Committee on Finance. - Vote 49—Gaeltacht Services.

Tairgim:—

Go ndeonfar suim nach mó ná £23,740 chun slánuithe na suime is ga chun íoctha an Mhuirir a thiocfas chun bheith iníoctha i rith na bliana dar críoch an 31ú lá de Mhárta, 1954, chun Tuarastal agus Costas i dtaobh Seirbhísí na Gaeltachta, lena n-áirítear Deontais um Thógáil Tithe.

Má tá an Dáil sásta, molaim go bpléfi an dá Mheastachán, Votaí 49 agus 66, le chéile, ionas nach mbeidh an díospóireacht chéanna againn arís mar is dóigh liom gurb iad na rudaí céanna a bheas á plé.

If there is no objection, I think it would facilitate discussion if the debate on Votes 49 and 66 were taken together, as they will follow the same lines and the same matters will be discussed.

No objection.

Both Estimates can be discussed on the motion moved by the Minister.

Tá laghdú £85,920 ar Mheastachán na bliana seo ach caithfear a thógaint san áireamh go raibh soláthar i Meastachán na bliana seo caite de £85,500 chun stóir d'abhair d'athshlánú. Níl aon tsoláthar dá dhéanamh chuige sin i mbliana.

Siad na seirbhísí is mó ar a dtráchtfaidh mé sa ráiteas seo ná na tionscail tuatha agus na tionscail mhara atá dá seoladh faoi chúram na Fo-Roinne, agus cúrsaí tithíochta faoi Achta na dTithe (Gaeltacht).

Maidir leis na tionscail tuatha, taispeánann na mírchinn D. 1 go D. 8 go bhfuil laghdú de thimpeall £73,500 sa tsoláthar i mbliana ach má déantar an soláthar a rinneadh anuraidh d'athshlánú stór a thógaint san áireamh chífear go bhfuil soláthar na bliana seo do riachtanais reatha na dtionscal tuatha gairid do £12,00 níos mó ná an soláthar a rinneadh chuige sin anuraidh. Taobh amuigh de sin, t soláthar faoi Fho-mhírcheann H chunpáigh na n-oibrithe sna tionscail tuatha d'íoc as Fáltais agus tá an méid a taispeántar chuige sin £4,000 níos mó ná an soláthar a rinneadh bliain ó shoin.

Taispeántar faoi Fho-mhírcheann D. 1 go bhfuil an Fho-Roinn ag súil le breis maisínre a cheannach do na tionscail tuatha; tá an t-éileamh ar bhréidín ag dul i méid—go mór mhór sna Stáit Aontaithe agus sa Ghearmáin—agus tá i gceist a thuilleadh maisínre a cheannach i mbliana don mhuileann sníomhacháin i gCill Chárthaigh chun cuidiú le táirgeacht. Tá a thuilleadh maisínre ag teastáil freisin don tionscal cniotála agus do thionscal na mbréagán.

Taispeántar faoi Fho-Mhírchinn D. 2 agus D. 3 go bhfuil ísliú de thimpeall £97,600 sa tsoláthar d'abhair déantóireachta agus pacála ach sa chás seo, taobh amuigh den cheist athshlánuithe stóir a bhí ann anuraidh, táthar ag tógaint san áireamh go raibh stóir thar mar ba ghnáthach ar láimh ag tosnú na bliana. Beidh siad san á n-úsáid sa bhliain seo; mar sin, níl i gceist aon ísliú táirgeachta a bheith ann. Meastar go gcaithfear níos mó ar thine-abhair, iompar, fógraíocht, cothabháil agus eile, agus táthar ag déanamh soláthair de thimpeall £7,000 breise chucu siúd faoi na Fo-mhírchinn D. 4 go D. 8.

Faoi Fho-mhírcheann E, déantar soláthar do na tionscail mhara. Tá isliú de thimpeall £2,400 anso seachas mar soláthraíodh anuraidh ach ní le ceannach torthaí mara a bhaineann an laghdú so ach le hiompar agus stóráil. Anuraidh bhí i gceist slata mara ar fad a cheannach agus ní raibh ach soláthar comhartha ann d'aon tsaghas feamnaigh eile taobh amuigh de £2,750 chun cairrgín a cheannach. I mbliana, i dteannta na slata mara, ceannaíodh roinnt mhaith ascophyllum nó feamainn bhuí a bhí ag teastáil ón gCuideachtain Tionscal Ailgíneacha (Éire) Teoranta. Ní gnáthach na costais iompair agus stórála a bheith chomh trom i gcás an ascophyllum, agus a bheadh i gcás na slata mara.

Is leis an Stát an chuid is mó de scaireanna na Cuideachtan Tionscal Ailgíneacha (Éire) Teoranta, agus i dtosach na bliana féilire seo do leagadha cuntais don bhliain dar chríoch an 30 Meán Fómhair, 1952, ar Bhord na Dála.

Faoi Fho-mhírcheann F. déantar soláthar do na deontais a tugtar faoi Achta na dTithe (Gaeltacht) agus tá an méid céanna sa Mheastachán chuige sin i mbliana a bhí anuraidh £61,500. Siad na háititheoirí tí féin a dhéanann cuid mhaith den obair ar ina leith a híoctar na deontais agus tuigfear mar sin go mbrathann sé go mór ar na daoine féin cén fhaid aimsire a caitear leis an obair chun íocaíocht na ndeontas a thuilleamh. Ar an 18ú de Mhárta seo caite ritheadh Acht na dTithe (Gaeltacht) (Leasú), 1953. Chuir an tAcht sin deireadh leis an dteorainn uasta de £900,000 a bhíodh le hiomlán na ndeontas agus na n-iasacht a híoctaí faoi na hAchta roimhe sin, agus rinne sé soláthar freisin do dheontais i leith uisce agus séarachais agus do dheontais agus iasachta i gcóir leathnúchán tí mar chóiríocht do chuairteoirí faoin Ghaeltacht, maille le harduithe áirithe i ndeontais feabhsúcháin. Tá na rialacháin nua faoin Acht sin i bhfeidhm anois agus tá na hiarratais ar na deontais nua á scrúdú. Tabharfaidh na Teachtaí faoi ndeara nach bhfuil an tAcht nua luaite sa Mheastachán seo— mar cuireadh chun a chlóbuailte é sar ar ritheadh an tAcht. Tá socraithe agam, áfach, dul ar aghaidh le caiteachas ar oibreacha faoin Acht nua a dhéanamh faoin Mheastachán mar atá sé, amhail is dá mbeadh an tAcht nua sonraithe ann.

Déileáltar faoi mhírcheann H. leis na fáltais i gcabhair an Vóta lena bhfuiltear ag súil. Chífear go bhfuiltear den tuairim go mbeidh ísliú de thimpeall £2,350 sa teacht isteach ó thorthaí mara seachas mar a bhí i gceist bliain ó shoin ach bíonn an fáltas seo i gcónaí do réir an chaiteachais faoi Fho-Mhírcheann E agus chífear go bhfuil ísliú de thimpeall £2,400 anso seachas soláthar na bliana roimhe.

Ar an dtaobh eile dhe, táthar ag súil le breis fáltais de £7,600 glan ó na tionscail tuatha seachas mar a bhí i gceist bliain ó shoin. Tá áthas orm bheith i ndon a rá go bhfuil feabhas le feiscint i gcúrsaí margaíochta agusgo bhfuil ag éirí leis na hiarrachta atá dá ndéanamh chun margaí d'fhorbairt thar lear. Bhí díolacháin iomlána na bliana dar chríoch an 31ú de Mhárta seo caite thart ar £68,500 níos airde ná mar a bhí sa bhliain roimhe sin agus is cósúil ó fhigiúirí díolacháin an chéad leath den bhliain airgeadais seo go mbeidh diolacháin na bliana so chomh hard nó b'fhéidir níos airde.

Maidir le Vóta 66, £7,480 an Meastachán i leith Oifig na Gaeltachta agus na gCeantar gCúng le haghaidh na bliana airgeadais dar críoch an 31ú lá de Mhárta, 1954. Baineann an t-airgead sin uile le tuarastail agus costaisí foirne. Tá meastachán na bliana seo £30 níos airde ná meastachán na bliana seo caite. Gnáth-bhreisithe tuarastail faoi ndear an t-ardú sin. Ní dearnadh aon athrú ar an bhfoirinn ach gur cuireadh post Rúnaí an Choiste Eadar-Roinne ar taispeáint sa Mheastachán an turas seo in ionad foráil a dhéanamh dó faoin mír-cheann "Soláthar le haghaidh Breis Foirne" fé mar a rinneadh sa bhliain 1952/53.

Sa ráiteas a ghaibh leis an Meastachán anuraidh, thugas cuntas ar phríomh-fheidhmeanna Oifig na Gaeltachta agus na gCeantar gCúng, ar na cúiseanna ba shiocair lena bunú, agus ar an gcuspóir ba mhaith léi a bhaint amach. Ní mian liom dul isteach gomion sna cúrsaí sin arís ar an ócáid seo. Ó tharla, ámh, nach bhfuil an Oifig ach tamall gairid ann fós, b'fhéidir nár mhiste a mheabhrú do na Teachtaí arís gur gléas í d'fhonn comhoirniú a dhéanamh ar chúrsaí na Gaeltachta agus na gCeantar gCúng i gcomhar le buan-Choiste Eadar-Roinne a bhfuilimse ag gníomhú mar chathaoirleach air.

Déantar scéimeanna ilghnéitheacha a meastar a dhéanfadh maitheas don Ghaeltacht agus do na Ceantair Chúnga a scrúdú, a phlé agus a scagadh ag cruinnithe an Choiste Eadar-Roinne. Ar an gcuma san, toghtar na scéimeanna a meastar tairbhe a bheith leo agus iad a bheith infheidhmithe. Cuirtear cinnte an Choiste in iúl do na Ranna éagsúla Stáit ansin agus iarrtar orthu éifeacht a thabhairt dóibh.

Níl aon fhoráil á déanamh sa Mheastachán seo lena chumasú d'Oifig na Gaeltachta agus na gCeantar gCúng airgead a chaitheamh, í féin, ar aon scéimeanna, agus tá faighte amach againn, i gcúrsa na hoibre, go bhfuil an nós imeachta atá i bhfeidhm i láthair na huaire—is é sin, go ndéanfaí na scéimeanna agus na tograí uile a chur i gcrích tríd an Roinn is mó lena mbaineann siad, leith ar leith—ag oibriú go sásúil agus nach gá, dá bhrí sin, foireann mhór a bheith ag gabháil le hOifig na Gaeltachta amhail mar a bheadh ag teastáil dá mba ar a mhalairt de chuma a bheadh an scéal.

Bíonn teagmháil dlúth ag Oifig na Gaeltachta agus na gCeantar gCúng leis na Ranna, agus Fo-Ranna uile sa Stát a bhfuil baint acu leis an nGaeltacht agus leis na Ceantair Chúnga, agus teagmháil aici, chomh maith, le comhluchtaí lasmuigh den Stát-Sheirbhís a bhfuil suim nó leas acu sna ceantair sin. Tá réim oibre an-fhairsing á láimhseáil ag an Oifig agus is é an nós anois é, i gcás gach aon togra, beagnach, a bhaineas leis na ceantair atá faoi mo chúram, gan aon scéim atá i bhfeidhm d'athrú ná aon scéim nua a thabhairt isteach go dtí go mbeifear tar éis comhairle a ghlacadh le hOifig na Gaeltachta agus na gCeantar gCúng agus leis an gCoiste Eadar-Roinne.

Tuigfear, ar ndóigh, nach bhféadfadh an rath a bheith ar obair aon ghléas comhoirniúcháin, ar nós Oifig na Gaeltachta agus na gCeantar gCúng, mura mbeadh comhar agus comhoibriú ar fáil ó na haonaid éagsúla feidhmiúcháin a beartófaí a chomhoirniú. Is iad atá ag gníomhú mar aonaid fheidhmiúcháin don Oifig seo ná na Ranna Stáit agus, ar shlite áirithe, comhluchtaí a bhunaigh an Stát—ar nós Bord na Móna agus Bord Soláthair an Leictreachais— agus a bhfuil airgead agus foireann ar fáil acu d'fhonn scéimeanna a chur i gcrích sa Ghaetacht agus sna Ceantair Chúnga. Tá faighte amach agam i gcúrsa na hoibre le dhá bhliain anuas go bhfuil na Ranna Stáit sin uile, maraon leis na comhluchtaí rachtúla, lán-toilteanach comhoibriú lem Oifig féin le go bhféadfaidís, i dteannta a chéile, gach fadhb d'ionsaí a bhaineas le forbairt shóisialach agus eacnamaíochna gceantar atá faoi mo chúram. Tá a cion féin déanta ag gach Roinn den Stát trí lán-úsáid a bhaint as na háiseanna a bhí ar fáil di d'fhonn scéimeanna a thionscain nó a bhrostú ar mhaithe leis na líomatáistí sin. Is é toradh atá ar an méid sin uile go bhfuil géarú so-aitheanta le feiscint ar an ráta oibre sna Ranna sin, sa mhéid go raibh baint ag an obair sin le cúrsaí na Gaeltachta agus na gCeantar gCúng. Bhéarfaidh mé, dá bhrí sin, léargas éigin díbh ar an ngéarú iarrachta sin trí thagairt a dhéanamh do chuid de na bearta is mó tábhacht a rinneadh le bliain anuas d'fhonn an cuspóir comhchoiteann a thabhairt i gcrích.

Mar shampla, i dtaca le cúrsaí tionscail de, táthar tar éis an Foras Tionscail a bhunú, is é sin an comhlucht corpraithe a bunaíodh faoin Acht um Límistéirí Neamhfhorbartha agus ar cuireadh £2,000,000 ar fáil dóibh d'fhonn cúrsaí tionscail d'fhorbairt sna líomatáistí atá sceidealta san Acht sin.

Ina theannta sin, i bhfeidhmiú an Achta Mine Féir (Táirgeadh), bunaíodh "Min Fhéir Teoranta," cuideachta theoranta a ceapadh d'fhonn talamh portaigh i gceantar Bheannchor Iorrais a thógaint, a shilt, agus a shaothrú le go bhféadfaí féar agus plandaí eile d'fhás agus a phróisiú ann.

Is cuimhin libh freisin go ndearnadh, de bhun cinneadh Rialtais, ordú a thabhairt mí Feabhra seo caite do Bhord Soláthair an Leictreachais dul ar aghaidh láithreach agus pleananna d'ullmhú chun go dtógfaí—in Iarthar Thír Chonaill, i gConamara, in Iarthar an Chláir agus in Iar-Dheisceart Chiarraí—cheithre stáisiún bheaga giniúna leictreachais d'úsáidfeadh móin lámh-bhainte.

Is cuimhin libh, chomh maith, gur thug an tAire Tionscail agus Tráchtála ráiteas uaidh mí Eanáir seo caite á chur in iúl go raibh socair stáisiún cumhachta a bhunú i ngual-cheantar Airgnigh, i gCo. Liathdroma, chun an gual ansin d'úsáid, agus go rabhthas tar éis a iarraidh ar Bhord Soláthair an Leictreachais pleananna agus ullmhúchán a dhéanamh chun na críche sin, chomh luath agus ab fhéidir. Cosnóidh sé níos mó ná milliún punt an stáisiúnsin a thógháil agus a chur i dtreo agus úsáidfidh sé idir 45,000 agus 50,000 tonna guail gach bliain.

Níor mhiste tagairt a dhéanamh freisin don scéim udró-leictreach atá beartaithe le haghaidh Abhann na Cláideadh i dTír Chonaill. Tá na pleananna don scéim sin críochnaithe anois ag Bord Soláthair an Leictreachais agus ceadaithe ag an Aire Tionscail agus Tráchtála.

Ar scáth na Roinne Rialtais Áitiúil tugadh isteach scéim nua na mbóthar cuartaíochta. Fé mar d'fhógair mé tamall ó shoin, tá an Roinn Rialtais Áitiúil tar éis scéimeanna—a ceapadh d'fhonn feabhas a chur ar bhóithre cuartaíochta sa Ghaeltacht agus sna Ceantair Chúnga—a cheadú i leith gach contae atá laistigh de líomatáiste feidhme m'Oifige. Tá tuairim 50 oibreacha i gceist ar fad agus cosnóidh siad san idir £1,800 agus £30,000 an ceann. Cuireadh timpeall £400,000 ar fáil do na comhairlí contae i mbliana, chun na hoibreacha sin a chur i gcrích. Gheobhaidh na hoibrithe bóthair, iad féin an chuid is mó den airgead sin, ar ndóigh, i bhfoirm páighe. Má scrúdaíonn na Teachtaí an liosta oibreacha a foilsíodh cheana féin, tuigfidh siad a thábhactaí atá na bóithre sin uile ó thaobh na cuartáiochta dhe, mar shampla, an bóthar trí Cheann tSléibhe ar leithinis an Daingin; an bóthar ó Lios Dúin Bhearna go dtí Ceann Boirne; an bóthar ó Bhaile na hInse trí Chloch na Rón go dtí an Clochán; agus an bóthar ó Bhéal Átha an Ghaorthaidh go dtí Béal Átha na Lice. Tógfaidh sé timpeall ocht mbliana an scéim iomlán a chur a gcrích. Um an dtaca sin, beidh níos mó ná £3,000,000 caite ar athchóiriú agus feabhsú na mbóthar cuartaíochta fíor-thábhachtacha sin.

Ó thaobh na talmhaíochta dhe, níor mhiste tagairt don leathnú atá bearttaithe ag an Roinn Talmhaíochta a dhéanamh ar scéim na dtithe trátaí. Táthar chun aonad den Scéim sin a bhunú anois i gCathair Saidhbhín. Comóradh cruinniú áitiúil cheana féin d'fhonn tús a chur leis an scéim agus táthar ag feitheamh le hiarratais anois ó na daoine ar mian leo a bheith páirteach inti.

Ina theannta sin, níor mhiste scéim eile atá idir lámha ag an Roinn Talmhaíochta a lua, is é sin scéim na ninniún. Tugadh scéim triaileach isteach i gConamara anuraidh d'fhonn na daoine a ghríosadh chun inniúin d'fhás. Bhí 112 páirteach sa scéim agus an t-ochtú cuid d'acra faoi inniúin ag gach duine acu. Fásadh timpeall 41 tonna ar fad agus rinne an Roinn Talmhaíochta iad a mhargú ar £38 10s. 0d. an tonna.

Tugadh scéim eile den tsórt céanna isteach sa Sciobairín, áit ar chuir 124 fásadóirí idir an ceathrú agus an t-ochtú cuid d'acra, an duine, faoi inniúin i dtreo go raibh timpeall 20 acra, ar fad, á saothrú agus gur táirgeadh tuairim 75 tonna inniún. Is iad na fásadóirí, iad féin, a chuir na hinniúin ar an margadh sa cheantar sin, agus fuaireadar idir £30 agus £40 an tonna orthu.

Bhí toradh chomh sásúil sin ar an dá scéim i gConamara agus sa Sciobairín gur socraíodh na scéimeanna sin a leathnú cuid mhór i mbliana. Chomh maith leis sin, táthar tár éis plásóga samplacha a shocrú sna háiteanna seo a leanas:—Oileáin Árann; Gort an Choirce, Co. Thír Chonaill; Baile an Fhirtéaraigh, Fionn Trágha, an Baile Dubh agus Cathair Saidhbhín, Co. Chiarraighe; Beannchor Iorrais, Co. Mhuigheo; agus roinnt áiteanna i gCo. Shligigh. Meastar go mbeidh timpeall 500 plásóg inniún, ar fad, dá saothrú faoi na scéimeanna éagsúla i mbliana.

Sa Roinn Tailte, ar ndóigh, tá tábhacht ar leith ag gabháil le hobair Choimisiún na Talún ó thaobh na gceantar ar a bhfuilimid ag trácht toisc nach féidir faoiseamh a thabhairt in aghaidh na cúngrachta gan gabháltais d'athshocrú roimhré. Ar an ábhar sin, is cúis sásaimh dúinn é bheith le rá go dtáinig, le tamall de bhlianta anuas, méadú leanúnach ar an saothar ab fhéidir le Coimisiún na Talún a dhéanamh maidir le gabháltais roinndála d'athshocrú. Is léir ó na figiúirí seo a leanas cad é an dul chun cinn atá á dhéanamh ag an gCoimisiún:—

An Bhliain

An méid gabháltas a hathshocraíodh

1950/51

106

1951/52

254

1952/53

371

Ní mhiste a lua, freisin, b'fhéidir, gur fostaíodh roinnt mhaith cigirí breise i gCoimisiún na Talún le déanaí, cé go bhfuil sé ré-luath fós bheith ag lorg rian an mhéaduithe sin ar shaothar an Choimisiúin. Tá gach dealramh ar an scéal, dá bhrí sin, go mbeidh ar chumas an Choimisiúin cúrsaí athshocruithe talún a chur chun cinn feasta ar ráta níos géire, fiú, ná mar is léir ó na figiúirí a luaigh mé anois díreach.

I láthair na huaire, freisin, tá scéim idir lámha ag Coimisiún na Talún d'fhonn muintir an Bhlascaoid Mhóir d'aistriú. Tar éis dóibh tamall fada a chaitheamh ag cuardach agus ag margántaíocht, d'éirigh leis an gCoimisiún talamh oiriúnach d'fháil gairid don Oileán ar an mór-thír i gcomharsanacht Dhún Chaoin agus tá beartaithe anois acu gabháltais bheaga agus tithe nua a chur ar fáil do na himirceoirí ansin. Ó tharla gur Fíor-Ghaeltacht ceantar Dhún Chaoin é féin, ba dheacair, ó thaobh cúrsaí teangan de, áit ab oiriúnaí ná an ceantar sin d'fháil le haghaidh na ndaoine atá le haistriú on mBlascaod.

Tá conradh déanta ag Coimisiún na Talún chun go dtógfar roinnt tithe ar an mór-thir. Críochnófar na tithe sin sar i bhfad agus táthar ag súil go gcuirfear aistriú na nOileánach i gcrích sara dtiocfaidh an geimhreadh isteach.

Ceist eile a raibh an Coiste Eadar-Roinne á plé go minic, ceist na foraoiseachta san Iarthar. Scrúdaíodh an scéal go mion féachaint an bhféadfaí an clár oibre sna ceantair sin a leathnú. I gceantair den tsórt sin, mar a bhfuil talamh maith an-ghann, dhealródh sé, ar an gcéad ásc, nárbh fhéidir aon leathnú substainteach i gcúrsaí foraoiseachta a thabhairt i gcrích mura bhféadtaí talamh fo-mharganach d'úsáid chun críocha plandála. Tá de mhí-ádh ar an scéal, ámh, go bhfuil gach cosúlacht ann, de dhroim tástála a rinneadh cheana, nárbh fhéidir beartas den tsórt sin a chur i bhfeidhm gan bheith fíor-chúramach ar fad ina thaobh. Pé scéal é, tá an Roinnteán Foraoiseachta ar a ndícheall ag scrúdú na ceiste sin i láthair na huaire. Tá roinnt plandála triaileacha curtha acuagus tá na modhanna is nua-aimsirí á n-úsaid acu féachaint an bhféadfaí cuid den talamh fo-mharganach sin a thabhairt chun míntíreachais chun críocha foraoiseachta.

I rith na bliana 1952/53 do hoscladh sé cinn de lár-ionad fhoraoiseachta—i gContae Thír Chonaill (3 cinn); i gContae Mhuigheo, i gContae Shligigh agus i gContae Chiarraighe—a raibh 4,255 acra iontu i dteannta a chéile. Chomh maith leis sin, cuireadh 4,695 acra leis na lár-ionaid atá ann cheana féin. Tá margadh déanta agus cúrsaí dlí le socrú fós i gcás 11,632 acra, agus margántaíocht ar siúl, i láthair na huaire, i gcás 15,094 acra eile. Tá tairiscintí cinnte déanta ag Coimisiún na Talún i leith 1,134 acra i gContae Thír Chonaill agus i gContae Shligigh. Tá tairiscintí eile, a bhfuil 832 acra i gceist iontu, ag feitheamh le himeachtaí atá ar siúl i gCoimisiún na Talún faoi láthair. Do réir an mheán-fhigiúir, bhi 945 fear fostaithe i rith na bliana í ndáil le cúrsaí foraoiseachta i gcontaethe an Iarthair. Cuireadh 4,649 acra crann sna contaethe sin i ngeimhreadh 1952/53, agus cuirfear 5,225 acra iontu faoin gclár oibre atá leagtha amach don gheimhreadh seo chugainn.

Ó thaobh cúrsaí oideachais agus cultúir de, ní miste a lua gur cuireadh deontais ar fáil do Choláistií Gaeilge i Ros Goill, Contae Thír Chonaill, agus i mBéal Átha an Ghaorthaidh, Contae Chorcaighe, agus gur soláthraíodh deontais mar chabhair chun scoileanna gairm-oideachais a thógáil ar Oileán Arann agus ag an gCnoc, i nGaeltacht Chontae na Gaillimhe.

Tá dian-iarracht á déanamh ag an Roinn Oideachais, freisin, d'fhonn na deacrachtaí a shárú a ghabhas le foilsiú leabhar Gaeilge i láthair na huaire le súil go gcuirfear go mór leis an méid leabhar atá á bhfoilsiú ag an nGúm. Is léir ó na figiúirí seo a leanas go bhfuil ag éirí go maith leis an iarracht sin cheana féin:

An Bhliain

An méid leabhar a foilsíodh.

1949/50

21

1950/51

10

1951/52

14

1952/53

44

Ón mbliain 1945 46—nuair a cuireadh 47 leabhar ar fáil—níor foilsíodh oiread leabhar aon bhliain agus a foilsíodh an bhliain seo caite. Meastar go bhfoilseófar timpeall 60 leabhar an bhliain seo.

Is cuimhin libh, chomh maith, gur bunaíodh Bord na Leabhar Gaeilge anuraidh agus gur cuireadh £2,500 ar fáil dóibh chun foilsiú na leabhar Gaeilge a ghríosadh. Táthar tar éis ciste an Bhoird sin a mhéadú go dtí £5,000 i mbliana.

Tá tamall maith caite ag m'Oifigse freisin ag scrúdú ceist na mion-oibreacha mara, féachaint an bhféadfaí na riaráistí deisiúcháin a ghlanadh go tapaidh a fágadh gan déanamh, ar chúiseanna éagsúla, i ndiaidh na hÉigeandála. Tar éis roinnt comhdhála móra a chomóradh, cuireadh tuarascáil faoi bhráid an Rialtais i dtaobh na ceiste sin. Dob iad príomhmholtaí na Tuarascála sin go mba cheart foireann innealltóireachta Oifig na nOibreacha Poiblí a mhéadú agus go mba chóir coiste stiúrúcháin a bhunú d'fhonn riaradh na hoibre a chomhoirniú. Táthar tar éis cead a dheonadh anois chun innealltóirí breise a cheapadh agus tá na hinnealltóirí sin dá n-earcú i láthair na huaire ag Bord na n-Oibreacha Poiblí. Ina theannta sin táthar tar éis an Coiste EadarRoínne, a bhfuilim ag gníomhú mar Chathaoirleach dó, a cheapadh ina choiste stiúrúcháin de dhroim cinneadh Rialtais. Tá de chumhacht ag an gCoiste anois mion-oibreacha mara a cheadú ar choinníoll nach mó ná £2,500 costas measta aon cheann acu, agus nach mó ná £25,000 costas iomlán na scéimeanna a ceadófar in aon bhliain airgeadais. Tá roinnt oibreacha den tsórt sin ceadaithe cheana féin agus tá gach aon dóchas ann anois go bhféadfar, de dhroim an tsocruithe seo, dlús a chur le riaradh na mion-oibreacha mara i gcoitinne.

Tá ní amháin eile, b'fhéidir, ar chóir tagairt a dhéanamh dó sara gcríochnód an ráiteas seo. Ag druidim le deireadh na bliana seo caite, rith sé liom go mba chóir beart éigin a dhéanamh féachaint an bhféadfaí táirgeadh na gcuimhneagán lámhdhéanta a ghríosadh agus a chur chun cinn sa Ghaeltacht agus sna Ceantair Chúnga. Chun an cuspóirsin a b haintamach, socraíodh go mba cheart, dá bhféadtaí é a shocrú, taispeántas lámhchearda a chur ar siúl i nGaillimh aimsir an Tóstail. De dhroim na cabhrach a fuarthas go fial ón mBord Fáilte, chuathas i dteagmháil le comhairle áitiúil an Tóstail i nGaillimh agus thoilíodar siúd go fonnmhar taispeántas den tsórt sin a chur ar siúl faoina gcúram féin. Chuidigh an Roinn Oideachais go mór leis an togra, freisin, trí chigire timireachta tís a ligint ar iasacht chun m'Oifigse le go bhféadfadh sí eagrú an taispeántais a ghlacadh idir lámha. D'éirigh go sármhaith leis an taispeántas é féin, agus léirigh sé do gach éinne go bhfuil raon nach mbeifí ag súil leis d'earraí flúntacha ar fáil ar a bhféadfaí tionscail bríomhar lámhchearda a bhunú sa tír seo. Léirigh sé, chomh maith, cumas na ndaoine sa tír seo chun earraí den tsórt sin a tháirgeadh. Sarar féidir an tionscal a bhunú ar an bhforas ceart ó thaobh tráchtála dhe, ámh, caithfear cuid mhaith eagraíochta a dhéanamh, agus tá scrúdú á dhéanamh anois ar an taobh sin den scéal. Táthar tar éis Oifigigh ón Roinn Oideachais agus ó Sheirbhísí na Gaeltachta a chur go dtí an Mhór-Roinn chun staidéar a dhéanamh ar chúrsaí táirgthe agus cúrsaí margaíochta ansin. Nuair a bheas scrúdú déanta ar thuarascáil na nOifigeach sin, agus ar shonraí eile a cuireadh le chéile sa Roinn Tionscail agus Tráchtála, beidh eolas ar fáil—tá súil againn—a chuirfidh ar ár gcumas tionscal dúchasach na lámhchearda a dhaingniú ar an bhforas ceart eacnamaíochta.

Listening to the Parliamentary Secretary on Vote 66, I began to wonder if my ears had been deceiving me. He has given us a list, as accomplishments for the year, of what other Departments have been doing for the last 12 months, work which they had been doing long before this office was established. I am afraid that if he cannot give us something different, by this time next year, we can envisage a clamour in this House for the abolition of this particular office. With the exception of a few industries started in the beginning when the office was set up and the establishment of An Foras Tionscal,little can be claimed for the office itself. He proceeded to tell us what the E.S.B. has done. He tells us that the E.S.B. in February last were directed to proceed immediately with the preparation of plans for the construction, in West Donegal, Connemara, West Clare and South-West Kerry of four small electricity generating stations utilising hand-won turf. He tells us further that there is to be a power station situated close to the Arigna coalfields to use Arigna coal and that it will require between 45,000 and 50,000 tons of coal per year. He also told us that the Clady river hydro-electric scheme is going ahead. That was started in the time of the inter-Party Government. I do not want to take any plums from the Parliamentary Secretary.

Mr. Lynch

Before the Deputy proceeds further along that line, I should like to remind him that this is a co-ordinating office.

That is a very nice word—"co-ordinating." I think that what the Parliamentary Secretary has been telling us constitutes a very serious reflection on other Government Departments because a stranger sitting in the Gallery or a new Deputy coming in here for the first time today and listening to the Parliamentary Secretary, could not help getting it into his head, from the statements which he has made, that these Departments had been neglecting their duty and that they were stirred into activity only when the Parliamentary Secretary came along to take over this particular office.

He tells us also that under the auspices of the Department of Local Government we had the introduction of the new tourist road scheme. I wish the Parliamentary Secretary could hear some of my neighbours express their views on that subject, remembering, as they do, that the £400,000 allocated for that work has been provided at the expense of the money which was granted for schemes of local drainage under the Local Authorities (Works) Act. By all means, I want to see good tourist roads, and,as a matter of fact, when the next Vote comes along I shall have something to say on that subject. I want to see good roads, but I do not agree with a policy of plundering the money provided for drainage for the purpose of giving foreigners decent roads to travel over in this country. I should like to see every inch of the main roads and by-roads steamrolled for the advantage of our own people first and then for the benefit of tourists. I think we should take first things first and the land on which we are living should get first attention. If the Parliamentary Secretary has initiated a scheme for the development of tourist roads, by all means let him proceed with it. I am as much in favour of providing goods roads as anybody, but I do not want to see these roads provided if it involves depriving the farmer of the means of draining his holding 20 or 40 or 100 acres of which may be flooded.

I want to make it perfectly clear that I am not against a policy of improving our roads but I am strongly opposed to a policy of plundering funds provided for the purpose of drainage and diverting the money to the improvement of roads. If proper economy were observed, both the improvement of the roads and drainage could go on full blast, side by side. We are told that approximately £400,000 has been allocated to the county councils for the execution of these road works and it is rather significant that the money allocated to the county councils for local authority drainage has been reduced by a similar amount That is another way of saying that the present Government do not agree with the inter-Party policy of giving money to the county councils for local authority drainage, that the present Government want to spend the money on the roads and that the inter-Party Government was wrong in spending it on drainage. By the time the same mileage of roads is steamrolled by the present Government as was steamrolled under the inter-Party régime. I think the Government will not be doing badly. At the same time as we carried out extensive drainage works we steamrolled a greater mileage ofroads than the present Government has done.

The Parliamentary Secretary next had a side-wipe at the Department of Agriculture in connection with the tomato glasshouse scheme. He tells us that this scheme is now to be extended to the Cahirciveen area and to a few other places. I remember when Deputy Aiken was Minister for Co-ordination of Defensive Measures and Deputy Smith was Minister for Agriculture, they claimed credit for introducing the glasshouse scheme. As I listened to the Parliamentary Secretary I wondered if the pair of them happened to walk into the House as he was dealing with this matter whether they would throw a side glance at him as much to say: "You are stealing our thunder." The Parliamentary Secretary also claims credit for work which the Land Commission are doing. That is the one particular section which is kicked round this House whenever the opportunity arises. I say this to the Parliamentary Secretary: "Do not be claiming all for yourself."

Mr. Lynch

Will the Deputy please understand that this is a co-ordinating office and that I am not claiming credit for anything there.

That word "co-ordinating" covers a multitude of things. Why tell us that in 1950-51 106 holdings were rearranged? I was Minister during that year. In 1951-52 —I was Minister for some of that time —there were 254 holdings rearranged, and in 1952-53, 371.

Mr. Lynch

You were not Minister during 1951-52.

The financial year 1951-52 began on the 1st April, 1951, and ended on 31st March, 1952. I was Minister for a part of that year. Perhaps I was not responsible for the business end of it as far as the arrangement was concerned. There were 106 holdings rearranged during the last year I was Minister; there were 254 the next year and 371 the following year. In the financial year 1950-51 there was another thing which theParliamentary Secretary could have brought in and of which I was very proud, that 1,240 holdings were brought from a low economic level up to an economic level, which I think was a better achievement for the Land Commission than the 106 holdings that were rearranged. The rearrangement of 106 holdings, I must admit, was not bad work, but if the man trying to rear a family on a small holding gets an addition to bring his holding up to an economic size he does not mind whether it is a rearrangement or not. I was very proud of that because I was very short of material for working due to the fact that the Land Commission were prohibited from 1941 from acquiring land for the relief of congestion.

The next thing we are told is that the Land Commission has in hands at the moment a scheme for the evacuation of the islanders from the Great Blasket. I am claiming that for the inter-Party Government also. I am afraid, however, that if we go on wrangling over this there will not be much kudos left for either of us. The Parliamentary Secretary also said:

"Contracts for the erection of a number of houses on the mainland have been entered into by the Land Commission."

The Kerry County Council and the Land Commission in my time did that. I will say this to the Parliamentary Secretary: if he thinks that this House is going to accept this document as a sufficient justification for the maintenance of his office I am afraid he will have to come in with something very different next year. An Foras Tionscal is doing good work whereever local initiative and cash are forth-coming to start an industry, but that is the beginning and the end of it.

With regard to afforestation, which was mentioned by the Parliamentary Secretary, there is no need to spur on the forestry staff if afforestation is to be developed. I want to pay this compliment to the staff of that Department, that if it is desired by the Government to develop afforestation there is no need to do any more than to come to the House for sufficientmoney and let them go on with the work. If I had any fault to find with the officials in my time it was that they were too ambitious and too anxious to get going on it. In any pushing forward with afforestation the Parliamentary Secretary will have my support and the support of every decent-minded person in the House. We have to find a sum of £8,000,000 every year for the importation of foreign timber, most of which comes from countries which do not buy as much as a packet of cigarettes from us. Some economist may put forward the argument that if timber is planted at the present time most of us will be dead and gone before it reaches maturity. That is true. But if we do not make a start, the timber will never be there and we will have this constant drain of money from the country for imported timber.

In the development of the Gaeltacht services, and in going forward with afforestation, both the Parliamentary Secretary and the Minister for Lands have in their hands great power and authority to bring to an end the bleeding sore of emigration which we hear so much talked about in the House and, I am sorry to say, about which so many crocodile tears have been shed. If we are sincere about dealing with the running sore of emigration, it can be, if not stopped, at least checked to a very great extent. We should remember that it is not from the towns the greatest emigration is taking place. The greatest wounds left by emigration are to be seen in the rural areas.

I have said on very many occasions, and I repeat it, that the establishment of factories in towns is a very excellent thing. I should like to see them flourishing and becoming prosperous. But I want to tell the Parliamentary Secretary that these factories will not keep the people on the land, that we must have industries established in the country districts. I do not know of any such industry which will compare with afforestation and the development of our sea fisheries along the seaboard. Inland in the other areas, emigration is a very serious problem. The shrinking of the Irish-speaking areas in the Gaeltacht is going on at an alarmingrate. The development of industries by the Gaeltacht Services Department to a great extent can put an end to emigration in these districts.

I do not want the Parliamentary Secretary to think I am making a joke of this, or just talking because I am on the other side of the House. I want to give him the benefit of my experience while in office, and he is free to take it or reject it as he wishes. I have yet to be convinced that I was wrong in pushing forward the work of afforestation and the Land Commission work to the pitch I did, and in trying to develop little industries in the rural areas in the Gaeltacht to the extent that I did. I have heard no Deputy saying that I was wrong in doing that. Indeed, most likely, Deputies would say that I did not do enough, and I must agree with them; because, until we stop this emigration or at least have it checked and very well in hand, we cannot say that we are making a success of our work here.

I want to deal now with the Gaeltacht services and to ask the Parliamentary Secretary a few questions. I should like him to tell me what are the prospects for the sale of tweeds. Most of the money provided for in this Vote is for the tweed industry. What are the prospects in outside markets for the sale of tweeds? I hope the situation will never develop again that there will be something like 150,000 yards of tweeds unsold here. That was one of the legacies that I walked into.

I succeeded in disposing of them all right but it was slow, tedious, heart-breaking work. I am sure that when some of the officials in the Department look back over it now they cannot shed many tears that the dump was disposed of. The Parliamentary Secretary should try and get a market for that output. I do not think it is good policy —it is a matter requiring careful examination—except in extreme cases to allow material to be manufactured and then begin storing it. Storage will not improve it no matter how well or how carefully it is looked after.

In my constituency there was one industry which was established by theCongested Districts Board and I am informed that it is almost on the brink of extinction. I think it goes by the name of Derrypark. I am told that it is practically extinct. That should not be the case. It is a bad headline. I do not know what is happening in the factory at Tourmakeady of late but the work does not seem to be going ahead there as it should. I want to know from the Parliamentary Secretary whether some of the knitting machines have been removed out of that place and, if so, to where? What is the reason? Was the place not supported by the local girls in the way we would like to see?

I should also like if the Parliamentary Secretary would give us a little bit more information than he has done already on the prospects of ascophyllum. Have any experiments been made and, if so, have they been successful? If some use could be made of it or of some extract from it it would be of great benefit to those living on the sea coast from Donegal to Kerry. I just mention the matter in passing. I see a figure for it in the Vote. I was just wondering because during my time I was most anxious that some experimental work would be carried out on it and, if possible, that some use would be made of it. Sea rods turned out to be a profitable plant and if any useful purpose could be found for ascophyllum or extracts from it it would be a great boon to the people along the coast whose holdings are small. Particularly would it be of use to people along the west coast. Any help or assistance they could get by way of employment or any little windfall as far as sea rods, kelp or ascophyllum are concerned would be a wonderful thing for them.

The last thing I want to say is that I admire the work the Parliamentary Secretary is doing in the matter of getting industries going. He is doing the best he can. I know the board is tied by the Undeveloped Areas Act. The initiative must come from the particular industry which wants to start up. They have to put up a certainamount of capital and if the board is satisfied that they will be successful it can give a grant. That is good and excellent. In his anxiety to further these industries, the Parliamentary Secretary, I suggest, should keep a close eye on the rural areas. I am thinking of areas in my own constituency and of areas in Counties Galway, Kerry and Donegal. I hold that there should be some remedy for the flight from the land occurring in areas where whole villages of 16, 18 and 20 houses are rapidly losing their occupants. I know a village in my own constituency—I am sorry to say it— where there were 17 houses 20 years ago. To-day there is only a fire and a hearth in four out of the 17. If we allow that sort of thing to go on, I am afraid we cannot avoid a certain amount of righteous blame from somebody in the future.

We have the machinery available to deal with the problem. If the country was under the yoke of some foreign Power we could put up the excuse that if we had a Government of our own the world would see what we would do. We have a Government of our own. I do not want the Parliamentary Secretary to turn down the idea simply because it is mine. I want him to be broadminded enough to take up anything the inter-Party Government took up and develop it. If anything the inter-Party Government did was bad and would lead nowhere the Parliamentary Secretary could by all means drop it if he holds that opinion.

I want to impress on the Parliamentary Secretary the advisability of afforestation in most of these areas where the land is rather bad. I would go further and say that it is not just or fair to ask people to make a living on agriculture out of that land. That is rather severe talk. Nevertheless, I would say that we are asking a certain number of our people in this country to make a living off what is called land which is not land at all and is only fit for afforestation. My experience was —and this can be backed up by figures from the Forestry Department—that a great deal of this land would give the same employment as the best arableland in the country. If the Parliamentary Secretary can in any way assist the Forestry Division to do what I suggest, he will be doing good work. There is no need to push. All that is wanted is money and freedom to get going and the work will be done. That is very necessary.

I should like to see the Land Commission having a freer hand to rearrange and enlarge their holdings. If we examine the causes of the flight from the land, we must admit that the principal reasons why the young people in particular fly from the land are that the holdings are too small and uneconomic. We allow the backward areas to remain backward for the want of roads, rural electrification, housing and all the rest. When the young people come to Dublin or go to England they immediately contrast the livelihood they are able to make in these places with that in the areas from which they have fled. They contrast that life with the benefits they get elsewhere, the steady wages they receive at the end of the week, the bright lights, the amusements, their free time off after five in the evening, their half-day on Saturday and their free day on Sunday. Yet we ask these youngsters, after they have got a taste of that, to live on a holding which demands 16 or 18 hours' work every day without relaxation. They have not a clean road coming up to their houses and they are ashamed when friends come to visit them.

We must improve the living conditions and bring wealth to the people in those areas. I am not advocating that the Government should go down and whitewash the houses or build new ones. I am advocating that we should give employment and the people will do the work much better than any Government could do it for them. They are only too willing and anxious to improve their lot. If the Parliamentary Secretary comes in this time next year and tells us that he has brought employment to some of these areas I will be the very first to give him a clap on the back and full support, but going around and getting a lot of tit-bits from other Departments and saying his office is aco-ordinating office will not do. That is not good enough. That implies that these Departments should have been doing the work but did not do it until the Parliamentary Secretary and his staff came after them. That will not do. The one good thing they have done is the establishment of An Foras Tionscal.

There was no such co-ordinating office as the Parliamentary Secretary's office when I was Minister for Lands. I was very proud of the work done by the Land Commission. All they wanted was just the O.K. from the top to go ahead with the work, and even though the staff was depleted they went ahead and did excellent work during my time. The momentum that was behind that work was so great that the work is still being carried on. The officials in the Forestry Department excelled themselves. They gave their services in the development of housing and industries and in the disposal of great quantities of tweed. As well as I remember they disposed of something like 150,000 yards of it. While giving all that assistance they were not one whit behind in their ordinary work. Every person engaged in these three sections did more than his bit.

As I have said, co-ordination may be all right but yet I fail to understand what function the Parliamentary Secretary and his office fills. Perhaps some day I may get a better understanding of it but, to put it in blunt language, I do not see any use for it at the moment. The Minister for Lands, the Minister for Industry and Commerce and the Minister for Agriculture could do this work and could go ahead with it if Government policy permitted them, and if there were economies here and there to allow for fairly liberal expenditure in other directions.

I should like to see the little industries under the Gaeltacht Services getting every attention. I would not like to see the heavy hand of the Department of Finance, or any other heavy hand, coming down on them or interfering with them in any way. These industries can make a very useful contribution by providing employment forour girls, thereby keeping them at home. As I said last night when speaking on another Estimate, I have yet to meet the boy or the girl who emigrates willingly. They all say that they have to go—that there is no work for them at home. We cannot calmly ask them, just for the sake of being good patriots and good Irish boys and girls, to stay at home wasting their time, while there is nothing for them to do. I would be prepared to assist them to go if the possibility was that, by remaining, they would be wasting their time here.

I want to impress on the Parliamentary Secretary, as I impressed on my colleagues in the inter-Party Government, the need there is to provide employment, and so keep those boys and girls at home. We should offer them every incentive to remain at home so that they might do their part in developing and building up their own country. The country, if one may say so, is pretty raw, due to what went on here over a period of 700 years when our people were scourged and trampled upon. One cannot expect that, after 30 years of self government, we would have developed to the same extent industrially, culturally and in every other respect as other countries which have had their freedom and the management of their own affairs for hundreds of years. At the same time, I want to repeat that we should not allow the cream of the country, our boys and our girls, to be going away. It reminds one of the scene of desolation that one witnesses where the careless family is in occupation of a farm. The land is neglected. Nettles are growing all over it; the stock is uncared for, and the children are neglected. The father and the mother are so careless that they do not mind what happens to the old place. Close beside that farm you may have one that is a model of neatness and perfection.

I cannot help reflecting that we are the careless parents in charge of this country. Instead of allowing our own flesh and blood, our own boys and girls, go away to foreign countries, weshould be taking steps to induce them to remain at home, so that they might do their part in the development of the country. Until such time as we provide the money to give them employment at home, there will be no inducement for them to remain. It was mentioned that we had about 1,000,000 acres under forestry. I think myself that 1,500,000 acres would be nearer the mark. There is work to be done there. We want more houses and more roads and, above all, I would say, the drainage of this country has been sadly neglected. If the Parliamentary Secretary, in his office, could co-ordinate all these works, if he could impress on the Government the necessity there is for doing work such as I have mentioned, then he would, I believe, be leaving a lasting mark on the country, and at the same time doing a great deal to justify his existence in office, as well as the existence of his office.

I do not propose to be too critical of the Parliamentary Secretary himself in his present position, because I have respect for him as an individual, and as a young man with a responsible position. I think it would be unfair to be too critical of him at this particular stage. I am sorry, however, that a man with the abilities of the Parliamentary Secretary should have allowed himself to be hoodwinked into accepting an appointment where he takes responsibility for an office known as "Oifig na Gaeltachta agus na gCeantar gCúng." The part of that office which I am most concerned with is that which comes under the title of "Na gCeantar gCúng." The only way in which I can restrain myself at this stage is by saying that much of the criticism which I have to level against the present Administration can be made on other Estimates where we can pin responsibility on somebody for the lack of development work in rural areas, etc. The Parliamentary Secretary is, of course, covered, and very cleverly so, by the statement that his office is a purely co-ordinating medium for the Gaeltacht and congested areas. It is a purely co-ordinating office.

I have a distinct recollection that before the present Administration returned to office they issued a 17-point programme of development. They had realised that things in the congested areas, and in the Gaeltacht, were serious, and that the evils of unemployment and emigration had reached the stage when a responsible Government could no longer afford to ignore the problems which were there. With a great flourish of trumpets, we had a body set up that was going to solve the problems in the West of Ireland—that would end emigration and give employment to all our boys and girls. We have this body, and the estimate of the cost involved in the running of it is £7,480. For that sum of money we have, in the words of the Parliamentary Secretary, the work of numerous Government Departments co-ordinated, mind you, and we have these Departments, mor yeah, galvanised into action in the West of Ireland to carry out the work that has been neglected.

I wonder is the Parliamentary Secretary serious in suggesting in this House that a body that has no more authority than I have to direct one single Department, that has no authority over the expenditure of one penny on drainage, afforestation or on any other sound means for developing the West of Ireland, has authority to order State Departments, which have existed for the last 30 years, to carry out its wishes? I have looked through this statement to see if there was any particular aspect of work for which this office could accept, or claim, the credit of having initiated the scheme. Is it going to be suggested that the decision in regard to the work of the E.S.B. in the West of Ireland— the setting up of electricity power stations to be fuelled by turf—was given because this office was set up? Is it suggested that the plan which has now been passed for the setting up of an electricity power station in Arigna was the outcome of some decision that was taken by this office, and because "Agus na gCeantar gCúng" was set up? Is it suggested that the few miserly centres of afforestation which have been set up in the West of Ireland are due to the setting upof this office, or because "Agus na gCeantar gCúng" rang up the Forestry Department and said: "Will you do this in the West of Ireland?" Is it suggested that the work in regard to the holdings that have been brought up to an economic level has been done because this office has directed or co-ordinated any efforts of the Land Commission?

Perhaps I should say at this stage that the one matter in this report in regard to which the Parliamentary Secretary can accept a certain amount of credit is the work of An Foras Tionscal but, as far as my knowledge goes, I understand that that sub-section comes under the Department of Industry and Commerce. The idea behind An Foras Tionscal is an excellent one. I wonder if the Parliamentary Secretary could, through his various contacts in the different Departments, endeavour to obtain more money for suitable development schemes under An Foras Tionscal. The amount of money alleged to be available for development or for the setting up of industries is the sum of £2,000,000. I would like the Parliamentary Secretary to let us know how much of that £2,000,000 has been expended so far in setting up industries in the West of Ireland.

I see mention made here of a scheme initiated in Connemara to encourage the inhabitants of that locality to grow onions. The figures given here show that the return to the growers varied from £3 to £52. The difficulty I find myself in here is that I do not want to belittle such schemes as this. I do not want it to be said later on that I sneered at that particular scheme. Let me say that they are useful but if it is suggested that schemes like the onion scheme and the glasshouse scheme for the production of tomatoes are going to solve or even help in a considerable way to solve the problems in the West of Ireland, then those responsible for the initiation of that scheme have little or no respect for the intelligence of the unfortunate people who have to emigrate from those areas.

Deputy Blowick put his finger on one of the best solutions to the problem. Deputy Blowick, like a greatmany other people in this House, is an expert at shedding crocodile tears. He mentioned, and rightly so, that afforestation is one very sound way of tackling the unemployment problem, of building up at the same time a source of wealth for future generations and, incidentally, of helping considerably to improve our balance of trade by cutting out at a later stage the importation of timber. I do not intend to go into this question in any detail. I merely wish to say that the amount of work being done each year by the Forestry Department in the West of Ireland means very little extra permanent or continuous employment to the men in any locality.

We have this difficulty put forward with regard to afforestation, that land is not available, that there is a difficulty with certain small farmers who want to hold on to precious mountainous land, precious in their eyes because they have little else, or who want to hold on to a bit of partially reclaimed bogland or marshland. The Forestry Department in a shameful way endeavour to cut the price asked by these small farmers.

I do not think the Parliamentary Secretary is responsible for the activities of the Forestry Department.

He is responsible for the activities of nothing if it goes to that. He is only responsible for the activities of a group of civil servants under him.

If the Deputy would only listen, I am suggesting the Parliamentary Secretary is not responsible for anything such as reduction in the price of land.

I understand that perfectly, but I am trying to suggest that he may get a certain amount of information here in regard to the difficulties that face both the Land Commission and other State Departments and that he should bring pressure to bear on a body like the Forestry Department so that they will recompense adequately the people whohave land that is considered suitable for afforestation and who give up that land, instead of cheeseparing and acting in the mean, miserly way they do at the moment.

We have it stated here that an average of 945 men were employed throughout the year in the western counties from Donegal to Kerry. That is a great boast for the Department of Forestry. I can tell the Parliamentary Secretary that in a certain parish in my constituency nine members of the football team left together ten days ago to get work in England. I wonder do Deputies in this House realise that the emigration problem is worse than ever it was. I am not trying to score against this particular Government any more than against the last Government. I read a statement in which the Taoiseach said that he had no knowledge that there was any extraordinary increase in emigration since the present Administration came into office. The difficulty is that now we can get no correct figures from any Government Department because there is no check on all the young people who leave the country. At times when I come in to speak in this House I feel completely depressed and I do not know if it is even worthwhile voicing my opinion on these problems.

Comment is made here in the Parliamentary Secretary's statement about money for the tourist roads. Whatever others may think of it I want to tell the Parliamentary Secretary that I think he is to be congratulated on helping to improve roads in the tourist areas. Apart from the benefit these roads will confer as far as tourists are concerned they will be a help to the people in many areas who up to the present had perhaps suffered great inconvenience because of the roads there. I want to point out to the Parliamentary Secretary, however, that he could do a little bit of co-ordinating, as far as the Department of Local Government is concerned, in connection with these tourist roads. In my own constituency we got a grant of £35,000, I think, for the improvement of tourist roads. We appreciate that extra money made available for roads,but while the Department of Local Government was giving us money for roads they turned round and robbed us of practically all the money we had for years under the Local Authorities (Works) Act. I understood when this extra money was being made available for the improvement of roads in the West of Ireland that that would be a grant over and above the ordinary grants made to the various county councils in the West of Ireland and that there would be no reduction under other sections in order to make up this extra money. I am going to show here to the Parliamentary Secretary that this is a problem of co-ordination I would like him to examine.

Has the Parliamentary Secretary any responsiblity for drainage?

He has responsibility, I understand, to press on the Department of Local Government the desirability of carrying out useful work, like drainage, that would give employment.

This question might be raised on the Local Government Vote, not on the present Vote.

I understand the Parliamentary Secretary has no responsibility for roads either, a Leas-Cheann Comhairle, yet we have mention of roads in this report of his.

But there is no mention of drainage grants in the report.

Surely he has as much to do with the co-ordination of drainage as he has to do with the repair of roads?

The question of drainage cannot be discussed on this Vote.

All I am asking is that the Parliamentary Secretary would ensure that the extra money he is giving to the West of Ireland for the improvement of roads should not be filched from grants that werealready being made available for drainage. Let us have the same drainage grants and give the road grants as an extra. The county council in Longford, where there is no tourist roads grant at all, have grants under the Local Authorities (Works) Act that are three times what ours are, yet they have not half the amount of drainage work to do.

That cannot be discussed on this Vote.

As I said at the beginning, it is very difficult to know what can be discussed on this Vote. I said I was sorry for the Parliamentary Secretary as an individual. I know that he is full of enthusiasm, personally, to try to get something done, to try to improve conditions generally in the West of Ireland and in the Gaeltacht areas and so forth. However, I am afraid that the information he has given to Deputies in this report could have been obtained without his coming into the House at all. I could have put down a question to the various Ministers concerned and would have got all that information. I could have gone around to the Department of Industry and Commerce, where I would have been courteously informed by a civil servant of the position with regard to Arigna, that the decision had been made to go ahead with the power station there. It was common property in this House, and statements have been made by the Minister for Industry and Commerce that the E.S.B. were planning generally, on a long-term basis, the development of electricity supply in the West of Ireland by the utilisation of our peat resources. We got a bit of information all right in the Parliamentary Secretary's report about the growing of onions. For that, I suppose, we should be thankful.

The only description I can give of the Parliamentary Secretary's position is that he is like a paid guide acting as a commentator for the activities of the various Departments. A train goes from Dublin to Cork or the West of Ireland and there is a guide there who tells the tourists about the scenery, what each place isnoted for and what industries are being established in various towns they pass through. As far as I can see, the Parliamentary Secretary's responsibility to this House, in his new appointment, is that he is a courteous guide or commentator for the work already being carried out by the Land Commission, the Forestry Department, Industry and Commerce and Local Government. If the Parliamentary Secretary could show me that, as a result of the setting up of this particular office, Forestry had decided to spend another £1,000,000 per annum in the West of Ireland on afforestation; if the Parliamentary Secretary could tell us in this House that it was due to the activities of his Department that Bord na Móna and the E.S.B. had embarked on the development work that is now taking place—it has taken place for years back in a limited way —and as a result of his recommendation the Government had decided to put another £1,000,000 at the disposal of either of those semi-State bodies; then I would be the first to say that the office concerned, newly set up, was a useful one and one that should receive the approval of the majority of Deputies.

I am afraid that co-ordination alone is not a sufficient reason to spend even the pretty small sum of £7,480 a year on the upkeep of an office for this sole purpose. We must look back to the reasons why this office was initially set up. There was a great deal of ballyhoo as to what would be achieved in the West of Ireland. We were to have a new approach, a dynamic attempt to solve the problems that have left the people completely cynical and hopeless in their outlook. But for the boys and girls who leave Galway and get the fast diesel trains now made available, and for those who join them when the train from Westport and Castlerea moves into Mullingar and Athlone, it is little consolation, when they are going to England, to know that Na gCeantar gCúng is going to co-ordinate the efforts of the Land Commission, the E.S.B. and Bord na Móna.

I suppose that at this stage it may be suggested that the office is not long enough in operation that it is only as time goes on that we will realise the great benefits that will accrue as a result of the activities of the people concerned. I want to say this: It was understood when the Land Commission was set up that there was an ultimate aim behind their work and that was the relief of congestion; that it would end some day. But to-day, the Land Commission is a permanency, a body that will never be got rid of. It grows bigger and better every day and swallows up more civil servants every year. It is no nearer the end of its activities. This office for which the Parliamentary Secretary is responsible is to my mind a waste of time and I would suggest that with the limited functions it has and the powers at its disposal it would be a much better proposition for the Government to wipe out this office or else give the Parliamentary Secretary the power and the money to do the job I know he is anxious to do.

My concern is to see that the money is not wasted in the manner in which it is being wasted under this heading, Vote 66. I feel sure myself that if the Parliamentary Secretary was free to let us know his own real views on this that he would tell us that he is stymied and that as far as his powers to do good and improve conditions in rural areas are concerned these powers are very limited. It is all very well for Deputies in this House when they read this report to accept it, if they wish to do so at its face value when it tells us it co-ordinates the work of all the other Departments. What authority has it to tell any Department what to do? And if any Department wants to do this, that or the other what function has this office? Can it get its own way? Will we see each year larger amounts of money being expended by the various other Departments as a result of the recommendations of this office? The amount involved each year will increase naturally in certain Departments but that is an annual increase and comes as a result of pressure which is brought to bear in this House and because of new schemes which are thought out. No extra moneyis being spent as a result of what I can only call representations being made by this particular office.

I am not going to delay the House in this debate, but I am going to repeat, if you like, that I am sorry to be so critical of this particular Vote because I have the greatest respect, personally, for the Parliamentary Secretary himself. I would prefer to be in a position to direct my criticism to those who have experience of administration for many years, but I will have that opportunity on another debate. I want the Parliamentary Secretary to understand that my remarks are not directed at him personally but I wish he had at his disposal the functions and organisations that would enable him to carry out that improvement and development that is so necessary in the West of Ireland and in the congested districts.

I have been both surprised and disappointed by Deputy McQuillan's attitude in this debate. After all, the Gaeltacht and the congested areas in this country form only a section of the country and for that reason it is very difficult to agree that you should set up a Ministry which would be responsible only for part of the nation. I am very surprised and disappointed by Deputy McQuillan's attitude since he comes from a congested area himself. No matter what his personal attitude in politics or individual political views may be, I can say that he usually tries to be constructive. I must say I never heard him being so completely destructive in any other speech he has made in this House.

I am very well pleased with the work the Parliamentary Secretary has succeeded in doing in the past two years because he is trying to obtain money for only one section of the nation from Departments which are responsible for over-all national policy. He has succeeded in galvanising the Department of Industry and Commerce into producing the Undeveloped Areas Act. He has succeeded in getting from the Department of Industry and Commerce the Grass Meal (Production) Act. He has succeeded in persuading theDepartment of Local Government to give money for the development of tourist roads in the Gaeltacht and congested areas—and very substantial grants they have got, too.

He has persuaded them to extend the glasshouse scheme and many other things I could relate. I think the Parliamentary Secretary has done a splendid job because you must take it for granted that a person who is responsible for a certain limited section of the community cannot be given responsibility to decide over-all national policy. The only result that would have would be the results we had at the time when Deputy Blowick was Minister for Lands and Deputy Donnellan Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Finance. They were people who were members of a Party that had no national policy and did not require to have a national policy. They were a splinter Party responsible only to a very confined section of the community and they took good care that they feathered their own nests.

Surely that does not arise on this Vote?

Maybe it does not but the remarks that Deputy Blowick made about money for tourist roads being taken from drainage——

The Deputy may not discuss drainage on this Vote.

He was allowed to say that and I am not allowed to answer it.

That is a reflection on the Chair. The Deputy will withdraw that remark.

I will do that gladly. I am sorry. The trouble is that Deputy Blowick puts on such a clever act and just slips in these things that even the most alert chairman is liable to let him away with it.

I was very interested to hear Deputy McQuillan on the Undeveloped Areas Bill because I have the clearest recollection of the attitude he took up at the time the Undeveloped Areas Act was introduced.

Is the Deputy suggesting that the Parliamentary Secretary was responsible for the introduction of the Undeveloped Areas Act? He had no more to do with it than somebody outside.

That is where I beg to disagree with Deputy McQuillan. The extraordinary thing is that all these things were done since the Parliamentary Secretary came in. They were not done three years before or 20 years before, and the only inference that I can draw or that any reasonable person can draw is that they were introduced as a result of the efforts of the Parliamentary Secretary, who had to stand up and fight and insist that this particular section of our community was entitled to a special claim. He made his case. The fact that these Bills were introduced and enacted in this House is, in my opinion, sufficient justification for the existence of this office. I represent the congested areas and, on behalf of the people in them, if all that is needed from this House is a sum of £7,000 per annum in order to reap the enormous advantages that the people of the West generally have obtained over the past two years, I am sure that we will be very glad indeed to give double that amount provided we get the same attention in the future.

Deputy McQuillan stated on the introduction of this Bill that he did not think private enterprise would cure the problems in the West of Ireland. Now he says it was a splendid idea. He said then that the Bill was introduced with a great flourish of trumpets for the purpose of solving emigration, unemployment and all the other ills of the congested areas; he laughed at it at the time. Now he says it was a splendid idea. Does he say that because he is satisfied that Foras Tionscal has justified its existence? I believe it has.

I would suggest to the Parliamentary Secretary that many of the people for whom the Undeveloped Areas Act was designed do not appear to understandthe real concept of the Act. The question is asked on every side: What will the Government do for our particular town? What factory will the Government establish in order to give employment in our town? If one explains to these people that there is not in existence in this country, so far, any Act of Parliament that is not based on private enterprise they simply do not understand what one is talking about. If one goes still further and says: "If you provide the money, which we know you have, and if you find a suitable project, of which there are plenty, the Government will then ensure that you will be able to compete on an equal basis with people in Dublin and Cork or anywhere else," they look at one and say: "Is that all the Government is going to do for us?" I think the Parliamentary Secretary might, in his journeys through the congested areas, explain to these people that they must themselves show some initiative if the Act is to continue to be a success.

Is the Deputy's final argument, then, that those who have to emigrate are dependent on the goodwill of those in the towns who have money? If the people in the towns do not put their money into local industry, the young boys and girls must emigrate.

I was not dealing with the problem of emigration. If industries are established in the towns the surplus population on congested holdings would find employment in the local towns. They cannot find that employment at the moment and they are forced to emigrate. I have always held the view that the people in the towns are inclined to be apathetic in their efforts to make this Act a real success. I do not say that is true of all the towns, but there is undoubtedly a good deal of money lying about in the banks and elsewhere. That money could be used for the benefit of the people as a whole through An Foras Tionscal. If that is not done we will have to go a step further and establish State-sponsored factories, abandoning the idea that the problems of theWest can be cured by private enterprise. About 12 months ago the Minister for Industry and Commerce said that if it proved necessary in the course of time to supplement the efforts of An Foras Tionscal he would not hesitate to recommend to the Government more or less socialistic legislation. I hope it will not be necessary to do that and I do not believe it will be necessary to go that far.

I believe the Parliamentary Secretary was partly responsible at least for the introduction of the Undeveloped Areas Act. Deputy McQuillan now admits, though he did not do so at the time the Bill was introduced, that the Act was a very good idea and that An Foras Tionscal was beneficial so far as the West of Ireland is concerned. The people for whose benefit the Act was designed might now show a little more initiative and a little more readiness to put their money into productive employment rather than leave it lying in the banks earning 1¼ per cent., or whatever it is. Even National Loan at 4¾ per cent. will not attract these people because they are afraid the income-tax authorities will descend upon them.

I agree that there is a high emigration content out of the West of Ireland. It must be remembered, however, that there has always been a heavy flow of emigration. I think there always will be. I do not believe that everybody who emigrates is forced to do so for economic reasons. Many young people are anxious to see the outside world. Many of them intend to come back again, but the proportion that does is very, very small. Recently it has been suggested that those countries to which these young people emigrate are facing a period of depression; we have conquered our financial and economic difficulties and we are gradually entering into a boom period. If that is so, the reverse process will obtain and our people will return to the home-land when there are sufficient attractions to induce them to come back again.

I do not think there are any easy solutions to the problems that exist.No one will seriously suggest that the Parliamentary Secretary can of his own volition solve these problems or go any appreciable distance towards their solution in a period of two years.

Deputy Blowick spoke about afforestation. He extolled its benefits. Deputy McQuillan took the same line. Neither Deputy Blowick nor Deputy McQuillan can accuse the present Government of not taking a sufficient interest in afforestation. It was significant that Deputy Blowick did not mention the Lough Gara afforestation centre. He lives much nearer to that centre than I do. The present Minister and the Land Commission are crying out for more land to keep that scheme going and maintain employment in the area. The land is there. If Deputy Blowick can succeed in persuading the local farmers to part with their land, he will be doing a better day's work than he does by coming in here and talking through his hat, trying to create the impression that this Government is not interested in afforestation and that the only person who ever did anything in that direction was Deputy Blowick when he was Minister for Lands.

There is definitely difficulty in getting land. Some of the difficulties are historical. The people are attached to the land. Their roots are deep in the land. They and their ancestors fought a hard fight to get the land. Now that they have it they want to hold on to it. That difficulty is lessening as younger generations are coming into property, but the idea is fairly prevalent that it is wasteful to hand over land at a fairly cheap price to the forestry branch of the Land Commission. As things stand at the moment, there is no way of forcing them to part with the land if they do not want to do it. Deputies would be much better employed if they used their influence with their constituents to point out the benefit to the country of afforestation and to indicate to them that they have nothing to gain by holding on to useless land.

I do not intend to detain the House much longer because I imagine manyof the individual problems which one would like to discuss would be more relevantly dealt with on the various departmental Estimates. I imagine that wages of forestry workers and such matters are not relevant to this debate.

I deprecate the attitude of people who say that Oifig na Gaeltachta agus na gCeantar gCúng should not be in existence because it is merely a co-ordinating office and cannot be pinned with the responsibility or given exclusive credit for matters which also fall within the ambit of a Department. I am quite satisfied to judge the work of the office by the benefits that have accrued to the Gaeltacht and congested districts in the past two years. If any speaker on any side of the House can say that these areas have not been looked after better in the past two years than they have ever been since the establishment of the State, and can make a good case for that, I will take back all that I have said. The people in my constituency and in the West generally and certainly the people whom I represent are very well pleased with the efforts this Government has made. They recognise that these efforts are unprecedented. Those are the facts. It is extraordinary that the establishment of Oifig na Gaeltachta agus na gCeantar gCúng coincided with this sudden attention to the West of Ireland.

It seems to me that Deputy McQuillan's attitude is unfair and wrong. In fairness to him I must say that it is the first time that I have heard him adopting a purely negative attitude on any debate in this House. When he reconsiders the position he will feel that he has hardly done himself credit in the attitude he has adopted in this debate.

I wish again to congratulate the Parliamentary Secretary and to say that if we in the West can ring a mere £7,000 out of this office and get all these advantages in return we are very well satisfied with our bargain.

I formally move the motion to refer back Vote 66.

When discussing the particular functionsof the Parliamentary Secretary one finds oneself always in a difficulty. I am quite sure there is nobody as vitally aware of his nebulous position as the Parliamentary Secretary himself. When I put down the motion to refer back Vote 66 I felt that it was time we came to grips with the general purpose behind the establishment of this office. I do not want the Parliamentary Secretary to take my criticisms as being on any other than a general basis in relation to the problem of a section of the West of Ireland, South Kerry and West Cork as a whole. "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars but in our times". Possibly the Parliamentary Secretary finds himself in the position that is general in the nation as a result of the fact that over a period of years we have had repeated efforts at self-justification by politicians of all sides of this House. That has found its final expression in the flight of the young people from all sections of the country. I can say unequivocally that nowhere has the flight from the district and ultimate emigration been so severely felt over the last 30 years as in the Gaeltacht areas. There are Deputies like myself who represent Fíor-Ghealtacht and Breac-Ghaeltacht areas who can bear concrete evidence to the population denudation of their areas. I do not intend to try to lay the blame for that on the establishment of this office or the non-establishment of this office. I shall try to come to grips with the question as to what is the ultimate plan that this Government or this Dáil or the legislators have for the preservation not only of these areas but of the people in them.

Deputy Seán Flanagan can be very naïve at times. While he accuses Deputy Blowick of disingenousness he himself can be the master thereof. It is idle for him to suggest in defence of the Parliamentary Secretary that certain benefits flowed from the setting up of this office. There is no doubt that the establishment of this office is purely coincidental in relation to the Grassmeal Act or the Undeveloped Areas Act. The fact that these particular schemes were allegedly placed under the wing of this office is an effortto justify its establishment. Nobody will more readily admit than the Parliamentary Secretary that the introduction of the Undeveloped Areas Bill had been present to the mind of his Government long before this co-ordinating office was designed.

The real fault I find with this office is the manner in which it was established and the futility of its conception. I cannot blame the Parliamentary Secretary for that, but I do think it is time for us to come to grips with reality where the Gaeltacht is concerned. Deputy Flanagan wants to know is there any area that was not better served in the last two years than heretofore. I have the privilege and honour to represent the most far-flung fastness of West Cork in the Beara Peninsula, and the Parliamentary Secretary and I are personally aware, though it is not his responsibility, that in the circumstances and difficulties of the times we have a flight out of that peninsula that is unprecedented. I do feel that if the Parliamentary Secretary was not, as he is at the present moment, a person groping to do something he has no authority to do, if he had something of an effective authority, he might be able to put into effect schemes that would benefit such an area, because I happen to have personal experience that the desire and the sympathy are there. The present holder of the office has himself expressed that sympathy and that desire on more than one occasion, but it is not, I suppose, his fault that he has been ineffectual.

That is why in this debate I want to try to get down to the broad issue that underlines the whole problem. It may be, as Deputy Flanagan has suggested, that the Gaeltacht and Kerry and parts of Cork are only a fraction of the country, but to me they are a vital fraction of the country, and we have got to start off and realise at the very beginning that all the poppycock and nonsense talked about an imperfect economy finds its fairest test in the fact that you cannot boost an economy on a falling population; and the story of the Gaeltacht is one of falling population. I think the timehas come—it is long overdue—to investigate what the various Gaeltacht industries are doing to help the Gaeltacht, to analyse and equate administrative cost and various costs in relation to those industries as against the gain, if any, that the people engaged in the industries are getting.

They are completely disproportionate; and even a cursory analysis of the situation will show that there is something wrong with a system of industry that involves the importation of yarn through Dublin being sent out throughout the West of Ireland for the purpose of spinning and making into garments, coming back into a central depot for examination, may be again being sent back for repairs, and ultimately finding itself for sale in shops maybe next door to the areas in which it was manufactured at a price that I consider absolutely unreal in the light of the administrative expenses in relation to the running of the industries. I think the time has come for the Parliamentary Secretary in his co-ordinating function to do a bit of analysis. I do not think that any money is badly spent that is serving the purpose of improving the lot and the standard of life of the people in any part of the Gaeltacht, but I think we will have to devise a method of spreading that money into the homes and into the functions of the Gaeltacht at an infinitely less administrative cost to the present design of that organisation. Let any Deputy listening to me go through the Estimate for the Gaeltacht Services and ask himself where is the ultimate relation between the earning capacity of these industries and the administrative costs of the office generally. That money would be infinitely better spent if it was going direct into improvement alone of the Gaeltacht homes or the betterment of the lot of the people therein.

I cannot blame the Parliamentary Secretary, or would not endeavour to blame the Parliamentary Secretary, for the emigration and the flight from the West and from the congested districts in Kerry and in Cork, but there is this fact that has to be faced, whether it is the responsibility of the Parliamentary Secretary or ultimatelyof his Government. I am directing his attention to it now that he may use his office to put something practical and sensible in the way of industrial employment potential into the Gaeltacht or else accept the situation that we are going to face a rapidly decreasing and decaying population in those areas. People say that as a race we get too sentimental and that we are drawing the long bow when we refer back to the fairly distant past, but when we do refer back to it we have got to remember this, that whether it is a small or a large part of this country there is an immense wealth of genuine traditional claim by the people of the western areas and the congested areas on the bounty and goodwill of any Irish Government, because they are certainly the successors of those from whom most was taken during the course of suppression and occupation of this State by another.

I do not like the situation of having to criticise another young man in politics in relation to this office, and my criticism is directed not at him but at the machine he is asked to work and the ineffectiveness of it generally. I wonder if we have really got to grips with what the real problems of those people are, if we ever got down to trying to plan, whether it is on a cottage industry plan or whether it is on a home development plan, industries that have got some traditional relationship with the West and at least can in part get some of the raw materials therefrom. We are inclined in this country when talking of industries to get away from industries that are fundamentally germane to the people and to the general economy of the State, and I am afraid that our approach to the Gaeltacht is going in that direction. I would far sooner see, and I have always said I would far sooner see, effective little industries devised over an area where the tradition of the Gael, where the integrity of a home and everything else was ensured, than any effort made to put heavy modern industry into a part of a country where transport andother overhead difficulties might make it ultimately non-competitive.

I do think that Deputy Flanagan made one wise contribution to this debate, and that is that it is the duty of everybody in this House, irrespective of politics, to try to put the functions and purposes of the Undeveloped Areas Act across to the very people themselves and try to loose the purse strings of people in rural districts who have the money available to put up the necessary capital to induce various Government assistance under the Undeveloped Areas Act. That has been a problem may be that is innate in the very conservatism of the people in those areas where money has been gathered hard and where it is hoarded or guarded jealously and not generally used in a speculative way.

I did not hear the Parliamentary Secretary's opening speech but I have glanced through it gradually and generally. I know the type of story he has to tell. What I want to hear from the Parliamentary Secretary is, to what extent can he be effective at all and, in so far as he can be effective, in what particular way is his mind now operating towards the Gaeltacht situation generally? What has he been able to do along with the Parliamentary Secretary to the Department of Agriculture? There is a field in which there must be tremendous scope for putting industry into congested areas very near to a ready source of supply. Have the Government, through the Parliamentary Secretary's effort, come to grips with the problem of making the Gaeltacht area—the Kerry and other congested areas—something that can be expanded on the basis of fish-meal plants, various canneries and the conversion of various sea products for industrial uses? Has his Department got down to this matter that, no matter what the experts may try to say, I know is practicable? Have they got down to the problem of possibly using Gaeltacht and bad land areas for the growing of seed flax that will give us the raw material for linseed oil? It has been done in rougher and hardier conditions in other parts of the world. Has theParliamentary Secretary, in his short period of office, been able to come to grips with the wishes of the people themselves in relation to the development of their own areas and the particular types either of cottage industry or souvenir industry, or any other particular type of industry that they might have some instinct for?

Has any effort been made in a coordinated way to revive certain types of handicrafts, the skilled lace-making and the various other cottage industries which at one time were a notable feature of the western seaboard and the congested districts—or has the West and the congested districts become completely absorbed in this queer, hectic, modern rush after bright lights, large industry and unstable conditions? This is a problem that has a tremendous, wide and diffused difficulty. I am not trying to minimise those difficulties but what I am getting sick and tired of in public life is nibbling at problems and justification by one or other section of the House—and, meantime, the life-blood and the strength and the real potential of the nation is being drained from it in the form of its own people.

Deputy McQuillan said that at times he felt a good deal of futility in speaking in the House. When one analyses or tries to analyse the situation in this country over 30 odd years, at times one does feel depressed because surely it is only on the energy and initiative of our young people, on the harnessing of that power and that will to work, and on keeping them here at home to bend their energies and efforts to the development of their own country that we can foresee any future. In the western area, in South Kerry and West Cork, I say without fear of contradiction that the instinctive ability, the native intelligence and the zest of the people are there. All it needs is direction and encouragement to enable it to find an outlet that will reflect credit on the people themselves and be of benefit to the nation. But you will not do that unless the Parliamentary Secretary can succeed in getting the Government to deal with this problem as something that is vital and urgent and immensely large—a problem inwhich the ultimate survival of the nation is concerned. We have got to realise that in these areas the economic pattern of the lives of the people is a difficult one and that the impact of various costs in recent years has made their existence even more difficult so that where one or two or three people could stay at home before, in the present economic circumstances and difficulties one more has to go or, in some cases, maybe two more have to go.

I want this Vote referred back for the unusual reason that I hate futility. I think it is a terrible thing to find a young man harnessed to a bent, broken-down old ass-because that is what this particular office might well be linkened to. To me, it represents an effort by various Departments to find another way of passing the buck. There is a problem there that cannot be passed lightly from one Department to another because it is a problem that has its ultimate basis in the lives and conditions of human beings throughout the Gaeltacht and congested districts. Theirs, traditionally, has been a difficult life and surely, in the full realisation of our nationhood, we can appreciate that we have to make a special effort and make special concessions to put these areas right.

I said on another occasion—I think it was when I was talking about the grass meal project—that I would never question the use of money on experiment in the West or in congested districts, where there was an ultimate potential of success. There must be, in the potential of the West and of the congested districts, the basis of various successfully conducted small type industries of every description. It would be infinitely better for the Parliamentary Secretary if his office were situated some where in the West rather than have central marketing depots, Gaeltarra headquarters and everything else in and around the City of Dublin. If his officials were doing nothing but spending their salaries in these areas, it would be some stimulus for the people there.

I have been accused in this House at times of becoming rather oneminded on the issue of administrativecost, but I think that even a cursory analysis of these Estimates will show that the administrative cost bears no relation to the fructification of the work in the West and the money spent on administration would serve a better purpose, to my mind, if it were given in a more direct way to the people, without any return. When Deputy McQuillan instanced the Land Commission, he was speaking of a hoary old warrior who had survived the shafts and the criticisms of 30 years of native government. I do not want the Parliamentary Secretary, in the exigencies of his time, with an Undeveloped Areas Act, a Grassmeal Act, and certain other limited legislation entrusted to him, to allow himself to be either misled or fooled by that particular start. He is in an awkward position. There is always the Tadhg an dá thaobh,but in this case the Parliamentary Secretary has 12 or 14 Departments to play. What kind of job it is, it is difficult to know, but I can tell the Parliamentary Secretary that if he wants to be effective in it, if he wants to press a point of view which is more demanding than co-ordinating, he will get far more support in this House in that attitude than he will as a running commentator on the various activities of other Departments.

I feel that the position of the Parliamentary Secretary is not an enviable one, but we have to say that whatever was the conception of the new office, its effectiveness has been virtually nil. My complaint is not that we are spending £7,000. Like Deputy Flanagan, I should be glad to see the Parliamentary Secretary spending a lot more money if it was doing some effective work to relieve the problems that are meant to be within his ken. To the various Departments, I suppose, he owes some responsibility, but to this House he has no direct responsibility, and my approach to the whole problem would best be summed up by saying that I would be infinitely more satisfied if the Parliamentary Secretary had some direct responsibility and if we could discuss effectively with him here schemes for the improvement and development of theGaeltacht areas generally. He has to wait, more or less, to gather up the crumbs of other Departments' endeavour.

We in this House have too long an experience of the interminable delays of the departmental machine. When something goes in at the top, one never knows what it will come out as after years of conference, counter-conference, inter-departmental conference and every other kind of conference. The burden of my complaint in this debate is that the problem of the Gaeltacht and of the people flying from the Gaeltacht is not one which can be put in at one end of the machine and allowed to remain there for years and years in an effort to find a partial solution. It is a problem of the immediate present and a problem of extreme urgency because we cannot have the situation countinuing in which there is increased emigration throughout the land.

I am not placing the blame for that, as I have said, at the Parliamentary Secretary's door. Let us face the reality of the situation. The Gaeltacht is not going to be saved by a couple of hundred thousand pounds. The person who is going to tackle the problem has to do it with a much larger and broader mind than that which thinks in terms of a quarter of a million of money, but if it is to be the Parliamentary Secretary, let me urge upon him that he should use every bit of persuasion and endeavour he has in his system rapidly to acquaint the Government of the fact that the problem of the western seaboard and the congested districts generally is not one that can be solved by setting up a little industry here and a little industry there. It is something which must have co-ordinated effort under a person of vision, doing a job of work for a very large section of our community who have a claim, greater than that of most and less than that of no other section, on our bounty.

Mr. Brennan

The negative attitude taken up by Opposition speakers to this Estimate provokes one to say something in favour of the many useful things done by this office during theyear. I did not intend to speak on the Estimate until I realised the attitude being adopted by Opposition speakers. One would think from their attitude that, when this office was set up, a short two years ago, it was set up to solve overnight the problems of unemployment and emigration in the Gaeltacht and congested areas. No person, least of all any member of the Opposition, anticipated for one moment that, in two short years, the Parliamentary Secretary would have achieved a solution of what up to now has seemed to be the eternal problem of emigration. It was the first genuine or serious attempt made in this House to do something for that section of our community and, as such, it was entitled to the full co-operation of every side of the House in order that its work would be successful.

Some Deputies inferred that a separate Ministry should be established to deal with that work. That is the inference to be drawn from the condemnation of the fact that the holder of the office has no portfolio, that the office has not a certain amount of money to expend or that it is not a ministerial office in itself. Since every single Department in this State is concerned in one way or another with the lives of the people in the Gaeltacht areas and the congested areas, it is I think an admirable means towards providing a solution of their varied problems to have one person whose duty it is to co-ordinate the work of the different Departments and to ensure that the maximum benefit is secured in so far as that work concerns these areas. I do not think that any appointee holding ministerial rank could do any more or, in fact, could do as much, as a person holding an appointment of this kind. When every parish, townland and village in the congested areas feels that something should be done for each of them, we all realise that within the short space of two years it is not possible to please everybody in these areas. I think the formidable list before us to-day, which is I am satisfied the direct outcome of that appointment, is sufficiently satisfactory to warrant every Deputy giving his whole-hearted support to theoffice and in congratulating the Parliamentary Secretary on his success during the short period he has been in office and in urging him to do greater things in the future.

Taking a cursory glance over the list given in the Parliamentary Secretary's statement, I am satisfied that a serious attempt has been made to provide a solution for the problems of these areas and that it provides the greatest justification for this appointment. The setting up of An Foras Tionscal provides a means, such as was never attempted by the Opposition when they were in power, of doing something for the undeveloped areas. The generous provisions of the Undeveloped Areas Act are unequalled in any country in the world. The only shortcomings of the Act, if one can describe them as shortcomings, are that private capital and private enterprise are the key note to the success of the administration of the Act. Unfortunately, in many of our congested areas, particularly in the Fior-Ghaeltacht, it is not always possible—in fact it is seldom possible—to get local capital and local enterprise to a sufficient extent to enable the people in these areas to avail of the very generous provisions of the Undeveloped Areas Act. It was clearly pointed out by the Minister at the time the Act was passed that it was not intended that it should result in setting up an industry in every parish in the Gaeltacht or the congested areas. I think the indications were that further attempts would have to be made in other directions to set up industries in those areas and I want to say something about that before I sit down. All the indications of the activities of this office, in the short time the Act has been in force, certainly justify what I have said, that it is the most generous piece of legislation, aimed at the decentralisation of industry, that has ever been enacted in this or in any other country in the world. I feel that proposals which are in course of negotiation in relation to some areas in my own constituency at the moment will bear fruit under that same Act and that we shall eventually be able to share in the benefits which are boundultimately to be conferred on every area where local capital and enterprise are available.

The increased activities in afforestation are certainly attributable to the untiring efforts of the Parliamentary Secretary to ensure that the congested areas get their fair share of money under the afforestation section of the Department of Lands. The only difficulty at the moment in that respect is that the price offered for land for afforestation, even in relation to rough hill grazing, is not sufficient to induce owners to part with the land for afforestation because as a result of the increased profits now being made from sheep-rearing, from wool sales and sheep generally, rough grazing has become more valuable. I appeal to the Parliamentary Secretary to impress on the Minister for Lands that he will have to step up the price offered for land for afforestation, even so far as land under rough grazing is concerned, since owners are slow to part with land which may be more profitably utilised for the rearing of sheep.

The grass meal production plan, much maligned, is another indication of the serious efforts made to improve conditions in the congested areas. The four generating stations in which hand-won turf is to be utilised for the generation of current for power and light, are by no means insignificant achievements in which the Parliamentary Secretary has played more than a small part. The construction of these stations is to be welcomed, not merely for the facilities which they will afford in the small areas served by the actual plant but also for the employment which they are bound to give to the owners of bogland throughout the congested areas, in providing the huge amount of hand-won turf necessary to keep the plant in operation. The setting up of this plant in any county does give hope for the future to those people whose only property is a stretch of bogland that has in the past not produced very much wealth for them. People who condemned the appointment of the ParliamentarySecretary carefully avoided any mention of the setting up of these turf-fired generating stations in four different areas.

If it were only for the tourist grant alone—the extra £3,000,000 which will be allocated for these tourist roads over a period of eight years—this office has justified itself in the short period of two years in which it has been in existence. Then we had the extension of the tomato scheme. We are hoping for a further extension in that respect. In Donegal we are having a further hydro-electric scheme in one of our fast flowing rivers. The people who seem to belittle the appointment of the Parliamentary Secretary were careful not to refer to that scheme. They were careful to refrain from mentioning the fact that during their time in office the only generating stations planned were those to burn imported foreign fuel.

Mr. Brennan

Do you deny that three such plants were planned? One of them was at Cork and another at the Pigeon House, Dublin. You know very well that three such plants were planned by the Coalition Government designed to burn imported coal. There was not very much heard about the congested areas then for which such crocodile tears are now being shed. There was no talk about the Gaeltacht areas when the 1930 Housing Act was passed which deliberately cut out the preferential treatment which up till then was given to the people in the Gaeltacht under the Gaeltacht housing scheme. That was only rectified by the 1952 Act which was made retrospective in some cases in order that people who built houses in the Gaeltacht could get the benefit of the preferential treatment provided in that Act. Those are the things which are conveniently forgotten by the people who seem to infer that in the short space of two years the Parliamentary Secretary to the Government could have cured all the ills from which we suffer in the Gaeltacht and that unemployment and emigration should have been stopped overnight after the establishment of this office.

We are satisfied that the work which has been done in that short space of time more than justifies the establishment of the office of the Parliamentary Secretary and that he is the most useful medium we in the congested areas have in pressing our case for further development and for further benefits in those areas. Instead of going one day to the Minister for Lands, another day to the Minister for Local Government and on other days to other Ministers asking them to do this, that or the other thing for the congested areas we can now centralise our grievances in the Parliamentary Secretary's office and ask him to attend to them, and I am perfectly satisfied that he is doing it and going about it in a proper way. I think that we should make the most of this appointment to bring about the desired result. I am satisfied that what has been done in the past two years shows that the appointment has been more than justified.

I should like to take this opportunity to impress on the Parliamentary Secretary a few things to which we would like him to give his attention in the future. Some Deputy referred to cottage industries. I am proud to report that during the past two years the cottage industries in Donegal have been more successful than they have been for a long time. Donegal tweed to-day is perhaps more popular in Paris and on the Broadway than it is in this country, if that were possible. We believe that this is only the beginning of an era when that industry will expand throughout the entire county. I should like to remind the Parliamentary Secretary, however, that Gaeltarra Éireann are not the only people engaged in the production of Donegal tweed. We have quite a few very extensive and very creditable private enterprises producing Donegal tweed of the very highest quality and marketing it in large quantities in the various countries of the world, particularly in America.

I was rather disappointed recently, therefore, when I read in a booklet published by Gaeltacht Services a chapter in which they seemed toarrogate to themselves the sole right to boost Donegal tweed as entirely their production. While we are satisfied that they are doing a good job of work and giving decent employment to a large number of people, I should like the Parliamentary Secretary, in deference to the views of the private producers, to ask them to correct at the earliest possible date that statement in which they seem to give the impression that they are the only people producing Donegal tweed.

In Donegal town we have probably the largest tweed producing industry in Ireland and in various other towns throughout the county tweed is being produced, the quality of which is unsurpassed and which is superior to anything ever produced by Harris tweed concerns. That is very creditable and I can say that that industry has gone on from one success to another over the past two years. That is in no small measure attributable to the efforts of the Government, particularly by the setting up of Córas Tráchtála which has made every possible effort to find markets abroad, to set up agencies, and to advertise and to boost Irish products abroad.

Now that Gaeltacht Services have got into their stride so successfully in the production of these things, I should like to point out to the Parliamentary Secretary that now is the time to expand that industry in Donegal where a tradition for weaving exists. The fullest advantage should be taken of the expanding market in order to put in employment more and more people. Only recently the Donegal Vocational Education Committee made arrangements to have an instructor appointed to teach weaving in the new technical school in Donegal and we are assured that immediate employment will be available for pupils who are trained there in the art of weaving. We could have many more people trained. The only thing we want is an assurance that Gaeltarra Éireann, like the private concerns in the industry, will take full advantage of that expanding market to have more and more branches set up throughout the area.

Hand-embroidery is also going onwell, but I regret to say that the prices paid by Gaeltarra Éireann do not compare favourably with those paid by the private agencies throughout the country. I think it is opportune to impress upon those concerned that that particular point should be examined to see whether those people should not pay more instead of less than the private concerns and therefore set a headline for an industry which employs so many people in their own homes in their spare time. The same thing would apply to lace, gloves and other cottage industries which are under the care of Gaeltacht Services.

Finally, I should like to point out the shortcomings of the Undeveloped Areas Act. As I have said, it is the most generous piece of legislation that has ever been introduced, but it requires private enterprise which means in turn local capital, to take full advantage of the benefits of that Act. In this respect I hope it is already evident—I am quite certain it is evident to the Parliamentary Secretary —that there are many Fíor-Ghaeltacht areas, many congested areas on the western seaboard from Donegal to Kerry where the necessary capital would not be available to take full advantage of the generous provisions of the Undeveloped Areas Act. I would ask him to secure—I know it will be forthcoming—the co-operation of all members concerned in the Cabinet to see that a further effort is made to sponsor industries in those areas which will never be reached by the Act in question. Industries—they need not be large—of a type that are suitable to home craft and suitable to the small villages in the Gaeltacht areas are hardly likely to come from private enterprise even with the generous provisions of the Undeveloped Areas Act. When people are prepared to put some thousands of pounds into an industry even under the Undeveloped Areas Act—and are getting a generous contribution under that Act—they are naturally inclined to keep in the bigger towns in the undeveloped areas where they are likely to make a success of the enterprise.

One can hardly blame them if, when putting money into these industries, they are not prepared to go back to the mountains on the sea coast. Rather are they inclined to set up in the larger towns in the areas concerned. Consequently, in the more backward areas, particularly the Fíor-Ghaeltacht where the language is still alive and where industry is most required, some further effort will have to be made by the Department responsible for the necessary industries to maintain the surplus population which is always available on the little holdings in those areas.

I sincerely congratulate the Parliamentary Secretary on the great effort he has made and on the many successes he has already achieved in the very short space of time which his office is in existence. I hope he will have continued success and the co-operation of every member and Party of this House to ensure that further success will attend his efforts until we can finally say that if we have not completely solved the problem of emigration we have at least reached the stage when we can offer a job to every man or woman who wants to emigrate.

Deputies on the Government side who have spoken up to this have in all cases attempted to justify the setting up of this Department at the head of which is the Parliamentary Secretary but, no matter what they have said, I fear they have not yet convinced us on this side of the House that the setting up of such a Department was justified.

Deputy Brennan said that instead of visiting the various Departments such as the Departments of Local Government, Lands, Industry and Commerce and so forth we can now enter the office of the Parliamentary Secretary in charge of the undeveloped areas but the experience of Deputies on this side of the House, whenever they want to approach the officials of the various Departments, is that they must go to these various Departments. Never once, so far as I know, have we approached the Parliamentary Secretary's office. In fact, some of us do not know where it is. In fact, the discussionof this Estimate is entirely unnecessary. The position of the Parliamentary Secretary is rather unique. He is supposed to be responsible for the co-ordination of the work of the different Departments that may be put into operation in Gaeltacht and congested areas but when we have discussed the Estimates of the Departments of Lands, Industry and Commerce, Agriculture and so forth have we not really discussed these things already? We have finished with these Estimates.

While we were quite satisfied to give a chance to the passing of the Undeveloped Areas Bill so that it might become an Act in order to see what would result from the setting up of the Parliamentary Secretary's office, after two years' experience I do not think that any good has actually been done. Deputy Brennan spoke about emigration. Has emigration been stopped? Is there any extra employment in these Gaeltacht and congested areas? Are the queues at the labour exchanges any shorter than they were? They are even longer than ever. Instead of stopping emigration or reducing it, it is increasing every day.

No matter what Deputies opposite may say, nothing has been done for Gaeltacht or congested areas during the past two years that had not been done heretofore. I will admit that all Governments and Ministers of the various Departments during the past 30 years have certainly endeavoured to do something for the betterment of the inhabitants of the Gaeltacht and congested areas, but whatever efforts have been made have certainly not been successful. I will admit that it is a very difficult problem to deal with. In fact, I will go so far as to say that the setting up of this office in June or July of 1951 was because of the good work done for Gaeltacht areas during the time of the inter-Party Government as a result of which Fianna Fáil lost five seats in those areas. They thought, of course, that something should be done, that there should be some eyewash to pretend that they were going to set out in a real endeavour to improve the conditions of the Gaeltacht areas. Itwas only all a hoax and a humbug, and this office so far as Gaeltacht and congested areas are concerned is absolutely null and void.

It is quite easy to follow the statement of the Parliamentary Secretary. He simply refers to Gaeltacht housing and Gaeltacht industries wherever they are. Deputy Brennan mentioned some industries in Donegal, and referred to the production of Donegal tweeds. When we came into office in 1948, there were thousands and thousands of yards of Donegal and other tweeds for which no market could be found. I believe the reason, principally, for that was that the tweeds were manufactured all in single width and no market could be found for them in this or in any other country until, eventually, because of a depression in Italy, the Italian Government bought thousands and thousands of yards of these tweeds. Otherwise, they would still be stored somewhere in the Gaeltacht or perhaps in the City of Dublin. It was only because of the work of the inter-Party Government, or, perhaps, I should say of the Ministers in it who were responsible, that the right type of production was eventually undertaken. Deputy MacBride, when he was Minister for External Affairs, helped, to a large extent, to find markets for our tweeds in Belgium, France and in the United States of America. In America, he was helped to find markets for them by Deputy James Dillon, then Minister for Agriculture, who was on a visit to the United States at the time.

It is futile and wrong to say that nothing was done for industries in the Gaeltacht until two years ago. I agree that attempts have been made at all times to improve conditions in the Gaeltacht areas. I suggest that during the past two years no additional improvement can be seen beyond what was there up to then. In fact, if anything the position has deteriorated so far as employment and emigration are concerned.

The setting up of Foras Tionscal to develop the Gaeltacht industries has not justified its existence. It has not proved to be successful or helpful in carrying out the work it was intendedto do. In the first place, the industries must be set up by private enterprise. If the Department of Industry and Commerce is satisfied that an industry is likely to make progress—to prove to be permanent and profitable —a certain grant will be given. It is easy, however, to understand the difficulty of getting people to invest money in industries in remote Gaeltacht areas. You have transport difficulties, and such areas are far removed from the markets where one may be likely to sell the goods produced. Yet, while the legislation is there, and while grants may be available under certain conditions, no progress, so far as I know, has been made in the setting up of industries in the Gaeltacht—not at any rate in the South Kerry constituency which I have the honour to represent.

There is a project on foot for the erection of tomato glass-houses in the Cahirciveen area. According to a statement of the Parliamentary Secretary in charge of this office, numbers of applications have been received. The glass-houses in Donegal and Connemara are unheated. I believe that recently experiments have been made with heated glass-houses. That seems to me to indicate that the Department concerned realises that eventually it would be more economical and profitable for producers if all the glass-houses were heated. Provision should be made for the heating of them when they are in course of erection. It is easy to understand that the earlier tomatoes can be produced, the greater will be the price which producers will receive. If produced in heated glass-houses, they should be ready for the market in June and July. Otherwise, I am afraid they will not be ready until late August or early September. I suggest to the Parliamentary Secretary that, before a beginning is made with the erection of these glass-houses in Cahirciveen, the results of the experiments carried out in Donegal should be considered and that, if possible, all the glass-houses in the South Kerry area should be heated.

Is the Deputyadvocating that as an economic proposition?

Yes, as the one likely to be of most benefit to the producers, because if what I suggest is done, they are more likely to get better prices for their produce.

But if all came on the market early, what would the effect be?

There are no foreign tomatoes allowed in until after a certain date. A time could be fixed so as to prevent them coming in and causing a glut. In that way, protection could be afforded to the home producer.

As regards Gaeltacht housing, there is one serious flaw in the present Gaeltacht Housing Acts. Take, for example, the case of a man in the Gaeltacht area, or even in the Fíor-Ghaeltacht, who makes application for a grant to build a house. He may have purchased a small farm on which there was no house already. I should like to assure Deputies that cases of this kind occur pretty frequently. Only quite recently, at Portmagee in South Kerry, some fishermen there purchased small farms that were on the market. They had come back from England to do so. Previously, they had been fishermen, but found that they were not making enough money at fishing to enable them to buy boats and gear. They went away to earn some money, came back and purchased these small farms. They made application for Gaeltacht housing grants, and then discovered that they were not entitled to them simply because there was no old house on the lands for demolition. That may seem a peculiar thing, but it is a fact.

I suggest it is rather strange that there should be a clause such as that in any Gaeltacht Housing Act, a clause which makes it necessary for one who avails of such a grant to demolish an old house. I suggest it is strange because, as Deputies know, old houses can always be converted into a cow-house, a stable or a storehouse. Difficulties arise frequently in connection with that particular matter, and I suggestto the Parliamentary Secretary that he should look into it and see that, if necessary, proposals for legislation will be introduced to remedy that defect in the present Acts.

There is at present a project mooted in Kenmare for the erection of a tannery, and I believe that in the near future the Department of Industry and Commerce will be approached with a view to obtaining the greatest Government grant possible to assist the local people who are willing to invest a large sum in this project thus ensuring that we will have in South Kerry at least one industry established under the Undeveloped Areas Act.

Apart from the improvement of Gaeltacht and congested areas by the erection of factories or the setting up of industries of any kind, full effect should be given to the provisions of the land rehabilitation scheme for the drainage, reclamation and the fertilisation of the impoverished land in these areas. After all, you have there the real foundation on which the Gaeltacht exists. That should be undertaken in conjunction with the work of the Land Commission which should do its best to take some people out of the congested areas and give them 40 or 50 acres in the Midlands, those areas from which the people in ancient times were driven back into the mountains of the West. They should be re-established in the areas from which their forefathers came.

Instead of having a number of small farms in these congested areas economic holdings should be set up for those who wish to remain in the Gaeltacht and congested areas. In most areas in South Kerry a farm, to be economic, should contain anything from 100 to 200 acres because of the want of fertility of the land. It is the Land Commission that can to a large extent solve the problem of the Gaeltacht and congested areas. That may deplete the population of the area, but it will help to make a sure and profitable way of living for those who remain behind.

This should go hand in hand with the development of that land under the land rehabilitation scheme andwhatever else can be done by the introduction in all areas, even the very remotest, of the various amenities that present-day living requires such as rural electrification, good houses for the people, a supply of water and the other facilities that are so lacking in rural areas and especially in the Gaeltacht and congested areas.

These western seaboard areas are the principal haunts of tourists and, therefore, every provision should be made for the improvement of roads, not only the main roads but also country roads or roads leading to the beauty spots. That will entice the tourist to come and it will also give a good deal of employment even though it be only temporary employment.

There is another problem in these mountainous areas and that is the improvement of hill grazing. When Deputy Dillon was Minister for Agriculture I think he was evolving a scheme for that purpose. I hope the present Minister is continuing to investigate the possibility of such an improvement so that a larger population of sheep might be produced just as the improvement of the arable land of the lowlands would result in an increase in the live-stock population.

Then we have the question of afforestation. There is the suggestion here in the Parliamentary Secretary's statement that nothing was done for afforestation at all until he came into office whereas it was really during the period of office of the inter-Party Government that afforestation was stepped up. We heard nothing at all about afforestation in South Kerry until Mr. Blowick became Minister for Lands when the change of Government took place in 1948. It was only then that the people became interested and offered land for afforestation purposes and that steps were taken to acquire estates as key centres so that provision would be made eventually for the acquisition of land offered.

If this Government has the welfare of its people at heart, as I suppose all Governments have, it should put these various schemes into operation for the betterment and the welfare of thepeople on the western seaboard and elsewhere. There is a wonderful opportunity in the western areas for the advancement of afforestation. I would not go so far as Deputy Brennan went in his suggestion that the hillsides suitable for sheep-raising should be acquired for afforestation. In view of the present price for sheep and wool, it would be very hard to expect that those mountain farmers would willingly offer land to the Forestry Department. Nevertheless, where you have farmers with vast mountain areas it would benefit them to have trees grown on those hillsides. They would not only act as a shelter for their sheep and cattle but would also give a great deal of useful and almost permanent employment. It would also add to the beauty of the area and have a wonderful effect on the climate.

All these schemes I have referred to—Land Commission work, trying to make the holdings economic, improving the condition of the soil; the introduction of rural electrification into all areas, no matter how remote; and afforestation—are schemes which should certainly benefit the Gaeltacht. Wherever possible and practical, every effort should be made, and I am sure is being made, by the officials of the various Departments and of the Parliamentary Secretary's office, in regard to all schemes put into operation, to see that they will eventually bring about some real foundation work which will solve once and for all the difficulties of those living in the Gaeltacht.

I would like to refer to the statement that the influence of the Parliamentary Secretary and his office did not have the desired effect and that he was not able to influence Government policy in regard to the Gaeltacht or congested districts. I am one representative who can prove the contrary. I had discussions with the Forestry Department about an estate in Glencar, in South Kerry, where negotiations had been going on for four years in regard to title and so on. Were it not for the fact that Deputy Lynch interested himself in it andapproached the Department concerned time and again, we probably would not have that scheme through or the title made absolute for another year. That is one case. It will be an extensive afforestation scheme. It comprises directly 500 acres, together with another 700 acres which will eventually be operated from that centre.

Deputy Palmer did not refer to the turf generating plant. He seems to think nothing at all has been done for South Kerry so far. In regard to a regular industrial centre in a town he is quite correct, but I claim that the allocation of this turf generating station to Cahirciveen is at least equal to, if not more important than, any industry that could be established in that district. In fact, it will be of far greater importance and value to the people concerned than a local industry, such as a boot factory, would be. The thousands of people who will be engaged in producing the raw material for the turf station will have this as their mainstay and the benefits will be widespread. Therefore, in its planning and in its operation it is certainly a big advance. There again, Deputy Lynch played an important part. I would go even further than that. I have had contact with the system that has been in operation up to the present and I would like him to have more extensive powers. I would like him to be placed in the position, where, if he stated that a certain county or part of a county required a special scheme in a congested area, a special housing scheme, drainage scheme or afforestation scheme, he could go back to that Department and insist on money being made available for that particular project. I would like to see that power in operation, if possible, in the near future.

Generally speaking, I know the Parliamentary Secretary has done his utmost to co-ordinate the services, to pinpoint the particular project and then come back to the Departments and get them to work in on behalf of the people concerned in that county. I also appreciate his efforts in regard to the glass-house scheme which is being established in South Kerry. I agree entirely with the remarks of previousspeakers about central heating being made available to facilitate early production. In view of the fact that we will have a turf generating plant down there, I visualise that it should be possible to extend that power to the glass-house scheme, which will be in the same district. I think that is quite feasible and I would suggest to the Parliamentary Secretary to act on those lines.

The point raised by Deputy Palmer in regard to the Gaeltacht Housing Act was an important one. There is a provision whereby you cannot obtain a grant unless you can show that there is an existing old dwelling on the holding. You must replace the old derelict building by obtaining a grant direct to construct a new house. There is a further complication there. Recently the Minister for Local Government when introducing the 1952 Act made it possible for local authorities to give grants. In practice, the position is not very satisfactory for applicants in the Gaeltacht. I have had a few cases recently where people obtained Gaeltacht grants and will now qualify for a county council grant, but the officer from the valuation office came along and increased the valuation on the building, even though the structure itself was built under an Act which provided that the full valuation rate would not be put on for 20 years. I suggest to the Parliamentary Secretary that that is a matter worth investigating. There will be a complication there as between the benefits derived from the old Gaeltacht Housing Act and the new provision under the 1952 Local Government Act which enables the people in the Gaeltacht to obtain county council grants. If something is not done, our friends from the valuation office will impose increased valuations and that will nullify the whole scheme. In fact, it will have such an effect on the people in the Gaeltacht that they will not worry at all about improvements, as they will be so disgusted with the system. They always felt—and rightly so, as they were guaranteed protection under the other Act —that the full valuation would not go on for a long period, but now, when they have a little repair done thesepeople from the valuation office come along and impose a separate valuation altogether on the same structure.

I am not going to dwell very much longer on this matter but I would like to make one point: the Parliamentary Secretary should consider at an early date the advisability of increasing the Gaeltacht housing grants. I think the time has come when, with increased costs and so on and the difficulty of transport in getting materials to these places, a very good case might be made for increased grants for the construction of Gaeltacht houses.

I had a question down to-day and I was very disappointed with the answer but probably I can renew the question later. It was to ask the Minister for Agriculture to embark on a development scheme in regard to bogland in County Kerry and the reply was that while his Department had a number of schemes on hand and had their programme marked out they could not very well attend to this particular type of proposal.

There is another matter which I think the Parliamentary Secretary, Deputy Lynch, could consider. We have stretches of what we call cutaway bogland, extending for ten miles at a stretch, and it is waste. It is not productive. If the Department could take on that type of scheme, drain and rehabilitate the land with manure and subdivide it among the smallholders of the district, I think it would be a great day's work for this country if it could be done. I fail to see why under modern conditions work of that nature could not be carried on with modern equipment and the utilisation of fertilisers and all the rest of it. The land is there for the taking and I would suggest that the Parliamentary Secretary should consider the matter.

In regard to other schemes in the Gaeltacht, I would ask the Parliamentary Secretary to consider this question of the regrouping of road grants or consider asking the Department concerned about it. I am referring now to types of roads in Gaeltacht districts in turbary areas—county roads, not accommodation roads. The county roads in parts of South Kerry have deteriorated to an alarming extentsimply because in remote districts lorry traffic, haulage of turf and so on on those light county roads tended to destroy them and they are now practically impassable. The amounts allowed by the county council are not a fraction of the amount that should be expended on the roads. If the Parliamentary Secretary would consider having those roads regrouped—you have a number of them in every county but particularly in the turbary areas to which I refer—it might be possible to have some small amount allocated each year in addition to the usual county allocation. It would be a great contribution towards meeting modern traffic demands. Those roads were built for the people of the district and they are not able to stand up to lorry traffic under modern conditions and the amounts allocated are inadequate. The result is that these roads in some districts. particularly in Cahirciveen, Killorglin and Glencar districts have deteriorated so much that they are indescribable.

In conclusion, I thank the Parliamentary Secretary and appreciate his work and, as I have said, I am only sorry that he has not greater powers vested in him to insist on a particular Department allocating additional moneys to the Gaeltacht and congested districts.

Unlike Deputy Flynn I regret very much that I cannot say that I appreciate the work of the Parliamentary Secretary's Office so far as the constituency which I represent is concerned. When the Parliamentary Secretary's office was set up and when he introduced his undeveloped areas measure into this House it met with the approval of every Deputy, irrespective of Party affiliations, representing congested districts. We were of opinion that many benefits would be likely to accrue from it. The Parliamentary Secretary was empowered to deal with every Department in the State and he could, if he so desired or if he so thought fit, help to develop any type of industry irrespective of what type it was, whether it was agriculture, fishing or any other kind of industry.

It is almost two years ago now since the Parliamentary Secretary visited almost every town and village of West Cork and I will leave it to himself to say if any single benefit whatsoever has come to West Cork subsequently as a result of his visit. I feel sure that what has happened in West Cork is typical of the other congested districts and Gaeltacht areas covered by the Parliamentary Secretary's office. We put before the Parliamentary Secretary various proposals that would, we thought, be beneficial not only to the particular area concerned but to the State as a whole. Now two years have elapsed and is it not only reasonable to expect that some results would be forthcoming? I very much regret to say that nothing whatever has been done. In saying that, I am not commenting adversely on the Parliamentary Secretary. I must say that every place he went he met the people in a very fair manner. He heard their grievances and their representations with courtesy and civility. I feel sure it was not the fault of the Parliamentary Secretary that no benefits resulted. I believe it is as a result of governmental policy and the policy of the officials in his office.

Every type of suggestion put forward to the Parliamentary Secretary's office is met with the query: How much money have you to put up to develop this industry? Then, if the money is forthcoming the proposal is examined and we then hear that it would not be an economic proposition for the Parliamentary Secretary's office to expend any money on it. What type of attitude is that and what kind of an approach is it to the problems of the Gaeltacht and the congested districts?

Was it not admitted from the very outset that the majority of the industries which would be established under the auspices of the Parliamentary Secretary's office would be uneconomic? I understand that the Parliamentary Secretary intended to try to develop what might be uneconomic industries in the beginning but would probably eventually prove capable of standing on their own feet. Indeed, that would be just as good a way ofexpending money in subsidising such industries around, say, an area like the Berehaven Peninsula as paying 600 or 700 men dole all the year round, because money expended in subsidising such industries would be more beneficial in the long run to the people in these areas and to the country as a whole.

It was stated that various matters of a nature likely to improve the Gaeltacht and the congested districts are taken up at committee meetings and examined. I am rather doubtful if there is any great degree of coordination between the different Departments of State so far as these particular areas are concerned and I am rather doubtful that the Parliamentary Secretary has improved the position very much. Let me take the areas I know best, the districts around West Cork. It is a well-established fact that there are large deposits of barytes in that particular area. It is an equally well-established fact that under an alien régime many of our people found employment there in that particular industry. It is a regrettable fact that since the foundation of this State that industry has been completely ignored by successive Governments.

When the Parliamentary Secretary took over this particular office and introduced this Undeveloped Areas Act I, for one, was under the impression that deposits such as barytes would be developed. Everyone knows the advantage of that particular industry. Everyone in the district is only too well aware of the big export trade that existed in that industry under an alien régime.

We believed that the congested districts and the Gaeltacht would be improved under a native Government. Unfortunately that has not been the case. In the area around Castletownbere we have on an average more than 600 men registered as unemployed this year. These unfortunate men have no other option but to accept from the State an allowance by way of unemployment assistance. I can assure the House on behalf of those men that they would much prefer to ignore that allowance, but, through force of circumstances,they are compelled to accept it. I do not believe that any man in Cork, Galway or Donegal, with the exception of very few, would be prepared to take unemployment assistance in this year of Grace, 1953, if he could find suitable employment. If the deposits that exist in Cork and Donegal and elsewhere throughout the country were properly developed there would be no need for this degrading business of paying out unemployment benefit to able-bodied men anxious and willing to work. Certainly my constituents would prefer to work for their money.

Apart from barytes, we have extensive slate deposits which were worked by private enterprise over a period of years. Because of some difficulties this industry has more or less ceased in West Cork. The deposits are excellent. All these points were laid before the Parliamentary Secretary when he visited West Cork. It was believed that when this office was set up some effort would be made to develop these slate deposits. We have the peculiar situation in my constituency, and possibly elsewhere, that while we have extensive slate deposits running out to the side of the main road local authorities and private builders in that area are roofing houses with some kind of foreign composition tile which is not nearly as durable as our own Irish slates. What is the position elsewhere? I am sure the roofing materials used in the vast majority of housing schemes all over the country are imported. If these problems were approached in a practical manner and if these extensive deposits were developed, not only would we provide employment for our people but we would help to stem the tide of emigration and we would keep in our own country men, and money— money that we are now sending to Denmark, Belgium and elsewhere.

Surely that is the responsibility of someone other than the Parliamentary Secretary.

I believe it arises on this Estimate. The Parliamentary Secretary deals with undeveloped areas and I am pointing out that no great benefits have accrued as a resultof the introduction of the Undeveloped Areas Act. If the problems were approached in a more practical manner more men could be put into employment at home and more money could be put into circulation. More important still, money that is now sent out of the country would be kept in the country and, in the long run, that would be to the benefit not only of the areas concerned but to the country as a whole.

We had hoped that some help would be given to the fishing industry along the west coast of Cork. Years ago the fishing industry there provided employment for many people.

That particular industry is the subject of another Estimate that has already been debated.

That is so but, with all due respect, the Parliamentary Secretary deals with all industries that arise in the undeveloped areas.

There is a Parliamentary Secretary in charge of fisheries and any remarks in relation to fisheries should be addressed to him.

The Parliamentary Secretary deals with marine works, such as the improvement of harbours and so on; at least we thought at one time that he would deal with them but I am afraid our thoughts were ill-founded. With all due respect, I think I am within my rights in maintaining that the fishing industry can be helped through the medium of the Parliamentary Secretary's office. If he cannot deal with fishing, or agriculture or all these other items with what can he deal? Nothing.

The Deputy cannot discuss every item on the Parliamentary Secretary's Estimate.

I believe I am entitled to discuss under-developedindustries existing in the undeveloped areas.

Only in so far as the Parliamentary Secretary has responsibility for them.

So far as his office is concerned. I am putting the matter briefly without going into details, as one would on the Fishery Estimate itself. I say that no help has been forthcoming from the Parliamentary Secretary's office for the development of that industry. No help has been forthcoming in the way of providing proper equipment for fishermen, the improvement of harbours, piers, and so on. No help has been forthcoming for the development of the most important industry in these undeveloped and Gaeltacht areas, the agricultural industry. Has the Parliamentary Secretary expended one penny to help that industry in any part of this country since he took office two years ago? He definitely has not or, if he has, he has not spent it in West Cork.

I am amazed at all the improvements that are alleged by Deputies Flynn and Brennan to have taken place. These improvements are completely imaginary. They existed only when we had a by-election in one or other of these areas, when the people were promised this, that and the other thing if they voted for certain people.

If no money is being expended on the development of industries in the undeveloped areas, where is the money going that the Minister is asking the Dáil to vote? Is it for the purpose of keeping a big staff in Dublin to examine vaarious suggestions without doing any practical work or taking measures that would help those living in the congested areas? Is it for that purpose we are voting this money?

I see no results in West Cork. Deputy Palmer cannot see any results in Kerry. I take it that Galway Deputies would have the same to say. A big question that the Parliamentary Secretary should clarify when he is replying to the debate is where the money is going. With the exception of a few thousand pounds that are to be expended on road granite, no moneys have been forthcoming.

I would inquire from the Parliamentary Secretary what are the prospects of the onion-growing industry. I notice that some kind of help—not money— was given towards developing that industry in two areas, one of which is the Skibbereen district. I have met a number of people who have grown onions as instructed by the Parliamentary Secretary's office, but who find it difficult to obtain a market for them. I would ask the Parliamentary Secretary to mention, when he is replying, what are the prospects for that industry in the coming year. If the Parliamentary Secretary could indicate that a good market exists the industry would be extended, probably, in the coming year.

I think I am in order in inquiring about another matter in connection with the congested districts, particularly Kerry and Cork. Could the Parliamentary Secretary's office help to extend the travelling creamery service in these areas? Time and again I have referred in this House and in other places to the disadvantages that a number of people in congested and Gaeltacht districts labour under. The travelling creamery service is in operation for only seven months in the year —from April to October. From 1st November until the middle of April they are completely cut off. It means that a farmer with a few gallons of milk in the winter time has no market for it. The Dairy Disposals Board tell these farmers that it is completly uneconomic for them to send a creamery to a stop where there are only 50 or 60 gallons. That is what I and other people have been told by the Dairy Disposals Board. This is a very important matter for the Gaeltacht and congested districts and I want to know if the Parliamentary Secretary's office has any function in this respect.

While I have commented rather adversely on the work of the Parliamentary Secretary's office, I admit freely that I have some faith in the Parliamentary Secretary himself. I have already made it quite clear that, while his office has served no purpose, I believe it is not his fault. A new loan has been floated and an additional £25,000,000 has come into theExchequer. That has taken us all by surprise, because this loan has been floated by the Government who claimed that it is bad business to borrow money, that one should make ends meet without borrowing, and that it is bad to leave the payment of loans to posterity. However, we are glad to hear that £25,000,000 has come into the Exchequer during the past few weeks. I would ask the Parliamentary Secretary whether, as a result of that money being made available to the Government, the undeveloped and Gaeltacht districts will benefit. Will any of this money be expended in West Galway, West Cork or Kerry?

No districts deserve more consideration than these undeveloped Gaeltacht areas. The people residing in them are Irish in every sense of the word. They have a strong Irish tradition. They have been treated unfairly by successive Governments since the foundation of the State. While we thought that the establishment of Oifig na Gaeltachta agus na gCeantar gCúng would help these districts, the position to-day is that all the young men and women are flying from these areas. As far as West Cork is concerned, never since the foundation of this State have more young boys and girls gone to the supposed ancient enemy, England, than have gone during the past three or four months. These are boys and girls who, a few years ago, put great faith in the Government's Undeveloped Areas Bill. They thought that industries would spring up or that industries already in existence would be developed and would have greater employment content. They are very disillusioned. You will not now find them in West Cork, but in the coal mines of Wales and the factories of Birmingham and other English cities. Government policy is responsible for that position. In Dublin there are groups of well organised people claiming this benefit and that benefit, some of them using intimidation in order to get benefits that possibly they are not entitled to.

That does not arise on this Estimate.

I am using it as an illustration. In the undeveloped areas you are dealing with unorganised people. They have not the time to organise. Because of the type of land they have or the work they have to do they have to take off their coats from Monday to Saturday. They have not an eight-hour day, but in many cases a 13-hour day. They have to eke out a bare existence. They have not the time to organise and to make a big case for an improvement of their position, to get big pensions, and so on, or to get a lot of benefits they are not entitled to. They have no organisation to look after their requirements and I think the Parliamentary Secretary's office is forgetting them.

I do not want to delay this item any more as I understand that the Vote is closing at 9 o'clock, but I would appeal in the strongest manner possible to the Parliamentary Secretary to change his attitude or at least try to get his officials, if they are the managers in his office, to change their attitude to the Gaeltacht and to the congested districts.

The Parliamentary Secretary is responsible for the Vote, not the officials.

I know, but somehow I believe that the advice the Parliamentary Secretary is getting is not the best.

You mean the advice he is getting now?

If he accepted the advice he is getting now I am afraid he would be Parliamentary Secretary for many a day to come, but I suppose nothing would redeem you now—you are too far gone.

I am giving a clear-cut statement here in this House that no benefits except ones that are of little account and would have come if this office had never been set up have accrued from the Parliamentary Secretary's office. It is a very costly office. It costs the public funds of this country a good share of money, and after two years there is a definite obligation on the Parliamentary Secretary to answer the criticism of the Deputies of this House,criticism that no useful work whatsoever has been forthcoming for the past two years as a result of the setting up of his office. I am claiming that in my own constituency the position has worsened a good deal in the undeveloped areas since the Parliamentary Secretary set up this office, and I conclude by asking the Parliamentary Secretary to indicate clearly to this House, as I believe he should do, what industries have been set up since the Undeveloped Areas Act was introduced, what industries have benefited, how much money has gone into the development of the different industries, and what employment has been given. I feel sure that he will have to admit that very little of each has been given in any direction, and I am wondering, and not only I am wondering but the people in the congested areas are wondering, what is happening to this money that has been voted for this office. Is it being, as I have mentioned, expended on groups of officials here in Dublin or on some propaganda work of the Government, particularly at such times as by-elections?

Is mian liom cupla focal a rá ar an Meastachán seo. Tá dhá ní i gceist ann. Tá an Ghaeltacht agus na ceantair chúnga. Is cás ar leith an Ghaeltacht. Ní fhéadfadh an Rúnaí Parlaiminte deileál leis an Ghaeltacht agus na ceantair chúnga. Sílim féin gur ceart an Ghaeltacht a thógaint amach as an scéim sin ar fad agus sílim gur ceart bord nó údarás speisialta do chur i mbun gnóthaí a bhaineas leis an Ghaeltacht. San am atá i láthair, ní heol d'éinne cad é an limistéar atá fúithi. Tá Ranna Rialtais árithe a bhfuil limistéir ar leith ceaptha acu gur Gaeltacht iad. Ranna Rialtais eile agus ceanntracha eile atá ceaptha acu ina nGaeltacht. Níl sé cinnte ar aon chor céna limistéirí den tír is fíor-Ghaeltacht nó Breach-Ghaeltacht; dá bhrí sin, ní fios dúinn go beacht cé na limistéir arb í an Ghaeilge gnáth-theanga na ndaoine iontu. Ba cheart ar dtús báire a dhéanamh amach go beacht cé na limistéir a labhartar Gaeilge iontu agus An Ghaeltacht a ghlaoch ar na limistéir sin. Ansin be cheart dul i mbun oibre ins na limistéir sin ionus go ndéanfar anGhaeilge a dhaingniú iontu agus ná lagfaidh sí agus nach laghadóidh sí. Is baol go bhfuil an Ghaeltacht ag dul i laghad; do réir na bhfigiúirí a foilsíodh anuraidh tá sin amhlaidh. Tá an Ghaeilge ag laghadú sa Ghaeltacht. Ar an ábhar sin, molaim go leagfaí amach na limistéir sin agus go ndéanfaí sár-iarracht an Ghaeilge do neartú iontu agus ina dhiaidh sin na limistéir sin leathnú amach.

Ní ceart an ghluaiseacht atá san Ghaeltacht, is é sin, laghdú agus trághadh, ní ceart ligean dó dul ar aghaidh níos fuide mar tá contúirt ann gur gearr nach mbeadh an Ghaeltacht ann. Mar dúirt mé i dtosach, chun an obair sin a dhéanamh mar is cóir, is dóigh liom go mba cheart bord nó dream daoine a bhfuil eolas acu ar an scéal a chur i mbun na hoibre agus ba cheart dóthain airgid a thabhairt dóibh chun gluaiseacht agus scéimeanna a chur ar bun sa Ghaeltacht. Na daoine a bheadh ag obair faoin mbord sin agus na Stát-Sheirbhísigh agus na seirbhísigh Comhairlí Aitiúla a bheadh ag obair sa nGaeltacht, chaithfidis an Ghaeilge a bheith go líofa acu agus a gcuid oibre a dhéanamh i nGaeilge.

Mar atá an scéal fáoi láthair is iomaí Roinn Rialtais a bhfuil baint aici leis an Ghaeltacht, mar atá an Roinn Tailte, an Roinn Talmhaíochta agus an Brainse Iascaigh agus níl aon chomh-cheangal eatorthu. Dá bhrí sin, is féidir a chruthú gur cás le haghaidh boird speisialta an Ghaeltacht. Dhéanfadh bord den tsórt sin an obair atá á dhéanamh ag na Ranna go leír faoi láthair don Ghaeltacht agus is fearr a déanfai an obair.

Ní aontaím leis an chaint adúirt an Teachta Micheál O Murchadha ná leis an chaint adúirt Teachtaí eíle nuair a bhí siad ag caint aréir mar gheall ar Roinn an Iascaigh agus fé mar adúirt Teachtaí inné nuair a bhí siad ag caint mar gheall ar Roinn Talmhaíochta. Ní chreidim go bhfuil an scéal chomh hole is adeir na cainteoirí ón taobh eile den Teach seo agus is léir sin dúinn nuair a chuimhínimíd gur thug muintir na hÉireann iasacht do £20,000,000 don Rialtas anuraidh agus an rud céanna i mbliana.

Maidir leís na Ceantair Chúnga, tá obair mhaith ar siúl ag na Ranna eagsúla agus chomh maith le sin, máléann an Teachta O Murchadha an tuarascáil bhliantúil atá foilsithe, ag an bhForas Tionscal, chifidh sé go bhfuil toradh ar an obair atá ar siúl agus gur toradh maith é le haghaidh tamaill tréimhse chomh goirid le dhá bhliain.

Más mian leis an Rialtas fóirithint ar na Ceantair Chúnga, ní ceart dóibh a cheapadh gur féidir le muintir an Iarthair an t-airgead do sholáthar le tionscail nua do bhunú ann. Níl an t-airgead ann agus, chomh maith leis sin, tá teora leis an saghas tionscail is féidir a bhunú in san Iarthair. Ní féidir gach saghas déantús do bhunú in san Iarthair: tá teóra leis an saghas déantús is féidir a bhunú sna ceantair sin. Chun tionscail do bhunú caithfear airgead a sholáthar agus ní dóigh liom go bhfuighfear an t-airgead san Iarthair. Is é mo thuairim go mbeidh ar an Rialtas dul i mbun na hoibre seo chun scéimeanna do chur ar siúl sna contaethe atá ar imeall-bhord na fairrge san Iarthair, agus tá comharthaí ann go bhfeiceann an Rialtas gur gá é sin do dhéanamh. Mar shampla, san iarracht atá á dhéanamh acu chun aibhléis a sholáthar trí chumhacht móna, tá an Rialtas ag déanamh rud a rachas níos faide chun sochair na gCeantar gCúng ná morán rudaí eile. Tá úsáid á bhaint as an móin atá le fáil sna ceantair sin chun aibhléis do sholáthar agus beidh buntáiste níos fearr as obair den tsórt sin ná ó aon tsórt eile déantúis.

Ansin, tá mórán oibre le déanamh le foraoiseacht. Tá cuid maith talún i sna gcondaithe ó Thír Chonaill go Corcaigh ar féidir crainnte do chur ag fás ann. Tá an talamh fóirsteanach don obair sin agus níl sí ró-fhoirsteanach d'aon rud eile ach d'fhoraoiseacht.

I dteannta leis an obair a bheadh le fáil do na daoine sna ceantair sin de bharr plandála sna blianta le teacht beidh toradh ag dul chun an Stáit as an bhforaoiseacht sin.

Rud tábhachtach eile is ea an iascaracht. Do labhair mé ar an cheist sin aréir agus dúirt mé gurb é ar dtuairim nach bhfuil ach constaic amhain leis an cheist sin do réiteach, agus, gurb í sin ceist an airgid. Más féidir go leor airgid do sholáthar chun an tionscail iascaireachta do bhunú fé mar is cóir í do bhunú san am atá inniu an n caithachtfear go leor airgid do chur sa tionscail sin.

Dá bhrí sin, molaim sa chéad dul síos go ndéanfar deighilt idir an Ghaeltacht agus na Ceantair Chúnga. Ní ceart an dá rud seo do mheascadh le chéile. Tá dhá ceist thábhachtacha ann.

Molaim go gcuirfear bord ar bun chun fóirithint ar an nGaeltacht, chun an Ghaeltacht a dhaingniú i dtreo is nach ligfear do chlann caolú ar an líon a labhrann Ghaeilge san Ghaeltacht agus, nuair a bheas an méid sin déanta, leathnófar an Ghaeltacht níos faide.

This Estimate which was introduced by the Parliamentary Secretary is really a classic. Were it not dealing with such a serious problem, one would think that the whole thing was a joke. In relation to the Department proper, we have five sheets of tissue paper and then we have 11 sheets of foolscap paper which contain nothing but a puff-up of the work of the Parliamentary Secretary over the past year. I think that that takes some beating. I could understand somebody giving 11 pages of a puff to someone else, but it is a new performance in this House that somebody in charge of a Department should come in here with 11 pages of foolscap which contain nothing but a puff-up of himself.

Every Deputy who has spoken on this Estimate has stated—and they have not been contradicted—that they know of no industry being established in any of their constituencies since the inception of this Department. Will the Parliamentary Secretary deny that? He tries to throw a smoke-screen across the House by saying:—

"I propose to demonstrate this acceleration of effort by highlighting some of last year's more important contributions towards the achievement of the joint objective."

Highlighting what? What did he highlight? We should like to see the light. Then the Parliamentary Secretary continues:—

"For example, on the industrial side, we had the establishment of AnForas Tionscal, a corporate body set up under the Undeveloped Areas Act, and having a sum of £2,000,000 at its disposal to aid industrial development in the areas scheduled in that Act."

What was developed? I take it that that is the preamble to a recital of the industries that were set up and which the Parliamentary Secretary proposed to highlight. He continued:—

"In the implementation of the Grass Meal (Production) Act we had, furthermore, the establishment of Min Fhéir Teoranta, a limited company set up to acquire, drain and cultivate bogland in the Bangor-Erris area for the growing and processing of grass and other plants."

There is not a word about the setting up of the industry.

Did you read the annual report published by Foras Tionscal?

The Deputy made his speech, and I am going to make mine. I did not interrupt the Deputy.

I merely asked a simple question.

The Deputy got ample time in which to make his speech, and, as far as I am concerned —though it would not be allowed—he can get up and speak again later on.

God forbid.

Did the Parliamentary Secretary, in fact, highlight the industries that were established under the Undeveloped Areas Act? We had no instance of even one industry being set up under that Act.

It is in the annual report.

Will the Deputy have some manners?

I will do my best.

He is supposed to be a teacher, is he not?

There are some well-mannered children in the country and——

A Deputy's professional occupation should not be referred to.

If you do not give me protection, I must protect myself.

The Chair has given Deputy McMenamin all the protection he needs.

Thank you. The Parliamentary Secretary further said:

"You will recollect also that in February last, pursuant to a decision reached by the Government, the E.S.B. were directed to proceed immediately with the preparation of plans for the construction, in West Donegal, Connemara, West Clare and South-West Kerry, of four small electricity-generating stations utilising hand-won turf."

Who are the men who should get the puff in this connection? There are two or three men in this House whom I would puff in connection with the Clady River scheme. One is Deputy MacBride; another, Deputy Blowick; and a third, Deputy Dillon. These are the people who put the real push behind that project and there was not a word about it until then. Yet the Parliamentary Secretary has the presumption to come in here and tell the House that he was the author of that project, when the dogs in Donegal knew that the Clady River scheme could not be commenced until the Cork scheme had been completed. That is now done and the Clady scheme is to be inaugurated.

The Parliamentary Secretary is giving £400,000 to three counties for work on tourist roads. Where did he get £400,000? We protested about this before, because the £400,000 has been taken from the money set aside for the draining of the land of the poor people to whom one acre of drained, fertile land is more important than all the land in Ireland. When Deputy Dillonwent down to reclaim an odd acre for them in Connemara, he was jeered at from Donegal to Cork. The Parliamentary Secretary is now about to reclaim bogs to give us grass meal. Deputy Dillon was a fool but the Parliamentary Secretary is a patriot. It is wonderful how it depends on what foot you dig with. It is sheer and utter piffle. Here we have five pages of tissue paper with not one new item in them in the way of a constructive effort by the Parliamentary Secretary for his two years' work.

I am happy to be able to stand in this House at a time when, at last, the Gaeltacht industries in relation to tweed have become a success. I was almost mauled in this House ten or 15 years ago—the entire Fianna Fáil organisation was ready to tear me to bits and a campaign to eliminate me from public life was undertaken— because I complained here that the industry was being destroyed, as it was. I am happy to say that this industry is now where it always should have been, in the very top class. It needed only one thing, quality, and it has now got it. I protested vehemently some years ago about the stuff being turned out under this Department and, as I say, I was almost manhandled, when it was obvious that the only thing the industry wanted was quality. Now it stands supreme in the markets of the world, although I can remember when millions of yards of this material were lying on counters in London as junk which could not be sold, due to its inferior quality.

That material to-day can go into the markets of the world, to the very topclass emporia in the United States and compete with anything available there. Its sale is increasing and will increase still further, so long as the standard is maintained. Let us not mind about the price—the price will find its own level. The important thing is quality, and, if that is right, we will get the price.

I congratulate the Department in this regard, because no Department has done a more perfect job. They have risen to the occasion in relation to this one industry, an industry in which Ireland, with its tradition ofweaving, should be supreme. That industry was allowed to sink down to a position in which its product was mere junk and it made me writhe to look at it. In a competitive market, it could not be given away, but I am extremely proud of the first-class job the Department have done. I implore them, however, to keep one thing in mind—quality. If the Department keep that one thing in mind, they are, to use a racing term, "home and dried".

It is very difficult to attempt to deal with this Department, in view of all the various divisions of it, but it is due to the House that the Parliamentary Secretary should co-ordinate some of the activities within the Department and keep his nose out of other Departments. It is an insult to the officers of the Departments of Industry and Commerce, of Agriculture and of Lands that the Parliamentary Secretary should poke his nose into their activities. I have known these men for 25 or 30 years and there are none to compare with them anywhere. There may be as good elsewhere, but there are none better, and when the Parliamentary Secretary wrote all this stuff, I suppose, with their permission, it is a wonder that some of the wages did not say: "Go on, boy; tell them you put the salt in the sea." These are the officers who did a first-class job during the emergency. They proved their worth then and nobody knows it better than I, but these are the men who are now told by the Parliamentary Secretary: "Get some ‘jizz' on; you have been asleep." They handled the emergency period with supreme success, as I can bear testimony, because I know something about business and the running of it. I did at one time, anyway, though my experiences in this House may have driven it out of me. They did a first-class job and I protest against anybody poking his nose into their Departments and interfering with their ability to do their jobs.

I think there is plenty to be done in this Department of which, technically, the Parliamentary Secretary is in charge. While it may be necessary to have the number ofpeople employed there, what troubles me is that many of them are clerical officers. I am not casting any reflections on them as I am quite sure these young men entered the service as a result of competitive examination, but look at the background. They went to school, completed the Intermediate course, got the Leaving Certificate and then entered the service after competition as clerical officers. What is required in this tweed business is a business training. With all respect to these people, it cannot be expected that a boy who simply went to school, passed an examination after completing his secondary education and then went into a Department like this which is doing business in a very big way with countries all over the world, would have the necessary business experience for that work. Probably the answer is that they are not dealing directly with the marketing of goods, that they are there in another capacity. On the other hand, surely it is reasonable to suggest that young men employed in a Department of this kind should have got a training somewhere in the textile business or should have some experience in a dry goods store or some other such establishment. It would be of great assistance to them if they had such a training and they would be an asset to the Department. Take, for example, the accounts branch in which there are nine clerical officers employed. That, of course, may be all right since they are merely dealing with accounts, but there are some 14 clerical officers in one branch dealing with the commercial side. It may be that these young men are quite competent to perform the work entrusted to them, but I would be more satisfied if they had undergone a commercial training in a vocational school or in some such institution as that.

On the knitwear side, I see provision is made for a production manager and a factory manager. Where is this factory? I did not know there was a knitwear factory as distinct from a weaving factory. In regard to purchases under sub-head D (2), dealing with materials for the tweed industry, there is a decline of approximately £37,000. I wonder is that due to areduction in the price of raw materials over the last 12 months or to the fact that the Department is carrying a smaller stock from day to day? In that connection I should like to hear if there has been any substantial loss because of having extra stock on hands when the decline in prices took place.

The amount provided for the embroidery industry is £5,323. I take it that the work of that section is spread over the entire country, and that seems to be a small sum for the entire Gaeltacht from Donegal to West Cork. I suppose embroidery is regarded as a luxury product now and that the cheap machine-made stuff which is being marketed is displacing the hand product. I would suggest to Deputies that there are ways in which they could help in this connection. When buying wedding presents instead of purchasing a piece of cutlery, say a fish knife made in Birmingham or Germany, I would suggest that they should buy Irish embroidery. In that way they will be giving assistance in advertising this material and they will be keeping these manual workers employed. This is a craft industry, and it would be unfortunate if it were allowed to die or if the girls employed in embroidery work had to be discharged owing to the absence of demand. I take it that there is no town or village in the country in which some shop does not stock embroidery of this type, and Deputies and their wives buying wedding presents could help this industry by buying embroidery instead of buying things made at the ends of the earth simply because they happen to strike the eye.

There is a nominal sum of £50 provided for the purchase of kelp. That is a mere token Vote, I take it, as I always understood there was a substantial sum provided for the purchase of kelp. There is a third item, of course, for the purchase of searods. Has there been a change in regard to the burning of kelp and is the Department now buying searods and processing them themselves? A sum of £2,750 is provided for carrageen. For the entire coastline that seems a smallsum. Has the attempt been made to advertise and push this commodity for domestic purposes failed? Has the public not taken to it? In former years I suggested that carrageen might be utilised and processed for animal foods. It appears from the sub-head here that the effort was made and that it has been a failure because this is a mere token Vote.

In regard to agents' commission, for which £18,000 is provided, I take it that is the entire commission paid on all the goods disposed of. I suppose it is distributed according to a certain ratio on goods sold in America, England and France. I should like to know how these agents are appointed. Are they absolute agents having the sole agency in England, France or America or are they appointed on a competitive basis? Has one man a monopoly of the entire agency in any country? While in one way it might be a good thing to have one man as sole agent in that country, he might fall down on the job if there was no competition in that country.

I move to report progress.

Progress reported; Committee to sit again.