Finance Bill, 1951—Second and Subsequent Stages.

Question proposed: "That the Bill be now read a Second Time."

I do not know whether the Seanad would like to have—or perhaps not like —a lengthy disquisition on all the clauses of this Bill, and, on the assumption that Senators do not want the proceedings on the Second Stage to be unduly prolonged, since the Bill is in effect a Committee Bill, I will content myself with saying that the Bill consists mainly of clauses consequential on the Financial Resolutions passed by the Dáil on Wednesday, 20th June, and which had previously been adopted by the Dáil on 2nd May, and its main purpose is to give continuing effect to these resolutions passed originally on 2nd May. Accordingly, I proposes to refrain from a detailed analysis of the Bill at this stage, but to deal briefly with sections which refer to matters not mentioned in the original Budget statement or covered by the Financial Resolutions already passed.

The principal among these is Section 6, which is concerned mainly with conversions under the Government Loans (Conversion) Act which has been passed by the Oireachtas. It is essentially a relieving section and is linked up with the Act to which I have referred. Under the proposed terms of conversion, a cash bonus of £1 per £100 of stock is being paid. That cash bonus will not be subject to income-tax so long as it is paid to an ordinary investor, but would be brought into account if the stock were to be held by a concern whose normal business it was, among other things, to deal in stocks and shares. It may happen, however, that the holder of such stocks and of the new conversion stock might not wish to realise the stock in question until some later date, and accordingly, Section 6 provides that the cash bonus will not be taken into account for income-tax purposes until the conversion stock is actually realised. The justice of that will be seen when we remember that the conversion stock may have to be realised at a discount and, accordingly, the loss on the realisation should be set against the profit which the cash bonus might be taken to represent.

The next section is Section 9, which deals with mineral hydrocarbon light oils and again, it is an exemption section. For the past two years, certain carboys of tractor vaporising oil have arrived in this country which conform in some respects to the statutory definition of petrol, though I should like to emphasise in that connection that the oil is quite unsuitable for the normal engines in which petrol is used. Normally, tractor vaporising oil would be chargeable as hydrocarbon oil, other sorts than petrol, but, where it is for use in an agricultural tractor, a rebate of the full duty is given and in effect, therefore, no duty is payable on hydrocarbon oils, other sorts.

The difficulty which has arisen here is due to the fact that, as the kind of vaporising oil to which I have referred conforms in some respects to the definition of petrol, it would, as matters stand at the moment, be liable to be charged with the duty upon petrol, in respect of which a rebate of only 8d. per gallon would be payable. The purpose of the section is to authorise the Revenue Commissioners to grant, as in fact they are already doing extra-statutorily, the full rate for tractor vaporising oil which is of specification.

Section 11 relates to the warehousing on drawback of home-made liqueurs and compounded spirits. The warehousing of spirits is founded very largely upon the Spirits Act, 1880, which is in some respects archaic. The section will permit home-made liqueurs intended for home consumption to be warehoused on drawback of duty and, what is perhaps more important, warehoused in bottle instead of in cask. At present they can only get a drawback if they are warehoused in cask, and the fact that they will be permitted to be warehoused in bottle will enable manufacturers of homemade, that is, Irish liqueurs to hold stocks without paying duty until the spirits are withdrawn for sale.

Section 21 relates to the capital services redemption account and its purpose is two-fold. The House will remember that in last year's Budget provision was made for the setting up of a capital services redemption account, which was to be fed by annual sums calculated by reference to the estimated expenditure on capital services. The purpose of this section is to adjust the annuity payable to the capital services redemption account by reference to the actual expenditure on voted capital services during the last financial year, that is, the year which ended on 31st March last.

The second purpose of the section is to provide for the annuity which would be payable in respect of this year's estimated figure of £12,079,000 odd for capital services. The adjustment involves a corresponding change in the interest element of the annuity—which is effected by sub-section (3). Finally, for administrative purposes, power is taken to pay the annuity into the account during the year whenever and in such amounts as may be determined by the Minister and not, as in last year's Finance Act, in half-yearly instalments.

These, I think, are the only sections to which it is necessary to draw attention at this stage. When the debate on the Committee Stage opens—I was assured, I think, at the last sitting of the Seanad, that the Committee Stage would be taken to-day—I shall be glad to deal with the special provisions of each of the separate sections.

Before I conclude, I should like to say that I propose, if the Committee Stage is taken to-day, to ask the Seanad to introduce a recommendation to provide for a reduction from 5 per cent to 1 per cent. in the ad valorem duty attracted in respect of a house qualifying for a grant under the Housing (Amendment) Act of 1948 where the lease or conveyance is delayed until the house has been built and the giving of the lease or conveyance is made dependent on the payment of the price of the house to the builder, and also to enable the Revenue Commissioners to deal with other cases in which, by reason of the neglect of solicitors for the lessees to secure the endorsement of the Minister for Local Government prior to the stamping of a conveyance, stamp duty has had to be assessed at 5 per cent. instead of 1 per cent., which was the original intention of the Legislature.

The Minister has been mildness itself. He has avoided as far as possible any controversial matters and it is clear that he is very anxious to get the Bill to-day. It may have been a certain amount of strain on his part and I propose to follow him by not dealing with what seem to me to be controversial matters or, at any rate, Party controversial matters. It is more or less inevitable that, under the circumstances, there is an element of unreality in this. The Minister has the advantage that he is able to sponsor what some of us regard as a good Budget, but if you pick holes in the Budget, of course, he is not responsible. That is the happy position and one which is certainly not vulnerable and which is extremely difficult to criticise.

An ideal situation.

It may or may not be an ideal situation. Possibly Senator Colgan is entirely happy about it. I wish I were quite as happy. This is not the first time it has happened. Three years ago, a somewhat similar position arose in which, for similar reasons, there was some unreality in the debate. I do not propose to deal with very many details but to speak in general terms and very briefly, for the reasons I have given.

If there is one outstanding principle adopted by the Minister's predecessor —I did not always agree with him—it was that, in our present economic position, taxation should be kept as low as possible, yet not allowed to become so low as seriously to interfere with essential development. Where money was required for development which could reasonably be expected, either soon or at some later date, to increase the national income so that it would be able to meet the interest and ultimately to meet the capital, it was a principle that the proper method in present circumstances was to borrow. There must be, amongst honest people, considerable difficulty in deciding, first of all, whether the matter for which the borrowing takes place is essential to development and, secondly, whether it will or will not increase the national income to an extent which would justify the borrowing.

Most people will agree, although there will be differences of opinion on details, that that principle is a sound one. It was one of the good things set off against a great many bad things about the Party political system that, no matter what Ministers may say about each other when in opposition, they nevertheless invariably adopt a great many of the principles of their predecessors. That applied to the last Government and already there are indications that it will apply to the present Government. When you realise that, you realise also that it is good that it should be so. I hope that the present Minister, though he may differ in details, will adopt the same principle.

I am convinced that it would be a bad thing for the country if it proved unavoidable to have a very substantial increase in the general level of taxation. We are at a stage in which we have had a very considerable amount of national development, but also at the stage in which that must be allowed to continue. We cannot stand still: we must go ahead or we will go backwards. In our private expenditure and in most businesses, apart from expenditure of a specifically capital nature, you make your money and then decide how you are going to spend it. Unfortunately—and I do not know what the remedy would be—the State spends its money and then decides how it is going to get it. It would be a far healthier state of affairs if a Minister had to budget for a certain sum of money and if the legislature accepted that as a figure for a year which could not be exceeded except through some very special type of resolution, perhaps requiring a two-thirds majority. In other words, it would mean planning the expenditure a year ahead, instead of the position in which you go ahead spending, with very little regard—in spite of the heroic efforts of the Minister for Finance of the day—to the Budget provisions. I do not suppose there is any remedy for that, but it is one of the weaknesses in the democratic system that it is very easy to advocate expenditure. It is very rare that any individual, particularly in a popularly elected House, can advocate any drastic reduction in expenditure— though he may object to this or that expenditure which his constituents do not like. In some countries individual Deputies perhaps do propose actually a new tax, but I think it must be extremely rare and I do not think it has ever happened here. That is my excuse for making one or two points regarding disappointments I felt.

I think the Minister's predecessor was very wise when he extended the limit for married persons. One of the serious problems, I think, is that our income-tax regulations and laws were based on a completely different value of money and that whereas £140 seemed a very reasonable limit 15 or 20 or even ten years ago, now £3 a week even for a single person leaves very little for saving. When you come to married couples, £280 is little enough as an exemption limit. There is no use, I am afraid, in advocating any substantial change in these matters at the moment with a particular Minister. I have advocated such changes before, but the most a Minister for Finance can do is to give concessions here and there. The previous Minister would, I believe, have done much more in that connection had he been able to do it, and we all know what his views were in that matter.

In that connection, I have always taken the view that in the present conditions the cost of going to and from business, certainly in the case of the lower income groups, should be allowed as expenses. There was a time when it could have been argued that if a person wished to live four or five miles from his place of business, that was his look out. In the present position of housing, the worker has to live where he can get his house and I think that there is quite an injustice in this matter. The lower income groups find that they have to go a distance out for housing and a person who is able to find a house near his work is fortunate and has a decided advantage over those who have to live further away. Even if the expenditure getting to and from business amounts to a 1/- a day, it adds up to a considerable sum for the year and I see no reason why the cost of that transport should not be allowed as expenses, because there would be no income if a person did not get to and from his place of business. Even if such a concession could not be allowed to people on the higher income level, it should be given to those with an income of £500 or less. I have discussed this matter quite a lot and people have convinced me that they have a grievance.

As I stated already, I do not propose to deal with these matter in detail, but I cannot resist the temptation to get in a few words on what I might describe as a particular hobby of mine. I do not think I have ever had the opportunity of raising this matter with the present Minister. I have raised it with his predecessor and his predecessor again, in fact, with the last three Ministers. I do not think the present Minister for Finance was Minister for Finance on any occasion on which I previously raised the matter. I do not propose to rehash the speech I made at considerable length and with considerable care on previous occasions, but I do suggest that there should be a revision in the general income-tax provisions. Income-tax in its essence should be a fair tax, but the majority of people, rightly or wrongly, and I feel rightly, contend that in present conditions it is not a fair tax. I am not dealing with the provisions as they affect business.

No Minister for Finance, in my opinion, is at all likely in any annual review or in Budget proposals to do anything more than give what are called added concessions. He cannot do otherwise, because he must get in the necessary taxation. I am still, however, of the opinion that considerable improvements could be made if matters were scientifically considered by a commission of experts, including businessmen and the public who might put forward the various injustices which they feel, by way of evidence, and then consider a new scheme to replace the 1918 Income-Tax Acts on which the income-tax of this country is based. I think that would take two or three years to do. I do not think it will ever be done in the immediate future, but I hope that some day some Government or some Minister will realise that it is absurd for an independent State like this to be operating on the British 1918 Acts and never do anything to evolve a scheme of our own which, if it is not equitable, would be as equitable as we could make it. It would not be a Party matter, because Governments may come and go but there will always be income-tax and the income-tax codes.

Allied to that will be the question of taxation of business profits. I think there should be separate taxation for business. Business profits are at present taxed on income-tax and corporation profits tax. I think they should be taxed by one tax. I am not, however, convinced that it would not be possible to evolve a scheme of graduated business profits tax which would tax as low as possible what would be regarded as normal profits, and would provide for any year in which there might be exceptionally high profits. That could be done somewhat in the same way as the surtax.

Another subject which affects the question of taxation and which is causing a lot of dissatisfaction is in regard to the system of valuation or revaluation which takes place at different periods. I did my best to persuade the previous Minister on this subject, which is something, I think, which is causing universal dissatisfaction, and which is causing grave injustice. Ministers are reluctant to change these things because it would reduce the income from local taxation, and local bodies are reluctant to change them because it would reduce the value of local taxation. There is a way out, and it is not, in my opinion, either a right or wise policy that because improvements are made to a premises, the valuation should there and then be affected immediately. I think there should be a change because I think it is unreasonable that because premises have been improved the valuation should go up at once. There should be some period allowed before there is a change in the valuation. Persons can spend as much as they wish on interior improvements, but once they do any major alterations to a premises, they are immediately caught in two ways: (1) they will not be allowed to charge it for income-tax purposes, and (2) they will have their valuation increased immediately. The result is that huge sums have been spent over the last 20 or 25 years on repairs. If they had been spent on improvements instead of on repairs we would have more valuable assets and less money would have been wasted, as I think was often the case; there might have been some temporary reduction in the amount of tax collected, but in the long run the amount collectable would have been higher.

It is a point which I would like to see considered at some time or other but in particular I should like the Minister to consider the two points that there is genuine dissatisfaction and a feeling that the incidence of income-tax is not equitable and secondly that there is a very strong feeling that the system with regard to valuation is inequitable and unfair. In conclusion I should like to say for fear that I might have been misunderstood that I make no suggestion at all that the administration of income-tax is unfair. Occasionally one hears an odd remark of that kind but any time I have investigated I have found the case to be completely to the contrary. Again and again when poor people consulted me I advised them to go to the inspector and either the inspector or his officials sat down and worked out the best possible position for them so that they would get the benefit of any concessions or rights they might have. An odd person who finds his income-tax is higher than he thought it would be may have a temporary grievance but generally there is no feeling that the administration of the tax is unfair. It is the law that has gone out of date and needs amendment to meet present conditions.

That is all I propose to say. There is a great deal one could say on general terms but for the reasons I have given I do not think that this is a good or a wise time to discuss them.

Like Senator Douglas, I do not propose to hold the Minister very long. So long as he proceeds along the course he is pursuing of accepting the principles embodied in the financial legislation of his predecessor we will give him all the help it is possible to give him within reason. The whole problem of taxation in this country is becoming increasingly difficult for the taxpayer and despite many outbursts from the Minister when he was in opposition there is very little evidence that the taxpayer can expect very much relief. What we must do is to be on our guard that he will not make the burden too heavy for taxpayer to bear. Of course there are methods to enable the taxpayer to carry the burden with more ease but I do not propose to go at this stage into the whole problem of harder work, increased production and the raising of our taxable capacity. That is a problem about which the Minister and his colleagues will have to think.

We hope that whatever progressive action has already been taken by their predecessors in office will be continued by the Minister and his colleagues, and if they must change their point of view and go back on their previous declarations, if it is good and wise for the nation the country as a whole will welcome it. We welcome some statements of that kind from the Minister for Agriculture. We realise, as Senator Douglas said, that the Minister is in the very happy position of passing on something produced by somebody else, as he can disclaim responsibility for what it contains if it is not pleasing.

I have a small point which I put before the Minister's predecessor in office, and as I see nothing in these proposals to indicate that I carried my point I want to put it before the Minister now for his consideration. Although it is only a small matter it is of considerable consequence to the farming community. I know that Senator Quirke does not like to see too many tractors in the country and would rather have horses, but I beg his support and approval for this suggestion because I think it would facilitate the farming community everywhere. A slight amendment in the law will meet the situation and I do not think that it will make any difference whatever with regard to taking traffic from Córas Iompair Éireann or causing an injury to Córas Iompair Éireann revenue.

Farm tractors are now numbered in thousands in the country and are being used in a variety of ways which we could not visualise at all a few years ago. They are making life easier and simpler and enabling us to get on with our job. Tractors are used by farmers to go to fairs and markets. It seems to me an absurd position that I may go to the nearest fair with my tractor and trailer and take a few animals of my own. My animals are sold and I am coming home in the afternoon, seven or eight miles from the fair. My next door neighbour, who has purchased a springing cow which is due to calve that day or the next day, will have to trudge the roads with his cow and I cannot under penalty take that animal home for my neighbour. That is just absured. It is a ridiculous interpretation of what the law ought to be and ought to mean. This matter has been before a number of courts up and down the country and so far as I know the ruling in each court has been that the traffic laws, being as they are, it is not possible for one farmer to give that service to another farmer.

Life in rural Ireland to-day is difficult, labour is scarce, time is of value and it should not be spent foolishly. We should not expect hardships to be imposed upon us which would be avoidable by a simple amendment of the law. The use of tractors in the country to-day is widespread. They have made life simpler and easier and should be utilised to the full and in so far as the purchase of a tractor by one man can assist his neighbour he should be permitted to do so within reason. It would be possible to draw a circle around a limited area. I could go to a fair up to a limit of seven or eight miles from home but I would not expect to be entitled to take my trailer and tractor 20 miles to haul stock for my neighbour. I would not ask that, but certainly I feel that if I am at a fair and my neighbour has something to be taken home I should be allowed to do that. I should not be put in the position that if I pass him on the highway and take up his stock I am taken to court the next day or the next week, prosecuted and fined.

I raised this matter previously. Justice can be done by an amendment of the law in that particular case. There is no point in the transport organisation advancing the argument that this will take traffic from them as they just do not operate in these regions at all. Nobody could ever think of getting a railway lorry to come to a fair and pay these people to wait until the purchase is made and the man is ready to go home with the beasts. The transport of these beasts is not being handled by any transport organisation. I think it would be a simple matter to amend the law as it stands so as to enable this comparatively small concession to be given to the farming community. It would enable them to utilise the tools they possess at present not only for their own use but also to help their neighbours. In that way they would serve the whole agricultural community and they would raise the level of production by enabling men to remain at work in the fields instead of having to spend their time uselessly.

The present Minister is not responsible for this Bill. On previous occasions I think he indicated that his approach to the country's finances would be very different from that of his predecessor in office. There is nothing in this Bill to indicate a change of policy and we shall have to wait until his policy unfolds itself. I am sure the responsibilities of office will enable the Minister to see that, when all is said and done, the wise policy in regard to finance, agriculture, or indeed, any other department of the nation's life, is the policy that ought to be pursued by any Government in power, no matter what label you may affix to it, and that the common sense of the people of the country ought to enable us to determine what is wise financial policy. The Minister has it in this Bill. We shall give the Minister all possible support for it, within reason. So long as he acts wisely we shall give him our support.

I was amazed at some of the statements made by Senator Baxter. He seems to assume that the present Minister will adopt, whole hog, the policy of his predecessor in office. I hope he will not. The policy of his predecessor was to finance current expenditure out of the expected earnings of unborn generations. I am quite certain also that the Minister will not accept the policy of his predecessor who used the axe regardless of national needs. Schemes were cut down just because they had been introduced by the previous Government. That is not a same policy or a good policy. I do not believe that it would be either a sane or a good policy for the present Minister to abolish any useful schemes which are at present in operation.

Senator Baxter said that I am against tractors. I am not against tractors. However, I am in favour of horses on the land and on the streets and wherever else they can be used economically. I should not be against mechanised transport on farms if we could produce the raw materials for the tractors here. We cannot produce the raw materials or the fuel for the tractors and, therefore, I do not believe that it is common sense policy to allow the complete transport of our country to go over the tractors and lorries and mechanised transport generally. A few days ago we saw a picture in some of our newspapers of a school of instruction in operation for the purpose of teaching young men how to convert horse-drawn vehicles to mechanised transport—in other words, to convert horse-drawn implements so that they can be used by tractors. On the same day there were glaring headlines on the newspapers about the dangerous oil situation in Persia. No intelligent person could avoid seeing the connection between the two matters. Rather than have schools for the conversion of horse-drawn, implements to tractor-drawn implements, we should have—if necessary both—a school to instruct people how to convert tractor-drawn vehicles into vehicles suitable to be horse drawn. I believe it is sane policy for this country to maintain much more than the nucleus of an organisation which would be able to take over, should our tractor fuel situation get into such a condition that we could no longer use them, native-produced transport, preferably horses, so that we would be in a position to produce the food necessary for man and beast in this country.

I have had considerable experience in this matter. I have gone into it very thoroughly with certain transport outfits in this city. Even to-day people who are paying the highest prices for horses, harness, hay, oats and bedding, and top wages—and good accounts— have told me that their accounts show that they can carry out their work more efficiently and economically in Dublin with horses than they can with lorries. There is no necessity to have a war between lorries and horse-drawn vehicles. I think there should be some inducement to the people who are prepared to use horses so as to ensure our transport against a possible serious emergency. Thousands of horses are working to-day on the streets of New York and on the streets of London, yet there is a campaign in this country against horses. I am not talking altogether as the representatives of the Horse Breeders' Association in this House. I am talking as an ordinary member of the community who sees what is going on and who will say what he believes.

It was very foolish to change the President's escort from horses to motor cycles. The kings of other countries insist not alone on being driven in horse-drawn vehicles but also on being driven in Irish coaches. We should have outstanding parades and ceremonies, with horses used for escort purposes. Somebody may say that horses will cost more to maintain and that they are not wanted very often. Everything connected with the upkeep of the horses, and of the vehicles which they draw, remains in this country while every penny spent on the initial purchase and upkeep of mechanised transport leaves this country by the cross-Channel post within a few nights after the sale.

Senator Baxter mentioned the transport of animals by neighbours for one another. One would imagine that that matter was just some small grievance applying only to his own area. It is a far bigger problem than that. If Senator Baxter is allowed, in his generosity, to carry my cow home from the fair for me—which, I am sure, he would be delighted to do—where is the line to be drawn? Is there anything to prevent him from carrying a couple of heifers for Senator Goulding and is there anything to stop him from carrying timber on the top of the lorry? It is a very big question and I am not competent to deal with it. That is a very big problem. It is one with which I am not competent to deal and it is one with which I am not inclined to deal.

Mr. Burke

I would like to support Senator Douglas in his request for an inquiry into our taxes. Nearly all budgets are, of necessity, makeshift. The Minister for Finance has to get the money to pay the State services. It would be well if we, like other foreign countries, had a finance policy that would transcend governments and finance ministers. I would like to see the things requested by Senator Douglas included in the terms of reference of any commission that would be set up. Further, I think that maybe the Government could possibly go further than was suggested by Senator Douglas. I think our system of taxation should develop a type of economy that would give us a certain sort of industrial set-up in this country, an agricultural set-up and a commercial set-up that would be affected by that type of taxation. I think that a type of industry has developed in this country as a result of the present economic system. To-day I happened to come across a copy of a booklet which has just been published, Enquiry into Irish Commercial Property. It is prepared by F.G. Hall and published under the aegis of the Dublin Chamber of Commerce and the Federated Union of Employers. That publication tends to show that the incidence of taxation on business profits is such that it is impossible for the ordinary business to finance itself out of present-day earnings. That is all right for public companies because they can go back to the public and get from them the money to help them to finance their industries, but if a privately owned family industry is not able to get the money it will have to cease to become privately owned, or it will have to go into the banks for that money. We all know that is not desirable nor do people like to have to mortgage themselves to the banks. I hold that there is something happening in England which will inevitably happen here. You will have the growth of the big multiple companies and cartels unless governments permit sufficient money to be put aside to allow privately owned family businesses, in particular, to recapitalise themselves out of some of the profits.

Senator Douglas made a point which, I think, was very interesting. He said that earnings should be treated in two ways. If earnings are invested in industry, I hold that they are of benefit to others besides the owners of that industry. They benefit the employers in the industry. They benefit the people in the industry and they strengthen our economy. The money that is reploughed back into the business is a national asset and it ought not to come under the same heavy incidence of taxation as money which is taken out and spent, perhaps, badly spent and which causes the wrong sort of inflation.

I believe in all seriousness that some enquiry ought to be set up because inflation is worrying everybody all over the world and its effects are worrying everybody. We ought here and now do something about the matter and see that our private enterprise is protected.

Some of our land laws have given us, I suppose, the most widespread private ownership of the land in Western Europe. I believe that if the laws relating to private industry and taxation as it affects private industry could be adjusted we might be able to give a very much widespread ownership of the means of production in that sphere. It is a very important subject. It is a subject to which I should have liked to devote more time studying before I spoken on the matter here to-day, but I think, in the very broad sense, that I have made our position clear. Maybe the Minister, when he is replying or maybe at a later stage on the Appropriation Bill or on another occasion, might give us his views. This is a national problem that will have to be approached. I think it ought to be approached above politics as a long term plan for the development of industry in this country.

I do not intend to delay the Seanad very long. I just want to talk on the question of income-tax. None of us likes paying taxes but, in the main, we look on them as a necessary evil, something that has to be paid and paid, in many cases, I think, with a certain amount of reluctance. There may be people who pay income-tax in a cheerful way, but I never met them. I was surprised, some years ago, when I saw on the paper, under the heading "conscience money", somebody paying to the Minister for Finance £500 income-tax. I said that, at any rate, there is at least one honest man in the country.

What I want to put to the Minister is this. The tax is a hard one and a difficult one, particularly for members of the working class. On this matter, we were met by the previous Minister for Finance with the illogical statement that if he did not get taxes that way he would have to raise them some other way, which might not be as inoffensive a way as by way of income-tax. I suggest to the Minister that the burden should be eased somewhat, particularly for the low income group, the working classes, tradesmen, etc. What inevitably happens with these people is that they do not pay the income-tax until it has accumulated. Then a notification is sent to the employer stating that so much income-tax must be deducted every week out of the wages of the employees. That leaves them in a worse position than if they had paid it in small instalments.

I suggested to the previous Minister for Finance—he did not seem to think it was practicable—that he should introduce the pay-as-you-earn system in respect of income-tax, particularly with regard to the working class. I know what happens in the printing industry in Dublin. Large deductions are made from the wages of the workers over a period to pay their arrears of income-tax. If that can be done to collect arrears, I say that there are not insurmountable difficulties in the way of introducing a system of collecting the amounts weekly as they fall due.

Working people realise that the tax has to be paid. What happens of course —I suppose we all do it—is that we get the income-tax demand and put it away to be looked at some other day and forget all about it. Then somebody comes down on us hard and strong. I think that the most unpopular people amongst the working classes are the income-tax people, but they are the most inoffensive people. Instead of workers having to pay big amounts out of their wages, I suggest that the tax should be deducted weekly. I suggest that that is a matter which deserves consideration from the Minister. If he considers the matter I believe he will have the blessing of every working man who has to suffer at the present time through having large amounts stopped over a period to pay income-tax. The workers realise that the tax is there and that it has got to be paid, but if the Minister acceded to my request, the workers will know that they have been asked to pay their income-tax in the easiest way possible.

I understand that an important division will be taken in the Dáil in a few minutes, and when the division bell rings, I should like to have your permission, Sir, to leave.

I want to make one suggestion with which I am sure the Minister will agree. It concerns only two or three people—the trained teachers who teach in Ring College. I suggest that they get the same pension, rights as other trained teachers in national schools. We all claim, and sincerely claim, that Irish is an important subject, and there is no place in Ireland where the language is taught as well or as quickly as in Ring College. A child of eight to ten years can go there and learn to speak Irish, even without any previous knowledge, from September until Hallow Eve. After Hallow Eve the children are not allowed to use anything but Irish. As I say, there are only two or three— two, I think—teachers involved, and I am sure that somebody else has thought of the point and has approached some previous Minister with regard to it. I assume that there is some technical difficulty, some red tape to be cut, and I feel that it should not be impossible for the Minister to cut that red tape. I know that An Fear Mór wants to be independent, and I know that he is doing good work. The teachers who are engaged in the school are doing excellent work, and it is not a big request to make that they should get the same treatment as regards pension rights as teachers teaching in national schools, who are probably not doing as good work, so far as the Irish language is concerned.

I do not want to dwell too much on the subject of Irish. Other subjects are equally well, if not better, taught than they are in most of the national schools. In the matter of arithmetic, geography and history—I speak from personal experience because I have a child there and I have met other children from the college in Ring—they are much more advanced than those who attend schools where Irish and English are taught. I strongly urge the Minister to agree that whatever red tape is there will be cut, and that these few teachers will get the same rights as others teachers.

I am glad to see the concession which has been made in regard to income-tax allowances for married people and children, but I think we all realise that, considering the fall in the value of money, the position is not much better—in fact, it is worse now—than it was in 1938. The allowances do not mean as much as they did in 1938. I agree with Senator Douglas when he says that income-tax should be a fair tax and, in theory, it would be the fairest tax of all if everyone paid exactly what he should pay in accordance with the law; but it will be generally agreed that the people who pay to the last farthing are the people with fixed wages or salaries, and, despite what may be said about business profits and so on, business people have a better and more frequent chance of getting away with it than the person with a fixed salary.

I raised the point which has been raised now by Senator Colgan when the Finance Bill was before us last year and I spoke of the hardship which was inflicted on people with small incomes and fixed salaries by having to pay income-tax in two instalments, as most of them do. I thoroughly agree with the Senator that the question of the pay-as-you-earn principle should be investigated. I cannot see why, if it is possible in other countries, it should not be possible here. It has worked, I understand, satisfactorily in Britain and Northern Ireland. That is my information, in any case. As the tax is theoretically a fair tax, if every person paid what he should pay strictly in accordance with the law, the rate of tax would be less than it is at present.

There are one or two points about the allowances which I should like to draw to the Minister's attention, arising out of what Senator MacCartan has said. If a person has a child at a secondary school over the age of 16 he gets an allowance, but if the child is going to a technical school, no allowance is payable. That distinction should not be drawn between these two types of school. The type of education in many cases is similar—it is what one might call post-primary education—and it has never been made clear to me why if I have a child in a secondary school, even a day secondary school, I will get an allowance, but if I send the child to a technical school, the allowance is not paid. The same would apply in the case of certain other classes—not exactly apprentices, but boys who go in for electrical training or girls who go to a technical school or the university to be trained as radiographers. In these cases the allowance is not paid, and I think that, where there is any system of continued education, no distinction should be made as between one type of school and another.

Another small point has been brought to my notice. I do not speak with full knowledge, but I should like the Minister to inquire into it. It has been pointed out to me with regard to the regulation whereby property is taxed on the basis of five-fourths of the valuation that, where there is a house and land involved and where the joint valuations are a certain sum, the extra one-fourth is applied to the whole valuation instead of, as was originally intended, to the valuation of the buildings only. The example was given to me of a person who had a house and land valued at £60, the valuation of the buildings being £20 and of the agricultural land £40. The whole £60 was taxed as if it were a house in the city —on a total of £75—instead of the £20 valuation of the buildings, which would mean a sum of £65. It may be a comparatively small point, but it is a grievance which has been brought to my notice and I should like the Minister to look into it and see if it is a fact. I suggest that the extra quarter should be confined to the buildings only.

Another point which I have raised on many occasions with the Minister and previous Ministers is the case of the pensioned teachers. A valuable concession was given as a result of the Roe Commission inasmuch as teachers got what they had been looking for—for very many years—the right to pensions on the same basis as that on which they were given to other public servants, namely, pensions based on half their retiring salary, plus a lump sum. That was a valuable concession and it has been given to the teachers, but only to the serving teachers. It was dated from 1st January, 1950, so that any teacher who retired before that date has not benefited by that concession. The theory, as I understand it, is that the lump sum is given on account of the service rendered during the previous 40 years and, if that is so, those who served the State and the community for 40 years should not be deprived of that right.

It is surely an anomaly to say that a man who retired on the 3rd January would get a lump sum in addition to half salary as pension, equal to £300 or £500, whereas if he retired three days before that, say on the 30th December, he would be entitled to no lump sum whatever. I pressed the previous Minister on this point and I would press the present Minister. When he looks into it, he will realise the justice of giving those who retired before 1950 the benefit of this valuable concession. These people are all old and they are a gradually lessening body. The amount which it would cost would not be much, comparatively speaking, in a budget of £80,000,000. It is only fair that they should be treated as those now in the service have been treated and get paid for the same back service.

I would like the Minister to look into another small point which has been brought to my notice, although I am not an expert on it. It is the question of the new regulations regarding the tax charged to building societies. Many people invest small amounts in building societies and I understand there has always been an arrangement whereby the full rate of tax is not charged on the profits earned by the societies, since the investigation of the cases of thousands of small investors would cost more in administration than would be gained, as there would be rebates also where people were not liable for the tax at all.

My information is that up to this year two-thirds was payable, but that has been increased to three-fourths. The building societies have been complaining of this increase in their expenses and the Minister can get more information on these broad facts if he will look into the matter. These bodies do a valuable service, as everyone admits, in enabling people to purchase their own homes and they should get consideration. I am only suggesting that the Minister should look into and see if there is anything in the point they have made and, if so, give it sympathetic consideration.

I hope the Minister is satisfied with the tenor of this debate. It indicates that the House has a very serious and sane appreciation of the cost of Government, as indicated in the Finance Bill before us to-day. In a few words I am going to say, I may be permitted to remark that the ever-increasing calls on the State should give us serious need to think. We should urge that more emphasis be put on the point that where more and more demands are made on the State they must inevitably result in increased provisions for administration costs.

Those who know me well would never accuse me of being a pessimist, but I do say that even to-day the provisions of the Finance Bill are based on a buoyancy of revenue that is decidedly abnormal. I am afraid that the peak of our revenue has been passed, at least in existing circumstances. If that is true, we should support the Government in seeing to it that the clamour for more things to be done by the State for the individual shall be met by a determined attitude to ensure that the burden to be imposed on the community as a whole will not be one that the normal revenues of the State will not provide.

This Finance Bill indicates certain sources of revenue and will produce certain sums of money, provided that the existing buoyancy continues. We cannot be sure of that. All we can be sure of is that once taxation is imposed it is a constant thing, while revenue itself is a flexible thing and is determined by the capacity of the people to pay. This is just a word of warning, since in the many contacts I have, I find even now a certain restriction in credit and in money If there is a reduction in the profit-making capacity of the community, even the Central Fund may be affected and in that way revenue would be affected.

I am very happy to find myself in complete agreement with Senator Douglas and Senator Denis Burke, in urging that the taxation system should be examined and brought in line with the needs of Ireland. It is amazing that, though so many years have elapsed since we became separate politically from England, we have retained so many of the antiquated and obsolete systems and laws inherited from England. Why do we still retain those things that England, for her own purposes, imposed on that country but which in their very nature in many cases do not specifically apply to this country? We have here a newly-born industrial arm. Most of our industries are young, where men have gone in, full of enterprise and hope, with very little capital, and have allowed to remain in their businesses the profits they earned in the early years. I am sorry to say it, but I know of cases where for a period of ten or 12 years men have taken nothing out of their businesses but mere subsistence, and one bad year has wiped out all they made and they have found themselves in the ranks of the unemployed; but in the meantime the State has taken its full toll of the profits those little businesses made.

Senator Douglas rightly urged that there should be a distinction drawn between profits distributed and profits retained for business development. That is especially true of this country, where we have so many small industries. It would be a very wise distinction and would not result in any net loss to the State. The main thing is to strengthen our industrial arm, such as it is. Private enterprise here consists of the efforts of the Paddy Murphys and the Mick O'Briens. Thanks be to God, we have not got the big cartels and co-operative stores. Private enterprise is, in the main, the efforts of the individual men in the country from whom we all sprung. We all agree that everything should be done to see that the little speculator, speculating his skill and his small capital, is given a chance to put himself on a solid basis.

I do not wish to make a long dissertation now and want to facilitate the Minister by giving him all stages of the Bill to-day. However, the Bill provides for additional imposts on hydrocarbon oils. I suggest here again that this additional tax on petrol and other oil fuels means that we have not come to the stage when we will accept and design for ourselves a system of taxation for motor vehicles that will suit this country. If, coincident with the introduction of this increase in petrol and oil, we had a change from the British system of horse-power tax, then I would have no criticism to make to-day. I think it is safe to say that, of all the civilised countries in the world to-day, this little country of ours is the only one which imposes an obligatory and unfair tax on the ownership of a motor vehicle. I have heard people state that the increase in the use of motor vehicles in the country is an indication that the tax is a secondary consideration and is not one that the people could not stand. That is no answer to the problem. The reason why motor vehicles are being used to such an extent is because the public transport is not adequate for the people and, when we have an adequate system of public transport, then there will not be the same need for private transport.

I urge the Minister in all seriousness to give very careful consideration to the recommendations made by the Irish Society of Motor Traders, of which I happen to be president, who have given months of consideration to the provision of an alternative system of taxation of motor vehicles and whose recommendation, while giving the same amount of revenue to the State, would ensure that the burden of the tax will be in proportion to the use made of the vehicle and not, as at present, be a tax on ownership of the vehicle.

Senator Douglas in his opening remarks pointed out that there must be a sense of unreality in our approach to the whole matter. This Bill is a Bill to give effect to the Budget proposals and we find in that Budget that no provision was made for the millions of pounds which must be found before the 31st March next to give the increases already granted to many of our State servants including teachers, Civic Guards and other servants, and the money that must be found to provide for benefits under the Social Welfare Bill. It is, therefore, quite understandable that Senator Douglas must view the Bill with a sense of unreality.

Before going into the question of the Bill, I would like to congratulate the Minister and the Government in having taken one very important decision, a decision that affects the particular part of the country that I and many of my colleagues are interested in, and a decision that has been received throughout the country with, I think, enthusiasm, hope and confidence; that is, the decision to set up a particular Department of State to deal with that one part of our country which should deserve the greatest consideration from any national Government, and that is the Gaeltacht areas of Ireland. I hope that that decision will be followed by a decentralisation of the Departments dealing with the Gaeltacht areas, especially the Land Commission, Fisheries and other Departments dealing with districts of that kind. We look forward to the establishment of that Department with confidence and enthusiasm. It has given hope and confidence to the people in the Gaeltacht. I think those who have read the latest reports of the census will find that our greatest emigration has been from these areas. There is a big problem to be dealt with which will require the energy and enthusiasm of everyone connected with this particular Department and we all wish them great success in their undertaking.

We have had during the last three years many suggestions made about what was going to be done for these areas and when one examines the Book of Estimates, on which this Bill and Budget are based, it is an extraordinary thing to find that, in place of providing additional moneys, in practically every case there has been a decrease in the amount of moneys provided or made available for developments. We had in this House and in the other House long debates on the great benefits that would accrue from the Local Authorities (Works) Bill. That was a Bill under which good work could and would be undertaken. It is an extraordinary thing that under the last Government there was a reduction in the moneys provided under that Estimate. We found there were similar reductions on the Estimate for land rehabilitation, under which every rock in Connemara was to have been pushed into the sea, so that they would make a bridge, if not to Aran, possibly to America.

We have had much talk in this and the other House about price control and great hope was given when the Prices Advisory Council was set up to focus light on the various exorbitant charges made on the public by manufacturers and others and we were told that these things would be investigated in public court. Something extraordinary has happened because I have never seen in the local papers where any such court was held by the advisory council. We now know that many applications were made and that prior to the general election many recommendations were made by the council for many increases in prices, but because at that time the general election was pending the then Minister for Industry and Commerce thought it advisable in his own political interest that effect should not be given to the recommendations of this council. I would like to make a suggestion to the Minister, that when recommendations are made by this council they must be given effect to from the date on which they have been made and that the date be given on each recommendation.

I thought Senator Hawkins was going to make a speech on the Finance Bill.

His speech was as relevant as those of Senators O'Connell and Baxter.

Mr. O'Farrell

The Minister, in his speech introducing the Bill, gave us nothing to criticise, even if we had wanted to criticise him. He told us about the concessions rather than taxation, although, as I understand it, this is a Bill dealing only with principles. Everybody who has spoken, however, has dealt with concessions rather than with the principles of the Bill. However reluctant we are to pay taxation, we realise that it must be paid and that it must be raised. It is merely to emphasise some of the things that have been said by Senator Douglas that I stand up now. He suggested that an allowance should be made to workers who have to travel to their employment. That is very desirable. I do not believe allowances are made for travelling to and from work in the ordinary income-tax form that every one of us may have to fill in his time, but I do know that having to travel to and from their work, in the cities particularly, can be a very considerable financial hardship on some families. First of all, they are compelled to go outside the centre of the cities, to go out to the suburbs to look for a place in which they can live; they are compelled to scrape and save and raise a few hundred pounds by way of deposit on a house; they are compelled to mortgage their future and to mortgage the house in order that they may live in it; they have to pay a good many expenses in order to get the transaction through.

Some allowance is being made by the Minister—a reduction from 5 to 1 per cent. in the stamp duty in those cases —but having very little choice in the place where they may live they are then compelled, in addition to all the other burdens, to travel to and from their employment in the city. If they have a couple of children going to school the children may have to go a distance to school. I know very low middle-class families—when I say "low middle-class families" I mean low in the financial scale—who are living in suburban places and whose total income might not be £7 or £8 a week and whose expenditure on travelling to and from work would come to very nearly £1 a week. Some concession should surely be made in their cases. I do not know how it could be made, unless Córas Iompair Éireann were induced to issue weekly or monthly tickets, an account of which could be returned in the case of claims for remission of tax. The ordinary businessman does not get an allowance for travelling to and from his place of employment, but the ordinary businessman has ways and means of getting income-tax deductions that the ordinary user of a Córas Iompair Éireann bus cannot take advantage of. The ordinary businessman has very many ways of putting down expenses which may even include the petrol used in his private car and there is nobody to say whether it is legitimate or not. At some time or another, if not now, the Minister might consider whether or not an allowance of that sort could be made to workers.

Another point which may be worth repeating is the suggestion that there should be some more consideration shown in revaluing premises than has been shown up to the present, particularly where the premises are dwellinghouses. A man may spend as much as he likes or as much as he can beg or borrow or has in the bank on decorating and improving the inside of his house and nobody comes down on him, but let him add one stone to it outside, let him do anything to improve the structure and to extend it in any way, whether it be a business place or dwellinghouse, he immediately has to pay additional taxation on it because his valuation is increased.

I know that the Government allow, I think it is £100, to build an extra room to a cottage in the country where any member of the family had developed tuberculosis. There are families in Dublin developing tuberculosis and who will continue to develop tuberculosis because of the places in which they are compelled to live and the struggle they have to make to live at all, who get no allowance but who, if they only build a shed for turf in the back yard, will have their valuation increased and will be taxed for that.

That is a survival of a bad old system. I add this to the things that have been mentioned by Senator Summerfield and Senator Douglas. We have inherited a system on which we are working which was never designed for us and which was bad for whoever it was designed. It is one of the things we ought not to have that a man who improves his own place should be penalised for doing it. We remember being told when we were small that that was the penal law. It is a penal law whether it was done 100 years ago or is being done to-day, whether it was done in the case of farmers or in the case of suburban residents or businessmen now. It is a penalty imposed on enterprise, a penalty imposed on people for doing something for themselves which, if left undone, would impose a burden on the State through the State having to provide better houses or hospitals or some sort of service that might never have been needed if people had been encouraged to look after their own welfare and were given a fair chance to do it.

No reference was made to one particular remission in the Bill. I suppose it was not necessary to refer to it, but it is a very desirable and welcome remission. It is the increase from £80 to £130 a year in respect of the annuities paid by trade unions to their members. That exemption is raised to £130 from £80. That was very desirable because in these cases men paying into unions had over a great number of years contributed some of their earnings. Instead of spending it as they got it, they had contributed it to their own future welfare and, when they had tried to provide for their future welfare, it was desirable that they should be enabled to do it as well as possible. If they had been thriftless, instead of paying tax, the State would have come to their rescue and would have nursed them and buried them.

One reference was made to horses. Senator Quirke told us that while he was in favour of horses he was not against motor cars. One of the difficulties in getting firms to use horses, even where they are economic, in places like the City of Dublin, is that the roads and the streets are no longer designed for horse traffic. No consideration whatever seems to have been shown, either in rural Ireland where you would expect it, or in the city where you might not expect it, for those using horse traffic. The roads are made more and more into speed tracks, which are not to the advantage of the farmer particularly. I am not pleading that there should be a new type of road made but that is one of the explanations of the decline in horse transport.

Was it Senator Baxter who made an appeal that he should be allowed to carry home the neighbour's cow from the fair? There does not seem to be anything very wrong in that. There again we are going on some alien idea. This may not be popular with every member of this House, but I see nothing wrong if I have a motor car or a lorry and am going from one place to another in giving a neighbour a lift either for his cow or his sack of meal or himself. If we make it illegal now to carry home a neighbour's cow or sack of meal, Senator Summerfield may be prosecuted for giving me a free lift in his motor car. There is no penalty imposed on anybody who gives another a lift in his car. Why should there be a penalty imposed for giving a neighbour a lift or giving a lift to a neighbour's property? If I carry it in a horse and car, there is no objection whatever and no legal penalty but if I rise to the height of possessing a motor car, neighbourliness becomes a crime. That is a bad thing.

While I have no knowledge at all of economics as a science, I would just like to touch upon the question of the financial policy of the country in its broadest sense, its implications generally. There is one basic principle that I have firmly fixed in my mind and that is the principle of living within our income whether applied to a nation or a household but in saying that, of course, I am aware of the varying degrees of credit that are available for instance to a nation or the justification for capital expenditure which brings economies in other ways or which may in some cases enrich and enhance the capital value of the nation as a whole and its resources as a whole. As a non-expert I always have a fear in the back of my mind that the experts may not see the wood for the trees. Therefore, when the question of the financial policy as a whole comes up for consideration, I feel the non-expert is bound to try to see the implications of that policy in regard to the over-all picture both economic and national.

To-day, as I see the world situation, we are at a stage when, as never before, the economic policy of our country might find us with political and national commitments which are quite contrary to the general philosophical thinking of our own country. To stress that I would merely say that because we are living in an ideological age a war is being waged in the realm of ideals, and that that war is being won all round us, and that that fight is for ideals that will capture the minds of men. There is no denying the existence to-day of a world power and strategy to discredit democracy and because certain democratic countries have the right to become exceedingly materialistic in themselves, and that that materialism is reflected in their financial and foreign policy, we have the deplorable state in Europe to-day where countries in which there existed an ideological vacuum at the end of the last war have been brought in contact with the financial policy of these countries and have been brought to the conclusion that democracy means no more than an economic way of life. That, in general terms, is the framework in which we must see what must be our approach to an economic and financial policy, namely, the effect it has in a world to-day where a war is being fought to discredit democracy.

There is a certain amount of criticism of anyone who wants to economise. That statement is true of most countries of the world and not merely of this country. We have now got to the very sad stage where only a very brave man will stand up and advocate economy. There, again, I want to stress that that is a point that bears out the need to relate our expenditure policy to the ideological situation in which we are living.

We have seen in other countries round about us, where this question of expenditure has become a major pawn in an ideological game, where people whose business it is to discredit the existing ideals of the West and in particular democracy, can, on the one hand, use the fact that we do not go ahead with certain expenditure which we cannot afford, to cause unrest and criticism and put the Government in an impossible position, or, on the other hand, if forced by public opinion and the general demand to go ahead with expenditure, to cause economic chaos within our own country. In either case the people who are so planning ideologically have won. I mention this so that it may be put on record that in this House at least we see what is happening and we are concerned about it, and in the light of our position in the world we are thinking seriously on this question of expenditure.

As I have already said, I know little about economics. It may be all right, as far as I know, it may be perfectly all right, to put all non-recurring expenditure aside and meet it out of borrowing or capital, and not out of income. It may be the only way of doing it. As a non-expert, I can only see a day coming when we will not be able to meet our commitments. To be put in a position where national conditions can be imposed by the countries on which we become dependent, I regard as a very serious danger indeed. We can imagine what it would mean if we should ever be placed in a position whereby, because of excessive expenditure—especially in view of the existence of a world power which is determined to overthrow democracy in the world, and of the growing materialism in countries both of the right and left—we should be placed in a position where we would have to accept certain conditions imposed by these other countries, or if we were forced to adopt certain procedures and actions which are quite contrary to our way of thinking and of life.

I am convinced that the role of this country in the world to-day is a very important one, if we decide to make it so, and that is that it could well be our part to give content to democracy —and the only way we can do that is by the way we live, by our example. By our approach to economic problems to-day we can show that democracy is something more than a mere empty formula for a reactionary economic way of life. It is because of a sincere belief in the role we could play in the world to-day that I want to draw the attention of the House to that point of view.

There is one more point I wish to refer to, the question of security. I think we would all agree that in the present international situation, which has been worsening in the past few months—in the past week we have had a temporary glimpse of hope—any Government would be justified in a certain amount of expenditure on defence. I think that nobody would criticise, in the light of the present world situation, the expending of a certain amount of money on defence. Again, we might look at what has happened in other countries where we have seen that the events of the past two years in particular have shown quite clearly that there are other risks which can defeat our expenditure on defence. I refer to cases such as that of Dr. Fuchs and Professor Crova in Britain who gave away atomic secrets. The logical thing at the time of their appointment was to employ the people with the best brains on this type of work. It has now been found that the millions which were spent on atomic research had, in fact, gone to benefit the power determined to overthrow them. In the United States we find that within the State Department the joint signatory to the Yalta Agreement is now, five years later, being tried for treason.

We have had recent examples of leakages in the British Foreign Office. I am not suggesting for one moment that we should look around for similar possibilities of security risks within our own country. I am not making that point, but I should like to stress the need in certain Departments of State for people who are ideologically trained. It is a very specialised training. The Communists, for instance, have given a great deal of care and attention to it over the past 20 years. The people whom they had in training schools 20 years ago are running countries to-day.

Certain of our Government Departments—I am thinking particularly of security and defence—should consider the possibility of employing persons who are ideologically trained and in other sections of Administration people who could advise the Government on what is happening ideologically all around us. On this question of defence and security, which we are going to have to think about in the coming year, we should look for a high degree of moral integrity and honesty. In the last analysis that is our greatest security within our own country. Any Government which sets out to-day to put honesty at a premium in every sphere of the national life will be doing a great service not only to our own country but to all the other free nations.

My remarks will be very brief. I want to say a few words about wheat-growing. The acreage of wheat grown in this country is considerably less than it was some years ago and the price paid to the Irish farmers is considerably less than what has to be paid for imported wheat. The Irish farmer is getting approximately £25 a ton for his wheat, whereas imported wheat is costing something like £34 a ton. The price of wheat in comparison with the price of live-stock feeding stuffs is very much lower. The price of ground wheat would be approximately £26 a ton. Other live-stock feeding stuffs are costing £30, £32 and sometimes £35. I would urge that some consideration be given to people who are growing wheat. At the present time, farmers are growing wheat for sentimental rather than for economic reasons. It is difficult to think that anyone would do that, but, sometimes, people do things from custom or habit. I have been growing wheat for a number of years, although I now realise that it would have been better for me to grow barley or oats. I still keep to wheat growing. That is a foolish notion but it is the result of habit and custom. I think this is a matter which requires the attention of the Minister and it is a matter which will come before the Minister for Finance in due course.

Some people think that my remarks may tend to increase the cost of living, but the reverse is the case. If we do not grow wheat in our own country, then we will have to pay the foreigner £9 per ton more, and that will tend to increase the cost of living.

There is nothing else I have to say except to urge the Minister, when the matter comes before him, as it undoubtedly will, to give it sympathetic consideration.

Captain Orpen

I was a little interested to note that several Senators referred to the question of the restrictions on the use of tractors carrying other people's goods. I put down the following motion:—

That, in the opinion of Seanad Éireann, there is urgent necessity in the interests of agricultural production for a revision of the laws and regulations relating to the use of agricultural tractors on the roads.

That motion has been on the Order Paper for many months and it has never been discussed. The motion involves, to some extent, the revenue and it also involves the people responsible for the highway-code and public safety, but we could not get the Seanad to discuss it. Only to-day this question of what is carrying for reward was thrown out. After all, that is the important thing when you are carrying your neighbour's goods. It is now held that when you help your neighbour there is a reward in the background and, therefore, you are carrying for reward and your insurance is invalid, etc. I think it is rather ludicrous when we are asked to increase production on the land—some of us find that, owing to the scarcity of labour and other considerations, the only way we can increase production is by using modern tools—to find one Department of State, possibly for revenue purposes, trying to stop us and another Department, in the interests of some urban haulier, trying to stop us also. A semi-State company, Córas Iompair Éireann, puts scouts out on the road to see what we are carrying in the backs of our trailers. I think the whole thing is rather despicable.

To come back to the Finance Bill, I would like, when the Minister is replying, to have his views regarding the wisdom of the propriety of borrowing money for capital purposes and spending it on undertakings which are neither very desirable nor likely to lead to an increase in national income. A fund is set up, I understand, to bear the interest charges on borrowed money.

Certain Senators suggested to-day that it is only the spendthrift who borrows. I think that depends entirely on the purpose for which the money is borrowed. If the purposes for which the money is borrowed are likely to provide an asset, is that the policy of a spendthrift? It is the policy of the wise, far-seeing businessman. I am not a businessman; I am a farmer, but that policy seems to me to be wise. I suggest that it might have been very wise to borrow money if it could not be provided out of taxation.

Our facilities for getting accurate knowledge in regard to agricultural processes are conspicuously absent. We have never tried to get down to the task of training the research worker. Expenditure on that sort of work, to my mind, would yield dividends.

Senator Hawkins complained this afternoon and said that he was shocked to find that the amount to be spent on land rehabilitation in this Budget was less than the previous year. In the first year, as I understand it, there was a certain amount of equipment to be purchased. Machines had to be bought. Now that the project is in operation, presumably the expenditure on machinery is confined to repairs rather than to initial purchases and, in addition, one gets the impression that the project is progressing smoothly, having passed the early stage of initiation, so one would expect that the expenditure would not be quite so great. I feel that it was a somewhat unfair criticism. The Senator also said the same about the provision in respect of the Local Authorities (Works) Act, but a great deal of the cleaning of these minor rivers and watercourses which fell within the ambit of that legislation has been completed. I do not know whether there is a lot of work of that nature still to come.

I should like to ask whether the Minister is seriously perturbed about the ever-widening gap in our balance of trade. World events seem to tend to set the terms of trade against us. We hear at times that the importation of a whole series of unnecessary luxuries is taking place, while others say that the imports are confined to necessaries and capital goods. It is not always easy to decide what are necessaries and what are luxuries, but, when the Minister has had charge of the finances of the State for six months, it would be interesting to have a review of how the balance of trade has developed, of what we are doing and whether we are, as Senator Butler suggests, spending more than we should and whether we are spending it wisely. It seems to me that in present circumstances, rather like any business, the country must go on progressing. It cannot stand still, because that ultimately means regression. You must expand and give a measure of confidence to everybody by your expansion, and, even though you are apparently taking immense risks, it is really a matter of expansion and success breeding success. That is true of the ordinary business and it is true also of a State.

I was very interested to hear Senator Summerfield on the private business, but, from another point of view, I think the small private business has more chance of survival scattered through the country than the big business. The large concern tends towards centralisation, and, when it gets very large, you get the chain store. Any taxation method which seriously jeopardises the small private business would, in my opinion, be a retrograde step. I like to see the small private business surviving in the small towns in rural Ireland, and if it is true and if it can be proved that insufficient reserves are being ploughed back because of the rapacious nature of the Revenue Commissioners, I ask the Minister to look into the matter. Our small country is unsuited to the large concern. I think we will be happier and better off with the scattered business and I do not want to see that small private business driven out, to see the small company becoming larger and larger, until we have a giant concern with no soul.

Senator O'Callaghan raised a point about the large sum of money devoted to the subsidy on wheat and he asked for a higher price for wheat. It may not be strictly relevant, but I want to put it the other way. We are repeatedly told that the area under wheat went down during the previous Administration. That is true, although the quantity was roughly the same but, in the light of the present situation, I want to suggest that, if we are anxious to increase the area of wheat, it means bringing in areas which at present are to a large extent unsuited to the growing of wheat. Let the Minister for Agriculture put down in these unsuitable areas demonstration plots to show that wheat can be grown in these areas with suitable treatment and let him make it quite clear what the cost of the process is, because experience has shown that the growing of wheat on land which is not suited to wheat, but which you bring into a condition in which it is suited to that crop, costs a lot more money than growing it on suitable land. When you come to the question of inducement to grow wheat on this unsuitable land, you must adopt some scheme of acreage payment rather than an all-over price, which may not be sufficient to provide the inducement on unsuitable land. We have never employed here the system of acreage inducement, yet that is the only way to bring in the less suitable land, if in the interest of the nation it is desirable to get a certain crop grown. That may not be quite relevant to the Bill, but Senator O'Callaghan brought it in and, as we know from past debates, there are many people who think we should be growing another 100,000 acres of wheat and that is the only way to get it done, in my opinion.

It is true that the Minister is in a very fortunate position to-day, as he is sponsoring somebody else's child and neither side of the House wants to criticise the measure.

There is an old saying that it is easy to sleep on another man's wound. It is not easy for a Minister for Finance to sleep on his predecessor's Budget. It is pleasant to find that most criticism of the Finance Bill was criticism of the policy of the last Government. There are certain good things in the Budget, which we must all commend—the increases in allowances for married men, for children, for those over 65, and in respect of trade unions. We must all be staggered, however—as Senator Miss Butler has warned we should be staggered—by the size of the Budget. It is mostly our own fault, always asking the State to do things which, if we were living sensible lives, many of us would try to do for ourselves. We have got into the habit of putting these burdens on the State instead. Senator Summerfield has emphasised the danger of this huge Budget, in consideration of the possibility of the buoyancy of revenue decreasing, and that money may get scarce. I see a danger which no one has mentioned so far-that the people who earn money are leaving the country, in emigration. In the west it is simply appalling. The young men on the farms cannot get wives, as the girls have gone to England. In the Aran Islands there is not a girl left of marriageable age. Our real wealth lies in the hard-working people, but if we have not the people we cannot have the hard workers. Our country will be reduced to old people and children. The supply of children will soon be giving out and what is to become of us I do not know. It is really an appalling problem and we could have given more attention to it in considering this Budget.

What is to be done to keep the people at home? It is not only a question of providing work. There is work, plenty of work, but there is something else, I do not know what, some psychological urge making the girls fly from the country, from the hard work of a farmer's wife. We all try to do as little work as possible for as much money as possible and no country can survive when that state of mind develops. The most tragic part of the present situation is that our country is being run on those lines and is heading for disaster unless something is done. The emigration of our girls is a matter for Church and State to tackle, as the most serious problem we have. I would like the Government—if the Minister were here just now, I would urge it as strongly as possible—to get the best thinking powers in the country to work out a solution of that problem.

I do not know whether it is a matter of education or not. There is a gleam of hope in some of the new developments—the Young Farmers' Clubs, Muintir na Tíre and the Country-women's Association. Girls will stay if they are interested, but so far the hard work has been regarded as a thankless drudgery. I think it was Carlyle who said that you must find happiness in your work or not at all. We must be masters and mistresses of our work and the first thing called for is a revolution in education. We must make work the thing it is, something to be honoured. We must make the girl who can do her share of the farm work feel like a queen. In Belgium there are wonderful schools for rural education, cultural schools, and the queen herself used to give a prize to the best girl. It was a dowry and the girl who won it was the pick of the competing girls' schools and she had no difficulty in securing a husband. There were all the comforts and happiness that go with a woman trained for work. The great problem we have is that we are losing the faculty of work, losing pride in work, not realising that the woman who can run her house and rear her children, who can do the work set her by God in this world, is the woman who deserves credit. We must emphasise that and our system of education must be so directed that the people will realise that. If the girls are interested, they will not fly to America and elsewhere after the insane amusements and glitter that the pictures have shown them as desirable. That is one of the things we should set before ourselves and perhaps this Finance Bill may give us an opportunity of making a start.

Having talked about the size of the Budget, I want with feminine inconsistency to ask the Minister to make provision for two things which do not appear to me to be in the Budget. In yesterday's paper there was a very interesting article on the results of the Medical Research Council. It was stressed that the grant lasted only up to the end of 1952. Everyone knows that medical research is a long-term programme and that there must be some security for those engaged in it. At a time when we need our young scientists and doctors to give their brains in their own country, instead of flying to America or England for those countries to reap the benefit of the education we gave them, it is absolutely necessary that we be generous with the Medical Research Council and give it whatever funds it needs.

I want to join with Senator O'Connell also in pleading for the retired teachers who, by a date, were deprived of the gratuity which is being given to their successors. I think that persons who retired before January 1st, 1950, were as much entitled to the gratuity as those who are now in the happy position of having a scheme. It is a diminishing sum and many of them had small salaries on which their miserable pensions were based. The last Minister for Finance, and I say it to his credit, increased those pensions to some extent. We Irish people owe a debt to our teachers and we should pay it to them by seeing that they get the gratuity which, I understand, has been paid in Northern Ireland. I hope that the Minister will budget for that small sum.

Sí an phríomhcheist a mhaith liom labhairt faoi, ceist na hathluachála. Níl aon rud agam le cur leis an méid adúirt an Seanadóir Douglas mar tá mé ar aon intinn leis. An méid a bhí le rá agam ina thaobh seo dúirt mé anuraidh é agus an bhliain roimhe sin. Ní dóigh liom go bhfuil aimhreas ar bith ar aon duine nach luíonn sé seo go trom ar an-chuid daoine. Ní hé amháin go meadaítear na rátaí orthu ach meadaítear an cháin ioncaim agus costaisí eile chomh luath agus a dhéanas daoine iarracht feabhas a chur ar a n-áraisí i riocht siopaí, tithe nó eile. Tá tuairim ag lucht na hathluachála go mbíonn meadú gnótha ag teacht do réir mar a chuireann daoine feabhas, beag nó mór, ar a n-áraisí nó ar a gcuid siopaí. Is dócha go bhfuil sé sin fíor i gcásanna áirithe, ach cuireadh cásanna eile in iúl dom agus ba léir ó na figiúrí a cuireadh ós mo chóir nach mbeadh aon bhreis gnótha le fáil ag na daoine as an bhfeabhas a chuireadar ar a bhfoirgnimh. Ba cheart scrúdú a dhéanamh ar an gceist go léir. Nuair adúirt mé é sin an bhliain seo caite, is é an freagra a bhí ag an Aire Airgeadais nach é ba chionn-tsiocair leis an athluacháil, agus go raibh roinn faoi leith i bhfeighil na hoibre sin. Is cinnte go bhfuil Aire éigin freagarthach as, nó mura bhfuil, ba cheart go mbeadh fhios ag an Aire cé air a bhuil cúram an scéil go léir. Mura ndéanann an tAire rud ar bith eile faoin gceist ba mhaith an rud é an scéal a scrúdú agus a fháil amach cé tá freagarthach as ceist na hathluachála agus go scrúdófaí iarmharta na hathluachála ar na haicmí éagsúla daoine atá ag casaoid ina thaoibh.

Ní maith liom aon rud a rá faoin mBille atá os ár gcóir. Dúirt an Seanadóir Baxter go mbeadh sé lántsásta an fhaid is a leaneann an tAire polasaí an iar-Aire. Tá súil agam nach leanfaidh. Tá súil agam go mbeadh cneastacht againn i gcúrsaí na Roinne Airgeadais agus na Roinn eile. Tá súil agam má tábille le n-íoc ag an Stát go n-inseofar an fhírinne faoin suim atá le n-íoc agus nach gcuirfear suimeanna móra i gceilt agus nach ndéanfear iarracht dalladhmullóg a chur ar na daoine cuma cén chúis a bheadh ag an Aire leis sin.

Bhí sé spéisiúil éisteacht le cuid de na hóráideacha a rinneadh tráthnóna faoin dainséar agus faoi airgead a chaitheamh sa mbealach a caitheadh airgead le bliain anuas. Níl an dainséar blas níos mó inniu ná mar a bhí an bhliain seo caite nó an bhliain roimhe, nó an bhliain roimhe sin. Bhí an dainséar ann i gcónaí. Mura bhfuil sásamh ar bith eile as an toghchán againn is sásamh mór é go bhfuil ciall tagtha ag daoine áirithe sa deire.

Some Senators in their speeches drew some quite unjustified inferences from the fact that I introduced a Finance Bill which proposes to give legislative effect to the financial proposals of my predecessor. However, it might be better if I were to reserve my remarks in that regard until a later stage of the Bill. I think it would come, perhaps, more fittingly on the Fifth Stage than on the Second, as I assume that the Seanad will be rather anxious that I should deal with the suggestions made during the debate and with the criticisms that have been expressed.

Senator Douglas raised one or two issues which he told us he had been accustomed to do in previous years. On the principle which he himself has laid down, if he did not get very much satisfaction from my predecessor I assume that he will be content if he gets equal satisfaction from me.

If the Minister agrees with that standard, of course I must do the same. I would not have thought he would.

However, I do not desire to dispose of the issues which the Senator has raised in that particular fashion. I am merely saying that what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, and while I do not wish to put myself in the position of either bird, I have enjoyed the benefit of the Senator's sauce.

There may be a great deal to be said for the plea for an inquiry as to what is the general incidence of the income-tax. An inquiry of that sort is being undertaken at the present moment in Great Britain where the income-tax code is very much the same as ours and it might, I think, be advantageous for us to await the result of that inquiry to see to what extent its findings are applicable to our own case. I know, of course, that people will say: "Why should we wait on Great Britain?", but the reason is that there is no use in duplicating the task and in duplicating the expense and in involving, in particular, our taxpayers in expenditure which can be avoided if we only have the patience to wait until the inquiry now on foot has been concluded.

I think, in view of the fact that we have been told by Senator Baxter that the country is already over-taxed, which is tantamount to saying that it is over-spending, we should not duplicate any expense, but rather should we wait and see the advantages to be obtained from an inquiry already being undertaken in another country.

Senator Douglas also raised the point as to why we do not allow travelling to and from business to be reckoned as an expense to be properly deducted before income-tax is assessed. First of all, I can see many objections to an allowance of that sort. Would we expect everybody to produce their bus tickets and keep them field away so that they could claim the allowance? There is also the case of a person who is fortunate enough to live, say, on a small estate in County Dublin and who has to drive every morning in to his business in the city. We are entitled to say would he be entitled to a similar expense deduction as the person who travels by bus every day, say, from Terenure. In any event, we have to remember that we have to simplify the income-tax code and keep down the cost of administration as much as possible and any concessions that are given must be broad and general and they must be related to factors which could be very easily ascertained. For that reason, I cannot see how we could possibly extend the scope of the allowances in the way which the Senator suggests. It would be an exceedingly difficult concession to administer and I cannot see why, if we granted it, others for which equally meritorious cases might be made, would not be claimed.

Senator Baxter has made a plea to permit farmers who own farm tractors to use them for the transport of their neighbours and their neighbours' possessions. Farm tractors, so far as I know, if used for ordinary farm purposes have certain exemptions in regard to petrol and vaporising oil tax. Hackney owners have licences which are at a different rate from those applying to private vehicles, because the persons using those motor cars have them for the purpose of their business, which is the carrying of passengers for hire. If some concessions are given to the owners of farm tractors, could they not equally be claimed by the owners of hackney cars? If the owner of a hackney licence uses his car to transport his neighbours for private or pleasure purposes, be at once commits an offence and is in grave danger of losing his hackney licence altogether. If we granted the concession to the farmers in the use of tractors and to the hackney owners in respect of hackney vehicles, there are others who would feel that they were entitled to similar concessions. We have to remember that whatever taxes you impose you will always find someone who has a grievance on the grounds that it imposes hardship, but if we must have taxation to maintain the essential services for the community then you cannot make fish of one taxpayer and flesh of another. You have to deal with all broadly on the same basis.

Senators Colgan and O'Connell have suggested that it would be desirable that we should introduce a pay-as-you-earn income-tax system into this country. I have not a closed mind on that particular subject, but I know that it would, perhaps, be complicated and more costly to the State and eventually the taxpayer, because you must remember that when you describe a thing as being costly to the State, you mean it is costly to the taxpayer who must eventually foot the bill. I do not think the additional cost which the introduction of a pay as-you-earn scheme would involve would be justified.

I think we have already such a scheme in this country between certain employers and employees. In these cases the employers, by arrangement and with the consent of the employees, deduct a certain proportion from their wages each week to provide for the eventual demand when it becomes due. I think that is as good a way of approaching this subject as any other. Indeed, in view of the fact that in the course of this debate it has been suggested that we could do without further State interference in private concerns, I think that that is the best way of approaching it.

Senator O'Connell raised a point regarding a house with land where the income-tax had been levied upon five-fourths of the total valuation. I should like to have fuller particulars regarding that case before I commit myself to any comment in regard to it.

I would ask the Minister to look into it.

If the Senator will send me particulars I shall be glad to have the matter examined. Senator O'Connell also raised a point regarding the, position of building societies. The position in that regard has changed, but it has changed because the circumstances of the building societies have changed. Formerly, I think the Revenue Commissioners were content to assess them to tax at two-fifths of the full rate of tax. This arose because checks and tests which had been made indicated that, after making due allowance for all the allowances which shareholders and members of the societies would be entitled to receive, about two-fifths would represent a fair and reasonable settlement of the societies' liabilities.

Recently, however, as everybody knows, by reason of the fact that societies have been inviting more substantial investments in their funds from people who would be assessed for tax at a much higher rate, investigations have shown that the fraction of three-fourths or, I think, four-fifths would be a fair assessment of the true liability of the building societies to tax. For that reason, as a compromise between the societies and the Revenue Commissioners, the Commissioners have suggested that the tax should be levied on the societies at the new fractional rate. Of course, the societies have a remedy. They can, if they like, be dealt with like other corporate bodies. That is, they can pay the appropriate tax on their surplus, leaving their depositors and shareholders to bear their own appropriate burden. This may have the disadvantage, perhaps, that it may involve the building societies and certain of their depositors in additional tax but, so far as the Revenue Commissioners are concerned, they do not mind very much which course is adopted—whether the societies will continue to accept the present basis upon which their tax is compounded by a fraction or whether they will allow themselves to be assessed for the tax in the ordinary way and leave their depositors to bear tax in the ordinary way in respect of the income which these depositors derive from their investments in the societies.

Senator O'Connell also drew the attention of the House to the fact that whereas children over 16 years who are attending secondary schools or the university are accepted as the basis of an allowance for income-tax purposes, children who are attending technical schools are not so accepted. The position there is that the law provides that children must be in attendance at a full time educational establishment. Technical schools could scarcely be brought within that definition.

I was referring to the day technical school where there is a full session from September to June.

I appreciate that fact and I am going to look into the matter to see what we can do in respect of that particular class. Senator Burke, and I think Senator Summerfield and Senator Douglas, asked me to consider the position of firms which re-invest their profits in their business. Frankly, this is a hardy annual. The suggestion was that profits which were re-invested in the business ought to be taxed at a lower rate or ought to be exempt from tax. I cannot see that there is any justification for exempting from income-tax any from of income, no matter how it may be dealt with, after it accrues to a particular individual. If I were to concede the point that because this income is re-invested in the business from which it is derived, how could I resist a demand to exempt the income from tax if it were re-invested in some other industry which was supposed to be, say, of particular national importance? Once we had conceded the first concession we would be driven to a concession in respect of other forms of investment and eventually the whole income-tax code would be so riddled with concessions that it would not be worth retaining at all and we should have to find another source of income for the State. I think that we are rather inclined to underrate the advantages which we enjoy here, even in respect of profits derived, say, from private companies or from any corporation. In this country corporation profits tax over a certain amount is levied at the rate of 10 per cent. upon all the profits of the corporation, whether they are distributed or undistributed—in other words, whether they are distributed or whether they are re-invested in the company, the flat rate of 10 per cent. extends to all profits.

In Great Britain it is only the undistributed profits which get off with the 10 per cent. and in so far as profits are distributed in dividends, they are subjected to 50 per cent. profits tax. Bearing in mind the circumstances which exist in the world to-day, there is very little real ground for the plea which has been so often made that income derived from a business and re-invested in a business should be exempt from taxation. As I have said, if we do not get revenue through the income-tax we have got to get it in some other form of taxation, unless we would say we were going drastically to curtail the expenditure of the State, in which case we can greatly reduce taxation. But so long as we want the State to carry on the numerous activities which the community now demands, we must make up our minds that we have got to get the money from some source or another. No matter from what source we take it, we are going to find that the volume of tax which it is necessary to extract from that source is going to be more onerous and burdensome on some people in some sections of the community than it will be on others.

Question put and agreed to.

Is it proposed to sit after six o'clock in order to finish dealing with the Bill?

If you wish, or, perhaps, the House might prefer to adjourn and resume——

There is nothing much in the Committee Stage.

Agreed to take the remaining stages to-day.

Sections 1 to 6, inclusive, agreed to.
Question proposed: "That Section 7 stand part of the Bill."

Might I ask the Minister whether he will give the Seanad any information in regard to the case I made on this whole question of taxation?

I suppose the position in regard to the motor vehicles duties is not merely my concern only. As the Senator is aware, practically the only source of revenue which the Road Fund has is derived from motor vehicles duties. While it may appear to have disadvantages that the duties should be levied in accordance with the horse-power and the weight of the vehicles which use the road, it would seem to be, from the point of view of the general taxpayers and the people who do not own motor vehicles, a reasonably equitable way of dealing with the position. I think that the theory upon which the motor vehicles duties are based is that the heavier a vehicle is and the faster it goes and the greater the horse-power to which its speed is proportionate, the more damage it does to the roads and, therefore, the more it ought to pay.

The matter has been under consideration before and I will undertake to ask the Minister for Local Government to examine the matter in conjunction with the Revenue Commissioners and the officers of my own Department, to see if we can find some way to meet the conflicting interests which undoubtedly are involved in this particular matter.

Question put and agreed to.
Sections 8 to 18, inclusive, agreed to.

I move:—

Before Section 19 to insert a new section as follows:—

(1) This section applies to every conveyance or transfer and every lease (whether a conveyance, transfer or lease executed before or after the passing of this Act) of a house in respect of which a grant has been or will be made under Section 16 of the Housing (Amendment) Act, 194 (No. 1 of 1948), or under Section 6 of the Housing (Amendment) Act, 1950 (No. 25 of 1950), being a conveyance, transfer or lease—

(a) Which under the enactments in force immediately before the passing of this Act would have been proper to be charged with stamp duty by reference to sub-section (1) or sub-section (3) of Section 13 of the Finance (No. 2) Act, 1947 (No. 33 of 1947), or sub-section (1) or sub-section (3) of Section 24 of the Finance Act, 1949 (No. 13 of 1949), and

(b) which is to a person—

(i) who is the person to whom the said grant has been or will be paid, or

(ii) who is a member of the public utility society to which the said grant has been or will be paid,

as the case may be.

(2) Section 13 of the Finance (No. 2) Act, 1947, and Sections 24 and 25 of the Finance Act, 1949, shall not apply and shall be deemed never to have applied to any instrument to which this section applies and, where the amount of duty paid in respect of any such instrument exceeds the amount which would have been chargeable if those sections had not been enacted, the excess may be repaid.

(3) An instrument to which this section applies and which is stamped at a rate less than the rate which, but for the provisions of this section, would be chargeable by reference to sub-section (1) or sub-section (3) of Section 13 of the Finance (No. 2) Act, 1947, or sub-section (1) or sub-section (3) of Section 24 of the Finance Act, 1949, as may be appropriate, shall be deemed not to be duly stamped unless the Revenue Commissioners have expressed their opinion thereon in accordance with Section 12 of the Stamp Act, 1891.

The Minister explained this in the early stages, and I think it is clear.

New section put and agreed to.

Sections 19 to 24, inclusive, the Schedules and Title agreed to.
Bill reported with recommendation, received for final consideration, and ordered to be returned to the Dáil.
The Seanad adjourned at 6 p.m.sine die.