DAIL IN COMMITTEE. - SHANNON ELECTRICITY BILL, 1925—FIFTH STAGE.

Question—"That the Bill do now pass"—proposed.

Would one be in order in asking at this stage if the Minister can give any information to the House as to whether the particular clauses referred to in the White Paper constituting the basis upon which the contract will be drawn up, have been submitted to the legal officers of the Government, and if so, whether he had their opinion on the subject?

I personally have not submitted these paragraphs, 11 and 12, to the legal adviser of the Government. I presume the words were submitted when they were drawn up originally. Any matter of contract arising on them will have to be submitted to some legal authority before the actual contract is made.

The reason I raised the question is that I have had an opportunity of having had legal opinion, and that legal opinion was to the effect that those particular clauses are loose and indefinite, and that it would be difficult to draw up a contract on the basis of them.

Their safeguard is that they are so loose and indefinite that we can do almost anything from the point of view of tying up the firm of Siemens-Schuckert under them. The firm have very little play with us under them. One point that arose for interpretation is the point that was raised in letters, including the letter which was circulated to Deputies to-day. That is the question of Clause 13.

I did not intend to speak on the final stage of the Shannon Bill, but I think it seems to me to savour of the procedure that is being adopted in connection with this Bill all through, that it should be rushed through its final stages without even comment from anybody. This Bill now has gone through its various stages and it is due a valedictory address from this House on its having run its course.

And has kept the faith.

I would not like that it should go through the House without comment from anybody and therefore I would like to make a few remarks on the subject. This Bill was brought into the House by the Government, and I hope nobody will underestimate its importance as far as the country is concerned. On becoming law it puts into operation a very large scheme, for better or for worse, of great importance to the country—for better if it forwards the proposals claimed for it, for worse if it saddles the country with a very large amount of charges for the maintenance and upkeep of the scheme as a whole. It has been brought in by the Government and we must take it that the Government represent the considered opinion of the electors of the country. It has been received by the Government Party with enthusiasm. As far as this House is concerned I think the responsibility and the credit, if credit is due, largely rest with Deputy Johnson and the Labour Party when having taken up the position of absenting themselves as critics they have come into the Government Lobby wholeheartedly as supporters of the Government. Deputy Johnson has thought well to apologise for the fact that he finds himself supporting the Government. As leader of the official Opposition his action carries with it not a little responsibility, because both in this House and outside Deputy Johnson's opinion carries weight. At all events, had he been in a critical mood he would probably have had support for criticisms which other parties have brought forward uselessly. The Farmers' Party are, I think, non-committal on this. I do not think that they are clear in their own minds as to whether they voice the views of the people they represent or not.

I would like an explanation of that. We know quite well what the views of the people are that we represent, and I think Deputy Hewat should withdraw that statement.

I do not think Deputy Hewat should withdraw that. He knows so very little of the people he claims to represent that we should not attach very much importance to what he says.

Deputy Heffernan wants me to withdraw. If I have made an imputation on the Farmers' Party that is not warranted, I willingly withdraw it.

Deputy Hewat said that we did not represent the views of the people we are here to represent on this Bill. Is not that an imputation on the Farmers' Party? Will he withdraw that imputation?

I would be very glad to withdraw that if I had made it, but I have not. The Bill is committing the country to a large expenditure at a time when such a large expenditure is of material, and I think of vital, importance to the people of the country. The expenditure is based on a certain report which we must accept as being the views of the people who promote the scheme and the critics who examined it. On the other hand, it is perfectly notorious that the cost of large engineering works, more especially when they deal with a water supply, are not very easy to calculate exactly to the penny. I am concerned with the expenditure of a very large amount of money, coming on the top of many other proposals, with the expenditure of capital in connection with the needs of the Free State. As to whether one should take precedence of the other is a moot point, but as far as the raising of the money is concerned I venture to think that the raising of those large sums of money within the Saorstát at the present time will not be as easy as the Minister for Industry and Commerce anticipates, and as the Minister for Finance indicates.

It has been said here, and in other places, that there is a large amount of money lying in the banks of this country. That may be so, but, in my judgment, it is, to a great extent, money which is not going to be taken out of the banks of the country for schemes of this kind. I hope I may be wrong in that, because, of course, the importance of getting money for improvements is fairly obvious. But, when you say that there is a large amount of money in the banks, I ask the Dáil to recognise that that money cannot be laid hands on. I should certainly imagine that the money would be less available according as the demands on it increase.

Now as regards the scheme itself there are, of course, differences of opinion, and, at this stage, I am not entering into any criticism on that subject. The measure has passed through the Committee Stage, and, I think, has elicited all the criticism that is likely to be of any use at the present time. I would emphasise the fact that in the Dáil the Deputies have been enthusiastic and have met the desire of the Minister for Industry and Commerce in pushing the Bill through to completion in the shortest possible time. The whole scheme is based on the provision of electricity through the country as a whole. In my opinion the whole question is whether the means justify the end. The scheme is based on the optimistic forecast of the Minister, I think, that he will supply a long-felt want of the people of the country. I rather question whether in many parts of the country the scheme will be availed of as regards the power supply. Certainly I doubt very much that it will be availed of within the period that it is estimated the scheme as a whole will be a paying proposition. The Minister, in this matter, has been led into comparisons with other countries. I would be very glad if he were right and that the comparison were applicable here. Personally, I doubt if, first of all, the scheme will be put into operation with as little trouble as the Minister seems to think. I doubt very much if the headline afforded by the scheme will be adopted in the country as a whole. I doubt that industries will grow up rapidly to absorb the current that is to be produced. I refer to new industries, because the owners of old industries cannot be expected—even where the application of electricity might be desirable—to scrap all their present arrangements at a moment's notice. I doubt, therefore, if new industries will grow like mushrooms, as the Minister seems to expect.

I specially said I did not expect that, and I was criticised for saying it.

Well, then "as the Minister did not say." If the Minister says that industries are not going to grow up, then I say that the needs of the scheme are not as urgent as other needs which confront us. It is a question if the same amount of money were spent in other directions whether better results would not be attained—that is, if the Minister repeats that he does not expect industries to grow up. The real argument in favour of this supply, in mass, of electricity from the Shannon, for the use of the community as a whole, fails if it does not incite the people to greater industry, and so help the progress of the country. The farmers, I think, are not likely to take the current to any considerable extent in the early stages at all events. As far as Dublin is concerned, I have said all I want to say in Committee Stage. But I am dealing with the scheme as a whole and its effect on the country, and with the expenditure of this amount of money. If there is a possibility that the scheme, or the construction of the works, is going to cost considerably more than the amount of money that is estimated; if you consider that, in operation, the scheme is not going to produce, within the time specified, the revenue that is expected, then I say you have to recognise that for a considerable time it is going to be a charge on the country and a charge on the taxpayer. And that will have to be measured by the amount of benen that is going to accrue from the operation of the scheme as a whole. I think this matter—which has passed so lightly, if I may say so, through the Dáil—is of great moment and of great importance to the future of the country. In so far as that is so, and in so far as the judgment of the Dáil is right —and it seems to be pretty unanimous —we must look forward with hopefulness to the operation of the scheme. I personally consider that it is due to myself to express some doubt on these points.

I did not intend to say anything on this stage of the Bill. However, owing to the action that Deputy Hewat has taken, I feel that it is up to me, as the member of the Dáil who proposed the amendment to refer the Bill to a committee for further consideration, to give my point of view. In expressing that point of view, I will be also expressing, I think, the view of my Party. On the introduction of this scheme, our view was that it should receive the greatest possible consideration and should not be allowed to pass through the Oireachtas until the majority of members of the Oireachtas were firmly convinced that the scheme was perfectly sound, both economically and from an engineering point of view. We protested, on the introduction of the scheme, when the Minister asked for authority to go ahead. We put in our protest at that stage and we would have voted to support our protest at that time were it not for the fact that the debate concluded late on Friday night, and that, owing to illness and other causes, there was only a very small number of our Party present. In consequence, we did not, at that stage, put it to a vote. On the Second Reading, in pursuance of our decision, we did put the question to a vote. Although I still hold the opinions which I held in the beginning, I have, to a certain extent, been convinced by the sincerity of the Minister and by the knowledge of the subject which he has displayed, that if this scheme, as it stands, can be made a success, it will be made a success. That being our view, we did not see that there was any use in obstructing further the passage of the Bill. We realised that the Government had passed the scheme and were determined to put it through and, having made our protest, we saw no further use in obstruction or attempting to prevent the passage of the Bill. Now that the Bill has passed the Dáil——

It is not passed yet. The Deputy has a chance of voting against it.

Deputy Johnson knows very well what I mean. We know it will pass the Dáil, that the country is committed to it and that we are committed to it. Our hope is that the scheme will be a success. We are not particularly anxious to put ourselves in the position, as Deputy Hewat has done, of saying: "I told you so," if anything goes wrong. We trust the scheme will be a success, and we think that there are reasonable possibilities of its being a success. We are not sure that the measure can be confined within the limits of the finance set out, but we trust such will be the case and we sincerely hope that the scheme will prove, if anything, a greater success than is anticipated. On our part, we will give the Government all the help we can, now that we are committed to the scheme, to make it the success we want to see it.

Deputy Hewat is opposing this Bill. He would like to see the Bill defeated. But he was not prepared, on the preliminary stage, nor is he prepared now, to put the House to the test, and to vote against the Bill. If I had the view which Deputy Hewat has rather inferred than definitely expressed—that of blank opposition to the Bill—or if I had the views of Deputy Heffernan—not quite so blank, but slightly variegated and shot with hesitation—I would oppose the Bill in its final stage, I would have a division, and I would have my name recorded as opposing the Bill. As has been pointed out, it is a very important legislative measure. If the Deputies want to put themselves right with posterity, they should challenge a division, and have their names recorded as being opposed to the Bill. It is, perhaps, worth nothing that the Journals of the House do not give the speeches. They only give the names of those who oppose, and Deputies who do not oppose will be assumed to have supported the Bill. I would suggest to Deputy Hewat and Deputy Heffernan—but particularly to Deputy Hewat, who is clearly opposed to the Bill—that he should have his name recorded in the division on the Journals of the House as being in opposition to this Bill. I appreciate the compliment he paid respecting responsibility for the Bill having got through to the present stage with so little alteration and with much general approval. I would inform Deputy Hewat that, so far from apologising for having been found in the Government Lobby in support of this Bill, I am extremely proud of it. I would be proud to be found in the Lobby in support of any Bill of equal possibilities and equal merit, even if promoted by Deputy Hewat. I think the Bill is one which will bring very great benefit to the country. The cost of the scheme proposed in the Bill is not such that it should make anyone hesitate. If a commercial undertaking were to try to raise five and a quarter million pounds for a scheme with the possibilities that this scheme has, Deputy Hewat would be the most fervent advocate of the proposal. I am surprised at his harping upon the financial difficulty, and suggesting that this scheme will restrict capital expenditure on other reconstructive schemes. Does Deputy Hewat mean that if this scheme were not put into operation, and that the finances which this scheme will call for were left unabsorbed, that there are ready and waiting schemes of equal merit and of equal nation-building value to use up that money? I think we should have some indication from Deputy Hewat as to whether there are schemes waiting which would call for this amount of money, and which would give something like equal value from a national reconstructive standpoint.

I do not think the claim has been made by anybody that this scheme is going to supply a long-felt want. So far from the need being long-felt, it has never been felt. It is a need that has not been realised. I submit we are doing now what the commercial element in the country, if they were really living up to their responsibilities and their claims, should have done long ago in one form or another. We see almost every country with any claims to civilisation, and some countries which have no claim to civilisation, bounding forward in regard to hydro-electric development. Proposals are being pressed upon the Governments of every country in this respect—America, Australia, Africa, Japan, and many other countries. Deputy Hewat would say that we must go slowly, that we must wait. We must wait until commercial interests have found it possible to do this thing and to find the money cheaply, not to embarrass governments and parliaments— to wait, wait, wait until the country has had time to become decrepit.

I believe that the scheme is one which will succeed in reviving industry, sustaining industries which would otherwise decay, but, more important, will generate a new spirit through generating a new environment. I believe the social value of this scheme is of even more importance than the economic value, but I believe the economic value to be great. I am proud to have had the commendation from Deputy Hewat that any action taken from these benches in regard to the scheme has helped it forward. We believe that the scheme is going to help to make the country a country we will be more proud than ever to live in. Again I say, if Deputy Hewat, or any Deputy who thinks as he thinks, wants to have his name recorded as opposing the Bill, he ought to call for a division on this final stage.

Is the Deputy inciting me to mutiny?

There is one point about the opposition of Deputy Hewat to this Bill that requires to be more particularly drawn attention to. The attitude of Deputy Heffernan is that having opposed the Bill, once the scheme is going to be put into operation, he and those associated with him propose to support it to the utmost of their ability. It seems to me that the attitude at any rate suggested in Deputy Hewat's speech is that, having opposed the Bill to the best of his ability, he now proposes to oppose the scheme, and to put as many obstacles in the way of the carrying out of the scheme as he can. I can place no other interpretation on the remarks he made than that he would like to queer the pitch of this scheme, financially, if he could, whether in order to save us from the disaster supposed to be latent in this scheme or not I do not know. But it is desirable that we should be clear as to what Deputy Hewat's final words on this Bill were, representing, as he is supposed to do, the financial and commercial classes. He puts it up to us as his final word that money will not be made available in Ireland for this Bill; that the power it is proposed to generate under this scheme will not be used by the people, and that the scheme itself will cost more than it has appeared to the Dáil that it is going to cost. Put up in the way in which the Deputy has put it up, I repeat it seems to me that he suggests opposition to this scheme after opposing the Bill. Just as it is advisable, if people want to oppose a Bill, that they should record their opposition to the Bill, I think it is very advisable from the point of view of the success of the scheme and the wellbeing of the country that we should know, as far as we can, who are going to oppose and endeavour to interfere with the scheme when it comes to be put into operation.

As to the suggestion that the putting into operation of the scheme is going to swallow finance that would otherwise be available for promoting other schemes, my opinion is that the putting into operation of this scheme will suggest to people who have money to invest, that if there is instability in the country, whether arising from environment or from certain economic conditions, the putting into operation of this scheme is going to remove some of that instability. The prospect of that instability being removed will result not only in money being forthcoming for the Shannon scheme, but money that would be held back if the Shannon scheme was not put into operation, because of doubts as to whether conditions here were sufficiently stable to invest money in business ventures, will in addition, I feel sure, be put into other schemes, many of which are awaiting development. In that respect I think Deputy Hewat, whether deliberately or otherwise, is attempting to spread his own want of faith and heart amongst other people.

In view of what Deputy Mulcahy has said, I should just like to make my position clear. I put more amendments down on the Committee Stage of the Bill than any other Deputy, other than Deputy Duggan, and I put down the only non-official amendment on the Report Stage. I have always been in favour of producing hydroelectric power on a large scale by means of the Shannon, but I did regard, and I do still regard, the Bill with some misgiving in the exceedingly wide scope of the powers that it gives to the State. I am old-fashioned enough to regard it as somewhat of a gigantic instalment of State socialism, and therefore I strove, when the Bill was passing through the Dáil, to limit it on that side so far as I could. I was unsuccessful. That being so, now that we are committed to this scheme, my earnest prayer is that the scheme may be a success and may redound to the credit of the country and the prosperity of the country. However, I do not want definitely to take the position of blessing the Bill, because we cannot have seen the last of it. The Bill will go to the Seanad and may return here with amendments, some of which I may feel inclined to support. Subject to that reservation, it is my earnest desire that the Bill will become law without delay, and that it may achieve the fondest hopes of the Minister in charge. I just wish to say that, as I have been active in opposition.

I would not have taken part in this debate if I did not think it necessary to clear the minds of some Deputies of some misconceptions with regard to our attitude to this scheme. Deputy Mulcahy said we opposed the scheme. We did not oppose this scheme. We opposed certain methods of carrying it into effect, but we never opposed the scheme. We are as enthusiastic about it as any other Deputies.

My point was that Deputy Heffernan and some others of the Farmers' Party opposed the Bill.

We did not even oppose the Bill. It was proposed that the scheme should be gone on with without tenders being asked for. It was that and some other proposals that we opposed. I do not purpose to follow Deputy Hewat. From the figures we have had put before us, it would appear that, even though the scheme was never worked, at the most it would mean a loss to the State of £300,000 per year. As I see it, there may be a possible loss of £100,000 per year, and probably no loss at all. I should like to know from the Minister for Finance, or some other Minister, what we are paying yearly in unemployment benefit. It would be interesting to know that, so as to make a comparison with the figures given us in connection with this scheme. The money spent on unemployment is a recurrent expenditure. Except something is done to relieve unemployment that expenditure will be added to considerably. Deputy Hewat, although he seems to be wearing a mask, ought to be able to see that.

A gas mask.

He erects a sort of wall so that he may only see what he wishes. This is a rather big scheme, but it means the starting of a new effort in this country to create an industrial atmosphere in it. No one could describe our business men really as business people. Our business men have merely been distributors. I do not know that they deserve the title of business men at all. We want to convert these distributors into producers if it is possible to do so. We may have to wait until the present generation dies out and until a new generation has come along. That may be a long wait, but the sooner there is a change the better. This scheme lays a foundation for industrial development. It is time to make a beginning. There is one item that I hope will be eliminated from our imports as a result of the scheme, that is foreign coal. I hope we will eventually be able to do without such coal. If we could it would help us to square our balance sheet. I do not propose to join in Deputy Hewat's wail. He reminded me of a banshee keening over the death of some person. I look at the scheme from another point of view. I believe it is going, if it is possible, to give this country a chance of development. If the country and the people do not avail of that chance it is the fault of the nation and not the fault of the scheme or the Government. If it is not successful it means that the people of this country are hopeless and that nothing can be done for them.

I would like to know what is to be gained by adopting the attitude of doing nothing and going slow. Is that the attitude that developed other countries? Ireland is one of the oldest countries in civilization, but it has not kept time with the march of progress. Why are the new countries going ahead? If they adopted the attitude of Deputy Hewat would they have gone ahead? It is time to change the outlook in Ireland, and I hope this scheme will bring about that change. It provides possibilities for Ireland, and if the people do not avail of these possibilities it is their own fault. One thing is certain, and that is that people who are out of employment should be able to get employment as a result of this scheme, and that it should give an impetus to the establishment of factories and industries. I see no prospect of loss in the scheme except £50,000 or £100,000, and if that is all we are going to lose we are prepared to lose it. I say that on behalf of those who will have to pay most of the money, and that is the agricultural community.

I have refrained from speaking on the financial aspect of the Bill, as I believe the Shannon scheme itself does not raise a problem of financial magnitude. We have raised some 13 millions which have been largely used in paying for damage that was done. That was money for which there was no return from the productive standpoint. To raise nearly 5¼ millions over a period of three or four years for capital construction is not a matter that will, in my opinion, present the slightest difficulty. At the start the expenditure will be about £600,000, the next year £700,000, and the following year it will be higher. There will be about four years during which £5,200,000 may be raised. In my opinion it will be got without any difficulty whatever. I think it is unfortunate that Deputy Hewat, time after time, comes into the Dáil and suggests that there is going to be some sort of organised opposition on the part of people who own and control money to the scheme which the Government wishes to carry out. I believe there will be no such opposition but that there will be, in fact, a spirit of cooperation with the Government in providing whatever capital sum may be necessary. It is one thing to spend money on objects that will give no return; to borrow for the purpose of some sort of current expenditure, or to borrow for war purposes. It is another matter to borrow for the construction of capital works. If you spend your money well on capital works perhaps the bigger your national debt may be within very wide limits the better, provided good value is got. It is bad to have to borrow money for the other purposes. It is very good to be in a position to borrow it for capital expenditure. For a country like this, with a revenue of 22 or 23 millions, an expenditure on a capital work of a sum of £5,000,000 is not a matter of any magnitude. It is looking at the future in a wrong perspective to talk of enormous sums in this connection. For a small town £5,000,000 would be a very big sum, but £5,000,000 for a State is not a big sum unless it is the case that 5 millions are being wasted. But 5 millions being invested is not a big sum for the State.

We are in this position, that a loan raised here has some of the effects of a foreign loan. This country has at least 150 or 160 millions invested abroad. When money is raised for such a purpose as this a good deal of money invested abroad is brought home. We have actually some of the effects that one can see from foreign borrowing by borrowing at home.

There is one other aspect of the Shannon project that I may mention. The whole amount spent on the construction of the works will not go out of the Exchequer without hope of return. Before the canal is dug a good deal of tobacco will be smoked and a good deal of porter will be drunk, and I think we may anticipate a distinct stimulus to the gathering of revenue from the time the work is under construction. That is only a small point, but there is no doubt that the work during its progress, just in the same way as the undertaking of industrial activity in a more permanent way, will stimulate the yield of revenue very much during that time.

The State will have to borrow for certain other matters this year or next year, the remaining part of our compensation charges, and for certain Army expenditure and other minor matters, but at the end of, say, a year from now we will not be borrowing as far as I can see, for matters other than such matters as constructional works of this nature. I think that our total National Debt is so small we could easily borrow, not only for works that have been projected, but for any further works that may possibly be undertaken for a considerable time. Deputy Gorey referred to the expenditure on unemployment benefit. During the past three years about £3,000,000 has been paid out on unemployment benefit. The revenue of the unemployment fund is about £70,000 per annum. In addition there has been an advance of £1,200,000 from the Central Fund. £400,000 a year has to be advanced from the Central Fund and, in addition, a considerable amount has been spent on relief works of one sort or another. The way to get rid of that type of very undesirable and unproductive expenditure is to get the country to take a new turn and to get the mind of the country bent on an increase of production and the undertaking of new enterprises. I think, apart from the direct benefits we will get from cheap light and power from the Shannon, the psychological effect on the country will be most important.

There is one point to which I must refer, as I was led into it by a remark when Deputy Hewat was speaking, and that is in connection with new industries. I said at least three times in this House that the scheme does not necessarily depend on new industries, that it could pay its way, and that all the power necessary to give revenue could be absorbed for the current use for ordinary household purposes along with the present amount used by the tramways in Dublin. That statement has been distorted, and I have been criticised for an allegation that no industries would be encouraged by having cheap power. I do not think that I said anything of the sort, unless my interjection to Deputy Hewat to-day might be taken to mean that. I have always said that it is not necessary that there should be new industries started to make the scheme pay its way. I have been criticised, amongst other papers, by the "Journal of the Associated Chambers of Commerce," which held that it is ludicrcus not to encourage existing and the starting of new industries. Deputy Hewat, apparently, is out of touch with the Chambers of Commerce when they say that. If I am asked my belief as to new industries —though I suppose it will not count for anything—I say that if new industries are not going to be encouraged or started with the cheap power from the Shannon, industries are hardly ever likely to grow up in this country. If I had to found this scheme on the belief that some people have, that new industries will be started, I would say that that scheme is based on optimism. I take the safer ground of saying that the scheme can pay its way on the ordinary consumption for household purposes and on the amount at present used by the tramways in Dublin alone. I think that Deputy Hewat will meet with general agreement in one phrase that he used. He said that great credit should be paid to the Government and, I presume, he means also the Government Party, and to the Labour Party for this Bill. I would put the credit a little further—but, in so far as he restricted it there, I agree with him— and say that credit is due to the people who started this scheme, who had the vision and courage to support it, who were not defeated, and who were not diverted by many of the jeremiads which Deputy Hewat from time to time gave forth.

Deputy Gorey referred to unemployment insurance and the Minister for Finance answered him. Deputy Gorey said a thing which people say casually and such casual statements are constantly taken up by the Press and given scare headlines and put forth as if they were reasoned views on matters. The Deputy said that we might possibly have to face a loss of from £50,000 to £100,000. I presume that the Deputy means at the start, and that there is not to be a loss for the next generation. I do not believe that there is going to be any loss. I have the parting word of the experts that they believe that the partial development would never be completed, because in the constructional period we would find ourselves forced to go on with the second stage.

What I meant was that the worst that could happen is that we would be faced with that and nothing more.

I agree, as the Deputy said, afterwards that there would probably be no loss. I have given many figures here, but I want to give one further figure. I cannot say that this is an accurate calculation, but I think it is pretty near accuracy, to say that the coal bill at the Pigeon House and the tramways undertaking, in Dublin alone, amounts to between £160,000 and £180,000 per annum. That is the coal bill alone for the production of electricity, in so far as the Pigeon House and the Dublin tramways are concerned. There is the other calculation to which I referred over and over again. This scheme is to provide 90,000 h.p., one horse power being equivalent to nine tons of coal. This will, therefore, provide the equivalent of 810,000 tons of coal. At 30s. a ton, that is £1,200,000. Capitalise that and it means £25,000,000, and we are going to spend, not £25,000,000 in one year in order to give that equivalent, but to spend £5,000,000 over a three year period, and at the end of it we will have, not these perishable commodities that come in every year, but we will have a lasting, enduring, well-maintained and up-to-date plant. That is what people baulk at, and they think that the country is not going to rise to this occasion.

I believe that if Deputy Hewat has anything to add, in view of the cross-fire that was directed against him, the House would be content to hear him.

I am greatly obliged to the Minister, to Deputy Johnson, and to Deputy Gorey for their references and suggestions, but I have said all that I have to say on the subject.

Question—"That the Bill do now pass"—put and agreed to.

Unanimously.

The Bill has now passed the Dáil, and a Message to that effect will be sent to the Seanad.