asked the Minister for Local Government and Public Health whether he is aware that an agreement was arrived at between the county manager and the members of the Laoighis County Council and the union representing the road workers employed by the body mentioned to increase the weekly wage by 5/- per week, and if he will state the reason for refusing to sanction payment of the amount agreed to or to sanction payment of the reduced amount from the date of the agreement.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Laoighis Road Workers' Wages.
Yes, but I saw no reason why the increase should be higher than the increase allowed to agricultural workers, viz, 4/- a week as from the 7th February last.
Would the Minister answer the last part of the question?
I think I have answered it. I said that I saw no reason why the increase should be higher than the increase allowed to agricultural workers, that is to say, 4/- a week as from the 7th February last.
Will the Minister indicate what is the proportionate increase in the wages of agricultural workers from pre-war days—from, say, 1939 to the present day—and the proportionate increase given to road workers?
That is an entirely separate question.
I submit, Sir, that the Minister in his reply has compared the increase given to road workers with the increase given to agricultural labourers. I asked him if he is now in a position to state what is the proportionate increase given to agricultural labourers since the beginning of this war or the beginning of the emergency and the increase given to road workers.
Again I say that that is a question of which I should be given notice. I might say that I am surprised that Deputies who used to contend that the agricultural labourer was the most underpaid employee in the country should now be suggesting that some other better-off persons should enjoy the same relative increases.
From what the Minister has just said it is obvious that he is merely trying to explain away the fact that he is completely ignorant of the increases granted to agricultural labourers since the beginning of this emergency. The Minister, in his reply to the question on the Paper, compared the increase given to agricultural labourers with the increase given to road workers. I am asking the Minister, arising out of that specific question, whether he will state for the information of the House the increases over pre-war rates granted to agricultural workers and road workers respectively?
It blows sky-high the allegations that county councils are supreme in finance.
Deputy Davin rose.
Question No. 10.
In view of your refusal to allow a reasonable number of supplementary questions, I give notice that I will raise this matter on the adjournment.
According to Standing Orders, the Ceann Comhairle is the sole judge as to the number of supplementary question and their relevancy.
The Minister could not answer the supplementary question. He made a speech when he had no information to supply.
He was allowed to deal with matters which were not in the question.
The Deputy may not make indirect allegations against the Chair.
I was listening to him.
Whatever the Deputy may have heard, he may not make charges against the Chair.