In Committee on Finance. - Vote No. 69—Relief Schemes.

I move:—

Go ndeontar suim Bhreise ná raghaidh thar £50,000 chun íoctha an Mhuirir a thiocfaidh chun bheith iníoctha i rith na bliana dar críoch an 31adh Márta, 1934, chun Síntiúisí i gcóir Fóirithine ar Dhíomhaointeas agus ar Ghátar.

That a Supplementary sum not exceeding £50,000 be granted to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending 31st March, 1934, for Contributions towards the Relief of Unemployment and Distress.

There have already been voted for relief schemes in the present year sums of (a) £150,000, and (b) £350,000. It is felt that in view of the falling off in the amount of remittances from America to certain congested districts that some additional relief should be provided for these districts at this period of the year.

Since when have these remittances fallen off.

At Christmas time. The remittances were smaller at Christmas than at the previous Christmas.

Since when have they fallen off?

Since the financial crisis arose in America early last year.

The improvement in American conditions has not yet made itself felt in remittances received?

I am not going to discuss whether there has or has not been an improvement in American conditions but at any rate there is no doubt that the falling off in remittances is entirely due to the financial crisis which arose there early in 1933 and the full effects of which have not yet been removed or relieved. Accordingly it is felt that some additional relief should be provided to meet the requirements of these special districts to which I have adverted. Other moneys which had been earmarked for the completion of certain relief works and on the basis of the allocation of which certain works were begun, were utilised to relieve this exceptional passing distress. In view of that, it has been necessary to submit this additional estimate of £50,000 to allow constructional works which were in hands in December last to be carried through to completion.

I hope this estimate will be passed with the unanimous support of the House. I feel that no matter what Government may be in power, for many years to come it will find it necessary to provide relief for many thousands of unemployed. The number of unemployed is increasing rapidly although the Parliamentary Secretary stated here recently that there had been a progressive decrease. Either the Parliamentary Secretary is not right or the Government Department which issues statistics is wrong. The very week in which the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Finance suggested that employment was showing a progressive increase, the Irish Press, the Independent, the Cork Examiner and the other daily papers of the country published figures supplied to them by the Department for Industry and Commerce, all going to show that unemployment was increasing and employment was decreasing in this country. The Parliamentary Secretary can easily refer to these figures.

There is one matter that has been represented to me in Cork City to which I would like to refer. I have been told that unfair discrimination has been exercised against ex-National Army men and ex-British service men. These charges have been made and frequently I have investigated them. In many cases I found that the charges were well-founded and in other cases I found that the individuals were enjoying small pensions. I do not want to raise any big issue with regard to the persons enjoying pensions, but it does appear to me to be rather unfair to deprive a man of employment at Christmas time or any other period when public moneys are provided to give work to the unemployed simply because he has a small pension. It is unfair that a pension of 6/- or 8/- a week should be taken into consideration, especially where the individual looking for employment has a wife and five or six children dependent upon him.

I would like the Parliamentary Secretary to clear the air, to let us have a definite denial or an acceptance of that statement. I thoroughly understand the difficulty that presents itself to the Department. I quite appreciate that where there may be employment for 12,000 persons you will have 60,000 applicants. When you have 60,000 applicants for 30,000 jobs the 30,000 who do not get work are bound to be disappointed and I understand that aspect of the matter fully. But these complaints have been made to me and I submit to the Parliamentary Secretary that when relief schemes are being put into operation he should see that no undue discrimination is exercised because a man happens to be an ex-National Army man or an ex-British service man. These people, after all, are our own kith and kin; they are Irish. They have not been given the equal treatment to which they are entitled.

Did the Deputy send to me any specific case for examination?

I certainly shall.

But has the Deputy done so?

I did not think it necessary. I really believe that if I did it would not receive the attention it should receive. I feel that.

This Vote is an ironic commentary on the speeches made here last week by the Minister for Finance and Deputy Hugo Flinn. If one had taken those speeches seriously one would have expected that far from having a Supplementary Estimate for the relief of unemployment and distress, we would have savings on those already voted, such was the picture of prosperity that both the Minister and the Parliamentary Secretary painted for this country.

I wish to make a few remarks on the point raised by Deputy Anthony with regard to discrimination in the matter of employment and the taking into account of political affiliations in the distribution of relief. I spend part of my time assuring my constituents that such discrimination does not exist, but I regret to say that my assurances are received with incredulity. I am willing to believe the statements made here over and over again by representatives of the Government, that they, at any rate, do not wish such discrimination to take place; but I would like to mention one particular matter.

In a question to-day I elicited the fact that there was a discrepancy between the Government Front Bench and one, at any rate, of their backbenchers—and I do not imagine it was confined to one—with regard to the policy to be followed in the matter of recruiting for the new defence force. I suggest there is a similar discrepancy in this matter of allowing political affiliations to count when giving relief. It is deliberately disseminated among the people by the Fianna Fáil clubs throughout the country that the people will not get a fair crack of the whip as regards a chance of relief of one kind or another except by joining a Fianna Fáil Club. I do not think anyone familiar with the affairs in the country can deny that. That impression is being deliberately created. I hope the impression is unfounded, but I am afraid I cannot honestly say any longer that I think it is unfounded. I urge that the Government should endeavour to make it unfounded, as they can do; if they take the trouble to discourage that kind of propaganda by their own Party, they will be doing something to raise the tone of public life.

Might I ask the Deputy if he has personal knowledge of any discrimination of this character?

No, not in the sense of being able to go into a witness box and establish a specific case. I freely admit that. Why I say that I find it difficult to believe there is not such discrimination is because I receive assertions to the effect that there is from such a multitude of sources, and I find my own defence of Government good faith in the matter treated with so much incredulity by practically everybody in a position to know.

That is my position too.

But did the Deputy receive any specific complaints in this matter?

I have received numerous specific complaints, but I have not gone down and examined the evidence on the spot in any one of them.

I can quite see that the Deputy could not go down and investigate them, but has he submitted these specific complaints to the Department for examination?

No, and I say it quite frankly, because I have never been given sufficient facts, sufficient detailed facts, to present to the Department. When it comes to the point, the complainant always seems to feel that he is prejudicing his own position in the future by going further with it and possibly that he is running into some danger with the people surrounding him. I put it to the Parliamentary Secretary that he cannot sweep away the whole case by saying there is an absence of specific instances submitted to the Department. That might be true if there were only just vague, occasional accusations, but there are much more than that. The number of instances where these complaints are made is so large and widespread that the effect is cumulative and, while my object is not to scourge the Government for what it has done in the past, I do want to put it to them that in the future the chances of discrimination not taking place will be greatly improved if they make all their back-bench followers in the Dáil and their followers in the country co-operate with them in creating the impression that such distribution of relief should not be affected at all by political affiliations.

Will the Deputy agree that the position as far as he is concerned is that, having heard all these cumulative rumours, he himself has done nothing to contribute to the success of the desire which we express—to have that thing avoided?

I consider that I am doing as much as I can do at the present moment.

I am not trying to press the Deputy any further than is necessary, but the fact remains that he has heard all those vague rumours. Was there one single specific case that came to his knowledge in a form in which he would put it to us for examination?

I have already said no.

My only regret is that the grant which is suggested is totally inadequate to meet the demands of unemployment at the present moment. I will be forgiven if I stress Dublin's point of view. Dublin's point of view at the moment is that there are 600 to 700 families under notice of eviction. Decrees for possession of their little homes have been granted against a number of them in the last month or two. In those circumstances, and knowing that the majority of those people in respect of whom those decrees have been issued are parents of large families, one is tempted to ask what is to become of them if the relief grant that is given just provides work for them for one month in the year. Take a man getting three days' work a week at 10/- a day, and getting a month of that last year; when he applies again he is told that his turn has not yet come. That is not a very bright future for that individual. I will again put the appeal which I made last year to every member of the Dáil, and ask him, when he is holding his Sunday political meetings, to bring this point home. I would ask him to appeal to all of his own people to remain in their own town. By doing so, their own Deputies can raise a sufficient row in the Dáil to see that their share of the Relief Grant will go to that town.

What is happening—and I am sure that every Deputy in Dublin knows it —is that we have such rather sad and very unfortunate cases as that in which a young man with a young wife and baby will come to Dublin—by hook or by crook they get to Dublin— because they read in the newspapers about the prospects of employment here. When they are here a few days our Medical Officer of Health is called in and he finds that these unfortunate people are housed in some rotten basement that others had been taken out of a few weeks before. The authorities were not quick enough to close them down and those unfortunate people from the country who come to Dublin in the hope of getting employment find themselves completely stranded. What I want to get at is this, that the Parliamentary Secretary has knowledge of the amount of the Grant that is to go to each town; therefore, if a number of men leave that town and find, after having tramped to some other town, that the working of the Grant might have given them employment if they remained at home, the relief should follow them into the other district. Everybody knows that for the time being, owing to the temporary position which I hold, the place which I occupy is a semi-public building, and it is no exaggeration to tell you that I have 40, 50 or 60 callers a day. That is no exaggeration, and if anybody thinks it is I will ask him to sit in my office for one or two days. Let him select the day himself and come as a surprise.

Last week, I had brought to my notice several of the type of case that I have mentioned. One was the case of a fine young man who told me he was from Kildare, with a nice young wife and an almost hungry baby. His wife was from Kells. Because he was from Kildare and his wife from Kells the only hope they had in Dublin was to go to the Union. We have no means of giving them relief. He had served eight years in the National Army. I asked him when he got work last, and he informed me that it was nearly two years since he earned a penny. I really avail of the opportunity of this Relief Grant to draw attention to these matters, and to express the hope that the Deputies will draw the attention of those unfortunate people in the country to the fact that they should not come to Dublin. It is unfair; it is really sad to see those people and to know of their sad plight. I can do very little for them. I can do just as much as probably any other Deputy in the House, but not more. Every Deputy in Dublin has had those callers as well as I. I do not want to say that I am the only one who gets those calls. Our trouble is that those men come from the country—this is a matter for the Labour Party, I might say—and when they get to Dublin if employment is offered at any wage they are prepared to take it. There are employers willing to avail of the unemployment problem in order to get the cheapest possible labour. Men have called upon me from other organisations and trade unions, and told me that there are employers offering unfortunate men from the country half the wages that they would pay to semi-skilled labourers in that class of occupation. Those men feel that they are deprived of the work because the men who come from the country are prepared to work for a very low rate of wages. The result is that the others are deprived of the employment. I do earnestly appeal to every member of the House to impress upon his people that they have a chance, by staying at home, of getting a little of the Relief Grant. If the Grant to some particular town was meant to cover 100 unemployed, and if, when the grant is being distributed, 40 out of the 100 are bound to have gone to Dublin or some other town, I say there ought to be a means by which those individuals should have the right to get their share of the Grant sent on to them.

Things are deplorable; things were never so bad. I do not wish to talk politics at all; nobody is to take me as talking politics. Things were never so bad with the unemployed in the City of Dublin. We have a relief scheme; we have what is known as the Chatham Row relief. The ratepayers are splendid. They are doing everything possible. Nobody has made any complaint about the £5,500 per week which the Dublin citizens pay for the relief of the unemployed. They have made no complaint; they have been splendid in that direction. When one sees the hundreds that are coming into the city, and that are not entitled to any benefits, one must forget politics and make an appeal for those who have left the land or left their own towns in the hope that they are going to get employment here. My only regret, as I have said before, is that the Grant is inadequate. We could use the whole of the Grant in Dublin in a couple of weeks.

I am anxious to call the attention of the Parliamentary Secretary to a few matters that have arisen out of the execution of relief work during the past few months. I have noticed in certain portions of the area I come from that there was a tendency on the part of comparatively well-off people—I should say in some cases very well-off people—to crush in on the works to the exclusion of people who needed employment much more.

Hear! hear!

Mr. Murphy

I can be very definite about one or two instances. About four miles outside Dunmanway a forestry plantation was started some time ago. As far as I could gather from the newspapers that work was subsidised to some considerable extent out of the Relief Schemes Vote. Seventeen or 18 men are working there, and included in that number was the son of the biggest farmer in the parish of Dunmanway.

Was he a Blueshirt?

Mr. Murphy

He was a farmer with a valuation of £50, who employed a neighbour in the absence of his son. It is probably one of the most scandalous cases I have ever come across. For the information of the Parliamentary Secretary I want to say that a complaint was made several weeks ago to the Forestry Department in connection with this matter. I do not know whether that complaint should have been addressed to the Parliamentary Secretary or to the Forestry Department, but certainly the complaint was made to the Forestry Department. In that work also are a number of other well-off men, the sons of comparatively well-off people—not to the same extent as the case I have mentioned, which is an outstanding one. In that district are a number of labourers—I know some of them quite well—who have not been able to secure employment, and I should like to have this matter investigated. It is only right that it should be investigated. I think there are quite a lot of similar cases—not quite so bad perhaps—which can be vouched for in some areas in West Cork. As proof of the fact that I am not talking from hearsay evidence I give that case, and I am prepared to stand over it in every detail.

On the whole, however, I think that fairly good work has been done in connection with the expenditure of this money. There were certain difficulties. As was necessary, the Department endeavoured to spread the money over the greatest number of areas possible. That was inevitable and was perfectly right. As a consequence certain works received only a very small proportion of what was necessary to have them carried out— perhaps £40 or £50; just as much money as was needed to start the works. I was not able to catch very clearly what the Minister for Finance said, in moving this vote, as to how it was intended that this money should be expended. I should like to suggest that certain valuable and useful works that had been started, that had advanced to a certain extent and were left unfinished because of lack of funds, should be given some further attention and provided with further grants in order to have them completed. I would suggest also that a good many necessary works—works which I think the Department would agree to be necessary—in West Cork area, which have not been tackled up to the present owing to the shortage of money to cover the large area, should be undertaken as soon as possible. Certain minor drainage works could be done there between this and the 31st March in the weather which we have at present, and are likely to have. I make that suggestion to the Parliamentary Secretary. On the question of wages my own opinion is what it was when this matter was discussed here. This is not, perhaps, the place to raise it again, but I mentioned it the last day and do not want it to be said that anything has occurred in the meantime which has made us at this side of the House alter our opinion. I should like to interest the Parliamentary Secretary in the couple of matters I have mentioned, in the hope that they would be looked into. I should like to say now that, in spite of what I have stated, I consider that on the whole pretty good work has been done. Some schemes were carried out in a way that gave general satisfaction, and a lot of employment.

The Deputy mentioned two cases. One was that of a man with a valuation of £50. What was the other case which the Deputy had in mind?

Mr. Murphy

There were two or three other cases arising in that same work. I could get you the names.

If you will give them to me I will have the matter looked into.

Mr. MacDermot, speaking on this Vote, said that it is a rather ironical commentary on the many promises made in regard to employment. It is more than an ironical commentary; it is a confession of failure. It is a definite condemnation of the people who believed in the fool promises which were made, and made so plentifully, about the time of the elections. Deputy Byrne has said that this Vote is not sufficient. I do not know that that point should be pressed too far, but it could with justice be pressed so far as one could put it against the people who are at present bringing forward this Vote. I remember that one occasion when a Supplementary Vote of a quarter of a million pounds was introduced around one Christmas period, the Minister for Finance, as he now is, referred to it as being enough money to give three weeks' employment by way of a Christmas present, and stated that his policy was not to give three weeks' employment on doles or relief schemes, but to give 52 weeks' employment in industry. If a quarter of a million pounds represents only three weeks' employment what does £50,000 represent? Even the man who cannot add up his own budget figures should be able to tell us that. I say that argument can be pressed too far, and should not be pressed too far, because the resources of the country have got to be considered. It is easy to take any of those figures and, taking the number of counties or constituencies, to say: "That is only so much per constituency." Each Deputy could say: "In my constituency that would not provide for the unemployed for one week." That has been said on pretty nearly every Vote of a relief type which has been introduced during the past 12 years. The resources of the country have got to be considered. They have particularly to be considered by the people who made a failure of the First Loan. They have got to conserve their resources very much indeed. Yet, on the other hand, there is a problem. I will even confine it to the unemployed as considered under the Unemployment Insurance Acts; people who are anxious and willing to work, who cannot get work, who are dependent on work for wages, and dependent on what they can earn through work for what is to keep them alive, are now offered £50,000. It is not to be forgotten that that is in addition to £350,000 and £150,000—a grand total of over £500,000. Again, might I refer to the plans with regard to unemployment that got the Government into power. Those plans did not promise relief schemes; they promised work. They did not promise work on relief schemes—work of a transitory nature; they promised work in industry. They promised work in industry which was going to be permanent in this country. They promised work in industrial occupation; once in, a man was going to be in as long as his industrial life lasted. Industries were going to be firmly seated in this country. The plan announced that, in a selected number of industries, over 84,000 people —even the odd hundreds were mentioned—would get employment. In the end we are faced with a third Vote for relief schemes. Surely it is a slight criticism to say that this is an ironical comment on the promises.

I want to repeat the figures given out from official sources in relation to this matter, because it is the very life of the country that depends upon the knowledge of these figures and an appreciation of what the figures mean. The Minister for Industry and Commerce when challenged here one evening about industrial occupation said that the best test of employment in the country was the test of the moneys paid into the Unemployment Insurance Fund. It is easily the best test. Stamps are affixed for men when in work. If the number of stamps in any particular year increases, thus increasing the revenue of the Fund, it is a sign that more men have gone into employment, or else that those who were in employment previously have been at work for a greater number of weeks. The Minister took as his guiding rule for all this that every £4 extra into the Fund meant a person in employment for 50 weeks in the year, and that again is an accurate calculation. I do not want to say, and I am sure it is not going to be understood that I am saying, that everybody who goes into employment goes in for 50 weeks in the year. But this is a good basis of comparison.

The Minister for Industry and Commerce told us that the income of the Fund had increased year by year over a number of years and he finally brought us to the point of 1930 and told us that in 1933 the increase in the Fund was £60,000. By dividing that by the £4, representing a man in employment for 50 weeks in the year, he said that meant 15,000 people in occupation and so it did. We had analysed later the difference as between 1930 and 1933. The years 1931, 1932 and 1933 form a good basis for comparison because there is no confusing factor, no change in the contributions. When these figures were analysed we found that in 1931 the Fund had risen by £45,000. The present Minister for Industry and Commerce had nothing to do with that. If we take his division by £4, it meant that 11,000 people had gone into insurable occupation for 50 weeks in the year over and beyond the people in it in 1930. That was before the present Minister had anything to do with industry. We had further figures for the year 1932 and they showed an increase. Mark the difference between the years. The year 1932 was the great year of industrial development, the year in which there was in fact all the multiplication of tariffs, subsidies, bounties, everything that was to found industry in this country. All that the Minister could show in that year was an additional 5,600 people in employment.

It can be said that his plans had not time to develop. Let us take that as an excuse. Then we come to the year 1933. The difference between the year 1932 and the year 1933, on the Minister's own criteria, was an additional 1,500 people. In two years of the Minister's industrial development schemes, in two years of high tariffs, in two years of bounties and subsidies, of giving Government credit, putting Government funds at the disposal of people, about 7,000 people went into employment. In the last year before the present Minister had anything to do with industrial development 11,000 people went into occupation.

Again the excuse might be made that even in 1933 it could be said that the plans for developing industry had not fructified. That might pass for an excuse were it not for the fact that the Minister had boasted, with regard I suppose to the first dozen of the industrial development schemes that are on, that "the job is done." So the job is done, and in the year in which the job was announced to be done 1,500 people went into new occupation. In the two years leading up to the year in which the boast was made that the job is done less than 7,000 people were put into occupation of an industrial type, whereas in the year before that Minister had anything to do with industry £45,000 was added to the Fund, equalling 11,000 people put into occupation.

That is the positive side of the industrial development. Let us take the negative side. While the Fund is being built up by contributions paid by those in occupation during the year, it is also drawn on by those who, having been in industry, failed for some reason or another in a particular year to get employment. Being insured, they are enabled to draw from the Fund as long as their stamps last. I asked a question last week to discover what was the draw on the Fund —the minus side of industrial occupation. We found that as between 1931 and 1932 the draw on the Fund had increased by nearly £100,000. In other words, when there were some people going into employment, although not as many as in 1931, there was in 1932, as compared with 1931, something in the region of £90,000 odd extra drawn by those who in that year failed to get employment.

That shows both sides of the industrial problem. Fewer people came in, with big tariffs imposed, in the period as to which the Minister said, in relation to six or seven of these schemes, that "the job was done." No pretence that it is impossible to determine when a factory has been erected— because we are told that some of the factories are extensions and therefore cannot be segregated from the original buildings—no excuses or glosses of that sort are any good against those figures segregated by the Minister himself; £45,000 increase in the Fund in 1931, 11,000 people put into employment; in the succeeding two years somewhere about 7,000 people went into employment. In the year 1931 a certain draw is made on the Fund by those who were unable to find occupation and who were insured against not being able to find employment. In the year 1932 the draw on the Fund was nearly £100,000 more. If that shows healthy industrial development, figures can be made to mean anything.

While all that is revealed to us through these official figures, there is the other side—the non-insurable population of the country; the people who are not in insurable occupations; the people, in other words, who are employed either in domestic service, in agriculture or in horticulture. Where do they come in? Some weeks ago at a dinner the Minister for Industry and Commerce boasted that we had reached the lowest point with regard to employment; that from this time on there would be a progressive movement. There has been, but not in the sense he meant. The unemployment figures have risen every week since then. They now total 96,000. Are they agriculturists? At least, are they people who were employed on the land, but who can no longer find occupation on the land? The Minister has provided an Unemployment Assistance Act. He says it is going to provide for 60,000 people who will not be able to find employment, as they are not insured. His colleague, the Minister for Education, estimated the figure to be 90,000. Let it be 60,000 minimum or 90,000, these figures, according to both Ministers, represent people who are not in insurable occupations, and who will not be able to get work. That is for people apart from the industrial group. Of course we see it reflected in the home assistance figures, which have risen. There may be an excuse with regard to the home assistance figures that people are drawing it that should not be allowed to do so, and that people are getting home assistance who should be getting unemployment assistance. I do not know if that excuse is going to be made. I do not think there is any other excuse.

At any rate, the fact is that after two years of intense industrial development, after two years of the new policy, which is supposed to be steadily driving us to more tillage, we find on the one hand, in the Minister's industrial policy, there has been less increase in two years than there was previously in one year, despite the vast scheme of industrial development. As far as the agricultural community is concerned we find the unemployment figures at the moment to be 96,000. We find the Minister trying to provide for these—I presume it is the same group—by an Unemployment Assistance Act. His own calculation is that 60,000 people are not insurable. Of the industrial groups who will not be able to find work—his colleague says they are 90,000—while they are preparing, home assistance figures have gone up with an enormous bound. I stress again, that the excuse that might have been made, that schemes of industrial development have not yet had time fully to come into play, is negatived by the Minister's statements. He said on an occasion in this House with regard to groups of industries, that his job was done. He said that at a dinner; he said it in this House, and he said it at meetings outside the House. His boast was that his job was done. This is the second year of his great scheme. He said that 1,500 people were going yearly into employment. There is one test which the Minister used, to show that everything is rosy or, at any rate, that prospects are bright in this country. He takes the figures for imported articles, which are at present tariffed here, and says that in such a year we imported goods to the value of £500,000, and last year we only imported goods value £50,000. He then draws the quick conclusion that we are making up goods value for £450,000, which were previously made abroad and imported. There is no proof that we are doing anything of the sort. We may not be buying that amount of stuff. The people may not have the purchasing power to expend on these commodities. If it is said that they are spending the money on articles now made at home, then there is a test that can be called for, and that should be supplied at once.

The Census of Production is given for various industries, the amount involved, and the net product per worker in the industry. With regard to confectionery and sugar, the Minister is disposed to rely on it in a great measure. He says that imports have been cut down from about £500,000 to £30,000 or £40,000. If £450,000 is spent on sugar and confectionery, which is supposed to be made here, but which was previously imported, then there ought to be a corresponding rise in those employed in that industry at home. Do the figures bear out the assertion that there are goods worth nearly £500,000 now being produced here which were previously purchased abroad? The figures prove nothing of the sort. The figures can only be made to prove that by assuming that the nett production per head of those employed in this industry has gone from £200 to about £2,000. That conclusion is ludicrous. It is quite clear that in many industries importation is falling off. It is undeniable that as a result of high tariffs a certain amount of what was made abroad is being made at home. It is equally undeniable that in the last few years, while the economic war was being waged, the purchasing power of the community had lapsed considerably, and that there was not the money to spend on these articles.

Merely to say that in one year there was such an importation of certain articles, and in another year so much less importation, does not prove that the difference between the two figures is what is made at home. In the last two years it goes to prove, as far as this country is concerned, that the same amount of money is not being spent on these articles, but is reserved for something else; that the money is not there to spend, and that there is not the demand at home. There is no reflection in the figures on those employed in industry to correspond to the difference between what was imported previously and what is now imported. The purchasing power argument has got to be used in another way. In a recent speech I noticed that the Minister for Agriculture was boasting about the decrease in the importation of maize. He drew the conclusion quickly—and drew the one that was satisfactory to him—that the same amount of feeding stuff was required, but that maize was being replaced by something produced at home. The feeding stuff was required for certain purposes, but purposes for which it was previously required, no longer exist. There is not the necessity to purchase the same amount of any type of feeding stuff. Is there the same demand for any type of feeding stuff for animals as there was last year, or as there was previously? We are told there is a plan with regard to agriculture, the same as regards industry. I want to hear that discussed on very broad lines; details can be filled in afterwards.

In the year 1931 there was a certain type of farm economy in this country. Certain things were produced out of the earth. Some of what the earth yielded was eaten at home by human beings, who accounted for a certain amount, and animals accounted for the rest. Some of the animals fed on what was produced, were consumed at home or used for stock raising purposes. The rest were exported. The exporting fact meant and could easily be translated into this, that different types of animals represented a certain amount of tillage. If there are not the same markets, and if there are no alternative markets, then the number of animals bred for use outside this country diminished? The number of cattle bred in this country for use outside diminished so the acreage that supplied the feeding stuffs for these animals must go down. We can replace it. We are going to grow something else; we will grow wheat. I know the argument is that we can supply our own wheat. Anyone can make a calculation?

Let us assume that next year we are growing in this country all the wheat that we require for our own needs, and let that be measured out in new tillage. That is one side of the account. Take the other side. We are no longer looking for a market for export. Therefore, we are no longer looking for an exportable surplus. Let us take that in relation to live stock. If, for the next ten years, we are only going to breed in this country the number of animals which will be required for human consumption at home or else for breeding purposes for animals for further use at home, how many acres now tilled will go out of cultivation? Will it, in the end, be more than we will put under the plough because of wheat or anything else that we are going to grow new in this country? That can best be summed up as it was summed up here recently. There are between 10,000,000 and 12,000,000 arable acres in this country. There was a certain number of these being tilled in the year 1931 under a certain type of farm economy. Supposing this country sets out to get to this point of self-sufficiency and this only; that it will raise in this country only what is required for consumption at home and is not going to look to the exportation of a single animal or a single item of agricultural produce, how many of the 10,000,000 or 12,000,000 arable acres in this country will have to be tilled to supply home needs and not supply anything else? Will it not be at least 1,000,000 acres under what was tilled in 1931, and if it is not that, what is the figure? How many people are going to be engaged per acre on what is tilled, new or old? Where are the people who are in the country going to find employment? Tillage will certainly decrease under these conditions, and if tillage decreases more people will go out of agricultural employment and if they are looking to get employment in industrial activity in this country they will see their own generation out, and probably another generation will pass, before the change over is accomplished if the rate of speed is going to be even the 5,600 odd that got into industrial employment on the first spurt of activity, the 1,500 that got in on the second burst of activity or the 7,000 odd that got in in the two years; two years so successful that the Minister has got to say at the end of it that the job is done in relation to most of the big industrial groups.

Surely if there is a plan both of these points of view have been considered. Surely if there is a scheme that is worth calling a scheme, there must have been consideration given to the fact that in the year 1931 or in the year 1932, when the present Government took over, out of every 1,000 people employed in this country 530 were employed in agriculture, and about 100 employed in industry. Surely there must have been some thought given as to what was going to happen to the 530 per thousand employed in agriculture if tillage, in fact, was going to decrease under the scheme of the Government, and immediately on that there must have been some consideration given to this problem; how are we going to increase the 100 per thousand employed in industry so as to get it up not merely to balance the number that go out of agricultural employment but that will give an opening to the others who are coming on to the labour market year by year.

Now was there a plan: was there anything to direct activity: was there a scheme which allowed for a decrease in agriculture, or did the scheme envisage an increase in agriculture as well as an increase in industry, and are the results working out according to the scheme? Can we be told now as to the number of people extra in agricultural employment over and beyond those who were in it in the year 1931? Can we be told what their hopes are for remaining in agricultural production if the scheme of not aiming at an exportable surplus in any item of agricultural produce is going to be carried out? Can we be told how long are those transitory arrangements about relief schemes and unemployment assistance going to be necessary? Has any member of the Government, or the Government as a collective group, any idea as to when the country can be shown some increase in agricultural development: some better increase than we have at the moment in industry? Whatever the figures are—it is to be presumed that the increase is going to be kept up year by year—can we get any relationship shown between those figures whatever they are and the number of people, whatever that number may be, who are at the moment unable to get work of any type and who are dependent on the getting of work for the wages which they will exchange for food to enable themselves to live? The figure may be 96,000, the present total of those who are registered. The figure may be the 19,000, as the Minister for Agriculture thought it was going to be of those who need not register because they are not in insurable occupation. It may be merely the 60,000 that the Minister for Industry and Commerce is optimistic to believe in. Supposing it is even the 60,000, and supposing that there is no further decline in agriculture, what hope has the Minister of speeding up industry in the matters in regard to which he has not yet said that the job is done so as to occupy industry year by year for some years? What is the number going to be and in what groups of industry are they going to be placed?

Remember we had it all set out in the plan. Eighty-four thousand odd were to be put into occupation. How many of them have gone in: how are the groups working out? What are the groups in which achievement is superior to the Minister's expectations, if there is any such group? What are the ones in which development is expected on any considerable scale, and has not yet been got on any considerable scale? If there is a plan, if there is an ordered development, and if there is a working to a goal which has been properly looked to and the means and methods of achieving it have been properly surveyed, it ought to be easy to answer these questions.

We have asked from time to time where are the factories? We were told at first that the Minister was in some difficulty because he did not know the difference between a factory and a workshop. Later, over the festive season, he thought of a better excuse: he could not give those figures because of course some activity was demonstrated by an extension of an existing factory, and therefore he could not point to it as a new factory. Therefore, the figures if they appeared might appear to falsify his statements. Surely it is possible for the Minister in any group of industry—the one he is fondest of is the sugar confectionery business—to say there: "I have previously announced that the importation of all the articles under this head has gone down by nearly £500,000. I have drawn the conclusion from that, that the £500,000 worth of goods previously imported are now being made at home." About £200, let us say, to make the sum easy, used to be regarded as the amount of wealth produced by each worker in that particular industry. If we have £500,000 worth of goods now being made here which used to be made abroad, we ought to be able to show so many new people employed in this industry. Can the Minister show it? Can he show a quarter of it? Can he show one-tenth of it? The last figures we got did not show one-tenth of it. If he cannot show that increased employment, does he say that a very small increase in employment is responsible for the manufacture at home of nearly half a million pounds' worth of stuff that used to be imported? If he does not say some of these things, what is his last excuse— or, at least, his latest excuse, because I do not suppose we will get his last excuse to-night—with regard to industrial development in the country? Remember, in the first half year of the Minister's sway he had 300 factories that he knew of. He could not state in this House to what groups they belonged. He could not tell us how many there were in the principal groups. He could not tell us, in the end, the difference between what he described as a factory and what would otherwise be called by other people a workshop. He has had two years in which to think over the problem. He was going to keep a directory and for months he delayed in sending out the ordinary lists of questions which should be answered before the directory could be put together. Now we find that it is not being done under his auspices but that the firms are doing it themselves, with the view, I suppose, that if it does not bear out what the Minister says he can say that it is not official. He can say that it is not yet the whole truth, and the whole truth, with regard to these new factories will remain locked in the Minister's heart.

In these circumstances, of course, we have got to get a Vote like this. £50,000, acording to the view of the Minister for Finance, would mean three days' work for the unemployed. That is what is to be given at this point. Is that what was promised? Is that supposed to be the answer to those people who believed that in certain groups of industries 84,000 odd people were going to be put into work? Is it to be merely a relief scheme of a transitory type, the cutting off of corners of roads, the making of pathways and approaches into Land Commission works, certain drainage schemes and so on—things possibly all good in themselves but clearly lasting only for a season so far as the work is concerned—is that to be the answer to the people who wanted to be put into industrial occupation of a permanent type and who voted for the Government that promised them that? It is the best that can be offered at the moment. I join with Deputy Byrne in welcoming the expenditure of this sum, although I also say that I believe that, with regard to these sums which are being expended year by year, each succeeding year will see less of them expended because the resources of the State cannot be strained beyond a certain point and it is impossible, unless there is better production in the country and a better yield from taxation in the country, to go on supplying all these moneys, necessary as they may be at a particular time unless the end is foreseen. If the end were that this is merely transitory, that there was a good guiding plan, and that there were going to be people put into occupation; that industrial production will improve in the country, and that people would have more money in circulation—bread often springing from good business activity—then, it is tolerable. If, however, it simply means that the plan either never was there or else was hurriedly excogitated at a particular moment, then, of course, this is only leading us further into depression and misery.

Deputy Byrne said that it would have to be voted this year and for years to come. There will be a bigger demand for this type of money next year if things continue to get progressively worse next year as they have been getting worse in previous years. There will be a bigger demand and a bigger necessity for it, but there may not be the same case in supplying it, and it may be that, eventually, the Government will find themselves compelled to stop this sort of relief, and they will have nothing else to offer instead of it. It is a poor answer, but it is some answer to those who believed in their promises and voted for them on account of those promises; but it is not the answer expected. It will have to do for the year. Deputy Byrne's warning will have to be taken that, undoubtedly, in the years ahead the demands will still be there and the necessity will be there. The only thing that remains to be seen is, will the money be there? Again I stress that what happened to the Fourth National Loan does not indicate that the money will be there, and certainly it will not be there if the Government insist on pursuing the policy they have been pursuing.

I think that Deputy McGilligan has once again demonstrated very clearly the danger of giving statistics in any quantity to people not capable of understanding them. Deputy McGilligan appreciated that danger himself when he was Minister for Industry and Commerce—so clearly that he kept the statistics to himself. His trouble really arises from the fact that the present Government reversed his policy and decided to make available to all people full information concerning the economic conditions prevailing in the country, and took very special care to insure that the information was accurate. Deputy McGilligan is able to quote here figures relating to the registration of unemployed, and to draw false conclusions from them. When he was Minister these figures were not published. Deputy McGilligan took good care that they were not published and, not merely that, but he adopted very special measures to insure that the figures available in his own Department could not be relied upon as any accurate index of the volume of unemployment in the country. Deputy McGilligan quoted a lot of figures here this evening, and he endeavoured to draw conclusions from them which showed that he obviously had not even attempted to understand them. Why do people register for employment at labour exchanges? I think most Deputies will agree with me when I say that people register at these exchanges in the hope of getting work, and an increase in the number of registrations at the local employment offices of the Department for Industry and Commerce may be an indication, not of increased unemployment, but of increased expectation of work. That, in fact, is the explanation of the increased figures. I notice Deputies opposite smiling. Let me reinforce my contention. In the seven years from 1924 to 1931, when Deputy McGilligan was Minister for Industry and Commerce, the number of vacancies filled annually through the labour exchanges averaged about 18,000. Each year, for these seven years, 18,000 vacancies were filled through the Labour Exchanges. In the year 1932, 76,000 vacancies were filled in this way and in the year 1933 over 100,000 vacancies were filled. Do you not think that the significance of these figures should be taken into account when examining the statistics of registered unemployed? Of what use is it to anybody to register at a labour exchange if there is no prospect of getting work through the exchange and no financial inducement to register? The number of registered unemployed increases every year between September and December. The Cumann na nGaedheal Party, or United Ireland Party, as it is now called, its official organ and Deputies of that Party, take good care to quote unemployment figures during that period and to compare one week with the previous week to show that there has been an increase. In every year there is an increase in unemployment in every country in that period. That is a normal development. The proper comparison is between the figures for one week last year and the corresponding week this year. The number of registered unemployed in each week in the September and December period of last year were substantially less than the numbers for the corresponding weeks in the previous year. The number went up to about 80,000 towards the end of November. Then it jumped to over 90,000. Did Deputies opposite take any pains to find out why that jump of 10,000 should have taken place in the course of a couple of weeks? Did it mean that 10,000 people had been put out of employment and were coming fresh to the labour exchanges looking for work to replace that which they had lost? If that was the explanation for that increase of 10,000 in the number of persons unemployed, there would have been a similar increase in the number of persons drawing benefit. But there was no similar increase. The increase took place entirely in three districts—the district of Mallow, the district of Thurles, and the district of Tuam. Why? Because there was work available in these places in building three of the factories that Deputy McGilligan cannot see—work for up to 2,000 in each place. That work was available only through the labour exchanges, in accordance with the often-declared policy of the Government, with the result that everybody desiring to participate in that work had to register at the exchanges. Those who registered were, in the main, not persons who would be ordinarily seeking industrial employment. Most of them had been engaged in agriculture and were taking that work because it was available in a season when work on the farm was not pressing. They are getting the work. The significance of these figures is that the workers of this country now realise that there is work available through the exchanges. Not 18,000 vacancies per year, but over 100,000 vacancies per year were notified to, and filled through, the employment exchanges.

Deputy McGilligan could, if he had tried, have attached the right significance to the figures made available to him, but he did not try. He took good care to come to the Dáil, not for the purpose of discussing the unemployment position on an accurate statement of the facts, but for the purpose of misrepresenting the facts. There is another explanation for the increase in payments from the Unemployment Insurance Fund than that which Deputy McGilligan gave. There are two policies possible in relation to that Fund, that which the Deputy practised and that which I am practising. One saves the Fund and the other does not. I could, to-morrow, give to the Employment Officers in the Department for Industry and Commerce an instruction that, in order to save the Fund, all vacancies were to be filled by people in benefit. That would take £200,000 or £300,000 a year off that expenditure figure. If, when a man entitled to benefit became unemployed, the efforts of the Department for Industry and Commerce were concentrated on putting that man into work in preference to the man out of benefit, we would save the Fund and reduce the figure. But we have given them a contrary instruction. The instruction which these officers have received is that preference in employment, when it is possible to exercise preference, is to be given to the man who has nothing, to the man who is longest out of work and who has exhausted his claim to benefit. That means that the demands on the Fund increase but it is, I suggest, a better system than the other and operates to distribute more widely the benefits of the unemployment insurance scheme and of any work made available out of relief votes or other Government measures. Deputy McGilligan knows that that is the explanation of the increase in expenditure.

I do not, because you have got to add to that that I have given the opposite instruction and you cannot say that.

I do say it.

Produce the instruction.

If the Deputy did not give it, that was the system in operation.

Produce the instruction. Will the Minister say if he has not on the files the same instruction from me as that which he says he issued?

Not that I have seen.

If the Minister lets me have access to the files, I shall get the instruction for him.

At that time, the Deputy took no pains to see that his instruction was carried out.

I did many times.

The other system was the system in operation as I found it.

I deny that flatly. There are many records on the files showing that instructions were given that people without benefit were to get vacancies before people who had benefit.

On the contrary, the specific instructions given by the Deputy to the officers of his Department were that first preference was to be given to his own supporters——

I did not say anything of the sort.

The test being their National Army discharge papers.

I always insisted here that I gave preference to the National Army. Outside that, there was no such instruction issued.

That instruction was given whether these men were in benefit or not or had dependents or not.

The Minister knows that ex-National Army men were not in an insurable occupation and had not stamps on their cards.

Not while in the Army but most of them were discharged about 1923. I am talking of the period around 1931.

I am talking of the people who left the Army in 1929-30 and who had no stamps on their cards.

A preference was given to those who had stamps.

Better get back to your argument.

That is the only instruction I have seen.

You told me you had not seen it.

I say that I saw this instruction about giving preference in all cases, under all circumstances, to that one class of the community.

Get on to the other lot.

I say that that system was in operation.

The Minister will not say he saw such an instruction from me?

You can leave it at that and get back to your argument about the increase of £100,000.

Another explanation of the increase is that there are more people in employment, more employment offered——

That is shown by the bigger unemployment payment?

It is. It shows that more people became entitled to that payment in that year than in the previous year. Every other figure available supports that contention. The number of unemployment insurance books exchanged and new books issued shows an increase of 45,000 over that of the previous year. That figure supports my contention. More people are seeking and getting insurable employment. The Deputy said that figures can be made to prove anything and he successfully demonstrated the truth of his own contention. Figures will prove anything if people are prepared to accept, without examination, statements made in this House in the manner in which they have been made by the Deputy. I suggest to Deputies opposite that instead of swallowing these doctored statistics that are handed out by the propaganda department of their organisation, they should do a little thinking for themselves and be guided by facts as they know them, not by facts as their Party propagandists would present them. Deputy McGilligan wants to know where are the new factories. I think it is about time I made some effort to enlighten Deputy McGilligan.

Hear, hear.

I suggest to him that I provide a junior officer of my Department with a motor car to take him around within a radius of two miles of this House and show him thirty new factories, employing on the average 200 hands each.

Why not employ a clerical officer and a pen?

A higher executive officer and several pens have been employed.

Why not give us the figures that we have been looking everywhere for for a long time?

Will the Deputy accept my offer? Thirty of them! Does he walk around the city with his eyes shut? I heard the President tell him this evening that there are none so blind as they who will not see. The Deputy's blindness, no doubt, is of that kind.

I have my blind eye on Gallahers.

The suggestion that was made about Gallahers was one that I adopted. The suggestion was made by a member of the Deputy's Party that we should keep it there as a monument and we are keeping it there as a monument, a notification to those who want to come in and to exploit the Irish people, that we are going to work this country for ourselves, that we are going to develop Irish industry under Irish control and with Irish capital, that those who hope by any means to defeat the Government policy in that matter are going themselves to be defeated. For that purpose we passed the Control of Manufactures Act which the Deputy opposed and now wants to have tightened up. I have given from time to time the available figures about employment in industry. I gave Deputy Mulcahy figures concerning employment in certain industries in reply to a Parliamentary question last week. They show an increase in all cases except one or two and in the one or two cases where no increase is shown the decline is rather a matter for congratulation than otherwise. There are certain industries which foster in times of depression and decline in times of prosperity and the decline, in the only cases where there has been a decline in employment is a decline of that type. It is an axiom amongst economists, for example, that the consumption of flour goes up when the standard of living goes down and vice versa, that when people can get meat, poultry, eggs and other foods, they eat less bread, and that when they cannot get these other foods they eat more bread. The consumption of flour has fallen off in this country in the last year by over 300,000 sacks, an indication that the people are eating less bread, because they are getting more meat, more poultry, more eggs and more food of several kinds.

Deputy McGilligan talked about our purchasing power, and again it was quite obvious that he had not attempted to study the various indices in relation to it. If anybody wanted to get reliable information as to whether the purchasing power of our people had fallen on the whole and as to the extent that their consumption of essential commodities has been affected, or even their consumption of luxury commodities, where would he go? He would take the various indices that the Deputy will find, if he tries in every economist's book, in every textbook of political economy for children. The decline in the consumption of flour is an index of improved standards of living.

It is generally accepted.

It is an index that they are getting meat cheaply?

It does not make any difference whether the meat is cheap or not if the people are getting it.

What about the producers? They do not count.

I shall deal with the producers in a moment. The importation of tea went up. The importation of sugar went up last year as compared with the previous year. Taking the available figures relating to the output of boot factories, clothing factories and woollen factories, and adding them to the imports statistics available for the year, an increased consumption in all these articles is shown. The bank clearances are up. The volume of currency notes in circulation has increased. Every available index of economic activity shows increased consumption, an increase in purchases and an increase in purchases for cash. I heard Senator Sir John Keane, who is not a friend of the Government, a director of the Bank of Ireland, making a public speech some weeks ago in Trinity College—Deputy's McGilligan's colleague, Deputy Dillon, was present and heard it too—commenting on the fact that traders and manufacturers from all parts of the country had said to him that their business was good and, more significant than anything else, that their proportion of bad debts was down and their proportion of cash payments up.

Any reason for that?

We are well aware of that. They will not get anything on credit now.

The sales are up.

You shoved up the price of flour.

I am quoting Senator Sir John Keane. It is true that he said he did not understand it. The Deputy ought to go and tell Sir John Keane——

The Cork people have to pay for everything they get now.

They will have to pay more for their flour any how.

Deputy Brennan talks about the purchasing power of farmers having gone down owing to the fall in prices. Of course, it has, but that is not confined to this country. The purchasing power of farmers in every country has gone down. It has gone down less here than in most countries, as Deputy Brennan or any other Deputy opposite would know if he made any effort to try and find out how things are in other countries in present-day circumstances. Denmark is often quoted. The price of Danish butter sold on the export market in recent times was the lowest for 40 years, the lowest recorded since 1894. In the last year the Danish Government bought 200,000 head of cattle to destroy them——

We are doing it now.

——in an effort to maintain prices. Last week the Danish Government published a census of pigs which showed a decrease of 15 per cent. mainly in young breeding sows. The Dutch Government is planning to destroy 200,000 cattle this year in an effort to maintain prices and is adopting other measures in order to keep agricultural produce off the market either by limiting home production or by acquiring that produce for destruction. We have not resorted to that yet.

Not yet. But if agricultural conditions tend in that direction, we will have to do it. We may make a start in this year. The start will be along certain lines designed to decrease the volume of production where production is obviously going to be uneconomic in future and, at the same time, to improve the quality of the produce. If we take steps in that direction this year, I want Deputies to know that we are forced to do so after much stronger countries than ours have been compelled to move in that direction.

The Danish agricultural economy is a much better one than ours. The main criticism of our predecessors as a Government was that they did not realise the fact that if a period of world depression was to come the agricultural economy permitted by them to exist here was bound to come down under the strain. They advocated and fostered specialisation in farming and the specialist farmer in all countries has gone to the wall, whether he specialised in cattle, in wheat, in bacon or anything else. When I was in Canada in 1932 they told me that in one province there there were 300,000 farmers being maintained on outdoor relief. These were specialist farmers, men who had concentrated upon the production of a limited range of products, just as farmers in this country were advised by the Minister for Agriculture in the Cumann na nGaedheal Government.

No; that is not true.

It is true.

He said: "Another cow, another sow and another acre of corn." That was his policy.

I am talking about the results that were produced here. Deputy McGilligan asked us if our policy was going to decrease tillage below the level reached in 1931. He did well to pick upon 1931, the last year of Cumann na nGaedheal term of office, when the acreage under tillage was the lowest ever recorded.

And last year you went lower.

The Deputy asked us would we be a million acres lower. I do not know if he has looked at the figures. The total acreage then was 1,400,000. He wants to know, apparently, if we are going down to 400,000 acres. The fact is that we are going up. For the first time in 100 years, exclusive of the war years, the acreage under tillage last year was increased. The Deputy now asks us are we going to 400,000 acres. Apparently he does not understand the position. He mentioned wheat. It would take 800,000 acres to produce the quantity of wheat we consume, not to mention other products. We are going to have 60,000 acres additional under beet.

At a loss of £1,000,000 a year.

Deputy Belton says that we are going to lose £1,000,000 a year.

And he knows what he is talking about.

Deputy Belton made a reference to a speech once delivered by the Minister for Finance in which he talked about white elephants. I will ask Deputy Belton, as a man who may be anxious to get at the facts, to work out what it would cost us to build the beet factories under precisely the same scheme as our predecessors adopted. That might mean a loss, but under our scheme it is not going to cost £1,000,000 a year, but £600,000, and for that we are going to secure the economic operation of four beet factories.

You had better wait and see.

Our predecessors succeeded in getting only one factory going.

Did I understand the Minister to talk about the economic operation of four factories?

Our predecessors succeeded in getting one factory going at an annual cost of, roughly £300,000. We are going, not merely to increase the acreage under wheat and beet, but also the acreage under other cereal crops. We believe that acreage can be increased. A very large item of our import list that represents grain and other food-stuffs can be replaced by home-grown products and, even if it is necessary for us to reduce our production of cattle and consequently to reduce our consumption of food-stuffs, there will still be many hundreds of thousands of acres of additional tillage in consequence of the substitution of native products for imported articles.

You will increase the farmers' burdens.

The Deputy apparently has not appreciated the fact that the purpose of the farmer is to produce food for human consumption.

Where it can be done.

And the purpose of Irish farmers is primarily to produce food for consumption here.

Can you produce food without manure?

I do not think so.

We are producing food all right, but we are paying damn well for it.

Who is paying for what?

The people of this country are paying for it.

The complaint from the benches over there appeared to be that the price of food was too low. Even on that matter it seems they cannot agree. What Deputy is voicing the Party policy? Is the complaint that the price is too low or that it is too high?

It is too low from the producers' point of view.

Ask Deputy Corry, he will tell you all about it.

The Deputies over there want to have a foot on each side of the stile and the result is that they get stuck.

I am afraid the Minister is a very bad farmer.

There is agreement on that.

Deputy McGilligan tried to make some play on a statement made by me arising out of the declining imports and he picked as his main case the figures in relation to sugar confectionery, which have declined from over £500,000 in the last year when he was Minister to £8,000 in 1933. It is probably true that the whole of the confectionery that was imported into this country is not now being produced at home. Confectionery is a luxury product and it is bound to be affected by any trade depression.

But I thought we were more prosperous?

Confectionery is equally dependent for sale on the varieties offered. There is such a thing as a world depression. There was an international conference held about it, as Deputies opposite may have heard.

But have not our bank clearances and our cash transactions all gone up?

Yes, and our consumption in the matter of boots, clothes, woollens and many other articles has gone up.

Therefore, we have no depression here and the confectionery ought also to go up.

Whether or not the whole of the £500,000 worth of imports is now represented in production from Irish factories, it is a good thing to have it wiped off the import list. There was surely little national gain in expending £500,000 buying chocolates and toffees from the supporters of the Cumann na nGaedheal Party in England. Neither did I say that our job is done. I have said repeatedly that we have barely started. The task of building up the industrial system here, carrying out a recasting of our economic organisation and repairing the damage done by our predecessors over 10 years is not an easy one. It will take us some time to accomplish it, but we have got well on the way. I am glad there are some sounds of approval from the Party opposite. Usually Deputies there stand up and cheer if they hear of someone losing work. They groan if they hear of a new factory opening.

They do not groan often then.

Some of them have been goaning very frequently, judging by the newspaper attempts to reproduce their groans in print.

It is not over the opening of new factories.

Then what is worrying them?

That the new factories are not opening.

If I thought that Deputy McGilligan would even smile at the prospect of a new factory being opened, I would invite him to the next official function of that kind.

I will laugh uproariously if you show me them.

I have offered to show the Deputy 30. I should like to see him laugh uproariously.

And I will burst with laughter if the Minister gives me the answers to the questions we have been asking him.

Progress reported.
Committee to sit again to-morrow.