VOTE 29. - VOTE 68—REPAYMENTS TO THE CONTINGENCY FUND.

I move:—

Go ndeontar suim ná raghaidh thar cheithre céad nóchad a naoi de phúint chun íoctha an Mhuirir a thiocfidh chun bheith íníoctha i rith na bliana dar críoch an 31adh lá de Mhárta, 1927, chun roimh-íocanna ilghnéitheacha áirithe d'aisíoc leis an gCiste Teangmhais.

That a sum not exceeding four hundred and ninety-nine pounds be granted to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1927, for the repayment to the Contingency Fund of certain miscellaneous advances.

This consists of what I might call the usual two sub-heads. There is first the provision for a bounty in respect to the birth of triplets. There is also provision for the repayment of amounts remitted in respect of stamp duties payable on deeds and other instruments for public departments. The arrangement is that the Revenue Commissioners stamp these deeds without payment of duty, but the deficit in the revenue is paid out of the Contingency Fund, and the Dáil is now asked to re-vote that sum.

Is item No. 1 a statutory affair?

I do not think so.

I should like to hear some justification for this. I think the matter was raised before. If I had known that it was an indication of what might be called pensions for babies, merely an earnest of a hope of the Minister that some day all children, whether triplets, twins or singles, will have allocated to them a certain amount of money, to accrue to them on coming of age, or something of that kind, I would welcome this proposition. But it does not seem to me to be a very sensible thing standing alone, and I should like to know whether the Minister can give any reason. Is it confined to people in need? Is there any selection made? What is the basis of payment?

It is supposed to be granted only in cases where the parents are in necessitous circumstances and married. I think it is something like the payment that might be made by an individual whose sympathies were excited by some calamity. I cannot find any other explanation.

Question put and agreed to.
Progress ordered to be reported.
The Dáil went out of Committee.
Progress reported; Committee to sit again on Tuesday next.