That does not make a profit. The company are still losing. I wonder what the taxpayer would have said if the Government, prompted by Deputy Dr. Browne, had added £2.35 million to last year's Budget in order that the passenger rates and the freight rate should remain the same for this year? I just wonder what would have happened if the public had been asked to pay that sum? They would have regarded it as ridiculous. They would have regarded it as the sort of economic action which would eventually bring chaos to the whole economy of the State.
I want to make my attitude clear in regard to this whole question of wage increases. I hope, in relation to CIE and enterprises which have the difficulties of CIE to face and enterprises such as those that would be affected by the Common Market, that the proposals made by the National Employer-Labour Conference Economic Committee will be studied very carefully and will in some form be adopted finally when all the decisions of that Conference have been considered and put into general operation. I hope that Deputy Dr. Browne does not disagree with planning nationally in relation to wages and incomes. I do not suppose he does. I do not suppose he objects to the proposals made by this Committee which suggested, and I quote :—
The Sub-Committee agrees it is desirable that efforts should be made to establish a more rational and better-informed basis for wage discussions and negotiations at whatever level they normally take place. It should be appreciated that the significance and importance of the factors depends largely on the scope and nature of the discussions and the level at which they take place.
Then they said that in relation to any discussion of wage increases, there should be a national level of consideration and the factors that should be examined would be—changes in the level of prices, effect of price changes on the purchasing power of wages and salaries, import price changes and effect of changes in home prices on the economy's competitiveness in exports, price changes in other European countries. Then also on the national level should be discussed national production, distinguishing between agricultural, industrial and other sectors, labour costs in relation to gross output of industry, changes in productivity. Another matter that should be discussed should be the overall employment situation, and incidence of overtime or short-time, changes in employment in particular sectors of industry and then emigration and employment problems. Also, the question of relative incomes should be discussed, the profits made by the community during the year, the investment in savings undertaken, a general economic forecast, external trade and balance of payments.
When individual wage discussions took place in relation to a particular industry, the Committee said:—
Nevertheless, the intention to introduce a more rational and better informed approach to wage discussion should be made and to that end it is considered that the following factors are relevant to wage discussions taking place at other than national level.
They then set out the following:— the period since the previous adjustment in wages, changes in wage rates in other occupations and industries, alteration in standard working hours, changes in other conditions of employment, incentive payments schemes, the level of wages in relation to other industries, the economic and financial position of firm or industry, the position of firm or industry in relation to exports, changes in productivity, change in the nature of work, the skill involved, the responsibility, the extent of supervision, labour costs in industry or firm in relation to other costs and the impact of change in wages on labour costs and effect on prices, availability of labour and the future prospects of industry or firm.
All I have to say in relation to wage negotiations for any of the State companies over which I have supervision is that I look forward to the application of these principles in an intelligent way to future wage negotiation discussions. If the Board of CIE and the trade unions bore those kinds of considerations in mind, it would be possible for the workers of CIE to have greater chances of promotion, greater chances of employment and greater chances of employment for their families when they grow up. Such will be the result if, as I have said, they have an intelligent and rational discussion on the future of the company as it moves forward from one year to another. I know that the Board would agree with me in that.
Therefore, anything that has been said in the Board's report in relation to the eighth round relates to the particular effect in that particular year of the eighth round. As I have said, it is not possible for every company, private or public, to absorb the effects of the eighth round. What is wanted is more intelligent, rational thinking and action on the whole subject.
We must also consider the general question of exactly what CIE is supposed to do. I know Deputy Dr. Browne is a confirmed Socialist and therefore I must point out that, so far as I am concerned and so far as the Government are concerned, CIE have not been appointed by the Government under this or any other Act to take over the private transport of the country. From the Government's point of view there is no special virtue on national grounds in CIE taking over in the private sector of transport. What CIE is supposed to do is to provide the very best national transport service possible and fill in the gaps where private enterprise is not adequate to take over transport services which can be more economically provided by CIE. That is the job. There is no suggestion that CIE, fortified with Government capital and tremendous subsidies, should gradually eat into the private sector of transport.
The package deal is a perfect example of where comparisons are made between private transport and public transport. A company carrying goods in its own lorries is asked to do some cost accountancy to find out the real cost of carrying those goods, allowing for depreciation of vehicles, wages, fuel, maintenance and so on, and having done that, CIE examine the figures to see if they can offer a contract of service for an amount lower than that applicable to the private transport used by the company. It is perfectly obvious that is the way the transport system should be conducted partly because we believe in private enterprise and partly because the special conditions in this country, which I have already indicated, are such that in a great many cases private transport is the normal answer.
Some Deputies asked why it was that although some 850 people had been paid redundancy compensation in one form or another on retirement, the total staff of CIE had not been reduced by more than 200. The answer is that some services of CIE declined, those that were uneconomic, not sufficiently utilised by the public. Other services have expanded. Expansion has taken place in the road passenger service, the volume of which increased between 1958-59 and 1961-62 by four per cent. That includes a very much bigger increase in connection with provincial traffic taken by itself. The increase in volume in road freight was 68 per cent. The increase in the carriage of livestock by road was 76 per cent; the increase in rail freight was five per cent. The number of passengers carried by rail went down 13 per cent. There was an 80 per cent. increase in the number of passengers carried on tours and there was a very considerable increase in the hotel business.
The actual changes of staff can be inspected in the Trade Journal and Statistical Bulletin. They show that in a recent two-year period—I have not got the figures for the same period as that to which the traffic relates—there has been a reduction in the rail staff. There has been a reduction in the hotel and canal staff which would be largely related to canals. There has been a slight reduction in relation to road passenger services; there has been an increase in the road freight service staff and there has been some increase in the higher salaried staff, largely due to the fact that in CIE there was not a proper commercial sales organisation or a modern accountancy system. These had to be installed and the whole conception of selling service had to be instituted by CIE. Obviously CIE would have taken over those who were, in fact, found redundant if they were suitable for the new posts but in a great many cases they were people without the necessary skill. CIE did transfer very many——