Finance (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, 1956—Second Stage (Resumed) and Subsequent Stages.

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

When speaking last night, I illustrated the fact that private enterprise was a far more effective way of operating coal mines than State enterprise. I believe that we shall be called upon very often to give reasons and show justification as to why these tax concessions should be made available, if the State is to give remissions of taxation. I propose very briefly this morning to quote from two publications which, in my opinion, show conclusively that these tax concessions are necessary not just for the individuals but necessary for the development of our economy as a whole.

The first of these documents which I propose to quote is from the Ibec technical services and it makes a comparative analysis between our industrial climate here and the climate in America and in other countries. In paragraph (f) page 59 it says:—

"It may be stated with conviction that, upon such evidence as is available, profits in Irish manufacturing are generally too low. As has already been pointed out, the information about the status of profits before taxes is so limited as to raise the question of why official information on this score should display a reticence that is in direct contract to the excellent data furnished upon other phases of business operations."

Since then the Minister for Finance in the previous Government set up a Commission of Inquiry into industrial taxation and this report has been submitted. On page 79, paragraph 211, of the Report, there is the following statement:—

"The present burden of industrial taxation is in our opinion a deterrent to industrial expansion and, in the absence of a reduction in the standard rate of income tax, an acceleration in wear and tear allowances is justifiable. Our proposal is that such acceleration should be effected by an increase in the basic rate of wear and tear allowances and in the granting of initial allowances..."

It is obvious to anyone who reads these two reports in an objective way that if we want industrial expansion and exports, we shall have to create the climate to allow industry to expand by allowing it the money to be ploughed back into industry.

I do not advocate for an instant that it will be permissible to take the money out of the industry. I want it left to the industry so that thecorpus of the industry can be protected, developed and expanded to the benefit of our community, as is envisaged in the provisions relating to coal-mining. The intention in this Bill is to encourage that hazardous type of industrial enterprise. The chief benefits will accrue to the people working in the industry and to the people producing the various types of machinery and services that the coal-mine will require.

We have a coal-mine at Ballingarry, County Tipperary. The major benefit of that mine will go, first, to Tipperary; secondly, to the nation and, a long way behind, there is the benefit which will accrue to the owner of the mine.

Will that mine qualify for the financial assistance under this Bill?

I understand that any increased output from that mine will be covered by this Bill. As I understand it, the purpose of this Bill is to encourage further efforts rather than to reward past performance. It has the weakness that people who have done well in the past are difficult to reward. I do not see how the Minister could have helped them, although Senator Guinness made a plea on their behalf. However, this concession is for further efforts on behalf of our economy rather than for past results.

From my own experience and observation, I know that in another town on one of the three sister rivers there is a very fine enterprise whose products are sold all over Ireland. Indeed, its products are exported to the Six Counties and I have seen its lorries in Belfast. Recently, that business had to receive very substantial support from one of the largest industrial enterprises in the country. I say in all seriousness that the reason for that was that the industry in question had to pay so much in tax that it was not allowed enough money to preserve itself intact as a private company.

Are we not wrong if we do not create the climate that allows that type of fine local industry to stand on its own feet rather than to put it in a position in which it has to go to a very big business combine in this country to get support in order to continue in operation? It was not that this business was not well run or that its products were not the finest of their kind in this country. It was not that it was not progressive: it exported to the Six Counties. The fact is that the burden of taxation prevented it from developing adequately.

There has been so much talk about the British Coal Board that I think I should refer to it briefly. There are 50,000,000 people living in Britain. The greatest drag on the political and economic strength of Western Europe is the fact that the British Coal Board has not been able to solve its problem. If another 50,000,000 tons of coal could be raised in Britain to-day, the whole political and economic strength of Western Europe would be enhanced. The dependence of Europe on America would be removed and we would be able to stand on our own feet. It is as a result of the activities of the British, as private traders, that such a large population can live on that small island. No one can point out any instance to me where public ownership in Britain has made it possible for those 50,000,000 people to live on an island three times the size of Ireland. I challenge anyone to prove it.

I come now to the subject of prize bonds. Personally, I am not in favour of prize bonds or of lotteries. I should much prefer to see people work on their own farms, or at their own business, or in their own factories and earn their livings in that way rather than hope to make their money through gambling or a lottery. Senator Kissane referred to the investing public, the people who set aside a small amount of their savings each year and who have continually invested in State loans. He said that the people who invested in the past are the people who are the most likely to invest in the future. I agree 100 per cent. with him. They have been brought up in that tradition.

The Minister could do one very good thing for people who have invested in State loans. I think that all State loans should be accepted by the Revenue Commissioners at their face value for estate duty purposes. A provision could be inserted that unless these loans had been purchased within the three years prior to death, they would not be eligible to rank at par value for estate duty purposes. That would create a market for these loans and undoubtedly it would bring up their price very much.

To-day, the 3 per cent. loan is quoted on the Dublin Stock Exchange at 73 and the 5 per cent. loan is quoted at 97. Our small market is not very buoyant. I believe that, instead of going to insurance companies, and so on, to cover their estate duty liabilities, people would go into the market for State loans and that it would have a very desirable effect on our State loans. Furthermore, it would help the Minister for Finance to borrow money because there would be the guarantee that the capital sum would stay at a much higher figure than is quoted to-day. The people who invested in the 3 per cent. loan will now get only £73 for every £100——

Is that not due to gambling on the Stock Exchange?

It is due to the change in world interest rates.

It is due to gambling on the Stock Exchange.

It has nothing to do with it.

Would the Minister tell us if private firms, other than private or public companies, will receive the benefit of the concessions outlined in Section 10 of Part III of the Bill?

In conclusion, I want to reiterate one or two things I said last night. I believe the Government is right in encouraging industrial production because it has been stated that good industry can employ a person for every £1,000 invested; but the long-term programme must be the development of our agricultural resources. That requires a far greater amount of capital, from five to ten times the amount required in industry, to obtain the same immediate results; but the long-term results in agriculture would be far greater because it would not be necessary to import raw materials for the development of agriculture. On the other hand, in the development of industry, although a person may be employed by the investment of £1,000, most of the raw materials have to be imported and the final paper results tend to be illusory.

I believe this is one of the most progressive pieces of legislation that has ever been put before this House. It runs parallel with the recommendations of the Ibec Report, drawn up by a group of American experts, and the recommendations of the Commission on Industrial Taxation. If the Minister did not take cognisance of the evidence given from the best available sources, I believe he would be failing in his duty. Those of us who wish to criticise what the Minister is doing should put forward counter evidence of the same weight to show that he is wrong in introducing this Bill.

I do not think anybody objects to the Bill itself.

I think the ground has been fairly well covered by the various speakers before me and I will be brief in my remarks on this Bill. There are only a few points I would like to make and I do not think it will do any harm to impress their importance on the Minister. The introduction of this Bill, the giving of tax concessions and the making available of money for various industries is very desirable, but it may seem a bit strange to the man down the country or the man in the street that £2,000,000 can be made available for this and that the very small sums being asked by local authorities are held up. They see that, while no money can be got to carry out the small jobs they are interested in, more money is proposed to be spent as a result of this legislation. It is like a man making a will leaving certain sums of money to distant relatives, people who may be nothing to him, without making provision for his own family. Small amounts cannot be extracted from the Local Loans Fund. The first thing that should be done is to remedy the present ills before we embark on this. I think it requires some explanation by the Minister to the general public.

It is definitely good business to ease the tax burden on any industry, especially existing industries that have a possibility of developing and expanding export markets. I saw it mentioned in the papers recently that the whiskey people could do a much bigger export business, if some relief were given to them. I do not happen to be a brewer or anything like that—I have to pay for any connection I have with that beverage—but I think this is a case that definitely should be considered. The raw materials are in the country and if you expand a trade of that kind, you will be helping the country and helping the growers of malting barley by opening up a way for increased agricultural production. Whiskey is a commodity you can start producing straight away, once the industry is in a position to compete in a foreign market, and a lot of money can be made without taking up a great deal of shipping space. Whiskey is not like a bulky product which may have to be sent abroad.

On the question of coal mines, I understand there is coal not yet touched in this country. That is all to the good. It will be wanted in time, despite the fact that national requirements are being lessened by the use of oil. However, the Suez problem may create a change in that regard. Coal and turf should be considered side by side and one should not be put in competition with the other. In areas where there is no turf, coal should be worked to the utmost and in areas where there is ample turf, turf and coal should be provided for the people. The turf industry may be started without any high initial cost. Recruit your men, land them in the bogs, give them their weapons and away they go. A big job can be done without any large machinery. Turf production is of much more national value than is appreciated.

I saw from to-day's paper that a new body is being set up for the purpose of shipping cattle to the Continent. That is very good news because, as we know, there is a continental market crying out for cattle and at one period this year, when we had a surplus, we were unable to avail of that market to the fullest. Unfortunately, I heard of the case of an Irish shipper who got a fairly substantial order from, I think, France and he went to Scotland to fill a substantial portion of it. That was nice treatment for his own country.

Would that company starting off be a company that would qualify for assistance under this Bill? Suppose they had so much to begin with but required so much more to do a good job, would they qualify? I think they should because I think this is a company that will pay dividends from the start. If it so happens that the application comes before the Minister, I hope he will consider it sympathetically because this is a much needed project at the moment. But I would impress on the Minister, if he is making any financial assistance available to that body, to ensure that it will ship none but Irish cattle until such time as they are in short supply. I wish the Bill every success. In whatever way the money is allotted, I hope it will be allotted in a way that will react to the benefit of the nation.

I welcome this Bill very much, not because of the fact that it stands on its own here at the moment but because it is part of the positive action by the Government to expand our economy. All sides of the House can be in agreement that there is great need to expand our economy. Unfortunately, the evidence of under-development is before our eyes in the large unemployment figures and continuous emigration and it does seem to many of us that, after a quarter of a century of freedom, we have failed completely to live up to the ideals of the people who fought for freedom a quarter of a century ago.

The Minister in introducing the Second Reading of the Bill here, referred to the fact that we have a wide open economy, and he suggested that remedies which might be applicable to a closed economy are not, because of our economy, applicable here. It seemed to me that he was hinting that we were unable to do very much about the under-development of this country because of that wide open economy. At least, there seemed to me to be some sort of regret that steps which were easy in other countries, because of their closed economy, could not easily be taken here because of what he termed our wide open economy.

The Minister did not say exactly what he meant by a wide open economy and a closed economy. He set me wondering as to whether he was referring to the fact that our currency is linked with sterling, linked with the currency of another country. Again I must pose the question which I have continued to pose, as to why we are unique in this respect. Why has every other sovereign country its own currency and why should we in the Twenty-Six Counties, a free nation, decide to be unique and to link our currency with that of another country?

I have never suggested, and I do not want to suggest, that there might be particular merit in breaking that link but the question is, can somebody explain what particular merit there is for us in maintaining that link? We are, I suggest, in a unique position in this respect and nobody ever seems to explain why we should be in that position. It is no answer at all to say that, if we had a currency of our own, the point that would matter would be whether it would be at par with or lower than sterling.

During the past 12 months various measures have been taken to correct the economy, in particular, to correct the balance of payments. There were restrictive measures taken in the spring and in the summer. I suggested to the Minister some months ago that he should not be too down-hearted about the position, that, in fact, the levies, since they were introduced in March, were correcting the balance of payments difficulties. I am very glad that the Minister can now assure us that such is the case. I would advise him, however, not to become too fond of his hair shirt. He suggested that now is not the time to change the policy, that the patient is recovering and that a patient recovering is more likely to kick against the doctor.

I personally do not think that we can safely abandon the levies at the present time but I do think a case exists for examining the prescription. Unemployment has arisen out of these levies. The Minister fairly told us, when he introduced the levies, and it was accepted all round, that there would inevitably be some unemployment because of the levies but I am suggesting that the patient is well on the road to recovery and another look should be taken very quickly by the Minister at the levies inasmuch as they affect employment. I must reiterate that I am not advocating abandonment of the levies willy nilly but, because of the other factors involved, we must look at them and I would suggest that the Minister might now usefully look at some of them to see if he can relieve to some little extent the heavy unemployment in the country.

Another matter to which I should like briefly to refer is the savings campaign which the Minister said is now gathering force. I want to say, as I said before, that the Labour Party, the trade union movement generally, welcome the savings campaign and are very anxious to give every possible assistance. I suggest that we might now consider giving a particular slant to the savings campaign, that is, we should indicate the saving to the economy involved in the purchase of Irish goods. I have been wondering as to the people who are touched by or who listen to the appeals for more savings. It seems to me that the average man does not purchase very much, apart from his cigarettes, his pint or his drop of whiskey, and that the principal spenders, inevitably, are the housewives. I wonder if we are getting across to these spenders the need for saving and the desirability, where they must spend, of purchasing Irish goods.

I believe we can fairly suggest to all our people, men and women, that if we continue to export money, then inevitably we will have to export our children after that money. We should, therefore, concentrate on trying to get across to everyone that money must be kept at home. Goods and commodities, where they have to be purchased, should as far as possible be Irish goods, because, if we export our money by buying foreign goods, we are inevitably deciding, in doing that, that we will export our children after that money.

Much of the discussion yesterday seemed to have reference to private enterprise. Indeed, some Senators appeared to be setting up private enterprise as a god to be adored. Senator Sheehy Skeffington apparently wanted the Labour Party to declare against private enterprise. On the other hand, friends on the right and on the left wanted the Labour Party to declare against public enterprise. May I say now that it is the concern of the Labour Party, and I think it is the concern of other Parties, too, to develop our economy and to provide employment for all our people at home? We are very anxious that that development should proceed as quickly as possible.

We welcome this measure. We know its purpose is to assist private enterprise and, by assisting private enterprise, to assist the economy of our country by developing exports, by producing more coal in order to cut imports, by developing our factories and developing to some extent, I take it, our very valuable tourist industry. We welcome all measures designed to achieve that object, but we are not at the same time prepared to say that we will make a god of private enterprise. We hope that private enterprise will assist our economy, as it is envisaged it will assist it under this Bill; but, if private enterprise cannot succeed in developing our economy, then inevitably there will have to be more pressure for public enterprise to step in and develop it instead. I should not use the word "instead", because, in my opinion, there is room in this economy for both private and public enterprise and it would be a mistake for us to attempt to set one against the other.

Senator Walsh referred to the success of private enterprise in the United States of America. I quite agree with him that it has been successful, but the biggest example of public enterprise in the free world to-day is the Tennessee Valley Project in the United States. I suggest that we could learn a good deal from that public enterprise. The Minister made some reference to the employment content of public enterprise as compared with private enterprise. I think he suggested that there was likely to be a greater employment content in a private enterprise project than in a public enterprise project. I rather thought the Minister was letting himself down somewhat by that reference. I wonder does he think the E.S.B., for example, is any less successful because it has a fairly low employment content? It is a public enterprise concern. It was set up by the Cumann na nGaedheal Government. To my mind, it is a very efficient public enterprise. It has a small labour content, but that cannot be taken as an assessment of its merit.

I am afraid I have missed the Senator's point.

The Minister said—I took a note of it in passing—that private enterprise was likely to have a greater employment content than public enterprise. Did I interpret the Minister wrongly?

I said that there was far more employment over the private sector of the economy, and there always would be, than over the public sector. It is not quite the same thing.

I agree with the Minister, but was the Minister attempting to sneer at public enterprise because of that?

No. I was merely saying that the way to increase employment is to increase the private sector of our economy rather than the public sector.

I do not think that follows.

That was the argument I was making.

I am grateful to the Minister for clarifying the point.

I did not make it clear—I am sorry—but that is quite clearly my view.

To come back to the Bill, I sincerely hope that one step in particular which the Government has taken to help to develop our economy, will be an outstanding success. I fear, however—this is not a criticism—that there will be pressure brought to bear upon the Minister, pressure which he must resist. I fear there will be pressure on him to give the same concessions to other concerns, irrespective of whether they are engaged on export, coal-mining or anything else. This measure will largely lose its effect if that pressure is successfully applied.

The purpose of the Bill, as the Minister suggested, is to stimulate the production of coal and to stimulate exports. I hope it will succeed in doing that. I can assure the Minister now that we are grateful to him for the work he has put in on all this. Earlier this year, restrictive measures had to be introduced. We suggested then that we should not halt at that point and that we should take positive steps to develop our economy. I know that the Minister has devoted all his energies in the meantime to planning how that economy can be helped. This is one step in that direction. It is evidence of the hard work the Minister has put in since he introduced the first series of restrictive measures in the spring and summer of this year.

I welcome this Bill and I associate myself with the compliments that have been paid to the Minister for its introduction. Over a number of years here, I have listened to those engaged in industry asking for certain concessions by way of tax relief for the improvement of their buildings and machinery. The Minister has gone some distance now in this measure towards remedying some of the grievances. As Senator Douglas told us yesterday, however, there are border-line cases which will need attention, too, but certainly the Minister has made an honest effort and done his part in offering incentives to increased production. I am satisfied that the concessions made in the matter of tax reliefs now will have a beneficial effect.

Reference was made yesterday evening by many Senators to the need for increased production and to the large number of unemployed people in the country. I am afraid that much of the unemployment at present could be reduced if people engaged in such employment as public works would work nearly as well for the wages they receive as they would work if they were doing the job for themselves. Recently, travelling along a road in my native county, my attention was drawn to the fact that a number of people working on a county council scheme had their overcoats on while two men, working for themselves digging potatoes behind a neighbouring wall, had only their waistcoats on. These contrasts are there and I believe there must be some answer to them.

I should like to say that I welcome the experiment in prize bonds. Even in small towns throughout rural Ireland very large numbers of people are inclined to have a flutter. In these towns there is a fairly ready sale for tickets in various types of raffles and sweeps. As the Minister pointed out, people contributing to these bonds will not be running any risk. They will not be running such risks as they do when they buy tickets in sweepstakes or raffles. They do stand the chance of winning a prize but, even if they do not, their investment is still there to be realised any time they want it.

Senator Murphy referred to a matter about which I should like to speak briefly. I hope that in his reply the Minister will briefly and plainly give an answer to those people who advocate a break with sterling at the present time. Over the years, quite a number of people who advised a break with sterling are to-day very anxious to maintain the link with sterling. I should like to know what is the value of its preservation and what would be the repercussions of a break with it.

In introducing this measure the Minister used the occasion to make a comprehensive statement on the economic position of the country as he saw it. I think every member of the House will agree it was a welcome statement. It was realistic, clear and unambiguous. While there may be people who do not agree with the Minister in certain things, few will disagree with the suggestion that a statement like that which he made yesterday was desirable. No matter what may happen in the future, and while the stature of some men may not grow, I think it can be said that because of the realistic manner with which the present Minister for Finance is prepared to deal with the situation as he sees it, his stature will not diminish in public opinion.

I think it is only fair that some such tribute should be paid to him because the tragedy to-day is that there are so few people in public life prepared to face up to difficult issues in a realistic way. I think it may be said, however, that it was also a tragedy the Minister for Finance did not face up to this position soon enough. If these issues had been faced up to sooner the Minister might not now have the rather difficult task with which he is confronted. It is true that warnings were given by people in the Dáil who were, in the opinion of many, capable of foreseeing trends and of giving such warnings. However, other people in high places in the Government said there was no crisis, that there might be some difficulties but they were easy to get around. It was a pity that the Minister did not then take the strong view that he takes now. If that had been done I think many of the difficulties that now face us would not be so great.

Since the Minister used this occasion to make a comprehensive statement I think he deserves commendation. So much time has been spent on discussing this measure that there is no need for me to deal with it at any great length. I should, however, like to say that the point of view of this side of the House was put very clearly and lucidly by Senator Ó Buachalla. I think his statement was listened to very seriously by all members of the House.

In a debate such as this, covering a wide field of financial issues, reference had to be made to such things as banks and banking. If some people continue to make certain types of statements often enough they almost invariably convince themselves that certain things are so. These people, who make statements with the apparent object of convincing others, succeed in convincing only themselves. I should like to say now, as others have said already, that I feel the measures now being taken are too few and have come too late. I hope I am wrong in that. It is felt by many people that the economic situation has gone to a point from which recovery will be long and tedious. I believe as does the Minister that recovery will come but I am afraid it will not come as easily as the Minister hopes. The Minister said we were now convalescing and that a convalescing patient had to be more seriously cared for than when he was seriously ill.

That is true and it reminds me of a statement made by a previous Minister for Finance about the nation rounding a corner. My attention was drawn to this statement by a cartoon in one of Dublin's humorous journals. This journal developed the idea of the Minister's statement by having a full page cartoon of a lady rounding a corner with two people, wearing masks and armed with cudgels, about to hit her. The Minister who made that statement was in office so long ago that he is not now in public life.

It is hardly relevant.

I believe it is relevant because we have heard so much about nations rounding corners. It seems to me to be a very slow process. I think the Minister will be fair enough to agree that in the crisis confronting the Government, the issue is being met fairly by the majority of the people who do not agree with him in politics. I think the Minister will also agree that no Party has a monopoly of either vice or virtue.

There is no difficulty in agreeing with that. There might be degrees in relation to one or the other.

That, of course, is a matter of opinion.

It is hardly relevant to the debate.

I wish to relate it to the debate. I think the Minister will be fair enough to agree that the manner in which this crisis has been met by the Fianna Fáil Party is just a bit different from the manner in which the Fine Gael Party dealt with a rather similar position when our balance of payments was out of balance to the tune of over £60,000,000 and when certain things had to be done by way of taxation to curb inflation. We had the spectacle of people who should know better and should have a better sense of responsibility talking about hairshirt policies and suggesting to the people in an insidious way that the people were asked to eat less, and so on.

While I am sure it could happen again since, as I say, no Party has a monopoly of vice or virtue, I should hate to think that an Opposition, no matter what Party is in opposition, would be so irresponsible as to behave like this and I hope my colleagues will not behave so. I do hope the Minister will realise that it would be very undesirable that that sort of thing should happen twice. Once was enough for it to happen. It can always be argued that a Party in power and a Party in opposition are two different things.

That crisis will happen again as long as we try to operate the present system.

If I felt as Senator Hickey feels, I would change that position. He has an opportunity because he is a member of the Government Party.

I wish I was.

As Senator Hickey is present, I shall refer to some of the things he said. I do not like to refer to such things when the person concerned is not present. He poses the question: could the purchasing power be extended to provide full employment? Yes. For whom will you provide the employment? If you provide the purchasing power by starting a printing press——

I suggest to the Senator that he should leave out the printing press because he does not know what was in my mind. I never mentioned a printing press.

I wrote down what the Senator said.

I never mentioned a printing press.

Very well; the Senator did not mention it. The Senator posed a question as to whether the purchasing power could be extended to provide full employment.

Would the Senator say something about the Bill?

I was following the Minister in relation to what he said in his statement and then dealt with the Bill. I thought it would be permissible to refer to the question posed by Senator Hickey.

The Senator did not quote me properly.

Senator O'Reilly must be allowed to make his speech.

I was referring to Senator Hickey's question as to whether purchasing power could be extended to provide full employment.

That is not a full posing of my question. The Senator should quote me properly.

That was the question posed, in my opinion.

I ask for the protection of the Chair in this matter.

The Senator is not happy about the question, so I suggest to the Senator that he should pass from it.

I can assure the Senator I have no wish to misquote him and I would withdraw immediately, if that were the case.

I accept that.

There is no desire on my part to misrepresent Senator Hickey. I regard him as a sincere man in the opinions he holds. He may convince himself but apparently he has not convinced others. However, I regard him as a sincere man and I would not like to use the forum of this House to misrepresent the Senator. If that question is to be treated seriously——

I understood the Senator was passing from it because the interpretation of the question was not exactly as the Senator made the statement.

Then I shall not deal with it at all because it is not a desirable thing that the Chair's ruling should not be obeyed immediately.

I am not ruling; I am making the suggestion to the Senator.

If you regard it as a ruling, I agree. As I have said, this is a miscellany of financial provisions. I do not think it is a desirable thing for the latter part of the Bill to be included amongst provisions like this. I wonder why the Minister and the advisers in the Department of Finance when they wanted to make provision for prize bonds and legislation had to be brought in, did not have a separate measure introduced. There was a particular principle involved. Some people may agree with it, who believe one way or another in State raffles, to use the term used by Senator Sheehy Skeffington. I do not know whether he used it as a joke or in a sneering way. However, there is the element of the raffle involved. A State raffle might not be the best word to have used in this context, but there is a certain principle involved and the Minister and the Department of Finance saw fit to tack this idea on to a measure providing certain tax reliefs for people engaged in certain industries and mining undertakings.

I myself think it was wrong on the part of the Minister to have included the latter part of the Bill dealing with prize bonds in this measure. I suggest there should have been an independent Bill dealing with that matter only. It would have been a small measure and could have been treated on its merits. The Minister is aware that there are people in this country who object to that idea of prize bonds, who do not believe in gambling or anything even connected with gambling. I am not one of them, but I do respect their point of view. There is a fairly large number of people who hold that viewpoint and I suggest that the Minister tacked on the latter part of the Bill making provision for the prize bonds so as to prevent its being treated separately so that the Bill would appear to have something good in it as well as something bad.

Of course, it will take time to tell whether the scheme itself is a good idea or not. As Senator Douglas suggested last week there are people who do feel it is immoral. That is why I object to the fact that the scheme providing for prize bonds has been added. I think it should have been separate.

In regard to the other part of the Bill which provides for tax reliefs for coal mining undertakings and industries hoping to break into the export market, it has been suggested by some people that they are not sufficient to warrant the risk involved. That is a matter with which I would not be competent to deal but, since everybody agrees that the greatest expansion should take place under agriculture, it is regrettable that a measure to boost agricultural output has not come before a measure of this sort since we will also have to deal with a Bill in that regard after this measure. Having given expression to these criticisms I merely wish to add that I hope the Minister will be successful in, in my opinion, his genuine desire to put the economy of this country right.

I welcome this Bill and the frank statement made by the Minister yesterday. The statement indicated that the Government during the last six months have had to take unpopular measures to put the country's economy on a proper footing and shows that they were strong enough and were prepared, despite what the Opposition stated in the past, to take unpopular measures. Senator O'Reilly speaking here a few moments ago said that the measures were too meagre and too late. One would expect that a responsible Opposition like the Fianna Fáil Party, a Party that was in office for 20 years, would be unanimous on a policy to meet the present difficulties that confront the country. We all have to agree that they are not. While in the House they promise us co-operation; I think we were told by the Leader of the Opposition that they would support this Government although they detested it. It is very hard for anybody to co-operate with you if they detest you at the same time. While the Opposition state in this House they will support the Government, down at the chapel gates and throughout the country, they blame the Government for everything, for the fall in the cattle prices, over which the Government have no control, the fall in the turkey prices, which are governed by the supply and demand in the British market, and for every little thing that has gone wrong. I think it would be a good idea if the Opposition were unanimous and had a plan and told the people what their plan is to get the country out of the economic difficulties that confront us.

Senator Cogan speaking here yesterday evening spoke about a turning point that took place in 1948. Obviously he was trying to throw the blame on to the inter-Party Government but it might be no harm to remind Senator Cogan that he supported the Coalition Government between 1948 and 1951. From 1951 onwards he supported a Government that in my opinion started all this trouble because, in the latter part of 1951, they injected £24,000,000 of the Marshall Aid into an already over-inflated economy. I think it was their action at that time that started the troubles that we have to-day.

The Minister for Finance pointed out in his speech yesterday that our future depends on more savings and on the investment of our people's money in productive enterprises. I am one of those people who claim that in the past we spent too much money on work that was not of a productive nature and that, while it was giving employment at the time, it was not of any lasting benefit to the country. In my own county we spent £12,000 per mile on roads which were already good enough for anybody. I know that it is the Minister's idea that in future more money should be spent on land reclamation, forestry, work under the Local Authorities (Works) Act, on lime and fertilisers and on the erection of more factories to help to get into the export market.

Senator Cogan seemed to be very anxious about the land reclamation scheme but our memories are good and we remember 1948 when the farmers were told not to avail of the land reclamation scheme, that if they did their valuations would be increased immediately. We all know that the Minister at that time faced great difficulties and it took him nearly two or three years before he was able to get that scheme going in a proper form. I think we all agree in this House and throughout the country that, as Ireland is an agricultural country, the prosperity of every man, woman and child depends upon what we are able to get from the land, both for our own people and for export to Britain, to get the money to pay for the raw materials which keep the wheels of industry turning.

When Senator Cogan tries to blame us, it is necessary to go back to 1947. He should remember the point from which we started when we had the lowest number of cattle, sheep and pigs in living memory. Between 1931 and 1947 the number of cattle dropped by 750,000; sheep by over 1,000,000 and the pig population from 1,200,000 to 475,000. He should also remember that in 1947 total exports were only £38,000,000 and that in 1951 they had increased to over £81,000,000. I think we will all have to agree that the Government of that time, despite what Senator O'Reilly stated a few minutes ago, were interested in agricultural production because the bulk of those exports came from agricultural production.

We have in this country 12,000,000 acres of fertile, arable soil. We have a population of only 2,500,000, which gives nearly five acres for every person in the country. It is agreed by everybody that we should be producing more from the land and that we should have increased agricultural production. A few minutes ago we heard about the collapse in the turkey market. In my own town of Mullingar yesterday the price of cockerels was between 2/6 and 3/-, and hen turkeys went up to 3/6 a lb. I am glad for the farmers' wives and for the people who produce these turkeys that that has happened. When people speak about a collapse in certain prices, I agree that cattle prices have dropped considerably but it should be remembered that farmers have an agreed price for wheat and for barley, both for pig production and for supplying to the brewers, and also for beet. I think we should appeal to the farmers to grow all the wheat they can and all the barley necessary for pig production and to try to supply our beet requirements.

I mentioned this before—and I think other speakers mentioned it also—that we could easily grow enough barley in this country to feed 1,000,000 extra pigs, and, even if we had 1,000,000 extra pigs in the country, we would not have the number of pigs we had in the years 1925, 1926 and 1927. If we had 1,000,000 extra pigs, it would bring in from £18,000,000 to £20,000,000 extra each year and we all know that that would go a long way towards putting our economy on a very firm footing. There is no harm saying that the farmers saved this country in the past. They were in the front line trenches in various wars, social and economic. I think they have an opportunity now of saving the country again, and if they grew all the wheat, barley and beet we need, they would go a long way towards doing that.

It is also agreed that we should have increased industrial production and that our industrialists should produce the best. Too often in the past some of our industrialists—I will not say all of them—have tried to get rich quick by producing inferior articles when they were protected by a high tariff wall. That policy has done harm to a lot of our industries. While only a small percentage of our industrialists are concerned, at the same time, that small percentage did a lot of harm to this country in the past.

The Minister should try to get our industrialists to produce the best and to export abroad. If we export material which is up to the standard, we will get a market and sale for it. The people abroad will not buy our goods for sentimental reasons, because it is Irish, because of the colour of our eyes or anything like that. If there is co-operation all round, we can get on to the export market and produce an article that will get a ready sale abroad.

Senator Murphy mentioned a matter upon which I intended to speak. We should have a "Buy Irish" campaign in this country and by that I do not mean a "Buy Irish" campaign around the 17th March for one week of the year but a "Buy Irish" campaign for the 52 weeks of the year. Every Irish man or woman will admit that every time we buy an imported article when an Irish-made equivalent is available, we add to the financial difficulties of the State. I think that if everybody understood that, more people would be prepared to buy Irish goods.

I am a farmer and I heard many farmers recently complaining on account of the protective tariff imposed to help certain industrialists in this country manufacturing tweeds and so on. I told some of the farmers who complained to me that the farmers in Ireland are the last people who ought to complain because certain Irish industries are protected. I pointed out to them that this Government was paying over 70/- per barrel for wheat when we could buy it abroad at 50/-. The farmers should remember that when they are inclined to grumble at times.

That statement is not true.

In the past, the farmers were paid 80/- for wheat when it could have been bought abroad in 1952 and 1953 at about 50/- per barrel. The statement is true, and if the Senator looks up the records, he will find it is true. Our country is a grand little country of which we should all be proud and if everybody did a little more and worked a little harder, there would be no difficulty in solving our present financial problems.

All of us should take a lesson from what Germany did over the past few years. Germany was down and out and her buildings were razed to the ground, but look at how that country has worked since. If we had more people in this country at the present time prepared to work for Ireland, instead of talking about dying for Ireland, it would be much better for each and every one of us.

As was, of course, natural, having regard to the survey I made when opening the debate, the members of the Seanad took the opportunity of covering a wide field. I am glad they did so. We had a debate which varied in its scope and ramifications. Some Senators dealt with problems that arise in a way which was easy to understand, whether one agreed with it or not. Others, I am afraid, were to me somewhat less clear and, when I am dealing with some of the points they raised, I hope they will not think I have deliberately misunderstood them if I failed to understand exactly what they were getting at.

Senator Kissane in opening the debate challenged my statement that we had here an endemic balance of payments problem. I do not think that there can be any doubt whatever about the matter and if the Senator goes back over the figures and examines them, he will find that I am correct. We have had, I agree, that endemic position, cloaked and concealed in certain years. The Senator, I think, made his point for the purpose of showing that the Fianna Fáil Government in, say, 1953 had met the situation that was arising then. The fact, of course, is that between 1952 and 1953 the international events moved to assist the then Government. When I was opening the debate, I gave some figures in relation to the terms of trade. The index based on 1948 of the ratio of export to import prices, as I explained, had come down from 105 in 1953 to 98 in the current year. That, as I made the case properly, of course, was a factor over which no Irish Government would have any control.

If we go back to 1952 and 1953, we will find then not a change adverse to ourselves but that there was between those years a change in the international trading situation which was most beneficial to this country and equally a change with which the then Government had nothing whatever to do. Obviously, no Irish Government could have anything to do with the international position to that extent. In fact, the index moved in 1952 from 98 up to 105 in 1953. That meant that there was in that year an improvement in the terms of trade of 7½ per cent. and it also meant that there was an improvement from the point of view of our international trading between 1952 and 1953 of £12.6 million, purely due to the fortuitous benefit improvement in the terms of trade between those two years, just as I explained that there has been a disimprovement—fortuitous, and again from the outside—in the first nine months of the year, to the extent of £10,000,000. Therefore, in considering the situation, the comparison of 1952 to 1953 with 1953 to 1956, we should realise that the difference is a cumulative one and that, therefore, as between the two periods, we face an adverse reaction in the current year of a very substantial amount indeed.

Following Senator Kissane's opening on that line, we had an indictment by Senator Sheehy Skeffington of a capitalist economy, as he described it—an indictment of private enterprise, as it was intended to be, I think. The Senator was rather unfortunate, however, when he was proclaiming the virtues of socialism, in the example he took. Let me say that I wish to join with Senator Cogan in paying tribute to Senator Sheehy Skeffington, in that at least he has the courage to admit flatly and categorically that he is a full-blooded socialist. Other people who might like to dabble in those waters might not have that courage. I need hardly say, as Senator Sheehy Skeffington admits and as stated in the course of this debate, he and I have different views on that subject; but it is at least good to see that people who have strong views are prepared to admit those strong views.

The Senator, as his argument in favour of socialism, took the example of Sweden and put the case that Sweden's improvement and Sweden's progress was due to its being a socialist State. It just so happens that I had read last week a review inThe Statist of a book which was published on the Swedish economy. I would commend to the Senator reading that review, which is contained in the December 8th issue of The Statist page 710, and to remember particularly the last sentence, which is:—

"The lesson here is that private enterprise, left to get on with its job unhampered by unnecessary interference and penal taxation, is best for the national economy, its industry, its workers and its shareholders."

In case there might be any doubt that the review was not a true review of the book, I sent to Sweden for it immediately I read the review. It was delivered to me actually yesterday while the Senator was speaking. Therefore, I had not the time to digest it all, but there is one table in it which I should like to quote, for the purpose of exploding completely the view that Sweden's progress is due to socialism and that, therefore, because Sweden has progressed, we should have socialism here—which of course was the argument the Senator was trying to put across to us.

In Sweden, in their forest industries, 95 per cent. are in private ownership, 3 per cent. are in public ownership and 2 per cent. are in consumer co-operatives. I wonder what our position here is in relation to forestry and how we would compare with those figures. I intend to give the Seanad a good many of them.

Could I just ask the Minister, when he talks about forest industry, does that include the forest or merely the industry based on State forests?

Production value. Iron mining is 62 per cent. private enterprise and 38 per cent. in public ownership. We would be all on the other side by comparison. Steel making is 93 per cent. private and 7 per cent. public. I would not be in a position to know what the percentages here are, but we must remember that Haulbowline is in public ownership here and I would imagine that our figures here would show a different trend. In power, the output in kilowatt hours is 58 per cent. in private ownership and 42 per cent. in public ownership. Our comparison would look a bit odd by that.

Is the Minister not proving that we are more socialist than Sweden?

That is what I am going on to show. In metal working, 98 per cent is in private ownership, 1 per cent. in public ownership and 1 per cent. in consumer co-operatives. In electrical manufacture, 92 per cent. is in private ownership, 6 per cent. in public ownership and 2 per cent in consumer co-operatives. In shipbuilding, 99.8 per cent. is in private ownership and 2 per cent is in consumer co-operatives. In shipping, 99 per cent. is in private ownership and 1 per cent. in public ownership. In chemical industries, 92.2 per cent. are in private ownership, 2.5 per cent. in public ownership and 5.3 per cent. in consumer co-operatives. In construction, 80 per cent. is in private ownership and 16 per cent. in public ownership. In food, 86 per cent. is in private ownership and 14 per cent. in consumer co-operatives. In wholesaling, 90 per cent. is in private ownership and 10 per cent. in consumer co-operatives. In retailing, 86 per cent. is in private ownership and 14 per cent. in consumer co-operatives. In banking, 94 per cent. is in private ownership and 6 per cent. in public ownership.

The Minister did not say anything about the land.

Anyone who looks at those figures can have no doubt that, in so far as this is a survey of industrial production—and it is intended to be that—it is not merely inappropriate but misleading to suggest that the progress which Sweden has made in relation to industrial output has arisen because of any socialist tendency there.

Would the Minister give the title of the book, please?

"Product of Private Enterprise." As a matter of fact, I will go even so far as to lend it to the Senator when I have read it myself.

Thank you very much.

I think it is worth mentioning that, because that is an argument I have heard not merely from Senator Sheehy Skeffington before but from others who feel rather on the same line.

I was criticised—or rather the Government was criticised—in certain respects in the debate for a lack of consistency. Senator Ó Buachalla was one of those who did so. Senator Kissane also followed somewhat on the same line. Nothing I said in my survey was new. I have been saying it for some considerable time. The only thing which appeared to be new about it was—and I am grateful to the Senators for it—that they paid a little more attention to me on this occasion than perhaps they have on other occasions. The fact is that I have been saying this, and my colleagues also have been saying exactly the same thing, for some considerable time. It is not necessary for me on this occasion to go back over the statements which have been made in that regard, but if there was some sort of suggestion, first, on that consistency line and, secondly, from other speakers that perhaps a policy of that type might be desirable, I think it is right that I should ask Senators on the other side of the House where they stand in relation to consistency in respect of one particular item which is of immense importance in connection with the subject we have been discussing yesterday and to-day.

Approximately a year ago a proposal was put forward by the Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Dáil that it was desirable that there should be an expenditure of approximately, in his view, £100,000,000. The quotation is:

"It can be said, however, that if new capital sources to a maximum extent of £100,000,000 were made available over five years for public investment in the development of the national economy...."

I remember in the same speech he had said that "this should be financed otherwise than by taxation or by borrowing from current savings." I should like to know where the consistency is between that statement made by him at that stage and the speeches we have heard from others yesterday and to-day? Is it not a fact that it has been put into cold storage because it was realised that it was so inconsistent with the policy of the Opposition in other respects or that perhaps—I do not know—the policy of the Opposition in other respects has been pushed back and that policy has been brought to the forefront?

I do not want anybody to be under any illusion as to what I said in respect of that suggestion which was made officially on behalf of the Fianna Fáil Party. It is nothing but a deliberate invitation to inflation which would have disastrous results on the economy. I hope that it will never be operative here. The only effect it would have would be to swell the balance of payments deficits to an extent which we could never catch up with, to an extent that would bring that ruin and those difficulties upon us to which I referred yesterday, if we were not as a nation to be able to choose the imports that we wanted or if we had to allow others outside to make that choice for us. It is precisely to avoid that choice having to be made that the Government took steps earlier this year to ensure that our payments will be brought into balance.

Other Senators took a somewhat similar line. I must confess I agree with Senator O'Reilly that Senator Hickey is completely sincere in what he said, and, even though I do not agree with somebody who is at least sincere, it is a pleasure to listen to sincerity, but I fail to understand the Senator if his view as expressed did not mean an invitation again to inflation.

Even so, I think it does mean an invitation to inflation by saying that availability of money funds should be pushed up. He would be doing me a great service if he would make himself clear on that at some future occasion, but I have, I am afraid, failed to follow him in his argument. Fundamentally, I think what he has suggested—he did not say it—is the same as the printing press.

That is the last conclusion Senator Hickey would like to come to——

Our money should be based on the productive capacity of our people.

Of course; but that is not what the Senator said. The Senator in his argument put the cart before the horse. What I made clear yesterday was that it was desirable— in fact not merely desirable but of paramount importance in present circumstances—that production would be brought up in line with money and this is where the Senator is putting the cart before the horse.

I would be very sorry if I was.

I shall welcome a discussion with the Senator on the matter. I accept that he is sincere but I fail to grasp his point. Senator McHugh, as far as I could understand his view, seemed to think that we alone of all the countries in the world had fixed parity for our currency. Of course, that is not so. Not merely is it not so——

It is part of our statutes.

——but there are in fact 70 countries which adhere to the International Monetary Fund. Section 4 of the International Monetary Fund Agreement says:—

"Each member undertakes to collaborate with the fund to promote exchange stability, to maintain orderly exchange arrangements and to avoid competitive exchange alterations."

On a point of order. I said we went into a world organisation——

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

What is the point of order?

The point of order is that the Minister is attributing to me something I did not say.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

I am afraid that is not a point of order. The Minister, to continue.

That is not a point of order. I want to make quite clear what the facts are because Senator Dr. McHugh does not know what the facts are, judging by what he said here yesterday.

That is not what I said.

What the Senator said was quite clear. He said we alone of all the countries in the world had a fixed parity for our currency——

——written into our statutes, with sterling.

When the Senator has finished interrupting me, I shall continue.

You interrupted me when I was speaking.

I did not. I waited until the Senator was finished and asked a question when he sat down.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

The Minister must be allowed to continue his speech.

A change in the par value of a member's currency may be made only on the proposal of the member and only after consultation with the fund. There are 70 countries in that agreement and most countries, as I say, have fixed arrangements in relation to their currency. New Zealand was off parity with the British pound and came back to it; Australia is not. South Africa is, and of course even in relation to British sterling itself, it is fixed at a determined value in relation to the dollar— 2.80.

The Senator in his suggestion a second ago made the point that he was interested purely in having power to vary the rate of exchange other than by statute. That is not the case that is normally made in relation to this matter in this country. It is certainly not the way it is understood in the country. It is understood in the country as creating a desire that we would have a fluctuating rate of exchange for the Irish £.

I think it was very frequently, if not always, understood by people who do not understand the problem as indicating that those who advocate such a change believe that our £ in those circumstances would appreciate in value. I said previously and I want to repeat now that I do not believe in change for change's sake. I believe in changing when I see a clear advantage in making any change, but I think that merely to change something for the sake of change is a rather puerile concept.

I want to know from those who advocate a change in our currency rate of the moment whether they think it desirable in present circumstances to overvalue or to devalue the Irish £ as against British sterling. Let me make clear where I stand in that respect. As I said in answer to a question the other day, the Government by reason of the measures it has taken over the past year has shown clearly that it intends to do everything in its power to sustain the value of the Irish £. We propose to continue that policy. It is important that that should clearly be understood so that there will not be any lack of confidence on that account.

While making it clear that that is my view, I think the future discussion on any advocacy of breaking the link would be coupled with an expression of view by the persons who advocate it, as to whether they wish it to go up or to go down. I believe they have not come to any conclusion at all either way and that they are advocating a change for change's sake rather than because of any inherent belief in the merits of an appreciation or the merits of a devaluation. I have made my position perfectly clear and beyond question in that respect.

If the English £ is devalued, where is the Irish £?

We have here a certain amount of resources. Those resources must be developed to the utmost. The best market for the export of those resources, the largest market, is that on the other side of the Irish sea. We must do everything in our power to ensure that, while expanding that market, we obtain other markets as well. We must realise that, in the ultimate result, our prosperity will depend not on nominal values but on the amount we are able to produce and to produce for export. I am afraid that, in the past, we have been too slow to realise that point and too prone to think that by strokes of the pen, whether in regard to banking, finance, currency, legislation or other arrangements, we can produce prosperity. We can only produce it by hard work and obtaining more of the material things by our own resources.

When the Minister speaks of "exports" does he include people in that term?

One of the difficulties I shall come to in a minute is the one mentioned by Senator Hartney. I shall deal with it now, as Senator McHugh has interrupted me. Senator Hartney seemed to miss the point which is of absolute importance that, in the undoubted restriction that there will be of resources available for development not merely here but in any country, it is essential that those resources be put to real productive use. If, in the past, they had been put to more productive use then we would not have the emigration of which Senator McHugh speaks. The only way of stopping the flow of emigration is to put more and more of our capital resources to productive development and less to non-productive purposes. In relation to employment in particular —and it is vital that this be appreciated —during the expenditure of capital moneys on non-productive works employment is given and, therefore, there are jobs for the people concerned. However, when that capital expenditure on non-productive work is concluded, there are no jobs for those people and our capital resources have been weakened by the amount that has been expended on that non-productive work—a worse state of affairs than the first.

On the other hand, if we utilise our resources for productive purposes we shall have, from that utilisation of capital expenditure, not merely employment for those who are building up the development but, after the capital buildup is concluded, there will be a productive asset there that will continue to provide income and employment thereafter. That is the vital difference which we must appreciate and which must be borne in mind. In that connection, I want to make quite clear exactly where I stand in relation to programmes of capital development.

I believe that what we want here is the largest possible programme of productive capital development that the people will sustain. In that sentence, the emphasis must be on the words "productive" and "sustain." That is why, because of my belief in the emphasis on the word "sustain," I spoke at such length yesterday on the position of our savings and compared them with those in other countries. In that connection Senator Cogan and also, I think, Senator O'Callaghan, mentioned the question of expenditure on the land project. The fact is that, in the current year, we shall be expending some £400,000 more than was expended on the land project in 1954-55, approximately the same as was expended last year. As we all know, this year, in the late spring and early summer, we got much better weather for doing that type of work than we would have in normal years. In addition, there were some improvements made in administration. The result was that, because of the weather conditions and the administrative improvements, more work was done in the early part of this year than was done in the early part of other years.

What has happened is that, as a result of the speeding up of work in the early part of this year, there has been an exhaustion of the amount allocated for the work for the current year. As Senators are aware, that allocation was recently reinforced again and the reinforcement will enable more work under the land project to proceed in the whole country at the moment. In relation to that, I want to make it quite clear that there was no bringing to a close, as one Senator suggested. In fact, the allocation for the land project for the current year at £2,691,000 will be approximately £400,000 more than the similar allocation made by my friends opposite in the last year in which they were in office.

Senators Douglas and Guinness referred to the effect that this Bill might have in relation to existing firms who had already gone into the export market. Senator Douglas was rather inclined to think that a tax concession, which he worked out at £1,187 10s. on his own figures, is a very meagre one. I must confess I take issue with him there at once. A tax concession of £1,187 10s. on a profit of £5,000 is a pretty big concession. In fact, if I were in the fortunate position of being able to engage in export industry at the moment instead of being most inadequately paid as a Minister, I would regard that as being a quite useful concession.

The case made by both Senators was that this was not rewarding the firm who had already gone out and got export markets. That is true. There is an element of reward in the provision by virtue of which there is the choice of 1955 or 1956 as the datum year. But the point of this Bill is not to reward anybody; the point of this Bill is to get increased exports. It is on that basis, and solely on that basis, the Bill is framed. If, for example, I were to go back and give a concession in respect of a firm which, shall we say, exported nothing in 1948 and exported £100,000 worth of goods last year, if I were to allow them to choose 1948 as their datum year, and this year they only exported £50,000 worth of goods, they would get a concession, not for increasing their exports in the national need, but for decreasing them.

That situation might not arise but it seems to me to be wrong to look on the matter on any basis other than that of giving a concession in circumstances when exports are being increased. That is looking at it from the point of view of the national need, not, as I think both Senators looked at it, from the point of view of the reward for particularly industries concerned. I certainly pay tribute to their enterprise in going out and getting markets up to this, but I do not think that it would be justifiable in the national interest to deal with that on a system of retrospective reward, which is really what their argument comes to when analysed to rock bottom.

I may say also that Senators are incorrect when they refer to the necessity for the ploughing back of this amount. I had originally provided that there would be a plough-back of the concession. I was anxious, if I possibly could, to retain that. I had provided it on the basis that there would be a plough-back of the profits that are to be made from excess exports. During the discussion in the other House certain representations were made to me by Córas Tráchtála and others. It became clear that I had to take a definition for profits which were not going to be the actual profits but would be what we would deem profits for the purpose of covering a case where an exporter was able to get a lower margin of profit in the export market than in the home market. I felt it would be quite unrealistic that the plough-back should be in respect of not what was a profit but what was deemed to be a profit. On that account, I had to change that provision during the course of the passage of the Bill through the Dáil and it is no longer in the Bill as it comes before this House.

Senator Douglas also asked about unprocessed gypsum and shell-fish. As I said in the other House, the position as regards unprocessed gypsum is that it will be considered further and, when that consideration is concluded, the result will be announced as soon as possible. It is not possible to consider all the ramifications and implications which will arise from this Bill. As far as shell-fish are concerned, I am afraid it is the shell-fish itself that does the processing rather than the person who exports the shell-fish. Therefore, it seems to me that Senator Douglas correctly estimated the effect there.

When making his general review, Senator O'Brien expressed the hope that the levies would be temporary. He said that if they were not temporary they would lose their sharp effect. As I explained at the time they were introduced, they had two effects. One was the deterrent effect. I agree with him that there is this shock effect but there is also a second effect—that is, that the moneys that are collected by the levies go to that extent towards reducing the deficit financing that was part of the cause of our adverse balance of payments. In considering the effects of the levies at all, one must consider not merely the deterrent effect but also the effect they have in bridging that deficit.

I do not think there were any other points raised on the Bill itself. I think the general view in the House was that, as part of the desire of the Government to increase production and increase exports, the Bill was a desirable one. Perhaps I should refer to one thing said by Senator Murphy. He seemed to misunderstand what I meant by the differences between an open and closed economy. It is not at all on the lines that he indicated. A closed economy is one in which you do not have free movement of materials, that is to say, free imports of the raw materials and the resources that are required to carry on the economy. We have not got, and could not hope to have, what one might term self-sufficiency in that regard. Unless we have available within our own economy the resources to meet all modern living requirements and eventualities, we must bring those in and it is because of that and because of the movement of funds that goes with that necessity to bring in imports, if there is a shortage in internal production, because of our lack of resources, that we are an open economy, not because we maintain a parity link with British sterling.

Incidentally, I may add in that respect, that even in present circumstances, I think Egypt maintains parity with British sterling, so that it is not necessarily a sign in the direction that some of the Senators would like me to interpret that link.

I think I have covered most of the points that were raised. I am grateful to the House for the manner in which they accepted the proposals contained in the Bill.

May I ask the Minister one question? He referred to the land project and, if I correctly interpreted what he said, there has been some slowing down recently due, perhaps, to the fact that there was a big expansion of work in the early part of the financial year. Would the Minister be able to hold out any hope that the allocation to the funds for the land project could be supplemented so as to maintain work at the same rate as in the early part of the year, because it has certainly slowed down?

As the Senator is aware, an allocation was made the other day out of the £1,000,000 that was allocated by the Government. A sum of £150,000, as well as I remember, was allocated for the land project. That will enable the land project to pick up again where in fact they had gone too fast in the early part of the year.

I wonder could I ask the Minister a question with reference to what he said about the devaluation of the pound? Would not the immediate effect of devaluing the Irish pound in relation to the British pound be to make it harder for us to import from Britain and easier for us to export to Britain and is that not the Minister's policy?

On a point of order. Since this discussion started——

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

Is Senator O'Reilly asking a question?

I wanted to point out to the Chair that Senator McHugh introduced this and it was suggested that he should put down a motion.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

That matter does not arise. That matter cannot be discussed at this stage.

I am suggesting that it should not be.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

I cannot accept any suggestions at this stage.

In reply to the question raised by Senator Sheehy Skeffington, of course, the effect of that immediately would be substantially to raise the cost of living. The Senator's suggestion of devaluing the Irish pound would have the effect that the cost of everything that we imported, expressed in terms of our own currency, would be much dearer.

Just like an import levy.

I am going to meet that point. It would have the effect of covering, not merely the less essential things that are covered by an import levy but, over the whole economy, an effect of making things that were essential, including vital raw materials, dearer and, therefore, the end products of those vital raw materials dearer.

And the effect on our exports to Britain?

It would mean that it would to some extent undoubtedly offset the high cost in our economy of certain production for export.

Would the Minister say what he proposes to do to enhance the value of Irish loans, apart from the fact that his policy will increase the value of money?

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

I am afraid the discussion has ended.

Question put and agreed to.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

An céad céim eile?

Anois má sé do thoil é. I think we might take the Committee Stage now because the only other alternative would be to meet on 2nd January and the Dáil could not possibly be recalled to sit on 2nd January to consider any recommendations that we might make. Perhaps we could finish the Committee Stage now. The idea yesterday was to finish the Bill to-day.

There is no objection to our taking the Committee Stage of the Bill now. There are certain recommendations standing in the name of Senator Cox. We cannot put down amendments to this Bill as this is a Money Bill but I was wondering if the Minister had any amendments in mind.


Agreed to take remaining Stages to-day.

Bill considered in Committee.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

Senators will have noticed that a series of recommendations, five in number, have been submitted by Senator Arthur Cox. The Senator has been informed that the last two recommendations, Nos. 4 and 5, are out of order. He will be allowed to move the other three.

Sections 1 to 7, inclusive, agreed to.

I move recommendation No. 1:—

To add a new sub-section as follows:—

( ) In this section the words "existing coal-mining operation" include extensions which are not new coal-mining operations.

The reason I am raising this is—of course, it is a small point—under Section 4 the relief under Section 7 is not given to coal-mining which is merely an extension of any existing operation. On the other hand, under Section 8 there is a concession to coal-mining which increases its production but that concession is limited to existing coal-mining operations. It does seem to me that there is a possible gap there. An existing mine, let us say, extends its present operations. It would not be entitled to benefit under Section 7. Again, it might be a mine not registered under Section 8 because it might not be an existing coal-mine actually in operation. I merely want to draw attention to that possible defect in the two sections.

I think the matter is adequately covered. If the Senator will look at the definition of coal-mining operations in Section 4 he will find that it is very wide. In relation to Sections 7 and 8, we did not take the line in this Bill that I took in relation to metallic minerals last year. If I were following on the line I adopted in relation to metallic minerals, then there would be complete point in the Senator's recommendation. Here, profits arise from the increased output of existing coal-mines, and that includes extensions. The Senator can be quite happy that output from existing mines does include extensions. I presume he means, in his recommendation, existing coal-mining operations to include an extension of coal-mining operations. He is intending to keep it to coal. I think that is adequately covered.

I am glad the Minister has given that assurance because, in practice, it is a point that might easily arise.

Recommendation, by leave, withdrawn.
Section 8 agreed to.
Section 9 agreed to.
Question proposed: "That Section 10 stand part of the Bill".

I presume this section deals only with corporation profits tax and it is for that reason that "company" is mentioned in the definition. Private individuals do not pay corporation profits tax and, therefore, the concession would not be granted to them. Is the concession given to everyone?

No. Concessions are only given in this Bill to companies incorporated under the Companies Act, private or public.

Would a partnership or a private individual engaged in trade not get any concession?

Would the Minister say why he considers that desirable? I can envisage a factory owned by a private individual engaged in export trade. Such an individual is doing as much good, and benefiting the State, as any anonymous society.

I raised this matter on the Second Stage. I feel very strongly on the case of individuals working in a small way but doing very valuable work in the export of commodities popular in America and on the Continent generally. If these people are now compelled under this section to form themselves into a corporate body an additional burden will be put upon them. There are a number of individuals, singly or in partnership, who are doing a very valuable export trade. I am anxious that the Minister should explain why it is not practicable to permit such people to avail of the advantages this Bill purports to give.

It applies to a corporation or society. It deals with a corporate body. A corporation would come under the Companies Act.

The definition is a body corporate. I would require notice as to whether or not a body corporate includes a society under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act.

I can assure the Minister it does.

I think it does, but I am not prepared to say so without notice. Virtually, all manufacturing of any consequence is done by corporate bodies. Remember, in relation to this Bill, I have provided that the relief goes to the manufacturer and not to the person who exports. The exporter does not qualify for relief inasmuch as he is not the person who manufactures and processes the goods. It is the actual manufacturer who will qualify. There are obvious reasons why that is desirable. Equally, we can all see the immense administrative difficulty that would be created in relation to Part III if individuals were permitted to obtain concessions under it. The additional administrative cost would be immense and the benefit spread over the economy as a whole would be very, very small indeed because there is an insignificant percentage of production suitable for export made other than by corporate bodies.

Considering the immense difficulties that might arise it would be in the interests of an individual then, who is engaged in export trade, to incorporate his business in order to enjoy the concessions conferred under this.

If he is a manufacturer.

I understand that it is only the person who actually manufactures for export who will get the benefit of the provisions of this Bill. It is in the interests, therefore, of private individuals or partnerships to have themselves incorporated. The Minister says that there would be immense administrative difficulties involved in making the provision widespread. We will have to take the Minister's assurance that that is so.

Mr. Douglas

On the Second Stage I raised a point in relation to the definition of goods. I am interested in the position of assurance companies and the services provided by them to companies outside the State. I wonder whether there is any possibility of amending this definition to provide for goods and services in the case of insurance companies within the country.

Not in relation to this measure I am afraid. I shall consider the point raised by the Senator at a later stage. I meant to deal with it in my reply.

Question put and agreed to.
Sections 11 and 12 agreed to.
Question proposed: "That Section 13 stand part of the Bill."

I omitted dealing with one point raised by Dr. Sheehy Skeffington. He was so wrong I think it would be quite incorrect for me to allow it to stand on the records without contradiction. He said the effect of Section 13 in relation to exports and the cognate section in relation to coal mining was to relieve the companies concerned from excess corporation profits tax. That is not so. It has nothing to do with excess corporation profits at all. It deals only with profits from excess output of coal or profits from excess exports. That, of course, is an entirely different thing from giving the benefits in respect of excess profits.

Question put and agreed to.
Sections 14 and 15 agreed to.

I move recommendation No. 2:—

To delete sub-section (2).

I am not quite clear of the advantage there is in sub-section (2) as it stands. It provides that "if the building or structure when it comes to be used is not an industrial building or structure..." What does the phrase, "when it comes to be used," mean? It seems to me that under the section as it stands a company might be liable to refund any benefits or reliefs it had been granted in respect of a building when that building ceased to be used as an industrial structure. I quite agree it is very difficult to devise the correct wording. I do not suppose that could be done in the present Bill, but I would ask the Minister to remember it when he comes to introduce the next Finance Bill.

I think the Senator should look at the words: "when it comes to be used." These words obviously mean the first use of the building as an industrial structure. For instance, if allowance were to be given for a building during the course of its erection on the grounds that it was to be used as a factory, and then, when the building was completed, instead of using it as a factory the owners turned it into a cinema, this section enables me to ensure that they do not get a concession for its use as a cinema. Once the first use of the building has been as a factory that governs the whole operation of the section. The phrase "When it comes to be used" means the first use to which the building is put.

If the owners used it during the day as a factory and then turned it to some other use——

If it does give rise to difficulties we will clear it up in a subsequent Bill.

Recommendation, by leave, withdrawn.
Section 16 agreed to.

I move recommendation No. 3:—

In sub-section (1), line 10, to delete "in use."

It seems to me that the use of the words "in use" might give rise to some confusion because in the section dealing with the granting of reliefs we speak of a building before it is erected. It is scarcely then in use.

I am afraid I do not get the Senator's point.

My point is that in the last section we dealt with an occasion when the building has been constructed, whereas in this section we are dealing with it before it is constructed.

If the Senator would look at paragraph (a) of sub-section (3) of Section 16 he would see the reference to "any expenditure incurred on or after the 30th day of September, 1956, for the purposes of a trade by a person about to carry it on, shall be treated as if it had been incurred by that person on the first day on which he does carry it on."

I do not press the recommendation.

It is a bit complicated but I assure the Senator it is all right.

Recommendation, by leave, withdrawn.
Section 17 agreed to.
Sections 18 to 21, inclusive, agreed to.
Recommendation No. 4 not moved.
Question proposed: "That Section 22 stand part of the Bill."

My recommendation on this matter is out of order. However, I should like to address a few remarks on the matter to which it referred. My point was that the person investing his money would be encouraged if he were able to draw some chance. Modest savings would be encouraged if you could here limit the rather excellent idea of premium bonds to small prizes.

I already have power to do that. I have power to issue interest bearing securities, but I have no power to issue non-interest bearing securities. The effect of Section 22 is to enable me to issue non-interest bearing securities if I wish. The effect of sub-section (5) enables me to issue Prize Bonds. I can issue, if I so desire, bonds that are partly interest bearing and partly prize. However, without sub-section (1) of this section I could not issue bonds that had no interest bearing provision. This section as now drafted gives me complete liberty to choose either type of security or a combination of both.

The Minister seems to have a complete answer.

And immense power.

Question put and agreed to.
Recommendation No. 5 not moved.
Sections 23, 24 and the Title agreed to.
Bill reported without recommendation, received for final consideration and ordered to be returned to the Dáil.