In Committee on Finance. - Vote 56—Gaeltacht Services.

Tairgim:—

Go ndeontar suim ná raghaidh thar £57,379 chun slánuithe na suime is gá chun íoctha an Mhuirir a thiocfaidh chun bheith iníoctha i rith na bliana dar críoch an 31adh lá de Mhárta, 1940, chun Tuarastal agus Costaisí i dtaobh Seirbhísí na Gaeltachta, maraon le Deontaisí um Thógáil Tithe.

That a sum not exceeding £57,379 be granted to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1940, for Salaries and Expenses in connection with Gaeltacht Services, including Housing Grants.

Tá £596 de bhreis ar Mheastachán na bliadhna 1939-40 thar mar bhí an bhliadhain roimis. Ní'l ach an méid sin de bhreis sa deire thiar, bíodh go bhfuil £6,150 de bhreis ar Mhírcheann amháin, agus breis de £1,500 agus £1,675 ar dhá Mhírcheann eile, mar go bhfuil súil le cúiteamh as na leithreasaí-i-gCabhair.

Tá soláthar déanta sa Meastachán do (a) Fuireann na h-Árd-Oifige, (b) Fóirne, abhair, gléas agus costaisí ilghnéitheacha a bhainfidh le Gnóthaí Tuatha, (c) Ceannach Ceilpe agus Carraigíne, (d) Costaisí a bhainfidh le h-earraidhe do chur ar an margadh, (e) Deontaisí fé Achtanna na dTighthe (Gaeltacht) agus costaisí chun críche na nAcht.

Ní misde a mhíniúghadh go bhfuil na Tionnscaill Tuatha roinnte ina dtri gcoda, (a) Figheadóireacht, (b) Cniotáil agus (c) Déanamh Bréagán. Tá fear ceannais maraon le triúr lucht conganta i mbun figheadóireachta, nó déanamh an Bhréidín. Tá cniotáil á dhéanamh i dtriocha éigin áit thall agus i bhfus sa Ghaeltacht, agus an obair fé stiúradh ag bainistreás i ngach áit acu. Beidh obair na mBréagán á stiúradh ag bainisteóir agus beirt fhear ceannais. Is tuigthe go mbeadh oibreacha de'n tsaghas-san, agus iad scaipithe annso agus annsúd, costasach go maith, ach san am chéadna is mór is fiú go bhfuil obair sheasmhach dá soláthar do sheachtmhó figheadóirí, agus go bhfuil ocht gcéad ag gabhail de chniotáil, maraon le seachtmhó cailín atá ag obair lán-aimsireach i Monarchain na mBréagán i gCuan Eilidhe. Do cuireadh dathad buachaill as obair de dheascaibh an teine mhillteach a bhí tamall ó shoin sa monarchain sin, ach táthar ag braith go mbeidh i bhfad níos mó ná san fostuighthe ar ais nuair déanfar an mhonarcha d'aiththógaint.

Chithfear mar sin go bhfuil obair dá soláthar go míle duine, nach mór, agus go bhfuil Seirbhísí na Gaeltachta ar cheann de sna naoi gcomhlucht déag ar fhithid sa tír seo ag a bhfuil os cionn chúig chéad de lucht oibre. Fé sgéim na Roinne is féidir leis na h-oibridhthe an meán-tuarasdal seo leanas a thuilleamh—in aghaidh na seachtmhaine— Fígheadóirí, púnt is deich sgillinge. lucht Cniotála, púnt seacht sgilling is raol: oibridhthe láimhe, dhá sgilling déag is raol: agus lucht déanta bréagán, púnt.

Do mhínigheas go minic cheana go ndeintear earraidhe do chostáil annso sa lár-ionad, ag daoine eolgasacha, agus gurb'é bunadhas an chostála san, ná, luach na n-abhar, páighe agus mion-chostasaí, maraon le breis réasúnta le h-aghaidh chinnchostasaí. Dá bhrígh sin, ba cheart ná beadh aon chailleamhaint ar na gnóthaí seo againne, agus ní bhéadh leis, dá mba rud é go mbeadh an obair á déanamh i dteannta chéile sa ghnáth chuma, in ionad a bheith á déanamh in áiteanna aistreacha, iargcúltacha, i bhfad ó'n margadh. Ní féidir gan cailleamhaint trom do thárla agus an obair do bheith á déanamh ar an gcuma san. Is gnáthach earraidhe do dhéanamh i gcoinnibh órduighthe, lasmuich d'earridhe gurb' eol go mbeadh glaodhach maith ortha: deintear a sheachaint, chomh fada agus is féidir é, ná béadh cnósach ró-mhór idir lámha aon tráth. Tugtar an saghas céadna earradh le déanamh do sna h-oibrí san ionad céadna, i dtreó, le h-imtheacht aimsire, go mbeid oilte go maith ar a gcuid oibre, agus go mbeidh luach-saothair dá réir ag dul dóibh.

Is beag athrú ó'n bhliadhain anuraidh atá an an Meastachán i Mírcheann A. Tá fó-oifigeach fóirne sa mbreis anois toisc oifigeach de'n ghrád san do bheith in áit fó-oifigeach feidhme go mbíodh a thuarastal ar Vóta Choimisiún na Talmhan. Tá árdú £525 sa Mírcheann toisc bónus an chostais bheatha do bheith suas agus toisc árdúchán bliadhantamhail ar thuarastail. I Mírcheann B., déantar soláthar do chostaisí tastil, agus tá árdú ann de £50 toisc líon na n-ionad do bheith ag dul i méid, agus toisc an iniúchadh is gádh i monarchain na mbréagán. Tá laghdú i Mírcheann C. toisc ath-gléasa a deineadh ar áis an Telefóna. Is féidir an t-árdú de £612 atá i Mírcheann D. 1 do chur i leith, (a) gnáth-bhreis fuirinne agus méid an chostais bheatha, (b) Bainistreás do'n ionad nua i mBun Beag, araon le h-árdú páighe do Bhainistreásaí lagthuarastail, agus (c) tuarastal Bhainisteóra Ghnótha do Mhonarchain na mBréagán. Tá Mhírchinn D. 2, D. 3 agus D. 4 soléir go leor ionnta féin, agus ní'l gádh le h-aon cur síos do dhéanamh ortha.

Maidir le Mírcheann D. 5, ní gádh, de bhárr ceannach agus deisiúchán in sna blianta ghaibh tharainn, ach £600 do lorg i mbliana.

An soláthar a deineadh fé Mhírcheann D 6 i gcóir na bliadhna 1939-39 níor leór é, agus táthar ag lorg £23,000 i mbliadhna, breis de £1,500 le h-aghaidh riachtanaisí na dtionnscal: an bhreis díolaidheachta le n-a bhfuil súil, tá sé áirithe ins na Leithreasaí-i-gCabhair. As an suim seo de £23,000, tá £11,700 le h-aghaidh snáith agus críche an bhréidín agus £11,300 le h-aghaidh snáith agus uile d'earraidhe chniotála. Faightear abhair tré Stór na Post-Oifige, fé chóras na hOifige sin, agus bíonn cothrom na féinne le fághail ag abhair de dhéantús na h-Eireann. Go dtí seo, fáiríor, níor bh'fhéidir mór chuid dár riachtanaisí, i bhfuirm snáith, d'fhághail in-Eirinn, ach tá gach iarracht á dhéanamh le deis an scéil seo do thabhairt chun críche. I Mírcheann D 7 tá laghdú de £75 a thárla tré maolú do bheith déanta ar shomplaí do chostaiméirí, agus comhgair pácála do bheith ceapuighthe. Do bheadh an laghdú so níos mó fós, mar mbeadh costaisí iompair do bheith suas de barr fás an mhargaidh. Leis an fás atá ar Thionnsgal na mBréagán, luigheann sé le réasún go mbeadh na riachtanaisí fé Mhírcheann D 8 ag dul i méid. Tá an soláthar atáthar á lorg d'abhair bunaiththe ar luach £1,500 earraidhe do bheith dá ndéanamh in-aghaidh an mhí. Tá súil le mór-chuid de'n chostas so do theacht isteach sa bhliain reatha, mar leithreas-i-gcabhair.

Ba mhaith liom a radh annso go bhfuil súil agam le dul chun chinn maith i Monarchain na mBréagán. Roimh an Tóiteán bhí luach £1,200 de bhréagáin á ndéanamh in-aghaidh na míosa. Tá áthas orm a rádh go bhfuil an obair ar siubhal arís anois, in-ionaid shealadacha. Tá feabhas ag teacht ar na Bréagáin ó lá go lá agus beidh ar ár gcumas dul ar aghaidh mar sin go dtí go dtógfar monarcha nua. Tá na h-earraidhe seo a déantar i gConndae Muigheó chomh maith agus chomh saor le rudaí de'n tsaghas céadna ó thíortha eile. Díoltar cuid mhaith de na bréagáin Bhoga; na Bábóga agus na Málaí Siopadóireachta.

Tá go leór órduighthe le fagháil in-Eirinn agus fuaireamar órdú mór ó Shasana le goirid. Táimíd lán-tsásta leis an slighe ar ghlac na h-oibrightheóirí leis an teagasg a tugadh dóibh. Is féidir leó tosnú ar earraidhe nua agus somplaí nua a dhéanamh go tapaidh. Tá súil againn, mar sin, go mbeidh ar ár gcumas an margadh ar fad in-Eirinn a shásamh agus cuid mhaith bréagán a chur thar sáile. Is cosamhail go bhfuil na custuiméirí lán-tásta leis na h-earraidhe mar fritheadh moladh uatha gan é a iarradh ar chor ar bith. Deirtear go dtaithnigheann na saghasanna nua bréagán atá againn le daoine, go bhfuil na luachanna ceart agus go bhfuil an déanamh go maith.

Is ró-bheag an deifríocht atá idir soláthar na bliadhna so agus an bhliadhain anuraidh, fé Mhírchinn E.1 agus E.2. Is léir go bhfuil deire leis an margadh a bhíodh ann d'iodín, ach tá glaodhadh ar cheilp mheilte, le cur imbia do stoc. Le bliadhain nó dhó do theip ar an Roinn go leor ceilp d'fhagháil do'n margadh so, agus i mbliadhna táthar chun praghas níos aoirde do thairisgint uirthe.

Teastuigheann suas le míle tonna ceilpe sa mbliadhain, ach anuraidh ní fuaradh ach chúig chéad tonna, agus athrú-anuraidh, cheithre chéad tonna. Tá soláthar déanta le 800 tonna ceilpe agus 800 tonna feamainne do cheannach i mbliadhna. Tá glaodhadh ar an bhfeamainn le déanaí, ach ní fios fós cionnus a raghaidh an scéal so chun chinn. B'é an meadhoníocaidheacht an duine, a fuair lucht ceilpe anuraidh, ná £8 6s. 0d. Níl aon dul chun cinn ag teacht ar an margadh atá do charraigín mar bhia, agus mar sin, sé an suim céadna atá sa Meastachán airís i mbliadhna. An lagú atá tar éis teacht ar luach na frainnce, tugann sé cothrom ró-mhór do charraigín na Frainnce ar an margadh, agus dá dheascaidh sin, tá ag dul dian ar charraigín, ach níl an oireadh dí á cheannach. An socrú atá déanta le Comhlucht Gnótha, lasmuich, chun an charraigín seo do cheannach, tá sé sásúil go leór. Do cuireadh somplaí go dtí comhlucht in Americe, le déanaí, agus, má thugann na somplaí sin teist mhaith uatha thall, is dóchaighe go mbeidh margadh maith do charraigín sa tír sin.

Tá árdú de £1,894 ar an gcostas a bhaineann le Gaeltarra Eireann agus thárla san de bhrigh, (a) árdúcháin bhliantamhla ar thuarastail, (b) páirtaidheacht in Aonach an Domhain in New York, agus (c) méadú ar ghnáthchostaisí. Mar chithfear i Mírcheann F. 3, tá postas agus iompar méaduighthe ó £450 anuraidh go £615 i mbliadhna, de bharr fás na trádála. Tá costaisí taistil méaduighthe ó £25 go £240 mar tá se beartuighthe an Bainisteóir Conganta do chur go h-America, féachaint cionnus a b'fhearr an margadh annsúd d'aimsiúghadh agus do leatha. I Mírcheann F. 2 tá soláthar de £1,350 déanta chun sinn a bheith páirteach in Aonach an Domhain i New York. Meastar gur cheart margadh do bheith in Americe do bhréidín agus d'earraidhe lámhdhéanta, agus nár mhisde dul á lorg, le linn an Aonaigh. Tá láthair tógtha san Teasbáinteas le h-aghaidh bréidín, agus ceann eile le h-aghaidh earraidhe lámh-dhéanta. Sé tá beartuighthe ná, an teasbáinteas so do chómhnasca le teasbáintisí in sna tighthe móra gnótha i New York, Boston, Philadelphia agus cathaireacha eile: tá beartuighthe fógruidheacht do dhéanamh freisin.

B'ar éigin do b'fhiú an teasbáinteas ann féin, gan tathant do bheith dá dhéanamh ar na tighthe móra san am chéadna. Dá bhrígh sin, tá socruighthe comhairleóir teicniceach do chur go New York chun taighde do dhéanamh amease na tighthe gnótha, i dteannta an ghníomhaire, féachaint a bhféadfaí teangabháil do dhéanamh le tigh amháin aca san, nó níos mó. Ní féidir a rádh cad a thiocfaidh as an iarracht so, ach mar n-éirgheann leis, is deachair a rádh go n-éirgheodh le h-iarracht a déanfaí sa ghnáthslighe. I dteannta an méid seo atá luaidhte, deintear soláthar i Mírcheann F. 2 do sna gnáth-teasbáintí annso i mBaile Átha Cliath.

I ranna (1), (2) agus (3) do Mhírcheann S. tá comhartha-mhéide tógtha le h-aghaidh iasachtaí a cheapfadh an Roinn a bheith ceart agus cóir. I roinn (4) deintear soláthar d'iasacht a cuirfidh cala-bhád ar fagháil idir Dún na Séad agus Oileán Chléire. I Roinn (5) tá £100 a h-íocfaí le fear báid a dheanfadh seirbhís seasmhach do bhunúghadh idir an Daingean agus na Blascaoidí. Fé iasachta Ilghnéitheacha, tá £300 le cabhair i bhfuirm iasachta do sholáthar chun tionnsgail bheaga do bhunú no do chothú, ach an Roinn do bheith sásta le tairbhe gach iasacht acu. Ní gádh aon chur-síos do dhéanamh ar Mhírchinn H. 1 agus H. 2, mar is beag deifríocht atá idir figiúir na bliadhna so agus figiúirí na bliadhna atá caithte.

Tá laghdúghadh de £1,500 i Mírcheann H 3, ach ní h-ionann san agus a rádh go bhfuil aon ghearra anuas á dhéanamh ar obair na dtighthe. Ní'l ann ach iarracht ar theacht níos cruinne ar an méid is féidir do chaitheamh do réir taithighe na bliadhanta gabhtha tharainn. Tá fhíos ag Teachtaí ó'n nGaeltacht an sár-obair atá á dhéanamh fé scéim na dtighthe. Tá £346,262 íoctha mar deontaisí ó tháinig Acht na dTighthe (Gaeltacht), 1929, i bhfeidhm; tá 2,378 tighthe nua críochnuighthe agus 1,310 tighthe á gcúr suas: tá 1,879 tighthe feabhsuighthe agus 506 dá bhfeabhsughadh. Deintear, i rith bhadhna, idir 200 agus 350 tighthe d'fheabhsughadh agus idir 330 agus 420 tighthe nua do thógaint. Tá obair seo na dtighthe ag dul ar aghaidh go sásamhail, agus ní gádh domh-sa dul níos sia leis an sgéal.

Fá H. 4, tá suim airgid le h-aghaidh cásanna inar tugadh cead, tré míthuisgint, le cróite do thógaint agus d'fheabhsú, ach tá an méid ag dul i luighead, agus i gcionn bliadhain nó dhó ní bheidh gádh ar bith leis an soláthar seo. Chífear ó sna Leithreasaí-i-gCabhair go bhfuil súil le breis teacht-isteach, gur féidir a chur i gcoinnibh an breis soláthair atáthar á dhéanamh do cheannach abhar (Mírchinn D 6 agus D 8). Seasuigheann £34,000 tar éis na liúntaisí atá luaidhte do chur ar áireamh, agus fágann san go bhfuil súil le teacht-isteach de £55,900 ar fad. Níl an meastachán so ag dul i méid go mór ó bhliadhain go chéile, ach tá sé le rádh go bhfuil páighe an lucht oibre dulta i méid go mór—ó £6,906 i 1934-35 go £15,073 i 1937-38 agus timcheall £19,000 i 1938-39. Tá súil le £6,500 de theacht-isteach as 800 tonna ceilpe agus as 800 tonna feamainne. Tá súil le £1,000 de theacht-isteach as Biadh-Charraigín.

Ba mhaith liom mo bhuidheachas do ghabháil leis na Ranna eile Stáit atá tar éis congnamh do thabhairt uatha, go fonnmhar, domh-sa, agus do sna h-Oifigí atá i mbun Seirbhíse na Gaeltachta.

I move that the Estimate be referred back for reconsideration. A memorandum has been circulated by the Parliamentary Secretary with regard to the activities of this Department for the past year and the prospects for the coming year. As it is rather noticeable for what it does not say, I would like to have much more information. On the commercial side, sub-head D shows an increase of £1,500 to provide materials for the weaving and knitting industry. There is also an increase in expenditure on the central marketing depot in connection with participation in the New York World's Fair, and special efforts to develop the American market. That is all to the good. When this estimate was on last year I urged, in connection with the Exhibition held in Glasgow, that the Parliamentary Secretary should go there and have the Gaeltacht wares pushed. I refer to wares which are manufactured at the central marketing depôt, which are the main commercial products with which this branch is concerned. Nothing is said in the memorandum about that. What has been the result of the Glasgow Exhibition in that respect? The memorandum states that the market for food Carrageen remains unchanged, but that difficulty is experienced, as a result of the devaluation of the franc, in competing with French commercial Carrageen. I take it, therefore, that no substantial success was gained with regard to the sale of that article in Great Britain. If there was it would be referred to. I should like to have seen a paragraph in the memorandum with regard to the sales of Gaeltacht products, consisting of knitwear, pullovers and stockings. When this Vote was on some years ago, and when Deputy Dillon and I made some suggestions regarding this Department, it appeared from his reply as if we had raised the ire of the Minister to a considerable extent. As a matter of fact, apparently, he considered that some of the things we said were so vile that he could not find language to deal with them.

The constructive suggestions made by Deputy Dillon and myself with regard to the Gaeltacht industries were to urge the Minister that there was no hope for the Department except the goods produced were of the very highest quality, and that nothing should bear the hallmark of the State except goods for which there was a special market, where it was strongly developed. As far as I remember, the constructive suggestions made were that there was no hope for these industries except in the development of that branch of the business. There was no wide field, apparently, for the other things. The Minister when replying could find no language to denounce us. Is the Parliamentary Secretary still of the opinion that inferior goods should be turned out, goods that I bluntly call shoddy goods, and given the national imprimatur? I am going to demonstrate that inferior goods were put on the market, goods that were worse than shoddy, goods that a pedlar carrying a bundle around the country could not sell. That is a crime against the reputation of wares produced with the imprimatur of the State. I suggest that it goes further, and is a serious offence against these industries. Many men have put money into these industries and are turning out first class goods, goods that could compete with the Harris products made in the Hebrides, while this Department has produced shoddy and is thereby destroying the high standard of quality that private individuals are endeavouring to build up. That has been my contention with regard to these goods since I came to this House. Four years ago the then Minister had very severe things to say but what Deputy Lynch said then was true, and has been substantially justified. What has been done since? Apparently nothing was left in the Department except the walls and the roof as job bargains had been given. But there were no more job lots when those now in charge got going. All was changed. Nothing was to be produced but the very best stuff. A new designer was got, a whole new staff, commercial accounts were introduced, and everything in the garden was to be beautiful. I want to give some quotations from what the Minister then said.

What year was that?

It is a long time ago.

I am only going to demonstrate that what was then said with regard to the commercial policy being pursued was justified. In Volume 56 of the Parliamentary Debates, col. 2705, the Minister went on to deal with various things and said:

"There was a second consideration—a more delicate and a more awkward one—which I had hoped to avoid."

That had reference to some things that Deputy Lynch said.

"I had occasion to change the whole organism of the Gaeltacht Department, to change the whole management and control of the Gaeltacht Department."

A whole new chapter had been opened, as there was nothing left in the Department but the walls and the roof. Deputy Lynch's crimes were not going to exist there any longer under the new management and control. At column 2708, the then Minister asked:

"What was the position with regard to these tweeds?"

In my opinion that section is the very essence and the corner-stone of this Department.

"We inherited 60,000 yards of tweeds. I want Deputies to examine this case. I have some reasonable appreciation of merchandise."

This was the new brush.

"Surely it is not suggested that it was necessary to manufacture 60,000 yards of goods in order to train workers. Anybody with any knowledge of commercial or textile industry knows that girls have to be trained in order that they may be put to work in these factories. Those engaged in the tweed-making in Donegal are as intelligent and as competent as any workers in the country."

That is cheap comfort.

"We got rid of 35,000 yards of that tweed at a job price—a much better job price than I would have paid for it. I do not know what they are going to do with it. It was not faulty manufacture but it was faulty design. It was of a colour no man— I am not a dress designer—would ever dream of putting into such materials."

That is what you, Sir, left behind you in 1925.

The Deputy must refer to what I did in my former capacity.

A curious commentary on that vital paragraph is that in the years 1937-38 the Department, under the then Minister, bought buttons for £1,700 odd and sold them for £67 10/-, after he had denounced his predecessor.

On a point of order, that is a subject-matter for consideration by the Committee of Public Accounts, and as it might prejudice it, it should not be discussed on this Vote.

I am afraid that would not be right. That would not exclude it from discussion by this House. I think that the fact that matters are coming before the Public Accounts Committee does not preclude their discussion in this House.

These matters are dealt with in the Public Accounts Committee.

Well, perhaps I might suggest that any discussion that would take place here on that matter might prejudice the minds of the Public Accounts Committee.

I am afraid that is not the case.

They are public documents which are issued to the world.

These are all matters of Parliamentary business, and all such matters come before the Public Accounts Committee and are subject to discussion, either before or after.

I do not want to be unfair. If the Parliamentary Secretary suggests that this is not true, or that this transaction did not take place, then I withdraw my statement. Is he prepared to admit that?

Go ahead.

All right, but there is something more to come. Imagine a whole new staff being taken on, special designers, and a new system of commercial accounts, and then you have an expenditure of £1,700 odd for buttons—which one would imagine would be enough to supply buttons to the Prussian Army—and then they are sold in the year 1937-38 for £67 10s. Think of that, in view of the denunciation we got, not so much about the necessity for quality, but for new designs and patterns and so on. I think that the one thing that one must insist upon is quality if you are to compete with, let us say, Harris tweeds. That is the real and essential point, and you have got to keep up the quality or else go out of business.

I was down in my own constituency last week, and I was looking at some samples of tweeds, and I was handed a parcel of samples. I may as well give the name of the place—it is Messrs. Temple, Magee & Company, of Donegal town, who have generally goods of first-class quality which could easily compete with Harris tweeds. Now, they handed me this bundle of samples which I have in my hand and which I wish to show to the House. I thought that if I produced them in the House here it would be the best way to demonstrate to the House what is happening. This bundle is numbered from D.1 to DC.18, as far as I can make out. Now, I take it that there is no question but that this is a bonafide parcel of samples issued by the Department—it is the Round Tower Irish handwoven tweed.

Now, when I show you these samples and demonstrate the kind of stuff that is in them, I want to show you the kind of stuff that, I presume, the Taoiseach, the chief of the Information Bureau, and the specialist from the broadcasting station, who are accompanying the Taoiseach, will be representing as Irish products in America. According to this memorandum that has been handed to Deputies it would appear that there is to be a special effort to increase the sales of these goods in America. To increase the sales of what? Deputies can take and examine these bundles of samples that I have with me. I shall leave them in the library for their examination, and in my opinion they are mere shoddy, such as a man, commonly known as a pedlar, going around the country with a pack on his back, would carry. As a matter of fact, I think that the ordinary pedlar would be ashamed of some of them. Here is one that I have in my hand now—the number has dropped off, but it seems to be, apparently, D.D.2. Is the Taoiseach taking that to America with him? I presume that the chief of the Information Bureau and the radio expert, can tell the American people all about that. I have shown you the quality of this stuff. You can see how I can tear it up. The same applies to another piece which is numbered D.D.3.

Now what I want to put a stop to is this State being defamed abroad by the production of stuff like that. Just look at it! You can see how I can tear it. I suppose that our fleet are going off next week dressed up in this kind of stuff in order to make special efforts to develop the American market at the New York World's Fair. And that is the kind of stuff that has got the imprimatur of this State. We heard a lot as I have said, about the crimes committed by Deputy Lynch when he had to deal with that Department—that it was not a question of quality so much as a question of design and pattern and so on. Here is another sample I have in my hand— just look at it! It is a piece of absolute shoddy. The finest tailor in the world could not make that up. Just think of its being made up. No tailor in the world could make stuff like that stand up if it gets a shower of rain. It is purely shoddy, and yet I presume you hope to compete with Harris tweeds with stuff like that. Well, it cannot be done. The kind of stuff I have here in my hand would not do for the mopping up of a floor by a maid with a scrubber in the kitchen. I can pull this stuff asunder for you, just as I pulled the other sample asunder.

Probably I am wrong in intervening, but the Deputy has mentioned my occupancy of that office. I think that the Deputy is not well advised in doing so.

Just take a look at this piece that I have here. Suppose that it got a shower of rain, what would it be like? I do not care what tailor in the world makes it up, it would not stand up to a shower of rain. Yet, this is the kind of stuff that evidently has got the imprimatur of this State, and you have thousands of pounds of money being spent to produce that kind of stuff. That is what the Gaeltacht is turning out in order to compete with Harris tweeds. Four years ago I urged the Department to specialise on the production of the very highest quality goods. Let us assume for a moment that when this Government came into office it was a time of general world depression and that people were not buying as they had been buying in former days. But the world was passing out of the slump four or five years ago, and people were again able to buy materials of good quality; to buy sporting goods and things of that sort. There is always a market for goods of that kind everywhere, whether in England, Scotland, Wales or America. Now, look at this sample that was handed to me in that shop I have mentioned. You can see for yourself that it is a piece of imitation homespun—just shoddy. I should like Deputies to give serious consideration to this. It is an imitation—a substitute. I do not like to use this phrase, but for the want of some other phrase, I can only describe it as a palm-off, or an imitation of Donegal homespun. The man that made that probably never saw Donegal. It is not unlikely that he does not know where it is on the map. Look at that piece of cheap stuff put on the market to compete against this. Compare the quality of the two. This shoddy stuff is probably made in Yorkshire, and is palmed off against our stuff.

We are asked to vote special provision for expenditure at the New York World's Fair so that a special effort may be made to develop the American market. Is it to develop a market for that stuff? I see that the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry and Commerce has already gone out to see that a stall with this stuff on it is in order; to have samples of this kind, with the stamp of the Irish Government on them, displayed there. Is it for that that the House is to vote money? To have a special effort made to get that sold in New York. If you spent all the money in this State on that stuff you could never get a market for it. Give it away to somebody for nothing. Talk about getting custom for this—to make golf suits out of these Gaeltacht tweeds. This stuff that I have been showing to Deputies is rotten stuff and would not be worth taking if one got it for nothing. It will damn the whole range of our homespuns. Every one of these samples is bad and totally unfitted for the object for which they are being produced. They would damn anything. We are supposed to be turning out high-grade stuff to compete against the Harris tweeds. Unless we are doing that we are not in the market at all. What are we doing?

You have somebody in Yorkshire, or some other place, producing these cheap tweeds and turning them out as imitation Donegal homespuns. Anyone can take these samples and test them. The one that I hold in my hand is of a far superior quality to the samples in this bunch. Is the Parliamentary Secretary not ashamed of himself to turn that out? Does he not think that he owes a duty to the State? Four years ago Deputy Dillon and myself urged on the Minister—that was at the time when we had a new broom coming in—that the one thing to do with regard to this industry was to insist on quality, quality, quality, and better quality. What do we find in 1939? It is proposed to send out to the World's Fair at New York samples such as I have here in my hand. The whole thing is a mockery. This stuff is worse than shoddy. It would not be good enough to hand to the maid to wipe up the floor after she had scrubbed it. This is simply shoddy manufacture, produced perhaps in Yorkshire and handed out as an imitation of Donegal homespuns. Why, the thing is an absolute condemnation of this Department. It is enough to damn it. It is enough to make every member of the House and every person in the country who has any regard for the reputation of the country and a regard for commercial standards and commercial ethics to vote this Department out of existence. It is a shocking thing, in my opinion.

The Taoiseach and a staff of officials are going out to America to represent this country at the World's Fair. Our stand there will be erected at the expense of the taxpayers of this State. Are we to have stuff like this on that stand representing the products of this country? I would not mind at all if we had factories producing a whole range of materials and selling them as being of different quality. But this is supposed to be real high-quality material. Unless what we produce is of the highest quality, it simply does not exist at all, and cannot hope to compete against the Harris tweeds. Four years ago I appealed for the development of these cottage industries and for the preservation of the Gaeltacht. A lot of lip service is given to the Gaelic language and its preservation both inside and outside this House. In my opinion the way to preserve the Gaelic language is to preserve the homes of the Gaels. You find people who make a mockery of the language by attempting to use it for political purposes on platforms and elsewhere. It is a thing that I have never done. I was born and reared in a Gaelic home, and the language of my country is above politics with me. I appealed for the development of these cottage industries and for the preservation of those people. I was told that I was going to give the people of the Gaeltacht porridge and peat. At the time that I made that appeal the bottom of the world economic trough had been reached. The tide, in the commercial sense, had just turned, and that obviously was the time to get in and get busy. But what do we find? As regards our competitors, we have only the one, the Harris tweeds which are produced in the Hebrides. The position in the Hebrides to-day is that they cannot produce enough stuff to fill the orders that are pouring in, including orders from America. The Chief of the Hebrides is not going to the World's Fair at New York, as the Taoiseach is, accompanied by the Chief of the Information Bureau and the Assistant Radio Director. The people in the Hebrides are sending to the World's Fair at New York something which will prove far more eloquent and effective. They are sending high-class goods that will simply wipe the floor with ours. If you are sending the Taoiseach to America for the purpose of advertising goods like these, then in God's name keep him at home. I will not speak about this again. I just want to register this protest against using the name of this State for stuff such as this.

With regard to the carrageen business, I thought that as a result of our exhibit at the Glasgow Exhibition last year that the sale of this product would be a great commercial success, and that we would find a big sale for it in England, Scotland and Wales. This memorandum that has been circulated is very obscure on that point. It is more remarkable for what it does not say than for what it does. At any rate it does not hold out any great hope. Apparently there was no success in that matter. I appealed last year to the Parliamentary Secretary to go to Glasgow to see what was being done there; that he should go there and take charge of the section himself in a sort of a non-official way. I thought that he should go there to see what was being produced by the Harris people, and take note of what orders they were booking as compared with the business we did. Of course, if the kind of stuff that I have been exhibiting here were sent to Glasgow last year it is easy to appreciate what the results would be.

In 1935 we were told that commercial accounts were being introduced into the Department. Everyone realises that State assistance is essential for this Department. At the same time one would like to see that its business was conducted on lines calculated to lead to commercial efficiency. It is probable that it will be impossible to get that. Now what are the results of introducing commercial accounts? Deputy Dockrell and myself have asked for the stock in the depôt at a given date? We have not got the figures. A promise was given that they would be given on the 1st May. That is after this Vote would have been dealt with here. What use would the figures be then? Twelve months hence they will be obsolete; criticism will be debarred. The Parliamentary Secretary will rise in his place and say that all that has been remedied and inefficiency has been wiped out. I narrowed down the question I put to the Parliamentary Secretary. I asked for the stock at the Depôt only, because I knew it would be impossible to have the return of the stock scattered up and down the country. All I asked him was the value of the existing stock at the Depôt and I have been refused that. It is now the 21st April—precisely three weeks after the close of the financial year.

In connection with that I want to mention another matter. I take it that all the summer sporting goods— the main production—have been cleared before now, and that they are all in the hands of the retailers and passed out of the depôt, and that nothing remains there now except a quantity of stuff for a big order. Surely three weeks was ample time in which to take the existing stock. I want to know if the refusal to give the figures was deliberate, so that we could not strike at the matter during this debate or get this thing set up at last on a commercial basis. It is very significant as to whether that insinuation is true or not.

With regard to the poplin made at Annagry I have a question to ask. I understand that the machinery set up there at a ridiculous cost had all to be scrapped, and there is a start to make silk at Crolly. I am sure the House is surprised when the Parliamentary Secretary presents a document like the one he has presented here to-day, and when in that document he does not tell us what has happened to the Crolly silk factory. How much has been produced there in the last year? What is the cost of production? What is the return from the sales? Is it operating at all, and what is it producing? Is it producing silk? What are the wages paid per week? What is the cost annually of the working? What are the appropriations-in-aid from the Crolly factory? The Parliamentary Secretary will have to give a commercial account in relation to this. It will be very interesting to relate that to the poplin made in Annagry. I would like if the Deputies had been here during this debate. This thing is being carried on in their name. They will be asked to vote on it and I would ask them when they are voting to show what they think of the working of this part of the Gaeltacht Services.

In rising to make a few remarks I wish to say that I did not have the advantage of reading the report that the Parliamentary Secretary has circulated. I am sure he made an excellent case for his Department, but I am afraid the facts are against him. Like Deputy McMenamin, I would like to go back a few years and remind the Parliamentary Secretary what happened his predecessor in office, Senator Connolly, who assured us over a couple of years that he had been damned by the stuff left to him by the previous Administration and that he was only slowly clearing that up. He assured us, almost with tears in his eyes, that he believed that that section of the Gaeltacht services should furnish commercial accounts and have them on a commercial basis. I would like to look at this Gaeltacht Industries which amounts in the aggregate to nearly £93,000. Look at one section of the Gaeltacht Industries. The first thing that a person with any commercial knowledge would require is an account. I asked for these accounts and Senator Connolly promised that we should have them. I would like to remind the House that in the Report of Appropriation Accounts for 1933-1934, paragraph 44, the Comptroller and Auditor-General wrote: "I have not yet been furnished with trading accounts in respect of these services, to the absence of which I have referred in previous reports." Now that was in the 1933-34 Report. I would like to ask the Parliamentary Secretary whether he attaches any importance to the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor-General or whether he thinks that after six years some notice might be taken of it? Deputy McMenamin and myself asked that we should be given an account of the stock in the central depôt, in order that the accounts might be viewed as a whole, and as a commercial unit. Now we are in the position here to-day of the shareholders of a trading company. In one sense we are the shareholders, because after all we are supposed to be looking after the State money. We are shareholders, and we are summoned to consider the results of the trading for the past year.

With all respect to the Parliamentary Secretary, I think it is a piece of impudence to summon a body to consider a set of accounts without the stock-in-trade at the end of the year. Lest it might be thought that I am making too much of this, I would like to refer to another matter in order to show how long things are allowed to go on. Here is another matter taken from the Appropriation Accounts for 1937-38: "In my report last year I referred to the sum of £9,300 odd due by a company which ceased to exist in 1925." Now, that has not yet been settled, and is it any wonder that comments are being made here on the business ability of the Government? Members of the Government can make promises, but when they enter the trading arena they ought to furnish accounts and be judged by ordinary commercial standards. Deputy McMenamin referred to the quality of some of the goods. There are several lines of policy open to the Government. They should concentrate on developments along original lines in which they do not compete with ordinary enterprise. Deputy McMenamin has shown the House certain samples made by the Government, but there are Irish manufacturers earning their bread and butter by making goods in which the Government are competing with them. That may be necessary, but at any rate they should compete along some proper lines and the Minister should utilise the experience of people who have been engaged in trading in these goods all their lives. What we are really after here is that the people in the Gaeltacht should be given employment.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Finance, Mr. Flinn, when discussing last night the unemployment grants, said that the object of that Vote was to get the utmost value to the unemployed workers. Agreeing absolutely with that statement, I would like to recommend it to the kind consideration of the Government in connection with Gaeltacht Industries. Some work could be done, probably, into which private enterprise does not penetrate—for instance, the Government might spin the yarn instead of importing it. I do not know how far the industries that exist at present by private enterprise could be left in one compartment and the Government left in another, but at the present time they are competing with each other in a life and death struggle. We all have heard about the "Kilkenny cats" and what happened to them.

I heard the other day about a very large order, regarding which the Government approached a buyer who showed his range of goods and gave his prices, which were considerably below what the Irish manufacturer thought they ought to be; but the Irish manufacturer had to reduce his price to the same level as was quoted by the Government agent. This sort of cutthroat competition can only result in suffering to the workers.

Deputy McMenamin has mentioned the reluctance of the Parliamentary Secretary to produce a balance-sheet, and I have endeavoured to make one up. If there are mistakes in it, the Parliamentary Secretary will understand that those mistakes or defects are due to his either being afraid or ashamed—I do not know which—to produce the balance sheet in dealing with an ordinary commercial transaction. My figures show that, for the year 1938-39 salaries, wages and allowances in rural industries amounted to £6,038; purchase of looms, £1,200; purchase of woollen yarns, £21,500; general expenses, £1,860; toy industry materials, £4,500; freight, packing, etc. £1,860; total for Central Marketing Depôt, £6,853; workers' wages, £16,500; agents' commission, £5,200; miscellaneous expenses, £200; which makes a total of £65,711. I think the stock in 1938 was £12,419 which would bring the expenses side up to a total of £78,130. The sales amounted to £55,900, say £56,000, and the amounts paid to the workers in wages amounted to £16,500.

Deputy Norton to-day referred, during the discussion on the Vote for National Health Insurance, to the taking of 5/10 to administer a pound sterling of benefit. I do not know what Deputy Norton would think if he thought that 15/- had to be expended in order to get 5/- to the workers, that it cost £65,711 in expenses in order to get £16,500 to the workers in wages. I am sure no one in this House will quarrel with me when I suggest that the Parliamentary Secretary ought to make an effort to look at this matter from the point of view of bringing benefit to the workers in the Gaeltacht, because that is primarily what this scheme is for, and that is, I take it, why these samples are going to be brought to America as samples of Irish manufacture. The Parliamentary Secretary ought to reorganise the depôt and its attendant industries on business lines, in order that we might be able to examine them from a commercial point of view. I am reinforced in that request by no less an authority than the Comptroller and Auditor-General in dealing with the Accounts in 1933/34.

Deputy McMenamin referred to the case where, I think, £1,739 worth of buttons were sold for £67 10s. That may have been a very good commercial transaction when the buttons were bought, and it is possible when they were sold it might have been an equally good commercial transaction, but the point is, that they were paid for in 1934-35, and that four years later the buttons had not been got out to the public. I move to report progress.

Progress reported.
The Dáil adjourned at 2 p.m. until Wednesday, 26th April, at 3 p.m.