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Dáil Éireann debate -
Wednesday, 28 May 1947

Vol. 106 No. 7

Finance Bill, 1947—Second Stage.

Question proposed: "That the Bill be read a Second Time."

An tAire Airgeadais (Proinnsias Mac Aodhagáin)

Mar is eol do Theachtaí cheana is gné bhliantuil dár gcóras airgeadais an Bille seo. Is é príomh-chuspóir an Bhille ná éifeacht reachtúil na Rún Airseadais lenar ghlac an Dáil am na Cáinaisneise a bhuanú go ceann na bliana. Toisc téarmaí an Achta urn Bhailiú Shealadach Canach, ní bhíonn éifeacht reachtúil ag na Rúin sin ach ar feadh tréimhse teoranta.

Tá eolas ag Teachtaá cheana ar ábhár furmhór forál an Bhille mar deineadh tagairt dóibh san Oráid Cháinaisnéise. Is beag rud seachas a raibh san Oráid sin atá sa Bhille agus bhéarfad miontuairisc orthu sin agus mé ag léiriu an Bhille.

The main purpose of this Bill is to give continuing effect to the provisions of the Financial Resolutions passed by the Dáil at Budget time and opportunity is usually taken to settle other outstanding financial matters not requiring Financial Resolutions. In point of fact, there is very little in this Bill that was not already the subject of a Financial Resolution or forecast in my Budget statement as will be clear to Deputies when I go through the Bill section by section which I now propose to do.


Section 1 (which corresponds to Financial Resolution No. 1 passed on Budget day) is the usual section providing for the charge of income-tax and surtax for the current tax year and for the continuance of previous enactments relating to those taxes. I have already explained in my Budget speech that excess surtax will not be imposed this year.

Section 2 implements the announcement I made in my Budget speech regarding the income-tax personal allowances. It enacts that the allowance for an unmarried person shall be raised from £120 to £140 and that the allowance for a married person shall be increased from £220 to £260.

Section 3 is designed to secure that that part of the profits of life assurance companies which is allocated to, or reserved for, policy holders will be excluded from computation for income-tax purposes under the rules of Case 1 of Schedule D. The section also provides that, where a life assurance company carries on both an "ordinary" branch and "industrial" branch, the business of each branch shall be treated separately for income-tax purposes. The section is so worded that the latter provision will not apply unless the company has availed itself of the benefit of the former provision.

Section 4 will be of advantage to local authorities. When a local authority pays interest on its loans or stock it deducts income-tax and is naturally obliged, in some form, to account to the revenue for the tax deducted. It will doubtless have a certain amount of taxed income available for "set-off", as it is called, against the interest from which it deducts tax. In so far, however, as the interest is payable out of rates, which are not chargeable to tax in the ordinary way, a special charge is raised to cover the balance of tax deduction. Under the existing law the tax, if any, ultimately borne by the local authority under Schedule A in respect of any of its property which it occupies cannot be taken into account for purposes of set-off. This is the result of an old legal decision. Section 4 is meant to overcome the effect of that decision and thus to bring relief to the local authority.


Section 5 corresponds to Financial Resolution No. 3 and is related to the First Schedule. Reference Nos. 1 and 3 in the Schedule are not new duties and are aimed at simplifying the charge to duty in the case of calendars and almanacs and at removing certain doubts and ambiguities in the previous tariff definition in the case of dressed stone works, etc. The net effect of Reference No. 2 is to extend for protective purposes to display figures and stands of plaster of pans or papier mâché the existing duties on statues, statuettes and busts.

Section 6 which corresponds to Financial Resolution No. 2 provides for increases in the existing rates of customs and excise duties on tobacco, the basic increase being 5/- per pound, and for an increase of 1/4 per pound in the rebate on hand-pressed tobacco, i.e. plug, roll, twist, etc., thus raising the rebate on these tobaccos from 1d. per ounce to 2d. per ounce. The increase in the rebate means that the prices of the cheaper tobaccos go up by approximately 1d. per ounce less than do the prices of the dearer tobaccos.

Section 7 corresponds to Financial Resolution No. 4 and is designed for the most part to obviate difficulties in administration of certain duties where it was found that the existing definitions duplicated duties on certain articles or extended to articles which they were not intended to cover. In the case of toys, however, which are referred to at Reference No. 7 in the Third Schedule, the intention is to raise the exemption limit on wooden and soft toys generally from 9d. to 1/3 so as to afford approximately the same measure of protection as pre-war to the industry in this country having regard to the increased cost of toys while allowing the cheaper toys in duty free for the poorer section of the community.

Section 8 corresponds to Financial Resolution No. 5 and its net effect is to repeal the duty on novels in English.

Section 9 is designed to enable the benefit of licensing provisions for free import to be applied to (a) articles stored in bonded warehouse on importation, and (b) articles which had been imported duty-free for a particular purpose and which it was desired to divert to other use.

Section 10, which corresponds to the Financial Resolution substituted for Financial Resolution No. 6, raises the entertainments duty at present in force on cinematographic and other forms of entertainments by an average ?. The scale of duties on cinema exhibitions has been unchanged since 1936; the scale for other entertainments has been unchanged since 1932. The new scales do not come into force until 15th August next owing to the necessity of printing new stamps and tickets.

Sections 11-13, which correspond to Financial Resolutions Nos. 7-9, are consequential on the enactment of the Auctioneers and House Agents Act, 1947, which provided for the grant of an auctioneer's licence, an auction permit and a house agent's licence subject to the payment of an excise duty, and this Bill provides for duties of £10 in respect of the first two mentioned instruments and a duty of £2 in respect of the last mentioned. The duty on existing auctioneers and house agents remains in effect the same, but the definition of house agent has been widened to include operators not hitherto covered, in that agents for lettings of all valuations — not £25 and over as hitherto — and of unfurnished as well as furnished premises are covered.


Section 14 extends for a further three years the existing exemption from corporation profits tax afforded to certain public utility concerns.

Section 15 provides that, in the case of a director-controlled company, tile I maximum deduction allowable for "ordinary" corporation profits tax shall be increased from £l,000 to £1,500 per annum

Section 16, with winch is connected the Fifth Schedule to the Bill, deals with a matter to which I referred in my Budget speech of last year. Its purpose is to provide for relief from excess corporation profits tax in respect of stock held at the 31st December, 1946, which subsequently might not realise the value then placed upon it.

Section 17 is the usual "construction" provision.


Section 18 (which corresponds to Financial Resolution No 10 passed on Budget day) is designed to double the ad valorem stamp duties payable on conveyances or transfers, by way of sale or voluntary disposition, of stocks, shares or marketable securities. The scope of the section is confined to such sales or dispositions as are effected by deed.

Section 19 grants stamp duty exemption as regards any agreement, conveyance or other instrument entered into for the purpose of transferring the business of the Industrial and Life Assurance Amalgamation Company, Limited, to the Irish Assurance Company, Limited. This transfer was provided for in an agreement made in September, 1938, and scheduled to the Insurance (Amendment) Act of that year. The transfer of the business of the Industrial and Life Assurance Amalgamation Company, Limited, to the Irish Assurance Company, Limited, represents the final stage of the amalgamation into one company of the life assurance business and industrial assurance business carried on by certain insurance offices in this country.

Section 20 is consequential on Section 13. The only live provisions of the Revenue (No. 1) Act, 1861, are those relating to house agents' licence duty and provision in this respect is being made in Section 13 of this Bill.

Section 21 is the usual care and management section, and

Section 22 the normal section relating to the short title, construction and commencement of the Bill.

There are a couple of matters arising out of this Bill with which I wish to deal. One or two of them are matters which are not in the Bill and the absence of which I deplore; the others arc borne matters which are in the Bill. In the course of the remarks that I made on the Budget proposals, I drew attention to a particular class in the community which, in my view, deserve far more consideration than they had hitherto obtained, or, apparently, than they are likely to obtain from the present Minister. I spoke broadly for the clerical and professional classes. I drew attention to the fact that the working-classes, as they are called, have in the trade unions a powerful weapon put into their hands for the purpose of their protection; that the poorest section of the community are the care of all sections and Parties; and that the new rich, the new aristocracy of wealth, are almost immune to the present taxation, however high it may be, and felt considerable relief at the proposals contained in the Budget to which statutory effect is given in this Bill.

The class that I referred to were, broadly speaking, those people who earn their living entirely by their brains, whose continued existence depends on their health, and whose financial resources, therefore, are entirely derived from a continued healthy existence. Once their health is in any way impaired, they have nothing to fall back upon. In the case of a person carrying on a business, that business is an asset in his hands and in the hands of his executors or personal representatives when he dies. If he suffers illness, the manager or paid employee or employees can carry on the business on his behalf, perhaps not to the same advantageous extent as if he were carrying it on himself, or if it were being carried on under his direct supervision; but certainly it can be carried on to considerable advantage in his absence through health, recreation or otherwise.

The person who is making money by a business is taxed on the same basis as the person whose money is derived from his own purely personal effort, as is the income derived by those people on whose behalf I speak, the clerical and professional classes. But, in the case of a business, an allowance is made for wear and tear before the amount assessable for income-tax is arrived at. In the case of a man earning his living by his own efforts at a profession or a clerical occupation, he gets no allowance for the wear and tear of the machine which produces the income which is taxed for the benefit of the State. He gets no allowance for the wear and tear of his health, mind and body. He gets no allowance for the fact that if ha gets ill — certainly in the case of a professional man, and, in many instances, in the case of those engaged in clerical occupations — the income entirely ceases. If his illness continues to such an extent that he loses his health entirely, he has nothing to face but ruin.

I do think that that class requires some more consideration than has been given to them, that there ought to be given to those people who are earning, by their own unaided efforts, through their brains, some allowance equivalent at least to the wear and tear allowance that is given to business people. They have to pay their taxes and they probably pay far more taxes and make far more correct and more creditable and honest returns than many people engaged in business who have made huge profits in the last five or six years. Those people in receipt of salaries have paid to the uttermost farthing and I think that, normally speaking, professional men return their income honestly and fairly.

But they get no allowance for the fact that they are dependent entirely upon their bodily health; that the machine which produces the income which is taxed is their body and that in respect of that they get no allowance. They have no asset to leave behind them for the benefit of their dependents when they die. Yet they are charged on their savings, whatever they have been able to put aside over years of arduous effort after paying their taxes. They are charged in respect of death duties precisely at the same rates as are charged in respect of people who die leaving a business and an asset for their relatives which can be carried on with considerable advantage.

I think I am doing something that should be done and which ought to have been done before this in emphasising the claims to relief of that particular section of the community. They have had a very hard time during the last-few years in particular. Those on salaries have had to exist in circumstances amounting almost to cruelty. In the case of professional men, in some instances they have been able slightly to increase their fees. But, speaking generally and broadly, the fees of professional men have certainly not been increased in any way commensurate with the rise in the cost of living or the fall in the value of money in the last five or six years. These people have re put aside out of their incomes sufficient to meet disaster and adversity due to ill-health. They have to make provision for their families, and that has put upon their resources in the last few years an almost intolerable strain. Most of these people are obliged to adopt the method of saving by means of insuring their lives. As I pointed out in the debate on the Budget proposals, they have paid premiums over a considerable number of years in pounds, when each of them was worth £1 in purchasing value. Those policies of insurance for which they have been paying over a large number of years will mature either on their death or before it, if that is the particular type of policy effected, at a time when the maturity value of the policies, has been at least halved from the point of view of its actual value or purchasing power.

I do not wish to spend any greater time than I have in advocating what I believe to be a highly desirable and necessary reform. I was disappointed that the Minister gave no indication that he would consider the just claims of those people on whose behalf I speak. Perhaps in the Budget which will be introduced next year he will consider reliefs for the classes of the community to which I have referred. I have not included one particular section of the community which many people would regard as not worthy of consideration, but which I think suffered considerably by reason of the full in the purchasing power or in the value of money. These are people, many of them widows and many old ladies, who live upon the produce of invested funds. The yield from these invested funds has been steadily declining for years, and, with a falling income and with the fall in the real value of money, that particular section of the community have suffered very considerable hardship and loss.

Within the past few months I put down a question to the Minister asking him whether he had considered the desirability of increasing the range of trustee securities and investments in which trust money might be invested and in which trustees might lawfully invest trust moneys. I understood from the reply I obtained that that matter was under consideration by the Minister's Department. Although it is some months since I received that reply, so far I have received no concrete indication that these proposals have reached any practical conclusion. I should like if the Minister could give me any indication whether that matter has been considered and any finality reached or any judgment attained. There is no doubt that the existing investments in which trustees may lawfully invest trust funds give a wholly inadequate yield; not only do they give a wholly inadequate yield but many of the funds in which trustees may and are empowered by law to invest are, in fact, the very worst possible investments in which a trustee could invest money. Not alone do they yield a poor dividend but the capital money is in great danger and jeopardy. It is a problem that, in my view, requires serious consideration. Apparently it has been receiving that consideration from the Department and I would like to know if any conclusion has been reached upon it.

The next matter to which I wish to refer is the provision in the Bill dealing with corporation profits tax. I think I made my view perfectly clear, in the course of my remarks in the Budget debate, as to the profits which are being and which have been made out of the community within the past five, six or seven years. So far as profiteering is concerned, I would welcome any proposal that would extract for the public benefit the greatest part of that particular illicit gain made at the expense of the community. At the same time, I did endeavour to make it obvious that. I was not against fair profits being received; in fact, big profits being gained by a person who gained them through his initiative and energy and through taking risks with his own money. Between those two sections of the community there is a wide gulf. I, therefore, approach the problem of corporation profits tax and its continuance in this country with those headlines in mind.

Corporation profits tax is a method of extracting tax from profits earned by corporations. The profits are taken from the particular type of corporate body which carries on trade or business. To justify that tax, so far as I know or have been able to ascertain, no principle has ever been adduced or advanced. There would not in reason appear to be any particular justification for taxing profits received in carrying on business by a corporation while no profits are taxed for the same business when it is carried on by an individual or in partnership. The tax was created by the British Finance Act of 1920. All profits earned by companies carrying on business, except certain specified companies, mostly public utility companies, were subject to that tax. The tax was continued in this country by the Finance Act of 1923, but in 1924 it was completely abolished in England because, as I am informed-and the Minister will correct me if my information is not accurate — it was recognised it was a tax which was not justifiable and which brought about anomalies and inequities.

We have continued that tax up to the present time, notwithstanding that it was abolished by the authority which created it, the British Parliament, for the reasons I have mentioned. In 1920 it was recognised in this country that the tax was inequitable and not founded upon any basic principle Accordingly, instead of the limit of exemption being left as it was at £500, that limit was increased to £10,000, so that only very few companies, only those companies which carried on extensive business and which had extensive capital employed, were then subject to the tax. In other words, to all intents and purposes, with the possible exception of a very few big concerns here, the tax was abolished.

When the present Government came into power in 1932 they decreased the exemption limit from £10,000 to £5,000, and again in 1936 they further decreased the exemption limit to £2,500. All profits over £2,500 earned by a company are subject to this corporation profits tax, irrespective of the size of the company, the amount of capital employed and whether or not the company earns sufficient money to pay a dividend to its shareholders.

It is somewhat difficult to understand why there should be a, tax on industry in this country as against a similar class of industry, carried on in Great Britain. It used to be a 5 per cent. tax and that was increased, to 10 per cent., but in the result Irish industry which is trying to build, up an export trade has a tax of 10 per cent. over and above the tax borne by its rivals in the British market. It is difficult to see any justification for a continuance of that tax in existing circumstances.

It is possible to justify the imposition during a war period of the excess corporation profits tax, but last year the Minister abolished that particular tax although he left the corporation profits tax still in existence and still in effect. Although the excess corporation profits tax was abolished, nevertheless some of the machinery which was introduced in order to enable the Revenue Commissioners more adequately to deal with efforts at evasion of excess corporation profits tax is still left in being to deal with this anomalous and inequitable tax called the corporation profits tax.

The 1944 Act provided machinery to enable the device of the formation of subsidiary companies to be diverted from an effort to evade excess corporation profits tax. Although that particular piece of machinery was created to deal with excess corporation profits tax, nevertheless that same machinery, which did not exist from 1920 until 1944 and from winch we may assume that there was no necessity to provide machinery to prevent evasion, has been continued, and one of the methods by which a company, and particularly a privately-owned, director-controlled company, can get additional capital to increase its business and develop its concern, is the creation of a subsidiary company. The law, as it stands, under the 1944 Act exempts subsidiary companies which were formed prior to a particular date in the year 1941. Although excess corporation profits tax has been abolished and although these provisions in reference to subsidiary companies are the machinery to deal with excess profits, this anomalous position has been left. So far as subsidiary companies formed prior to 1941 are concerned they can operate, presumably, free from corporation profits tax, while companies formed since that date are brought under this machinery, which can be used to extract additional corporation profits tax. It is difficult to understand what principle can be involved in the maintenance of that particular piece of legislation.

There is another matter to which I should like to refer. I think Part III of the Bill increases from £1,000 to £1,500 the salary which a director of a company receives and which can be utilised in reduction of the amount for exemption from corporation profits tax, but the peculiar position still subsists that if a director, in a director-controlled company, gives his whole time to his business and owns more than 5 per cent. of the shares, his salary cannot be taken into account by way of deduction in arriving at the amount to be assessed for this particular corporation profits tax. That, I am informed, hits privately owned companies very hard, creates inequities and anomalies, creates a position that leads to double taxation of individuals, creates the position that an employee of a company who works hard in that company and who by his efforts, by his industry and by the success he has made of his work in that company, reaches the position of being manager of the company, cannot put, if he wishes, his savings into the development of that company, to the success of which his energies have contributed, to a greater extent than 5 per cent. of the capital of the company without rendering the company liable to additional corporation profits tax.

An example has been given to me that I shall give to the Minister in order to emphasise and underline the point I have been making. A manager of a company owns more than 5 per cent. of the shares in what is known as a director-controlled company. He gives the whole of his time to advancing the interests of this company. He earns, say, £2,500 of a salary. In that position the company will have to pay 10 per cent. corporation profits tax on £1,000 when this Bill becomes law. They would have to pay 10 per cent. on £1,500 last year but in addition to that the individual concerned will have to pay surtax on £l,000. That individual's effort leads, as I say, to the inequitable and unfair position of double taxation. It is extremely difficult to understand how there can be any justification for the levying of an additional tax merely because a man owns shares in a company to which he devotes the whole of his time.

I would suggest that the Minister should seek the opinion and advice of eminent firms of accountants in this city and the country generally who have bean handling the accounts of companies and corporations subjected to this tax with a view to seeing whether or not the case I have been endeavouring to make is not substantially correct — that it is an unfair tax, a tax which cannot be justified in principle and a tax which should be removed. Certainly, if the full step of removing the tax which has been abolished for the last 23 years by the British Parliament, which created and conceived it, cannot be taken, at least in reference to those provisions which provide that the managing director or the manager of a company, cannot without rendering his company liable to corporation profits tax, own more than 5 per cent. of the shares, the Act should be amended so that he should be in a position to put his savings into the company in which he is working and for the success of which he wishes still further to work to the extent at least of 25 per cent. without incurring this penalty. That I think is a modest claim and one to which perhaps the Minister might give serious attention. The question also would arise in the case of that individual who is earning the income to which I have referred that, after the corporation profits tax is deducted, at least he should not be subject to the double burden of surtax on his own income.

There is one further matter of detail which I have been asked to bring to the attention of the Minister with a view to seeing whether something in the nature of an inequity or an injustice cannot be remedied. This has reference to excess surtax and arises on the construction of Section 4, subsection (4) of the Finance Act, 1944. A particular instance in which these provisions bear heavily and inequitably arises in the case of an individual who carries on two, three or more businesses. He carries on business A at a profit, and businesses B, C and D each at a loss. He is the same individual working four different concerns.

Three produce a loss and the fourth produces a profit. On the construction which has been put on this particular section of the Finance Act of 1944 by the Revenue Commissioners, excess surtax is charged on the business which produces a profit although the net result of the business activities of the individual concerned may be that in a particular year he has made no money at all and may have suffered a very substantial loss. Notwithstanding the fact that he has suffered a considerable loss on all his business concerns, be will have to pay excess surtax on the particular business which has yielded him a profit. His energies have been devoted to three or four businesses as I have indicated and he is endeavouring to make an income from these three or four businesses but the net result is that he suffers a loss. Notwithstanding that loss, he finds himself in the position, by the construction placed on that particular section of the Finance Act of 1944 — whether that construction was intended or not I do not know — to pay surtax on the business which gives a profit although in fact on all his business concerns he may have made a loss. To end these anomalies, I would appeal to the Minister to redeem the promise given by his predecessor in the course of the debate on the 1944 Bill — I am open to correction as to the date — that, if in the administration of the measure, any of the proposals embodied in the Bill which later became the Finance Act, inflicted an injustice on anybody, sympathetic consideration would be given to the question of repealing them.

I commend to the Minister's consideration the three points which I have mentioned, and consideration above all of the class of people who, in my strong view, should in justice get some greater consideration than they are getting. I have heard it said frequently that income-tax is a tax on income. I have, also heard the platitude uttered that income-tax is the fairest possible tax. If you regard income-tax as a, tax merely on income, reducing the tax to its simplest possible principle and form and take no account of the way in which it bears more heavily on one section of the community than on another, I entirely fail to understand how it can be said that income-tax is the fairest possible tax. In the case of a tax upon business it bears heavily upon that business, but that business gets allowances while the ordinary individual who is working and depending on his own energy, brains and health to produce an income gets no such allowances. He gets no allowances for wear and tear, for the use of a motor car, for entertainment, and for a vast quantity, of things that a business man is able to bring into his income-tax accounts for the purpose of getting allowances in reduction of his assessable amount.

In that respect, and in many other respects, income-tax bears far more heavily on the income of an individual. It is on his behalf that I plead with all sincerity with the Minister because it does bear more heavily on him than upon any other section of the community. Income-tax can only be a fair tax, and can only be the fairest tax if its incidences are carefully examined, if an examination be made as to whether it bears more hardly upon one section of the community than upon other sections of the community. Many sections of the community have been able, through lack, possibly, of staff in the offices of the Revenue Commissioners and of the income-tax department, to escape payment of income-tax or not sufficient income-tax. The people for whom I plead have, I think, paid their income-tax, if not to the last penny at least far more honestly than any other section of the community. On their behalf, I make a sincere appeal to the Minister for consideration for some much needed and justly earned relief.

There is a feature running in the Irish Independent which, I must say, I am not ordinarily curious about It happened during the week that a question was put to me by a member of my family. I had, to confess to not knowing the answer and was driven to some, research on the matter: The question was: “What is a rap in the phrase ‘Not worth a rap’?” The answer which the Independent gave was: “A rap was a base halfpenny really worth about half a farthing issued in Ireland in 1721.” When I got the date 1721, I got my feet on the matter because I remembered that about that time Swift wrote the famous “Drapier Letters”. He wrote these letters about a bankrupt iron-monger in England who had got a patent for the coining of £108,000 in farthings and halfpennies. He had got that right to mint coins, as many others have since got them, through influence. He had paid £10,000 to the German mistress of George I, the king at the time, in order to get her favour in getting him this particular coinage gift. The “Drapier Letters” examined the position with regard to this base coinage. There is a long passage in one of Swift's articles in which he speaks of the person who goes to the alehouse with this base coin. He said that the proprietor of the establishment would probably not take the money, or that if he was fool enough to do so, the brewer would probably refuse it. He said that if the brewer was fool enough to take it, then it eventually got to the farmer, he would want to be paid in what was called “the good and lawful coin of England”. The example still further said that, if in the old days, he gave a beggar a real ha'penny it would quench his thirst and give him something to fill his belly, but that to give him the 12th part of a ha'penny was of no more value to him than to give him three pins out of his sleeve. People who have made it their business to be exact in their observations of the true value of these coins were of opinion that a man might hope to get a twopenny quart of ale for 36 of them.

William Wood only debased the pennies and the ha'pennies of this country, and all he was getting was a profit on the £108,000 worth of base mint. We have bettered that with the de Valera pound, the Aiken shilling or the Lemass sixpence. They are only worth half their value. The whole coinage has been debased. There used to be a habit of clipping coins when there was good metal in the coins and when what was taken from them was worth something. The present Government have succeeded in debasing the whole coinage in this country, and we are now going through the painful process of attempting to readjust the money which the people get for their services in the country, and we are attempting to readjust it permanently to the lowered value of the money that we have.

Major de Valera

Have we debased the coinage in England, too?

No. The Deputy wonders why people go to England. They go because they get good coins there, but when it is sent home the money buys only half what it buys on the other side. I have often given the statistics. The Deputy was probably not in the House at the time. Wages in England have increased. The purchasing value of their pound has increased. We are almost unique in this that we are picked out by the International Labour Office for odium and contempt before the world that, with three other countries, we are the only non-fighting country in which wages, as paid at the present moment, have dropped below their 1938 value — ourselves, Czechoslovakia, France and Japan, a goodly company — three countries that were devastated by the war when we kept safe. With thesc three we stand, having lowered the real wages of the community below, and much below, the values of 1938.

I am going to examine the Minister's statement in connection with the Budget and relate it to this Finance Bill. He said in the Official Report of the 7th inst., column 2241:—

"The expenditure for Supply services anticipated this year is £54,256,000... Central Fund services are to cost £6,277,857 which is £298,000 more than last year. The two services total £60,534,000.

I am going to call that £30,250,000. I want to examine that with some aid from a speech made by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Local Government and find out how we stand with regard to the exaction of what I will call £30,000,000 from the community this year, although the impact on the community is not to be measured in the terms of £30,000,000. I am going to take that figure and inquire what debt has been piled on this community since the Minister and his colleagues took over, and then ask the House to examine four or five other items with me. If there is more money being exacted from the community, if both national and local debt have almost doubled, one would expect an improvement in the community. Are the people emigrating in more or in fewer numbers than they used? How do the unemployment figures stand? Is disease more rampant in our midst than it used to be? At what point have we stabilised crime? Where are we, Judged by the standard of poverty in the country?

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Local Government thinks that speeches made on this side of the House are whining, dreary, tremulous bleats. It is easy for the Parliamentary Secretary to talk. If he were one of the quarter of a million who have been forced to emigrate, he might bleat. If he were one of the 70,000 unemployed, left over the years unemployed, he might whine. If he were one of the people stricken with tuberculosis and not able to find a bed to get care, there might be a whine from him. If he lived in the conditions of poverty that there are in certain Dublin households, there would be much more than a bleat, much more than a tremulous bleat. The parliamentary Secretary puts up to this House the case that we are not so badly off; we are not as badly off as the war-ravaged countries of Europe. It is a nice standard. If that is the best he can do, it is a confession of failure. He tries to make the point— as is the propaganda going at the moment — that, of course, emigration is not really a matter of people being forced out of occupation here. According to the Parliamentary Secretary, we are an adventurous people. We are. We go far in search of either food or work or health and that is what people have been doing over the last 15 and more particularly over the last seven years.

The Minister's Budget, this year, on my calculation, was £30,000,000. He tells us, at part of his Budget speech, column 2250, what the State and local debt amount to. The gross indebtedness of the State is now £100,800,000. The gross indebtedness of the local authorities is £37,000,000. The joint debt State and local, is £137,000,000. In 1932, it was about £75,000,000. The debt has doubled nearly. Even a Budget of £30,000,000 is far above the Budget that there used to be in this country. The average Budget, from 1922 to 1931, was something over £24,000,000. Even on my cut down figure, the demand that the Minister is making on the community is £6,006,000 more and, of course, the £30,000,000 cannot be looked on as £30,000,000 from that point of view because, if one examines the Book of Estimates, one finds that the salaries have not doubled. There has been in some cases an advance of 25 per cent., in some cases, an advance of 30 per cent., but the highest average will not go above 30 per cent. So that salaries have been cut, and cut desperately, and the human beings who are in the background of the Government service are suffering, themselves and their families, in their health and in the education of their children. Even with that cut the Minister wants £30,000,000 this year as opposed to annual average Budgets from 1922 to 1931 of about £24,000,000.

Naturally, if expenses arise in the State and if people are not getting incomes equal to the added burdens that are put upon them, there are two or three results that must follow. People will leave the country — they are leaving it. People will be unable to get employment — quite a number have failed to get employment. People, through malnutrition, will fall into disease — there is an amazing spread of disease in this country. Other people will take the short road and steal what they cannot get by honest work — the best the Minister for Justice can boast of in his Estimate is that we have stabilised crime at about 100 per cent. above the figures for the year 1938. The rest of the community have to depend more and more upon doles or what are called social services.

Emigration is a sore subject at the moment. The attempt is made to weaken the figures by speaking of the adventurous spirit of this community, or the Minister for Finance parades the argument that it is propaganda by the Opposition that sends people to England and that, in fact, if people Go to England, they will find that their situation is not just as pleasant as he says people on this side of the House represent it to be. In any event we have it, in the last figure given to us and stood over, that 120,000 people left this country in five years. I consider that an under-estimate. That is what is called the war emigration. Remember what it means. It is the entire population of the last three Ulster counties left to us. So that while we are fighting about Partition and wanting to get back the six Ulster counties, we hand over to England the equivalent of the entire population, men, women and children, of Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal.

There was emigration before 1938. According to an answer given in the British House of Commons in March, 1939, the people who had come from Ireland to go into work in England in the year 1937, numbered 20,000 — almost 21,000. In 1938, it was 18,953 — almost 19,000 and there was emigration in the years before that. No less than 225,000 have left this country for England since Fianna Fáil came into office. I balance those figures again by reminding the House that the entire population, men women and children, of Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Roscommon and Sligo is only 232,000. So that we have fired out the equivalent of the entire population of those five counties since Fianna Fáil took office. Then one hears phrases about whinging bleats.

There were whinging bleats before. I quote from a paper called The Sun, in New York, in the year 1930, when the Taoiseach was there on a visit. The headline is:—

"Grieved to see the Irish leaving. Emigrant flow appalling.

"Men and women in the prime of life are forced to go abroad."

It wound up, however, with this note of optimism:—

"Ireland is to-day a land where mothers rear their children for export, but a rural backwardness has one advantage — it simplifies the problem of industrial reorganisation and gives to our people a unique opportunity to become pioneers on the path of social progress. In no other country, perhaps, could the benefits of improved machinery and modern efficiency of production be so readily made available in the homes of our people."

We know the promise that was made that the emigrants would have to be brought home, that there would not be enough people to fill all the jobs there were going to be when Fianna Fáil formed a Government. We would have to summon back the emigrants who went abroad in the previous decade.

Now the Parliamentary Secretary tells us that we are an adventurous people and the new 120,000 people have simply gone for the sake of adventure. Deputy de Valera is wondering why the people go, as they are really not any better off in England than at home. He wonders why they prefer to go to England. If anybody wants to know the answer, let him do a simple calculation. Let us take it that 120,000 only left this country and let us get figures for the emigrants' remittances from England and the money we are told our people coming home on holidays spend as tourists. You get a calculation which shows that those people are sending home nearly £3 a week each — that is, after they have paid the enormous taxation in England that the Minister is always talking about. They are enabled to send home the equivalent of the wage to which all but 66,000 of our population have to accommodate themselves. Am I speaking in propaganda tones for England when I say that? I am at least speaking the truth. I am giving accurate figures, or if they are not accurate let them be refuted. Those people have gone abroad because they cannot get work here, because they can get better conditions in England and because, in any event, they get a bit of money which they can save to send home to provide the necessities of life for the members of the family who are left behind.

As to propaganda taking people abroad, I am not sure how this counts— whether it is propaganda or not. In the month of April, 1946, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Department of Local Government, speaking on the Public Health Bill, boasted that they had set up a whole embarkation scheme under which people who proposed to secure employment in another country would have to be medically examined and certified as being in a clean and healthy condition. We set up a special department to clean the emigrants. I wonder if the opportunity was taken, when these people were passing through these disinfestation and delousing chambers, to tell them of the shocking conditions they were going to in England or the grand conditions there were here at home? Why was it necessary to set up a special health embarkation scheme under Government auspices? For fear our people would not get to England — that was the only reason. The British Government had insisted that this should be done and we were so anxious, not merely to get rid of 120,000 people but to get rid of them under such conditions that the British would keep them, that we got them all disinfested and cleaned, certifying them in a clean and healthy condition.

I have never done anything so widely propagandist in favour of emigrants going to England as that scheme was. The Minister knows and the Parliamentary Secretary knows that the employment exchanges were used for the purpose of enabling English agents to get the material they wanted and that, during the war years, our people went to the boats with bandages round their arms to indicate the centres to which they were to go. That was all done here with Government connivance and support. I have spoken to people who were at the boats when these things were happening and they said they came away scandalised. It was like the old days of the slave market: people were marked out for their physical fitness and not merely marked out and afterwards given a certificate that they were clean and healthy, but they were being herded by English agents around the exchanges, who told them exactly where they were going.

The Government, that is so anxious about propaganda, helped in that. I have yet to hear of a single man, who was told, when these English agents came to him, to beware of the conditions in England, that they were not as rosy as they were made out to be, that the wages they would get would be infinitesimal, after the taxation was deducted, and consequently they would have nothing to send home. But 120,000 of them went, certified clean and healthy and, herded like cattle, shoved off to different centres. Yet we bleat and we whinge and are tremulous if one dares to speak of that; and the counter-accusation levelled is that it is only because of propaganda from this side that people are deluded into emigration to bad English conditions.

The Parliamentary Secretary is anxious to explain away the unemployment. One would have imagined that a country which could get rid of 120,000 people in five years and had a vast number of people in an army and an additional number in the Civil Service would have little in the way of an unemployment problem. There is one old figure that still persists — the 70,000 that were signing on as unemployed. The Parliamentary Secretary is anxious that these figures should no longer be printed, because people are making a wrong use of them, they do not understand them. They do not realise that 70,000 really does wt mean 70,000 at all, that there is a hard core of unemployed, and if you take that, then it is only about half of it.

In the Census Report of 1926, exactly that explanation was given of the figures then totted up by those who signed themselves as out of work; and the explanation was sneered at by everybody in Fianna Fáil as being only an excuse and an equivocation. Statisticians of that day made that sort of count, with very much teat result. The Parliamentary Secretary thinks he has unfolded a great secret when he tells the House not to think of 70,000 unemployed but only of 35,000. Let him read the preface to the 1926 Statistical Return and he will find that, in 1926, that same explanation was offered and his colleagues would have none of it then, and now to-day why should not any of us have none of it?

Remember, unemployment was one of the things that was going to be cured. The present Minister for Industry and Commerce, speaking in June, 1930, told about his voyagings up and down the country and he said, as reported at column 426 of the Official Report for the 4th June, 1930: "The outstanding fact concerning unemployment in this country is that it need not exist at all." It need not exist at all. And later, when I quizzed him that some of his phrases seemed to suggest a gradual absorption of the unemployed, his answer, as given to me in column 499 of the same report, was: "You could find an immediate solution for unemployment to-morrow."

The Taoiseach, addressing an Árd-Fheis of Fianna Fáil in 1929, delivered himself of this:

"The more I consider this problem, the more convinced I become that the problem of unemployment in Ireland is quite capable of solution and the more certain I feel that it was a crime against the unemployed and against the nation to leave it unsolved."

It could have been ended immediately, there could be a solution the next day, it was a crime against the unemployed and against the nation to leave it unsolved. Now the Parliamentary Secretary tells us that it is just the same 70,000 as before and that, when you break it up, it is only 35,000 and that, mind you, after dislodging 120,000 people across the waves, and, as I say, carrying in the Army more than three times what used to be in the Army and having added largely to the ranks of the civil servants.

I do not know if the Parliamentary Secretary ever read Alice in Wonderland. At one time, Alice is being dragged around by the Bed Queen and exhorted to go faster and faster. Suddenly she arouses herself to the consciousness that she is under the same old tree the whole time and she remarks on it to the Bed Queen. The Red Queen says: “Of course, we are,” and Alice, wonderingly, replies: “In our country, we would expect to get somewhere else if we ran very fast, as we have been doing recently.” The Red Queen's answer was: “This is a very slow country. In this country, you have to run very fast to keep exactly in the same place, and, if you want to get somewhere else, you have to run at least twice as fast.” The Parliamentary Secretary pats himself on the back, although we have been spending money hand over fist for the past 15 years, piling up national and local debt, exporting people as emigrants, drawing off other potential unemployed into the Army and shoving certain more into the Civil Service that, notwithstanding all the running he is doing he is still in the same old position as in 1932.

The Parliamentary Secretary thinks it hard to get employment in this country under the conditions which operate. He apparently has never read a speech made by the present Minister for Finance in the Seanad in June, 1946. He was asked by a Senator if there was any real likelihood of capital development in the country with the present scarcity of capital equipment, and his answer was: "The principal industry in this country is agriculture. It can be expanded by taking in the people who are idle at the moment and giving them spades. The agricultural industry could do more capital development inside the next year than has been done in industry over the last five or six years." He said later: "There are no imported materials worth while used in that development."

The Minister for Finance thinks that if we could only get spades enough and put them in the hands of the agricultural community, we could do all the capital development required in agriculture and absorb all the unemployed. Why has he not done it? Why do we go on sending people to England, if conditions are so bad there and if we have such a handy and easy way of keeping them at home, giving them profitable occupation and getting capital development in agriculture at the same time? "Get the people who are idle at the moment and give them spades — you do not require imported materials for that," the Minister said. "Just put them to work and you can get more capital development done inside a year in agriculture with spades than has been done in industry in the past five or six years." One wonders why it was not done.

The Parliamentary Secretary is also worried about the talk there is about profits and profiteers in this country. He said that people in his constituency had often marvelled when he told them there are only 106 people with incomes of £10,000 a year or more. He still has something to learn about profits and profiteers. Just before the war started, in 1938, a Mr. C. McElligott, who was then in charge of prices, was asked about profiteering, and his answer was: "Following the adoption of measures rendered necessary for the establishment and protection of native trade and industry and because of certain pre-existing and continuing trade conditions in this country, the temptation to excessive profit-taking is ever-present and there is ample evidence that advantage is being taken of this circumstance." That was before the war gave these gentlemen their chance —"ample evidence that advantage is being taken of this circumstance."

Then we came to the war and the war period. In 1941, the then Minister for Finance told the Dáil on 17th May that he had investigated the Revenue Commissioners' accounts, and that the accounts showed that "a considerable number of business concerns had been making substantially increased profits since the outbreak of the war and that he proposed to get for the Exchequer a substantial proportion of the increased profits which have accrued as a result of the war." He went on to point out that, because a man made profits, he was not a profiteer, and he was getting after the profiteers. Later, he returned to it and said: "The businesses which have been making substantial, excess profits are mainly in the hands of limited companies." In the Seanad, on a date in 1945, the same Minister was asked about profits. He referred to an article in the Irish Times and said that a writer there referred to the millions gained by Irish, industry. Senator Douglas interrupted to ask: “Do you believe that?”, and the Minister replied: “I do, and I know it is true.” Senator Douglas interjected the word: “Millions?” and the answer came again: “Yes, I know it to be true. I have the advantage, as Minister, of seeing the results.” Again, it was the Revenue Commissioners' accounts he was talking about—“millions gripped by these people in excess profits.”

The Minister for Posts and Telegraphs went to his constituency in February of this year and said that if individuals were determined to charge the highest prices or rents they could get, without regard to what could be called a just profit, it often proved impossible for the Government to exercise control. Later in the same speech, he said: "If clever individuals kept one set of books to deceive the Government and adopted various other subterfuges to deceive the office of the Revenue or Industry and Commerce, it was an expensive and difficult task for the Government to get after them." The Minister for Finance says: "Substantial excess profits made." Questioned about it, he says: "Millions," adding that he knows it, and the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs thinks there are people who keep two sets of books and adopt a series of subterfuges to hide their real profits from the officials of Finance and Industry and Commerce. Yet the Parliamentary Secretary wondered the other day if there was any truth in these statements about the profits made in this country.

I want again to pull out into prominence the drapers of this country, or a group of them. In January, 1944, the Irish Times published an analysis of the wartime profits of five business firms — Messrs. Arnott and Company, Crowe Wilson and Company, Pim Brothers, Switzers and Todd Burns and Company. The article made a comparison between the profits, after taxation had been levied, in the year 1939 and the last year they had for reference, 1943. Messrs. Arnott and Company, in 1939, had lost £1,400; in 1943, they made, over and above taxation, £23,689. The comparison is between 1939 and 1943 — they have been making them ever since. A loss of £1,400 in 1939 was changed into a profit of £23,689 in 1943. Crowe Wilson had good profits in 1939— £7,500. They rose to £15,750 in 1943. Pim Brothers had suffered a loss of £3,500, in 1939. After tax had been paid, their profits were £12,648 in 1943. Switzers had almost £5,000 profits in 1939. They increased that figure to £12,000 in 1943. Todd Burns, who had lost almost £1,000 in 1939, rose, in 1943, to a profit of £18,000. I have made the calculation before — I think it is right— that, from getting something in the neighbourhood of £4,000 in 1939, they had got £82,000 in 1943. Remember, that applies only to five drapery firms in this city in the year 1943. Everybody knows that that has been going on since. Yet, there is anxiety as to whether this talk about profits has not been overdone!

How much did they expend in reconstruction items?

I do not know, but profits can be hidden in that way too. Will someone get me an analysis of the extra wages paid from 1939 to 1943 to employees of these concerns? I want to know if they got any increase and, if, so how much? Of course, that being a charge against business, if any extra moneys were paid, they would have been taken off before these extra profits were secured.

I referred before in this House to the two great scandals in connection with profits in the country. We had a Government inquiry the time the bacon curers divided their loot. This was well away from the good years of the war and, under a particular type of manipulation assisted by a Government-controlled board, they had tucked away into a pool which was supposed to be for the purpose of financing an export trade, a sum of £137,000. There came a time when they got tired of looking at that £137,000, and they divided it. The commission which reported said there was no basis for the division except that they asked themselves: "What is in the pool? What have we to divide? Let us have an equal share." No calculation of business was made or whether they had earned it by service — just £137,000 was annoying them by being held in the fund, so they divided it. The commission went on to find — I quote the exact words —"extortionate profits in four years amounting to £304,000." Remember that during those four years when you got to the other side of the scale the bacon consumption in this country had gone down. These curers had swept 250,000 cwts. of bacon from the breakfast tables and from the dinner tables of the people of this country, so they reduced what we were getting in the way of bacon by 250,000 cwts. They got extortionate profits amounting to £304,000. A Government Commission reported to that effect, yet a hand has not been stirred since to get a shilling of that back from them. Second to that, but prior in its grossness, was the famous Rank business, which also was the subject-matter of a Government inquiry and a Government report. These figures are known to the House. I have tried to make them known to the House by repeating them on several occasions. I only want to give the high-lights of the odious business. They floated a company. Concerns previously capitalised at the lowest aggregate figure were incorporated, in an individual company with a nominal capital of £700,000. There was a successful notation on the basis of a market value of £1,452,000. Rank and his colleagues kept, of course, control of the concern but they succeeded in disposing of shares offered to the Irish public for £523,000. They had, in fact, bought the whole concern that they were offering to the public for less than half the £700,000. So they got from the Irish investor all the money they had paid and very nearly £850,000 over and they retained possession of Rank's (Ireland), which is not merely the milling concern, but also certain other tied-in and associated groups.

That was reported upon by a Government Commission bur not a hand has been stirred against the people who worked off that trick upon the community. In any event, they got recouped to them every penny of capital they spent in acquiring the old Limerick concern and very nearly the same sum over again, and they have retained a majority control in the new £1,425,000 firm. We have got accustomed to paying their prices for flour and their various commodities ever since.

One would have thought that Mr. Rank would have been satisfied with getting a complete grip of the Irish milling industry. Recently he has made a new venture — picture-houses. One of these days we will hear the story of how much actual money the Rank concern put into the acquisition of these picture-houses and how much they expect to get in the way of profits out of the amusement of the people.

Quite recently, again, another issue was floated in this country in connection with the manufacture of boots. A gentleman called Rawson was the promoter in this country. I have not the time to go through the details of Mr. Rawson's history in this country. One can follow it up through the original company that was started here — the capitalisation that was made out of profits, the payments that were made back to the people who paid in money at the start, additional bonus shares given to these people to repay them for a second time the money that was put in. Mr. Rawson comes along with his associates and floats a loan on the Irish public retaining, as is usual in these cases, a majority holding himself for his associates. I am told that when that concern is examined, not merely has the Rank example been followed but it has been bettered, because for a much smaller original sum these people associated with Rawson's shoes have got out of this country at least £250,000. They now own a company here — at least they own more than 50 per cent. of the shares — having recouped themselves every penny of the original holding in the first company, and having pocketed a sum not less than £250,000. That is down here in such a way that people like the Parliamentary Secretary are unable to query whether there is any excess profit-taking in this country at all or not.

That is a bit of an aside. The course I was following was to make the point that this country is being asked, even counting the pound to-day to be worth only 10/-, to pay £30,000,000 this year in taxation. The local and national debts have almost doubled. One would have expected some result for that enormous accumulation of debt and for the extra taxation of the people of the country. I want to test that by asking whether more people were content to live in this country than before; whether there were less people unemployed, and whether those who remained were in better conditions judging from the angle of health, of poverty or the absence of poverty, than those in this country in the year 1932. I have previously spoken on the question of housing. I referred to the test which was taken here by a housing committee which reported in 1939. They took a sample out of 36,000 families. They say that they took it as being an accurate sample and sufficient to enable them to come to a conclusion not merely regarding the cases they examined in detail but the whole 36,000. They examined the income range of these 36,000 families and they found that 45 per cent. had a family wage in 1938 of £2 per week and under. That would be now equal to £1. They made the calculation in the report, when they were thinking of the amount as £2, that, after these people had paid what was exacted from them for rent, rates and light, they had the equivalent of 4/- per family per day for food. That would have a purchasing power nowadays of 2/-. Two shillings per day per family for food! In 1946, the city manager reported regarding the housing situation in Dublin. He took 1,200 families. These 1,200 were picked out by him as being rather special people. They were families consisting of from six to 15 persons living in single-room tenements in the city. There were six persons in some of the rooms and as many as 15 in others. The 1,200, with their families, occupied 1,200 rooms.

It is not necessary in this House to go through the reports so often quoted with regard to disease. I occupied several columns of the reports of the debates in this House by merely reading, with very little in the way of comment by myself, the reports which came from medical officers of health all over the country.

I pick out a few of the phrases used in those reports. "Malnutrition," one doctor says, "is just a polite word for starvation. No amount of providence or thrift would enable the average wage earner to-day to feed, house and clothe properly an average family." A doctor who made a special investigation into the living conditions of 100 Dublin working-class families stated that his investigations showed them to be in "a very disquieting economic state." It would cost 77/- per week, at prevailing Dublin prices, he pointed out, to provide a family consisting of father, mother and three children under 14 with the necessaries of life, according to the British Medical Association's dietary scale, which this doctor thought was too low. Out of 684 persons brought under examination by him only 170 were above the minimum standard. The rest were in a condition, he said, which you could call by this polite word "malnutrition" or which could be described by the more cruel and sordid term "destitution and starvation". The medical superintendent of a hospital said: "Make no mistake about it, the root and primeval cause of all infectious disease whether you talk of the typhus which swept the country in the forties or the gastro-enteritis which decimates the infant population of the Dublin slums in our own time is malnutrition. The children of the well-to-do do not get gastro-enteritis, just as the unhygienic products of the lords and ladies in the lovely squares of Georgian Dublin did not die of typhus. There is a basis to specific infection and its name is inadequate nutrition."

There are many other reports dealing with what has been referred to in a Sunday paper, dealing with one of these diseases, tuberculosis, as the way the people concerned have been betrayed by the circumstances which the present Government have allowed to grow up. One doctor put it this way: "If some philanthropic country would come forward and give this small island £10,000,000 or £15,000,000, I am sure it could easily be swallowed up in attempting to put our tubercular house in order." When one finds the housing conditions set out in the reports to which I have referred, there is bound to be disease. The reports of medical officers all over the country show that there is disease — disease on a far greater scale than there ever was before. Most of these men give it as their specialised opinion that the cause of that disease is inadequate food— malnutrition, or, as some of them say. starvation.

At the end of all our labours we are in this position: 120,000 people during the war years fled our shores; probably a quarter of a million fled since 1932; the 70,000 unemployed are still with us; we have disease on a far greater scale than ever before; poverty is, certainly, worse than it used to be and crime which, as I say, is only an outcrop of poverty, is now, according to the Minister for Justice, stabilised at just double what it was in 1938. That is what this country has to show in social and economic conditions after running up the local and national debt from £70,000,000 to £134,000,000. At this point, we have a Budget which I have taken throughout as being only £30,000,000. I said that I would give the Minister the advantage of those figures to a certain extent. There is, of course, a danger about equating a £60,000,000 Budget to a £30,000,000 one. If everybody had doubled his income since 1038 or 1932, it would be easy to bear that sum. It would, at least, be as easy to bear a £60,000,000 Budget as it used to be to bear one of £30,000,000. Of course, that is not the situation. If you look through the book of Estimates, you will find that the human personnel in the background have not had their wages doubled or anything like doubled. So far as the human factor is concerned, it has been very definitely penalised by the distortion of the money value. What else has been given for the extra money? I make the comparison with the average Budget, in the 1924-32 period, of about £24,000,000. Let us take the present figure, even as £30,000,000. What have we got extra for the £6,000,000.

Is nobody going to say social services? What is the necessity for social services? Because people cannot live on the money they get when they sell their services for a money return. More and more people are being driven to what the Americans call "the bread line"; more and more people are being driven to be dependents on the State. Taxation is not merely a matter of income-tax, the tax on the income that people draw, it falls on everything we do and everything we consume. People who are getting either the old salaries of 1938 or those salaries with a 25 per cent. increase cannot bear double taxation, and that is what they are being asked to do.

This country must take stock of itself. Is it not amazing that in no country, except Japan, Czechoslovakia and France, could Ministers work to bring about the situation that has been brought about here? In all these other countries they increased salaries and wages to the point that workers and salaried people are getting more real wages than in 1938. This country and the three I have mentioned are picked out in the International Labour Office's report as being the only four countries in which wages have slumped below the 1938 point. We have evidence of that ourselves in the National Income and Expenditure pamphlet. This is a figure I have drawn attention to before and to which I want to have attention directed once more. This is a 3,000,000 community Of that 3,000,000, about 1,550,000 are gainfully occupied, and those who are gainfully occupied support the lest. This table in the National Income and Expenditure pamphlet gives what is called "personal income" and shows the distribution of that amongst certain income groups. There used to be 161,000 people in the community who were earning more than £3 a week. The situation now is that there are only 66,000 earning more than the present equivalent of £3 a week; 100,000 people have been put down below their old-time level. Whether they were getting £4, £5 or £6 is of no consequence at the moment. In the old days, there were 161,900 people at least above the £3 level. Equating the figures to the purchasing value of the £1; there are now only 66,000 above that level; we have lost 100,000 people from the higher income groups. That being the situation, one must accept the natural result — poverty, malnutrition, disease, flight from the country, unemployment and reliefs— and we have got all these in abundance.

After 15 years, that is the situation. That is the situation brought about by the people who boasted in 1932 that, without reducing the social services, they could lighten the burden of taxation by £2,000,000 per year and bring about such an increase in agricultural production that every man, woman and child would get the equivalent of an extra £16 a year out of agriculture. So we come to the year 1947, with the £ lowered to 10/- in value, with a Budget, even reduced in accordance with the lower purchasing power of the £, still £6,000,000 above what was required in 1932, and the fruit of all that is that 120,000 people have left the country, that 70,000 still remain unemployed, and we have disease and poverty and conditions such as I have shown them to be.

If anybody thinks that that is a pleasant picture, he may rejoice; but I do not. I think that one would want propaganda against that sort of thing and I will do it as opportunity offers. That decline has been phrased already in this House and the phrasing bears repetition: that we are instituting in this country what was called in the old days institutions, of slavery, because, if you do not create the institution of poverty, you must re-create the institution of slavery. We do it with what we call social services. We have more and more people depending upon the State out of the limited number who still stay here. As I said at the beginning, people who complain of lack of progress can only be met by the phrase from Alice in Wonderland, that there are some countries where they have to run very fast to keep in the same place. We have certainly put forward an exhausting effort so far as the people are concerned for the last 15 years and still we are not even in the same place; we have gone back very much beyond the position in which the people were in 1932. But that counts for progress on the other side.

Major de Valera

There are some remarks which I should like to make to supplement some of the data given by the previous speakers. In the first place, I am hazy as to the criticism offered as to the alleged excess of the sum budgeted for this year. But it is interesting to compare the figures for 1938-39 and the present year. In 1938-39 we budgeted for approximately £31,500,000 as against £61.1 million this year. It is interesting to take that in comparison with the indices for prices and indices for cost of living. Reduced to an index value, these figures would, so to speak, give a "Budget index" of approximately 190, as against a wholesale price average level in 1946 of 197 approximately (from the data given in the quarterly Statistical Bulletin for the 12 months of 1946), and a cost of living index reduced to a value of 100 in 1938-39, to bring the base into line with the other figures, of approximately 168, if I am not mistaken. I think I am not mistaken in that figure, but I have mislaid my note. The interesting thing about that is that, on that basis, you can simply say that the changes in the Budget have been simply keeping pace with the changes in the value of money. The figure is very close to the figure for prices and somewhat in excess of the usually accepted cost-of-living figure.

That is a rather startling conclusion. If you were to take that argument, you might say that there has been really no change in the value of taxation. It is interesting to look at how the figure is made up. In 1938-39, the Central Fund expenditure amounted to £4,383,000 odd, as against £6,227,000 odd this year, but the supply services nave increased from £30,000,000 to £54,000,000. So that actually the greatest percentage of the increase in the Budget is borne in the supply services, the difference being approximately £24,000,000. We have it in the admitted figures that £12,500,000 is the figure for social services.

Therefore, I think, on going into these figures, that the Minister has kept a very tight rein on expenditure. Perhaps he could be accused of keeping too tight a rein on expenditure. In other words, I think it is legitimate to conclude that, had the war not intervened, the war which so seriously affected the value of money, the Minister to-day might be showing a substantial reduction in the sum budgeted for.

If that were so, there is a completely logical argument to refute everything Deputy McGilligan says. However, I am not foolish enough to take statistics like that, to string figures together in a mathematical syllogism and to say they positively prove a proposition like that. I refute a lot of what Deputy McGilligan says, when he does put his figures together, by just that very argument, that you are pressing figures too far and, of course, when you conveniently leave gaps in your logic and inferences to fill up the gaps, as Deputy McGilligan did, the whole validity of your argument goes. But what does remain is that further adding to the stream of suggestion, that conditions are so much better in England than they are here — that false suggestion, that suggestion that is doing harm to the economy of this country, that suggestion that I do not hesitate to call treasonable, because it has a sabotaging effect on our own morale in facing a situation such as we have to face. It hinders any effort on the part of the community to face up to the realities of the situation and make the best they can of it. That is why I think that type of talk does no good, but does a lot of harm. It does no good because it is not in the least way constructive. Every little opportunity that can be seized upon is used to criticise a political opponent and score a point, but there is not one little suggestion as to how to face up to the difficulties of the moment, and I think the people realise that.

Let us face a thing like the Budget in a commonsense way and with the attitude of a business man not trying to jumble with statistics. Deputy McGilligan told a story, so perhaps I also may tell one, about statistics. There is the well-known saying that if you take incomplete statistics yon can nearly always get them to support any argument you like. That is illustrated by the story of the old fellow of 105 years who had a row with a shoemaker. The shoemaker lost his temper and said: "What are you worrying about; they will see you down, anyway.""You are quite wrong," said the old fellow, "very few people die over 105 and the statistics prove it." So they do. Statistics go that way very often.

What are the facts of the situation? The facts are these, that there was a disastrous war in Europe in which our nearest neighbour was very intimately involved. We were peculiarly associated with that neighbour in view of the fact that we have the same currency and the same money values. With that war came the inflation that inevitably accompanies a war in modern times. The loaning processes and the devices that Governments have to resort to when they are involved in war lead to inflation. The devices and the necessities of the Government in the neighbouring island led to inflation. It could not have been otherwise. That has to be taken in conjunction with the contraction in the production of normal goods. Without going any further into the monetary aspect, I think it will be conceded that a situation such as that was bound to involve inflation. It did in the 1914-18 war and in the Napoleonic wars, but during the 1939-45 war the Governments had a certain amount of warning.

While the war was on, the Government here and the Government in England made efforts to control as far as possible the change in values. That control could only be partial and the situation of necessity must have differed in England, where they were actively engaged in hostilities and with the repercussions following a diversion from ordinary production into warlike channels, from that in a country like this which was not so intimately involved. Following from that there have been differences between the two economies, notwithstanding that the actual unit of currency is the same for both countries. When you get down to brass tacks, the principal difference is that in England, if you select one item of food, say meat, the cost of it is less than the cost would be here, but you will be restricted there in the purchase of meat to the extent of 1/6 per week — I think it is about that figure— while here you can get whatever meat you wish, but you will pay a little more for it. In other words, you are paying for having the goods, but, in the general economic situation that you are faced with after a war, it would be ridiculous to think that we could have escaped the general repercussions of such a situation.

We must have felt the pinch as well as other people. What I am pointing out is that the precise point of pinch may not be the same on this side of the Channel as on the other, item by item, but in the main I will go so far as to say that we are better off. Why do I say we are better off? I shall tell you. If I am going into figures I am going into them with the reservation I made beforehand but they are at least as sound an argument and have at least as direct a bearing on the actual process of living as any of Deputy McGilligan's arguments.

The facts are these. We come to money values first of all. In reply to Deputy McGilligan's innuendo, while agreeing that money has depreciated in value I would say it is no monopoly of ours that money has depreciated. As I said there were different reasons for it. The goods were not there to purchase. Cutting out all the technical talk, it roughly means that you have an increased volume of money in circulation and you have not the goods to measure up to it on the scale that you had before. Supposing I grant — note that supposition — that wages are higher in England. What is the advantage or what quid pro quo have we here? We have this advantage that income-tax in this country is only 6/6 in the £ while income-tax in England is 9/- in the £. That is fact No. 1. On the last day— anybody can get the figures which the Minister furnished — I think I mentioned some of the lower grades in this country which are exempt from tax while the corresponding grades in England are taxed. Supposing salary scales in England are so much in advance of scales here — again that is a supposition. The Minister himself on the last occasion in this House gave some very interesting figures and I think it is no harm if they were looked up. “The unskilled labourer in Dublin at the present time gets 2/3 per hour. In the big towns in England he gets only 2/- an hour for similar work. Even in London it is 2/1¼ an hour instead of 2/3 here in Dublin. Bricklayers and masons get 2/11½ an hour here in Dublin. They get only 2/6 in the large towns in England and in London only 2/7½ as against 2/11½ here. What goes for bricklayers and masons goes for carpenters, joiners, painters and plumbers.” You will get all these figures in the debates for 13th May, column 110. You have higher taxation in England and actually in all these grades in regard to which we hear so much talk, particularly labourers, there are higher rates of wages in existence here than in England.

What about the agricultural labourer here and there?

Major de Valera

I shall come to that in a moment. I think these facts which I have given are indisputable. When you take on top of that the fact that in England a packet of cigarettes costs 3/4 and the fact that there is an acute shortage of fats, I wonder is it fair or is it straight to pretend that the situation in England is so much better than the situation here and that it leads to emigration? Again we had Deputy McGilligan talking about health figures and pretending that is another factor which leads to emigration. Every Deputy here read in the evening papers home time ago reports and the opinions of medical experts in England to the effect that the people of England were under-nourished and that miners could not carry on their work because they were not sufficiently fed. I think every one of us here has met people from England and has been told of the conditions there. I recall an occasion recently on the far side of the river when I met a doctor home from England in company with a very active member of the Fine Gael Party. I just mention that aside in case some Deputies may think it was somebody giving me "coloured" information, so to speak. In discussing the matter with him, it was perfectly plain that living conditions here as far as food is concerned were infinitely better than over there. It was perfectly plain too that we are not unique in having housing difficulties.

I am not stressing all this just for the sake of controversy. I am not stressing this to pretend that everything in this country is what we desire it to be. In so far as Deputy Davin or anybody else wants to improve things here and face up to the facts of the situation as they are, I am all with him, but let us face up to the facts of the situation as they are and let us get a true picture. The war has had its inevitable consequences here. In addition to that we know now, watching experiments elsewhere, that there are economic problems inherent in the social system as we know it that have not been completely solved. It is not going to help us to solve these problems to come along and try to pretend that certain things are due to causes to which they are not due.

I again repeat the statement that I find it hard to understand the emigration situation in face of the facts. I find it hard to understand it for the reason that our people are normally intelligent and acquaint themselves with the facts. Most of them who go over there admit that the conditions of living are much better at home. I am convinced that a comparison of the two economics docs not supply the explanation but rather that it is due, in the first place, to the natural inclination of people to wander, which has been noticeable amongst our people as Deputy Childers has pointed out. Secondly, there is the fact that many of our people are misled by the money figure — by what I might call the paper figure. Girls, for instance, may see an advertisement offering a job at 100/-per week which would be worth only 50/- at home. They are so taken by it that they go across only to find when they reach there that with income-tax, the cost of cigarettes, scarcity of food, etc., they are really no better off than they were at home.

There is also the possibility — and I freely admit it — that a person might go to earn money in England and send it home. That may have a certain advantage ultimately. I say may have, but as I pointed out earlier on it is very difficult when you go into that to equate values, because the two situations, the one here, and the one across the water, are not parallel.

Our unemployment problem was dealt with very well by Deputy Childers on the last occasion on which he spoke — particularly with regard to agricultural labour in the country. You have there a seasonal problem. I do not know enough about the details of it to talk on it with the authority of Deputy Childers, who represents a rural constituency. Perhaps he may deal with it in greater detail later. But the point is that you are going to have two problems. You have the interests of the farmers and the uniquely important position of the farmer in the community to take into account. You have the fact that it is the farmer who pays the agricultural labourer. It was pointed out, I think, in the recent debate on road workers that that particular problem affects the whole basis of employment values in the country.

Beyond that I do not propose to go at the moment, frankly because I feel that I have not enough personal knowledge of the problem to talk more specifically to it; but in general terms, I think I am right in saying that it is false to say that conditions here are worse than the conditions in England. It, is very dangerous to attempt equations for the reasons that I have generally indicated. On the whole, it would be far better for us to get our backs down to the difficult situation that has been created by a world war and not through local circumstances. Honest Deputies will see immediately they look at any aspect of our problems at the moment that it is practically impossible to get away from the external factors, largely due to the fact that we are a young State and had not built up our economy sufficiently before this war.

Now, with regard to housing, there is not a Deputy who would not vote wholeheartedly and unanimously and go all out for a housing programme. At one time our friends on the opposite benches took another view, but I think that even they would subscribe to a housing programme now.

What are the difficulties there? We all know that one is material, and that timber has to be imported. Another is that even though we have our own cement factories we were in great difficulty because we could not get fuel. We had not the fuel here. That is the position with regard to housing. Take any other industry and you have nearly the same situation, largely because, as I say, we are a young country and had not the time in the years before the war to build up our economy to meet a situation like that. Now, what is to be done? I suggest that all the people who are talking about England and about our people running to England would perhaps be well advised if they thought of the efforts that some English leaders are making to revive the economy of England and would turn their thoughts more into these channels: more into channels of action and of production and of encouraging the people to do what we can to meet a situation like this. That would be much more profitable than what they are doing. Let them take up this evening's newspapers and see the tenor of Mr. Herbert Morrison's speech

What have we to learn from the lessons of the past? Recriminations will get us nowhere. One thing that we have to learn is that power or energy is something that you just do not create from nothing. We have to learn now that every effort should be made to develop our power schemes. There, again, there is the difficulty of importing machinery. Everything should be done to hasten the day when we can have our power generated from sources under our own immediate control so that we will not find ourselves in the crippling position in which we found ourselves recently, due to a shortage of coal. We got over that difficulty very well in the circumstances. It is highly desirable that we should develop our own power industry.

With regard to fuel, we know now the danger of having to rely Completely on outside sources for fuel. I am talking as a representative of a city constituency. The problem this year of getting into this city sufficient fuel will be one of big proportions. It is one of very serious import. White it is possible to harvest fuel every effort should be made to do so. If all Deputies would co-operate in getting the people as a whole to co-operate in saving fuel, whether privately or by encouraging workers to produce fuel for the community, it would be a very good thing.

There is also the food problem and the harvest problem. Great work was done last year, and may I say that work of that nature has a beneficial effect on the community as a whole and brings results which are not-brought by destructive criticism. To conclude, if I have appeared aggressive in saying some of these things with regard to values it was merely that I felt it was necessary to correct what has been false. I did that in no spirit of blame and I made no accusations. We have our own problems and if we try to solve them and pull together we may do a lot better.

One last point: The trouble about all these criticisms such as we have been hearing in regard to our values vis-à-vis England and the cause of our unemployment and the cause of our emigration, is that they have been undermining the morale of the country to borne extent or tending to undermine the morale at the moment. What we want here is an enterprising spirit so that we can get ahead. We should rather count our blessings and put all our energy at the present moment into trying to build up for the future rather than lamenting the misfortunes that may have come to us through the war. That would be the better way in getting ahead.

This country has had a remarkably happy history for six years. Let us thank Providence for that and let us not forget it. Perhaps we were due a break in our history but, when the whole of Europe and a large part of the world were involved in bombings, starvation, such as none of us can dream of, wholesale massacres, vice, filth, disease, and all the things that follow after a war, through a kind Providence, we in this country were spared. We were even spared — this may seem platitudinous — the demoralising influences of contact with large troop movements which, unfortunately, our brothers in the separated counties were not spared. At all stages up to this, we have been able to feed ourselves, to secure enough food, at any rate. Why cannot we start from that advantageous base, now, together, with the same spirit that saw us through the war, to build up the country as we want it built up, as every one of us wants it, instead of indulging in these useless recriminations that we listened to in the last speech?

Anything that undermines our faith in ourselves and undermines the will to start to build up anew is doing the country a disservice. I should rather like to take the note adopted by Cardinal Archbishop Spellman. I have mislaid the quotation but I read in a paper to-day that he said he preferred to face the problems of the nation — I think the words he used were "with confidence in ourselves". I think it would be rather the better way of facing it. I took a note of the quotation and I intended to use it but I have mislaid it. It would be a better attitude for us to adopt than the one we hear too frequently and too uselessly.

Deputy McGilligan gave us to-night a series of calculations which he has made and repeated here several times. He calculated the number of people who left this country since 1939 and pointed out that it was equivalent to the population of three counties. I think I regret the emigration that occurred during the war as much as Deputy McGilligan — very much more. I would have much preferred to see the people who left staying here at home to build up their own country, but Deputy McGilligan is very well aware that owing to the shortage of raw materials which, formerly, we had imported, owing to the impossibility of buying equipment, nothing that the Government could do could organise in those days productive employment for those people. Had we stopped them, had we brought in a law to say no one shall leave the country, all the Deputies on the Opposition Benches would have joined in one united howl to condemn the Government for its interference unduly with the liberty of the citizen.

I am glad to see that Deputy McGilligan has left his old base. When he was Minister for Industry and Commerce here for a number of years he thought that it was not the duty of the Government to create employment for the unemployed. Much water has flown under the bridges since then. I have been looking up the figures for emigration during the time when Deputy McGilligan, as Minister for Industry and Commerce, was responsible to some extent for the affairs of the country. To hear Deputy McGilligan to-night, one would think that the 120,000 who left this country in the eight years, from 1939 to 1946, inclusive, were the first people ever to leave the country. I have here the figures for another eight years— 1923 to 1930, inclusive:

The total net emigration for 1923 was 28,473; for 1924, 38,222; for 1925, 32,419; for 1926, 33,436; for 1927, 29,377; for 1928, 24,384; for 1929, 25,289; for 1930, 10,651. For these eight years, the total net emigration from the country was 222,251.

Has the Minister the figures for 1931?

Deputy McGilligan spoke here as if nobody had left the country before. He complained, and I sympathise with any Deputy who legitimately complains, about the height of emigration during the last eight years, but I want to point out that during these eight years the net emigration was 120,000, as against the 222,251 for the eight years from 1923 to 1930, inclusive.

You promised to bring them all back, did not you?

We promised to do our best, and we did.

Your best was a weak yoke.

Deputy Costello spoke at length on the disabilities of the clerical and professional classes. He alleged that the Government was not doing enough for them and that the Minister for Finance did not do sufficient for them in the Budget. This Budget has helped every single person who had more than £l20 per annum, in that it raised the personal allowance up to £140 per annum. In addition to the increase in the personal allowance of £140 for a single man, a man has an earned income allowance of one-fifth of his earned income to add to his personal allowance before he is subject to income-tax at all. A person who has investments has a personal allowance, but there is no allowance for earned income, and he has to pay on all his income over that exempted as a personal allowance. I think it is reasonable to equate the allowances given to business people who are manufacturing or distributing goods to the earned income allowance that a professional man or a worker gets.

It is very difficult to reconcile the speeches made by the two principal members of the principal Opposition, but I suppose it is no more difficult than some of their other speeches. The logical conclusion to be drawn from Deputy McGilligan's speech is that he wants no profit left with business, either distributing or manufacturing, that he wants them to work altogether for the service of the community. I do not think he would apply that to the professions. We have the system in this country for a long time — and I think most of us want to keep it— that the business field is open for those who want to engage in distribution or manufacturing, either on the land or in the factories. We say to them: "Go to it, do the business of the community and we hope you will get sufficient profits to encourage you to carry on and do better." If we are to drop the profit motive, if those who engage in business on the land or in the factories or in shops arc to make no profits, as Deputy McGilligan seems to imply, how are we to get them to do the work? Even the ordinary workman or professional man goes to work in order to get his profit, which is his weekly or monthly wage or salary. The farmers and the business people and manufacturers go to work in the factories and farms to get their profit, their wage or salary, which they draw at the fair or market, if they are farmers, every so often, or if it is a business concern, as dividends at the end of the year. All the members of the community who perform services look to the profit they are going to make out of it.

While I would like to see all sections of the community working for very reasonable profits in the present circumstances, when money is more plentiful than goods, I think that the personal initiative, the private profit, system is as good a system for a community to get its business done as any other system.

While Deputy McGilligan, however, is condemning profits, Deputy Costello condemns me for not giving more exemption to business profits. He is not satisfied with the director controlled company getting exemption as to £1,500 on corporation profits tax in respect of a director — he wants it raised to very much more, I think it was £2,500; and he wants to make sure that there should not be a limitation of 5 per cent. on that director's shares in the company, but that he should be allowed to carry up to 25 per cent. of the shares of the company and still that the company should be granted exemption from corporation profits tax to the extent of £2,500 in regard to his salary.

Deputy Costello, unlike Deputy Mcgilligan, complained that we were exacting a contribution from corporations doing business here that was unjustified. He said that the corporation profits tax of 10 per cent. was indefensible and he went on to say that there was no such tax in England. There is no such tax called by that name, but they have another tax which is analogous to it, the defence contribution, now called the profits tax, and it has been in existence for a number of years. If it would please Deputy Costello, we could, perhaps, arrange to call this corporation profits tax a defence contribution and he might be satisfied. He complained that Irish companies had to compete with their rivals over in England, with this heavy load of ordinary corporation profits tax on their shoulders, while their rivals had none.

Deputy Costello also said — and I am inclined to agree with this particular statement of his — that income-tax is only fair if its incidence is examined carefully. That examination, over a long number of years, leading to certain exemptions, is what causes all the complications in the income-tax code.

If the Dáil could say baldly that every person who earns an income, no matter how it is earned, would give so much to the State per £, it would be very simple. We could reduce the number of income-tax collectors to a few per cent. of the total number at present engaged, in collecting income-tax, but the Dáil has insisted, the people have insisted, that exemptions of one kind and another shall be given so that not only will the source from which the taxpayer draws his income be taken into account, as between earned and unearned income, but that also his family circumstances will be taken into account before he is called upon to pay his income-tax cheque.

I think that, by and large, having regard to the circumstances of our country, the income-tax code is fair and reasonable and is made somewhat complicated in order to be fair and reasonable. Each person before paying income-tax has a personal allowance upon which he is not asked to pay anything. If his income is drawn from dividends, after that personal allowance is made, he immediately starts to pay income-tax on everything thereafter, but the person who earns his income, who is employed by others, is granted a further exemption of one-fifth of his earned salary.

I agree that the professional man and working man who is dependent altogether upon his salary or wage is in a somewhat more precarious situation than even the small farmer or small business man if he does not make provision for his family or dependents. The State encourages him to make such provision by giving him a special allowance in respect of the moneys he pays annually for insurance. The professional man and the working man — take the two classes of people for whom Deputy Costello spoke, the clerk and the professional man — are encouraged to make provision by insurance for their dependents.

I should like to have one last rap at Deputy McGilligan. He talked about Wood's halfpence. Deputy McGilligan is almost like the Chief Secretary about whom Swift wrote indicating that the Chief Secretary responsible for Ireland would not know what a brogue was. Our £'s are worth what they will buy. We have an expectation of income; we have real property; and there are quite a number of people in all parts of the world who would be delighted to get our £'s and to have a claim on our income and our capital wealth. The Wood's halfpence which Dean Swift complained of as being worth intrinsically only one-twelfth of their face value were at least worth one-twelfth of their face value: but if Deputy McGilligan had had his way for the past seven or eight years, I do not think our £'s would be worth one-millionth part of their face value.

His one solution for all the ills that human flesh is heir to and from which the Irish people are suffering was to push out more money. I agree that if the volume of money was too small in relation to the volume of goods, more money should be pushed out by the State in some fashion, but when there was practically an impossibility of increasing the volume of goods here during the war, Deputy McGilligan's solution for that shortage of goods was to make more money and to push it out. If he had had his way and if his arguments in favour of creating more money had been followed logically, the McGilligan £ would have been worth very much less than Wood's halfpence. Instead of being valued for one-twelfth of what was stamped upon it, the McGilligan £ would have been something like the Hungarian pengo or some of the other continental currencies, where there is hardly enough paper upon which to print the value of a man's weekly wage.

Question put and agreed to.
Committee Stage ordered for next Wednesday, 4th June.
The Dáil adjourned at 10 p.m. until 3 p.m. on Thursday, 29th May.