Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Friday, 29 Mar 1946

Vol. 100 No. 7

Private Deputies' Business. - Holidays (Employees) (Amendment) Bill, 1946—Second Stage (Resumed).

In speaking on this Bill on the last date on which it was under discussion, I was making the point that the relations between the farmer and his labourer were very different from the relations which exist between the industrial employer and his employees, and that we should try to avoid, if possible, having the same rigid rules and regulations in the case of the farmer and his labourer that we already have in existence for the industrial employer and his employee. I just want to add, so far as that point is concerned, that the reason why I make that point is that in a number of cases —I do not know whether I can say the majority in this country, but certainly, so far as I know, the majority of agricultural labourers— they get more holidays with pay than would be provided for in this Bill if it were passed. In addition to that, the agricultural labourer gets certain help in connection with looking after his plot and so on, and if we were to pass this legislation it might have the effect of having the rigid rule applied: that is, that he would get a certain number of holidays with pay, but no more, or no more outside help than he is getting at the moment.

Against that, however, I must say that I agree, and I think that almost every member of this House agrees, that we should do everything possible for the agricultural labourer. We all agree that his lot is not a very happy one, so far as remuneration and working conditions go, generally, and if we can improve his position, then all to the good. The question, however, is to know how that improvement can be effected as things stand, because we must deal with this Bill from the point of view of how things stand. In the case of Deputies who have read the speeches that were made in the House on the last day, there is no use in their saying that they are in favour of this Bill and of giving more concessions to the agricultural labourer, conditional on the farmer being in a position to do so. We must take the position as it is at the moment, and if Deputies are going to vote in favour of this Bill, then they should vote on the understanding that the farmer is in a position to do this at the present prices which he gets. It must be admitted, of course, that if the employer can afford to give the agricultural labourer better wages and better conditions than he has at the moment, it follows that the small farmer is in a better position than we believe him to be in.

On the question of whether this is the time to make reforms of this kind, I should like to ask the Dáil to consider the position that we are in and what is likely to be before us for some time to come. I should like to stress in particular that the objective of, I think, everybody is more and higher production in agriculture. If we can get higher production by working shorter hours, well and good, but I do not know if that is possible. More production, of course, means more work, and it is held by some that if a labourer or worker has shorter hours and good holidays he will do more and better work than if he were working for longer hours. Deputies who vote for or against this Bill can keep that point in mind and express their opinion on it by their votes. What we can hope for in agricultural production is a higher aggregate income for agriculture in general, and if there is a higher aggregate income with more production, it means that with the same number of workers, there whether farmers, sons of farmers, or agricultural labourers, there should be more for ever person engaged.

Now, that question of more production is a matter that must come from planning—planning by the farmers themselves, by the county committees of agriculture, by the Department of Agriculture, by me, by the Government, and by the Dáil. If and when we get higher production and a higher aggregate income for all engaged in agriculture, the Agricultural Wages Board is the body to arbitrate, as it were, between the employer and the employee. Now, in the Agricultural Wages Board, we have representatives of the employers and the employees, and I think that it takes no great imagination for any Deputy to reconstruct, if you like, what takes place at a meeting there: in other words, that the representatives of the workers make the plea that it is difficult, if not impossible, for an agricultural labourer to live on his present wage, and they, therefore, try to get a better wage for the worker; whereas the representatives of the employers, I take it, make the case that they are paying as much as they can afford, or almost as much as they can afford, if they are agreeable to give a small rise. At any rate, the two sides make their case and, so far, although that board has been in operation for almost ten years now—well, nine years, certainly—they have got general agreement on the wages and conditions that should apply to agricultural labourers —that is, of course, the minimum wage that should apply, and the conditions. So that we have there a body which has been working successfully, on the whole, on this problem for all these years, and I think that anything that concerns agricultural wages or conditions should come from that body. The Agricultural Wages Board have to consider various matters and weigh the circumstances. Let us take the case of Church holidays first, and say that the question arose of whether agricultural labourers are entitled to Church holidays with pay: if there should be any difficulty there, as would appear to be in the minds of some people as to the legal aspect of the matter, they would have at least my co-operation and, I should say, the sympathy of the Dáil in dealing with a matter of that kind.

Will the Minister tell us whether he can hold out any hope of settling the strike in County Dublin?

That does not arise.

I should like in dealing with this matter, to put it to Deputies —summarising, if you like, what I have already said—that this Bill is impracticable because if it were passed, the main Bill could not be applied to agricultural workers, for many reasons. I mentioned some of them.

For instance, one very strong point was that if a worker does any work whatever the day cannot be regarded as a holiday. In addition to the six bank holidays or Church holidays he must get seven days' continuous leave. That may not be suitable to agricultural conditions. The most Deputy Norton and the sponsors of the Bill could achieve by getting the Dáil to agree with them, is that they would get the matter decided on principle. The Bill would have to be amended before it could be applied. If that is the case, the wiser course would be to have the matter considered by the Agricultural Wages Board. That could be done in this way, that there are committees through the country and on these committees—there are about 5 regional committees—there are one, two or three representatives, according to the size of the county, of employers and the same number representing employees. They initiate any proposals that come before the board. Surely it is not beyond the ingenuity of any Deputy to have the matter raised before some regional committee. If it is discussed there, it will eventually come before the board for discussion. If the Agricultural Wages Board makes any decision with regard to holidays, it will certainly have my co-operation, if that is necessary. There are certain decisions that I do not come into, but, if it is necessary to give legal effect to any decision come to, I will certainly co-operate as far as I can to bring the matter before the Dáil. I expect the Dáil will be sympathetic.

Would the Minister be prepared to say to the Agricultural Wages Board that, speaking for the Government, he accepts the principle of giving agricultural workers the same holidays as are given to industrial and other workers, and ask the board to suggest to him the best way in which that principle could be implemented?

That is rather a big question to answer straight off.

It is a question which would decide this matter.

I admit that.

Would the Minister be prepared to put it to the Agricultural Wages Board that this is a matter he wished them to discuss?

No. I was suggesting that that could be done in the regular way. I have no more power there than anyone in this House or outside it.

Do you not appoint all the members?

Yes, apart from the chairman. I am not sure about the chairman. He is the only one who is paid.

Is it not a fact that the board has been giving decisions which are related to the wages policy of the Department of Local Government and the Department of Agriculture?

By no means. I do not know what the Deputy means by the wages policy of the Department of Local Government there.

Would the Minister reply to my question? Is he prepared to put the matter to the board?

I will come back to that. The Department of Local Government, as far as I know, follows the policy of the Agricultural Wages Board. It is not that the Agricultural Wages Board follows the Department's policy.

What is the difference between your policy and that of the Local Government Department?

I have no policy in this matter. The Agricultural Wages Board has a policy, and, as I understand it, the first part concerns conciliation. The chairman is there to act as conciliator between employers and employees in order to get agreement. He only acts as conciliator, and if he cannot get agreement, he acts as arbitrator. He has never had to act as arbitrator.

He can give a casting vote.

That is the position as far as the board is concerned. Deputy Norton's question is a bigger one. I was suggesting a more regular way of doing it. I am sure there is no Deputy but knows some representative on an area committee, whether of employers or employees, who could have the question of holidays raised. It must then go to the board to see what they may decide. I am not a lawyer, but my opinion is that they can decide this matter without coming to me or to the Dáil.

I think they can. That is my opinion. It is not a legal opinion.

They can express an opinion, but legislation will have to be introduced.

I do not think so. If the board thinks so, I will be sympathetic with regard to legislation. I do not think legislation is necessary.

Would the Minister be prepared to do what I suggested? Would he not agree that that would affect the position in County Dublin next week, and that another Bill would not be necessary at all? From the way the position is developing would the Minister not take the responsibility of promoting legislation to overcome any difficulties that he sees?

I think it would be wrong when we have a body there already. In my opinion, it is a great pity we have not such a body for other industries, where there could be conciliation in order to reach agreement.

Has it not failed to prevent the present strike?

How? It has worked for nine years.

What about the County Dublin labour dispute?

The Agricultural Wages Board has no function as far as that is concerned.

Were not police sent to prevent the parties coming together?

Deputy Davin is the best hair splitter I have come across.

This is awkward.

It is not awkward. What happened was that an official of the Department of Industry and Commerce, as he was bound to do, drew attention to what the position was under the law.

There is a law of common sense.

There is, but the Deputy does not know much about it.

That has nothing to do with this discussion.

No, but do you expect Deputy Davin to say anything about what is under discussion? Even if I go to the board, as suggested by Deputy Norton, to suggest holidays, the same procedure would have to be adopted. The area committees must initiate any proposals. Meetings of area committees must be held, and their views go to the board, which then considers the matter, and comes to a decision. That is really what it amounts to. All I can say is that whatever the board may decide will have my co-operation, and if any legal action is necessary, I am prepared to bring the matter before the Dáil. I cannot pass laws but I can bring the matter up here.

Mr. Corish

Has the Minister power to give a direction to the board?

No. When the Bill was going through the House, Labour Deputies were against giving power to give any direction. They were very particular that I should not give any direction.

If the chairman should proceed contrary to the wages policy of the Government and of the Minister, surely the Minister can withdraw that man or dismiss him?

If he was, I could.

Now I have you.

Have you? How?

The meaning in what you said now—"if he was".

Of course, if the Deputy goes around in a half-circle he is sure to catch somebody.

In supporting this Bill, we realise that the agricultural worker is the most important man of to-day. The Minister pointed out in a speech last week that it was not practical to extend holidays to the agricultural worker, that the agricultural worker was different from the industrial worker. For the information of the Minister, I want to say that in my constituency there is a large employer who, for the past two years, has granted seven days' holidays each year —not, of course, at harvest time, but at the particular time that suits himself, in agreement with his workers— and a half day each week. He finds that production has increased. He has not had any trouble in his farm for the past ten years. He points out that he can leave the farm to go away on business for 43 weeks and that the work is carried on, that the men take an even greater interest than when he is present. That may happen where there are ten men employed.

We realise the difficulties in the case of the small farmer but they are difficulties that we could get over. The Minister is a practical man and he knows about farming. He knows there is a difference between the agricultural worker and the industrial worker. I hope the friendship will continue between the employer and the worker. The Minister points out that the agricultural worker receives so many Church holidays in the year. The work of the agricultural worker is not a question of hours. It is not a matter of leaving off at 6 o'clock or 5.30. He works until he saves the particular crop in a particular field. At threshing time he may work until all hours of the night. It is not a question of hours.

That is true.

It is a matter of weather conditions. The men give their best, with co-operation of both sides. To maintain that spirit of co-operation and to induce the younger generation to take a greater interest in the land, I would suggest that the Government, apart from the wages board, should treat the rural worker no less favourably than the industrial worker or the city worker. The city worker to-day is depending upon the rural worker. We are all depending upon the co-operation between the rural worker and the farmer, they being the two essential workers in the community. We should put the rural worker in the position that he can maintain and increase production so that we will have not alone sufficient for ourselves but a surplus which will enable us to extend generosity to people less fortunate than we are. The flight from the land is deplored. The Minister must know that younger men will not take the interest in the land that their fathers took. Agricultural employees who have good employers will receive wages, perquisites and benefits that the city worker does not receive but my complaint is against the owner of large estates. The working farmer treats his men as he would treat a member of his own family but in the case of estate owners where there is a large number of men employed, and a steward in control, the men are paid by the hour. If it is a wet day and they can only work a few hours they are paid only in respect of those hours. There are no perquisites, no harvest bonus. There may be overtime in rush periods when they work until 9 o'clock. These men can afford to pay. They have capital and they are reaping benefits and making profits. The small farmer can make arrangements, and is prepared to make arrangements, to give his worker holidays, if necessary. He does not pay his men on a rate per hour basis. I know cases where if a man is out for a day or a week on account of illness he is paid for that period by his employer but, again, that is in the case of the working farmer, the man who is depending on the co-operation of the labourer.

The Act of 1939 does not go far enough, in my opinion, because, if a man works on a holiday, he receives only 25 per cent, more for working. If he works, he should have more than a mere 25 per cent addition. I can see no difficulty. We do not suggest, and no Deputy would suggest, that the holidays should be taken in the harvest or sowing time or any other busy season, but the Minister knows that there are often days when men could be allowed off, in rotation. We do not want to close down the industry by giving holidays to all the men at the same time and I do not think the Deputy who moved the Second Reading has suggested in any way that work should be interfered with during spring or harvest. There is a time between those seasons when arrangements could be made to give holidays to the men that we are really interested in. We see the troubles we have all over the country, apart from the flight from the land, and we recognise that there is a serious position. The Minister is concerned to see that production is maintained and increased. Industrialists admit that in industries where the men are satisfied with their conditions there is greater production than there is when men have to endure bad working conditions.

The Minister knows that in the harvest time the rural workers give of their very best. If men have been working from 7 o'clock in the morning until 9 o'clock in the evening, in the months of July and August and, often, September, they, at least, are entitled to some recognition by the people of the country as well as by the Government. We owe a debt of gratitude to those men who are engaged in production and we should show our appreciation of them by giving them some recognition. The Minister points out that we can go to the wages board. The industrial worker has an advisory tribunal before which the representatives of his organisation can put forward his case. Two ploughmen are the Wicklow representatives on the wages board but I have heard the complaint in respect of other areas that the labour representatives never worked as labour men in their lives and often vote with the employers' representatives against granting any increase or concession to the workers engaged in the industry. If the industrial worker has representatives, through his organisation, to put forward his case, and an official of his union to prepare a case to put before the advisory tribunal, why not give a similar concession to the agricultural worker to put his case before a tribunal appointed by the Government, having a representative of the agricultural workers on that tribunal? I do not see why industrialists should be represented on it, but there should be on it somebody who has a thorough knowledge of the conditions and hardships that have to be endured on the land and who will take an interest also in the position of the farmer and his capacity to pay.

We are led to believe from the bank returns and from Government statistics that farmers are in a position to pay decent wages owing to the profits they are making. We maintain that the agricultural worker is entitled to as generous treatment as the industrial worker. If he is to be put in that position the whole system of the Agricultural Wages Board will have to be changed. The Minister could bring in a Bill, which I am sure will receive the support of all Parties, including the Farmers' Party, and which could be passed within 48 hours, to give to the agricultural worker due recognition during the next six months for the food he is producing for the people. If these men are to produce that food for the nation we should be prepared to make some sacrifice in order that they should be accorded better treatment than they have had during the past ten or 20 years.

The Minister has pointed out that, in principle, he recognises the right of the agricultural workers to as generous treatment as the other sections of the community. He wants some committee representative of Deputies in the various areas to put forward a case with the labour representatives. How can we put forward that case when, with the exception of Wicklow, we are satisfied that those representing labour on the Agricultural Wages Board are not real labour representatives? We want more production and more food and the co-operation of all parties. I am prepared to do anything I can in my own constituency to see that production is not interfered with provided we are assured that the Government and the Dáil will recognise the rights of these men. If the farmers are not getting proper prices for their produce, when we are able to vote millions for other services we should be able to put them in the position that the price they obtain for their produce will enable them to pay the agricultural worker a reasonable wage and give him the same facilities as are given to industrial workers. If we do that, I am certain we will bring about contentment amongst the agricultural workers. So far as I know, there will not be any opposition to that from the genuine working farmers if they are placed in a position to pay.

The Minister may point out that I am putting the two sides of the case, that I am demanding recognition of the rights of the worker and also that the farmer should be put in a position to pay. I do not think the Government will object to that proposition. As I said, we want to bring about a position in which nothing will interfere with the production of food. The people in the country districts may not be affected, but the people in the cities and towns will suffer from any action which may interfere with the production of food. In order to prevent that happening, I ask the Government to be generous and to show appreciation of what the agricultural workers have done during the last six or seven years. Every encouragement should be given to these men, who work sometimes until 9 o'clock at night, to produce food for the country. We should show some recognition of what they are doing and place them in a similar position to that of the workers in the towns and cities. In the summer-time, as I say, the agricultural worker is often working until 9 o'clock at night. Those who are engaged in milking or who are employed on mixed farms must work on Sunday. When football matches are being played, these men are working while town workers and city workers are enjoying themselves. That is a system which should be changed. If the Minister will play his part and give some encouragement to these men nothing will be done to interfere with the production of food during the next six months. The principle of this Bill should be accepted and the men granted some holidays. There should also be some improvement of the Act of 1939. These men should be given a generous wage and the Minister should indicate that he will see that these men will be treated no less generously than the workers in the cities and towns.

This measure goes far beyond what appears on the surface. When I come to Dublin I find great ignorance—I cannot call it anything else—displayed by everybody with regard to farming conditions. I suggest to the Labour Party and to other Parties, and even to the Government, that they should first lay down a basis of £3 10s. a week for agricultural workers, prepare their costs for agricultural produce on that, and then say: "There is the cost of the food; let that be paid". We have 495,000 people over 18 years of age employed in agriculture in this country. This Bill would only apply to 80,000 of them. Where do the other 400,000 come in? What is to be their position? I want to know what is to be the position of the unpaid labourers on the land. When are they going to be taken out of serfdom? That is the first question we ought to ask ourselves. I should like Deputy Norton to tell us that. I hear a lot of talk about industrialism and everything else. The biggest curse ever inflicted on this country was the Agricultural Wages Board which the Minister talks about. I admit that it was an absolute necessity brought about by a political organisation that endeavoured to knock satisfaction out of the ordinary labourers of this country because they happened to vote for the Government. That was the only reason why these men were hounded out of employment and their wages reduced to such a pitch that an Act had to be brought in to give them justice. It was the first thing that interfered with the happy family relations that existed in rural Ireland before.

This Bill proposes that the agricultural labourers should get six working days as holidays as well as six bank holidays or alternative days in lieu, or 12 days in the year. What holidays does the agricultural labourer get to-day? The agricultural labourer gets ten Church holy-days, Stephen's Day, Easter Monday, and an odd day off for race meetings. That is the difference between the regimentation which this Bill would effect and the present position of the agricultural labourer. He would be in the unhappy position that the labourers of some of the buckshee gentlemen living around me are in at present. When a Church holy-day comes along and all the boys go down to Mass, the employees of those fellows have to rush out before Mass is over, get into their old clothes and commence clipping hedges or digging up the soil— and that on a holy-day of obligation. Their fellow workers on the land are off for the day. Is that the condition of affairs we want to see brought about? Let all Parties in this House come together and deal fairly with the 495,000 persons working on the land. The maximum wage of many of these workers is £2 per week. They are the people who have been feeding this country for the past six years and they should at least be treated as white men. Let all Parties come together and agree that these men should be treated as other men are treated. Let us fix a minimum wage for agricultural labourers which will make their position at least as good as that of their brothers in the towns. You cannot do that because of the absolute ignorance of conditions in agricultural Ireland. Nobody outside the rural areas knows those conditions.

If the Minister is considering anything in the line of holidays for the rural districts, let him fix holidays for the 495,000 of us and he will be doing a good day's work for the country. He says that agricultural employment is periodical—that the men are employed at one job one day and at another job another day and that they, therefore, differ from the industrial worker and the man in the office. I suggest that the boys in the offices be sent down for a fortnight to take the places of the agricultural workers. Give the agriculturists a fortnight's holidays and bring down the boys in the offices in their stead and they will have some realisation of the condition of affairs in the country. They will be able to make up their minds far more readily as regards agricultural problems. That is a fair proposition. If the Minister accepts it, I make a special appeal to him to send me down the fellow who prepared the White Paper and the ration for a cow to give 500 gallons of milk. He would save me a lot if he would show me how a 500-gallon cow could be fed on——

If it is relevant, I may inform the House that that gentleman knows more about rural conditions than does Deputy Corry.

He showed it. He made every farmer in the country laugh. We shall have to get somebody to do the work while we are on holidays and I ask that the boys in the offices be sent down. I ask, particularly, that the investigation officers for old age pensions be sent down. I should like to see one of these fellows taking his place on a farm. He would have an opportunity of making up the enormous sums he manages to credit to an applicant for an old age pension in order to deprive him of the 10/- a week. These fellows would get a training there. When it comes to about 4.30 the man from the office who is sent down can put his hand on his back and straighten it up. Then, he will look around for the wash basin and towel he is accustomed to at 4.50 when he is preparing for a 5 o'clock stop. While he is looking for the wash basin, he may hear the cows bawling. I wonder if he will send the cows a note saying that their complaint will have attention or if he will send a note stating that the Minister regrets that they cannot be fed to-night.

Let us get down to business on this question. Let these fellows be sent down and trained and they will have some knowledge of the rural Ireland with which they are dealing in their offices. If one of them came down to me in harvest time, I should, probably, find my machine tied up in red tape. We would want the Minister and his whole Department down to deal with the tape worm. That is the trouble we are in in rural Ireland. Deputy Everett talked about the work of ten or 12 men on a couple of estates. Did he ever examine the figures and find out how the farmers stood? You have 384,000 farmers in the Twenty-Six Counties. Of these, 242,000 have under 30 acres of land.

They are not farmers.

What are they?

The greater number are working on the roads.

They are the men for whom legislation is required—the 242,000 under 30 acres. When are these boys going to get their holiday? Many of these farmers employ only one man. Who will milk the cows if that man goes off for a week? Are we going to get some of the boys from the offices, some of the investigation officers, to do it?

The sons of farmers.

Why drive in a wedge between workers on the land?

The civil servants are the sons of farmers.

We are all working together on the farm at present. The labourers and the farmers' sons are in the fields together, dividing their ration of cigarettes with one another and going to hurling matches together on Sunday. They have their meals together. The promoters of this Bill want regimentation. They want to take one group of the bunch and say: "You will get a week's holidays but the others will stay there". "Fair play is fine play."

They go to the races together.

It was not necessary to bring in a Bill here to get them a day off for the races. This sort of regimentation will get us nowhere. Where are these lads, who are getting their meals in the farmers' houses, to go on a week's holidays? You will hand them over £2. That is the sum that is considered sufficient for these men. Where will they go for a week's holidays? To the county home? Let us deal with this matter in a practical way. I think that the man who saved this country during the past six years is entitled to at least as good a livelihood as any "Jackeen" with a pen behind his ear.

And to holidays.

He has more holidays to-day than you are proposing to give him by this legislation. I have given more holidays myself. You are proposing to give him six working days plus six bank holidays. At present, these men have ten Church holidays, St. Stephen's Day, Easter Monday and a couple of days to go to the races.

Where do they get ten Church holidays?

They have them everywhere except in those places about which Deputy Everett talked but we are not concerned with a couple of estates. I am concerned with the 495,000 people working on the land and I say that this is an attempt to drive a wedge between them and the 80,000 agricultural labourers. Instead of giving these labourers ten Church holidays every year you are saying to them: "For four of these Church holidays in future, you will have to take off your coats and work. Then you may get two quid some Saturday night and go down to the county home on the following week." That is the offer contained in this Bill. Where is the poor devil to go with two quid?

Are you for or against the Bill?

I am telling both Parties here what they should do. I am in favour of holidays for all agricultural workers but I am not going to distinguish between the labourer who gets two quid a week and the farmer's son who gets no quid at all.

He gets a fortune.

Perhaps he gets the order of the boot. That is the situation which we have to consider. I am asking the Minister to tackle this question as it should be tackled and say: "I am going to educate the gentlemen who calculate the means of widows and old age pensioners. I am going to take the buckshee professors and teach them agriculture."

They do not come into this Bill at all.

I suggest that they do, and that I am completely in order in mentioning them. I suggest to the Minister that, to educate these gentlemen, they should be sent down to work for a fortnight on a farm during their holidays. If they get a pain between the shoulders then their association will be able to look after them and give them a rub up. Let us avoid this piecemeal legislation. Why pick out a special class of 80,000 from the 495,000 agricultural workers and say that they are going to be compelled to take six holidays in addition to six Church holy-days and that they are going to be compelled to work for four other Church holidays on which their Church tells them that they should not work? Under which system were they better off? The more you regiment them and the more you interfere by legal methods with the present happy family position that exists amongst the agricultural community the more harm you are going to do.

A holiday for everyone but the agricultural workers.

Give the agricultural worker a decent wage first as a result of which he can afford to take a holiday. What is the use of telling him to put on his Sunday clothes and take a holiday if the poor devil has no Sunday clothes to get into? I want to draw a distinction between the industrial worker and the ordinary agricultural labourer who walks into me of an evening and says: "Martin, I am going off for the evening. I am going to Cork to take a doll to the pictures" or the man who says: "I want to take a day off to buy a pair of boots." What would happen to the industrial worker who approached his employer in that way? You have to draw a line between the conditions that exist for agricultural workers and those that exist amongst industrial workers. If the poor devil of an industrial worker is out for a day, he is wiped out. Again there are very few agricultural labourers who will not be laid up for some period during the year. The worker gets national health insurance, but he has three days to wait before he gets anything.

He might have to wait three months.

There are three days anyway, during which he is entitled to nothing by law. He is paid for these three days by the farmer just as if he worked. I never met a case in which an agricultural worker received any other treatment from a farmer. It is now proposed to introduce regimentation into that system. You place the farmer in the position in which he has to say to his labourer: "You are entitled to nothing more and nothing less, and that is all you will get from me".

I have a certain amount of sympathy for some neighbours of mine who are working as gardeners and who do not get Church holy-days. I see these poor devils getting into their old clothes and going off to work. I say it is unfair and unjust in a Catholic country that certain workers have to work on Church holy-days while industrial workers have the right to get off on the Freemason thing called a bank holiday. Let us get down to business in this matter, and let the Deputy come in here with a decent Bill to provide a minimum wage of £3 10s. 0d. per week for the agricultural worker. Let the Minister approach that by saying: "Very well; there is the cost of agricultural labour. On that basis let us fix the price of milk, beet, butter, eggs and everything else produced by the farmer. There is the price—the cost of production plus a certain profit for the agricultural community, and let the agricultural community be taken out of the rut they are in." Let us have a proposal of that kind instead of the present miserable proposal to give holidays to a poor devil who has not five bob in his pocket to enjoy them or never can have under present conditions.

What is the good of giving a holiday to a slave? Where is the good telling a poor labourer like that: "Mick, you can go off for a week's holidays, and Jack you will remain, but on next Patrick's Day you will have to work, Mick, and Jack can go off for the day." That is what you are doing. If you want to do it, do it, but do not do it with your eyes closed. Let us have such conditions in agriculture as will enable the agricultural community to have something on which to take a holiday. What is the good of comparing these people with industrial workers? If, in the morning, you increase the pay of the industrial workers, the industrialist can walk over to the Prices Commission the following day and put the amount of the increase on to the amount the consumer pays for the article. What court can the farmer go to on matters of that kind? The price of beet was fixed at 80/- per ton four years ago, and, since then, agricultural wages have been increased by 5/- per week by law, but the farmer is still getting 80/- per ton for his beet. How is it possible to draw a comparison between the industrialist who has a court to which he can go and the farmer who has to take what he gets for feeding everybody? Let us look at this matter like men, like Christians and let us look at it as people who should be more than thankful to the people who fed us when we would have died from hunger otherwise.

Deputy Corry knows as well as anybody in the House that there is no intention on the part of the promoters of this Bill to drive a wedge between the agricultural labourer and the working farmer who works his land with family labour. He seems to presume to speak on behalf of the working farmer when he suggests that they could not benefit by the operation of a Bill of this kind. I suggest, from my limited knowledge of the working farmers of my constituency and of other counties in the Midlands area, that the majority of the decent farmers in these areas are at the moment giving these holidays with pay to their agricultural labourers, and they do it in the turf-cutting counties for the purpose of enabling the labourers to provide themselves with fuel for the winter. They have been doing that for a very long period. I admit that a number of them will never give concessions, either in respect of wages or working conditions, until forced to do so by law, and that is why this measure has been brought in.

Does Deputy Corry suggest that the 415,000 working farmers out of the 495,000 who are engaged in agriculture could not take the holidays provided for in the Bill, if they desired to do so? Of course they could, and nobody would prevent them from doing so, if they desired to take them when the Bill comes into operation. The main point is: does Deputy Corry suggest that the 415,000 working farmers and those who help to carry on their farms do not want to give the conditions laid down in this Bill to the 80,000 agricultural labourers who work for 39/- and 40/- a week? I suggest that no opposition will come from the working farmers to the operation of this limited measure. I know that Deputy Corry has a decent outlook with regard to conditions for workers generally, but if he or any other Deputy can suggest ways and means by which we can give benefits corresponding to those provided in this Bill to the working farmers, let him get up and put them forward. He will find that the promoters of the Bill will be the first to shake hands with him on that point.

Increase the wages.

I salute Deputy Corry with enthusiasm for having the courage to get up on the Fianna Fáil Benches to suggest that agricultural labourers should get a wage of £3 10s. per week, and I hope he has enough influence within the councils of the Government Party to carry that suggestion through and that he will instruct the Minister—I think he will require to be instructed on the matter —to provide for the payment of a living wage of that kind in the very near future. Aside from the little political play-acting he carried on, I agree with him that it is a common-sense thing to suggest that an agreed living wage should be fixed for the agricultural labourer. Nobody will suggest— not even the Minister—that he is in receipt of a living wage at present. It is desirable that there should be an agreed living wage for him, so that the farmer, the Minister and his advisers will know how to frame costings in the agricultural industry. I think Deputy Corry will agree that the small farmer or the big farmer who does a good deal of tillage, who grows beet and wheat, is getting an economic price for that beet and wheat.

He is not.

If he says they are not getting a profitable price for their beet and wheat and other agricultural produce for which guaranteed prices are provided, I am prepared to take his word for it and if necessary to follow him into the Lobby in support of an increase in these prices, if such increases are necessary to help the farmer to pay his agricultural labourer £3 10s. 0d. per week or any other living wage which may be agreed upon or suggested.

I suppose the Minister is quite right in relating any additional cost which may be put on the farmers to the necessity for increased production. I do not disagree with that viewpoint expressed by the Minister, whether this Minister or any future Minister, but the Minister suggests that working farmers and others should get down to business and plan for increased production in the future. It does not matter what planning you have—you can have all the planning you like by the farmer at his fireside after his day's work—if the farmer cannot get credit facilities to purchase machinery and work his farm in such a way as will bring about increased production, that increased production will not be brought about. What is the use of talking to a farmer about increased production if he has not got the capital to enable him to work his farm or if he cannot get that capital at a lower rate from the banks than 5 or 6 per cent., or 4½ per cent. from the great Agricultural Credit Corporation of which the Minister is the father and the grandfather?

No, not the grandfather.

If Deputy Corry or the Minister in particular can provide cheap credit facilities for the farmers, he will be doing something which will increase production and increase it quickly. The farmers of other democratically governed countries can get credit facilities—some of them in competition with us on the foreign market—at as low a rate as 1 per cent. This is the greatest country in the world for the moneylender. He can suck 5 and 6 per cent. out of the farmers after getting gilt-edged security for his money and the Minister seems to think that that is not related to increased production. Is it beyond the bounds of reason that the Minister should tell the working farmers that they will be able to get money at 2 per cent., the average rate of interest at which the Governments of other countries similar to ours can provide money for farmers? Is it not a fact that the British Government propose to give money in the near future, under the Government-controlled bank, to the farmers of England at the low rate of 2 per cent? If the farmers of this country have to pay 5 and 6 per cent. for the money they need to develop their industry, how can they compete in the foreign market, or get profitable prices in that market as against competing countries which provide their farmers with money at 1 per cent. and 2 per cent., and not more than 2 per cent?

What other competing country?

I do not know what percentage of the £35,000,000 on loan by the joint stock banks of this country to their customers is lent to farmers. Would it be correct to say that about 60 per cent. of that £35,000,000 represents loans to farmers?

Very little, I should say.

Well, the Minister belongs to a part of the country where they do not need any capital.

They need it, but do not get it.

Does the Minister mean to tell me that the £35,000,000 shown in the summarised bank balance sheets recently published does not include a very high figure representing advances to the agriculturists? To my knowledge, certainly a big portion of the money is loaned to farmers. Would it not be a great contribution if the Minister could bring about this state of affairs, if he could reduce the interest paid on those loans from 5 to 2 per cent.? Would it not give the farmer a greater profit for the running of his industry and would it not help him, if the Minister desired to help him, to pay the small amount of the increased cost that might fall on him as a result of the operation of a measure of this kind? I ask him to concentrate on that particular aspect of the farmer's problems and if he is able to use his influence and if the influence of the Government can be used to bring down the rates of interest paid by farmers to the joint stock banks or the Agricultural Credit Corporation, he will be doing a tremendous amount of good in helping to increase production.

They may lose more than they gain.

The lack of capital is one of the principal difficulties of the working farmer in increasing production. I heard that quite recently from one of the Minister's principal advisers who knows a good deal about this country, because it is his job to go around the country and consult with farmers and farmers' organisations. I do not pretend to know more than the gentleman I have in mind and I have no objection to giving the Minister his name, but I do not want to mention it here in this debate. At any rate, Deputy Corry can be quite assured that the working farmers and their families are not opposed to the operation of a measure of this kind. If the Minister, instructed by Deputy Corry —Deputy Corry forcing the Minister— will bring in a Bill to give the agricultural labourer £3 10s. a week or to increase credit facilities or any other facilities for working farmers, he will find the first Deputies to stand up in support of him will be the Deputies responsible for the promotion of this Bill.

I think enough has been said on this Bill and in other discussions that have taken place here to make it clear that, unless the agricultural labourer is so established in regard to wages and conditions of employment, that he is satisfied with his avocation in life and can support his family in reasonable comfort, there is going to be no solid foundation for our whole economy here. It is also clear that we cannot bring that position about merely by passing resolutions or expressing opinions here. There must be a very definite application of a plan and work and policy over quite a wide range of things. Deputy Davin has indicated how many things might have to be taken into consideration before that desirable stage even would be reached.

I welcome the approach of the Minister to the Bill before the House and would suggest to the promoters of the Bill that they would advance the idea they have in mind, in so far as it can be advanced at the moment, by taking the Minister's proposal this morning and not pressing this motion to a division—a division that might easily be misunderstood, since there is no one satisfied that this Bill, if passed in its present form, would solve the difficulty or bring about the conditions the promoters desire.

As I understand the Minister's proposals, there are seven regional agricultural wages boards in the country, with a chief Agricultural Wages Board at the head. I understand it is within the competence of any of those regional boards to discuss this question of holidays for agricultural workers. As the boards are made up, however they may be appointed, of men who are accepted as being competent to speak the voice of the workers in agriculture on the one hand and the voice of the employing farmers on the other hand, we arrive at a very satisfactory and interesting point. Following discussion here on a proposal to extend the idea of formal annual holidays to agricultural workers, we have the Minister's suggestion that this could be discussed profitably by any one of those bodies and that, if it is so discussed and further discussed by the chief Agricultural Wages Board, then the Minister thinks, in the first place, they would probably have power to arrange without legislation that holidays be given and, in any case, that he would be prepared sympathetically to consider proposals coming from that board, to the effect that legislation should be introduced. If that is the point we have reached, it would be a pity for us to divide here on the principle as to whether the agricultural labourers should have these particular holidays or not. Everybody is agreed that the work of agriculture is so carried on that attention has to be paid to various aspects which have not to be taken care of from the point of view of time and period when you are dealing with an industrial occupation. In the latter case, they can be fixed, but in the case of agriculture the work has to go on over the greater part of the day and the greater part of the year.

I have been arguing the question of road workers' wages, as it is a thing we fixed here and on which we had explicit Government policy disclosed. I have been protesting against keeping the road workers' wages down to the point to which they are being kept down, particularly in the light of various public bodies unanimously protesting against the level to which they have been kept down. I have been urging that our plans and our development here must be such as to enable the rural worker to live in stable comfort and raise his family, without feeling fretful that he wants to go to some other work or to some other place or to some other country. To some extent, the agricultural labourer is the foundation of our whole group of rural workers. I think it will be found that, given a plan thoroughly thought out, every section of the people will agree that we should not continue the situation in which the agricultural worker is as it were a pariah of our agricultural industry. Such freedom and such leisure as can be made available for workers in industry will have to be made available ultimately for workers in agriculture.

Given the approach of the Minister and the expression of the Minister's mind on that matter to-day, I think a very satisfactory advance would be made. The regional agricultural wages boards could discuss this matter in a way we could not have it discussed, with all the facts in front of them. It would be discussed there by people deeply interested in the industry from every point of view. That would be a constructive step along the road the promoters of this Bill are seeking to travel, and I suggest it would be more helpful if they did not insist on dividing on the measure in the form in which it is at the moment.

I do not know whether Deputy Corry is still a member of the Fianna Fáil Party or not. I imagined from his speech that he was not, but so far we have had no indication of his formal severance from the Party. For a Fianna Fáil Deputy he was particularly hard on the Minister. It was a hard thing that, at the end of the 14 years of Fianna Fáil Government, Deputy Corry would say that the agricultural labourers were only unpaid serfs on the farm. That was not a scintillating tribute to the Government's agricultural policy. He told us, too, that after the same 14 years, if he gave an agricultural worker a week's holidays, that worker would have to go to the county home during the week. Then he sort of embroidered his tributes with statements such as "the poor devil has not got five bob in his pocket", and "he has not a decent suit to wear on Sunday". Is not that just a glowing tribute to the success of the Fianna Fáil Government's agricultural policy? That is Deputy Corry, the agriculturist, talking, and remember, that is an analysis of the Government's agricultural policy that we got from the Government Benches to-day. That was Deputy Corry's view of the condition to which the Government have reduced agriculture. Not a single Deputy on the Government Benches contradicted him.

Deputy Corry's own suit is not too good.

It may be that he also is suffering under the Government's policy.

We allow freedom of speech, anyway, among the members of this Party.

Perhaps the Minister would be glad if that speech was not made?

I do not mind.

Deputy Corry talked about the happy association of the agricultural workers and the farmers. If a happy association exists, and it does not result in the grinding down of the agricultural labourer to the level that is described by Deputy Corry as equivalent to serfdom, everybody welcomes that association; but there are many farmers and agricultural workers who think it is very largely a case of the small man who married a lady of mammoth proportions, his romanticism having led him into that difficulty. The wedding ceremony over, they come down the church steps and the little man, looking at the titanic proportions of his wife and wanting to be on good terms with her, said: "Mary, now you and I are one." Looking down on John, Mary said: "Yes, John, but I am the one." This happy association, which Deputy Corry apparently wants to continue, is one which, according to himself, has produced a position in which the agricultural worker has not a decent suit for Sunday, has not five bob in his pocket, and if you give him a week's holidays, he has to go into the county home. There is surely something wrong with an agricultural economy in which that condition of affairs is described as a happy association? One shudders to think of the condition of the agricultural worker if the association were an unhappy one, if that is the best that can be produced by a happy association.

Deputy Corry, and the Minister in the earlier stages, said that this scheme of giving agricultural workers holidays will not work in Ireland. We have some special dose of original sin that nothing will work here that works in other intelligently governed countries. How does it work in New Zealand, where the agricultural output is the envy of every farmer in the world, where the prosperity of the agriculturist is the envy of every other agriculturist in the world? How does it work in Denmark? Both these countries beat us hollow in the British market. They have an economic and agricultural structure far better than ours and they manage to give their agricultural workers holidays. New Zealand is providing a minimum wage of five guineas a week. We can give our workers only £2 a week of a maximum and no holidays, while New Zealand can give their workers five guineas a week, with holidays. A bad suit of clothes on Sunday and only five bob in a man's pocket is something unknown there. Hand in hand with the pauperising of the agricultural workers, we have a low agricultural output, whereas they can give good wages and holidays and they have a good agricultural output, something that we probably will never be able to attain. However, I do not want to spend any more time dealing with what Deputy Corry said.

The Minister stated that, so far as he knew, the farmers granted their workers Catholic holy-days. It is true that some farmers do that, but it is equally true that a considerable number do not grant Catholic holy-days with pay to their workers. A number of farmers allow holidays with pay and others allow holidays without pay. Where one farmer allows Catholic holy-days with pay, while many of his neighbours do not allow them with pay, surely some effort can be made to level up that position? If the Minister is right, that the generality of farmers allow Catholic holy-days, this Bill imposes no extra charge by making it obligatory on them to give the holidays set out and pay their workers when they take leave from their work on these days. I have had letters since the Minister made his speech, from my own and other constituencies, in which it was indicated that these El Doradolike conditions that the Minister referred to do not exist, and if a person gets a day off to go to a race meeting, or takes a day off on a Catholic holy-day, in many instances he is deprived of any payment for the time he takes off.

I have shown in my introductory speech that the cost of providing a week's holidays for an agricultural worker represents no more than £2 per annum to the farmer at the present rate of remuneration of agricultural workers. That £2 per annum represents, roughly, 9d. per week. Surely we are in the position in which agriculture is at least capable of paying an additional 9d. a week to agricultural workers? If we cannot evolve an agricultural economy which is not capable of bearing the slight burden which the granting of a week's paid holidays will impose then we ought to give up agriculture as a branch of our national activities.

The fact that an agriculturist like Deputy Corry feels bound to call for increased wages for agricultural workers, and the fact that every Deputy must know the seething discontent which exists among agricultural workers, indicate, whether this House likes it or not, and whether the agricultural industry likes it or not, that the agricultural workers insist that no longer are they to be what Deputy Corry describes them as, serfs of the agricultural industry. My experience, particularly in recent months, convinces me that the agricultural worker has made up his mind that he is no longer to be exploited 54 hours a week for the miserable wage of £2, a rate utterly inadequate to enable him to provide for his wife and children and to buy the necessaries of life at the high price levels which operate to-day.

We have already had a sample of the fact that the agricultural worker is not going to be a door-mat any longer. Very large numbers of agricultural workers in County Dublin have gone on strike. They now insist that they should get a week's holidays with pay and that their wages should be £3 a week. If the Minister is a wise man, he will recognise that what is happening in County Dublin is not an isolated protest by agricultural workers against their conditions. It is symptomatic of the feeling of agricultural workers throughout the country. I believe the County Dublin strike will spread.

I was prevented from answering a Deputy about the County Dublin strike. I would like to talk about it, if I am permitted to do so.

I am not going to talk about the strike or its merits.

What about the Holidays Bill?

I think enough of a mess has been made by the Government——

That is right—get something in like that when you know that I cannot answer you.

The Minister was prevented from dealing with the Dublin strike. Its merits should not be discussed on this Bill.

I do not propose to do so, and if I had been allowed to complete my sentence it would have been manifest that I did not want to make any reference to it. I did not object to the Minister making a reference to it.

The Chair did.

I cannot help that.

The Chair says that it is not relevant.

That is a matter between the Minister and the Chair.

And the Deputy.

One of the demands in that strike—payment for a week's holidays—is going to bring the whole question of the wage rate for agricultural workers right into the public view, and, whether the Minister likes it or not, these people are going to insist on getting holidays the same as every other class of worker in the community. Nobody here has attempted to show why they should be deprived of holidays, or that it would not be possible to evolve legislation providing for agricultural workers the same type of holidays as is granted to every other worker in industry, to every worker in shops and to those in domestic service. Are we driven to make this admission: that, while we can provide holidays for every other class of worker in the community, when we come to deal with the agricultural worker on whose efforts we have depended to such a large extent during the past six years, the best we can do to meet this problem is to offer him low wages and bad economic conditions: that we collapse completely when faced with this problem, and pretend that while we can provide wages for everybody else we cannot provide wages for the unfortunate agricultural worker? I think that the agricultural workers have just got tired of listening to the flowery tributes paid to their services over the last six years. Flowery tributes and low wages added together still leave only low wages. The agricultural workers cannot live on low wages, and I am sure that they are not prepared to continue on the impoverished standard of living to which they have been condemned especially during the past six years of rising prices.

The Minister has told us that one of the things we need in respect to agriculture is increased production. I do not think anybody concerned with the welfare of the country will attempt to deny that one of the most essential things in this country is to intensify national production, because out of an increasing pool of wealth we can make available services and conditions of life which will not be present and will not be possible of diffusion if the standard of national production is low. I suggest to the Minister that contentment is probably the cheapest agricultural instrument that you can use on a farm. It is as essential as fertilisers are for prosperous farming. You can have contentment on the land by showing the agricultural workers that you recognise the contribution which they make to national productivity, that you are not going to regard them as an untouchable class by denying them rights which every other class of worker has been able, by organisation, to wring from those employing them. You must make some approach to recognise the function of the agricultural worker, that he is an essential element within the community, and the way to do that is to extend to him recognition in the form of paid annual holidays. In that way you can make a silent contribution to agriculture which, in the long run, will add to our national productivity by the factor of contentment in agricultural employment.

I think that the Minister whether he likes it or not, is nearer to paid annual holidays in the case of agricultural workers than he thinks he is. I think that it is bound to come. In very large measure it will probably come this year, whether the Agricultural Wages Board wishes it or not, and despite what the Minister will do or will not do. I would prefer to see it done in a way removed from the acrimony and from the strife which I think will be associated with its coming. The Minister and the House have an opportunity of showing now by their attitude towards this Bill that they are in favour of extending to agricultural workers the same holidays as those which have been granted to every other class of worker in the country. The Minister says that he thought this was a matter which the Agricultural Wages Board could deal with, provided it came up to it through the regional boards. I have no faith whatever in the Agricultural Wages Board. I do not think it would matter twopence to the country if that board was abolished to-morrow so far as the agricultural workers are concerned. It has acted as chloroform on them because they have been looking to it to get increased wages. If there had been no board they would have found other methods of getting increased wages, and from the beginning could have looked for other methods. I have no faith whatever in the board and the fact that the Minister should refer this to the board to consider just leaves me icy cold so far as expecting anything progressive from that board is concerned, a board which in 1946 could recommend a wage of £2 per week to agricultural workers when the cost of living had increased by over 70 per cent. as compared with 1939. Clearly, this is a board that has a rather Babylonian conception of what the conditions in the agricultural industry ought to be, and of what the standard of contentment and comfort ought to be in the homes of our agricultural workers to-day. I am prepared to do this if the Minister will say that he will direct the board to give him a scheme——

Is the Deputy having faith in it now?

No. I am prepared to have——

I thought it left you cold.

It does leave me cold.

Leave it out then and go ahead.

The Minister is not objecting to my finishing my speech?

I am prepared, if the Minister will direct this board to produce a definite scheme to give agricultural workers holidays on the same basis as all other workers get holidays, to withdraw this Bill, but that is on the clear and definite understanding that the board will be told to show the Minister ways and means of implementing a scheme of holidays for agricultural workers this year. If the Minister is not prepared to do that, and judging by his rather heated interruption I gather that he is not, then there is only one course left to us, and that is to ask the House to express itself on the subject of granting holidays to agricultural workers. We have been paying tributes to them for the last six years, telling them what fine fellows they are, but when it comes to looking after their wage envelopes we put very little into them to measure our appreciation of their services. We have now the opportunity of showing the agricultural workers that, if we have given holidays to every other class of worker in the country, we are not going to deny holidays to those who made such a magnificent contribution to the national effort during the last six years. That is the simple test that I am now putting before the House.

I do not know what the fate of this Bill may be. The big battalions will decide that. We shall see how Deputy Corry, who protested so much, shall emerge from the process of regimentation if it comes to the question of a vote. The Minister owes it to himself, he owes it to the House, and he owes it to the agricultural workers of the country to vote for the Second Reading of this Bill as an endorsement of the principle of not regarding agricultural workers as outcasts; as an endorsement of the principle to extend to agricultural workers the same holidays as those which are granted to every other class of worker. I suggest to the Minister, now that he has recovered from the temporary anger to which my surface reference to the Dublin strike gave rise, that that ought not to blind him to the responsibility which he owes to the agricultural workers. I therefore appeal to all Parties to support the Second Reading of the Bill. The House, having endorsed the principle of paid holidays, can then discuss in what way that proposal can best be given effect.

Deputy Norton asked me about the matter of giving a direction to the board. I explained to him— perhaps he did not understand me— that legally I cannot do that. When the Agricultural Wages Bill was going through the Dáil the Labour Party insisted that I could not give a direction to the board, and, therefore, I cannot understand why Deputy Norton should make such a recommendation as he has made.

But the chairman of the board is your own nominee.

Yes, but what Deputy Norton asks is that, in effect, I should say to the chairman: "If you do not do so-and-so, you are sacked."

Question put.
The Dáil divided: Tá, 21; Níl, 50.

  • Anthony, Richard S.
  • Byrne, Alfred.
  • Coburn, James.
  • Commons, Bernard.
  • Corish, Brendan.
  • Cosgrave, Liam.
  • Davin William.
  • Dockrell, Henry M.
  • Donnellan, Michael.
  • Doyle, Peadar S.
  • Everett, James.
  • Flanagan, Oliver J.
  • Keyes, Michael.
  • Larkin, James (Junior).
  • McMenamin, Daniel.
  • Mulcahy, Richard.
  • Murphy, Timothy J.
  • Norton, William
  • O'Sullivan, Martin.
  • Pattison, James P.
  • Spring, Daniel.


  • Aiken, Frank.
  • Allen, Denis.
  • Bartley, Gerald.
  • Beegan, Patrick.
  • Blaney, Neal.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Brady, Seán.
  • Breathnach, Cormac.
  • Breen, Daniel.
  • Brennan, Martin.
  • Brennan, Thomas.
  • Butler, Bernard.
  • Carter, Thomas.
  • Childers, Erskine H.
  • Colbert, Michael.
  • Colley, Harry.
  • Corry, Martin J.
  • Crowly, Honor Mary.
  • Derrig, Thomas.
  • De Valera, Eamon.
  • De Valera, Vivion.
  • Fogarty, Andrew.
  • Gorry, Patrick J.
  • Healy, John B.
  • Kilroy, James.
  • Kissane, Eamon.
  • Lemass, Seán F.
  • Little, Patrick J.
  • McCann, John.
  • McCarthy, Seán.
  • McEllistrim, Thomas.
  • MacEntee, Seán.
  • Moran, Michael.
  • Moylan, Seán.
  • O Briain, Donnchadh.
  • O'Grady, Seán.
  • O'Loghlen, Peter J.
  • O'Reilly, Matthew.
  • O'Rourke, Daniel.
  • Rice, Bridget M.
  • Ruttledge, Patrick.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Shanahan, Patrick.
  • Sheridan, Michael.
  • Skinner, Leo B.
  • Smith, Patrick.
  • Ua Donnchadha, Dómhnall.
  • Walsh, Laurence.
  • Walsh, Richard.
  • Ward, Conn.
Tellers:—Tá: Deputies Keyes and Davin; Níl: Deputies Kissane and Ó Briain.
Question declared negatived.
The Dáil adjourned at 1.50 p.m., until 3 p.m. on Tuesday, 2nd April, 1946.