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Dáil Éireann debate -
Thursday, 20 Apr 1961

Vol. 188 No. 6

Committee on Finance. - Resolution No. 11—General (Resumed).

Debate resumed on the following motion:
That it is expedient to amend the law relating to customs and inland revenue (including excise) and to make further provision in connection with finance.—(Minister for Finance).

I cannot embark on the general discussion of the Business before the House today without saying a word with reference to the tragic matter of which the Taoiseach has just spoken. The special circumstances of the tragedy surrounding the passing of our colleague has, I think, moved us all most deeply. None of us would wish to embark on the Business of this day without reiterating what the Taoiseach has just said and expressing in very special measure our sympathy with the widow and family of Dr. Humphreys and affirming our deep grief at the tragic passing of one who was a colleague of us all.

In the concluding words of his Budget Statement, the Minister for Finance invited us to contemplate his records during the past four years and to pass judgment upon them. I think it a fair test of any man's policy or any Government's policy to ask yourself not what have their intentions been but what have been the results of their activities. I accept that test.

I note that the Government have a unique and unprecedented capacity for talking themselves into a state of euphoria designed by the quotation of endless statistics to persuade themselves that everything is lovely in the garden and that all sections of the community are as happy as larks and as prosperous as the day is long. I wish I could agree with him that that is so from my observation and my knowledge of the circumstances in which my neighbours are living.

It is true, and it is something for which we have every reason to rejoice, that some stimulus has been given to our industrial exports in the past three or four years. When we come to examine those exports, we find that the increase consists very largely of the additional output of the copper mines in Avoca, of the oil refinery and of the increased exports of established industries of this country which have substantially been evoked by the policy of tax concession on exports inaugurated in the Finance Act, 1956. Even the turf briquette factories inaugurated in 1956 by the inter-Party Government have made their modest contribution.

However, to speak of these things, gratifying though they may be, and to forget that there is a thousand million pounds of our national wealth invested in the agricultural industry, in the land and the people who live upon it, and that that industry maintains 350,000 families, or did so before the catastrophe of emigration struck the small farmers of this country, is in my judgment economic and social insanity.

I propose to suggest to the House to-day that, examining the present Minister's record even in the past four years, not to speak of his rather remote record in the tragic days when he was Minister for Agriculture, the consequences for the fundamental industry of this country have been little short of catastrophic.

It has never been the practice of Fianna Fáil to furnish us with one Budget. Their consistent practice, and perhaps it is good politics but it is certainly not good economics, has been to provide us with a Budget but to supplement that by a series of other charges which operate to remove from the annual Budget a portion of the taxation which the people have to bear. Looking back over the four years of the present Minister's financial administration, I want to remind the House of the facts. In this year in which we are speaking, the fact is that over and above the Budget which we have now to consider, we have also provided that, through the Social Welfare Acts, the employees of this country have to pay £2 million per annum extra for their insurance stamps and the employers have to find as much more, an amount of £4 million per annum in addition to the taxation provided in the Budget.

But if we look back over the whole four year period, the facts are that, since 1957, this Government have put upon the people of this country £9 million for the cost of their food when they removed the food subsidies in 1957. In three separate stages, they have added £3 million per annum to the cost of the tobacco consumed by our people. They have put £750,000 extra taxation on the price of beer for those who consume it. They have put a million pounds in extra taxation on petrol. They have increased postal charges. They have increased E.S.B. charges. They have increased transport charges, both for passengers and goods and the rates payable on rateable property in this country have increased by £3½ million over the same period.

The Minister for Finance, in his concluding observation, states: "despite the removal of the food subsidies wage and salary earners are now immeasurably better off than they were and the position of the social assistance groups has been improved." Without accepting that proposition for one moment, I want to invite the House to consider that there is one striking omission from that phrase. There is a reference to the wage and salary earner, to the social assistance group, but there is no reference to the 350,000 families who live upon the land. Bearing in mind the fact that of those families a very substantial number live in Monaghan, Cavan, Donegal and the province of Connaught and the counties of south west Munster and that 90 per cent. of the farmers living there are self-employed, they have had to meet their full share of all the charges which I have described as having come in course of payment since the present Minister took office and they are being asked to meet them all today from a smaller income than they had in 1957.

The consequence of that impossible demand that is being put upon these people is visible for all to see. In hundreds of small farms throughout this country, the padlock is going on the door. The farmer and his family are emigrating from the land and this country is not only the poorer by one family irrevocably gone but economically the land that family left has virtually gone out of production when it is set in conacre and left for three or four thin store cattle to graze on.

I warn this House that there is a social revolution taking place over a large part of this country which I do not believe any sane citizen of this country would desire. I am not at all sure that the Taoiseach does not desire it. I believe that there are elements in the Fianna Fáil Party who have made up their minds that the time has come to get rid of the small farmer. The small farmers of this country are becoming the kulaks of Ireland. If that is the purpose of the Fianna Fáil Party, they ought to stop and ask themselves what the consequences will be.

It is not a new idea. Lord Lucan had that idea in 1840 and the people of Castlebar and West Mayo fought him with their bare hands. There are few living in Mayo who do not remember the story of the Christmas Eve when the master of the workhouse in Castlebar sent a message to the sheriff's bailiff to stop knocking down houses on the Lucan estate because there was no more room in the workhouse for man, woman or child. That gives a picture of Lord Lucan as a brutal, cold and inconsiderate man. I do not believe he was. He had the idea that the small farmer was an anachronism and that the right way to deal with the situation in the West of Ireland was to clear him off the land, to reorganise the farms into large blocs, to bring in Scottish managers and to allow the tenants to return as paid employees to work on the large farms.

If we are to talk in nothing but terms of statistics and production, pounds, shillings and pence, there may be strong economic arguments for that position, but what I suggest to this House is that, in a human society, there ought to be other considerations than cold figures and a complete preoccupation with production. If we are to accept, as the end of all human life, maximum production, then we had better make up our minds to the fact that we have been outstripped long ago by the insect world. The bees can leave us trotting after them. They live to produce—they have no other function.

It is a chastening thought to remember that, when the bees have done their best, somebody comes and takes their production from them, and their only destiny in life is to start all over again. I do not believe that is the destiny of the small farmers of this country. I believe their way of life has a value to our society. I believe a property-owning agricultural community is a far safer foundation for a Christian society in this day in which we live than a discontented proletariat living under an oligarchy of men who grow progressively richer and richer as their servants get poorer and poorer.

The time is coming when we will have to make up our minds which objective are we going to work towards. The present progress is towards the liquidation of the small farmers of Ireland. I think that is a deplorable trend. I think that unless this House wakes up to whither it is going, we may go so far as to find our course of conduct irreversible. If that should ever transpire, it would be a great disaster for us all. I do not want Deputies to imagine that these are apprehensions born of a too lively imagination. I want to sustain them from the cold print of the economic statistics issued prior to the Budget of 1961, compiled not by a poet or by a dreamer but by the Central Statistics Office. Anything more remote from human feeling it would be very hard to find. I speak of the body as a corporate entity and not with reference to the individuals who constitute its personnel and who know as much about the country as anyone else amongst us.

On page 11 of the publication to which I have referred reference is made to national income and expenditure. Bear in mind the farmers represent 350,000 families with an investment of £1,000,000,000 of our national wealth. This paragraph, dealing with national income, has it to tell:

Preliminary estimates indicate that, in current terms, national income increased by about 5 per cent. from £502 million in 1959 to £528 million in 1960.

Mark the words that follow:

The greater part of the increase of £26 million took the form of increased employee remuneration which accounted for £17 million. About £4 million represented increased income of farmers and their relatives and £4 million went to other domestic categories.

I think it is dramatic enough to realise that out of an estimated increase of £26,000,000 of national income, agriculture, the greatest industry in the State, employing more people than any other individual industry, had £4,000,000 as their share.

Further down on the same page we read:

All domestic sectors showed increased income in 1960, but the increase was greatest in the industrial sector, in which the total income was £11 million, or 8 per cent. higher than in 1959. Moderate increases also occurred in distribution and transport, public administration and defence and other domestic sectors. Agricultural income...which had shown a partial recovery in 1959... increased by about £5 million to £129 million, which is only slightly below the level reached in 1957.

Mark those words—"which is only slightly below the level reached in 1957." These are the people who must pay their share of the £9,000,000 which was put upon their food, the £3,000,000 per annum put upon their tobacco, the £¾ million if they drank beer, the appropriate part of the charge for petrol, postal charges, E.S.B. charges, plus £3,500,000 in rates per annum. Well may the Minister for Finance comfort his heart that all other sections of the community have had their incomes adjusted to help them bear their share of the burden, but agricultural income, including salaries and wages, is slightly below the level reached in 1957.

It fills me with astonishment that nobody in this House in the Fianna Fáil benches has the courage to get up and call upon his own leader to face that situation and correct it before irretrievable damage is done. So long as I am here, and so long as this Party is here, we will continue to protest with all the emphasis we can command against the liquidation of the small farmers of Ireland. We will continue to protest against their being called upon to bear burdens that no other section of the community has ever been asked to bear. We will continue to protest against their being asked to bear burdens alone which other organised sections have indignantly refused to bear without a corresponding adjustment in income.

I thought at one time that it was possible that Fianna Fáil, stumbling into this dilemma, forgot that, when these immense additional burdens were being piled on, it was not enough to adjust wages and salaries; it was not enough to correct, even to a limited degree, the social service payments reserved for the unemployed, old age pensioners and others, inadequate as these adjustments were. None of these adjustments gave any relief whatever to the small farmer working for himself with the help of his family, and compelled to pay all—the small farmer who, in 1960, finds himself with an income slightly less than that which he enjoyed in 1957. That alone, in my judgment, constitutes a sufficient indictment of the Minister's four year record as Minister for Finance.

I want to examine now the euphoria in other sectors that he seeks to create. I remember—and the Taoiseach cannot blame us for recalling—that when the Taoiseach was deputy-leader of the Opposition, he undertook to our people that, if given the opportunity, he had a plan which, over a period of years, four or five years, would provide 100,000 new jobs. That promise was made early in 1956 or towards the end of 1955. When he made that promise, there were 1,163,000 persons employed in Ireland. Four years later, there are 51,000 fewer persons employed in Ireland. I do not want anyone to take those figures from me; I invite them to consult page 27 and page 22 of the economic statistics to which I have already referred and in the Tables appearing on those pages, they will find the figures of which I speak.

Many Deputies imagine, however, that if they could confine themselves exclusively to the industrial sector, they would have a more striking tale to tell. If we were to accept all the protestations of Fianna Fáil at face value, who could blame their followers for believing that some marvellous revolution had taken place in that sector of our economy but if these Deputies will turn to Table 16 of the same economic statistics, they will find that in manufacturing industry, 191,000 persons were employed in 1955, and that five years later, the number employed in manufacturing industry is 190,000—1,000 fewer than were working here six years ago. The total employment in all branches of nonagricultural economic activity—which includes mining, quarrying, turf production, manufacturing, construction, commerce, insurance and finance, transport and communication, public administration and defence, electricity, gas and water, and other economic activity—was 726,000 in 1955 and in 1960, it was 699,000.

There is one field which, on superficial examination, appears to be highly satisfactory, that is, the number of persons on the register of unemployed. That has gone down steeply but read that in the context of an emigration during the past four years of 200,000 boys and girls between the ages of 18 and 25. Does anybody in this House want to see the unemployment position resolved by shipping our people abroad to get work in Birmingham, Bootle and Manchester, so that their names can be removed from the register of unemployed in Ireland and the Fianna Fáil Party can triumph in this dramatic solution of the unemployment problem?

Oliver Cromwell could have made that boast in his day when he drove our people "to hell or to Connaught." He could have gloried in the fact that the register of unemployed in Leinster had shown a most dramatic improvement but I do not believe anybody in this country would share his triumph. They regarded that as a tragic event in our history, but at least that amounted simply to a transfer of some of our people from the rich part to the poor part of Ireland. This operation represents the transfer of our people from our towns and cities and rural homes to one or two-roomed tenements in industrial cities where living may be more remunerative in terms of cash received, but anyone who suffered the shock I suffered when I saw a programme called "Probation Officer" on Independent Television last Monday week will recoil with horror from some of the consequences of that emigration that has been thrust upon our people in the past four years.

Does the cost of living figure interest the Fianna Fáil Party? It has gone up since February, 1957—the year Fianna Fáil supplanted us as the Government and almost the month they supplanted us. Since that date, the cost of living has gone up by 12 points. I do not believe that anybody outside this House except a certain select few fully understands the meaning of the term "points." What it means is this: every 10/- a person had to spend in 1957, is now worth only 9/- and for every family which has to pay the weekly bill the cost of living has taken two shilling out of every £ since Fianna Fáil took office.

There will be people in Ireland who will rejoice at the reduction in income tax and who will blame them? There will be people in Ireland who will rejoice that they are no longer liable to sur-tax and who will blame them? But there is something crude and unlovely to my mind, in the gesture which makes these provisions and, in the same instance, claps £1 million on tobacco and flourishes an increase of 18d. in the old age pension—the price of a stamp, 3d. a day, or rather less. There is something a little incongruous in that. I do not know what the public will feel about it. I suppose it is better than nothing but I cannot help feeling that in the context of the Minister's speech, eighteen pence increase in the old age pension is not a very liberal provision.

I see the Minister makes play of the fact that he is providing additional help for agriculture. Let us examine it. He is going to increase the grant for lime but what is the increase going to be? It is going to be the restoration of what he took off three years ago. I told him when he took it off that he was making a grave mistake, that it was a reduction which would reduce the consumption of lime. I urged upon him that I had gone as far myself as it was prudent or practical to go in trying to use the lime subsidy as economically as possible by restricting the area over which lime might be carried so as to avoid gross overlapping in one lime-grinding factory and another. But, not content with that, they reduced the subsidy by 4s. a ton and now we are all meant to throw our hats in the air and praise them because they give it back.

We are told they are going to increase the subsidy for cow byres. Is public memory so short that we are expected to forget that it is only three and a half years ago since they themselves abolished the double byre grant? Is not that so? They were warned from this side of the House at that time that that was an obscurantist, silly thing to do and was well calculated to check the progress of the bovine tuberculosis eradication scheme with which the double byre grant had been associated. They now discover that they have got to put it back but they are putting it back three years too late, just as they were three years too late and allowed the precious years of 1952, 1953 and 1954 to pass without doing anything about bovine tuberculosis eradication.

I sometimes forget the measure of the folly of this Government but recently I was listening to a broadcast in which I participated with Mr. Joe Carrigan from America, in 1950. It was not until I heard the broadcast replayed over again that I realised that I then said to him "We are now about to embark upon the eradication of bovine tuberculosis in all our cattle in Ireland." That was in the Autumn of 1950. We went out of office in the Spring of 1951 and when I returned to office in 1954 not one step had been taken to advance that programme. To expedite it, we introduced the system of double byre grants so that anyone who was active and vigorous in participating in that scheme would be allowed to get a double grant in respect of his cow byre. That was so powerful an inducement that we were falling behind in providing the money. We had allocated close on £½ million per annum for that purpose and had a backlog of about 18 months work to do. Applications were being filed and we were doing them as opportunity came.

When Fianna Fáil came into office they cut the Gordian knot by wiping out the scheme. Now, three and a half years too late, they propose to go part of the way to restoring it and we are all meant to throw our hats in the air and bless them for their beneficence.

I understand we are to have another £1 a ton off potash. I would ask Deputies representing agricultural interests in this House, outside the intensive tillage areas, how much potash is put out or should be put out upon the land of Ireland? One cwt. to the statute acre per annum.


The Deputy from Cork says "Nonsense." How much potash would he put out, outside an intensive tillage area, per acre of land?

Four cwts. of potash annually?

If it needs it, immediately.

I am talking about per annum. Four cwt. of potash per annum? I had always great respect for the judgment of that Deputy until he delivered that aphorism. Anybody knowns that that proposition is daft. An annual application of one cwt. of potash outside intensive tillage operations is not only the average but probably the optimum, with corresponding quantities of phosphate and nitrate where that is required. Any reduction in the price of fertilisers is a good thing, but that represents about one shilling an acre to the vast majority of the farmers of this country.

When I see a society in which employment has gone down, when I see a society in which the burdens of cost are driving some of the most valuable elements of our society out of their homes and out of their country, when I see a society which in the last four years has lost 200,000 of its best to England and the United States, when I see a society where the cost of living is steadily rising, I ask the Minister for Finance if he is proud of his record. I ask any Minister for Finance or any Taoiseach who has presided over the shipment of 200,000 of our young people abroad, how can they say at the end of the period in which they went that it was something on which they have every reason to congratulate themselves, for these are the terms employed in the concluding paragraphs of the Minister's speech?

I should like to ask the Minister, when he was distributing reliefs in this Budget, had he given any consideration to one service which has been dear to my heart and which, I think, is of very great value in our society, that is, children's allowances. I do not want to under-estimate the difficulty of making effective adjustments in that service because, when you try to increase the allowance for the first child or even for the second, the annual cost is very heavy indeed, but I wonder if the Minister had considered the special case of large families, where you have five or more children in the home? I think at a relatively trifling cost a very valuable addition could be made to children's allowances to cover families in that category and it is something that I would commend to the Minister for consideration.

Before I conclude I should like to refer to one other paragraph of the Minister's speech because it seems to me so typical of the Fianna Fáil approach to the performance of their undertakings. We all remember in 1957 when the Minister made his first Budget speech his proposal to establish a Government commission ruthlessly to cut down the number of civil servants, the implication being of course, that his predecessors in office had allowed the Civil Service to mushroom out into an altogether excessive and top-heavy organisation. He was going to put his hand to pruning it down and reducing its numbers. He had an alibi the next year, in 1958, a further alibi in 1959 and a last despairing alibi in 1960, but in 1961 he tells us: "If you want more services you must pay for more civil servants."

That undertaking in 1957 was almost as impressive as the promise of the 100,000 jobs from Clery's restaurant. It was almost as convincing as the statements made in Belmullet, Wexford and Dublin on the same night, and in Waterford, too, by four different Ministers, four different leaders of the Fianna Fáil Party, that it was a cruel libel on them to suggest that if they were elected food subsidies would go. After a suitable interval has passed, it is just another Fianna Fáil promise gone up in smoke and they hope the people will accept that.

I think the people do accept it. One of the tragedies of the situation is that the whole standard of conduct in public life is debased on that account. One of the disasters of our public life is the excessive readiness of our people to shrug their shoulders and say: "What do you expect? They all tell lies." There is no political society in the world in which that attitude has become universal that has long survived in freedom. If our people ever accept the proposition that "they all tell lies" in reference to the public men of Ireland, parliamentary democracy will not long survive, and who can blame the people if they believe that any alternative would be an improvement?

I like to remember that in the period when we were responsible for this country we were able to point to the fact that in 1951, for the first time for a very long time, the census showed the population had begun to go up again. I like to remember that in the period for which we were responsible the total exports of Ireland, which were of the order of £39 million in 1947, were of the order of £131 million when we finally left office in 1957. I like to remember that in 1955, when we were in office, employment reached the highest point it had ever reached. I like to remember that when we were in office we actually asked many of our people who had emigrated in the past to come home and help in the work we inaugurated at that time.

I do not want to suggest for a moment that every Government has not had its difficulties and will not always have them, but when the Minister for Finance, Deputy Dr. Ryan, invites us to look back over his years of administration we must face the fact that there is a decline in the general standard of living of the agricultural community, a failure of employment to expand and a reduction of unemployment registers by the export of 200,000 people. I want to concede at once that it may be true, it probably is, that there is a small section of our community who are growing rich but there is a very large section of our community who are growing so poor that they can no longer live at home.

Let us remember the words of the President of the United States early after his inauguration: "No society which cannot look after its poor can long protect its rich." The whole agricultural community west of the Shannon are being made poor by the policies pursued by this Government. The best elements in our community are being exported in ever-increasing numbers and we are being left with a problem which may endure for years to come.

I do not call that a record of which I would be proud. I would be much happier to see a small section of our community being less rich if I were convinced that the vast majority of our people could be made less poor. I would never conceal the fact that I do not believe we should, or any other section of the public life of this country should, hold out to our people the prospect that by waving some wand we can extend to all of them the same level of material wealth that is available in the United States of America, Great Britain, Western Germany or the other great industrial nations of the world. We cannot, and there is nothing anybody can do which will provide for the Irish people those standards in their own country. What we can provide, however, and what it should be the object of Government to provide, is that everybody in this country will enjoy a modest standard of comfort and the right and ability to rear a Christian family in dignity and peace in their own home.

A great number of our people are having that right withdrawn from them. I believe there are elements in the Fianna Fáil Party who believe that is a good thing. We do not. There are elements in the Fianna Fáil Party who think the time has come to liquidate the small farmers of Ireland and to consolidate their farms. We do not think it has and we do not think it ever will. If that decision is ever taken Ireland will lose something infinitely precious and will find itself wholly unable to replace it with anything of corresponding value. The great danger is that if the present policies continue we may stumble into that.

I welcome the arrival in this country of foreign capital. I welcome the arrival of foreign enterprise and know-how. I advocated it in this House and I am prepared to advocate it everywhere in this country, but let us never forget that that type of industry, valuable as it is to the economy, is none-the-less peripheral industry.

It is a fringe industry which we cannot control because it is dependent for its survival on access to markets of which we are not the controlling element. Deputies ought to know what happened recently in the town of Newry where a British firm with a branch factory there suddenly announced one morning that it was closing its doors.

That is a risk which we have to take. It is a risk we ought to take, but the risk inherent in the introduction of foreign capital, know-how and management into this country is the supreme danger that, in our desire to acquire them, in our satisfaction at getting them, we should accept peripheral industries of that character as a substitute for the greatest industry in the country, agriculture, which is founded on the land which belongs to us and which no one can take away from us, which is oriented to markets which we built up and to which we can always have access, and, above all, which is engaged in the production of that without which the human race cannot survive, food, and the types of foods which many other countries are not as well equipped as we are to produce.

That is one of the fundamental errors into which Fianna Fáil are stumbling at the present time, and I do not believe they can be cured of that error. It is for that reason that I look forward with eager anticipation to the general election, so that we can get rid of them as the governing force in the country, and resume the laborious task of educating them, as they sit in these Opposition benches, in the fundamentals, not only economic but social, which are vital to the survival of the country.

I suppose it is unduly optimistic to expect from the Opposition benches in an election year, intelligent comment on the Budget or on the economic and fiscal policies of the Government which determine the character of the Budget. We have all known for a long time that preoccupation with Party politics is the Fine Gael characteristic, and no one nowadays really expects from them any serious contribution to national thinking on current affairs; but I am sure even Deputies now seated behind Deputy Dillon expected, on the occasion of the Budget debate, which is the most important opportunity available in the year to members of the Dáil for discussing policy matters, something better than the harangue of which he has just delivered himself.

No one is seeking to deny that we in this country have problems. The last thing the Government desire is to conceal or minimise them. Deputies opposite, however, appear to read statistics and other reports with which the Government supply them, solely for the purpose of finding material to exaggerate the dimensions of those problems. If they have any ideas as to how to tackle them, they are certainly keeping them to themselves. Neither the Dáil nor the people are any wiser as to the Fine Gael attitude to these problems after Deputy Dillon's speech than they were before it.

I propose to comment on the Budget, and on the policies and purposes which determined the character of the Budget, before going on to speak upon some of the other matters to which Deputy Dillon referred. The Minister for Finance set out in this Budget to do three things. The first was to ensure that social welfare beneficiaries would share in the improvement in national income. The social welfare classes cannot participate in the general improvement in national circumstances unless we here in the Oireachtas so will it. They can gain their share of the expanded national income only if we make the necessary financial provisions, and pass the necessary legislation— legislation which, as the Minister for Finance said yesterday, will be introduced into the Dáil shortly.

When I was speaking on the occasion of the debate on the 1960 Budget, I said:—

The aim of Government policy is to keep on expanding our social welfare services in accord with increases in national income as they are brought about.

In every single year since the present Government took office in 1957, some improvement in the social welfare services of the State, in the scales of benefit provided and in the scope of the services came into effect. No other Government in Irish history have ever been able to make that statement.


Against the four per cent. increase in national income which was achieved last year, we are now providing an increase of over five per cent in the old age pensions and the other social welfare payments. That process is not going to stop now. The policy of the Government will continue to be as I have stated, and if the power remains with us, will continue to be implemented.

The second purpose of the Minister for Finance and the Government in preparing the Budget was to give greater help to farmers to increase their production on an economic basis by reducing their costs through the expanded transport subsidies on ground limestone, by reducing the price and thereby encouraging greater use of potash fertiliser and by increasing grants for farm buildings.

The third purpose of the Minister for Finance and the Government was to reduce direct taxation upon individuals so as to provide a still further inducement and encouragement to enterprise. Do the Fine Gael Party disagree with any of those proposals? Have they any alternative proposals for the consideration of the Dáil? They voted here last evening against the Minister's proposal to increase the tax on tobacco. That tax is designed this year to bring in £1,000,000 of additional revenue to make possible the other provisions of the Budget. Did they seriously intend to win that vote last evening, and if they had succeeded in winning it, and eliminating that additional £1,000,000 revenue, which of these provisions would they cancel out in consequence?

Would they abandon the improvement in the social welfare payments? Would they withdraw the additional aids to farmers? Would they keep the standard rate of income tax at the old level? Surely these are the things we are supposed to be discussing and upon which the Opposition Party must have some idea. If they have criticism of the Budget to offer, this is the time to express it. Do they think it is a good Budget?

For the reasons set out.

What reasons have been set out?

The Taoiseach has been listening to them for an hour.

I did not hear a single reference by Deputy Dillon to the details of the Budget in the course of his speech.

Then read the speech.

Very well. If we are to ignore details and merely think in terms of the general policy considerations which guide the actions of the Government, or should guide them, so far as we are concerned we have no difficulty in stating clearly and precisely the fundamental ideas which determine our course.

It is true that this Government decided in all their activities in all their financial arrangements, in all their legislation, to emphasise the need for increased production. We believe that there is no foundation upon which a better living for our people and an improvement in the social conditions prevailing in this island can be built except increased production. We deliberately decided, and announced our decision, to arrange, that all the additional aids to agriculture and industry which we intended to provide, and which we have since provided, would be and have been so devised that the most advantage is gained by those who are striving in their own spheres to increase output.

We decided also—and up to and including yesterday's Budget we have kept the decision—to maintain the country's finances in good order and to avoid anything that could be held to be responsible for or might in any way start the inflationary spiral going again, to pay our way as we went along, and to rely upon revenue buoyancy resulting from increased prosperity to permit of progressive reductions in taxation. Deputy Dillon implied in his speech that he disagrees with these ideas.

I do not know how the Taoiseach got that idea. Increased production is a most excellent thing.

Then the implications I read into the Deputy's speech must have been incorrect. But can we get from him, or any member of his Party, a clear statement, yes or no, whether they accept those ideas; whether, if by any chance the power of Government came to them, they would apply them in their measures? Deputy Dillon read out a long list of increased taxes and other charges on the community which came into operation since 1957. Is it not a relevant fact that the total amount taken now in State taxes and local charges to carry on the expanded administration and additional services which are being provided for our people represents no higher proportion of the total national income than it did in 1957? In fact, it represents a slightly smaller proportion.

If Fine Gael think that there is any different or any better policy to follow than the Government have been pursuing, is this not the time to announce it? I ask them at some stage during this debate to make known to us where, apart from details, do they contest the principles upon which the Government have based either their fiscal or economic policy. All these general debates in the Dáil in recent years have been conducted in an atmosphere of unreality; and mainly, I believe, because nobody knows whether the principal Opposition Party contest in any fundamental way the policy which the Government are applying, or disagree with them on the basic issues which are of vital concern in the determination of the country's future progress. I do not know if Fine Gael believe they can go to the electorate at a general election looking for a blank cheque. Their record in Government was not so good that they can hope to secure their return here as a majority upon the trust and confidence which the people may repose in them without any knowledge of the policy they propose to apply.

In all our actions and all our thinking, in all the plans we have made or are discussing at the present time, the Government are proceeding in the belief that this country is on the threshold of a decade of development, a development which will determine the kind of country in which we and our children shall live. But that is not going to happen of its own accord. That is something which must be contrived, something which must be planned for and worked for. We have never hesitated—and less than ever now would we wish to appear to—to avoid stating our aims as clearly as conditions make possible. There are, in our view, three essentials for success in the economic development of this country and the improvement of the living conditions of our people. They are: (1), clear objectives in the short-term and long-term: (2), a comprehensive integrated programme, of which the public are fully informed; and (3), the co-operation of all organised elements in the community in the fulfilment of that programme.

I think I can say with some confidence that, in most sectors of national activity, realisable objectives have already been defined and comprehensive plans for their attainment are now in operation. But I admit that, even at the policy level, the work of the Government is not yet completed and there are some decisions which have yet to be taken. I spoke last week about the need for a reassessment of policy for small farmers. I am not going to repeat now what I said then. I can afford, I think, to laugh at Deputy Dillon's interpretation of my mind in that regard when, in fact, what I said is on record. I believe that there are possibilities of so altering the pattern of production and methods of operation on small farms that they can be made to provide for those who work them living standards comparable with the national average. Certainly the task of re-examining these possibilities in the light of modern ideas and thinking has begun.

I think also there is still work to be done in the preparation and publication of a comprehensive fishery development programme. We have already carried out important surveys and taken some important decisions such as the decision to establish a number of major fishery harbours: but the completion and publication of a completely integrated long-term programme for fishery development has yet to be done.

I think the country needs also an extension and improvement in its educational facilities, particularly at the higher educational and vocational levels.

We have, as the Minister for Finance pointed out yesterday, increased very substantially the total expenditure upon education in this country during our term of office. This year's Book of Estimates provides for a further increase of £750,000 on the services under the Department of Education, but there is a need for a more fundamental examination of some of the problems and a more definite determination of our future plan of action. A Commission on Higher Education, as the Dáil knows, has been established.

We have a continuing problem of industrial relations. That problem is not peculiar to this country and is, indeed, present in all the free enterprise countries of the world but it is one to which, I think, we now need to give closer attention than we have in recent years. The Minister for Industry and Commerce has announced that the adequacy and suitability at the present time of the Industrial Relations Act, which we passed in 1946, is being re-examined in the hope that a better system of establishing satisfactory industrial relations can be worked out in agreement with those who speak for workers and employers in industry.

There is, of course, the further problem of finding a satisfactory method of meeting the cost and enabling the community, notwithstanding the financial implications to continue the programme of improving rural amenities, particularly in regard to water supplies and minor roads. Legislation relating to water supplies will be before the Dáil shortly. The matter can then be discussed.

I hope it will be carefully considered.

The speed at which the country can carry through any programme of development depends upon the rate of expansion of our resources and upon the success of our efforts to increase production, even though Deputy Dillon thinks that is the wrong place on which to put the emphasis.

I beg the Taoiseach's pardon.

Because our resources are limited—and they always will be limited—we must determine some order of priorities. We must work out a realisable rate of progress. Everything cannot be done at once but success breeds success and because of the expansion of the national income, which has already been brought about, we can now consider possibilities and attempt projects which we could only dream about a couple of years ago.

Deputy Dillon spoke about emigration. I do not know at what period in his life he became aware of the existence of emigration. It is easy, however, to pinpoint the time in the past couple of years when he and his Party colleagues took the decision to exploit emigration for Party purposes, but even today, notwithstanding his eloquence and his historical references, we did not get from him, nor will we get from any of his colleagues, one single glimmer of an idea as to what to do about it.

Let us get the facts right so that we can at least apply some test to Deputy Dillon's sincerity in this regard. I concede that we have no reliable statistics about emigration. The only statistics we have arise from the count of the number of people who travel in and out of the country every year by sea and air and each year these figures give an outward balance. The number of people who travel out of the country during the year in excess of the number of people who travel inward to some extent gives us a measure of emigration and variations in these figures show the prevailing trend in that regard.

These figures are calculated each year to the end of February to eliminate from them the effect of exceptional traffic that occurs over the Christmas period, inward and outward. In the three years, when Deputy Dillon's Government were in office, the three years ended February, 1955, February, 1956, and February, 1957, that balance outward averaged 47,000 per year. In the three years which ended in February last, 1959, 1960 and 1961, the average was 40,000. Even though that is far too heavy a figure, even though the size of that figure is a matter for grave concern for all of us, let us take account of the fact that emigration is now running 15 per cent. below the level it attained when Deputy Dillon's Government were in charge of affairs.

Does the Taoiseach believe that?

These are the available figures. Deputy Dillon himself quoted these figures here this morning.

He did not quote the figures when he was in office.

Let me say that these figures are not the measure of our emigration problem. I think it is fair to assume that there will always be some number of people in this country who will wish to explore the possibilities of using their talents to their own advantage in other countries, irrespective of their opportunities for doing so in Ireland. We know that something over 1,000 priests and nuns leave this country every year for the missionary fields. We know there are doctors and teachers who also hear the same call to help the undeveloped nations of the earth. Indeed, last year we altered the regulations applying to secondary teachers to encourage them to spend two or three years in secondary schools in African States by ensuring that they could come back to employment in Ireland without loss on the incremental scales. The figures for 1960 include the Irish contingent serving with the United Nations Force in the Congo.

There is a problem of excessive emigration. It is a problem which we cannot end by oratory, or by deploring it, or even by voting against it. We have indeed too many people in this country who are prepared to salve their conscience about this subject of emigration by urging others to do something about it but who will not contribute even the benefit of their own ideas to its solution. We have never tried to conceal our concern. On the contrary, we have endeavoured to bring it into the open to an extent never previously done. We want the people to think about it and to try from their own experiences to identify the various factors operating to sustain it.

We know there are economic causes working. We also know that the economic cause in the narrow sense of that term is not the sole factor. How can we identify these other factors more precisely? When the Coalition Government came into office in 1948, they set up a commission on emigration. It may be that their desire at that time was to try to ascertain all the factors at work and to get the information that would enable them to do something about it. It may be that they merely wanted to make a show of activity in a manner which released them from any necessity of taking decisions at that time. That commission took a long time in the preparation of its report and, by a coincidence, its report was published a few weeks after the second Coalition Government came back into office in 1954.

No recommendation of that Commission was accepted by that Government. There was no public comment in the Dáil by any member of that Government on the recommendations of the Commission. So far as evidence in public was available to us, no member of that Government had even read the Commission's report, with one exception to which I shall refer later. I will confess that that report did not contain any strikingly good proposals. The report demonstrated again the futility of seeking, through a commission of that kind, a cut and dried solution to such a complex problem, but I can say that we on this side of the House, we of the Fianna Fáil Party, examined that report very carefully and in great detail, both in Opposition and again when we came back to office.

We did not agree with all the proposals. We regarded some of them as being impractical, but we have accepted and are seeking to apply some of the things they recommended, not, I confess, because they were the Commission's recommendations but because they coincided with our own views. I said there was one exception in so far as the Coalition Government are concerned to the general conclusion that no member of it had even bothered to read the report. Deputy Corish, as Minister for Social Welfare in the Coalition Government, brought along to his colleagues a proposal, based upon the Commission's recommendations, that there should be some decentralisation of Government administration and he sought the consent of his colleagues to a proposal that some part of the Department of Social Welfare, which he controlled, should be transferred out of Dublin.

He did not get a very cheerful reception. The record shows that the decision was taken to leave the matter to a Cabinet Committee which never met. Deputy Corish's influence must not have been very strong; otherwise, he would have seen that the Cabinet committee at least assembled.

Does the Taoiseach propose to carry out such a transfer?

We are, as the Deputy well knows, arranging to transfer some administrative activities out of Dublin.

On a point of order, it does not very much matter what the Government did about a recommendation but is it desirable that the Taoiseach should set a precedent that Cabinet minutes are to be made the subject of discussions in this House?

I did not refer to a Cabinet minute.

Is it now to be the position that Cabinet minutes will be made the subject of discussion in this House? The carrying on of government is going to be made almost impossible if every Cabinet minute is to be discussed here across the floor of the House. I do not think such procedure is in precedent.

It is a matter on which I would be prepared to sit down with the Deputy and prepare a code of rules. The Deputy's memory is not very strong. Confidential communications between even Ministers were read here when the Deputy was in Government.

I do not give a fiddle-dee-dee, but if this precedent is accepted and if minutes of Cabinet meetings are to be made the subject of discussion in the House, it is going to be awfully difficult to carry on government.

I shall confine my statement to the fact that even though the Commission sat for six years, not one single recommendation or proposal or suggestion made by it was implemented by the Coalition Government. We have endeavoured, to some extent, to carry out some of the recommendations on decentralisation of administration, the retention of married women teachers, increased inducements for private afforestation, improvement of harbours and the development of inland fisheries.

I am not going to suggest here—I think it would be very unwise for anyone to do so in the national interest —that the elimination of all the causes of emigration can be achieved quickly, but there is no solution which does not involve increasing the number and the scope of occupations in Ireland by new developments in agriculture, industry and other sectors. That is what the Government are attempting with unremitting vigour and not inconsiderable success.

Deputy Dillon devoted a large part of his speech to the theme that there are fewer people in employment now than in 1956. It is true that the rate of emigration exceeds the annual natural increase in population and it is therefore a mathematical certainty that there are fewer people in the country now than there were at the time of the last census. But we must not consider our national problem in that regard and discuss our economic situation as if the three years of the Coalition Government never happened. Whatever the position regarding employment and unemployment, the fact is that employment is now going up and unemployment is going down. What was happening in 1956 when Deputy Dillon's Government were in office? In the year which ended in April, 1956, the number of people employed in nonagricultural sectors, as set out in Table 16 of the document Deputy Dillon is now studying, declined by 8,000 and in the following year, which ended in April, 1957, employment in those sectors declined by 15,000. In the year which ended in April, 1960, the number increased by 7,000 and in the year which ended on first of April last, there was—presumably a similar increase—a continuance of the upward trend.

The point I want to emphasise is that even though all our economic efforts in the past two years did not achieve more than putting the same number back into employment as were put out of employment in the last year of Deputy Dillon's Government, the trend, anyhow, now is upwards. The number of people in manufacturing industry is the highest ever recorded.

That is not so.

The number of people employed in manufacturing industry in this county is the highest ever recorded. Between 1956 and 1960, there was a decline in the number of persons employed on constructional activities. I think that has been largely repaired since those statistics were completed last year. Deputies received by post this morning the usual monthly industrial analysis of the live register issued by the Statistics Office and they will see therein that in the month of March last, as compared with March, 1960, unemployment among workers engaged in general building construction and repair and in maintenance of roads and bridges fell by approximately 3,000 and everybody knows there has been a considerable revival in the building trade in the past twelve months. There was a decline in the number occupied in agriculture, mainly, as the volume of statistics makes clear, farmers' relatives not wage earners. But, as the Minister for Finance emphasised in his statement yesterday, for the first time since 1953 the increase in the number of persons employed in non-agricultural sectors exceeds the decline in the number of persons occupied in farming.

There was an increase in the cost of living index number. The consumer index rose from 116 in 1959 to 117 in 1960. It rose by 2.75 per cent., if we take the quarterly figure of November, 1959, and November, 1960, for the purpose of the comparison. It is true that there was a rise in prices last year. We deliberately decided to bring about an increase in the price of milk and butter by increasing the price paid to the producers of milk either for liquid consumption or butter manufacture. We did that for the reason that we saw this disparity in the distribution of the increased national income between wage-earners and farmers, to which Deputy Dillon has been referring.

You put the levy on at the same time.

The milk producers are getting a higher price for their milk now than ever before and there was a consequential increase in the price of these products to consumers.

1.3 pence more.

Not after the levy——

Every Deputy knows that higher wage levels became effective in practically all occupations during the course of the past year. The volume "Economic Statistics" indicates that the increase in wage rates last year was six per cent. Having regard to these measures, deliberately taken here, to secure some part of the increase in the national income for the benefit of milk producers, and the increase in wage rates which outstrips the increase in the cost of living, I think that the rise in the general price level that occurred last year was less than one might reasonably have expected.

Deputy Dillon again brought up this old theme of the abolition of the food subsidies. Has he not grasped the significance of what has happened in this community? We who were responsible for the introduction of these food subsidies in the first instance never conceived them except as a temporary device. We never thought they should become a permanent feature of the social welfare arrangements of this State. We are against subsidies, in principle. We believe that inevitably they increase costs by encouraging inefficiency. Whenever they have to be applied, as they have occasionally to meet problems, they should never be regarded as anything more than a temporary remedy to be adopted until some permanent adjustment has been effected.

Let us go back to 1956 and compare the situation, say, of the wage earners in 1956 when the food subsidies were in operation with the situation of these wage earners now with the subsidies abolished. Since 1956, up to December, 1960, industrial earnings have increased on an average by 25 per cent. The consumer price index, allowing for the abolition of subsidies, has increased by 12 per cent. The workers of this country, enjoying their higher wages and paying economic prices for the foodstuffs previously subsidised, are considerably better off than they were before the subsidies were eliminated. The same is true of our farmers. There has been a substantial increase in output per head of persons occupied in agriculture. I cannot give the exact figure because I have not calculated it since 1956. The Minister for Agriculture recently stated that there was a 40 per cent. increase in productivity per head of persons occupied in agriculture between 1950 and 1960.

Deputy Dillon welcomed the invitation of the Minister for Finance to contrast the situation existing in this country today with the situation that existed in the last year in which his Government were in office. That is a contrast that will be, I think, frequently mentioned in the course of the next 12 months or so. Let us look at the overall picture. One difference in the situation in the country now and that obtaining in 1956 when Deputy Dillon was helping to preside over the country's destinies is in the balance of payments situation. There is now a virtual balance. Indeed, the external assets of the banking system last year showed a slight increase. There is no problem in respect of our balance of payments now and no reason to anticipate any problem in the foreseeable future.

In 1955 there was a deficit on these external payments of £35½ million and in 1956 of £14½ million.

And in 1957?

There was no deficit in 1957.

There was a credit balance of £9.2 million.

That is correct. Something happened in 1957?—oh, yes, there was a change of Government.

That is not what happened, as the Taoiseach well knows.

Deputy Dillon's concern also about the position of farmers dependent on livestock did not lead him to study the statistics supplied to him with the care they deserve. Last year, there was a fall in the export of store cattle but, as that volume which we gave him very emphatically points out, the fall in the export of store cattle was more than compensated by a rise in the value of fat cattle exports. Much more significant, since 1956, exports of meat and meat products have more than doubled. I am sure few Deputies will contest the soundness of the policy of encouraging exports of agricultural produce in the most fully processed form.

Very important developments in the food processing industries are taking place. In my view, this is a most encouraging development which offers not merely a great new opportunity for the development of industry but an expansion based upon materials won from the land of Ireland, a development which will widen the whole base of farm operations and expand the productivity of the land.

I do not intend to deal at any length with agricultural policy at present. Deputies also got in the post this morning a copy of the Farm Bulletin published by the Department of Agriculture. They will find therein a policy statement made by the Minister for Agriculture recently which is well worth studying. We are giving Deputies a great deal of material to work on. I hope they will occupy the coming weekend in studying it.

Whether or not you should spend public money on publishing 11 pages of a political speech is a nice question.

Is it not well to be able to show we have a policy, which is what you cannot do?

It is not a political speech in a Party sense; it is a statement of policy by a Member of the Government.

It is a political speech and it was circulated three days ago, not this morning.

Another sharp point of contrast between now and 1956 has been the growing support given by commercial banks to the expansion of production, particularly agriculture. In 1956, because these heavy deficits on external payments were financed by pulling down the external reserves of the banks, there was a very sharp contraction of bank credit which contributed to the economic decline at that time. In 1960, the value of agricultural output sold off farms, the amount of cash received by Irish farmers for the sale of their produce, increased by £15,000,000.

For the year before that it had gone down by £16,000,000.

In 1956, the gross output fell by £12,000,000 as compared with the year before.

The Taoiseach is talking of two different figures, gross output and cash income.

Deputy Dillon spoke of the continued decline of the number of people engaged in agriculture. The drop last year was 5,700 compared with 6,200 the year before. For the ten years from 1951, the average was 9,200. In 1956, when Deputy Dillon was Minister for Agriculture, the decline was 10,000. In that respect, there has also been a striking improvement to which it is worth while drawing the attention of Deputies. Last year, industrial output was six per cent higher than it was in 1959, which, in itself, was a record year. In 1956, industrial output declined by three per cent as compared with the previous year.

It was a sad year all round.

Two hundred thousand people left the country last year.

Employment in manufacturing industry has increased. Between April, 1959 and April, 1960, it increased by 7,000 and the total in insured employment increased by an average of 8,000 weekly. Between January 1957, when Deputy Dillon's Government were in office, and January, 1961, the number of registered unemployed fell by 32,500.

And 200,000 people went to Manchester and other cities in England.

There was heavier emigration in 1956 than in 1960. Why did the number of registered unemployed not fall in that year? We had both heavy emigration and heavy unemployment. After falling constantly since 1954, the number of persons with social insurance cards rose by 4,000 in 1960. The number of new social insurance cards issued to persons under 18 years of age in 1960 was an all-time record. The total number of new cards issued last year maintained the increase shown in the previous year. All this is not going to stop. The increased momentum of our industrial progress indicates that the progress of the past two years will continue.

Unless the Coalition come back.

Industrial progress is not merely a count of new factories. The continued growth of existing industries is a most important factor. But new factories can be counted and they provide a yardstick by which we can measure our industrial progress. Excluding the smaller concerns with a capital investment of less than £10,000, 45 new industrial undertakings came into production for the first time last year, as has already been stated by the Minister for Finance. They did not all start off as fully-fledged enterprises employing the maximum number from the first day on which their machines began to run. They are all building up to a normal employment potential estimated at 7,000, the figure that is likely to be reached in the course of the present year.

In the first quarter of this year, seven further new factories came into operation, having between them a potential of employment of 1,500 and there are 28 new factories under construction around the country, all but three of which are expected to be in production by the end of the year. They represent a capital investment of £12,000,000 and they have an employment potential of 6,000. There are, of course, very many additional proposals for new industrial enterprises which are in various stages of processing, many of which, it is to be assumed, will ultimately materialise but the plans for which are not yet finalised.

I have said that I believe this country is entering upon a decade of development and that our development is dependent upon the progress which we make in this year and in next year. Indeed, any set-back now, any reversal of the trend we have developed, could have such catastrophic consequences for the country that getting progress started again would be much more difficult even than it was in 1957.

We believe that the country has the necessary resources of men, money, land and materials to permit of a very substantial development, if we use them properly. If we had any doubts as to the realisation of our economic objectives, they related to the will of our people to make the effort required. These doubts are diminishing, but the people's will to avail of the opportunities open to them and to use the Government's programme of economic expansion to the utmost possible limit can be weakened by a persistent campaign to disparage their achievements to date and to exaggerate the problems which have still to be solved. I can understand that Party political considerations may induce Opposition Deputies to feel that they are obliged to belittle the Government's achievements, but surely they can devise some way of doing that without spreading gloom and despondency among the people?

So far as the upsurge in economic activity, this progress which we have recorded, is concerned, it is true to say that not one iota of that is due to a positive, constructive suggestion from any member of Fine Gael inside the House or outside it. On the other hand, whatever other criticism the Opposition may have regarding members of the present Government, there is one thing they cannot accuse them of and that is leaning on their shovels in this task of nation-building. I have a long experience in Government and I can say that never before have I known a body of men as that which now sits around the table in the Cabinet Room in Government Buildings so dedicated to their work, so anxious to proceed with it that my task as Taoiseach is very largely to arrange some sort of orderly queue for their projects so that they can proceed regularly and with some regard to the resources of time as well as the resources of money which are available to us.

Modesty is a vice no one would ever convict the Taoiseach of.

Let me say—in all modesty—that I am not claiming that all our plans and projects have been one hundred per cent. Perfect. No Government, directing the widely deployed effort on which we are engaged, could avoid making mistakes. No Government in a hurry, as we are in a hurry, could afford to wait for perfection in every detail, but we have never hesitated to change our plans, modify our proposals and rectify our mistakes when need for that was brought to our attention. We have never failed to listen to constructive criticism, but we have to turn for that criticism to organisations outside the Dáil, to the groups and committees and organisations which speak for the special interests in the community and who are concerned to help the Government to fulfil their programme. We do not get that type of criticism here. Deputy Dillon and his Party content themselves with destructive criticism and confine themselves to belittling the Government efforts. They will not say a word of hope or encouragement to the people and, therefore, so far as I am concerned, the election cannot come too soon.

It would be, I suppose, appropriate for us to echo the Taoiseach's hope that the sooner the election comes, the better.

Do not make it sound too enthusiastic.

The Budget introduced yesterday came as a disappointment to quite a number of people. It may be that Press speculation on the prospects were too optimistic and the turn of events did not justify the commentaries. I have no desire to belittle in any way the Government's achievements or to take from them any credit to which they are entitled. It is true that circumstances can make or mar a Government. Success, or otherwise, depends to a large extent on the luck of the draw. So far as this Government are concerned, they have had very favourable conditions. Since 1957, the terms of trade have been continuously favourable. Contrasting that situation with the terms of trade which operated during the lifetime of the previous Government, this Government have all along enjoyed a distinct advantage. No Government in this country is responsible for these conditions; neither can a Government take any effective action to change them. It may be, indeed, that a Government must take action in particular circumstances to minimise or offset in some way the effects of unfavourable terms of trade.

We are entitled now to examine the record of this Government, with these favourable terms of trade, and compare it with what the people were led to believe they could expect. We are entitled to contrast conditions obtaining under the policy of the Government and compare them with the cost of living and other economic indices when circumstances were different. This Government have had very favourable terms of trade. Despite that, the cost of living has risen continuously. If we take the consumer price index, we find that in February, 1957, it was 107.7; the most recent figure we have for this year is 119.8. In addition to that, train fares have increased by 12.8 per cent. and bus fares by 14.19 per cent. Increases have taken place in the prices of many essential commodities. The food index shows an increase of 16 points between February, 1957, and November 1960. Clothing shows an increase of four points; housing and sundries, an increase of 11 points; condensed milk, an increase of four per cent; cocoa, an increase of 12½ per cent; biscuits, an increase of ten per cent; other groceries, an increase of 15½ per cent. The most significant increase, however, is that in respect of such an essential commodity as flour; flour increased by 89 per cent. Bread increased by 69 per cent. Butter increased by 22 per cent.

It is significant that these increases occurred at a time when the terms of trade were favourable and when the import price index showed a continuous drop. While commodities which had to be imported fell in price, the prices charged to the consumers increased continuously. At the same time, the prices paid for certain commodities produced by our own farmers showed a reduction. We had the peculiarly anomalous situation that we paid less in respect of wheat to our own farmers and charged our own consumers more. Similarly, substantially more had to be paid by the consumer of butter.

Considerable play has been made here with the numbers in employment at a particular time and the fact that the last year showed an improvement over the preceding year. I have no desire to quote figures in order to refute arguments put forward on the Government side. I believe there is no easy solution to the problem of emigration. I have repeatedly expressed the view that an improvement in the employment position here must be sought through industrial expansion. Quoting figures will not put more people into employment. It is significant, however, that in the past ten years, the biggest exodus from agriculture and the biggest drop in the number of those employed in agriculture, forestry and fishing occurred during a year in which the present Government were in office.

Between 1952 and 1953 20,000 people left employment on the land and for the same year 23,000 fewer people were employed in agriculture, forestry and fishing. That was the highest figure for any single year since 1951 up to this year, so that for the last decade the largest number of people to leave agricultural employment occurred between 1952 and 1953. I state that as a matter of record and of fact and not for the purpose of developing an argument because I believe quoting one set of figures against another does not help to put people into employment. Despite all the expansion in industrial development, despite the very considerable State assistance that has been given over the last few years, in particular since the assistance was provided first by means of tax remission in the 1956 Finance Act, which has since been extended, it is significant that this year from the figures which are contained in Table 7 and Table 16 of Economic Statistics there are still 51,000—in round figures over 50,000— fewer people employed than were employed in 1956. That is a significant figure and a figure I believe which demonstrates the magnitude of the problem and the effort that must be made to expand industrial employment and improve the opportunities for reducing the numbers emigrating.

It is significant that figures which were published in Britain on December 16th last showed that the number of working emigrants in Britain from, as it was described, the Republic of Ireland, was 64,000 in 1959 and 58,000 in 1958. These figures were based on the number of insurance cards issued to people entering employment in Britain for the first time and did not include non-working dependants nor persons under 16 years of age who were at work and who are not obliged to stamp cards. When that figure is taken into conjunction with the drop in the numbers employed, we realise how inadequate the efforts so far have been to stem the drain of emigration and to expand employment. It was, and it is, satisfactory that last year the increased numbers in industrial employment matched exactly the numbers that left agriculture. It was the first time for a considerable time that the numbers leaving agricultural emploment were not greater than the numbers who found employment elsewhere.

However, I want to advert to one aspect of the assistance which is being given to industry. Since the introduction of the tax remission in 1956 there has been a very considerable expansion in industrial employment and production, and I have no desire to minimise the improvements in the tax arrangements that have been made by the present Government, but a start had to be made. As has often been said, Rome was not built in a day and until the relief was first afforded in 1956 no specific incentive was provided in respect of industrial export.

I want to quote one impartial observer who commented on this matter, Professor Carter who is Professor of Political Economy in Queen's University. He referred to this this year when he spoke in Belfast and he said:

Progress in industry in the Republic has been remarkable. The biggest technical factor in the change has been the tax exemption for export industries.

That was an unsolicited comment by an impartial observer. This improvement in industrial exports, the expansion in industrial employment, has been achieved not only by established industries but by some of the industries that have benefited by these new concessions and which were established more recently. There is, I believe, some volume of opinion particularly amongst existing industrialists who are concerned at the dangers inherent in offering special facilities for new industries over and above those which are afforded to existing and established industries.

Earlier this year the annual meeting of Sunbeam Wolsey which was held in Cork on the 20th March, was addressed by Mr. Declan Dwyer, the managing director, who I need hardly say, is himself a well known and highly competent industrialist and who not merely inherited a great business which was established with such genius and ability by his father but has himself expanded the industry of Sunbeam Wolsey and the subsidiary companies.

At the annual meeting he had this comment to make, and I am quoting from the Cork Examiner of March 21st:

Direct taxation continues to be the greatest dis-incentive to industry in this country, and the old established industries have a legitimate grievance against the discrimination shown in favour of newcomers, which would appear to be the continued policy of the Government. But these matters have been aired on so many occasions by private and public bodies that we can only continue to hope that the appeals will eventually penetrate and the overdue levelling of the position as between the old and the new will come about.

Surely, if it is the policy of the Government to allow tax relief on all the exports of the manufactured products of a company, the same relief should be extended to an old established company who had put its efforts into developing an export trade before it was the fashionable thing to do.

Mr. Dwyer went on:

Less than 60 per cent. of our total exports qualified for tax reliefs, but if this production had been undertaken in a new factory built either in the Shannon Free Area or elsewhere, the total would have qualified for relief.

I mention that because quite recently another industrialist spoke to me about the fact that his industry which had been long established and which was in the same line of business as a new industry, found that it was suffering competition on the home market.

While it is true that, under the existing arrangement, industries are obliged not to sell more than 10 per cent. of their export quota on the home market, it is difficult for competitors to ascertain accurately as to whether that figure is being exceeded. In the case of certain commodities 10 per cent. could make a very big difference. If a firm develops a substantial export trade and is entitled to sell 10 per cent. on the home market, that could impinge very severely on the existing marketing arrangements of comparable established industries. I want to direct attention to that matter so that the Minister for Finance and the Minister for Industry and Commerce may keep the question under constant review and ensure that there will be no abuse of the facilities that are afforded and no action taken which will militate against established industries which have been built up here, without the same facilities or encouragement as have been afforded to more newly-established firms.

It is agreed on all sides of the House that the utmost encouragement should be afforded to new industries, that this question of tax reliefs and incentives is not a matter of dispute between any political sections in the House, that it was, as I said, introduced first by our Government when in office and has since been continued, but it is appropriate and right that now, after five years' working, the matter should be reviewed with a view to avoiding some of the disadvantages which established industrialists have complained about, so that no undue discrimination will be allowed.

The section of the community that have suffered most severely from the rise in the cost of living are pensioners and others on fixed incomes or living on retirement pay. I believe that most people expected that the Minister would have given a greater increase than 1/6d. to the non-contributory old age pensioners because that category in the community have been most severely hit and taking into account existing price levels, the amount of the non-contributory pension is inadequate to meet the reasonable needs of people. It was, I believe, a source of disappointment to many people that the Minister was not able to increase the pension by a greater amount. But, in addition to those pensioners there are many persons who have retired on fixed pensions and, with the exception of the slight increases that were granted in the Pensions (Increase) Acts of 1950, 1956, 1959 and 1960, these categories have received very little in the way of compensation for the rise in the cost of living.

I want to re-echo some comments that I made here on an earlier occasion in favour of a system which would allow an automatic increase, which would provide for the establishment of machinery whereby these pensions could be reviewed. I understand that under the 1960 Pensions (Increase) Act, approximately 38 per cent. of a total of 2,089 civil servants were in receipt of pensions under £200 per annum. Allowing for the present values of money, anyone can see that that is a small pension. There should be machinery, such as arbitration, similar to the Civil Service arbitration or conciliation machinery which provides increases for serving officers, which would apply in respect of retired public servants.

When I raised this matter on a previous occasion the Minister for Finance answered, at Column 549 of the Dáil Debates for 3rd November, 1960:

Indeed, it is even a novel idea to give these increases because I believe increases to pensioners were unknown until after the last war, so that at least we have done something that was not done before.

Of course, that ignores entirely the fact that it is only since 1939 that there has been this, sudden on certain occasions and continuous on all occasions, drop in the value of money. What has been often described as creeping inflation has devalued the pensions paid to retired State servants. It has been estimated that the average life of a State pensioner is nine years. The consequent demand on the Exchequer would not be considerable. It is no more easy for a pensioner to live on the pension awarded to him than it would be for an existing State servant, whether he is in the Civil Service, the Garda or the Army, to live on a fixed salary which would not be increased in accordance with rises in the cost of living.

In justice and equity retired State servants, whatever their grade or rank, whether they served in the Civil Service, the Army or the Garda, have a claim for machinery which would enable increases in pension to be provided on a similar basis as applies in the case of wages and salaries.

I was interested in the proposal in the Budget to increase the tax on purchases of holdings by non-nationals. This matter has been referred to here before. While this question may have been exaggerated, nevertheless, there is a growing volume of opinion that the number of holdings being purchased by non-nationals requires to be checked and kept under constant review. In that connection, the Land Commission should as a matter of definite policy operate on the basis of larger holdings.

One matter that has been the subject of comment here for a considerable time is the difficulty in present circumstances of making a living on very small holdings. While many people have in the past succeeded in achieving this there is a very great case for a review of the policy and an increase in the acreage of holdings. As I understood it, the Land Commission some years ago had an allocation of four or five holdings to 100 acres but since then that has been brought down to three and in certain cases even to two holdings to 100 acres. That matter should be kept under review so that adequate holdings would be given whenever re-allocation takes place.

In the course of his speech, the Minister referred to the fact that it was intended to adopt certain proposals which were recommended by the Commission on Taxation with a view to simplifying the payment of income tax and making the same arrangements in respect of income tax and surtax. I believe all Deputies have received complaints from income tax payers under P.A.Y.E. It might have been unreasonable to expect in the first year that a simpler system could have been adopted. It is quite remarkable the number of forms that have to be filled up and the queries answered in respect of even a single employee. Not only have I received complaints from an employer who had only one employee but I have discussed the matter also with an accountant who informed me that the amount of paper work that has to be undertaken by accountants and by firms to comply with P.A.Y.E. requirements is considerable. It was natural that at first it might be impossible to devise a simpler system, certainly in the initial stages, but after the first six months or so it ought to be possible for us to operate a less complicated system, one that would ensure the same result without causing a great deal of trouble to persons who own small businesses and who have not available to them qualified or experienced technical advisers in filling up these forms.

When this Budget is considered in the light of the promises that were made by this Government, it is very significant that no mention was made of the proposals put forward by them to provide 100,000 new jobs over a five-year period. Despite the favourable terms of trade, despite the increase in industrial employment, despite the expansion in the amount of money being made available for industrial development, there are still 50,000 fewer people employed than were employed five years ago. At the same time we have had the continuous exodus through emigration. I have repeatedly expressed the view that this problem cannot be solved simply or quickly, that it can only be solved through a very substantial expansion in industrial development, that in order to do that we must not merely encourage efforts by our own industrialists but also encourage, if possible, in new spheres of industrial development and new spheres of activity so as not to conflict with established industries, industrial undertakings from abroad who have the know-how and technical competence that is not available at home.

There have been remarkable instances of success in that direction. Reference was made here to the oil refinery and to the development of the Avoca Mines. There are many others; for instance, Bord na Móna in conjunction with Messrs. Guinness, who made facilities available in the establishment of the briquetting factory. All these State undertakings have played a significant part in expanding industry.

However, in addition, we must depend on private enterprise and private initiative and afford the maximum encouragement possible.

It is indeed significant that the drop in the numbers in employment and the general fall in the population have continued over a ten-year period in which very considerable efforts were made by all Governments to expand and develop the economy. It may well be that some analysis of the whole economic position should be undertaken to ascertain what retarding influences are having effect or what circumstances are causing this increase in emigration and the continuous tendency to seek employment elsewhere. It is a matter for grave concern that despite the efforts made over a period of 10 years, there is, taking one year with another, a continued outflow from the land and a continued flow of emigrants.

Some years ago I listened to a speech by a well-known economist in which he expressed the view that it was likely that over a period of years here an additional 200,000 fewer people would be employed on the land. That figure when stated in that form seemed a staggering one but when we examine the statistics contained in Table 7 over a period of years it is not so unrealisable as may at first seem. In fact the indications are that the tendency is all in that direction. This person expressed the view that, even with fewer people employed in agriculture, it would be possible to secure as high a standard of living and even a higher one.

These factors must be taken into account in relation to the question of the size of an agricultural holding, the facilities for credit for agriculture as well as the general, economic and social policy which is a matter that has repeatedly been commented upon by social writers, by distinguished clerical commentators and others. It is a matter that has always been the subject of regret but these are inescapable economic facts. The indications over a very long period are that there is no escape from them and the tendency has been continuous although it may vary or fluctuate slightly from year to year.

It is, therefore, vital and if we are to provide increased employment we must expand industrial production and industrial potential. The efforts that have been made up to the present have contributed in some way towards an increase in industrial employment but a much greater effort will be required in the future.

In that connection, I was surprised that there was no indication from the Government as to their policy on the future of the European trade arrangements. Once again this matter has been the subject of continuous comment in Press reports recently both in Britain and here, while on many occasions in the past it has appeared to be a question which is ripe for decision. The British Government seem to be having another look at the situation. The general tenor of Press comments is that Britain is about to take a decision in the matter. Whatever decision Britain takes will vitally affect our interests.

I think the House and the country will be disappointed that there was no indication from the Government of their attitude in the event of the British Government deciding to join the Common Market, or deciding to make arrangements with the new trade entities in Europe. Whatever decision is taken will affect our interests and we must, so far as possible, ensure that whatever arrangements are made, adequate safeguards are provided for our industries and for our agricultural position as well.

As I said initially, I believe this Budget will have come as a disappointment to many people because of the fact that in the circumstances it was not found possible to give greater reliefs at a time when many sections of the community, and particularly the old age pensioners and other pensioners living on fixed incomes, are feeling the effects of the very substantial rise in the cost of living in recent years. That rise in the cost of living has hit those sections of the community because of their low incomes and because of the fact that they have not been compensated to the same extent as were other sections who received increases in their salaries and emoluments.

There was dissatisfaction with regard to the increases granted to Army personnel. That matter has been referred to previously, but I believe there is no justification for a lower rate of increase in respect of Army personnel than that which was granted to civil servants. The officers and men of the Army are entitled to increases commensurate with those paid to civil servants. I believe that matter should be reviewed at an early date.

The Taoiseach's speech to-day was a clear indication of the position this country now holds, and it was brimful of confidence. That is as it should be, after the Minister for Finance presented what will be termed, and must be termed, the best Budget ever to come before this House. I have listened to what I may term a reasoned speech from Deputy Cosgrave. He usually makes reasoned speeches, obviously with the interests of the country at heart. Would it not be well for the country if the Leader of the Fine Gael Party and Deputy Sweetman, a former Minister for Finance, could rise to that level, too? One would imagine they would get some sense instead of uttering statements which they know perfectly well to be untrue, statements which are damaging to the nation's economy such as those they have been making for some years past, and especially during the past four years. One would imagine that a love of country would stop them from trying to sabotage the nation's economy.

This country of ours has gone through a fairly trying time in the past, but I venture to say that at no period of its history had it to go through a more trying time than during the period of the last Coalition Government. The nation was brought to the very verge of bankruptcy and people with money refused to subscribe to the demands made on them. That must be compared with the past four years when, every time the Minister for Finance asked for money, he got it and, indeed, it was over-subscribed. That is a clear indication of their position in the estimation of the people.

Deputy Cosgrave referred to the decrease in the number of people employed in agriculture. It is quite true that there has been such a decrease, but everyone knows full well that was due to the use of machinery more than anything else. Machinery is now used for practically all farm work. Whether that is good or bad, time will tell, but I should not like to be the person who would dream of putting a stop to the capital investment in machinery which has taken place for a considerable time. Machinery will also tell against the employment of road workers, and eventually even in industry we can visualise that, as a result of the use of machinery, more machinery and new machinery from day to day, the difficulty of creating full employment will, as time goes on, be felt to a greater extent.

There are more people employed in industry now than heretofore. There are, of course, fewer unemployed. We saw the sorry spectacle and had to take over the terrible dead weight of 97,500 unemployed. When speakers on the opposite benches mention unemployment, I can only come to one conclusion, which is, that their memories have become very short, or that they think the memories of the people they represent, and will be going before in the near future, are also very short indeed. During the past four years, no one has forgotten the terrible figure of unemployment that obtained at the period when the last Coalition Government ceased to occupy the office of Government.

No doubt the Government will be criticised for not doing this, that or the other and, of course, the critics will always be very careful to avoid telling the country that the Government did not even start from scratch: they started from very far behind the lines with a big leeway to make up. That leeway has been made up thank God, and thanks to good planning by sensible men, all pulling in the one direction, as the Taoiseach said, with plenty of energy, plenty of hope in the future, and hope and confidence in the people. We now stand one of the most prosperous States in Europe, if not in the world.

This country of ours is now enjoying a prosperity which even the most optimistic person on this side of the House did not anticipate. Not even the greatest and most ardent supporters of the Fianna Fáil Party ever dreamed that, in such a short time, we would achieve the great success which has now been achieved. They have been responsible for an expansion of the country's economy and a degree of confidence in the future that even the wily statements of our political opponents could not prevent.

We have had references to the social welfare services and the unemployed, but they try to forget that they were responsible not so long ago for a reduction in the old age pension.

Would the Deputy tell us when was that?

I shall give the Deputy the day and the date. I shall write it down for him. I know he is a very honest Deputy and that, once I give it to him in writing, he will inform the people of Donegal of the day and the date.

I should like to hear it.

It was when the Fine Gael Party were one Party and were in complete authority in this House.

We will get that in the history books.

It is necessary to mention these things to show the mentality of and the road followed by some, if not all, of our opponents in the past. There is an old Irish adage which says it is hard to break an old dog in his trot. When these things occurred, the old age pensioners had not 30/- a week and the insured workers had not £2. It was 10/- a weeks, like it or leave it. There was no other type of social service except a meagre amount of national health insurance managed by every poltroon in the country who could set himself up as an authority on this important subject.

In the next couple of months, the old age pensioner will enjoy 30/- a week and the insured workers will get from Fianna Fáil something to help keep their wives and families in frugal comfort during periods of illness. When I see Deputy Sweetman shedding crocodile tears for the old age pensioners, I am bound to remind him that it is within the memory even of the not-too-old here that they reduced the old age pension by 1/- a week. Deputies may say that an increase of 1/6 is not a terrible lot. I think I heard Deputy Dillon say so yesterday. They make mountains out of the fact that 1/6 is not a big increase, but in their time, in order to save the finances of the nation, they had to reduce the pension to the old and infirm when these people had only 10/-a week.

I ask the Fine Gael Party when are they going to stop spreading gloom throughout the country? They know perfectly well that lack of confidence will hinder the Government in their efforts to bring full prosperity to the nation. They sat there yesterday when the Minister told of the efforts of the Government to help the farming community by providing cheaper manures and so on. They listened to him describe the many great things in this Budget, but there was an air of gloom over the Front Bench of Fine Gael. It was only when he announced a penny on the packet of cigarettes that they came to life. The mentality of Fine Gael, apparently, is this. When there is extra taxation, they are delighted; but when there are extra benefits for the people, their hearts go down to their boots and they commence spreading gloom.

There is no doubt in the mind of any fair-minded person, regardless of his political allegiance, that we are now a very prosperous nation. It will be the task of the Government—and it should be the task of the Opposition —to work for a continuation of that prosperity. When will this attempt to break the confidence of the people cease? The sooner it ceases the better, and the greater the results will be if our opponents, particularly the chief Opposition, have sufficient commonsense to stop preaching gloom.

The industrial revival has been a surprise to many of the great industrialists, even some of those quoted by Deputy Cosgrave, whom I regard as good and sincere people. The proof of the pudding is provided by those people who invest their money here, not the people who talk and invest their money elsewhere. To invest his money here is the duty of any Irishman. The people can be congratulated on the way in which they have over-subscribed the national loans asked for by the present Minister for Finance in the past four years.

This Budget gives extra money to the old and infirm, to those temporarily ill and to the widow who has lost her breadwinner. Everybody would like to see them getting more, and nobody more so than the Fianna Fáil Party and the Fianna Fáil Government; but increases can be given only when the nation's economy expands and when we are fully confident there will be no reduction. The Government can be complimented that for the past four years especially, but indeed during every previous period of office, their first concern was the plight of the infirm, the widows and orphans and the sick.

They will go down in history as the people who initiated widows' and orphans' non-contributory pensions. I think no other country in the world introduced such a scheme. A Fianna Fáil Government were the first to introduce such a measure and, thereby, as in many other spheres of life, gave a glowing example to the peoples of the world. We even gave the coloured people a lead which I sincerely hope they will accept and act upon.

The Taoiseach took the Opposition to task to-day for their behaviour as a whole, both inside and outside this House. If there is one thing above all else which helps towards the necessary prosperity, it is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth from the people's representatives, but trying to tell the people that emigration started four years ago is far from the truth.

It is very difficult to know how we will stop emigration unless we are able to provide a bigger pay packet than that provided by industrialists in England. It is very doubtful if we are going to achieve that. I would truthfully say from my own personal experience that there was less emigration in the past two or three years than there was in any previous year since 1941 and 1942. Emigration really started during the period of the second World War, because men were needed and the pay packets were tempting.

We all know that men who sell their labour are entitled to sell it as dearly as they can. They get the best price they can for it and they go to the dearest market. That is only natural. Every man tries to put himself in a position whereby he can get the best price for either his labour or his output. The people who emigrate cannot be blamed, but there is not a scintilla of truth in the statement that emigration increased in the past four years.

Emigration is on the decrease and we ought to thank God for it. In certain years, we know that some few may drift away. That is not altogether due to unemployment. Men in good employment have emigrated, because the pay packet was more tempting at the other side. Again, it is easier for employers on the other side to deal with them because of the language. French, Belgians and others always create certain difficulty for employers in Britain, and Irish people, who speak the English language, fit into, perhaps, dozens of jobs where the continentals would not be suitable. That is in no small way also responsible for unemployment. Pretending that emigration is greater than it is is harmful because it tempts others to go at a time when, I think, we have seen the last great exodus of people to England. Unfortunately, there has been such an exodus in years past.

The Taoiseach told us today that there are 28 new industries now in course of erection and the wheels of industry would be turning before the end of the year in 25 of them. The Minister for Industry and Commerce has also indicated that he will be favourably disposed towards the extension of the Undeveloped Areas Act in certain cases. That is an encouragement to industrialists. I should love to see all the industries manned by Irish people but I am afraid that we have not the tradition to enable us to build up successful industries in many cases. We lost it but that was not our fault. I hope nobody on the other side will say that it was the Fianna Fáil Party who were responsible for that because that tradition was broken over 100 years ago, when many of our people, who had the industrial tradition, were forced to emigrate. We know that people were forced at a later period but I am not going to refer to that.

In conclusion, might I say that there is, perhaps, a little disappointment at the fact that Old I.R.A. pensions have not been increased? Some of us were hopeful that wound pensions would be increased, especially in the case of those people who lost a limb or limbs. I would strongly urge the Minister to think of them because were it not for them, it is doubtful if an Irish Minister would be presenting a Budget in this House. He certainly would not. I hope the Minister will be able to continue the great work and that the adverse trade balance which he inherited will never be ours again.

I am glad that the Government are paying as they go and that they are in a position to meet the many costs in regard to the building of houses, reclamation projects, drainage schemes and so on. They are not only doing that but they are giving extra grants for the erection of piggeries. I sincerely hope that will be an enticement to our people and that it will increase pig production in this country. I never spoke against the Landrace pig, although that was attributed to me. I never spoke in its favour, either. Perhaps, I might take the line of least resistance and say that the Irish white pig might be a better proposition.

It is good to know that we are in the most prosperous period of the nation's history. Progress can only be made through co-operation in a single Government where the Cabinet meet knowing full well the needs of the nation. They try to find the way out and then provide the money to pay for that way out. We can only do that by single Government.

I sincerely hope and trust that those on the opposite side of the House will stop going around with their banshee cries, bewailing something that is not there at all. When a good Budget is brought in like that of this year, it is their solemn duty, as representatives of the people, to congratulate the people responsible for that Budget. Not alone that, but it is their duty also to give an assurance that if they ever get back into office, which is highly unlikely, they will copy, in so far as they are able, the exertions of the Fianna Fáil Government. If they do that, I would say they will get more votes than by going from chapel gate to chapel gate and from street corner to street corner, with their hair pulled down over their eyes like banshees, trying to convince the people that they should emigrate, that there is no future for them in this country.

I say there is every hope for the Irish people at home in their own country. All we want to achieve is a little commonsense, coupled with some hard work. In that way, we will get the prosperity we all desire and fought so hard for. Unfortunately, there are not many of the men here now who fought for these things, but let us hope that the few who are left on the opposite side of the House will congratulate the Government responsible for the prosperous state in which this country now finds itself, despite the terrible disadvantages which faced it four years ago.

As the Minister for Finance told us when introducing his Budget, this will be his last before the general election. That being so, it is only right that we should review the position over the past few years since the Minister made his first Budget speech, some four years ago. Deputy Davern is a man for whom I have nothing but the greatest respect. He is a man whose word I would accept at any time. But after listening to him today, I am afraid I must change my mind. He has told us this is the most prosperous State in Europe, that we were never better off, that we are the happiest people, with the greatest employment and that we are just living it down cushy.

He now says it again. It will be a great consolation to me to go back to Donegal and tell the people of the Gaeltacht there that Deputy Davern, from the Golden Vale, has assured me that we were never better off than today and it may be a great consolation to Deputy Loughman, who reluctantly took part of Waterford into his new constituency, to go down and tell the farmers that they were never better off, that there was never more money in the country.

Let us try to review the position. In the last general election, Fianna Fáil asked for and got an over-all majority. They told the people, in seeking that majority, that the cost of living was too high. That was No. 1 plank in their platform. The second was that there was far too much unemployment in the country and that they would solve it by providing employment for 100,000 within the short space of a few years, not to talk about four. They said there was far too much emigration and that they would stem that flow. They said the intolerable burdens imposed by the inter-Party Government by the imposition of what were then described as import duties on luxury goods would be abolished.

They went even further. On two occasions the Taoiseach and the present President assured the people that the lies of the Fine Gael Party that, if returned to office, Fianna Fáil would abolish the food subsidies would be turned on the Fine Gael Party because Fianna Fáil had no intention of abolishing the food subsidies. Let us see, then, what is the position. They were no sooner in office than they abolished the food subsidies.

What did that mean to the Exchequer? It meant an additional £9 million. In other words, they had £9 million to play around with which the inter-Party Government did not have. They increased the duty on tobacco and procured £3 million more for the Exchequer in that way. They got three-quarters of a million pounds from the new tax on beer and one-and-a-quarter millions from the tax on petrol, making a grand total of £14 million in additional taxation per annum—per annum, let me emphasise. In each of the past four years, in that direct taxation alone as a result of Budget proposals, £14 million in extra taxation was imposed on the people of this State.

The Deputy's figures are wrong.

Can the Minister deny the figures?

I deny every bit.

That is like the old story about the policeman caught in the pub who said to the publican: "Deny everything and I will corroborate it". Deny these facts.

I have already denied them.

Is it a fact that the Minister saved £9 million in food subsidies?

No, six.

£6 million. I will take the Minister's word for it. Is it a fact that he procured £3 million on extra tobacco tax?

No, £3 million altogether.

Look at it. He contradicts my figures. Is it a fact that the Minister got three-quarters of a million pounds from the beer tax?

No, £3 million between them all.

£3,000,000 between the lot—and the £6,000,000 on food subsidies. Give them a present of £9,000,000 over the four years and that is £36,000,000.

Remember the £5,000,000 short. That is the way you left the accounts.

That is direct taxation.

Remember the £5,000,000 short.

Take £5,000,000 from £9,000,000 and we will give you a present of £4,000,000 additional.

We will not take any present.

You increased the postage rate.

I do not know.

The Minister knows as well as I do that additional revenue was procured from the postage rate.

I do not remember that. Maybe it is right.

C.I.E. who were a burden on the State now pay for themselves and have increased their fares.

Of course they did.

The E.S.B. have increased their charges. Let us put it this way. Prior to Fianna Fáil taking office, all taxation was introduced at Budget Time.

What about the E.S.B. in 1956?

The E.S.B. in 1956?

That was not done at Budget time.

It was not done at that time but the E.S.B. were told at that time that they could borrow for capital development and they did borrow.

They put up prices by 10 per cent.

Prior to that, they were dependent on the State for capital development. They were told at that time they could go into the money market and they successfully went into the money market. Why could they not do that now?

Why did they put up the price?

One increase is not a justification.

How did you justify it?

We did not. We told them that in future they were to find their money on their own money market, which they did.

By putting up prices.

They put them up only once, in 1956, and that was when we started rural electrification.

You started it?

They started it. The Deputy is going out of his mind.

Do you remember what you called the E.S.B.?

A white elephant.

The Minister for Health called it a white elephant. Do you remember that? What is the meaning of a white elephant? A white elephant is something that is useless. It is a show.

It is an unknown element.

That is what you called the E.S.B. Now you come along and take all the credit for that initial work done by Deputy McGilligan and the members of the Cumann na nGaedheal Party.

The Sugar Company.

We shall come to that later on.

You say you started rural electrification?

In 1927 when we built the Shannon Scheme. Without the development of the Shannon you would have no power in the country today.

Surely we would not be without electricity today without the Shannon?

What other rivers did you develop between 1927 and 1960?

All except the coal-burning ones.

"All except the coal-burning ones." When were the Lee and the Clady developed?

They were all decided and undertaken in our time.

It is a wonderful thing.

You erected two stations for the importation of fuel.

You sabotaged them because you thought they were white elephants, just as you thought the Sugar Company was a white elephant.

We are rightly responsible for 75 per cent. of the total output of the network today.

At what price? Why did you not do it when you took office in 1933, if you were so fond of rural electrification and of electrifying the country? Why did you wait until 1940 when the war was at its height and the costs of development were so very much greater?

We had to educate the public.

Was it not a fact that you people had to be educated to think that these things were not white elephants? Is that not really what happened? When you were educated, then it was a bit too late. You were a bit long in the tooth and it cost more to do it.

Would the Deputy quote from some of the speeches made from that side of the House when we introduced rural electrification? I shall quote them on the next day.

Our only objection is that it is costing too much. If you had followed in the steps of the old Cumann na nGaedheal Government and developed it throughout the country we would today have it much cheaper than it is. But, simply because it was initiated——

The people who put us into office indicated that they did not want us to follow in the footsteps of the Cumann na nGaedheal Government. They were fed up with them.

Because it was a white elephant. There is the answer. But when you saw the wisdom of the policy of the old Cumann na nGaedheal Government you were very glad to come around to their way of thinking. The Minister is an honest man and he has let the cat out of the bag.

I am always honest, not like the Deputy.

The people said: "Do not touch that: we are suspicious of it." It was amusing when Deputy Davern tried to tell me something about what the old Cumann na nGaedheal Government did.

They took 1/- off the old age pension.

He said they reduced the old age pension from 10/- to 9/-. I was at school at the time. If the old age pension was 10/- in the days of the old Cumann na nGaedheal Government I know it was only 10/- in 1948, after the war.

Wait, now.

Do you remember that? It was 10/- and you got an extra 2/6 from the Relieving Officer if you could prove you were a pauper.

Order. Deputy O'Donnell, without interruption.

Remember that the cost of living was lower in 1938 than in 1954.

I do not mind the Minister and the Parliamentary Secretary having a go at me, backed by Deputy Davern.

I do not mind it in the least but I should like to remind Deputy Davern——

It is amusing.

If Deputy Davern says Cumann na nGaedheal in 1932 were able to give 10/- to the old age pensioner I would point out that in 1948 Fianna Fáil were still giving them 10/- only, plus the 2/6d. the Relieving Officer gave them if they were in poverty.

Deputy O'Donnell on the Budget, without interruption.

He is wrong.

I hope the Minister enjoys his lunch. We have heard a lot about industrial employment in the State. Let us have a look at the State generally. What are our main industries? The big industries are the Sugar Company, the E.S.B., Guinness's, the Oil Refinery, the Sweepstakes.

Prize Bonds.

Let us take those industries that give employment.

The Deputy is leaving out agriculture.

Apart from agriculture, these five concerns are the biggest in the country. Can Fianna Fáil take credit for the introduction of any one of the five big ones?

No, we cannot take credit for them, but I think we can justifiably prove we saved them from ruin and put them on the road to success.

The Sugar Company —you did everything to blow it up. You saved the E.S.B. from ruin when, in fact, it was necessary to have guards to protect it in the old days. Remember what you said about the Sweepstakes. Do not forget that. Remember what you once said about Guinness's. You said it was foreign capital that should be banished out of this State.

Do you want a quotation for it?

I think Cumann na nGaedheal in 1932 did their damnedest to get Guinness's to leave this country to prevent Fianna Fáil from coming into power.

Would the Parliamentary Secretary give me a quotation for that?

At the time some local papers and some daily papers published that Guinness's were likely to go—that they would go—if we came into power.

Give us the quotation.

They did not go. They never expanded——

On a point of order. If the Parliamentary Secretary will interrupt me and give quotations, why does he not say where he got that quotation?

The Irish Press.

It was not in existence then. They had not the money to establish it.

The best quotation I can give is the one from Cumann na nGaedheal.

Where did you get it?

It said that we would establish backlane factories in this country.

That is what you did establish.

We industrialised the country.

In 1955, the number engaged in manufacturing in this country was 191,000. This is 1961 and how many are engaged? The total is 190,000. I am quoting now from Table 16 of the statistics issued by the Taoiseach's Department the other day.

You are not quoting industrial employment.

I am. I am quoting from page 27, Table 16, of Economic Statistics. If the Parliamentary Secretary will take them and have a look at them, he will find that what I say is correct. Deputy Davern said that we were all mechanised now and he gave that as the reason that men are no longer working in the fields.

What has that to do with industry?

I have given the figures for industry. Would you like to hear the figures for agriculture? In 1956, the number in agricultural employment was 1,163,000; five years afterwards, in 1961, the number is 1,112,000, a drop of approximately 51,000. Deputy Davern tells us that 51,000 people have lost their employment because now we have tractors and machinery.

Do not forget that you quoted 1956.

I am quoting from the statistics supplied by the Taoiseach's Department last week.


Deputy O'Donnell should be allowed to make his own speech.

They do not want to hear me making a speech and they do not want to make speeches themselves. Between the Minister, the Parliamentary Secretary and their henchman behind them, I have not got a moment's peace since I got on my feet.

I want him to quote the figure for 1956.

Perhaps Deputy O'Donnell will be allowed to make his own speech.

In addition to the £14 million which I have mentioned, plus extra postal, E.S.B., telephone and transport charges, what have they got in additional capital investment?


The Parliamentary Secretary will probably get an opportunity of making his own speech.

The Parliamentary Secretary does not want to speak. For capital investment, they have got £18 million in Prize Bonds. They boast about their National Loan and Deputy Davern says that we were never better off than we are now. The people of Donegal will be delighted when Deputy Brennan, Deputy Cunningham and Deputy Breslin go back and tell them that they are so prosperous. So prosperous that what? That we are giving the old age pensioners an extra threepence a day, the price of a stamp. They are getting eighteenpence a week—we will forget about the seventh day.

We are told that this is now a wealthy State, a prosperous State, the best run State in Europe and that we are able to give them an extra eighteen-pence a week. That is a little too much. We take a penny off for every ounce of tobacco they smoke and for every 20 cigarettes they smoke. That is the Fianna Fáil idea of being liberal in the most prosperous State in Europe. Deputy Davern gave us advice as to what we should do when we go to the country. He said that we should not criticise the Government, that that is sabotaging the State. He said that we would get more votes if we told the people that we are getting on well instead of going around with our hair hanging down in our eyes like a banshee. We told them the truth in Sligo-Leitrim and did you see what happened?

You did not win one vote.

You penalised them for telling you what they thought of you. Income tax is also being reduced. That is a great thing. I remember the Parliamentary Secretary and myself and some others some time ago making a case to the Minister for a very poor section of the community, the fishermen, that they should not be required to pay income tax.

They would not accept that they should be called poor.

I call them poor because I think that is what they are. I will be glad to tell them that Deputy Brennan does not think they are poor.

They are the most industrious and thrifty section of the community.

There is not the slightest doubt about that, but they are still poor and now, for the first time in history, P.A.Y.E. is extracting money out of their pockets.

If it was not there, they could not get it.

They will get a refund in the lacuna period, but they are being put to the trouble of doing without it until they get that refund. In 90 per cent. of the cases, these fishermen earn their livelihood outside the territorial waters of this State. If a foreigner comes in here and sets up within the territorial limits of the State, he can export wherever he likes and he pays no income tax, corporation profits tax or sur-tax, but an unfortunate fisherman, if he goes outside the territorial waters of the State and brings his catch back here to be processed, has to pay income tax.

The fish are giving themselves up now.

No, but the fishermen are throwing the whole thing up. Some of the fishermen from Killybegs are clearing out. P.A.Y.E. has seen to that. We could make a case to the Minister for Finance to give these poor unfortunate fishermen the same privileges as we are giving to the foreigner.

Would you give them an undertaking that if a Fine Gael Government come back, the tax will be rebated?

When Fine Gael want to enunciate their policy, they will do it through their leader. Remember this, if they give a promise, they will keep it. It will not be like the promises of the new President and the present Taoiseach when they said that they would not abolish the food subsidies. When we want to enunciate our policy, it will be enunciated in a proper manner by the leader of the Party and if we give a promise, that promise will be kept.

The Deputy could not tell the truth to himself.

Deputy Davern would not be able to recognise the truth.


I am sure Deputy Loughman got smacked because of his intervention on the Electoral Bill and to-day he has got another spokesman from Tipperary. When Deputy Loughman and Deputy Davern go back to the Golden Vale they will say to the farmers: "Look, gentlemen, you must have been asleep. Will you waken up? We are living in the most prosperous State in Europe." That is what Deputy Davern thinks. I wonder what the farmers of the Golden Vale will think?

They will not hear that down there. Deputy Davern says one thing up here and another thing down there.

And I took Deputy Davern to be an honest man. I did not think he was that type.


Unless Deputy Davern ceases to interrupt I shall have to ask him to leave the House.

The policy of Fianna Fáil is to hit the people, and hit them hard. Then they rub them very smoothly believing they will forget the blow.

That is used for many things as some Deputies seem to know. They blistered the people for four years to the tune of £14,000,000 additional direct taxation. Now they come along and say they will give the people some small concessions by way of increased dole, additional social welfare benefits, and they believe the people will forget all about the blister of the £9,000,000 put on their shoulders when the food subsidies were removed. They will tell the people that cattle prices are good now as a result of the T. B. eradication scheme. I wonder will they tell the people what Deputy Dillon told the House this morning; in 1950 Deputy Dillon told Mr. Carrigan, the head of the investigating party visiting Europe, that we were then tackling tuberculosis eradication in our cattle industry.

That is not the only speech Deputy Dillon made.


To encourage the eradication of tuberculosis Deputy Dillon had various schemes—the double byre scheme and all the rest of them.

Had he the money for them?

Of course he had.

Did he tell them they would get 1/- a gallon for milk?

I am glad Deputy Davern is leaving the House because the things I am going to say now might provoke him. Deputy Cunningham asks had we the money. Of course we had the money and we began tuberculosis eradication but, from the day the inter-Party Government went out of office until they returned in 1954, nothing was done about the eradication of tuberculosis. In later years Fianna Fáil took up where the inter-Party Government left off and it is only now we are reaching the stage where our cattle——

The Deputy came back a second time and there was nothing done.

Deputy O'Donnell is in possession and all these interruptions are disorderly.

I was only being helpful.

The Parliamentary Secretary is not helpful. The House should allow Deputy O'Donnell to proceed without interruption.

We had one aspirant for the post of Minister for Agriculture from Deputy Moher's constituency but he got a kick in the pants from the Taoiseach. Deputy Corry told us he was going to be Minister for Agriculture.

That would scarcely arise on this debate.

Whenever they had to select a Minister for Agriculture they generally went north. The Minister has told us—it is a great consolation to the poor unfortunates in Donegal and in the West of Ireland— that he will introduce legislation to ease the means test in relation to unemployment assistance. What does he mean by that? Does he mean the present test is too difficult? He does. I am glad Deputy Cunningham agrees that he does. In other words, the investigating officers have been carrying out the instructions of the Parliamentary Secretary, Deputy Kennedy, and examining into the means of old age pensioners, the unfortunate recipients of unemployment assistance, widows' and orphans' pensions and so forth. The investigating officers have been going around the country——

It is not at the Parliamentary Secretary's request.

But the Parliamentary Secretary is the man responsible.

The Deputy was a Minister himself and he knows perfectly well that revision is due periodically.

It has been going on continuously since this Government came to power.

Might I point out that the administration of the Act would relevantly arise on the Estimate? It is not relevant on this.

I quite agree, but the Minister has referred to it. He said the Minister for Social Welfare will introduce legislation to ease the means test for social welfare recipients.

The Deputy agrees with that. It is a good thing, is it not?

Of course it is a good thing, but why should it be necessary? The Deputy sees the idea. It is the old, old policy of Fianna Fáil: keep tricking these unfortunate people; reduce their unemployment assistance, increase their means, reduce their widows and orphans' pensions and old age pensions accordingly. But, when it is coming near election time, introduce a Bill to ease the position. It is the old Fianna Fáil carrot dangled in front of these unfortunate people on the eve of an election and at a time when Fianna Fáil know there is no possibility of having such a Bill passed through this House before the election.

We hear about the efforts being made by the Government to give employment in rural Ireland. One of the biggest employers in my constituency was Gaeltarra Éireann. They never gave less employment than they are giving today. I remember the Parliamentary Secretary speaking a few months ago in a place called Kilcar. He told the people there that they had not got enough hand weavers and he said: "We will train more weavers down in Gweedore and we will have plenty of employment here for hand weavers." I have no objection to any man from any part of my county procuring employment, but here was the build-up for a crowd of enraged unemployed weavers, led by the local curate. We had the Parliamentary Secretary saying that this was a change-over, changing from one class of loom to another and that, on that change, unheard of unemployment would follow. We have been waiting ever since. There is no more employment. Indeed, there is less employment. But there is an election coming off and the Parliamentary Secretary will go down there again and tell the people: "Hold on. We will give you more employment in a short time."


I will be there all right to remind the Parliamentary Secretary of what he said in Kilcar a few months ago. Do not worry about that. That is one of the methods by which Fianna Fáil are providing more employment.

We hear a good deal about the housing drive. Last night Deputy Sweetman pointed out that there is less money for building this year than there was in 1956. By means of a question yesterday, we elicited from the Minister for Industry and Commerce the fact that there was no shortage of tradesmen in the building industry. At the same time, we are told that we are trying to bring them back and the reason there is no progress in the building trade is that all the tradesmen have gone out of the State. The Minister for Industry and Commerce said he had no evidence of a shortage in the building trade of genuine tradesmen.

I see advertisements in the newspaper every day seeking builders.

In the English newspapers?

What is the use of putting them in the Irish papers when they are not seen in England?

The Irish Press has a big circulation there.

We have heard what happened the Land Reclamation Scheme. Just have a look at the amount which is now being spent on that scheme. It is interesting reading for this prosperous State in which we are living. Of course the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Finance is the man who sabotaged the Local Authorities (Works) Act which was one of the most useful schemes we ever had. He is the man who must take full responsibility for sabotaging it.

It was never administered by my office.

There is not one solitary penny left today for spending on——

That would seem to be a matter for the Estimate.

I quite agree, Sir, but it comes in under this Financial Resolution——

He is thinking of the chapel gate.

That particular matter——

I will make the speech again at the chapel gate and I will make it fairly often. In fact, I am thinking of having a record made of it. I am going to remind the Parliamentary Secretary that he is the man who sabotaged this scheme, who left us with flooded lands around Gweedore, Glenties and other places, land that could have been reclaimed if he had not sabotaged the Act and had left money for this work.

That was administered by the Deputy's Department.

There was money in it and it was being spent.

Bogged in it.

"Bogged in it"— there is the cat out of the bag. Does the Deputy say it was money badly spent?

The matter is not relevant on the Budget. The Deputy will have a suitable opportunity to discuss it.

I hear the Government talking about tourism and what they are doing to attract tourists. They are doing one good thing to make certain that tourists will not come back, particularly those who are seeking some night life—that is, since they started to close the public houses——

Criticism of legislation is not in order.

I certainly would not argue with you, Sir, but it arises under the heading of tourism.

The licensing laws may not be debated.

If we want to attract tourists to the country——

They come for purposes other than night life.

We have unfortunately a very wet climate and we have no control over the elements but there is something we could do to attract tourists, that is, to reduce the price of the bottle of whiskey by £1, take the duty of £1 off the bottle of whiskey and a similar amount off the lb. of tobacco and off cigarettes.

For the tourists?

No, Sir. I maintain that we should be able to attract tourists for 12 months. How is it that the Isle of Man, which is in close proximity to us, has built up such a magnificent tourist industry, or the Channel Islands lying between France and Britain? They have their own customs duties and people go there because they know that certain commodities are much cheaper than they are on the mainland. If we reduced the price of whiskey by £1 per bottle, we would still collect the same amount of revenue.

And the dipsomaniacs of Europe.

Are you not trying to encourage them to come in? I am talking about the middle-class people of Britain, the factory worker who has a limited amount to spend.

He only drinks beer.

Reduce the tax on beer.

It is cheaper here——

It is not cheaper. You can still buy a bottle of "Mary Anne" for 4d. a bottle——

Or "Red Biddy".

I have no experience of "Red Biddy" but I have experience of drinking "Mary Anne", and it is a reasonably good beer. If we reduced these prices, we would attract people. I know the answer Fianna Fáil will give me—that it would encourage smuggling and that is something to be dreaded. I maintain there is no crime whatever in smuggling, provided it is not against the laws of your own State. There is no crime in smuggling a bottle of whiskey out of this country or having it smuggled out, as we do with our sweep tickets. Do we not have them——

I cannot see how these matters arise on the Budget.

I am giving them advice on how they could build up the tourist industry. If they do not want to take the advice——

You will never build up a State on cheap whiskey.

No, but with the revenue from cheap whiskey. The Deputy knows all about it. He dealt in cheap whiskey, or cheap wines. I do not propose to hold up the House any longer——

The Deputy covered a wide field.

Well, it was not ploughed. There are very few of them left. If I had the time, I would have but I will have time in the next four months.

I am somewhat nervous about rising here to-day. It has been Donegal's day with a vengeance. As Deputy Moher said, the contributions have covered a wide field. I was rather saddened to hear the Parliamentary Secretary refer to Messrs. Guinness. It is an organisation which has been 200 years in the country and is one of our greatest traditional industries and I doubt if any sane man would ever decry or deride it.

I hope the Deputy is not insinuating that I did?

No, but the Parliamentary Secretary did make a remark that it was said by Cumann na nGaedheal——

It was said that when we came into office they would leave the country. That was about 1932.

This morning, Deputy Dillon made a rather exhaustive and analytical speech covering our economic activities. He was quite objective and took credit for certain things the inter-Party Government had done just as the present Government take credit for some things they have done. If we were all a little more tolerant, we should recognise the value of contributions of this kind. That schoolboy attitude of "whatever you can do, I can do better" should not obtain here.

It is all traceable, I suppose, to the fact that this House was founded during a civil war and many of the bitternesses still exist. At least we have grown up sufficiently to leave them behind and to try to get to realities because the whole conception of territorial freedom has changed in the past 40 years and our problem to-day is our economic survival. If we are objective in this, we should at least be tolerant enough to recognise the value of contributions successive Governments are making. It is a good thing there has been a continuity of policy by Governments in recent years. It is something we should be proud of.

The Taoiseach this morning took Deputy Dillon to task for some things he said, but I think there was a misunderstanding. Deputy Dillon this morning dealt with the tables of economic statistics and covered the whole field of economic activity and did not deal so much with the Budget specifically. The Taoiseach, since he became Taoiseach, has been most fair in his contributions here and I was sorry to see him rather irritated this morning, but I suppose that is Irish politics.

Deputy Davern this afternoon was quite pleasant but he did say things that would not bear investigation. The booklet issued under the title Economic Statistics is rather revealing. I must admit I have not studied it. It is most interesting, if a person had time to sit down and digest it and realise its mathematical value. Deputy Davern contradicted Deputy O'Donnell when he was speaking. In Table 16 of the booklet it is shown in black and white that the estimated number of persons who work in the main branches of nonagricultural economic activity was only 699,000 in 1960 as against 692,000 in 1959, 692,000 in 1958, 703,000 in 1957 and a still higher figure in 1956 and 1955. It is hard to reconcile these figures with some of the statements made this morning by the Taoiseach but these are the Government's statistics and these are the facts that one can deduce from this Table, if it is of any value at all.

Table 7 shows the number of males engaged in farm work. The number on 1st June, 1960, was 413,000 as against 420,000 in 1959. The number increases as one goes back and decreases as one comes forward. I know that that is a trend in every country in Europe today. Whatever the cause, it is not entirely economic. There is that drift from the land all over Western Europe and it is quite common in our own country.

The day is fast approaching when there will be no such thing in this country as an agricultural labourer. The traditional agricultural labourer who lived in the rural cottage within 20 miles of Cork city is fast disappearing. He will not work on the land as long as he can get work anywhere else. In other words, he will not work on the land until economic necessity drives him to do so. I do not know whether it is because of the drudgery of the work on the land or the isolation of living on the land or what it is, but it is a fact.

We all realise and appeciate that for any Minister for Finance the balancing of the Budget is one of the major problems he has to face in any year. Everybody must have sympathy with the Minister in trying to present a balanced Budget in this country at any time, but especially in these difficult years. We are all very pleased that the Budget was introduced in favourable circumstances this year, that exports show an increase of 17 per cent and imports an increase of 14 per cent. The activity behind these increases, whether in imports or exports, must have given rise to a good deal of economic activity and must have created economic security for many families and workers in the State. That is all to the good and nobody will deride or criticise that development.

Revenue has been very buoyant. The buoyancy of the revenue has made matters rather easy for the Minister in the present year. Nevertheless, we have to face the fact that the Budget is an all-time record as far as revenue is concerned and an all-time record as far as expenditure is concerned. In recent years, the tendency has been all the time for revenue to chase expenditure. How long that will last, I do not know. We seem never to be able to cushion ourselves against any emergency that may arise in these unpredictable times. If we are going to emerge into a free trade world, where will we find ourselves? We cannot rely on tariffs or price supports of any kind.

The reliefs given in the Budget will be welcomed. Nobody is so small-minded as not to admit that these reliefs will bring about a certain amount of satisfaction but they are small. We are glad that even a small effort is being made in the decrease in the standard rate of income tax and the 6d. decrease in the P.A.Y.E. scheme.

The reliefs given to agriculture and the subsidisation of the transport of lime will be welcomed by the farming community. It is a pity that these reliefs were not in operation during the spring when lime was being used on the land. The Government who now bring in that relief must be criticised and blamed for having reduced the subsidy on the transport of lime in former years. If Deputy Dillon took credit for the introduction of the lime scheme, he is also within his rights in criticising, as he did this morning, the action of the Government in cutting the subsidy on the transport of lime. It brought results that we did not like. It decreased the utilisation of lime on farms during the present year.

The Minister has taken a bold step in regard to death duties. I should like the Minister to tell me, when replying, if it means that there is no death duty on estates under £5,000 and that in the case of an estate of £10,000, it means that the first £5,000 is free of death duty. Does it mean that death duty will begin on £5,000? I should like clarification on that point. The reduction of one per cent. in the case of larger estates will be very valuable to the holders of medium-sized farms and other property. In the past, people had an extraordinary fear of death duties and left estates unadministered, thus creating difficulty. They were afraid to go to a solicitor and arrange for the estate to be administered because of the excessive charge which they feared would be levied on the property before transfer.

There was a good deal of discussion here this morning about emigration. We all regret emigration. It is traditional with us. The Taoiseach on various occasions and in various places has given three main reasons for emigration. The first was economic and the second social; I forget how he termed the third cause. I asked the Taoiseach a question as to whether he thinks there is any practical way of providing us with yearly statistics as to the number who leave the country for the first time. That information would be very valuable but we have to wait for a census in order to get the exact figures.

May I be permitted to quote figures I read in the Cork Examiner some time ago? We are given from Great Britain itself statistics of immigration from various countries into Great Britain and these immigration figures for the Republic of Ireland are given as 64,494 for the year 1959 as against 58,316 for the previous year. Northern Ireland is not included in those figures. If these figures are correct, they are startling but what is more startling is that we have no machinery in this country for assessing the figures as it should be our duty to do. That information should be available. I do not know why we should wait to get the information from London with regard to these matters.

There is another feature which I have observed and of which I am sure other Deputies are aware. It is the over-competition with old traditional businesses of various kinds. It is very much in evidence in Cork where old-established firms have been changing hands in recent years. They have been forced out of business by the over-competition and extensive advertising by new firms with salesmen out on the road every day. That is one of the drawbacks from which we are suffering and one of the causes of whatever stagnation there is in our economy. I do not know how that can be remedied but it is very obviously there.

To give one case, there was in Midleton in Co. Cork a very old-established firm of millers. This business was run by a very decent family. These mills have been closed down in two places in East Cork and the traditional owners of the mills went into the Cork Milling Company. Now this concern has been taken over by Messrs. Rank and the whole activity transferred to Limerick. East Cork is the greatest grain-growing area in the country and it is inconceivable that this milling activity should leave East Cork and be transferred to Limerick. However, we must remember that those people in control are people from outside this country and that this centralisation is seemingly in the interests of economy.

If that is the case, it has done more harm than good because it has taken away a traditional industry from a locality to which it was almost indigenous and transferred it to an area where there is very little grain grown at all. I do not know how that can be remedied but there should be some safeguard for these old-established concerns that served us well in generations gone by, that gave employment and provided stability for the working classes in these areas.

I do not intend to go into these various figures because I have not studied them sufficiently to be able to adduce conclusions. However, I think everybody is pleased with whatever advance has been made. Anybody who has the interest of the country at heart will appreciate the advances made in recent years. As I said a while ago, the availability of credit in recent years, the advance of £20 million to farmers and the vast millions of pounds that have gone into hire purchase, all have created activity. As long as that activity is productive, such expenditure is justifiable. As long as it brings about the results we want, we must all admit it is eventually for the good of our people.

From what we could gather from the Taoiseach's speech, one would think this was the first Fianna Fáil Budget. It is about the twenty-third or twenty-fourth Budget that has been brought into this House by Fianna Fáil. Let us examine what the Taoiseach said today in respect of the sudden upsurge in the economy, this dynamic expansion. This is only a rehash of the high-sounding phrases we hear in this House every time a Budget is introduced. That is something for the headlines in the Irish Press. They will go to town on that. There are enough amadáns in the country to swallow it.

Did the Deputy not read the editorial in the Irish Independent?

I suggest the Parliamentary Secretary should allow the Deputy to make his speech.

If the Parliamentary Secretary has anything to say, let him stand up and say it.

I do as a rule.

It is very strange that any time there was an upsurge from Fianna Fáil in this House, it came immediately after a change of Government. In regard to any results they had to show the momentum had been gathering before they got into office and they collected the kudos. The fact that they are shaken out of their lethargy by the coming into power of an inter-Party Government goes to show that there is a need of change, and that change will come because the people realise the need for it.

The Taoiseach went as far today as to cast a reflection on the previous Taoiseach by suggesting that the dead hand was in the Government and that there was no progress while he was in power. That is what we could gather from the trend of his speech. It is only natural the Taoiseach should try to put his stock up before the coming election. One of the greatest assets of the performers of the Front Bench—I was going to describe it as a circus—is their jugglers. They can juggle figures remarkably well, whereas the figures issued by the Central Statistics Office contradict everything they have said. These figures may not have the blessing of the Fianna Fáil Government because they have no say in them. The figures quoted by the Fianna Fáil side are like the high-flown statements we have had from them designed for the Irish Press and for the amadáns around the country who swallow them. I challenge the Taoiseach or any of his back benchers to go across to Birmingham or Coventry and make some of the foolish statements they made here to-day. We know the reception they would get. We know the reception they got before, without opening their mouths.

As far as we can see in the West this Budget offers very little to the small farmers. The mentality behind the Budget is the mentality of the ranch country the Minister comes from and represents. The large farmers will get any of the subsidies that are going. I wonder how many small farmers from the West would use a ton of fertiliser and get, say, a reduction of 5/-? It would not pay his bus fare into town to order it. So far as I can see, the Minister is catering merely for the ranchers of his own county, plus a few more areas like Deputy Davern's area.

Deputy Sweetman talked about the blisters on the people. There is no denying the fact that the increase in the rates throughout the country can be pinpointed to Government policy. The Minister may ask me why. I shall tell him. The increase in the cost of living brought about by the famous Budget which was to put the country on its feet, at a time when Fianna Fáil were promising to do a great deal, is still having repercussions on the rates throughout the country. At every county council meeting there is a demand for an increase in salary from every type of person. That was caused by Fianna Fáil policy and nothing else You cannot blame any man for asking for an increase to meet the cost of living.

What is the alternative? It is the mail boat, or suffer on while Fianna Fáil policy is being put through. It is the squeeze for the small man. We were told that one of the first things Fianna Fáil would reduce was the number of civil servants. Will the Minister kindly tell us, when he is winding up this debate, how many extra civil servants have been put on the pay list, which he will have to meet, in the past year and a half or so? How many more are earmarked to go on it? Of course that statement was all right for the Irish Press and for the amadán down the country to swallow, and he swallowed it. The policy of Fianna Fáil is more at the top, and to the devil with the small man.

I said that this Budget is mainly an election Budget for certain sections of the community. We would like to see moneys allocated for the purpose of the re-introduction of the Local Authorities (Works) Act. We hear about the promises that have been made to encourage the small farmers, but there is hardly a meeting throughout the country at which a resolution is not passed demanding the re-introduction of the Local Authorities (Works) Act, which was dubbed as "slush money" by Fianna Fáil. It is very strange now that the Fianna Fáil members of local bodies are proposing the re-introduction of that Act at every other meeting, the Act which was introduced by the infamous—as we heard them called —Coalition Government. Just because it suited the small farmers, and did not suit the big farmers of the ranching county to which the Minister belongs, it had to be wiped out. Wonderful work was carried out under that Act. I was surprised that even in the statement of the Taoiseach, that was one matter on which he did not propose to help the small farmers.

It is rather amazing to see that this year quite a sizeable amount of the moneys allocated for forestry were not spent. I do not know what Deputies will have to say to the unemployed who live on the fringes of the forests. What can they say to the people when they ask why employment was not given, even though they demanded it, and when they ask why the money was not spent? Perhaps my colleague Deputy Geoghegan will be able to give them some good reasons when he goes home.

I shall tell the truth, not like the Deputy.

That is what I want to get from the Deputy. I want the Deputy to tell us why that money allocated for forestry was not spent, while the fathers of families had to take the mail boat. If he is prepared to tell the truth now, he will stand up and say whether or not that is a fact, just for the records of the House. I should like the Deputy to go to West Galway and tell that to the people. The Deputy has nothing to say? The hasp has been on many a door on the fringe of those forests throughout Galway County. The people can be seen any day at the nearest station with their bags——

Would the Deputy name the area where the hasps are on the doors?

I shall go to the church gates——

I suggest that Deputy Geoghegan should make his own speech.

Catch him.

The Deputy cannot make a speech because he knows what I am saying is a fact. I am trying to give him a little grist for his mill, and when I go to his area I shall ask him questions as to why the moneys allocated for forestry were not spent, when the fathers of families had to take the mail boat.

Surely that is administration.

We will shortly have a "go" on that question and I shall ask the Deputy to account for his stewardship in that regard. The Deputy might also tell us why the bus charges have increased. I hear a lot of growling, and he knows many of the people on the route I have in mind. Perhaps he might tell the ratepayers of Galway why there is a demand for an increase in the salaries or wages, as the case may be, of the workers. Those few points will be of interest to the people in the West. Possibly the Deputy will be the one to explain them when the call comes. So far as the West is concerned, this Budget offers nothing to the small man. It is a big man's Budget, and it was framed by the Minister for his own purposes in the coming general election.

Progress reported; Committee to sit again.