VOTE ON ACCOUNT—IN COMMITTEE ON FINANCE.

The Dáil went into Committee on Finance.

I move:

“Go ndeontar i gcuntas suim nách mó ná £7,898,061 chun no le haghaidh íoctha na muirearacha a thiocfidh chun bheith iníoctha i rith na bliana dar críoch an 31adh lá de Mhárta 1929 i geóir seirbhísí aírithe puiblí eadhon:—

“That a sum not exceeding £7,898,061 be granted on account for or towards defraying the charges that will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1929 for certain public services, namely:—

£

£

1

Teaghlachas an tSeanascail

3,000

1

Governor-General's Establishment

3,000

2

An t-Oireachtas

39,000

2

Oireachtas

39,000

3

Roinn Uachtarán na hArdChomhairle

4,000

3

Department of the President of the Executive Council

4,000

4

An tArd-Scrúdóir

6,000

4

Comptroller and AuditorGeneral

6,000

5

Oifig an Aire Airgid

20,00

5

Office of the Minister for Finance

20,000

6

Oifig na gCoimisinéirí Ioncuim

220,000

6

Office of the Revenue Commissioners

220,000

7

Pinsin tSean-Aoise

849,000

7

Old Age Pensions

849,000

8

Iasachtaí Aitiúla

348,000

8

Local Loans

348,000

9

Coimisiún Shealadacha

3,500

9

Temporary Commissions

3,500

10

Oifig na nOibreacha Puiblí

39,000

10

Office of Public Works

39,000

11

Oibreacha agus Foirgintí Puiblí

271,000

11

Public Works and Public Buildings

271,000

12

Saotharlann Stáit

2,250

12

State Laboratory

2,250

13

Coimisiún na StátSheirbhíse

3,500

13

Civil Service Commission

3,500

14

Cúiteamh i gCailliúna Maoine

183,000

14

Property Losses Compensation

183,000

15

Cúiteamh i nDíobhála Pearsanta

1,300

15

Personal Injuries Compensation

1,300

16

Aois-Liúntaisí agus Liúntaisí Fágála

600,000

16

Superannuation and Retired Allowances

600,000

17

Rátaí ar Mhaoin an Rialtais

27,500

17

Rates on Government Pro perty

27,500

18

An tSeirbhís Shicréideach

3,500

18

Secret Service

3,500

19

Coimisiún na nDleacht

700

19

Tariff Commission

700

20

Costaisí fén Acht Timpeal Toghachán, agus fé Acht na nGiúirithe

Nil

20

Expenses under the Electoral Act, and the Juries Act

Nil

21

Costaisí Ilghnéitheacha

4,170

21

Miscellaneous Expenses

4,170

22

Soláthar agus Cló-bhuala

48,000

22

Stationery and Printing

48,000

23

Measadóireacht agus Suirbhéireacht Teorann

11,371

23

Valuation and Boundary Survey

11,371

24

Suirbhéireacht an Ordonáis

15,436

24

Ordnance Survey

15,436

25

Deontas Breise Talmhaíochta

300,000

25

Supplementary Agricultural Grant

300,000

26

Muirearacha Dlí

24,000

26

Law Charges

24,000

27

Longlann Inis Sionnach

5,600

27

Haulbowline Dockyard

5,600

28

Príomh-scoileanna agus Coláistí

76,500

28

Universities and Colleges

76,500

29

Congnamh Airgid do Shiúicre Bhiatais

8,500

29

Beet Sugar Subsidy

8,500

30

Oifig an tSaor-Chíosa

1,360

30

Quit Rent Office

1,360

31

Oifig an Aire Dlí agus Cirt

9,620

31

Office of the Minister for Justice

9,620

32

Gárda Síochána

575,000

32

Gárda Síochána

575,000

33

Príosúin

40,750

33

Prisons

40,750

34

Cúirt Dúithche

16,419

34

District Court

16,419

35

Cúirt Uachtarach agus

35

Supreme Court and High

Ard-Chúirt an Bhreithi-

Court of Justice

18,665

únais

18,665

36

Oifig Chlárathachta na Talmhan agus Oifig Chlárathachta na nDintiúirí

16,606

36

Land Registry and Registry of Deeds

16,606

37

An Chúirt Chuarda

20,111

37

Circuit Court

20,111

38

Oifig na nAnnálacha Puiblí

1,921

38

Public Record Office

1,921

39

Tabhartaisí agus Tiomanta Déirciúla

1,000

39

Charitable Donations and Bequests

1,000

40

Rialtas Aitiúil agus Sláinte Puiblí

135,000

40

Local Government and Public Health

135,000

41

Oifig an Ard-Chlárathóra

3,650

41

General Register Office

3,650

42

Gealtlann Dúndroma

6,500

42

Dundrum Asylum

6,500

43

Arachas Sláinte Náisiúnta

119,933

43

National Health Insurance

119,933

44

Oispidéil agus Otharlanna

15,000

44

Hospitals and Infirmaries

15,000

45

Oifig anAire Oideachais

58,000

45

Office of the Minister for Education

58,000

46

Bun-Oideachas

1,325,000

46

Primary Education

1,325,000

47

Meadhon-Oideachas

90,000

47

Secondary Education

90,000

48

Ceárd-Oideachas

49,000

48

Technical Instruction

49,000

49

Eolaíocht agus Ealadhantacht

13,000

49

Science and Art

13,000

50

Scoileanna Ceartúcháin agus Saothair

58,000

50

Reformatory and Industrial Schools

58,000

51

An Gailerí Náisiúnta

1,373

51

National Gallery

1,373

52

Talmhaoícht

156,000

52

Agriculture

156,000

53

Foraoiseacht

19,000

53

Forestry

19,000

54

Coimisiún na Talmhan

244,836

54

Land Commission

244,836

55

Roimh-íocanna le Cumainn Chreidiúna Thalmhaí ochta

7,000

55

Advances to Agricultural Credit Societies

7,000

56

Tionnscal agus Tráchtáil

37,500

56

Industry and Commerce

37,500

57

Bóithre Iarainn

26,500

57

Railways

26,500

58

An Bínse Bóthair Iarainn

2,500

58

Railway Tribunal

2,500

59

Muir-Sheirbísí

3,300

59

Marine Service

3,300

60

Arachas Díomhaointis

75,000

60

Unemployment Insurance

75,000

61

Iascach

16,000

61

Fisheries

16,000

62

Post agus Telegrafa

800,000

62

Posts and Telegraphs

800,000

63

Fóirleatha Nea-shrangach

9,000

63

Wireless Broadcasting

9,000

64

An t-Arm

650,000

64

Army

650,000

65

Arm-Phinsin

100,000

65

Army Pensions

100,000

66

Gnóthaí Coigríche

15,500

66

External Affairs

15,500

67

Cumann na Náisiún

2,590

67

League of Nations

2,590

68

Luach saothair chun costais bhainistaí StocRialtais is le Saorstát Eireann

1,000

68

Remuneration for cost of management of Government Stocks of Saorstát Eireann

1,000

69

Oifig Chlárathachta Mhaoine Tionnscail agus Tráchtála

6,600

69

Industrial and Commercial Property Registration Office

6,600

70

Aonach Tailteann

2,000

70

Aonach Tailteann

2,000

71

Scéimeanna Fóirithinte

30,000

71

Relief Schemes

30,000

An t-Iomlán

£7,898,061

Total

£7,898,061

Deputies are aware our Standing Orders provide that the Estimates shall be disposed of, and the necessary legislation, that is, the Appropriation Bill, passed into law before the 1st August. The usual course is to provide by means of a Vote on Account for the expenses of the various departments up to the 1st August. Roughly, the amount works out at one-third of the total Supply Votes. In the case of some of the departments, much less than one-third will be required before the 1st of August, and in other cases a good deal more may be required, but the amount set out in the Vote on Account is the amount that will enable the various departments to carry on until the 1st of August. In case the main Votes are not passed before that time the sums provided by way of a Vote on Account cannot be used for the initiation of any new services. If a department has some provision in its Estimates this year for work it has not hitherto been doing, it cannot start that work until the main Estimate is passed. It cannot use any money it gets by way of Vote on Account to do some work which the Dáil has not pronounced on either by the passing of a Supplementary Estimate, before the end of the financial year, or by way of a sub-head in the main Estimate of last year. I think I need say no more at this stage on that matter. Perhaps I might appeal to Deputies to avoid questions of detail, for a Minister can hardly answer a matter of detail unless he has been given notice. That is desirable even when the main Estimates are under consideration, and it is even more so when we are dealing with a Vote on Account, and when any one of the matters that are comprised in the main Estimates might be made the subject of discussion. I think, if Deputies would agree, it would facilitate business if the general matters were discussed on the Vote on Account, and we can arrange with Deputies on the other side of the House that any Estimates in which they are particularly interested may be taken early so that there may be the fullest opportunity for discussion.

I move the amendment standing in the name of Deputy de Valera: "That the Vote be reduced by £1,000,000." The Minister for Finance has referred to the question of details. I do not propose to go into details on this Vote, as I do not think it is necessary to go into this Vote minutely or in detail in order to show it is a Vote that should not be granted, or, at any rate, that the amount asked for by the Minister for Finance should be reduced. The amendment proposing that the Vote be reduced by £1,000,000 has been arrived at on the basis, as the Minister for Finance has pointed out, that only one third of the estimated expenditure for the financial year is asked for in this Vote, and we calculate that with very little difficulty, and with the desire to reduce the taxation to a level that this country can bear, it can be reduced by £3,000,000. The estimated expenditure of the Free State for 1927-28 was, I think, £27,674,548. That works out at £9 6s. 2d. per head of the population. It has been stated from time to time from the Government benches that taxation in this country compares favourably with, or is less than in other countries similarly situated. I submit that is not in accordance with the figures that can be obtained from a reference to the taxation and expenditure of other countries. When the Minister for Finance was dealing with Article 5 in this House in connection with the Boundary question he said the British had estimated that the taxable capacity of this country was 1.5 per cent. —that is Ireland's proportion towards the total amount collected by Britain. Taking it that the total revenue of the British Government from all sources in 1926-27 was £805,701,000, if we take the basis, which the Minister for Finance pointed out when dealing with the boundary question, namely, 1.5 per cent. as a fair proportion for the twenty-six counties, it would work out at £12,085,000. Whatever period you take taxation and expenditure in this country, take it for the three years previous to the war or in the three years preceding the Treaty, it will be very easy to find how unfavourably the present estimate of the Government compares with the expenditure and taxation in those years. Take the average rate of expenditure in the three years 1911-12, 1912-13, 1913-14: it was £11,975,833 for the whole of Ireland. The average British expenditure in the three war years, 1915 to 1918, was £12,761,666. If we assume that there is an increase of 75 per cent. in the cost of living, the cost of goods and of services now as compared with 1914, we find the cost of Government for the whole realm should not be more than £20,957,707. That is allowing for an increase in goods and services of 75 per cent. As we know, from the Estimates, so far as we can gather from the Minister for Finance and from the Estimates in the North of Ireland, it seems very close to £39,000,000. If you compare those figures, compare the expenditure to-day with that in 1914, you will find that there has been an increase of over 100 per cent. It means a loss to the country of, roughly, £13,000,000 that might be expended in building up industries in the country or applied towards helping to put the country on a basis that would at least make for a sound financial condition and betterment of the economic conditions existing amongst the people. Instead of that this £13,000,000 is being wasted on unreproductive Government services.

Side by side with the increase in taxation you find the position in the country to-day that the people are much poorer and the economic conditions are much worse than they were in those years with which I have made a comparison. The population is less; there is less farming stock, cattle and sheep, less corn crops sowed and less tillage than there were in these years. Take even the exports. The total volume of Free State exports, which stood at the index figure of 100 in 1911 and 1913, was 86.7 in 1926. The comparison I have made is for the 1914 period. Take the period preceding the Treaty. Take the pre-Treaty years, or take, for example, 1920 and 1921, which I know have been referred to by members of the Government from time to time to point out the high taxation that existed in the country at that time. Take the year 1920-1921. In that year the British Government took £48,843,000 taxation from this country. Of that, £6,000,000 was for the R.I.C., and the British Government, out of that taxation which they collected in this country, from the whole of the country, not from the Twenty-six Counties, expended £23,000,000. As everyone will agree, the expenditure in those years was abnormal and on what you might consider a war basis. It was, as everyone will agree, an extravagant expenditure and one we would not expect to be followed by a Government which pretended, at any rate, whether they had it or not, that they had some interest in the Irish people. The British Government may have, from time to time, pretended they had the same idea, but less people believed them than unfortunately believed their successors for the last five years. I have taken the same period, and it will be admitted that the taxable capacity was much higher than it is to-day. As I pointed out, the country was not in the poor and impoverished condition everyone who wants to open their eyes would admit it is in to-day. Taxation did not lean so heavily on the people then. They had perhaps some of the prosperity of the great war period left. If £23,000,000 was spent on the government, or misgovernment, of the whole of Ireland at that time on what might be considered a war basis, can there be any justification for the expenditure on the whole of Ireland to-day of something like £39,000,000, and there does not appear, so far as we know, to be any war in the country or any extraordinary condition of affairs to warrant any extraordinary expenditure.

You have to-day bank balances going down, deposits going down, bank clearances going down and so on, all indicating the economic condition of the country and the impoverished condition of its people. It will be asked, I suppose, why taxation is so high. We have contended that it is because the Government are endeavouring to run this part of Ireland, the Free State portion of Ireland, on what might be considered a grand imperial scale—running it on the basis that Ireland can afford to pay all this taxation to carry on services which we say are entirely out of keeping with the needs and necessities of a proper and effective administration. It has been claimed by the Government that there cannot be any reduction practically of the expenditure in any of the Departments. If that is so I wonder what would be the idea in the minds of the Government if they were running a private business and found that the resources of that business had been depleted by over 100 per cent. Would they carry on the service on the same extravagant scale as before? If the methods adopted by the Government in endeavouring to run this portion of the country are on the basis that it can expend in the same extravagant way, that even if its resources are depleted it will spend as it spent in a more prosperous condition, it is easy to see that what would happen in a private concern will also happen in the administration of a nation, namely, that it will lead to bankruptcy.

For example, an army is maintained in this country which costs, I think, over £2,000,000 a year. That army gets its munition supplies from England— from the British Government—and, as the Minister for Defence says, "In any attack on these islands it is unthinkable that the Free State Army would not co-operate with the British Army." That is, in other words, it is an Imperial Defence Force. It is maintained here at the cost of the Irish people and by taxation on the Irish people, to be an Imperial Defence Force, in the words of the Minister for Defence himself. It does not require any paraphrasing, and certainly does not require any stretching to give the words that interpretation. If the real national will of the Irish people was given scope to declare in this country the sort of freedom they desire it would not be necessary to have an army on that basis. It would not be necessary to keep in this country an Imperial Defence Force any more than it would be necessary to keep in this country a Civic Guard force costing, I think, over £1,600,000 per annum. It would not be necessary to maintain a Secret Service and the other services that are adjunct to or the natural results of having this country what we call a subject State.

For the moment, let us examine the Government staffs and compare those with the staffs formerly employed. In 1919-20 there were 270 officials in the National Health Insurance Commission for all Ireland. This year there are 258 officials in the Commission for the 26 counties. There were 209 officials in the Local Government Board for all Ireland in 1920. This year there are 241 officials in the Local Government Department for the 26 counties. In the Land Commission, according to the British returns, there were 429 officials in 1919. According to the Free State returns there are 752 this year. In the Public Works Office, for 1927-28 there are 314 officials for the 26 counties, although in 1919 for the whole of Ireland there were only 123. It may be contended, of course, that these offices are not altogether analogous to-day to what they were in 1920, but even if we were prepared to concede that to some extent or to a limited extent—I think it can only be claimed as a concession to a limited extent—we cannot see that officialdom of that kind is warranted in the present conditions.

As I pointed out, savings can be effected if an attempt is made. The first thing I suggest is that the army could be brought down to a much lower and less costly level and that the police force, used to a large extent at the present time for political activities, used for the purpose of following up that imperial line of keeping this country in the same way as the Imperial Defence Force, called the National Army, is keeping it, should be reduced. If, instead, the real will of the people and their desire for a true form of freedom were conceded, then you could have in this country an army on a territorial basis which would not necessitate the high expenditure or anything like it that you have to-day. You could have similarly, as I pointed out, other reductions effected in the way of the Secret Service, and so on, and lastly, the Government should have taken steps to have the whole of officialdom, the whole question of salaries, and the whole question of pensions gone into by an independent Committee. Instead of that, when they felt forced somehow to do something, they set up what has been rightly described as an eye-washing Commission to inquire as to how certain economies might be effected or whether certain Departments required tightening up. In setting up that Commission they were careful to place on it officials who were asked to cut down their own salaries. They constituted that Commission of civil servants, and they asked them to do the extraordinary thing of saying how their own salaries, and the salaries of people similarly situated, could be reduced. That, as anybody will understand, had the effect of deceiving nobody, however adroitly it was intended to work. That was one way of trying to deceive the people into the belief that there was a desire to call a halt to the wild expenditure and the high taxation with which the 26 counties had been afflicted.

If there is a desire to effect economy, and if the Government recognise the fact that this House is not satisfied that economies which might be effected are being effected, and if they have any desire themselves to bring taxation down to a level which people can bear, then they can set up a Committee of this House which would have the power of summoning before it officials and getting all the data, or they could bring on that Commission also some others who might be officials perhaps, but at any rate they should leave it in the position that it is only civil servants who should comprise that Commission. If that were done I believe that expenditure could be reduced by a considerable amount. I submit until that is done, until some real effort is made by the Government to reduce expenditure and to recognise the position as it exists in the country, the position of poverty and distress, that taxation is at a point which people cannot be reasonably expected to support, this House should insist on the reduction which is demanded in the amendment.

I second the amendment.

For just one moment I thought Deputy Ruttledge was seeking to caoin over the admirable and economic British Government which has taken its departure from this country, but I realise now that his purpose is to surround the whole question in gloom so as to intensify the turpitude surrounding the present Government. Deputy Ruttledge indulged in a somewhat elaborate comparison between pre-war and pre-Treaty expenditure and the present expenditure, but he entirely overlooked the fact that by the Treaty this country incurred responsibility for a large number of new services—services that were never debited against the Irish account in the British finance accounts. Take, for instance, the Department of Finance. These all went under the head of the Department of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Yet they amounted last year to £62,000. This year I think the amount is £59,000. Again, there was no cost for the collection of revenue— the British collected our revenue and that never appeared in the accounts. Yet last year that amounted to £692,000. Is it Deputy Ruttledge's proposition that we should place ourselves in the position of the Government of Northern Ireland and have our revenue collected for us by the British Government and handed over to us? Is that the new Fianna Fáil position? I do not want to say anything that will arouse bitterness, but there is a Vote that did not appear in the accounts for 1920—Property Losses Compensation, £979,000.

Does it appear this year?

He might have taken that into account when making the comparison. There is the beet sugar subsidy—there was no beet sugar subsidy under the British—£265,000 last year, more this year. Then again we have doubled the agricultural grant—the grant to the rates, the grant to help the farmers—approximately £300,000 of that is in this Vote. While Deputy Ruttledge was speaking I was too much interested to try and divide £599,000 by two, but it is approximately £300,000. Then there is the Army—last year £2,185,000, this year £1,804,000. Again, there is External Affairs—this year £46,719. I suppose Deputy Ruttledge does not advocate handing over our external affairs to some other Government and asking them to do them for us, as was done in 1920. All those come to over £4,000,000 —more than the sum that Deputy Ruttledge wants to reduce the annual Estimates by. And these are all new services—services that were not discharged by this State, or by what then represented this State, in 1920 or 1910 or 1916. It is because we are self-governing, because we collect our own taxes, because we have our own relations with foreign Powers and Governments and other Dominions, because we have the power to raise our own Army, that there is greater expenditure. Formerly the expenditure on the Army in Ireland did not appear against Ireland in the British accounts—it appeared on the War Office Estimates. Similarly, as I say, the cost of collecting the revenue, of financial administration, and of Foreign Office administration did not appear in the account. So that when Deputy Ruttledge compares pre-war or pre-Treaty with post-Treaty he overlooks the fact that a great and vital change has taken place. I should like to relieve Deputy Ruttledge's depression—I should like to try and comfort him. He spoke with great sorrow of bank deposits going down and shares going down. He has overlooked the fact that there are some shares that are not going down. Four years ago I bought First National Loan at a rate of 91½ per cent. I should have to pay 99½ per cent. to buy that loan now. These particular shares are not going down. I should like to add to Deputy Ruttledge's reference to bank deposits going down, shares going down, and taxes going down.

As a matter of fact, I did not refer to shares at all, and I wonder what the Deputy has in mind.

I apologise—I found some difficulty in hearing the Deputy, and I thought he said shares. I hope he will believe me when I say that I am very reluctant to misrepresent anybody, and I apologise most cordially to him. But when he drew a general picture of national ruin I thought shares were included in it. At any rate, there is that sign of hope to brighten his gloom, that National Loan has not gone down but up since it was issued. Then we have the usual talk about the extravagant scale of administration. It comes to this: that either you have to live as a modern State or you have not. If you wish to have all the advantages of a modern State you must have a large civil service. I am not going in any detail into Deputy Ruttledge's statement about the over-staffing of offices, because I am not in a position to do so—I have no great familiarity with the detailed work of any public department—but I do suggest that when we are asked to reduce the Vote on Account by one million pounds we should try and see in somewhat greater detail than Deputy Ruttledge did from where the reduction is to come.

There are certain items which I do not think the Fianna Fáil Party will be prepared to reduce. They would not, for instance, be prepared to reduce old age pensions—I think that is not part of their policy. Would they reduce the supplementary agricultural grant, of which there is £300,000 in this Vote on Account? I take it that the Chancellor of the National University will not reduce the Vote of £76,500 for University Colleges, and I remember Deputy de Valera saying that his Party would not agree to a reduction in the cost of education. I was very glad to hear him say that—we are on common ground there. Primary education, secondary education and technical, education—you cannot reduce those. Then there is a very small item—advances to Agricultural Credit Societies. I suppose Deputies opposite do not want to deprive these societies of this advance. Then, again, there is Unemployment Insurance—£75,000. That is really the State contribution towards Unemployment Insurance. Then we come to relief schemes. I think the general complaint, when we were discussing the Estimate for relief schemes, was that the sum was quite inadequate. Therefore, I take it there is no objection to the £30,000 for that in this Vote on Account. These items come to a total of £2,800,000, roughly. The amount of the Vote is £7,800,000, roughly—nearly £7,900,000—so that you have only £5,100,000 in which that reduction is to be made.

Deputy Ruttledge made three points. The first was the Secret Service. That, of course, is a very small sum; it is only £3,500 in this Vote. That is not a very large step on the way to one million pounds. The other point I want to deal with is the overhauling of salaries. I regret that Deputy Ruttledge was not a little more detailed. He talked vaguely about the overhauling of salaries. There has been a general impression through the country—I think created by the speeches of some of Deputy Ruttledge's colleagues—that the policy of his Party was to reduce all salaries over £1,000 to £1,000. The Minister for Finance will have more information on that matter than I can have. I have gone, as an ordinary Deputy, into the matter, and have read the Estimates, on the basis that every salary in the Estimates of over £1,000 a year is to be reduced to £1,000 a year, but I have not taken the bonus into consideration. I could not do so. It would take months to work out on the precise rate of bonus which a man gets precisely if he had £1,000 or not; and remember, also, that the more you reduce the basic salary the more the bonus is increased in proportion. But taking the salaries as they are shown in the Estimates for the current year, the precise saving which could be made by cutting down the salaries of Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries, the Ceann Comhairle, all civil servants and all salaries over £1,000 a year, would be £19,250. That is another very small step in the direction of the £3,000,000. Now these are the usual salaries borne on the Estimates. There are other salaries borne on the Central Fund, those of judges and the Comptroller and Auditor-General, and I have not had access to the details. I have averaged them as about the same as the salaries in the Estimates, and I take £19,250 for them. I think that is pretty fair.

Then there was Deputy Ruttledge's amazing omission. He did not talk at all about the Governor-General. I have taken the salary and establishment of the Governor-General and all the spending in that direction at a figure of £16,870. I have added all these together and I find that the whole amount comes to a little over £55,000. That is for the whole year. So that for this Vote on Account you have to divide it by three, and then you get £18,356. There you have Deputy Ruttledge's two first steps to make a reduction of £1,000,000—£3,500 and £18,356, altogether £22,000. And yet we are asked to reduce the Vote on Account by £1,000,000.

What about the Army?

I am coming to that. The third point that Deputy Ruttledge has on which to effect reductions is the Army. Taking the other two points into consideration, even if he abolished the Army and turned 10,000 men out unemployed on a labour market already over-loaded, which would be a criminal thing to do, in my opinion, he would only save £650,000 on this Vote on Account. £650,000 plus £25,000 make £675,000, so that there is still a sum of £325,000 to be found to make up the million reduction. Will some other Deputy tell us where it is to come from? Is it the intention to make far greater cuts in the Civil Service than have been made already? Is it the intention to abolish any essential service such as Unemployment Insurance and National Health Insurance? Where is the £350,000 proposed in this reduction to come from? Where are you going to find economies amounting to £1,000,000 over and above the abolition of the Army? Do they propose to reduce the pay of the civil servants throughout the service, to disband the Army entirely and to leave this country without protection from either external or internal aggression? And by reducing the Gárda Síochána by half to reduce their efficiency by half? Is that the intention of the Party opposite? They have seriously put down a motion in the name of their leader to reduce this Vote by £1,000,000. The reductions indicated by Deputy Ruttledge have failed to come within £350,000 of the one million. We are entitled to know where the rest of the money is to come from. Is it by repudiation? Is it the intention of Deputies opposite to repudiate all pensions? We ought to know, and the people who draw the pensions ought to know. Are they going to curtail the activities of the Land Commission? It seems to me that is impossible after listening to Deputies last week. Let them tell us. This Vote is to be reduced by £1,000,000. I have examined Deputy Ruttledge's suggestions, and I hope I have proved they are somewhat inadequate unless they are prepared to go further than Deputy Ruttledge cared to suggest. Let them tell us here and now, and let them tell the country how they are going to realise this reduction of £1,000,000 on this Vote and of £3,000,000 on the Estimates. There is no use in talking about the years 1910 and 1920. We are living in 1928, and people want to know what is going to happen in 1928.

Deputy Cooper has been at very great pains to raise a smoke-screen in front of the issues raised by Deputy Ruttledge and to establish that all the economies which could be effected in administration are only of a trivial nature and therefore not worth bothering about. He has, I think, however, missed the vital argument put forward by Deputy Ruttledge, that the taxation which a country can pay has a direct relation to the state of economic prosperity it enjoys. The amount which it can afford to spend upon the machinery of government is directly related to the amount of its annual national income. Deputy Ruttledge quoted figures and showed that the expenditure per head in the Free State area and in Ireland to-day are in excess of the expenditure per head in any of the years he mentioned prior to the establishment of the Free State, and despite the fact that the economic prosperity of the country in the meantime has decreased. The expenditure on the government of Ireland during 1913-14 was twelve and a quarter millions, or £2 16s. 0d. per head, and the expenditure in 1926-27, not in Ireland, but only in a portion of Ireland—26 counties—is £27,000,000, or £9 2s. 0d. per head. Deputy Cooper pointed out that certain charges which appear on the accounts of the Free State Government did not appear on the accounts of the British Government in relation to Ireland for 1913-14—the account for maintaining and staffing the Department of Finance, for example— but I think we can set off these additional charges against the fact that in 1912-13 thirty-two counties—that historical unit known as Ireland which existed then—had to be provided for, whereas to-day the Free State Government has only to provide for portion of that area.

Does Deputy Lemass suggest that the administration of those Six Counties cost 4½ millions in 1912?

I am not in a position to say. It is impossible to differentiate, but the fact remains that only 12¼ millions was spent upon the administration of the 32 counties of Ireland. £2 16s. 0d. per head. If for the year 1911-12 we take 100 as the index figure representing prevailing agricultural prices we find that in 1920 the prevailing figure had gone up to 287.8, and in 1927 it was 131.9. Between the year 1911 and the year 1927 there had been an increase of 31.9 in the prevailing level of agricultural prices. The revenue per head, taken as at 100 in 1911, had gone to 376.9 in 1927. In other words, the cost of running the Government in relation to the actual price which we are getting for our principal saleable commodity has more than doubled. These facts prove, I think, that not merely are we paying more per head of the population for the Governmental services we are getting than the British Government paid to maintain the same services to a large extent in 1911, but we are paying more, with less in our pockets wherewith to pay it.

Deputy Cooper placed his finger upon the reason for this increase in expenditure. He said: "Since 1921 a great and a vital change has taken place." It has. The Minister for Finance, during the debate in this House upon the so-called Boundary Settlement, stated that when Ireland's liability under Article V of the Treaty was being discussed with British Ministers it was assumed that the taxable capacity of Ireland was 1.5 per cent. of the taxable capacity of Great Britain. Let us assume for the moment that the amount raised in taxation in England has a fair relationship with the taxable income of England—and, mind you, that is a big assumption, because I think it is generally recognised that England at present is one of the most highly overtaxed countries in the world—the total revenue of the British Government from all sources in 1926 was £805,701,000. One and a half per cent. of that is £12,085,000. Our actual revenue, however, in 1926-7 was £25,000,000. If we assume that taxation in England has a fair relationship with the taxable income of that country, then the amount which we can afford to spend upon the basis taken by the Minister for Finance is only £12,000,000. That is the outside amount which we can afford to spend on the machinery of Government, and when, in fact, we are spending double that amount, and more than double that amount, it does mean, no matter what clever figures are produced on election platforms to prove the contrary, that the cost of Government here is double what it should be, and double in relation to the population and to the taxable capacity of the country what it is actually in England.

That is a preliminary to the remarks I am going to make. Deputy Cooper, as I said, placed his finger upon the explanation for all this increase in taxation when he said that a great and vital change had taken place. By the Treaty, he said, Ireland incurred responsibility for many new services. He said "Ireland." Of course, that was just a slip I notice a number of us here are inclined to indulge in, and I think we should be careful in future about it. We will call this the Free State. It certainly is not Ireland. This Government have undertaken many new services. They have undertaken, in the words of Lord Birkenhead, the suppression of Republicans in Ireland at an economy of British lives and, of course, that involves a considerable amount of cost, and for the benefit of the English taxpayer the cost is being collected out of the pockets of the Irish people. We have on these Estimates before us a number of items which represent sums for services far in excess of anything that we thought a free Ireland would have to expend. We have undoubtedly taken on many new services, many new services that some of us do not like to think that an Irish Government in Ireland are exercising.

We have 8,000 Civic Guards. These Civic Guards are supposed to be in existence for the purpose of suppressing crime. In actual fact—and the Minister for Justice knows this well— their main purpose is not the suppression of crime, except you are prepared to consider as criminals the men who do not accept your political outlook. The main purpose for which this huge force of Civic Guards is maintained is to suppress any attempt on the part of the young men of Ireland to organise themselves to achieve what many of the Ministers on the front Bench opposite were fighting to achieve a few short years ago. You may, of course, brand them as criminals. When the Minister is giving his gramophone replies to questions here about matters of this kind, he can be very pompous in the manner in which he states that the law must be respected and that the machinery of justice must take its course. But let us not allow big phrases like that to blind us to the actual fact, and the actual fact is that this machinery is being maintained and this cost is being incurred because the Government is determined that the position which it has accepted for this portion of Ireland must be retained unaltered. These Civic Guards have on many occasions indulged in assaults upon members of the community. They have proved themselves not merely a political force but in some respects an indisciplined force. There have been numerous occasions when they have gone out of their way not merely to inflict physical punishment upon men holding Republican views but also actual interference with the political activities of certain parties in the State that are opposed to the Government. The Minister is smiling at these things. I do not doubt for one moment that he never heard of them. He is put there, and around him are put a number of officials whose job it is to take good care that he does not hear them. But we hear them.

We hear a good deal from the Deputy.

I did not hear the Minister. It does not matter, I suppose. There is not a week of the year in which I, a secretary of the Fianna Fáil Party, do not get complaints from all over Ireland of pernicious activities on the part of the Civic Guards directed against the Fianna Fáil Party. I submit that the reason why they are directed against the Fianna Fáil Party is because the Fianna Fáil Party is a Republican Party. If we were an Imperialist Party, if our purpose was to strengthen the sympathetic bonds that bind us to the British Empire, in the words of President Cosgrave, we would not be interfered with by the Civic Guards; we would be very good friends, and no doubt they would facilitate us at election times, just as at present they facilitate the members of the Government Party by interrupting their opponents at political meetings. We have, therefore, this huge force of Civic Guards, maintained, as I said, for political purposes mainly, and supported by an army, the main reason to the general public for whose existence appears to be to parade through the streets of Dublin on St. Patrick's Day, but probably with a much more significant and a much more sinister reason behind it as well. This army, we are told by Deputy Cooper, is to protect the country against possible invaders. It has been repeatedly pointed out by Ministers that this nation throughout its history has known one enemy. Foreign invaders have come into this island only at the invitation of the Irish people to drive out an authority that was oppressing the Irish people, to drive out the British. The only nation in the world that has threatened and is threatening aggression against the Irish people is the British nation, and can your army fight, or will it fight, against the British Army? Do you think if England was to take some action directed against the Irish people that even the backbone of the present Government might resent and be stiff enough to resist, that your army could fight England? Do you think the British Government are going to be so generous as to supply your army with ammunition with which to fight it? And if the British Government does not give your soldiers ammunition, where are they going to get it? Have you made any provision to ensure that your army will be a self-contained unit? Have you taken any steps to see that your army will fight anybody, except with the consent and the good will of the British Government? Not at all.

The British Government, merely by closing down supplies of ammunition to your Army, can make it ineffective to-morrow. Therefore, the only logical assumption is that your Army is being maintained to fight in whatever manner the British Government wants it to fight. There is no other reason for its existence. Immediately the British Government does not want it to fight it cannot, and the fact that we are being asked to pay nearly two million pounds to keep it in existence during this year means that we are spending that money in order to be able to facilitate the British Government when it comes and asks our help to impose its will perhaps on the Egyptians. I see that there is a situation there very similar to that which existed here in 1921. A treaty has been proposed, and a section of the Egyptian Republicans do not want it. Perhaps we will have a threat of immediate and terrible war duly uttered in order that the Egyptians may realise the benefits they would derive from being associated in the community of nations known as the British Commonwealth.

We have these new services that Deputy Cooper talked about, and we have them maintained at considerable cost to the Irish people. We have our association with the statesmen of Imperial Britain reflected in every Department of the Government, and as a result we have this costly machine built up which is utterly beyond the limit of what the Irish people can afford. In addition, we have every year sent out of the country to the British Treasury the three million pounds of land annuities. We know that by the 1920 Act the British Government admitted that the land annuities were part of the legitimate revenue of an Irish Government, and we know that there is nothing in the Treaty which disputes that attitude. We know that at any rate one of those who actually signed the Treaty has publicly stated that that is their view. Therefore, we have the position that the Government is sending that money to England not merely without the consent of the Irish people or of this House, but illegally and against the existing laws of this State. Surely that is a considerable drain on our resources.

Professor THRIFT took the Chair.

I do not like to interrupt the Deputy, but I think he is going outside the scope of the debate and is entering on another subject which we could easily take a couple or three days to discuss. The land annuities are not included in the Estimates.

The Land Commission is.

By virtue of the Land Act of 1923 they are paid over, and I think the proper way for the Deputy to raise that would be by an amending Bill.

ACTING-CHAIRMAN

I think the Minister is quite right. We are discussing the expenditure and not land annuities. They do not come within the Estimates.

I submit that as we are paying members of the Land Commission to collect these land annuities and send them to England, naturally they come in.

The matter has been provided for by legislation, and I think it is a recognised principle on Estimates that you cannot choose the occasion of a discussion on Estimates to say that a particular Bill ought to be amended.

The point I want to bring forth, and the question to which I want an answer from the Government Benches arise out of the facts I have been mentioning. They accepted the Treaty because they said it was the best thing for Ireland under circumstances then existing, and because it would lead the way towards the realisation of the Republican objective later. Arising out of this Estimate, I think we are entitled to ask for a definition of Government policy in that regard. Are they still Republicans? Do they still think it is possible and desirable that the Irish people should strive to establish a Republican Government for a united Ireland? In what way have they attempted to use the powers which they acquired under the Treaty to strengthen the position of the Irish people and make it easier for them to take that other step towards the Republican goal that we all want to see taken? We are entitled to ask these questions. We are entitled to know what is the Government's policy, if they have a policy. Are they going to maintain the attitude that the Treaty having been accepted must be maintained unaltered, and that any attempt to alter it must be crushed out with all the force at the command of the Government? Do they take the position that even where it could be shown that sections of that Treaty are operating in a manner detrimental to the vital interests of the Irish people no attempt, whether by negotiation or by any other means, must be made to have those sections annulled? What is their policy? If they have a policy in what way have they attempted to implement it? We know that 90 per cent. of those Nationalists who are at present supporting the Cumann na nGaedheal Party would never have tolerated the idea of acceptance of that Treaty for one moment if they thought that it would mean the permanent partition of our country. Has the Government a policy to end partition?

ACTING-CHAIRMAN

I have allowed the Deputy to go a considerable length in the hope that he would connect this matter with the question under discussion. The Treaty is not under consideration, and unless the Deputy directs his argument to connect it with this Vote he must curtail that line.

My point is that all this increase of expenditure over the 1912 level and over the level which the country can afford to pay is directly resultant from the Government's policy on the one hand, and the country's political status on the other. There is no doubt whatever that the partition of our country has a very particular association with the level of taxation here. There is no doubt whatever that partition is uneconomical, that this nation, which could afford to pay £12,000,000 to maintain the Government in 1912, cannot under any conceivable circumstances afford to pay twice that amount in order to maintain the government of twenty-six counties this year, and also the amount required to maintain the government of the Six Counties in the North-East. If we are, at any time, to be in a position to reduce the cost of government here to a reasonable figure and to bring down the cost per head so as to enable our industries and agriculture to make progress we must face this fact: that the one thing necessary to that end must be the solution of the partition problem.

If the Government have a policy surely they are not afraid to state it? If they have a policy, in what way have they attempted to implement it? Have they attempted to implement it by lightening the burden on the shoulders of the taxpayers, which the partition of the country has resulted in?

We have next a Vote for the Department of External Affairs. In what way are the people of this country, through this Department of External Affairs, being committed to the policy of the British Empire. As I have said, we have the situation in Egypt, upon which the vast majority of the Nationalist people of Ireland would like to see our Government giving a very clear and definite statement, indicating that their sympathy is with the Egyptian people and not with the British Government. But do the Egyptian people think, and have they any reason to think, that the policy of the British Government towards them is meeting with the approval and the assistance of the Irish Government through our Department of External Affairs?

We have a very similar situation in India. Again, in what way has our Minister for External Affairs dissociated this Government and our people from the attitude of the British Imperial Parliament towards the Indian people? We have then the situation in Irak. We have the British Empire there once more at its old game of aggression, and, in the eyes of the world, the Irish people, who have fought for generations against Imperial policy, are linked up with it now and giving it tacit if not expressed approval. Before we give consent to vote even a portion of this money that they ask for, we should know the policy on which it is going to be expended. Before we can give them the £15,000 that they want for the Department of External Affairs, we want to know what that Department is doing and what it proposes to do during the months over which this money will be expended.

We are entitled to know from the Minister for Justice if the activities of the Gárda Síochána are going to be confined to the suppression of crime, or if, as he states, their activities in future are going to be the same as in the past, and that they are going to include in the definition of crime the desire to achieve the full political independence of Ireland. If that is the policy, then we cannot be expected to give approval to the Vote.

We are entitled to ask the Minister for Defence what steps he is taking to make the Army a real Army that could defend the welfare of the people of Ireland against any aggressor, and particularly against the one nation from which our history has taught us to expect aggression. If he cannot make the Army effective for that purpose, why not come before the House with the proposal that the Army be abolished altogether and the maintenance of order entrusted to the police force? In view of all these points, and before the House could come to a decision as to whether or not this Vote should be passed or whether Deputy de Valera's amendment should be carried, we are entitled to get from the Government a full statement of their policy, particularly on all national matters. We could, of course, go into minor matters of economic policy and the question of the development of our industries.

ACTING-CHAIRMAN

Those matters do not arise here.

The fact that we are asked to vote £700 for the Tariff Commission would be justification for dealing with the question of tariffs. However, I do not propose to do so. I think all these matters are subordinate to the general national policy of the Government. It is not often that we get an opportunity of hearing, or the Government get an opportunity for declaring, what their general national policy is. They have an opportunity on this Vote, and it is their duty to the House and to the people of the country that they should declare, without any quibbling whatsoever, what that national policy is.

I would like to have a ruling at this stage as to whether it would be in order to speak on the motion, after the amendment is disposed of, concerning matters affecting the general policy of the Government which do not appear to be pertinent to Deputy de Valera's amendment, which aims at having this Vote reduced by a million. I am sure there are many matters that Deputies would be anxious to speak about which do not, in their opinion, properly arise on the amendment.

ACTING-CHAIRMAN

I do not think it is a matter for ruling by the Chair; it is a question for the House to decide. It is always usual, after the amendment has been disposed of, for Deputies to refer to the general question. It has been frequently the custom of the House to have discussions on the main subject and the amendment running concurrently. It is entirely a matter for the House to decide whether they want to adopt that course now.

I was listening anxiously to the speeches of Deputies Ruttledge and Lemass to see what special reason they were putting forward for the reduction of this Vote by one million pounds. There are occasions when a reduction of the Vote or a refusal by the House to give the Government the amount of money it seeks on account would be amply justified. For instance, the House might express a desire to have a greater measure of control over the Executive than would be afforded by allowing them sufficient to carry on for four months. That point, however, has not been raised, and even if it were raised I think that on this occasion, at any rate, there would be no justification for it as an argument for the reduction of the Vote.

I must say for myself that so far as I can see no good case has been made out for a reduction of this Vote by one million pounds. The main argument, as I followed it, was that the taxation of the country, the amount raised in taxation, was too high, that it was approximately too much by £3,000,000. I must confess that to some extent I was surprised at hearing that line of argument coming from the Fianna Fáil benches. I would not be surprised if that argument came from the Independent, or from the business Deputies on my right. It has often been put forward by their representatives in this House. The Minister for Education, speaking some days ago, pointed out that it has often been the case that people have asked for increased expenditure on various services and at the same time have objected to the increased taxation necessary to provide the expenditure for these particular services. We in the Labour Party have repeatedly asked for increased expenditure on certain services, especially on certain social services in the country, but we have not been so foolish as to say at the same time that taxation should be reduced, that the taxation which has been shown to us to be necessary to provide that expenditure on the social services which we have asked for should be reduced. And we do not propose to do it now.

I do not think any useful purpose can be served by making comparisons between 1912-1914 and the present time without going into very great detail and showing where there are differences and essential differences between those two periods. It occurred to me, while Deputy Ruttledge was speaking, that it would be necessary to take into account other matters than the matters which he mentioned to show that there is searcely any analogy between the position then and the position in 1928. It occurred to me that the old age pensions were paid at a lower rate then than they are paid now; that there was no Unemployment Insurance in those days; that there were no housing subsidies in those days; that there was even less spent then than there is being spent now on drainage; that education in those years was generally admitted by everybody in the country to be an absolutely starved service. These are the services that we on these benches would be anxious not only to maintain at their present level, but to increase very considerably. Our main complaint is that there has been a reduction of expenditure on social services since this Government came into operation. That has generally been the complaint.

I said that I was surprised to hear the argument about increased taxation or over-taxation coming from the Fianna Fáil benches because they claim to represent, and they do in fact represent, a very big proportion of the poorest members of our community. I hold the view that it is not against increased taxation our complaint should be or that the complaint of the people who represent that particular class in the community should be. Our complaint should be made, if any complaint is to be made, against the manner in which the money raised in taxation is spent—not so much against the amount that is raised, but against the manner in which that amount is being spent. There, I grant you, there might be grounds for complaint. But, as I can understand the arguments put forward by the Fianna Fáil benches, that was not the particular line of argument that was used. I believe that if the best interests of all members of the community, especially the poorer members of the community, are to be served, that then that can be done by raising the taxation and spending it in the interests of the poorer members of the community.

One of my complaints on this matter with regard to taxation last year, and to some extent the same complaint holds good this year, was, that in their efforts to reduce taxation, to reduce the amount collected by way of revenue, the Government reduced what I regard as the most essential services, or some of the most essential services, in the country. I say the same holds good this year to some extent. In the matter of housing facilities, it will be found, on an examination of the Estimates, that there is a reduction all told of nearly £90,000. I am anxious to know from the Government, before the main Motion is passed, what is their general policy towards housing, or what is to be their general policy towards housing, especially in view of the recommendation of the Committee on Unemployment. That Committee was set up some months ago to deal with what is an urgent national problem, the problem of unemployment. They have made certain recommendations, and one of the recommendations deals with housing. We find, on the one hand, a suggestion from this Committee that a big national effort should be made, extending over a period of years, to provide the people with houses and at the same time to deal with the problem of unemployment. On the other hand, we find in the Estimates a considerable reduction in the amount set apart for the provision of houses. It is important that we should know, at the earliest possible opportunity, the Government's policy with regard to the provision of houses; what steps have been taken, for instance, to carry out the recommendations of the Unemployment Committee, not only in the matter of housing, but in the matter of public buildings and in the matter of public health.

There is one particular recommendation in this respect that I can speak of with some special knowledge. That was the recommendation made by the Unemployment Committee in regard to the provision of school buildings. There is no need, I think, to enlarge here on the necessity for improved school buildings in the country. The school buildings that we have at the present time are not at all adequate and not at all suitable for the work that is carried on there. We hear talk of a big national scheme of school buildings, and I am glad to see that the grant is increased under that head this year; but it is not increased to the extent that I should like to see it. There is just one point in connection with it that I should like to draw attention to. It is the provision whereby one-third of the grant is required to be raised in the locality. That is a provision which has come down to us from the old days and for which I maintain there is no longer any justification. There is no machinery whatever provided by statute whereby this one-third of the cost can be raised. I suggest that the time has come when the Government should consider the question of building schools in the country out of the Central Funds, giving the whole grant for the building of the schools just as they do in the case of police barracks. There is no more reason why schools should not be built by State funds than that police barracks should not be built by State funds. This would have a very important effect in regard to this matter, and that effect would be the speeding up of operations in the matter of school building. This recommendation has been made by the Unemployment Committee and I trust the Government will tell us what their proposals are with regard to house building generally and school building in particular.

Then we have the question of drainage. I notice a reduction in the present Estimates on drainage work generally of approximately £35,000 this year as compared with last year's Estimates. Drainage is a work of very great national importance. It is a work that in the way of national importance can compare with that of road-making, and I think it is a matter to be deplored that this reduction of £35,000 should be shown in the Estimates in such an essential work as drainage. I listened with interest to the remarks of Deputy Lemass with regard to the national position. He wanted to know if the present Government were using all the powers conferred on them by the Treaty to strengthen the national position. In previous Dála we complained more than once that the Government, in our opinion, did not seem to be using all the powers conferred on them by the Treaty to maintain and strengthen the national position. But I may say this: that it will not strengthen the national position if we use every opportunity that is open to us to belittle the powers which have been granted to us under the Treaty, and I am afraid that the Fianna Fáil Party are not immune from criticism under that head. Let us admit for the moment that we have not all the powers and rights that we are entitled to, and that we have not reached our ideal so far as the government of this country is concerned.

ACTING-CHAIRMAN

Is the Deputy not getting rather a little wide of the mark now?

Mr. O'CONNELL

I was only trying to follow, at some distance, in the footsteps of a previous speaker. I was going to suggest that the policy of maintaining and strengthening our national position would not be achieved by referring to the Army as an Imperial defence force. It may not be very long until Deputy Ruttledge or Deputy Lemass find himself in the position of being responsible to this House for the Army.

Not as it stands.

Mr. O'CONNELL

Well, the Deputy would not change it in a day.

A very short time.

Mr. O'CONNELL

In any case it suggests very serious considerations for those who might be anxious that Deputy Ruttledge and his Party would, in fact, be put in charge of the Government of this country, to have declarations of that kind made. With regard to the cost of the Army, Deputy Lemass went into the question at great length. He rather suggested to me that, in fact, there should be no army maintained in this country. I agree that there is room for a considerable reduction in expenditure with regard to the Army. The Estimates this year, as compared with last, show a very considerable reduction, and I hope that there can be an even greater reduction. If one were to follow the arguments of Deputy Lemass to their logical conclusion, then there should be no army maintained here, because his argument was: what good can an army do; the only country it would need to fight was England, and as it cannot fight England, therefore the conclusion to be drawn was that there was no need for having an army here at all.

I remember when the Army Bill was under consideration in the Dáil, Deputy de Valera, at that time, did not suggest that there was no need for an army. On the contrary, he wanted a different type of army. If my memory serves me rightly, at that time there was general agreement as to the main lines on which such an army should be established in this State. At any rate, an army of that kind would cost something. Therefore, I think Deputy Lemass was going a little too far in suggesting in fact that as our Army would never be able to fight England there was not much use in having an army.

I want to go a little further than Deputy Lemass did in relation to a matter which he briefly mentioned, as to what the attitude of the Free State should be towards the Treaty made between the British Government and Egypt. I think I am within my rights in discussing this matter. It is a matter of general policy that comes within the powers of our Minister for External Affairs. I regret that the Minister is not present. I would be glad if he were here during the discussion upon this matter.

ACTING-CHAIRMAN

I have some doubts as to the appropriateness of discussing this particular matter now. I think there is no doubt but that it could come up more appropriately on the general estimate for the Department or External Affairs.

Mr. O'CONNELL

I respectfully submit that for two reasons it is appropriate to have the matter discussed now. First of all, this matter of the Egyptian Treaty is fresh in the public memory, and, secondly, it is a matter not entirely for the Minister for External Affairs, but for the Executive Council as a whole. It is a matter of general national policy. I, therefore, respectfully submit that I am in order in raising it now, and that with your permission it is appropriate to discuss it.

ACTING-CHAIRMAN

As I did not stop Deputy Lemass I will not stop you.

Mr. O'CONNELL

I thank you. In the summary of proceedings of the Imperial Conference of 1926 there is a very important paragraph which was referred to in this House on a previous occasion. With your permission I will read it. It relates, I should say, to the making of treaties by any one member of the society known as the British Commonwealth of Nations. The paragraph reads:

"When a Government"—that is, one of the members of the Commonwealth—"has received information of the intention of any other Government to conduct negotiations, it is incumbent upon it to indicate its attitude with reasonable promptitude. So long as the initiating Government receives no adverse comments, and so long as its policy involves no active obligations on the part of the other Governments, it may proceed on the assumption that its policy is generally acceptable. It must, however, before taking any steps which might involve the other Governments in any active obligations, obtain their definite assent."

We have it stated there that a Government proceeding to negotiate a treaty with anybody must inform the other members of the Commonwealth, and, in the absence, it says, of any adverse comments, "it may proceed on the assumption that its policy is generally acceptable." Now, we have reported in the "Times" of March 8th, 1928, certain despatches that were sent by a Foreign Minister of one of the members of the Commonwealth, that is, by the British Foreign Minister, Sir Austen Chamberlain, to the British High Commissioner in Egypt. The despatch is dated the 24th November, 1927. Sir Austen Chamberlain refers to the "long and friendly exchange of views" with Sarwat Pasha. He wrote further saying that "subject only to the settlement of a suitable text for the expression of the agreement on a minor point which Sarwat Pasha and Sir Austen Chamberlain had already reached in principle, and to the concurrence of his Majesty's Governments in the Dominions and India (which, as I have already explained to his Excellency, we considered necessary), his Majesty's Government in Great Britain were prepared to accept the treaty as then proposed."

resumed the Chair.

Mr. O'CONNELL

This treaty as between England and Egypt was, according to that statement, to be subject to the concurrence of the other members of the British Commonwealth. In the same dispatch Sir Austen Chamberlain states:—

"I have now the pleasure to inform your Lordship that His Majesty's Government in Great Britain, after communication with His Majesty's Governments in the Dominions and India, accept the draft agreed upon between us, of which a copy is attached to this dispatch, and that you are authorised to sign the Treaty on behalf of His Majesty as soon as His Excellency is in a position to sign for the Egyptian Government."

We have, therefore, set out, first the agreement at the Imperial Conference whereby one member negotiating a Treaty consults all the other members of the Commonwealth, and that, assuming no adverse comment is made, it may "proceed on the assumption that its policy is generally acceptable." We have the statement from the British Foreign Secretary that after consultation with His Majesty's Governments in the Dominions and in India the text of the Treaty was agreed on. I am anxious to know in how far is this Government committed to the terms of the treaty which the English Government sought to impose on the Egyptian Government. Are the Egyptian people to understand from this dispatch which has been published that this member of the Commonwealth is responsible for and concurs in the terms of the treaty proposed to Egypt, and which the Egyptians have rejected? If that is not the position, and I hope it is not, I think this opportunity should be availed of to make it clear that our Government here has no responsibility whatsoever for that treaty, or the terms of it, and that it has not concurred and does not concur in its terms, as seems to be indicated in the dispatch sent from the British High Commissioner.

I think it is very important we should maintain the position which I believe was as stated on a previous occasion by the former Minister for External Affairs, who happens to be now present, that our Government is only responsible for any action it definitely takes. If that is the position I would be glad if the Minister, on behalf of the Government, would state that it is so. In view of what I have said, and in view of the dispatches which have been published, it is more important than ever that the position should be made clear, and I trust the Ministry will take the opportunity of doing so. That is especially necessary because of the tendency which one can see exhibited by other members of the Commonwealth in the way of giving an impression that there is, in fact, a common British Commonwealth—or Empire, if you like—imperial policy, and that we in the Free State are equally responsible with the British or Australians for carrying out that policy. I am anxious that such independence as we have, or are supposed to have under the Treaty, should be made as much of amendment, so far as I am concerned, it has not been made sufficiently clear that we should make this reduction of £1,000,000 in the present Vote on Account, and therefore I do not propose to vote for it.

I would like to deal with one or two matters that have come up. Deputy O'Connell is concerned about the Treaty that has been negotiated between Great Britain and Egypt. He was intrigued by the fact that in the Imperial Conference Resolution it was stated:—

"When a Government has received information of the intention of any other Government to conduct negotiations it is incumbent upon it to indicate its attitude with reasonable promptitude. So long as the initiating Government receives no adverse comments and so long as its policy involves no active obligations on the part of the other Governments it may proceed on the assumption that its policy is generally acceptable. It must, however, before taking any steps which might involve the other Governments in any active obligations, obtain their definite assent."

If the Deputy will look up the statement I made on the Imperial Conference, I think he will notice, and I brought it out very clearly, that this country cannot be committed to any obligation whatsoever except on the act of its own Government. This part of the resolution should, of course, be read as part of the whole. What that refers to is this: It might well be that one country may be making a treaty with another which affects the interests of a third to such an extent that the third has the right to intervene and object to that treaty. The relationship of the community of nations known as the British Commonwealth of Nations being so smooth-running, an arrangement was made that in the case of treaties being made by any one of these with any other Power that might affect a third party, a member of the British community of nations, they would notify the other of that. If the third party felt that the treaty made between A and B was not likely to affect their interests—and unless they said clearly that that would affect their interests— and, therefore, made an objection or a protest to the treaty being made, then it would be assumed that there was no objection to its being made.

Take Great Britain as A, Egypt as B, and the Free State as C, if Great Britain proposes making a treaty with Egypt, if the Free State considers that the imposition of obligations in a treaty between Great Britain on the one side and Egypt on the other only committed these Governments within the limits of their jurisdiction, and unless we notify them that such an act on their part was calculated to impinge on our interests, they would assume that we had no objection to make, or no comments to make as regards our interests in that arrangement.

When I spoke of the Imperial Conference I spoke of the system known as the central panel whereby in times gone by a plenipotentiary of Great Britain was supplied with full powers —that is to say, the instrument which enabled him to act when negotiating was not limited geographically and, therefore, it might be assumed that his signature bound not only Great Britain but the other members of the community of nations. At the Imperial Conference it was agreed that only limited full powers should be issued in any instance. A plenipotentiary acting for Great Britain in his credentials has it carefully laid down that he only commits that area of jurisdiction which is governed by the Imperial Parliament in Westminster. It is perfectly clear to the Egyptian Government or any Egyptian officials on an examination of the credentials which he has to present as to the extent of his powers. Those powers do not include the Irish Free State. There is no power outside this Government, which is subject to the Dáil elected by the people of the Free State—no power other than that of the Executive Council to take steps to commit this State to any obligations with any outside State. I know there are people who do not seem to care for Governments, people who seem to prefer anarchy, people whose object if they get the Irish people to elect them, is to outrage the Irish Free State. I know there is no use in stating what is perfectly clear to any intelligent man. I think Deputy O'Connell does realise that the relationship between Great Britain and the Free State is such as not to permit by its constitutional position the British Government or any British plenipotentiary, unless such plenipotentiary is expressly authorised to do so by this Government, to commit this country to any degree whatsoever.

Am I to understand that the Free State has no responsibility with regard to the treaty proposed between the British Government and the Egyptian Government, in spite of the implication that may be read into this dispatch? Would the Minister say also if the Free State was consulted, as is indicated in this dispatch, and if the British have the right to assume that concurrence has been given by the Free State, as they seem to have done?

The Irish Free State has not been concerned in any way whatsoever. The Irish Free State Government is communicated with and is kept informed as to negotiations or work of the British Foreign Office. The fact that we are kept informed, as the public is kept informed to some extent by newspapers, in no way commits us to any responsibility. I may say we are always glad, if it can be worked out to the advantage of the two parties concerned, to see amicable arrangements made between two countries, but so far as any treaty being negotiated between Britain and Egypt is concerned we have no responsibility. That is made clear negatively. That is to say, it is made clear by the fact that the full powers of the plenipotentiary are expressly limited to the area of jurisdiction of the Parliament in Westminister. That makes it clear to anyone interested that the Irish State is not a party to that treaty.

Mr. O'CONNELL

The Minister has sent no despatch. He states he has made the proposals subject to the concurrence of the Dominions and after communication with his Majesty's Governments in the Dominions——

I do not want to annotate another man's words, but I presume that comes under the same explanation as I gave, that when a Government has received information, etc.—the part the Deputy read out. The British Foreign Minister presumably considered that it was possible that any one of the Dominions might object to Great Britain committing herself to the degree she would commit herself in that treaty, not on the grounds that Great Britain was thereby committing Canada, Australia and the Free State, but on the grounds that they felt that they had a right to say: "We really find this will affect us, and we would rather you did not do it," not that they could prohibit it being done. I think the debate was some time in November, 1927. I can assure the Deputy that it is perfectly clear to the British Government, and equally clear to the Egyptian Government, that inasmuch as we have not authorised anyone to act on our behalf, and inasmuch as there is nobody who attempts to purport to act on our behalf in this matter, we have no responsibility whatsoever.

May I ask the Minister what exactly that phrase means, that he has the concurrence of the Dominions?

What I understand from that is this: that, as far as we are concerned, if Great Britain purposes making an amicable treaty with Egypt, if that can be brought about to the satisfaction of the parties concerned, we have no objection to that being done. "Concurrence" seems to me a bad word. It seems to imply active consent.

Is not that the word quoted by Deputy O'Connell?

I think it was. If the word "concurrence" implies that we are parties to it, the word "concurrence" was used wrongly in that context.

Would it not be well to make representations to the British Government that that word should not be used again?

Mr. O'CONNELL

I am satisfied on my part with the statement the Minister has made here.

Is this not a matter entirely for the Minister for External Affairs, and could we be informed as to why the Minister for External Affairs is not present?

The Minister for External Affairs and all other Ministers have business other than merely attending in the Dáil. He is engaged on official business elsewhere.

It is a mere matter of form.

As the Deputy likes about that. We quite agree with the British Government that if they make an amicable Treaty with Egypt we have no objection to its being done and have no objection to any other country making amicable agreements. If the French or any other Government propose to make a Treaty with anyone we would say, as far as Treaty-making is concerned, that they have our blessing. The Deputies on the other side may be interested to know that the nearest thing I know to active operation of what was known as Document No. 2 is in Egypt.

That is another point.

Would the Minister give us an assurance that the Minister for External Affairs has not gone out to Egypt, in the same way as Mr. Justice Feetham came over here?

I was trying to answer certain points that were raised during your absence. There was a suggestion here that we were not only bound to keep ourselves perfectly clear, but bound to rush in when there was any difference of opinion between two countries and state, on newspaper information, that we considered all the right was on one side and all the wrong on the other. I want merely to point out to the Deputies on the other side that I always felt a certain document would be quite disastrous to this country, but it would be unbecoming for me to speak not only on behalf of the Government Party but on behalf of the whole Dáil, and to indicate to the world what we consider that people who object to a document which a vast majority of the Dáil was in favour of——

I should like to ask was this draft treaty between Britain and Egypt submitted to the Ministry for their consent? A direct answer has not been given to that question. Secondly, when I raised the point about the absence of the Minister for External Affairs Deputy Cooper referred to it as an empty formula. I should like to know is that in order?

I did not hear that.

Neither did I. Certain references have been made that at the time when what was known as the Treaty was signed by this House, the Treaty of the 6th December, 1921, this State took on certain responsibilities, ethical, national, and international. If anyone takes the trouble to look over the history of the first six months of 1922 they will see in this country there existed a state of affairs which, to my mind, the teaching of Christian ethics condemns. That is, a state of anarchy.

A DEPUTY

Is it the purchase of arms for Ulster?

By Mr. Fitzgerald's brother.

The Government's duty was to create such a state as would enable civilised life to go on without interference. Looking over that period, we will see that there were murders in Co. Cork, the murder of Gen. Adamson——

The murders of the 8th December and the other 17 murders.

The Minister is going back over a good deal of history and has referred to Document No. 2, which I would be glad to defend. Would he give me an opportunity to defend it?

I prevented the Minister from discussing Document No. 2, and I am not going to allow Deputy Ryan. I think that the question relevant to this Vote is a question of the Army Estimate, 1928-29. I do not know how the Minister gets back to ethics in 1922.

He is anxious to defend his brother.

The cost of the army is, to some extent, affected by the conditions in 1922, when the Government was bound to create a machine to maintain ordinary conditions such as a Government is bound to do by Christian ethics and their duty to the Irish people—to create such a machine regardless of expense. So far as I heard the discussions on the other side one thing became clear.

On a point of order, if the Minister for Defence is going to discuss the origin of the expenditure on the Army, you must allow a later discussion on the merits of the destruction of the Pact which destroyed peace at that time. If you are going to allow one discussion you must allow the other. Already in this discussion he has been allowed to get in his shot, which will appear in the newspapers, about Document No. 2, and we will have no opportunity of defending that. It is not for nothing that the Minister has been practising propaganda for years, and knows that he scores in the daily papers by getting in these shots, while we have no opportunity of defence.

Mr. JORDAN

I would suggest that Deputy Hogan be sent for, because it is hard luck on him to be absent while this is being discussed, seeing that he claims credit for all the destruction. He said that he started it in 1922.

On a point of order, I should like to say that we had a discussion here last week on the Army Supplementary Estimate, No. 64, under which discussion all this matter came up. The Minister for Defence, who should have been here then, was conspicuous by his absence. I consider he would have been in order then in going into these matters, but he is entirely out of order now until we have an opportunity of going over all last week's discussion.

I suppose Deputy Little is satisfied now that Deputy Jordan has got in his shot?

It will not be reported.

I have no control over the Press reports. I have no knowledge of what has been said earlier in this debate, but I would prefer if the Minister would deal with the question of the Army without dealing with the civil war. At the same time I can hardly rule out of order the statement that a big Army arose because of a certain set of circumstances without going into the merits of these circumstances.

As far as I followed what I might call the substitutes for arguments on the other side, they led to the conclusion, firstly, that there should be no army, and secondly they overlooked the fact that the Army not only came into existence primarily for dealing with internal dissension, but they overlooked the fact that its duty is to operate in the event of internal dissension. I do not want to discuss the matter in offensive terms. The Army was described as an Imperial force to fight the battles of another country. I regard a remark like that, divested as it is of any truth, and being entirely devoid of truth, as being subversive of the general order of this country. It is also subversive of truth which is obvious. The cost of the Army has been reduced considerably. It is evident that there is an Irish State which is an international person. Threatened potentially, as every State is, internally and externally, it has an international duty, a national duty, and an ethical duty. It must maintain forces which will be calculated to the best of its power to defend its existence. The Army was created first of all to guard the State's existence. Now we move on, not quickly enough for Deputy Aiken, but we move on, I think this year, with very considerable speed, which caused me a good deal of work, to reduce the cost to what we consider the normal cost. That was laid down by the Minister for Finance a year ago at one million and a half. I consider that not only should it be possible in due time to bring down the cost of the Army to one and a half millions, but I consider that the position of the country requires that we should have available at very short notice a large body of men trained in the bearing of arms and pledged to the service of the country against internal or external enemies, no matter who these enemies may be.

A DEPUTY

Like the Mutineers.

Against the Republicans mainly.

I do not know what the Deputy means by Republicans. It has been urged that we should abolish the Army.

A DEPUTY

You forget them.

Were you ever an I.R.B. organiser?

I do not see that that comes under this heading.

If Deputy O'Kelly wanted to ask a question he should have the courtesy to stand up and ask it. I do not think he is doing any good by sitting down.

I beg your pardon.

I can understand the Deputy's desire to stand up and repeat the question now, but this Vote again raises the question of costs. I would like to hear a great deal more talk about money on this Vote. The question the Minister is dealing with will arise under the Army Vote eventually.

If you would prefer to hear more about money, A Chinn Comhairle, I must congratulate you on being absent for some time. I was coming to the point of the money. It was urged that we should have no Army. I suggest that would be breaking our three obligations—national, international and ethical. Then we were told that we should have a volunteer army. If I wanted to point out how much more expensive in the service of this country a volunteer army would be than the Army as it is at present is, I would probably have Deputies on the other side jumping up to ask why I was allowed to say things that they were not allowed to say. I suggest that we need an Army of a fair size as an insurance against any enemies this country may have. The suggestion that the Army acts on the orders of any other Party whatsoever than that of the Irish Government is as remote from truth——

Is remote from truth. Full stop.

It is remote from truth because the Army is a machine to be controlled by whatever Government is in power in this State.

As long as England supplies munitions.

As long as I am in power we will get our munitions from whatever place is cheapest and best. I suggest that the basis on which the Army is now being evolved, namely, a central body which will contain highly-trained men in the special branches of the Army, with men of short service but with a fairly intensive training, thereby being less expensive, man to man, than with a standing army, is as economical as can be maintained for the needs of this State. I suggest also that anyone who suggests we must have an entirely volunteer Army has a very short memory indeed.

Will the Minister say anything about the training of the Army to shoot prisoners?

May I ask where do they purchase the munitions at present?

Will the Minister tell us when this Army began and in what way it began? I do not want him to go into history or anything like that.

The present Army organisation began in 1922 for the suppression of crime.

By what means was it attested to the Free State?

I am afraid that to give an impartial and uncontroversial answer to that would be very difficult.

The Army began in 1923, because it was attested to the Free State in 1923 and to the Republic in 1922.

I hope to get away from armies and to get back to finance. I have been listening to Fianna Fáil representatives expounding the policy of that Party and suggesting that considerable reductions in expenditure could be effected by the Government. In that regard, as in regard to a great many other policies which I have heard expounded by that Party, they are a day late for the fair; in fact, they are several days late for the fair. We of the Farmers' Party, in this Dáil and outside, expounded the policy of economy for several years. We were arguing and talking and fighting for economy in this House when the exponents of the new economic policy on the other side were certainly not furthering the economic interests of the country. Those of us who are associated with farming interests realise, just as well as Deputy Ruttledge does, the present depressed economic conditions. I am not, however, inclined to be so pessimistic as Deputy Ruttledge. I am inclined to think that the economic picture painted by him was a little too gloomy, and I am inclined to doubt whether some of his facts are correct. He stated that bank clearances are going down. My information is that they actually went up during the last year. While realising fully the economic depression in the country, it is only right that those of us who begin to see that the outlook is brightening should place on record our recognition of the fact. I can say from outside information that bank clearances are actually on the increase. There is, I believe, a slight improvement in economic conditions. I have also internal information which also points to an improvement, and that is that the revenue of the Department for Posts and Telegraphs shows a slight increase. An increase of that kind is, in my opinion, an indication of improvement, however slight it may be, in economic conditions.

We have had comparisons made between the cost of the government of the Free State in pre-war years and in post-war years. We are told that, allowing for the increase in the cost of living, our expenditure is greatly increased. That is an argument which I maintain is unsound, and whenever it has been used it has been used unfairly and for political propagandist purposes rather than in the real interest of an economical examination of the conditions. It has been already pointed out that it is futile and nonsensical to compare the conditions existing under the British regime with those existing at present. Deputies must have a realisation of the fact that we are now in control of our own affairs, that we have now set up a Government with the appurtenances attached thereto, and that if we are prepared to accept the responsibility for that government, we must at the same time be prepared to accept the expenses which are attached thereto. When Deputy Ruttledge was speaking, I went to the trouble of dotting down casually a number of services which are included in the Estimates for this year and which did not exist in pre-war days, in regard to which a comparison was sought to be made by the Deputy. I find, as a result of a comparatively hasty computation, that the actual cost of the completely new services introduced is approximately £4,000,000. I ask Deputies on the other side if they are prepared to suggest that any or all of these services ought to be dispensed with. Deputies will find on going through the Estimates that we have services which did not exist in pre-war days under the British regime largely because of the fact that we did not have a government of our own. We have the Governor-General's establishment, the Oireachtas, the Department of the President of the Executive Council; the temporary Commissions which have been set up for the purpose of inquiring into internal affairs; the Civil Service Commission, Property Losses Compensation, Personal Injuries Compensation, the Tariff Commission, the Supplementary Agricultural Grant, the Beet Sugar Subsidy, Wireless Broadcasting, Army Pensions, and the Vote for ordinary pensions. These Votes approximate to well over three and a half million pounds. In addition to that, Deputies cannot deny that the Votes for such items as primmary education have increased to an enormous extent. Primary education has increased from approximately one million pounds to something over three million pounds. The Vote for the Land Commission has increased to a large extent, just as the activities of the Land Commission have increased. The Vote for the Department of Agriculture has increased to a large extent, just as the activities of that Department have increased.

I ask Deputies on the other side if they are prepared to vote for a decrease in the cost of primary education. Are they prepared to vote for a decrease in the activities of the Land Commission? Are they prepared to vote for the wiping out of the sugar subsidies, because unless they are prepared to point out where economies can be effected one can only regard talk coming from the benches opposite as political propaganda.

We talked about economy and we set a headline for Deputies on the other side and a headline which they often copied, but we went at it in a different way. We are prepared to stand over the claims we made in regard to economy. We, on these benches, when asking for economy, succeeded in getting the Government to appoint a Committee of Inquiry into the expenses of running the Departments of State. Deputy Ruttledge referred to this Committee as a Committee of Civil Servants set up as a whitewashing Committee and that it was mere eye-wash. In the first place, I would point out that the Deputy's information is not accurate. It is not altogether a Committee of Civil Servants. It is a Committee of Civil Servants, but I, as a member of this Dáil, am Chairman of it. I say that that Committee has not been set up as a whitewashing Committee, and I sit as Chairman of that Committee, not as a Chairman of a whitewashing Committee. We have never asked, in that Committee, for information that we did not get. We never sent for an official of the State to give information or evidence before us, but that official came and was quite ready to give the information and to answer every question I or any other member of that Committee asked. I am precluded from entering into the work that this Committee has already done, or intends to do. But I want to say this, that while I am a member of that Committee it will not act for the purpose of cloaking or hiding any possible expenditure or recommending anything that is not sound financially. Not only am I convinced of that, but I am convinced that the whole of the members of the Committee are men whose honour is such that they can be relied upon to act with absolute impartiality. I am not saying whether a committee composed of so many civil servants is altogether the best, but I am going to say that a committee of this kind must have a large percentage and, indeed, a majority of civil servants on it if it is to be capable of doing the work set before it.

Deputies opposite started out to make a case for economy. When they try to make out a case that there is over-expenditure they ought to try to prove it. I am as anxious, perhaps more so than Deputies on the benches opposite, to have a reduction in expenditure. I have a full realisation of the importance of reduction in expenditure if we are to stimulate the languishing industry of agriculture. I believe the fact is, and I have always believed it, that taxation in general has a tendency to be passed on to agriculture and that taxation, both local and national, comprises a considerable portion of the overhead charges of the farmers of this country. I believe any successful efforts we make to reduce taxation will be reflected in the increased prosperity of the agricultural community, but I am not going to make wild claims that taxation can be reduced if I cannot argue a reasonable case for it.

What case did I hear argued to-day? We had Deputy Ruttledge moving an amendment for Deputy de Valera that one million pounds might be taken off this Vote, justifying a reduction of three millions. Having suggested that a reduction of three millions in the Estimates of this country might be brought about I endeavoured to follow the arguments of the Deputy to show how that might be brought about. Like Deputy Cooper, I was unable to follow the argument or to total up by any system of arithmetical computation how the reduction could be brought about. As far as I can gather, the main head upon which Deputies opposite rely for the reduction of taxation is the reduction of the Army. Again I say in that matter Deputies opposite are the day after the fair and are late for the fair, in fact. When I entered the Dáil in 1923 we had before us the Estimates for the maintenance of the State services in this country and those Estimates amounted to £42,278,000 odd. The Estimates this year, as Deputies know, amount to £23,000,000. That is a very considerable reduction indeed and a reduction for which we are very thankful and a reduction to attain which I am not aware that Deputies on the Benches opposite claim any part whatever. In the Estimates for 1923 there was an item for £10,624,500 for the upkeep of the Army and an item of £10,385,000 for Property Losses Compensation. I am not going to enter into the argument as to who started the Civil War or as to who fired the first shot.

Did the Deputy see Lloyd George's despatch?

I hold the opinion, rightly or wrongly, that that expenditure, amounting to £20,000,000, was due altogether to the activities of the followers of the Party on the other side of the House.

Does the Deputy regard that as non-controversial?

I shall discuss that matter also unless the Deputy withdraws it.

Deputy Ryan's opinion is so well known that he can state his just like Deputy Heffernan did, and then we will be in the same place as we were in the beginning.

There were other tentative suggestions thrown out but the arguments were not carried very far. We were told there were many Civil Servants with salaries over £1,000 a year. Of course we were told that at the last General Election, and it was posted all over the country. But Deputies did not point out what the effect on expenditure would be if salaries above £1,000 were reduced to £1,000. They did not point out to what extent that would go to make up the three million they are looking for. If Deputies take the trouble of examining into Civil Service salaries they will find that if reductions in expenditure are to be made at the cost of the Civil Service they can only be made by dealing with the large bulk of the salaries of civil servants, and when they come to deal with that, supposing the Economy Committee decided to bring in a recommendation that civil servants below £1,000 ought to be reduced by a certain figure, will they support that?

Below £1,000?

Yes; are they prepared to vote for that?

The ones above £1,000.

Again Deputies ought to be aware, if they are not aware, that a new scale of salaries for new entrants has been introduced. If they examine that scale, are they satisfied that it is too high? It is a scale that will affect the bulk of the civil servants in the future. Are they prepared to bring forward a motion, or to take the necessary steps to prove that they believe it is too high? Again, Deputies are also aware that the bulk of the other civil servants who are not included in the new category are included in the old category and are protected by Article X. of the Treaty. I never heard that Document No. 2 repudiated Article X.

A DEPUTY

Is that in the Estimates?

I never heard Deputies on the opposite side say that they were prepared to suggest that Article X. ought to be abolished. Of course, we know that Deputies pretend that the Treaty ought to be abolished, in spite of the fact that they are sitting in those benches because of the Treaty.

Tell us about Article V.

Oh, now, that is not fair! Withdraw that.

Tell us about the sixpence tax on the parcels.

Those of us who believe that expenditure can be reduced, those of us who believe that it would be useful, if not essential, that the expenses of spending Departments should be reduced to the lowest point compatible with efficiency ought to face up to the problems in a straightforward, honest and practical manner. If we have suggestions to make we ought to make them, but we ought not to make broad, general, sweeping statements, with no proof whatever. It suits the political ends of the Party on the opposite side to suggest that this Economy Committee that has been set up is in effect venal, that it is influenced so much by the effect of any recommendation which it may make upon the individuals who constitute the Committee that it is not to be depended upon to make an honest report. That is, of course, the mentality that Deputies have shown in regard to every activity on this side of the House. That is the mentality shown by Deputies in regard to this particular Committee. But, I repeat, while I am associated with that Economy Committee, any of the recommendations of that Committee will not be whitewashing recommendations, will not be eyewash, and I have hopes that when the final report of the Committee is issued it will have the effect of letting us face up to the real economic problems we have to face, and that we will arrive once and for all at a recognition that there must be a minimum amount to be paid if we are to maintain the services that ought to be maintained. Having accepted that—and I say that we ought to accept that on all sides of the House—then it will be for us to say, if it is necessary in the interests of the country that economies should be effected, that we are prepared to face up to the resultant implications, that we are prepared to recommend that certain services be abolished, and that we are prepared to go down the country, face the electors, and stand over those recommendations.

I did not intend taking part in this debate, and only for the misrepresentations of the Farmers' Party I would not take part in it. This gentleman, speaking at a convention of the County Waterford farmers on the 8th February last, described himself as an "indication of the appreciation of the Government." His record and the record of his Party in economies for the past five years was before the country on two occasions during the past twelve months, and the country judged, and, in my opinion, judged wisely. But when in to-morrow's "Independent" the farmers down the country, those unfortunate people who are described as getting all right now, who owe £586,000 in land annuities, read the speech of the Secretary to the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs, and when they read, on the other hand, that the representative of England's King in this country, who draws a salary of £10,000 a year, has £1,000 for the wear and tear of his motor-car, I think they will wonder where the economy is coming in. I did not hear a single word from Deputy Heffernan about that £1,000. I expected to hear it from representatives of the Farmers' Party. Deputy Heffernan was very careful to tell us of the very little that would be saved if we reduced salaries of over £1,000. But it is, as Deputy O'Connell remarked, the manner in which this money that is raised in taxation is spent that we are going to be concerned with, and we are concerned with that when we see in the Estimates that a gentleman with £1,700 a year is going to get £211 per annum added to that as the cost of living bonus. When we see that we wonder where Deputy Heffernan's economics are to come from. It is no wonder that the working farmers judged the Deputy's Party as I have seen them judged in other places. The Governor-General's Establishment is to cost £28,000 odd this year. There is £18,780 for the upkeep of the establishment of a gentleman who is already costing £10,000. I admit that in the Treaty they have £10,000 a year for a Governor-General, but I fail to see how even those here who support the Treaty can reconcile the idea that an unfortunate piece of an island like this can afford to pay £18,780 for the upkeep of that gentleman's establishment. I fail to see why a gentleman with £10,000 a year is entitled to £1,000 a year for the wear and tear of a motor-car.

When we go on further we see the Tariff Commission. I make an honest suggestion to those gentlemen sitting opposite, that they should get rid of that old hatching hen and buy an incubator. I have before me a resolution from a district council in my area dealing with the manner in which the Tariff Commission has been hatching on flour for the past few years. There are three mills in my constituency closed down at present waiting for the Tariff Commission to hatch out. If we go along a little further we see £575,000 for the Civic Guards. I do not know exactly whether under this heading the cost of the barracks is included. I know that down in my country, just two fields from me, I had the honour of being presented with a special Civic Guard station, the rent of the house used being £67 a year. That is economy—the Government paying £67 a year in rent for a Civic Guard station to hold five men. I also notice from the Estimates that in one parish in my constituency which is ruled over by a parish priest and one curate we are going to have two Civic Guard stations— two Civic Guard stations in one parish, and each of these mansions is going to cost £1,550 for the mansion alone, not counting at all the cost of the heroes who are going to be put into them. If we travel down the list a little further we come to the Land Commission. Deputy Heffernan alluded to that, and asked if we were in favour of restricting their activities. Their activities, in my area at any rate, are marked by a long line of derelict farms on which a beast is not allowed to stand, and I for one would be very anxious to restrict those activities.

When we come along a little further we find that Army Pensions are going to cost something very close to £300,000 for an Army that the Minister for Defence assured us a little while ago was brought into being in 1922. This is 1928. After six years' service the pensions for that Army are going to cost us close on £300,000. I have run through the list I got. I had to allude to it in this House a few days ago, and I deliberately called it a camouflage list. I asked for a list of those pensioners in my constituency for the purpose of verifying their right to them. I think it would be a very good thing if every Deputy did so.

This is not the Vote to do that on.

I am alluding to the Vote of £100,000 for Army Pensions, and the manner in which it is going to be spent.

That is enough now. The Deputy cannot do so now.

At any rate, when I look at the list of gentlemen who are drawing Army pensions in East Cork, I find that a lot of them are gentlemen whose only service during the Black-and-Tan trouble was on the few occasions that I had to pull them out of bed, to cut trees.

You will not say that in East Cork.

I am stating the plain truth.

Deputies who cause most trouble are those who say they are telling plain truths, and who preface them by saying that they are not going to hurt anyone's feelings. The Deputy must not argue about Army Pensions now. He must give that up immediately.

When we are precluded from discussing Army Pensions, all I wish to say is that I firmly believe the Vote could be reduced by £1,000,000 without any detriment whatever to the country. It would be only for its good to do so. There are a lot of superabundant gentlemen knocking about in receipt of these salaries, and, in my opinion, the country could do very well without them. When I see on the list that the office of the Minister for Justice is going to cost £9,620 for a short period I wonder what that money is going to be spent on.

The Deputy is going back now. The Deputy is not in order on this Vote in going into all the Estimates. I let him alone because it was less trouble, but I do not propose to let him go around in a circle.

I will take up——

I will not hear any more about individual Estimates.

Can I allude to the prisons?

No, we will hear about them in good time.

Well, External Affairs or the League of Nations? I see that External Affairs is going to cost £15,500 in the course of the three months alluded to. I wonder what the cash is going to be spent on. I wonder if the Minister for External Affairs is going to Egypt on the same lines as Mr. Justice Feetham was sent here, to tell the poor misguided people of Egypt the grand country we have here now, and the happy and prosperous condition we are in while landing out £5,000,000 yearly to John Bull for the pleasure of looking at him. Then I see that the League of Nations is to cost £2,590 for three months. I have not the advantage of having the Estimate before me to see what this League of Nations costs the country.

The Deputy ought to wait until he gets that information definitely. He will have it later on.

But in the meantime——

The Deputy has gone too far. He can go no further now, and must come to an end on individual matters. If the Deputy is not able to make a speech on the amendment he must sit down.

We have come to the League of Nations.

I intervene in this debate principally for the purpose of getting some information.

With the permission of Deputy Morrissey, I would like to ask if you, sir, would tell us what we can discuss now? I am asking the question for the sake of information. We are evidently in a certain difficulty in this matter, and I would like you to tell us what exactly we can discuss. We have been asked to justify particular items, and how we would make up a certain sum, and I am in a difficulty as to what can be discussed.

I am not prepared to say what can be discussed. What is being asked for is a lump sum of £7,898,061, and the amendment is to reduce that by £1,000,000. The discussion should be confined to general questions of expenditure, and manifestly, since all the Estimates will arise separately, details of the Estimates should not be gone into, nor would it be in order for any Deputy to go through the whole of the 71 Estimates or take each of them in detail. If that were in order, manifestly the discussion would be such that it would never end, and we would never get to the discussion of the Estimates themselves. We have to keep to the general question and to the general indication as to how economy could be effected for the purpose of showing how £1,000,000 could be saved. The general question of Government policy should be raised on the Vote on Account, but particular questions, such as Deputy Corry referred to, should be reserved until the Estimates come before us. I may say that it is not the function of the Chair to indicate how a Deputy should put himself in order.

Can we go through the items to the extent of trying to make up the accumulated £1,000,000 which is put down in the amendment? Would that be one of the difficulties of the matter without alluding to the items?

I do not think a Deputy could do that.

My principal reason for intervening in the debate was to try and find out the Government's policy with regard to housing. Deputy O'Connell dealt with the matter and took it a certain distance, but I want to get some information as to the Government's policy with regard to housing schemes carried out by local bodies. I would like to find out from the Minister responsible whether it is the intention of the Government to reopen the Local Loans Fund for the building of houses by local authorities and to give long-term loans. That is a matter of considerable importance, because I am satisfied, if the Local Loans Fund were open for housing, that many local authorities in the country would, if they were provided with long-term loans, undertake housing schemes, which would mean that the shortage of houses would be met to some extent, and it would also help to solve, to some extent, the unemployment problem. It seems to me that there can be no good reason why we cannot have at this time the Government's policy on that matter. I do not think that there can be any good reason advanced as to why those long-term loans would not be given from the Local Loans Fund. I hope the Minister, when he is replying, will indicate whether this matter has been considered by the Government, and, if so, what decision has been come to.

I must say that I was rather amused while listening to Deputy Heffernan, and my mind went back to two, three and four years ago, and one wondered what had happened in the meantime. Here we had Deputy Heffernan denouncing anybody for suggesting that there should be a reduction in taxation. Deputy Heffernan got quite indignant at the idea that civil servants' salaries should be reduced. I quite agree with his indignation over that. I would be indignant over it myself, but when I remember Deputy Heffernan last year and the year before and the year before that, on the Estimates, making very similar statements to the statements made by Deputies Ruttledge and Lemass here to-day, I could not help feeling amused. I do want to say that I did not agree with Deputy Heffernan then any more than I agree with Deputies Lemass or Ruttledge now. I want to make clear one reason why I did not agree with them is this: the amendment proposed that the Vote be reduced by £1,000,000. There is nothing in the amendment to indicate how the reduction is to be apportioned. There is to be a reduction of £1,000,000. It seems to me that if that amendment were carried some of the larger items in this Vote would be selected—such as the supplementary Agricultural Grant of £300,000; the Old Age Pensions, £849,000; the Local Loans, £348,000; Primary Education, £1,325,000——

The Gárda Síochána and the Army Pensions.

I am coming to that. I am coming to the Army Pensions, the Gárda Síochána and the Department of Posts and Telegraphs. I do not believe it would be good business for this country to have a reduction in any of the social services. So far as I am concerned, I stand here for increased expenditure in connection with all the social services. We, as a Party, have taken that stand from the first day we came into this House. It may be possible, probably it is possible, to have even a further reduction in the Army. But that all depends upon the state of the country. If the figures given by Deputy Lemass are correct, that there are 8,000 Gárda Síochána in this country, we ought to be able to do with considerably less. I believe that at the moment, and I hope it is true, this country is as peaceable as any country in the world, perhaps more peaceable than most other countries. But I want to say that I am convinced that is due in a large measure to the efficiency and the discipline of the Gárda Síochána. Deputy Lemass was, I think, unfair to the Gárda Síochána. I admit that I have had to complain on one or two occasions of indiscipline in the Gárda Síochána. They were isolated cases. But in only one or two cases in the last four years did I have to complain of indiscipline. It seems to me that when you take into consideration the circumstances under which that force was started and the way in which that force was recruited, not the Government, not the Fianna Fáil Party or the Labour Party, but the country as a whole, ought to say, and can say truthfully, that we have got a force that this or any other country ought to be proud of. Whatever little indiscipline there has been in the force I believe was bound to be there, and I believe these incidents are not greater than they are in forces of much longer standing. I do say if we are asked to vote for a reduction in taxation that it ought to be pointed out to us where these savings can be made.

We will not be let.

I think the Deputy will find a way, and I think the Deputy will be let if he wants to do it. But it is, perhaps, difficult. I want to make my position clear, and I think it is the position of this Party, that we are not going to stand over reducing the wages of any workers, whether employed by the State or by private employers. We are not going to stand over any reduction in essential social services. Rather we stand for an increase in those services. Therefore, I will conscientiously vote against the amendment. I am not at all surprised at the attitude that Deputy Heffernan has taken up on consideration, and it seems to me that when such an apostle of economy at any price, as Deputy Heffernan was, has made a complete somersault as a result of getting office, and when we find him advocating a continuance of the present taxation rather than a reduction, we may assume that the leaders of the Fianna Fáil Party, when they come into power very soon, will also be telling us next year, as Deputy Heffernan told us to-day, that it is not possible to make those reductions. I think the gem of the whole situation was when Deputy Heffernan stood up for the Economy Committee composed of civil servants. I remember Deputy Heffernan at one time had no use for putting up such a Committee. They were whitewashing, and all that. Last year nothing short of a Geddes Committee, a Committee composed of independent men, would satisfy him and secure for him the economy for which he stood. But I suppose time is a great healer.

Educator.

We all become wiser. The principal reason, as I said in the beginning, why I intervene in this debate is to ask for information as to the Government's policy as regards housing and as to whether there is an intention to open the Local Loans Funds for housing. If the Government could now indicate that it is their intention to give long-term loans from the Local Loans Fund I have very little doubt that many local bodies throughout the country would commence housing schemes that would give much-needed employment and help to solve two big problems—the shortage of houses and unemployment.

I rise to support this motion, because conscientiously or consistently I could not do anything else. As Deputy Morrissey has said, we do not stand for reduction in any of our social services. Rather do we seek to increase our social services even if that means an increase in our taxation. We have all regretted the cut in the old age pensions and we have all looked forward to the restoration of the conditions obtaining in 1924. For that reason it would be inconsistent if I were to vote for the amendment.

Deputy Lemass directed a good deal of his criticism towards the Army and the Gárda Síochána. Deputy Morrissey has said, in a few words, what I would like to say so far as the Gárda Síochána are concerned and the amount of stability which they have brought about in the country. I can speak for the City of Cork, with which I am, of course, most conversant, and, knowing the conditions which obtained in that city before the advent of the Gárda Síochána, and the conditions that obtain there to-day, I may say that the present conditions of stability were brought about mainly by the activities of the Gárda Síochána. Before their advent no man with one pound in his pocket was safe going through the streets of Cork. To-day quite the opposite is the case. It is practically a crimeless city, and I suppose what is true of Cork is likewise true of many of the other cities and towns of Ireland. At one time the footpad and the garroter were reaping a very good harvest in Cork. To-day the gentlemen of that fraternity are absent, some of them, if not all of them, in gaol.

A lot of criticism has been directed against the Army, but we would be imbeciles or worse if we were to disregard altogether the facts that brought about the institution of that Army, and the facts that caused most of the expense to the country. That is a matter which, of course, would cause a good deal of discussion and to which I am not going to refer at any length.

In looking over some of the items contained in this Vote, I am very much interested in at least one item, and that is the one dealing with Haulbowline. I would like the Minister to let us know the Government's policy as to the future of this one great dockyard. If the Government do not intend to reestablish it as a shipbuilding and an engineering yard, I would like to know do they intend to make any effort to bring this yard and its potentialities under the notice of companies or persons likely to engage in any other industry there? I may say that to me it is not a source of pleasure to see the amount of money that is devoted to the arts of war while so little is devoted to the arts of peace.

There is an item here of £1,373 for the National Gallery. I do sincerely hope that that is not the measure of our appreciation of art in this country, and that future Votes on Account will at least show that we are doing something for the artistic side of Irish life, that the position will be reversed and that the National Gallery and kindred institutions, together with our social services, will absorb most of the Vote. As I have said, I will be consistent by supporting this motion.

I merely wish to comment on a few points raised in this debate. First of all, we have heard a lot about the new responsibilities that we undertook in 1921. Yes, we undertook new responsibilities, and the heaviest of these has been the responsibility on the part of this Government for the propagation of the Imperial idea in this country. That responsibility is mainly the cause of the necessity for this Vote. So long as the Government of this State follows on that line of policy, so long must the people of the country be bled white financially. We have a Department of External Affairs costing, approximately, £46,409 per annum. Let any of us examine the record of that Department and ask ourselves of what benefit has it been to this State? Of what benefit has it been to the people? Is it worthy of the title of a Department of External Affairs? What authority does it represent? It is common knowledge that its functions are very much limited. It cannot appoint a diplomatic representative in any country, I submit, without the sanction of the British Cabinet. Such appointments have first to be submitted to the British Cabinet, and they must receive the sanction of the British Government. I challenged the Minister some days ago on that point, and, of course, just like all other questions, he treated it with a sneer.

The Minister for Defence, who is incidentally the ex-Minister for External Affairs, certainly has been acting up to the responsibility for the propagation of the Imperial idea in this country. At any rate, in so far as his accent is concerned, we can be quite satisfied that he has been doing everything possible to make the Imperial ideal acceptable here as far as possible, and to make Imperial aims and objects secure in this country.

We have been charged in this debate with aiming at the disbandment of the Army. Again, if we face facts, we should admit we have no National Army. We have no National Army. An Army whose supplies of ammunition are controlled by an outside Power, and who can at any moment, as was stated here this evening, put a closure on these supplies—that fact alone is proof that we have no Army. We have no Army in the real sense, and therefore we are spending two millions on a mere pretence. This Army is supposed to exist for the protection of the State against internal and external aggression. No one has stated, or ever attempted to indicate, where the external aggression may come from. Certainly it can only come from one quarter so far as the majority of the people of this country believes. External enmity to this State exists in one country and one country only, namely, in England. From that country we receive our supplies of munitions. What a hypocritical position we occupy! So far as internal aggression is concerned, the only internal aggression the Government need fear, and any Government need fear, will be on the part of the people to clear away the barriers which hold this nation in subjection. If we say, therefore, that this is an Imperial Army, we state nothing but a simple fact, a fact which cannot be overlooked and cannot be denied. I would like to ask Deputies what would any business man do if he found that his business undertaking was not a paying proposition? Would he not attempt to alter the administration of that business concern with a view to bringing his expenditure within his income. Most of the members of the Government Party are fortunate enough to be engaged in very profitable businesses, but I submit that none of them are allowing their business concerns to be run at a loss to themselves. The administration costs of this State are too high. The people are unable to bear that cost, and it is the duty of the Government to bring the cost within the capacity of the people to pay. Deputy O'Connell advanced, to my mind, a very strange suggestion in the form of advice to the House. He said he did not consider it wise, and that it would not strengthen the national position, to belittle the powers which we hold under the Treaty, but in the very next breath he said, let us admit that this country has not yet reached the national goal.

Surely there is nothing inconsistent in that?

There is nothing inconsistent in denying on the one hand that we have not yet reached our national goal, and on the other advising us to say nothing about it?

Mr. O'CONNELL

I did not say that.

That is precisely the advice that the Deputy advanced—that it would not strengthen the national position to belittle the present powers that we hold under the Treaty.

Mr. O'CONNELL

Hear, hear.

And on the other hand, let us admit that we have not yet reached the national goal.

Mr. O'CONNELL

Hear, hear.

Well, if we have not yet reached the national goal is there not a plain duty before us as citizens of the State to try, by every and any means in our power, to advance to that goal? Is it by silence, or for fear of letting it be known either here or elsewhere that we have not yet reached our ultimate aim and object in so far as national independence is concerned, that we are to get it? Is that the method by which we have advanced so far as we have gone? If we have advanced in any way, has it not been by other means and methods?

I submit that those who have made a case for the amendment were simply asking the House to recognise the fact that we are at the moment a subservient State, that we are subservient to a foreign Power, and that this lavish administrative machinery which we have here at present is only helping to cloak our national degradation. It is only helping to confuse those who are not quite clear as to the exact position which we occupy. As honest citizens, if we believe in the ideal of an independent Ireland, let us try and do our part to make it known that we are not satisfied with our present position. Let us, with the limited powers that we have, not make for a lavish administrative machinery, great imperial splendour and show, we who are the representatives of a small nation and a noble people. Let us try and have more in common with the ideals of the ordinary people and put a stop to this humbug.

As one who has to contribute in a rather large way to the taxation of the country, there is no Deputy here who would be more pleased than I would to see a reduction of the present level of taxation. I recognise, however, that the present high taxation is a necessity. The only suggestion put forward by Deputies from the opposite Benches with a view to reducing the present taxation is to reduce the amount for the Army and the Civic Guards. In years gone by, when the lives and property of a great number of people in this country were at stake, they were saved by the Army and the Civic Guards. If the Party on the opposite benches would unite with us here in the condemnation of violence as a means towards the attainment of any ends which they or we may hope to obtain in the future, there is no doubt but that we would be able to reduce the present taxation. Now that we have all met here and that we are face to face with the position in the country, I have no doubt that it is up to the Party opposite or the people they represent to condemn violence. We read in the papers almost every day reports of incidents which occur in various places which certainly are not calculated to create confidence in the country. In to-day's papers there is a report of an incident which occurred in London—of 35 revolvers found on persons, and apparently these were to be brought into this country. For what?

Another German plot.

Is it in order to discuss a matter that may be sub judice, a matter imperilling the liberty of men who are awaiting trial in London? I do not know the facts of the case at all, but I think it would be wiser not to have the matter discussed.

ACTING-CHAIRMAN

I do not think it affects the question of expenditure that we are discussing now.

I got up for the purpose of asking the Party on the opposite side to condemn violence, to condemn revolvers, rifles and everything else. I say if they do that it will have the effect of reducing taxation. If they are in a position to come along and give guarantees in regard to these matters, I will be quite prepared to vote for them. I make that appeal to Deputies opposite because I know the conditions in the country. The country is not able to bear the present taxation. I say to Deputies opposite, as I believe they are absolutely honest in their endeavour to reduce taxation, that they ought to come along now, speak out in this House, and say they will appeal to the young men of the country not to use arms and not to use violence, and not to do things that were done in the past. If they do that, then the Civic Guards and the Army can be reduced and taxation can be reduced. Relief can be given to the unfortunate people who are, I admit, blistered to the eyebrows with taxation. The Party opposite, if they do that, will have an honest case and not a dishonest case such as they put forward to-day.

You can make that suggestion to your own—the front bench—first.

I would like to hear from your side first as to what you are going to do.

One would imagine from the statement made by the last speaker that this was a country in which law and order had been entirely set aside. I suggest that is bad propaganda for outside countries, when they read speeches such as the last Deputy has just made. In my opinion, the conditions in this country are not at all abnormal. There is no lawlessness or acts outside of the law which are going uncondemned any more than they are in other countries. If the Deputy seeks to bolster up the claim for the excessive charges that are set down for the Civic Guards and the Army in this country on the grounds that there is no law or order here—he rather suggested that incitement was offered by Deputies on this side towards lawlessness in the country—then he knows that there is no foundation in fact for such a case. There is no such state of affairs regarding law and order as the Deputy described. When the Deputy justifies the necessity for this extraordinary force of Civic Guards and the Army on the grounds of the lawlessness that exists, I must point out that in the past men who had views similar to the Deputy and who wanted to justify irrational action always found a way of doing so, and did so as regards the old R.I.C. and the British Army by saying that were it not for the lawlessness in the country those forces would quite possibly be reduced. There were always men who talked in that strain and who, posing as nationalists, were prepared to stab the country in the back by making it appear that there was no law and order, and that it was necessary to establish these. I repudiate as false statements of that kind regarding the country. As to the necessity for a reduction in the Estimates, if any Deputy will only travel through the country, or even through his own constituency, and examine the conditions prevailing there, he will see that in every townland and in every home there is poverty as a result of over-taxation during the last five years. That taxation has been wasteful. The economic conditions with which we have to deal in the country are not normal. They are extraordinary, and as such require extraordinary measures to deal with them.

Anyone knowing the condition of the farmers in the congested districts in the West of Ireland must know that they are not in a condition to bear the Estimates which we have before us. These men are no longer able to pay their debts. Every institution demanding heavy taxation to be placed on these people requires its expenditure to be curtailed. These people have suffered as a result of the over-taxation in the last five years. They are of importance to the State, and should be seriously taken into consideration. They are not able to bear the taxation imposed upon them, and they are of more importance than any administrative body or department of State. For that reason these Estimates should be revised, and a strong effort made to bring taxation on a level with the capacity of the people to bear it—the people who are the all-important factor in the country. An absolute necessity exists for a strict investigation into expenditure. Deputies should not be prepared to swallow these Estimates in globo simply because they are placed before them. If they do they will have another voice when they go back to the country, and will be making false excuses for their action. Let them be honest with themselves and with the people whose suffrages they sought at the last election, and to whom they made promises that they would do their utmost to secure a betterment of their condition. Let them keep their pledges to the people. They know the country cannot afford this taxation, and they should insist on an inquiry, and go into every detail of expenditure, and in that way very substantial reductions can be made.

I find there is an item for the Land Commission of £244,836. The Land Commission is an institution that collects money from the farmers and sends it over to England. Are we supposed to pay the expenses of this institution that is doing England's work in this country? I would not be honest to myself or to the farmers I represent if I accepted that as an honest estimate. I want particulars regarding that item. I see again for the Civic Guards £575,000, Secret Service £3,500, the Army £650,000, and Army pensions £100,000. These are all non-productive. Does the Deputy who spoke about the necessity of keeping up the strength of the Army and Civic Guards take into consideration this £100,000 for Army pensions, and regard it as essential for the establishment of law and order? I think if some people had less of the sense of fear and a little more honesty they would realise that a good deal of this expenditure was perhaps the price to secure a form of peace, a make-believe of peace, a peace that benefits the pockets of a few at the expense of the people generally. There is an item of £156,000 for Agriculture, an industry that maintains the whole of the State, and it is an industry which is in an impoverished condition and needs more assistance. Forestry should be regarded as an important national asset. There was forestry in Ireland in centuries gone by, but it was destroyed because it was opposed to England's shipping and coal interests. For the revival of that industry, of which the country has been robbed, there is an estimate of £19,000. I would like to hear what Deputies representing country constituencies, Deputies who claim the title of farmers' representatives, have to say in these matters. I ask these Deputies whether they consider they would be acting honestly in passing these Estimates in globo, and whether they would be keeping their pledges to those who elected them to their positions. They know very well the country cannot afford these extravagant demands. For the last few years the country has been going down hill and getting into a state of insolvency. I ask Deputies to examine every detail of the Estimates before they pass them.

I have been wondering what this debate means. I have heard something about economy and something about eye-wash. Are we discussing economy or eye-wash? I do not know that anyone on either side of the House looks on the debate as being in any way sincere, but rather as merely giving the country through this Assembly a dose of eye-wash. It is suggested here that these Estimates should be reduced by £1,000,000 a year. I have been wondering where the £1,000,000 is to be apportioned. A great many members have spoken about the Army. They want to get rid of it. A great many Deputies have spoken of the Gárda, want to get rid of them and bring us back to the time when murder was a pastime and robbery a useful side-show. We do not want to get back to those days, and if this amendment were carried we would be back to them. We must take it from the Opposition Benches that their suggestion is that by reducing those Estimates by a sum of £1,000,000 per annum they want to bring us back to the state of disorder in which the Free State Government found us. The country does not want to get back to those dark ages. We have had experience enough of them. It is suggested here to-night that you must economise and get back to the state of disorder and anarchy.

Mr. JORDAN

Let the wolves loose again.

Let Wolfe after them again. I would rather keep the wolf from the door.

Mr. JORDAN

So would I.

The Deputy who interrupts never had the good luck or misfortune to meet the wolf. In my past days I had to meet a great many Deputies under very unpleasant conditions. I know what he is referring to, and if he is referring to a personal matter, let him have it. He is referring to the time when it became my duty to prosecute my fellow-countrymen. I prosecuted them on both sides of the House, and I am bound to say I prosecuted more members on the Government benches than on the other side. The other side were far more agile; they escaped prosecution. If he wants to taunt me with that, he can. Let any man whom I prosecuted now come up and say that I discharged my duties in any way except fairly.

ACTING-CHAIRMAN

You must come back to the Vote on Account.

I want to come back to the subject. This £1,000,000 by which the Vote is to be reduced has not been apportioned. The Army has got to go and the Civic Guards and the pensions have got to go. Might I ask the House who is responsible for the existence of the Army in Ireland to-day?

A DEPUTY

Churchill.

Who has made it necessary to have an Army to-day? Who is responsible for the expenses of the Civic Guard?

Winston Churchill.

ACTING-CHAIRMAN

He is not responsible for this Vote.

I am not going into any arguments. I am merely asking who is responsible for the existence of the Civic Guards in their present force. I do not think it is the Government. They are necessary; they have justified their existence, and the fact that we have an Army and a force of Civic Guards is responsible for the fact that we can walk through our own country as free men and give no thanks to anyone. We can walk through the country to-day unarmed, and there was a time when you could not. To-day every citizen of the Free State is a free man. Are we to get rid of the forces that have brought us to our present state?

And the Boundary.

I do not suggest any sane man will suggest we should. There they are and there they must remain. I suggest to the Government that the Civic Guards, as they are at present. should be maintained in their full force and effect. No man in the country wants a single man cut off the Civic Guards. Deputy Morrissey has paid a good tribute to the Civic Guards. Perhaps I am more in contact with them than any other Deputy in the House, and I can say that day after day my admiration and respect for those forces, brought into existence under very strange circumstances, grows. They have justified their existence and have given to us a stable and true Government, which it is suggested we should undermine and destroy. Deputies have spoken about various matters. We heard something about the Vote for property compensation. I am not going to discuss that. I am not going back to 1921. or even 1922, and ask who destroyed the property. I am not going to answer the question. I am putting it to the House to answer it for themselves.

The Minister for Agriculture answered that in Galway.

I refer the Deputy who interrupted me to the Minister for Agriculture for any further information. I am sure he will get it from him in a very polite and gentlemanly way. Deputy Corry, I am afraid he is out, has spoken of the expenses and the wear and tear of motor cars. He has spoken to you of Army Pensions and Civil Service Pensions. There is another class of pension on which he remained mute, not a word from him. We are here as much bound to pay Army and Civil Service pensions as we are bound to pay the R.I.C. pensions. We have to pay for them no matter how they arise. Why not take the whole lot and ask why should we pay two and not get rid of the third? A Deputy on the Opposition Benches says "hear, hear." Will Deputy Corry say "hear, hear"? Deputy Corry reminded us that the East Cork constituency, which I agree produces freaks, has still got in existence rural councils, because he produced to the House a resolution which had been sent to him from a rural district council. I was under the impression, as were several other members of this House, that rural district councils had been got rid of for some years, but we hear that still in East Cork rural councils are to be found. I did not know that. I am quite willing to appreciate and accept Deputy Corry's statement that he has in his possession a resolution from a rural district council in East Cork. I would be entitled to say that if this rural district council is there it is functioning without authority.

I wish to say it was an urban council and not a rural district council. Deputy Wolfe should have been aware that there are no rural district councils here.

I thought I was aware, but when I heard the contrary statement I accepted it with the very great respect I always give to anything that falls from the mouth of Deputy Corry. Deputy Cooney spoke about the responsibilities we undertook in 1921. I am sorry if he has gone, but it is not my fault. What exactly are we to understand by that? What were the responsibilities of which Deputy Cooney spoke which they undertook in 1921? I understood that they undertook no responsibility for what happened then, and that is the position which they still occupy.

The responsibility of letting Deputy Wolfe go—a very serious responsibility.

Mr. WOLFE

Accepting again the words which have fallen from Deputy Corry as words which would have fallen from the late George Washington, I take it that is the only responsibility which they incurred in 1921. I would take Deputy Corry's statement as indicating what Deputy Cooney meant when he spoke to us of responsibilities. I have heard now what the responsibilities were. I always understood that the position the Opposition took up was that they would under no condition whatever assume any responsibility for anything that happened in 1921. I think that gets rid of what Deputy Cooney told us. I think it was Deputy Maguire who pointed out to us, in a most painful way, the over-taxation under which we are labouring for the last five years. Now, are we here as a lot of children? Let us imagine for a moment that we are all sane. Who is responsible for the over-taxation?

ACTING-CHAIRMAN

It does not matter.

Mr. WOLFE

I do not want to go into it. I will deal with the Estimates as they are, and I suggest to you, sir, that I am entitled at all events to ask that every Deputy should put his hand on his heart and ask himself this question: Who is responsible for the over-taxation of the last five years?

ACTING-CHAIRMAN

Not in connection with this debate.

Mr. WOLFE

If he can answer that satisfactorily he needs no telling. A little commonsense and a little common honesty will enable him to answer that question. I want each man to answer for himself "Who is responsible for the over-taxation of the last five years?" When that is finished, will somebody come and tell me why is it we are going to reduce the Army by a million a year? Holding no brief for the Government, I would like to hear from the Minister for Finance if there are not a few of these Estimates which might be usefully increased. I would like to hear from the Opposition are they satisfied that the Estimates for old age pensions ought not to be increased. I think they should be increased.

I appeal to Deputy Ruttledge, who has a particular and intimate knowledge of another matter to which I would like to refer—the Estimates for the Supreme Court and High Court of Justice which are at present grossly under-staffed, as the result of which grave public inconvenience and delay have been caused—I want to know from Deputy Ruttledge does he want that state of affairs to continue or does he want further to stay the hand of justice? Does he want further to stay the rights to which poor litigants are entitled, and which for months and months have been held up owing to the fact, for which I am sure the Minister for Finance has got a good and sufficient answer, that the Courts are under-staffed? The fact remains that for months and months poor litigants have been debarred from rights and moneys to which they are entitled by reason of the fact that the High Courts of Justice are entirely under-staffed. I think these are matters of importance. I am sorry I have not an amendment down to increase the Vote by £1,000,000. If I had I would have the support, I am sure, at least on one or two points, of Deputy Ruttledge. I cannot answer for every member of the Opposition, but I know that he would support me in that. They all know as well as I know that there are items here which might be helpfully increased. We come back to the question then, "Is this debate eye-wash?" The sooner we get away from all eye-wash the better it will be for the House and the country.

Has the Deputy made any representations to the Department of Justice that they should employ him in the same capacity as he has been already employed by the British Government?

Mr. WOLFE

We all know that the Deputy has a very considerable claim to be put in charge of the Civic Guard, because only a slight inability to pass a mental and physical test and the fact that he was two or three inches short in height, prevented him from being an honoured ex-member of the R.I.C. to-day.

As far as I am concerned, I did not support the Royal Irish Constabulary from 1915 while you were pleading their case. I regret that I was not here earlier or you would not have got away with your statement.

ACTING-CHAIRMAN

Unless some other Deputy wishes to speak, I shall put the motion. This is distinctly out of order.

I was very interested to hear some pronouncements made here by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs. He gave us the impression that, on the whole, he was trying to support this Vote on Account, and he pointed out that no great reductions could be made. I find that last year talking on this question the same Secretary for Posts and Telegraphs referring to the Army. said, "I still maintain that we do not require an Army costing £2,000,000. I do not say that we should not have an Army, but I believe that we can maintain an Army for £1,000,000 sufficient to meet any possible military or civil requirements."

On a point of explanation, I want to point out to the Deputy that when I asked for a reduction on the Army it was costing £3,000,000. The cost of the Army has since been reduced to £1,800,000, and I believe our action in asking for a reduction was effective. I still have hopes that the cost of the Army may be reduced to £1,000,000. The Deputy and his Party may have something to say to the fulfilment of these hopes.

I am very glad to hear that the Parliamentary Secretary has not changed his mind. He said also, referring to the Committee set up to inquire into the question of possible economies: "I believe that Committee is working, but I have no faith in the recommendations of a departmental Committee, composed of civil servants, as to possible reductions."

Composed of civil servants exclusively.

As long as there is a Parliamentary Secretary on it it is all right.

He is a civil servant all right.

A very un-civil servant.

I believe that Deputy O'Connell, unlike some other Deputies, was honestly trying to find out if we had any suggestions to make with regard to this reduction of a million. His fear was that we might perhaps have to curtail some of the social services if we actually got this cut of one million carried, which would amount to about £3,000,000 for the year. The principal social services that we find in the Estimates are old age pensions and unemployment benefit—they are the two big items anyway. There are other services which might be of benefit to the agricultural community, such as the agricultural grant and the beet sugar subsidy. We were asked if we would cut out these grants by reducing the Vote by £1,000,000. These items taken together do not amount to anything like what we might call the imperial services, when they are added up. Take such items as the Governor-General, the superannuation of retired judges and civil servants, who are spending their money in England or somewhere else; £1,800,000 for an Army which is evidently there to support the Empire in case of danger; £1,500,000 for a police force, which is certainly not required in its present strength; the cost of the Land Commission, a considerable portion of which must go in the collection of land annuities to be handed over to the British Government; Army pensions and similar items. Anybody who adds up the figures will find that the savings on these items, taken in a group, will amount on this Vote to well over £1,000,000. We group these as the imperial services, not as the social services. It is for that reason we ask to have the Vote reduced by £1,000,000. Whatever Deputy Wolfe or anybody else may be afraid of, we have not advocated any reduction in old age pensions. On the contrary, we showed our attitude in quite a different direction on that question. We have not advocated any reduction of the unemployment benefit or of the agricultural grant.

Too many votes concerned.

Perhaps the Deputy need not mind about votes now that he has got what he wants.

And valid votes too.

You will not get them again.

Back to the land.

We have been told by the Chair that we are not to go into the different details that make up this Vote in order to show how we would save this £1,000,000, but we can at least show in a general way how we can make these savings. If anybody takes the trouble to examine the different items, for instance, the first item that I mentioned—the Army—and refers to the recommendation of the Parliamentary Secretary for Posts and Telegraphs—if you take his unbiassed opinion as it was given last year—it will be seen that we can save on that heading alone £800,000 per year. The same way with the other headings. Deputy Wolfe told us to ask ourselves one question. Who is responsible for the over-taxation?

ACTING-CHAIRMAN

The Deputy must not ask it here.

Will I not be allowed to answer that question?

ACTING-CHAIRMAN

No.

I should like very much to do so. We were also treated to a discourse by the Minister for Defence about the origin of the Army and about the different services we have. It was more or less suggested that that Army was there for the good of the country, to put it very mildly, and that that Army was put there in a constitutional manner. In other words, that it was established with the full will and consent of the Irish people. I think we should at least get an opportunity of answering that argument, that we should be allowed, perhaps, to say something about the pact that was entered into by the two Parties at that time, and which was broken, without any regard whatever to honour or truth or anything else, by the Party who now sit opposite.

ACTING-CHAIRMAN

The Deputy certainly must not bring that in on this Vote on Account.

We would have a prolonged debate.

What do you know about it?

I do not know if I would be in order in answering another question raised by the Minister for Defence when we were discussing the treaty between Great Britain and Egypt. Document No. 2 was referred to. At any rate, we will go back to the Estimates, and perhaps it would not be out of order to say that under Document No. 2 there would be no Vote, for instance, for the Governor-General or any King's representative in this country. There would have been a different Constitution drawn up which would have been different in at least nine or ten Articles where the King's name appears. There would have been no necessity for the making or breaking of the pact that caused all this controversy.

ACTING-CHAIRMAN

The Deputy must not get round the ruling; he must stick to the expenditure.

I am afraid I have not anything further to say then.

I rise to support this amendment for the simple reason that I am honestly convinced that this country cannot afford to pay taxation to the extent of £23,000,000 per annum. I am speaking now as one who has not been responsible for any of the destruction that has occurred in this country during the past few years. I was opposed to it, and I resent the turn that this debate has taken, because it has been more or less a debate in connection with who is responsible for the Civil War rather than a debate on the Estimates. As far as the speech of Deputy Wolfe was concerned, I think it was one of the worst speeches I ever listened to, because he seemed to convey, or tried to convey the idea that were it not for the Gárda or the Army one could not walk the streets in this country. I would like to tell Deputy Wolfe that as far as I am personally concerned I could always walk the streets of my native town before I ever heard of the Civic Guard or the Army, because I was always one who believed in being a law-abiding citizen, and I am speaking on behalf of a very considerable section of the citizens who are convinced that this country should be run on less than £23,000,000 per annum. It has been said here that it is absolutely impossible to carry on the essential services of this State on a less sum. The same was said when the taxation amounted to £11 per head, but it has been reduced within the past four or five years to £7 per head, and I say it can be reduced here and now without injuring, in any way, the efficiency of the State services.

It is extraordinary that previous to the Treaty you had hundreds of men in this country who were willing to lay down their lives for nothing in order to free the country and yet, now, in times of peace they want to command the very highest figures for their services to the country. I say this country cannot afford to pay salaries paid in the past six or seven years. They are out of proportion to the service rendered, and they are in excess of what those people could command if they were in similar positions in the outside world. There are thousands of men unemployed at the present time who cannot even get one pound a week, and I say there should be a reduction in the salaries of the officials of this State. Take the moral effect that would have upon the working man. How can any Deputy get up and say that the working man should allow his wages to be reduced by a shilling or two and yet vote £1,500 a year to a Minister and an official is a matter that passes my comprehension.

They are cheap at it.

We have to remember the moral effect that this has on the common people of this country. After all, we are only a simple, plain people in a little island so many miles long and so many miles wide. Our chief industry is agriculture. I maintain that the position of agriculture to-day is little better than it was in 1914. The taxation for that year only amounted, I think, to something like £12,000,000 or £13,000,000; it is £23,000,000 to-day. It is an impossibility to carry on at that rate, and that is why you have on the right a lavish display of wealth and abject poverty on your left.

I support the amendment because, as I said before, I am honestly convinced that high taxation, whether national or local, is inimical to economic progress in any country. That may be a matter for laughter for Deputies on the Government Benches, but perhaps if some of the Deputies whose speeches I have listened to had the same moral courage during the General Election of 1918 as they have to-day there might be a different story to be told.

A DEPUTY

Forget it.

It is very hard to forget it. I am here to endeavour to assist the Government in working this country economically, but I say there must be a rigid retrenchment as far as the cost of administration is concerned.

For instance?

That is the duty of the Government in power. I do not mind, in any way, interruptions from Deputy Gorey. He is remarkable for interruptions, and for changing, too. Deputies on the Benches opposite have been asked to point out where economies could be effected. My answer to that is that if they get a chance to form a Government, then it will be up to them to effect economies. They are within their right in challenging this Vote, and in stating that the cost of administration could be considerably reduced without interfering with the essential services of the State. We are taxed at the present time to the tune of £23,000,000. I say, considering the state of agriculture, which is the chief industry of this country, that our taxation should not exceed £18,000,000.

resumed the Chair.

As one who does not sleep from the time he comes to Dublin until the time he leaves it, and who attributes that to the anxiety which he feels that possibly in some small measure he might, at some time, transgress the razor-edge of order, I rise to take part in this debate with a very considerable feeling of embarrassment. I have here a menu for a feast which, in the ordinary way, would seem to me to provide human provender for an almost unlimited period. But I am in the difficulty that it has been ruled, probably quite correctly, that I am not allowed to do with this menu precisely the thing which I thought this menu was contrived for. I was under the impression that I had to order a meal costing one million of money, and that I had to pick out, from the soup to the savoury, the different items which would make up that million pounds. But it seems that I have got to make up the million pounds out of the menu without touching the menu at all. I am dining á la carte, but it seems that the menu is somewhere else altogether.

It is only a trifle.

Only a trifle. I have to dine upon a trifle of one million pounds. I have listened to a good deal of the discussion and it seems to me to have wandered from the Cape of Good Hope to the South of Ireland, metaphorically, and it seems that everything is in order practically—I am putting this as my own simple, innocent interpretation of what has gone on—that everything is in order, in this discussion, except the items on the menu which is before us.

Why, that being so, should I be given silly figures like £271,000 for Public Works and Buildings, £2,250 for the State Laboratory, and £3,500 for the Civil Service Commission when all these are the very things which apparently I am not allowed to discuss? Frankly, I do not understand it. But there may be some explanation in the fact that when this menu was first provided, both in English and in Irish, the Government of the country, as far as it was represented by these particular items in English, cost £7,898,061, and in Irish cost something over seven millions. That has apparently been rectified, but frankly that does not help us very much in deciding what it is we are to discuss and how we can discuss it. So that the best thing I can do is to follow along the good or bad example I have received from those who went before me and proceed into a line of discussion of general policy until I am held up, and by a process of trial and error to discover what I may and what I may not discuss on a Vote to reduce by a million pounds a series of detailed Estimates which work out at £7,898,061. The difficulty, it seems to me, from a merely taxation and governmental point of view, is that we have in this country two Governments; we have to maintain and pay for two Governments; at the same time we have to pay for another Government that we have pensioned off, and we have to be desperately careful lest we combine the two Governments that now exist, pension off two Governments and just have one.

The representative of, I think, the National Party stated quite bluntly a very unpleasant truth, that this country cannot afford to spend twenty-three to twenty-five millions a year in governing this portion of the country. I am perfectly satisfied that this country cannot continue to afford to pay twenty-three to twenty-five millions a year for the actual services which are now rendered to the country in return for that money. We would have to be a very rich country to do that. The difficulty that is put up to us is the difficulty that is always put up by every man who is exceeding his means —"Where are you going to reduce?" Any of you who have ever been interested in the affairs of any man who was living beyond his means, interested enough and responsible enough to be able to go to him and say: "Look here my friend, you are living beyond your means, and disaster lies ahead of you," will have got precisely the same answer in the personal sense that we are continuously receiving in the governmental sense—"Where can I reduce? My children must be educated; I must have holidays; I must have this, that or the other. I am wildly anxious to reduce, but where can I reduce?" He goes on arguing, proving the impossibility of reducing anything until the sheriff comes in and solves the difficulty by taking the bed from under him and by taking his whole house. That is what is going to happen in this country unless we get some sense. We are living beyond our means. We are taking out of production, merely for the purpose of carrying on the country, a greater amount than we can continue to afford to take. It is not a question of where we are going to reduce it. We have got to face the facts that we have got to reduce it. Whether we will reduce it on Imperial defence, whether we will reduce it by removing preventable extravagance in the overlapping of services, whether we will reduce it by taking out of the costs of the National Exchequer the patronage fund, wherever we have got to take it, if we cannot continue to afford it, it has got to come out.

I understand that there is a sort of Commission of Inquiry into economies set up under the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs, and somebody has been recalling to this House the history of that gentleman in relation to economy. I was familiar with the thing called the Farmers' Union which seemed to be wildly active at every board of guardians, in the correspondence columns of every newspaper—"economy, cut down salaries"—and I was under the impression that Deputy Heffernan was one of those strong advocates. He seems to have gone on steadily advocating and steadily believing in the possibility of accomplishing the thing he advocated, until he took the shilling.

I think the Deputy ought to be asked to withdraw that statement. There is an implication, an innuendo, an insult in it that ought to be withdrawn.

It is very difficult to judge as to whether there is or is not a personal imputation in the particular remark. The question at issue here is, I think, a purely political one, and it is not the business of the Chair to treat of matters of taste, or tact, or even of courtesy. The remark having reference to a purely political set of circumstances, it appears to me that the Chair could not ask it to be withdrawn in this particular context.

Let him go on.

Deputy Corry was good enough to quote the source and authority upon which I based that statement. I had previously submitted that statement to Deputy Heffernan in writing for confirmation, and Deputy Heffernan's answer to that courtesy was to tell me that he was not in any way responsible to me, and would neither confirm it or otherwise. This is the fact, that the Farmers' Union on February 8th, 1928, the Deputy having told us——

On a point of order. We have been talking a lot recently about discussing who was responsible for the civil war. It has been generally agreed that we should not accuse each other of being responsible for that. A new element has been introduced for discussion in this House —"Why did the Farmers' Party join the Government? What did they get for joining it?" I would suggest that that also ought to be taboo. If not I would suggest that we should have a special discussion as to why the Farmers' Party joined the Government Party and what they or Deputy Heffernan got for joining the Government Party.

Deputy Heffernan has been good enough in a public speech to declare what he got. He has been foolish enough, if I may use the term, to neglect the opportunity which my courtesy gave him, of explaining away in any way he liked what he did say. What he did say was that "as an indication of appreciation the post of Parliamentary Secretary was offered to the Farmers' Party." That was after explaining why he had voted in a certain way—"as an indication of appreciation the post of Parliamentary Secretary was offered to the Farmers' Party."

That is exactly what I mean literally when I say there was a moment of change-over, a moment when the great economist, the person who would have torn down all the extravagance of this country, who would have economised, who would have abolished the bonuses, who would have looked broadcast everywhere to see how cheaply he could run the State——

When Deputy Flinn joined the Fianna Fáil Party.

The Deputy can interrupt as long as he likes. I do not mind. There was a moment of change-over when the economist became prepared to stand over any extravagance, over any price, over any Estimate that was produced from the benches opposite, and that moment of change-over was when, "as an indication of appreciation the post of Parliamentary Secretary was offered to the Farmers' Party." I think that when Deputy Heffernan accepted that indication of appreciation he did a very great service to this country because he wiped out the farce and fraud of what is called the Farmers' Party in Ireland. He rang its death-knell. He turned it first by gradual process of dissimulation from a Farmers' Party into a Farmers' Group, then into a Farmers' Group in Cumann na nGaedheal, and now it is nothing whatever except votes in the lobby for Cumann na nGaedheal, for the very policy which the Farmers' Party came into power, got every vote it ever got——

On a point of order. Are we discussing the Estimates or the mental and political attitude of Deputy Heffernan?

I think it would be better to let Deputy Flinn go on. I think it would be a pity to stop him, and will greatly improve my chances in the country.

I was going to say that Deputy Flinn has given an illustration of what can be said within the bounds of Parliamentary language. I hope when someone is operating in the same way against another Party we will have the same calm.

On a point of explanation. I would ask Deputy Flinn when he is explaining why people did certain things politically if he would explain why he joined the Fianna Fáil Party?

Why he ran from conscription in England.

The reason why I became a candidate——

I would rather have the Farmers' Union than that.

Clearly understand that it is not I am refusing to listen. Deputy Heffernan has been good enough to borrow one of my expressions. He has been good enough to call upon himself a rebuke which generally comes my way. He appealed that there should not be any interference with the Opposition when dealing with him. It is only an imitation and a poor imitation. What we have to face is that the Farmers' Party, the Farmers' Union, as now represented by the indication of appreciation, is fully, completely, and finally in favour of this sort of Estimate and ridicules the idea for which the Deputy's Party stood, that there can be any large retrenchment in expenditure. Is that what the Deputy stands for now? That is what that Party stood for. All sorts of extravagance was going on which they, business men, men who are carrying the country on their shoulders, they, the labourers, they, the workers, they the producers, were paying for. That extravagance which, before the Deputy became the indication of appreciation, was wrong, is now right. Because the Farmers' Party was dishonest, because it did not mean what it stood for, because it was only looking for Party capital, and because it would not stand over the fight when it came to it, that is why Deputy Heffernan is now the representative of a thing which at the next General Election will become extinct.

Will the Deputy apply the epithets he applied to the Farmers' Party to me personally and I will reply to them?

It would be out of order.

The worst of it would be that the Deputy's reply would give me another sleepless night. How would we go about getting economy in this matter? What would be the practical way? What has been done in other places, in big firms like Vickers, Dunlops, the big combinations of millers in England or other places when they found their income was less than their expenditure? I have a certain amount of experience of what they did and how they went about it.

One of the things they did was to go through the finances of the departments and take out every indication of appreciation. I will give a particular case. A big industrial combine in England, finding that things were not going very well, appointed a chartered accountant of considerable eminence and at considerable cost to go through the whole concern from top to bottom. He only undertook the work on condition that whatever recommendation he made would be carried out, and that there was to be no respect for persons, families or connections. Now, very much like this Government, very much like its Departments, this particular combination had been built up more or less on a family basis. Different firms had come in, directorates had to be found for little Johnny and a secretaryship for Mary, and so on. They took a record of every single executive officer in the firm, and it was one whose turnover is bigger than that of the Free State. They got perfectly independent people to go around and see the work that was being done by every man. They got to know the capacity of every man, and they ignored completely the personal and family history of every man.

The result was that there was a terrific scattering of the ornaments, and there was left in charge of that business, which was turned over from a failure into a success, the effective units. Every single man in that firm, from the top to the bottom, was required to justify (1) his existence, and (2) the amount he was taking out of the funds of that body in return for the work he was doing. Of course, certain people had to be pensioned off. It could not be helped, and there were certain very hard cases and there were certain breakings of old ties and old connections, but that firm was turned into a unit which was industrially sound.

I suggest deliberately that the Government should take some one Department of this State, and they should get one—I am saying it deliberately— preferably outside this country, so that there would be no connections or inter-connections—they should take one big firm, such as the firm that reorganised Vickers, and say to them, "This Department you will go through; you will when you have finished provide us with a report stating exactly what is being done, stating exactly what staff are required to do it. You will state exactly what should be the remuneration, on a commercial basis, for the doing of that. The staff should be separated into effectives, into poor relief, and into the political people, and when that is done, when the Dáil is in possession of the facts, the Dáil itself will have to take the responsibility of saying whether or not they will deal with that problem effectively." The difficulty in every case we have, both in governmental and in business affairs in Ireland, is that most of them are poor relief and patronage associations. Mind, it is not only in the State. I am not blaming a Government Department more than any other. I believe in being fair with them, because I believe that men are working very hard in these Government Departments, but I believe there are a lot of "mugs," and I believe that there are Departments which are under-staffed and that there are Departments which are over-staffed. I believe that any competent and independent man going to find out the facts can find out the facts, and if he comes to the Dáil and says, "In that Department there are 400 people, of whom, of the eight principals, four are ineffective, of whom, of the remainder, 200 are unnecessary," then the Dáil must take the responsibility of frankly saying, "We will regard that Department purely and simply as a poor relief association, and we will regard it as a place in which past services are to be paid for under the head of inefficiency," or the Dáil will take the responsibility of saying, "That Department will be run as an effective unit." If that was done in one Department, I do believe that you would get from the existing Government Departments extremely better service. You would get appreciation for the good men who are not being appreciated. You may get the sacrifices of the accumulative duds, but you would get effective civil servants, and once that had been done with one Department, I believe, we would be on the way to find a solution for them all.

We were told—I forget which of the Deputies it was, but I think it was Deputy Cooper—that we have to live as a model State. We have to live as we can afford to live until by economy and good management we have begun to produce an amount of wealth which will enable us to live up to the standard at which we think we ought to live. Industry at the present moment is being hampered by the burden of the expense which is laid upon it by taxation. I was at one time connected with a movement which was intended to bring milk and honey to this country. That was a movement to remove from productive industry in this country the burden of income taxation, the burden upon initiative, the action by the State which penalised a man because he was producing. And what is true of income tax is true of the radiations and the indirect effects of most of the other taxes. The fact that we take from production in this State twenty-three or twenty-five millions a year means that the price of our goods is raised by that amount. Because we keep the machine of State oiled, well oiled sometimes, because we use hundreds of thousands of men to keep the machine of State oiled, those men are withdrawn from primary production. They have to be kept by the producers and to the extent to which they are kept by the producers they must take from the producers' capacity to produce in competition.

I am one of those people who have a far keener interest in the real farmer of this country than Deputy Heffernan. I want to give an indication of my appreciation of the farmers of this country by taking off them the burden of preventable taxation directly, and the very much larger burden of maintaining the non-producing elements of this community. It is a common saying— whether it can be statistically justified or not is another matter, but at any rate it is not one which Deputy Heffernan will quarrel with—that 80 per cent. of the production of this country comes from the farmer. Who is keeping the rest of the people? They are not 80 per cent. of the community. Are they 50 per cent. of the community, the producing element of them? Those farmers are poor; those little farmers are working harder and longer than their own day labourers, because they have to pay in the retail cost of their goods the cost of maintaining every ineffective or semi-effective producer in the country. I move the adjournment of the debate.

Debate adjourned.
The Dáil adjourned at 8.30 p.m. until 3 o'clock on Wednesday, 21st March, 1928.