Private Deputies' Business. - Report of Local Government (Dublin) Tribunal—Motion.

I move:—

That the Dáil is of opinion that the development of orderly local administration in the City and County of Dublin requires that the Government should not lose further time in announcing its decisions as to the recommendations of the Local Government (Dublin) Tribunal, whose report was presented and published more than two years ago.

I do not propose to take up much of the time of the House in the consideration of this motion, because to my mind the terms of the motion are axiomatic. But, here is a report which was presented as long ago as November, 1938, and it deals with matters vitally affecting some 500,000 people. Yet, it has been allowed to lie there without any decision of the Government on its various proposals. The position is actually even worse than that, because not only has it been allowed to lie there without a decision, but, in the meantime, four Bills, three of which are now Acts, have been introduced affecting the system of local government in the area covered by the report of the tribunal. Yet no hint has been given by the Government of their decision on this report. It may be argued that these Bills themselves constitute the decision of the Government on this report. But surely nobody would suggest that the ridiculous position which will shortly arise of the city manager sitting in one building as such, and shortly sitting in another building as County Manager, with two different sets of officials possibly tendering him differing advice, and two councils to deal with, is one which can be regarded as a proper answer to the recommendation of the tribunal that a single metropolitan council should be established for the area in place of the four existing authorities? A decision on this matter would surely lead to the orderly local administration envisaged in the motion.

From a town planning point of view, a decision on the various matters in the report would also be of very great help. It may be well to know what the consultants, in making their report on this matter say:—

"In making our proposals we have, since the publication of the Greater Dublin Tribunal's Report, constantly borne that report in mind....

"Briefly, our green belt and the area of County Dublin to the north of that correspond to the North and South Dublin rural areas of the tribunal, while our central urban area (with free entry and deferred development land) corresponds with the tribunal's metropolitan area as distinct from the rural areas...

"We are satisfied that the present boundary is utterly inadequate, and consider, therefore, that the future boundary and, in fact, the whole question of administration, is one which should be considered in the light of the findings of the tribunal and of our report jointly."

One of the tribunal's recommendations is that there should be appointed a metropolitan planning director who would be responsible for the planning of the entire area, in place of a system of each authority dealing with its own area, sometimes in agreement with adjoining ones and sometimes in conflict with them. The Minister may say that under the Town and Regional Planning Acts, the Dublin Corporation has power to constitute itself a planning authority for the whole area. While that is perfectly correct, the corporation has considered the matter on occasion, but so far it has been reluctant to impose itself on other authorities pending some decision by the Government on this report.

This motion is not either in favour of, or against, the findings of the tribunal, but is merely an expression of opinion that the Government should, by now, have been able to make up their minds on the various recommendations in that report, as to whether they are to be implemented or not, and that the orderly administration of local government calls for a decision on that report, one way or the other. The tribunal, in paragraph 481 of their report, say:

"We consider it essential to the new departure in municipal outlook that the reorganised administration should be initiated by the adoption of definite plans to which the heads of services should work and the progress of which should be closely supervised by the metropolitan manager."

Possibly some of the present authorities would prepare the plans envisaged in that recommendation if they were given an inkling of what the Government's decision on this report is going to be.

In rising to second this motion, I wish to call attention to the dual proposals that have been presented to the Government. So far as one can ascertain, no decision on them has been arrived at. If the Government can be accused of having shelved coming to a decision on this problem it is not, I think, the first time that such an accusation could be made against them when faced with other problems. I desire to refer to some of the difficulties that will arise in the present situation. If the Local Government (Amendment) Bill be included, I think it can be said that five legislative measures have been presented to this House dealing with the question. While some of those measures were fiercely controversial, it can hardly be denied that the Government were right in envisaging the position that, as regards Greater Dublin, there was a problem there which had to be solved. I should like to refer to these five legislative measures. There is the Local Government Bill at present held up. It contains, I think, 84 sections. It enables the Minister for Local Government, with the approval of other Ministers, to alter the constitution of local bodies. There is the Local Government (Amendment) Act which brought in Howth. There was the Public Assistance Act, excluding the Dublin metropolitan area, and bringing in the Dublin, Rathdown and Balrothery Board of Guardians. Next we had the County Management Act. There was to be a city and a county manager with authority for Dublin, Rathdown and Balrothery—the city borough, Dun Laoghaire, county council, and the urban district of Howth. Then we had another Bill dealing with unemployment relief works. It compelled the public bodies in Dublin, Dun Laoghaire, Howth and the county council to execute relief works.

As opposed to all these, you have the report of the Greater Dublin Tribunal. Under this Dublin was to have a metropolitan council, a financial and planning authority to work out its own salvation instead of being controlled by the Local Government Department. There was to be a metropolitan manager, with assistants, to work with the council, centralising the professional staffs working under different bodies and different areas under one head. With all these recommendations, something will have to be done. I suggest to the Government that it would be almost better to make some mistakes and get ahead with the job than to leave all this for some future date when it will have to be done badly and in a hurry. Some of us envisage a post-war period which will be just as difficult to control as the times we are passing through, if indeed they are not worse. As far as one can see, what is going to happen when we pass into that post-war period is that all these administrative proposals and plans will have to be gone into. They will have to be passed first, and then schemes under them will have to be worked out.

As I said earlier, the five legislative measures dealing with this problem, which the Government have put before the House, are controversial. Nobody will deny that something ought to be done, and ought to be done quickly. The question is "what ought to be done?" Something ought to be done quickly, because there is no doubt that the corporation and the other bodies are at present working, if one might so describe it, under sentence of death. The officials there do not know whether they will be transferred to some other branch or left to manage the affairs of their own section. There is at present a lull in a whole lot of operations, and I would like to urge on the Minister and the Government that this is a very desirable time to go into this whole thorny and difficult question and arrive at a decision, in order that we may be prepared to face measures which will have to come in the near future. A series of anomalies and difficulties has grown up, and I think in a lot of cases the bodies concerned are acting on the assumption that some change is coming. Let us take the corporation by-laws as only one instance. Some wag I think has said that you could never get a plan passed by the corporation only the corporation themselves realise that they have to break their own bye-laws. There are other anomalies which arise with regard to home assistance and poor law administration. I do not want to make a long speech, and I will not go into any merits or demerits except in the most casual and passing way. I want to keep to the big, broad main issue, that the Bills which the Government have brought before the House are running on parallel lines with the Greater Dublin Tribunal Report, that some day those Acts and reports will have to be tuned down, and the Government have to make up their minds what they ought to do. As a last word, I would suggest to the Minister and the Government that the sooner they do that the better.

This motion reads:

That the Dáil is of opinion that the development of orderly local administration in the City and County of Dublin requires that the Government should not lose further time in announcing its decisions as to the recommendations of the Local Government (Dublin) Tribunal, whose report was presented and published more than two years ago.

They did make a decision here some time ago. I wonder whether Deputy Dockrell and Deputy Benson want other decisions of the same sort, because certainly I, as a member of the corporation, do not. The recent decision I speak about is the incorporation of the Township of Howth in the City of Dublin. That was done here by Act of Parliament, and, before the corporation had even considered it, it was an accomplished fact. I asked the city manager to let us have a report as to this new township, because, from my long experience of the incorporation of other townships in the old city, I knew what it meant. Here is what he says about Howth: "The following information concerning the Howth Urban District Council affairs has come from details furnished by the acting town clerk." He goes on to tell us the area in acres, and he tells us that the gross valuation is £27,000 odd. I am not going to go into all the details; I will speak as generally as I can. He then tells us that the amount of the outstanding loans in this township is £57,396. The bank overdraft, he tells us, is £1,706. The council receives from 25 borrowers under the small dwellings Act a yearly amount of £1,200, and the arrears for the year amount to £590, that is about 50 per cent. The housing rental is £1,810, and the arrears at 31st March were £515, or nearly 50 per cent. We are told that the whole water supply system requires expert investigation. We know what that means. It meant in regard to Rathmines, that wealthy township, an expenditure of over £30,000 to put the waterworks into a proper condition, because the filtering had been out of order for years, and the people in Rathmines had been drinking black stone as well as water so far as one could ascertain. We are told further that the sewerage and drainage need a general overhauling, and that the scavenging, which costs £650, needs improvement.

There are 22 miles of roadway in the charge of the council, costing £1,800, and except for Government grants the provision for roads in the past five years was inadequate. The graveyards of Kilbarrack and St. Fintan's cost £272 yearly, and the revenue is £217. The latter is in very bad repair. There are 196 street lamps, and those are maintained by the Electricity Supply Board at a yearly cost of £615. The fire brigade is a volunteer service, and the equipment is a Merryweather trailer pump. A sum of 10/- per week is paid to a man for caring the pump, and £18 per annum is paid for its storage. The council has no local hospital, and pays for cases sent to city hospitals. A town planning scheme, envisaged in 1935 was not proceeded with. We are then told what the staff of the council consists of, and we are told that the council has no law agent, and is compelled to employ different solicitors as the occasion warrants.

That is our experience of the first instalment of the town planning arrangement. This is a very serious thing for us. I am looking at this matter from the point of view of my experience in the Dublin Corporation for 40 years, and I think it requires very serious consideration by the Government. Not merely yesterday or a week or a year ago, but years ago, I came to the conclusion that Dublin is over populated.

We cannot keep poverty out of the city to the extent we would like, and at the same time contain the immense population that is now in the city. I entered the corporation in 1899. The population of the city—I will give official figures—was 290,638 in 1901. In 1911 it had gone up to 304,802. In 1936 the figure was 468,103; in 1939, the last official figure we have here, it was 482,300 people. The estimated figure now is over 500,000. That means that since 1916 the population has gone up by 130,000. Just imagine an immense population like that!

From what is the Deputy quoting?

From the accounts of the Corporation of Dublin for the year ending 31st March, 1939—the audited accounts.

Was the city not extended a good deal in that time?

There were several extensions. The first extension occurred many years ago. It was an effort to bring in most of the townships— Drumcondra, Clontarf, Kilmainham, Pembroke and Rathmines.

That was a big extension.

It was, but it was supposed to be necessary at the time. There was just completed a very extensive contract for main drainage, because the drainage of the city was very bad. Very large sums of money were spent within the four or five preceding years. I remember that when I mentioned the Dublin housing position I was told how necessary it was to get further land, and one of the reasons for the proposed extension into five or six townships was in order to get suitable land on which to build. At the time the congestion within the old city was becoming acute. They went in for the extensions I have mentioned, but they failed in connection with Rathmines and Pembroke. They got the extension over the three other townships. It required an enormous outlay. In some cases there was no water supply; in other cases there was no sewerage, and the cost was so much that the rates went up then and they never came down since. That is the history in connection with the extension to Kilmainham, Drumcondra and Clontarf. Clontarf was a slobland. For generations there was a big slob of 60 acres at Fairview, where there is now a park. They had to put down new sewerage and a water supply, and instead of building houses that is what the money went towards.

Later on, when our own Government was established here, Rathmines and Pembroke were brought in. Pembroke had a big overdraft and in Rathmines we had to spend between £30,000 and £40,000 in fixing up the waterworks. Now we are saddled with Howth, and goodness knows how much more land has to be brought in under the town planning scheme. So far as Dun Laoghaire is concerned, I do not know much about the hinterland there; I do not know whether there is a proper sewerage or a proper water supply. With the population that we now have, I think the Government will have to consider—it may be a rather novel idea —the question of managing Dublin in the same way as the great capital of America, Washington, is managed. That is, that the Government should take it over.

Where are we going to find accommodation for the people who are coming in here every week? Just imagine the enormous increase in the inhabitants of the city within such a short time. I do not object to people coming here. I like to see the country people coming in. Always on a Sunday when there are big matches I like to go through the streets; I travel the whole of them down to Jones's Road and I love to be looking at the splendid young men and women. I am not one of those who would erect gates to keep them out; but the fact is that those people come in and, if they wish to live here, proper arrangements must be made for their accommodation. They must not be allowed to get into the slums or to idle around the streets. That is the enormous difficulty that exists here and nobody seems to mind it. The population is too big and we are not able to support it. This is Dublin's flag day. It is very seldom that Dublin is discussed here, although it is the capital of Ireland. Possibly the reason for that is that there are very few Dublin men here.

They are all in the Old Dublin Society.

In my opinion the valuation does not keep pace with the increase in the population. The valuation in 1901 was £843,000. On 1st March, 1938, it was £2,114,274. So far as the rates are concerned, we find that the rates in 1915 were 10/8 and last year they reached 20/8. In 1901 the debt was £1,876,887 and the debt now is £9,775,194 16s. Od.

What is the date of that record?

It was issued in 1939. Time after time I have heard reference here to the flight from the land. How often has it been alluded to here? Where do they fly to? Have not a lot of them come up to Dublin and got good employment here and can you blame them? They are offered a few shillings a week in the country, whereas they get fairly good jobs here and good wages. We hear a lot about poverty, but I picked some advertisements out of the Evening Herald within the last month and they show quite a different picture. The advertisements mention the Westmeath Men's Association, Ceilidhe and Old-Time Waltzes; the Cavan Men's Social Association, Ceilidhe and Old-Time Waltzes; the Kildare Men's Ceilidhe and Old-Time Waltzes; the Meath Men's Association, Ceilidhe and Old-Time Waltzes; the Royal Meath Association—evidently there are two organisations from that county— Ceilidhe and Old-Time Waltzes, and then we have the Boys of Kilkenny, with their Old-Time Waltzes and Ceilidhe. All these associations have their “Waltz me around again, Willie” every Saturday night. Here is where they are flying to and there is no sign of poverty in these announcements.

You forgot the most important of all.

The Corkmen? They are all around; they are in every place. You could not forget them. We know what happens them. Then we have the boys of Wexford, with their ceilidhe and old-time waltzes. All their socials are announced every Saturday night. Whether in keeping with the Lenten spirit recommended to us because we have not to partake of Lenten fare, they have curtailed their old-time waltzes and ceilidhthe, I do not know, but there is such a cry about poverty in Dublin that I put these points forward.

And is there?

Mr. Kelly

There is undoubtedly too much of it. I have no doubt about that, but there is a big exaggeration of it.

I am afraid not.

Mr. Kelly

I am sure of it, and if the figures could properly be ascertained, it would be found that there is not so much poverty as some people who shout about it would suggest.

The broadcast messages do not convey that to the public.

Mr. Kelly

I listen to the broadcast messages very often, and in that connection one must make allowance for the fact that these are specially made by people who are in the habit of making speeches for charitable objects. The words come quite naturally to them, but as to grinding horrible poverty which some people seek to suggest exists, it does not exist. There is, however, too much poverty here, and especially in a capital city, but can it be otherwise when we have such an enormous population, which has doubled within the last 30 years? We were not able to provide housing accommodation for these people. We have done our best and we have made great progress, but the progress would require to be twice as great. Even if people get work when they come up here, it does not help them to have to live in slum conditions. There is something about slum life which, in a sense, degrades people. When they have decent dwellings, they are a different people altogether and they remain a different people. I am speaking now of something that is well known, but in these announcements to which I have referred there is not evidence of the great poverty which is supposed to exist in Dublin, but quite the opposite.

We hear a lot about the flight from the land and about the emigrant ship. The "emigrant ship" is the bus or the train, or a lift on a canal boat. We have all this sighing and sobbing about the terrible flight from the land, but when you examine the whole thing carefully you find that there is too much hypocrisy about it. I am acquainted with the people of Dublin all my life and I would not, especially here in the Parliament, attempt to put forward any position but that which I believe to be the correct position, and, as I have said, the Government will have to do something in connection with this matter because if young men and women are to come up here—and they are welcome—this must be made a capital in the same sense as the great city I alluded to before.

I thought that I would take advantage of this motion about town planning and the bringing into operation of the recommendations of this tribunal to make these remarks. The recommendations already brought into effect are enough for me. I do not want any more, but when this war is over—and, please God, it will be soon, although it does not look as if it will— I think the Government, and especially the Minister in charge of local government, ought to consider putting Dublin on a different footing altogether from a local government point of view. Provision must be made for these people who will continue to come up from the country to enable them to get proper accommodation, the slums must be abolished for ever, and the money to do it must be supplied from funds other than those contributed by ratepayers and citizens. I have already taken up too much time and we have to face four hours' speeches from another side of the House. I hope I have not exhausted the patience of the House.

It is not often we hear the Deputy.

Mr. Kelly

I made the best case I could, having regard to certain difficulties under which I labour at the moment, for the City of Dublin. I think it is time it was made, and I am glad I got the opportunity of doing so. I wish I could have made it better, but I have done my best, and I hope that what I have said will sink into the minds of Deputies and will induce them to bear in mind the fact that the capital city of this country deserves well of this Legislature.

I do not intend to say much on this motion, but I want to say that the local bodies in the county have not been in favour of the Greater Dublin Tribunal's recommendations. I am a member of the three bodies administering local government in the City and County of Dublin, and all three are not in favour of its recommendations. For that reason, I could not support the motion, because when you have a commission making recommendations cutting across what experience has taught administrators in the three local bodies, you have a situation which has to be considered and which should not be rushed. Experience has taught the Dublin Corporation that to administer outstretching arms is very expensive, and we are very much against the inclusion of Howth. We are very much against the inclusion of any further portions of the county area and that was the evidence first tendered by the Dublin Corporation representatives to this tribunal. A hint was passed around that the Government wished that some of the county area should be brought into the city, that it was necessary that some part should be brought in, and that we should select the areas. A selection was made of portion of the county area which was completely built on and urbanised. We had 1,800 acres in the present city undeveloped and the ex-city manager, from his experience as an official of 30 or 40 years, and he was a very keen man, was dead against the inclusion of any more undeveloped land within the city area. There was an Act, of which I cannot remember the title, passed here under which I give either the present Minister or his predecessor full marks for very definitely getting in a blow which has more or less put into operation the machinery recommended by the tribunal, and, as a member of the local bodies, with some long experience, I do not agree with the proposer and seconder of the motion that there is going to be chaos. That cannot be so because, fundamentally, the administration in Dublin City and in the Borough of Dun Laoghaire will not be changed even if the recommendations of the tribunal are accepted.

You have there a borough manager and a city manager who have at present full administrative powers. It is a rather anomalous position to have these two working side by side with Dublin County Council, which still has substantial administrative powers. I suppose their turn will have to await the general application of the new Act to the whole country. That is really another matter and does not touch upon the point of this motion. The point of the motion is the hurrying up of the new administration on the lines of the recommendations of the tribunal. I do not think it should be hurried, because you have strong opinion against the recommendations. You have opinion against the recommendations that favour the managerial system. It is not a question of the principle of the system you are going to apply so much as the mentality of the rural and urban peoples with whom you will be dealing. I do not think that should be hurried and, in the present emergency, I do not think it should be taken in hands at all. We are surrounded by war, and this is not a time when we should sit back complacently and start adopting new principles in local administration. It will be terribly expensive. Howth is a classical example. Only a few yards of neck connect Howth with Dublin, and it will be hard to manage Howth and very expensive to maintain the services there. Deputy Kelly's figures were very interesting. It would seem from the way he presented the figures that a certain area called the City of Dublin increased in population from 290,000 in 1901, to 582,000 in 1939. That is not what happened. I doubt if the city that had 290,000 in 1901, has any more to-day. What has happened is: the area has been increased and rural districts have been built upon. The added population of Dublin in the past 30 or 40 years consists of the additional population on the added areas.

They account only for 60,000 between the lot.

According to the figures given by you, the increase was from 290,000 to 582,000.

To 500,000.

That is an increase of over 200,000.

Only 60,000 of which is accounted for by the added areas.

I submit that pretty well the whole increase is accounted for by the added areas. To see that, all you have to do is to look at Glasnevin, Drumcondra, and other districts around the city. A lot of the advance in the way of town planning brings these bodies closely together in matters such as water, sewerage and drainage. I know that harmonious co-operation has proceeded between the Borough of Dun Laoghaire, Dublin Corporation, and the Board of Health, whose social services bring them into close contact with the city and borough. The proposer of this motion has done a service by calling attention to the matter, but I think it should be left there, because it brings up a terrible problem. I am sure the Local Government Department realise the difficulties. I have close knowledge of the administration of Dublin County Council, Dublin Board of Health, the Borough Council of Dun Laoghaire, and Dublin Corporation, and my strong opinion is that we should move very slowly. I do not think that anything more should be done in the matter until after the war.

The discussion we had on this motion indicates the difficulties of the problem, and shows that it is one with which we must proceed very slowly. The recommendations of the Greater Dublin Tribunal were not only comprehensive but far-reaching. In their report, they stated that these recommendations should not be put into operation except under the most auspicious conditions. When one considers how far-reaching and comprehensive the recommendations are, one realises the wisdom of the advice that they should be given effect only under the most auspicious conditions. Let us see what the recommendations were, so that we may glean the size of the problem from them. Briefly, the recommendations were:—

"(1) The constitution of a new authority to take the places of the five authorities, Dublin City Council, Dublin County Council, Dun Laoghaire Borough Council, Howth Urban Council, and Balbriggan Town Commissioners.

"(2) Division of the whole area of city and county into two portions: (a) urban and (b) rural. About one-third of the existing rural areas would be added to the existing city and urban areas. This would involve the transfer of about 50,000 of the population, leaving only 24,031 in the remaining rural areas. The valuation transferred from the existing rural areas would be £238,000, leaving £141,000 in the remaining rural areas.

"(3) Certain services would become common services and the remaining services would be either special urban services in the new urban area or local services in the rural areas. Roads would be the most important of the common services. Special urban services would include housing, water, sewerage, scavenging, lighting and home assistance. The special urban services would be conducted on the full standards applicable to county boroughs.

"(4) There would be a common rate and, in addition, urban and rural rates in the respective areas.

"(5) The whole area, urban and rural, would be administered by one body to be called the Dublin Metropolitan Council. This council would have associated with them in the administration a manager, a deputy manager and four ex-office assistant managers, and would appoint a finance committee and four special committees, namely, health, planning, works and housing.”

During the period that that tribunal was sitting a considerable body of evidence was put before them and the tribunal reported in 1938. Certain consideration was given to that report and a certain examination was being carried out in the Department of Local Government. Then we had the outbreak of the war. While that examination can go on and consideration be given to the problems that this Greater Dublin would create if you were to adopt the recommendations of the tribunal in part or in whole, one must bear in mind that a war period is not the best time for that, and certainly I do not think it would fit in with the recommendation of the tribunal itself that this report should be put into operation under the most auspicious conditions. In addition, neither the county council nor the corporation have asked that the recommendations should be implemented; in fact, none of the local bodies affected except Howth asked that the recommendations should be implemented.

It is true that the County Management Act, so far as Dublin county and city are concerned, goes perhaps on parallel lines with what was visualised in the recommendations of the tribunal. It certainly does not run counter to them, and might be described as being in consonance with those recommendations. Under the County Management Act, the city manager of Dublin will become manager also for the county so that there can be, at any rate, the fullest co-operation between the two bodies. If, at some time, it were decided by the Oireachtas to carry out the recommendations of that tribunal, the machinery of that Act will be there in any case.

The Local Government (Amendment) Bill of 1940, which brought the urban district of Howth into Dublin, was also, perhaps, somewhat in line with what was contemplated, but in a much bigger way of course, with regard to the extension of the city in the recommendations of the tribunal. Again, the Howth Bill, as it might be called, is in consonance with the recommendations of the Greater Dublin Tribunal. I am not prepared at the moment to deal with the question of the taking over by the Dublin Corporation of the debt of the Howth Urban Council. I think a sum of £57,000 was mentioned. I think it will be found that that debt is not what one would call a deadweight debt; that it was in respect of housing and other services. I think I mentioned when that Bill was going through the House, that I did not think the Dublin Corporation were taking over a great liability in taking over the Howth Urban District.

There was a bigger reason than that why it should be taken over. As everybody living in the city knows, Howth provides amenities for the City of Dublin. If Howth is to be developed to the full, and these amenities are to be made available to the full, you cannot have that development with the limited valuation of that area; you cannot have Howth developed in the way it should be in order to enable the people of this city to avail to the full of the amenities in that area. Whatever way we have to get over the liability for the time being, I do not think anybody should object to taking Howth into the City of Dublin. Howth has been described by some people as the garden of the city, and we are all acquainted with its amenities and with the advantage it is to the people of the city.

Thirsty people go out there on Sunday.

There is a limitation on that. The Deputy will find that the taking of Howth into the city disposes of that aspect of it. There will be the same time allowed for the thirsty people of Howth as for the thirsty people of Dublin; the same hours of opening will apply. Reference was also made to town planning. When the Town Planning Act was passed, the Greater Dublin Tribunal was not even sitting. Provision was made that a planning body could join with an adjoining town planning body and arrange for a joint town planning area. Even in the Town Planning Act, you had set out a definite Dublin region of Dublin, Kildare, Meath and Wicklow, which would enable the Corporation so far as town planning was concerned, to do whatever planning was necessary. As a matter of fact, the town planning experts who reported within the last few weeks, paid tribute to the assistance they received from the county council officials and the county council and urban councils concerned. I do not think any difficulty arises in regard to town planning from the fact that the report of the Greater Dublin Tribunal has not been put into operation.

Even when we brought in a Bill recently to deal with unemployment relief, provision was made by which the Dublin Corporation could go outside their area as the executing authority and arrange to carry out road schemes where there is unemployment. They can, of course, go out of their own area, for planning purposes, after consulting with the county council, if it be considered that they should have this power conferred upon them by the Minister.

They are not getting it.

I think it is only reasonable that they should go out, especially to places which are so circumscribed that the Dublin Corporation would consider it difficult to get into them. I think it is both to the advantage of the county council and of the Dublin Corporation that these powers are there. If it be decided by the Oireachtas that the recommendations of the Greater Dublin Tribunal, either in part or in whole, are desirable, and that reasonable consideration should be given to them when more auspicious conditions prevail, then any Acts that have been passed in the meantime will, I think, be found to be a help rather than a hindrance. They will be found to be more in consonance with, than running counter to, the recommendations of that tribunal. The problem that was considered by the Greater Dublin Tribunal was a very big one. The members of the tribunal, as we know, put a considerable amount of labour into the task they undertook. I think it is only due to the members of the tribunal, as well as to everybody interested and concerned, that their recommendations should, as they say themselves, only be operated under the most auspicious conditions, and that we should wait for those auspicious conditions so that we can give them the consideration and the thought that is really necessary.

Both Deputy Kelly and Deputy Belton and, to a certain extent, the Minister, took this motion, I think, as being one which aimed at getting all the recommendations in the report of the tribunal implemented. The motion says nothing of the sort. What it does say is that the Government should make up their minds and tell the people what they propose to do. Innumerable cases have arisen— frequently in sundry matters that came before the corporation—in which absence of knowledge of the Government's intentions with regard to this report did act as a hindrance. There can be no question about that.

The Minister seems very anxious that auspicious conditions should obtain before the Government make up their mind. I do not know whether he is sufficiently optimistic to think that there ever will be auspicious conditions before it is necessary to appoint another tribunal to report. I feel sure that, by the time such auspicious conditions have arrived, the general conditions would be so different from what they are to-day that the report would be out of date. Anyway, apart from that, the Minister demands auspicious conditions to enable the Government to implement the report. He is, however, implementing, or nearly so, certain portions of the report which, to my mind, make things in some ways much more difficult than they were. For instance, there is the position of one man having different advisers, different officials and different councils to deal with. What is going to happen if he gets opposite advice tendered by two bodies? It will, presumably, be for him to solve that problem, and to decide which is which. If the recommendation of a single advisory body, and of a single man, had been adopted, then there would have been at least a certain amount of consistency about his actions.

The Minister dealt with the question of town planning on the lines on which I thought he would. The attitude of the Dublin Corporation, very largely, has been that they do not wish to use the powers which they have to take over duties from the other bodies. I do not know whether the Minister could conceive what Deputy Belton, as a county councillor, would say to Deputy Belton, as a city councillor, if a motion were before the city council to take over the county council's town planning powers. I do not know that the Minister has advanced any sound reason as to why the decisions of the Government on these recommendations should not be made known. I think it is quite possible for them to make known their decisions without proceeding to implement them. I think the very fact that local authorities knew what it was intended to do eventually would assist them in planning their schemes now towards that end.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.