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Dáil Éireann debate -
Thursday, 20 Feb 1941

Vol. 81 No. 14

Private Deputies' Business. - Relief of Local Rates—Motion.

I move:

That the Dáil is of opinion that in order to reduce the heavy burden on local rates it is essential that all roads and hospitals which are at present maintained by the local authorities should be made a national charge.

This motion was put on the Order Paper nearly two years ago, and a good many things have happened since which, to a certain extent, have altered the circumstances which weighed with the proposer and seconder of it. Nevertheless, I do not think they have altered to such an extent as to necessitate the withdrawal of the motion. I know that the chief source of income contemplated for road making when this motion was framed—road tax and licence duty on cars—has been very seriously jeopardised. I know also that the chief source of income for the maintenance of hospitals—the Hospitals Trust Fund—has been greatly reduced since this motion was put down. This motion, however, puts forward a proposal for permanent reform in our entire system of administration. As permanent reform is needed and as the circumstances which prevail at present must be regarded as transient, this motion should be carefully considered by the House. The whole question raised by the motion is whether the services relating to roads and hospital institutions are local or not. I, definitely, hold that both road services and hospital services are national in every sense of the word. We know that road traffic circulates from one end of the country to the other. It may not move as quickly now as it did heretofore but it passes through different districts. Why a particular district should have to maintain roads in that district which are used by citizens of the entire State, I have never been able to understand.

If the State is to take over the maintenance of the roads, it may be asked what system of financing the work will be put in force. I think that any reasonable person will agree that the most equitable system of maintaining any system of communications, or transport, is to charge the users of that system with the entire cost. As the roads are being used by various types of vehicle—mechanically propelled and otherwise—the owners of such vehicles, and they alone, should finance the maintenance of these roads. We know that the railways were built by private companies and that they have been financed and maintained out of revenue collected from the users.

And by reduction of the shareholders' capital.

That is true. The fundamental principle on which the railways were established was that the users of the railway service should maintain that service. We are asking that the same system should prevail in regard to the roads. That can be brought about only by nationalising the entire road system. It would not be possible for local bodies to impose any form of levy or tax in their own areas upon the local road-users. Therefore, the revenue required for the maintenance of the roads must be collected by the central authority. Up to this year, one type of road-users—the motorists—were contributing more than sufficient to maintain the entire road system. The contribution of motorists through road tax, petrol and other duties amounted, I think, to over £3,000,000. So far as I can ascertain, the entire cost of road maintenance does not exceed £1,700,000 per year. There is, therefore, a very wide margin between the amount contributed by one section of road-users and the amount required for road maintenance. In these circumstances, the financing of this proposal would not offer any great difficulty.

It may be asked: what are the advantages of centralising control of the roads? The first advantage is that there would be relief of direct taxation upon a heavily taxed section of the community—the ratepayers. This raises the question whether national or local taxation is the more equitable. Anybody who gives a moment's consideration to the question will acknowledge that national taxation is, generally speaking, more equitably divided over all sections of the community than is local taxation, which is based on property-value which may or may not—and generally does not—bear any relation to the income of the ratepayer. In support of national control of the roads, we have the fact that the central authority has at its disposal greater resources than any local authority can mobilise. In a time of national emergency, when great numbers of men in our larger towns and cities may become unemployed, roads, as a source of employment, naturally suggest themselves to the mind of any person who considers the matter. Widespread unemployment resulting from the present emergency and the shortage of supplies to industrial and other undertakings cannot be overlooked by the Government. It will be necessary to plan—and plan very boldly and courageously—to meet that emergency. One idea which should suggest itself to the Government is that of a big national scheme of road improvement. It might be necessary— I think it would be necessary—to borrow very considerable sums to raise the standards of our roads but it is a work which, I think, should be undertaken in order to tide the nation over the present emergency.

I may mention that in the Report of the Banking Commission, particularly in the Third Minority Report, certain recommendations were made to the Government which, I think, require very careful consideration, especially at the present moment. One of the recommendations was that money should be obtained from the Currency Commission to finance works on a big scale, that that money should be raised by the issue of currency on the security of the work to be undertaken. If this State, having taken over the roads, embarks upon a big scheme of road resurfacing and permanent improvement, having regard to the fact that by such work there would be created in this country a permanent national asset, there is no reason why the Currency Commission should not be empowered to issue currency upon the security of that work, work which I consider would be of permanent national importance. It may be suggested that roads, no matter how thoroughly they may be resurfaced or reconditioned, are not permanent but, at least, if a certain amount of improvement is effected, you will have roads which can be guaranteed to last for over 20 years. Therefore, if you are to finance such a scheme by currency issued through the Currency Commission there is no reason why that money should not be repaid over a period of 20 years, and, assuming that the total cost was £10,000,000, it would only amount to £500,000 per year for 20 years.

The present number of unemployed, particularly men who have been employed in fairly good positions and who have been fairly well paid, under no circumstances can be allowed to remain unemployed. In a big national scheme of resurfacing and remaking our roads a considerable amount of employment could be given which would tide this country over the present emergency. I would further suggest that the whole scheme of resurfacing and remaking the roads should be based on a five-year plan, that is, the work would be carried out within five years. In this way, at the end of that five years we would have roads in this country which would be second to none in Europe.

Again, in connection with the suggestion for the nationalisation of roads, I may point out that in some counties there are very highly efficient county surveyors and if there were a central scheme one of these officials or some of these officials could be placed in charge of the entire road improvement throughout the country and thus you would have all the roads throughout the Twenty-Six Counties brought to a uniform and high standard. I cannot see any reason why the Minister would refuse to adopt a suggestion of that kind, particularly as it tends to make the system of financing road administration more equitable than it is at present. The ordinary ratepayer, living in the rural areas, who contributes the greater portion of the money at the present time for the maintenance and improvement of roads, derives very little advantage from that improvement or maintenance. He could get on very well even if roads were far inferior to what they are at the present time. There is no reason why the greater portion of the cost of maintaining this service should be placed on his shoulders.

In regard to hospitals, a considerable amount of money was raised through the Hospitals Sweepstakes and it is my opinion that a very considerable amount of that money which has been spent on the building of new hospital institutions has been wasted owing to the fact that the hospitals throughout the country are under the control of different local bodies. I believe, before any scheme of hospital improvement was embarked upon, there should have been a detailed inquiry into and a detailed study of the hospital needs of this country. The idea of making each county a separate, water-tight compartment for hospitalisation was, in my opinion, altogether wrong. Instead of that in the cities and in some of our larger towns we should have a complete hospital centre. The county boundaries in regard to hospitalisation should have been completely ignored from the outset. There is absolutely no commonsense or reason behind a system under which a hospital may be built in a certain town and a person living within a quarter of a mile of that town cannot avail of that hospital if he is seriously ill but must be taken a distance of 20 or 30 miles to some other institution. If the hospitals were under central control we would have a system under which hospitals would be provided in the large centres of population and in addition we would have district or cottage hospitals in the smaller towns but each hospital would serve a radius of equal distance in every direction from the centre in which it was established. No question of county boundaries would be taken into consideration. If that were done, I think there would be a far more efficient hospital service.

There are certain types of institutions for particular types of patients such as mental defectives or persons suffering from tuberculosis. In regard to such institutions, it would be desirable perhaps in some cases to have four or five or six or seven counties grouped together, if the number of patients suffering from a particular disease were not very large. It would be possible and desirable to have one big institution which would cater for a number of counties. That, of course, would make for efficiency and would greatly improve our present system under which you have to endeavour to establish a number of different types of hospital in each county, no matter how small that county may be. That is altogether a wasteful, uneconomic and inefficient system.

I think, therefore, in the interests of justice to the general taxpayers and ratepayers, in the interests of equitable distribution of the burden of taxation over all citizens of this country and over all sections of the community and in the interests of higher efficiency both in road administration and hospitalisation, the Government should give serious consideration to this motion. I want particularly to stress the importance of embarking upon a big national scheme of road improvement at the present moment. No time must be lost, I suggest, in providing employment for those who have been thrown out of employment by the present emergency. By the improvement of roads you would be turning the unemployed of the present moment into a permanent national asset which will be valuable to this country when peace is restored.

I formally second the motion. Deputy Cogan opened by saying that this motion had been on the Order Paper for two years, but he possibly overlooked the fact that that gave him quite an advantage. If it lasted for another two years his case would be still stronger, because I think Deputy Cogan must realise, as we all do, that if the cost of main roads and the cost of hospitals form a great proportion of the burdens on the ratepayers of the country at the present time they must have contributed largely to the great increase in the rates in the last eight or nine years. If the trend of that increase in rates were maintained for the next two years Deputy Cogan's case would be still stronger. This idea of making the roads and hospitals a national charge has been mooted by many public bodies in the past couple of years. Different cases have been made for it. At one period I myself was very much in favour of the general idea. Having been looking at this motion on the Order Paper for the last two years, I thought we would get a much stronger case for it than we got from Deputy Cogan to-day. I think he overlooked the really essential fact in regard to it. The really essential fact is that, if we are justified in saying that roads and hospitals contribute largely to the burden of rates struck in any particular area in the country, every year that goes by means that a greater burden is being imposed on the ratepayers. I think if Deputy Cogan looked into the figures of the general rates collected in every type of area in this country from 1931-32 to 1939-40 he would have discovered an argument for his case that is practically unanswerable, that is if he wants to relieve the local ratepayers of the country and make those charges a national burden.

The position actually is that as far as county health districts are concerned the rates collected in 1931-32 were £2,445,269, and the rates actually collected in 1939-40 were £3,393,161, an increase of £947,892, or 39 per cent. In urban areas the rates actually collected in 1931-32 were £556,236. In 1939-40 the rates collected were £779,894, an increase of £223,658, or 40 per cent. In the smallest areas of rateable valuation in this country, the town commissioner areas, the rates collected in 1931-32 were £6,586, and in 1939-40, £10,435, an increase of £3,849, or 58.5 per cent. In county boroughs, the rates collected in 1932 were £1,669,476, and in 1939-40, the rates collected were £2,308,607, an increase of £639,131, or 38 per cent. The total collected in 1931-32 was £4,677,567. The total collected in 1939-40 was £6,492,097, an increase of £1,814,530 over all, or an average of 39 per cent.

If the people in favour of this motion contend that the maintenance by the local ratepayers of the burden of charge for roads and hospitalisation is a big item in this bill, their case is being strengthened every day in this country, because surely the amount expended on roads and the amount expended on hospitals must have formed a very large proportion of the general increase of 39 per cent. in the rates paid in 1939-40 as against 1931-32. Actually, there may be one peculiar feature about those figures, and it might not be altogether in complete agreement with the case made by the mover of this motion, because, if you take the smallest areas for rateable purposes, the town commissioner areas, which are the only urban areas, their proportion is by far the highest. In the areas of the town commissioners the rates increased by 58.5 per cent. In the areas under the county health districts they increased by 39 per cent.; in other words, they increased just the average, but in the areas of the town commissioners the increase was 58.5 per cent., so I do not think it is exactly true to suggest that the rural dwellers, in the sense of the people living outside the smaller towns and cities, are bearing a terribly undue proportion of the maintenance of roads and hospitals.

The town commissioners keep neither roads nor hospitals. There is none in their areas.

If the town commissioners keep neither roads nor hospitals, something terrific must have happened in those areas, because the rates have increased by 58.5 per cent. That is worse still. It would mean that Deputy Allen should come into this House with a motion asking for something to be done to relieve those areas.

They have the lowest rates of any ratepayers in the community.

The fact is that from 1931-32 to 1939-40 the rates increased by 58.5 per cent. I do not think, mind you, that Deputy Cogan or the other movers of the motion could suggest that the dwellers in rural areas are not anxious for good roads, or that they would be quite satisfied with a fairly good road. How often do county councils and various other public bodies find themselves faced with a demand from somebody or other in a purely rural area to steamroll a road towards a particular creamery or something like that? Apart entirely from my own views on this subject, one of the real troubles in this country is the fact that, once money is to be spent on anything, that is money out of the taxpayers' or the ratepayers' pockets, every section of the community think they are the people upon whom it should be spent. If ten miles of a road is steamrolled in one district 20 miles long by 40 miles wide, every public representative in that district and every T.D. in that district will be fighting tooth and nail to justify his own existence by having all the other roads steamrolled.

That is what is putting up the rates.

If that is what is putting up the rates, people like Deputy Allen who happen to be well-known and valued members of the county council, and who, in order to justify their existence as public representatives, protest every year against the Estimates being raised, are the people who are at fault, because they are the people who come in with their schemes every year. Every representative wants to get his own scheme through, and he only gets his own scheme through by agreeing to the scheme of the 39 others.

That is what happens in Cork.

If he wants a pump in his backyard, he has to guarantee the others that he will back their pumps, or he will not get it at all. That is the position, and the Deputy might as well admit it.

That is the Cork position.

What is the good in public representatives in Ireland pretending they do not all do those things?

What would happen if it came out of the Central Fund?

Exactly. I would suggest this much, that, bad and all as the county councils may be, one of the great arguments against this motion may be that if we were to centralise the whole thing the people administering the Central Fund would squander ten times as much money as the people who administer the local bodies.

You will centralise maintenance?

If you are going to centralise maintenance, there is only one thing to do in this country, if you ever want to save money on it. Is it not a fact that the upkeep of the roads is one of our great costs? I will tell you why. If you steamroll one road and it is the only main road in that area, every ounce of heavy traffic in the district will be immediately diverted to it and that road which should last for at least ten years is worn out in three.

The Deputy is wrongly informed.

I am not wrongly informed. The moment a road is steamrolled all the traffic is diverted to it. Many drivers go out of their way in order to get on to the good roads and in that way the good roads are worn out long before their time. Perhaps the best thing to do would be to have every road in the country steamrolled.

Such a scheme would cost over £100,000,000.

Where did Deputy Allen get his figures?

Deputy Allen is merely disagreeing with me. I do not believe he understands Deputy Cogan's case or the implication of the figures that I am giving. He feels that I am hitting his boys a little hard when I suggest that the rates were increased from 1932 to 1940 by at least 39 per cent. Deputy Allen, I am sure, is partly responsible for the 39 per cent. increase in his own area.

And I am quite prepared to justify it.

I wonder is the Deputy prepared to go into any county and point out that whatever works have been carried out there represent an increase of one-third compared with the position in 1931-32?

Where did Deputy Allen get the £100,000,000?

I know what it costs per mile for road upkeep and I calculate on how many hundred miles have to be done.

Another justification of the case made by the movers of the motion might be this. Deputy Cogan touched upon it when he referred to the position of the Road Fund. Actually, that is even worse than the road position. The gross receipts of the Road Fund in 1937-38 were £1,125,232. Out of that sum there was expended on roads £673,556, leaving in the hands of the Government, to be utilised for some other purpose, £451,676. In 1938-39 the amount collected was £1,174,700; the amount expended on roads out of that sum was £771,172, leaving £403,528 to be retained. In the last year for which figures are available, 1939-40, the gross receipts going into the Road Fund were £1,133,808. Out of that there was expended on roads £744,794, leaving a sum of £389,014. In that period of three years there was a difference of £1,250,000 between what was expended out of the Road Fund and what was collected. That £1,250,000 would make a terrific difference if it were available.

Sooner or later a stop will have to be put to this gallop. If the increase in rates which I have indicated continues in the same proportion we will eventually reach the stage when the people will be asking us to make the roads and hospitals a State charge. In fact, it may come to pass that they will be anxious to have everything made a State charge because they will not be able to cope with the conditions in their own localities. I imagine that people like Deputy Allen feel they are of greater advantage in this House to their constituents than in the county councils, and that if the Government had the administration of all these funds they might get more out of them. Is Deputy Allen prepared to say that, apart from roads and hospitals, value has been given for the increase of 39 per cent. in the rates collected for the last nine or ten years? I am sure there are thousands of people engaged on road and other work on which the money collected by way of rates is expended who would not agree that they are 39 per cent. better off compared with their position nine or ten years ago.

Is Deputy Allen prepared to say that there is an increase of 39 per cent. in connection with employment on road work or an increase of 39 per cent. by way of home assistance in rural areas? That 39 per cent. must have gone somewhere. Did it go into roads, hospitals or any other undertakings? You have the fact that £1,250,000 was retained out of the Road Fund for purposes other than that intended by the people who paid that money into the Road Fund. I imagine that if Deputy Allen owned a vehicle for which he was subscribing to the Road Fund and found himself on a bumpy road, one of his greatest grievances would be that he was paying road tax to the county council together with a petrol tax and yet his road was not being properly maintained.

Have the movers of the motion ever considered this, that what we have been doing in this country is picking out trunk roads here and there, making wonderful jobs of them and leaving thousands of small roads improperly maintained and never steamrolled? I will give you one instance. The one fine road in my constituency is that which runs directly from Mallow to Killarney. It is a grand tourist road, but it happens to avoid all the small towns in that area, whether by accident or design I cannot say. At any rate, there are two towns on the right-hand side and two towns on the left-hand side, but the road avoids them. When that road was steamrolled every ounce of traffic that normally passed through those towns, with a certain amount of benefit to the townspeople, was diverted. The long 40-mile stretch got it all and the little towns suffered. If you are going to pick out roads here and there in that fashion, you might as well drop the scheme altogether, because you are really hitting the people who pay the rates and who are deserving of some consideration. There is an idea abroad that when people want to go to Killarney they should be provided with a steamrolled road, while there is no necessity at all to provide a steamrolled road for the person who wants to visit the local town. I believe Deputy Allen mentioned a figure of £100,000,000. Suppose we look at this matter as a business proposition. If every road in Ireland were steamrolled, and if the money could be made available for it, would it not mean that everybody would use, whether with a donkey cart, a bicycle, a motor car or a lorry, his own natural road, and that the traffic would not be all diverted to one road? No matter what the expense might be, you might arrive at a position in which it would be better to have all roads pretty well done and you might save money hereafter.

As far as the hospitals are concerned, we have the Hospitals Commission which is supposed to provide funds, and we have money taken also from ratepayers and taxpayers. The authorities build magnificent hospitals for us. The Minister's predecessor was very nice to us in North Cork, and built the finest looking hospital one could wish for in Mallow. That building has been completed for quite a long time, but it has been left lying there unoccupied. I believe the reason it was not utilised was the fact that some additions by way of nurses' quarters had to be built. We have been looking at this glorious edifice with its hundreds of windows for years. I do not know whether it is the Department or the North Cork Board of Health that is responsible, but that magnificent building has been lying there for quite a long time without the slightest benefit to the people of the district. It has been completed and, as I am informed, it is equipped as far as operating theatres are concerned, in a very modern manner, but for all the use it is to the ratepayers, the roofs might be off it and the crows might be nesting there. I believe it could have been utilised had arrangements been made to make it available, because, when the necessity arose, the military were able to take it over and to use it as a central hospital for the Southern Military Command. As far as hospitals are concerned, I do not believe that either the Minister, Deputy Cogan or myself knows what is happening. Deputy Cogan suggested that county boundaries might be abolished in the administration of hospitals. That, I think, is an idea worth considering. Occasionally you will find a hospital built within a couple of miles of a county boundary. People residing within a few miles of that hospital, if they require hospital treatment, must travel 40 miles or more to get to their own county hospital.

One suggestion I would make to relieve the rates is to cease building cottage hospitals. There is no doubt that cottage hospitals are very nice looking buildings, but the number of beds which they provide is altogether too small. They are perhaps quite capable of coping with the normal flow of patients, but in a time of epidemic, or when there is any widespread outbreak of illness, these places are absolutely incapable of dealing with them. A worse feature is that some of the cottage hospitals are situated in what might be called fairly wealthy areas, while others are placed in poor areas. There is a custom growing up in some parts of the country under which certain patients are sent to one cottage hospital, while other patients are transferred to another cottage hospital because they are not paying patients or are not of the same social standing as the people treated in the first cottage hospital. Another objectionable feature is that the medical officers of these cottage hospitals are paid small salaries, and part of their perquisites seems to be a number of free beds for the treatment of private patients in these hospitals. That is my information and if it be correct, I think the system is entirely wrong. It may be that there are 35 beds in one of these local hospitals. That number is quite small enough for the needs of the district and that a doctor, who is a paid servant of the State, should be entitled to retain a number of these beds for his own private patients seems to me altogether wrong.

The Deputy is not now dealing with the Local Government Estimate.

These beds are being utilised by the doctor to augment his own private income. If the Department feels that a doctor is not being paid a salary sufficient to provide him with a livelihood, they ought to pay that man a salary which would be commensurate with the work he has to do and make him do his job, but they should not allow him to augment his income by providing him with accommodation for private patients. I think there is much to be said for the point made by Deputy Cogan, that since this idea of steamrolling roads and fine-spraying them has come into existence, there is certainly some case for investigating the incidence of the charges for the upkeep of these roads. I shall not deal further with the question of hospitals because it is a question that is much too involved for me. I just want to say to Deputy Cogan that the weakest point in his argument was his reference to the Great Southern Railways. He said that the Great Southern Railways started as a private concern and that they had to pay their way, that the people who are utilising the railways had to provide the money. I am afraid that if he utilises that argument the freight receipts of the Great Southern Railways would not sustain it Everybody knows that the railways are not paying their way and the people who realise it most are those unfortunates who had their £100 shares reduced to £10.

The one aspect of the motion that frightens me is this. There may be a case for establishing a national system of administration but I do not think anything in this country was ever improved by centralising it. You may have a general scheme for the whole country but everybody knows that when it gets into the hands of the gentlemen here in Dublin, when it is centralised, you will get less out of what you are paying than you do at the moment. When these people get their hands upon it you will get less of the money you contribute than you do at the moment. No matter what happens, I do not think you should allow the people here in Dublin to get their hands on anything more than they have at the moment, because the more they get their hands on it the less the people will get out of it.

That is the case you are making.

An example of that is provided by the fact that they lifted £1,150,000 out of the Road Fund in the last few years. I would be prepared to support a case for the nationalisation of the roads if I thought the people who would administer the scheme would be the people who wanted the roads down the country.

Why not have nationalisation of all forms of transport?

Why not administer the scheme yourselves if you are going to use the roads?

Whether the money comes out of the pockets of the ratepayers or the taxpayers, it has to be provided by the people. I think the question of whether the roads should be made a national charge is at least worthy of examination. The only thing I am afraid of is letting the money get into the hands of the people in Dublin. They would say that we in the country may pay away and we would not get back half of it. I am sure that Deputy Allen would be as horrified as I am to hand over two or three million pounds to the people in Dublin rather than leave it in our hands.

Be careful, now.

If Deputy Allen wants to make an answer to a case for the nationalisation of roads, it is not wise that he—and all the other county councils in the country who pretend that they are anxious to provide employment for the people—should forget that. It is not that they are so anxious to provide employment for the people, but they put £400 or £1,000 down and then come here looking for a new subsidy, simply in order to justify their political existence as purely local representatives. If Deputy Allen can tell me that an increase of rates by 39 per cent. has increased employment on the roads in a fair percentage, I would say that that is good. I doubt if an extra ten have been employed on the roads in the last ten years, as I know it was roughly the same. I do not think that the 39 per cent. which we put on has put 39 per cent. more on the roads. I suggest that there is a case for examination. I am sure that Deputy Allen, until he heard Deputy Cogan talking, did not know what the amount was. I am prepared to support any request for an examination that anybody makes. And I am not prepared to object to such an examination by saying that it is not a solution.

The Deputy is going against policy.

No. I support this motion purely and simply because I believe the question should be examined. I am quite prepared to come in here and support a motion for this examination, whether I agree with it or not, and I am not prepared to remain here for the next two and a half years or the next 10 years, or until there is a general election, without doing that. In this matter, I would agree with Deputy Allen or with anyone in this House, no matter from which benches, who puts up a fair case for examination, and I am prepared to support that and back their right to an examination, whether I agree personally or not; and if I am convinced that there would be justice in having an examination, I will back them then, no matter what their political opinions may be.

I support this motion, not because I believe that it is a proper solution, but because I believe "half a loaf is better than no bread". The only solution that will do justice in this case is derating of agricultural land. I am sure that that is what Deputy Cogan had in mind. However, as we cannot get the Government to regard the equities of the case and treat properly the farmers who have to bear the burden, it is better to get relief in some direction.

In regard to Deputy Linehan's point, I agree with him when he says he does not want centralisation. I do not want centralisation either, but what is the case for centralising in this instance? The case for centralising in this instance is that there is an attempt to increase the taxation that is raised centrally—that is, the general taxation or national taxation. There is an attempt to increase it equitably but there is no attempt to increase rates equitably, because there is one section of the community—the farmers—taxed in the shape of rates out of all proportion to income. Everybody is aware that people who are paying income-tax are always allowed a certain living income before a shilling is imposed upon them, whether the rate is high or low. What is the position with regard to this, which is really a direct form of taxation, similar in all respects to national income tax? It is raised on an income-basis, but they are not allowed one shilling to live upon. People with £20 of an estimated income have to pay anything up to £20 a year on that income and are left with nothing at all. That would not be done with any other section of the people.

I should like to take this opportunity to impress on the Minister and on all concerned, that there never can be an equitable or just solution except that of derating agricultural land altogether. If that were done, I would not stand for centralisation.

This motion means doing more than that—it means going further than derating.

I understand that this motion proposes to transfer to the Exchequer the responsibility of keeping the main roads and the hospitals. That would be as far as it goes. It would relieve the ratepayers. While it would not be giving justice to a section of the ratepayers, it would be some relief and, therefore, I support it.

Apart from that aspect of the question, I wish to impress on the Minister that, if he has any desire to do justice to the farmers of this country, he must relieve them entirely of their rates, so far as the land is concerned, and tax them the same as other sections of the community, on what they are drawing out of it. There is another matter. Anybody who takes up the accounts of county councils from year to year knows that rates have increased on each occasion until they have become an unbearable burden. The ability of the farmers to carry this burden now has diminished in proportion as the rates have gone up. I am afraid that we are coming to a point in which there will be a complete break-down of our local bodies owing to the inability of the farmers to pay their rates. All that is necessary is one bad year: if a bad harvest came, or a stoppage on our cattle exports or of anything that has been doing well for the past two years, it would make things impossible for them. They would be unable to procure the necessities of life for themselves while paying the ever-growing burden of rates that is crushing them down.

Something will have to be done to relieve the ratepayers of this burden. Every grant that the Minister gives towards unemployment is given on condition that the local body would pay a certain proportion, and in this way he is inducing them, and is throwing a responsibility on these local bodies that does not belong to them, but to the Government, and one which should be borne by the National Exchequer. That charge is thrown upon local bodies and upon the rates, which means that it is thrown principally upon the poorest and hardest-working section of the community. They are being goaded in all directions. Their produce is being controlled. The price is being kept down deliberately. For instance—and I only refer to this as an instance—the price of butter and milk is kept down by control below the world price, to less than it is in Northern Ireland, while the prices of the goods the farmers have to buy—which are produced by industrialists—are double what they are on the other side of the Border. That is just an example of what is being done to this section of the community.

When you come to the question of taxation, the only principle—or lack of principle—is to throw every possible burden on the farmers and take everything out of them, until they are squeezed out and are fleeing from the land. Everybody deplores the flight from the land, but it is being done deliberately by the policy of the Government. I have been trying from time to time to impress on Ministers that this is the real cause, and that they are really responsible for the flight from the land, which everybody knows is going on. Unless there is a change, it will go from bad to worse. This proposes some relief, and I would ask the Minister, if he is not prepared to go further, at least to accept this motion. There are just one or two other points to which I should like to refer. I have called the attention of the Minister's predecessor to the slippery condition of the roads.

That matter does not arise. Administration does not enter into this motion.

I thought, Sir, that on a motion like this we would not be rigidly confined.

Yes, but if Deputies all ramble to the same extent as the Deputy the debate would travel long, long roads and lanes.

Very well, Sir, I shall leave it over to another occasion, but now that we cannot get petrol it is an important matter since we have to use horses.

The Deputy could table a motion in that connection.

Yes, but when would we get the time to discuss the question? It might lie on the Order Paper for two years; that is the trouble; and if we were to be without the use of the roads for two years it would be a serious matter. We are in the midst of a crisis now. However, whatever the Chair rules——

It must be obvious to the Deputy himself that surface of roads has nothing to do with making roads and hospitals a national charge.

I know that is not in order, Sir.

But owing to the shortage of petrol at the present moment, I think it is a very important matter. I have called the attention of the Minister's predecessor to this.

It will not do, Deputy.

Very well, Sir. Deputy Linehan gave figures of the amount that the Minister has taken off the Road Fund in motor taxation. That at least should have gone back to the roads in relief of the ratepayers to that extent. It is not really from the Road Fund but from the ratepayers that that sum of £1,000,000 over these three years was taken, along with the rest. If the Minister would restore that to the relief of rates this year, it would go a certain length towards the relief of the unfortunate people who are overburdened, and if he were to accept this motion and relieve them of the cost of the roads and the hospitals it would go some way but certainly it would not go far enough. It would not by any means meet the equities of the case or do justice to the section that is most crushed and that, I feel, is most concerned in this, because after all it does not matter whether it is paid in rates or in general taxation, so long as these local rates or local taxation are imposed in an equitable manner and applied equally to all having regard to their incomes. If that were done I would not mind whether it was local or central. I would prefer the local to the central administration. Taking all into account, however, I support the motion because it will relieve the ratepayers to a certain extent.

I wish to support the motion for the reason that I am satisfied that if the roads and the hospitals were made a national charge public representatives would then be in a better position to cater for the poor of the areas they represent, because we find that when the estimates for roads and hospitals are passed it is generally at the expense of other social services. Even if the Minister is unable to agree that all the roads should be made a national charge, I think that there is a special case to be made for the main roads. In the constituency that I represent we have a special claim that at least the main roads and trunk roads should be a national charge. We, in County Wicklow, are in such close proximity to Dublin that we have motors from practically all over Ireland passing over our main and trunk roads. Of course, the Minister may put up the case that these people leave some money or that they leave something there. Well, we have heard the views of hotel-keepers and owners of property there, and their reply to the Minister would be that the only things these people leave there are empty mineral-water bottles, waste paper, and litter of all kinds, that they have brought down in their motor cars. Very few of these people enter the hotels, so it is no personal gain to the hotel-keepers or ratepayers in County Wicklow to have these people travelling through, and they have to spend a large sum of money for the maintenance of the roads. It is most unfair for a man in a rural area to have to pay for the upkeep of roads over which he never travels, while the roads in his own areas, the by-roads, are left, and the public boards, after providing for the trunk and main roads, have very little money left for the improvement of the county roads.

On a point of order, Sir. I am afraid there is not a quorum.

That is so. There is not a quorum.

Notice taken that 20 Deputies were not present; House counted, and 20 Deputies being present,

I wish to point out the necessity to give a larger grant for main and trunk roads, at least. On the question of hospitalisation, I do not suggest that there is any inefficiency, but I think the Minister will agree that a special case can be made to relieve the ratepayers of the cost of the maintenance of patients in mental hospitals. The Government at the present time do not give the same capitation grant that was given at the time of the commencement of the Local Government Act. We all know the cost of maintaining patients in our mental hospitals at the present time and, therefore, I think there is a special case for the Government to make some arrangements to increase the capitation grants of public hospitals so as to enable them to maintain these patients in mental hospitals. With regard to the matter of roads, other counties have their claims, of course, but I say that the County Wicklow has a special claim for consideration in the matter of giving larger grants for the trunk and main roads.

From the way that the debate on this motion was opened by Deputy Cogan, it was quite obvious that very little consideration was given to it, although he complained that the motion has remained on the Order Paper for two years. The Deputy has given the House no indication as to how he proposes that this transfer will take place. He does not tell us, in regard to the transferring of the hospitals and the roads, or at least transferring the liability for their upkeep, who is going to administer them. Does he propose that these services should be taken over by the central authority and that they should be run from Dublin? Certainly if the central authority is going to provide the money it must be on some such lines as that it must be done. When the County Management Bill was before the House there was a good deal of criticism about the inroads it was going to make in local government. If by this proposal the Deputy means that these moneys are to be provided by the central authority, then the administration of the money must rest with the central authority, and it means the end of local government. He has not told the House what way he proposes it should be administered. Does he think the central authority would be so foolish as to provide money required by county councils, no matter what fantastic schemes were put up, without having control of it? When a motion like this is put down, one would expect that the proposer or seconder would have some clear cut ideas as to how it should be carried out. It is obvious that the Deputies never considered it from that angle.

To deal with the roads first. In 1938-39 in county boroughs the cost of roads was £283,931; in urban districts, £52,348; in towns, £646, and in the counties, £2,602,882. In the counties the rate levied for roads varied from 2/8 in Westmeath to 4/10 in Galway and 5/11 in Donegal. The rate in, at least, half the counties is below 4/-. Of the expenditure in the counties, amounting in 1938-39 to £2,602,882 a large proportion was, in fact, met out of Government grants. The net charge in that year on rates would appear to be £1,262,009. Out of the Road Fund the county councils received £340,687 in respect of the maintenance of main roads, and £477,775 for road improvement works. There was also approximately £400,000 paid to county councils in respect of employment schemes on roads, so that approximately one-half the expenditure on roads in 1938-39 is represented by Road Fund and other Government grants.

The cost of maintaining main roads is approximately £840,000. The Road Fund meets 40 per cent. of the cost of maintenance and approximately £500,000 is met out of the rates. The improvement grant for some years past averaged £400,000 a year. In the present year it has fallen to £208,000. The full cost of improvement works, as distinct from maintenance, is met out of grants, so that practically no charges fall on local authorities for the improvement of main roads. It is necessary that there should be an improvement of roads to meet changes in traffic, to provide for road widening and road surfacing. With something like 1,700 miles of roads scheduled for steamrolling still incomplete, it is necessary to go ahead with that work.

One would imagine from what has been said that the roads were provided only for motor-cars and tourists. Roads are provided largely by local bodies. A meeting of every county council is held before the final estimates are submitted, at which county councillors submit various works and roads that they want attended to. Roads that have been talked of as being suitable only for tourists are roads that were put up by councillors as being required in their areas to meet local needs or to give local employment. The great volume of road expenditure is largely due to the provision made by county councils in that way. Of course, the chief engineering inspector carries out certain planning of road improvements financed out of the Road Fund in conjunction with county surveyors. The maintenance of main roads is submitted to the county councils to decide whether they wish them done or not. Consequently county councils have a big say in fixing the roads that they consider necessary. I do not want to go into the uneconomic side of the question, but I believe it would be inadvisable to transfer from local bodies the powers that they have at present of making provision for these roads and deciding on those they consider to be most necessary. They are acquainted with local conditions; they are conversant with the people, and they can decide for themselves.

County councils are heard complaining from time to time, after the estimates are passed, about the high rates, but the time to remember an increase of rates is when they have the estimates before them. They should not be talking about that at the end of the year. If Deputy Cogan has it in mind that, at the same time as the central authority would take over or finance the roads, a free hand was going to be given to local authorities to deal with what roads they liked, one can imagine what sort of an estimate would be before the House if the local authority had no responsibility for providing the money. It is quite obvious what proportions the estimate would assume if the money came from the Central Fund.

Proposals have been put up from time to time by the general council of county councils that the road tax and duties on imported motor vehicles should be applied towards the provision of roads. Whatever has been taken from the Road Fund has been taken to provide for other social services. If the House wants to provide more money for roads, then money for other social services will have to be found in some other way. It can only be found by taxation. Even if there were no difficulties at the moment, I do not think anybody would consider increasing the tax on cars or petrol, or increasing the duties. If you do not do that, you have to fall back on increasing the taxes on something else which would probably fall more heavily on the farmers.

Taking the hospitals position, you have mental hospitals under one head, and the district, county, and fever hospitals under another head. Mental hospitals get a capitation grant of 4/- per head and they are costing something like £1,000,000. The average expenditure for the whole country for the maintenance of mental hospitals would be approximately 1/4 in the £. If you take into account the Agricultural Grant in relief of the rates on agricultural land and if you deduct that, the net charge on land would be approximately 9d. in the £.

The total expenditure on public assistance is approximately £2,250,000. Of this amount at least 25 per cent. represents the expenditure on home assistance. The next big item in the expenditure is represented by the expenses under the Medical Charities Act, and on medicines and medical and surgical appliances, which approximate to £400,000, and these with home assistance would work out at practically one-half of the total expenditure of the boards of public assistance. Again, dealing with hospitals, are you going to take away the administration of them from the local authorities? If the financing of them is to be taken over by the central authority, surely the central authority is going to see how they are administered. I think that the representatives in the counties would be more conversant with the conditions than any people in Dublin could ever hope to be.

They have no powers.

If the roads and the hospitals are to be financed by the central authority, has Deputy Cogan in mind that the Agricultural Grant will still continue, or will he abandon the Agricultural Grant and allow it to be taken into consideration in dealing with this? If he means that the Agricultural Grant should continue and that these other services will be financed by the central authority, we will have a very peculiar position. Let us take the position in Wicklow and the position in Cavan, because Deputy Cole's name is also down to this motion. The following shows the position in Cavan and Wicklow for the past three years.

In Wicklow the rate for roads was 3/7.25d.; for county services, 3/3; for poor relief, 3/6; for health district charges, 2/0.75d., making a total of 12/5. In Cavan in the same way the total comes to 11/10.25d. Then take the Agricultural Grant. The primary Agricultural Grant provides 5/10 in Wicklow and 5/9 in Cavan; for employment it is 5/9.75d. in Wicklow and 5/9.50d. in Cavan; for the supplementary Agricultural Grant it is 3/- in Wicklow and 3/4 in Cavan.

Why do you not pay us what you stopped for the last three years?

In Wicklow County 60 per cent. of the holdings are under £20 valuation and 80 per cent. in County Cavan. If you total it up, you will find that the relief under the primary employment grant would probably be greater than the cost of the services that would still be left with the local authorities. There have been proposals here from time to time about derating, but such an outlandish proposal as this has never before been made in this House. If you want to hold on to the Agricultural Grant, not only are you giving derating but something in addition as well. That proposal was never made before. That is one of the reasons why I say that this motion has not got any consideration whatever in the two years from the Deputies who put their names to it.

I do not want to waste the time of the House in dealing with this matter considering the way it has been put down and the little consideration that was given to it by those who put their names to it. I suggest, however, that if Deputies are considering some such motion in the future and want to become acquainted with the facts concerning it, they should read the reports of the Derating Inquiry of 1931. They will find the findings in relation to mental hospitals and roads on pages 39 to 47. In that report the reasons against it are set out. They say that it is uneconomic. They point out that there are very different conditions in the various counties; that there is a bigger mileage of roads perhaps in one county than in others; that the thing would not work out satisfactorily and that it would work out very unfairly. They do not deal with hospitals in general. In dealing with mental hospitals, they point out the disparity that exists between one county and another. There are different conditions of service and different dietary scales without any detriment to the patients. There are big differences between the costs in one county and in another. You also have different scales of pay in the different counties. If you bring all these under the central authority, you will not have the flexibility that exists at present.

You will have to make uniform the payment of salaries, and so on, to officials. You will have practically all of them on more or less the same scale through the country. That would mean a big increase in the rates in some counties. No argument has been put forward in favour of this motion. If Deputy Cogan insists on getting the agricultural grant as well, I think he is only wasting the time of the House, and making a laughing stock of the whole position.

The Minister is probably one of the ablest debaters in the House, and in his own quiet way gets his points across better than any other Minister. He has made the case against this motion that some of us have, from time to time, tried to make against the Government with not, perhaps, the same effect. He made the point that acceptance of the motion would practically mean giving a blank cheque to the local bodies to carry on their work. Some of us here have made that case on the question of derating. I, and other Deputies who understand the question, have always held that if derating came there should be a change in the system of local government, and that the Government which paid the piper should have the right to call the tune. But the Government themselves, while proceeding along the line that local bodies must provide the money, have been gradually stealing the tune until they have got not only the air but all the music as well. Those of us who voted against the Managerial Acts did so for practically the same reason that the Minister has used in objecting to this proposal of Deputy Cogan. My objection to them was that they gave the Department of Local Government 95 per cent. control and left the unfortunate dupes, the local bodies, to provide the money. I have always objected to local bodies, or anybody else, being called upon to provide money for others to spend. I hold that at the present time it is the Central Body that is spending the money, most of it at any rate, raised locally.

The Managerial Acts have given practically full control over all expenditure for the Department of Local Government. The Minister, for example, asked what would be the position of the hospitals if he were to take over control of them, leaving the obligation on the local bodies to provide the necessary funds. Under the Managerial Acts the local bodies have practically no control over mental hospitals. As regards hospitals and other services, the Department of Local Government have, at the present time, full control to all intents and purposes.

The Minister said that local bodies can do what they like in the case of roads. That is not so. If they had freedom in that matter they would make roads that would be more suitable than the roads we have for the horse traffic, making it easier for the farmer to carry on his operations. The local bodies are practically compelled to make modern roads suitable for motor tourist traffic. They are told that, if they fail to do so, the grants they are entitled to will be transferred elsewhere. To say that the local bodies had a free hand as regards the roads was, I suggest, rubbing it in a bit too hard.

I am in favour of the motion. Long before there was ever any agitation for complete derating, I had always held that the cost of the roads and of mental hospitals should be a State charge. Any proposal introduced into this House to make them so will always have my support. I agree that, in order to put this motion into effect, some difficulty might arise. There would have to be certain changes in administration, but these need not necessarily be of the radical nature indicated by the Minister. Reference has been made to the Agricultural Grant. I was not present when Deputy Cogan referred to it. The Minister did make reference to the Deputy's statement. I do not know if the Deputy suggested, as the Minister seemed to indicate, that farmer ratepayers, in addition to getting derating, should have the Agricultural Grant handed over to them as a bonus. I would be surprised if Deputy Cogan made such a suggestion. It is one that I certainly would not make. Everyone knows the purpose for which the Agricultural Grant was given originally in the last days of the past century. It was to relieve the ordinary farmer ratepayer of the liability that he otherwise would have incurred for the landlord's share of local expenditure. Unfortunately, a great portion of the landlord's liability is still there, but in different hands. At any rate, until the farmer is in free possession of his land it cannot be said that he is not entitled to the compensation given to him for that purpose. I do not think the Minister was quite fair in his application of the saying that the people who pay the piper ought to have the right to call the tune. He and his predecessors departed from that long ago. They have run away completely from that, because they have forced upon us not only the tunes but the pipers as well. I am prepared to vote for the motion. I realise that there might be some difficulty in putting it into operation, but, in my opinion, the difficulties are not insurmountable.

The Minister talked about the intention of the proposers of the motion to transfer all power over the administration of roads and hospitals from the local bodies to the Central Government. In view of the fact that we passed an Act last year depriving local authorities of all power, I think that question does not arise at all. By the Managerial Bill, a permanent official is appointed to perform all the functions of the local authorities, except the striking and levying of a rate, which is, of course, the most objectionable function of local authorities. That is the only function that has been retained.

Of course, the Deputy knows that that is not so, but I suppose that does not matter.

I fail to see what power a local authority will have after the passing of this measure. I am a member of a county council at present, and I can see the very little power which local authorities have in the matter, for example, of road administration. We try from time to time to reduce the estimates submitted by our local officials, but the net result is that, in some way or other, our officials compel us to embark on that expenditure the following year, because they will produce to us certain of the main roads which are in such a condition that we must provide increased expenditure or lay ourselves open to the charge of neglecting the roads. Under the Managerial Bill managers are to be appointed, and all the services at present administered by local authorities, with the exception of the striking of a rate, which is a reserved service, will be transferred to the managers, the local authorities being given the amusement of providing the money.

Can you not get any work done that you want to provide for?

We have not power to compel the manager to do it.

Of course, you have. I do not know if the Deputy has read the Bill, but, whether he has or not, that is not a correct interpretation.

If the manager does not carry out our instructions, I presume we will give him a month's or a week's notice, and that he will be forced to resign. That was really the only important point the Minister made.

Does the Deputy propose that control of these should be taken away from the local authority, and handed over to the Central Government?

I am definitely satisfied that since the local authorities have no power at present, they will not suffer any disadvantage by the transfer to the Local Government Department of the power of administration over roads and hospitals. I even suggested in my opening remarks that it might be possible to secure greater uniformity of administration in respect of roads and greater efficiency in the administration of hospitals by having central control, particularly in view of the fact that we have a form of central control now which is inefficient. We have a small dictator appointed in every county who may have his own ideas which may not conform at all with those of rival dictators in other counties, and this may result in considerable inefficiency and over-lapping I think it better to let one dictator take charge of all the roads.

The Minister referred also to the fact that the cost of administering the services left under the control of the local authorities, if this motion is carried into effect, will not exceed their present Agricultural Grant. The Minister evidently visualises a time when there will be a certain surplus of the Agricultural Grant which will have to be distributed by the rate collectors. It will, according to his ideas, be necessary to send the rate collectors around to distribute this surplus.

No. I merely want to know from the Deputy whether, as well as the transfer of control, he wants to get the Agricultural Grant as it is at present. I want to be clear on that.

If what the Minister suggests is true, that the Agricultural Grant will exceed the cost of the services then left in the hands of the local authority, we do not ask anything more.

Should the Deputy not know that himself?

It is apparent, but nobody asks that more of the Agricultural Grant be paid than the amount of rates on agricultural land.

Then you do not want the Agricultural Grant? You are abandoning it, if these services are taken over?

Assuming that the Agricultural Grant at present is sufficient to wipe out the rates on agricultural land.

Is the Deputy abandoning the Agricultural Grant in exchange for these services?

Certainly not.

Oh, well, you are going further than derating.

I put down a motion some years ago asking for the complete derating of agricultural land. That motion was not accepted by the House, but this motion would more or less achieve the same object.

It achieves something more. You are going to get some money for nothing.

It may achieve a little additional relief for ratepayers other than agricultural ratepayers, and if a case was established for derating agricultural land, I think there would be a case established for relieving to a certain extent other ratepayers, and that is what this motion would, in effect, achieve, because obviously the same case which can be made for derating can be made for a certain amount of relief for other ratepayers, inasmuch as the case for derating is based on the fact that the present system of financing local administration is inequitable, and if it is inequitable for the farmer, there is a certain amount of inequality and injustice in respect of rates on other property. For example, the owner of a factory or business house may be deriving very little income from that factory or business house. Yet, he is compelled to pay a fixed charge to the local authority. I am using that argument in support of this motion, and I suggest that the present system of financing the Central Government is more equitable than local taxation.

How does the Deputy propose to relieve ratepayers if they have no rates to pay?

So far as this motion abolishes rates on property, I am not asking for any further relief.

I do not suggest, as the Minister evidently thinks, that the rate collector should go around paying back some of the exorbitant rates collected during the past few years. Deputy Linehan drew attention to the enormous increase in rates which has taken place, and, as a matter of fact, that increase is one of the grounds upon which this motion is submitted to the House. Rates have increased by over £1,000,000 during the past ten years and there is a probability that they will continue to increase, with a consequent deterrent effect on industry, commerce and agriculture. I ask, therefore, that the roads be financed out of national taxation and that they be entirely financed out of taxation collected from the users of the roads. I suggest that central control of our hospitals would make for efficiency inasmuch as the county boundaries would be brushed aside and you would have hospitals built to suit the needs of the community and not with a view to securing—as has happened during the past few years—as much of the Hospital Trust funds as possible for each locality. I have asked for a national scheme of hospitalisation and a national and urgently-needed scheme of road improvements which, I think, would involve the raising of money by borrowing. In view of enormous and increasing unemployment, the Minister should have no hesitation in recommending to the other Ministers the adoption of such a scheme.

The Minister suggested that I should read the report of the Derating Commission, which sat during the previous régime. On a few occasions, I have attempted to read those recommendations but I have never been able to muster sufficient patience to wade through the absurdities dished up—particularly, in the majority report. Only one sensible report was submitted by that commission and that was a minority report by Mr. Greene. The other reports were sheer absurdities. The majority report was signed exclusively by permanent officials, professional gentlemen and civil servants who know absolutely nothing about the condition of the agricultural community or the ratepaying community. As a matter of fact, they mentioned in their report that they were not concerned about the equities of the present rating or taxation system. Therefore, their approach to the whole question was absolutely immoral, and I do not think their report requires any serious consideration.

What does the Deputy mean by "taxation of the users of roads"?

In normal years, motorists have contributed over £3,000,000 in road tax, duties on imported motor vehicles and parts, and duties on petrol. I suggest that that money should be earmarked for road maintenance.

The Deputy said he would tax the users of roads. Does he mean by that that he would tax farmers in respect of their carts, cattle, and so on?

I have not suggested that, but if taxation from duties on petrol and mechanically-propelled vehicles were not sufficient to meet the cost of road maintenance, then it might be desirable to levy taxation on other vehicles. At present, the amount of tax collected from motorists far exceeds the cost of road maintenance.

Question put.
The Dáil divided: Tá, 10; Níl, 51.

  • Bennett, George C.
  • Byrne, Alfred (Junior).
  • Cogan, Patrick.
  • Everett, James.
  • Giles, Patrick.
  • Keating, John.
  • Linehan, Timothy.
  • McGovern, Patrick.
  • Nally, Martin.
  • Pattison, James P.


  • Aiken, Frank.
  • Bartley, Gerald.
  • Beegan, Patrick.
  • Benson, Ernest E.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Bourke, Dan.
  • Brady, Brian.
  • Brady, Seán.
  • Breen, Daniel.
  • Breslin, Cormac.
  • Briscoe, Robert.
  • Carty, Frank.
  • Cooney, Eamonn.
  • Corry, Martin J.
  • Crowley, Tadhg.
  • Derrig, Thomas.
  • De Valera, Eamon.
  • Dockrell, Henry M.
  • Flynn, Stephen.
  • Fogarty, Andrew.
  • Fogarty, Patrick J.
  • Gorry, Patrick J.
  • Harris, Thomas.
  • Hogan, Daniel.
  • Keane, J.J.
  • Kelly, Thomas.
  • Kissane, Eamon.
  • Lemass, Seán F.
  • Loughman, Francis.
  • Lynch, James B.
  • McCann, John.
  • McDevitt, Henry A.
  • MacEntee, Seán.
  • Morrissey, Michael.
  • Mullen, Thomas.
  • Munnelly, John.
  • O Briain, Donnchadh.
  • O Ceallaigh, Seán T.
  • O'Grady, Seán.
  • O'Loghlen, Peter J.
  • Rice, Brigid M.
  • Ruttledge, Patrick J.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Ryan, Martin.
  • Ryan, Robert.
  • Sheridan, Michael.
  • Smith, Patrick.
  • Traynor, Oscar.
  • Walsh, Laurence J.
  • Walsh, Richard.
  • Ward, Conn.
Tellers:—Tá: Deputies Cogan and Keating; Níl: Deputies Smith and Brady.
Motion declared lost.