Public Business. - Poor Relief (Dublin) Bill, 1929—Committee Stage (Resumed).

Debate resumed on amendment 6 to Section 4.

As I indicated last night, our attitude on the rate of wages is that if anybody is asked to work and is given a certain amount of relief, the time he should be supposed to work should not be more than the time that would be necessary in order that the current rate of wages that he would earn would equal the amount of relief that was given. As far as I can see, the proposer of this amendment agreed to that. But I am afraid, so far as I can read it, that the amendment is much wider. It suggests work "that but for the provisions of this section, would be done by persons employed for wages in the ordinary course of industry or trade." Is it intended by this amendment to prevent a local authority, for instance, organising the building of houses; organising bricklayers and tradesmen, and employing them on that work for such time as would be the time, if they were employed at the current rate of wages in which they would earn the amount given in relief?

There is no such intention.

Well, then the wording of this amendment must be changed, and there is agreement on this side at any rate about the main thing which we have in mind, and that is that the Deputy would withdraw the amendment and put in definitely what he wants.

Ah, ah, what about Deputy Flinn?

We have no objection whatever if the Deputy will do that. We are quite prepared to vote for this amendment even at this stage.

What about Deputy Flinn; is he going to vote for it?

We are going to vote for it at this stage in order to have the Bill clarified by the Minister at some later stage. We want to safeguard the position. We are as anxious as any Deputy on the Labour Benches to safeguard the principle that these men shall not be employed at a rate lower than the current rate of wages.

Is that the Deputy's view?

The point is that the wording of this amendment means more than that.

Perhaps the Deputy is going to vote for it.

We will vote for it if necessary, for the ordinary purpose of putting in an amendment ourselves afterwards.

The Deputy is coming over.

The Cumann na nGaedheal Ministry need not imagine they are going to put us at loggerheads about this question at all. They will fail if they think that. We hold as strongly as the Labour Deputies that if work is going to be given for relief the rate of wages and the hours at which the person should be employed should not be lower nor longer than the current rate of wages. That is to say, that the time which the person should work to earn relief should not be more than under the current rate of wages. I was not here last evening when Deputy Morrissey was explaining the amendment. As far as I could find out the purpose of his amendment is exactly the same purpose as that which I indicated when speaking on the Bill last night. Is that so?

Quite, in so far as the Deputy went.

Will the Deputy agree that the wording here does not mean that?

No, I do not agree with that.

Take the wording. It is a question of English after all.

Hear, hear! Did the Deputy hear Deputy Lemass last night?

Take the wording of the amendment: "work that, but for the provisions of this section, would be done by persons employed for wages in the ordinary course of industry or trade." Now suppose a local authority started getting house-building organised, and bricklayers to whom they were giving relief organised, and other workmen that would be engaged in that particular work organised, and set out to supply some of the houses that we are short of. Would they not be doing something there that might be done in the ordinary course of business and trade? We would be definitely encroaching on ground that Deputy Good or somebody else would be covering in the course of his ordinary business or trade. We are prepared to say that the local authority should do that.

Does Deputy Flinn agree with that?

I do not care what Deputy Flinn agrees with. I am speaking for myself and for the majority of the party here, I am certain.

The Labour members would appear to be more interested in indulging in matters of this kind than in getting the real matter at issue settled. If they are really interested in this question it would be well to have from them what is meant by the amendment. I am anxious to safeguard the principle that is set out in the amendment, but at the same time I do not want to have any local authority prevented from organising the workmen to whom relief will be given so that they may do useful work. As I read the amendment, it would seem to indicate that the workmen would be forbidden to do anything of the sort that I have set out. In the last analysis we would not be satisfied with the wording of the amendment, and, if the Deputy does not withdraw it in order to clarify it at a later stage, it is our intention to put in an amendment on the Report Stage so as to clarify the matter.

Hear, hear!

I have not attempted to draw up any such amendment yet. I have examined the whole matter very carefully, and I would be inclined to suggest a change in this fashion—to perform any task of work which, in the opinion of the Board, is suitable to the sex, age, strength and capacity of such person, provided that such person shall not be obliged to work for a longer period than would be necessary at the current rate of wages for that class of work for him to earn the sum granted by way of relief. Something like that is what we require. That is the sort of thing that I want. I do not want to see something which is so wide that it would prevent the local authority from organising necessary work. I say these things merely to clarify the situation. If the Labour Party will not withdraw that amendment, deliberately to prevent misunderstanding, we will vote for the amendment, it being clearly understood, if this amendment is passed now, and if the Minister himself does not do it, that we will be responsible for bringing in an amendment at a later stage in order to make it quite definite what it is we are aiming at. I do not think there is any necessity for me to say any more just now.

I think it is generally accepted nowadays as a truism that every great crisis produces a great man. This crisis of unemployment has produced a great man in the person of Deputy Flinn.

Mr. Hogan (Clare):

He has championed a system of philosophy so brutal in its principles and so inhuman in its application that it took almost a century before anybody was found to stand up to defend it. It is a system of philosophy which says rob the poor because they are poor. That is the system of philosophy that Deputy Flinn adumbrated and defended here last night. He said, in effect, that because there are hundreds unemployed, thousands unemployed, you can force down the standard of living; because there are scores of thousands unemployed you can force down the subsistence level. To what extent is Deputy Flinn or those for whom he speaks concerned with "The pallid pimp of the bread line;" how far is he concerned with the houseless or the hungry so long as his sacred doctrine of rob the poor because they are poor is upheld?

Because there are forty outside the factory, the wages of the twenty inside should be divided by two so that the law of supply and demand shall be maintained. Because a hungry man will work for twenty shillings instead of twenty-five shillings, why pay a man twenty-five shillings? Because you can force the workingman's child to subsist on half a pint of milk a day instead of a pint of milk, why give that child a pint of milk? That illustrates the brutality of the doctrine preached here last night from the Fianna Fáil Benches by Deputy Flinn. It is the doctrine of the jungle, the doctrine of the tooth and the talon. If Deputy Flinn stands for that doctrine it should be clearly understood that the doctrine of the jungle should be enforced for people who pay super tax just as well as for those who seek home assistance or relief work. Deputy Flinn is one of those philosophic philanthropists, or philanthropic philosophers, who generally dry their tears over the sufferings of the unemployed with share scrip or deposit receipts. The law of supply and demand is, of course, one that should be upheld. The human element should never be brought into account. You are to force down the standard of life of the trade unionists so that capital may have its price. Deputy Flinn speaks of a pool. What pool? We want to know what is left out of the pool of resources just as much as we want to know what is put into it. We want to know on what authority certain people glut themselves on what is kept out of the pool, whilst they sentence others, who have to depend on the pool for a living, to a life of misery.

Deputy Lemass was a very poor editor of Deputy Flinn's speech, a very poor editor indeed. Deputy de Valera edited it much better. He spoke more humanly and uttered more humane philosophy, much more humane philosophy. I want to tell those people who are interested in this matter, and those who stand for that philosophy, that Deputy de Valera spoke more the mind of the people who support Fianna Fáil than did that high priest of capitalism, Deputy Flinn. There should be no doubt about this matter. It is very hard to speak calmly and dispassionately after hearing the jungle talk and after the adumbration of the tooth-and-talon law that we heard yesterday. If the law of supply and demand is to operate in this case, and if there is to be nothing for the human element, no consideration for the value that the human unit is to the nation, then those people who stand for that doctrine will have to face it when it is applied to themselves.

Could I get an answer to the question that I put on the Second Stage, and again yesterday? It would seem as if we are now merely wasting time trying to get political kudos out of the situation that confronts us. The point is: are these people going to be paid or are they going to get food in return for their work? Will the Minister explain how this section is going to operate? It is little use to have a debate proceeding on the lines upon which it is now running.

I will intervene in this discussion when I get room.

I am sure Deputies will give way to the Minister in order to allow him to give an explanation.

I would like, after Deputy Hogan's speech, to bring the House back to the subject matter of this debate. We are dealing with the amendment that stands in the name of Deputy Morrissey: "In sub-section (1), line 5, after the word `work' to insert the words `which is not work that, but for the provisions of this section, would be done by persons employed for wages in the ordinary course of industry or trade, and"'

Now, what I think we are really concerned about is what is the exact meaning of that amendment and what is the purpose and intention of it—"which is not work that, but for the provisions of this section, would be done by persons employed for wages in the ordinary course of industry or trade." I would ask Deputy Morrissey to indicate to the Dáil what sort of work would be permitted if his amendment were to be accepted by the House. Deputy Corish, I think, gave us to understand last night that he did not think that the amendment would exclude the clearing of derelict sites. But surely that is work which would be done by persons employed for wages in the ordinary course of industry or trade. I would like Deputy Corish to reconcile his statement with Deputy Morrissey's amendment if he can, to show me how Deputy Morrissey's amendment would not prevent the employment of persons on a relief scheme merely to clear derelict sites. They would be doing work which obviously would be done for wages in the ordinary course of industry or trade. The persons to whom relief was given might even be set to work to sort rags. I do not suggest that that would be fit or adequate work for them, but I am suggesting the most ridiculous example I can think of to show that there is not a single thing which would have any element of utility in it that could be performed by these persons if Deputy Morrissey's amendment were adopted. Therefore, Deputy Lemass was quite justified in saying that if this amendment were adopted the only thing these men could be employed on would be the building of follies. We are supposed to have a Labour Party in this House with a very up-to-date and a very advanced outlook, but here we find them in this amendment deliberately going back to the basic principles of the Famine laws.

And you are going to vote for it.

We are going to vote for it because we want this position clarified and because we are not going to permit a smoke screen to be raised as to the position of Fianna Fáil in this matter. That is why we are going to vote for it. But we certainly do feel that this amendment, in its present form, is not going to carry out what was at least the avowed purpose of some of those who supported the amendment, if not the purpose of the Deputy who moved it.

The policy of making things worse in order to make things better.

We have to make them worse, if you like, in order to have clarified the muddy waters that have been stirred up. We are not going to allow our attitude in regard to this amendment to be distorted or to be abused, or to be misrepresented in order to serve or advance the purposes of the Government.

I am glad to know that there are certain points of agreement between some members of Fianna Fáil and some members of Cumann na nGaedheal, but I regard the proceedings so far to-day on the part of the Fianna Fáil Deputies who have spoken as more or less in the nature of a saving of faces and a washing of hands after what has been described as the tooth-and-claw speech of Deputy Flinn yesterday. Deputy Flinn said, in effect, that he understood the problem of unemployment, and that there were thousands and tens of thousands of people who were prepared to accept work on the Shannon scheme at 32s. per week. He also said, amongst other things, that there were thousands of persons now wanting houses who could not get these houses built because of the building trade union. There appeared to be unanimity of opinion also between certain members of Fianna Fáil and certain members of Cumann na nGaedheal that these trades unions should be abolished and that coolie labour conditions should obtain in this Free State.

Who said that?

I will come to that in a moment.

Come to it now. Quote the statement.

I will come to it in a moment. You take your medicine.

That is not medicine; it is a lie.

The Deputy should not say that.

Very well. I withdraw.

Will Deputy Anthony give way to the Chair for a moment? I said yesterday when Deputy Briscoe rose that we were in fact discussing Section 4, amendment 6 and amendment 8 together, but that we had got into a very much wider range of topics, and that we could not continue on that line indefinitely. While I recognise that I must allow certain Labour Deputies to make their position clear, I would like to commend to Deputy Anthony, while he is on the general question, the brevity of his colleague who has just spoken.

All right, but I suggest, as far as reference has been made to wages and conditions on the Shannon scheme by Deputy Flinn, that I am entitled to refer to some of the things he said in relation to them. I want to say this—and I think it will be generally agreed, at any rate, throughout the Free State —that for the working-class people of this country the 32/- Free State or the 32/- Republic has no attraction. I challenge any person in this House or outside it who has visited the Shannon scheme and inquired into the conditions of living there, apart altogether from the question of wages, to deny that these workers were employed and engaged under the most dehumanising and demoralising conditions in this part of the world, or in any part of Europe, for that matter.

Mr. Byrne

Can you substantiate that?

Yes, I can. That that work has been carried on without a semblance of recognition for Factory Acts or any other class of humane legislation in force in this country is undeniable, and is manifested by the high rate of mortality due to accidents, not to speak of the large number of minor accidents. It is undoubtedly a fact that in the present state of capitalist society— so well represented by Deputy Flinn and certain members of the Fianna Fáil Party—so long as that condition of things is permitted to operate, we will have a larger number of persons than work can be provided for, as indicated week after week and month after month by the thousands of persons who must leave our shores to seek employment elsewhere. These conditions, I submit, will continue to operate so long as the present state of capitalist society exists, and it is for the Fianna Fáil Party, who proclaim themselves such great friends of the workers and of the down-and-out unemployed, to make an approach to dealing with this matter in a somewhat better way than that advocated by Deputy Flinn yesterday—the law of tooth and fang.

I want to reassure Deputy Flinn, Deputy Lemass, and the other members of that Party who think as they do, if they have any doubts or misgivings on the matter, that the working-class people of this country do not now and will not at any future date recognise the 32/- a week scheme which they apparently accept as the be-all and end-all of labour activity in this country. At the same time, I am glad to know that there are members of the Fianna Fáil Party who do not think as Deputy Flinn and Deputy Lemass do on this question, and I want to reassure them also that the trade union movement in this country is a stronger movement than Fianna Fáil, is stronger even than Cumann na nGaedheal, and that not even the two forces combined can again drive the workers back to the level they had to submit to in 1913. Now, to come to the matters dealt with by Deputy Good on this amendment—

Did Deputy Good intervene on this amendment?

Not so far.

Deputies who have spoken on this amendment envisage a time when Dublin might be the Mecca of all unemployed persons in this State. We do know that whilst the metropolis in every country has certain advantages it also has certain disadvantages. There is no doubt but that many young persons flock to the metropolis in the hope that some latent ability which was not discovered in their own home towns might be discovered there. But I do not share the doubts expressed by some of the Deputies opposing the amendment. I would like also to remind the House that, whilst the metropolis has its problem of unemployment, in addition to other problems, the other cities and towns of the Free State have their own particular problems and questions.

I think the Deputy is on another amendment that has been disposed of.

I only want to make it clear——

It is good to see the Deputy in the House during the debate, anyhow.

Personally, I feel that it would be a very bad thing for the country as a whole if persons like Deputy Good, say, had to come under the operations of this clause. There would be a repatriation of nationals.

Neither Deputy Good nor Deputy Anthony can be repatriated under this particular clause.

Deputy Byrne, who has certainly made himself the mouthpiece of his Party in this connection——

He has not said a word about it. The Deputy must either talk about this amendment or conclude.

The Deputy thinks to-day is yesterday.

Deputy Anthony came in here and proceeded to make a speech which clearly indicated that he did not even know what the discussion was about, much less what was said in the discussion, and he attributes to me statements that I challenge him to prove I made. If he can prove from the Official Report any statement made by me which, even by implication, could be advanced to support the allegations which he made I will undertake never to speak again in this House. That is a big promise. This amendment of Deputy Morrissey's has been discussed for a considerable length of time. Those who spoke against the amendment, as it appears on the paper, include Deputy Morrissey. He himself admitted that the amendment, as it appears on the paper, did not provide exactly for that which he wished to have provided for.

I did not say any such thing.

I think I can find the actual words as I took them down. But he admitted that the difficulty of providing the safeguards he wanted to provide was very great and that this amendment did not appear to do it completely.

I said that I realised it would be difficult to get a form of words which would provide all the safeguards that we require.

Exactly, and I agree with Deputy Morrissey that it will be very difficult to do so. I suggest to him, however, that he has not found them, and I think he will be prepared to admit that he has not found them, because this amendment, if carried, would mean that those destitute, unemployed persons seeking relief could not be given work——

——that the only work that could be given to them would be work of an utterly useless nature which would not, in any circumstances, be done by a person employed for wages "in the ordinary course of industry or trade." I submit that any work of the slightest utility which would be done for wages in the ordinary course of industry or trade could not be performed by persons in receipt of outdoor relief if this amendment were passed, and that would include even the clearing of sites for the purpose of building schemes, as suggested by Deputy Corish and approved of by Deputy Morrissey. But even what was suggested by Deputy MacEntee—the picking of rags and that sort of work—is done in the ordinary course of industry or trade for wages.

This applies only to boards of guardians—not to other local authorities.

If Deputy Morrissey will put that in his amendment——

Will the Deputy read the section?

"Does any work which is not work that, but for the provisions of this section, would be done by persons employed for wages in the ordinary course of industry or trade."

That is the amendment. Read the section.

That is quite clear. Read that in relation to the section and it does not alter its significance at all.

Will the Deputy read the section?

I have read the section, and if Deputy Morrissey reads the section with the amendment added to it he will find if the amendment were carried that the only work which those persons in receipt of outdoor relief could be employed at would be such work as I suggested yesterday—shifting a heap of stones from one side of the institution yard to the other, the building of follies, the picking of oakum or something of that kind. If Deputy Morrissey wants to ensure that these persons will be given work, if he also wants to ensure that the manner in which they will be given work will not result in any depression in general wage levels, if he also wishes to ensure that these persons cannot be used against the interests of the workers in a labour dispute, if he also wishes to ensure that the work will be of a useful nature, conferring some benefit on the community by its performance, if he wants to ensure what we want to ensure——

The Deputy is improving on yesterday.

Everything I have said now I said yesterday, and I challenge Deputy Morrissey to find one statement in the Official Report of my remarks yesterday contrary to what I am saying now. I will admit that the mere fact that I have said that is not likely to save me from misrepresentation by Deputy Anthony and other members of the Labour Party at some future election. I will probably be misrepresented in any case. I am quite certain of it. I am quite sure that Deputy Murphy will be an adept at it. I have been reading some of Deputy Murphy's speeches in the "Cork Examiner"——

You can be quite sure you will hear plenty about it.

Let us hear the truth. That is what we want. I am stating the attitude I stood for yesterday, and that I am still standing for, the attitude that this Party stands for, and if Deputy Morrissey wants to ensure that that object will be realised——

Do you stand for what Deputy Flinn stands for?

If Deputy Morrissey wants to ensure that that object will be realised he will be, I think, forced to agree that some alteration in the wording of his amendment is necessary. The Minister for Local Government made a suggestion yesterday which, although not adequate, did go some way to meet the difficulty. He suggested that we should insert in amendment No. 8 the words "undertaken for the purpose of providing additional employment," after sub-section (a). That amendment would not appear to be a safeguard against all the dangers that might arise, but the idea is, I think, the idea that what we want to have provided for, that these persons should be engaged upon additional work which would not be undertaken if they were not available. But it should be work of a useful nature, work which in some other circumstance might be done for wages by persons in the ordinary course of industry or trade. But so long as these destitute unemployed in receipt of relief are not used to disemploy persons who would be certain of engagements otherwise there could be no objection to the manner in which they are engaged. The idea that we want to provide for is the idea of additional work. If the Minister or Deputy Morrissey, or the Minister and Deputy Morrissey in consultation, or Deputy Morrissey and Deputy de Valera in consultation, could get an amendment which would ensure that that idea would be given effect to in the Bill, I think that all this hubbub that has arisen could easily be disposed of.

There has been talk this afternoon about there being agreement about the main thing, but my interpretation of what is the main thing would not be the interpretation that has apparently been put on it by other people. The only main thing on which there has been general agreement is, if it is possible to provide work that would not ordinarily be done, and to employ on that work persons who are seeking relief, that that work ought to be provided. Deputy Derrig suggests that relief work is no use. In fact, that is the conclusion that a very large number of people engaged in the work of relief have had to come to because of the difficulty of finding work upon which persons might be employed and of the uneconomic nature of most of the work that has been tackled in that particular way. There has been general reaction from time to time against relief being carried out by those responsible for the relief of the poor. Nevertheless, I take it that while having that as an opinion, and to a certain extent I sympathise with that opinion because, as I have said, our difficulty is to know upon what work any of these poor law authorities will employ men if they want to employ them. While having that opinion, I take it that even Deputy Derrig would join the general opinion here that if it is possible to provide work that work should be provided for those men. Now it is proposed here that certain action should be taken that will compel the Minister to be clear about something or another, and the general ideas are served out, conflicting with the various points and the Minister has to clarify everything, and make everything word-perfect from the legislative point of view, so that everything being word-perfect from the legislative point of view, everything outside will be right for those who want to administer it. After the discussion heard here, I have no hope that any words that can be put into this measure are going to reconcile either the differences that have been disclosed here between Deputies or are really going to help anyone to administer relief in the most satisfactory way.

Deputy Morrissey, speaking yesterday, suggested that the Balrothery Board of Guardians might come along and build labourers' cottages with this particular class of relief. He fears that Deputy de Valera thinks that it would be an excellent idea if local bodies throughout the country, having housing schemes that were not being gone on with, would take the type of labour that is looking for relief, would organise carpenters and labourers, saying to them. "We are prepared to relieve you." In the case, say, of a man with a wife, I take it the relief would be 7/6, because this is the basis upon which it is administered in Dublin at present. A man is given 7/6, with 2/6 for his wife and 2/6 for every child. Take a man with a wife and two children, he would get 15/-. Deputy de Valera sees local authorities organising their house - building schemes by taking that particular type of persons, organising them into gangs and treating them according to their trade union rates of wages and saying, "Ordinarily you get 15/- on relief; therefore we will now give you eight, nine or eleven hours' work to do and require that of you for relief work." He seems to think that magnificently organised and splendid economic schemes of housing can be conducted in that particular way. The general experience of engineers and others who have to deal with relief labour has been that the capacity of the man they get is about 50 or 60 per cent. the capacity of the type of man that would be got by an ordinary ganger or foreman organising his gang for general trade purposes. I would like to hear that denied if anyone with experience can deny it.

We would not try to.

As I say, it is a general experience and what I say cannot be done is that on relief work you cannot afford to pay wages that ignore the capacity of the man that is carrying out the work. Deputy Morrissey, passing from the fear of what might happen about house building up at Balrothery, more or less suggested that it actually happened, or something on all fours with it had happened, and that I had said that 30/- a week was a sufficient wage for men who were employed on the actual work of developing land for housing purposes. What actually happened was that before Christmas the work was begun. Because of the opposition of certain persons, who tried to get the men not to work, the project was left aside, having worked a few days, and begun again in January on an area that would probably take 250 houses. The Commissioners started relief work in the clearing and developing of that area. On that site for the last nine months or more they have got about 65 men engaged who would otherwise be in the receipt of relief. They pay them 30/- a week, and when the matter was raised here before I said that the work had been costed and that if there was any saving on that work based on the difference between what the actual costing of the work would be in the ordinary circumstances and the actual carrying out of the work with relief labour at 30/- a week, the difference would be paid to the men in a bonus. About four weeks or so ago the question arose with the Commissioners that at the rate the work was going on they could not see their way to afford to carry on the work at a cost of 30/- per week per man.

In the critical atmosphere brought about by the development of the decision of the Commissioners to shut down the work there was a discussion on the matter, and an offer was made and an increased output was given following that offer. Since that offer was made on the work which was actually performed the Commissioners have paid a bonus of 5/- a week extra, so that the men on that work have been drawing 35/- a week since then, but the demand, if we understand the words here, is that men who are engaged in that particular work should be paid 58/8 per week, perhaps not as high as that, because the men are working, say, 36 hours a week as against the 44 which the 58/8 would warrant. Persons responsible for administering poor law cannot accept the position that men who are put on relief work of the type they get looking for relief can, economically even, if you take into consideration the fact that they would otherwise be drawing relief, be paid the rates of wages some Deputies here would demand. At the present, as I say, these men with increased output are being paid 35/- a week for a 36 hours' week. The average agricultural wages paid in the district in which they are working is about 33/3. I am sure Deputy Cassidy would suggest that it is not even as high as that. The road workers, for a 44 hours week, are paid 43/- in the same area. That has actually been done, and that is the kind of work that I personally would like to see done. That is the standard that I would like to see maintained by the Commissioners and by people carrying out work of this particular class. There is no use in the suggestion the Labour Deputies made that trade union wages must be paid for this particular class of work, or in the suggestion that Deputy de Valera made, that an equivalent to the trades union wages of work should be done in respect of the relief that is proposed to be given. It has been asked what exactly we do propose by inserting here "the powers." I said before, it is difficult to see where any body administering this Act can find even a little amount of work to give as either test work to persons whose bona fides in the searching of relief is doubted, or to persons for whom work would be desirable if they are to be kept in proper morale. Deputy Morrissey has not helped us in any way. As has been clearly said, the amendment prevents work of any kind being got.

I do not agree at all. Would the Minister point out where it would?

We are asked here not to allow them to do work that in the ordinary course of industry or trade would be done. It would rule out some of the work that has been done here in the city, the making of roads in particular places, and paths. I would like to hear a suggestion as to the kind of work it would not rule out, because that is what we have been looking for, and that is a matter in which we have not been helped by Deputy Morrissey.

Is the Minister clear that this section refers to boards of guardians?

It applies to the Minister's own amendment to the section.

We have not reached that yet.

You are discussing the two together.

I am quite clear that this section and the amendment that is there empower a board of guardians to pay for the carrying out of work by relief labour. What my amendment proposes is that the guardians can contract with either an ordinary local authority, such as the Dublin County Council, or the Dublin City Commissioners, replacing the borough council, to carry out some piece of public utility work. It provides power that if any public utility society or any philanthropic body want to develop, say, a site for houses, that the guardians can contract with these people to do the type of work such as has been suggested here by Deputy Corish. The empowering amendment gives them a machinery by which they can get work done.

At low wages.

If the Deputy thinks that the 35/- a week that is being paid on the Drumcondra work at the present moment is low wages and that a different class of wages should be paid there, that is one particular matter. But I cannot suggest to an authority such as the Dublin Union Commissioners that they should pay more.

With regard to that example, would the Minister say whether the increase from 30/- to 35/- a week led to increased output or whether it was the offer of the bonus that led to it?

The increase to 35/- a week followed an increased output. It followed an offer of increased output, and the increase of 5/- at the present moment is dependent upon the maintenance of that increased output, which has been given and is being paid for. When we speak of wages generally we are referred by some Deputies here to the road workers. I want to say first, in reply to Deputy Cassidy who raised the matter yesterday, that all we are preventing the county council in Donegal from doing is from paying a higher rate of wages out of money provided by the State than they are prepared to pay out of money raised by the rates.

May I interrupt the Minister in regard to that? I think he is altogether misinformed, inasmuch as at the present time the Local Government Department only allow the county council to pay the starvation rate of wages of 26/- a week. Some of the local authorities in County Donegal are paying 30/- a week out of the rates. As far as the Donegal County Council is concerned, they employ no direct labour on the by-roads. Consequently, the Minister is not right in the statement he has made. The Minister is deliberately standing for 26/- a week in Donegal, although a number of the local authorities, notably the Bundoran and Buncrana Urban Councils, are paying a higher rate of wages.

I am doing no such thing.

Can the Minister deny that?

Does the Minister deny that the local authorities mentioned are not paying more than 26/- a week?

No. I simply deny that I am doing anything in County Donegal except preventing the local body paying out of State funds a rate of wages that they are not prepared to pay out of their own funds.

They are prepared to pay 30/- a week out of their own funds. You are preventing them paying more than 26/- a week, which means that you are standing for 26/- a week as a living rate of wages.

Donegal is rather far away from this amendment.

The Minister introduced it.

The Minister is following it up, Deputy Cassidy having introduced it.

Is a rate of 35/- a week on relief labour on this particular class of work objected to by the Deputy?

I have not said anything about it.

He is objecting to a wage being paid for this particular class of work which is higher than the wage paid for general road work in about twenty-two of our counties.

How much lower?

This rate of wages is higher. It does not, as the Deputy will agree, compare with the rate of wages that would be paid if the ordinary labourers' wages in Dublin were paid on this particular class of work, as we are asked by the Deputy to do. I cannot accept Deputy Morrissey's amendment because, as far as I know, it would prevent any work of any useful kind being done, as has been said. I cannot see any hope, even by combining my brains with those of some of the other Deputies, that I can suggest anything more useful as an addition to my amendment here than what has been already proposed, and that is to extend the term "any work of public utility" to "any work of public utility undertaken for the purpose of providing additional employment." That provides the power to get done any work of that particular class that the bodies dealing with relief in the city and county of Dublin can possibly find, and I know that their search will be a hard one. The question has also been asked whether persons employed on this particular relief work are going to be paid in money or in kind? Persons employed on work will be paid in money. Persons who are being relieved will, as far as possible, be relieved in kind, but, as far as the necessities of any particular case are concerned, will be relieved in kind and in money.

The Minister has answered to a certain extent the question which I put yesterday. I understand the Ministry has already come to a definite decision with regard to the administration of this relief and I should like the Minister to state to what extent relief is going to be given in kind and in money. It is all very well giving a man who has a wife and child a food ticket amounting to fifteen shillings, but how is that man going to clothe himself and get a shelter for himself? I should like the Minister to give us something definite as to how it is going to be administered. The rates are going to be increased for the purpose of relieving the unemployed —the people who have no food. The Bill is classifying these people as destitute, and we are not told how the relief is going to be administered. There is great objection to the manner in which relief is at present administered—some people will get it and others will not. There is one thing which I should like to point out, which was borne out by a lady who is very active in Dublin in connection with the destitute poor. If a man applies to a relieving officer to come and inquire into his case, and if the relieving officer decides to give him a food ticket for himself and his family, if that man dares to take on a day's job to augment the food ticket by a few shillings towards his rent or to clothe himself, he is debarred from further relief. I want the Minister to tell the House clearly and explicitly what the restrictions are going to be, if any, and are some of the restrictions already existing in connection with the administration of relief going to be removed? I am not concerned with the labour policy or with Deputy Morrissey's amendment, but what I am concerned with is that the urgency of the situation in Dublin has brought about this solution from the Minister. That is what we are considering and what the Bill covers. As representing Dublin, I want to know how is it going to be administered and what the restrictions are going to be, and then we will be getting nearer to what I am concerned with. I believe most people are concerned with the poorer people in Dublin.

The section and the amendment concern not the form of relief, but the question of work which may be required of the persons applying for relief.

On the Second Reading, I mentioned that I should like the Minister to explain Section 4, which concerns relief. These amendments have since come in, and we do not yet know how the main idea of relief is going to be administered. These are only side issues. The fact of having work found for a certain number of unemployed men is one thing, but there is a great number for whom work will not be found, and to whom relief will have to be given.

Even accepting the statement that it is a side issue, this is the particular side issue that we are now considering.

When will the main issue be discussed?

We can only deal with this point at present.

I was going to ask the Minister if the amendment which he suggests to this amendment, No. 8, would not be more appropriate in Section 4, after the word "work." where it first occurs in line 3? If that amendment is inserted in amendment 8, it will relate only to work done by contract for somebody else, whereas if it were put in Section 4 it would relate to all the work done under the Bill.

I am prepared to put it in wherever it will be most useful.

I am interested in this Bill in this way, that I see, with the continual rise of unemployment, that in the rural areas we will have to consider the application of some relief like this. On this amendment, one thing strikes me which I am not clear about, and which I put to Deputy Morrissey. A municipality or county council in the ordinary way carry out what we call normal schemes of road work, sanitation, etc. If they decide on giving relief to unemployed labour on the improvement, say, of by-roads, on water supplies and extra sanitary schemes, will the adoption of Deputy Morrissey's amendment prevent the council employing the destitute on such schemes?

We should like to be clear on that. If, say, an extra sanitary scheme is started or a water supply to a village, can the local trades council come at the municipality and say that they can only employ members of this trades council?

Where is that?

I want to be perfectly clear on what we stand for on this. I contend that it is better, say, if you are giving £1 per week in relief to take a batch of men on for two or three days at this work, and another batch for two or three days more, rather than to leave them drawing a kind of dole. I think it is better for the community as a whole. As regards the Minister's contention about their not being capable of giving the work of normal men, that is principally due to malnutrition. I contend that after a while they will give as satisfactory work as a normal man. Of course that is no solution for the problem at all. It is the duty of the State to provide work for everyone out of work, and they will find that the passing of this Bill will not solve the problem. Eventually the problem will have to be faced of dealing with all the unemployed, and if Deputy Morrissey's amendment is carried. and it is through the machinery of local government that relief schemes will come and will have to be found to solve the unemployment problem, will the adoption of his amendment prevent destitute people from being employed on abnormal schemes and nobody but people with a trades union card being employed?

Not at all.

I want to get from Deputy Morrissey what exactly he means when he says that if the amendment is read in connection with the section it is quite clear that the danger referred to by Deputy Kennedy will not arise. Does he mean that the only work on which persons in receipt of outdoor relief or destitute people must not be employed is work that would otherwise be performed by persons employed by the board of guardians for wages?

It is quite clear that the Deputy knows as well as I do what it means.

So far as I can see, it means that which you will not admit.

Why did you change your mind from last night?

When I spoke last night I put it to the House as a problem. I put it with complete consciousness of the fact that in speaking in that spirit I was taking a risk of what has happened happening—that what was said sincerely, quite clearly, without premeditation, without guarding words of any sort or kind, would be selected and used for the purposes of political propaganda. That risk, unfortunately, I had to take. I may have hoped that misuse would not have been made of that contribution, but I had no right, founded on experience, to hope anything of the kind. I personally have not been able to get hold of a copy of my own speech of last night, and I presume, therefore, that no one else has, and I have not been able to go through that speech and find if there was any word which should be changed or any expression which should be altered; nor have I been able to go through it to find the particular words or expression upon which there has been based the suggestion that I have enunciated the doctrine of tooth and claw.

As far as I understand the position, what is complained of is the statement made by me that if any man would come forward and employ in this country the whole of the unemployed at the rate which was paid on the Shannon scheme, that man would be a benefactor of the highest possible order. That seems to me to be the gravamen of the complaint. I repeat that statement, and stand over it and I will maintain it. If we take the figure, given by the Labour Party, of unemployment in this country, it is supposed to run to 90,000 people.

The Deputy is not surely going to initiate another debate on unemployment?

No, sir. As a matter of fact I do not desire to speak at all unless the House feels that the attack that has been made ought to be answered.

That is why I did not say anything to the Deputy when he rose. I think, if he so desires, he must have an opportunity of meeting the particular kind of attack that has been made, and if the Deputy can manage to do so without involving us again in the very same debate upon the general question of unemployment it would be satisfactory. If we are to have the figures and statistics of unemployment gone into, which we all know is a very wide question, then we would be getting far away from the amendment.

On a point of order, I think Deputy Flinn should be allowed to make his defence against what most people believe to be an entirely unjustifiable misrepresentation of his statement.

The Deputy will be allowed, if he so desires, to explain what he said yesterday afternoon, but, as I indicated, after he had spoken yesterday to another Deputy and to the House, the section, and the amendments, do not really raise the whole question of unemployment, and we cannot, I think, now begin that debate over again. We cannot have a general debate on unemployment on this amendment, but we can hear from Deputy Flinn anything he desires to say as to his speech of yesterday.

We had three speeches of unlimited and violent attack founded upon that speech without any interference. I am not upon my defence. The figures given by the Labour Party of unemployment in this country were given to cover somewhere about 90,000 persons. At 32/- a week for fifty weeks in the year, the employment of these people would represent a wage of £7,000,000. I say deliberately that any man who would come forward, in the present condition of economic affairs in Ireland and the present degree of poverty and unemployment, and add to the fund of wages £7,000,000 of money by taking the whole of these 90,000 people out of unemployment into employment, is a great benefactor to this country and one to whom I, at any rate, am prepared to pay a tribute of respect for his services. These 90,000 men to-day lie in wait upon existing production of every kind, and if any man will come forward and tell us some way by which at mere "line ball" he will restore to the community £7,000,000 worth of food and clothing and shelter which he is prepared to distribute to these unemployed men, then he will be a man who has solved a problem which no man in this House, at the present moment, is capable of solving and which the so-called Labour Party— (interruptions)——

A Deputy

Not the so-called Labour Party.

Yes, the so-called Labour Party.

There is nothing so-called about it.

All right. These men will not allow——

Is Deputy Flinn prepared to subscribe to the doctrine of production for use and not for profit?

Let Deputy Flinn proceed.

I am asking Deputy Flinn does he subscribe to the doctrine that I have mentioned, of production for use and not for profit?

These people have told us that they, the Trades Union Party, as they call themselves, are stronger than Fianna Fáil and Cumann na nGaedheal combined.

We accept that.

Yes, their strength has been shown in this House as 110 to 5, as 113 to 12—that is the strength of the Labour Party. That is what they get when they go to the electorate, the vast majority of whom are labouring people. They come back with four or five per cent. of the representation in this whole Dáil. Have they the right to speak for Labour? They whom Labour repudiate and will not send back to this House, will not allow this, that, and the other. They have not as much power as the Farmers' Party, because the Farmers' Party do happen, for the moment, to hold the balance of power, and they do not. Again, I repeat deliberately, and will stand over it, that the man who will come forward and find productive work which will pay seven millions of money to the unemployed in this country at this moment will perform a very real service. He will lift off the cost of production the whole of those who to-day are idle and have to be maintained out of the existing production. They will begin the upward curve, they will give us some reserve and some opportunity to build up on conditions which to-day are stagnant. I have nothing to withdraw, nothing to extenuate, and nothing to apologise for.

A Deputy

The bulldog breed.

It has been said already that this debate has wandered into many strange paths. It is true also, I think, that we have learned very much in the course of the debate that quite a number of us expected for a very considerable time. The question has been frequently asked what this amendment aims at. There appears to be a very strange reluctance even to attempt to realise what the amendment aims at. I have refrained from taking practically any part up to the present in the discussions on this Bill. I have not studied the amendments or the Bill in the manner that I should have if I were to be prepared to take an intelligent part in the debate, but from a very cursory examination of the amendment I can see quite a number of things that it is aimed to prevent. I have not heard one word as to the attitude of certain members who have made memorable contributions to this debate on points of this kind. This amendment, for instance, will prevent any local authority from organising an army of scabs to do work at their bid and call under pressure conditions. It is going to prevent an organised army of strike-breakers being put at the disposal either of private individuals or of any local authority under the control of the Minister. I am not at all sure that the Minister would not be anxious to have facilities for using an army of that kind. I think that his speeches on this question were characterised by the same outlook that we saw revealed on other questions of a similar kind that came before the House on previous occasions. I think it is nothing short of a tragedy that a Minister with the outlook of the present Minister for Local Government should be presiding over the Department that he happens to be in charge of at the moment. If there is one Department in this State where a humane outlook and a wide knowledge and appreciation of the difficulties of the people of the country should prevail in, it is in the Department of Local Government. But I can see clearly, not alone on this question, but on other questions such as that affecting pensions for widows as well as numerous other questions, the same strong hand and cast-iron outlook that we had running through the speech of the Minister here this evening.

Might I intervene to ask the Deputy whether he considers it absolutely wrong to pay 35/- a week for relief work in Dublin, when the Cork County Council pays 35/- a week to all its road workers, and only 35/- a week?

All I will say on that is that I do not want to follow the Minister in a discussion of that kind.

What I want to tell the Minister definitely is this, that until very recently he insisted that the Cork County Council should not pay more than 29/- a week, and that he was simply relying on a technicality—on a recent change in the policy of his Department—when he contradicted Deputy Cassidy on that point to-day. In view of things that we have seen in this House already, it is not surprising at the moment to find Deputy Flinn able to gloat over the magnificent total of 109 votes that we had here on one side of the House yesterday against what the Deputy and his friends have been pleased to describe as the miserable minority. We have had examples of this kind already. Within the last six or seven months we have had on half-a-dozen notable occasions this huge block on one side and the miserable minority on the other. That has always arisen out of the same circumstances; it has always arisen here in connection with questions of wages and of living conditions.

Whether it was in the case of the Civic Guards or in the case of workers getting employment in tariffed industries, we have had the very same mentality exhibited and the same surprising unity amongst people who tear each other to pieces on other issues in this House. I regret extremely that the speech of Deputy de Valera, which I am quite willing to admit was a humane speech, was spoiled by a certain remark that he made. I hope I am doing the Deputy no injustice when I repeat his statement that Deputy Lemass was quite justified in the line which he took up yesterday evening. What was Deputy Lemass quite justified in? Fortunately on this occasion, even in the absence of the official records of yesterday's debate, there is some proof of what was said yesterday.

Where—in the "Independent"?

I put it to members of the House that this wail of always being misrepresented is not going to continue indefinitely. The "Irish Independent" this morning —I have yet to learn that even Deputy Lemass will have the hardihood to contradict the statement— represents Deputy Lemass as saying that they could not allow the imposition of trade unions to hamper their programme.

Read the whole sentence or give us none of it.

I want to know what are the impositions of the trade unions that have to be swept away? What are the trade unions set up for? What policy are they to endeavour to maintain in this country? Are they not endeavouring to do in reality what Deputy Lemass and others of his Party have given lip-service to—the platitudes that they have been using up and down this country for the last two or three years? It is refreshing and desirable that we should know that statements of that kind were platitudes.

That statement was not made by me, nor is it reported in the "Independent." It is only a half sentence that the Deputy has quoted.

It is reported in the "Independent." I produce a copy of the "Independent."

Perhaps the Deputy would read the whole sentence.

If this question involves a difference like that between certain historical documents that we heard a great deal about in this country for some years, I am not going to continue it.

No red herrings.

But I am going to continue the statement that I got up to make to the House, no matter what difficulties are put in the way.

And no matter what half-lies you tell.

I am going to continue my statement.

On a point of order, is not the Deputy bound to read the whole of the sentence before he goes any further?

He will read the whole speech if the Deputy likes.

On a point of order, is not the Deputy bound to read the whole sentence before he goes any further?

It is a nice point as to whether the Chair has power to compel the Deputy to read the whole sentence. I am afraid the Chair has not that power. The rule about documents is that when a Minister quotes from an official document, and is asked to lay the document on the Table of the House he does so, unless he contends that for reasons of public interest he should not do so.

Did I not hear you, sir, ask Deputy Murphy to read the whole statement?

Yes, I said perhaps the Deputy will read the whole sentence——

I confess I did not hear you make any such request. I would not have ignored it if I had.

It was not by way of a ruling but for the sake of peace.

Mr. Murphy

This is the sentence:

"The Fianna Fáil Party was committed more than any other Party to the solution of the problem of unemployment by the provision of work on State schemes in preference to the giving of any kind of relief work, and they could not allow the imposition of the trade unions to hamper their programme."

I wish Deputy Lemass the comfort of the addition I have given.

I stand over it.

Mr. Murphy

I confess I was somewhat surprised that Deputy Lemass took that line. On the other hand, I was not in the least surprised at Deputy Flinn's outburst. There are Deputies in this House from West Cork who know that Deputy Flinn was born into that tradition. There are Deputies in this House who know there are certain people whom Deputy Flinn knows about who were always able to get 1/11 for their 1/-, and if Deputy Flinn wants any proof of that fact he will find many persons in West Cork who will give it to him.

Will you tell us how he did it?

Mr. Murphy

Ask himself. He has certainly not improved the situation by the apology that we have heard to-day. I suggest that in future when speeches are to be made in this country about the Fascisti and the new Mussolinis, that Deputy Flinn should advocate that doctrine. His strong policy and his extremely strong voice suit him eminently for that purpose. When it comes to wiping out these abominable trade union restrictions, and when it comes to rooting out the ruthless capitalists Deputy Flinn speaks for in this House, and the people who stand for the imposition of out-of-date trade union restrictions, Deputy Flinn will be able to do an immense service to his own class, indeed. I notice that Comrade Cooney is strangely silent in this debate. He was slobbering here last week about the unemployed people in Dublin. He came in here with a catch in his voice and he asked that a deputation would be received. Deputy Cooney refused to vote yesterday for giving relief to people except they were two years living in Dublin. The one Deputy who continually slobbers over the brotherhood of man in the world and the International workers of the world, has not a word to say when Deputy Flinn makes a statement that I hope will become historic in this country.

Deputy Flinn is entitled to get any comfort he likes out of the fact that up to the present the workers have been foolish enough to vote for people like him. I am quite sure that a number of the unfortunate workers in Cork were responsible for sending him here. I hope they enjoyed his views on this question when they read them in the newspapers this morning. He need not fear that this game is going to continue much longer. There are signs all over the country that people like Deputy Flinn are being found out, and the reaction that is going to come will come a great deal more quickly because we have got this question out in the open, and because we have the admission that relief work can be offered at any price, and that Kaffir conditions can be advocated not alone in the public boards or elsewhere, but in the Parliament of the country, that men can be got at any price. Why not employ people at 30/- a week, with others trying to get in at 20/- a week? Why give them anything at all, but only offer them food, and you will have prosperity in the State? Deputy de Valera pays lip service, and I am quite prepared to admit honest service, to the right to work on fair living conditions, but there is a falling away and we have got the brutal truth, and we can thank God that we have got it so soon.

Before the amendment is put I wish to say a word or two. I do not want to follow this debate into the various bypaths into which it has travelled in the last 24 hours, but I want to say that there is no Party in the House, including Deputy Murphy's Party, that on its record as a Party has done more for the workers or given more help to them than the Party with which I am associated here. Not all the members in the Party, great or small, on the Labour Benches have done more as a Party than we have done or hope to do; or than they hope to do, for the workers, whether they are destitute or whether they are in constant employment. Deputy Murphy referred to Deputy Lemass as being opposed to the principle of trade unions. The words quoted by Deputy Murphy do not, to my mind, put Deputy Lemass against trade unionism in any way, in any shape or form. It is worthy of note—and Labour members ought to bear this in mind—that when there were in Dublin some good Labour men, even with national records, put up for election, the workers of Dublin City, North and South, voted for the Fianna Fáil candidates against the candidates put up by the Labour Party.

More shame for them.

That is the Deputy's opinion, but it happened. You could not get a candidate in when you had Fianna Fáil men standing whose records the workers could examine, and did examine, and they knew whom to vote for.

Men like Deputy Flinn.

I am speaking of the city of Dublin. You did not get your men in in Dublin City, and you certainly will not get them in on the next occasion, whatever chance you had before.

I will have an even-money bet with you on that.

I will meet you on that again and again. What has struck me is what Deputy Murphy has called the strange reluctance to see what this amendment aims at. It is strange that the mover of the amendment made no attempt to explain its terms. In fact, he threw cold water on his own amendment, and went so far as to suggest that if the Minister would agree to bring in an amendment which he would draft for Deputy Morrissey that Deputy Morrissey would withdraw his amendment, showing that he had no confidence in his own amendment, whoever drafted it for him.

took the Chair.

When the Deputy does not understand the amendment himself, and when his Party has made no effort, good, bad or indifferent, to explain what its terms mean, what can he expect from the House? They do not know what it means. They do not know its implications. That is what I believe. I know that it has been stated that it was put in deliberately vague terms for the purpose of enabling the Labour Party to put everybody else in the House in a difficulty——

——and to have it defeated.

To have it defeated. Therefore the Labour Party could go with their chests out and say: "We are the champions of trade unionism and you know what the other fellows are." I do not suggest that Deputy Morrissey and all the members of the Labour Party had that in mind, but some of them certainly had. They made no effort to explain what the amendment means.

If the Deputy is going to vote, as his Leader said, for the amendment, surely he understands it and will explain it?

I accept the effort we made to put an interpretation on it as expressed by Deputy de Valera, and we will try and unravel the incoherent phraseology of the Labour Party and put in words what, at any rate, is in our mind when the Report Stage comes on. We were anxious to safeguard trade union principles in so far as they could be safeguarded in this Bill. We were not anxious—I do not know whether the gentlemen opposite were anxious—as Deputy Murphy suggested, to use the money available under this Bill for the purpose of introducing slave conditions, Hottentot conditions or coolie labour in this country. I believe that nobody in this country would allow them to do it. They would not be allowed to do it even if they wanted. That is not our intention. Our intention is to stand for trade union principles. We were anxious to vote for an amendment which would safeguard those principles, and for that reason we said that we would wait until we heard Deputy Morrissey indicate what the amendment meant. It was not clear from the words. He did not give us any help, but, having put our own interpretation on the words, we will vote for the amendment, hoping to clarify it later.

Deputy Corish was, I think, the only Deputy of the Labour Party who gave one illustration of the class of work that could be done by boards of guardians. He said that he would take it on himself to say that the clearing of sites for houses might be done, and Deputy Morrissey, I think rather reluctantly, agreed that that type of work could be done, but no other suggestion was made. Deputy Morrissey has been pressed to give an indication in a general way as to the class of work that could be done, but he failed to do so. No other member of the Labour Party helped the House in that respect. That is not fair to the House if they want the House to bind themselves by passing this amendment. It is not the first time that we have had to help the Labour Party out of difficulties, and I suppose it will not be the last. We will try to draft an amendment which will safeguard trade union principles, for which the workers have suffered so much, and introduce it on the Report Stage.

I would like to ask Deputy Morrissey whether it is his purpose, in putting down the amendment, to secure that when work is required in exchange for relief the man who is taken into employment will not displace another man who normally would be employed by doing work which would ordinarily be done within a certain period. I am putting that question definitely.

That is not the full purpose.

It is one of the purposes?

One of the purposes.

Then I suggest that the amendment should have been worded in this way: "which is not work that, but for the provisions of this section, would ordinarily be done by persons within the two or three years"—or whatever period the Deputy likes—"immediately subsequent to the date upon which such relief work is started." I believe if the amendment had been put down in that form, and if there were any other reservations which Deputy Morrissey might have wished to put on the conditions on which relief work was being offered, there would not have been half the bother about it. If it is more or less with a view to securing the principle I have stated, that the relief work will not displace men who are now employed, and that the idea is that relief work will to a certain extent be in anticipation of work which normally would not be done for three or four years, I see no objection in voting for the amendment, and I shall vote for it with the idea of having it clarified, in some other form of words, on the Report Stage.

I do not for a moment believe that the members of the Fianna Fáil Party are puzzled as much as they pretend to be over the amendment. The object of the amendment is quite simple and I shall try to put it as briefly as I can. I want to make sure that work which, if this Bill were not passed, would be performed by workers recruited in the ordinary way, at the standard rate of wages and under standard conditions, will not be performed, as could happen under this Bill, perhaps, at half the wages and half the conditions. Let me put it briefly again. We want to ensure that work which would be performed, if this Bill were not passed, by workmen recruited in the ordinary way at trade union rate of wages, standard rates and conditions, will not, consequent on the passing of this Bill, be performed at half or any figure under the standard rate of wages.

That is clearly a reference to a rate of wages, but there is not a single word in the amendment about rates of wages.

The object of the amendment—and I think that the Deputy ought to know it—is to ensure that this Relief Bill is not going to be used, as it might very well be used, for the purpose of keeping out of employment men who could get employment at standard rates and under standard conditions.

Cannot the Deputy see that in its present form the amendment is much too general?

It does not qualify your restrictions in any way.

resumed the Chair.

Amendment put.
The Committee divided: Tá, 62; Níl, 73.

  • Aiken, Frank.
  • Allen, Denis.
  • Anthony, Richard.
  • Blaney, Neal.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Boland, Patrick.
  • Bourke, Daniel.
  • Brady, Seán.
  • Briscoe, Robert.
  • Buckley, Daniel.
  • Carney, Frank.
  • Carty, Frank.
  • Cassidy, Archie J.
  • Clancy, Patrick.
  • Clery, Michael.
  • Colbert, James.
  • Colohan, Hugh.
  • Cooney, Eamon.
  • Corkery, Dan.
  • Corish, Richard.
  • Corry, Martin John.
  • Crowley, Fred. Hugh.
  • Crowley, Tadhg.
  • Davin, William.
  • Derrig, Thomas.
  • De Valera, Eamon.
  • Doyle, Edward.
  • Everett, James.
  • Fahy, Frank.
  • Flinn, Hugo.
  • Fogarty, Andrew.
  • French, Seán.
  • Gorry, Patrick J.
  • Goulding, John.
  • Hayes, Seán.
  • Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
  • Houlihan, Patrick.
  • Jordan, Stephen.
  • Kennedy, Michael Joseph.
  • Kent, William R.
  • Kilroy, Michael.
  • Lemass, Seán F.
  • Little, Patrick John.
  • Maguire, Ben.
  • MacEntee, Seán.
  • Moore, Séamus.
  • Morrissey, Daniel.
  • Mullins, Thomas.
  • Murphy, Timothy Joseph.
  • O'Dowd, Patrick Joseph.
  • O'Kelly, Seán T.
  • O'Reilly, Matthew.
  • O'Reilly, Thomas.
  • Powell, Thomas P.
  • Ruttledge, Patrick J.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Sexton, Martin.
  • Sheehy, Timothy (Tipp.).
  • Smith, Patrick.
  • Tubridy, John.
  • Walsh, Richard.
  • Ward, Francis C.

Níl

  • Aird, William P.
  • Alton, Ernest Henry.
  • Beckett, James Walter.
  • Bennett, George Cecil.
  • Blythe, Ernest.
  • Bourke, Séamus A.
  • Brennan, Michael.
  • Brodrick, Seán.
  • Byrne, John Joseph.
  • Carey, Edmund.
  • Coburn, James.
  • Collins-O'Driscoll, Mrs. Margt.
  • Cooper, Bryan Ricco.
  • Cosgrave, William T.
  • Craig, Sir James.
  • Davis, Michael.
  • De Loughrey, Peter.
  • Doherty, Eugene.
  • Doyle, Peadar Seán.
  • Duggan, Edmund John.
  • Dwyer, James.
  • Egan, Barry M.
  • Esmonde, Osmond Thos. Grattan.
  • Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
  • Good, John.
  • Gorey, Denis J.
  • Haslett, Alexander.
  • Hassett, John J.
  • Heffernan, Michael R.
  • Hennessy, Michael Joseph.
  • Hennessy, Thomas.
  • Hennigan, John.
  • Henry, Mark.
  • Hogan, Patrick (Galway).
  • Holohan, Richard.
  • Jordan, Michael.
  • Kelly, Patrick Michael.
  • Keogh, Myles.
  • Law, Hugh Alexander.
  • Leonard, Patrick.
  • Lynch, Finian.
  • Mathews, Arthur Patrick.
  • McDonogh, Martin.
  • McFadden, Michael Og.
  • Mongan, Joseph W.
  • Mulcahy, Richard.
  • Murphy, James E.
  • Murphy, Joseph Xavier.
  • Myles, James Sproule.
  • Nally, Martin Michael.
  • Nolan, John Thomas.
  • O'Connell, Richard.
  • O'Connor, Bartholomew.
  • O'Donovan, Timothy Joseph.
  • O'Higgins, Thomas.
  • O'Leary, Daniel.
  • O'Mahony, Dermot Gun.
  • O'Reilly, John J.
  • O'Sullivan, Gearóid.
  • O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
  • Redmond, William Archer.
  • Reynolds, Patrick.
  • Rice, Vincent.
  • Roddy, Martin.
  • Shaw, Patrick W.
  • Sheehy, Timothy (West Cork).
  • Thrift, William Edward.
  • Tierney, Michael.
  • Vaughan, Daniel.
  • White, John.
  • White, Vincent Joseph.
  • Wolfe, George.
  • Wolfe, Jasper Travers.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies Anthony and Cassidy; Níl, Deputies Duggan and P. Doyle.
Amendment declared lost.

I move:—

In sub-section (1) to delete all words after the word "person," line 6, to the end of the sub-section.

It is stipulated under Section 4 of the Act that work may be required from persons receiving outdoor relief. At the same time a stipulation is made that "the assignment of such task to a person receiving relief shall not be deemed to establish the relationship of master and servant or any contract of service between the Board and such persons." Further on it is stipulated that the Minister will have power to acquire land and machinery for the purpose of putting these people in receipt of outdoor relief to work. I am moving my amendment with the intention of clarifying the section in regard to unemployment benefit, national health insurance, workmen's compensation, and compensation under the Factories Acts in relation to people who may be in receipt of outdoor relief and who may be engaged on certain work under this particular Bill. It might be held by some that there is some ground for excluding those people from health insurance or unemployment benefit. I hold that there is no ground for their exclusion from either one or the other. If such a claim could be put forward in regard to national health insurance or unemployment benefit, it certainly could not be put forward in regard to workmen's compensation or compensation under the Factories Acts. If a person put upon work in connection with this relief scheme met with a fatal accident, and if he were excluded from compensation under the Workmen's Compensation Acts, his dependants would not be entitled to any benefit. Similarly, if a person were excluded from the operation of the Factories Acts and met with an accident, there would be no compensation. Deputies are aware that certain precautions have to be taken to guard against accidents in connection with certain classes of work. Take the building trade as an example. If a building is more than thirty feet high, a scaffolding of certain dimensions has to be erected. I see no reason, if men are put on to that work under this relief scheme, why they should be debarred from the protection afforded under those Acts. The Minister should agree to allow those people to obtain benefit, not alone under the Factories Acts and the Workmen's Compensation Acts, but also under the Unemployment and National Health Insurance Acts.

I am prepared to accept the Deputy's amendment. The persons who will be given relief work will remain under the Unemployment and National Health Insurance Acts as well as the other Acts the Deputy has referred to.

Amendment agreed to.

I beg to move amendment No. 8:—

To delete sub-section (2) and substitute the following new sub-section:—

"(2) For the purpose of the provision of work under this section, a board of guardians may—

(a) contract with any person or body of persons for the performance by the board for or on behalf of such person or body of persons of any work of public utility;

(b) subject to the consent of the Minister, purchase or lease and dispose of any land; and

(c) subject to any regulations of the Minister, purchase or hire and dispose of any plant tools, equipment and materials."

Deputy Lemass made the suggestion that this might more suitably come in elsewhere. I will consider the matter between this and the Report Stage. We propose to insert this amendment as it stands.

We are opposing the amendment.

I suppose Deputy Davin will not indicate his reasons for opposition?

We are not going to attempt to repeat the speeches made on amendment 6.

This amendment does not seem to me to deal with the same matter at all. This is a question of contracting with any person or body of persons for the performance by the board for or on behalf of such person or body of persons of any work of public utility. I cannot be certain that I see the full implication of that particular clause, and I would like to have an explanation from the Minister as to the meaning of (2) (a).

Dealing with amendments 6 and 8 together, I explained that this amendment will give power to poor relief authorities in either the city or the county of Dublin to contract with the County Council in Dublin or the City Commissioners—that is, the Commissioners who replaced the borough council—to carry out any work of public utility undertaken for the purpose of providing additional work. It is, I think, more satisfactory than the sub-section as it stands, because it provides machinery to enable them to contract with a body. In the, perhaps, not very likely, but still possible, situation of a public utility society requiring to develop or clear any land they may have acquired, or for that matter, any charitable institution or any society, for the provision of houses for the very poor, or any charitably-disposed person who might be able to think of what Deputies here have not been able to think of, a particular class of work upon which this particular type of labour could be employed, this amendment gives the Commissioners necessary powers. In the very unlikely circumstances of their being able to get an offer to provide work of this kind from any person or any body like that, they will have requisite powers.

Surely the wording of the amendment is much wider than anything the Minister has explained. The amendment sets out "may contract with any person or body of persons." This particular sub-section could be abused, because it could be utilised for purposes not indicated by the Minister. Would it not be possible to get words so as to narrow the meaning to exactly what the Minister has in mind?

I have in the amendment "any work of public utility," and I have undertaken to put in "undertaken for the purpose of providing additional employment." Even putting in that will not find the work, but as far as words can go the Deputy has the whole English dictionary at his disposal to put in more suitable words. What I do want is to have powers in the Bill that will enable the Union Commissioners or the Board of Guardians in Rathdown or Balrothery to take advantage of any work that may appear on the scene.

We agree with that, but we do not want to see that power abused. The words here would leave it open to abuse. As far as I can see, it would be quite possible to contract with builders or with a building contractor and do work for them. Take, as an example, that certain workers are on strike.

The powers here are much too general and there are several elements that have to be considered. There is the question of time and whether the relief work will be of an unusual character. I think it should be specified that the work should be of an unusual character or should be work which would not ordinarily be undertaken for three, four or five years. There should be some limitation upon these powers. The Minister ought to consider putting down an amendment for the Report Stage which will provide him with the fullest powers necessary, but will also provide safeguards.

I personally would not be prepared to do that. I think it is the business of the Minister, if he wants to get this particular section passed, to get the kind of expression that he wants, and he should not look to the House here to pass something that he may wish to interpret in his own way but other people may interpret in another way. It is the business of the Minister to get the words that he needs. Until he does that I am not going to vote for the amendment in that form.

Would the words "public utility" have any technical meaning there? Would it be open to the Commissioners to contract with the Dublin Corporation Commissioners, say, for such an enterprise as the Blue Lagoon at Clontarf?

Who is going to interpret the words "public utility"?

I do not know whether the Blue Lagoon would be a work of public utility, but I can imagine it easily would. However, we are legislating to give persons charged with the administration of poor relief to have at their disposal powers, so that any work that could reasonably be regarded as a work that should be done under this Act could be done. When I say reasonably I mean the kind of work that Deputy Morrissey, in spite of the wording of his amendment, would be prepared to see done, or the kind of work that Deputy Corish and the Deputies opposite would be prepared to see done——

Not through contractors.

To give them powers to get that work done if a private person, a contractor, a public utility society, or a public body can point out where that work is. All I can say is that we are not legislating for simpletons or for people of irresponsible minds. We are legislating for a public body like the guardians of Rathdown Union, a public body like the guardians of the Balrothery Union, or a public body that is composed of the three Union Commissioners. And I want to give them the widest possible powers. Because it is not wide powers we have to be afraid of. It is want of this class of work that we have to be afraid of, and that nothing would stand in the way of the relief authorities getting this work carried out. It is work that would be suitable if it were available.

I think what we should be most afraid of is the interpretation of the words "public utility." We all know what is meant by public utility in an economic sense. I want to make this suggestion to the Minister, that if he defines what would be the nature of those public utilities we would then have a clearer idea of what is meant by this section. If he defined that under the headings, a, b and c, it would make it clear. For instance, a public bath is a public utility. That is accepted as a public utility in the economic and general sense. Now a public bath is a work that might be undertaken by a board of guardians and that board of guardians, under this Bill, would have power to employ persons and engage machinery, etc. Here again you might be up against it. Deputy Good might be a contractor and paying the recognised trade union rate of wages, and here he would be brought into competition with the board of guardians acting under this Bill and doing a work of public utility but yet paying a scale of wages not recognised by trade union rules and a rate lower than that paid by the contractors in Dublin. I do not often make a speech on behalf of vested interests, but an injustice might be created to a contractor under this Bill and I would like to avoid that. I would like the Minister to make it clear and to define what he means by "public utility." I would ask him to define it, say, under the heads of a, b and c. Then we would be clear as to its meaning.

I simply want to point out again to the Minister that when giving wide powers it is clear that he is giving powers that may be abused. The principle that is involved here is one that a large number of Deputies want to take care will not be abused. The Minister spoke about the English dictionary. The Minister had the English dictionary, and I submit it is not fair to the House on the Third Reading to take a form of words that will include the particular thing that we want specifically to avoid. We ought not to be so lazy as to avoid going to the trouble of specifying the things that we will permit and the things we want to exclude. We want certain things excluded here, and if the Minister wants the Bill in its present form, then he is not going to get our support.

Deputies can, if they like, shut their eyes to the class of labour and the type of persons that we are legislating for. They need not ask me to do it. Deputy Anthony need not ask me to provide in this legislation that none of the public bodies in the city or county of Dublin shall not build public baths by means of relief work. If they did an injustice would, I agree, be done. It would be an injustice to the ratepayers, who would have to pay for the work. If Deputies want a definition for the purpose of a discussion like this, it is, I say, not doing anything to provide work. If they want it for purposes like this, if they want to know how I would define "public utility" for this particular section, it would be work that would differ from simply taking a stone and rolling it up and down the hill for the purpose of providing work.

Personally I would very strongly object to any moneys that may have, under the terms of this Bill, to be provided by the ratepayers for the purpose of giving contractors profits out of schemes of this kind. I do not think that contractors should be given an opportunity of making a profit at the expense of the ratepayers in the peculiar circumstances under which the ratepayers have to provide this money. The Minister talks of giving very wide powers to the boards of guardians that he refers to. But we know that the hidden hand of the Minister lies behind those powers, and it may be possible under the wording of the section to lay down conditions which may make it possible to have works of public utility —whatever that may mean—carried out under scab conditions.

Amendment put.
The Committee divided: Tá, 71; Níl, 61.

  • Aird, William P.
  • Alton, Ernest Henry.
  • Beckett, James Walter.
  • Bennett, George Cecil.
  • Blythe, Ernest.
  • Bourke, Séamus A.
  • Brennan, Michael.
  • Brodrick, Seán.
  • Byrne, John Joseph.
  • Carey, Edmund.
  • Collins-O'Driscoll, Mrs. Margt.
  • Cooper, Bryan Ricco.
  • Cosgrave, William T.
  • Craig, Sir James.
  • Davis, Michael.
  • De Loughrey, Peter.
  • Doherty, Eugene.
  • Doyle, Peadar Seán.
  • Duggan, Edmund John.
  • Dwyer, James.
  • Egan, Barry M.
  • Esmonde, Osmond Thos. Grattan.
  • Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
  • Good, John.
  • Gorey, Denis J.
  • Haslett, Alexander.
  • Hassett, John J.
  • Heffernan, Michael R.
  • Hennessy, Michael Joseph.
  • Hennessy, Thomas.
  • Hennigan, John.
  • Henry, Mark.
  • Hogan, Patrick (Galway).
  • Holohan, Richard.
  • Jordan, Michael.
  • Kelly, Patrick Michael.
  • Keogh, Myles.
  • Law, Hugh Alexander.
  • Leonard, Patrick.
  • Lynch, Finian.
  • Mathews, Arthur Patrick.
  • McDonogh, Martin.
  • McFadden, Michael Og.
  • Mongan, Joseph W.
  • Mulcahy, Richard.
  • Murphy, James E.
  • Myles, James Sproule.
  • Nally, Martin Michael.
  • Nolan, John Thomas.
  • O'Connell, Richard.
  • O'Connor, Bartholomew.
  • O'Donovan, Timothy Joseph.
  • O'Higgins, Thomas.
  • O'Leary, Daniel.
  • O'Mahony, Dermot Gun.
  • O'Reilly, John J.
  • O'Sullivan, Gearóid.
  • O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
  • Redmond, William Archer.
  • Reynolds, Patrick.
  • Rice, Vincent.
  • Roddy, Martin.
  • Shaw, Patrick W.
  • Sheehv, Timothy (West Cork).
  • Thrift, William Edward.
  • Tierney, Michael.
  • Vaughan, Daniel.
  • White, John.
  • White, Vincent Joseph.
  • Wolfe, George.
  • Wolfe, Jasper Travers.

Níl

  • Aiken, Frank.
  • Allen, Denis.
  • Anthony, Richard.
  • Blaney, Neal.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Boland, Patrick.
  • Bourke, Daniel.
  • Brady, Seán.
  • Briscoe, Robert.
  • Buckley, Daniel.
  • Carney, Frank.
  • Carty, Frank.
  • Cassidy, Archie J.
  • Clancy, Patrick.
  • Fahy, Frank.
  • Flinn, Hugo.
  • Fogarty, Andrew.
  • French, Seán.
  • Gorry, Patrick J.
  • Goulding, John.
  • Hayes, Seán.
  • Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
  • Houlihan, Patrick.
  • Jordan, Stephen.
  • Kennedy, Michael Joseph.
  • Kent, William R.
  • Kilroy, Michael.
  • Lemass, Seán F.
  • Little, Patrick John.
  • Maguire, Ben.
  • MacEntee, Seán.
  • Clery, Michael.
  • Colbert, James.
  • Colohan, Hugh.
  • Cooney, Eamon.
  • Corkery, Dan.
  • Corish, Richard.
  • Corry, Martin John.
  • Crowley, Fred. Hugh.
  • Crowley, Tadhg.
  • Davin, William.
  • Derrig, Thomas.
  • De Valera, Eamon.
  • Doyle, Edward.
  • Everett, James.
  • Moore, Séamus.
  • Mullins, Thomas.
  • Murphy, Timothy Joseph.
  • O'Dowd, Patrick Joseph.
  • O'Kelly, Seán T.
  • O'Reilly, Matthew.
  • O'Reilly, Thomas.
  • Powell, Thomas P.
  • Ruttledge, Patrick J.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Sexton, Martin.
  • Sheehy, Timothy (Tipp.).
  • Smith, Patrick.
  • Tubridy, John.
  • Walsh, Richard.
  • Ward, Francis C.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies Duggan and P.S. Doyle; Níl, Deputies Anthony and Cassidy.
Question declared carried.
Question proposed: "That Section 4, as amended, stand part of the Bill."

I would like, with your permission, to deal with certain misrepresentations of the speech delivered by me yesterday in a speech on an amendment to this section by Deputy Murphy. Deputies will recollect that I expressed a view that in State schemes of work, undertaken for the purpose of relieving unemployment, it would not be possible to observe general trade union regulations, and stated that such regulations could not be permitted to prevent such work being undertaken. Deputy Murphy first misquoted what I said, and then proceeded to misrepresent it as a general attack on trade unions. In case, however, he may think it wise to continue such misrepresentations in future, either here or outside, I would like to inform him that the view expressed by me has already been published by prominent members of the Labour Party. I would refer him to the issue of "The Irishman," which, I understand, is the official organ of that Party, of November 26th, 1927, in which there was an article entitled "The Right to Work and National Co-operation." by Mr.— now Senator—Thomas Johnson. Mr. Johnson quotes a statement which was made by Mr. de Valera in the debate on unemployment in this House during the previous week, to the effect that "It is the duty of a modern State under modern conditions to see that work is available for those willing to work." Commenting on that, the article says:—

When a party with that principle governing its economic policy enters into the seats of power, a vitally important event for the workers will have occurred. Its importance will depend upon the earnestness with which the Government seeks to give effect to the principle.

It goes on:—

What effect will the prospect of this change of State policy have upon the Labour movement? How is the Labour Party affected? How are the trade unions affected?

Trade unions will appreciate the effect upon wages and conditions that would follow the opening of avenues of employment for their unemployed members, even though such employment were not at their regular trade or occupation.

When we speak of guaranteeing work to unemployed workers, we do not imagine that it is practicable to employ every man at his own trade, or that when a bricklayer or engineer is disemployed the State will ensure him a job at skilled workman's wages.

Now I suggest to Deputy Murphy that these quotations which I have read are identical in substance with my remarks yesterday, and if he thinks these remarks are open to attack he should realise that I will be standing in very good company.

I do not know if I would be in order in intervening, but I certainly think that there is a great deal more to be explained than has been explained. If Deputy Lemass will take my advice he will simply refrain from making any further explanations, because I think they do no good whatever.

But I will not take your advice; that is the trouble.

Are you pinching our policy?

That is an article about ourselves.

Question put and agreed to.
SECTION 5.
(1) For the purposes of this section the Dublin Union shall be divided into two portions (in this section referred to as "districts") as follows, that is to say:—
(a) the area consisting of the County Borough of Dublin, the Urban District of Rathmines and Rathgar and the Urban District of Pembroke shall form one such district, and
(b) the remainder of the Dublin Union shall form the other such district.
(2) The whole of the expenses incurred by the Board of Guardians of the Dublin Union under this Act in or in relation to the granting of relief under this Act to destitute poor persons in either district shall be raised equally over such district.
(3) Where any expenses are incurred by the Board of Guardians of the Dublin Union in or in relation to the granting of relief under this Act to destitute poor persons in the said Union generally or to destitute poor persons in an area including the whole or portion of one district and also the whole or portion of the other district, such expenses shall, subject to such regulations, if any, as may be made by the Minister in that behalf, be apportioned by the Board of Guardians between the two districts in such proportion as shall seem to the Board just and proper.

I move:—

To insert before Section 5 the following new section:—

"Where relief under this Act is granted by a board of guardians to any person and such person is not required as a condition of the granting of such relief to perform a task of work under the foregoing section, such relief or the cost thereof shall be deemed to be given by way of loan and shall be recoverable as a debt due to the board from the person to whom such relief shall have been granted or considered as granted under the Poor Relief (Ireland) Acts, 1838 to 1914."

I put this amendment before the House with two things in mind. There is a desirable class of person whom we wish to help who will hesitate to touch relief because of the injury to their self-respect that the receipt of relief brings about. The insertion of this amendment would, I think, help that class to look for relief, with the agreement that, under circumstances that depend upon their financial position, they will repay that amount. There is no question of pursuing them harshly in any way; it is simply a question of facilitating them to come forward and look for relief, with the idea that they will refund it when their circumstances permit.

There is another and a much smaller class that the amendment is also intended to cover, the persons who will come forward to take money that, in their opinion, can be got for nothing while they themselves have undisclosed means. The principle of relief as a loan has existed in the Poor Law Acts since 1838, and I suggest that in this particular class of relief it is advisable to put in this amendment for the purpose particularly of helping a desirable class that otherwise would not search for relief.

I am afraid that the Minister has taken a very shortsighted view of what is involved in the amendment, or at any rate in the explanation of it that he has given. Let him try to imagine the position of a person who has taken this relief by way of a loan and who afterwards finds himself trying to repay it. To have hanging over a person a debt like that, which he feels it impossible to repay, is, we know, a very great source of annoyance. I think it would be a crime to have such a thing hanging over a man's head when he finds himself in difficult circumstances. If we have to give relief, let us give it, but let us not have it hanging over a man afterwards. People who are likely to look for this relief are not likely to be readily in a position to repay it. I think that this proposal is most unfair and that in the long run it will not work out properly. If a man feels any loss of self-respect in seeking relief in the first place he is likely to feel double that loss of self-respect when he finds that he cannot repay his debt. I see no reason why we should accept the amendment.

I put it before the House to get an expression of opinion on it. I would like to hear the views of other Deputies about it. It has been represented to me by persons who are closely associated with charitable work in the city that, in their opinion, there would be strong reasons for making this relief a loan; that, where the circumstances of the persons subsequently permit, it would be to the increase of their self-respect if it was a loan and if they were able to repay it. If their circumstances do not enable them to repay it, I do not know that the question of the debt will hang over them very much. However, as I say, I feel that it would be an addition to the Bill, and I am anxious to hear what Deputies think about it.

I am not sure that the amendment quite fulfils the Minister's wish, because there is the word "shall" at the end of the fourth line, and it is absolutely mandatory in every case where relief is given. I think the Minister's intention is that in certain cases where a man resents the fact that he has been given relief—a man of independent character—and knows that in a very short time he will obtain regular employment, he should be able to get out of the odium of having received Poor Law relief, and that the money should be regarded as a loan, but in that case the word "may" should surely be inserted instead of "shall." I think it is putting the Minister's principle too far to say that in every case where relief is given it shall be regarded as a loan, because we know that at least 75 per cent. of the people who are asking for relief will not be in a position to repay it. I suggest that the Minister should reserve it until the Report Stage to see if he can alter the drafting to attain that end.

This is a question of the recovery of a debt. It may be just possible that some unfortunate individual in later years will be harassed in consequence of this amendment, because the section would be capable of abuse. It may have its uses, but I suggest that there is a danger.

If the House agrees I will withdraw it, and consider the matter further before the Report Stage.

I suggest that the cost of endeavouring to recover money lent to people so circumstanced would be out of all proportion to the amount that could be recovered.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

I move:—

To delete all words after the word "this," line 15, to the end of the section and insert in lieu thereof the words "Act the County of Dublin and the County Borough of Dublin shall be one area of charge.

(2) The whole of the expenses incurred by the Boards of Guardians of the Balrothery, Dublin and Rathdown Unions under this Act in or in relation to the granting of relief under this Act to destitute poor persons in the County of Dublin or in the County Borough of Dublin shall be raised equally over the said area of charge."

This amendment deals with the area of charge and proposes to amend it as set out in the Bill. It is rather extraordinary in connection with this Bill that for the purposes of a board of health the area of charge is the Dublin area, that is, it includes the city, the two townships, and the surrounding areas which come within the jurisdiction of the Dublin Union. For the purposes of the maintenance of the Union that is the area of charge, and all who receive indoor relief in the Union will be a charge on that area. That is as it stands at the moment, and at the moment I might say in addition, those who are receiving outdoor relief are charged over the area of the Dublin Union. Now this Bill provides under clause 2 that relief is to be given to persons other than those receiving relief already. In clause 2 you will see the two classes of people. Then we come to another extraordinary feature in this Bill, these additional classes which were to get relief are not to be a charge on the Dublin Union area, but they are to be a charge on a restricted area. For the purposes of this Act the Dublin Union is divided into two areas. Section 5 deals with it. One area will be the city of Dublin, the urban district of Rathmines, and the urban district of Pembroke. That particular area is to carry the burdens referred to in clause 2. Those not included in that will be borne by the other area, I would like to know exactly what they are or who they are. So that for the purpose of outdoor relief at the moment those receiving outdoor and indoor relief are chargeable to the area of the Dublin Union.

These additional people who will be given relief under this Bill will be chargeable to quite a different area. They will be chargeable to the city of Dublin and to the townships of Rathmines and Pembroke. I would be anxious to know why that division is made, on whose suggestion it was made, and whether the urban councils of Pembroke and Rathmines were consulted when a change was made in the area of charge for the purposes of this Bill? My amendment is that the area of charge should be the whole county. Let there be no misunderstanding about that. Bearing that in mind, let me read for the Deputies exactly the classes, and where they come from, that are to be relieved under this particular Bill. "A person who has been resident for a continuous period," that is the two classes of persons. They have to be resident for a continuous period of not less than two years. Now, here is the important part: "two years either in the county of Dublin or in the county borough of Dublin or in the city, county and county borough." Now, a person may come who has been resident in any part of the county of Dublin for a period of two years and be a charge on the city of Dublin for the purposes of outdoor relief. I do not know whether the Minister is aware of this fact, that we in the city of Dublin have to bear the liability of outdoor maintenance for any man and his dependants who have been for two years resident in any part of the county of Dublin. I talked yesterday about injustice to Dublin. Could any greater injustice be put on the county of Dublin than the injustice mentioned in this particular clause that the area of charge for the support of any people who may seek relief living in any part of the county or city of Dublin is to fall upon the city of Dublin in addition to the urban districts of Rathmines and Pembroke? It is a gross injustice. It is an absurdity on the face of it. If you are going to take destitute people from any part of the county of Dublin and give them relief surely it is only fair that the burden should be spread over the whole area from which they come. That is what my amendment proposes, and I hope it will be accepted in fairness by the Minister.

I must congratulate Deputy O'Kelly on the convert he has made. Deputy O'Kelly, speaking on the Second Reading, said, after putting forward one alternative suggestion to the Government's Bill: "I will say that the whole of the county of Dublin ought to bear equally the burden which is now being placed on the ratepayers." He then mended his hand slightly and said: "Or if not the urban areas." Later we were informed by Deputy Lemass or Deputy de Valera that that was the policy of their party. Deputy Good goes the whole hog. Deputy O'Kelly's words found shelter in his heart and he promptly adopted the whole of Deputy O'Kelly's first and most courageous plan. It rather reminds me of a reference of Benjamin Disraeli to the fact that Sir Robert Peel, in one of his sensational changes, found the Whigs bathing and appropriated their clothes. Deputy Good found Deputy O'Kelly bathing and carried off his clothes.

They do not fit him.

They do not fit him. Not even all the council of the Chamber of Commerce would be able to get Deputy O'Kelly's buttons to meet on Deputy Good. Deputy Good will have to shelter his figurative nakedness with Deputy O'Kelly's umbrella and so decency can be saved. I can understand Deputy O'Kelly making that suggestion or any Deputy representing the city making that suggestion, because they are rightly considering their constituents and trying to free them as a whole from what will be a very serious burden. In a speech on the Second Reading Deputy Good defined that burden and said it was an unfair burden that would close struggling industries and would prevent the erection of factories. What is Deputy Good's remedy? In this amendment to relieve the evils from which 45 per cent. of his constituents will suffer, he proposes to extend this unfair burden to the remaining 55 per cent. I could understand that proposal coming from a city Deputy. I find it hard to understand it coming from a county Deputy. As a matter of fact, Deputy Good's proposal is inequitable. It makes reference to the large number of people from the county who come into the city. We do not have figures in the Census to show the very large number of people from the county who come into the city, but I know that the figure for people born outside the city of Dublin and now resident in Dublin is something like 28 per cent. and the figure for the number of people born outside the county Dublin and now resident in it, in the latest Census was 46 per cent. So that if there is any influx it is not into the city but into the county. I cannot get the figures for Pembroke and Rathmines.

They are quite a different class.

Quite possibly, but these are the only figures we have. I say the proposal is inequitable. I do not want to repeat what I said on the Second Reading at any length. I then had the pleasure of partly convincing Deputy de Valera and Deputy Lemass, and of finding myself in partial agreement with them. That was a very pleasant experience, which I hope may be repeated, possibly on this amendment. Why County Dublin is not a scientifically planned area or how it came by these boundaries I do not know. I am inclined to think it is probably a relic of the ancient Danish Kingdom of Dublin, because it straggles along the coast in such a way as to suggest that it was convenient to the Danes when they were coming in. It has a large number of harbours. Certainly there is no advantage to the dwellers in the North part of the County Dublin, to whom Deputy Good proposes to extend the charge. They get no advantage from their proximity to the city that is not shared by dwellers in the counties of Kildare, Meath and Wicklow. Leixlip, Dunshaughlin, Bray and Greystones are quite as near the city as the north part of County Dublin— Skerries and Balbriggan—to which Deputy Good is extending this burden. They get no more benefit, in fact less benefit, out of their proximity to Dublin than Bray or Greystones, and because Bray and Greystones are in Wicklow they are not to be included, but because Skerries happens to be in the county of Dublin this unfair burden is to be imposed on it. The proposal is not only unfair, it is uneconomical. What does Deputy Good suggest? He suggests, in the first place, that there should be a common area of charge, paying all the money collected into a common central fund. Of course the words "central fund" have a technical meaning in these debates. We had better call it a central pool. The money is to be levied by an equal rate over the area.

I think it is Deputy Good's intention that it is not to be spent by a central body. It is to be spent by three bodies. It is to be spent, first of all, by the Commissioners of the Dublin Union, and also by the boards of guardians of Balrothery and Rathdown. What would be the result? The valuation of the city and county of Dublin is £2,146,907. Of that valuation, the city, Rathmines and Pembroke pay just a little less than three-quarters. That will all go into a central pool, together with the shares taken from the other parts of the county, North Dublin rural, Rathdown and Balrothery. The rateable valuation of Rathdown is £244,928. That is about 11½ per cent. of the whole. The valuation of Balrothery is only £107,998, about 5 per cent. These three bodies will be drawing from the central pool. While Rathdown will be only contributing 11½ per cent. to the central pool, there will be an incentive to the board of guardians of Rathdown—because they, like other boards of guardians, are popularly elected and anxious to please their constituents —to spend largely on outdoor relief, when they know that they will have only to pay approximately a little more than one-tenth of the amount expended, that 70 per cent. of the remainder will be met by the ratepayers in the city of Dublin. I think they would be a little less than human if they did not say: "We can be generous in regard to outdoor relief as we do not pay the whole amount; it comes out of the central pool." The same thing applies equally more to Balrothery, which only pays one-twentieth of the whole amount to the central pool. It is not an economical proposition. I do not think it has ever been considered in that light. It may make a very small saving with respect to the city, Pembroke and Rathmines, but I believe that the temptation to extravagance which will be created in the other two Unions will be such as practically to neutralise any saving that may be made in Pembroke and Rathmines. I see no way of getting Pembroke and Rathmines out of the city. I should like to, but I see no prospect of doing it, partly because they are already in the Dublin Union and it would be difficult to take them out of it, and partly because they are destined shortly to become part of the city.

Deputy Good asked one question: Why is the Dublin Union divided? It is divided into two portions, one urban and one rural. There are districts that are being left out, like Lucan, Swords and Finglas, of an agricultural character; they are almost entirely agricultural.

And Blackrock and Kingstown.

Blackrock and Kingstown are in Rathdown.

Not the whole of them.

They are in a different union altogether.

I would like to know where is "Kingstown"?

I am afraid Deputy Good led me astray. I do not want to discuss Blackrock and Dun Laoghaire, because they are not in this amendment. No amendment has been put down. We may have one on the Report Stage; if we have, I will be prepared to discuss it. Deputy Good surely knows that Blackrock and Dun Laoghaire will have to meet their own unemployment, which is considerable. They will have to meet unemployment in the Rathdown Union. They are not going to get off scot-free. But when it is proposed to create a coastal borough. I think it is sufficient reason for saying that they should not be tied up to a workhouse in another county borough. As I say, the parts that are left out of the Dublin union are rural villages, mainly occupied by agriculturists, and agriculturists all over County Dublin are very hardly hit by rates at present. If their rates are increased in the way that Deputy Good suggests, they will not be able to carry on. As I have said, I think Deputy Good's proposal is both inequitable and uneconomical, and I hope the Dáil will not accept it.

Under the 1923 Act the county was made the area of charge for poor relief. That did not happen in the county and city of Dublin. The House is expecting to have placed before it very shortly legislation dealing with the definition of the boundaries of Dublin City, and the result of that legislation will be to bring in the area of County Dublin which will be left into harmony with the rest of the country as far as the area of charge for poor law purposes goes. It will mean where, as will be the case, Dublin City, with some small additions to it—Rathmines and Pembroke— has been made the county borough of Dublin, the remainder of the county will become one area of charge for poor law purposes, and, in the absence of a joint and agreed scheme between the county and Dublin City, the county and the new city will be individually responsible for their own poor relief. As far as the Executive Council is concerned, decisions have been taken with regard to the division. As I said, there may be minor alterations, but the big fact does remain that it is intended that the county of Dublin will very shortly be one area of charge for poor relief.

It is in the light of that we come to discuss the present Bill, which gives permission for the giving of outdoor relief to the able-bodied. As Deputies know, a Bill came from the Seanad which proposed that the present guardians in Rathdown, the present guardians in Balrothery, and the present Commissioners of the Dublin Union should give outdoor relief to the able-bodied inside their own area, with the area of the guardians' district as the area of charge. It is perfectly reasonable, I submit, that the guardians in Balrothery, who have up to the present been distributing relief under former Acts inside their area, with their area as the area of charge, should now be given authority to give this particular class of relief with the same area as the area of charge. I submit the same with regard to Rathdown.

Under the Seanad Bill, the city of Dublin, Pembroke, Rathmines, North Dublin Rural District, South Dublin Rural District, and Celbridge Rural District would be the area of charge for this particular class of relief. Residents in the rural area of Dublin Union, and their representatives on the County Council, made representations that it would be unfair that the burden of this particular class of relief, which would largely come from the urban area, would fall in part on the rural areas—that is, the rural area of North Dublin, South Dublin and Celbridge. They made the case that the present relief leans heavily upon them, simply because they were connected with the city, and they urged, and made very strong representations, that this additional relief, which they felt might be considerable, should not rest upon them.

In the circumstances that arose I called together the representatives of the bodies who could form a joint scheme. If a joint scheme between the city and county of Dublin were prepared under the 1923 Act, it would not be necessary to pass legislation to give this particular class of relief. I called together the bodies who would be responsible for forming a joint scheme. They were the guardians of Rathdown, the guardians of Balrothery, the Dublin Union Commissioners, the County Council, and the Dublin City Commissioners. Deputy Good asked whether representatives of the urban districts of Rathmines and Pembroke were invited. No, they had nothing to do with the formation of the scheme. As part of the county of Dublin, those areas had their representatives on the County Council, and the County Council was the proper body to express an opinion on the formation of a county scheme. The county scheme was not agreed to, and therefore legislation was necessary.

In facing the fact that legislation would be necessary if they did not agree to a county scheme, they made certain proposals with regard to the amendments that, in fairness to some of the rural districts in the county, they thought should be made in the Bill which came from the Seanad. These recommendations were: that the city, Rathmines, Pembroke and Howth should be separated from the rural part of the Dublin Union and made a separate area of charge. The present Bill proposes to meet that recommendation to this extent: that we make Dublin, Rathmines and Pembroke a separate area of charge for this particular class of relief, but we do not join in Howth. We leave Howth in the area in which it is— the North Dublin rural district—the North Dublin rural district being left with the South Dublin rural district and Celbridge in one rural area. So that we take Balrothery as one area; Dublin City, Rathmines and Pembroke as another area; and the rural part of the present Dublin Union as the third area which comes in here.

Another recommendation was that we should divide the Rathdown area for the purposes of the area of charge in this matter into an urban area, consisting of the townships, and a rural area, being the non-township portion of the Rathdown Union. I could not agree to that because, as I say, the proposal foreshadowed, in so far as the Executive Council has taken decisions, is that the townships shall remain in the county. Therefore, the townships will remain with the county as the unit area of charge for relief in future. I could not agree that, whereas the townships are with the rural portion of Rathdown at present for the purpose of ordinary relief, they should be divided for this particular class of relief.

I make the point that in future, Dublin, Rathmines and Pembroke must bear their own burden of all classes of relief. In this temporary measure, covering the period between this and the time that the new city boundaries will be set up, the area is as I say. I think it is only absolutely fair to the rural areas. I have been persuaded, and I think anyone who goes into the matter will be persuaded, that the rural area around Dublin does suffer from being associated with Dublin in connection with relief. The area of Dublin, Rathmines and Pembroke has a population approximately of 400,000. In smaller areas, such as Cork and Limerick, we have desired that there should be joint schemes, as the facilities that arise in connection with the joint use of institutions would level the burden as between the city and county areas. The city of Cork is joined in with the South Cork Board of Assistance as a unit area for poor law purposes. I suggest that Cork is a city that in size presents a different problem from Dublin, and that Dublin in this matter should stand on its own legs, particularly in the light of the decisions that, as I say, have been already taken with regard to the proposed legislation.

Would the Minister give us some information on the point in Section 2 about anybody who has two years' residence in the county Dublin being a charge on the city of Dublin?

The position is that relief under this whole measure is permissive. As far as the present Dublin Union area is concerned, there is one body administering relief there. Under this Bill, for the purposes of this particular class of relief, that area will be divided into two—let us call them the rural area and the urban area. A person who has been resident in the rural area for two years can get this particular class of relief, subject to the discretion of the Commissioners, and it will be charged against the rural area. A person who has been two years in the city can get this particular class of relief, and it will be charged against the city. If a person has spent some of his time in the rural area and some of it in the city, power is given under the Bill to the Commissioners to apportion the cost of the relief between the rural area and the city urban area, so that, in so far as a fair division of cost can be made, that fair division will be made. The Bill, however, gives power to the Rathdown Guardians or the Balrothery Guardians, or the Dublin Union Commissioners to relieve a person who has been two years in the city and the county, so that the Commissioners may be called upon to relieve a person who has spent nine months in Balrothery Union, three months in the rural portion of Dublin Union, and somewhat more than twelve months in the city. There is no power in the Bill to apportion the costs between the Dublin Union, the Balrothery Union, and the Rathdown Union. That would bring in the difficulty of removal and settlement that we discussed yesterday. But in a glaring case—if someone, say, in Balrothery Union, having been resident there for more than two years, applies to the City Commissioners for relief, it is within the Dublin Union Commissioners' discretion to deny that relief and to tell that particular person to apply to the Balrothery Union.

Under what section?

Under the permissive nature of the Bill. The giving of relief is entirely within the discrimination of the authorities dealing with it. The Deputy might as well say that if a person who had been living three years in the city went out to Balrothery, and on the first day of going out there applied for relief under this section from the Balrothery Union, that they would give that relief, as to say that the Dublin Union Commissioners would do the same thing if someone in the Balrothery Union and living there three years came into the city and on the first day asked for relief.

The Minister, I am afraid, does not get the point I make. In these districts the areas are very closely connected, so that a man might live in one and work in another. Supposing you have a man living in the city and working practically all his life in an adjoining area, and he becomes destitute and a charge upon the city, is it a fair charge?

Not necessarily.

I think the speech of Deputy Cooper disposed fairly effectively of the amendment of Deputy Good.

Has Deputy O'Kelly a design on my clothes? If so, they will not fit.

I am afraid the tailoring effect would not be very good, to say the least of it. Therefore I will not waste the time of the Committee in going into our reasons for objecting to Deputy Good's amendment. It was made clear on the Second Reading of the Bill, both by myself and other Deputies speaking from these benches, that we wish that the area of charge should be the urbanised parts of the county. We do not think it right or proper that the heavy charge that will be put upon the rates as a result of this relief should be put upon the purely rural areas in the county. That is our position still.

There is another point. I have been informed that it is not the intention under the regulations that have already been drafted that adults—a man and a woman, with one child—shall get outdoor relief. I wonder could the Minister tell us whether that is so or not. If it is so, it appears to me it would be a hardship upon a small family like that. There are many young families, people not long married, with one child and possibly one child not far off, to whom it would be a great hardship to have to break up their home and go into the institution for relief. If we are going to give outdoor relief to adults, we might as well do it decently and make a decent job of it, and do our duty and not be putting that duty upon the shoulders of benevolent organisations as is done at present.

In the last few years, since the problem has grown so grave, there has been, along with the money paid out by the ratepayers for relief of this kind, a very heavy drain on benevolent people that the citizens ought to have met. Now that an additional heavy charge is being put upon the ratepayers, I think it would be better that the whole problem should be faced up to and that small families like that should be allowed, if possible, to remain, in what they call their home—those one-roomed dwellings or cellars that so many of them live in—and not be asked to break up the little household, such as it is, and go into the Union buildings. If they have to, they lose the opportunity of getting work; it breaks down their morale, and it has bad effects that anybody acquainted with social work is well aware of. If there is any truth in the statement made to me, that it is not the intention of the Commissioners, at any rate in the Dublin Union, to give relief to families of the kind I indicated, I think the Minister would be well advised to induce the Commissioners to alter that regulation.

I sympathise with Deputy O'Kelly's statement with regard to a regulation such as he mentioned. There are to my knowledge, no such regulations, and I cannot imagine any such rigid regulations being set up. The whole spirit of the giving of this particular relief is to prevent homes being broken up in such circumstances. That is the spirit of the whole extension of this particular class of relief throughout the country. Every case, as Deputies will understand, must be examined upon its merits and treated upon its merits, and I certainly am confident that the Act will be administered in the most sympathetic way. I would like to take an opportunity on this particular section to say a word on the question of the cost. I said yesterday that for the year 1929 the cost of this particular class of relief in Limerick was 36 per cent. of the total cost of relief in the area. Taking the total cost of this particular class of relief and the total cost of all classes of relief in Limerick, the percentage of relief given as relief to the able-bodied was 34.5 per cent. I said yesterday that local bodies did not keep these figures separate, and that I had difficulty in getting them. I have to-day got the Cork figures. As Cork city is in with South Cork Board of Assistance area, it is therefore joined in with a pretty extensive rural area. During the last four years the percentage of the total expenditure on outdoor relief, which was outdoor relief in respect to the able-bodied, was only 17.5 per cent. I mention these figures again in support of my contention that I do not believe that the total expenditure on this particular class of relief in Dublin is going to be £200,000.

I want to take this opportunity of protesting against the tone of the remarks begun here and echoed elsewhere that I have been repudiating Commissioner Dr. Dwyer on the matter of his estimate. I asked Deputy Davin yesterday if he would estimate a particular thing—that is, the extent to which there might be increased expenditure under this particular Bill if there was no residence clause. Dr. Dwyer, speaking on this particular matter, does not speak for himself. He speaks for the Commissioners, and the Commissioners did attempt to estimate that particular kind of intangible expenditure that Deputy Davin and other Deputies yesterday would not face. When I say that by a comparison of expenditure in other districts, by taking in an absolute way the expenditure on other relief in the city, I do not believe the expenditure is going to be anything like £200,000 on this, I differ with the Dublin Union Commissioners on their estimate. But, as I say, it is very objectionable and very undesirable that the tone of the remarks made here, and made more objectionably outside, that a difference of opinion in the matter of an estimate should be spoken of as a repudiation of a very competent and a very useful group of officials—of people who are really more than officials, who are administrators of a semi-public as well as of a semiofficial character.

In reference to the statement which has just now been made by the Minister, I think it is a rather belated defence by him of an official of his Department, nominated by him to run the Dublin Union, the proper representatives having been thrown out. An estimate was given by the Commissioner. The figure of £250,000 was quoted as an estimate of the cost. Therefore, the Commissioner did take the risk of making an estimate. He may have been wide of the mark. The Minister says that he is. The Minister told us yesterday, if I am not mistaken, that £93,000 would be nearer the figure. It was definitely put up to the Minister by at least one speaker on this side whether he repudiated the estimate made by the Commissioner and he remained silent. That was the time for him to stand up and say whether he defended his officials or not, and not after thinking over it for the period that he has had, and getting a reminder of his duty in the matter. If the Minister thinks that he has a duty he ought to have done it when the point was put to him.

Amendment put and declared lost.
Question proposed: "That Section 5 stand part of the Bill."

On the section, I just want to say, in reply to Deputy O'Kelly, that my attitude with regard to the estimate and my attitude as to the possibility of making an estimate that would be of use here was clearly expressed here yesterday. I do not take challenges given in the particular kind of way in which they were given yesterday from the opposite benches with all the seriousness that they are expected to be taken. But, when I see reflected in the Press, as I did this morning in a particular way, the difference of opinion that, as far as I am concerned, was perfectly clearly expressed on my part yesterday, and when I see statements made here emphasised in a very objectionable way as a repudiation rather than as a plain and straight difference of opinion, and on a matter on which there was absolute room for a difference of opinion, I object to that.

I hope that nothing that the Minister has said will prevent officials like the Commissioners from giving the citizens and the ratepayers full and frank information. I would be very sorry that anything should be said here that would prevent the ratepayers from having every information in the future. It is only right to say on behalf of Dr. Dwyer that at the moment he is administering the poor law affairs of the Dublin Union area, and to state, also, that Dr. Dwyer has been in close touch with the Dublin Union for some ten years past. He was an official of the Dublin Union for a great many years before he became a Commissioner. I say that in order to show that this is a subject on which he can speak with authority.

I should like to say, further, that I object to Dr. Dwyer's name being used in this way. When he speaks he speaks for the Commissioners who have considered this matter. On the question of public officials speaking their minds, I have no use for officials who in important matters on which they are required to express their opinions, express opinions which they do not hold. Officials are no use except they express what they think according to their experience. It is rather the type of thing that I object to that is going to prevent officials expressing their minds, than the fact that what they say is not accepted by people who feel that they have reason for not accepting it.

Question put and agreed to.
SECTION 6.

With regard to amendment 11, in the name of Deputy J.J. Byrne, the amendment is out of order, as it is outside the scope of the Bill.

Can the Chair give any indication as to why amendment 11 is being ruled out of order?

On the grounds that the amendment is outside the scope of the Bill.

Am I to be allowed to address the House on my amendment, or is it disposed of by the three or four words that you, sir. have said?

I think I stated quite clearly that amendment No. 11, in the name of Deputy J.J. Byrne, was not in order, as it was outside the scope of the Bill.

Does not the Bill provide generally for the giving of relief and arranging so that rates would be struck? At least that is the effect of it. Does not the Bill give power for the striking of rates, and is it not natural, therefore, in connection with a Bill of this kind, that we should have an amendment like this? In a case like this, where you are extending certain powers and dealing with other Acts, is it not natural that an amendment like this should be brought in?

What the Deputy desires could possibly be done, but certainly there is no doubt whatever that amendment 11 on the Order Paper is outside the scope of the Bill.

The term "outside the scope of the Bill" is vague. I think we should have some way of determining whether an amendment is outside the scope of a Bill.

It is the duty of the Chair to determine that.

Mr. Byrne

Do I understand that an amendment can be so framed as to be included in the Bill? If the amendment were differently framed could it be included? Is that the view of the Chair?

I did not suggest anything of the kind.

The Bill gives power to incur expenditure, and the other law gives power to raise the necessary moneys from the rates and allocate them to different classes of persons.

Surely this will impinge on the other law?

I will not allow the Minister or Deputy de Valera to discuss a point of order. The point of order has been ruled and that ends the discussion.

We would like some indication from the Chair as to how we can get around this difficulty. It is of great importance, and we would like to know whether it could be got around by a change of form in the amendment.

Amendments are very often ruled out in connection with Bills before the House because they are outside the scope of the Bill. An amendment is outside the scope of a Bill when it is outside its principle.

Mr. Byrne

Is it your ruling that the amendment is outside the principle?

Mr. Byrne

Then I can address you on the question of principle. Standing Order 42 lays it down:

Every amendment must be relevant to the motion to which it is proposed, and must be directed to omitting, adding, or substituting words. No amendment which is equivalent to a direct negative shall be accepted.

My amendment conforms as closely as any amendment can to that particular Standing Order. It is an addition of words. It deals with rates under the Bill. It is closely allied to Section 5, subsection (5), which deals with the question of the rates of Dublin Union, and the amendment deals with the rates of Dublin Union. One section in the Bill deals with the rates of the Dublin Union, and surely it would be in order to incorporate another section dealing with precisely the same question? In justice to the importance of the amendment, it is only right to ask the Chair to give some reason why this amendment should be rejected. It is not enough to say that the amendment is not in order. I think the amendment calls for something more than that from the Chair, and I ask the Chair to state the case so that we may know where we stand.

Certainly. Nothing in this Bill deals with the question of raising rates, and the Deputy is introducing a principle into the Bill that was not there. He is trying to introduce a principle that has not been touched on, and that was not in the Bill when it was agreed to on Second Reading and is not now. There is nothing in the Bill as to the raising of rates.

Mr. Byrne

We are dealing with the subject of rates in this Bill. The sub-section deals with the validity of rates and my amendment deals with rates. I am not trying to incorporate any new principle into the Bill. I am suggesting that the burden of the rates under this Bill shall not be transferred to the town tenants of Dublin.

The Deputy may argue a point of order but he cannot make a speech on the amendment. I have said that the amendment is out of order, and I have given reasons why it is considered out of order by the Chair. I am afraid the Deputy will have to accept that.

If you rule the amendment is outside the scope of the Bill, whenever a Bill comes along that we wish to narrow in a particular way and see that it is not applied generally, as it might appear, we will be ruled out on the same lines. Obviously the intention of the amendment is that the levying of the rates will be on a particular class of people. The ruling seems to me to be extraordinary. If this is allowed to pass I do not think I could ever know or be reasonably sure whether an amendment was within the scope of a Bill or not.

Mr. Byrne

This amendment has been drafted by senior counsel.

That does not necessarily make it in order.

Mr. Byrne

It is good commonsense anyway. The ruling is very drastic.

Section 6 agreed to.
Question proposed: "That the Title stand."

Mr. Byrne

I think we can object to the Title of the Bill if my amendment was objected to because of the Title.

Does the Deputy want to speak on the Title?

Mr. Byrne

Yes. I think the only reason that can be adduced for the rejection of the amendment is the Title of the Bill. If that is the reason why the amendment is rejected, I move that we do not accept the Title, and that it should be so changed that this important and equitable amendment could be introduced into the body of the Bill.

Motion put and declared carried.
Report Stage ordered for Wednesday, 20th November.

Would it be possible for the Chair to indicate in advance that it proposes to rule a certain amendment out of order? When it comes to us on the Order Paper like this we have no time to examine the matter carefully. I think it would be only fair that some indication should be given in the Order Paper that the Chair is inclined to rule an amendment out of order.

As the Deputy may be aware, the practice is, in so far as the practice can be followed, that the Ceann Comhairle usually consults beforehand with the Deputy in whose name the amendment stands, and, as far as it is possible to follow that practice, he intimates to the Deputy that the amendment is not in order, and he gives his reasons.

There is more than the particular Deputy involved in this. He could not, if he wanted, withdraw the amendment without the leave of the House. I would have an objection to that in this case. When an amendment appears on the Order Paper like this, some of us may be thinking of introducing similar amendments, and we say "This settles it," and we do not introduce another amendment. It would be fairer to the House generally if, when an amendment appears on the Order Paper that the Chair is disposed to rule out of order, an indication were given that the Chair is so disposed. That would not prevent the Chair from hearing arguments put by which the Chair might be influenced to change its decision.

I suggest to the Deputy to bring that before the Committee on Procedure and Privileges, and it could be considered there.

The Dáil went out of Committee.