Skip to main content
Normal View

Dáil Éireann debate -
Wednesday, 21 May 1952

Vol. 131 No. 14

Finance Bill, 1952—Second Stage (Resumed).

Last night I was referring to the debate of 10th June, 1948, in which certain Deputies had certain interesting things to say about the present Minister for Finance as regards his attitude to certain things. That may be interesting to people nowadays. At column 812, Volume 111 of the Official Reports of 10th June, 1948, the present Minister for Finance, then Deputy MacEntee, said:

"Now, I know that if our proposal to stabilise the cost of living by subsidising the essential foodstuffs of the people had been adopted, it would have been necessary for us to increase in this year the standard rate of tax to 7/- in the £ just as it would have been necessary to maintain the additional duties on beer, spirits, tobacco and entertainments imposed under the Supplementary Budget. But these additional taxes were being imposed for a definite purpose, let me repeat it again, to subsidise the essential foodstuffs of the people, and in order to stabilise the cost of living and enable the people to provide the necessaries of life for themselves and their families."

Now we have left all those moorings. The present Minister is no longer keen on subsidising essential foodstuffs for the family. He has come to the conclusion that they mostly represented an unearned addition to income.

At column 813 of the same debate the Minister said:—

"If the policy of maintaining the cost of living steady has gone by the board, and it is undeniable that it has, then there is no justification for increasing the standard rate of tax in this year."

At column 816 the Minister said:—

"The Minister has abandoned food subsidies."

That comes well considering the atmosphere of this debate.

At column 814, he gives a tearful glance at certain people. The speech runs:—

"These people, if they have any regard for their family responsibilities, must naturally live within a very narrow and restricted budget. Many of them have to live within a budget so narrow and so restricted that they cannot afford either to drink or smoke. Many of them, the heads of families and fathers of families, are in the position that they must stint themselves in order to provide for their children even the same sort of meagre opportunity in life as they themselves got. Even many of those of them who are not married have to live thriftily also and, because they want to contribute adequately to the family income and perhaps to maintain aged parents and other dependents, cannot frequent the public-house and cannot smoke extensively or expensively, as do many of the people who do not come within the income class at all.

It is interesting to have that comparison made at the moment.

Deputy Cowan said last night that he was glad to be in touch with a Government that is doing the things he wants done. The things he wants provided are social welfare and old age pensions. He did mention the mother and child scheme.

I was put away from it by the Chair.

The Deputy did and could not go on to say how these things are being financed.

That is what I call the bread snitching. Then they get after the tea and they take away the sugar, or at least they are making it too costly for people to buy. Deputy MacEntee then said that the people with meagre incomes could not afford these things.

Deputy Cowan was interested, at least I am told he was interested, in raising a private army. He was to be the chief of it I understand. He is now a very minor private in a new army, the army of the Government bailiffs who are to insinuate themselves into the houses of the poor. These are the new harriers we are to have operating around. If we are to take the tone that new Deputies create for themselves in the country, they are to call themselves the "courage squad". Deputy Cowan when he is at that task will probably, if he remembers his own story last night, as he looks at the bread and the butter say, "This is merely pig food." Obviously, when he takes something off the sugar and tea, they will be then hog-wash. May I remind him of what he said in this House, that there will be a gap in our lives and that that gap would be made wider? Deputy Cowan is supporting this Government in doing that. No doubt the people will question him about the gap they feel they have to fill, and he will say, "Did you ever hear about the gap that we have to fill, the gap in the balance of payments?" That is the slogan. The Deputy is now to go down to help to fleece the people. To parody the Walrus:—

I weep for you, the captain said,

My heart for you has bled.

With tears and sobs he sorted out

The bread and tea and spread

Holding his pocket handkerchief before his aching head.

That is what the Deputy is facing. He was bold enough to put in words last night what everybody is saying, that he and the other three ex-Independents who are now supporting the Government are afraid to face the electors.

I did not say that last night.

It was on the Budget you said it.

The Deputy may misunderstand me. He does not give in to that I know. He was putting the people's thoughts into words—that they see what the Deputy and his colleagues are doing. The people think they are afraid to face the electorate.

That is what Deputy Dillon said.

I believe it myself. I take it the Deputy does not agree with it. The Deputy knows that as far as he and his colleagues are concerned the plank is already out for them on the side of the ship.

I was not afraid of the election in 1951.

That was 1951. There was no "hogging" of the subsidies in 1951. If there had been, the Deputy would have been against it. It is the change that amazes us nowadays. It is clear that they all know that they are walking the plank this time. I feel that they will have to arrange their last words in the famous men series.

It is the plank across the bridge.

It is the plank from which the Deputy will be forced to take the plunge one of these days. The most hypocritical thing that the Deputy said, I heard him saying it last night, was that his dying words would be that "he is going with James Connolly"—to raid the houses of the poor!

The Deputy is disappointed that I put him out of office.

Let the Deputy have that satisfaction.

The Deputy should remember what he said to me outside.

I hope I am not unparliamentary, but I said that he was the greatest humbug I ever met in my life.

He said: "I will never speak to you again for doing this to us."

I did not think that that would hurt the Deputy so much. I thought it was because I said that he was the bloodiest humbug I ever met in my life. I did say that to him.

It has no bearing on the Finance Bill.

It has a very distinct bearing on the Finance Bill. The Deputy spoke last night about supporting the Finance Bill with all its excoriations.

If I had not put him out of office Deputy McGilligan would be a judge now. That is what annoys him.

Maybe, as the Gilbert and Sullivan rhyme says: "And a good judge, too." In any event, if the Deputy thinks he is politically with James Connolly, let him go around Clontarf looking at the poor houses where he is certainly going to make life indisputably harder and dearer. Let him think what James Connolly would say if he was back and had these Budget proposals before him.

I think that it is in accordance with his principles. I studied them. I do not think Deputy McGilligan has.

I have read James Connolly's works. I do not pretend to be an associate of James Connolly, but I believe I am as near to James Connolly as Deputy Cowan is. When Deputy Dr. Browne walks the plank I am sure he will be saying what he said in a letter in a newspaper recently: "I am utterly opposed to the degradation and humiliation of any section of the community," but he is voting nevertheless for the removal of the subsidies on bread, butter, tea and sugar. The parliamentary baby sitter will probably say of his attitude that he was always for bigger and better subsidies. Then there is Deputy Cogan who can say that he has been getting places—in the Guards, a farmer, a Farmers' Party man, and an Independent Deputy who thought he would become a Fianna Fáil Deputy—he is now to be a private gentleman. That is the group that is imposing all these charges on the foodstuffs of the people.

I suggested to you that the food subsidies might be done away with. It is on the records of the House.

I do not remember it being said.

I said I would like to see how it would work out. The Deputy took kindly to that suggestion at the time.

I should like to have the reference. I suggest that it should be forgotten unless it is looked up as I do not believe it is right. One wonders could a private recording be made of the conversations that went on between Fianna Fáil and those four Independent Deputies with the object of avoiding an election. I am afraid I misquoted last night when speaking with regard to Deputy Cogan. I used a phrase about flotsam and jetsam. That was wrong. It was the present Minister for Finance who said that about Deputy Dr. Browne, on whom he commented in this way :—

"The Minister has been very busy, very busy indeed, in touring the country, showing himself off to his political friends as the strangest piece of flotsam the stormy sea of Irish politics has thrown up in three generations. As a politician, he has endeavoured to make a political monopoly of tuberculosis. He is, in fact, I think, a very dangerous influence, a very malign influence in regard to that serious problem."

The Minister for Finance spoke of Deputy Cowan "as being in this House but not of it". He said:—

"He does not sit in this House as a representative of democracy. He sits in this House as a believer in a system which is the antithesis of democracy."

I am not backing that phrase. It is what the Minister for Finance thought of Deputy Cowan at that time.

Deputy Cowan was not short for a reply. I quote from the Official Report of the 5th April, 1951. Deputy Cowan said:—

"Now the Deputy (Dr. J. Ryan) has somersaulted... what does that show to me? It shows a Party that is dishonest. It shows a Party which knows, which must know, that it will not assume the responsibility of office again."

But it was left to Deputy Cogan to make the best remarks about the people with whom he now associates. He spoke of the Taoiseach, Deputy de Valera. He said he had eaten enough of his own words to choke an elephant and that it would not do him any harm if he were to eat his words again and agree to come into a Government under the leadership of Deputy John Costello.

It is a pity the Minister for Finance is not here because Deputy Cogan went on to say:—

"When I tried to instil into the mind of that senile delinquent, the Minister for Local Government (Mr. Seán MacEntee)—

—and lest there be any doubt about it the name of Mr. Seán MacEntee is inserted in brackets—

"—some sense of responsibility... I was told by that gentleman that I was suffering from cold feet."

References to personalities are irrelevant here.

I protest that I am entitled to make these quotations. I am finishing with them for the time being.

Yesterday Deputy Cowan was not allowed to quote from a speech made by Patrick Pearse.

That speech was made 36 years ago. These were made only last year.

I do not know why he was not allowed to quote from it.

I think it is a shame.

The introduction of a quotation from a speech by Patrick Pearse might be a bit incongruous in a speech about subsidies. The Minister's speech on the Second Reading of the Finance Bill is a strange document to read. I did not hear it but, reading through it, I find that out of a speech consisting of 23 columns he devoted seven columns to the matter of the remission of the dance tax. In a Finance Bill, dealing with millions of money, the Minister devoted seven columns out of 23 columns to a remission of, I understand, about £140,000 to less than 140 dance hall proprietors —a gift of about £1,000 a year to each of these people. The greater part of the rest of the Minister's speech was taken up with his reasoning for not reimposing the excess profits tax and for not increasing surtax. I think the main argument could be put into two or three lines. He said it had been discovered in Britain that the excess profits tax was unequal and unfair in its incidence and was, therefore, a bad tax. But that cannot be said about bread and butter taxes: they are fair.

Deputy Cowan can explain to the people at the Five Lamps how the taking away of a subsidy is not a tax. It will take more than a funny story about bread being fed to pigs to convince the people that the removal of the subsidy will not mean an increase in the price of these commodities.

Obviously, there is no tax on bread or tea. The Deputy should speak with precision.

The Deputy is welcome to make that explanation to the people at the Five Lamps. The Minister devoted a column or so of his speech to the fact that at one time I reduced the excess profits tax in respect of foreign-owned companies doing business in this country. He said that the members of the Labour Party had sat as mute as mice when that proposal was made. I would remind Deputy Cowan that he himself was supporting the then Government and also sat as mute as a mouse. However, they were not the only people who sat as mute as mice. The Fianna Fáil Party sat as mute as mice. Only one person made a harmless query with regard to the whole thing and elicited the information that the full extent of the remission amounted to £8,000 a year and would cost nothing in the first year it was given. That was the extent of the preference which was given—a sum of £8,000 a year. The reason why it was taken off was that we were making agreements with different foreign Governments at the time. The point was raised that this was discriminatory taxation. While one might make a move for a big sum of money there was no point, in the circumstances, in making it for about £8,000.

The rest of the Minister's speech was a distortion of the speech which I made. I referred very particularly to excerpts from a memorandum given to me by advisers in the Department of Finance last year when the Budget was being framed. The whole reason of the introduction of that memorandum was that people were asking why the Government were so foolish or so cruel as to impose taxes if they were not necessary. That question was asked last night by Deputy Cowan. The answer is that there was a definite scheme. A course had been laid out and one had to find the reason for the adoption of that plan and the plotting of that particular course. The reason was clear in the memorandum from which I quoted. It was that it was necessary, if we accepted the view that our people were too well off and had too much money to spend and were spending it too freely, to reduce purchasing power.

One way of reducing that purchasing power was to budget for a surplus. They tried to persuade me to adopt that course. They did not succeed because I did not accept the standard on which that memorandum was written. I suggested, and I think the suggestion has not yet been answered, that the reason why those savage impositions have been brought in is that the present Government have been swayed by that reasoning—that they have budgeted for a surplus in order to draw the purchasing power from the hands of the people because if the people have it they will spend it and imports will increase and in that way the gap in the balance of payments will be increased or will remain as it is.

Does the Deputy think there will be a surplus of revenue?

Distinctly so. The argument was that it was based on a surplus. The Minister's reply distorts that speech and talks about my advisers advising me about a deficit. They never did so. The Minister must have the memorandum: it is dated the 12th April of last year. The whole memorandum was framed in terms of budgeting for a surplus. But, in order to make a point, the Minister had to come and say that I was faced with a deficit and that I was warned that I was faced with it. That is not so. The point made was to remove the purchasing power from the hands of the people—to soak it in by way of taxation or to induce them to save. The memorandum stated that they were not very optimistic that savings would achieve the amount of money which it was necessary to drain off. They said it must be done by force through taxation and that therefore they must budget for a surplus. That was the suggestion that was made to me last year at a time when the balance of payments was not as bad as it has been represented to be since. That was the policy which was proposed to me at a time when the balance of payments difficulties were not so bad. Is it not more likely that the same proposal was made this year? The only difference is that I refused to accept it last year while it has been accepted this year. That is the only reason I can see why more revenue is being looked for than is required to balance the accounts.

Was that suggestion made by any responsible person in the Department of Finance?

I would have to name people but I can say that of all responsible people I met the two or three behind that would rank amongst the highest. Is that right? Otherwise, I would have to name them. There is no doubt about the responsibility. I am not deriding those people as judges. I am not saying that there was not ability behind them nor am I saying it was not founded on a system. I did not take it, nor did my colleagues. We had a different plan. We thought differently and having rejected the reasoning behind that proposal we naturally rejected the proposal.

The pending general election did not influence the Deputy's decision?

Last year's? I had no thought of it at the time that memorandum was written. As a matter of fact, I am speaking here now from memory. I do believe that a similar memorandum was presented to me for the previous year's Budget—at least the same thought was there.

Apparently it is an annual thing.

It is not an annual thing.

There is a pending election this year, too.

It is not an annual thing. It is a point of view that people have carried through in the circumstances over the last three or four years purporting to show that the circumstances have been deteriorating each year. I believe this, which was pressed with great vigour and strength and with persuasion, was accepted. That is the reason the Budget was framed as it was.

The Central Bank in its reports backwards through the years have always held out flashing red signals. I did not mind the red signal. It is a great thing to have a person with a different point of view but with the red signal showing all the time I think the Central Bank loses its force and vigour particularly when it cannot change. One cannot get a green light or an even moderate amber. No matter how strong were the admonitions of the Central Bank the view I had was that they were not going to mould our policy. As far as my colleagues are concerned we paid no heed to them because we were able to convince ourselves that the standards they set might be all right 50 or 100 years ago but they were not all right in our time.

In that connection I got an illuminating comment proceeding from a member of the board of the Central Bank. I was asked to have an interview with this particular individual on a matter that was very important. He told me that when the particular files would be disclosed it would bowl me out. That was a very dismaying approach to an interview. At the end of the interview I felt a little bit exhilarated because I was told that for 15 years this particular individual had reported that each successive year was worse than the one before. He wound up by saying: "For 15 years my view was that this country should have gone bankrupt and the surprising thing is that it has not." I was not going to be so impressed by the things he said afterwards.

In the speech by the Minister for Finance another attempt was made by repetition to establish what is the most outrageous untruth in connection with the finances of this State in the last 18 months. The phrase is: "It is no longer possible to continue borrowing to meet current expenditure." There is the Minister for Finance's speech on this Second Reading of the Finance Bill which deals with a Budget of £97,000,000.

The main point is the dance halls remissions—£1,000 each. There is complete distortion of the speech I made and in connection with this outrageous untruth of borrowing to meet current expenditure the fact is that the Minister and his Party do feel, I think, ashamed of this matter in reference to the dance halls. The letter was read and I propose to quote part of it again. It was an open piece of nasty corruption. It smells and it will continue to smell until the mess is finished in some other way. The Minister spoke about social conditions and how remissions had to be made.

All that is just trying to create some sort of a fog in order to prevent people properly surveying this odious piece of political corruption. Nobody can answer me on that. Nobody can raise a cheer in the House for it. Even back-benchers made no attempt to argue for it. Let it be buried. Let it be buried with the Party.

The fact of the matter is that it is recognised and Deputies must admit that the only thing wrong about the dance hall tax was that the letter got circulated. Everybody knows there was a definite bribe given at the time of the last election but, dirty as it was, odious as it is, there is at least to be said for it that Fianna Fáil stood by their promises in this way.

With regard to E.C.P. tax—and I do not want to go into this at any great length at the moment—the British have this year reintroduced a tax called the excess profits levy. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, who did not want to hog the subsidies over there to the extent to which he was expected to hog them, nevertheless did try to hold the balance even as between the people in the upper income groups and those in the lower groups by introducing something in the nature of excess profits tax under the new name of excess profits levy. The excuse given here about that tax was that an ex-Chancellor of the Exchequer said that it was an unequal tax and one that worked hardship; we did not want to do that and our excuse is that the British tried it and found it was an unequal tax which involved hardship. On the other hand, we get people to back taxes on bread, butter, tea and sugar on the grounds presumably that they are equal taxes and even if a man is having caviare or foie gras he will have a bit of toast with it. There is a bit of bread in the background and the man who has luxurious tastes therefore will have to pay a little bit extra for the small amount of bread which he takes.

Can it be argued that the tax on bread is one that falls with equal incidence on every section of the community? It is a well-known social fact that the people in the lower income groups spend the greater percentage of their household income on bread. The tax on bread through the removal of the subsidy on bread is a tax that hits the poorest sections of our community and leaves them without any resort to any substitutes that might be available to them.

The Minister talked a good deal about the excess corporation profits tax. He might at least have asked himself what would have been the result of reimposing even the old form of excess profits tax. I had that examined in my time. It was not that I wanted to impose it because I could see very definite objections to it and I think it is always a good thing to have a reserve of taxing capacity left to meet other circumstances that may arise. I was advised that the reimposition of the old tax would bring in £7,000,000. It would not bring in that amount in the first year, but in a full year it would bring in an additional £7,000,000. The old excess corporation profits tax that was in operation was full of loopholes and let out any amount of money that should have been taxed on the higher level. Could not the Minister have balanced his speech and said: "It might admittedly have brought so much"? Let us see the effect and force of his argument against the amount of money likely to be covered in that way. He could have done one other thing. I do not know what the latest issue of the Revenue Commissioners' report for the year is, but there is one due. I know it is generally delayed a bit. There must have been one within the last 12 months. Deputies can turn to that and find out for themselves the tot of the assessable incomes in a year and see at the same time how much they have increased over the last five years.

Again, I want to say that I was not in favour of such a tax device during the three years I was in office and I refrained from putting it on for various reasons. Sometimes I put some of those reasons forward here when I was asked about it. I am not sure that I gave all the reasons. But Deputies will see in that report the taxable capacity that exists. One can also see how trade and industry profits have increased over the past five years. One would expect a Minister, when painting the picture here, to say: "My mood is against the putting on of these taxes for the following reasons," and give the reasons. Of course, the Minister's excuses are so very weak that he dare not fill in the picture properly by stating the amount such a tax as the one to which I referred earlier would bring in even if it were reimposed in the old way. It would, of course, be a scandal to bring back the old tax in the old way. It should be brought up to date. There is a vast field of inquiry in relation to the profits made in trade and industry. There is a great deal of taxing capacity left there if any Government is ever driven to the point that it must get money to pay the nation's expenditure and does not want to interfere with such things as bread, butter, tea and sugar.

With regard to the speech I made here on another occasion, I say that I was advised to budget for a surplus. I think the first quotation I gave from that memorandum was:—

"It is difficult to rationalise the Budget if it stops short at balancing the current account.... The Budget is not simply an exposition of how we propose to make ends meet. In modern times it is recognised as the most effective instrument a Government has for shaping economic policy. That is why we have in the Budget statement an analysis of current and prospective economic conditions. This survey would be the merest padding unless the budgetary proposals were consistent with the conclusion about economic policy to which the analysis led. In Britain, the United States of America, and elsewhere the proposals are devised to correct whatever is shown to be amiss in the economy."

I want to stress that phrase since it can lead to only one conclusion: the Budget proposals are devised to correct whatever is shown to be amiss in the economy. What was amiss, and seriously amiss, in the minds of the people advising me along those lines was an economy distorted in such a way as shown by the great gap in the balance of payments. Our trading accounts were out of gear.

"The British Chancellor yesterday introduced proposals directed towards achieving a surplus over current expenditure of £39,000,000, and this because his interpretation of conditions forced him to the conclusion that if resources were to be directed to the proper uses without inflation, the public must be made yield up more purchasing power than is required to cover all current Government outlay."

Now that is the mood behind the present Budget here. The public are being made to yield up more purchasing power than is required to cover all Government current expenditure. Another excerpt I gave was:—

"... the public and the Government between them are spending more than the nation can afford. What is the remedy? It is either to curtail spending—by both the public and the Government—or to induce or force the public to yield up more purchasing power to provide what the Government needs to maintain its spending on capital and current account."

What is the objective? It is to induce or force the public to yield up more purchasing power. For what purpose? To provide what the Government needs to maintain its spending on capital as well as on current account. I do not know whether the Minister for Finance is putting the same capital services as we did in the Book of Estimates; there is a sum of £9,000,000. We do observe, however, that he intends to finance capital expenditure out of revenue. He intends the Budget to yield so much to the revenue this year that capital development will be financed out of that. That is why we say that there is overtaxation to a minimum of £10,000,000 in the Budget.

The last excerpt is:—

"The 1951-52 capital programme will be at least as big as last year; the Estimates point to its being bigger. Can we hope to get much more money in savings even with a vigorous campaign?"

Doubts were then expressed on that matter but the opinion was stated that it was a thing that ought to be tried.

The only correct way of meeting the difference is from taxation in the light of the interpretation to be put on current economic conditions. Taxation in order to produce a surplus on the current account towards financing the capital Budget, is a necessary gesture towards orthodoxy, the memorandum says, although the Budget as a whole was criticised as being far from wise and failing to face facts. If at that time, when the balance of payments was not the same as it is now or at the time when the present Budget was prepared, that was written with all that persuasive force behind it, its whole aim being to budget for a surplus and either to induce or to force the people to yield up more purchasing power so as to produce a surplus over the amount required to meet the ordinary expenditure of the State, if that persuasion was used in April, 1951, the circumstances warrant the preparation of a much more aggressive memorandum on the same lines this year. I have no doubt that it was prepared and accepted and that is the reason why we say that the present Budget includes unnecessary taxation and imposes unnecessary hardships on the people.

With regard to the fourth item of the memorandum in his Second Reading Finance Bill speech the Minister referred to the money borrowed. I want again to say that no borrowing was done by us to meet current expenditure. No necessity was imposed upon any successor of ours to meet what we had to borrow for current expenses. If anybody questions me on that I want to know what was the current expenditure, properly classified as such, for which we borrowed money or what necessity we imposed on the present group to borrow for ordinary current expenditure.

I noticed that speaking of the debts we left the present Minister for Health said that the extra taxes were to cover the expenditure incurred by the last Government which now had to be met —expenditure incurred by us—that the inter-Party Government had awarded increased salaries to civil servants, the Army and teachers and that there was also the nationalisation of transport. So these are the things. There is an echo there of what the present Minister for Justice said as reported in the Irish Press 17th January, 1949:—

"The increase in Civil Service salaries is to cost about £700,000 in a full year".

This was before the final award:—

"The Army, Gardaí and teachers are also entitled to increases but the full amount is not yet disclosed. Local Government officials will naturally expect increases also as will workers all over the country."

That is a good sweep: civil servants, Guards, the Army, teachers, local government employees and workers all over the country. Having put that as the deplorable picture Deputy Boland then said:—

"This was the situation which Fianna Fáil was determined to prevent, and would have prevented if three of the six lost Dublin seats had been held."

They would have prevented it if three of the six lost Dublin seats had been held. Now those seats are held by Deputy Cowan, Deputy Dr. Browne and Deputy Dr. ffrench-O'Carroll, and Fianna Fáil is unable to prevent it. That is the Minister for Justice in January, 1949; here is Deputy Dr. Ryan now Minister for Health on the 12th May in Tullamore on the extra taxes imposed by the Budget:—

"They were due to the heavy expenditure incurred by the last Government which now had to be met and the inter-Party Government had awarded increased salaries to the Civil Service, the Army and the teachers and there was also the nationalisation of transport."

"There was also the nationalisation of transport." I do not mind having certain things laid to my door but the defects of Córas Iompair Éireann as something to be put to the discredit of the inter-Party Government are an amazing charge. The present Tánaiste used to alternate between recurrent crises, avoiding disasters by a hair's breadth, escaping economic disasters and the sun breaking through, coming to the end of a long lane, the clouds lifting, a little break coming. Then there was the period when a new era dawned. The best period in his life was one of six months in which a new era dawned twice. Two eras dawned for Córas Iompair Éireann. First there was one, then there was a general election and he got back and we had two Transport Acts. We were going to have an efficient system of transport cheaply serving the public.

Mr. Coburn

I smiled the day he made that statement.

He left us with the burden of trying to reorganise transport but the Minister for Health says that the nationalisation of transport was one of the debts we left behind us.

This may not be quite relevant but I would like to let the House know what the Minister said in Tullamore on the 12th of this month:—

"The Government, after examining every item, felt they must meet the problem with increased taxation. The subsidies on bread, tea and sugar were introduced in 1947 when the prices of these commodities were high and when it was thought that in a year or two they would be reduced. Instead the prices of wheat, tea and sugar had increased and were not going to go back to the 1947 price, so the Government did away with the subsidies."

This reasoning beats me. In order to meet the prices we had increased the Government did away with the subsidies. If that is logic I have not been taught in the school in which the doctor was educated.

I would like to know more about this borrowing to meet current expenditure. We know that when the Fianna Fáil Government were in before they were determined to prevent increases being given to various classes of workers but more notably to those who were under their thumb, the servants of the State. They went out, we came in and an arbitration scheme was developed. Civil servants were at that point on one footing with other workers in the country. They had some court, some arbitrary body, to which to resort to have their claims considered and their salaries adjusted. Then we had people who wanted to prevent that type of thing and were determined to do so. Since the present Government took over arbitration was abolished, there will be no arbitration. Again we will have the position where civil servants are to be made suffer because they are nearest to Government control. They are under the thumb of the Government and hardships can be imposed on them without any thought of morality or of the attitude of the people who are going to suffer or the results on the people. They will soak them because they are so close to the hand of the Government that they can be immediately gripped. If there is no arbitration for civil servants there will be repercussions elsewhere. The salaries of teachers and Guards bore a very distinct relationship to the salaries of civil servants. The men of the Army are associated with the same matter although on a different scale. If there is no arbitration for civil servants—and that is the situation which has developed—no court to which these people can resort, that will tie up for a long time in spite of a rise in the cost of living the emoluments of all people who are servants of the State. There will be no standard to have a relation to. It will also tie up the salaries of Guards, the Army and teachers and no doubt when the good example has been given we will be able to put into force the idea of the Minister for Justice; we will be able to tie up also local government employees and possibly workers all over the country.

On this matter of the borrowing we were doing to meet current expenditure or if not that of borrowing nevertheless, a question has been asked here over and over again and it has never had a proper answer: who spent the greater part of the American loan counterpart moneys? I want to give an answer which cannot be contradicted. We had a scheme for the use of those moneys. I suggest that it was a good scheme. We had a far bigger scheme of capital development than the funds in our hands would meet. As they would not go far enough in any year to finance the projects we had in mind we thought of the trustee savings, the savings bank, post office savings and savings certificates and we had the funds of the National Health Society called the social security funds which could be taken out of British sterling securities and put in our own loans. In addition we appealed to the people three times in three years. We kept the Marshall Aid moneys as a reserve to siphon off a certain amount of the millions of money each year to make up for the deficit in what we were able to collect directly from the people or through these particular funds.

It was a useful reserve to have. During the three years, we had used about £16,000,000 of this reserve, feeding it in to make up for the deficiencies or what we were left short of in these appeals to the people. The present Government were left with £26,000,000 worth of money. They have splashed that inside a year. There is no money now to fall back on, and the very good scheme that we had for the financing of these projects was completely destroyed. It may be the worst harm that the present interregnum of the last 12 months may have caused to the reserves of the community. But that has been spent. It has been thrown to the winds while we had husbanded it, and husbanded it very carefully indeed, and for very good purposes.

May I ask the Deputy what did the present Government spend this £26,000,000 on?

On a variety of things. They had to get money. I do not object to their spending £26,000,000. What I do object to is that they spent the £26,000,000 in one year from that fund instead of holding it as a reserve. They could have gone for loans to the people, as I had announced my intention of doing, and then they would have the same scheme that we had, the three things that I have already mentioned—something from the small savings fund, something by way of investment from the social security funds and something from the people. I do not believe that they rate themselves so low as to believe that they could not get £5,000,000, £6,000,000, £7,000,000 or £8,000,000 from the people. They did not try that, and had to get on with the schemes that were there. They were faced with either of two difficulties, either to close down on the schemes, which would have caused fierce unemployment and more misery, or find some way to keep them going, and not being able to get the money from the people, because they would not face the people, they had then to raid this fund. I cannot understand how people who rage as they do in an academic way about inflation, could have brought themselves to scatter this £26,000,000, to pump it out for full inflation in one year—to spend all that last year without drawing off any bit by way of an appeal to the people for a national loan.

In any event, there is the situation that there is not 1/- left in the reserve. That is all gone. We are told it is because the Government did not like to go for a loan last year, that the conditions were not favourable. They were not favourable because of all their wailings which had gone on through the country. But at an early period they could have gone for a loan. They say it was an inappropriate moment because there was a big conversion loan. There was, and it was successful. That was done before their ululations had their effect on the country. It is a strange thing that the present Government should think it incongruous to have a conversion loan within the same six months as an ordinary loan. I remember before the Korean War that I had conversations with the bankers when I was deciding to have a loan. I remember being asked by the bankers would I not consider having both the conversion loan and an ordinary loan running with a very little time lag between them. The view expressed to me by some of the bankers was that one would help the other. Of course, there is no incongruity between running the two at the same time. The conversion loan would involve a vast amount of money. The previous loans have been cashed, and the people would have that money. It was old money looking for a new home, and it could get that new home. Was not that the time to draw some of that money off instead of the cowardly policy that was adopted? The people opposite sat back and wailed, and said: "We have beaten ourselves; we cannot ask the people to subscribe in a situation which we have described in such moving terms". As I have said, we left them £26,000,000 of good money and that was taken and splashed in one year.

What about the debts that we had to pay?

What were the debts—the Electricity Supply Board and Bord na Móna money?

And Córas Iompair Éireann. They are all on the official record.

You have not read it, but let us hear about the debts. The debts were the schemes that are now going to be financed this year in the Book of Estimates. We covered our current expenditure by ordinary means. It was met out of ordinary revenue. Our capital projects have now been accepted by Fianna Fáil. Even though they have accepted them, I doubt their sincerity, but they are accepted and they are doing that rather than cause public commotion. All our capital schemes are in the Book of Estimates, some reduced in value. But they are accepted as proper for borrowing, so that that argument is gone for ever.

As regards any money we got we had two objectives. One was to raise the standard of living in this country and particularly to raise the standard and volume of our exports. We succeeded in that. The second thing was, that we so financed things that the national income increased in such a way that the yield from old-time taxes brought in so much more money that out of the surplus you could finance and pay the cost of the money that we had invested in the country. That has been an actuality as I will show later by the figures. We provided the cost of borrowing without having to increase taxes. In the main we reduced taxes with the people here getting a bigger yield because the country was progressing.

I am told about the deficit that is supposed to have been left by me last year, and about things that were not mine. As regards this so-called deficit, there is the £3,000,000 on the turf produced. I say that turf losses are to be considered as something apart although they are in the deficit. I have asked the Minister about the sum of £2,000,000 that I left him as a carry-over from the previous year. I have not got any answer to that. We have the Exchequer returns in this morning's newspapers. They are made up to the 17th of this month. The revenue is given at £12,346,000. For the corresponding period of last year the return from revenue was £12,136,000. Therefore the revenue is a couple of hundred thousand pounds better, but that is not the point. In the figure of £12,136,000 there had been siphoned away £2,000,000 of a carry-over. It is either there again in this year's revenue, and I believe it is, or if it is not, there is the more interesting situation facing the Minister that his revenue has increased by £2,000,000 over last year in the period between the 1st April and the 17th May—call it six weeks. Either he has that £2,000,000 of a carry-over, or else the revenue is showing the buoyancy that we always said it would show if there was not this defeatist spirit in the country.

I have said that the aim of this Budget is clear. The Budget itself can only be explained or recognised from the background and the philosophy of it. The people are to be pledged to these impositions, and they are asked: do you think we would be so sadistic as to impose these taxes if they were not required or that we would risk our popularity in doing so? They had become obsessed with one idea—the gap in the balance of payments. One may accept that there is a gap in the balance of payments; that it is going to continue; that it will bring about bankruptcy and insolvency, and that something must be done about it. That is the view the present Government has adopted, and it is on those lines that the present Budget has been prepared.

There are two types of inflation that can be thought of in this connection and that were mentioned last year. There is the inflation that is spoken of when an increase in prices is caused by too much spending chasing too few goods. We had not got that in this country. The only inflation we had got was an inflation of a price type. It was an import inflation, necessarily imported here because of our junction with the currency position in Britain. The other type of inflation which we had in some degree was the inflation that was caused by the blowing up in the form of our imports. Some people may have got terrified of that. The present Government did, but we did not. We thought of it as an abnormal circumstance which was wearing out, and we felt that it would right itself. We felt that efforts were being made in this country both to prevent inflation and to weaken inflation. Let us say that we had inflation of the type that is shown by our imports being very heavy—far more than we are paying for by our exports. The problem was to get rid of that situation, and to get rid of it without turning over to inflation of a price type. The problem could be immediately faced by having a physical control of the ports and the Border, thereby stopping imports coming in. In that way, imports could be reduced and the balance of payments rectified. If that were the case then all the money that was in the country partly expended on the goods that are imported would be focussed on the small quantity of goods that would be produced here. In those circumstances we would have swung over from the inflation of the import type to the fierce inflation of the price type. There is only one answer to that, we cannot stop imports by physical control. Otherwise you would have prices inflated. What you can do is to leave people without the wherewithal to buy goods and thus have the whole situation rectified. Look at the measures that were suggested by the Central Bank and, in the main, adopted by the Government.

The Central Bank suggested that bank credit should be restricted and that businesses and private enterprises should not be given the finance that would be required before they begin to earn a little money in order to establish new projects. The difficulty is that, while the factory is being built and machinery installed, the workers are getting wages. While workers are getting wages they will spend them, thus calling for more imports and creating a gap in the balance of payments. Similarly, State schemes could be restricted. However, the difficulty is that wages will be pouring out before the schemes are finished, and the workers will spend their wages. The only thing to do is to restrict schemes so that there will be no money and, in such a way, reduce purchasing power generally. The best solution will be to lift £10,000,000, £12,000,000 or £14,000,000 from the people by pretending that you are looking for a balance for your ordinary revenue account, whereas, in reality, you are looking for a surplus—the surplus that was left behind by me, and the surplus that is put across by the present Minister for Finance, who has accepted this terrifying aspect of the balance of payments.

I asked the Minister for Finance to-day could he inform us with regard to this £3,000,000 which he says he has to get to provide for the Social Welfare (Insurance) Bill, 1951. I asked him could he divide the £2,000,000 amongst the different types of benefits to be given. We wanted to get the proper amount phrased. The amount can only be partially phrased. The Government are making £3,818,000 over and above the compensatory welfare benefits according to their own figures, which we do not accept; £918,000 of this £3,818,000 is sheer profit from the subsidies. Of the other £3,000,000, £1,000,000 is proposed to go to certain undisclosed schemes added to the Social Welfare (Insurance) Bill, but there is a sum of £2,000,000 to be given towards sickness, unemployment and old age.

I am told that these are the main causes of expense under social insurance. I want to get those figures. I want them to be divided under special headings, and I want to get the picture clear that the bread and flour tax will pay for, say, unemployment and that the butter tax will pay for sickness. The other taxes, between them, will pay for old age pensions. After that is provided for there is £1,000,000 over for undisclosed benefits. Also taken out of these taxes and over and above that the Government have £918,000 sheer profit on the subsidies. That is what Deputies are voting for. Deputies are trying to put across the people of this country a Social Insurance Bill, but they are not saying to the people: "We are getting it back on the food. We are taking a bit off the loaf and something off the spread. We are giving you less sugar in your tea and we are making you drink less and smoke less. That is the way in which we are going to provide you with this scheme of insurance proposals."

Apart from that there is the beer, the tobacco and the spirits tax— £3,800,000. The Government's idea is that they are going to get that money. Between that and their net gain on the subsidies there is a sum of £12,750,000, and where is that going to come from. Do not let anybody, as I said before, think that these taxes on beer, spirits and tobacco are intended to get people off drinking or smoking. If they do that, to any great extent, the Budget is burst. The truth is that it is hoped that people will still drink and smoke as they did before, because that £12,000,000 has to be found somewhere. £8,800,000 has be found somewhere. The housewife is going to be forced to save something out of the worker's pay packet; she will have to economise on the children's food, education or clothes; she will have to make rigid economies in the matter of domestic appliances. That £12,750,000 has got to be found by means of the extra cost of food and by other economies which the housewife will be forced to make in order that her husband can smoke and drink nearly as much as before and, in addition, pay more for them.

I am amused when I hear questions put down by Deputies as to the number of unemployed in the country at the moment, and asking by how much the number has gone up since a special date. We are told that the number is 12,000 more than it was this time last year. The Minister says the same is happening in England, and that they have a big rearmament programme. The Minister should say: "If we have not another 24,000 unemployed before the end of the year, the Budget needs unemployment, short time and a bit of emigration. The Budget hopes for a business depression. There are businesses at the moment that are not making the wages they are paying to the employees. However, they are keeping on the employees in the hope there will be an improvement in the situation. The Budget requires unemployment and depression in business, because that is the only way in which they can prevent people buying at the rate at which they have been buying before and causing this terrifying gap in the balance of payments.

On the other side the British Budget was criticised on the grounds that it was an attempt, as the phrase was used, to purge out the national economy by deflation, bankruptcy and unemployment. That is the phrase used in the British Commons, "purging out the national economy by deflation, unemployment and bankruptcy" yet the Budget there was nothing like as harsh as the Budget here. One of the last books on monetary matters that has been produced, a book called International Economic Co-operation, written by a man called Tew, says in the earlier pages: “Even a mild local depression in itself is an appreciable corrective to any cash outflow”—that is a gap in the balance of payments—“because unemployed workers or impoverished businessmen are poor customers.” Of course, that is what we want here under this Budget scheme. We want poor customers and if there is a business slump, in its early stages called a recession, and if there is unemployment and if there are people on short time they will have no money to play around with and they will not cause any strain and we will get our economy purged out in this way.

I said recently that anybody who caught the mood in which this present Budget had been framed realises that the remedial measures are simple. They have been calculated by the Central Bank and checked by all other bankers in the country. The remedial measures are simple but they are savage in their severity. It is deplorable that this savagery should be tried in this country at a time when it is completely unnecessary.

Then we have the contrast of the dance hall proprietors. The dance hall proprietors are going to get this £140,000 on the grounds that it was a bad tax to collect. It cost an awful lot to collect and the revenue officials who had the odious job of collecting it were subjected to a certain amount of abuse and had to interrupt the enjoyment. It also was a very bad tax because it encouraged people to be rogues. They did not declare the true return, as if every income-tax payer did. In addition to that we were told it was a failure and the final plea was made that the poor proprietors could hardly live.

All these excuses were to hide the fact that Miss Kathleen Morris, the secretary of the Irish Ballroom Proprietors' Association, wrote a letter to which she attached a letter from Mr. Seán Lemass of 10th May, 1951. Having referred to this letter she went on to say:—

"Following the receipt of this reply from Mr. Lemass, a further executive meeting was held to-day, the 15th instant, when the meeting confirmed their pledge of support to Fianna Fáil. It will be appreciated"

—this is ironic—

"that the association is entirely nonpolitical, and that having failed utterly to impress the previous Government or Minister for Finance, though it pointed out the hardships——"

—It was at this point that the handkerchiefs were taken out—

"caused to the ballroom business, to clubs hiring the ballrooms, musicians, staffs, etc., the association has no alternative but to support the Party who has indicated that they are prepared to repeal this tax as soon as it is practicable.

The association has decided that the support to Fianna Fáil should take the form of substantial financial help and also that all members both city and country should lend a hand in every possible direction to secure the return to power of the one Party who has given the association an indication that they, as a Party, are opposed to this undesirable entertainment tax on dances.

It will be appreciated that in order to have the desired effect our financial aid must of necessity be generous. I may mention that one leading commercial ballroom in Dublin has headed the list of subscribers to this fund, with the generous sum of £250, and other members of the executive have also indicated their willingness to subscribe very generously."

That is the reason why the dance tax was removed and not any nonsense about a philosophy on entertainment. These people supported Fianna Fáil. I do not know what the subscription amounted to but £250 was not a bad start off if it was not a decoy. However, I understand the fund did amount to a respectable sum. So, in this year of austerity £140,000 is remitted to the dance hall proprietors.

Let me briefly deal with the so-called objection in regard to the cost of collection of the tax. I was informed and it was stated in this House that the cost of collection did not amount to 2 per cent. and that bore favourable comparison with the collection expenses of other taxes that are still being imposed. With regard to the question of abuse to which the revenue officials were subjected, when I made certain remissions which excluded the operation of the tax in certain areas the revenue officials were quite happy about the matter. With regard to the tax failing so far as the amount returned was concerned, far from that being the case, the amount in the early stages was £100,000. Last year it was £120,000. This year it is £140,000. The tax was yielding everything that was expected of it and it was easy to collect. When I met the dance hall proprietors—it was one of the last meetings I had before the last Budget I introduced—they wept about their own private fortunes. I suggested that there was an answer for them. If they would let me consult the Revenue Commissioners, perhaps the matter could be settled. The returns of the group in which the dance hall proprietors were included showed a remarkable buoyancy during the last two or three years. The dance hall proprietors then made the point that it might be the people running cinemas and other entertainments. I told them there was an easy way out of that because we could get, with their leave, but only with their leave, the returns of the dance hall proprietors segregated. After a very short huddled conversation they decided it would not be possible to go into that. That is the situation about the dance tax. It was a good tax. It was easy to collect and when it is now remitted it is not going to mean cheaper dances. It is going to mean more profits to the proprietors and that is the clear intention of such remission. As I said before it is an open scandal, it smells badly and nobody wants to be associated with it except those who are going to be driven into the Lobbies to support it.

And still they say: "vote for the honest man, up Dev."

In regard to the question of the tobacco manufacturers I made a wrong calculation in regard to that. I understood the Budget was only going to give them the equivalent of 1d. a packet which we used to count as yielding £1? million in a full year. I understand they have got the 1d. already and they are going to get another 1d. That means they are going to get £2.6 million. This is a tidy sum to pass over to one group without an explanation beyond a phrase in the Budget that the Minister for Industry and Commerce was convinced that the tobacco manufacturers required this sum as against increased costs. In this connection I would like to point to this contrast. One of those groups benefiting in this way belongs to the Imperial Tobacco Company. The last dividend they declared was 32 per cent. They apologised to their shareholders that they did not get back to the 35 per cent. which was their usual; but the tendency was good, the prospects were bright and they hoped one of these days to be able to declare a 35 per cent. dividend. These are the miserable people, like the dance hall proprietors, to whom it has been decided to hand over huge sums of money while the ordinary people must endure heavy taxes on their foodstuffs.

Another matter which caused a great deal of hysteria was the suggestion I made that if money was required—it might not be necessary to go to this point—there is one great volume of money which should be driven out and made face the Revenue Commissioners, and that was the money that has been held on deposit in banks not having paid tax, money in the main which has been illegally got and money which certainly, whether it was illegal or not, has evaded the law because tax has not been paid on the amount of it. That was a device adopted by the last Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer before the Conservative Government took office. Mr. Gaitskell introduced it and although he did not mention it in the Budget speech he introduced it in a phrase in the Finance Act and the bankers in England raged over it. Apropos my proposals about asking the banks to give information as to money held on deposit on which tax had not been paid Mr. MacEntee had said that Mr. MacBride, who was according to Mr. MacEntee in touch with Moscow, had wired to Joseph Stalin to say: "It is all right, McGilligan is with us"— because I had proposed this simple tax which the Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer in England had implemented and which a Conservative Chancellor has carried on.

I quote from the Economist of the 5th May of last year under the heading of “Breach of Bank Secrecy.” The Minister ought to take notice of this. There are a few phrases he might wish to copy:—

"Much concern has been aroused in banking circles at the proposal in the Finance Bill to empower the tax authorities to demand from the banks the returns of all interest payments made or credited, without deduction of tax, for amounts of £15 or more in any specified year, and the names and addresses of the individual recipients."

Then they went into this fume as the Minister did here last week:—

"The traditional principle that a banker's dealings with his customers should be strictly confidential has always been guarded as jealously as though it were one of the essential freedoms—and, indeed, it can well be argued that it is."

Did you ever hear the like of that? The secrecy of bankers is as sacred as the secrecy of the private house or the freedom from arrest of the individual. It is one of the essential freedoms. I hope we will write it into the next conference that sits at Geneva.

"If bank accounts were open to scrutiny by Government officials at will, the door to the police State would be opened very wide indeed. In the past, Governments have respected this principle; in particular, it was carefully and deliberately preserved in the Bank of England nationalisation Act, in the course of the debates upon which Dr. Dalton was constrained to accept an appropriate delimitation of the new power given to the Treasury to ‘request' information from the banks. Desirable though it is to take all reasonable steps to check tax evasion, this is not a sufficient ground for breaching a principle of such significance. Any breach at all would be bound to ease the way for possible future intrusion for less desirable purposes. Mr. Gaitskell should think again."

Mr. Gaitskell did not think again. Mr. Gaitskell was eventually removed from office and Mr. Butler followed him and Mr. Butler has not thought again about it. The tax is still maintained. The Conservative Government is backing it and the Northern Ireland Government is backing it. They both had the same reason for it, that they found it so valuable. I understand the Revenue Commissioners in England had not very often to exercise their power requesting information. The mere fact that there was power that these accounts should be disclosed drove everybody out to make voluntary disclosures in the hope of avoiding what are called Revenue Commissioners' penalties. The scheme is still in operation in England and Northern Ireland. Does any body of economists keep writing about that as a breach of banking secrecy? In fact, it was discovered that there was so much money to be got from those who had not paid the tax that nobody had any sympathy with the rogues who were really the people affected by this tax and it eased the burden on the honest taxpayer. I suggested that there might be some device of that sort and the retort I drew from the Minister was a two column one winding up with the statement that Deputy MacBride was in touch with the Bolshies, that things were happy, and that I was with him on this matter about banking secrecy. I wanted to emphasise that.

What about the "Red Nuncio"?

I suppose there will be a Red Chancellor one of these days. I am glad to get the Minister's reaction to it. It shows that he has the mood of all those stodgy economists last year. They have thought better of it, however. They are now glad to accept the benefits of the tax and nobody has any sympathy with the people who have been made to disgorge their secret means and pay their taxes on them.

As there has been so much talk about the Central Bank directors it is better that something should be said in their favour. Various colleagues of mine have been blamed for the establishment of that bank as we left it. We did not get many opportunities of making changes, but we did not avail of such opportunities as we got to make many changes. I think I made only one change in the personnel of the Central Bank. I want it to be clear in regard to my colleagues, in case there is blame to be imputed, that it was mainly my proposal that the Central Bank should be kept constituted as it was. In so far as there were objections to individuals, I believe it was my own personal interposition which, very much against their will, overcame their objections and got them to agree to the reappointment of certain people. If there is any blame to be attached to it, I will take it. I put them back and I did it for the reasons stated. I see no horror in the Central Bank. There is a group of men there who are very experienced. They have experience in different lines. They are taken from different areas. They are men of the greatest possible experience in the respective lines which they are supposed to represent. They are people of experience who have given great service to the State.

A vast amount of work has to be done through the Central Bank other than writing the report and you must have a body to do it. There is highly technical work to be done and there were highly technical expert people doing it. I personally had no trouble about it, except in one point that I mentioned before the Minister came in. I had no horror of the Central Bank directors. We had tested them out for a certain number of years. We were accustomed to that type of report. Incidentally, I do not think they have authority to issue a report. We were accustomed to the type of thing put up. If I thought there was any weakness in myself to succumb to their persuasion, I know that my colleagues would not let me succumb to it. In these circumstances, I could not see any horror accruing from the people who were there for so many years being allowed to carry on their expert work as before.

I never envisaged a change of Government. I never envisaged that there would be a weak person like we have at present in the Department of Finance who would yield to what these people said, break a tradition of about 15 years, and pay any attention to the reports of the Central Bank. That is what happened. So far as that did happen and so far as I am responsible at least for putting this country in the danger that the Central Bank report might be accepted, I suppose I am to blame. But think of the other side.

Supposing a change had been made in regard to the Central Bank, the whole institution and its personnel. First of all, one would be missing a certain help that should be got from certain people expert in certain lines. There would be public anxiety and confusion caused by changes, particularly when a new financial policy was adopted. I thought it was much better to allow those people who did not like that policy to write themselves out once a year, always subject to this, that if they wrote too aggressively, I would not let them have the last word. I would take the public platform in order to give my view of what they had written as they had an opportunity of giving their view on what I was saying. If there had been changes, there might have been great public clamour and anxiety caused and I think people would have suspected that there was a weakness in the financial policy which we were adopting, something which could not bear examination and, therefore, that we had decided to get rid of those people. It was properly decided to allow the institution to stay and, in the main, to make no change. The "cheap-jack" suggestion has been made that if I thought so strongly as I expressed myself about the Central Bank, why did I not change it? I say that you cannot change the banking situation suddenly, more particularly in its relationship with English banking. It can only be done openly before the public and with the public being enlightened at every turn on the proposed changes and the reasons for the changes. Otherwise, very great harm could be done to the whole structure of credit on which banking is done in this country. To try and change the Central Bank Act—which should be changed and which will be changed, I hope, over a period of years—will take years and, in addition, it will take many years to disentangle the situation which has grown up under that.

Just think of the position which would be created if we prohibited the circulation of English bank notes in this country at the moment and if the whole investment portfolio of the banks had to be re-made. It cannot be done speedily. It has to be done over a number of years to enable the people to change over—to liquidate one type of security and convert it to another. I should like it to be done openly, with a good deal of public enlightenment, over a period of years.

Then I take it that you are not in agreement with your colleague Deputy MacBride in his statement that the advice of the Central Bank would be dangerous to national policy?

I am not entirely in agreement with it. Deputy MacEntee also stated it. Deputy MacEntee and Deputy MacBride think the same way on that matter. I do not go as far as that. I do not know which school of thought the Deputy belongs to.

I heard Deputy MacBride say that it could be considered——

Do not bother, Deputy Gallagher. Deputy McGilligan is kicking Deputy MacBride but Deputy MacBride cannot reply. He is having it out on him now.

The kicks which I have aimed at Deputy MacBride draw groans from the Minister. Either I have a bad aim or a long reach. There is this, however, to be said about the Central Bank and the joint stock banks of this country. They have an investment policy which certainly is open to a very serious criticism. I discussed this matter with some of the people of the Central Bank but so far I have not got an answer. I think that, some year, the Central Bank could use the occasion of their annual report to do so. They used the opportunity one year to explain why they think it necessary to get 100 per cent. liquidity in regard to the resources they have for the backing of the note—all in British securities. What prudence requires that extent of caution? They know that that matter has been agitating the mind of the public for years and yet they prefer to write a lot of things about Government policy instead of defending their own policy.

For some reason, I do not know whether it is a matter of suspicion, the Central Bank has ceased to send me, as a Deputy, what they used to send me, namely, the quarterly bulletin. I understand that colleagues of mine have also failed to get it. It may be that they think they are giving us too much information. When we met the bankers in 1949, one of our points was that they had an investment portfolio which in those days amounted to £183,000,000, £13,000,000 of which was invested in this country, less than £8,000,000 in Government securities and about £5,000,000 in other securities. Surely it is unparalleled in the world that the banks of a State, with something like £200,000,000 to invest, had only £8,000,000 plus £5,000,000—£13,000,000 in all—invested in the whole country from which they were drawing all their resources and profits. Even the mention of it has created some improvement. In the past few years the £13,000,000 has gone up by £3,000,000, £4,000,000 or £5,000,000. That is a very small improvement. That is a situation that ought not be allowed to last.

I want to contrast the situation in this country as it was affected by inter-Party policy for three years and the situation which has been effected in this country by less than 12 months of Fianna Fáil government. It is difficult to get phrases but if I use the expressions misery, unemployment, fear of unemployment, lack of confidence, slump in business, thoughts turning to reliefs and the provision of unemployment money, does it not give a general picture of the country's situation as it is now? There is fear of unemployment where there is no actual unemployment. There is fear of a great business slump where there is a mild recession at the moment and the Budget indicates that we are paying more attention to reliefs and unemployment moneys than to production and investment.

The only difficulty we would have in resuming Government in this country would be with regard to the capital side. The present Government have certainly done very serious harm to this country by spending in one go £26,000,000 of their counterpart moneys which we had, on a programme, arranged to help to pay out year by year to supply whatever deficiency there was between the moneys we required for capital development and what we could secure from small loans invested in the Government Departments' funds and from appeals to the people. The counterpart money is gone and it cannot be built up again. There are other resources and these will have to be tapped. What they are will be revealed in good time. But that, undoubtedly, will be a handicap to any Government that will take over from the present Government.

In our time we had full employment as far as that could be achieved in this country. People enjoyed good wages. We had gone on a policy of trying to develop the productivity of this country to get an outcropping particularly on the export side. In 1947, exports and re-exports from this country had not touched the £40,000,000 mark. In 1951 they were at £81,000,000. In the first three months of 1951, they were £16,000,000, being one-fifth of the total for the year. In the first three months of this year, they were £22,500,000. If that proportion of one-fifth is maintained during the year it seems that exports will be at the total of £112,500,000 this year.

It has been suggested to me to throw off the £12,500,000 to make the calculation more exact. The exports will have touched the £100,000,000 mark. If that situation is achieved I think that, mainly, the trouble about the balance of payments will have been satisfied and ought to disappear. That was a situation we aimed at bringing about and we had not very much time in which to achieve it. It did not sink. The policy was obviously going to fructify so speedily that it was to get exports from something less than £40,000,000 to a promised £112,500,000 this year—call it £100,000,000. In addition, we wanted high levels of exports. Only if you have a high level of export can you get a high level of imports and only on a combination of both can you get a high standard of living which we thought it was possible for our people to achieve and which we wanted to make them achieve. In addition, we hoped to achieve, in the investment of moneys at home, such an increase in the national income and the wealth of the country that taxes at a certain level would yield more revenue. They would at least yield such revenue as would pay for the cost of the borrowed moneys. We entered upon that policy in 1948. At that time we could only estimate, forecast and hope. It is now possible to look back.

The general tax revenue in 1948-49 was £62,000,000 odd. In 1951-52 it was £73,000,000. I am leaving out the nontax revenue. Tax revenue was up £11,000,000 in four years. It is undeniable that during that period the inter-Party Government was occupied in reducing the rates of tax. Yet we were getting that increased revenue. Let me take a more significant thing. I gave many alleviations to income-tax payers and reduced the tax by 6d. Income-tax yielded £14,664,000 in 1948-49. Last year it yielded £18,750,000. The income-tax yield was up by £3,000,000. The estimate given was that 6d. off would result in a loss of £1,000,000 but instead of losing the yield went up from £14,500,000 to £18,750,000.

The estimate for next year, on the old level of taxes, is that income-tax will yield £19,300,000. It has gone up by some £1,500,000. The national debt charges in the year 1948-49 in interest and sinking fund amounted to £3,500,000. In 1951-52, interest and sinking fund amounted to £6,100,000, the difference being something less than £2,500,000. The yield in income-tax was more than enough to give that increase in the cost of the service for the national debt.

These people talk about borrowing and extravagance. They tell us that the national debt service next year will be £8,179,000. They are going to jump £2,000,000 in one year. We only succeeded in jumping £2,500,000 in four years.

I suggest that those figures bear out what we contended and what we hoped would happen. We felt if the old rates of tax would yield sufficient revenue that the surplus would provide the cost of paying the moneys we borrowed. If we take the cost of the national debt as equivalent to that it is up by £2,500,000. The national revenue is up by £11,000,000 odd.

I suggest that we achieved success in the two aims we had. Imports and exports rose. We have stabilised revenue at a high point because there is so much wealth and so much productivity in the country. That, in four years, was no mean achievement. It is something we will have to bring home to the people and put it in opposition to this picture of misery, unemployment and slump.

A notice appeared in the papers recently to the effect that the day of reckoning was near and that on the 4th July rationing would end and that at that time the new prices would come into operation. It is worth while recording what the new prices are. The price of the 2-lb. loaf will be increased from 6½d. to 9½d.; flour will be increased from 2/8 to 4/9½d. a stone; tea will go up from 2/8 to 5/- per lb.; sugar will be increased from 4½d. to 6½d. and butter will be increased from 3/- to 3/10 per lb.

It is no wonder that the Minister for Social Welfare was anxious to-day to get the Social Security Bill through as quickly as possible to have something to play off against these increases when they come into operation on the 4th July. I would like, through the papers and this House, to utter this one word of advice to the people of the country. They are told that on the 4th July next rationing will cease. I hope nobody will be foolish enough to dispose of a ration book because when these subsidies come to be given again, if there are no ration books in existence, there will be a great delay in getting the subsidies properly resumed and people would put upon themselves a burden. If the ration books were destroyed the ration could not be determined. I would appeal to the community that the 4th July is not such a vital determining day. There will be a change and for the change they must keep their ration books. If they do not do that there will be a great deal of difficulty in resuming the subsidies as we intend to resume them.

This Budget is a Budget of despair. It is even worse than that. It is a Budget that has been framed in ignorance of what the true circumstances of the country are. It is framed without any belief in the resiliency of the people of the country and the strength of the economy of the country which was built up during the past four years. It is a Budget that cannot bear examination. That will be shown by the way in which the Deputies opposite have been taking a hiding. Since the Budget came along they dare not appear before their constituents. The only hope they have is to postpone the election long enough for the people to forget what this Government had in store for them and what the previous Government had in store for them.

Would Deputy McGilligan answer me one question?

I hesitated a moment or two to rise, although I have been waiting for some days to speak on this Bill. I hesitated a moment to hear Deputy Gallagher deal with Deputy McGilligan but unfortunately we are going to be spared that dubious treat.

You are in good form now.

I recall the day upon which this Budget was introduced. I happened to be walking along the corridor of the House when I met, emerging from the House, an ashen faced Fianna Fáil Deputy. I said to him: "What do you think of this production of your Minister?" He said to me: "The spree is over." Those were the words of wisdom that he had to offer upon this Budget the financial motion in connection with which we are discussing here to-day.

In the course of this debate I have noticed that you have got to keep a very close watch upon the meaning of words when you are listening to Fianna Fáil Deputies because words tend to lose their meaning when coming from the mouths of Fianna Fáil supporters. Everybody except the most virulently injected of the Fianna Fáil Party in this country agrees that this is a brutal Budget, but so far as the Fianna Fáil henchmen are concerned it becomes an honest Budget. Brutality becomes honesty in the mouths and in the minds of Fianna Fáil. As I say, we have, in the course of listening to this debate, to keep in mind the true meaning of words.

Certainly this debate has provided us with examples of the most spectacular political cart-wheeling that has ever been indulged in here. Those of us who listened with interest last night to Deputy Captain Cowan cannot but be astounded and at a complete loss to understand just how he can justify himself to himself, let alone to his constituents. Deputy Captain Cowan in my view is personally a very decent man, but he appears to have developed in the last 12 or 18 months a form of political schizophrenia—it cannot be described as anything else—and that malady is fast driving him to his own political destruction.

It is an amazing thing that anybody who professes to be interested in the position of the ordinary people here could get up here and try to prove that in voting for the Budget and for this Finance Bill which makes the Budget possible he is doing a favour to the working people and is, in fact, following through the policy of James Connolly. That is something that is quite beyond my comprehension and surely beyond the comprehension of any person who has ever even glanced through any of the writings of James Connolly. When Deputy Captain Cowan is presumptuous enough to deliver lectures to all the Parties here as to what their conduct should be in certain circumstances it is something that becomes merely a ridiculous performance and something that can never be taken seriously. He is listened to for the sake of the laughs he will provide.

Deputy Captain Cowan spent a great deal of time talking about the obligations which, in his view, lie upon the trade union movement to discharge its obligations by demanding higher wages for the workers who, according to him, are underpaid. Does that not come strangely from the man who walked into the Lobby with the rest of the Fianna Fáil Party and voted against the simple proposition that agricultural workers should receive £4 per week? There is there all the difference between the spoken word and the action that we come across so often within the confines of this House.

Deputy Captain Cowan, Deputy Corry and some other Deputies tried to justify in their own weak fashion the removal of the bread subsidy. Deputy Captain Cowan stated that when he was going around canvassing during the last election he and his helper came across—presumably outside the flats down in Ballybough or some other parts of his constituency— a cart upon which there was a load of bread which was being brought to feed pigs. Deputy Corry was on a similar mission down in Cork. He said that he saw a neighbour of his regularly carrying bread from Cork City to feed greyhounds. These are the reasons they are now advancing in support of their proposal to remove the subsidy on bread and make bread for the workers half as dear again as it is at the moment.

I spoke to a man yesterday who has a family of nine children. He told me he earns about £6 10s. per week. He told me his wife at the moment spends almost 30/- per week on bread alone. The increase after the 4th July will add almost a further 15/- to that man's bread bill. He, like every other family with whom I have discussed the question both in the urban and in the rural areas, calculates that the so-called compensations in the nature of increased children's allowances will do no more than meet about 50 per cent. of the extra cost that will accrue in respect of the removal of food subsidies.

No matter what may be said by Fianna Fáil apologists and no matter how they may try to justify it, the Budget will result and is already resulting in a reduction of the standard of living of the entire community, more particularly a reduction in the standard of living of the people in the lower income brackets, the only people who give a real contribution towards the welfare and progress of the nation. The Budget does not matter to those who are well to do and blessed with plenty of this world's goods. It does not matter to them what the price is of bread, butter, tea or sugar. It does not matter to them if the price of the ordinary pint goes up. They do not drink pints. They do not have to. It does not matter if whiskey is increased in price, or cigarettes. They can well afford the increase. The ordinary agricultural worker and the city worker who are already feeling the pinch in relation to their simple pint and already being forced to reduce their consumption of cigarettes and tobacco are facing the prospect and the problem of how in the name of providence they will provide for their families after 4th July.

It is a problem that many Deputies would not like to have to solve. I am quite certain the Minister for Finance, even if he had the advice of all the experts of his Department, would not be able to tell us how the ordinary worker in the city, earning from £6 to £6 10s. per week, with a family of from four to ten children, and the agricultural worker, earning from £3 to £3 15s. per week, with a family of six or seven children, or even more, will live. It does not seem to worry the Minister. In his opinion, the important thing is to get figures into certain columns, and it does not matter what happens to the people in the process. The lack of humanity displayed by the farmers of this Budget is something that can only be marvelled at, for it is something that cannot be understood.

When the Minister was speaking on this Bill he had the rapt attention of the Minister for External Affairs. Practically all of his speech was devoted to an attempted justification of the removal of the dance tax. He made a couple of puerile jokes in an effort to kill time and pad out his speech. He referred to jazz on one occasion, but I was looking at the adoring glance of the Minister for External Affairs fastened on the Minister for Finance, the Minister for Finance talking about a jazz tune at the time, and it struck me that nothing could be more appropriate than the recital of the old jazz classic, "Frankie and Johnnie were Lovers." Deputy McGilligan has revealed and exposed something that needed to be exposed regarding the removal of the dance tax, that it was part of a disreputable bargain, and no excuse made by Fianna Fáil will conceal that.

Unemployment is becoming a very obvious feature of our economic condition. The trend towards widespread unemployment started around the middle of last year and in certain rural areas now men are finding it impossible to get work whereas previously under the administration of the inter-Party Government they had little or no difficulty in finding work. In County Meath alone 1,400 men were employed on one Works Act operation by the county council up to last year. There are 500 now and 900 men are finding it impossible to get any alternative employment. They cannot even obtain employment with farmers, so the only thing they can do is to get travel permits for themselves and go to Britain.

The same thing applies in the City of Dublin. The building trade is travelling fast down the hill for a slump. A number of houses had been planned some years ago but Dublin Corporation do not visualise building the required number this year. Men who found adequate employment on building schemes during the lifetime of the inter-Party Government are now signing at the labour exchange. Any Deputy, whether he be Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Labour or Clann na Poblachta, in the City of Dublin knows these facts well. Every day we get representations from workers—skilled, unskilled, semi-skilled, workers of all kinds who have been laid off from some form of employment—asking us to find them some other employment. You cannot get it for them; it is not there; no attempt has been made by the Government to provide it.

What will the condition of unemployed workers be when the food subsidies are removed on 4th July? What chance will they have in the coming months of supporting themselves and their families when they cannot get a job? It has been truly said here this morning—and those of us who have been observing the policy of Fianna Fáil over the years, and particularly the influence of the mind of the Minister for Finance over the years know it—that they believe in that condition of things. I am satisfied that the Minister for Finance believes that, to have a healthy economy, you must have unemployment. The answer given to me by an obscure Fianna Fáil Deputy on the day of the Budget sums up very crudely the entire attitude of Fianna Fáil towards unemployment. When the inter-Party Government was in power there was comparatively full employment, but that was a spree according to Fianna Fáil; it should not be done; it was wrong; the people were not entitled to live well or to be in full employment. With that mentality now in control of the country's affairs, with that condition of mind, the outlook for the country is indeed a pitiable one.

Deputy Kennedy, Parliamentary Secretary, referred to the problem of the big group of unemployed in the textile industry. That industry is one in which part of my constituency has a vital interest. The town of Balbriggan is in a condition of absolute chaos through this textile slump. No steps apparently are being taken by the Government to bring back into employment the boys and girls, men and women, of Balbriggan town, which depends entirely on the textile industry.

What does the Deputy say to the almost complete prohibition of textile imports?

It is anything but almost complete.

Mr. Lynch

Are no steps being taken then?

No steps, so far as I am aware, have been taken by the Government to remedy the position in the town of Balbriggan and if the Parliamentary Secretary will interest himself in the question——

Mr. Lynch

I know the condition because it affects my constituency as well.

I would be obliged to the Parliamentary Secretary if he would look at the Town of Balbriggan, the economic condition of the people there, and see if he can impress on the Government the need for immediate action in order to bring back some degree of the prosperity which formerly flourished in Balbriggan.

Deputy Cowan, in the course of some interruption when other speakers were contributing to the debate, said in effect that to criticise this Government was letting the nation down. Letting the nation down to criticise the impositions of the Budget and the removal of the subsidies! Of course, as I said at the outset, this is part of the political schizophrenia to which Deputy Cowan now seems to have become subject over the past 12 months. Twelve months ago he would have said the direct opposite. There were no two more bitter political adversaries than himself and the Minister for Finance. There was nothing low enough, nothing bad enough, they could say about each other, but now we have the unnatural alliance of these two members of the House.

Does the same thing not apply to the inter-Party Government?

No, it does not. I have a very clear recollection of what used to go on in this House. The gallery would be specially full when swords were to be crossed between the present Minister for Finance and Deputy Cowan, and Senators and Deputies would come in to pack the lobbies just to hear new words of abuse invented between them at that time.

They still come.

But now what happened. You see Deputy Cowan in league with the Minister for Finance to drive down the standard of living of the workers of the country.

Fianna Fáil were going to put him in jail for having an army at that time.

There is a definite housing slow down. In this city alone the total number of people employed on house-building has been reduced considerably over the last 12 months.

That is not the responsibility of this House, and the Deputy is well aware of it. If the corporation do not carry out a building scheme it is their fault. Everybody in the country who wants to build can do so.

At what interest?

My personal experience has been that since this Government achieved office it is much more difficult to obtain sanction for a housing scheme from the Department of Local Government. It takes a longer time now than it did previously to get schemes which are submitted to the Department of Local Government dealt with. They are not being dealt with with the same expedition as previously.

I have had as much experience of that matter as any Deputy in the House, and I say that there has been no unreasonable delay on the part of the Department of Local Government when public bodies submit their schemes to it. I defy contradiction of that.

I contradict it.

If there has been any delay in regard to housing by public bodies this Government has no responsibility for that.

We had some interesting contributions from a number of Deputies. The so-called Independent Deputies provided us with no little amusement.

They lost their virtues since they removed themselves from your camp?

Apparently they lost the ability to make a speech in the House. They are all reading their speeches now. I did not know until yesterday that it was correct, and was so regarded by the Chair, that speeches should be read. The so-called Independent Deputies are now all reading their speeches. I wonder who is writing them?

Deputy MacEntee.

We have Deputies supporting this Budget—thrusting it down the throats of the Irish people—posing as martyrs and as defenders of a downtrodden country, and at the same time walking into the Lobby to inflict hardship on the people. They come in here to read their speeches. They expect those of us who are here every day not to know that they are no more than the puppets of people who do not belong to this House. Deputy Cowan availed of the opportunity last night to attack certain journals. I am not concerned with the views he has with regard to these journals.

You are a good hand yourself at attacking journals.

I am not concerned with the views that he has with regard to these journals. Is it not time that somebody mentioned the uninhibited blackguardism of the Irish Press and its political correspondent?

The Deputy cannot discuss that on the Finance Bill.

No, except to say that that gentleman likes to make the point of misrepresenting everybody except the most sychophantic supporters of Fianna Fáil. The Budget has been discussed from every possible angle. I do not think there is anything new that I could say on it. I do want to avail of this opportunity, however, to say that we in the Labour Party do not believe that there was any need for this Budget. We pledge ourselves to this, if returned to this House and if we have the power, to restore in their entirety the food subsidies. We shall endeavour, as far as lies in our power, to resume the progress which was being made up to the time of the return of Fianna Fáil. The Fianna Fáil Deputies know very well that the people are longing for the opportunity to go to the polls. It is not just a matter of political bravado to say that we want an election. No politician, I suppose, looks upon an election with any degree of pleasure. There is no question, however, but that the people want it.

They wanted it, too, soon after the election of 1948, but they did not get it.

The people want it now. We have a duty to the people which transcends all our personal feelings. That duty is to go to the people and ask them for their verdict as to whether we are doing right or wrong. (Interruptions). No matter what may be said by Deputies across the House, it must be quite obvious to Fianna Fáil Deputies that the people seriously want an election. If the Government, knowing that situation, would give the people an opportunity of expressing their views, I have no doubt in the world what the result of an election would be. We have Fianna Fáil hanging on tenuously to power, helped by a few Independents. That may go on for the rest of this year. It will end, anyway, and it will be the end of the Government. We are now moving into a new condition of affairs. The old catch-cries will no longer fool the people as they used to do over the last 20 years. That is a healthy thing.

We never fooled the people.

We are moving away, I hope, from the civil war atmosphere so that the day is coming when the question, "where were you 40 years ago," will get nobody in here. That day is going and it is a good thing.

It is a damn good thing for some people.

Some of us were not born in those days. As I say, it does not really matter when the election comes so far as Fianna Fáil is concerned because they are going out anyway; but it does matter to the people that they should be given an opportunity of preventing an injustice being done to themselves—the injustice represented by the removal of the food subsidies in July. The longer that Fianna Fáil refuses to give that opportunity to the people, the more certain is their fate of being removed from office once and for all.

We had a very touching spectacle exhibited here this morning. We had Deputy McGilligan returning good for evil. It was a rather unexpected rôle for that Deputy to figure in, and he must have done so only under the most extreme compulsion. We had him getting up and taking upon his shoulders the responsibility which Deputy MacBride, as a member of the late unlamented Coalition, was afraid to carry.

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

I was referring to the touching spectacle and perhaps pathetic appearance of Deputy MacBride when he was being defended by Deputy McGilligan in regard to the actions of the late Government towards the Central Bank and the personnel of the board. We know that Deputy MacBride has been having rather a rough time recently, because when he has been attacking the bank people have reminded him that, in so far as the governor of the bank is concerned and, I think, the majority of the members of the board, the Coalition bears a special responsibility. It reappoints the governor; it replaced at least one member of the board and reappointed others. I am not citing that fact by way of criticism. If I had a criticism to make of the Coalition in so far as the personnel of the bank is concerned, I would have said it was regrettable that, out of political, partisan spleen, they displaced a leading industrialist from the West of Ireland and replaced him by another person. I do not want what I say to reflect upon the competency of the Coalition's appointee.

And why did you say it?

I merely say that it is the only criticism I have had. But as I said before, Deputy MacBride has been having a rough time recently. Deputies in this House who were formerly members of his own Party had placed him in the pillory in regard to these appointments, and they have pointed out what is the obvious fact that Deputy MacBride's speeches are the speeches of a man who, in this matter as in many others, has no convictions. However, I suppose that Deputy McGilligan's somewhat backhanded defence of Deputy MacBride will give a great deal of pleasure to the governor and members of the Central Bank because he has justified the existence of the bank. He has dilated upon the special qualifications of the governor and the members of the bank for the position which they hold. He has told the country that they are highly expert in this business of public finance and the only thing he has said is that though they are experts and he is a lawyer he refuses to to take their advice, he refuses to hearken to it even though they speak without partisanship, even though they speak objectively in regard to the financial and economic position of this country and all the consequences as reflected in that position which have flowed from the policy of the late Coalition Government. Deputy McGilligan, apparently, is a man who likes to consult the surgeon but treat himself or, as I think the more colloquial expression is, he likes to keep a dog and bark himself; though I would say in that regard during the past three years the loudest barker was the former Minister for External Affairs to whom Deputy McGilligan was only a pale little echo.

I do not propose to go over the whole ground covered by Deputy McGilligan. In the course of the speech which I wish to make dealing with perhaps the more important aspects of this debate, I may touch on some of the matters which he raised. There is one statement which he made last night to which I would like to give a complete rebuttal. Deputy McGilligan, following the lead of Deputy Dillon, stated last night that this Government has lost £6,000,000 which was in the Grant Counterpart Fund, by reason of our failure to complete certain formalities in regard to that matter. Both Deputies alleged in that connection that they had reached agreement, I think, in October, 1950, or in the autumn of 1950, with the E.C.A. administration as to how the moneys from this Grant Counterpart Fund were to be applied. I wish to say that that statement is untrue. Tentative proposals in regard to the establishment of an agricultural institute and in relation to schemes for the more general utilisation of ground limestone were submitted by the Department of External Affairs before the change of Government to the E.C.A. mission in Dublin. There is not a scintilla of fact in what we have in the statements which we have heard from those Deputies, but the E.C.A. mission said this: that it was no use expecting that mission (the mission to Washington) to deal with proposals piecemeal and that a comprehensive scheme would have to be submitted covering the whole of the Grant Counterpart Fund. I can say categorically and, if necessary, the matter can be investigated by a committee of this House, that our predecessors did not submit the comprehensive proposals which the E.C.A. mission here informed them must be submitted before any question as to how this money was to be allocated between one scheme and another could be considered in Washington.

It has been said also that because of this failure to complete a comprehensive scheme the money has been lost. There is not a word of truth in that either. The whole of this sum is here in full in the Loan Counterpart Account. We are submitting detailed, and carefully considered proposals for the allocation and utilisation of the whole sum and we are fulfilling what the E.C.A. told our predecessors they ought to do. We are fulfilling the requirements which the E.C.A. told our predecessors were essential. We are submitting comprehensive proposals to Washington, and I have no reason to doubt that those proposals will meet with the acceptance of the appropriate authority there.

Before I go on to deal with the more fundamental issues in this debate, there are one or two announcements I should like to make so that the House may be aware of them when it comes to divide on the Bill. The first is this: sub-section (5) of Section 13 of the Bill makes provision for deferment until 1st July next of payment of the duty on the tobacco stock held by tobacco manufacturers on 2nd April. It was necessary to make this provision because the immediate effect of the increase in the excise duty might occasion hardship. From representations which have been made, however, I am satisfied that the period allowed for payment is too short, particularly in the case of the smaller manufacturers. I, accordingly, propose to extend the date by six months, to the 1st January, 1953.

Perhaps, having made that announcement I may take occasion to contradict a statement which was made by Deputy McGilligan. In this case Deputy McGilligan trotted after Deputy Corish, who alleged that provisions were included in this Finance Bill which would result in a substantial amount of money being handed over to the tobacco manufacturers. There is not a word of truth in that statement. I shall deal with the matter later but I wish to put it on record straight away while Deputy McGilligan's statement is fresh in my memory. The money being collected under Sections 12 and 13 of this Finance Bill will come into the Exchequer and will be used for the maintenance of the public services. It is true that the tobacco manufacturers have received permission to increase the price of cigarettes. The recommendation was, I think, originally made in the middle of last year that they should be permitted to increase the price of the cigarette by 2d. per packet of 20. That recommendation was made by the Prices Advisory Body, the chairman of which was a former Fine Gael Deputy in this House, later a Fine Gael Senator, subsequently Attorney-General during Mr. Costello's Coalition Government, and translated from that post to the Bench of the Supreme Court. I understand that he is a great personal friend of Deputy McGilligan's. Seated side by side with him are two representatives of Labour—one from those unions which are affiliated with the Trade Union Congress, Deputy Larkin's association—and the other a representative of those unions which are associated in the Congress of Irish Unions. There is also a businessman on the body and a person who was specially selected by Deputy Dillon, as Minister for Agriculture, to deal with questions of flour and bread subsidy when those were under his control. This person was selected although he was an income-tax officer. These five persons are the people who recommended that an increase of 2d. per packet of 20 cigarettes should be granted to the tobacco manufacturers. They made that recommendation, having examined the tobacco manufacturers' books and having heard evidence from the tobacco manufacturers and from other interested parties.

Now the question is whether they were right or wrong in granting that increase. That is the issue, and the only issue, that is raised by the statements of Deputy Corish and Deputy McGilligan. Were these people right or wrong—this judge of the Supreme Court, this high civil servant who was specially chosen for the particular task by Deputy Dillon, when Minister for Agriculture, this other person who might be a representative of the business community and the two persons representing the workers and the consumers generally? Were they justified or were they not when they made that recommendation? That is the net issue. If they were wrong in making that recommendation and if it was improper to act on their recommendation, then it was improper for them to have made it. What, in effect, is implied in the whole of these statements is that this justice of the Supreme Court and his colleagues in the Prices Advisory Body imposed an improper tax for some reason of their own. Because they have had some personal axe to grind, as Deputy McGilligan has suggested, they decided to recommend increases in the price of cigarettes which, according to Deputy McGilligan and Deputy Corish, puts something of the order of £2.6 million into the coffers of the tobacco manufacturers. Is that what the Opposition's friends have done; every member of the board, with one exception, was appointed by the previous Government on the special recommendation, among other things, of Deputy McGilligan and of Deputy Norton. Now that is the issue that is being raised in this House in this debate upon the Finance Bill, with which it has nothing to do; there is nothing in the Finance Bill that relates to that increase of 2d. per packet of 20 cigarettes.

I should like to mention that it is proposed to further extend the old age relief which is granted to persons who are existing on what is known as unearned or investment income. The concession is a mild one, and it is proposed under it to raise the limit of £500 to a limit of £600. That is so that the overriding income which will enable a person to get this concession in full must not exceed £600. At the present moment it is £500.

Having said all this, may I engage in a few brief reminiscences? Twenty years ago, on May 11th, 1932, the then newly elected Fianna Fáil Government introduced its first Budget into this House. That Budget initiated a social industrial and political revolution which gave to the people of this country the great housing schemes, the numerous industries, the wide range of social services which they enjoy to-day. Before that Budget was introduced—it is well for us to recall this, in view of some of the statements we have heard from the younger members of the Labour Party—old age pensions were payable at the rates to which they had been reduced by our predecessors, who then called themselves the Cumann na nGaedheal Government. That grave social injustice was ultimately redressed, and redressed with interest, by the Old Age Pensions Act of 1932, which Fianna Fáil introduced in Dáil Eireann on 21st April, 1932, within six weeks of taking office. We almost paralleled that achievement last year when we brought in the Old Age Pensions Act, 1951, the Act which Deputy Norton could not get through this House when he was Minister for Social Welfare, but which Dr. Ryan had no difficulty in getting through when he became Minister for Social Welfare after the change of Government.

That measure, the 1932 Old Age Pensions Act, was opposed by the present leader of the Fine Gael Party, who had been previously Minister for Local Government and Public Health in the old Cumann na nGaedheal Administration. Old age pensions had been his particular charge. I was about to say that he was the Minister responsible for bringing about the reduction in the old age pensions in 1923 or 1924, but I think I am wrong in that regard, and I let it pass. However, I can say this, that our Bill of 1932 was opposed by the present leader of the Fine Gael Party, because I think Deputy Mulcahy is still leader of the Fine Gael Party, in these terms:—

"Deputies must get very clearly into their minds that when we have a condition of affairs where we are spending one-eighth of the whole taxable revenue upon old age pensions, that whatever margin of hardship there may be among the class looking for old age pensions, as a result of the legislation that exists at the present moment there cannot be very much hardship as regards old age pensions when we are spending one-eighth of our whole taxable revenue upon them."

Deputy Hickey is going into the Division Lobby side by side with the gentleman responsible for that statement.

"Whatever hardship there is, certainly, in my opinion, does not warrant opening a door which is being opened by this particular measure here to bring in, on the old age pension list, every person over 70 years of age who can claim that he has no private income, no matter what his circumstances of living may be."

We have been hearing a lot about the means test and about broken promises, but I remember reading Deputy Costello's address in the general election of 1951—I also read the address of 1948 where it also appeared—in which there was a categorical statement that Fine Gael, if elected to office, was going to remove the means test. Here is a case where Deputy Mulcahy says that, even if a man has no private income, he should not be entitled to an old age pension, unless the circumstances of his home, the circumstances of his family are so penurious that he is entitled to claim public charity. Deputy Mulcahy said that and he is reported at column 36 of Volume 42 of the Official Debates. I hope that Deputies of the Labour Party will appreciate these words. In a little while, they will be jumping to Deputy Mulcahy's whip, obeying him as they have been obeying him ever since this Dáil. was elected, speaking when Deputy Sweetman gave them permission to speak and remaining, as Deputy Dillon told us, mute as mice when he bade them keep silent.

Look at the Taoiseach, holding down his head behind you.

How many years ago was that?

That 1932 Budget included no less than £1,550,000 for the provision of employment.

The Minister was only worth £1,000 a year then.

Before that no such provision was ever made, just as there had been no unemployment assistance code, no widows' and orphans' pensions, no children's allowances, only a very limited contribution in relief of rates on agricultural land, no agricultural wages board, no adequate housing grants or housing code, no tillage worth speaking of, no mineral development, no bog development, no cement factories, one foreign-owned, heavily-subsidised sugar factory as against the four Irish-owned factories we now have. At that time, there was no Erne scheme, no Liffey scheme, no Portarlington station, no Allenwood station, no modern hospitals except perhaps one, no real tuberculosis service, no free allowances for infected persons, no regional sanatoria, no Health Act, no Medical Treatment Act, no Aer Lingus, no Rineanna or Collinstown and no Irish Shipping.

And no pensions for Ministers.

What is the Minister quoting from?

That Budget——

Surely the Minister should tell us what he is quoting from.

Go back to Hyde Park.

You would not be allowed in there.

Deputy Cafferky must cease interrupting.

And the Minister must keep to the motion.

The Chair will look after that.

I was going to say— if some Deputies will have the manners to listen—that the Budget of 1932, which I had the high privilege to introduce on behalf of the first Fianna Fáil Government, opened the way for providing our people with all these things. Without that Budget, this programme of social and economic development which was initiated and accomplished during the first 16 years in which Fianna Fáil held office could not have been attempted.

Now I come to a pronouncement in regard to that Budget which I think is of particular relevance to this debate. How was that Budget received? I am quoting again from Volume 42, column 1492, of the Official Debates. The Deputy whom I am quoting stated:

"I said when this Budget was introduced that I thought, in respect of the principles on which it was founded, it was a good Budget. I have heard nothing in the course of these debates to change my opinion. I repeat that I believe the principles upon which the Budget is founded are sound principles and principles which are calculated to promote the welfare of this State. I do not think that any piece of legislation has encountered in the public Press a more extravagant barrage of misrepresentation than this Budget."

He did not foresee 1952.

"It has been trenchantly discussed by the Opposition but the criticism levelled against it here has been based upon its provisions. There is no doubt that, outside the House, it was deliberately sought to promote an atmosphere of panic. It was deliberately sought to suggest that the considerable burdens which were laid upon the people by way of direct taxation in this Budget were calculated to have certain results."

Now, who will say, having heard that passage, that history never repeats itself? Here we are, just 20 years after, and in regard to another Fianna Fáil Budget brought in in similar circumstances to meet a similar situation it can truly be said that scarcely any piece of legislation has encountered "in the public Press a more extravagant barrage of misrepresentation than this Budget." Furthermore, "there is no doubt that outside this House it was deliberately sought to suggest that the considerable burdens which were laid upon the people by way of direct taxation in this Budget were calculated to have certain results".

I ask the Chair to forgive me. I quoted the relevant volume and the column, but I have not given the speaker's name. The speaker whom I have quoted is the Deputy who has crawled back, begging forgiveness from Deputy Mulcahy that he should ever have left his spiritual abode. He is the Deputy about whom many are asking whether he is the prodigal son or only the fatted calf, to be sacrificed—as he was during the emergency—as soon as Deputy Seán MacEoin elects once more to eject him. The speaker whom I have quoted was then an Independent member, elected to Dáil Éireann for the first time, and boasting that he served no Party but only the people. The speaker, need I remind you, was no other than Deputy James Dillon.

Mind you, that was not all that Deputy Dillon had to say in his virgin youth before evil associates had corrupted him. He stated his reasons for supporting that Fianna Fáil Budget as follows:

"They have, I think"—

speaking of the Fianna Fáil Government—

"realised their duty to the poor; they have, I think, realised their duty to Christian society by their housing policy; they have realised their duty to public health, and to the children of the poor in their resolve to provide milk under the scheme adumbrated by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Department of Local Government. And to do that they had to raise extra revenue. I went into the Lobby and endorsed their action in doing these things, and I would go into the Lobby again to make it possible to raise the revenue to do these things"—

He is not going this time—

"because there is not the least use coming here and telling the Government that they do right in spending an extra £270,000 on pensions, £100,000 on milk, £600,000 on housing and £250,000 on the relief of rates, and that it is wrong to raise the money."

When we recall those words so aptly spoken in support of the Budget of 1932—and no less apt, I submit, when applied to this Budget of 1952—must we not deplore the great parliamentary talent since so misused and now so degraded that it has now no higher aim, no nobler purpose to serve and no better ambition than to outdo the contemptible buffoonery of Deputy Oliver Flanagan, the political love-child whom Deputy Dillon has foisted at last upon Fine Gael?

Yet, despite the fact that the schizoid element in his personality has been responsible for weird divagations since that day when he supported the Fianna Fáil Government and voted for a Fianna Fáil Taoiseach, posterity will be grateful to Deputy Dillon for his stout defence of the 1932 Budget. We shall remember his words and it will be recorded on his political tombstone that once at least in this House he spoke for virtue and right.

This earlier stand of Deputy Dillon side by side with Fianna Fáil for social progress and economic development must, I think, have been in the mind of Deputy Murphy from Clare when he spoke in this debate on Thursday last. Perhaps it might not be out of place here to felicitate ourselves on the fact that in Deputy Dr. Hillery and Deputy Murphy, Clare has contributed to reinforce the debating power of Dáil Éireann. Deputy Dr. Hillery's speech—which unfortunately was heard in a very thin House—in particular, manifested a freshness of outlook, a clarity of thought, and a power of expression which promises well for the future. Deputy Murphy's speech—perhaps because he is an older man—was rather more in the old style of parliamentary oratory, but it was effectively delivered and pleasing to listen to. It is quite true that he did not make the right points, and he may rather have depicted the picture as he would have liked it to be under Deputy Dillon than in fact it actually was. When, however, the Deputy betrayed an admiration for Deputy Dillon, it was exceedingly difficult to reconcile that admiration with his own argument that "money held abroad should be used to set up industries here".

Deputy Murphy, Deputy Dr. Hillery and the Taoiseach represent the people of Clare. The latter two represent one section, while Deputy Murphy represents another section. No doubt, the Fine Gael Deputy has also been in Ennis. He must know, therefore, of an industry there which gives a considerable amount of employment. He must know also how that industry was established under the aegis of Fianna Fáil, and how its establishment was opposed by the Fine Gael Party, which then, as now, headed the combined Opposition. I wonder if Deputy Murphy knows that the spearhead of that attack upon this Clare industry, upon this Ennis concern, was his idol Deputy Dillon. If Deputy Dillon had his way, the Braids Mill would not be working in Ennis to-day, and the 300 men and young women who are now earning a good living in that factory would have been driven abroad.

It has been suggested to me that we might allow the proceedings on the Finance Bill to conclude without interrupting now for Questions. I do not know what would be the view of the House.

That is agreed.

I was saying that Deputy Dillon had led the attack upon this industry, which had been newly established in Ennis. Deputy Dillon made the attack upon it in the hope that it would be closed down. That is what Deputy Dillon fought for and would have secured in 1937 if Fine Gael had defeated Fianna Fáil in the general election of that year. I am perfectly certain that Deputy Murphy would not have wanted that at the time; that he would not wish Ennis to be without Braids to-day and that he would not want the 300 persons who are in good employment in that industry to be thrown out on the streets. But that, I want to say, is what may happen in Ennis and in every other town in Ireland if we are unable to deal with this balance of payments problem. If we cannot overcome our difficulties in that regard, factories may have to close down because we cannot get and will not be able to procure the dollars and hard currency to pay for the cotton and other raw materials which the Ennis factory, like other factories in this country, must have, if they are to keep going.

As I have said, that is what we are fighting to prevent when we are facing up to this grave problem of the deficit on our balance of payments. Let me repeat, if that problem is not solved, if we do not restore the balance between our exports and imports, visible and invisible, if we continue to realise our savings in order to balance our account for consumer imports, it will inevitably happen that we shall leave ourselves without the means to carry on and our industries will have to shut down for lack of raw materials, so that there will be widespread unemployment.

Not only that, but we shall not even be able to pay for such wheat and other primary foodstuffs as we may have to import until Irish agricultural production is not merely restored to the 1938 level but, under this Government, raised far above it.

If we do not solve this balance of payments problem, this will be our inevitable fate: we shall not be able to import raw materials which our industries require to keep them going; not only that, but we shall not be able to pay for the foreign foodstuffs which, after the disastrous Dillon régime, we must import in greater measure than since 1939 to feed our people.

If we fail in our attack on this problem—I am repeating this statement so that everybody may know it and so that those who are criticising this Budget and criticising us because we are endeavouring in another sphere and another plane to deal with this balance of payments problem and so that every person in this House may know where he stands and what the country is facing—we shall have widespread unemployment, hardship and hunger. Even in Ennis—I wish Deputy Murphy were here to listen to me—we shall have unemployment, hardship and hunger if Deputy Dillon has his way to-day, as we should have had unemployment and emigration if he had had it in 1937 when he did his utmost, as I have said, to close the door upon the newly-established concern of Braids.

I know Deputy Murphy would not stand for that but, if he does not, let him keep clear of Deputy Dillon who, even in this debate, has described Braids and other industrial undertakings, which were established under Fianna Fáil, as "glorified relief works". Well, relief works or not— and they are not relief works—glorified or not, they are providing the people of this country with employment and one of things that Labour Deputies will have to answer for to their constituents in certain towns and villages in Ireland is why did they support in the Division Lobbies in this House Deputy Dillon and other members of the Fine Gael Party who have been opposed to our whole idea of industrial development.

Certainly not.

The Deputy says "certainly not". I do not know whether it is worth while dealing with the Deputy, but I know a passage in a speech made in this House by Deputy Dillon in which he referred to Irish industrial development as a gangrene upon Irish economy, when he sneered at Arthur Griffith and Arthur Griffith's phrase that Ireland in the pre-Treaty days was like a man who had only one arm, and when Arthur Griffith outlined what should be the object of all Irish Governments—to provide the Irish people with two arms wherewith to feed themselves and to defend themselves, if necessary— Deputy Dillon took hold of that phrase of Arthur Griffith and referred to it here in this House in terms of contempt and said that, so far as he was concerned, he would regard the industrial arm, if it were ever developed, as a gangrene upon the Irish body politic.

On this question of industrial development, Deputy Murphy and other Deputies, I know, other honest Deputies, are poles apart from Deputy Dillon. Deputy Murphy, in this debate, declared that Irish money should be used to set up industries here. Deputy Dillon does not profess to disagree with that to-day. He dare not do that. After the experience of 16 years of Fianna Fáil régime he dare not do that, but he did in the past disagree with that and, in his heart of hearts, he has never accepted that policy, the policy of bringing back moneys held abroad and using them to set up Irish industries here. On Thursday, as I have reminded the House, he described as "glorified relief works" the Irish industries which were established in this country as a result of the incentives and inducements offered by the Fianna Fáil Government. Those industries, as we have them to-day, with all the employment which they are giving, represent in the main external assets which were realised by their owners and reinvested in the industries which Deputy Dillon, let me repeat again, regards merely as "glorified relief schemes".

Over the period from 1931, until war intervened, external assets were repatriated in a substantial way under Fianna Fáil and were reinvested in establishing industries in this country. The Opposition did not begin this policy of repatriation. We repatriated the assets, but we repatriated them here in a capital form, in a form of plant and equipment and buildings. We did not repatriate those assets in a form of consumable goods, in the form of bread which has long been eaten, of tobacco which has long been smoked, of petrol which has long been used up.

The individual owners of the assets which were repatriated under our programme did not realise them, nor did we compel the banks to realise them in order to pay for consumer goods like wheat, oats, maize, tobacco, petrol and petroleum products, goods on which, under the Coalition, most of the Marshall Aid loan was spent.

What about the day-old chicks?

You spent most of it.

The Deputy is a nice boy, jovial, good tempered; but he just does not know what he is talking about.

I know who spent the money.

Many of the people who had investments in foreign securities sold those securities and reinvested the proceeds in the newly-established cement factories, the newly-built beet-sugar factories, the new boot factories, clothing factories and the 100 or so other industries in which, over the period from the time Fine Gael left office until the outbreak of war in 1939, no less than 40,000 persons secured industrial employment for the first time.

They did this because of the encouragement and incentives which, from the moment it took office, Fianna Fáil offered them to develop Irish industry. Among those concessions was a very special one in respect of tax on investment income which was offered in the 1932 Budget to induce Irish investors to repatriate their external assets and reinvest their capital in new Irish industries. When announcing this concession I said—the reference is Volume 41, column 1504:

"With a view to encouraging our own citizens to invest their capital in Saorstát industry..."

We were then Saorstát Éireann before we established the new State.

"...we are, therefore, including in the Finance Bill a clause providing for an allowance for income-tax purposes of 20 per cent. in respect of dividends arising from subscriptions to any issue of capital made after the passing of the Bill by a Saorstát public company which satisfies certain conditions. These will be, broadly, that the company's trade is carried on mainly in the Saorstát, that the company is managed and controlled in the Saorstát, and that the whole of the issue of the capital to which the concession applies is devoted either to the establishment of a new business or the extension of an existing business."

In the course of his speech, Deputy Corish, in a demagogic attempt to mislead the people as to what is involved in the Finance Bill, alleged that under it a considerable sum would be given to tobacco manufacturers. I have already explained to the House before Deputy Corish came in what body was responsible for this increase of 2d. on the standard packet of 20 cigarettes which is being given to the tobacco manufacturers. Deputy Corish surely must have read the Finance Bill before he came to speak in this Second Reading debate. He must have read Sections 12 and 13.

Deputy Corish is much too intelligent not to have understood the purport and intention of these sections. He is much too intelligent, therefore, not to know that there was not a scintilla of truth in the statement which he made here in so far as the Finance Bill is concerned.

I asked the Minister a simple question.

He must know that not one penny of the increased duty on tobacco leaf which will be collected under Sections 12 and 13 of this measure will go to the tobacco manufacturers. He must know that the increased duty on tobacco will be collected by the Revenue Commissioners and paid into the Exchequer. He must know that it will flow out of the Exchequer to defray the cost of the Social Welfare Bill, of the new increased children's allowances, of the increased old age pensions scheme, of the increases in the remuneration of the Civil Service, the Garda and the Army which were granted last year— but for which Deputy McGilligan and the Coalition made no provision.

Can I ask the same question again?

I am not going to give way. The Deputy did not give way. Deputy Corish must know all this but, instead of standing honestly on the facts, he prefers to mislead the public in regard to the position of the Irish tobacco manufacturers. When, however, he is challenged on his own ground and he is compelled to admit that certain of these manufacturers, the Irish manufacturers, are in a grave position, he says he would help them in another way. No doubt if we found some other way Deputy Corish would say he did not agree with that other way either, and still another would have to be found and so he would have us chasing our tails in an attempt to find some way of satisfying the purblind prejudice with which the Deputy and his Party regard all Irish industrialists. I am glad to see that Deputy Norton is in the House.

I have been here all the time.

I have only awakened to the Deputy's presence now.

No wonder you were called a "senile delinquent" by Deputy Cogan.

Take, for instance, the Labour Party's attitude to the concession in regard to income derived from investment in new Irish industries, which was granted in the 1932 Budget, and to which I have referred. One would have thought that the Party which protests that its first concern is to provide greater opportunities for employment in this country would have welcomed this concession with enthusiasm. That was not their attitude, however. If one could not say, in truth, that they were openly hostile to the proposal—they dared not be that—they certainly received it with coldness and covert hostility, which Deputy Norton, as reported in Volume 42, column 1427, expressed in the following terms:—

"In this section, dealing with preferential income-tax for Irish firms, there seems to be a belief implied that this will attract capital to Irish industries, and that that will result in an extension and development of our industries, and perhaps the employment of more people in them. I am greatly afraid, like Deputy Blythe, that this is a step in the dark, and nobody can place any dependence that this development will take place. I am greatly afraid that it is simply dissipating revenue which, if collected by the Exchequer and used on behalf of the community, would bring about much more tangible results to the community than the results which will accrue from a policy of that kind."

Very sound words.

"I am greatly afraid, like Deputy Blythe, that this is a step in the dark." We all know the admiration with which Deputy Norton regards the British Tory Chancellor of the Exchequer. He has not tried something like that. That has not been tried in Great Britain and therefore it was, so far as we were concerned, a step in the dark, a novel step which had not been tried anywhere else. We tried it here and it succeeded. It did what we wanted. It induced people who held investments in British industries and in British gilt-edge securities to realise those investments and bring them back and invest them in Irish industry in order to give employment to our people.

The Irish are still leaving Ireland at a greater rate than ever before. The Celt is going.

I know, of course, that that concession did not appeal to Deputy Norton, but it was a very useful concession so far as the Irish investor was concerned. It helped to overcome the doubts which were fostered in his mind by such statements as this —I quote from Volume 42 and column 1428, again from Deputy Norton— when we were just starting out to develop Irish industry here; when we were starting out to repatriate the Irish assets held abroad, to repatriate them in the form of capital goods that could be used to provide employment here and could be used reproductively to compensate this country for any loss of income derived from these foreign investments that had been realised.

Here is what Deputy Norton said when we were starting out, taking the leaps in the dark, blazing the trail, setting up cement factories, sugar factories, food and clothing factories in opposition to Deputy Norton——

That is a deliberate lie.

——and when he was sneering and jeering at our efforts——

The Deputy must withdraw the expression "deliberate lie".

I withdraw it and substitute the word "falsehood", but outside I repeat it.

——when the Deputy was telling us that these new industries we were initiating and which, in the course of years, were to provide employment for many thousands of our people, were back-room factories, kitchen factories and underground factories. These were factories which, from the point of view of industrial development anywhere, were of a high level. Here is what the Deputy had to say when we were taking this leap in the dark:—

"After all, when we come to examine the tariff policy, when we come to survey the whole industrial possibilities of the country, the plain fact remains that we are a small country, a sparsely populated country, and that so far we have not resident within the country the ingredients nor, so far as employers are concerned, the desire for any great industrial expansion."

Mr. Faintheart! If Deputy Norton had his way he would be like Deputy Dillon. We would still be a one-armed man. The policy of Arthur Griffith would still be very far from realisation and any industrial development would, in the mind of Deputy Norton, as in the mind of Deputy Dillon, be a gangrene in the Irish economy.

Tell us about your opposition to the Shannon scheme.

I know Deputy MacBride must show himself alive after the dressing-down Deputy McGilligan gave him this morning. That quotation and a recollection of many other similar statements from the same sources leads me to say that if anyone believes Deputy Norton and certain other of his associates, such as Deputy Davin, were ever wholeheartedly in favour of repatriating external assets to establish industries in this country, they should read the debates between 1932 and 1939 and they will come to quite a different conclusion.

In questioning the proposals to offer incentives to Irish industries to risk their capital in Irish enterprise, Deputy Norton was supported in that debate, as he has been supported in this debate, by Deputy McGilligan, who declared that the new proposal introduced "a very vicious principle": the statement will be found in column 1948. Deputy McGilligan held that a rebate of 20 per cent. in income-tax derived from investments in Irish industry was a very vicious principle. That was the Deputy who declares that it would be a good thing for Irish industry and Irish economy generally if the officers of the Revenue Commissioners were permitted to go sniffing and snooping in a man's business and a man's till to find any money that might be lying about the house. That was the statement that Deputy McGilligan made when we were speaking on the general Budget Resolution. However, it is all very well. According to Deputy McGilligan, we can send our income-tax collectors into a man's house and compel him to open his safe and till. But, in 1932, the proposal which I have mentioned of giving this inducement to people to bring back the money which they held abroad in order that they might invest it in Irish industries was virtually denounced by Deputy McGilligan as immoral on the grounds—I quote from columns 1984-5—that: "It is seeking to draw into this country people whom one expects it would be impossible to draw into the country if they had a realisation of the true conditions or the conditions that are likely to operate here before the autumn is over."

On a point of order. Are we discussing the 1932 Finance Bill or the 1952 Finance Bill?

It is 20 years ago.

Have we not been discussing the 1932 Finance Bill for the past hour?

The Minister is replying to the argument that the Government are not anxious to repatriate external assets.

Is he speaking as Minister for Finance or as an ordinary company director?

As Minister for Finance. It is only in his capacity as Minister for Finance that a point of order can be directed.

Deputy McGilligan said: "It is seeking to draw into this country people whom one expects it would be impossible to draw into the country if they had a realisation of the true conditions or the conditions that are likely to operate here before the autumn is over." That is a very significant statement. We had already decided that we were going to withhold from Great Britain the assets that were being expatriated by Deputy McGilligan's Government under the secret agreement of 1923 whereby £5,250,000 was being directed from this country and exported to Great Britain. We were preparing to remove the Oath from the Statute Book.

Does that arise under the 1952 Finance Bill?

The Bill to amend the Constitution and to remove the Oath was introduced in March, 1932. We were doing all this, and what was Deputy McGilligan saying? He was saying: "Look out, boys. Do not bring your money back. There will be trouble in this country in the future." He said it was immoral to seek to draw into this country "people whom one expects it would be impossible to draw into the country if they had a realisation of the true conditions or the conditions that are likely to operate here before the autumn is over". He was telling the Irish person who had money invested abroad to keep his money abroad. "We are going to cause such a turmoil in this country that it would not be safe to bring it back home and reinvest it in Ireland."

You brought the Jewman over.

That was the purpose which Deputy McGilligan had in mind. By his fearsome suggestions as to the future conditions in this country he was doing his utmost to defeat the aim of the concession. As I have said, we were seeking to induce our citizens to bring back their liquid capital and invest it here. Deputy McGilligan and his Party were doing their best to deter them. Fortunately for this country they did not succeed in their aim. The savings of the Irish people were increasingly invested in newly-established Irish industries—industries which were Irish in every sense of the word for they were Irish-owned and Irish-controlled.

Tell us about the millions of pounds worth of damage which was done with the gun by your Party.

This tendency of investment continued over the years until not only were the annual savings of the people this invested but, in increasing measure from year to year, individuals who had capital invested abroad began to realise their foreign investments and to put their proceeds into the new Irish industries. What were the consequences? There were two consequences, one financial and the other political. The financial consequence was that our net holdings of external assets began to decrease because our people were beginning to bring them back. They were being repatriated in an orderly and sensible way, and invested in our industrial undertakings. The foreign investments of individuals were being replaced by corresponding investments in Irish industry. The assets were not being dissipated in the purchase of consumer goods. Now, as I have said, that was the financial and economic consequence of our policy. What was the political consequence? As soon as this tendency began to manifest itself, how did Fine Gael react to this important economic development? They have endeavoured in this debate and elsewhere to induce the people to believe that they have always been in favour of realising external assets and investing them here.

The truth is that nothing could be further from the facts. Let us hear Deputy Dillon who was then, as now, a Front Bench member of Fine Gael. Let us hear Deputy Dillon as he spoke a few years ago in June, 1939. I am quoting from Volume 76, column 864, of the Official Report:—

"One of the grimmest features of the present situation is that the banks' holdings and securities outside this country have been steadily dwindling. The net external assets of the joint stock banks of this country began to dwindle three years ago and they have never stopped. Up to last year they were dwindling slowly and steadily. In the last six months they have begun to fall catastrophically, and the Minister for Finance knows it."

I happened to be the Minister for Finance. Deputy Dillon goes on:—

"Remember this, that as they fall one of our most valuable invisible exports falls with them—the interest that we got on those investments from the countries where we had investments. Those external assets are to this country the same property as that which makes Great Britain wealthy in her own right. What is it that makes Great Britain the greatest mercantile State in the world? What is it that gave her trade in all five Continents, and makes her to-day the only rival of the greatest military power in Europe? It is the external assets of her citizens. We were one of the only small countries in the world that had wealth comparable with that wealth of England, and we see it dwindling rapidly as it is dwindling to-day."

Let us pause to consider, in the light of that statement, things which have been said in this debate in regard to the repatriation of our external assets. To the tune of £100,000,000 external assets have been realised. To the tune of £46,000,000 external debt has been contracted which neutralises a corresponding value of sterling external assets. £46,000,000 of Irish capital, they say, has been repatriated. I say frittered away, wasted and squandered to the greater extent. Not all of it for, damn it all, you cannot spend £146,000,000 in three years and have nothing to show for it. In respect of the greater portion of it you have nothing to show for it—not a factory. Where is there one factory built out of that £146,000,000 of assets? Where is the employment that £146,000,000 has given?

Mr. O'Higgins

Thousands of houses were built.

There were 80,000 built under Fianna Fáil from 1932 to 1948.

A Deputy

How many were knocked down by Fianna Fáil?

We were told by Deputies that it did not matter whether we spent these assets, that we could fling them away in millions of dollars in an afternoon if we wished, and that we could borrow, borrow and borrow. Deputy Dillon has been the great advocate of borrowing. Let us see what Deputy Dillon had to say on that again in 1939. At column 861 of Volume 76 of the Official Report for the year 1939, he says:—

"Deputies often here speak quite cheerfully of borrowing to balance the Budget to meet services that they think very necessary and desirable."

Have we not been told that we ought to borrow to balance this Budget even by Deputy Dillon? Deputy Dillon goes on to say:—

"Do they ever recall that every £ you borrow imposes an annual charge upon the Budget? Do they realise that, in 1924, our annual debt charge was £120,000? That is all the public debt of this country cost us in interest charges. In 1937 the annual debt charge is £2,377,000, and will very shortly approach £3,000,000."

When we left office in 1948 the charge for public debt upon the Central Fund was £3,600,000, and this year the charge upon the Central Fund will be £8,000,000. Virtually all of the difference between this £3,600,000 and the £8,000,000 was to meet obligations and commitments which were entered into by our predecessors. When you come to think not merely of the debt on the Central Fund but of the debt for which provision must be made in the voted services, the amount required, which was something like £4,000,000 in 1938, has risen to £10,000,000 in 1952. As Deputy Dillon says: "Let us not forget that every £1 you borrow imposes an annual charge upon the Budget."

This is Deputy Dillon, whose opinion of our people and of their capacities we all know. They could not, he said, develop Irish industries. Irish industries would be a gangrene on the Irish economy. Having declared—I quote his words—"that democracy is but poorly qualified to deal with finance and financial matters", Deputy Dillon went on to describe to the House the consequences of pursuing an inflationary policy. We have been hearing a great deal in this debate that what this country is suffering from is not inflation but deflation and that, therefore, the Minister for Finance ought to definitely budget on an inflationary basis. Let us hear what the gentleman who has been pressing that course upon us had to say about it in 1939:—

"Therefore, there rests upon the public men of our country the responsibility to deal capably with these financial matters and not to bring the people into danger of seduction by the hare-brained inflator who is often an honest, decent fellow trying to deal with dynamite"—

He must have had the former Minister for External Affairs in mind—

"the nature of which he does not understand. But once you get inflation going you reach a stage that no Government can control. Do not imagine that if we had inflation in the morning its effects would be seen immediately and that the danger it would be and the injuries it would inflict on the country would be seen at once. If we had inflation in the morning it would be a pleasant experience for many of us. We would find that all our assets, all that we possess would have an increased money value. More money would be spent and there would be at once a relaxation of the strain that at present exists. It is only when we are hell-bent for disaster that we will begin to feel the real evil of it and then we can do nothing to check it."

And thus he continued through several columns of the debate, painting to this House the dangers which were inherent in an inflationary policy, and the difficulties of arresting inflation once it had been induced. He went on to dilate upon this theme, digressing only to say this—a much too precious a gem not to go on record—it will be found in the Official Report, where he dilated on the unwisdom of declaring a Republic in these terms:—

"Enemies, aye, and misguided friends, of his country have often said in public that they wished this country could be induced to declare a Republic.

I have heard them say it. The very individuals whom Deputies on the benches opposite think are clinging to this country and desirous of binding it with bonds of steel to Great Britain are, in fact, at the moment, clamouring to get this country to declare a Republic so that they could enjoy its subsequent humiliation."

Words taken from Deputy James Dillon in the days when Deputy Dillon was living a lie.

Mr. O'Higgins

We will have the Minister's court martial speech now?

Finally, towards the end of the speech, at columns 872 and 873, he stated the aim he had in view when he made the speech, and he stated that aim in these words:—

"I have been trying to open the Taoiseach's eyes to what he is doing, in the hope that even at the eleventh hour he may have the courage to restore to us that economic independence founded on solvency, without which political independence can never be enjoyed in this country."

How does this relate to the Finance Bill?

Because we are endeavouring and we have the courage to try to restore to this country "that economic independence founded on solvency, without which political independence can never be enjoyed". That is why this statement of Deputy Dillon is relevant.

Mr. O'Higgins

Have the courage to face an election.

The Deputy is very anxious for an election.

Mr. O'Higgins

Very anxious.

Very well. Let the Deputy make a test case of it. He is a good guinea pig. Let him go down to Laois-Offaly and resign his seat. We will try the experiment on the Deputy.

Mr. O'Higgins

I am willing to do it any time if the Minister will do the same.

Order! The Minister for Finance on the Second Reading.

Mr. O'Higgins

Will the Minister do the same? I will do it to-morrow morning if the Minister will do the same.

I am quite certain I have the confidence of my constituents and I do not see why I should put them or myself to the unnecessary trouble and expense of contesting an election. If Deputy O'Higgins is so doubtful about his position let him put it to the test.

Mr. O'Higgins

I will write to the Ceann Comhairle to-day if you will do the same.

The Minister for Finance on the Second Reading of the Finance Bill.

I am sorry for the interruption.

Mr. O'Higgins

You would lose your big car, you know.

I was about to say that these were not the only warnings on the risks involved in borrowing and the perils of inflation which Deputy Dillon uttered before he joined Deputy Oliver James Flanagan in the Monetary Reform Party. Speaking on the Finance Bill in 1939, for instance, at column 363 of Volume 76, he said:—

"A responsible Government, in addition to financing the day-to-day requirements of our people, is under a heavy obligation to make provision for reserves against contingencies that they cannot control in the future."

So you are budgeting for a surplus.

It has been alleged against me that I am over-budgeting. One of the grounds upon which that allegation is founded is that I have included a sum of £3,000,000 to cover the costs of the Social Welfare Bill, which the Opposition Deputies would not let the House pass to-day, and, in addition, other unforeseen contingencies which may arise in respect of other current services. Deputy Dillon, speaking in 1939, stated that a responsible Government is under a heavy obligation to make provision for reserves against contingencies that they cannot control in the future.

We are well aware, because of our experience of public life, because of our experience of public finance and because of our year-to-year experience in this House that before this financial year ends provision will have to be made for some expenditure which was not foreseen when the Budget was being prepared, and we have included in our Budget therefore not only the provision to cover the cost of the Social Welfare Bill, amounting to about £1,800,000, but also £1,200,000 for these unforeseen contingencies which may materialise in the course of the year. We are attacked now because we have done that by the very man who, in 1939, was telling us that there was a heavy obligation upon us to make provision for reserves against contingencies which we could not control in the future. He hammered that home in these words:

"I say that if a country finds itself in a position in which there are no resources left, and if it finds that, by the action of a third party, it can be launched into irretrievable disaster, we are, in effect, bankrupt, because we have not got the reserves that a solvent institution should have.

"Four years ago"—

he plumed himself—

"we foresaw that if we went on living on those savings"—

these were the external assets which we were repatriating—

"while you were earning nothing to add to your savings, your reserves one day would come to an end: and, four years ago, we said that if you continue until your reserves come to an end, that will mean bankruptcy— national bankruptcy."

For once Deputy Dillon spoke the truth —if you continue until your reserves come to an end that will mean bankruptcy, national bankruptcy. That is the policy which the Opposition are urging the Government of this country to pursue. The Opposition are asking us to reduce the State and the people into a condition of national bankruptcy.

You should be locked up for saying that.

I would like to have the decision of the Irish people on that, and perhaps I may have it. That is what the Opposition are trying to do. That is what they were trying to do with all the money that they squandered over the three years. Think of all the obligations they have left to us; the commitments for which they made no provision; the obligations we now have to honour and the taxation we now have to impose in order to honour them.

We left you £32,000,000.

We have this statement of a national bankruptcy, then, coming from Deputy Dillon, who boasted a couple of weeks ago that he spent millions of dollars in one afternoon. He went on to describe how money could be raised by profligate politicians. Let the Opposition listen now to what I am about to say. Let them listen to what Deputy Dillon said in 1939 and see how Deputy Dillon mapped out the way that we now wish to go. Here is what he said:

"We have three methods of getting it. We can borrow it,"—

that is what you have been doing—

"we can save it,"—

that is what you have not been doing,—

"or we can print it"—

that is what Deputy MacBride is urging upon us.

"Can we borrow it?"—

asked Deputy Dillon.

"We can borrow it only if we find someone to lend it. Now it is important for this House to understand this, that those who have money to lend do not read the speeches that are made in this House. They go to the Revenue Accounts, and they examine the economic state of the country from the official returns. The economic statements or the economic arguments advanced in this House weigh little with them. They are skilled financiers, and their job is the examination of national accounts with a view to determining the solvency of any State which seeks money on the public money market."

In Deputy Dillon's view it would be impossible for Fianna Fáil to borrow. That is what he was trying to say. He was trying to imply that we were not in a position to borrow because, as he said, the skilled financiers would pay very little attention to what we say unless the economic facts back up our statements. Of course Deputy Dillon was not right when he said we could not borrow. The skilled financiers, whom he was praising then as he is condemning them now, did examine the revenue returns, did see how we were handling the public finances, and as a result they lent us, between 1932-33 and 1947-48 in public loans, all of them with one exception, the first public loan, fully subscribed, £51,316,000. It was all spent on building up the capital equipment of the country with one exception. In 1938 we floated the Financial Agreement Loan for £10,000,000 at an interest of 3¾ per cent., and we floated that loan in order to wind up whatever commitments we might have been morally bound to meet as a result of the 1923 secret agreement. The rest of the money was borrowed for purposes of national development, for the development of the Erne and the Liffey and of bogs, for the building of houses, the establishment of the Industrial Credit Company and the Irish Sugar Company, and buying up the Belgian concern which had the sugar-making monopoly in this country before the Fianna Fáil Government took over. That is what the skilled financiers who studied the economic position did for us. It was not, however, how they viewed the record of our predecessors. The last loan floated by the Coalition was a dismal failure. I have been twitted for not floating a loan. It has been alleged here that we would not be in these difficulties if we had floated a loan.

I realise, everybody realises, that nobody will lend money to a disorderly concern whose finances are subject to disorganisation and dislocation. We have been putting the public finances in order. When the people realise that the country will be run properly and decently, then, I am perfectly certain, our citizens will be no less ready in the year 1952 to lend us money for national purposes than they were in the year 1938 when they lent us £10,000,000 at an interest of 3¾ per cent. We want a great deal more from them this year but I have not any doubt that when this Budget goes through and the honest, industrious, thrifty people of the country know that the public finances are at last in safe responsible hands we will get the capital we require.

Is that an indication that you are going to resign?

Just let us assume that Deputy Norton's prognostications will be fulfilled and that we will not get the money. Let me put it in this way which is perhaps a better way of putting it: suppose that the Finance Bill is not carried; suppose there is a change of Government and we have got to hand back under the Constitution to our successors of Fine Gael— mind, it will be a one-Party Government this time. Make no mistake about that. That is what is being manæuvred for now. There will be no plums for Irish Labour or National Labour this time and we gather that the honest principled Deputies in the Labour Party do not want the plums —suppose we had a Fine Gael Government back in office and they could not borrow because they will not be able to borrow after the sort of speeches they made here in this House in this debate. The dismal failure of their last loan shows that the people have not any confidence in their administration. They have told us in this debate that they will not tax. Deputy Costello said that he was going to repeal the taxes in the Finance Bill. They cannot borrow. If they do borrow, think about what Deputy Dillon said the consequences of that would be.

Then where are they going to get the money to carry on the public services? Let me come back to Deputy Dillon and his three methods of raising money. He said: "We can borrow it, we can save it"—they are not going to save it—"or we can print it". They cannot borrow, they will not tax, so they are thrown back on the third device of printing. Let us hear what Deputy Dillon had to say in that regard. It is very relevant to the issue because if we cannot tax we must find some kind of currency, whatever validity it may have outside this country, to persuade the people to go on working. Here is what Deputy Dillon said (column 367, Volume 176):

"Where can we hope to borrow? Does not the Minister know that if we do print, the first reaction of printing will be very acceptable to the bulk of the people? It is only when the damage of uncontrollable inflation is well under way that the true consequences of that course of action will become manifest, and it will then be too late to stop it. To bring any democracy within the reach of the strong temptation to inflate by printing currency ——"

That is what is behind all the attacks on the Central Bank.

"—— is one of the greatest crimes that a Minister for Finance can commit, because he draws them into a temptation the dangers of which are absolutely impossible to explain in theory to the mass of the voting public—the full dangers of which the voting public can never learn except by experience. It would destroy the entire economic fabric of this State and make it impossible for any combination afterwards to re-establish our position. Is it not true that the longer you go on spending more than the national income permits, the harder it is to effect the savings that are necessary to restore stability?"

That is Deputy Dillon's answer given in advance to the policy which Deputy MacBride has been advocating, not only as a private Deputy, as I suppose I may almost call him, in opposition, but also as Minister for External Affairs in the Coalition Government. He wanted to be free to print the money. That is what Deputy Dillon in 1939 said would be the consequences of adopting Deputy MacBride's policy.

Is the Minister not now accepting Deputy Dillon's policy of 1938-39, using Deputy Dillon to justify his present-day policy?

I am using Deputy Dillon to show the absurdities into which the Opposition have led themselves. We have been hearing a great deal about the balance of payments problem. We were hearing something about the balance of payments problem from Deputy Costello in 1948 when, as reported in the public Press:—

"Mr. Costello said that the adverse balance of payments has grown to an extent which must cause anybody who thinks about it for one moment or looks at the figures the utmost alarm for our economic and financial stability."

Deputy McGilligan who spoke here to-day, speaking, I was going to say, this time last year—of course, this time last year was the middle of May and the general election was on——

Mr. O'Higgins

That was the time you were saying that you would not tax tobacco.

The Deputy had better wait and listen to what Deputy McGilligan was saying last year. It is much more relevant, and I assume that the Deputy has some faith in what Deputy McGilligan says. Of course, it is an innocent faith. He has still to be disabused of his confidence in Deputy McGilligan, but he will not be long before he finds out as Deputy MacBride found him out this morning. As I was saying, speaking last year on the 2nd May, in the course of his Budget statement, Deputy McGilligan said this in regard to the balance of payments:—

"Only if the gap in the balance of payments is narrowed so that external disinvestment is balanced by additional home investment—rather than by excessive consumption—can we be satisfied that as a nation we are making ends meet and not wasting our past accumulations. One of the great benefits conferred by the possession of external assets is ability to ride out periods like the present of exceptional difficulty and stress, but this external mass of manæuvre is the mainstay of our economic independence."

Later on, he went on to say this:—

"Making all allowance for the exceptional conditions now obtaining, it is to be feared that we are not producing and earning enough to pay our way. The implication is obvious. We cannot have both consumption and capital development on the present scale unless we save more and produce more."

That is what Deputy Dillon's view was about this question of the balance of payments in 1939. "It is plain," he said, "to the observant that, unless we correct the adverse trade balance, and correct it soon, we are going to have a crash."

"We are going to have a crash," thundered Deputy Dillon in 1939, when the decline in the value of Irish net external assets during the whole period from 1933 to 1938 was about £11,000,000.

Now let me repeat that this £11,000,000 of net external assets over the period 1932 to 1938 has been invested in the sugar factories, the cement factories, in turf development, electrical development, boot factories, clothing factories and cotton weaving, and in the new industries which had sprung up over that five-year period. The plant and the equipment in which this £11,000,000 had been invested was there. It was visible to the eye. The industries were easy to see. They were working and giving employment, unlike—this is the point I want to make—the mythical investments which the Coalition allege they made out of the Marshall Aid money. The £11,000,000 of external assets which we repatriated had not gone up, as I have said, in smoke. They are not spent on tobacco or on foreign wheat or on maize or petrol, as the bulk of the Marshall Aid millions were spent by the Coalition. Nevertheless—this is the point, again, that I want to make—out of Deputy Dillon's own mouth, and there is nothing like convicting a man out of his own mouth——

It is a pity he is not here.

It is a great pity but he will be more careful about what he says in the future. He said this:—

"With the disappearance of every £1,000,000 (of external assets)"—

he declared—

"our problem with regard to the balance of trade becomes more complicated."

Is not that precisely the experience which we have had over the past four years? First of all, the adverse trade balance of 1948 was, I think, £20,000,000. In 1949 it went up again, and in 1950 it jumped to £30,000,000, and last year it was £61.6 million.

Does not that prove—I always like to give credit to a Deputy where credit is due, even to Deputy Dillon—the truth of the statement which he made in 1939, that "the disappearance of every £1,000,000 of external assets made our problem with regard to the balance of trade more complicated"? It becomes more complicated unless you reinvest those assets in a form which will readily, and at an early date, replace the income which you lost when you repatriated those external assets, that is the income which you had previously used to balance your trade. That is the only circumstance in which your position will not become more complicated with every £1,000,000 of external assets that you use, that is if you use them productively in this country to make the things which formerly you had to import, thereby giving employment to the people, then you will not be the loser but the gainer.

Now, I have pointed out that the £11,000,000 which we had repatriated over this five-year period had all been invested reproductively. As I have told the House, it was invested in sugar factories, cement factories, boot factories, in turf development and in electrical development and, quite frankly, in encouraging tillage so that we might be able to relieve ourselves of the necessity of relying utterly on imported wheat and foreign bread.

In what terms did Deputy Dillon, who professed to see a crash unless the adverse trade balance were redressed, refer to the measures which I have told you the Fianna Fáil Government took to redress that balance by reinvesting Irish capital here at home, by employing Irish workers and using Irish skill to reduce the imports of those commodities which we could produce here for ourselves? When Fianna Fáil was encouraging the Irish people to invest their liquid assets in the land of Ireland, in producing bread for themselves and sugar for themselves, and all the things which we are able to get from our own soil, what was Deputy Dillon's attitude towards us then? Listen to this, and then you will understand why, during his period of office as Minister for Agriculture, agricultural production in this country failed even to reach the 1938 figures:

"Beet, wheat and peat" sneered Deputy Dillon—I quote from column 1821 of Volume 76:—

"Beet has gone up the spout, peat has gone up the spout and wheat has imposed on our people an annual burden of £2,500,000."

Mark this:

"Beet has gone up the spout, peat has gone up the spout"—

and we can visualise him jumping for joy as he rolled round the words like a sweet savour in his mouth—

"and wheat has imposed on our people an annual burden of £2,500,000."

Now, that is what Deputy Dillon was saying in July, 1939. That is how Deputy Dillon was chanting and ranting in July, 1939, less than two months before the Second World War broke out. But during that war Deputy Dillon was damn glad to feed himself on Irish grown wheat and Irish made sugar and to warm himself with Irish peat.

Deputy Dillon thought that Irish food such as wheat and beet should not be grown from 1939 to 1945. One fact I think he never forgot was that he owed his comfort, as he owed his safety, to the policy which Fianna Fáil had initiated and pursued against his vehement opposition from 1933 to 1939. He never forgot this, and when Deputies of the National Labour Party betrayed their trust and put Deputy Dillon into office, he used his power, as Minister for Agriculture, to discourage tillage, and to discourage the growing of wheat and beet and the development of our full resources, as the Deputies in the Fine Gael Party are doing to-day.

Mr. O'Higgins

They are not doing that.

Deputies of the Fine Gael Party have been speaking at public meetings and telling the people that they must not grow beet——

—and telling the people that they must not grow wheat.

Deputy O'Sullivan has used a certain expression and he must withdraw it.

I withdraw it.

Deputy Hughes spoke at a meeting in Carlow recently at which he discouraged people to grow beet.

That is an absolute lie.

The Minister is looking for an alibi.

Did Deputy O'Sullivan withdraw the remark which he made about the Minister for Finance?

Mr. Walsh

Deputy Hughes has said that I stated a lie.

Before the Chair rules on that I wish to say that a Deputy has said on this side of the House that he has not made a statement which the Minister for Agriculture asserts he did make. It is customary in this House, if a Deputy says he did not make a certain statement, for his assertion to be accepted.

Mr. Walsh

The Deputy has stated that I uttered a lie. That is wrong.

It is customary in this House that when a Deputy denies making a statement a Minister should accept his denial.

He was at a public meeting, the general purpose of which was to encourage people not to grow beet.

A Deputy

That is false.

Will the Minister withdraw the statement?

It is usual when a Deputy denies making a certain statement that that denial should be accepted. I ask the Minister for Lands to accept the Deputy's denial.

Mr. Walsh

Very well, Sir.

The Deputy cannot deny that he was at a public meeting for that purpose.

There is one very good way of settling this matter. Perhaps Deputy Hughes would tell the House what acreage of beet he contracted to grow last year when the Coalition Government was in office and what acreage he has contracted to grow this year.

The estimates are different this year.

I will give the Minister the information he is seeking. I have grown 20 acres of beet every year ever since the Carlow beet factory was established. I am growing one acre this year, and I will tell the Minister why; because of the prices negotiated by the Beet Growers' Association who do not represent the growers. We will have a different Beet Growers' Association from next year onwards.


The Minister for Finance is in possession and must be allowed to continue.

The price offered by the Irish Sugar Company for beet is the highest in the world, but it is not high enough for Deputy Hughes for whom we fought and won the economic war, as a result of which his annuities have been reduced by 50 per cent. since 1938. Although this country is short of dollars and gold, must try to make ends, meet and feed its people, Deputy Hughes, who is an Irish patriot, will only grow one acre of beet because the price, which is the highest price in the world, is not high enough to induce him to grow it.

There is no shortage of dollars for prunes.

I will deal with prunes and with the plight of the poor old lady in Ballaghaderreen, the seanbhean bhoct of Mayo.

I was saying that we have a serious balance of payments problem to face in this country, and it is largely of Deputy Dillon's creation. We have heard from Deputy Hughes and other Deputies who follow in Deputy Dillon's footsteps and who are anxious to see him back in the office of Minister for Agriculture—Minister for Grass—that they are not prepared to help the Irish people, or the Irish Government to solve that balance of payments problem; that they are not prepared to cultivate beet so as to give sugar to our people. I believe they had the same attitude in regard to wheat and barley and, yet, they expect us to guarantee them in the possession of their holdings.

They own their holdings.

When they have paid for them.

You had better not chase that one.

Do not let me hear any more from the little boy Blueshirt. You tried your hand with that game in 1933 and in 1934.

I did not miss the train, as you did, for the 1914-1918 war.

You missed 1916 and 1920.

It was not my fault. You missed the train when you were going to fight for the British.

It does not matter what Deputy O'Sullivan or Deputy MacEntee did in this year or in that year. The real thing is what Deputy O'Sullivan, Deputy Hughes and the rest of the Party are going to do to help this country to solve its grave problem as regards the balance of payments and the deficit—the problem which Deputy McGilligan himself said, as quoted in the Irish Independent, must be solved before the middle of 1951. It was not solved then and it has not been solved yet. I am asking the people opposite what they are going to do to help to solve it. This problem is one of Deputy Dillon's creation. Deputy Dillon's bulldozers, porous drainage pipes and day-old chicks have all got to be paid for now. We have got the unpleasant task of collecting money to pay for them through the taxes imposed by this Budget, just as we had also had to pay for the increased pay of the civil servants, the Gardaí, the teachers and the other public servants arising out of the award of the Coalition's arbitration board, and just as we will have to pay, through this Finance Bill, for the increase in old age pensions which we granted last year and for the new social welfare scheme and the improved children's allowances which we are providing. I would ask the Labour Party not to forget that they are supposed to be concerned with the plight of the people. I think, judging by their performances in this House, that they are more concerned with Party politics than with the plight of the people. We know that, and we have had ample evidence of it as regards this Budget and as regards this Finance Bill.

I am saying we know that the Labour Party are more concerned with Party politics than they are with the plight of the people. We know that in regard to the Finance Bill and the Budget they have embarked on a deliberate policy of obstruction in the hope that they will be able to delay the passage of the important measures to which I have referred, in order to delay the passage of the Social Welfare Bill to which we have pledged ourselves and which is now before the Dáil.

And increased charges for butter.

The real secret of it is that they do not want the new Social Welfare Bill and the Children's Allowances Bill to become law in time to come into operation on July 1st next. They do not want those measures for the same reason that Deputy Dillon did not want wheat, beet or peat in 1939 and does not want them to-day. They do not want those measures because they have been introduced by Fianna Fáil. They prefer to play the game for Fine Gael. They showed that by their attitude on the means test a year ago. For years and years, so long as I can remember them in public life, Deputies Norton, Davin and the rest have been declaiming against the means test as a component in social welfare schemes, but when the Fine Gael Party cracked its whip, the boyos sank into silence— it is too much to say that they lapsed into silence because they actually defended and justified the principle of the means test. For years Deputies Norton and Davin have been holding up Fianna Fáil to odium as the enemies of the workers. The Social Welfare Bill and the Children's Allowances Bill which the Labour Party have been holding up by obstructing the Finance Bill——

That is a false statement. There has been no hold-up.

Are we not entitled to hear the truth in the House.

Sit down and it will be given in full measure.

On a point of order. To-day we discussed the Fourth Stage of the Social Welfare Bill. Normally, the Fifth Stage would not be taken until next week, but, in order to accommodate the Minister, we arranged that we would discuss the Fifth Stage the same day as we were taking the Fourth Stage, notwithstanding the fact that we should wait and have the Fifth Stage next week. Though we co-operated to that extent, the Minister for Finance now deliberately disseminates a falsehood, that we are delaying the passage of a Bill which we have agreed unprecedentedly to take for its Fifth Stage on the same day as the Fourth Stage. There ought to be some semblance of truth left in Government Ministers.

Might I resume, just to expose the sham of that. Last Thursday I was waiting here to conclude the debate on the Finance Bill, so as to clear the decks for the discussion in this House this week of the Children's Allowances Bill and the Report Stage and Final Stage of the Social Welfare Bill, Bills which had been postponed to meet the convenience of Deputy Norton.

On a point of order. Is there no limit to the lies this Minister is going to tell the House?

We sat on Thursday of Holy Week to dispose of the Social Welfare Bill.

The Social Welfare Bill was ordered by this House for Tuesday of this week and was taken on Tuesday of this week. Now the Minister alleges it was delayed. The House ordered that it would be taken on Tuesday, and it was taken on Tuesday, but this imbecile does not know that.

It is all right. Everybody knows that all seems yellow to the jaundiced eye.

He is not the same since he slipped on the ski in Switzerland.

You slipped on the Lord Mayor's tail.

The Deputy might allow the Minister to continue without interruption.

I want to give chapter and verse for what I have said about the obstructionist policy which was pursued by the Labour Party. I said earlier that the Labour Party would go into the Division Lobby side by side with Deputy Mulcahy, who had opposed the Old Age Pensions Bill of 1932. I said they obeyed the Whip, who is Deputy Sweetman, as everyone is aware. I said they stood up to speak when he permitted them and they were as mute as mice when he bade them keep silence. On Thursday last the debate here was taking its weary way and was coming to a close ——

It is weary now.

The trouble is that you cannot take your medicine. Deputy Sweetman was going around talking to Deputy Desmond and others arranging that the Labour Party would get up and carry on the debate. And for what purpose? To prevent the Second Reading of the Children's Allowances Bill being taken yesterday and to prevent, if they could, the Social Welfare Bill being concluded to-day.

That is a deliberate falsehood.

I said that on Thursday this debate was to be wound up to clear the decks for the Social Welfare Schemes.

When are you going to wind up?

When I have concluded. What is it that lies behind the obstructionist tactics which Deputy Norton and the other Labour Deputies have been pursuing?

I cannot stick all the untruths which have been uttered in the last ten minutes.

The real reason of course is that just as Deputy Davin, Deputy Norton and Deputy Corish played a Fine Gael game against Deputy Dr. Noel Browne in 1951, they are playing it again in 1952, but this time against Fianna Fáil. That raises the question which a lot of people are asking in regard to some statements we have been hearing recently about new recruits for Fine Gael. People are wondering when are Deputies Norton and Davin openly going to join Fine Gael.

As soon as you join the 16th Division. You wanted to join the South Irish Horse.

Am I to understand from that that Deputy Norton has applied to join Fine Gael? Am I to understand from that that he is looking for a commission from General Mulcahy? I was saying that like Deputies Dillon, Fagan and Flanagan, those Deputies, Deputies Norton and Davin, have been following Deputy Mulcahy and Deputy Costello for years. Their votes in this Dáil are being decided not by the administrative council of the Irish Labour Party in 21 Molesworth Street, but in the Fine Gael headquarters in Hume Street.

You should say by the "Red Nuncio."

Is it not time that the Deputies took the plunge? Some paragraphs in the Independent have disclosed that at least two members of another Party are prepared to follow Deputy Dillon and pillow their heads on Deputy Mulcahy's bosom. The public, therefore, have been prepared for this anschluss between the right wing of the Labour Party and the extreme right of Fine Gael.

What about the anschluss with the “Red Nuncio”?

Why do not Deputies Norton and Davin come to a decision and give the Irish Labour Party a chance to survive? That is all it has been wanting.

The next time Barnum is around this way he will take you up. You are the greatest buffoon this country has ever known. You would earn a million on the stage.

That is very complimentary.

You are a tenth class clown.

A million is not to be sneezed at, whether it is got on the stage or elsewhere.

You could give yourself a remission of income-tax on it.

I am raising a very difficult personal problem for Deputy Norton.

So long as the Chair allows you to carry on the performance, I do not mind.

I am trying to help the Deputy. I know that he and I spar with each other, but perhaps underneath there is a certain amount of regard. It may be deep down——

I should like the Minister to understand that it is one-sided.

Might I ask what this type of clowning has to do with the motion before the House? The Minister is acting the fool.

My desire is to help Deputy Norton out of an awkward situation. I should hate to see him subjected to the humiliation of being expelled from the Labour Party. It looked like that a fortnight or three weeks ago. The reason I raise this question is that, if, by any chance, Deputy Norton and Deputy Davin were to go out of the Labour Party, there would be some very delicate adjustments to be made. Deputy Norton would have to face up to this, as would Deputy Davin: to trying to adjust himself to the position of Deputy Dillon. I have already told how Deputy Dillon has described the perils which would befall this country if the policy the Opposition are now trying to foist upon it were to be pursued. Deputy Dillon at that time said:—

"We have seen Newfoundland travel that road, and end in London with a request for British Treasury officials to come and take from them their sovereign independence and run the country as delegates of the British Treasury."

Let us see what that means. We see from these words of Deputy Dillon where the rash improvidence of the Coalition would have led this country, the plight in which it would have been placed by that policy, if Fianna Fáil, with the support of true Independents—

Inasmuch as the Minister has demonstrated over the past two hours that he has nothing to say on the Finance Bill of 1952, will you, Sir, accept a motion that the question be now put?

The Chair has no power to curtail the Minister's speech.

Deputy Mac Fheórais is a very skilled parliamentary hand. That quotation from Deputy Dillon is going to lead up to a very interesting query which Deputy Mac Fheórais is anxious to avoid, because Deputy Dillon did foresee what the Coalition policy, if pursued, was going to result in when he said:—

"We have seen Newfoundland travel that road, and end in London with a request for British Treasury officials to come and take from them their sovereign independence and run the country as delegates of the British Treasury."

That is a very important statement. It was made by Deputy Dillon when Deputy Davin and Deputy Norton were trying to urge that the country should embark upon the policy which was pursued by the last Coalition Government, and I think that statement will certainly go far to strengthen the fears of those who have suggested that this policy of unbridled extravagance was decided upon by a small group, an inner circle within the Coalition Cabinet, who had an ulterior purpose to serve in wasting and dissipating our external assets—these external assets, let me remind the House, which Deputy McGilligan stated last May "are the mainstay of our economic independence". Do not let us forget that. To use the words of my predecessor as Minister for Finance, these external assets "are the mainstay of our economic independence".

Deputy Dillon himself, the man who has been squandering millions of dollars in an afternoon, admitted it many years before when, as reported at column 873 of Volume 76 of the Official Debates, he besought the Taoiseach "to have the courage to restore to us that economic independence founded on solvency without which political independence can never be enjoyed in this country." I pass over the impertinence of Deputy Dillon asking Éamon de Valera to have courage to stress again that Deputy Dillon is, as his words show, as aware as Deputy McGilligan is that the possession of these external assets is vital to the preservation not only of our economic but of our political independence.

You have said that ten times already.

Deputy Dillon's words seldom bear repeating but I wish to say that again.

He asked us "to have the courage to restore to us that economic independence founded on solvency without which political independence can never be enjoyed in this country". Bearing this in mind, and remembering it always, must we not ask ourselves: Why did the Coalition Government deliberately set itself to fritter away these external assets which Deputy McGilligan himself admitted—I am going to repeat it in order that Deputies may be aware of it—are the mainstay of our economic independence? Why did Deputy Dillon, who told us in 1939 that we must have economic independence founded on solvency without which political independence can never be enjoyed, who warned Deputy Davin that the extravagant courses he was urging upon us would inevitably mean the loss of this country's independence, embark on a policy under which, as he admitted, he flung away millions of borrowed dollars in an afternoon?

These dollars have to be paid back one day. They are now beginning to carry interest and one of the purposes of this Finance Bill is to help us to raise the £600,000 which we have to find in order to pay a half year's interest on these dollars. Next year, it will be twice that—£1,200,000—and four years from now we shall have to start repaying the principal. All that is going to be a heavy burden, a heavy unproductive burden, a burden on the future of our people, a burden on their bread and butter, on their sweat and toil, and that burden is being imposed on them in order to repay the dollars which Deputy Dillon squandered and flung around in tens of millions in an afternoon.

What is the position? We are now in this position, that Deputy Dillon is on record as having pointed out how serious it is for this or any other country to have a continuous deficit in its balance of payments. Secondly, he has shown how this must result in a general reduction of our external assets which Deputy McGilligan has told us categorically are the mainstay of our economic independence. Thirdly, Deputy Dillon has professed to be alarmed because our external assets declined from £72,000,000 in 1934 to £61,000,000 in 1938—a decline of over £11,000,000 in five years. These figures are Deputy Dillon's and I am taking no responsibility for them.

He is on your brain, anyway.

Fourthly, spending at the rate of millions of dollars per annum, at the rate of millions of dollars per afternoon, the Coalition, during their three years in office, reduced our external net assets by almost £150,000,000.

They have thereby seriously prejudiced that economic independence without which, according to Deputy Dillon, we cannot enjoy political independence. Fifthly, not only did the Coalition Government squander our net external assets but they have further impaired our economic independence by loading us with foreign debt—at the instance, let this be borne in mind, of a foreign Power.

Name the Power.

Is this another attack on the United States, a friendly country?

This is, briefly, the Power which asked you to borrow the Marshall Aid loan. Deputy MacBride knows well why he took the Marshall Aid loan and knows who requested him to take it.

This is a disgraceful attack on the United States.

The interruptions must cease and the Minister must be allowed to continue. The Deputies have already spoken.

This is grossly offensive.

I am saying with authority and conviction——

The Minister is making the Taoiseach blush.

Anyone would blush at this.

We have been loaded with foreign debt at the instance of a foreign Power.

The United States of America?

That is the position to which this country has been brought——

The American Ambassador will be sent back to-morrow, after this speech.

——by the deliberately chosen policy of the Coalition which they have defended here over the past 12 months and which, in alliance with the Labour Party, they have upheld and maintained throughout this debate. The question which must be asked and answered is, why have they done this——

Is the Minister going to war with the United States now?

——what purpose have they been seeking to serve, what end have they been trying to achieve? That is the question which all thinking people are putting to themselves. Why have the Coalition so deliberately mishandled our finances that we were tending to that condition of vassalage that Deputy Dillon had in mind when, as reported in Volume 76, column 1831 of the Official Debates, he denounced Deputy Davin's policy, the present Opposition policy, and declared:—

"It will mean inevitably the loss of this country's independence. We have object lessons of that before us. We have seen Newfoundland travel that road, and end in London with a request for British Treasury officials to come and take from them their sovereign independence."

That was the opinion which Deputy Dillon held 13 years ago as to the disastrous consequences which would follow such a policy as the Coalition adopted and pursued during the last two and a half years of their administration.

Why again—and let them answer it— did they adopt that policy? Why did they put this country in pawn? Why have they prejudiced its economy and its political independence, and why have they done all this deliberately, with their eyes wide open, and fully aware of what was involved? These are questions which all thoughtful men and women are asking themselves to-day. What was behind this great sell out? What was the background for this great sell out—which Deputy Dillon warned us so long ago would "inevitably mean the loss of this country's independence."

A Deputy

You sold yourselves to Deputy Cowan.

Surely we are entitled to demand from the ex-Taoiseach, from the ex-Minister for External Affairs, from the ex-Minister for Defence and the ex-Minister for Agriculture a more satisfactory explanation than the people have so far received.

An explanation of what?

Why they pursued the policy which has impaired our economic independence, has put the country in pawn and has jeopardised its political future. Let us get the answer. Why have you done it? Mind you, I have chosen my Ministers carefully.

The statement that this country is in pawn is a statement that should be withdrawn. It is an insult to the country—to any country.



On a point of order, is it in order for any Minister of this House or any Deputy to allege that Ministers——

This is not a point of order.

Let the Chair decide.

——of a former Government behaved treacherously to this House or to the country?

That is a point of fact.

I ask the Chair whether that is in order.

It is not a point of order, to begin with; and it is something on which the Chair cannot give an opinion.

Then I take it that I am at liberty to accuse the Minister of treachery in the House.

I say that any country which has mortgaged the future labour of its people, as the labour of our people has been mortgaged over the past three years——

A Deputy

Who sold this country to England?

We are told we are taxing the bread and butter of our people. We are in fact taxing the people of this country in order to find £600,000 of interest upon your Marshall Aid loan for, one half-year. Any country which has mortgaged the future of its people, their future bread and butter, the earnings and income of its people, to a foreign power is in pawn. That is the position in which we are.

That is a damnable lie and you know it. Go to the country tomorrow and get your answer.

We will go to the country whenever necessary. I am entitled to ask—

You sold yourselves to Mr. Butler.

The Minister is a disgrace to this House.

Deputies must allow the Minister to speak without interruption. Deputy Cafferky must cease.

The Minister would not be heard in any other House in Europe.

People are asking that question of the ex-Taoiseach, the ex-Minister for External Affairs, the ex-Minister for Defence—not Deputy MacEoin but Deputy Dr. O'Higgins— and the ex-Minister for Agriculture. You will notice that I have not included the ex-Minister for Finance, Deputy McGilligan. I have refrained from mentioning him, as I know that he was not in the inner ring in the Cabinet. Even in financial matters, it was the ex-Minister for External Affairs who carried all the weight, whose word was the one that went with the Taoiseach and the Tánaiste.

He put Ireland on the map.

Nevertheless, this must be said for Deputy McGilligan, that he did utter a faint warning. He came into the House bleating against the wilful misusage of our external assets, the "mainstay of our economic independence." Apologists for the Coalition may equivocate and dissemble and misrepresent, but the undeniable fact is that they have compromised seriously and dangerously the economy—and, therefore, the political independence—of the State that was committed to their case.

When it was driven from power last year, the Coalition had brought this country to that extremity which Deputy Dillon had in mind when he said—I quote from column 1816 of Volume 76:—

"If you come to the verge of the precipice, no democratic Party can pull the nation back. The only chance of saving the nation then was to get them to open their eyes to the consequences of a certain policy before they were brought to the edge of the precipice—while one's hand might still be mended, although very near to the edge of the precipice."

That, in fact, was where we found this country's finances when we took over from the Coalition last June—on the edge of a precipice. Naturally, the men who left the State in that parlous position will not admit it. They take refuge in the most blatant misrepresentation of the true position, but the fact remains—we are on the edge of a precipice. Our people can come back; they can recover their economic independence; they can secure and safeguard their political independence, and they will do that if they stand behind us in the financial measures which we are now putting before them.

Question put.
The Dáil divided: Tá, 72; Níl, 68.

  • Allen, Denis.
  • Bartley, Gerald.
  • Beegan, Patrick.
  • Blaney, Neil T.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Boland, Patrick.
  • Brady, Philip A.
  • Brady, Seán.
  • Breathnach, Cormac.
  • Breen, Dan.
  • Brennan, Joseph.
  • Brennan, Thomas.
  • Breslin, Cormac.
  • Briscoe, Robert.
  • Browne, Noel C.
  • Buckley, Seán.
  • Burke, Patrick.
  • Butler, Bernard.
  • Carter, Frank.
  • Childers, Erskine.
  • Cogan, Patrick.
  • Colley, Harry.
  • Collins, James J.
  • Corry, Martin J.
  • Cowan, Peadar.
  • Crowley, Honor Mary.
  • Crowley, Tadhg.
  • Cunningham, Liam.
  • Davern, Michael J.
  • Derrig, Thomas.
  • de Valera, Eamon.
  • de Valera, Vivion.
  • Duignan, Peadar.
  • Fahy, Frank.
  • Fanning, John.
  • ffrench-O'Carroll, Michael.
  • Flanagan, Seán.
  • Flynn, John.
  • Flynn, Stephen.
  • Gallagher, Colm.
  • Gilbride, Eugene.
  • Harris, Thomas.
  • Hillery, Patrick J.
  • Hilliard, Michael.
  • Humphreys, Francis.
  • Kennedy, Michael J.
  • Killilea, Mark.
  • Lemass, Seán.
  • Little, Patrick J.
  • Lynch, Jack (Cork Borough)
  • McCann, John.
  • MacCarthy, Seán.
  • McEllistrim, Thomas.
  • MacEntee, Seán.
  • McGrath, Patrick.
  • Maguire, Patrick J.
  • Maher, Peadar.
  • Moran, Michael.
  • Moylan, Seán.
  • Ó Briain, Donnchadh.
  • O'Reilly, Matthew.
  • Ormonde, John.
  • O'Sullivan, Ted.
  • Rice, Bridget M.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Ryan, Mary B.
  • Sheldon, William A.W.
  • Sheridan, Michael.
  • Smith, Patrick.
  • Traynor, Oscar.
  • Walsh, Laurence J.
  • Walsh, Thomas.


  • Beirne, John.
  • Belton, John.
  • Blowick, Joseph.
  • Browne, Patrick.
  • Byrne, Alfred.
  • Cafferky, Dominick.
  • Cawley, Patrick.
  • Coburn, James.
  • Collins, Seán.
  • Corish, Brendan.
  • Cosgrave, Liam.
  • Costello, Declan.
  • Costello, John A.
  • Crotty, Patrick J.
  • Crowe, Patrick.
  • Davin, William.
  • Desmond, Daniel.
  • Dillon, James M.
  • Dockrell, Henry P.
  • Dockrell, Maurice C.
  • Donnellan, Michael.
  • Doyle, Peadar S.
  • Dunne, Seán.
  • Esmonde, Anthony C.
  • Everett, James.
  • Fagan, Charles.
  • Finan, John.
  • Finucane, Patrick.
  • Flanagan, Oliver J.
  • Giles, Patrick.
  • Hession, James M.
  • Hickey, James.
  • Hughes, Joseph.
  • Keane, Seán.
  • Keyes, Michael.
  • Kyne, Thomas A.
  • Larkin, James.
  • Leary, Johnny.
  • Lynch, John (North Kerry).
  • McAuliffe, Patrick.
  • MacBride, Seán.
  • MacEoin, Seán.
  • McGilligan, Patrick.
  • McMenamin, Daniel.
  • McQuillan, John.
  • Madden, David J.
  • Mannion, John.
  • Morrissey, Daniel.
  • Mulcahy, Richard.
  • Murphy, Michael P.
  • Murphy, William.
  • Norton, William.
  • O'Donnell, Patrick.
  • O'Gorman, Patrick J.
  • O'Hara, Thomas.
  • O'Higgins, Thomas F.
  • O'Higgins, Thomas F. (Jun.).
  • O'Reilly, Patrick.
  • O'Sullivan, Denis.
  • Palmer, Patrick W.
  • Reidy, James.
  • Reynolds, Mary.
  • Roddy, Joseph.
  • Rogers, Patrick J.
  • Rooney, Eamon.
  • Spring, Dan.
  • Sweetman, Gerard.
  • Tully, John.
Tellers:—Tá: Deputies Ó Briain and Killilea. Níl: Deputies Doyle and Mac Fheórais.
Question declared carried.

Resign. You are a minority Government. If you had not the rag bag you were sunk.

If you had not the baby sitter you were sunk.

Before I ask you to fix a date for the next stage, in order to avoid any possibility of confusion I want to say that the certain Power to which I referred to in the course of my speech was Great Britain, and I do not want any misrepresentation.

You sold yourself to Britain.

Papa has spanked you in the meantime.

Does that observation arise from the meeting which the Minister's colleagues had with the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, Dr. Dalton, on the 9th November, 1947, when the strings were certainly put on by Britain on our representatives——

Who started the civil war?


May I get an answer to my question? I take it, then, that the reference is to the restrictions that Dr. Dalton, the Chancellor of the Exchequer——

You may take nothing of the sort. The reference is to the request which you received from Sir Stafford Cripps which you accepted.

If that is a quotation, I should like to have the paper published, because I saw a paper of November, 1947, in which restrictions were put on the use of sterling assets by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and accepted by the Minister for Finance.

The Deputy said he is in a position to publish a minute. I assume that it is a State paper which he has in his possession. If it is a State paper, I wonder where he got it.

The Minister is in a position to get a copy of it. I can understand the reasons which will prevent his publishing it.

The Chair would like to know when the Committee Stage of the Finance Bill will be taken.

On June 4th, this day fortnight.

Committee Stage ordered for Wednesday, 4th June.

I have called questions. There is nothing before the House.