Committee on Finance. - Vote on Account, 1945-46.

I have received notice from the different Parties as to the matters to be discussed on this Vote on Account as follows:—Fine Gael: The economic situation and Government plans for dealing with it; Clann na Talmhan: Post-war agriculture; and Labour: (1) Planning for post-war reconstruction; (2) reorganisation of the social services with a view to promoting social security, and (3) recasting of the system of taxation and local rating so as to promote social justice. In my opinion the last-mentioned is definitely a matter relating to taxation, which is not for discussion on this Vote— administration and expenditure being the subjects for discussion I think it must be deferred to the Budget debate.

Tairgim:—

Go ndeontar suim nach mó ná £16,196,000 i gcuntas chun nó mar chabhair chun íochta na Muirear a thiocfas chun bheith iníoctha i rith na bliana dar críoch an 31ú lá de Mhárta, 1946, i gcóir seirbhísí poiblí áirithe, eadhon:—

£

£

1 Teaghlachas an Uachtaráin

1,500

1 President's Establishment

1,500

2 Tithe an Oireachtais

43,100

2 Houses of the Oireachtas

43,100

3 Roinn an Taoisigh

5,700

3 Department of the Taoiseach

5,700

4 An tArd-Reachtaire Cuntas agus Ciste

7,690

4 Comptroller and Auditor General

7,690

5 Oifig an Aire Airgeadais

28,000

5 Office of the Minister for Finance

28,000

6 Oifig na gCoimisinéirí Ioncaim

366,000

6 Office of the Revenue Commissioners

366,000

7 Pinsin Sean-Aoise

1,270,000

7 Old Age Pensions

1,270,000

8 Bainistí Stoc Rialtais

22,400

8 Management of Government Stocks

22,400

9 Oifig na nOibreacha Poiblí

51,000

9 Office of Public Works

51,000

10 Oibreacha agus Foirgintí Poiblí

278,000

10 Public Works and Buildings

278,000

11 Longlann Inis Sionnach

1,000

11 Haulbowline Dockyard

1,000

12 Saotharlann Stáit

4,000

12 State Laboratory

4,000

13 Coimisiún na Stát-Sheirbhíse

9,100

13 Civil Service Commission

9,100

14 Bord Cuartaíochta na hEireann

6,000

14 Irish Tourist Board

6,000

15 Coimisiúin agus Fiosrúcháin— Speisialta

1,500

15 Commissioners and Special Inquiries

1,500

16 Aoisliúntais agus Liúntais Fágála

215,000

16 Superannuation and Retired Allowances

215,000

17 Rátaí ar Mhaoin Rialtais

54,000

17 Rates on Government Property

54,000

18 An tSeirbhís Seicréideach

6,700

18 Secret Service

6,700

19 Costais fán Acht Timpeal Toghachán, agus fá Acht na nGiúirthe

Nil

19 Expenses under the Electoral Act and the Juries Act

Nil

20 Costais Ilghnéitheacha

2,250

20 Miscellaneous Expenses

2,250

21 Páipéarachas agus Clódóireacht

67,000

21 Stationary and Printing

67,000

22 Measadóireacht agus Suirbhéireacht Teorann

12,950

22 Valuation and Boundary Survey

12,950

23 Suirbhéireacht an Ordonáis

13,000

23 Ordance Survey

13,000

24 Deontais Bhreise Talmhaíochta

450,000

24 Supplementary Agricultural Grants

450,000

25 Dlí-Mhuirearacha

30,000

25 Law Charges

30,000

26 Ollscoileanna agus Coláistí

77,500

26 Universities and Colleges

77,500

27 Pinsin do Bhaintreacha agus do Dhílleachtaithe

84,000

27 Widows' and Orphans' Pensions

84,000

28 Institiúid Ard-Léinn Bhaile Atha Cliath

6,700

28 Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies

6,700

29 Talmhaíocht

328,000

29 Agriculture

328,000

30 Cúnta Airgid alos Tortha Talmhaíochta

275,000

30 Agricultural Produce Subsidies

275,000

31 Iascach

5,800

31 Fisheries

5,800

32 Oifig an Aire Dlí agus Cirt

17,800

32 Office of the Minister for Justice

17,800

33 An Gárda Síochána

825,400

33 Gárda Síochánaá

825,400

34 Príosúin

40,000

34 Prisons

40,000

35 An Chúirt Dúiche

16,800

35 District Court

16,800

36 An Chúirt Chuarda

22,400

36 Circuit Court

22,400

37 An Chúirt Uachtarach agus an Ard-Chúirt Bhreithiúnais

20,250

37 Supreme Court and High Court of Justice

20,250

38 Clárlann na Talún agus Cláirlann na nDintiúirí

18,750

38 Land Registry and Registry of Deeds

18,750

39 Oifig na nAnnálacha Poiblí

1,970

39 Public Record Office

1,970

40 Tabhartais agus Tiomanta Déirciúla

1,260

40 Charitable Donations and Bequests

1,260

41 Rialtais Aitiúil agus Sláinte Poiblí

632,000

41 Local Government and Public Health

632,000

42 Oifig an Ard-Chlárathóra

5,270

42 General Register Office

5,270

43 Gealtlann Dúndroma

8,000

43 Dundrum Asylum

8,000

44 Arachas Sláinte Náisiúnta

177,000

44 National Health Insurance

177,000

45 Oifig an Aire Oideachais

76,200

45 Office of the Minister for Education

76,200

46 Bun-Oideachas

1,550,000

46 Primary Education

1,550,000

47 Meán-Oideachas

201,000

47 Secondary Education

201,000

48 Ceard-Oideachas

138,500

48 Secondary Education

201,000

49 Eolaíocht agus Ealaí

22,300

49 Science and Art

22,300

50 Scoileanna Ceartúcháin agus Scoileanna Saothair

67,000

50 Reformatory and Industrial Schools

67,000

51 An Gaileirí Náisiúnta

2,370

51 National Gallery

2,370

52 Tailte

605,300

52 Lands

605,300

53 Foraoiseacht

58,000

53 Forestry

58,000

54 Seirbhísí na Gaeltachta

10,000

54 Gaeltacht Services

10,000

55 Tionnscal agus Tráchtáil

109,000

55 Industry and Commerce

109,000

56 Seirbhísí Iompair agus Meteoraíochta

253,000

56 Transport and Meteorological Services

253,000

57 Liúntais Leanbhai

743,500

57 Children's Allowances

743,500

58 Muir-Sheirbhís

10,740

58 Marine Service

10,740

59 Arachas Díomhaointis agus Cúnamh Díomhaointis

311,000

59 Unemployment Insurance and Unemployment Assistance

311,000

60 Oifig Chlárathachta Mhaoine Tionnscail agus Tráchtála

4,700

60 Industrial and Commercial Property Registration Office

4,700

61 Poist agus Telegrafa

1,117,000

61 Posts and Telegraphs

1,117,000

62 Fóirleatha Neamh-shreangach

28,600

62 Wireless Broadcasting

28,600

63 An tArm

2,733,000

63 Army

2,733,000

64 Arm-Phinsin

226,000

64 Army Pensions

226,000

65 Gnóthaí Eachtracha

40,000

65 External Affairs

40,000

66 Cumann na Náisiún

Nil

66 League of Nations

Nil

67 Scéimeanna Fostaíochta agus Scéimeanta Eigeandála

400,000

67 Employment and Emergency Schemes

400,000

68 Soláthairti

1,780,000

68 Supplies

1,780,000

69 Liúntais Bhídh

194,000

69 Food Allowances

194,000

70 Cúiteamh i nDíobháil do Mhaoin (Neodracht)

3,500

70 Damage to Property (Neutrality) Compensation

3,500

71 Cúiteamh alos Díobhála Pearsanta (Síbhialtaigh)

1,500

71 Personal Injuries (Civilians) Compensation

1,500

AN TIOMLAN

£16,196,000

TOTAL

£16,196,000

Is é an cuspóir atá leis an Vóta i gCuntas so, mar is eol do Theachtaí cheana, is dócha, ná airgead a chúr ar fáil chun na seirbhísí poiblí a choinneáil ar siúl le linn do na meastacháin do na seirbhísí ar leith á bheith á bplé go mion ag an Dáil. Tógann sé, go hiondual, an chuid is mó de na céad cheithre míosa den bhliain airgeadais chun na Meastacháin a chríochnú agus an tAcht Leithreasa a rith. Mar sin, is gá an méid airgid atá riachtanach chun íoc as na seirbhísí poiblí ar feadh na mí Abrán, Bealtaine, Meitheamh agus Iúl a sholáthar tríd an Vóta i gCuntas so.

Tá £16,196,000 ag teastáil agus tá an tsuim seo comhdhéanta mar atá leagtha amach ar an bPáipéar Bán a chuir mé timpeall agus ar Chlár na hOibre. I gcoitinne, iarrtar tuairim is trian den Mheastachán iomlán glan le haghaidh na bliana do gach Vóta. Is é an t-iomlán atá uainn le haghaidh Seirbhísí Soláthair na bliana airgeadais seo romhainn ná £47,166,033, suim atá £1,035,344, níos mó ná an t-iomlán a soláthráodh, agus na Meastacháin Bhreise agus nua d'áireamh, don bhliain seo. Ba é méid an tsoláthair sin ná £46,130,689.

Is iad na fáthanna is mó atá leis an méadú so ar chostas na seirbhísí poiblí ná (1) soláthar breise de £1,223,935 do sholáthairtí le haghaidh cúnaimh airgid chun luach bídh agus ábhar teine a choinneáil gan ardú; (2) soláthar breise de bheagnach £700,000 do liúntais leanbhaí; agus (3) soláthar breise de £560,000 ag éirí as méaduithe ar bhónas, idir bhónas costais maireachtála agus bhónas éigeandála, a híoctar le Státsheirbhísigh.

A Vote on Account is necessary, as Deputies are no doubt aware, to enable the various public services to be carried on while the individual Estimates for the Supply Services are being discussed in detail. The greater part of the first four months of each financial year has usually elapsed before the consideration of the Estimates is completed and the Appropriation Act enacted. Sufficient moneys to enable the various public services to be carried on up to the 31st July next have, therefore, to be provided by way of this Vote on Account. The various items comprising the Vote on Account of £16,196,000 are set out on the Order Paper and in the White Paper which has been circulated. In most cases, approximately one-third of the total net Estimate for the year is required.

The total net sum required for the Supply Services for the coming financial year is £47,166,033, representing an increase of £1,035,344 on the net provision of £46,130,689 for the current year. This latter sum includes all Supplementary and additional Estimates passed during 1944/45. The original net provision for the current financial year was £44,982,644, and as compared with this figure, the 1945/46 provision has increased by £2,183,389. This increase of over £2,000,000 over the original Estimates for 1944/45 is mainly due to the following factors: (1) an increase of £1,223,935 in the Estimate for Supplies, due mainly to increased food and fuel subsidies; (2) an increase of £681,644 in the Estimate for Children's Allowance, owing to provision being made for a whole year as against only part of the current year, and (3) an increase arising from the grant of increased emergency bonus and bonus at 110 which combined account, so far as payments to civil servants are concerned, for £560,000 approximately.

These increases are off-set to some extent by minor reductions and deductions on other Votes—by a reduction of £420,000 in the provision for the Army and by reduced provision in the Vote for Agriculture for fertilisers subsidies arising out of an anticipated reduction of supplies.

The usual explanatory details of the Army Estimates have again been omitted from the Estimates Volume as it would not be in the public interest to publish them. As compared with the current year's Estimates, including Supplementaries, there are increases on 49 Estimates, decreases on 17, while five show no change. The Estimates for the Emergency Scientific Research Bureau and the Railway Tribunal have disappeared. The total of increases on the various Votes amounts to £2,285,805, while the total of the decreases is £1,250,461.

I propose to refer to some of the principal differences in the Votes as compared with those in the 1944-45 Book of Estimates. The first which appears is the Estimate for the Revenue Commissioners which shows an increase of £106,710. Higher bonus and emergency bonus account for practically all of the increase. On Vote 16—Superannuation and Retired Allowances—there is an increase of £54,020, due to the extent of £6,000, approximately, to the recent decision to allow the application of a bonus figure of 110 to pensions granted on retirements since 1st July, 1940, with effect as from 1st January, 1945. The balance is due to an estimated increase in the number of pensions and gratuities payable.

Vote 27—Widows' and Orphans' Pensions—shows a decrease of £200,000 due to a reduction in the State contribution to the Widows' and Orphans' Pensions Fund consequent on an actuarial report that the annual statutory contributions had been in excess of the actuarial requirements necessary to maintain the present rates of pensions. Vote 29—Agriculture—shows a decrease of £282,605. This decrease is due almost entirely to a decrease of £335,361 on sub-head G (3)—Fertilisers Subsidies—offset to some extent by certain increases, the principal being sub-head A, £28,787, mostly bonus increase; E (2)—Veterinary Research— £8,065, due mostly to the acquisition of lands for a new Institute; F (2)— Grants to Private Agricultural Schools —£12,133, due, to the extent of £10,000 approximately, to refund of capital expenditure on Copsewood College; G (1)—Improvement of Milk Production—£7,103 (mostly in respect of supervisor staff); H—Grants to County Committees of Agriculture, £5,290 (pro rata with increase of local rates of contribution); M (9)—Farm Improvements Schemes—£5,652 (staff charges), and O (10)—Compulsory Tillage Operations—£9,323 (staff charges).

Vote 30—Agricultural Produce Subsidies—decrease, £45,000. The reduction is due mainly to the decreased provision for cold storage and other allowances. Vote 33—Gárda Síochána —increase, £149,056. This increase is due almost entirely to increases in the rates of pay of the force.

Vote 46—Primary Education—Increase, £93,694. This increase is due almost entirely to teachers' salaries— (sub-head C (1)—and is occasioned to the extent of £28,000 approximately by increased emergency bonus and to the extent of £62,000 approximately by the introduction of bimonthly payment of teachers. The latter is, however, fictitious and nonrecurrent as it merely provides for the payment in mid-March, 1946, of half that month's salary bill which would otherwise have fallen to be paid in the next financial year under the monthly system of payment. Vote 47—Secondary Education—increase, £35,460. The increase is due mainly to the following factors: (1) Increases in the numbers of pupils, teachers and schools qualifying for the various types of grants provided for in the Estimate. (2) A partial restoration of cuts imposed in 1939 on certain grants (capitation and laboratory grants). Vote No. 48—Technical Instruction— increase, £51,728. Vote No. 49— Science and Art—increase, £12,229. Vote No. 52—Lands—increase, £52,475. Vote No. 53—Forestry—increase, £93,061. Sub-head C (1) (Acquisition of Land) and C (2) (Cultural Operations) combined with the falling off in item 1 of Appropriations-in-Aid (Large Sales of Timber) account for practically the whole of this increase. Vote No. 56—Transport and Meteorological services—increase, £140,574. Apart from sundry smaller increases, the main increases here can be regarded as falling under the head of Civil Airports and might be classified under (1) Staff (both personnel and bonus—sub-heads B (1) and E (1), and (2) Capital Works—sub-heads B (5) and B (3). Certain staff and other charges hitherto provided under Vote 9 (Office of Public Works) and Vote 10 (Public Works and Buildings) have been transferred to this Vote.

I have already referred to Vote No. 57—Children's Allowances. The increase of £681,644 is due to the fact that provision is being made for a whole year as against only part of the current year. Vote No. 59—Unemployment Insurance and Unemployment Assistance—decrease, £102,195. A downward trend in numbers qualifying for unemployment assistance combined with the partial deletion of provision hitherto made for contingencies account for this decrease. Vote No. 61—Posts and Telegraphs—increase, £160,470. Higher bonus and emergency bonus account for practically the whole of this increase. Vote No. 63—Army—decrease, £420,420. While this Estimate shows a decrease, estimation is necessarily conjectural. Vote No. 64—Army Pensions—increase, £37,000. Vote No. 68 —Supplies—increase, £431,935. Food Subsidies (sub-head F) and Fuel Subsidy (sub-head G) account almost entirely for this increase.

In discussing the Vote on Account to-day most Deputies are, no doubt, conscious of the fact that we are opening our financial discussions at a very important point in our history. The facts that will be brought before us, and the manner in which they will be reviewed between now and the time that we are finished with the Budget, will probably mean a big lot in our social, economic and, perhaps, political history. We may hope that the military struggle in Europe will be finished by, say, the end of this year, please God. We will be then facing a new world relieved of the pressure of war as far as Europe and our immediate neighbour is concerned. In that post-war period we will be free to bring all our efforts and intelligence to bear on our social and economic problems here. So far as our political relations with other peoples, and our methods of dealing with them, are concerned, we will no longer suffer the strain of having to deal with outside people in a world labouring under the difficulties of war. What we will be more particularly concerned with in this Parliament during the next few months is, how we are going to approach the discussion of our economic and financial problems.

After the war broke out, and after the Army Reserve had been mobilised without reference to the other Parties in the House, we had occasion, as I said here before, to make representations to the Government on that subject: to represent particularly to them that the economic situation was the one that we, at that time particularly, feared would create difficulties for us here. We urged the Government to set up a detached body that would keep our economic situation under review, that would watch the trend of things in this country and outside of it and that would keep the Government fully informed—by experts, trained people, such as were no doubt available—of how these trends were likely to affect us here. We urged that so that the Government might leave nothing undone, as year followed year during the emergency, to be prepared to deal with any economic situation that might arise and to take advantage of the fortunate position that we might be in after the war to go ahead quickly with our economic improvements. We were particularly influenced in that not only by our general review of the situation at that time but from our experience of the five years that had passed before.

During the five years that preceded the outbreak of war 48,000 male employees in agriculture in this country had vanished off our Irish fields. Male employment in agriculture had fallen during the five years before war broke out by 48,000 men. We had a smaller acreage under corn and root crops in 1939 than we had in 1934. Our total crops of all kinds were down, too. During those five years the taxation of the country had increased by something like £2,000,000, while the rates had gone up by about £1,600,000. Generally, you had a fall in agricultural employment and in our total acreage under crops, with a rise in rates and taxation, so that the annual increment in the general employment situation had been completely wiped out. We were concerned that, starting off from a rather weak position economically, we were getting into rather difficult circumstances, and we thought they should be kept fully under review. The Government explained to us at that time that it was not necessary to have a special machinery for that, that they had all the equipment necessary for it. Now we find ourselves coming towards the end of the war and, naturally, having suffered economically as a result of the war, looking forward with hope and with a certain amount of faith, to what exactly is going to happen to us and to some of our economic problems. In so far as we look to the Government for information bearing on those problems and for suggestions as to how they propose to approach them, the more we get from the Government, the more our hope weakens. With Parliament at our disposal, with the whole machinery of Government in our hands, it ought not to be necessary for us to face to-morrow without a fairly systematic and simple review of what our problems are, or without information as to whether they are big or small.

It is impossible not to reflect on the position at this phase of the last war. The manhood of this country was under the threat of conscription at the beginning of the last year of the last war. The unity of the country, the vigour, courage, faith and power of co-operation displayed by every class enabled us not only to overcome the difficulties of the year 1918 but to overcome another four years of very serious difficulties so successfully that we find ourselves to-day, in the spring of the last year of the present war, completely master of our own situation, in regard to ascertaining the facts of the situation and placing these facts before an Irish Parliament and discussing them fully here.

There is no reason why the facts of the present situation should not be put before us clearly, why we should not have free and frank discussion on them and why everybody should not accept that these matters were being discussed by men of goodwill, interested in their country and prepared to do everything in their power to get clear as to what the facts are and as to what the best solution of our difficulties is. But the more we see of publications from the Government, the less faith we have in the situation. We are entitled to feel a little distrustful of the present situation being handled by a Government that was dealing with the last five years before war broke out and under whose régime the position that I mention came about. But, at any rate, the Government are there and they have no political difficulty in this House. They have a complete majority in the House and they can be perfectly open and perfectly frank in putting any matters before us, indicating what their mind is on these problems and allowing us to discuss them in the fullest possible way, knowing that, when the discussions are over, if they find that they cannot accept any of the suggestions or cannot mend their hand as a result of any of the criticisms here, they have the political power in this House to go and do whatever they want to do. Therefore, there is no reason at all why we should not have the fullest possible discussion.

The Report of the Inquiry into the Housing of the Working-classes of the City of Dublin not only indicates the serious position of a large part of the working population in the city, but suggests, to me at any rate, the hopelessness of thinking that the Government are capable of dealing with that situation. It has already been pointed out here that this report, both in the body and in the appendices, contains a very simple summary of the poverty under which some of the people in the city exist. The report points out that after the conditions of 10,000 families who were looking for corporation houses were examined, it was found that, eliminating 1,000, because they were one-person families, 30 per cent. of 9,000 odd families, when they were allowed £1 a week to maintain the first two persons and 5/- a week to maintain each additional child, had nothing left of their income to pay for rent, not to talk of any other amenity outside what is called essential subsistence. In regard to "essential subsistence" the report says, in paragraph 151:—

"We have taken an average of the minimum and maximum incomes given for each category. In taking 20/- for the first two members and 5/- each for the other members of the family, as the minimum required for essential subsistence, we have deliberately taken the lowest figure which we have seen put forward for this purpose. We have done this in order to show we are not straining the evidence and we do not wish to be taken as suggesting that this figure is a fair one."

In 1936, after examination of workers' incomes, and conditions in York, a subsistence level was fixed by Mr. Rowntree, I think he fixed 43/6 as the minimum subsistence income required for a family comprising five persons, that is, the parents and three children. On the basis taken by the inquiry into housing in Dublin, the minimum would be 35/-. So that it is quite true that they have been very conservative in fixing the figure for essential subsistence. We are told that 30 per cent, after keeping body and soul together, had not a ½d. to pay for rent, not to talk of anything else.

That was the condition of 2,794 families. In the case of 675 families, they had 5/- over out of which they could pay for rent. In the case of 788, they had 10/- over. That gives a picture of the poverty that exists amongst certain sections of the community that are looking for houses. When the committee reported on their general proposal with regard to housing, they concluded by giving an estimate as to the cost of providing the houses that were required in the city. In paragraph 652 they say:—

"We assume the adoption of a building programme of 2,300 dwellings per annum for 20 years, on capital at 3 per cent. for a 60-year repayment period, and we estimate the financial effects to be as under."

That is, that this committee, shall I say, of experts, who reported on the housing position in this city and gave suggestions as to how it should be dealt with in future, suggested that 2,300 houses were required to be built every year over 20 years and they assume that we would be able to get money at the rate of 3 per cent. over a 60-year repayment period. It seems to me that they were driven to make a proposal like that by reason of their appreciation of what rents meant to the working population of the City of Dublin. But their very assumption, which we may read as a kind of suggested proposal, shows how bankrupt we are of any hope that that suggestion can be dealt with by the present approach to it.

I think it has been the practice in financing housing schemes under local government regulations to borrow money for 35 years and to repay it by any fixed annuity. If you borrow the money required for these 2,300 dwellings per annum for 20 years at 3 per cent. over a period of 60 years, how much will it cost in interest charges more than if that money were borrowed for 35 years? It will cost over £16,000,000 additional in the payment of interest charges to carry out the housing programme that is considered there if you take a 60 years' repayment period instead of the 35 years which has been traditional with the Department of Local Government in the past. As I say, it is an index of the poverty position, the wages position, and the difficult position in which workers are from the point of view of paying rent at present and the sense of oppression of interest charges in the cost of housing. But to think that we can approach our problem to-day by burdening the people who will be living in 40, 50, 60 and 70 years' time with additional interest charges over and above what the 35 year period would require to the extent of £16,000,000 or more shows complete bankruptcy on the part of the Government in approaching one of the problems that they no doubt, as well as we, consider a vital problem, namely, the provision of housing at reasonable rents that the workers can pay and the handling of our finances in such a way as to provide these houses.

Then we have had a couple of reports from the Committee of Inquiry Into Post-emergency Agricultural Policy, and I think that nothing in these reports suggests to us that the situation is being dealt with in any kind of progressive way. One of the remarkable things about the information given on page 4 of the report on the cattle dairying industries is that, in the year 1929-30, our total exports were £48,180,000, of which £31,935,000 were agricultural exports so that something like £17,000,000 worth of our exports at that particular time were non-agricultural exports. By the year 1938-39, that £17,000,000 of non-agricultural exports had been reduced to £4,000,000 worth. In the proposals suggested, and they are very few, there is a suggestion or promise that the matter will be dealt with at greater length and in greater detail in subsequent reports.

Now we are in March, 1945, and we have not any suggestions worth calling suggestions that would indicate how the Government intend to help the agricultural industry to increase production. That is the real problem which we have to face here because, while we all want to deal with the general conditions of those classes in the country who are below subsistence level and have no definite prospect of being able to find employment for some time, and while we are concerned with the increasing of our social services and the increase in general of the standard of living of our people and their feeling of security in that standard of living, these can only be provided out of increased production established in a stable way.

What we are particularly insistent must emerge out of the financial discussions on the Estimates and other matters that will be reviewed by us during the financial period this year is in what way our Government are going to help additional production or going to allow the producers of this country to get down to their problem and to give us additional production. That applies to agriculture and it applies to industry. On the agricultural side we want to know how the dairy farmers are going either to be helped to increase or allowed to increase their production of milk and butter. What additional production can we expect in the cattle industry? We had a situation at the Ballsbridge Show a couple of weeks ago where pedigree bulls of first quality went to Dublin butchers in large quantities and at prices lower than those obtained in the cattle market that week. If that is an indication as to what is before the cattle industry, we want to know what the Government interpretation of it is. We want to know what prospect there is of increased production of cattle. That also applies to bacon and pigs, eggs and poultry, and to our dead meat industry. These are primary ways in which we can have additional production and in which we should be able to hope for additional production. We want to know what the Government plans are and in what way we can help to perfect these plans. If the Government has any plans, the producers, who are the only people who can increase production and give us better social services and relieve poverty, should know how they stand to-day. Just as the individual farmer is the man who increases production, given the opportunity and the help to do so, so on our manufacturing side our manufacturers want to know the Government's policy regarding them. They want to know if the Government has plans of any kind, or intends to do anything to open up opportunities of any kind, to increase manufacture here for consumption at home or to bring back our export figure in non-agricultural produce to the £17,000,000 figure at which it stood in 1929 or 1930.

It is not unreasonable to ask that these matters be put fully and frankly before us here. Wherever we turn in the world, we see people energetically planning, through their associations, organisations and Parliaments, to deal urgently and quickly with the various aspects of their people's lives. They are doing that especially in regard to what is now accepted as meaning so much in the well-being of various peoples, that is, their mutual trade. The Swedish Government has just completed a financial and commercial agreement with Great Britain. They have been in the fortunate position that, for political reasons of one kind or another, their large exports to Great Britain during the war have been paid for in gold. They have now agreed that that can be discontinued and they are prepared to accept sterling credit in respect of the very large quantities of timber, iron and other materials they propose to export to Great Britain. There is a definite financial and a definite commercial agreement there.

Although our economy is much more closely linked with Great Britain and, from the point of view of our people, much more vitally linked with Great Britain in trade matters, we do not know what our trading policy with Great Britain is likely to be, even during the current year. If Sweden can settle its trading policy with Great Britain to-day, why cannot we do so? If we are making any approach and settling anything, our manufacturers and agriculturists should certainly know it to-day, so that they may prepare to take the fullest possible advantage of it. Various people in Great Britain have indicated that this country is the nearest and, in immediate circumstances, perhaps the only country out of which they can hope to get certain supplies of vital foodstuffs to-day. However, the only commodity in which an export market seems to be exhorted by the Government is eggs, but even when the people are urged to produce more eggs for export and are coaxed by being told that the more they produce the higher the price will be, they are not told what the market is for which they are expected to produce the eggs. In our trading policy and in our plans for trading, it is time we were realistic, outspoken and frank. We should be able to discuss the goods in respect of which we hope to develop and increase opportunities for export to Great Britain.

As the next couple of years pass it will be realised more and more that our hope of the industrial development or economic improvement of our people depends upon our capacity to increase the production of those agricultural goods for which we cannot find a market in Great Britain. We are concerned from time to time as to whether we cannot get any money other than sterling with which to make our purchases. One of the effects of the economic war was the crippling of our capacity to get any other kind of money but sterling. Before the economic war affected the trading relations between here and Great Britain we were exporting to Great Britain annually in domestic produce £7,000,000 more in value than Great Britain was exporting to us of her domestic produce. In our trading in goods alone at that particular time we had a yearly amount of £7,000,000 sterling which we were able to exchange for other moneys when we wanted to make purchases in dollars or other currencies. The economic war wiped that out completely. The attitude adopted to trading with Great Britain now seems to be that of being grateful for some kind of £ to £ arrangement. Until we can increase the value of our production here for export we will not make ourselves independent of Great Britain, nor will we solve the problems under which we labour here in not having any great natural resources.

The war has indicated to us that we require a very considerable amount of goods of various kinds and they must be paid for. In the interest of the general well-being of our people, we must organise vigorously and actively to obtain efficiency in production and so take our place in the export market.

I asked the Minister to-day whether any estimate has been made as to the amount of money which would be available for construction purposes here in industry and agriculture and for general social amenities, such as housing or schools. The Minister glossed over the situation by saying that it was quite impossible to make any kind of estimate, that it would only be misleading. The fact is that we have and can get get all the money we require to do any work we require to do in this country, to employ the men and women we have and the resources we have.

We have some leeway of mind to make up in that matter. We exported a couple of hundred thousand of our people to Great Britain during the war and we also sent out, through our banking system alone, about £67,000,000, to be invested in British Government securities. During this war, therefore, we sent over a couple of hundred thousand of our people and also £67,000,000 to support British War Loans. Some attempt might have been made to utilise all that at home here to keep our people working. Our experience of the fact that that has happened should quicken our minds and make us discuss the particular problems and difficulties which make it impossible for us to use our financial resources to put our people working at home instead of sending them to other countries.

Whatever may be the advisability of the Australian Government approaching its banking policy in the way it proposes to approach it, we must take cognisance of the spirit in which they are approaching it. In dealing with the new Banking Bill, which proposes to take a larger amount of control over Australian banking, the policy the Australian Government has in mind has been briefly and clearly outlined. It is there stated that increased interest has always been associated with increased unemployment and that, therefore, interest rates have to be controlled. We have not yet had any indication from the Government as to what their attitude is towards interest rates, particularly interest rates for Government or local authority loans. I hope, when we come to deal with the Central Fund Bill, the Minister will be able to tell us something about it.

At the present moment our money is backed by about £22,000,000 worth of British securities that are the property of our Central Bank. The average earning for the past 12 months on these securities is about 1.56 or 1.58 per cent. That, I think, would suggest to us what the average earnings of our commercial banks are on the British Government securities that they hold. The banks in this country increased their deposits, between October, 1939, and December, 1944, by £74,000,000. That amount has been added to their liabilities in respect of Irish depositors, but the assets that we hold against that include about £67,000,000 in Great Britain. I suggest that these assets of the Irish banks are earning money at about 1½ per cent. That is a matter we ought to know something about. It may or may not have a bearing. If it has, we ought to know what the bearing is on the rate at which the Irish banks should lend money to the Irish Government, if they are called upon to do so.

The policy of the Australian Government is that they must control interest rates, because when interest rates are high there is unemployment. As regards their economic condition, looking back, they declared that in the depression of 1929-1933 the Commonwealth Bank and the Australian banking system should have been able to do more to mitigate the difficulties and distresses that fell on the Australian people during these years. The new Bill was to be directed to the stability of currency, the maintenance of full employment and the economic prosperity and welfare of the people of Australia.

The Swedes are using a trade policy with Great Britain; the Australians are using a financial policy; the Americans are using an export and investment policy. There is no country in the world that we cannot turn to and learn something from as to the pattern upon which various people are facing their problems. Our policy is increased agricultural and industrial production as the first and most important step in solving any of the problems that confront us. It is probably three years since we tried to discuss these matters, opening on the Vote on Account and continuing the discussion through the Budget. We discussed the spirit in which people in various parts of the world were approaching the new world. Those people are saying to themselves that if they had realised how easy it was to face serious problems, how easy it was to organise themselves and face difficulties and use their finances and their energies in order to overcome these difficulties in days of peace, they might have been able to avoid the war. They are declaring to themselves that, having seen how easy it is in war, they are not going to allow the problems of peace to overcome them in the future and they will not be found lazy in facing them. The various peoples of the world have found that their administrators, their organisers of industry, their bankers, could not organise and build to meet war, but they will expect them to-morrow to be able to organise and build and work to give the people the same security, the same employment, in peace as they had in war.

What is affecting the ordinary rank and file of the people in other countries will affect our people here. When the first Parliament was set up here in January, 1919, we made our declaration there as to what we stood for and hoped to do for the people generally. We have failed in many ways to do these things, but when we look around us, I think we can say to ourselves that, thanks be to God, whatever our failures have been, our country has not been involved, even through our failures, in the shocking distresses and losses in which other countries have been involved. I suggest that we are in a better position more calmly and resolutely to learn from their mistakes and the appalling losses that have overcome them, and that we can exert ourselves and work just as well as they can and that we can hope, better than they can, to be able to face more resolutely the problems of peace.

I ask the Government, in the political strength they have in the House, to realise what this House is and what it was put up here for, and to put before the people, fully and freely, the facts of the situation. I ask them to tolerate our criticisms and representations in the spirit in which they are meant, and to accept us as people of goodwill, in whatever Party we are, people with a keen sense of responsibility to the country and a keen sense of what the difficulties are, but no less resolute in their faith and determination to do their best to pull together and discuss ways of solving difficulties. We have better opportunities of doing so than we had in the closing years of the last war. We were not then in the position that, happily, we are in to-day. We had not our own machinery of Government; we had not our own Parliament in which to meet and discuss things in an orderly way.

I think that the three Parties who have given notice of their intention to raise certain matters on this Vote should make their cases early in the discussion.

We gave notice to the Chair that we would raise the question of post-war planning for agriculture. There is a tendency, or there has been during the past few years, to talk a good deal about post-war planning. A few years ago, when the post-war period appeared to be in the fardistant future, talk about post-war planning was, to a great extent, a form of escape from the realities of the then grim present; but the post-war period to-day appears to be coming very close to hand. It may happen that, before the money which is being voted here to-day has been expended, we will find ourselves in the post-war period and we are entitled to know what plans the Government have in regard to agriculture, which is our most important fundamental industry.

A few weeks ago, this Party put down a motion in regard to future agricultural policy. The Minister told us that he was in entire sympathy with our proposals, but unfortunately he was afraid that it might not be possible to carry them out, and he gave us to understand that the bugbear was the Minister for Finance. Now that the Minister for Finance is here, I think the House would be interested to know what the bugbear has to say in regard to those plans. I agree with Deputy Mulcahy that the entire future of this State depends upon the extent to which we can develop both our agricultural and our industrial arms. We are at present spending more and still more on administration. We are presented to-day with a bill for a sum which is more than £1,000,000 greater than last year, a bill which has been stepped up rapidly during the past 15 years. In 1930, when the Minister was one of a virile and vigorous Opposition, the Estimate for Supply Services was somewhere in the region of £20,000,000, and to-day it is over £47,000,000. At that time, the Minister and his colleagues denounced the Government for the high rate of public spending and the heavy burden they were imposing on the people.

I believe that we can never hope to build up agriculture and industry unless we tackle this question of the cost of administration boldly and firmly. The Minister will ask: in what way can we reduce public expenditure? It is the Minister's duty to explain to us why it is that the rate of expenditure has continued to increase from year to year. All the money which is voted over and above what we spent in 1930 is not being devoted to such services as pensions for the aged and infirm or assistance for the poor and destitute. A very large percentage of the increase in national expenditure is represented by the cost of administration, and that is the danger which the nation has to face.

Not alone is there a danger in the fact that so great a proportion of our national income is being diverted to unproductive services, but there is a danger inherent in the fact that so large a percentage of our people are now being employed at work which adds nothing to the national wealth. The community must, and can only, live out of the wealth produced by the community, that is, the consumable goods which the people produce, and this expenditure of £47,000,000 odd adds very little to the sum total of industrial and agricultural production. It would be very difficult for the Minister to prove that even a tiny fraction of that expenditure was being directed to increasing production.

We of the Farmers' Party are particularly concerned about agriculture. We are particularly concerned about the position of the industry in the immediate post-war period. We remember how agricultural prices through after the last war. We remember how agricultural prices were depressed, how agricultural wages were depressed and how the volume of agricultural production was reduced because the farmer, deprived of the opportunity of earning money out of his industry, unable to make a profit, had no capital with which to expand and increase production. Thus, in the 20 years between the termination of the last war and the beginning of the present war, there was no increase whatever in the volume of agricultural production and practically no increase in efficiency in agriculture.

If agriculture is to be made sound and productive, two things are essential: first, the people engaged in the industry must have sufficient capital to enable them to increase and expand production and, secondly, they must have an assurance of reasonably remunerative prices. With regard to capital, it is only necessary to compare the capital invested in agriculture in Ireland with the capital invested in agriculture in progressive agricultural countries, such as Denmark, Poland and Belgium, to realise that in those countries the amount of capital invested in farm buildings, in agricultural implements and equipment of every kind is more than double the amount invested here.

The agricultural industry in Ireland has been starved for capital over a very long period. I could quote instances from my own personal knowledge to show how even progressive farmers have been deterred from investing more capital in their own farms because of the high rate of interest charged both by the banks and the Agricultural Credit Corporation for money advanced. I have known farmers who were contemplating erecting out-buildings, cow-houses or hay barns, whose first question is whether they can raise the money by loan, and who find, on investigating the loan charges of the Agricultural Credit Corporation, that the amount which they would be called on to repay would be almost double the amount borrowed. The ordinary practical farmer who is not inclined to throw money away is naturally slow to take advantage of credit facilities when he finds that he has to repay almost double the amount borrowed.

I believe the first step towards putting agriculture on its feet is to provide the Agricultural Credit Corporation, or some similar body, with money at a much lower rate than that at which they can obtain it at present. The Minister will say that the Agricultural Credit Corporation has no source from which it can obtain money to advance to farmers, except the open market and that they have to get it at whatever price is charged, but I do not agree for one moment that there is no alternative source open to the Agricultural Credit Corporation.

I believe that it is possible for this State to make money available at a nominal rate of interest for the development of agriculture. All the money raised, whether by the banking institutions or by the Central Bank, is raised on security of the State and on that security alone. There is nothing behind the money in circulation here except the security of the State. That is quite ample security, because I believe that this State will survive, no matter what tribulations befall us. The security which it gives to all money in circulation is, at least, as adequate as the security that was formerly given by the deposits of gold in the banks. Since it is on security of the State that all money is issued, there is no reason why the State should be compelled to pay interest to private individuals or to private institutions for the money it requires, either for direct development work carried out by the State or for the purpose of making advances to agriculture or to industry. I believe that is the first big question that must be tackled: the question of the State taking upon itself the power to raise money on its own security, free of the burden of interest charges, which crush and are crushing development work of all kinds, both in industry and in agriculture. We know what it costs the State under the present system of financial administration to carry out housing schemes. We know that the burden placed upon the taxpayers, and on the tenants of the houses provided, is more than double the actual cost of the houses so provided. We know that more than 50 per cent. of the cost of every building scheme is represented by the interest charged on the money raised. Therefore, if we are to develop agriculture, as we hope it will be developed, it is essential that the State should use its own powers of raising money for agricultural development and at the lowest possible cost and that, I believe, is simply the cost of book-keeping.

After credit for agriculture the next important question that we have to consider is that of an assurance to those engaged in agricultural production of remunerative prices, and a remunerative market. We know that the greater portion of our agricultural produce is consumed in the home market. I know that there are some people who doubt that statement. By taking a superficial view of our statistics they hold that the home market is not capable of consuming the greater portion of our agricultural produce. I think that if anyone will take the trouble of looking into our shipping statistics, and into the figures relating to the volume of output here, they will find that we are consuming more than three-fourths of our total agricultural output. Even in the prewar period the figures were somewhat similar, if we were to deduct from the value of our agricultural exports the value of agricultural imports. Therefore, the home market is the first consideration in regard to the development of agriculture. As far as the home market is concerned we can assure the agricultural producer of a reasonably remunerative price for produce. There may be, after the war, a demand for cheap food. It might be a popular demand. It would be a natural demand on the part of people not engaged in the production of food to get it as cheaply as possible. We know what havoc was done to Great Britain by successive Governments there yielding to the clamour for cheap imported food. We know that we may have a similar clamour here. However, if the public are educated to the true facts of the situation, they will realise that cheap food is really dear food, because if the consuming public are provided with cheap food at the expense of the agricultural industry: if the production of cheap food results in the agricultural industry being forced into bankruptcy and in agricultural production going down steadily, if it results in the workers being driven off the land, then that popular cheap food will react upon the urban population in many ways. It will react upon them, first of all, because an impoverished agricultural population cannot provide a market for the industrial products produced in urban areas.

If the rural community are impoverished, sooner or later the urban population will also be impoverished, because they will have no market for the products of their industries. In the same way an impoverished rural population will lead to the impoverishment of the commercial community, because, as we know, commerce exists mainly on the flow of trade from the rural areas to the cities and vice versa. Thus with the impoverishment of agriculture, we will have the entire economic structure brought into a condition of decay. Hence it is not a sound policy to advocate cheap food for the urban population. What the latter need and what they are entitled to demand, is agricultural produce at a reasonable price, based on the cost of production. The urban population have no right to expect, and I do not think will expect, to be provided with food at less than what it costs to produce. For some years prior to the outbreak of war there is no doubt whatever, that the consuming public did receive agricultural produce and food supplies at far less than the cost of production. But, was that of any service to the urban population or to the community generally? Did it not mean that the community were bankrupting the fundamental industry of the State? Therefore, it is hoped that in the post-war period the Minister will see to it that those engaged in food production will receive a reasonable reward for their labour. That is all that is asked.

In my opinion, the provision of reasonably economic prices for agricultural produce will benefit all sections of the community. It will ensure, first of all, a home market for our secondary industries. We who are engaged in agriculture are not in any way hostile to those engaged in industry. We recognise the industrialist as the farmer's brother. Just as the farmer produces food which the people require, the industrialist provides clothing, machinery and implements which the farmer requires. The danger which we see in the trend of Government policy up to the present is that too much money is being taken out of industrial and agricultural production and utilised in services, mainly State services, which add nothing to the real wealth of the nation. That tendency must end.

We must ensure that after the war there will not be the same wild scramble on the part of our young men and women to get into the Civil Service, to get into sheltered positions, to secure the pensions and various other gratuities which the State can provide. We hope it will be the ambition of the young people to get into agriculture and industry. We hope that boys and girls leaving the national and secondary schools will aim at getting employment on good progressive farms or in good progressive factories in this country. We hope that the ambitious young men leaving the university and the college will be seeking not easy Government jobs but highly technical positions in industry and agriculture. There is room both in agriculture and in industry for the best brains this country can produce. We know that in the present war Irish brains have been active in almost every nation in the world, in productive industries that have been established as a result of the war. Irish brains are directing the building of ships and the building of war machinery of every kind in all the great belligerent nations. As Irishmen can distinguish themselves to this extent in other nations, there is no reason why they cannot distinguish themselves in agriculture and industry here.

There is, I believe, a great future for both agriculture and industry in the post-war period, provided the State gives the right direction. If, however, the view is taken by the Government that the farmer in this country should be able to compete against any type of opposition that he may meet in the market to which we must export, even against produce dumped there and subsidised, perhaps, by the particular Government concerned, if the view is taken that the farmer is not entitled to any protection whatever but must fend for himself, as he had to do during the 20 years preceding the present war, then there is no future for agriculture.

The Minister may say: "If we are going to protect agriculture we may be bolstering up inefficiency". We often hear that argument. I do not believe that any Government should bolster up in efficiency. I think the farmer is entitled to a just price for his produce, which must be ascertained on the basis of costings taken out on the most efficient method of production. If the farmer's costings are based on efficient production and if prices are based on those costings, there will be no question whatever of bolstering up inefficiency. The farmer must be reasonably efficient in order to survive. What we fear is that agricultural prices may be depressed far below the cost of the most efficient production possible. That happened before and we are always faced with the danger of its happening again.

I had a very interesting experience a few days ago. A friend of mine told me that he was discussing the future of agricultural land values with a Dublin businessman. The Dublin businessman expressed the opinion that agricultural land would hold its value after the war. He said one of his main reasons for that opinion was that the farmers are alive to their interests; that they sent an independent Party into the Dáil and were not going to allow themselves to be cheated, as they were cheated after the last war. I hope that Dublin businessman is right.

It is only by the exercise of reasoned judgment in planning for agriculture that we can hope to avert the evils which befell the agricultural industry in the past. This Party is determined to ensure that the Government will not adopt the same slipshod, haphazard attitude to agriculture that the present Government and its predecessors adopted before the war. The Minister for Agriculture said that the Minister for Finance would not agree to a long-term policy for agriculture guaranteeing remunerative prices for the farmers. I do not see how the Minister for Finance can justify such an attitude. Agriculture is not a year-to-year industry; it is a long-term industry and a Government in an agricultural country must have a long-term financial policy. They must not allow themselves to be influenced by old-fashioned ideas in regard to finance and credit.

If the Minister is prepared to assure the House that, first of all, the peak point has been reached in regard to unproductive national expenditure if he is prepared to assure the House that from now on there is to be a steady cutting down of expenditure on administration, if he assures us that rigid and strict economy is to be enforced in all Government Departments, he will be giving the general community some hope for the future. But that is not enough. He must also be prepared to assure us that he will see to it that agriculture has at its disposal the credit facilities which that industry urgently needs to enable the farmer to equip his holding with the most efficient machinery, with the best type of live stock, and with the most up-to-date farm buildings. He must also give us an assurance that credit facilities will be available to enable the farmer to restore and increase the fertility of the soil, because, without that, up-to-date equipment and the best type of live stock and farm buildings will be of no avail.

It is an extraordinary and significant fact in regard to the Estimate before us that the only worth-while reduction in the volume of expenditure has been in regard to agriculture and I think the reduction occurs in a cutting down of the subsidy for fertilisers. That may be explained by the fact that fertilisers are not available to the same extent as heretofore; but it is just the one reduction that is undesirable at present. If it is not possible or desirable to subsidise the price of fertilisers for the agricultural industry, surely some alternative means should have been found to assist the farmer to restore the fertility of his land. If the money which has been saved in respect of subsidies on fertilisers had been directed to extending the Farm Improvements Scheme, thereby helping the farmer to improve his holding, it would be well spent. But in an Estimate which provides for an increase of over £1,000,000 we have only that one economy which I have mentioned.

That is not true. The Deputy should not make false statements.

Is it not true that there is a reduction in the subsidy for fertilisers?

Yes, but that is not what the Deputy said.

There are some other small reductions also.

There is a much bigger decrease in another Estimate than in that one. I do not mind what the Deputy says if he sticks to the truth.

I admit that there is a reduction in regard to the Army. Here we have the position that we have a very large reduction in the subsidy for fertilisers and that is not offset in any way by any increase in any grant for agriculture. I have just indicated one way in which that reduction could have been offset. There may be other ways which may suggest themselves to other Deputies. But I think it is most undesirable, having regard to the extent to which the fertility of the soil has been depleted during the past five years, that we should have one of the largest economies at the expense of agriculture and, particularly, at the expense of the fertility of the soil. That indicates our attitude towards this Estimate.

We hold that too much money is being devoted to unproductive services. Sooner or later there will have to be a reduction; sooner or later there will have to be economies in the national services and in the local services also. But there has also got to be, in addition to that, a wide expansion in agriculture. I have indicated that that expansion can be assisted to a great extent by the provision of credit facilities for agriculture at a nominal rate of interest, credit facilities to enable the farmer to re-equip and improve his holding. In addition to that, we must have security of price. The Minister for Agriculture has agreed to security of price in principle; he has agreed that it is a good thing, but he has indicated that the Minister for Finance would not support him. I am anxious to hear what the Minister for Finance has to say. I have indicated that security of price, so far as the majority of the products of the land is concerned, can be obtained in the home market. It is also true that a considerable measure of security can be achieved in regard to our external markets if proper steps are taken by the Government to regulate and direct the marketing of our surplus agricultural produce. It is essential that our Government, first of all, should meet the Government of Great Britain and endeavour to ascertain what their needs will be in the post-war period in regard to agricultural products and, having ascertained their needs, seek to make a deal with them covering a considerable period of years. As I suggested on another occasion, it may not be possible to get down exactly to prices in dealing with the British Government but, at least, we should find out what they want, what they are prepared to take, and what they are prepared to give us preference for in their market. In that way, we can secure a fair portion of that market.

International trade in the post-war period will be on a more or less reciprocal basis and each nation will be more inclined to accept goods only from those nations which accept goods in return. We are in the happy position that we can offer the British people a good market for some of their surplus exports and we are entitled to demand a reasonable share of their market for our surplus. In our dealings with other nations in the past, we have had a somewhat one-sided system of trade, under which we imported extensively and exported very little. That is a bad system and it should not be continued in the future. We imported goods extensively from the farthest part of the earth, even from the Far East; but those nations took very little of our exportable surplus in exchange. We have got to deal chiefly with the nations that buy from us and I think that can be arranged and should form the basis of a sound export trade.

In planning the post-war period, it is desirable also that our Government should see that, to a larger extent, our exportable surplus as well as the goods that we import are carried in our own ships. We must increase, extend and enlarge our mercantile marine. Our own ships have proved their value during the present emergency and that should convince us that we should control the transport of goods from this country to other nations and, in the same way, take our share in the importing of goods here. We are an island nation and there is no reason why we should not take a large part in the shipping trade of the world.

In conclusion, I would say that it is highly desirable in the marketing of our agricultural produce that all overlapping, profiteering and interference should be eliminated. It costs too much to convey our produce to Great Britain and it costs far too much to convey it to our own consumers. One of the reasons why I am keen on the stabilising of agricultural prices at a remunerative level is that that will reduce the opportunities for profiteering in the distribution of agricultural goods. When everybody knows what the farmer is getting for his produce, it will be less easy to profiteer in marketing. When we have an assurance of reasonably remunerative prices for agricultural produce, it will be more easy for farmers to establish proper co-operative societies for the marketing of goods. One of the great difficulties about co-operative marketing of agricultural produce in the past was the violent fluctuation of prices. They sometimes fluctuated so violently that a co-operative society with the best intentions in the world might find itself in complete bankruptcy in a year or two. If the prices are stabilised, it will be possible for farmers to organise co-operatively to market their produce.

The general lines along which I believe agriculture should be developed are the provision of better credit facilities, assured markets and assured prices. That will lead to efficiency in production and to an expansion in the volume of output, which is an all-important consideration. We as a nation are producing far too little in relation to our population and our resources. The volume of agricultural and industrial output is far too low and it must be raised. I hope that the Minister, in his reply, will indicate the ways and means by which he proposes to raise the volume of both our agricultural and our industrial output.

We have had a number of figures from the Minister to-day and, speaking as an ordinary Deputy and as an ordinary citizen, I am appalled by the high cost of government at present. We know that during these war years we are living in a period when to do anything costs more. Running a country is bound, to a certain extent, to cost more. I say that in all fairness to the Minister, as I do not want—and I am sure no Deputy wants—to blame the Minister for what is not his fault; but there are certain things which the Minister ought to have done to cut down the cost of government. These are very difficult things for a member of the Opposition to talk about, but the fact remains that, by and large, the Government has not made the effort it ought to have made in that respect.

Various Deputies here to-day talked about post-war planning. As Deputy Mulcahy said, post-war planning is a subject that sometimes it is only too easy to talk about. In other words, people talk about it in an effort to escape. There is, however, a difference between hot air and genuine planning. One of the things that must have struck every thinking person in this country is that, in these days, we are living in an age of planning, whether we like it or not. Indeed, you can call it an age of Governmental interference, if you like. Many people do not like Governmental interference. In some ways, I am not at all in love with it myself, but I can see no escape from it. It is the age in which we live. We cannot get away from it any more than we can get away from aeroplanes, motor cars and the internal combustion engine. We cannot carry on modern civilisation without the Government interfering in the lives of the citizens and interfering in trade and agriculture.

I have used the word "interfering" definitely to show that I am not in my heart of hearts a great lover of what I would call Government interference. But there must be Government planning. If the Government carry it too far, it becomes interference; if they stop at the legitimate point at which they ought to stop, we can call it by the more sensible and more acceptable name, to many of us in this country, of Government planning. That has come to stay. What evidence have we here that the Government have intelligently planned the productivity and the marketing of the products of this country? I do not think they have planned that at all.

I think it was last year that I asked a question of the Minister for Agriculture concerning the long-term agreements that the Governments of New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Canada had made with the British Government. Those long-term agreements were for the sale of agricultural products. I got from the Minister for Agriculture what I would call a negative reply. I think he said that they had accepted prices that were unacceptable to us. I am not anxious that this Government would make contracts for the farming community which would be bad contracts. Nobody would be. But the British market is overwhelmingly the largest market that we have in which to sell our agricultural produce.

I am sorry, if the Governments of New Zealand, Australia, Canada and South Africa have made contracts with the British Government, that those contracts will have an unfortunate effect on agricultural prices in this country and, apparently, the Minister for Agriculture has done nothing about it. Supposing, after the war, we have no agricultural agreement with Great Britain, what will be the position of the individual farmer or farming group? If the Government do not make a trade agreement that is advantageous, how can much smaller and less efficiently organised private bodies make anything like a proper agreement? That is an aspect of the situation that I put to the Government in all seriousness and sincerity.

Another aspect of our national budget that comes to mind is the very large amount of money that we spend on social services. We are all glad to see social services carried on. No one wants to see poverty or hunger or destitution. What we do want to make sure of is that we get the best value for the money we spend. I do not think we are getting the best value for the money we spend. I will go still further and say that it is very difficult for anybody to know what degree of value we are getting, because the whole subject of social services in this country has never been scientifically examined. Last year we had children's allowances introduced in the Dáil. I think everybody was glad that children were to get allowances, but I felt at the time that that whole measure was just a step in the dark. I was in favour of it, but neither I nor anybody else in the Dáil knew the precise effect that the sum of money we voted for children's allowances would have, and I am not very certain now that we know the sociological results of the large sum of money which we are expending.

I should like to see the whole system of our social services—that is to say, our old age pensions, home assistance, the outdoor relief grants made by local bodies, and the money advanced to tuberculosis patients—carefully examined by a commission and all the social services codified, or amalgamated under one separate Ministry. We are spending millions and millions on social services and we just do not know exactly what value we are getting. What we do know is that, on the one hand, we have people who are on the borderline of poverty, and, on the other hand, there are certain groups getting money which, perhaps, they do not need as much as other members of the community.

I appeal to the Minister for Finance, who deals with exact figures—he is the man in the Government who, I presume, says to the other members of the Cabinet: "This is going to cost so much", or else when they ask him is he in favour of something, he queries: "How much will it cost"; he is the man who deals with the figures and looks for exact things—to use whatever influence he has to demand a scientific investigation of our social services and let us see exactly where we stand. We are spending vast sums of money, but we just do not know where we are. These social services in other countries have been made the subject of exact investigation.

By outside bodies as a rule.

Yes. I was just going to mention that; I was going to say to the Minister that in other countries outside bodies have carried out these investigations. I think that Mr. Seebohm Rowntree in England carried out very exact investigations over a number of years in regard to various classes of the community in and around the City of York, but we here have not got the voluntary bodies which can carry out these investigations, or, at any rate, they do not carry them out. It is vital for this country to have that statistical information and I put it to the Minister that it would pay us to carry out the investigations at our own cost.

Surely the Board of Trade in Great Britain investigated the incomes of a certain number of agricultural families and a certain number of industrial families and published these statistics elaborately in the Gazette?

There are a number of bodies outside which could do that and Deputies would accept their figures before they would accept those of this Government or any Government.

It was officially done.

I would appeal, in short, for greater investigation, and for greater codification and unification of all the social services in this country. In conclusion, I say that we have been presented to-day with a very high cost and we have not seen the effort, which the ordinary citizens expect, to reduce the amount. We have high taxation, high cost of living amounting to inflation, and we have not seen the Government taking the steps they ought to take. I do not propose to go into the question of emigrants' remittances and so on, but other countries have adopted the policy of encouraging their citizens to save. We have done so late in the day, and in a very small and, I might say, ineffective manner. I should like again to emphasise that we live in an age of planning, in an age when the Government will examine into the affairs of the ordinary citizen in an increasing degree. We want to see that done properly; we want to see it done well, and, in the case of social services, scientifically. I plead for more information on all those subjects and, above all, for more intelligent planning for the future, because unless the Government comes to the assistance of industry and agriculture in the difficult post-war years, we shall be left at the post.

If the viewpoint expressed by a number of close observers of the war situation is to be accepted as even tolerably accurate, this year may well witness the end of the holocaust in Europe and other parts of the world. It must be clear to every clear-thinking person that the termination of the holocaust will not usher in a period of prosperity either here or elsewhere, but if the symptoms are read aright, rather a period of depression, a period of chaos and a period of commercial disorganisation which is bound to bring very serious consequences in its train.

On the occasion of a debate of this kind at this particular juncture we are quite entitled to ask the Government to reveal without further delay its post-war plans so far as our own internal economy is concerned and its post-war plans for integrating our external trade with whatever world pattern of external trade is likely to arise following the war; but, although on many occasions during the past 18 months, and particularly during the past six months, the Government has been asked to reveal its post-war plans, there has so far been a decided reluctance on the part of the Government to indicate in what direction its mind is travelling in the various fields of national activity or the field of foreign policy.

Whether we like it or not—and in this matter we are almost powerless to influence the flow of world events and still more powerless to shape the course of the world's thoughts in economic matters—we are living in a world which very soon will be a planned world, if the statements made by the statesmen of various nations are to be relied upon, in a world which is going to hitch its destiny to a planning star and we have to make up our minds whether we are going to plan at home, or whether we are going to be a survival, and to exist as a survival, of the period of pre-war muddling. It is impossible to imagine that we can have any satisfactory external trade on the basis of an unplanned economy at home, and, quite obviously, if we are to get even a tiny place in the international markets for such goods as are surplus to our own requirements, it is essential to plan our economy at home, because the method of planning, the basis of organisation and the whole price structure at home will depend upon our chances of being able to sell what might be described as our exportable surplus in a keenly competitive international market.

Here in the short period of our existence as an independent nation various efforts have been made to develop the industrial and agricultural potentialities of the country, and in pre-war years we could measure with some accuracy the degree of success or failure which accompanied our efforts. Since the outbreak of the war in 1939, the industrial fabric has been pretty badly shattered, and, while our agricultural fabric has stood up well to the shocks of the war, one can nevertheless see evidence that the industrial fabric is probably not likely to be able to continue, in the years of peace, under the same tension as was developed in respect of agriculture during the period of war.

I should like to ascertain from the Minister at this stage what are the Government's post-war industrial plans. Up to 1938, the Government's policy was one of a high rate of protection for native industry. Unfortunately, that high rate of protection was not accompanied by a policy of ensuring (1) protection for the consumer, and (2) protection for those engaged in the manufacture of the protected goods. The Government's policy in the pre-war years appeared to be to impose a tariff in respect of the importation of certain articles in order to encourage an industry here and then to wait to see what happened. There was no adequate protection for the consumer and no adequate protection for the conditions and wage levels of those engaged in the industry. The Government seemed to be content with a policy of clapping on a very high tariff, without taking the necessary precautions which ought to accompany the prudent application of a tariff policy here or elsewhere.

Then 1938 arrived and the Government negotiated an agreement with Britain, under which it bound itself to review its own tariff policy on representations which could be made to it by manufacturing interests in Britain, and in quite a considerable number of cases the tariffs imposed by the Government were forced down as a result of the hearing of cases before what might be described as a Tariff Commission. It was quite evident from the character of the agreement then negotiated, from the hearing of the cases before the Tariff Commission and from the result of the commission's report that the Government were being, to some extent, forced off their policy of deciding as a Government the measure of protection they would afford to any particular industry.

I should like to ascertain from the Minister whether it is the Government's post-war policy, whether it is part of their post-war plans, to continue to encourage the development of industries in Ireland by the imposition of tariffs; whether the degree of tariffs to be imposed is to be a matter for examination by a commission; and whether external trading interests are to be entitled to give evidence for the purpose of limiting the extent of the tariffs we may desire to impose on the importation of goods in order to help the development of an industry here, or will there be complete internal freedom to impose any tariff that may be necessary, if the purpose of the imposition of the tariff is to encourage the establishment of any industry here. The Government have had some opportunity of examining the effects of their tariff policy in the past.

Among the two most notable blemishes on that policy was the failure to protect the interests of the workers engaged in the protected industries. Where the workers were able to get anything like tolerable conditions, these conditions were secured by them only because of persistent trade union action, but the Government, for its own part, took no steps whatever to ensure that if the investing public got substantial tariffs against competition from abroad they would be compelled to pay decent wages and to recognise decent conditions in the highly protected industries thus established. While the worker was probably able, because of the character of the action which he could take, to protect himself to some degree against the ravages of some of those industrialists, many of whom were quite unscrupulous when it came to the payment of decent wages and the observance of fair conditions of employment, the ordinary consuming public had no protection whatever. One has only to recall the prices at which certain goods were sold in 1938 and 1939, and to compare them with the position ten years previously, to realise the extent to which the public were salted by some of those folk who unscrupulously charged high prices for their commodities because of the protection they had in the form of high tariffs.

What, I ask the Minister, is to be the Government's post-war policy in that respect? Our people have got to manufacture goods, to exploit their agricultural possibilities and to provide services as a way of living. The provision of employment here for our people is a matter that vitally concerns the Government and the whole nation. We could absorb in employment a considerable number of our unemployed people, and keep in employment those now employed if we took steps efficiently to reorganise our whole industrial organisation. That is the first essential in order to maintain existing employment.

If there is to be an absorption of our unemployed people and an avoidance of the criminal waste that goes hand in hand with unemployed people, it is essential that the Government must survey the industrial possibilities of the country and come to a decision as to what industries are suitable for development here. The Government ought to reveal to the House what its proposals are, and tell us in what sphere of industrial development its mind is travelling. So far we have got no detailed information on that subject from the Government. Now and again the Minister for Supplies and Minister for Industry and Commerce, at a meeting of Fianna Fáil Cumainn, pulls the curtain aside, and, to some extent, you may get a fleeting glance at the future. His speeches are made in places where it is not possible to get any detailed examination from him as to what his future policy is. They are not made in this House, so that one is not in a position to ask him to develop any particular aspect of his post-war policy. His speeches are made to selected audiences. Unless one is a member of the Fianna Fáil Party, a Deputy is prevented from ascertaining from the Minister, by way of question and answer, what exactly his post-war policy is.

Maybe the Deputy will join up.

If I have made mistakes in my time, I am certainly not going to make that one. Even if I did, it is probable that I would not be allowed to ask a question.

There is the fullest freedom there.

With respect to the Government's agricultural policy, I think that, everything considered, our farmers and agricultural workers generally have made a marvellous contribution to the surmounting of our agricultural and food difficulties over the past five years. It is quite true, of course, that we never really reached the cultivation of 3,000,000 acres of land out of the 12,000,000 acres of arable land that we have, but then one has to remember that over very large portions of the country the policy of spade labour still continues. We have not here a highly-mechanised agricultural community. In the past we have relied to a very considerable extent on the policy of importing fertilisers, often to the neglect of using organic manures here. But, taking the lean with the fat, I think that our agricultural community have made very substantial contributions to the nation's welfare over the past five years, not merely from the point of view of the farmer but from that of the agricultural worker as well. So far as the agricultural worker is concerned, he was neither encouraged nor enthused to give of his best by the payment of low rates of wages to him during the war period. If we go back to the period 1934 to 1939 we can see that, during it our agricultural production was pretty stagnant, and that if the war had not occurred we, probably, would have been able to show no substantial increase in the area under cultivation in 1945 as compared with 1935. It was the artificial stimulus of war that was responsible even for the present cultivated acreage, and my fear is that the moment the war tension is relieved, the moment there is freedom to import commodities from other countries, the moment actual fear is removed by the cessation of the conflict on land, on sea and in the air, inevitably there will be a slip back to the stagnant agricultural position of pre-war years.

I think that would be a fatal agricultural mistake for us to make. We ought to recognise that the land of this country is a very valuable source of wealth. Many countries in Europe would give a good deal for the fertile Irish land. If we are to avoid the mistake of allowing agriculture to slip back into its pre-war stagnant position, certain obvious precautions must be taken. The farmer has made an indisputable claim for assistance from the State, not the type of ad misericordiam assistance, but the type of assistance to which he is entitled and which the industrialist gets in many respects by the imposition of high tariffs against his competitors.

One of the difficulties of the farming community is, of course, the fact that the great majority of farms are small and the owners of them are not equipped with sufficient capital. It is of no use to offer a farmer, who has no capital, money at the rate of 5 per cent. because the farmer is unable to pay 5 per cent., having regard to the unfortunately low standard of living associated with agricultural production here. If agriculture is to be assisted, I think it can be assisted only by the State making loans available to credit-worthy farmers at a normal rate of interest, not on the basis of paying dividends of 4 or 5 per cent. to bond holders, but merely at the cost of keeping the accounts of the loan. Financed in that way, the farmer will be able to stock his land, to merchandise his farm, to provide agricultural implements required for the proper production of food and, probably, to get more and more away from spade labour which, unfortunately, is the ruination of agriculture and is capable of giving the farmer only a hopelessly inadequate return for his investment in the land and an intolerably low rate of wages to the agricultural worker.

The State must recognise—and in this matter our financial stability will not be assailed in the slightest— that we must assist agriculture to rehabilitate itself in the post-war world. That can be done, as I said, by giving the credit-worthy farmers financial assistance in the form of loans at a rate of interest to cover merely account-keeping. These loans ought to be made available to the farmer to enable him to stock his land, to purchase implements, to fence and drain, and generally to make his land much more efficient in the production of food and a greater unit of wealth creation for the country.

Have the Government any plans in that direction? Is the farmer in future going to be placed in the position that in a highly competitive world, with one Minister screeching from time to time that everybody must work harder, with another Minister screeching that production costs must be cut down, he will have to take his deeds to the bank and try to borrow money at 5, 6 and, perhaps, 7 per cent., as the banks may decide to charge, or must he make an application, for instance, to an agricultural credit corporation which will lend him money at 4½ or 5 per cent? I think the farmer ought to know where he stands in that matter. I think he ought to know what State assistance will be given to him to enable him to restore the fertility of his land in the post-war period and to repair the ravages which a continuous tillage policy, unaccompanied by the importation of sufficient artificial fertilisers, has inevitably caused.

We have also a very serious situation to face in respect of employment. During the past five years, approximately 160,000 of our people, I think, found employment in the Six Counties and in Britain. When this war ends, some of them may get employment in Britain on certain types of work, mainly, I should think, building work. Large numbers of them will not get that type of employment or any alternative employment because Britain will have the problem of rehabilitating her own people who are now scattered on the far-flung battlefields of the world. In the pre-war period Britain was a workshop for the world but will a post-war Britain be a workshop for the world? Sir Stafford Cripps said the other day that British output will have to be stepped up by 150 per cent. on its pre-war production in order to maintain the existing standard of living in Britain. That is a high target and the fact that the British Government have already recognised that fact shows how concerned they are about production policy in the post-war period.

Where is Britain going to sell in the post-war period? Many of the nations to whom she sold goods in the past have been so impoverished by war that they may not be able to buy those goods at the prices at which it will be necessary to sell them in order to maintain a decent standard of living for the workers engaged in their production in Britain. Many of the nations may not be able to buy from Britain because Britain will not buy from them.

Whether we like it or not, Britain's position in the post-war period may be one in which opportunities for work on a large scale will not be available to our people. It is all, of course, a matter for speculation. Many emigrants may come home. Many of them may say that, having spent four or five years in Britain, they are going to assert their God-given right to come back to the land of their birth, to live with their wives and children. Boat loads of these people may sail in from day to day and these people may say to the Government: "We have come back for our heritage. We have the right to live in Ireland and to produce wealth in Ireland. We have the right to live with our wives and children. We are not going to work in exile for the rest of our lives." Suppose 100,000 of them came back. Suppose 100,000 ask for their birthright, to work in their own land, and say that they are prepared to work in Ireland and that they are not prepared to work anywhere else. Will not the Government be faced with a pretty problem then? Will not it be a nice situation to have 100,000 people who have been working in a bomb-ridden country for five years, suddenly presenting themselves here and saying: "We want work and we are not going to work on rotational schemes; we are not going to work for two, three or four days a week; we are not going to be sent to the home assistance officer or to the employment exchange." Suppose they say: "We want work and we want to get decent rates of wages. We have seen a country at war able to pay decent rates of wages. We want our own people to pay us decent rates of wages. We have been paid decent rates of wages for destroying wealth. Now pay us decent rates of wages for creating wealth." I think the Government will be faced with a pretty problem if that should happen. If all of that does not happen, a very substantial proportion of it will happen.

Here, we are entitled to ask what is the Government's policy for dealing with a situation of that kind. Supposing the British Government, the moment the war is over, says to its own people: "We are going now to put you into employment at home and, in order to do that, everybody who was not born on British soil is going to leave Britain with the utmost expedition," and suppose, because of that, these migrants are sent back here, whether we like it or not, the Government will have to deal with that situation. They can hardly evolve a policy by ignoring a possibility of that kind. They can hardly adopt a Rip Van Winkle policy of saying: "Let us sleep on that problem. It may not arise but, in any case, we will get fewer headaches if we are asleep when it does arise."

What are the Government's proposals for dealing with that situation? This is 1945. Everybody who reads the papers can see the direction in which the war is moving and see the prophecies by eminent statesmen, wielding tremendous power in their own highly-militarised countries, that the war may end soon. If the war ends soon, we may be confronted with a problem such as I have adverted to. We ought to know what is the Government's policy for dealing with that situation. I do not know what it is. I do not think the Government can tell these people that they are all covered by the unemployment insurance benefits. I do not think they can tell them to go to the home assistance officer. These people have put up with enough in the past five years and they will not take kindly to that kind of mendicant advice. They will not want to be mendicants, nor will they allow anyone to make mendicants out of them. They will insist on a decent standard of living. They have lived in a country which, in the last five years, has had to tolerate many a grievous situation, and the toleration of these has burned a new sense of values into the people of that country and those who work there. These folk who come back here may not be as easily fobbed off with empty promises as they were before they were tested in the crucible of experience in a bomb-ridden country.

Then we have another situation. We have a substantial number of persons in the Army. I need not mention the number in a public debate of this kind. But many thousands of these will probably be demobilised when the war is over. What are the Government going to do with them? Some of them may have employment to go back to; others may have no employment. They have served the nation for the past five years. What is the measure of our gratitude to be? What are we going to do for them? We cannot tell them to go to the labour exchange, that they are not wanted any longer. They were willing to risk their lives during the past five years. Many of them neglected their own interests and the possibility of employment during the past five years in order to join the Army. Many of them could have gone to Great Britain and earned very good wages were it not for the fact that they preferred to join the Army. We have two choices to make in regard to these people. We can tell them to go to the labour exchange and get whatever benefit they are entitled to. We can show by doing that how callous we can be to people who stood by the nation in its hour of trial. On the other hand, we can say to these people: "We recognise the tremendous sacrifice which you made when you joined the Army and the rigour of the discipline which you had to undergo during the past four or five years." We can say to them: "Because of that, we are going to make plans for your future which will assure you of a decent income for the maintenance of yourselves and those dependent on you." Which are we going to do? Are we going to tell them to go to the labour exchange or the home assistance officer or plan a future for them which will represent, in some measure, our gratitude for their contribution to the nation during the past five years? I should like the Minister to tell us that.

Even if none of the emigrants comes back, even if not a single person is demobilised from the Army, we still have 76,000 persons registered to-day as unemployed. That is a problem which obviously we, cannot tolerate, unless we are satisfied to continue to indulge in the criminal waste of having men and women idle in a relatively undeveloped country; idle when there is an abundance of work to be done and when there is no difficulty in finding the need for the work and the necessary credits in order to finance it. Suppose we get the impact of all three of these. Suppose we get tens of thousands of emigrants back and large-scale demobilisation from the Army and the impact of these two on the fact that we have 76,000 unemployed to-day, can anybody picture the situation which we will have in the country? Can anybody see the potential dangers in a situation of that kind? Can anybody see the hopeless deterioration there can be in wage levels, in the condition of the workers, and in the whole industrial and agricultural fabric if you have the impact of these three factors producing an immediate deterioration and a rapidly and ever-widening deterioration as the days and weeks pass by?

I should like to ascertain what the Government are planning in that connection. Have these problems occurred to the Government? I am sure they have. But they are not merely governmental problems; they are problems which affect the well-being of the whole nation. In a matter of this kind the Government ought to share responsibility with this Parliament and with the nation to the extent, at least, of telling us in what direction their minds are travelling, what plans they are proposing to make, and what steps they intend to take in order to grapple with the very serious situation which is likely to arise after the war. I saw a cartoon the other day which, probably, reflects the difference between our situation to-day and our post-war situation, in which one person was saying that he was enjoying the war as much as possible because the peace was going to be damned awful. That is probably the position with us. The war will be a spree almost compared with the situation we have confronting us in the post-war period.

I should like to ascertain on an occasion like this what the Government propose to do to deal with that situation. There is a vast amount of work which can be done, work in afforesting the country which is the most timber-denuded country in Europe; work in the provision of the tens of thousands of houses which are needed properly to house our people; work in the provision of schools and the elimination of those barns which are masquerading as schools so as to give our children a chance of learning under tolerable conditions. There is still a large amount of work which could be usefully done in respect of draining the low-lying land in the country with a view to improving the fertility of the soil. This vista of work opens up immense possibilities for the people and can be capable of providing a large measure of employment for the unemployed, whether they are at home to-day or whether they come home on the termination of the emergency.

What is the Government's policy for dealing with a situation of that kind? The Minister did not indicate any of the Government's plans in his introductory statement. He contented himself with the recital of figures as to the cost of the various Departments. I hope the Minister will avail of the opportunity to reveal to us and to the nation at large what the Government's policy is for dealing with a situation of that kind, for dealing with the very serious post-war situation. I hope the Minister will find it possible to give the House an assurance that the Government have plans, that these plans will be revealed, that the nation's resources in the spheres of Industry and agriculture, large-scale schemes of public works and otherwise will be utilised to the fullest and that the nation's credit will be utilised to the fullest in order to finance new types of industrial and agricultural activities and new types of large-scale schemes of public works so as to absorb our people in the process of creating wealth and providing a decent livelihood for themselves, and not permit to develop here an unemployed State within the very State itself.

I move to report progress.

Progress reported; Committee to sit again to-day.