Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Wednesday, 4 Nov 1936

Vol. 64 No. 1

Liffey Reservoir Bill, 1936—Second Stage.

I move that the Liffey Reservoir Bill, 1936, be read a Second Time. The purpose of the Bill is to provide for additional advances to the amount of £2,734,000 from the Central Fund to the Electricity Supply Board for the purposes of financing capital commitments to be undertaken by the Board in the period ending on the 31st March, 1938. That sum is required to provide for the installation of two additional steam units, for substantial extensions to the Board's transmission and distribution systems, and for the hydro-electric development of the River Liffey. The Bill before the House gives statutory effect to an agreement which was concluded in last June between the Dublin Corporation and the Electricity Supply Board, and it confers certain powers on the corporation, the effect of which is to combine with the hydro-electric development of the Liffey a scheme for the provision of an improved and additional supply of water for the City of Dublin and the surrounding area.

The promotion of this measure, and particularly the provision for the utilisation of the Liffey, affords what I think is a convenient opportunity for a brief survey, in retrospect, of the progress of electrical development in the Saorstát in recent years since, as a result of the expert investigation which was undertaken in 1924, legislation was first promoted to provide for the hydro-electric development of the Shannon. On the completion of the construction works the Electricity Supply Board was established in August of 1927 under the powers conferred by the Electricity Supply Act of that year: and under the powers conferred by the Act, and also by a series of subsequent enactments, capital advances have been made on many occasions from the Central Fund to the Electricity Supply Board to enable it to discharge its functions. When the experts presented their report at the end of 1924 the total generating capacity of public electricity works in the Saorstát, including the generating station of the Dublin United Tramways Company, was 33,000 kilowatts. The present capacity is 124,000 kilowatts, and this Bill before the House makes provision for the installation of 70,000 kilowatts additional capacity, bringing the total generating capacity of the Board's system to 194,000 kilowatts. The total amount of current generated when the experts made their report was estimated at 55,000,000 units per annum. It is now 270,000,000 units per annum and, when the additional capacity contemplated by this Bill is available the current generated will be in the region of 400,000,000 units per annum. The number of electricity consumers in the Saorstát in 1925 was 36,000; the number to-day is 130,000. The annual consumption of electricity in 1925 was 18 units per head of the whole population; the consumption to-day is 81 units per head, and the Board hopes to treble that figure in the course of the next few years. Industrial motive power load, which is the index, not merely of the increasing popularity of electricity as a source of industrial power, but also of our rapid industrial expansion, has increased from 29,600 horse power in 1931 to 68,800 horse power in 1936. The average price of current per unit has fallen from 2.66 pence in 1929-30 to 1.84 pence in 1935-36. The Board's capital receipts at the 31st March last, including the cost of all the Shannon works, and liabilities taken over from local authorities, was £11,206,000, and this Bill, as I explained, provides for additional advances amounting to £2,734,000. The revenue of the Board has increased from £478,000 in 1929-30 to £1,430,000 in 1935-36, and the revenue for the first seven months of the present year shows an improvement of £84,000 on the corresponding period of last year. The Board has paid all interest charges due to the Exchequer, and last year was able to set aside the substantial sum of £230,000 to a depreciation fund, and, I have no doubt, in a relatively short time, it will be in a position to provide full depreciation charges and, in addition, commence the repayment of Exchequer advances. The total number of persons employed by the Board is now approximately 2,500. I think the House will agree that the figures which I have just given present an impressive picture of progress, and provide me with ample justification in asking for the powers which this Bill proposes to confer.

Public interest in this Bill will, no doubt, be concentrated in the main on the Liffey hydro development scheme. I want to emphasise the fact that of the total advances of £2,734,000 for which the Bill provides, only £634,000 is appropriate to the Liffey scheme. The capacity of the Liffey plant may be taken at 30,000 kilowatts. The capacity of the two additional steam units, for which provision is made in the Bill, is 40,000 kilowatts, and the cost of these two units is £432,000. If any comparison is to be made between the figures which I have just given, it must be borne in mind in this connection that the cost of the operation of steam plant is relatively higher than that of hydro-electric plant, as the outlay on coal, in the first place, offsets the increased standing charges incidental to the higher capital expenditure which a hydro-electric scheme involves. Again, the maximum theoretical number of units which can be produced from the Poulaphouca scheme, that is the Liffey development scheme, excluding possible subsequent development at Leixlip, is 39,000,000 units in an average flow year; and it is estimated that the amount of power which can be usefully employed will be 30,000,000 units at the time when the total consumption of the Board's system is 400,000,000 units per annum, increasing to 34,000,000 units when the Board is generating 500,000,000 units per annum. For as far ahead as it is possible to see, the Shannon will remain the most important source of supply of electricity; new and existing steam plant will reckon second in importance, and the Liffey third. It is necessary to stress these facts so as to place in proper perspective the scheme for hydro-electric development of the Liffey. The output of the Liffey will always form a relatively small fraction of the total output of the Electricity Supply Board's system.

Proposals for the hydro-electric development of the Liffey have been discussed from time to time, since the question of electricity development in the Saorstát first attracted attention. In 1922 Doctor Buchi, the well-known Swiss water power engineer, reported to the Dublin Corporation on the subject of the utilisation of the water power of the Liffey for generating electricity for Dublin and district. The experts who sent in a report at the end of 1924 on the Shannon hydro-electric scheme visualised the development of the River Shannon in two possible directions. They stated—I am quoting from their report:—

"One way would be to develop the Shannon river fully with as large storage basins as possible. Only at a later stage would supplementary energy from steam stations or from the Liffey be resorted to for covering the deficiency in dry years."

And further they stated:—

"Another way would be to take in supplementary energy from a future development on the Liffey or from steam stations at an earlier stage of the Shannon development. The possibility is by no means excluded of the latter course being the better one."

The Electricity Supply Board decided in practice that the second of these alternatives was the more desirable, and the Board's policy has, accordingly, followed that line. Hence we have had a gradual development of the steam station at the Pigeon House as a stand-by for dry weather, and now it is proposed to utilise the Liffey before installing the fifth unit on the Shannon. This alternative method of development does not mean that less use is to be made of the resources of the Shannon, and that can best be seen by reference to the figures given in the experts' report from which I have quoted. They anticipated that, with six generating units installed on the Shannon, 237,000,000 units of electricity would be developed there. In fact, in the last financial year, although the water-flow was 14 per cent. below the average, 211,000,000 units were developed from the Shannon, and by the introduction of steam and this proposed Liffey development the Board anticipates that it will be drawing about 301,000,000 units per annum from the Shannon before the fifth unit is installed at Ardnacrusha. Thus, as the experts suggested it was possible, a better utilisation of the Shannon resources has been secured by the alternative method of developing supplementary energy in parallel.

On page 115 of their report the experts, in speaking of the Liffey scheme, stated that they were:—

"Of opinion that for general, national and national-economic reasons, the combination Shannon-Liffey had advantages over the combination Liffey-Shannon, and that, accordingly, the further study of the Liffey scheme in its connection with the Shannon plant could be deferred at least until such date as the partial development of the Shannon was utilised to the full."

That last stage was, in fact, reached about 1934. On page 117 of their report the experts continue:—

"In the opinion of the experts, the Liffey river will also be developed later on, either during the further development of the Shannon or more probably after this, depending on how the consumption of electricity develops. The Liffey storage would in all probability make possible a valuable compensating system for the full development of the Shannon. Nevertheless, it will be necessary to examine if it would not be more advantageous to use the existing steam stations, or eventually a new steam station for energy supply at low water periods or for covering peak loads. In about 20 years the fully developed Shannon, together with the Liffey plant, and the steam stations, would together probably build an advantageous source of electricity supply for the Free State."

That is the quotation from the experts' report. That report was submitted in 1925, and they were then visualising the situation which would exist about 1945. Broadly speaking, it may be said that the scheme appears to be developing in accordance with their anticipations. The Electricity Supply Board submitted a preliminary report to me in 1934 on the question of the development of the Liffey. The board thought it advisable to call in consulting engineers to examine the proposals. Dr. Buchi, who had reported to the Corporation in 1922 upon the Liffey scheme, as I have mentioned, and Professor Meyer-Peter, one of the experts who reported to the Government in 1925 on the Shannon scheme, were retained. These two engineers submitted a report to the Electricity Supply Board in 1935. Dr. Buchi made a separate report to the Dublin Corporation. I may say at this stage that the proposals recommended by these two engineers, and adopted by the Board, do not differ essentially from those submitted originally to the Dublin Corporation.

The scheme provides for the erection of a dam in the rocky gorge a short distance above Poulaphouca Bridge. The erection of this dam will create a reservoir, the water level in which will be 615 feet above Ordnance datum, with provision for a possible raising of the level to 618 feet. The level of the water will be, roughly, the level of the existing Poulaphouca Road Bridge. The area which will be flooded will be, approximately, 5,500 acres, and the volume of the water which will be stored will be 166,000,000 cubic metres for utilisable storage of about 148,000,000 cubic metres. From the retaining dam a head-race gallery some 1,300 feet long will lead the water to a surge tower from which a penstick will lead to the principal power house, situated on the right bank of the river about 300 yards below Poulaphouca waterfall. Below this main power house a smaller power station is proposed at Golden Falls in which the water will be again utilised. The maximum fall available, including Poulaphouca Fall and Golden Falls, will be approximately 220 feet. The power could be made available in one power house situate at Golden Falls, but it has been found that the two power plants will be a more economic proposal. The water below Golden Falls will pass down the channel of the river.

The Dublin Corporation will design an arrangement by which they will be able to draw off a supply of drinking water from the Poulaphouca reservoir. There is a further utilisable fall on the river at Leixlip. The development of that fall was included in the original Dublin Corporation proposals to which I have made reference. That fall may in time be developed by the Electricity Supply Board, but its development is not provided for in the present proposals. The potential production of the Liffey power plant must, as I have already indicated, be described as small in comparison with the present production of the Shannon power station. But its value lies less in the actual quantity produced than in the fact that owing to the large storage capacity of the Poulaphouca reservoir it can generate energy when the Shannon power station has not sufficient energy owing to lack of water, as for example in summer, or when the Shannon power station, in consequence of its limited output, cannot quite cover the peaks of the system, as in winter. The Liffey power may be regarded as first-class power, in asmuch as it can be made available at any season of the year, and when it is most wanted. The storage at Poulaphouca will impound 50 per cent. of the total flow of the Liffey in an average year, whereas on the Shannon the storage amounts to, approximately, only 5 per cent. of the annual flow. The River Liffey has the further advantage that it is a comparatively short distance from Dublin, which, as Deputies are aware, is the chief centre of consumption, so that the energy can be transmitted safely and cheaply to that centre. Owing to the large storage capacity of the Liffey it can be called upon to supply to the system at its full capacity at any time, and at short notice, if there should be a temporary breakdown elsewhere.

It has been estimated that the Liffey power development can be regarded as economic as compared with steam power when the total consumption on the Electricity Supply Board system is about 400,000,000 units. At present it appears probable that that point will be reached in approximately four years' time. At that point of time, according to present plans, the installed capacity of the machinery at Ardnacrusha will be 80,000 kilowatts; the installed capacity of steam plant, 84,000 kilowatts; and the probable installed Liffey plant, 30,000 kilowatts. Apart from the Liffey scheme, provision is also made in this Bill, as I have stated, for the installation of two new steam units. One of those will probably be brought into commission at once, or at any rate as soon as possible. The Electricity Supply Board considers that a second additional unit must be installed in time to carry the peak load in the winter of 1938. Each of these two new units will have a capacity of 20,000 kilowatts.

Provision is also made for the construction of a new 110 k.v. line from Dublin via Waterford to Cork. This is necessitated primarily by the growth of the load, but the building of the new line will also provide additional security for the supply of the City of Cork which is at present fed by a single 110 k.v. line form Ardnacrusha, and it will increase the capacity of the complete 38 k.v. net work in the South. Provision is also made in the Bill for an extension of the Inchicore plant, and an increase of its transformer capacity, as well as for an improvement of the 38 k.v. transmission system at Dundalk and Galway. £200,000 is provided for distribution services and meters, and represents a normal provision on the basis of the current rate of growth. £182,000 is provided for the extension of the distribution system, £120,000 for cooker hireage and water heater hireage schemes, and £120,000 for additional capital outlay in connection with public lighting. Provision is also included for expenditure on the acquisition and maintenance of the Shannon fisheries.

So far as the Electricity Supply Board is concerned, the provisions of Part III of the Bill are based on the corresponding provisions of the Electricity Supply Acts, with such consequential modifications as the circumstances of the present scheme require. Deputies will observe that, while Part III of the Bill, which relates to the Electricity Supply Board, and Part IV, which relates to the Dublin Corporation, are complementary to each other, there are certain differences in the form of the provisions relating to the acquisition of land and so forth as between one part and the other. These differences are attributable to varying procedure under different codes of law. In the case of the proceedings of the Board under Part III, the Lands Clauses Acts, as incorporated and varied by the Electricity Supply Acts, have been applied, and, as regards the proceedings of the Corporation under Part IV, the relevant provisions of the Public Health Acts have been applied, but not varied except to a minor extent.

I do not think it is necessary for me to enlarge on the necessity for and the urgency of this measure in its relation to the water supply of Dublin City. It is, I think, generally known that the present needs of the city are not being adequately met, and that the time is, in fact, overdue when action to supplement the present supply must be taken. Perhaps a brief historical survey will help Deputies to understand the position. The earliest public water supply brought into Dublin was taken from the River Dodder, somewhere in the vicinity of Templeogue, and conducted to the city through a channel which is still known as "The City Watercourse." That water was stored in what were known as basins or cisterns, and supplied at the street level. For over two centuries the city was supplied in that manner. The expansion of the city area and population caused the city councillors to seek further supplies, and about the year 1775 arrangements were made to take a supplementary supply from the Grand Canal. Later on, a further supply was taken from the Royal Canal. The water from the Grand Canal was stored at the Blessington Street Basin, which was specially constructed for that purpose. It is still in existence although it is not now used for that purpose. The supplies were all low pressure, and very intermittent.

In 1861 the Corporation of Dublin obtained the statutory powers to extract water from the River Vartry and provide a high-pressure supply for the city. The Act also empowered the corporation to provide a supply for certain areas outside the city, mainly neighbouring townships and portions of the adjoining rural areas along the line of distribution. In 1930, when the urban districts of Rathmines and Rathgar were merged in the City of Dublin, the supply of water from the River Dodder at Bohernabreena, which was provided by the former urban district council to serve the inhabitants of the urban district, became a part of the Dublin water system. The service reservoir at Bohernabreena has a capacity of 12,000,000 gallons. Even under the combined system, the needs of the present city area are not being adequately met. There has been a very rapid expansion of the city, both in area and in population, and that has been accompanied by an even more than proportionate increase in the demand for water to meet the development in sanitary requirements. In 1861 the population of Dublin and the adjoining urban areas of Rathmines and Pembroke was 306,000, and to-day the present city, which includes those areas, has a population of 468,000. The corporation are also under an obligation to supply the extra municipal areas, which, as I have already indicated, embrace the adjoining rural areas, as well as the Bray Urban District, and portions of the rural areas along the line of distribution from Roundwood. The area of supply is, therefore, very wide and it is imperative that the existing system should be supplemented as quickly as possible. The corporation has given close attention to the problem for some time past. The laying of an additional main from Roundwood was considered but, owing to the increased demand which has arisen and which is likely further to increase in the future, it was decided that such a course would not offer the same advantages as would be derived from an independent supply obtained from the River Liffey.

While the Liffey proposals were under consideration by the corporation, the Electricity Supply Board had in mind the possibility of impounding at some future date the waters of the Liffey to supplement the Shannon scheme. It will be gathered from what I have already said that such a supplementary scheme was not one of immediate urgency from the view-point of the Electricity Supply Board but, nevertheless, it was felt that it would prove of definite economic value eventually and that the best results could be achieved by the Corporation and the Electricity Supply Board uniting in carrying out a scheme which would meet both their purposes. The agreement which is scheduled to the Bill, and which it is proposed to confirm by the Bill, is the outcome of the negotations between these two bodies. So far as the water supply scheme is concerned, the corporation have had expert advice in the matter and they are satisfied that the scheme when completed will, in conjunction with the Vartry scheme, provide an adequate supply for all purposes not only in the area at present served from the Vartry, but also in adjoining areas over many years to come.

The Dublin Board of Public Health is taking a keen interest in the present proposals. When the new scheme is in operation, the corporation should be in the position to supply the board of health with sufficient quantities of water for any areas in the county requiring supplies. The Bill makes full provision in this respect and also for supplies to the County of Kildare if required. The distribution of the supply within the area of any of the sanitary authorities in Dublin or Kildare will be a matter for the sanitary authority concerned. An adequate supply for the County Borough of Dublin and the areas outside the county borough that are entitled to be supplied by the Dublin Corporation must first be met but, subject to this condition, it will rest with the corporation and the sanitary authority seeking a supply to settle the terms upon which the supply is to be given. If there is any disagreement as to the terms of the supply, or as to the point of supply, the matter will be determined by the Minister for Local Government and Public Health.

The estimated cost of the reservoir and the Poulaphouca-Golden Falls works and the transmission lines is £760,000. This expenditure may be broadly analysed as follows: dam and civil construction, £387,000; roads, bridges and the acquisition of lands, etc., £183,000; mechanical-electrical works and equipment, £190,000. The Dublin Corporation, in consideration of its right to draw up to a maximum quantity of 20,000,000 gallons of water per day, will contribute a lump sum of £126,000 towards the cost of the works, thus reducing the expenditure to be met by the Electricity Supply Board to £634,000. The withdrawal of water by the corporation will reduce the possible electrical output by about 10 per cent. The works to be carried out by the Electricity Supply Board will provide employment for about 600 men for three years. In addition to the expenditure to be incurred by the Electricity Supply Board, the capital expenditure to be met by the corporation will amount to £820,000, including the contribution of £126,000 to the Electricity Supply Board. The expenditure to be incurred by the Dublin Corporation on works which will be carried out by the corporation itself will, therefore, be £694,000; this will, it is estimated, provide wholetime employment for 1,200 men for three years. It is anticipated that water from the Liffey scheme will be available to the corporation in the spring of 1940.

The agreement entered into by the corporation and the Electricity Supply Board provides that the Electricity Supply Board shall carry out all construction works and acquire the lands necessary for the creation of a reservoir in the Liffey Valley immediately upstream of Poulaphouca. The corporation, as I have said, will pay to the Electricity Supply Board a sum of £126,000 by way of contribution towards the cost and expenses incurred by the Board on these works and also by way of indemnification to the Supply Board for constructing this reservoir at a somewhat earlier date than would otherwise be required by the Board for the purpose of generating electricity. The agreement also stipulates that: (1) The main dam and ancillary works are to be constructed to such an extent as will permit of the reservoir being filled to a level of 576 feet above Ordnance datum by the 1st January, 1940. This development is referred to in the agreement as the partial development. (2) The works are to be completed to give a top-water level of not less than 610 feet above Ordnance datum by the 31st March, 1950, and this development is referred to as the "full development." The Board may, however, complete the full development at any time previous to the 31st March, 1950. (3) The operation of the sluice gates in the dams regulating the flow of the river from the reservoir is under the control of the Board. (4) The construction and operation of the intake from the reservoir to the pipe line supplying the City of Dublin is the responsibility of the corporation. (5) While the reservoir is in the stage of partial development, the Electricity Supply Board cannot make use of any of the water impounded for the purpose of generating electricity. After the completion of the full development, electric power can be generated without restriction by means of the water stored in the reservoir until the level of the reservoir falls to 575 feet up to the 1st January, 1945; 578 feet from that to the 31st March, 1950; 580 feet from that to the 31st March, 1960; and 581 feet after the 31st March, 1960. When the level of the reservoir falls to these limits, electrical power cannot be generated. Simultaneously with the drawing off of water by the Board for the purpose of generating electricity, the corporation have a right to draw off water at a rate not exceeding 20,000,000 gallons per day. (6) During the construction of the reservoir the Board will carry out certain specified works, such as removal of houses, levelling of fences, cutting down of trees, and fencing of the reservoir within the limits of the reservoir required by the corporation for maintaining the purity of the water. After the completion of the reservoir, the corporation will do such maintenance works as are solely required for ensuring the purity of the water. The maintenance of the constructed work required to create the reservoir will, however, be the responsibility of the Board.

There are various penalties set out in the clauses of the agreement which will come into operation in the event of either party drawing greater quantities of water from the reservoir than those stipulated in the agreement.

I think that gives a fair picture of the main purposes of the Bill. Its primary purpose can be briefly stated as confirming an agreement between the Dublin Corporation and the Electricity Supply Board, which is a Schedule to the Bill. The agreement is obviously, I think, in the interests of both parties and it is one which should be approved of by the Dáil on that account and, therefore, I confidently recommend the Bill.

I would like to take this opportunity of congratulating the Minister on his recovery from his recent serious illness. I listened with great interest to the Minister in all he said in regard to this Bill and as he finally remarked, it is a Bill which is going to confer great benefits on a large section of the people of this country. Therefore all Parties in this House should join in passing this Bill. I must say that I regret very much that the Minister seems to have followed the lines of the three daily papers of Dublin. He has drawn attention to all the great benefits which are going to be received by the vast majority of the people concerned. Enormous benefits are going to be conferred on the people of Dublin, not only on the people who live there at the present moment but on the people of Dublin in future generations. But not one word has yet been said with regard to the unfortunate people who are going to lose their homes. The Irish Independent of the 26th October made one short reference. That was the only daily paper that made any reference at all to these unfortunate people, and the reference they made was this:—“The Board are empowered to have the work done by contract, and provision is made for adequate compensation to persons whose lands are affected temporarily or permanently under this scheme.” The Irish Times had a long leading article on the subject with every word of which I agree, but it made no allusion, as I said, to these unfortunate people who are going to lose their homes. Somewhere round about 50 to 60 people are affected and what are they? They are a small minority who are going to confer great and vast benefits on Dublin and on the surrounding areas, and also with regard to the supply of electricity vast benefits are going to be conferred on the whole Saorstát. Not only are they conferring those benefits on people living to-day, but on generations yet to be born. After all is said and done it is a very serious matter for any one to lose his home. It makes no difference whether it is a small home, a poor home, a large home or a rich home. A home is a home and I do not think any one in this House would dispute that fact. The Minister mentioned the great benefit the water supply was going to confer on Dublin.

Lately we have heard a great deal about Communists. Surely the greatest defence we have against Communists in this country is decent housing, good employment and good conditions of employment and the reduction of unemployment. If we get these conditions, then I think we need not worry our heads about Communists, and this Bill goes very largely towards giving these things. It is going to give a great deal of employment; it is going to help the housing schemes. We all know the urgent necessity there is for dealing with slums in the City of Dublin, but no serious inroad can be made on that problem until the present water supply is strengthened. Now, touching the question of employment, I should like to mention to the Minister that this particular scheme may cause the loss of employment to certain people in that district, namely, the areas affected by the Bill. A man may be able to work under certain conditions. He may be able to do certain work. But the conditions of this scheme may prove that at a particular work he may not have the physical strength to do that work under this scheme. That is one consideration. I would like every possible consideration to be given to any case that may accrue where a man may lose his present employment and may not have strength, even if he is competent, to hold his job under the present scheme.

If this Bill had been a Private Bill the occupiers of the land which will be submerged would have been able to have legal advice and legal representation to make their cases. Under this Bill they are debarred from anything of the kind. On the other hand, a great deal of saving, I take it, will be made in the expense, and I think that ought to be borne in mind when the question of compensation arises. Compensation, of course, is one of the major matters which concern the people who are going to lose their homes. The basis under which compensation will be given in this Bill is on the lines of the Act of 1919. It seems to me that what really matters most is the original offer that is made to the occupier of the land. The arbitrator is bound by certain rules and regulations laid down by the Act of 1919 and one of these is that the value of the land should be taken to be the amount which the land if sold in an open market by a willing seller might be expected to realise. There is a very important point involved in that. At the present moment there is a dispute going on between this country and our neighbour across the water. Is there any Minister or Deputy who will dare to get up and state that if that difficulty were settled that there would not be a rise in the value of land? Of course there would be a rise in the value of land. It is the most natural thing to happen. Therefore, I put it before the Minister that if he should take the present value of land, it is not a fair value under these particular circumstances. I would suggest that a fair value be arrived at by taking the average of the years 1928, 1929 and 1930, plus an increase of 50 per cent. Somebody may think that that is a lot to ask for, but Deputies must remember on the other hand that certain people are giving up everything.

They have no choice in the matter. I should like to quote the following:—"I remember many years ago standing on the terrace of a beautiful villa near Florence. It was a September evening and the valley below was transformed by the long horizontal rays of the setting sun. Then I heard a bell—such a bell as never was on land or sea, a bell whose every vibration found an echo in my innermost heart. I turned to my hostess and said: ‘That is the most beautiful bell I ever heard.'‘Yes,' she replied, ‘It is an English bell.' And so it was. For generations its sound had gone out over English fields calling the hours of work and prayer to English folk from the top of an English Abbey. Then came the Reformation and a wise Italian bought the bell and sent it to the valley of the Arno. Four centuries later it stirred the heart of a wandering Englishman and made him think of home." These words are an extract from a speech made by the present Prime Minister of Great Britain. The reason I have quoted them is that I have heard in this House and in the country speeches denouncing England as the great enemy of this country. I have heard speeches made from which you would think that there was no decency in any Englishman. Yet, these words show that an Englishman is capable of feeling a great deal for his home. If an Englishman can feel so intensely for his home, what cannot an Irishman or an Irishwoman feel for their home? I should say that if you asked the average Irishman or Irishwoman what were the two big factors in their lives they would say their religion and their home. I gather that at this particular place the parish will be divided because of this necessary work. As I said, home to an Irishman means a great deal, particularly up there where families have been for many generations.

I should like to make another point. There are certain people in that district who may have only a small bit of land. Some people might regard it as merely a little bit of bog, but it is their home and not only their home but their main source of living. It is not alone that they enjoy that little plot of land but they have the right of grazing on the mountains. Unless they can get a similar home within reasonable distance of the mountains they will lose their main source of livelihood. These are points which I should like the Minister to consider. I should like him to give us a strong assurance that these people will receive really liberal treatment. He can see to that, and when this great scheme is inaugurated let there be nobody to raise his voice in protest that he had been unfairly treated. The scheme is of national importance and it is our duty as a national assembly to see that these people receive proper treatment. I was over there last Sunday at a meeting and it was really piteous to see the state of uncertainty in which these people were. They did not know where they were. After all is said and done, the Minister and the rest of us when we go to bed to-night will not have to worry as to whether or not we are going to lose our homes. Every night these men when they go to bed wonder what is going to happen to them and what is going to be done for them, and whether they are going to get the treatment they expect—fair treatment —from an Irish Government. Personally I believe they will. I believe the Minister will see that they will get decent and proper treatment.

Like my colleague who has just spoken, I wish to congratulate the Minister on his return to the House after his recent illness. This is one of the most drastic and most necessary Bills ever introduced into this House. It is drastic from the point of view of its effect on a large number of our constituents. While the scheme will be a great boon to Dublin and to the unemployed, and while it may be a national necessity, we wish to point out to the Minister the serious consequences to our constituents. As Deputy The O'Mahony has pointed out, Dublin is the favourite child. Dublin has been in consultation with the E.S.B. but the local bodies are not to be considered although Dublin will not pay one penny for the upkeep of the road. The local body may have to bear big expense in connection with the maintenance of the road. Under Section 8 (2) 50 families are to be deprived of their homes on a month's notice. Where they occupy dwellinghouses three months' notice is to be given. The Minister does not make any provision for alternative accommodation for these 50 families. The matter will no doubt be solved, but no matter what compensation is given you will never compensate some of these people for the sentimental loss suffered by reason of the deprivation of their homes. Does the Minister consider that one month is sufficient from the time the Bill becomes law to secure an alternative holding, or three months to secure an alternative dwelling? The Electricity Supply Board will after one month, have power to enter on the lands of these people and, after three months, will have power to take over possession of their dwellinghouses, while no provision is made for alternative accommodation. The owner of the farm is promised compensation at four per cent. of whatever may be decided by the arbitrator. Where is he to get the ready cash to purchase an alternative holding, if he desires to do so? If 20 acres, say, are taken from him, how will he purchase another farm of 20 acres? Is it suggested that he will get a farm on the strength of a promise by the E.S.B. to pay him this compensation? Very few farmers would sell their farms on the strength of such a promise. After 12 months, perhaps, an award will be made by the arbitrator and, then, the farmer will have the necessary cash to make the purchase but, meantime, what can he do? The question of rate charges will be a serious one if 5,000 acres are to be taken over in that area. The other occupiers of land in that electoral area will have to pay an increased rate if 5,000 acres are taken over for the purpose of this scheme. Those remaining occupiers will be liable for about £2,000, representing the amount which would have been paid in respect of these 5,000 acres. Therefore, living on the land in that particular area is going to be more expensive.

Deputy The O'Mahony referred to the question of the market value of the land. I submit that there is a difference in the market value when land is taken compulsorily and when a man is willing to sell. There is unquestionably a difference in the value where a man does not want to sell, and is quite content to remain where he is. Under the terms of this measure a man is given one month's notice, and the only compensation promised is four per cent. on the estimated value. Section 13 will exempt the Electricity Supply Board from rates; that means that the Liffey works will be exempt from assessment for poor rate, and any other rate made by a local authority. Section 15 points out that if the Electricity Supply Board decide that a road must be maintained they are to consult with the Minister for Local Government; they are not asked to consult the local authority, the county council. The road may be submerged in the first case and they may decide to have more elaborate and expensive roads than the county council might decide upon, but they are to consult with the Minister, and on his decision rests the responsibility of the local authority. I think there should be some consultation with a representative of the local body or the engineer.

In some respects this measure is a bit drastic, particularly from the point of view of the people who may be deprived of their homes. We have up to nine cottages belonging to the Board of Health in this area. These will be submerged and this measure makes no provision for compensation for the the tenants. The Board of Health, who are the landlords, may be entitled to compensation, but what of the unfortunate tenants? Why should they not be entitled to some compensation? They have improved their holdings, improved their cottages, and I submit that they should be compensated in some way. There is no provision made for compensation for disturbance in the case of those families. If we are able to provide them with alternative accommodation they will not be in such a bad position as the occupants of the 50 homes that will be wiped out of existence altogether. It might be well for the Minister to realise how drastic some of the provisions of the Bill are. There is no provision for compensation for the tenants whatsoever, notwithstanding that some of them may be 20 or 25 years in the cottages. Naturally, a number of them, where prize schemes have been developed, have improved their cottages and possibly made additions to them. There is no provision for compensation to those men; any compensation to be given will be given to the local authority.

There is another point upon which I would like to dwell. There are large numbers of the farmers concerned who have practically bought out their holdings, and naturally they will be entitled to more compensation than the ordinary holder. It was pointed out at a public meeting that a number of those will have their farms purchased out in a year or two. While I regard the scheme as one of great national importance, I would urge on the Minister to see that the sacrifices on the part of the people concerned will be made as light as possible. I am sure, now that those things have been pointed out to the Minister, he is not going to allow the Electricity Supply Board to have the final say. I hope he will see to it that the tenants of the cottages, the owners of other holdings and the owners of land, will be amply protected. If the Minister gives a promise in that connection it will go a long way towards allaying the discontent that is prevailing in the area. I do not say it is wholesale, but at least 50 families and 150 holdings will be vitally affected. Of course, there are many unemployed men in that area, the sons of farmers who are quite willing to work, and they are very pleased and will be delighted to see the scheme started; but, on the other hand, we have to consider the other aspect. We have to realise that even if the scheme is going to be of national importance it will bring disturbance to a number of people and we must see to it that they will be compensated as justly as possible.

I think it is only necessary to point out these things to the Minister to ensure that on the Committee Stage suitable amendments will be introduced. The tenants have engaged lawyers, and they will draft suitable amendments. The public boards, naturally, will have their lawyers—at the ratepayers' expense—to draft amendments to protect their interests. I ask the Minister not to rush this Bill, but to postpone it for a month at least, in order to enable the cottage tenants and the occupiers of land to prepare amendments and have them fully discussed here. When those amendments have been considered I feel that many of the difficulties will be surmounted, and then the Bill can be passed as speedily as possible. Do not give people an opportunity of saying that they have had no chance of submitting their views. They are asking for a month so as to enable the lawyers to frame the amendments that will meet their wishes.

I welcome the Bill from the point of view of its national importance. I earnestly trust that the poor people who will be dispossessed will get reasonable compensation. There is no doubt that at least 50 or 60 parishioners will be disturbed. There will, of course, be employment given to at least 1,000 men, and I may say that work is very badly needed in that portion of the county. I am sure the Deputies concerned will do everything they possibly can to have the Bill passed as soon as possible, with suitable amendments of the type I have referred to.

The Minister dealt very fully with the whole position regarding additional electricity and water supplies. I do not think that the importance of this Bill can be over-estimated having regard to the position that has arisen in Dublin during the last few years. For over three years the Corporation have been untiring in their efforts to supplement the existing water supply in the city. Because of a protracted discussion between representatives of the Electricity Supply Board and the Minister's Department, the whole matter was held up but, now that agreement has been reached, I am glad to see that the Minister has lost no time in preparing this Bill. There are many of the citizens who do not know how serious was the position for some years, particularly during the dry seasons which we have experienced, I may say now that the position was extremely serious at times.

I am not going to go into the merits or demerits of the discussions that took place between the Electricity Supply Board and the Minister's Department. I will content myself with urging the Minister to lose no time in completing his side of the matter so that this work can be undertaken as soon as possible.

Deputy Everett and Deputy The O'Mahony have referred to the situation that will arise regarding the displacement of families on the site near Poulaphouca. Everyone can appreciate the circumstances of those people in being removed from their homes, but serious as that is, it is far more serious to have a city that has been progressing as Dublin has for many years past, left without a sufficient water supply. That is what will result if this work is not gone on with with the greatest possible speed. I want now to make some references to a couple of points to which my attention has been drawn. In Section 3, no provision is made for what I think is an essential—the taking of monthly levels. The second refers to the scheduled agreement, and in sub-section (2) there are the words "reducing the height of such low water level below the height thereof stated." It is very essential that provision should be made for the taking of monthly levels and particularly for the taking of these levels during summer weather.

Section 19 deals with the power of the Corporation to take possession of land before conveyance. Suppose the Corporation desire to carry water mains or culverts over or under a railway, canal or river, there is no provision in the section whereby the Corporation would have any power at all to safeguard their interests. With regard to Section 28, which deals with the protection of public roads and bridges as against the Corporation, most of the area is outside the Corporation area. Sub-section (a) sets out:—

where the execution of the waterworks involves the closing of such road or bridge to traffic, the Corporation shall construct and shall maintain while such road or bridge is so closed to traffic a temporary road or bridge in the same or some other convenient situation sufficient to carry traffic of such quantity and character as normally uses such road or bridge;

I suggest that the maintenance of a bridge or road under that provision should be subject to the Minister so directing, because it is quite possible that a situation could arise in which the Corporation might be compelled to maintain a bridge for the maintenance of which they would not otherwise be liable. In conclusion, I ask the Minister to expedite the passing of the Bill. I expect that the Corporation has already submitted proposals to him for his consideration, and when they have heard his views on them, they will take the necessary steps to have them incorporated in the Bill.

I welcome this Bill upon general and not upon Dublin grounds. I welcome it for the whole Bill and not merely for the particular detail in relation to Poulaphouca. The Shannon scheme was a great conception, and I personally have always been friendly to it when technical opinion was not, but it had fundamental defects which may be roughly summed up in saying that it put all our eggs into one basket, and the road over which the eggs had to be carried when they were in that basket was too long and too difficult for security. In addition to that, it had the technical difficulty and defect that while there is a large seasonal falling off in the current consumption and demand between your winter load and your summer load, the falling off in power due to the natural provision of water in our particular climate where it is provided by rain as distinct from other hydraulic power cases where it is supplied by melting snow from mountains and the like meant that there was a very much larger falling off in power between the winter and summer load. For both those reasons, the putting of the whole supply of electricity in the Free State into one place, and into one place from which power could be derived from hydraulic power alone, was fundamentally insecure.

In addition to that, the Minister has said that the actual centres of consumption were entirely unbalanced in relation to the centre of supply. The two outstandingly big consumers were the districts of Cork and Dublin—Dublin 130 miles away and Cork 70 miles away. For that reason those of us who were interested in the national success of this scheme, which must be founded in the security of supply from that scheme under all conditions to all portions of the State, have always envisaged the necessity of building up, parallel to the hydraulic supply, in that case far away from the centres of consumption, auxiliary sources of supply in the places in which consumption would take place and derived from something other than hydraulic power; in other words, there had to be developed, if the scheme was to be sound and secure, in the Cork and Dublin districts, power supplies derived from steam or oil or some other non-hydraulic source. To the extent to which the Bill does provide for the building up of those ancillary or parallel steam supplies in the areas in which they are required, it is technically sound and changes fundamentally the position of security of the State in electricity supply from this national system. In addition, it is sound in the sense that to the extent that it means the development of hydraulic as distinct from steam power in a different place, and, secondly, in the place in which it is most required.

What you now have for the first time is a co-ordinated system of electricity supply both as between the methods of production and distribution and geographically. The whole position is sounder in every way. The Shannon scheme in its first two or three years, and, I think, especially in its second year, ran into drought conditions of a character which certainly had not been envisaged, and, I think, very fortunately, because it showed the insecurity of that system of supply to deal even with the restricted small loads of the small development of electricity consumption of that time.

For that reason it threw upon the Pigeon House a load which the Pigeon House was inadequate to take, and in throwing on the Pigeon House a load which it was inadequate to take but which, nevertheless, it would have to take, it raised the whole question of the co-ordination of the two systems. It is for that reason principally that I welcome the Bill. I think all those who envisage the development of electricity consumption in the State, and who know that the essential quality of a sound system is security, will welcome this Bill because it does give that security upon which a large and widely developed system of electricity supply in the State can be soundly built.

On Sunday week, I think, the Independent published from its political correspondent a statement that he hoped as a result of the coming general election, which he seemed to think was very near, that this body would be depleted of its old men. He said that there were too many old men amongst its members, that these old men were in the habit when speaking, of becoming reminiscent, and that that was a sign of, at least, weakminded-ness or maybe of senile decay. I happen to be an old man now myself but it seems to me only yesterday or a week ago at latest, that I felt quite young. The Minister in introducing this Bill went very far back in the history of the city, and I could not help thinking of the time, 35 years ago now, when the Dublin Corporation dared to bring in a measure for the purpose of promoting an extension of their then very limited electricity supply. Instantly a great agitation sprang up, one paper especially making itself conspicuous by its criticisms of the Corporation and the attributes of its members just as to-day it is said that nothing good can come out of the Corporation. We were told that that scheme was going to waste £250,000 of the citizens' money. We were told that this was going to be a white elephant or an elephant of some other colour. In fact, the whole Zoological Gardens were searched to see what it could be compared to. Every possible opposition was made to the Corporation's efforts. New syndicates sprang up. Brass plates appeared on hall-doors on the Monday morning that were not there on the previous Saturday evening. The Tramway Company made a tremendous effort to get control of the scheme, but notwithstanding all the agitation and all the opposition, the Corporation were empowered to go ahead with their scheme and a loan of £250,000 was granted by the Board of Works 35 years ago. All the prophecies were falsified as prophecies generally are. When the Shannon scheme was brought in here that asset of the city was worth at least £2,000,000. The Corporation had made a brilliant success of the scheme. We know that under the Shannon Bill that scheme was taken over by the then Government and not a postage stamp was given in compensation for it. It was a good egg in that basket.

A pigeon's egg.

Mr. Kelly

I think that the Parliamentary Secretary overlooked that pigeon's egg when he was speaking of the basket of eggs. That being so, the Corporation have now agreed with the Electricity Supply Board on the terms as stated by the Minister. Not only have they agreed but they are to give another gift, this time of £126,000, towards the expenses of the Electricity Supply Board in the construction of the new dam. I heard Deputy O'Mahony and Deputy Everett speak of the great hardships that will be inflicted on people living in the district where this enterprise is about to be started. Hardships will probably be inflicted upon them but I don't think there will be anything approaching the confiscation that seems to be implied in the remarks made this evening. All those people will be amply compensated for whatever losses they may have to suffer. I cannot say that I can make the comparison complete, because I had not intended to speak here this evening, but I wonder if the same objections were not made 70 years ago when the Corporation embarked on the Vartry scheme? Did the people then not object to their houses and their farms being submerged. Of course they did. Is Roundwood any better or worse for the Vartry scheme to-day? Is it not very much better? Will not any amount of employment be given when this enterprise is in working order and will the whole surrounding district not benefit? Certainly, a great scheme was envisaged for that area a short time ago. Offices were taken in the Commercial Buildings and people were invited to see the great plan that had been drawn up for a new city all round that district. Surely Deputy Everett, Deputy O'Mahony and whatever other Deputy was present at the meeting last Sunday should have known about these things, that a new city, a garden city no less, is in contemplation in that area in some years to come. Why, therefore, bemoan this enterprise which has been introduced by the Minister? There is no substantial reason for opposing it. The Vartry scheme was opposed very bitterly and led to a good deal of recrimination. I know that Sir John Gray got into serious trouble and that, in fact, an action was taken for libel and defamation of character by the then Town Clerk of Dublin.

We have not that remedy against the Minister.

Mr. Kelly

You have quite a number of remedies and your problem is to find the right one. I do not think that the doleful tales which the Deputies from Wicklow have put before the House to-day are necessary. I think they ought to make up their minds that the people there will suffer very little and maybe not at all as the result of this scheme. They will get ample compensation, sufficient to recompense them for even any sentimental values attached to their old homes.

In connection with this, I should like the Minister to try to get all the legal preliminaries that are necessary discharged, if I may use the word, as soon as possible, because one of the reasons, and the principal reason probably, that weighed with the members of the Corporation in discussing this project, for a considerable time now, with the Electricity Supply Board was the great labour content that would be involved in the expenditure, and that is a matter of very deep concern, I think, for the whole of this House. In fact, when I think of Deputy Everett making some objection to the scheme, I wonder did he weight that factor well up. There are, of course, a great deal of legal formalities to be gone through, such as the purchase of all the lands, the wiping out of various titles, and all that class of thing; but I think that the Minister—and I am glad to see him back; I know he is the most energetic man, probably, in the whole Executive Council, but I would suggest to him not to work too hard this time and to remember that the burden will rest for some time to come on other shoulders as well as his—I think the Minister should take counsel with his legal advisers with a view to getting rid of the legal preliminaries as soon as possible, because it must be remembered that the Corporation's portion of the work has to begin first and the citizens will have to foot a bill of between £800,000 and £1,000,000 for the work of bringing the water into the City from the proposed new reservoir, and naturally their work would begin long before that of the Electricity Supply Board. I would ask the Minister, therefore, to bear that fact in mind, particularly having regard to the large numbers of unemployed that exist in the City of Dublin by reason of the fact that the population has increased tremendously. By reason of that increase in population a very heavy extra burden has been placed upon the shoulders of the Corporation and the responsibilities of the Corporation, consequently, are getting more onerous.

You are exporting people to the country now.

Mr. Kelly

We are not. It is the other way about. Of course, I do not want to erect gates outside Dublin to keep the country people out, but I do say that we have to take that fact into consideration. After all, where are the people of rural Ireland to look to if not to their capital city? The responsibilities of the Corporation, however, are very heavy in regard to that matter. No doubt, the City Manager is the supreme authority, so to speak, but he can sit in his office or he can sit in his home and escape all the importunities that members of the Corporation have to suffer in connection with finding work, or trying to find work, for the large numbers of unemployed in Dublin. I hope, therefore, that the Minister will bear my statement in mind. I regard the Bill with some satisfaction, although I must say that I had no enthusiasm for it. I would have preferred that they would have gone on with the project of laying down a new pipe-line from the existing reservoir which, I think, would have been amply sufficient for a long time to come. However, the Bill is there and I am sure it will receive the unanimous approval of the House.

I should like to praise this Bill because there is no doubt that the electricity needs and the needs for an increased supply of water having been co-ordinated and brought together in one scheme, I think we are all very pleased to see that a comprehensive scheme such as this should be brought forward. There are some details, however, that one would have liked the Minister to give us in connection with the water supply. I think that some time ago the Minister for Local Government and Public Health stated that the supply of the Roundwood reservoir in a normal period was somewhere around 2,000,000,000 gallons and that the daily consumption was somewhere around 20,000,000 gallons. The Minister can correct me if those figures are not accurate. I think the Minister stated that in the new reservoir that is contemplated at Poulaphouca there would be 148,000,000 cubic metres of water. Well, I suppose that, reduced to gallons—if my figures were correct for Roundwood—would make it a much bigger storage capacity than Roundwood. Perhaps, when the Minister is replying, he would give us the exact figures in connection with that.

There is one aspect of this question, however, that no previous speaker has touched upon, with the exception of Deputy Kelly, and that is the matter of the pipe-lines. We all want water, of course, but we want it here in Dublin, and I think the Minister stated that the Corporation's proportion of the reservoir was going to be £125,000, and I think he stated that somewhere about £675,000 was needed for, I take it, pipe-lines and other incidental works. Now, we all know that for some years past there have been talks about water shortages. We have had complaints in connection with recent fires that the water supply was not adequate, and I think we are all aware that in certain cases, especially in the borough in which I live, the pressure is not the same at night as it is in the daytime, and that you can get water in the bottom of a house but you cannot get it at the top of the house. That seems to point to the fact that the pressure is not maintained. When the Minister is replying I should like him to tell us if it is proposed to remodel the mains and give an adequate supply of water to the city at a proper pressure. Some people have told us— I think Deputy Kelly was hinting at it —that if we had an additional pipe-line laid down from Roundwood the supply would be adequate except in very exceptional periods. Now, of course, it is all the better to avail ourselves of an additional source of impounding water when one is now available, but one would like to be sure that at the earliest possible date the mains are going to be taken in hand and that an adequate pressure is going to be maintained through the city.

For industrial purposes a considerable pressure is required, and I take it that the Minister is perfectly well aware that there are industrial concerns whose insurance premiums are regulated by the pressure of water that is available in the mains flowing past their premises. In a great many cases that pressure is lamentably low and the occupiers have to pay increased premiums. I suppose nobody would think of accusing the Minister for Industry and Commerce of being in favour of having to pay increased premiums to foreign insurance companies because there was not an adequate supply of Irish water running through the streets at the proper pressure.

I merely mention that, as I would not think of accusing the Minister of being in favour of it. I take it that, if the question of the mains is tackled at the same time as the reservoir, the scheme will be put on a perfectly sound basis. We do not want to hear afterwards that while there is a splendid reservoir at Poulaphouca and, in its own way, a really good one at Roundwood, as all the money had been spent on the reservoirs no funds were available for getting the pipe lines into a proper state so as to provide adequate pressure for industrial purposes. I hope the Minister will deal with these points when replying.

It is rather surprising to hear Deputy Kelly coming out so strongly on the side of big business; big corporations, big local authorities, and big financial authorities, these are now his friends. He has the utmost confidence also in the official machine. Who could doubt, he says, the humanity of the official machine? Surely these people will be amply compensated? I would like to share the belief of him and others who say that ample compensation will be provided for the poor people who are to lose their homes, but Deputy Kelly cannot expect everyone to have the same confidence in the official machine that he has. What he really meant was that the poor beggars would have to go; they would have to lose their economic independence and all the rest, but what about it? Was it not in the interests of progress? Are we not going to have a great electrical power works and a splendid reservoir, and would not these fully compensate for the destruction of 50 independent families? Perhaps they will. But while Deputy Kelly is fully entitled to favour the scheme he could well have been more sympathetic towards the people who have to be sacrificed. No one is against this scheme. Possibly very few of those most directly affected are against it, but many people are opposed to the terms provided for the unfortunate victims of progress. It is not enough to tell a man "You have got to go, but we are going to give you the market value of your land. We are not going to compensate you for the loss of your independence—we cannot afford to take that into account, but we will compensate you for the land we are taking at a rate based on what a willing purchaser would pay if you put the holding up for auction."

The emphasis is on the words "willing purchaser." There is nothing at all about willing seller or an unwilling seller. Is Deputy Kelly aware that an official arbitrator not many months ago awarded people in this area from whom land was being taken for labourers' cottages the immense sum of £5 an acre? Would the Deputy be satisfied to see a family that managed to endure on 20 acres of that land, having a better and certainly a more independent life than that led by proletarians, getting £100 for their property and being told that they would have to live on that amount for the rest of their lives? I wonder if there is any necessity for such very callous proposals? There may be the precedent of the Shannon Power Act, but as that Act was passed a long time ago we should have grown in wisdom and experience in the meantime. Since then we have had a Transport Act passed, under which compensation was given to certain people. I think the Minister will agree that many of the unfortunate people who got compensation found themselves in the position of not knowing what to do with the compensation. They had to look out for another business or take the risk of starting a new business. The position here is much more serious, because the other people at least had a certain general capability while the people who are to be the victims under this Bill, although they may be very capable farmers, would not, generally speaking, be considered to be in that category if removed from the agricultural occupations in which they found a livelihood.

Why use the word "victims"? There is no danger of them being victims.

If Deputy Kelly was in this position, that he was the owner of a little farm of, say, 20 acres, out of which he managed to live, he would not consider that £100 would save him from being a victim under such a scheme. I want to know if there is any necessity for such poor affected by the Bill. Has the Land Commission been consulted about the scheme? It affects County Kildare and West Wicklow, where there are immense tracts of very good grazing land that are at present hardly occupied. Was the Land Commission asked if they have any land available to enable them to meet the position of people who are to be taken from their holdings because of this scheme? Will the Land Commission help in the difficulty that has been occasioned? Of the 50 families affected I am sure that some of them will take the cash. The circumstances of every family differ but if the Minister is in a position to say to them "we have got to take your land but we are prepared to offer instead of money compensation, which might not be of the utmost use to you, a certain amount of land as soon as possible, and perhaps to build a house for you," surely that would be the more humane way, and I think it would be quite consistent with the Land Commission policy when clearing congested areas. I suggest that the Minister should consult with the Minister for Lands before he puts this scheme through and that he should ascertain if land is available to help in the circumstances of this measure. There is undoubtedly a certain amount of fear amongst the people who have not got that confidence in official arbitrators that Deputy Kelly has. I confess I have not got that confidence.

I have no confidence in them either.

I do not know who said that these officials were notorious for their humanity. I often wonder how Deputies on the Labour Benches have such tremendous confidence in officials as being always likely to take the side of the poor man. In my opinion that could not be characteristic of State officials. I have nothing to say against officials any more than any other Deputy, but from the nature of their work I do not think it is possible for such feelings to become predominant. The scheme of compensation proposed for the people affected by these proposals could be improved upon, and I hope that before the Committee Stage the Minister will give that aspect of it further consideration.

It is rather a pity, when a Bill such as this is introduced, that the Minister did not take steps to deal with the question of compensation. From the point of view of the sum involved, it is very small. We may expect to hear the Minister saying that it is much the same sort of compensation as was provided under the Shannon Power Act. That is not true. There is a difference between the years 1925 and 1936. The Shannon scheme lands at that time had a value, which, if those appearing on behalf of the Electricity Supply Board and the Corporation wished, could be proved to be almost negligible. In any case, as from the 18th June up to this moment, there was a considerable period of time available for the settling of some of those cases.

For the benefit of Deputy Moore, I may say that ample compensation was paid for the lands which were taken in connection with the Shannon scheme. Agreements could not be reached in three or four cases, but, generally speaking, a fairly good percentage over and above the market value of the land was paid. I am sure that in this case, if a similar undertaking could be obtained, there would be no objection from the Deputies representing the County Wicklow.

I find in one section of this Bill that, while the Corporation is entitled to do replacement work, there is no suggestion that the Electricity Supply Board should do it in the case of persons whose habitations will be taken. If, say, 30 or 40 families are affected, it is possible that 30 or 40 houses will have to be dealt with. I think that for those who remain in the neighbourhood provision for replacement ought to be made.

It was rather amusing to listen to the Minister's description this evening of the development of electricity in this State, having regard to the many pronouncements, expert, political and otherwise, that we have heard in connection with the Shannon hydro-electric works, and the generation of electricity during the last eight, nine or eleven years. One politician, who is now very prominent, could say in Cavan or Donegal that the Shannon scheme was of little use to the people there. He could say in Kildare that he was dead against the Shannon scheme, and that in his opinion the Liffey ought to have been harnessed. Others could say in Donegal of what benefit was the £5,000,000 that had been spent on the Shannon scheme to the farmers in that part of the country and so on. Apparently, there has been some development in the education of the Party of which that particular gentleman is the leader. I say that in view of the statement we have heard here this evening.

It was rather refreshing to hear one Deputy say this evening that the Electricity Supply Board had got a nest-egg from the Dublin Corporation —that it had got a property valued at about £2,000,000. There may have been £2,000,000 put into the Electricity Department of the Dublin Corporation from its inception down to the present day. I presume that, when a Deputy mentions a sum of that sort, he is including in it all the old, wornout machinery that was scrapped years and years ago. In essence, what is the value of an electricity undertaking to any municipality, no matter what it may have cost and no matter what the value of it may be? Its ultimate utility to the local authority, to the citizens, to the ratepayers and to the consumers of electricity in the area is the price that they pay for their electricity, and the citizens of Dublin have never paid less for it than they are paying at present. They have never paid less for it than they have paid since the Shannon hydro-electric works were undertaken. So far as the citizens of Dublin are concerned, they have benefited by the confiscation, if I concede the use of that term for the sake of argument.

The city has also benefited to this extent, that its municipal debt has been reduced in respect of the sum borrowed for that undertaking. It was the merest nonsense to hear the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Finance say that he conceded the point made on that to the Deputy who made it. The Parliamentary Secretary must not have known the price per unit that was paid for electricity before the Shannon works were started, or, if he ever heard it, he must have forgotten it. Just about the time that the Electricity Supply Board took over the municipal works in Dublin the commissioners in office reduced the price of electricity from what it had been to a much lower figure. That is a matter of satisfaction to me. I was a citizen of Dublin for many years, and I paid the higher price for electricity. The citizens are now getting it at a very much lower price than they ever got it before, and if they have lost the electricity works perhaps they have lost a liability.

The Minister might perhaps in his spare time find it opportune to commend the experts' report in connection with the hydro-electric works at the Shannon. I think it will be within the recollection of many members of the House that the views of the experts and the views of the German electrical engineers were subjected here to a great deal of criticism. I think that the experts' anticipations of the consumption of electricity in this country have proved to be as nearly correct as it was possible for them to be. That certainly is very much to their credit. The agreement made between two public bodies is the subject really of this Bill. I have one fault to find with it. It is this: If and when certain things happen the Corporation is liable to pay so many pounds per day; if and when something else happens, the Electricity Supply Board is liable to pay so many pounds per day. If there is one fault to be found with public bodies in this country it is the disposition on their part to find fault one with another. There is an element of suspicion running through this agreement which it would be very well indeed if it were not there—if it were completely out of it. Presumably, the Electricity Supply Board will do all in their power to meet the Corporation, and the Corporation on their part will be equally anxious to meet the Electricity Supply Board.

If that be the case, what is the necessity for the inclusion of the penalties laid down? Perhaps it is another example of a disposition on the part of public bodies not to agree. The Corporation wanted a new reservoir; the Electricity Supply Board was not ready for it yet, and so they were scoring, one off the other. That is not creditable to public bodies. But in June last the matter was settled between the two. This reservoir is necessary for the City of Dublin. Anyone who has studied the pronouncements of the borough surveyor for the City of Dublin, especially those made during periods when there was a shortage in the water supply, will, I think, be satisfied on that point. Personally, I do not think that a second line from the Roundwood reservoir would meet the case, because on certain occasions the level of water there has gone down to danger point.

I would like to know from the Minister if the water from the Liffey at the particular place he referred to has been certified as being absolutely pure. I know that since the big storm occurred some years ago, the Rathmines water supply has not been as pure as it used to be. There is a slight taint in it. The Dodder was not allowed into the reservoir at one time, and there were certain works undertaken to prevent its getting in. By reason of this storm some of the masonry work was smashed up, causing the water of the Dodder to get into the reservoir. Since then there has been this taint. The water comes through a bog district, and I expect it has been examined to ensure that it is good wholesome water.

Personally I find very great satisfaction in the introduction of this measure, and in the figures which have been given regarding the expansion of the use of electricity in this country, not because it has confounded the prophets, not because it has confounded some experts who criticised the work, but because of the wider use of a modern facility which is of benefit to the people, and is used not alone as an illuminant, but as a means of providing power. It shows the foresight and evidences the genius of those who are responsible for the recommendation, for the inauguration, and for the finishing of the Shannon scheme.

One resident in this district has drawn my attention to the fact that while a ten year period is given for the making of a claim in respect of fishing rights, only one year is given for claiming compensation for land in the event of seepage setting in, and I should like the Minister to look into that point. If the Minister, as he undertook to the Deputies for the County Wicklow, would expedite the hearing of claims in respect of compensation for those whose lands are going to be taken, it would relieve the minds of a very large number of families. I think the provision in the Bill in regard to interest at 4 per cent. is of very little use when one does not know what the 4 per cent. is going to be paid on; it is paid afterwards. I think provision might be made in the Bill for persons who lose their employment in the area. If, as Deputy Everett says, there are nine labourers' cottages there, it is quite possible that those men have found employment on some of those 5,000 acres of land which are now going to be submerged. If that be so, they certainly have a right to some compensation or to alternative employment. There are some other cases in which compensation of that sort might arise, and I think it would harmonise with the general support for the scheme if some consideration were given to the basis of the compensation in the first place, to expediting the hearing of the claims in the second place, and, if and when it be decided to give replacement houses to those merged, if the work of building those houses could be undertaken so that no cause for complaint could arise when they get short notice to leave the premises.

Perhaps the Minister would be able to tell us what is the present consumption of water in the City of Dublin? Does it amount to anything like this 20,000,000 gallons daily? At one time I think the consumption was about 40 gallons per head, and I think it went up from that. Does the inauguration of this scheme mean that there will be a sufficient water supply to cope with a considerable expansion in the city?

I should like to join with the other Deputies who have expressed their gladness at seeing the Minister back in his place. I am sure all the members of the House are glad to see him back. I was glad to hear the Minister making his statement to-day, because it is the first detailed statement we have had in regard to the working of the Electricity Supply Board, and I must say that the figures which he gave us will go far to allay the fears which some of us had when that scheme was brought in. The opposition which has been raised to this scheme is of the kind which is raised against every scheme for improvement in connection with the city or its surrounding suburbs. We have been told about the families who will be deprived of their homes. I am sure we are all sorry for that fact, but we cannot accomplish improvement without doing some injury to someone. Those of us who have been in this House for some time have heard that agricultural holdings are not of a very valuable character at the present time, nor have they been of a very valuable character for some time past. I am sure that many of those whose holdings will be taken under this scheme will have some satisfaction in that they will be compensated—I hope liberally—for the loss of those holdings, which have not been too fruitful a source of income for some time past.

To my mind the great outstanding feature of this scheme, apart from the improvement it will be to the city, is that it is put forward by two bodies, each important in itself. The Dublin Corporation we all recognise as a very important body; the E.S.B., in view of the work it has to do and the powers it has been given, is also an important body. Those two bodies have amalgamated in putting forward this scheme. Now that is to my mind a very strong feature in connection with this scheme—that two bodies of such importance should amalgamate in putting it forward.

There were some points in connection with the Electricity Supply Board and its working that the Minister did not go into. The Minister will remember that when the Bill was going through the House some of us had some misgivings about the loss that would be involved in transmission between Limerick and Dublin—a distance of 130 miles. I do not know whether or not the Minister has figures before him, but I should like to know the amount of electricity which is sent to Dublin from Ardnacrusha, and the amount that is being lost in the transmission of that power to Dublin. That was a defect that was inherent in the original scheme. This scheme, to my mind, gives an opportunity for remedying that defect, because Dublin can be provided for from the Pigeon House— I was glad to hear that that scheme is being developed—and from Poulaphouca. The loss in transmission that we have complained of could be got over in that way, but I should like if the Minister would give us some information on that point. Speaking from the industrial point of view, we are in competition with other countries, and electricity has come very largely to be used industrially in other countries. We have to compete against these countries. It is necessary, therefore, that we should get current at a somewhat similar rate. If the current that comes to Dublin has to bear losses, there will be a disposition certainly to make Dublin pay for those losses.

Now, Dublin under this proposal has a chance of getting cheaper current for its industries, and that will enable those industries to extend and develop. That is a matter of some importance to the Dublin commercial community. I suggest that the output of Ardnacrusha might be used for places which are much nearer, like Cork and other industrial centres in the South of Ireland. Let its output be used in those areas, and let those nearer schemes confine their operation to the supply of the Dublin market. That is a matter that might usefully engage the attention of the E.S.B.

There are one or two points in the proposals we have before us about which I should like some further information. Section 13 mentions that the E.S.B. is not to be responsible for the loss of rates. I do not know whether that section in its present form goes further than the section in the Act passed some years ago under which the E.S.B. functions. I am rather inclined to think it does—that this takes the poor rate off the back of the E.S.B. Possibly the Minister will be able to advise us on that point. Generally, the Bill has my hearty approval, and I hope it will be put into operation without any undue delay.

I had not any intention of intervening in this debate but I am rather interested in the point raised by Deputy Good and will be very interested to hear the Minister's reply in connection with it. Deputy Good seems to visualise that, with the development of the scheme and the consequent improvement in the transmission of current to the metropolitan area that will take place, a lessening of charges for electricity for the Dublin region ought to ensue. If that is to be so, I suppose one from the country will be entitled to visualise an increase in the electricity costs in other parts of the country. While we in Limerick have not been fortunate enough to secure any reduction in electricity costs because of the fact that we have no transmission losses from the power-house at Ardnacrusha to the city, one and a half or two miles away, Dublin has been favoured with lesser charges than we have been paying hitherto. Ardnacrusha will, I hope or expect, still continue to supply current to places as remote as Donegal. I shall be anxious to hear the Minister's reply to the very pertinent and relevant question put by Deputy Good as to whether there is going to be a further differentiation in favour of the metropolitan electricity consumer, with a consequent increase in the cost to national consumers of the Ardnacrusha current, whether it be in Limerick, Cork or Donegal. That will be a matter of very great interest to Deputies from other parts of the country and I think their attitude towards this Bill will, to a large extent, be influenced by the Minister's reply to the question.

It may seem rather strange that a Deputy representing a constituency so remote from Dublin could contribute to this debate, but it is well that the House should know the feeling that exists in respect to these undertakings. We in the country realise that centres of big population such as Dublin must have a proper water supply, and that it is well to have a proper scheme for light and power. It is impossible, as we have heard from the Minister, to keep the matter of this Bill separate from the electricity supply scheme. Perhaps, in our minds we connect the two. As one who was very favourable towards the Shannon Scheme and advocated it in other places, I must say that we in the remote parts of the country are rather disappointed with it. We were promised that most of the country by now would have the advantage of electric light and power at a reasonable cost. In my part of the country, people are asking why the E.S.B. are not supplying current to towns such as Monaghan and what is the cause of the delay. For the few places where it was proposed to give a supply it was at a prohibitive price. While we, as ordinary citizens of the country, rejoice in the success of undertakings even in the capital and other cities, and, as somebody put it to-day, rejoice in the success of big business, still we must have our viewpoint. We see that while this is going on, we are still confined either to putting in our own electricity undertakings or still using whatever other light we can get.

A friend of mine, who lives less than two miles from where the Shannon current runs, asked the E.S.B. for an estimate for putting it into his house. The reply he got had all the appearance of not wanting to do business. Even at that short distance from the transmission lines, they asked him, first of all, for a sum of over £250 as an initial charge with a guarantee of £28 a year for 20 years, as well as paying for the current after that. People are asking their representatives why should this be so; is there not some slackness about the matter; or, why are we in the country not getting the same benefits from this huge scheme? Like other Deputies, I would favour and give whatever support I could to any scheme for the betterment of the city or the betterment of the country generally, but I should like the Minister to cause an inquiry to be made to see why we are not making better progress with the existing scheme, and why electricity is offered to us at such a prohibitive price.

I am induced to intervene in this debate because of what Deputy Haslett, who has just sat down, has said. He mentioned the prohibitive sums which some people not living in towns and cities have been asked by the Electricity Supply Board to pay in order to have electricity installed in their homes. I know of one particular case where the electric standards are within fifty yards of a man's house. That man was asked to pay £120 in order to have electricity brought to his house. We hear a lot from time to time as to the benefits electricity has conferred on farmers and the agricultural community in other countries. I am sorry to say that I see no sign of any such development in connection with electricity in rural Ireland. I find that I can very well do without electricity. At the same time I want to point out that it is very unjust that men in rural areas who are prepared to take advantage of this scheme should be asked to put down prohibitive sums of money before their houses are linked up with the scheme. I want to emphasise in particular the case where a man whom I know was asked to pay £120 for having the electricity installed even though the standards are within fifty yards of his house. If I have not made application myself it is because I knew that I would be asked to plank down a prohibitive sum of money. Now that is most unfair, because we country people have, as taxpayers, contributed to this scheme. I think more regard should be paid to the needs of people living in outside districts, people such as those represented by Deputy Haslett and myself.

At the outset I should like to take this opportunity of thanking the Deputies who made such kindly references to my return to duty. It is, I think, a matter for congratulation that in the discussion upon a Bill of this nature, the points made by Deputies related almost entirely to matters of detail associated with the projects which the Bill is designed to facilitate and it is also a matter for congratulation that nobody has questioned the wisdom of providing even the very large sum of £2,500,000 to the Electricity Supply Board for the purposes contemplated by this Bill and to enable the development of this scheme to be proceeded with. These facts are, I think, evidence that the progress of the Board, like the progress of the country which has helped the Board, has been very satisfactory indeed.

I can assure Deputies who addressed themselves to the question of compensating those whose lands and houses are likely to be submerged by the proposed reservoir at Poulaphouca that the members of the Government are just as deeply concerned as they are with the payment of compensation to these people. We are anxious to ensure that no undue hardship will be occasioned to these people because of the inauguration of this scheme. It is however inevitable that some such scheme as this should be adopted in order to provide additional electric power and additional water supply for Dublin and the surrounding areas. Whether that scheme be at Poulaphouca or somewhere else, the acquisition of land will be involved, and so will the dispossession of the present owners.

As Deputy T. Kelly rightly remarked, when the Roundwood reservoir was being constructed 70 years ago, precisely the same thing was said about the landholders in the district, though at the present time it can with truth be said that the building of that reservoir was of immense benefit to that locality and it can with equal truth be said that the construction of this reservoir at Poulaphouca will also be of great benefit to all that area. It is a fact that a certain number of families are to be taken out of their homes and their land is going to be acquired for the purpose of this work. It is necessary, therefore, that we should make some provision for these families. In this Bill we are proposing to ensure that they will be awarded compensation upon the same basis that compensation is awarded in other cases where land is compulsorily acquired for any public purpose. I do not think it has ever been seriously contended that that basis is unfair. In the majority of cases no doubt the amount of compensation to be paid will be determined by agreement. It is only in a minority of cases that the arbitration clause of this Act of 1919 will come into operation and an award given in accordance with it. It has been our experience in connection with the Shannon scheme that in more than 90 per cent. of the cases the amount of compensation was determined by agreement. In only 10 per cent., or less than 10 per cent. were the services of the arbitrator called upon. Possibly the same situation will arise in connection with these works. I think it will.

I can assure Deputies that any steps that are possible will be taken to ensure that no undue delay will occur in the awarding of compensation. Anything which other departments of the Government, such as the Land Commission, can do to facilitate these people will be done. I do not think that it is fair to say that we are taking the houses and lands from these people and putting them into the ranks of the proletariat. These people are going to get compensation on the basis of the value of their land, and if they wish to continue as agriculturists they will have no difficulty in acquiring other holdings of land elsewhere. I do not think it is necessary, as one Deputy suggested, to take into account the variations that have arisen in recent years in the value of land. The basis of compensation will be the present value of the holding. It is on that basis that compensation will be fixed. In any event I should like to say that the detailed provisions of the Bill in relation to compensation can be more fully discussed in Committee. These provisions are similar to those embodied in the original Shannon Acts, and it has been generally agreed that the actual awards made in the majority of cases under the Shannon scheme were not unfair. Furthermore, the same system has been operated wherever lands are acquired for public purposes. It has never been suggested that undue hardship in this connection had arisen where lands were acquired by the Government for any other purposes. The Act will provide for compensation not merely for the value of the property acquired but also for the disturbance involved in the removal.

Certain questions were raised and certain remarks were made concerning the question of a water supply in Dublin. In case anything which I or other Deputies said on this matter may cause misunderstanding, I should like to say that my information is that there is no immediate difficulty in the matter of the supply of water to Dublin. The full requirements of Dublin's water supply will give no immediate difficulty. Certain works were recently completed by the Corporation and these works will, in the opinion of their engineers and experts, enable the Corporation to ensure an adequate supply to meet the needs of Dublin and district until 1940. It is contemplated that by 1940 water from Poulaphouca will be available. The present requirements of Dublin are roughly about 32 gallons per head or 18,000,000 per day. The agreement between the Corporation and the Electricity Supply Board provides for the Corporation taking from Poulaphouca reservoir up to 20,000,000 per day. As the Corporation will have, in addition to that supply, the present Vartry water supply, it will be seen that the arrangement ensures more than an adequate supply for Dublin and district for many years ahead—at any rate, until, if ever, the population of Dublin is doubled.

Deputy Cosgrave stated that the inauguration of this Liffey hydro-electric scheme follows from the adoption of the Shannon scheme of 1925. That is, undoubtedly, correct. It is not quite fair for Deputy Cosgrave to try to draw me now on the question of the Shannon scheme, remembering the various controversies we had on that matter many years ago, because I am not quite free to say many things which, I think, could be said, not against the Shannon scheme but against the action of the Government responsible for its administration over a number of years. Deputy Kelly referred to the taking over of the Dublin Corporation's electric station and its transfer to the Electricity Supply Board without compensation to the Corporation. Many good arguments could, perhaps, be advanced in favour of that course but the argument advanced by Deputy Cosgrave— that the people are getting electricity more cheaply than they were in 1925— is not one I would advance. Anybody could pick holes in that argument. There would, however, be no use in going back over these matters now. The position is that the increase in electricity consumption in this country has been very, very rapid, particularly in recent years, with the increase in industrial activities. We have reached a stage where we must plan ahead upon the basis of a substantial increase in the demand for electricity each year—an increase which may necessitate the installation in some form or another in each year of generation capacity equivalent to one of these steam units at the Pigeon House or one of the hydro-electric units at Ardnacrusha. It is on that basis that the plans of the Electricity Supply Board for the next few years must proceed. Of the two steam units, one is to come into operation at once and one in 1938. They will have a capacity of 20,000 kwts. each. The Liffey power station of 30,000 kwts. capacity will be brought into operation after that— somewhere about the year 1941, assuming that the growth of the demand for current continues in the future as in the past. Very soon after that, further generating capacity will, it is anticipated, be required.

There has been not alone a very substantial increase in the demand for electric power for industrial purposes, but there has been, as I indicated already, a very considerable increase in the number of electricity consumers and in the actual consumption of electricity per head. Judging by the information at our disposal as to the extent to which electricity is being utilised in other countries, there is an almost unlimited field for expansion here. Deputy Good raised a question as to the loss on the transmission of the current from Ardnacrusha to Dublin. I cannot give the Deputy any figure for the loss in transmission from Ardnacrusha to Dublin alone but, in the appendix to the report of the Electricity Supply Board for 1935-36, he will find that the loss on the whole high tension system of the Board was 12.6 per cent. of the current generated. There is also in that table other information which the Deputy may find interesting.

That is a heavy loss.

The Deputy referred to the importance of our getting electricity as cheaply as other countries can get it. I do not think that we can possibly hope to generate and distribute electricity as cheaply as it is done in some countries. As Deputies are aware, I was in Canada in 1932, and I had an opportunity of investigating the circumstances attending the production and distribution of electricity there. Owing to the natural advantages which the Canadians have, they are in a position to generate and distribute electricity at a price we could never hope to reach. The same applies to Norway, Sweden and some other countries. With us, the normal practice is to have regard to the lowest price at which electricity can be generated at a steam station, particularly a steam station so favourably situated as the Pigeon House is, in considering the advisability of any alternative methods of development. This Liffey hydro-electric scheme will be quite economic in comparison with the cost of producing electricity at the Pigeon House by steam when the Electricity Supply Board's total production is at 400,000,000 units per year. As consumption continues to increase, the cost of producing electricity at the Liffey station will tend to fall in relation to the cost of producing electricity by steam-plant or coal.

In relation to the Shannon works, there is no question that now that capital expenditure has been undertaken on these works, it is much cheaper to produce electricity from the Shannon than by any other method. The capital expenditure has been incurred. The charges upon that capital must be met and, consequently, it is the policy of the Board to supply as much as possible of the total electricity requirements of the people from the Shannon and only to bring into operation the steam stand-by plant, which it controls, when occasion demands—which is, during the summer period, if abnormally dry weather reduces the productive capacity of the Shannon, and during the peak periods in the winter. It is, of course, necessary to have that stand-by plant. I indicated that the capacity of Ardnacrusha is about 80,000 kwts. The steam plant will have a capacity of 84,000 kwts. The more certain the Board is that this stand-by plant is capable of meeting the demands upon it, the more use it can, in fact, make of the Shannon station by utilising the reserves of water which might otherwise have to be kept as an iron ration to meet all possible contingencies. The same applies in the case of the Liffey scheme. The Liffey reservoir will have exceptional features, and some 50 per cent. of the total flow of the river will be impounded in the reservoir as against 5 per cent. in the case of the Shannon. That will enable the Liffey power station to be brought into operation, as occasion requires, on very short notice, so that it can be regarded as a reliable stand-by plant in the event of any temporary break-down in the supply of current on the Board's system. The Liffey scheme, therefore, offers special advantages to the Board which some other scheme might not provide.

One or two other points were raised by Deputies which might more usefully be discussed on the Committee Stage because they relate to points of detail rather than to questions of principle. On that account, I should be disposed to leave them over.

I should like to say, in reply to Deputy Dockrell, that the Department of Industry and Commerce, or the Government, have, of course, no direct responsibility in the matter of the provision of water to the City of Dublin. Any information the Deputy wants concerning the intentions of the Corporation, or the replacements of the mains from Roundwood, or the future utilisation of Roundwood, must be obtained from the Corporation. So far as the Department are concerned, our purpose is to provide by legislation for the confirmation of the agreement which the Corporation made with the Electricity Supply Board, having satisfied ourselves that the circumstances are such that the powers required by the Corporation should be provided by a public statute rather than by a Private Bill.

The same thing applies to a number of queries which other Deputies put concerning investigations made into the suitability of the water that will be impounded at Poulaphouca for drinking purposes. We understand the Corporation have got full and adequate reports upon this and other matters. We have not seen the reports, but I feel sure that they have fully satisfied themselves, not merely as to the suitability of the water, but as to the practicability of bringing it to Dublin in adequate quantities with no unreasonable or undue risk of an interruption of supply. These are all matters which come within the direct province of the Dublin Corporation.

The joint enterprise is represented by the reservoir. The reservoir is going to cost the Corporation, roughly, £120,000, and the reservoir plus the generating works will cost the Electricity Supply Board over £600,000. In addition to these items of expenditure, the Corporation will necessarily expend another £600,000 or £700,000 upon its own works in order to bring the water from the reservoir to the City of Dublin and into the areas to which the Dublin Corporation supplies water. These works are the direct concern of the Corporation. So far as the Government are concerned, they propose to provide them with the necessary statutory authority to do this work. That is now being done here.

As to the particular plans upon which the Corporation are working, and how they are based and what expert advice they got, I can give no information; that must be sought from the Corporation itself. All I need say is that we were satisfied that meeting the requirements of the Corporation for water supply purposes from the reservoir in the Liffey would not unduly interfere with the utilisation of the Liffey for power purposes and would, in fact, facilitate the Electricity Supply Board in having that done. We welcomed the agreement and we are now bringing in this public measure to give the necessary statutory authority.

Question—"That the Bill be now read a Second Time"—agreed to.

Committee Stage fixed for Wednesday, 18th November.