Private Members' Business. - Agricultural Produce (Cereals) Bill, 1932—Second Stage (Resumed).

Question again proposed:—That the Bill be read a second time.

Yesterday we saw the last rally of the advocates of the grass ranches and the bullocks, in defence of the policy that has prevailed here for almost a century. The barrage of rhetoric and hysterics of Deputy Gorey and Deputy Fitzgerald-Kenney constituted the swan song of that policy. The introduction of this Bill marks the end of it. The introduction of this Bill marks the point at which the Irish people have made up their minds that men, women and children, in happy homesteads on the land of Ireland, are to take the place of cattle and byres. It is easy to understand the fury of the remnants of the garrison of the old order. It is easy to understand from some of the arguments which they advance their desperate attempts to try and maintain things as they have been here for the past fifty years. We have had a series of fallacious arguments called in to the defence of that order. We have seen Deputy O'Donovan calling, even, upon the poor people of the Gaeltacht, and advancing that as an argument why we should continue to concentrate our attention on the growing of grass for the feeding of livestock, although that policy has, in the period of its operation, almost depopulated the Gaeltacht, and sent thousands of people from that area, year after year, to the United States of America in an attempt to find a livelihood there that they could not get at home. I listened to the discussion yesterday, and tried to discover, from the speeches of the Deputies opposite, what, exactly, was their line of opposition to this Bill. I do not know yet. Some Deputies advanced the argument that the passage of this Bill and the subsidy to grain growing that would follow are going to impose an intolerable hardship upon the people of the country.

Deputy O'Donovan talked about the poor people in the Gaeltacht being taxed out of existence in order to provide subsidies for people living in the grain-growing areas. Other Deputies took a similar line. Against that argument, however, we had also from the benches opposite another argument. We were told that the Bill was not going to succeed, that because of the climate and other conditions it would not be possible to grow wheat here, and that, consequently, no subsidy would arise to be paid. Upon which line of defence is the Cumann na nGaedheal Party going to stand? It is not unusual for them to speak in divers tongues whenever a question of major policy is under discussion here, but surely we might expect them to be unanimous in respect to a matter of this kind. Either wheat will be grown consequent on the passage of this measure or it will not. If it will, then all the arguments about suitability of soil and climate and variety of seed fall to the ground. If it does not, the argument about the burden which the subsidy will impose upon the taxpayer carries no weight.

I propose to take one of these arguments first, that which was based upon the suitability of our soil, the suitability of our climate, and the suitability and variety of seeds available. We have had Deputy Bennett assuring us that the climate of this country has changed within the last twenty-five years. The Deputy was, of course, relying on his recollection. It is not necessary to rely on his recollection. He can get reliable information in the records of this State as to what exactly the climate was like, what the rainfall was, and what the sunshine was twenty-five years ago, just as he can about last year. These statistics prove that there has been no change in the climate of this country; that the average rainfall now is no greater or no less than the average rainfall a quarter of a century ago; that the climatic conditions have not changed. That has its bearing on this problem because of the fact, to which the Minister for Agriculture drew attention, that we did succeed in growing a very large acreage of wheat here many years ago.

Deputy O'Donovan talked about the conditions under which that wheat was grown. He did not realise when talking in that way that he was damning the argument of his own Party. He pointed out that wheat was grown under circumstances not nearly as favourable as those which obtain now; that the soil was dug by human labour with unsuitable tools; that the farmer was without the aid of artificial manures, and without any of the advantages the modern farmer possesses. Despite all these disadvantages, 700,000 acres were grown and produced an average yield of over 16 cwt. per acre, a higher average yield than is got in Canada or France to-day. If we could grow that acreage of wheat 90 years ago under the conditions then prevailing and get that average return, is it not reasonable to expect that we would get a higher average return now, and that, consequently, the growing of wheat should prove, even under modern conditions of price and market much more profitable than it did then?

Deputies, for some peculiar reason seem to think that there is some God-appointed reason why wheat should not be grown here that does not operate in any other country in the world. We till less of our arable land than any other country in Europe. We grow less wheat in proportion to our arable land than any other country in Europe. In other countries special State action is taken to encourage and develop wheat production. Why do Deputies opposite consider that such action is right in England, in France, in any of the central European States, but wrong here? Deputy Hogan talked last night about this policy of subsidising wheat being sheer lunacy. If Deputies would only endeavour to study a question for at least half an hour before coming here to make speeches about it they would not make such foolish comments upon matters of considerable public importance. If it is lunacy to subsidise wheat production here, why is it not lunacy anywhere else? Why is this the one country in the world in which it is lunacy to adopt that policy?

We had Deputies telling us that it is not possible for us to compete against Canadian wheat. Deputy O'Donovan talked about the possibility of growing wheat in Canada and delivering it to a mill in Ireland cheaper than the farmer whose land was adjacent to the mill could deliver it. Do Deputies read the Press at all? The Canadian people seem to have an entirely different opinion on that subject from Deputy O'Donovan. The Canadian Government is subsidising wheat production. Do Deputies let that fact enter into their consciousness? Did they read last evening's papers and see the announcement there of the decision of the Canadian Government to subsidise wheat production next year? If the policy is lunacy here, why is it not lunacy in Canada? Do Deputies realise that not one-tenth of the wheat imported here comes from Canada. Why all the talk about Canada? Why are the conditions in this country compared with the conditions in Canada only?

Canada is not, by any means, the most important supplier of wheat to the Free State. Not one tenth of our imports of wheat are Canadian wheat and what are the conditions in Canada? The Canadians have been growing wheat under considerable difficulties, under difficulties which do not prevail here. We have been told that there may be occasional failures of the wheat crop in this country. There are occasional failures of the wheat crop in Canada. I was there this year and I was told by members of the Canadian Government of what the failure of one crop there last year meant in large stretches of the country, and I was told that, in one province, there were 350,000 families being maintained by State assistance because of the failure of one crop. Did the Canadians decide to abandon wheat production on that account? Did the fortuitous circumstances that produced that failure in one year determine them to go out of wheat production, as Deputies opposite would have us go out of wheat production because of the possibility of one failure in twenty years?

If it is good policy to develop wheat production in Great Britain, Belguim, France, Germany, Italy and Spain and all other European countries, why is it not good policy to develop it here? Wheat is a basic crop. It is one product of the soil that can be sold right into industry. It means cash to the farmers. It means employment on the land and it means, if widely adopted, a better agricultural economy than heretofore prevailed. Deputy Hogan was talking last night about the necessity for maintaining a proper rotation. The agricultural statistics do not show that a proper rotation is being maintained in the Free State at this moment, and, normally, there should be double the acreage under grain that there is under roots. The agricultural statistics show that this is not taking place, and that there has been, and is, in this country what the Minister for Agriculture on one occasion described as an evasion of grain growing. If we are merely to get the proper acreage of grain which should be there in the existing economy, and which should be there to correspond with the existing crop of roots, we can supply almost entirely all our requirements in grains of various kinds.

The main argument, however, upon which Deputies appeared to rely was that it was foolish to expend money in encouraging the production of wheat in this country when we could buy cheaper wheat from abroad. Deputy O'Donovan put it that the Bill had for its object the developing of a trade in which the world could beat us. That I take it is the main line of defence of the Opposition—that we should not attempt to grow wheat because we can buy cheaper wheat from some other country, from Canada, the United States, up to recently, or from Australia, the imports from which have increased considerably since the depreciation of the currency there. Why do Deputies apply that argument only to one production? It applies also in the case of butter. There is not the slightest doubt whatever that we can buy butter cheaper than we can produce it here, and are Deputies on that account going to advocate that we should abandon butter production? Why do they not apply it to beef? Why do they not apply it to pigs and to sheep, poultry and eggs? I want pointed out to me some one agricultural product to which that argument does not apply. If we decide to abandon agriculture altogether, to clear our people off the land and to let it run to waste, we can get from abroad our supplies of agricultural products in some form or another cheaper than it is possible to produce them here. Is that good policy?

If Deputies opposite argue that that is good policy in the case of wheat, why do they not argue that it is good policy in the case of any other product? Is it not because they have at the back of their minds a faint idea of the lunacy of that policy. Somewhere within them, there is the conception that our fundamental purpose must be to secure a livelihood for our own people here, and not merely to buy individual commodities at the cheapest price at which we can get them. If we decide, in the case of any one product, such as wheat, to buy the cheaper product that we can get abroad rather than produce it for ourselves, let us take into account the land that will be idle, the men who will be idle and the wastage of national wealth which neglect of our productive resources involves. It is not merely a figure in the trade return showing the c.i.f. value of the imported grain, it is not merely a figure in the agricultural statistics showing the price at which farmers are able to produce grain off their land that must be taken chiefly into account. We have to take other factors into account, and when we are determining the value of the policy operated here for half a century, let us not merely consider whether a few farmers on the land were able to make a fairly satisfactory livelihood in consequence of that policy, but let us also take into account the thousands and millions who were not able to get a livelihood in conseqnece of that policy. We cannot leave them out of our reckoning and we certainly cannot leave them out now, when from other causes the outlet of emigration has been stopped and people who might have been driven abroad by that policy are now here and have to be provided with a livelihood here.

We have decided upon this policy after very careful and mature consideration. Deputies spoke of it as an alternative to the raising of live stock and the production of live stock products. It is nothing of the kind. There is nothing inconsistent with a tillage policy and nothing inconsistent with a wheat policy and the operation of raising live stock and the production of live stock products. In fact, it is possible to get a greater development in live stock production and the production of live stock products if we have tillage as the basis of our agricultural economy than otherwise. Deputies have only to compare the circumstances existing in Denmark with the circumstances existing here, and, while I am referring to that, I would like to say this: Deputy Hogan occupied in this Dáil the responsible position of Minister for Agriculture and, when he comes in here to speak on an agricultural subject, he is expected to speak as a responsible person, expected, at any rate, to verify anything he passes across the floor of the House as a fact; but, speaking yesterday about Denmark, he asked why Denmark imported three or four times the quantity of feeding stuffs that we import. They do not do anything of the kind. He tried to compare the value of one crop as against another as a feeding stuff and he talked about forty tons of mangels per acre. Where did he get that figure? The average figure shown in the trade statistics is 17.5 tons. The whole of Deputy Hogan's arguments were based upon contentions of that kind, passed off as facts, although, if the Deputy had spent five minutes looking up the figures that are available, he would have realised how mistaken they were.

The policy enshrined in this Bill is that for which Nationalist Ireland has been waiting for half a century in the belief that its adoption is going to stop the rot which has been going on during that period. The fruits of the old policy can be seen in our depopulated countryside and the thousands and millions of Irish people now in the cities of the United States of America. Yet we have Deputies coming here advocating that we should leave things as they are. "What is best is best," said Deputy O'Donovan. Instead of trying to prevent that rot, that depopulation, that wholesale emigration, they want to continue it. Their minds are not big enough to grasp the possibility of changing it. It can be changed, it is going to be changed and we are going to get, as the basis of our agricultural economy, tilled soil which will provide a more varied form of production and a better chance of a livelihood for the people.

That is the significance of this Bill. That is why this Bill is arousing the ire of the ranchers, the ire of the advocates of grass. Despite their ire, despite the sound and fury with which they are trying to oppose it, the Bill is going to go through and that policy is going to come into operation. We are prepared to take as a test of that policy the period mentioned by Deputy Hogan. He said he would like to see it operated for three years so that the fruits of it would be known. That is a fair enough test. Deputy Hogan made a somewhat similar challenge here before and he promptly proceeded to forget it. We will have a test of this policy whether Deputy Hogan likes it or not. This policy is going to be put to the test for at least three or four years and we can judge it by the results. This policy is not going to be based upon the calculations of any theories in the textbooks of British economists or upon the conclusions of people who have been reading articles in the "Daily Mail"; we will rely rather on the actual facts that will emerge after the policy has been put into operation and when we have replaced our people on the land and given them an opportunity for a decent livelihood there.

The last speaker has not referred to the admixture of 10 per cent. of barley, oats or rye with maize meal. He has carefully avoided that. I understand that that system is now in operation under an Order issued by the Minister for Agriculture. I would like to know how are the purchasers of this admixture to be protected. What guarantee are they to receive with regard to the contents? Are the bags to be branded?

They are.

It goes without saying that that operation entails expense and the purchaser, the consumer, has to bear that expense. I understand that millers will have the option of selling pure maize meal in 14 lb. bags. Will these bags be branded?

Branded "Pure Maize."

Who is going to bear all the expense entailed? What are the advantages to be derived? The consumers in these cases are mainly people who can least afford to pay extravagant prices. They are the people who produce stuff for export. The last speaker deprecates the idea of exporting anything. We have heard about the great advantages of this proposal and the employment that will be given in the growing of more grain. The Minister for Agriculture is to some extent a practical farmer. I have no doubt he has put into practice a lot of what he has mentioned to us here. He said he did not grow wheat this year. I wonder if he grew any last year? If he did experiment last year what was the result? Did he turn the wheat into flour?

Yes. I ate most of it myself.

I am glad the Minister turned it to personal use. It seems to have been wholesome food because he appears to have got on very well on it. We have heard about the employment that grain growing will bring, but we have heard nothing about the unemployment it is likely to cause. Anybody who is acquainted with flour production under modern conditions must be aware that employment is of very little account. If this policy is put into operation let us examine how it will work out. At the moment considerable employment is given at the small harbours around our coasts. I will instance the harbours at Ballina and Westport. People there are employed fairly regularly and they make as much as £2 per day. I am not exaggerating; I speak from practical experience. When you cease the importation of grain where are those people going to find employment?

Will the operation of this policy mean that we are going to have a grain monopoly created in this country and that the people of Ballina will have to take delivery of their flour from Dublin, Cork and Limerick? I have no doubt that the people responsible for this measure have some such idea at the back of their minds. It is not practical to suggest that the ordinary mills can produce flour to take the place of the flour that is being used now, and consequently there must be some monopoly established. When that monopoly is created what opportunity will the small millers have of existing? The Minister for Industry and Commerce has indicated that it is the intention of the Government to alter the whole economic condition of the country. I must confess that the Government have already succeeded beyond their most sanguine expectations.

For the time being, at all events, not only has beef, and the rearing and production of beef been affected, but also sheep and pigs. In by-gone days the pig was regarded in this country as the poor man's friend. Poultry, eggs and everything that farmers live on have been affected. In the phrase used by the Minister for Industry and Commerce, they have killed that situation. I am not going to dispute it. Anyone possessed of any intelligence can easily realise the terrible situation that has been created, and can see that, as a result of this policy—and I apologise for calling it policy, preferring to term it imbecility and vanity, which is at the root of the whole thing—farmers are faced with the grim tragedy of economic ruin. These are facts that no one can gainsay. They stand out as a sordid picture. I thoroughly agree with the Minister for Industry and Commerce that he has killed the situation that existed, possibly for all time. It will be for others, in other times, and by sane methods that will appeal to the farmers and the people who are trying to maintain their position in reasonable comfort—a time that is fast passing away—to adopt other methods.

We are to have subsidies and bounties. I suppose the Minister would nearly venture to suggest that we might have wheat grown on the slopes of Nephin, and perhaps on the top of Croagh Patrick. I do not think St. Patrick went so far as to prophesy that we could grow wheat on Croagh Patrick. From what I heard from the Minister, it would not be too much to expect him to suggest that. The greater part of the constituency I represent is in the Gaeltacht, and it is quite a reasonable proposition to come from the Government that farmers and ratepayers in the Gaeltacht should contribute towards the growing of sugar beet and wheat in Wexford, Meath, Westmeath, Tipperary or Limerick. The poor farmers in the Gaeltacht have to toil hard from early morning until late at night, very often perhaps on scanty fare. When they take off their coats they do not know when they will be able to put them on again, so hard do they find it to make a living on the soil. They are now being asked to contribute towards the building up of certain industries in counties where bullocks hold sway.

In my constituency the people are very hardworking, industrious and honest. If any one challenges that statement I point to the fact that for ten years the people in Mayo have paid their rates better than any other county in the Free State. I challenge contradiction of that statement. That is evidence of their honesty and of their desire to meet their obligations. They have done so all along. Are we now to be told here that for their industry they are to be mulcted for the benefit of others, and that their existence is to be made miserable in their homes on the mountain-sides, and that it will be made impossible for them to earn a livelihood? It would be very much better for these people that they should have the emigrant ship than have to live there in future, if this kind of policy—and I refuse to describe it as a policy—or imbecility because of vanity creates a position that makes it impossible for them to do so. I could not remain silent, and I want to protest on behalf of the people I represent. I want to give the Government some opportunity of realising what it is inflicting on the country. It has already inflicted a greater scourge on the country, speaking from the economic point of view, than was inflicted on it in the days of Cromwell. I fear that it is futile for me or for any Deputy on these Benches to hope that our views will receive fair or reasonable consideration.

The one aim is: "Go madly ahead," and "Damn the consequences." It has been a case of "damn the consequences," and to-day the Government has uppermost in its mind the idea of trying to evade the consequences as long as it can. However, the circumstances are such that I think it will be brought to a sense of its duty by public opinion. I have been in public life for many years. I never knew any man who tried to run counter to public opinion, and who took up an unreasonable or an unbusinesslike attitude such as the Government has taken up, who was not brought to a sense of duty by public opinion, and who was not shown that he was not going to be master, if the result of his antics was to bring about ruin and damnation on the livelihood of those who wished to live in their own land.

I have no doubt that the Minister has given very little consideration to the consequences of this Bill. Everything tends to put up the cost on the people. I was glad to hear the Minister say, for the sake of the people, that there will be a guarantee of the mixture in each bag and that a brand will be on the outside of the bag. That is a step in the right direction. I confess that I do not know how the contents can be ascertained. Possibly the Minister will be able to give us a lecture on it. It will be necessary to have that information. It is not unlikely that there will be a certain temptation, and that if people think there is something to be made, they might add something in addition to the oats, barley or rye. That could possibly happen. I consider there should be a safeguard for the public. I agree that when the bag is branded there is a safeguard. That is a step in the right direction. As a business man I realise that it is going to add considerably to the expense. Imagine supplying pure maize meal in 14 lb. bags, each bag to be branded. What will that mean per ton? It is necessary that the public should know that. The admixture of ten per cent. of maize, barley or oats is already in operation, and my experience is that we could not supply farmers with sufficient pure maize meal for six or eight weeks before this regulation came into operation. As a result I do not think we sold one ton of the admixture since then. I do not want to exaggerate the situation but to draw the attention of the Minister to what is really happening.

So far as I can judge from statements made to me by farmers, they are going to use anything they can put their hands upon rather than use that admixture. That may change after a time. I hope it does. If everything else was equal and if the admixture was not going to impose on the consumer considerable extra expense, then I should say it was a step in the right direction. I have been informed rightly or wrongly that the Minister has in mind the increase of this 10 per cent. to 20 per cent. in the coming spring. Of course, I do not know whether or not that is the intention of the Minister but that is the rumour. If the increase is in proportion to the increase that has already taken place, the cost to the consumer will be considerable. The consumer will have to meet that cost from the stuff he is producing, bacon, fowl, eggs and the other stuff produced on the farm will have to bear that extra expense. The producer is supposed to be able to meet competition in the world market and to pay £1 or £1 10s. more for the stuff he is feeding to his animals than his competitors are paying. How can he hope to compete on those terms?

Can the Minister hold out to us any hope that this country will be able to bear the terrible financial strain imposed upon it by these subsidies and bounties? Can the Minister prove to us clearly and beyond argument that the farmer is benefitting by these bounties? Into whose pocket are the bounties going to-day? Is the bounty on cattle going into the pocket of the farmer? I say it is not. While human nature is what it is, it would be unreasonable to expect that the exporter would not take advantage of the situation. It would be unreasonable to expect that he would not buy his cattle as cheaply as possible in the market, export them and take full advantage of the bounty. Will the farmer get a penny out of that? He will not.

With regard to this admixture, I do not think that the Minister will have the audacity to dispute that this scheme will necessitate the creation of numerous offices. We will have a horde of officials checking this admixture and a horde of officials looking after the bounties and subsidies. This proposal resembles the story we were told about the land annuities—that the land annuities, to the amount of £2,000,000 or £3,000,000, would be collected, but that the money would go back to the farmer in the form of de-rating. I contend that there is just as much likelihood of that happening in one case as there is in the other. If the land annuities are to go back to the farmer in the form of de-rating, why should we go to the trouble and expense of collecting them and why should we have the further expense of disbursing them? I think that the whole thing is fantastic. It is sheer nonsense. It would be better to get down to hard tacks, have a straight talk with the people and not try to throw dust in their eyes. One thing is inevitable, and that is that the cost of production will increase. The man who produces is going down and going down rapidly. He is so low now that I do not know how he is going to make ends meet. The farmers are practically on the verge of bankruptcy to-day. In the constituency I represent, I know that the farmer is on the verge of bankruptcy. I have seen things during the past fortnight or three weeks which affected me very keenly. I have seen people taking round a pound or two pounds of butter in a way that I did not see for the last ten years or for many years before that. This is bringing us face to face with bygone times. We heard about 1847. We are blessed this year with a good harvest, thank God. It is of great importance to the farmers that we have such a harvest. If we had not so good a harvest, there would be a very sad tale to be told.

I am not at all impressed by Deputy Davis's recitation. It was well delivered, as a result of long practice, but I do not think that it meets the situation or that he dealt with the position in the way in which it should be dealt with. His main objection to the effort which is being made to make it worth the farmer's while to have his land at all is that people will be thrown out of employment at the ports. He mentioned two ports—Ballina and Westport. Is it the argument of the Opposition that people employed at the ports in dealing with imported stuff should be kept in employment in order to give a chance to the shopkeeper to make a good decent profit in selling that stuff to the farmer, while at the same time leaving the farmers idle or leaving them to work their land in an unprofitable way? Seeing that the majority of the people are farmers— principally small farmers—they should be considered before the people who control the ports in Ballina or Westport. Surely, if the scheme introduced by the Minister for Agriculture is a success, there will be many more people engaged in profitable occupation on the land and on the things that go with this scheme than there are employed at the ports at present. I am quite sure, too, that alternative employment can be got for the people disemployed at the ports. I am sure that the Minister has taken cognisance of that and will see to it. Deputy Davis talked about sowing wheat on the top of Nephin or Croagh Patrick. He need not go there. He has two or three good farms in Mayo. He can grow wheat there if he wants to grow it. If he does not want to grow wheat on these farms, there are people in the vicinity who would be very glad to have the opportunity of growing it on these lands. They will be able to grow wheat profitably on these farms.

Is the land to be grabbed?

The Minister for Lands and Agriculture has suitable lands there also.

What lands are you referring to?

Mr. Brodrick

The lands of the Minister for Agriculture.

All land is suitable for wheat.

I suppose that that land in Mayo is suitable for wheat growing——

Any land I possess I paid for and I did not rob a bank to pay for it.

A Deputy

Or grab it.

Does the Deputy suggest that the Minister for Lands and Fisheries robbed a bank to get his land? The suggestion is that the Minister for Lands and Fisheries has a farm in Mayo and that he got it by robbing a bank. I do not suggest that Deputy Davis robbed a bank to get his land. The poor are usually robbed by profiteers and land can be got for money that is got by profiteering.

It is a more gentlemanly way.

I suggest to Deputy Davis that wheat can be grown on these farms and I would like to get an opportunity of interviewing the Minister for Lands and Fisheries or his Parliamentary Secretary to see about the advisability of taking over these two or three farms of Deputy Davis for the purpose of growing wheat for the farmers of North Mayo and to give it to them to grow wheat. I notice there is here a great objection made on behalf of the farmers of Mayo over whom Deputy Davis sheds his crocodile tears on account of their being asked to pay for a subsidy under this Bill or to give assistance by a subsidy to the growing of wheat in this country. Deputy Davis now objects to a subsidy for wheat. Did he object when the farmers of Mayo were asked to give a subsidy, not for wheat, but for the Shannon Scheme?

There was no subsidy given to the Shannon Scheme.

The farmers of Mayo are now asked for a subsidy to grow wheat and there is an outcry; but when the farmers of Mayo were asked for a subsidy for beet growing, and when they were asked for a subsidy for the drainage of the river Barrow in the South-East of Ireland what crocodile tears did Deputy Davis shed then? Did he shed crocodile tears when the farmers of Mayo were asked to give subsidies of one kind or another to people in various parts of the country? He did not shed tears when subsidies were asked for people in the County Carlow or for people down in Limerick when the Shannon Scheme was subsidised.

It is only when a subsidy is asked for the benefit of the farmers in the County Mayo that the Deputy objects. The farmers of Mayo will not object to co-operate with the Department of Agriculture in making this scheme a success. They will not object to money from the Central Fund being given to subsidise that scheme which gives them decent opportunities for wheat growing. The small farmers of Mayo are in favour of this scheme. If Deputy Davis were more in touch with the people who are tilling the land and less in touch with the profiteers and the people who control the ports he would know that the small farmers are interested in this scheme, and are not objecting to a subsidy for it. Only a fortnight ago 150 farmers in Bonnycolon met there an Inspector from the Department of Agriculture to get from him particulars of this scheme. I know that these farmers are very much interested in growing wheat and they expect it will be a profitable proposition for them. In doing that they will be doing something that they were never able to do under the Cumann na nGaedheal Government and that is to make their farms pay.

If this scheme is the result of imbecility in the Fianna Fáil ranks, as Deputy Davis described it, what are we to term the previous subsidies that were given by Cumann na nGaedheal when they were in office? Were these subsidies the result of a good policy? Deputy Davis suggests that we should get things at the cheapest price in whatever part of the world we could get them and not go in for a policy that would make it profitable for our own people to produce these things here. If that is Deputy Davis's policy now why did he not advocate the closing down of the Foxford mills before the tariff was put on?

Why should he?

Why did he not advocate the purchasing of shoddy goods from England or any other part of the world and let the Foxford mills be closed? A tariff was imposed a few years ago against British and foreign woollen goods. Were it not for that tariff the Foxford Woollen Mills would have been closed down at that time.


Deputy Dillon is more competent to speak nonsense than to shout it out as an interruption. If the Deputy knew anything about the Foxford Woollen Mills he would know that before the tariff was put on these mills could not get sale for thousands of pounds worth of the goods they had then in stock.

That is rubbish.

Men were paid for turning over that stock and keeping it right until the tariffs were put on blankets and rugs. These blankets and rugs were unsaleable then and their stocks had piled up.

Were it not for that tariff on blankets and rugs the industry would not be in existence now.

The firm would have to close down were it not for the tariff.

The Foxford Woollen Mills will be very grateful to you for that advertisement.

If Deputy Dillon knew anything about Foxford——

That type of contemptible misrepresentation should stop.

On a point of order. Is Deputy Dillon in order in interrupting a Deputy in this way?

The Chair will rule me and Deputy Little should know that. On a point of order. I object to Deputy Cleary consistently and deliberately misrepresenting his colleagues in this House.

Some of us here object to Deputy Dillon continually butting in when other Deputies are making their speeches.

I do not object to Deputy Dillon shouting "nonsense and rubbish" any time he likes. He is quite capable of doing that. I suggest he should mind his own business. As far as Donegal and Foxford are concerned they would not be able to run their mills were it not for the assistance they got by the tariffs that were imposed here some years ago. That, however, is beside the question. It would pay Deputy Dillon to go down to Foxford and have a discussion with the manager there. He would come back with a little less nonsense in his head than he has now.

If the argument of Deputy Davis is carried to its logical conclusion, Foxford should be closed down and shoddy from other countries should be allowed to flood the Free State and every industry in the Free State should be flooded out by cheap shoddy. Let us buy in the cheapest market and let us send our people abroad to earn a livelihood elsewhere. Let our farmers' sons, who have a hope of being employed profitably on the land now which they never had before, go abroad. Let the people who run the ports in the interests of the profiteer and shopkeepers make a good livelihood as they have been doing for the past ten years. During those years the farmers have been in just as bad a position as to-day. They were in just as bad a position when that wonderful policy of grass was in operation. I think it is time that the small working tillage farmers should be given some encouragement by the Government of this State. They never got it before. They were forced to subsidise an industry in Carlow and they were forced to subsidise other things. These men were never subsidised themselves in their own farms and they were not given any profitable return for the work done on their farms.

I think the Department of Agriculture is to be congratulated for bringing forward this measure. The working farmer will welcome it. They will be making a big effort at bringing back prosperity by proving that wheat can be profitably grown here. I think it is absolutely unworthy of any representative man to decry this as a failure as Cumann na nGaedheal Deputies are doing. They are not anxious that it should succeed. If it were to succeed they would be gravely disappointed. They prefer to see it a failure because it is not alone this scheme they are up against but other schemes.

When the butter bounty scheme was brought in we saw the action of the Cumann na nGaedheal Party. Some of them voted for it; others abstained and others voted against it. Some of them made political propaganda out of it. If that scheme for a bounty on butter had not been brought in there would not have been a creamery running to-day. The Government are taking their courage in their hands; they are making a big effort to bring back tillage to this State and to make it a profitable occupation. This Bill will be of as much benefit to the farmers in Mayo and the West of Ireland as has been the system of raising cattle for an outside market. The farmers can have both systems now. I suggest it is much better for the Irish people to grow their own foodstuffs in this country when they can do so, than to continue as they have been. This is a very good gesture on the part of the Government to make the farmer independent by having him grow some crop for which he will be guaranteed a price. This will make it worth his while to work his land now.

The question of the annuities was mentioned by Deputy Davis and he said that we should not collect them at all. Deputy Davis should know better than putting up an argument of that kind here. The Deputy was for a few years Chairman of the Mayo County Council and he knows how local affairs are carried on. He should not lose his sense of civic responsibility so soon on going into Oppostion. He might be a member of the Government Party again when he would have to change his attitude. It would be much better for the Deputy to take a broad view of the matter. He should realise that the farmers are getting money in relief of rates, and the annuities paid by the farmers will come back again to them in that way. The hordes of officials who are employed now under Fianna Fáil were employed for a long number of years under a Cumann na nGaedheal Government, and I never heard Deputy Davis attack them when he was Chairman of the Cumann na nGaedheal Party. Things seem to have changed overnight.

I have made no attack on the officials employed.

I am glad to hear that from Deputy Davis: that he did not really mean what he said about the officials.

I meant what I said, but I did not say what the Deputy is trying to make me say.

In the criticisms that I heard of the Bill they seem to have been more or less directed against the general policy of the Government than against the Bill. When the ex-Minister for Agriculture was speaking last night I thought he would have something to say against this measure that we could listen to, but instead his whole speech was a general attack on the bankruptcy of the Fianna Fáil Party. According to the ex-Minister, that bankruptcy is only going to come about in a few years' time. Before Fianna Fáil got into office we were told that the whole country, as well as the policy of the Party would be bankrupt in about three months, but now the ex-Minister for Agriculture is giving us three years. It will take three years, according to the ex-Minister for Agriculture, to prove that this is a bad policy. I think that is a tribute, it is an advance, on that Deputy's part. I am prepared, as the Minister for Industry and Commerce said to-day, to give this policy an opportunity for three or four years—the period mentioned by the ex-Minister for Agriculture. The people will find in that time that, in assisting the Department to carry out its policy to a successful conclusion, they are doing something for themselves, something which will bring back to the small farmers of the country a return for the work they do on their land.

When Deputy Cleary was speaking I interrupted him. I did so because he resorted to an expedient that I have heard him resort to before, and that is the expedient of contemptible misrepresentation. There is an old saying in political life that if you give a lie a good start it is very difficult to catch up on it. I have heard a good many lies started in this House, and I am happy to say that, so far, I have managed to drive a nail into the tail of each of them before they got going. I can assure Deputy Cleary that when he proposes to resort to that old contemptible method of debate—twisting the words of those who are members of this House with him into a meaning which they never conveyed in their original form, that he will find men on these benches and on other benches of the House who, within the Standing Orders of the House, will tell him what he is. I must say that I found it difficult to restrain myself when listening to Deputy Cleary referring, with his usual disgusting sneers, to the senior Deputy for the County Mayo. Deputy Davis does not require me to defend him in the County Mayo, and I have not the slightest hesitation in saying that the insulting and contemptible innuendoes of Deputy Cleary will re-coil upon his own head in the County Mayo. Deputy Davis's reputation in his own county will be quite adequate to protect himself.

I would like to say one word about Deputy Cleary's speech. It is a recklessly irresponsible thing for a Deputy like Deputy Cleary who knows nothing whatever about the woollen trade to come in here and publicly state that, but for the tariffs put upon woollens by the Fianna Fáil Administration, the Providence Woollen Mills at Foxford in the County Mayo would be bankrupt. If Deputy Cleary had the faintest notion of what he was talking about he would have known that the Providence Woollen Mills of Foxford are able to compete with any woollen mills in the world, and are able to do that on their own ground. The Providence Woollen Mills are in the position to export to the London market and knock out many woollen manufacturers supplying the London market. Here in Dáil Eireann the advertisement that a member for the County Mayo gives to one of the finest industries in his own constituency is to say that it is in such a crippled and wretched condition that, if the cracked tariffs of the Fianna Fáil Administration had not been brought into operation, that great industry would have been on the rocks.

Does the Deputy know that the manager of the Providence Woollen Mills appealed for and supported the claim for tariffs on woollens?

I regret to say that while I am not deliberately charging Deputy Cleary with consciously stating what is false I am not prepared to accept on his authority any statement of fact.

The same here.

Is it in order for a member of this House to say that he does not believe the statement that the manager of the Providence Woollen Mills at Foxford who is a member of the Woollen Manufacturers Association appealed to the late Cumann na nGaedheal Government and the present Fianna Fáil Government for tariffs in respect of this industry?

As regards the charge that has been made, I gather that the mills at Foxford which have been referred to are woollen mills, but the Bill the House is now discussing deals with cereals.

Permit me to say that when observations are made publicly in this House calculated gravely to damage a great industry in the founding and prosperity of which many of us are deeply interested——

I am afraid the Deputy is now following on my line in his twisting of words—at least in the words that he accuses me of using.

Certainly there is an atmosphere pervading the Fianna Fáil Benches that is most laudable, and if Deputy Cleary is penitent as well as being frank I am prepared to spare him further castigation. The Fianna Fáil Party, I am slowly coming to the conclusion, is a jocular Party. I think the greatest and most notable joke they have made since they came into office is the digging up of the glorious fiction that wheat is a crop that ought to be grown in this country. I want to do the Minister justice. I think the Minister is a consistent man. I have been listening for the past fifteen years to all the rubbish about the growing of wheat in this country that is being doled out to us now on this Bill. At last the Minister has got the chance of putting into operation what was to be one of the corner stones of Sinn Féin in office. I am glad that he has had the courage at last to put this thing into practical operation, and let the people judge finally whether this scheme is imbecile, as I have always believed it to be, or whether it is, in fact, a practical proposition. I have not the slightest doubt that the people will discover it to be imbecilic.

The Minister admits that the people will find it exceedingly expensive, but as Deputy Hogan said recently in the House, a time does come when it is a good thing to let the people try out a proposition of this kind and convince themselves, by ocular demonstration, that it is a fraud and always was a fraud. It is the only way to lay a ghost of this kind and the ghost of wheat has been floating about this country, as I have said, for fifteen years. The Minister has now come along, all unconsciously, to exorcise it. I wish him luck. It is going to be a costly business, but if it gives us peace from this preposterous campaign for the growing of wheat in Mayo, Roscommon, in the county of Meath and in a variety of other localities where it will not grow, perhaps the expense involved will be well worth while. I am sorry that it is necessary to embark upon it, but so long as you have responsible men like Deputy Corry and Deputy Cleary, stalwart farmers and authorities on agriculture, publicly stating that the cultivation of wheat is the salvation of this country, I agree with the Minister that the only way in which you can convince the people of the folly of these methods is to put the thing into practice and let the people see for themselves. Who will pay this subsidy? The Minister has made an estimate of what the subsidy will cost. I see no provision in the Bill which will limit his liabilities. Who will pay it? Is it not the people of this country and is it not the small farmers of this country in the long run who will have to pay the subsidy? So we will have to do this for the pious purpose of transferring one shilling from the pocket of one small farmer to the pocket of another.

That is not the whole thing, however, because if that were all it would not be so bad; but this Bill does not stop at giving a subsidy to wheat. It goes on to give the Minister amazing powers of restriction. It goes on to forbid the import of practically every feeding stuff that is given to live stock, except under licence, and the object is to facilitate the Minister in compelling millers to adulterate Indian meal. His purpose is to secure that they will put into feeding stuffs a certain proportion of home-grown grain. What guarantee can he have that these mixtures will approximate to the feeding value of pure Indian meal.

One of the principal selling points that every manufacturer of Indian meal has always made is that this is pure maize meal from which no oils have been extracted. The manufacturer is prepared to give that guarantee with every bag of meal he manufactures. If he failed to do so he left himself open to an action for misrepresentation. You cannot sell pure maize meal now, and, so far as I can see, a man can have ten per cent. of any mixture that he chooses to the very great jeopardy of the ordinary person using it. In other words, at the same time that an inferior mixture could be sold to the people at the same price it would be dearer, quality for quality. That is not all, however. Already the policy of putting an admixture with Indian meal has advanced the price of Indian meal by 10/-a ton, and I am informed—although I am subject to correction in this—that the probability is that before another month has passed the price will go up by another 10/- a ton. That, however, has been corrected by the dislocation of the livestock trade—I am sorry to have to say it—because now nobody is stocking feeding stuffs at all, and the lack of demand may possibly prevent any increase in price because there will be no demand for feeding materials. If, however, the normal demand is continued, not only would the admixture give a very inferior article than the product the farmer got before, but it materially increases in money value the feeding stuffs he had to buy.

I confess that when the Minister for Industry and Commerce got up a couple of days ago and blandly announced that this country must get out of the cattle trade, I gasped to think how any man in his position could be so remote from the actualities of the situation as to make a declaration of that kind in this House. It staggered me. If it be the policy to get out of cattle, is it also their policy to get out of the pig industry and the egg industry? and is it the policy that the whole farming community should address itself to growing wheat and other cereals—to feed what? To do what with? I do not know. But, if it be the intention of the Government that farmers in this country should get out of the cattle trade and concentrate on pigs and pig products and eggs and fowl, for what industry was Indian meal, or the feeding stuffs scheduled in this Schedule, more extensively used than for the pig and fowl industries? How on earth could any rational body of men, if they believed that the people of this country, and particularly the people in Deputy Cleary's constituency and in Deputy Corry's constituency, ought to maintain the pig-raising industry—how could they deliberately raise the cost of feeding stuffs on these people and expect them to compete in the other markets where they have got to sell their produce? How can they conscientiously put 10/-a ton on the main feeding material of the pig, fowl and egg industry, and, at the same time, expect the same people to compete in foreign markets?

Surely it is not proposed to produce more bacon than we can consume, or to produce more eggs than we can use? Surely it has not become heretical to export those commodities? How, then, can any responsible Minister for Agriculture blandly put, on those people who are struggling in the markets of the world to sell their products, a tax of 10/- per ton on the principal feeding stuffs they have? What good possibly can come out of it? That aspect of the situation seems to me so obvious, and the line of policy, which is directing the Minister towards imposing this heavy tax on those products of the principal agricultural industries we have in order to promote the growth of cereals, seems to me so extravagantly mad that I find it difficult to formulate the obvious arguments, because they seem to be so obvious that it is almost as difficult to demonstrate the folly of this as it is difficult to demonstrate that black is black.

If we were to stop there it would be very bad, but we come into the third degree of badness, so to speak, because the Bill winds up by giving the Minister powers to go into every kind of trade in connection with the milling industry. He can compulsorily acquire mills, purchase plant, machinery and equipment and sell the produce, purchase or import wheat, employ persons to assist in carrying on the business of milling, enter into contracts, and do all such things as he may consider necessary to carry on the business as a commercial undertaking. He can carry on the business of grist milling also. Combined with these most extraordinary powers, he may inflict on millers who do not line up in detail with the provisions of this Act very heavy penalties. As usual, the Minister inserts the latest development of the Fianna Fáil legislation— the power of the Minister to legislate, having appended it apparently for the purpose of fooling the Oireachtas. Along with the schedule which is assumed to contain everything, we find that sub-section (2) of Section 85 gives him power to schedule anything else he may wish to schedule. In the words of the sub-section: "any article (not being already a scheduled feeding stuff) shall be a scheduled feeding stuff for the purposes of this Part of this Act and whenever any such order is made the article to which such order relates shall be a scheduled feeding stuff for the purposes of this Part of this Act."

What on earth, then, is the point of putting in a schedule at all? It must be just for fun. It would be much easier to come before the Dáil and say that the Minister proposed to take over the functions of the Dáil, that anything he wanted to schedule he would schedule, and that there was no use in asking him what he proposed to schedule, because he did not know until he made up his mind to schedule it.

Does Deputy Dillon understand the procedure of this House?

Only too well.

I do not think the Deputy understands it, otherwise he would not make such a silly suggestion with regard to these schedules. Any additional schedule has to be laid on the Table of the House.

I am deeply grateful to Deputy Briscoe. I get the greatest assistance from the Fianna Fáil Benches. He would describe me as inexperienced and as foolish but he was apparently not in the House a short time ago when his colleague, the Minister for Industry and Commerce, said he had made use of the same observations as I am making, consistently day after day, week after week, for the past five years. I cannot believe that the Minister for Industry and Commerce is very foolish or inexperienced, and the Minister shares my view entirely, deprecates this procedure, and says he consistently opposed it; but since he became Minister, having got Ministerial authority, he thinks apparently the time has come to change his mind. I do not sympathise with him; I think it is much better to be consistent. I agree with the Minister for Industry and Commerce that this system is a rotten system. The Minister hereafter can schedule anything he pleases. There is, as the Deputy suggests, a practice by which the papers are laid on the Table of the Dáil, but the Deputy forgets and the Minister conveniently forgets, that though the matter can be raised within the next twenty-one sitting days, the Dáil may rise on 1st June until 15th October, and on 2nd June the Minister may exercise these powers and the matter cannot be raised until a period within twenty-one sitting days after 15th October. I cordially agree with the Deputy's colleague, the Minister for Industry and Commerce, that it is a deplorable practice, but there it is and the Fianna Fáil Government have adopted it.

I want to call the attention of the House to a most interesting and significant provision in the Bill. Coming events cast their shadows before. Accordingly, the Minister, in sub-section (2) of the second last Section, Section 98, has provided that "all losses incurred in carrying on any business under this part of the Act shall be paid out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas." That, I have no hesitation in saying, constitutes a most prudent foresight. I have not the slightest doubt that before the Minister is finished with the Wheat Bill, his Adulteration Bill, and his Milling Bill, there will be large and substantial losses. Although he introduces that Section by saying that all profits shall be disposed of for the benefit of the Exchequer in such manner as the Minister for Finance may direct, I think he was a prudent man to introduce the next sub-section.

That was an after-thought.

I thought so. Second thoughts are often best. If the Minister had allowed his after-thought, his second thought, to operate on the whole of the scheme instead of being swayed by his passionate desire to advocate the economics of which I must say he has been a loyal follower for many years, I believe he would have adopted a different course. I recognise that when honest men have spent many years advocating a policy in the country, when they come into office and discover the true difficulties that lie across the path of the prosecution of that policy, it is a considerable wrench to let it die. It takes a big man to come forward and say: "Well, perhaps, I did not recognise all the difficulties. It looked very nice until the details were presented to me." I am afraid that the Minister, having been a loyal disciple of Sinn Féin economics, the corner-stone of which was the growing of wheat in this country, cannot woo himself from that old allegiance, and he feels that he owes a kind of honourable obligation to the glories of the past, to implement at least some of the theories of those economists. Well, I suppose the people of the country must pay for his loyalty.

I think he would have shown himself a bigger man if, in consultation with men of experience in this country, in agriculture, in his own Party, in his own Department, he had read and re-read the report of the Wheat Commission. I think he would have come to realise that the dislocation he is going to cause in the feeding industry and every other branch of the agricultural industry in this country by pushing through this Wheat Bill is far too great, too grave, too serious, to be excused by loyalty to an old tradition. It is difficult to realise the full consequences that this Bill is going to have, because at the moment the agricultural industry is passing through a period of unexampled difficulty. The agricultural industry in this country is in a condition, owing to political and foreign considerations, which have no parallel; it is in an entirely abnormal condition. But if the ordinary flow of trade had proceeded, if the ordinary agricultural life of the country were proceeded with, the people of the country and, I believe, the members of the House would realise more clearly the catastrophic effects that this Bill will have on the agricultural industry. As it is, the feeding industry is practically at a stand-still. Before many weeks have passed I believe it will be at a stand-still, and so the result and the effect of many parts of this measure will not be immediately felt, but if, and when, the normal agricultural life of this country is resumed the provisions of this Bill will make its resumption doubly difficult.

The provisions of the Bill are going to put on the back of the small farmer an additional and grievous burden. It will make it almost impossible for him to compete, with the products of his feeding, in the markets where he has habitually sold his products. It is going, no doubt, to persuade a number of people to sow wheat. There is always a number of people who like to get something for nothing. If you provide a bounty on anything you will get people to produce it, because they have a kind of feeling that they are getting something for nothing. You will produce a certain amount of wheat. People will sow wheat, but a great proportion of that wheat will never come to maturity. A great proportion of that wheat, even if it does come to maturity, will never be wheat of a millable quality.

In certain districts you will get, more by luck than anything else, wheat of a millable quality. I believe it is true to say that a great deal of the wheat that may be grown will be grown at the expense of other cereal crops and will simply displace oats or barley or something for which at the moment there is no sale, and I believe the Minister will come to learn sooner or later that the thing will be a failure. It will have cost piles of money. It will have caused a great dislocation, and it will shake the confidence of the country in his judgment and the judgment of the Department of Agriculture. To my mind that is one of the most deplorable aspects of it, because although the late Minister for Agriculture did many things with which I found fault, no doubt—whether you are opposed to him in politics or not—looking at the ten years' work done by his Department for the small farmers of this country, you will see that it was creditable work and constructive work. As I said, there were many things with which I found fault, but on the whole he raised the credit of the Department of Agriculture through the country, he added to the esteem of the country, and he improved the position of the country. Here is the corner-stone of the Fianna Fáil administration. It is on this Wheat Bill, to my mind, that their agricultural policy will stand or fall. If there is nothing more for the other Departments to produce than the Minister for Agriculture has to produce in his, then God help the Fianna Fáil administration.

A Leas-Chinn Comhairle, the question of employment in regard to wheat growing has been referred to on many occasions, especially from these benches, during the debate. Some time ago, speaking—or rather writing—from personal experience, I gave my views on the little amount of additional employment, if any, that was derived from tillage farming. The now Minister for Agriculture paid me the indirect compliment that my letter was written by the then Minister for Agriculture. This was duly denied by the Minister for Agriculture, who stated that he was not in Ireland at the time. There is not really any reason why I should not know a little about farming as well as the Minister for Agriculture. I am engaged in farming at the present moment, and I have, I can say without boasting, to my credit in the last five years the reclamation of fifty acres of land. I do not introduce the fact as one which entitles me to hero worship, but certainly it should add to my experience and add weight to anything I say on this subject.

We have heard a lot about grass, and the Minister for grass, who is the late Minister. Well, grass has given far more employment in Ireland than tillage. Grass in the County Limerick, a county with which I am closely connected, has given very much employment. Grass in Meath has given very much employment, and if I were to give no figures, but to say that in such grass land counties as Limerick, Meath and Tipperary, you have the highest ratio of insured persons per thousand, that should be sufficient. I believe in tillage, and I think it should, in part, be adopted by every farmer—not with a view to selling the products, but to having the products consumed on the premises. I heard that since I was a boy. We deplore the depopulation of this country, and I heard President de Valera at one time saying that we must get back to the time when this country had a population of 8,000,000, but he never thought nor never knew— nor would I expect a man of the name to know—how these millions lived in Ireland. It was a common thing to see thirty or forty mud hovels, with some attempt at a chimney and a very little attempt at a window. These were the hovels these 8,000,000 lived in for the most part, and if we are trying to get back to that state of affairs it will do this country no good.

Now, coming back to the grass land again, I have told you that these counties have the higher ratio of insured persons per one thousand. I will give you figures for Limerick. Limerick has a very low tillage. It is a dairy county. Any man who knows about dairy farming will admit that no idlers are on a dairy farm. They work seven days of the week, and they work from morning until night. It is not an attractive farm, and there are farmers who would not undertake it at any profit, because they like a genteel, clean life.

Not a speek of dirt about the house.

We have in Limerick 692 males per 1,000 of the population employed in dairy farms, practically in the dairy farms anyhow, and 416 females per 1,000. Now take Wexford, the Minister for Agriculture's native county, which is a mixed farming county. When I say mixed farming I mean it is partly tillage. Perhaps it has the highest acreage of tillage in any county in Ireland, and it has also of course a very high percentage of grass land well managed. Even though it has the two advantages the numbers for Wexford are 619 males per 1,000 engaged in agriculture, and 384 females. You can see that the figures are smaller than in Limerick.

That is the county Deputy Gorey took his hat off to last night.

You are not a farmer.

That is the county you took your hat off to.

Yes, to the farmers' work.

However, as Deputy Gorey pointed out last night, when the wheat crop or the oat crop is put in—the wheat is put in in late Autumn or early Winter and sometimes it is put in in Spring, and the oats is generally put in in Spring—my experience of these farms is, you give a fortnight's employment. You put in two or three ploughs, right enough, if you get the weather fine—you would be a fool if you did not—and, having put in the corn, after a fortnight's employment you lock your gates, close it up and leave it there for six months. You come back to reap it at the end of August or the first week in September. In the reaping you spend about a week or ten days, and then you are a few days threshing. That is the end of it. When it goes to the mill there is very little employment given there, when they adopt up-to-date machinery. One man in charge of this machine would grind as much corn as would supply Munster nearly.

Now we have come to the question which will arise out of this, the mixture of cereals. It has been referred to in the debate several times. I do not know what advantage there is gained by crushing oats, or, for that matter, barley. The Department of Agriculture will tell you that compared with crushed oats there is as good results got from the feeding of the uncrushed oats, but there are shrewd farmers—or, rather, the millers are shrewder still-and when they get musty oats they crush it, because it will lose a lot of the musty smell. Well, I think in your admixture of the Indian corn and the crushed oats that that will be the main and driving cause for the mixture. We know, in this wet climate, how liable oats is to heat in the stacks and get musty, and that will be what the mixture will mean-you will have a bigger portion of musty corn in the end. We will be told that crushed oats or uncrushed oats is as good feeding as Indian corn, and when I speak of Indian corn I refer to the mixture of uvico or clarendo. I have a good deal of experience of that and I find that young calves about six months old often times, when feeding on crushed or uncrushed oats, will get serious digestive troubles, and I need not remind the Minister for Agriculture that the husk of the corn, in many cases, acts as a gastro intestine aperient, and if you turn on feeding your calves with clarendo or uvico, you will probably save their lives. It is only a person who is engaged in these things that knows all the facts and who can be interested—the rest is politics. We know how this Bill came into the House. We know there were certain promises made in Kildare to certain grain growers.

That was tried out already by the last Minister. That promise was fulfilled by the last Minister.

They told me they had a guarantee they would get a mixture, and got inducement to grow corn, let it be wheat, barley or oats.

I do not know whether I am in order, but it was allowed to be introduced to-day. Deputy Cleary referred in the debate to people who will not voluntarily grow wheat, and he gave them as a warning for all neighbours who would be glad to get their lands to grow. I will mention another instance in connection with the non-payment of the land annuities. I think one of the Ministers in Westmeath said: "Well, if you do not pay your land annuities we have people ready to go in and take it up and pay the land annuities." That is land grabbing. That is landlordism under the patronage of the Front Bench and it is vicious landlordism.

It is not. It is the law. It is carrying out the law which you made.

Is that what the moratorium was for last year?

I have met people again on the matter who paid their land annuities but refused to pay their poor rates, and they gave me the reason which was the better choice because they hoped to get the other people's lands who did not pay the land annuities. That is the spirit that has been inculcated throughout the country. I think it is a very undersirable spirit. I have not any more to say, but going back again on the grass land——

This argument is not relevant.

The Minister will get an opportunity of replying. I do not think the Minister should interrupt.

I am confused as to who is making the speech.

The Deputy is speaking away from the point, and you will not let me answer when replying.

I do not know whether the Minister has anticipated what I am going to say about the Meath lands and grass lands. The policy is to make Meath a wheat ranch. I do not care how much you sub-divide the lands in Meath in regard to ownership, but I think it is very bad economics to change the grazing lands in Meath from fatten ing. The President bemoaned at a meeting the fact that we were only raising store cattle to send to Scotland to get finished, by which he meant to complete their fattening, and he said that should be done at home. Well, if there is one land in the world which can do that, it is the lands of Meath, and it is not the rancher who will benefit by it—in fact, he has very small profits. It is the small stock-raiser, the small farmer, who raises stock and who sells them to the rancher. It is he who benefits. Again, we know it is an economic proposition that one month's feeding on good grasslands, like Meath, is equal to two months' stall feeding. If you are going to have a proper agricultural economic gamut it will be necessary for you to devote the fattening lands to purposes of finishing your store cattle in this country. I do not think I need say any more but I know the whole Bill is based on politics and I know the people these things will benefit. I know the working people, the labourers, will be badly deceived because there is no employment in tillage except you are going to go back to the old times and get a hook or scythe and cut corn with penknives and thresh it in a barrel—you might get it that way. I would like to know where is the farmer whose pockets would stand that.

A Leas-Chinn Comhairle, the whole object of this Bill seems to me to be an attempt to dope the people of this country. There is no getting away from the fact the farmers, of late, are going through a very painful operation. They see their markets disappear and in spite of this dope they see the markets getting less and less. I look upon this Bill as a fresh attempt to dope the people of this country, to try to turn their minds away from what is really happening. However that may be, I should like to give this House my own experience with regard to wheat. I probably grew more wheat than anybody in this House, and I candidly admit I did not grow it in this country. For many years, I grew wheat out in East Africa. As a matter of fact, I was one of the pioneers of wheat growing in the district in which I was then living. I had, approximately, one thousand acres under tillage. Of these about 400 acres was under flax, 350 under wheat and the balance under maize. I shall give a few instances to show how advanced in everything we were in some ways, and how far back we were in other ways. We were one hundred miles from a railway station, yet I had a flax scutching mill with thirty scutches working. Before putting this mill up I paid a visit to the North of Ireland and inspected many scutching mills there, and the thing that struck me most was the terrible amount of dust that accompanied the work. One would be blinded by the dust, and it struck me, that in our scutching mills, we were going to go through great hardship. Now fifty miles from the equator, and one hundred miles from a railway station, I had thirty scutches going in that factory, the whole day, and one could sit in perfect comfort there, and read a book; there was no dust. We had every possible means of coping with the dust and we did so with success.

Coming back now to the growing of wheat, we had to do all our ploughing with oxen. That is what I meant when I said that while we were advanced in some ways we were quite backward in others. The reason we had to use oxen was because the country was not fit for horses. We could only keep them with very great care and, therefore, the only reliable traction we had were oxen. Yet towards the end I had my one thousand acres in tillage. I had about ten disc ploughs, and they ploughed roughly two-and-a-half acres a day. It took sixteen, eighteen or twenty oxen to pull these ploughs.

Now, the growing of wheat can be divided into three categories or stages. One is the planting of the grain, the second is the reaping and harvesting, and the third is getting rid of the produce. The only point I intend to tackle here is the harvesting, because, to my mind, that is going to be one of the greatest difficulties, owing to the climate. In East Africa we had our difficulty of growing, but there was one difficulty we were never faced with and that was the harvesting because of the climate. The moment we were ready to cut the wheat we did so, and put it up in enormous stacks straight away. We had no difficulty at all because the grain was absolutely dry. The great difficulty in this country is that the grain is not dry. About ten years ago we had a wonderful summer here. I have not seen a summer like it since.

I shall give one illustration of what I know from practical experience in this country, not of growing wheat, but from wet and damp barley. For some years I went in very extensively for breeding pigs. I took a personal interest in it and I fed the pigs myself, and went into the matter very scientifically and kept a careful record. At one time I had a certain amount of barley that I grew myself. I had good lofts. The barley was well harvested and put into those lofts and kept perfectly dry. In the same year I bought a lot of barley, but the barley I bought was damp. I came to the conclusion I could not keep it, as it would be months before I could use it and it would go wrong, so I sent it away to be dried. Shortly afterwards I was fattening some pigs. Every week I used to weigh them. They were doing well, and it might surprise members of the Dáil to know that I was not satisfied, at the end of the week, unless my fattening pigs gave an averaged increased weight of 6 lbs. per day—that is 42 lbs. per week per pig. They were doing this. At that time I was feeding them on my own barley which I had grown myself, and that was the basis of the food I was giving my pigs. Of course, there were other ingredients.

One week I changed from my own barley to some of the barley I had bought, and had sent away to be dried. I ground it myself, the same as my own barley, and made up the mixture with this particular barley. At the end of the week I weighed my pigs, and the result was that they had only shown an increase of eighteen to twenty pounds; they had dropped fifty per cent. and over. I did not know what was wrong; it puzzled me. I was not able to find anything wrong with the feeding. Suddenly it struck me I was using this particular barley but, even then, I could not see why it should make such a difference. However, I went back to my own barley, and straightaway, the following weeks, my pigs went up at the rate of six pounds per day. Not very far from me there is a mill belonging to Messrs. Minch-Norton, Ltd. I went over there, talked with the manager, explained my difficulty, and asked him could be throw any light upon it. He said: "We bought a lot of barley this year and ground it. Will you try some of our meal." The barley was probably in the same condition as the barley I had bought when they bought it. I got some of their barley meal and fed it to my pigs. I divided the number of pigs into two lots. I fed one-half on my own barley, and the other on the barley meal I got from Messrs. Minch-Norton, and weighed the pigs at the end of the week. There was not the slightest difference between them. What happened in the other instance was this. I sent away my barley to be dried and it was dried by inexperienced people. No attention was paid to what they were doing and the good vitamins of the barley were killed so that it had lost half of its feeding quality when the barley got back to me. That is a point to which I should like to draw the attention of the Minister. Is he taking any precautions, if there is a bad wheat season, when there is going to be great difficulty in harvesting wheat crop there may be, to see that there will be available for the farmers the means of having their wheat dried so that the vitamin contents of the wheat will not be injured? I do not think it is necessary to point out to the Minister for Agriculture that if he feeds a rat on milk the rat will live a considerable time, but if he feeds it on boiled milk the rat will live a very short time. In the case of the barley, the vital ingredients were killed by having been brought up to too high a temperature. If the same thing happens with wheat, the food value of the wheat will be destroyed.

The only other point I should like to raise is this question of the mixture. I know that if I were fixed the way I was a few years ago I should be very upset indeed if I had a mixture forced upon me. I bought my raw materials, my maize, barley and pollard, and I did my own mixing. I decided what my pigs were going to eat. There is an old saying: "To the pure all things are pure." There is no guarantee that this stuff that is going to be sold as a mixture is going to be pure. The Minister may think it is going to be pure, but I have very grave doubts that it will be.

The Minister for Industry and Commerce stated this morning that Deputy Hogan when speaking last night made certain statements which were not correct and which, as a responsible ex-Minister, he should not have made. One statement made by Deputy Hogan was in connection with the amount of maize imported into Denmark. In connection with that, I do not know whether the Minister for Industry and Commerce was correct or whether Deputy Hogan was correct. The Minister also stated that Deputy Hogan last night said that 40 tons per acre of mangels should be grown and have been grown. The Minister told us that from the statistics he found that the average crop of mangels in this country was 17.5 tons per acre.

I mentioned that in order to give the Minister for Agriculture an opportunity of saying whether it was correct or not.

It is. Here it is.

Could there be a mistake about it?

There could not.

Could it be that 17 tons of potatoes per acre can be grown?

Or beet?

"Mangels" is the heading of the paragraph.

I would ask the Minister, or Deputy Corry, to look at the statistics with reference to any county in Ireland where the Department's instructors had demonstration plots of mangels and see if the average is not 40 or 45 tons per acre.

The agricultural instructors can do it all right.

A few years ago, for three years in succession, I was judging and weighing mangels, and the average crop produced was practically 50 tons per acre. Any person who says that the average crop of mangels here is only 17.5 tons per acre must be absolutely wrong in his statistics. If the other statement is on a par with that I can discount it, and I take Deputy Hogan's statement as correct. As to the growing of wheat, the Minister told us last night that he grew wheat on old lea land and that it can be grown on it. He admitted that the economic price that he should get for that wheat would be 30/- per barrel.

Probably they can do it for 24/-, but I should like to ask the Minister how that is going to be done. The farmer and his sons will have to work without payment. If a farmer has to employ labour for it he cannot grow it at that price. Therefore, you are going back to sweated labour in this country, because that is what it amounts to asking wheat to be grown at 24/- per barrel. The Minister said that he spoke as a wheat grower and I understand Deputy Corry is also a wheat grower. In the present instance, I would prefer to take Deputy Corry, because the Minister told us this morning that the use he made of the wheat he grew was that he eat most of it himself, so that the acreage cannot have been very big.

Two acres.

Deputy Corry admitted last night that there is wheat-growing land and non-wheat growing land and in support of that he pointed out that at the time of Griffith's valuation a high valuation was put on wheat growing land because it was better land; and you require good land with an approximately high valuation to-day to grow wheat.

On a point of explanation. I should like to point out that some of the best crops of wheat this year were grown on bad land in Deputy O'Donovan's constituency, according to the returns shown by the plots which were sown by the County Committee of Agriculture. The wheat was grown in West Cork on the top of rocks and gave good results.

What did Deputy Corry propose? It was not relevant to the question, but, as he mentioned it, I suppose I am entitled to refer to it now. He asked for a revaluation of the land. I suppose he meant the land in County Cork, because most of the land there being wheat growing land I presume it has a rateable valuation higher than in some other counties. His idea was that by decreasing the rates on the land the amount of rates being paid would be less than they are at present. I do not think he was correct in that. A certain amount of money has to be collected in the County Cork and it does not make any difference whether the land is 10/- or 20/- an acre. If you have the land at 10/- an acre, you have to double the rate in the pound.

On a point of explanation, I wish to point out to the Deputy that, when I proposed the re-valuation of the land, I proposed it in 1927, when the policy of the last Executive Council was a policy of grass. I am afraid that Deputy Kiersey's figures will not bear very close examination. My point was that there was a certain proportion of the land in County Cork that was paying more than was equitable in rates, under the grass policy of the last Minister, because, if you have land valued as wheat growing land, and are paying rates on it, and the land can only be used under a certain agricultural policy as grass land it is no more good than land valued at 5/- an acre.

Is there such a thing in this House as a point of explanation that enables a Deputy to make a second speech? This point of explanation has been raised here and many Deputies have taken advantage to make a second speech. It leaves us in a bewildered position, and I would like to know if there is such a thing in the rules as a point of explanation.

If a Deputy feels that his statement is not understood properly by the House, he is entitled to speak again to make his point and to put his position more clearly to the House.

Deputy Corry's proposal was, or, in effect, what it meant was, that the people in the poorer lands with a low valuation at present, because the lands were bad and unable to grow wheat, should have to pay a higher rate in order to reduce the rates on Deputy Corry's wheat growing land.

Not now; in 1927.

1927 and 1932 to the average man are the same. With reference to the admixture, I am not going to say that it is bad policy to mix oats or barley with maize, but I think it was pointed out here last night that all the instructors of the Department have been telling us for years past to buy our superphosphates, our sulphate of ammonia, our muriate of potash or our kainit and make our own mixture, when we know what we have, and not to get any man to mix it for us. We were told that we would have a better article at a lesser price, and I would say that the same policy should be pursued in regard to the meal mixture. There is no compulsion necessary to-day to get any farmer to use a very large proportion of his oats or barley for home feeding. So far as County Waterford is concerned, the Minister, if he went down there, could get figures from the creameries and could also see the carts carrying during the winter the churns of milk, together with a bag of oats for crushing in the mills. That oats is then brought home and mixed with Indian meal.

I think it was Deputy The O'Mahony who said that it would not be fair to tar all millers with the same brush. I quite foresee that they may not all be as good as we imagine they should be in regard to this admixture, and I can foresee millers or merchants taking in a lot of oats and putting it through their cleaning and clipping machines. I wonder where the small stuff is going to go— probably out into the river. I would ask the Minister, in any case, if this Bill is going to be run through, to allow a man to put in any guarantee he wishes, and to get in a certain class of Indian meal which at the present time is necessary. The modern mills are turning out to-day the very fine meal that is fed to pigs in the raw or in the wet state because the day of boiling meal is past and gone. The ordinary farmer's mill with its small blades is not able to grind the meal to the required fineness and I would ask the Minister to give careful consideration to that point. He has admitted that something like that is necessary because he promised us that the farmer could get the maize and grind it himself and I say: "Give him the meal that he requires to mix with his own home-grown meal." There will be then no complaint on that head and the consumer will know whether he is getting 10 per cent. or 15 per cent. or 20 per cent., and he will make his mixture to suit the particular beast he is feeding. I think it was a member of the Fianna Fáil Party who said that when they took office they took it over with three white elephants. I am glad to see to-day that the Deputies opposite and the Minister have found that one of these white elephants is good enough to breed from. One of the white elephants was the beet factory and they propose to send out some of the offspring to other parts of the world but I foretell that they will not send this elephant to stud.

We will not breed from that one. We are going to get a new elephant.

It will be as white as the other one.

Could the Minister say what the estimated yield of the oat crop in the Free State this year would be approximately? I have not got the figures in my head.

Does the Deputy mean the total yield or the surplus?

No, just the yield approximately. I believe my figures are approximately correct. Last year we imported about 8,000,000 cwts. of maize. I presume the consumption of maize was then in or around the average. That quantity of maize would represent approximately 4,000,000 barrels. Barley in the Irish Free State last year showed an acreage reduction of 12½ per cent., but the increase in the yield per acre gave an increase in the quantity of barley as compared with the previous year. The 10 per cent. admixture would mean 400,000 barrels. Without going into the merits of the case on one side or the other, I would like to point out that serious attention will have to be paid to the oat crop. If the consumption of maize decreases to a very large extent, 400,000 barrels of barley, or less, will fulfil the requirements of the 10 per cent. admixture scheme and in the circumstances the oat crop will hardly be required at all —that is, if the miller uses barley only. The belief is that if the scheme is worked on barley a good deal less than 400,000 barrels will be required. The Minister has more expert information on this matter than I have, but it is believed that barley is a better food-stuff than maize. From the grain growers' point of view, this scheme will undoubtedly help. Eight counties will benefit at the expense of the remaining counties in the Free State.

As regards the wheat scheme, I know there are certain parts of Leix and Kilkenny and also in the southern part of my constituency where wheat can be grown. Of course, it is subject to climatic conditions. I have seen wheat grown with a huge percentage of moisture, and absolutely unsaleable from the milling point of view. That, of course, may be due to certain abnormal conditions, or to the wheat being badly harvested. I am not in a position to criticise whether wheat can be grown for milling purposes or not. The general opinion is that it cannot, though there are people who say that it can. There are parts of this country where it grows to a great height and it is almost impossible to reap it. Experiments worked out in certain parts of the country were all right, but in other parts they were all wrong. As regards the admixture scheme, if 400,000 barrels of barley are used and the brewers and distillers take about 350,000 barrels, that leaves quite a large quantity undisposed of. I believe my figures are approximately correct. The problem in relation to oats is a serious one. Black oats are objectionable to the millers for any admixture scheme. White oats are acceptable, but they are harder to deal with than barley.

I would like to draw attention to a few of the statements made by Deputy Dillon. To my mind the chief objection Deputy Dillon has to this Bill is that it is part of the economic policy of Sinn Féin. Of course anything that emanated from that source is anathema to Deputy Dillon. He seems to be completely out of touch with his constituency. He is an absentee representative and he is not in the same close touch with Donegal as those of us who live there and understand the conditions that exist. At a recent meeting of the maize millers in Donegal it was pointed out that this admixture scheme would mean an extra market for Donegal farmers. In order to supply the needs of Donegal, 2,000 tons of grain, it was mentioned, would be required this year. That is an important consideration for the people in our constituency, and Deputy Dillon should bear it in mind when he is voting on this Bill.

Deputy Dillon made an extraordinary statement which lends a little colour to the belief that there are times when the Deputy speaks here on subjects that he knows nothing about. He said that there would be difficulty in obtaining maize meal in the future. Of course, as everyone knows, that is entirely untrue. Maize meal can still be obtained branded in 14 lb. sacks. I am sure it will come as an extraordinary revelation to his constituents in Donegal, particularly those who listened to him in the last election campaign there, to read the references he made to-day to our Minister for Agriculture. I think many of the farmers who voted for him will find it hard to reconcile the Mr. James M. Dillon they knew before the election, and the Deputy James M. Dillon who represents them in the Dáil now. Donegal Committee of Agriculture have made experiments with wheat growing, and the instructors are at present engaged lecturing on the crop in the county. Large farmers, who were by no means favourable to such a policy, are giving it a great deal of support and are now putting in wheat.

Mr. Brodrick

I would like to point out to the Minister that in my constituency one-sixth of the sheep produced in the Free State are bread. I would like to know from him how the farmers of Galway who breed sheep are going to turn in the course of a year, or even three years, to wheat-growing. I think it is most unfair that these farmers, who are hardworking, and who have devoted themselves to the breeding of sheep should be asked to give up that industry now. Along the Western seaboard the people are being asked to pay their share of the bounties that are in operation. We have a bounty on cattle, a bounty on bacon, a bounty on butter and one on beet. We get no advantage whatever from these bounties. We get no advantage from beet because the county is devoted to the rearing of store cattle. We sell these cattle to people who turn them into beef. The same thing applies to bacon and butter. We have to pay the butter bounty although we have not one creamery in Galway. It is the same with beet. There is no beet factory in the West of Ireland. It is very unfair that these farmers should be asked to contribute towards the cost of bounties from which they get no advantage. I ask the Minister to explain why farmers are not allowed to carry on their business in their own way. The Minister for Agriculture admitted that he had not sown wheat this year, and that last year the wheat he grew was largely used on his own holding. I know that farmers in the West are anxious to continue in business on the same lines as hitherto. If they wish to produce wheat they can do so if they believe they can use it themselves. Many farmers have been doing that, but they do not want to go any further. As far as I can see, the only object of this Bill, and of several other Bills which have been passed, under which bounties have been given, is to pay out money to the hangers-on of Fianna Fáil.

The Minister for Industry and Commerce talked a great deal this morning about people opposing this policy without having considered it. Anybody who listened to his speech could not fail to see that the Minister was supporting a policy without having considered it. We had a long speech from him, and it might easily be the speech of a man who had never been on a farm, one who had no practical or immediate knowledge of conditions here. It was the speech of a man who had read a few volumes of statistics, and a few text-books, who, on that basis, was deciding and advocating policy in relation to it. He asked why, if France, Germany and Canada subsidised wheat, the Free State should not give a subsidy. He seemed to think, because he could quote some other countries where wheat was being subsidised, that that was proof positive that the Fianna Fáil policy was correct, and that anyone opposing it was wrong.

There are a great many other factors to be taken into account besides climate, although climate is a serious factor, and in this country may not be widely different from the climate of the most adjacent country. Yet, the Minister for Industry and Commerce should be able to realise that that difference, small as it is, cannot be ignored. In countries where the climate may not be much more suitable than ours there are other conditions to be considered. For instance, there are different marketing opportunities from those that prevail here, and different prospects for other forms of agriculture. Surely there is no special freedom in growing wheat. Surely it is the business of farmers to pursue farming under conditions most suitable to this country, and in the form which is most profitable to them and to the community as a whole. Surely the business of the Government is to assist and to encourage farmers to pursue that form of agriculture. There is absolutely no reason why it should be regarded as more national or more patriotic to grow wheat rather than oats. There is no reason why it should be regarded as more national or more patriotic to produce flour rather than bacon, butter, eggs or any other commodity necessary for human food, which this country is suitable of producing.

The Minister for Industry and Commerce talked a great deal about the success of this policy, and stated that wheat could be grown, and would be grown. He stated that the people on these Benches were not facing up to the line they would take in their opposition to this policy. He seemed to say that there would be no success and that no wheat would be grown, and he then said it would impose a burden on other parts of the country where wheat could not be grown. It is really a question of how far the Government is prepared to go with this policy, and how much subsidy they are eventually prepared to give. If they give a subsidy high enough, and put a burden on the rest of the community which will not be concerned with wheat growing, they can get wheat grown. If they go far enough and pay enough they can get as much wheat grown as was ever grown here. If they give the subsidy, whether the one suggested now or a higher subsidy, they will get any considerable quantity of wheat grown, but there is then going to be a burden on the rest of the community. Very large sections of the people have no hope whatever, no matter how high the subsidy, of getting any share of that subsidy. Even when the biggest area of wheat was grown in this country the major portion of it was grown in a comparatively small area. The crop was, to a very considerable extent, localised, even when it was most widely grown. Consequently the position must be that the more this policy of the Government succeeds, in the sense of getting wheat grown, the heavier the burden is going to be on people living in the poorer parts of the country, who cannot hope to get any benefit whatever from it.

To me it seemed as if the Minister for Industry and Commerce was in an extraordinary humour when discussing this problem. He said that the policy had been decided on after mature and deliberate consideration. There were indications in his speech, however, that showed just how much that mature and deliberate consideration was worth. They went to show that what happened was that the Government decided on this policy of a wheat subsidy without consideration and, having decided on it they probably spent a certain amount of time trying to get up facts that would in some way support it. For instance, the Minister this morning actually mentioned, as a reason for supporting the wheat policy, that last year 350,000 families—the number seems to be too big to be correct— in Canada had to live on State assistance, as a result of the wheat failure there. He used that as an argument in favour of going on with the wheat policy here. He said that, in spite of this, the Canadian Government is still prepared to subsidise wheat production and encourage it and he asked why should not we do the same. It seemed to me that if the Minister's consideration of the matter was worth anything, that if his mind, or the mind of any members of his Party, were really working when they were considering their wheat policy, they would regard the fact that 350,000 families—if that figure is correct— had to get public assistance in a wheat country like Canada as a strong argument against going in for wheat production here. There is no use in trying to treat the question of wheat production and the question of the production of some sort of manufactured commodity as parallel problems. There was talk here this morning about factories of various kinds. But here the land is the factory. The land of this country is the agricultural factory and it is going to produce something. Deputy Lemass spoke about the land going waste completely —neither producing cattle nor grain. That is a position that cannot arise. The land here is a permanent agricultural factory. It is going to be used for something. No matter what particular agricultural industry or form of production may rise or fall, the land is going to be used as an agricultural factory and is going to produce something. The industrial factory is quite different. The industrial factory may go out of production. It may fall down and disappear altogether. Some form of State policy may have the effect of keeping it from being entirely useless and making it some good to the country. In the same way, it is possible by a policy of assistance of industry to create and multiply new factories.

So far as agriculture is concerned, the factory is here and the question is: what are we going to produce in that factory—what is the most profitable use to which this existing factory can be put? There is a great difference also between the burden that the wheat subsidy would place on, say, the western districts and some of the other forms of Government expenditure, because this wheat subsidy would be permanent. Other items of Government expenditure were temporary. They were going to pass in a year or two years or three years. They were things for which those districts were sure to get some compensation in corresponding works that would benefit them. If the country were committed to this wheat policy, what would happen would be that certain districts, in so far as the policy was successful from the Government point of view, would get a permanent subsidy at the expense of the people in those other areas. The question of the beet factory has been mentioned. There is no parallel between the beet growing industry and wheat production. Beet was a new crop to this country. It was a crop which there was reason to believe the country was suited to produce but which it had not, in fact, produced before. What was necessary was to introduce the crop and get this great experiment made. The experiment had to be on a large scale. It was impossible to grow beet without a sugar factory in which the beet would be used. Consequently, we had to employ large sums of money to test out a crop which had proved to be valuable in other countries. Although that experiment is an enormously costly experiment, it is for a limited period. And it has had its results. It has shown that this country can grow beet as well as any other country in Europe. In fact, this year the sugar content of the beet produced per acre is higher here than in any other country in Europe. That is a justification for expending money on this sugar-beet experiment. So far as wheat is concerned, the position is entirely different. Wheat is an old crop here. It is a crop of which the country has had all the experience it could require. It is a crop of which farmers have all the knowledge they could require. What we do know about it is that the country is not suited for it—that it is less suited than any of the other countries where it would be proposed that it should be grown. It is a crop for which, we are all agreed, only limited areas of the country are really suited. I do not say that more wheat might not be profitably grown than has been grown in recent years. The ex-Minister for Agriculture always took the view that it would be well if farmers, where the circumstances were suitable, would grow small quantities of wheat for the purpose of milling for their own use. But that we should now undertake a form of production for which this country has been shown, by past experience, to be unsuitable is a thing that cannot be justified.

If we go back to the question of a factory, this is like going to a boot factory which is successful, which is producing good stuff though it may be suffering now from trade depression, which normally could make reasonable profits out of the articles it is manufacturing—it is like going to that factory and saying: "No matter what your building is like, no matter what the training of your workers may be, you must use your engine, agreat part of your plant and your factory for producing something entirely different. You must being to make woolens or something like that." We have in the land here a permanent agricultural factory and what we have got to do is to use that factory—there is no danger whatever of its going out of production—for what is best.

We have got to export and there is nothing wrong in production for export. If the people of this country are not to be driven down in their standard of living, if they are not be driven backwards to standards from which they have been able to rise, we must export. There is no reason on earth why the people of this country should not live, roughly, the same sort of lives economically that the people of other countries live. There is no reason why they should not have the same commodities available for their use or why they should not have all the modern facilities and appliances. If they are to have those, there must be export. I see no reason why this country should go back 40 years or why motors should disappear off the roads. If they are not to disappear off the roads, then we have got to import large quantities of material. Even if we go out to make motor cars here, we have got to import the raw material for the making of the cars. We have got to import coal or coke foe use in the foundries. We have got to import rubber, metals of various kinds and petrol to drive the cars. There is no way of paying for these things expect by export. There is no reasons why the people of this country should be driven back three hundred years or why they should no longer be able to drink tea or coffee as the people of other countries do. I am certain of this: no matter what any Government sets out to do, they will not be able to drive the people back. They are not going to be able to turn the people of this country Stone Age-wise.

It is, perhaps, a fault of the people of this country that they are inclined to be rather more cosmopolitian in their tastes and requirements that the people of other countries. If one goes into the country places abroad, one notice that there is far greater conservatism there than there is here. The leading characteristics of the people of this country is, I think, that they want as a good sort of life as the people of any other country, and they do not want to be denied the things that are in consumption throughout the world. They do not want to be put back in their standard of living. I do not think the Government's economic policy and especially the Government's wheat policy will succeed and I say that largely for that reason. If the wheat policy has any justification it has only a justification as part of the larger policy of the Government, of making the people lead quite a different life from that which they have been leading and a life different from what is led in the neighbouring countries. That seems to be the only justification for it. Why we should say that it is better and more patriotic to produce wheat than it is to produce otas, butter, bacon or any other commodity I cannot see, of we are going to have the normal sort of life, using, so far as we can afford to buy them, the commodities which are supplied from many parts of the world.

If we are going to be modern as the people anywhere else we have got to export. We have to keep our eyes constantly on the export market. It is true, if the Government is going to pursue their present policy in regard to Great Britain they might as well pay three or four times the subsidy they are paying on wheat, if they are going to make it impossible for us to export, and if they are going to make us export such quantities in order to get the money we require. If the whole standard of living is being forced down, they may as well pursue this wheat policy at a greater rate than they are proposing to pursue it at the present time.

But there is no use in pretending that this is something that nationalist Ireland has been longing for for half a century. I do not know why he picked out that particular period, but there has been in the country that sentimentality about wheat. The people realise that wheat is the crop that there is no more virtue in growing than in growing any other crop; and they have stopped growing wheat because it was not as suitable for this country in all the existing circumstances, which include climate and commercial considerations, as other forms of production which were more suitable. When the Government is trying to force wheat-growing, which means the continuance of subsidies, it is simply lowering the standard of the living of the people. It is simply another way of the people having to work harder in the future for a less return than they were getting in the past.

Am I to conclude the debate now?

If it is accepted that the primary duty of agriculturists in this country is to produce food for the people, this question of increased wheat production is certainly a most important one for this country. Wheat is the raw material of what I can only terms as the principal item of food for all persons in this country. Therefore, we are all agreed on its importance. But I want to touch upon one or two of these questions which have been debated in this House for the last two days.

We heard a most convincing and logical speech delivered yesterday evening by Deputy Hogan, the ex-Minister for Agriculture. I have been an attentive listenner throughout the whole of this debate up to now and, with the exception of one refutation of the arguments used by Deputy Hogan I think there has been nothing in the debate that has taken place to refute any of the things that have been suggested in the speech of the ex-Minister for Agriculture. There were a few things that emerged from the Economic Committee set up by this House in 1928. That Committee concerned itself with the question of wheat and a tariff on imported flour. It produced a Majority and Minority Report. I was a member of that Commission. I do not want to quote very extensively from it, but just to point to one or two sentences. Mr. Kennedy, who was a member of the Committee, and I, in an addendum to the Minority Report, suggested:

We think that 50 per cent. of the country's wheat requirements is an impracticable aim. We consider that 20 per cent. is a reasonable maximum for present consideration. (2) We disapprove of the proposal that a suggested Wheat Control Board should be a limited liability company,

and so on. Of course, there is no suggestion in this Bill that you are going to have a Wheat Control Board in the form of a limited liability company. But it did emerge from the discussions, deliberations and evidence tendered at that Committee that Irish-grown wheat had a large moisture content. It had a larger moisture content than imported wheat. It also emerged that in order to make that wheat marketable for milling purposes and so that it should enter into the ultimate process, namely, into flour and into the baking of the loaf, that the wheat should be kiln-dried. A thing that we all stand for is an increase in tillage. I think every Deputy in this House stands for that, but undoubtedly what did emerge from that Economic Committee's Report—and that was based on the evidence of the experts examined before that Committee—was that Irish-grown wheat contained a large moisture content.

It also emerged from that Committee's report that if this country were to embark on any great kind of intensive wheat growing schemes, we would have to erect kiln-drying plant in this country. There is one important fact that emerged from this Committee and it is a factor for which we must have regard—the fact that you have got to change the palate and the taste of the consuming public. Whether we like it or not we must admit this fact—it may be a disagreeable fact. There are many persons who would like to abolish the drinking of tea. We heard its abolition advocated in this House but the fact is that our people have got a taste for backer's bread and it would be very difficult to drivert or convert that taste. The people, no doubt, have acquired that taste. Most of us, I take it, have eaten bread milled from our own wheat and baked in the home bastable, but the larger proportion still have never known what it is to eat a loaf milled from our own wheat backed in the bastable. The consequence is that the great majority of our people have got used to eating baker's bread. It would be a difficult thing to get them from that—even if they had to pay more for the foreign produced article. Of course, I know I can be met with the answer that in that case the loaf would not be quite fresh when it reached our shores, but it is one of the things that we must have regard for.

Those who envisage a fifty per cent increase in tillage under wheat production in this country must have disregarded all the facts of the present day. It is all very well to talk about what obtained here, thirty, forty, fifty or sixty years ago, but we must have regard to established facts. At that time we had not the motor car, motor transport, the fast Atlantic liner and the thousand and one other things that we have to-day. I hold the view that many of the old economists, such as Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill, would, if they lived in these days, and experienced the changes that have been brought about in our whole economic position by the improved and rapid methods of transport, fast Atlantic liners and not least the development of aerial transport have to alter very materially the views they expounded in their school treatises. These changes were undreamt of by the earlier economists.

It may have been, and I am sure was, good economy forty or fifty years ago for the farmer to produce wheat in large quantitues, but such a thing is very questionable to-day in view of the different economic position that has been reached not alone here but over the whole world. It is questionable whether the economic principles that were considered good in economics in those far-off days would be sound to-day. None of the earlier economists dreamt of the great wheat fields that in late years have been developed in Manitoba and Western America. Nobody dreamt then that it would be good and sound economy to produce the commodities best suited to our agricultural economy and exchange them for the products of other countries. I agree that there was a kind of lop-sided development here, brought about by various causes to which I do not intend to allude to now, as these have already been dealt with by members of the Government Party and of the chief Opposition Party. The fact remains, however, that for many years in this country we had a lop-sided agricultural policy. I might go so far as to say that our whole fiscal policy after 1922 was somewhat lop-sided.

The Bill presented to us will not, in my view, improve the position brought about by the methods which have been suggested in the speeches of the Minister for Agriculture and of the Minister for Industry and Commerce. The present Minister for Agriculture was a member of the Economy Committee that sat in 1928, and in view of that I thought he would have had regard to the evidence that was tendered before that Committee. We had evidence from experts from many Inspectors in the Department of Agriculture. I do not think it is necessary to read to the House the names of all those who gave evidence before that Committee. But in the report of the Committee there is a note by the Secretary stating: "that the following officers of the Department of Agriculture attended one of the Committee's meetings and gave the Committee the benefit of their views on the question of wheat growing in the Saorstát:—Mr. P. O'Keeffe, A.R.C.Sc.L., Mr. J. Kelly, A.R.C.Sc.I., Mr. P.J. O'Conor, A.R.C.Sc.I., Mr. J.W. Browne, A.R.C.Sc.I., Mr. J.J. Hassett, A.R.C.Sc.I.," All those gentlemen possess expert knowledge. Speaking from memory the consensus of opinion amongst these experts all of them inspectors under the Department of Agriculture, was to the effect that whilst wheat could be grown and should be grown in this country in larger quantities, they felt, as a result of their experience in the country that it would be a most objectionable policy for the Government to attempt to compel people to grow it, or use any kind of inducement, unless it were a very great financial inducement which this country could not afford.

In passing, I want to say that there are a large number of agricultural labourers who have been affected by various Acts passed by the Oireachtas. Agricultural labourers in particular have suffered as a result of the operation of some of these Acts. In regard to this Bill, I have had conversations with some farmers in my own area, and I have only met one so far—he is a very good farmer indeed—who is in agreement with the wheat policy suggested in this measure. The Minister for Agriculture is a practical farmer and must know that while in some areas where there is wheat growing land he may be able, by means of the subsidies or bounties proposed to be given in this Bill, to get the requisite extra number of acres allotted to the growing of wheat, still there are very large tracts of the country indeed in which my experience goes to show—and the Minister must have knowledge of it— that these farmers will not respond to the inducements that are held out to them in this Bill to grow extra wheat.

The economy of the Irish farmers with whom I am acquainted, and with whom I am in almost daily contact in my own borough—it must be remembered that although I represent a very important city, the City of Cork, still there is a very large farming community within my borough—and that contact, which I have maintained all my life with those agriculturists, has taught me that those farmers do not want to be disturbed in the economy on the farms which they have practised for very many years. I know—I can anticipate—the kind of answer the Minister will make to that. He will point to the stoppage in emigration at the present moment. He will point to the fact that thousands upon thousands of our young people who, up to the present, had an outlet via the emigration ship, have no longer an outlet open to them, and that this is an attempt to give employment to the thirty odd thousand persons who will not be absorbed via the emigration ship for export to the United States, Australia, or the other British Colonies. I want to ask the Minister does he believe that in all seriousness? I have heard it suggested here in the course of some of the debates this week that rationalisation would be a good thing for industry. Yes, it is a good thing—in theory. My experience, however, has been, that whilst it is a wonderful thing in theory—and even the Minister for Industry and Commerce who sought, not intentionally I believe, to put me in the cart by suggesting that he and I were of one mind with regard to the interpretation of the word "rationalisation"—we might be in accord on the dictionary interpretation of it, that is, that e-f-f-i-c i e-n-c-y spells "efficiency"—in the long run it spells disaster for the working classes. The more efficient the working of a flour mill the less number of persons employed in that mill. In view of the improved efficiency in modern industries, does the Minister envisage the absorption in employment of even half of the persons represented by that figure of 30,000. I have accepted the figure of 30,000 as the figure which represents the number of young persons who emigrate from this country year after year.

I beg to move that the question be now put.

The motion is that the question be now put.

Has there been any arrangement entered into by which this debate should be concluded by 2 o'clock?

There has been no arrangement, but the Minister has moved that the question be now put. I have before me precise figures regarding this debate. It has now lasted for nine hours—that, is two days—and I think that that is adequate discussion, even though it is a measure of major importance. Considering the number of Deputies who have taken part in the debate—seven from the Government side, fifteen from the Opposition, and two Independents, I do not think that there would be any infringement of the rights of members in accepting the motion. I, therefore, now put the question that the question be now put.

With all respect, the question has not yet been put and I think it is most unfair that I should not be allowed to continue. The Ceann Comhairle has suggested that nine and a half hours have been devoted to this issue, which is a major issue in the State, and I suggest that if another nine and a half hours were devoted to this major issue it would be time well spent and it would certainly be no loss of time. I should also like to say that I waited until the very last before I spoke. I wanted to leave the discussion of the question first to those persons more intimate with the problem and with the whole question of agriculture than I was.

I have accepted the question that the question be now put and I am now putting it.

I think I can claim the right of an ordinary member of the House to speak.

Not after the Chair has accepted the motion. I am putting the motion that the question be now put.

Division! Well, I withdraw that under protest.

You always make a speech on a Friday.

Motion put and agreed to.
Main question put.
The Dáil divided: Tá, 63; Níl, 47.

  • Aiken, Frank.
  • Allen, Denis.
  • Beegan, Patrick.
  • Blaney, Neal.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Boland, Patrick.
  • Bourke, Daniel.
  • Brady, Bryan.
  • Brady, Seán.
  • Breathnach, Cormac.
  • Briscoe, Robert.
  • Browne, William Frazer.
  • Carty, Frank.
  • Colbert, James.
  • Corry, Martin John.
  • Crowley, Tadhg.
  • Curran, Patrick Joseph.
  • Davin, William.
  • Derrig, Thomas.
  • De Valera, Eamon.
  • Everett, James.
  • Flynn, John.
  • Flynn, Stephen.
  • Fogarty, Andrew.
  • Geoghegan, James.
  • Gibbons, Seán.
  • Gormley, Francis.
  • Gorry, Patrick Francis.
  • Goulding, John.
  • Harris, Thomas.
  • Hayes, Seán.
  • Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
  • Humphreys, Francis.
  • Jordan, Stephen.
  • Kelly, James Patrick.
  • Keyes, Raphael Patrick.
  • Kilroy, Michael.
  • Kissane, Eamonn.
  • Lemass, Seán F.
  • Little, Patrick John.
  • Lynch, James B.
  • MacEntee, Seán.
  • Maguire, Ben.
  • Maguire, Conor Alexander.
  • Moane, Edward.
  • Moore, Séamus.
  • Murphy, Patrick Stephen.
  • Murphy, Timothy Joseph.
  • Norton, William.
  • O'Grady, Seán.
  • O'Kelly, Seán Thomas.
  • O'Reilly, Matthew.
  • O'Rourke, Daniel.
  • Rice, Edward.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Ryan, Robert.
  • Sexton, Martin.
  • Sheehy, Timothy.
  • Sheridan, Michael.
  • Smith, Patrick.
  • Traynor, Oscar.
  • Walsh, Richard.
  • Ward, Francis C. (Dr.).


  • Alton, Ernest Henry.
  • Anthony, Richard.
  • Beckett, James Walter.
  • Bennett, George Cecil.
  • Blythe, Ernest.
  • Bourke, Séamus A.
  • Brodrick, Seán.
  • Dockrell, Henry Morgan.
  • Doherty, Eugene.
  • Doyle, Peadar Seán.
  • Duggan, Edmund John.
  • Esmonde, Osmond Grattan.
  • Fitzgerald, Desmond.
  • Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
  • Gorey, Denis John.
  • Hayes, Michael.
  • Hennessy, Thomas.
  • Hennigan, John.
  • Hogan, Patrick (Galway).
  • Keating, John.
  • Keogh, Myles.
  • Kiersey, John.
  • Lynch, Finian.
  • MacDermot, Frank.
  • Burke, Patrick.
  • Byrne, John Joseph.
  • Coburn, James.
  • Collins-O'Driscoll, Mrs. Margt.
  • Cosgrave, William T.
  • Davis, Michael.
  • Dillon, James M.
  • McMenamin, Daniel.
  • Minch, Sydney B.
  • Mongan, Joseph W.
  • Morrissey, Daniel.
  • Mulcahy, Richard.
  • Nally, Martin.
  • O'Connor, Batt.
  • O'Donovan, Timothy Joseph.
  • O'Leary, Daniel.
  • O'Mahony The.
  • O'Reilly, John Joseph.
  • O'Shaughnessy, John Joseph.
  • O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
  • Reidy, James.
  • Roddy, Martin.
  • Thrift, William Edward.
Tellers:—Tá: Deputies G. Boland and Allen; Níl: Deputies P.S. Doyle and Bennett.
Question declared carried.
Committee Stage ordered for Thursday, 17th November.