Nomination of Members of Government.


Go gcomhaontóidh Dáil Éireann leis an Taoiseach d'ainmniú na dTeachtaí seo a leanas chun a gceaptha ag an Uachtarán chun bheith ina gcomhaltaí den Rialtais:—

That Dáil Éireann approve the nomination by the Taoiseach of the following Deputies for appointment by the President to be members of the Government:—


ERSKINE CHILDERS (Erskine H. Childers),

NIALL BLÉINE (Neil T. Blaney),


MICHEÁL Ó MÓRÁIN (Michael Moran),

MICHÉAL HILLIARD (Michael Hilliard),

PÁDRAIG Ó HIRIGHILE (Patrick J. Hillery),

CATHAL Ó HEOCHAIDH (Charles J. Haughey),


SEOSAMH Ó BRAONÁIN (Joseph Brennan),

DONNCHADH Ó MÁILLE (Donogh B. O'Malley),

SEOIRSE Ó COLLA (George Colley)


SEAN Ó FLANNAGÁIN (Sean Flanagan).

I may add, for the information of the Dáil, that I propose to assign the Departments of State as follows: Deputy Frank Aiken to be Tánaiste and Minister for External Affairs; Deputy Erskine H. Childers, Transport and Power and Posts and Telegraphs; Deputy Neil T. Blaney, Agriculture and Fisheries: Deputy Boland, Local Government: Deputy Michael Moran, Lands and the Gaeltacht; Deputy Michael Hilliard, Defence; Deputy Dr. Hillery, Labour; Deputy Charles J. Haughey, Finance; Deputy Brian J. Lenihan, Justice; Deputy Joseph Brennan, Social Welfare; Deputy Donogh O'Malley, Education; Deputy George Colley, Industry and Commerce; Deputy Seán Flanagan, Health.

As I said, I propose to nominate Deputy Aiken as Tánaiste. I also propose to make certain appointments of Parliamentary Secretaries. It is a matter for the Government to make these appointments but I may say that in one respect I propose to recommend to the Government the appointment of a Parliamentary Secretary with special responsibility for the Department of Posts and Telegraphs.

The first, in fact, the only, change in the proposed assignment of Ministers that is of any consequence is the recognition and admission and acceptance by the Government of the recent proposal by this Party that the Departments of Transport and Power and Posts and Telegraphs should be amalgamated. Fianna Fáil sometimes learn slowly, sometimes learn quickly.

Sometimes not at all.

This particular proposal now before the House is, with the exception of the change of Taoiseach by the substitution of the present Taoiseach for Deputy Lemass, the mixture as before.

When we come to examine the economic and social problems of the country when the dust has settled on all the recent internal activities of the Fianna Fáil Party, the clear impression is left that this Government have no policy to deal with the pressing economic and social problems which affect the nation. This has long been apparent to those of us who have studied the situation here but it has now become common knowledge to all sections of the people. The present Government are the same Government as failed to implement and achieve the targets laid down in the Second Programme. Under every single heading, with one exception, they have taken more money, in taxation and spent more money, more of the people's money, than that programmed in the Second Programme, but in respect of employment, in respect of output, in respect of housing construction, in respect of hospitals, in respect of every item economic or social, they have failed to achieve the target.

It is obvious from looking at the list of Ministers and the assignments given to them that this Government cannot pretend to possess any sense of national purpose or direction. On past performance, the Government offer no prospect of providing a better Government in future. Changing Ministers, as a few have been changed, even changing the Taoiseach, means little if there is no well thought-out plan of action, no determination to solve the problems which affect so many sections of the community. Instead of working to solve these problems, the present Government and the Fianna Fáil Party have been working to solve either the personal problems of Ministers or the internal problems of their own Party.


Hear, hear.

It does not require any speech from any section of this House to appreciate and understand the great social problems which affect so many sections of the country—lack of housing, bad health services and bad social services, lack of educational opportunities, lack of proper policy for agriculture and the non-existence of a policy to solve the problem of industrial relations.

The Government have on many occasions referred to the fact that there was here a great capital shortage, that there has been a difficulty in getting money for essential purposes, and that while these conditions exist, they must postpone or abandon certain proposals that have been recognised by all sections of the House and every section of responsible public opinion as necessary and urgent. With the present shortage of capital, with the acute problems in respect of housing and the problems in respect of health services, there has been no selective order of priorities for the capital programme. Every section either of industry or of commerce that wished to and could get its hands on money spent it freely and in competition with the pressing needs of the under-privileged and those in need of accommodation.

For the past 18 months since the present Government were elected, not merely has this country stood still but it has gone backwards. There has been no incentive, no leadership, no drive or energy, but merely an allowing the Government to carry on under their own momentum. If that was the situation with Deputy Lemass, when he represented and had behind him a completely united Party, when he had shown on some occasions drive and energy—usually in the wrong direction, but at least he knew he was going somewhere—can anyone expect drive or energy or enthusiasm from a Government who are merely moving up a few places, from a Government who have, on Deputy Lemass's own description of himself, at least one Minister who is an historical relic? Deputy Lemass described anyone at his age or above it as now becoming an historical relic. In the circumstances, is it not obvious that the continued inclusion of at least one Minister of the present Government is an attempt either to comply with the wishes of the Chief or keep different sections happy? It has been apparent for a long time that Ministers have been vying with one another in looking for preferment and advancement. Government policy has been largely made and wholly implemented by civil servants. That situation has been exemplified in the recent problems and difficulties that affected the farmers and those who live in rural Ireland.


Hear, hear.

One immediate change that had to be made was that, whatever else was done with Deputy Haughey, he had to get out of Agriculture because with him farming was a late vocation. Like a politician in another country, who was, I understand, baptised and vaccinated on the same day, neither of them took. Not since the days of landlordism has there been such resentment and bitterness in rural Ireland——


Hear, hear.

——not amongst the big farmers, not the better-off farmers, not the farmers who have the capital, who can deal with the problem of price fluctuation and can at least ride out the storm, but amongst the small farmers who have no alternative but to sell their stock to meet the rising demand for rates and rising charges in respect of every commodity they have to buy. What farmer in this country, big or small, found this year that the promise made by the former Minister for Health that rates would be stabilised was fulfilled? Every single rate demand rose and rose stupendously.

These are the farmers who have to face the task of dealing with their day-to-day problems and of making ends meet.

In addition to that, there have been certain other changes. One of the most significant, with the possible exception of allowing the historical relic of Deputy Aiken to remain in the present Government, was that they moved as a result of one emphatic indication of public opinion this year. This Government have scurried for cover before the mounting indignation reflected in the vote Deputy Tom O'Higgins got in the Presidential election. The first change in that regard was this. I suppose it is what "the scribes" would regard as the pragmatic approach of the outgoing Taoiseach. When he saw the situation that had developed, he said: "I must get Deputy Colley out of Education." Deputy Colley had a reputation for unilingualism. Whatever merits there were there, Deputy Lemass probably had a favourable opinion of Deputy Colley. But he said: "If he is backed by Deputy Aiken, they are bound to be off target and I had better make a move." He shifted him and brought in the Minister for Health. He said: "Whatever about his cultural views, he will provide a change and a little bit of light relief." That has been the policy—to shift one Minister after another when he became an embarrassment. The first was Deputy Haughey as Minister for Justice when his proposals in the Succession Bill as originally drafted would have wound up every farm and every small business in this country.


Hear, hear.

That was modified, and Deputy Lenihan was shifted into Justice. He said: "All right, Taoiseach, I will settle that." Of course, he did. Then Deputy Haughey got involved with the farmers and not merely nearly upended the Government but certainly cost himself the position of future Taoiseach. He is shifted. Now we have an amalgamation for Deputy Childers. It was a certainty that, whoever was going to be shifted in the Government, he would be, like most in CIE, stationary in Transport and Power. In order to give him something, the Department of Posts and Telegraphs is added on to him and I suppose some Parliamentary Secretary will be appointed to assist him.

Which will have the function?

That is the situation that has been allowed to develop in the past 11 months—swapping, changing and shifting Ministers. The only thing stationary, when it was not going backwards, was the interest of the country. Now we get the Fianna Fáil last will and testament of Deputy Lemass. He did make some perfunctory reference to the welfare of the country and some reference to the Government, but he said:

My decision to relinquish office is purely a political decision, uninfluenced by any personal considerations....I am convinced that it is in the interests of the country, the Government and the Fianna Fáil Party that responsibility should now pass to a younger man.

This was no off-the-cuff statement. It was a prepared statement he asked the journalists to take as read. Listen to it:

The one consideration that is important above all others, so far as I am concerned, is the success of the Fianna Fáil Party in the next and subsequent general elections....

There is a basic and fundamental confusion of national interest with Party interest. There is submerged the interest of the people, a denial of their rights and their interests for Party purposes and Party interests. That is surely a false foundation on which to build democracy. Undoubtedly, political Parties are necessary, but they are only necessary in so far as people of similar views and opinions combine together to follow what should be the common aims and objectives of every Party and every individual: the welfare and betterment of the Irish people.

In this instance, in all the shifts, in all the changes, in all the moves, there has been only one dominant feature, one salient characteristic, one ineradicable impression left after all the recent activity, conclaves, meetings and discussions, that the Fianna Fáil Deputies, and particularly the Fianna Fáil Government, have an insatiable lust for place, power and profit. So bad was it recently, before this conflict was resolved, and so far had that situation developed, that one Fianna Fáil Deputy who will be nameless was found to be canvassing for both Deputy Haughey and Deputy Colley. At that stage, Deputy O'Malley took off for Paris: it was too much for him. Deputy Haughey went to ground and the fixers moved in and said: "We will have to settle this". We all know what happened.

Deputy Lynch, the present Taoiseach, in the few remarks he made in Cork at the weekend, said that he was the via media. I think that is undoubtedly true. The Government had been too anxious to protest unity and too anxious to show amity and benevolence in photographs between the incoming Taoiseach and Deputy Colley. Everybody knows that the present Taoiseach would not harm a fly and that any dispute was not between him and Deputy Colley: the dispute was between Deputy Haughey and Deputy Colley.

The via media has become the via dolorosa for our pensioners, for the old, for the infirm, for the widows and orphans. Recently, when the British Government gave a modest increase to pensioners in this country, a modest increase to those at the very lowest level of the scale, in order to balance the economy of this country and in order to keep the sinking ship afloat, Deputy Boland, as Minister for Social Welfare, sent out the sleuths from the Department who examined the cases rigorously under the means test. Every Deputy, every Senator and every public representative in every part of this country knows that never since the social welfare code was introduced has there been such a rigorous examination of an increase in means as of that granted under the British pension increase and that whatever the increase granted by Britain, we took it off them.


Hear, hear.

It is no wonder that the comments in the press in the past few days have adverted to the fact that this Government have failed largely to deal with the very grievous problems affecting the weaker sections of the community.

Some months ago, a White Paper on Health was introduced. Undoubtedly, it was introduced by the outgoing Minister for Health but, since then, nothing has been done about it. Nothing whatever has been done to implement it. Only yesterday or the day before, the present Minister said that he was preparing another one——


Hear, hear.

——and that he hoped to have it ready before Christmas.

You could wallpaper the walls with all the White Papers.

This shows, so far as the health and social services in this country are concerned, that we are still operating, with few changes, a system devised by the poor law legislation introduced first in this country under Queen Victoria. With the possible exception of the very beneficial Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme introduced by Deputy T.F. O'Higgins, there has been no break-through, change, amendment or alteration of that situation.

I believe that the present situation for pensioners, for people retired or on fixed incomes, for the worse off sections of the community, was never more serious. There is a continuous rise in the cost of living. There is a continuous increase in the price of essentials. There is a continuous problem in meeting rents, rates, taxes, not to mention food, clothing and medicine. The situation has continued to get steadily worse, while, at the same time, when a small increase in pension is granted by the British authorities in respect of pensioners residing here, it is swept away on the ground that it is additional means that must be taken into account under the social welfare legislation.

In no sphere of activity has the failure of the Government been more manifest than in their inability to reach the targets in the Second Programme. There has been a striking growth in Government expenditure. More and more money is being taken. During the years 1960-65, the period which the present Government were always pleased to claim as a period of growth, our annual average growth of national output was 3.8 per cent, which compared with an average for the same period of 4.9 per cent for the OECD countries as a whole. That leaves us, during that period—this period of expansion, of allegedly dynamic government—with the lowest growth rate of any country in Europe, with the exception of Britain and Luxembourg. We all know that the British economy has been static.

It is worth keeping in mind, because of the much talked of boom between these periods, that not merely was that the real failure, not merely did we not do as well as we should have done, but that the Government failed to grasp the opportunities that were there, with relative stability in import price levels, to reshape our institutions and re-model the structure of our society more in accordance with the ideals and aspirations of our people. No such start was made. Instead, as we are only too well aware, that brief period of prosperity was dissipated in a blaze of Government expenditure, of extravagance and irresponsibility geared more to short-term political advantage than to the long-term national benefit.


Hear, hear.

It is true that the Government took over the concept of economic planning and the direction of the national economy from our proposals initiated in the days before the First Programme but the Government sat back and expected that Programme to work an economic miracle under its own momentum. What they failed to realise was that it was not enough to prepare a programme and to issue it either in a White Paper or a Grey Book because a programme, to be meaningful, must be worked out in consultation with the recognised interests of the economic groups and sections in the community, of the farmers' organisations, of industrial organisations, of the trade unions, of every economic section that had responsibility for seeing that the policy was implemented and the targets and objectives which were laid down achieved and brought into effect. None of this appears to have been grasped by the Government who, during that period, claimed credit for success but, in time of failure, said: "Circumstances outside our control prevented it".

It is a Government's job in good times and in bad times to deal with economic social circumstances. It is not enough to come home, having negotiated a Trade Agreement, and rashly to promise that cattle will be up £5 or £6 a head, and then to say, when prices drop: "I did not know that there would be a flood of Argentine meat shipped to every country in Europe, including Britain". That is the kind of short-term political advantage that has been taken, not at the expense of the Fianna Fáil Party or of the Fianna Fáil Government but at the public expense and with public money.

This present situation that has now developed shows that the Party in office for the past 30 years have grown stale and tired, and these strains and stresses have now manifested themselves in public. No one would expect or imagine that individual members of a Party representing different interests will think in the same way or think in the same direction on every problem and all together at the same time. But the situation that has developed shows that the internal stresses that have manifested themselves in recent weeks have been reflected in the past 18 months in a Government incapable of going in any direction and incapable of taking a single decision that was effective, purposeful or consistent.

I have a high regard and a keen appreciation of the work and contribution which civil servants make in administering and running the affairs of the nation but civil servants are there to implement policy decisions taken by a Government elected, responsible to the people's parliament and responsible for the successes as well as the failures. In the past 18 months, so many Ministers were concerned with seeing who was going to drop off next, who was likely to change and what were the prospects involved either for himself or his political prospects that there was no unity of action, no unity of purpose, no sense of direction, no cohesion or coherent policy implemented.

In recent weeks we have heard some references by the former Minister for Agriculture and some by Deputy Lemass to the fact that there was a dangerous threat to democracy in the attitude and approach adopted by the farmers' organisation. Whatever else may be said about a threat or a danger to democracy, the manner in which the farmers' organisations conducted their march and approach was an example to any organisation of how an orderly group of people were entitled to combine and use what to them seemed the best way of getting attention focused on their problems. I have said before—and I do not mind repeating it—that some of the views expressed and comments made were, I think, unreasonable, but that is a matter for the people concerned, provided they act within the law. But if ever an organisation or a section of the community got provocation, they got provocation from the arrogant insolence of the statement made by the outgoing Minister for Justice, Deputy B. Lenihan.

When we hear, as we have heard recently—we have had some speeches by different Ministers including the former Taoiseach—about democracy and the threat to it, there is a complete confusion in the minds and outlook of Deputies opposite on what is a threat to democracy and what is not. And one of the facts about the recent situation is that anyone who criticises, anyone who expresses adverse comment or differs from the Government in some way or other, is regarded as constituting a threat to democracy. Now nobody would regard Deputy B. Lenihan as being unduly solicitous for democracy and certainly nobody would regard him as being a stable prop if it were threatened. In fact, Deputy Haughey found that he was not even a good crutch in his negotiations.

I want to point out—and I think this is one of the things about which there is some concern in the country— that when the Government are adversely criticised or views expressed on them, there is an attempt made to stifle criticism. To those who are in jobs beholden to or under the authority of State companies or semi-State bodies, in which directors are appointed by the Government, the suggestion is made that if they say this or that, they had better look out or their jobs may be in danger. The most recent example was yesterday when there was an inspired question to the former Minister for Posts and Telegraphs, Deputy J. Brennan, as to the journalists' representations on the Radio Telefís Authority.

It is not necessary to remind this House or the country that in other countries—and we have had many recent examples—next to, indeed very often the forerunner to revolution and disturbance was the attempt, the arrogant attempt of those in authority to muzzle those who criticised or opposed them. As long as people are acting within the law, they are entitled to criticise the Government and entitled to criticise any Deputy or any individual who is fulfilling a public duty. That is the real threat to democracy in this country—the arrogant claim that Fianna Fáil alone are imbued with all the wisdom and have the right to decide what should or should not be done. This attempt to silence criticism and stifle comment is a possible danger; it is a possible danger because it has long been evident that the going is not easy for the Government and the growing failures have caused them to panic, to shift and to move their policy in accordance with the pressure imposed upon it.

The situation which has developed in respect of those companies and the suggestions made in the course of the recent debate on the Estimate for the Department of Posts and Telegraphs does not require to be re-emphasised or reinforced on this occasion. But it is important for this House and the country to realise that the Government are not merely tired but are demoralised, disunited and discredited and that, although the Government may be temporarily elected today, may temporarily continue in charge of affairs for a short time, that decision does not rest on the expressed will of the people as exemplified in the election last June, when every resource available, every organ of Government was financed and paid for by public funds, and public money was used on behalf of one candidate and one only. Every attempt that could be made was made to prevent the other candidate getting his point of view across.

That is the real threat to democracy and the real danger to the freedom and liberty of our people, irrespective of whether they support Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael or Labour; or support none of us. I believe that the present situation which has developed has developed not merely because of tiredness but because of the obvious lack of direction and sense of purpose that has been so apparent over the past 18 months. When we consider the failure of the Second Programme, when we consider the economic problems that affect the country, we see that the credit of this country has fallen abroad—when the present Taoiseach as Minister for Finance tried to get a loan in New York and failed to get it there, he finished up in Bonn and London—is it any wonder that the finance houses and the international money markets have no faith in a Government who have already lost credit and confidence at home?

The situation which has developed is such that in no sphere of economic or social activity, in no aspect of the plan announced in the Second Programme, has there been an attainment of the targets, with the exception of Government expenditure. In fact, under all headings, we have fallen behind. In no sphere of activity has our failure been more manifest than in the fact that the Government did not push ahead with our application and get some form of agreement or settlement with the Common Market.

Deputies are familiar, and the country is familiar, with the motions and speeches made by the Minister for External Affairs at the United Nations in which settlements for every problem from Tibet to Timbuctoo, resolutions about the dissemination of nuclear weapons, were put forward. What does that matter to a small country like this? We cannot influence their dissemination or manufacture. All we can do is to press, as the Greeks pressed, as the Turks pressed, as the Danes pressed, as the Austrians pressed, that our economic interests should be considered and dealt with on some basis by the EEC.

That would have meant that the farmers would have some prospect of markets for their cattle, and some prospect of markets for their livestock. Instead of that, our diplomatic and foreign policy was beamed on the United Nations, and beamed entirely to the neglect of our economic interests, as a member of the European Community, as a small country endeavouring to compete with countries that are highly geared and highly efficient, countries which had taken and used the opportunity of freedom to develop their economic and social resources to provide employment for their people.

No more fitting tombstone to the failure of the Second Programme could be unveiled than the Potez factory on the Naas Road. This is the first time I have seen a tombstone equipped with a swimming pool. This is a concern which was hawked around the whole of Europe before it landed here. Now they cannot make parts for aeroplanes and cannot sell aeroplanes, and we are talking about nuclear weapons and the proliferation of nuclear and other highly developed technical power armaments. Surely that is an indication of a lack of appreciation of the fundamental problems and of the serious issues which affect the country? I want to suggest that the best thing the Government could do and the best thing the Taoiseach could do would be to dissolve Parliament——


Hear, hear.

——and let the people of the country decide whom they wish to govern them. This Government have been running for cover for months, and the shifting over of Deputy Lynch in place of Deputy Lemass is merely a postponement of the ultimate outcome of the difference of opinion which has manifested itself in recent weeks.

Not only is that so, but in no sphere of public or social or national activity has there been a greater failure than the failure to devise, as was initiated by Deputy Sweetman when he was Minister for Finance in the inter-Party Government, a tax policy that would provide incentives, that would be designed as a positive force and not merely as a negative force to restrict and disrupt and stifle expansion and development.

When the Taoiseach was Minister for Finance, he and his predecessor introduced two proposals which had an adverse effect on the introduction of capital here. One was the provision in the 1963 Finance Act which made it obligatory on depositors to disclose their deposits to the Revenue Commissioners, and the other was the proposal in the Finance Act last year to aggregate insurance policies with free estates and make them assessable for death duty purposes. Every Deputy, and every individual, whether in business or engaged in running a farm—no matter what his occupation or calling in the community—knows and understands that with the present inflationary conditions, the rise in costs and the drop in the value of money, when businesses and farms and trading organisations have to meet the problems involved in death duties which fell in some cases inequitably and unfairly because of the frequent deaths of the proprietors, it was a reasonable proposal and had worked out satisfactorily to allow them to take out insurance policies so as to provide against the consequences of the impact of heavy death duties.

We have been concerned here since the inter-Party Government with attracting external capital to the country. The late Deputy Norton and Deputy Morrissey, when he was Minister for Industry and Commerce, went to the United States and attracted outside investment in this country. We have many notable examples of those outside investments of a practical and progressive kind, such as the Whitegate Oil Refinery. Today we cannot raise money anywhere and the situation is so serious that when Deputy Haughey goes to the Department of Finance, he will find that the till was rifled before he got there by his predecessors in office.

There is no money available. We now have to seek external loans of the very smallest kind. Any worthwhile company in England such as ICI, or any of the others, can raise millions by an issue on the money markets of the world. We have to reduce our issues to loans as low as £5 million in order to have them filled. We had had to go to New York, London, Bonn and elsewhere, before we could get them filled, and only by bringing pressure to bear on insurance companies and other institutions, and on banks that had large sums invested, was it possible to get the money necessary to carry on an abbreviated and attenuated economy.

These are the policies that are still adhered to by the present Government. Today on every artery approaching the capital, on every road, whether a main or minor artery, we have not itinerants in camps—and they are frequent and numerous—but people living in caravans who never lived in caravans before except when they were on holidays. They are living in caravans not for a month or six months but for some years.

The Department of Local Government have a Planning Act in operation under which permission must be got to put up a sign, or to change this or that, but the health officials in this city and county and throughout many parts of the country have to turn a blind eye on the insanitary conditions in many of these encampments because of the danger of a revolution among the tenants and the people seeking accommodation which they have been denied. This is the economic and social position to which this country has deteriorated and degenerated under the present Government, a Government who come in here today and ask for a renewal of a vote of confidence. We cannot pretend or suggest that any Deputy who is associated with Fianna Fáil is likely in present circumstances to abandon ship. It is a well-known principle which has been exemplified on many occasions that whatever chance they have by remaining together, they have no chance if they divide.

That is the position that has operated and influenced recent activities among the Ministers opposite. It is not sufficient to change Ministers or to move them from one Department to another. It is not sufficient merely to be concerned with the political image of the Fianna Fáil Party. We do not care about their political image. It is not the thing that matters most. What does matter is the welfare of the Irish people. What matters is their economic and social advancement. There have been some comments in the newspapers recently to the effect that the departure of Deputy Lemass marks the end of an era. The remark Deputy Lemass made recently about not wishing to become an historical relic certainly was hard on some of his colleagues. Some of them had to be nearly carried out.

What has characterised Fianna Fáil through the years is that they have been playing about, concentrating on the superficial forms of independence, changing the emphasis from here to there. This has been exemplified recently by the painting of different signs on CIE buses. I recently wanted to go to Cork by train. Deputy Childers has often told us about the efficiency of CIE. He used to say in years gone by that after 1963, when the five year term of the 1958 Transport Act had transpired, there would be no more subsidies. He knows that did not wash and the latest argument is that if it were not for the manner in which CIE is administered, the subsidy would be larger.

I got into a 7 o'clock train at Heuston Station for Cork. It took off at 7.15 and stopped for 15 minutes at Inchicore to let us have a look at the flower beds. A short time later somebody pulled the communication cord. Eventually we arrived at Cork at 12 o'clock, in an unheated train. Recently I went to meet a Wexford train which was timed to arrive at 11.30. The porter told me that the time had been changed and it would not arrive until 12.30. Apparently the CIE information service did not know that. I went to Galway this year. The poster giving the timetables stated there was one train at 3.30 and another at 3.50. When I inquired about the difference in the arrival time of the two trains, the girl told me that the 3.30 train did not run any longer.

That is the kind of blatant inefficiency rampant in CIE and yet yesterday we had the arrogant statement by the person in charge of that organisation that Deputies had no right to speak of these things. Is it not an intolerable situation that people appointed to do a public duty do not even know their own timetables and when they do, cannot implement them? That is the type of inefficiency manifest under Fianna Fáil; yet if we criticise it they say we are trying to sabotage the outfit and an excuse will be made on behalf of the person responsible.

I suggest to the new Taoiseach that the best contribution he can make, the one that will secure for him a permanent niche in history as being the first Taoiseach with a realistic outlook in Fianna Fáil, is to realise that the public want a change of Government, that there is an obligation on those who cannot agree among themselves to say: "We shall put our dissension and our disunity before the people, allow them to express their judgment on them and we will abide by the decision".

When recently I read comments on democracy by members of the Government I was naturally interested in the manner in which they were delivered by Deputy Brian Lenihan and others but I was constrained to think that the basis of democracy—the whole foundation of freedom and liberty in this country—rests and has been sustained by the steadfast courage and independence traditionally exemplified by the Irish people and that that basis of democracy and steadfastness was inspired by the dignified leadership of the Fine Gael Party who always had the realisation that the national interest predominates, that the welfare of our people, who, in the last analysis, have the right to decide, must be the paramount consideration and not the welfare of any political Party, of any individual or group of individuals. That is the basis of our beliefs, our faith, our unshakable confidence not merely in ourselves but in the people of this country.

To me, there is great significance this day in the election of a new Taoiseach. Somebody described it as the end of an era. I trust my hopes will not be so vain as to make me believe it will be the beginning of a new one. I certainly subscribe to the viewpoint of Deputy Cosgrave when he said that in this situation the best thing the new Taoiseach could do would be to call a general election. As far as the Labour Party are concerned, this would be very welcome. The decision lies with the Taoiseach but may I suggest that as far as testing public opinion is concerned, the ball lies not alone at the feet of the Taoiseach but at those of Fine Gael as well?

There are two by-elections pending. Either of the two Parties can move the Writs. I want to say that the Labour Party would welcome participation in these by-elections as well as in a general election. I say this with the utmost confidence. Fianna Fáil should be reminded that they are not a majority Government. They may be by reason of the number of seats they have, but not by reason of the fact that there were more than 40,000 of a majority against them in the last general election. As far as Labour are concerned, in the last two general elections, we have practically doubled our vote.

We may see some significance in this new era in that for the first time in 35 years there sits in the seat of the Taoiseach a person who was not actively engaged, nor could he be, in the events of 1922 or the five, six or seven turbulent years that followed. I hope the appointment of one such as Deputy Jack Lynch is a sign that we are at last becoming politically mature. I do not say that in recent times there has not been emphasis on this but this Parliament nevertheless has been bedevilled and frustrated and the economy of the country held up for valuable years through bickerings that have gone on about past events and the conflict of personalities. I trust that from this date Deputies and the Parties of this Parliament will get down to the task of doing the work of the nation and not be eternally engaged in these gimmicks and antics that mean nothing from the point of view of the good of the people.

A change of Taoiseach is not sufficient in our circumstances of today. A disservice has been done to the extent that when the Bolands, the Hillerys, the Haugheys, the Lenihans, the Colleys and the Brennans came along, they were not prepared to change. They always seemed to engage in the same antics as the Lemasses, the Aikens and the MacEntees, and even though they were young, energetic and enthusiastic, they became enmeshed in this net of Fianna Fáil which, as far as we are concerned, is absolute conservatism. Therefore, I trust that Deputy Jack Lynch as Taoiseach in this Government will start out on his own and determine that policies must be changed in order to get better results than we had in the past two or three decades. Everybody agrees that Deputy Jack Lynch has always been a very affable, kindly, courteous and courageous man, that he was a good athlete, a good hurler and a good footballer. That is not enough.

The time has come for the Government, in view of the fact that there will not be a general election—we may have two by-elections—to have a change of mind and a change of policy. In the past two or three weeks, for example, events which happened overshadowed the important issues. I do not believe it was deliberate on the part of Fianna Fáil to decide to elect a new Taoiseach at this time. It is unfortunate it should have happened when certain people and certain sections of the community are undergoing severe difficulties. I do not know whether there was in-fighting, knifing and fixing within the Fianna Fáil Party. I say that Parliament must get down to the business of righting the economy and keeping it right.

I am not concerned with the battle for power within the Fianna Fáil Party. I am not concerned about the office of Taoiseach being the plaything of the ambitious young Ministers. I do not know whether there are differences of opinion in the Party between the Colleys and the Lynchs. That is a matter for themselves. We as a Party are concerned with trying to promote a good, sound economic policy. We consider that we have been successful in that because Fianna Fáil after a long time have decided to accept many of the principles of the Labour Party policy and some of the things we suggested.

In any case, it must be obvious to the Taoiseach that if we are to improve this country, there must be radical changes and we cannot stick to the old conservative policies now employed, particularly in relation to agriculture and industry. The evidence is there that those policies have not succeeded. If they had succeeded, the farmers would not be marching in Dublin. If they had succeeded, the agricultural industry would not be in the state of stagnation in which it undoubtedly is at present. If the policies pursued by the Government over the past 30 or 35 years had been successful, we would not have the number of unemployed we have today and we would not have the hundreds of thousands who are forced to emigrate.

Therefore, the evidence must be absolutely clear that a change is necessary, that patching up here and there and doing this and that are not sufficient. Neither is a hand-out to this section or that section, or the introduction of legislation in respect of this section or that section sufficient. There must be a radical, fundamental change. We find that the Government make promises which do not materialise. We had a certain amount of confidence in the former Minister for Health, Deputy O'Malley, when he announced radical changes in a health scheme for this country but we cannot take him seriously because he has made so many of those promises.

We have been advocating and looking forward to the time when there would be absolutely free education for the people of this country in the primary and secondary schools for a start. We looked forward to the time when our boys and girls would have a real opportunity of getting university education. Deputy O'Malley, the Minister for Education, promised those things but we cannot take him seriously because he promised to drain the Shannon and to clean up the ancient monuments and made so many other promises that did not materialise. I believe he may have made these promises in good faith and with a good heart but his conservative colleagues would not and will not let him do these things.

The Fianna Fáil Party, in their promises and statements in Dáil Éireann and elsewhere, played many dirty tricks on the Irish people, particularly before elections. The promises made were never fulfilled. They misrepresented the state of the economy. They did this particularly before the general election of 1965. It is correct to say that the keynote of their speeches during that election was: "You never had it so good." The ex-Taoiseach, Deputy Seán Lemass, particularly in that election and here in Dáil Éireann, not alone painted a rosy picture of the situation as it then was but declared that 1965 and 1966 would be boom years for this country.

That may have been his own opinion, but he had his economists, and his experts, all of whom surely were in a position to advise him that certain things might happen in those years. The Fianna Fáil Party played politics in the 1965 election to such an extent that they could not turn face so completely and so quickly and the remedial measures they introduced to correct certain problems and difficulties in the economy they could not introduce until a respectable time, as they thought, after the results of the election were declared.

I am amazed sometimes at the way even members of the Fianna Fáil Party were gulled by statements made by the ex-Taoiseach, Deputy Seán Lemass. He banked all his hopes on the First Programme for Economic Expansion and, of course, the second one was to be the tops. He did this with very little qualification. It was more or less similar to the pronouncement of the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries and the Minister for Finance about the Anglo-Irish Free Trade Agreement last year. Now they are coming into this House saying: "We did not know this or that would happen." If they were good Ministers and if they had good advisers, they should have known that these things might happen.

The swansong of the Taoiseach was heard a few weeks ago when he declared that the Second Programme had flopped as far as the main targets were concerned. This is rather pathetic because all of us regarded him as a hardworking man, dedicated to his work, whether as Taoiseach, Minister for Industry and Commerce or Minister for Supplies, although we knew that as a politician, he was somewhat of a gambler. Unfortunately, many of his gambles did not come off, to the detriment of the Irish people.

Mark you, the main objective of the Second Programme for Economic Expansion was to ensure that we would attain full employment in a stated period. I do not want to bore the House with figures which have been so often given. When we did so in the past and when we advocated certain things, we were accused of making the same old speech. Unfortunately, while the ills of the country remain as they are, we still will have to emphasise such things as unemployment, agriculture, industry, social welfare, rural electrification, health and education. We have to repeat them in speech after speech because the problems in respect of these services still remain unsolved. Is it not a reflection on the Second Programme for Economic Expansion and on the activities of this Government, particularly the Minister for Industry and Commerce, now the Minister for Labour, and the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries, to say that as far as employment is concerned, there has been a deterioration over the past three years? The unemployment figures have gone up consistently over the past three years.

This is not progress. Let me quote the words of the ex-Taoiseach, Deputy Seán Lemass—not the exact words— not very many years ago when an inter-Party Government were in office. He said that the real test of the success or failure of a Government was the employment and unemployment figures. It is on that basis we can judge the Fianna Fáil Party and refer to the fact that there is less employment here now than there was ten years ago. They certainly stand much more condemned than they would ever attempt to condemn the efforts of the inter-Party Government.

The ex-Taoiseach in that particular speech said that the targets must be changed. When the Taoiseach, or the ex-Taoiseach, talks about changing targets, what does he mean? Does he mean that we should not now be ambitious to have an extra 78,000 jobs in a period of ten years? Does he mean that our growth rate should be slowed down and our targets should be lowered? Does he mean that as far as the agricultural industry is concerned, we cannot expect to attain the targets set down in the Second Programme for Economic Expansion?

Changing the targets is not enough, and again there is no consolation in the Labour Party saying: "We told you so". In that particular time in 1964, Members will remember the Labour Party saying that it is not sufficient merely to name targets, to set down targets. It is pure presumption to think that merely by setting these targets, they will be achieved. There must be a vigorous approach to ensure that they will be achieved. The growth rate this year related to the Second Programme for Economic Expansion is certainly not measuring up to last year and as far as all the reports of the experts are concerned, will be down again this year. A growth rate of four to five per cent is needed over the next 15 years if we are to get anything like full employment.

We in the Labour Party believe that to be successful there must be more action by the Government. Announcing plans and setting targets and then sitting down is not sufficient. We advocate even at this late hour the formation of development councils in industry, to integrate the two sides for the expansion of industry. If the Second Programme for Economic Expansion, or any programme, is to be successful, the people must know about it. There is no use in members of the Government or members of the Opposition knowing about it. There is no use in civil servants working in Merrion Street knowing about this Programme. To be successful, it must be brought down to the factory floor and to the field of labour.

When the Government announced this Programme, in my view—and I have no evidence that they did—they did nothing at all to ensure that the people who would have to provide this greater expansion knew anything at all about the plans or the targets. We believe that not alone would this exercise mean an expansion in industry and production but it would also provide for better relations and much better atmosphere.

The Government have fallen down particularly in this field, in that they announced particular targets and plans but took no positive steps to ensure that these targets would be achieved. Last year was a particularly bad year, to such an extent that the Government were forced to bring in certain measures to correct a situation that had arisen with regard to the balance of payments, a balance of payments which had been allowed to get out of hand prior to February or March, 1965. Because of the imminence of the general election in 1965, they deliberately took a decision not to do anything at all that would lose them votes. The measures that were taken were taken too late and, as far as the banking and credit policies were concerned, they were too stringent.

I do not know whether a problem such as we had like a balance of payments problem, can be such a sacred cow in the economy of this country, the one in which we are concerned. It is not the be all and the end all of our problems but, unfortunately, when the balance of payments rises to a certain figure, everybody scurries to try to provide deflationary measures. In the year 1965 and in this year of 1966, they do not appear to be much changed in relation to the problem we had with regard to our balance of payments. The balance of payments problem, it appears, will be corrected this year but an awful lot of damage has been done.

God help us.

I can only go on the figures I have got.

They are just as bad as any other figures you get.

This need not be the be all and the end all of our problems. When all these measures were taken, the economy was at a virtual standstill. The squeeze meant that industrial production was slowed down, that industrial employment fell this year. That is of tremendous significance because let us concede that in the past five or six years, industrial employment rose to a certain extent but not to the extent all would have liked, to an extent that those who had to come from the rural areas could be absorbed in industrial employment. Industrial employment for the 12 months ending 1966 is down fairly substantially on the 12 months ended June, 1965.

This policy that has been employed by the Government over the past two years, certainly bewilders people. They cannot understand why they can have a period which is relatively good for them as far as wages and income are concerned. It appears to me that when, through their trade unions, the workers get what might be regarded as a reasonable wage related to the standard of living they require, somebody then shouts "Inflation" and after a year and a half or two years, somebody wants to take this money from them by taxation or some other measure. Whether Deputy Dillon will agree with me or not, it seems to me that if balance of payments will not be rectified this year, it will certainly show an improvement on last year, but again I ask: at what cost?

Again, in these particular measures produced in July of 1965, the Fianna Fáil Party were forced to change their policy on prices. Fine Gael changed their policy as well, for what reason I do not know. Again, at the risk of boring the House, we continued for two solid years, and perhaps more, asking the various Ministers for Industry and Commerce to introduce price control but it could not be done. "It would be undesirable; you can only do these things in times of emergency, in times of war" we were told. We believe it ought to be done in the circumstances in which we are, in which when workers get an increase in wages, there is a section of the community determined to take it from them. I do not know how that policy is operating now. I suspect it is not working to the fullest advantage of the consumer but I hope the new Minister for Industry and Commerce will ensure that the policy embodied in the Price Control Act of 1965 will be implemented and that he will get from the Minister for Finance the proper amount of money to recruit the necessary people to ensure that there will, in fact, be price control.

The Minister for Local Government has now been changed to the Ministry of Agriculture. I think he should have been changed long ago and this is an admission by the Fianna Fáil Party and by the new Taoiseach that as far as housing is concerned the outgoing Minister for Local Government was an absolute failure. He has been in office for the past two years without making the least effort.

(Cavan): God help the farmers.

Keep quiet; you never opened your mouth when papa was here.

If Deputy Noel Lemass has any questions to ask the Labour Party about housing, I can give him the answers. We had a Minister for Local Government in the late Tim Murphy.

Hear, hear.

He knew what local authorities wanted and what the people wanted, and he was strong enough to ensure that he got the money and got the houses built.

The plans were there for him.

In the year in which the late Deputy T.J. Murphy was Minister for Local Government, there were more houses built than have been built since. Then Deputy Blaney has the neck to tell us that over the past five or six years, money, as far as building houses was concerned, was no object. Is this not a condemnation of Deputy Blaney and the Fianna Fáil Government?

The White Paper they put out in 1964 declared that in the country then there were 50,000 unfit houses and 63,000 overcrowded houses. The new Minister for Local Government, whoever he may be, surely has a colossal task.

We were bad enough up to this.

A Deputy

Go bhfóiridh Dia orainn!

Let us give the recent record now for the outgoing Minister for Local Government in housing. For the first eight months of 1966, the local authorities built 1,808 houses; for the first eight months of 1965, there were 2,128 built. That is 300 houses less. What sort of nonsense does the Minister go on with here every day when he is asked questions and tries to put the blame on the local authorities, talking about plans coming up and plans going back? The late T.J. Murphy went down to the local authorities. He did not depend on letters between the local authorities and the Department of Local Government. He gave sanction on the spot. The result was that he broke records as far as house-building is concerned.

Hostile local authorities as far as the Minister for Local Government is concerned. Let us hope the people will change that next June.

You did not give them the chance this year anyway.

The Deputy is celebrating.

Deputy Lemass knows nothing about house-building. He should come down to Limerick and we would show him.

Deputy Coughlan did not want an inquiry into Limerick Vocational Education Committee. What has he to hide?


The record of the Minister for Local Government because he is responsible as far as grant houses are concerned is no better. For the first eight months of 1966, the figure is 6,047, and for the same eight months of 1965, it was 7,370.

The Fianna Fáil Party boast of the increase—I suppose, rightly so—in the population as per the last census. If our problem is to the extent of having to get about 100,000 houses for the people, the fact that the population has increased somewhat will make the problem greater indeed. The Taoiseach in a recent reply talked about the expenditure on housing and we got this again from the Minister for Finance and the Minister for Local Government, telling us that £X million had been spent this year, less last and less the year before, and they even go back ten years. This is not a valid comparison when one has regard to the fact that money values have changed, the rate of wages has changed, the cost of materials and everything else has changed. If the figures given by the Minister for Finance for expenditure on housing are to be related to other years, certain other factors must be taken in as well.

I do not know what experience Deputy Noel Lemass has of local authorities. Perhaps he is a member of Dublin Corporation—I do not know, nor am I concerned—but I think it would be wrong to say that the local authorities are holding up the building of houses. Every local authority in this country has been in touch with the Minister asking for the necessary finance to enable them to build houses, to enable them to advance loans and give grants, and the money is not forthcoming.

More money than ever before.

It may be a record as far as the amount of money is concerned but it has no relation at all to other years and no relation to the problem we have as far as housing is concerned.

The Labour Party believe that the provision of houses should be a top priority. If there was to be a squeeze, it should not have been on housing. It should not have been on the provision of water or the provision of sewerage schemes. I meet my constituents, as I am sure Deputy Noel Lemass and every other Deputy in the House does, whether he is a Minister or a Parliamentary Secretary or not. People come up in their dozens every week-end asking for God's sake can they get a house. Should we not be ashamed of ourselves in 1966 to say that there are about 100,000 families in this country who have no home of their own? It is no use talking about what has been done over the past 35 years. The fact is that no matter how we boast, there are people condemned to live in single rooms, in slums and in hovels in the city, town and rural areas. That is not something of which we can be proud. We may be proud of Aerlinte going across the Atlantic. We may be proud of the Trade Agreement we negotiated with Great Britain. We may be proud of our boast that we are willing and able to compete with other countries in the EEC. We may boast of the establishment of industry in this country but the one fundamental thing, the one thing most important to any person or any family, is that housing has not been provided for 100,000 people. The Government must answer this question and the Taoiseach must tell us here today what new plans he has to ensure that the good Irish people who are working in this country and who want to stay here can have a house for themselves and their families.

If there was a need for change in any particular sector of the economy, it was in agriculture. I would sympathise with any Minister for Agriculture, and have done so over the past 20 or 30 years in the task they were expected to perform with the policies they inherited. Deputy Cosgrave referred to the Anglo-Irish Trade Agreement. Fine Gael must take some responsibility for that because the former Taoiseach did everything but describe the Labour Party as traitors because they spoke and voted against it. The Anglo-Irish Trade Agreement was a fraud, an absolute fraud, in what it promised but never realised for the Irish farmer and what it gave away and will give away as far as industry is concerned.

I remember the Minister for Agriculture about 8th or 9th January of this year standing over there very confidently with his arms folded and swaying up and down, assuring everybody that this Agreement would mean an extra £10 million a year to the Irish farmers. Is it not a wonder he would not catch himself on? It is a pity he would not look back on that speech and relate it to the things he now has to say when he talks about the EEC and the difficulties of the British farmer. He should have foreseen all these things and should not have fooled the Irish farmer and the Fine Gael Party in boasting about an increased price for cattle and getting a good market and good prices in Britain. Now the Irish taxpayer is paying a heavy subsidy. Who would have thought that in November of the same year we would have this sort of situation when one remembers the fraudulent boasts that were made about this Agreement last January? It seems to me that as far as this Agreement is concerned the chickens—or perhaps I should say, the cows—are coming home to roost.

Ministers have been messing about with the agricultural industry. We are regarded primarily as an agricultural country. People will tell us that the basis of the economy of the country is agriculture. What sort of country are we if the agriculture industry is the basis of our economy, when there are small farmers in this country this winter who will not be in a position to buy clothes for their children? I am not saying all farmers are poor. On the contrary, I am saying that there are farmers in this country this year who will not have the wherewithal to pay their debts or to pay for the necessaries of life as far as wearing apparel for their children is concerned. If agriculture is the basis of our economy, is £9 0s 6d the wage the agricultural community can give to the agricultural worker? Is this not a reflection not alone on the policies that have been followed in agriculture but on the economy as a whole? Does anybody suggest, or maybe we do not go into it too deeply, that a man with a wife and six or seven children, apart from children's allowances, should be asked to exist on an average of £9 0s 6d a week? Mind you, this is an average; some of them have less.

Again in regard to the cattle industry, a lot of money was spent, we are told, by the Minister for Agriculture on the heifer subsidy scheme in order to get more cows. Now we have more cows and we cannot sell them. Someone must take responsibility for that. As I said, we are required to pay up to the end of this month a heavy subsidy on cattle exports. There are farmers who are doing all right. I could not put a percentage on them, but what we are concerned about are the small farmers and their plight during the coming winter.

I remember the first speech I made here as Leader of this Party. I think I spoke on the general financial debate. I said that our Party did not believe that the money allocated for agriculture was being properly applied. We believed that the emphasis in assistance should be on the small farmer and it should not be directed in the same ratio at all towards the large farmer. I was pleased the other day to learn that Deputy Haughey and, I take it, the Fianna Fáil Party as a whole have now been converted to that view. There is no point in this Taoiseach or the ex-Taoiseach telling the farmers that this year £25 million is being invested by way of grant and loan in schemes for the benefit of the agricultural community. That does not mean anything if the farmer with 2,000 acres is going to get proportionately in accordance with his valuation. It is the farmer in the West with the ten and 15 acres who needs relatively much more than does the big farmer. It is the farmer in my constituency with 40 and 50 acres; he needs more than the farmer with the ranch of 2,000 and 3,000 acres.

The Taoiseach should direct his Minister for Agriculture to examine the whole structure of assistance in the agricultural field to ensure that it is applied in the proper manner. I believe—I have said this in various speeches down through the years—that we have many forms of assistance, not alone in relation to agriculture but in relation to industry, that could be cut out altogether and applied to some other purpose for the better promotion of industry and of agriculture. I do not believe that assistance irrespective of need is the proper course. I hope I do not interpret the ex-Minister for Agriculture incorrectly when he said recently this would be the idea in future and the aim would be to ensure that emphasis on assistance would be in the direction of the farmer who really needed it.

We believe in the Labour Party that there must be a greater effort towards providing improved marketing arrangements. It must be obvious to everyone now that we just do not seem to have a clue so far as the disposal of our agricultural produce is concerned. Deputy Cosgrave talked about the EEC. We took a certain stand on the Irish application for membership to that Community some years ago. We said that it was inevitable, if Britain went in, we would have to go in as well because of our trading arrangements with Britain, but we made this reservation, and it is a reservation Deputy Cosgrave, I think, supports today: we said we should go in in association with the Community. I have never believed—I do not think we will be proved wrong—that we can, having regard to the condition of our industrial set-up, and other factors, compete with the highly industrialised nations like Germany, Belgium and the other members of the EEC. Rather than engage in the herculean efforts that Deputy Lemass seemed to be making to enter the EEC, the new Taoiseach and the Minister for External Affairs, if he can stay away from New York, should be trying to negotiate in Belgium an agreement with the community in order to dispose of our agricultural surplus and stop making speeches to the effect that we will be in by 1970, 1971 or 1972.

There is a possibility of association with the EEC. The Taoiseach, up to quite recently, said we should not even try to negotiate at all on any special terms. The British have tried to get special terms. I believe they will get them. It seems that the attitude of the ex-Taoiseach was: "We will go in with our hands up and we will take whatever the Treaty of Rome says we should take". That is wrong. With all due respect to the Government, to the economy and to our people, I think we are fit in present circumstances to look only for association with this rich man's club. In any case, a greater effort to export our cattle to the EEC countries would be justified in view of the fact that there is for us such an adverse trade balance with these countries.

Deputy Seán Lemass has been described as the architect of Irish industry. He has been described as the founder of modern industry in this country. That may be so, but I do not think the results are good enough. All credit to him for what he did and for the efforts he undoubtedly made, but, as far as we are concerned, it is not sufficient for a Minister for Finance, or a Minister for Industry and Commerce, or the Government to say: "There is the money. If you establish industry here, we will welcome you and give you grants and loans". Much more positive action should be taken. I believe, and my Party believes, that there is too much dependence by the Government on private enterprise. We believe private enterprise is there to do a job, but private enterprise just has not the capacity to provide the industry and the employment needed. We advocate the establishment of a State holding company—whether similar to what the Minister for Labour, Dr. Hillery, has suggested, or not, I do not know—but this State holding company should be charged with the task of finding industry, perhaps on the same lines as Deputy Colley was working on in New York recently. This sort of effort must be made. There must be active effort.

Dr. Hillery, when Minister for Industry and Commerce, said he had established some committee to go into this. I do not think they are operating in any wholehearted way and the Minister for Industry and Commerce should pursue the idea much more vigorously. Perhaps Dr. Hillery did not have the time: he was changed too quickly. When private enterprise fails to do the job, then the State must step in and do it instead. I do not think there is anything wrong in that. Fianna Fáil talk about the sanctity of private enterprise and non-interference. When people are forced to emigrate even to the extent they are now of 21,000 or 22,000 every year and when we have 40,000, 50,000 or 60,000 unemployed, it is no use talking to them about the sanctity of private enterprise and non-interference by the State. It would be a good Christian move to step in and fill the gap and Fianna Fáil have not yet shown me, in any case, any anxiety to do this job and ensure that Irish people will be employed in their own country.

With all due respect to the Minister for Transport and Power and those other Ministers responsible for semi-State companies, I believe there should be some central control of these companies. There should be some body which would take an interest in and exercise some control over their activities, particularly in those cases in which large amounts of money are invested. We have advocated this on several occasions. I hope the Minister for Industry and Commerce and the Taoiseach will consider it now. It is no use coming in here and crying about how much is waste. It is no use crying about how much Potez got and how much of that is waste or crying about how much was wasted by way of grant and loan in the Wicklow Copper Mines. If we are going to put £1 million or £2 million into an industry like Potez or the Wicklow Copper Mines, then there should be some body there to hold at least a watching brief on behalf of the Irish taxpayer who, in the end, must pay.

The Minister for Transport and Power has now been charged with responsibility for Posts and Telegraphs. The Minister, in the circumstances in which he found himself in Transport and Power, had no real function at all in the case of the semi-State companies under his alleged control. Whether the company is CIE, Aer Lingus, the ESB, or any other, there should be some body accountable to the members of Dáil Éireann, able to report in a better and more detailed way than Ministers have been in the past. That is particularly true of the present Minister. He was, I think, the very first Minister appointed to Transport and Power. What I have suggested must be done. It will satisfy not alone the Deputies but also the public conscience because these are semi-State companies and the Irish taxpayer has an investment in them, and we believe that a Deputy has the right to ask the whys and the wherefores in regard to the smallest matter.

The Taoiseach should have gone a little further and integrated the Department of Health with the Department of Social Welfare, particularly in view of the fact that the employment functions of the Department of Social Welfare are now in the custody of the Minister for Labour. The Department of Social Welfare therefore appears to be purely an administrative Department and the only function that a Minister will have, as the evidence has been in recent years, is to come in and answer questions about individual claims and all that or, after a Budget, to introduce some legislation, or to look after his Estimate. These would be his only functions. I do not say that this is going to save a colossal amount of money but in the interests of the beneficiaries, both health and social welfare, it would be an excellent thing if these two were integrated.

Also, under one Ministry, we could have an attempt at uniformity in means tests. The House will realise, particularly those Members who are members of local authorities, and those who visit their constituents, that there is a wide variety of means tests in regard to such things as medical cards and various types of allowances and people are confused and bewildered in regard to them. If there could be one Minister in charge of Health and Social Welfare who would be responsible for having uniformity of means tests, there would be much smoother administration and a greater appreciation by the people.

The Taoiseach should be determined to break from tradition and to get away from practice. I would advocate that there should be a subdivision of the Budget. We have at present the two divisions, the Current Budget and the Capital Budget, and the Taoiseach should consider a further division to include provision for social services, social welfare, health and education. As far as the Labour Party are concerned there was ample evidence in recent Budgets that we were prepared to vote for taxes when we knew to what purpose that money was to be devoted. We voted overwhelmingly for the Government's proposals of about two years ago because we knew that the taxes then being raised—even though they were unpopular—were to be devoted to old age pensions, widows and orphans and the unemployed.

The job of the Minister for Finance would be much easier if he were able to say to the Dáil that this money will be devoted to social services, in the matter of social welfare, health and education. This would also be better understood by the people and a person who has his packet of cigarettes increased by 2d would know then that the money was going to the provision of free education or to be used in a health scheme. This could be done not alone for a social services Budget but there could be a subdivision for an administrative Budget which would be for the running of the Army, the Garda and the different personnel who make up the Civil Service. There could also be subdivisions for industry, agriculture and housing.

I want to conclude by saying that it is not as if we were addressing a new Government: they are all pretty experienced Ministers. As I said, the significant thing about today is that for the first time we have somebody who was not embroiled in the bitterness of long ago. I trust that he and the members of his Government will approach their term of office—for no matter what period—in that spirit. Let us get away from past traditions, from past practices, and from past influences because these have had a marked influence on the Fianna Fáil Party. Over a period of 39 years, they have had only two Leaders and I do not want to be disrespectful to either of them, and I would not be, but they left their imprint. Deputy Lemass, who was Taoiseach for seven years, inherited quite an amount.

The Taoiseach, Deputy Lynch, should break out on his own and be determined that policies must be changed. The evidence is there that the old policies have failed. If he does that, he will get the support of the Labour Party. We do not want policy decisions made and announced; we want to see action, particularly in regard to health, education, the provision of employment, in regard to western areas, redundancy and such matters. In fact, we want action from this Taoiseach and this Government and not mere promises and White Papers.

We do not elect a Taoiseach every day and therefore in the most personal way, I should like to wish Deputy Lynch and his family the best happiness in the future. That is a personal wish and has nothing whatever to do with the job we are doing today, namely, the election of a Government and the examination of the Government record. It is no harm to recall the manner of their election, the fact that they were a minority Government and elected by Independents. It is no harm to recall that they have a voting strength of 71 votes from a practical vote of 141 Deputies. Unhappily two Deputies are deceased and there are to be two by-elections.

Deputy Corish referred to these by-elections. It falls to Fine Gael to move one of those writs. We will move that writ when the ordinary decencies of one month's memory have been preserved. The only Party that ever broke that were Fianna Fáil, on the occasion of the death of the father of the new Minister for Agriculture. We will move that writ at the earliest possible time and when it is practicable under the terms of our Constitution, and we will welcome the opportunity and the privilege. We are sorry that it is because one of our colleagues has been laid to rest that we should get this opportunity of fighting the Government but I want to assure the House and the Taoiseach that we are spoiling for a fight, even though it is only in two constituencies—unless Fianna Fáil keep running for power by not moving the writ for South Kerry. We can take it, therefore, that we are to have a caretaker Government, a Government on whom a decision will be made shortly in two by-elections. This decision will be made in the climate of the political atmosphere of the time and on the Government's past record.

I want to examine that record and to refer to the Second Programme for Economic Expansion which was issued in 1963. The stated objective there was an annual increase of output of seven per cent and from 1960 to 1970, there would need to be 86,000 new jobs in industry or 8,600 a year. What has been the result? From 1962 to 1964 there have only been 5,000 new jobs in industry a year. From 1960 to 1964, the total increase in employment was 5,000 people. In that period 38,000 people left agriculture and only 24,000 came into industry.

I want to say that without the slightest shadow of doubt in an unindustrialised nation like ours, we must see, as we become more complicated with the products of industry, an increase in the numbers employed in that particular sector of our nation. However, we find ourselves in the position in which there were 7,000 fewer people working in 1965 than in 1964. The transportable goods industry and building have had their ups and downs but the final statistic is in regard to the numbers of unemployed— because, unhappily, we have emigration with us—and in 1965 we had 7,000 fewer working here than in 1964.

We have no figures as yet for 1966 to make a comparison but we have some indication that the industrial output in the first six months of this year was seriously down, and it takes fewer people to make less goods. At the same time, we know that our agricultural industry has had a bad time and there has been a fall in the numbers employed therein. We may take it that when Budget time comes again and when the statistics are produced then for the first time for employment—and only produced at that time, even though we can get figures for week to week—we will see a further decrease in the number of unemployed. That is where the first judgment will be made in Waterford and in South Kerry. I maintain that not so very long afterwards this caretaker Government will be judged by the whole country and when they are judged, as Deputy Corish and Deputy Cosgrave pointed out, they will be judged on that because the number of people in productive employment regulates the happiness and the opportunity for all.

Let us consider then some of the things that happened, some of the records of the Ministers who are now re-appointed or changed. Let us, for instance, consider something that has been mentioned here twice already, the fiasco of Potez. Let us remember that when a grant goes over £250,000, it is no longer adjudicated on by that excellent body, An Foras Tionscal, and becomes a Government decision. Let us remember that if a loan is made from An Taisce Stáit Teoranta, it is similarly a Government decision. Let us remember that for the first half of this fiasco the present occupant of the Taoiseach's seat was Minister for Industry and Commerce. Let us then look at the figures. An Taisce Stáit Teoranta lent Potez £904,000 and of a grant of £420,000 allocated, a State grant of £405,000 has been paid. Responsibility for this lies not with the Board of An Foras Tionscal or the Industrial Development Authority or the Industrial Credit Company but with the Taoiseach who sits here today and the Government he has nominated.

Let us remember that there have been very many other fiascos of this kind that have been clearly definable and different, for one reason that they were always things that Cabinet Ministers had something to do with. I am glad the Minister for Transport and Power is here. Let us remember that there is a factory in Clones that closed before it ever opened, if one may say that without perpetrating an Irish bull, and that this factory was the subject of great talk and activity by the Minister for Transport and Power in his constituency and that he told all other Deputies from his constituency, including his colleague, to go away and have nothing to do with it, that he would look after it. He got the job of building the factory for his best supporter, a builder who has since been back with Deputy Dillon trying to get paid but he cannot get his money because the factory is in liquidation. The machinery that was delivered from France to the floor of that factory is now the subject of a payment of some shillings in the £. That is an example of where a Minister appointed today deliberately influenced the payment of a grant——

I did not influence it.

Does the Minister deny it? Does he deny that it never opened? That it is in liquidation? Does he deny what The Dundalk Democrat and The Argus have said?

The Deputy should tell the truth.

The Deputy is telling the truth. Neither the Minister nor I will call each other liars in this House because we know parliamentary procedure very well.

He is afraid.

He will not do it, and neither will I. There have been other great failures. As I said, when An Taisce Stáit gives a grant or a loan, that is a Government decision. There is a factory in the midlands and in the case of the loan extended to that factory, £4,000 to £5,000 has been repaid, the principal given being £90,000. That factory is also in liquidation. That was also a Cabinet decision.

Let us remember also that in Cabra in this city there is a steel factory that never opened and it was also the subject of influence. The last act of the Minister for Labour, when he moved from the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, was to announce that the whole system of grants and loans was being investigated by a firm of international consultants and that the results of this investigation would very soon be available. It would be a much better thing if the people of this country examined the system of giving grants and loans and decided by voting whether or not they wanted this Cabinet to have anything to do with it or wanted a different Cabinet. However, it will be interesting to see what will be their recommendations because we have lost huge and valuable industries here to Northern Ireland.

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

As I was saying, before we discovered that Fianna Fáil had fled the House, we have lost huge and highly important industries to Northern Ireland. Our system of grants has been minutely changed in order to make available industrial estates for two places in the country, apart from Shannon. We are five years too late.

I would advert again to the fact that during some of that period the present Taoiseach was in charge of Industry and Commerce. After that, he was in charge of Finance, an all-enveloping Ministry which puts its finger on every other Ministry and must surely have regard to how the money is spent. I have adverted to how the money was badly spent in advances to industries and I have referred to flaws in the system and the losses that resulted. I must also advert to the fact that the present Taoiseach is directly responsible for some of the period when these losses occurred. Some of the actions which were taken were taken during his term of office, either as Minister for Industry and Commerce or Minister for Finance.

But there are even more serious things that have affected the employment situation to which I referred in my opening remarks. One of the things that have stopped industrialists coming here to employ our people, with a resulting drop in employment between 1964 and 1965—quite obviously, there is a continuing drop in 1966—is the fact that there was industrial unrest here over the past three years.

It is almost three years now since there were two by-elections in Cork and Kildare and since the ex-Taoiseach boasted that he intervened between employers and employees and produced an agreement for a 12 per cent wage increase for two and a half years. Everybody who has anything to do with industrial relations now is adverting to the fact that there is no depth in the investigations of the Labour Court into terms of employment and wages, that there should be far more detail. This was a job done four days before two by-elections and even the Army were paid the day before. On this the Government rode home and on this again they rode home in 1965 before price increases had swallowed up the 12 per cent. We see the result of it now. We see where political expediency brings us and we see that the Government are prepared to grant to anybody before an election anything that will get them votes, notwithstanding the fact that the people who vote for them under false pretences have to pay for it afterwards. There is no future for this country if we have to rely on this constant recourse to political expediency.

I want to give two concrete examples of what I am saying. The managing director of York Trailers, a very important industry, arrived in Dundalk and made an arrangement with Dundalk Engineering Works— the Minister knows all about this— that he would produce his trailers there and employ 200 men. He took an option on a site, and then the strikes began. He made a statement in this country and then left it. The statement was to the effect that because of industrial unrest, he could not see his way to establishing a factory here that would employ 200 people, and we have lost those 200 jobs. I want to suggest that there are many more industrialists who are not as outspoken as the managing director of York Trailers and that we have lost many more hundreds and perhaps thousands of jobs.

I want to relate another story. Some years ago I interviewed the principals of a firm called Bohringer in Germany who employ some thousands of men. They looked at various sites in my constituency and in other constituencies. They eventually purchased a site in Malahide. That site remained in Malahide; nothing happened it and I wondered why. Two months ago one of the principals of that firm back in this country called at my house. I have given the name of the firm; this man's name was Mr. McLeod, and I want to be specific about this. He said: "Mr. Donegan, I called back to tell you that we are operating in Spain. We could not operate here because of industrial unrest. We would have employed men only and because of the situation here in relation to your weak Government and industrial unrest, we have gone to Spain and are spending our money there." That is the direct result of two by-elections being bought.

The Cabinet who are not sitting before us now are virtually the same Cabinet as made these two venal decisions, the same Cabinet as were prepared to buy votes, of which the Taoiseach is a member and which I suggest is not fit for Government. They are, as I have defined them, a caretaker Government who will be defeated in two by-elections and later in the general election that must follow.

Let us consider the position in relation to agriculture. It is almost hackneyed to say that our agricultural exports must pay for the imports of industrial raw materials. When we export industrial goods, we are largely exporting the fruits of our labour. That is an excellent thing because we are employing our people at home. At the same time, if we are to provide the industrial goods we need for ourselves and industrial goods for export, we must have a good agricultural export trade in order to have a satisfactory balance of payments situation. Therefore, as industry expands and as our own demand for industrial goods expands, we must expand agricultural exports to pay for these goods. The only other thing that can help in this regard is tourism. Industrial exports, because we have not got the raw material, are largely the export of our labour.

I should like to quote some figures shown in the index table of the Progress Report of the Programmes for Economic Expansion, and I want to suggest that these figures are extremely relevant. In regard to agricultural output, the figure for livestock and livestock products in 1964 is £185.6 million; in 1965, it is £185.1 million, a drop of £500,000; crops and turf, £44.7 million in 1964, and the same in 1965. From 1964 to 1965, our agricultural output dropped from £230.4 million to £229.9 million. We cannot support an expanding industry on that. That is the first law of economics. We must expand our agricultural exports and our agricultural output if we are to succeed in expanding our industry and the employment of our people.

Let us now consider the corrected preliminary statement for 1966 in comparison with 1965 as regards crops and livestock. From 1965 to 1966, our wheat acreage dropped by 53,900, a drop of 29.6 per cent. Deputy Moore will realise this means more foreign wheat coming into the ports in his constituency. The acreage of oats dropped by 39,000 or 13.7 per cent, and in barley, the acreage remained the same. In rye, beans and peas, there was a drop of 29 per cent. Of course in root and green crops, it is very clear there is a drop, but I shall not bother giving the sad details.

In regard to livestock, while there was an increase in the number of milch cows of 2.4 per cent, which is obviously the result of the heifer scheme, which I shall discuss later, there was a drop in the number of heifers in-calf of 33,600 or 17.4 per cent. There was a drop in the older cattle of 2,900 or 1.3 per cent. Then, of course, in the heifer scheme there was an increase of 12.3 per cent in three-year-olds and of 10.7 per cent in one-year-olds but an increase of only 1.3 per cent in calves.

What do all these figures mean? They mean that the people with the money jumped into the Fianna Fáil heifer scheme, got £15 a head and are now jumping out as fast as they possibly can. The Fianna Fáil Minister for Agriculture now has been happily removed from there to, perhaps, an even more dangerous situation if his predecessor cannot keep a hold on him. The position is that our cattle have stopped increasing in number because of the number of in-calf heifers decreasing. The Minister created a glut that is happily of a temporary nature. This glut has meant that, instead of getting the £7 or £8 a head more which he guaranteed the farmers last January, they are getting up to £20 a head less.

I want to suggest that farmers living in places such as that in which I live, Louth, are not in as bad a way as others in the west of Ireland are because we bought our cattle and are selling them for virtually the same price. We have lost our investment money; we have lost our rates; we have lost our overhead expenses. We have to carry all these, but, at least, we are getting the same as we paid for them. The unfortunate small farmer in the West who reared ten calves and expected to get £40 a beast for them is getting £25 today. This means that, if he rears ten calves a year, his income is down by £3 a week. That sort of man might not have £10 a week on which to live. I suggest that the emigrant ship mentioned by Deputy Dunne on the nomination of Deputy Corish this morning will be further filled because people will not stay in any circumstances in which they cannot get a decent standard of life.

Let us consider also that Mr. Peart recently called for his great friend, Mr. Haughey.

The Minister for Agriculture.

With respect, the ex-Minister for Agriculture, and the present Minister for Finance.

He is not Minister yet.

The ex-Minister for Agriculture, Deputy Haughey. We thought he was going over there to discuss cattle. He was going over there to discuss cattle but he was going over to be told that at the end of November, which he had to admit in this House yesterday, the headage grant would be removed. The headage grant in this country a few months ago started at £4 for a bullock and £3 15s for a heifer. As near as I can ascertain, the present headage grant is about £7 for a bullock and something over £6 for a heifer. Does this mean that our store cattle will drop a further £7 a head on 1st December next?

This was the Trade Agreement which we believed was no improvement whatever in its general context on the 1948 Agreement. It contained restrictive clauses which were dangerous and they were mentioned by us here when we voted for it. These restrictive clauses have now come home to roost. Let us remember that there were never more forward cattle ready for sale on the lands of this country. In Ardee, in the constituency of the Minister for Transport and Power, on last Tuesday, they stopped selling cattle at 9 p.m. and there were four wagons of cattle that never got into the sale ring. I have the word of the ex-Minister for Agriculture for it yesterday that the next review of EEC policy will be next April. In reply to Question No. 72 on Wednesday, 2nd November, 1966, I got the information that not only did we send large numbers of cattle to the Common Market, which are now excluded, but Britain herself sent 220,000 head per annum and the equivalent of 26,000 head in beef. This means that there are a quarter of a million cattle that we used to send to Britain, that would stay there for three months, draw the Queen's subsidy and were shipped to the continent that cannot any more be shipped there and the next hope that Deputy Haughey, the ex-Minister for Agriculture, has for us is 1st April next.

I want to suggest that two and a half years before Fianna Fáil ever produced their heifer scheme we in Fine Gael produced ours. It was a different sort of scheme. It was a scheme whereby on heifers mated of a proper class and a proper breed there would be a grant. The intention was that there would be a gradual increase in the number of cattle that could be assimilated by the trade and it would not be a hop in, hop out, system availed of by the large and wealthy farmers and not availed of by the small farmers because they could not do so.

Why did the Minister for Agriculture last January indicate that cattle prices would be excellent, that there would be an increase of £7 or £8 a head and that there would be money for everyone? Why was it that a university student, the week before last, on television, could refer him to an article in The Economist which suggested the present glut and when Deputy Haughey refused to answer that question, the camera was removed from the university student? Why was it that the university student who was doing part-time work for Telefís Éireann was removed from his job yesterday? Why is this? Is this a democracy or a dictatorship?

Deputy Cosgrave gave instance after instance of the sort of thing that you people think is democracy. The future man in charge of Posts and Telegraphs sits opposite us. If I sat behind him now, I would resign, or I would see that the policy of my Party was changed. This was always a democracy. What people fought for in 1916 was free speech. If it is to be prostituted and if you walk into that lobby preserving your job, it is about time you all went home.

Mention has been made of the Minister for Education. He is the greatest promiser since Deputy Lemass was in his hey-day. I shall never forget the Roscommon-Leitrim by-election when he promised that within one year they would start draining the Shannon. Now he says he is short of engineering staff. I shall never forget his White Paper on Health. They moved him out of there. The present occupant of the Ministry of Health is going around the local authorities and everywhere he goes he sums up by saying: "I have heard a lot of things in favour of the dispensary system." The former Minister for Health arrived in Education and he is going to give free education to every child in this country up to intermediate certificate. On television the other night, he was bombastic and insulting. He waved a book and said that Fine Gael had nothing about education in their Towards a Just Society. Our book, Towards a Just Society was produced four days before the election and before that was produced, the policy on education was in a speech by Deputy Dillon one year before. Our policy was not in any way suggestive that every child in this country would pass through university. This just is not practicable. This just is something we will not see. But every child who had the ability to profit from it would. Professor Michael Hayes, Deputy Dillon and the front bench of the Fine Gael Party had discussed this for 18 months before this bombastic individual, who promised he would drain the Shannon, give free health service to everybody, who was moved on and promised free education to everybody, started to tell his deliberate and studied untruths.

I want now to refer to this question of whether or not our main external affairs activity should be in the United Nations or should be in Brussels. That has been referred to already today. Because I come from the same constituency and am a lot younger man than he is, I have always tried to refrain from criticism of the Minister for External Affairs, but when one sees the extraordinary phenomenon of a Minister for External Affairs for one of the smallest countries on the Globe sitting for 87 consecutive days with the United Nations and being once in three and a half years in Brussels, one has no choice but to be critical.

I want to say as a member of a Parliamentary delegation—and there were many Fianna Fáil Members with me, one of whom is here now— I was in Brussels last October. I would define our delegation in Brussels as excellent in quality but disgracefully small in number. I want to suggest that our Ambassador, Mr. Biggar, and his very charming wife, have been overworked almost to the point of their health failing and that it is perhaps a happy thing that they have been transferred to another post and, I hope, a less onerous one. But, having been with the delegation in Brussels with members of the Fianna Fáil Party, members of the Labour Party and members of my own Party, I want to assert that our dereliction of our duty in the Common Market is criminal. The cause of it is the Minister for External Affairs. If you spend 87 consecutive days in New York and one day in three and a half years in Brussels, surely it gives a clear indication of where your ideas for the future of the country lie?

I want to express my extreme sympathy with our Ambassador in Brussels, Mr. Biggar, and his charming wife, who is a daughter of an ex-Fianna Fáil Minister of State, Deputy MacEntee. Nobody could have been nicer to us nor more helpful in explaining things. But he and his delegation were overworked. An office was leased there and closed up again. These people were working in the most difficult conditions. There is no doubt but that we missed the boat in Brussels. A stern chase is always a hard one. It will be a long time before we can get our ship of state astern of the Common Market moving towards the prosperity of our people.

I mentioned earlier how the Taoiseach, when Minister for Finance, acted in relation to other Departments. I want to mention it now in connection with the Department of Local Government, from which Deputy Blaney has moved, to become Minister for Agriculture. That may or may not be a more senior Ministry. In 1957—the year of horror, the year in which we were supposed to be guilty of a ghastly and dreadful credit squeeze—the Government of the day built 4,784 local authority houses. Let us give Fianna Fáil all the time in the world until things had healed themselves. Let us not project them into this present credit squeeze. Let us take a gentle and kind year for them, 1961. In 1961, the then Minister for Local Government, guided by the Minister for Finance, now the Taoiseach, built 1,463 local authority houses. If I were to give you the figures for today, they would show without doubt that the present credit squeeze has been cured, as the previous credit squeeze was cured, by cutting down on houses. That is the Fianna Fáil method of curing a credit squeeze.

Today Deputy Noel Lemass interrupted Deputy Corish and suggested more money for houses. You can vote all the money you like but what will get houses built is the sanction of the Minister for Finance. Sanction did not issue. In my constituency, with the summer over and the building period coming to an end, we have not got one-fifth of our meagre allocation for housing. Our schemes for 1965 and 1966 must wait until next year. There are people still living in Griffith Barracks whose husbands can visit them for only one hour a day. There are no houses for them. Their houses have fallen down. In my constituency, in Dundalk and Drogheda, there are cases of five people sleeping in one room. In Dublin, you cannot get your name on the waiting list until you have five people sleeping in one room.

The Minister for Finance of the day, now the Taoiseach, was the man responsible for priorities. If the Fianna Fáil Party wanted to produce somebody, they should have looked at his record. During the same period we built at a cost of £750,000 the Labour Court Building in Mespil Road, which also houses the Department of Labour. I have been there as a member of a joint labour committee. During the same period, we built the air-conditioned "yoke" at the back of this building where we are now accommodated. It cost something of the same order. We could have lived just as well in the accommodation hitherto provided. Speaking personally, I have no better accommodation now, but I am one of those people who do not happen to like air-conditioning.

At the same time, the Minister for Finance, now the Taoiseach, who controls the finances of Comhlucht Siúicre Éireann allowed the building at the corner of the Green to be built. At the time his counterpart in Britain was putting a tax on the building of office blocks and luxury flats by private individuals, there were as many luxury flats built out in Ballsbridge as would rehouse most of the people without houses in Dublin. Remember, the then Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries went out to Ballsbridge and took one floor in one of these blocks of offices at a rent of £14,000 a year for 21 years, as well as guaranteeing to spend £10,000 on renovating the building before he went in. If there is one criticism we can make of this Government, it is that they got their priorities wrong.

As Deputy Cosgrave said earlier, two of the financial decisions of the Government are the cause of the scarcity of capital here today. They may not be the whole cause but they are strong contributory factors. He referred first to the declaration of deposits in banks. This meant that any money here from outside, which might be money got in a certain way, had to be declared. Civil servants are people on salaries. They always want this sort of thing done. They are taxed to the very hilt. They cannot have expense accounts or any of the various ways and means by which people do not pay their tax. I am not saying people should not pay tax. But, because civil servants are so taxed, they always want to get things tied up. They forget that in doing so they can do irreparable harm to the economy and to the employment and future of of our people.

If a man takes out an insurance policy so that, if he dies, his wife will have something to live on and asks to have it marked up under the Married Women's Property Act, which means that not he but his wife will get it, should he pay death duties on that? I have taken out such policies down through the years in order to ensure that, if I died, my wife would have something to live on. I had them marked up under the Married Women's Property Act. The 1963 Finance Act wiped all that out. This means that people with money to invest, people who could develop estates here and bring money over here, have to pay the full amount in death duties and have no means of paying by instalments. That has been a strong militating factor. A weak Minister for Finance was told that here was a source of money that had not been plumbed. Here was his opportunity to get it. They forgot, of course, that as well as taxing, you must encourage.

This Minister for Finance, who is now Taoiseach, produced two Budgets in one year. He began his Budget Speech last year by plaintively asking "What went wrong with the Capital Budget?" It is his job to tell us what went wrong with it. His is the hand at the helm, not ours. He produced a projected loan in America. He allowed it to be known; he was not very clever in that because people do not float a loan until they are sure it will fill. I am sure, at the present time, his civil servants and himself are quietly contacting all the insurance companies in this country and the sources of finance to see what they can average next week or the week after to float a loan. You do not go out on the sidewalk of New York, as Deputy Dillon said, and say to somebody: "Buddy, can you spare a dime?" You try to fix it first in a businesslike way. He did not do that and he got no loan.

He was lucky, I think, in relation to the German loan because of certain developments here. There was the fact that certain huge banking organisations had decided to come in here and he was facilitated, at a colossal cost. Remember that when you float a national loan in this country, then, when you pay out your dividends, two-fifths of them come back to you in the form of income tax, corporation profits tax and other sources. When you float a loan in, for instance, Germany, those taxes go to the German Exchequer so you must add 2½ per cent to a loan floated outside this country. He went to London for £5 million. His failure in London is directly related to his failure in New York. His failure in New York is directly related to the fact that he opened his mouth before he should have done so. He looked for £5 million in London and he got 12 per cent of it and his underwriters had to provide 88 per cent of it.

I wonder if many financial firms in the London money market will be prepared to underwrite this again. Will our new Taoiseach, who was a failure in his office as Minister for Finance and who has now been promoted to Taoiseach, enhance the prospects we might have had of getting money from abroad? Notwithstanding the high cost of money from abroad, because we shall lose our taxes from the dividends, we shall still have to attract some money from foreign sources to keep the ship of State afloat and to keep our expansion going at the proper level. If we make mistakes like this and promote the man who made them, do Deputies think it is likely that we shall get the sort of finances we require?

The Deputy need not sabotage the national credit. He knows that the credit position of this country is very sound and is respected. He does not need to sabotage the credit of the country by his gloomy predictions.

If the Minister wishes to shelter behind my patriotism, he can try all he likes. I shall now tell the House something that happened in the past year that undermined the credit of this country considerably more than anything I have said here this afternoon. Can the Minister for Transport and Power, who is to be the future Minister for Transport and Power and for Posts and Telegraphs, deny that a funding loan was taken from the Central Bank of this country for £20 million?

When I asked a question of the present Taoiseach, who was then Minister for Finance, if that loan was to be repaid, he replied to me that it was not to be repaid because the term was too short—it was merely four years—and that he was having to pay the interest. Do Deputies realise that this means that the last £20 million of reserves of the Central Bank have been taken by Fianna Fáil to bolster up their own bad management? How do Deputies think that that would help us abroad? Do Deputies think these facts are entirely and absolutely confined to this House? I think the Minister for Transport and Power might have been better advised not to intervene.

The local authorities, the farmers, the businessmen of this country cannot get a shilling today. The Chairman of Louth County Council has been refused loan after loan. Our practice was, when we were waiting for money to come from the Local Loans Fund for our supplementary grants and our loans for houses, to go down to the bank and to say: "There is our allocation. It comes before March 31st next year. During the intervening period, we may need a little bit of bridging finance to keep us going." If it was £10,000, £20,000, £30,000, £40,000 £50,000 or even £100,000, there was no problem. At the present moment, that county council could not get a shilling.

The farmers all over the country have to take out their cattle now and sell them because this is the only source of liquid asset they have and because the bank that carried them before, if cattle prices were bad—and thereby obviated the bottleneck—now refuses to give them anything. The businessman who used to give credit to people has been pressed to the point where he either must extinguish himself or be so tough with his clients and customers that he will perhaps even lose them. This situation has entirely been perpetrated by Fianna Fáil because of the fact that their priority list was wrong.

Anybody who erects a building such as that which now stands at the back of this Chamber for £750,000 at a time when people are living in Griffith Barracks is wrong and there is no gainsaying that. Deputy Cosgrave mentioned today that there are people living in caravans all over Dublin. I want to tell the House that when I was leaving Drogheda this morning, I saw eight caravans lined up in a row where people who are working in jobs in the town are living and there is no sign of their being rehoused. The only way in which we can cure these ills is by a change. There is no hope that Fianna Fáil will tell the people how bad or how good the situation is. If they did that, I am convinced they would be out of office within a month. Therefore, the only hope of getting the people to know and to realise their position, and to start from the bottom again, is a change of Government. The way to do that is obviously to hold two by-elections. I want to forecast a win for Fine Gael in both of them. If the Government have not got skins of leather, then these wins for Fine Gael will mean a general election. I am certain that the Taoiseach and the Government we elected today are a caretaker Government for a very short time.

Let me first say that I wish the new Taoiseach personally the very best in his position. We all agree in this House that Deputy Jack Lynch is a very nice fellow but I should like to point out that the political scrapheap of this country is littered with very nice fellows and that it requires a lot more than being a nice fellow to get away with what Deputy Jack Lynch has to try to get away with in this House and in this country. He has succeeded Deputy Seán Lemass who has been associated with government, on and off, from 1932, with two short breaks, until today. His experience when, in the early 1930's, he was instrumental in setting up Irish industry in a big way for the first time and his subsequent experience as Taoiseach gave him quite a lead over anybody else in his Party with regard to the pulling of the tricks necessary to keep the sinking ship afloat. I feel that Deputy Lynch, the present Taoiseach, will find it extremely difficult to keep his eye on all the leaks in that ship. He will find it extremely difficult to keep it afloat and he will be so darned busy trying to do that that he will not be able to see where the ship is going.

All of us have felt, for the past couple of years, particularly, that the ship of State in this country seems to be drifting all over the place. The other evening, when somebody mentioned to me that this debate would have to finish this evening, which it has not, because the country could not be left overnight without a Government, I pointed out that for several years now there has not been what one might call a real Government in this country. We have had all the differences of opinion. We have had a number of changes in the team. Indeed, I would suggest to the Taoiseach that he would have done much better today had he brought in a few of the subs and seen what they were worth, because the team carrying on for the past few years under the outgoing Taoiseach have proved that they were hardly worth a place.

I want to make it quite clear that I do not believe in attacking people as far as their personal lives are concerned. I do not mind what they do outside this House but I am quite sure that we must point to the weaknesses in the Government, in the previous Government and the present one. Mind you, some of the changes made are very significant. The fact that everybody in the country knew for the last week that Deputy Charles Haughey was to be moved to Finance was significant. Everybody in the country, even the outgoing Taoiseach, and the incoming Taoiseach, were well aware that he had made such a muddle of Agriculture they had to get rid of him and put him somewhere; and, since Finance was a Department where the muddle was so great he could not make it any worse, it was apparently decided he would be put in there.

The former Minister for Local Government, Deputy Blaney, has been moved into Agriculture. I do not know whether Deputy Blaney, as the new Minister for Agriculture, intends to set out with a whole series of very long Bills, produce them before this House—as he did in Local Government—and argue about them month after month, eventually getting them passed through weight of numbers and then forgetting about them, as he has done, particularly with the last Housing Bill. If he tries to do that, possibly he will survive in Agriculture for a while. As Deputy Corish said earlier this evening, if there is any evidence that Deputy Blaney was not doing what he should have been doing in Local Government, that evidence is there in the matter of housing in this country. The number of houses being built this year is far less than last year, and that is only a fraction of the number which were being built in what Fianna Fáil like to refer to as the "bad year", or the "black year" of 1955.

I heard Deputy Noel Lemass interrupting here this evening and saying it was easy for the inter-Party Government to build a lot of houses and particularly easy for the late Tim Murphy, who was Minister for Local Government, and who got down to the bedrock of how the thing should be tackled. Deputy Noel Lemass said it was easy because the plans were there. I do not know how long it takes Fianna Fáil to draw up plans but I do know that whatever plans they were drawing up in 1957, they do not seem to have succeeded in putting them into operation so far because, if they did, I should like to have their excuse for the continuous drop in the number of houses being built.

The former Minister for Local Government was very anxious to tell everybody last year there was no reason at all why very many more local authority houses should not be built. In fact, he sent out a famous circular dated, I think. 25th March in which he said, realising the great delays which occurred because of the fact that local authorities had to send their plans backwards and forwards to the Custom House, he had decided to cut out all this red tape. In future, all that was needed was that the local authority would pick the site, sanction the site as being suitable for building, get tenders, submit them to the Department of Local Government and, hey presto, the houses would be built.

What happened when the local authorities started doing that? The Minister started to say he was very sorry but there was another little change. There was now no money with which to build those houses and, when he felt a little ashamed about the fact that this was a very threadbare story, he introduced a new idea. He issued a further circular to local authorities and told them he was no longer prepared to accept the system which had been in use up to then for rainwater tanks for local authority houses in outlying areas; that the local authorities, before submitting houses for sanction to him, would have to be able to guarantee a water supply, either from public mains or from a pump, and that was that. This resulted, of course, in literally hundreds of sites, many of which had been purchased by local authorities, being deemed no longer, according to Department standards, fit for house erection, and the whole thing started all over again.

By doing that, the former Minister for Local Government achieved what he originally set out to achieve—he prevented local authorities embarrassing him by looking for money for housebuilding. He went a little further: he suggested that a very good idea would be to build in groups, where houses could be built, possibly with a water supply covering the whole group, but he knew when making this suggestion that group houses cannot be built unless there is a sewerage system in the area. All over this country, we can see villages and towns where housing has been held up because a sewerage system is not available for new sites. But the Department of Local Government and the Minister were able to sit back and say: "Oh, we are anxious to have the houses built but you are not building them." In that way, the former Minister for Local Government had been tricking his way through, year after year until we have now reached the stage where the number of local authority houses built in the first eight months of this year is between 300 and 400 less than for the same period last year. In addition, the Minister has made it quite clear that the allocation for next year will be something the same as this year, which means that the number will be gradually dropping, because the cost of building houses is gradually increasing.

While all that goes on, we have the money for SDA loans and for the various types of Government grants for houses not being made available. The Department say they have not got the money and, if they have not got it, they are unable to give it to the local authority. That is what goes on when a deputation goes to the Minister behind closed doors, but, when he comes into this House, he says there is no shortage of money and all that anybody who wants money has to do is submit plans and he can go right ahead. Right on top of that, we have the situation where another circular was sent to local authorities, the one which suggested there was to be a realistic approach to rents.

I do not know what the Minister means by a realistic approach to rents but I do know what local authority tenants assume he means by realistic rents. Some 20,000 to 30,000 people in Dublin city seem to think that my interpretation of it is right, too, because they marched through this city the other night and showed by their solidarity that no matter what political Party they had been supporting, they did not approve. It is all right passing the buck along now to Deputy Boland who has taken over as the new Minister for Local Government. Maybe, like the farmers the other night, he might have the task of trying to placate those who have been told they must pay far more than they are able. I do not know whether or not he will accept that task. He has accepted the office of Minister for Local Government and with it, he accepts all the headaches.

In the country villages and towns, we have a situation—admittedly, not on such a large scale as in this city —in which the tenants of local authority houses are being told they must pay additional rents. There is one extraordinary thing which I should like some Fine Gael speakers to explain when they are speaking tonight because I would be rather interested to know exactly what this means. In my own local authority when this matter was raised, and a vote was taken, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, with one or two exceptions on each side, voted together to increase rents. I understand from some of my colleagues that this is the pattern which is being followed in most local authorities throughout the country.

I was very glad that when a motion dealing with rent came before the House last night, not only did it get the support of the Fine Gael Members who were present, but they also came into the Lobby and voted with us. Perhaps they might indicate to their colleagues in the local authorities that what they do in Dáil Éireann is an example of what they should do at local authority level. I do not think it is consistent for any Party to decry in this House an attempt by the Minister for Local Government to raise rents, and agree to it at local authority level and, as a matter of fact, support it.

I know that the Minister has been trying to put across the idea that this would be a grand thing because it would mean that some people would get cheaper houses. I do not know whom he thinks he is codding. He may have convinced himself. I am prepared to have a bet with him, or with anyone else, that the number of people all over the country who may get a reduction in their rents as a result of the Minister's jiggery-pokery will be so small they could be put on the front bench beside the Minister for Transport and Power and Posts and Telegraphs and Telecommunications, as his new title may be.

All this shows to those who want to see what is happening the absolute failure of the Government. The fact is that while the country has been going along with people expecting that things could not get very much worse, day after day conditions are disimproving. We heard during a certain period this year that the trade unions and the trade unionists were ruining the economy, going on strikes, and doing all sorts of queer things which different Ministers felt were wrong. We had a forthright condemnation from the former Taoiseach of certain trade unionists, that they were not doing what was good for the national economy and that they were ruining the economy. Eventually, as we told him would happen, things were ironed out and relations between employers and employees returned to normal.

The economy did not start booming then. In fact, the farmers started to point out that they were pretty badly off and would like some assistance. The Taoiseach then said that the farmers were ruining the economy, and he and some of his Ministers proceeded to lecture them and call them nasty names. They had not got sense enough to realise that if the farmers had the same powers as the industrial workers have, they would not have had to sit for 19 days on the steps of the Department of the Minister for Agriculture in Merrion Street. They would have got what they wanted much more quickly.

Having sat there for so long, and the Minister for Agriculture and the Taoiseach having resisted efforts which were made to mediate—with all of us telling them in the House that no matter how long a dispute continues, in the end commonsense must prevail and everyone must sit around a table—the Government having said that they would not bow down, and that these people would be taught a lesson, at the last minute, in the last hours of the Taoiseach's existence as Taoiseach, he succeeded in finding a settlement. I do not know whether Deputy Dillon was right—he says a lot of things that have the ring of truth—when he suggested that the reason for the settlement was that the present Taoiseach said that he would not accept that dirty plate as the first plate on his table when he took over.

One lesson the Government must learn is that if they are to govern there is no point in bringing out the mailed fist on every occasion. It was produced in the case of the farmers, and it was produced in the case of the ESB workers. They seem to think they must make a show of strength before settling any dispute. They are a long time in politics. Most of them are in politics a lot longer than I am. I have been a trade union official for 20 years. I saw many disputes. I saw serious disputes, and ones for which there appeared to be no solution. Eventually they were all solved. Some way was found round the difficulty, and we found eventually that the whole thing could be settled by the use of a little commonsense. I suggest to the new Taoiseach and to his Government that if they apply a little more commonsense to the factors affecting this country, they will have a better opportunity of being successful than they will with the mailed fist tactics of the past few years.

Deputy Childers is quite a nice person to meet and deal with at the ordinary level until he comes into this House. In this House he is a most impossible person because no matter what questions we ask him, he says he has no function to answer them. I do not know what is to happen now. We have had many questions answered by the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs, and if we are now to have another chorus of "no function", I can see real trouble ahead for the Minister.

The Ceann Comhairle decides these matters on the basis of legislation.

He does not.

The Ceann Comhairle does not decide these matters. The Minister has been successful in putting it across that he has no responsibility for these day to day matters until it suits himself. We have evidence of that in the fact that when some Fianna Fáil backbencher gets a primed question, he puts it down and gets an answer to it. The Minister knows well that this sort of thing has been going on for quite a long time. He would get on much better if he would simply get up and give an honest to goodness answer and not try to cover up for someone who is so darned stupid that he does not do his business properly.

The Minister for Lands answers for the Land Commission.

In the debate on the Estimate for the Department of Posts and Telegraphs this year I suggested that the correct name for that Department was not the Department of Posts and Telegraphs. I was glad that the Minister when he was replying said the Government had decided to change it to the Department of Posts and Telecommunications. We have had an announcement from the new Taoiseach that he is putting together the Departments of Posts and Telegraphs and Transport and Power. I should be glad to know what high-sounding title the Minister will now have. It will certainly be very lengthy. The Minister will have more letters after his name than anyone in this House.

Over the past few years, we have been blowing hot and cold about what has been happening in the Common Market. We had statements made that we were applying for membership. Then we were told that things were difficult, then that it appeared as if we were not going to be accepted. Then we were told Britain would not be accepted and then we had the brilliant showing of the former Taoiseach who announced to all the world that we would go it alone. Normally the former Taoiseach did not talk through his hat: if he told us something that was not correct, he did so for a very good reason. To suggest at that time that if Britain was not accepted, we would go in alone, in face of the fact that 75 per cent of our exports were to Britain, was too ridiculous for words.

Our application was not accepted and then the former Taoiseach said we would not pursue our claim until the whole question of membership of the Common Market was reviewed. Then we had the announcement that a number of our Ministers would go to Brussels. That seemed to suggest that we were re-activating our application for membership of the Common Market. It certainly was not suggested that they were going to Brussels for the good of their health because Brussels is not the type of place to go to for that reason.

The question arose of whether we were to look for full membership. It was raised in the House time and time again and on each occasion the Taoiseach insisted we would not be content with anything less than full membership. More than 12 months ago, I happened to be with a group from this House and from outside who went to Brussels and afterwards to Cannes to have a look at close quarters at our prospects of getting into the Common Market and its effect on us. I do not know what impression it left on anybody else but I was perfectly satisfied, and I made it quite clear to my Party, that as far as the EEC is concerned, to use a phrase first used by the late Deputy Bill Norton, entry of Ireland into the Common Market would be an excruciating experience for the Irish nation.

If we go in there, we shall certainly have a fight on our hands. The day of the big cartel seems to be coming as far as the EEC is concerned. They have no use for anything else. They told us unashamedly that small farmers, small industries could not exist, but they told us that there was no unemployment as far as the EEC was concerned. When we queried that matter, they said it meant that if people were unemployed here, there would always be jobs for them in Brussels, Berlin or Paris.

One matter on which people sometimes disagree with me is that nationalism seems to be a dirty word as far as the EEC is concerned. Nationalist ideals do not fit into the picture. I suppose we can understand that when we remember that France and Germany have attacked each other twice during the past half century and that under a common flag, there is less danger of a conflagration again. However, for a country like this which for 700 years fought to have a flag under which to operate, it seems ridiculous to suggest we should call ourselves Europeans in future and no longer think of ourselves as just Irishmen.

There has been hubbub this afternoon because Mr. Wilson announced in the British Commons that Britain is going into the Common Market and, further, that discussions were taking place with the Irish Government. I have not seen the text of his speech and therefore do not know what Mr. Wilson said. I assume his speech was simply a statement of intent, that Britain intends to go into the Common Market. If that is so, Britain is no nearer being in the Common Market than three years ago. Whether discussions with this country have taken place and, if so, whether there is any significance in them, I do not know. If we begin to talk with Britain again on a trade agreement, I hope we shall make a better job of it than we did 12 months ago when Government Ministers went to Britain to negotiate the Free Trade Agreement and came back before Christmas like Santa Claus with bags full of nothing. They came to the House later and spoke of the wonderful bargain they had struck.

The farmers have since found out what kind of bargain was struck. At that time, the Labour Party said a mistake had been made and I wish to repeat that statement now. I do not say it happened because Fianna Fáil Ministers wanted to sell out this country, as somebody has stupidly said, but because they were not able to negotiate with a group of horse traders which the British always have been and which they brag about. The Government did not succeed in getting the better of the bargaining. After all the talk of the £10 million, the £5 per head on cattle, by the Minister for Agriculture last January, the Irish farmers are accepting £20 less per head.

Neither have we gained anything on the industrial side. During the past few weeks, it has been very noticeable, particularly in relation to drapery goods, that if anybody goes into a shop, he finds garments made in Britain first of all. Of course many women will be very glad of the selection of British goods in the drapery shops. It means they will not have to go to Belfast to smuggle them across the Border or run the risk after disembarking from an Aer Lingus plane of being humiliated at Dublin Airport. The point is that as well as having losses on the agricultural side, we are also losing on the industrial side. We are finding that the Union Jack rather than the harp and shamrock is the sign on garments now being sold here.

The Free Trade Agreement stipulated that as from 1st July no longer will it be necessary for local authorities to stipulate to anybody building houses that Irish materials only will be used. From now on, it may be Irish or British. For the life of me, at one time, I could not see an Irish Government accepting that situation. However, they have accepted it and the House accepted it, the only objectors being the people on these benches who were outvoted by the others. After all these months, matters have not improved and, coming towards the end of another year, the country is in a worse position than it was 12 months ago. The number of people employed has again dropped considerably and, despite the deliberate attempt of the Department of Social Welfare to cook the books by altering by 16,000 the list of statistics showing unemployment, there are still more than 42,000 unemployed, if we take the figure for Saturday of last week. It brings us very near to a figure of 60,000 unemployed people at this time of the year. At the same time, the drain of emigration is worse than ever and the numbers leaving agriculture have increased.

Deputy Corish put the position clearly when he said that not alone are the farmers finding it extremely difficult to exist but those who are expecting to obtain employment and those living on small farms and working as hired farm labourers for about £9 per week, are finding it very difficult to live. This is evidenced by the numbers leaving agriculture. Two years ago, 10,000 people left the land; the year before last 12,000 left and last year 14,000 left. What will the figure be for this year? Do the Government know or are they completely out of touch with the situation in the country today?

I have heard speeches made by certain Government Ministers. I have heard explanations of extraordinary things being given by Fianna Fáil spokesmen at local level. One thing which has struck me again and again is that the explanations given by the people at local level who try to interpret Government policy and Government action are miles from the truth. They just do not know. I believe it is only a matter of time until the ordinary people of the country and the Fianna Fáil supporters—many of them are decent people who have been supporting Fianna Fáil down through the years—realise they have been made damn fools of and that they have not been told the truth When that time comes, God help Fianna Fáil.

We had a discussion the other day about the Department of the Minister for Transport and Power and about what was happening at local level. The Minister gave an assurance—I am sure he will see it is carried out— that all houses wired will be connected within the next six months. It is rather extraordinary to find, as I do in my post every day, letters from people who have applied for the ESB service who receive from the ESB a letter stating that because of financial stringency, they are unable to give them the service in the ordinary way. They explain that the service charge will be so much for two months, that it will be anything from 2/- up to £2. They will also have to pay a sum of money ranging from £37 up to £452 to carry out the work of connection. Most of those people have written to the ESB and asked if it was a loan which the ESB were asking them for, and if so, when it would be repaid. The reply has come back from the ESB stating they will be unable to pay back the loan until the financial position improves.

This is bad enough but it is much worse when we consider that last year the ESB floated a loan for £6 million which was oversubscribed in a very short time. The Government, following that, borrowed £5 million from the ESB. I understand they have repaid £2½ million and still retain £2½ million which really belong to the ESB and which, according to the ESB is required for their services. The Government have that money but they still expect the people who want service (a) to pay for the service in hard cash and (b) to pay the ESB the money which they will collect and use to repay the amount which has been borrowed from some of those people. You can now add to this the fact that, as was stated earlier, the Government attempted to borrow loans in New York and failed. They attempted to obtain a loan in London. I am told the amount they sought was £5 million and the amount offered by the public was £600,000. The balance had to be found by a brokerage firm. If that is so, and if our credit in Britain, because of the mismanagement of this Government, has dropped to the stage where we are only worth £600,000, it is a sorry day for Ireland.

A large firm in this country, Roadstone Limited, recently floated a loan for £1½ million. In 15 minutes, the public offered £10½ million, but the Government of the country, not alone here in Ireland but in Britain as well, could only get £600,000 of the £5 million loan. This makes a fairly clear picture of the value of the present Government in the eyes of the ordinary people of this country and of the ordinary people of the world.

We have had quite a number of switches here but there are a number of people who have not been switched. The Minister for Education has been left as Minister for Education. Perhaps it would be too soon to move him again and perhaps it might be a bit dangerous if he were made Minister for Transport and Power. He would almost certainly promise the people free bus services in every part of the country. Not so long ago he was offering free education to everybody in the country. He said that everybody up to intermediate standard could get free education and that nobody would be deprived of a university education because their people had not got the money. While he was doing this, school fees and the prices of school books were going up. As well as that, schools were closing down. The Minister for Transport and Power, if he doubts that, has only got to check with the vocational education committee in Navan that a school costing £48,000 to build two years ago had to be closed down this autumn, due to the fact that the vocational education committee were left £10,000 short by the Government of this country. While this was going on, the Minister for Education was promising free education to everybody.

Of course, only a few months earlier, he promised a free choice of doctor and free medicines to people who required them. He issued a White Paper but he was not in a position to say when it would be implemented. I asked him, when he introduced this White Paper, when it could be implemented. He said he would introduce it in November, 1967. I notice the new Minister for Health, Deputy Sean Flanagan, was in a very big hurry. He was chasing around the country arranging to visit all the local authorities and all the health authorities in order to get their views on this important change in the health services. I assumed from the haste with which he was doing this—he met two county councils on the one day, one at the unearthly early hour for a county council of 10 o'clock in the morning and the other late in the afternoon— that the new health schemes were likely to be put into operation in the very near future. When he visited Navan recently in order to meet the county council I asked him the same question as I asked his predecessor: when he expected to be able to put the new services into operation and would he still stand by the deadline of November, 1967? He told me that not alone would he not be able to do that but that he hoped to be able to do something about it in the early 1970's.

We do not see anything about that in the White Paper or in any of the statements or headlines in the newspapers that the new health schemes we hear so much about will not come into operation until the early 1970's. I do not know what the Minister for Health was racing around the country for getting people's views when there was no new legislation contemplated, and, even if it was introduced, there was no money to put those schemes into operation.

The White Paper was published because of the fact that the local elections were due to take place. The local elections did not take place and were not likely to take place this year because of developments that were taking place. Therefore, this matter could be stalled. It could be left like the Prices Bill introduced by Deputy Seán Lemass some years ago with, with the dust on it until such time as it is brought out again to fool those people they want to gain from.

There is one thing which the Government do not seem to have learned, that is, that they cannot continue to fool everybody. They cannot continue to fool even some of their own supporters. It is not just enough to make promises nowadays. There must be evidence that they intend doing what they promise to do. This will be borne home to them whenever they face the people again. I believe that that test will come much sooner than many people believe. This Government, having the experience of twice before having been beaten in two by-elections and, subsequently, being beaten in a general election will not face the by-elections now but will, in fact, plump for a general election on the basis that they might by some miracle get an overall majority that would allow them to carry on. If they do not get the overall majority, then somebody else will have to clean up the mess.

We may have a situation in the near future in which the general public will make it clear to the Government that they are sick and tired of the antics of Government Ministers in this House and outside. As I said at the start, Deputy Jack Lynch who is the new Taoiseach, is somebody who has been in public life for a number of years and he is a responsible figure. That does not mean that he, no more than anybody else, can escape his share of responsibility for the financial state of this country.

We hear a lot about collective responsibility. When the discussion took place about what happened in Radio Telefís Éireann, we were told by the then Minister for Posts and Telegraphs, and by the former Taoiseach, that the Government take responsibility for anything Ministers do. I am sure there were a few red faces over the past week, if that is so. On that basis, the Government must accept responsibility for what has been happening with regard to finance. But, in spite of that, a major responsibility must rest on the Minister in charge of the Department, who is dealing directly with the Department of Finance. The former Minister for Finance is now Taoiseach of this Government and how he will get out of this situation I do not know.

If he feels that moving along and leaving somebody else in the Ministry is the solution, he is making a mistake and I am sure that Deputy Haughey, when he takes over, will be prepared to say he has worked a miracle and that the Department of Finance is on a sound basis. I am quite sure he will be prepared to say in a short time that his Department has been able to do so well that he will indicate that he should be going again for Taoiseach. I am sure that when the Budget comes next year, it will be found that what he will be saying will not match up to the national situation. When Deputy Lynch said last week, after it had been made clear that he was getting majority support from Fianna Fáil for the post of Taoiseach and that he would be leaving the Department of Finance, that things were so bad that heavy taxation would be necessary next year, I think that was nearer the truth and I am quite sure that when the Budget comes round we will have the usual admonitions for a few weeks before it by Ministers that the ordinary taxpayer in the country must put on sackcloth and ashes and be prepared to do penance not for his own sins but for the sins of the Government.

It is extraordinary that the only hope we have of having a reasonably easy Budget is for the general election not to take place before Budget Day. If the holding of the general election is fixed for a date after Budget Day, then we will have a few months' recess. I am not sure, as happened on previous occasions and as happened this year, that it will be found necessary to introduce a supplementary budget. We will be thankful for small mercies and will be glad to escape taxation for a couple of months.

We have the situation here in which despite the Prices Bill passed last year and despite guarantees given by the Minister for Industry and Commerce that prices would not be allowed to rise and that if there was any increase in prices, particularly in essentials, he would have investigations carried out. The ESB were told to increase prices by seven per cent. We have the case of the old age pensioners who are receiving slightly over £2 a week, paying 14/7 for a bag of coal and when they buy it they cannot go far with what is left. While that is the situation we have a Government shuffling around, a Government which have proved themselves unable to govern. It is like somebody taking a pack of cards and shuffling them until the ace comes to the top, the only difference is that in this particular pack there is no ace and the unfortunate country has to stagger along under the incompetent Government we have and try to get out of the mess into which they have led us.

Whether or not the situation will improve or disimprove is not, I think, up to the present Government. I do not think the Taoiseach can, with the material he has at hand, improve the position. I am not saying, and I do not want to be taken as saying, that the people serving under him are deliberately doing wrong, but I honestly believe they are not the material of which a good government can be made. In spite of their efforts, no matter how anxious they are to do things right, I do not think they can. Despite the fact that they have an excellent Civil Service behind them and that they are able to come in with facts and figures and use them in their own way, they have presented a pretty sorry figure and the changing around of the few Ministries will not, I think, make very much difference.

It is noted that two Ministries have been combined. It was suggested by Deputy Corish here today that two more could easily have been combined —Social Welfare and Health—which are closely intertwined and it is rather a pity that an effort was not made to try to put the two together particularly because of the fact that the Minister for Labour has at present taken away a considerable amount of the work of Social Welfare.

But, the biggest trouble in all this is that this Government do not seem to feel any necessity for urgency in their work. I think it was particularly noticeable when the Government's new Ministers were announced today that they seemed to think: "OK, we have got back again and we can just jog along, no need to worry, everything is all right." I think there is, indeed, a necessity for urgency. There is a necessity to treat the present situation as if it were a national emergency, as it is.

Somebody suggested some time ago that if ever there was a necessity in the country for national government that necessity is now. I do not subscribe to that view. I believe a national government would simply result now in covering up for the ills that Fianna Fáil have brought on the country. It had been suggested that they should get a mandate to rule at the last election. That Deputy Lemass, as Taoiseach at that time was successful in getting an equal number of votes from those who were not of his Party, whether mandate to rule or not, is something which will be debated from time to time. Because of certain things that have happened the Government have been able to carry on. Because of the illness of certain Deputies, because certain Deputies have forgotten the people who put them in here, because they completely ignored the fact that they were elected on the votes of anti-Government people when they voted for the Government on occasion, they succeeded in keeping in the Government when pressure was put on.

Take all these things into consideration and we still have a situation in which this Government have not an overall majority and will, after the next general election, have a much lesser number than they have now. In fact if they hold the by-election they are bound to lose the one seat of theirs that is at stake. We will make no secret of the fact that if the Labour Party continue as they are they must win one and will probably win the two. Be that as it may, the Government would be doing the decent thing if, instead of appointing a new Taoiseach and a new Government, they went to the country and let the country elect a new Government. The people of this country have the right to do that and they should have been given the opportunity of doing it when the occasion arose.

The new Taoiseach has, so far as newspaper publicity is concerned, received considerable credit for standing aloof from the in-fighting which was apparently going on inside the Fianna Fáil Party following the announcement by Deputy Seán Lemass that he proposed relinquishing office as Taoiseach. It seems to me that the new Taoiseach, having secured that position, having, so far as press publicity was concerned, received favourable publicity and considerable credit for staying at arm's length from the in-fighting, was in a position then to come into this House and to announce a new Government. He was in a position to announce that he proposed advising the President to appoint a new Government. In fact, as we all know, he has decided to advise the President to appoint the same old team again. There are no new faces in the team that this House is now asked to approve for nomination as Members of the Government. I feel that because of his action in that regard the new Taoiseach immediately starts on a false foot. He has in his first action of public importance as a Taoiseach certainly disappointed this House and, I believe, will have gravely disappointed the public by offering them the same old team again.

Having said that, may I say that I have a certain amount of sympathy with the situation in which the Taoiseach has found himself? I believe he finds himself a prisoner of the Fianna Fáil machine and one of the reasons for that is the statement made by his predecessor. The rift was apparent to all when Fianna Fáil in the past few weeks held up their sores for public viewing. We had two junior Ministers, junior in terms of years of service in office and in this House, contending with each other for leadership of the Fianna Fáil Party.

We had later on another Minister throwing his hat into the ring. All those stresses and strains were apparent for public viewing. I can quite appreciate why the new Taoiseach should decide that the right thing for him to do was to play safe in the hope that time would act as a cure and remedy the stresses and strains of the Fianna Fáil Party. While that may be in the political interest of the Fianna Fáil Party, while it may lead to healing the wounds that have been opened, I think it will be a big disappointment to the country. I do not believe it is in the interests of the people of this country that the Taoiseach should ask this House to approve of the same personnel in the Government as the Government which was deemed to resign when Deputy Seán Lemass relinquished his post as Taoiseach.

This statement of the former Taoiseach was quoted here today by Deputy Cosgrave. The outgoing Taoiseach made reference to the fact that his concern was the interest of the Fianna Fáil Party. That declaration which was read out by Deputy Cosgrave and which I refer to now was reported in the Irish Times of 9th November, 1966. Deputy Seán Lemass said:

The one consideration that is important above all others, so far as I am concerned, is the success of the Fianna Fáil Party at the next and subsequent General Elections. I believe that a change of leadership at this time will help to ensure this.

That was laying down the principle which, presumably, the outgoing Taoiseach wanted his successor to follow and I believe that his successor has followed that regarding it as a matter of first importance to him to re-appoint the old team so that the stresses and strains would not break the Fianna Fáil Party or divide them any further.

I sympathise also with the new Taoiseach on finding himself in the position that he knows, and that he knows that we know, and that he knows that the whole country knows, that while 71 Fianna Fáil Deputies marched into the lobby to elect him as Taoiseach he knows from the result of the Fianna Fáil Party meeting that 19 of those Deputies do not want him as Taoiseach in preference to another member of his Party. Nineteen of those Deputies wanted another member of the Fianna Fáil Party as Taoiseach. Surely he knows, as we know, that if all the contestants had allowed their hats to remain in the ring a far greater number than 19 would have been found in the ranks of the Fianna Fáil Party who did not want him as Taoiseach as against other members of his Party.

In that situation, knowing that out of a Party of 71 a minimum of 19 do not want him as their first choice for Taoiseach, in a Party who, before the new Taoiseach's name was suggested for the post, had already thrown up three candidates from their front ministerial bench as contenders for the office of Taoiseach, I can appreciate why the new Taoiseach's first action of public importance should be to play safe and to suggest that the Dáil should re-appoint the same Ministers again. We are asked to re-appoint the same personnel as formed the outgoing Government. I assume that at the end of this debate the Taoiseach intends telling us why he thinks we should do that. I shall not taunt him now for not giving us the reasons at the start because I understand he has done what is customary in this House in merely announcing the names and the offices to which he proposes to assign the Members of the Government if they are approved by this House. But I think it is approaching impudence for anyone to suggest to this House that the same Members should be appointed as a Government, that the same people who have served for the past year and a half should have the confidence of this House in their re-appointment.

The new Taoiseach himself set the test at the last general election as to what standards a Government should be judged by in order to discover whether they were successes or failures. I am referring to the Irish Times of 2nd April, 1965, when the Taoiseach, then Minister for Industry and Commerce, speaking at a meeting in Tipperary the previous night is reported as saying:

The management of a country is like the management of a business. If it were well managed they would succeed and prosper. Badly managed they would lose money and fall into debt. The shareholders in a country were its people. The management was the Government. When a country's management left the business of the country in a mess, in a weak, insipid state, and deeply in debt, and then ran away from these problems the country was entitled to say "Good riddance".

I propose asking the Taoiseach now to look back over the last 18 months of Fianna Fáil Government and to set side by side with the test he himself applied, the 18 months' record of the Government, and see how that record stands up to the test. I do not think the Taoiseach, or any other member of the Fianna Fáil Party, will be able to contradict me when I say that the last 18 months, the 18 months of government by the people whom the Taoiseach asks us to again approve as Members of the Government, were marked first of all, by considerable and rampant inflation and, secondly, as severe a credit squeeze as the country has ever experienced. We have had a situation in which the cost of living is high, and going higher. We have a slump in cattle prices, in sheep and wool prices. We have a continuing housing crisis and an acute housing shortage, trade depression, shortage of money, grave industrial unrest, grave unrest in the agricultural sector of the community, fewer people in employment and rates and taxes increasing all the time. No member of the Fianna Fáil Party can contradict the accuracy of the statements I have made.

I have painted an accurate picture of what has occurred in the last 18 months of Fianna Fáil Government. Set that against the test the Taoiseach himself proposed 18 months ago at the last general election. Is it not clear that, so far as the Fianna Fáil Government are concerned, and regarding them as the management of the business, if it were a business we were considering, the shareholders would have dismissed them long ago, and in double quick time? By an act of good fortune that particular management was dismissed as the Government of this country because, under the Constitution, they were deemed to resign when the former Taoiseach resigns. Instead of going, instead of letting the shareholders say "Good riddance" and bidding them good-bye, we now have the new Taoiseach coming to the House and asking us to re-elect the same management that has presided over the conditions in the past 18 months to which I have referred.

In case any Fianna Fáil Deputy thinks I am exaggerating or that I have conjured up a bogey of conditions here that do not really exist— I do not believe I shall be accused of that—but, in case any Fianna Fáil Deputy imagines that might be the position, I should like to refer for the third time to the Irish Times. This is the issue of 12th March, 1966, in which a former Minister of this State, who is still a member of this House and of the Fianna Fáil Party, and who walked through the Division Lobby today to elect the new Taoiseach, burst into print. This followed upon the occasion on which the present Taoiseach, then Minister for Finance, came into this House and asked the House what had happened to his previous Budget. In the Irish Times of 12th March, Deputy Seán MacEntee says:

In your editorial criticising the new Budget you ask how we got into the mess that ties Mr. Lynch's hands so firmly.

The significant thing about the opening sentence of Deputy MacEntee's letter is that he seems to recognise the fact that we had got into a mess on 12th March, 1966. He goes on to say:

May I, who was Minister for Finance from 1932 to 1939 and from 1951 to 1954, and have been responsible for 11 Budgets, answer that question.

Like a good expert witness, Deputy MacEntee first gives his qualifications. He tells the people why he is qualified to give an answer to the question as to how did we get into this mess, this mess that was being dealt with by the Budget introduced by the present Taoiseach when he was Minister for Finance. Deputy MacEntee goes on to say:

Outstanding among the chief culprits I place the economic astrologers and soothsayers who deluded our people with fantasies of the affluence which awaited them when they got to the end of the rainbow some years hence. Unfortunately, we converted that rosy future into an opulent but everyday present and spent prematurely the wealth which we had not even produced and even today are not beginning to produce.

That was a deliberate statement in the columns of a newspaper by a Deputy of this House, a member of the Fianna Fáil Party, who some months earlier had been the Tánaiste in the Fianna Fáil Government. He is telling us there what went wrong with the Budget which had been introduced by the present Taoiseach when he was Minister for Finance. Deputy MacEntee is able to say on 12th March, 1966, that we had spent prematurely the wealth which we had not produced and even today are not beginning to produce. Perhaps this is the most important part of Deputy MacEntee's letter:

Next in order of malign influences I rate those who are responsible for what has been euphemistically styled the National Wage Agreement. It is true this instrument did not initiate the inflationary trend. That was done by a long series of deficit budgets, but it accelerated it enormously.

There we have a man who proclaims his authority to speak on this subject as a former Minister for Finance who had introduced 11 budgets, who was up to some months previously Tánaiste in the Fianna Fáil Government, going into print to tell us that one of the malign influences which had got us into the mess was the fact that there was a long series of deficit Budgets. When I talk, therefore, about the mess that was created, when I paint the picture of a slump, trade depression, credit squeeze, inflation, high cost of living, housing shortage, money shortage, rates and taxes going up, I am not dreaming this up. I am not imagining things. All this was there, and very real. Everyone knows that. Yet, we are asked now to give our approval to the appointment of the same Government that presided over that situation since the last general election.

I am quite prepared to accept that the Government, and the individual Members of the Government, did their best but what a miserable mess they made of their best. I agree with Deputy Tully's appeal to the Taoiseach to go to the President and seek the dissolution of the Dáil. The greatest good the Taoiseach could do would be to advise the immediate dissolution of this House. If he wins in the ensuing general election, well and good, he will know then that he has succeeded in gaining the confidence of the people. He will know then that he can come into this House and with confidence ask the House to give him the same team of Ministers again.

However, the present situation is, and this to my mind is quite clear and beyond dispute, that the outgoing Government, the re-appointment of whom we are asked to approve, have lost the confidence of the people or, at least, there is every indication that that is so. In that situation surely it is a simple thing for the Taoiseach to test the feelings of the people. As I say, if he wins he will come back re-inforced by the votes of the people and entitled to say that he has a mandate from the people, that he has the confidence of the people. Until he goes to the country and seeks that mandate he is not going to be in a position to say that the people have any confidence in the Government he is asking us to approve, nor is he in a position to say that they have any confidence in himself as Taoiseach. It has been pointed out already that the whole theme of the Fianna Fáil campaign during the last election was not to "Let Lynch Lead On" but "Let Lemass Lead On". Now we find that Fianna Fáil having secured election on the basis of letting Lemass lead on, Lemass is no longer to lead on and instead steps out of the picture and a new Leader of the Fianna Fáil Party is elected. So far as the Taoiseach himself is concerned, particularly having regard to the central theme of the Fianna Fáil Party's campaign in the last election to secure the continued leadership of Deputy Seán Lemass, he cannot in any way feel that he has the confidence and support of the people, even of those who supported the leadership of Deputy Seán Lemass in the last general election.

I have referred to the statement made by the outgoing Taoiseach and quite honestly I feel that it was a most extraordinary one for an outgoing head of Government to make. He said the one consideration that is important above all others so far as he was concerned, was the success of the Fianna Fáil Party in the next and subsequent general elections. That is a very disturbing sentiment to find expressed by an outgoing head of Government. It is reasonable that he should have regard to the effect of his actions on the future of the political Party of which he is a member—that would be right and proper and very natural—but I find it extraordinary that it should be stated in effect that the all-important consideration should be the success of his political Party in the next and future general elections. A mentality has entered into, or is in danger of entering into this country, the mentality of the one-Party State. There is evidence that some of the actions of the outgoing Government, and of the Members of that Government whom the Taoiseach is asking us to approve, showed that that mentality is becoming impressed on them and that there is too much danger of members of the Fianna Fáil Party, particularly the Ministers, identifying the fortunes of their Party with the interests of the State. I would appeal to them, and particularly to the Taoiseach, to remember that those two interests can be poles apart and that he should not ask us, nor should any member of the Fianna Fáil Party ask us, or the public, to accept that always and at all times will the interests of the State and the interests of the Fianna Fáil Party be one and the same thing.

I was disturbed, as were other Deputies, to hear the reply yesterday of the outgoing Minister for Posts and Telegraphs to a question tabled by Deputy Noel T. Lemass. The Minister was asked if he had received representations from the National Union of Journalists on the subject of news reporting in Radio Telefís Éireann. In reply to that question the then Minister for Posts and Telegraphs said:

I have received communications from both the Dublin Radio Branch and the Irish Area Council of the National Union of Journalists. It is clear to me from these communications that the National Union of Journalists are under a serious misapprehension as to the scope of the responsibilities of their members who are employed by RTÉ on the preparation of news bulletins. The RTÉ Authority is statutorily responsible for the conduct of the national broadcasting service as a whole, and is specifically required to ensure that its broadcasts of news or of features concerned with matters of public controversy are presented objectively and impartially. It follows that the responsibility for such broadcasts rests with the Authority and not with the journalists employed by it. I understand that the Authority is taking steps to make the position clear to these employees so as to remove any grounds of future misunderstanding.

The Minister says that the National Union of Journalists are under a serious misapprehension as to the scope of the responsibilities of their members who are employed by Radio Telefís Éireann on the preparation of news bulletins. I want to make this case, and I do so quite sincerely, that the journalists of this country have a very high standard which they themselves quite rightly prize and think of highly. They consider themselves as having particular responsibilities which are part of their professional duties and integrity. Those responsibilities, to my mind, remain part of a journalist's make-up, irrespective of where he is employed. I believe it is the duty of the journalists concerned with news to present it as they see it and gather it, honestly and truthfully, and to resist pressure from any forces which seek to influence their presentation of the news in that way.

There is something radically wrong when any Minister of State is apparently able, in reply to what I imagine was an inspired Parliamentary Question, to see some distinction between the responsibility of journalists employed on the preparation of news bulletins with RTÉ and that of the ordinary obligations and responsibilities of journalists as members of a profession which has a very high standard of integrity and a very high regard for their duty. I want to make it clear, and I believe I speak for other members of my Party, that we do not see any such distinction between the responsibilities of journalists employed by different concerns, whether these are newspapers or broadcasting or television authorities. We believe their duties and obligations and responsibilities remain the same.

I believe, as I said in a debate here recently, that Deputies, no matter on which side they sit, owe a debt of gratitude to the NUJ for their courage and forthrightness in taking up and turning the searchlight of public opinion on a matter which they felt was of great concern related to interference with the presentation of news. I do not want to labour the matter unduly but the Minister says towards the end of his reply, in speaking of the responsibilities of the Authority in its broadcasts of news and features and so on, concerned with matters of public controversy, that the Authority must see that they are presented objectively and impartially. That is so and, to my mind, that is an accurate summary of the particular section of the Broadcasting Act dealing with the Authorities duty in that regard, but it overlooks a far more fundamental matter, something more fundamental than any section written into the Broadcasting Act of 1960. It overlooks the fact that more than objectivity and impartiality is required. It overlooks the fact that our Constitution contains guarantees in regard to free speech. It is the duty of the Government as the body in which executive authority is vested by the Constitution to ensure that Constitutional guarantees are carried out and that they are something more than merely a few words in Article 40 of the Constitution, that they should have reality not only for a section of the people but for all the people.

Those constitutional guarantees are there and the people, whether journalists or not, are entitled to call on the Government collectively to ensure that those guarantees are carried out. I do not want to say more on this subject other than reiterate that unless there is a check put to that kind of mentality —and I do not say that in any disparaging sense because I do not believe it is deliberate on the part of the Government or any Minister; I believe it is something that has crept unconsciously into the make-up of Fianna Fáil—of the one-party State, all of us who are able to stand up and talk freely now will eventually rue the day if we fail to speak out at the proper time.

We in the Labour Party are somewhat concerned with the situation now confronting the country. We are particularly concerned that the new Taoiseach has come to the House with merely a few switches of titles and no change of personnel to ask the House to endorse the work of the Government in power since the last general election. We now find that the slogan that hung from every lamp post during March and April, "Let Lemass Lead On" needs to be changed only in one respect. It would now appear to be: "Let Lynch Lead On", with the same crew on board the ship of State and absolutely no change of policy or approach to the many problems confronting the ordinary citizen.

We have a change in so far as Deputy Haughey is now moved up to be Minister for Finance and Deputy Blaney has been put into the hot seat vacated by Deputy Haughey. Any hope that the people might have based on the election of a new Taoiseach is gone. We can look forward to the same policy being pursued and, unfortunately, to the same results for the ordinary citizens.

It is no harm at this stage to look at the results of the policy that has been pursued by the people who form the Government as presented to the House by the Taoiseach today and who it is proposed should continue to control the destiny of our people. Under the policy pursued by the Taoiseach, who was previously Minister for Finance, and the Government the country finds there is no money available for development. There is no money available for housing. There is no money available for health. There is no money available for education. There is no money available to pursue or achieve any of the promises that were made to the people in March and April of 1956. In fact, under the Fianna Fáil Government and at a time when the Taoiseach held the office of Minister for Finance, we had two Budgets in a very short space of time. That is some policy, and that is the policy that it has been clearly indicated will continue to be pursued by what is somewhat jokingly referred to as a new Government.

The present holder of the office of Minister for Finance, Deputy Haughey, has vacated the post of Minister for Agriculture. I do not think one need elaborate on the results of the policy he pursued as Minister for Agriculture, and I do not think it necessary to remind people that up to a few days ago the farmers had their representatives squatting outside the Minister's office in the hope that he would condescend to meet a deputation to discuss the very serious plight of small farmers, a situation that also has been brought about by the policy of the Fianna Fáil Government and the policy which the Taoiseach has indicated he has no intention of changing.

The former occupant of the office of Minister for Local Government, Deputy Blaney, has been moved up to see can he placate the farmers. He did not do such a good job placating the people on the waiting list for housing. He did not do such a good job, placating the 40,000 to 50,000 people who marched last Tuesday night in the city of Dublin as a protest against his policy of increased rents for corporation tenants. I doubt very much if even he, skilful politician as he is, will placate the farmers. The time has now come, and the sooner Fianna Fáil realise it the better, when the people are not going to be satisfied with promissory notes. They want delivery, and the Fianna Fáil Government are not used to delivering; they are used to promising. Unfortunately they have not realised there is a new generation that will not be satisfied with promises, who are concerned with the bread and butter issues of life, who are concerned about economic policy, who are concerned that the Government should take action that will relieve them of the very many hardships that have been imposed upon them by the policies and the false promises of the Fianna Fáil Government.

In regard to finance, we know that this country's credit rating in the stock markets of the world is practically nil. We have hawked our wares around Europe and America in the hope of raising sums that by many private concerns would be regarded as paltry, but we, a sovereign Government, go on these markets and find it impossible to raise a loan of £5 million at very attractive terms. These people have no confidence in this country because Fianna Fáil govern this country, and because under the policy being pursued and persisted in by Fianna Fáil they do not regard it as a very sound investment.

The Taoiseach and other members of the Cabinet have produced what could only be described as a typical Fianna Fáil gimmick. Deputies have pointed that out before and when they did, they were accused of being unpatriotic, of undermining the confidence people might have in the country. They were accused of everything possible except telling the truth, and all they were doing—and it is a sad truth and it gives us no consolation on this side of the House to say it—was telling the truth, and the truth is that we are not in a position to raise a sum of £5 million.

In regard to housing, we have under the present administration a situation that can only be described as deplorable. If one takes Dublin alone, the capital city, one finds that there are 10,000 families on the waiting list of Dublin Corporation for housing and that the prospects of these people being housed within the next eight to ten years are nil. In regard to the 10,000 on the waiting list, the corporation find it impossible, with the finance made available to them by the Government, to go ahead with any kind of building programme that would enable them to house those people within the time I have mentioned. That does not take into consideration the number of people who will become eligible for housing by a local authority within the next eight to ten years.

Very many people who, after considerable hardship, saved up sufficient money to pay a deposit on a house, anticipating they would get a loan under the SDA Acts found the local authority had no alternative but to tell them: "We cannot finance the loan. We know that there are certain regulations and conditions and that you fulfil all these, but the fact is that the Government have no money and we are not in a position to meet our commitment to you under the SDA Acts and, unfortunately, cannot advance the money to which you are entitled". Therefore, not only are people who normally would be housed by a local authority not being housed but people who are prepared to house themselves by their own efforts will not be housed. This is a direct result of the policies pursued by the Fianna Fáil Government, the Government to which the Taoiseach is asking the House to give a vote of confidence.

Let us consider the unemployment situation. After 45 years of national government, of being in control of our destiny, the unemployment rate is 5.6 per cent of the employable persons and that figure does not include agricultural workers. This also, is a result of the policies pursued by Fianna Fáil.

We in this country, unfortunately, have come to regard unemployment as some horrible curse visited upon the Irish nation by God. It is not. Unemployment is a man-made problem and it lies within the power of man to solve it, but, quite obviously, it does not lie within the power of the Fianna Fáil Government to solve it when you have, in 1966, a nation feeling rather complacent about the fact that 5.6 per cent of its employable people are unemployed. This is a rate of unemployment that would bring down other governments in other countries but it is a matter about which the Fianna Fáil Party would appear to be quite satisfied and quite happy. This is the Government the Taoiseach is asking us to endorse, to give a vote of confidence.

There is the question of agriculture. There are many factors militating against the Government and against farmers. Many of these are factors over which we have no control. That should be stated and acknowledged. But, the unforgivable thing is that, very early in this year, the Government rushed the Dáil back from the Christmas Recess to announce that they had negotiated an agreement with Great Britain, a Free Trade Agreement, that was the salvation, particularly of the Irish agricultural community. Statements were made during the course of the debate on that Agreement that in retrospect, knowing the results, one can only say were motivated by one thing, and that was, political expediency. The price of that expediency is being paid very heavily by poor unfortunate people who depend on agriculture for their livelihood, people who cannot hope to survive this year without going into a very considerable amount of debt. They find themselves in that situation because during the course of the Free Trade Agreement the then Minister for Agriculture stated quite definitely that under that Agreement farmers could anticipate an increase of from £5 to £7 per head in the price of their cattle. That was in Januaury. During the debates in the House last June that was re-stated by the Minister for Agriculture. Now we are told that the reason for the farming community finding itself in such a bad way is that several things militated against us which were outside the control of the Government. Some of them were outside such control.

The then Minister for Agriculture, Deputy Haughey, stated that one of the factors was the weather and that another factor was the seamen's strike in Great Britain but he stated in this House that the main factor was the decision that was taken by the Common Market countries for a common agricultural price. That decision was taken in April of this year. Yet, Deputy Haughey, on behalf of the Government, was still assuring the farmers of this country as late as June that they would get £5 to £7 more per head for their cattle.

One cannot blame the Government for the weather although at times one would like to and one cannot blame the Government for a strike of British seamen but it is legitimate and valid criticism to say that a decision is taken on agriculture in April, 1966, and the Minister for Agriculture is not aware, two months later, of what the effects of that decision are and is still assuring the people that they will get £5 to £7 more per head for their cattle. This is the type of Government by gimmick that we have had from the Fianna Fáil Party since they got into power.

We have a new Minister for Health now, Deputy Flanagan. I wonder why. Why does the Minister for Education keep making these rash promises and, when sufficient time has elapsed, when it will not appear too obvious, he is shifted? We had his White Paper on Health and the next thing he was gone; he was moved. We now have him in Education and he has assured everyone that they can have free education next September in both primary and secondary schools. I wonder are the Government thinking that by next September it will not present any problem, that those who come after him will have to clear that one up along with the other messes that have been created by the Government and, in the hope that that could happen, have not as yet repudiated the Minister for Education or thought up a good reason why this promise could not be implemented. It will be very interesting to see what the manoeuvre will be between now and the promised date of delivery, September, 1967.

We in the Labour Party realise the grave responsibilities that fall upon the shoulders of any person who is elected as Taoiseach of this country. Our experience of the present holder of that office is that he is an honest, dedicated, hardworking man of very high integrity. As far as these very necessary qualities are concerned, we think he fits the bill. But there are qualities other than these. One of them is a little toughness, and possibly the present Taoiseach has not got as much of this as his immediate predecessor. The present Taoiseach might have more need for that quality in view of the public spectacle of the members of the Front Bench of Fianna Fáil scrambling over each other's political corpses for the glittering crown of Taoiseach. Despite their public pronouncements that all is well and this was purely a little tussle amongst the boys, I think the Taoiseach is going to have a lot of difficulty controlling his own Front Bench. I think his decision to leave the Cabinet more or less unchanged was influenced by the fact that to change or drop some of the present holders might worsen the situation existing in Fianna Fáil and present him with an internal problem that might occupy a great deal of his time.

While the Fianna Fáil Ministers and Deputies have been carving one another up—they are welcome to do so as far as I am concerned—there is a further overriding consideration, that is, their responsibility as a Government to the people of this country. Unfortunately, that has become a very secondary consideration for Fianna Fáil. We do not think that the office of Taoiseach is one that concerns Fianna Fáil alone. With the apparent exception of the Fianna Fáil Front Bench, everyone believes that the office of Taoiseach should be determined by the people. We would ask the Taoiseach—and in his own interest, he should listen to the appeal —to go to the country, let the people decide, let them see that the Fianna Fáil Party are not afraid to answer for their stewardship. We in the Labour Party would welcome a general election. We would welcome an opportunity of going to the people and accounting for our stewardship. I would appeal to the Taoiseach both in his own interest and in the interest of the country, to let the people decide in a democratic way.

First, I should like to congratulate the Taoiseach on his election today by a large majority to his very important office. Even though we may differ on small matters, he carries with him the good wishes of his Party. We believe that this is the beginning of another chapter in the history of Fianna Fáil. This Party have given the people the present standard of living they enjoy, have built up our industry and given to our country a status amongst the nations of the world it never before had. To hear my friend, Deputy Cluskey, speak of housing, health and industry, one would never suspect that he was a member of a Party which during their two terms of office gave us 90,000 unemployed and the highest emigration figures since the war. When an outsider criticised the Fine Gael Party and said things had been done in the dead of night, Deputy Dillon's answer was that the Labour Party were as quiet as mice.

I do not think that has been the Deputy's experience.

The members of the Labour Party stood by calmly when their stupid and deplorable policies forced the workers of this city to emigrate. Now they come in to vote against the Government and have the audacity, with their Fine Gael colleagues, to try to tell us of the great things that happened when they were in office.

The Parliamentary Secretaryship is gone, Seán.

At one time children used to read Grimm's fairy tales. The children of today will probably read the Labour Party's fairy tales, and take them at their face value. Deputy Cluskey spoke about housing in this city. I would ask him to ask Deputy Larkin—for whom I have every respect, as I have for Deputy Cluskey himself— of his experience when Dublin Corporation and the Government had no money for housing.

That is not true.

It is true, and I will prove it to you.

It is quite untrue. That untruth has been repeated too often.

I repeat it is true. Deputy Larkin went down to the Bank of Ireland to plead for a loan for Dublin housing. I am sure the Governor and directors of the Bank of Ireland were quite courteous to him. Nevertheless, they told him to get out, that they had no money. Deputy Cluskey knows I am speaking the truth.

The houses were built.

Is Deputy Moore suggesting the same thing happened to the Taoiseach in New York?

If I am hurting you people, I cannot help it.

You are amusing me.

If you think the state of the workers under your Government was amusing, it is typical of the Labour Party.

It is like Grimm's fairy tales.

Deputy Cluskey should allow Deputy Moore to make his speech.

Let us examine their record in regard to housing and social services. Let us see what help they gave old age pensioners. The neo-socialists gave them 10d a year. Deputy Lindsay cannot contradict that. It is on record. In every aspect of social service, of industry, of housing, the attempts of the Labour Party and of the Fine Gael Party were absolutely abject in their poverty of thought. Today, they have the audacity to come in here and make speeches of the kind we have heard. It is the duty of an Opposition to criticise and we would welcome that. We ask for honest criticism. No Government would resent honest criticism and we should be very pleased to receive it. It may be that the Labour Party feel that people will forget the past but people will not forget. Recently they told us they were a socialist Party but be it said that they did not spell out the degree of socialism nor would the Labour Party spell out that degree. If they do so, no matter what they say—either their Right wing or their Left wing will disagree and it will bring chaos in the Party.

Deputy Cluskey deplores the unemployment figures, as I do. If he thinks socialism will cure this, then I would point out that his colleagues in Britain recently told us that a three per cent unemployment rate was not bad at all. It is not my intention to criticise a Government across the water but I would mention that many times we have to sit here and listen to the Labour Party saying: "You froze wages." Quite recently, the Government in Westminster also froze wages and the announcement was applauded by a member of the Labour Party who went as a delegate——

Profits, dividends, rents—they controlled all these, too.

Will Deputy Cluskey please cease interrupting?

I am not criticising them. It is all right. I will speak the truth even though it hurts.

You are joking.

Deputy Lindsay assists Deputy Cluskey.

You do not expect me to assist you?

I do not ask you. I should feel embarrassed with it.

You should be embarrassed without it.

Perhaps, again, we shall see another Coalition. Deputy Cluskey calls for an election. I look forward to the two by-elections. I wonder if, after them, Fine Gael or Labour will be so keen on a general election.

You have no choice. You will call one after them.

It is the intention of this Party to hold these by-elections——

Are you moving the Writ?

It is up to you.

What about Kerry?

There is the other one, too. However, after these by-elections, you will then see how the policy of misrepresentation of the Fine Gael Party and the Labour Party has failed to fool the Irish people. We have only to go back to your own records and even to quote some of the speeches made by members of the Coalition at the time about the housing situation. I know that Deputy Cluskey is seriously interested in the housing situation, as I am, and he is a Dubliner, like myself. I depore that money may be short for housing but is there any country in the world where there is not a shortage of money today? In Britain, they have cut their housing programme by almost one-third in order to try to save money: they have got to do it. Were it not that there is a Fianna Fáil Government in power here there would be a repetition of what happened in 1956 when the people fled the State and we were left with the vacant houses. The position was not, as Deputy Dillon suggested, that the houses were built: it was not that we had too many houses but that we had too few people due to the high rate of emigration that prevailed at the time. I remember the time in Dublin Corporation when a Fine Gael member stated that if people emigrate, we should not build houses. That may be the Fine Gael and the Labour solution to the problem, but it is not our solution.

You have not any.

The solution Fianna Fáil propose is the development of our resources.

A great phrase.

Over the years, we have built up the society here. It is our intention to go ahead building until every citizen can have a full life with full employment in this country.

I said here before that I base a lot of our ills today on the gaps in our educational system. I do not think that will be contradicted. It is the intention of this Party and of each member of it that this system shall be expanded so that every child, no matter what its background, whether its father is a low-paid or a high-paid worker, will have the opportunity of pursuing an education from the primary school to the university.

When is this coming in?

This is a very important objective and I am sure the Labour Party will not object to it, or maybe they will?

He does not know. It will be a White Paper.

Pie in the sky.

I was about to pass a remark, but I shall not. They ask when it is coming in. We must remember that, a short time ago, when Fine Gael brought out the wonderful document Towards a Just Society, it was only just a document I believe; they did not mention education in it.

That is quite untrue.

I wish you would send me a copy of it. I applied for one but there were not enough copies.

It might be wasted.

I saw Deputy Lindsay on the recent television programme about education and he did not seem to have read that document.

I took part in the formulation of it.

Since the foundation of Fianna Fáil, the programme has consistently been directed towards the betterment of this country. The people have endorsed this objective on numerous occasions and they will do so again because the Labour Party have nothing to offer.

Would the Deputy care to bet on it?

The only hope for the Labour Party is partial power again through a coalition with Fine Gael. Knowing Deputy Cluskey as I do, I know that he abhors the idea but he may be forced to accept it in the unlikely event of the people having some mental aberration so that the Deputies over there may have an opportunity of forming a Coalition Government. We do not suggest that we have built a perfect society but we are convinced that the policy of the Fianna Fáil Party is the soundest policy available. I do not suggest that Fine Gael or Labour are not as interested as we are in the welfare of the people: I believe they are. I believe their outlook and present economic policies, or whatever they have, will all result again in mass unemployment and mass emigration. The most, then, we can hope for from them is criticism of a constructive character which we should be very interested to receive. Deputy Cluskey asks when the education programme will be implemented. Already we have made a start by virtue of the fact that we have made a declaration of intent.

And increased the fees in vocational schools.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

In the coming months and in the coming years, the education system will radically be changed. We can look forward to the day when lack of means will not be a bar to further education. We have a heavy programme in front of us in education but I believe that the people of this country put the same value on it as we do and that they are quite prepared to make sacrifices so that an educational system may be established which will be worthy of the people of this country and which will help to build the nation into the nation we all want to see. While there could possibly be other Governments in the distant future, the position at the moment is that a Fianna Fáil Government are in power and, by their policy over the years, they have gained the confidence of the people that this worthy objective can be attained. There are lots of things to show just how unsocial is the Labour Party.

Deputy Moore is frightened of the Labour Party.

I would say that Deputy Cluskey is more frightened than I. But over the years people have put their faith in the Fianna Fáil Party——

Yes, God help them.

——and, of course, we do know that the Labour Party intend to show that they have the monopoly of brains. I do not know what gives them that false idea.

Comparing ourselves with you.

But I am quite convinced that when the people in a month or two—whenever it is—have the opportunity of endorsing our policy and work they will do so, and I look forward then to a further expansion and a further step forward to building a nation which for many years people have dreamed of and which Fianna Fáil have brought much of the way.

The motion before the House is a motion of approval of the members of the Government. The Taoiseach has submitted names and in addition—although not obliged to say so—told us the Departments to which he proposes to assign these Deputies. So far, the only attempt at argument in their favour we have heard was the speech just delivered by Deputy Moore. Beyond an expression of hope, intention, and declaration of intent in relation to many varied matters, there was not one word in it about the suitability of this Government, about how he thought each of them, and collectively were qualified to carry the burden they have been asked to carry as a Government. One would have hoped for an earlier contribution of a much more qualified character. However, I am sure more will come in the course of this evening and tomorrow, until this debate finishes, on whatever day that may be.

The process of leakage to newspapers is very well known the world over; it is employed in high intrigue and low intrigue, sometimes successfully; sometimes not so successfully. It is the result of the employment of this process of fraudulent leakage that we are here this evening discussing, not a new Government, but merely something technically amounting to a vote of confidence in an old Government. It does not matter how one shakes the bottle, the basic ingredients are there all the time. One does not succeed, by whatever amount of shaking one gives to that bottle, in removing from the contents the marking of the poison on the outside. Months and months ago, through this process of leakage, our newspapers began to filter through with the news that the former Taoiseach, by reason of ill health—a fact they kept repeatedly saying was well known for some time—would be retiring. We are happy to know that such is not the case, that the former Taoiseach's health is good and that he is doing what he did this morning for the benefit of the Fianna Fáil Party. Therefore, throughout the months that have passed and right up to today, there is being enacted in the newspapers, in this House and in discussion centres all over the country, high drama. The presentation to us this evening, I would prefer to call a farce in one act by Deputy Seán Lemass. He tells us, through the news conference—and we learned of it through the newspapers today—he does not want to be a political relic. One could go far with that metaphor and wonder what will happen to political relics in Fianna Fáil, when their antiques occupy such high places and such remunerative positions all over this country.

There is an age limit, obviously, for political relics but no age limit for the antique. If this doctrine of historical relic were to be carried to its full and logical conclusion, then there would be no place in this Government for the Tánaiste, Deputy Aiken, who—as other speakers have said—has spent most of his political time trying to settle the nuclear problems of the world while, at home, things have been allowed to drift. Houses remain unbuilt, farm prices remain at a terribly low level while all the time the political eyes of this country should have been directed towards Europe, and not, so much at any rate, pre-occupied with world affairs in New York. But then, maybe there is a necessity for the retention of historical relics, maybe portion of these relics will be distributed and that the possession of some objects belonging to them, or part of an object, will be a good qualification to have for either the Dáil or local elections at conventions. It will be the order in the new era.

Now we are asked to accept this Government, this Government with a record of failure, in spite of the contentions of Deputy Moore who, God help him, either came in or was sent in to take the bare look off things— a record of failure unsurpassed not alone here but in any country in the world with the resources available to them. That is what happens, and this is where I am afraid I have to join in the sympathy expressed to the new Taoiseach; this is what happens when democracy becomes identified with one Party, when in spite of the fact that we have a Government and an Opposition, we nevertheless have the Fianna Fáil Party working on the concept of the one-Party state. That has been their objective from the very beginning, and it is the objective they are still pursuing.

The list of Deputies presented to us by the Taoiseach as Ministers of the Government contains the names of men whose success in the Ministries they are leaving—and, indeed, those who are remaining in the same Ministries—has not been very marked. It is true, of course, that Deputy Blaney is being given a certain amount of promotion by going into the Department of Agriculture. That comes to him not because of any success in the Department of Local Government through the building of houses, but because of a very successful period in this House speaking in a low voice, evading answering questions, or giving answers that could be interpreted in several ways.

In the words of a member of his own Party this evening, he is a great man to hold the line. Now, for holding the line so well in relation to housing difficulties and local government matters generally, he is going to the Department of Agriculture so miserably vacated by Deputy Haughey. However, I will come to them later. I want to deal with them in the order in which they are given to us.

I am glad that the recommendation embodied in the Fine Gael policy and made by me here on the Estimate for the Department of Transport and Power has been adopted. Deputy Childers is being retained in his old inimitable fashion with no function in the Department of Transport and Power. He is also being given the care of the Department of Posts and Telegraphs where he may possibly have a function.

Licking stamps.

If his attitude towards Radio Telefís Éireann, a semi-State authority, is to be the same as his attitude towards other State companies over which he purports to exercise jurisdiction, then we cannot look forward to very much. I believe that Deputy Childers has a sense of fair play. It is inherent in him. His people always had that sense of fair play, and they always boasted of it with certain justification, to no small degree either.

I want him straightaway to exercise that inherent sense of fair play which I attribute to him in defence of the journalists employed in Radio Telefís Éireann, and to see that they are not subject to the exercise of an authority largely composed of Fianna Fáil Party hacks who are being presented with so many hundreds of pounds a year by reason of services rendered to the Party. These men and women should not be subjected to any kind of dictatorial policy from them. Their business is to present the truth. The truth is the truth and not a version of the facts suitable to the Fianna Fáil Party, or to any Fianna Fáil Minister at any given time.

The truth is a hell of a stranger to you.

If Deputy Corry is not going to keep his unseemly mouth shut, he should remove his unseemly presence from the House.

Not for any lawyer anyway.

I hope these men and women who are employed as journalists in Radio Telefís Éireann, and indeed their brethren in the newspapers at local and national level, will continue to display fearlessly the same high standards as activated and motivated their work down through the years since the newspaper business and communications came into operation for the first time.

Deputy Blaney goes from the Department of Local Government where there is a housing shortage, a Department which is not in a position to assist the local authorities to meet their requirements, a Department which has brought about a state of affairs where people march through the streets to protest against the situation in which they find themselves as a result of the manner in which he has controlled that Department.

Deputy Boland moves from the Department of Social Welfare to the Department of Local Government. It is to be hoped he will show a little more concern for the plight of the local authorities, and the plight of the urban and rural dwellers who require houses, and that something will be done, other than an evasive answer and a line of patter, to improve the conditions of these people.

To Deputy J. Brennan, formerly Minister for Posts and Telegraphs, goes the portfolio of Social Welfare. He, as a west Donegal man, must be very conversant with the situation to which I have referred, and to which Deputy P. O'Donnell, Deputy Barrett and Deputy T. O'Donnell have referred, in which when people who formerly worked in England have their pensions increased by the British Ministry of Pensions, the officers of the Department of Social Welfare set out immediately to deprive them of that amount on their Irish pensions, and sometimes more.

Beyond urging him to do something in this regard, I will not say more. I deplore that his leaving the Department of Posts and Telegraphs carried with it in the tail-end this threat contained in his reply to an obviously inspired question yesterday by Deputy N. Lemass. I would ask Deputy Childers coming into this Department to take no notice of that threat and see that fair play is given to those men.

Deputy Ó Moráin, known to us until recently as Deputy Moran——

A neighbour's child.

I am not qualified to say whose child he is. He remains in Lands and the Gaeltacht. Of course, it is well known that since the formation of the Government in 1965, he has not had hand, act or part in anything to do with the Gaeltacht. That was handed over by special order of the Taoiseach to Deputy Faulkner as Parliamentary Secretary. Fisheries, of course, were taken from him and given to Deputy Haughey, then Minister for Agriculture, Lands remained, and Forestry. He has returned from a study of wood and bird life in Germany.

What kinds of birds?

Again, I do not know.

I hope they had feathers.

By questions put to the Taoiseach in this House by me and other Deputies, it was sought to make it clear that Deputy Moran, as well as others in the Government, were practising their professions to the detriment of the Ministries they held but for their own personal advantage. It is notorious that an application to the Land Commission from South Mayo or, indeed, from parts of North Mayo where the Moran writs run, are successful invariably when the application comes from the office of Michael Moran and Company. It is a very interesting process, one of which the Taoiseach should take note. The constituent arrives in the office of Michael Moran and Company and his business is to get the Land Commission to agree to the sale of his land to some purchaser or other, or to agree to a subdivision for the sale of portion of his land, and then the office of Michael Moran and Company transfers this piece of official business to Deputy Michael Moran who in turn transfers it to Micheál Ó Moráin, Aire Tailte, and then the consent to the subdivision is granted. Sometimes a mistake is made because somebody——

You did not mention anything about the fees.

I am treating this House as being of adult intelligence.

I was thinking of my confrères on the opposite benches.

They are good at it, too.

Apparently there is no law for them except the filth——

Deputies must allow Deputy Lindsay to make his speech without interruption.

I wonder if personal attacks of the type being made here on a Minister——

It is not a personal attack.

I am raising this on a point of order.

Acting Chairman

The Deputy will appreciate that the motion before the House involves certain personalities. I do not hold that so far the Deputy is out of order in anything he has said.

I am querying whether it is in order for any Deputy to make the allegations that have been made.

I take it, Sir, that I am in order?

You are in order but you are not correct.

Will the little man beware of the belt of the crozier?

It has no relevance to the question before the House and, through the Chair——

Acting Chairman

It is not a question of saying anything through the Chair. This is a debate in which all remarks will be addressed to the Chair and not across the floor of the House.

I hope the Deputy will be there when I am speaking.

That is a hardship which both, visually and linguistically, I am not prepared to endure.

I will be here long after that briefless barrister and the dirty milkman beside him——

Who is the dirty milkman?

I doubt, then, if the Taoiseach should continue Deputy Moran in the position of Minister for Lands, unless he gets an undertaking that his professional practice will not continue to be mixed up with his business as Minister. Deputy Hilliard, who is here, is still in Defence. I do not think he has ever said anything to anybody, I do not think he has ever done anything and, accordingly, he cannot be criticised until he does something wrong and he is not likely to do it. Deputy Hillery, in Labour, is also at the beginning of a new Ministry for him and I am not prepared to criticise him at this stage because I think everybody should get a fair chance of showing whether he is fit for the particular folio assigned to him.

Deputy Haughey goes to Finance with this recommendation: as was said earlier today, he caused chaos in the Department of Justice and had to be removed and not very long after, he went to the Department of Agriculture, and by his arrogance and insolence, brought about a situation in which the farmers found themselves exposed to the inclement weather in pursuance of a protest. Good manners could have avoided all that at the beginning. The Irish people are traditional for their courtesy and good manners.

But not this House.

It is not the prerogative of a mercenary to show mercy. A mercenary is a ruthless type of soldier. Mercenary politicians can be more ruthless still and Deputy Haughey is such a mercenary in our political arena of these times. Not alone has he caused trouble with the farmers but he has brought members of his staff to the position of being public relations officers for this political appointment. It has always been recognised in a democracy—the Fianna Fáil Party are very fond of talking about democracy when they are in power— that a good Civil Service is the most cherished thing one can have, a solid bulwark between the governed and the governing. The Government, in the process of administering policy, of recommending policy, should at all times seek the advice of their senior advisers and officers. They are free, of course, to reject that advice, whether good or bad.

The people always had the right to have in the Civil Service and in the Civil Service personnel that bulwark against a dictatorial, tyrannical Government. The former Minister for Agriculture, Deputy Haughey, last week forced two senior officers of the Department to give some sort of press conference, or to make some press release, defending their position. When he did this, he destroyed that bulwark, or certainly made a very severe inroad into it. For the little time left with this Party in power—I do not care who cuts up whom with knives, tomahawks or anything else—and however long they last, I do not think Deputy Haughey's ingenuity will enable him to destroy the true workings of our Civil Service which was well established and well respected down the years. He is bringing it into disrepute by this kind of conduct.

Deputy Lenihan remains in the Department of Justice. It used to be very fashionable for the Fianna Fáil Party to say harsh things about lawyers. The lawyer was somebody who should not be in Government. Am I right when I think they have elected one as Taoiseach? They have. They are bringing Deputy Haughey, a lawyer, into the Department of Finance. Are there are any more? Yes, of course, Deputy Lenihan is a lawyer. Mr. Ó Moráin, alias Moran, is a lawyer. Deputy Colley, who tried to be leader of the Fianna Fáil Party, is a lawyer. Deputy Flanagan, the Minister for Health, is a lawyer. What is happening at all? They are becoming extremely careless when they are letting those bad boys take over. I am surprised at Deputy de Valera allowing this to happen. I do not intend to say anything about Deputy O'Malley. I do not think I should.

Mind Limerick.

Deputy O'Malley is such a nice fellow. He is a promising young man. He looks well. He photographs well and he dresses well. He promises well, but when Deputy O'Malley comes to promise, he does not stop at anything. He is tremendous; he gives the whole lot. I am not going to follow him down to Shannon, into the dispensaries, out of the dispensaries, into the free choice of doctor, into the technical schools or over the ancient monuments, the rights for day nurses, the rights for night nurses and all this business. We will leave him at that. The Taoiseach has left him in Education. No doubt he will give him a chance to scurry out. He is going to resign next September if he does not get his own way. Deputy O'Malley says all this free education will be given next September.

The local elections are in June.

Do you think we will have them? I think they will be postponed, if things are not right. If the cattle prices are not good and other things are not good by next May, you might have them postponed again.

The Deputy might be kicked out of here.

Whether I am in or whether I am out, I will always be happy to know that the high standards of this House are preserved by Deputy Corry. Probably this might be one of the last times, or nearly the last time, in which a new Government have been offered to us and once again it does not include the name of Deputy Corry.

The last time you taxed ladies' curling pins.

It should not be any concern of the Deputy's.

Do not forget it.

Deputy Colley continues in Industry and Commerce. Of course, he was removed from Education by reason of the extreme views he held here and there, and possibly other misunderstandings. He does not emerge out of this as the Diogenes of the Fianna Fáil Party, the honest man going to the Fianna Fáil Party looking for another honest man. I wish my countyman, Deputy Flanagan well in Health. He is too short there to say anything about him. This Government, bad as they are—and they will be appointed—should direct themselves towards markets in Europe or anywhere they can. Let them concentrate on the nation's business and not spend their time opening garages, driving into banks, driving out of banks, all those queer places, all those peccadillos —of course they are nice—dancehalls, public houses and all those kind of things which could well be left to the people themselves to run instead of using ministerial time in trying to get prestige for themselves, if indeed prestige it is. That is what is happening. The standards are becoming so bad that prestige is a very relative term.

In conclusion, I should like to say to Deputy Lynch, the newly-elected Taoiseach, a few words on behalf of the west of Ireland. He began his career—not his political career but his career in Government—as a Parliamentary Secretary responsible for the Gaeltacht and the congested districts. I believe that if he had been given any kind of fair chance and given money he might have begun a good job. The same was true indeed of all of us who had any responsibility in that regard. The only things we wanted were time, initiative and the money on our side, and the work could be done. I want the Taoiseach to direct himself again towards that and to see to it that wherever money has to be tightened or expenditure curtailed, it will not be curtailed in the area of the small farmers and small fishermen, or even in the area of the small hotelier or the small shopkeeper in the west of Ireland.

I would ask him to direct his new Minister for Finance to stop this terrible onslaught, looking for estate duties and death duties from the small farm which they never looked for before. This is what kills the small farms. I have often said that a series of deaths, sickness, losses on cattle or an unsuccessful law suit are things which finish a small holding or a small family in those areas. Do away with this business of trying to get death duties and all that kind of thing.

It does not matter how many fact finding committees you set up. It does not matter how many development teams you form because there are things happening now, which I see in the local papers, and the people who are seeking to promote the good of the people in those parts are merely saying what Deputies for those areas, both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, have been saying and urging down the years. That is the situation as I see it, and all of this will lead to no good. A multiplicity of committees, officials on top of officials, secretaries to secretaries, all of this will lead nowhere unless the Government are able to inspire the people. Some newspaper made mention in relation to the new Taoiseach, about his referring one time to those areas and classifying it as a problem of the spirit. To a very great extent, he was right, and if he can get that sort of situation going again, he will do a service.

I wish Deputy Lynch well in his office as Taoiseach. He certainly possesses the integrity; he certainly possesses the capacity to secure everyone's goodwill. There is only one area where I would fear for him, that is, that his gentle nature, which I hope is not as gentle as we think it is, will easily submit to pressures. And all along that side from his left right over here and into the next one, there is a gathering of gentlemen whose capacity for intrigue and pressure is unmatched. They have been described as the youngest Cabinet in Europe; they have been described as the ablest Cabinet in Europe. I would hate to use the descriptions I think logically apply to them and for that reason and through no objection to the Taoiseach himself, we are opposing this Government because they are, as Deputy Cosgrave said, the mixture as before and you do not achieve things by reshuffling. You do not cure a damp spot on a wall by pushing a chair over to hide it. You do not take a chair with a spring gone and put it where the light shines on it. It does not matter whether you put them backwards or forwards, or upwards or downwards, and downwards would be the easiest way to put these fellows, they are arrogant. I was going to say more. I shall not say anything more, but I think they are the subject matter clearly of such uncivil gossip all round this country that the people cannot be confident in them, and, regrettably, can hardly be confident in the Taoiseach who selects them.

I have listened for the past couple of hours, and particularly in the past half hour, and I must say I have been highly amused. I have indeed been waiting to hear policies of any description or kind from either Fine Gael or Labour but the usual clichés have been dragged out, with the usual abuse of the Fianna Fáil Government and personalities. It is a pity in a responsible Parliament, as I would like to think we are, and as I am sure we are, that we should have these exaggerations as a political expediency indulged in from time to time in this House, and that we do not get down to some serious business. It has been suggested indeed that the Taoiseach who was appointed today should call for the dissolution of Government and go to the country. It has been said that we have not a majority in this House, and that we have not got the confidence of the country. Let us look at the facts. Even the vote today in this House for the Taoiseach was 71 to 64. Where were the other seven?

Were you not lucky that you were here?

It was said that we did not want them but we won by 71 to 64, with the Ceann Comhairle automatically elected.

A photo-finish.

In the general election, we got a majority of 10,000.

You lost 100,000 votes. Why did you not contest the local elections last June? You lost 100,000 votes.

We won, and what you are saying is that you did not have a mandate.

Tell us about the local elections last June.

Tell us about the elections in Sligo-Leitrim. You hoped to get 10,000 in Sligo-Leitrim but you did not get them.


I must insist that Deputy Gallagher be allowed to speak.

Tell us about the votes in Sligo-Leitrim, I said.

He is provoking.

We have had Deputy O'Higgins talking about the long knives being drawn over the past three weeks and I could not help thinking how glad he would be if the knives were not drawn. The Fianna Fáil Party met in a democratic fashion and elected the person they wanted to be Taoiseach and they came into this House talking and smiling right down the line. The Taoiseach has come back and recommended his Cabinet to this House and has asked the House to vote on it. I have no doubt as to what the decision will be. All the speeches from the Opposition side will not in any way detract from that vote, nor will they gain any glory there. I am as sure as I am standing here that the Taoiseach chosen by this Party is not alone the Taoiseach of the Fianna Fáil Party but also——

Which side are you on?

It would be hard to tell how you went.

It has been said that the country is gone to pot. There was a time when the country had gone to pot, but when the Coalition Parties had a majority in the House, the country was gone to pot.

Where were you?

They went to the country, as you should be doing now.


I insist that Deputy Gallagher be allowed to speak.

I will speak, Sir.

I agree, but I shall not discuss the order with any Deputy. Deputy Gallagher.

I remember the years 1954, 1955 and 1956, and you were given your answer in the spring of 1957, and if you want to see what progress has been made, go out and you will see it all round you. I have heard criticism here this evening of capital investment in this city, in the matter of office blocks.

What about the west of Ireland which the Deputy represents?

If Deputy Reynolds cannot restrain himself, I shall have to ask him to leave the House.

Let him interrupt if he wants to.

I shall enforce order without assistance from anybody.

I am sorry. If you want an indication of confidence, it is when you get investment of capital in the country. This has followed as a consequence——


If Deputy Coogan cannot behave himself, he will leave the House.

I will leave because I cannot put up with this.

An empty house is better than a bad tenant.

This followed the election of a Fianna Fáil Government in 1957 and the restoration of confidence and it has of course been maintained right up to this moment. Who can say that the nation has not made progress? Who can say there is not confidence when there is still an inflow of foreign capital as well as the enterprise of Irish people in developing this country? Why do you think there is a shortage of money? I remember when Ireland was not doing anything and you could walk into a bank and get money. You could nearly take it away.

You would know that.

At the moment there is a shortage of money because the demand for capital is so great. Not alone do England and all other developing European countries find themselves short of capital, but even the United States finds itself short of capital. Then you are surprised to find that we are not in line with them, not keeping in step. There is a simple answer. As you want to develop and as you need to develop, you will certainly find that there is a greater demand for capital. That demand is there for capital but Deputies opposite say it is a shortage of money. Why cannot they realise that it is a vote of confidence in the country that people today want to borrow and to invest? There are more people today buying their own homes and glad to borrow the money to buy them.

When the Taoiseach presented his Cabinet and asked for the approval of the House, Deputies opposite should have given their wholehearted approval. They should have given their vote of confidence. Of course, that would be too much to expect from the Opposition. It would be too much to expect them to put the nation before political expediency.

He must have been one of the 19.

He was on both sides.

Every single thing the Government do is all wrong. There is not an institution of government that is not all wrong. They are the judges over there. They will not recognise that progress has been made. They will not recognise the confidence this Government have got from the people down through the years. They continue, as a Party and a conglomeration of Parties, to seek to hold up progress for the sake of their own progress and for their own accession to office, if that day should ever come.

I was pleased on the Vote for the Taoiseach that the Labour Party said: "We will be a Party in future. We will build up until we govern this country. We will stand on our own feet." Then Fine Gael take the same attitude. I wondered when I heard the excuse given after the 1965 general election: "I would have put them out but Deputy Corish said they would not join us in a Coalition." There is something to be said for political honesty and I hope Deputy Tully will hold fast, and if, at any time, the combined numbers on the opposite side gained a majority of one or two I hope the promise that was made and the stand that was taken here today will not again be put aside so that they might have a short time in power.

Will the Deputy tell us why the Taoiseach resigned?

I thought the Taoiseach told you that himself. He is more qualified to tell you. He has served the country for 50 years and we should respect his wish to retire.

Why did he not take the Tánaiste with him?

That, again, is a matter for the Tánaiste.

I thought the captain stays with a sinking ship?

I want to thank Seán Lemass for the job he did for this country and hope to see him for a long time in the back benches.

We have a new Taoiseach, and I am confident that he will give this Party the leadership we believe he will give, and this country the Taoiseach it is used to having from Fianna Fáil. I am confident that he will carry on the same high traditions as past leaders. The Cabinet have been nominated and those who try to see weaknesses in this Party and Cabinet find themselves disillusioned. They would have liked the new Taoiseach to make major changes in the Cabinet. They think this would show a difference of opinion in Fianna Fáil. It is a measure of the confidence the nation has in Fianna Fáil, and the backbenchers here have, that the same Cabinet is presented, with one or two changes in portfolio. I wish the Taoiseach well; I wish the new Cabinet well. When he comes to look for a vote of public confidence, sooner rather than later——

——our friends on the opposite side will have the opportunity of putting their policies before the people in South Kerry and Waterford.

We will welcome it. It will not come a minute too soon.

I promise them judgment will be passed on their policies and our policies and Fianna Fáil will win both seats.

It is most unfortunate for the new Taoiseach that one of his first defenders in this House should be the Deputy who has just spoken and who is now leaving the House in rather a hurry. I did my best to listen to him and you will have observed, a Cheann Comhairle, that I did not interrupt him because I tried to get the message he appeared to be endeavouring to get across to us, and I did not succeed. I will freely admit that there are Deputies such as the Deputy who has just spoken who are much more conversant with manipulation and the ways and means of extracting money from banks by fair or foul means that I could not comprehend or do not wish to comprehend, but I do not think the House should be subjected to a lecture from an expert in this type of manipulation, who says brazenly in Parliament that in one year, during the regime of the inter-Party Government, there was a time when one could just walk into a bank and take whatever one liked out of it. As far as I know, that is exactly what Deputy Gallagher said.


If I might be permitted to say so——

It is the Deputy's Party who are stopping him.

——I intended my first message to be a congratulatory one to the Taoiseach, but I sympathise with him in his having to sit here and listen to the last performance to which the House was treated and to the team of crackpots who interrupted.

As the first Corkman to speak in this debate, I should like seriously and sincerely to extend on my own behalf, and I think I can say on behalf of everybody in Cork city and county, heartiest congratulations to the new Taoiseach. It would be wrong to present any picture other than that the people of Cork generally, irrespective of politics, irrespective of sport, of class or of creed, all rejoice in the selection and election of Deputy Jack Lynch as Taoiseach.


Hear, hear.


Order. Deputies should contain themselves.

Cork people quite genuinely—I can assure the House of this—rejoice in the selection of Deputy Jack Lynch as Taoiseach and we wish him and his good wife well in the years that lie ahead of them.

Having said that, I must confess I am disappointed by his first act as Taoiseach. We admire the man himself as a man. There is no doubt about his integrity, his dedication to duty, and no doubt about the service he has given to his native city and to the country since he was a schoolboy in many spheres. There is absolutely no doubt about all that. But we had hoped he would regard the scene he had inherited in the way in which any reasonable, intelligent person would regard it and that he would tell himself he was inheriting an old-fashioned conservative policy with a Front Bench composed largely of elderly sages, on the one hand, and on the other, a couple of juvenile delinquents, and that he would have said to himself that he must get rid of these old men and the irresponsible juvenile delinquents. Apparently he did not see fit to do that. Perhaps it is too soon to expect it. Perhaps it was too much to expect of the new Taoiseach. Perhaps it was too much to expect him between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. today to bring into the House some of the hatchets and tomahawks used against himself in the days leading up to his selection by the Party in order to chop down some of the people to whom I have referred.

Whatever the reason, and it is not for us on this side of the House to inquire into it, we are presented by the new Taoiseach, who, we are told, is starting a new era, a young man representing a new generation, with the same old hobbyhorses going round and round and round again. There is no indication that there will be any change in any Department under his leadership. All we can do then is to examine that situation and examine its implications. Here is a young Taoiseach embarking on a new career, with the country looking to him for new leadership and a break with some of the policies we have been following for the past 40 years, or so.

There is not much consolation for us or for the country in the set-up. When I refer to Ministers who are about to accept portfolios, let me say that I make my references in no personal sense whatsoever but simply to illustrate the points of view on the policy they have adopted in the past and are most likely to continue to adopt in the future under the leadership of the new Taoiseach.

We have the Department of Transport and Power and the Department of Posts and Telegraphs under the leadership of Erskine Childers, Esquire. I should not like anybody to think I have a personal spleen against Deputy Childers, but we all know that he was absolutely unfitted and unequipped to do the job he was given to do in the Department of Transport and Power. He has given nothing but dissatisfaction in this House and outside it. He has given dissatisfaction even to the members of his own Party. Those sitting behind him will admit, if they are honest, that there have been occasions on which Fianna Fáil Deputies have had to attend their local councils up and down the country and there join in expressions of dissatisfaction in regard to the manner in which the Minister for Transport and Power functioned. One could never get a reply from him in this House, particularly with regard to the affairs of Córas Iompair Éireann. The simplest question brought forth the answer that he had no function in the day-to-day administration of CIE, the ESB, or any of the other State or semi-State bodies under his control.

To make the situation more frustrating still, on the night following such a reply, he attended chamber of commerce dinners up and down the country and there he knew all about CIE and was able to produce statistics about mileage, man hours, wages, and so on. But he could never answer in the House. In other words, he ignored the elected representatives of the people. It is not without significance — I mentioned this recently —that all the major industrial unrest over the past few years can be traced to and is attributable to the State and semi-State industries over which our friend, Deputy Childers, had a deadening influence. Wherever his dead hand rested, there was trouble.

Instead of getting rid of a man who, I am sure, meant well but who proved himself to be incompetent in the tasks allotted to him, we find that the Taoiseach has retained him in the job to which he was obviously unsuited and has put him in charge of the Department of Posts and Telegraphs as well. All I can say to those engaged in one capacity or another in the Department of Posts and Telegraphs is: "May the Lord break your cross," because as surely as night will follow day, he will go out of his way to create confusion and bad public relations within that Department as he has done within CIE.

You will find that in a very short time the morale of the employees of all grades in the Department of Posts and Telegraphs will be as low as the morale of employees in CIE and that is as low as I can imagine. Of course, he will get a few brainwaves, that is for sure. We will have all sorts of alleged reconstruction and reconstitution within the staff structure of the Department of Posts and Telegraphs. He is bound to have that because he leans that way. I can forecast that and I can forecast the questions I will have to put down. He will dig up new men with new ideas. It does not matter what they are. It might be the manager of a chewing gum factory as there was in the past in CIE. Some other manager of a chewing gum factory will be put into the Department of Posts and Telegraphs.

While I congratulate the Taoiseach and wish him well, I want to express some disappointment at the manner in which he is starting his new regime. I thought that we might have had some news about what many of us, particularly those of us in Cork, Dublin and Limerick regard as the most serious problem of all, housing. This was referred to previously and I do not want to delay the House by dwelling on it, but if a non-political vote was taken among all Deputies, particularly those who are also members of local authorities, it would be shown that the housing situation is the one problem which we regard as the most pressing and most urgent. However, we had no indication that anything new will be done. It has been clearly indicated in recent years to people interested in the rehousing of those living in slums, hovels and garrets that the Government do not intend to do anything about the situation or to step up their present programme which, in many cases, is almost static at the moment. Each year we look at the number of houses being built and we find that it is decreasing rather than increasing. Members of all Parties in the local authorities are seriously perturbed about this and, of course, more perturbed are the unfortunate families who are expected to be content in the squalid surroundings in which they are living. Many of them if they can assess the situation at all must say: "I have not got a hope in the world of getting a new house for at least ten years." That is not good enough. I thought the Taoiseach, even in the short time available to him, would have selected a Minister with a broad, liberal outlook to go into the Department of Local Government.

Today Deputy Corish referred to the actions of the late Minister for Local Government, Mr. T.J. Murphy, and outlined to the House what he had done and what can be done. He showed how red tape can be cut and how civil servants can be ordered to do things rather than be a man who just draws his salary and lets the Civil Service run or refuse to run the job for him. I hoped that the Taoiseach would have tackled this with that spirit in mind, that he would have said: "I regard this as the major problem facing the country and the man I am putting in is going to tackle it". I appeal to him to have another look at his Cabinet appointments and I hope he will not be satisfied to let things drift as they have been drifting. I hope he will tackle them with a vigorous mind, which he has, and with courage, which he has, and hope he will decide to employ that vigour and courage and a new approach which this country so badly needs.

Nowadays when one comments on any aspect of Government policy, or alleged policy, and if one is critical— and I have heard this both inside and outside the House—it is fashionable to say that the person who is doing so is in some way unpatriotic and is rocking the boat. If you say "this Minister cannot do his job" or "the Government are leading the country into bankruptcy" or utter some such comment, you are told that you are not a true Irishman, that you are rocking the boat and that we should all row together. We should all row together, of course, when the Fianna Fáil Party are at the helm. Deputy Gallagher said that he had listened to all the speeches here today and that he had not heard any kind of constructive policy enunciated by the Labour Party. The Labour Party speakers included Deputy Corish, Deputy Dunne, Deputy James Tully and Deputy Cluskey, and Deputy Gallagher is hard of hearing or his mental capacity is such that he cannot assimilate doctrine or policy when he hears it, or he is a knave who pretends he does not understand. Labour Party speakers made it quite clear what our broad policy is on all matters, and if anybody wants to know the details of Labour Party policy on education, health or local Government, we shall be glad to supply him with that information. We shall avail of the various opportunities of debate in this House to expand the details of Labour Party policy on these various matters.

Under Fianna Fáil Government for a long number of years, either with sinister motives, deliberately or accidentally, the Government have lost the ideal of the men whose Rising we celebrated this year. We think it is our duty to bring the Government back to earth, to reiterate again and again, even to the point of boring people, the words enshrined in the Proclamation of 1916 and get them to apply these ideals to present day needs. In other words, we are not satisfied — the Government apparently are—by saying to Mrs. Murphy and her husband and three children living in a garret in Shandon Street in Cork: "We can do nothing for you for the next ten years." We are not satisfied, and we think the Government should wake up to this, with saying to young Tommy Murphy because he happens to be the son of a docker, no matter what his ability is, at the age of 14: "There is no more free education for you. You must go out and work; take a messenger boy's job and, for your further education, we will insist on sending you to school for one day per week." That is not good enough nor is it in accordance with the principles outlined in the 1916 Proclamation.

Further, we say it is not good enough to say to a man or woman of 75 or 80 years of age living alone: "We are doling you out these few shillings each week by way of old age pension but if you fall sick we have no place to put you, no hospital for you, no homes for the aged, even no local authority nurses who might call daily to look after you." We just leave them there until they rot. How often do we see it happen, lone elderly people dying of the cold and starvation in this Christian community of ours in 1966? These are the basic things on which the Labour Party builds its policy. Deputy Gallagher was in too much of a hurry to listen but if he wants any further information regarding Labour Party policy I shall be glad to give it to him.

I conclude by again wishing the new Taoiseach well and I hope some message will reach him from what I have said in regard to the changes that I and Cork people generally expect him to implement.

Mr. Barrett

As one who has been more closely associated with the new Taoiseach than most Members of this House, I should like to join in the congratulations proffered to him by Deputy Casey, my fellow Deputy from Cork. I knew the Taoiseach as a fellow student. I worked with him and against him as a member of the Cork circuit of the Bar. I entered politics as a man consistently opposed to him, both on the hustings and the local elections. I, like Deputy Casey, formed the same opinion of him as most people in Cork have, that he is a man of decency and integrity, two qualities which can be quite an incapacity in dealing with some of the Front Bench he has presented to the House this afternoon to ratify as Members of the Government.

I wish him well and I assure the new Cabinet that in using disparaging terms, I do not throw a blanket over the entire Front Bench, but there are elements in it which are wildly hopeful and optimistic about the claims they make in regard to what they will be able to do in their Departments. One thing on which the Taoiseach should insist is that when a Minister makes a promise whether in this House, the Parliament of the people, or at a dinner of the NUJ in Dún Laoghaire or on Telefís Éireann, it should be fulfilled. The people expect the integrity of the House to be respected and the integrity of the Government should be respected. When a Minister makes a promise, he should be sure that he has a reasonable chance of honouring it. I do not believe that can be said about some of the promises made by Ministers who were re-selected here today by the Taoiseach to fulfil their promises. As far as that is concerned, I regret that the Taoiseach had not the foresight to change these Ministers.

It is difficult to know why, at this stage, the House has been asked to elect a new Taoiseach and thereby elect a new Front Bench. When it is agreed — and this is something that pleases all of us—that the former Taoiseach did not resign for reasons of ill-health, those of us who have seen him working in full possession of all his very fine faculties must ask ourselves why, at this stage, did he have to vacate the seat which was today filled by Deputy Lynch, particularly when Deputy Lemass, being a skilled politician, knew that was going to cause disunity in the Party from which the Party will suffer for many years to come. Inevitably we ask ourselves why did he have to take this extreme step? We couple that with the knowledge that he himself has admitted that the Second Programme for Economic Expansion must now be reshaped. Must it be reshaped so drastically that its architect had to leave the position of Taoiseach so that he would not impede the reshaping of this Programme?

If it was necessary for him to disappear for that reason, as a manoeuvre, it will be a failure, but if the Second Programme must be changed, I rejoice in one respect particularly, one already referred to by nearly every Deputy on this side of the House who has had any occasion to survey the miserable failure of successive Fianna Fáil Governments to deal with the most urgent social programme we have. Having described it in these terms, I need scarcely mention that I am speaking of housing. The fact that the figures for houses built by local authorities decreased year after year once the Fianna Fáil Government came back into power after 1957 is no mere accident. I here challenge the new Taoiseach and all those associated with him on the Front Bench of the new Government to deny that was the deliberate policy of the First Programme for Economic Expansion. It was stated plainly in the document that matters such as housing and hospitalisation had been adequately catered for in most centres in the country and that in future capital funds should be deliberately diverted to matters which they described as productive.

That was not an accident: it was a deliberate portion of Fianna Fáil policy in the First Programme for Economic Expansion. Any Fianna Fáil Deputy may look at the document and he will find it enshrined there. The Second Programme followed and again there was the same depressing outlook enshrined there, with the result that every Deputy who stood up to speak felt conscientiously impelled to remind the new Taoiseach of his responsibilities to the tens of thousands of families, not just tens of thousands of people, but tens of thousands of families who, as a result of Fianna Fáil policy, are deliberately being left to rot and fester in the slums of Dublin, Cork, Limerick and other centres.

I appeal to the new Taoiseach with a particular sense of confidence because he, as a member of Cork Corporation with myself and Deputy Casey, who has just spoken, had reason to see at first-hand the dreadful conditions under which men and women were expected to bring up their families in his native city of Cork. I can tell him that those who welcome him in Cork on Saturday night as the first Cork Taoiseach will expect that he will advert to the first necessity in his own constituency and that he will advert also to the necessities of the city of Dublin and various other cities who are plagued with this dreadful social ill, deliberately—and again I say "deliberately"—inflicted on the people by the pragmatic gentleman who preceded the present Taoiseach as Leader of the Government.

I confidently look to the new Taoiseach to change that policy. I confidently expect that when the Second Programme for Economic Expansion is re-appraised, one of the things that will be expunged from it is the fallacy that, generally speaking, the housing needs of the people have been met. They have not been met, and if the Taoiseach is advised they have been met, he has been ill-advised, and I would ask him to look at his own constituency, to look at the constituency that sent him to Dáil Éireann so that he could achieve the highest position in the gift of the Irish people, and, observing it, to resolve that that situation should be righted as rapidly as possible and, that situation being righted, that it should be righted elsewhere as well.

There is on the records of this House within the past few months another crying injustice which I hope the new Taoiseach will rectify. I asked a question here in this regard and later made reference to the fact that old age pensioners and widows who received increased allowances from the British Government had these allowances, in effect, deliberately taken from them by the Department of Finance which the Taoiseach has just left. The facts are that old age pensioners, widows and various others who are in receipt of pensions from the British Government had their pensions increased by a certain percentage which the British Government thought appropriate. When they arrived here, they were siphoned off into the Department to the extent of £564,000, so that what happened, in effect, was that £564,000 sent into this country by the British Government for the individual benefit of a specified number of recipients was diverted at source by the Government, which was immoral, which was unjust. I confidently look to the new Taoiseach to see this injustice is also righted.

The former Taoiseach, on 12th October last, made reference to his view as to how Telefís Éireann and Radio Éireann should be used as a medium of communication of political thought. It caused me and most thinking men in this House and outside it the gravest concern. It amounted to this, that the Government are the arbiters of what is or what is not to appear in the news section or any propaganda section of Telefís Éireann.

On the debate for the Department of Posts and Telegraphs, the then Minister for Posts and Telegraphs was faced with it, and when it was pointed out to him that under section 31 of the Broadcasting Act he had certain powers but that under section 18 of the same Act, the Broadcasting Authority had certain duties, the then Minister for Posts and Telegraphs impudently said that he was the final arbiter and that no matter what the law enacted by this Parliament said, he was going to say eventually what would appear on Telefís Éireann or Radio Éireann by way of comment on current affairs.

I hope the new Taoiseach, when replying to this debate, will in some way modify the views expressed by Deputy Seán Lemass as Taoiseach here on 12th October and will admit that the Government have no right whatsoever to interfere with the statutory duty of Telefís Éireann under section 18 of the Broadcasting Act to present news and comments on current matters in a fair and objective fashion.

I am sorry to say that the Taoiseach's choice as the new Minister for Posts and Telegraphs has increased rather than abated the agitation which I felt when Deputy Joe Brennan, the then Minister for Posts and Telegraphs, told me in reply to a question that he would be the boss as far as the presentation of news on Telefís Éireann was concerned. The new Minister for Posts and Telegraphs is even more autocratic. Still more disturbing is the fact that we have a Minister for Posts and Telegraphs and Transport and Power but most of the duties of Posts and Telegraphs are to be carried out by a Parliamentary Secretary, as yet unnamed. It is unfair to throw a burden of this nature upon the new Parliamentary Secretary, whoever he may be. A Department as important as Posts and Telegraphs should have been given more thought by the Taoiseach, and he should realise that having regard to the immense impact which presentations from Telefís Éireann and Radio Éireann have on the public mind, the Department of Posts and Telegraphs should not be relegated to the status of being looked after by a Parliamentary Secretary alone.

I do not intend to keep the House much longer. I again want to say I hope the Taoiseach is aware that he has had cast upon him an immense burden, a burden which many of us feel the former Taoiseach felt he could no longer bear. The former Taoiseach has left the Front Bench as a confession of the failure of his Second Programme for Economic Expansion. When the Taoiseach was gathering around him what should be the best brains and the highest standard of integrity in this country to deal with the many problems with which he will have to deal, there were quite a number of omissions he could usefully have made from the Front Bench which he now asks us to ratify as the Cabinet.

I am sorry some of the old Ministers have again been included. I am sorry some Ministers who have behaved in a most irrational fashion, who have made promises they know they cannot justify, are allowed to remain with the same portfolio. I refer particularly to the most unreasonable claim of the Minister for Education that by next September every child who leaves the primary school will be given post-primary education. Anybody who knows anything about the set-up in post-primary education knows, just as the Minister knows if he has been advised by his officials, that that is absolutely impossible. It is unfair that the mothers and fathers of children who will be looking for post-primary education next September should be treated in this fashion by the Minister. The Taoiseach might well have shown his bona fides to the Irish people by tactfully dropping the Minister for Education from the portfolio he holds now, just as tactfully as he dropped the Minister for Agriculture into the Department of Finance. As to whether that is a wise move or not, people will have their own views, but it is a good thing to see that the former Minister for Agriculture no longer has that portfolio. If I had my way, he would not hold a portfolio at all and I think the country would rejoice in that.

The Taoiseach, I am quite certain, has the goodwill of the Irish people. If he can control his Cabinet, if he can get his Cabinet to work as a team, he has some hope of making his term of office as Taoiseach a successful one. I believe that he will not be able to control the Cabinet in that fashion. He had the opportunity today of giving to the Irish people a Cabinet which was more fully pruned. Had he done so, we might have welcomed more his advent as Taoiseach in this House.

I want to add my congratulations to the new Taoiseach, a man of dignity, a man of vigour and courage. It has been indicated by the Opposition speakers that he has these characteristics—dignity, vigour and courage. We on this side of the House are proud that we have elected such a man, a man who will inspire public confidence and, no doubt, one who will carry with him the good wishes of all responsible Members of this House, irrespective of the side of the House to which they belong.

We have witnessed here today the dignified manner in which he presented his Ministers to the House and asked for their adoption. We have listened tonight to five or six speakers. To give the last speaker his due, he did the best he could to make a reasonable speech while trying to extract all the political advantage that he could, unlike many of the speakers who went before him.

For the last half hour or so the trend of the discussion was towards knives and hatchets, bullseyes and chewing gum. That is what we have been treated to by members of the Opposition, the political hardware merchants of the Dáil. These able, efficient and honourable men——

And so are they all, all honourable men.

——have been attacked by the character assassins of the Opposition. This is, I suppose, something that we have come to expect when a man of dignity, vigour and courage presents in a dignified manner to the House able and efficient men. The present position is unlike the situation that existed when Ministers were presented on a previous occasion after auctions that took place for the spoils for many weeks prior to their presentation. These are men who will work as a team, men who did not seek the offices in the manner in which the people of another Government of another day sought them by these political auctions that took place in 1948 and at a later stage.

Whom do you think you are kidding? They would sell the country for a job.

We can look back with pride and can look forward with confidence. We can look forward with confidence to the new Taoiseach. We look back with pride on the great work done by the outgoing Taoiseach, Seán Lemass, a man who brought to this country industrial expansion, a man under whose guidance the social services and social benefits were increased.

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

I should like to thank Deputy Byrne for the conscientious manner in which he sought to have other Members of the Dáil brought in to hear my speech.

Where is the Widow Burke? I suppose you will be sending for him shortly.

Does Deputy Byrne want to draw attention to the fact that he is here today?

Deputy Byrne.

I was talking about the Widow Burke.

Was she from Balbriggan?

That is the rumour I heard.

She was from Loughrea. "A bob a gallon."

Perhaps Deputy Dowling would be allowed to make his contribution.

This will be good.

As I have said, the dignified manner in which the Ministers were presented here today is something that should be taken to heart by the Opposition. There were no auctions prior to their presentation to the Dáil such as there were in 1948 and again some years later.

Only assassinations this time.

We are aware of the manner in which attempts were made today at character assassination, when every single member of the Cabinet was singled out by one or other of the Opposition speakers. One would think there was not an honourable man in the Dáil, according to the Opposition. We are happy in the knowledge that we have able, efficient and honourable men. Down through the years it has been the case that every honourable man that this country produced has been attacked in one way or another. I suppose it is history repeating itself here today when honourable men are attacked in the way in which the outgoing Taoiseach and the Ministers were attacked. Indeed, there was some criticism of our now Leader and Taoiseach, Deputy Jack Lynch, who, on the other hand, was described as a man of dignity, vigour and courage by the Opposition.

Much has been said about the Ministers whom we have here and who have served for the last 18 months or so, who have worked as a team and always worked as a team, a team that never fell asunder under stress and strain, like previous inter-Party Governments did.

Do not call them that. Coalitions they were.

They seem to have consolidated themselves more in recent times and when the occasion arises, if it ever does, they will be only too happy to come back once again in an effort to sabotage this nation as they did on previous occasions. We have listened today to talk about policies. I should like to know what policies these people are talking about. The political paupers of the Opposition have talked about policies. What policies?

You have not got one.

Those who were in office on two occasions spoke tonight about the old age pensions. What did they do? They took 1/- off them on one occasion and in six years gave them 10d a year. That is what the Opposition thought of the old age pensioners—that they were worth only 10d a year. When the old age pensioner gets an increase of 5/- or 10/- nowadays, we are told it is not enough. That may be so, and we do not consider that it is enough, and as time and money permit and as the country prospers, we will ensure that we will give to the old age pensioners and to the other groups who are in need of assistance the finance that is available.

You will be above in Glasnevin then.

You stick to the bullseyes. There is a difference between 10/- a week and 10d a year. In every year we have given an increase to the weaker sections of the community, and I am confident we will continue to do so in the future. As finance becomes available, more money will be provided for the social side of our programme. We can look ahead with confidence to the further expansion of our industrial arm, which was initiated and developed by Deputy Seán Lemass and his team of Ministers. That team of Ministers never fell asunder under the threat of political corruption. We are confident that our new team will not fall asunder either but will work as a team under the leadership of Deputy Jack Lynch, a man of dignity, vigour and courage. I am sure he will bring with him the confidence displayed by other Taoiseachs in the past who have led our Party. It is the most democratic Party this country has ever known.

Mr. O'Leary

It is nearly time for the National Anthem.

I am proud to be a member of it. I say as a trade unionist, and on behalf of the many fellow-trade unionists I represent here, that we congratulate Deputy Jack Lynch on his appointment today and we will congratulate the Ministers when they are appointed tomorrow. This will be done, notwithstanding what will take place in the Division Lobby and the effort to gain time in order to publish untruths in the papers. We have heard many of them tonight. I am sure they will be published in tomorrow's papers, especially the local papers. Many Deputies seem to be playing to the gallery in the hope of gaining some advantage in areas where the people are not aware of the truth.

They will not get into the Irish Press anyway.

Give Deputy Dowling a note, or something.

Have you not got your tuning fork with you that you could strike? Never mind; he is doing splendidly.

I should like to answer Deputy Dunne and the other variety artistes we have opposite. Many of the variety artistes in the city are out of a job. Give them a chance to earn a few bob. We have many people here who would do well in the variety halls. When they lose their seats, they will have another occupation to which they can turn. There may be a revival of the variety halls after the next election.

Ever think of joining the Rolling Stones, of joining a pop group?

Deputy Dunne should cease interrupting and allow Deputy Dowling continue his speech.

Give him another stroke of the bell, Sir, and he will start again.

We heard a lot about the establishment of industry here tonight. We look back with pride on the establishment of Irish Shipping, the air services, the shipyards, the industrial estate at Shannon and the various other industries established throughout the country. We know how many of these industries were treated by the Opposition when they were in power. We know the destruction of our industrial arm that took place. We know the sabotage carried out for the sake of a few paltry pounds, when men were cast on the scrapheap and sent packing to far distant shores. In fact, friends of my own were sent packing by the Labour Party and Fine Gael to far distant shores throughout the world. Some time ago Deputy Coogan gave an undertaking here that if they were returned to power, they would sack 80 per cent of the personnel in Telefís Éireann.

Yes, and it holds good.

So we have it that Fine Gael are prepared to purge Telefís Éireann and other industries, just as they did in the case of Aer Lingus and the chassis factory at Inchicore?

And Potez?

Deputy Coogan is deliberately trying to damage the chances of the Potez factory and the people of Galway know it. He should be ashamed of himself.

It is well damaged, and the taxpayer is damaged, too.

Will Deputies please cease interrupting and allow Deputy Dowling continue?

The Parliamentary Secretary should be more dignified.

I am a Deputy of the Dáil, not a Parliamentary Secretary.

Do not tell me you have been demoted.

The last speaker referred to the records of the House. They have been referred to frequently today. They make sorry reading in relation to the period of office of the inter-Party Government or the Coalition Government, or however you care to describe them. Certainly, they did not act with dignity and courage when they ran away from their responsibilities.

Give us the figures of the houses we built and the houses you built, and we will compare them.

The question of the building of houses has been raised.

And the rents.

And the rents. We will deal with them one at a time. As regards the rents, some time ago rents were increased in this city, but rents were also reduced for the weaker sections of the community who could not afford to pay the rents imposed on them previously. This relief, which came about by a revision of the rental system, was opposed by the Labour Party. Last night we heard members of the Labour Party and Fine Gael say that the solution was that these people could get social assistance to offset a rent increase. If that is the social thinking of the Labour Party and Fine Gael, they are welcome to it. Make paupers out of the people in unfortunate circumstances. We will deal with the rent situation when it comes before us. I am confident we will deal with it just as we dealt with the development of the air services, the shipyards, the industrial estates, and all the industries and housing projects we see throughout the country.

What about the farmers?

We see in Dublin city the great housing estates of Crumlin, Kimmage, Ballyfermot, Cabra, Coolock, Ballymun——

I will give you credit for Marino.

We showed you how.

All these housing estates are monuments to the initiative, energy and forward thinking of Fianna Fáil in housing the people as they should be housed. I am confident that as money becomes available more houses will be built.

There is an increased demand for houses, due to the fact that there is an increase in population in our city. It will be a sorry day for the city when it has no housing problem, because then Dublin will be a dead city with no one to live in it. On a previous occasion, Deputy Dillon boasted that we had 1,500 empty houses in Dublin. That is true. At one period we had. However, the corporation always had a waiting list which never went below 5,000. Due to the increase in population and the increase in prosperity, more people have come home, people who were driven from this country during the term of office of the inter-Party Government or the Coalition Government—I am sorry if I am confusing you.

Whatever conglomeration we may call it, we see the saboteurs of this nation who sent so many people packing that there were 1,500 vacant corporation houses in this city. What happens today if the breadwinner is forced by necessity to leave this country? He leaves behind his wife and family. However, on that other occasion when the Coalition Government were in office, 1,500 families were sent packing and the Opposition can take credit for those 1,500 vacant houses that occurred only because the father and the mother, the sons and the daughters all had to emigrate. However, these people are back now and are in the queue looking for additional housing accommodation.

Looking for the dole.

They have come back because of the increased prosperity, because of the development of our industrial arm, because of the opportunities which are being made available each day. I am quite sure, as I said earlier on, that there are many trade unionists who support Fine Gael and Labour. Incidentally, as a trade unionist, I should like to congratulate the new Taoiseach. However, these trade unionists are very happy that we are in office because they know there will be opportunities and development, irrespective of the other factors which may bring them to give support to Fine Gael and to Labour. So few workers support these two Parties that it is indicated by their numbers here. Their numbers here matter very little. The combined forces of Fine Gael and Labour in this House are unable at any time to defeat the Fianna Fáil group who have the confidence and the support of the workers of this nation, and rightly so.

Contest it, so.

We heard a lot about front bench and back bench members. I can assure the Opposition Parties that this Party is, to a man, behind the Government, the members of which were presented here today in so dignified a manner. They were chosen and presented without the type of connivance and intrigue that had been so evident on previous occasions when Coalition Governments were endeavouring to dispute the spoils of office by various means and then, when the time came to pay the piper, the Irish worker had to pay. Consider the plight of men employed at Aer Lingus and at Shannon. Do we forget that the Lockheed development at Shannon had to go to Paris? The Irish worker had to pay for this type of political manoeuvring which certainly did not do any credit to this country or to anybody who accepted office under such a dispensation. In conclusion——

Thank God.

I might say a few more words now and bring back to memory maybe a few more of the terrible deeds and terrible tortures we had to endure during the Coalition period. It will take some time, of course, before I get this Coalition period perfect but even if I have to wait another ten, 15 or 20 minutes, I shall perfect it before I leave. There is one thing that cannot be said about a Fianna Fáil Government, whether this Government or any Fianna Fáil Government in the past. It can never be said that we ran away from our responsibilities, never on any occasion——

The Taoiseach ran away.

We have a Government here today of whom it will be said, I am quite sure, in the future, when we are looking back, that we were certainly a group that did equal credit to those great Fianna Fáil Governments in the past. We know the circumstances in which other Governments terminated. The Government who came into power in 1948 came asunder as a result of a dispute among themselves. It was composed of a number of men of different Parties who could not agree. After they had sold the nation and sent the workers packing, they could not agree amongst themselves because they had not enough money to get rid of the distrust and disruption within that particular group.

As I say, we have now a sound Government and the people can be sure that it will never happen again that we will have a group of men such as we had in the Coalition Governments who were so dishonest that they would sell out the workers and close down their valuable sources of employment. The Labour Party were a Party to this position. It is a terrible thing to think, as a trade unionist, that a Labour Party—of course, it is only a tag—would deprive Irish workers of employment. In my constituency, or adjacent to it, we had a shop which would now be giving employment to 3,000 personnel in the heavy engineering industry.

What was the name of it? Potez?

This particular shell in Inchicore is commonly known as the "Chassis Job" and it would now be giving to skilled and unskilled personnel valuable employment in the engineering industry. The cheap jibes about Potez are an effort to divert attention from the real problem which I am trying to outline. They are an effort to prevent me from pointing out that under this Government, we will never have a situation whereby a deliberate attempt will be made to reduce the content of employment and to disrupt the existing employment of so many people. The Irish people are quite certain of that and will be quite happy that this will never happen under a situation such as this Party has presented.

Deputy Dowling is now turning to Deputy Briscoe and to Deputy Molloy for hints.

Wind it up again.

Let Deputy Dowling get a few more Deputies behind him to prompt him.

He has nothing but balls to fire and he did not lick that off the stones.

We cannot hear Deputy Dowling.

He would need to have the prompters because he had not an original thought since he was born. Look at the three of them over there!

I am sorry for Deputy Cluskey and Deputy Coughlan.

Keep your sympathies for yourself.

I am glad Deputy Dowling appreciates the agony we are going through having to sit here and listen to him.

Deputy Cluskey has made his contribution and will he now please allow his colleague, Deputy Dowling, to make his contribution?

He is not a gracious colleague.

He is slipping notes to the three of them.

One of the groans or moans I heard from the Opposition —probably from Deputy Coogan—was about Potez. There is no doubt that Deputy Coogan would like to see, as would other members of the Opposition, the Potez factory fail.

I challenge the Deputy on that. I proposed the site for it.

Gerald Bartley put that factory in Galway.

Deputy Molloy was in the boy scouts at the time. He was just out of napkins.

Deputy Molloy was on Cow and Gate at the time.

And thriving on it.

That is why there is so much bull from him now. He knows nothing about the history of Potez in Galway.

As Deputy Molloy said, the Deputy was at a corporation meeting when he spoke about some old site in Galway. Even if it were an original idea of his, which I doubt, as has been confirmed here to a large degree, we will give him credit for it, if there is doubt in his mind. But we have no doubt in our minds as to who brought these factories into production and who will see them in full production in time to come. There was a valley period in the Potez factory but I am quite certain that under our Minister for Industry and Commerce and under the Ministers of this Government, who will act with collective responsibility as they have always acted, we will see in time to come full employment in the factory.


Will Deputy Coughlan please conduct himself?

Is it in order for a Deputy to make the balls for the puppet to fire?

You have been inviting comment all the time.

The Deputy is doing something which is against all the rules. He should make his own speech and not be getting Popo the Puppet to do it for him.

We are all familiar with the artists from the Opposition group who from time to time throw in this slick talk.

The former Taoiseach's batman was in that business.

It is a pity you would not give the unfortunate men who are trying to earn their living an opportunity to do so; certainly their jokes are being spun out here daily.

I have a few ready for you now.

I can well believe that.

But you will run away just as you did before.

I have a heavy cold at the moment and for that reason I am sorry I will not be able to continue. But I am quite sure we will have an opportunity at a later stage to develop on the lines I have already taken.

A marvellous line, right enough.

When the post comes, I will have a look at the Official Report and read Deputy Dunne's contribution.

It is compulsive reading.

I will read it again and again in order to get an insight into the mind of that great man.

Once again I want to express my confidence in the Taoiseach and his Ministers. I am quite sure they will not let the nation down——

As they did in the past.

This Party in the past have produced teams such as we have here today who never let the nation down, who never sabotaged the nation, who never ran away from their responsibilities and, as time goes on, we will look back with pride on the men who have been proposed here today, men of dignity, vigour and courage. These people, these honourable men who have been proposed have been subjected to this campaign of character assassination for so long.

Poor Caesar's fate.

This great democratic brigade——

Flick-knife brigade.

Once again I am quite sure we will look back on progress and I am quite sure there will be considerable progress to the credit of these men. In conclusion, I would say with regard to Deputy Seán Lemass, the man who has led this Party for so long, so vigorously and brought to this nation so many industries, that it would be fitting for the Labour Party to sit up and refresh their consciences in relation to the industrial development, the social increases and advances which have taken place under a Fianna Fáil Government. They should bear in mind that we are not satisfied to give the old age pensioners 10/- a week, if we could afford it, and we are always giving some increase to the weaker section of the community. We do not subscribe to the mentality of the Fine Gael and Labour Parties that people in poor circumstances should have to depend on public assistance in order to supplement their incomes and as was stated here last night, that people should be forced to make paupers of themselves to obtain some relief made available by honourable means.

On the question of rents, mentioned here before, we will then arrive at a situation which will be one which will do justice to all, and maybe it will surprise many of the people who have spoken so long and so loudly of the march through this city the other night trying to terrorise the people of this city, trying to impose a view which the Minister was supposed to have expressed, which in actual fact he did not express. As I said last night, when this question of the rents revision comes up for discussion in the many proposals I will make for a scheme to do justice to all I trust the Labour Party and the Fine Gael Party will give me the necessary support so that we will arrive at a situation which will do justice to all.

Thank you, Senator Goldwater!

Deputy Dowling is running out again on the excuse of going for his tea. However, we have some of his puppet masters and we will deal with them as we go along.

The crocodile tear man.

I will give the Deputy a soother in a minute and that will stop him talking when his elders are talking; he should have manners.

I am glad that today has brought to Dáil Éireann, to Leinster House, a not inconsiderable gallery and I am glad that the Gallery has been fairly well populated over the last hour or two——

It is beginning to clear now.

——because it is not often that we see so representative a body of the public contemplating the proceedings of this House. I am particularly pleased that those of them who have had an opportunity of being here during the speech to which we have just listened—it cannot be dignified by the description "speech": the rambling semi-hysteria we have listened to—will have seen, I am sure, the kind of mental calibre of which the so-called great Fianna Fáil Party are composed. Punch-drunk boxers would express their views with more clarity than the speaker to whom we have just listened. Mind you, it takes me back in memory to the time when that kind of trash swayed votes. Some of my contemporaries will remember that that kind of bunk and boloney used to influence people——

——and, indeed, swept to government certain individuals who have now passed into history. Of course, those who make use of such a stream of abuse as that to which we have just listened, in this modern age plainly show the fact that they are unqualified to be in public life, because they do not appreciate that we are now dealing with, and have been dealing with, a very sophisticated electorate. The kind of tubthumping nonsense we have listened to might have been very effective, and was very effective, in the days before there was widespread literacy, and in the days when large masses of the population could be deemed to have been remote from the organs of informed public opinion.

I do not believe and I cannot believe that Deputy Dowling if he is a trade unionist, as he says he is, attends trade union meetings because no body of responsible trade unionists such as exist today in this State would tolerate his claptrap for five seconds. He is probably fortunate in that what he says will never be exposed to those who are misled into voting for him. If his oratorical technique were shown to those who live in his constituency, they would give him short shrift.

I notice that he mentioned in the course of his remarks that the people who marched through the city the other night were intimidating the population, that 30,000 citizens of Dublin who live in corporation housing estates and from whom, mark you, he got a lot of votes on the last occasion when he stood before them, were intimidating the population, and that their purpose was to intimidate the population of this city.

The other night in Dublin we had a most orderly and well-stewarded demonstration. I have seen some big processions go through Dublin, but I have never seen in my lifetime one of the dimensions of the tenants' demonstration the other night. There must have been, and according to the Garda there were, in excess of 25,000 people walking. All those people were corporation tenants. Deputy Dowling seeks to convey that these people were terrorists and intimidators, trying to push, he infers, an unworthy cause by unworthy methods. Of course last night we had a division on this matter.

Deputy Dowling said he likes to refer to the records of the House. I never found it an engaging or an entrancing occupation and it is not one in which I would indulge for light reading. It is a pretty laborious exercise at best. I have often noticed that those who bury themselves in these heavy volumes are more concerned with the exercise of a little bit of McCarthyism, if one likes to describe it as such, than to inform themselves on the history of the debates of the House.

I am inclined to the view that Deputy Dowling's anxiety in his search through the lines, through the endless miles of verbiage to be found in the records, is to see whether he can pick out, probably out of its context, some statement or other of the kind which he tried to use here tonight which may have been made ten or 20 years ago, or even longer, in defence of his own utterly hopeless position. If I am not mistaken, he went back to 1929. I do not think he was born in 1929. At any rate, he was not very old then, and there are certain people here who were not born in that year.

This progressive Party who are concerned with projecting an image for the future have as their apostle and prophet, Deputy Dowling, who apparently considers that the best way to put across what he describes as the policy of this great Party is to go back 30 or 35 years. There was a time when that kind of activity paid, as I say, in the days before there was even the limited degree of education we now have. We still see in this House some fossilised relics of those days who, when we listen to them, display the all too obvious incapacity which resides in them for membership of this august assembly. I do not want to name names and I will leave the deduction to themselves. The brilliant Shavian wit to which we have to listen at times here from some of the more elderly of our Members is a sufficient indication of what I am talking about.

I will leave that subject for the nonce because it does not merit any consideration. It is of no consequence, of no significance. I am certain that with the passage of time Deputy Dowling will join the vast army which I have seen in my time who become Members of this House and depart therefrom. It seems to be a vast army and it must run into hundreds. I have seen people who follow the line Deputy Dowling sought to pursue here tonight and invariably they were just single termers. The electorate got wise to them quickly enough and at the first available opportunity, got rid of them, just as they did last year when the House had a springcleaning at the time of the General Election.

Let us get on to the main topic, which is that of the election of the new Taoiseach and the proposal before us for the constitution of his Cabinet. It is pleasant, indeed, to see Proinsias Mac Aogáin, because it is seldom we see him. He does not seem to change very much: he is not ageing. It is hard to say of course because we do not see him, but he is not ageing too perceptibly and unlike the former Taoiseach, Deputy S. Lemass, Frankie Ferocious considers himself to be fitting in there with the youngest of them and, indeed, it may well be that he is more mentally agile than many of his juniors. I do not know: it remains to be seen. I studied his visage during the course of the day and I remembered when I was a chap running around in short trousers, I used to see his pictures in the papers. I am afraid Proinsias Mac Aogáin, like poverty, seems fated always to be with us. One does not mind that. I suppose it is nice to have souvenirs around the place.

Antique pieces.

However, one must call in question the masquerade in which he indulges in the name of this historic nation in the United Nations Building in New York and at other UN gatherings wherever they might be in any part of the known universe. If there is need, Frankie will go there——

The Minister for External Affairs.

——infused, no doubt, with the genuine spirit of self-sacrifice, prepared to leave the shores of the Emerald Isle at any time in the knowledge that, after all, other men have made greater sacrifices. What are we doing at all, might I ask, when the old aged people are being neglected shamefully, people whom we expect to live on the crumbs, whose pensions we are cutting—what are we doing junketing in New York, settling the nuclear problems, if you do not mind, of the world? A sense of proportion is called for surely. We are talking about nuclear groups and indulging in things called, I believe, détentes. We live in a world of aides mémoire, if you do not mind. We are suffering from delusions of grandeur, I am afraid.

The Deputy started the passion-piece too early.

If the Minister for Health is not out of the way in the neighbourhood of noon tomorrow, I shall be about to reach my apogee.

As I was saying when the Minister interrupted me, it is a pity Frankie is not here with us. I should like to hear some of his succinct comments on his various missions to while away this tiresome day. Just what was he doing over there, apart from conspiring and, God knows, giving the worst possible advice to young politicians——

From Salthill.

——in the New York Hilton, I believe on the 23rd floor?

The Governor Clinton.

I am afraid the Deputy from Galway is confused.

The Governor Clinton Hotel.

Nothing as low as that. The Deputy is thinking of some place down around the Bowery. This is Fifth Avenue stuff.

The taxpayers' money.

It does not matter in the least that the old age pensioner is paying for this, or the farm labourer with his princely £9 a week, or the small farmer who is struggling to get a living from the worst possible land, or the tenant who has to march the length and breadth of Dublin to try to influence the views of a tyrannous Minister for Local Government—to try to induce him to see some reason and not to increase the cost of living, not to cause inflation, not to cause further strikes by increasing the cost of living. These things did not percolate through the elevator shaft to the 23rd floor of the New York Hilton.

Donegal people do not understand big words like "percolate".

I have come to the conclusion that the gentleman I am talking about does not understand words at all. Pardon me; I forgot that the very eminent occupant of the Chair is far better qualified than I to understand matters of this kind in many more languages than I am capable of assimilating. I was referring to the Minister for Local Government now, I believe, on his way up the steps, uninhibited I hope, at least for the time being, though he had an inquiry the other day as to whether the equipment was going cheap, because some other people might be willing to move into what was quickly becoming an unestablished Civil Service position. The Minister for Local Government, as I was saying——

The Deputy has only one minute left for the passion. Try the old age pensioners again. It is about time.

The Minister for Health should contain himself. I shall be coming to him.

I hope the Minister will be here to take it.

No; I shall be fixing the old age pensioners and the widows, the expectant mothers——

I shall also come to the general question of health and if it is passion the Minister is interested in, we can supply that and, indeed, a lot more things which might not be very pleasant to deal with. However, I was speaking about the New York Hilton Hotel and its remoteness from the people of this country, and I was regretting the absence of Proinsias Mac Aogáin, one of the surviving generals of old unhappy far-off things and battles long ago.

Debate adjourned.
The Dáil adjourned at 10.30 p.m. until 10.30 a.m. on Friday, 11th November, 1966.