—digest that, and take it down to Laoighis. Deputy McBride raised a question which is in controversy between himself and Deputy McCullough as between music and noise. I do not intend to enter into that question as between the two Deputies, but I desire to refer to the dog tax. As an expert on the payment and evading of dog tax, I want to make a few remarks. It has been said that we did not pay our tax last year—that it was illegal. If that was proved in some of the courts, we could recover the money we paid. I want to remind the framers of this Resolution that, before the coming of the Free State and a native Government, we could register from forty to one hundred dogs on one sheet of paper. We paid the dog tax, and the one stamp did the lot. Anybody who ever had a dog knows that. Now, when you go to pay for fifteen or twenty dogs, or for a pack of hounds, you are furnished with a separate form for each dog, and a separate stamp for each form. The next thing that will be required will be a passport, with the photo of the dog. Is it proposed to continue this system of a different form for every dog? Deputy Cooper, when referring to the different taxes, did not refer to the taxed dog.

I forgot about it.

It is a day's work for a man who has a kennel to go into the post office and describe two or three packs of hounds. I find myself that it takes a great deal of time to describe my few dogs. Could we not get back to the original method by which a number of dogs were put on the same form, and the one stamp sufficed? You could then describe the lot in five minutes, while now it takes nearly five hours. I do not object to the five shillings tax. We have too many curs and mongrels in the country, and I think this tax is a national necessity. We had no dog tax, practically speaking, for five or six years, although some people paid, and the whole country is full of mongrels of every description, and a considerable amount of damage is being done. I would like to have this form simplified, and to have the question of the stamp looked into. We should, I think, get back to the old form used by the British Government.

I was sorry to hear Deputies admit that factories had been closed down, and were only restarted because of the imposition of tariffs on boots or other articles. What was the cause of closing down? What was the cause of the closing down in Cork, for instance? Cannot the Cork Deputies tell us that? What was wrong with business methods or output in Cork? There was a fine market for Cork boots—the Lee boots, and other brands. Why had the factories to be closed down? There was something wrong in business methods or output.

People bought their boots in London.

Some of them bought them, for the first time, in London, in order that they might serve as a comparison. They were very wise to do that. I think the comparison was worth the money invested. It is a confession of national degradation to say that we cannot carry on industries in this country without tariffs. I would like to get at the bottom of this, so that whatever is wrong with output or efficiency should be put right. There is something wrong, and everybody here knows it. But they are afraid to say so, and face the position, so that it may be righted. The sooner the position is faced and righted the better. This custom of subsidising by the nation cannot continue. It is tried as an experiment, and if the experiment fails it will be somebody's fault, and somebody will be guilty of a great crime.

The remarks that I have to make will be very brief, indeed. The Minister for Finance, in his Budget statement yesterday, said that, after the present Budget, this Government will not break any fresh ground in the matter of protective tariffs before the General Election. In view of that statement, I wish to draw his attention to a small industry in Dublin that may be blotted out entirely by the time the General Election comes, and that is the industry for brush manufacture. As a member of the Dublin Port and Docks Board, up to a few months ago, I was in the habit of examining the returns of imports, and, next to foreign bottles, I found that foreign brushes formed the largest item in these returns. I am aware that to-day there are at least two hundred brush-makers idle in the city of Dublin. In Dublin we have ten factories, nine small ones and one large factory, making brushes, and I think there are two in Cork. Had there been a small duty of from 10 to 15 per cent. put on these foreign brushes coming in I am satisfied that the two-hundred brush-makers now idle in the city of Dublin would be in employment, and that the Exchequer would be relieved of the charge of paying them unemployment benefit.

The brass foundry industry in Dublin is another one that is severely handicapped. Last year, I asked the Minister for Finance if he would grant some relief to this industry. I drew his attention to the fact that all the lacquered and brass goods which come into this country give no employment here. The small article with the brass electrical fittings, which Deputies see there on the table in front of them, probably came from Germany, and entered this country free of charge. If a Dublin factory attempted to manufacture an article of that kind it would have to pay duty, amounting to a shilling or two shillings, on the lacquer that goes on it, despite the fact that the finished lacquered article comes free into this country. The Dublin factory is not allowed to make the article until it first pays duty on the lacquer that is used in its manufacture. There is another point in connection with this to which I would invite the Minister's attention. I would appeal to him to allow the spirit, which is used for manufacturing purposes in this industry, to come free into this country. I am not sure as to the correctness of the figures, but I am given to understand that a duty from £2 to £3 per gallon is charged on the lacquer spirit coming in here. That duty alone imposes a dreadfully severe handicap on the brass foundry industry, with the result that those engaged in it find it almost impossible to cope with the wholesale dumping of German and American goods in this city. These are two items that I wish to raise on the Budget. The Budget has been a great effort on the part of the Minister to do good for every section of the community, and I may say that it is a Budget that is appreciated by every section of the community.

The Minister, in his statement yesterday, referred to the woollen industry as an old-fashioned one, and said it was fairly efficient. He added that it would, no doubt, weather the storm without assistance. In saying that, he recognised that there is a storm to weather, as far as that industry is concerned. I am informed to-day, half, if not more, of the woollen mills in the country have their employees on half-time, and I cannot understand why that is so. The Minister, when bringing in a tariff of fifteen per cent. on blankets and rugs, which are not made largely in this country, and which will undoubtedly be felt as a tax by every class, should, I think, have extended it by giving some preference to Irish tweeds. If he had done so, the tariff, I think, would have produced a good return. As a result of it, the people engaged in the industry would get full-time employment, and I am satisfied that the industry would be able to turn out supplies to meet all the requirements of the people here. I hope that before the General Election comes round the Minister will be able to do something for this industry before the people engaged in it are compelled to come to him and ask for assistance under the Trade Facilities Act. As far as I see, the industries that are struggling and making great efforts to keep going, without approaching the Minister for assistance, are some of the oldest in the country, and I am sorry to say they are getting very little support. As regards the old age pensions, I had expected that this year would have seen a restoration of the shilling, and in some cases sums varying from four to five shillings, which were taken off the old age pensioners. I hope that before the General Election——

Why the General Election?


I am using the Minister's own words. I hope, as I say, in the words of the Minister, that before the next General Election, the Minister will see his way to restore the shilling that was taken off the old age pensioners, and that he will also remove the penalty clause on thrift as far as old age pensions are concerned. If an old tradesman with thirty years' service in any firm and who, at the same time, was a member of his trade union for the same number of years, gets a pension of seven or eight shillings a week as a result of the faithful service that he gave to the firm in which he was employed, or if he gets six or seven shillings a week by way of pension from his trade union, that is taken into consideration when calculating his assets for pensionable purposes.

I am aware that there has been a demand made by many trade unions for the withdrawal of that clause, and I hope the Minister will see his way to withdraw it, because it debars poor old men from getting a full pension. There is a class of men who are very hard hit at the present moment. These are the men engaged in the iron industry: engineers, fitters, boiler-makers and ship-builders. I think the Minister ought to consider the wisdom of imposing a small protective tariff in the case of this industry. In my opinion such a tariff would bring considerable relief to these people. At the present time I do not think there is any industry which is so hard hit as the iron industry, or one which, apart from unskilled labour, has such a large number of unemployed. It is a pity, certainly to see such a large quantity of manufactured iron goods being dumped in the city of Dublin while these men are walking about idle. I was glad to observe that the Minister is making an effort to revive the bedstead industry. I think he ought to extend the tariff to all iron and brass manufactured work coming into this country. If he were to do so, it would, I believe, help to provide much-needed employment for large numbers of men. On the whole, I congratulate the Minister on his Budget proposals.

My contribution to this discussion, on the Budget, will be very brief, but, as the only lady Deputy who has taken her seat in the Dáil, on behalf of my sex I congratulate the Minister on the excellent Budget that he has brought in, and I express my appreciation of what he has done for the women of Ireland. By the abolition of the tax on tea, and by the remission of the tax on sugar, he has bestowed a wonderful benefit on the housekeepers of this country and a benefit which will help them materially in balancing their weekly budgets. In this way, I know I am only expressing the feeling of the great majority of the women of this country in thanking the Minister for Finance for the provisions of the Budget. A great deal of discussion has arisen out of the 15 per cent. tax on ready-made clothing, and a great many of my own sex have told me that it was my duty to protest against the imposition of that tax. I do not look at this from a small angle, but I look upon it from the bigger angle. I look upon it from the viewpoint that Deputy Johnson put before us. Even if this 15 per cent. tax costs us a little more in the way of clothing, surely we ought to be prepared to make sacrifices for the general good of the community.

I cannot understand how it is that the Farmer Deputies are against the imposition of these tariffs. Now, I am speaking advisedly, and speaking as a person who has great knowledge of the farming community of this country, I do not see any class that is likely to benefit more by the imposition of these taxes than the farming class. And when I speak of the farming class I do not mean the farmers as farmers but the families of the farmers. Many farmers in this country have families averaging from six to twelve in number. Some of these families run into two figures, like my own. I am speaking now of the average farmer, the amount of whose land is not more than 30 or 40 acres. In a family of that kind there is only a living for two. The son gets the farm, and the fortune that the bride brings in is given to one of the daughters of the family, so that the other members of the family, 5 or 6 or 8 or 10, are left without anything, though they should be as dear to the farmer as the two who are supported out of the farm, and there is nothing for them but to emigrate. I say this 15 per cent. tax will open up new avenues of employment, because there is no doubt but factories will be started as a result of this tax.

Again, take the tax on furniture. I welcome this tax. I may have to pay a little more for a table or a mirror, but if it gives employment—and these things will give employment to the farmers' sons, I do not mean to the one who inherits the farm, but to the others —I am more than satisfied. I know carpenters down in Cork, where Deputy Daly speaks of the excellent workmanship, who make excellent furniture. I have seen furniture made by carpenters 20 or 30 years ago, and it is as good to-day as the day it was made. There are carpenters there at present who could make furniture as good as these men but they are idle because they cannot get a market for their work; they cannot compete with the foreign goods that are sold in the shops, and these men who could turn out excellent work have to go about idle. In this way I consider the Budget is a step in the right direction.

I represent a constituency that will, perhaps, be harder hit by some of these taxes than any other, but the people I have been talking to are quite prepared to pay more when they find it is for the general good of the community. What good is it for a family to be able to buy ready-made clothing free of any protective tax if several members of that family are unemployed on account of the dumping of foreign goods in this country? There is another reason why I welcome the tax. It will make people make their own clothes, or if they are unable to make them, it will make them employ people who are able to make them and make them properly, not like some of those ready-made articles on the market to-day.

There is ready-made clothing put on the market which could not be produced so cheaply except as the result of sweated conditions and the objectionable practice of the dumping of foreign goods. After 25 years of technical education we should be able to make our own clothes, and if the Minister for Finance has done no other act than that of compelling some of the women of this country to make clothes for themselves and their families and their husbands, I think he deserves a vote of thanks from the women of Ireland. In the days of my youth it was regarded as a qualification for matrimony that a woman should be able to make her husband's shirts. I should like to know how many women in the country can make them now. One of the results of this Budget will be that people will become alive to their own interests and will make clothing for their families or employ other people to make them. I am acquainted with dressmakers who say: "What chance have we of making a living when we cannot obtain sufficient work for half a week with all these ready-made clothes coming in?" It is absolutely false economy to buy these clothes, and I think the Minister will inculcate economy by the introduction of this Budget.

There is one matter in defence of my sex that I must refer to before I sit down. We have had examples in this Dáil of the metaphorical language—I will not say the language of exaggeration—that Deputy Gorey usually indulges in. The impression may go abroad from something he said that the women of Ireland smoke cigarettes to the amount of 10/- per week per woman.

I did not say anything of the kind.

I did not say that the Deputy did. What I did say was that his statement was calculated to give that impression. I do not think it is very relevant to the debate on the Budget, but Deputy Gorey introduced it and I have to answer back. If there are such cases they are only exceptions. I do not believe that there are 100 women in the Saorstát who smoke cigarettes to the extent of 10/- per week.

To what extent?

I do not know. I never smoked a cigarette in my life, and could not if I tried. In conclusion, may I say that, to my mind —and I will just assume the mantle of prophecy for the moment—at the next general election any party, either in the Dáil or in the Seanad, that goes to the country having as a plank in its programme the abolition of these taxes, will not be returned again to the Dáil or the Seanad. I thank the Minister for Finance for his excellent Budget.

Sitting suspended at 6.30 and resumed at 7.15 p.m., theCEANN COMHAIRLE in the Chair.

I had intended to congratulate the last speaker for her splendid speech here this evening, and also on the fact that she was such a splendid representative of the women of Ireland. However, she is not here at the moment. On the whole, I am extremely well satisfied with the Budget. I think the Minister has done a wise thing in reducing income tax to the extent that he has reduced it. I think it is very well recognised that he could have gone no further than he has gone at the present time, owing to the financial condition of the country. I am sorry, however, that he still retains the super-tax. I am still of the opinion, as I was last year, that there are people who would come here and spend their money—very rich people—if they were getting relief from super-tax by living in Ireland.

With regard to the duty on motor cars, I said some years ago practically all that has been said in that connection during this discussion. I pointed out that it was not a protective duty in any sense; that it was a prohibitive duty. I was surprised to find the Minister for Finance repeating what, I think, he said before, namely, that the use of motors is a luxury. It can in no sense be regarded as a luxury as far as the medical profession is concerned. I am extremely sorry for my colleagues who are practising in the country and whose incomes are, perhaps, a good deal smaller than the incomes of those who are practising in the cities. I am extremely sorry that those men are still made to pay such a heavy duty. On the £100 car they have to pay £33 extra, or on a £200 English car they have to pay £44 or £45 extra. That is a heavy matter. It was pointed out by some other Deputy here that, in addition to the duty, the carriage over of the car has to be paid for, and, when the car is here, we have to pay a pretty heavy tax on the horsepower. In addition to all that you have to insure the car. If motors were a luxury, there could be nothing said against the tax; but I maintain that a motor is anything but a luxury for a doctor who is practising over a radius of ten miles. It is in no sense a luxury; it is an absolute necessity that the doctor should have a motor car.

I am sure every housewife in the country will welcome the abolition of the tax upon tea, and the deduction of the tax upon sugar. As far as the poor people are concerned, it must, and it will, be a tremendous relief to them. On the occasion when we discussed the tax on boots last year, I spoke in relation to an aspect of it that struck me most forcibly. I thought it would be a very severe and heavy tax on the poor woman in the country who has five or six children travelling to school, perhaps a distance of two or three miles. To my mind, there was no question that this tax would not increase the cost of the boots. Deputy Sears—I do not think he is here—assured us on that occasion that the cost of the boots would not be increased by the impost of 15 per cent. of duty. I was in more of a quandary, before Deputy Daly spoke this afternoon, as to the actual state of affairs with regard to what this duty has done. We want to know the truth. I am in no sense opposed to the duty if it is doing any real good. I am opposed to it if it is merely going to be used as a revenue tax. If it is going to encourage industries in the country, I would welcome it, as I said I would last year. At the present moment I know it is still in an experimental stage, and one cannot argue too much at this juncture.

A gentleman who paid me a visit yesterday told me he had come up from Carlow, and that the manufacturing establishment there was practically closed down. He said that the owner of the establishment had told him that she could get practically no sale for her boots. I came here with that statement in my mind, and I intended to mention it, but Deputy Daly has changed my opinion to some extent when he tells me that in Cork the amount that has been paid to workers has been up to £4,000 a month. I think that is what the Deputy said.

We only want to get to the truth with regard to this matter, and if that is a fact—I have no doubt it is when Deputy Daly says so —some of the objections I had intended to raise with regard to the continuance of this tax have been removed. I take up the same attitude with regard to the duty on ready-made clothing. With regard to this, I feel in the same way as I did towards boots. I believe that 15 per cent. is really of no use to protect the industry in this country. I feel, with regard to the impost on ready-made clothing in particular, that as far as England is concerned, the production of ready-made clothes has reached such a high state of perfection that the whole working of the system there, the amount that they are able to produce, and the way in which ready-made clothing is produced, all conduce to make them able to put forward articles at such a price that a 15 per cent. duty will not prevent our people from purchasing. I may be quite wrong in regard to this; I am only arguing as far as my limited intelligence goes. It seems to me that if you want to protect the industry of making clothes, you will have to put a higher tax on it than what is suggested by the Minister.

There is a matter that suggested itself to me as soon as the Minister had spoken of the tax upon personal clothing. There must be very great changes made at the Customs' frontier if this duty is not going to be rendered almost null and void. At the present moment at Kingstown there is very little accommodation for any examination of articles coming into the country with passengers. When one comes to think of the enormous amount of labour that would be entailed in the careful examination of all the luggage that is brought in by visitors to this country, one can see that there must be a tremendous addition, not only to the accommodation there, but to the number of Customs' officers. In particular, I was told that if the weather is bad and if it is raining, there will be a tremendous destruction of personal property by the opening up of the trunks and the leaving of them open until they are all examined.

I desire to refer to another point, namely, that I am surprised that the Minister has not done something to protect the Irish tweed industry. I think that it would be very proper and very natural to impose a duty upon cloth brought into this country in order that our own industries here, in the way of manufacture of tweeds, should be encouraged as far as possible. Irish tweeds, the Donegal tweed, for instance, have all established themselves at the present time in a certain very favourable position in the country. If these were protected, to some extent at all events, I think there would be a great trade expansion in that direction.

I was particularly glad that some relief has been given to the farmers. Last year I pointed out the conditions under which farmers send milk up to the city. They were selling their milk at perhaps from 9d. to 1/1 per gallon, and they found that the consumers in Dublin were paying at the rate of 2/4 to 2/8 per gallon. The same thing I pointed out applied in the case of potatoes. Potatoes were being sold by the farmers at from £2 to £3 per ton, whereas they were being distributed here at least at £10 per ton. The price has gone up this year and the farmer is perhaps getting a little more. At all events the consumer has to pay a great deal more. I think, therefore, that for the help given to the agricultural community we should all feel thankful. There is no use in repeating that if we do not encourage the agricultural industry, there is not much use trying to encourage other industries in the country.

Several points have been alluded to by various speakers, and more or less with personal reference to myself. I hope, sir, that you will not think I am proceeding beyond the limit of proper discussion, but Deputy Daly in your absence made some reference to the question of duty upon stout. He wanted at least £1 taken off the duty on stout, in order, as he said, to reduce the price of stout. My contention is that in Cork they do not need anything of that sort, because stout is sold in Cork at 6d. per bottle whereas we pay 8d. per bottle in Dublin. The price of a pint of stout in Dublin is 1/-, whereas in Cork the consumer only pays 9d.

Honest Cork.

Honest Cork. At all events the fact remains, and it is a rather serious matter for the brewers of Cork, that in order to compete with the local produce, Guinness's stout is sold in Cork at a considerably less price than what is paid in Dublin here. I am not quite sure that if £1 were taken off the duty in stout the consumer would benefit entirely by it. Deputy Gorey alluded to the use of tobacco. I have very little experience as to what ladies consume in the way of tobacco, but I will say this, that as far as the use of tobacco is concerned, the use of it by boys and young girls is to be reprobated in every possible way. I think there is no question that the growth of the young is greatly retarded by the abnormal use of tobacco. Before sitting down I would like to congratulate the Minister upon what I consider an extremely fair Budget, and on the efforts he has made to relieve taxation in many ways that the people will be greatly gratified by.

I wish to join with other Deputies in congratulating the Minister on his Budget. Perhaps I do so in a better spirit than I did last year, when I regarded the Budget as being tentative. I took the slight form of protection that he brought forward at that time as an indication and as a happy augury of what his Budget this year might be. I am pleased that I have not been disappointed in my hopes. I feel confident that by the end of this financial year, when the Minister will be introducing his new Budget, he will find these additional tariffs have been a success. I feel confident that the form of protection that he introduced last year, when it will have an opportunity of being tested, will prove a success. All businessmen know that it must get a period of two or three years to prove its success. By that time it will not be a question for the Government of saying, or insisting on carrying out, what the Minister has suggested, that no fresh import duty will be made. It will be the cry throughout the country that the Minister should be asked, in order to develop other industries, to bring in further protective measures for the country. Much has been said from the farmers' benches as regards this question of protection, but I fear that they do not look at it from the correct angle. I fear that they have not had sufficient time to consider the whole matter. Undoubtedly, the past year has been an extremely bad one for the farmer, between atmospheric conditions and the general depression in trade, but these conditions were applicable to all Europe, and to America, and they have, perhaps, been aggravated to some extent by the troubles in this country and by the heavy burden of taxation brought on the country for various reasons.

Mrs. Collins O'Driscoll, in the first instance, referred to the families of farmers. We all know that the young men and girls in the cities, not alone those who own houses, but those who are apprentices, are sons and daughters of farmers. We also know that it is impossible for farmers to retain all members of their families at home. Let us hope that there will be a living for every farmer's son and daughter in Ireland and that it is not going to be a question of rearing and educating them at considerable cost and then shipping them, as they ship their cattle, to other countries. I feel certain that about the last thing that any parent would wish is to part with his children and never see them again. It is a bad sign for the prosperity of the country, and it is a very poor hope for that freedom which the Irish people have secured, if it means that their children will have to leave their own land and seek their living elsewhere. That is an aspect of the question which the farmers ought to take more into account. Speaking for a large number of farmers, especially small farmers, progressive men, I know it is their desire, because they have expressed it to me, to see industries starting in the various country towns and villages. Numbers of these men are calm, cool, thinking men, and some of them years ago had six or seven cows giving a return of six hundred gallons of milk. I have seen their returns for last year, and it would surprise the Minister to know that each cow has given an average of over a thousand gallons. One cow has gone to an extraordinary figure and has beaten the celebrated Swedish cow in her yield. There is an average of 1,230 gallons of milk each from three cows. That farmer is earnestly hoping that the Government is going to start industries, and he is a man with four or five children, two of whom are on the land. In Ireland we are at present cursed with the dole, which produces nothing but idleness. That is a sign that things in this country are not what they should be.

If any form of protection would tend to employ the youth of the country in industries in which they could work and earn their living, I think it would be infinitely better for the farmers than the spending of a million and a half pounds for the relief of unemployment as was done last year. It would make the people industrious, give them the spirit of industry, and relieve the farmer of that burden which he has unjustly to bear. I wish the farmer would keep that in mind. Otherwise the dole will be there, because we cannot under any conditions see the workingmen of this country left hungry because there is no employment for them. There is no use in saying that the dole must cease, because it cannot cease while workingmen and their wives and families are hungry. If you cannot give them employment you must help them to live or, at least, to exist. Bringing it down to a low level, you are bound as common citizens to see that they do not perish of hunger. Therefore, the dole will continue until employment is found. When it is found there may be as I think Deputy Gorey said, those who may not be inclined to work, but steps can be taken to deal with them, as they have been dealt with to my knowledge in other countries. If you have industries in this country, a large amount of money will be spent by the people engaged in them, and the money spent in such a non-productive agency as distribution will cease. There are a number of distributors placing the produce of the factories and industries of other countries throughout Ireland, while men and women who should be producing these products are standing idle here. The distributor is very little value to the country, and although he may distribute commodities which may not be produced as cheaply at home, it would be found that if these commodities were produced here, even at a little higher price, the ratepayers would benefit. There is, perhaps, an idea in the minds of some Deputies that Ireland, being principally agricultural, cannot get back to her original position. I think that on the last occasion when the Budget was introduced here, I referred to the state of the country under Grattan's Parliament and mentioned that the population then was more than double what it is now, and that we were able to consume all the butter, bacon and eggs produced in Ireland.

And cattle.

Yes, and I believe that the export of cattle was practically nil. Going back to the time of Charles II., it was the policy of the British Government to prevent the export of cattle from Ireland in the same way as the produce of the mills was prohibited.

Would the Deputy give us some statistics about the number of cattle in Ireland at that time, because this is very interesting?

I refer you to Lecky or to Madden's "History of Grattan's Parliament," which the Deputy will find in the Inner Temple. I may make an error of hundreds or thousands, and then Deputy Gorey may bring me to account, as my memory is not as good as it once was.

Cows for half-a-crown.

Yes, and I saw white calves given away at less than a half-crown. At that time, unfortunately, the farmers had not learned to feed cattle as they have since. Farmers have mentioned to me that if we put a tariff on goods made in England, made perhaps by Irish citizens who had to go over there for a living, or made otherwise, England might retaliate. A Deputy, I think it was Deputy Gorey, said that both parties in England kept shy of protection. I am afraid he is not quite correct. They did not keep shy of protection in England. During the time of the great food dispute in England, in the middle of the 19th century, during the Cobden and Bright period, the agriculturists of England took all possible steps to have foreign wheat taxed. The manufacturers of England at that time objected on the ground that there was a huge manufacturing population in England, and it was only after a fierce dispute— those who look up history in Lingard or Smith or any other English historian will see that this was so—that the farmers in England were beaten on the policy of protection, because the manufacturers wanted cheap food. The proof that England is not likely to retaliate, even if protection is brought forward, is to be found in the fact that it is not going to hit the main industries of England or any other country with which we deal. Even during the Great War the important fact must be remembered that England refused to tax anything in the nature of food, except coffee, cocoa and tea, and the tax on these was for revenue purposes. They refused to tax articles of diet under any circumstances, because they knew the people of England wanted cheap food. People may have the idea that if we have a form of protection there may be a retaliation in England by way of a tariff on meat, butter or eggs. Such a thing would be impossible, as was proved during the war. One would imagine that the policy of the Farmers' Party should be connected with more than any other party in this House is land reform.

I would refer you to the period of 1878, when Davitt and Parnell took up the land movement. They made an effort before they went to America in 1879 to form the Land League there to end the dual ownership of land in Ireland, and end the losses, sufferings and wrongs it inflicted. They brought forward the question of peasant proprietorship in the Mansion House, at which the leaders of the Agrarian movement of Ireland were present. After dealing with the population on the land, and the question of peasant proprietorship, they laid down, as item 4 of their programme, legislation for the encouragement of Irish industries, the development of Ireland's natural resources, and the abolition, as far as possible, of grazing, the reclamation of waste lands, the protection of Irish fisheries, and the improvement of peasant dwellings. That was in 1878, and in 1879, at the great Boston Convention, Michael Davitt—who certainly, to my mind, with the help of Parnell and others, did more for the Irish farmers by ending landlordism, in the fight against which he gave his life—laid down that programme. He made the farmers of Ireland independent, and he made them to realise that the land they tilled was their own, and that the wealth it produced was not to be spent in debauchery in foreign countries. The farmers' position had been improved by the various Land Acts. He was the father of all that movement. If you had not these Land Acts you would not have had the Sinn Fein movement. If landlordism had not been abolished in Ireland you would have no Sinn Fein movement, and you, gentlemen, would not be in the Dáil to-day.

The Deputy must address me.

I am sorry. I will not repeat it. Davitt, at that great meeting of ten thousand Irishmen, workingmen and others, spoke, and it was resolved to support the Irish farmers in the movement to own their own land, with the aid of the Irish leaders, and "that while prepared to aid the Irish people to the utmost we desire to place on record our conviction that while the interest of manufacturing and mining industries, and commerce, are protected by restrictive legislation, poverty must remain the normal condition of the Irish people until they realise the power to regulate and protect their interests." Under the Treaty you have got that power. It has made you free to take what steps you find necessary to protect the interests of this country, industrially as well as agriculturally. We cannot dissociate the two. We cannot think of one part of the nation without thinking of the other, especially when we recognise that the workers, the apprentices, and the traders, in the towns, including many of the mechanics, are farmers' sons. They belong to the soil, and their interests should be the interests of the farmers.

I would ask the farming community to look at this matter from a broad point of view. I do not agree with Deputy Gorey that we cannot at the moment be justified in having confidence in the workers. Many of the workers perhaps have given reason for want of confidence, and so have many of the employers who have been sweaters. They traded on the lifeblood of the workers and their wives and children. I know these men, and they are known in this country. That, unfortunately, has been the history of Ireland in the past. There have been faults on both sides, but this I say with a life knowledge as an employer of working men, that I have found the majority of these men to be honest and straight. I have met an occasional rogue, and an occasional Bolshevist, but I refuse to condemn the working men of Ireland because a certain number of them are idlers who believe in getting property they have no right to. We know that many in Ireland have got property they have no right to, and that many men got labour for which they did not pay. If we keep these facts in mind, if we had better belief in our country, if we believe there should be a better understanding between capital and labour, and try to arrive at an understanding between them, there would be possibilities for the future. I welcome the Budget for the promise that it holds. I do not agree with some of the strictures that have been made. Perhaps it might have been better if the Farmers' Party had approached the Minister for Agriculture. I agree that the people who first deserve protection in this country are those connected with agriculture. I have said that to Deputies on those benches, and I have said it elsewhere. If it is a question of Danish bacon or produce coming from other countries with which we do not trade, and that interferes with the produce of Irish farmers, then the farmers should have considered the matter amongst themselves and discussed the question with the Minister for Agriculture. They have not done so, and they have not decided among themselves about the barley question. Some wanted a tax on barley, and others did not. I would oppose all taxes on wheat, and I am not certain that I would support a tax on flour until the milling industry in Ireland is in a better condition. I believe our mills would be kept going if we only had the proper sense of what we owe to the country. At present the Irish mills, north, south and west, are producing as good flour as is produced in England or America, and I know that, having a life connection with the trade.

I am aware that these mills are turning out as good flour as any that is imported, and I say that if Irishmen were only in any way true to their own idea of developing this country they would give a preference to the produce of these mills, especially when this produce is equal to the imported article, and when they can get it at the same price. If they had acted in this matter as they should, there need never be a question of putting on a 1/- on American or English flour. In addition to that, the farmers would have this advantage, that they would have at their disposal for the feeding of pigs and cattle the offal which they cannot now get from England as the freight is too high in proportion to the value of the article, and it is not brought here.

There are some other points made by previous speakers on which I would wish to dwell, but as on these points there has been so much already said, I will not proceed further. I welcome this Budget for the promise it holds. I hope that the country will make good. I believe there will be an incentive to work, and business amongst the people. In that, I am at one with Deputy Gorey, and lucky it is that I am at one with him in anything. We want more work, and I believe this Budget will make people more industrious, that people will recognise that we have now control of the country and that control of our own affairs is in our own hands. It is for the benefit of every man, woman and child in the country, regardless of past views, to work for the development of the country, and for its prosperity. I believe they will. I have faith in my countrymen. I believe they will make an effort, that they will continue to make an effort to accomplish these things, and that they will prove themselves better men than the promise of a couple of years ago showed them likely to be.

I think that the discussion is inclined to range itself round the question again of protection versus free imports. I suppose that discussion will continue for quite a long time. Every Budget day, and every time that there is a question regarding the decline of a particular industry, that subject will be discussed in the Dáil and outside. It has surprised me to find that so far, in the absence of Deputy Hewat, there is not a single orthodox free trader in the Dáil. I do not know whether the credit for that is to be related to the old Sinn Fein propaganda, or the failure of the Manchester school of economics, in the schools of Ireland, or not, or whether it is merely a recognition of the facts of to-day's situation, but it is an extraordinary thing that so far not a single voice has been raised which has proclaimed itself to be a supporter of free trade and free imports. Deputy Gorey may have been thought at one time to be a free trader. I think that on several occasions the Farmers' representatives here have declared as a party that they are opposed to a tax on imports. They are opposed to taxes on manufactured goods, except certain things which are believed by Deputy Gorey and others to be of particular interest to the direct agricultural producer. So that, even from the Farmers' benches, we have not a voice calling for the abolition of protective tariffs.

You will.

Deputy Baxter is to be the voice crying in the wilderness.

Not in the wilderness.

Deputy Baxter is going to declare against any taxes of a protective character, and tax on imports which is not equalled by a tax upon the same kind of article produced at home. Well, I shall be delighted to hear Deputy Baxter's arguments in favour of that standpoint. The main issue is whether there is to be a shifting of taxation from the breakfast-table commodities to wearing apparel. That is at the present moment the main issue apart from our general welcome to a reduction in taxation of any kind. I would like, if Deputy Baxter is going to deal with this question, that he would approach it from that side. Is he going to say that we ought to continue the tax on tea, because tea is not produced in Ireland, and that therefore it cannot be in any degree a protective tax? Is he going to say that if you will put a tax upon wearing apparel for the purposes of revenue, you must put an equal tax on wearing apparel produced in this country? If Deputy Baxter is going to take up that position I shall be delighted to hear how he argues in its favour and find out if he has departed in any degree from what was once the Manchester school.

Deputy Cooper has been good enough to remind the Dáil that last year the arguments that were used from these, and from some other benches, were in favour of a tax upon wearing apparel as against a tax on boots, in favour of the extention of the tax upon bottles to cover all glass bottles, in favour of a decline in the sugar duty, in favour of a decline in the tea duty, and emphatically demanding that there should be no reduction in income tax until there has been a reduction in those breakfast-table duties. I said yesterday, and I repeat it, that the Budget in its general form will be beneficial, will reduce the cost of living, and, as I believe, will also stimulate a very important series of industries which, in the main, will employ women's labour, and of all the unemployed labour at present, probably, in its ultimate consequences that extent of unemployment is the most grievous. I find, from a little examination of the figures, that the industries that are to be, as I believe, benefited by this series of taxes upon wearing apparel, will employ to a much greater extent women's labour than men's labour.

According to the returns issued by the Department of Industry and Commerce regarding the number of employed persons in the various industries, I pick out the figures relating to these industries and I find that there are about 12,000 persons nominally engaged in the industries which are affected by these taxes, and of this 12,000 about 70 per cent. are women and girls. I look for the absorption of all the unemployed amongst this 12,000 and for a very considerable increase on that 12,000 in the total number that will be employed in these industries within a comparatively short time. The complaint was made from the Farmers' benches yesterday that these remissions, or these alterations in taxation, will not in any way benefit the farming community. It is to me extraordinary that men, some of whose supporters suggest that there should be no class interests, should talk of the farming community purely in terms of a small section of farmers who employ several labourers. But if you take two-thirds of the population which is agricultural I suppose we might say that three-fourths of that two-thirds do not employ any labour outside their own, that they are self-contained farmers——

Might I ask Deputy Johnson who made that statement yesterday?

To which statement does the Deputy refer?

The statement on which the Deputy is basing his argument, that the reduction in the tea and sugar duties will not be a benefit to the farmers.

The statement was made quite distinctly that it was a Budget out of which the farmer had been left high and dry, that nothing was done for the farmer. It even evoked from the Minister for Industry and Commerce the exclamation: "What about the beet duties, and what about the blankets? Will not they assist the farmers?" I think that it will be in the memory of the House that the tone and tenor of the Farmers' speeches of yesterday was to the effect that this Budget did not benefit the farmers.

Did not protect them.

Two-thirds, I say, of the population of the country is agricultural, and probably three-fourths of that two-thirds are farmers and their families, who do not employ outside labour. Does the Deputy deny it or doubt it?

Deputy Johnson was referring to my speech, and I want to put him right.

Is Deputy Johnson referring to Deputy Wilson's speech?

Yes. It is particularly the interruptions he is referring to. I pointed out that we were getting a remission right away of £1,000,000 on tea and sugar, and that that was going to be filched away by the tax on clothes. Further than that we have not said anything.

You are going to get a reduction of £1,100,000 on sugar, £450,000 on tea, and £39,800 on coffee, chicory, and raw cocoa, and the counter-proposition is a tax on wearing apparel, expected to yield £600,000. Then the Agricultural Grant is more or less accepted as a set-off against the revenue to be derived from the wearing apparel tax. So that there is at any rate the sugar and the tea duty remission. But let me direct the attention of the small farmers to the fact that they are consumers of tea and sugar, probably to a greater degree, proportionately, than the townsmen, and that they are not likely to be mulcted to the same degree, proportionately, as the townsman by any possible increase that there may be in the cost of wearing apparel. I think that Deputy Wilson will agree that, taking the western seaboard, the amount spent in wearing apparel is not as great as, we will say, in the cities of Dublin, Cork, or Limerick.


So that there is a distinct advantage, even a greater advantage, through these remissions for the agricultural population than there is for the towns population.

Will Deputy Johnson tell us why the same amount is not spent by people on the western seaboard? It is because they have not so much to spend.

I will come to that in a little while. It is apparently admitted now that the Budget proposals do, in fact, give a very great benefit to the agricultural community.

Deputy Johnson is confusing the Budget proposals with the impositions contained in the Budget.

Deputy Gorey is trying to think of the Budget in sections, but we are dealing with the Budget as a whole; we are dealing with the attempt to raise twenty-two million pounds odd in taxation and how to spend it—the raising of revenue and the spending of revenue. The raising of the revenue is admittedly, I gather now, going to be changed in such a way as to bring considerable relief to the farmer and the farmer's family, as well as to the townsman and his family, so that is something to the good. It was because of that that I commended the Budget last night, and I do so again; but, incidentally, I suggest, as to the shifting of the incidence of revenue taxation from the breakfast or tea-table commodities to wearing apparel, we have the possibility, to say the very least, the probability, as I believe, that we will stimulate new production in the industrial sphere, that we will create new wealth in Ireland, create new values, and, instead of having to follow Deputy Gorey's single example—the only time he has ever offended—and buy clothing in England, it will be possible henceforward to follow his better habits and purchase clothing always in Ireland, and probably, as I think, to advantage.

At a higher cost.

Deputy Heffernan is perhaps with Deputy Baxter, but I do not know whether Deputy Heffernan can be said to be a pure free-trader. He suggests that it must be at a higher cost. I am prepared to concede that protective tariffs do result in higher prices; I never pretended to believe anything else since I began to examine this question. They tend. Not always is the tendency effective, but they tend certainly, until the development of skill capable of competing with the best competitor, to raise prices against the consumer. But with that tendency there is a very great increase, in my belief, in the ability to purchase at those higher prices. A suggestion was made that the Minister was going too fast, that he ought to wait a little longer to see the results of last year's experiment before he extended the range of taxes which might have a protective effect. The Minister seemed to think well of that; he seemed to be doubtful whether he has not gone too far, whether he has not rather been too hurried in his extension of these tariffs on imported goods. In so far as he has assured the House and the country that during the life of this Government there will be no extension of the number of commodities on which there will be import duties—I hope I am quoting correctly—there will be no extension in the range of import duties. There may be increases of existing duties on commodities, but there will be no increase in the number of commodities upon which import duties will be levied. I heard quite a number of references, particularly from Deputies normally supporting the Government, to a general election. It makes me wonder whether behind the proposals in this Budget there is an intention to have a speedy general election. ("No, no.") Is it fear that evokes that cry, or confidence?

We will have a better Budget before that.

A special election Budget?

I am glad to have drawn that out. For a little while, at any rate, we are not over anxious to have another general election, and I do not think that there is any necessity for it. If there is not to be an early general election, I am sorry that the Minister has pinned himself to the statement that there is to be no extension in the number of articles upon which there may be tariffs of a protective character, or which may become protective. I think the range is quite small. I am not now arguing, and I do not intend to argue, for what is called a general tariff. I agree that there must be discrimination, but I do not think that we should be bound to retain tariffs only on the articles which have already been listed for tariffs. I have, for instance, a telegram here following certain representations that were made to me regarding an industry which is native, one might say, to the country— not at all outside the natural course of industrial development. I mean tanning. There has been a very great decline in the number of people employed in that industry, even within the last three or four years. It should be an industry kept in being, if we are ever to look forward to the possibility of a development in the export of dead meat. If we are to look for a dead meat trade, we have all been counting upon the likelihood that there would be industries connected therewith, arising naturally out of the killing of beef, such as the tanning industry. We are, I think, running a very grave danger of losing hold of that industry absolutely. I believe it would be quite good business to do something to retain in being that industry, even if it meant the necessity of a tariff to assist it. It is not outside the bounds of possibility and practicability for arrangements to be made regarding remissions for particular kinds of duties, or where duties fall upon a particular kind of industry, to the detriment of that industry, to have a remission. I believe it is a reasonable proposition to say that an industry which is so native to this country as the tanning industry— which is not inefficient, which has quite modern machinery capable of doing the work, but which certain artificial circumstances have resulted almost in destroying—should be assisted and protected.

Deputy Byrne has spoken of brush-making. That is not quite in the same category, but there may be strong arguments in favour of it. All I am asking for now is that the Minister should not be so resolute in closing the list before the country has had time to pronounce at a general election, especially if it means that there is not to be a general election for two years. I think that is a mistake, and I hope it will not be held to be final by the time that the discussion of this Budget is completed.

Deputy Cooper referred again to the necessity for a committee on Estimates. I want to suggest another kind of committee or commission, of which the personnel would be known and which would be to some extent public; not necessarily a commission confined to officials of departments, but one which would be bound to inquire into the effect of tariffs, the incidence of tariffs, the consequences upon the various industries, the effect upon prices, the conditions under which articles protected in this country are produced in other countries, and generally whose duty it would be to examine into and report on the effect of the various tariffs which are held to be experimental. It is desirable that that should be done by a committee or commission whose personnel is known, and not merely by a departmental committee. There may be such a committee in being—I do not know. There ought to be if there is not, even if it is only a departmental committee. But I suggest it should be something more, that its personnel should be known, so that communications affecting this matter might be made to it.

The statement was made by Deputy Cooper and by Deputy Egan, I think, in respect to the proposed increase in duty on bottles, that last year's duty has had no effect upon production and employment in the bottle-making district of Ringsend. My information is quite the contrary: that it has had a distinctly beneficial influence upon the number of people employed and the period of their employment—the number of weeks in which they were employed. However, that is a matter that we can get definite and precise information upon perhaps before the Finance Bill is introduced, and we shall have the facts without contradiction.

In respect to sugar confectionery, I should like the Minister to clear up a point: whether the reduction in the duty on sugar is to be applicable to sugar confectionery — manufactured sugar—or whether it is to be in the nature of an increased protective duty.

It will operate, of course, as an increased protective duty. We do not propose to interfere with the sugar confectionery duty, at present at any rate.

That is to say, that the protective value of last year's duty will be increased by 1½d. per lb. or so?

Of course it would be less than that on confectionery. You might take it as being an average of perhaps half that on confectionery.

A point that I want cleared up is whether there is to be a concurrent reduction in the duty on sugar confectionery.

Another point, perhaps, might be cleared up, because I am sure it is one that will be the subject of inquiry from constituents, and if answered before they ask it may save a great deal of trouble both in interviewing and otherwise. Will the duty on wearing apparel be applicable to apparel which has been sent away for dyeing and cleaning and which will come back as wearing apparel? Is it intended to assist the dyeing and cleaning industry in the Saorstát, or will there be exemptions where the goods have been sent away to be dyed and cleaned?

It must apply, as identification would be impossible.

I am very glad to hear that. It will certainly assist the dyeing and cleaning industry in County Dublin.

Arising out of that answer of the Minister, supposing goods are sent from Northern Ireland to be dyed and cleaned in Dublin and returned, what would be the position?

I would like to think that over. Probably the clause covering the free admission of goods which are to undergo a process of manufacture here would apply there.

Does not that clause apply only to goods which are to undergo a process of manufacture here and then be exported?


If Deputy Good sends his clothes to be dyed and cleaned to Northern Ireland—

I was putting the reverse case. There is a certain trade of the kind I mention, where goods are sent from Northern Ireland to be dyed and treated here. Except that point were considered that trade would be ruined.

I think the clause which covers the sending in of articles to undergo a process here and be reexported would cover that.

Are not the words of the Resolution "partially finished goods?"

If there is any question we can consider it.

Before the Report Stage?

Would not the question of identification come in there also?

No, as we would have supervision over the factories and other places here, and could take our own measures. Anything that goes out we do not know what happens to it while it is out of our jurisdiction.

Deputy Figgis raised a few points regarding income tax and the various schedules. I am inclined to think with him, that a change in the rate of taxation with respect to the various schedules would possibly be advantageous. If the effect would be to throw the heavier burden on those people who do not earn their incomes, and to reduce it upon those who do, I think that a distinct preference should be given to persons who invest their money in the business in which they are engaged as against persons who receive income from landed estate, or from shares and companies in which they have no personal interest except that of deriving a profit. I think there should be a distinction with respect to persons who re-invest savings and profits in industries in which they are actively engaged. I hope, in the course of this discussion, that some of the facts relating to that, and the possibility of revising the present system, will be dealt with.

There is another matter that I think might receive some attention. The President has been particularly interested in the raising of money for housing loans, and I think has been showing some interest in the proposal that some of the wealthier business-houses might put money into housing schemes. It has been suggested, and I think it should be well and favourably considered, if possible, that a distinct remission of income tax should be made where money has been invested in particular schemes which are approved, at low rates of interest, for housing. I think it is, perhaps, analogous to some of the moneys centred in charitics. However, the whole question is one, I think, worthy of consideration, and if the Minister can induce wealthy firms to advance money at low rates of interest, specifically for housing schemes, there should be a remission of income tax upon any interest that accrues.

I think there is a failure in this Budget in respect to agriculture. I have this amount of sympathy with the farmers' complaint that there is need for a direct stimulus, having something like an immediate effect on agricultural production. I do not think that is secured by the £600,000 which is given as an additional agricultural grant. If the effect of the industrial duties is going to stimulate home production in manufactured commodities, that is good, but there is, in my opinion, a more immediate necessity for a stimulation of production directly from the land. I do not think that a mere relief to the farmer is enough. I will support any proposal in the form of a subsidy or guaranteed price or relief from rating —something which gives a direct stimulus to greater productivity. I do not think it is enough to rely on the more or less gradual improvement that will come from the legislation which has recently been passed, or to hope for a quality of produce making a better name and commanding a better price in the market. That will come, but it will be slow. I think that a Government—whatever Government it may be—will be obliged to do something to stimulate production and greater productivity from the land. That may take the form of producing for cattle feeding more barley, oats, or grain of any kind, but I believe it is necessary to stop the reduction in productivity. Everybody is in agreement theoretically that the basis of the whole economy of the country is agriculture. I think that the farmers are right in demanding that something should be done for agriculture. I think that thing to be done must be done by way of a direct stimulus to greater production. The proposal in respect of the sugar beet is undoubtedly in that direction. In my opinion it will have the effect of increasing absolutely the production from the land. I am rather regretful that there is a statement in the Minister's speech to the effect that they have decided to confine the experiment to one factory.

For the present I do not say that we shall not have more than one factory, but we are at the very beginning. I said I thought it would be unwise to have more than one factory, until there was further information available as a result of some experience. We have no experience here as to the terms which would be necessary. The best terms we have been able to get anyone to agree to are considerably higher than the terms at which factories have been started in Great Britain.

The British have a number of years' experience now, and they are probably in a more favoured position to get better terms from the State side. I am not discussing the terms. I do not know whether they are good or bad, but if they are good or worth the experiment in respect of one factory in one county, I think they are worth the experiment in another county, and perhaps in a third county. It may be very costly to the community, but I think it is only temporarily costly. I think the fact that you are absolutely increasing the national wealth has to be taken into account. Bear in mind that the experiment in one county, in so far as it is an agricultural experiment, is not going to be sufficient to warrant you in saying that it will be equally successful in every other part of the country. I think you have got to take two or three parts of the country before you can be satisfied that the experiment has been successful or is a failure. That was the method of experiment adopted in England. If I remember rightly, there were at least two factories, one in Norfolk and one in Yorkshire, where the experiment was begun, and I hope we have not here the final word in respect to the limitation of the experiment. It is well to find rivalry between two parts of the country, even at this stage, as to the location of the factory. That alone suggests to me that there should be some agreement to extend the experiment beyond the single factory.

Perhaps it might be well at this point if the Minister would say if the arrangements entered into with the firm starting this beet factory are of such a nature as to prevent him starting a second or third factory before the expiration of the ten years agreed with the firm.

No. The only clause that would restrict us from giving licences just as we like to other factories would be one dealing with the location. Once the first factory is started it must be given a reasonable area around it from which to draw its beet, but subject to that there would be no restriction.

It is essential that there should not be rival factories started within a given area. Deputy Baxter will agree that there has been a loss in respect of the creamery industry, because of many factories competing for the farmers' milk and destroying each other.

Having said that about beet-root production, I would ask Ministers and the House generally to consider the necessity of so arranging the fiscal policy of the country as to ensure the greatest gross production. After all, we may vote money for houses and for roads. They are very necessary. We may extend factories—they are very necessary—but they are all dependent upon the produce of the land. If the produce of the land is not going to be increased, if you are only going to wait for higher prices in England, with the possibility of getting lower prices in England, then this country is not going to develop, and cannot develop.

You may increase production industrially. Unless you are producing for export—and there is practically no possibility of development in that direction—your development industrially will have to be for home consumption. But you cannot develop industrially for home consumption very far, unless there is a concurrent and even more rapid development in home production of agricultural produce. I am absolutely at one with the Minister for Agriculture in his desire that the main production should be from the land, but I am very sorry to hear from the Minister for Finance that the Minister for Agriculture has turned down a suggestion that there should be aid given to agriculture by way of protective duties against the importation of foreign food. American bacon has been mentioned. Deputy Gorey is quite prepared to support a proposition for the taxation of imported bacon——

Deputy Johnson says so.

Does Deputy Gorey deny that he is in favour of a tax on imported bacon?

I will not answer the Deputy. The question does not arise.

We will see the Official Report in a day or two. If the Deputy does not support that, then I am sorry for the farmer-producers of bacon. The import of bacon—chiefly American—is valued at £2,000,000. I suppose the greater portion of that is bought by farmers, who sell their own bacon and their own pigs to curers to send away. I think that is bad business. It is certainly bad national economy. I would suggest to the Minister that one way of increasing the pig-population and steadying the industry is to have something like a stabilisation of prices—something more of stabilisation than has existed for quite a long time. I believe that that could be accomplished if an attempt were made. The bacon-curing industry is fairly compactly organised, and there can be much more regularity in the prices of bacon if an attempt be made in that direction, in the interests of the industry. I refer to the pig-rearing industry, and not merely to the bacon-selling industry. With organisation and determination, agreement between producers of pigs and curers of bacon, and, perhaps, the assistance of the Department of Agriculture, there could be a regularisation for a period say, of six or twelve months, of bacon prices within smaller variations than exist at present. That would go a long way towards assisting the growth of the pig-population in the country.

Can Deputy Johnson tell us the total value of the bacon imported from the United States last year? It appears in the returns as £6,000.

The total value is £1,800,000.

The figure Deputy Cooper has given refers, I think, to direct importation.

I see by the return, that imported pig products, bacon and a few sundries, amount to £1,805,000 from January to December.

That includes Danish bacon, as well.

It is all imported bacon. I do not mind whether it comes from America or not.

When Deputy Johnson asked me a question about an import duty on bacon a few minutes ago, I did not answer him directly. The reason is that we have not discussed this question in our organisation. I would not like, therefore, to confine myself to a cut and dry policy, because it might be only my own policy. That is the reason I did not answer the Deputy directly.

It is well to hear, at any rate, that the farmers have not made up their minds against the possibility of an import duty on bacon.

Or any one item. They could not single out any one item.

Deputy Gorey, after all, must bear in mind that three or four of the representatives of the farmers who have spoken here are not now resolutely opposed to the idea of protective tariffs. It is now a question of choosing which article may be taxed and which may not be taxed. The principle has been conceded, so that we may now discriminate—

It has not been conceded.

Did not Deputy Gorey state he was opposed on principle to protective tariffs?

On a proportion of articles. This is a sort of conditional tariff so far as we are concerned. What is coming in is protected. What we are producing and sending out is not protected at all. Until you are in a position to protect that and are able and willing to protect it, we must oppose the other tariffs.

I propose to repeat an argument which I have already used here—that is, that the farmers, through their organisation and through their spokesmen, quite frequently expressed the view that they should find additional markets abroad, apart from England. On the question of industrial tariffs, I am suggesting to Deputy Gorey—

May I ask the Deputy where we have expressed the view that additional markets for our produce can be found abroad?

I think if Deputy Gorey will read up some of the speeches during last year's Budget debates, he will find that Deputy Heffernan expressed the hope that the Ministry would spend some of the money expended on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs looking for markets abroad for Irish agricultural produce.

Perhaps he meant poteen or whiskey or something like that.

I do not want to get Deputy Gorey and Deputy Heffernan at each other's wool. Therefore, I will not pursue that matter. It is undoubtedly believed by many people, even amongst the farmers, that there should be alternative markets found for agricultural produce, if possible.

If possible.

I am going to show to Deputy Gorey that it is possible to find a new market for Irish agricultural produce.

That is what we want.

You have a million people in the towns of the Saorstát, and you have two hundred thousand of those certainly not eating enough. If they were employed with anything like regularity, or at anything like fair wages, there would be a new market for Irish agricultural produce. I would like to see that million people working and earning in the towns obliged, by virtue, shall I say, of an economic inducement, even through a tariff upon imported foreign food stuffs, to purchase Irish bacon, Irish butter and Irish eggs in preference to American or Canadian bacon, Danish butter or Siberian eggs. There you get your market: you get it at home by stimulating, even by tariffs, the employment of Irish labour in Irish towns. Then there is a reciprocal duty imposed upon these townsmen to do what I have said, to consume Irish agricultural produce. Those two forces working together will mean, undoubtedly, a very great increase in the gross production of wealth in this country. I believe that all our energies should be directed to stimulating that production, whether of manufactured articles or of agricultural produce. If we take advantage, as we must, of all the new methods, of the improvements in the method of production and of marketing, to get the highest prices for the produce that must be exported, that, incidentally, will have a very beneficial effect upon even that portion of the produce which is sold in this country. But there is nothing, except the proposal regarding beet root, in this Budget to show that there is any desire or any intention to stimulate that kind of productivity. You will, I think, by virtue of the tariff upon apparel, create new wealth through the employment of new labour in the towns. But you must move directly and swiftly towards increasing the amount of production from the land, and I do not think we ought to be content to wait for increased prices in the English markets through a general rise in prices that may possibly come, but is not likely, or through increased prices due to improved methods of production and of marketing. That, I am afraid, is going to be too slow. I would like to see a direct attempt, by subsidy or by a guarantee of prices or by tariffs upon imported agricultural produce, to stimulate the production of that kind of produce concurrently with the stimulation of the production of manufactured goods. In that respect, I think, the Budget is not going far enough towards remedying the grievances from which the country is suffering and will continue to suffer.

On the whole, I must say that the Budget is better than I anticipated. I feared there would have been a refusal to reduce the taxes upon breakfast-table commodities, that there would have been a greater reduction in the income tax, and that we would have been obliged to wait for another year before we had a further development in tariffs of a protective kind. It has been said occasionally that my business here, and the business of our Party, has been to oppose anything which the Government introduces. Of course, anybody who knows anything knows that that is not true. We have tried to discriminate between what we thought was good, and what we thought was bad; to support that which was good, and to oppose that which was bad, even though it came from the Government. We do not think that the duty of an Opposition is simply to oppose. In this case, I am glad to support the general propositions in the Budget. I would like to have seen a greater discrimination in respect of the income tax. There are two or three small points that will certainly be raised later regarding the incidence of taxation, and some other small matters that I need not deal with now. I think the country will be delighted to find that it is possible to reduce taxation, and particularly the taxation upon people who will take sugar and tea even if they can get very little else. It goes some way, perhaps, to relieve even the old age pensioners, because they are very large consumers of tea and sugar. I hope that we shall get to the ideal of an absolutely free breakfast table before many years are over. We are nearer to that ideal now than this country has been within certainly sixty years, and for that we have to be thankful.

Deputy Johnson, by the policy he has just enunciated, seems as if he were speaking for those who go by the name of workers. I would like to point out to him that a certain Union, known as the Distributive Workers' Union, some short time ago passed a resolution in opposition to the very tenets of which he is such an able exponent. Furthermore, when he twits us here with not having formulated a policy which would meet with the views of every man, I may say that we labour, on our side, under the same disadvantages that he, perhaps, labours under on his side. What is the policy of the Farmers' Union? The Farmers' Union protests against the imposition of tariffs. On two or three occasions, through our advocacy here, the Farmers' Union has spoken against them. Seeing that the Government is determined to pursue the policy which it has thought out on tariffs, the Farmers' Union demands, through us, that the policy of tariffs should be applied to the products by which we live.

Will Deputy Wilson state what particular articles he is demanding a tariff for?

I will—on what we produce. Now, we hear a good deal of the neglect of this country to avail itself of its natural fertility, and although we have been passing through a period of political unrest here, yet on the comparative table I find set forth the productivity of this country as compared with Denmark, and while the Dane has got an exchange which amounts to practically one-third in his favour, yet, working on that basis, his exports in agricultural products is £48,000,000 in his own money, which would really only amount to some one-third less. Our exports, based on the pound here as equal to the pound in London, amounts to £32,000,000, so that as a matter of fact we are producing in Ireland equivalent to what the Danes produce in Denmark. How is that done? It is done, as you know, by cattle. I demand an examination of this matter, and I deny that anyone can say that we can be reckoned as not doing the work which we are supposed to do. How can we get greater productivity? That is what we are all anxious for. Will a tariff on oats enable us to produce more oats? Oats imported into the country and oat-products amount to about £700,000. It is a positive fact that it is nearly impossible to sell oats in Dublin to-day at a reasonable price. When you come in to sell you are shown a sample of Canadian oats 2/- more than they will offer us. It is of a better quality, I admit, but that is the position. Our price is not sufficient to admit of the production of that particular grain, and the means we have to use up that product is by feeding it to cattle and exporting the cattle. Take bacon: £1,806,000 worth has been imported. The question arises, if you put a tariff on bacon will people use the bacon here, or will we get higher prices for the local consumption which would stimulate production to some extent? Similarly, with butter. We imported last year £739,000 worth of butter. I believe myself that a tariff on butter would stimulate winter dairying and in that case increase the productivity of the land. I will come on to barley. Barley is an old friend in this House, but it is the smallest import of the lot. Only £188,000 worth was imported, plus £205,000 worth of malt. Yet we hear of barley night, noon and morning; whether it is the product of the barley that makes some people speak of it so often or not I do not know.

What about maize?

That is tremendous.

Would the Deputy say how many resolutions he received from branches of the Farmers' Union on the question of the importation of barley, and what is the result of these resolutions on the Farmers' Party?

I do not represent a barley constituency, thank God, and have nothing to do with it, but taking it all, whether it is by a subsidy to the production of a certain number of barrels, or a certain number of acres of corn, or whether it is by the imposition of a tariff, we demand that you give us the same protection as you are giving people who live in the cities. That is a fair proposition; it is dragged out of us, and I am explaining it to you as I have been directed to explain it, and I speak with the authority of the Farmers' Union.

Are we to understand that the Deputy is now asking definitely for a tariff on imported barley and malt?

On everything.


On bacon?

Exactly, on everything.

The Deputy has changed his mind since the last meeting of the Farmers' Union.


That is no trouble to him.

We are here, I take it, to express our views and it is our responsibility whether we express the views of any organisation behind us or not. We are not asked here to express the views of any organisation behind us. We are rather responsible to the organisation. If I am prepared to take the responsibility of expressing any definite views to the House I am responsible to the House so far as my relations to the House are concerned, and any other organisation I am responsible to can call me over the coals if they desire. I wish Deputy Wilson to avow the same thing, otherwise we are at sea.

Exactly, because while you might be repudiated by people behind you, people here would not understand you were speaking for a dummy. We have made our position perfectly clear. We say we would produce more if certains things were not imported. We say we desire to get all we can out of the land and to produce more, and we look to the removal of everything that is a barrier to our production.

On that I want to point out to the Minister that in this country a tax of £25,000,000 is certainly a barrier upon production and if he would stimulate production and enable us to get in front of the Dane or anyone else, let him see that the taxes levied in this country, both local and central, are reduced, and let him apply to the management of the Government that principle which each individual has to apply to the management of his own affairs. That is the protection that is neglected. We know, and I readily admit, that we are inheritors of a system of Government which was extravagant in the extreme. We were the junior partners in a joint concern where money was looked on as of very little value; but we are in a different position to-day. It has been stated that there are difficulties in the reduction of the staffs in Government departments, but it is in the reduction of these staffs the salvation of the farming industry lies, quite as much as in the retention of tariffs which are put on as a counterpoise to other tariffs. There are several other industries that were quite as well entitled to a tariff as those upon which a tariff has been put. One is the flour industry. I am not advocating a tariff on it. It is said that tariffs are put on to stimulate industry, and I wonder why the Government refused to put a tariff on flour. There are sufficient mills in this country to supply Ireland, or at all events the Free State. We are losing the offals from the importation of flour, and we have to import offals to the extent of £370,000. If the wheat were milled in Ireland we would have these offals at a much cheaper rate, which would incidentally help us in our industry. I am not advocating a tariff on flour, but I am showing the inconsistency with which tariffs have been set up. We import flour to the value of £3,260,000 and because the cry would go up that you were taxing food, the Government had not the pluck to put a tariff on imported flour and aid agriculture incidentally.

There seems to be great productivity about this Budget.


Of new views.

It would be impossible for me now to go back on all the suggestions which have been put forward with a view to this country being lifted up. I will just speak for a moment on the question of sugar beet. It looks a very entrancing and flourishing proposition, but when you begin to examine it closely, the whole idea seems foolish. Why do I say those things? I know that you can produce sugar in Africa and buy it on the farms a thousand miles from Natal at 14/- a cwt. You are giving here a tariff or a subsidy of 23/- for an article that is produced there at 14/- per cwt. I am not speaking through my hat. I am speaking commonsense. If you look at the price of Tate's cubes in Liverpool, you will find that the highest quality of sugar is selling at 31/-.


Is it beet sugar?

I do not care what sugar it is, whether it is sugar-cane or anything else. I know anyhow that you can get unrefined sugar at 17/- in Liverpool. Here you are going to give it a subsidy for a period of ten years. It may be the right policy, perhaps, but those are all considerations which the general taxpayers in the country ought to look to. As a farmers' representative, I am delighted that we are going to have a new industry. I hope it will succeed, and I hope that in the course of a few years, when it is self-supporting, we will get other industries to follow suit. But there are considerations which I am surprised the business-men have not taken up; I am surprised they have not informed the Dáil what these subsidies mean in essence. I think I have said sufficient to make clear the position of the farmers. We hope, and I am quite satisfied in believing, that no better Budget could have been brought out in the circumstances. A remission of one shilling in income tax, a subsidy of £600,000 for local rates, and then this question of a sugar-beet industry, is a sufficiently broad gesture on the part of the Government, and an indication that it is doing something to help us. I agree that, under the circumstances, what has been done is very good. But the real thing to be tackled is the overhauling of the expenses of the Government, and the reduction of these barriers which, in their operation, are so antagonistic to progress on the land.

There was a time during the speech of the last, Deputy when I though I would start by congratulating Deputy Johnson on having got a new convert. Candidly, I do not know now whether I can congratulate him. Candidly, I do not know whether Deputy Wilson is of the opinion and is glad that the Government is undertaking a foolish project by starting the beet industry or not. I do not know whether he is undertaking that attitude on his own behalf or on behalf of the Farmers' Party. I do not know whether he is in favour of free trade. There, again, I do not know whether he is speaking for himself or the Farmers' Party, or whether he is such a complete convert to the views that Deputy Johnson expressed that he is in favour of a tax on oats, flour, bacon, butter, barley or, as he succinctly expressed it, everything.

Yes, everything.

That is undoubtedly a great conversion on the part of the Farmers' Party from the attitude that they took up last year.

And to-day.

Yes, last year and to-day. I am not sure whether it really represents the views of the Farmers' Party. It is a rather difficult thing, I must confess, to follow Deputy Wilson's—I was going to say line of argument—setting-forth of his policy, or what he calls his policy. I believe it was the policy of the Farmers' Union. Taking the Budget, however, as a whole, it is interesting to see that the only, I will not say effective, but pronounced opposition that has come from any distinct part of the House to the Budget and its proposals has been from—I was going to say farmers' representatives— the representatives of the Farmers' Union. I would suggest to the representatives of the Farmers' Union that they cannot have the thing both ways. They cannot, for instance, expect remissions from taxation along certain lines and then seek to attack other taxes, the imposition of which, apart from any other consideration, would be needed to make up the necessary sum to allow of the remissions. If you look at the figures you will see there is available £1,800,000. That is effectively available as a surplus. The remissions amount to £2,400,000. In new taxes, therefore, there ought to be made up £600,000. The question of whether you should make up that in a way that would help industry, or simply in a way that would be no good to the country, naturally arises. What the Government did was to find that money in a way that, while doing good, and promoting industry, would ultimately help everybody, the farmers as well as everybody else. Supposing you do away with the revenue that you get from the £600,000, which will be derived mainly from wearing materials and on furniture, what portion of the remission are the Farmers' Party prepared to drop? If you look hastily at the list, you may suggest there is one sum that comes remarkably near the £600,000. I wonder whether it is necessary to mention that particular sum?

If it is said the Government have done nothing for the Farmers' Party, I do not know that that can be borne out. Some members of the Farmers' Party referred to the industrialists of the towns. As regards the Budget, I see £600,000 for the new protective tariffs; I also see that there is £600,000 placed as an addition to the agricultural grant. Supposing you do not suggest the dropping of this £600,000, what about the duty on sugar, tea or income tax? The Farmers' Party protest this year that the income tax does not interest them; but last year the one amendment to the income tax proposal, proposing its reduction, came from the Farmers' Party. Deputy Connor Hogan proposed it, and Deputy Heffernan spoke second in support of it. It was then pointed out that ultimately all these taxes came down on the farmer, because he could not pass it on to anybody else. It was quite clear that the attitude was that the income tax, as well as every other tax, pressed heavily on the farmer. If the urging of that last year had any weight—I do not say it has—it should have a certain amount of weight this year, too. Even now, the Government are benefiting the farmers. I would be very slow to apply some of the criticisms that Deputy Gorey urged against trade and the manufacturers in the town, to our principal industry. He went back to the good old cave-man rule of the survival of the fittest. The theory of what is fittest in an industry was its ability to pay. On that ground he condemned Irish manufacturers in the towns. I have a vague idea in regard to having heard here in the Dáil that a certain other industry, the great industry in our country, also wanted help. Is that a proof of the inefficiency of the people in it?

If the Deputy would cast about and see what other countries are doing for agriculture, perhaps he might be more acquainted with the world position.

And if the Deputy cast about and saw what other countries are doing for their industries, perhaps he, too, would become acquainted with world matters. I have no objection to agriculture; I think everything should be done for agriculture. But the idea that nothing should be done for any other industry is an extraordinary position for the representatives on the opposite Benches to take up. That is why, especially in the last month or two, the representatives of the Farmers' Party would insist in making a distinction between the people they represent and the nation. In a couple of debates recently, when it was urged that the nation was getting the benefit in certain matters, the question came from the Farmers' Benches: "What are we getting out of it?" Why is the distinction made?

Where has it been made?

In recent debates.

I challenge the Deputy on the matter.

I remember recently, when a certain policy was put forward for the benefit of the nation as a whole, a member of the Farmers' Party interrupted: "What has the agricultural community got out of it?"

Take the Shannon scheme as an instance.

resumed the Chair.

The Shannon scheme was one instance, but there were several instances recently. Within the last couple of months I have noticed that it was more prevalent than before. I would suggest that the Farmers' Party must realise that with the material at the disposal of the Government they have tried as well as they could to help, not merely manufacturers, but to help the principal industry in the country, namely, agriculture. They have done so by their policy all through, and have done so even in this Budget. Last year, when there was a question of a tax on boots, people in this Dáil were given the impression that there was only one particular class in the community who wore boots. I suggest that in the same way now people are given the impression that the only people who sleep in beds were that particular portion of the community; but when Deputy Johnson was urging the question of the amount of the remission given in the way of the tea and sugar duty, I think I heard the gentle voice of Deputy Wilson saying: "Oh, that is not all for the farmers," the suggestion being that the remission of tax did not benefit the farmers, but that it fell in the form of a remission spread over the nation. That is precisely the attitude that the Farmers' Union representatives on the opposite benches take up. All the burdens of the Budget fall upon them, but the benefits go to everyone else. I think that is not an unfair summing-up of the general trend of the speeches. I cannot understand what their attitude is, whether they want protection or not. Deputy Wilson is wholly in favour of it, but I understood the other Deputies were convinced free traders. Deputy Gorey interrupted Deputy Johnson on several occasions. Until Deputy Wilson got up, I was under the impression that the Farmers' Union had not a policy as to what they want taxed. As to whether they want protection or not, I do not know, but if there was any meaning in Deputy Gorey's interruption of Deputy Johnson, that was the meaning I got.

The meaning was, that we say that you are not in a position to protect our Irish agriculture. Even though you put a tax on foreign bacon you are not able to protect our bacon. Even if you put a tax on foreign butter you are not able to protect our butter. You are only able to protect a small proportion as compared with other exports, and you are not able to increase the price of Irish bacon, because at the present time it is selling at a higher figure than the imported article. Therefore you are not able to protect any article of that kind by putting a tax on it.

Whether Deputy Gorey speaks for the Farmers' Party, or Deputy Wilson, I do not know. Deputy Wilson said that he wants tariffs on barley, flour, oats and everything, but Deputy Gorey thinks that our circumstances are such that the imposition of tariffs will not help or protect our industries. Apparently because the Farmers' Party have not a policy, therefore the Government is to go on and have no policy, as far as the general industries of the country are concerned.

I gladly join in the general chorus of approval of that portion of the Minister's Budget which confers such a measure of relief upon the general body of the taxpayers, particularly on the poorer section. Listening to the discussion from the Farmers' benches, I have been unable to discover, although I have been trying to do it by listening carefully to the distinguished representatives, what the policy of that Party was in regard to Protection. I assumed that in a country like Ireland, having secured its freedom by the action of its own people, and realising that Ireland is very largely, if not altogether, an undeveloped country, that we would be naturally called upon as a result of that measure of freedom to think out for ourselves the policy that would develop our country and make it as self-supporting as possible. I think that Deputy Mrs. Collins-O'Driscoll dealt with the Farmers' position in a practical way, so far as I could follow her. I would like to know from the Farmers' leaders whether they are in favour of an increase in the number of bullocks, cattle, sheep and pigs which are exported from this country or whether they are prepared to tolerate the continuance of export of our young men and women from this country.

What does the Deputy mean?

Does the Deputy know himself what it means?

I know what Deputy Gorey said. I am just going to quote Deputy Gorey. I took a note of what he said. He stated quite emphatically that he opposed the retention of the existing duty on boots on principle, and also objected to the making of any new duties as a result of the Minister's Budget. Deputy Wilson, who in today's Irish Times and for the first time to my knowledge, has been designated Chairman of the Farmers' Party in the Dáil, said he was prepared to swallow an unconditional protectionist policy. It is very difficult to find out where we are, when I find Deputy Gorey, whom I have always understood up to now to be the leader of the Party, saying one thing, and Deputy Wilson, who is reported as being the new leader, saying another.

Does the Deputy depend on newspaper reports for his information?

I am not to be accountable for the statement appearing in the Times. I have nothing to do with that. He should not put the sins of others on my head.

Everybody, I am sure, realised that, as a result of the reaction following the European War, the market for emigration from any country, but particularly from this country, to America, and to other places where young Irishmen and women have hitherto gone, has been very much restricted. For that reason, and owing to the fact that we have freedom which we ought to make use of, we are bound as a consequence of these things to discover for ourselves the best possible method of a living in our own country for our own people. If we are to do that we must provide, as Deputy Mrs. Collins O'Driscoll said, for the new industries that we hope to start and develop, for the sons of the small farmers particularly. I speak here not as a representative of the farmers, naturally, but as a farmer's son, who worked myself on the land before I was forced to leave to make a living elsewhere.

Before you escaped from it.

No, sir. I worked, I am glad to say, from the time I was ten years of age until I had to leave home to get a living, because I was the eldest son of a family of ten who could not be all accommodated on a farm of 50 or 60 acres. I speak from that experience and I thoroughly agree with the point of view put forward by Deputy Mrs. Collins-O'Driscoll. I think if you have the nation, and the Government particularly, prepared to put forward a policy calculated to find greater room for our growing population, which must be provided for at home, that room must be found for the industries to be developed in the towns, as well as by splitting up all the land through the Land Act and so creating more economic holders in the country. I have always tried to subscribe to the view that a good living could be found at home for the thousands of young men and women who emigrate annually. If they would only settle down and work half as hard here in Ireland as they have to work in foreign lands, I say Ireland would be a much better country to-day.

Hear, hear.

I am glad to hear that Deputy Gorey says "hear, hear," because if he agrees with that particular statement, it is up to him as the distinguished leader of the Farmers' Party to find room for people at home.

He could not get them to work.

Perhaps Deputy Davin could emigrate the lot we have got, and bring back the lot who have emigrated.

I agree that an exchange of population would be useful because the outlook in this country is too parochial, and a little bit of travelling and the experience which is got by going abroad are valuable, and when people come back, they come back better Irishmen than when they left. I subscribe to the protectionist policy only on the ground that, wherever protection is given to a particular industry, it should be on a carefully considered basis, and that protection should only be given to a particular industry when there is an assurance of a definite nature that the cost of living will not be increased if the measures which are going to be taken by the Government give the benefit that is expected. Everybody who spoke in opposition to the protectionist policy of the Government has assumed, and wrongly assumed, that the only result would be an increase in the price of particular articles. I was glad to hear from the Minister that in regard to boots there was no increase in price as a result of the tariff of 15 per cent. I have met many people who stated that there has been a considerable increase in the price of boots manufactured at home, but I am glad to learn from the Minister that there has not been any such increase.

I referred only to Irish boots.

That only applies to boots manufactured at home. Imported boots have gone up in price, and they are fourteen-fifteenths of the trade.

The tax was not on a week when the price of boots went up.

I hope that Deputy Baxter will give evidence of that.

I have evidence. I went into the shops myself.

I take it that the Minister and his advisers can give more reliable information than Deputies can. I am glad also to hear the Minister say that the number of people employed in the manufacture of boots in Cork and elsewhere has increased by about 80 per cent. That, to a certain extent, justifies the duty imposed last year. I had considerable doubt at the time that it would be of any benefit, because I do not care definitely to commit myself to the imposition of a duty on any particular article where there is not a possibility of manufacturing in the country, as a result of the duty, boots, or other articles that get the benefit of the tariff, that will supply the internal needs of the poulation. I believe that a tariff, as such, should, in the ordinary course of events, be an inducement to many Irish capitalists, who invested large sums out of their savings outside this country, to bring their money home and invest it in industry in this country, and thereby help to increase its prosperity. There are, I know, many people who support what is known as a high-wall tariff policy. So far as I am concerned, I am in agreement with the attitude of the Government in taking steps, after careful consideration has been given to the demands put up to them, to impose a tariff on this, that, and the other article. It is rather strange to find that during the last eight or ten years we have people in this country who supported the protectionist policy when Ireland sent its representatives to the British House of Commons and who, to-day, as a result of the setting up of the Free State Government, are opposing a protection policy for Ireland. If a protection policy was good for Ireland when Ireland was part of the United Kingdom, surely it is more beneficial for Ireland now, when we have freedom and have power to make use of it. I am not altogether in agreement with the Minister in the attitude he has adopted in closing the door definitely on any further tariff being given to industry, and I do not like his attitude in that particular matter, because circumstances may so change as a result of a change of policy on the part of the British Government that would force us to adopt a different attitude and, perhaps, force the Minister to take a different view of the situation. I have never supported a protectionist policy or a tariff on any particular article on the ground that any firm in my constituency would be likely to benefit thereby. I support it on general grounds, as it is the best means I can see at the moment in helping to produce the articles we need, and thus keep as much money as possible in circulation internally, and also provide much more employment. Deputy Wilson, the new leader of the Farmers' Party, and I congratulate him upon his promotion——

Deputy Davin is making a mistake. The "Irish Times," I believe, is now the leader of the Farmers' Party. Deputy Davin is quoting from the "Irish Times," and if you settle up between Deputy Davin and the "Irish Times" we will be satisfied.

I am quoting from the "Irish Times" and from an interview given by Deputy Wilson to the "Irish Times" which I assume to be correct. Usually I do not take the "Irish Times" as being a medium that is good for everybody.

On a point of personal explanation, the interview in question was given at the request of Deputy Gorey.

Deputy Wilson was good enough to say, and he said he was speaking on behalf of his party, that the Farmers' Party had now changed their policy and were prepared to support a tariff on imported barley and malt. I am glad that he has been converted to that point of view, but I am sorry that Deputy Gorey, realising that that is the policy of the Farmers' Party, did not make it known to the Minister for Agriculture. Deputy Gorey admitted that he did not approach the Minister for Agriculture and represent to him, as the Minister responsible for agricultural policy, the views of the Farmers' Union in regard to tariffs and what tariffs would be likely to suit them. I have received a number of resolutions from Farmers' Union branches, from one county council, and from a number of district councils in my own area, definitely and unanimously demanding a tariff on imported barley and malt. I know that these resolutions have found their way to 37 Fitzwilliam Street, and I know that they have been given careful consideration. I assume that the farmers have, at least, discussed that question and have, perhaps, decided in accordance with the view of Deputy Wilson, but they should have made their decision known to the Minister for Agriculture as their considered policy now. Deputy Conlan, speaking at a meeting in his own area, said: "To my mind, this question will have to be forced on the Farmers' Union." Deputy Conlan will, perhaps, give us the benefit of his views at a later stage.

My views are not changed.

We see how far his persuasive powers prevailed at that meeting of the Farmers' Union, where the matter was discussed. It is hard to understand the policy of the Farmers' Union, when, at their Congress, they definitely protested against a tariff of any kind as it would not be beneficial to the farmers, and they come along to-day and express different points of view and leave us in doubt as to what their views are.

I think that Deputy Davin is misquoting the policy outlined at the Farmers' Congress.


I would not say deliberately. It is a natural tendency with him.

I quoted with due deliberation, but not for deliberate misrepresentation purposes. Deputy Wilson complained that the tariffs imposed are too small. Does he believe that a tariff of 33 1/3rd per cent. on furniture and bedsteads is too small? I am glad he has corrected his view with regard to that one particular matter at any rate, and I presume he takes the same view with regard to other articles that have the same duty as a result of this Budget, and as a result of the Budget of last year. Deputy Gorey made the alarming statement that our taxable capacity could be very easily reduced by five million pounds or ten million pounds. I think it would be very useful information, particularly to the Minister for Finance, if Deputy Gorey as the prospective President, or Minister for Finance, could give some indication as to how that reduction could be brought about. He referred to the over-staffing of Government offices, but surely it would not be possible to effect such a reduction in the different Government departments, which he has alleged are over-staffed, as to bring about a reduction of five million pounds or ten million pounds. However, I will be glad to hear from any of his distinguished colleagues who will follow in the debate how that figure could be arrived at, without, of course, imposing any undue hardship on the people he himself represents. The Minister for Finance indicated that exemption from entertainment tax would be given to the Gaelic Athletic Association in future, although he admitted that the duty had never been collected. I would be glad to know if that exemption would also apply to the National Cycling and Athletic Association.

Why not Rugby?

No. I would not support Rugby. There is one other question which I regret the Minister has not seen his way to deal definitely with, and that is the Government policy in regard to taxation on motor vehicles. The Minister said: "I shall deal briefly with two matters of importance outstanding. The first is the road tax on motor vehicles. Various suggestions have been put forward for a new basis. We have not yet been able to arrive at any conclusions. If it is decided to propose any change from the horse-power basis, a Finance Bill No. 2 will be introduced. In view of the fact that road-tax year ends on the 31st December, nothing will be lost by two or three months' delay."

I am not sure if the Minister for Finance is acquainted with the bad condition of most of the main roads to-day, due to a large extent, and perhaps rightly due, to the fact that the ratepayers are not prepared to pay for the breaking up of the roads by the heavy motor lorries. Last year in one county in my constituency a provision of £28,000 was made for the repair and maintenance of roads. The roads in that area are in a disgraceful condition. I went over them with the chief roads' engineer a fortnight ago, and he, no doubt, has expressed the view to the Government which he expressed to me as a result of that inspection.

Perhaps that has something to do with the main roads to Cork.

For Deputy Gorey's information I was not concerned with that aspect of the case at all, but I understand that the Deputy's constituents in the last couple of days have expressed their views very forcibly on that question. This year, in the same county that provided £28,000 last year, the County Council have agreed to provide only £25,000. I am sure, if the Minister will only consult the Minister for Local Government and his advisers in this matter, he will be rightly informed that it is impossible to repair and maintain the roads in that county on a figure of £25,000. I know, and Deputy Gorey knows, judging from statements he made in Cavan during the recent elections, that this matter has been given long and careful consideration, and perhaps he knows more about the consideration the subject has got than I do.

I think it would be very hard to find anyone who has given consideration to this question of road maintenance who would oppose the tax on petrol as being the only way out of the difficulty. Ratepayers, of whom, of course, the farmers are a very important section, should not be called on to pay for the tearing up of the roads by the heavy motor lorries. If the main roads are to be made, repaired, and maintained, out of the taxpayers' money, then every form of transport is entitled to the same consideration. The Railway Act passed some months ago guaranteed a certain revenue to the shareholders of the new Company, and it is being seriously hit as a result of this preferential treatment as regards roads. I refer to it only because I know that the result of that preferential treatment of roads as against railways has been that a large number of railwaymen have been thrown out of employment. The question does not brook further delay, and having been carefully considered for the past six or twelve months by experts advising the Government they should by this time be in a position to announce a definite policy. I hope I am correct in reading into the language used by the Minister that the Government are not satisfied with the present system of taxation on motor vehicles, and that the people who use and abuse the roads so largely should pay for using and abusing them. Deputy Wilson, I think, referred to a resolution which was passed by the Distributive Workers' Union protesting against this protectionist policy. The Distributive Workers' Union are quite as much within their rights in passing a resolution on this or on any other question as is any branch of the Farmers' Union. I am only referring to the matter for this reason: the Distributive Workers' Union have been passing resolutions for the past fifteen or twenty years advising the members of their Association, who sell goods in the drapery establishments, to do all they possibly can to sell and advance the sale of Irish manufactured articles. There is no member of that Trade Union who can come forward to-day and say that they have been effective in their advocacy of that particular method of advancing the sale of Irish manufactured goods. Therefore, I say that having failed in that direction, protection has now to be fallen back upon as a means of increasing the sale of Irish manufactured articles, and that is the remedy which has been adopted by the Minister for Finance.

There are one or two small matters which I would like to mention, but which I think could be more properly referred to and dealt with when the Finance Bill comes along. I can only say that the matter of closing the door to future tariffs on any particular industry might, owing to exceptional circumstances, require reconsideration. I think with that exception, I can heartily support the Minister both in the relief that he has given by the reduction of taxation and in his general attitude upon the protectionist policy of the Government.

I wish also to join in the general expression of congratulation to the Minister for Finance on the satisfactory endeavour he has made to effect an equitable distribution of the concessions offered to the taxpayers in the Budget proposals which he submitted yesterday. He said that he had had a multitude of appeals to afford protection to all kinds of industries and that these suggestions had been considered by his Department during the year. He further stated that the Government did not believe it would be for the benefit of this country to establish a general tariff, or anything like it. That is a policy that I, at any rate, agree with. I am satisfied that it is the wisest and best course to be taken under existing circumstances, that is, the gradual introduction of a protection system.

I would like to go a little further by saying that I am sorry he did not respond to a few more of the appeals that were made to him during the year, particularly with regard to tanning, brush-making, and printing. I will confine myself, at the moment, to one of these industries which gives considerable employment in the country. That is the printing industry. I might include the other industries. They are all suffering from the great depression of trade. There is considerable unemployment and what I want, principally, to point out is that most of this unemployment is brought about through the activities of foreign manufacturers' agents in this country. My attention has been drawn to a very large order for printing that has been given away by a South of Ireland firm to a London printer. Those who might be inclined to sample the "Paddy Flaherty" brand might ask that firm where their work is produced. A very large order from that firm was given away, and a considerable amount of money has left the country as a consequence. This is only one of many. There are numerous others. It is not necessary to refer further to them at the moment.

I might suggest to the Minister, when considering any further proposals, that he would consider the question of licensing the representatives or agents of foreign manufacturers in this country. This system, I understand, is in operation in South Africa. In the Cape Province of South Africa, manufacturers' representatives must be licensed. Representatives of foreign manufacturers and merchants are obliged to pay a £50 licence per annum for first agencies, and £2 10s. for additional agencies. Similar provisions are in operation in the other three Provinces, although the systems and the amounts vary. Such provisions, if applied to Ireland, would yield a pretty handsome sum of money to the State, without being any burden whatsoever on the taxpayer, even indirectly. If this system of carrying orders out of the country could be stopped by such an imposition, it would do a great deal towards giving that fillip that the proposals embodied in the Budget are intended to give. At the same time, it would be an encouragement to the people, who, I hope, will take advantage of the opportunity that is now given by the protection that is afforded. This would give a fillip and a support to Irish industries more than was ever given to them in the past. I believe the time is ripe for another industrial revival. I earnestly hope that the new tariffs will be a stimulus to the protected industries.

I do not rise for a general criticism of the Budget. I rise rather to join in the congratulations that have been showered upon the Minister with reference to the Budget which, I believe, will be a popular one throughout the country, except perhaps in the constituency that I have the honour to represent. In that constituency there is a factory that is giving employment to about sixteen hundred hands and paying, in wages, about £10,000 a week. It was expected in the City of Cork for some weeks past, and statements were made by people in authority, that the tax on the Ford car would have been reduced. But the people of that city are now greatly disappointed. We also find that here, in the Dáil, efforts are being made by subsidy, by forms of protection, to help industry, to give what every Deputy wants to see given—more work. Here is an opportunity of having, at least, five or six hundred more men employed. I am not speaking of the Ford car, mind, from the luxury point of view; I speak of it more from the commercial point of view, because the Ford car is generally used commercially throughout the country. That being so, it would be an incentive to the purchase of a tremendous number of these cars if this tax were removed. The idea of paying £18 a year on a Ford car, which, let me remark, was put on by the British Government for the specific purpose of killing the sale of Ford cars, is ridiculous. It is a most extraordinary thing that the Free State should propose to continue that tax on a car, the manufacture of which is giving so much employment in the State. The Minister for Finance has stated that a Finance Bill No. 2 is to be introduced. Let us hope that if that is so he will introduce it at once, because now, when trade is about to open up, is the correct time to deal with this matter, and I sincerely hope that the Ford tax will be reduced, not merely by half but by considerably more, in order to increase employment. Naturally, the more people who are employed the greater will be the reduction of the dole, and the amount of unemployment in Cork at present warrants the removal of this tax. I sincerely hope that the Minister will immediately introduce the Bill for that purpose.

The intention is, I think, to continue the debate to-morrow, but the Minister desires to intervene now, without concluding the debate.

The intention is to continue to-morrow?

I just want to say one thing. Since I spoke, introducing the Budget, various appeals have come in that the date for the reduction and abolition of the taxes on sugar and other articles should be advanced. On the other hand, representations have come that no change should be made. During the day we have given careful consideration to the whole matter and to the representations that have been received, and we have come to the conclusion that the date announced should stand.

Would the Minister accept a proposal to report progress now?

I would like the Deputy to look at to-morrow's Order Paper. There is a considerable amount of business, and if we were to adjourn the whole discussion until to-morrow I would like to know how many speakers are going to address themselves to this subject, and what length of time they would occupy.

We have three or four.

Is the Farmers' Party the only one that can form fours in this respect?

I suppose there has fallen to my lot the melancholy duty of continuing the debate. Although this subject has been and will be extensively debated, I do not suppose there will be any division on the resolution before the House, which has been more or less forgotten: "That it is expedient to amend the law relating to Customs and Inland Revenue, including Excise, and to make further provision in connection with finance." As I say, I do not believe that it is the objective of any group or of any Deputy to challenge a division on that; there is, at least, that degree of uniformity. But the resolution itself has afforded an opportunity of reviewing the whole system of administration, of revenue and of income, or of the means of raising money, and it is well in that respect then to take some cognisance of some of the main items of expenditure. Any Deputy who turns up the Abstract of Accounts of Public Services for the year 1925-6 will see that under several heads there are very large increases. In the office of the Ministry of Finance, for instance, there is an increase of £10,000, in the Revenue Department there is an increase of £61,000, in the Gárda Síochána there is an increase of no less than £90,719, and under the heading of Army Pensions there is the very alarming increase of £108,000. These are very large increases, and while I admit that there is a substantial reduction under other headings, yet I submit that these increases will require, when the Estimates come up, very careful consideration, particularly Vote 58— Army Pensions. Deputies will notice that pensions granted under Section 4 of the Military Service Pensions Act, 1924, amount to no less than £224,000. When you come to examine the details of that you find that ex-Non-Commissioned Officers and Men are to receive only £82,700, ex-Second-Lieutenants, Lieutenants and Captains £110,070, ex-Commandants and Majors £22,080, ex-Colonels and Major-Generals £7,400——

Might I ask if this is in order on the resolution?

It is possible that eventually the Deputy will have a point to make that will put him in order.

To find this money to pay these large pensions this State and the citizens thereof must pay certain taxes. I submit, then, that I am perfectly in order, inasmuch as we are raising money, to question the expenditure of that money. I would put that view-point expressly before Deputy Egan. When this matter comes up for consideration we will have something more to say to it, but I do object to having a tax, even at this stage, to pay these pensions. I have expressed elsewhere, and I am prepared to repeat it here, and to stand over it, that this thing is not so much a case of pensions for men who were demobilised in the ordinary way owing to a reduction in the service, but that it is in a special manner to make provision for mutineers. I have to take that view-point and express it——

The Deputy should have expressed that on the Bill. These are statutory pensions. The Deputy really cannot discuss, on these Financial Motions, expenditure made under a Statute, regularly passed and having the force of law. That should be clear to him.

With all respect, I remember the Statute, and it said that the money must be provided by the Oireachtas—"out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas," were the words.

Does the Deputy think that we were going to get it by robbing banks?

Well, to turn away from this and to discuss the whole incidence of taxation, I am afraid that we are spending on a scale that the country cannot afford. We are an agricultural State; the greater part of our income accrues to us from agriculture. Industry is only subsidiary; it only produces a relatively small portion of the national income and the national wealth. In addition, we are at the end of a great war period when agriculture all over the world is depressed. In particular, we are at the end of a revolutionary era which has had very great and perhaps disastrous reactions upon our whole economic situation. I submit that at this juncture especially, there is need to have a committee set up to deal with the problem, prepared to go into every office and deal with this question, to see to what extent the expenditure in the various offices is justified, and to what extent they should be staffed, so that the service may give some adequate return, having regard to the capacity to pay it. It must be remembered that this is a pastoral State and our public services must be based on our capacity to pay. We cannot afford to maintain services at the same rate or pay the same salaries as are paid in Great Britain. It is out of the question, because agriculture is one of the least remunerative of industries.

I protested last night and I protest again against the basis of assessment for income tax of farmers. Pre-war it was only one-third of the valuation. To-day it is on the basis of the full valuation, so that it is trebled. It may be said that, in a sense, very few farmers pay income tax, but I know that demand notes by the hundred are being sent out to farmers whose valuation is only £60 or £70. The Department also have got out a form which makes it so difficult to furnish farm accounts that the evident intention is to compel farmers to pay under a certain Schedule, in other words, to deprive them of the legal right to have the assessment based on the net profits.

As to the Corporation Tax, I have been informed that firms registered in Great Britain, who are doing business in the Saorstát, by the operations of some agreements, or by putting obstacles in the way of the Department of Finance, are evading the Corporation Tax. That is manifestly unjust to the companies registered in the Saorstát. In the past, as a matter of fact, these foreign registered companies have had a manifest advantage, because income tax here has been higher than in Great Britain, and they are only assessed at half the British rate. The very least the Finance Department can do is to insist on the payment of the Corporation Tax in all cases.

I have several times pointed out the need for a reduction in income tax, not merely to the British level, but below it. We want infiltration of capital into this country. One of the great needs of the situation is to get foreign capital to come in, and the only way to do that is to make a return on the investment pretty certain by having a low rate of taxation.

What about the 150 or 160 millions of Irish capital at present invested abroad?

The Minister can deal with that question. It is extraneous to the subject which we are debating. Of course, before the Minister cooks his hare he must catch it. I have no doubt that with that perverse ingenuity which he is said to be capable of exercising, he can deal adequately either now or at some subsequent period with the dividends accruing on the 160 millions invested abroad.

Our great objection is to the proposed tax on wearing apparel. It seems to me that for many years to come we are throwing a very heavy burden on the bulk of the community. For what end? The Minister will deny that he will get much revenue out of it. He will say that whatever revenue accrues is more or less accidental, that it is not the primary intention of the Government to secure revenue, but that it is directly a tariff. How many people will this tariff benefit? Deputy Johnson gave figures to the effect that something like 12,000 are at present out of work in these trades.

No. I said that about 12,000 persons were registered as engaged in the trades normally when they are employed. The expectation is that there will be an increase in the actual number employed in those industries.


Twelve thousand people normally employed in the turning out of ready-to-wear clothing? Even with 12,000 affected, I submit it is scarcely fair to put the very heavy tax of 15 per cent on the whole community. Deputy Wilson gave some figures last night showing that the imports of wearing apparel exceeded over £7,000,000 in value yearly. A fifteen per cent. tax would amount to considerably over £1,000,000 annually. That is a very big amount for the people to pay so that 12,000 persons may benefit. It is possible that factories may be established here but it will be some time before they are set up. After a while we may become more or less self-supporting but, at the present juncture, when people have to cut down every item of expenditure in their homes, it is hardly fair to impose a tax of fifteen per cent. on clothing.

Farmers have a particular objection to this Budget, in respect of tariffs, as they have to buy in protected markets and sell in markets where open competition prevails. I do not think that can be justified. As far as I can see, the present position is particularly ruinous for agriculturists particularly, in view of the fact that agricultural prospect are bad, prices low, and that it is scarcely possible to make ends meet.

Deputy Wilson was twitted some time ago on putting forward a demand for a quid pro quo. Rightly or wrongly we think that it is a dangerous thing to interfere with the fiscal system. Whether we like it or not, the thing is now an accomplished fact. I am prepared to stand over it and make no scruples about doing so. Inasmuch as we cannot continue to buy in a protected market and to pay relatively higher prices for necessaries in justice to ourselves we must demand a share of protection. We do not want protection as a principle or a policy, but if it is given to some sections of the community, farmers have a right to protection and will put forward demands for it. As the Ministry has embarked on a protectionist policy, protection must be given to farmers also, and they are going to insist upon tariffs being placed on articles of food that are dumped here, while at the same time they are produced by the agriculturists of this country. We must demand an adequate tax on these foreign importations. I am prepared to go to that extent, and while I do not look upon such proposals as an ideal solution of our economic troubles, at least they will be some help and agriculture will not be as depressed as it is. Undoubtedly, we have been defeated on the principle of free trade. We have then to take up a second position and to determine what will be best for ourselves. There are four or five articles that protective duties should be placed upon, such as bacon, butter, eggs, barley, oats, and flour—perhaps a very small duty on the latter. All these things are being imported in very large quantities and are pulling down the prices for the agricultural producer. That is a matter of common knowledge. There is no need to conceal the fact.

We are then faced with this position: will the cost of production of other articles which we require go up? I am afraid it will. I am afraid wages will advance. But what are we to do? We are, speaking figuratively, between the devil and the deep sea. We cannot continue to produce at the present unremunerative prices. We are forced by the inevitable necessities of the case, inasmuch as tariffs have been imposed for the benefit of one section, to demand that they be applied all round and applied fairly generously. We have to face a risk. But, rather than continue the present situation, I for one, am prepared to face it. Give me free trade all round and I am satisfied, but once you embark on tariffs for certain selected articles, creating sheltered trades as it were, particularly in regard to wearing apparel, including boots and shoes, the position is that we must get an adequate quid pro quo.

Debate adjourned. Progress ordered to be reported.