Agricultural Produce (Cereals) Bill, 1932. - Second Stage.

I move that the Bill be now read a second time. The object underlying it is to increase grain production in the country. An increased production of grain would mean a very big increase in the wealth of the country. We leave aside for the moment the question of whether it pays the farmer or whether it is difficult for the farmer to grow grain or not. We are faced with the huge figure that is paid each year for the import of cereals and cereal products into the country. In the year 1924, for instance, the figure was 13½ millions. The import of cereals and cereal products has been diminishing since that year, but the volume of imports has not diminished. As a matter of fact, last year, the volume had increased very considerably. Last year, the amount paid for our imports was about £7,696,000, and, for the first nine months of this year, the import had increased over what it was last year. The Minister for Industry and Commerce has just been speaking about getting an advantage from preventing imports, even if we get no other advantage, by having certain things produced within the country. Here again we have to take into account the position of our imports and exports, and we find that there is an adverse trade balance against this country for some years. The adverse trade balance, with regard to imports and exports of commodities, may have been made up by invisible exports in the way of interest on capital invested abroad.

As long as we can continue to balance our trade by drawing on the interest alone of these investments, things are not, perhaps, in a very bad way and we need not take very serious notice of them. It it is necessary to draw on some of the capital that we have invested abroad, it is quite obvious that at some time that capital will be exhausted and then, whether we like it or not, we must balance our trade in imports and exports. We know that we must import certain things in order to maintain a good standard of living. There are certain things we would all feel the loss of very much if we were prohibited from importing them. But if we could reduce certain of our imports by producing these cereals in our own country we would then be in a position to lessen our exports and allow our own people some of the meat, milk and butter that we are exporting. We could, on the other hand, enlarge our imports in other directions and import some luxuries that we cannot afford to import at present.

The most important cereal that we deal with in this Bill is wheat. We have had many discussions here about wheat. If we could produce the wheat that we require it would, at any rate, be a distinct national gain. We would save the importation of between £4,000,000 and £5,000,000 worth per year. We would also give the grower the advantage of a guaranteed cash crop. We would increase employment in the rural areas and we would be more secure in case food supplies were cut off for any reason, such as a shipping strike, a war, or anything of that sort. The subsidy which this Bill provides for the growing of wheat, because the only way we can get wheat grown is by offering an attractive price to the farmer, is in or about 3/6 per cwt. In order to offer an attractive price to the farmer we must provide a subsidy. The subsidy provided in the Bill is based on present prices which have, perhaps, reached rock bottom. The amount would be about 3/6 per cwt. or 56/- per acre, assuming that the grower will market on the average 16 cwts. to the acre.

The principle of subsidising the crop is not a new one. We have had the experience of six complete years of beet growing. During those six years the subsidy paid on beet amounted to £2,060,000. Out of that amount, which was contributed by the taxpayer, the beet growers got £1,872,000. The amount of the subsidy was, therefore, 110 per cent. of the amount received by the grower. Taking the present prices of wheat, the subsidy which we have provided in this Bill will amount to about 37 per cent. of what the grower would get. In other words, the average subsidy paid on beet for the six years—£343,000—if applied to beet would give the grower £312,000, but if applied to wheat would give the growers £927,000. We could for the same subsidy get one acre of beet returning £24 4s. od. per acre or eleven acres of wheat returning £8 7s. od. per acre.

There have been discussions on various occasions about the growing of wheat. The objections raised to any wheat growing scheme were mostly from the technical or agricultural point of view. For instance, it was objected that our soil and climate are not suitable for wheat growing. We were told wheat would be particularly exposed to the ravages of crows and other predatory birds; that land sown with wheat was prone to weeds; that it was a hard crop on the land; that it could not be sown in old lea; that it was an unsuitable nurse crop and interfered with the ordinary crop rotations of the farmer. I do not know whether, on examination, many of those objections would stand. At any rate, I do not mean to spend very much time in dealing with those points.

With regard to soil, if we examine the returns got out by the Department of Industry and Commerce on the subject of agricultural statistics covering the period between 1847 and 1926, we find some very interesting information. In 1847, the first year for which we have had a return in regard to wheat, 671,000 acres of wheat were grown and the average yield was 16½ cwts. per acre. We must remember that at that time there were no artificial manures such as we have now. In the circumstances, it was truly a remarkable crop. Considering the information we have at our disposal now, and our advanced knowledge in regard to agriculture, we should surely do much better than the people did in 1847; we certainly ought to do better than 16½ cwts. per acre. I am led to believe that we have better varieties of seed now, and in every way we are in a more favourable position to that occupied by the people in 1847.

With regard to climate, if any Deputy will examine the yield of wheat over a period of twenty years he will find that there were three years during which the rainfall was more than 46 inches. In those years, and with that particularly heavy rainfall, the yield of wheat was not less than in preceding or subsequent years. I think the objections with regard to weeds will not hold. I think it will be found that the bad farmer always has weeds, and the good farmer never has them. I heard two or three years ago in the Dáil that wheat could not be grown on old lea. I had the courage to go back to my place and plough up old lea in order to see if wheat would grow on it, and I had a very good crop, just as good as I would have on any other land.

Have you continued using that land since?

I am doing the same this year. There is no proof better than practical experience. When you do things for yourself you have a better appreciation of results. Listening to a lot of people in the Dáil, who know nothing about the question, does not tend to convince anybody. The only thing is to work things out for yourself. We had objections also about nurse crops which I mentioned on a previous occasion were tried, and tried with success. Other objections raised were that, even if we succeed in getting wheat grown, we can only do so at the expense of other cereal crops; that it would take the place of oats and barley; that we would never achieve our chief object, to have increased tillage, and that we would only get a replacement of crops. Of course, if we succeed in making the oat and the barley crops remunerative that objection will not hold. However, apart from any arguments used against the growing of wheat, perhaps the most telling argument we can make for it is that we have the experience of our eyes at the present time, when we see wheat being sown on a much larger scale than hitherto. The reports we have received go to show that the area under wheat in the coming year will be at least three times as much as it was last year.

Could the Minister give any figures?

I think the acreage last year was about 22,000.

And 66,000 is anticipated this year?

About that. The question that will decide the area under wheat is the standard price. The point is, whether the standard price is sufficient to induce farmers to engage on wheat-growing on a large scale. I quoted before a discussion that took place in this House in 1925, between my predecessor, Deputy Hogan, and Deputy Gorey on the merits of wheat-growing. At that time, Deputy Hogan was emphatic that wheat could be grown in this country at 30/- a barrel. To give him his due, Deputy Gorey was not convinced. In fact, Deputy Gorey stated that people would only grow wheat when they had nothing else to eat. Deputy Hogan knew what he was talking about then.

Will the Minister quote what I said?

I will. In the Official Debates for June 4th, 1925, column 353, the Deputy stated:

How is the typical farmer to meet competition? What has he to do to meet the competition of rivals in Denmark, the Baltic States and elsewhere? He has to pay 12/- for Indian meal. He is buying practically all his carbohydrate food in the shape of Indian meal. Any man in the Midlands can produce barley at 8/-per cwt. in the average year. I will give you some figures which may be of interest. He can produce barley at 8/-, yet he is giving 12/- for Indian meal. That man might have two or three sons who would not be working terribly hard. What has that man been giving for flour, for instance, for the last two or three years? He was paying £1 or £1 0s. 6d. for the bag. He could produce that for about 12/- off his own land if that land was in good heart. When I stated that before, Deputy Gorey said that very little land will produce wheat. Most of the land of this country has produced wheat.

Take flour, if milled from whole wheat, and taking one cwt. of wheat at 12/-, at which price Deputy Hogan said it could be grown, that would be 30/- a barrel.

How many cwt. of flour in a cwt. of wheat?

I am giving Deputy Hogan's description. He said that if you milled one cwt. of wheat as whole flour you got one cwt. from it without any extractions.

There was no allowance for moisture.

No. I give Deputy Hogan the benefit of that. There was no allowance for moisture or anything else. If Deputy Hogan was speaking for the farmers at that time, and if he was satisfied that wheat could be grown at 30/- a barrel, I think an average price of about 24/- a barrel at present would be very good. If the prices of all farm produce were down now only by 20 per cent., as compared with 1925 prices, there would be no great complaint. Therefore, I think 24/- a barrel for wheat would meet the case.

As Deputies know from the Bill the standard price has been fixed over three periods. During the first period, which lasts to the 15th December, the price is 23/6; the second period goes from the middle of January to the middle of April, when the price is 25/-; and the third period from the 1st May to the 31st July is 25/-. The object in making the two prices was to induce farmers, if possible, to keep their wheat in stacks in the haggards, and not to thresh until after Christmas, so as to prevent the rushing of the wheat into the mills during the month of October, thereby making it difficult for the flour millers to deal with storage, reception and kiln drying. Under the scheme provided in the Bill there is freedom to farmers to grow or not to grow wheat. I think I read in the newspapers some time ago that Deputy Gorey stated that we were going to compel farmers to grow wheat.

You did not.

I am sorry if I am wrong and I apologise to Deputy Gorey. I certainly saw where some Cumann na nGaedheal Deputy stated that that was so. There is freedom to farmers to grow or not to grow wheat. If they think the crop is going to pay they can grow it, and if they think otherwise they need not grow it. When he has wheat a farmer is free to go and sell it to any miller or wheat dealer he may choose, and he is free to make the best price he can. The miller is free to buy where he likes, except that he is compelled to get a certain quota. That is the only driving force proposed. It will compel the miller to pay a fair price for wheat when he knows he must get a quota. Therefore, he must pay a certain price to get it. On the other hand, farmers will know that millers are bound to get a quota, and they will be in a position to hold out for a fair price for millable wheat. The crop that is clean and in good condition will naturally get a better price than a crop of inferior wheat that is marketed. There will be an inducement to grow a good variety of wheat, to have it brought in, threshed, and sent to market in good condition, so that it will get top price.

At the end of the first period, say in the middle of December, all the sale transactions will have been sent to the Department of Agriculture by farmers who have supplied wheat, and the Department will be in a position to calculate the average price paid over the period. The difference between that average price and the standard price will be the amount of the bounty. The bounty will be sent direct to each farmer who supplied wheat in that time.

In that way, it is quite possible that the farmer who submits the best wheat to the miller will get 1/- or 1/6d. more than the standard price because he will get more from the miller before he gets his bounty and the man who has sold the inferior wheat—wheat which was, perhaps, on the border line of rejection by the miller—may get 1/-or 1/6d. per barrel less than the standard price. The Department has recently issued a circular to seed merchants explaining arrangements for enabling them to give credit to farmers who buy seed for the coming season. Under this scheme, a merchant, when supplying seed to the grower, may get the grower to sign a form authorising the Minister for Agriculture to pay the amount due for that seed to the merchant when the grower's subsidy becomes due next year. With the help of this scheme, we expect, as I have stated, that the acreage of wheat will be in or about three times what it was last year. It may reach 70,000 acres but I think that would be the maximum. The subsidy payable would be about £200,000.

The second item dealt with under this Bill will be feeding stuffs. Under this heading, we have a very large import every year——

Before the Minister passes on to that, would he say if there is any fixed price payable by the miller for this millable wheat?

No. There is a free market between the miller and the farmer, qualified by the provision that the miller must take a certain amount.

His quota?

Yes. To replace even portion of this import would be a distinct advantage to the country. It would give increased wealth to the producers and increased employment to our workers. Nobody will dispute our ability to grow barley and oats so that we need hardly enter into the argument about climate, soil and weeds that arose in the case of wheat. The question does arise, however—it is probably the question that will be most in dispute—as to whether imported cereals, principally maize, can be replaced by home-grown grain as a proper diet for animals.

Various experiments have been carried out by the Department of Agriculture over the last three or four years. The results of these experiments would go to show that in practically every case maize can be replaced by barley or oats. The first experiment dealt with the value of barley meal as against maize meal in a pig ration. This experiment was carried out by agricultural instructors in 15 counties. It was a uniform experiment carried out by all the agricultural instructors, and the results were afterwards published. Two lots of pigs were fed on rations of the following composition— No. 1 on barley meal (one part), potatoes (two and a half parts) and separated milk; No. 2 on maize meal (one part), potatoes (two-and-a-half parts) and separated milk. The experiment went to show that barley meal was equal to maize meal for pig fattening. The daily increase in weight and the consumption of food for each lb. of gain were the same in both lots, so that, weight for weight, barley meal was as good as maize meal in that ration for the fattening of pigs. Again, an experiment was carried out as between crushed oats and maize meal. I do not want to read out all the details of these experiments. I shall only give the results. The increase in weight and the food cost of every lb. of body increase was similar in both lots, showing that oats are as good as maize for pig fattening when the quantity of oats fed does not exceed one-third of the entire ration. Oats could replace maize up to one-third of the ration for pig-feeding. Following on that, an experiment was carried out as regards the replacing of pollard and some other feeding stuffs by oats. A similar result was got. Oats, in quantity up to 30 per cent. of the entire ration, may be used to replace other cereals in comparison with which it has similar feeding value.

What were the component parts besides oats?

Maize meal (two parts), pollard (one part) and separated milk or fish meal. In the second case, maize meal (one part), crushed oats (one part) and pollard (one part).

I thought you dropped the maize meal?

In the first lot, there were two parts of maize meal——

You did not omit maize meal from any of these rations?

That is an important point.

It was, of course, omitted in the barley ration. The next experiment dealt with the feeding of fowl and was directed towards ascertaining the value of barley as against maize in the ration of laying fowl. The result was that egg production and food consumption were equal. In the case of calves, an experiment in crushed oats as against maize meal was conducted by agricultural instructors in ten counties. The result was that the increase in weight over three and a half months was similar in both lots, showing that, for calves, oats has a feeding value similar to maize. In that case, oats completely replaced maize. In the case of dairy cows, in an experiment between crushed oats and maize meal, the milk yield was similar in both groups. The only experiment in which the result might be described as disappointing, from the point of view of home-grown grain, was in the case of fattening cattle. It was found that where these cattle were fed on decorticated cotton cake and crushed oats, they did not do as well as cattle fed on decorticated cotton cake and maize meal. In a second experiment, where the proportion of oats only amounted to half the ration, it was quite as effective as the maize meal. The result of all the experiments was, however, that in the case of pigs and cattle—milch cows and fattening stock —all the maize in the ration may be replaced by barley without altering the results of the feeding.

Oats is as good as maize for pigs when it is fed up to the limit of 20 per cent. to young pigs and 30 per cent. to older animals, provided that no bulky foods are included in the food mixture. Oats is equally good with maize for dairy cows, but for fattening cattle, receiving a bulky ration of fodder and roots, the equality of oats with maize holds only when the proportion of oats in the meal mixture is limited to about 50 per cent. of the feed.

We find, therefore, that maize can be replaced with advantage either by barley or oats, as the case may be, and we shall be conferring a distinct advantage on the producers, both workers and farmers, and also on the country, if we can find a method of replacing maize by those home-grown cereals. The obvious question that anybody can ask has been asked before in this House and that is if it is an advantage why did not the farmers grow these cereals for themselves without Government intervention? To understand the difficulties underlying the growing of cereals by the farmers themselves, we have to remember that there are at least for this purpose three different classes of farmers to be dealt with: (1), you have the farmer who grows his own grain and feeds it to his own stock. We are not concerned with him at all in this case. He has always been admitted by everybody in this House to be the best man for the country and for himself. The man who grows his own grain and feeds it to his own stock is the best farmer. There are two other classes of farmers with whom we want to deal—the farmer who grows grain and has a surplus after feeding his own stock and who wants to sell that surplus. There is a third class and that is the man who has not enough grain for his own stock and wants to buy feeding stuffs. If we can effect an exchange between the person who has a surplus and the person who wants to buy we would solve the problem. To do that is the difficulty with which we are confronted.

The farmer who up to this has been feeding his own stock and wanted to buy feeding stuffs found maize a very convenient foodstuff with which to deal. First of all, he found it not only convenient for the last couple of years but he also found it certainly cheaper, if not very much cheaper, than native oats and barley. If he wished to buy home-grown grain it was difficult to do so. Last year, for instance, he might have been in the position of getting oats, barley or wheat at a cheap price; but it was unmilled or unmixed in any sort of the balanced ration, and he had to buy it perhaps in the large quantities that did not suit him. On the other hand, we had the difficulty of the farmer last year who had grown grain and wanted to sell it and he was not getting a sufficient price to keep him in production.

Apart from the intrinsic value of maize as compared with home-grown grain, the miller, the wholesaler and the retailer certainly gave a decided preference to maize because it was easier for them to deal with maize. Maize is less troublesome. It was a more uniform article; it supplied the needs of most of their customers. They had not to be troubled with supplying barley to one, oats to another and wheat to a third. As a result of the difficulty on the part of the seller and the general inferiority complex of the farmers amongst themselves in this country with regard to home products, maize came to be looked upon as the superior article.

We came to the conclusion at any rate, that it was rather a duty to encourage the production of grain at home. The first thing that might have struck a person perhaps in trying to achieve this object would be to find out what are the possibilities of compulsory tillage. But I think very little consideration would bring one to the conclusion that compulsory tillage would be impossible under present conditions. Many of our farmers throughout the country would not have the capital necessary to engage in the purchase of horses, implements, seeds and manures and so on, so as to go into tillage. So that compulsory tillage did not hold out much hope of solving the difficulty. The two things that are required in order to get grain grown on an enlarged scale in this country are a guaranteed market and a fair price. A fair price itself will not solve it. For instance, a person might say that if we were to put a tariff on maize we would raise the price of maize and thereby raise the price of the average supplies all round thereby solving the problem. But Deputies who are engaged in farming will remember that about four or five years ago maize was as high as 12/- a cwt. while barley was 8/- a cwt. and oats 6/-. Even so, there was not a great rush amongst the feeders of stock to buy barley or oats which could be got at a much less price than maize so that a guaranteed market would appear to be essential to any scheme that is drawn up to solve this problem. You must, whatever way you approach it, compel the maize-miller to purchase a certain amount of home-grown grain and you must in turn compel the stock feeders to use a certain amount of home-grown grain.

Then we arrive at what has been known in the country as the mixing scheme. Now, the mixing scheme means that maize millers must be registered so that we would know who they are and where they are working. They must mix a prescribed percentage of home-grown grain with the maize they mill. That percentage would be calculated to absorb the surplus grain in the country. The percentage can be altered from time to time to achieve that object. The scheme is, I think, familiar to most Deputies in the House, and it is hardly necessary to go very much into the details of the working of the scheme. There are, however, various objections which have been raised from time to time to this mixing scheme. The first is that pure maize is used in certain parts of the country as human food and that under our scheme it will be not possible for people in the farming parts of the country to get pure maize for human food. We have to provide for that at least to a certain extent by allowing pure maize to be sold in cartons or packages of a stone weight or less. If people of a household want pure maize to consume they can get it in that form.

The second, and, perhaps the most serious objection to the scheme is that feeding supplies would be increased in cost to the purchaser. If we take the present prices of barley and maize and even putting barley at as high as 8/- a cwt. to the miller, which is putting it at the extreme limit, and taking maize at 5/-, which is putting it as low as we possibly can to the miller, we will find that it works out in this way: There is a difference of 3/- a cwt. between the two. If the home-grown grain does not exceed 10 per cent. it would mean that the mixture should be not more than 6/- a ton dearer than before. Even taking into account the extra trouble and the storage of the home-grown grain it might go a little more than 6/-, but I do not see that there is any reason why it should go beyond 10/- a ton.

Mr. Hogan

What has it gone to already?

Say 10/-. An increase of 10/- a ton may be looked on as a hardship and it probably is a hardship. I want to draw the attention of Deputies to one thing when talking about this increase of 10/- a ton. Already there is as appears from the sheets issued by the Department of Agriculture from time to time, a difference of 10/- a ton between feeding stuffs in different parts of the country.

I find from this sheet, which was issued for August—that is before the mixture scheme came in—that the difference for maize meal in various centres amounted to 10/- per ton, and that the difference for pollard amounted to £2 per ton, so that if anybody says that the producer can no longer remain in production, because the cost of his feeding stuffs is put up by 10/- a ton, then all I can say is that in August last, at any rate, there were some people in production that should not be in it as the cost of their feeding stuffs was up by £2 a ton. The question arises, what does it come to?

Mr. Hogan

The Minister says it is gone up by 10/- a ton.

I suggest that would be the extra cost to the miller.

Mr. Hogan

What has the price gone up by? This has been in operation now for a month or two.

I will come to that. It is held, for instance, and this is one of Deputy Hogan's famous points, that the millers will not be satisfied with the 6/- or the 10/- that they are entitled to, but will take a whole lot more. It was reported to us that in certain cases in the South, in Cork and Kerry, that the millers did increase the price by 30/- a ton instead of the 6/- or the 10/-they are entitled to. On that, I would say to Deputy Hogan and others like him, who hope that the millers will charge 30/- or £2 a ton as a result of this mixing scheme, that if they do that they are profiteers and there is no reason why they should not have been profiteers in the past. There is no reason why they should not have put up prices by £2 last year or the year before.

Mr. Hogan

But have they? What is the figure?

As I have said, the report that I got was that in some cases in the South of Ireland they put up the price by as much as 30/- a ton. In most cases, according to the reports I got, the increase would amount to 10/-or 12/- a ton, but what was the force that kept those maize millers from putting up the prize £2 a ton last year and the year before? There must have been something. According to what we have heard already from Deputy Hogan, if traders can get £2 a ton more than what would be a legitimate profit they will take it. Perhaps they will, and they are entitled to take it. Again, I ask what was it that kept maize millers from putting up the price £2 a ton last year and the year before?

Mr. Hogan


And the competition still remains.

Mr. Hogan

Is that all that is in it?

The cost of the raw material is 6/- at the outside.

Mr. Hogan

What does it cost the miller?

Mr. Hogan

Would it not be nearer to 24/-?

No. At least some are doing it at 10/-. I do not believe they are doing it at a loss.

Mr. Hogan

They are using oat hurds.

The Deputy should not be slandering everybody.

According to Deputy Hogan the Irishman is always dishonest.

Mr. Hogan

Not at all.

He is just as virtuous as anybody else?

Mr. Hogan

Of course.

Another objection to the scheme is that it will not have the making of a uniform mixture. A strange thing that I have noticed in connection with the samples sent up by maize millers is that the uniformity of the mixture depended upon the miller's politics. It will depend in future on their efficiency and on their desire to remain in business. They will have to drop polities.

Mr. Hogan

They would be bad politicians if they did not send you the best samples. That is what I would do and I am as anti-Fianna Fáil as anyone.

The next objection is that the millers cannot store the grain. The millers did appear to apprehend danger under this head in the beginning: that it was difficult for them to have to buy 10 per cent. of their complete output for the year, store it and keep it there for their ordinary requirements for the year. I do not think that this danger is as real as the millers thought in the beginning. After all, we have corn merchants in the country who have capacity in the way of storage and capital to keep corn throughout the winter if necessary. They would supply corn to those maize millers weekly or monthly, as required, for cash down and not cash in advance. Another objection was that the farmer could not get pure maize for his stock. Everyone will agree that the farmer looking for pure maize for his stock should not be allowed to continue in the business. We are told that we cannot find out by chemical analysis whether the mixture is a proper one or not. When this Bill becomes an Act, the regulations will lay down that the miller is bound by law to put a certain percentage of home grown grain into his grist. If he does not do that he is breaking the law. Of course there are many crimes under the law that cannot be detected by chemical analysis. If they could things would be easy. But we will have other ways of finding that out and of punishing offenders. We feel that we can detect evasions.

Mr. Hogan

So that they can put what they like into it.

No. The mixture will be prescribed by regulation, and if they do not put in what is prescribed they will be prosecuted and made subject to the penalties laid down in the Act.

But in the case of farmers who have their own mills, how is the Minister going to get at them?

I will come to that later. Objection is also raised to the danger of feeding more than 20 per cent. oats to young pigs. That is true according to the results of experiments which I have already quoted. There is no reason, even if our mixture reaches a higher percentage than 20 per cent, as I hope it will, and goes to 60 or 70 per cent, why a man with small pigs should buy a mixture of maize with 60 per cent oats. He can specify to the miller that he wants 60 per cent. barley and keep that for small pigs. There will be a provision in the Bill to allow oats that have been de-hulled to be mixed. A mixture of oats of that sort would be suitable for pigs. In the case of farmers who have their own mills, they will not be compelled to buy the mixture. We mean to issue special regulations to cover that. If we find that a farmer, over the last three or four years, was in the habit of buying so much feeding stuffs, then on that basis we will permit him to import into his own premises a certain amount of whole maize.

The only provision that we may have to put into the licence is that he must have a quantity of home-grown grain that would be at least sufficient for the mixture in case he was buying the whole maize from a commercial maize miller.

What is the farmer going to do who is buying the fine meal which is turned out to-day? The modern practice of feeding pigs with raw meal requires a very fine meal.

He can get fine meal.

Can he buy the meal under the same conditions as the maize?

He can buy the mixed meal.

But then he cannot use his own?

Why not? He can easily mix his own. Generally speaking, however, the scheme would be easier to administer if the tendency in the country were to increase the acreage under barley rather than under oats, because the mixtures containing barley are much more uniform than the mixtures containing oats.

There is also a section of the Bill dealing with compound feeding stuffs. Up to the present, farmers were unprotected against the dishonest manufacturer of feeding stuffs. It was due to such dishonest practices that the seller had to state on the invoice the analysis as to oils and proteins, but even if the proper analysis were given of the feeding stuffs, and if it were analysed by the person and it turned out that the proper analysis was given, still it did not matter what the manufacturer was charging for his product. We know that in some cases manufacturers of compound feeding stuffs were charging prices which were altogether exorbitant.

I thought you said that they were all honest.

The manufacturers to whom I am referring were foreign manufacturers.

That explains it.

There was one case of an imported feeding stuff which was sold here for 56/- per cwt. which was only worth 7/- or 8/- per cwt. We want to prevent such practices and to prevent these dishonest manufacturers coming in here and corrupting our own honest men.

What representative had these manufacturers in this country?

I would want to get notice of that question.

The names of these representatives should be given.

Why don't you tell me?

Please do not enter into that.

We mean to see that nobody, foreign or native, will be permitted to manufacture a compound feeding stuff unless we are satisfied that it is right from the point of view both of price and composition. That does not mean that we are going to pry into the secrets of the feeding stuff manufacturers or to try to find out any particular secret process. If it shows, on analysis, that it contains in or about the normal amount of fats, proteins, and carbo-hydrates, and if the price is all right, we will not go down and ask the manufacturer what is in it.

Having gone over these things that are dealt with to supply our full needs in wheat and feeding stuffs, we hope to reach eventually that point where we will have in tillage about one and a half million acres in addition to our present tillage. The advantage of that would be a saving of £9,500,000, and the payment in wages, whether to agricultural labourers or to working farmers, would be £3,000,000 per year—as good as the land annuities— with work, or the equivalent of work, for an additional 50,000 men. I am aware, of course, that if we take one and a half million acres for oats, rye, barley and so on, we would be taking that much from grass. However, that would be only taking 15 per cent. of our grass away and I think that 85 per cent. of grass, if properly manured, would give as much as the one hundred per cent. of grass is giving at present. Our aim in this Bill is to get the farmer to grow his own grain. We do not want so much to bolster up the farmer in order that he may be able to grow cash crops, but we want to get him to grow his own grain. If we achieve that, we can get them all growing enough of their own feeding stuff to feed their own stock and that is the ideal condition. If the price of the barley and oats sold in the country becomes very good and the price of the mixture is much lower, there is a danger that farmers would sell their oats and barley and buy back the mixture. If that should arise, the only way to deal with it would be to raise the price of the mixture by a tariff on maize or by some other method. The price of oats at the present time is certainly much more favourable in the Free State than in the North of Ireland or anywhere else. There is a very large amount of oats coming across the Border to be sold in Dundalk and other markets because of the better price obtainable here than in the North.

That deals with the portions of the Bill with which the Department of Agriculture is concerned. There are other parts of the Bill with which the Minister for Industry and Commerce is concerned. The regulations of imports of wheat and maize are necessary in order to control the movements of grain within the country. They are consequential on the other provisions. The regulations in maize milling are necessary to have our scheme carried out. Regulations in connection with flour milling and bread would be necessary under this Bill, to some extent at any rate, but they have also been found necessary by the Minister for Industry and Commerce in order to save the industry of flour milling in this country and he has already dealt with that matter in June and again in this House the other day to some extent.

These, I think, are the principal points underlying the Bill. If any other questions are asked, we can refer to them later.

As one with considerable experience of tillage, I should like to say that I find that the great difficulty here is the changed condition of the climate. The Minister has given us reports from the Department of Agriculture as to the value of the different rations, but I should like to ask the Minister has the Department of Agriculture reported on the difficulty that is experienced in tillage owing to the changed condition of the climate for a period of, say, ten years.

Everybody recognises that the Minister had an exceedingly difficult task before him, first in justifying the Bill, and secondly in expounding what is undoubtedly a very complicated Bill. After all the justification of the Bill should, in a way, have been the principal business of the Minister on Second Reading—to point out why this Bill is necessary, why it is desirable and to show that the policy which this Bill foreshadows is a sound policy for the country. I wonder whether Deputies who are not already convinced on the subject will be convinced by the speech they have just heard from the Minister. It cannot be said that he was unaware of the case that could have been made against this particular policy. The House and the Minister will be aware —he already referred to it—of a pretty extensive debate that took place in this House some years ago as regards the second portion of the Bill —that dealing with the wheat policy. I think the case, so far as the first portion of the Bill is concerned—that dealing with the "mixing policy"— was put very clearly and very definitely by the independent tribunal that was set up to investigate this particular problem. I refer to the Grain Inquiry Tribunal. Members of that tribunal were able to approach the problem possibly in a way that the Minister is not quite able to approach it because undoubtedly it is clear that this is a policy in which he believes very strongly. They were able to approach the consideration of this problem possibly, if I might say so, with a mind more unbiassed than that of the Minister. They also had the advantage, which this House has not had, of hearing on that particular occasion the case to be made in favour of this project.

The Grain Growers' Association put their case very clearly and strongly before this tribunal. The tribunal also had the opportunity, which this House has not had, of hearing the very strong case that was put up on the other side. Similarly, the House cannot now hope to get the very extended view of the difficulties that prevailed and the difficulties that must prevail, as far as the second object of the Bill is concerned —the promotion of extensive wheat growing. They can find it, however, in the records of the House and in the reports of the Economic Commission set up by the late Government, which issued both a majority and a minority report. I suggest to them, if they read the debate to which I refer and the minority report, they will be struck with one thing, that it was not on the basis of facts or on the basis of experience that the conclusions of the minority were based. It was wholly on the basis of apriori reasoning, starting, as the Minister started this evening, with some very general economic theories—more general in the case of the minority report than is usual even in these debates—and with the proposition that the main business of agriculture was to produce human food. Then they went on in beautiful geometrical order from that principle to reach the conclusion that we must grow more wheat. I wonder will those who have given thought to the subject be altogether convinced that the Minister has made a case for this particular policy. There is one thing, I think, on which the House might agree and that is, that in normal circumstances it might well be that possibly the only way in which it can be tested is to try it out. I think that was ultimately the conclusion to which the Minister himself came. I will show later why I put in the reservation about normal circumstances. I shall deal with that particular point afterwards when I come to the matter. One thing I must say I did not quite gather from the Minister's speech was the cost to the taxpayer of this particular measure. There are two kinds of costs. I am speaking of the cost involved in the bounty and the cost of administration, because by chemical analysis, unfortunately, it is not feasible to detect the malpractices that are possible under the first aim of the Bill, the encouragement of the mixing policy. In default of the chemical analysis doing that, I fear we shall have to have a rather elaborate bureaucracy in the matter.

I wonder has the Minister formed any idea as to the increased number of officials that will be necessary to deal with that? No estimate was given. I presume there will be some cost involved. Also, though the Minister gave us what he estimated as the cost in the way of bounty for the coming twelve months, under this Bill when it becomes law, I did not get from him what he considered the ultimate cost if his policy is as successful as he hopes, and if we ultimately produce the total quantity of wheat necessary for our needs. He mentioned only the cost of the bounty for wheat for the coming year, but supposing we produce the total amount of wheat necessary for this country—possibly I think 600,000 acres would be required, roughly speaking—what would be the ultimate cost in the way of bounty? There are considerable costs involved, much more costs than are indicated in the slight reference to the cost for the coming year which the Minister made in the course of his speech. I think we should have the cost, as the country is asked to embark on this policy, not merely for the coming year. The Minister could treat the coming year as a harbinger of what is to come, and the country should get some idea of what the ultimate cost will be of this Bill. The subject of costs reminds me of another matter—the Minister was being interrupted, I will admit, while he was on the subject—namely, the increased cost of the mixture to the ordinary farmer. He estimated it at 10/per ton. I ask him how that estimate compares with the estimate of cost which he will find in the report of the Grain Inquiry Tribunal? In arriving at that estimate of 10/- has he taken into account all the factors that have been taken into account there? Has he also taken into account—I wonder how far the report itself does it—the difficulty the millers and others will be involved in,—the difficulty under the particular factors that are detailed in the report, of knowing precisely or with any degree of commercial accuracy what must be their commitments for the coming year, or what will be the amount of grain food required? The report points out that that depends on a number of factors which cannot be judged until the beginning of the year, and it points out also that whereas that does not matter so much when you can import a sufficient amount of maize by telegram it may matter considerably when you have to make your arrangements for the purchase of the amount of grain that will be necessary to be milled for the current season, when the millers and the dealers will unfortunately not be in the same happy position.

What I was particularly anxious to know was how this estimate of 10/-compares with the estimate of increased cost that is given by the tribunal which reported on this particular matter. I wonder also whether the Minister has considered, in connection with wheat and with this mixing process, how the distance of mills and the distance of farmers from large grain growing areas will affect the situation. I can quite conceive that there are certain portions of Ireland where there might be a very strong demand in favour of this particular policy. I think it is equally obvious that there are other parts of Ireland in which there is strong objection to it. I have heard from farmers in my own portion of the country that there is a strong objection to this mixing process where they are concerned. They object to it on various grounds. First of all they have not the same confidence—I am sorry to say it—that the Minister has in the people who are going to market the stuff to them, nor the same confidence in the ability of the Government to see that there is a good mixture of good materials. I find a very great deal of scepticism on their part as to the value of the mixture they are getting. In the case of maize it is practically, I understand, of a uniform quality. I think so far as certain parts of the country are concerned the Minister just brushed a little too lightly aside the increased costs that there will be in the purchase of maize for human food. Under the Bill it has to be put in packets of one stone, that is each stone for human consumption will have to be packed separately. That must mean increased cost, and it must mean an increase in the living expenses of the ordinary farmer in the portion of the country I come from. I can only speak for that portion of the country from experience, and mixed bread is a bread that they largely consume at present. They used to consume a lot of it at one time, then they were dropping out of it, and I understand they are now going back again to that particular form of food. It seems to me there is considerable cost involved, and certainly the farmers believe that there will be cost involved which they should not be asked to bear.

The Minister referred in quite glowing terms to one particular class of the population, that is the farmer who produces his own grain, produces his own feeding stuff and feeds it to his own animals. He spoke highly, and deservedly so, of that particular class of farmer—"the class of man that is best for himself and best for the community"—and yet that class of farmer, unless we are altogether deceived by the purely impartial Body that investigated the matter, are strongly opposed to this particular scheme. They think it will damage their business very seriously. In fact what, in comparison to them, the Minister would call the not so well deserving class of people would gain at their expense. Because they are already doing what the Minister aims at—they may have been compelled by circumstances to do it— they are now to be penalised by the increased cost. It is quite clear that they hold very strong views on the matter. Apart altogether from the evidence that was quoted in this report, I know that there are farmers who do resent very strongly the fact that those who have gone in for that particular type of farming will be compelled now to meet extra expenses. The Minister may, of course, say that they are trivial. He may say that because they were able to stand £2 two years ago they can stand 10/- now, —or whatever the increased cost is. The Minister, as I have already pointed out, left us in a rather unsatisfactory position as to how he reached that estimate of an increased cost of 10/-, but anyhow they do object to this increased cost and I can well understand it. I can well understand, owing to certain policies that have been pursued, why the farmer who, two years ago, might be able to bear certain costs, is not able to do it to-day. There are two sides to the farmer's economy. There is what he pays for what he gets in, and there is also what he gets for what he sends out. It might, in the normal way, as I said, seem to be the only course, to give the experiment a chance and see what will happen. Whether it is wise or proper to use the national purse in order to promote a policy that may be unsound is another question. I suppose trial is one of the best ways of deciding it, but undoubtedly if you expend enough, and are in a position to continue that expenditure, you will induce people to go into any policy no matter how unsound—if they are paid enough by the State for doing so—and therefore that would not be a final answer.

There is another objection, and I am basing it on a remark made by the Minister for Industry and Commerce last evening. He is the Minister referred to in various parts of the Bill. He spoke of the necessity for getting out of the cattle trade. I may have an opportunity of dealing more fully with that policy afterwards, but it is quite relevant to the discussion that we are now engaged in, because, apparently, in the minds of some of the Ministers, this grain policy is not to be an addition to the cattle trade, it is to be a substitution for it. Well, I would prefer that, before we lose what we have got, we were much more firmly established in what is to take its place. What makes me uneasy about this particular business, and the arguments I have heard again and again in favour of it, is this. One of the arguments most frequently used— we have heard it in this House, we have heard it from the Minister, we have heard it again and again from his colleagues through the country—is that instead of wheat-growing diminishing the amount of cattle that you raise it ought to increase it. Those who gave evidence in favour of some of those proposals before the tribunal to which I have referred were very strong in putting that forward,—that there was really no rivalry whatever between the policy they advocated (and, as I will suggest in a moment, the same thing will hold good in regard to wheat), and the cattle trade. In connection with wheat, again and again it was pointed out that the growing of wheat in this country will mean the rotation of crops, that you must have root crops follow your wheat crops and so on. Wheat is grown in the same field, at most, once in every three years. Take the most optimistic view, once in three years is as much as you can do in some patches of land followed by root crops. What is to happen your root crops? Are they for human consumption or cattle consumption? Which? Surely the contention that was again and again put forward, and put forward as one of the arguments of the wheat policy was the way in which, if anything, it would increase the cattle trade. What is the present policy we are indulging in—not in this particular Bill—but what is more clearly every day the settled mind of the Government? What is to happen these cattle? We know the simple answer of that most simple-minded man—the Minister for Defence. His answer is quite easy. Will the ordinary farmer who has two years out of three to put in root crops and feed cattle or for the people who have cattle, would the ordinary farmer be satisfied with that cheery prospect which the Minister for Defence held out as being the proper way of disposing of our agricultural animal produce, i.e., beef, butter, poultry, eggs, and so on?

I wonder whether if here we have one of the first examples of a constructive policy on the part of the Government which completely cuts across the other policy—what I might call their political anti-economical policy—which they are indulging in. It is no good for a person like myself or for any members of the Dáil to discuss the suitability of the wheat crop. There are various views for and against, but listening to some of the previous debates in favour of this policy, what amazed me in listening to them was this, how the Government or any Government restrained the farmers from indulging in it. It was painted in such attractive colours on the last occasion we discussed it, that the thing to account for is, why the farmers did not practically put every acre they had under wheat—it was such an attractive policy. We also had the other point of view put forward, and the conduct of the farmers, unfortunately, did seem to lend colour to the contention that it was not such a suitable crop for this country. I can find very few people in my portion of the country, at all events, who have any belief that you can have an extensive wheat-growing policy in that county at the present time. The ordinary farmer does not believe in it. I believe that is so. Not merely are these the views of those who support us but also of those who support the Government. Not like the millers who prejudiced the Minister. Their views do not depend on their particular political persuasion. Men have told me they have tried several times in recent years to grow wheat, and undoubtedly it was an excellent crop up to about three weeks before it was fully ripe and then it proceeded to produce a second crop—it sprouted. That was by no means an uncommon occurrence in more than one year, and I think many a farmer who tried it as an experiment gave it up. Now, whether that can be overcome or not I do not know. I have a vague suspicion, or a vague fear, that experimenting on this line has largely been done in the direction of trying to produce a variety of wheat which is suitable to other countries that have not much rainfall. I am not denying that in certain plots in every county in Ireland you can get good results so far as wheat growing is concerned. I am dealing now with the question as to the possibility of the farmers producing it on a large scale—not merely growing 22,000 acres and increasing it to 66,000 acres this coming year—that is not the policy that is before the country or before the Dáil. That is only the beginning. The real policy is a much bigger policy. I doubt the possibility of getting the real policy adopted. I doubt also the propriety of getting it done, because a large number of the farmers do not believe that they can do so with profit or with safety.

As I am on that point of safety I may quote something from the Minister's colleague, the man who is in joint charge of this Bill with him, so far as the enactments go. I have already quoted from him—from last evening's speech. I must say he was sometimes extremely candid in opposition; he is almost indiscreet when he gets going, as when he told us last night we must get out of the cattle trade, the country must get out of it. A short couple of years ago he painted this very illuminating picture for the farmers of the country whom he was trying to persuade to adopt the policy of wheat growing. There was, he said, a partial failure of the crops in Canada this year—1929. "The Economist" for the 3rd August, 1929, says:—"The straw is unusually short and the wheat is ripening prematurely. In many districts the damage done is reported to be beyond repair, and thousands of struggling homesteaders will have to face a very difficult winter, as their crop returns will be negligible." This is in Canada, the wheat growing country. "From Sas-katchewan the reports are almost uniformly gloomy, and in southern and south-eastern districts many farmers have simply ploughed their wheat into the ground to make summer fallow land for the crop of 1930." I am quoting from the Dáil Debates, volume 32, columns 1588 to 1589. Then Deputy Lemass, the present Minister for Industry and Commerce, goes on, and he showed great admiration for the courage of these Canadian farmers, and would like to inculcate and inspire our farmers with the same courage. "The farmers of Canada are not going to run away from wheat growing. As I have said wheat growing, at the present price, is the most profitable crop to farmers," and later on he said, "what I say is that it is the most profitable crop to the community." And again he says, "that although the crop may occasionally fail"—not the failure, mark you, of the crop of one farmer, but a general failure—"although the crop may occasionally fail in consequence of bad weather that cannot be advanced as an argument against wheat growing. An occasional failure is not going to drive the farmers in Canada from wheat growing and out of tillage altogether and into the production of live stock. The wheat crop failed from time to time in Canada. But they simply plough the crop into the ground to prepare the land for the coming year." That is a very encouraging prospect to hold out to the farmers of this country. I wonder, when you compare the suitability of the land for the production of wheat, will public money be wisely spent if this bounty produces such results as the Minister supposes. Occasionally we do happen to have a wet season, and I wonder, when we happen to get the wet season, if the farmers are to adopt the very heroic policy mentioned by the Minister for Agriculture and his co-Minister as adopted by the farmers in Canada?

Unfortunately the experience of farmers who have tried this experiment is by no means favourable. It may be, in the future, that a particular type of wheat will be produced as the result of experiment that will be suitable to wet climates. The effort has been in the opposite direction in the past, and consequently if scientists concentrate upon that problem they may produce a more suitable kind of wheat for wet climates. I doubt if they have done so yet. Here, not for the first time, the Minister is proceeding to act on the old plan of putting the cart before the horse.

As regards the mixing process, I know there will be very great fear on the part of the ordinary farmer in my part of the country at all events. Perhaps the Minister would say that in his part of the country the farmers are more trusting. They may be. But in my portion of the country there will be very grave doubts in the minds of the farmers as to quality of mixture. I wonder if the very severe penalties envisaged by the Minister will have sufficient effect when there is no chemical means of deciding the quality of the grain by means of analysis. As I am on the question of penalties, there are a number of millers in this country at the moment and they are, without more ado, to get licences—I mean ordinary millers. If they offend there are various penalties prescribed in the Bill as set out in the Schedule. But there is a penalty not mentioned in the Schedule which is much more serious than any penalty mentioned in it; and that is the power of the Minister to withdraw the licence altogether. You may have a fine of £50 or three months in prison, and so on. But if you have the power given to the Minister, not a court, but the Minister himself, to withdraw a man's means of livelihood it is a very serious matter. I mention this because the Minister will have an opportunity of dealing with it now or in Committee Stage. There are a number of reasons given why the Minister, if satisfied, may withdraw a licence. "The Minister may at any time without any such application revoke a milling licence granted to any miller if (a) he is satisfied that such licence was procured by fraud or misrepresentation." Not that a court is satisfied but if he is satisfied: or (b) "the business of milling wheat has ceased to be carried on at such mill; or (c) the holder of such licence has been convicted of an offence under this Act." But in addition to the penalties already prescribed in the Bill, a man may be deprived of his livelihood altogether. I suggest if that has to be done it should be done in plain terms. The power is there and it is taken into the hands of the Minister to interfere with a person's ordinary livelihood. But in recent Bills such extraordinary powers over the livelihoods of thousands have been taken, and this penalty here affects so few that probably nothing will be done about the matter.

There is another matter that I am afraid the Minister did not make quite clear, in his opening statement, and the difficulty that confronts me here I think also confronts other Deputies, and that is the difference in price paid for different types of grain. I admit there may be differences. There is an average price struck, and it is the difference between the average price and the standard price that is to be got in the way of bounties. In that connection there are two things that might be taken into account. If the average falls all round the country it makes no difference what price the farmer gets. Will not that have the gradual but inevitable tendency of depressing the price all round the country that the farmer gets for his grain as distinct from the bounty? I think that will be the inevitable result, gradually, because it will make no difference what the farmer gets from the miller as distinct from the bounty, if the average price decreases. If the millers, gradually, therefore, reduce the average amount of money they give for the wheat, the bounty will make up the difference. That is bound to happen. The other thing I should like the Minister to keep in mind is the different qualities of grain offered to the millers. Why should the unfortunate farmer who lives in a portion of the country where the climatic conditions and the conditions of the land are not as suitable as they are in other places, be at a disadvantage in comparison, merely because his land and the climate produce worse grain than elsewhere? If it were an ordinary commercial transaction, I could see the justification, but here is a case where public money is being spent, and I suggest that that is a most unfair discrimination so far as the poorer classes of land are concerned. As I represent one of the poorer districts of the country, I suggest that that might be looked into. You are really asking him to take risks and, where the risks are greater, the rewards, I fear, will be less. That is the policy in the Bill so far as it stands. In that connection, I need only refer again to the beautiful, heroic passage I read out from the speech of the present Minister for Industry and Commerce showing the dangers that farmers run, dangers that are greater in some portions of the country than in other portions. That ought to be taken into account.

A thing that was not clear from the Minister's speech, as it is not clear from any of the specehes we have heard when dealing with economics in this House, is the balance that there will be in the increased labour. We heard a reference, if this policy succeeds, to the actual number of people that will be put into employment, but we did not, unfortunately, hear even a suggestion that there may be many ways in which, if this policy was being adopted—and after all we ought now to be familiar with that, and, apparently, the head of the Government is familiar with it, if the others are not—people will be indirectly put out of employment. Has that been sufficiently considered? I do not say, if the policy succeeds, that more people may not be put in, but I have grave fears, judging by the previous experience of the method by which the Government looks at things, as to whether they even thought there was a problem of that particular kind.

I should like, in connection with this matter, to ask a question of the Minister: why it is that a certain firm has been singled out for the special patronage of the Department for the supplying of seed; why an exception has been made in their favour? There are a couple of instances; I do not know how widespread they are through the country. On 15th October there was a lecture given by an Inspector of the Department, at Enniscorthy, in which he pointed out that arrangements had been made for the supply of grain from the I.A.W.S. Why were they singled out for that particular preferential advertisement? It was not any indiscretion on the part of the inspector—I want to make that clear— because in theDrogheda Independent of the same date, in the Farmers Gazette of the same date, and I do not know in how many other papers an advertisement to the same effect appeared. I do not know what policy there was, or whether there was any policy behind that.

One thing that rather amused me in the Minister's speech was his considering it necessary to stress the fact that no force was being employed, no compulsion. Then he stated that the reason he mentioned that was because some Cumann na nGaedheal Deputy had said it. He, unfortunately, mentioned the Deputy. I have also recollections of hearing that stated, but it was not by members of the Cumann na nGaedheal Party; it was by followers of the Government Party. Force, and very decided force, was to be used against the farmers who did not fall in with the economic policy of the Government. Very often these people, I may say, have a method, and a very awkward method, of anticipating, in speech at all events, what ultimately becomes the declared Government policy. They very often let out to the public, possibly in order to accustom the minds of the public to it, what the Government are thinking, and what, when the people get over the first shock, the Government immediately proceed to enforce on the people. It is quite clear, of course, that there is no force provided for in this Bill. Those, however, who are familiar with the way in which farmers have been dealt with in other places know perfectly well that you can manage subsidies, preferences, and various other things in a way to amount to strong compulsion. Ultimately, I wonder whether, if this policy does not succeed to the extent that the Minister hopes, and if the other policy outlined last night in the celebrated phrase: "That we would have to get out of that trade," does succeed to the extent that the Ministry hope, force will not be necessary in the economic interests of the country, or, to put it in another way, whether the Government will not be convinced that it is the national duty of the people to do this, and that if they are not willing to do it, they must be made to do their national duty. We had also a little interchange here this afternoon in the matter of planed wood in which the Minister pointed out the great advantages of amalgamation so far as certain things are concerned.

It seemed to a number of people that there were a number of draw-backs to the wheat crop so far as this country was concerned. One was the climate and the other the small size of the farms which, of course, meant that they had to be worked in a very different way from that in which they were worked in other countries. As I say, the Minister was keen on rationalisation. They may succeed in the policy so clearly enunciated last night of dragging us out of the cattle trade. They might pretend to do it, but I doubt if they will be able to change the climate—but there may be a temptation to change the size of the farms, and for the Government to go in for that policy of amalgamation referred to this afternoon by the Minister. That, of course, is far from their minds at present. I am wondering, however, whether the very logic of events, whether all the policies that they are indulging in in this respect, will not drive them there, though nothing could be further from their minds at present; when it is quite clear that this crop is being managed under uneconomic conditions, whether there is fear the Government or some future Government may feel bound to interfere to see that it is managed under more economic conditions. There are some detailed points in the Bill to which I have referred upon which I want some special information, but as regards the details of the Bill they can be more suitably dealt with in Committee. I have tried to confine myself to the general policy of the Bill as I see it—how it will affect the farmers, especially the farmers in that particular portion of the country which I represent.

This Bill, as I see it, is an attempt to interfere with the farmers' economics. It is not compulsory and we are perhaps grateful to the Minister for not having made it compulsory; but in other respects the Bill will cost the taxpayer a very considerable amount of money, while it officers doubtful prospects of advancement for the farmer. The Minister for Agriculture, in introducing the Bill, said that the object of it was to increase grain production. I suppose that is obvious and I should like to address myself to that. Will it eventually increase grain production? The Minister says that next year's crop is certain to be trebled and, possibly with a visionary hope and without understanding the position, a number of small farmers, or large farmers if you like, will be induced this year to grow grain. With the exceptional season we have had, a season that occurs possibly only once in a decade in this country, there may be an inducement to have more grain grown this year and a greater crop harvested next year. The Minister said also, I think, that the price of 23/- per bushel would give the farmer something about 50/- an acre over what he received this year. That may be right, with this proviso, that this year's price, whether it is good or bad, is an average price. Next year's price to the farmer is subject, so far as he is concerned, to the extent of his millable wheat and the proportion of his wheat that will be millable next year will depend to a great extent on the climate, which neither the Minister nor I can foresee, but which, if we take the average, is not odds on being a good year.

The Minister said that we had grown good wheat for many years since '47; that we had grown 16½ cwts. to the acre and that possibly we could now grow more and better wheat—I think he added the word "better." We could possibly grow as much as they grew in '47. I do not say that we could grow very much more and we could not grow it better nor as good, taking the years around '47 as examples. I think Deputy O'Shaughnessy referred to the matter of climate. The question of climate has a greater influence on wheat than either the Minister for Agriculture or the Minister for Industry and Commerce will admit, and a greater influence in this country, and though the Ministers will not admit it, anybody who can cast his mind back 25 or 30 years knows full well that the climate of this country has changed for the worse so far as the growing of cereals is concerned. Anybody with any recollection whatever of the period even as far back as 30 years ago—the great majority of the Deputies with the Minister, and the Minister himself, are young men, whose recollections cannot go back such a number of years—knows just as well as I know that the climate then was completely different from the climate we now have in the winter. We had then, almost invariably, and I think I am stating it correctly when I say invariably, a frost of two or three weeks during the winter. The middle-aged people in the country remember that we had an annual sport of skating. Most of the young fellows down the country now do not know what a skate is for and if they have even seen skates, they do not remember what they were used for. There is, as a matter of fact, a pair hanging up in my own house and many youngsters do not know what they are for. There has scarcely been any ice within my recollection that would bear a human being, and if ice does come, it remains only for a day or so and then thaws. In previous years, the deepest lakes were frozen over and I myself remember driving a horse and trap over a lake. Such a climate is necessary for the growing of wheat. It makes tilling conditions easier for the farmer, and in fact, it is impossible without a certain amount of dryness and frost, to till land for wheat properly. That is one of the difficulties in growing wheat, and the second difficulty is the season for harvesting—the percentage of moisture you get in a year and the likelihood of your crop not standing up if there is too much rain.

The statement I made, some two or three years ago, has not been refuted that the possible quality of the wheat we could grow, or that the Minister for Agriculture or the Minister for Industry and Commerce could induce us to grow, would not come within the category of the world's third quality. So far as I know, that has never been refuted by a miller, or anybody else, so that it comes to this, that the Minister for Industry and Commerce, who is responsible for the second protion of the Bill, is going to make provision for the giving of a bounty for millable wheat which certainly will not be up to the quality of, say, third-grade Canadian wheat. I would like to know what is the Minister's definition of "standard" in the sub-section:

"The Minister may, after consultation with the Minister for Industry and Commerce, make regulations prescribing the standard to which wheat must conform, etc."

I notice that the word "may" is used there, whereas, in other portions of the Bill, there is a very liberal use of the words "may" and "shall." The word "may" is always used when it is a question of the Minister dealing with quality, but when it is a question of quantity to be used, the word "must" or "shall" is generally used. In this particular case, the Minister may prescribe the standard, and I would like some information as to what it is likely to be. Is the standard going to be as high as No. 3 or No. 4 Canadian wheat? Is the Minister going to make that the minimum standard for wheat that may be used in milling, or, on the other hand, is the miller to use his own discretion as to the standard of the wheat he is likely to buy?

Again, touching on that, so far as the miller's quota is concerned—and this appertains more directly to the miller and it illustrates the different use of the words "may" and "shall" to which I have already referred—the Minister may prescribe the standard but he need not do it. He possibly will, but the miller must use whatever kind of crop we have got, whether it is moist, or whether we have smutty or rotten wheat, or bad barley, or something else, he must use a certain quota of the meal. The Minister shall make that order—he is left no discretion. So far as quality is concerned, the Minister has a free hand to do what he pleases, but as to quantity it is definitely laid down in the Bill that it must be such and such. The public are to be compelled to use a percentage of home-grown wheat in any one year, no matter whether that year happens to be one in which there was not one stone of millable wheat grown in this State.

Now we will come to the question of price. The Minister stated that the farmer would get, possibly, 56/- an acre more than this year's price. He might get that, and even then he would not be getting an economic price. The Minister mentioned the figure of 23/- a barrel for millable wheat, advancing in certain circumstances, provided the farmer could store it and escape the rats and mice, to 25/-. The Minister is holding out the figure of 23/- a barrel in order to induce the farmer to grow wheat. Certain farmers may be enticed to cultivate wheat, but I very much fear that with the experience they will gain they will not be induced later to repeat the experiment. Will 23/- a barrel be an economic figure for the grower? Has 23/- a barrel during the last ten years, in eight of which the average price of wheat has been more than 23/-, been an inducement to the farmer to grow the crop? Is it likely to be an inducement in the coming years with the disadvantage confronting the farmer that the guaranteed price is payable subject to the wheat being millable?

I believe that neither the Minister nor the farmers can foretell what amount of home-grown wheat could be considered millable. In those circumstances the farmer is not even certain of 23/- a barrel if he grows what for this country might be considered middling wheat, but at the same time would not be considered suitable for milling by any miller. The millers, if left to themselves, will certainly assume that a very small proportion of the wheat grown in this State is suitable for milling. If I were left to judge I would have to declare that a very small portion of the wheat grown in this country of late seasons is of good milling quality.

We have had evidence here that 23/-a barrel, or its equivalent in cwts., is not economic. In Canada it would not be considered an economic price. There was a serious agitation amongst the farmers in Canada at one period in regard to what became known as dollar wheat—a dollar a bushel, which is something equivalent to the proposed guaranteed price. Those of you who never visited Canada must have read about that agitation in the newspapers. The agitation spread over Canada and the Northern States. Farmers protested for years that anything under a dollar was not a paying proposition as far as wheat raising was concerned. That happened in a country where they were capable of raising, not the standard of wheat we can raise here, but the very best wheat in the world. That happened in a country where they can produce 40 acres of wheat with the same amount of labour that it takes to produce one acre here.

In that country at the time of the agitation, their taxes were about one-third of ours and their rent nil. Still they agitated strongly for dollar wheat. They believed the dollar was just the minimum figure which would permit them to cultivate the crop economically. Their costs are altogether out of proportion to ours. I admit that Canada has been producing wheat at a much lesser rate, but the Canadian farmer had reason to complain that the price offered him did not even meet the cost of production.

I should like to refer to the mixing process. Deputy O'Sullivan did not leave me much to say on this subject. I would like to reiterate his fears and the fears of the farmers generally that the quality of the mixture that people will be compelled to feed to their livestock in future will be very doubtful. The Minister for Agriculture went to great pains to defend the people who will make up this mixture. I will not condemn his attitude. I will not say that every manufacturer and trader in this country is dishonest. Some time ago on another Bill I declared that they were not. The Minister for Agriculture stoutly defended the traders. He upheld their interests so strongly that, if he is right in his viewpoint, the Minister for Industry and Commerce would be well advised to withdraw the Control of Prices Bill forthwith; that measure is scarcely necessary if the traders are all so honest and upright as the Minister for Agriculture has led us to believe. I admit that most of them are, but I do not think that the average farmer is of that mind.

The only people the Minister for Agriculture vilified are the farmers. He went out of his way to defend the traders; they were above suspicion everywhere. But according to the Minister the farmer has an inferiority complex; he has not a national spirit good enough for the Minister for Agriculture; he does not know his business and he should be driven to do it. According to the Minister, Irish farmers use maize, not because they consider it a better food but because they would prefer to use anything foreign before they would use the home product. I declare that that statement is a travesty on the wisdom and judgment of the farmers; it is a reflection on the character of the farmers of this State. I am surprised such a statement should be made by no less a person than the Minister for Agriculture.

The Minister did not make it.

He did, just half an hour ago. He said that the farmers were suffering from an inferiority complex and that they would use anything foreign in preference to the home produce. The farmers of this country have carried on during the last century under many difficulties. They have carried on their business without any interference from the Government, and I would like to emphasise that the less interference the Government have with the farmers the better will it be for the Government concerned, and for the farmers, too. We have no guarantee, except the Minister's word, that the traders are honest. I believe they are, but we have no safeguard that in this mixture of barley or oats or sawdust the farmer is going to get an article equal to the pure maize that he is now using. I do not know much about chemical research work. The Minister may carry his paraphernalia around with him, or he can send his inspectors to the millers' granaries, but he cannot do that in the case of every huckster or retailer in the country.

In such circumstances how is the farmer to know what amount of maize, oats or barley and what amount of dust is contained in the mixture? He will have his suspicions, and he will be right. Maize will possibly for a long time be at a much smaller price than barley, oats or wheat. I believe that in coming years there will be a lot more wheat mixed than either oats or barley. A great amount of the wheat that the Minister will induce farmers to grow will be fit for nothing else except to be included in this mixture or for hen food. The Minister is assuring the farmer that he will get a guaranteed price of 23/- but, in my opinion, the crop of wheat will be fit only for this mixture, and a very bad mixture some of it will make.

The Minister smiles. If the Minister was where I was growing grain for four or five years he would know something about the matter. I would like to induce the two Ministers responsible for this Bill to come down to an average farm in some southern county, wearing their city boots, and, if you like, their city clothes, take a pair of average middle-class horses in the "yallow" mud, and prepare the ground for the golden wheat. I was as full of enthusiasm for wheat-growing thirty years ago as the Minister for Agriculture is now. On coming back from Canada I was filled with the Minister's ideas, that we should grow wheat here, that the Irish farmers were damned lazy and should try to grow it.

It was a different climate then.

It was. My neighbouring farmers thought I had pishogues. They laughed at me, and they were right, because after trying it for two or three years I found it would not do. The most that farmers get in this Bill are promises. If there was no great profit at 30/- God help us with 23/-. In fixing the bounty of the national percentage in respect to any cereal, the Minister shall have regard to the estimated quantity of wheat grown annually. I would like to know if he has had any regard as to the estimated quality of the wheat. It is easy to estimate the quantity. Why does not the Bill, for which the Minister is responsible, have some estimate as to the quality of the wheat? That is what we want to get down to. The last word in wheat is quality, and on the quality of the wheat depend many things, the percentage of the bounty that will reach the farmer; the percentage of the wheat on which he will get the bounty, or, on which he will get anything. The farmer may have to sell it to a miller for mixing. Above all, there is the percentage of good wheat that will be milled and mixed with flour, which the poor people will be compelled to eat after paying an advanced price for it. All these things depend upon the quality of which very little is said in the Bill. We should like to see some safeguard in the Bill, as far as Section 2 is concerned, so that the quality of the article will be protected.

The Minister made some comparison, when talking of bounties, between beet and wheat. He stated that bounties in the case of wheat would be much better than in the case of beet. The question of quality again arises. We know that we can produce the best beet in the world, and that it is a crop worth subsidising. We know also that we cannot produce the fourth best wheat. There is a difference between offering a subsidy for the best class article and for the fourth class article. I think the Minister himself realises that. I do not think he should have raised that point. There is no comparison between the two cases. The Minister read some articles as to the use of this mixture, and the great advantage he was conferring on the Irish farmer in introducing into it oats and barley. He stated that weight for weight barley was as good as maize. I would like to ask him is it as cheap price for price. The Minister admitted that the other two cereals were not as good as maize for the ordinary animal, for the production of flesh or milk. Barley may be as cheap price for price. We know that maize is cheaper than barley, and that weight for weight it is as successful, price for price. The end that touches farmers will not be so successful, as the extra price paid for the barley in the mixture will raise the price. If farmers go into the matter carefully they will find, after all the mixing and twisting arrangements, that just as there were manipulations of the galvanized iron, there will be certain manipulations in the mixing process, and that they will be to the disadvantage of farmers, both in the price they pay for the quantity of maize in the mixture, and in the quality of the mixed article, as compared with maize in the mixture, and in the quality of the mixed article, as compared with maize. I do not think there will be very much enthusiasm, except perhaps in Deputy Davin's constituency and in one or two other counties, for this mixing process. There will certainly not be much enthusiasm in the rest of the country for it.

Robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Whose teaching?

There are other matters that I would like to refer to, but I can do so on the Fourth Stage. I am as firmly opposed to the principle of this Bill as ever I was in any of the debates on this question that took place here. I do not see any great hope for successful wheat growing in this State. I do not see any great advantage, even now, in the mixing process. Farmers should be left to use their produce in their own way and any interference by the Department is inadvisable. I should like to reiterate the hope of Deputy O'Sullivan that the best results will accrue from this trial. Perhaps they will. While I expect that they will not be successful, I hope, when this Bill is passed, that my fears will not be fulfilled and that the Minister's may. Time alone will prove that. I do not think I would be justifying either my constituency or myself if I did not state what I honestly believe to be true, with a large experience of wheat growing, that the Bill must fail and that the scheme must eventually fail.

The absence of farmer Deputies on the Fianna Fáil Benches has been noticeable since the beginning of this debate. I am sure they realise, as well as we do, that the proposals embodied in this Bill are unworkable; that instead of conferring any benefit on farmers it is going to do them a great deal of harm. I am surprised that some Deputies on the Fianna Fáil Benches who are farmers have not participated in the discussion. It was very noticeable that the Minister himself did not father this Bill with any degree of enthusiasm. In fact it was commented on very generally, not only on these benches but on other benches, that the Minister did not seem to be the least bit enthusiastic about proposals that, I assume, he was responsible for embodying in the Bill. I do not wonder at that, and I can quite understand why farming members of the Fianna Fáil Party are so noticeable by their absence. I am entirely opposed to the proposals embodied in the Bill. I consider that these proposals are unjustified and that, instead of helping the farming industry, they will inflict very great injury on it; that the Bill in itself is an attempt to impair business that was carried on efficiently in the past; that will retard the ordinary normal development of that business and that it will impose a burden on the community which it is unable to bear under existing conditions.

At the outset of his statement, the Minister said that one of his objects in introducing this Bill was to increase the production of grain. He went on to say that if the production of grain here could be increased it would inevitably lead to an increase of wealth. He seemed to be under the misapprehension that one was a natural corollary of the other. I wonder if this Bill is to be regarded as the first step in the direction of changing the economy of this country as it has existed for many years up to now—from the production of live stock and live stock products to grain growing. At the close of his speech, the Minister said that it was not alone the intention but that it was the ambition of the Fianna Fáil Government to increase tillage to, or by, 1½ million acres—I did not quite catch whether the word he used was "by" or "to." Quite obviously, it is the intention of the Government to increase the tillage area very considerably during the coming years. I thought that the Minister's concluding words implied a threat that if the farmers were not prepared voluntarily to comply with the present proposal, compulsory steps would be taken and they would be forced to increase the area of tillage so that the Minister's ambition and the ambition of his Government would be realised. As I said, I do not know whether or not the Bill is to be regarded as the first step in changing the economy of the country from the production of live stock and live stock products to grain growing. If it is to be regarded in that light, then the Bill should receive very serious consideration from the members of this House. This country has followed a certain economy for many years. That economy has succeeded in bringing a certain degree of prosperity to the people. Notwithstanding the views expressed by certain prominent members of the Fianna Fáil Government, I still hold that the production of live stock and live stock products is the only economy that suits this country, is the only economy that is likely to pay the farmers under normal conditions and that any change in that economy would be a very serious blunder on the part of any Government controlling the destinies of the country and would be productive of disaster.

If this Bill is to be regarded as the first step in the direction of that change, then it will have to be very seriously regarded by Deputies, who must face up to the possible consequences of such a change. At the outset, it must be recognised that you cannot have a grain growing policy here without being prepared to expend a large sum of State money on such a policy and, consequently, that the people must accept a very much lower standard of living than the standard they have enjoyed up to the present. These are two inevitable consequences of the adoption of a grain-growing policy. For these reasons we should examine this Bill very closely. I am not in a position to know what is in the minds of Ministers, and I do not know whether this Bill is to be regarded seriously in the sense I have mentioned or not. But if you compare the provisions of this Bill with the statements and speeches of Ministers throughout the country during the past three, four, or six months, there is the possibility that they may be serious in their intention to bring about that change. It is in the light of that possibility that this Bill should be discussed

The Minister mentioned that one of the primary objects of the measure was to increase tillage. An increase in tillage inevitably means the expenditure of capital. I think that every Deputy realises that the capital of farmers has been woefully diminished in recent months, and that the indications are that whatever little capital is left is likely to be swept away from them completely during the coming months. I do not think that the policy of grain-growing is going to lead to any increase in tillage. What will happen will be that wheat will be substituted for some other crop in the present rotation. I know that farmers are preparing to do that in certain districts and we may rest assured that it will be done very generally. I do not believe that the Minister's estimate of an increase in tillage of 60,000 or 70,000 acres will materialise. I do not believe for a moment that the farmers, in view of past experience, will increase the area under wheat to any appreciable extent. It is all very well for Ministers and officials to have fine theories as regards the possibilities of wheat growing and the wealth which a crop of wheat will produce as compared with any other crop. But the farmer has hard experience to guide him—experience which is far more useful and far more reliable than any theory or any number of theories. And the farmers are satisfied, in view of past experience, that wheat is, in the main, not suited to the land of this country and not suited to the climate of this country.

The Minister made a reference to the question of climate in his speech. He seemed to suggest, although he did not use the words expressly, that the climate of this country was just as suitable for the growing of wheat as the climate of certain other Northern European countries. I am perfectly certain that if the Minister had consulted some of his own higher officials —particularly officials with experience of tillage operations throughout the country—they would have told him, and told him quite truthfully, that even during the last ten years the climate of this country has changed a great deal. There is no use in the Minister referring to the fact that we grew so many hundreds of thousands of acres of wheat in the year 1847 or 1857. The Minister stated that in the year 1847 we grew about 600,000 acres of wheat. Deputies are aware that in the year 1847 we had one of the biggest famines in our history. If the Government pursue their policy of wheat growing and succeed in restoring the grain growing conditions that existed in 1847, they may bring about another famine just as big as that of 1846 or 1847.

The Minister went on to say that wheat growing was bound to lead to an increase in employment. I wonder on what factors he bases that statement. Accepting, for the moment, his own estimate, if there is an increase of 30,000 or 40,000 acres in the area under wheat, that will not lead to any appreciable increase in employment whatever.

In any event, the growing of wheat will not lead to any increase in employment, because wheat will be grown in substitution for other crops. In that way it will create a certain dislocation of the farmer's economy. The Minister also referred to the experiment carried out by the officials of the Department over a period of four or five years for the purpose of getting a suitable variety of winter wheat in this country. I was sorry the Minister did not elaborate a little more on that point, because, so far as I am aware, the officials of the Department have failed to provide any suitable variety of winter wheat that will stand up to the conditions in this country. I have seen experiments carried out in my own county during the past few years, and each of these experiments, from the standpoint of the Minister and from the standpoint of the Party behind this Bill, has been a complete and absolute failure.

There is one thing that rather puzzles me in connection with this proposal, and particularly in connection with the proposal relating to the figures given by the Minister. I think it was in 1929 that the Minister stated not alone in the Dáil but before the Economy Committee that wheat could not be grown in this country at a lesser price than 30/- a barrel. That was his statement, and that statement is embodied in the Minority Report of the Committee of which the Minister for Industry and Commerce was, I think, also a member.

Will the Deputy read the extract?

I will, later on. In 1929 it was agreed that wheat could not be grown at a lesser price than 30/- a barrel.

Who said that?

The Deputy will have an opportunity of making his own speech.

Deputy Roddy should not make false statements.

We now come to 1932, and the proposal in the Bill is that a subsidy of from 23/6 to 25/- a barrel shall be paid for wheat of a millable quality. There was no question of millable wheat in the original proposal before the Economy Committee.

There was no original proposal of 30/- and there is no proposal now of a subsidy of 25/- a barrel.

I am afraid the Minister is suffering from a lapse of memory, because that was the last proposal. The Deputy made a speech before the Committee and it was only within the last week or fortnight that I looked up the debate in that matter. At any rate, the figure of 30/- a barrel was certainly mentioned not alone in the Dáil by the Minister for Agriculture, but also before the Committee as the figure which would recoup the farmer for growing wheat in this country. That was the price that was supposed to pay the farmer for growing wheat in 1929.

As what it would cost to grow wheat then.

It is now proposed in this Bill to grant a subsidy of 23/- and 25/-

Not a subsidy, the whole price.

Yes. What has happened in the meantime to reduce the cost of wheat growing?

Does not the Deputy know?

Surely I thought the Minister would have dealt with that point when introducing the Bill. What is the explanation of it? The cost of growing wheat to-day is as great as it was in 1928, 1929 and 1930. In fact it is greater to-day and this is largely due to the action of the Minister for Industry and Commerce, because he has piled up such huge tariffs on the farmers and on everything relating to the farming industry that it will naturally cost a great deal more to grow an acre of wheat now than it did four or five years ago. How did the Minister arrive at the figure of 23/- or 25/-? I should like to hear from the Minister how he arrived at the figure in view of the fact that in 1929, 30/- a barrel was considered to be a fair price for wheat in order to pay the farmers the cost of production in this country? What has been responsible for the change? Is there anything that has happened in the farming conditions in this country that would justify the Minister to pay a lesser price to-day than the price which he was prepared to pay in 1929? The Fianna Fáil Party have got wheat on the brain. Certain figures were worked out before the Economy Committee for the purpose of showing what it was possible to make out of an acre of wheat as compared with any other crop. Does the Minister now rely on these figures? Certain figures were produced for the information of the members of the Economy Committee to show that wheat in any event was a more profitable crop than any other crop grown on the land. Does the Minister still stand by the figures which, I assume, he prepared for the information of the members of the Economy Committee on that occasion?

Wheat probably has fallen in price during the last two or three years more than any other crop produced on the land, and wheat prices are still falling. The price in the last two or three years has fallen approximately 45 per cent. to 50 per cent. I think the Minister will agree with that. It has fallen considerably more than any other crop produced on the land. Yet why is it that the Government should select to subsidise the growth of wheat in this country at a period when the price of wheat is falling and when it is likely to fall still more? As a matter of fact, there is a glut of wheat in the world and there is a possibility of new countries entering into competition with old-established countries for the supply of the wheat requirements of the world.

In 1929 the members who signed the Minority Report of the Economy Committee stated: "There is reason to believe also that the low price of the 1928 crop will lead to some reduction of the wheat areas of the wheat exporting countries." It was considered at that time that the price was low at 31/6 a barrel. The Minority Report goes on: "It is safe to assume, therefore, that the average world price here for a number of years will not be lower than the annual average for 1924 and 1928." The members who signed the Minority Report of that Committee were very bad prophets. I am sure that now they would hardly like to refer to the prophecy after the event. In any event, the fact remains that wheat is the one main crop in the world to-day that is falling more rapidly in price than any other crop, and yet it is in circumstances such as these that the Minister chooses to put such a burden on the taxpayers of this country for the purpose of subsidising the growth of a commodity of which there is a huge surplus in the world, and of which, apparently, there will be a greater surplus in the years to come.

So much for wheat. I am sure there are many Deputies who will have a great deal more to say on wheat than I have. The remaining portions of the Bill deal with a mixture of maize and other grain. I wonder did the Minister give any serious consideration at all to the extra price which the farmer will have to pay for this mixture? He said, I think, when challenged by Deputy Hogan, that the price had only increased by 10/-. The price may have increased only by 10/- in certain districts, but in a great many parts of the country the price of the mixture has increased by at least £1 per ton and, in some cases, 24/-. I wonder if the Minister considered seriously, before he embarked on this proposal for the admixture of barley and oats and rye with maize, what would be the increased price to the farmers of this country. Surely, before embodying a proposal of this kind in legislation, he should have carefully considered what will be the increase in price for the mixture that will fall on the farmers of the country when his legislation has been given effect.

The farmers in the West of Ireland particularly grow more grain, relatively speaking, than the farmers in the majority of the other counties of this State, but if those farmers grow grain extensively they feed it, in the main, to their live-stock. Under the proposals embodied in this Bill they will be forced, so far as I understand the terms of the Bill, to sell their grain to the millers and buy that grain back in the form of this mixture at a greatly increased price.

The Minister, I know, when questioned by a Deputy on these benches as to what arrangements he was going to make in the case of farmers who feed their own grain to their live-stock, said that they would get special consideration, but he did not indicate the nature of that special consideration. It appears to me, from the wording of the Bill, that these farmers will be treated in exactly the same way as the less industrious and less enterprising farmers in the other parts of the country: that they will be forced to sell their grain to the millers, in the first instance, and buy that grain back again in the form of this mixture at a greatly increased cost.

This question of the advisability of mixing maize and barley and oats and rye was examined very exhaustively by the Tariff Commission. I do not know what has transpired since the Report of the Tariff Commission was issued, but, in any event, up to that time there was no demand for an admixture of this kind from any farmers in this country except from a few farmers in certain midland counties engaged in the growing of barley who could not sell barley at that period at a profitable price. I am not aware that the agitation for an admixture of barley and oats and maize has increased since the question was examined so exhaustively by the Tariff Commission. I have not heard it, nor have I heard that the growers of oats or rye in the other parts of the country have made any demand on the Government to embark upon a proposal of this character.

It appears to me that the farmers, as a whole, will be forced to pay an increased price for this mixture in order to satisfy the whims of a certain small group of farmers in certain midland counties. It was clearly demonstrated in the evidence before the Tariff Commission that if the farmers in the midland counties, who were so loud in demanding that this mixture arrangement should be put into force, followed the same economy as the small farmers in the West and of certain farmers in Monaghan, Cavan and Louth, there would be no occasion for them to make a demand on any Government that their industry should be artificially supported by means of this kind.

It is inevitable, no matter what the Minister for Agriculture says, that the price of this mixture will be higher than the price of maize meal. It is also inevitable that the price will go up higher than it is to-day. A miller told me no later than last week that, probably in a fortnight or three weeks' time, the price will certainly be increased by another ten or fifteen shillings per ton. What justification, I ask, is there for a proposal of this kind which imposes, in circumstances such as these, an additional burden particularly on the small farmers, the most industrious members of the farming community in this country? Surely farmers should be free to select their own feeding stuffs. The farmer is the best judge of the mixtures that suit him for the particular purpose for which they are required.

Deputy Bennett has stated that it is quite possible that in the course of time adulteration may be resorted to in the preparation of these mixtures. There is nothing, apparently, to prevent that happening. I think it was stated by a miller in his evidence before the Tariff Commission which investigated this proposal that there was no possible means of preventing adulteration. That was stated not alone by a miller, but also, I think, by an official from the State laboratory, so that the farmer who hitherto was able to go into a shopkeeper in the nearest town and get the best animal food it was possible to obtain at the cheapest possible cost—to get any variety of food —will now be forced to pay an enhanced price for an inferior commodity, a commodity which may not have the same food value as the one he was using in the past.

There is another point which I should like to mention before I sit down. The farmer will have to buy the mixture, apparently, from day to day—from hand to mouth, so to speak. He will not be able to buy any big stocks of the mixture, because, if he does keep sufficient to last for more than a few days, there is the danger of the stocks becoming rancid and fermentation setting in. That is a serious handicap to the enterprising farmer—to the modern type of farmer in this country—the farmer, after all, who is more responsible for the wealth of this country than any other type in it, because the good farmer buys his feeding stuffs in big quantities. He has always done so in the past, because it is more economical to buy in large quantities than in small lots, but, apparently, under the arrangements embodied in this Bill, it will not be possible for him to buy big quantities in the future. He will have to buy in small lots, and, even then, he will have to run the risk of the mixture becoming rancid and fermenting. So that not alone does he lose by the increased price of the mixture, but he runs the risk of the mixture itself becoming useless to him if it is kept for a long period.

It appears to me the whole Bill is foolish. I cannot understand why the Minister allowed himself to be forced into the position that he had to accept proposals of this character and that he embodied them in the form of legislation. There is not a practical farmer in this country to-day who does not regard the Minister's policy of wheat growing as a foolish one, and as a policy that is bound to lead to serious increases in taxation and in loss to the people as a whole; but they regard his admixture proposals as even more foolish. The Bill, it seems to me, is not conceived in the best interests of the country, but it seems to me rather that it is conceived in the worst possible interests of the country. The Bill, apparently, is not even supported by the farmer members of his own Party, because even when the Minister was introducing his proposals to-day, there were only two farmer members of the Minister's own Party in the House to listen to his speech. It seems to me that the Minister himself is not enthusiastic about the Bill. The farmer members of his Party are certainly not enthusiastic about it, and the people in the country as a whole look upon it as a foolish experiment and as an attempt to interfere with their business. I sincerely hope that if the Bill passes through the Second Reading Stage the Minister will, at least, accept sensible amendments for the purpose of removing some of the hardships in the Bill.

I am glad that the Minister for Agriculture has come to the rescue of the tillage farmers of this country. We heard a lot of foolishness preached from the Opposition Benches to-day, but when we come to examine the position, what do we find? What was the position of the grain growing farmers whose land was valued under the Griffiths' Valuation as wheat growing land? What was the position under the last Ministry? They were paying, owing to the high valuation of the land they held, two-thirds of the rates of their county. The farmers of East Cork are paying two-thirds of the rate of the County Cork on the valuation basis. The ex-Minister for Agriculture took good care that they got no benefit whatever out of the fact that their land was wheat growing, or grain growing land of any description. His policy was "the land for the bullock and the road for the men." In 1927, when we came in here, knowing the position and the difficulties under which those farmers were working, and knowing the manner in which they were being treated by the then Minister for Agriculture, we tried by questions here to find out from the Minister for Finance whether he would have a revaluation of those lands, and whether, under the changed conditions of agriculture, under the policies the Minister for Agriculture was then adopting, he would have a revaluation so as to place these farmers on the same basis as the farmers whose land was not wheat growing at the time of the valuation. The reply was that it would cost £780,000 to revalue the land and that he was not going to do it. From 1927 to 1932, the farmers in my constituency had to lie under that disability of having to pay two-thirds of the rates of the county on account of their land being wheat growing land, and then they were not able to get a market for what they produced. That position is now being remedied, and it is being remedied in the only way in which it could be remedied, namely, by providing a home market for the grain growing farmer and by seeing that he does get the benefit of the home market.

We heard a lot about barley from Deputies opposite. For three years here, I was raising the matter by question, on the Adjournment, and in every other way, that some limitation should be put to the importation of foreign barley into this country. We were told that they were not going to interfere with Guinness. On one occasion, the then Minister for Finance replied to me by saying that he was not going to tax the raw material of an industry when I asked him about this matter of the importation of barley, and when I also asked him about foreign malt he said that it also was a raw material of the industry. That was the reply which I got, and we were told that Guinness would run away if we were to put a tax on foreign barley. There is a tax on barley to-day and Guinness is still going on, and going strong.

That is due to Roosevelt.

In my opinion that is the only policy that will pull the farmers of my constituency out of the unfortunate position in which they are owing to the comic-opera actions of the ex-Minister for Agriculture.

Deputy O'Sullivan told us all about compulsion and Deputy Roddy also told us about compulsion. The ex-Minister for Agriculture came along and told us that you could not keep a bull unless it had three black hairs in its tail, or something of that description, and if you dared to keep a bull which did not measure up to these specifications you were liable to prosecution and would go to jail. What is the result of that policy?

Is not the present Minister doing the same?

I think I should get a chance to speak.

Does the present Minister adhere to the same policy or does he not?

What about the three black hairs?

We all remember the protests that were made here year after year about the question of bulls and the way the regulation was carried out. We had the Minister for Agriculture insisting at the same time that the only thing for this country was to go into dairying and to get into cows. You all heard him say that. What is the result? Here is the statement made by the late Minister for Agriculture last week as to the results of this policy.

And the policy of the present Minister.

I am talking of the last one. The present man is doing his job all right. I can guarantee that.

In his own way.

There was a statement made by the late Minister for Agriculture, Deputy Hogan, last week. "I was coming to the conclusion," he said, "after at least seven years of the operation of the Live Stock Breeding Act and after seven years of compulsion on farmers to keep bulls they did not want...

Like the present Minister.

Let the Deputy mind Indian meal, the price of it and the profit on it.

He will not get much.

The Deputy need not stick in his nose. I am very apt to cut it off. "Just before I left office"—a deathbed repentance of Deputy Hogan—"however, I was coming to the conclusion, and my experience since then has strengthened that conclusion, that the Live Stock Breeding Act, as it is operating, is operating against the dairy cow and in favour of the beef animal. I think if it is operated as it is being operated at present"—and I might add as it was operated in the past—"without making some attempt to encourage milk as against beef, that in a comparatively short time you may find yourself with magnificent-looking cows, very fine cattle and pigs, but that it will be extremely hard to get a good milking dairy cow in this country. The Act is operated in this way: there are licensing shows in practically every parish twice a year—in spring and in autumn. The animals are inspected there entirely on view. That is to say, pedigree or other qualities are not to be taken into account, and they are inspected as they would be on their appearance, or, in other words, on beef. That is bound to give an advantage to the animal that is bred from beef animals and it is undoubtedly working out in that way." Now, that is compulsion.

And completely out of order.

It is completely in order. The Deputy is not now Leas-Cheann Comhairle.

I did not like to interrupt the Deputy while he was quoting, but I submit that quotation is completely out of order on the matter before the House.

I understood the Deputy was quoting to show the contrast in policy as embodied in this Bill and the necessity for a change of policy. As such, the quotation is in order.

I want to submit, with the greatest possible respect, that the speech from which the Deputy was quoting was made on a matter far different from that now before the House, and has no relation, I respectfully submit, to the matter before the House at the moment. I did not wish to interrupt the Deputy while he was quoting. I allowed him to finish.

As one who has very painful experience of Deputy Morrissey's ruling. I am glad he is no longer in the Chair.

That remark is distinctly out of order.

It is in keeping with the whole speech.

My quotation was for the purpose of showing that while the late Ministers were accusing us of compelling the farmer to grow wheat whether he liked it or not—that is the accusation made by Deputy O'Sullivan —we are not using compulsion on the farmer to grow wheat, but they undoubtedly used compulsion on the farmer which ruined the farming community. I say further that side by side with that policy of abolishing the milk yielding cows of the country, we had the purchase of creameries and a compulsion on farmers to pay £3 per cow for these creameries. We are told that we cannot grow wheat—"You cannot grow wheat, the climate is against you." That is what they told us also. I find that when it paid the farmer to grow wheat he grew it.

Hear, hear. And without any Bill.

And the climate did not stop him from growing it. For instance in 1918 when there was a price for wheat, we grew 135,000 acres. That is not so long ago, and the climate has not completely turned upside-down since, though the Dáil has changed a lot. Every year since then we find a reflex of the price in the amount of grain grown in the country. In the year 1922 there were 38,000 acres grown, and in 1931 it was down to 28,000, while the unfortunate farmers who occupy the land on which that wheat could and would be grown were compelled to pay rates on enormous valuations—valuations of their land as grain growing land. Let us study the returns. The last statement which Deputy Hogan made on this matter was just before he left office. He came along then and put a tariff on foreign oats—another death-bed repentance on the part of Deputy Hogan. Now we have fierce complaints because our present Minister for Agriculture is leading the farmers back to the only production by which the farmer can and will make a livelihood.

"Sez you."

At the taxpayers' expense.

"Sez you" and the A.C.A. When we come to consider what would be the position to-day as evidenced by the actions of Deputies opposite, of the Irish farmer, the grain growing farmer in a particular area, in fact of the farmers as a whole, under the Cumann na nGaedheal policy, under the compulsion of the last Executive Council, we wonder where the farmers would find themselves with the beef for which all this money was paid being sold in Birkenhead at 4½d. per lb., in "our only market," the "only market" we are losing, with the price of barley in England at 10/6 per barrel and the price of oats in England at 4/9 per cwt. or £4 15/-per ton. Compare these prices with the prices the farmers to-day are receiving for their grain and you see where the farmers here are undoubtedly benefiting. The farmers here to-day can get from 15/- to 16/-per barrel for barley.

In Cork.

I am prepared to bet Deputy Morrissey a £5 note that I will produce proof for him.

That that is the average price?

I will take a bet with you too. I want to make money.

What is the average price?

Put down the money and I am prepared to bet with you. I am saying that the price offered for barley in East Cork to-day is 16/- a barrel.

Not at all. Tell the truth.

Deputy Jordan will hold the coin. If you are prepared to take me up I am prepared to bet. There is no use in shouting "nonsense" here at all. "Nonsense" will not make a lie of anything. I am prepared to put down the money to prove my words, if you are prepared to take me up.

Is this House going to be turned into a betting place?

Oh, now we have another lawyer. Come on! Deputy Morrissey has recollections of the last bet.

With whom?

Fianna Fáil.

Is Deputy Briscoe prompting you? It would be in keeping with Deputy Briscoe if he were. I am not surprised.

The Deputy might deal with the Bill before us.

What is Deputy Morrissey not surprised at?

At anything.

I am sorry, a Chinn Comhairle, that the members of the Dáil are getting a bit contrary and making so much noise, but if they keep quiet for a little bit I will be very much amused to hear them later on as regards these things. I am saying that the price of barley to-day is 16/-per barrel and the price of oats is £6 10s. 0d. That is 6/- per barrel or 5/6 per barrel increase on the price of barley in this country over the price across the water, and at least £2 a ton of a better price for oats than there is across the water.

Who is paying the better price?

The profiteer in Indian meal.

I think the Deputy should answer that question. It is a fair question.

The Deputy need not answer any question if he does not so desire. If the Deputy would deal with the Bill before the House there would be less acrimony.

I am comparing the prices as a result of that Bill——

In other words, you are proving that the Bill is not necessary.

Now, the kicking cow, keep quiet. I am comparing the price here with the price in England as a result of this policy, and I hold I am quite in order in that. Down in my constituency in 1926 there were 12,400 agricultural labourers employed on the land. Owing to the grass policy of the late Ministry that number was reduced to something over 5,000, the remaining 6,000 being set down on the fences to look at the bul-locks growing. This policy will bring those agricultural labourers back again on to the land and give them employment on the land. Deputy Roddy was amazed to think that we should pay a subsidy on wheat. Deputy Roddy seems to forget that during the last nine or ten years we have been paying a subsidy on beet——

Hear, hear—£2,060,000.

——and that subsidy on beet has amounted to £2,060,000. The amount received by the growers of the beet in the same period was only £1,890,000. In this case the farmer is going to get the money, anyway.

Like the bounty.

It is not going to the Belgians. The subsidy on beet is 110 per cent. of what the growers receive.

That ends the new beet proposals, anyway.

The subsidy on the present price would be only 37 per cent. of the price, and if that 37 per cent. makes the people of this country practically independent of foreign countries for their daily bread, I hold it is 37 per cent. well spent.

Who pays the bounty?

The money is not going to leave the country anyway, and since Deputy O'Leary alluded to "who pays the bounty?" at any rate every ton of oats and every ton of barley that is used up in this country in this manner displaces a ton of foreign stuff coming in—displaces it and saves that much money for this country.

On a point of order. I maintain that this price is being paid by people who are not in a position to grow those crops themselves, and I consider that is very unjust.

I will not say it is a point of order——

It is a point of justice anyhow.

Since Deputy O'Leary talks of justice, in that particular case I would like Deputy O'Leary to know that two-thirds of the rates in Cork County were paid by the grain growing farmers, and only one-fifth was spent on roads for these grain growing farmers. For ten years that particular portion of the constituency that Deputy O'Leary represents had the benefit——

Of the rates?

It is very easy for a man to pay 2/6 rates on 50 acres of land.

We might leave the domestic problems of County Cork to be settled elsewhere.

I would not have alluded to them only for Deputy O'Leary complaining of the injustice of this Bill to a certain section of farmers.

And the poor people.

We question the poverty of them. I have seen as good cows out in your country as anywhere.

Indian meal fed them.

I maintain, a Chinn Comhairle, that this Bill has come barely in time—that the present Government got into office barely in time to save a very large section of the agricultural community, and a section of the agricultural community that were tilling their land and giving employment to their people. I maintain that if the Deputies opposite looked at the question from a national point of view they would cease their opposition to this Bill at once. The ex-Minister for Agriculture says we could not grow wheat. It is a regular catch cry with him that we could not grow wheat. I remember some months ago the ex-Minister for Agriculture came down to Cork to see the grounds of the agricultural exhibition there, and when he was shown the grounds there on which the agriculturists of Cork County intended growing wheat, he said: "Nonsense, you can never grow it." Still that land yielded 26 cwts. of millable wheat to the statute acre.

Deputy Morrissey is surprised. Deputy Morrissey would be rather surprised if I told him that as regards the agricultural plots in Cork County the average return of wheat grown on those agricultural plots throughout the length and breadth of Cork County was 21 cwts. per acre, and that is going back over a number of years. I grew wheat and grew it successfully every year from 1918 to 1926 until the policy of "buy cheap stuff in the foreign markets" drove us out am talking about when I say we can grow wheat here and it will pay us. I found it the best paying crop I had for a considerable number of years.

What do you want a subsidy for?

Ah, get a subsidy on tin buckets! I do not wish to delay the Dáil further, but I do not think the Deputies opposite have put up any kind of a reasonable case whatever— at any rate, it was not a good case. They howl about injustice. There is no injustice anyway you view this matter. You are, in the first place, keeping money in the country. Every ton of wheat grown here displaces a ton of foreign wheat coming in, and every ton of barley grown here, and every ton of oats, displaces foreign produce coming into this country. If it were taken on these grounds alone, I hold that the Minister's Bill is absolutely justifiable. I wish to thank the Minister, on behalf of the people of East Cork, for introducing that Bill here. It was a Bill that was badly needed, and will prove a blessing, as it has already proved a blessing to the unfortunates of our constituencies.

I do not know whether I should sympathise with the House as a whole, or sympathise with the Minister for Agriculture on the speech to which we have just listened. I am sure that that speech has given more uneasiness to the Government, and in particular to the Minister for Agriculture than the speech of any other member of the House. Deputy Corry has made a number of extraordinary statements. Of course, those of us who have been members of this House since the Deputy came here are not surprised. I am not going to characterise any of the statements made by the Deputy as lying statements—I think the Deputy was drawing upon his imagination.

I challenge the Deputy on that.

I am not surprised, sir. The Deputy is, in my opinion, as one who has had the good fortune, or, if you like to be absolutely truthful, the misfortune of listening to him for five years, one of the members in this House who never bothers very much as to facts. He is better able than any member in the House to paint what is white, black, and what is black, white, as it suits his case. I have heard the Deputy, while in Opposition, talk and thunder forth in this House, as he said to-night in his own speech "a tremendous amount of nonsense," and fill this Chamber with his contentions that wheat could not possibly be grown in this country at less than 30/-a barrel. Does the Deputy deny that?

I ask you to quote it?

It is on record, and I ask the Deputy does he deny it?

Yes, and I ask you to quote it.

I am not surprised the Deputy denies it. The Deputy, and not only the Deputy, but the present Minister for Agriculture, stated in this House that wheat could not be grown and sold by the farmers in this country at less than 30/- a barrel.

I said it could be grown for 30/- a barrel.

Am I misinterpreting the Minister when I take it from that, that that was the minimum price?

The Minister did not.

I am sorry the Minister misled the House. Of course he was not Minister then, and we must allow for the change over from one side of the House to the other.

The Deputy was in the Labour Party then.

The Deputy is still in the Labour Party—the Deputy is the Labour Party—the Deputy and his colleague here. I refrain from any retort. The Deputy tells us in his speech that climate has nothing whatever to do with the growing of wheat. The Deputy told us he grew wheat profitably, and that it was the most profitable crop he grew or possibly could grow on his farm from 1918 to 1926. Will the Deputy tell us what happened in 1926?

The bottom fell out of it.

Would the Deputy tell us what happened in the last six years which caused the most profitable crop he could grow to be the least profitable, and why he ceased to grow it?

Will the Deputy allow me answer? The price of wheat fell from £11 per ton to £7 per ton and if you count that you will know the difference.

I am prepared to accept that. But I submit that the price of wheat last year is very much lower than it was in any year between 1926 and 1930. And I think the Minister will agree with me when I say this, that the price of wheat last year and this year is probably fifty per cent. or at least forty per cent, lower than it was in 1926. But the fact remains that Deputy Corry out of his own mouth told us, and I am not prepared to accept the statement he made, that the most profitable crop he could grow from 1918 to 1926 was wheat.

What do you know about it anyway?

I know perhaps as much as the Deputy.

This is the Second Stage of this Bill—not a dialogue nor even a Committee Stage.

I think that is enough said for wheat at the moment. So far as I am personally concerned, and I think I have as much interest in this country as Deputy Corry has, or any other Deputy in this House, if wheat can be grown here I would like to see it grown here. I doubt if there is any member of this House elected by any section in the country who would not like to see any crop grown in this country or any article produced in this country which could be produced successfully and to the benefit of the country. Deputy Corry asked me what I knew about these things. I submit, and Deputy Corry in his own speech admitted it—if the farmers of this country who know their own business better than Deputy Corry and I can tell them, found that it is possible and profitable to grow wheat they would grow it without any Bill such as this. The Deputy himself admitted that a while ago. If the Deputy reads his own speech, when it is in print, he will see that he made the statement that there was no necessity to coerce the farmers into growing wheat. I agree. If the farmers, who know their own business better than Deputy Corry, or I, or than the ex-Minister for Agriculture, or the present Minister, think they can grow any agricultural produce, either wheat or barley, to their advantage they will grow it.

They can do it now.

If they can then there is no necessity for this measure.

This measure is to secure that it will be grown.

The Deputy wants to impart the information to every member of the House, and through the Press to the people of the country, that barley will now fetch 16/- per barrel.

I will make a bet with you that it will.

In my county there is more barley grown not only than in the Deputy's constituency but in the whole of Cork. There is only one other county in which they grow more barley, and that is Wexford. And there was 6d. per barrel more got for barley this year than last year. I agree there is a further difference, there is a better class of barley this year and a better return than last year, but that is not due to the Deputy's exertions nor to those of President de Valera. It is due to the fact that we had a better year. The general price throughout the Free State for barley is not 16/- per barrel but 14/6 per barrel.

I said that I did not want to make any statement that would mislead anybody. I tell the Deputy I am prepared to produce orders and receipts for barley sold at 16/- per barrel.

I could produce documents from a single buyer for any number of barrels of barley at 16/- per barrel, but I am talking of the price ruling in the whole country. It does not matter whether one man sold ten or 500 barrels at 16/- a barrel. I say the average price for barley grown in the eight or nine counties that grow barley, whether for grinding or for malting purposes, is 14/6 per barrel. The Deputy has been offering to make bets to-night. I will guarantee that if the Deputy will enter into a contract with me I will supply him with anything from five to 50,000 barrels of barley at 14/6 per barrel.

Would that interfere with the Flaherty whiskey?

That is a different point. It might improve the Flaherty whiskey. That sort of talk does not improve the position. We ought to face up to facts, and if Deputy Corry faces the facts, as a practical farmer, he knows as well as any man what are the practical difficulties before growing wheat. The Deputy knows well the talk there was about the gamble of growing beet.. Big and all as the subsidy was in that case, I question very much if the growing of wheat, and the subsidy, is not going to be a bigger gamble, and is not going to cost the country more.

Did you not look for a big beet factory to be established in your constituency?

The Deputy talked at length, and without, if I may say so, apparently having gone to the trouble to get some information from his colleague the Minister for Agriculture on the question of beet. He talked of what the beet subsidy cost the country. I am inclined to agree with the Deputy that the return the people of this country got from beet was not at all in keeping with what we had to pay in the way of subsidy. I suggest to the Deputy that he might use the eloquence and vehemence and enthusiasm at the next meeting of the Fianna Fáil Party that he used here to-night against any more beet factories——

Were you not looking for a beet factory last week?

If there are to be more beet factories in this country, if in face of the united opposition of the Government Party, when they were in opposition, to the subsidy for the present beet factory, they are going to create according to their publicity people two or three other factories, then surely I am personally entitled to look for one in my constituency. If we are to be taxed in Tipperary as well as in every other part of the Free State to put up additional beet factories, on the basis similar to the one in Carlow, I am entitled, if not in duty bound, if possible, to get one of these for my own constituency. If I may say so plainly and bluntly I am entitled to get a share of the spoils, although in that matter I suppose I would find myself between the devil and the deep sea, between the Cumann na nGaedheal Party and the Fianna Fáil Party. I suppose I would not get anything out of one or the other.

I was rather interested to hear from Deputy Corry that for eight years he grew wheat and grew it very profitably. I understand that Deputy Corry is a very extensive farmer and that he tills a fairly good acreage on his farm, and keeps dairy cows in a most up-to-date way. In other words he is a first-class farmer. I am satisfied of that. If from 1919 to 1926 he found wheat a most profitable and paying crop, and that he, also, grew other crops which must have been very profitable, and that his dairy cows were profitable, then I would suggest to the Minister for Finance, who is anxious to secure all arrears of income tax, that the Deputy on his net profits must now owe a very substantial sum to the Minister who is badly in want of all he can get.

This is a debate to which the country was looking forward with a considerable amount of interest and anxiety. The country expected to hear this afternoon from the Minister for Agriculture an outline, or indeed something more than an outline, of the agricultural policy of the Fianna Fáil administration. We were told last night that farming as it had been carried on in this country heretofore must cease; that the cattle industry was completely dead and buried, and there was no hope of its resurrection. We were expecting, therefore, to hear this afternoon from the Minister what was the alternative which he and his administration were going to put before the farmers. We have been told that what has taken place within the last few months was a blessing in disguise. This afternoon we expected that the disguise was going to be torn off, and that we would see the blessing clearly shining before us. We wanted to hear a statement of the full agricultural policy of the Party opposite, if they have got an agricultural policy.

Instead of that we had the statement which the Minister for Agriculture made in this debate. A farming economy which affected the whole of the country is to cease to be. There is to be an alternative economy we are told again and again. To-night we were to hear it. What is this? This is a Bill, the Minister tells us, giving the most sanguine expectation of the success of his measure which he could, which deals at the very outside with 45,000 acres of land. He expects that 45,000 acres, some of which was in tillage before, some of which may have been in grass before, will be affected by this tillage scheme. In other words, this is a scheme which, as far as the real agricultural problem in this country is concerned, is absolutely negligible and of no account. It is not affecting any area of this State that is of any importance. It is a Bill, on the statement of the Minister himself, which is of trifling dimensions, and which can have no beneficial effect upon Irish farming conditions as a whole.

This is the very best that Fianna Fáil can do. This is now Fianna Fáil's full agricultural policy which is to take the place of the rearing and sale of cattle and other livestock and of live-stock products. Our market for them has gone—according to the Minister for Industry and Commerce gone and lost forever. We are having as a substitute this measure which affects, not the whole country, but a tiny portion of the country at the very outside. The Minister is bankrupt in his views; the whole Executive Council are bankrupt in their policy. They have nothing to put before the country of any importance to the country. Let us take the time at which this measure is being introduced, because, small as this measure is, little effect as this measure can have, I do, in the first place, think that the effects of the measure will not be beneficial, and, in the second place, even if the effects of the measure can at any time turn out to be beneficial, this is the very worst time in which it could possibly be introduced. What is this measure? In the first place, we are told it is to have 45,000 acres of wheat in the country. We are told that a subsidy of £200,000 is to be given, if this scheme works out as the Minister expects it will work out.

He tells us that larger sums have already been given to subsidise a beet factory. I should like to point out to the Minister that there is an enormous amount of difference between the growing of beet and the growing of wheat. Of all crops grown, I do not think I am exaggerating when I say that the growing of beet root gives the largest amount of employment. I can say with absolute confidence that the growing of wheat gives the very minimum amount of employment. The growing of wheat for practical purposes, or the growing of any class of corn for practical purposes, gives no employment. Suppose the Bill were to be a success; suppose wheat were to be grown in this country on anything like a large scale; suppose there was to be mechanised farming in this State directed to the growing of wheat, what would be the employment given? It is calculated now in other countries that the employment given by the growing of wheat under modern conditions is at the rate of one man to every 200 acres of wheat. That is to say, if your wages bill was, let me say, at the rate of £1 per week per man, that for every 200 acres of wheat you grow your labour bill would be £52 under modern mechanised farming conditions. If you farm in the very oldest form of farming, as may be carried on in this State on small farms, the employment given by corn growing is negligible. What does it consist of? One man does the ploughing, one man does the harrowing, one man, if it is anything like a large farm, does the seeding and then the rolling and then he leaves it; work for a short period of time for one man and his pair of horses.

How long would one man be ploughing 200 acres in the West of Ireland?

I am not talking of one man with 200 acres. When I spoke of one man to 200 acres, of course I was talking of modern mechanised farming with tractors and completely up-to-date machinery. I am talking, as I think I made clear, of what employment will be given under old-fashioned, out-of-date methods. Dealing with that old-fashioned, out-of-date method for wheat growing which may and which will, as a matter of fact, be resorted to in this State, I say that the amount of employment given by wheat growing will be negligible, because one man can do all the processes of growing wheat. The ploughing, the harrowing and the sowing—one man with a pair of horses can do that. Then he simply leaves the wheat there until the harvest time comes. At the harvest time, if there is a reaper and binder, one man can do all the reaping and binding. All that you want then is simply casual labour for the stooking and gathering up and bringing to the thresher of the wheat. In other words, wheat gives no permanent employment, cannot give permanent employment. Wheat gives a very small amount of employment to a very small number of persons for a very short period of the year. At the time at which there is any considerable number of people required per acreage of wheat, casual labour merely will be employed.

Wheat or corn-growing is not going to cut down unemployment in this country. If it has any effect at all upon the labour market, it will have the effect of increasing unemployment. Beet, of course, is absolutely different. Beet gives employment the whole time —the supply and setting up and keeping of it clean and the tilling of it— and it is the same with all green crops. They give regular employment, but the growing of grain crops gives, for practical purposes, no employment, and when the Minister talks about extra employment by the rotation which he seems to visualise—a rotation of wheat followed by oats, followed by wheat again, and that seemed to be what he visualised to-day when he talked about the area of oats not being cut down, it means that he simply will drive persons out of employment and will certainly not increase employment at all.

The people that are living on the grass?

Let me take some other provisions of the Bill. There is a provision in it which has been dealt with—in my judgment, a very foolish provision, about the putting in of other grains with meal. That has been rather fully dealt with, but I would like to know what areas are there in which the farmers or the consumers of yellow meal want to buy other people's corn when they have corn of their own. What class of farmers are getting subsidised by the farming community? The farmers who live in the vicinity of working mills are to get a price for their grain, and they are to get that price at the expense of all the other farmers, and they are to get it at the expense of the small farmer. Take my own constituency where there are practically no working mills. You are going to bring rye to County Mayo and make the Mayo farmer pay for the barley or oats or anything else which may be grown somewhere near a port in any other place. That is not fair. Let me take a matter with which the Minister did not deal at all. I am going to leave out this idea of socialism, which is brought in in the last part of the Bill, by which the Minister for Industry and Commerce is to set up his mills and mill away. I would like to point out that there is a Bill here which is preventing the importation of feeding stuffs into this country, and preventing the importation of hay and straw, and I believe that if the Minister really regarded the situation in this country at the moment, instead of preventing the importation of hay, as he is preventing it, he would buy up all the hay he could buy, and expend his £200,000 very much more profitably by letting the hay be cheap on the market everywhere through Ireland than spending it in this fashion.

We have too much hay.

What is our position now? We have in this country at present, and I am talking especially of my own constituency and especially of the part of the country I know fairly well, a number of cattle which have not been sold up to this and which could not be sold. The people there got advice from responsible members of the Executive Council not to sell and they did not sell, even at the prices that were going, and now their markets are absolutely full of cattle and the cattle cannot get buyers at any price. If you have got a particularly nice-looking lot of cattle you may be able to sell, but if you have just ordinary animals they come home again and must be kept for the winter. What is the ordinary small farmer in Mayo going to keep these extra cattle on for the winter? He has got a certain amount of hay and a certain amount of grass left over for the winter, but he has calculated on that amount as the amount he requires for his cows, for his horse, and for whatever young calves he was going to keep on. He has not got the feeding stuffs. He cannot keep, it is impossible for him to keep, these extra three or four bullocks that he intended to sell and which, owing to the state of the market, he cannot sell, and what you will find, certainly in the part of the country I know best, and I believe it will be the same all over the State, is that there will be no fodder for the cattle this winter and no price for them at all, and the cattle will actually die of hunger in the fields.

That must come, and it seems to me that it is one of the things which anybody, looking at the situation now, can prophesy with absolute certainty, and this in consequence is a period of time in which the Minister should do every single thing that lies in his power to make feeding stuffs for stock cheap, but, if you please, this is the very period in which the Minister for Agriculture thinks it right to increase the market price of feeding stuffs for cattle. It is a misconception of the whole situation. I wish that this Executive Council, and, especially, the Minister for Agriculture and the Minister for Industry and Commerce, who are here in the House, would give up their theories and come down to facts, would recognise that they are living, not in an imaginary world of their own, but living in Ireland in the year 1932, and that their policy should not be a policy suited to some Utopia somewhere or other, but should be a policy suited to the needs of Ireland in the year 1932 and that they should get down to hard facts, and that they should formulate, if they are fit to formulate, a policy which would deal with and be suited for the needs of this particular State at this particular hour.

We get, however, absolutely nothing of the kind. We get as the very best help the farmers of this State can get from the Executive Council this Bill, a Bill which, granted even that it is a success in its operation, can affect only a very small percentage of farmers in this State and only affect that percentage of farmers in the most negligible way. And this is the best thing that can be turned out. This Bill demonstrates that, so far as a farming policy fit to meet the needs of the present situation, a farming policy that can be of any assistance to the Irish farmer at the present time, is concerned, the Executive Council have none. In spite of the challenges which have come from this side of the House, I have noticed that not one single member of the Fianna Fáil Party has got up to welcome this Bill or to say a single word in favour of it, because I do not consider the grotesque exhibition we had a few moments ago—I would not wrong Fianna Fáil even by thinking that that grotesque exhibition was the best that Fianna Fáil could do or by suggesting that it was typical of Fianna Fáil—but there is not a single representative of Fianna Fáil, who could be considered to have any weight or authority of any kind in the councils of that Party, who has got on his feet to speak a single word in favour of this measure. I think they were perfectly wise, because this measure, coming as it comes at this particular period of time, must fill not merely the followers of other Parties with despair, but must fill with still greater despair the followers of Fianna Fáil, who thought that they could build with safety on the promises made to them by that Party and who have now found how worthless those promises were.

I understand that in the third Schedule there are a number of items that are prohibited from being imported into this country. Am I correct in that? I would like to ask, with reference to "peas in grain (not fresh)," if New Zealand and Tasmanian maple peas, which are food for racing pigeons, are included in the prohibition? I am merely asking the question because it is of interest to all the pigeon fanciers who have to buy a special class of food for these racing pigeons. Those people do not see why a duty should be placed upon this special food that they have to get.

This Bill should more properly be called a Wheat Bill. It is the outcome of the preachings of the Fianna Fáil Party for several years. Members of that Party would seem to have a surfeit of wheat on the brain. This Bill is going to revolutionise the whole economic life of this country. Its object is to get the farming community to produce wheat, a commodity in which the world can beat us. Fianna Fáil have killed the market for the commodities in which we could beat the world—bacon, butter, beef, poultry, eggs. They have killed that market and they think this Bill will be the panacea of all our ills. All our sufferings apparently will disappear if we grow wheat.

The Minister for Agriculture said that 671,000 acres of wheat were grown in this country in 1847. Does he know under what conditions the wheat was then produced? Is he aware that wheat was then cultivated under slavish conditions? The small farmers had no machinery and no artificial manures. All the cultivation was done by spade work. They took the land and made what any Irish speaker is well aware of—"graf." They burned the land and as a result of the burning they had soil on which they were able to produce wheat. Notwithstanding all the labour they had to utilise in order to produce that quantity of wheat in 1847, they died by the thousand, unfortunately. For a long time after 1847 the great wheat-producing countries of the world were undeveloped. Transport was undeveloped. We in this island are on the extreme end of the wheat-producing belt of Western Europe. Northern Ireland cannot produce wheat. We are just on the verge, the borderline.

I have been a wheat grower all my life and I know that it is only once in five years or probably once in six years that we can produce what the Minister calls millable wheat. Then again, in this little State of ours, we have only small areas capable of producing wheat. Fortunately for me, I am living in one of these wheat-producing areas. I live within four miles of a mill which produces excellent flour. I have it on the authority of the miller that under present conditions a Canadian farmer could have his wheat brought thousands of miles to this particular mill at a cheaper rate than that at which I, who live only four miles away, could bring my wheat. I am not looking at this matter from a parochial point of view as others have done; I am regarding it from the view-point of the State.

We have heard a lot about a bounty and a subsidy, but we should remember that all those come out of the producer's pocket. We have numbers of people in this State who cannot grow wheat, they have not the land to grow wheat, and you are asking those people to give a bounty and a subsidy to men who are much better off, and who are living in the wheat-growing districts. I think that is most unfair. If I were to speak for my own parish I would say this was a great thing, and I would welcome the subsidy, but viewing it from the wider angle I look upon it as a national disgrace to make poor people foot the bill. We talk a lot here about the Gaeltacht and the development of industries there, but you are putting another nail in their coffin when you ask the people there to subsidise the wheat-growing farmer.

Our agricultural system is not one of to-day or to-morrow. Our fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers were shrewd men. They developed a system of agriculture which they found suited their particular districts. I have travelled this country from Malin Head to Mizen Head, and I have seen different systems of farming practised. I believe that the farmer who breaks away from the established system of any district will go wallop. That is not quite a Parliamentary word, but it is nevertheless expressive. Our agricultural system is the result of the experience of generations, and wherever you find that system do not try to change it.

I would like to deal with the proposed admixture of grain. That is going to add to the already heavy costs the farmer has to bear. The Minister for Agriculture has admitted that it will cost the farmer at least 10/- a ton. I have it on reliable authority that it will cost him probably 15/- a ton. When that extra cost is added to the already heavy costs the farmer has to bear, the difficulty of his position will be more generally recognised. The farmers are now in the position that they can get no price for their pigs, beef, mutton, turkeys or chickens and still they have to pay 15/- a ton for this admixture. The Department of Agriculture set out to advise the farmers to mix their own feeding stuffs. They told the farmers not to buy mixed manures, but to buy the various articles and mix them themselves. The ordinary farmer is much better able to mix his own stuff than any miller, yet under this Bill the miller is going to do the mixing and the farmer will have to pay.

I thought we were going to have compulsory tillage but instead of that we have compulsory millage. The miller will be compelled to do it, thanks be to God. The Minister for Agriculture must be aware of the real conditions that exist in the country; if he is not, he must be blind. I say that if this Bill is passed in its present form it is going to put a further nail in the coffin of the small farmer; it will particularly hit the poor farmer and some day it will react on the Party that sponsors it.

I have listened with interest to the last two speeches. Deputy Fitzgerald-Kenney told us that his opposition to the Bill was based on the fact that the growing of wheat would not give employment; in fact that a number of people would be thrown out of employment if this measure was put into operation. He pictured for us the case of some superman who could plough, harrow, seed and roll 200 acres of land. It may be that there is such a man; certainly I have not met him. I think the Deputy should be well aware of the fact that wheat is grown on small farms of five, ten or fifteen acres, and that one man could not plough, harrow, seed and roll 200 acres of land for wheat. The Deputy looked at this Bill from one angle only. He looked at it, possibly, from the point of view that the economy which Cumann na nGaedheal practised during their term of office was going to be changed. He did not take into consideration all the harm that that economy had on the lives of the people, as far as the growing or non-growing of wheat is concerned. He did not consider the effect that the chemicals used in flour for the purpose of bleaching had upon our people. It is a well-known fact that these chemicals have a very injurious effect upon the health of young people. The Minister's policy for the growing of wheat is welcomed by the majority of the people in agricultural districts in the Twenty-Six Counties. This Bill will put into operation a policy whereby our people will be supplied with home grown wheat which will be milled into flour that will not get any of the chemical treatment that the imported flour gets. Home-produced flour need not be treated with chemicals that are injurious to health. This home-milled flour will be converted into bread which will be wholesome.

Deputy O'Donovan stated that the world can beat us in the production of wheat. The world can beat us in the production of other things. I think the House will agree that the world has beaten us in the production of beef. It has been demonstrated for some time past that the price of beef in the markets across the Channel is not an economic price; is not one that gives the farmer here an economic price, even if we never had tariffs. Are we to look upon this question merely in the light of seeing whether the world is able to beat us in the production of beef or not? Should we not look to the interests of our own people? Should we not consider the fact that we have a legacy of 80,000 unemployed that Cumann na nGaedheal left after them last February? Should we not consider that these people need employment, and remember that Canada, the Argentine and Russia can supply wheat at the ports here cheaper than our wheat? Is not that a reason why we should welcome the wheat growing policy put forward by the Minister? Can we not protect our wheat against foreign competition? Because Cumann na nGaedheal viewed the position in a wrong light they are in opposition now. Their policy has been turned down. We preached a tillage policy——

You preached more than that.

——and we are going to put our policy into operation. Deputy O'Donovan thought fit to mention that wheat was produced very extensively in this country in 1847. Yet we had a famine, and unfortunately numbers of our people died by the roadside from starvation. We grew wheat then. Our people died because of the same old economy, and because England took our wheat and oats away to feed her own people, while ours were left to starve. That is the reason our people died. I think no person can conscientiously say that the growing of wheat was responsible for the death of one person in this country. As to the production of a millable sample of wheat, I would like to mention that in the county I represent, the agricultural instructor has certain tests made each year. I remember reading where he stated, in a report two years ago, that some of the samples of wheat grown by him were equal, from the milling point of view, to the very best samples from Manitoba. These were practical tests by an expert, and I have no reason to suspect that, when proper facilities are placed at the disposal of farmers, they will not be able to produce wheat equal to the very best that we now import. If one believed all that the Opposition said about this Bill one would imagine that it was the last thing in the policy of the Government. They will tell you about depression and all that sort of thing. They have no intention of placing their confidence in the Government even for a short time. Let them give the Government a trial.

We have.

You have given us a trial but when we got into office we could not sow wheat. We were too late. The last Government left us a legacy of grass land. In the county I come from I know what grass land has done for the people. I know that it has left many an unfortunate man on the road, with no means of providing for his family. Those people who have been looking at the grass land for years welcome this Bill. I suppose it would be too much to expect that the Opposition would welcome the Bill because they know that this changed economy will eventually bring prosperity to the countryside. They know that, but they dare not say so. They are afraid that the results of this policy will be unfavourable from their point of view, because it will be successful. I think you should understand that this is merely the first instalment of a progressive tillage scheme on the part of the Government. Other portions of that scheme will follow. I think you should know by now that it is the intention of the Government to grow all the wheat, oats and barley that will be needed in this country, so that we will not be placed in the humiliating position of importing all our foodstuffs and paying the foreigner to grow those commodities which we should have our own people employed in producing at home.

The last Deputy did not tell us whether he had any experience of the growing of wheat or not. Perhaps he would tell me now whether he has had any experience of wheat growing.

I grew wheat.

Before the Famine.

I have had no experience of wheat growing but I have had experience of growing oats. I am prepared to make the Deputy an offer. I shall give him fifteen acres of tillage land within fifteen miles of Dublin free, gratis and for nothing for the coming year and let him experiment in wheat growing.


I have not had much experience of wheat growing, because it is not grown very much in my constituency. One man who tried it in my own parish had to give it up because it was a complete failure. I want to offer strong opposition to the proposal of the Minister as regards the admixture of maize and feeding stuffs. I come from a constituency where thousands of tons of feeding stuffs are consumed. Anything that would increase the cost of those feeding stuffs to the poor people who use them would, in my opinion, be a crime. We are told that the people are very much in favour of this scheme. If that is so, how is it that the Government supporters in my constituency rushed all the Indian meal they could into their stores before this regulation came into force? If the Minister wants evidence of that, I am in a position to give it to him. The unfortunate feature of this proposal is that the increased price, which it is claimed will be 10/-, is only one means by which the small farmer will be hit. He will also have to pay portion of the subsidy. I know small farmers in my own constituency who have valuations of less than £10, and they would use, on an average, 20 tons of feeding stuffs each year when things were in full swing. Taking the increase at 10/-, that would mean that an additional charge of £10 per year would be imposed upon them. If, as has been stated here, the increase were to be £1, that would mean an additional charge to them of £20 per year. I have been told of one farmer —not a very big farmer—who was accustomed to use 120 tons of feeding stuffs. It is easy to estimate what the additional cost to that man will be.

We have been told that we, on these benches, were opposed to tillage. The ex-Minister for Agriculture was never opposed to tillage. He said that he was always in favour of mixed farming —that the farmer should till as much as he could consume, but that he would not advise him to go in for tillage for cash-crop purposes. I have some experience of tillage myself and my experience is that tillage gives very little employment if the grain stands up. If the grain does not stand up, as has been my experience on a number of occasions, there is a lot of employment given. I had 33 acres of grain the year before last and it was flattened out the same as if it had been rolled. I had 16 acres of oats next year and I had to cut it with a scythe. Do the Deputies on the Government Benches think that that is a paying proposition? The climate is against us. I am as patriotic and as much inclined to till as any other farmer, but I have, unfortunately, to admit that the climate is dead against us.

The speeches so far from the Government Benches on this important subject have been more comical than anything else. I suppose the only way to treat this wheat proposal is to work it out and see what is the result. No arguments that we could put forward would have any weight with the occupants of the Government Benches. They have a majority and they are going on with this proposal. They are aware of our view-point. We have been told that we have wheat equal to the best Manitoba. There is no wheat in the country equal to the best Manitoba. We have been told about the effect upon public health. If there is any effect on public health, why let in flour at all? Get in wheat and grind it and you will have no bleaching. That is a simple process. What have all these doctors on the Fianna Fáil Benches to say on this matter? There are a lot of doctors on those benches. Why do they not stand up and make the statements which are being made by less responsible Deputies who know nothing about the subject?

Doctors do not state falsehoods.

The doctors would not make statements that other Deputies, owing to their want of knowledge, are making.

Doctors differ and patients die.

It would be no harm if some of your people died. The Minister talks about the price he is going to give for wheat. He is to give 24/- a barrel, and 25/- in some cases—roughly about 10/- per cwt. Ten shillings per cwt. for wheat and about 15/- per cwt. for beef in today's market—due to the good offices of Fianna Fáil and their President.

The President started out in April to antagonise every consumer that was consuming our produce. He lost all the goodwill we had in the English market. He brought it to the point which has been stressed by several speakers that Canterbury lamb was selling in London at 2d. per lb. more than the price of our lamb; to the point where Argentine beef was selling at a price higher than ours and then the culminating bombshell came in July when we had given over the market altogether. And when we started to get back in defiance of the President's statement, and in defiance of the VicePresident's encouragements in his message from Ottawa, the only way we could get back was by underselling the people already in possession. And we started underselling them. When we started to undersell them they had to follow, but we led them in the race of underselling. Instead of leading them in the race uphill we led them in the race down.

The Minister for Agriculture goes down to Wexford and tells the people there that the English people were not able to buy our beef and that that was the reason our beef was so cheap. The real reason why our beef was so cheap was because the Fianna Fáil Party deliberately set out on this race down-hill and they went ahead and led in every race supplying England with stuff and they are still leading them in the underselling. The Minister for Agriculture must know—there is no better informed Department with regard to agricultural statistics than the Department of Agriculture—that there are more foodstuffs, more beef, mutton, bacon, lamb and other foodstuffs going into England to-day than ever before. The Minister says that the people of England are not able to buy. The fact is that we set out to give them these products cheaper. The Minister has the statistics there and I challenge him to deny that more cwts. of foodstuffs have gone into England and have been consumed there in the last six months than ever before in a similar period. They have been sold there at a price. The fact is they are consumed.

As to this matter of the wheat guarantee, I would say now the only thing is to let it be tested out. Everybody in this country knows that taking an average—not an exceptional year— there is more bran, weight for weight, in the wheat grown in this country than flour. The Minister talks about the returns he is going to get in wheat per acre. I tell him that half of that wheat is to be bran and the people are to feed that bran to live-stock which they would be selling at 18/- per cwt.; they are going to feed it to their stock which they will have to sell at a price to compete with the old horses that are being sent on to Belgium— against the old horses that are being shipped by Mosey Lee and Johnny Lord.

And Deputy Gorey.

I wonder how the people of this country allow you to sit there on the Government Benches. I wonder why they do not tear you limb from limb in the halls of this House and I hope to God they will. I would be the first myself to lead them. I hope the people of this country will waken up to-morrow, and to-morrow is time enough for me.

Then we have this mixture proposal. The people of East Cork are to be subsidised at the expense of the people of West Cork. The people of South Kilkenny are going to subsidise the people of Leix and Kildare who will not work, people whose work consists of a couple of days' seeding the field of barley and then shutting the gate, and whose only concern for the following six months is to see that the fences are good. These people are to be subsidised at the expense of the people who work the 365 days of the year, at the expense of the people who have to feed and milk their cows all the year round; the people who have to feed their pigs and their calves all the year round.

It is the people who soil their hands and who are not afraid to have their hands dirty who are to subsidise the people of Kildare and Laoighis. After all the work that these people have to do for the 365 days of the year they only get a bare subsistence out of it. Still they are asked to subsidise the people who work one week in the year, people who never feed cattle or pigs. Then these people who do not want to work come to the Minister for Industry and Commerce, led by Mr. Bergin, of Athy. They come to the Minister for Agriculture. Did the Minister ever insist that these people who preach the value of their foodstuffs should practise that on themselves? How much of their foodstuffs do they feed to their cattle or to their pigs? Come down to statistics, and let the Minister see what the bacon and cattle production is in Kildare and Laoighis. I take off my hat to Wexford. They feed their own foodstuffs to their cattle and pigs, and I take off my hat to them. The people there are not afraid to work. If they grow plenty of corn they use plenty of this corn themselves. Wexford is perhaps one of the poorest counties in Ireland. I mean that the land in Wexford is poor land. The proposition that the Government are coolly putting up to the people of South Kilkenny, Wexford and the other counties where the people work is that they are to put their hands down in their pockets and subsidise lousers who work only one or two weeks in the year——

I cannot allow the Deputy to use that word with reference to anybody in this country. It must be withdrawn.

I do not mean the people who do not wash their faces. I mean the people who will not work.

The Deputy will have to cease his speech or withdraw that word.

In order to continue my brilliant speech I withdraw it.

There will be no qualification but the withdrawal of the word.

Then I absolutely withdraw. What is the position in regard to the land of Ireland that is unable to grow corn? Everybody knows that the best land for general purposes is the land that is able to grow corn. The land that is able to grow corn is the best land for growing anything. It is so in Kildare, Meath and Westmeath. But what about the people who are unable to grow their own corn? What about the people in Leitrim who have to subsidise the people in the best land in Ireland to make them grow corn? What about the people in every part of the County Kerry except perhaps Ballymacelligot and Ardfert? I do not think there is any other part of Kerry suitable for tillage. What is to be the position in this huge county of Kerry with its large population? What about the people in Waterford and several other counties in Ireland? These people are in a worse position than the people who want to get subsidies for growing corn—the people who will not work, I will not use an opprobrious term again; the people who will not feed the produce that they grow to their live-stock? If there is any good in that system one would think that the first people to demonstrate its excellence should be the people who are looking for these subsidies. The real facts are that these people who are looking for this subsidy feed less of what they grow than any other people in the country. These people will not work. They snapped their fingers at us down in Kildare at the election two years ago. Most of them were wearing kid gloves and they had lovely white hands—even the young men.

They took them off to fight and they won.

They did not know what they were going to get.

These should be the first people to demonstrate the value of corn growing. We are told this is to raise the price by 10/- a ton in the area where it is grown. How much is the price going to be raised in Donegal? I am told that with the cost of transport and so on it will make the corn 20/- to 22/6 a ton dearer in Donegal and Leitrim. The people of these counties find it difficult enough to get on as it is under present conditions. How are they going to feed this corn to their livestock when they will have to sell their stock at a price which has been driven down to 18/- a cwt? I say that instead of helping the agricultural industry the House is going a long way by this Bill to crush out whatever enterprise and industry is left in the country. I warn the Minister that where there are ten pigs being fed to-day under present conditions not as much as one pig will be fed when this Bill is in operation. Then Deputies will see the value of the proposition. I say this Bill will put people out of pig production; it will put people out of egg and butter production and it will put people out of beef production. There is one thing right about your beef proposition and that is the whole of the State is paying the subsidy, but because it is doing that the subsidy has one virtue, but the other proposition has no virtue.

I would not object if the Government subsidised the barley grower and perhaps the oat grower in the same way as they are subsidising the wheat grower. What I decidedly object to is the Government's action in penalising one section of the community who are really in worse circumstances than the other: subsidising people who will not work themselves. I say it is criminal for the Government and for the Party behind them to support what is contained in this mixture proposition. From the point of view of the State, I have no objection to the Government standing in and paying a subsidy in regard to wheat, but what I bitterly object to is a subsidy to be taken out of the pockets of one section of the community and paid to another section. If you subsidise the grower of barley, he will have to take his share in subsidising the wheat grower as a member of the community. That is understandable and probably could be argued. Take the case of men who feed 200 and 300 pigs, and there are such men in this country. I venture to say that there are more pigs reared in three parishes in South Kilkenny than in all Kildare and Leix put together. The same is true of the Enniscorthy district in North Wexford. The people who farm on those lines are content with a mere existence. They are not making money. They have to work 365 days in the year, Sundays as well as Mondays. I say it is a shame, it is criminal that these people who are only just existing should be taxed to subsidise people in South Kildare and Leix and elsewhere who only work a few days and are gentlemen all the rest of the year—people who will not work themselves. I do not care whom that pleases or displeases.

Feeding-stuff, if it has any value at all, has most value on the spot. If the farmers who grow barley believe in its value they can spare themselves the cost of freightage from their barns and feed it themselves. If it is of value, why do not these people feed it themselves? Why are they not their own best customers? Has the Minister or his Government made any effort to make these people carry their weight? Instead of that he puts them up on a pedestal and calls on the rest of the people to subsidise them. That is the position and neither the Minister nor his Government can deny it. If feeding stuff has any value, then it surely has most value for those who have either their own mills or their local mills. What is the idea of making people in Donegal buy from around Athy if it has equal value in Athy as it has? I am the last to deny that barley is of value, but when it raises the bill of the feeder to a point where its use becomes uneconomic for him then I say it is an injustice for the Government to put on the individual what the State should bear, if the State think it is good policy.

As long as I have been in politics we have had the same cry from these same people. When I was in the Farmers' Party we had the same people waiting on us to try and get somebody to give them a subsidy. They waited on the last Government to try to get somebody to subsidise them. They have waited on this Government and evidently they have got a response. I say it is not to the Gov- ernment's credit that they have taken this step. Although the Government may get some votes here and there as a result of their subsidy policy, and may try to buy other people with something else, they cannot at all events fool all the people all the time. I take far more exception to this part of their programme than I do to their wheat proposition. Those who have been farming for the last twenty or twenty-five years and who have eyes in their heads to observe the results know what happens in an average year in the case of wheat and other corn crops. The first thing you have to do with wheat after you cut it is either to cap the stooks or to make hand-stacks of it. Any farmer who neglected doing that during the last fifteen or twenty years was simply left with a butt of corn that was not worth twopence, it was of no value except to feed to fowl. People growing oats and barley suffered in the same way.

The Minister, before starting with this wheat policy, should have acted on the suggestion I often made here: that is, to start glass factories in this country so that a roof could be put over the parts of the country where he wanted his tillage policy to operate. I made that suggestion seriously a few years ago and I make it again now. There is a great lack of employment in the country. That is one way in which the Government could help to relieve it, to start glass factories so that we could cover that part of the country in which the Government want to carry out their tillage scheme. I submit that my proposition is no more ridiculous than the Government's. In fact the weight of commonsense is on the side of starting the glass factories so that this scheme could be carried out in glass houses all over the country. I am afraid that the Government's wheat scheme will never be a success until they act on my suggestion. At any rate. I repeat that my proposition is no more ridiculous than the one the Government is here putting forward.

In view of Deputy Gorey's speech I suppose it is up to me to say something. The farmers in Kildare with the white hands and the kid gloves are not the farmers who voted and worked for Fianna Fáil. The farmers who supported our Party were the working and tillage farmers of the county. I saw Deputy Gorey in Kildare during the time of the by-election. He was then associating with the farmers with the white hands and the kid gloves who according to him do not work at all. These are the people who supported him. Fortunately, the working farmers in Kildare are more numerous than the gentleman type that the Deputy talked of. A Deputy who spoke earlier referred to the fact that each county develops its own system of agriculture. He said that the farmers in each county knew best what suited them and adopted the system that suited them. If South Kildare is a tillage area and is devoted largely to the growing of barley and of grain, I know the reason for that. The land suited barley, and farmers of that district followed up the pursuit of growing barley for brewing and distilling and did not ask for anything from any Government or from anybody while the brewing and distilling industries were prosperous in the country. Personally, I never agreed with the system of devoting our land altogether to corn growing as the best system of farming, and the farmer himself did not follow that system. I myself, and a great number of the farmers in Kildare, grow our own corn and feed it to our cattle, and while I know that the mixed system is the best system, I also know the plight in which they found themselves when the brewing and distilling industries failed. We know how difficult it is to change over to that mixed system. The farmers did not have sufficient capital. A few years ago they were recommended by Deputy Hogan, when he was Minister for Agriculture, to keep one more sow and one more cow and till another acre of land. Anyone with experience knows that the change from growing crops for sale to the other system is difficult without capital, and if the farmers of Kildare did not become the industrious people that they should have become, according to Deputy Gorey, it is due entirely to lack of capital. There was no encouragement, nor any prospect held out, for them to change over. The Government are doing a wise thing and a good thing for the country in trying to save that type of farmer in the country and there are more counties in the Twenty-Six Counties than Kildare. Many of the grain-growing counties were counties where the people largely depended on growing grain for sale.

Deputy Gorey and some of the other Deputies talked about the difficulty of growing wheat and said that you cannot grow wheat. Deputy Gorey said that you would want a glass house to save it. To listen to all those arguments against the growing of wheat one would think it was impossible. Why not put up as many arguments against the keeping and rearing of livestock as the Deputy puts up against the growing of wheat? A few years ago, when the fluke epidemic in the country swept away all the sheep all over the grazing parts of the country and put many of the farmers into bank-ruptcy, the Government at that time did not shout "Give up keeping sheep." They tried to find remedies for the fluke and the Department of Agriculture was instructed to find remedies. We could as easily have said then "Get out of sheep rearing." The same applies with abortion in cows.

That is just what I am suggesting—to get remedies for the wheat-growing.

The Deputy sneers at wheat-growing, just as he sneers at everything the Government attempt. It is not honest of him. He knows very well that wheat can be grown. As I was saying, the same thing applies to abortion in cattle. When cows suffer from abortion, we do not advocate that we should get out of the keeping and breeding of cows. I know that agriculture is difficult and that a man engaging in it must mind his business and know all about it if he is to succeed at it. There are difficulties of course, but we have got to get over them. This may not be the most successful year for wheat because it is new to many of the farmers and I do not know if sufficient attention has been given to see that the best varieties of seed are to be sown. Nevertheless, I believe that we have got to get on to wheat growing. The cause of the failure of wheat growing in the past was not because of the change of climate but because English policy made cattle rearing a better paying proposition. Wheat was grown successfully, but to suit herself the British Government repealed the Corn Laws and made this country, and even England herself, a cattle country. I notice that England is sorry now for her neglect of agriculture in the past and they are trying to get their own people back on the land and to develop agriculture just as we are trying to do. They are giving subsidies and protection for their own agriculturists, and we must do the same here. Deputy Roddy, I think—and he should know better— said that in the famine time the people died here of hunger, even though there was plenty of wheat. If they had not had to send their wheat to England, they would not have died, and they would have kept their wheat if they could afford to keep it.

The wheat was at home.

It was not, and you know it.

It was in the haggards all over the country.


The Deputy must be allowed to make his speech.

They had to give their wheat to the absentee landlords. If it was kept at home the people would not have died of hunger. The reason they did not grow wheat here in the past was that it was made more profitable for them to keep cattle. Now it is no longer profitable to keep cattle and the English themselves are getting on to the wheat. They cannot keep their agricultural economy in England and they have to get back to wheat growing. That is the policy of the Minister for Agriculture and it is the policy the people want.

People are asking why President de Valera does not settle this dispute with England. If they want an answer to that, all they have to do is to come here to the Dáil and listen to this debate. This is a major item of the Fianna Fáil agricultural policy. I know that Fianna Fáil and the present Government Party say that industry—that is, non-agricultural industry—is very important, but they agree that agricultural industry itself is very important and this is their major item. Yet it is clear to me that they do not agree with this item of policy. I will leave out the Minister—he is naive in these matters. It is plain to me that even Deputy Corry, who showed no enthusiasm, and Deputy Kelly from Meath and the Deputy who has just spoken know that this policy is going to fail. They know it perfectly well.

How about the bull policy?

Mr. Hogan

This whole debate on the major item of the agricultural policy of the present Government is an example of where that Party would be if they had not this quarrel with England. We would not have debate after debate of this sort, with a dispirited Party in the benches opposite, everyone knowing that their policy is unsound, that it would not last and that they would be found out in a very short time if they had to be judged by the merits of this policy. If there is any one in the country who has any doubts as to the quarrel, they ought to be brought to the galleries of this House to-night. By the way, there are no cheers from the gallery to-night. There is no enthusiasm there. There is no enthusiasm anywhere.

Get this. If we were in normal times, that this were a normal country, that the Dáil were seriously concerned with the real problems of life—poverty, unemployment, agricultural prices—all these problems which are real problems—this would have been the most important debate we had in the Dáil since the Dáil was elected. There is no enthusiasm, however, there are no cheers, no heroics, "no nothing," as some Deputy on my left says. Why? Because the war with England is not in it. A few Deputies, my friend, Deputy Jordan, who comes from the same county as I do, and Deputy Harris, tried to bring the unfortunate British into it.

I did not speak at all.

Mr. Hogan

By interruption. That is the only time you find any life in the debate. This is the Fianna Fáil agricultural policy, and Deputy Corry is put up to defend it. I do not know whether he is a good farmer or not. I will say that he knows a certain amount about farming, but he was the man chosen to defend this policy. There are a few farmers on the Government Benches, but very few tillage farmers as compared with the farmers sitting behind me here, farmers like Deputy O'Leary and other Deputies whom I could mention, who till big areas of land. There are a few farmers, I take it, on the Government Benches who know a little about tillage, but on this question, one of the most important questions from the Government point of view that could be put before the House, who was put up to defend the Government's policy? Deputy Corry—I will not say the clown of the Party, but Deputy Corry above all people in the world and Deputy Kelly, from Meath, who did grow wheat. He said he grew wheat. These are the men put up to defend it.

There is not a man of the bunch who does not know it is all eye-wash. I shall go as far as to say that the Minister himself knows it is all eye-wash, and I can tell you why. He is asking the country to grow 66,000 acres of wheat, that is 44,000 more than are at present cultivated, but that 44,000 acres will be substituted for some other crop. If he wanted to go in for wheat growing in a really sincere way, he would not start with a subsidy of 24/-, because if he knows anything at all about tillage, he knows that bad and all as cattle are at £1 per cwt., wheat at 24/- per barrel is worse. Yet in order to grow wheat at 24/- per barrel, we shall have to pay 9/- per barrel subsidy. That is assuming that the world price of wheat next year will be 15/- per barrel, and it is likely to be much less. If the Minister is serious, even if he wants any big area of substituted wheat, that is to say, wheat substituted for another crop, I will give him a tip. Even at the present price of wheat he should start at 30/- per barrel.

Three years ago the world price of wheat was 31/- and it was far higher the previous year. Yet in these two years the area of wheat grown fell. The Minister might answer that at that time the price of live-stock was at a higher level than now. That would be quite true but I can tell him that if he wants any area of substituted wheat, wheat substituted for another crop, any increase in area, or if he wants to prevent any decrease, he will have to give about 30/- per barrel for wheat. The fact that he started here with a price of 24/- per barrel when every farmer—and I am one; I till a lot of land—knows that 24/- per barrel is no better than £1 per cwt. for pigs or cattle, the mere fact that he starts with a guaranteed price of 24/- per barrel for wheat makes it perfectly clear that this policy as conceived by the Front Bench is not seriously meant. Anyway we can test it out now. We are getting this chance of testing it out. Remember it is not going to cost much. I used to be asked when I was Minister why I did not subsidise a small area. My answer was that I did not believe in it and that I would let somebody who did subsidise it. I believed that the policy was entirely unsound and hence I did not do it. The present Minister believes in that policy and he is entitled to subsidise it.

One satisfaction that the Minister for Finance and the taxpayers of the country have is that this policy is bound to fail. Remember I am not talking in the air. This Dáil will be in existence in a year or two years' time and we can test it out. The Minister for Finance need not be afraid. It will not cost in my opinion £40,000 to pay the subsidy. Perhaps I may be wrong in that because not only the new areas of wheat will be subsidised but the 22,000 acres grown already. This experiment, however, will not cost £100,000 at most and when I think of all the waste of money that has taken place for the last six months, I think that £100,000 spent in the education of politicians who believe in wheat growing will be money well spent. I do hope that this experiment will be carried to its logical conclusion. We will see in a year when this policy has got a chance, the increased tillage that this policy of subsidising wheat, of all crops, is going to bring about.

A Deputy told us that this subsidy will be much less expensive than the subsidy on beet. I agree. He also told us that for the subsidy on one acre of beet you can grow eight acres of wheat. In that he is wrong. It may be that at the rate of £3 per acre for wheat that is what it would come to. It may be that you can subsidise one acre of wheat at a rate of £3 whereas it would take £24 to subsidise one acre of beet, but what actually is happening is that in neither case are you getting any increased tillage. In both cases you will just get the one acreage substituted for the other. That is practically what happened entirely in regard to beet. I might be asked why then did we give a subsidy for beet? The answer is quite simple. Wheat is a crop about which every intelligent farmer, every tillage farmer, knows a considerable amount. The Department of Agriculture knows all that has got to be known about wheat growing. On the other hand beet was an entirely new crop in the country and there was some justification for subsidising a beet-growing experiment in order to see what were the possibilities on a commercial scale of beet-growing. It was quite legitimate to subsidise beet.

Here we are now, when everybody knows the conditions under which wheat may be grown, when every intelligent farmer is a fair judge of the costings, when generally the conditions, the possibilities, the potentialities of the crop are well known, asked to subsidise wheat growing. There is a big difference between subsidising the growing of wheat and the growing of beet, but there will be one thing in common whatever the subsidy in either case is. You can take it that the very same thing will happen in regard to wheat as happened in regard to beet. The subsidy will not encourage increased production. It will simply encourage substitution of one crop for another, and even that substitution will stop the very moment the subsidy stops. I am not going to waste the time of the House. I have done it too often——

A Deputy

Hear, hear.

Mr. Hogan

I admit that I have done it too often, talking about the effects of wheat growing on land. At this hour of the day Deputies, at least farming Deputies, ought to know something about the subject. It really pains me to hear the Minister for Agriculture talking rubbish on questions such as whether wheat is hard on land, whether it encourages weeds, scutch grass, and so on. There are I hope a few farmers on the Fianna Fáil Benches, some on the middle benches, and many on our benches, who know all about that, and I am not going to take up the time of the House at this hour of the day telling them about it. But there is one point I want to make, and that is Deputy Gorey's point. This subsidy, so far as it is paid to the growers, will go to the farmers on the best land—will go in the main to the beet farmers, and in the main will be paid by the small farmers and the farmers on the poor land.

Now with regard to this mixture, there is one point I would like to refer to because the Minister took up a certain amount of time in discussing it. He told us that barley is almost as good feeding stuff as Indian meal. We all know that. He asked us why it was we should not use barley instead of Indian meal, and he went to great trouble to prove that a farmer could grow the equivalent of Indian meal if he tilled his land and grew barley or grew oats. Would the Minister get this into his head, that all that sort of pleading is completely beside the point? What does he mean? What is he trying to convey to the Dáil? That if the average farmer tilled enough he would have all the meals that he requires in the way of oats and barley? If he does not mean that I do not know what he means. That is what he is trying to convey, that there is nothing to prevent us, if we till sufficient land, from having all the oats and barley we require to take the place of Indian meal. That is, I take it, what the Minister is after. Every acre of land in Denmark is under tillage—either tillage of first or second growth. Practically every acre in France, leaving out forestry, is under tillage, and the same applies in a lot of the Continental countries. And how is it that Denmark imports three or four times as much feeding stuffs as we do? Would the Deputies who are wasting their time telling us that barley is a substitute for Indian meal consider that fact for one moment? Would the Deputies who are wasting their time advising farmers to till more and that they will not require Indian meal get this well into their heads, that in a country like Denmark, where mixed farming is done well, and where every acre of land is tilled, the farmer imports at least twice as much feeding stuffs as he grows. What is the reason for that— because that goes to the root of the whole situation?

Has the Minister for Agriculture yet realised that you must have a certain rotation, and that one year with another you cannot grow much more than twice as much grain as roots? Does he realise that if you grow an acre of roots and an acre of grain you have at least four times as many rations in the roots as you have in the grain? I put it to him in figures. It is extraordinary to be wasting time over this but it does not appear to have penetrated to the minds of farmers on the Fianna Fáil side. Take a statute acre of mangolds. You have 40 tons of mangolds—6,400 stones, that is, 1,600 rations, allowing four stones to a ration. How many meals will you have to feed with that if you want to feed them economically? Every one knows on the average about 7 lbs. would be fair, that is only 320 rations, so that for your two acres of corn you will have only about 600 to 700 rations, whereas from an acre of roots you would have about 1,600 rations. If Deputies would only think of that they would see the reason why you cannot grow all the meals you require. They would see that even if every perch of land in this country were tilled it would be impossible to grow all the meals you require. The ideal thought in this country seems to be that we must either grow all the meal we require ourselves or we must buy it from our neighbouring farmers. Whom are we to buy it from? Where are the farmers from Galway or Mayo or Donegal or West Cork, or any of the poorer areas of the country—the farmers that keep most pigs—to get their meals from? Where are they to get their barley? They are to get it from Leix and Offaly and Kildare, from farmers who have 120, 130, or 140 acres of land, and are in a much better condition than they are. They are to go up there and get it. They can get a certain amount of it, but at what price?

Remember when you are talking of price now you must talk in terms of wholesale price. When the farmer sells barley he really gets a wholesale price for it. What is the wholesale price of Indian meal? Between £4 and £5. Where is the farmer that can take 4/- to 5/- per cwt. for his barley, that is, 8/- to 9/- a barrel? Would the Kildare farmers think it a good proposition? It is a pity Deputy Kelly, who is a convert to tillage, is not here. I wonder would the Meath farmers or the East Cork farmers think it a good proposition. If they are going to get 8/- to 9/- for their barley as a substitute for Indian meal the small farmers in the West of Ireland must pay more for their barley than they can buy Indian meal at. That is all right if they have not to export their pigs. If they have to export their pigs and sell them in the English market against pigs fed on Indian meal bought at a world price how can they do it?

This policy can be carried out successfully I admit, but only on one condition, and that is that production is cut to half. If pig production were cut to half there would be no occasion to sell pigs in the English market. We would have just enough for ourselves. Then you could force the small farmer of the West, or the small farmer who produces pigs and feeds cattle, to buy his feeding stuffs from the Leix and Offaly and Kildare farmer, and you could force him to give a high price for it. You could also force the consumer of bacon and beef and other agricultural products to give a high price for them. That could be done on one condition only, and that is that we cut down agricultural production to half. If the Deputies opposite think that that is an ideal policy they are right. If they think that instead of cutting down production to half we should increase our production the policy enshrined in this Bill is just suicide—just sheer lunacy and nothing else.

There is a big lot of time spent in debating the question of whether this policy put up the price of the mixture by 10/-, 15/- or 30/-. That does not matter. In my opinion it has put up the price by about £1 a ton on the average, but that does not matter. What does matter is the quality of the food which is sold to the farmer. There is no doubt about it that what is going to happen in regard to this mixture is that second and third and fourth quality barley and oats will go into the mixture and be sold at the price of Indian meal. There is no doubt about that. The Minister as good as admitted it. There is no possible test which could detect the quality of the Irish grain once it is ground and put into that mixture, and there can be no doubt whatever that the stuff in the way of barley, wheat and oats that will go into that mixture will be second, third and fourth type of quality.

We were told, I think by Deputy Harris, that it was England forced us to produce live stock and live stock products, and that it is the present Government which proposes to reverse that, and produce grain. I think that is right up to a point. The present Government, undoubtedly, has co-operated in the whole scheme, because Deputy Harris's statement amounts to this, that the British Government made the production of live stock and live stock products pay, whereas it is to the credit of the present Government it made them lose. That is quite true. I am not so sure it was the British Government forced us to produce live stock and live stock products. I am quite sure their production was taken on one year with another, because they paid and paid fairly well. Whether it was the British Government forced us or not to do it is another question. If the brutal Saxon, with whom we are at war at the present moment, did force us to produce live stock and live stock products he did us a very good turn, but in fact you are paying the British Government a compliment that they do not deserve. It was not the Saxon that did that. It was world conditions generally—free trade, if you like.

And the Live Stock Breeding Act?

Mr. Hogan

It was free trade. It was after the farmer realised that producing cattle, sheep, pigs and livestock products paid him better than other methods of farming. But this Government can take the credit of turning that profit very definitely into a loss. There is no doubt whatever that if the present price of beef, mutton, butter, bacon and eggs is still further depressed, that even wheat at 23/- a barrel will pay. Two or three years ago when I was opposing suggestions made to me from the Fianna Fáil Benches that I should go into wheat and encourage the growing of wheat, that was one element in the situation that I did not anticipate. I did not think you would have a Government in power which would consider that the economic dislocation, existing at the present moment between this country and England, was a blessing in disguise; I did not think they would take a certain amount of pride in having shared in bringing the present price of cattle to something like 18/-a cwt., and the price of pigs to the same thing; I did not think the state of affairs which they brought about would result not only in these very low prices, but lower prices still. If I had known that I might have been able to agree with some of the Fianna Fáil Deputies, but that is the present position. But I believe this foolishness will pass. I do not know when. As I said in the beginning, I hope the Government will last long enough to carry this policy out to its logical conclusion. I do not think they will myself, because I have a shrewd suspicion, knowing them, that when the difficulties begin to accumulate they will clear out and let somebody else clear up the mess. The mess will not be a political mess alone, but an economic and financial mess—that will be the most cowardly of all policies if they do that. Even though the present condition of things has cost the country an enormous sum of money, and even though it will take generations to recover from it and lower the standard of living for two or three generations owing to what is lost up to the present, I am a great believer in logical conclusions, and I think there is no country in the world wants logic more than this country. We had to sit here for ten years carrying out our policy under normal conditions. During that time we were not in a position to accuse the Opposition of being traitors; during that time we had to justify ourselves on everything we did, and by every attempt we made to solve problems in every Department of State, and so we stood up to our responsibility in that way. We have a different policy now. The propaganda of three or four years succeeded and people were persuaded that that policy was wrong; people were persuaded the policy their fathers and grand-fathers carried out so well and made money on was completely wrong and that it should be changed. They were persuaded, that is the worst of it, by politicians who I honestly believe did not really believe what they were saying. Whether they did or not, they are in office now, and the one thing I would like to see is that this Government will be left in office until they carry out their policy—their economic policy especially. But I am very much afraid that will not happen and for two reasons. Since they got into office they are entirely on the political policy. We have heard more of that policy than of their economic policy. This is the first instalment of their economic policy—it is the major portion of it; it was the big feature of their agricultural policy. And while I believe there is hardly a fair-minded Deputy on the benches opposite who believes in that policy, nevertheless the country is entitled to see it tried out—the country should not be codded. I want to see this policy of wheat growing in operation on a two or three years' subsidy, and I want to see it compared with the policy of producing livestock and livestock products, and I want to see that policy also given a fair chance. Of course, I know perfectly well the Government in power do not want to give that policy a fair chance. They want to see that this dislocation shall go on and shall continue, so that they will have an opportunity of carrying out certain political designs of their own, but so far as we are concerned we are going to see to it that the country will be told the truth. The country changed because the Deputies opposite persuaded the country they had an economic policy which would bring about comfort, prosperity, and work for everybody. We are in no hurry. We want to give them a fair chance, but we want to see that the country is not tricked again. We want to see to it that these policies which they put in such glowing terms before the country are carried out. As far as I am concerned, I disbelieve in the policy; I know it will fail, but I know it has taken in a good many well-meaning people in the country, and I want to see its terms in operation for, at least, two or three years, until the country knows exactly what it is worth. I move the adjournment of the debate.

Debate adjourned.
The Dáil adjourned at 10.30 p.m. until 10.30 a.m. on Friday, 11th November.