ORDUITHE AN LAE. - ORDERS OF THE DAY. FINANCIAL MOTIONS—MOTION NO. 8 (RESUMED.)

Financial Motion No. 8 by the Minister for Finance—debate resumed in Committee on Finance.

At this stage we have to admit that all the shine has worn off the Minister's Budget, and even the people who have benefited by a remission of one shilling in income tax have almost forgotten about it; they are wondering what the future holds for them. I do not propose to go over the whole statement of the Minister, but I have given some slight consideration to that part of it dealing with the remission of one shilling in income tax and I have examined its effects. I raised the matter the day the Minister made his Budget statement and I think the effects of the Minister's action are entitled to more consideration. As an act of Ministerial financial policy it is entitled to more attention than it has been given.

The remission of a shilling this year has been made possible because we have calculated on a sum of £550,000 being available for the relief of taxation. In order that that policy shall continue next year, in order that this remission shall be continued in the Budget twelve months hence, the financial position will have to be such that the Minister for Finance then will require to have almost £1,000,000 for distribution. The Minister's statement indicates that next year in addition to this £1,000,000— perhaps the figure of £900,000 would be nearer the mark—there will be £250,000 required and that amount will be payable to Great Britain in accordance with the agreement of December, 1925. The Minister expects to have the £250,000 available from the operations of the Currency Commission. He also states it is hoped to complete shortly the steps necessary to secure that death duties and shares held by Saorstát citizens in British companies here will come into our Exchequer. I do not know if the Minister gave any indication of the amount of revenue which he expects will come into our Exchequer as a result of the completion of these steps.

He points out that the work of the Tariff Commission may lead to the imposition of some customs duties. Evidently the policy is that further tariffs are expected and it is hoped that additional revenue will be available because of these tariffs which are likely to be imposed within the coming financial year. If we put the £250,000 that will come from the Currency Commission against the annuity we have to contribute to Britain, where are we to get the additional money which must be made available in order to continue the policy the Minister adopted this year by the remission of a shilling on income tax? That cannot be continued unless there is a reduction in our expenditure. The Minister has given us no indication that the money which will come into the Exchequer through death duties and through the shares held by Saorstát citizens in British companies which do business here will be available, or that the revenue coming from the Tariff Commission will be an amount which will make up the difference between the £550,000 we are giving as a remission to the income tax payers and the additional sum which will be required to continue this remission next year. For a continuation of the Minister's policy we must look for a reduction in expenditure.

Elsewhere in the Minister's statement he discusses the question of a remission of duty on beer and spirits. He points out that the sum of £550,000 would be barely sufficient to give a small remission in the duty on beer and spirits, and that the policy would be not to give the remission of duty on beer alone or on spirits if it were not possible to give it on both. What has been done by the Minister on this occasion puts a new Dáil and the Minister for Finance in that Dáil in the position that if there is not a very considerable reduction in expenditure there will be no possibility of a remission of taxation to any taxpayers other than those who have got a remission of duty in this Budget, the income tax payers.

We have to consider that a remission of taxation may mean many things Cheaper postage rates would be a relief of taxation. On the other hand, a relief of taxation might mean, in essence, an increase in the old age pensions. Last year the Minister undoubtedly left the House under the impression that when there would be anything available for distribution, the old age pensioners would have to get consideration. Nothing less than £250,000 would be of use to do anything for the old age pensioners. I feel that the Dáil are in the position that they have gone beyond their means; they have done more than they are able to do in the remission of taxation, and very considerable reductions in expenditure must be effected if even the present remission is to be continued in the next Budget.

Instead of making it possible to relieve taxation in other directions, it may even be necessary to increase taxation because of what the Minister has done this year. It is right that we should clearly see the effects of the policy that the Minister has enunciated. There are many farmers who argue that a remission of the duty on beer would improve the conditions of the barley-growers in many counties, and that argument has been very forcibly made. I feel that there is something in it, but as I see the Minister's policy, there is no prospect that that can be done next year. It would be absolutely impossible to do it next year unless we can make reductions in expenditure of over one million pounds. That is exactly what we have to face up to. Is that possible, and will it be done? Even admitting the courage of the Minister in giving this remission to the income tax payers, I think that the full significance of his action is not yet thoroughly understood. The other side of the picture has to be examined, and the problem created will have to be faced up to. It will not be enough to continue to relieve the income tax payer alone; other tax payers will have to be considered, and the people who are affected by the higher postage rates in operation here compared with Great Britain, and by other taxes that have been imposed in the lifetime of this Dáil, will have to be considered. The Minister's policy will have to be carried further; more will have to be done by him, and in order that this relief of taxation may be equitably distributed, savings must be effected that will make it possible next year for not one section alone but every section of the community to get some relief from taxation.

A point was raised by Deputy Johnson that was referred to in the Minister's speech. The Minister said: "The economic conditions of the western seaboard cannot be dealt with without expenditure," and he said also that in certain other respects increases are inevitable. Is this problem to be dealt with this year? If it is, where is the money to come from? As far as we can see, expenditure under that head has not been calculated for, certainly not in the statement made by the Minister. That will be an additional expenditure. Where is the money to be found, and how much is it to be? I would like the Minister to clear up that position and to give us some further information as to his outlook with regard to the effect of the action which he is now taking, commendable action, undoubtedly, and action which will have far-reaching consequences. But you cannot continue a policy of relieve ing one section of the community from taxation, and leave others with the feeling that they are carrying a heavy burden, to some an almost intolerable burden, without holding out a helping hand to them. Deputy Johnson discussed the economic position, and tried to indicate that the prosperity of the country was not as pronounced as the Minister would lead one to believe. Deputy Johnson's figures indicated the very serious decline in our cattle population from 1922 to 1926. His figures are authentic, and to some of us at least who know the conditions they are simply a confirmation of the case we have repeatedly made.

In very many areas prosperity is unknown to the agricultural population, and undoubtedly if one were to measure the supposed prosperity with the conditions which we know, we could not support the case made by the Minister or say that it was a true representation of the facts. One does not like to labour this too much, but it is true that in the rural districts over very wide areas people are not enjoying prosperity, nor anything like it, but are faced with poverty, hard, grinding poverty. I have always contended, and the Minister himself has also indicated this, that in order to give people courage and make the best of present conditions the Government must help by doing all they can to reduce taxation so that people may feel that they are not labouring, producing and selling merely for the benefit of the tax collector so that he may take all that they have. The feeling is very strong in the country that men only work so that they may be able to keep the tax collector quiet when he calls, and many people are dispirited. I confess that I do not see any possibility of a very speedy recovery. I do not think that economic conditions can be improved in a day or in a twelvemonth. The decline towards poverty in a sense came with a snap, because prices dropped quickly, but the greatest poverty has only been experienced within the last twelve or eighteen months. It is as bad now as it ever has been. We have perhaps just reached bedrock. I recognise that in days like these, when all types of theorists are advancing arguments as to ways and means to improve things and when the condition of our people is really serious, it is a case of the drowning man ready to grasp at the straw. Our people are prepared to grasp at anything which would make things better for them.

I am going to join issue with Deputy Davin. He is the advocate of a policy for the farmers with which our Party are not in agreement. It would be as easy for me as it is for Deputy Davin to get up before a meeting of farmers and advocate lightly, without very much consideration for the consequences of its results, the policy that the Deputy is prepared to sponsor. To-day the farmers are everywhere looking for a way out. They are prepared almost to gamble on the chances of a way out. But I think we all have to be very careful that any way out we urge will not be to many of them, and to the agricultural industry as a whole, a way down and out. When Deputy Davin urges that the policy of tariffs should be applied to agriculture he should carefully examine the consequences. The term "Protection" makes an appeal to many people, but the application of that policy to agriculture has been detrimental in every country where it has been tried. I do not think that we have had any indication that it would be more successful here than in any other country, and while we all admit that from the point of view of a man in a barley growing county, who sees a market, as he thinks, at his door which can be closed to all but himself, the temptation is very strong to take action which he thinks may have certain consequences, in my opinion such a man is gambling by calculating that certain benefits will come as a result of such an action. Holding that view, we who have been for a number of years in very close touch with the farmers, recognise that it is as easy to turn the farmers' minds and efforts into wrong channels as it is to turn the minds and efforts of other people in this country into unproductive ways.

Is the Deputy aware that the leader of his own Party is now supporting the policy that I advocate?

Who is that?

The Deputy's question has no meaning, and if the Deputy made as close a study of all the problems of agriculture as he has made of the work in which he himself is engaged—for which we must pay him a tribute—I feel that he would agree with those Farmer Deputies who declare, even against political expediency, let me say, that the policy that the Deputy is advocating is not the soundest agricultural policy for this country. Undoubtedly on the tide to-day, under the depressed conditions which farmers are experiencing, men can be carried to political victory by making people believe that this policy is the best. But in desperate times men will be made to do desperate things and live to regret the consequences of their actions.

We do not see that hope for agriculture from a policy of tariffs which Deputy Davin professes to see. It would be much better for the agriculturists in his constituency if the Deputy would set himself to think out whether there were not other ways and means on which the farmers could concentrate by which the same end would be achieved.

Suggest one.

When the Deputy puts it to me that I should find a way out for the people for whom he professes to speak, I urge him to examine the problem more fully than he has done, and ask himself the question what would happen if the gamble which he is urging them to engage in has not the results he hoped for. Is it not better to face up to the difficulties of the position, be candid with these people, say there are risks and dangers, and it may not come off, and let them face the alternative now rather than the disappointment which will inevitably come to them later on. Other methods must be adopted by farmers to improve their economic condition. There is general agreement on an agricultural policy which aims at the improvement of methods of production and marketing. We might, perhaps, discuss the question of production, because it has a relation to the economic position. It might even be discussed with the other question of emigration, which Deputies labour here at times. The productivity of this country is low, and has been low for a number of years past, perhaps from 1919. Emigration has been high. People are leaving the country to seek a living elsewhere, believing that there are great prospects for them, while in the majority of cases they only experience disappointment. There are reasons for the present condition of things.

It would be true to say that the population fleeing from the country was brought up under pre-war economic conditions, when the farmers' plight was not as bad as it is now, when he was emerging from the effects of landlordism, when the markets across the channel were improving, and when he was improving his methods and doing better than he had done before. Then the boys and girls of the pre-war years came to the period of war prices, when there was a higher standard of living, and when they enjoyed conditions that had not been previously experienced by the rural population. Now the conditions have altered, and no section of the people have experienced as great a lowering in their standard of living as those living on the land. Very many boys and girls who were of school-going age before the war, and have now reached manhood and womanhood, find it difficult to go back to the lower standard of living, and accept the conditions which people in the rural districts must accept if they are to live. In addition, we have the mentality and outlook created by the revolutionary period. As a result of all these conflicting conditions, large numbers of the people are leaving the country, because they believe that in some other country they will attain the standard of living which they experienced here during the war, but which is not to be attained here now. All that is affecting the productivity of the country. It has its effect on the area of land under tillage, and the quality and quantity of our products. We have to live through this phase, and I believe it will pass. I believe that the farmers will fight their way through it. Some of them will fall by the way, but the majority will hold on to their farms. The Government will have to give what encouragement it can to them by the adoption of a policy which will indicate sympathy with them and an understanding of their conditions, and which will make it possible to give a remission of taxation, not to any important influential section, but to the citizens as a whole. That must be the financial policy that any Government must pursue, which tries to do the best they can for the people.

I am very glad that the Minister has at last taken the step of setting up a committee to examine national expenditure. It took a great deal of pressure to get him to go so far. My view is that he has not gone far enough yet. I was looking up to-day the statement made by Deputy Heffernan, in 1923, when he urged the setting-up of a committee. In 1924, in 1925, and again in 1926 it was urged from these benches. Not very long ago the Minister for Finance, replying to Deputy Heffernan, said:—

The Government has given consideration to all these matters. The real fact is that, in general, this demand for a committee of inquiry is a parrot cry, and it is not worthy of members of the Dáil to come here and repeat it. It is all right for the leader writer on a newspaper to throw out any sort of suggestion that could be written brightly about and that would interest the readers of his paper and increase its circulation. He has no responsibility to the people. But it is up to Deputies to face the thing in a very serious way and to search about in their own minds and see what they want.

It would have been a good deal better if the Minister had agreed that Deputies were quite serious when they urged the setting-up of this committee. The Minister in his attitude on this matter up to the present has not been as satisfactory as we would like. He rather tried to give the impression that economies could not be effected. We might almost say that he felt that it was low political tactics to urge the setting-up of any such committee. I feel that the Minister has not gone far enough. It is not because other Deputies have already urged that this committee should be something more than a mere committee representing the present administration to investigate the administration of the present Government that I am urging that a body, other than the one which the Minister proposes to constitute, should examine into the question of public expenditure. A short time ago in discussing the Estimates I urged that what we wanted to discover was not alone whether the present national services could be maintained at a lower figure, but to establish definitely for the future what was requisite and necessary and what could be accepted as a definite standard. We should have from an independent committee a full and thorough examination of the entire administration, so that their report could be accepted by everyone as showing that it would take a certain sum to maintain the essential services—that the case that is made that previous to the war this country was run for something like £15,000,000, can be met by the report of a body that will be accepted by everybody as competent and impartial. I feel that, no matter what effort is made by the most competent persons in the present administration to examine the whole gamut of public services, there will be a feeling that that is an examination of the administration by the administrators themselves. The Minister would be doing far better, not alone for his Government but for future Governments, and he would clear the minds of the people as to the cost of maintaining a national Government, if he gave us a group of men independent of the present Government for this inquiry. I urge the Minister to consider that suggestion because it is all important. The Minister himself has been up against it and we are all up against it. The case is made that there is extravagance and that the examination will be a one-sided one. I feel that we ought to aim at cutting down the present expenditure by a couple of million pounds. If a committee is to decide whether that is possible or not, then it should be a committee with wider terms of reference and broader in personnel than the committee the Minister has given us.

The Minister has gone a good way, He has given the lie to the policy he has adumbrated here many times— that such a committee could do no good and that there was no necessity for it. He has often made the statement to which I have referred. He states now that he is perfectly satisfied that economies will be shown to be possible in classes of expenditure that have not been the subject of public propaganda at all. I urged before that a committee such as we desire to set up would be able to do good work. When the Minister asked us to point to possible savings in discussing the Estimates, we were in the position of men who were asked to say what kind a house was while standing outside and looking in. Perhaps, in the future the Minister will be prepared to go a step further. To educate the public as to the necessary cost of self-government, there must be a complete and thorough examination of the whole financial position that will show that if we are to have home government we will have to provide a certain amount and that less will not do.

One other point was referred to by Deputy Heffernan. The Minister said "We must seek for economy but we must not forget we have an undeveloped country and that our real hope is in development." I am in agreement with Deputy Heffernan when he says that that is not a correct representation of the position. We are not a new country. Our country has been populated for thousands of years and it is not correct to say that it is undeveloped. The genius of our people may not be cultivated to the extent that we should like but our country would be only undeveloped if it possessed certain national resources which could be developed but which were not. Our natural resources are limited. We have not, for instance, the supply of coal which built up England's greatness. We have no great wealth in minerals of any kind. We have, of course, fertility of soil. But I think what we have to develop is the intelligence of our people, that it may be utilised for the advancement of the country. It would be foolish of us to believe that our country is really undeveloped. We have certain natural advantages from the agricultural point of view, inasmuch as we are beside the world's greatest market for agricultural produce. From the point of view of climate and fertility of soil, we are favourably situated but, otherwise, the resources of the country which give room for development are very limited indeed. It is not correct to say that we are in the position of places like Australia, Canada or the newer countries. If the progress made across the Channel has not been made here, there are reasons for it. Our country has lacked many things essential to industrial progress. In addition, our people have been mainly agricultural and on that account they have a different outlook from people across the Channel. Our policy here should be based on a sound conception of the possibilities of the country.

The Minister's Budget, I recognise, might have been made more popular. The Budget is not unsound, but I should like an assurance from the Minister as to its effects on future Ministries. Is he satisfied that it will be possible to continue the policy he has laid down in his statement, and at the same time give relief to those sections of citizens who have not benefited by this Budget? If he can give us that assurance, then we will agree that the statement of the Minister was very sound and that it contains possibilities which we did not see when he was making his statement. If the Minister is not able to give us that assurance, then he will have placed a future Minister for Finance—whether that future Minister be the present Minister or not—in a very unfavourable position indeed.

I should like to join in the chorus of congratulation which has been extended to the Minister on his Budget. I am satisfied that he has devoted the sum at his disposal to the most useful purpose in the interests of the country. My congratulations to the Minister are somewhat damped because he has not agreed to remove that objectionable tax—I use the word "objectionable" after consideration —known as the Corporation Profits Tax. That is a most inequitable and unfair tax. Even though its burden has been considerably eased since it was first introduced, the principle of the tax still remains, and so long as it remains so long will I continue to attack it. We have induced the Minister to go further on this occasion than he has gone on any previous occasion, because he has told us that, in its present form, this is a tax which should not be continued permanently. I do not agree with Deputy Johnson when he says that this Budget has done nothing for unemployment.

My method of meeting unemployment is by the provision of employment. Possibly other Deputies have some other panacea for that particular ill, but that is mine. This Budget will ease the burden on industry. For years those in industry have been complaining that their efforts were thwarted by the burden of taxation. It was heavier here than in England and consequently it was difficult to get the capital necessary for the development of industry to flow into this country. Looking at the Budget from that point of view, what more could have been done towards meeting that difficulty and the difficulty of providing employment for the unemployed than has been done by the Minister for Finance in reducing income tax? Because of that reduction we can now look forward to the possible and, I hope, probable flow into this country of the necessary capital for the development of industry. Therefore, I cannot agree with Deputy Johnson when he states that this Budget has done nothing to deal with the problem of unemployment. In considering the question of unemployment, the view still seems to be held by those on the Labour Benches that the Government could do a great deal more than it has done towards promoting industry and reducing unemployment. I have urged on several occasions that the powers of any Government in that direction are exceedingly limited. All a Government can do is provide an atmosphere in which industry can develop. Then it is for those engaged in industry, both capitalists and labour, to see what they, on their part, can do towards developing industry. I have urged also in this connection, that we, capitalists and labour, have not done all that we might have done. We still stand aloof instead of co-operating; sitting down together with those on one side putting their difficulties before those on the other and joining together to see how best we can solve our difficulties in the interests of the nation. I am quite satisfied that a great deal of the success that we hope to achieve because of this reduction in income tax will be lost except capital and labour make up their minds to meet at a common table and deal with this problem in a business-like way. I have urged that previously, and I am sorry to say that one's efforts have not been met in the spirit that one would like to see.

Will the Deputy give us some information as to the cause of the breakdown?

The Deputy can put forward his own explanation in that connection. I can only continue to urge, on behalf of those engaged on one side of industry, that as far as I am concerned I think every effort should be made to bring about such a conference. While I have said that a Government can only provide an atmosphere in which industry can flourish, there are other elements to which we must attach some importance. We must have, in addition to the atmosphere, confidence and conditions that inspire confidence in order that capital may flow in here. We have had the question of tariffs raised here on innumerable occasions. There is hardly a morning that one opens his paper that he does not see some new suggestion made with regard to tariffs. May I urge that all that shows a want of settled policy and of settled conditions. As long as you have your fiscal system in this unsettled state, so long will we have capital flying shy. Capital is not going to invest in an industry in which the conditions may be all altered in the space of a few months. Therefore, I urge that in the interests of industry and the wider interest of unemployment, we should get this fiscal policy of ours settled and settled soon.

Hear, hear.

In that connection I might say that it is not alone our fiscal policy that is disturbing industry and that is likely to stop the flow of the capital which we should naturally expect as a result of the casing of this burden of taxation, but also the want of a rest from legislation. I do not know any country in Europe, I might almost say in the world, in which a rest from legislation would be more advantageous than in this poor little isle of ours. Deputies here for the last three or four years know the amount of legislation that we have had to deal with. Many of us, I think, are coming to the conclusion that we have dealt sufficiently with legislation, and that the country ought to have a rest from any more of it

There was one other statement in the Budget that was of interest to commercial men. It was referred to at some length by Deputy Baxter, and that is the setting-up of a retrenchment committee. The Minister did not like to call it a Geddes Committee. It does not matter very much to us commercial men what you call it so long-as a committee is set up to inquire into this very important matter. It is only right to say on behalf of the Minister that, in the setting up of this departmental committee he has followed very much on the lines adopted in Great Britain. There a departmental committee sat for a number of years to inquire into this question of retrenchment. It made a report which the Government of the day did not see its way, in view of the near approach of an election, to take under its wing, as it would probably prove an unpopular cry. The work of that departmental committee, as is known to those who have made any inquiry into the subject, was ultimately taken over, after consideration, by a larger committee, an independent committee under the chairmanship of Mr. Geddes. That committee adopted very largely the recommendations of the departmental committee. While possibly that was the best line to adopt in Great Britain, I am not at all certain that it is the best line to adopt here. The problem before them in Great Britain and the one before us here are not at all similar from my point of view. As I pointed out on a previous occasion, our Government has been established for the purpose of governing some four million people, but it is modelled on the lines of Great Britain, whose Ministry is modelled for governing 44,000,000 people. The system of government necessary for dealing with a population of 44,000,000 is not necessary in a small State where you have only some 4,000,000 people, so that it is not wholly a question of departmental retrenchment in this country. It is a very much larger question, a question as to whether our system of departments and our whole system of government is a proper one for a small State like ours. That, to my mind, is a very much bigger question than should be submitted to a departmental committee, composed, no doubt, of excellent civil servants, but the civil servant, from his training and environment, is naturally a man of limited outlook. In a matter of this kind you want to get minds that are more experienced and more trained in other departments to deal with this larger problem. That is why I am disappointed that the Minister only proposes to set up a departmental committee to deal with this very large and difficult problem.

May I say, in addition, that I am somewhat opposed—I do not speak without some experience—to this policy that the Government has adopted on all occasions in which it desires to set up committees. They are all departmental committees. From what I have seen of the working of these committees I am not satisfied that they are the best form of committees in the interest of the nation. What happens in connection with most of those departmental committees is this, that you get one or two representatives from the Department of Finance, one or two from the Department of Industry and Commerce, one from the Department of Lands and Agriculture and one possibly from some other department, and what seems to be the duty of these particular officials on these particular commissions is to watch the interests of their own departments. I do not think that is likely to achieve the object we have in view in appointing commissions. Commissions are appointed very largely by Governments, as we understand them to-day, from representative men, having some experience in the particular matter under consideration. They are appointed from different sections of the House. In that way you get brought together different views that you would not get if the choice were limited to one particular party in the House. I would like to see a reversion to that particular type of commission. We all have had experience of that particular type of commission, and I must say from my experience, my limited experience, if I may put it that way, of Parliament, that we are more likely to get useful suggestions from a commission so constituted than we are from a departmental committee. I would like to urge on this Government or an any Government we may have in the future, that they should take a bigger viewpoint in the appointment, of commissions than has been done in the past.

So many Deputies have spoken oil this that I feel that I will not be able to dispel some of the notes of despair and despondency that have been struck. Practically everyone who stood up spoke in a "caoineing," despondent note. It is no wonder that so many people are leaving the country, and it is no wonder that the benches here are practically empty. Deputy Baxter spoke for nearly an hour, and in that hour he struck just one little note of hope, that is, that agricultural produce had reached bedrock. Even dealing with the reduction of income tax, some Deputies struck the same note that the Press of Northern Ireland and of England struck. I was not surprised that Deputy Connor Hogan did so. There is no doubt that the reduction in income tax will do an amount of good, not alone to industrialists, but to the individual borrower of the country, because it will make money very much cheaper to the borrower. I can visualise the National Loan, within the next week or month, going up to 105. I say that with income tax at 3s. in the pound the National Loan would be better at 105 than at 101 with income tax 4/- in the pound. That will be of the greatest advantage to the Minister in raising the new loan that he proposes to raise. On the other hand, if it goes to 105 it will be at a disadvantage as compared with, say, the 5 per cent. War Loan in England, and with all fixed interest or debenture stock. A person who invests £1,000, for instance, in the National Loan will get only about £40 interest, while if he invested it in the 5 per cent. British War Loan he would get £42. That will be a disadvantage to the country, because it will only encourage a greater flow of money out of the country. I believe there is in this country at the present time about £250,000,000 in foreign investments, and about £150,000,000 in deposits in the banks, making close on £400,000,000 in all. At the same time, there are many farms unstocked, and so much unemployment. It is pitiable that that should be so, but it is well that we have it to our credit somewhere. Perhaps if our public representatives struck a different note from that which they have been striking we would get a good deal of that money back. I wonder would the Minister consider an amendment to reduce income tax to 2/- in the pound on wealth produced in the country, and to take nothing off money from investments abroad. That would encourage some people to bring back their money and invest it here. I would urge the Minister to accept that.

Deputy Johnson referred to the question of the live stock population of the country in comparison to what it was some years ago. He seemed to suggest that the Government were really responsible for the decreased live stock population. It would be well that the responsibility should be placed on the right shoulders. Speaking for Limerick, which I have the honour to represent, Limerick produced eight or ten years ago about a quarter of the live stock of the country. Unfortunately in 1922 some people were advised to adopt Soviet methods and wave the red flag over creameries in county Limerick. The result was that some farmers did not supply milk to the creameries. They spilled it rather than do so. These people got no compensation for what they lost. The workers, on the other hand, foolishly burned some of the creameries, and yet they expected that the farmers would continue to keep dairy cows and produce young stock and butter in those circumstances. I know some parishes where dairy farms have been broken up to the extent of over 1,000 cows. Naturally, they could not do otherwise because they were not able to get the cows milked or butter made to advantage. That is one reason for the reduction. Another reason was that in 1924 our exports of live stock were nearly double those of the average year for ten years previously. It is an old saying that you cannot eat your loaf and have it. We cannot export our stock and have them when we do not produce live stock at the same time. But the dairy scheme recently introduced by the Minister for Lands and Agriculture has brought confidence to the farmers in County Limerick. They are getting back to the dairy cows again and I do hope that next year the population of live stock will be up to what it was any year for the past fifteen or twenty years.

Deputy Johnson also referred to the pig population. It is well known that there was a big strike in 1923. Pigs were then making a fairly good price. Farmers could get about £15 per head for pigs a few days before the strike, but when the strike started the price fell to seven or eight pounds, with the result that the farmers and indeed a good many poor men who fattened one or two pigs had to bring their pigs home and let them go back into lean again. When they did get a market not only did they re-fatten them but they fattened the breeding sows and got out of pigs altogether. I just mention that to let the Dáil know who really is responsible. The farmers are not responsible and the Government are not responsible for the decline in the pig population.

Another point was made with regard to the reduction in tillage. The same argument applies to that. There was a strike on the farms in Waterford and look at what the farmers had to lose to fight that strike. It is pitiable that those strikes should be resorted to. Whether it applies to the employers or the employees I think a strike is the last thing that should be adopted. I am not blaming Deputy Johnson for those strikes, neither am I blaming my colleague Deputy Clancy, because I know that the red flag was raised in Limerick without his sympathy or approval. He was, in fact, opposed to it. The men were led by others from outside.

A comparison of taxation in prewar days with the present day is useless. The Government of England in this country was to a large extent a Government of destruction in comparison with the Government of the present day. The Government of the present day is a Government of construction. The administration of the British Government in this country often reminded me of the way a landlord worked an evicted farm, in comparison with the way an agricultural tenant would work it. The landlord tried to get the most he could out of it while doing nothing to make it more valuable in the future. Any money that has been spent by the Government in this country will be to the advantage of future Governments. I am sure when we settle down in the near future and recognise our liabilities and the fact that the country is our own that a different note will be struck by Deputies in the next Dáil. I would again request the Minister to accept an amendment reducing the income tax to 2/- in the pound on home produced wealth, leaving it at 4/- in the pound on wealth produced outside the country.

I was somewhat disappointed with the Budget that the Minister introduced. One would have thought that even after four years he would have come to the rescue of the old age pensioners, but his usual line of policy is to take from those who have not and give to those who have. This has been the policy in connection with the Budget. The Minister stated, in his opening speech: "Saorstát Eireann has four years' complete control of her own finances and during that period much has been accomplished. The financial credit of the State has been established." If it takes a reduction of old age pensions, a reduction of road workers' wages and a miserable wage to workers on the Shannon scheme to establish the financial credit and stability of the State, then I have no hope for the policy. Deputy Good in his contribution contended that we must have confidence, that we must have conditions to inspire confidence. I would ask Deputy Good how he could inspire the confidence of the people who render service in the production of wealth in this country when we have a Government, backed up by the Deputy Goods, advocating a policy such as this. I am one of those who thought that something more should have been done for agriculture. I regret my colleague, Deputy Gorey, is not here. He stated, a couple of evenings ago, that none of the Labour-Deputies in the Dáil had made any case for the agricultural workers.

I am prepared to co-operate with Deputy Gorey in securing a better wage than 10/- a week, which he says is the wage they receive. There is one means by which that can be done, and that is by changing the fiscal policy of the Government. The whole question in regard to the conditions of the poor and the tillage farmers of the country has been anything but satisfactory. Unless we regard it from an entirely different point of view to that which we have been hitherto looking at it, the country will go on dwindling and will eventually decline into ruin. There is always good reason to be found for the existence of anything if we look deep enough and if we seek for causes rather than effects. For over a century we have been trying to treat effects instead of seeking and uprooting the causes. It is because of the little interest taken in our most precious asset, agriculture, that those who depend on it for a living, such as implement makers, blacksmiths, carpenters, tradesmen and labourers of all sorts, have to flee from the rural districts to urban centres and cities where they swell the over-stocked market of unemployed workers. Why are people driven from their healthy, life-giving existence in the wholesome open country to be herded like sheep in pens in over-crowded and unhealthy purlieus of cities and towns? It is all due to the neglect of agriculture.

As long as agriculture can only pay a miserable wage which, according to Deputy Gorey, is 10/- a week, the taxpayers will have to continue to pay high taxes, because by paying small wages we create weak and unhealthy people. The poor people are getting food from foreign countries in tin boxes. Tinned milk, tinned bacon, and tinned everything is sent across here to feed the population of the poorer classes in the rural districts. It is in consequence of this old free-trade bogey that we have a ruined land industry and all it contains, including congested labour markets, a dearth of employment, a vast mass of unemployed people, and a constant drain of compulsory emigration, the like of which has not been known in any country, civilised or uncivilised. We are rearing young men and women and the people have to pay through the nose for their education, but when they are educated they have to flee from the country to take up occupations in good conditions and at decent wages in countries that have got away from the old worn-out beliefs of the free trade policy, the policy of the open door. Look around on all sides and see the mass of people unemployed. Why should that be?

Take the case of the small tillage farmer. He can get no price for his produce. He is unable to pay his annuities. He is met on all sides with bills and writs. The cause of all that is simple. It is because £16,000,000 worth of farm produce is imported to meet the food requirements of our people. We import bacon, beef, fish, milk, butter, cheese, eggs, wheat, maize, and a thousand and one other things which we could produce ourselves, and by means of which we could employ our own people at a decent wage. Does any Deputy, including the Minister for Finance, contend that it is better to employ other people in other countries, and to have them supplying us with our requirements, instead of having our own people employed in their own country? We could employ our own people to such an extent that there would scarcely be any unemployment if we produced our own produce. The necessity for high wages would become less as soon as agricultural conditions improved, and, as a consequence of the increased purchasing power of the people, prosperity, about which we hear so much, would increase. If the free-trade bogey is worth the paper it is written on, would thousands of our people be so poor, and would such conditions as now exist prevail? There is no exaggeration about the matter, because past experience has proved that people have died with hunger.

Would work be so difficult to find if this old policy of asking other people to supply us with our requirements was a beneficial one? What is the use of offering men cheap bread, cheap boots and cheap clothing if you do not give them the means of earning them? Deputy Connor Hogan, I think, referred to the boot business. I know that as a consequence of the protective duty on boots the number of persons employed has been considerably increased, and the output has also increased by two hundred pairs of boots per week. That, with the increased number of people employed, has increased the purchasing power in a particular town alone by a couple of thousand pounds additional every year. You must have decent wages before you can have prosperity. Deputy Good contends that it is only in £ s. d. that the wealth and prosperity of a country are measured. That contention is as false as it is harmful. I believe that the shilling in the pound off the income tax will be of very little use in the development of our native industries, whether agricultural or manufacturing. I agree with Deputy Nolan and I would take off another shilling in the pound in the case of people who invested their money in manufacturing industries here. In that way we would do something to bring about that prosperity about which so many people are talking.

Unless we cultivate intensely every acre of land capable of cultivation— cultivate it not alone in quantity but in quality, and unless we give the maximum of employment, instead of the present miserable minimum, the country is bound to go down. By adopting such a policy as that we would be taking a step in the direction of the general upliftment of the people. There are people hungry in several parts of the country, but nothing has been done to improve their condition. The reduction of one shilling in the pound off the income tax will do nothing for the 50,000 people who are unemployed. I congratulate the Government on one thing in regard to the development of our industrial activities, and that is in respect to the sugar beet industry, which has proved a great boon to farmers. It has given considerable employment at a decent wage, but I do not thank the Government for the decent wage paid in the Carlow beet factory. That is due alone to the activities of organised labour, not the sheltered trades referred to by Deputy Gorey. I have no evidence of sheltered trades in any industry in this country.

The beet factory has, for the first time in Irish history, given an opportunity to the people to produce at least one-seventh of their requirements in an essential commodity. That money is being spent in the country, and it has brought about a good condition of things, not alone in Carlow but in the adjacent counties. Something in that direction could be done in other ways. For instance, we have a woollen industry which has seriously declined. We import thousands of pounds worth of manufactured cloth, while we get a small price for our wool. Buildings and machinery have been allowed to go into disuse. Would any Deputy say that it is wise to let these mills fall into decay? Is it wise to have millions of tons of flour imported while mills, if not working half-time, are closed down? Anyone who has the interests of the people at heart and who desires to benefit the people, should first endeavour to keep dying industries alive and to give them a stimulus to enable them to provide for the requirements of the people. That would be my outlook as regards the development of the natural resources of the country.

Again, we have coal mining districts in Kilkenny, but we find the people there working on half-time. I see no reason why the Government departments which were so patriotic a few years ago in purchasing Irish materials should not be patriotic to-day and burn, at least, 50 per cent. of native coal in the Government offices and in the Gárda Síochána and military barracks. That, at least, would be in the interests of the country. It would tend towards relieving unemployment and provide work that has not hitherto been provided. Cognisance should be taken of these matters, and unless the Government helps these dying industries and utilises the materials which have been left dormant, the country will go down and we will always have the unemployment problem. We will always have the Minister for Finance finding it difficult to balance his Budget. You will have people calling out for your execution, just as the Government have executed the old age pensioners under the Old Age Pensions Act.

It will not be necessary for me to refer to more than a few of the points that have been raised. The points raised by some Deputies have been, in my view, adequately dealt with by other Deputies, and I do not intend to refer to them. It has been doubted whether we are justified in borrowing for any portion of the Army cost. We have heard it asserted in this House that it is wrong and unsound to borrow for any portion of the cost of the Army. In these matters I do not think we can have any absolute and rigid standard that will apply in all times and in all circumstances. If our Army cost were going up it would certainly be wrong to borrow; if our Army cost were definitely stabilised it would be wrong to borrow, even though we might intend to effect economies in the future.

The position is that we have not reached normality in the matter of the Army, and we paid great sums in respect of abnormal Army costs out of revenue during the first years of the Saorstát. We have not yet been able to set up the kind of military establishment which we would regard as suitable to the country, or the kind of military establishment which would have been created if there had been no armed opposition to the Treaty and if the Civil War had not been fought. The present formation and cost of the Army are the result of the war situation which developed here, and in my opinion we are quite entitled to set aside such portion of the present cost of the Army as we regard abnormal to be met out of borrowed money.

We were not entitled heretofore to regard any sum lower than two millions as the normal cost; we could not until quite recently see the possibility of moving on to a change, to the creation of a different type of military organisation. Undoubtedly, the improvement which had been going on before the beginning of the past financial year continued through that financial year. Even incidents like the attacks on the police barracks only served to emphasise the progress that had been made, and the geenral reprobation which was expressed over those attacks did a great deal more to emphasise the progress made than anything else. It was seen then that in quarters where one might have expected sympathy with that sort of attack, there was no sympathy, and taking into account all the factors of the situation, we see that unless there is a swing over from support of the Treaty at the General Election, it will be quite safe to proceed in the present financial year with the proposed change. I do not say the change can be completed in the present or even in the next financial year, but we can take it in hand and, consequently, we can visualise the position in which there will be an Army cost not greater than one and a half millions. I hold it to be entirely justifiable to borrow for excess over that.

Is the Minister repudiating the statements of the Minister for Justice and the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs, recently made, that anarchy still prevails in the country? That was when they were appealing for funds on behalf of the Government Party.

I do not know what those statements were and I could not profess to deal with them until I saw them. Moreover, I could not deal with a small portion of any statement taken out of its context.

I will give the Minister the statements.

What about the Minister's own speeches in his constituency?

My statements in my constituency are quite in line with what I am saying now. Deputy Johnson has said that any margin that results from over-estimation should be put to the reduction of National Debt; at any rate, he seems to suggest that. I do not think that in our circumstances any sum resulting from over-estimation ought to be put to National Debt. Our arrangements in regard to the National Loan are that the total amount of the original National Loan will be extinguished in twenty years. In respect of Compensation stock we are paying it off at the rate of 10 per cent. per annum; we are paying £140,000 per annum in respect of the extinction of Compensation stock. With these very adequate provisions for sinking fund it does not seem to me that we should arrange to tax the people further in order to reduce our debt faster, the debt being as small as it is and so many abnormal items of expenditure having been met out of revenue in the first two or three years of the Saorstát.

Deputy Connor Hogan said the margin of over-estimation in Great Britain was 1.5 per cent. and he thought it might be reasonable to allow 3 per cent. here and he proceeded to denounce the reduction of any such sum as £630,000. I think £630,000 is very nearly 3 per cent. of the recurrent expenditure here. I think it ought to be less than 3 per cent., but it cannot certainly be lower than 1½ or 2 per cent. I believe so long as we adopt the British system of estimation we are bound to have some margin, perhaps not of £600,000 but of £400,000, and while we have our existing provisions for sinking fund we ought to deduct the margin of over-estimation from our expenditure in order to arrive at the amount we must provide for out of taxation.

I did not say in any part of my speech that I regarded the country as prosperous or that things were entirely satisfactory. What I did say was there were indications that the slump in which we had been carrying on was passing away. Without going outside the figures, there are distinct indications of that. Heretofore there has been a great decrease, a rapid decrease, in the yield of certain taxes, particularly in the yield of the beer and spirit taxes. That decline has very nearly ceased. All the indications are that we are no longer, so far as that is concerned, on the down grade.

The fact that the profits earned by various enterprises in the country were, in spite of the very serious effect of the coal strike, within five per cent. of the profits of last year, is, I think, in all the circumstances, a sign that is somewhat hopeful. Many undertakings did suffer severely by the coal strike. Many undertakings were unable to show profits or were able to show very small profits because of the burdens they suffered through the coal strike, because of the increase in the cost of fuel and the difficulties of obtaining fuel. In addition, profits were affected indirectly through the effect of the coal strike on the marketability of products and the prices obtained for products exported from this country, with a consequent lessening of the amount of money coming into the country. In view of the circumstances of last year, I think the fact that the profits earned were almost level with the profits of the year before was a satisfactory thing.

I have definite indications that the economic decline in which we had been carrying on is at an end. There were whole groups of enterprises which actually had increased profits. The distributive groups, for instance, had increased profits. I do not want to rely too much on reports that one can hear about the condition of affairs through the country. It is difficult to rely on the reports of even considerable numbers of individuals. Their views of things are likely to be coloured; but from the most reliable sources from which information could be received the indications are that the worsening of conditions has stopped in spite of the fact—and this applies to the whole country again—that there was last year a further decline in the price of agricultural products. I believe, of course, that decline was certainly in part due to the effects of the coal strike in Great Britain, but in spite of that all the indications are that the worsening of conditions which had been going on, the slump which had been in progress since before the Free State was set up, is at an end.

Deputy Shaw asked about the betting tax and the totalisator. I have nothing to say about the totalisator further than what I said in answer to the Deputy's question. There have been negotiations with the Turf Club and the National Steeplechase Committee—I forget the full name of the body —with regard to it. As regards the betting tax, I think it is entirely too early to come to the conclusion that Deputy Shaw asks us to come to. The race meetings which have been held this year do seem to have been less successful than they were last year, and I am prepared to examine all the facts of the case. I say to Deputy Shaw that until we have had a complete season of racing with the betting-tax in operation it would be premature to come to any conclusions at all in regard to the effect of the tax. The whole position of the various race meetings is a matter which, if it is anything like as serious as Deputy Shaw suggests, merits the closest consideration, and I would be very glad to have the information which Deputy Shaw says he can give me, and I will examine it in no unsympathetic way. In connection with the betting tax I would like to say again that I think the propaganda which has gone on in connection with it has done a great deal more to keep people away from race meetings than the tax itself. If there were a cessation of that propaganda it would probably not be ineffectual in providing some relief, at any rate.

There has been a good deal of talk about the committee that it is proposed to set up with a view to effecting reduction in public expenditure. I think that Deputy Gorey's remarks on that have relieved me from the necessity for saying a great deal. The people who asked for a Geddes Committee most urgently were the people who took up the position in asking for it that the Government and the Civil Service were dishonest and incompetent, and that certain business supermen from outside must be brought in to put them right. Some people said that they themselves had no confidence in what the Government and the Civil Service would do, and others said that while they thought that the Government and the Civil Service were not bad at all, the people of the country generally would think that they were thoroughly dishonest, incompetent and corrupt. That has really been the point of view of practically everybody who urged a Geddes Committee. It was practically the point of view of Deputy Good.

I dissent altogether from that.

If it was not, I do not know on what basis he was asking for what he called a Geddes Committee. In any case, as I said in the Budget statement, the Government does not see any use, in the circumstances that exist, for anything in the nature of a Geddes Committee. I have always said that there might be circumstances in which an outside committee of the type of the Geddes Committee might be of some use, but these circumstances do not exist. We hold that the members of the Government, and the members of the Civil Service who will act under them, can deal adequately, and alone can deal adequately, with everything that has to do with the question of details of expenditure. In regard to the bigger matters of policy, these are matters for the Dáil; they are no matters for any sort of business supermen. You will not get business supermen, to begin with, and in any case, when you come to big matters of policy the Dáil itself should take the responsibility of coming to decisions. The only circumstances in which I see that a Geddes Committee could do useful work were those which Deputy Good himself indicated. If a Committee such as we are setting up were to advise economies and if the Government were afraid to carry them out and afraid to stand over them, then it might try to get the approval of some sort of Committee to strengthen its hands, but I do not think that that is likely to arise.

Deputy Gorey asked if this Committee would extend its work to county administration. I do not think that that would be possible. I do think that anything in regard to local administration would have to be examined separately. The problems are different problems and, as a matter of fact, they are very big problems, because I presume if we were inquiring into local administration we would have to range over the whole field; we would have to consider such questions as whether the mental hospitals, for instance, should remain locally controlled institutions as at present, or should be taken over by the central Government; should they be graded and different types of patients put into different institutions so that the treatment might be more effectual? An inquiry into local administration, with a view to decreased cost and increased efficiency would be a very big inquiry, and would certainly be enough for one committee or commission in itself. Again, I think that the body that would inquire into local administration would have to be a different body, because the detailed and expert knowledge that would be required in that case would be different from the detailed and expert knowledge that would be required for an examination of Government expenditure.

Deputy Johnson said that money invested by the Government is just as good as money invested by the individual. I am not disposed to quarrel with that, with certain limitations. Undoubtedly there are circumstances in which money invested by the Government is better than money invested by the individual, but at the same time it is very difficult to get what is commonly called business efficiency in Government expenditure. There are certain types of expenditure which a Government can undertake very well. There are certain sources of activity which it can carry out better than any individual, but there are other types of expenditure and other types of activity where there is not the sort of subtleness and quickness in Government administration that is necessary, and the great difficulty is in getting this subtleness and quickness. I do not think it can be alleged that the policy of this Government has been such as to indicate that it believed that money invested by itself was wasted, or that Government investments or Government activities were not useful. It is simply a question of deciding the best in a particular case. But I do think that it becomes more difficult to get good results out of Government expenditure and activities as the activities of Government are extended. The sort of centralised control, the difficulty of getting individual initiative, increasing as the activities of the Government are extended, seem to me to make it more and more difficult to get satisfactory results. The whole question of responsibility to the Parliament, the question of accounting, the difficulties of delegating responsibility, these difficulties in many respects depending on this question of Parliamentary control and of the necessarily very strict system of accounting for public expenditure, all put difficulties in the way of successful activity on the part of the Government, and I certainly am not anxious for the taking on of new activities by the Government.

Any search after greater efficiency, any attempt to eliminate whatever waste there may be, is bound to be hindered by the taking on of new activities. I indicated that in the Budget statement. I said that if the State did in the next year or two embark en a considerable number of new activities, the men on whom we are relying to conduct this inquiry into expenditure could not be spared sufficiently for that expenditure, that they would be occupied fully in dealing with the limitation and the regulation of expenditure on the new activities, and I do think that we are at the stage when we should pause as much as possible in the matter of undertaking new activities. I do think in the modern world, and in view of the increasing complexity of modern life and modern industry, that the undertaking of new activities by the State is not to be avoided. It is going on in all countries, and I do not say that it is going to be avoided here. But I do think that at the present juncture we should try to abstain from undertaking new activities, and that we should give as much of our time and energy as possible to going over the existing machine and existing activities, and eliminating anything in the way of waste and inefficiency that exists. What we propose at present is simply to continue in a more systematic and concentrated way the sort of work we have been doing, and that will only be possible, as I have said, if we are not at the same time launching out in a number of new directions.

Two or three Deputies challenged my statement that this is an undeveloped country. When I said it was an undeveloped country I did not mean exactly what they seemed to think I meant. But it certainly is an, undeveloped country as compared with, say, Denmark, a country that is smaller and has not as many natural advantages as this country. I do not believe we have great unexploited mineral wealth, or anything of that sort, but our agriculture is not as developed as it should be, our industry is not developed, our organisation for export, for instance, is not developed. In a great many respects, and in respects that are of the highest importance, this country is undeveloped. It is really many years behind the times, and it is many years behind other countries—behind its rivals—in its methods and in its organisation, in the use of modern science and art in its industry. Deputy Baxter asked if the reduction in income tax that is now given was justified and if it could be continued next year. I am quite satisfied that it is justified and that it can be continued next year. but I believe it can only be continued next year if, during the current year, we are able to effect certain economies, and in the following year we will have to effect further economics. I did not go into great detail about, for instance, the amount expected to be received from the new arrangement in regard to death duties on Saorstát companies. The amount will not be much, perhaps £50,000 or £60,000 per annum. I only indicated it as one item. I think we have got to rely on the most careful scrutiny of our expenditure and, as a matter of fact, while I could not with any certainty at the moment put my finger on matters in respect of which economies could be effected, I have certain matters before me, to which I will direct the attention of the Committee, in respect of which I believe economics can be accomplished.

Deputy Nolan suggested that we should give 2/- off income arising here and continue the tax on income arising outside the country at 4/-. That would involve a very much bigger change than we could undertake at the moment; it would involve a bigger loss, and I am very doubtful if it would give the result he thinks. Certainly, in the beginning the result would be to lose the country income and capital. The effect of it in the beginning would certainly be that many people who owned capital outside the country would leave the country. That would not be a result that we should bring about lightly, because it would be difficult to obtain a return of that capital by any future change, and the good results that the Deputy is looking for can, I think, be brought about slowly, but probably just as effectually, by the lowering of the income tax which we propose and by the stimulus that that will give.

It has to be remembered that we would not be done with the loss that would arise from the discrimination that Deputy Nolan suggests, even in the first year or two. It would arise again and again. If the people of this country were as Irish as the people of France are French, or as the people of England are English, you might do some of the things, but we cannot forget the fact that great numbers of our population, particularly amongst the wealthy people, are to a great extent denationalised and would get out of the country without very much regret if remaining in it involved any serious inconvenience or restrictions. That may be lamentable, but it is a fact, and when we are dealing with the economic situation we might as well look at the facts which have an economic bearing.

Will the Minister meet the point by making exemptions and allowances on profits re-invested in productive enterprise here?

That is a proposal that a great number of theoretical writers have advocated, and in reading the advocacy of it I have been considerably impressed, but it is the sort of thing that would involve a considerable change in our code. It is not the sort of thing that could be undertaken lightly. I have indicated to the Dáil that we could reform the income-tax system. I believe that the system which we have inherited is suitable to a big industrial country like England, but it is not suitable here—that it can and ought to be simplified and changed. The reason we have not taken steps is simply that we have not, as I have said several times, had the staff. We have scarcely enough staff to carry on current work. When the change of Government took place, although we made every effort to get Irishmen in the British service to transfer here, we could not get them. We actually were left Englishmen by the British Government—it was only Englishmen who volunteered—until, I think, December last. We actually had them working here, and were only able to carry on by their help. The young men whom we put in training for inspectors are just beginning to be ready to be commissioned. So that we have got really no help from new men. In addition to that, we lost certain experienced officers who were given employment by banks and other institutions. The result is that we have been carrying on, so far as income tax is concerned, with the very minimum of staff, and we have not been able to put men on to work in the investigation branch which we ought to have and which would bring us in anything from a quarter of a million a year upwards. We have not been able to spare men for that, although we are going to make a beginning this year. We have not been able to spare men for any work on the revision of the income tax system. But it is intended that at the very earliest possible moment consideration shall be given to the question of simplifying the system, and in doing that we intend also to adapt the system to suit the needs of the country in other respects, so that the incidence of the facts will, as far as possible, serve to give encouragement to production, which is the main thing.

Does the Minister recognise that those who have money invested outside the country would be no worse off than they are at present, or have been in the past?

There is a psychological factor in all these things, and any sort of discrimination is very distasteful and annoying to people. Then there is the fact that while they might not be any worse off than they were in the past, there are certain respects in which, if we had the same rate, our tax might be heavier on them than the tax in Great Britain.

Is there any hope that the Minister will be able to restore to the old age pensioners the shilling taken off under the 1924 Act?

If there is an improvement in economic conditions and in the yield of taxation, that is really the thing that would justify that. Although Deputy Baxter referred to an increase of expenditure on old age pensions as a reduction of taxation, I do not think it can be looked upon as that. It is not different from expenditure on any other social service, and the thing that would justify and make possible an increase of expenditure in those directions will be some definite sign of an improved yield from taxation.

If there is an additional yield from any class of taxation, will it go to the old age pensioners— in order that the Minister may fulfil the promise he made last year to the effect that if the Government made any savings on any other class of expenditure the amount deducted from the old age pensions would be restored?

I did not say that.

I am not quite clear from the Minister's statement as to whom the onus is put on with regard to supplying the figures in connection with race meetings. My suggestion was that the Minister's own officials might be able to communicate with the different race companies and get the figures from them. A lot of argument would be saved if the Minister could find time to attend one of the race meetings himself. I will have to exclude Punchestown, because everyone goes there.

I understood from Deputy Shaw that he was going to submit some information. If he is not in a position to submit it, if any representatives of the racecourse executives would indicate that they were willing to submit information, I would undertake that that information would be examined, and that, perhaps, additional information would be procured for the purpose of seeing that we had the material to understand the position.

I would suggest that the Minister's officials should obtain the figures. I cannot very well do it myself, as I have other work to do, just as the Minister has, for the next month.

Resolution put and declared carried.
The Dáil went out of Committee.

When will the report of the resolutions be taken?

On Tuesday. I propose also to take the First Reading of the Finance Bill on that day.