asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he will state why the advertisement entitled "Further Changes in Social Welfare" appearing in the daily papers on 5th January, 1953, was not sent to the provincial newspapers.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Department Advertisement.
The advertisement referred to by the Deputy was not sent to any provincial newspapers becausemy Department was satisfied that the publicity given in the daily Press on the appointed day was adequate. I might say that in deciding to restrict the advertisement to the daily Press I was not unmindful of the considerable extra expenditure which an extension to the provincial Press would entail. I do not think the additional publicity value to be gained by an extension of the advertisement to the provincial Press would have justified such extra expenditure.
Would the Minister, therefore, not agree that his advertising of the Social Welfare Act of 1952 in all the provincial newspapers in June of last year was merely a misuse of State funds for the purpose of bolstering up the Fianna Fáil Party for the three by-elections, held during that month?
The new benefits were coming in at that particular time.
They happened to come in after the Opposition had moved the writ for the by-elections. It was only right that people should be made aware of their right to claim those new benefits that Fianna Fáil had provided for them.
If it was the intention of the Minister in June, 1952, to make all the people aware of their rights under the social welfare scheme, surely there was the same obligation on him on the 5th January to make it known through the same channels, that is the provincial newspapers.
The Deputy is well aware that there were 860,000 people concerned in June of last year. There were only a few thousand concerned this time.