In Committee on Finance. - Financial Resolution No. 26—General (Resumed).

The Dáil went into Committee on Finance.
Debate resumed on the following Resolution:—
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.—(Minister for Finance.)

On Friday last I was dealing, sir, with the proposals of the Minister for Finance in connection with the imposition and relief of taxation. That, of course, follows almost immediately upon the figure which he decides as the necessary amount to get in taxation. The first big list of items which were selected with almost fiendish glee by the Minister for Finance, as evidenced in his speech, were impositions of income tax and impositions of sur-tax. Last October, when it was necessary to make some further assessment in order to produce a balanced Budget, which was eventuated, all the wishes, malicious and otherwise, of the present Ministry to the contrary notwithstanding, as I said on Friday last, this present Ministry, then in opposition, denounced any increase in income tax, or any other increase in taxation at all, as undesirable, as crushing industry, as interfering with progress, as hampering business, and generally as placing a burden upon the citizens of this State that they could not possibly bear.

This Budget follows very slavishly the British Budget. In fact, practically every item, with one possible exception, that appears in this Budget might have been borrowed from the British system. There is no indication whatever of originality in any of the proposals that are before us. And it does not require any expert examination of the effects of the crushing burdens in the shape of the heavy income tax on British industry to see where that is laid on the other side of the water, and it is idle to say that industry here can bear the same proportion of taxation as it can in England. But this Ministry of non-businessmen has gone a step further, very much further, while pretending to the people of this country that income tax and sur-tax is 2/- in the £ less than it is in England. I propose to be able to show that in respect of several institutions in this city the imposition is far higher than it is in Great Britain, and this industrial concern which we have got in this country and which is competing with British products of much the same type starts out before there is any deduction of income tax at all, unlike its competitors in England, with 2/- in the £ of an impost on its profits before it is in a position to land any of its goods at all. They have to compete with British manufactures, and the proposal to increase the corporation profits tax from 5 per cent. to 7½ per cent., and from 7½ per cent. to 10 per cent., can be designed for no other purpose than to injure the trade of that particular big industrial concern that I have mentioned and place it in the position of being almost unable to meet its, competitors in the British market. More may be said about that during the next twelve months in that portion of the City of Dublin where a very large number of the employees of that firm happen to live.

What is the position of a citizen in this country paying super-tax and income tax in respect of his property in that particular company? Five shillings income tax, 6/3 super-tax plus 2/- before he comes into possession of either one or the other, placing him in the same position as a man liable to super-tax and income tax in England in any of the ordinary sources of income that he would have over there. Take the case of a person living in England and who pays income tax in England and sur-tax from his investments in this particular firm that I have mentioned. Assume, if you like, that he has £100,000 a year, what is his contribution in England in respect of income tax and sur-tax? He pays 5/- in the £ income tax and a maximum of 8/3 sur-tax, that is 13/3. Before he gets possession of the one or the other he is charged 2/- in the £ here. So that his contribution for income tax, sur-tax and corporation profits tax here and in Great Britain amounts to 15/3. And what is the reason of it? The reason is that the stock of that particular concern is held largely in England as well as here. It is a very big concern. This time twelve months it had a market value of something like £40,000,000. What is its market value to-day? About £25,000,000, not even that much. The more of that stock that is sold from England and that comes here the more the depreciation in the price; and as our citizens hold that stock their balance sheets must be made up by a very considerable reduction in capital values, and the amounts of death duties, stamp duties and other sources of income in respect of various taxes will consequently be reduced. The stock that stood at £4 a couple of months ago is now selling at a little over £3. We go on to examine the proposal in connection with the £90,000 that it is proposed to get via the Currency Commission. Viewing the Budget in its proper perspective, and bearing in mind that there is an additional sum of £4,000,000 to be taken from the taxpayers' pockets, and seeing this onslaught in the currency percentage, one can draw no other conclusion than that this new Ministry is starting out on a policy of inflation. That which they have condemned in others they are apparently endeavouring to emulate. I should like to know whether or not the Currency Commission, the bankers or anybody qualified to give advice on the subject were consulted before these taxes were introduced. Take the position of the most important Bank we have got.

According to the proposal to impose a corporation profits tax, there is an imposition before any sums are paid in dividends of 1/6 in the £ by reason of that 7½ per cent. Then we look at this proposal to get £90,000 from note issue. The note issue of this particular bank amounts to £1,760,000, and that at 1½ per cent. amounts to £26,400. Add £26,400 to £37,500 and you get nearly £64,000. That is income tax, but they will not call it income tax. It is equivalent to income tax at 2/6 in the £. Any widow or charitable institution having money invested in that particular bank pays 2/6 in the £ and will not get it returned. This is a new Christian system of re-organising the social order in this country. I have advised quite a number of people to invest their money in such concerns. Take it that one of them draws, say, £105 a year. Under this new Budget he will have paid 2/6 in the £ and will not get it returned.

Take the sur-tax payer. There is not one in the country—but let us assume there is—drawing £100,000 out of that bank in dividends. That investor would pay 5/- in the £ income tax; 6/3 in sur-tax and 2/6 which is not called income tax but is the same to the individual as if it were. The whole thing amounts to 13/9 in the £. The Minister gets away with it by saying that he is charging 2/- in the £ income tax and sur-tax less than what is being charged in England. And this is in the interests of the business of the country! This is going to give confidence to people who have capital to invest! This is going to attract people who have money to invest it in this country! Not at all. They are not fools, and they will only invest their money where they see there is an appreciation of industry. The people will risk their money in countries where they are sure of stable government, sure of fair consideration for the money they invest in order to make profit. So much then for income tax and sur-tax.

I presume the Minister will give us information as to whether or not the Currency Commission was consulted in respect of that proposal. When for the last few years an imposition in respect of corporation profits tax was made by the late administration, the situation was entirely different. Up to a little over six months ago income tax amounted to only 3/- in the £ and sur-tax to 4/6. The total sum in respect of income tax and sur-tax for which a person was liable, under these two items, was 7/6. If you say an extra shilling or 1/6 in respect of corporation profits tax you have the whole. But, at any rate, we were never in the position in which we could get an offer from any big payer of income tax or sur-tax to take his property, give him the tax and keep the rest ourselves. Quite a number of people would in present circumstances be well paid if that offer were accepted.

During the last few years a considerable amount of capital has come into this country. The Revenue Commissioners can inform the Minister whether or not that is so. As a result of that we get in the revenue of this State income in respect of income tax and sur-tax that would not otherwise come in. It is useful money. If it goes now, our own citizens here, less well off than those who are going to go, will be taxed in some way or other in order to make up this sum. So much for income tax, sur-tax and corporation profits tax.

We come to this proposal to get £13,000 by a new method of assessing liability in respect of property. In my experience of the last eight or ten years, I would say that if one thing were more responsible than another for arresting building and the development of building it was the Rent Restrictions Act. There may be many views upon that subject, but the fact is that up to the time of the war building house property and all that sort of thing was a business in itself. Very many people thought it was an excellent means of getting interest on their money. The Rent Restrictions Act interfered to a very considerable extent with that development of house building. Anybody who had house property, and who could possibly sell it, sold it during that period. The ordinary public was driven towards a smaller number of providers of house property. I would like to know whether the Minister has carefully examined this proposal to see whether it is likely to mean another reduction in the number of persons who are inclined to provide houses or business premises or anything of that sort.

In my experience during the last 20 or 25 years dealing with public matters in connection with housing, in one very well managed company, in one very well managed estate in this country with which I came in contact through the various administrative offices I held, I found that they were in a position to deal with building and the control of estates in a much more satisfactory manner and in a much less expensive manner than local authorities could. If this new imposition is going to mean that a lesser number of people are going to be interested in the production of houses or business premises, then I say that is a bad tax and not an advisable tax at all.

Coming then to the proposal in connection with the increase in sur-tax, I find the Minister mentions that he expects to get £77,000 per annum from that. We have not many people in this country in possession of an income amounting to £100,000 a year—not many. But I think we possibly have two, and if those two were to leave this country during the coming financial year, the loss to the Exchequer here would be not £77,000 but approximately £30,000 or £40,000 more. And it is not impossible for them to go.

Perhaps the next item is open to much the same sort of criticism. That is the sum of £84,000 which it is proposed to secure from a tax on entertainments. "It is necessary, therefore," the Minister said, "to enlarge the scope of the tax to cover all forms of entertainment, including dances, for which an admission fee is charged. The duty will cover outdoor sports, horse racing and greyhound coursing, and it will bring in about £84,000 in the current year." So said the Minister. I expect the Minister will not avow any particular inside knowledge of either racing or greyhound coursing. Personally, I do not know much about greyhound racing, but I do know a little of the difficulties in connection with horse racing.

I know quite a number of owners of racing establishments in this country which provide a considerable amount of employment, circulate large sums of money, and bring in annually one way or another into the State considerable sums in respect of the export and sale of horses. I know that by reason of the world slump, the terrible depression that has taken place, the reduction of incomes, and so on, the number is not increasing. I know that it is decreasing, and that it is more and more difficult for trainers to maintain establishments. A gentleman who has been engaged in the work of training horses for something like 25 years informed me, within the last few days, that he will not be able to keep up his establishment. He pays in wages something like £2,000 or £2,500 per annum. He is, perhaps, better circumstanced financially than most of them. If, in consequence of this particular imposition, unemployment in that case is bound to result, the people who get employment in respect of this form of activity will not be suitable for drainage work, road work, house building or anything of that sort.

I advise the Minister, before he persists in imposing this tax, to inquire as to what the reactions will be. I presume, in connection with the £84,000, that the Minister includes tennis racquets, golf sticks, and so forth. It would appear that in his anxiety to tax every possible section of the community, even the unfortunate flapper has not escaped his attention. What harm the poor flapper has done to him, or to any other member of the Ministry, I do not know. Any form of tax on outdoor sports is not good business. The amount that will be brought into the revenue from this particular form of tax is negligible. Healthy occupations of that sort ought not to be subject to tax.

We will come now to the proposal to change the tax from sugar to tea. The Minister stated that the tax on sugar is a hard tax; it was proposed by a hard Government. The tax on tea is a soft tax; presumably it is imposed by a soft-headed Government. The sum and substance of it is that so far as the tax on sugar is concerned a considerable portion of it is paid by the better-off people. They eat sweets. After luncheons and after dinners they have chocolates and other such vile productions—sweets of one sort or another. But tea is used more extensively by all sections of the community than are sweets or other productions of sugar. Take the West of Ireland as an example. They buy the very best tea there. Take the poorer parts of the City of Dublin, or the County of Dublin. What is the price of tea there? The Minister says that a man who paid 2/8 a lb. for tea will be told by his grocer that he will be charged only 2/8 in future. That is not so with the smaller-priced teas. I do not know what the smallest price per lb. for tea is now. When I had some association with that business it was 1/4 a lb. I believe the amount is much smaller now, and I am told— and the Minister can correct me if he likes—that the very smallest-priced tea will bear the 6d. tax, and not the 4d. tax. That is an absolute injustice. If you are going to put on 6d. on the 1/- tea and 4d. on the 4/- tea, then obviously there is an injustice.

The disturbance of those taxes, bringing in the same amount of money, and imposed for no other reason than to make a change, is not good business. Certain people are in the sugar business. They have stocks in and the duties are paid. They know where they are. Certain people may, or may not, have had quantities of tea in stock. Nobody knows what is going to happen. Some friends of the Ministry may get a hint that there is a likelihood of a tax on tea, and the stocks will go up. I would invite the Ministry to take the public into their confidence in respect of the whole change in our fiscal policy during the last month or so. I would invite them to indicate how it was those taxes were started. The first tax was on flowers, and obviously that was not a serious tax. The second tax was on agricultural machinery. People throughout the country are inquiring whether or not it is a fact that one director of their newspaper was in their confidence when that particular tax was imposed. Personally, I would much prefer that those allegations were not made.

Why does the Deputy repeat them?

Did the Deputies opposite ever object to the allegation that Masonry dominated my Ministry?

Mr. Brady

Never.

That is a different thing.

They would not do it. They had not the moral courage or the honesty—neither one nor the other.

Mr. Brady

Have you not their letter—the appeal for funds?

I had not one of them in my Party, at any rate.

From whom did you get the £40,000?

As far as funds are concerned, it is just the same as the Minister in his business or the Deputy in his business. There is no notice on his door: "No Freemasons served here." I expect the Deputy is in business.

While the Deputy is on that point. I want him to state clearly whether he personally has any objection to Masons, and, if so, what is his objection.

Deputies

Order!

Does Deputy Briscoe rise to a point of explanation?

I would like to have this thing settled once and for all——

I was dealing with the policy of the present Administration in respect of certain fiscal liabilities. I say that people in this country are speaking as to the origin and motive of the new taxes.

Deputy Briscoe is making a point of explanation.

Deputy Cosgrave, when he suggested that he had not one Freemason in his Party, is following out the line of action adopted by his Party in the elections, when I personally was held up to the odium of the public because of my past connection with the Masonic Order. I will ask Deputy Cosgrave to state definitely and clearly what his views are in regard to that matter.

Deputy Cosgrave is not bound to make any such statement.

I am merely a child in the matter; I know nothing about them.

The Deputy knows a great deal more than he cares to admit, and I know that he knows it.

Deputies

Order!

If Deputy Briscoe has any information which would convict or commit me, I am inviting him to produce it.

I will take advantage of the opportunity.

As to the imposition of new taxes, the public has observed —I have observed it myself—that the second tax was in respect of a commodity in which was interested a Director of the Company. I am inviting the Minister to give an explanation in that respect. I am prepared to support my arguments. I ask the Ministry to make a case. I put it to them to make a sound case and show clearly that it was unfair and wrong to make this allegation against a public man. Further, I will ask them to make a case in respect of another Director. I would like to know, in the case of the taking of the tax off sugar, whether that man had no more than the ordinary ingress to their councils in respect of that particular thing. I do not stand for these allegations against public men.

If the Deputy does not, why does he repeat them?

Why does the Deputy make them? It is all a damned lie.

I am putting it forward for the purpose of giving the Minister an opportunity of making an explanation.

Why should we make any explanation?

We are responsible to the Irish people.

Then you are responsible to me, because I am one of the Irish people.

Is Deputy Cosgrave anxious because the company from which his own private income is derived is going to suffer under this Budget?

Does the Minister know that?

It does not matter.

How does the Minister know that? Did the Minister get any information from private State documents?

No, he did not.

How does the Minister know it then?

What about the person who made the investments for the Deputy?

There is an allegation made which I am entitled to deal with. How has the Minister got that information?

The Minister is not going to give the Deputy that information, but the Deputy knows that what the Minister has said is true.

Will the Minister prove it? And supposing it were true, have I the right to make an explanation and the exposure that I have made of the Minister's incompetence in his capacity as Minister for Finance?

And your attack on business men in the City of Dublin.

The Minister will deal with that when he comes to reply.

I hope so.

And show how much Deputy Cosgrave's word was worth when he was President of the Executive Council.

I would invite the Minister—strongly invite him—to do it.

Has the Deputy any more allegations to make now?

I am inviting the Ministry to make its explanation.

Has the Deputy any more allegations to make?

I have made none. I am simply telling here in the Parliament of the people what is being said outside.

Who is saying it?

Everybody.

It was said here.

If nobody said it there are the two facts—

It was said in the Gresham yesterday.

—one a change in the sugar tax which was said to be a hard tax, and (2) a change to a tea tax which is a soft tax with £18,000 more into the revenue and all this disturbance of business with certain people getting off: 999 lbs. of tea in an establishment absolutely free of any tax, and 1,001 lbs. or 1,000½ lbs. all subject to tax. I happen now and then to read newspaper advertisements, and what do I find? One English company advertising that it has 800 cases of goods in respect of which no duty was paid, that it is in a position to sell those goods at a lower price than an ordinary Irish trader here who knew nothing about the possibility of an increase of the tax on boots. I say that the public ought to be taken into the confidence of the Ministry, and that we ought to have an explanation as to why each of these taxes was imposed; what was the reason for each, whether there was a recommendation from a Department of State or whether the door was opened to let people in one after the other according as the Minister was in a position to see them.

The next item I propose to deal with is the tobacco tax. Speaking from memory, the revenue from that tax last year was £13,000 less than it was the year before. Under the Budget it is proposed, with certain remissions, to get £350,000 in extra tax from tobacco this year. That is unlikely on the face of it. If there is one tax in respect of which we have reached saturation point it is surely this. So far as the ordinary working man is concerned, the ordinary farmer or anybody else who smokes pipe tobacco, goodness knows they have had to pay enough up to this for their tobacco. Therefore this penny an ounce extra, even if the proposed extra tax does not exceed that, is to my mind more than can be justified.

I now come to the remissions. I recollect, during the election campaign, Deputy Lemass, who is now the Minister for Industry and Commerce, making a speech in Dublin in which he said his was a pro-railway Party. It was pro-everything—pro-bus and pro-railway. So far as this Budget is concerned, nothing has been done in it for the railways. While on that, I come to another point. I want to know who it was that made representations to the Ministry for a reduction in the tax on seating accommodation in buses. If I am not very much mistaken, a secretary of one of their branches is secretary of one of these bus companies, and that one of the principal owners of one of the small bus companies wrote to the papers some time ago, saying that he was not a candidate for election for the Dublin Corporation—that he was supporting the Fianna Fáil candidates. That is one question that I am putting. This remission in duty amounts to £23,000. If there is a case for that, why not have it examined and an explanation of it; but so far as the remission is concerned it simply means that 10,000 men will be employed for one week out of the Road Fund. That is what it amounts to. The case made for the remission, as well as I can remember, was that the Government could not possibly see such a situation arising as would leave these companies in financial difficulties.

The railways are now in financial difficulties. There is very much more money invested in the Irish railways, the money of widows and orphans and of charitable institutions, than there is in bus companies, but this pro-railway Party that we have has done nothing for the railways since they came into office except to carry out the policy introduced by the ex-Minister for Industry and Commerce in closing down the Dublin and Blessington Steam Tramway Company.

What did the Deputy and his Party do for the railways?

A lot, a great deal. The Minister would take too long to understand it if I were to explain it to him. He would want to be very quick on the uptake to follow the great work that was done by the outgoing administration. I think I have dealt with most of the impositions proposed under the Budget. With regard to the remission in the beer duty, in the case of the smaller breweries, I think that is a good proposal. In fact, I think it is the only sensible proposal in the whole Budget.

I now come to this sum of £910,000, about which the Minister had so little information at his disposal the other day when we discussed it. We now have it in bulk form here. I find that there is a proposal in the Budget to make £150,000 available for the service of a loan in connection with housing. There is also provision for a tax, the estimated yield of which in respect of building amounts to £271,000 on one item, and £50,000 on another—that is to say, £320,000 is being placed upon an industry which has had to be subsidised here for the last 10 years. By reducing the charges for loans for housing, the Minister is making available a sum of £150,000. That does not appear to me to be very good business. I would like to have an explanation as to whether any examination has been made by the Ministry or by civil servants with regard to the possibility of having the goods mentioned in the Schedule manufactured in this country and, if so, why it is anticipated there will be such a large yield of £270,000 in one case and of £50,000 in the other? How can such a yield as that be expected at a time when the reports in connection with the building industry were never as bad as they are to-day? There were more plasterers idle, I believe, within the last month than there were 12 months ago when there was a strike on. Fewer houses are being sold now than were being sold twelve months ago. People who were inclined to buy are backing out, and so on. Surely, this is not the time to impose extra taxes in respect of the production of houses.

I have a few little questions here for the Minister. He mentioned in the course of his speech that £373,353 more is included for the service of debt than last year, and that he has included in that sum £150,000 for the cost of issue and capital charges on the new loan. The difference between these two figures amounts to £223,353, and he states, in the earlier parts of his speech, "that the increase in the balance remaining over what was provided last year was almost entirely due to the fact that we put £450,000 to the Savings Certificate Interest Equalisation Fund." The usual sum to that Fund was £150,000, and I presume that that £150,000 is included in this year's sum.

Where was it in last year's?

That is another question. Stop the stupidity just for a moment and I will deal with it later on. There was £150,000 included in last year's Estimate.

Let the Deputy go on with his speech now.

Will the Minister stop his stupid interjections? £150,000 deducted from £450,000 leaves £300,000, and then I gather that the Minister states that this £300,000 is almost entirely due to liquidating a debt of £223,000. Maybe there has been a misprint. Does the Minister follow that? In his speech there is a statement that the ex-Minister overlooked the fact that he had left £424,000 of accrued interest on Savings Certificates unprovided for; and, again, the Minister states that the total provision for the service of debt is £2,419,000 odd, or £373,352 more than last year. "Of this sum, £150,000 is to cover the cost of issue and capital charges in this year on the new loan. The increase in the balance remaining over what was provided last year is almost entirely due to the fact that we are putting £450,000 to the Savings Certificate Interest Equalisation Fund." What I am at a loss to know is, how £223,000 comes to be £450,000?

I want to ask whether the concession to give a 20 per cent. allowance, in respect of money invested in new companies, is to be afforded to persons who avail of the 75 per cent. liability for income tax, and whether the Minister will accept an amendment to that proposal, excluding members of the Oireachtas from participating in it. I want to know whether there is more than one year included in the proposal to increase the corporation profits tax, and I would like to know what proportion of the profits of the two Northern Ireland banking companies, and the two companies which have British branches, would be liable under the corporation profits tax. I have dealt, so far, with the proposal of the Minister to get very nearly £4,000,000 extra in this year's Budget than what was available from the impositions imposed last year. That, however, does not completely furnish a true picture of the balance sheet. A balance sheet is made up in two parts. There is, first of all, the ordinary Budgetary liabilities and the means of providing for them, and that total revenue is expected to amount to £26,260,250. There is a balance on the normal Budget of £12,000 to credit, and we go on, then, to what is called an Emergency Budget, where £600,000 is provided for employment, £100,000 for building by private persons, £350,000 for free grants to local authorities for housing, etc., and £150,000 special grants for relief, making in all a sum of £600,000. That is the total extra sum which is provided for employment in this Budget, over and above the Estimates left by the outgoing Administration. For that £600,000 taxation, as I have explained already, is going to be increased by nearly £4,000,000.

This £600,000 has all the appearance of new money, but what is it? Where does it come from? It comes in respect of a new impost on the hospitals of the State entitled to participate in the various sweepstakes. If I am not very much mistaken, these particular hospitals intended themselves to carry out various building extensions, improvements, developments or something of that sort. It is almost inevitable, it is practically certain, that they did intend to, and would have spent that money during the year. This administration comes in and says "we will relieve you of any popularity that may accrue to you or the Hospitals Trust or the people who invested or anybody else. We are going to get any popularity there is, for spending any money we can lay hands upon in this country," and so instead of spending it out of the right-hand pocket, it is being spent out of the left, but, so far as the people are concerned, they are getting no advantage. They are being taxed to the tune of £3,800,000 and all that the working people, the labouring men can boast of having got out of this great Budget, as it is called, is £600,000, which, in any case, would have been provided for the hospitals and spent by them. It is a legalised form of transporting from one source, expenditure which goes into another.

This particular sheet does not disclose by any means what our Budgetary position is this year. There should be added to the expenditure side that three-quarters of a million pounds which the Minister for Agriculture requires in connection with his butter bounty proposals. There should be added the £60,000 which the Minister for Industry and Commerce proposes to re-impose, and of which we relieved industry, in connection with unemployment insurance, and there should be added all the promises made in respect of widows' and orphans' pensions. These sums added together would amount to £810,000, plus, approximately, £500,000 for widows' and orphans' pensions, so that the Budget we are dealing with means an actual imposition on the taxpayers of this country of about £5,000,000, over and above what was received last year. What are they getting for it in return —£600,000, which is being taken from the hospitals, and which nobody is in a position to say the hospitals are themselves satisfied they can afford. This Budget is going to decrease employment in this country; it is going to spread distress and disquietude, and, very largely, feelings of despair, from one end of the country to the other. It is going to impede business and bring down our name as a country that requires a greater amount of taxation, and a country standing more taxation than the potentialities of the country can afford.

It is going to stop any possible expansion or improvement or the starting of any business in this country, and it is beyond the capacity of the people to bear it. Nobody with any experience of administration would think of imposing such a burden upon the people, having regard to what the Minister said.

Let me deal in conclusion with the earlier portion of the Minister's speech, in which he went into what he called contingent liabilities, where he reduced pounds into gold ounces and all that sort of nonsense that you hear of only in your early days in school when you get sums on the blackboard and have things reduced down to the last resort in certain cases. What is the position with regard to gold or with regard to quotations on the stock exchange or anything of that sort? They simply mean the fluctuations which occur in the market in respect of these things. Just imagine the people of this country this time twelve months saying: "There is going to be a new Minister in this country in twelve months time. All our investments must be sold and we will turn them into gold ounces." Things are not done in that way. It may be that it would be a very wise thing to do, but the fact is that the contingent liabilities of this State were put by the Minister at £115,000,000. Two sums are largely responsible for that figure, one of £24,000,000 in respect of the Land Act of 1923, and the other represents sums of money which have been mentioned, I believe, in the British Parliament in connection with Land Stock, principally in respect of the Land Acts of 1903 and 1909. Strangely enough, these were not reduced to gold ounces by the Minister— an oversight. The fact is that the £76,000,000 has its annual counterpart in sums given by the Minister: land annuities under Acts prior to 1923, £2,976,591; bonus stock annuity, £134,500. The total of these two sums is about £3,100,000. If there is any party in this State which has been reducing capital to its equivalent dividend, and dividends to their equivalent capital during the last five or six years, it is that Party over there. You got outgoings of any sort or kind over £100,000 a year capitalised at something like £2,000,000 at a shot. Every one of them is so accustomed to multiplying sums that they cannot get off the track of twenty to one. On their basis of a twenty-to-one chance, how much does twenty times £3,100,000 amount to? £62,000,000. What does the Minister estimate as our liability in respect of it? £76,000,000 in round numbers. All that is designed for one particular purpose. In respect of the service of that debt of £76,000,000 and the sinking fund, the British Government has undertaken a liability, under the secret document, of approximately £1,000,000 per annum. Was there any reason in the world why the people should not have been taken into the confidence of the Ministry in respect to that item? It is on the British estimates year after year. In bringing forward a most depressing and hard Budget, as the Minister described it, he might at least have given the people the consolation of knowing that the British Government bear £1,000,000 of that particular service year after year, and that we are only in for £134,500.

Within the last two or three weeks it was reported in the Press that there was something like £480,000 outstanding in rates in this country. I cannot remember at the moment whether that was in excess of last year's sum, but I do know, and I think everybody knows, that the collection of Land Commission annuities during the last three or four months has suffered considerable contraction. These are indications that business and commerce and prices have been suffering to a greater extent than before. This is a time when fitting the burden to the back should engage the attention of this Oireachtas. This Budget will hinder that development which it ought to be the first interest of Ministers to concern themselves with. Prices have fallen; fairs are no longer what they were. Whether we like it or not, the fact is that we are not popular, that our goods are not popular in the only market in which we can sell them, and that is largely attributable to the policy which is being pursued by the present administration.

If you take their own newspaper, there is scarcely a day that one does not find some criticism of the British Government, or British newspapers, or something of that sort. That is not the way to do business. The sooner they realise that we have to get the goodwill of that customer the better it will be for the finance and business of this State. Apart from that, we think that this Budget is beyond the capacity of the people to bear, and certainly I for one will register my vote against it.

Read the "Daily Express."

On a point of order. I should like to get a ruling from you, sir, on a matter of order in connection with an incident which happened in the course of the speech which has just concluded. In the course of that speech, the Minister for Finance made certain statements which indicated that he, at any rate, pretended to know the source of income of the last speaker. If he was revealing a confidential document, I think it would be a matter of disorder to do that, and I rise in order to find out from the Minister whether, in fact, he has made a wrong use of confidential information which we know is at his disposal through the avenue either of the Statistics Department or the Revenue Commissioners. I think that is a question which should be answered as a matter of order in the House.

If the Deputy's conscience with regard to confidential documents was as clear as mine, he would never make that insinuation against me across the floor of the House. We do know that Deputy McGilligan in another place used confidential documents to attack a member of the present Government. Deputies: "Order, order," and "Chair"). I have not done that, and I never will.

As to the first point of order, the Chair has no means of deciding where the Minister got the information. Further, Deputy McGilligan should have raised the point of order immediately the Minister had made the statement.

No. With all respect, and in deep respect, I do not accept the second point you made, sir; that is, that it is only proper to raise such a point at the time. When the incident occurred, there was a certain heated atmosphere which I thought it was better to let pass, and have the Minister reduced to some more normal state of calm than we have seen him in for the last couple of days before one sought an explanation. On the first point, I put it to you that if the Minister was clearly and definitely quoting from a confidential document it would be a matter of disorder, and therefore a matter of order in this House to have attention called to it to see whether an explanation might be made by the person who made the statement. At the moment I put it to you that it is quite clear that, when any Minister, and particularly the Minister for Finance, has access to confidential information, that the standard of decency and good conduct in any country in the world would ensure that confidence is respected in regard to the information given in confidence. If there has been a breach of that confidence it is time the House was told it was so. If there has not been a breach of confidence it is time the House knew where the information came from. Otherwise the Minister must suffer hereafter from a particularly wounding imputation that he has no sense of honour, an imputation that, in fact, he has not lived up to the standards of decent conduct of Ministers in any respectable Government.

The Deputy is not making a point of order.

I must hear what Deputy McGilligan's point of order is.

Either he has not lived up to it and has consequently caused a severe shock to those people who do business in this country on the supposition that honourable standards will be observed, or else, alternatively, he has simply used something that he has heard, as a vague rumour or report, characterising that as information at his disposal.

Just as Deputy Cosgrave did.

I gave my facts.

The Chair can only deal with matters that come within its knowledge. If this is a breach of privilege the Chair can deal with it. I have no proof where the Minister got the information he used.

On a point of order, will Deputy Cosgrave explain to the House the reason why he says that the statements he made in connection with the tariffs are facts? Will he give the House the information that is at his disposal to show that these insinuations there were facts?

They are on the records of the House. The second tax is on the records of the House, and the later one also. I am simply inviting a statement.

Is it a fact?

It is not.

Are we to get no information from the Minister as to where he got his information?

No; beyond this——

I cannot force the Minister to give information as to where he got it. I do not see that there has been any breach of privilege.

We can draw our own conclusions.

I think I am entitled to say that I have not divulged, and that I never in my capacity as a Minister divulged, any matter of information that came to me in a confidential way or from any official source. The only person——

That closes the incident.

Deputy Cosgrave, according to the speech he delivered here, cannot possibly understand any Government imposing a tariff or doing anything else without getting some consideration in return. He went through the various tariffs imposed, and he racked his mind and tried to find out what connection had any member of this Government with anybody in the particular trade which we are protecting, to see what return we got in return for imposing the tariff. He took agricultural machinery and he took the remission on the tax on sugar, and he spoke of the bus tax. He gave us the relationship of the people who are to benefit by this remission of tariffs with certain members of the Government in order to show why it was done. That is a very nice mentality for the leader of the Government in this country for the last ten years. Is that the mentality that existed in the Government for the last ten years? That if there was a tariff to be imposed some Minister was asked if he was related to somebody in the trade, or if he was going to get something out of it, and if there was no benefit to some friend or relative of a Minister then the tariff should not be put on. If there was to be a remission of taxation Deputy Cosgrave asked his Ministers whether they were likely to have any friend that would benefit by the remission of this tax. That was the impression he gave to the House, and that is the impression he gave of the way business was carried on by the late Government for the last ten years. And with his small mean mind he accused us of acting in the same way. He takes every tax that we impose and tries to find out what benefit it will bring to any particular member of the Government. He wants to know did our friends come and put their claims before us, and how did we meet them or how were taxes put on. I tell Deputy Cosgrave this, that whatever was the method pursued by his Government, when in power, in relation to taxation, about remitting taxation or putting it on, that method, at any rate, is not adopted by this Government. I can assure Deputy Cosgrave, and the Party opposite, there was no approach from anybody in the sugar trade, whether these people were friends of Ministers or not, or anybody else, before the tax was taken off. I can assure Deputy Cosgrave that whatever his speech may imply as to what was done in the last ten years no friend of any Minister was told to go out and buy tea before the Budget was brought in this year. We can say we have clear consciences in this matter, and, what is more, we never attempted, in this House, to impute such things to Ministers who preceded us.

Deputy Cosgrave also spoke about the depressed prices the farmers were getting for their stock at the present time. He said our goods were not very popular in a certain market at the present time. That was an allegation that since the Fianna Fáil Party came into power we were getting worse prices for farm produce, relative to world prices, than were given before the Fianna Fáil Party came into power. There is nothing at all in that allegation. I defy any member of the House to say that we are getting worse prices for bacon—I leave butter out, because it is in a special category at the present moment—or eggs or any other things in which we compete with other countries in the British market. I defy anyone to show that we are getting worse prices, relatively to other countries, than were obtained under the Cumann na nGaedheal Government, so friendly to the British when it was in power. Things are not a bit worse in this respect, and I think if one examined the figures it would be found that we are selling things as well, and in one particular case something better than before this Government came into power. These are the wild accusations thrown out by Deputy Cosgrave and his Party. He was not so wild to-day as he was in the Gresham Hotel yesterday. In the Gresham Hotel he had people to talk to who were not likely to contradict him, and he could say anything, no matter how wild, there. He was a little more careful here to-day. Deputy Cosgrave, like everybody else who spoke against the Budget, tried to give the impression that the Fianna Fáil Party were putting four or five millions of extra taxation upon the country that the Cumann na nGaedheal Party would not have put on. I wonder how Deputy Cosgrave, who is so well up in figures, and who rolled off figures for an hour and ten minutes sometimes even without looking at his brief, can make such statements and expect people to believe what he is saying. Do we not all know the position? We know that the Cumann na nGaedheal Government, before it went out of office, prepared estimates for the coming year, and these estimates were there when we came into office.

We took these estimates as the basis to work upon. We said that it was possible to make certain economies on the estimates for the coming year but, in the meantime, we wanted to see what position we would be in with regard to expenditure required and the amount to be raised on that basis of taxation. What do we find? We found that on the Cumann na nGaedheal basis we were three and a half millions short. We came to the conclusion that if the Cumann na nGaedheal Party had been returned to power at the last election they would be coming before the Dáil with extra taxation amounting to three and a half millions. If that is not so, then the estimates prepared by that Party are wrong. Taking the Budget, we find that the normal revenue would amount to £23,310,000, and we propose to raise by extra taxation £2,950,000, in order to meet the estimated expenditure for the coming year. It is true that we have added two millions to the expenditure side to meet the requirements of a Bill that will be brought in dealing with Old Age Pensions, and an Army Bill. Against that we have made savings on the estimated expenditure handed over to us by the late Government that will be more than sufficient to deal with these two Bills. We are not so hard on the taxpayers as the normal budget of the Cumann na nGaedheal Government would have been if they had been returned to power. The former Government would have had to increase taxation by three and a half million pounds. We propose to increase taxation by only two millions.

Deputy Cosgrave endeavoured to give the House the impression that we were increasing taxation by £3,500,000, and later he stated by £5,500,000 more than Cumann na nGaedheal would have needed if they came back to power. I would like the House to realise that three and a half millions would have to be raised by Cumann na nGaedheal if they were to work on their own estimate. Members of that Party stated that they would have to save £2,000,000 if they had come back.

That is what Fianna Fáil said.

The Cumann na nGaedheal Party said that they were going to save £2,000,000. Some of their speakers have stated that we propose to save only a half a million. I believe the last Government was considering the question of savings. The then Minister for Finance told the House when he brought in the Supplementary Budget that they were considering savings on the public services. We never got any indication where the savings were to come from. If speakers on the Opposition Benches contend that they would not have to raise the additional three and a half millions that I have spoken of, I would like to have some indication where the money was to come from. We have had no such indication up to this. It is quite possible that that Party would examine old age pensions, which was a favourite source with them, when savings had to be made in the past. It is quite possible that they would cut down the money for relief schemes, housing grants—as was proposed in the estimates—and in other things that would give employment to the very poor. There has been no indication as to how a saving of two millions was to be made. This Government has been accused of saying that when they came into power they were going to make savings amounting to two million pounds. In our programme we stated we were going to do a good many things—to give pensions to the old and to widows and orphans, and to vote a considerable amount of money for the relief of the unemployed. We also proposed to do other things that are outlined in the Budget, such as relieving rates on agricultural land. I do not know if the £2,000,000 figure is right, but we said big savings could be made in the public services. We believe that. This Government has only been in office between two and three months, and, having gone hastily through the estimates for the different services, Ministers have made certain suggestions to the Minister for Finance as to where in their opinion savings could be made. As a result the Minister for Finance has set up a special committee to examine these suggestions and to see if large savings can be made. Before we came into office we said that savings could be made, and we still believe that. We are not "put out" when people accuse us of saying before we came into office that there could be a saving of two million pounds in the Estimates for public services. We hope to reach that figure some time, but not this side of Christmas.

Deputy Cosgrave was very polite in some parts of his statement and very scurrilous in other parts. When speaking in the Gresham Hotel yesterday surrounded by his own cronies, he accused us of taxing everybody except ourselves. Imagine the impudence of Deputy Cosgrave saying that we were taxing everybody and putting a burden upon everybody except ourselves. When Deputy Cosgrave was President of the Executive Council he was worth £2,500 a year. Would it not be a great joke if Deputy Cosgrave went to any commercial man in the city and told him that he wanted a job at a salary of £2,500 a year, plus £350 for a motor car.

He is well worth it. The Minister knows that his statement about £350 is wrong.

Deputy Gorey can make a speech and contradict the statement.

I saw it in the Estimates. That is all I know about it.

You know about it well enough.

When Deputy Gorey is a Minister we will give him more.

Deputy Cosgrave, when he had his own followers in the Gresham Hotel, and wanted to make a small joke, told them that we were putting a burden upon everybody in the country except ourselves. He had £2,500, and his Ministers had £1,700 each, and they have been replaced by Ministers at a considerable reduction in salary. Even so, Deputy Cosgrave came forward and said that we were putting a burden upon everybody except ourselves. I believe the late Ministers did propose to cut their salaries before they went out of office. If they had been returned to office they had intended to cut their salaries by 10 per cent. It is a great pity that they did not get the chance to put their good resolutions into practice.

Deputy Cosgrave says the Budget is too heavy on income tax payers. He talked about income-tax, sur-tax, corporation profits tax, and practically every tax which bears on people with money. He almost shed tears when he spoke about widows who had money invested in the Bank of Ireland or in Guinness. He referred to the burden we are placing on these widows and said that, from that point of view, this was an un-Christian Budget. I should like Deputy Cosgrave and those who sympathise with him on this particular matter to realise that we are at present investigating the best means of giving a pension to every needy widow in this country—a thing that Deputy Cosgrave's Government, with their Christian ideas and Christian outlook, never thought of doing. If we take a little more income tax off the widow who has money invested in Guinness or the Bank of Ireland, we cannot help it. We cannot very well make an exception in the case of the widow who has these investments. We must collect income tax from all persons liable to tax, but we are going to see that the widow whom Deputy Cosgrave and his Ministry neglected for ten years is not going to starve any longer.

What is the real fact about income tax to which Deputy Cosgrave did not advert? It is quite evident that he studied the income tax proposals very closely. He gave us the tax which a man with an income of £100,000 would have to pay. There are very few persons of that type in this country, but the few there are are followers of Deputy Cosgrave, and probably his most valuable followers. Even so, he should have taken a better example than the man with a £100,000 a year. Take a man earning £600 a year with a wife and four children. That is not a very low salary. Under our Budget proposals, that man will be better off than he was under Deputy Blythe's Budget last year. It is quite evident that the man with a family and with a fairly low income is not by any means hurt by the Budget. The man who is hurt is the man with £100,000 income, as Deputy Cosgrave mentioned. We are not a bit ashamed of being hard on that man.

Other Deputies tell us that we are hard on the poor. A considerable part of Deputy Cosgrave's speech was devoted to the income tax payer and he ignored the resolution passed by his own organisation yesterday which referred to the impost on the poor and the small farmer. We have been accused of being too hard on the poor. The example taken in proof of this is the tax on tea. We are told that we should have left the tax on sugar and not transferred it to tea. This tax makes very little difference to the Exchequer. In our opinion, it was better to take the tax off sugar and put it on to tea. That was not because some Minister knew a man in the sugar trade, as Deputy Cosgrave said. It was for no other reason than that we thought that a tea tax was a more just tax than a sugar tax. I can tell Deputy Cosgrave that he is not right in saying that the 4d. tax on tea means an additional charge to the consumer of 6d. I know people who bought tea in shops in Dublin after the Budget and I am aware that the price has gone up only 4d. per lb. I do not know whether that is generally true, but I know that it is true of the larger shops in Dublin. Anything is good enough to throw at a Budget when you want to make little of it. I know from experience, when I was in medical practice, that sugar is absolutely essential to the children of the poor. Tea is not an essential. I defy any doctor in this House, if he has regard for his reputation, to say that he ever ordered tea to a person who was ill. Sugar must, of course, be prescribed in the diet of an infant, whether that infant be a member of a rich or a poor family. Sugar is a necessary and tea is not. We were quite justified in removing the tax from sugar and putting it on tea.

Reference has been made to the tobacco tax, and it has been said that we are putting up the cost of tobacco to the poor man. It is true that the price will go up somewhat, but half of the tax will be derived from the proceeds of cigarette sales. As far as I am aware, that will not be passed on to the consumer. The package tax has been mentioned. The package tax was considered a very good way of promoting employment in this country. We thought that since we were not able to produce tea or salt or some other things in this country, we should at least be able to import these commodities in chests or sacks and employ our own people in the packing of them. I think the package tax is a very just tax. Other people who do not care about the rich or poor tell us that the Budget is too heavy on the farmer. The farmer, apparently, is neither a rich man nor a poor man. Why is the Budget too heavy on the farmer? We are told that he must pay more for his agricultural machinery. As the agricultural machinery tax has been imposed, the Minister for Agriculture has power to issue a licence to import certain classes of machinery when there is a shortage, so that if the price of harvesting machines be raised by the manufacturer here the Minister for Agriculture has power to permit the importation of foreign machines, and he will do so. As regards parts, most people seem to be satisfied that the exemption up to 5/- wholesale will mean that there will be very little hardship on the farmer. The agricultural machinery tax is not going to bear too heavily on the farmer. Manures have been mentioned. We put a tax on certain phosphatic manures, but we allowed free imports from any country within the British Commonwealth. That ought to commend itself to our opponents, who have been attacking us very bitterly during the last two or three weeks on our hostility towards the British market. In the case of every tax, we give a preference to the British market, and, in this case, we actually allow in free imports from the British Commonwealth. Surely that ought to be sufficient guarantee to every farmer that he is not going to pay too much for phosphatic manures.

It is no such guarantee. It means that phosphatic manures will rise in price.

They may rise somewhat, but there cannot be a very big rise so long as that guarantee is there. Tariffs were also imposed on spades and shovels. I cannot see that the tariff on spades, shovels, wire and things of that sort will mean a very big item in the farmer's bill. They are estimated to produce something like £56,000, and against that £56,000 we propose to give £250,000 in direct relief of rates, which will be a bigger advantage. The small farmer was also mentioned. The small farmer will get the bigger share of benefit from this £250,000 when it comes to be distributed. He will also get the greater advantage from the votes for unemployment relief, drainage and the improvement of by-roads. These are the various classes on whom we are told we are too hard.

First of all it is said that we are too hard on the rich; secondly, that we are too hard on the poor; and thirdly, that we are too hard on the farmers. If we do not take a certain amount of taxation from the rich, from the poor or from the farmers, I would like to know where are we to get all this money? I would like to know where Cumann na nGaedheal would get the three and a half millions if they excluded all these classes. Deputies on the Cumann na nGaedheal side have attacked us by saying that we are taking from the rich, from the poor and from the farmers. If we are to take the advice of Cumann na nGaedheal we are not going to get a halfpenny from anybody. Even one Cumann na nGaedheal Deputy attacked us for cutting the salaries in the public service. They rule out everything. One Deputy attacks us on one matter and another Deputy on another matter. Deputy Shaw said that we should not take any money from horse-racing. Cumann na nGaedheal, assembled in the Gresham Hotel yesterday, said that we should not take it from outdoor games, and they are all against tariffs on imports. Deputy Cosgrave, speaking a few moments ago, said that we should not take it in excess profits tax or impose any bank note tax. Is there any single thing left in the Budget that has not been criticised? Is there any single source from which we could get income that would have the unanimous approval of Cumann na nGaedheal? They have condemned every source from which we could have got this revenue. Of course, they have not been unanimous, I know. If they held their Party meetings more frequently and spoke with one voice they would save a lot of time.

We are putting on tariffs, apart altogether from any revenue that may be derived from them, because we want to set new industries going here. Briefly speaking, for the last ten years, perhaps I should say for the last seventy or eighty years, we have had an agricultural community here trading with industrialists in another country. They were producing foodstuffs and selling them to industrialists in another country, buying back whatever they wanted from these industrialists. They were carrying on in spite of great depression, carrying the cost of the unemployed and of Government and other burdens. We want to change that. We want, if possible, to get our own industries going, to get our farmers to trade with our industrialists in our own towns, as far as possible, and in that way to cut out unemployment, to create a class in the town who will help the farmers to bear the burden of Government, unemployment, and so on. As well as that, we shall have a surplus for export and we shall have to buy certain things that we are not able to produce here. Deputy McGilligan asked if we are going to make all our worsteds and woollens under a tariff, how do we expect any foreigner to buy any worsteds or woollens from us when we are not importing any? If we were producing every single thing in this country that we want for ourselves and were not importing anything, of course we would not expect anybody to buy from us, because we would not want to export anything; but that is not going to be the position. We know quite well that we must import some things which we cannot produce here, and we shall expect to sell our exportable surplus to those from whom we buy those things.

Deputy Cosgrave, when he was doing the funny man in the Gresham Hotel yesterday, talked about Fianna Fáil fairs. He said the fairs down the country were Fianna Fáil fairs, when the farmers were not getting good prices. I have already said that we are getting as good prices, relatively to world prices, as when Cumann na nGaedheal were in office, and if Deputy Cosgrave wants to follow the example of the stage Irishman and tries to throw ridicule on his own countrymen for the benefit of his richer neighbour——

Were you not doing that long enough yourselves?

Perhaps we would take the Deputy as an example. I would like to get a little further with the Budget. I said that I would deal with matters other than the Budget at a later stage. In regard to what is called an Emergency Budget, we are accused again of going to the wrong sources for our Emergency Budget. Every source we have gone to is wrong. We are told that we should not take money from the Hospitals Sweepstakes. Deputy Cosgrave stated yesterday that if it were left to the hospitals it would go to the relief of unemployment. That is not true. It would not. There is a lot of that money going into investments in order that the proceeds will be there for the running expenses of the hospitals in years to come, and it would not, therefore, be there to give employment this year. Apart from that altogether, we, as anybody can see, had to examine various sources to get our money, and this was a source that presented possibilities. Various ways of getting money out of that source were suggested: profits tax, stamp duty or something else. This was the best way that could be suggested to get the money. I read a letter a few days ago in the newspapers from a certain doctor attacking us and saying that we were going to deprive his hospital of £25,000 this year. That means that their income from the Hospitals Sweepstakes this year would be £100,000, and that is not a very big hospital. I remember when Deputies introduced the Hospitals Sweepstakes Bill at first they had high hopes that they might get £100,000 altogether out of it.

Two hundred thousand pounds.

Two hundred thousand pounds. Here is one small hospital that is going to derive in one year this huge sum out of the Sweepstakes and we are blamed for taking a little bit out of that. Is prevention not better than cure? Is it not better to keep people out of hospital by giving them proper food and work? We are trying to keep people from going into the hospitals. We are raising the money to give employment, and the Hospitals Sweepstakes was one source we thought was a good mark.

Again, we have the matter of the arrears of income tax referred to. Deputy Cosgrave accused us several times of not taking the people of the country into our confidence. We have taken the people into our confidence on that at any rate, because every single year we were in opposition, we advised the then Minister for Finance to take courage in this matter, to declare an amnesty for all those people who had money hidden away, and ask them to declare what they had. We said that it would not only bring in arrears of income tax in that way, but that it would also bring in a certain amount of money in the future. We have adopted that method in this Budget, and we are going to take in £350,000 from that source this year.

There has not been any great attack as to the manner in which we spend the money under the Emergency Budget. There has been a certain amount of attack, but there is no Cumann na nGaedheal Deputy in this House who will go before his constituents and say: "I will vote against that expenditure." He will not go before his constituents and say: "I have voted against money being given for the relief of unemployment." There is no great attack on the way the money is being spent.

First of all we thought that the provision for housing was inadequate and we took powers to provide for housing. First we said that a free grant is necessary and we mean to increase the grant to the builders of private houses. We also wanted to get housing going on a more extensive scale by the local authorities, and there is a larger amount voted to the local authorities under that head. There is also the provision of milk for necessitous children. That was not referred to by Deputy Cosgrave. It must have been a great consolation to him last night when he was down in the Metropole to know that the very poor are going to get free milk. He did not refer in his speech to the £100,000 that we had to raise in order to give milk to the children of these poor people. When the Butter Bill was under discussion we were attacked very strongly here because we were putting up the cost of butter to such an extent that some people would not be able to buy butter in the future, and Deputy A. Byrne told us of the case of a man with 10/- a week and who had to pay 3/6 rent. That is the class of man that we want to benefit. He was a man who was not able to get butter either before the Butter Bill was introduced or after it was introduced. I have been in some of these houses and I have seen the children of those families and have seen how they are unable to get milk. If we are going to carry out the resolution of Cumann na nGaedheal in reference to the health of our future citizens, it is very important that we should look after this matter, even though the Cumann na nGaedheal Party did not.

I am not interested in what the Cumann na nGaedheal Party is doing or about to do, but I want to ask the Minister a question. Is it not the fact that necessitous school children have been supplied with milk under previous Budgets?

Not everywhere, I believe.

I know that in the City of Cork, which I represent, and in Dublin also, I am informed by Deputy Professor Alton, who represents the constituency of Dublin University, that milk is supplied to necessitous children. There is no use in the Minister taking credit for things done already.

It is supplied by the municipalities in some cases, but not all over the country.

With all due respect, we are doing it in Cork City by local effort, and there is no use in this Government taking credit for what we are doing for ourselves in Cork, and for what has been already done in Dublin.

Deputy Anthony has not informed the House that the state is recouping Cork for half the expenditure in respect of meals for school children. Therefore the State should get at least as much credit as Cork.

What Deputy Anthony says is true about necessitous school children receiving milk while they are going to school, but it is not given to them during holiday time, and it is not given to infants. It is the infants whom we want to benefit in particular. Even though Deputy Anthony may not be altogether too favourably inclined towards giving us any little credit that is due to us, he will have to give us that credit anyhow.

Certainly. I should like to inform the Minister that already those infants are provided for in Cork City through the medium of the Child Welfare League.

That is true. The Child Welfare League is doing very good work in that connection, but they cannot cover the whole country. On this question of unemployment we have tried to provide a certain amount of money to relieve unemployment by giving work in house building, road making, drainage and so on—giving work to people in a temporary capacity while our tariffs will be bearing fruit in the way of getting factories started. We hope to succeed in getting a considerable number of factories started in the country, but while we are trying to get these factories going the Cumann na nGaedheal Party are warning those particular people who may come to start factories here that if they do they will be coming to a bankrupt country.

I have already said here that the Cumann na nGaedheal Party would not, of course, vote against us on the expenditure side of this Budget, because they would not like to go back to their constituents and say that they had voted against the making of roads, the building of houses, and so on. It is all very well for them, however, to vote against every increase in taxation. It is not a very nice position for them to be in, but it is not a bit surprising. I took up the proceedings of the 4th May, and I find that if you analyse the votes that were given on that occasion you will see that the Cumann na nGaedheal Deputies come in for some things and go out for others. Take the case, for instance, of agricultural machinery. I find that my own colleagues, Deputy Esmonde and Deputy Keating, did not like to face the town of Wexford and say that they had voted against employment there, and so they did not vote at all. But when it came to a vote on the wearing apparel tariff, they came back. Deputy J.J. Byrne and Deputy Doherty and others interested walked out and did not vote. Deputy Anthony went over at that time with the majority. And when we had a vote later on on the Butter Bill we had all those Deputies who are interested in the creameries counties coming to our side. Deputy Cosgrave told us on the Second Reading that his Government had considered this Bill six months ago and had thrown it out. It was a rotten Bill six months ago, yet some of his own followers who represented the creameries counties voted for it, and Deputy O'Sullivan and Deputy Lynch, who represented a creamery county, did not like to vote with us, so they walked out. Deputy Hogan, who was Minister for Agriculture, also went out and did not vote at all, though he was very prominently identified in the rejection of this measure six months ago. Three ex-Ministers who helped Deputy Cosgrave six months ago to set this Bill aside had not the courage to face their constituents and say that they had voted against it. But when there was a vote taken on a clause of the Oath Bill they were united upon that. Deputy J.J. Byrne, Deputy O'Sullivan, Deputy Lynch, Deputy Hogan and all of them came back for that and voted against the Oath Bill. They were unanimous in voting to impose a test on the Irish people. That is all I have got to say on the Budget for the present. I quite realise that in the case of a measure like this we shall have the unanimous vote of the Cumann na nGaedheal Party against us.

They can all say different things. One will say that he is voting against it because the income tax is too high. Deputies representing places like Merrion Square, Rathmines, or places like that will put that argument forward. Another Deputy will say he is voting against it because it is too hard on the small farmer. Another will vote against the Budget because, like Deputy Shaw, he considers it is going to kill racing. They all have some excuse for voting against the Budget. An omnibus resolution like this is the best possible thing for Cumann na nGaedheal, because they will be united in voting against it. Where you have individual items such as agricultural machinery, wearing apparel, or something like that, we are likely enough to have some of them not inclined to vote against, and they will go out. Anyway, we will always get a good majority, but there are certainly some Deputies who will not vote against some proposals. It would save more time if the Cumann na nGaedheal Party would hold meetings frequently. Then they could come to some conclusion on matters like this; they could all be agreed on one thing, and we here would be in a better position to answer their arguments.

I may tell the Minister that I am voting against the Budget because I think it is a rotten Budget as a whole and rotten in all its details. This day week we listened to one of the longest, yet least informative, speeches that has ever been delivered in this House on the introduction of a Budget. Since I became a member of the House I have never listened to a longer and less informative speech. It gave us very little information on the points on which people in the country were anxious to get information. In many instances the so-called information given by the Minister was totally misleading. The Budget was remarkable for the intrusion in it of a great deal of unnecessary material, and particularly for the false propaganda it contained. Every effort was made in the opening paragraphs to throw dust in the eyes of the Irish people. If the people are not deceived as to what the situation is, then the credit or the fault, or whatever one may term it, cannot be attributed to the Minister or to the Government.

A great deal of the introductory remarks of the Minister had reference to matters the relevance of which he certainly did not make clear. I regard his opening remarks as a kind of smoke-screen, directed towards his own misguided followers in the country, in order to hide from them the real burdens that the Government is imposing on the country. Since the Minister's Budget statement I have met people in various walks of life, poor and rich. I must say that, judging by their conversations, the contents of this Budget came as a shock to a people already prepared for the worst. Although they were prepared for the worst, they never expected as bad a Budget as this. I think what in addition shocked a large number of the people most was the flippancy, the lack of responsibility, which accompanied the introduction of the Budget. Most of the principal taxes press on the rich or the comparatively well-to-do, but also on all classes. The Minister made it pretty clear that he realised we had no rich people, in the properly accepted sense, in this country. According to him we have here only comparatively well-to-do people. Whether these taxes press on the comparatively well-to-do or on the ordinary consumer in the towns or on the land, they were all introduced with a joke.

It was bad enough for the people to read the Minister's Budget speech, but I must confess it was extremely difficult to contain oneself in this House when one observed the obvious enjoyment displayed by the Minister when he read the portion of his Budget statement indicating new taxation. That enjoyment, I may say, was not universally shared by members of the Fianna Fáil Party. Certainly there were not many Deputies who appeared to appreciate the brilliance of the Minister's jokes when he was setting out the various burdens that he was putting on the people. The Minister's extreme levity was, in my opinion, absolutely uncalled for. I really should not pay much attention to that, especially as it comes from the Minister for Finance. Before he took office he showed an extraordinary lack of responsibility when dealing with the financial affairs of the nation, and obviously he cannot be expected to change his disposition even when certain responsibility is placed upon him. The main point about it is that I fear the Minister's attitude represents the Government's attitude on this matter.

It would appear that the Government are proceeding with a certain amount of glee to what they themselves would call preparing for the breakdown of the present system. The lack of responsibility that is only too evident in the Minister's Budget speech is only too evident also in the whole policy of the Government where the finances of the State are concerned. The policy may be to bring the day nearer, which the President foresees, when we shall have what I may call universal hair shirts. According to the President, it is apparently essential to deprive some people, who, he thinks, wear silk shirts, even of artificial silk shirts. In his opinion, if there are to be hair shirts at all there should be hair shirts all round. I fear, as a result of the policy which this Budget contemplates —the policy of which this Budget is but the introductory stage—you will have neither silk nor hair shirts for a large portion of the community.

In regard to some of the principal taxes, amounting to hundreds of thousands of pounds, there is practically no explanation. Not merely has there been no justification advanced, but there has not been even an attempt at explanation in regard to the various duties. For the first time we got to-day a statement that could easily have been made in the Budget speech on Wednesday. Quite a lot of the irrelevancies of the Budget speech could easily have been jettisoned with great improvement to the speech as a whole. The statement which we got to-day could have been given last Wednesday, but even that statement is incomplete. Apparently there is to be a tax on everything. The only thing that we will not have a tax on will be flowers of rhetoric, cut flowers of rhetoric as far as the Minister is concerned.

In the course of his Budget speech the Minister referred to the sum of £910,000 which he expects to derive from certain taxes. How that estimate was arrived at is still not clear to me. I expect that someone suggested a million and that they would then allow ten per cent. off that million for overestimation. Somebody else mentioned that that would look too much like a round figure; why not add £10,000 and make the total £910,000? The next question was how they would distribute that amongst the various items. It looks very much, judging by the performance we had the last day on the part of the whole Ministerial Bench, as if the estimate was arrived at by some method of that kind.

When the Minister was imposing taxation calculated to bring in £910,000 a paragraph of his statement was devoted to an explanation of the imposition. There was just that one paragraph in a speech lasting one and a half hours. What was the main burden of that paragraph? It indicated that, at all events, there was full unity of mind between the Minister for Finance and his fellow-conspirator, the Minister for Industry and Commerce. That was a marvellous achievement. What I object to is that the Government has approached this effort to strangle the country industrially with the same callousness as they tried to strangle it politically ten years ago.

In case there are any people in the country who think to themselves: "At last we know the worst; now, at all events, we know what we are in for," let them not solace themselves by any thoughts of that kind. Let us remember that the main plank of the Fianna Fáil programme has yet to be put into operation. Their economic programme has yet to come forward; that is, their wheat policy. That main policy has not been adumbrated or referred to here. This Budget is only the beginning of that revolutionary policy which the Minister for Industry and Commerce outlined. It is possibly a modest beginning of that great revolution which the Minister said might fairly be called an economic revolution.

Some people may think the wheat policy may be dropped and that, with a longer stay in office, some kind of responsibility will come to the Ministry. Have we any evidence of that? Is there any increase of responsibility in the manner in which they make statements? Is there any increase of responsibility in comparison with the reckless statements they made when they were in opposition? Are they not quite as reckless to-day, even with the full cares of office upon them? Is it not a fact that they are led by a man who takes up the attitude: Ruat coelum as long as he can say Quod scripsi scripsi?

The childishness of the Minister's method of computing the national debt is a thing that I will not now go into. The idea of putting the land annuities into the national debt, and capitalising them in order to make out such a huge total, is just merely an effort to create the smoke-screen that the Minister wanted to cover these unjust impositions from his followers in the country. Why did he stop at the land annuities? Suppose, in the morning, this progressive Government introduces a policy of purchase for town tenants. That would be looked upon as an advance, I presume, socially. Money would have to be raised to do that. Would that mean an increase in the national debt? Why does not the Minister bring in every possible debt between private individuals as he brings in the land annuities?

The figure of £115,000,000 which he arrived at was a figure which he thought the propaganda-doped community to which he appeals would accept. Even there there would be a limit to their credulity.

The Minister said: "We have before us a hard year but an honest year." We might have been impressed by that dictum if there had been a little more observance and less preaching of honesty. We all know that the Fianna Fáil Party hate deception—in others. The real public debt that would be computed by any responsible Minister would be £22,000,000. I do not want to be unfair to the Minister. There may have been indiscretions on his part. He committed one to-day, certainly. But this is not the Budget of the Minister for Finance. This is the Budget of the Fianna Fáil Government. It is the Budget of the Government as a whole. It is the Budget of that Government that got into power mainly, as I said in a previous speech, on the watchword of "Give Fianna Fáil a chance." That was one of their main planks, their main appeal to the people. Why give Fianna Fáil a chance? What was the main appeal to the farmers beyond the land annuities? It was the reduction of expenditure, the cutting down of taxation, not in twelve months but at once.

At one particular time that particular Party spoke of running this country at £12,000,000 per annum. The Minister who has just sat down told us that under our Government in 1928 the farmers were overtaxed to the extent of £11,000,000. When that Party was in opposition everybody can remember what they said year after year on the Votes on Account and on the Votes on the Budget. On every possible opportunity when they went down through the country, what did they preach? That the incidence of taxation, no matter who paid it to the Government, whether it is the income tax payer, or indirect in the first instance or not, gets down to the ordinary people. Was not that the burden of their speeches to the electors? Was not that the claim put forward by them when some of them argued that one of the worst taxes would be the income tax? But leave that aside for the moment; I will turn to it later.

Even after they had several years financial education in this House discussing Budgets and Estimates, they promised the people, and they won many votes by it, an immediate reduction of £2,000,000 in taxation. The Minister for Industry and Commerce says this is only a beginning. Well, I must say that if this is a beginning of a reduction of taxation by £2,000,000, I am very glad the Fianna Fáil Party have dropped their idea of reducing taxation by £11,000,000. For in that case the country would be bankrupt in one year instead of a few years, as it will be if this policy which they have started were carried on. Where has disappeared all that propaganda of the Fianna Fáil Party as to the incidence of taxation and the taxable capacity of the country? Too much of the revenue of the country, we were told, was taken by taxation. They pointed out the impossibility of any country continuing to progress with any chance of prosperity when so much of the national revenue was eaten up by taxation.

When they were in opposition they were preaching that doctrine right through the country; they come along now, and I ask them where is the reduction in taxation? There is an increase of millions. Is that their idea of redeeming their pledges? The Minister for Finance gave a side glance at that aspect of the situation —erstwhile so familiar to him—when he said that in this country there are no great extremes of riches, that you have only the comparatively well-to-do. Having given a side glance of that kind on his own nostrums and doctrines, he went on his rake's progress repeating the old saw that in the kingdom of the blind even the one-eyed are leaders. Well, we are going to have very few one-eyed people in the kingdom of the blind if the policy of the Budget which he has introduced is carried through.

Was there any truth in the assertions made again and again from the Fianna Fáil Benches when they were in opposition about the incidence of taxation and about the fact that in the last resort it is the farmer who has to bear the taxation? Now we have the Minister for Agriculture coming in and bearing his responsibility for this Budget. We have just heard the man who said at one time that the farmers were overtaxed to the extent of £11,000,000. He used to tell us that in the last resort it was the producer who must bear most of the burden of this over-taxation. We were told again and again that we in this State could not afford services on an Imperial scale.

One thing apparently we can afford, and what that is is made perfectly clear by the Leader of the Opposition, who pointed out the slavish imitation of the Budget on the other side—because that is what this Budget is. Apparently the one thing we have to afford is not Imperial services, but Imperial taxation. We may have decreased efficiency from the civil servants as a result of the policy of this particular Government. But one thing is clear and that is that we are to have a greatly increased Civil Service if the policy of the Government is to be carried through.

It is a characteristic Fianna Fáil performance in many ways. It is the usual attempt to walk both ways. With the one hand they give help, e.g., to the building industry. You give to the building trade, which we are told is in extremis, a first aid with one hand while you strangle it with tariffs on the other. That is the national economy and the national policy so far as the Fianna Fáil Government is concerned. Remember we are strangling the industry and trying to keep it alive at the same time. Everything, of course, is done at the expense of the public. As far as I can see, the only increase in the number of people employed in this country will be an increase in the number of officials. That is the only kind of permanent employment that the policy of the Fianna Fáil Party is likely to lead to. As the Leader of the Opposition pointed out, this is a policy of taking money from one pocket and putting it into the other—except I should like to add that you are paying people to effect the change. In relation to the case of the farmers of the country, it is taking silver from one pocket and putting coppers in the other. We are told that this is not going to lead to high prices, and that if it does lead to high prices the prices will be controlled and that any interference with the necessities of life will be visited by the Minister for Industry and Commerce with penalties and that the offending person will be put to gaol if the Minister is deprived of his grape fruit. What does it all mean? What does this necessary corollary of increased control mean? Does it not mean practically State interference in everything and the taking over by the State of the running of business in this country? Does it not mean an increase in officialdom in this country? Does it not mean much beyond anything that we can visualise at present? Remember when I am speaking of the increase of that officialdom the great panacea for everything—wheat policy —is to be added and it is the farmers of the country who will have to pay for it. That increased army of officials due to wheat policy, etc., is a thing that is not referred to in this Budget.

As I say, as a result of their policy you have an increase in the number of public officials, and possibly as a result of another portion of their policy you will have a decrease in the efficiency of the same body. What had we during the last couple of days? What have we had during the last couple of months? Tariff after tariff which so far as the ordinary consumer is concerned means tax after tax thrown at the House and the country without a word of explanation on the essential things that the House and the country ought to know, and an effort made either to conceal information, even scrappy as it is, as we have at present, or anyhow refusing to produce that information. But we have no information at all on other points that the country and the House want information about and are entitled to get information about. There has been no word of justification, and there is not even the slightest explanation. Some of the burdens like this £910,000 were simply slurred over in the Budget speech—a mere million pounds put on the backs of the taxpayers of this country. Explanation: "Agreement between myself and my colleague the Minister for Industry and Commerce" is sufficient. But may I point out what seems to have escaped some of the Deputies who have spoken, that the extent of the burden that these tariffs put on the ordinary consumer is not £910,000? It is a great deal more than that. It is that £910,000 plus the extra charge that the ordinary retailer will have to make owing to the fact that he will have more capital locked up and particularly plus the increased prices that will be charged for the articles produced in this country. That is information that we have not got. As we know, it is information that we shall never get. We shall never be able to know. I quite admit that this figure of £910,000 is merely an estimate. If we like, in the circumstances, it can only be a guess, but taking that guess as being fairly accurate, how much has to be added on to that figure of £910,000 in the Schedule alone to know what the burden on the ordinary consumer will be, the ordinary consumer in the town and country? That is a matter upon which we have not had a particle of information to-day. We certainly had less on Wednesday last, but that is information that the country ought to get. I think it was the Minister for Agriculture who sneered at Cumann na nGaedheal about their procedure in imposing tariffs and stated that the present Government had done nothing to give grants to its friends and relatives. So far as tariffs are concerned, we quickly made up our minds that if this country was to be saved from one of the principal dangers of tariffs, namely, the danger of graft and corruption, you would need to have an impartial body to investigate all applications. We determined that tariffs could not be imposed for political reasons; that they should not be imposed for political reasons, and that was one of our principal reasons for setting up the Tariff Commission. Whatever may be said in criticism of the Tariff Commission, at least this can be said, that the Tariff Commission gave information to the country that is completely lacking so far as this £910,000 is concerned. We do not know what increased employment will come from this £910,000. We do not know how it will hit the ordinary citizen of this State. It is practically impossible to say how many of the articles, even under the one number, are going to be bought by the same person. It is impossible to say that, because in one case you have as many as twelve or more articles mentioned, all possibly capable of being made by the same firm, but certainly they are not all going to be bought by the same person. You have all that, but you have no indication as to whether these are or are not suitable industries to establish here. Now on every ground, and especially on the ground that high-minded as the present Fianna Fáil Government may have been, high-minded as Governments that take over a new State very often are, the time undoubtedly will come when there must be some guarantee and some protection against graft.

What is the only criterion that the Minister for Industry and Commerce has? His criterion is not as to how much all this will cost the consumer, not what the burden will be on the people, but the following: The criterion, he says, which is going to decide whether or not a tariff will be imposed is not the price at which a commodity can be bought in some mid-European country but the price at which our people can make it. That is to be the only consideration for the imposition of a tariff: What does it cost to make a particular article? It does not matter about the consumer, and it does not matter whether the industry itself is a proper or a suitable one for this country. The first thing to do is to slap on the tariff, then make up your mind whether it is suitable or not, upset the business of the country first and then see what you can do to remedy the confusion and the evil that you have caused.

Of course I know a simple way out of all this is, as the Minister implored us, not to call these things taxes at all —call them tariffs. So far as the burden is concerned, they are worse than taxes, and the Minister was quite right in the remarks he made on that. These tariffs are a much bigger burden than taxes. So far as taxes are concerned you know the amount of them, but so far as a tariff is concerned you have no means of computing, even at guessing, with any degree of accuracy, what the real burden will be to the ordinary consumer. The Minister's motto, in Shakespearean language, was: "A rotten egg by any other name would smell as sweet." That is practically what it came to. But unfortunately the public who will have to bear the burden of these taxes will have to bear the burden of the double tax, the tax plus increased cost of articles made here. They will feel it then. It is then that the people will get to know, but not exactly, what these tariffs are costing them. It is only in the increased struggle for existence that they will find out the real incidence and the real weight of this particular Budget.

We had a very interesting illustration of the Government's method of procedure in the case of one of the tariffs they imposed—the tariff on motor bodies. They imposed that tariff without any examination. Immediately a great agitation was got up by a very powerful body—the motor trade, and the Government gave way. They gave in. That is to say, they realised, as I gathered from the statement of the Minister for Industry and Commerce, that the imposition of that tariff meant immediate unemployment for large numbers of people. Was it not obvious from the very start to anyone who is not tariff mad that that would be the result of it? It could not help being the result of the imposition of that particular tariff. Now the Government realise it. Why? Because there was a very powerful organisation capable of creating an agitation about it, an organisation that was able to voice its feelings through the country and in the Press. The members of that organisation were able to have their views represented in the Press, and that is the reason the Government gave in. But how many another tariff and tax is in this Budget which will cause many people to lose their employment! These people are not vocal, they are not organised or in any powerful organisation or union like the motor trade. What are they to do? They can simply suffer and lose their employment and nothing will be done for them. Countless individuals will be thrown out of work, just as numbers were threatened with loss of work in the motor trade. Numbers of people will be thrown out of work by these other tariffs, but they will have to bear that in silence, they will have no powerful body to speak for them. They will lose their employment or, at best, get perhaps some employment on relief works.

Not everybody, of course, was forgotten when it came to a question of safeguarding the jobs of people at present holding them. The small bus-owners, those who gave their time and employment and material on the polling day, were not forgotten. Directly and indirectly this is a Budget for the promotion of unemployment, and many of the people who may think they are gaining by the increase in the number of tariffs will have to pay through the nose in the various other tariffs on other industries and on other materials. The Minister for Industry and Commerce said that people cannot be expected to invest their capital in undertakings in this country without a feeling of security. This was a nice Budget to give a feeling of security to any person with a little capital to invest in undertakings here. As I pointed out already, what is the attitude of that Party opposite to anybody who invests money in this country? Is it not that he immediately becomes a capitalist, a grinder of the poor, a man living on another person's earnings, and no respect, or very little respect, must be paid to him when considering taxation? After all, it is only income tax where he is concerned. That is an inducement, undoubtedly, to tempt anybody to invest savings in industries in this country, except, of course, for the sheltered and favoured few—those who got tariffs.

We had various references to the tax on tea. We had a statement which did not surprise me, coming, as it did, from the Minister for Finance—I wonder has he ever been in the country—but we had it repeated to-day by the Minister for Agriculture that tea was not a necessity. I am beginning to wonder whether he, too, has lived in the country. Everybody knows that, as the Leader of the Opposition pointed out, the tax on tea in reality will hit the people harder than the tax on sugar. But why was it put on at all? What was the necessity for it? Everybody remembers the discussions we had here on our proposals to finance derating, and everybody remembers some of their election speeches in which they said: "What is the good of giving relief to the farmers, in the way of relief in agricultural rates, when you put it on and more than put it on again in the shape of a sugar tax?" and we had elaborate calculations to show that the farmer got so much off in rates and was taxed to such an extent on sugar. Here was an opportunity of wiping out the whole tax altogether, and saying, "Leave the old relief on rates at its figure of £750,000." But no, you must have a million pounds. Why? Because the Leader of the Opposition proposed it when he was in opposition. Again, what he said goes, and once said it cannot be withdrawn. He is like Sergius in "Arms and the Man"—he never withdraws.

What is the justification, the principal justification, put forward by the Minister for Finance in making the change from sugar to tea? The Minister for Industry and Commerce may have a childlike faith in human nature, as shown by his readiness to believe any person who asks for a tariff, but his colleague, the Minister for Finance, is one of the most cynical members of the House. What is his hope? His hope is that the shopkeeper will cheat the poor, and say, "This is 2/8 tea still; I am only charging 2/8." That is his hope, avowed here cynically. His one hope is that the poor will be cheated in the quality of the tea they get. Was that not the principal reason he put forward for this particular change? Was that not the distinction between the hard tax and the soft tax? He is, again, not well acquainted with the people of the country. It may happen in the towns that people may not distinguish between different qualities of tea, but I can assure him that there are many country districts in Ireland where, if that particular swindle was tried on, the people, and the poor especially, would be very quick to tell the shopkeeper that they were not getting the same tea.

This may be looked on, in some respects—and I have no doubt, from the applause that greeted the Minister for Finance from the benches opposite when he sat down—as a particularly cute Budget, a cunning Budget, and that the calculation was "So many votes gained for the Party by all these provisions," a cynical calculation in the hope that the people of the country, the poor people, the middle class and the rich people will be deceived and fooled, and will not see where all this is leading, a bribe to the people, in the hope that in the immediate gain, in the way of relief works, and other things, the real interference, the real deprivation of employment, will pass unnoticed.

As I say, there are the relief works for those who lose their employment by this increased taxation, and remember that no Party was as strong on this matter, was as eloquent on this matter, as the members of the Fianna Fáil Party when in opposition. Their cry was that "the result of increased taxation is increased unemployment," and on insistence that the country was already taxed up to, and beyond, its extreme limit. That was the burden of their cry, morning, noon and night, to the people throughout the country, and now there is this one kind of sop offered to the people for the increased taxation—an increase in the unemployment work. That is, they are taking steps in this Budget to do away with, or to greatly decrease, the amount of employment given by private individuals, or private firms, because that is ultimately what this increase in taxation must mean, and the State has to step in as an employer instead. That is the ultimate consequence and the real aim of this particular Budget, and it is one of my strongest objections to this Budget that it has this consequence which is only part and parcel of the whole economic policy of the Fianna Fáil Party. That is the logical conclusion of some of their speeches. I admit that people did not quite grasp the danger of these speeches when Fianna Fáil was out of office. It is the logical conclusion of their speeches since they came into office, and it is the logical conclusion of the speeches, passages of which I referred to a week or two ago, from the President and from the Minister for Industry and Commerce. We need not, however, go back to these speeches. We had the confession of the Minister for Industry and Commerce himself in the House last week, in which he acknowledged that this was the counterpart—it was not an unfair description—of the Civil War, that the old system had failed, and that a new system was to take its place, and that he stood for—and the quicker we on these benches got it into our heads the better—an economic revolution, and that this was the first step in that economic revolution. The President again and again, in speaking through the country, has referred to the possibilities of the present system breaking down, and he is coming near now to prophesying that the present system is breaking, or is going to break down. I am very nervous when I hear the President prophesy. I can never distinguish quite clearly between his prophesying and threats uttered by another man. We are going to have an economic revolution, and not merely on tariffs—that, as I say, is only the introduction—but you are to have a complete economic revolution in this country. I suggest there must be some people with a certain amount of staidness in the Fianna Fáil Party. Are not two revolutions per month more than any normal country can stand? Revolutions may at times be necessary, but I suggest that they are altogether too strong a drug to nourish any nation on, and we have had too much in this country so far as revolution is concerned. It is impossible for a country to live through that strong drug treatment that the Fianna Fáil Party think is the only way of keeping this country alive. It is undoubtedly the state of mind revealed in this particular measure we are discussing. There are certain circumstances in which revolutions may escape disaster —they are very lucky if they do so— especially if there is a kind of progress and soaring upwards of prices. But I suggest that the last time to try revolutions is a time when prices are going down and the pinch is being felt all over the world. That is the time when two revolutions are thrown on the country. Revolution as the staple political diet of the nation is simply suicide.

As I say, I look upon this Budget as the first step in that economic revolution that was so loudly proclaimed here the last night by the Minister for Industry and Commerce. Many of us had seen before the election, and many of us have seen since the election, that in reality the Fianna Fáil Party stand for a complete revolution, not merely a political revolution, but also for a complete economic revolution, so far as this country is concerned. Now we have it acknowledged without disguise. As that same Minister put it some weeks ago, if the manufacturers are not going to utilise to the full for the benefit of the nation the advantages that they are now getting from these tariffs, then the State is going to step in and get complete control of affairs. The aim of the President, as quite clearly evidenced in his speeches, and latest of all last Saturday in Cork, is apparently to burst this scheme of things and then model them to the heart's desire. I have a great deal more respect for his power of destruction than I have for his power of building them up again. I must protest strongly against the growing tendency in this country to regard anything that is not outrageously and strongly Socialistic as an attack upon Christian principles. That is what it is coming to. Under the guise of pretending to be advancing to a Christian State he is trying to shove upon the country a strongly Socialistic State—whether it is Communistic or Sovietistic is a different thing. The present tendency as can be clearly seen from the speeches and measures of the Minister for Industry and Commerce is to increase State interference and State control in every walk of life. Other lands have viewed with dismay and I know one especially pretty well that has regarded as one of the biggest disasters that has befallen it the destruction of its middle classes. What does this Budget portend for the great bulk of these people—the middle classes? The wiping out of the middle classes. What has come to other countries as a result of the misfortune of war and other things is now to be forced on this country wilfully by a Fianna Fáil Government merely to make this country an experimenting ground for the social and economic theories of the Leader of the Government. Proletarianisation, making the country consist of a small body of industrialists and the State on the one hand giving employment and wage-earners on the other hand. That is the ideal that that Party has before it, that is the ideal of the Government; that is the ideal foreshadowed by the Budget and that is much worse than the Budget itself.

The Budget itself is a shock to the country, but if the country only knew what this Budget was an indication of, that this Budget meant the introduction of that policy I referred to, they would be much more alarmed and shocked than they are.

In very depressed circumstances the late Government managed in a way that won the envy of most States and statesmen in Europe to keep this country's head out of the water to the flood that was threatening most other countries. To the revolutionary minds who are now on the Government Benches an achievement of that kind is not worth anything. It is not worth their consideration but it was a solid, sound achievement. As I say this is the beginning of a policy in which all that will be risked. It is the gambler's spirit. At least in one respect Deputy Davin was right. It is a gambling with the resources of the nation; gambling with the lives of the middle classes and the poor, all alike. Their lives and their futures are being gambled on in this Budget so far as this particular policy is concerned.

We are asked to look forward to the bright future that is dangled before us, painted in vivid colours. That is what we get instead of information about the Budget. That is the realm of prophesy. The President is particularly strong in the rôle of prophet. He now comes forward as an apostle as well, and combines both rôles. What do most people see in this Budget? Most of the people see a mortgaging of the present, mortgaging it to such an extent that no future, except that proletarianised State to which I have referred, is possible for the country. This Budget is to feed the hungry! Quite so! It will drive many persons who are at present in employment out of employment and make them hungry. Of course, they can get relief work that is there for them. There are few rich here. The Minister for Finance acknowledged that. There was a time when he would have proclaimed from the housetops that there were few rich here and that any increase in taxation was a crime against the nation. Why does he not do so to-day? This is a poor man's Budget! It is a poor man's Budget in the sense that it is going to make—not the rich people—but all the comparatively well-to-do people poor and to make the poor paupers. A poor man's Budget! Yes, in that sense and that sense only. I wonder whether the claim of being a poor man's Budget is made in ignorance of the real economic condition under which any nation can live or whether it is made in callous neglect, not caring what happens so long as the experiment can be tried to make this small nation lead the world into what? As I said already, into a Socialistic State. You do not make a Socialistic State Christian by calling it Christian. You do not make a policy Christian by calling it Christian— nothing of the kind. Let us make no mistake about it, the whole tendency of the policy of the Party opposite is quite clear and the whole tendency of the Budget is in full accord with that tendency. Taken with the policy with regard to the Oath, this Budget so far as I can see means the last straw to the struggling agricultural community. As I say, this is only the beginning, and in that policy they will have got their death blow. You will have at the very best, even if you have that, merely a wage-earning class on the one hand and a few employers on the other. This Budget we are asked to support is to bring happiness and content to this country now and in the future. There have been many crimes committed by the Party opposite against the nation. Again and again they have vilified the nation and misrepresented things. They misrepresented them so far as taxation and other things were concerned when we were in office. When they get a chance of acting up to their prophecies we see what they do. I am glad that they only tried to save two million pounds and in doing so imposed extra taxation of three millions, because if they tried to act up to their earlier promises and tried to save eleven millions, we would probably have a Budget of fifty millions. This is a bad Budget in detail and as a whole; it is a bad Budget as part of a bad policy, and on that score I hope the House will vote against it.

At the three general elections at which I was elected to this Dáil one of the principal planks on my platform was the opposition to tariff policy either selective or whole hog. On more than one occasion when tariffs were proposed by the late Government I had the unique experience of standing alone in opposition, being what I might call a voice in the wilderness. I have made a very close study of the effect of the selective tariff policy in operation, before the advent of the Fianna Fáil administration, and so far from finding in the result anything that would tend to modify my view I am more convinced than ever that the tariff road is not the road to prosperity. With this experience behind me, and the 1932 Fianna Fáil Budget before me, I am absolutely confirmed in the belief that a tariff policy will spell ruin to agriculture, our principal industry, and all depending upon it. I am convinced that any attempt to industrialise the country at the expense of agriculture will inevitably lead to financial and economic chaos. It is true that in all countries where tariffs have been applied as a cure for economic ills they have proved unsuccessful, but that in itself is not a sufficient reason to condemn their application here or anywhere else.

The conditions in this State are unique—unique in many respects, so much so that a parallel cannot be found for them in any other country in the world. Eighty-five per cent. of the wealth producers in the Free State are engaged in agriculture. The people comprising this 85 per cent. are, in the main, consumers of the produce turned out by the 15 per cent. nonagricultural producers, in other words the principal producers are also our principal consumers. Hence the policy of industrialisation by means of tariffs such as those disclosed in the Budget produced last Wednesday can have no other effect than to bring to a state of bankruptcy our principal industry and to shatter the financial structure upon which the State is built.

Mention has been repeatedly made in the course of this debate, and again by the Minister for Agriculture this afternoon, to the effect of certain particular tariffs on the farming community; such, for instance, as the tariffs on phosphates, agricultural machinery, spades and shovels, tea and so on. It is obvious on the face of it that these taxes must increase the burden on agriculture. I hold that every tariff comprised in the list which the Minister for Finance estimated will yield £910,000 in the next twelve months will be paid, and must be paid from the fruits of the soil. Whatever your tariffs, whatever your taxes, or whoever pays directly to the State into the national Exchequer, make no mistake about it, they come eventually from the land.

On Friday last when the debate on the tariff on boots was on Deputy Good pointed out that 1,000 extra workers engaged in the manufacture of footwear since the boot tax was put on in 1924 have cost the State £5 per head per week. That is based on the return showing the revenue from the boot tariff to be something like £250,000 per annum.

On a point of order, is it in order for a Deputy to read his speech?

A Deputy would not be in order in reading his speech, but I think the Deputy concerned is quoting figures which he is entitled to have in tabulated form.

I did not quite get what the Deputy said, but I assume he talked about my reading my speech. However, I shall let that go. I was referring to the statement made by Deputy Good on Friday last when he estimated that the tariff on boots and shoes yielded £250,000 per annum, amounting to £5 per head per week for the 1,000 extra men engaged in the industry since the tariff. I hold that that figure of £250,000 and £5 per head per week calculation on it are erroneous. The correct figure is this: The sum of £250,000 goes to the Exchequer directly paid by the importers at the ports as tax on boots. The importer has to pay 3/- in the £ in excess of the normal cost of these boots. In other words, every £1 pair of boots because of the tax cost £1 3s. after 1924. The man who buys his boots has to pay 23/- for them, and worked out in that way the £250,000, which means £5 per week per man for the extra hands engaged in the industry, is not a correct figure. Added to that must be what would be called normal profit on the £250,000 and I hold that a fair gross profit would be 33? per cent. I do not think that anyone in business will say that that is excessive. Thirty-three and one-third per cent. on £250,000 brings the actual cost to the consumer over and above the pre-tariff days up to £333,000 instead of £250,000. Putting on that profit of 33? per cent. I hold is rather a conservative estimate, because I have based it on the assumption that every retailer in the country is a direct importer of boots. That is not the case. I am on fairly solid ground when I say that 33? per cent. is a conservative estimate.

A large amount of the imports of boots comes through wholesalers, and I may safely add 10 to 15 per cent. extra as the wholesaler's profit, but I am content with the figure of 33? per cent., which brings the figure that the imported boots cost up to £333,000. The Minister for Industry and Commerce in dealing with this question of the boot tax said that before 1924 the output of the Irish factories was something like 92,000 dozen pairs of boots. He also said that the output last year was something like 520,000 dozen pairs of boots. These are very interesting figures. To show exactly what the consumers have to pay in consequence of the tariff on boots Deputy McGilligan, the late Minister for Industry and Commerce, enunciated what he considered a sound business principle here on Friday last when he said that a good manufacturer who knew his business would raise the price of his products up to the standard of the tariff. That is to say, that the Irish boot manufacturer would put on as near as he could to 3s. in the £ on his Irish products that he sold in the country. Add the sum of 3s. in the £ to the price of 550,000 dozen pairs of boots which were sold in this country by Irish manufacturers and put that into £ s. d. and see what it amounts to.

I am perfectly certain that, with these figures added to the £333,000, Deputy Good will find that, instead of the State paying £5 per head per week to those engaged in the industry, the figures will be much nearer to £10 per week per man. On whom does this cost fall? May I ask for whom are Irish firms manufacturing? What standard of quality do they make, and what do they specialise in? Are they the boots seen in Grafton Street? They are not. They are the boots worn by agricultural workers on the hillsides. The poor people of the country will have to pay £10 extra for every additional man put into the industry. The 43 groups of tariffs proposed under the Budget, according to the estimate of the Minister for Finance, will yield £910,000. Looking through the list, it is possible to make the same estimate of 33? on this £910,000, in order to arrive at what the extra cost to the consumer will be. We get a figure of £1,200,000, which is going to be the extra taxation imposed on agriculturists and the poorest workers by this Budget. I need not go over all the items, but there are a few items which stand out. One is £910,000 off the sugar yield. Remember, there is still a tax on sugar of 1¼d. per lb. Taking £900,000 of revenue and adding 33? per cent. we get another one and a quarter millions which the poor people and the workers have to pay. Taking wearing apparel, household commodities, and other things, the figures are enormous. We are told that these tariffs are designed to put people into employment and to industrialise the country. That is to be done at the expense of the agricultural community, which is down to the rock-bottom of depression at the moment. We heard from the Minister for Finance that the prime object of this Budget was to cure unemployment. All I can say is that before six months have elapsed the Minister for Finance will be very sadly disillusioned, but the cost of that disillusionment will be very great on the country. Not only will this Budget drive agriculture off the hills, but it will aggravate the financial stringency.

I walked through the fair that was held in Cavan last Saturday, and I saw five young pigs sold for £3. The man who sold the pigs brought home to his wife a basketful of tariffs. It is from people of that class we are going to get the money for a tariff policy, and to industrialise this country. We are to manufacture goods for and at the expense of people who will not be able to get a cup of tea, now taxed at 4d. Before coming to the Dáil to-day, a poultry-dealer called on me. I will tell the House what he told me for what it is worth. At present, I should say that chickens are 1/- per head cheaper than they were this time twelve months. With that condition of affairs, he told me an astonishing story. While chickens are unsaleable in the home markets, he stated that a short time ago a large cargo of Russian chickens arrived and were placed in cold storage. I would like to know from the Minister for Industry and Commerce if that is so. If the story is true, seeing that the Government's policy is a tariff policy, I want to ask why was not that cargo of Russian chickens held up at the port, as other goods have been held up, on the plea of forestalling and of dumping? I heard it stated that there was dumping of cut flowers. I never heard such a statement before. If the statement about the Russian chickens is true, I want the Minister for Industry and Commerce to investigate the matter. I cannot say that the statement is absolutely correct, but my authority is fairly reliable. If there is dumping of Russian chickens into Dublin, I think it is time that this tariff Government took notice of the fact.

The Minister for Agriculture prefaced his speech by stating that prices for agricultural produce were not worse relative to world prices since the Fianna Fáil Government came into power. After all that was a very safe statement to make because it is very difficult to work out home prices in relation to world prices. It would take a long time to work out the figure, so I intend to let that portion of the statement pass. I certainly cannot agree with the second portion of the Minister's statement that Irish produce is selling as well now as when the late Government was in power. Every Deputy connected with farming knows very well that there is considerable lessening of demand for produce at fairs and markets. Every one knows that not alone is there a lessening of demand for our products at home, but a considerable lessening of demand for our products on the other side of the Channel. I am quite sure that when the Minister examines the statistical returns which are furnished to him by the inspectors in the country at the end of the month, he will find that there has been a considerable lessening of demand for Irish produce, not alone in our fairs and markets here during April, but on the other side as well.

I shall pass on to the Budget statement proper. In the ranks of every section of the people, this Budget has created a feeling of consternation. It has brought home to them, in the most convincing manner possible, the hollowness of the promise made to them by the Fianna Fáil Party at the last general election. If there was one thing more than another which secured the return of that Party to power, it was the promise to reduce taxation and economise in general administration. For the last four years, in this House and outside it, the Minister for Finance and every member of the Fianna Fáil Party, in lengthy speeches, urged the paramount need for a reduction of national expenditure. They availed of every possible opportunity to draw attention to the alleged financial extravagance of the late Government. Figures were distorted in all kinds of ways for the purpose of making it appear to the people that they were bearing an unduly heavy load of taxation. Figures that appeared to be quite normal when quoted and discussed in this Dáil reached abnormal proportions when quoted by Fianna Fáil Deputies in their constituencies. The position has been reversed and the Minister for Finance now finds himself in the place formerly occupied by Deputy Blythe. The Minister has now an opportunity of putting into operation those theories of expenditure to which he gave expression so frequently in debates here. What do we find? He has introduced a Budget which will impose an additional burden of approximately £4,000,000 on the shoulders of the unfortunate taxpayers, without any regard either to the financial or economic consequences involved, a burden that will, undoubtedly, deal a staggering blow to the possibility of an economic revival for many years to come. How does the Minister reconcile that Budget with his speeches in the Dáil? How does the Minister, or how do his colleagues, reconcile that Budget with the propaganda indulged in during the last four or five years? How does the Minister reconcile the Budget with the very solemn promise he gave to the people during the last election campaign? It will take all the Minister's ingenuity to explain away that promise. It will take President de Valera's well-known ingenuity to explain to the people how extra taxation, to the extent of £4,000,000, can be regarded as an economy. I know that certain members of the Fianna Fáil Party are quite capable of reconciling certain apparently irreconcilable things, but, no matter what degree of cleverness they possess, the reconciling of an expenditure of £4,000,000 with their promised economies will be beyond their ability. In the midst of a period of depression, with the prospect of even worse times ahead, the Minister imposes an impossible burden on the people. If additional taxation was necessary—and admittedly some addition was necessary in view of the anticipated decline in revenue this year—it should have been found by the economies promised by the Minister and his Party, or by some other means which would inflict the least hardship and give industry a chance of preserving its equilibrium until better times arrive.

Income tax, super tax and, in fact, the whole range of taxes, direct and indirect, will have to be borne by the consumers. These taxes will be passed on by the man at the top of the scale to the man at the bottom of the scale, and will inevitably increase the cost of living and reduce the purchasing power of every person in the country. When the late Minister for Finance introduced his Supplementary Budget, which increased the income tax scale by 6d. in the £, the present Minister for Finance described that increase as imposing an addition to the cost of living of every person in the community. If the Minister, who was then sitting on these benches described that addition of 6d. in the income tax as representing a high increase in the cost of living I wonder how he would describe this increase of 1/6 in the £? I can very well imagine the care he would take to prepare a speech, interspersed with suitable adjectives, for the purpose of pouring ridicule on such an iniquitous proposal. Notwithstanding his anxiety on that occasion to keep the income tax scale at a low level, he has now introduced a Budget which will inevitably reduce the standard of living to the lowest point it has yet reached in the history of the State. It appears to me that a low income tax rate is absolutely necessary in a country like this. In an agricultural country, especially, a low income tax rate is necessary if capital within the country is to be attracted into industry and if capital from external sources is to be attracted here. I read recently a number of the speeches delivered on the Finance Bill in the British House of Commons. The one note which ran consistently through all the speeches was that the high standard of taxation prevailing was bleeding that country white. If that is true of a rich country like England, with a highly organised industrial machine, how much more true is it of a small State like ours with very few industries and some of these industries only at the beginning of their development? The late Minister for Finance gave, as one of a number of reasons, for keeping the income tax scale lower than the English scale, that it would attract wealthy people to this country. I understand that a large number of such people did actually take up residence here. Now, we can offer no such inducements to rich people any longer. As other Deputies have pointed out in the course of the debate there is a danger, a very real danger, that many moderately wealthy people who derive their in come from investments in foreign countries will change their domicile to England or elsewhere. That will be a very definite loss because it will mean the withdrawal of money that we can very ill afford.

It is universally recognised that high taxation hinders production. That is generally agreed and that point has been made and made very effectively, by many speakers in the course of this debate. Certainly, the present exorbitant scale of taxation will inevitably have that effect. Employers will be forced to make economies to meet these taxes and it may well be that these economies will take the form of a reduction in staffs, a reduction in wages or the curtailment of expenses in other directions. In either event, the State will suffer, revenue will suffer and unemployment is likely to be increased. The tariffs imposed in this Budget will hit every section of the people in the country. Whatever considerations may have weighed with the members of the Executive Council in coming to this decision, they certainly were not considerations based on an appreciation of the country's needs nor on the consequences that are likely to follow from them. If you depreciate the purchasing power of the people, how are you going to have an industrial revival? Surely, it will be admitted that the factories cannot and will not produce if there is no demand for their products. If on the one hand you increase the cost of these products by high tariffs and on the other hand, you reduce the ability of the people to pay for them by high taxes it follows inevitably that instead of an industrial advance there will be a very definite set-back and the last condition of things will be very much worse than the first.

There must be some definite relationship between the two essentials of production and consumption. The late Government did succeed by a judicious tariff policy in preserving that relationship but I submit that the present Budget has destroyed whatever possibility there was of maintaining a normal industrial situation here by the creation of a wide gulf, an impassably wide gulf in my opinion, between these two things. If it is the desire of the Fianna Fáil Government to make this country self-supporting—and I do not agree for one moment that it is economically possible in prevailing world conditions to do so—by a scientific use of the tariff machine new industries can be started.

A certain number of new industries can be started in this country and existing industries can be expanded and developed but new industries do not spring up mushroom-fashion overnight nor can existing industries be expanded or developed in the course of a day, a week, or a month. Their development must be a gradual process and the shock methods resorted to by the present Government Party will not hasten that end to any appreciable extent whatever. It is admitted—it was admitted by the Minister for Industry and Commerce in the course of one of the speeches he delivered quite recently on some of the tariff Resolutions—that we lack the technical skill and the traditional experience which have helped to build up big industrial enterprises in other countries and to maintain the industrial prestige of these countries. These accomplishments can only be acquired after a very long and a very hard apprenticeship and in the meantime it appears to me that the people of this country will have to pay for inefficiency and for an inferior quality article until such time as technical proficiency has been achieved. That policy, it seems to me, is very bad finance, it is very bad business and it is an imposition, an unjust and very unfair imposition, on the people of this country.

It was always the aim of the last Government to create employment in this country and they did succeed in creating employment for a big number of people by a judicious and scientific use of the tariff machine. The policy of the new Government may succeed in creating some employment in some industries but, on balance, I should be inclined to say that as a result of this excessive taxation more people will be pushed out of employment than will be taken into new employment.

Agriculture is the one great industry in this country and it is the one industry that is most in need of assistance at the present time. What does the Minister propose to do for it in the present Budget? It is true that he proposes to give some relief by way of addition to the agricultural grants but the tea tax alone will far outweigh the relief in that direction. The farmers represent the bulk of the consumers in the country and in consequence they will have to bear the lion's share of the new taxation. Let us examine the farmer's position in this country at the moment. The price of agricultural produce is falling. It has been falling for some months past, notwithstanding what the Minister for Agriculture said here to-day, and that downward tendency is likely to continue. Competition is growing keener, production in other countries is increasing rapidly and there are new rivals in the farmer's export market. The farmer's income in consequence of all these factors is depreciating. I cannot recollect a time when it was more difficult for the farmers in this country to make ends meet.

I can state quite positively, and I am sure every farmer Deputy in this House will agree with me, that relatively only a small percentage of farmers in this country are making sufficient money to cover their outgoings. Their income does not equal their expenditure and yet, it is in circumstances such as these that the new Government has thought fit to place an additional load on their already heavily burdened shoulders. Already the farmer's agricultural implements are taxed, his clothes, his boots, his artificial manures, his maize, his tea, the galvanised iron he requires for the roofing of his house are taxed and lest he might be given an opportunity to revive his drooping spirits the Minister has taxed his tobacco. Now all these items represent an increase and a very big increase in the farmer's overhead charges. Consequently, it will be more difficult for him to compete in the English market against more favoured competitors from other countries.

In view of the fact that agriculture is our main industry, in fact our only industry in this country, it is the duty of any Government functioning here to see that the farmer's overhead charges are kept down to the lowest possible point in order that he may be placed in a position to compete on favourable terms with his competitors from other countries. That is one of the primary duties of any Government in this country. And what do we find? Instead of that, the farmer's overhead charges have been increased enormously owing to the tariffs imposed in this Budget. It will be some months before he will experience the first effect of these tariffs, but there is no question about it that, as a result of the operation of these tariffs, many farmers in this country will be driven out of business altogether. Another thing, these increases in the farmer's overhead charges will inevitably reduce his efficiency, and they will reduce considerably his productivity as well. Already many of the farmers in this country—I would say the overwhelming majority of the farmers in this country—are bewailing the change of Government. They have come to realise after all that the promises, the rosy promises made to them by the Fianna Fáil Party have not and will not and cannot materialise. They realise too that the demand for their cattle, the demand generally for their products in our fairs and markets has considerably lessened, that their credit both from shopkeepers and the banks has been considerably curtailed; and their discontent has been heightened by the prospect of political trouble with England on account of the Bill introduced in this Dáil quite recently by the President of the Executive Council and the risk, the serious risk of losing their foothold in the English market. The farmer's patience has been sorely tried owing to the depression of the past few years. But the recent increases of taxation by the Fianna Fáil Government will drive him to despair; and I can say with confidence that they will drive very many of them to bankruptcy.

The tax on tea will probably hit the farmers harder than any other tax imposed in the recent Budget. Tea is a staple article of food in every farmer's household, it probably represents the biggest item in the farmer's budget. This country is probably one of the greatest tea drinking countries in the world. Why the duty on sugar should be remitted and a tax placed on tea is a matter which I do not understand. The price of sugar is falling, it has been falling during the past twelve months and in certain parts of the world sugar is selling at a lower price than it has ever been sold at. I understand that in most of the cities and towns of America sugar is being sold at the moment at a price .56 of a cent. per lb. That is the lowest price which sugar has ever reached in that country and indicates a considerable drop in the price of that commodity in the immediate future. Why in these circumstances the tax should have been taken off sugar and put on tea I cannot understand. I am afraid that the members of the Executive Council did not look for advice in the right direction when they were weighing up the relative advantages of a tax on tea and a tax on sugar. If they had looked for advice to the Revenue Commissioners and to their other experts in the service, I am sure they would have been told that the tax on sugar really did not represent any hardship at all to the people of this country but that the tax on tea does represent a very serious hardship indeed.

There are many other points that I should like to deal with, but I propose to leave them over until the Report Stage of the Budget proposals. These points have been dealt with by the speakers who preceded me. I wish to conclude on the note on which I began and it is this: that this Budget has undoubtedly created a feeling of exasperation in every household throughout the length and breadth of this State.

This Budget has been received with wonder and derision by this House. It has been received with dismay by the country. It will bring the farmer to the edge of destruction, and it will bring the labourer to the depth of poverty. Can anybody be found to say a good word for it outside the members of the Fianna Fáil Party who are bound by their pledge to support it? I must not forget Deputy Dillon who was good enough to say that it was the best Budget that was ever introduced. I think Deputy Dillon has rather apenchant for standing alone, and with the exception of the assistance that he got from Deputy Norton, I think he was standing alone when he threw out the suggestion that this was the best Budget that he had ever seen. As Deputy O'Hanlon his leader and companion says: Do not believe a word of it. It is the worst Budget men ever thought of. It will bring the agricultural community down to destruction. I agree in that with Deputy O'Hanlon. I am sorry that this new-found Party are already rent in twain. They are gone. I belong to another section of the Independent Party which is more entitled to speak for agriculture than any other section in this House. I agree with Deputy O'Hanlon when he says that this Budget means ruin to the agricultural community. There is no doubt or question about it, that will be the effect of it. But I must not forget Deputy Norton; it would be very wrong of me to do so. Deputy Norton said that this is a glorious Budget.

I made no speech on it yet.

I understood Deputy Norton to say he approved of the Budget. The Minister for Finance anticipated the speech Deputy Norton is to make. I am sure that Deputy Norton has expressed, on behalf of the section of the Labour Party of which, we understand, he is the titular leader in this House, his approval of this Budget so far as it affects the Labour Party. He heard the Minister for Finance say that, so far as the Labour Party was concerned, tea was not a necessity. I am sure that Deputy Norton, when he speaks, will say that that is a glorious idea. Tea is not a necessity to the labourer. Cold water is good enough for him. What is the other substitute? What is good enough for him?

The Minister says cold water.

That is the substitute, cold water. I understand that the Minister for Finance is very strong on the necessity for putting a tariff on boots, and when Deputy Norton will come to speak on that I am sure he will remind the House that he thoroughly agrees with it, and that so far as the Labour Party is concerned there is no necessity for boots. Feet were made long before boots. That is the principle now underlying the opinions of the section of the Labour Party of which Deputy Norton is the leader. Then we are told—and we will be told by the Minister for Finance, who puts a very considerable tariff on cloths and, unfortunately, on ready-made clothes which up to this had been the only clothing that the working-men can afford to wear—that clothes are not a necessity. When Deputy Norton comes to speak on behalf of his Party he will tell us that clothes are not a necessity. So far he will agree with the Minister for Finance as to that, and he will go further and say there is nothing to prevent labour going naked and unashamed through the country. The Minister for Agriculture is strong on the taxation of butter, and Deputy Norton will tell you he is quite right in that.

The Deputy should deal with the Budget and what has been said, not with what may be said by Deputy Norton.

This must be the policy of the Labour Party or the section of the Labour Party who approve of this Budget. I would submit to the House that their policy is that there is no necessity for butter. Margarine is good enough for the working-people. We are told that there is a concession as regards sugar. Very well, I think very few belonging to the Labour Party consume Urney chocolates. I object to a good many of these one-man concessions. The labourer wants his tea, his boots, his ready-made clothes, and his butter, and he is entitled to them. To tax him as he is being taxed in this Budget—out of existence—is a step which I, for one, would not for a moment stand for. Can anybody be found, outside Deputy Dillon and Deputy Norton, to say a word in favour of anything that is in this Budget? Can any good come out of Nazareth? Can any good come out of the Minister for Finance?

I see a proposal in that Bill of which I do approve and which I have advocated for a great many years in this House. That is a proposal as regards income tax. I only wish it had been adopted four years ago, when I first advocated it here. If it had been adopted then it would have meant more than a return of £350,000. I myself would have guaranteed within seven weeks one-seventh of the entire amount if it had then become the law. I wonder how much that £50,000 that I would have produced in seven weeks four years ago would be worth now? The Minister for Finance is not to blame for that. I think that, talking at this late hour, the step he has taken in giving a period of repentance to the income tax payer who has not been able in the past, in many cases through no fault of his own, to take advantage of the offer that is alleged to have been made in 1922 or 1923, he is to be congratulated. That offer was published, it is said, in the Press at that time. That was a time when the Press was not available to the ordinary citizen. I have never yet met anybody outside the ex-Minister for Finance who told me he saw that notice. I never heard of anybody who saw it. But it is alleged to have been published in 1922 or 1923. I wanted that offer repeated in 1928. If it had been repeated in 1928, it is not £350,000 that would be coming in to the Exchequer, but a sum far in excess of that amount.

But the Minister, I am afraid, has done what his predecessor did. He has allowed the cloven hoof of the Revenue Commissioners to come in there. He has asked for it himself. I dislike anybody pleading the Statute of Limitations. It is a dishonest and immoral defence. The suggestion now is that the country trader should go back to the year 1914. The Minister might as well ask him to go back as far as Adam so far as producing an honest or true account is concerned. This is a camouflage which has been forced on the Minister by the Revenue Commissioners who still want to maintain the power they had in the past. The Minister for Finance has discovered what he so often told us there was not a word of truth in before. He has discovered that the Revenue Commissioners behave in the most reasonable and humane spirit. If they do, I should like to ask the Minister for Finance for a definition of the word "brutality." If the Minister for Finance, as I have said on more than one occasion, sat by the bedsides of men dying from the effects of the present method adopted in the collection of income tax; if he had followed their remains to their last resting place, he would think differently. I do not see why Deputy Norton should be so much amused at this matter, because to me it was no amusing spectacle. If the Minister for Finance had followed their remains to their last resting place, as I did, he would use a stronger word and he would come back and suggest that the spirit and the methods adopted in the past were brutal.

So long as the Minister continues to hold office and put forward the suggestion that these methods are reasonable and humane, the collection of income tax will never be successful in this country. I have never done anything to oppose the collection of income tax. I have always encouraged its payment. I do not see why it should not be paid as well as any other tax, but I do think that a little bit of humanity, and a little bit of reasonableness should be used towards the income tax payers as well as towards any other payer.

I think in going back to 1914, one may suggest that the Minister is still under the hoof of the Revenue Commissioners. The Minister is spoiling a system that would otherwise be more perfect. The Minister has made one other error, and it comes from the same direction. He is again placing the taxpayer under the income tax guillotine. He says that he is to go back to 1914 and pay 75 per cent. of his income tax from 1914. It would be quite reasonable, I agree, without interest, penalties, or anything like that. He gives the income tax payer a chance, but he says that at the request of the Revenue Commissioners the income tax payer must employ an auditor. Now that is an expenditure that might run into hundreds of pounds. They have still got the man in their grip, and I am surprised that the Minister does not see that. They will still have the rope around his neck. A man may owe £100 and he will be asked to pay £300. As an alternative, he is asked to go back to 1914 and to get an auditor to deal with this accounts. Fancy employing an auditor to go through the books of a country trader. The auditor would have to invent a series of figures. I do not believe even Deputy Davin could do it. The auditor would have to put together a series of figures that would be purely imaginary, and all the expense would come down on the head of the country trader.

Was there ever such a monstrous suggestion? I know why it is done and why that suggestion comes from the Revenue Commissioners. I am surprised at the Minister falling for their suggestions. I must admit he has approached this in a proper spirit and with the best of intentions. He should not, however, have allowed himself to come under the cloven hoof of the Revenue Commissioners. The Commissioners do not stop there. Who is going to select the auditor? The auditor is to be a gentleman approved by the Revenue Commissioners, but paid by the unfortunate taxpayer. What does approved by the Revenue Commissioners mean? It means that the Commissioners have laid it down that if the imaginary figures prepared by the auditor do not commend themselves to the Commissioners, then the auditor will walk the plank. He will be black-listed, as some of the most experienced auditors and best accountants in the Sacrstát have been black-listed, just because they refused to be intimidated; they refused to manufacture accounts.

The Minister has allowed the Revenue Commissioners to retain their power to intimidate and blackmail the tax-payer, if they feel so inclined, and they do it at his expense. I am sorry that the Minister does not see his way to allow a man to agree to pay, not 75 per cent of his taxes as from 1914, but 100 per cent. as from 1921. Eleven years is a long period for a country trader to go back over, or even for a professional man. Who amongst us can say offhand what was his income in 1921? Speaking for myself, I can say it was very small; but I know there are other people who are better off. If the ordinary man is asked to say offhand what was his income in 1921, he could not give the faintest information, even if he had his books. The idea of employing auditors is all humbug. I say that a country trader would be in a much stronger position if he were asked to pay 100 per cent. of his income tax as from 1921, as against 75 per cent. as from 1914, even though it might be computed with the assistance of an imported auditor.

There is another restriction which the Minister has adverted to. He says: "This special method is only to apply to cases in which the Revenue Commissioners have not yet formally notified, through the tax-payer, or his agent, the amount that they are willing to accept in settlement." That means the Revenue Commissioners will have him again. There are many cases in which men owe £100. The Revenue Commissioners will say: "Please pay us £500 in discharge of the income tax you owe, the penalties you have incurred, and the interest that is due in order to make up what the Treasury has lost. Pay us a fixed sum." Let us take the case of a man who owes £100, and who has been asked to pay £500. Is it suggested that that man should get no relief? I am sure it was never the Minister's intention that a man in that position should be subjected to blackmail.

Is the Deputy in order in making an attack on the Revenue Commissioners?

The Deputy is entitled to criticise administration.

The Deputy is charging the Revenue officials with blackmail.

I have often heard that before.

It is an old established precedent.

The new Attorney-General is defending the attitude of the Revenue officials.

The Chair thinks that a debate on those lines is not very orderly and it would be wiser not to continue it.

In that case I will pass from that particular subject. Here is another subject that will appeal more to the Government Party. We have been told that Fianna Fáil will carry out its election pledges. This Budget contains references to land annuities. I will not offend the Attorney-General by suggesting that. The question of how much these land annuities will amount to and what will become of them arises on this Budget. What promises were made by members of the Fianna Fáil Party during the election? In the month of January, 1928—I always like to be accurate, about the first week of that month—two members of the Fianna Fáil Party scoured my constituency preaching the doctrine, and giving the pledge, that if the Fianna Fáil Party were returned to power—they predicted they would be and they gave the date of their return as September, 1928—there would no longer be any land annuities to pay. That pledge was given in West Cork.

That was not a mandate for this Parliament.

The point I want to make —and even Deputy Little will understand it—is that it took from then until December, 1930, two years and eleven months—the Deputy can calculate it and he will find I am right— until President de Valera suddenly discovered and announced in this House that it was never part of the policy of Fianna Fáil that land annuities should not be paid. Was it right to leave the honest farmers of West Cork under the delusion that in the event of the Party being returned to power there would be no land annuities to pay? What is their policy to-day as regards land annuities?

It is good for the solicitors.

Deputy Davin says the policy as regards land annuities is a good policy for the solicitors. It is. From end to end of the constituency there is a rain of civil bills. That is a good policy for the solicitors, but not a policy of which I personally approve.

It is good for the State solicitors.

Yes, for the State solicitors. What has brought about this rain of civil bills? I hold it was the promise made by supporters of Fianna Fáil that land annuities would not be paid. Only the other day I heard a man asked why he had not paid the licence duty for his dog. His reply was: "I did not think that the new Government would charge any licence duty on dogs."

May I ask the Deputy a question?

When the Deputy has finished other Deputies will have an opportunity of speaking.

It is beyond all doubt that they gave those pledges. At the last election, I had the good fortune—or the misfortune—to have to listen to several speeches delivered from Fianna Fáil platforms. I listened to them, if not with instruction, certainly at times with some interest. I have heard the promise made more than once during the elections and since that, when Fianna Fáil came into power unemployment would cease. There would be no more unemployment. I have heard it so proclaimed over and over again that there would be no man able and willing to work who would not have suitable employment offered to him. What is the result? If human ingenuity could contrive a scheme more certain to bring about unemployment than the present Budget, then all I have to say is that I do not know of it.

I would like to know if I am right in assuming that the Deputy stated that in January, 1928, Fianna Fáil Deputies went around West Cork stating that the people would have to pay no land annuities?

Certainly.

And that in December, 1931, they had a different policy—that is, two years and eleven months after.

1930, I said.

Two years and eleven months after would be 1931.

I am afraid your mathematics is as wrong as your policy.

Did it take the Land Commission that length to discover that the land annuities were not being paid?

Deputy Wolfe, like the Party to which he spiritually belongs, at the outset of his speech, brought his quota of tears to the running river of tears which are now being shed by the Cumann na nGaedheal for the poor and the needy.

We always had their interests at heart long before we ever saw you.

The well was dry for ten years.

It seems to me that the electorate in February last did a very wise thing when they put Cumann na nGaedheal out of office, because at least they have given them the opportunity of indicating orally at all events how much concerned they are for the interests of the poor and the needy. Deputy Cosgrave's speech seemed to me as if he were more concerned with the interests of income tax and supertax payers. Here and there throughout his speech an odd tear was shed for the poor and the needy. But when we come to look at the records of the Cumann na nGaedheal Party for the past ten years, at their record in office, we have no hesitation whatever in saying that during that period they showed very little practical sympathy for the needs of the poor and the weak. I wonder does Deputy Cosgrave imagine that this House has forgotten the low maximum wage policy which characterised the Department of Local Government during the period that Deputy Mulcahy was the Minister in charge? Throughout that period local authorities were prevented from paying a decent wage to their road workers. That was part and parcel of the Cumann na nGaedheal Party's policy of steam-rolling the workers.

29/- a week.

And in connection with the Shannon Scheme, when we look up the policy of the last administration, we see the low wage mentality that characterised it in connection with that particular scheme. Its policy in that connection disgraced really the finest engineering scheme this country has ever known. When we go back a few years and examine the policy of the late Government, we find that at the time they were reducing income tax and supertax for the rich they were cutting the old-age pension for the poor. This House has not forgotten the declaration of the ex-Minister for Industry and Commerce that it is not the duty of a Government to provide work for the people, and that some people in this country may yet have to starve. Here we have a Party, with this record of reaction towards the workers and the poor, telling us that their only concern to-day is the effect that this Budget will have on the poor and the needy.

Deputy Wolfe gave me the credit of saying that I regarded this as a good Budget, that I was prepared to say a word for it. Frankly, I am. Apparently, it is the policy of the Cumann na nGaedheal Party to decry the taxes imposed in this Budget. I am thoroughly in agreement with some of them. Some of them are of a character which the Labour Party have advocated for years. There are features in this Budget which would be features in any Labour Budget introduced into this House. I realise that it is a difficult Budget, and that the Government assumed office at a difficult time. I realise also that, if confronted with the same set of circumstances, the Cumann na nGaedheal Party, having regard to their record of reaction over the past ten years, would have slashed the social services right, left and centre before taxing their wealthy friends.

There is a hope now that the housing needs of the people will be solved, or, in any case, that a substantial impression will be made on the housing problem, which was neglected by the last Government. The memories of some of us go back far enough to remember that a certain member of Cumann na nGaedheal was induced to stand as a candidate at a by-election in Dublin North City. The Government made the housing problem an issue in that election, and some people who mistook the thunder of their fury for sincerity believed that the return of this particular candidate would automatically bring about a solution of the housing problem. The candidate was duly returned, but the housing problem, instead of getting better, got very much worse. As a matter of fact, when we came to examine what the Government's policy was in connection with that particular candidate on the housing problem, we discovered that the only policy they had to put before the operatives in the building industry was a policy of longer hours and lower wages. That was the only policy they offered to the country, having deluded the electors into voting for their candidate.

I think there is evidence in this Budget that the housing problem will be tackled in a more effective and comprehensive way than it was by the Cumann na nGaedheal administration. I think, too, the country may look forward to a speeding-up in the solution of that problem instead of having it tinkered with in the piecemeal fashion that was so characteristic of the late administration. When it went out of office, the Cumann na nGaedheal Party discovered that it was prepared to accept the principle of work or maintenance. They were anxious, they told us, to get an opportunity of stating in this House and of contributing in overflowing measure their quota to a recognition of the principle that the State must provide work or maintenance, and even Deputy McGilligan, who said it was not the duty of a Government to provide work for the people, wants to contribute his quota too.

This Budget is an attempt, in very difficult circumstances, to give a ray of hope to the unemployed people of the country that has not been given to them for the past ten years.

I now turn to the question of tariffs, because this whole Budget revolves around a vigorous tariff policy. It has been stated that the imposition of wholesale tariffs will mean increases in prices, and we are told that increases in prices are necessarily wrong, notwithstanding the fact that the May Commission in England, in the economic and financial circumstances there, reported last year that a return to the 1928 price levels was absolutely necessary in order to bring some hope of economic and financial recovery to Britain. The policy of the Cumann na nGaedheal Party seems to be a policy of buying in the cheapest market, buying wherever it is cheap, and do not restrict the imports if they are coming in cheaply. There is not a single thing we make in this country to-day but could be bought elsewhere at a much cheaper price than we can make it, but where does that policy lead us? Where does that kind of Cobdenite outlook lead us?—to the policy of the last seventy years, a policy of buying all our industrial necessities in the cheapest markets and relying on nature's bounteous supply of grass as the chief source of livelihood for our people.

With me, and with the Labour Party, tariffs and free trade are not matters of political principle. If they are anything, they are matters of political and economic expediency and, so far as we are concerned, our view on the application of tariffs is not the doctrinaire dogmatic view that tariffs are necessarily right and that free trade is necessarily wrong. We take the view that in the circumstances existing in this country to-day, and the state of the world being what it is, this country must build up its industries, and in the circumstances which we find confronting us to-day, the application of the tariff policy is one of the ways—I do not say it is the only way—of helping us to protect our industries from foreign competition, and of enabling us to build up our industries with the help of a tariff.

One would imagine from the speeches from the Opposition Benches that they disagreed completely with the tariff policy. One would imagine that they were doctrinaire free traders, but we all know perfectly well that, during the past eight years, they have imposed tariffs on many commodities, and imposed them in such a senseless and half-hearted fashion that they have been used merely as revenue-producing tariffs. Deputy Wolfe apparently forgot that he supported the Cumann na nGaedheal Party in putting a tariff on boots which bled the consumers to the extent of £2,000,000 for the last eight years, without any practical results from that policy, and the whole attitude of the Cumann na nGaedheal Party has been a policy of selective half-hearted tariffs—tariffs which were used to burden the consumer. There was no evidence whatever of a growth of virility in the industries they purported to protect.

The simple basic fact in the whole industrial position is that, unless we have industries, there is no hope for the Irish nation. We cannot continue the policy of relying solely on our agricultural industry, depressed as that industry is to-day, and likely as it is to continue in that depressed state, world conditions being what they are to-day. Unless we can develop our industries, there is no future before the nation, and I think that the policy of the Government in deciding to protect industry is a wise policy, and a policy which, though it might not produce the quick results that some people perhaps expect, is one which, I believe, over a period of time, will produce results which will justify it. I do not, however, want it to be imagined that I am giving anything like whole-hearted approval, either to the tariff policy that is being inaugurated or to the tariff policy which is apparently to be pursued. My one and basic complaint against the tariff policy of the Government is that it savours of too much of clapping on a tariff and waiting to see what happens. I say that if it is worth while putting on a tariff, if it is worth while protecting industry, then it is worth while making sure that the industry will use the tariff for the purpose for which the tariff is applied.

What are we applying tariffs for? We are surely applying them in order to enable our industries to compete with their foreign competitors. We are surely applying tariffs in order to make it easier for our industries to add wealth to the nation, and to provide employment for our people; but has the Minister any power to-day to go to any manufacturer and say: "I am not satisfied with the way you are using this tariff; you are abusing the trust of the nation, and you are refusing to manufacture the commodities which the nation requires, and because you are doing that I am going to impose certain penal restrictions upon you"? The Minister has no such power, and has, apparently, not sought such a power, but I hope that he will give some indication to the House that he is going to implement a necessary part of the tariff policy, namely, to insist that the industries of the nation will exploit their wealth-producing capacity in the interests of the whole nation. I hope that he will say also that if a private capitalist in the country is not prepared to use his industries for the nation, that the nation will have to take over his industries in order to exploit them for the benefit of the whole of the people of the nation.

And if he does not do. that?

If he does not do that, the tariff policy is a failure. There is another matter which has a close relationship to the tariff policy. I think every industry deserves to be protected against sweated conditions, and I think that, in a country where there is a desire to build up industry, it is not unreasonable to ask that the consumer should make his contribution by way of high prices to assist industry, but no industry ought to be protected if it is carried on in an inefficient way. No industry ought to be permanently protected unless it can show evidence of better organisation, and better methods of manufacture, and what I want to make sure of, in respect of the Government's tariff policy, is this, that just as we would protect our own industries against the sweated production of other countries, so we ought also to protect our own workers from sweated conditions being imposed on them by manufacturers in this country. I hope the Minister will make it clear, if he intervenes further in this debate, that the Government's policy is, that if an industry receives a tariff, it will be expected to pay a decent rate of wages to workers engaged in it, and that it will be expected to observe decent conditions of labour and decent hygienic conditions in the manufacture of its commodities. So much for the general question of the tariff policy.

I want to pass on to another matter referred to in the Budget—the question of the remission of 7d. per lb. in the duty on unmanufactured tobacco to Irish manufacturers, who were in existence prior to 1922. That seems to me to introduce a new principle of taxation, the principle of taxation, not on the basis of industry or general productivity, but on the basis, apparently, of the number of years a firm is in existence, and I want to warn the Minister of the dangers resulting from this policy in the country to-day. I understand that one main firm will benefit, and perhaps a few smaller firms also, but I tell the Minister that the one main firm which will benefit, according to information I have from the trade union catering for the workers in that industry, that it is an unorganised industry, and that the owners are paying only trade board rates, and that these rates are the maximum rates in that particular factory. I want to tell the Minister that all the tobacco manufacturers here in this country are paying rates of wages to-day which are from 15 to 25 per cent. above the trade board rates and the union catering for the workers in the factories, where these tolerably decent rates of wages are being paid, have been told, unofficially, so far, but I have no doubt that it will come officially in due course that if there is a special preference given to this one particular firm of tobacco manufacturers, the result will be that the firms who do not get this particular preferential treatment will be compelled to endeavour to enforce the trade board rates, and no more than the trade board rates, on the workers engaged in that industry. So far as I can see, therefore, the effects of this special remission to a particular firm is going to be a direct incitement to manufacturers in the tobacco industry to cut the wages of the workers in order to enable them to compete with the firm which, I think, has got a very undue preference in connection with the Budget. The granting of preferential consideration to one particular factory ought not to be used as a means of inciting other manufacturers to cut wages in order to compete with the manufacturer who is getting preferential consideration in connection with unmanufactured tobacco. I want, therefore, to suggest to the Minister that he might consider the question of treating all these factories in the same way. They are all in this country; they are all giving employment in this country; and, so far as the cross-Channel tobacco manufacturers in this country are concerned, it must be said to their credit that they are paying wages from 15 to 25 per cent. above the trade board rate. The manufacturer who is to get the preferential treatment, is, I am assured by the trade union concerned, paying only the maximum trade board rates, which are sweated rates of wages. I suggest to the Minister, therefore, that if any special consideration is going to be given to Irish tobacco manufacturers that special consideration ought to be limited perhaps to pipe tobacco, although frankly I do not see any particular case for any special discrimination in favour of one firm as against another firm. I warn the Minister of the danger of an attack on wages resulting from this preferential and, in my view, altogether unwarranted preference which is being given to one firm.

I want to pass on to the duty on periodicals and to say that this tax savours of want of proper consideration. In many respects the tax is a tax on education and culture. As a protective tariff, it will be admitted that it is really ineffective. The chances of its stimulating the newspaper or the printing industry here, or developing the latent talent of our writers, has been exaggerated out of all proportion to what is likely to happen. But, when one comes to look at the effect of the imposition of the tariff one gets somewhat extraordinary results. There are coming into this country a number of professional journals—trade journals one might call them—necessary for professional people and people who have hobbies. There is not the slightest hope of any firm here producing journals such, for instance, as "Amateur Gardening." There is no market for it. The number of copies coming in is not considerable. There is hardly any question that anyone would produce such a paper as that here. So long as it is not produced here—and I say it cannot be produced here in the existing circumstances— then the tax in that particular case amounts simply to a gross impost on the people which is thoroughly unjustified either in equity or as a means of encouraging home industry. Take "Pitman's Journal" which comes into the country. Does anybody suggest that there will be an Irish edition of "Pitman's Journal" produced? Of course there will not be. The effect is to impose an unjustifiable tariff on a journal such as "Pitman's Journal" which we all know can never be produced here. There are other journals such as "The Stock Breeder,""Popular Gardening,""Poultry,""Farm and Field" and "The Carpenter and Builder." All these journals are of a trade character and there is not the slightest hope of their being produced here. A tax upon journals of that particular character simply amounts to a blind imposition of a tax which is doing nothing to assist our own industry beyond raising money for revenue purposes, and I do not think the revenue ought to be raised in that particular manner and in that particular visionless fashion.

There is another matter about which the House will want some information, and about which certainly the Labour Party will require some information. We are told that farmers are to get another quarter of a million by way of relief of rates on agricultural land, and in order to make the round million which it was originally proposed to give them. Beyond that I have no further information as to the methods of distributing the quarter of a million. I want, however, to make this appeal to the Minister: that when allocating this money he ought to consider seriously the whole basis under which the previous three-quarters of a million was allocated for the relief of rates on agricultural land. I think it was done in a very wasteful fashion. I think the amount of relief given to the small farmer has been negligible. What has been done in connection with the recent three-quarters of a million has been to fritter it away. The amount of relief to the small farmer has been negligible. What the outgoing Government has done, I think even with the approval of the present Government by their opposition to our amendment at the time, has been to line the pockets of the big rancher and the big grazier with money at the expense of the small struggling farmer who most needs the protection of this legislature. I hope, therefore, that the Minister will review the whole question of the basis upon which this grant for the relief of rates has been made and that some attention will be given, in a new method of allocation, to the necessity for helping the small farmer; and in particular the tillage farmer; and to the necessity also of giving very scant consideration to the big rancher and the big grazier who is not, I suggest, either economically or financially, entitled to the consideration which he got under the late Government's proposals. The policy of allocating another quarter of a million to farmers on the existing basis is a policy completely in conflict with some of the principles in this Budget, principles which I think are good, so far as the working classes are concerned. I hope, therefore, that the Minister will remove that subsidy to wealth and that in the matter of relieving rates on agricultural land he will subsidise the small farmer and the needy people, and revise the whole method of allocating the grant for the relief of rates.

There is another matter I discovered in the tariffs, and it is that there is to be a preferential duty rate on gas meters to the extent of 10 per cent. Apparently, the completely manufactured gas meter can come in with a duty of 10 per cent., but the duty on parts is 15 per cent. It seems to me that the policy in that connection—I hope it is only an error —is to encourage the complete manufacture of gas meters outside the country, because there is only a ten per cent. tariff on the complete gas meter, while there is a 15 per cent. tariff on the parts of gas meters, thus putting a restriction on the assembly of parts here and encouraging the production elsewhere of completed gas meters and their importation here. There are in Dublin at present a considerable number of men who are employed at relatively decent rates of wages, perhaps 150 or 200 men, capable of manufacturing these meters, and I suggest that preferential consideration ought to be given to the importation of parts, and that everything possible should be done to discourage the importation of completed gas meters.

There is another matter to which I want to refer, and that is the imposition of the racing tax. I represent a county where whatever industry is left is the racing and the horse breeding industry. I am assured from very reliable sources in this county, and particularly from representatives of the workers engaged in the racing industry, that an imposition of a further tax on racing in the form proposed in the Budget will do considerable harm to the interests of the industry. I am assured that it will do considerable damage. The racing industry is one of those that does something to write our name on the map of the world, and I suggest to the Minister that he might give reconsideration to that whole question. If there is to be any tax in connection with racing, I personally would prefer to tax betting rather than the admission charges to racecourses because if anyone can afford the luxury of betting in these hard times, he can at least afford to pay a tax to assist to balance the Budget. I suggest, therefore, that consideration ought to be given to the question of imposing a tax upon the luxury of betting, and at the same time exempting racecourses from the higher admission charges which will be imposed upon them, and which will do considerable harm to the racing industry right through the country.

In the Budget speech of the Minister, he indicated that a sum of £100,000 is to be allocated for the provision of milk for the children of people in receipt of home help. I think that is a very desirable departure from the apparent disregard of the needs of those people, as evidenced in the policy of the last ten years. Deputy Wolfe, who is so very much concerned about the interests of the poor and the needy might well look up the speeches of the ex-Minister for Finance and try to discover where there was any provision of this kind in any of the Budgets of the late Government. I venture to say that this is a reform that will be welcomed by everybody in the country, and the one thing I am concerned about at the moment is to ascertain from the Minister in what way it is proposed to distribute this money? I hope he will indicate to us that the money will be distributed speedily, and that every effort will be made to extend this principle of help to poor people who stand most in need of the nation's help.

I would welcome further taxation in the Budget to provide school books for necessitous children. We have a system of education that costs a considerable sum of money. Children without any food, unable to buy school books, enter cheerless schools, and the result of their education is extremely poor indeed. I would welcome a further breaking of new ground by the Minister in a definite declaration that the counterpart of providing milk for necessitous children is providing school books for those children also.

There is another matter in the Budget, and that is the proposal that is to yield one quarter million pounds in economies in the public service. I am very much concerned with that proposal, because I think the principle of a special cut for civil servants is wrong. I think the State has no right to cut the salaries or wages of civil servants, and certainly no right whatever to cut salaries or wages of the lower grade people, because cutting salaries of civil servants in the manner suggested will amount to a special tax upon the civil servants. There is no reason in equity why the civil servants should be subjected to a tax that the rest of the community are exempt from. For instance, the civil servant will be compelled to pay his increased contribution to the new taxation. In addition to that he is to have a special cut imposed upon him. The doctor or the solicitor is going to make his contribution towards increased taxation, but he is exempt from the special tax imposed upon civil servants. I suggest if the doctor is going to go free, and the solicitor is going to go free, and the professional classes in the country, inside and outside the Civil Service, are going to go free, there is no case in equity why the civil servant, because he is employed by the Government, should be subjected to any kind of tax in the form of special cuts in wages. I think it is a wrong and unjustifiable principle, and can only be excused on the grounds that they are near you, that you can control them and that the money is easy to get. If the cut is justified it can only be justified on the assumption that they are overpaid. I think that is a fallacy exploded many times, and a fallacy that the new Government will recognise in the course of time. There are many people who have gone into the Civil Service who, if they went into private industry outside, would have done as well, if not better, and I think, comparing work for work in private industry and the Civil Service, that the civil servant has no special advantages in the matter of his remuneration. I do not want to refer to this matter merely from the point of view of civil servants. I want to refer to it also from the point of view of the Gárda and the teaching profession in the country. I think that cuts on people of that kind, which are not imposed upon the general body of the taxpayers and citizens, are unjustifiable, and that the Minister ought to reconsider the whole position. I want to say to him very seriously that a cut in wages or salaries, call it what you like, amongst people who can be put into the category of wage-earners is a cut that is least of all justifiable, and so far as I am concerned, I am not standing for a cut in the wages of the lower paid people, which is a direct incitement to private employers to cut the wages of their workers. There is a definite wage earners' line. The Minister either knows it, or he can be informed about it, and I suggest to the Minister, that in any proposals he has in mind, the wage earning line ought to be regarded as the line below which the Minister will not go.

I hope he will give some assurance to the House that the Budget and the existing financial stringency will not be used to attack wage levels either in the Civil Service, in the Gárda, or in the teaching profession. As I said at the outset, this is an extremely difficult Budget. It reflects the difficulties of the time, but at the same time it is a considerable departure from and an enormous improvement on some of the Budgets we had under the late administration. As I stated before, it is a good job for the workers, a good job for the plain people that, faced with existing financial circumstances, the Cumann na nGaedheal Party was not in power. Having regard to the wage-cutting policy of that Party in the past, the policy of cutting old age pensions, their partiality towards the rich, and their neglect of the interests of the poor, I have no doubt that if faced with such a set of circumstances as exists to-day the situation would be utilised by the Cumann na nGaedheal Party further to reduce old age pensions, to slash social services, and generally, to reverse the whole process of endeavouring to lift up the standard of living of our people, a principle which I am glad to see enshrined in this Budget. Notwithstanding the fury of the Cumann na nGaedheal Party, and the apparent glee with which some newspaper organs are referring to the unemployment that is being caused as a result of this Budget, on behalf of the Labour Party, I say to the Government that they ought to persist in their policy of putting taxation on backs capable of bearing it. So long as they do that and endeavour to build up industries the Labour Party will give their efforts the warmest approval. So long as they protect the workers against sweated wages and lift up the standard of living the new Government will have no more earnest supporters than the Labour Party.

But I suggest in the circumstances in which the Government produced the Budget that some of its proposals savour of immature consideration, and I hope that an opportunity will be found to reconsider some of the proposals so as to remove from what is a very good Budget in many respects, some of the blemishes which have unfortunately crept into it. There are good provisions in the Budget. The Budget in essential matters such as housing, unemployment, and old age pensions, as well as the general improvement in the social conditions of the people is, in my opinion, a good Budget. It is a thousand times a better Budget than would have been introduced in similar circumstances by the late Government.

Deputy Norton had a great deal to say against the Budget. In fact he said more against it than he said for it. I was very glad to see him making such havoc amongst the weak sections of the Budget. He taunted the leader of the Opposition with standing up for the rich against the poor. Well, Deputy Cosgrave is misrepresented there because his object in attacking the increased income tax on the rich man was that it will lessen his capacity as an employer of labour. I have not much more to say on that only to remind Deputy Norton of the statement of the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Finance when he attached so much importance to the abolition of income tax and spoke of what it would do for employment. He has evidently changed his mind since then. Office was the distracting source. I do not know what his mind is at the present moment. Deputy Norton might try to find out. I agree with a good deal that Deputy Norton said. I believe he has given in several instances a very powerful criticism of the Budget. I agree with what the Deputy said about the civil servants. They are being mulcted twice and are being put in a different position from every other member of the community. They were deluded at the last election. They opposed this Party thinking that they would get much better terms from the Fianna Fáil Party if they could form a Government. I think it has been brought home to them now that they are in a very bad position as a result of their foolishness. However, civil servants have to realise that they have very little political influence. Numerically it is negligible, but if the Civil Service could by any means return nine or ten T.D.'s there would be no question to-day of cutting salaries. This Budget has received many descriptions. Deputy Dillon, whom I am glad to see here as his father's son, described this as the best Budget that was introduced in this House, but he drew the line at galvanised buckets and cheap blankets. He might have added corrugated iron, which is a very important item for farmers, as they use it for shelters for their cattle in the winter.

There is a matter with which I am more concerned and that is the attack made on the Red Cross. The Red Cross is not sacred in this House. It is to be raided, and a quarter of a million is to be allotted to purposes other than those for which it was intended. Between £608,000 and £800,000 is to be diverted towards placating the supporters of the present Government. That money is being used at the moment in the interests of the poor. That money gives employment because it is well known that the hospitals are undergoing very considerable reconstruction at present. I do not see how employment could be given in any better way than on such work. It is most unfair to ask the local ratepayers to provide up-to-date humane hospitals for the people. By taking this money away from the hospitals, you are hitting the poor, and hitting them on a very sore point. This Budget, to me, does not seem to be a national Budget. It is a political Budget. When I say it is a political Budget, I mean it is one for rewarding the supporters of the Government. I will give an instance of that. We all know that there was a Press founded for the Government by certain adventurous spirits in the industrial world. These people were only a small group and did not represent the industrialists of Ireland, I am glad to say. Once they got in, we saw them coming up in batches and making special claims for their particular industries and for industry generally, the main idea at the back of their heads being not to allow anybody in to compete with them. I think it means very little to the unemployed who gives labour whether industrialists come from England or America, provided they are going to spend money here to promote industries. It does not matter very much to the unemployed whether six per cent. or seven per cent. of the profits remain in this country or go outside. In support of my contention that this is not a national Budget, and that it is a Budget for the reward of political and electoral support, I should state that the day previous to the last election, the smaller buses with limited seating capacity, had notices in the windows stating that they were going to support Fianna Fáil and that they were going to receive benefits for that support. They warned their usual patrons that they would be at the disposal of Fianna Fáil on the election day, and that the ordinary people could find their way about any way they liked. They had a good idea when they were giving their support to Fianna Fáil that they would get their reward. What is the result? The buses worked by these people were put at the disposal of Fianna Fáil and their taxation is reduced by 33?. A sum of £23,000 is to come out of the taxpayers' pockets simply to defray the electoral expenses of the Fianna Fáil Party. I do not approve of the ethics or of the morals of that. The railway and tramway companies' buses are expressly excluded in the Budget from receiving any benefit, although these companies employ about 25,000 people. They did not put their buses at the disposal of Fianna Fáil to take their supporters to the poll. We have heard a lot about the relative and the comparative food values of tea and sugar.

On a point of order, may I ask Deputy Hennessy if his suggestion is ——

On a point of order, can a point of order be put to Deputy Hennessy?

You are out of your job and do not be worrying.

A point of order should be put to the Chair.

Did I understand the Deputy to say that Fianna Fáil are paying their transport expenses at the election by way of this reduction in the tax on bus-seating capacity?

The Deputy can reply to the speech.

It is not my duty to interpret what the Deputy said or meant.

The Deputy made that suggestion and I ask him to withdraw it or give some substantiation of it.

I know that these notices were on the buses, that they were exhorting people to support Fianna Fáil, that they gave an indication that they were going to be rewarded and that they stated that they would be available on the election day to carry Fianna Fáil voters to the poll. We know now that there is a sum of £23,000 set aside in the Budget to reward them for their services. That puts it in a nutshell. I now come to the relative food values of tea and sugar. The Minister for Agriculture, who ought to be somewhat of an authority on those matters, scouted the idea that tea was of any particular value. I do not attach a great deal of importance to the food value of tea, but I believe it is an indispensable beverage. There is no alternative available. I do not think it would make a very savoury mess if a man eat bread and butter with cold water. If tea is such a popular beverage, it is because you cannot substitute any better flavouring for water than tea. We have heard about the food value of sugar. There is a great difference between commercial sugar and sugar intended for food. Every man, including the Minister for Finance, has within him a little sugar factory. I am afraid the sugar factory of the Minister for Finance is working short hours. That sugar factory in the body is aided by auxiliary sugar factories. The main sugar factory in the body is the liver and it produces sufficient sugar, with the ordinary foods, to feed the average person. I have no doubt that the Minister is suffering from a diminution of sugar in his physical economy. If you never got a grain of commercial sugar, you could very well do without it because, as I have said, nature has provided a little sugar factory for manufacturing sugar from the different foods required in the body. The taste for sugar is an acquired taste as is the taste for tea. It is a bad taste. Sugar is actually a cause of disease in many instances. We know it is provocative of such diseases as rheumatism and diabetes, to mention only a couple. It is also a cause of gout. The taking off of the sugar tax and the application of the tax to tea is achieving no useful purpose. We have heard of a grant for milk. I am glad that there is a grant for milk, but it is only fair to say that the Child Welfare Societies —I know something about them, because I was connected with one of them myself—did in the past what the Government now proposes to do. I hope, if the Government provides the milk, it will take steps to see that it is tubercle free.

I should like to refer to another matter—the bachelor tax. I was not in agreement with my own Party when they discriminated against the bachelors, because, like the civil servants, I did not see why they should be subjected to a double tax. Many civil servants, because they were bachelors, had to commence at a smaller salary than did the married men. Again, I go on the principle that a man should be paid for the work he does and not for being a bachelor or a married man. I do not understand why there should be an atmosphere of martyrology about the married state. We enter into it freely, and let us, like men, bear it and not go whining around and asking for the imposition of a tax on the bachelor to relieve us.

There is another aspect of the bachelor question. The bachelor is not the selfish curmudgeon he is represented to be. Very often a man is a bachelor because he has the manhood to support a delicate mother, and, perhaps, one or two delicate sisters. Again, it is not uncommon to find bachelors paying the debts incurred by their parents to provide for their education. What I want to impress on the Minister is that already some of these men, entering the Civil Service, got a very much lower salary than if they were in the happy and blessed state of matrimony. For that reason, I expect the Minister to give careful consideration to the matter, so that the bachelor will not be mulcted in every way. As I have said, he is not at all the selfish person he is so often represented to be.

I am quite sure that one section of the community will not agree with Deputy Hennessy's view on the question of the taxation of bachelors. I question very much whether, if a bachelor were to examine his budget in the same careful way in which this Budget is being examined, he would not find that, from the financial point of view, the married state would be a gain in most cases. Deputy Hennessy has laid great stress on a note which has been running through the speeches of the Opposition all day. That is, that there has been some extraordinary conspiracy by which the Government have agreed to grant remissions of taxation or to put on taxes in certain instances in order to favour their friends.

[An Leas-Cheann Comhairle took the Chair.]

Definite indications have been given in this connection by prominent members of the Opposition, who hold themselves up as champions of honour, rectitude, honesty, and all the rest. Definite persons engaged in industry— in some cases not members of this House—have been pointed to as persons who are being specially facilitated or for whose benefit some secret arrangement has been made. There is no truth whatever in that suggestion. I think that the suggestion simply indicates that the Opposition find themselves very hard up for argument, and now that they have had such a splendid opportunity for showing themselves to be that model Opposition that we all expected they would be, after ten years in office, I think they are sadly disappointing even their own supporters by taking up this particular line in which, I think, they cannot themselves really believe.

If Deputy Dr. Hennessy would only examine for a moment the question of the remission of the taxes on bus seats he would see that there is no foundation for the insinuation that the Fianna Fáil Government are simply granting a remission to their own friends. In the first place, it is admitted that this tax on bus seats was practically prohibitive. It is a wellknown fact that even before it was put on, the buses, both large and small, but particularly small, had the greatest difficulty in carrying on owing to the tax on petrol, but with the increased tax on seating accommodation there is no doubt that their position was impossible. It was, on examination of the position, put up to us, and in order to relieve that particular branch of the transport industry, we granted the remission. Deputy Dr. Hennessy is quite wrong when he says that the remission only applies to the small buses. If we were indifferent to the interests of the Railway Company or the Tramway Company, as Deputy Dr. Hennessy insinuates, then we undoubtedly would have done what he suggests, but we did not do so. This remission applies to all kinds of buses, and there is no doubt that, in the long run, it will give a superior advantage to the buses under the control of the Railway Company and also of the Dublin Tramway Company.

With regard to the question of industrialists, and the giving of preference to Irish industrialists, I see no reason why this Government should apologise for taking steps in the first instance to encourage our people to invest their money at home, and consequently to give additional encouragement to Irish industrialists. Is it suggested by Deputy Dr. Hennessy, or anybody in this House, that when a foreign combine comes into this country with an up-to-date organisation and sets up a subsidiary organisation in this country, contributing, perhaps, not a great deal to employment, by reason of the fact that that combine has a greatly superior organisation here, from the point of view of efficiency, as compared with a small industry which is struggling to make ends meet, or as compared with the Irish industrialists who go to the trouble to borrow money to keep their industry going—is it suggested that we should give the same preference to the foreign combine as to the native producer? I do not think that is so. At the same time, I do not think that the Government should go out of its way to penalise or discriminate unjustly against foreigners who come into the country to start industries here, but it is a matter that requires very careful consideration. Our general policy is to support and encourage our own nationals and our own investors to invest their money at home.

With regard to the question of the hospitals, I think there again, as already pointed out by the Minister for Agriculture, an effort is being made to give quite a wrong impression as to the matter of the subscriptions, if I might put it so, that the hospitals are putting up to the Minister for Finance. No definite evidence has been given in the House that this money would have been allocated during the present year or during next year in the form of provision for buildings or for the relief of unemployment. We have no proof whatever, and we have gone into this question carefully, to show that any extraordinary burden is being put on the hospitals in respect of whatever building programmes they have in hands, in taking this amount from them. May I point out also that the manner in which this sum is being paid was decided upon in consultation with the representatives of the hospitals, and the actual proposal was made by the hospitals themselves. When it is stated that the hospitals down the country are going to lose in some way, I question that very much indeed. The sweepstakes have to continue. There will be at least, I think, four further sweepstakes, and so a very considerable revenue is bound to accrue to the hospitals. The Minister for Agriculture has already pointed out that some of the hospitals have very substantial sums indeed in hand, even from a particular sweep, and when we take into consideration the extraordinary magnitude of these sums it seems preposterous to me to suggest that we should impose further taxation either in a direct or indirect form without making some levy on this institution.

With regard to the points that Deputy Norton has raised they are no doubt very important, but there is one point I think that the House is likely to forget in connection with this Budget and that cannot be stressed too often. It is this: that the Budget has got to be balanced. The situation that we found when we came into office was that we had to find a sum of roughly £27,000,000. The whole of that amount was estimated for by the outgoing Government in respect of Central Fund services and Supply services. I should say that this amount of £27,064,000 includes a provision of £270,000 that the present Government has added. Let us take away that £270,000 and we are still round the figure of £27,000,000. What do we find on the expenditure side? Let those gentlemen who fill the Press with arguments that there was no deficit and that this Government had not to meet an alarming situation, and to deal with it in a manner that the Minister for Finance had himself to describe as in some respects terrifying, let them remember that as against an expenditure up to a sum of £27,000,000, if we were to assume that we were to continue on the old rate of taxation and that non-tax revenue was to remain on the same basis, we would have a shrinkage in respect of the existing taxation to something like £19,900,000 approximately and in respect of non-tax revenue we would have a shrinkage to £3,417,000 making in all a revenue of £23,310,000. Therefore on the basis of last year's revenue, had we continued it, we would simply have had a revenue of £23,310,000 to meet an expenditure of £27,000,000. There was therefore a deficit of £3,616,000. You can take away from the £3,616,000, the sum of £270,000 which we are providing in respect of Old Age Pensions and the Military Service Pensions Bill.

Now it is suggested that the Government has done something extraordinary, something atrocious in meeting that situation. There are different ways no doubt in which the situation might have been met. We might have made economies to that extent but we could not have made economies to that extent particularly during the circumstances of the past two months unless we had as the Leader of the Labour Party said, cut social services right, left and centre. In our view the social services should be the last to be touched. If economies have to be made they should be made at the top. We ourselves have given an example in that manner and we are determined that other people show an example also.

Let me remind the Opposition that last October when they introduced the Supplementary Budget imposing additional taxation of £750,000, the situation was not anything like as critical as it now is. At that time concurrently with the additional taxation they proposed to have economies but they took jolly good care to leave the economies to the new Government. I should like them to examine these figures that I have given and to show where the error is in my statement, that the present Government had to find 3½ millions, that there was an actual Budget deficit, a real and effective deficiency, as described by the Minister for Finance of something like £1,200,000 and that in respect of tax revenue and non-tax revenue there was the huge shrinkage I have indicated. If these figures are examined by people who are really serious in regard to this matter, they must admit that there was a gigantic task before the Government.

Furthermore, in the steps that we take we have to get money. There is no use in doing things that are not going to bring in money; and the reason that we consider that economies should be made is that we feel that the higher class of paid officials in this country should make some sacrifices, substantial sacrifices, at any rate, in the present situation. I do not know whether the Opposition admit that or not. Before I go on to examine that question I should like, however, to reply to Deputy Norton's argument. Deputy Norton seems to fear that we are going to depart from our general social policy in whatever cuts we are making in the Civil Service. In the first place we are not going to touch the subsistence level in any cut that we are going to make. We are going to leave a substantial initial amount free, sufficient, I think, to cover amply the subsistence allowance. In regard to the special position of civil servants, I know that it may be argued, that it can be argued, that civil servants may consider themselves to be at the mercy of—shall we say?—an unscrupulous Government. But let us remember that in some respects the position of civil servants is better than that of those outside. They may or may not be in receipt of salaries of the same level. But in the first place the man in business or in any other profession has to take the ups and downs consequent on his business, consequent on the state of trade and so on. The official of the State, at any rate, has a certain security, and I think that should be taken into consideration. Neither do I think that the standard of remuneration outside the State service ought to be completely neglected as a factor upon which the country ought to judge whether, in fact, the remuneration is sufficient or is more than sufficient in the State service.

At the same time I should like again to call the attention of the House to the fact that either we must put on additional taxation to get over this deficit, we must effect economies, or we may be doing what the last Minister did when he told the country year after year that he was balancing his Budget. How was he balancing it? By borrowing money hand over fist for purposes that should have been met from current revenue. He borrowed for University buildings; he borrowed for wireless broadcasting; he borrowed for the improvement of estates; he borrowed for forestry; he borrowed for new works in connection with the Board of Works; and he borrowed for the Local Loans Fund, all of which we consider—we might spend a long time arguing the question—all of which services, we consider should have been met from revenue. But supposing that we do not meet them from revenue, and supposing that the contention of the Opposition is, if they do contend it—they have taken very great care in all their speeches to avoid the question of how ultimately this Budget should have been balanced—supposing that we take it that we should neither have taxed the community nor effected economies and cut down the civil servants and so on, then we should have to borrow money for all these services which the outgoing Government had described as abnormal, and for a great many other things which by no stretch of the imagination could be called abnormal. And what would the result of that borrowing have been? In the present year the total provision for the service of debt is £2,419,650 or £373,353 more than last year. If we adopted the principle of borrowing wholesale to meet everything that the late Minister for Finance sought fit to call abnormal expenditure, in order that he might be able to produce an attractive Budget for the income tax and supertax payers, then undoubtedly the provision of £2,400,000 for the annual service of debt would have to be greatly increased. And I question very much whether in the present financial situation, and with the prospect of bad times before us, any Minister for Finance has any justification for adding to that £2,400,000 annual burden in respect of debt. The late Minister for Finance a few years ago adjured us most solemnly in his Budget statement that we should not go to borrow further, that we had reached the absolute limit of borrowing. Is it contended now that we should go and increase this enormous annual burden in respect of debt? If that is the contention of the Opposition let them make it. But I see they take very good care—apparently they are anxious to keep away from the responsibility—they took very good care, when they talked recently about the credit of the country and all the rest of it, not to make one single useful suggestion as to how this situation should be met.

In addition to these factors we must take into consideration the fact that this Government is pledged to deal with the unemployment question. I admit that if you leave the unemployed out of the question and if you are prepared to deal with this question of abnormal expenditure in the way that the late Government dealt with it, the balancing of the Budget is quite an easy matter. But if the Budget, instead of being what it was in the past a purely financial balance sheet, is going to be, as we intend it to be, a reflection of our policy, a reflection of what we intend to do for the various sections of the community, then we must go further afield. Accordingly we have made provision to deal with the unemployment problem and in so doing, while we have been as generous as we could under the circumstances, I do not think that we have inflicted unnecessarily heavy burdens. The problem of unemployment has to be faced up to; and the sooner it is brought home to the country that this Government intends to deal with that problem in the most drastic fashion the better it will be for the country generally. We are either in earnest about the question of the unemployed or we are not. We may be defeated on our policy, and we may be put out of office, as some of the Opposition have stated, before long; but at any rate we are not going to leave it to anybody to say that we have neglected the unemployed. I would ask those people who talk so much about the unemployed to remember what Deputy Norton has stated. What about the tremendous toll taken from the people by the late Government in respect of tariffs on boots and shoes and clothing and so on. So far as I remember something like a million pounds a year was taken by the late Minister in respect of customs duties on these articles. No consideration whatever is being paid to that matter, and one would imagine that in putting on tariffs now we are doing something extraordinary, something that has not any precedent. If the people buy Irish goods, if there is a response from the industrialists and from the workers as I think there will be, then the Government will not get £900,000 from these tariffs. We shall be making the goods ourselves and we shall be buying them, and I see no reason why we should not get fairly good prices. Irish goods such as woollens can compare very favourably with foreign articles. Even if they are slightly dearer, they are better. At any rate the Minister for Industry and Commerce is taking steps to deal with that situation.

When I was in Opposition I never took up the attitude that protection was more than a weapon or that you were going to protect industries simply for the benefit of the industrialists and let them take advantage of the tariff. It is always implicit that when our industrialists have got a reasonable chance to establish themselves they should then conform to the general standards of efficiency, price, wages, and so on; but let them get a reasonable chance.

With regard to the question of the agricultural grant, I do not think that Deputy Norton believes it will be possible for us in the present situation, even if we thought there was a case for it, to withdraw the agricultural grant from those who are now getting it. It is all very well to say that the ranchers are getting benefit. Substantial numbers of large farmers who are giving employment also get benefit under the agricultural grant, even upon the old basis. In line with our other policy we are formulating a scheme by which preference will be given to the small farmers in the apportionment of the new grant of £250,000. With regard to gas meters and tobacco, these matters will be dealt with by the Minister for Finance.

With regard to the question of papers, may I point out that many of these periodicals are coming through the post and they are being taxed only on bulk imports? Already some English periodicals have promised to pay half, if not the whole, of the postage because they are very anxious to maintain their circulation in this country.

We have in respect of unemployment and in respect of social services given clearly an indication of our policy. The Budget reflects our social policy. It is not a narrow, financial statement. It is on the ground that it reflects our social policy that it should be considered as a national Budget. How can Deputy Hennessy or anybody else claim that a Budget that did not make sufficient provision for the unemployed, for housing, for workers in the rural areas and for poor people who cannot afford to get food for themselves, should be described as a national Budget? It would be neither a national nor a Christian Budget.

With reference to decentralisation of industries, giving support and encouragement to existing small industries and the question of Irish investments, we have given a clear indication of our policy. As has been already said by the Minister for Finance, we cannot expect to get results at once, but so far as we are concerned, we are not leaving any stones unturned. In the matter of dealing immediately with unemployment by getting schemes going locally, we are trying to get these done as quickly as possible. If this debate were to take place twelve months hence there might be some justification for the shrieks of the Opposition that the Government have not better results to show. After all, we are only human beings, we do not claim to be super-men or statesmen who shine on the European stage or the great Imperial stage like the gentlemen opposite; we are just ordinary human beings. We are nine weeks in office and it comes very badly from those gentlemen who, as Deputy Norton pointed out, have neglected their obvious duties to the unemployed year in year out, to taunt us with not having solved the unemployment problem.

One of the favourite arguments of the Opposition is that if we are to follow on the lines we propose we will be depriving people of employment in the future. That is the type of argument that is held up as sensible to the country. There is also the argument that we are increasing the farmers' overhead charges. We are not substantially increasing overhead charges, as the Minister for Agriculture has pointed out. The only necessary, if it can be described as necessary, that has been taxed is tea. We went into the whole question, and we do not believe that a tax on tea is harder than a tax on sugar. We are in favour of remission in the case of sugar because it affects poor people. It affects families and sugar is, as has been described, an essential food in our opinion.

I do not think I should let this opportunity pass without protesting against the remarks of the leader of the Opposition. I wonder is it because he and his colleagues have such a low opinion of human nature that they make the statements about us that they have made? Do they simply view everything from the splenetic standpoint that we have been accustomed to in this House for so many years? They have been talking about the low prices at fairs, collusion with industrial interests outside, trouble with England. Their chief aim is to see that, if they can possibly help it, this Government will not get a decent opportunity to carry out its policy. We simply ask for fair play. I say that the present Opposition are not voicing the opinions of any decent body of people, any body of national opinion, when they follow up the line that they are now taking. A week or two ago they declared that the Oath Bill was going to cause trouble with England. They worked that suggestion as far as they could. They have not given up their efforts, and probably they will come along to-morrow or the day after with some well-organised subterranean protest which will be leaded in the daily papers. The object is simply to create obstruction for this Government, not to give the Government the opportunity that every decent man in the country, irrespective of politics, believes it should get —a reasonable opportunity to work out its policy.

There may be mistakes made, but on the whole should we not have from a Party that claims to be a Party of balanced statesmen, with ten years' experience of office, some little consideration? If we are not going to get that consideration, we are quite prepared for the other thing. We are not going to shirk our duty. The leader of the Opposition sneers at us and tries to throw dirt upon us, knowing very well that it is hard to get after some of the statements that are made, that it is easy to make insinuations and innuendoes, but once they get going, it may be very difficult to catch them up. Knowing all that, he deliberately makes allegations against the members of the Government that no responsible person in any assembly in the world would make.

I can only say that we have nothing to be ashamed of. The moneys we have received from our supporters by way of subscriptions can be made public at any time. I wonder will the list of super taxpayers and income taxpayers who provided the funds for the Cumann na nGaedheal Party with which to fight the general election be shown to the public? If that list were made public I wonder what would be the opinion of the Irish people of those who have been the biggest subscribers?

Deputy Cosgrave, when he talks about these matters, ought to be very careful indeed. He ought to remember that business should be carried on on a decent level. While it is the object of the Government to carry on the business of the country in a fair-minded and decent manner, if the Deputy wishes to break down the tone and level of the debates and reduce them to the level of something outside, then we are prepared to take off the gloves. I hope that will not be necessary; I hope that there will be some realisation on the part of the Opposition of the fact that while they are a Party in opposition, in the long run their function in this House should be to welcome if they can, or at any rate to acquiesce in and not constantly to obstruct, measures that the majority of the people's representatives have definitely set up and that the people have given them a mandate to implement.

Unlike my colleague from West Cork, I find there are certain very prominent features in this Budget which I can welcome and to which I can pay tribute. I am sure it must be an oversight on the part of my colleague to forget to mark his appreciation of certain features of the Budget. The Deputy will be glad to know that there is a prospect of very substantial additions being made to housing accommodation in the country, and the constituency that we come from can well do with additions and advantages of that kind. I am sure the Deputy would be willing and desirous to co-operate with me and the other representatives from West Cork in seeing that full effect will be given to that policy in the different parts of the county that we represent.

It is an undisputed fact that the slackness in housing activities to which the ex-President referred to-day is very largely due to the recent housing legislation which has had the effect of hampering and holding up housing activities along the lines on which they should be moulded at the present time. I feel that Deputy Wolfe will be comforted on finding that there is an immediate prospect of the expenditure of very considerable sums of money on improvements and on the relief of unemployment, and I am sure he will co-operate with me in the endeavour to get what we can for our own constituency. I am sure he will try to secure any moneys that are available in that respect for relief in our constituency. Furthermore, Deputy Wolfe claimed the distinction that he was the only friend of the old age pensioners in the House. Again, he will be glad to find that certain evil aspects of the old age pension administration which he and I very often unsuccessfully tried to combat will be removed and that the means test, so far as the small farmers and their wives are concerned, will be abolished. The Deputy will be glad to find that provision is being made for that in the Budget. I welcome improvements of that kind.

I am glad to find that the whole tendency running through the Budget and the spirit displayed in the Budget shows that there will be no restriction whatsoever on social services. Rather does it reveal the intention of insuring substantial advances in these services. I do not want to disguise the fact that there are certain features in the Budget that I intensely dislike. I am not without hope that I will be able to convince the House before the proposals are enacted that it would be unwise to enact them.

I dislike intensely, whether it comes from the present administration or from the late administration, any attempt to tax the necessaries of life or anything that adds financially to the burdens of the average poor family in the country. The difference financially in the case of the average family between the proposed tax on tea or the remission of the additional halfpenny per lb. on sugar is very little. I do not want to make any comparisons in that respect. Substantially the effect financially would be the same on the average householder. I want to say again how much I dislike in any event to tax the necessaries of life, especially as I feel that the money can be found along the road to which the Minister has pointed.

I have no regrets in the matter of taxes on amusements. I have no sympathy with the claim that any form of amusement should be exempted. For, confronted with a demand for taxes on the necessaries of life and a demand for a tax on amusements and luxuries, I would have no difficulty in making up my mind. Taxes should be imposed on amusements and luxuries before any tax would be placed on the necessaries of life. There, again, I agree entirely with what a member of this Party said in another place recently that before taxes on the necessaries of life would be levied that the possibilities of securing further revenue from a tax on amusements and on luxuries should be tried.

The tobacco tax is equally distasteful, and I think there would not be at all justification for opposing a tax on another form of smoking, that is to say cigarette-smoking as against a tax on tobacco. Tobacco is, in fact, a necessity so far as the poor people in the country are concerned. I am entirely unrepentant in the expression of opinion I voiced in this House some time ago with regard to having taxes on racing. I find that the people ought to be prevented—apart altogether from what it would mean in revenue—from spending money on betting. One cannot help feeling disheartened and dismayed at seeing the crowds of poor people who gather around bookmakers' offices just as one is disheartened at seeing the crowds of very poor people who line up in queues before the doors of cinemas day after day following up the amusements provided there. I think it would be good business for this State to go as far as possible towards preventing poor people from spending money in that way. I feel that money should be found for revenue purposes from sources of that kind rather than in the way the Minister has said, placing a tax on other things.

I want to refer to one of the remarks that the Minister for Education made a few minutes ago. It is absolutely deplorable that there should be any remission in the tax on buses when we consider the plight of the railways at the present time. I feel it is adding insult to injury to remove this form of tax when the main transport industry of the country is dying, and dying rapidly. It would be very poor encouragement to the railway workers throughout the country who expected that some solid attempt would be made to deal with this whole question as soon as the new Government took office, to find that one of the proposals in the Budget shows very little sympathy and consideration for the main transport industry in the country. People who pay very little in wages are being benefited at the expense of the railway workers. Some of these buses permit working conditions of the most undesirable kind. I hope I will have an opportunity of saying something more on this matter before the Budget proposals are finally passed by this House. I feel that I will be compelled to take a certain line of action in connection with that matter, a line of action that will indicate how very keenly I disapprove of that proposal. I feel it particularly, coming as I do from a county where the railway services are being curtailed day by day and where fresh demands were recently made for the complete lopping off of the branch services that are so necessary to meet the requirements of the people of the county, services that are so heavily subsidised by the ratepayers. It is, of course, unnecessary for me to stress the statement so often made that the strain put on agriculture is so great that it is becoming unbearable, and that it is the duty of the Government to see how far the industrial side of our life can be developed to help relieve it. With regard to the tariff policy outlined in the Budget, I feel that the Minister ought to be able to show the House definitely that he has had information to satisfy him that certain industries likely to arise as a result of the protection afforded them will, in a reasonable period of time, be in the position to put their products on the market. If the average person in the country, who must of necessity live within the limit of a very small wage, has to wait a long time for development in these industries to take place, then the hardships that people in that position will have to endure will be very severe.

I would like to hear more from the Ministry about the de-centralisation of industry. I would not feel happy at all in supporting the tariff policy outlined here if it simply meant that a few factories would spring up in the neighbourhood of this city. The outcome of tariffs imposed in the last five or six years was only noticeable in the City of Dublin and its surroundings, and if that were to be the only result of the large number of tariffs imposed under the recent Orders, it would certainly be very poor comfort for the people in the rural areas. The people in the rural areas would certainly welcome these tariffs if their imposition meant additional employment in any direction for them. I hope before the final stage of these Financial Resolutions is taken that we will have more information on that point.

While in agreement with the general principle adopted, I would like to be assured that there was no undue haste in imposing certain of these tariffs: that they were not imposed without a full realisation of the possibility of putting the Irish product on the market immediately. In that connection, I am comforted to a considerable extent by the statement of the Minister for Industry and Commerce that the protection afforded recently will not be abused as regards prices. I am afraid, however, that we have some reason to be suspicious of thebona fides of certain of our people in that respect in the past, because unquestionably when certain industries got the assistance of protection there was not that consideration shown for purchasers that there might have been. If now an unscrupulous use is made of the protection afforded to industries, I hope the House will not be slow to give to the Minister the necessary powers to enable him to deal with such a situation. He indicated that he would arm himself with such powers, and I hope that when he has done so he will use them as drastically as they need to be to meet such a situation should it arise.

Statements have been made that under the Budget the hospitals have been very unfairly treated. I confess that I have very little sympathy with those statements. It seems to me that the Government have realised that the real need of the country at the present time is to have such improvements brought about that people will not be obliged to avail of the hospitals in the future as much as in the past. In the course of this debate reference has been made to the county hospitals. To the credit of the last administration I would like to say this: that one result of the poor law amalgamation scheme carried out by them was to have up-to-date, well-equipped, and well-managed county hospitals established in each county. That is an achievement that will remain to their credit. I have an intimate knowledge of the services rendered by these county hospitals, and particularly in my own county, and I can say that as a result of the changes made we now have very efficient, well-managed, and successful institutions. In the case of these hospitals the necessity for extensions may arise in one direction or another, but not to such a degree that the expense of carrying them out cannot be met by the local ratepayers. Knowing the mentality of the local people, and considering the change that has come over public opinion in regard to the county hospitals, I do not believe that they will grudge finding whatever sum of money is necessary in that direction. I think the people will agree that it is a sound principle to have improvements in housing and in public health schemes of one kind and another carried out, because the putting into effect of that principle will contribute largely to the prevention of disease. Prevention, as we know, is better than cure. The carrying out of such improvements as I have indicated will mean that there will not be such a need for hospitals.

I would like to re-echo what Deputy Norton said as to the basis adopted in regard to rating. The Government, I believe, ought to realise—this, I think, would be in harmony with the general lines of the Budget in other directions —that the most urgent demand for relief comes from that section of the farming community struggling hard to make a living on small patches of land. Clearly, preferential treatment ought to be extended to such people. I hope very sincerely that we will have some indication that the claims of these people will not be lost sight of. There are other directions also in which help might be extended. I hope that what I am about to refer to will be favourably received, having regard to the general tendency of the Budget proposals. In my opinion, it would be a very great advantage if we could have an extension of the school meals scheme in the Gaeltacht areas. Where that scheme has been applied it has been an outstanding success. My complaint is that it has not been applied as widely or as generously as it might have been. Only within the last few days I discussed with a very well-informed person the position in certain remote parts of my constituency. There the assistant medical officer of health, who visited two schools in two adjoining parishes, found the bulk of the children suffering from defects attributable to malnutrition. Both are Gaeltacht areas. I mention the matter because we had an indication recently that the position in the Gaeltacht in some respects is again to be reviewed. Apart from what I believe to be the need for an extension of that scheme to the country generally, there is, in my opinion, an immediate need to embrace in it a much larger number of the schools in the Gaeltacht areas. I would resent very strongly any attempt, and I believe the Ministry ought to refuse, to effect any economies at the expense of the Gárda Síochána. Indeed, so far as I remember, statements made by members of the present Ministry, prior to, and during the recent election, go to show that they believed in that view, and I feel that it would be very undesirable for economies of that kind to be effected. The Minister would do well to remember that certain members of the Gárda Síochána, by reason of the changes made in the incidence of income tax, in the Budget, will have to pay a certain amount of taxation, and if they are to be taxed under both headings I think the result will be undesirable and the whole basis would be unfair. In the same way, the teachers, who are generally marked out for victimisation of this kind, and who were the first victims of this ill-advised economy policy in 1924, are suggested as victims on this occasion again. I certainly would be no party to that, and whatever steps I have to take in connection with that matter, I am certainly not going to be led into supporting it, under any pretext whatever. I have mentioned these matters, not because I want to criticise in any carping fashion, but because I believe there is much good in the Budget, and that certain things I have referred to, and the criticisms I have offered, can, and ought to be, reasonably met before the proposals contained in the Budget are finally enacted.

May I remind the House that there was an undertaking more or less given that I should be allowed to conclude——

I cannot hear what the Minister says.

I am addressing the Chair at the moment, and I said that there was an undertaking given that I should be allowed to conclude. It is obviously quite impossible for me to conclude at this stage. I trust that some attempt will be made by the Opposition to give us accommodation in this matter on Friday. I do not know whether Deputy McGilligan is in a position to speak for the Opposition.

The question was apparently addressed to the Chair. I was supposed not to listen to it.

There was an undertaking given that I would be allowed to conclude.

I do not know that there was any such agreement.

There was undoubtedly such an agreement.

What was the agreement? I would like to have it stated.

That I was to be allowed to conclude to-night.

I have not heard of any such agreement.

It is quite obvious that there is no person on the opposite benches competent to speak for the Opposition.

It is purely a matter between the Whips.

I would like to have the people who are alleged to have made the agreement brought before us, so that we could hear them. The Minister for Finance began by describing his attitude towards this Budget in this way, that the Budget reflected the whole policy of the Fianna Fáil Party and Government, and, a few nights earlier, the Minister for Industry and Commerce accepted as an accurate description of this Budget, that it was the counterpart of the Civil War, that it was a revolutionary Budget. It has a great deal of the noise and bustle and smoke of an attempted jacquerie. There is very little of the decent movement, of the carefully-planned revolutionary movement with some aim, and an arrangement to carry out that aim. It is more of the nature of a smash-and-grab raid than it is a proper appreciation of what the resources of the country can stand, and a proper handling of these resources, of what this country ought to be asked to do at this particular moment.

The Minister's Budget can be divided into five parts: the part in which he attempts to deal with national accounting, the part in which he dealt with direct taxation, the part in which he endeavoured to impose taxation, the part which showed what was going to be the reaction towards the much-exaggerated problem of unemployment in this country, and the fifth part, the jokes. The national accounting section was an unwieldy, ungainly, and awkward attempt to make out to be wrong what had been left correct and balanced for the Minister. The direct taxation was crushing, and the indirect taxation portion of the speech was ill-conceived, and the provision for unemployment, even according to the Minister's own standards, inadequate. The jokes were at one and the same time awkward, ungainly, ineffective, and crushing.

Crushing to anybody who had a sense of humour.

The Deputy on that definition is uncrushable.

When one finds a person who had proved himself to be amongst the most minor of the minor poets, standing in the place generally occupied by a major politician and adding to a complete lack of a sense of humour a still completer lack of a sense of responsibility and an incapacity to refrain from attempting to say clever things, then the House that listens to such a man has got to go through the shuddering performance we all went through on the day on which we were told about the golden - tipped arrows in Cupid's quiver—a phrase which would have made many a man plunge into a worse sea than the sea of matrimony, if it would have given him a refuge from any more comments of the same type.

We have got the Fianna Fáil plans for everything revealed now in the course of the last two or three weeks. Unemployment has been debated in this House and taxation has been debated in this House. Proposals for economy have not been debated so much as their absence has been commented upon, and the political aims and their economic reactions have been brought under notice here, and I think it can be said that we have clearly revealed to us everything that used to be concealed under the phrase "The Fianna Fáil Plan." A plan used to mean, in ordinary terminology, that somebody had put thought into some scheme, that an aim had been placed before people and that the means of securing an objective had been considered, and there was a well-ordered movement utilising resources towards a well-defined objective that seemed to be attainable, and I think we know now where we are. Deputy Norton, who was the first to be relieved from the cold chain of silence that seems to have been cast around the Labour Party on most matters that have fallen for debate since the Fianna Fáil Party became a Government, previously had indicated his view on certain things that he rather timidly sensed were going to be in the Budget. Speaking on the question of unemployment on the 20th April, in this House, he said:

"I was hopeful that we would hear something more definite from the Minister for Industry and Commerce than we have heard this evening. In one statement he indicated the secret character of certain plans, and it would seem to me that the Government's proposals revolve in a large measure around the policy of tariffs."

and he continued:

"There is in this country a section of people who fondly cherish the illusion that if you put on a tariff a day you will keep unemployment away. I warn the new Government that the policy of a tariff a day to keep unemployment away is going to be a very costly one for the consumers and is not going to yield the results that some people fondly imagine."

Later on he spoke at length of the boot tariff and said:

"In the case of every other tariffed industry, the same doleful tale may be told. Reliance on a policy of tariffs is an illusion. The policy of imposing tariffs as a means of safeguarding our industries is one which will bring its own reawakening. Unfortunately, in the meantime, many workers will suffer. The new Government ought to learn from the experience of other countries. Other countries have gone through their industrial Gethsemanes. I think in this country we should profit by their experience. If tariffs could make a country prosperous, every country in the world to-day would be prosperous. If tariffs could make America prosperous, would not America be prosperous? If tariffs could make every country prosperous, we need have no unemployment problem. Tariffs on their own will not make a country prosperous. In this country we appear to hug the delusion that we have some divine destiny and that the imposition of tariffs will automatically cure all our industrial ills. I invite anyone who believes that to examine the extent to which our productivity has increased under the tariff policy of the last eight years. I think it will be found that, having regard to the price paid, the results are very dismal reading indeed."

That was Deputy Norton on the 20th April. Deputy Norton, speaking to-night, is hardly the same man. Deputy Norton apparently hugs to himself some delusion that there is something in this country which will relieve the Labour Party from hereafter having to stand up to criticism for adopting the policy which he so roundly criticised on 20th April. Of course, we all know what is on at present—the greatest political gamble as far as that Party is concerned that this country ever witnessed, the greatest, possibly, bar one. As I said before, when that previous political gamble was attempted, it removed the then Labour Leader in this House from this House. Again I want to repeat the warning I gave to Deputy Norton before, that the same political gamble is more or less now being attempted, and is almost certain to have the same good results as far as Deputy Norton is concerned. Fianna Fáil had its plans for everything. We got them in advertisements. "Fianna Fáil has a plan"— many papers shrieked that during the election and many Fianna Fáil orators still more loudly, but it was put precisely in this advertisement: "For the worker it means security; for the farmer it means security; for the shopkeeper it means security; for the manufacturer it means security." There were some cross-headings to show what security in all these things meant. For instance, the farmer was to have a guaranteed market and guaranteed profitable prices, and we have since had the Butter Bounty Bill to show us what a guaranteed market means, if the price raised to the home consumer can, despite political difficulties, leave our unfortunate Minister for Agriculture with 320,000 cwts. of exportable butter to be landed on the English market, if, according to that Minister, our butter still retains its Imperial taste which will equate the desire of the British consumer for Danish butter. The shopkeeper is told that it means security, better trade, a larger number of customers able to buy the goods he has to sell, the end of the period of stagnation and depression. I should like to have a census of the shopkeepers in Dublin to see whether or not, in regard to the period of stagnation and depression, they would say that it is the end or the beginning to which we have just come.

For all, this advertisement states, Fianna Fáil means less taxation, lower rates, better times. These are three good tests to have to apply to this Budget—less taxation, lower rates, and better times for all. That was not precise enough. The Fianna Fáil Party approached this with another advertisement: "Here's what the Fianna Fáil Government can and will do for you." Economy crept into this advertisement:

"Economy means the elimination of waste—the getting of 20/- value for every £ of the taxpayers' money spent on the public service. Fianna Fáil is satisfied that substantial economies are feasible without reducing social services, inflicting hardship on any class of Government servants, or impairing in the slightest degree the efficiency of the administrative machine."

Let me roll that round in another way, because it is worth repeating. The efficiency of the administrative machine was not to be impaired; hardship was not to be inflicted upon any class of Government servants. The social services were not to be reduced, and, while keeping these three pledges, Fianna Fáil was satisfied that substantial economies were feasible. They were more precise even than that:

"It has examined with minute care the estimates of supply services for the current year and is convinced that a saving of many hundred thousand pounds can be made, not including such items as the sum of £1,152,500 paid to the British Government in respect of R.I.C. pensions and other similar payments not required by the Treaty."

And the advertisement ends, as far as the small letterpress is concerned, with this promise: "The burden of taxation can be lightened by not less than £2,000,000 per year."

Again, I want to relate that to the first part that I read—"£2,000,000 in economies can be realised without touching Government servants, the social services, or in any way impairing the efficiency of the Government machinery." We had above that the old slogans repeated:

"What does Fianna Fáil mean? More employment. More factories. More tillage. More houses. Less extravagance. End of destitution and a stop to emigration."

These are the promises—£2,000,000 saved per year; Government servants not to be cut; social services not to be touched, and the efficiency of the Government machine in no way to be impaired. And what does the jocose Minister for Finance tell us in his most serious way about economies? That if he gets in fresh minds he believes that, after they have examined into a variety of things he enumerated, there ought to result this year a saving of not less than £100,000. That is the difference between performance and promise. Two million pounds promised, £100,000 not even achieved, but the possibility that it might be achieved if fresh minds were brought in. Could they have a fresher mind than the Minister for Finance can bring to bear upon the problem?

Progress reported.
The Dáil adjourned at 10.30 p.m. until 3 p.m. on Thursday, 19th May.