Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Wednesday, 26 Apr 1961

Vol. 188 No. 8

Committee on Finance. - Resolution No. 11—General (Resumed).

Debate resumed on the following motion:
That it is expedient to amend the law relating to customs and inland revenue (including excise) and to make further provision in connection with finance. —(Minister for Finance).

To my mind, this Budget sets the seal on Fianna Fáil failure as a Government since 1957. I think all Deputies, particularly perhaps Fianna Fáil Deputies, are conscious that this is the last Budget the present Fianna Fáil Government will be presenting. I venture to suggest that having regard to their failure and their record, it will be the last Budget the Fianna Fáil Party will be presenting to this House. It is, I think, the fifth Budget of the Minister for Finance. On this occasion neither he nor any member of his Party can make the excuses that were trotted out year after year when the Fianna Fáil Party were challenged with regard to their performance and asked to measure their record so far as performance went with the inducements held out to the electorate on the occasion of the last general election.

I think no Fianna Fáil Deputy will dispute the fact that Fianna Fáil went before the people in the general election of 1957 with three or four main points of propaganda. They complained that the cost of living was too high. Of course, the corollary to that was: "Put Fianna Fáil in and the cost of living, if it does not come down, at any rate will not increase any more". Their second complaint was that emigration was running at too high a level and again the corollary to that was: "Put Fianna Fáil in office; stem the flow of emigration; and keep our people at home." Their third principal complaint was that unemployment was too high. They really went to town on the question of unemployment in 1957 and leading up to the general election of 1957. I daresay there is not a single Fianna Fáil Deputy whose ears do not turn red when he repeats softly to himself the slogans used in the general election: "Wives, put your husbands to work"; "Unemployment is the best test of Government policy", and all the rest of them.

We were told during and prior to the general election that taxation both central and local was too high. We were told that there were too many civil servants. I want to invite Fianna Fáil Deputies to compare for a few moments their performance now over a period of nearly five years of office as against that long list of inducements held out to the electorate in 1957. I know there are Fianna Fáil Deputies who are sensitive if they are reminded they made promises or pledges or undertakings to the people at the general election. I do not want to stand on their sensitive corns. I shall not accuse them of making promises, knowing they would not be able to carry them out, or giving assurances, knowing they would not be able to carry them out, or giving undertakings knowing they would not be able to carry them out.

I will suggest, and I do not think any Fianna Fáil Deputy will disagree with me, that these inducements were held out to the people and because the people believed Fianna Fáil would be able to perform what they were holding out to them, Fianna Fáil were elected as the Government in 1957. I do not rely entirely on my own opinion on that because, when the Minister for Defence came into the Dáil in the early days after the general election of 1957, he recorded for posterity the reasons the Fianna Fáil Government were elected. Speaking here on 15th May, 1957, as reported at Column 1284 of the Official Report, the Minister said:

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.

So we had the Minister for Defence talking as a Minister of this Government and telling the people that any fair-minded person would know that Fianna Fáil were elected to office for the purpose of ending a situation of mass unemployment and emigration.

It is not easy to get figures regarding emigration from the Government but some time shortly before Christmas the matter was raised in the British House of Commons and the figures were made available there. The information given to the British House of Commons showed that, in the two years 1958 and 1959, practically 123,000 persons left this country, excluding the six counties in the north, to obtain work in England. So, in those two years alone, emigration from this State, under a Fianna Fáil régime, elected, in the words of the Minister for Defence, to bring an end to a situation of mass unemployment and emigration, that number of persons left the country for employment. After three years of office they succeeded, in the years 1958 and 1959, in having emigration running at a level of over 60,000 people per annum going to England alone and that is leaving out of the count people who emigrated to America, New Zealand, Australia and elsewhere. Will any Fianna Fáil Deputy, in face of those figures, have the nerve or the complacency to claim today that Fianna Fáil have honoured their commitments to the people, so far as emigration is concerned?

What about unemployment? We remember all the talk about 1956 as the black year so far as employment and unemployment were concerned. What is the position after Fianna Fáil have been in office for close on five years with a majority over every other Party and combination of Parties in the Dáil, with the authority to put into operation any scheme, plan or proposal they think fit? What is the position regarding employment now as compared with the so-called black year of 1956? The Statistical Abstract containing the official figures published by the Government shows that as between the years 1956 and 1959, employment in non-agricultural activities decreased by 26,000 persons. In non-agricultural activities, there were 26,000 more people in employment in the so-called black year of 1956 than there were after three or four years of Fianna Fáil effort as a Government. In the agricultural sphere, including forestry and fishing, employment had decreased as between 1956 and 1959 by 25,000 persons, making a total of 51,000 fewer people in jobs in this country at the end of 1959 as compared with the so-called black year of 1956. Does the Minister, or any of the Deputies supporting him, feel they have honoured their commitments to the people in having allowed that situation to develop?

"Wives, put your husbands back to work." How will the housewives of this city and country feel when Fianna Fáil Deputies go before them within the next few months at another general election? Will Fianna Fáil resurrect that slogan at the next general election? What will they manufacture to replace it? But it was not merely a question of slogans. One might be inclined to forgive the Fianna Fáil Party if they were today prepared to make the excuse: "Oh, those were merely slogans; they were merely the ordinary bombastic puffings you would expect from a Fianna Fáil Party." But it did not end there. It was not merely a question of the bombastic puffings one might expect from the Fianna Fáil Party. It went further. The Taoiseach in his campaign to have Fianna Fáil elected gave his views in a series of presumably well thought out speeches regarding the Fianna Fáil policy which would be implemented if Fianna Fáil were elected as a Government.

We all remember the way the figure of 100,000 jobs was bandied about. I think everyone was justified in assuming that Fianna Fáil intended to imply that they had a plan for 100,000 jobs. I gather from discussions in this House since that this is another point on which Fianna Fáil now feel sensitive; they argue there never was a plan for 100,000 jobs. There were merely proposals for discussion. They have had four or five years to complete their discussions and the result is, not 100,000 new jobs, but 51,000 fewer people in employment.

The Taoiseach addressed a meeting, with other Fianna Fáil candidates, in the Dublin South Central constituency. As reported in the Irish Press of 23rd February, 1957, he laid it down as a test of Government policy:

The policy of any Government should be judged by its effect on employment. If it is putting more people into work, it is all right. If it is putting them out of work, it is all wrong.

I would invite Fianna Fáil Deputies now to ponder on that statement of the Taoiseach in the context of the figures now before them and with the knowledge that they have succeeded in their term in office in putting out of employment 51,000 people who were in good employment in their own country before Fianna Fáil became a Government in 1957.

Here is another quotation from the Irish Press of 16th February, 1957. On this occasion, the Taoiseach, speaking in Drogheda, said:

Unless the policy of the Government is successful in putting people to work, in giving a chance of getting work to all who are dependent on it for their livelihood, it is not good enough. The aim of any worthwhile policy must be full employment.

When one considers the talk about the Fianna Fáil plan for 100,000 jobs, their various election speeches, their various slogans during the general election, no Fianna Fáil Deputy can afford to deny that Fianna Fáil were elected to office for the purpose of putting people to work and for the purpose of ending unemployment.

I have already mentioned the statement made in this House by the Minister for Defence when, presumably in his enthuasism and possibly in his rawness as a fresh Fianna Fáil Deputy and a new Minister, he thought Fianna Fáil were going to end emigration and unemployment; he had no hesitation in coming in here and saying that any fairminded person who read the election speeches would not hesitate in saying that Fianna Fáil were elected to office for the purpose of ending a situation of mass unemployment and emigration.

What about the cost of living? I have dealt with emigration and unemployment. What about the cost of living? I was amused yesterday to hear the pride in Deputy Loughman's voice when he announced to this House that food subsidies are dead. Food subsidies are dead. They are as dead as the dodo. Who murdered them? Who killed the food subsidies? Who removed them? Was it not the present Minister for Finance, backed by Deputy Loughman and every other Deputy in the Fianna Fáil Party? Of course the food subsidies are dead. Were the people told during the general election that if Fianna Fáil were elected to office, the food subsidies would be slashed and that five years hence we would have a Fianna Fáil Deputy standing up here and announcing that the food subsidies are dead?

I do not want to weary the House with quotations. I have them here if I am challenged. Will any Fianna Fáil Deputy deny that in the course of the last general election, again applying the same test and measure as the Minister for Defence applied, there was implicit in the speeches made by both the Taoiseach and his immediate predecessor an assurance that the food subsidies would not be interfered with by a Fianna Fáil Government? Were the people not told on the eve of the election that it was all nonsense to say that Fianna Fáil would allow the price of foodstuffs to increase, that Fianna Fáil had never done what their opponents said they would do, and the Taoiseach, in his usual emphatic way, went so far as to ask the electors how emphatic could he make his denials that there would be no increase in the price of foodstuffs if Fianna Fáil were elected to office?

I put down a Parliamentary Question which was answered here on 11th of this month with regard to the prices of certain commodities. I asked with regard to the five commodities in particular, over four of which Fianna Fáil, as a Government, had control and in respect of one of which Fianna Fáil had no control whatsoever. When I read out the answer given to that question, I do not think any Deputy will have much difficulty in guessing which is the commodity over which this Government had no control.

I asked with regard to butter, bread, flour, sugar and coal. I wanted to find out the prices of these articles in February, 1957, and in February, 1961. I was told that Irish creamery butter in mid-February, 1957, cost 3/8¾d. a lb., and in mid-February, 1961, 4/6¾d. I was told that farmers' butter was 3/4¾d. in 1957, and 3/10¼d. in 1961.; I was told household flour per 14-lb. bag cost 4/2½d. in 1957 and 8/2¼d. in February, 1961. Bread, for a 2-lb. loaf, was 9d. in 1957 and 1/3¼d. in 1961; sugar per lb. was 7d. in 1957 and 7½d. in 1961; coal, per cwt., was 11/2¼d. in 1957 and it is now 8/9¼d.

Coal was the one commodity over which the Government had no control. It is the only commodity in that long list that has gone down in price as between 1957 and 1961. Every other commodity, all of them foodstuffs which the ordinary individual, be he rich or poor, has to buy daily in order to keep body and soul together, has gone up in price. Was that an accident? Was it something Fianna Fáil could not do anything about? All these commodities were put up in price by deliberate positive action of the Government in their decision to remove the food subsidies, so that in addition to falling down, as far as their policy on emigration was concerned, in addition to falling down on the question of unemployment, Fianna Fáil have been a dismal failure as far as the cost of living is concerned.

We were told taxation rates were too high. Prior to the general election, we had the Taoiseach talking from these benches proudly announcing that the previous Government, of which he was a member, had come to a firm decision with regard to taxation—that there was to be no increase. Again, I do not want to weary the House with quotations. What has happened as between 1956 and 1961 is well known to Deputies. There has been an increase in the figures shown in the Book of Estimates of more than £22½ million and local taxation has increased since 1956 by more than £3½ million. I mentioned this to the House already, but there is no harm in mentioning it again: in the year 1956, one of the prominent Fianna Fáil spokesmen in the House at that time—he is not so prominent nowdays—Deputy O'Malley, contributed to a debate in the House on March 14th, 1956. He is reported at column 536 of Volume 155 of the Official Report as follows:

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.

He said that if the Department of Justice were run by a Parliamentary Secretary, the cost of government could be reduced. Amalgamation of the two Departments was the cure which would save the people of this country £100,000 a year. Even in that little thing, what did Fianna Fáil do? We still have a Minister for Defence; we still have a Minister for Justice; and, for good measure, instead of amalgamating the two Departments, Fianna Fáil decided they would create a Parliamentary Secretaryship as well for the Department of Justice.

National taxation has gone up; local taxation has gone up. There was yet another promised reduction prior to the last general election on the lines of the general theme of Deputy O'Malley's speech in 1956. They then promised that there was to be a reduction in the Civil Service. Remember how we were told we were getting top-heavy because there were too many civil servants and that Government spending had to be reduced. Remember how we were told that the way to reduce it was by cutting down the Civil Service. What has happened? In the four years since, the Civil Service has grown in numbers by something over 100 a year. On the last occasion that I know of on which figures were made available in this House, the Civil Service showed an increase in member-shop of 500 since Fianna Fáil were elected in 1957.

Other Deputies have mentioned the fact that quite apart from these matters —increases in the cost of living, a continued high rate of emigration, fewer people going to work, with the exception of the Civil Service—we have increased postal charges and we have put up the price of insurance stamps, increased Health Act charges, put up bus fares and only today an increase was announced in the price of gas. All this is notwithstanding the fact that there is £9,000,000 taken out of the Book of Estimates which was there for the previous Government and Governments before them to cover food subsidies. Fianna Fáil, because they abolished the food subsidies, have to find £9,000,000 a year less than the Governments who went before them. They are not content with the heavy saving of £9,000,000—which was, of course, £9,000,000 additional to be borne by the people as awhole—but find it necessary to increase Health Act charges, insurance stamp prices, postal charges and a variety of charges.

It is no wonder that I said and that others hold that this Budget sets the seal on four and a half years of Fianna Fáil failure. They have given some reliefs. I do not think it is any great thanks to them. The social welfare reliefs are going to cost something in the region of £600,000 a year. When one considers that figure in relation to the 200,000, or possibly 250,000, of our people who have emigrated since Fianna Fáil came to office one sees how miserably insignificant the figure is. It equals something like £3 per head on every person who emigrated in the last four years. Surely the wealth we are losing by these people emigrating is far greater than that? Surely if Fianna Fáil had a policy which would keep these people at home and give them employment of a productive character, they would earn far more than £3 a year? Yet it is to £3 a year per head on those emigrating that the Fianna Fáil social welfare benefits in this Budget approximate.

As I said when I started, no Fianna Fáil Deputy would be able to make any excuses when discussing the Budget. Their excuses are exhausted and their lifetime as a Government is practically exhausted. I shall finish by leaving them with one thought. In the last election one of the famous slogans they used was: "Let us get cracking." They are going to go before the people in a few months' time but they have shown the people that they are cracked and cracked wide open.

So much has been said in Dáil Éireann, on the radio and in the national newspapers concerning the advantages and disadvantages of this Budget that it is very difficult for a speaker to express any new point of view or to explain more fully what the effect of the Budget will be on the ordinary man and woman. I would indeed have been quite content to have let the ordinary people judge the Budget on its merits were it not for the fact that the Tánaiste, in his radio broadcast, taking his usual, reasonable, man-in-the-street point of view, had to express certain views. He pointed out to all of us that there are some fundamental truths that cannot be overcome, that if you want increased services you must pay for them and pay for them through increased taxes. He said the reverse is also true; if you do not want increased taxes and if you want them reduced, you must be prepared to have your services curtailed.

That is very sound and something with which we all agree, something which most of us have been preaching, whether at county council level, here in the Dáil, or in our own homes. We know that if you want something extra, you have got to pay for it and the Government have only one way of getting money in and that is through taxes. The Tánaiste was not quite happy with that. He had to point out that the Labour Party in 1956 agreed to impose a tax on cigarettes, contrary to all Labour Party policy. He must know that the Labour Party agreed to it as a last resort because the Labour Party, following the policy they believe in, felt that the social welfare assistance group needed an uplift and, following the very advice that the Tánaiste is now offering to the world, we accepted the position that if you are going to give an increase to anyone you have got to provide the money. We felt that that was the way, on that occasion, to provide the particular benefits we were seeking to get.

I remember acting as Labour Party spokesman in this House and saying, I think it was to the present Minister, that because of the smallness of the benefits given to the social welfare assistance group that my colleagues and I in the Labour Party were prepared to vote with the Government if they decided to increase the revenue by taxing cigarettes, cigarettes being a near luxury commodity, and that we would so pledge ourselves provided that the revenue so secured would be earmarked for the social welfare group. We did that and we are quite satisfied we were honest in our approach that if those non-essentials of the ordinary working people had to be taxed to provide a certain standard for the people who are the worst off in the community we could, as a Party, support that policy and stand over it. If Deputy Corish, Deputy Everett, Deputy Norton, and the late Deputy Keyes, who then had Cabinet rank, did support such a policy in 1956 it was in keeping with what we were, and are, prepared to do. We believe, in the same way as Deputy MacEntee does, that if you want services you must pay for them. Of course, Deputy MacEntee claims——

The Minister for Health.

The Minister for Health, the Tánaiste, claims that the Minister for Finance has achieved a miracle and has given us the best of both worlds. He has reduced taxation by remissions in income tax and surtax and he has increased the social welfare benefits by the increase for the social welfare assistance groups. I wonder how true is that? It is quite true that on the face of the present Budget he has done that this year but let us look back. Take tax relief. In 1957, by taxes imposed in that Budget and by the abolition of the food subsidies, the Minister secured additional revenue of £8 million a year. In the following year, he got an additional £2 million; in 1960, a further £1 million and in 1961, the present year, there is a further £1 million arising from the increased tax on cigarettes, a total of £12 million additional taxation as from 1957. According to the figures supplied by the Minister's office, the reliefs granted are in the neighbourhood of £5 million. That means a net additional taxation of £7 million since 1957.

Where must all this money come from? Did it come from extremely wealthy people or from industry or from the people who could best afford to pay it? We know that the food subsidies were in respect of the bread, butter, tea and sugar of the ordinary people, the vast majority of whom are working people. The abolition of the food subsidies must necessarily have hurt the working people more than anybody else. I should think that the claim made by the Minister for Health and the action of the Minister for Finance must indicate that if the benefits given out of additional taxation were £7 million less than was gained, it was the working man who paid for it, that it was a case of feeding the dog with his own tail but keeping most of it and not giving him the full feed.

I should like to review the social welfare increases, the things we are told this Government have done for the ordinary people, the social assistance group in particular. We know that this year they are to get 2½d. a day extra. I do not want to disparage any little increase that is given; I would prefer an increase of 1/6d. a week rather than nothing. Five years ago 33 per cent. of the revenue raised in this country was spent on health and social welfare, expenditure by which the ordinary people gain. In the present year only 30 per cent. of the revenue raised is being spent on health and social welfare. I wonder where the Tánaiste found the miracle that the Minister had achieved, to which he referred in his radio speech? Certainly from the point of view from which I regard it, there is no miracle at all about it; there is the fact that the workers have been taxed more and are getting less.

It may be asked in what way they are being taxed more. Of the developed countries of Western Europe Ireland has the unenviable claim of raising by indirect taxation one of the highest percentages. Seventy-one per cent. of our total revenue derives from indirect taxation. Indirect taxation means taxation on the normal things that everybody uses such as cigarettes, drinks, cars. The wage earner is the biggest consumer. If 71 per cent. of our total revenue is derived from indirect taxation that must affect the wage earner more than better-off citizens.

This year, in addition to the 71 per cent., there is another penny on cigarettes. I presume that the millionaire and the ordinary worker pay the same amount for cigarettes and will probably smoke the same quantity. Therefore, regardless of income group, on consumption of cigarettes the millionaire and the working man will contribute an equal amount to the State.

When one considers this Budget with its provision for a reduction in income tax, which we all welcome, and its provisions with regard to surtax, with which some of us do not agree, it must be clear that there is a direct effort on the part of the Government to favour or to encourage a certain type or class of people in this country. It should be clear to the ordinary people that this Government favour people in the higher income group, the moneyed class.

There was a huge increase in receipts from income tax, due mainly, as the Minister will admit, to the P.A.Y.E. system of collection. I am in complete agreement with the P.A.Y.E. system. I think that it is the way in which income tax should be collected. I do not believe that a man who earned a certain amount last year and who probably spent it as he needed it, should this year have to pay income tax on it. I would much prefer that income tax should be deducted at source, which the Minister has done. He got the encouragement of the trade union movement to do that. He certainly got support from me verbally and in any way that I could. I felt it was a good thing.

It must be assumed that the big increase in the amount of taxation that was collected in time to make this Budget possible came mainly from the working class because P.A.Y.E. applies mainly to the working class group. It is natural to assume that whatever benefits the increased revenue permitted the Minister to distribute would go to the group that contributed. What does the Budget provide? A working class married man earning £11 a week gets a reduction of 4½d a week in income tax. A man earning £3,000 a year or almost £60 a week gets a reduction in income tax of £2 10s. a week. It seems rather unfair and it seems to me that the emphasis is on encouraging a certain type of people to come here to live and to benefit by the system of income tax in operation here.

There is a question which I as a Labour representative must necessarily regard as of the greatest importance. It is the question of emigration which stems from unemployment. Notwithstanding all the efforts made by the Taoiseach and various other members of the Government and Deputies supporting the Government and people outside, I can never agree that emigration is a spontaneous thing. I would say that 85 or 90 per cent. of the emigrants from this country would prefer to live here provided they could get employment and that that employment gave a reasonable wage which would maintain them in a certain standard of comfort to which they believe they are entitled. If work is not available or if the available work does not pay reasonable rates of wages, people emigrate, seeking an improvement in their position.

Deputy M.J. O'Higgins quoted very interesting figures given in reply to a Question in the British House of Commons. According to the quotation, 123,000 new insurance cards were issued to Irish citizens in Britain between the years 1958 and 1959. That is very enlightening because, as Deputy Michael O'Higgins said, every effort made to get any indication of what is the emigration problem in this country is met with the answer, and maybe correctly so, that it is just not possible because people go over and come back, that there is a border and there are ways of going in and out. The answer will be there in a very short time when the census of population figures are published and we will at least be able to see how many we have lost during the past five years.

In so far as the figures can be checked and we can get any official or reliable figures, the research officer of the Labour Party and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions has said that from figures published by the Government, between the years 1957 and 1960, 24,000 fewer people were at work, mainly in agriculture but many in industry. To say the least of it, that is not progress. In the past four years, approximately 200,000 people have emigrated. In Ireland, we have a greater natural increase of population than a good many countries, but notwithstanding that, the fact that in those four years 200,000 people have either left voluntarily or had to leave must make it impossible for the country to prosper.

The Chairman of the Congress of Irish Unions Workers Council in Waterford, Mr. Larry White, only five or six weeks ago, made an announcement which has not been contradicted, that he had got from the C.I.E. offices in Waterford the figure of 4,000 single tickets to Britain booked there during the previous year. That is an extraordinary figure. All I want to say in conclusion is that if that is Fianna Fáil prosperity, then I would welcome some different kind of prosperity under a different type of Government.

I have listened for some hours to this debate and to the speakers from the Opposition, and I must say that I reached one conclusion —that these Opposition speakers have a very poor opinion of the intelligence of the Irish people. I have listened to one dishonest argument after another. There is an old maxim, and I think a wise one, that the best way to deal with the dishonest and bad argument is to let it continue. Surely by now the members of the Opposition must realise that the main reason Fianna Fáil have been the major political force in this country over the past 34 years, and the main reason they have spent some 24 of the past 30 years in Government, is that they have always been honest with the Irish people.

All the Opposition speakers have, in this as in debates on the Budget over the past four years, followed the one line. We have heard about broken promises, about the food subsidies, about emigration and unemployment and about increased taxation. One remarkable thing struck me about their speeches. They all seem to be convinced now four years afterwards that when leaving office in 1957, they left everything in a rosy condition. I remember sitting in the benches opposite for the first time on that March evening in 1957 when the present Government took over office. I remember listening then to what must have been the most dismal speech ever made in this House. It was an apology from the then Taoiseach, now Deputy Costello, to the Irish people for the failure of the Coalition Government of the previous three years.

It is hardly necessary to quote from that speech. He started very early in his speech by saying:

We realise that the Government which has to face the conditions prevailing at the moment will have before it a very serious and difficult task.

Further down, he said:

I have said we realise that the Government faces very serious economic, financial and political difficulties.

Further on again, he said:

We have every reason to know the kind of tasks and problems that face the present Government.

Perhaps the Deputy will give the reference?

I am quoting from Volume 161 of the 20th March, 1957. Further in this same speech, Deputy Costello said:

Undoubtedly, there are still problems of unemployment, problems of emigration, social problems and political problems as well as Budgetary problems of great difficulty.

Certainly there were budgetary problems of great difficulty, and he knew it. Further on, he said:

We know the difficulties that will face this Government.

A little later, he said:

I have just indicated that there are grave difficulties of unemployment and emigration, as well as budgetary difficulties and financial difficulties of one kind or another.

I will just quote another paragraph from the same speech to give an idea of what he thought then of the Government he had led for the previous three years and of the conditions that faced the incoming Government. He said:

I hope I have said sufficient to indicate the manner in which we undertake our task as a responsible Opposition in these very serious times. The whole country looks now for good government.

At that time the whole country certainly looked for good government, and for the four years that have elapsed since then we have got good government.

Let us look back to that period and see what the position was like. There was at that time a £6,000,000 deficit on current account. There was a Book of Estimates just issued which asked for £5,000,000 more, and there was that famous promise on the eve of the election of £500,000 to secondary teachers in salary increases not provided for in the Book of Estimates. No wonder, then, that that Government and that Party deserted the sinking ship. No wonder they had not the guts, as we say in hurling parlance, the courage, to face up to their difficulties, and to the Budget of 1957.

They ran away from office. They were not defeated in this House, and there was no reason why they should go, but rather than face up to the difficulties of their own creation, they deserted the sinking ship and went to the people. Did they hope at that stage to gull the electorate into returning them here or that they would have to come along to try to bridge those difficulties of their own making? As we all know, the electorate discredited them as a poker school might discard a pack of soiled cards.

It was evident for a long time prior to the 1957 election that a collapse of that Government was inevitable. We had all the symptoms in the previous June. All of us who were members of local bodies will recall them very well. There was no money to meet grants and no money for housing. In June, 1956, a circular came around from the Housing Section of the Department asking local authorities to go easy on their housing expenditure, that there was no money to meet it. That was the gist of the circular. All of us in public bodies at that time realised that all the symptoms of the collapse that came afterwards were there in June of the previous year.

We have heard in this debate and in the debates of the past three or four years a great deal about the food subsidies. The fool subsidies were introduced in 1947 in emergency conditions and for a special purpose. At that time, they amounted to £15 million and were reduced by half, to £7,500,000 in 1952. I repeat what I stated before in this House, that the introduction of those food subsidies was violently opposed by both the Fine Gael Party and the Labour Party. A Labour Deputy said here at that time that the food subsidies were worth only 3/10d. weekly to a family of six. I take it, therefore, that when they were halved in 1952, they were worth only 1/11d. a week to a family of six.

There was rationing, if you remember.

Prior to the last election, another promiment Deputy told his constituents that the food subsidies were then worth only ?d. or less per week. It is amazing how, since the last general election, those food subsidies have jumped on the Fine Gael and Labour stock markets. It is also a well-known fact that the Fine Gael Party never believed very much in food subsidies. Their belief has strengthened and grown since they have gone into opposition. Away back in 1950, the President of the Fine Gael Party, Deputy Mulcahy, said that a good deal of the money had been given out to those who could well afford to do without, and that there must definitely be a reduction in the burden which subsidies imposed on the people.

A good deal has been said in this debate about unemployment. The position now is much better than it was when this Government took over in 1957. There are now 52,000 registered at our employment exchanges—about 40,000 fewer than were registered when we took over in March, 1957, from the Coalition Government. Deputies opposite will tell me that they have all emigrated since. We all recall that dismal year of 1956 and I would say from my own experience that, from 1956 until April or possibly May or June of 1957, emigration was running at its highest level ever. During that period, I visited Rosslare Harbour, which is very convenient to me, on nights the Irish mailboat was leaving there. It was a sad thing to see thousands of Irish people emigrating through that port, and I would say that was the blackest period in Irish history. I have seen nothing like it since, though we have a high rate of emigration at the present time. I believe what I have been told in recent months that the number of people who left through Rosslare last year were practically balanced by the number of people who came into this country through that port.

The average annual net emigration —and there is no guesswork about this—was at its highest during the ten-year period from 1946 to 1956, during which time we had two inter-Party Governments for six of those ten years. The figures for those ten years are provided by the census of 1946, the census of 1951 and that of 1956. We can question figures that are being bandied around this House today and during this debate because we await the final figures from the new census, but it cannot be questioned that during the period to which I refer, the rate of emigration was the highest in the country's history. During the 1951-56 period, which included three years of Coalition Government, the average rate of emigration per year was over 40,000. If we follow on the lines of the Opposition speakers and add to that figure the unemployed of that time, the extra 40,000 they say have emigrated since, then their emigration figure must also have been in the region of 50,000 or in the region of the figure they mentioned in the debate today.

No side of this House has anything to boast about when it comes to emigration. It poses a very serious problem for all of us. It is up to every member of this House to do everything in his power to see that that problem is solved or partly solved. All down the years we have had emigration. Under British rule it was a direct result of British policy which saw to it for many generations that we had none of the heavy industries that would give employment and the means of keeping our people at home. We must try to make up for the effects of that policy. It is a well-known fact that agriculture will not give considerable employment. Employment in agriculture in this country, as in every other country, is falling and there is nothing we can do about it. If we went back to the reaping hook or back to the old days of the binder and the scythe, we could give more employment but, to my mind—and I know something about agriculture—the more prosperous agriculture becomes, the less employment it will give. That has been proved not alone in this country but in every other country in the world. It is up to us to make every effort to establish the new industries that will provide more jobs and the standard of living that will keep our people at home. To my mind it is only Fianna Fáil policy that can do that. The Fine Gael mentality that opposed the industrial revival in this country, that closed the transalantic airline, that tried to shut down Irish Shipping, that shut down the short wave radio, will never provide that industry and employment in this country that is necessary if we are to stop or curtail emigration. Neither will the Fine Gael policy, which opposed our entry into the airways of the world, which opposed Shannon, Dublin and the airports that give so much employment and of which a small country like this can be so proud, ever provide the solution for emigration and unemployment.

As I said in the beginning, we heard a great deal of dishonest statements from Opposition speakers. The Leader of the Opposition and other Opposition speakers have wept salt tears for the small farmers. I wonder did the Leader of the Opposition think about the small farmers of Donegal, of the west of Ireland, of Kerry and of Wexford when he sent his legal luminaries into the High Court to see that they would lose part of their representation in this House? Possibly he believes that the small farmers of those areas would be better represented in this House by these legal luminaries.

Will it be possible for other Deputies to follow the present speaker on the question of the Electoral Bill?

It is not in order.

But you will give us an opportunity to reply to the statements of Deputy Browne?

That will be a matter for the Chair.

I was not dealing with the Electoral Bill at all. I was dealing with the concern of Deputy Dillon for the small farmers of Ireland and how he forgot about them when he sent his little lawyers into the High Court to see that the small farmers would have less representation in this House in future.

In this debate we have heard a great deal of the promises said to have been made by Fianna Fáil in the last general election. I can speak only for my own county and the present Minister for Finance, the late Deputy Allen and myself, who contested that election in Wexford, made no promises; we spoke only once or twice in the campaign and we did little or no canvassing in Wexford. It was unnecessary to do it. The people of Wexford, and I think they are amongst the most intelligent in Ireland, had had their full of the Coalition Government and they wanted to get rid of it as quickly as they could.

Your neighbours from Carlow-Kilkenny are intelligent too.

I might read a paragraph from the election address of the Fianna Fáil candidates in Wexford that proves that we made no promises. We said:

You have an opportunity on the 5th March to end a period of drift and depression, to end the bungling and mismanagement which the country has had to endure since June, 1954, and to return a Government which will restore confidence. To overcome the difficulties besetting the country at the present moment is a task of great magnitude but Fianna Fáil will face that task with confidence.

We knew then what was before us and we said at that time that the task which faced us was one of great magnitude. We have proved that since.

Turning to the present Budget, I want to say that there are a number of very welcome features in it. It is a good Budget and has been welcomed by the Irish people. That is something more than to have a Deputy on this side of the House saying that it is a good Budget. We have increased social welfare benefits, increased assistance to farmers; we have reduced income tax and we have done a number of other things. When referring to the increase in the old age pensions of 1/6d. a week, some speakers here failed to tell us how many of those social welfare recipients will receive an increase of more than 1/6d. a week. We listened to Deputy Corish reduce that 1/6d. to 2½d. per day. He has referred to it as the meanest and most miserable increase of all times. On the other hand some of the speakers opposite have referred to the increase in the price of cigarettes as a huge blister. To save that blister, I understand that any Deputy who wants to can purchase a package of cigarettes of the popular brands for 3/- or perhaps cheaper.

When Deputy Corish was Minister for Social Welfare he had a great opportunity of doing something for the social welfare classes in this country. During that period he had an opportunity of putting into effect all the things he has been talking about in this House ever since. During that three years—I am subject to correction in this—he gave an extra 2/6d. a week to old age pensioners. That is 10d. a week on an average over the three years or 1½d. a day as against our 2½d. per day.

Opposition speakers have referred to the cost of insurance stamps but these speakers were very careful not to say anything about the increased benefits. We know that thousands of people have benefited as a result of that recent social welfare legislation. Many thousands have benefited to the extent of 1/6d. a week, many others to the extent of £2 a week and quite a large number to the extent of £3 8s. 6d. a week. None of those people have paid any increase in their insurance stamps.

I would say that the benefits available to the social welfare classes in this country today compare very favourably with the benefits available to the same classes in the Six Counties and Great Britain when one takes into consideration that a stamp costs here about half what it costs in Britain and the Six Counties.

All in all, this is a good Budget. To my mind it is a wise Budget. Possibly with a general election in the offing the Minister could have been a little reckless and have made it a much better and much more popular Budget, but he did not do that. In not doing so, he shows his confidence in the future of the country; he shows his confidence that Fianna Fáil will be back here after the next election, and that he will again be handling the financial affairs of the country.

In his Budget statement the Minister ably reviewed four years of great progress. Now that we are approaching a general election, I suppose it would be too much to ask the Opposition to stop whinging and whining. When this Party return after the next election, to take over the running of the affairs of the country, we shall expect the Opposition to stop whinging and whining and let us get on with the work.

When I came in here this afternoon it was my intention to confine my remarks to some seven, eight or nine points in the Minister's Budget speech in which I am particularly interested. That is still my intention, notwithstanding the provocation and, indeed, the opportunity afforded to me by some of the remarks the last speaker, Deputy Browne, made in reference to the speech I made on the formation of this Government in March, 1957.

Lest, however, it might be taken that the misinterpretation of my remarks by Deputy Browne was accepted by me as being accurate I must, in fairness to my former colleagues and myself, make two or three observations upon the implications and inferences he has alleged were to be taken from that speech. It is no part of my intention to avail of an opportunity of this kind to justify either the work that was done by the last inter-Party Government or the difficulties that faced them. That work and those difficulties are now matters of history, matters of debate, and not appropriate for discussion here I think.

Although I do not intend—much as I might wish to do so—to avail of the opportunity afforded to me by the provocative remarks of the last speaker, at the same time I must say that the interpretation which he put, or asked the House to put, upon my speech in March, 1957, was entirely unjustified. He alleged that that speech was a sort of apology by me for our mismanagement and failure. He alleged that it could be regarded—I think I am quoting him accurately from recollection—as what I thought of my colleagues and what we had done.

I want just to make these observations. During those two years—or one and a half years at all events—before the end of our period of Government, we faced difficulties that have never faced any Government in this country since the State was established. We may be criticised for having gone too far, or too quickly, or for taking certain measures we might have postponed, or perhaps for having taken too harsh measures when we might have been justified in postponing the taking of them. Those are matters of legitimate criticism, but one thing with which we cannot be charged is failure to do our duty in the circumstances that afflicted the country at the time. They were not of our making. As has been stated and restated, we faced conditions for which no Government and no Party had responsibility.

In the course of the debate, the contrast between the conditions facing this Government in the past four years and the conditions which faced us in the last year and a half of our administration have been pointed out: the terms of trade against us, cattle prices falling, and various other world conditions impinging upon us and creating such a state of affairs here that no Government faced with discharging their responsibilities could fail to do what we did at that time.

So far as I am concerned, I am putting forward no apologia for what I or my colleagues did. I am very proud to know that, in the very difficult task we had to fulfil, in the very strict measures which in the public interest and in the interests of the country we had to take, I had the loyal support of my colleagues in the Labour Party, the support of my colleagues in my own and other Parties, and the support of Deputy Blowick and his colleagues.

When we had to face those difficulties, we faced them in the certain knowledge that with every step we were taking, we were making it almost certain that there would be an end to our political careers. Whatever we did, we did in the interests of the country. It would be far better for Deputies of the Fianna Fáil Party to cease making public again the suggestion—even if they think they can get some passing political advantage by doing so—which is utterly untenable and completely false, that we in any way mismanaged the affairs of the country or did anything other than face our difficulties, and perform our duties, as the responsible Government.

It would be far better if a speech such as Deputy Browne's were never made, and if the Government faced their difficulties as I faced mine when I made that speech in 1957, and admitted, candidly and freely, that we had a difficult task to perform but that we did our duty properly. That would be far better for those responsible for the Government, for government as such, for the institutions of the State, and for the country as a whole.

I made that speech on the formation of this Government in March, 1957, in no way wishing—as the then Taoiseach, now the President admitted —to hamper this Government, but to point out the difficulties and dangers we had faced, and which still had to be faced. Speaking from recollection, I think I then intimated that my view was that not merely were the Government which had just been formed on trial before the people, but that unless those difficulties were faced in the way we had to face them, the very institutions of the State would be in jeopardy. Perhaps, a Leas-Cheann Comhairle, these are irrelevant remarks, but I do not want anyone to think that I accept for one moment the implications or the misrepresentations put upon my speech—or endeavoured to be put upon my remarks —by the last speaker. I was impelled by what he said to make those observations.

I should like to make a few general remarks upon the Budget proposals now before us. Those proposals, taken as a whole, give me the impression that the Budget was cautiously framed and that, were it not for the fact that a general election is impending, none of the reliefs given would in fact have been given in this Budget. That impels me then to draw the conclusion that the country is not quite as prosperous, or the future as safe, as the Minister would have us believe.

Again, I do not want to go back to the past, but I do not want the speech of Deputy Browne to create a wrong impression. Whatever prosperity has come to the country has come by virtue of the change in conditions for which no Government are responsible, just as we had no responsibility for the Suez crisis which arose a few months before the change of Government and which brought unemployment, and dislocation of trade and commerce. Just as we did not whinge or whine about that, but did our duty in those difficult circumstances, the present Government are not entitled to take any credit for the fact that conditions have changed and changed for the better. It is all in the day's work as far as Governments are concerned. You must take the rough with the smooth. You may have good or bad luck. You have got to take it and lump it. That is politics in this or any other democratic country.

At least, we can recollect this. Whatever prosperity we have here industrially is due to the policy I initiated with the consent of all my colleagues in October, 1956, when we laid the foundations for the expansion in industry by giving incentives to industry which were never given before. That is a fact that cannot be controverted. We had difficulty, very great difficulty, in getting that through. Even in very difficult times, we were able to lay down that policy; and before we left office, we could see the advantage coming from those incentives to industry for exports, on which most, if not all, of our present prosperity depends.

It was the policy of this Party over the years since this State was established to direct all our endeavours to one objective—an increase in the agricultural industry and the maintenance of security for that industry. It was a principle of this Party all through the years that all prosperity and all hope for the country depended upon a prosperous agriculture—that while it was necessary to have industrial activity and expansion, that had to depend on and follow agricultural expansion and prosperity.

We are entitled to say that, in spite of the fact we lost office through it, the steps we took at that time, harsh as they were—perhaps we went too far and too quickly—saved the country from the conditions facing it at that time. As we left office, this country was coming around the corner economically. The Government are entitled— it is all part of the day's work in politics—to the benefit of the change that has taken place here, but the foundation of the Government's much publicised economic policy was laid by the speech I made, with the consent of my colleagues, in October, 1956.

As I said, I had not intended to go into all these controversial matters, but I was compelled to do so by the remarks made by the last speaker. We put levies upon imports for the purpose of checking the adverse balance of trade. Again, we may be criticised for putting on too many, being too harsh or going too fast. That is a legitimate criticism. But, at least, in a very short time the position was corrected and the present Government got the advantage of our political disrepute by reason of our actions. They reaped where we sowed. They are entitled to the benefit, if they want it. I do not want to take it from them. But at least we are entitled to defend ourselves against any misrepresentations along those lines and to make our case as shortly as possible, as I have endeavoured to do.

That leads me to the first point I wanted to make. When we imposed the levies for the purpose of correcting the balance of payments, we did so on my assurance and the assurance of the then Minister for Finance, with the consent of all the Government, that those levies were to be merely temporary and were to come off at the earliest possible date. As the months went on and those levies stayed, I personally became extremely restive at the maintenance of them and I would have liked to have seen them come off quicker. I regret that the Minister for Finance has seen fit now, after nearly five years of the maintenance of some of those levies, to turn them into permanent channels of ordinary revenue for the purpose of balancing his Budget.

As far as I am concerned, I could not have done it and would not have done it, no matter what is cost me in my political reputation. We had given a public undertaking to the people, again and again, that those levies were temporary and would come off. Now we find they are necessary, revenue-producing taxes for the purpose of balancing the Budget of this Minister after four-and-a-half years of Government. That is a gross breach of faith with the people, even if £2,000,000 is got from the consumers and the people who trade in these commodities. It is a gross breach of faith and I want to register my solemn protest against it.

The second point I want to take up arises from the question of the so-called benefits given to people with large fortunes as an inducement to come in here and become domiciled here so that the State may benefit from their wealth. I spoke on several occasions, both in the Dáil and elsewhere, on the subject of death duties and advocated their progressive remission. When I was in Government, I did everything I could to carry that into effect. Unfortunately, circumstances were against us. I advocated here on every opportunity I got since the change of Government that it would be good business for this country progressively to abolish all death duties.

I am glad to say the Government have gone some way along the road and that, apparently, the Minister and his colleagues have been impressed by the arguments put forward in connection with the relief of death duties. I give them credit for that. I give them credit even for the almost futile gesture the Minister proposes to make in the Budget. It is, at least, a recognition of the validity of the arguments that have been advanced and, perhaps, a hope that this Government or some future Government will go further along the line and remit death duties so as to attract wealth to this country.

I do not propose to repeat the arguments I have made, here and elsewhere, so often. I merely want to say that these proposals are not put forward for the purpose of easing the position of those people who are wealthy and who die with vast estates. They are put forward primarily in the interests of the class I represent myself —the ordinary man who works with his brain and whose stock-in-trade is his brains and his health. I have gone through all these arguments over the years. Suffice it to say now that the people for whom I speak do what every Government in this country since the establishment of the State have been imploring them to do: they spend most of their time saving, putting aside savings for their families in case anything happens to them, or for themselves when they become too old to work. They find, when they have insurance policies and savings, that, over the years, money becomes devalued. I am not an expert on income tax, but I think I am right in saying that when they save this money, having worked hard all their lives, they find it is devalued, and they are taxed on their savings as unearned income. In addition, when they die, there is a lump taken off in death duties, estate duties and legacy and succession duties.

My purpose is to speak on behalf of those people whom I represent and of whom I am one myself. They are the people who do what all Governments ask them to do. They save all their lives. If they do so, at least they should be exempted from death duties. Otherwise, the urge to save in the interests of the country and pay taxes during their lives merely enables whatever Government happens to be in existence at the time of their death to put their claws on their savings and take it for their own purposes.

The last in the priority of my arguments is this. These people who have big money are looking all over the world, to Bermuda, Switzerland and everywhere else, for places where they can put their money so as to avoid the payment of death duties. Taxation in England amounts practically to confiscation after a certain pretty high level. If we could get them in here with their millions, if we would get income tax from them during their lives and get them to invest their money here, the contribution towards our prosperity and enrichment would be far in excess of the small amount got annually in death duties. I think it is only somewhere around £2 million a year. That is why I want to get them in here.

I want to get these people with big money to come in here and invest it in Irish industry. I want them to come here so that we can get income tax from them and keep their money in Irish industry and in that way help to keep our people at work. They will do that if they believe we have a stable economy here. It is pretty generally recognised now that we have a stable economy, that we are a country that can command the confidence of rich people. They will come here if there are inducements.

In the Budget, the Minister recognised the power of the arguments. I hope I do not misrepresent him—I certainly do not want to put words into his mouth—but I thought there was a certain cynical meaning in the way he put it. In effect, his attitude was: "We have heard all these arguments. We do not believe it but let us see if it is true. We shall see if anybody will come running over here with his money when he reads this Budget." That struck me as not being terribly encouraging to people to come and put their money into this country, rather than in Bermuda, Switzerland, and so on.

As reported at Column 678 of the Official Report of Dáil Éireann, Volume 188, No. 5, the Minister said:

It has been argued that high rates of estate duty exert an adverse effect on the attitude of wealthy persons towards living here. Indeed, the complete abolition of death duties has been advocated in order to attract wealthy foreigners. Complete abolition is not a practicable proposition, as the White Paper on Direct Taxation explains—

This is where I thought the note of cynicism entered:

—but it is possible to test the validity of the argument by seeing what will be the response to a reduction in the higher rates of duty. If, by this means, wealthy persons were encouraged to settle here in greater numbers, the benefits might well outweigh the loss of revenue. They would spend their money in Ireland and some of their capital and enterprise would doubtless find outlets in this country, with a consequent increase in employment. A useful additional incentive would also be given to well-to-do persons now domiciled here to repatriate foreign assets.

That is a sort of accurate and striking résumé of the arguments those of us who are in favour of the progressive abolition of death duties have been advancing over the years.

Then it goes on, and again a slight note of cynicism, as I thought; I hope I am wrong:

Since a substantial reduction can be made in our highest rates of duty at comparatively little cost to the Exchequer, I have decided to lower to 40 per cent. the rates of estate duty applicable to estates exceeding £100,000, which at present range from 41 to 53 per cent.

These reliefs will cost the Exchequer an estimated £45,000 this year.

How anybody could possibly consider that that was any attraction or any inducement to people with big estates to come in here strikes me as strange. In effect, the Minister says: "It will cost me very little. We shall test you. We shall see the result. We shall reduce from 41 per cent. to 40 per cent. the rate of your duty. We shall reduce by one per cent. the rate of your duty. Come in now and we shall see if there is anything in it." That is not the way to attract these people. I hope I am not misconstruing the Minister's speech and misinterpreting it.

I give the Minister credit for this step, futile as I think it is, towards attracting people with big estates to come in here, to invest their money here, to leave their incomes and their investments here while working at Irish industry, also subject to Irish taxation. I give him credit at least for the recognition of the validity of the argument, but is it not futile to say: "We are decreasing the rate from 41 per cent. to 40 per cent."? Forty-one per cent. is big but 40 per cent. is nearly as big in comparison with the vast amount of money taken from these people by confiscatory duties on deaths.

Last year, I pointed out to the Minister the difference between death duties over a certain figure, a rather large figure, in this part of the country and in Northern Ireland. I pointed out that it was much cheaper for people with big estates to die in Northern Ireland than here. That situation is not changed here by the one per cent. remission.

The Minister will perhaps recollect that I drew his attention not merely to estate duty but to the continuance of legacy and succession duty. That is being left on. The one per cent. estate duty is all that is being given. Legacy and estate duty, I take it, are still there. The point I want to make is that the framing of that part of the Budget which is supposed to be an inducement to those people to bring over their big money here, and also to be a test of the validity of the argument, is not such, in my view, as to make the slightest impact on those people or to bring one individual over here as a result of the Budget. The Minister, having accepted the validity of the argument, it would have been far better for him to take the bold course. This is a cautious Budget, due, I believe, to the approaching general election. If the Minister had given a much bigger cut to those big estates, then we would have some chance of getting those people over and then we would have a real opportunity of testing the validity of the argument in relation to the progressive abolition of estate duty.

The second point I want to make concerns surtax remission. I suppose it is a very "hot" topic to speak of people with incomes within the range of surtax impositions. Nevertheless, I shall advocate it. I am in a position now that I need not, perhaps, look for political advantage or disadvantage. I advocate that the ceiling be raised still higher than £2,500. I am glad the Minister raised the ceiling for super tax from £2,000 to £2,500. I am not doing this in the interests of people with big incomes, but in the interests of the country as a whole. The Minister gave a rather, in my interpretation, ingenuous reason for raising the ceiling for super tax from £2,000 to £2,500.

We are discussing super tax and these rates and ceilings perhaps in the context of recollections of debates in the British House of Commons about the raising of super tax rates to £5,000 and of the debate and controversy that has arisen as a result. People are talking about those "unfortunate" people with over £5,000 compared with the old age pensioner, and so on. In that context, it is not easy, even for the Minister for Finance, to take the bold course and to say: "I shall raise the ceiling from £2,000 to £2,500."

Here is how he phrased it, as reported at Column 676 of the Official Report, Volume 188, No. 5:

I also consider that a reduction in the number of surtax rates is desirable to simplify this tax and facilitate its eventual merger with income tax. There are at present eight rates, ranging from 1/6d. in the £ on the first £1,000 of chargeable income to 8/6d. in the £ on the chargeable income over £18,000. I propose to reduce the number of rates to three and to make the charge 2/6d. in the £ on the first £2,000 of the chargeable income, 5/-in the £ on the next £3,000 of the chargeable income, and 7/6d. in the £ on the balance. So that the simplification will not involve an increase in taxation for any individual, it is necessary to lift the starting point for surtax from £2,000 to £2,500.

That is why I say that is an ingenuous statement.

The real truth of the matter is that he is raising the ceiling to £2,500—in my view, more power to him—for a particular reason. We have been talking here over the years, and nobody more consistently or with greater force than the Taoiseach, about the necessity for efficiency in all fields of our economy, modernisation and all the rest of it. All sorts of schemes have been advanced. Specialists have been brought in and experts have been imported to advise on means and methods of producing greater efficiency. There was an old friend of mine who used to give me business at the Bar; his view always was that cheap law is bad law. In my view, cheap expert labour is bad labour. We want expert advice; we need expert control; we want expert direction to secure efficiency, such efficiency as will enable our exporting industries to rise above their competitors abroad. In order to do that, we must have first-class men. To get first-class men, we must pay them. Above all, we must not tax them out of existence. They must be attracted. It is in the interests of the country that they should be.

I do not think anybody would controvert the proposition that it is now generally recognised that our survival on the export market, both in industry and agriculture, urgently requires the most expert direction in the production and marketing of our products, both industrial and agricultural. Progress demands that we should get the best men we can. We want the best Irishmen we can get. We want the people who because of their training, their ability and their talents can command big salaries, the kind of salaries some of our graduates command when they go abroad. We want those salaries available to keep our talent at home.

That leads me to a subsidiary point. I do not know if it is recognised officially but it is of the utmost importance that we should keep our first-class graduates, scientists and technicians, at home here for the benefit of our own people. Everybody knows that Great Britain and America are looking to our universities and vocational schools for young people of promise. They are prepared to take them abroad, train them, make them more and more efficient, and use them for their own advantage. We want these people at home.

An advertisement was issued recently for a position in the Civil Service. A graduate was required, a specialist graduate of standing and qualifications. A certain individual studying for his final examination, which was to take place a couple of months later, applied. He was turned down because he had not his degree. He was immediately snapped up by a big British firm. He was then asked by the people here if he would apply again for the post for which he had been rejected when he got his degree. Of course, they were too late then. Other people are farseeing; they recognise merit and talent and capability and are prepared to book these people in advance of graduation and wait for them until they have graduated. We are not prepared to give our own the same chance. We will not listen to an application until the applicant has got his degree, but, by the time he gets his degree, he is no longer available because somebody else has snapped him up.

That is an aspect to which the Government should give very careful examination and consideration. We have excellent material here. We certainly have the brains. We have plenty of young men with ambition. They are being snapped up by Britain, America and others. There will have to be a realisation of the position. We will have to make it sufficiently attractive for our own people to stay at home. One idea we will have to get rid of is that old, unhappy sort of attitude that goes back, I am sorry to say, to Fianna Fáil origins in the 'thirties about high salaries and all the rest of it. We will never get good men unless we pay them. We will have to give them inducements. We will get good Irishmen to work for Ireland if we recognise the necessity for dealing with them properly. The country can afford to pay them; it cannot afford not to pay them.

My next point arises partially out of these considerations to which I have been referring. The Taoiseach did say—it was either in a speech or in a conversation he had with me; I am not sure which—that he recognised the necessity for getting quality men in the Civil Service. The Civil Service is a different organisation today from what it was in the past. In the past, civil servants entered a particular grade and went up by incremental stages to a particular maximum. They pursued a charted course. Today civil servants have to deal with very difficult problems, financial, economic and scientific because of the progress in human knowledge and the advance in scientific achievement. All that has to be harnessed to modern development in business, industry and agriculture. Unless we have in the Civil Service people of the highest calibre, we will not make the progress we should. If we do not strive to achieve that, civil servants will remain what they were in the past—people dealing with files, exchanging memoranda, all the way up until one comes ultimately to the Taoiseach.

The next point I wish to raise is that dealing with the purchase of land here by foreigners and the Minister's proposal in that connection. Land purchase by foreigners has developed for some not easily understood reason in the last year or two. The Minister in his speech recognises the problem and its limitations. The only point I want to make is by way of warning and not by way of criticism. Sufficient precautions will have to be taken in the Finance Bill against possible abuse or possible corruption. I am not now concerned with personalities. The Bill will be introduced by the Minister for Finance but it will not necessarily be administered by him. It may be administered by another Government. In course of time, it will be administered by possibly many different Governments.

The Minister proposes to take steps to deal with the situation whereby foreigners, or non-nationals, could purchase land through the medium of pre-1947 companies and thereby escape the rather heavy stamp duty in which they would otherwise be involved. The Minister proposed to abolish that device, as I understand it. Recognising, however, that there may be cases where it would be both legitimate and proper for non-nationals to purchase land at a reduced tax, the Minister proposes to vest in the Minister for Lands power to grant exemption in suitable cases. It is there that I see danger.

I hope that my remarks now will not be taken as referring to any individual. I see a possible objection. I see an open door to corruption and political wangling. The Minister ought seriously to consider that situation. The Minister will correct me if I am wrong, but whereas the Revenue Commissioners, and possibly even a Minister, may in the past have had certain powers of exemption in certain cases, in this instance, there would seem to be danger of the establishment of a precedent inasmuch as a Minister is being given power now to remit a tax as a tax.

He is giving a power to remit a tax. This is a tax. I think the Minister can easily see that whatever Government is in office there are all sorts of subterfuges, wanglings and political approaches made to a particular Minister for Lands in a case of this kind. If a non-national wants to buy a big estate here and makes the case that the Minister should give him a remission, is he going to endeavour to have some sort of political approach made, some kind of political influence used to affect the Minister's discretion in the exercise of that power? Some machinery, in my submission, ought to be devised to prevent that possibility of corruption and to obviate the suggestions that will be made even without justification. I think it is a matter of very great public concern. If I am correct, and I believe I am, in asserting that this is the first time this has been done, then I say it is a dangerous precedent which ought to be surrounded by safeguards.

As a final word, I should like to throw whatever weight I have in support of the observations made by Deputy Cosgrave on Thursday last in his speech on the Budget. He spoke about the severe conditions in which pensioners who draw from the public purse have had to live, due to the fall in the value of money and the rise in the cost of living. Numbers of them have approached me in the city of Dublin—I have no doubt they have approached several other Deputies as well—and they have made cases which are heart-rending and convincing. I would commend those cases in charity and public justice for the serious attention of the Minister.

I should like to make a few remarks on the Minister's Budget proposals before dealing with his economic survey which preceded the Budget itself. I do not thing it would be unfair to describe the 1961 Budget as the "curate's egg Budget." It has its good points, and I would commend the Minister for introducing them, but there are certain injustices and, even more serious, certain omissions which I should like to deal with as briefly as possible.

The Minister, by using what has been to him a very successful device, has introduced a substantial figure for errors in over-estimation this year. A sum of £3,000,000 was mentioned and out of it was conceded various benefits amounting in all to over £2,000,000. As he mentioned when introducing his proposals, he has allocated £600,000 towards increases in social assistance benefits, ranging from 1/- to 1/6d. per week. I appreciate that even an increase as small as 1/- a week amounts in toto to a substantial sum in the course of a year but I do feel that, after four satisfactory years, the Minisster might have been a bit more generous to this section of the community. I know we could carry on a very long acrimonious argument in the House as to whether the inter-Party Government or the Fianna Fáil Government were the more or less generous as regards the benefits they have paid out to what I would call the social assistance classes over the years. By and large, however, I do not think that, in this Christian State of ours in the year 1961, we have been over generous in our rates of public assistance to the categories to which I have referred.

The sum which the Minister has allocated to assisting agriculture will not, in my opinion, be adequate because I foresee that this year we shall have a very substantial export of butter which will necessitate a very heavy subsidy. It is only two years ago that we had to pay something like £2½ million to make good the losses on our exports of butter to the British market. I believe the sum this year is likely to be as substantial. I know the Minister has made provision for £1 million for Supplementary Estimates, possibly with this in mind, but having regard to the number of Supplementary Estimates introduced by the present and previous Governments over the past ten to twelve years I do suggest that the figure of £1 million is a gross under-estimation of what will be needed.

The reduction in the standard rate of income tax is very welcome news. I should like to assure the Minister it is a concession that is appreciated by many. It is a fact, however, that the number who will benefit from this reduction is comparatively small. If we refer to the table sent out to all Deputies by the Central Statistics Office, we find that a person with an income of £1,000 a year who has two children at present pays £40 per year and will pay £36 under the new rates. Anybody under that figure, with the same number of children at present pays no income tax and will therefore not benefit. Accordingly, the vast majority of workers here earning less than £20 a week will derive no benefit from this Budget provision though they are asked to pay the extra 1d. a packet on their cigarettes.

Last year the Minister refused to raise the ceiling for Corporation Profits Tax above £2,500. This is the second or third year I have appealed to the Minister to raise that figure. I do not want to repeat earlier arguments but I would point out that the raising of that limit would especially benefit the smaller business firms who find it exceedingly difficult at present taxation levels to accumulate capital for the development of their businesses.

Anybody who has had experience of running a business, particularly the small family type of business, will understand how difficult it is to put aside sufficient funds out of the annual profits to make reasonable provision for expanding the business. If as in hundreds of cases there are one, two or possibly three branches of a family working the business, it is practically impossible to put aside capital for development. Raising the limit to the level at which it was some years ago, £10,000, would be a sensible and just act on the part of the Minister. I know the Minister's argument will probably be that these businesses benefit from the reduction in the standard rate of income tax, which is perfectly true. That applies to all businesses but I am making a particular appeal for the small and medium-sized type of business which certainly need all the help they can get to exist.

I am sorry the Minister has decided that corporation profits tax will not in future be an expense chargeable against income tax. That is a retrograde step. No doubt the Minister has reasons for it, to which I hope he will advert when he is replying. It reinforces my argument for an increase in the corporation profits tax ceiling. I welcome the Minister's proposal for the simplification and amalgamation of the income tax and sur-tax scales. This is a very welcome move and one that should have been tackled long ago. I also welcome the increase in the dependant allowance—which is a matter I raised by way of Parliamentary Question some weeks ago—from £80 to £110. I should like to draw the Minister's attention to the necessity of making a similar adjustment in respect of children's allowances. I think I am correct in saying that at present if a child's income exceeds £60, the parents lose the benefit of the children's allowance, or the offset of the £120 per child, for the purpose of income tax assessment.

I should also like to congratulate the Minister for introducing the mining relief which he forecast last year and promised to include in this year's Budget. I believe the concession he has given to the open-cast type of mining will be of substantial benefit to the expansion of that type of mining. I should like to suggest to the Minister that he should consider extending the 100 per cent. tax-free exemption for a period of ten years, which applies to manufacturing industries for exports, to profits accruing from ores that are treated or concentrated in this country. After all, they are a form of manufacture and, as such, should enjoy the benefits applicable to goods manufactured here and exported.

Deputy Costello spoke at some length on his pet subject of death duties and I must say I subscribe to almost everything he said. There seems to be an anomaly still existing in the matter of death duties in regard to small estates and I should like the Minister to have another look at this question. As I understand it, an estate valued at under £5,000 is free of all death duties; in other words, an estate of £4,900 is free of death duties. If an estate is valued at £5,100, the minimum rate of one per cent. is paid on the entire estate. The same applies to higher categories on the scale of an ascending figure for the death duties. I should like to suggest, that the one per cent., two per cent. or three per cent., as the case may be, should apply to the value of the estate in excess of £5,000 and not to the entire figure. In other words, the first £5,000 should be completely free of death duties, irrespective of the size of the estate. This would be a big step towards the eventual abolition of death duties altogether.

I do not share Deputy Costello's view that death duties should be swept away quickly because it is very difficult for any Minister for Finance to substitute for a duty yielding some £2½ million some other method of taxation and it is quite likely that if some alternative source had to be found, it would be even more inequitable than the present system of death duties. I would certainly like to see a progressive rise in the exemption ceiling over a period of years. I do not agree with increasing the duty on stamps for receipts from twopence to threepence. This is a small, petty tax which, to my mind, is quite unnecessary and something which the Minister might have omitted from his Budget.

I should also like to support Deputies who spoke about combining the levy duties with the ordinary import duties into permanent duties. It is true, as the Minister has pointed out, that the number of articles involved is quite small. It is something like 15 or 17 but even so, the principle is bad. As Deputy Costello has pointed out, originally, these levies were a temporary measure to deal with a very acute situation and they should have been treated on a temporary basis.

It is quite true, as the Minister said, and as the Opposition speakers pointed out, the Government came into office at a time when there was a very difficult economic crisis. It is also perfectly true, and the Minister will appreciate it, that the steps taken to correct that crisis were taken by the previous Government, who, in my humble opinion, went to the country at the worst possible time any Government went to the country for a general election. Having taken steps to correct the situation and having made themselves extremely unpopular, they then, so to speak, threw themselves at the feet of the electorate. It is no wonder that Deputy Browne a short time ago could talk about the fact that he did not have to canvass his own constituency to get back into office. It is a fact that the Government got into office on a negative vote. The people voted against the Parties who brought in these levies and other restrictions and caused considerable unemployment by doing so.

The Minister in his statement eschewed all responsibility for the 1957-58 Budget which he stated, quite rightly, was prepared by his predecessor. Apart from certain adjustments, which involved amongst other things the cutting off of the food subsidies at a saving of some £7 million, he regarded it as largely not being his responsibility. At the end of 1957, there was a surplus in the balance of payments of £9 million. That surplus of £9 million, the result of steps taken by the Minister's predecessor, was sufficient to tide the Minister over the ensuing four years so that he could with some gratification say, at the end of his four years in office, that, by and large, the balance of payments had been in equilibrium over that period. There would not have been equilibrium if there had not been a surplus of £9 million arising out of the steps taken by Deputy Sweetman in 1956/57.

It is perfectly true that over the past three or four years there has been an upsurge again in the country's affairs. The only concern I sometimes have is, is that upsurge soundly based? Are we quite satisfied that the prosperity which the country is enjoying at the present time is solidly based prosperity or is it the result of the pumping into the economy of very substantial capital sums over the past four or five years?

I should like to feel that all the new industries we are setting up now, and to which the taxpayer is contributing very handsomely indeed, will go on, expand, give the increased employment that we would all like to see them giving. If they do, I should like to see them using a far greater proportion of home-based raw materials in their products. I am not one of those who believe that you cannot have a prosperous industry just because you import raw material. I think you can but I do think it is necessary and is essentially good for the country to utilise in these new industries, as we do in many of the old existing factories, raw materials produced at home where that is possible.

I also believe that the spirit of dynamism which is so essential if this country is to progress and to go ahead must be organic. It must come primarily from the Irish people themselves, welcome as outside capital, technical know-how and management may be. Essentially, we ourselves must supply that spirit of go-aheadness, if I may use the expression, if we are to succeed in the long run.

That is why I sometimes think it might not be a bad thing if the Minister were to give serious consideration to giving grants to existing old-established Irish companies comparable to those which are now available to outside industrialists coming in here or to Irish industrialists wishing to set up new industries for the export market. If an old-established industry wants to modernise premises and replace plant, it is contributing to the overall efficiency of the State. It is bringing down its costs, making its industry more efficient; it is helping to increase the productivity of its workers. Even though it may not be directly contributing to the export market, indirectly it is helping by bringing down the overall costs in industry as a whole. For that reason old-established Irish industries should be entitled to share in the substantial grants which are now available to those setting up new industries.

They are entitled to them.

No, they are not.

For export trade, they are.

Only for export, but not for home business. My argument is that any business that can make itself more efficient, increase its productivity and give greater employment is indirectly contributing to making the economy as a whole more efficient and should be looked upon from that point of view.

They get the very same conditions.

In his Financial Statement the Minister made reference to the question of the cost of State administration. If I interpret him correctly, and I do not want to misinterpret him, he more or less has thrown up his hands as regards any hope of controlling the cost of running this small country. I am sure the Minister will well recall the words he uttered in 1957 shortly after he came into office, which certainly made a deep impression on me, a very new Deputy. I quote from the Financial Statement of the Minister in 1957:

I shall mention a number of specific economies which have already been decided upon but which represent merely an instalment of what the Government hope in time to achieve.

It will be no surprise that I should begin with the administrative machine. The present annual cost of the Civil Service, Garda Síochána and the Defence Forces amounts in round figures to £25 million—almost £17 million for the Civil Service...

I underlined at the time in my copy of his speech the following lines:

An annual bill of £17 million for the pay of civil servants is, however, too much for a country of our size and resources.

Then, as an indication of his faith in the future he took credit for £250,000 in his Budget as a sort of foretaste of what was to come. I think the Minister himself will be the first to agree, although I am sure he can produce what he would regard as very good reasons, that far from the economies which he anticipated being effected, the cost of the Civil Service, the Garda Síochána and the Defence Forces has substantially expanded to administer, guard and defend a smaller population than was in this country when the Minister came into office in 1957 and in addition, of course, we have a new Ministry and a new Parliamentary Secretary. If the instalment of what was to come had been implemented, increased taxation would not be necessary in this Budget to provide the reliefs the Minister has given and which are generally welcome and for which I have already given the Minister credit.

Another matter that I should like to refer to is the fact that the Minister in this Budget has given no help to the cinema trade at all. A very good case was made last year and the previous year by the cinemas. The Minister gave ear to their complaints and did give them some modest help in the Budgets for those two years. This year their position is even more precarious and with the coming into operation of the Irish T.V. service it is almost certain that cinema audiences both in the highly populated areas and in rural areas, when T.V. reaches them, will decline. I am sorry that the Minister could not help find somewhere in his Budget a place for some help to cinema proprietors. They give a good deal of employment and they are deserving of some assistance.

In his Economic Survey the Minister referred to the fact that the national income and the gross national product have both increased substantially in recent years. That is very welcome news indeed. Basically, it is a sign that the country is expanding and that the income of almost all classes is increasing. The only unfortunate exception to that general increase is, of course, as we know and as the Minister appreciates, the farming community who, although they represent some 40 per cent. of the populace, share only some 25 per cent. of the national income. Some method will have to be found to adjust that state of affairs. That falling off in farmers' profits is, of course, reflected in the position of the country shopkeeper, the country towns and villages and right down through the economy.

The Minister, making comparisons in his Economic Survey, said that the increase in the gross national product here over the past two years compared very favourably with industrial countries such as France and Belgium. If that is so it is very good news indeed. I suggest that the Minister might have made a comparison with some of the less developed countries to see how we compare in our rate of increase in gross national product with them. The original target in the programme for economic expansion at two per cent. or two and a half per cent. was obviously too low. The Minister is now optimistic enough to aim at five per cent., which I think should be the minimum at which we should aim. I believe that in a very backward country like Ghana the target is eight per cent. We should not be afraid to set our sights on a target in excess of five per cent., because obviously if we are going to make up leeway, particularly in industrial expansion, our aim must be at a target even higher than the five per cent. which the Minister hopes to reach.

I should like to say a word on savings, which the Minister emphasised are all-important for this country. It is unfortunately only too true that the rate of savings is still too low. Total savings showed no appreciable increase between 1959 and 1960. For those years total savings, taking depreciation into consideration, amounted to £97 million. The actual savings were £63 million last year as against £64 million in the previous year. That rate is too low, and some method will have to be found to encourage a higher degree of saving amongst the people. The whole future expansion of the economy rests on the amount of capital we can invest, and that in turn rests on the amount of capital we can save or import. Even though it is well to import capital, and every encouragement should be and is given to import it, it is far better to save from our own resources and invest in our own country.

The welcome increase in exports to which the Minister referred in his statement contains some interesting facts if one goes to the trouble of breaking down the main headings. Of the increase of some £21,500,000, animals or animal products accounted for £13.7 million and other products of substantially agricultural content showed an increase of £1.7 million. This illustrates the fact mentioned over and over again in this House that agricultural products in the raw or processed state must continue to be a very substantial proportion of our increased export trade. From that point of view, I hope through the Minister that the Government will do everything possible to ensure that the type of exports we send out will have a very large content of agricultural raw material.

During his survey the Minister referred at some length to the pending developments in European free trade. I must say that I listened to and read with the greatest interest this part of his speech. It is now practically certain that, perhaps in the near rather than the distant future, there is going to be some form of European trade bloc formed with which this country will have to associate itself. The Minister probably had this fact in mind when he urged the necessity of increasing efficiency and suggested that some industries might have to face structural changes ranging from rationalisation and specialisation to outright amalgamation. I expressed exactly the same view in the Budget debate twelve months ago and I could not agree more with the Minister. It is inevitable that in this country there is going to be a major shake-up amongst the industrial sector of the economy.

What the Minister did not say in his survey—and this is one of the major omissions—is what steps he or the Government are taking to guide and assist industry in this major reorganisation. It will be too late to wake up some morning and find that Britain has taken a sudden decision. Even though the Taoiseach mentioned in the House a few weeks ago that it is not going to happen as quickly as that, these things are settled overnight between two or three top men, and it is possible that England may reach a solution of its present difficulties with the Common Market countries and we will find ourselves following England into some form of European trade association. It will then, in my view, be too late to do anything about it. I assume, of course, that we will through negotiation and putting on the poor mouth, so to speak, gain time to make certain adjustments, but whether we gain five, ten. or fifteen years to make them, the fact remains that adjustments will have to be made.

I should like to ask the Minister to indicate in his reply what view the Government take of the possibilities certain industries have of surviving in this new era. The time is overdue when the Government should have submitted to the country some form of White Paper indicating the group or groups of industry that could expand in this new situation, and saying quite bluntly the types which, unless some drastic reorganisation took place, had no hope whatever of surviving in this competitive era. In the hundred or so industries established here over the past few years it is true to say that every single industry is a secondary industry, and while they, indeed, are most welcome and will give a lot of employment and will, I hope, be able to compete in the European free trade, I should like to see greater emphasis on heavy industry. Somebody else mentioned that today, and I would like to support the remarks made.

The time has come when we will have to consider, for instance, the establishment of a motor car industry in depth. With the size of the market here, I feel quite sure that we could ask car manufacturers to come together and establish some form of motor car industry in depth. Again, if we are to take down our trade barriers and hope to export into the European markets, or if we have our own market opened to the European manufacturers, our present system of car assembly would not last very long. I should like to see another cement factory, possibly erected in the west of Ireland, and to see expansion in the chemical and fertiliser industries, which are the type of industries that have shown tremendous expansion in the Common Market and elsewhere. I should like to see the establishment of a smelting plant and also—I think it is going to happen in any event—a very great expansion in the steel works in Haulbowline. With our agricultural background there should be a tremendous future for the manufacturer of farm machinery. That is one type of industry which could play a very useful part in the country's economy.

The time has also come to have another look at the Undeveloped Areas Act. The reasons which inspired the passing of that Act have very largely disappeared. We are now in the position where any part of Ireland could be regarded as under-developed if not undeveloped. Wherever a successful industry can be established, particularly for the export trade, it should carry the maximum benefits which are applicable to industries set up in the undeveloped areas. Sometimes I wonder if these benefits are not too generous. At the time they were conceived, the country was crying out for industrial development, but, judging by the number of serious inquiries coming in from various foreign interests, one wonders whether considerations, other than purely economic ones, are compelling them to come and have a look at this small country.

Perhaps this could be regarded as hindsight but I consider it might have been better, if instead of segregating an area of the country and designating it as undeveloped, we established certain zones with a reasonable urban population that would be able to carry big industries and industries that would be viable because they would have access to the necessary institutions and other amenities which should attend any industrial development. If a zone something on the lines of the Shannon Airport Development area had been established near Limerick city, I am quite certain that instead of our poor record over the past four years getting four tiny industries that between them employ less than 100 people, we would have made a far better show. It would be more beneficial to select these special areas, empower local authorities to acquire land for industrial development and so have industries set up near the larger towns than to take the west of Ireland, call it an undeveloped area and give it assistance substantially in excess of that available elsewhere. However, it is easy to be wise after the event.

Research is the one vital work which has not been tackled by any Government so far. I should like to see the Minister setting up some State body with adequate funds to finance fundamental research, particularly research into the possibilities of the greater utilisation of native raw material in industry. We are sadly lacking in any form of industrial research. There is the Institute for Industrial Research and Standards which does good work within its limited budget. In the world today, the amount of money that has to be spent on research is very substantial and if we are not prepared to follow suit we cannot hope for industrial expansion.

Hand in hand with research I would place education. There is no proper liaison between technical and technological education and industrial expansion. It is a very sad state of affairs if a young man is trained in some form of technology and there is no job for him but it is equally serious if industries are set up and they cannot be supplied with the necessary technical personnel. There should be some assessment of the requirements as regards technical men in the industrial expansion going on at the present time. If young men acquiring some form of technical education could be assured of positions, when they are trained, there would not be so many of them emigrating and benefiting some other country. We are now reaching the unusual position where there is a shortage of certain types of skilled labour while at the same time there is a surplus of semi-skilled. That position could become very acute if this present industrial expansion gathers momentum, as I am glad to see it shows every sign of doing.

One surprising statement was made by the Taoiseach in his contribution to the Budget debate in which he referred to the lower rate of emigration. He contrasted two periods and said that in the three years ending February, 1957 an average of 47,000 people a year emigrated. That of course is a shocking figure but what shocked me still more—I do not know if any other Deputy reacted in the same way—was that in the figures he gave for the subsequent three years ending February, 1961, the Taoiseach admitted, and I am sure he did not make an underestimate, that the average was 40,000 a year. The speeches from the Government side of the House on this Budget have compared the miserable state of affairs which existed in the years prior to their taking over with the happy, booming and prosperous conditions the country has enjoyed during the past three years. I can understand 47,000 people fleeing from the conditions of affairs painted by the Government supporters but why have 40,000 a year emigrated from this land flowing with milk and honey if we are to believe what some of the Fianna Fáil supporters have said during the course of this debate?

There is something radically wrong in that connection. People will not leave a country if they can get a secure job. There is another reason for it and that leads me to believe that there must be good reasons why people leave the country other than to seek employment. I would say they are probably going to get a better job. The Taoiseach has said on several occasions recently there are reasons other than economic ones why people leave the country. Possibly there are but the people who leave the country for other than economic reasons would leave it anyway. The vast majority of people leaving Ireland do so in search of employment. That is my own personal experience from meeting Limerick men who go to London, Birmingham and elsewhere and who would give anything to come back to a secure job here.

A few weeks ago the Minister made a very interesting speech at a meeting of the Irish Countrywomen's Association. It certainly demonstrated to me the keen interest he is taking in agriculture and agricultural problems. He said amongst other things that farmers have not fared as well as other sectors despite special emphasis given to agriculture in the Programme of Economic Expansion. He went on to say:

The greatest single factor in the Irish economy is agriculture. Forty per cent. of our people live on the land. 429,000 out of a labour force of approximately one million get their living from the land.

He said they enjoyed 25 per cent. of the national income, a figure which I quoted already, contributed 65 per cent. of total exports and supplied the raw material for many other industries. In a few short sentences the Taoiseach indicated the importance to this country of agricultural industry.

He went on to say, very reasonably, that there was need for fresh thinking, particularly about the problems of the small farmers. He said that the Government intended to undertake a reexamination of their productive possibilities so that a policy could be found to make conditions on small farms more reasonable, to provide living conditions that would conform to the national average. From that it would seem that we have two views within the Government Party itself. To listen to Deputy Browne when he spoke here this evening, one would think that there is no future for the small farmer. The Taoiseach apparently holds a more optimistic view and thinks that the Constitution dictates that it is the duty of Government to settle as many families on the land in as reasonable conditions as possible, but he asks: "Can the typical small farmer with less than good land be made a viable economic unit?"

The Government have decided, in the light of the circumstances of 1961, to carry out a systematic examination of the possibility of increasing the output of the small farmers. That is an ideal that all of us would subscribe to and the only question is why this systematic examination was not carried out years ago. Do the Government really believe, in the light of their own industrial policy and with continuing advances in science, technology and education, that young people will remain on the farms? By increasing industrialisation and by giving more education and technical knowledge, it would seem that we are encouraging people to leave the farms. Are we, in fact, creating a condition of affairs when young people will not want to remain on the small farms? The Taoiseach apparently does not think so.

He thinks that we can make the small farm a viable unit. I sincerely hope that he will succeed in doing so since the backbone of this country has always been the small farmers. They have given leaders to Church and State down through the centuries and they will continue to do so.

What is the small farmer going to produce? Two obvious lines seem to be milk and pigs, two items that carry very heavy subsidies or which involve very heavy Exchequer commitments if they are to be exported in the form of butter or bacon. If we encourage the small farmers to produce more milk and to go in for less extensive farming, we are going to have a greater problem on our hands, but some way will have to be found of solving these problems and of finding profitable markets for their products. I should like to see a vast increase in the amount of fruit and vegetables grown on these small farms and in that connection I trust that the new development of the Irish Sugar Company will be a great success. I hope also that private enterprise will take up the question and establish industries to process the vegetables and fruit. I believe that there is an expanding market for these products and that that market will continue to expand.

One item which every Minister for Finance regrets but passes over lightly is the growing size of the national debt. I appreciate, as the Leader of the Opposition said here today, that there are assets to be set off against that national debt but I also appreciate that some of these assets, looking at this booklet which we got in advance of the Budget, are of very doubtful value. I see here that Budget deficits account for about £60,000,000 of the assets. That amount is of very doubtful value and there are other things.

A national debt is all right if you have an increasing population, with an increasing national income. If you have, as we have had for many years, a decreasing population and an increasing national debt with higher charges for servicing, a position could be reached in which that debt would be too heavy a load for the taxpayer. We are probably the only country in the world in which that position obtains. In most progressive countries, there are increasing populations, increasing national income and a decreasing charge for the national debt per head of the population.

I should like to suggest that the time has come to review again the programme of national development set before us two years ago. Two of the five years have gone and £90,000,000 has been invested in what are described as capital projects. With the necessity of ensuring that our capital projects are financially self-sufficient, of ensuring that they are not a tax on the taxpayer, I would suggest that the Minister have another look at his programme. We are so short of capital that it is essential that every pound invested goes into projects that are productive and that do not become a dead weight on the community.

This Budget has been framed in very favourable circumstances. Unfortunately, as I have tried to indicate, it does not deal with two of the most difficult problems, both of which I have outlined. One is the problem of the small farmer. I do not think it would be too Utopian to suggest a complete derating of farms under a valuation of £20. That would be one quick method of dealing with the problem until such time as the small farms became sufficiently viable to stand on their own feet.

The second problem is the emerging of the Free Trade Area in Europe in which we must find a place. The Minister's speech has given no evidence that the seriousness of this new situation is appreciated by the Government and that steps are being taken to enable our industry and agriculture to compete in the wider European market. As I mentioned already, we may be able to negotiate a breathing space, but eventually we will have to meet the full blast of British and continental competition, not only in their own markets but—from our point of view, what is much more serious—in our own market. I should like to ask the Minister if he is satisfied that we are ready to meet that challenge.

Deputy Russell reminded me of one of the anomalies that arise in relation to the famous death duties. In 1948, a farmer transferred his farm and kept a room in the house. He died in 1959 and now the Revenue Commissioners are claiming duty on the entire estate, although the farmer paid for that transfer in 1948. That is one of the anomalies I should like the Minister to look into.

We are doing that.

I wonder was Deputy Russell ever a member of a local authority? I wonder was he a member of a local authority in 1956, and had he the problem then that every other local authority had of endeavouring to find, by hook or by crook, the money for the grants, which were overdue to some unfortunate people? After 12 months, they were unpaid. Was that one of the steps taken by the previous Government before they left office of which he approves? Did they pay those grants?

According to the Constitution, a Government holds office for a period of five years. I was hoping to hear from Deputy Costello some reason why his Government left office after two years and nine months. Surely there was some sane logical reason why they threw up their hands and left office. What was that reason? We have had two exhibitions of inter-Party Government here. The first inter-Party Government would up flogging the unfortunate doctors around this House for three days. They were tongue-lashed by all the lagal luminaries that could be found. That was the end of the first inter-Party Government. They also left a little burden, which is now being repaid by the Irish taxpayer at the rate of £6 million extra every year. That was the result of that spree.

When Deputy Costello stood up here to explain the amazing speech he made in March, 1957, I was hoping to hear from him some reason why they left office. What was the despair and the looking behind? After two years and nine months, his Government finished up financially burst, with every local authority in the country financially burst, and cleared out of office.

I was amused when I read Deputy Dillon's speech about the small farmers. Everyone seems to be very fond of the small farmers once in a while. I remember an interview we had with Deputy Dillon when he was Minister. We were looking for a price for feeding barley and Deputy Dillon told us in no uncertain language: "The small farmer in the west, with a wife and six children, on a £10 valuation holding, feeds pigs. Am I to increase the cost of his raw materials for the benefit of the big farmer in the south with 200 acres and two motor cars? I will not." One would nearly be inclined to agree with him if one did not know what happened.

We heard wails this evening about the disappearance of the food subsidies, which would make one wonder who paid for the food subsidies and where the money came from. Deputy Kyne said very kindly this evening that if you give an increase to anyone, you have to find the money. This is where the money for the food subsidies was found and this was Deputy Dillon's sympathy for the small farmer in the west!

Speaking in this House on 23rd March, 1955, Deputy Norton, the Minister for Industry and Commerce, said that increases in the price of offals from £20 to £23 per ton in September, 1954, to £24 10s. Od. in December, 1954, and to £26 a ton in January, 1955, brought £170,000, which went to the relief of the flour subsidy. I endeavoured to get a little further information on that subject.

On 15th February, 1956, Deputy Corish said:

Adopting the same basis as that used in estimating the probable amount of subsidy payments in the financial year 1954-55, the increased receipts by millers from sales of wheaten offals from September, 1954, to August, 1955, have been calculated to amount to £431,000; and for the period from September, 1955, to the 1st February, 1956, to £186,000.

That gives a total of £617,000.

The Taoiseach was Minister for Industry and Commerce in July, 1957, when I asked him what was the total amount collected in that manner from the small farmer in the west. He told me it amounted to £1,096,000.

Would the Deputy give the reference? Is he quoting from some statistics or some report?

I have given the reference.

The Chair did not hear it.

In July, 1957, the Taoiseach made that statement in the House. The reference to the quotation from Deputy Corish was 15th February, 1956, and from Deputy Norton, 23rd March, 1955.

Every time the small farmer's wife went out with a dish of meal to the hens, she contributed to the flour subsidy. Every time she went out with a bucket of rations to the bonhams, she also contributed to the flour subsidy. The money for the flour subsidy came from the small farmer in the west, living, with a wife and six children, on a £10 valuation holding. Deputy Dillon, the then Minister for Agriculture, was being paid £2,500 a year by the taxpayers to look after the interests of the small farmer. That shows the interest he had in them.

Deputy Russell spoke about securing further markets. Is Deputy Russell aware that, in 1956, the representatives of the then Government went to Britain and lost for the Irish farmer a market worth £2,000,000 a year by allowing Britain to put an import duty on Irish sugar in Britain?

He could not be.

I do not think that is correct. I do not think the Deputy is giving the full facts.

I shall endeavour to enlighten Deputy Russell.

The Minister has done that already. That is why I do not think the Deputy has given the full facts.

Speaking in this House on 12th July, 1960, at column 1411, volume 183, of the Official Report, Deputy Dillon said:

I want to raise a specific matter which affects the problems of beet farmers who are supplying beet to the sugar factories, and also other products which are produced from Irish sugar, which is raw material produced in this country. In 1948, we negotiated a Trade Agreement, Article V of which reads as follows:

The Government of the United Kingdom undertake that where goods, the growth, produce or manufacture of Ireland, are dutiable at preferential rates of duty, they will not vary the existing preferential treatment of these goods in such a way as to put any class of goods, the growth, produce or manufacture of Ireland, at a disadvantage in relation to goods of that class from other sources enjoying preferential treatment.

Now, that is a pretty comprehensive Article and yet with that Article in existence, I understand that goods containing Irish sugar are being subjected to a very formidable levy, the proceeds of which are devoted to the subsidisation of goods of similar quality containing sugar derived from crown Colonies of the British Crown. I am told, I think, by some of the Minister's colleagues, that when Deputy Norton was Minister for Industry and Commerce this matter arose and that he did not consider it desirable to press the interpretation of Article V which would give us the right to claim exemption from that levy.

I hope Deputy Russell is satisfied?

He is not.

Deputy Norton did not consider it desirable to press the interpretation of that Article which would relieve us of £560,000 paid in that levy last year.

Deputy Dillon went on:

I do not know what the position is in regard to that. I have no recollection of hearing the matter discussed when I was a member of the inter-Party Government, although it could have happened and passed out of my memory but I do not remember it and I have not discussed the matter with Deputy Norton. Whatever attitude was taken up, I should like to be told now because frankly I confess that as I see it now, it appears that that Article is wide enough and comprehensive enough to cover the present procedure under which I believe that goods which are the growth, produce or manufacture of Ireland are being put at a disadvantage in relation to goods of that class from other sources enjoying preferential treatment.

That is a frank admission from Deputy Dillon that while he was Minister for Agriculture, he had not sufficient interest in the small farmers he so often talks about to see that their livelihood was being taken away from them. Those are bitter facts. I know the difficulties the Minister for Industry and Commerce has to face in this respect. I know also that both the farmers and the Irish Sugar Company have taken a chance in that regard this year. I do not see anything in the Budget to cover that £16 per ton. At present we are growing an extra 12,000 acres of beet. Is the country going to pay or is the Minister going to insist that the levy be removed? Some attention should be paid to those matters.

When I hear Deputy Dillon talking about the small farmer, I think it is enough to make an honest man sick, in view of his attitude on those two matters. He sat there for three years and saw the unfortunate small farmer feeding his pigs being crucified by a penal tax on his raw material. He sat idly by and did not intervene. It is a scandal.

What is the small farmer paying for his offals now?

£21 a ton.

Not at all.

Deputy Russell had better not make an honest man sick.

We are considering the position of the small farmer. Deputy Russell referred to this matter. In county Galway this year, for example, contracts are being issued by the Sugar Company for somewhere between 500 and 1,000 acres of potatoes for processing there and for sale either at home or on the export market. That is a very welcome addition to the economy of the small farmer.

It is agricultural development.

The Deputy should not delay very long on that on the Financial Resolution.

We have the same position, in fact, a better position in regard to the scheme introduced in County Carlow—again by the Sugar Company—in relation to fruit and vegetables. There is very little use in talking about our small farmers unless we study what will keep them on the land. They require a crop that will give a good labour content. They require a crop that will yield somewhere between £100 and £200 per statute acre. The small farmer will not get a living for himself and his family on the milk of four cows and neither will he exist on store cattle. If we have any hope of holding him on the land we must encourage him to produce crops that will yield a pretty large financial return per statute acre.

Last week I met an Englishman and two Americans and took them to West Cork. They proposed to go in for the growing of celery. The English farmer told me he is growing about 100 acres a year, working out at between £35 and £40 an acre. I am glad to say we established proper contact with him. This year, we have decided on an experiment. We hope next year to extend the industry so that on small holdings, from which people might be inclined to emigrate they will reap a return of perhaps £200 or £300 per acre and derive a decent livelihood there.

I have a document on shipping statistics here. I read in it that between fruit and vegetables we imported £6,627,000 worth between January and December, 1960. That would represent a fairly good home market, without touching the export market at all. Only by getting into that market on that scale can we improve the situation for our farmers. There is the difficulty of the value of labour on the farm. The maximum for a week is between £5 10s. and £6. Beet is our best paying crop and the labour there represents £5 15s. per week.

In my constituency the wages for unskilled labour in industry are between £9 5s. and £16 a week. We cannot hope that people will remain working on the land for £5 a week when they can earn from £9 to £16 a week a couple of miles away.

We must bear two factors in mind in relation to emigration. Unless we can expand an existing industry or start a new industry in each town every ten years we shall not hold our population there because it is practically impossible to do so. Young people are growing up and there must be expansion in industry to employ them. That is what a large proportion of our unemployed need.

I could not understand some of the figures or statements I heard here to-day. Employment in the town of Cobh has doubled in the past four years. It has increased from about 800 in 1957 to about 1,600 to-day, between the steel workers and the dock there.

And Haulbowline and Whitegate.

What about the oil refinery?

Do not be in such a hurry. This takes a long time. Employment in the town of Midleton is about the same as it was in 1957. We had a loss of employment there due to the closing of the flour mills. In Aghada, about 350 people are employed in the Oil Refinery. In Youghal, there has been an increase of about 100 per cent. in employment since 1957. Therefore, I do not see the reason for the doleful figures mentioned by Deputy M.J. O'Higgins.

I shall give you another one shortly.

If Deputy O'Sullivan will visit Mallow he will find that two new factories are being built for two new industries—a fruit and vegetable establishment for the Sugar Company and an establishment for the production of dried milk. I believe there is even a third one.

And the mill is closed.

Why do you come here and talk about unemployment? How do Opposition Deputies who speak of these things expect the people to believe them? If, by any hook or crook, their speeches are reported in the Press the people of whom I have been speaking will say: "Did you read the lies they told about us in the Dáil?" Such Deputies will lose any votes they ever had. They must speak the truth.

Deputy Corry must be expecting to be reported.

Then, if you speak the truth, you will know where you are. I have only one regret. I think the life period of a Dáil should be about 20 years to give a Government time to work out economic programmes and see them through. It is very difficult when you have people staying in Government only two and a half years, like the present Opposition did when they had their chance. It might be great fun to make people like that stay in government a couple of years longer. People would get such a sickener of you that such a Government would be finished for the rest of that generation anyway.

The Deputy may not directly address the Opposition Benches. He should address the Chair.

He is really addressing the local paper.

We had two exhibitions of government by the Opposition here. I admit that the first Budget the Minister for Finance brought in was not a very good one. It could not have been a good one because he had to clear up the mess that was left. The second Budget was an improvement. The third was better still, and this is the best of the lot. The country is financially sound again. I hope another opportunity will not be given to the fly-by-nights to come in again and land the country into bankruptcy in two or three years, giving us all the trouble of dragging the country out of the mess all over again. To my mind that is altogether wrong and some remedy will have to be found to prevent situations like that occuring in the future.

I am glad the Minister for Industry and Commerce is here. There are a few industries which could be established here and which would further increase the opportunities for employment. There is no justification for nine out of ten farmers being dependent upon imported tractors. There is a market for tractors here and I suggest that one large firm could be established to produce all agricultural machinery.

That would arise more relevantly on the Minister's Estimate.

We are discussing emigration and the way to end it.

But the Deputy may not discuss all industries.

That is one way we could stem the tide of emigration.

The Deputy may not discuss every industry in the country through the medium of that plea on this motion.

I was merely pointing out one industry. I shall stop at that. I have put the case as fairly as I could. As far as we are concerned, I do not think we need worry. This time 12 months we will be back here again with Dr. Ryan as Minister for Finance introducing yet another satisfactory Budget. The people have had two lessons and they will not forget them as easily as Opposition Deputies seem to hope. I invite Deputies on the Opposition Benches to get up and tell us quite frankly why they cleared out in 1957.

I should prefer if Deputy Corry did not leave the House because I have a few words to say which might interest him.

I would not understand them.

We have that much in common. Deputy Corry cannot understand us, and there was a good deal of his speech to-night that I could not understand. Deputy Corry says there is no unemployment in West Cork. Apparently his speech to-night is an election speech. He reminds me of the tactics of a certain Fianna Fáil county councillor in Mayo who always maintains that there is no emigration from Mayo and that there is full employment there. Deputy Corry is setting the pattern now for the next election and, since the people who have gone will not be there to answer, we will be told that there is no emigration, that there is full employment, and everything in the garden is lovely.

We know, of course, that that is not the case. The Taoiseach had to admit recently that in the last three years emigration has run at 40,000 per annum or 120,000 people in the three year period. I doubt if I would be wrong in saying that since Fianna Fáil took office in March, 1957, emigration has reached the figure of 200,000. I shall deal more fully with emigration later.

I could not help being interested in Deputy Corry's sudden burst of interest in the small farmers. This is the first time in five years I have heard him mention them. He mentioned them in 1956 and in 1957 when he was in Opposition. From then until to-night we did not hear a word from him on behalf of the small farmers. I could not help remembering how away back in 1944 Deputy Corry described the small farmers of the West as "hen roosters". I wonder does he still think they are hen roosters?

The Minister described this Budget as a good Budget. Exactly what was good about it? A great many people see nothing good about it. I cannot help remembering the election campaign of 1957, during which we were promised by the Taoiseach 100,000 new jobs. I cannot help remembering the call to wives to get their husbands and their sons to work, to put out the Government. I cannot forget the promise made by Deputy de Valera during that campaign, and by the Taoiseach, that, if Fianna Fáil were returned to office, it was all so much nonsense and so much slander to suggest that they would abolish the food subsidies. But the food subsidies have since been removed and their removal has saved the present Government at least £36 million. That is a tidy sum to be faced for the start.

I cannot help reflecting that the price of flour has gone up from 4/2d. to 8/- per stone and wondering if the Minister for Industry and Commerce realises what that simple item of 4/-a stone on flour means to the average small farmer trying to raise a family where an eight-stone bag of flour lasts only a fortnight. In such a family it means an extra £1 12s. Od. a fortnight; multiply that by 26 and you will find that that small farmer is taxed to the extent of £41 a year.

In case the Minister for Industry and Commerce does not know it, I can tell him that there are plenty of families of six to ten people living on small holdings and numerous small wage earners in towns throughout the country where the eight-stone bag of flour does not last even the fortnight. I know several households where the eight-stone bag of flour does not last even 10 days. When we left office, butter was 2/10d. a lb. It is now 4/7d. a lb. Sugar was 7d. a lb; it is now 7½d. The 2-lb. loaf was 9d. in 1957; it is now 1/3d. Taking it all in all, it means that the present Government has an annual income of £9 million which the inter-Party Government did not have.

Coupled with that, the present Government have increased taxation. The cost of running the country has gone up by close on £60 million in five years. That is a pretty stiff figure. At the same time, the Minister for Finance says this is a good Budget. Is it a good Budget because he has put a penny an ounce on tobacco and on the packet of cigarettes and has taken £1,200,000 off income tax? I presume the people who pay income tax are better able to afford to pay it than are the small farmers and the small wage earners able to pay the extra price for tobacco and cigarettes. Deputies will notice that the £930,000 proposed to be raised on the extra tax on tobacco almost offsets the amount the Minister is giving in relief in income tax. In other words, the Minister is taxing the poor, so that the people who pay income tax will have to pay less.

I can remember quite clearly a time when, if this sort of thing happened, it would be placarded throughout the country by Fianna Fáil. I mention these facts and figures so that the people who have got to pay will know what is happening under this so-called benevolent Government. The record of the Government has been a sorry one for a particular class of people.

There has been a falling off in employment. Deputy Corry tells us that things were never better in East Cork. I am glad to hear that that part of the country is prosperous. I would like if the Minister for Lands, who comes from my constituency, would explain how it is that a big firm of contractors from Britain—Wimpeys— have been able to tour Mayo and, without trouble, pick up 3,000 men. Another firm, McAlpines, are now looking for more men. When Wimpeys began recruiting labour in Castlebar there was a rush at the door and, inside a half hour, they had taken down 143 names. That is a very different picture from the one painted by Deputy Corry although I am very glad to hear that his part of the country is so prosperous. I can say regretfully that the west is very far from prosperous.

Many Fianna Fáil Deputies have spoken about the small farmers. I want to say, in very clear terms, that the aim of the Government seems to be banish the small farmers.

What is a small farmer?

Under £12 valuation.

I am talking about farmers with £10, £8, £7 and £6 valuations. The present Government is determined to banish them. A week before the Budget, the Minister for Finance made a statement at some function or another in Dublin that he was in a position to bring in a good Budget.

He said it in the Houses of the Oireachtas.

I read the statement a week before the Budget.

He made it in the Seanad.

I thought it was made at some function in the city. Having made it, he came into the House and we all followed to hear the good Budget. There were many Fianna Fáil Deputies also interested in this good Budget. I saw nothing good about it. There were a few concessions. There was 1/6d. a week for the old age pensioners.

Half a million pounds a year.

When the old age pensioners were getting 10/- a week in 1947 we asked the Government to give them an extra half crown a week but they told us there was no money in the kitty to give it to them—it could not be done.

Was that after the shilling had been taken off?

This was the time the Minister for Finance, after 16 years in office, refused to give the old age pensioners a half crown.

He restored the one shilling that had been taken off.

The answer he gave was that there was no money. Soon after, the Tánaiste said in Donegal that the country was facing all sorts of crises. He said there was no money in the kitty and asked us if we wanted a tax on tea and sugar. He put a queer tax on them when, years afterwards, he abolished the food subsidies. I could not help smiling when I heard Deputy S. Browne tell us how his 1957 election manifesto had not contained any promises. It did not need to. The promises had been made by his Leader and Deputy Leader. They had given all the promises necessary but I cannot help wondering if Deputy S. Browne did not go around his constituency whispering that the food subsidies would not come off because his Leader and Deputy Leader had told him so. He must be a very simpleminded man if he thinks we will swallow that.

Why did the Deputy's Government not restore them from 1954 to 1957?

Restore what?

The food subsidies that were taken off.

Is the Minister trying to engage in some sort of duplicity? The food subsidies were there in 1957 when we left office. We handed them over to the present Government and they removed them. They put up the price of butter from 2/10d. a lb. to 4/7d.

They were partially removed in 1952. Why did the Deputy's Government not restore the partial removal in 1954?

For a very good reason as the Minister well knows.

What does the Minister hope to gain by that type of interjection? I am talking about promises made by Fianna Fáil Party leaders immediately before the 1957 election. Immediately on being elected, however—they were not six weeks in office because they came back on March 20th and removed the subsidies on April 14th—

And we faced a good blister of debt left by the Deputy and his colleagues.

If the Minister has not already spoken in this debate—

I shall pick up some of the Deputy's points.

Would the Minister be kind enough to tell us about this alleged debt that we left? Will he give us figures, tell where it was and so on? He has all the information of Government behind him and no single item of Government is a secret to him, unlike the ordinary T. D. or member of the Opposition. Give us details about the debt, to whom it was due and who suffered because of the so-called debt. This story probably gained a few votes at election time and it might even gain a few again, just as every falsehood will deceive the innocent-minded. I was a member of the Government and I was not aware of any debt. I should be delighted if the Minister for Industry and Commerce could enlighten me on it. Is that not a fair challenge?

One that will be accepted in a matter of minutes.

I want facts and figures.

The Deputy will get figures.

I want to know who was denied their wages, salaries or grants, or whatever it was, because of our mismanagement.

What about the housing grants?


Order. Deputy Blowick is entitled to make his speech.

I thought something would be done about the appalling burden of rates imposed by local authorities, county councils and city corporations, and that the Minister would have given some relief there, but he has not. As a matter of fact, the Government, by their legislation, are fond of passing the burden on to the ratepayers and increasing it. I shall give one example of that. I remember when the Health Act of 1947 was passing through this House. It was supposed to bring untold benefits to the people and, on being challenged, the Minister for Health said that the most it could possibly mean would be 2/6d. in the £ on the rates.

Yes, that is all.

I am a member of the Mayo County Council, and this year the health charges for the county, which were to be 2/6d. in the £, were 19/10½d. in the £.

It seems the way Fianna Fáil have for doing good for the people is calmly to pass legislation, shielding the Minister for Finance, and pawning the burden off on the ratepayers. That is just one example.

I thought some positive method would emerge from this last Budget, by which the flight from the land would be stemmed and the condition of the small farmer—the two are interlocked; they are the same problem— would be relieved, but there was absolutely nothing. It seems that there is a policy completely to exterminate the small farmer. They seem to think he is a nuisance, something like a plague of rats or foxes or something of that kind. They have one of two methods by which they can come to his rescue. Deputy Russell mentioned that the small farmer is the backbone of the country, but, apparently, Fianna Fáil are going to leave the country without that backbone.

One method, by which they could come to his rescue, is to give him fixed prices for his produce, give him some security on his holding. The other method is that, where a farmer has not got a holding sufficiently large to occupy him wholetime, he should be given local employment. They have these two methods to try. Every farmer with a valuation of £60, at least, has guaranteed prices for what he sells. I cannot help thinking that the small farmers of the west contribute to the farmers who are lucky enough to have the acreage, the soil and the climate to grow successful crops of wheat. The same is true of sugar beet, barley and other crops. The small farmer cannot fall back on any of these.

Farmers opposite, like Deputy Corry, who on one occasion I heard say he had a farm of 288 acres—I do not grudge it to him; I would wish him 1,088 acres to-morrow—cannot understand what it is to be tied to a small farm. He does not know how the small farmer lives and when he sheds crocodile tears I cannot help thinking that the whole Fianna Fáil facade is only sham and fraud. There is no other name for it. The policy of the Government seems to me to be to wipe them out and apparently when they are wiped out we shall have a blank country. There is a battle going on between the small holding and the ranch and the ranch is winning slowly but steadily. I shall give some figures in support of that in case Deputies do not believe it. In Connaught, in 1934, there were 153,759 males engaged on work on the land. In 1954 the number had fallen to 109,527—44,232 males had left work on the land in Connaught.

Was it full-time work?

Deputy Loughman has already spoken on the Budget.

He would like to resume last Thursday's barracking.

Order Deputy Blowick is in possession.

If Deputy Loughman wants to check he can look at page 147 of this volume issued by the Central Statistics Office.

I just wanted to know was it full-time work.

Whatever Deputy Loughman might say about the inter-Party Government, it was in office only three years out of that 20 and, if there is any blame to be attached to anybody, it should be to the Fianna Fáil Party who were in office for 17 years out of the 20. In Mayo, in that period, we lost over 11,000 males. In Leitrim the total number engaged in agriculture in 1934 was 17,717 males and in 1954, 10,854, a loss of 7,000.

I wonder do the Taoiseach, the Minister for Finance, the Minister for Agriculture and those who have some responsibility towards the farmers read these figures and ponder on the significance of them? If they did they would be better employed in trying to solve that problem than in trying to make propaganda for the coming election. That is a terrible state of affairs.

Deputy Corry could also look at page 147 of this volume and see the figures for Cork. I wonder would they show as good a picture as he wanted to show? This Government started off by reducing the food subsidies and filching £9,000,000 from the small farmers and the workers in 1957. Since then there have been many blows delivered to the same classes, many kinds of indirect taxation. One such is increased rates, which I have just spoken about; another is increased E.S.B. charges. There have been increased bus fares and health charges just to mention a few. Every one of these is a budget behind the scenes for the people——

It was the Deputy's Government which increased the E.S.B. charges by withdrawing the subsidy for rural electrification.

The Minister knows full well that that was not the reason for the increased charges.

I daresay there have been a few increases in the E.S.B. charges; I am not familiar with them. I think there have been two, one by a Fianna Fáil Government and perhaps one by an inter-Party Government but none raised the storm of protest that this particular increase has brought about all over the country. I attended no less than 13 protest meetings in my own constituency, to which I was invited, since these charges went up. My belief is that the people have taken umbrage not so much because the charges have been increased but because of their inability to pay because we have gone through three of the most disastrous years imaginable. There was bad weather, for which nobody can blame the Government. There were bad prices for stock. Last year and the year before, it was impossible for the small farmer to sell cattle. The bacon trade, which I hope the recently introduced Pigs and Bacon Bill will do something to correct, has been a joke and a source of serious discontent, particularly amongst small farmers who rely on it as their principal means of income.

As I said, the Government seem to think that when the small farmers are exterminated and we have a race of factory owners, workers and farmers of over £50 valuation, we will have a happy country. I want to warn them in time that the day that situation comes about, and it is fast approaching, will be a bad day.

Deputy Flanagan promised that if Fine Gael got into office the Land Commission would be instructed to give 50 acre farms to sons of farmers.

If the present flight from the land continues, there will be 150 acre farms to give to the few who are left. Does the Deputy realise that?

I am only saying what Deputy Flanagan said last night.

Do not mind Deputy Flanagan.

He spoke on behalf of his Party.

I would advise Deputy Loughman to open his eyes and see what is happening. If he thinks that Deputy Flanagan has said something that is not true, it is his duty to expose it.

He said it on behalf of his Party.

Do not mind "on behalf of his Party." Deputy Flanagan spoke the truth. Deputy Flanagan came into the Dáil in 1943 on the same day as I came in and I have never heard him making any misstatements, certainly none like some of those I have heard from the other side of the House.

The Minister has intimated in his Budget that in trying to curb the purchase of land by foreigners, he intends to tighten up the loophole that existed in pre-1947 companies being able to purchase at the lower rate of tax. It would be no harm to give the Minister, who may not be familiar with things, some idea of what is happening. There are stretches of barren coastline, which I would not be averse from foreigners developing, if they gave good employment. As a case in point, there is a piece of coastline in my constituency running from Killary Harbour to Louisburg. It is at a foot of a mountain. It held a few sheep. At one time, the man who owned it asked me to approach the Forestry Branch with a view to their taking it over for forestry purposes. They would not do so, because the land was not fit for that purpose. I have no objection to Germans, or other people spending money in developing such places that we will never develop. I would draw the line at foreigners purchasing arable land or land fit for forestry that would give employment to our own people or that could be given to our own people. I certainly would support the Minister 100 per cent. in doing that.

The Minister should use very careful discretion. Where barren coastline is concerned, which might present an amenity to people from crowded cities, I should like to see them developing it, because we would not have the money to do it. We have not got the money to carry soil into such places and to plant them. It would be a grave mistake to hinder foreigners in that kind of development. It would be a mistake to prevent plans being carried out at a cost of £1,200,000 to develop land that was not valued at 6d. per acre poor law valuation. I would applaud the Minister's action in preventing foreigners buying arable land or land fit for forestry which our own Forestry Branch should take over.

I do not like to see the power of exemption given to the Minister for Lands, as the Minister proposes. Deputy Costello said that that was really giving the Minister a power that no Minister ever had, that is, power to remit a tax. I understood that it was the Revenue Commissioners who had such authority. The Minister is taking a very dangerous step, and I would ask him to think twice about it. I was in the Department for seven years and I know what will happen. The people concerned will put on every kind of political pressure to get something they should not get under the law. It is a wrong method of dealing with it.

Any official from the Department of Agriculture or a county committee of agriculture will be able to tell the Minister whether land is suitable for forestry or agriculture and should not be purchased by a foreigner or whether it is a useless piece of rock or sand, in which case there would be nothing wrong with selling or leasing it. It is a most dangerous experiment to give this power to the Minister for Lands. I would not like to see the Minister for Finance or the Taoiseach himself assuming that power.

I am very disappointed with the Budget, as most people are. Once again, Fianna Fáil have shown their teeth to the poorer classes by taxing little necessaries. One is tobacco. They are using the money so collected to remit income tax. I put it to the Minister and to any level-minded Deputy, who is better able to carry a little extra burden—the man paying income tax or the small farmer with a family or the worker in the town with a meagre salary?

We should stop shedding crocodile tears about small farmers, emigration and unemployment, and do something instead. A small holding cannot provide a living for a man and his wife and family without outside help. I should be inclined to approach the problem in one or two ways. The first is to give more employment in rural areas to absorb the spare time of the man who is not wholetime self-employed on his own holding. The other way is to give fixed or guaranteed prices to the farmer for his produce. I certainly would want to see an end to the pathetic situation in the west where we had contractors from England looking for 3,000 ablebodied men in Castlebar and the other towns in Mayo and, without any trouble, getting 3,000 men within a fortnight.

The argument will be put up that while England is able to pay better wages than we are, it will be almost impossible to stop emigration. I know that will have an influence on certain boys and girls and that I myself would be tempted to go away if I were as hard up for my week's work as anybody else, but there are hundreds of youngsters quite willing to stay at home if they can get the wages at home, little as they are. But we are not doing that. There has been a complete shutdown in all work in agricultural areas. Something has happened in the Forestry Department. In 1957, there were 5,470 workers engaged in forestry but today there are only 4,900. Why, with the larger programme, it has been found necessary to dismiss 500 workers I do not know. The Local Authorities (Works) Act which gave very useful employment and was doing excellent work in the rural areas was cut out. The Government have very efficiently banished the extra population from the country. They have closed up houses. On the Vote on Account, Deputy O'Donnell mentioned that, in his own parish, in the period of three years, 34 houses have been locked up. That is not an isolated case. It is happening in every parish all over the west of Ireland, and no Government are worth the name of a Government if they do not do something to stop that. Nothing has been done to stop that in this Budget.

Deputy Blowick's speech is typical of some speeches I have heard from the opposite side of the House and of others, the reports of which I have read in the newspapers on this Budget. They seem to be consistently and deliberately turning a blind eye to the steady progress that has been made since the Minister for Finance introduced his first Budget in 1957. They offer but feeble criticism of the Budget being discussed now, and keep harking back to the Budgets of 1957 and 1952 when the food subsidies were removed. Of course, they conveniently neglected to refer to the significant fact that each of these Budgets followed a period of office of a Coalition Government. Fianna Fáil, when they assumed office after each of these periods, were faced with severe deficits, and since Deputy Blowick challanged me to indicate what those deficits were and before he leaves the House, I will shortly refer him to them.

The Government came into office on 20th March, 1957. At that time, the Book of Estimates was already prepared, the revenue for the preceding year was almost completely taken in, and on the basis of the Budget alone of the previous year, there was a deficit of £5½ million that a Coalition Minister for Finance would have had to make up. As well as that, on the basis of the then existing taxation and of the Estimates the incoming Government were faced with, there was a short-fall of some £9 million. These are two significant figures that had to be faced by some responsible Minister for Finance and some responsible Government.

Deputy Corish, in this House and again in his radio broadcast, referred to the additional taxation imposed by this Government and compared it with the amount of reliefs given. He said that additional taxation amounted to some £12 million over the period of four or five years and the reliefs amounted only to £5 million, leaving a net addition of £7 million a year. He conveniently, of course, forgot and made no attempt to indicate how these extra revenues were applied, and I propose now as shortly as I can to give the House some indication of what happened since then, to indicate how any extra moneys that have accrued, largely because of the buoyancy of the revenue, were applied to necessary and productive purposes.

For many years, we have been hearing about the necessity for making an increased provision for education, and I think we will all agree that education is one of the most productive purposes to which we could apply revenue. In the year 1957, when the Coalition left office, the total expenditure on education was £15,790,000. In the current Estimates, the total provision is £20½ million. There were, of course, capital expenditures involved in these, for example, in the case of primary school building. That has increased from £1,043,000 in 1956-57 to £1,615,000 in the current year. That expenditure represented an increase of 53 new primary schools per annum then as against an average of 85 new schools in this and the last two years. As well as that, there was the programme of reconstruction of schools on a major scale. These enlargements and reconstructions increased from 13 in 1956-57 to an average of 43 in this and the last two years. That is one indication of how any increased revenue that has come in has been efficiently and properly applied.

We turn to agriculture and find Deputy Blowick shedding crocodile tears for the farmers generally and for the small farmers in particular. The total amount voted for agriculture in 1956-57 was £8,058,000. In the current year, the total sum to be voted is £16,897,000—almost £17 million. If we look at some of the significant increases in the breakdown of that figure, we will see how that increase has been wisely and properly applied. On fertiliser, limestone and other subsidies, there was an increase from £649,000 in 1956-57 to £3,060,000 in the current year. For the eradication of bovine tuberculosis the gross expenditure in 1956-57 was £385,000 and the average for this and the last two years for the same purpose is £7,600,000. That, I think, is a fair enough indication to Deputy Blowick that farmers generally are much the concern of this Government and is an earnest of the extent to which this Government have come to their assistance in a practical way.

Much of the increase in revenue has, of course, of necessity, to be applied to social welfare payments, and again the payments in the four years I have referred to have shown a significant increase—from £27½ millions in 1956-57 to £36,100,000 in the current year. That is allowing for the £900,000 increase provided for in this Budget. It is again an earnest of the undertaking of this Government that, according as the economy was strengthened and could bear these further payments, there would be steady increases in social welfare benefits.

I can give some examples of how these benefits have increased in individual cases. In March, 1957, when this Government assumed office, the non-contributory old age pension and blind pension were 24/- a week. They will be 30/- a week when this Budget's provisions will have been implemented. In the case of the widow's non-contributory pension, the amount given to the lone widow stood at 22/6d. in March, 1957, and it is now 28/6d. The widow with two children had then 36/6d. as against 47/6d. under this Budget. A widow with four children had 36/6d., no increase over what she would have had for two children, and will now get 57/6d.

Unemployment assistance has similarly increased from 38/-, for a man, woman and two children in an urban area, to 52/6d., again a significant increase and an indication, if Deputy Blowick and others want it, as to how any hardship that was occasioned by the withdrawal of food subsidies has been eliminated in relation to the weaker sections of the community.

Under the heading of health, Government expenditure in 1956-57 was £3,800,000. In the current year it will be £9 million. One aspect of health expenditure is illustrated in the payment of hospital deficits; in 1956-57 the figure was £700,000 and this has been increased this year to £1,500,000.

Deputy Blowick tried to suggest a few moments ago in relation to forestry that the activities carried on during his period of office were a great deal in excess of what is happening now. The figures will speak for themselves, and I am sorry Deputy Blowick has had to leave the House. In 1956-57 there were 17,500 acres planted. That has been increased to 25,000 for plantation in the current year. Gross expenditure, in round figures, increased from £2 million in that period to £3 million in the current year and the expenditure on labour has increased from £1,350,000 to £1,700,000 in the current year.

There are 500 fewer employed.

In forestry? That should be easy to check.

The number in rural employment is the same.

I do not seem to have the figures for forestry here but I certainly do not accept there are 500 fewer as between those two periods.

There are 500 more in fisheries.

There are 500 more in fisheries, as the Minister for Finance points out. If there is a shortfall in the number employed in forestry, it has been more than made up for in fisheries. In any event the rate of progress is indicated by the expenditure involved, and the increase in the rate of plantation must necessarily involve an increase in the numbers employed—if not now, in the long run.

In regard to the programme covered by these items of expenditure, a programme which, as these figures indicate, is a progressive one, and one produced as a result of sound and steady planning, it would not be possible to undertake this programme without a buoyant economy and without buoyancy on both revenue and capital account. It cannot be denied, much as members of the Opposition would like to establish to the contrary, that there is a spirit amongst the people to tackle problems efficiently, which is apparent to everybody else in the country and is also obvious to many visitors, people who have come perhaps at intermittent periods over a number of years.

It is certainly apparent to the economists of the O.E.E.C. who in their recent report were able to record significant improvements in our over-all economy and in most sections of it. This report is available to every Deputy but I would like to pinpoint some of the progress in our economy recorded in this current publication of O.E.E.C. Total output, they say, is up between four and five per cent. compared with three per cent. in 1959, compared with two per cent. envisaged in the Programme for Economic Expansion and compared with minus two per cent. as between 1956 and 1957. Consumption of goods and other non-durables is up by four per cent., which they attribute in the main to higher income. Exports of goods and services are up by 13 per cent., capital investment by five per cent.

In the course of his speech the other day the Taoiseach gave details of the increase in the number of new industries, the number who are in industrial employment this year compared with last year, and said that a number of new industries which were expected to be in production by the end of the year had an employment potential of 6,000. Registered unemployment, the O.E.E.C. experts record, is down by 13,500 and bank deposits are up by £5 million.

It is satisfactory at any time in the history of a country's economy to be able to report progress at this rate, but it is particularly satisfactory to be able to record it after the almost catastrophic downturn in our economy experienced in 1956, which continued right through 1957 and which was ultimately arrested in 1958. The Programme for Economic Expansion was the turning point and, as this report on Ireland's economy records in its first three sentences:

The upswing in production which began in 1959 after several years of relative stagnation continued during 1960 when the rise in total output is likely to have been between four and five per cent. a year.

The upturn in production in 1959 has continued, as the O.E.E.C. experts tell us, during the past year. The national income is increasing at a satisfactory rate. Exports have reached a record level and the balance of international payments is, and has been for a year or so past, in equilibrium. Employment in industry shows a steady growth and this year we shall have reached the stage when the intake of labour into industry will have offset and, we hope, more than offset, the numbers leaving the land.

At all events the comparative figures in the unemployed register for 1960 as compared with the corresponding period of 1959 showed a decline of from 10 to 15 per cent. I think it was very satisfactory to record that all this has been achieved in conditions of relative price stability. I do not think that there is any ground for complacency amongst our people. I think they realise the danger of optimism and that they are aware that they cannot rest on their oars. I believe, as the experts of O.E.E.C. have reported, that there are good grounds for optimism and I believe that our economy will continue to expand. As they say, a solid basis has been laid for further expansion.

A notable feature of this debate is the complete absence of any criticism of the provisions of the Budget by members of the Opposition. We have had criticism on a wide variety of matters but I think it can truly be said that, as far as the provisions of the Budget are concerned, we have had no criticism of any worthwhile part of it. I wonder what is the cause of that degree of reasonableness which was noticeably absent from the Budget debates of former years? We have had, in the last 13 years, four different administrations. We had a Coalition over six of those years and we have had a Fianna Fáil Government over a somewhat similar period. I am of the opinion that the budgetary experience of members of the Coalition is to some extent responsible for curbing their skill on this particular occasion. I think they have been shackled by their own financial records from 1948 to 1951 and from 1954 to 1957.

The Taoiseach has declared it to be the policy of the Government that social improvement would be the aim of our economic policy. I think that is sound national policy and it is even sound international policy. President Kennedy, on the occasion of his inauguration, declared that the nation that could not take care of its poor could not hope for long to protect the few people who were rich, Consequently, I feel that the provisions of this Budget which secure and protect the needy and weaker sections of our community are very sound provisions.

In the period from 1957, the Government have achieved what is a unique record since the foundation of the State. In each successive Budget the Minister for Finance has provided increases for beneficiaries of the social welfare schemes. I think that is quite a worthwhile achievement. In January of this year the Government was able to introduce a scheme of contributory old age pensions and then the Budget provides an increase of 1/6d. per week for all old age and blind pensioners from August next. When this increase comes into operation, the people in receipt of pensions will be receiving 6/- more per week than they were getting in 1957.

Similar increases or more extensive increases have been provided under the Widows' and Orphans' Pensions Scheme. A widow who had two children in 1957 was in receipt of 37/6d. She will now get 47/6d.; a widow with four children will get an increase bringing her up to 57/6d. An unemployed person with one adult dependant and two children is already in receipt of 9/6d. a week over the 1957 level and, when the new increases come into operation in August, people unemployed will be in receipt of an increase of 11/- per week over the 1957 level. I think that is quite a sound record of achievement so far as the social service classes are concerned. It is a record that the Government can be justly proud of. As far as the resources of the nation and the economic expansion permit a considerable slice of the benefits obtained from that expansion is going to the people who are unable, through their own efforts, to secure increases for themselves.

We have been accused in this debate by many Opposition speakers of being anti-farmer, of being antagonistic towards the farming community. I do not know why that allegation is made. The facts prove conclusively that that is not so. State aid to agriculture has been increased from £20,000,000 to £25,000,000 in recent years. In this Budget £825,000 more is being provided for the development of agriculture. There is £300,000 of an increase towards the marketing of dairy produce. There is a substantial increase in the subsidy for the transport of ground limestone and there is a substantial increase in the subsidy for potash fertiliser.

Apart from these, there is a great variety of other benefits conferred on the farming community to enable them to secure a standard of living which will compare favourably with the national average. I do not know what more the Government could do. Everything that is possible to do in the way of financial support is being done to help the farmers. Undoubtedly they were, to a considerable extent, hampered in their efforts by the unfavourable weather of 1958, 1959 and 1960. If the weather had been favourable, we would have in the agricultural sphere today a degree of prosperity which was never enjoyed before by the farming community. Despite the difficulty of the weather, and the necessity for the bovine T.B. eradication scheme, the Government has done as much as it is possible to do to help the farmers by way of financial assistance. I represent an agricultural constituency and I know that the farmers recognise and appreciate the technical advice made available to them, and the substantial subsidies which were provided for them under other legislation dealing with phosphates and potash fertilisers, apart from the recent increases. The purchase of reactor cattle on very generous terms by the Department is appreciated by the farming community.

Recently, the Minister for Agriculture, in reply to a question by Deputy Dillon, was able to say that the losses sustained by the Department in the purchase of reactor cattle amounted to an average of £25 per head. I should love to know how much Fine Gael would pay for reactor cattle, if they were in power in the circumstances of 1957, when it was impossible to get an agricultural grant for the erection of a haybarn or any farm building, and when the finances of the country were in an indescribable condition.

In any event, I feel that no matter how often it is repeated, or how convincingly it is stated, it is impossible to get the average farmer to believe that the Fianna Fáil Party are acting in a manner detrimental to their interests, because, as I have said, the facts prove conclusively that the very opposite is the case. As I have also said, I do not know, if the Minister had endless resources at his disposal, what more he could do by way of providing financial assistance towards developing our agricultural industry.

The allegations which have been made that the policy of Fianna Fáil is to annihilate the small farmers are completely belied by the activities of the Land Commission. I can say in truth, that never before was so much land being acquired by the Land Commission, and divided among the uneconomic holders and the small farmers in general in the midlands. I believe the same is true all over the country. No farm of land which suits the policy of the Land Commission that comes on the market is let go without the Land Commission making a generous and sincere offer to buy it in order that they can prepare schemes of allotment or distribution to help the small farmer to earn a living. That aspect of the policy of the Department of Lands is very well appreciated and recognised for what it is worth. I do not think it is possible to make the argument stand up that Fianna Fáil are lacking in any way in their outlook, so far as the interests of the small farmers are concerned.

I am very glad the Minister decided to take steps, in his Budget, designed to ensure that the 25 per cent. purchase tax on aliens buying land will be effectively employed. I do not think there are any good grounds for the allegation that a sort of cheque-book conquest of the country is being made by aliens. I do not know if it is taking place in other parts of the country, but it is not taking place in the midlands.

Foreigners have bought a certain number of farms, but, in my opinion, at any rate, they will not get rich quick at farming in this country. If they believe they will, they are more foolish than I think they are. They bring in capital, and they carry on a pattern of farming which is beyond the resources of our farmers. In a number of cases of which I am aware, people who bought large tracts of land in the post-war years, improved its fertility and reclaimed and fertilised it, have found that the dividend on their capital investment in farming activities did not compensate them and they offered the land back to the Land Commission. They improved the fertility of that land and the local people will now derive substantial benefits by way of getting that land from the Land Commission.

I do not think there is any serious problem, but it would be very unfair if they could circumvent the Land Commission and not pay the 25 per cent. purchase tax. If that legislation were rigidly enforced, that is as far as one could go in the matter, because the seller has the right to freedom of sale. It would be most unreasonable to expect Parliament to do anything that would in any way transgress the owner's right to sell to the highest bidder, when it comes to selling private property.

So far as exports are concerned, the record of the Government is good. Last year, exports were up by £22,000,000 and we achieved equilibrium in our balance of international payments. That, I think, was an all-time high level of activity, and it is a considerable achievement, considering that the terms of trade have worsened slightly in the recent past. Exports last year totalled £152,000,000 as against £108,000,000 in 1956, and £110,000,000 in 1955, the trade period when the Coalition Government were in power.

Any reduction in income tax is very welcome. It was reduced last year from 7/6d. to 7/ —and this year from 7/- to 6/4d. That is a very wise decision on the part of the Minister, and I am quite convinced the benefits will manifest themselves in no uncertain manner in due course.

There has been a lot of talk about the withdrawal of the food subsidies. I heard an Opposition speaker say this evening that we were £9,000,000 richer as a result of the Minister having to take the action of withdrawing the food subsidies to balance the Budget in 1957. If we were that £9,000,000 richer, is it not a fair question to ask: why did the Coalition Government disintegrate and take to their heels in 1957, when they had a substantial Dáil majority and had completed only 2½ years of their constitutional period of office?

What would the Deputy call "substantial"?

In 1957, the Coalition Government had a clear majority in the Dáil, if they wished to avail of it. They could have gone ahead and introduced their Budget in 1957 and provided for the food subsidies and carried on for another year in government. They did not do that. They decided to dissolve the Dáil. When the Dáil adjourned at Christmas of 1956, I do not think a general election was in anyone's mind, but after the recess, the Dáil was not reconvened. It was dissolved during the period of the Christmas recess, and there was a surprise election in the early spring of 1957, despite the fact that the Government had a majority and could have carried on. Why did they not do that? If it was simple for the Minister who succeeded Deputy Sweetman to administer the finances of the State and make provision for the food subsidies—which they say was a simple operation—why did they not stand their ground? That is a simple question, a fair question, but I have not heard it answered in this debate. They had been in office for 2½ years and still had 2½ years to go.

A considerable amount of criticism has been levelled against the health legislation. I heard last evening that the Health Act was a bad one, that the health legislation was bad, that there were widespread grievances, and so on and so forth. I do not contend for one moment that everything in the garden is rosy, or that the situation is perfect. I realise that it is very hard to secure the degree of perfection we would all desire but, in a general way, we have a better standard of health services than we ever had before.

There are various grievances with regard to health cards and there are many people under the misapprehension that if they have not got a health card, they are entitled to no benefit, whereas they are entitled to very many improved health services they did not enjoy heretofore. Even though they are not holders of health cards, they can enjoy free hospital and surgical treatment; but the health card entitles holders to a dispensary service. It is very foolish for the Opposition to make too much propaganda out of health cards and health legislation.

I also heard in the course of the debate criticism of the Local Authorities (Work) Act. It was alleged there was a complete collapse of Fianna Fáil policy in regard to drainage. I shall not go into any detail on that. All I shall say is that, so far as drainage is concerned, the record of the Coalition is that they drained the Exchequer dry. In the spring of 1957 grants from Government Departments were nonexistent. The credit normally available from the commercial banks and other institutions had completely dried up as a result of Government policy. No credit was available to any section of the community. That cannot be denied.

There is no scarcity of credit now. Any worthwhile scheme holding out a reasonable prospect of conferring benefit on an individual or a section of the community need not fáil for want of financial assistance. If that were the only achievement to the credit of the Government, it would be a very worthwhile one. No scheme of national development is now impeded, delayed or restricted for lack of finance, provided it meets with certain requirements.

Along with increased credit facilities for all sections of the community, savings have increased by 50 per cent. since 1956. That alone is sufficient to justify the statement that this is a sound Budget and that the financial policy of the Government has been sound. The provisions of the Budget merely vindicate the steps taken in the early part of the Government's administration. The Budget has regard to the rights of taxpayers, producers and wage-earners as well as the old and the needy. In so far as it is possible for the State to do its duty, it has certainly done so in this Budget. The Budget asks very little and gives a lot.

In support of that contention, I should like to quote from a leading article in the Irish Independent of the 5th November, 1960. It states:

In the course of the past year there has been an encouraging upsurge in the hitherto slowly expanding Irish economy. Most of the main economic indicators have moved upwards, some by quite substantial margins, and it is generally agreed that a new dynamic of progress has been released. The recently issued progress report on the Government's Programme for Economic Expansion shows that expansion has been greater than was expected. National income increased by three per cent. last year compared with the cautious two per cent. original estimate in the White Paper. The external trade position shows a significant improvement. Exports in the half year to September 30th increased by £11 million compared with an increase of £3.3 million in imports. Many other instances might be given of a generally strengthening economy.

Concluding his remarks, the Minister for Finance stated that the record of the Government was one of which they need not be ashamed. That is very true. The entire record of the Minister is one any member of the House might envy. No man has been given more difficult assignments in the public life of the country since the beginning of the State. In the 1930's, when agriculture was in the throes of the greatest economic depression experienced for many a long day, he was Minister for Agriculture. The policy he advocated and implemented then was to a large extent responsible for enabling us to survive here during the war.

When the health legislation here was a bone of contention, the present Minister for Finance was Minister for Health. It was a difficult assignment and he handled it very successfully. When the finances of the country were wrecked in 1957, he was given the unenviable task, as Minister for Finance, of applying remedial measures. Not alone can the Government be proud of their record, but the Minister can be very proud of his achievements over the past four years.

The last Deputy who spoke said that the Minister for Finance in his present Budget asks very little and gives a lot. In fact, in his Budget estimates the Minister indicates that he is asking for a record figure in the history of the State for the conduct of our affairs. From a diminishing population he demands a record figure for the administration of the country. I could not describe that as very little. He gives a lot? We shall examine in a few moments the extent of the gifts that have been given.

Since the debate has now been in progress for some days, we have on record a number of statements assessing the condition of the country and the contribution expected from this Budget. One of the Government Deputies, who rose from the back benches very shortly after the Minister for Finance, said that we now had "one of the most prosperous States in Europe, if not in the world." I ask any Deputy in his sane senses what credence he could place in the opinion of a Deputy who would express such an exaggerated opinion? It is not long since we heard from the same Deputy in this House, and the probity and good sense of two of his comrades have not stood up to the test very well since then. He went on to say: "There is no doubt in the mind of any fair-minded person, regardless of his political allegiance, that we are now a very prosperous nation." If we are so prosperous, we are entitled to ask why so many of our people are leaving such prosperity. What is it in this country that is driving them from it, if such conditions exist here?

We heard all these exaggerated statements. We heard the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Justice say that excellent efforts were being made, that all the Budgets presented by this Government were good and that they got better as time went on. He was very confident. Perhaps his confidence arose from the fact that he is a young man, not long in politics, for whom an office was created. He may have done well himself. We wish him well in his office, but he must come down to earth and realise how the people outside are living and that there are very great numbers in our community who today are not quite as prosperous as some of the Deputies supporting the Government would have us believe.

More than four Government Deputies have stated that no Government can achieve their objects without being a considerable time in office and that they must be given an opportunity. We could possibly agree with that. It was alleged by more than one Deputy that the greatest crime the inter-Party Government committed was that they went to the people when the people had clearly indicated they wanted a change. Was there something wrong in giving the people the opportunity to do so? What we allege was wrong were the circumstances in which the present Government sought the suffrage of the people. They secured the support of the people on specific undertakings which they have dishonoured.

Deputies who are critical of the inter-Party Government because they did not complete their term of office did not advert to the fact that the average life of any Fianna Fáil Government in the past 25 years has not been more than three years. There was not much difference between the average life of a Fianna Fáil Government, with huge majorities, and that of the inter-Party Governments. There was not more than three or four months between them, on average, in their duration of office.

A lot of play has been made on the fact that the Dáil went into recess before Christmas on one occasion and did not meet again until after a general election. Then, on another occasion, Ministers got up one morning to learn that the then Taoiseach had paid a visit to the Park and had had the Dáil dissolved overnight. They did not know that they would be going to the country. We do not quibble with the verdict of the people when it is fairly given. It is fairly given when those who secured the support of the people live up to what they claimed they would do and about which they can be so assertive when it suits them.

This Government secured office five years ago on specific undertakings which evidently the people believed they were capable of putting into effect but which they have failed miserably to implement. It may be remarked that the people at large have lost much interest in the annual Budget presented in this House. There may be a good logical reason for that. The people are getting tired of repeated Budgets. They do not have to wait for the annual presentation of the Minister for Finance. Scarcely a month passes when there is not some enactment by the Government under which some Minister extracts something from the people by way of a supplement to the annual Budget.

There is no reference in the Budget statement to the fact that within the past few months a sum of £4 million per annum was levied on employers and employees by way of increased insurance stamps prices. Included in that figure is a considerable saving to the Minister for Social Welfare in the amount allocated annually for noncontributory old age pensions. Some Deputies could wax eloquent about the benefits many recipients of the old age pension will receive without having contributed to it. Of course they are happy about it. However, those Deputies did not advert to the fact that this is mortgaging the future, that the young people now entering employment will be paying for the money being dished out at the moment. Granted, certain benefits accrue to people with the required number of insurance stamps but this is a sum of £4 million per annum— £2 million for employers and £2 million for employees. There is no reference to that in the Budget statement.

This Budget concerns increased taxation imposed in successive Budgets since the Government assumed office. The £750,000 additional taxation on beer is confirmed by the enactment of this Budget. So, also, the £1 million imposed on petrol is a heavy imposition on anybody using a car and most people who use cars must use them. There is no doubt that many Government Deputies were told three, four and five years ago when these Budgets were being introduced that, politically, it was a good thing to hit the people hard during the earlier part of the term in office so that, by the time a general election came, one would be in a position to remit some of the earlier impositions. By that time, also, the people would have forgotten the extent of the impositions and possibly also the perpetrator of the impositions. That is why many Government Deputies are disappointed with this Budget.

The Minister has failed to reduce the heavy impact of taxation on the people during the past five years. We had increased postal charges and increased E.S.B. charges. While Deputy Blowick was speaking the Minister for Industry and Commerce said the increased E.S.B. charges are solely attributable to rural electrification. We think that is incorrect. We think the impact of rural electrification on E.S.B. charges is negligible in comparison with other impacts on the increased charges.

It was also alleged that the protest meetings are politically inspired against the present Government. We deny that. Government Deputies have attended these meetings. No doubt they are solicitous in regard to the problems consumers of electricity are experiencing by reason of the incresed charges. All this adds up to the frequent impositions we have had in the past 12 months—impositions which have reduced the necessity for the Minister to do some more unpopular things than he is obliged to do in this Budget.

Expenditure has been passed on to the local authorities which is bearing heavily on the ratepayers. The rates have reached an unprecedented height. Our ratepayers must now pay £3 ½ million more than five years ago. Hospital charges were increased five years ago and still remain at that level. Bus and train fares have been increased. Despite the increase in transport charges, there are fewer transport facilities. Parts of the country are denied the transport facilities enjoyed by the remainder of the country. We can only assume that that was done with the intention of saving some money to the Exchequer. Despite that saving it is remarkable that there is not any considerable reduction in the amount needed to assist the transport system.

Within the past few hours, the Minister for Industry and Commerce said the last Government disagreed with the policy of the present Government when it was previously in office in slashing food subsidies. He asked why, when the inter-Party Government got into office, they did not restore the subsidies which the Fianna Fáil Government had slashed in 1952. The Minister for Industry and Commerce ascribed the wrong motive to his colleague, the Tánaiste, when he slashed the food subsidies. The Minister for Industry and Commerce claimed it was done to save a considerable sum of money to the Exchequer and, as he said, to meet debts which the Government could not honour without taking this extreme step. In fact, the Minister for Finance at the time made the qualification that it was necessary to reduce the level of subsidisation on food because people were too well off and they were spending too much. If they were compelled to pay more for necessaries, then they would have less to spend on imports.

Would the Deputy quote the exact words?

I can remember clearly the reason advanced.

The Deputy does not remember correctly. Quote the words.

The Minister was not interrupted when making his introductory statement. He will not be interrupted when he comes to reply and——

I am asking the Deputy to quote the words.

I am not pretending to give them verbatim but I can remember quite clearly the reasons advanced.

The Deputy is misrepresenting the Minister.

I am not. If it was intended to save the Exchequer by slashing the fool subsidies, was it not the experience of the Government that they had to pay more by way of compensatory increases to those who were in a position to get them? One would have thought that that lesson should have been enough for the Fianna Fáil Government. In fact, it rankled so much that during the 1957 general election campaign — Deputy Browne says that he did not say anything in Wexford—both the leader and deputy leader of the Fianna Fáil Party denied categorically on public platforms that there was any foundation whatever for the suggestion of their opponents that, if Fianna Fáil were returned to office, they would remove the remainder of the food subsidies. Unfortunately, they did assume office, and, in the very first Budget, the food subsidies were dispensed with completely. The result has been that we have had round after round of wage and salary increases to compensate those who could demand them for the increased cost of living.

At the time the subsidies were introduced it was stated that they were not sacrosanct, that they were a temporary expedient. Nobody was particularly wedded to food subsidies for all time but one must weigh the effect on the community of the sudden drastic withdrawal of the subsidies and the consequential cost to the Government, to local authorities, to private employers in meeting the increased cost of living so far as their employees were concerned. Sparking off round after round of increases in salaries and wages had the ultimate effect of pricing us out of many of our markets. The Government have not even succeeded in holding the cost-of-living figure at the high level it had reached before the subsidies were withdrawn.

In recent years, many of the controls which ensured that there would be no unfair increase in price to the consumer have been removed. We have a cost-of-living figure which is a record one in the history of this country. When the Government sat on these benches, we can remember their allegation with regard to the increases which occurred as a result of happenings outside our shores, and over which no Government could exercise any control. We thought that, when they assumed office, they would live up to their own criticisms when they occupied these benches. But each successive Budget has had to make provision for compensatory increases in salaries and wages. Compensatory increases have likewise had to be met by local authorities and by employers generally.

The self-employed, the small farmer and those living on private incomes have had no compensation. Like everyone else, they have had to find the money for central taxation to meet these compensatory increases, plus increases in the rates. No Government could compensate these people for what they have suffered as a result of the false step taken by this Government. We have the report of Messrs. Ranks of the drastic reduction in the consumption of flour and bread, a reduction which has taken place because of the increase in the price of flour and bread.

One could speak at considerable length on this subject, but I want to say something about employment and unemployment. Some Deputies supporting the Government draw solace from the fact that there is a reduction in the number of registered unemployed. There are some 60 odd Deputies—I am speaking in a numerical sense now—who have not yet intervened in this debate. Perhaps some of them will explain to us, if there is this reduction in the number of unemployed, where these people are employed. The Central Statistics Office which is attached to the Taoiseach's Department say there are 51,000 fewer people in employment today than there were prior to this Government assuming office.

That is not right.

Is the Minister questioning the Taoiseach's figures?

I will give the figures later.

May we not accept the Taoiseach's figures?

I do not believe the Taoiseach said that.

Indeed, he did. He said very definitely there are 51,000 fewer people in employment as compared with 1956. If these are not now registered as unemployed, they must have emigrated. Some Fianna Fáil Deputies hold that there is no emigration; others say there is less emigration. We have a statement from the Taoiseach that there are some 40,000 emigrating every year. If one asks a question, the Taoiseach will say he has no reliable statistics, but in his speech on the Budget, he indicated a precise number. He must not blow hot and cold. If he can be precise in one direction, surely he can be precise in another.

He nailed his colours to the mast and gave an estimate of 40,000 a year emigrating. When we say that 200,000 emigrated in the past five years, there is not very much difference between our estimation and the Government's estimation of the position. Those Deputies who try to derive consolation from the fact that there are reduced numbers registered as unemployed must remember that allied to unemployment is the very important problem of emigration.

Both sides of the House are glad of the improvement that has taken place in the level of exports. We are glad because the idea of encouraging industrialists to export goods manufactured here was initiated in 1956. The inducements initiated by Deputy Sweetman as Minister for Finance were adopted and expanded by the present Minister. We think that was wise—that completely new idea initiated when we were in Government. We think the idea of encouraging foreign industrialists to establish branches in this country is a good thing, but we think the Government should be careful. Ireland has very much to offer foreign industrialists either to establish branches or entirely new industries in this country. We have the stability and we have the labour.

However, I would point out that it is most unfair to existing industrialists in this country who, without subsidy, sent young boys from Irish vocational schools to be trained on the Continent, brought them back and gave them employment and promotion within the country, to find that foreign industrialists brought in here through subsidies are inciting these young men to leave the employment they had in Irish industries in Cork City and elsewhere. That is a matter that should have the immediate attention of the Minister and the Government.

I now come to some of the reliefs that have been afforded in this Budget. First of all, the relief given to agriculture I would say was negligible because a few days before the Minister made his Budget statement he released the recommendations of the Commission on Income Tax which included one that all farmers should be subject to income tax. Some of us, quite rightly, guessed the reason this was done at that particular time. The Minister was so bereft of any agricultural interest in his statement that this balloon was sent up to be shot down in the Budget statement to give the Minister an opportunity of saying that he was not accepting the recommendaion.

Great play has been made by Fianna Fáil Deputies of the increased subsidy for the transport of ground limestone and we had bouquets thrown at the Minister for having restored the full transport subsidy on ground limestone which he had removed since his Government came into office. The provision of this money is an admission by the Government that it has been brought home to them there was such a falling off in the use of ground limestone in recent years following the reduction in the transport subsidy that it became imperative that something be done to restore the same volume of usage of ground limestone. Therefore, they had in this Budget to restore the subsidy. It was a lesson learned.

We are glad that they learned at least one lesson. The increase in the Farm Building Grant is welcome too because it will offset the increased building costs and make it possible for people to erect buildings as they were able to do some years ago. We know how costs have increased and we know it is important that, as far as farm buildings are concerned, they should be offset to some extent. One recalls that despite all the criticisms there were of the inter-Party Government, there was no grant under this heading until Deputy Dillon introduced it. We are glad now that it is being maintained and that some additional grants are being made available.

Two or three days before the Budget, I attended a meeting of the Cork County Committee of Agriculture as an observer. The Minister for Agriculture was there and he was told by the members that it would be advisable to increase the grants for the building of cow-byres. The Minister took nearly an hour to defend the then level of cow-byre grants. I now wonder if he had any idea of what was being done in the Budget. If he had, why did he spend such a long time and effort defending the level at which the grants then stood?

There was not a single reference in the Budget statement to the building of houses in the country. It makes one recall the manner in which Deputy Briscoe and others raved across the floor of the House at the last Government because more money was not being spent on housing. Today there are fewer houses being built than the year before the Minister took office. I know that in my town the housing problem is most serious. People are under the impression throughout the country that we have resolved the housing problem outside the main centres of population. I can tell them that there are many provincial towns where the problem is very acute. It is a problem in which the red tape should be cut down so that local authorities can proceed at once with the erection of houses for people at present living in conditions which are no credit to any Christian country. I think it is a pity we should be turning our eyes so much to prestige building in this city and elsewhere.

At the moment we are talking a lot about refurnishing Dublin Castle and building new mammoth headquarters for the Minister for Social Welfare when we should be building for people who are living in conditions which cannot be anything but injurious to the health of growing children. I would appeal earnestly to the Minister to bring a bit of realism into this so that the Department of Local Government would resume a full programme of building houses immediately for the people who are so badly in need of them.

In relation to the increase given to social welfare recipients, we feel it should have been far greater in view of the diminished value of money to-day compared with some years ago. It has been asserted that it is impossible to give increased benefits to those classes without increased taxation—that increased taxation is a necessary corollary to increased benefits. We can recall 1947 when the present Minister was in charge of the Department of Social Welfare and rejected a Private Bill seeking an increase in old age pensions. At the same time he introduced a Supplementary Budget imposing very heavy taxation.

Within a matter of months, after another Government was elected, twice the amount of increase was given as was sought in Opposition and the supplementary taxes were all remitted to the people. Therefore, we contend it is possible to give substantial social welfare benefits and to exercise economies in other sectors of government. We think it would be better to do that than to impose again this addition of one penny on the smoker, because it is not just a question of this one penny but fourpence on the 20 packet of cigarettes imposed since this Government came into office. All these taxes have been confirmed in this Budget and we have had this addition as well. It is quite different from what the people expected as they felt that, as the imposition had been so heavy for years and as the Minister had by other means extracted more taxation from the people, it would have been possible this year to give substantial reliefs.

Reference has been made to the fact that some income tax relief has been given. We think that income tax bears very heavily on a small section and that it is a disincentive. It was for that reason that we set up the Income Tax Commission when we were in office. We were somewhat disappointed that they did not suggest a better alternative to the present system. We regret the manner in which the Minister did apply the relief which he did give. According to a reply which he furnished at Question time to-day, some 1,500 people will be completely exempt from sur-tax as a result of the provisions of this Budget and 300 to 400 will have their tax reduced. There are many fathers of large families who are finding it difficult to rear their families and educate them and it would have been far better if the relief extended to those who pay sur-tax had been given to relieve the fathers——

Is that Fine Gael policy?

Yes, it is.

Very good; that is all right.

The heavy contributions are useful at times, at specified times.

I know.

We are not as interested in those as we are in the general relief of taxation. What the Minister has done is to apply a much smaller mesh in his net and caught many more so that he is in a position to lift out bigger fish, seeing that under P.A.Y.E. and other means he has trapped more people and is securing more revenue from a greater number of contributors. We welcome any relief given to those who pay income tax but we think it could have been given more judiciously than in the method applied by the Minister.

These are the criticisms we offer. Far from this being the Budget many people seemed to expect, it did not even meet the requirements of the moment. It is a short term Budget and gives no indication of the mind of the Government, if they have a mind, in relation to the grouping of the economic communities in Europe, or to what the future holds for this country in that respect. Even since the Minister introduced the Budget, we have seen some references with disturbing consequences for many of our exports. As I say, there was no indication what is the policy of the Government, if they have a policy, in relation to the future which is so important in relation to many aspects of Irish life.

It is not long since the Minister introduced a Budget here and was most dramatic in saying that he had initiated a very close examination of the operation of the Civil Service and that, consequent on that examination, he was confident it would be possible to prune the number of civil servants with a natural saving to the Exchequer. In this Budget statement he had to admit that, far from having any success in reducing the numbers of civil servants, there has been an increase and that, in fact, more increases could be expected. This is in complete contradiction of the hopes he held out when he included in a Budget statement this intention of his, which was very well received down the country. The examination has not lived up to the Minister's expectations, or to anybody's expectations at the time. It is regrettable that he has met with such a lack of success in that aspect of administration. We feel that this year the Minister is taking a record amount from the people from a diminishing population and that he has not afforded other sections of the people, who are most affected, the relief they require to assist them in improving their position.

I believe one of the most subtle and most dangerous developments, from the point of view of democracy, in the post war, so-called democratic societies has been the device created by the various conservative Parties' brains trusts which has become known as the public relations side of political organisations. We saw how effective it was in the United States of America in returning Eisenhower—the "I like Ike" campaign—probably one of the most disastrous Presidents they ever had. Recently we saw in Great Britain that they were able to create a remarkable sense of well-being for the British Tory Party, the general line being "We never had it so good", the awakening only coming about a year after the election.

Here, it seems to me, there has been much the same influence at work over the last few years. It seems to me that it has been responsible for the remarkable sense of euphoria or elation which appears to permeate the speeches and the pronouncements of Government speakers. So much has it affected political thinking in the country that even the Opposition are slightly overwhelmed by this illusory sense of prosperity. They are themselves beginning to believe that, in fact, there is some reason for the inexplicable sense of achievement which the Taoiseach and the Minister for Finance sought to convey in their speeches on this Budget.

Anybody would think that both these people took over the control of the State four years ago. The State was started in 1922, 40 years ago. The Taoiseach became Minister for Industry and Commerce in 1932, 30 years ago. To-day they are in the House 30 years later. If they were prepared to analyse objectively the achievements—that is the wrong word —the end-product, of their persistent incompetence and inefficient leadership over the best part of those years, and in particular the last ten years, certainly since the war years, they must admit to a most critical sense of their own inadequacy to create the social justice or prosperous society which appeared to be their objective, or their ambition, 40 years ago when they set out on their political journey which has ended, or I suppose which is coming to an end, in respect of some of them at any rate. I shall not go into detail. Other speakers have dealt in great detail with the real facts of the situation as far as the ordinary people are concerned. I shall not deal with that except in one aspect, the whole question of taxation in recent years.

I find it difficult to believe that a responsible Minister can stand up in this House 40 years after attempting to create a socially just order and prosperity here and have to concede that he is now a Minister for Finance or a Taoiseach in a society in which there is so much social injustice, in which there has been shown over the past 40 years so much gross inefficiency and inadequacy. They have to admit to a a country from which 1,000,000 of our people have fled. One million of our people have had to get out of the country under their leadership and even in the past few years which we are concerned with here—it is a pre-election Budget we are talking about now— the best part of 200,000 people have had to get out, for the simple reason that they had to go. They did not want to go any more than any of us wants to go. We starved them out and they are being fed and clothed, their children are being educated, their sick are being nursed and cared for, in Great Britain, America, Australia, New Zealand, anywhere and everywhere in the four corners of the earth. We hunted them from Ireland. The social and economic policies of our political leaders gave them no alternative but to get out. In those circumstances, the Minister introduced his Budget.

In this country we cannot claim that our resources were dissipated in post-war recovery, post-war rebuilding following massive bombing that other European countries have had. We cannot even boast of the superstructure of a welfare society. We cannot even pretend that we have had to spend money on an expensive defence policy, A-bombs, rockets, and so on. Thank God for that. We have not had to spend money on any of these things and, at the same time, we have had to hunt the best part of 200,000 people out of the country, and how do we treat those who have been left behind?

I shall be ashamed of myself if I spend 30 years in political life, if I become a leader of a Party or Minister for Finance in a Party and if after 20 years of effort, I have the temerity to offer to a man or woman 30/- a week on which to live in his or her old age and, while I do that on the one hand, make tax concessions, not only to the people in my own income level but to the people in the £2,000-£3,000-£4,000 a year income bracket. That is a most scandalous thing for a Minister for Finance to do in these circumstances. We should be ashamed.

I cannot understand how ordinary normal human beings with ordinary understanding of human suffering and human needs and the requirements of the average individual living from day to day in our society can dare to claim any credit for introducing a Budget of this kind, for creating a society of this kind, where there is neglect to the extent to which we neglect our aged.

If I had spent 40 years in public life and had myself become very wealthy, I should be ashamed or myself to think that while I was accumulating great wealth, I watched the mass of our people emigrating, being unemployed or living on the pittance that so many of them have to live on here in our society. I would feel that I had betrayed my trust to those who had fought in any revolution because I cannot believe that the wording of the Proclamation that we shall cherish equally all the children of the nation is summed up in our society today. "Cherish some more equally than others"—that is the footnote that they should now add to the Proclamation. That is what they left out. That is the postscript in small print on the back that Connolly did not know about or Liam Mellowes cannot have known about, but which is clearly in the minds of these men who have created our society here today and who have the temerity to come in here and boast of a sense of achievement, of a job well done. How dare they?

As other speakers have pointed out, over the past four years—as I hope to show later, over the past 10 years— one of the most adroit acts of financial or economic thimblerigging has been carried out by the Minister for Finance. By that, I mean that he has succeeded in removing the burden of paying for essential services from those who can damn well afford to pay for them, people on his own income level or of his own financial class, and he has transferred that burden to the backs of the unfortunate ordinary men, women and children of the nation, the masses of the people.

This Budget, of course, is a typical, orthodox, doctrinaire, conservative Budget. It completes the act, as I say, of reducing direct taxation by money taken from the ordinary people. As many have pointed out here, there has been an increase of 80 per cent. in the cost of bread, 60 per cent. in butter, tea has increased, an increase in E.S.B. charges, increases in rates, increases of approximately 12 per cent. in rents, increases in passenger and goods transport charges. All these changes in taxation have been part of these, as I have called them, thimblerigging devices whereby the Minister for Finance, in order to protect the wealthy minority with whom he and his Government are primarly concerned, reduced direct taxation and put that burden over on those who can least afford to pay it, in the form of indirect taxation.

I think the Minister must know that he is being consciously dishonest when he says that the worker now is immeasurably better off than he ever was before. This again is one of the myths so assiduously spread around by Government speeches. It has been noticeable that over recent years none of the Government spokesmen opens his mouth without at some place or other the words "prosperity""better off", "increased expansion" or some such other term being uttered in order to create this illusion that things were never better than they are. The facts are, according to Trade Union Information, a most reliable booklet of trade union news and information, that while industrial production per worker increased by something like four and a half per cent., there has not been an increase of a farthing in the real wages of the workers since 1939. The worker's position is precisely the same as it was 20 years ago, in addition to the fact that he has had to pay the charges mentioned by other Deputies, social welfare contributions, increases in the prices of essential commodities and so on.

This shift of taxation is best shown in some figures which I got today from the Minister—the shift of taxation from the wealthy to the masses, from direct taxation to indirect taxation, from taxation on high incomes to taxation on bread, butter, sugar, tea, beer, tobacco, cigarettes, postage, transport, E.S.B. charges—on things that everybody uses. It has been a continuous process since 1951-52. Direct taxation is a fair tax. Under direct taxation, the wealthy pay the most and that is the way it should be. They can afford to pay. Under indirect taxation, the old age pensioner, the unemployed person on the dole, widows and orphans, all pay the most, because as shown by the nutritional surveys, they have to use in their diets a higher proportion of the essential foods on which they pay indirect taxation. Bread, butter, tea and sugar form their staple diet, and so taxation on these commodities hits them harder than it does those who can live on caviare and champagne.

In 1951-52, direct taxation was 32 per cent. of all taxation paid. It gradually increased with fluctuations and in 1959-60, which is the last year for which reliable figures are available, the percentage had dropped to 25.8. The wealthy section of the community were eased of the burden of direct taxation, and instead of their paying the money, the pockets of the ordinary mass of the people, the white-collar worker, the widow, the orphan and the old age pensioner, were rifled in order to make up the deficit of the taxation which the wealthy people were no longer to be asked to pay, because they wanted to go racing to Punchestown, to go to the South of France, to buy a bigger Jaguar, Daimler or Rolls and they must not be denied. So we soak the old age pensioner and soak the man on the dole and the unfortunate man who is foolish enough to have a large family and has to try to feed them on bread, butter, tea and sugar. It is these who are most hurt by this indirect taxation. So indirect taxation in 1951-52 was 67.6 per cent. and then in 1959-60, when direct taxation had dropped from 32.4 to 25.8 per cent. That was how the 67.6 to 74 per cent. That was how the Government treated the unemployed, the old age pensioner, the widow and orphan and the father and mother and the large family.

Did they even get their indirect taxation back in the form of better social services? Even that could be an excuse to some extent—if they got better health services or better education services, or better social services of one kind or another—but the position about the payment from the national income on these services is that during the past ten years, there has been an increase of precisely one per cent. in expenditure on health services. While indirect taxation has gone up by nearly seven per cent., there has been a one per cent. increase in expenditure on health services and a one per cent. increase, from four per cent. to five per cent., in expenditure on social services.

Educational services have gone down by .3 per cent. Where did the money go, the money which the widows and the orphans, the old age pensioners and the unemployed paid for their bread, butter, tea, sugar, cigarettes, tobacco, beer, whatever they might have? It went to help the Japanese down in Rineanna, the Verolmes, the Swedes, the Dutch, the Americans, the British, any of our new-found friends among whom the various Ministers peddled their wares all over the world, in an effort to get these people to settle down in Ireland and run the country for us because we could not run it ourselves. These are the freedom fighters, the people who looked for liberation who are now hawking their wares around the world trying to get everybody and anybody to run the country for us. That is what we did with the poor people's money, handed over capital investment for the making of transistor and wireless sets, paste diamonds and paste jewellery. These are the new industries.

The average foreign capitalist, with the opportunity of exploiting our labour and our capital, is glad to make some contribution towards providing amenities for the unfortunate workers, the slave labour, semi-slave labour, even well-paid labour. He is glad to provide some kind of social, educational and health amenities for these people. They are prepared to pay some taxation, although they hate doing it, but they are not even asked to do that here. They come in here to exploit our raw materials and our resources; they export the total end-product and they need not pay any tax. That is part of the achievement of 40 years. Whether it is 40 years or four years it seems to me to make very little difference.

There was a squabble here a few minutes ago between the front benches as to whether unemployment decreased by 50,000 or 20,000. That was not the bargain when the Taoiseach was put into office. The bargain was not to reduce it by 50,000 or 20,000 but to increase by 100,000 the number in employment and not to cause another 200,000 to emigrate to Britain to be fed, clothed and looked after there because we shall not do it ourselves.

There was tax relief to the extent of £1.4 million, a further relief in direct taxation and an increase in indirect taxation. It would be interesting to know what the new figure will be. That is a typical Tory decision. There were alternatives for the spending of that money, alternatives which clearly did not appeal to the Minister. It epitomises the essential difference between, on the one hand, the capitalist and the conservative and, on the other hand, the socialist who believes in common humanity, who believes that man has a sense of community, that he has a sense of personal responsibility to his neighbour and for his neighbour, that there is a sense of family in the average nation, that the individual is a generous person, that he is humane, kind and considerate and that he is not the selfish being that the Minister appears to think he is.

That is true in New Zealand. It is true in Sweden and in most of the socialist countries and I am quite certain it is true here. The Minister could have gone to the public and said: "With this £1,500,000 I could provide any of a number of different amenities, better old age pensions, better unemployment assistance or more scholarships for underprivileged children to make it easier for them to go to universities or secondary schools." He could have proposed to provide a subsidy to help people get essential drugs and medicines of one kind or another which we discussed very recently or to provide some kind of health service. A mother and child service could very nearly be provided with money of that kind; it certainly could have in the past. If the Minister had gone to the public and said that, instead of giving a remission of taxation, he proposed to provide any of these services, I refuse to believe that the average Irishman or woman would have said: "No. I want my money." That is the essential difference between us.

This Budget appears to be the final stage in the decline of the Government Party from its great radical phase of the early 'Thirties. In their old age and in their decline they have now clearly become the ultra-conservative Party in the State.

We were asked by the Minister, in making his Budget Statement, to judge the Government on the last four years of office but I suggest that the judgement on the Government over that period is that they have failed miserably in administering the affairs of the country. In 1957, when they took office, the Taoiseach promised that he would find 100,000 more jobs for the unemployed. There are fewer in employment today than there were in 1957, in spite of the fact that many more people have emigrated. Several Deputies speaking on this side of the House have proved that the cost of living has increased by at least 12 points since Fianna Fáil took office.

In this Budget, we have got some small reliefs for which we must be grateful but the public in general are most disgusted with the Budget. It is the last Budget of the Fianna Fáil Government in an election year and it was expected to be a Budget that would at least attract some support to rightly were expecting greater reliefs than have been given in the Budget and they have been sadly disappointed.

There are a number of comments I should like to make, one of which relates to the miserable increase of 1/6d. a week given to old age pensioners. I think the Government would have done far better if they had left them alone or else increased them substantially, in view of the fact that in each of the last four years, the Exchequer has had the benefit of money saved by the abolition of the food subsidies, by an extra £3,000,000 from tobacco, by an extra £750,000 from beer, not to speak of the £3½ million increase in local taxation. In the course of four years, social insurance stamps have been increased by nearly £4,000,000. That has to be paid by employer and employee. Postal charges and E.S.B. charges have been increased. Practically everything that enters into the way of life of the working man, the small farmer and the business man has been increased in price. The benefits derived from this Budget, despite the fact that there is about £15,000,000 in extra revenue in the Exchequer, are absolutely negligible.

During the course of this debate, it was mentioned by some of the speakers on the Government side of the House that C.I.E. are now paying their way. I would like to take this opportunity of mentioning that C.I.E. pensioners are receiving pensions of from 8/- to 12/- a week. It is a very idle boast for Government speakers to mention that C.I.E. are paying their way, when they have increased the bus fares, and closed down all the small railways in the country and yet can see their way to pay only 8/- to 12/- a week as pensions to workers who were in their employment for 35 to 40 years in some cases.

During the past 12 months I have asked a number of questions about those pensions. I was informed by the Minister for Transport and Power that it was no function of his and I was told to contact the management of C.I.E. I did so and got practically the same answer. I think it is a sad state of affairs when Government speakers boast that C.I.E. are paying their way and, at the same time, their one-time workers are treated in such an irresponsible fashion.

A little thing struck me when I was on a visit to London about six months ago which might be worth while mentioning here. I had occasion to go into a certain bar in London and ask for a small whiskey. When I had taken it I nearly hit the roof. I asked the barman—it was in a well-known hotel—to produce the bottle. All that was on the label was "Old Irish Whiskey". I think the Government should take steps to see that proper Irish whiskey and other spirits are available to the public across the water. London is a city twenty times the size of Dublin.

I doubt very much if this question arises on the Budget. The Deputy will get an opportunity of dealing with it on the relevant Estimate.

I thought this would be a good opportunity to mention the fact but I have dealt with it now. I do not think the Minister has any great reason to congratulate himself on this Budget. I should like to point out to the Minister for Finance and to mention to this House the appalling state of affairs in relation to our imports and exports from and to countries on the other side of the Iron Curtain. During 1956, we imported from Russia £381,000 worth of goods; in 1957, it was £302,000; in 1958, it was £192,000; and in the first seven months of 1959, it was £149,000. During the same period of four years, we exported to Russia £45,000 worth of goods.

I am sorry again to interrupt the Deputy but that is a matter for the Estimate. It does not arise on the Budget debate.

When we are discussing the Budget, we also relate the balance of payments to the discussion. I mention this to point out to the House that there are certain countries from which we are importing a considerable amount of goods and to which we are exporting practically nothing.

The position is that matters that would relevantly arise on the Estimates do not fall for discussion on the Budget debate.

I bow to your ruling, Sir. I want to refer again to the position in the city of Dublin with regard to the cost of living. The cost of living at the moment is far in excess of the figure of 1957, when the Fianna Fáil Government took office. The prices of bread, tea, sugar and other essentials in the working man's home have been considerably increased through the maladministration of the Fianna Fáil Party.

I believe that when the general election is held towards the end of this year, the people will realise that they elected a Fianna Fáil Government in 1957 on the false promises of their front benchers. False promises were made during the last general election campaign by practically every front bench speaker of the Party. They said they would not remove the food subsidies and yet, that was one of the first things they did, within three or four months of taking office. I am quite satisfied that the public in general, and certainly the Fianna Fáil back benchers, are really disappointed with this Budget.

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

The last speaker said many members of the Fianna Fáil back bench were keenly disappointed with this Budget. As a back bencher of the Fianna Fáil Party, I want to say that I am not disappointed with the Budget at all. In fact, I think the Budget can truly be described, as the Minister said in his speech, as a good Budget.

Great play is still being made by Opposition Deputies with the removal of the food subsidies in the 1957 Budget. I was not here when the food subsidies were first introduced many years ago but at that time I was keenly interested in the Budgets which were introduced from year to year. I distinctly remember reading from the Press at the time that the introduction of the food subsidies during the war years was for very specific and obvious purposes. It was quite clear to every average thinking person that their introduction during the war years was to provide a measure of help for the purchase of essential commodities.

It was obvious then to everyone that when the occasion permitted, these food subsidies would be withdrawn in whole or in part. Any person interested in the matter of the food subsidies could easily be influenced by Opposition speakers into thinking that the amount of money expended on these subsidies down the years, had been found by the Government by the mere waving of a magic wand. The cost of food subsidies provided during the term of the last Coalition Government amounted to £9 million per year. No speaker on the Opposition benches has told us where that £9 million came from. There was no need to do so. Quite obviously, the money came from taxation, of course. The people who are paying direct or indirect taxation, made their contribution to that figure.

As I understand it, the food subsidies were originally introduced to reduce the price of bread and flour. Bread and flour are consumed by all sections of the community, whether well off or otherwise. We all know that quite a considerable quantity of the flour which was then subsidised by the Exchequer was fed to animals particularly to pigs and dogs.

A speaker here last evening mentioned that there was a very noticeable falling off in the consumption of flour since the food subsidies were withdrawn. That is quite understandable. Anyone who makes himself properly acquainted with the position will know that large quantities of flour were fed to animals, whilst it was subsidised. It was cheaper to feed them flour because it was coming on the market at a lesser cost than the cereals ordinarily used for the purpose.

I felt at the time of the 1957 Budget that the Government were very wise not to delay in removing the food subsidies. When they did remove them, they set about giving compensatory reliefs to certain sections of the community, particularly the less well off sections, to help them to buy the necessaries of life which hitherto had been subsidised and were then costing an increased price.

I have noticed that no speaker on the Opposition benches has calculated all the additional social welfare and other benefits that have been provided by the Government within the past four years for the less well off sections of the community who were affected by the removal of the subsidies. I suggest that if the reliefs provided in that way were totalled up the amount of £9,000,000, which it is alleged was saved, would be found to have been otherwise returned. That is a point some Opposition speaker might deal with later. I stand to be corrected on that issue. If I am making a claim that is not borne out by the facts, I should be very pleased to be corrected.

The Opposition are not playing about with the question of the food subsidies as much this year as they did in former years. They would be well advised to forget about them. The public have an intelligent outlook on this matter. I have always felt that the standard of intelligence of the Irish people is such that they can assess a situation of this kind very correctly for themselves.

I do not think the propaganda of the Fine Gael Party and the Labour Party in relation to these matters is going over as well as they think. The average man realises that it is better to have food products at economic prices. It is better to give the wage-earner a decent wage to enable him provide the necessaries of life for his wife and family, and during the past four years, that position has been made possible. Wage increases have been granted without any noticeable ill-effects on the economy of the country. The same is true in regard to increases in other forms of assistance which the Government have since provided. The present position, whereby flour and bread are available to the public at economic prices, is a more satisfactory arrangement than food subsidies.

Deputies who profess to have a thorough knowledge of this question of food subsidies never deal with it except in a general way. I hope, later in the debate, some one opposition Deputy will make a comprehensive statement in the matter. Up to now, the attitude seems to have been to regard this £9 million as a sort of gift which the Government got somewhere or other and which was used by them since 1957 for unworthy purposes. I would be interested to hear this matter argued out. Since the people opposite appeared to be so wedded to the principle of food subsidies, I hope some of them will elaborate further on it.

I was glad that the Minister in his Budget Statement dealt with agriculture and indicated the Government's attitude to its importance in the national economy. I quote from the Minister's statement, at column 658, Volume 188, of the Official Report:

The improvement in national output in recent years has been widely shared; wage and salary earners generally have made considerable gains. While the income of farmers is rising, they have not fared as well as other sectors, and this despite the special emphasis given to agriculture in the Programme for Economic Expansion...

The Minister made an admission there, and he indicated the aid which has been given to agriculture, and which has shown a substantial increase in recent years. I am impressed by the form which that aid will take. The Minister said it was considered desirable to allocate a very considerable additional sum, £300,000, for the subsidisation of milk products. The present trend in milk production indicates that the supply of available milk this year will be considerably greater than in any previous year. The Minister has taken the timely precaution at this stage of allocating this additional sum of £300,000. That is very praiseworthy. That money will be available to the new Milk Marketing Board along with the subvention already allocated for the purpose of offsetting the losses on the export of butter, which at present is being sold at rather depressed prices. One can claim that the £300,000 allocated for this purpose is a direct aid to the milk industry.

The additional sum allocated by the Minister for grants towards the erection of new cow-byres and the reconstruction of existing farm buildings is very welcome indeed. The money spent up to now on that particular activity has produced good results. It is all the more necessary that farm buildings, and particularly out-offices for the housing of cattle should be improved if we are to make any real headway with the eradication of bovine tuberculosis.

Deputy Blowick made the usual attack on the Government and alleged we were trying to exterminate the small farmer. The number of large farmers in my constituency are few compared with the number of middle-sized and small farmers. The small farmers are greatly in the majority. I understand a small farmer to be a man with an average holding of 20 to 30 acres and seven or eight cows. That type of farmer has I agree, been finding it difficult to secure a remunerative living for a number of years past. The subsidy on fertiliser does, however, prove a great boon to him. The additional subsidy on potash, which I understand is intended to improve grass-lands, will also prove very helpful and will be availed of to a considerable extent.

I think Deputy Blowick indicated that the average small farmer did not use fertilisers, particularly those subsidised by the State. In the south-west of Ireland, particularly County Kerry, the amount of fertiliser used since the subsidy applied to it has increased fourfold. I have recently checked with the creameries and with other factors dealing in that product, and have been told that for the past three years the average farmer is using a considerably increased quantity of fertiliser. The results of the use of those fertilisers can be seen in the appearance of the land by anybody passing through the country at the moment. Those were direct aids to small farmers as well as to big farmers and are most valuable to the agricultural economy.

Deputy Blowick spoke in a general way as usual as far as the small farmer was concerned. He did not indicate in what way the Government were trying to exterminate the small farmer. One would think there was some sort of hue and cry out for the small farmer and that there was a national purge on to try to get him to give up his holding and emigrate. There is a good deal of exaggeration about the number of small farmers who are closing their houses and emigrating with their wives and families.

A statement was made here about six months ago that large numbers of those people were leaving my constituency, closing up their homes and going abroad. I caused very elaborate inquiries to be made into the allegation. I am very glad to say that the number I found who had closed their doors and emigrated could be counted on the fingers almost of one hand. A small number of working people in congested districts, whose families were in England closed their homes and went there but the number who went away is comparatively small and the going is of a temporary nature. They still continue to have their holding looked after and to have the houses kept in a proper state of repair. In fact, they very often return for several months of the years. That pattern of life had existed to some extent in the congested areas of County Kerry for many years and, it is nothing new.

The proof that the smallholders are not inclined to give up their land is that they are not selling it. If land is on sale there, it can be bought only at a very high price. Therefore, if land is fetching a high price, it must be valuable. People who buy it have a fairly good appreciation of its value and are able to hold it. They do not have to come back to sell it again on the market.

As far as the small farmers are concerned, I now feel that, with the special measures which the Taoiseach promised to take soon to improve their lot, the general pattern of their economy will change for the better very shortly. In my opinion, there is a very good opening at the moment for small farmers to carry on a number of industries supplementary to their ordinary way of living. A market is now being built up for vegetables and fruit and small farmers have a very good opportunity of participating in that development.

In my constituency, we are eagerly awaiting the announcement by the Sugar Company of the setting of contracts in relation to that job. Our farmers, the small and medium sized ones particularly, are prepared and anxious to co-operate. There was a time when small farmers supplemented their income by road work and other forms of employment which is not available to them now, due to the introduction of general mechanisation in these operations. That being so, like the rest of us, they have to look for another outlet. Nothing remains static. As time goes on, the system that might have existed for a number of years and proved remunerative is bound to change. There is now a very good opening for small farmers in the growing of vegetables and fruit for processing at the canneries being set up by the Sugar Company.

Deputy O'Sullivan is a very forceful speaker and I listened to him with great care. He dealt with the dissolution of the Coalition Government in 1957. He said the reason that Government dissolved was that they had lost the confidence of the people. I thought that rather a sweeping statement because he did not indicate in what way that Government had lost the confidence of the people. If I remember rightly, they had a sufficient majority to carry on. There was some internal difficulty of a minor nature at the time in connection with Border activities with which the Government probably had some problem. I do not think that was sufficiently grave to necessitate the dissolution of the Government.

Deputy O'Sullivan did not state in what way the Government had lost the confidence of the people. He was quite right, however when he said they had lost confidence. At that time, local authorities were not able to get the necessary finances from Government sources to continue their operations. Housing, sewerage and water schemes were at a standstill. That was one way in which they lost the confidence of the people. However, they had lost it many months before that and nevertheless, they carried on until February, 1957, before the dissolution came. It is significant that the dissolution came at that particular time, just as the Book of Estimates was being prepared.

Some of us feel that the dissolution was influenced in no small way by the fact that the Government would have had to impose possibly £7 million or £8 million additional taxation at that time. In view of their set-up, perhaps it was not possible to get a majority to agree to this. We do know they would have had to impose additional taxation or remove the food subsidies.

Quite a number of people were of opinion that Fine Gael would have preferred to remove the food subsidies rather than impose additional taxation. In any event, the fact that they had lost the confidence of the people in a general way was indicated, as Deputy O'Sullivan said. I thought he would go into detail and explain any instances which arose whereby the confidence of the people was no longer with the Government of the time. He did not do so.

The Coalition Government dissolved and left the job for the ensuing financial year to the new Government which came along a few months afterwards and prepared their Budget. Mention has been made of promises. Several front bench members of the Government spoke in my constituency during the 1957 election. They made no promises, I remember distinctly. The Taoiseach and at least four of our present Ministers spoke in my area and emphasised they were not making promises. They told the people they did not know what the position was. As they felt everything was not lovely in the garden, they said their only promise would be to try to restore the national economy to the position which it had reached when they left office in 1954.

References have been made to promises made in connection with the retention of the food subsidies.

Progress reported; Committee to sit again.
The Dáil adjourned at 10.30 p.m. until 10.30 a.m. on Thursday, 27th April, 1961.