Committee on Finance. - Motion by Minister for Finance.

I move:

That a sum not exceeding £43,532,880 be granted on account for or towards defraying the Charges that will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1962, for certain public services namely:—



President's Establishment



Houses of the Oireachtas



Department of the Taoiseach



Central Statistics Office



Comptroller and Auditor General



Office of the Minister for Finance



Office of the Revenue Commissioners



Office of Public Works



Public Works and Buildings



Employment and Emergency Schemes



State Laboratory



Civil Service Commission



An Chomhairle Ealaíon



Superannuation and Retired Allowances



Secret Service



Expenses under the Electoral Act and the Juries Act


Supplementary Agricultural Grants



Law Charges



Miscellaneous Expenses



Stationery Office



Valuation and Ordnance Survey



Rates on Government Property



Office of the Minister for Justice



Garda Síochána






Courts of Justice



Land Registry and Registry of Deeds



Charitable Donations and Bequests



Local Government



Office of the Minister for Education



Primary Education



Secondary Education



Technical Instruction



Science and Art



Reformatory and Industrial Schools



Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies



Universities and Colleges



National Gallery












Roinn na Gaeltachta






Industry and Commerce



Transport and Power



Posts and Telegraphs






Army Pensions



External Affairs



International Co-operation



Office of the Minister for Social Welfare



Social Insurance



Social Assistance






Dundrum Asylum




The Vote on Account, the first stage in the financial business of the year 1961/62, provides for expenditure on the Supply Services during a period of about four months from 1st April next. This interim provision requires confirmation in a Central Fund Bill to be passed before 31st instant. Before the end of July, it is expected that the Dáil will have considered the individual Estimates and passed the Appropriation Act. The Vote on Account required is £43,533,000, roughly one-third of the £131,715,000 shown in the Book of Estimates for 1961/62 recently circulated to Deputies.

This total of £131,715,000 represents an increase of £8,255,000 on the figure shown on the face of the 1960/61 Volume. Of this increase, non-capital items make up £4,861,000, while voted capital services account for the balance of £3,394,000.

It is extremely difficult to hear the Minister.

I cannot hear him at all.

I do not know whether it is the speakers or the hearers who are at fault, but there is something wrong here to-day.

There certainly is. I could not hear the Minister for Transport and Power.

The Minister for Finance, in an audible voice.

And in silence, I hope. A different picture emerges, however, if account is taken of Additional and Supplementary Estimates passed or introduced this year which amount to £7,892,000 and bring the overall provision for 1960/61 to £131,352,000. On that basis, the 1961/62 total exceeds the revised figure for the current year by only £363,000, reflecting a capital increase of £866,000 offset by a non-capital decrease of £503,000.

As Deputies have already been furnished with a summary of increases and decreases for the various Supply Services as compared with the provisions set out in the current year's Estimates Volume, I propose to confine the rest of my remarks to the major variations arising in 1961/62. These fall under the main heads of agriculture, social insurance, social assistance and remuneration.

The provision of £16,145,000 for Agriculture represents an increase of £3,895,000 on this year's original Estimate but a decrease of £752,000 if the recent Supplementary Estimate for £4,647,000 is reckoned. After allowing for an anticipated reduction of £148,000 in receipts from sales of slaughtered animals, the cost of the Bovine Tuberculosis Scheme exceeds the revised Estimate for 1960/61 by £568,000; it exceeds the original Estimate by £1,926,000. The additional expenditure is due chiefly to increased provisions for headage grants and herd bonus payments in the southern counties, the guarantee payments for fat cattle and carcase beef exports, and fees to private veterinary practitioners for herd tests.

This year's original provision of £250,000 for subsidies on dairy produce was later supplemented in the Budget by an additional £55,000 to meet the expected Exchequer liability in respect of exports of creamery butter and subsidies on other dairy products. The great bulk of the loss on export of accumulated stocks of butter will be met in the current financial year; a provision of £500,000 in 1961/62 is being made to cover the anticipated liability for butter losses and other dairy produce subsidies, until An Bord Bainne is established in mid-May. In addition, there is an entirely new provision of £500,000 for a grant to An Bord Bainne, under Section 32 of the Dairy Produce Marketing Act, 1961, towards such losses as may be incurred, or subsidies granted by the Board in relation to the export of milk products.

The lime and fertilisers subsidies provision of £3,060,000 includes £430,000 for the new subsidy on potassic fertilisers as compared with £200,000 provided in the Supplementary Estimate for the current year. It is expected that this subsidy will result in a continuing increase in the use of potash. The upward trend in consumption also warrants the provision of £150,000 more for phosphatic fertilisers.

The allocation of £300,000 for losses on the disposal of wheat is additional to the £800,000 already provided for in this year's Supplementary Estimate in respect of the losses on the 1960 crop.

The next major variation, an increase of £2,103,000 arising on the Estimate for Social Insurance, results from the transfer of a number of noncontributory old age pensioners to the contributory scheme established under the Social Welfare (Amendment) Act, 1960. There is a countervailing reduction in the Vote for Social Assistance under the head of old age pensions. The latter Vote also shows a reduction of £115,000 on unemployment assistance due to improved employment prospects.

Whereas the major variations to which I have already referred are attributable to particular Votes the additional cost of remuneration is spread over the Volume. The chief increases there are as follows:—

Salaries, Wages and Allowances

Increase over original Estimate 1960-61


Garda Síochána


Posts and Telegraphs (including Broadcasting)


Primary Education


Defence (Army)


Secondary Education


Houses of the Oireachtas


Central Statistics Office (Census of Population)



The increase of £678,000 for the Garda Síochána is due almost entirely to the arbitration award which increased the pay of the Force with effect from 1 March, 1960, and to the substitution under a recent conciliation settlement of a pensionable element in pay for rent allowances. The saving of £168,000 on allowances results from the cessation of the former rent allowances.

An increase of £197,000 in the cost of remuneration to be borne in the Estimate for Posts and Telegraphs follows from the need for extra staff to cope with telephone maintenance and renewals and to cater for heavier telephone traffic.

Salaries of national teachers in classification schools and grants to capitation national schools claim £237,000 more, because there are additional teachers and the appointment and retention averages for assistants have been revised. The continued growth in the number of pupils and teachers justifies the extra provision of £179,000 for secondary education by way of incremental salary grant. The same factor accounts for the additional £180,000 for technical instruction in the form of grants to vocational education committees. The continuing increases in the numbers of pupils attending post-primary schools is bound to have beneficial results for the country generally.

The extra £221,000 for pay and marriage allowances in the Vote for Defence provides for improved emoluments for officers and men, including the introduction of children's allowances for officers.

More also has to be provided for pensions, the cost of which is to some extent governed by the pay increases I have just outlined. The main increases are:—


Garda Síochána


Army Pensions


Superannuation and Retired Allowances


Compensation to redundant staff of Córas Iompair Éireann is of a somewhat kindred character; the cumulative increase of £116,000 stems from internal reorganisation and rationalisation.

In considering the increases in remuneration for personnel in the public services, it should be borne in mind that most of the increases have resulted from the recommendations of conciliation councils and arbitration boards and that these bodies must have regard to levels of remuneration in outside employment and to the trend of the national income.

Most of the remaining major variations—apart from £230,000 extra for health authorities—occur in capital services finding a place in the Programme for Economic Expansion. Grants for industries in the undeveloped areas and in the Shannon Free Airport Area are expected to draw even more on the Exchequer than in this year. More generous provision is being made for drainage, harbours, airports and rural electrification. Tourism, including the development of resorts and holiday accommodation, and housing also show increases. Heavier purchases of stores and equipment for the development of the telephone system are matched by larger Appropriations-in-Aid from the Telephone Capital Account. A gratifying feature of the Estimates for Forestry and Transport and Power is the increased revenue expected from sales of timber and landing fees respectively.

The Budgets of the past three years have provided for increased expenditure on agriculture, industry, education and other services conducive to economic growth. Substantial improvements in the social services have also been made. Higher costs have had to be met such as the pay increases for the Army, Gardaí, teachers and other public servants. Fortunately, the rate of increase in national production has been sufficient to enable all these burdens to be carried without causing any serious budgetary problem.

I ask the Dáil to agree to the Vote on Account.

As the Minister has said, this is the beginning of the consideration of the financial picture for the coming year. It is natural, therefore, in considering the picture we have before us today, to try to see in it some indication of policy by the Minister for Finance. The only policy I can see that emerges from the document we have in front of us, the Book of Estimates—from which the Vote on Account flows—and the speech we have just heard from the Minister for Finance, is one of greater blisters and greater burdens upon the people.

It is, of course, mere nonsense to suggest that a comparison of the Estimates that are put before us is valid if one compares the totals in the Book of Estimates with the total of Additional and Supplementary Estimates already made. There will be Additional and Supplementary Estimates to the current Book, just as there were to the last Book. The only proper and valid comparison to make is to compare like with like. If we do that, we see the sorry and sad picture. The taxpayers are going to be asked during this coming year for the enormous total for Estimates for Public Services as now suggested—liable and certain to be increased at a later date —of just under £132,000,000— £132,000,000 on Supply Services alone.

Of course, we have in recent years taken the view that part of that figure is set aside as capital services and part as current services. We have got into the position in which we are not varying, according as the economic mood of the times requires, what should be carried in one way and what should be carried in another. We are, in fact, doing exactly the reverse. In present circumstances, we are transferring some services that were formerly carried on Current Account to borrowing—transferring them to what is known in common parlance as "the never-never system."

Be that as it may, however, nothing can get away from the fact that the present Minister for Finance comes into this House today, and, without an apology, puts on the table of Dáil Éireann a Book of Estimates showing he is going to extract from the pockets of the people for the Supply Services for the coming year £110,744,347. That, when we take it in comparison with the Book of Estimates for 1957-58, shows an increase of £8,600,000.

I wonder what the friends of the Minister for Finance would have said if they had been told by him in the General Election of 1957 that there was going to be an increase in his period of three years in office since that date of slightly more than £8½ million? Would that be something for which they would have cheered? Is that something of which today the Minister for Finance is proud? Even if it were only that, I could understand the Minister having difficulty in explaining it to his supporters but, of course, the picture is far worse. That is only one very small mite of the financial picture of expenditure which the House is being asked to consider today.

That figure of £8½ million increase in three years does not take account of the fact that during that period the Minister took out of his Book of Estimates no less than £9 million of expenditure on food subsidies. It means, in effect, therefore, that in relation to the other current services in this Book the Minister for Finance comes to the House today and says he has increased the charges that the public have to bear by no less than £17,500,000. For a dwindling population, for a population that is becoming less and less year by year, the charge upon every man, woman and child has been going up year by year and in a staggering way in the four years since Deputy Dr. Ryan took over the reins of office. It is easy enough for anyone to see what £17½ million means averaged over a population of under 3,000,000, but the striking thing about it, the dangerous thing about it, is that it is at the very moment when our population is decreasing as a result of emigration, as a result of the people being driven away to seek the work they had believed and that was promised would be made available here by Fianna Fáil, expenditure is rising just as steeply as it is. It inevitably means and can only mean and does mean that those who are left in the country are having in consequence not merely to continue to bear the burdens that they had to bear, but to bear a burden that is increased because there are fewer people here to bear it and also by the deliberate action of the Minister for Finance in coming to the House looking for such an immensely increased sum of money for the services of the coming year.

The size of the bill with which we are presented today would shock the strongest heart, bearing in mind that it is not merely the £110,744,000 that is on the face of this Book of Estimates, but that we are asked for that in the certain knowledge that before this coming year is out we will have, as we had last year, as we had in the current year and as we had in the year before last year, again to meet substantial supplementary estimates.

The average in 1958-59 and 1959-60 of the amount of current supplementary estimates that had to be met was just under £2,000,000 a year, so that if there was nothing more than the average brought in during the coming year by the Minister it would mean that the current costs—and I use the word "current" in the Minister's sense—of the supply services is now going to be somewhere of the order of £113,000,000. It is a long trek from the figure the Minister's Party said was too high some four years ago which they said must be and would be brought down—a long, long trek. But, of course, again that is not the whole of the story.

One of the things that are particularly noticeable about Fianna Fáil is that they are adept at bringing in several budgets in a year. This is not the only expenditure for which we are going to be asked to meet additional charges this year. It would be bad enough if this was the sole bill but, in fact, in addition to this bill, employers in 1961-62 as compared with 1959-60 will be asked to pay some £2 million more in insurance stamps; employees likewise will be asked to pay the same amount more in insurance stamps. As far as I can take it, on a rough and ready measure, it seems that on that alone the Minister's colleagues have added something on to the backs of a limited section of employers which will mean very nearly the equivalent of another 1/- in the income tax. The effect of that subsidiary or extra budget, when we take into account the whole total of central taxation, has been, in fact, to shift £2 million from the Social Assistance Vote to the Social Insurance Vote and, therefore, it is absolutely relevant to consider it in this debate. That is not the only additional budget that we had from the Fianna Fáil Party on top of the increase in supply services to which I have already referred.

Every aspect of life under this Government is having to pay for the privilege and the benefit of having Fianna Fáil in office. It does not matter whether it is in Dublin, about which, no doubt, Deputy Sherwin will be speaking later on, or whether it is in the country, if you get on a bus you have to pay more and if when you come home in the evening you turn on the light or an electric fire or an electric cooker there is another additional Fianna Fáil budget packet in what has to be paid in bus fare or electricity bill.

To postal charges also they have added. Anyone unfortunate enough to have to go to hospital and to pay expenses in hospital finds that hospital charges have risen under Fianna Fáil. We need not consider only patients who are paying for themselves. Those who are covered by the Health Acts have to have increased provision for hospital charges.

I was amazed, and we were all amazed, to hear the Minister for Transport and Power to-day refer to comparisons. One of the matters to which he referred was the cost of flour. I would have thought that Fianna Fáil would have remained silent about that. The amount taken out of the Book of Estimates was £9,000,000 and we all know the additional increases that have had to be met in relation to bread, flour and butter as a result of the abolition of the food subsidies.

That is not the whole picture. When we have to pay, and some people had to pay this month the second moiety of their rates, we know that we are paying extra for the privilege of having a Fianna Fáil Government. The rates have gone up by a substantial amount during the past four years and they have gone up at a time when the agricultural income of the country is falling more than ever before. Where are we? That is the picture we see on one hand. We see rising expenditure all the time, rising expenditure that is going to have to be met by a falling population, notwithstanding the fact that the Minister, when he came into office and when seeking the suffrage of the people, told them that when he got into power he would ensure that costs would not rise and that governmental expenditure would be brought down.

The Minister's own organ had a paragraph stating that he, as Minister for Finance, would be able to ensure that the cost of governmental services would not increase, but that it would be cut down. I am sorry for Deputy Dr. Ryan personally that he should be characterised by his own organ as a person who did not know his job. What is the result of all this? What have we had to pay for the privilege of having a Fianna Fáil Government in power? We all know that 200,000 more people have emigrated in the last two years. We all know that there are 50,000 people fewer at work now than when Deputy Dr. Ryan walked into Government Buildings as Minister for Finance. Is that the test of a good policy? Are those the results of a good policy?

Perhaps the most striking feature of all is that those results are the results of failure by him at a time when the whole world, and particularly Western Europe, has been experiencing a boom, such as was never before experienced. One could understand and make excuses for the failure of a Government if they were caught in the maelstrom of a world-wide or Continental fall, if they were caught in the storm as a small country at a time when other countries all around us were finding difficulty and were not being successful. The fact is that 1960 was the best year that Western Europe ever had. The fact, too, is that instead of that boom in Western Europe flowing over on to us and enabling us to take full advantage of it, the ineptitude of the Government has lost us the opportunity to benefit from the greatest boom that ever came.

I was amused the other day to see one of the Minister's colleagues in Sligo-Leitrim tell the people that 1960 was a bad year everywhere in the world except in Ireland. I prefer to accept the view of what I think economists will admit is one of the finest banking journals in Europe—Scandinavian Banking. In its issue of January, 1961, they say: “The year 1960 was a boom year in Western Europe, a year when production, foreign trade, investments and consumption were at a higher level than ever before, a year of full employment.” Is it not rather tragic that we in Ireland were not able, because of the ineptitude of the Government, to come in on that boom and make sure that we got a real increase in national production, national employment and national consumption comparative with what we were entitled to get?

I know the Minister is going to tell us that there has been some improvement in 1960. Perhaps statistics can show some improvement in certain respects but the case I want to make to-day is not to argue as to whether or not there has been an improvement. I will give the Minister, for the purpose of this discussion, the benefit of being able to take some advantage of things like that but I want to point out that we have wasted a chance such as may never come again. The estimates of the two per cent., three per cent., or four per cent. increases that have been made in the national income all start from a particular date in the year. You can claim anything you like depending on the day or date from which you start your calculations but one thing certain is that there is not any single country in Western Europe, from the figures I have been able to find, that has increased production by a smaller percentage than we in Ireland have done for the last two years. We have not been going ahead as fast as the rest of the world and yet, as an underdeveloped country, we should have been going ahead further and faster if we are going to catch up in the economic race.

Every country around us has been going ahead year by year but the issue here is whether, under this Government, we have been going ahead sufficiently fast to keep pace with the rest of the world, much less overtaking them in the race. I challenge the Minister to produce the comparative figures which he must have from O.E.E.C. in relation to the rate of economic expansion of every country in Western Europe. If he excepts Turkey and Greece, and perhaps Yugoslavia, he will find that we are a long long way behind in the rate of annual increase year by year, not taking one particular year and saying that we have gone ahead in that year. Taking year by year the rate of increase in production in Ireland is far lower than the rate in the other countries of Western Europe.

I am not expecting him to reach the heights of Western Germany but if he takes any other country in Western Europe he will find that they have all gone ahead at a faster rate than we have gone and are now going. Into that picture the Minister for Finance comes to-day without any indication in his opening speech as to what his policy is and wants to take more and more money out of the pockets of the people.

In another respect I remember the Minister for Finance coming in with his first Budget, throwing out his chest and saying categorically that he was going to ensure during his period of office that the State would be run in such a way that we would have fewer civil servants, that it would not be necessary to employ as many civil servants in running the country as he found when he came into office. What is the result of that? There are, on the basis of the Book of Estimates we are discussing to-day, more civil servants now provided for than there were when Deputy Dr. Ryan took over office. Since that time some people who are doing work included in the Book of Estimates have been transferred to semi-State companies. The figures must be taken into account but on the best calculation I can make —I challenge the Minister to contradict me if I am wrong—there are, according to this Book of Estimates, comparing like with like, some 500 more civil servants being paid by the Minister for Finance than there were when he took office, notwithstanding the promises he made in the Budget of 1957.

I had a Question down yesterday which made it clear that as between this year and last year the increase in the number of civil servants was 394. Deputy Cosgrave had a Question down to-day and, taking like with like, it would appear from that Question that from the 1st January, 1960, there were about 150 more than in 1957. Add the two together and you see that the result of the Minister's promise to reduce the number of civil servants and thereby to reduce the cost of Government is that he has increased it by 500. In addition to that he has taken 178 civil servants and had them paid by State-sponsored bodies instead of having them paid out of the Supply Services

Is that a record of which the Minister can be proud? Is that something of which the cohorts behind him are prepared to go out and shout and congratulate him, on having not merely failed in his promise to reduce the number but having increased it instead? Does the Minister think that is a way in which he can and will give confidence to the people?

After four years of Government by Fianna Fáil the results are: a heavier impost on the people, that heavier impost taken in relation to the Book of Estimates after allowing for the elimination of the food subsidies of some £18 million, involving increased bus fares, increased electricity charges, increased social insurance charges, increased postal charges and increased hospital charges, dearer food, dearer food prices, more to pay in rates, fewer people employed, higher emigration than ever before, more civil servants instead of fewer. Are all these things evidence of a Government that knows its job, that knows where it is travelling? We have had four years' experience of Fianna Fáil. In 1959-1960 we had the experience of them that when the rest of the world was bounding ahead, through their ineptitude, through their lack of progress, though we have gone ahead to some extent, we have fallen further and further behind in the race.

Anybody who goes down to rural Ireland today, what does he see? The smaller towns and villages finding it harder than ever before to survive; the people being squeezed out of them and inevitably the population all round on which these towns and villages must depend getting smaller and smaller; the agricultural community facing difficulties the like of which they had not to face for years and years. This morning a building contractor from my constituency came to see me, a good building contractor, well known, whose work is first class. To make a living for himself and a living for the few men he employed he did work primarily for farmers in the western part of Kildare. He told me today there was not a bob to be got for that sort of work now, that the farmers had had such a disastrous year last year that they had absolutely nothing to spend either on their own houses or on their stock houses and accordingly all he could see was the end of the type of trade he used to do and that he would have to make some other arrangements to go into some other business to earn a living and rear a family.

The position is even worse in the West in rural Ireland than it is in Leinster. Everyone who went down to the West recently for the by-election, whether they went from Fianna Fáil or from Fine Gael, came back with the same story, that it would depress one to see the number of empty houses in Leitrim, to see the number of empty houses in rural Ireland in the West. It was not only speakers from this side of the House but from Fianna Fáil as well who came back and said it would take the heart out of you trying to speak at meetings when in driving to your meeting you saw house after house shut and empty.

It is in that picture that the Minister for Finance comes in today seeking to take out of the taxpayers' pockets, the smaller number of taxpayers who are there now as a result of his maladministration, a higher sum than was ever taken before. No Minister for Finance ever before dipped his hand as deeply into the pockets of the taxpayer as Deputy Dr. Ryan proposes to do in this bill that is before us. No Minister for Finance ever before had the hardihood to come to the House and to suggest, even for a larger population, that a bill of this size would be necessary, that he intended to extract this amount of money. It is small wonder that the people of Sligo-Leitrim turned their back on Fianna Fáil, told Fianna Fáil they were not wanted as the whole country will tell them as soon as we get the chance in the General Election.

The Deputies opposite are afraid they will get it—afraid of their lives.

Not a bit—come along tomorrow.

We shall give you every opportunity.

Would the Deputy like to bet even now?

As far as the Estimates are concerned, I think they could be regarded as stand-still Estimates because the increase that may be apparent, on comparing the figure on the cover of the Book of Estimates with that of last year, is offset to a very large extent by the number of Supplementary Estimates that have been before the House in the past few weeks. One could therefore say there is no real change. I do not mean that in regard to money entirely. I am sure there will be criticism from members on the Government side that the type of speech they hear or have heard in this debate is of the same type they have heard for the last three or four years but if the speeches today appear to be something like those made on the Vote on Account for the past three or four years it serves to indicate that, as far as the problems of the country are concerned, despite having a Fianna Fáil Government for the last four years, these problems have not been resolved. I think one could call them fundamental problems especially in respect of unemployment and emigration.

The Government were enthusiastic in the Autumn of 1958 about the programme they announced and which was described as the Economic Expansion Programme but in my opinion it does not seem to have been eminently successful. I propose to demonstrate in the course of my speech why I feel that is the case. I may be told, as we have been told in the last 12 months, that the national income has increased. We can agree that the figures indicate an increase. We shall be told also, as evidence of the success of the Government's programme, that the balance of payments problem has improved substantially. We shall also be told that exports have increased and that productivity in industry has risen by five per cent.

We are entitled to ask how these improvements are reflected in the country. I do not know how they are reflected in the members of the Government Party. There arises from them an aura of complacency and exaggerated optimism regarding the future economic situation. I have heard the calendar year 1960 described by Government spokesmen and Ministers as a year of action and progress. They may be able to demonstrate that by reference to figures for national income, productivity and the balance of payments, but I think nobody would take me to task if I said one of the best indications of economic wellbeing should be employment and unemployment figures. This was not the viewpoint of my Party or any member of it, but it was the test prescribed by the Taoiseach in an attempt, as he said, to assess the economic situation or future of a country.

In an attempt to justify progress by that particular test Government spokesmen in recent weeks have quoted unemployment figures and, in case they may be further quoted, let me quote them now. The registered number of unemployed at the latest available date is 60,000 and, as far as figures go, it is an improvement on the situation we had this time last year when we had the registered number of unemployed at 71,000 and in the year before that at 78,479. If that were the only picture to be examined it could be said by that test of unemployment that this country had progressed in the last two or three years. Unfortunately, the Taoiseach in particular and other members of the Government have tried to apply that test only, the test of the registered unemployed, but it conveys nothing when, side by side with that, the Government do not present—or even conceal—certain figures with regard to employment. I propose to deal with that now.

It will be admitted that the number actually employed is the real test. I propose to demonstrate that as far as employment is concerned the situation, instead of having improved in the last two or three years, has become worse. These are figures coming from the Central Statistics Branch of the Taoiseach's Department. Looking first on the bright side, the side the Taoiseach is so fond of giving when questioned on figures for employment, we find that employment in industry—in manufacturing, mining, construction and electricity—in 1958 amounted to 272,000 persons; in 1959 that had decreased somewhat to 271,000; in 1960 it jumped to 279,000 and it is estimated for 1961 at 288,000.

With those figures the Taoiseach often comes to the House and very glibly tells us that as far as employment is concerned we have had an increase in the figures of something like 9,000 per year. It is utterly wrong for the Taoiseach to try to deceive the House and the country and give a completely false impression as far as overall employment is concerned. He has often been accused of being a city man, a Taoiseach more preoccupied with industrial matters than those of rural areas, and it would seem from the replies he gives when questioned on employment that he is primarily preoccupied with figures in respect of industrial employment.

It is not correct to attribute that increase of 8,000 or 9,000 in industry entirely to industry. Industry includes manufacturing, mining, construction, electricity and other things. The real increase in industrial employment in 1960 compared to 1959 seems to me to be in the region of 4,000 and the other 5,000 who were in extra employment are represented mainly in building and I do not think anybody could regard that as permanent employment.

We all welcome the change of heart there has been in the Government in the last two or three years regarding the building industry because we all remember the slump there was in 1958 and 1959. We remember that, on being attacked from this side of the House because of their policy on house building, the Government turned over and decided to go ahead again, at a somewhat increased rate, on the building, reconstruction and renovation of houses. But nobody could regard the 5,000 men employed in this work as being permanently at work. Everybody knows that such men will not be employed regularly and the Government should not lull themselves or the country into a false sense of security about the position. We must regard those 5,000 men as being only temporarily employed.

It was also mentioned that in 1960, in commerce, insurance and finance, there were 1,000 more people employed as compared with 1959. According to official figures then, we had in 1960, as compared with 1959, something like 8,000 extra jobs created in industry, which includes the reconstruction of houses and the building of new houses. There is the possibility that there will be a slight increase in that figure in 1961. That, I think, is a fair interpretation of the official picture. That is the picture the Taoiseach likes to give when he is questioned in this House in regard to employment. That is the figure Fianna Fáil spokesmen like to give when they speak in by-elections or elsewhere.

But there is another side—not an inconsiderable side—to this picture. Let us look at employment in the rural areas, in agriculture and in two other aspects which we might include in agriculture—forestry and fisheries. There we see an entirely different picture. Very briefly, and very deliberately, we are told sometimes by Government spokesmen that the flight from the land is not peculiar to this country—that it has happened and is happening in different countries in Europe and throughout the world. That is not much consolation to an unemployed man in a rural area. It is not much consolation to him to hear a member of the Government make such a statement when he goes to his constituency. It falls on the Government to provide against that sort of thing—a situation which is not new but one which has not been adequately tackled by the Government.

As I have pointed out, as far as industry is concerned it seems that there are between 8,000 and 9,000 new jobs. But we must look upon that situation in conjunction with the employment position in the rural areas —in agriculture, forestry and fisheries. In 1958 there were 429,000 employed; in 1959 the figure was 420,000; in 1960 the figure was 410,000 and in 1961 it is estimated at 400,000. Therefore, in 1960 as compared with 1959, there were 10,000 fewer persons in this country employed in agriculture, forestry and fisheries. We must, accordingly, put that figure against the increased 8,000 employed in industry—the 5,000 mentioned by the Minister as being employed in artificial jobs created under the heading of industry, plus another 3,000 odd. Having done that, we will see that rather than there being an improvement in the employment position, it has been worsening to the extent of at least 2,000 fewer jobs.

I do not think that even the Taoiseach would be brazen enough to contradict these figures, most of which were given in a booklet produced by the Taoiseach's own Department. In a situation like that there is no reason at all for complacency or undue optimism. But the Minister for Finance, and particularly the Minister for Transport and Power, lose no opportunity of giving the impression that we are on the crest of a wave. I do not want to appear to be pessimistic but I say that it is wrong for the Minister for Transport and Power to try to lull this country into a false sense of security in respect of the employment position. We all realise the problems, but if we were to take the words of the Minister for Transport and Power, in his utterances throughout the country, we would be led to believe that we are on the crest of a wave and that all we have got to do is sit back and let the Government machine of which he boasts take its course.

Those are the figures. They may not be easily grasped in the course of a discussion like this but we have the overall figures as published by the Taoiseach's Department as conclusive evidence that there were 2,000 fewer employed in 1960 than there were in 1959. In 1958 there were 1,121,000 persons in employment in this country; in 1959 that figure was reduced by 9,000 to 1,112,000, and in 1960 the figure was further reduced to 1,110,000 —that is, 11,000 fewer persons in employment than there were in 1958.

I read the Minister's speech here to-day very carefully and I was interested in a reference he made on page 3 to the subject of social welfare generally. He said that a reduction of £115,000 in that Estimate was due to the improved employment prospects. I am perfectly willing to listen to the Minister for Finance indicate whether or not the figures I gave in respect to employment are wrong. I would be very happy to hear it. That phrase may not have been designed by the Minister for Finance, but for the Minister to speak about improved employment prospects rings very hollow in the light of the figures I quoted.

I do not want to flog this subject for any length of time but I must point out again that these words, forecasting improved employment prospects, ring very hollow indeed when we look into the official figures we have been given on the number of people employed throughout the country. But in any case any ordinary person in the country will volunteer immediately the reason for the reduction in the numbers of registered unemployed in the country in quoting immediately to you the figures for emigration in 1957. Again, these are pretty reliable figures; they are based on the passenger movement between this country and Britain. That is the method quoted ad nauseam here by the Taoiseach.

In 1957, 60,500 persons emigrated from this country; in 1958, 41,300 emigrated. In 1959, there was a reduction to 38,800 and at that stage the Government spokesmen said that it was an indication that emigration was at last being abated. But in the year 1960, the figure for emigration rose again to 44,400. It showed an increase in 1960 over the year 1959 of 7,600. As against that we hear talk about years of recovery, years of activity and dynamic progress. All these phrases come from the Government benches. But these figures I have given in respect of employment and emigration, do not indicate that there has been anything like a dynamic progress or that the year 1959 was a year of recovery, because as far as the Labour Party, and the trade union movement are concerned, the great test of the economic wellbeing of any country is in the figures of unemployed contrasted or put side by side with the figures of those who are in employment.

As I said, as against all that, to further their own argument—and one does not blame them for attempting to further their own argument—the Government spokesmen can point to improvements in the national income, to an improvement in the balance of payments problems, an increase in productivity to the extent of five per cent. and to different other things. But it seems to me we are still going to make the same speech year after year while the problems which we have had for so long are not solved.

I am not one who participates generally in discussions—certainly not in detail—on agriculture, but it seems to me something must be wrong with the system, not alone from the point of view of the Fianna Fáil Party but from the other side of the House as well if the figures in relation to national income related to farm income show no improvement. It seems on the Vote on Account, on the Budget and economic debates in this House we still come back to the same problem—the problem of agriculture and the difficulty in trying to get more from the land, to make our farmers and farm workers prosperous.

If national income has improved in recent years it has not improved as far as the agricultural industry is concerned. Farm profits in the year 1959 amounted to £101,000,000. In 1958, they stood at £98,000,000; in 1957, £109,000,000 and in 1956, they were down to £97,000,000. In any case while these figures may vary to some extent it does not indicate that there is any sort of progress in the agricultural industry compared with the progress in what may be described as ordinary industry. Therefore we wonder why the Government and, in particular, the Minister for Agriculture should not try to devise a newer and better policy for the agricultural industry.

Mind you, I think the agricultural industry and the farmers of this country could adapt themselves very easily to a new policy. In the past, and one might say the recent past, there was the attitude among farmers in this country: "What was good enough for my father is good enough for me." That was to be deplored but understood in a community that lived so to speak, as individuals, who did not have the benefit of city life, who did not have the benefit for a long time of radio and educational facilities now available. But I believe, with the establishment of associations like Macra na Feirme and Muintir na Tíre, that farmers are ready for a new policy but it does not seem as if they are going to get one. It does not seem as if the financial aid which is available through the State to the agricultural community is to be applied in the right way.

I do not know whether or not the Government or their advisers ever ask themselves whether, say in this particular case, this odd £25,000,000 was being applied in the proper direction. There are prosperous farmers in this country; there are farmers who have become prosperous in the last decade or the last 15 years but there is a big majority of farmers whose standards of living have not improved at all by reason of the fact that production in their particular holdings has not improved and I think there is at least one reason for that.

The Labour Party has never been a Party to go head, neck and heels for means tests but I think there could be a case for some sort of loose means test in respect of the agricultural industry for this reason: there are some farmers in this country who cannot avail of the generous grants that are given by the State because they have not the initial moneys to avail of them.

The details of the agricultural policy would more relevantly arise on the main Estimate.

I am talking about production.

The Deputy is talking about means tests.

I am not talking about means tests.

I thought the Deputy mentioned them.

If I am talking about glue I am not necessarily talking about——

The Deputy is arguing with the Chair. If the Deputy speaks about administration——

I am not talking about administration. I merely suggest to the Minister for Finance and the Government that they should certainly consider whether or not the moneys, the generous grants that are available to the agricultural industry, are applied in the right direction because, as I have said, there are many farmers in this community—tens of thousands of farmers—who cannot avail of the generous State aids that are given to encourage greater productivity. Yet there is a small minority who can get every single penny of grant from the agricultural board. According to the information available in this House, there are still many tens of thousands of uneconomic holdings in the country —whether or not the Land Commission are moving fast enough to make them economic or not I do not know —but it does seem to me, and I know farms vary in the various parts of the country, that if the Land Commission with the assistance of the Minister for Agriculture do more for these uneconomic holdings to give more proportionately to these smaller types of farmer than to the bigger type of farmer, I think we could do something to improve the agricultural industry.

The administration of the Land Commission cannot be discussed on the Vote on Account. It may be raised on the Estimate.

One of the tests of the country's economy is the number of persons employed. We have heard boasts from the Government recently about the industrial revival here and about the numbers of jobs created by the establishment of new industries. But I believe the Government can go further than they are going at present in the establishment of industries. While the Government grants in respect of new industries may appear to be generous, they may be applied in the wrong way, if one of the main purposes is to increase employment. The system under which these grants are operated is such that in the underdeveloped areas the cost of the factory is provided, along with one-third the cost of the machinery and certain other financial inducements. There certainly is an incentive there so far as the provision of machinery is concerned, but I wonder would the Government place more emphasis on the employment of people rather than the provision of machinery? I do not suggest that any new industry should be started on manpower alone. But if grants were given in accordance with the number of persons employed rather than the machinery installed, I believe that would be not alone an incentive to establishing an industry but a means of ensuring that the maximum number of men and women would be employed.

Do the Government appreciate what the situation may be in respect of these industries in the future? As I say, in what are described as the underdeveloped areas, the Government give the cost of the factory, one-third the cost of the machinery, and assistance for the training of workers. They can also give the full cost of construction, repair and maintenance of roads, bridges, harbours, canteens and houses for workers and half the cost of linking factories with the electricity grid, if any such cost arises. They give all that financial assistance to people coming here from Belgium, Germany, France, Spain or from any other country in the world. Apart from financial aid, what control, if any, will the Government have over those industries? It is slightly different when an Irishman is given a grant to establish an industry. He, having his roots here, will stay for a long time before he decides to "fold up." When a foreigner gets all these facilities, it is advantageous for him to establish an industry here. But suppose the trading situation in Europe changes and he decides it would be better for him to establish the factory in Holland, Belgium, Germany or some place else. He does not lose a tremendous amount by packing his bag and going away. I hope such a situation never develops in respect of even one of these factories. But if £250,000 or £500,000 of public funds are contributed to one of these factories, surely it would not be unreasonable to expect that the Government would have some control over it—the right, perhaps, to appoint a director—not alone to ensure that the money is spent properly, but to ensure that all avenues of the export market are explored.

It seems from what the Taoiseach said recently that the primary object in the establishment of these factories is to increase our exports. The Government should seriously consider that. It would be a catastrophe for this country if we were to build up an artificial edifice of industry here, whether in west, south or east. If these are factories established by Irish people with some Irish money, there is a far greater chance of their lasting than industries established by foreigners and given all these financial facilities.

I believe Córas Tráchtála have done tremendous work in recent years. I do not know whether or not the Minister for Finance deems it advisable to encourage Córas Tráchtála to expand their activities for their stated purpose of trying to attract more customers to this country and to increase our exports.

I do not want to go into detail in this matter, nor do I want to create a wrong impression. In the name of increasing employment and increasing our export trade, special facilities have been given to a certain part of the country. I have criticised that decision before and I do so again. Nothing has happened in the meantime for me to change my mind. While these facilities are given to what are described as the underdeveloped areas, other parts of the country are being neglected. The Taoiseach, the Minister for Finance and the Minister for Industry and Commerce can reel off lists of factories that have been established and tell us where they are located. But, on examination of these lists, one will see there are many parts of the country that have been neglected.

I am not one of these people who believe the Government can place industry, but the Minister for Industry and Commerce, when questioned recently in regard to this special financial aid given to certain portions of the country, said it was pure compensation against the attractions the other parts of the country had. That is nonsense. For various reasons, in some parts of the country factories are not attracted, first, because they do not get the same financial assistance as is available in other parts of the country and secondly because no effort has been made to develop the facilities that are there and that have been there for some time past.

The Undeveloped Areas Act was passed in this House some seven or eight years ago. There have not been substantial changes made in it. There was an effort in another Act to balance up, to give certain facilities to what can be described as the developed areas, but there were so many escape clauses in it for the Government that I do not believe that piece of legislation has been invoked at all in the matter of the establishment of factories in areas other than in the undeveloped areas.

One of the most pressing needs in the country at the present time is for the provision of employment in rural areas. I know it is difficult to prevent the disemployment that there is, especially in agriculture. As I have often said in this House and as many other Deputies have said, the introduction of machinery has been responsible for the disemployment over the last decade or so of tens of thousands of Irish farm workers. Similarly the introduction of machinery has disemployed many of those formerly engaged in roadwork, drainage work and to some extent in forestry work.

Apart from the question of employment, there seems to have been a desire, should I say, there seems to have been a move, by certain people recently to induce the Irish farmer to engage in production of a kind that heretofore they were not in the habit of engaging in, namely, the production of fruit and vegetables. This, in my opinion, not alone would give the much needed additional income to the farmers but would also provide employment for workers.

The Irish Sugar Company, it was believed, were taking on themselves the job of organising that sort of activity in agriculture.

Surely that point would be more relevant on the Estimate for Agriculture? It is one of the details.

I want to speak generally on the question of employment in the rural areas.

The question of growing fruit and vegetables does not arise on the Vote on Account.

What I want to say now appears to be in conflict with Government policy. The Minister for Transport and Power—I do not know what Ministry he held at that time—speaking in the Dáil on one occasion talked about the potential in the production of fruit and vegetables in this country. He went to great lengths to tell us the immensity of the market in Great Britain. He talked about it in terms of millions and millions and millions of pounds.

The chair is not opposing the viewpoint but feels it could be relevantly raised on the Estimate and does not arise on the Vote on Account.

It is a matter of urgency. That is the reason why I raise it now because General Costello, manager of the Irish Sugar Company, says his plans seem to have been stymied by private interests. If there is this employment potential in the growing of vegetables and fruit, if there are such possibilities in the export market, this question must be dealt with immediately. General Costello, manager of the Irish Sugar Company, speaking in Dublin on Tuesday of last week referred to this project of the production of fruit and vegetables and the possibility of export to Britain. He said—I quote from the Irish Times, Wednesday, March 1st:

General Costello said that attempts had been made to discourage farmers from embarking on the new production so important to them financially, and to the country; but these were being dealt with effectively by the Beet Growers' Association with which his company was in the closest harmony and co-operation.

I am afraid I must rule out discussion of the growing of fruit and vegetables on the Vote on Account.

Surely Deputy Corish is urging that this is a matter in which national production can be increased, that it is a matter of general policy, that it is not an item for discussion on the Estimate for Agriculture?

The Chair feels differently. The Chair feels that this is a matter for the Department of Agriculture. The Deputy has had a good innings. He has explained what he wants to say and I feel he should leave it at that. The question can be resumed on the Estimate.

Surely I would be entitled to talk about an industry that might mean, in the words of General Costello, the exportation of fruit and vegetables to the extent of tens of millions of pounds?

The Deputy is entitled to discuss the broad outline of industry and he has done that in the course of his speech. Now he is going into details of industrial policy in discussing the growing of fruit and vegetables.

If it could bring £40 million to this country would it not be worth talking about?

May I say, Sir, the question of the growing of fruit and vegetables is only part of what General Costello referred to? Processing plays perhaps the bigger part and this could bring in the Department of Industry and Commerce as well as the Department of Agriculture. Therefore, Government policy as a whole is involved and in view of the magnitude of the potential market for these commodities I suggest Deputy Corish is fully entitled to expand and elaborate the points he has made already.

The Chair feels differently on this question. On the Vote on Account it has been the practice of the House that only matters of general policy can be raised and matters of detail can be discussed on the Estimate. That has been the general practice all down the years on the Vote on Account.

On a point of order, Deputy Corish in dealing with this matter has indicated how on the industrial and commercial side there has been a certain increase in the number of persons employed and, on the agricultural side, there has been a fall off in the number of persons employed. In applying our discussion here we are concerned with the general lines upon which industrial employment can be raised and the general lines on which agricultural employment can be raised. It is very little help discussing that there has been a rise and a fall unless in some measure we can in our discussions give a general outline of the lines or realms in which increased employment can be given. I submit that Deputy Corish will leave his picture and his view of the situation incomplete unless he finishes whatever he has to say with regard to the particular difficulties that are preventing increased employment in the development of the growing and processing of agricultural produce.

Would the Deputy not agree that the question of growing fruit and vegetables would more relevantly arise on the Estimate?

As has been indicated, Deputy Corish is referring to the whole industry—the growing, treatment and marketing of produce, the basis of which only is in the ground.

As I have already pointed out, it has not been the practice to allow details of various industries to be discussed on the Vote on Account.

I do not want by any trick or anything else to get behind the Chair on this matter but this could be an industry in which many thousands of workers could get employment.

I am not arguing with the Deputy on that point. I am just pointing out to the Deputy that the matter is not in order on the Vote on Account.

It has been the practice, may I submit, to allow a matter to be raised on the Vote on Account when it affects more than one Department? This is a matter which in the growing of the vegetables may affect the Department of Agriculture but in the processing of the vegetables affects the Department of Industry and Commerce and in respect of the sale of the goods may very well affect the Department of External Affairs and where it impacts in such a substantial way on a number of Departments and on the whole economy it has been customary in the past, to my knowledge, to allow a matter of that kind to be raised on the Vote on Account.

Deputy Corish and other Deputies have been permitted to mention agriculture and industry and commerce in a general way but the Chair objects to their going into details in these matters. The Chair feels that these matters are more relevant on the Estimate for the Department of Agriculture.

On what particular Estimate may we discuss the influences that are said to be in operation to prevent the development of the general productive policy?

I do not propose to hold the House very long on this matter but I think I should be allowed to develop what I have already said.

The Chair has ruled that any discussions on details do not arise on this Vote on Account.

I do not intend to go into details on this matter but General Costello has a pretty high name in this country and he has made certain suggestions.

The Chair is pointing out to the Deputy that these discussions would be more relevant on the Estimate for Agriculture.

I would like to know on what Estimate it would be relevant to discuss the influences that are said to be preventing the general economic development?

I think it would be in order that I should be allowed to say what I am trying to say.

Is it not a fact that throughout this Estimate there are various headings, including Agriculture and Industry and Commerce?

There are no headings. This is a Vote on Account and details do not arise.

The Minister gives details of increases and decreases and such like in Agriculture and Industry and Commerce. Surely a Deputy is entitled to make reference to matters coming under those headings.

The Chair has not objected to references to these matters in a general way, but the Chair is of the opinion that details of those matters are more relevant to the debates on particular Estimates.

The problem as far as this country is concerned seems to be one of giving employment in the rural areas, the stopping of emigration and increasing of production. There has been an improvement in employment in national industry; I said in the beginning of my speech that there have been, and that it is admitted there have been, improvements in the industrial sphere. It is also admitted that there is a problem as far as the rural areas are concerned. The Government may say to us: "You have made a lot of criticisms but you have put forward no suggestions." I have heard that being said in this House for years and years. I want to suggest a method whereby we can increase employment, step up the income of the farming community and increase our exports. General Costello, who has been so successful with the Irish Sugar Company, says that he wanted to develop the horticultural industry to such an extent that more men would be employed on the land, more money would go into the pockets of the farmers and so that we would increase our exports. He says that certain vested interests prevented him from doing that.

I think the Deputy will get a better opportunity of discussing this matter on the Estimate for the Department of Agriculture. It does not arise on the Vote on Account.

There may even be a suggestion that the Government is preventing him from expanding this particular industry. I only want to ask if that is so.

The Deputy will get a more relevant opportunity of raising this matter and bringing it to the attention of the proper Minister on the Vote for his Department.

This is not a question for the Minister for Agriculture alone. Certain business interests are involved and this would bring it under the Department of Industry and Commerce.

It is not a matter on which Deputies should go into detail during the discussion on the Vote on Account.

In view of your ruling, Sir, we would only have a dog fight if I continued. You would be chipping in all the time. I should like to call the attention of the House to the speech of General Costello at the Dublin University Agricultural Society on Tuesday, the 28th February, as reported in the Irish Times on the 1st March. That is all I want to say on the Vote on Account. I am sure the Minister, like most Ministers for Finance will, as usual, deplore the type of debate we have had. He will tell us that he has heard all these speeches year after year. I say this, not in criticism of the present Minister for Finance, but of Ministers for Finance generally. This is supposed to be the one occasion on which we can have debate on the economic and financial state of the country. The Minister for Finance has just done what his predecessor and every other Minister for Finance have done. He has given us a brief survey of the increases and decreases and that was that.

I do not think that he will be able to deal with Government policy, such as it is, at the conclusion of this debate because his time will be taken up with answering all that Deputies have said. This is a very unsatisfactory type of debate, and if the tone of the debate has been lowered I do not think that it is the fault of Deputy Sweetman or myself. I think it is the fault of all the previous Ministers for Finance, whether Deputy Sweetman, Deputy McGilligan, Deputy MacEntee or Deputy Dr. Ryan. I do not think that the sort of speech which it has been customary for the Minister for Finance to make on the introduction of the Vote on Account is good enough at all.

The Minister for Finance was to some extent responsible for the introduction of the Programme for Economic Expansion. There is not a mention of it in his speech on the Vote on Account. I do not think the words are even mentioned in it. That programme was supposed to be the blueprint for prosperity in this country but we have not heard a word about it. I think that the tone of the debate on the Vote on Account could be set by the Minister for Finance dealing with the Government's financial policy. I know that he does that to some extent in his Budget speech but to tell us what is cut and what is not cut on this occasion is not good enough.

Might I conclude by asking that this time next year, whatever Government may be in power, we shall not have to talk about stagnation in agriculture, emigration, decreasing employment or the inadequacy of our social services and health services. We have made some progress in this country over the years but nothing like the progress we could have made. Therefore, let us ensure that the next time we come here we shall not have to talk in a critical manner about emigration, unemployment, social services and so on.

I am not sure how the Minister for Finance may feel about Deputy Corish's speech but I feel that while it is critical it is critical on a realistic basis. While I would not agree with some of the opinions he expressed, he appeared to be facing the situation with his eyes well open. Very often people may not see in the same way as others even though their eyes may be open too, but it was at least a contrast with Deputy Sweetman for whom I felt very sorry this afternoon. Either he was not feeling well or else his heart was not in his job. Since he looked in his usual good health I am forced to the conclusion he was not enjoying the task which had been set for him. We have heard that speech before. He has heard that speech before and he has made it so often I think he has got almost as tired of it as we have.

With all the conviction he could command he referred to the extra burdens and the extra blisters which the Minister had imposed upon the community. For very obvious reasons he did not specify those extra burdens and extra blisters because, as Deputy Corish pointed out, greater revenue which has been raised comes from a higher national income rather than increased or new taxation. It is obvious that the national income has gone up, that income has risen as far as revenue is concerned and that extra burdens are not necessary.

Deputy Sweetman referred to the bankruptcy of the farming community. It is a colourful phrase but it does not appear to be justified in any way whatever. One has only to look at the registration figures for tractors to find that the tractor sales at the moment are booming and the same applies to combine harvesters which are already purchased by new owners for next harvest. Anyone living or working on the roads leading out from the city will have seen these huge new combine harvesters trundling off to their new owners in the month of February and even as far back as January and December. I can assure the House that these tractors and combine harvesters are not going away as a free gift to the farming community.

These are going out to the small farmers?

I doubt whether all the combine harvesters are going to small farmers but the point made by Deputy Sweetman was that the farmers were all bankrupt; if they were bankrupt they would not be buying new farm equipment at the rate at which they are buying it at the moment. He did not refer to the fact that cattle prices had risen steeply during the past month. That is a matter which did not fit into his case at all. I do not suggest that cattle prices have risen by direct intervention of the Government but the fact remains that the impetus given to stock breeders has been sufficient to raise the cattle population very considerably so that all those who are holding cattle are making very good prices indeed.

Deputy Sweetman referred to the flight from the land and, as Deputy Corish remarked, this is exactly the same in all other countries. Everyone deplores the flight from the land but unless you compel people to remain there you cannot stop them. We are in the midst of a social revolution and the forces are irresistible. The only way in which we can make any impact on the situation is by encouraging and fostering new industrial enterprises in rural areas and this is inevitably a slow job. However, it should be pointed out that it is those new industries set up in rural areas which have always been the greatest object of criticism especially to the Fine Gael benches.

It is worth while looking at the report on the programme for economic expansion for the period of six months to 30th September, 1960. The fact that the gross national product rose by 5% over 1958 is something for which we all ought to be very thankful. Even though the increase in real terms brings this down to 3% it still remains that the rate of increase of the gross national product is 1% higher than was anticipated. Not only that, but external trade in the six months to the 30th September, 1960, showed a significant improvement over 1959. Imports increased by £3.3 million but exports increased by almost £11 million. There is always an import excess and this import excess fell by £7.6 million during that period. That is something which cannot be just laughed off as being of no importance. It does show a new spirit of enterprise in industry proper and in the agricultural industry as well.

Exports of agricultural commodities for the first eight months of 1960 totalled £51.8 million compared with £48.2 million in the same period in 1959. We are told the farmers are getting less and less and their income is going down and down. The fact remains that exports of agricultural commodities have gone up. I agree— and I think the Government have also shown their agreement in the past—that there should be some increase in farmers' incomes and they have made provision to that effect by allowing an increase in the price of butter and by various other means. Those measures were opposed by Fine Gael, who are at the same time always blaming the Government for the low income of farmers. I do not think they should try to have it both ways. If you want the farmers' income to go up, the money has got to come from the consumer or from the community, generally.

Reference has been made to agricultural credit. Here again, bank advances to farmers have been increasing steadily and the Agricultural Credit Corporation has reported that the amount advanced up to the 30th April, 1960, was the largest in the history of the Corporation. It is so easy just to say there is not sufficient money for increased agricultural production; the credit facilities are not there. In actual fact the credit facilities are there and are being fully availed of.

There has been grumbling about the enormous expenditure in accordance with Government policy, generally. A very large amount of Government expenditure is due to the expenditure in connection with the eradication of bovine tuberculosis. Here, again, we see that very considerable progress has been made and that a very good investment of public money has been made in this scheme. It contracts most noticeably with the wastage of public money in the early days of this scheme under the previous Government. At least we can now see that clearance areas are being declared and that the prices of tested cattle are benefiting as it was always expected they would. We are not now simply paying veterinary surgeons to go and look at cattle and certify them as being reactors only to leave them there to continue reacting on other stock on the farm, and so on, ad nauseam.

There are signs of progress all around our economy. It is worth referring to the report of the E.S.B. which shows that the growth in the demand for electricity has exceeded expectations and has exceeded the increase in production capacity which was planned. The generating programme has been based on an expected increase in demand of not less than 7%. Previously it was 10% but it was reduced during the years of depression to 7% which was regarded as more realistic. It is now up to 10% again and in the year ended the 31st March, 1960 that rate of increase was at least partially due to the increased needs of Whitegate oil refinery. Since that date the rate of increase in demand has remained at 10% and the increased demand for electricity can only be explained by a general increase in economic prosperity and progress. Instead of the depression in which we found the country when this Government took office we now have enterprise. This entails expenditure and investment of public money, just as in any ordinary commercial concern. If one side of the business is in difficulties we must decide whether it is time for cutting-back, for conservatism, playing-safe, or whether it is time to go out and look for new customers, new business, new markets, a time for taking the calculated risk on new premises, plant and equipment.

That is precisely what the Government has done in this instance. Coming in at a time of depression it took calculated risks which are already beginning to pay off. Emigration has been mentioned but nobody knows how much of it is due to purely economic causes. We must remember that emigration is traditional for many of our people. It is a tradition built up over many years. If certain members of one generation go away, they attract their successors away also. It certainly is not a fact that people are being driven from the country in tens of thousands solely by force of economic circumstances.

And what else?

Unfortunately it is the most enterprising people who feel they can better themselves elsewhere, not that they are not able to live here. They feel they can do better in Great Britain or further afield. Sometimes they find that is a fact; sometimes they are more than disappointed.

I had a case only last week when I had an application from a man previously employed by the E.S.B. He left his job which was permanent, went to Scotland and is now well employed at a higher rate of pay. He wants to come back again and applied to the E.S.B. for reinstatement. Their reply was that while they would like to have him back they could not guarantee him his job as too many people who had emigrated and had found it was not worth it were trying to come back. It is, I think, true that some of the glamour of emigration is wearing off.

And then there are no jobs for them here.

That remains to be seen. In this instance, the man was not able to get his own job back but I have every hope I shall be able to get him another.

There should be hundreds of them.

The Chair is regarding me rather unfavourably.

No, it is the other way around. I am sure the Chair is thrilled to know that you can get one job out of 100,000. One is better than none.

The Chair is facing me rather than Deputy Dillon.

That look was one of amazed gratification.

If that were the case I imagine he would thank me in more vocal fashion. Quite apart from anything else, we have the reports of the commercial banks and without exception they all refer in most complimentary terms to the improvement made by the Government in the state of the country. They do not state that in any equivocal manner. They say that the measures taken by the Government to stimulate industry and employment and encourage exports have been singularly successful and that the prospects are good.

Another instance of the rising state of the economy is in the registration of private motor cars. These figures are published regularly. They show no sign of a boom but show a steady increase over 1959 and right through 1960. Cars are not purchased only in the cities but all over the country and the numbers are going up very steadily, a sure sign of progress because the motor industry is very sensitive to economic conditions generally.

And hire purchase.

The fact remains that with or without hire purchase people will not purchase cars if the economy is declining.

Deputy Corish said that on an occasion which he did not clearly specify the Minister for Transport and Power had said we were on the crest of the wave. I gravely doubt that, because I think the Minister for Transport and Power is far too realistic an analyst of the situation to say anything of the kind, but what he has been saying consistently is that we can be on the crest of the wave if we work on intelligent lines. There is a tremendous difference visible. When we came into office there was such a depression that nobody could even imagine that we could survive.

We had the first balance of payment credit in 40 years.

And 50,000 more people at work.

I am sure the Deputies, including the Leader of the Opposition, will have an opportunity to speak later.

We shall, please God.

We merely want to keep the Deputy right while he is speaking.

If the Deputy would try to be patient it might be better. The position is that when you find a country in a depression you try to restore the morale, the confidence in the ability to conquer that depression. That took time, but there is every sign now that people realise that there is nothing, or virtually nothing, that other people can do that we cannot do at least as well and in many cases better. That has taken a long time to get across. I should be the last to say that the Government should take all the credit for new industrial development. What it has done is to produce financial stability and to provide circumstances in which private enterprise can expand with a feeling of security in the future.

That has been done and expansion is continuing. At the same time I am far from satisfied either at the amount or the rate of the expansion. I feel this will have to be stepped up very considerably by every conceivable means in our power and I trust the Minister will take steps to do this. With our economy in a fair condition, we find our industrialists are now planning larger expansion. New projects are coming into fruition and an amazing number of new industrial exports are being developed.

I would sincerely hope that in addition to our industrial exports, which are already making such an impact on our balance of payments position, we shall have now agricultural exports as well. Whether that will have any great impact on the employment position in rural Ireland remains to be seen. We must remember that in countries like Denmark it has only been by a correct balance between industry and agriculture that prosperity has been achieved. We must also remember the amount of industrial employment in Denmark, or rather the proportion of industrial employment to agricultural employment, which is very much higher than in this country.

We can have a very high rate of industrial employment in this country before we come anywhere near Denmark. I do not feel therefore that there is any reason for complacency. However, I feel there is absolutely no reason whatever for moaning and groaning from people like Deputy Sweetman. It does not do any good to anybody. More constructive criticism would be helpful and in the national interest.

Deputy Booth has just told us of the terrible position that faced the present Government when they took office and the job they had to restore morale. I do not think it was all that serious because any whispering that was going on at that time was largely among members of the Fianna Fáil Party. But even Fianna Fáil did not believe the whisperings because it was not so hard to restore the morale; it had already been restored. Their main object was to get themselves back into power and when they had achieved that the whisperings stopped. Deputy Booth spoke of the combine harvesters and of cattle prices rising. They have not risen.

They have. Look at the figures.

I will not look at the figures. I am a farmer myself and I should know.

The Deputy is not the only farmer.

The prices have not risen. Virtually no cattle have been sold in the past few months.

Look at the export figures.

I will do no such thing. The export figures are no credit to the present Government. Cattle are selling now because the weather has been mild and there is a bit of grass available and therefore people are buying cattle again, but up to now there were no sales of cattle and therefore there were no prices. Deputy Booth spoke of emigration and said it was a continuing habit and that it had become a kind of tradition. He must be a very innocent man if he thinks that boys or girls will leave their own homes for a foreign country, for Britain or Australia or New Zealand or any other country if they can afford to stay at home.

The truth is that we must face the facts as we find them. There are a large number of small farmers in this country and we know what Fianna Fáil policy towards them is. It is: "You small farmers are a damn nuisance and the sooner you take yourselves off the better." And the small farmers are doing it. If that is the Government's policy why have they not got the guts to come out and say it properly? In one Sunday paper last week there was a letter, obviously inspired by Fianna Fáil. The effect of it was that the small farmer was a nuisance, that he was in the same category as the fox, the badger or the rat—something to be exterminated. He proposed a solution—that the Government would set up a fund to pay their fares to Australia or New Zealand where they would set up an Irish colony. If that was not a Fianna Fáil inspired letter, I will eat my hat and chance the consequences.

Did the Deputy have a hand in writing it?

I suppose the Deputy has had his tea. He is more replete than some of the small farmers down in Kerry. He has refuelled himself, but it would take a lot to refuel the small farmers he and his Party are trying their best to banish. They are certainly banishing them in Mayo and Galway and all along the western seaboard. The emigration rate is standing at 60,000 per year since the present Government came in. I wonder if the Minister in his opening speech made any mention of the 100,000 new jobs.

Not a whimper.

Of course not. That carrot was dangled before the last general election. I suppose it has been hidden until the next. Obviously Deputy Corish is not very familiar with Agriculture or with farming conditions. I do not say that in any derogatory sense. It is small blame to him since he was not brought up to it. I am a farmer and I cannot talk business with industrialists because I was not brought up to it. Deputy Corish said he thinks there is something wrong with agriculture. Of course there is. What is wrong with agriculture in this country is quite plain to everybody. The farmer is not being paid for his work. That is what is wrong. If he were, he would stay on the land and holdings would not become vacant and cottages closed up through wholesale emigration.

That is the root cause of the whole trouble and Fianna Fáil are not alone determined not to find a market for agricultural produce abroad but they are determined also to rid the country of the small farmers altogether. Córas Tráchtála does a good job in an effort to find markets abroad for Irish industrial goods but there is nobody to push the sales abroad of agricultural produce. Not alone is Fianna Fáil determined not to pay the farmer for his work and for the food he produces but they are determined to load his back with the burdens of increased E.S.B. charges, rates and various other things—all calculated to drive him from the land.

Fianna Fáil are the people who will come down to constituencies like Sligo-Leitrim and Mayo at the time of an election and calmly condemn the inter-Party Government, the Government that for the first time in history stabilised the population, almost stopped emigration and gave the farmers a decent living. The moment we gave them a decent living they stopped at home. That is the proof of it.

What did you give them?

The purchasing power.

And they repudiated you then, did they not?

They did not; they listened to the 100,000 jobs tale; the wives came to their husbands with the work tale. There was not a word about taking off the food subsidies then. There was not a word about raising the price of the eight stone bag of flour then. But I want to tell Deputy Moher that they will have plenty to say about it as soon as the general election starts. The people were decent at the last election. They were told what appeared to be a sincere story by long faced men with tears in their eyes; they swallowed it and they paid the piper after putting them in.

You will not have so long to wait; only a couple of months.

If we have only a month, it will be all the better. I want to make a few suggestions to the Minister and to the Government. The very first thing needed is employment on a big scale in the rural areas. The second thing needed is to pay the farmers a fair price for their produce. The reason farmers are flying off the land, their houses being closed up and holdings being allowed to go derelict, is that they are not getting the price for their produce. I do not know of any man who has even a middling wage for his work who is inclined to change his position. The Deputy can take it that those who are going are going because they have to go, because they are being forced out by economic circumstances.

Deputy Booth is a city man. He probably believes what he says when he says that emigration is traditional. That reminds me very much of something that a sly old Minister would hand out to him. He probably is annoying some of the Ministers about emigration and they have handed out a very slippery, oily answer just to put him off, to stop his mouth and keep him quiet. But if we are to stop emigration we have two things to do. We have to pay the farmers for their work and I submit they are not getting paid. Deputy Corish, a member of the Labour Party, is here to protect the worker and the wage earner, to see that they get a fair remuneration for their labour. I think it is only right that some Party should ask for the same thing for the farmer. There is also the fact that a small farmer has not whole time employment on his holdings and must supplement his income some way. Everybody knows that a holding of £10 valuation is not fit to keep a farmer in whole time employment on the land and that that man must go outside the holding to seek work with either the County Council, the Land Commission, the Board of Works or in any other form of employment that comes along.

Since the present Government took office almost a quarter of a million people have emigrated to England. The Government make a boast about the fact that the number on the unemployed register is down. The wonder is that there are so many at all left. I suppose it is the custom with most Deputies to hold after-Mass meetings in their constituencies—at least it is in my part of the country. When you go to address a meeting and wait for the people to come out from last Mass, who comes out to greet you?

The parish priest.

The very old and the children. There will not be 20 middle-aged men present. That is due to Fianna Fáil's policy. A few short years ago it was different. Now you have the children and women and old men; about 20 or 30, out of 400 or 500, are young men or middle-aged men. The young men have almost completely vanished out of the country. If it is the policy of the Government, if they think, and they must think, that the small farmer is a nuisance or should be eliminated, they should have the courage to come out and say so.

You were not——

Would Deputy Moher stand up and, instead of interrupting me, tell us what the Government is doing to keep the small farmer on the land? I defy him do it. He will get an opportunity—and nobody will interrupt him—to tell us what Fianna Fáil has done for the farmer, other than drive him out of the country. Deputy Moher knows that a farmer who can grow 200 or 300 acres of wheat is getting a fair price for his produce. It is easy for him to buy a combine. The farmer who has soil sufficiently fertile to grow barley, will get a fixed price. But the small farmer is depending for his yearly income on one bullock, a few turkeys and a few pigs. He is "rooked"; he is handing away his stuff and the Government is doing nothing for him. Deputy Moher will tell us perhaps that there is a subsidy on the few bags of fertiliser he will buy. There is, and a fat lot of good that is to him. You must give him a fair price for what he is selling. That is the very least you can do. I wait to see what Deputy Moher will tell us the Government has done for the small farmer as distinct from the other farmers.

After four years of office, Fianna Fáil on the occasion of the discussion on the Vote on Account, cannot blame anyone but themselves for the record which lies behind them. I think Deputies will recall that, on each of the last three years when Deputies from this side of the House challenged Fianna Fáil Deputies, as Deputy Blowick has done just now, there was always some Fianna Fáil Deputy to get up and say that they were not there long enough yet, that they had not yet had a chance, that they did not get an opportunity of putting their 100,000 job plan properly into operation: "Wait until we are near the end of our term of office and it will be a different story." Now Fianna Fáil find themselves on the last lap; they find themselves facing into a general election with by-election defeats behind them in Sligo-Leitrim and Dublin South West, and a very narrow shave, indeed, in Carlow-Kilkenny. I am full of admiration for the courage of Deputy Booth in speaking at all in this debate. I feel some doubt as to whether Deputy Moher or any other Fianna Fáil Deputy will show the same courage because they are going to be asked some awkward questions if they do.

I want to start by inviting the Deputies opposite, as an exercise in preparation for the general election and the questions they are going to be asked at the general election, to cast their minds back to the general election which put them into the Government seats opposite. Will any of them contradict me if I say that the three main points they put in issue in the general election in 1957 were, firstly, the cost of living and the cost of Government; secondly, the question of unemployment; and, thirdly, the question of emigration? Is there any Fianna Fáil Deputy or Minister satisfied with the record of their Government on those three points?

All of us remember the speeches of Fianna Fáil Deputies and Ministers, their propaganda and their posters during the General Election. One of their slogans was: "Let us get cracking"; another was: "Employment is the test of Government policy"; and Deputy Blowick has referred to a third: "Wives get your husbands off to work." There were various other posters and pamphlets of that description.

We had Fianna Fáil spokesmen dealing at that time with the question of the cost of living. Suggestions were made that if Fianna Fáil were reelected to office, they had not a good record as far as the cost of living was concerned and would not be particularly careful to keep the cost of living down and to shelter the weakest section of the community against rising prices. In order to rebut that type of suggestion we had the present Taoiseach and his predecessor going on record during the course of the election. I just want to remind the Parliamentary Secretary and the Deputies behind him of the words uttered by the present Taoiseach when speaking in Waterford on the 28th February, 1957.

He is reported in the Irish Press of the 1st March as saying:

Some Coalition leaders are threatening the country with all sorts of unpleasant things if Fianna Fáil becomes the Government: compulsory tillage, wage control, cuts in Civil Service salaries, higher food prices and a lot more besides. A Fianna Fáil Government does not intend to do any of these things because we do not believe in them. How definite can we make our denial of these stupid allegations? They are all falsehoods.

That was the man who now occupies the position of Taoiseach. All those allegations, according to him, were stupid. They were falsehoods. He appealed to the crowd in Waterford to know how definite could Fianna Fáil make their denial of these stupid falsehoods.

What was the Fianna Fáil record when they achieved office? I invite the Parliamentary Secretary and the Deputies sitting behind him to consider the Taoiseach's speech at the time, and to consider what has happened since. I propose to remind them of what has happened since. The former Taoiseach, who was Leader of the Fianna Fáil Party at the time, betook himself to Belmullet in the course of the last General Election and was reported also in the Irish Press on the 1st March, 1957, on the topic of foodstuffs. He said:

The Coalition Parties were urging the people not to vote for Fianna Fáil because there was hell around the Fianna Fáil corner. You know the record of Fianna Fáil in the past. You know that we have never done the things they said we would do. They told you that you would pay more for your bread.

There we had the present Taoiseach and his predecessor in the course of the General Election in so many words practically assuring the people that if Fianna Fáil were elected, there was going to be no increase in the cost of foodstuffs. Fianna Fáil got back into office. In their very first Budget, as Deputy Sweetman mentioned to-day, they abolished the food subsidies, which were being carried in the public Estimates each year for the purpose of keeping down the cost of living and of keeping down foodstuffs to a reasonable price for the ordinary people. That is the Fianna Fáil record as far as the cost of living goes.

Deputy Sweetman referred to the blisters which had been imposed on the community by Fianna Fáil and the cost which the people were paying for the doubtful privilege of having a Fianna Fáil Government. Deputy Booth—how, I do not know—got the impression that Deputy Sweetman had not mentioned any of these blisters. I heard Deputy Sweetman mentioning some of them. I think, possibly, Deputy Booth was tripping over himself, because he wanted to make the point that, in fact, there were no blisters at all and that if the Government were spending more money, if the Book of Estimates had increased by £23,000,000 since this Government took office, it was all explainable by the fact that the national income had risen and that no new burdens were necessary.

Is Deputy Booth being fed that kind of guff from any Minister's office, as was suggested by Deputy Blowick? If he is, I think it is scandalous. It is scandalous that any decent, honest Fianna Fáil back-bencher should be put in a position of walking in here and giving out that kind of nonsense: that no burdens have been placed on the backs of the people since Fianna Fáil came into office, that what has happened is that the national income has risen and that if the Book of Estimates is higher, it is all explainable by an increase in the national income. Are Deputy Booth, Deputy Noel Lemass, and Deputy Cummins aware of the fact that when Fianna Fáil came into office approximately £9,000,000 was being carried in the Estimates for the food subsidies to which I have referred? Are they aware that Fianna Fáil abolished those subsidies, that they saved the Exchequer that sum of £9,000,000 and that, by doing that, they increased the price of the loaf of bread from 9d. to 1/3d. or 1/3½d., increased the price of butter from 3/9d. to 4/7 per pound and increased the price of flour? Are they aware that since Fianna Fáil came back there have been increases in bus fares and railway fares, increases in postage charges and increases in electricity? Are they aware that Fianna Fáil have even made money out of the sick poor of this country and have increased the Health Act charges?

Does Deputy Booth or any other Deputy seriously tell the House that there have been no new burdens or new blisters placed on the backs of the people since Fianna Fáil came back into office? These are some of the things you are going to be told in the General Election, and prepare your brief to answer them now, if you can. I have mentioned some of the blisters. I have referred to the fact that the Book of Estimates, which is brought before us by way of this Vote on Account, shows an increase of nearly £23,000,000 since 1956. But the story does not end there. In addition to the increase in the Estimates which are now before the House, the Statistical Abstract for the year 1960 shows that between 1956 and 1960 an additional sum of more than £3,500,000 has been collected in local rates.

In that connection I should like some of the Fianna Fáil Deputies, preferably Deputy O'Malley if he were here, to tell me how they feel about the increases in local rates coupled with the increase in the Book of Estimates because, when he spoke in this House just five years ago, on 14th March, 1956, Deputy O'Malley had this to say at column 536 of the Dáil Debates, Volume 155:

The local authorities—the people —cannot pay any more in rates. The only solution of a constructive nature, as far as I can see, is that the Government should give the example. How could the Government do that? In my humble opinion the Government should give the example at the top. Take one example—the Department of Justice. Does everybody not know that the Department of Justice, instead of costing the taxpayers some £100,000, could be equally competently carried on by the Minister for Defence? Everyone knows the Minister for Defence could be Minister for Justice as well and carry on both Departments.

Then he says:

I am simply showing the Parliamentary Secretary how the cost of Government can be reduced.

Since then the cost of Government has risen by a little over £22½ million. The rates about which Deputy O'Malley was then complaining have increased over the few years since he made that speech by more than £3½ million and Deputy O'Malley's great solution has been thrown out of the window. There was no amalgamation of the Department of Justice and the Department of Defence in order to save one Ministry. Instead, we have the Department of Defence, we have the Department of Justice and we have added a Parliamentary Secretary to the Department of Justice and, not to be outdone, we have created a new Ministry of Transport and Power. So that since the time that Deputy O'Malley was speaking we have a new Ministry, a new Parliamentary Secretary, an increase in Government expenditure and an increase in rates.

It is interesting that Deputy O'Malley made that speech in the year 1956. He was one of "the boys" then. He was only giving out the Fianna Fáil propaganda. Fianna Fáil were over here and they wanted to be over there and they were setting their sails accordingly. It was during the same year, on 8th May, 1956, that the present Taoiseach gave us the Fianna Fáil view, the Fianna Fáil view when in Opposition, in any event, on the question of taxation. He spoke in this House on 8th May, 1956, reported at column 49 of the Dáil Debates for that day, when he had this to say:

In 1953 the Fianna Fáil Government of which I was a member took a decision that taxation in this country had reached the danger limit. We announced that we had made up our minds on that fact and that so far as we were concerned there would be no increase in tax rates above the 1953 level.

This, remember, was Deputy Seán Lemass, the present Taoiseach, speaking in 1956:

We made it clear that if any Budget difficulty arose that difficulty would be met by a reduction of expenditure and not by increasing the burdens on the taxpayer.

A reduction in expenditure was the flag that was nailed to the mast-head by the present Taoiseach when he was in these benches in the year 1956. Was it any wonder that poor Deputy O'Malley would in the same year, practically in the same month, make the kind of speech which he did make and which I have quoted? But, instead of getting the reduction in expenditure which any of us was entitled to believe from the Taoiseach's speech at that time that Fianna Fáil were committed to, we have an increase of more than £22½ million in the Book of Estimates and we have local taxation increased by over £3½ million since Fianna Fáil got back to office.

As Deputy Sweetman very properly pointed out, it does not end there because there will be Supplementary Estimates added on to this before we get the total bill and we have the present Government adopting the system of hidden taxation not directly imposed by the Budget when they allow bus fares, postage stamps and telephone calls to go up and various increases of that sort and there is the extremely heavy additional burden, if I understood Deputy Sweetman correctly—he had made a calculation; I did not—of the increase in insurance stamps on the employer and employees since this Government took office. I think I am correct in saying that Deputy Sweetman calculated that out at something like £2 million extra on the employers and £2 million extra on the employees.

Therefore, the position is that since 1956 Fianna Fáil saved £9 million at the expense particularly of the weaker sections of the people; that although that sum of £9 million has gone out of the Book of Estimates, the total of the Book of Estimates has increased by nearly £23 million. If that £9 million were still there and still being borne by the Government the increase in expenditure would be practically £32 million on the Book of Estimates alone, £3½ million on local taxation and about £4 million on insurance stamps, leaving aside completely the other increases such as charges under the Health Act, electricity, bus fares, and so on.

That is the Fianna Fáil record, the record of the present Government, as far as the cost of living and the cost of Government are concerned. That was one of the main points they put in issue in the last general election in order to get into those benches.

The second main point of attack on the then Government was in relation to the question of unemployment. I do not suppose that there is any Deputy who has not heard Fianna Fáil Deputies from the former Taoiseach down referring to the year 1956 as the black year as far as employment in this country was concerned. In that context there was the Lemass plan or Lemass proposal for 100,000 new jobs if Fianna Fáil were elected to office. I do not care whether they claim it as a plan or a proposal, those figures were bandied around. We were told that 1956 was the black year for employment in this country and that there were proposals in existence in the Fianna Fáil Party for 100,000 new jobs if the people elected Fianna Fáil as the Government.

When one thinks of those statements, when one thinks of that propaganda and the propaganda employed in the posters, "Wives Get Your Husbands Back To Work,""Beat the Crisis,""Let Us Get Cracking" and all the rest of it, which were festooned on all the dead walls in this city and throughout the country during the general election, would not any Fianna Fáil supporter, would not any Fianna Fáil backbencher be entitled to be a little bit disappointed if he discovered this evening that there had been, we will say, only 10,000 new jobs since Fianna Fáil got back to office, that they had made new jobs only at the rate of two and a half thousand a year? Would they not be entitled to be disappointed and to turn on the Government and to tell them that they were falling down on the job and that it was time to get cracking? Instead of having 10,000, 5,000 or 1,000 new jobs as between the year 1956 and the years 1959 or 1960, there are now 51,000 fewer people in employment in this country than there were in the black year of 1956. Fianna Fáil, having been in office for four years, have now to add to their proud record the fact that 51,000 people who were in employment in 1956 are now out of employment in this country.

They can fiddle as they like and make whatever speeches they like about a reduction in the live register and about fewer people drawing unemployment assistance. They are not in the country to draw it. Is there any Fianna Fáil Deputy who will challenge that? We find it difficult enough in the House to get figures from the Government with regard to emigration, but apparently it is not so difficult for members of the British House of Commons to get information. When the matter was raised there the figures were published for the years 1958 and 1959 and the figures showed that for those two years alone almost 123,000 people had left this country and secured work in England. The figures showed that these people had left southern Ireland alone. Those figures did not include the north and it did not include those who have gone to New Zealand, America, Australia or Canada. They show that 123,000 people left these Twenty-Six Counties in two years to get employment in England. Is it any wonder that they are not here now to draw unemployment relief and that Fianna Fáil are in the position that they can boast that fewer people are drawing unemployment relief than when they came into office?

The facts are that there are 51,000 fewer people in employment in this country and that practically a quarter of a million people have emigrated in the last four years. That is Fianna Fáil's record as far as employment is concerned and again I would advise Deputies opposite to get down to the job and see what answers they can think up to those questions because they are going to be asked about these matters when the next general election comes along. Those were the three main points that Fianna Fáil put in issue in the last general election. On the question of the cost of living they have fallen down completely. On the question of employment there are 51,000 fewer people in work than when they came into office and on the question of emigration practically a quarter of a million have gone to England in the last four years.

In the face of that, we have to listen to speeches such as that made by Deputy Booth who said, in effect, that emigration, like the poor, is always with us, that it is traditional. It is interesting to hear that kind of speech from an intelligent Fianna Fáil back-bencher in 1961 because it is a complete repudiation of the type of speech which we were hearing from the Fianna Fáil Ministerial benches immediately after Fianna Fáil were elected to office. On 15th May, 1957, when dealing with the general Budget resolutions just after Fianna Fáil had come into office, the present Minister for Defence gave us his views as to what Fianna Fáil were elected to do and why the people elected them. As reported in Column 1283 and in Column 1284 of the Dáil Debates of 15th May, 1957, Deputy Boland had this to say:

In my opinion, and in the opinion of any fair-minded person who even now goes back and looks over the speeches made in the election campaign, it is beyond all doubt that we were put in here as a Government to take the necessary steps to remedy the situation of mass unemployment and emigration brought about by the previous Government.

According to the Minister for Defence he and his colleagues, Deputy Noel Lemass and the others, were put in as a Government to take the necessary steps to remedy the situation of mass unemployment and emigration. What action have they taken in the last four years to do that? What steps have they taken? Would it not be better if they had taken no steps at all? Whatever steps they took resulted in 51,000 fewer people being now employed in this country and in a quarter of a million people fleeing the country and emigrating to England alone. Is there any Fianna Fáil Minister or Deputy who will have the courage to tell us what steps they have taken and why those steps will not work?

That, according to the Minister for Defence, is what they were put into those benches to do—to end unemployment, to stop emigration. The Minister for Defence was just a novice at the time. He was never in the Dáil before. It is no wonder that if the ordinary people of the country felt there was some substance in the talk of 100,000 new jobs that a new and enthusiastic Fianna Fáil Deputy and Minister should also think that there was some reality about it. Perhaps when he took up office he thought that, somewhere out of the hat, the then Tánaiste, now the Taoiseach, Deputy Seán Lemass, was going to be able to pull 100,000 new jobs.

Deputy Booth tells us to-day that emigration is traditional in this country and that there is nothing very much we can do about it. The present Minister for Defence had not very much sympathy with that point of view in May, 1957. As reported at Column 1288 of the Dáil Reports of the 15th May, 1957, he said:

"It is all right for Deputy Norton to speak, as he did when he was Minister for Industry and Commerce, of the advantage of having the safety valve of emigration. It is all right for him to ask, as he asked a deputation of representatives of trade unions here in Dublin, why should they worry about unemployment in the categories they catered for, when the people were leaving the country and not remaining as a liability to them. The wives whose husbands have had to emigrate, the children whose fathers have had to emigrate, cannot regard emigration in that complacent light, as a safety valve. To them, it is a real tragedy."

I hope Deputy Booth will wander into the office of the Minister for Defence with the Dáil debates of the 15th May in his hand and ask him is there to be any change of policy now; what kind of speeches are they to make in the future, as he has put his foot in it by coming in here and finding that the Minister for Defence has told them that that was all tosh and nonsense a few years ago.

There are a number of other matters which might be referred to in the course of this discussion. I will not detain the House much longer. I was very disappointed to learn from Deputy Sweetman's contribution to this discussion—again the information was not vouchsafed by the Government and it is not surprising—that instead of reducing the number of civil servants as we had been led to expect when this Government took office, over the past four years the numbers have increased by some 500, apart altogether from the civil servants who have been seconded to other positions.

Therefore we find that the sum total of the Fianna Fáil record for the past four years is that they have increased the cost of living; they have reduced the number of people employed; they have increased the outflow of people by means of emigration; they have increased the number of Ministers and increased the number of Parliamentary Secretaries; they have increased the number of civil servants.

When the Deputy says the Government increased the number of Parliamentary Secretaries, is that compared with the Coalition Government? That statement is on a par with the Deputy's whole speech.

That is a very lucid remark for a Parliamentary Secretary to make. If I am wrong and if that is the measure of the Parliamentary Secretary's contribution, I am not surprised that they did not increase the number of Parliamentary Secretaries.

You had a Parliamentary Secretary in almost every Department.

The Deputy is trying to steal his brief from Deputy Ryan. He is short of stuff himself.

The Deputy said we increased the number of Parliamentary Secretaries. Does he really mean we increased them over the number the Opposition had when they were here.

If the Parliamentary Secretary had been following what I was saying he would know I was referring to the fact that, notwithstanding that when he was on these benches they wanted to abolish the Minister for Justice and have the Minister for Justice and the Minister for Defence in one Department, you have kept two Ministers——

That is not what the Deputy said.

You kept two Ministers and there is an additional Parliamentary Secretary in the Department of Justice. Is the Deputy challenging that?

I will give the quotation again.

I am challenging your statement. When you said we increased the number of Parliamentary Secretaries I asked was that over and above what you had. You had a Parliamentary Secretary in Industry and Commerce; you had one in Local Government. You had them everywhere and you increased the number of Ministers although the cost of living during your time went up much more.

Is the Parliamentary Secretary criticising the creation of a Minister for the Gaeltacht?

The Deputy should not misinterpret me. I am making a plain statement of fact.

I said when Fianna Fáil were in opposition they advocated abolishing the post of Minister of Justice, that the one man should be Minister for Defence and Minister for Justice. The Parliamentary Secretary told me he was challenging me on that. At column 536, volume 155, of the Dáil Debates of the 14th March, 1956, Deputy O'Malley had this to say:

The local authorities—the people— cannot pay any more in rates. The only solution of a constructive nature, as far as I can see, is that the Government should give the example. How could the Government do that? In my humble opinion the Government should give the example at the top. Take one example —the Department of Justice. Does everybody not know that the Department of Justice, instead of costing the taxpayers some £100,000, could be equally competently carried on by the Minister for Defence? Everyone knows the Minister for Defence could be Minister for Justice as well and carry on both Departments.

That was the Fianna Fáil point of view as expressed from these benches on the 14th March, 1956. My complaint is that they increased the number of Ministers, that instead of amalgamating two as they indicated from that speech they were advocating should be done, they added a Parliamentary Secretary to one of the Departments. As Deputy Denis O'Sullivan pointed out, when, in the interests of the revival of the Irish language, to cater for the Gaeltacht areas and the neediest section of the people in those areas, the inter-Party Government created first a Parliamentary Secretary and then exalted the office to the rank of Minister for the Gaeltacht, we were opposed tooth and nail by the Fianna Fáil Party from these benches. If they were so keen on abolishing Ministers as Deputy O'Malley indicated could they not have abolished the one to which they were opposed? They did not do it. They kept it and created another Minister instead of another Parliamentary Secretary.

We still have one less than you had. You had five Parliamentary Secretaries. That does not matter but it will do for your speech. It is as good as the rest of it.

I do not think anyone would seriously grudge it to the Government if they felt that by creating an additional Parliamentary Secretary they were going to make some contribution to the 100,000 jobs they said they would create. If they felt they could approach it in that way well and good.

The Deputy has a difficult job. I will make that allowance for him.

Will the Parliamentary Secretary allow the Deputy to make his speech?

I shall keep quiet now. That is the first time I spoke.

I would advise the Parliamentary Secretary if he feels he has a case—and for the life of me I cannot see it—to get together with the boys behind him because they are the people who have to answer the questions put to them at a general election, questions which will require an answer.

You will get the answer you got from them before.

I think Fianna Fáil will get the answer they got in Sligo-Leitrim only a few days ago.

Notice taken that 20 Members were not present; House counted and 20 Members being present,

As it is so obvious that the Government Party are so reluctant to support the Vote introduced by the Minister for Finance today, it is now incumbent on the Opposition to provide speakers to support the debate seeing that the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister who was so anxious to intervene while Deputy O'Higgins was speaking, now finds he has no answer to the points made by that Deputy. It is quite understandable. One must only commiserate with the Government supporters that their obvious embarrassment and reluctance to participate is due to the fact that they are presented with such a large sum on the face of the Book of Estimates for this year. It is understandable because the figures for increases since they assumed office surpass the entire sum involved in running this country when they first assumed office in 1932. At that time the figure on the Book of Estimates was £22,000,000. The amount of the increases since they assumed office on the last occasion surpasses the figure in the Book of Estimates on that occasion and they came into office at that time on the assurance that they could reduce that sum by £2,000,000 to £20,000,000.

Today, the Minister actually invited the House to compare like with unlike, to compare the figure for the Book of Estimates for last year plus Supplementary Estimates introduced this week and recently with figures in the Book now before us. I can recall 12 months ago when the Minister was confident that the figure he was comparing with his Estimates for the year before would exclude any possibility of Supplementary Estimates in the year now ending. But those of us who had slips of Supplementary Estimates circulated to us recently were only too keenly aware that there were dramatic Supplementary Estimates in addition to the Book presented 12 months ago.

Can the Minister with confidence, with honesty, now face the House and ask us to believe that the figure on the Book of Estimates for the coming year, 1961-62, will not be increased by any Supplementary Estimate in the year to come? If we are to accept his statement 12 months ago and accept the outcome of his administration for the 12 months under review, we can only expect that within the ensuing 12 months—that is, of course, if he is there at the end of it—we shall have at least the same figure to meet by way of Supplementary Estimates as we have met in the past few weeks. Consequently, his invitation to compare like with unlike is not acceptable to us and consequently we assert that these figures represent a profound shock to the people of the country because the actual position is that less people are being asked to provide more. To provide more from what? That is the situation we must face.

We find that these Estimates, serious as they are, do not in any way represent the real position because we can recall that when it was decided to introduce food subsidies special taxes were imposed to meet that charge on the Exchequer and when this Government decided to reduce food subsidies, when they were formerly in office, it was intimated that that move would be accompanied by a corresponding reduction in taxation. That did not happen because the Government at that time got a lesson which, seemingly, they did not absorb and because of the partial abolition of food subsidies they had to meet round after round of wage increases to compensate for the food subsidies. Despite that lesson we find that on assumption of office on the next occasion not alone did they fail to keep any control over expenditure which they assured the country represented rakes' progress on the part of their predecessor but every year of the past four years we have been presented with increased demands in public expenditure.

Notwithstanding that we have had almost every month something of supplementary budgets. There were increased electricity charges, increased transport charges; rail and bus fares were increased; the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs made his contribution in increased stamp charges. The Minister for Health made a formidable contribution in increasing charges for the maintenance of patients in hospitals from 6/- to 10/- per day. Each Minister in turn contributed in the course of the year by a number of small budgets each of which had its impact in adding to the cost of living, to the cost incurred by every individual no matter what his avocation. This is something that the people are realising more as time goes on.

As the House will recall, when the Minister introduced his Budget eliminating all the food subsidies he said that it was his intention to ensure that the removal of these subsidies would not be accompanied by the increases in salaries and wages which were warranted by the consequent increase in the cost of living. He actually threatened Deputies that he would trot them into the Lobbies to obviate such an occurrence arising from his decision to abolish the policy of food subsidisation. The former Government were as conscious of the charge on the Exchequer for food subsidies as the present Government are but they did realise that the impact of a sudden withdrawal of subsidies must result in rounds of wage increases which we now see have occurred.

Not alone is that represented in the Book of Estimates, but it is reflected also in the private sector of the economy. Even before the State very correctly gave increases to civil servants, every individual employer provided increases in wages and salaries for his employees. Employers were able to recoup those extra costs from the remainder of the people. This added again to the costs of those not in a position to meet them. If one takes the self-employed people in this country, the people in the middle income group depending on small capital investments, those who live on small enterprises like shopkeepers, those who live on small farms, we will find that they have not got any increase in their incomes but they have got to meet increases in the cost of living in consequence of actions over which they had no control, in consequence of deliberate action by this Government.

But it does not stop there. It also occurs in relation to the cost of running institutions throughout the State, whether they be charitable institutions which derive their income from the Hospitals Trust or institutions operated by the local authorities. We all know that increases in the cost of running those mean further increased impacts on the local rates. Every member of a local authority could see the justice of providing increased salaries and wages for employees to meet the cost of living.

Today, not alone are people required to meet by taxation the many increases in the cost of running every Department of State for current expenditure, but they have also got to meet the costs of maintaining their own households. They have also to meet the increased imposition of a very drastic rise in rates. The present Minister for Finance was in charge of the Department of Health when the Health Act was introduced. He said then that the cost of that Act would approximate to 2/- in the £ on local rates. This year alone in County Cork the increase to the rates under that Act is approximately the same amount as the Minister forecast would be the entire cost.

It does not stop there. That is not the only cost that the Government have passed on to the local rates. All these costs, added to the ratepayers' already high burden, caused the cost of living to mount upwards. It all began when the Minister withdrew the food subsidies. In retrospect, we can now put on record that the promise that the withdrawal of the food subsisidies would result in a reduction in expenditure was all wrong. Now we have this extraordinary figure in this Vote for the Government's proposals during the coming year.

Every time the wage earner hands to the woman of the house the where withal to buy the household necessities, she faces her own private domestic supplementary budget. Not alone does she worry about increasing costs of essential foodstuffs, of higher rates, but she also has to worry in relation to increasing bus fares, something which hits the working classes particularly hard. In addition to this, the Government have added to the cost of the transport of necessary goods by increasing the petrol tax. In many other fields we have this transferring of expenditure from the Central Fund to the local authorities. We see this, in particular, in the transfer to the rates of formidable expenditure which heretofore had been the responsibility of the Government. All this adds to the difficulties for the people of the country.

In face of all these difficulties and increases what have we on record to show for it? We have 200,000 people emigrating since the Government took office, 51,000 registered as unemployed. These figures are provided by the Taoiseach's Department. One would think that in consequence one would see a dramatic increase in employment and a curtailment in emigration such as that promised by the Government. If that were so, the argument could be advanced—and no doubt the Deputies on the other side would advance it—that the money was well spent. But there are no results to show for this vast increase in expenditure.

On the other hand, is it not true that we are now asking fewer people to contribute more money? At the time in which this Government assumed office there were many more wage earners in this country capable of contributing to the national pool. Is it not a fact that there are fewer people in the country now contributing to this vast sum? Is not all this in complete contradiction of the Government's claim before assuming office that the expenditure then was nothing short of a rake's progress? We had the Fianna Fáil Party leaders then talking about paying our way as we went along. Now the Minister is resorting to the policy of paying in the future what we are spending today.

Today the young people employed are faced weekly with an additional charge—the contribution to insurance. Both employer and employee will for decades be saddled with the necessity of paying for today's expenditure— for some of the provisions on the present Estimate for Social Welfare, that which reduces the amount that is to be allocated in the coming year for non-contributory old age pensions. All these ruses do relieve the Government of some of their commitments. It makes us pay tomorrow for what we spend today. What a bad example for a Government to set to the nation.

Deputy Michael O'Higgins adverted to something about which I intended to speak and I suggest it would bear repetition. It is the fact that when the Party now in office sat on these benches one of the criticisms they had to offer of the then Government was that there were too many Ministries. At that time the Government decided to set up the Department for the Gaeltacht because they realised that a Gaeltacht Department, unless it had an individual Minister who could come into the House and ask for the moneys necessary for the Department, would be stultified in its work. Consequently, the decision was taken by the Government then that, unless the entire scheme for the benefit of the Gaeltacht area was to be abandoned, it was necessary to create the Ministry for the Gaeltacht so that the Minister could stand on his own feet and so that the House could vote the moneys necessary for that Department and bring about the assistance so urgently necessary for the Gaeltacht areas.

But when that decision came before this House there was extremely vehement opposition by the Party now in Government to the creation of an additional Ministry. On assuming office, Fianna Fáil did not drop that Ministry. They did not revert to the original arrangement having seen how vital it was that the Ministry should be maintained. Their action in doing that was completely contrary to the criticisms offered by them when they were in Opposition. Now we can make an analogy. What would anybody outside the House expect from the criticisms that that Party voiced about the setting up of an additional Ministry? Anybody would think that when they assumed office that Party would try to carry on the Government efficiently with fewer Ministries than existed.

Instead, we had the extraordinary occurrence of the creation of a new Ministry—that of Transport and Power. The only function the country can see the Minister for Transport and Power performing is to ensure there is less transport and less power. There can be no one more annoying or no one who causes more embarrassment to his own Party than the Minister for Transport and Power every time he opens his mouth in an after-dinner speech. The fluency with which he makes his utterances clearly indicates——

Surely this is a matter for the particular Minister's Estimate rather than the Vote on Account?

I completely agree but the creation of an additional Ministry remains to be proven as an added benefit to the country at large and there is a provision in this Vote for a considerable sum for the upkeep of this Department. As far as the people are concerned they want to know just where the Minister's duties begin and where they end. In some parts of the country there is nothing but the greatest criticism for the ignorance he displays in relation to that Department. Here, Sir, for example you have the Government adopting something which we allege is completely contrary to their assertions when they represented the Opposition in this House.

At a later stage, since this Government assumed office we had the creation of a new post in the Government —that of Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Justice. It was alleged down through the years and advanced quite forcibly by Deputy O'Malley not long before the Government assumed office, that there was no necessity for a Minister for Justice, let alone a Parliamentary Secretary; that one Minister could perform the duties of the Minister for Defence and the Minister for Justice. We know if a Minister were ill or were not available for any reason down through the years it was to the Minister for Justice one looked to provide the service for that Ministry—that he was the least encumbered by heavy responsibility. Definitely compared with the Minister for Industry and Commerce, the Minister for Social Welfare or other Ministers, the Minister for Justice was always regarded as the Minister who could step into the breach without hampering the efficiency of his own Department, to handle the affairs of another Ministry for a week or a month. Now we find there is an appointment of a Parliamentary Secretary and it remains for the Government to prove the necessity for the creation of that office. It must be reflected in this Vote on Account—the increased cost of running the country. It is a poor example to give to the other Departments of State or to give local authorities for the proper administration of the spheres in which they are responsible.

These are matters which have set a very poor headline and have occasioned considerable criticism. We regret that that position has persisted because it was so firmly advanced by the Party in office that, given an opportunity, they could more effectively and more economically run this country. That was the intention that was expressed so strongly and which was accepted more fully than any of the promises which the Party now in office made.

One recalls clearly the popular reaction to the statement by the Minister for Finance when he indicated that— it was one of his first statements as Minister for Finance—he was carrying out in the Civil Service a particular survey which he claimed could only result in greater economy in the operation of the Civil Service; that he was inviting the very best advice and that it was the intention of the Government to weed out any surplus personnel in the Civil Service and that in consequence of the examination there would result a more efficient administration with fewer personnel. But now we find that we have, as we were informed by Parliamentary Question yesterday, 400 more civil servants than there were 12 months ago. This is again a complete contradiction of the promises that were made and, I can say, which were believed. There was a popular Press reaction; there was a popular reaction by the people throughout the country to the Minister's claim that it was his intention to bring about this result. Certainly the figures now revealed of the increases in the numbers of the civil servants occasion disquiet for the reasons I have given. We now ask the Government how the people are to meet the bill now presented.

It may be alleged, and alleged with truth, that there are some people in this country who are very well off, some people who are better off than they were four years ago but we contend that the vast majority of the people are very much worse off than they were four years ago. They are in a worse position to meet the demand the Government are making. Some of us who represent rural areas in Munster knew only from hearsay of the conditions existing in the West of Ireland until we had the opportunity of going into that area. As was stated by Deputy Sweetman, the Deputies from both sides who went into Sligo and, particularly, Leitrim were aghast at the conditions existing there. They came out of it considerably perturbed and very distressed at the circumstances in which they found those who were living there. We had heard of the padlocked doors and the shuttered windows, but it was only when we went there and saw them that the conditions were really brought home to us.

We are entitled to ask the Government what provision there is in this Book of Estimates to resolve the difficulties of those people. Notwithstanding the formidable fact that this Book of Estimates has increased by £17,500,000 over some years ago, there is not £1 in it for the Local Authorities (Works) Act. The expenditure of that money in those areas and in many other areas throughout the country would go some distance towards resolving the difficulties of the people living in those remote parts. The Minister's Ard Fheis has provided him with a unanimous decision that it would be well to reimplement this Act. Whenever it comes up for discussion in local authorities the most forceful speakers in favour of its reimplementation are the councillors who belong to the Minister's own Party. Notwithstanding that, and the constant pressure from across the floor, there is yet no provision for the reintroduction of that scheme. That scheme would provide immediate employment and would relieve some of the problems of the smallholders in those remote areas. It would result in an easing on the Vote for Social Welfare in respect of home assistance. We cannot understand why a scheme such as that, with its end product of increased production, could not be reimplemented. If there was general economy in all Departments, general whittling down, there might be some case to be made for the continuation of the policy of the Government in failing to reimplement the scheme. But in face of the additional expenditure we are presented with in every Department of State, it is hard to understand why such a logical scheme as that could not be reimplemented. I would appeal to the Minister to make provision in his Budget for the reimplementation of that scheme.

It is really a matter for the Estimate, Deputy.

The Estimate will be a post mortem on the Budget. I would suggest that this is an occasion we might avail of to make that appeal to the Minister.

I want to bring home to the Minister that the impact of this additional taxation, both at national and local level, on the agricultural community presents a very serious problem. We find that the farmers' income has been reduced by some £17 million over four years. That is a serious drop in income. Anybody listening last night to the meanderings of the Minister for Agriculture replying on the Supplementary Estimate could not find a ray of hope for the agricultural community. He talked of people who were advancing in years, who had not married and who were not keeping up with modern developments. He represented to us that the greater part of the land here was held by such people, people who were not in a position to modernise their holdings or avail of the various facilities and services now available. However, we know that, happily, there has taken place in that industry a considerable awakening to the potentialities of agriculture. We have all these organisations established which are applying themselves in such a concentrated way towards the advancement of the vocation of agriculture. I would ask the Minister for Finance how those engaged in agriculture, with their reduced earnings, will be able to meet the increased charges, both in taxation and rates, which they will be called upon to bear in the coming 12 months.

I agree with Deputy Corish's remarks in relation to the small farmer. I do not believe that we can accept with complacency that, because there is a flight from the land in other countries, it is inevitable here and that we can do nothing about it. Is it not true that in those other countries it is a movement from one part of the country to another industrial part—quite a different thing? It is not a movement out of the country itself. For too long we have experienced the emigration of the young boy and girl from rural Ireland; but now we have this new development of the locked door, the shuttered window, the deserted home, where entire families are fleeing from the countryside.

Where are we going to provide the benefits for those engaged in agriculture? Where are we going to provide the home markets for the goods we produce in our factories or retail over the counters of our shops if a situation exists in which the population of the rural areas is diminishing to the extent we know it is? When we consider this aspect, it comes as a serious blow that the Government cannot see their way to redeem the promises they made to those people by giving a lead to the country and reducing the level of expenditure and by providing a policy that would give to those people the additional opportunities for employment which they so confidently promised not so long ago.

The fact that we have reduced unemployment figures may be attributed to one reason alone—that the people have fled the country to secure employment abroad. That is very distressing. That fact is merely emphasised whenever a Government speaker seeks solace from the reduced numbers of unemployed. It merely endorses the fact of increased emigration for anybody to say there are fewer registered unemployed now than there were four or five years ago. We have it on record that some 51,000 fewer are in employment now than there were at that time. The most distressing feature of the sum the country is now being called upon to pay is the fact that there are now fewer wage earners to meet the vastly increased demand the Government are making.

Some time ago the Government assured the House that they were asking for a particular sum in the Budget to be spent on the improved marketing of agricultural produce. But it was some years before there was the slightest evidence that any of this money was being employed for the purpose for which it was advanced. Too much time has elapsed and too many people have fled the country since the Minister confidently announced it was the intention of the Government to implement that by the expenditure of the moneys voted on marketing efforts that would secure greater sale for our agricultural and industrial produce. What happened in the meantime that instead of applying our energies and our efforts towards securing markets, the Government initiated a fruitless campaign to change the electoral system which wasted the time of this House and of the country? During that interim when we were engaged in that fruitless exercise, we were having our eye wiped by our competitors who slipped in behind our backs and pinched from us some of the markets that we then enjoyed.

That was gross neglect on the part of the Government then. The Minister could have on record today far greater agricultural exports if the attention had then been given which should have been given to securing markets. The people had responded well to the appeals made to them to increase production, to work harder, to apply themselves towards the increased production which, quite correctly, was indicated as the solution to all our problems. Having responded to that appeal, they were dismayed at the fact that when they achieved the desired object, in many instances they suffered a reduction in the prices which they were assured they would obtain because, as was alleged, they over-produced.

Other efforts to relieve the Exchequer were adopted by the device of levies on production. This, to my mind, was a very dangerous innovation. The placing of a levy on production was bound to revive the ideas that people had held for too long, that it would be better for them if production did not increase, if they carried on their old system of limited production, which would guarantee higher unit prices for what they produced. It is for that reason that it was very false economy to have passed from the Exchequer the cost of subsidising for export many agricultural goods the cost of which had been borne by the Exchequer. We cannot see any evidence of any reduction in national expenditure in consequence of the basic producers having to carry a proportion of the charge of subsidisation for export.

Is it not amazing that notwithstanding the transference of so many charges from the central Exchequer to local authorities we should today have to find the extraordinary figure which is now presented in this Book of Estimates? The fact that notwithstanding the contribution which the people are daily making in the additional cost of the necessities of life, in additional taxation on simple luxuries, in additional rates, additional transport charges both rail and road, additional charges for electric current, additional charges for postage rates, the little supplementary budgets with which they are presented every now and again throughout the year by the Minister successfully passing back to other shoulders responsibilities formerly borne by his Office, we should have this record sum on the Book of Estimates must cause frustration.

Of course, it does not end this month or this quarter. Will the action of the Minister for Transport and Power in closing branch lines and main lines, the transference of certain charges incurred by semi-State bodies such as C.I.E. on to the backs of the already overburdened ratepayers, mean that in the year to come we can look forward to any reduction in the Book of Estimates?

Is it not extraordinary that despite that device we still have this inflated figure presented to us? Notwithstanding the fact that the people are called upon day in and day out, week in and week out to meet all these additional charges, the Government have not succeeded in reducing expenditure. Notwithstanding the fact that they should have been guided by the abiding principle that there were fewer people to meet the bill, we are now presented with this record sum which entirely contradicts all the assurances given when it was suggested that the conduct of affairs by the previous Government could be described in no other way than as a rake's progress.

Where in literature can you find words to describe the present figures when the figures of almost £20,000,000 less were described as a rake's progress? What expression can one employ to describe the figures which the Minister has presented so quietly, so calmly and with such diffidence this afternoon? Does he or do the Government realise how difficult it will be for the people left in the country to meet the bill presented and to understand that it takes more State servants to administer the services for fewer people? What explanation can we offer to them? We can only say that it will not be many months before the people realise the impact upon them. Where they have been tested, in Leinster, in Carlow, Kilkenny and in the west of Ireland, in Sligo-Leitrim, they appeared to be quite aware of the consequences of the election of this Government and were adamant in their intention to supplant the Government by a Party that would not behave as this Government have so frequently behaved in the past four years in going back on the promises they made to provide 100,000 jobs, to reduce emigration, to eliminate unemployment and to do it at less cost to the taxpayer and the ratepayer.

Personally, I have some compassion for Deputy O'Sullivan. We are so accustomed to the speech he has made that, as has been suggested many times, he might make a gramophone record of it——

It would be a bestseller.

——and replay it as time passes. In the beginning of his speech he asked us to remember that £22,000,000 was the cost of the first Budget introduced by Fianna Fáil in 1932. He seemed to think that Budgets should remain at that figure. To give Deputy O'Sullivan a slight idea of the change that has occurred, I would point out that if you added the cost to the Government of unemployment assistance and old age pensions it would be much more than that figure.

What kind of a foolish statement is it to say that we should stay the way we were in 1932? Does Deputy O'Sullivan think for a minute that the worker of today would be satisfied with the 30/- a week that the working man earned at that time? Today they are earning at least five times that amount. Has Deputy O'Sullivan any idea of how farmers and shopkeepers lived or of what the social services were like at that time? We had the old age pensions which were handed over to us by the British in 1922. That old age pension had just been increased from 9/- a week, to which it had been reduced a couple of years before, to 10/- a week. We had no unemployment assistance and only a very small number of houses had been built in our towns in the ten previous years. In the town in which I live I could count on the fingers of two hands the number of houses that had been built in that time.

A few were burned.

We can go back that far if you wish but I do not intend to do so.

We did not burn any of them.

Up to 1932 a very small number of houses had been built in the town and the rent charged for the houses built during the previous ten years was more than double that charged for those built after 1932. For the information of Deputy O'Sullivan, I would say that so far as I know not one solitary house was built in the rural areas during the previous ten years. If we must have housing people must pay for it, particularly if the Government is to provide a subsidy of two-thirds for certain houses.

It costs something extra to provide electricity in the rural areas and in the towns. We did provide that electricity and we are now providing piped water for the people of this country—two wonderful services that will be to the eternal credit of the Fianna Fáil Government. As far as health services are concerned, I might mention the hospitals of Ireland to which, at that time, no poor person would wish to go and to which no wealthy person would dream of going. Now the hospitals are such that no matter what section of the people a patient comes from, he will be quite happy to go into them. That is to the credit of this Government.

As far as social services are concerned, there were no family allowances in the old days and the money for those services which we provided has got to be found. There were so many of these services provided at the expense of public taxation that the Deputies opposite would be glad to forget about them. I would like to point out to Deputy O'Sullivan that the Government cannot provide these services without collecting the money from the people. We wish to give the people of this country all the social services we can; it has been pointed out that, as the resources of the country improve, the benefits arising from that improvement will be devoted to improving the condition of our people and particularly the conditions of the poorer sections of our people.

In recent times we have provided money to enable factories to be established along the western seaboard. Deputy O'Sullivan has referred to conditions in Leitrim. I have not been there recently and I do not know what the conditions are but, as far as the Government is concerned, we are providing the incentive to industrialists to open factories in these areas in order to provide employment. When talking of factories I would like to remind Deputy O'Sullivan that, speaking from personal knowledge of the town in which I live, I can say that if there were 12 men employed in that town when Fianna Fáil took office it was the limit. There was no factory there of any description with the exception of one small bacon factory. At the present time, due entirely to the work of the Fianna Fáil Government, there are at least 900 people in industrial employment in Clonmel. I challenge contradiction on that.

When we started to erect the first factory in Clonmel, the slogan from the Fine Gael people there was that I was going around with factories in my pocket. The Fine Gael candidate in the last general election made the statement that there was one factory in which child labour was employed and in which slave wages were paid. The workers in that factory were able to prove that the wages being paid there were higher than those paid in similar factories in England. That is a position about which we are very happy.

I know that the drift from the land to the town is due in a great measure to the fact that there are softer times for workers in the towns. I know of two brothers who were living in the country.

The Deputy is entitled to refer to industry but not in too much detail.

I shall leave it if you wish.

I think the Deputy is entitled to talk about it.

I was referring to the drift from the country into the towns. I know of two brothers one of whom worked on the roads. The other got a job in the factory. They were both within a year of each other in age but the man in the factory was able to earn twice as much as his brother working on the roads. It is quite natural that the fact that work in the factories brings in more money should attract the people from the country.

I do not want to speak about the increase in the Civil Service. I am not upset about the fact that there has been an increase. Naturally the Minister would be happier if there were far less increases but if there is need for them we must have them. It is also well to remind Deputy O'Sullivan that the cost of the Civil Service has increased enormously since 1932 and that it has further increased since 1960. If the cost of the service is increasing we must find the money to meet it. We cannot avoid that. I have always maintained that money on which there is a good return is money well spent. The people get services which they would not provide for themselves individually. If the State gives them this service, it is worth paying for.

As far as the Local Authorities (Works) Act is concerned we have heard so much about it for so long that there is very little left to say about it. However I would say that the money being spent at the present time is giving satisfactory results and I have no doubt it was a very wise thing to abandon a service which did not give a good return.

As far as a housing stoppage is concerned, that may be the case in East Cork or North Cork where Deputy O'Sullivan lives but it certainly is not the case in South Tipperary. In fact where there is a house vacant the difficulty is that there are so many people applying for that house not only in each town but in each rural area. Our trouble is to complete housing needs so that there will be a house for everybody. We do not think that situation has arrived yet but we are aiming at it and we hope we will have it very soon.

Of course the Deputy dragged in the herring of the closing of branch lines. In my county the Cashel-Goolds Cross line was closed and if anybody were to tell the people of South Tipperary that that branch line should be open they would laugh at him. I remember many years ago when the Clifden-Galway line was closed there was a terrific hub-bub in the House. I asked one of the Deputies from that part of the country whether the people would prefer to go back to the old railway they had at that time and he said that if you tried to change the system back to the railway there would almost be a revolution in Galway.

Sligo-Leitrim was also referred to —Sligo-Leitrim where the Fine Gael people just maintained the position which they had at the General Election and where Fianna Fáil maintained theirs also, each of them having a very slight increase. If that is a consolation to Fine Gael we will make them a present of it. Surely it is not something they must shout from the housetops every time one of their speakers has to open his mouth. Deputy Sweetman gave it to us to-day. One would think Sligo-Leitrim was such a revolutionary decision that the Government should simply pack in and leave the people to return to Fine Gael. One of these days the Deputies opposite will get sense.

When the Minister was introducing his Estimates to-day, in the opening part of his address he admitted the fact that there is an increased expenditure of £8 million over last year's Estimates. Then he rather naively went on to say that if we took into consideration the Supplementary Estimates that had been passed this year the increase was a very slight one, somewhere in the neighbourhood of £100,000.

I do not think that indicates very good finance. If the Minister happens to be in office next year, about which I personally have some doubt, I presume if this financial tradition is going to be carried on by the Fianna Fáil Party we will have a lot of supplementary estimates next year as well. He will probably come back to the House, having passed £14 million or £15 million in supplementary estimates and say that although there is an increase in expenditure over the year before it is entirely due to supplementary estimates. It makes one think whether there is any meaning in estimates at all. If the Minister is going to spend money—as we have done in relation to these supplementary estimates—before the new financial year starts, are we not going into the year ahead? Is it not an indication, first of all, of weak finance?

The average person in the State is interested in how much taxation will he have to pay. This Government has a very substantial majority. Ministers are going around the country indicating that things were never better, that the balance of payments is right, that factories are opening everywhere, that there is money in the country. According to a statement made by the Minister for Transport and Power in Wexford, we are riding on the crest of the wave. At the same time there is ever-increasing taxation. Deputy Loughman who has just spoken tried to argue about the time when wages were 30/- —and it is a long time since they were 30/- a week—and said that the increased expenditure we have nowadays is brought about by the fact that everything is going up in price, that the general standard of living is increasing, and so on. That may be the case but a Government, to satisfy the people and to do what they set out to do, must do three things: They must contain expenditure; they must eliminate waste: and they must get rid of surplus Government personnel. There is no indication in these Estimates before us that there is any attempt to do that. Since they have been in office the Government have come in looking for more money from the people. Of course Fianna Fáil—those who will deign to speak; we have heard only two of them so far—will point to the increasing advantages they are giving to the people. On this side of the House we would not have very much to say against that provided the other aspects which interest us all were attended to satisfactorily, that is, the rate of economic expansion, employment and the cessation of emigration. One could talk for hours on those subjects.

Let us take the picture as it is put to us by the Government. Practically every Minister who goes out to make a speech, whether it is at a Chamber of Commerce or even opening a hospital or a few houses, indicates that we are on the crest of the wave, that terrific industrial expansion is in progress. Deputy Loughman says there are 900 people employed in industry in Clonmel. I think that is where he comes from. How many people from Clonmel are to-day in England or Wales, Australia or Canada and who were in Clonmel when this Government came into power? That is more of a test of the policy than speeches. Every country is having an advance in industrial expansion; every agricultural country faces the same problems as we face. There is no use in denying that there is a revolutionary change everywhere as regards the distribution of employment. In Ireland which is fundamentally agricultural, although I regret to tell the Government that they have forgotten that that is so, it must necessarily mean a considerable change in employment types and conditions. With the advent of machinery and modern methods of production there must be, to some extent, a sort of flight from the land. That does not mean that other countries are facing the situation we are facing which is a catastrophic one; no matter what part of Ireland you go to in the 26 Counties you have the same flight from the land and out of the country. That is where the Government have failed completely and absolutely.

I have admitted that a certain migration is inevitable but we do not want an exodus from the land and that is what is happening in Ireland today. When people are trying to live on the land and find their overhead charges increasing, that they cannot get an adequate return for what they sell, and that they must pay more for what they buy the result is immediate economic instability. The Government's answer is industrialisation. That is essential. It is the method by which this problem is being tackled in other countries. But they use methods of industrialisation fundamental to their economy and suitable to their balance of payments problems. That does not seem to be the general policy of the Government which seems to be to start wherever they can but with a bias towards the western areas and the undeveloped areas and try to establish industries there.

We are voting in these Estimates huge sums of money to maintain, as they say, the people in the country and give employment. Fundamentally, the Government's policy is wrong. I say that in the teeth of what their experts, economic and otherwise, advise. If you establish industries in place of an existing basis and source of living such as agriculture, industries for which you must import raw materials, you are not on sound lines. If you endeavour to get people to set up industries in parts of the country where it is not economic for them to function while they could do so in other parts you are fundamentally wrong.

As far as the average Deputy is concerned his hands are completely tied in trying to assert his Parliamentary rights to change that situation. If I as a representative of Wexford consider it necessary to procure and set up an industry which I believe would be of benefit to the district and if I wish to get the benefits the Government offer for that industry I can be overruled by a board which is not under the control of Parliament but which is voted money in these Estimates. It can control and influence these matters and we, the Deputies sent here to represent our constituencies, have no say in the matter. The Minister who is listening knows quite well that if there is an industry in his part of the country and if there is one in mine—and I have had experience of this—and I go to the board concerned and seek the benefits available under legislation, I can lose that industry and I have no redress.

My complaint is that we are being hamstrung more and more every day and it is only on occasions such as this when we are discussing a Vote dealing with Government policy that we can come into the House and state our grievances. I should like the Minister to stand up when I have finished and say if I am wrong. I challenge him to do it. I have particular knowledge of my own county and even of neighbouring counties where industries that would have employed big numbers of people who have had to emigrate causing families to be separated, were precluded from setting up because this board assigned that industry to another part of the country. I should have thought that if we wished to maintain employment in Ireland and to retain people in their own land it would not matter where you set up the industry. You must be sure that you are starting on a new policy that will last. We have no guarantee that this increase in employment we are talking about will last. I know from going to Europe in the last five or six years that many firms, because of the economic expansion there is today, are getting big orders which they are unable to fulfil primarily because they have not sufficient manpower and secondly because they have not sufficient factory space in their own countries.

I know firms that have come here and the policy of the Government is to assist and encourage them, to build factories for them and give them machinery. If a firm has an order for £2 million worth of goods and if their own factory is able to produce £1¼ million worth it is worthwhile coming here and producing a certain amount of goods, but is that a stabilising policy of employment? When they produce that amount they are just as likely to pack up again particularly when they are dumped in some remote part of Ireland where the rail services are deficient if they have not been removed altogether.

It costs very much more in freightage to get things away from those places than from anywhere else. I would suggest to the Government that they should take another look at things. Unfortunately, from their point of view, they have not got much time in which to do it. They have had four years in which to establish in the Book of Estimates a policy—an enduring and lasting policy —that would employ our people.

That brings me to our farming industry. At the present moment there is a disastrous flight from the land of small farmers. No one can gainsay that. It is in the Minister's constituency as well as mine. In the West of Ireland there are whole areas with padlocks on the doors. These are areas where the people tilled the land so hard won in the fight against landlordism. It is sad to see people with such a heritage fleeing from the land on which they were born and reared.

That is due entirely to the policy of this Government. It would be unfair and destructive criticism if I were to say that of a Government that had come into office during the past twelve months. But this Government have had four years in office and during that time there has been a complete change in the set-up of the world. Countries have emerged as nations that did not exist before. They have appeared with a purchasing power, able and ready to absorb whatever we might manufacture or grow in agricultural produce.

It should have been evident to the Government that if they wanted to expand industrial production this expansion should have been based on agriculture. It should have been evident that the Government should have concentrated on the dressing and export of meat products. It should have been evident to the Government from the trouble they had in regard to surpluses of butter some years ago that they would run into the situation where they must stop the export of heavily subsidised butter. They could have changed the policy but did not do it. They did nothing. They came in here, year after year, with a Book of Estimates. They pursued a policy we adumbrated with regard to industry.

That is a good one.

Unfortunately there are people in Wexford who are not laughing. They have only got the emigrant ship from Rosslare harbour. Every other country went out and looked for these markets. We did nothing. In Africa, where our mission-arises were the first white men, there is a fund of goodwill towards us. But it was only the other day we did anything there. In the meantime, other countries had gone there and have secured the markets. Other agricultural countries have looked for and got markets while we did nothing.

In this Vote the Minister looks for over £7 million in Supplementary Estimates. He finds he has to provide another £250,000 for subsidies on butter. He says he has to do that because of the bad weather—because it rains so much. And also because of rain he had to provide a subsidy for wheat. That is the only excuse the Minister gives. He estimates nearly £8 million for additional expenditure, if it ends there. In the coming year there may be still more Supplementary Estimates if the Minister is still there. Of the £8 million extra, £250,000 is attributable to the weather. In one case, it rained too much and he got too great a production, and in the other case it did not rain enough and the production was too little.

That is the policy Fianna Fáil Government is offering to the country. I would not mind that if they acknowledged the fact, but all the talk is about luck and happiness and prosperity. This is being pumped into the Irish people. Nearly five years ago the Minister's Party got an overwhelming authority from the people on the basis of their policy. This is no joke for any Fianna Fáil Deputy to laugh at. The 100,000 jobs that were promised did not come. Unemployment came and emigration came with it. In my own small town in North Wexford there are hundreds of people who were working then who no longer have jobs. there. Many of them are working to-day in England, living apart from their wives because they have to. If that is the sort of Government we see here, the sooner we have it changed the better. I do not see any hope of a new policy. I do not see any hope of an easing of taxation. I do not see any attempt on the part of this Government to meet the exigencies they have got to face today. The best thing they can do is to get out as soon as they can.

Deputy Esmonde says that the Government have been here for four years. That is so, and to-day that Government can come in here, the Cabinet can meet once a week and they need not meet every second day to know where the devil they are going to find the money to hold them for another week. The Government have been here four years, but there are no people and no local authorities in this country wondering when they are going to get the grants due to them, to people who were depending on the grants to build houses and could not get them because the Government had no money.

The Government are here. It is a long time since we had a Government here for four years. The last Government had a pretty big majority and they cleared out in three years and three-quarters—why? Because their competence to run this country amounted to running it into such a bankrupt condition that they could not last another month and had to go. Let us get a clear picture. I often heard of an old lad out in the country whom his friends stuffed into a corner saying: "Stay there and we will give you the price of a couple of pints on a Sunday." That old fellow sat there until the end of his days and was well satisfied when he got the couple of pints on a Sunday, but those boys are not satisfied to stop in the corner. That is now their attitude.

Let us get a clear picture of what the conditions are to-day. Those people got their chance. They got their chance in 1948 and ran out in 1951 leaving over £6 million a year over 30 years afterwards. They got another chance; they came in here with a thundering majority, on the crest of the wave, and they were completely bankrupt in three years and a quarter. Not alone were they completely bankrupt but they nearly bankrupt every local authority in the country as well. You had the Cork County Council going down begging money from the Munster and Leinster Bank, as their bankers, to pay debts that were due by the State to the local authority and that Deputy Sweetman had not the money to pay. That was the condition of affairs when they left office. Let us get clear on that first. Then let us see what has been done.

Deputy Esmonde's opinion is that there should be no industries established in the west, that they should be put only in certain places and that those industries would not be any good anyway. And then he accused us of stealing their policies from them. Let us see what we stole from them. I would like first of all to deal with one thing. I heard a lot of talk about Sligo-Leitrim to-night. I was over in Sligo-Leitrim in about 1928 or 1929 with the late Eamon Donnelly, God rest his soul, at the time Deputy MacEoin was elected to this House, and I know the beating we got that time. I was down there at another election when Deputy Ben Maguire was elected and I know the hammering we got that time. I said it that time, and I say it to-day, that you can expect nothing from the part of the country that gave this House a gentleman called Jinks.

I know the conditions in my own constituency and I could drag that subject out along the years. There was no town in this country as hard hit by the change over from the British Army as the town of Cobh—I saw it year after year. What did it all amount to? An auction every three months of the scrap machinery in Haulbowline. The total amount of employment provided for the people of Cobh at that time amounted to shifting the old scrap and loading it for whoever bought it. It lasted a week and then they could live on their fat because they had no unemployed assistance at that time; they could live on their fat until the next Government came along.

We established a decent industry there in Irish Steel Holdings. We had it going pretty well in 1948 when the first inter-Party Government came in. Every proposal made for expanding that industry, from putting in the machinery there for what the industry was first planned to do, was immediately scrapped by the inter-Party Government. There were 83 fewer men working there when the inter-Party Government left office than when they came in. Fianna Fáil came back into office. The job was started again; £250,000 was voted in this House for the expansion of that industry. The £250,000 had disappeared into the maw of all the creditors to whom the Government of the day owned money, and none of it found its way to the industry that it was voted for.

We came back to office in 1957. Today there are 11,000 men going over to employment every day in Haulbowline. The contractors will not be finished there for another year and a half in the expansion that is going on there. I say Heaven help them if by any miracle that mixum-gatherum came back before the job is finished because remember the general manager had to leave it. Why? Because it is a State industry and the powers that be decreed that that general manager should not buy anything but scrap iron to run that industry.

That is not true.

It is absolutely true and I know what I am saying.

You might get up and tell the House to whom you gave the £250,000.

Deputy Lemass threw that up at me once before.

I want to hear that from the Deputy—I would love to hear it. That was No. 1 industry. There are 500 men employed today in Rushbrooke Dockyard. That is No. 2 and that industry is only in its infancy and will probably have up to 1,300 employed when it is fully going. Travel down through the town of Midleton. You will not find an unemployed man. Travel on down through the town of Youghal about which the former Deputy O'Gorman used to shed crocodile tears every time he stood up. To-day, thank God, there is not an unemployed man in Youghal.

"If we only had old Ireland over here."

It will be your turn in a minute. Take your time now.

Deputy Corry should be allowed to proceed without interruption.

He has not finished one constituency yet.

I thought when Deputies shouldered the responsibility of the office of Parliamentary Secretary they would learn to conduct themselves, but they did not.

That is the reason the Deputy was never made one.

My tongue is free enough. We heard Deputy O'Sullivan weeping and wailing about unemployment, but some three months ago he was with me in Mallow looking at a new factory being put up to process the produce of the extensive tillage programme we shall promote in the future for that area. This new factory is being erected by the Irish Sugar Company and, in addition to that, another new industry is being established in that town. When I think of that town to-day and compare it with the conditions existing there when we started back in 1927, I wonder at the things that have been achieved and all the men that have been employed.

There is no use in people coming in here with their tongues in their cheeks talking about the flight from the land, the closed doors in the West and all that. It is all tripe and no one believes it. Thank God, the day has arrived here when men need no longer slave and toil on the land for a miserable pittance. The wage paid in the best industry the farmer has, the beet industry, is £5 16s. a week. Go down to my constituency and offer £5 16s. a week to any of the workers there and they would laugh you out of the place. The average wage in Irish Steel is between £11 and £12 a week and the average wage in the dockyard is between £12 and £15 a week. How can you expect any young man to work for an old farmer for seven days of the week and get up to milk the cows on Sunday when he could lie in bed and get better pay? More power to them. Thank God the day has arrived when they can get employment in this country at a wage far higher than they would get if they went over to Britain.

I heard complaints here yesterday about Ministers and their officials. The agricultural community was deprived of a market in sugar products worth half a million pounds because of the ignorance of those who negotiated the trade agreement in 1956. We have the confession of the present Leader of the Opposition, Deputy Dillon, who stood up here and said he did not remember this coming up before any Executive meeting of the Government and, if it did, he did not take any notice of it. Through the ignorance of one Minister and the neglect of another Minister, the people of this country have to pay £530,000 in duty to the British Government on 33,000 tons of sugar products. And these people have the cheek and the neck to think they should be reelected to the Government. Those are the facts. If any Deputy doubts my statement, he can go back to the debates of last February when I raised this matter first. He can follow the debate on to May and in the agricultural debate in this House he can read Deputy Dillon's admission that the British Government were not entitled to this sum.

When we talk of production in this country I have no hesitation in quoting the three-year programme for beet: 68,000 acres in 1959-60, worth £5,110,000. That is the beet delivered this year. In 1960-61 an increase of 12,000 acres to 80,000 acres, worth the difference between £5,100,000 and £6,000,000 to our farmers. In 1961, 115,000 acres, worth £8½ million.

The receipt of that £8½ million is dependent on two actions. First, forcing the British Government to give complete recognition to Article 5 of the Trade Agreement and to withdraw the levy of £16 a ton we are paying Britain at present to allow our sugar in there. If Britain does not agree to that, it is about time our Government took definite steps. Second, the securing of a decent sugar quota from the United States of America, something in regard to which, I gather from a recent reply to a Question, the Government are actively engaged. That will give an increase of over £3½ million this year in beet alone.

When I hear complaints by Deputies in regard to agricultural production I consider that figure as one who was associated with the best step ever taken to secure co-operation between industry and those who produce the raw material, the Irish farmer. The beet is grown under contract, at a definite cost of production plus freight. It is the only agricultural product in respect of which the farmer is paid on that basis. We are entitled to the fullest market that can be obtained. The market is at our door.

When I see farmers begging for an extra acre of beet from the factory I remember that some of them are the very heroes who were shouting for the Leader of the Opposition in my constituency during the by-election at which Deputy Moher was elected. I asked them then did they know that that was the hero who had deprived them of the extra acre who, through his super intelligence had enabled the British to put a levy of £530,000 on our sugar just when it was an economic proposition for us to produce sugar for export.

What was the position with regard to housing when Deputy Sweetman and his Government left office the last time? Perhaps Deputy Sweetman would tell us how much he owned the Cork County Committee in grants. Perhaps he would tell us the reason for 18 letters which came down in relation to one housing scheme alone finding reasons why sanction could not be given to go ahead. Perhaps Deputy Sweetman would tell us that in his leisure moments. Perhaps he would also tell us why in respect of the housing scheme in Ballinacurra, Midleton, it was decided that it could not go ahead because there was no water supply although the water main was running down the road outside the ditch. Deputy Blaney struck the rock and water flowed and now there are 11 houses built where Deputy O'Donnell told us they could not be built because there was no water. That was the manner in which housing was dealt with under the inter-Party Government during their last year of office. When they had no money, of course, it is hard to blame them.

Complaints have been made about the Local Authorities (Works) Act. In my opinion no Act did more good for the agricultural community than the Local Authorities (Works) Act. I said that here on the night it was introduced. I repeat it now. From 1954 to 1957 Deputy Sweetman was Minister for Finance and there was no money given for works under the Local Authorities (Works) Act during those years.

That is not true.

Have a look at the book.

I know it.

The Deputy is living in a world of dreams or fancy.

They would be pleasant ones but not about the Deputy.

I have sympathy for the Deputy. I know that there was no money for works under the Local Authorities (Works) Act during those three years. As a matter of fact the scheme was abandoned by the Fianna Fáil Party when they came in in 1952. If there was no money, there would be no use in keeping it. These are the facts.

I do not claim that any Government is perfect. There are faults in every Government. Every Government makes mistakes. I do say that on the records as I know them since 1947 we have succeeded in the town of Cobh. The Cork County Council built 167 houses. The Urban Council built 52 houses. That is a considerable increase in housing in one town and that can be carried through each town in my constituency and you can even go into every village in my constituency. In Carrigtwohill 39 new houses were built where there had been nothing but wrecks and poverty while the people over there were in office. I have given the facts as I know them and challenge contradiction on any one of them. If anybody doubts my statement as to the employment position in the town of Youghal I am prepared to quote the statement made by the Chairman of the Youghal Urban Council, Mr. O'Gorman, and to compare that with the condition of affairs when he was a Deputy during the time of the inter-Party Government.

I realise that costs have gone up. Nobody knows it better than we do. If old age pensions and other social services are increased money must be found for them and there is only one place where it can be found, the Department of Finance. Deputy O'Sullivan, who has so much knowledge about the health services, should tell the House the number of people who are knocking at his door every morning looking for medical cards. If the services were of no use, these people would not be looking for medical cards. I move to report progress.

Progress reported; Committee to sit again.