Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Employment Statistics.

1.

asked the Taoiseach if he will state the reasons for the decrease of 10,000 in the number of persons employed, as given in Table 12 of the Appendix toEconomic Statistics.

The estimated decrease of 10,000 in the number of persons at work in 1958 took place in the following sectors:

Agriculture, forestry and fishing

4,000

Construction

6,000

Transport and Communication

1,000

Other economic activity

1,000

Gross decrease

12,000

Less increase in the number of persons at work in manufacturing industry

2,000

Net decrease

10,000

The numbers at work in agriculture, forestry and fishing have been decreasing for many years. Thus, to take only the years covered by Table 12 ofEconomic Statistics, there was a reduction of 13,100 in 1952, 23,000 in 1953, 5,000 in 1955, 10,000 in 1956 and 12,000 in 1957. There was, exceptionally, no change in 1954, but otherwise the reduction of 4,000 in 1958 was the lowest reduction for any of the years covered by the Table.

The total at work in Construction reached its peak about 1951 and, thereafter, fell by about 1,000 each year until 1957 and 1958 when reductions of 6,000 took place. These reductions are associated with the approaching completion of the housing programmes of local authorities. The number of new houses built by or for local authorities in recent years is as follows:

1956/57

4,784

1957/58

3,467

1958/59 (Est.)

1,700

There has also been a fall in the number of private houses built, the effect of which on employment in the building industry has more than offset the increase in the number of houses reconstructed.

I did not ask the Taoiseach to go back to 1952 to explain the figures in 1958, but, seeing that he did, might I ask him with reference to the figures he has given, how he can explain that no fewer than 89,000 of the number at work in 1951 lost their jobs in the period of years since then? Of that figure of 89,000 who lost their jobs, no fewer than 32,000 were put out of work in the last two years under Fianna Fáil, in spite of the promise of the Tánaiste prior to the election that 100,000 new jobs would be created if Fianna Fáil were returned to power.

The Deputy seems to be making a speech.

In view of the conflicting position, namely, that there are 32,000 fewer at work now—thrown out of work since Fianna Fáil came into office—can the Taoiseach reconcile the Budget statement of the Minister for Finance in which he said that, in contrast to the position in other countries, there was an improvement here simultaneously with the fall in emigration? May I ask the Taoiseach will he reply to my supplementary?

The Deputy is making a supplementary speech.

The Deputy seems to be giving information rather than asking for it.

Would the Taoiseach tell the House how it is that the Minister for Finance at page 7 of his Budget statement states——

Quotations may not be given at Question Time.

I shall not quote him; I shall paraphrase. How does the Taoiseach reconcile the statement of the Minister for Finance that the position has improved and that unemployment and emigration have decreased, when in the last 12 months alone there has been a net decrease in the number of people employed of 10,000? May we get an answer?

No. If there is a question of any inconsistency in the speech made by the Minister for Finance, the Minister for Finance will deal with it at the conclusion.

The question of statistics belongs to the Taoiseach's Department.

This is not a question of statistics.

It is a question of fraud by the Taoiseach in 1957.

(Interruptions)

This is a matter of such importance to the general public that I now suggest that the Taoiseach is deliberately misleading the public with regard to the position in the country.

The Deputy will have to resume his seat. Question No. 2.

I insist at this stage that the Taoiseach will give us the true situation.

Will the Deputy resume his seat?

Am I entitled to get an answer to my question?

I have called Question No. 2.

I insist that I get a straight answer to a straight question.

If the Deputy will not obey the ruling of the Chair, I shall have to ask him to leave the House.

I shall not leave until I get an answer from the Taoiseach.

The question has been answered as far as the Chair is concerned. I have called Question No. 2. The Deputy will please resume his seat.

May I take it that as far as the Chair is concerned the Chair's intention is to protect the Taoiseach?

The Chair has no intention of protecting the Taoiseach more than any other Deputy.

Is it not possible for this House to get the truth out of the Taoiseach with regard to the unemployment position?

Question No. 2 has been called.

(Interruptions.)

The Deputy is continually refusing to obey the Chair. I am finally asking him to resume his seat.

I want to get an answer from the Taoiseach. Surely this is the only place we can get it. I cannot extract information from the Taoiseach unless I do so in this House. If I do not seek it in this House, I will not be given it.

Is it in order for a Minister, or the Taoiseach, to tell a Deputy who has asked a supplementary question that his question will be answered later by another Minister? Has he any right to say that? Can he refuse to give the answer to the question asked?

I want to know why it is suggested there are more people getting work now in the country as compared with last year in view of the fact that there are 10,000 fewer people in employment——

In view of the fact that Deputy McQuillan has refused to obey the Chair, I am calling on him to leave the House.

No, Sir. I insist on getting information on this matter.

The Deputy must now leave the House.

I insist on getting the information from the Taoiseach. How he can suggest we are on the right road when the figures show that there are 10,000 people who have lost their jobs is something——

If Deputy McQuillan insists on refusing to obey the orders of the Chair, I shall have to name the Deputy.

I have no alternative but to insist on an answer from the Taoiseach. I regret to have to disobey your ruling, but I have no opportunity of getting these facts except in this House and, if the Taoiseach refuses to give the facts here, how can we possibly get them outside the House? The Taoiseach has suggested on a number of occasions——

The Deputy must obey the Chair.

The Taoiseach has made statements outside this House which were not true and he has made promises which have never been fulfilled. The Tánaiste, a member of his Party, made a promise of 100,000 jobs——

The Deputy may not behave in this fashion. I am naming Deputy McQuillan.