SEANAD RESUMES. - FINANCE BILL, 1924—SECOND STAGE (DEBATE AGAIN RESUMED).

It strikes me that the discussion on the Second Reading of the Finance Bill is bound to be more or less a barren discussion. We have no power to refuse a Second Reading to it, and it is merely to register their opinion I suppose that Senators have made short speeches upon this Bill. I wish at any rate to record my opinion, which is that the fiscal policy which has been followed in this country for about 80 years cannot show such results as would justify the continuance of that policy now when we have the power to adopt a fiscal policy suited to the needs of the country. Our industries, or mose of them, are ruined and our population is reduced to one half. Some of the Senators who spoke from the agricultural point of view expressed an opinion not dissimilar to that which formed the leading point of an article in the "Irish Times" of the 12th June, and which contained this passage:—"For all practical purposes, during the lifetime of the present generation at any rate the Free State will have only one industry and only one customer." I cannot think that Senators would be voicing the opinion of the country if they were to endorse that statement, and yet the continuance of the fiscal policy that has obtained in this country until the passing of this Bill in the Dáil must have resulted in the way described.

Our industries, or many of them. were in a decaying condition, and as to the single customer to whom we were to send our agricultural produce, we must recollect that we have not now for agriculture that protection for our live stock which we had for many years, until the admission of store cattle from Canada on the same conditions that affected store cattle in this country. I am told they are likely to be dangerous rivals; at any rate it must diminish the demand for our store cattle. As to increasing the supply of beef cattle, that is not likely to take place without some considerable help from the Government, though we are informed by the Department of Agriculture in their journal that no crop that we can produce under present conditions will pay the cost of production. That means the falling off or decay of tillage and with the decay of tillage it means the creation of more unemployment. If industries are to be allowed to go it means that there is no outlet for our surplus agricultural population except to cross the Atlantic; that surely, from the point of view of the welfare of the State, is not a desirable end, and therefore I have held always and continue to hold that industries in this country must be encouraged and strengthened if necessary by means of protective duties. Otherwise the State is ill-balanced resting on one leg only, and that is agriculture, and our produce, which we sent to England, is that which gives the least employment, that is cattle off the grass. There is a statement made by Senator Sir J. Keane which he did not attempt to prove by figures or facts. He suggests that owing to the very limited measure of protection afforded by the Government in the Finance Bill that the cost of living had increased.

I have had reports from industries that came in for a measure of Protection that that is absolutely opposite to the fact. I have particulars as regards two industries, the only industries that really have been so far much affected. One is the boot industry. We must bear in mind also that the amount of boots that were dumped in this country previous to the duties coming into operation amounted to practically six months' supply for the country. It would be rather difficult to judge the effects of Protection when 536,000 pairs of boots were dumped in the brief interval between the fixing of the duties and their coming into operation. I have a letter from one firm of bootmakers, the Lee Boot Manufacturing Company, which states: "My firm are turning down no orders that come along and are not behind time in their deliveries. I have sent orders amounting to 2,000 pairs per week since Protection came into being." Not only are they meeting this demand, but they are prepared to extend their present factories, and should extra trade warrant it they will make still further extensions. That is merely one firm. As regards the confectionery industry, I had a statement from Williams and Woods, and it is only one of twenty manufacturing companies in connection with the confectionery trade. "Since a measure of protection has been afforded to the confectionery trade we have been extremely busy, and have increased our staff of workers by 150, between reinstating hands who were out owing to slackness, and new hands. Our building contractors are making considerable additions to our new works. We are installing new machinery, and expect to considerably increase our output with consequent addition of employment." As regards the soap industry, 1,212 tons of soap, four months' supply, were dumped in this country previous to the duties coming into force.

In the bottle trade, 200 tons of foreign bottles in the case of one company alone were dumped here. That shows that manufacturers under these protective duties have not had a fair opportunity of extending their works, but it may be a satisfaction to know that so far none of these trades have increased their prices. How these protective duties which were made merely as an experiment can be said to have increased the cost of living, I fail to see. Perhaps when we come to the Committee Stage we can get information on the point, more information than I have been able to get, but I think it well as I have this information in my possession, I should give it to the House. The principal object of these changes is to provide employment. That is mainly a question concerning labour. It affects the general taxpayer, because if there is no employment these unfortunate men who are failing to find any means of living must be supported by the State in the form of the dole. Therefore, whatever measure the Government has introduced in the form of protection, and I am merely speaking of such protection as is afforded by the duties in this Finance Bill must be to the benefit of the country at large, as it does not increase prices, and it provides employment.

I do not wish to take up the time of the Seanad by a long dissertation on the comparative merits of Protection and Free Trade; both are merely shibboleths. We have no such thing as Free Trade, and never had, nor had England. Free import is all Free Trade means. There is no freedom of trade between different countries. As to agriculture wanting protection, I suppose no industry in the country gets more protection than agriculture. If you take the Free Trade policy, thislaisser faire policy, what justification can there be for the millions now spent in the protection of agriculture? It is being done by the acquisition of land and the distribution of it, by the improvement of stock, and in the teaching of agriculture. That is not at all in conformity with the principles of laisser faire, so that for the agriculturists to say that they object to Protection or assistance given to other industries seems to me an inconsistent policy. I do not wish to do more than to draw your attention to the fact that the resolution which was proposed by Mr. John Milroy, who spoke as President of the Irish Protectionist League, was debated by the Dáil. It is not suggested that it is committed to an all-round policy of Protection, and if you recollect, the terms of it were as follows:—“That the Dáil is of opinion that the Government, in considering fiscal problems, should have regard not merely to the admittedly restricted view of the matter taken by the Fiscal Enquiry Committee as indicated in the final report, but should examine the problem in the broadest possible aspect, due regard being taken to the factors affecting the general welfare of the Saorstát.” That is a matter we all agree with. The general well-being of the Saorstát is what we are concerned with, and as a means of promoting that well-being I do not see how we could adopt any other method than a limited measure of protection.

We have this evidence from a well-known English economist. Mr. John A. Hobson, than whom there is no more robust Free Trader, is responsible for the following statement in one of his most recent publications, "The Evolution of Modern Capitalism," page 100:

"It must be generally admitted that English industries would not have advanced so rapidly without protection, but as we built up our manufacturing industries by protection, so we undoubtedly conserved and strengthened them by free trade; first, by the remission of tariffs upon the raw material of manufacture and the machine making, and later on by the free admission of food-stuffs, which were a prime essential to a nation destined to specialise in manufacture."

I think most people in the country assume that when we can control our own destinies the first object to which the efforts of the Government could be devoted would be to build up our industries, and, as you will recognise from this quotation, the industries of England were built up under Protection. Personally I can see no other way when you are dealing with industries that are capitalised in other countries. Industries in this poor country should have all the assistance the Government can give them to develop. We know that mass manufacture, as it is called, is the only way in which the cheapest boots can be produced. We are faced with the difficulty that with the exception of one or two industries such other industries as we have are not highly capitalised. They are producing on a small scale, and their expenses must be greater, but the only way, so far as I can see, to keep the crisis within bounds is to give our industries a chance, and the more produced, the cheaper will be the cost of producing the goods. As I have already pointed out, it has not followed on the adoption of this limited measure of Protection that the cost of goods has been increased in this country or what is supposed by political economists is bound to take place, that is, the duty being added to the price and the consumer paying it, has not taken place. Therefore, I have every reason to believe that instead of following the experience of other countries the protection of our industries does not mean increasing the cost of those goods. Naturally, I can only express an opinion, but that opinion is based on the experience of other countries and the very limited experience we have so far of the effect of protection upon our own.

I am not competent to give an opinion on the great issue of Protection versus Free Trade. The Government, however, is engaged in certain experimental measures, and that justifies me in bringing before them one particular industry in this country. When the Fiscal Committee was meeting various persons, engaged in the making of stained glass, brought before them a proposal that they should get Protection. I shall deal in a moment with the argument why they need that protection. I think the Fiscal Committee, or certainly some of its members, were exceedingly sympathetic towards that proposal, but as the Committee decided to report in favour of Free Trade they were unable to put anything in the Report on the subject. The position of the stained-glass industry in Ireland is this: It is purchasing now some of the very best glass in the world and it has been faced for some years past, except one short interval, with the competition of the most inferior stained-glass which is produced in Germany for Irish use, especially produced for the bad taste of Ireland. It is impossible that our stained-glass can compete against the mass production of Europe. Under no circumstances whatever can it do so, because an artist producing fine glass cannot supervise more than a very limited number of assistants. The moment you increase those assistants beyond a certain point, the quality of that glass and the design deteriorates. You cannot get the same qualities of colour. The mass manufacture of glass will always be inferior. There was a short period during the war when our Irish stained-glass had not to face that competition. They at once found an exceedingly fine market at home, and it was the finding of that exceedingly fine market which helped them to establish them in their great artistic pre-eminence as creators of that beautiful glass. Then, with the Armistice came the old competition of Germany in a much worse form, but owing to the depreciation of the German coinage, the Germans were able to import their glass much cheaper than ever before.

I do not ask the Government to put on such a tariff as would exclude German glass produced under these circumstances. They would have to put on an absolutely prohibitive tariff, probably 300 per cent., but I would ask the Government to consider the advisability of putting a tax of say 50 per cent. on German glass, until the money market becomes normal between England, Ireland and Germany. Nobody connected with the production of glass in Ireland desires to have a tax against English glass. I think I am right in saying that there is not one person in Ireland connected with the making of glass that desires such a tax. The reason of that is that they are artists, not manufacturers. They recognise that Ireland and England are now producing the best glass in the world, and that it would be an unfair thing for Ireland to seek an economic advantage against English glass. They believe that it would be to the advantage of this country, and its reputation. if the Government were to protect it against the very inferior quality and products of other countries that are made to be consumed in this country and this country only. It requires a firm Government to say certain things are fine and certain things are not fine and should not be encouraged. The Government has shown great courage in many ways and I suggest it should show enough courage to support what is fine in the arts.

In bringing in a Bill of this character I think the greatest need so far as the Government can fulfil that need, is to relieve unemployment and to encourage enterprise in the country. The general principle underlying a Bill of this sort, so far as the industries or the potential industries of this country are concerned should be to foster industries that are natural to the country. That does not touch the broad question of Free Trade versus Protection. These policies may be desirable, but are only to be commended according to the conditions of the country. The Australian colonies had at one time no industries, but they had raw materials in the shape of wool and timber. There was a necessity for very considerable shipping capacity in order to transport that raw material, particularly at certain seasons to England. It paid to send vessels to these colonies and to load them with any class of merchandise in place of ballast that would pay the running expenses. The ordinary ballast that would have to be put into these vessels and dearly paid for was replaced by any class of merchandise and that was dumped into Australia. The vessels then brought back profitable cargoes of wool and timber. These were conditions that would sterilise the possibility of setting up any industries in the colonies. Owing to the wages that prevailed in the early days in Australia in mining and other pursuits it would be impossible to set up an industry and pay the high wages that the workers received in the early days of colonial life. Some of the colonies in time adopted a measure of Protection in order to encourage the setting up of industries. Later, they threw off these protective measures and became Free Trade colonies. The industries that were established are now flourishing. That is the natural law. A tender plant requires protection before it can stand alone.

Here we are side by side with a very great industrial community. Every industry, almost, that we can engage in is long established there and has progressed. In fact, there is mass production in England to-day of every article that we could possibly hope to produce here. The little infant industry that we could establish through our enterprise here is met at once by fierce competition. If you set up a measure of Protection here it cannot be effective, owing to the proximity of England. It will relieve unemployment. Prices will always be controlled owing to proximity with the other side of the Channel. What is happening here is that when you establish a measure of Protection by a tariff, if no other industries are set up, and if it is anticipated prices will be raised by local manufacturers, those who have been in possession of our markets will see the margin that this country offers and, I suppose, will establish a branch of their industry here. In that way they would stabilise prices. Men on the other side who are in possession of trade here for a number of years are watching this country very keenly. If a margin of profit is here they will come here to get it.

As to the Customs and Excise, Part II. of the Bill is really the part that concerns the masses of the people, as it touches their lives more closely than any other part. In the other parts, dealing with income tax, death duties, and corporation tax, the masses are not very interested. They are important where capital and wealth are concerned, and it is only right and fair they should bear an extra share of the needs of the State. I speak now more in anticipation of an industry that is trying to get a footing, the dressed meat industry. That is a very vital consideration for the Government, as it would mean the giving of a good deal of employment. From the killing of a beast like the ox some forty kindred industries arise. These industries have been specialised in at the other side of the water, where everything that can possibly be got from the ox is manufactured and dumped into this country. If we engage in this dead meat industry against these people it is possible it might not survive. Possibly it would make a struggle, but if we associate with it other things, subsidiary industries, would arise and become in time a profitable source of employment. I have only risen generally to voice the view that the Government should bear that in mind in any future legislation that would lead to the establishment in our midst of industries that are natural to the country.

I rise to support the Bill as far as Part II. is concerned. But to my mind the Government have not gone far enough in protecting those industries that we have amongst us, and particularly I refer to the tillage farmer. In the matter of tariffs on imported produce, the tillage farmer would derive very considerable assistance without any injury to the community in general. Take, for instance, if a bounty were given to the dead meat industry to which Senator Kenny referred. That industry has been established on a small scale in Wexford for the last 10 or 12 years. Everyone knows that that industry has suffered very severely from want of the necessary aid which might be given by the Government, especially in the direction of transit. It is a new industry in the country, but because it is a new industry there are difficulties in getting expert knowledge amongst the employees. It also suffers from want of proper railway facilities and proper shipping facilities, for the handling of the product in the proper manner. These are matters that could be dealt with and should be dealt with by the Government. Then, next, if you take the pig rearing industry amongst the small tillage farmers and the agricultural labourers, this is an industry that requires a certain amount of protection. I think the Government should impose a tax on the import of American bacon. That might appear to some as a proposal to make food dearer, but eventually that would not be the case.

Economists tell us it is not what you spend, but it is how you spend it that is true economy. I hold that even though it might appear that Irish bacon is dearer in price than the imported bacon, it is not in reality so, for in point of value it is the other way. We know that American bacon is dumped into this country and is not sold on a commercial basis. It is sold according to the market variations in America, which have nothing whatever to do with the ordinary commercial relations or the cost of production, and when the market here gets flooded with American bacon, the tillage farmer is severely hit. The result of that policy will be a very serious one for this country. The effect will be to completely ruin the pig rearing industry. And the rearing and feeding of pigs has long been the backbone of agricultural industry in this country. When people get out of the habit of feeding and rearing pigs, they will not return to it in a hurry. Because it is a hard and almost slavish task, if people get away from it, they are not so likely to return to it. There are other trades to which the Government might have extended their protective arms. Recently a circular came under my notice that was sent out by a German firm of printers. This firm canvassed for printing in the Free State, and they offered to have circulars and booklets printed and posted in Germany. The circular set out that because of the high postage rate prevailing in Ireland, and the low postage rate in Germany in comparison, and also because the exchange rate was so favourable to Germany, they could do the work, and post the circulars to Ireland at one-fourth of the cost at which an Irish firm could do it. That advantage is derived from the rate of exchange. Sometimes we lose sight altogether of this side of the question, which is a very important one.

A country abroad might appear to be a Free Trade country, but in reality it could be a severely protected country, because of its exchange. To-morrow Germany could throw its doors open to the world and invite the world to send in whatever stuff they like, but it could rig its exchange in such a manner that there would be no competition at all. Unfortunately, as I say, because we have no currency of our own, we suffer from the disadvantages through the exchange. While we have got a great measure of freedom in the political sense, still, I say there is no true freedom if a country has not economic freedom, and there is no economic freedom while we are tied to the wheels of England, because England will suit her currency to her own needs. If England wants to have the exchange in America in one direction she adopts one policy, and if she wants the exchange another way she adopts another policy. At present, I hold, it is ruinous to us to have the same exchange as England, because there is a difference in the exchange with America of something between 2s. and 2s. 3d. in the £, and that gives an advantage to the importer of American bacon.

Will the Senator explain what he means by that— between which country?

Between this country and America.

I think it is only natural that on the one or two occasions on which general financial policy can be discused by the Seanad a fairly lengthy debate should take place, and I should rather join issue with the Senators who have suggested that because the Seanad can not immediately enforce its views or hold up for nine months the Finance Act, therefore, it has no power in the matter of finance. If, as does not seem at all likely at present, the Seanad were to have a defined policy of its own, there are many ways by which it could enforce that policy, although it may not be in a position to amend the Finance Act. I think, therefore, it is of considerable importance that the Seanad should assist the Government in trying to make up its mind on the question of the financial policy generally. I do not often find myself in complete agreement with Senator Sir John Keane, but with very little exception I agree with the whole of his speech, which I think was well put together and well reasoned out. I speak now because I think there are one or two points of view which have not been expressed, and which I hold, and would like to express to-day. In the first place, I think it is a mistake to refer to Protection or Free Trade as if either were an end in itself, or as if either Protection or Free Trade should of itself represent the financial policy of this country.

I do not think either the Dáil or the Seanad is going to gain very much by going into abstract questions affecting the problematic effects vaguely of a Protectionist policy or of Free Trade policy, except in so far as you may discuss the particular effect of Protection on a particular industry, or a particular commodity, and discuss what the effect of that would be on policy generally. Personally, the fault I had to find with the Bill, and with the speeches when it was introduced, was rather that it did not seem to foreshadow any clear definite financial policy for the State as a whole, and by that I mean that we have not been told how far the Government have got a clearly defined trade policy. Listening to the discussion to-day, I have very little idea, with one or two exceptions, as to whether the Senators are in favour of developing Ireland as an export country trading with as many countries as possible, and building up a trade for export with countries in Europe and with America, or whether it is desired to make Ireland a country that will feed its own people and make enough goods for its own people, with the hope that we may increase the population and make the country a desirable place to live in. It seems to me if the former is to be our policy, then we must take the various commodities which we make, or believe we can make, and discuss them scientifically on their merits, and consider whether or not a certain measure of Protection would be desirable for these particular industries, and if there is a prospect of their success in Ireland. If, on the other hand, we are to say in advance we must have Protection, and that industries are to be started here, believing all the time they will be protected, and if they make and sell at prices to Irishmen because they would be protected against competition, then I see little future in this country in the development of a general export trade. I totally disagree as a general principle with Senator Sir Nugent Everard when he stated that Protection does not increase the cost of living. There, again, vague considerations do not lead us very far. He has stated that the price of boots has not been increased following the introduction of a 15 per cent.ad valorem duty. At the same time he told us the reason, which is that a six months' supply had been brought in before the duty. Whether this six months' supply was brought in or not, I am not certain, but I am satisfied that what I consider to be a very serious blunder on the part of the Government was made. If you are to have a duty in force at all it ought to come into force immediately the resolution is passed. A period of eight days elapsed, and whether we approved of it or not those connected with the boot trade were obliged by circumstances to buy as much as they possibly could. Sir Nugent Everard states because he has a letter from a firm which makes 3,000 pairs of boots a week and that they have not increased their price that therefore the price of boots has not increased, though he tells us that the supply for six months is 574,000 pairs, and I venture to suggest that 3,000 for three weeks would not go a long way to meet the requirements of Ireland.

If, as I am satisfied, there is not a sufficient number of firms supplying the requirements of the Irish trade there will be an increase in price until all Irish requirements can be made at the same prices as in England. My own point of view with regard to the boot tax is, that it is a risky and very doubtful experiment, without any definite arguments or reasonable proofs that you are going to increase the manufacture of boots by putting anad valorem duty on all boots, shoes, and slippers in Ireland, irrespective of whether they are made in Ireland or not, or whether there is a prospect of making them in Ireland. I think it is generally recognised that the firms making boots in the Free State make only a comparatively small portion of the class of boots required, while the cheaper class of boots worn by the poorer classes generally are not at present made in Ireland, and the result is that an extra cost of 15 per cent. is required, and there is also the carriage for bringing them into the country, which would make an increase of 16 per cent. or 17 per cent. in price, as soon as the present stocks are depleted, which I assume will be in a month or two. It is inevitable that that will increase the cost of living. I am willing to concede this, if there had been any assurance given here or in the Dáil in the matter, that there was reason to believe that factories would be started to make the classes of boots which are not at present made in Ireland, and supplied from other countries, particularly England, it might be worth while to increase the cost of boots in order to get these factories started. If that is the case, and if it is based upon scientific knowledge and research, then I am not going to criticise the duty of 15 per cent., because I believe that if we develop a general export trade we would find it inevitable to avoid Protection, because of the increased cost. But at the same time I recognise that a country like ours may find it advisable, in the absence of other means, to encourage the setting up of industries by putting a certain protective duty on commodities for a number of years until the industries can get on their own feet. I really believe that the Trades Loan Bill is far more likely to help us in the starting and encouraging of industries than any experimental duties which may be introduced. Personally, I totally dislike the suggestion that you should experiment on one or two commodities without any reason given, but if you say you are experimenting on Protection for the purpose that you hope to turn some theoretical protectionists against their policy, something may be said for it, but I am not looking at it from that point of view.

I would like to refer to another duty which some people, judging by the speeches of some Deputies, now regard as a protectionist duty, that is, the duty on motor cars. I cannot quite understand the policy with regard to the duty on motor cars coming into this country, because if that duty were, as a commencement at any rate, reduced or abolished as far as motor parts are concerned there seems to be little doubt, and I am speaking with some knowledge, that a considerable number of cars would be partially manufactured and assembled here; and if cars, for instance, such as the Morris Oxford, which sells in quantities next, I think, to the Ford, were assembled in Dublin, it would give a certain amount of employment. There will be no use in sending a recommendation from the Seanad upon that matter; it was definitely rejected in the other House. What I cannot understand is whether this is a tax for the purpose of revenue or for the purpose of protection, and what it is protecting, or whether it is put on in the hope that some of the manufacturers will build cars here, and by that means we will have an Irish car and a new Irish industry. If that is the expectation, and based on reason, then I should hesitate again to criticise, but we have no information given us to go upon that. My contention is that you run the risk of increasing the cost if you put on protective duties. It may be found wise or necessary to do so, and may be well worth the increased cost, but it should be the result of a definite policy after research and not merely just an experiment to see what will happen.

I should like to refer to the question of trade development, because I believe it is in the development of the trade whether it be found advisable to have protective duties or not that our hope for the future lies. I believe myself that a very considerable extension of our trade with European countries could and will take place, if a wise policy is adopted, and in that connection I should like to refer briefly to a discovery I made the other day and which I find in the Estimates. I found that we had certain trade representatives abroad, representing the Saorstát, and expected to develop a trade of this country, and that they are paid salaries between £300 and £750 per annum, and that on these sums they are expected to represent Ireland, and to do it well. I personally could see something to be said for having no representative. I could see a good deal to be said, but having a strictly limited number of representatives abroad, I could see nothing to be said for a policy of sending men abroad, with salaries of from £300 to £700 a year and expecting them to represent Ireland in a foreign country in Europe knowing what is expected there from representatives of a country. If that is our trade policy abroad, I, personally, have little faith in it. I mentioned that as one instance. I believe by close co-operation between the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and the Ministry of Finance, and also the Ministry of External Affairs, that within a year or two there are very considerable openings in Europe, and a very considerable amount of trade could be developed to our advantage. Let me urge those strongly in favour of Protection that they should consider the effect that duties would have upon the possibilities of our trade, and that they should be extremely cautious upon the experiment to be adopted. There is one other matter that I would like to refer to, and that is, that I would like to support Senator Sir J. Keane in his reference to the case of the repairs of houses. I hope he will introduce in Committee such a recommendation, which can be sent to the Dáil upon this important matter. We need not go into the question of the hardship or otherwise of persons living in some of the larger houses. What I suggest is that it is very much against the national policy that the remaining houses which are fairly large should be allowed to get into disrepair and that every encouragement should be extended to the persons living in them, and whether living in them or not, but particularly if living in them, to keep them in a state of proper repair, and I think this refusal to give allowance for repairs is a retrograde step and will have a very bad effect, particularly upon those who have larger houses and who in the national interest ought to spend money partly from the view of employment and partly for the purpose of keeping them in a reasonable condition. Such a recommendation should be sent to the Dáil, and I hope that the Senator will introduce a recommendation on this matter and that it will be carefully considered. Finally, I do not think the Government, in some respects, are spending enough money. It is an excellent thing to balance the Budget; as a policy it is not enough.

My own feeling is this, that together with a policy of retrenchment, and with a policy of trying by hook or crook to make your annual income correspond as near as possible with your annual expenditure there ought to be at the same time an amount of capital expenditure by means of borrowing, which I believe would in itself yield a very considerable return in confidence and prosperity and in the yield of income tax. The other week I had an opportunity of attending a conference in Belgium and I was astonished to find out that nearly the whole of the damaged areas of Belgium had been rebuilt, and that unless you go out of your way you cannot find any of the destroyed war buildings, except a few which are retained as show places for tourists. Can we say that of Ireland? I asked several Belgian Ministers what was their policy, and they said that as soon as the war was over they knew they could borrow. They borrowed to rebuild because they said it would put spirit into the people again. We have had the question raised recently about the rebuilding of the Four Courts, and we have had other places that are absolutely essential to rebuild. I believe the Government could do a great deal towards stability by borrowing, not for the purpose of spending more money on expenditure of a recurrent character but for the purpose of non-recurrent expenditure, such as the rebuilding of the Four Courts, and I believe that such money spent wisely would yield in income tax considerably more than the cost of the money borrowed. I have, perhaps, spoken rather longer than I intended, but these are my feelings.

I agree with nearly everything the last Senator said, and I entirely agree with regard to the matter that he and Senator Sir John Keane raised about houses. I think it is an entire mistake for the Minister to say that the rating of houses is out of all comparison with the rent. I myself happened to live in a house where, if you add the valuation to the rates, it came to rather more than the rent I am paying, or was before I bought it. It may occur in many cases, but it certainly does not always occur. With regard to the question of Free Trade, I know enough about the arguments on this matter in favour of Free Trade. They were arguments which could be quite easily overthrown logically. The original Free Trade doctrine was to buy at the cheapest market. That was the doctrine put forward and that really lies, now, at the basis of that argument. About the year 1879, the price of agricultural produce had suddenly fallen all over the world. In Ireland people were on the borders of starvation and there was a sort of revolution. People could not pay rent and they were passing through terribly difficult years.

I would like Sir John Keane and people who take that view of things to imagine what would occur if that happened now or in a more accentuated style. Ireland could not produce agricultural produce at the same price as it is produced in the Argentine. Would that mean that Irish people would have to shut down their agriculture and, having no manufactures, would have nothing at all to do except to sit down and die for want of food? They would not have money to buy food. There would be nothing to live on but agriculture, and you could not keep the agriculture going. These sorts of logical schemes are absurd. They do not fit in. You must apply this economical situation to the facts of the case. What suits one country does not suit another, and what suits England does not suit Ireland. That is why we are to adopt a situation of our own.

AN LEAS-CHATHAOIRLEACH took the Chair.

I am not going to delay this debate more than a minute or two. Although there have been quite a number of speeches, the debate has been confined to a restricted field of operations, mainly to the question of Protection overseas. Free Trade is a subject on which one might speak for hours, and end where he started. I agree with Senator Douglas that the Government should not be too desperately anxious to balance their Budget at this particular period. The policy of the Government is very largely that of an enterprising business man who is afraid to launch into any capital expenditure because he has not sufficient confidence in his own abilities to make it pay or in the abilities of those with him to trust to make a profit of it. This generation has done a great deal towards political and economic independence, and it has been recently stated it is only fair that part of the burden should be passed on to posterity. If we expect in those trying years to balance our Budget I do not think we will make much progress by way of trade or development. Historians have agreed that the period of Grattan's Parliament was a prosperous one for Ireland, yet at the end of that period the National debt was over £28,000,000, or at an average of £5 3s. 6d. per head of the population. The value of money then was greater than it is at the present time. That average would probably be equivalent to £15 or £20 per head now. Yet we are told that Ireland was prosperous in those rosy years of Grattan's Parliament.

To-day we have only a debt of ten to thirteen millions, and there seems to be a great disinclination to indulge in borrowing for the purpose of building up civic institutions such as the Four Courts, the Post Office, the Custom House, and others of that character. I would like to support what has been said by Sir John Keane regarding Section 2 of the Bill—Allowances for Repairs of Houses. I think there was some impression in this respect in the other House that it was applying to wealthy people owning large houses. Everyone knows that in recent years owing to the house shortage, a number of people have been compelled to purchase houses by getting loans from societies and banks at a high rate of interest. Owing to the exigencies of the situation they are now being mulcted to the extent of this section of the Bill. I think it is an unfair impost to place upon them. While I suppose it is impracticable to ask for a reduction on postal rates, one may at least ask for a reduction on postcards. It is absurd to charge 1½d. on a business card. That discourages the sending of them, and a far greater amount would be sent if they were only charged at 1d. each. That is one case where the Government might consent to charge only 1d.

The Protection experiments in the Bill are, of course, merely experiments to show what the effect will be, and so far, I think, it is quite impracticable to say what the ultimate effect will be, except that one may assume one of the results will be an increase in the cost of living. While trying those experiments, I think there is a certain amount of complaint as to the manner in which those experiments have been tried. It is a peculiar thing to place a tax on imported boots. That is not a new industry. It is an old degenerate industry as far as Ireland is concerned. If there is one industry in which we should be able to compete with other countries it is in the boot industry. We have the raw material here, but yet the manufacturers do not show any desire to meet the requirements of the age. The number and variety of the fashions of foreign manufacturers as compared with Ireland are very great indeed. There is no attempt here to give a variety of boots and shoes, or a variety of fittings. They make one plain, solid type of boot or shoe, and you must take that, as there is nothing else. There is little or no art about it, and they do not cater for the fancies or the tastes of male or female.

We are told that an Irish boot factory could only make one pair for every 15 required. If that is so it would take them a long time to meet the general requirements of the people. Also they will have to make great progress in the type of boots they turn out. As a sort of set-off against those imposts, there has been a reduction in the duty on tea from 8d. to 5d., and, again, in order to set off that, an increase on the tax on cocoa which, I believe, is healthier than tea. Then there is a tax on soap to encourage people to wash. The excess duty on playing cards is taken off to encourage people to gamble. I do not know whether that is going to encourage a new or an old industry, but I do not think it is going to be a huge one. Those who have been urging those imposts are in the main urging the protection of inefficiency in order that they may not be compelled to keep pace with the requirements of this particular generation. Senator Keane has instanced a case of firms like Messrs. Guinness and Jacob, who have been able to hold their own. Not only have some of those firms been able to hold their own, but they give the best terms of employment, and I think it is mainly that spirit of enterprise that has enabled them to succeed where a less enterprising people have been afraid to indulge in capital expenditure. They have been afraid to purchase machinery and introduce improvements that would enable them to keep pace with their foreign competitors.

Another reason is the lack of technical education. There is a lack of expert craftsmen in this country, and that is the way in which the Government could improve industry by encouraging expenditure on technical training. We are told in a recent book that Denmark last year spent one-fifth of her total income on education of various kinds, particularly developing the culture that is necessary in an agricultural country such as Denmark is, and which is equally necessary to a country like Ireland. We are told that agriculture is depressed. It is safe to say that no other industry could succeed if it were mismanaged and bungled in the way agriculture is. I have come from a farming family, and I do not know of any industry that has been carried on in the lopsided way that agriculture is throughout the country. I certainly do not believe that any other industry could survive if it was carried on with such a disregard for scientific arrangement. Until Irish agriculturists begin to educate themselves in their own industry I am afraid we are not going to be able to compete with those up-to-date countries such as Denmark. Agriculturists themselves will undoubtedly have to protect themselves by becoming a little more educated in the industry in which they make their livelihood than they are at the present time.

I propose to make a few remarks as regards the Finance Bill generally. In the first instance, of course, one recognises the enormous height our taxation is rising to, by Clause 1, which keeps on the 5/- income tax as the first of these imposts. I take it for granted that in keeping these figures the Government had to adhere to the principle that they must balance their Budget. I do not agree with Senator O'Farrell that they could borrow instead of balancing their Budget. They cannot borrow at anything like reasonable rates unless they have the reputation of keeping a sound financial house and that they can show in this country they can make ends meet and are able to pay their way. Then they will be trusted and they will get at reasonable rates so much money as they will require to spend. I agree with Senator O'Farrell about all these things which can be met by borrowing. If that policy is to be carried out they must balance their Budget. Therefore, the criticism as to the height of these taxes had to be very guarded, indeed, because the Government alone can know what savings can be effected and whether anything more is possible in that way. Owing to the absolute necessity of keeping taxation at a very high level for a little time at least, we have to be very reticent in criticising the Government on the subject of these high taxes. Undoubtedly one can say in looking to the future that the fact that the Free State should have income tax higher than either Northern Ireland or Great Britain is a desperate handicap on everybody in the Free State. I have no doubt the Government recognises it, but I think in criticising the Finance Bill, it is wise to draw attention to that and to the necessity of the Government keeping before them in future Finance Bills, the desirability of bringing taxation of that sort down to the same level as Great Britain and Northern Ireland. In regard to that matter there was one point that Senator Sir John Keane referred to—the double taxation problem.

In the banking world we know the enormous amount of trouble, difficulty and loss which the present state of affairs in regard to the settlement of taxation between individuals in regard to the taxes they have to pay to the two countries involves. It is nearly impossible for any ordinary individual to know how to put his affairs right in regard to this taxation, or for a big company to know how to pay their shareholders their dividends, and that such state of affairs should go on for any length of time seems to reflect no credit on the British or Irish authorities. I do happen to know that our Irish authorities have done their utmost to put the matter right, but undoubtedly it is a loss to the Free State. Roughly speaking, in a great many cases you pay your 4s. 6d. of the British tax; that is deducted at the source; when you lodge the dividend in the Irish bank you are charged 5s. tax, so that you get 11s. 6d. out of your £1. Then you have to go through a most elaborate system to recover your money both from the British and the Irish Free State authorities.

There must be an enormous number of individuals, especially women, who cannot understand the matter and who suffer a genuine loss, and I think the Government should do everything possible to invent some method, a clearing house or something else, that would put an end to this confusion, because it has a very bad effect indeed both on our investments and on British investments. There is not a single good thing to be said for it, and the two Departments should certainly be able to put an end to it. In respect of the remission of super tax, that is an effort to try to get our rich people to come back and stay in the country; it is an experiment. As far as I see the man who has an income of £11,000 a year will have to pay the same tax as across the water. If you get an income above £11,000 a year it would pay a person to stay in Ireland. That is more or less a theoretical thing, but so far as the Government have been enabled to embody it in the Bill, I think it is quite a wise thing.

There is no doubt whatever that Section 2, making an allowance of one-sixth for repairs, seems a wretched thing to do. I believe it is the policy of the Government to try and see that our empty houses are inhabited. As a rule some employment is given by a man who lives in one of these big houses. I cannot see the point of putting such a thing into the Bill. It is a poor class of thing to put in. Undoubtedly it will tend to many houses falling into disrepair and towards people trying to get out of them. It is certainly no encouragement to anyone to come and live here. I do not propose to go into a discussion regarding Protection or Free Trade. There is, undoubtedly, one industry you cannot protect, and that is agriculture. As a Senator stated, there must be free admission of foodstuffs, and our agriculturists have to face the competition of the world. I know of no measure of Protection that has not increased the cost of the article that is protected. As people employed in the main industry of this country cannot be protected to that extent, agriculture will be injured. I do not know if such a measure would relieve unemployment. Any such measure would have to be carefully watched. People will have to make up their minds if they choose Protection in order to encourage certain industries, that they will have to pay for protecting them. Whether it is wise or not, I do not know. Most of us think a scheme of that sort will require a good deal of criticism, in view of the fact that the Dáil has the settlement of money matters. If they are going to put on protective duties, that the ordinary taxpayers of the country will have to pay, I think they will have to be sure that the taxpayers will be willing to do so. That is the gist of any Protection I have seen.

We are in a peculiarly dangerous position in this country to begin a policy of that kind, in view of the fact that the mass of the people make their living from an industry which, as far as I can see, cannot be protected. There are things that could be protected, such as those referred to by Senator Yeats, for which our people have a peculiar aptitude. The fine arts could be encouraged judiciously, and also the cottage industries, such as those at Killybegs and in Connemara, where our people are producing good articles. The Minister for Agriculture and Lands, I am sure, could assist such industries by helping them to get markets and by having lectures delivered, showing the people how to improve their methods. Money spent in that way will be well spent. That is totally different to the general protection of industries which, as Senator O'Farrell says, ought to be able to fight their own battles. There has undoubtedly been an expression of opinion that the Government want industries established.

I saw that they did away with the Safeguarding of Industries Act. It was a very doubtful experiment. I am very sorry to see that the Government have kept on the Corporation Profits Act. It is admittedly a desperate tax upon industry. If industries are to be established in this country it seems to me to be a mistake to keep on that tax here, especially when it has not to be paid in Northern Ireland or in Great Britain. I suppose the Government cannot do away with it at present. As a tax it is economically unsound, and it is doing a great deal of harm to our industries in comparison to those in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It is one of the taxes that the Government should, as soon as possible, do away with. We had the Excess Profits Tax. It was an abominable tax, but it was put on during the war. It did not hit the people it was meant to hit. The Corporation Profits Tax is an extremely bad tax, and I hope that the Minister for Finance, as soon as he possibly can, will follow the example of sound financiers on the other side of the Channel, by putting an end to it.

The experiments made in Protection I do not propose to criticise. No doubt the Government had very good reasons for making these experiments with a view to educating the people and educating themselves. They do not, I think, matter very much financially, and if they teach us something I do not see why we should object to them very much. I hope they will not be treated in such a way as to lead to the adoption of any root policy of that sort without extremely careful inquiry. From what the Minister has said, I have no doubt whatever that there is an idea to use them as a stepping-stone for what would be a policy of Protection. I think that is the way practically everyone views the matter. I do not think we have before us at present the great questions of Protection or Free Trade. Generally this Bill balances the Budget. The Government have now, probably, balanced their accounts, and I must say I think it reflects the very greatest credit on them. One can talk now in a very different tone to what one could a year or a year and a half ago. Economies have undoubtedly been effected which required very great bravery on the part of those who have carried them out. Although one criticises the Bill and these taxes, the general tone of the whole thing is influenced by the fact that the Minister for Finance is now able to hold up his head amongst the countries of the world and say he is able to make ends meet.

Undoubtedly, the grip that gives him in the money markets means that when we do want money we will be able to get it to advance our industries, if we think it wise to spend money on them, and as Senator O'Farrell says, get money to carry out great schemes. In borrowing money we must remember that we have to provide both for interest and sinking fund. It should be quite possible for the Government to borrow without crippling the country with taxes. It might, with judicious borrowing, spread the burden we have to bear judiciously and wisely on our successors. On the whole, I have no word except praise for the Budget.

In rising to speak on this Finance Bill, I would wish first to say that if anything could fill me with diffidence it would be having to criticise anything appertaining to finance. That is one thing that fills me with diffidence, and the diffidence is increased as I grow old. At any rate I have a suggestion to make—or rather I am taking advantage of an opportunity to call the attention of the Revenue Authorities to an idea that is not altogether my own idea. My diffidence is increased by the fact that when I approached some members of the Government they suggested to me that the best method of having the matter settled would be to get a question asked in the Dáil on the matter in the hope of drawing attention to it. I suppose it is merely a matter of drawing attention to it with a view to getting them to make an announcement. The point which I wanted cleared up was—the position of an outsider, such as an American taking up his residence in this country. At present the method of assessing him for income tax and so on, is obscure. I am aware of one American who bought a house here for £11,000. He had everything signed, but on account of the uncertainty of his position as regards income tax and as to the amount on which he would be taxed—whether it would be £40,000 from America or his outgoings in Ireland, he would not touch the thing, and this house, like hundreds of other mansions, has since become derelict.

I feel if the Government would make a definite statement with regard to the status in this respect of anybody taking a mansion in this country, it would have a very good effect.

France has an annual revenue from American holders of villas of three hundred million dollars. France may have something to offer them. But we have a great deal more. At any rate we can give an American something to point to. We can present him with a pedigree by having a holding in Ireland. That is something important. The method followed in France is this: The valuation of the villa in France is multiplied by five, and he is taxed on the multiple of the holding. They merely tax him on the multiple of the valuation of his holding. The maximum income in money to the country can be gauged by the prosperity of France. In our country we might multiply the valuation by ten, because our valuations are low. By doing this we would do something to prevent the decay of any houses in Ireland except thatched houses. We do not look forward to a country with thatched residences, because neither intellectually nor on the social level would they be very elevating to the people. This is a moment, too, when Labour is intelligent enough to realise that you do not get employment from paupers. This would be doing something to help the return of wealthy people to this country. One of my ideas is that I would scrap the super tax altogether. We would need, perhaps, to have penalising laws against incoming Jews if that were done. But when we realise that the remission of super tax is only benefitting thirty people in this country who pay the 7s. 6d. tax, it shows that the experiment might be extended, particularly as I see that Labour is in a position to realise that the expenditure of wealth in this country can do something for the country.

Here is another idea—the bank rate has, I understand, been higher here than in England. I do not know why the Government cannot avail of this, and pass on that extra point in taxation of bankers. There is another matter that is of importance to me. I have been prompted by the opinion of the financial brains beside me, and it is why is it that the Government are afraid to borrow for non-recurrent expenditure such as rebuilding of the Four Courts and the Custom House? That is an expenditure that will not be recurrent. It seems to me that to borrow money for work like this is a sound thing, and the work should be done immediately. Before I sit down I would like to reiterate one question, and that is the point I raised as to the taxes that should be paid by an American, say, who took a house in this country. I would like to have that stabilised and the position ensured as to what his taxation would be so stabilised, and he would be able to compare the conditions of living here with the conditions of taxation in any other country. There are many advantages to people living in Ireland, and there are many inducements to people of wealth to settle down here. Already there are people who have taken over masterships of hounds in this country, that is to say, people who have come from abroad. These people who pay tax over 7s. 6d. in the £ benefit the country. I think anybody from, say, America, with an income of over £2,000 might be guaranteed the remission of taxes for five years on setting down, and taking a house in this country.

I am afraid what I have got to say will not be of so great interest, or as amusing as what we have just listened to. But I did rejoice to hear Senator Sir John Keane propound the idea of a Clearing House to disentangle our difficulties as regards income tax in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. I have not a shadow of doubt that a very large number of people lose large sums of money by the present arrangements. These are so complicated and so troublesome that many people cannot face the difficulty that has been raised by them, and I should welcome anything in the shape of the suggestion of Senator Sir John Keane and Senator Jameson, that something in the nature of a Clearing House should be adopted. Now, as regards the question of duties, having been brought up in a hot-bed of Free Trade and with all its prejudices and so forth, it perhaps seems strange that I should support this Bill, in its endeavour to protect the industries in this country, by small duties. I rather welcome it as an experiment. I think we can learn a little by it, and I am not a bit afraid of the result. I should like to disabuse the minds of the Senators, if I possibly can, of the idea that Ireland cannot be an industrial country. I think we only have to examine one country in Europe, with which I am very familiar, to see that that is not so. That country is Switzerland, and there alongside of the agricultural industry you have the beneficial industries of a manufacturing character, which have been carried out there to a most marvellous extent. That little country is one of the most industrious and one of the largest exporters of finished articles. I see no possible reason why Ireland should not follow in the footsteps of Switzerland if we are able to introduce cheap power into this country.

That has been the secret of Switzerland's success, and we have the opportunity if we can only rouse ourselves to introduce cheap power, which will not reduce wages, but will facilitate output, and it is only by increasing output that we can hope for any material advancement. For those reasons I shall support the Government in their Bill.

Two technical points have been raised in conjunction with a lot of general points in the discussion of the Finance Bill of 1924. One is on the question of double income tax. A suggestion has been made of a Clearing House system, which would afford relief from the annoyances from the double income tax system, which are well known. There is annoyance about the collection of any income tax, but there is extra and increasing annoyance about this double and increasing income tax. Negotiations have gone on, as Senator Jameson pointed out, for considerable time to see if any relief can be afforded to those affected on both sides of the water. As to this Clearing House idea, there are objections to it. I can go no further, but it has not been decided against. The whole matter is under consideration. I do not know if the Seanad would want to put any further pressure upon the Minister for Finance by making a recommendation such as that, but I wish to throw out to the Seanad that this particular remedy has not been lost sight of. It is under consideration at the moment, but rather overwhelming objections so far have been taken to that scheme. The question of relief from the annoyance of payment of double income tax is a matter of great concern to the Government. They realise fully the annoyance to which the people are subjected to under this head, but it is a matter of great difficulty to get a remedy. The second technical point is the question of assessment under Schedule A of the Finance Bill.

The point has been raised here that householders in this country are about to suffer decided grievances under the terms of this Bill. Let those grievances be understood. There is a certain grievance, but it is not that the deduction allowed in England is being taken away. What is happening is totally different. The assessment under Schedule A is made under the poor-law valuation, which allows a certain amount for repairs. In England the assessment for Schedule A purpose is made on a direct rental, and no allowance originally was made, but later on they arrived at a sum on which duty was to be paid, and allowances made in certain other columns. Then, when that legislation was carried over into this country, the additional allowance was made on that poor-law valuation, although that poor-law valuation already included an allowance for repairs. So in this country there were two allowances for repairs—first, on the poor-law valuation, and, secondly, by carrying over the English allowance, which was based on the gross rental value. If the people here are going to suffer, they are going to suffer by their allowance being reduced to what it was always in England, and they are going to be prejudiced by the second allowance being removed.

Would the Minister say whether valuation on houses newly built makes allowance for repairs?

So far, yes. The forms of assessment now being compiled will, of course, proceed on the basis of this Bill, but any assessment made so far has always been on the basis of poor-law valuation of the house built, so up to this year the poor-law valuation takes into account allowance for repairs. Although there is a grievance, they are not put in a worse position than the people in England, but they are in a worse position than if the old arrangement had remained, but that was a position of preference compared with that in England. While a certain amount of comment has been made on these two technical points, the tendency of the fiscal policy shown in the Finance Act has been commented on, some criticising it, and others being in favour of it. Those in favour generally objected that the experiment has not been spread sufficiently wide, and that it should be extended in its operations. Senator Sir John Keane, however, raised the point that we are an exporting country, that our exports are agricultural produce, and that anything which tends to raise the cost of production in our agricultural produce lessens the purchasing power of our exports, and consequently lessens the national wealth. That is quite sound in theory, but the application of that to the facts is difficult.

Has the cost of production of agricultural produce been increased by anything in the Finance Bill of 1924? There is a tax on boots, but that is offset by a remission of a certain amount of the duty on tea. It is understood these two would balance, and as a matter of fact my own Department at one time made up the ordinary Budget which we make for the purpose of assessing the cost-of-living-figure. We took this Budget under the old conditions and under the new conditions, with the increase on boots and the remission of duty on tea. There was a slight fraction against the householder under the new conditions, I think it ran to something like .05 of an increased charge on the cost of living, which was raised by only this fractional point, so that it was equivalent to saying that the one was a complete offset against the other. Senator Sir John Keane suggested that the cost of production was increased to the farmer, and if the purchasing power of these goods became less, the only thing for the farmer to do is to go back to grass.

I said it is one of the things he probably would do, or words to that effect. I did not say it was the only alternative.

It is one of the things he is likely to do. There again, that is a quite right warning, but the question is, are those the facts established, or are those the facts to be brought about by the present proposal of the Finance Bill? I do not say that will be the case at all. I do put it this way, looking at it from another angle, that we are a country in this position that all our eggs are in one basket, that the bottom of that basket is in a very flimsy state, and that any slight shock will shake the bottom out of it, and we will lose all our wealth. If it does mean some extra burden on the farmer, he should bend his shoulders to the burden, and take it up in the hope that five or ten years hence, there will be a remission of the taxation in the burdens which he is suffering under. We must make a change somewhere; we cannot go on as at present. We are told by the Minister for Agriculture, and by farmers generally, that they are in a very depressed condition, and cannot live under present circumstances. There must be some change; there is no standing still in the agricultural world. That is worse than useless, and it means in a way that the farmer will go out of production and will go back to grass. That leaves our second state worse than the first. This is a big experimental point in the present Bill. It is an experiment, at any rate, which seems on the theoretical basis not to be likely to do any harm. It may do good. It at least does this good, that it gives reliable facts and figures and statistics upon which to base the policy of the future, and these are the main features and virtues of the present experiment.

I put it to Senator Sir John Keane that Denmark is a country from which we can draw many excellent examples, no doubt, but research into the conditions of Denmark shows this, that there comes in, even in a country in such a highly developed state as Denmark, a saturation point when agriculture cannot employ more than a certain number. That figure is high, but there comes that saturation point. As Senator O'Farrell said, agriculture is run in a haphazard and happy-go-lucky way in this country; still, if we find ourselves with agriculture, and agriculture alone, as our industry, the saturation point would quickly be reached, because emigration, which used to relieve unemployment somewhat, has stopped, and a certain number of people are now remaining at home, for whom employment must be found, and if we find ourselves without those highly developed agricultural conditions that prevail in Denmark, then agriculture will not support the population in this island. We must look ahead and get some industrial occupation for our young men. No one wants to look forward to an encouragement of emigration as a means of relieving unemployment, but it is one of the things that must be taken into consideration. Most of the men out of the Army came from unemployment, and they are now simply being returned to unemployment, from which they came. There is no great hope for a number of years—no great hope in confining ourselves to agriculture, so that we find, finally, that some industrial activity must be stimulated in this country. It is not the case with us as it is in England or in Europe. We are not in the same condition as the people there in these countries were. In Europe a certain amount of productive machinery was disturbed. In England the consumer or customer was brought almost to the point of bankruptcy. They had the goods in the shops and they had the customers awaiting them, but the customers could not buy at the prices the goods were offered. That was their problem. We had an entirely different problem. It was not so much with us the setting up of industry destroyed during the war, but it is the necessity for starting industry which we never had here. And for that purpose an experiment in Protection is good. Our conditions are such that an analogy with foreign countries may be of some use to us, but it is not going to be a complete answer. We have got to get the experiments started. Senator Douglas said we should have the experiments after research. That is quite right. The best thing is to get the movements set up here, to watch the movement and the reactions for a year, and perhaps it will be extended over a year before we can form a proper conclusion; but we can get some information this year, even though the experiment may not be completely successful, as to how things will be in the circumstances.

As a matter of explanation, may I ask the Minister when he talks of some information does he mean information as to the growth of factories and the extension of business and duties imposed?

Yes, just what the Senator has mentioned, and many other things. For instance, it will be necessary—and I do not want to draw Senators on the Labour Benches on the point just now—to see how far the workers behave towards protected industry. We did see the Labour Party at their General Congress showed themselves divided on the question of Protection, but one thing they were all united on was this, that the benefits of Protection must be passed on to the workers. Of course, that is sound from the Labour point of view. It is sound from the Governmental point of view, that the reasonable demands of Labour should be satisfied, but there must be a certain amount also to go into the welfare of the country, and not merely to the workers engaged in the industry. There are numerous points to be inquired into. There is one question that I might allude to: A convinced Protectionist like Deputy Milroy says it is indefensible to make a statement that a protective tariff represents an increase in connection with the articles protected. Other people hold it to be axiomatic that the cost of the article is increased. I had my own idea on that, and I may be wrong, but may be, like Senator Gogarty, I may feel I may afterwards have to adopt a different attitude towards myself. Senator Dowdall alluded to the foot and mouth disease danger in England, and to the very distinct danger of carrying on simply as an agricultural community. That is a definite danger.

If we got foot-and-mouth disease into this country we might have gone bankrupt. It was a tremendous danger, and it was very close to us, and it was not merely close to us, but it is likely to be close to us in years to come. Senator Dowdall alluded to the dole. It was rather incidental to his argument, and I allude to it in order to get a proper outlook on the thing. There is no dole as such in this country, and that should be adverted to. There is no dole in this country no more than a business man would admit that he was getting a dole because of advances made to him by his banker. There is money advanced to the workers here out of a fund built up by payments from the State, the employer and the employee. The fact is we pay out a certain amount before the employee has paid in, but with the full compliance of the Government, who have accumulated three-quarters of a million of money, which will be cleared off in three or four years. So we are merely advancing to the worker a certain amount from a fund to which he him self will subscribe, and the employer also will subscribe. Senator Dowdal said it was better to pay this dole rather than to advance it as a payment to men to do nothing. I may be getting away from the Finance Act, but I do think it is legitimate to deal with this matter here. There is no payment to men to do nothing, or to a man because he is doing nothing, but you are paying men who happened to be doing nothing, and as Senator Dowdall put it, men who are anxious to do work have to be paid for a time.

I do think this comes in in a Finance Act discussion, and I shall have to allude to it later in discussing what is asked for here on a statement of general policy. Senator Bagwell announced he had changed his mind several times on this problem, and he seems now to think that in his present state he has made up his mind again, but not finally, so far as this question is concerned. That is exactly the point of view, perhaps I should not say exactly, but, at any rate, approximately the point of view of the Government. The Government has not made up its mind on this question of Protection, but they are trying Protection, and whether it would be a proper basis on which to found this policy. It is making the experiment this year, and after a year or two years it hopes to have the facts on which it can give a definite decision. That is the point Senator Sir Thos. Esmonde alluded to when he said the experiment is useful because information is required. This country is sadly in need of information upon the points regarding Protection. There is a particular Bill, though it had to be dropped this session, dealing with the census of production, and when that is passed we shall be in a position to acquire a certain amount of necessary information. That would give us a certain amount of evidence of it.

Perhaps the Minister has overlooked my request for information. When will the report for the Revenue Commissioners appear?