Central Fund Bill, 1961 (Certified Money Bill) — Second Stage (Resumed).

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

When I reported progress last night, we had just listened to a long discourse by Senator Lenihan in which he sought to prove that we on this side of the House were responsible for all the ills of the country and that the saviours were the Fianna Fáil Party and the Government. Before I make my own remarks, I must address myself to certain statements made by Senator Lenihan

If members will address themselves to the reports they will find that Senator Lenihan said that September, 1957, was the time of change and that the wonderful things done by the incoming Government earlier in that year had started to take effect in September, 1957. He instanced as proof of that the fact that unemployment figures had started to drop. He also made it quite clear that the Fianna Fáil Government were not taking any responsibility for the year 1957, that what he termed as our maladministration up to the general election of that year was still having its effect until the end of 1957. As far as his judgment was concerned, 1957 was to be our year. He gave certain figures, but if he did give certain figures, he forgot to give one of them.

I would refer him to theStatistical Abstract, 1960, page 148, section 5, which refers to external trade. If he looks at the total exports in 1957 as compared with any other year, he will find they were very good and that, in fact, the increase in 1956 was from £108,127,000 to £131,341,000. I now take 1954, the last year of Fianna Fáil administration. I take 1954 deliberately to judge him by his own judgments, because he says that 1957, the year of political change, must be our year because the new Government coming in could not change things and, in fact, did not start to change them until September of that year.

If we refer to 1954, we find that the total exports in that year were some £115,342,000 so that in fact Senator Lenihan was gilding the lily on the wrong side. Again, he said, and I took careful note of it because I knew that it was so silly that it could be disproved and should be disproved— and my memory even then told me that it was wrong—that the ten years' exemption of tax on profits from new exports and new grants for industries changed the tide in September, 1957. I want to tell him what changed the tide. The tide was changed all right as I have shown by the figure that Senator Lenihan conveniently forgot to give and by the Industrial Grants Act, 1956, and the other Act whereby the thing he referred to, the exemption of tax on profits from new exports, was granted for the first time. Their Industrial Grants Act, expanding the policy of the previous Minister for Finance, Deputy Sweetman, was passed in the year 1959, and is the Act in question. So that in fact all that we heard last night was nothing but a mere recital of political untruths meant to impress those who might not know the facts.

Again, the second Act I referred to, expanding the exemption on new exports, was passed shortly before the Industrial Grants Act of 1959 and in relation to exports for the year 1957 we gladly take responsibility. The particular departure by the previous Minister for Finance, the Minister's predecessor, was directly opposed to Fianna Fáil industrial policy down through the years. How many times have we heard "Sinn Féin"? I often felt that the true words they used in that regard were "Mé Féin". Their policy was not the policy to give exemption of tax on new exports and to give grants for industry all over the place. Their policy was to have industries here to supply our people behind the tariff wall. That is as clear as a bell to anybody in this country who has studied that phase of Irish history. I am sure some of my colleagues will have some other things to say. I just looked up the two or three figures that came to my mind when listening to the spate of eloquence from across the floor of the House last night.

This is the last Central Fund Bill this Government will bring to the Seanad. There must be an election before there is another Central Fund Bill. I expected, and I had expected on the Vote on Account in the Dáil, that the Minister would utilise the opportunity to let us know what had been done in the past four years and their policy for the next five years, if re-elected. I had hoped that opportunity would be utilised for the advantage of the people of the country who have a right to know how their money is spent, and the policies underlying the spending of this money.

The Minister will know, because I have the greatest personal regard for him, that what I say now is not personal. He threw the Central Fund Bill, 1961, to the Seanad like a bone to a dog, in the hope that we would go away and bury it. He hoped no remarks would be made except on the figures and that policy and performance would not be discussed. As far as I know from my colleagues, I assure the Minister that that is not the intention on this side of the House but rather to examine policy, past, present and future. It is quite right that such should be done.

The Government have now had four years of office and have introduced four such Bills. In the by-election occasioned by the death of Deputy Colm Gallagher, the Taoiseach made a statement as to the future policy of the Government. I shall quote from theSunday Press of February, 1958, this short extract from a very long speech:

"The test of progress is the number of workers in secure jobs engaged in productive activities."

In February, 1958, that was the test of the future Government's progress and that is how they want to be judged.

Prior to that, on Wednesday, 15th October, 1955, the Taoiseach produced the policy of the Government in the hope that they would be elected, a hope that was realised and realised no doubt because of the policy that was announced. The policy in this four-page news supplement was announced in Clerys Ballroom. The banner headline on the front page is "Full Employment". The Taoiseach is pictured cutting the tape at the opening of a new factory. Then we read:

Mr. Seán Lemass last night spoke to Comh-Comhairle Átha Cliath on Proposals for a Full Employment Policy at the first of its winter meetings in Clery's Restaurant, Dublin. The talk was the first of a series outlining the Fianna Fáil proposals for the full development of our resources.

The process of full discussion of the proposals by Fianna Fáil started last night will continue until the complete programme fully outlined and tested in debate is adopted in final form.

Mr. Lemass said: The proposals, which I will outline in this address dealing with financial aspects of a Full Employment Policy, have for some time past been under consideration by the Fianna Fáil Party Committee.

The Committee decided that it would help to the elaboration and completion of these proposals to have them debated by Comh-Comhairle Átha Cliath, and by other units of the Fianna Fáil organisation, and it has authorised me to place them before you for your examination.

Then we move from the banner headline to the conclusion. This must be quoted because it is highly important. It is headed:

100,000 New Jobs after 5 Years.

It will be noted that in the first year of the proposed programme, it is contemplated that public investment outlay will be expanded by £13 million, raising national expenditure by £20 million and creating 20,000 new jobs. No contribution from the private sector is reckoned in this year.

In the second year, it is assumed that gross national expenditure is again increased by £20 million bringing the total increase to £40 million with a corresponding effect on employment and that this will result from £18 million increase in private capital outlay plus £15 million of further public expenditure adding £22 million.

In the third year, a further rise in gross expenditure by £20 million is assumed (making the cumulative increase £60 million) to which the additional private capital outlay of the previous year is reckoned to contribute £18 million, and new private capital outlay a further £20 million, increased public expenditure being kept at £17 million.

By the fifth year, on this calculation, full employment should be achieved, with the level of gross expenditure raised by £100 million, and 100,000 new jobs created.

In the by-election I have referred to, the Taoiseach requested that the judgment of him and the test of his policy should be employment.

Let us then examine the results. I refer the House to page 46 of theStatistical Abstract, 1960, Table 39. “Labour Force. Estimated Number of Persons at Work in the Main Branches of Economic Activity in 1951 to 1959.” We will take our year —the year Senator Lenihan said was so disastrous. In round figures, the labour force was 703,000 persons. In 1959, that labour force had deteriorated to 692,000 persons. The House is aware that the present figures show there are 51,000 fewer people in employment now than in the so-called year of disaster.

Nowhere has Government policy failed more abjectly than in the important field of housing. Before the last election, Senators will remember Deputy Briscoe's statement in Dáil Éireann. They will remember the suggestions bandied about—and according as one was nailed the next one sprang up—that county council cheques were refused. Nobody has ever yet shown a cheque drawn by a county council with "R.D." on the back of it. However, these statements were made. The people believed, almost, that the State had reached bankruptcy.

Let us examine the situation in those days and the situation to-day. I would refer the Seanad to the Official Report of Dáil Éireann for Wednesday, 1st March, 1961, Volume 186, No. 7. In reply to Question No. 35 addressed by Deputy O'Donnell to the Minister for Local Government, the following answer is given:

Details of expenditure on private enterprise housing are not available in my Department. Capital expenditure on the provision of local authority houses was as follows...

Then follows a table. I shall take the figures for the year which was supposed to be the year of disaster. In 1953-54, £9,276,585 was spent on providing houses for the working people; in 1954-55, £7,619,230; 1955-56, £6,993,246; 1956-57, £7,064,081; 1957-58, £4,456,085; 1958-59, £3,493,035; and in 1959-60, £3,041,327.

Yet, in the so-called year of disaster, we spent twice as much money to provide houses for the working people. I want to tell the Minister for Finance now what I am sure he already knows: in most areas in this country, there is a dire need for housing. The Bill we passed here last week to provide houses for Garda and civil servants who move from one place to another was an excellent measure. I questioned the Minister for Local Government on local authority housing and his answer was that if the local authorities would prepare schemes and send them to him, there would not be a day's delay. "There is no such thing as delay in my Department," he said.

I shall tell the House now just what I think of that statement. When I was a lot more innocent about politics than I am now, I was a young member of the Lower House and I put down a Question to our own Minister with regard to delay in the granting of housing applications to local authorities over a period of Fianna Fáil administration. I got an answer to that question which shocked me for five minutes, and then I saw the light. I was told that the delay after the final application, was a three days' delay. In other words, when a housing scheme comes to the Department and they do not want to grant the application because the money has not been sent from the Department of Finance, it is said that the windows are an inch too wide, the doors and inch too high, the wrong thing has been put on the floor of the hall, or that the gutter should be a quarter of an inch bigger. All those things postpone the application and when everything is ready, when the county manager has made his periodic visit to the Minister's office and knows the money is available, up comes the application and it is granted in three days. The answer given to me was: "Get your scheme ready", but it will never be ready until the money is ready. The brake is the local authority and the brake is the Minister for Finance. That is the Fianna Fáil record on housing.

For the first time in three years, the farmers are now enjoying the first little break they got. Any bank manager will tell you that the increased overdrafts granted to farmers enabled them to pay their bills and enabled them to live on their own fat for a little longer, but those overdrafts did not increase agricultural production. When one considers the policy put before the farmers by the Government before they got into power, and then considers the results, one must again realise just how low politically people can stoop.

I want to refer to a publication known asAn Gléas which was sent to me for a period, for some reason. There is another person called Donegan in the Oireachtas and perhaps that may be the reason. However, An Gléas arrived and I perused it. In January, 1956, when the Government were seeking election, the heading was: “Call To The Government”—that was not a Fianna Fáil Government but ours —and the call was made:

Enough time has now passed since the slashing of the wheat price by 12/6 a barrel for it to be possible to make some estimate of the damage done by Mr. Dillon's campaign against the tillage farmers.

The acreage under wheat fell last year by over a quarter, representing a loss to wheat-growers of some £3,000,000. There is every indication that a still greater fall in acreage is about to take place this year. But that is not the whole story— along with this loss to the Irish farmer, there has been a loss to the nation as a whole.

In the first nine months of 1955, we spent almost £3,000,000 more on wheat imports than in the corresponding period of 1954. And this increased dollar-spending has been taking place at a time when the balance of trade was moving strongly against us, while exports lagged behind.

I quote now from the end of the article:

It is now recognised by all that the slashing of the wheat price was a grave error of judgment by the Government. The results of this error will become still more serious should there be another fall this year in the acreage under wheat. Only an immediate Government decision to restore the 1954 price can save Irish wheat-growing from disaster.

That is an official publication of the Party which now form the Government. They reduced wheat by another 12/6 a barrel, and they further reduced it a fortnight ago by fixing a lower bushelling price so that the farmers will get still less for wheat. Has there ever been anything more politically dishonest?

The truth is, of course, that the agricultural vote does not sway an election. As astute and knowledgeable a politician as the Minister for Finance knows that quite well, and knows that, in fact, the vote in country districts does not vary and swing as much as the urban vote. Whatever could be got out of the agricultural vote for the 1957 election was got, because of the fact that cattle prices had been extremely bad for the previous 18 months, and because of the fact that the members of the Party which now have the right to govern the country spent their time up and down the country drawing attention to the bad cattle prices and suggesting that those prices were the result of maladministration on the part of the then Government.

The Government, of course, have now decided that the agricultural vote will remain static and that they will get their share. No matter how often the Taoiseach goes to Pallaskenry and talks to Macra na Feirme, and no matter how often he speaks at N.F.A. dinners, the poor relation is the farmer, because the Fianna Fáil Party— and I commend them for this—are the best judges of the voting public in Ireland to-day. They can judge where the votes lie, and men like Senator O'Reilly and the Minister for Finance have contact with the rural areas and know the rural vote does not change.

Because they are sound men nationally and otherwise.

But they have gone to the well for water too often and the rural vote has changed. In fact, they are backing the wrong horse. I would prefer to back the right horse for the country, whether it was right politically or not, and not bother with the consequences. That has always been the policy of the Party I have the honour to represent.

That is why the Senator is a member of this House now.

Agricultural prices are no better to-day than they were in 1953. They have varied over the past 12 months. Taking 1953 as base 100, they have been as low as 94 and at present are about 104. Yet the farmer's rates have increased by 30 per cent. and his costs by as much as 25 per cent., and all you people have sat back and done nothing.

I spoke to a young farmer who farms 100 acres. I was shocked when he said to me: "Anyone fool enough to stay on the land here, all he gets is much too good for him." Why did he have this view? Because on the part of Fianna Fáil there is no enthusiasm, no policy and no belief, so far as the land is concerned. This young man was not a supporter of Fine Gael or Labour. In fact, his father stood for the Party opposite. It was my first cousin who told me this. Why is it that these young men have lost hope in their heritage? Because there is no imagination, no future and no comfort for the farmers today.

What happens if a farm is up for sale?

Senator Brady must know that, if a farm is put up for sale, one man out of 20 will buy it and the other 19 are not there. In mine cases out of ten, it is a German or a Dutchman who buys it.

That is a joke.

Great play has been made with the amount of money voted for the eradication of bovine T.B. I want to make it clear that the farmers have not made a red cent out of the money voted for this purpose. In fact, the decision taken all over the world to eradicate bovine T.B. has fallen heavily upon the agricultural population and has interfered with their prices. It has been one of the main reasons why cattle prices, over two periods of more than 12 months each in the past ten years, have been so disastrous. The farmers have not made a penny out of the £7,150,000 boasted about so loudly by Senator Lenihan. Of course, he did not mention there was an appropriation-in-aid on the other side of £1,918,000. These small details do not count.

I want to put it to the House that bovine tuberculosis is a national crisis and the money voted to eradicate it cannot properly be included as something given to the farmers to make them better off. It is a means of saving this country from a colossal balance of payments difficulty and preventing it from being completely impoverished agriculturally. The man who walks down O'Connell Street and draws his pay cheque on a Friday night is being protected by that Vote just as surely as the farmer seeking to become accredited. The Taoiseach was quoted in theLeitrim Observer— a sour sort of place for Fianna Fáil— for Saturday, 25th February, as saying:

In Leitrim, the Government had paid out more than £1 million to farmers for their reactor stock.

I want to make it quite clear that the cost of that stock is £1 million, and, but for the decision in Western Europe to rid cattle of bovine T.B., that stock would have cost a lot more than £1 million. So if that figure of £7 million, minus £2 million, is subtracted from the Agriculture Estimate for this year, it will be found that the farmer is indeed the poor relation.

Senator Lenihan referred to certain figures which were so blatantly incorrect that I cannot but refute them. He said the Land Project had got an extra £100,000. Does he not know that an entire section of the Land Project was wiped out—undoubtedly for a good purpose, to give a subsidy on fertiliser? But the Land Project was reduced by half. A hundred thousand pounds more is but a crumb from the table.

Senator Lenihan is right and Senator Donegan is wrong.

He is not right.

The Senator says it was reduced by half?

It was, two years ago.

We are talking about this year.

You are dealing only with what you want to deal with. Senator Lenihan also said that Bord Bainne were getting an increase of £750,000. That is quite correct, if you want to produce arithmetical proof that the farmers are getting more, but what is that £750,000? It is the selfsame figure that had to be introduced in several years for the export of milk to meet the two-thirds the Government agreed to provide. That amount will come in and out of the Estimates year by year, but it does not mean the farmer is getting a fraction of a penny more for his milk That is the important point.

There is the question of whether Fianna Fáil policy in relation to the European trade movements of The Six and The Seven is of any value to the country and the farmer. While many speeches have been made by the Taoiseach almost liberalising our approach to foreign trade, one notices a fantastically long list of tarrifs, new duties and amended duties, which are always amended in the upward direction. These tariffs and duties are sometimes for a type of industry which does not do us much good.

There is the classic example of the industry to assemble ballpoint pens. There is a new tariff of quite a considerable percentage in respect of this industry. I think half a dozen girls would assemble in a year all the ballpoint pens that could be sold in this country. In fact, if you are arguing with a man and have a ballpoint pen in your hand, you would assemble it and unassemble it ten times before the argument was over. This sort of thing can tend to close the door to our agricultural produce on the continental market. For instance, a French company can no longer send their products in here because there is a tariff wall to protect an industry not giving a lot of employment. Perhaps that is a good reason why the French should restrict the exports of lamb from here, which is a highly profitable business. The French pay, perhaps, the highest prices for lamb in the world.

These things must be remembered. It is not the Fianna Fáil policy to liberalise. It is Fianna Fáil policy to do the Sinn Féin on industrial production and to supply industries here behind a tariff wall and produce the goods our own people can wear and use. I feel that there is a grave danger in a continuation of that sort of policy. No matter what sort of speech is made, there is plenty of evidence of the continuation of that kind of policy and the papers laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas are bad for this country and may, in fact, leave us in a state of splendid isolation where there will be nothing but poverty all round us.

Senator Lenihan is quite a good example. He was quite capable of producing figures which would convince those who were not used to examining such statistics. In fact, on paper, quite a lot of things are all right. We have no balance of payments difficulties. The banks do not seem to be putting the squeeze on, although Senator O'Donovan could tell us last night— I checked up myself last night on the figures—that our advances in relation to deposits were now at the highest figure ever and at a higher figure than we had during the previous disastrous credit squeeze.

There are a lot of figures which are quite good. Industrial exports are quite good. It is right for someone, like Senator Lenihan, to take credit for these things, but while that is so, we have exported more people in the past four years than ever before. At the same time, our unemployment figures, while lessened by the large number who have emigrated, are still very considerable. Again, our farmers are depressed. There is no sign of a spectacular upsurge in agricultural production. I want to know what is the Government's policy? The Government's policy is to keep their noses clean, keep the figures right and to get out of everybody's way. The fellow who is out with the hunt would not get very far if he stayed where he was. If he went on, he might fall, but he would move on. This is a poor country and I am firmly convinced that certain risks must be taken.

First of all, you want an imaginative Minister for Agriculture—a man quite prepared to go out and get the markets.

A man who will restrict credit.

You want a man who will ask the Department to produce and who believes that they will do it. This rationalisation of production is a thing that must be gone into. This Government have done nothing except talk for the past four years. That is why I feel that the Government's policy is to keep the figures right, their noses clean and above all stay in office. It is quite true that a man in Liverpool earning £12 a week, when he would be on unemployment assistance here, has no vote. If he could vote, I do not know what would be the result.

In support of my view that the Government's policy is to keep themselves in office, there are signs all over the country that the Government are not concerned with a general broad policy and with increased agricultural production which is the only basic thing upon which we can advance. They are not concerned with the things with which they should be concerned. The signs are quite obvious.

You can go to the local authority or, if you are not a member of a local authority, you can read the reports of the meetings and see where the Minister for Local Government or the Minister for Health is quite prepared to agree to salary rises all round. You will see that the county manager proposes a salary increase for this fellow, that fellow or the other fellow and it will be allowed because this is an election year.

You will find also in theEvening Press on a certain evening where doors have been shut and the keys taken out of the locks: that there is to be an amendment of the liquor laws to make sure that the unfortunate publican at the seaside will get an opportunity to sell a bottle of stout. I spent three days trying to get that six months ago but I did not get it. The Government will give it.

Who said they would?

TheEvening Press is my informant.

They may not be right.

We shall have to wait and see.

Does the Senator accept everything he reads in the Press?

Quite a lot when I see it in banner headlines. If you travel to Sligo-Leitrim—and that is a good place—or to any other place, you will notice that on every 20 miles of the road, there is a nice job in progress in each constituency. If it is a big constituency, there are two jobs in progress. When the Minister for Local Government was picking his 100 per cent. grant jobs, he made sure that rural unemployment would be fixed up for the next six or nine months. He did not pick them on the basis of work on the worst turns. Any Senator can go on a journey and find out for himself. I did so and I found out.

My final proof that the Fianna Fáil Party are keeping their noses clean and heading for the next election in the usual way is the announcement that there will be a seminar in Greystones in the near future. We had a seminar or something like it on Wednesday, October 15th, 1955, and the following morning we had a picture of the Taoiseach cutting a tape and there was a banner headline about full employment.

There are fewer people on the land; there are fewer people in employment; low prices obtain for agricultural produce. There is some doubt-full improvement in industry, most of which can be traced to the Industrial Grants Act, 1956 and the Act of 1956 to encourage new exports, which policy was expanded by the Government in 1958 and 1959. There are 51,000 fewer people in employment, plus emigration, since 1957. There is no policy for agriculture. When I thought of all that, I thought of Oliver Goldsmith who wrote:

Ill fares the land to hastening ills a prey

Where wealth accumulates and men decay.

But the people in this case took steerage accommodation to Liverpool.

It is very difficult for anybody who listened to the speech of the Senator who has just sat down to follow the arguments he put forward.

You could not possibly.

He made a very lengthy speech and he touched upon many things. He made many statements and produced figures and statistics, some of which would not, I am sure, bear examination, but I do not propose at this stage to deal with them. I prefer to deal with the broad outlines of Government policy as we are supposed to do on this Central Fund Bill.

Senator Donegan said that they had the right to examine Government policy. Of course, they have and nobody denies it. It is for that we are here today, to carry on the discussion on the Central Fund Bill. The presentation of the Bill is one of the occasions when we can have such a discussion, but one would imagine by the way the Senator spoke that he was being deprived of the right to discuss Government policy. No such thing. I am sure the Government would welcome discussion of their policy, and would welcome criticism of it, provided that criticism was of a constructive nature, but nobody has any use for destructive criticism.

The Senator referred to the policy of the Coalition Government, if they had any policy at all. Many people think that they had not. He said that all the industrial activity taking place now is due to the passing of the Industrial Grants Act by the Coalition Government. That, in itself, is a ridiculous statement. It is not true to say that a Government could pass all the Acts that were ever known and do nothing afterwards. When I say that, I do not want to detract from anything they did, but, at the same time, it is true to say that there is very little use in passing legislation, if there is not a policy to put that legislation into effect afterwards. I say here and now that the industrial policy which is in operation here today is due, in the main, to the initiative and drive of the successive Fianna Fáil Governments, who always had a policy and knew where they were going.

The Senator also referred to an address delivered by the Taoiseach in Clery's Ballroom about unemployment. The Taoiseach on that occasion did refer to unemployment, and he gave expression to the hope that it would be possible to reduce unemployment considerably over the years and put more people into employment. I submit that that hope to which he gave expression on that occasion is being fulfilled, by degrees, because since the Government came into office in 1957, there has been a substantial reduction in the number of unemployed; in other words, the trend is in the right direction. There are many people being put into industrial employment here. Of course I know very well that some of the members opposite will stand up up and say that the reduction in unemployment here is due to emigration. That is an easy statement to make, but is it a fact? It certainly is not. When Senator Donegan refers to that statement that was made about a substantial reduction in unemployment, he is giving credit, unknown to him, to the Fianna Fáil Government for having brought about that decrease. There is, as has already been pointed out, a reduction of something like 30,000 in the number of unemployed over the four years since Fianna Fáil took up office after the Coalition Government.

The Senator referred also to the question of housing, and had the temerity to accuse the Fianna Fáil Government of having fallen down on this question. Does anybody believe that, having regard to the facts of the case? The history and the record of Fianna Fáil would refute that statement, if nothing else would, because it was the Fianna Fáil Government who started the great housing drive in 1932 and that housing drive has been kept up since. He mentioned all the grants passed by the Coalition Government before they went out of office and tried to draw a comparison between the activity of that Government in regard to housing—or, should I say, inactivity—with the activity of this Government. The fact is that the housing grants sanctioned by the Minister for Local Government in the Coalition Government were held up and not paid. The money was not there to pay them in the year 1957 to which he referred, and it was left to the Fianna Fáil Government to bear that liability, too, as they had to bear many liabilities which they had to carry from the Coalition Government. Therefore when Senator Donegan refers to this question of housing and charges the Fianna Fáil Government with not being active enough in regard to it, he stands on very false ground.

There is one thing that puzzles me in connection with this debate. Sometimes I find it very difficult to ascertain what the policy of Fine Gael is on many of these things and it is difficult to-day to find out what their views are regarding agriculture. In one breath, they say that it is desirable to increase agricultural output, and we all subscribe to that, but in another breath, they say that the farmers now are getting too much credit from the banks.

When did they say that?

Senator O'Donovan and Senator Donegan said it last evening, and Senator Donegan said it to-day.

And Deputy Dillon said it.

Was that not in relation to something else?

Is it the policy of Fine Gael to prevent the farmers from getting necessary credit from the commercial banks?

Not at all. That would not be the policy of a mental case.

It is the policy Fine Gael have.

I do not think they have any policy.

You people never had a policy on agriculture in your lives. You moulded yourselves on us.

Is this a free-for-all, or can we all join in?

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

That is just what I was beginning to wonder myself.

Whenever we charge Fine Gael with some foolish statement or some statement they should not have made, there is a chorus of interruptions right away.

We are not as good at wriggling out as you are.

But they will not cloud this issue, as far as I am concerned. We want to know here and now whether this is the settled policy of Fine Gael as expressed by two of their spokesmen in this debate. This is very important because I sat in the other House for years and at times I heard Fine Gael Deputies advocating more and more credit in those days.

That is right.

And they used tell us the land was starved for the want of credit and blamed the Government from year to year for not making more credit available to the farmers. Here we have them condemning the commercial banks for pursuing a liberal policy in accordance with Government policy to give credit to the farmers so as to increase output from the land. I want to say that if that is the policy of Fine Gael and if they put that policy before the people in the next election——

They will not.

—— and we are not too far from another election—they will be swept out of the political arena. Senator Donegan also stated that the agriculture Vote was static. I wonder if he read the figures. The figures for agriculture are there to be seen and he will see that there are increases provided in the Estimates for many items in agriculture. There is an increase of £750,000 for the marketing of dairy produce; there is an increase of £580,000 for lime and fertilisers bringing the figure up to £3,000,000; there is an increase of £106,000 for the Land Project; and an increase of £23,000 for the improvement of poultry and egg production. There is also an increase of £50,000 for Foras Talúntais and an increase of £64,000 for farm building schemes and many more similar increases.

Yet the Senator tells us that the Vote for Agriculture is static. Nothing could be further from the exact position. He also tried to create the impression that the farmers are not well off and that the prices they are getting for their produce are no better than they were when the Coalition were in office. I am well acquainted with one sector of agriculture, that is, the dairying industry. We remember very clearly what was considered an economic price for milk some years ago when a Coalition Government were in office.

A shilling a gallon.

A shilling a gallon was considered an economic price and the then Minister for Agriculture expected that the farmers would accept his recommendation that a shilling a gallon should be the price for their milk for the next five years. Still we are told by Senator Donegan that the prices the farmers are getting for their produce are no better. They are getting 1/7d. a gallon for their milk, from 1/6d. to 1/7d., an increase of 50 per cent., for milk delivered to the creameries, over what was considered by the then Minister for Agriculture to be an economic price.

The Senator also made the extraordinary statement that the farmers were gaining nothing from the bovine tuberculosis eradication scheme. I wonder what did he mean when he said that? Was the scheme not introduced for the benefit of the farmers? Was it not because it was thought necessary to protect the farmers' herds from the ravages of the disease that the scheme was brought in? How can anybody say that the farmers are not benefiting by it? The scheme was conceived for the benefit of the farmers and, as Senators will see, it is costing a considerable amount of money. That has to be taken into account in the Estimates, but when the Senator tells us there is no more money being provided now for agriculture than there was during the last Coalition, it is not correct because the amount being provided for agriculture today is twice as much, roughly,——

Exactly twice as much.

It has increased by 100 per cent. That surely is a big increase and the reason that increase is there is that the Government have a clear conception of what policy it is right to pursue for the benefit of the farmers. Anybody looking at these Estimates will see that the conception of coming to the help of the farmers, of helping them to increase agricultural output, is enshrined in Government policy.

There have been complaints about the money it is proposed to spend on the running of the State for the coming year. The amount of money to be spent on the running of the State is very important. It is equally important to ascertain the use to which the money is to be put. Anyone who examines the Estimate will have to come to the conclusion that the picture it presents to us is one of constructive thought, one that indicates an awareness on the part of the Minister and the Government of what the country is most in need of. What the country is most in need of is, of course, increased production—increased production from the land and increased output from our industries. The Estimates, in my opinion, have been framed this year with that desirable end in view. There are increases here and there in the Estimates. When the increases are examined, they will be found to indicate a policy of increasing output from the land, in the first place, because it is realised that the land is our best asset.

It is nice to hear that statement. We have been preaching that for years.

If you have, you did not do much about it.

Faith without good works is dead.

And the corpse still walks abroad.

I could speak about unemployment, and so on, but, as some of those matters have been touched upon already, I shall not delay the House unduly by repeating the things that have been said already.

The economy of the country is healthy. The increase in the national income is even greater than was anticipated in the Government'sProgramme for Economic Expansion. There has been a substantial increase in exports. There is a bright future for this country so long as we continue the policy of putting as many people as possible to work and of producing more from the land, more from our factories, more for export and more for home consumption. So long as that policy is pursued, the country is on the right road.

So long as that policy is pursued, so long as we put more people to work and get more from the land, I agree with Senator Ó Ciosáin that the future is bright and I shall support him in everything that will bring about these very desirable results.

In his concluding speech on the Vote on Account in the Dáil, the Minister admitted that the picture of the state of the nation was not wholly satisfactory. He defended Government policy and took exception to the criticism by the Opposition but all that is naturally to be expected.

At the moment, there are certain indications of progress. There are desirable trends which give me more hope than I had some years ago. A most hopeful sign is that one side in the political controversy accepts sound proposals submitted by the other side. I speak of the acceptance of proposals to stimulate exports by tax remissions and the unqualified acceptance of foreign development capital. That could not have happened in this country ten years ago. It bears out the contention that the Civil War lasted too long and that if the protagonists were too active in political life, objectivity was at a discount. The withdrawal from the stage of the older involved figures and the entrance of younger uninvolved figures will, I think, influence the remainder of us in a desirable way. More than anything else, it will set the pattern for the future. It is largely responsible for the more objective examination of the problems which beset us. The Minister's appeal in the Dáil for suggestions showed an open mind and, to that extent, it was a good thing.

If we now pledge ourselves to complete objectivity in examining our headaches—they are not incurable—the treatment we prescribe must be empirical. We are all in this thing together and in our own time. It is to be noted that when we leave this Chamber or when we get off the chair outside the Chapel gate, most of us are friends. I do not want to wipe out the differences because I could not. They are there. In many cases, they spring from a state of mind.

I am a committee man—I like to argue out solutions. Many of my Party are like that. Members of the Government Party sincerely believe— and properly, probably—in the strong team and the phalanx arrangement as the best way to get things done. Perhaps, if we had more of that outlook in my Party and if the Government had more committee men in their Party, both Parties would be somewhat the better.

A sign of adult thinking in this country is the more rapid realisation in recent years that there is no golden prescription for our ills. It is good to be possessed of honest doubt. If we make mistakes, let us retrace our steps. Let us realise that life is not a bed of roses. Such an attitude indicates that we are beginning to grow up.

The progress in industry is a real achievement. Can the Minister assure us that all the new industries are of an enduring nature? Can he assure us that all the operators are not just taking the early Treasury cream off these projects? Is there a complete examination of the merits of these projects and is the examination of the credentials of the applicants very thorough and searching? Are the benefits offered to newcomers to this country available also to older concerns in this country? Where very large capital sums are made available to these operators, is there a minimum capital requirement from them and has this been done at all times? I ask these questions so that the Minister will have an opportunity of denying rumour which is unfounded and of explaining rumour which is unfair. Rumours are to be heard and the Minister should set our minds at ease about them.

I shall not discuss agriculture. My instinct is to regard it as a fair barometer of the economic climate in this country. It is not wrong to say it is now set rather low. I would be uneasy until it indicates at least "Fair". The fact remains that agriculture is earning less money now, both as a whole and for the individual operators, than it did four years ago. If there are increased advances by the bankers and agricultural credit organisations, there can be no doubt that they are a help to farmers who are not very well off, following difficult times. When we consider that everyone in the country is tending to receive greater rewards— and that applies to wages, salaries, fees and profits—it is not only unfair but dangerous that the operators of our most important industry should be asked to carry on for lesser reward than they received four years ago.

Tourism is certainly on the right road. I am satisfied it is one of our trump cards and that State policy generally in regard to tourism is very commendable. If I could just hint at detail, I would say that we should not over-invest in the very large type of luxury hotel, but should support the small family type hotels all over the country. They are the surest bets we have, and they are the kind of institutions and concerns that will continue to be reasonably well kept up. We should make every effort to preserve in our towns and cities and elsewhere buildings of important historical value and period charm, and any assistance the State could give in that direction would be well spent.

The presence of Senator McGuire reminds me that last year on this Bill he devoted considerable time to an appeal in that regard. It also reminds me that in another category this week he has proved himself to be an extremely effective Irishman. What he did was much more important than any speeches we make here.

Senators

Hear, hear!

Our great investment in air transport is bound up with the development of tourism. I hope the next flight will be from the red figures to the black. That would have psychological as well as financial returns for us, because secretly we are all proud of our achievements in the air. It would be graceless to deny praise to the Taoiseach in that regard. Those are the matters generally with which I am pleased, and we talk about the things that please us.

As the Minister said, the picture all over is not all over good. Looking generally at the picture of the activities of the State companies, I think we should see how they fit into the whole economy, and we should not excessively pigeon-hole their activities or balance sheets. If we insist upon accountants' balance sheets from them, we should ensure that those individual balance sheets do not show themselves in the red column of the national balance sheet. If we remove railways, no real economic progress is made if we have to spend as much to provide an alternative service, and have to build bridges and great roads and widen our towns.

If we sell the assets of any of these State companies, if we sell £1,000,000 worth of rail equipment, permanent way and rolling stock from these discarded railways, the entire sum of money realised should be spent in the area from which the service has been removed. C.I.E. should be content to stop losing money and the moneys accrued should be spent on providing the alternative service which the people in the district require. Above all, those funds should not be used to provide a balance sheet which will be flaunted across the newspapers in a deceivingly optimistic way.

Senator Lenihan, for whom I have a considerable admiration—he is a young, vigorous politician—said last night that because he was in a political chamber, he intended to talk politics, and he kept his word. I am going to conduct a little experiment. Senator Lenihan spoke with great skill and self-conviction about the achievements of the Government. He handled his brief very well. I could almost wish his case were better—almost wish —but it struck me powerfully at the time that, with his gifts, he could have put the case from this side of the House in the most devastating manner.

Because he is more competent to do that than I, I propose to be political for a while by proxy. I have had a pleasant exercise in imagination. I am going to stand Senator Lenihan on this side of the House this evening, with flashing eyes and waving documents, as he tears into the Fine Gael Government in office for the past four years—a Government which have done exactly what the Fianna Fáil Government have done since 1957.

It is inconceivable.

The mind boggles at the possibilities of such an imaginary situation which would provide a field day for Senator Lenihan. Where would he begin? He is very good at graphs. Would he, first of all, graph the movement of the population out of the country for the past four years? Would his graph show the trend of cattle prices for the past four years? Senators, to help me, really must picture Senator Lenihan standing on this side of the House and a Fine Gael Government watching from the other side—a Government having done these things.

Would Senator Lenihan, in his new geographical position, assail those who solemnly promised certain things which affect food prices and did not keep those promises? Imagine his picture from this side of the House of the poor buying less bread, less butter and less flour! Imagine his indignation at the Government which allowed C.I.E. and the E.S.B. to dip their hands deeper into the people's pockets, and imagine how Senator Lenihan would attack the setting up of new Ministries in this unfortunate country! He would have at his elbow Senator Ó Maoláin who, instead of being the leader of the House, would be the leader of the Opposition, and Senator Ó Maoláin, I am afraid, would continually interrupt with observations of an ultra-national character about selling the country to the Germans and the Japanese.

I have not got the Senator's vivid imagination.

The possibilities of this exercise in the imagination are overwhelming. The ushers would have to stagger into the House with the Parliamentary Volumes containing the speeches of the past few years to be repeated with a very curling lip by Senator Lenihan. His voice would rise to a crescendo when he pointed out that the figure on the Book of Estimates was £132,000,000 compared with £100,000,000 four years ago. He would assail that wicked Government in office. I wish we had him here, because I am not as adequate as he is to do it. He would remind the Taoiseach of that imaginary Government that he had said four years ago that taxation in this country had reached the danger limit. Imagine Senator Lenihan on that! He would remind us of the unreliability, or even worse, of the Fine Gael Taoiseach, and of how such deceivers should be hunted into the wilderness. I commend that pleasant exercise of the political imagination to all Senators for their amusement, profit and ultimate wisdom.

I do not want to assail the Government at all but I want to make what I hope are some objective criticisms and an examination of the position, because the Labour Party and the trade union movement generally are concerned with the present position of the economy. We have not yet heard — although we almost did last night — the reference to "the buoyant economy." No doubt, we will hear it before the debate concludes; and no doubt we will hear from the other side about the blisters. From a Labour point of view, we do not want to enter into a slanging match and say that everything Fianna Fáil do is wrong. On the other hand, we cannot agree that everything fianna Fáil have done is right, because that is not the position.

I am afraid there is quite an unwarranted air of optimism about the Government and their chief spokesmen. That was brilliantly illustrated here last evening by Senator Lenihan. He made a very clever political speech and I compliment him on it. He struck me as evading the issue beautifully when he talked about there being 28,000 fewer unemployed in the country now than there were four years ago. That is quite true, but, unfortunately, it is not the whole truth. We had another indication of that this afternoon from Senator Ó Ciosáin when he rather indicated that, because there were fewer unemployed, there are now more people in employment in the State.

I should wish that were the case. I should wish that we could judge the Government by the measurement prescribed by the Taoiseach himself, namely, the number in gainful employment in the State, and say they had been successful. I am sorry that is not the position. Undoubtedly, progress has been made; and the Labour Party and the trade union movement would wish to give credit where credit is due. Progress has been made in improving employment in industry generally. But, looking at the progress since this Government came into office and looking at the assessment of what can be accomplished in 1961, we find that, by 1961, they hope to arrest the decline in overall employment. They hope that, in 1961, there will not be fewer in employment than in 1960. But the graph all down through the years has been that, year after year, there are fewer in employment in this State.

Unfortunately, that is right. Much play has been made by the Government with the increase in industrial employment. There has been an increase in industrial employment. I shall take 1958, the year in which this Government were a full 12 months in office and were beginning to make progress in tackling the problem. In 1958, there were some 272,000 people employed in industry; by 1960, that had improved to 279,000, and it is exepcted that, with that rate of improvement, it will go to 288,000 in 1961. That is quite a substantial and welcome improvement, and I give the Government, all all Governments, credit for what they have done towards improving employment in industry.

But that improvement in employment in industry has not been sufficient even to absorb the disemployment in agriculture. In 1958, there were 429,000 people employed in agriculture; the figure had gone down to 410,000 in 1960; and it is expected it will go down to about 400,000 in 1961, if the present trends continue. The overall result is — and this is how we must judge the Government, because it is the measurement they have chosen for themselves — that there are now fewer in employment than when they "got cracking". In 1958, there were 1,121,000 in employment; in 1960, there were 1,110,000, a decrease of 10,000.

I know Fianna Fáil will not like this criticism. perhaps the Minister will not believe this, but I should be very much happier if this criticism were not justified and if, as promised by this incoming Government in 1957, there had been an improvement in the employment situation here; but on their own test they have failed, and what is tragic is they have failed in circumstances which have been particularly favourable to them. The Government spokesmen, here and elsewhere, made the point that 1960 was a particularly good year. There was substantial progress in exports — Senator Lenihan would be better able to express this — it was a good tourist year; the economy was helped by a wage increase, the cost of which was absorbed by increased productivity; and in 1960, there were some 7,000 more employed in industry than in the previous year. But, according to an answer in the Dáil recently, between June, 1959, and June, 1960, there were 9,000 fewer males employed in agriculture. The progress made in industry was not even sufficient to take up the drop in agriculture. I think we ae entitled to be critical and to feel alarm that, in a good year, the over-all employment position can disimprove by about 2,000.

It is fair for Fianna Fáil to point out that the mechanisation in farming is bound to lead to employment of a lower number, but that experience has not been peculiar to this country and I am not satisfied that the decline in agricultural employment is solely related to mechanisation and solely related to the introduction of improved methods. I have no figures to prove this, but I think it is true that the drop in agricultural income over the past four years has tended to make many more marginal farms uneconomic and has put them out of business. I saw a figure mentioned — I do not know whether it is correct — of a drop in farm income of some £70,000,000 in the past four years.

I hope that is wrong. I hope the Minister can correct that. I am not sure of my source. I saw it in some debate and could not pinpoint it when I prepared mu notes for my very few words this afternoon. I hope it is wrong. I hope there is not that substantial drop in farm income, but I think it is true. As I was saying, the drop in agricultural employment is not solely related to mechanisation. It is true also — and it is quite fair for Fianna Fáil spokesmen to point out — that the drop in agricultural employment is not new. It has been happening for decades.

Unfortunately, there does not seem to be any indication that the rate is slackening off. If it has been happening for decades, it is fair, on my part, to say that it is not unexpected that the Government, if they wanted to improve the over-all employment position, should have provided against the inevitable drop in agriculture employment.

It is also true that it is not peculiar to this country. Someone referred to the fact yesterday that there was the same flight from work on the land in Britain as in other western European countries, but the reason generally put forward in those instances is that it is the attraction of better paid industrial work. People are attracted form employment on the land to better paid employment in industry, but we seem to be able to attract, unfortunately, far more from agriculture than we can provide with new jobs in industry.

The Minister, in his reply to the debate in the Dáil, referred to the increasing volume and value of the gross national product in 1959 and rightly pointed out that in that year we had done as good as other countries. In other words, we had got up to the average figure. I compliment the Government and the Minister on that improvement, if they are responsible for it. They can have that credit but the point I want to make is that we should not be in the least complacent about it because for years we have been below the average, below the increase as compared with other countries. If we are to be satisfied simply to bring ourselves int line with the average in other countries, it means that in relation to them, we are standing still and are not closing the gap.

We have been told — I think I referred to this previously — that there is no shortage of capital; that there is no problem arising from a shortage of capital in order to expand and provide employement. That is true, I think, not because we set aside or save more than other countries. I think the position is that we probably save and set aside about the same percentage as Great Britain — about 15 per cent. — and that figure is, I think, criticised in Britain as not being sufficient. It does not compare favourably with other western European countries. Anyway, we have not that problem of a shortage of capital in this country.

The reason we have not the shortage of capital, I suggest, is the fact that we have not sufficient investment outlet for the capital available. In other words, private enterprise in this country is simply not enterprising enough. Let me assure Senators right away that my hackles do not rise at the mention of private enterprise. I do not see anyting wrong about any person trying to do well for himself or his family. I should imagine that I would hardly be in the Seanad if it were simply a matter of believing that I was doing something for the public good. In those circumstances, somebody else would be better fitted. I am interested in trying to do well for myself, too.

I think there is a very important place for private enterprise in this country and its economy. What I am saying is that private enterprise of itself has not been able to take up the slack in the economy and shows no indication whather of succeeding in doing so. The best estimate, as I said earlier, is that, in 1961, we shall be able to do so well that we will not have any over-all drop in employment compared with 1960. That is not talking of providing for the natural increase in the population and the disire to expand our economy. If we do well in 1961 by cycling very hard, we shall stay where we were in 1960. I think that in those circumstances any Government have a great responsibility to exploit public enterprise to the utmost.

The aim should be not to replace or supplant or squeeze out private enterprise, but simply to try to take up the slack in the economy and try to provide employment for our own people at home. Whatever about the shortcomings of private enterprise in this country, most of us will agree that we seem to have a peculiar national aptitude for operating public undertakings. We seem to be able to make a fairly good success of nationalised, or what we term semi-State, organisations.

The question has arisen in some places as to whether or not this Government are exploiting as fully and as urgently as possible public enterprise. It was some years ago that this Minister was in this House with some Bill and we were told about expending at Haulbowline. There was to be a vast expansion, but it is only in recent weeks that tenders have been published. I hope that I am wrong in this and that the Minister can correct me, but if I am correct, it seems to me that there is that lack of urgency about when we intend to do things. Surely the problem is so bad that these things should be done as urgently and as quickly as possible.

Again, we read recently a speech by the spokesman for the sugar company. I am not going into it as I should be told that it would be out of place, but it seemed to indicate that there, too, was this lack of urgency and of sympathy because it was a semi-State organisation and not a private enterprise organisation. I hope that the impression which was left was wrong, and that in fact there is this urgency and a backing by the Government for steps the sugar company can take to provide employment for the farming community.

I want, in conclusion, to go on to a third point, that is, to draw the Government's attention to the fact that in what some Ministers term this buoyant economy, there is a substantial body of people very much in need. I refer to such groups as the old age pensioners who are not in receipt of the new retirement benefit, and people who have unfortunately to draw unemployment assistance. The benefit to the latter group for a single man in the city stands at a £1 a week to a person who, after six months, has exhausted his unemployment insurance and has to go on to unemployment assistance. Every Senator will appreciate that if a person in the 40 to 50 age group loses his employment — there are changes in inudustry going on all the time — it is not very easy to pick up othe employment within six months, and that man, after six months, goes on to the rate of £1 a week. There are people who would suggest that it is at £1 a week so as to compel that person to emigrate. I do not think so, and I should like the Minister to prove that by providing in his Budget that that benefit and the others I mentioned such as old age pension will be improved, if it can possibly be done. These people are badly in need, and if we can assist them by sharing out the income better, taking from some and giving to others, in a Christian country, we should be prepared to do it.

Let me conclude on the not eon which I started, that substantial progress has been made but it is quite wrong for the Government or their supporters to imagine that because they can point to a drop in the unemployment figures, the position is better than it was in 1957, 1958 or any such previous years. It is not. There may be fewer unemployed registered, but unfortunately there are fewer in employment. I hope that whatever Government come in here in 1961 or 1962 will be able to reverse that terrible trend of the past few decades, a trend of decreasing employment in agriculture without our being able to provide alternative employment in industry to match that decrease. I wish success to any Government who can do that.

I notice that Senator Donegan's long-standing ambition has been achieved here this afternoon and that we have had an oration from him the equal of which is seldom heard in this or any other House.

You never heard Deputy Dillon.

He seemed to be at a loss about what happened, and to ask the Minister for Industry and Commerce what was the position in regard to employment in Dundalk Engineering Works.

I would not mention that, if I were you.

Perhaps you would not, but it is important that the truth should always come our, no matter where or when or at whom it hits.

We love the truth.

It is my intention here in reply to Senator Donegan to state that the following is the information on the subject. In 1955, Lord Glentoran, than Minister of Commerce in Northern Ireland, stated that it was the intention of his Government to reduce very considerably the railways within the Six county area. We know, and Senator Donegan should know it equally well, that all the railways in that area and the greater section South of the Border availed of the services of the Dundalk Engineering Works. That was a very considerable blow, and when those people decided to close down, it was the Government here who had to take steps to meet the problem, because it all tumbled into their lap in 1957, when they took over. They were in a very difficult position in meeting the situation that had developed during a period, as one might describe it, of no Government. Certainly the Government who vacated office then were no Government.

That was the view of the I.R.A.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

Senator O'Quigley must cease interrupting. He has exhausted his quota.

I was about to remark that we had order and decorum until he arrived from the nether regions, and my only hope is that he will go back there.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

A number of Senators have now exceeded their quota of interruptions.

One would expect that the Government then in office would have taken some steps to meet the situation but the fact is public knowledge that they took no steps. The position would have been much worse, if it had not been for the prospects which the Fianna Fáil Government held out to the people before that election and they returned them to power in the interests of the nation and all concerned in it. In 1957, the whole problem tumbled into the bag and they had to start to build up from the position into which the other people had allowed the country to deteriorate. There was no hope for anybody in the country and those who could, left the country when they had the opportunity to go. These questions between myself and Senator donegan certainly will be thrashed out in another place on another day. That is all I want to say now.

Business suspended at 6 p.m. and resumed at 7.15 p.m.

One fault in our political system is that it gives us a situation in which we tend to look on our political Parties as either black or white. The Government are always white and the Opposition always black. Of course, it could be the other way around, but it is always one or the other. I deplore the habit, which appears to be inherent in our system, whereby the Government claims all the credit for introducing anything that is good and supporting anything that is important, while concealing anything that is unsuccessful. Credit is very seldom given to the Opposition where credit is due. However, that is the system we have and I suppose we must live with it.

The fact is that all Parties in this country have the same essential national aims and it is only on the methods and the individuals we use to carry out those methods we differ. We heard Senator Lenihan here last night claim that Fianna Fáil are the sole creators of all that is good and claim sole credit for Fianna Fáil for improvement in the social and economic conditions in our State. Whatever has been done has been done by a succession of contributions from different Ministers and by different Party representatives in the different governments we have had here since the foundation of the State, in 1922. The very foundations of the State were laid by the predecessors of the present Fine Gael Party, as were the foundations of Parliament itself, the Courts of Justice, the Civil Service, the Army, the Garda and the Electricity Supply Board. It was the inter-Party Government who, strange to say, declared the Republic. It seems to be forgotten that anything that has been done has been done by all the citizens and not by the efforts of any one Party alone.

Many industrial exporters who have contributed to our present export surplus, of which the Government are justly proud, are supporters of Fine Gael and other Parties. Many bankers who have advanced the extra credit facilities to help that expansion in exports are also supporters os Fine Gael. Any successes we have achieved are not due only to the efforts of the present or of any one Government. The expansion of bank credit is largely responsible for our present expansion and production.

Senator Lenihan made an excellent speech here last night, using statistics to the fullest advantage from his own point of view, and all power to him for doing that. However, amongst his claims, he took credit for benefits and successes that derived only from the actions of previous Governments, the export tax concessions themselves which were inaugurated by Deputy Sweetman, the Industrial Development Authority which has been used as a spearhead in the establishment of industry even since, and the Premium Bond scheme which has supplied unexpected borrowings for the Minister for Finance, and very welcome ones. These are but three items. There are many more.

Senator Lenihan also claimed the extension of Bank credit as a tribute to, and result of, the providence of the present Government. The fact is that this expansion is purely fortuitous for this Government and is not connected with any special stability of the Government. Bank credit had been extended for two reasons, (1) for production purposes arising from the demand created by increased industrial export and (2) to support the farmers after two bad seasons. Undoubtedly, this extra credit has had the effect of buoying up the whole economy. The bank credit policy at the time of the inter-Party Government had nothing to do with the worthiness or otherwise of that Government. In fact, many people who are supporters of the inter-Party Government thought the banks were squeezing them in order to have political effect. But that was not the case. The fact is that bank lending policy is dictated by factors which must have regard to economic and financial conditions, not only in Ireland but in Great Britain and in other parts of the sterling area. I shall deal with that point later and with its relevance to the policy of lending now and lending in the inter-Party Government's time.

Undoubtedly, credit should be given to this Government for retaining, developing and using these methods of the inter-Party Government. This Government have been very wise in using the means and methods that were established. They have extended and developed them with great success. The extra productivity which we see at present is due largely to increased capital investment, modern methods and modern machinery. Extra production and productivity are themselves only possible and justifiable through the expansion of industrial exports which are required to absorb the products. It is no use making goods or making them cheaply if you have no market for them and in this country we had reached the stage where all the goods manufactured here could be taken up only by our own citizens. The point had been reached when to produce any extra goods would mean producing them merely to leave them on the manufactured here could be taken up only by our own citizens. The point had been reached when to produce any extra goods would mean producing them merely to leave them on the manufacturers' shelves. It was absolutely essential, if we were to expand our economy, to introduce some method whereby demand would be created for the products of our factories, if we were to extend our industrial programme to the degree that would properly employ our people and have sufficient damand for the products that came from our factories. It was through these incentives for export that such a market was created and that such now dynamism was created in industry here.

As I said, the expansion in industrial exports is due to the incentives for industrial exports introduced by the inter-Party Government and extened by the present Government. I might add that since I came to this House in 1948, I have made the same speech year after year on the desirability of the incentive use of taxation. It is only quite recently that it has come to be used in that way and with the most dramatic results as we can see at present. The balancing of our external trade has been achieved from this same source, our increased industrial exports.

On the question of expansion of bank credit, Senator Lenihan said that credit was not forthcoming during the inter-Party regime because of lack of confidence in that Government whereas it is now forthcoming as a result of confidence in this Government on the part of the banks. That is not a true estimate of the credit situation. The question of confidence or no confidence in the Government did not in fact arise in this matter. At the time of the inter-Party Government there was a credit squeeze in Britain from 1955 to 1958. As a result high interest rates prevailed for bank loans and banking policy was one of restraint regardless of the Government in power here. Moreover, in the absence of taxation incentives and consequently of a sufficient volume of industrial exports, there was no justification for credit expansion by the banks by way of investment in productive enterprises. The banks have a policy nowadays — and rightly so — to lend money but they will lend it only where it can be used for productive pruposes; otherwise, the money lent is purely inflationary. In this case where it is used productively it is an advance that will carry our whole economy and a lending policy is therefore highly desirable.

Loans on a large scale are justified only by their productive nature and the possibility of marketing and selling the products to which I have already referred. It was in this situation that Deputy Sweetman, in the inter-Party Government, introduced the export taxation incentives which have had such a beneficial effect on our exports and in turn on production and employment and on our whole economic and financial structure. Naturally, these things need time to take effect and it is only in the past three years that the effect of this incentive taxation has shown itself. The effect could not have shown itself immediately. The benefit of that extraordinarily important action is now apparent and this Government are able to take credit for it. I think the Government are right to take whatever credit they can for it, but, as I said earlier, credit is due not only to one Government but to a chain of successive Governments.

With reference to National Loans, in the time of the inter-Party Government, to which reference was also made by Senator Lenihan, the reason these loans were not taken up rapidly and dramatically was that the inter-Party Government, quite rightly, on the best advice and in the circumstances prevailing at the time in the financial markets, refused to offer interest rates which were believed to be too high and which, in fact, if offered would have adversely affected other national secuities. The loans floated by the Government have been successful because of the Government's offering interest rates which have depreciated the realisable value of previous National Loans. I believe this Government were right in what they did. I believe the rates offered were right, but it is an undoubted fact that the offering of high rates of interest for the last few National Loans has, in fact, made the realisable value of previous loans much lower. They will, of course, be all right at maturity but, in the meantime, if one wants to sell loan stock one naturally gets a lower price, although one paid the same price as was paid for the latest loan. It must be remembered, too, that the Government have the advantage of Deputy Sweetman's Premium Bond Scheme which has brought in a considerable amount of money, money very welcome to the Minister for Finance.

The lack of sufficient industrial exports and a general round of wage increase were responsible also for balance of payments difficulties in 1955. The Government were happily cushioned against a balance of payments problem resulting from a general increase in wages — the seventh round increase, which we have just had. They were cushioned against a balance of payments problem because of the good results flowing from this increased export trade derived from the incentives to which I have referred. Were it not for this expansion in industrial exports, there would have been a balance of payments problem, because, as it happened, agricultural, exports fell just about the time industrial exports increased. It was very fortuitous, therefore, that these increased exports were there to offset the loss in agriculture exports.

With regard to our industrial plan, we are all, as I said earlier, interested in seeing that the country progresses and that we can employ our people as fully as possible without their having to resort to emigration. From the very beginning of our industrialisation programme there was a kind of hit-and-miss policy, trying one plan and one method of establishing inudstries to see if it would work, and so on. It is time now, I think, that we had an overall look at where we are going in the light of what we have done up to this.

I suggest we can divide the phases in our national economic development. First of all, we had what I describe as the nationalistic phase when we felt we should and could do everything ourselves for ourselves. In that framework we established industries financed and controlled by Irish citizens, and Irish citizens only. That was a very laudable found gradually, however, that the task was too big to be tackled and financed by ourselves. The purely financial side was beyond us. Secondly, and perhaps just as important, we did not have the know-how of industry and a good deal understand the business we set up. That was, as I say, a very laudable of it. It provided an excellent base, which still remains, on which to build and further develop. It become clear, as time went on, that a much greater degree of industrialisation was required to meet our needs in relation to employing our people and creating a good standard of living. We moved then into what might be described as teh realistic phase. That is the phase in which we now find ourselves.

I shall refer again to this matter because I think it is most important. In this phase we realise the necessity for the use of taxation reliefs as the main weapon in this new and realistic phase to stimulate enterprise and industry. It is on the basis of taxation reliefs, reliefs which, I hope, are only beginning, that we shall look for the incentives for the further development of industry. In this phase, we have come to welcome the influx of foreign capital and foreign know-how. Every sensible businessman recognises that this is a welcome move. On the question of foreign capital and foreign know-how coming in here, we must all agree that this is a very desirable phase. It is different from the case in which we might have people coming in here merely to buy our land. That is a different problem altogether and one which should be handled in a different way.

However, in this new phase, the modification of the Control of Manufactures Act was essential and now we find ourselves in this realistic phase when we can "take off" and develop something which is worth while. In this situation it is very important that we should have the highest degree of co-operation by all the factors necessary for the development of our economy. In this matter the Government can and must give a lead in the creation of an atmosphere in which enterprise can successfully opeate. They can do that either by taxation incentives or by grants or in any other way they think suitable. That is only the first step.

Then there is the question of the kind of enterprise we must have. In this country we have State enterprises and private enterprises and it is most important that these two do not come into conflict. In fact, it is important that the two should be co-ordinated into one enterprise drive that would get the best out of the resources we have at our disposal in men and in materials.

On the question of men, it is very important that we should have harmonious relations between employers and workers. We cannot get any peace in industry or in any other field unless there is a reasonable degree of harmony between employers and workers and I think we can say from our experience over the past few years that we have not found any machinery that will ensure industrial peace unless there is goodwill on both sides. Goodwill can come only from a proper education of both employers and workers. It must be assured that neither side is antagonistic to the other. Both must co-operate if a job is to be done harmoniously. in that way work will not be held up and neither will production.

In this country one of the main things we have to offer is a large labour market and, to a considerable extent, low costs. But I am sorry to say that to date we seem to have the inclination to look at what is being done in other countries and say to ourselves: "So-and-so are doing such-and-such." We must remember that one cannot put his hand into the till until he has first put something into it.

It is very important that we should get together and try to make our money more valuable by concentrating more on production rather than depressing the value of money by asking for more of it for less work. The Western Germans—remember the shambles that was there not so many years ago — have been able to harden their currency. They were able to up value their money instead of devaluing it. They must now feel very happy about being able to make their mark which was worth X pence now worth X+2 pence. They seem to have found the proper way for a worker to earn a real increase in money wages — by hard work and greater productivity.

They have put first things first, developed their economy with the use of foreign capital. At this stage I must say I welcome foreign capital here but under certain well defined conditions and safeguards. There should be a warm welcome for foreign capitalists by us not only as welcome industrialists but as citizens as well.

We must realise the importance of a policy that will provide for some overall plan for the development of industry in particular and of our economy in general as well. The policy of developing industries here has been far too often influenced by purely political considerations. It is all very well to promise an industry to a town or area for political reasons, but this can be a very bad policy sometimes. I must say that when I was in the West recently—at the Sligo-Leitrim bye-election, I was struck by the poverty of the country and the need for some form of industry there. That is a problem of vital importance for any Government in power. I should like to suggest that it is very mistaken policy to place industries in this country in unsuitable towns. It would be far more important to build up strong concentrations of industrial effort in the areas best suited for industrial development. By doing this a strong labour market would be created in these areas. The areas that I am suggesting should have reasonable access to outlets for the disposal of produce, either for export or for home consumption. They should be approachable both for the importation of raw materials and the export of the finished product. I think that such places should be vigorously developed. Such industrial development would be of great importance not only to our industrial and economic prosperity but to the social advantage of our workers as well.

It would give to these areas a worthwhile community life. It might stop workers from the rural areas leaving Ireland for Great Britain and for factories in such places as Birmingham and Bradford. Very often we have people going from here who have become technically efficient in home industry, but who leave on the plea that there is more life in cities such as Birmingham and Bradford. If we had such strong pockets as I suggest of industrial activity in this country I believe our workers would be happy to stay at home in these areas which although they would, of course, be necessarily smaller than British cities, would make a great difference to the attractiveness of the community life of our people.

I cannot help suggesting that something similar applies to the problem of our agricultural community. During my visit to the West during the recent bye-election, I found one polling booth where there were something like 180 electors to vote and I was told only two of them were under 30 years of age. That is very sad. One is struck by that aspect when travelling along a country road. One finds a farmer and his children at their gateway enjoying what is almost their only recreation standing by the roadside often miles from anywhere. That would occur in an area where there would not be more than seven or eight houses. In these circumstances how can we expect to keep young people in such a district when they grow up?

My idea of what should be done would be difficult to implement quickly, but in time we ought to aim at getting farmers, now that transport is so much available, to live in small towns near their farms, to buy houses in the towns where they can create agricultural community centres such as are found in France and Italy. In France there are long open expanses of highly developed land near villages in which there is a very happy and a very good social life, which is attractive to the youth after their days work.

France, Italy and many other countries have the same problem of migration to the towns as we have, but our farm houses are much too scattered and isolated to afford any social life for our young people. What I am suggesting is that we should do something like what has been done by the Communist countries, which is called collectivisation in a private enterprise way in our private ownership economy; we could and should achieve this by voluntary methods rather than by the compulsory methods of the Communist and totalitarian states where they just hunt all the farmers from the land into the towns and bring them out in lorries every day. One method is compulsion, the other freely exercised common sense.

To come to the West of Ireland, there should be strong industrial concentrations in the best suited and most accessible areas where industry can be carried on economically. Secondly, something should be done to bring livelihood to the scattered agricultural areas where the land is very poor. The only step that I feel will be successful for this purpose in the West of Ireland is to develop the whole place as a tourist area. I am not suggesting it should be overrun with all sorts of hikers going around with packs on their backs and making no contribution to the economy of the area. We have the most beautiful scenery stretching from Donegal right down to Kerry but scenery is not enough for people. Other things must be provided to attract tourists, and tourists could be brought to the West of Ireland. By tourists I do not mean foreign tourists only. I can be a tourist from Dublin or from any of the other industrial areas we are creating—Cork, Waterford and elsewhere. People could have an excellent holiday in the West of Ireland. I have a motion down for discussion in the Seanad on the question of restoring our abbeys, churches and castles. There are many monuments of our ancient history in these areas and all we have to do is to restore them.

The Senator must not anticipate discussion on a motion.

I am merely giving an idea of tourist potentialities in the West. Something like that would be needed to attract people there and make their holiday enjoyable and interesting. As I said at the outset, I deplore the outright condemnation of the previous Government and its Ministers that has been a feature of some speeches in the debate on this Bill and the unfair emphasis that has been placed on their alleged shortcomings with complete disregard for their good work and the contribution they made to the advances this country is undoubtedly making.

This country will not be mature politically until a Fine Gael Government has been tried. I say that in all seriousness because our country has not had a fair case put before it on which to decide whether it wants a Fianna Fáil or a Fine Gael Government. Since the Cumann na nGaedheal Government, which was in a different era and a different epoch, went out of power in 1932, we have had a Fianna Fáil Government all the time. It is of course good politics that Fianna Fáil should charge Fine Gael with all the shortcomings of the inter-Party Government—and there is no Government that has not shortcomings—without giving very much credit for the good work of that Government.

Good or bad as it was, however, that was not a Fine Gael Government and nobody knows that better than the Fianna Fáil Party. The Fianna Fáil Party have sternly resisted going into a coalition. They know if they went into a coalition it would not have a Fianna Fáil complexion and they would not want to be blamed for things which they would not have very much power at times to direct. Nevertheless I am not apologising for the inter-Party Government because it was absolutely essential for the development of the nation and for the creation of a mature democracy here that it should have existed.

Fianna Fáil had been in power for 17 years and people were saying there was no alternative Government. Indeed many Fianna Fáil friends of mine have told me exactly the same thing in ordinary conversation. They said it would have been a tragedy if there was not some alternative Government. Fine Gael is the alternative Government and I make no bones about saying that if we have a change of Government it should not be an inter-Party Government. That is not to say anything derogatory about the Labour Party. I should like to see a wholly Labour Government or a wholly Fine Gael Government. I would prefer a Fine Gael Government and I believe until we get a Fine Gael Government the electorate of this country will not be mature.

That is not relevant to financial policy.

The Government of the State is a very important aspect of financial policy because it is the Government of the State that will direct financial policy and if it is not properly directed there will not be any State.

Senator McGuire has, in brief, dealt with the political aspect of things and has tried to sound a note of hope for the Fine Gael Party. There is an old saying that to travel hopefully is better than to arrive. If the people are not mature, as the Senator has said, that is not a fault of Fianna Fáil and if Fine Gael are unable to form a Government that is solely the fault of the Fine Gael Party and the sooner that Party realise it the better. We heard a good deal of talk in the recent past regarding the inflow of youth, brains and intelligence into the Fine Gael Party but we have not heard nor have we seen any programme published by that Party to put before the electorate in order that they might gain votes thereby.

The sole purpose of the Party at the moment seems to be out-and-out bitter criticism of the Government and, far from what Senator McGuire may wish or hope for, there appears to be nothing in this debate except such criticism, without any reasonable explanation being offered in support of that criticism. The Senator more or less said in effect that bankers do not take into consideration the fact of whether a Government is a stable Government or not. Of course, Senator McGuire, being a member of a board of a bank, knows very well that bankers are hard-headed businessmen who lend money only when there is a prospect of getting it back or, at least, of getting a reasonable return on it.

I submit that the reason for the failure of the National Loans in the period of Coalition Government was the fact that the people and the bankers had no confidence in that Government. Therefore, they would not lend the Government of the day the money necessary for national development.

It is no good coming along at this stage and making excuses for that fact. A Government has to be judged on performance. If we are to judge both Coalition Governments on performance we can only come to the conclusion, in 1961, that far from advancing the prestige of this country in any way, they succeeded to a very great degree in damaging it. There is no use in making excuses at this stage for that action.

The Senator also said that Fine Gael were not responsible for that fact. I submit, and I think it will be supported in general, that the Fine Gael Party were the prime movers in forming the two Coalition Governments. It was open to them to say that they would do so during the general elections which preceded the formation of those Governments. They said nothing of the kind. They waited until they got an opportunity and formed those Governments regardless of the way in which the people had voted.

I merely wanted to deal with these points in order that the Senator may know that our view is completely different from his. Whatever shortcomings or failings may be attributed to a Fianna Fáil Government, we have at least the merit that we put our programme to the people and always get it ratified. When Fine Gael do that they may have a hope of gaining a majority but at the moment it looks as if it will be the Orwell age before that is done.

It is difficult to make a summary of the various points that have been made in this debate. It was very noticeable that certain Fine Gael speakers here today were very depressed.

In particular, Senator Dr. O'Donovan.

It was the Minister who was depressed the other night.

He is like the Fianna Fáil economy—buoyant.

Senator O'Quigley has not spoken yet and so has not given me the opportunity of saying anything about his speech.

He is able to interrupt in any case.

Senator Dr. O'Donovan, who adopted the role of a left-winger in his Party and was all for progress, appeared to be depressed.

I am a left-winger. Let us be honest about it. I am.

I do not know so much about that after the Senator's speech on the Central Fund Bill. At any rate, he set out as a left wing supporter and ends up now on this Bill by telling us that we are riding for a fall in that the credit which is available under this Government should not properly be available, that we are going to pay for it later on, that we are going to have a repetition of the credit squeeze of 1956 and that eventually our money will lose its value.

No, I did not say that.

That is what the Senator's speech conveyed to me.

But the money we are attached to may lose its value very rapidly indeed.

At any rate, the Senator did describe our position as comparable to that of the Coalition Government before 1956.

No, I did not.

The positions are not comparable at all as far as I can see. As the Minister for Finance said elsewhere, the difference is that we are able to pay for our progress. That sums it up very neatly and very well. That is the difference in the attitudes of the two Governments. We are able to pay for our progress and I think Senator Dr. O'Donovan realises that quite well. The Senator sought to make a comparison. Comparisons are always deemed to be odious but I think in this case the comparison is quite obviously odious.

If the Senator will allow me to intervene for a moment, I did say that a great deal of the socalled increase in the national income in the last two years was a credit creation. That is the essence of what I said, the essence and centre core of it.

All expansion begins from credit. Credit is the whole basis of business. Is that not so? I am only a layman on this and a lightweight but, from my knowledge of business, business is based solely on credit. When the Senator says what he has said he is, in effect, paying a compliment to the Fianna Fáil Government.

The Fianna Fáil Party have been boasting about the increase in the national income.

Naturally.

They are entitled to boast. I do not deny it. I am just indicating where it came from.

If the Senator could be allowed to proceed without interruption, it would make for a much better debate.

Senator Professor O'Brien, in a speech which could have been made from this side of the House, said that the economy of the country could be likened to a car. He gave a very skilled discourse on the running of a car and matters appertaining thereto. The car would be visualised as the national economy. If I remember rightly, in both periods of Coalition Government, they took out the car in fairly good style. In both periods, strange to relate, it came back in very bad condition. They took out the car in 1954 and it came home on the rims. It was badly in need of a coat of paint. They took it out again. They took it out early in 1951 and the same thing occurred. Why did it occur? I submit it occurred through bad, jerky driving. The driving was bad and haphazard. One moment the foot was on the accelerator and the next moment it was hard on the brake. The result, of course——

Apparently now it is on the accelerator—all the time.

Dangerous driving.

The difference is that there is a good, sober driver in control. He will not be pulled for dangerous driving nor will he bring the car home on the rims, if I know anything.

The difference in the spending of both Governments might be said to be that the Fianna Fáil Government spend for business and the other Government spent unwisely. We have what we might be pleased to call growth with price stability. That is some achievement and is something the former Government would never be capable of.

The cost of living was mentioned in this debate as were emigration and unemployment. I was reading an article to-day by a very well-known economist who summed up the position. He gave the figures for output and for unemployment. He gave details of emigration. I shall not worry the House by going into the figures now, but he said that recorded unemployment was never so low from the end of September up to now and with a busy period ahead it will be lower still. He visualises that by late 1961 or mid-1962 we should reach stability in this regard.

I shall not make any prophecy because I am not qualified to do so, but I shall hazard the guess that if that be so the Fianna Fáil Government are fully justified in the programme of economic expansion. Not merely that, they are fully justified in the famous statement made in Clery's Ballroom about which the Fine Gael Party had so much to say. By midSummer, 1962, all things being equal, we should have reached stability.

Who is the well-known economist?

Garrett Fitzgerald.

They disown him now because he does not support them.

No comment from me.

I notice they fight shy of tangling with him in public. So much for all the unemployment we have heard about. I shall not dwell on that subject now as I presume Fine Gael Senators are quite as disturbed as we are about any increase in unemployment. I also assume they would admit to cold figures and cold facts and agree, to use a countryman's phrase, that the Government have put a face on this matter.

I was surprised to hear Senator Donegan refer so blatantly to farmers living in an impoverished condition. Senator Donegan, Senator O'Donovan and Senator O'Quigley must have seen the position for themselves when they were recently in Sligo and Leitrim. They must have seen the number of cars at each chapel gate. They must have seen the well-kept farmsteads. They must have seen the good roads. All that is to mention only some of the smaller points.

The fact that we have had two difficult harvests would tend to make one believe that Fine Gael desire to paint a misleading picture. They may go a little too far and damage the morale of the farmers and those engaged in agricultural production. They went too far in the past when the industrial drive was in its infancy. They used to ridicule us and talk about opening safety-pin factories and razor-blade concerns. They criticised our tariff system. I do not want to hark back to those days but sometimes it is necessary to remind people of the record of some of those who would have us believe certain unfounded statements. However, they have now embraced the Fianna Fáil programme. They have wholly swallowed it to the extent that the Leader of the Fine Gael Party is unable to produce a programme of his own. There is no need to seek to damage the morale of those engaged in farming or industry.

The Minister dealt very effectively with the cost of living. I do not wish to be repetitive and to reiterate or restate facts and figures which he gave elsewhere. The essential difference is that in 1961 we can say to the people: "Open your belt another hole" and in 1956, the Coalition could say: "Tighten your belt another hole and still another——"

That is what the Minister for Health was telling them to do—with emphasis. He said: "The £ will be devalued."

Wait for the completion of the sentence—"until there was not a hole left to tighten." Of course, a crisis then arose and they got out of it. The Coalition Government got out of it twice but Fianna Fáil cannot adopt these methods, go back before the electorate and ask: "Give us a further chance."

They will go out all right.

If Senator McGuire had referred to some of those little points, he might have discovered the underlying psychological approach — if I may put it that way—to the whole problem. He is not as big a baby in politics as he would have us believe.

I want to comment also on what Senator O'Brien said with regard to investment and the relative values of money. In the course of his very skilled speech, he mentioned the fact that we might be facing a period of dear money for long-term projects. That may be so. I am not an authority in that regard, but I read a feature in a Sunday paper which is put in a very readable fashion. It concerns two mythical characters known as Mr. In and Lord Out. Lord Out, naturally enough, is the conservative character with the waxed moustache who would not touch equities or short-term, high-yielding securities with a 40-foot pole, and Mr. In is a very slick city business man, something like Senator O'Donovan.

The Senator has not got it right at all. Mr. In is the "chancer." Lord Out is the long-term man who is not prepared to take a chance.

Like yourself.

Like myself. He is prepared to buy something that is out, not in.

Yes, he is the long-term man, the conservative. Mr. In is the short-term man who goes for the high-yielding speculative shares. Each of them bought portfolios some time ago and on their average gains and losses to date, Lord Out does not show any great profit over Mr. In. That would lead one to believe that in the immediate future, whatever about dear money later on, we shall not see any great change. Senator O'Brien is better versed in these matters than I, but it is no harm to comment at any rate in theory, if you like, on the relative merits of dear and cheap money.

The point I wish to make is that having achieved a reasonable degree of stability, we are well on the way to getting continental firms established here. I hope the Government's foresight in that regard will be amply compensated later on. I know that substantial reputable continental firms are inclined to come here at the moment, regardless of location. I do not agree with Senator McGuire when he tries to suggest, perhaps with the best will in the world, that we should adopt the European system of grouping farms. That cannot be done here. What we can do is encourage industrialists to go to the towns and villages and set up their industries there.

That would be a further blow at the emigration and unemployment about which we hear so much from the people on the opposite side of the House. If those firms did not believe that the country was making progress, if they did not believe we had a reasonable pool of intelligent labour, that we were relatively free from big industrial disputes, that we had a stable economy from the financial and fiscal angle, and that our political situation was reasonably settled, they would not, of course, come in here.

I made a note of the methods of incentive practised in America which have now been extended to England. Not long ago I read that the financial houses have thought up a plan of hiring plant to industrialists engaged in the manufacture of machinery of various types. It would be a good thing if some of the British based financial houses extended that plan to this country. It would give the industrialists here the advantage of being able to hire plant without owning it as an asset, and they could replace equipment with modern plant rather than purchasing it outright and keep their methods up-to-date.

Therefore, I am making the point that it would be a very good thing if that facility were extended to this country, more especially in view of the fact that we have here a number of our own industrialists who put money into plant in the early days. They have had a hard enough struggle to maintain it, in view of the smallness of our markets here, and the difficulty of establishing a market to which to export their goods. It is all the more necessary, therefore, that we should have some scheme independent of the Government and financed by houses which promote schemes of that kind in order to aid our industrial drive.

I have nothing further to say except to tell the Minister that all the periodicals, all the leaders of industry, the trade union movement and the banking system, and all the rest, have paid tribute to the management of our finances, the forward-looking programme of the Government and the extent of the progress we have achieved since 1957.

It has been very interesting listening to Senator Carter on this Bill because he raised a number of points of cardinal importance. He said the great merit of the Fianna Fáil Party was that they went to the country in 1957 with a definite programme and policy. Having lived through that period, having read the papers and listened to some of the political speeches, I do not know what that policy was; but I do know certain important matters which that policy did not embrace. One of them was the abolition of food subsidies. It was accepted by everybody that in no circumstances would they be abolished. There is no doubt about the pronouncements on that subject by the former Taoiseach, now President de Valera, in Belmullet and by the present Taoiseach in Waterford. If that is the kind of merit Senator Carter sees in Fianna Fáil, he must be looking through some kind of inverted lens which enable him to see merit in that breach of political faith.

We can recall another aspect of Fianna Fáil policy when they went to the country in 1957. There had been previous moanings and groanings by the former Taoiseach about the difficulty of securing an overall majority with proportional representation. One thing, however, is certain: there was not a single word in the programme of the Fianna Fáil Party in the general election of 1957 against proportional representation, much less of an intention to seek an amendment of the Constitution to abolish proportional representation and introduce single seat constituencies. These are two of the things that were not in the Fianna Fáil programme. It is useless for Senator Carter to say that is meritorious conduct on the part of Fianna Fáil. He ought to know it is that kind of conduct which has politicians and political parties at a discount with the public in this country at present.

We are not at a discount; you may be.

When you have managed to draft your Electoral Bill in accordance with the Constitution, you will find out, When you succeed in providing yourselves with machinery to go to the country, you will be able to find out whether you are at a discount or not. I think you will probably get a great shock.

I do not think so.

We heard Senator Carter talk about the desirability of unlimited credit by the banks and other financial concerns. Does everybody not recollect that the former Taoiseach went around the country complaining about the extravagance of the inter-Party Government? Being the shrewd Party politician he was, he went to the people and complained about the extravagance of the inter-Party Government in creating so much credit. Did he not use time and again in different places the phrase: "Are we going to put our future in pawn?" That was one of his favourite questions. He also said the issue at that general election was: "Are we going to pay our way as a nation or are we not?" He did not believe in unlimited credit. Another question was: "Are we going to eat the seed potatoes?" That went down very well. That was the Fianna Fáil attitude towards borrowing, even for capital expansion, in 1957.

In 1958 we had Senator Lenihan complimenting the Minister for Finance on the great reduction he had been able to make in the Estimates for Public Services. He was speaking on the Central Fund Bill, 1958. As reported at Column 159 of Volume 49, he referred to the total Estimate for 1957-58 as being £114,800,000. He went on to say:

The Minister has now come into this House with an Estimate for the coming year of £110,000,000.

Later on he said:

This represents a very considerable achievement that at least the trend of upward expenditure has been curtailed and, in fact, reduced.

We would do well to examine that sum of £114,000,000. A sum of £9.4 million was saved by the abolition of the food subsidies and that saving was available to the Minister. Therefore, in fact, the Minister in that year had increased the Estimates for Public Services from £103,000,000 in 1957-58 to £110,000,000, a net increase of £7,000,000. We can ignore these statistics and we find that, whereas the real Estimates in 1957-58, deducting the £9.4 millions for food subsidies, were £103.7 millions, we now find the Estimates for the current year are £131.715 millions.

There is nobody now to come in and congratulate the Minister on succeeding in reducing the Estimates by any considerable sum. On the contrary, the Estimates in the four years the Minister has been responsible for the Budget have increased by £28,000,000. Over the whole period from 1957-58 there has been a total increase of £104.6 millions, made up of £37.6 millions of a saving on food subsidies for four years and of £67,000,000 taxation provided in the Estimates for those four years. Where are we going or what return is there to show for that enormous increase of £28,000,000 in taxation between 1957-58 and the current Estimates for 1961-62?

Senator Carter derives great consolation, and indeed illumination, from reading what he refers to as "a well-known economist." The gentleman concerned may be well known but I do not think it is well known that he is not an economist: that he purports to be such. I should have thought that an economist was somebody like Senator O'Brien or Senator O'Donovan who had a minimum of an M.A. degree or was a Doctor of Economic Science. That is my conception of an economist. I do not consider a man to be an economist who has got only a B.A. degree in history and Spanish.

The Senator is making a nice distinction now. It just suits.

That is the sum total of Mr. Garrett Fitzgerald's qualifications.

He has the ability.

He has, indeed, and that is what counts.

He tries honestly to tell the truth.

The Senator should avoid discussing individuals.

I would, indeed, but if somebody is put up as being a specialist, I think it is well that we should enlighten the public as Senator Carter has asked us to do and point out that this man is equivalent to a mercenary soldier, as far as economics is concerned—a mercenary intellectual.

Why pursue a man in here?

Once he has written for theSunday Press, he is worthy of canonisation.

That is a cowardly and mean attack.

If he chooses to write in theSunday Press——

I would ask the Senator not to persist in discussing an individual in this manner.

The Senator is protected here.

I have no hesitation whatever in giving the qualifications of anybody in public, if the case warrants it.

It is well-accepted procedure of the House not to discuss individuals in terms such as these in the House.

I heard Senator Louis Walsh say he was all out for the truth. We might as well have the truth. I recognise the ruling of the Chair in this particular matter. I had no desire to go along the line I went. There was a time, too, when Senator Carter and people of his political outlook thought that it would be a great thing for this country if the British market were gone for ever. It is interesting to find out that when Senator Carter and people like him had their political Damascus and when the light shone round them, they saw the truth. They came into this House and, contrary to the policy behind the Control of Manufactures Act, we have Senator Carter now stating that it would be a good thing if British-based houses and concerns who have plant for hire were to extend their activities to this country.

I said finance houses.

I did not say plant.

Facilities for hiring plant.

Who would loan money for that purpose?

I listened very carefully and took some notes of the Senator's speech as he went along. I stand subject to correction, but I think I am right. Whether it is hire purchase houses, finance houses, factories or other concerns that have this plant for hire matters not. The interesting thing to know is that the whole policy behind the Control of Manufactures Act has now gone, too. Those who opposed that Act in the 1930's were put down as being charlatans.

It served its purpose. It reared the baby.

It served its purpose to the extent that all of it had to be repealed in the lifetime of this Parliament. While the inevitable does sometimes happen, the inevitable happened in this case. Circumstances have forced the Fianna Fáil Party to see the value of the British market. We hear less of economic development. I do not think anybody mentioned it in the debate.

The Senator will hear about it. He will hear about the Grey Book.

In the Grey Book, they get back to being grassland farmers. They recognise the value of the cattle trade. These are the kind of slow conversions that take place. It is a source of satisfaction to find these political Damascuses. While people find themselves blinded for a while, they then see the light and become more strong in their advocacy of the things they opposed than those who advocated them.

There is no sense in that.

Senator Carter had this merit in what he had to say. He said he was a lightweightvis-á-vis Senator O'Donovan in dealing with matters economic.

I did not mention any particular name.

The Senator admitted he was a lightweight when it came to dealing with these economic matters. A thought occurred to me, listening to Senator Lenihan. He was in the bantamweight class when it came to pitting himself against people who know with certainty, such as Senator O'Brien and Senator O'Donovan. Senator Lenihan, who gave us a great exposition last night, had the temerity to come into this House and, on one of the Finance Bills, referred to the statement made by Benjamin Disraeli as to lies, damn lies and statistics, and said that Senator O'Donovan had dealt in the third category of lies for the afternoon. I do not intend to go into these kind of statistics.

The Minister for Transport and Power is another great exponent of these emulsified statistics consisting of fact and fancy. I do not intend to go into these at all because the facts stand out in rural Ireland. You do not need to go to the Statistics Office to find out what you can see with your own two eyes travelling round Sligo-Leitrim and other parts of the country. The first fact is that there are fewer people employed in this country at the present time than there were in 1957. There is no gainsaying that. Even the Statistics Office, I am told, agree that that is so. The second fact is that anybody who stands at any railway station in the country sees daily people going, and going forever, to find work in the British market. They are irretrievably lost, and these statistics of 20,000 emigrants in the past three or four years do not include the wives and sweethearts and children of the people who got employment in Britain for the first time. Senator Lenihan on the 23rd March, 1960, indulged at column 885 of Volume 52 in these words:

I shall not pass any judgment on emigration figures but the indications are that there has been a drop of 20,000, from 50,000 to 30,000, between early 1957 and early 1960.

I do not know where he got figures like that, though in fact I think a well-known economist did give such figures in the past year or two. He continued:

This welcome state of affairs which shows an improving trend and which if that trend continues will be still better, will result in a good level of economic activity in two years' time when this Government face the people again. That welcome trend is all the more merited when you consider the fact that there were certain economic difficulties, not of the Government's making, facing the Government last year.

You do not have to analyse statistics. All you have to do is travel around the country with your eyes open. Every Senator must know of the complete families who have left and gone to England and are not coming back again. There is nothing that I know of in Government policy at the present time of a comprehensive character that is going to improve the lot of the small farmers living on 20 or 30 acres. It is all very well for people to say that there was a bad harvest in the past two years, but a bad harvest does not make any difference to the small farmer of 20 or 30 acres because he has only a small portion of oats or barley for his own domestic purposes.

In proportion, the loss is as great to him as to the big fellow.

The Senator is obviously in touch with the situation.

I can see the effect that a bad harvest can have on people who depend for a substantial proportion of their income on wheat——

Or potatoes.

Or oats.

Or barley or beet.

——but the small farmers on 20 acres—and there are quite a large number of them to be found in Mayo, Galway, Sligo, Leitrim, Donegal, Kerry and Clare— are not as seriously affected in their income by the ups and downs of the weather as are the farmers who depend on barley and wheat in the eastern counties. An increase in the price of cattle does not greatly affect them either. The plain fact is that there is nothing being done to give them a proper living out of their small-holdings, and the Minister for Finance will not say here this evening——

You say that an increase for cattle does not affect them?

No, it does not.

How did the decrease in prices affect them?

Not greatly.

We were told that they were ruined because cattle prices were going down.

The greatest cattle population in the country is in the western counties.

That is because there are so many small farmers there.

Exactly.

Yes, but if a farmer has two or three beasts to sell in a year, what great difference does it make to him?

In proportion, it makes a greater difference to him than to the big fellow.

The small farmer makes his living by the bit of turf he sells and the few days' work he can get from the county council. There is no planned policy of this Government which will guarantee to people living on the land a reasonable income out of the land. If the Minister can tell us of such a policy, I shall be interested to hear it.

I stated in the Dáil that nobody from the other side had made any suggestions, and I have not heard a suggestion made here either. What suggestion would the Senator make, for instance?

I spoke on the Finance Bill or the Central Fund Bill last year and a challenge was thrown out and Senator Donegan and I made certain suggestions. The Minister came along afterwards and, when replying, said that these things were good suggestions if they could be implemented.

Let us hear them.

It was interesting to hear Senator Lenihan talk about some of those suggestions, which shows the process of conversion has begun.

Remind us of them.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

Order!

You are not disturbing him a bit.

He is practised.

It is not my duty and it is not my function to make suggestions, and it was never regarded by Fianna Fáil when they were in Opposition as being their duty to try to help anybody. Their idea was to do as much damage as possible to the country and to the morale of the people, and they succeeded admirably in 1957.

What did the people say about it?

The people believed them, but, mind you, the Taoiseach at that time said one time after he came back from a trip to the United States that he was told about two Red Indians who used to say "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me" They were fooled in 1957.

In 1948 and in 1954, you fooled the people but in 1957, they wiped your eye.

There used to be a great deal of talk by Fianna Fáil about the two great urgent national problems facing this country. The first of these was Partition and the second was the Irish language. For a long time, that was the order of choice. Then, in later years, they changed places and the more urgent was the restoration of the Irish language and the second was Partition. I do not see in this Book of Estimates a single halfpenny devoted to resolving the question of Partition, and as I said before, Partition will never be solved in a Micawber-like fashion, by hoping that something will happen. It will be solved only by planning, by some kind of defined policy, and that does not happen haphazardly. It must be the product of thought at Government level and there must be some section in some Department, whether the Department of the Taoiseach or of the Minister for External Affairs, that will day-in and day-out examine the things that are likely to contribute to the solution of Partition and further these, and try to whittle down and remove those things which will endanger or retard the solution of Partition. There is nothing being done by this Government about Partition as far as I can see from this Book of Estimates.

Their pride, their prestige and their pocket—and nothing happened.

The Senator can take hints from me, and he can also take hints from the Minister for Finance, and reproduce faithfully the tones of the Minister's remarks as the Minister asks him to do. I do not mind that at all.

Tell us about 1925 if you are going so far back.

I was born in August 1925, and I am not concerned greatly with what happened in 1922 or 1925 as a reality here and now. I am concerned about the Central Fund Bill of this date and what will result from it. I am not going to be brought back by the old guard of Fianna Fáil to 1921 and 1922 and to take on myself or on people of my generation as far as I can help it any of the bitterness that unfortunately for too long disturbed the Irish political scene.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

That is sufficient from the Senator on that point. I think he should now talk about Partition.

It is hard to kill a ghost.

The Senator well knows that because he is constantly haunted by ghosts. He is constantly haunted by the ghosts of his political past.

I do not have any ghosts to kill.

I would urge the Minister for Finance to urge upon his colleagues in the Government to take more positive steps along the lines I suggest. I believe, if we do that, there will be less reason for other people in the community adopting the unlawful and illegal attitude towards Partition.

There is one last matter to which I might refer. Last night, Senator Sheehy Skeffington referred to a country which I did not quite recognise, a country of class and privilege, and he then outlined a kind of idyllic system of government on social order. He referred to schools and school children and I want to put it to the Minister that far too little money is devoted to the maintenance of our existing primary schools. If anybody goes into some of our primary schools, which a short time previously have been visited by the medical officer of health who will have examined the children's eyes and tested their sight, he will find that the windows have not been cleaned for ten or 15 years. That is only one instance of the neglect of national schools and it arises from only one reason: there is not sufficient money available to maintain these schools properly. We owe it to the children, a large proportion of whom get their only education in the primary schools, to spend more money on the maintenance of schools which for the most part nowadays are well constructed but certainly not well maintained.

Ba mhaith liom rud éigin a rá mar gheall ar an mBille seo agus tagairt a dhéanamh do chuid dena rudaí adúradh inniu. Dhein an Seanadóir Ó Donnabháin cuid mhaith cainte. Bhí sé tamall maith ag caint agus bhí a lán figúirí aige ach domsa—agus is dócha dá lán daoine eile—ní raibh agamsa, de thoradh an méid cainte a rinne sé, ach cuid mhaith mearbhaill, cuid mhaith duairce, mar an pictiúir a dhein sé a dhearadh dúinn pictiúir tubaiste, pictiúir donais, pictiúir a chuirfeadh ceann-fé nó mí-mhisneach ort ab ea é. Do rith tríd m'aigne línte as an seanamhrán magaidh úd: "We will all be ruined said Hanrahan before the year is out." Dob é sin an bun a bhí leis an gcaint a rinne an Seanadóir Ó Donnabháin. Sin é an rud a bhuail m'aigne. Sin é an toradh a bheadh ar aigne duine símpli dem shaghas-sa féin ó bheith ag éisteacht leis an gcaint sin.

Bhí caint againn ó Sheanadóir eile, an tollamh Ó Briain. Thaithnigh a chuid cainte liom cé nár aontaigh mé le cuid de. Ach bhí sé eolasach agus níor bhac sé le binib phoilitíochta ná le neithe den tsort sin. Is truagh nach mar sin a deintear an chaint sin sa seomra seo.

Do rinne duine eile caint agus thaithnigh sé liom bíodh, arís, go raibh cuid de ná réiteóinn leis—an Seanadóir Maguidhir. Bíonn seisean beagnach réidh, nó scaoilte nó scartha ó phoilitíocht. Bhí beagán dí ann agus an beagán sin a bhí ann ní dóigh liom gur feabhas ar a chuid cainte é.

Tá a lán neithe ar siúl ag an Rialtas, a lán neithe i gceist san £50 miliúin atá san mBille seo atáimid ag plé. Caithfear aghaidh a thúirt ortha. Ba cheart go mbeimis ag scrúdú na neithe atá le déanamh in ionad na rudaí a deineadh leath-chead nó fiche bliain ó shoin. Ba cheart aghaidh a thúirt ortha san agus scrúdú a dhéanamh ar na neithe atá le déanamh leis an mbeart mór airgid sin atá i gceist. Is truagh ná déanaimid é sin agus ná labhraimid go réasúnta gan bheith ag spairn treasna an urláir i dtaobh poilitíochta a chéile ag rá gur rógaire nó daoine gan chiall, nó daoine gan éirim na daoine ar an dtaobh eile seachas an taobh ar a mbímid féin. Ní chabhróidh sinn linn in aon chor agus ní dóigh liom gur cheart é sin a bheith ar siúl i Seanad Éireann ach an oiread mar ba chóir go mbeadh éirim agus tuiscint ag daoine agus go ndéanfaimis caint mheabhrach agus caint eolasach ar na neithe sin.

Ní bhacfaidh mé ach le haon ní amháin atá i gceist san méid seo airgid, leas na teangan Gaeilge. Nílimse sásta agus níl cúis agam bheith sásta leis an obair atá déanta ná le fuadar na Rialtas go dtí seo gur ghabhadar chucha féin agus gur ghlacadar mar dhualgas ortha féin na neithe ar fad atá riachtanach chun leas na teangan a dhéanamh. Níor dhein aon Rialtas acu é. Ní raibh agus níl ar shlí fós i gceist aithbheochaint na teangan ach peataireacht ar rudaí speisialta in ionad aithris a dhéanamh ar na daoine a bhí mar mháistrí orainn i gcúrsaí oideachais agus i gcúrsaí rialacháin go dtí an bhliain 1922. An teanga ab áil leo san a chur i bhfeidhm ba chuma ar thaithn sí leis na daoine nó nár thaithn. Níl an aigne sin fásta ionainn fós mar níl cinnteacht inár ngníomharthaí sa treo sin. Nílimid, tar éis an tsaoil, ach ag méirínteacht ar cheist na teangan. Tá comharthaí le fáil fós féin go bhfuil cuid mhaith dár ndaoine agus níl a n-aigne taobhach ar fad leis an gcuspóir náisiúnta i leith na teangan.

Léimear sna páipéirí inniu rud náireach a thárla inné sa Dáil nuair a lochtaigh cuid de mhuintir na Dála —is cuma gur den Fhreasabhra a bhíodar—agus gur cháineadar an iarracht bheag go gcaithfí PríomhBhreitheamh a thúirt i gcúirteanna na tíre seo leis an bhfear a bhíonn ar an mBínse. Más féidir a leithéid sin de rud a thárlú i bParliamint na tíre tá rud éigin bun ós cionn, rud éigin in easnamh agus sé an t-easnamh atá ann nach bhfuil an tiomáint, ná fuil an gríosadh, ná fuil aigne dúchasach go leor lastiar de ghluaiseacht na Gaeilge.

Tá a fhios agam go bhfuil an-chuid dhá dhéanamh ag an Rialtas. Tá soláthar mór airgid déanta agus tá an-chuid oibre ar siúl sna scoileanna agus sna coláistí ach ní leor é sin. Caithfear an Ghaeilge a tharraingt isteach i ngnath-ghnó na tíre agus níl aon ghléas is fearr chun é sin a dhéanamh ná gríosadh an Rialtais féin fé mar a dhein na Sasanaigh. Do thugadar dúshlán an phobail ar fad agus d'éirigh leo. Mura mbeadh gur éirigh leo, ní labharfadh beirt nó triúr fé mar a labhradar inné sa Dáil. Is comhartha é ar an nimh a bhí dulta isteach sa smior acu gan a thuiscint gur nimh atá san spiorad sin. Sin é an tubaist mór ar fad nach eol dúinn go bhfuilimid inár leath-Shasanaigh. Sin é an locht atá agam ar an Rialtas agus ar gach Rialtas a bhí againn.

Níor dheineadar aon ghríosadh ar an bpobal féin. Níor labhradar leis an bpobal ag míniú a ndualgas dóibh. Níor labhradar chun treoir a chur ar aigne an phobail agus tuiscint a chur i meabhair agus aigne an phobail an riachtanas atá ar an náisiún dúchasach a shaoradh. Ní saorfar an náisiún dúchasach gan an teanga dhúchasach agus a mbaineann léi, an traidisiún, an stair agus leanúnachas ár gcine, a bheith slán againn.

Ba mhaith liom chur ós cóir an Aire rud a mhol mé anuraidh agus an bhliain roimhe sin. Is ar ghníomhú an Rialtais féin atá leas na hoibre ar fad. Má bhraitheann an pobal go bhfuil an Rialtas beartaithe, daingnithe, cinnte chun an cuspóir sin a bhaint amach éireóidh an pobal agus raghaidh siad linn. Ná bímís sásta le peataireacht ar an teanga. Usáidimís í. Cainimís feidhm aisti.

Chun ár ngnó a dhéanamh, ba mhaith liom é sin a chur ós cóir an Aire Airgidis. Is dóigh liom gurb eisean máistir an Rialtais go léir agus an rud a mholas cheana molaim arís é go dtosnófaí le cúpla Aireacht nó trí agus go ndéanfaí obair na n-Aireachtaí ar fad tré Ghaeilge gan aon Bhéarla. Is féidir é sin a dhéanamh le hAireacht na Gaeltachta. Is féidir é sin a dhéanamh gan aon stró le hAireacht an Oideachais. Agus san máistir-Aireacht ar fad, Aireacht an Airgidis féin, is féidir leo a chur ina luí ar an gcuid eile den Rialtas go bhfuiltear dáiríre.

I suppose we are all, as the previous speaker said, to some extent half English but our problem now is to find some means to stop sending our people to England so that we may keep more of them Irish. That was the objective which the people who set out to free Ireland had in mind. That is what they set out to do—to make it possible for our people to remain in this country.

I should like to deal with one point which Senator Murphy always makes when he has the opportunity to do so, that is his advocacy of State-sponsored industry, for which he said the Irish people had a particular talent. I wonder do these State-sponsored bodies compare with State-sponsored bodies in other countries or are they ever compared with them? These State-sponsored bodies are not allowed to go "broke" and that is one of the tests that can be applied to private enterprise. I doubt if anyone will say that the E.S.B. or Bord na Móna will ever be put into the Bankruptcy Court.

In the third report of the recent Commission on Income Tax which was published towards the end of last year at paragraph 47, page 24, the Commission stress the disadvantage under which ordinary private enterprise laboured in this country where they paid 41.5 per cent. of their earnings each year in taxation. The report says, towards the end of that paragraph, that 95 per cent. of Irish companies are privately-owned and have to rely on their own resources to increase their capital and to expand their activities. I need not deal any further with that point, except to make the observation that in this little country of ours, we are inclined to compare what has been done in Britain and other countries with what has been done here instead of applying the nostrums belonging to our own economy.

We are inclined to apply what is proper in England and in the United States to this country of three million people, although the United States has a population of 150 millions and Britain a population of 50 millions. That is one of the reasons we are not making a success of our native based industry. I would ask Senator Murphy to read the last report of the Commission on Income Tax and in it he might find some of the reasons why our local industries are not so successful.

There is a far greater problem than whether Irish industry will be successful or not. There is a question of our survival as a nation and that is tied up with the agricultural policy of this Government and whatever Government will succeed it. I think the Government have failed lamentably in grappling with the problem and have shown no imagination or ideas in their approach towards it in any way. They have adopted a policy of drift during their years in office. They had one great advantage possessed by no other Irish Government since the State was established, that is, their enormous majority in Parliament which gave them full and unstinted loyalty. In spite of that, they have failed to promote a prosperous agricultural economy.

They have toyed with new-fangled ideas. They talk about the jets flying to America while the people are leaving Galway, Sligo and other western counties. I am sorry that some of the Senators from Clare are not in the House because the people are leaving Clare also. Then we have this enormous increase in the cost of running this country. It was often said to us, when taxation was far lower on a percentage basis than it is to-day, that we were running this country on the grand imperial scale. The Government have allowed this scale to get out of hand altogether. What is worse than that, they have allowed a redistribution of income to take place to the disadvantage of the agricultural community and of traditional Ireland.

I was surprised this evening when I got a copy of theStatistical Abstract to see what has happened. This is one of the reasons the people are leaving the land of Ireland and going to take up better paid jobs in Britain and in our own towns and cities. In 1954, the agricultural income in Ireland was £119.9 million. That was then 27.2 per cent. of the national income. In 1959, it had risen to only £124 million or 24.7 per cent. of the national income. In 1954, the income of the other productive industry—industry generally —was 26 per cent. of the national income and in 1959, it had gone up to 26.5 per cent.

The other sections of the community, the non-producing sections, seem to be able, even when agriculture is at a disadvantage and the people are leaving the land, to get a larger slice off a smaller loaf. The other domestic elements—whatever they are, I do not know—have increased their proportion of the national income from 17.1 per cent. to 18.1 per cent. between 1954 and 1959. Public administration has also increased, but not so much, from 8.2 per cent. to 8.7 per cent. How, I ask the Seanad, can we keep the people on the land of Ireland if we are continuously to allow the people on the land to become progressively worse off?

If these figures could be analysed further, we would find that of the figures I have given, the 24.7 per cent. as against the 27.2 per cent., the small farmer is getting progressively less. The larger farmer, due to the use of science, mechanisation and all the other aids has, to some extent, been able to maintain his position. That has not been so for the small farmer. When we see the people turning the keys in the doors of the homesteads in the various counties of Ireland, and it is happening in Tipperary, not very far from the Golden Vale, we should realise that they are leaving the country because they are not prepared to work every day, Saturday, Sunday, and Christmas Day for £4 or £5 a week which is half what can be earned by anybody else in the country.

What solution have we for that problem? I believe the first solution is that this must be a value-for-money economy, not a dear place for tourists or such people to live in. In France, in the 1920s, there was a very buoyant economy and one could live there cheaply but among the many troubles France suffered afterwards was the fact that costs got out of hand and nobody wanted to go there. Neither the people who were there nor those who went as visitors could afford to live there. To some extent, we are in the same position. Agricultural exports, particularly livestock, are our national exports and we must accept the prices we receive in the world's greatest market for them. If we can get good value for the number of pounds we get for them, we shall have an expanding agricultural economy and if we get bad value at home for whatever we get for them, we shall have a reducing agricultural economy. Any State tax increase or rates increase, or any increase in transport costs or the cost of light reduces the value of what the farmer gets for what he sells.

I am not an economist but I can see these things happening all around me. I can see people leaving Tipperary and, if I go to fight a by-election— whether we win or lose makes no difference—the one thing borne in on me is that the small farmers are leaving because they cannot survive. Other people talk about the wonderful developments we have in our industries and how buoyant we are. We have an ex-ambassador going back to America and speaking of the wonderful future before us. I do not want to see a wonderful future in which our own people have left Ireland and all we have here are the people of Germany and other places who come here to make money quickly and who will buy newspaper and television space to tell us what fine fellows they are while the Irish people are going.

This situation presents a challenge to the Government, or to any Government coming after them—to see if we can increase the number of people living on the land. In the inter-Party Government, we tried to stop costs getting out of hand by providing subsidies. We were violently attacked for that. At the time, I had certain doubts myself, but I believe that we were right, because, as things are moving now, we may have kept wages and prices more stable and in that way we may not have widened the large gap in income that exists between the people living on the land and the people enjoying better circumstances in our towns and better still in Britain.

About a week ago, I met a man employed in one of the public services. He said: "I suppose we shall get an increase of £1 or ten shillings a week." I said: "If you got a reduction in your taxes, would that not be just as good?" He said it would. Perhaps some people think that we might be able to solve the equation by keeping down costs rather than by continually increasing prices and taxation and trying to keep up with the Jones's. The Jones's of Britain are living beyond their means and if we try to keep up with them, we shall be in a worse position than they are.

People may say that this is all very fine talk and perhaps I lay myself open to criticism in that regard. I do not mind that. There is no easy solution for our problems. I do not think we can ever in our time equate our incomes with the values they have in England. Probably ourper capita income to-day is in the relation of six to ten as compared with Britain. How can we pay large sections of the community, whether highly-paid professional people, engineers, factory managers, or others, on the same basis as Britain without reducing the small farmers' income? That is the problem I have been unable to solve. I have asked many people and they have shrugged their shoulders and said that they doubt if there is any solution to it. The small farmers will be leaving the Golden Vale of Tipperary just as quickly as they are leaving the hills of Mayo or the valleys of Donegal or other parts of the country where, as Senator O'Donovan reminds me, fewer people will be elected to represent rural Ireland each time there is a change in the constituencies.

This Bill gives an opportunity of speaking on these wide and important matters. I have no doubt that the Minister and his advisers are well aware of problems I mention but I should like to see some of us getting down to finding a solution for these problems which I think are vital. Anyone who can do anything to solve them will be doing something really good for the country.

We have been treated to the most brazen and impudent tissue of distortions, misrepresentations and abuse that I have heard in the Seanad for quite a while from Senator O'Quigley, and of all the impudent statements and of all the brazen, brass-faced statements which any Senator might make, his references to the question of Partition and the Irish language could not be excelled. Fine Gael have now adopted the policy of using catch-words and phrases like "Partition", "the language", "the flight from the land", "emigration" and the "cost of living". These are all being used and slung around in the hope of deluding the people and putting dalla-phúicín on them at every opportunity.

Senator O'Quigley should know very well the historical basis of Partition and that so far as this Government and the Fianna Fáil Party are concerned, they have nothing to reproach themselves with in regard to their determination to secure the unity of the country. I do not know whether Senator O'Quigley is old enough to recall the flamboyancy with which the Coalition Government tried to utilise this issue of Partition in order to delude the people into giving them further electoral support, but I can remember very clearly the bellicose speech made by the Fine Gael Leader, then the Taoiseach, in O'Connell Street on the occasion of a demonstration when we were assured that nothing had been done about Partition for so long and that the Government—the Coalition Government—were determined to hit the British in their prestige, their pride and their pocket.

That is a completely wrong quotation.

For years, they hit them in their pride, their prestige and their pocket by doing precisely nothing. Senator O'Quigley should lay-off this question of Partition. As I said before, it is very hard to kill a ghost, and the ghost of 1925 walks where the Fine Gael record on Partition is concerned; the ghost will not be silenced.

Senator O'Quigley also made play with the Irish language. As the Senator is so young and so innocent, I should like to recall for his information now that the only thing that I know of that the Coalition Government did for the language was the introduction by the Fine Gael Minister for Education of compulsory English into the infant classes and the opening of the gates for any teacher, who wished to avail of the opportunity, to introduce English and English reading. Senator O'Quigley should realise further the quite remarkable coincidence during the two periods of Coalition administration — coalitions dominated to a great extent by Fine Gael: the campaign against what is described as compulsory Irish reached new heights of venom in certain newspapers and in certain organisations by way of public meetings. He should also realise that, were it not for that, and the lack of positive support in reviving the Irish language as the spoken tongue of our people, we would not now be in the position in which we find ourselves to-day, a position in which progress is not as rapid as it should be and our expectations in regard to Irish as the spoken tongue have not been realised.

I was amused to hear the Senator refer to the Grey Book. I remember when the Grey Book and theProgramme for Economic Expansion were announced by the Government; I remember the sneers and jeers with which they were received by the Fine Gael Party. I remember the comparison they tried to make between the Soviet Five- and Seven-Year Plans and the Fianna Fáil five-year plan. I remember the laughter and ridicule with which the Fine Gael speakers greeted all mention of these proposals for economic development and expansion. We do not hear anything about that now.

You did not hear it then, either.

In fact, we now hear occasional tributes.

This is fiction.

It is pure imagination.

Perhaps I have not got as good an imagination as some Senators.

The Senator does not need imagination; he needs facts.

I have no intention of being put off.

A little fiction is pleasant at this hour of the night.

The justification for theProgramme for Economic Expansion is the fact that the Government last year put £55,000,000 into major social and productive investment. That was an increase of 25 per cent. on the 1959 figure. I have not heard anybody attempting to dispute the value of that capital investment. Neither have I heard Fine Gael make any suggestion that we should not carry out any of the economic propositions in the programme. We are very proud of that programme. We are very satisfied with the progress reports on its implementation so far.

Senator Barry made an excellent contribution this evening, unlike the majority of the other speakers in Fine Gael. I was very pleased to hear him admitting that we have made progress under this economic plan and that things are going ahead. I was pleased also that he paid a proper and welldeserved tribute to the Taoiseach for his part in this tremendous effort. There was one thing, above all others, which pleased me very much. He said that tourism is certainly on the right road; he said it is one of our trump cards. Senator O'Quigley, speaking later, made some reference to the fact that very often people are stronger in defending the things they previously opposed. I do not know exactly to whom or where the reference was addressed; I do not know for the benefit of what Party it was intended.

The Fine Gael attitude to tourist development was somewhat different in the past. Those of us connected with political activity during the formative years of tourist development well remember the fainthearted support given by some people at that time. We remember, too, how on a certain great occasion, when the unity of the discontented elements was achieved under the mantle of Fine Gael in 1948, a proposition was put forward by the then leader of the Government, speaking as a statesman who was going to solve all the problems which the Fianna Fáil Government had not solved. His solution for the increase in the cost of living, an increase he attributed to Fianna Fáil, was that we should limit the tourist trade, because, he said, the expenditure by tourists undoubtedly pushed up prices.

Now, after all these years, we find Fine Gael the stoutest advocates of tourist development and the staunchest protagonists of the need for further development in hotels and amenities. It is just another notable conversion, one of the many which we are glad to record. These conversions are, of course, the result of the education which Fine Gael are receiving from the Fianna Fáil Government and Party.

We hope it is not a one-way traffic.

Senator Barry referred to the success of our investment in air transport. I remember the Fine Gael opposition to that. I remember the present Leader of Fine Gael visualising the day when rabbits would run on the Shannon runways. I remember him sneering and jeering at the idea that Irishmen could operate a transatlantic airline. I remember how successful the Coalition Government were in their efforts to kill that project in 1948. Thanks to the Fianna Fáil Government under the Taoiseach, that project has been- revived with conspicuous success and we are now in the front rank of transatiantic carriers, and we shall remain there, in spite of Fine Gael.

It is interesting, too, to recall the speeches made here recently on measures designed to increase the capital of Aer Rianta. I remember Senator O'Quigley stating that he could not see any sense in our operating a transatlantic airline. I remember him forecasting a gloomy future for it. I have a pretty good memory, thank God. I remember yet another conversion of the Fine Gael Party. I remember the masla of the Fine Gael Party because we did not have a proper fleet of ships at a time when shipping just could not be procured.

I remember how, when Irish Shipping, which this week celebrates its 21st anniversary—its coming of age— was established, we heard the same cries from the same Party. It is good to see that now they have been converted to acknowledge the usefulness of Irish Shipping, which has had such full-hearted support from all the citizens for such a long number of years. Our congratulations must go out to Irish Shipping on this great occasion for them. That was just one of the things that Party opposed so strongly in the years that have passed.

I was delighted to hear Senator Murphy, who is always such a clear and succinct speaker, paying tribute to the fact that industrial development went ahead at such a great rate under successive Fianna Fáil Governments. He pointed out there was no lack of optimism in this Government. I am delighted to support him in that view.

Of course, there is no lack of optimism. Let us hear what Mr. John Conroy, the General Secretary of the Irish Trade Union Congress, had to say recently:

To-day there are more men and women employed in manufacturing industries and in employment providing services for the public than for some years.

It might be interesting for Senators Murphy and O'Quigley to learn that there is an increase of 28 per cent. in employment as compared with the time when the Coalition Government, in which the Labour Party was a most active member, had its final trial in 1956-57.

We should also remind Senator Murphy and other doubting Thomases that in this country there is a newspaper outside Dublin—theCork Examiner—which is an excellent newspaper in every way except that it chooses to support Fine Gael. And the Cork Examiner, in a leading article which praised the progress made in 1960, attributed that progress to the lead given by the Government, under the Taoiseach. In the same issue, there was a port of the Cork Chamber of Commerce which, I would remind Senator Murphy, is not a Fianna Fáil cumann. This is what the President of the Cork Chamber of Commerce had to say:

Both the shipbuilding and the steel manufacturing industries are the fulfilment of the dreams of those who forecast a bright future for industrial Ireland.

Senator Murphy had some doubts about whether or not the Government had any right to be optimistic. Surely the record is there: look at our exports, our decrease in unemployment, our increase in employment, and the general trend of industrial advance in the country. In face of such advance, surely the Government have every right to be proud of their achievements since they took over.

These sarcastic references to a buoyant economy will not be well received by the stocks editors of newspapers who know all about the shares of public companies and how business is going at the moment, and who are convinced that this economy of ours is a buoyant one. Senator Murphy says that on the test, the Government have failed. How can he justify that statement? The Government have not failed. Progress has been made towards solution of all the problems left behind by the Government of the Coalition groups in 1957, and if present conditions prevail, and if there is no interference by international situations, there is no doubt that the five-year plan started by this Government will succeed in finding more work at home for those who are out of work and for those who are leaving the land.

There is no doubt that the attraction of the cities—the bright lights and the better social amenities—is drawing more and more people away from the land. It is the same everywhere this side of the Iron Curtain. And even in the Iron Curtain countries, there are reports that young people are leaving the communal farms and going to the industrial cities. The facts are that there are more people engaged in employment now than ever before in our history.

Debate adjourned.
The Seanad adjourned at 10 p.m. until 10.30 a.m. on Friday, March 24, 1961.