Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Friday, 11 Nov 1966

Vol. 225 No. 6

Nomination of Members of Government.

Debate resumed on the following motion:
Go gcomhaontóidh Dáil Éireann leis an Taoiseach d'ainmniú na gComhaltaí seo a leanas chun a gceaptha ag an Uachtarán chun bheith ina gcomhaltaí den Rialtas:—
That Dáil Éireann approve the nomination by the Taoiseach of the following Members for appointment by the President to be members of the Government:—
Proinsias Mac Aogáin (Frank Aiken),
Erskine Childers (Erskine H. Childers),
Niall Bléine (Neil T. Blaney),
Caoimhghin Ó Beoláin (Kevin Boland),
Micheál Ó Móráin (Michael Moran),
Micheál Hilliard (Michael Hilliard),
Pádraig Ó hIrighile (Patrick J. Hillery),
Cáthal Ó hEochaidh (Charles J. Haughey),
Brian Ó Luineacháin (Brian J. Lenihan),
Seosamh Ó Braonáin (Joseph Brennan),
Donnchadh Ó Máille (Donogh B. O'Malley),
Seoirse Ó Colla (George Colley)
Seán Ó Flanagáin (Seán Flanagan).
—(The Taoiseach).

The most momentous news of all is that which we read in today's papers. Yesterday's news was big but today's news I feel, undoubtedly, will affect the lives and the livelihood of everybody living on this island for the rest of our time. I refer to the statement of Mr. Harold Wilson that the British Government are prosecuting their application for membership of the Common Market and that they mean business. We know from experience that when Harold Wilson says he means business he is not making a joke.

Earlier in the present year the Fianna Fáil administration made a Free Trade Agreement and we were promised that this Agreement would bring a prosperity to Ireland such as we had never previously known. It did not, of course, seem to matter that the Agreement represented the rejection of the whole Sinn Féin philosophy which was said to be the fundamental, the philosophy upon which not alone many of the members of the majority Party arrived to power but indeed many of the members of the major Opposition arrived to power in this State. It seems to me that the postulating of the idea that we could live without contact, as it were, with the outside world was an essential principle of the political outlook of those who created the revolutionary situation in the early part of this century in this country.

It was indeed an attractive political proposition because, amongst other things, it represented a denial of the right of the invader against whom generations of Irishmen had prevailed and it appeared to give what happened to be a sound, economic basis for independence and separatism. It was attractive, as I say, and certainly I must confess that I for one was attracted to it, and indeed I suppose all Irishmen were. I still feel the pull of the idea but I never exploited or endeavoured to exploit in any political or electoral fashion my associations with any people on this proposition. That was the preoccupation of people who mainly composed the Fianna Fáil Party all down through the years since Fianna Fáil were founded. They claimed that they were the Republican Party, a separatist party, who would in no circumstances tolerate Perfidious Albion, the hated Sassenach who had driven our people from this land, and there would only be the independent, indefeasible and sovereign figure of Cathleen Ní Houlihan. What young men, indeed what Irishmen, could but be stirred by this concept? However, lo and behold, the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the glorious protest in arms, which however one may examine it, must excite admiration for the bravery of those concerned, when the cause of Sinn Féin isolationism was sanctified in blood, witnessed the most cynical political exercise that has been seen in this country, certainly in my life, as if that protest in arms had never happened. The former Taoiseach, the present Taoiseach and others went to London. They talked over the problems of Ireland and they engaged in activities for which I do not think it is too much to say that in another day they would have found themselves branded as villainous traitors.

And branded others for doing so.

I think it is no exaggeration to say that they would have put their lives in jeopardy and that they in fact at another time did denounce efforts that were made in the early days of this State to improve our position in a constitutional way. I do not want to rake old dying fires—far from it—but it must be commented on that the kind of mind which can execute these convolutions, these political acrobatics belonging to Fianna Fáil, has been fostered by them and I do not think the situation has changed very much by the advent to power of the amiable Jack Lynch.

On the occasion of the negotiation of the Trade Agreement, it would have been interesting if one could have listened in to the discussions and heard what was developing. I inquired at that time if there was any mention at all made of Partition. It is not fashionable now even to call it by that name and, indeed, I came to the conclusion again and I remarked, that it was highly unlikely that that word would be mentioned because the British Ministers at Downing Street might have got the idea that they were dealing with rebels, or fenians, or people of an undesirable nature. It is an idea we do not want them to have, and these are the same people of whom Oliver Gogarty talked, "They wore tall hats for George the Fifth; soft hats for Christ the King." It is precisely the same, and one of these survivors is on the list of Ministers we are discussing here today.

Galloping Hogan.

A fugitive diplomat. It is most difficult to locate him at any particular moment of time. All we can be sure of is, as was remarked last evening, that somewhere, we know not where, there is an Irishman toiling tirelessly, for what? One might forgive him, if it were to stop emigration, or to improve the conditions of the small farmers of County Louth, to do something about the cost of living or to improve the desperate plight of the old age pensioners—but one would be wrong. What he is doing is giving up his valuable time to Mao Tse Tung and Ho Chi Minh——

And Pyeng Nyeng.

Do not forget Pyeng Nyeng.

And President Johnson.

And U Thant.

And all the exaggerated stories which emanate from the Hilton Hotel, which is situated, I understand, on the banks of the Hudson—a man who gives unstinted advice on matters nuclear. While one has some political acquaintance with him in this House and considers him in that position as adviser on fission in the United States, one can only conclude that the so-called emergent nations as they are known, have hardly begun to move out of wherever they are emerging from.

I was remembering that his advice is not confined to Mao Tse Tung or Ho Chi Minh, a singularly appropriate name for a travelling diplomat. He does not confine, generous man that he is, his advice to the élite of the diplomatic corps who, I am sure, are bowed with the responsibilities of the peace war. He is not above giving advice to a fellow countryman who may cross his path and who, in this case, did, in fact, cross his path on approximately the 24th floor of the Hilton Hotel in New York. The young Irishman in a hurry whom he met was no less a person than his Cabinet colleague, Deputy Seoirse Ó Colla. It occurred to me as very odd that he consulted with Seoirse as to the succession and incited that young chap's mind something shocking.

There is no record that another very prominent Fianna Fáil leader who, it transpires, was also in New York at the same time, participated in the deliberations. I refer, of course, to the former Tánaiste, Deputy Seán MacEntee. We did not know that Deputy MacEntee was abroad until we saw his picture in the evening papers in which, with his accustomed honesty, he expressed absolute bewilderment and complete lack of acquaintance with what was going on at home. It is to be assumed that he was not at this vital conference in the Hilton in New York but Deputy MacEntee did not leave us without some indications of the political mentality which has activated him all his life and which in turn must have been affecting Fianna Fáil down the years.

He said at Dublin Airport when informed that his colleague, the then Taoiseach, Deputy Seán Lemass, was about to resign: "But why is he doing that? I cannot understand it. After all, Salazar is 70 and so is de Gaulle." You would not have to do a course in psychoanalysis to deduce from those remarks the kind of political mind which lay behind them. De Gaulle and Salazar: now I ask you, if that is not an indication of delusions of grandeur, what is? It has been said, I know, that the fitting end of some of our surviving politicians will not be ordinary mortal disintegration but that they will be assumed to the ethereal regions from a certain appropriate building in this city. One would hardly have thought that these notions which are, to say the least of it, senile, would be entertained by a man who was so recently Tánaiste and who has been engaged in writing his recollections of things past.

To return to the proposed Cabinet, I was saying we have the sight of the seldom-seen Proinsias Mac Aogáin, who displays a television tan from the effects of his continual appearance, I believe, on American television, hurrying from one great nation to another in pursuit of the elusive peace. We do not see very much of him but he must be keeping up pretty well and bearing up under the terrible stress and strain of travel which he has to undertake at such great inconvenience to himself and no little expense to this nation. However, we have him now nominated again as Tánaiste.

Like one or two others, I suppose it would be unkind of me to say this but sometimes one falls into the trap of being unkind in one's public life. Everyone cannot be like my gracious colleague in County Dublin who is constitutionally incapable of saying an unkind word in any set of circumstances whatsoever.

I take it the Deputy refers to Deputy P.J. Burke.

None other, a man of infinite charity. We cannot all aspire to that condition of saintliness and some of us are given now and again to making remarks and observations of a political nature. Proinsias Mac Aogáin is not in the first fine flower of his youth. That is not to say this would materially affect his capacity as a Minister or Tánaiste, more particularly when one looks at the list of his juniors who, in some cases, are hastening to a very early senility from over-activity in certain directions. But because he played so large a part in the conspiracies that went on over the past three weeks, it is surprising to see his name there.

I would ask the new Taoiseach not to thrust too much upon the shoulders of this memento of the days gone by. It is not fair that a man who has done so much for this country for so long should be asked to travel around the world day in and day out as he does. I know he is prepared to make sacrifices for this nation, no better man, but I would ask the Taoiseach to appoint some younger member of his team for the strenuous task of trying to bring sense home to Ho Chi Minh, Mao Tse Tung, Lyndon Johnson and such people. There are, of course, some unkind citizens who think the Tánaiste is the kind of man who is described vulgarly as "making an eejit of himself" and, in that process, making a class of a fool of the Irish nation. There are unkind people who have expressed the view to me that we have things to think about other than self-glorification and self-delusion on the international stage. But these, as I say, are unkind, ordinary men in the street, who do not matter very much.


Order. Deputy Dunne.

Apparently the Deputy heard I was talking and he wants to be in on the act. I do not know if he will overtake the last half-hour. I was saying that the most important event has been Wilson's announcement in relation to the Common Market. I want to say to the Taoiseach now that he has a very special responsibility on his shoulders. He is in the unique position of having won a race, possibly the most difficult race in the country to win. It is often said of the equine and canine species that they "won pulling up". Here we have the case of a winner who won backing away. That is unique. However, he has arrived to power at one of the most crucial moments in the history of the country. Apparently steps are about to be taken now which will influence the life of every Irish family.

What is our position going to be vis-à-vis Britain's action in going into the Common Market? The hard realities of the situation would seem to indicate that, whatever Britain does, we have no alternative but to follow suit because, 50 years after, the philosophy of Sinn Féin has been openly and cynically rejected by the Fianna Fáil Government, the philosophy upon which they came to power, the philosophy of “Burn everything English except their coal”. That is all now put to one side and the pragmatists, as they are called, have taken over. From reading the Sunday Observer and the Times now and again, I believe that pragmatists are fellows who believe in doing what is practical as against those who are more concerned with ideals.

I see here in a communication, which I got this morning in the post and I am sure all other members of the House got it also—the European Newsletter—a reference to Mr. John Lynch, TD, Barrister-at-Law, as Taoiseach and comments upon his history and his function as Vice-Chairman of the Council of Europe and as Minister for Finance having visited Brussels last September for discussions with the Commission on Ireland's relations with the Community. It is the last press conference. I am quoting from the Newsletter, volume 7, No. 6, of Friday, November 11th, 1966:

At his last press conference as Taoiseach on Tuesday, Mr. Lemass said it was essential we should become members of EEC together with the other applicant countries. The major disappointment of his period of office were the developments which impeded acceptance of our application. We would join as soon as we could but the date depended on circumstances outside our control.

"Circumstances outside our control." In other words, we have to do whatever Britain does and the glorious Republican Party, sanctified by the blood of countless generations, is about to re-enact—has, in fact, re-enacted politically—economically the Act of Union.

Hear, hear.

I want to ask the Taoiseach this question: what is going to happen to the thousands of Irish workers in industry and, indeed, the thousands of Irish workers in agriculture when we trot, as apparently the Government have made up their mind they must do, like little toy poodles after the British bulldog into the Common Market? What is going to happen to our people?

For long years spokesmen of the Labour Party denounced on every occasion available to them the cosseting, the fondling, the bottle-sucking of so-called Irish industry. For our pains we were told in the words of that outstanding orator last night, Deputy Joseph Dowling, that we were saboteurs—saboteurs with no regard whatsoever for the national economy. We pointed out—when I say "we" I mean the Labour Party—the stupidity of that policy on every occasion that offered. I remember before ever I came into this House reading speeches made by the late William Norton, to whose memory I bow in reverence, one of the finest brains we ever had the privilege of seeing in action in this country——

Hear, hear.

——I remember reading his pronouncements on this business of Irish industry and his suggestions that steps should be taken to make it capable of competition, and that many years ago, to make it capable of competition in world markets, but no steps were taken at that time. Fianna Fáil were riding high in power and seemed to be in an unassailable position politically and they did not have to worry.

It is a well-known fact, of course, that many of these industrialists were creatures of their own and served their own purposes for the Fianna Fáil Party politically. I may say that many of them have disappeared from the industrial scene in the intervening years. As far as I know, nothing constructive has been done to prepare the nation, in the economic sense, for what is going to happen. As I say, the die-hard republicans who rent this country asunder on phrases which seemed not to differ one whit from the things that were being argued against, who encouraged men to lay down their lives on the scaffold and elsewhere on the proposition that this country could live independently of the world, are now about to drag the nation into the economic market at England's because it is what England is going to do, and there is no choice in the matter.

They are driving the nation into this market completely unprepared for what has to be faced, completely unprepared in the sense of competition with the highly geared and high-powered international productive combines which are to be found on the Continent of Europe and indeed in England. What then is going to happen? Is it to be seriously thought that the only future for this nation is that it should be just a kind of Skegness, that we are merely an island flung out on the outer shelf of Europe to which rich people can repair to take up residence and which would be permanently inhabited by only a few sheep herders, a mere holding party, or maintenance party, as it were? It seems that that is the condition of things to which inevitably we are progressing.

The merits and demerits of various policies do not arise on this motion. The merits and demerits of the Deputies nominated by the Taoiseach as Ministers should be discussed.

Of the Government surely?

As a Government.

The merits and policies of the Government.

We would never get finished if we discussed the merits and demerits of various policies. They are not relevant.

I did not think, and I do not think, that the nation considers that the main function of the Dáil is to get finished. It was always my understanding that the function of the Dáil was to consider and deliberate and in fact has it not been a matter of complaint that we get finished far too quickly?

I am not discussing it; I am only referring to it in passing.

However, I have every intention of discussing the merits of the proposed members of the Government and indeed of discussing them in detail. I have not yet dealt fully with the first name I see on the list, that is, Proinsias Mac Aogáin, our man in orbit, our nuclear expert. You know, I would put him down as something of a stirring stick. This view is shared by not a few members of the Fianna Fáil Party who saw in the Tánaiste's activities in conspiring in New York with his colleague, Seoirse Ó Colla, an exercise which could be harmful not alone to Fianna Fáil, which does not matter, because Fianna Fáil are going anyway, but to the nation as a whole. He helped to introduce to politics for the first time the practice which up to now was something we had just read about as happening possibly in America, certainly in the authoritarian countries such as Russia and elsewhere with dictatorships, the practice of political assassination in the race for power, the encouragement of ambition, unmerited encouragement of ambition, producing vaulting ambition. He is to be blamed for corrupting the mind of a young man, in the political sense, by inciting him to take steps which, in my view, have spelt his political destruction.

I could not discuss Proinsias Mac Aogáin without referring to his partner in this business, Deputy Seoirse Ó Colla, Deputy George Colley. Let me say at the outset that Deputy Colley's father was a Member of this House and was one of the nicest men in the House. Harry Colley is a very decent man and nobody could possibly quarrel with him, but it is amazing to see where the vaulting ambition to which I referred displays itself. In the Evening Herald of Tuesday, November 8th, one read a headline which said: “Portrait of a Tall Quiet Man.” One may wonder why I refer to this and the reason is that the unauthorised expenditure of State moneys is involved. The article says:

"The tall quiet man:" that is how 41-year-old contender for Taoiseach, George Colley, is described in the opening paragraph of an article written by a "Special Correspondent", and sent last week to most of the provincial papers, but not the nationals. The article, on five sheets of foolscap, stated that if George Colley became the new Taoiseach, "we should be happy that while he excels in other qualities he is above all things a patriot."

Now, is that not a wonderful thing? We have in this House of some 140 Deputies a patriot. The advent of a patriot to Dáil Éireann is something that must be marked with rejoicing. Indeed, a Te Deum would not be too much. Not alone is he a patriot but a self-confessed patriot, and thrice patriotic as he was self-confessed. It is a happy occasion surely for the country that this patriot should have been induced to come in here and give of his time and brains and his talents to a bunch of ingrates such as he is surrounded by in the Fianna Fáil Party. What were you doing at all on Wednesday morning that you did not recognise greatness when you saw it, as well as distinction and patriotism? Above all, he is a patriot. The article goes on: “Colley was steeped in the history of Ireland's vicissitudes——” Were not all of us?

The Deputy was in the Curragh for four years at any rate.

Great things have happened in our time.

"Mr. Colley was steeped in the history of Ireland's vicissitudes and yearned to fulfil her needs." One might say that of any young Irishman of patriotic family. I was speaking yesterday about the hereditary right of the schoolboy enthusiasts like the Irish Christian Brothers, enthusiasts gan aon amhras. Not alone were they enthusiasts but they made enthusiasts out of you also. I happen to have had acquaintance with them myself. It was short and I am sure not as distinguished as that of the patriot about whom I am reading here. I had to go to work very early. Be that as it may, the article goes on to say, in talking about Deputy Colley's family, that he was involved "as the fiery young men of their generation in the wild delirium of the brave." I am sorry George is not here but I hope he will read this because there is nothing as bad as inefficient gag writers. They are the greatest trap that a man of his great patriotism and qualifications could possibly fall into. There is no such quotation. It is, I think, "all that delirium of the brain", from Yeats. When we have these eulogies, let us please have some accuracy in the quotations. The full quotation as I recall it now is rather apposite. It goes:

Was it for this that the Wild Geese spread the grey wings on every tide?

For this that all that blood was shed, and Edward Fitzgerald died?

The shade of Robert Emmet may very well be listening to us and if it is, it is happy, if it is possible to consider a shade being happy, in the knowledge, as I am sure An Teachta Ó hIrighile is happy—I want to get it right——

In the cló Romhánach.

Seadh—that there is among us a patriot. I have read it here in black and white, issued by the man himself—on his own admission, a patriot, and issued, mark you, from the Department of Industry and Commerce, the explanation being that the typist got the letters mixed up and where she should have put stamps on the envelopes, she ran them through the franking machine instead and they went into the wrong envelopes and, lo and behold, what was thought up as a master stroke of——

This is scarcely relevant to the issue before the House.

I cannot see how it is irrelevant. You indicated earlier that I might talk about the appointment of the individual Ministers and that is what I am doing. I am trying to say how suitable it is that we should have at least one patriot in the Cabinet. The battle that went on for the leadership of Fianna Fáil was rather unique. While it proceeded, there were nights when I could not sleep and on those occasions I had a glance once or twice at "Julius Caesar" while thinking of the stirring events of the day. We were not short of gentlemen with lean and hungry looks.

I hope you are not shaking your gory locks at the Minister for Labour.

I am not. The Minister for Labour is an excellent and agreeable member of the House and it is very difficult to be so excellent and agreeable. He could nearly do a double act with the Taoiseach. It would be impossible to attack him. That is an unfortunate circumstance for an opponent. What does strike me about the position of Taoiseach is that whereas in other years it was regarded as the highest office in the land, it has now become the Corkman's Burden. I can visualise a few years ahead—I hope many years ahead—a young man being dragged up the main road of the Phoenix Park and flung bodily inside the gates of the Viceregal Lodge, a padlock being put on the gate and the Irish people entreating him: "For the love of God, stay there. Sure, it is only for seven years. And if it is only a lousy £22,000 a year, it is for Ireland".

You would get a lot for this performance somewhere else.

I did not catch what the Minister said.

The Abbey only opened in time for you.

It would not be the first time he trod the boards.

Fan go fóill. As you mentioned that, the Taoiseach who resigned yesterday was no mean soft-shoe dancer, along with the late great Jimmy O'Dea.

May I ask the Deputy to come back to the motion?

I am being provoked and interrupted, not to mention insulted, by the Minister for Labour. I could not hope to match wits with the Shavian shafts of my friend on the right but I shall try to battle on and do my best.

The office of Taoiseach has become the Corkman's Burden. Jack is a nice fellow; I am not going to criticise Jack. If there is any doubt in anybody's mind about Jack being a nice fellow, it must be dispelled by now because he has so much integrity that he has it for export, according to all the speakers I have heard from all Parties, and most particularly, may I say, from the Cork Deputies. It is tantamount to treachery to say anything derogatory about Jack. It is rather unfortunate that the Taoiseach should have all this fame thrust upon him so early in his life because there is nothing as disenchanting as arriving with a fanfare of trumpets, having the red carpet rolled out, and suddenly finding you are being pushed down to the workshop in the basement and that if you do not produce the goods, people will not take as kindly a view towards you at all. I have no ill wish for Deputy Lynch as Taoiseach, but I am not going to join in the general hysterical paean of praise which has been raised in his respect. I think he has as much integrity as anybody else in this House, but no more.

May I point out we are not discussing the appointment of the Taoiseach? That matter has already been disposed of. What the House is discussing at the moment is Motion No. 11, the nomination by the Taoiseach of certain Members for appointment to the Government.

I take it I am entitled to comment upon the performance of the gentlemen who are proposed in so far as we know them as politicians. Last evening we heard some of the backbenchers of the great Fianna Fáil Party in action and it was really most entertaining, a long day relieved by considerable merriment towards the finish, because we were listening to Deputy Gallagher who represents that poverty-stricken area of Leitrim-Roscommon. I was in that area during the last by-election there which was occasioned by the lamented death of our old friend, Jimmy Burke. Two things I noticed about Leitrim particularly. I had not been in Leitrim before, and what I noticed was the extraordinary generosity of the people, the hospitality, their kindness and consideration. The second thing I noticed was the physical poverty which was there, and this poverty to which I refer was so obviously the concern of Deputy Gallagher who spoke here last night.

Deputy Gallagher has some unique ideas on financial matters. My friend behind me here will verify that he informed the House he could not see the cause of all the criticism of the Government, that he remembered a time in the country when all you had to do, if you wanted money was to go into a bank, take as much as you wanted and you would be let walk away with it. He said it was only a matter of asking. I think he said this occurred during the inter-Party Government regime. As one who was a member of the House supporting that regime, I was unaware of the location of this establishment. I would have been very glad to know where it was at that time, seeing we were so grossly underpaid, as my colleagues would agree.

However, that was not the only thing that Deputy Gallagher talked about in defending the indefensible policies of this Government and trying, at the same time, to be well got with the Taoiseach, with an eye to the future. He lavished all the praise he could upon the head of the Taoiseach and could see nothing whatsoever wrong with the Government. I do not think his constituents down in that poverty-stricken area of Leitrim would quite see it his way.

I know Deputy Gallagher was an emigrant himself. I know all about Deputy Gallagher's activities in England as an emigrant and how hard he worked there. In the area of Leitrim which I saw and which he represents, there are very few people other than small children and very elderly people; the elderly would be too old to travel to England and the children were obviously sent home from England to be reared in the traditional Irish way. Our emigrants to England are usually anxious to have their children reared here. These are poor people in Leitrim and I do not imagine, if they had the opportunity of reading what Deputy Gallagher had to say here last night, they would approve of it. He said the country was booming. Maybe it is booming for Deputy Gallagher but it is not booming for the people of his constituency.

Deputy Gallagher is well-informed in the matter of finance, a subject on which I shall have something to say at a later date in this Dáil. I am leaving it for the moment for the more important composition of the Government.

Deputy Dowling said the Fianna Fáil team are a great team, the best team in the country, and that anybody who was against them was a rogue or a renegade or something like that. He forgot about Deputy Paddy Smith. Deputy Smith was one of the Fianna Fáil team and it did not hang so well together when he was a member of it, and there were other defections, too. In the past fortnight, it has been obvious that the discipline which was once so easily imposed by the tall, dark figure that now broods in Árus an Uachtaráin is no longer present and that the rule and authority of this Party are coming to an end.

I want to make this comment in this fiftieth year after the Rising: that the young men in a hurry tried to get hold of an claidheamh solais, the sword of light, and they turned it into a flick knife the better with which to gut each other in the race for power. This idea of the hereditary right to rule is something to which I referred in my speech of yesterday morning and to which I am going to refer now. I do not say that because a man is born of a family which is mixed up in politics, he is necessarily unsuited to politics. What I do say is that it does not mean that he is a natural for politics either, and it does not mean that he should, as a matter of course, get preferment because of anything that may have been done in the past by his people on the national side allegedly for the Republic.

I take a dim view of anybody coming into this House and expecting to be made Taoiseach after five years. I think he has the cheek of the devil, a hard, brass neck. This view is shared, I am certain, by most of the members of the Fianna Fáil Party and certainly by all the rest of the Members of the Dáil. Instant Taoiseachs, if you do not mind, like Maxwell House. Instant patriots, too.

You know what Doctor Johnson said about patriotism? You do, of course. He said it was the last refuge of the scoundrel. People often think he said it of politics. He did not. He said that patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel. Far be it from me to suggest that George is a scoundrel. There is another name which has been used by his confrères in his own Party in his regard and it is not "scoundrel". It is far less complimentary even than that. It is true, and when you think about it and look around you, you can see, that politics can very well be made the last refuge of a scoundrel because we have seen so many of them—mountebanks, chancers, pretenders, adventurers, people without any political conviction of any kind, daddy's boys, all kinds of characters. Politics can very well be, in Doctor Johnson's aphorism of old "the last refuge of a scoundrel". But, in the person of Deputy Seoirse Ó Colla, we are assured, we have a patriot and it should make us all very happy.

On the Naas Road, there are 18 caravans with 18 families living in them. I am told that on Monday morning they are going to be shifted from where they are and they can go where they like; they can get to hell anywhere they like out of that. They are not itinerants. They are people who have been forced to go to live there because they cannot get houses from Dublin County Council, of which my esteemed colleague is such a distinguished member, or from Dublin Corporation, of which my gracious colleague is such a distinguished member.

What about your dearly beloved colleague?

Oh, Liberty, how many crimes have been committed in thy name?

Oh, Religion, how many crimes have been committed in thy name?

These families are going to be told to get out of where they are on Monday morning. This is an example of the results of the neglect of the housing problem for which Deputy Neil Blaney, who is proposed now, I understand for the Ministry of Agriculture, has been responsible. Imagine living in a caravan at all at this time of the year, in this kind of weather. Imagine the depressed and desperate life it must be for any family to have to live in a caravan without any sanitation being available, without a water supply except what they might get from nearby neighbours. Imagine what they must feel now to be told, as I understand they are to be told, that they must get moving. Where to? This type of caravan dweller reminds me of those who fled the Dustbowl in America, who could never find a place to rest their head. It is the same with these people.

Yet, there are boasts made in this House, again, brazen-faced boasts, about what this Government and the last Government did in respect of housing. The neglect of the housing problem by Deputy Neil Blaney is such that in any reasonably civilised country he would be arraigned before some kind of tribunal and made to explain himself. But all he does here when we try to impress upon him the urgency of the situation is to try to make out that he has done more than his predecessor in all this and that he has a housing policy when, in fact, we know that his presence in the Custom House, and indeed, that of his predecessor, who I think was Deputy Lynch, was marked by a unique inactivity. Inactivity is the keynote of this Government and has been so.

Since the change-over yesterday, have many people noticed, as I have, the dispirited listlessness of the members of the Fianna Fáil Party who had to be pushed last night and ordered and cajoled and rounded up to participate in the debate and those who were found to do so, unlike my gracious colleague, are not to be counted amongst the most eloquent or the most able members of the Government Party? There is an ennui, which, translated, means a kind of inability to move, on this Government and that is their principal characteristic, an attitude which could be expressed in this way, “Sure, it does not matter. Let things roll on. Laissez faire; come day go-a-day, God send Sunday”. That appears to me to be the atmosphere in which the new Taoiseach has taken over. Would it have been different, I wonder, had the result been otherwise and if the patriot boy had come to power? Would he have put the skids, as he intimated he would do, under a number of people, including my gracious colleague? I wonder. Let us look at what he said in America. Deputy Seoirse Ó Colla, the patriot boy, the instant Taoiseach, told the Americans that Ireland was booming at such a rate that we would have to bring them back from America to fill the vacancies in industry here.

I know Deputy Fitzpatrick is too young for that to strike a chord in his memory but I am not. Does it not bring back the halcyon days of 1932 when Mr. de Valera, now Uachtarán na hÉireann, and his able lieutenant, Deputy Seán Lemass, issued a policy in which it was clearly stated beyond yea or nay, that such was their capacity to govern, and so all-embracing their answers to the problems of Ireland that they would create so many jobs that there would not be sufficient people in Ireland to fill them and we would have to send to America to fill the vacancies. Here we have the bold George trotting out the same old chestnut in the year of Our Lord 1966. He must have been looking up some of the files at home thinking to himself "This is forgotten about. I will try it out and see what the reaction is." It is well that some of us remember that kind of thing. It gives me to wonder what would have happened if the patriot youth had arrived in power instead of the office of the Taoiseach becoming, as I said, the Corkman's Burden.

I now come to consider another Member of the Government, to wit, one Deputy Erskine Childers, whose name in the mother tongue is spelt exactly the same as it is in the tongue of the foreigner.

You could translate neither him nor his name.

The Minister for Transport and Power without Responsibility now becomes the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs and Transport and Power without Responsibility. There is such an affinity, such a feeling of brotherhood, between Deputy Eskine Childers and the chairman of RTE that they have to be together wherever they go. When Dr. Andrews left CIE for RTE, the Minister for Transport and Power could not wait for the day when he would get another Department in order to be near his transport expert. This iron man, Dr. Andrews, has been succeeded by another whom I suppose I could not call an iron man, but a kind of tin man. He will become iron as time goes on, and I shall deal with him in a few moments.

Dr. Andrews is now endeavouring to create as much havoc and dissatisfaction in RTE as he succeeded in doing in CIE. God between us and all harm, I hope it does not happen.

We had sufficient interruption of bus and train services, particularly bus services, as a result of his complete lack of knowledge of how to deal with men, that we hope he does not provoke the same end result in his new position. Admittedly, there is one little ray of hope. It is a spare time job and the pay is not much, only £1,000 a year. Therefore, he will not have all that time to do much damage. Whenever I think of him, I am reminded of the account given to me about a certain domestic animal. I do not mean that Dr. Andrews resembles an animal. I deprecate any reference of that kind. This friend of mine said of this animal: "Whenever you see him, he is either going to do harm or coming back after doing harm."

Was he in a china shop?

Does it not fit him?

I am afraid the Deputy is getting away from the discussion before the House.

I am trying to relate it, Sir.

We are not discussing the administration of CIE or RTE.

That is a large proposition, Sir.

Those matters were very fully discussed within the past few days. I hope we are not going to have repetition.

I assure you, Sir, that needless repetition is the last thing I want to see. But I feel, with all due respect, that the Chair should be loath to put any boundary to this debate.

Hear, hear.

The only boundary the Chair can put is relevancy. The Deputy is overstepping those bounds in discussing Dr. Andrews or anybody else in RTE.

Surely one is entitled to discuss the responsibility of those listed here for appointments they have made? Dr. Andrews was one of those appointments. However, I do not propose to go further except to say that, to my mind, Deputy Sweetman was unduly concerned about some remarks made by somebody in CIE recently. To my mind, he dignified whoever it was. I do not know the name of the individual who made remarks concerning Members of the Dáil.

I think it was the tin man to whom you were referring.

I assume it probably is. Deputy Sweetman, and I am sure Deputy Dillon, appreciates that precedent obtains in CIE as it does in all forms of Civil Service activity. I have no doubt that the tin man, to whom I referred, in making these remarks was taking the initial steps towards his honorary doctorate. It is a prerequisite that you must contemn the ordinary Irish people, and particularly those of them sent to legislate in this House. If you want to become an honorary doctor, set out on that road and you will eventually arrive there. If, however, like me, you do not believe in those baubles, they will not bother you.

I understand we are to have a new Parliamentary Secretary. As somebody said to me this morning: "Now is the time if you want to get a house in Tipperary". This is further encouragement of the flight from the land. I assure the Minister for Labour, an Teachta Ó hIrighile, that there are many excellent Fianna Fáil Deputies living in Dublin quite willing to make the sacrifice of accepting the post of Parliamentary Secretary.

The appointment of Parliamentary Secretaries does not arise and cannot be discussed on this motion.

One of the papers this morning reveals what I consider to be an unsuspected sense of humour, unconscious humour perhaps. It said something like this: the proposed appointment of Deputy Childers to Posts and Telegraphs as well as Transport and Power indicates a liberalisation of the Department of Posts and Telegraphs. Words begin to lose their meaning when you read that class of thing, or else it is the sense of humour of the correspondent concerned. Could you imagine any Minister more illiberal than the Minister for Transport and Power? He will not even answer a civil question in the House. As I understand liberalism, if it had not much else, it certainly had civility to commend it.

But here, he has no answer and I object and must vote against Deputy Childers on that ground alone. I have denounced him on every conceivable occasion that was open to me for his contemptible and contemptuous approach to the rest of the membership of this House. He has a mentality that belongs to the worst periods of the Victorian Age when the ordinary person could not say "boo", as it were, to people of his class. We will say "boo" to Deputy Childers and we will ask questions until he comes to recognise that this is a democratic Assembly and that every member of this House is equal in rights to every other member, that each Deputy is entitled to get the maximum co-operation and information from Ministers in matters which relate not alone to his constituents and to his constituency but also in matters which relate to all things national or concerning the particular Department. Until Deputy Childers comes to realise this, we shall avail of every opportunity to denounce him for what he appears to be. It may be that he is incapable of realising that this is the 20th century. It may very well be that the man's mind is completely oriented to the bygone age as, indeed, is the mind of at least one of his colleagues in the Cabinet. I refer, not to put a tooth in it, to Proinsias Mac Aogain. However, it is something that we shall have an opportunity of denouncing.

I know very well why Deputy Childers is included in this Cabinet and why he has been included in every Cabinet made, I think, by Fianna Fáil, either as a Minister or as a junior Minister. We all know: we shall not go into it. We do not need to do so.

His presence in the Cabinet should not, however, persuade him that he has any divine right or authority to treat Members in the fashion in which he does and to refuse to answer questions.

I am comforted by the knowledge that the days of this Government are numbered. I think even members of the Fianna Fáil Party appreciate that they are, for the last time, seeing single-Party rule in the sense we know it in this House. The next election, when it comes, I venture to prophesy —one does not need to be a prophet to judge the situation—will not produce an overall majority for any Party, nor the one after that in my view nor, indeed, for a long time to come. In fact, it is highly doubtful if, in our lifetime, we shall see it again. Barring completely unexpected and unforeseeable circumstances, it is highly doubtful if we shall ever again, once this Government go to the country, see single-Party rule in the sense we know it.

I daresay we are entitled to ask, as well as discussing the names of those who are proposed for membership of the Government, why others have been left out. I assume I come within the rules of order in referring to matters of that kind. It puzzles me, for instance, why Mairtín Ó Corraigh——

May I point out to Deputy Dunne that that has nothing whatsoever to do with the discussion? The Deputy is aware that he has certain names before him and therefore can discuss the proposed Ministers but, outside that, it would not be relevant.

I see that Deputy Dowling has sent some pills down to me here—for what purpose? I shall just mention that I should have thought that Deputy Corry, with his long experience, was entitled to promotion and would have been an excellent man for a peaceful adjustment of the position which has existed out there on the steps of the Department of Agriculture. I can think of no more diplomatic——

That would open the discussion unduly and I am sure the Deputy has no intention of doing that.

I shall just say that I am disappointed that Deputy Corry is not mentioned in this list. The farmers are gone from the steps and Deputy Blaney may proceed about his affairs unimpeded, which is a happy situation. However, I understand that, lying in ambush across the road, there is a van or a general headquarters from which may issue, like Monty's van——

The same kind of beret.

A kind of Luneberg situation exists and it could be brought right down to the insistence of each other upon the terms of the heads of agreement and to who would bow down to whom: protocol was very important. However, it is a happy situation now. We are all glad that the lads have gone back to the winter wheat and that things are moving towards a solution—and may I congratulate the right man on bringing about that situation?

Thank you very much.

I want to express the hope that the new Minister for Agriculture will change his attitude when it comes to dealing with the farmers and with agricultural problems generally from the attitude he has had in dealing with the housing policy of the Government. I suppose it would be difficult to think of a Department where more damage can be done to the economy than in the Department of Agriculture by inefficient handling at the level of personal relationships or by policies which would be harmful to those who live on the land and where it is so vital that the right man should be in Agriculture at this time, when we are on the verge, as it were, of entering into Europe. I am not at all happy that our affairs in this sphere will be in the best hands possible, even within the ranks of the Fianna Fáil Party. My mind goes back to the days when we had a Minister for Agriculture, Deputy Dillon, who in his many deliberations here discussed the need for the modernisation of Irish agriculture.

The Deputy may not embark upon a discussion on agriculture; he is entitled to refer to it in passing but not in the detail into which he is going. These matters of detail are relevant to the Estimate.

On a point of order, it would be a fantastic rule to say that we cannot discuss the policy of the Government. If we cannot discuss that, we can discuss nothing.

The administration of each Department is not relevant.

We certainly can discuss the policy of the Government, and I propose to do so loud and long.

That is a matter for the Chair and not for Deputy Dillon.

Well, I will assert my rights to discuss the policy of the Government.

And Deputy Dunne, in discussing the mechanisation of farms, is going outside the ambit of this debate, which deals with the formation of a Government.

"Modernisation" and, if you like, "mechanisation"; I am not concerned with the word but I am concerned with what the Leas-Cheann Comhairle is saying. What he is saying means that we cannot talk about Government policy at all. If that is the rule, it is unacceptable.

I am sure the Deputy has not found it so because he has been speaking now for two hours.

I did not start until 10.30, and I am only just——

——getting resuscitation now I hope for another hour!

I do not feel I have covered the subject in any great sense at all. But I wanted to talk about the incapacity of the proposed Minister for Agriculture for this post. I do not think he is a suitable person to deal with the most important Department, Agriculture. In fact, I remember when he was up there in the back benches before he was propelled to his present position of eminence and when, as I was saying, Deputy Dillon was Minister for Agriculture, he was the one who was continually on his feet in constant opposition to a policy which was designed to bring Ireland into the modern concept of Europe. And if I do not make a mistake, he was all the time moaning about the fact that horses were getting fewer and fewer, tractors were increasing in number, and the worst curse of the lot, of course — the one for which Deputy Dillon should be put up against the wall and shot — was suggesting that there was some benefit to be got out of grass. This is the man proposed now to be in charge of Agriculture— Deputy Blaney. Deputy Hillery would not remember this; it was before his time. I think this is a most unsuitable choice. It may very well be a temporary choice, but, even so, it is a highly unsuitable choice and he will have to do a lot better than he did in the Custom House.

I shall not join in the beagle hunting for Charlie; I think he has had enough punishment. Everybody makes mistakes and when you become a hate symbol in society, you want a bit of sympathy, do you not? And, of course, before he left office, the former Taoiseach had to admit the utter failure of that tale of mystery and imagination, the Second Programme for Economic Expansion. I was at pains, from the very first issue of that novel, to try to give a proper critique for the public benefit as to its contents.

I explained, not once or twice, but several times, and my words fell on deaf ears—even amongst my own Party the idea did not seem to be received—that this was a concoction of utter, absolute trash and nonsense, this Second Programme. Yet we have responsible Deputies on the Opposition side talking as if it were a serious document, when it is bunk, unadulterated bunk. Only the rules of order prevent me from expressing my true feelings, and, of course, my finer sensibilities, as to the actual worth of that document; and I am glad to see that the Minister for Labour himself agrees with me that it is a laughing matter.

It is the Deputy's sensibilities I am laughing at.

The Minister has got the message. The former Taoiseach, for whom I had a very high personal regard, was nothing if not an opportunist politician, as it behoves a politician to be an opportunist: it is part and parcel of a politician's life. He should be an opportunist in the political sense and, if he is not, he has no business in politics. The former Taoiseach looked at the situation after the war and he saw all over Europe that the economic problems which the war had created were being answered inevitably on the continent by socialistic planning. He had, long before this, eschewed any socialistic leanings and, as I said, I often wondered why, for so intelligent a man. However, he did that—threw the ideas to one side—possibly because he may have felt again that ideas of that kind could not bring him to political power. Therefore, he discarded them. But after the war it became evident that the word "planning" was going to become very fashionable. "Planning" was a dirty word before the war, in a political sense, almost in a Lady Chatterley sense. If you were seen reading anything about planning, you were pointed at and it was: "Oh, you know your man", and there were almost overtones of Joe Stalin, and Russian money, and getting paid for it, if you were even glancing at anything remotely related to planning. Suddenly it becomes fashionable and in order to appear forward-looking—again an inexcusable cliché, I know, but one which fits the situation, and one has to try to make oneself understood——

Political bebop.

I think that is a bit dated. I think "switched on" would be nearer but members of the Cabinet will advise us on that. I imagine he felt he would be switched on to much greater effect if he produced something which had the name of being a plan. This he did. Instructions were issued to the civil servants to get down to it, to get a rough analysis of what we were producing, and to make a number of guesses about what we should be doing. He called it the First Programme for Economic Expansion. Later still it was tried out on the dog, as it were, and it was accepted and people were falling for it. At the chapel gates, people stood with open mouths and listened to learned discourses from such people as my learned colleague, and you can imagine how erudite he would be when talking about targets and projections, above the line and below the line expenditures, and all that jazz. Of course it did nothing. It was a device to delude the people, and it worked. A second one came along later and it worked to some extent.

Like the draining of the Shannon.

In relation to the draining of the Shannon I had the experience of standing outside a little chapel near Carrigallen in County Leitrim, waiting for, of all people, Deputy Patrick Smith to conclude one of his unique oratorical performances. He has no use for platforms or ditches or hedges. His is a kind of parade up and down the main streets throwing insults over his shoulder the while. However, it was not very long before he decided, on a matter of principle, to leave Merrion Street. Anyway, I was in Carrigallen and there was myself and my lieutenant who was a small farmer and a Labour man, incredible though that may seem to some Deputies. He was my chairman. It was a Sunday morning and the papers arrived late. This was in the middle of a by-election and we saw spread across the papers——

That description of Deputy Smith making a speech is classical.

It is almost photographic.

The Deputy should endeavour to get back to the motion. I doubt if a discussion on Carrigallen is relevant.

It is the most amusing Dáil we have had for a long time.

He wants to drain the Shannon.

In any event, the Sunday papers arrived and spread across the front page in bold headlines were the words: "Shannon to be drained." My friend the small farmer who had spent a lifetime up to his knees in the Shannon which was flooding his farm—and his two cows looked almost to have webbed feet—said to me: "Glory be to God, isn't it a great day for Ireland?" Being a normal character like myself, he got up on the bank or the ditch—he did not go in for any of this prancing up and down—and he said: "I remember and I a chap, my poor old father coming in in 1932 and saying to my mother: `There is after being a great meeting down at the cross and a man is after coming from Dublin and he says if we vote tomorrow for Mr. de Valera, the Shannon will be drained. We will,' says he, `and we will get down on our knees and say a decade of the Rosary that Mr. de Valera will be returned. And we did,' says he. `For the next couple of years he was wrassling with John Bull and naturally didn't have time to come down from Dublin to see how things were going with us. After abolishing oaths and documents and one thing and another in great speeches and the divil knows what, there was another election.' "

"I had grown a bit. I had to leave school of course to milk the cows and pick the potatoes, but late one night just before I went to bed, I remember my father came in and said to my mother: `Mary, there is a man after being down in the school and he says it won't be too long until it is done. Mr. de Valera is going for election again and if we put him back, the Shannon will be drained in a matter of a couple of weeks, so let us get down on our knees and we will say a decade for the return of Mr. de Valera. And we did,' says he, `and our prayers were answered.' A third occasion——"

I want to point out to the Deputy that this is a serious debate and that he should try to make his remarks relevant.

I am merely pointing out that I do not wish to see a repetition of this disenchanting and cynical exercise, of the people of Ireland being led to believe things were imminent which in fact those who promised them had no intention whatsoever of performing.


I am sorry, Sir, that you did not let me go on with that story.

Beidh lá eile gan amhras, and I probably related it before. I do not want to bore the House with these few remarks of mine, but there is abroad among the people a misconception as to the qualities needed by a Minister of State and I have often heard it said among citizens, when discussing the relative merits of one Minister or another: "After all, he must be a clever man or he would not be a Minister". This, of course, is a misconception. The only test of becoming a Minister, with some honourable exceptions—let me add there are some honourable exceptions—as far as I can see under the Fianna Fáil regime is ability to court favour in the proper quarters and as far as cleverness is concerned, fair literacy will do. What does the position of Minister of State enjoin these days? As far as I can see, his main duty, as far as a Fianna Fáil Minister is concerned, is that of attending functions and making speeches.

I happened to be in the Intercontinental Hotel one day—to see a friend of mine who worked there, let me qualify—and I saw a huge crowd of people, in the morning, guzzling and gargling as if it were 10.30 at night. There is a sort of intercommunication business where you can listen to what is going on without being there. While I was talking to my friend, I heard a voice which seemed to me to be familiar coming over the transmission business.

Interpol, perhaps. In any event, I said to my friend: "Who is that?" He said: "That is your man, the Minister for so and so". "What is he doing here?""He is opening a place for washing cars in"—a car wash, if you do not mind, being opened by the Minister for Health.

They would open a dog kennel.

This seems to be the main preoccupation of Cabinet Ministers, opening this, that and the other anywhere. They can produce a few folio sheets out of their pockets——

We spent our time opening housing schemes and hospitals.

Yes, and we were abused and reviled for it by those gentlemen who said we were not doing enough.

They are now opening car washes.

Opening public houses. I would say it falls possibly within the proper discharge of the duties of an ordinary Deputy to open a public house but a Minister opening a public house, even if the pub does belong to the brother of a Deputy, is an abuse of office that should not occur. We are debasing—when I say "we", I mean this Government—and have debased the value and the dignity of Cabinet office by the manner in which some of them carry on. I suggest there should be rules of procedure. I do not think that any commercial concern, no matter how favoured it may be in political organisations, no matter how good a supporter it may be of the political organisation, should have its position boosted by the presence at an opening of a Minister of State.

That is not what the people of Ireland sent him here for. It recalls to my mind the pernicious trade which we now learn existed in the days of Lloyd George, when he sold baronetcies and dukedoms with fixed-list prices and this thing has the odour of it, no matter how we try to dignify it with talk about expansion. The only things I can see expanding are the gullets, at 10.30 or 11 o'clock in the morning, if you do not mind. One can imagine what they were like at 11 o'clock that night.

They would need washing.

Leave that alone until the following morning.

I think Deputy Sweetman opened a garage in Kilcock.

The Deputy should not think. He should be sure of his facts.

As a TD in his own constituency——

He was a Minister of State.

Our friend Deputy Paddy Burke opens pubs and closes pubs.

Do not mind Deputy Paddy Burke. He is decent, whatever.

Of course opening a pub would be beneath the dignity of Caoimhín Ó Beoláin.

Now that Caoimhín Ó Beoláin has been mentioned, I have been taken to another nominee to whom I must pay some attention. Let me say I was extremely happy to learn that my colleague in the same constituency has now become Minister for Local Government because the solution of my rent problems as they relate to the people of Ballyfermot, is that the 40,000 who marched through the city the other night, will now look to Deputy Boland for relief from the threat of exorbitant rent increases which was held over their heads by Deputy Blaney when he was Minister for Local Government.

Charity, of which, if I had none, I could borrow from my friend who has a superabundance, inclines me to say—Deputy Blaney has gone from the Custom House and the harm of the year go with him—that Deputy Blaney was doing this because he did not realise its full implications, the hardships it would bring about. This cannot be said of Deputy Boland. Deputy Boland misled a number of people into voting for him at the last election, people who are paying these rents, corporation tenants. He must be conscious and must take notice of the fact that the entire population of Ballyfermot and corporation tenants everywhere in Dublin are in revolt against the proposal to increase rents because they know full well they are not able to pay these rents, that they will have to endeavour to recover these increases by way of increased wages and that this in turn will lead to inflation and civil unrest.

Deputy Boland, who is proposed as Minister for Local Government, has a unique opportunity to put a stop right away to this proposal and I hope that my gracious colleague and the other city Deputies who are concerned with the problem of Dublin Corporation rents will lose no time in going to the former Minister for Social Welfare and saying to him: "You must stop this thing; you must prevent these increases because if you do not, we will all be sunk in the next election." Anyway, in ordinary common justice, the people are not able to pay them.

When we are talking about the Department of Agriculture, I want to refer to the agricultural policy of the Government which has produced the situation wherein, apparently, the rate of pay for a farm labourer is £9 a week. There are not many farm labourers, as such, I suppose, left in this country. Their inability to live on the wages paid on farms has brought about this rapid depopulation of rural areas which is all too evident as one drives through the country. This has particularly hit the people who work on farms for wages, those who are not landowners. Most of those people have had to flee the land and flee the country and set up homes elsewhere where they can get a much greater return for their work than they can get here where they receive only £9 per week.

When one thinks of that figure and realises that there are people in this country trying to live on that sum, trying to meet the cost of living charges, and one thinks of the opposite side, the amount of pension which this Government fixed for one ex-public servant, £68 a week, is it to be wondered that many thousands of citizens feel that the Government are a corrupt institution and that it is a game in which only adventurers engage? We know it is not a corrupt institution but public actions of that kind can have only one effect on the public mind. There is no justification whatever for acting in this way while men, women and children are living in the poverty they are living in. Similarly, those employed by county councils are in much the same plight. I want to ask the incoming Minister for Local Government to give his attention to the inadequacy of the means of livelihood provided for the many thousands of men who give service to the local authorities throughout the country.

I am coming to the end of my few remarks on this important motion for the formation of the Government and I thank you for your forbearance, Sir, and also the Members of the House who have listened to me. I want to conclude by simply saying I am satisfied there is little life left in the Fianna Fáil administration. I feel we are in fact heading rapidly for a general election. The by-elections must bring this about in the present position. I think the general election will see the end of Fianna Fáil Government and it will particularly see the end of single-Party Government. I am satisfied, beyond all question, when the smoke of the battle dies down and the dust settles, that the policies and the principles for which we in the Labour Party stand will remain, will triumph and will become part and parcel of the Government and that in fact the Labour Party will become the Government of this country as was forecast on that historic day in 1912, before Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and any other Party were ever heard of, in the town of Clonmel on the proposition of James Connolly, seconded by James Larkin.

I must begin my observations by a word of rebuke for Deputy Dunne. If it were not for a speech made by his Leader in Tullamore, Fianna Fáil would not be the Government of this country today. If the Labour Party were prepared to accept their part of the burden, I was prepared to undertake that that crowd would never have got in. We are paying a bitter price for the decision enunciated at Tullamore. It might have meant more work politically for me, who would have had responsibility to resolve the problems in the event of an inter-Party Government after the last general election, but we would have resolved them, just as surely as we did during two previous administrations, if the Labour Party had been prepared to bear their share of the burden of responsibility. If Bill Norton, the Lord have mercy on him, had still been with us, he would have faced that responsibility with the same valiance as he did in 1948 and in 1954.

Now, I want to turn to the express questions which we are called upon here to consider. I ask the House, more especially at this time, to bear it clearly in mind that the fact that Jack Lynch is a man of integrity should not deflect our minds from the real business this House is now considering, that is, the Government he chooses and the policy he proposes to the country.

Firstly among that Government is his colleague, Deputy Aiken, the Tánaiste. I want to submit that his continued presence in that position reveals more dramatically than anything else the savage warfare that is pervading the ranks of the Fianna Fáil Party, not in the service of Ireland but in the service of personal preferment.

Deputy Aiken who has been described by his own ex-Leader, Deputy Seán Lemass, as an historic monument has been made Tánaiste because Deputy Jack Lynch, when he became Taoiseach, did not dare to choose any other colleague lest it might be suggested he had become a Colleyite or a Haugheyite.

Now, in this euphoria that is associated with the preference of a relatively young man of integrity, as I have no hesitation in describing Deputy Jack Lynch, we are not to forget what led up to his preferment and to the business he has recommended here to us today. I ask the House to remember the slogans associated with the last general election. The dominant issue was: "Let Lemass Lead On". Now, we told the people at that time: "If you let Lemass lead on, you are going to be led into a bog of insolvency, of unemployment and ultimate economic and political servitude to powers outside Oireachtas Éireann." I now say that, having reduced us to that position, Lemass has elected to lead nowhere.


Hear, hear.

In this pre-arranged sordid situation, there is one feature which, I think, whatever Deputy Lemass may think, gives satisfaction to every Deputy, that is, the announcement by himself that he withdrew from the post of Taoiseach for purely political reasons and that no health reasons were involved. Deeply as we may differ from him, we rejoice to hear that. He lays down the heavy burdens he has carried for so long in the life of this country, with diligence and industry and no one can deny him that, with his health unimpaired. We rejoice and sincerely wish him and his gracious lady many long years to enjoy for the rest of his life his release from the burdens he has carried. The fact that we have that goodwill for a public servant who served the country during a long life cannot discharge us from our duty to animadvert on his performance.

I was amused yesterday at the rancorous hatred of Fianna Fáil and the wolf-like howls that were uttered at my name. That is my most precious accolade. They hate and fear me as they always have and I hope they always will. It is interesting and we are all glad to see in the general euphoria that Deputy Lemass does two years after me precisely what I did two years ago. There comes a time in the life of men when they must look forward and determine, when they are called upon to carry a heavier load of responsibility for four or five years, whether they can give of their best and if they do, whether their best will be good enough.

I knew two years ago that in the political situation then obtaining it was not within the range of rational possibility that I could be called upon to form a government in less than three to four years. I knew the burden of years on me at that time. Whatever the spirit might desire, the flesh would be unable to discharge. Deputy S. Lemass has learned that lesson now and rightly takes his decision to withdraw before the burden he is unable to bear should crush him down.

But, remember, there is this distinction. He fought the campaign on the proposition that he knew the answers to the problems that lay ahead, that if the Irish people would only give him the opportunity to lead on he could solve the problems, but they remain virtually insoluble and he has certainly passed on his problems. That is a decision he must settle, a decision for his own conscience but it is none the less true. I spoke of euphoria and in that euphoria there is the danger that Deputies of this House will be restrained from uttering discord. I said here last July that I did not believe it was good enough for this country that there should be circulating in the corridors of Oireachtas Éireann knowledge that was withheld from the people of our country. The rumours circulating then were that Mr. Lemass was about to retire and that after the bloody corpses had been laid in rows, the burden would be passed to Deputy Jack Lynch. My prophecy came strangely true. Now they tell the story in Dáil Éireann of what really happened and how the corpses grew bloody and how Deputy Jack Lynch became Taoiseach of Ireland and how those who sought to assassinate their own colleagues have temporarily made peace to share the spoils.

I was brought up on an old-fashioned idea enshrined in a poem written by Thomas Davis in our house:

When righteous men will make our land

A nation once again.

It is old-fashioned, of course, to claim friendship with Davis and his colleagues, those who cut themselves off from the opportunity of office or preferment because they loved their country better than their Party. In this regard I am old-fashioned. But I think the people ought to know what brought Deputy Lynch to where he now is. Sixty years ago the Marquis of Salisbury was Prime Minister of England. He was an old man and he got an idée fixe in his mind that he wanted his nephew, Arthur Balfour, to succeed him. I want to submit that it is common knowledge in this country that six years ago there was an aging Prime Minister in Ireland who got an idée fixe that he wanted his son-in-law to succeed him, Haughey. Sixty years ago the Marquis of Salisbury suddenly discovered that the Conservative Party of which he was the Leader did not want his nephew. They wanted Joe Chamberlain.

The problem the Marquis of Salisbury had to resolve was: "How am I going to force my nephew, Arthur Balfour, on them?" One morning in the year 1900, a secretary came into 10 Downing Street and said: "Prime Minister, the Colonial Secretary has had an accident". Mr. Chamberlain was the Colonial Secretary. The Marquis of Salisbury said: "What happened?" The secretary replied: "He slipped and broke his ankle entering the Colonial Office". "How long will he be in bed?" the Marquis of Salisbury asked. "Three weeks," said the secretary. "Send for my carriage and pair," said the Marquis of Salisbury and he drove to Buckingham Palace where the Queen was doting and said to her: "I resign the Seals of Office, Ma'am, and I recommend you send for Mr. Balfour". By the time Joe Chamberlain came limping out of hospital Arthur Balfour was Prime Minister and continued to be so until 1911 when Joe Chamberlain was practically dead.

George Colley did not break his ankle. Frank Aiken did not fracture his leg but Frank Aiken was like an egg-bound hen at the United Nations waiting to lay his egg and nothing would bring him home from the United Nations until that egg was laid.

He forgot his Andrews.

George Colley was nailed down in the United States of America and 1,000 businessmen, bankers and representatives gathered in Chicago to be addressed by him to draw industry to Ireland. A meeting was called of the Government and it was politely suggested that the Government should make a recommendation to the Fianna Fáil Party as to who should succeed the Taoiseach, Deputy Seán Lemass, who was to inform his colleagues he intended to resign. Lemass planned to do a "Salisbury" on George Colley, but the Government decided that the matter should not be disposed of that day which was Tuesday but should be postponed to Friday.

Then the unexpected happened. Deputy Colley arrived at the airport. He was asked: "Were you sent for?" and he smiled. He was not sent for; he was despatched. He was despatched back home from New York by the Tánaiste. For what purpose? For precisely the same purpose as Deputy MacEntee wrote his letter to the Irish Times on March 12th, 1966, when he said:

May I, who was Minister for Finance from 1932 to 1939 and from 1951 to 1954, and have been responsible for eleven Budgets answer the question...as to how Mr. Lynch got into the mess that ties his hands so firmly now?

That was the first knife that went into the back of Deputy Seán Lemass from the hands of Deputy MacEntee who had been dropped from the Government, Now old Krakatoa was determined that Colley would be the next knife in the Taoiseach and lo and behold, another knife went in and all the hopes of the son-in-law becoming Taoiseach began to evaporate overnight.

I saw the scene unfold here in Leinster House. I saw Deputy Haughey and his Camorra, Deputy Lenihan, Minister for Justice, Deputy O'Malley, Minister for Education and Deputy Blaney, the Minister for Local Government. I saw them walk through the corridors of this House telling some of the younger members of the Fianna Fáil Party: "Vote for Charlie because if you vote for Charlie and George Colley gets elected he is not vindictive but if you vote for George and Charlie gets elected he will follow you to the death." I saw some young inexperienced members of the Fianna Fáil Party quail at that. Up to 9 o'clock on Wednesday night Haughey thought he had won. He very nearly did. I saw him coming to this House at 10.15 p.m. to vote on the Estimate for Posts and Telegraphs and I took one look at his face, white as parchment, and I said: "Haughey is gone down the sink." Remember when he failed to land his fish last Wednesday night, he will never land it. He is finished. He stinks, politically, of course. And so the second dagger sank into the back of the Taoiseach and his dearest dream was dead.

Now into the arena came a new avatar, Deputy Boland, who has sworn that Haughey would never be Taoiseach or Leader of the Fianna Fáil Party because of his connections with the National Army of this State. He announced that he had had a revelation. Joseph Smith of the Mormons had no more stimulating experience. Tablets of gold had come down from Heaven and Deputy Boland saw the solution of all our problems. He would propose that Blaney was the man. The man for what? Blaney was the parachute designed to enable Haughey to come down soft instead of the stick which ordinarily falls when the rocket burns out. Clutching that parachute he descended with some shred of dignity in the confident hope that now he had Colley where he wanted him: the sore thumb who would not join in with the boys to purchase unity by giving undivided support to Jack Lynch. Who kept Colley firm and resolute in his determination to oppose Jack Lynch? The same hand that sank the second dagger into Deputy Lemass's back, Aiken's. Deputy Aiken stiffened Colley's back and told him: "I will support you to the death, MacEntee will support you to the death and to the death we mean to send you."

Deputy Colley is an honourable upright man and I think poor little Deputy Molloy is a decent little chap. God knows it hurt me to see that innocent child sacrificed on the altar of these men's vicious vendettas but I believe he knew little of the purposes which dictated stripping him and laying him on the altar of sacrifice for the culmination of this grim procedure; and so there was a division in which Deputy Jack Lynch was elected by 52, was it?

52 to 19.

Whatever it was. It does not matter a damn because, out of the division, there emerged a new Leader of the Fianna Fáil Party. Did he come out in the role of a leader to command the support of a united people? Because he is a man of integrity, to whom lies come hard, he said: "I am a via media”. Now what is a via media in politics?

Oh, yes; it is something. It is expendable. As soon as the knives have been sharpened, as soon as the assassinations have been consummated, they hope, as The Guardian said, to send that decent man to the Park. Then the battle will begin. But do not imagine for a moment that it is not going on now. There is not an hour, or a day, or a week, until they break his heart, that the clash of knives will not be heard in the corridors of Fianna Fáil and that the affairs of the nation will not be made a secondary consideration in the quest to find out whether Deputy Colley can mobilise sufficient forces, not to prevail, but to survive. Which of the Camorra will ultimately be left when the rest have been pulled down?

That is the story of how Deputy Jack Lynch was elected Taoiseach of Ireland yesterday. He is as expendable as an old shoe; and he is too decent a man to be treated in that way. I do not despair that our people will recoil with loathing from the prospect of replacing a man of integrity, as I believe Deputy Jack Lynch to be, with one of the Camorra who are now sharpening their knives and whirling their tomahawks, not only for their enemies but for one another.

Deputy Seán Dunne says he believes this is the end of single-Party Government. I ask him now: "What then?" I shall not be involved. I am too old. I have the wisdom and I have the experience to be the Taoiseach of this country. But I am too old. I will not do a job that I cannot do right and I am not physically able to do that job any more. It is a young man's job. But who is going to form the Government of this country? I would gladly see a Fine Gael Government or such an inter-Party Government as we had before. I am proud of every day I served in it, proud of everything we did, and I have no apology to make to anybody for any of my colleagues or for any of the decisions we made. We do not expect that some of the mud thrown by Fianna Fáil will not stick, but history will tell the story that, though we belonged to different Parties, there were no tomahawks and no daggers in our councils, only candles that burned low, trying to protect simple people from the burden of a rising cost of living and to ensure that resources would be mobilised to put roofs over their heads.

When all that was done, we handed the country on to our successors with a favourable balance of payments and with reserves reckoned in the terms they are today of between £150 million and £200 million sterling to meet any contingency that might conceivably arise. That is the story which is the prologue of the task we put our hands to today, which ought to be one of choosing righteous men to make our land a nation once again. Does anyone challenge the accuracy of the picture I have drawn?

Not in the direction in which the Deputy is looking.

Does Deputy Healy? Does he not know that what I am saying is true? Did he not see it happen? Did he not find one of his own canvassing both sides?

Did you not find one of your own canvassing for Colley with the Colleyites and for Haughey with the Haugheyites until, by mistake, he canvassed a Haugheyite for Colley and nearly got his block knocked off? Come, let us tell the truth.

I want to see this country governed by righteous men drawn from whatever Party our people choose. Let us face it: people get the Government they deserve. That has meant that Fianna Fáil are in this House by no authority other than the authority of the Irish people.

Hear, hear.

It was their votes put them here. I know that. That is why I deplore the speech at Tullamore. Deputy Gus Healy knows that it would not have been any good to me personally to have taken on the responsibility that had to be faced 18 months ago. He knows the dirt, the political dirt. I have never heard him say an indecent word in this House, but he would have borne his full share of saying to me, were I Taoiseach for the last 18 months: "Ha, if you had only let Lemass lead on, this would not have happened. We would not be borrowing from the Bank of Nova Scotia. We would not be borrowing from the International Monetary Fund. We would not be borrowing with bare hands in London and refused a loan. If you had only let Lemass lead on, cattle would not be worth £20 less today than they were last year. If you had only let Lemass lead on." Cross your heart and hope to die, Deputy Healy, would you not have been saying that? I know you would. But still I deplore the fact that, because the Labour Party, in my opinion, reneged their duty——

Surely the Deputy does not suggest——

Surely what?

I will obey the Chair.

I wonder is it the Chair or me the Deputy is afraid of. The Chair will allow me to give way to Deputy Healy to ask his question. What does he want to know?

I was wondering if it was the fear of what I would say made you change the Leader of your Party?

A very fair question and one I am delighted to answer. The difference between me and my opposite number is that I foresaw what he came to learn. I will tell Deputy Healy, for I think it is good that he should know, what happened in the Fine Gael Party. I told my colleagues that if the House elected me Taoiseach, I was 62 years of age and I felt equal to the job, but that in four years' time, I could not lead a Party in a general election and then undertake the formation of a Government to meet the problems that I foresaw then existed. Remember, I was not telling everybody: "You never had it so good". I was telling everybody up and down the country that we were staggering into bankruptcy and that the situation was desperate. I said to the members of my Party—they are here and they can correct me if they like—after the political correspondents had gone to another social engagement, at 8 o'clock the same evening that the Taoiseach was elected after the general election, that I had reached the decision to retire. I said that we had several men in the Party who could take my place. To do them justice, and I am glad to pay them the tribute, they all made polite noises and I said in the traditional words of General Grant "If nominated, I will not stand; if elected, I will not serve. Now, let us get on with the job". And we did, and we elected a successor and even Deputy Healy will agree with me that we elected a good one. I came out from that meeting with him to meet the press. It was late at night and the statement was contained on half a sheet of paper but was it not a decent way to do it? There were no knives, no tomahawks, no hatred and above all, there was no member of our Party canvassing for two men at the same time.


Hear, hear.

As usual, I have never heard a rude or dirty word from Deputy Healy since he first entered this House and I am beholden to him again for the question he has just asked.

The Deputy is quite welcome.

It gave me an opportunity of telling a story I am proud to tell and of paying tribute to the Party I was proud to lead.

The Deputy would do justice to Grimm.

Well, Deputy, you are young. I used to battle with your father. Do not take me on; I am not pleasant when I get rough.

Do not bait him.

I have told that story because the people have the right and title to know what transpired and led up to the decision we are called upon to make today. I have told that story because people have the right to judge the qualities of the men we are asked to vote for as the Government. It is a story that should be communicated to the people as well as to the Deputies of this House. With all the reputation of which I am possessed before our people, I stand over the accuracy and veracity of every detail of the tale I have had to tell.

Now, Sir, I want to turn for a moment to what the true situation of the country is. We should not forget that there is, and it is right that there should be in the lives of all politicians —and I am proud to be a politician; it is a high, noble calling—a moment of excitement or a moment of enthralment when a Government changes and we, the sovereign authority of the nation, are called upon to appoint a Government and delegate to it by our action the authority of God to rule. However, that dramatic situation should not turn our minds from the fundamental facts that affect not only the welfare of our people but the independence of our nation. I never believed that it was possible for any political Party in this country to destroy the cattle trade but that is just what the Fianna Fáil Party have done.

For a second time.

No, no. Deputy Farrelly says for the second time but there he is wrong. That is the tragedy of the situation. No, no. I was all through the Economic War and I saw four-year-old cattle being sold on the streets of Ballaghaderreen for £4 10s apiece but throughout that period we knew that if the eccentric then leading the Fianna Fáil Party would simply go to London and make a political decision, the whole nightmare would be over. We were in the position we were in because he would not do this and then, after four years, he took our counsel and he did it, and overnight the nightmare was over. The cattle trade had not suffered. That is quite a different situation from that which obtains today and if I fail to make that clear, I fail most hopelessly in my duty. Then we had the European War and then, in the post-war years, a most critical decision had to be taken. England had seen the stark visage of threatened starvation during the war. Her principal preoccupation was to build up her domestic supply to ensure that no foreign enemy could ever strangle her while she mobilised her forces and allies in defence.

I remember well when I went to London in 1948 meeting Mr. Tom Williams, the British Minister for Agriculture, and he knew as much about agriculture as my left foot but he was a decent, kind man. When you asked him anything his first instinct was to say "no". He was terrified. I remember the skill and care we had to take in saying to him: "Listen, the cattle trade does not represent any threat to the farmers of England. We do not want to compete with the farmers of England. We want to provide the farmers of England with the raw material of their production. We want them to sell the beef to the British consumer. All we want to do is to be a source to which they can turn with a guarantee of immunity from cattle disease and an unlimited supply to get the kind of cattle they want to feed and finish on their own farms."

It was only after two days of anxious negotiations, explanations and argument that eventually it clicked in Mr. Williams' mind that here was a plan he would have no difficulty selling to the British farmer and that he could concede to me that all Irish cattle would enjoy the benefit of the British subsidy, provided they stopped two months on a British farm. The moment the penny dropped he was for it and he jumped at it. I remember saying finally at the plenipotentiary conference to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sir Stafford Cripps: "Are you prepared to concede this?" And he looked around at his officials and said: "I think Mr. Dillon is right; we must concede it." In that hour we put countless millions into the pockets of the farmers of Ireland.

Hear, hear.

Now came these reckless fools and because of an old preoccupation that I know was present in the mind of Deputy Lemass since he first came to the House in 1932, he had a sort of idea that there was something wrong in sending store cattle to England. His idea was that we should finish and process the meat here and send it either as fat cattle or as carcase beef. He did not understand and never has understood the position. Mark you, I think Deputy Paddy Smith understood it; he would never have made such a fool of himself in London as Deputy Haughey did. The folly they were guilty of was that instead of binding the British farmer to our interests and making him our champion with the British Government, they went into competition with him. Now, Deputy Farrelly sees what I mean.

For the first time in my memory, meetings of farmers are being called in Scotland and Northern England crying out to the British Minister of Agriculture: "Stop all cattle coming from Ireland." We know that is nonsense and that they could not carry on their own business if they had not Irish store cattle to count on, but when you are in business, after your capital and stock, what is your most precious asset? It is your goodwill. In Glasgow and Edinburgh and Norwich and in all the great markets of Great Britain, the Irish farmer was the most welcome man and Irish store cattle the choicest beasts. Now the Irish farmer is a suspect and an Irish beast is regarded as a menace to the welfare of the British agricultural community. All that was done by men who, I have no doubt, thought they were doing the best they could but it will take us years, if not generations, to get back what has been thrown away. I cannot put a value on it. If I had the responsibility in the morning and was charged to go and get it back, how can you buy back the goodwill of people who no longer trust you?

When Deputy Haughey came home as Minister for Agriculture, that Agreement having been signed by Deputy Lemass as Taoiseach and Mr. Wilson, I do not believe that he was consciously lying when he said he anticipated that it would increase the price of cattle by £5 or £6 per head. I think he just did not know. But he knows now, and certainly we who represent the people know that instead of increasing the price of cattle by £5 or £6 a head, it has brought them down by £20 a head. I saw calves—what is the use in my telling this to the Minister for Education who knows as much about cattle as my foot, although cattle are the sheet anchor of the country— sold in the streets of Ballaghaderreen a week ago for £4 10s that were worth £24 this day 12 months. I saw a friend of mine buying a whitehead calf of six months for £14 10s and the man who sold it to him said: "I paid £24 for that calf the day it was born." That was a poor man.

I warn the House again that the congested areas of Ireland are on the verge of an unprecedented catastrophe. Nobody understands that; nobody here in Dublin and nobody living in the cities or along the eastern coast or in the more prosperous parts of the south of Ireland can realise the magnitude of the catastrophe that has come upon these areas.

I do not want to go into detail but I think it right to mention that the price of sheep has collapsed. The price of the ordinary Roscommon sheep is down by £1 a head. Deputy O'Donnell here beside me knows Donegal better than I do and God knows, I know it well enough, having represented it for five years in this House. This will sound hard now in the ears of Deputy Burton and Deputies who come from some of the more prosperous agricultural areas but there is a large number of small farmers in West Donegal and West Kerry who depend largely for a living on mountainy land. They send the ewes out on the mountain with the ram. In spring, they bring them down and shear them and they wean the lambs. This is what they have to sell when autumn comes. Those lambs sold for 30/-, 35/-, 37/6 or £2 for an exceptional one. You may imagine they are very small lambs. What did they fetch at the fair of Glenties? Less than 5/-apiece.

That is true.

The Ceann Comhairle is from Clare and he cannot believe that anybody sold a sheep this year for 5/-.

They were sold at Ballycroy for that.

That is the price of a chicken.

I wonder if Deputies have any notion of the catastrophe that has come upon those people whom we profess to be concerned to serve. I cannot exaggerate the magnitude of this problem and for me it is bitterly exacerbated by this consideration. In 35 years of public life, I never felt for a moment that if I could bring the Government into the Lobby and defeat them, I could not put right what was wrong. Now I am not certain that I know the answer to the catastrophe that the Government have brought on the agricultural industry in the past few years. If I do not know the answer to these problems, I do not know anybody in Ireland who does. That may sound a conceited thing to say but I have been at it for a long time, and I have spoken to many people who profess to know all about it, and I do not know the answer.

I am not sure that the ruin they have brought on the small farmers in Ireland is reparable. I shall try, and that will be for another occasion when the Agriculture Estimate is before the House, to ventilate more fully the character of the effort I might make but I warn the House that the problems the Government have created are very much worse than the problems that were created for agriculture by the Economic War.

There is another aspect of the matter which, in our euphoria, the House and the country are all too ready to forget. Taxes have not ceased going up because Deputy Jack Lynch has been appointed Taoiseach. Rates have not ceased going up. The cost of living has not ceased going up, and remember that this deadly index does not cease to function. You ask me what this deadly index is. It is the index of tables in the Report on the economic situation of the National Industrial Economic Council, and table 14 B on page 72 refers to wage costs per unit of output. As our taxes rise, as our rates rise, as our costs of production rise, as our cost of living rises, the noose around our industrial neck represented by the inflexible and inevitable operation of that index tightens.

As our costs of production rise we are told we are approaching nearer the competition of the Common Market. Can we not realise what that means? Guinness's can face the Common Market, Jacob's can face the Common Market, but has this House ever stopped to ask itself what does the Common Market mean to us on the industrial front? What do you think brought the Germans here, the French here, and the Americans here? Why do you think they want to manufacture in Ireland? Was it for the love of our lovely blue eyes? They wanted to manufacture here because we had free access to the British market for industrial output. To export from their own countries they had to pay tariffs going into Great Britain, but if they set up a branch factory here they could get in free. If we go into the Common Market that differential disappears overnight. They can then send their goods to England from Germany, France, Holland, Belgium or Italy, on just the same terms as if they manufactured them in Chapelizod. How long do you think the branch factories will continue to function if that index to which I have referred continues to tighten its knot?

Our unit costs of production are now rising above those in Great Britain. Our only hope of maintaining industries in this country is to have a unit cost of production lower than that of Great Britain, or of France, or of Italy, or of Germany. If we let the present process continue, which is directly attributable to Fianna Fáil policy, which was born of the turnover tax, every industry that has been established in Ireland in the past 30 years will be choked out of existence, and the men who work in them will be sent out on the waves of the world to seek employment. I shall not go into the question now of what that quest will mean to men with the lack of technical training from which a great many of our people suffer. That is for another day, but let us consider the state of the Party and the policies of the Government for which we are asked to vote.

I told this House before that this country was economically bust and there were those Deputies on the Fianna Fáil benches who said that language was too strong. I want to ask the House now: is it true that our Government have borrowed £60 million from the joint stock banks in this country and cannot pay it back? Is it true that because the Government borrowed £60 million from the joint stock banks small business men up and down the country are having their overdrafts called in because the banks have not got the money to lend them? Is it true that people who want credit from banks for the ordinary processes of trade are being told by bank managers: "We cannot provide it, though we know it to be our duty to do so, because wehave not got the money"? If you want proof of that or if you doubt my word, read the Report of the Central Bank, 1964-65, and it will tell you that the Government have taken from the joint stock banks of Ireland the credit that they ought to have available for the accommodation of our own people.

Is it true that we owe to the limit in the International Monetary Fund and that if we return to borrow more we must give them undertakings? Is it true that if we look to the International Monetary Fund for further accommodation they will have the right to tell Oireachtas Éireann what it may do and what it may not do? If that is true, have we sold for gold what was purchased with blood?

Is it true that we owe the Government of Bonn £7 million and only £7 million because they would not lend us more? Is it true that, having borrowed from the Bank of Nova Scotia, we went to London and, with the backing of the Bank of England and the Government stockbroker, floated the smallest loan ever launched by a sovereign State in any part of the world, and shaking our tin cup in the purlieus of Threadneedle Street for a paltry £5 million, they tossed us £750,000, and most of that came from the Royal Liver Insurance Company that do their business here; but for the rest they told us to go home.

Is that true? Can anyone deny it? If that is true, has anyone considered the position in regard to the national debt? When I ask you that question you say to yourself: "It is costing us £50 million a year to service it." That is not what I am talking about. What I am asking is: have any of you asked when is the sheriff coming to collect the debt? You have all forgotten that we are going for a national loan, according to the Second Programme for Economic Expansion, this year, next year and the year after, and we are going to borrow abroad. Did any Deputy of the Fianna Fáil Party ask himself: when are we going to pay? Because, this autumn, between now and Christmas Day, we have £5,730,000 to pay of the 5½ per cent National Loan. It is due for payment or conversion. Remember the words "or conversion". Next year, we have £17,886,000 which is due for payment or conversion. That is a 6 per cent loan. In the year after, we have £25 million to pay of 4½ per cent Exchequer Stock. In the year after, we have £22,126,000 of 3½ per cent Exchequer Bonds and in the year after, we have £19,600,000 of 3 per cent Exchequer Bonds. They have all to be paid or converted. But the people who hold them hold them largely in Ireland. They are going to their stockbrokers and saying: "The Government are going to pay me £100 for every £100 of stock I have. I have £1,000 in the National Loan", and the stockbroker will say: "Well, if you put that in the debentures of Roadstone, you will get 8 per cent but you will get 20 per cent off your income tax because it is an Irish industrial holding and that means you will get 8?th per cent. I can get you nearly £89 a year for your £1,000 in an Irish industrial debenture".

Would anyone tell me what are the Irish Government going to offer to persuade lenders to give them money? Are the stockbrokers going to tell their clients that it is better to take £70 a year from the Government than £89 a year from Roadstone? I doubt it. If we meet the going rate, what is the service of the national debt going to cost us in the years that lie ahead? We are at present living on borrowed money that we borrowed for 3 and 3½ per cent. What is the service of the national debt going to look like when we have converted that into money borrowed at 7 to 8 per cent?

We can carry euphoria too far simply because Jack Lynch is a decent man. As he is rolling down Patrick Street in Cork tomorrow night—I am sorry my friend Deputy Gus Healy has gone—I wonder will he and Deputy Healy ask themselves the questions while the torches are burning and the bunting is flying: "How will we house the poor? Where are we going to find money to take the people from the slums?" Will he ask: "How are we going to redeem the promises of the Minister for Education who has guarteed secondary education for all our people free of cost before Christmas or he will resign? Will he ask himself as they roll by—they will pass a number of banks on the way—"Can we stay the hand of the bank managers who are calling in their overdrafts and closing their clients' premises because they are not able to meet the interest on their loans?" As they roll through the streets of Cork, will they think of the little men in West Cork for whom winter is coming on and there are no minor relief schemes, no special employment schemes, no rural improvement schemes to be considered? Will they think of the people who have no houses or have let their houses go so far as to be beyond repair believing that they would get a loan from the county council to build a new one and are now told that the county council has not got the money to make the loan?

I do not blame them if they have bunting, torches and fireworks as they bring home their triumphant victim— because that is what he is. He will be safe in Cork but God help him when he gets back to where the knives are grinding and the tomahawks are flying. I wish him joy on his sojourn in his native city for he has a terrible ordeal confronting him when he comes back to these unsavoury surroundings.

I think I have said what I want to say and I will end as I began. I make no apology for the fact that in certain regards I am proud that it was in our house that Davis wrote the words "And righteous men must make our land a nation once again". I ask our people to remember those words and then to look at O'Malley, Haughey, Lenihan and Blaney and ask themselves the question: was it men like these that Davis was thinking of when he wrote these lines? Were theirs the standards which he considered the hallmark of righteous men?

The people of this country will get the Government they deserve and it takes them a long time to believe that those who come before them come with fraud on their lips. I do not blame some of the younger Deputies of the Fianna Fáil Party. I think they thought Lemass meant to lead them on and I think they thought they could faithfully and honestly pledge their honour that they believed he would and, if he did, that he would not lead them wrong. They know now they have been abandoned. They know the very issue on which they fought the election has been proved beyond doubt or cavil to have been a lie. It is a chastening experience on the threshold of their public life. Let them remember what Davis said and be certain that the next time they go campaigning they are led by righteous men.

I agree with Deputy Dunne when he says that this tomahawk Government is the last one that Fianna Fáil will form. They will bleed themselves to death with internecine strife. I hope that as they wither they will perish in the public life of Ireland but I can be certain that there will be found in Leinster House material to form as good a Government as we gave Ireland from 1948 to 1951 and from 1954 to 1957. If it all comes from this side of the House, it could not come from a better place. But, wherever it comes from, our fathers, our grandfathers and our great-grandfathers believed that if they could get rid of the intruder the Irish could make Ireland a place for decent men to live. I think they were right. I am not discouraged and I do not despair. The Irish people in the last analysis get the Government they deserve, and I consider they deserve the best. Some day, I am sure they will get it.

I was brought up on the proposition that I should have respect for my elders. I sometimes think Deputy Dillon taxes this proposition to the utmost. I know him to be a bitter, frustrated man, a man who wanted power more than anything else. I always think the greatest tragedy about him was that Churchill had to be born in the same era as he was.

Come off it now. I may be ancient, but I am not all that ancient.

Can the Deputy not take it? He was allowed to speak.

I would not interrupt him for a moment, but when he tells me I am 100 years of age!

I will pay one tribute to Deputy Dillon. He is a fine actor, even if typed somewhat. It is interesting to listen to these senior men attacking the younger Members as soon as they come in, saying they are only little boys who do not know what they are doing. This is a very easy way of brushing aside what they are saying. It was young men like us who fought for this nation; it was young men like us who built this nation; and it is young men like us who will continue the work of this nation. Many insulting remarks have been made about the various Ministers in the Fianna Fáil Government. I have been very proud of our Party during the past two weeks. We have demonstrated to the people of Ireland in full public view that we are a democratic Party.

To me it is a wonderful thing that we have such a problem when it comes to selecting a Leader. We have many men in our Party capable of being first-class leaders. I had my own opinion as to who should be the Leader and other Deputies had their ideas as to who would make the best Leader. But we all enjoyed complete and utter freedom to express our views. We met in due democratic process and elected a Leader. We are right behind this Leader. We have had first-class leadership down through the years. The number of years that Fianna Fáil have held Government testify to this. I am satisfied we have outstanding leadership now, and before long the Opposition are going to find it out. The men who have led this Party have always impressed the nation and never left it in doubt as to their integrity, loyalty and devotion to their country. Deputy Jack Lynch is such a man. There is not one person in this country, no matter what his politics, who does not know that Deputy Jack Lynch is a patriotic Irishman, devoted to the service of his country.

The Opposition have always revelled —I suppose it is only natural for an Opposition to do so—in the discomforts of this country. They thrive on misfortune. It used to be said that England's difficulty was Ireland's opportunity. Now Ireland's difficulty is the Opposition's opportunity. At present almost every country in Western Europe is undergoing a recession —France, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Holland and England. England in particular, who is our biggest customer, our biggest market, is undergoing a very severe recession. At present they are engaged in trying to balance their payments, something which the Leader of the Labour Party yesterday criticised our Government for doing. Naturally, if our biggest customer is undergoing difficulties, purchases of Irish goods must slow down somewhat. Nobody will deny that we are very much affected by the state of England's economy.

We have virtually succeeded in settling our balance of payments problem. We have brought it within manageable proportions without creating the unemployment which I am sure would have followed if the Opposition had been in power. We did not cut back on our capital programmes. We have endeavoured to keep them going in order that our people will have full employment. Everybody knows that the situation has been steadily improving over the past few months. I remember when the Coalition Government were in office the vast unemployment that followed. During the recent recession I am satisfied the Government acted only as necessary. They neither overacted nor under-acted. To have exaggerated the situation would have been dangerous for the economy, and to have under-estimated it would have been equally dangerous.

I recall a story my father tells of a time when he was on one of his trips to the United States. It was in 1957. He was asked whether Ireland had ever had a recession. His reply at that time was: "Only rich countries have recessions; Ireland has never been wealthy enough to have one". Earlier this year I made my first trip to the United States. I was asked this very same question but my reply at that time was somewhat different from my father's. I told them what he had said in 1957 and I also told them that, since 1957, the progress of this country had been so enormous that, and I know this to be true, in the past eight years we had progressed to a greater extent than in the previous 100 years. I explained that, for the first time, we were experiencing what would be called a recession. As I said, only wealthy countries can afford to have recessions and we were prosperous enough to be able to say so.

This is something which puzzles me very much and I hope I shall get clarification on it. I do not believe my ears were deceiving me. Deputy Dunne, in his closing remarks, stated that in his opinion, we had seen the last of single-Party Government, that we would no longer in the future have single-Party Government. In his openings remarks, Deputy Dillon stated, as usual very bitterly, that the Leader of the Labour Party, Deputy Corish, had stated in Tullamore that they would not form a Coalition with Fine Gael and that otherwise, he said, Fianna Fáil would not now be in office. This to me appears to be the height of dishonesty. Surely if it is the intention of the Labour Party and the Fine Gael Party to form a Coalition after the next general election, they should tell it now to the people of Ireland?

We expect Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael to form some kind of Coalition.

Oh, God.

For the record, Deputy James Tully is saying that he personally, but not his Party, will not form a Coalition with Fine Gael again.

The first time Fianna Fáil came into Government they formed a Coalition.

(Cavan): Did you not do your best to form one in 1927?

Let Deputy Briscoe go back to his father for some more information.

Will Deputies please allow Deputy Briscoe to make his speech without interruption?

When will he start?

This is vital. The people deserve to know if it is the intention of Fine Gael and of Labour to form a Coalition in the future. I would gather from Deputy Dillon's remarks that he is in favour of this.

You have had two Fianna Fáil-Independents Coalitions.

I ask a simple question.

And the Deputy got a simple answer.

Deputy James Tully did not give me a simple answer.

You have got it.

The reason I ask this is that it is very important. I have heard the people of Ireland insulted and told last night by Deputy Dunne that they were illiterate because they had continually voted Fianna Fáil into office.

He did not say that.

He did. He said they were half-illiterate and implied that they were not well-educated enough to discern——

He said there was a certain amount of illiteracy but that now that there was literacy in this country, there would be a change.

I am satisfied that he was attacking the majority of the people in this country. You see, we had this before. We had Fine Gael going to the people and putting their policy before them. It might be the third or fourth policy statement inside a few years because they are always changing their policies. Nevertheless, they go before the people at election time with their policy and the Labour Party go before the people at election time with their policy, knowing that they can say just about anything they like because they will not be elected to office. Yet, on two previous occasions when both of these Parties were rejected by the people, they came together and threw their policies into the melting pot. I assume that this is what they will do again, if they get the chance. If Fine Gael would say: "This is our policy which we shall put into effect if we are elected as a Government", and if Labour would say: "This is our policy which we shall put into effect if we are elected as a Government" and if both Parties, Labour and Fine Gael, would say: "This is what we shall do if we are elected as a Coalition", then that would be fine because at least the people would know something and would not be misled. What I am saying is absolutely factual.

(Cavan): “Let Lemass lead on”.

Deputy Seán Lemass made it very clear at the last general election that he did not intend to lead into the 1970s.

If he was elected.

(Cavan): If he was elected.

No, you are absolutely wrong. Deputy Seán Lemass led Fianna Fáil to victory and I am saying this here and now, that it was a good thing for the people of this country that Lemass was in charge when we came back to office this time because had there been a Coalition, they would have run away from the situation, as they did before. They would not have dealt with it. They would have panicked as before and they cannot deny that.

Is Deputy Briscoe attacking the new Taoiseach in that statement?

I was criticised by Deputy S. Dunne for going back to the times of the Coalition Governments. We can only go by the record and by what happens. Today, Deputy Dillon spoke of the wonderful spirit of co-operation that existed between the Labour Party and Fine Gael. He said that there was no knifing, and so on, in those days. If only the late Deputy William Norton were here now. Deputy Dillon forgot about Dr. Noel Browne who spent £600,000 and Deputy J.A. Costello denied——

(Cavan): Deputy Briscoe should——

——be allowed to speak without interruption.

The Deputies will have to listen to the truth, even if it hurts. I welcome interruptions from time to time: they do help me.

Rude interruptions.

We shall permit Deputy Dowling to prompt Deputy Briscoe today just as we let Deputy Briscoe prompt Deputy Dowling last night.

The Dr. Noel Browne case is a famous blot on the Coalition. I think this drove the biggest nail in their political coffin.

Explain that statement; do not just make vague statements.

I was sitting up in the Gallery the night it was debated here. I saw what was happening.

The Deputy was only a small boy then.

I was old enough to remember. I remember the place where I was sitting in the Gallery. It is an embarrassment to you now to be reminded of all that.

Deputy James Tully has already spoken. Deputy Briscoe is the fourth Deputy on the Government side who has spoken. I feel that that side of the House should be listened to just as the other side of the House was listened to.

They cannot take it. They only want to give it out. Now Deputy Tully is running away.

There is a meeting of the Whips at 2.30 p.m. Just you be here tomorrow morning.

That would not worry us. We shall stay here, until next year, if necessary.

I should like to give another example of the type of deceit which the Labour Party and the Fine Gael Party were guilty of, when in office. I remember the time when, rather than put up the price of the loaf of bread, which would have created a tremendous furore, they decided to reduce the size of the loaf. This was another thing they were famous for. I know now also about this document which the Labour Party have been circulating around Dublin in relation to what they call the proposed increases in the rents of houses. This is another of their gimmicks to mislead the people.

This was a document prepared by the City Manager for the councillors, for the Housing Committee, but the Housing Committee had not even met to discuss this document. They had not said even one word on it. Yet the Labour Party were circulating this document throughout Dublin and saying that this was what would happen. Nowhere was there mentioned that about 35 per cent of the people would pay less rather than more rent. Nowhere was there mentioned that, instead of having a minimum rent of 6/- a week, a person would have no rent to pay if his circumstances were such that he could not afford to pay rent for a house. Nowhere was it said that households with incomes of £30 and £40 a week, which are being subsidised by the ratepayers in this city who are paying very heavy rates, would be required to pay more than they are paying at the moment, which is only fair. These are the people who will be behind this movement to stop any progress being made in reducing rents for these less well-off people.

There are so many things about which we could talk such as Deputy S. Dunne's remarks about the marches through Dublin. He has obviously conveniently forgotten the unemployed marches through Dublin when they were in office. I would like to say this: Fianna Fáil have never compromised national ideals for expediency. Opposition speakers kept referring here to the Economic War. You can never set a price on freedom and we won our freedom through our President de Valera, and his grand team of men.

(Cavan): You won your freedom through the Treaty: everything you got, you got through the Treaty.

I do not want to go into that period. You people over there even wanted the King to come over and open Parliament for you.

(Cavan): You never fired a shot at anybody subsequent to the Treaty, unless at an Irishman.

Deputy Dillon and the Fine Gael Party never had any faith in the capacity of the people of this country to produce. They have, at all stages, tried to oppose anything constructive, any great schemes which came along like Bord na Móna, Aer Lingus or anything like that—they sold them for cash. We have always believed in the potential of our people to produce as well as the people of any other country. They can produce, will produce and will compete.

I would certainly like clarification— I doubt whether I will get it—from the leaders of the Fine Gael Party and the Labour Party as to whether or not, in a future general election, they intend to form a Coalition——

Not enough seats.

——if they get enough seats, which I doubt very much. I believe that, by the next general election, the people will have seen that they have had good leadership, wise leadership and united leadership. There is no truth in this attack on our Party as being disunited. Fianna Fáil are as united as they ever have been, if not more so.

(Cavan): As a pair of boots put together.

You talk about your knives and tomahawks. Jack Lynch has the universal support of Fianna Fáil and, I know, of the people of this country, and he always will. The thing that the Opposition Parties fear most is that a man of the high integrity of the people we have in our Party should gain leadership. The embarrassment Deputy Dillon was to them is well known—and the indecent haste with which they dismissed him. Everybody knows that; they did not publish their vote but they voted for a new Leader.

(Cavan): The Deputy knows that that is an untruth.

One vote was in it.

(Cavan): The Deputy knows that that is an untruth and it is typical of the type of nonsense he has been talking since he commenced

I do not repeat private conversations in this House but there was one Deputy of Deputy Fitzpatrick's Party who sympathised with me. He said: "I know how difficult it is picking a leader" because, he said: "We went through it ourselves". If, in private, the Deputy would like to know who that man is, I will bring him to him.

(Cavan): I repeat, for the records of this House, that the election of Deputy Liam Cosgrave, as Leader of the Fine Gael Party, was absolutely unanimous and that there was no vote.

After you voted the first time; then you decided to vote again.

Deputy Fitzpatrick will withdraw the statement he has made that Deputy Briscoe has stated an untruth and that he knows it is an untruth; that is tantamount to saying he is lying.

(Cavan): In deference to your request, Sir, I withdraw the statement, but I wish to put on the records of this House that the election of Deputy Liam Cosgrave, as Leader of the Fine Gael Party, was absolutely unanimous and without qualification in any shape or form.

For the records of the House, I do not accept that statement.

(Cavan): I did not get that.

I said that for the records of the House, I did not accept that statement.

(Cavan): I have made a statement and the Deputy says he does not accept it. I submit to you, Sir, that that is equivalent to saying I am telling an untruth. I have withdrawn, and he should do likewise.

The Deputy has allowed Deputy Fitzpatrick to make a statement. It is not necessary for Deputy Briscoe or any other Deputy to accept that statement.

I remember well Deputy Seán Lemass used to say he hoped that Deputy Dillon would lead the Fine Gael Party a long time because the longer Fine Gael were led by Deputy Dillon, the longer Fianna Fáil would be in office. The Fine Gael Party obviously realised the truth of this.

I have no more comments to make other than to conclude with the remark that the people of this country will read the speeches on both sides. They will see, if they care to read the speeches on record, that the Opposition can never give constructive criticism. They have always run away from everything.

Has Seán Lemass not run away now, after "Let Lemass lead on"?

(Cavan): It was a much cleaner exit.

That is why Deputy Briscoe was put up, because he voted for Deputy Colley.

We have earned the admiration of the people for the democratic way in which we chose our Leader. We have met; we have discussed it; we have voted; we have elected a Leader and the whole country knows that there was nothing secret.

What happened to "Gorgeous Charlie"?

Having listened to raméis for the past ten or 15 minutes, I felt for a moment that I was back in my kindergarten days because such an amateurish effort I have never listened to in this House, or in any other house —even in the lowest of the low. I would advise Deputy Briscoe, before he reaches his adolescence in political life, to go back to the kindergarten of his own fireside and listen to the tales of intrigues carried out during his father's time in this House. He will then be more experienced and certainly more capable of putting his views honestly and directly to the House. For this advice I charge him nothing, because there is an old friendship between his father and me which I hope will continue with him when he reaches the adolescent stage in politics and in public life.

The Deputy has reduced the price of his advice very much.

Deputy Dowling backed the wrong horse.


Will the boy from Irish Lights have sense? I have never put a price on my friendship. That applies to Deputy Briscoe. My friendship is always there and my advice also.

We are here to discuss a situation which has arisen because of the resignation of the Leader of the Fianna Fáil Party. Having been in public life for years, and having gone through all the vicissitudes and storms and turbulence of public life, we are here today and yesterday to discuss a situation which has not arisen through an accident, but was carefully decided and carefully considered before a decision was taken. It is only a fool who will not learn from experience, and we have to ask ourselves a few significant questions. Despite the fact that it has been stated that the waters are placid, that not a ripple lies thereon, that the boat will stay safely afloat, rudderless though it may be at the moment and has been for some time, trusting to the winds of change to lead it safely into a harbour of refuge——

Very poetic.

Unfortunately, the gamble that has been taken to win the jackpot by sticking a pin in one horse in the race——


The Deputy is getting better every day.

How can Deputy Burke judge?

I have taken a leaf out of Deputy Burke's biblical book. We face the fact that this situation we are discussing now has not arisen by accident. The picture for the ordinary man in the street with a modicum of intelligence is the picture of the fraudulent methods which were used in the last election with the green, white and gold balloons, and the green, white and gold posters, and the slogan: "Let Lemass Lead On". We told the people at the time that he would not lead them very far, and that if he did, it would be into a quagmire, and into bankruptcy. Now the man is so befogged and bogged down because of the situation, both economic and industrial, which has hurricaned on him, that he is taken off his feet in the whirlpool. It was imcumbent on him to resign, to pack his bag and clear out.

We all know that there is no use in trying to cod ourselves that the people of Ireland can be fooled into thinking that Deputy Lemass was not forced to go because of the circumstances which prevail in 1966 and which we prophesied back in 1961 and 1963. We still say that Party are frustrated and bewildered because of the fact that they cannot stem the tide of emigration, and cannot provide employment for our people. We heard Deputy Dillon and other Fine Gael Deputies talking about tomahawks and knives and cleavers and pickaxes and hatchets. I would say they are completely wrong because in an issue like this where there is severe in-fighting to be done, you do not use a pickaxe; you do not use a cleaver; you do not use a tomahawk. You use a flick knife. That is the reason the Minister for Justice has not yet brought in a Bill making it a criminal offence to be in possession of a flick knife. I am sure every member of Fianna Fáil is well armed with the political flick knives which have been used in this in-fighting that has been going on.

I want to point out to the Deputy that we have disposed of the question of the appointment of the Taoiseach, and are now discussing the formation of the Government.

I just wanted to remind this group of imbecility on my right that if they think the people of Ireland are so imbecilic as to fall for the statements they are making, they had better take another look at themselves. We will know it all next June, please God. We would have known it all last June but for the fears and tremblings and deceits. When we challenged you on that issue, you funked it and ran away from it. However, there will be another day. We will meet you very soon on the hustings. We all know this brand of imbecility—can I stress the word enough——

Can you spell it?

——because, having experienced a quarter of an hour of prompting of the master gigolo of the Fianna Fáil group last night—the promptings came from the wings, from both sides and even from the top to keep him going and give him ideas because he is bereft of ideas and not even threatened with intelligence and the more he draws me the more he will get the lash——


Now we come to the team. What an All-Ireland Croke Park mustering this is. These fellows would win a Triple Crown anywhere. Talk about Jack Lynch's six or seven All-Irelands: there is not a team in the five continents to compare with his effort.

Good man.

Wait until I tell you why. Do not anticipate because you might walk into the blade of the flick-knife on your own Front Bench.

What about the five continents of Europe?

Deputies must allow Deputy Coughlan to make his speech.

We have this juggling, this trick of find-the-lady.

Will Deputies allow Deputy Coughlan to speak?

Some time in the afternoon I will call you into a corner and get you to bless my rosary beads for me.

Have you one?

You are very young but you are ambitious also, like the Glaxo Baby from Salthill.

Restrain your sewer-pipe mentality.

You cannot take it, old boy.

Deputies must address the Chair and must allow Deputy Coughlan to continue without interruption.

Deputy Molloy will get it. We have seen the replacements, the juggling on the Front Bench. It is a pity John Duffy is dead because he would give them a retainer for life for going around the county juggling with the people's money and the people's lives. Number one on my list is that Minister of Ministers who has come in here on the dead glories of his great father, the Minister of no action, the Minister of no function. He was in the Department of Transport and Power which, abbreviated, reads T and P. He is now to be Minister for Posts and Telegraphs as well, which reads T and P reversed. Now we have two Ps plus two Ts: I do not know what they equal. A simple equation in my schooldays, when geometrical problems were put before us and we were called up to work them out on the blackboard, was 2X plus 2Y. How in the name of God will any mathematician in Europe answer the problem of two Ts plus two Ps? Where will two Ps plus two Ts take us?

The Deputy has asked that question three or four times and I remind him that repetition is not in order.

I want to know can any of the mathematicians on the opposite side answer that question.

The schoolmaster who told you about the five continents of Europe will answer it.

The five continents of the world. I do not know what book you went through. Will you confine yourself to that book and do not try to talk up to people who went far ahead of you in school, who went to a school you never saw the sight of?

Again I ask Deputies to address the Chair.

It is hard to be patient. It is very hard to come down to the level of imbecility because one must draw the line at absurdity. I want to know can any mathematician in the House answer that problem for me because honest to heavens, it is beyond me and beyond my solution, bearing in mind that we had experience of that Minister during the past five or six years since he entered the affairs of the Department of Transport and Power. What is the result of his stewardship? What has he to offer?

There is no industry in Ireland today, and I defy contradiction of this, which is subject to more industrial strife than CIE. When we who are closely associated with the running of CIE and who know how CIE works, were anxious to help the Minister and give him advice, we were told he had no function in the matter, no function in the running of CIE or for that matter in the running of any part of his Department.

I wish to refer in particular to the tourist industry. What did he allow to happen there? He allowed people to come in. You know as well as I do, because you are more directly concerned than I am, that the Minister allowed them to come in, particularly to County Clare and County Kerry. What were they dished out there? They were dished out five-star hotel licences and if there were 25-stars and moons and suns to go with them, they would have got them as well. They were given sites and I refer in particular to a site at Shannon Airport, the best hotel site in Europe, which was handed out, lock, stock and barrel, to a foreigner.

What has this to do with the formation of a Government?

It has everything to do with the Minister for Transport and Power.

Will the Deputy listen for a moment? These are matters of detail which are relevant to the Estimate that has been before the Dáil and been discussed in the House.

With all due respect, I am only standing on my rights. I am discussing this parcel of imbecility. Surely if I am discussing a parcel of imbecility, I must prove that they are imbeciles.

To begin with, the Deputy is not in order in referring to Members of this House as imbeciles. That is completely out of order. If the Deputy will listen to me for a moment—it is not in order to refer to Members of this House as imbeciles.

With all due respect, the Chairman of CIE only three or four days ago described us as a lot worse and nobody said a word. We have given this man authority in what I would say is one of the most exacting jobs at the present time. We have given the Minister for Transport and Power authority over Posts and Telegraphs at a time when there is constant demand in every constituency in the country for a telephone service.

That is a matter for the appropriate Estimate and it has been discussed on the Estimate. The Deputy may not discuss the administration of each Government Department on the formation of a Government.

He brought the wrong speech with him.

May I not relate the Ministry with the Minister? Are they not like Siamese twins, locked together?

The Deputy is referring to telephones which are a detail that would arise on the appropriate Estimate.

I am referring to the Department of Posts and Telegraphs. I want to show to the House the urgency for having a man of intelligence in that Department. Judging from the experience we have had of him while he handled, solely and alone, the Department of Transport and Power——

He was in Posts and Telegraphs.

I want to say, to come back to the tourist side again, that those people were allowed into County Clare and County Kerry and they took the best sites in Killarney. Those sites were handed over to them, free, gratis and for nothing, to build hotels there, while many of the natives were not allowed to build houses on those sites. Applications were made by Kerry County Council to obtain grants but all their appeals were turned down by the Minister for Local Government. Now we have foreigners coming in who are killing the tourist business in Ireland, while the people who have been living there for generations are now left with the crumbs from the tables of these American and German millionaires. We now put on the shoulders of the Minister for Transport and Power an extra Department, that of Posts and Telegraphs. Surely to heavens, that does not add up to progress? It certainly does not, according to my arithmetic anyway.

We now come to the Department of Local Government, a very interesting one indeed. It is the one Department with which we are all most closely associated. Every one of us who is a member of a local authority has occasion to write to that Department. We find now that it has been taken over by a Minister, to whom, while he was in Social Welfare, every Deputy here wrote at least five letters a week to try to elucidate a situation. The Department of Local Government is now handed over to Deputy Boland. This is the Department that every one of us on local authorities has most to do with regarding local matters. Is the Deputy on a local authority?

What about the gasúr behind you?

Will the Deputy please address his remarks to the Chair?

We are now faced with the tragic situation that we have to provide housing for our people. I have often described the past Minister of this Department locally as the Minister for yo-yos because that is how business prevails as far as Limerick is concerned. It is an up and down effort. We send up our plans. Our t's are not crossed, our i's are not dotted, or there is a full stop where there should be a semi-colon, if you know what that is, and back they come again. While our architects and our engineers spend the ratepayers' money in planning and layout plans, those things are going up and down to the Department for well-nigh 12 months or more before we can get a decision of any kind. During this time the unfortunate people are living in hovels and damp houses and trying to sleep on beds on broken floors. They are suffering because of the ineptitude portrayed so forcibly in the Department of Local Government.

Now on to the horizon comes this great knight, this genius who is to solve all the problems connected with local authorities. Indeed, if he makes as good a job of local authorities, and if he confuses us as much as he has confused the old age pensioners, the widows and the orphans, I will give him five stars because if ever a man confused or pulled the wool over the eyes of the unfortunate people, the former Minister for Social Welfare succeeded in doing it.

We then come to the burning question of rents. I do not know how far the City Manager in Dublin has educated his councillors or informed them of the reality of the situation. I had associations with the City Manager. As a matter of fact, we educated him in Limerick, and were it not for the schooling in the academy he got, Limerick Corporation, he would hardly ever have seen the day he would be sitting as City Manager in Dublin. I do not know whether he has seen this circular but I would like to refer Deputy Dowling to the circular issued by the Department on 30th March last with regard to rents and renting generally. If the Deputy has not seen the circular, it is available. The Minister clearly stated in that circular that unless a revision were made in the renting system and unless increase were made in the rents of tenants who are paying maximum rents all sanctions for moneys would be withdrawn and not considered for future schemes.

That is not accurate.

It is a gun that was put to the head of every public body.

The Deputy should give the exact quotation.

Will the Deputy please give the reference?

It is the circular of 30th March last.

Give the quotation.

Let the Deputy make his own case if he is able. He might be codding the people but he is not codding us.

Acting Chairman

Will the Deputy say from what document he is quoting and give the date thereof?

It is 30th March, 1966.

Acting Chairman

What document?

It is a circular addressed to the manager of Limerick Corporation from the Department of Local Government.

Deputy Dowling should listen to the corporation tenants next June.


Whatever about listening, will you try to learn something because you need to?

Acting Chairman

Will the Deputy please address his remarks to the Chair?

The document is dated 30th March, 1966, and I shall read it in full:

Department of Local Government.

H. 3/66.

Telephone 42961.

30 March, 1966.


A Chara,

It has been represented to the Minister for Local Government that the arrangement, known as the "deficit principle", has deterred some local authorities from reviewing the rents of their housing estates as a whole. Under the deficit principle, if the loss on a housing scheme, after taking all rents into account, is less than the amount of State subsidy due for the scheme, the subsidy is reduced by the difference.

Can you understand that?

It is blackmail.

Tell me if I am over your head. I shall come down but I should like to put you on the right road.

It goes on:

This means that in some cases, particularly in the case of older schemes, the Exchequer, and not the local authority, gets the benefit of rent increases.

In order to remove any deterrent to the review by local authorities of housing rents generally, on the lines recommended in paragraph 8 of this Department's circular letter (N. 1/65) of 24th May, 1965, the Minister has decided, with the agreement of the Minister for Finance, that as from and including the current financial year the deficit principle should no longer apply to any scheme for which a loan was sanctioned by him:—

(1) in the case of urban housing authorities, before 1st May, 1953, and

(2) in the case of rural housing authorities, before 1st April, 1960.

Am I going too fast for you?

It continues:

This concession will result in an immediate financial gain to a number of housing authorities, particularly urban authorities.

What about the poor tenants? That is not the way we would think of them. You are frostbitten: you would want to get frost nails.

It will also result in a considerable saving of staff time in local offices by eliminating detailed work required to complete annual subsidy claims for schemes coming within the concession. The primary purpose of the concession, however, is to ensure that if local authorities decide that an increase in the rents payable by particular tenants of houses covered by the concession is equitable, the resultant increase in rental will accrue solely to the benefit of the housing account and will thus facilitate the reduction of rents where such is warranted.

It would be very hard to cover all.

We are dealing with one section.

It is the weaker section.

It goes on:

The need for such comprehensive reviews by most housing authorities will be apparent. The economic rent of a house costing £2,200 is just under £3 10s. a week plus rates.

"Plus" underlined.

Most local authority houses, except rural cottages, now cost more than £2,200. The average cost of flats is, of course, considerably more. As shown in the White Paper—Housing: Progress and Prospects, the average rent in a recent year of county council houses was 5/- a week; the average for larger urban authorities was just under 15/- a week, while that for smaller urban authorities and towns was about 10/-a week. These averages are, of course, related to houses built when costs were lower as well as to new houses.

The difference between what housing authorities spend on loan charges, maintenance, etc., and what they receive in rents and purchase annuities is, in the aggregate, substantial. In rural areas, for instance, county councils have been spending over four times as much as they receive. The resulting loss is estimated at about £2.7 million. Housing authorities other than county councils spend just under twice what they receive and resulting loss is estimated to be of the order of £2.9 million. These losses, together with the loan charges——

Acting Chairman

Will the Deputy excuse me, please? This matter with which he is now dealing at length is not in order.

You asked me to read it.

The Chair requested this.

Acting Chairman

The Chair has not yet made a request. The Chair is pointing out to the Deputy that the document he is now reading deals with the administration of a Department and the detailed administration of that Department, and is not in order in this debate.

Acting Chairman

I do not have to tell you why. My ruling is——

When it begins to hurt, the Chair does not want it.

Acting Chairman

The Chair is ruling that it is not in order.

You asked me to read it.

Acting Chairman

The Deputy is out of order.

With all due respect, I was replying to what you asked.

The Chair asked Deputy Coughlan to read it. Deputy Dowling insisted on this and you backed him up.

Did you not demand that I do it?

Acting Chairman

The Chair has ruled.


Who raised the rents of corporation tenants?

It does not relate to that document.

Fianna Fáil are now running away because there is a reference to the tenants.

We never ran away from anything.

The Fianna Fáil Government have raised corporation rents. That is the point. Deputy Dowling and his colleagues are supporting this.

There should be no prompting here. The Clerk of the Dáil is prompting, and I object to it. The Clerk is the Clerk and nothing else and we will not be dictated to by civil servants.

The Clerk should not prompt the Chair; he has told the Chair now.

Acting Chairman

That does not mean prompting. I have listened to the document and I have ruled it is out of order.

You have only listened to so much of the document, Sir.

Acting Chairman

So much of it to rule that it is out of order.

The rest could be relevant, if you want to listen to it.

I have the greatest sympathy for you, Sir, in having to take dictation from checkmate. If you have to rule me out of order and if we have to go back to our local authorities, we will not be ruled out of order there.

Acting Chairman

Is the Deputy criticising the ruling of the Chair? If he is, there is another way of dealing with that.

You asked me to read this document.

The Chair insisted on the Deputy's reading the document.

I gave the Chair the date and the reference.

Acting Chairman

Yes, the reference, but the Deputy is quoting more.

I gave it to you and you were not satisfied. You asked me to get the document and give the quotation and I said it was a long document.

The Deputy gave about four lines of the quotation earlier.

It is all the same anyway.

This filibustering will not get you anywhere.

Acting Chairman

The Deputy should proceed with his speech or sit down.

I am, but you will not let me. You ask me to proceed with my speech and then you stop me. There is no consistency. These filibustering tactics will not upset me at all nor will they fool the people of Ireland, or the people of Limerick in particular.

We come now to rents. It has been proved beyond yea or nay that the Government put it to the local authorities to increase their rents or they would get no more sanction for building houses. That is what the document I have read means in simple words.

In addition to the question of rents, there is the question of reliefs generally which must have the sanction of the Department of Local Government. On 4th August Limerick Corporation sent an application for sanction for two road schemes to cost in the region of £40,000 to the Department of Local Government. As a result of the laying off of 22 men a fortnight ago, it came to my notice that the application which was sent up on 4th August was not even acknowledged by the Department. Then we had to start writing the letters and using the lines before we could get sanction for these relief schemes to bring back the 22 men who were laid off in the maintenance department of Limerick Corporation. I cannot understand how schemes which were sent up early in August cannot be acknowledged, until we come up like tigers and demand from the Department that unless we get sanction straight away, we will raise it as a matter of public importance in the House. It was only then that we got sanction for the schemes to keep men working in Limerick. That should not be allowed to happen and that is the situation which is allowed to continue in the Department of Local Government where they come in at 10 o'clock in the morning and leave at 5 p.m.

Acting Chairman

The Deputy is again not in order. He is referring to the detailed workings of the Department of Local Government which is not in order on this motion for the appointment of a Government.

I do not know what brought me up here at all. We do not know where we are. Deputy Dunne was here this morning under another Chairman and he spoke for two and a half hours and touched on every detail. He told a story about the draining of the Shannon. What had that to do with what we were talking about? It was allowed to go through and you, Sir, were listening. Deputy Dillon spoke for one and a half hours and he gave us a history of the massacre last week——


——in the Fianna Fáil Party. It is on the records of the House. I come up here to make a specific charge having no relation to the fraud and the fraudulent way the Shannon was drained away back in 1932. Neither do I intend to speak on the assassination that went on here last week. I want to speak about specific cases and the Chair is trying to muzzle me and trying to offset the situation in order that——

Acting Chairman

The Chair is just pointing out that the Deputy is not in order and he must accept that.

May I make a point of order? It has been accepted in this debate that in order to attempt to prove that a Minister has not done his job properly, specific instances of such failure may be given by Deputies. Is the Chair ruling that this is not in order now?

Acting Chairman

No; the Chair has not done anything of the kind. The Chair has ruled that a discussion on the minute details and workings of any particular Department is not in order. The Deputy may refer to any of these matters to prove a point or to prove the tenor of his discussion but he may not discuss in detail all the Department's workings.

That is entirely contrary to the ruling which I was informed was to be given when this debate was being conducted.

Acting Chairman

I do not think the Chair gives advance information as to what rulings it will give.

I went to the trouble of finding out.

Would the Chair not agree that it is very often found that by the minute detail you establish the incompetence of the person or persons who have been acting in relation to the matter? Surely we are entitled to make a case about a Minister's incompetence and go into as much detail as we can to bring it out?

Acting Chairman

The Chair will not allow an Estimates speech on this motion before the House.

If you say that it is an Estimates speech, I agree with you in so far as it is an estimate of the intelligence and the work and the capacity of the men who are now being appointed.

Yes; you are estimating the character of the men concerned.

I am entitled to assess them according to my standards. I am entitled to assess their capacity for running their Departments. I think it only fair and just that I should be allowed to do this. In giving an assessment of these men and their Departments from my experience, I do not think I am contravening procedure or Standing Orders of any kind. In that way we will move along with the greatest confidence and peace.

I have been discussing the manner in which delays in sanction have been taking place in the Department of Local Government. As a result the employment exchanges are filling more and more every day and the queues are getting longer and longer. It is because of the manner in which the Department of Local Government has been run. It is not the first time complaints have been made by me and made unanimously by members of Limerick City Council. We have complained of the dilatory manner in which this Department has been run. As I said, it is a yo-yo Department as far as I am concerned. I am sure the man who is now coming in to take it over will be playing a double yo-yo. He will play one in each hand and maybe on each big toe in an effort to keep us back and to retard our progress as much as possible.

This Department has a great bearing on local bodies and for that reason we wanted a man of the calibre of the man who was mentioned here by our Leader yesterday, the late Deputy Murphy. We want somebody in that Department who can examine and give a decision on any proposition that comes up. We want an experienced man, a man well-qualified in his line, be it architecture, engineering or planning generally. I believe that anything emanating from a local authority has behind it more experience and more consideration than that in the possession of a man sitting in the Custom House or standing over a desk. I indict the Department for delaying tactics with regard to sanctions and because of the dilatory manner in which they handle these matters in the Custom House.

There is a graver problem in my opinion. More and more in this Department they seem to be coming round to the idea of regionalisation of local authorities. The first lesson in regard to that was delivered the weekend before last. I am not saying there is any particular significance in bringing staff officers and managers together in the Shamrock Lodge Hotel in Athlone, but they congregated in Athlone the weekend before last and there they discussed the regionalisation of local authorities. Everybody recognises the development in the Department of Health. They have decided to regionalise health authorities. The Department of Local Government is now moving in the same direction. As far as we are concerned, in Limerick Corporation and Limerick County Council we will oppose this move with all the strength at our command. If the incoming Minister thinks—he is ruthless and inhumane; ruthlessness and inhumanity are second nature to him—that he can afford to flout local authorities he had better start thinking again. Like the patient and his doctor, the people must be our first consideration. It is the people who elect us. As far as we are concerned, we want no mixum-gatherum with any other local authority. We are going very nicely on our own and we will go a damn sight better if we were not retarded by the Department of Local Government. It is with a heavy heart and a tearful eye I look forward to the future administration of this Department under the proposed new Minister. The unfortunate people will be left homeless. Does anyone think they will get consideration? Not on your life. He will treat them in the same way as he has treated the old age pensioners and the widows. It will be easy for him—second nature.

I come now to the Department of Social Welfare. What a joke it is. Unfortunate people—old age pensioners, widows and so on—come to us seeking a few paltry shillings. You send up the application, having filled it in. As often as not you have to witness their mark to the application. That has been my experience certainly. What do you get back? You get back an acknowledgment—I am sorry I have not got one with me—in the Irish tongue and you have to go down to Mary Kate McCarthy and show her this. "In the name of God," she asks, "what is this?" First, one needs to be a bilingualist. Secondly, when one writes back again, as I have done, and the records are in the Department— like a recurring decimal these keep turning over——


I should like to get down to the Deputy's level but, unfortunately, there is no basement here and, equally unfortunately, my intelligence has no basement either. You send the application back——

Acting Chairman

This is not in order. The Deputy is going into too much detail and the matter is something more appropriate to an Estimate. The Chair rules it is not in order on this debate.

If an unfortunate widow is looking for a pension——

Surely a Deputy is entitled to point out how a Minister has failed in his duties to the people? I have occupied that Chair and I have got instructions how to conduct the Business of the House. I suggest Deputy Coughlan is in order.

Acting Chairman

An Estimate discussion on this motion is not in order.

He is entitled to show where and how a Minister has failed in his responsibility to the people.

Acting Chairman

He is going into detail which is appropriate to an Estimate.

What had the draining of the Shannon, which Deputy Seán Dunne raised this morning, to do with it so, and the political assassinations Deputy Dillon mentioned that took place last week?

Acting Chairman

The Chair is ruling that the Deputy is not in order.

I want to be fair in all this. These are the things I want to see rectified in relation to the running of this Department of alleged Social Welfare. It is the most unsocial body I know. I warn them that in future I expect a reply in the language in which the application is made out. I suppose I might as well be writing to Glasnevin Cemetery. It is the same old rigmarole over and over again. Down the document will come.

They got too many printed.

You make your case and you get back from the Department——

Acting Chairman

Now, the Chair has ruled and the Deputy must accept that ruling.

With all due respect——

Acting Chairman

The Deputy is going into specific detail.

He is making a case for a change of policy by the Minister in regard to the sending out of a dirty rag of a document in answer to representations made. It is a new thing as far as this House is concerned.

Acting Chairman

I am sorry; I have given a ruling on the matter and the Deputy must accept it.

May I not express my views? I am speaking about the Department generally, talking about the inactivity and the inhumane approach.

Acting Chairman

I was ruling that the Deputy in what he said so far is out of order, due to the minute detail into which he has gone. That is my ruling.

With all due respect, Deputy Seán Dunne was allowed to go back to 1932 and the drainage of the Shannon this morning. Later on, Deputy Dillon, under another Chairman, was allowed to give us the history of the political assassination that went on here last week. Surely, when I give my experience with regard to the running of the Department of Local Government—factual cases—I am entitled, in the interests of the people I represent, to alert this indolent body in the Custom House to their responsibilities? Surely that is in order?

As I was saying one takes up the case for this unfortunate person and one gets back a reply quoting section this and regulation something else, and if they had not so many stamps on their cards in 1954, or so many stamps in 1965, they are ruled out; or one gets something else back on those lines, perhaps to the effect that the employer failed to stamp the cards and, therefore, such people are disallowed. In addition to being a bilingualist, one would need to be a senior counsel to understand the regulations governing the claims of unfortunate people who are rightly claiming to have——

That is clearly the administration of a Department and would arise relevantly on an Estimate but not on this.

There have been so many interpretations from the Chair that I am nearly as bewildered as the Fianna Fáil Party. I am like a fool in a fog, like them. In regard to the Department of Defence, in which I have a particular interest because in Limerick we have a large contingent of military, there are some matters which deserve the attention of the Minister, some of which I have brought to his notice. One is in regard to the provision of houses for army staff in Limerick and another is the question of medical services. I made representations to the Minister last June and again in July about the provision of medical services for the Army.

I do not like to interrupt the Deputy but it is obvious to anybody that this is a question of the administration of a Department. What the Deputy has to discuss, and what falls relevantly for discussion, is the suitability of the Ministers named by the Taoiseach—their suitability.

Or otherwise.

We will discuss their suitability.

And show how unsuitable they have been.

The suitability of members of the Government, not the administration of a Department.

On a point of order, surely the most relevant factor in discussing the suitability of any man in office is giving proof of his lack of ability and capacity?

His past record.

Not the administration by the Government but the suitability of those nominated.

As administrators.

Surely their capacity or otherwise when they held Ministerial posts is vitally relevant?

I have given the decision that the administration of a Department is not relevant to the discussion on this motion.

With respect, Sir, who is responsible for the administration?

The Deputy is referring to administration; this motion deals with the suitability of those nominated.

It is extremely unfair.

In so far as the suitability of the Minister for Defence is concerned, I have to take him to task because he has not provided medical services for the members of the Army in Limerick. Limerick Health Authority have withdrawn all medical cards from members of the Defence Forces in Limerick and they are therefore deprived of all medical services. I suggest to the Minister, and I have written to him along these lines, that he should provide the services. A doctor is already available——

I cannot allow the discussion to wander around that field. I am deciding definitely that that is administration which arises relevantly on an Estimate and does not relevantly arise on the nomination of a Government.

Would the Chair not agree that yesterday the Leader of the Fine Gael Party was allowed to talk about the number of trains he missed and the number of trains he could not get? Surely——

I am not deciding by comparison.

The Chair allowed that yesterday.

I am not deciding by comparison.

Why make——

Deputy Mullen will resume his seat.

I am resuming. I cannot understand this.

I cannot help that.

What is sauce for the goose should be sauce for the gander.

The Deputy may discuss the motion; he may not discuss the administration of Departments of the Government.

So much has been said about the Department of Agriculture that I am afraid it would only be a waste of time for me to go into any more detail about the tragic mess caused in that Department in less than 12 months.

A well-known agricultural expert.

I know more about it than the Deputy does. Suffice it to say that a mess has been created and the unfortunate people have to pay for it. However, there is a ray of hope and I am sure the dairy farmers will rejoice within the next month or so because we are facing two by-elections and I am not making a prophecy when I say that we will have the introduction of two-tier milk pricing before those by-elections. That bait will be thrown out to the farmers in South Kerry and Waterford like the bait to the unfortunate workers who fell for the 12 per cent increase at the time of the by-elections in Cork and Kildare. No doubt some rabbit will have to be pulled out of the hat to distract the farmers for the purpose of obtaining victory at any price. My heart bleeds for the Minister, not to talk about the poor men who were up there in the gutter for 15 or 16 days. However, the most important point is that we have now created 14 jobs but the jobber made a damn bad job of it. To tell the truth, if I were in the predicament that some of you were in, particularly you, Deputy, and I believe you went both ways, I would not know what to do.


They have all been rewarded. Some of them will get their chastisement in a very short time when people meet them.

I want to come to the most important Ministry of all and it has not yet been mentioned. This is the place on the team occupied by A.N. Other, the 15th place. Surely, in 1966, when we are supposed to be making every effort in the United Nations and all over the globe to establish ourselves internationally wherever that great Republican wanders from city to city and hotel to hotel solving everybody's problems but our own, the great jobber should have provided and named the most important Minister, the Minister for European Affairs.

We are making all sorts of gestures and we are pulling coats and dragging shoelaces in an effort to squeeze or wedge a way into the Common Market. Where is the man—or woman —on these benches capable of making our case either for association with or full membership of the European Economic Community? He has not yet been mentioned. This is a matter that deserves careful consideration and I am sure received it. The Taoiseach's predecessor, I am sure, was scratching his head and awake half the night trying to find somebody who would make a case on behalf of Ireland in the Common Market. He fished all night and got nothing because those benches have nobody qualified for that post. It is tragic to think that because of this lack of ordinary commonsense we have not yet found a man who will make our case for admission to the Common Market.

We are promised a marketing board. This is a sop to appease certain people who, in all justice, proclaimed their rights and demanded without any lawbreaking, a fair deal. They are being offered this sop. We have already set up another board to market foodstuffs, the Pigs and Bacon Commission, and you would get a saner and more intelligent group in Grangegorman. There are more changes on that Commission than on the Irish team. They are being selected and sacked and selected again——

Does the Deputy suggest that this is relevant?

I want to advise the incoming Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries as best I can. I advise him to treat with caution the problem he is facing. He should take advice and learn from the costly experience we had with the Pigs and Bacon Commission. I suggest that the Minister should leave aside all his political affiliations, a very hard thing for him to do since he comes from a rough northern school where politically they would cut each other's throats and do it with open razors, not with flick knives as they have been doing for the past week in the infighting that went on——

Will the Deputy come to the motion before the House?

Before I finish, I want to say that it was the first time in my experience that I had to disagree with your rulings. I have taken them all with the patience and indulgence I could command but I must say that, having given certain Members latitude to relate stories about the draining of the Shannon in 1932 and about speeches outside chapel gates and about people being late for trains that were not heated and having heard Deputy Dillon re-enacting the political assassination that went on this week and last week, when I applied myself to this debate today and wished to relate my experience, as a public representative, of the ineptitude and imbecility that rules those benches opposite, I think I should have got the same privileges as those who spoke before me. Unfortunately, that did not happen but perhaps that saved the faces of certain Deputies opposite.

I was not using a flick knife here today but I came in with a cat-o'-nine-tails to lash it across bare backs in an effort to spur up these people and get them to realise that there are people in the country today on the verge of starvation. It was not to play hide and seek that they march from Bantry and Donegal. It is not for the joy of it that 30,000 tenants in Dublin marched through the streets last week. That is not a game. This is a serious business, the business of the nation and it must be the first pre-occupation of the Government. The outgoing Taoiseach in frustration and bewilderment and in disappointment had to turn his back and run. We are dealing with human beings and not political expedients. We want to achieve the common good of the Irish people. Perhaps it is as well that we were curtailed because hard things would have been said but there will be another day and, please God, we shall meet very soon where the people of County Kerry will listen to what we have to say. God speed that day.

And of Waterford.

No, I shall concentrate on Kerry. We shall tell the people of Kerry of the skulduggery that went on among the four musketeers.

I hope the advice of a plain but intelligent man will be taken. If I have been over certain Deputies' heads in this debate, I am very sorry. As I have said, I cannot go down into the cellar of intelligence. I can only go as far as the ground floor, and if they are under that, I cannot help them.

The declaration of a new Government by the Taoiseach affords us the opportunity of assessing what is the prospect for this queer, unchanged team. They have changed only the numbers of their jerseys but they have not in any way, to those who have known them, changed at all. While as a Corkman, I must rejoice in the fact that if there had to be a Fianna Fáil Leader of the new era, the lot fell to Deputy Jack Lynch, I must assess the commanding officer by his lieutenants or the captain by his team. What a sorry, miserable lot.

I have had occasion to come into this House and, unfortunately, talk with sincerity of the atrophy, the lack of idea, the dearth of initiative that have characterised Fianna Fáil Governments. Here we are in a situation of escalating national difficulty having foisted on us the same dull, unimaginative, inept bunch, possibly the best description of them, because like grapes they are clinging to the vine, the vine of Party privilege and patronage.

I do not intend to discuss, as has been done by other Members of the House, the sordid display of skulduggery, knavery, double-dealing and deceit which has been the lot of the unfortunate Party in the past three weeks while the succession stakes were on. Suffice it to say that it is now apparent to the Irish people in general that this tottering anachronism of a modern democracy is cracking up and we shall, in due course, be very good pallbearers at their ultimate obsequies.

I have never hesitated in my long period in public life to regale the Irish people with my earnest belief, uncontroverted by subsequent effort, that the greatest curse in this country since Cromwell has been successive Fianna Fáil Governments. Today I feel reinforced in that rather tragic belief when I look, as I am going to look, individually and collectively at this alleged team, this new Government.

I thought my own Party Leader was more than charitable when he described the Tánaiste and Minister for External Affairs at UNO. You know him, but nobody knows what he is going to try next, ranging over various obscure corners of the world. He must now be regarded as the extern, left-outside member of the team because we see him so rarely. His highly experienced stupidity cannot really be blamed for some Government decisions because I understand in recent times he is very seldom a party to their deliberations, but apparently that is a very good criterion in political difficulties on which to give the vice-captaincy to the Ministry of External Affairs. One might have expected in the circumstances of the political situation that there might have been a candidate more apt for this kind of semipermanent exclusion from Ireland. However, it is very hard for an Opposition with a genuine approach to the welfare of this country to appreciate for what motive this now venerable and aged relic of an unfortunate era is carried as a retrograde symbol of a stultified Government.

However, when it comes to the next member of the team described as Minister for P and T and T and P now occupying the Government Front Bench, one feels that here was real enterprise, to give an opportunity to a non-functional Minister who could sleep successfully in one Department of performing the ubiquitous task of sleeping in two. It is very difficult for a man to be in two places at one time awake. It is going to be an interesting experiment to see how the dual-purpose Minister will do it asleep.

I can never understand how all these enormous semi-State bodies under the Minister's control have been allowed to wander not only into the difficult vicissitudes of economic existence but into that tremendous realm of staff discontent that has become evident in recent years in the semi-State companies. I have always felt that a Minister who was half awake, a Minister who had any consciousness of his duty to the people of Ireland, would have been able, as my colleague Deputy Burke said on the Estimate for Labour debate, to introduce the quality of humanity and the benefit of human experience and knowledge into these boards to ensure a better personal relationship between employment and management, as Deputy Burke put it, and that some of the benignity he used to try in their disputes might have rubbed off on to these bodies.

We are asked now, not only to approve the re-instatement of Deputy Childers as Minister for Transport and Power but to the addition and the pressing on to his tail of Posts and Telegraphs, a Ministry which he held before with very little distinction. We are asked, in a bizarre way, to accept the re-nomination of this live wire as an earnest that the Government will have any capacity to deal with the problems that I will pose for them before I finish.

As we watch the merry boys move up one by one, we analyse their capacity for their office, judge them, as we can now, on our experience of them in other Departments or in the same Department over a period of years. We find that Finance has now gone to the "playboy of the Raheny world" and that, from the hunting field and the various bloodsports so enjoyed by him, he is going into the golden office. We find that, very fortunately, some circumstance arose that enabled his haughty vanity to be exploded and, fortunately, we have witnessed the return home of a band of decent, legal-minded, industrious farmers after having had to soldier it out for 21 days in order to get the normal courtesies and manners that should be afforded to decent people.

It is an extraordinary thing that decent men of all political persuasions —and there were people of all political persuasions in the NFA—were forced into the position that they had to undergo all these tribulations and effort, all caused by well-known difficulties in the agricultural industry, the frustration being finally epitomised in the fact that they could not get the ordinary courtesies that should have been afforded to them. That does not alter the fact that they have spotlighted most effectively the extraordinary muddle and bungle the agricultural industry is in, thanks to the fact that for years we suffered what I describe as a windowbox Minister for Agriculture whose only agricultural production in his constituency was limited to that type of flower production in the highly populous areas. He has now been extricated from the difficulties in Agriculture and put into Finance where we know that, because of the present national policy, there are more difficulties still. What kind of confidence can we have or what hope can we give to the Irish people in that kind of situation?

We had two Budgets last year. We had the stultification of effort in local government in housing and in health. We had the use of subterfuge and deceit and delay to block expenditure, because the pot was empty and the bottom of the barrel was gone. I tremble to think what gyrations and what new financial wizardry may be forthcoming from the Golden Boy in Finance.

I am warning the Dáil and the country that when we are dealing with the proposition of the appointment of this Government, we are dealing with the continuation of the amorphous hand of ineptitude, inefficiency and lack of initiative, because this team shows no change. The only change we have had under their last effort of 18 months is greater economic confusion, the slowing down of national effort and the acknowledgment now, belatedly, that their Second Programme for Economic Expansion was claptrap and nonsense and that their old slogan, "Let Lemass Lead On" now clearly becomes a slogan of "Stop and Reverse".

That the country is riding through difficulties that should not exist and that need not exist is perfectly obvious. Years ago, not only the Fine Gael Party but also the Labour Party, indicated quite clearly to the Government the difficulties they were building up for themselves in the chaotic introduction of the turnover tax and what its ultimate consequences would be. We are now reaping the full blast of this retrograde type of taxation. We are reaping it in the fact that, while Government policy is directed to copperfasten and limit increases in the earning capacity of the working sections of the community, no effort has been made to control the cost of living which is rapidly outdistancing any benefit which was obtained by the working classes.

The escalation of problems like rents in Dublin, the various new directions to local authorities, are merely the devices in an effort to avoid telling the people the plain blunt truth, that Fianna Fáil have made an appalling mess of our financial situation and that the only hope of the rebirth of confidence and re-stabilisation of the economy and of inspiring the confidence and support that will give us the money to continue on arises from the fact that, as a result of two by-elections which they have not the money to buy, and subsequent by-elections, if necessary, we will be able to get the Government out into the country to answer to the people for their stewardship, which the people are very anxious to deal with.

We can only talk of that today in the context of what hope this new Government may give us and what the personnel of the new Government, even in their changed Ministries, are likely to achieve. We have gone down four of the team already and we have not yet met a fellow who could have a decent kick at the ball. We are now in the slough. We are now at the stage where we want somebody, not only forward thinking, not only with initiative, but with the vital courage necessary to bring the Irish people on the road to progress and to remove them from the sudden and desperate fear of the future and even dread of the present.

I know that over the years Fianna Fáil have been great people to fill the emigrant ship. They have been great people to find 100,000 jobs in Manchester, Birmingham and London— jobs which Deputy Seán Lemass promised to find at home. We remember the election gimmicks "Let Lemass Lead On" and "Wives, Get Your Husbands Out to Work." The hoardings of Ireland were emblazoned with them. As far as the 100,000 new jobs are concerned, it should have been added on underneath that they were jobs in Manchester, Birmingham, Coventry and London and not jobs at home.

At the same time, we saw more and more people leaving the land of Ireland, without being given redundancy training to prevent their going on the emigrant ship. It is indeed a sorry record. It is made all the more sorry by the vapid foolishness of a young Deputy who suggested today that this is a prosperous nation and that all is virtually well, because he talked about some stabilisation and improvement in our balance of payments. Go down to the small farmer of 14 or 15 acres in my constituency and ask him if all is well there. Ask the lower paid workers in the urban areas—in Deputy Andrews' constituency, for instance— if all is well with them. Ask them if they can keep abreast of the increased cost of living. You will get a very definite answer.

All this is directly influenced by Government policy and will be influenced now by this unchanged team—this team which considers itself so good that it is dropping a member. I suppose the succession race has not resolved itself to the extent that there could be any reasonable unanimity as to whom the new boy might be. I have already dealt with all we can expect from a dud Tánaiste, a somnolent T and P and P and T and the transferred half-back into Finance. No annual report from any agricultural organisation will be necessary to tell us that the occupancy of Agriculture by Deputy Haughey has been a political failure. Under his stewardship we had rosy promises, multiple meetings, unlimited functions —and no progress. The cattle industry has been stultified, the small farmer half crucified and our basic dairy industry is still in a period of uncertainty and lack of leadership. The whole foundation of our economy, agriculture, is in the doldrums or worse. This is due to lack of initiative and forward thinking. It is because we have failed to condition our people to the forward impetus we must have in agriculture if we are to adjust ourselves to modern marketing conditions and the competition we will face either in association with or as full members of EEC.

I have always had the courage to say what I believe. I believe there was never a time in our history when we more urgently wanted fruitful and dynamic thinking about agriculture than we do today. I have never been completely in agreement with the suggested remedies of either the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association or the NFA. I think they are inclined to deal with immediate problems in an expedient way rather than co-ordinate our immediate problems with the guidelines for the future. Whether we like it or not, we have to realise that the small farmer, as we knew him, on farms of under 35 or 40 acres, faces a tremendous problem of re-adjustment, because a farm of that size is an anachronism in modern society. That poses not only the problem of the consolidation of farms into a workable size but also this enormous problem of the training necessary for the resettlement of such people elsewhere. I cannot see anybody on this team before us capable of getting down to grapple with that problem. But grapple with it somebody must if we are to have straight thinking on agriculture.

Try as we may, we can never get away from the fact that the basic stabilisation of our economy must always depend on our agricultural production. Rural Ireland will have to be geared in a new way to meet this problem. Not only will afforestation have to be expanded but industry associated with forestry, such as pulp mills, must be provided to give employment to the sons and daughters of the land. There will have to be cogent Government planning, deliberate thinking and regular financing to deal with problems of this sort. Contemporaneously, we will have to stop talking about drainage schemes and get on with the job of actually draining the land. Every acre of land won back into fruitful production will be one more unit in the battle for the stabilisation of our economy and the improvement of our national earnings. I am saying that with all the certitude and deliberation of a person privileged to be born and reared on the land. I am saying it in the knowledge that there is no section of this community more ready in its response to leadership, more ready in its response to the call for national effort, than the agriculturists and people who get their living on the land. They were the backbone of the generation who brought us liberty. They deserve well of us.

When I criticise the Government today, the new team coming in, I criticise them in full knowledge of the fact that we are not doing the basic type of research, planning and work that are vitally necessary to keep abreast of modern trends in agriculture. I shall not go into the details of the Department's administration. That has been ruled out of order in this debate. However, taking the global picture, we want greater production, we want stable markets and we want proper market research. The fantastic thing in this country is that even though our best market has always been Britain it is the one in which we have the worst record of market research and sales effort over all the years. It has often appalled me that such is the case because I have always subscribed to the belief that, with many of our basic differences settled with Great Britain, it was our duty to exploit to the fullest that market to the benefit of our country and, per se, our people.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries is being taken over by Deputy Blaney who has left a Ministry where there was evidence of slowdown, of department delay, of departmental evasion, of lack of impetus, all of which had become chronic hallmarks in the past 18 months not, let me say, because of any personal lack of energy on the part of the Minister for Local Government but, again, because it was a case of "There's a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza." It was impossible for the Minister for Local Government to give what he had not got. Therefore, with great political acumen, mark you, and with great political dexterity, he played the game out, using the gimmicks of various departmental devices for delay to save himself the trouble of having bluntly to tell us that he had not got the money. If you go to any local authority or municipal authority that had deliberately been seeking to push on with housing or development schemes you will find out how effective was the dead hand that controlled local government. So pardon me if I am slightly sceptical and indeed at times cynical about the prospect of this dynamo creating a tremendous impetus and development in the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.

There is one hope, of course, where Deputy Blaney is concerned. He is a hard-headed Donegal man with experience of all the problems of what I describe as the semi-cottier class, the man with a very limited amount of arable land, with a certain amount of scrub and with a lot of bog. Maybe he will come to the conclusion that he has to find something new, some method of coalescing into economic reality a number of these holdings if Irish agriculture is to survive. I have an appalling dread of any greater development of penury in agricultural slums. I have always believed that all that is best in our tradition and in our stock comes from the land of Ireland and much of it from the very small farms of Ireland but, in saying that, I am giving no discredit to those from more prosperous districts who played their part in our development. I think the House, generally, will accept that the people I now talk of have earned the best respect of this nation and certainly merit consideration of their deteriorating plight to ensure that this basic, all-important keystone of our survival is, in itself and of itself, given a chance of survival. Now, that will take, as I have said, and I do not want to labour it, dynamic effort. It will take tremendous development in the field of land reclamation and drainage. There is a lot of land that can be drained, a lot of land that can be reclaimed. Even though people may raise howls about the cost, I say to the new Government that, if they have the courage to do this work, here is one voice that will never condemn them for that type of courage. It must be done.

The quicker we can bring back into production acres of land the more thoroughly we can ensure our economic future. There is no surer investment for Irish money than in the land of Ireland and in the people making their living on it. I have spoken over the years not only when Fianna Fáil were in office but when inter-Party Governments were in office of this codology of trying to do one river after the other. That codology will have to cease. We shall have to have the courage to have big schemes in all the provinces, doubling, trebling and quadrupling the effort to get our rivers drained and our land back into heart.

Even though it may not be quite germane to the issue, the drainage of the Shannon was a good example to take because that is an example of where the Government must have courage. It does not require any political philandering or pandering to get down to the job. Nobody knows better than we do in this House who, over the years, have had to travel through the west of Ireland, who have fought many difficult by-elections within the area of the west, what a boon, what a tremendous opening to the whole west that drainage could be. We know that it will be enormously expensive, infinitely more so than it would have been in the days of Fianna Fáil's rosy promises. It will even be more expensive now than it would have been in the days of the recent Roscommon by-election promises. Still, it is a project of national dimensions. It is a project that will benefit not one county, not one group of people, but the whole province. Therefore, thinking and effort about it in future should certainly commence.

We now pass—as pass we must—to the next of the team who will provide us with some dynamics in the new Government, and what do we find? We find the Department of Defence again occupied by a very pleasant ageing soldier of another generation: there indeed we can look for benign smiles, charming reticence but operative ineffectiveness. There are very few Deputies who have earned as much personal respect as Deputy Hilliard but I think, in fairness to his own Party, the Tánaiste and he should have stood aside gracefully to allow new players on this team, even if they were to be reasonably young and inexperienced members of the House; even a bit of brash effort in the Government would be a welcome change from the stultification which is now so pathetically manifest.

We leave the field of Defence and get to the rather charming roguish players of the team. "Golden Boy Charles" gone to Finance, strangely, a Department which one might initially have thought him more suitable for, with his training and background. We have a Donegal man now leading the farmers and we have the opulent, effervescent and slightly unpredictable "Playboy of the Western World"— the "Light Fantastic tripper", Donogh O'Malley, to bring light relief to the rather dull and stultified Department of Education. He has distinguished himself in an extraordinary way since he went to the Department of Education. With the exuberance of a reasonably good old rugby forward, he is getting away from the question of his policy on the Irish language and allowing the tá sé's and the ní h'ea's around the place to postulate a policy he does not preach. I am quite sure it is a reasonably decent position for the President of the Football Association of Ireland to occupy.

But we face, in the Department of Education, possibly the next greatest challenge in the whole country to Agriculture, because there is nothing more certain than the need for rapid educational development at all levels, whether it is in our trade and vocations or in our universities. We must increase rapidly for a much greater intake, and our primary, vocational and secondary schools system will have to be geared to build a capacity for training infinitely better skilled technicians, infinitely more vocational occupations, whether in carpentry, plumbing or any of the various specialised trades, to enable us to give the type of service and effort in production which will in turn give us the capacity to produce a finished article against the keen type of competition we have to face.

In that Department we now have a very pleasant and extremely well-dressed Minister, one who is capable of pouring on the charm. I am told that at a recent nurses' convention, before he left the Department of Health, there were many not-too-young breasts fluttering at the charm and grace of the smiling Donogh. But it is for the task of education and the fight to get the money necessary for its escalation that we want the Minister and, while I hope I will be proved wrong—because I have a great personal regard for Donogh O'Malley—I have a terrible feeling that, when the rosy promises he has made gather too thickly around him, there will be a further transfer to some other portfolio.

I am sure, when one gets down to basics, the new Minister for Local Government is the worst possible choice, because my feeling is that is a Department in which the virtue of tact is a paramount necessity, and a capacity to deal with problems in a decisive and effective way is also very necessary. I feel that Deputy Boland, in one capacity, will certainly fill it completely and, in the second, is very likely to become the Irish Molotov of Local Government, because decision he will not make but "no" is his proper pronouncement, if the evidence we have had of his inhumanity and his regulationitis is to be the key by which to judge him.

Deputy Hillery, of course, is in a new and untried spot but, as I said when speaking on the Estimate for the Department of Labour, at least there is some hope with him in that Department because I think he has a capacity for listening, which is unusual in his Party, and has a patience which most Members of the House recognise and commend. I suppose it would be unfair to him to allow any sarcasm to deal with him for the present, for he is an untried boy in a completely new office, but I do hope he will make a success of it, because one of the things we have to get by the throat and stop is the type of growing confusion and discontent in our industrial relations field. I hope and believe that, apart from his patience and his capacity to listen, Deputy Hillery will have a strength of purpose to be able to achieve voluntary understanding and permanent peace among those industrialists.

Deputy Joseph Brennan has left Posts and Telegraphs and gone to Social Welfare. That could be an improvement, because I feel there is a good deal of humanity left in Deputy Brennan, and where regulations can be surmounted or got around, his inherent good nature will be on the side of the social welfare recipients. Therefore, while no dynamic thinking is needed, only a rapacious capacity to tear some of the cake when national taxation is being divided for the benefit of these recipients, Deputy Brennan will not have to exercise anything more than this humanity which he has. The question mark as to his success will not be as violent or emphatic as it will be in other Departments.

The Department of Justice, as the newspaper headline puts it today, is retained by Brian Lenihan. This brings me back again to the whole question of the bright young boys who moved a bit too fast. The Golden Boy started in Justice. He made a complete and utter hames of the Succession Bill, passed on to the Department of Agriculture which was to become the death knell of his hopes for advancement. The great crown of the Young Pretender slipped violently to one side and fell off before he was escalated to the Department of Finance.

I want to warn the Minister for Justice, and to give him the solemn warning of a practising lawyer, that he has flown enough kites. He should get down to the business of running his Department, and deal with the difficulties that arise in his Department instead of playing around with jurisdiction, with the judiciary and with professional bodies. The task in hand for him is immediate. These little flapper boys he has around the place taking out their little kites and releasing their little balls of string, are no longer fooling the Irish people or diverting them from the realities. There are far more urgent problems in his Department that should be dealt with.

In fairness to the Minister for Industry and Commerce, he has had a difficult battle and I suppose he should be spared a little. His wounds, I hope, will heal. May I hope that some of the skulduggery he has learned so early in his political life will be of benefit to him? I hope he will continue to be an effective and forward thinking Minister. I feel a tremendous amount of sympathy for this young man, ach mar a dubhradh cheana, beidh lá eile ag an bPaorach.

So far we have not been able to test the calibre of the Minister for Industry and Commerce. He and Deputy Hillery deserve a chance of being bracketed together and being given the indulgence of the House until they have proved themselves unworthy of their tasks.

Let us take the team and range over it from start to finish, and come back to the full back—very well tried on the football field but not yet tried in the Department of Health—Deputy Seán Flanagan. I do not offer the same derisive criticism of him as I do of some of the more experienced Ministers, because Deputy Flanagan has two distinct qualities: earnestness and independence. He may be able to make a serious and possibly a less flowery impact on the Department of Health than the former Minister. It is a fundamental fact that Deputy Flanagan will be less obtuse and charming and more direct and to the point.

When we range over the team in globo, we ask ourselves what future can such an amalgamation and conglomeration of honourable old age, downright stupidity and incompetent laziness, hold for the Irish people? What leadership is there? What impetus for the future from this unseemly bunch? Some of them have been tested over the years and found completely wanting. Others have been tested over five or six years and have shown singular ineptitude and incapacity. A few have not been tried and, in racing parlance, they are carrying a bit too much dead weight, too much lead. Perhaps there is an appropriate analogy. I do not think the mighty Arkle himself could carry that bunch with any hope of success.

We in this country have to face the reality of the situation. They are the Government and until we can get them before the jury of the Irish people, they will remain the Government. They will be foisted on us again by virtue of their capacity to win a vote in this Dáil. They will be foisted on us again as they were before by an Independent Coalition. Independents who will not exercise their vote are no different from the famous Independents led by Peadar Cowan who attached themselves to a deflated Fianna Fáil Party and kept them in Government before. When we hear derisive observations from embryo Deputies, from youngsters in the battlefield, recruits to worn-out ideologies, talking about Coalitions here and Coalitions there, we cannot forget the sordid and sorry record of Fianna Fáil Governments.

The change of Taoiseach, we are told, marks the end of an epoch. We cannot forget that that epoch included all kinds of skulduggery by Fianna Fáil for one purpose only, the grabbing and retention of power, and the great tragedy is that the sordid image has grown up in this country of corruption in high places, of vested interests becoming vested not only politically but also in various types of industries throughout the country, becoming very relevant in relation to all types of large contracts.

I do not say that image is true but it is mighty much abroad. Many of the Ministers are mentioned as being participants in intrigues. I hope that is not true but it is the type of image the Government have created, the type of image that will be continued by the no-change team we now have. It is the type of stultification we do not want to see in Irish life. It is the type of development we do not want because we boast that the liberty of our citizens is sacrosanct and that their opportunities should be equal. It is our public duty and office to preserve that. It is not being done, and abroad in this land, wherever big contracts, big works are on offer, one hears of the backlash of political preferment, of Party subscriptions and various addenda——

The Deputy should make specific statements if he has charges to level.

You keep quiet.

I am putting it to the Chair that if the Deputy has statements to make about individual Ministers——

If you want to address the Chair, at least have the manners to stand up.

The Chair has noted the Deputy's remarks. They were of a general nature, not directed to any individual Minister.

I prefaced them by expressing the earnest hope that they are not true. I have not stooped to specific charges.

It is plain slander.

I could not slander you, old boy. You are not worth taking note of, you Minister of codology.

I regard the Deputy's statement as a compliment.

I am delighted you do because it is the only compliment you are ever likely to get. I wish to say that the rumour is abroad and people are being intimidated politically in this country with the type of build-up now being tried, that Fianna Fáil are an unshakable vested interest. By heavens they are not unshakable and when the public get the opportunity in the course of the coming by-elections and local elections, they will see how unshakable they are not.

In reply to the Deputy, there are millions of pounds let to contracts under my direction and there never has been any political influence——

Every day in the Dáil the Minister tells us he has no function.

I have to authorise all the capital expenditure——

He comes into the House and says: "I regret to tell the Deputy I have no function." What he suffers from is statistical diarrhoea.

The Deputy's statement is loathsome. He is not fit to be in this House.

As long as the people of West Cork send me here, I shall be in the House. Let us take the collective team. The morning of battle has come. The Minister for T and P and P and T, this dual-purpose Minister, now tells us that, without our knowledge, he does perform some function. We are glad to know that. Our questions may rain on him again and maybe somebody will come in to take the place of my late colleague, Deputy Lynch, and keep harrying this dual-purpose Minister to see if we can get some dual-purpose answers.

The time for appraisal has come. There has been a change of leadership. A fine new star has arisen, according to the last gracious tribute of the former Taoiseach. He said we would find the incoming Taoiseach to be a man of integrity and capacity for work and that we would find him a brilliant leader. It is a very interesting proposition. Let him test the solidarity of his leadership on the Irish people. If he can continue, as perhaps he can, to reap the benefits of Government and come back here as Taoiseach, confirmed by the people of Ireland, then we must graciously bow to his leadership; but I invite him to test his new shining armour, his new capacity for work and integrity on the extended jury panel of the Irish people and if as a result he continues to enjoy the leadership and power, we must bow to his efforts. However, if he puts this new Government to the test, this non-substitute team with a few switches in position but no change in personnel, he will get an effective, realistic answer from the Irish people. Therefore, I say to him in all fairness: let us have the real test of Irish democracy; let us really test the truth or otherwise of the slogan forced on the Irish people, "Let Lemass Lead On"; let us have a general election and see how well and how ably Deputy Jack Lynch will lead the Opposition.

It seems right that on the shift of power from one Taoiseach to another the matter should be discussed in the House, especially as we have the alleged appointment of a new Government involved. It is fair that there should be here a reappraisal of the Taoiseach and the Government during recent years. Despite the intimation by the Taoiseach before the last general election that this would be the last Dáil in which he would lead the Fianna Fáil Party, it was assumed by the House and the nation that he would at least continue until the end of the present Dáil. Therefore, it came as a surprise to the people that the Taoiseach should have intimated his intention to resign at this juncture, at a time when there was great anxiety abroad, when there were disturbances in this city, when there were men marching in their thousands on this House, proclaiming their rights in respect of agricultural matters or in respect of the imposition of unfair, unjust and inequitable rent increases in this city and throughout the Twenty-Six Counties. One would expect, at a time of such national unrest and anxiety, that the Taoiseach would continue as Leader until those problems were resolved and a calmer situation had existed.

We can only conclude that the Taoiseach left in indecent haste, and what a sorry mess he has left behind him. After the pleasantries of wishing the outgoing Taoiseach well in his retirement—and extending best wishes to his good wife and family—and wishing good also to the incoming Taoiseach we, in this House, must face the serious implications involved in this change of power from Deputy Seán Lemass to Deputy Jack Lynch and the alleged change of Government which has taken place, a Government which are destined to lead this country for some time to come, the shorter the better. Outside of the totalitarian régimes of North East Ulster, the USSR, Portugal and Spain, I do not know of any Party which have been permitted to govern so long in a democracy as the Fianna Fáil Party have.

The Fianna Fáil Party, for nigh on 30 years, have been charged with the responsibility of governing our people. That is assuredly a fair innings for any Party in which to implement their promises for solving the social and economic problems of the people. In analysing the achievements of this régime, it is surprising that they have not done much good for our people but they have done irreparable harm. They squandered the precious years of independence since 1932 when they first came into power. They squandered those years, dissipated the resources of our country, showed a flagrant disregard for the most cherished assets of this country and failed miserably to fulfil their promises in relation to the achievement of full employment and decent standards of living.

It is statistically true that during that time one million of our race, under an Irish Government, mainly Fianna Fáil, have been scourged out of this country to the four winds of the world. I would be sorry and ashamed to be a member of that Party, having been so long in office and having done so little good and such terrible harm. We had the denigration here again today of the Coalition or inter-Party Governments which were in office for a very short time. We had this fruitless exercise by Fianna Fáil Deputies harping back to that period.

The inter-Party Government were last in office in 1957. Nearly ten years have elapsed since we had an inter-Party Government in this country and what have the Fianna Fáil Government been doing in the meantime? Are we not the laughingstock of the world? Have we not declared ourselves to be bereft of ideas and resources? Have we not hawked the credit of this country throughout the world and sold out to the gnomes of Zurich at extortionate rates of interest in order to try to keep going?

The Government have failed so miserably to govern that they have abandoned governmental responsibility. Their only hope is that Harold Wilson will take them under his wing into the Common Market and relieve them of the responsibility of government. It was the hope of the outgoing Taoiseach, Deputy Seán Lemass, that long before now we would have entered the European Economic Community. He would thus be relieved of the responsibility of ordering the affairs of his Government. That would be done for him under the Rome Agreement and whatever ill-effects, economically, spilled over from that Agreement could be blamed, of course, on the regulations governing the countries of the EEC and any good which came from it Fianna Fáil would surely take credit for.

While the Government were hoping to join the Common Market there was evidence of no planning whatsoever. There was this spurious attempt at some planning in the First Programme for Economic Expansion, this much-lauded document which was alleged to be the salvation of the Irish people. I have known Fianna Fáil teachers, tutors and so-called economists who lectured us as students and told us that here would be the solution to all the problems of our people, this five-year plan of the Fianna Fáil Party, the First Programme for Economic Expansion.

That plan operated from 1958 to 1963 and the Government claimed certain minor successes for its operation. The main success of that Programme came about by accident rather than by design in that it was to achieve an increase in productivity of 2 per cent. The planners said 2 per cent and by accident rather than by design the increase in productivity amounted to more than double that amount, a 4½ per cent increase. They tried to cloak over the dismal failure of that plan which was designed to provide 100,000 new jobs. What happened in effect was that during the operation of the first plan for economic expansion, 1958-1963, and it is statistically correct and cannot be controverted, 170,000 people emigrated from this country— 170,000 people. It is difficult to conjure up the mass of humanity involved in such a figure. Many of us have been in Croke Park on All Ireland hurling and football occasions and have been overawed by the mass of people seen there on these great occasions. They would number perhaps 70,000 or 80,000; but double that number and you will appreciate the extent of the exodus of the flower of our youth, our boys and girls who left this country under the Fianna Fáil First Programme for Economic Expansion.

It is ludicrous to suggest that these 170,000, or a proportion of them, left to see the bright lights of London, Manchester or Birmingham. They left because of being denied a livelihood in their own country. The reasons were purely and solely economic. We now have a Second Programme for Economic Expansion and we expected achievements and a slight success. I need only advert to the honest, frank statement of the outgoing Taoiseach, Deputy Seán Lemass, of less than a week ago when he admitted that there is no hope or prospect of the targets set in that Programme being realised.

The fact is that these plans were merely pious hopes of the planners in the Taoiseach's Department who are solely responsible for leading this country into the dismal economic abyss in which it finds itself today. Deputy Seán MacEntee, the ex-Tánaiste and Minister for Finance, told us that it is these soothsayers and astrologers in the guise of planners who are responsible for the present sorry situation. Clearly no Ministers in the Fianna Fáil Cabinet had any ideas whatsoever for solving the problems of the various Departments. They relied solely on these higher civil servants.

The Minister is responsible for his Department, and officials must not be attacked in this manner.

I might be entitled to quote the remarks of the ex-Tánaiste, Deputy Seán MacEntee, when he blamed the soothsayers and astrologers for leading this Government astray. Certainly they had no ideas of their own and gambled most of all on entering the Common Market in the hope and in the belief that in association with those prosperous and wealthy communities, the gold would rub off and thereby in some kind of way boost this decaying economy of ours. So it was that last Christmas week the Taoiseach precipitated this country into a Free Trade Area Agreement with Britain.

The best that ever happened.

Ask the NFA that.

Ask the British farmers that.

Are they not bound to stop the export of Irish fat cattle?

They cannot do it.

What were the promises of the proposed Minister for Finance, Deputy Haughey, when he held out the sunny glowing prospect of extra millions of pounds for our farmers as a result of this Agreement? We have the situation where farmers have marched through the city in their thousands to focus attention on the shaky plight in which they find themselves today, in which the price of cattle has fallen by £10 and £20 per beast. The fact is the promises made agriculturally in respect of this Agreement have proved to be false and misleading and it is no wonder that the same Charles J. Haughey is removed ignominiously from the Department of Agriculture and has found another niche in the Government.

This idea of entering the Common Market has gained new momentum as a result of the statement of the British Premier, the Right Honourable Harold Wilson, who has now indicated that it is his intention to enter. This, we take it, is a statement of intent but it will be some time before admission is a reality. There is still time to do what is required to be done here and we on this side of the House are not to be admonished for the outright opposition we showed to the suggestion of a Free Trade Area Agreement with Britain last Christmas. We think it was stupidly foolish in the extreme, an act which completely disregarded the fact that we always enjoyed free trade with Britain and at the same time, protected our own industries.

No doubt, when the Common Market is a reality, we will have a world window from which the consuming public of this country can purchase the goods and the commodities of the countries of the EEC and Britain. At that time big business rings, the cartels and the monopolies, will be the order of the day. The foreign supermarkets will replace and put out of action many of our small family grocers and traders, and the small family factory as well. Let us not forget that the Buy Irish campaign will become a complete farce and our whole distributing trade will be taken over by foreign entrepreneurs of various kinds.

If we are to talk of the achievements of the former Taoiseach's political career I feel he would want to be remembered most of all as the man who built up some semblance of Irish industry. He was, above all else, the man who tried to create industry here and took the necessary steps to protect that industry to let it grow and develop. He was not unsuccessful in that regard. There are many thousands of workers who have enjoyed secure and lucrative employment as a result of his endeavours. Down the years he adopted the policy of Sinn Féin, the protectionist policy of saving these industries from unfair competition from abroad. He took the necessary steps to ensure that a reasonable portion of the home market was reserved for our own industrialists to safeguard future employment.

With a stroke of the pen last Christmas week, the Taoiseach unwrapped the swaddling clothes and stripped our industrial arm, every industry in the country, naked, leaving it wide open to the icy blast which will inevitably grow stronger and wipe out so many of them in the years immediately ahead. His action spells disaster for many Irish industries. For the dubious gains agriculturally which have now come to nought he sold our industrial arm and we are now in a right mess. There is nothing to be gained agriculturally, as is now the position, and already many Irish industrialists have put up the white flag, have thrown in the towel, given up the ghost and locked their factory doors. I can name the industries in this House this minute which since Christmas last gave up. There are many hundreds, nay thousands, of industrial workers thrown out on the unemployment scrapheap with no scheme of compensation they can call on under the legislation of this House. The same employers were able to confer upon themselves and their colleagues in industry, on the boards of directors and staffs, a golden, handsome handshake and their futures are, no doubt, secure.

We have repeatedly warned this Government what the outcome will be in freer trading circumstances. The battle to which we have been forced to commit ourselves is the battle between a pigmy and a giant, a battle we cannot win. It was audacious in the extreme of the Taoiseach to pit our industrial arm against the vast industrial giants of Britain, not to mention the Common Market countries in this battle. It is inevitable that industrial graveyards will result. In every town and city of this country, there will be these graveyards. The people who will be lying dead and wounded on the battlefield will be the Irish working classes. We are concerned with providing jobs for our people in Ireland, in their own land, in their own home town, if at all possible. We do not find much solace or consolation in entering into agreements with other countries which will provide employment, not on the Liffey, the Shannon or the Suir, but on the Thames, the Humber, the Seine, the Tiber or the Rhine.

The British Government have been slow to join the EEC. This is no rash decision by Harold Wilson. He will go in only when he can get the best terms for his people. He will go in when he is satisfied that no injury is being done to the Commonwealth countries and that his friendship with other foreign powers, especially the United States, is safeguarded. But this Government, abandoning their responsibility in an economic quagmire, rushed in in the hope of economic salvation. It was rather a tragedy that last Christmas we should have joined with Britain in this Free Trade Agreement, because now that there is a real prospect of Britain going in within the next few years, the Government of this country have lost the initiative they held in the past. They have lost the chance of securing the best possible agreement with the countries of the EEC. We are now being looked upon as a mere shire of England. No Irish Taoiseach will be carrying out the negotiations for this country. The negotiations for and on behalf of the Irish Government and the Irish people will be carried out by Harold Wilson. They have lost their independence and their bargaining powers. They have lost the initiative they enjoyed as a distinct entity, a distinct nationality.

It is also worth remembering that in this rush to join with Britain there were political implications as well. I pointed out some of those political implications when speaking in the Free Trade Area Agreement debate on January 4th of this year.

Every student of economics knows that economic dependence entails of necessity political dependence also. It was rather peculiar that the Government should choose this year in particular to sign this Agreement selling us back to Britain, as it were, merging us with Britain and binding us more irretrievably and irrevocably than ever before to the British economy. The trading agreements made down through the years were rather loose understandings but this Free Trade Area Agreement is final, binding and irrevocable. This was an agreement into which an Irish Government should have been very slow to enter. It was an agreement for which the Fianna Fáil Government had no mandate from the people because it was not a subject for decision by the people in the last general election.

What I have said in relation to free trade must not and should not be construed as indicating that we in the Labour movement are anti-European or against a European alliance. We shall welcome and support association with Britain and the Common Market countries and any other country, for that matter, but only on the basis that we deal with such countries as equal partners and only on the clear understanding that every adequate safeguard is taken. We remember well that this Government negotiated this Agreement at the worst possible time, at a time when the economic fibre of the nation was at its lowest, at a time when we were most vulnerable, at a time when we were, in fact, involved in a financial crisis. That was not the appropriate time at which to enter into such an Agreement. No positive steps had been taken here or elsewhere to safeguard our people from the implications of free trade, especially from the point of view of unemployment, underemployment and redundancy. Redundancy is bound to rear its ugly head in every village, town and county throughout the country as freer trading becomes more pronounced.

The Labour Party in any country is not merely nationalist in outlook; it is also international in outlook. For us, in the Labour movement, poverty and insecurity anywhere are a threat to freedom, prosperity and happiness everywhere. We want to join with the peoples of other countries as equal partners, to share mutually in the prosperity of these countries. We rejoice in the socialist governments of many countries today. We know full well that the standard of life these humane governments have been able to achieve for their people is something to be commended. Full employment is the keynote of the EEC countries and Britain as well, rising standards of living, adequate care in sickness, infirmity and old age. We want to share in the human happiness which abounds in these countries.

We are anxiously waiting the opportunity to join with them in brotherly union in this great crusade for human happiness. But we deplore the action of this bankrupt Government in selling us out at the worst possible time, selling us out because they were incapable of governing, because they saw the indications of bankruptcy all round them and wildly grasped about to find some kind of support. Apart from the first sharp shock of free trade, the consequences over the years will be disastrous. The Irish working classes will suffer but, in the long run, it will be the salvation of this country because, by and large, we will be governed from Brussels and not from this House. If Irish Governments of the future prove as inept, as irresponsible and as incompetent as this Government, it is just as well that some other group will govern us rather than that the present sorry situation should continue.

One of the objections we have to the continuation of this régime, whose right to govern we are now challenging in this House, is the fact that the Fianna Fáil Party for a long number of years, and especially in recent years, seem to be composed of a club of scroungers and place-hunters of the most unscrupulous and unprincipled kind, where the only law is the "old pals act", and "jobs for the boys", whose policy in the main is the furtherance of nepotism and the advancement of family and friends irrespective of the talents and qualifications of others. This is what has kept that Party together. They have demoralised our people, destroyed initiative, bred cynicism all round. They have carried out their corrupt practices in secret—yes, in secret—and in public, too. No poor man's child has a chance where they are concerned. They have negatived, rendered effete and sterile the high sentiments contained in the Proclamation of 1916 guaranteeing equal rights and equal opportunities for all our people. There is today no semblance of equal rights or equal opportunities for all and, while they remain in power, there never will be.

I have been concerned for some time about the manner in which jobs are allocated. It cannot be denied that in regard to such bodies as CIE the Board of Works and many others, employment and promotion depend in the main on membership of the Fianna Fáil Party. If you are not a member, there is no promotion for you. They have their agents everywhere, in high places and in low places, and at times these agents reveal themselves. They constantly adopt pressurising methods of intimidation and the more active ones, especially in respect of those of us in public life, carry out campaigns of lies and slander against us. There are some who resort to acts of character assassination. This is an unsavoury situation. We have seen it in the appointment of staff in the county councils and in State bodies.

This Party should realise that now you have to contend with a younger generation who will not tolerate graft, corruption and preferment and that there are sounds of marching feet. Today they are marching in their thousands. For a while I thought that this Party had destroyed the spirit of the people and that the most dangerous and spirited men and women had gone abroad to build the empires for Britain and the Americas, but there are still men and women with spirit, courage and determination left. Forty thousand of them were seen to march through the city of Dublin the other evening. Dublin is stirring again, thank God. It was not an organised march, as some Fianna Fáil spokesmen infer. Not even the combined ingenuity of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and ourselves in the Labour Party could have organised such a demonstration, when 40,000 people walked from outlying districts into the centre of the city and their deputation came right into this House. They were protesting vigorously against the action of this bankrupt Government in putting their hand into their pockets and extracting unfair amounts of rent to try to exonerate a bankrupt Minister for Local Government.

This was a spontaneous demonstration of indignation and outrage felt by these council tenants over what is being done to them by the outgoing Minister for Local Government, Deputy Blaney. Two years ago when that Minister announced his White Paper on Housing Progress and Prospects I took him to task. The White Paper contained the admonition that housing authorities should rationalise their rents. This was construed by county managers as an intimation to increase rents and many set about doing so. This was at a time when the coffers of the Minister's Department were becoming very bare. He saw the writing on the wall, the limitation of capital for housing purposes, and he devised this gimmick—or some soothsayer or astrologer in his Department devised it for him—to find revenue for local authorities out of the pockets of workingclass tenants.

A demonstration similar to the one held in Dublin was held earlier this year in Clonmel. We were the first housing authority to be rackrented on this issue and the Fianna Fáil members of Clonmel Corporation sponsored the idea and carried it by the casting vote of their Fianna Fáil Mayor on two occasions. It was an audacious thing to carry such a vexed issued without regard to what is known as the status quo in regard to the chairman. There was a demonstration outside the town hall at which the tenants expressed their outrage and indignation, but the increases were imposed. They were not imposed for the purpose—as the Minister and Fianna Fáil Deputies would infer—of giving relief to the poorer sections, because the reason for the increase, which amounted to £5,000 on 800 tenants, was to balance the rates and to make up the gap in the local budget. The motion for the increases was that of a Fianna Fáil councillor, and his motion was that the receipts from rent be increased by £5,000 in order to avoid increasing the rates. That amount of money was extracted from the ordinary workingclass people in order to buttress the rich and the property owners of my town, who could well afford to pay the increase in rates.

Let no Minister tell me that this was for the benefit of the poorer sections of our community. The idea was first and foremost a revenue raising gimmick thought up by the then Minister for Local Government, and nothing less. I want to tell my colleagues in Dublin Corporation that this was a revenue-raising gimmick devised by a bankrupt Government. Having no money of their own for housing, they proposed to extract it from the workingclass people.

There is a worse feature of this attempt to increase rents. In anticipation of the furore this attack on the living standards of working people would generate he took all possible precautions to ensure its effectiveness. The people he most feared were the workers' representatives on housing authorities, the Labour representatives in particular, and local authority members who were also council tenants. The Minister for Local Government has perpetrated one of the most despicable acts ever perpetrated in any democratic country by including in the Housing Act, which will probably become law by next January, in section 115 a provision that no member of the local authority who is also a tenant of a council house shall have the right to vote on any matter appertaining to such things as rent, rent increases or the sale of houses. Is this not a most despicable attempt to disfranchise men elected by the people of their communities? It is a negation of democracy that public representatives, having gone before the people and having been duly elected, should be disfranchised in respect of matters appertaining to the houses in which they live.

Would it not be reasonable to suggest in respect of ratepayers—and we do have people seeking public office in the direct interest of ratepayers in their own communities—that these people should not be allowed to vote on matters appertaining to the striking of the rate or increases or reductions in rates? This is something not widely known as yet and not appreciated; I believe many tenant associations are not even aware of this penal clause in the Housing Act. This would not happen in Russia. It is an indication of the arrogant, domineering, dictatorial attitude of this Government, if they had their way. This is a penal clause that must be amended at the first opportunity. Otherwise, it will make a mockery of democracy and render futile the work of dedicated public representatives on so many local authorities.

I feel sure that at least half, if not more, of the members of local authorities are also occupants of council houses. All these will now be disfranchised. This is a retrograde step and marks a bad day for democracy in this country. We are glad to hear the pounding of marching feet. Let them march on in unison in every town and village and city and they must assuredly march to victory. We shall undo the undemocratic legislation at the first opportunity.

In dealing with matters appertaining to the Department of Local Government, I want to advert to the statement in today's papers that the new Parliamentary Secretary to be appointed to the Minister for Local Government is my colleague in public life, Deputy Davern of Tipperary South. I want to be first to offer my hearty congratulations to him on this appointment and to wish him every success in his new office. I appreciate that an honour has been conferred on him. There goes with it a great responsibility, the responsibility of breaking the deadlock in so many things appertaining to that Department, of accelerating the housing drive, providing much needed capital resources in respect of housing, grants, water supplies, sewerage schemes and so on.

He will know as well as I do that all the councils in South Tipperary are experiencing the greatest difficulty in getting necessary financial accommodation to carry out essential works of this nature. I look to Deputy Davern, as most of my colleagues in the House will, to expedite all these essential services and to do all he can to lift the dead hand that has been laid upon works of this kind for the past 18 months.

Deputy Blaney, the outgoing Minister, will be remembered most of all as the rackrenting Minister for Local Government, the man who raised blisters on the backs of so many thousands of our council tenants. They are saying sweet prayers for him tonight in Dublin, in Clonmel and many other places throughout the country. He is the man who robs the poor to buttress the rich on the pretence of helping the underprivileged.

Now we have an incoming Minister, an tUasal Caoimhghín Ó Beoláin, who has vacated the Department of Social Welfare. I feel certain the widowed, the old age pensioners, the unemployed and all those sections of our community against whom the winds of adversity blow hardest will thank God that he is gone, because this man's mind has been actuated by doles and means tests of the meanest and the most niggarly kind. I do not wonder that he has scurried from this Department as a result of the deliberations of the past three weeks.

It was a particularly deplorable thing, and shocked the conscience of the people, that the increases in pensions granted by the British Government should have been taken from them by this Minister and his Department. We worked very hard on these benches to bring about the reciprocal agreement between this Government and the Labour Government of Britain for the payment of whatever pensions our people are entitled to, whether war pensions, widows' pensions or retirement pensions. This reciprocal agreement having been successfully negotiated whereby many thousands of our people were to be given increases of up to £1 through the generosity of Mr. Harold Wilson and his socialist Government, we deplore the fact that this Minister permitted his welfare officers to rush out forthwith to impose a new means test on all these people and, lo and behold, some thousands of them had their Irish pensions reduced and a considerable number of them had their Irish pensions withdrawn altogether. I have had many of these people in my own home town and in my constituency.

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

I was adverting to the fact that there would be no rejoicing among the underprivileged in this country that Caoimhghín Uasal Ó Beoláin has been removed from the position of Minister for Social Welfare and transferred to another Department. Those of us who are members of local authorities are perturbed that he should be given the responsibility of rehousing our people and of providing certain important amenities, water, roads, sewerage, etc. The mind boggles at the thought that he could adopt the same conservative approach towards these vital problems as he has adopted in respect of matters relating to social welfare. I want to register my indignation on behalf of those old people, our widows and our unemployed, at the Minister's deplorable action in rigorously employing a means test to the increases in the British pensions and nullifying these increases and, worse still, having the Irish pensions withdrawn in a considerable number of cases.

This transpired by reason of a means test clause in his archaic and outmoded social welfare code that anyone with an income in excess of £3 per week is not entitled to a non-contributory old age pension. When Harold Wilson's money came, which I regard as tantamount to emigrants' remittances and which are regarded as an invisible asset and an important factor in bringing about equilibrium in our balance of payments, this Minister did not so regard it. It proved to be something to the great detriment of the poorest of our people and in at least 1,504 cases the Irish pensions were reduced by, on average, 30/- and, in a considerable number of cases, the unfortunate people lost their pensions altogether.

I first entered public life as a comparatively young man, in 1955, and since then I have had some heartrending appeals made to me but I have never had to contend with such sadness, dismay and disillusionment as I have had to contend with as a result of this despicable act. These categories of persons could not understand why this should happen. They said to me: "The Irish Government are not giving me this at all. I am getting this from an English Government—a foreign Government as some people would refer to it. Why should it be interfered with? It is no skin off the Minister's nose." It was regarded as income and assessed accordingly and, as a result of this action of the Minister he has garnered thousands of pounds— hundreds of thousands of pounds, Deputy Corish said—out of the pockets of the most destitute and helpless section of our people. He has made a mockery of their sufferings. I appreciate that he is bankrupt but, how badly off must you be to covet the widow's pension or the old age pension of these unfortunate people?

A great deal of capital has been made about the generosity of Fianna Fáil in respect of increases in social welfare benefits. I have heard Fianna Fáil spokesmen say here that nobody but Fianna Fáil did anything for the underprivileged. We have been used in recent years to the dole-out of half-a-crown or 5/- or a 10/- increase occasionally, depending on how close you were to a by-election, a Presidential election or a general election, for these classes of persons, always given the utmost publicity in this House and through the media of television, radio and the press, especially the Irish Press.

I remember taking up the Evening Press after a Budget—I do not know whether it was the first or the second Budget of this year—the first, I imagine—and seeing in banner headlines, “5/- increase for social assistance classes” or words to that effect. Much political capital was made out of this increase but, on the following day, when going through the small print on the Bill which would give effect to this increase, I discovered that this 5/- increase was payable only to persons of no means. Destitute people only would get this 5/-. The 5/- increase was put into operation this month. I feel that the only people who benefited by this 5/- increase must have been living by the side of the road, destitute of habitation of any kind because if it were proved that an applicant had 1/- means, or even if he lived in a house, he was liable to be assessed with board at least and disqualified.

This Minister perpetrated a fraud, a deliberate calculated fraud, on the most helpless and destitute sections of our people by purporting to give them 5/- when, by reason of the manner in which he enacted it, it was impossible to secure it. The number of persons who have benefited by this 5/- increase is infinitesimal, negligible. I will be putting down a question to the Minister or his successor as to the number who benefited by the increase.

Under the previous Budget another means test was applied. It was that any person whose income exceeded £26 a year—10/- a week—would not get the increase. The bottom of the barrel was scraped in regard to the 5/-increase to which I have referred and it received lavish headlines in the press and a great deal of praise and thanks but there was a stipulation that it would be payable only to persons of no means. These are matters which indicate the mentality of a Party that could treat the least fortunate of our people in this fashion. This action is unworthy of any Irishman or any man who would regard himself as Christian in outlook.

I have listened to certain Deputies here during the past few days castigating this Party, the Labour Party. Some of them were workingclass Deputies. They came from workingclass homes. Others of them I could pinpoint as having a very close association with the Labour Party and some of its founder members. They find themselves in the ranks of Fianna Fáil. They have reneged on the things to which they should hold fast. I want to tell them now that it is a bad bird that fouls its own nest. These people are in a Party, the Fianna Fáil Party, who have proved themselves consistently since their inception to be anti-worker.

There is on the Statute Book a piece of legislation which is a blot on this House, a negation of democracy and contrary to the conventions of the ILO. I refer to the Electricity Supply Board (Employees) Act. This Act denies the fundamental right to strike, condemns men to work irrespective of conditions, however intolerable, irrespective of wages, however miserly or slavish they might be. I have heard Fianna Fáil spokesmen suggesting that the measure had to be implemented in order to save life, that people would die in hospitals, that babies would die in incubators. All these human problems were brought in as subterfuge. The fact remains that the Government, and especially the Minister for Transport and Power, created this kind of situation and it is a well-known fact that the electric current of this nation was cut off before the pickets were on the job, deliberately and of set purpose. Admittedly, in a climate of great industrial unrest, the Fianna Fáil Party decided that now was their chance of denigrating the trade union and labour movements. This was the device they adopted. They refused to parley with the unions representing these men. The Minister treated them with contempt. He went to America and sent minor officials with no negotiating powers to treat with these men on vital issues outstanding for many months. They provoked these men to that action for the purpose of bringing in this legislation to deny the fundamental right to strike.

This was anti-working class legislation. The democracies of Europe have expressed their concern about it. I am sure the Government must have heard it. There is no precedent for this legislation in any European democracy. I was pleased to hear the Minister for Labour say he was anxious to amend it. He has realised—I have told him so—there is no hope of getting any kind of understanding or agreement with the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and with this Party, the watchdog of the workers' interests, no hope of co-operation and support for the pending legislation in respect of trade union law and industrial relations until this blot is removed from the Statute Book.

Do not tell us that essential services must be continued at all costs and deny men the right to strike in violation of the Constitution. All services are essential. The same hand which drafted this Bill to include ESB workers could in the morning, if the Fianna Fáil junta so decided, include any other category of worker you like to name—those in transport, gas, water, the butcher, the baker, the candlestick-maker. When you take from a man the right to withdraw his labour you relegate him to the position of a slave. The only difference between the free man and the slave is that the free man has the fundamental right to withdraw his labour. If conditions prove intolerable, he can walk off the job. But you are seeking to compel him to work. You are thereby relegating him to serfdom. As Deputy Dillon admitted last night, you cannot compel a man to work. No legislation will make him work if he does not want to. I prophesy that this legislation on the Statute Book will never be implemented. This Government will never have the courage to implement it. Even if they did, it would be ineffectual. In respect of legislation of this kind, which says you must work under threat of fine or imprisonment, all a man has to do is to stay at home and go to bed. You cannot imprison a man for that.

Another example of the Government's anti-working class approach is the manner in which they treat their own employees. It is deplorable that as yet we have the situation that decent wages are not paid to many State employees. Fringe benefits, which are of such importance today in respect of sickness, pension schemes and so on, are not in operation. We have questions here week in and week out to the Minister for Lands or the Minister for Local Government asking when he is going to give a better deal to the workers under his charge. But we are being fobbed off with the reply: "I must have regard to what is happening in private enterprise. When the other fellow does it, I will too."

One has only to consider the set up of the Agricultural Wages Board to realise the attitude of mind of the Government. Agricultural labourers have the miserly wage of £9 Os 6d per week. They are the most exploited, down-trodden section of our community. They have not as yet the right to the establishment of joint labour committees in respect of any grievance they may have. Their conditions of employment are laid down by an autocratic chairman and a junta on the Board, which is overwhelmingly on the side of the ascendancy, the Government and the big farmers. The personnel of the Board is loaded deliberately in favour of the employing classes.

Certain of the concessions these people have in respect of an appeal to the Board, if they are not being paid the appropriate rate of wages, are not widely availed of. My experience has been that the average agricultural labourer not being paid the proper rate or not conceded holiday payment, overtime or any of these concessions, is slow to call in the Board. He knows that, although he may get redress in respect of the moneys due to him, it automatically means the sack. It means also that this man will be blackballed in his whole area. The following day at the creamery his name will be mentioned as a trouble-maker who gave trouble to an exploiting farmer. His chances of securing employment in that area and in the whole hinterland from that day on are negligible. I have known a case of this kind. I warned the unfortunate man concerned: "You are for the road if I call in the Agricultural Wages Board. You will lose your job and your chances of securing alternative employment will be very slim." He said to me: "Get me what he owes me." I did. The man concerned packed his bags and went to England the following day. That kind of legislation is worthless to the under-privileged of our country. These people should have the same rights as any other worker. They should not be treated as second-class citizens by any Minister for Agriculture.

Likewise, the income tax code is particularly oppressive as far as the ordinary workingclasses are concerned. It is deplorable that our working class people earning more than £6 a week should have to pay income tax. It is a disincentive in the extreme that this should be so. All our appeals in this House for a better deal in respect of income tax for the working classes at least have fallen on deaf ears. The Irish workers, especially the single men, are scourged and depressed by reason of the large deductions made from their wages every week under PAYE. They cannot escape the collector's tax mesh. Unlike the rich and the propertied people, they pay through the nose and deeply resent these large extractions of money from their meagre wages at a time of high cost of living and difficulty in existing.

I want to advert briefly to the Ministry of Transport and Power which is now merged with the Ministry of Posts and Telegraphs. There would have been rejoicing had Deputy Childers been removed from responsibility for the affairs of our State Boards. He is still being retained in that capacity and now added to it is responsibility for the Department of Posts and Telegraphs. Somebody said to me that if you had "P & T" and "T & P" on either side of a penny and tossed that penny then, when it came down, you would get the same answer. I wonder if we shall get the same answer now in respect of Posts and Telegraphs as we have been accustomed to get whenever we asked the Minister for Transport and Power a question about the affairs of a State body. If the Chair allows a question to be put to the new Minister for Posts and Telegraphs will his answer be, as usual, "I have no function in the matter"? If that happens, I can see our relations with the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs deteriorating.

We wonder why there should be a shortage of capital for the provision of amenities such as electric power at a time when the ESB floated a loan for some £4 million recently which was over-subscribed. The ESB write countless letters every week to Deputies indicating to us that, due to a shortage of capital, it will be some time before the amenity of electric power can be supplied in the instance about which we write. We have had insult added to this injury recently by the stricture laid down by this Minister on the ESB that they will supply the power—electric light in particular—if a deposit is paid. It is difficult to reconcile ourselves with that stricture and a situation where the ESB secure such an amount of money. Maybe it is that the Minister for Finance collared the money involved for his own purposes. However, we now have a situation in which the Department of Transport and Power are demanding that if you are to get electric light in the future, you must pay the ESB to install it for you and the deposits they have been demanding have varied from a few pounds to £300 or £400.

As is obvious, the very rich in this country can afford to pay these extortionate deposits. It is no problem to them. But the people who are suffering seriously as a result of this unfair antisocial stricture are the poor of this country, especially small farmers and cottiers in isolated areas. They cannot get electric light now unless they pay for it in advance. There is some suggestion that they may be recouped for it later on if circumstances permit. This is a sure sign of outward bankruptcy. The same applies in respect of the new Department which Deputy Childers takes under his wing, the Department of Posts and Telegraphs. If you want to get a telephone now you must pay for it in advance. The Department will calculate the cost of the erection of poles, wiring, installation, labour costs, and so on. You are told the cost and, if you are sufficiently well off to pay the deposit, you will get your telephone but, if you cannot pay it, you will have to do without your telephone. Again, this militates against the poor. It is of no consequence to the rich.

We trust that the reshuffle which has taken place in the Cabinet will give new hope to our people for a more realistic approach to the problems they have to contend with. I would hope that this Government have long since passed the adolescent stage and have now entered an era of adult responsibility away from the pattern of the Civil War and the fratricidal strife of those days. I would hope that this Government would recognise, in these times of technological change and great scientific advancement, that it is quite possible for Governments to attain full employment, decent standards of life and happiness and security for their people. This has been demonstrated all over the world.

I would hope, particularly in matters of health and education, that we would have from this Government a more honourable and honest approach. When Deputy O'Malley was Minister for Health he promised us a lot in his White Paper. I remember that when I first entered this House in 1961 the topic in my first week here was that of a radical change in the health services. A united Opposition in this House demanded the abandonment of the archaic and outmoded health scheme which was being operated at that time and which was so disadvantageous to our people and caused so much hardship to them. A Select Committee of this House was set up to examine the health services with a view to the drafting and implementation of new health legislation. That committee met for a number of months but it eventually transpired that it was being used by the then Minister for Health, Deputy MacEntee, as a mere stalling device and that the Minister had no intention whatsoever of amending the health services or improving them for the benefit of our people.

Then Deputy MacEntee surrendered his portfolio as Minister for Health and Deputy O'Malley succeeded him. This man made a great impact on the country. He was regarded as one of the progressive men of the Party. He was a boost to the morale of the members of the Fianna Fáil cumainn throughout the country, and, I am sure, won a lot of votes and support for the Party in the interim elections. He promised an awful lot in his White Paper: the abolition of the old dispensary system, a choice of doctor, free drugs and medicines and an easement of the means test in respect of the allocation of medical cards. In short, he promised us everything we wanted in respect of the health services. To our dismay, he was moved on to a new Department— Education. We have now Deputy Seán Flanagan in charge of Health. It is not unfair to say of the present Minister that, despite the fact that he had the new health services and the skeleton of pending legislation contained in very large detail in the White Paper—which was debated at great length in this House—he went on a rampage throughout the country visiting all health authorities, consulting with them all over again——

Very democratic.

"Very democratic" the Minister for Finance says.

The Minister for Finance elect.


Was there something fundamentally wrong, then, with the policy in the White Paper drafted by Deputy O'Malley that the new Minister should think fit to consult everybody and anybody about these services, as though Deputy O'Malley had not done so when he was Minister? One would imagine that Deputy O'Malley consulted all those people before he drafted his White Paper. At any rate, Deputy S. Flanagan is going round now compromising quite a lot of what Deputy O'Malley said in his White Paper and is listening, most of all, to the conservative voices in the health authorities in respect of what they think the health services should be. There is doubt—a big question mark—as to whether or not the dispensary system, which was condemned by Deputy O'Malley in such vehement terms, will be abolished at all. Indeed, Deputy S. Fanagan says it will be retained, certainly in the rural areas.

Of course, the fact is that that White Paper was just another political gimmick. I admire the ingenuity of the Fianna Fáil Ministers for the manner in which they can propagate this gimmick. They can drag it on year in, year out, with committees and White Papers — but it is all a despicable stalling device. The fact is they do not have the necessary finance to implement these grandiose schemes of theirs. But, in the meantime, the same deplorable health services as we had in 1961 prevail of which I talked earlier; the same odious means test for a medical card which varies from manager to manager. It is certainly a kind of test which so operates in my health authority that if you have about £9 a week for yourself and your wife you do not get on the medical register and 10/- is added for every child in the family after that. The average workingclass person does not get a medical card and is obliged to find the cost of doctor, drugs and medicine and is in fear and trembling of becoming ill because he cannot afford the hospitalisation or specialist services he requires. Many of our people are still, through no fault of their own, neglecting themselves, deferring urgent medical treatment because of inability to pay and will not get any concession under the White Paper or the grandiose schemes talked about by Fianna Fáil.

The pertinent questions are: when will the country get a health service suited to our needs, when will the dispensary system be abolished, when will we be given a choice of doctor, when will it be made possible for more and more of our workingclass people to get the health services they require? When will we be rid of the imposition and indignity of having home assistance officers calling to the doors of decent workingclass people assessing them as to means? This is something which our people resent deeply, that we should have this humiliating and degrading means test. Deputy O'Malley stated in his White Paper on Health that this means test would be so amended as to ensure that only the income of the breadwinner would be taken into account. At present the income of the breadwinner, the wife, if she is working, the children, if they are working, and the relatives and friends in the household, if they are working, is taken into account. Many of our people are told by the secretaries of the health authorities, in writing to them, that they are virtually millionaires with £20, £30 or £40 coming in to them—the kind of money which these housewives never saw in their lives. We want to answer the hypocrisy of this whole approach. Let us end the gimmicks and the stalling devices; we want the goods to be delivered.

The same applies to education. The Minister who promised all those things in Health was moved on because he had promised too much, at a time when there was too little in the pockets of the Department of Finance, and he is now in Education. He made one of his sensational statements for which he is well known. He said that at last he would provide free education. There was rejoicing in the country at this revelation—free education, the keynote of all our speeches from Labour benches for so long—that we would at least ensure that £sd was not the criterion by which a child's future was governed, that it was the ability of the child to benefit by education and not the ability of the parent to pay. Deputy O'Malley, the present Minister for Education, is now indicating to us that we will have free education.

Hear, hear.

Where, where?

When and where or when, when? He will probably be moved on in the shuffle and this little gimmick will have served its purpose in the meantime: free education up to intermediate standard, he said, and some kind of vague age after that in respect of the higher standards of education such as secondary, vocational, technological or university. We know of no reason why he should have stopped at intermediate education. Indeed, it is at that stage that education becomes costly. After all, education below the intermediate standard is free. Primary education is free so the Minister is not conceding anything to the House or the country when he talks of giving free education up to the intermediate stage. It is dear at the secondary stage, and it is dearer still at university level.

Apart from those points on which I do not take issue at the moment, I treat with the utmost suspicion and distrust the statement of this man that he can give free education in the Government's present predicament. I suspect that when this gimmick has served its purpose, he will be moved to another post when no doubt he will make more sensational statements.

Free education to whom? To what grades? To what level?


Yes, up to that stage.

He said "intermediate".

It can be done.

We know it can be done but you people will not do it.

He is conceding nothing there. Already it is free at any rate. We think it is the height of political dishonesty and hypocrisy that these statements should be made as political gimmicks, to divert the attention of the people from the sorry economic condition of the country, at a time when that Minister well knows he has not a brass farthing. Every rational and sensible person in the country knows that Deputy O'Malley was chancing his arm once again. More luck to him if he can get away with it, but while we are in this House, we will, of necessity, expose this kind of political hypocrisy.

We heard some aspersions being cast upon this Party by workingclass Deputies of the Fianna Fáil Party. I want to remind those workingclass Deputies that whether they like it or not, they are renegades of their own cause. The voice of the Labour Party is the natural, legitimate and principal voice of the common people of this country. It is growing in volume and support, and those renegades should realise that as surely as this great Party of ours grows in strength, in power and in influence, all the people in this country will be lifted to a fuller, richer and more abundant life, but as long as the Labour Party is left down weak and divided, as some of those renegades would like to see it, just so long will the people of Ireland continue to suffer the indignities which have been heaped upon them by Fianna Fáil Governments for the past 30 years.

Any Government with a semblance of a social conscience or a screed of ability would have made some worthwhile inroads on the social and economic problems in the past 30 years in which they have been in power. It is a clear indictment of those men that they have been in power for so long and have done so little—indeed, that they have done such great harm. An assessment of a nation's worth and a Government's worth can be summed up in the words of our illustrious and martyred leader, James Connolly. In respect of Governments the greatness of any nation can be gauged by the standard of life of its people. It can be gauged by achievements in respect. of full employment. It can be gauged by the extent to which they have cared for the sick, the poor, the widowed and the orphaned. By any standards we apply to that Party, they have failed and failed miserably.

It would be welcome if we saw sufficient changes in the Government to give us some hope for a better deal in the future, but we have the same team. As someone said, it is merely the jerseys that have been changed about. Connolly said that the freedom of a nation is governed by the freedom of its lowest class, and every upward step of that class to the attainment of higher things raises the standard of the nation in the scale of civilisation and every time that class is beaten back into the mire the whole moral tone of the nation suffers. Our class has been beaten back into the mire time and time again by this alleged workingclass Government.

"Class" not "clawss".

Our class has been scourged out to the four corners of the world by their domination, but our class is represented in this House. The Deputy can never have the audacity to purport that he represents the hopes and aspirations of the Irish workingclass. He is far removed from it. He knows nothing of our hopes, our sufferings or our aspirations. He represents another class. It makes me smile when I hear people from that bench or the other bench saying that we do not have classes in this country, that we should not advert to classes at all, that there is only one class. We say there are many classes. There are those who have and those who have not. To which class do the unemployed belong and the potential emigrants? When the lowest class is lifted up from its knees, from the squalor of bad housing or illiteracy or near starvation or malnutrition, as surely as that class is lifted up to the fullness of manhood, given employment, a decent standard of living, an opportunity for the appreciation of culture and leisure as is the right of any in these modern times, so surely shall we see in this country progress to the extent that we in the Labour Party desire.

Deputy P.J. Burke.

Send for the Taoiseach. He will get the Papal Blessing.

I have spent a good while in the House trying to get in and I may say I have got very little inspiration from those who contributed to the debate. Of course, we have the usual negative approach of the Opposition. What are they but Parties without a policy, good, bad or indifferent? All we get from them is the negative approach, the personal abuse, filth of all description, taking Ministers and everybody else asunder but making no contribution of a constructive nature towards the wellbeing of the people of the country.

We heard the last speaker deal with class distinction. I never wanted class distinction. My Party represent every section of the people, irrespective of class or creed. I do not want to see cleavage between one section of the people and another. Our job is to try to help every section and God knows, the history of Fianna Fáil proves that we have tried to help every section. Therefore, I have no use for a public representative, even if he were my brother, who would preach class distinction.

The last speaker is entitled to his views, as I am, and I would die to defend his right to them, but I hate this idea of class distinction in a small country. There was class distinction once in countries that are now communist. We had the feudal system; we had the Tzars of Russia who brought the workingclass people into bondage. I travelled in those countries and I saw what the working people had to undergo, but, in freeing themselves, they put themselves under a system which they cannot get out from under. It gets me going to hear people here speak of democracy and speak in the way the last Deputy spoke at the same time. I never deal in personalities and I never intend to. My approach is that my worst enemy is Paddy Burke and I have never conquered him. One of the reasons I am standing here as one of the senior Deputies of the Fianna Fáil Party is to support my Leader and my Leader is——

Deputy Colley.

John Lynch.

I am surprised the Deputy can remember because of the scramble.

I did not interrupt the Deputy and I hope he will give me a chance. I stand up to convey to the Taoiseach all the confidence we can give him as backbenchers. He has been my colleague for 18 years and I have always found him a courteous and kindly gentleman and a very close friend. During that time he has distinguished himself in many Departments and because of his courtesy and kindly attitude to the members of the Party, we have succeeded in making him Taoiseach. I wish him well and I hope everything will go well with him as Leader of the Irish Government and standard-bearer of Fianna Fáil.

It is with deep regret that I have to say a few words about the former Taoiseach, Deputy Seán Lemass, the man to whom we looked for inspiration, the man responsible for the industrial revival in this country. Deputy Seán Lemass was a soldier of Ireland as a young fellow, when soldiers of Ireland were few. During the years since, he distinguished himself in a number of fields. When he became Minister for Industry and Commerce in 1932, the workers were at a low ebb. As a result of the various Acts of the Oireachtas he sponsored, the worker was uplifted and given protection and no man could have gone farther in this direction. I look on him as a socialist because he was ever anxious to do something to lift up the poorer sections.

As Minister for Industry and Commerce, he excelled at a time when very few Irish people were anxious to invest money in industry. As Minister for Supplies during the war, he excelled in keeping the Irish people fed. As Taoiseach later, he did his best, and it was only after 50 years of service to the nation that he decided to retire. We wish him well and hope he will enjoy his well earned rest. It is good to know that his health is good.

I wish to speak now of the rest of the team. Deputy Frank Aiken is Tánaiste and Minister for External Affairs. He is an old soldier of old Ireland who did his best and who has excelled as Minister for External Affairs. Deputy Childers is one man in this House about whom the hardest things have been said. Were it not for his father, we would not have the freedom we enjoy today. This country owes a good deal to the Childers family. Posterity owes Deputy Childers's father a good deal. He struck a blow for freedom in the GPO in 1916 and our freedom would not have been achieved without the service given by him. I would like the people of Ireland to realise that. We owe him that debt of gratitude and we are delighted to have him in our ranks as Minister.

Now we come to my colleague, Deputy Boland, who was Minister for Social Welfare and who has now gone to Local Government. He has got a lot of political abuse here today—I know it was not personal—about the way he dealt with social welfare. The only thing he did in social welfare was to carry out the law of the Oireachtas here. He did no more. If he did any good at all, it was to help the lame duck or the weaker sections of our people. The Minister is in a very awkward position sometimes as political head of a Department. Someone will come along and say: "John Jones has so much and his pension should be reduced." That is put back in the usual way in accordance with an Act of the Oireachtas, and a Minister is very often blamed for things he is not responsible for at all. It is this House here who are responsible and anything he has done he has done with the approval of the Oireachtas.

Which you passed with your majority.

He is now going to Local Government. I hope he will be lucky there.

And that he will be kept out of North County Dublin.

He will always be welcome there. Some time we will have an adjournment to there. Deputy Brian Lenihan, the Minister for Justice: you could not get a more courteous, kindly man than the Minister for Justice or a more impartial, efficient man who is also a young barrister with plenty of ability and integrity of a high order.

Are all the Parliamentary Secretary posts filled?

I have known his father for a long time. He could not be bad if he tried.


Order. Deputy Burke should be allowed to speak.

Deputy Haughey, the designated Minister for Finance, as Minister for Agriculture and as Minister for Justice did a very good job. What happened while he was Minister for Agriculture could happen to any man in the same position. It is easy enough to say hard things about a man personally but he had a tough job to do. Any decision he made, as far as the past few weeks are concerned, was supported by each and every one of us who wanted the democratic law to rule and not mob law. I do not want to interfere in what happened or to say anything more about it. It is over. I want to say that in a democratic way they could have gone to their local TD, whether he was Gerry Sweetman or Paddy Burke.

The difference would be that Gerry Sweetman would tell them the truth.

That is true, but they did not go to you. Deputy Haughey has gone to Finance. He is a man of wonderful ability. He was a very keen businessman before he came into this House. He is a highly qualified chartered accountant. The present Taoiseach made a good choice in sending him to Finance. I am sure he will do a good job there.

Tell us something about cattle prices.

Other Deputies will have an opportunity of speaking. Deputy Burke should be permitted to speak without interruptions.

He is a man with ability of a high order and he will do a very good job in any Department he is in. Now I come to Deputy O'Malley.

(Cavan): He did not stay long in the last Department.

He is a lovable fellow.

Order. Deputy Cluskey has spoken already.

I will deal with him. When Deputy O'Malley was Minister for Health——

Did you say "hell"?

I said "Health." He did more good than anybody in Health to lighten the heart and soul of everybody.

(Cavan): He raised the hearts of the Shannonsiders higher than those of the people in search of education.

You could not have a more democratic Minister. Now he has gone to Education and I know a man of his ability will make the right decisions.

Now, I come to my old friend, Deputy Michael Moran, the Minister for Lands. He is doing a good job as Minister for Lands although he was criticised when he introduced an Act to give the Minister for Lands and the Land Commission power to take over holdings which were deserted. The people who lived on these holdings had gone away. He wanted to bring all holdings up to 45 acres. That man got a good lot of abuse in trying to do that. He has succeeded in doing a good job as Minister for Lands. If he did nothing else but that, he would have done more than enough. He only wanted to bring all holdings up to 45 acres.

He would have to create a lot of land to do that.

I agree, but some people have benefited by it already.

Who fixed the low limit?

It was Cromwell who fixed that.

It was Fianna Fáil who fixed it again in 1933.

Cromwell fixed it.

I agree that Fianna Fáil are about the same as Cromwell.

Deputy Sweetman should allow Deputy Burke to speak.

He likes it.

I am always very pleased to be interrupted by a gentleman.

May I say on the land question—I want to refer to it briefly—that we acquired millions of acres of land here to try to rehabilitate our people on the land, to improve their holdings and to do everything that should be done. I am only touching on that.

Then we have Deputy Seán Flanagan, the Minister for Health. He is a young man with great ability also and we all support him. Deputy Joe Brennan who has gone to Social Welfare is a man with a kindly heart, a good honest-to-God man, and a man of high integrity. He will make a good job of social welfare. Deputy George Colley, Minister for Industry and Commerce, has also proved himself a very good man. I am sure he will do very good things.


Order. Deputy Burke should be allowed to make his speech.

I want just to say again, in case I have left out any Minister——

You left out Neil Blaney.

Neil Blaney is a very good Minister. He has done his best in Local Government. He tried to build as many houses as possible. Unfortunately the credit squeeze came along and he was not as successful as he might have been. We want thousands more houses as far as Dublin city and county are concerned. It was not Neil Blaney's fault or the fault of anybody that we were not able to build as many houses as we needed. It was just that we became a bit short and we had to pipe down on housing. Although we got more for housing in County Dublin and in the city of Dublin last year than we had got for years before, nevertheless the credit squeeze meant that we could not build as many houses as we wanted.

He did his very best to improve water and sewerage schemes all over the country. Generally speaking, he was a good Minister for Local Government. He tried to improve the roads all over the country. He did a very good job while he was in Local Government. I wish him well as Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries and I have no doubt he will do a good job there. Have I got them all?

What about the Minister for Labour?

And the Minister for External Affairs?

I have dealt with the Minister for External Affairs. The Minister for Labour, in my estimation, has the greatest job of all because it takes a man of great patience, goodwill and human qualities generally to do that job and I am quite confident that Deputy Dr. Hillery will do it well. I spoke on it before and I shall not refer to it again.

Deputy Michael Hilliard as Minister for Defence is a very courteous man and an efficient officer. He has been a soldier of Ireland, too, and he is a man of great capacity and tact. We could not have a better team.

What about the Parliamentary Secretaries?

That has not arisen yet, but, when it comes up, I will deal with it, too.

I hope we will be congratulating the Deputy. You could go to the funerals of the lot of them.

I have no ambitions in that direction at all. The one thing I felt about the general trend of the debate from the far side of the House is that, in my estimation, they were deplorable contributions and one of the things I do say, even at this late hour, is: for God's sake give up this negative approach to constructive debate. If we could hear a Deputy say: "If I were Minister, I would put forward something"; if they would say: "We will do something and we have a way of getting capital that you have not; we are going to see that this country has plenty of capital for development", one could accept it.

One thing we must remember is that this country had to depend on its own resources, either by floating loans or by ordinary taxation, and in that way we are not like other countries. We got no money except a little loan recently which was very small. When we got freedom in this part of the country, things were at a low ebb. It is all very well for some of the Members I have heard to talk about health services. Everyone would like to see free health services for all but you cannot get anything free. It has to be paid for, as in England it has to be paid for. It would be nice for us as a great national Party if we had enough money to do all the things we would like to do. But, you can only get money either by taxation or by floating loans. We have succeeded in doing many things in our short period here. I remember when the Parties opposite took over from us in 1948, and indeed I think some of them went back to the days of Brian Boru.

Go back to Cromwell.

Yes, I will do that, too. When the inter-Party Government took over this country in 1948, the first thing Deputy Séan Lemass said was: "We have given over the country in a strong financial condition; give it back in the same way."

(Cavan): That is more than he could say to his successor yesterday.

Now I will have to come to the attack. I have sat listening all day and I want you to take this from me. I have not interrupted anybody. The first thing the inter-Party Government did when they got into power was to sell the Constellations. They wanted to build a wall around the country and we were going to live like the chieftains of old in fairy castles.

He is referring to Blaneyism.

That was done by the inter-Party Government. They sold the Constellations, which they said were too expensive. We were condemned for encouraging the tourist industry. We were told about the Bord Fáilte hotels, about the tourist hotels and about the white elephants.

Deputy P.J. Lenihan did not want them.

I have not interrupted and I do not want interruptions. I heard in this House up to 1948 and during the election campaign in County Dublin: "You are bringing in foreigners here to eat our food and you will not give it to the Irish people to eat." Was that not a poor philosophy for people on both sides of the House?


Good man.

They came along then and they cut down the road grants by £2 million. They thought the roads of Ireland should revert to prairie tracks as they were in the days of Brian Boru.

Has the Deputy the three fishing trawlers on his list— the trawlers the engines fell out of?

I think the three trawlers are worthy of mention.

They cut down the road grant by £2 million in one year and they had to go back to the country again at that period. The only thing I can say against my own Party is that we should never have gone to the country in 1948 because we had arrangements to build 10,000 houses.

It is the first time we heard that declaration.

(Cavan): They must have burned the arrangements when you were leaving.

Did they not borrow from the Road Fund this year and last year?

It is most unfair that there should be a barrage of interruptions against one Deputy who is in possession. It is disorderly.

You will agree it is only right to remind the Deputy of these things and I hope he will not forget to mention the Marshall Aid.

I am delighted the Deputy mentioned the Marshall Aid.

We spent £80 million in three years; you spent £3 million in four months.

There was no such thing as an adverse trade balance when we were leaving in 1948. There was £400 million on the right side at that time and the inter-Party Government spent it and when we came in, in 1951, there was not a bob left. That was bad government. We came back in three years and rectified things. Then we came back in 1957 and, as I have often said, there was not the price of a bag of cement left. Then they will tell us they have a policy. They are all nice fellows but, when it comes to policies, the stuff is terrible. There is not a man over there with whom I do not have a ball of malt from time to time but, when it comes to a political philosophy or an economic policy for our country, they would say anything. It is terrible. If you do not mind, they were talking today about the Common Market and saying we are going in after England. We are not going in after England. We are going in the same as any other country that is a member of the Council of Europe. We are going in just as another nation and the sooner we get in the better because the Common Market is doing us a lot of harm and has affected our cattle trade considerably. We were selling 150,000 cattle to Europe and now, as a result of the Common Market, we are deprived of that market.

You cannot blame us for that.

I would not blame Deputy Farrelly for anything at all. We are doing everything we can to get into the Common Market. Deputy Dunne and I pull together very well when we are abroad.

Great advances have been made in our time. Listening to some fellows speaking tonight, you would imagine we were the greatest renegades of all time. The people of Ireland must be right and they have voted for Fianna Fáil in every election. We have been returned here many times and have been a Government for a long time and I have more confidence today than I ever had. The amount of good that we have done for this nation is very great. We have created a great number of semi-State companies and have succeeded in employing thousands of our people. In regard to employment, Deputy Dunne and I were in England recently, travelling on behalf of the Council of Europe. We were surprised to hear that only about four per cent of the British people are employed in agriculture. Here in Ireland we have about 30 per cent of the people employed in agriculture.

Well, approximately 30 per cent. When you look at the employment we are giving, created by Fianna Fáil and by the ex-Taoiseach——

Aer Lingus and its subsidiaries employ 4,000 or 5,000 people. Irish Shipping is one of our creations.



My hearing is not too good. I was always interested in mineral exploration. We carried out mineral exploration here and the present Taoiseach when he was Minister for Industry and Commerce enabled a lot of this work to go ahead. There are CIE and the ESB. The ESB——

Tell us more about CIE.

What about the ESB? That is going a bit too far.

Perhaps Deputy Burke would be allowed to speak.

If Deputy Belton would allow me to finish he might be a little wiser. We put money into the ESB and developed it. The best Bill we introduced here was the Rural Electrification Bill which brought light to everybody in the country.

Tell us about your original thoughts on it.

I always thought it was a wonderful Bill.

We would be in darkness now only for Fine Gael!

Order for Deputy Burke.

Rural electrification was cut off during the days of the inter-Party Government.


It is cut off now.

I am sorry to have to remind Deputies opposite of that. I do not like to hurt their feelings but they have been hurting mine all day.

The Deputy is too sensitive.

There were many schools built under the guidance of the present Taoiseach when he was Minister for Education. I have not got the figures now, nor the amount of money spent, but many schools and colleges were built and universities repaired or extended and everything was done to uplift every section of our people.

We started Córas Tráchtála to try to get markets abroad for our exports. An amount of good has been done by various Ministers, by the present Taoiseach and by the previous Taoiseach, in trying to get markets for our exports.

If there is any philosophy or any approach to the economic wealth of any nation except to try to export our surplus goods so that we may be able to purchase the things we require, I should like my friends on the opposite side, when they are replying, to tell me how it can be done. I have made a study, in my own way, of the economics of other countries, young countries and old countries and if there is any short cut to prosperity and if the Labour Party and the Fine Gael Party will tell us that they have a better policy, I shall examine whatever policy they put up to see if there is any good point in it and if there is I will praise them for it. This destructive criticism and this shocking personal abuse is a negative approach by decent men. It is a retrograde step as far as our country is concerned. I heard a Deputy speak today about the shortage of capital. One would imagine that it never happened during the days of the Coalition Government—when they ran away from it.

We are anxious to have full employment. Any Government worth their salt would want full employment. I would want everybody in my constituency to have a house. I do not like to see anybody in dire straits. We heard tripe about Deputy Seán Flanagan visiting health authorities. Deputy Seán Flanagan has been visiting the various health authorities and I, as Chairman, was glad to welcome him to our health authority.

He is a Mayoman, too.

We do not claim to have a cure for all ills. We are only trying to do things in the ordinary democratic way as any honest-to-God Party should. I am anxious and we are all anxious to see that the old age pensioners and the weaker sections of our people should have more money to live on. I would love to do it and in our economic set-up the Minister for Finance tries, as far as the financial position of the nation allows, to do this. It is done in a socialistic way. We take it out in taxation and give it to the poorer sections of the people. Any time we wanted to increase social welfare for the poorer sections of our people, I saw people going into the lobby and voting against it. Where can we get the money to do these things except by taxation? The only way to improve the prosperity of our people is by our industry, our tourist trade and trying to get foreign markets for our export trade, and we are doing that in every way we can. I have here a number of documents from which I could quote to support my argument, but I do not want to transgress the law of ordinary democracy by delaying the House too long. Some Deputies have spoken for a long time. I do not want to go into the same detail.

I am very proud of the Party with which I am associated. I am very proud of what we have succeeded in doing, even in times of grave adversity, for the people of Ireland. It is easy enough to abuse. It proclaims, as I have said, a negative approach. Any old fool can say that John Murphy is no use. He can say the same about a policy, but the day the Opposition come in here and put up a policy showing that they can raise the capital to do the things that are necessary, I shall give them a very attentive hearing.

I shall conclude as I started by wishing my colleague, the present Taoiseach, well. I hope his leadership will be successful. I have no doubt God will bless his work.

(Cavan): We are discussing here a motion introduced by the Taoiseach asking us to approve of a panel of Ministers, of names he has submitted to the House of people whom he proposes to ask the President to appoint as members of the Government of this country. In discussing this motion, a number of things are, I think, relevant. The record of these Deputies over the last number of years is certainly relevant. Their ability as Ministers is relevant. In my opinion, the record and ability of the Taoiseach, in so far as it is necessary to control these Ministers, is highly relevant. I propose to confine my remarks to these matters.

A general election was held in 1965 and the campaign in that election was conducted by the Fianna Fáil Party and by the former Taoiseach on the basis that this country was sound financially, sound economically, and all that was necessary to preserve that happy state of affairs was to continue in office the then Government. I cannot better demonstrate the misrepresentations perpetrated on the electorate at that time by the Fianna Fáil Party than to repeat three slogans that were advertised widely on every telegraph pole in the country, over the radio and in the press. These slogans were: "Let Lemass Lead On", "Stay with prosperity", and "Don't put back the clock". I submit that these slogans conveyed to the people, and were meant to convey to the people, that this country was prosperous, that the economy was sound and that its finances were sound. If that is so, then the present Government, who have been in office since then, must take responsibility for the mess in which the country has undoubtedly been found to be since that time. There is no doubt that since then we have discovered we are financially bankrupt. There is no doubt about that. There is a shortage of money for all worthwhile projects.

That does not mean bankruptcy.

(Cavan): Internationally, our credit is low.

It is still rising.

(Cavan): Internationally, our credit is bad. The fact of the matter is the present Taoiseach tried to raise a loan in America, and he failed. He then raised a loan in Germany, a few paltry millions. He then raised a loan in Nova Scotia. Finally he went to Britain where an effort to raise a loan according to all known standards was a failure and the loan had to be taken up as to 88 per cent by the underwriters.

Now quoted at three points higher than its initial price. Is that a failure?

(Cavan): The fact is that it was taken up as to 88 per cent by the underwriters. So far as money for housing is concerned, it is non-existent, as it is non-existent for agriculture, for industry, for any worthwhile project. It is simply not there. In such a situation, the former Taoiseach decided to quit, to move out. As other speakers have said, we are glad that he did not have to move out on health grounds; he says his health is generally good. But he decided to go. The method of selection and the wrangling that went on within the Fianna Fáil Party to find his successor is really no concern of mine except in so far as it discloses to this House and to the country that the proposed Cabinet is split and cannot be expected to act as a united Cabinet.

The Taoiseach, Deputy Jack Lynch, has stated time and time again since the struggle for succession commenced that he had no ambition to be Taoiseach and that he did not want to be Taoiseach. The fact of the matter is Deputy Lynch has had the position of Taoiseach thrust upon him, thrust upon him because of two factions fighting within his own Party, because, in my opinion, one Deputy within the Fianna Fáil Party, who was acceptable to the traditional element of that Party, could not make it and the Party were going to be presented with a successor to Deputy Lemass who was wholly unacceptable to certain more conservative members of the Party and the same gentleman would have been equally unacceptable to the country. Those are the circumstances.

Deputy Fitzpatrick will appreciate that we are discussing the formation of a Government and the approval of a list of Ministers. The question of the Taoiseach's appointment has been disposed of.

(Cavan): I quite agree, and I am discussing it only in so far as I think the person of the Taoiseach is a relevant factor in deciding whether or not the Ministers are suitable Ministers. A united Cabinet might be controllable by one Taoiseach and a disunited Cabinet might be controllable by a different Taoiseach.

Those are the circumstances in which Deputy Lynch finds himself in the position of Taoiseach. He was reluctant to accept that office. He has been introduced here and spoken about here on several occasions during this debate as a decent man, as a man of integrity. I accept that without qualification but I do not accept that those qualifications are adequate qualifications for a Taoiseach. I do not propose to delay very long on this aspect of the matter but I hardly think that Deputy Lynch himself in his modesty would present himself to the House as an unqualified success as Minister for Education, Minister for Industry and Commerce, or Minister for Finance. He took the portfolio of Minister for Education as a young man and I say that his performance there was a dull performance. It has been said by his successors that we had a bad educational system but the present Taoiseach was in charge of that Ministry from 1957 to 1959. I invite the House and the country to discover the impress of any action of the Taoiseach on the Ministry for Education or any imprint of his genius.

We are not discussing the ability of the Taoiseach.

(Cavan): It is very relevant.

We have already disposed of that. The motion before the House deals with the list of Ministers for appointment.

(Cavan): I quite accept that, Sir, but I say that the capability of the Taoiseach to control the Ministers is quite relevant.

Other Deputies got the same advice from the Chair, that the question of the Taoiseach was not before the House for discussion.

(Cavan): Certainly in my own hearing the method of appointing the Taoiseach has been discussed by other Deputies.

The motion before the House says "That Dáil Éireann approve the nomination by the Taoiseach of the following Members for appointment by the President to be members of the Government".

(Cavan): Some of these Ministers, with the Taoiseach, are quite unsuitable. That is relevant.

I am sorry, but if there are any further references to the Taoiseach I will have to ask the Deputy to resume his seat. It does not arise relevantly. I am sure the Deputy will appreciate the point.

(Cavan): I do not wish to quarrel with your ruling, Sir, and I propose to leave the subject on the note that I do not consider that the Taoiseach's record is such as to suit him for the onerous job he will have in trying to manage a collection of incompetent Ministers who are struggling for power and place amongst themselves. The records of these Ministers are of great importance. We have the Minister for Local Government going to Agriculture. I say that the Minister and the Department of Local Government have failed in the last two years, since April, 1965, to provide houses, or to provide finance for local authorities or for private building. There can be no doubt about that. The Minister for Local Government in so far as he was a success at all, succeeded in sidestepping questions in this House and bluffing Deputies, the people and the local representatives into thinking that in some way or other it was the local representatives who had fallen down on the job instead of the Minister.

Day after day and month after month we had attempts by the Minister for Local Government to pull the wool over the people's eyes. In view of recent happenings and controversies between the farming community and the Department of Agriculture, I suggest that such a man is not a suitable man to be in charge of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. The Government's policy in agriculture has been a miserable failure. The bottom has fallen out of cattle prices because the Government failed to provide markets. As far back as 1962 the Fianna Fáil Party knew perfectly well that the marketing system for agricultural produce and livestock was totally inadequate. The best evidence I can produce of that is to quote the then Minister for Finance, Dr. Ryan, speaking on the Vote on Account for 1962-63.

At column 1636, volume 193 of the Official Report, for 14th March, 1962, the Minister was asked by Deputy Corish if he could, in his opinion, say why there was such a small return from agriculture in view of the fact that so much money had been put into it. Was it, asked Deputy Corish, because the money was being wrongly applied? The then Minister for Finance replied:

No; I do not think it is wrongly applied. I tried to point out that everything appeared to me to be all right up to the marketing stage and it is the marketing we have to get after.

That was in 1962. Four years earlier, £250,000 had been voted by this House to enable the Government to go after markets and in those four years, they spent, according to the former Minister for Finance, about £22,523. That was their effort to get markets. In 1962 Dr. Ryan appreciated the need to get markets and go after them energetically. What did they do about it? Absolutely nothing until this year. When cattle had gone down by as much as £20 a head, the outgoing Minister for Agriculture began to trot around Europe looking for markets, closing the stable door when the horse had gone. Why did they not get after markets in 1962, 1963 and 1964?

The Department of Health has been completely mismanaged by various Fianna Fáil Ministers for Health. I do not propose to go over it in detail, but, as Deputy Treacy said, in 1961, immediately after the general election, the Minister for Health, then Deputy MacEntee, set up a committee to deal with health. That went on until we saw the last of Deputy MacEntee as a Minister. This year Deputy O'Malley was Minister for Health and introduced a White Paper promising, as Deputy Treacy said, everything that could be desired in the health field.

Speaking here on 21st March, 1966 he led the people to believe that in the autumn of 1966—and we are now in the winter—he would introduce legislation to implement his White Paper and that the legislation would come into operation by November, 1967. Where is the promised legislation? Where is Deputy O'Malley, Minister for Health? He has moved out of that Department and has been replaced by another Minister. It is markedly relevant that instead of sitting in his office implementing the promise of his predecessor to bring in legislation to put the White Paper into operation, inadequate as it was, he has gone around the country seeking more information, paying social calls on health authorities. The truth is that the Government do not intend to do anything about health and that we shall never have a satisfactory health policy or Health Act while the present Government are in power.

Deputy O'Malley has gone to Education. I should like to know what exactly is his policy on education in general Just as he promised to drain the Shannon on the eve of the Roscommon by-election at a cost of £20 million, just as he promised to give us a Health Act at the beginning of this year, he has promised free education. But what is he doing about it? I should like to know what his general attitude to education is and what his general attitude to the Irish language is.

Fine Gael put before the country clearly their policy on the Irish language and we have not had a chirp from the Minister for Education on that policy, as to whether he agrees with it or not. But Deputy O'Malley has gone on record as having expressed views on the Irish language and on education that Deputy Boland might not agree with. On 18th February, 1965, he is reported as having said in reply to yet another question——

What is the quotation?

(Cavan): It is from “Trinity News,” a journal which, I am sure, is not entirely unknown.

It is just as well to know. We now know how reliable it is.

(Cavan): It says:

In reply to yet another question Mr. O'Malley spoke of Fianna Fáil in the past. De Valera, he claimed, was not as radical a thinker as Lemass. Dev was surrounded by "an aurora borealis of fanatical Irish speakers and others of that ilk" which he subsequently referred to as a "Gaelgeoiri Mafia." Being in opposition under Dev was like "being in a boarding school", while Lemass was, he believed "the greatest man thrown up by the Irish revolution."

That is Deputy O'Malley, present Minister for Education in reference to the Irish language in 1965. I wonder does Deputy Boland agree with that? Does it represent the present attitude of Fianna Fáil to the revival of the Irish language? It would be no harm if the position was clarified as we have complete silence on the subject.

We have a White Paper on that also.

(Cavan): Reference has been made to the Minister for Lands. I say he perpetrated a fraud on the farmers in the last Land Act. He insisted, when he introduced it, that it was of vital importance that it be got through the House in a given time. To this day we have seen no results from that Act. I think various sections of it have not been brought into operation and any of the sections that are in force have not been worked. In reply to a Parliamentary Question, I learned that about half the amount of land is being acquired by the Department in the past year that was acquired three years ago.

Many jokes have been made here about the Minister for Transport and Power. I do not want to be personal about him but if I were the Minister coming into this House to justify my record as Minister, I would regard the compliment of Deputy Burke as a very backhanded one. All he could say about him was that he had a great father and wisely, I would say, he left it at that.

He must have been trying to annoy Fine Gael when he said that.

(Cavan): He left poor Deputy Erskine Childers severely alone and spoke about the record of his father.

He was only trying to annoy Fine Gael.

(Cavan): He was playing safe, and brave man as Deputy Burke is, he would not take on the impossible. He knows when he has a tough nut to crack and he does not believe in hammering his head against a stone wall.

I am very interested in rural electrification because I am a rural Deputy. We know there is a flight from the land and we know that Fianna Fáil say that flight from the land is inevitable. However, they should do all they can to try to stem that flight. I have a letter here dated 20th October, 1966, from the district manager of the ESB in Dundalk. I want to say before I quote it that if I thought this was a letter written from that gentleman to me about one case, I would be slow enough to read it out, but having spoken to Deputy O'Donnell from Donegal and other Deputies, I am satisfied that this production is a national circular, so to speak, directed to be sent out from the district offices of the ESB and that that direction has come from the headquarters of the ESB under the control of the Minister.

To whom is the letter addressed?

(Cavan): It is addressed to myself. It is dated 20th October, 1966 and the reference is C/11/McD. It is addressed to Thomas J. Fitzpatrick Esq., T.D., Farnham Street, Cavan:

Dear Deputy Fitzpatrick, I thank you for your letter of 10th instant regarding Mr. Seamus Maguire of Coragh, Belturbet. In my letter of 7th instant, I advised you that it would take several years to attend to post-development work in the remaining areas in this District. This duration is due not merely to the amount of work on hand but also to the amount of capital available for it. This situation has arisen because over a recent twelvemonth period the increase in demand for electricity in relation to the previous year was in excess of 12%. This exceptionally high growth of demand has made necessary a reallocation of the capital resources available to the Board.

More of the available capital must be allocated to ensure that the existing consumers continue to have a satisfactory supply of electricity. This necessitates the building of more and larger generating stations, Transmission and Distribution Stations and the strengthening of the Board's overhead and underground networks.

As a result, it has been necessary to slow down the new connections required by the rural post-development scheme to cover within the limits of the capital resources available and this is the main cause of delay in extending supply to Mr. Maguire. I am afraid that the only way in which he could hope to obtain supply at a reasonably early date would be by paying the full cost of the work involved which would be in the region of £1,000. If he is interested I will let him have a firm quotation but I regret that otherwise I have no choice but to ask him to wait.

That is one man in a locality, one of a number of men who are waiting for electricity. I have visited that man's house and I can vouch to this House that this man keeps his farm, his farm buildings and his dwellinghouse in a way that would do credit to any Irish farmer.

That is strange enough, but the Minister for Transport and Power admitted here yesterday in response to a Parliamentary Question that the Minister for Finance has borrowed £2½ million from the ESB on a temporary basis, and when the Minister is asked: "Why do you not get back the money from the State and get on with the work?" the answer is that the ESB have enough money to go on with their immediate plans.

I say the State has robbed the ESB, robbed Peter to pay Paul. This, coupled with the fact that the rural improvement scheme which gave loans to farmers housed in rural Ireland has been closed down, is calculated to drive the small farmers off the land of Ireland. That is the sort of policy this Government are pursuing and that is the sort of Government and the panel of Ministers we are asked here to ratify.

Everybody knows that the present policy of the Department of Posts and Telegraphs has brought about a waiting list for telephones of something like 13,000 people. Only about 2,500 of these have been attended to, and that has now been handed over to the tender mercies of the Minister for Transport and Power. Before I leave the subject of the Minister for Transport and Power, I should like to make reference to the statement, which was referred to in this House the other day, made by the part-time Chairman of CIE when he described Deputies who dared to criticise CIE which is being subsidised by the taxpayers whose representatives we are, to the extent of millions of pounds, as a bunch of characters who could not run themselves.

I am not a bit thin-skinned and anybody who gets into public life would not need to be thin-skinned. It is not because he said that perhaps about me, although I had not spoken on the Estimate, that I am making reference to it, but I want to say that such a man is not fit to hold the position of Chairman of a semi-State body in this country. It is significant that industrial relations could not be worse than they are in CIE. If that is the attitude of the present Chairman of CIE to anybody who dares to criticise him, to anybody who dares to ask for an improvement, I shudder to think what industrial relations will be like in CIE under his chairmanship. It is the duty of that Chairman to develop not alone good industrial relations but good public relations, to present a good image of his company to the public and to run things in such a way that his company will be respected by the general public. I do not know the gentleman. I have never met him. We can only judge him on his pronouncements and I say that that man is not a fit person to be in charge or to be Chairman of that Board.

There are many more things that we could deal with. I propose to say a word about the Department of Finance although in doing so I suppose I will be taken as criticising the Taoiseach but, nevertheless, the position of the Department of Finance is bad and very bad. If things were as good as we were led to believe in April, 1965, what has happened since? Why has it been necessary to cancel nearly £750,000 of loans which were sanctioned through the Agricultural Credit Corporation to the farmers of this country on technical grounds, and cancelled on technical grounds they were? I put down a question here the other day asking the Minister to clarify the present policy of the Agricultural Credit Corporation on the granting of loans for the purchase of land and I want to put on the record of this House, and I do not very often make charges of political corruption, that my experience in recent months has led me to believe that people high up in the Agricultural Credit Corporation are influenced in the granting of loans by the political influence exerted on behalf of the applicant.

The Deputy realises that he is making charges against specific individuals who cannot defend themselves in this House?

(Cavan): I am making charges which I believe to be true.

Is the Deputy prepared to make them outside this House? The people he is making the charge against cannot defend themselves here?

Chair: order.

(Cavan): The Deputy is managing director of an institution that knows a lot about the laws of libel from time to time. I will deal with this matter in my own way.

(Cavan): I say that loans which have been turned down have been subsequently granted because representations were made from a different quarter and I believe that to be the case and if that is not a fact I will welcome proof that it is not. I got one reply to a question here and I intend to put down another question and maybe the second question will clarify the position further.

We are asked to approve of the Deputies whose names are given here for appointment by the President as Members of the Government. That is, in effect, asking this House to pass a vote of confidence in the present Administration. Does this Administration seriously consider itself entitled to a vote of confidence? Did any of the Deputies who spoke from the opposite benches on behalf of Fianna Fáil during this debate seek to defend the policy of the present Government since they were elected in April 1965? Did they seek to stand over the record of that Government?

I certainly am not prepared to give a vote of confidence to this Administration because, according to any standards, they are not entitled to it and I do not think that any Deputy who is not under the Party Whip of Fianna Fáil should give a vote of confidence to this Administration either by voting for them or by abstaining from voting. I speak in particular of the Independent Deputies.

I conclude by saying that if Fianna Fáil want a vote of confidence, if they want a vote approving of their administration in the past 18 months or so, they should go to the people and seek that vote of confidence. I venture to suggest that they will not get a vote of confidence but that they will get a severe rebuke.

Just to continue on the concluding note of the last speaker, we will be going to the people, I hope, in January, in two different places, Kerry and Waterford, and you will get your answer there.

I shall be very brief. I am only a five-furlong horse. Of the ex-Taoiseach, all I can say is what the Irish Times quoted once in their editorial: he was a self-contained man; he was an efficient man and he was a great Irishman. Of the present Taoiseach we have elected, the best tributes were paid to him in this House by Deputy Casey and by Deputy Mrs. Eileen Desmond and I am sure that Deputy Michael Pat Murphy and Deputy McAuliffe, although they might not be present in Blackpool, are bound to be at the past pupils union in North Mon. to pay tribute to him.

It is better, as Deputy Fitzpatrick did, by personalities to discuss politics. Take Deputy Aiken, Minister for External Affairs. We heard a good deal from Deputy Sweetman about the speech Deputy Cosgrave made at UNO. What has Deputy Aiken done in UNO as Minister for External Affairs? We know his views about the two Chinas, his views about nuclear disarmament, about the proliferation of atomic weapons. He is a man whose voice is heard. While in our little parochial minds, we may think that Deputy Aiken is a novice, Deputy Aiken is an influential figure in the United Nations and we should be proud to have him as Minister for External Affairs. He is a first-class choice as an international leader. I am quite sure that clear thinking of the type that he is capable of will be no barrier to our discussions in Europe and when, as I do hope we will, we reorientate our thinking slightly from the Hudson River towards Europe, he is a man, with his experience, who will be well able to lead our industrial team or our agricultural team in these negotiations with Europe and I can say again that he is a first-class choice. So much for that, shall I say, "historical relic". We will be glad to have him.

The next most important change is the assignment of Deputy Erskine Childers as Minister of Communications. It is amazing, the negative attitude developed by Deputies about the Minister for Transport and Power. The creation of this Ministry is an imaginative act. Everything that travels on the land—lorries, trains—everything that travels on the sea—ships—everything that travels in the air—airliners, communications, the telephone and telegraph, the radio, television—will now be welded into one Ministry. When Deputy Childers was formerly in the Department of Posts and Telegraphs, he was excellent. He is still remembered by the staff for giving them better conditions and for creating better public relations. Anything that moves or travels will now be under his aegis.

Somebody made a kind of jeer—the last speaker—that all that they could recommend him for was that he had a good father.

Deputy Burke said that.

No. It was commented that that was all that Deputy Burke praised him for. Deputy Childers goes back to the Asgard of Howth and the gun-running; he goes back to Liberal Gladstonian conditions, to The Riddle of the Sands. You can talk about Graham Greene's Our Man in Havana or the sexy fantasies of Ian Fleming. Deputy Childers's ancestors go right back to the Gladstonian Cabinet and that is a thing that anybody could be proud of. A man with liberal traditions like that and with the record he has of public service is no man to be jeered at by Deputy Fitzpatrick. I praise the Taoiseach for his imaginative thinking out of this new Ministry of Communications. It is an appointment I welcome. If this amalgamation presages the development of the Department of Posts and Telegraphs into what the former Taoiseach called a development company or a semi-State body similar to those for which Deputy Childers has been responsible, that is also very welcome.

Is the Deputy flying a kite?

The Deputy is afraid to lose anything in the public sector?

Is it for sale?

I am not on the auctioneers' rostrum. There is nothing wrong in development companies. It might make for better efficiency.

I think we could leave that for another day.

In regard to the appointment of the Minister for Finance, coming with his wide and fruitful knowledge of agriculture, I think Deputy Haughey is a wonderful man to get into Finance. He is the first economist we have had there. He has been a very good Minister. We look forward very much to his next Budget.

He is a man who has been on the spending side. He has spent £55 million on agriculture in his time. He is the right kind of man to have on the giving side. It is reasonable that he should make an excellent Minister for Finance. I think many Deputies will agree with me that we need a certain amount of thinking about our fiscal system here. We are a small nation of 3¼ to 4 million people with one-third in agriculture. We have copied the fiscal system of a country of 50 million with four per cent in agriculture. This does not convey any idea of taxing farmers. However, we have a fiscal system unsuited to our needs. It would be a fruitful exercise if three or four leading financial economists had a good hard look at our fiscal system and compared it with the British system and the EEC system.

We have been saying that for years.

You always say everything. You are so right, Deputy, that you will sprout wings any day now. This long hard look at our fiscal system is needed. If the Minister for Finance does this before the end of his tenure of office he will have done a good day's work.

The appointment of the Minister for Labour was another imaginative act by the last Taoiseach. It is a most important appointment. It is necessary that between capital and labour and between management and labour— management that is caught between the upper and nether millstones—an effort should be made to bring them together. It is on the success of the Minister for Labour that we must depend to keep costs down. I hope we will emulate Mr. Wilson in England and have a proper incomes and prices policy in this country. You did not say that before. I am saying it now.

We often said it. Read The Just Society. It is there in black and white.

You have said everything.

The trouble is that you do not listen.

Deputy Fitzpatrick asked: "What is your policy on the Irish Language?"

Cad é sin?

What is your policy on the Irish language?

Tá sé le fáil i scríbhinn.

Níl mórán cóip de le fáil.

Is féidir é d'fháil in aon tsiopa, luach 1/-.

Do léas é. Do chaith mé scilling air.

Tabharfaimíd an scilling ar ais duit.

In 1908, under a British Government, the Irish language was made compulsory for entry to the National University. You would abrogate that?

It is not proposed to interfere with the National University at all. Tá sé sa leabhar.

Sa leabhar it will always be. There has been talk about Deputy Blaney's failure in regard to housing. Deputy Blaney, the former Minister for Local Government, could only do what he got the money to do. He got £1.5 million in July. He has done his best with it. A man like Deputy Blaney, who started with 15 or 20 acres, and now has about 200, surely must know something about the land. We have had talk about the heifer scheme and the failure to provide markets. In 1958 the Government voted £250,000 to find markets. This money was voted for an agricultural marketing committee of which I was a member. The question was asked about the £220,523 that had been spent. Various committees went to Denmark and England. We made various reports. That committee suggested the Pigs and Bacon Commission and Bord Bainne. Those suggestions were acted on by the Government. Deputy Fitzpatrick's statement tonight was wrong and tendentious. We had no need to go after markets in 1962, 1963 and 1964. Private enterprise could secure them. I read in today's Irish Times where Denmark's beef is down to 1,600 head a week from 4,500. So we are not alone. The same thing is happening all over. The immediate cause of this was the closure of the EEC Market. A neighbour of mine who got £30 for a dropped calf said: “We will be in trouble yet. That calf will have to go through two men's hands.” We had inflation in cattle long before this happened. Until we get back to realistic prices, we will have the same experience.

I have nothing to say about the other Ministers. They are all well able to hold their own. I am glad Deputy Flanagan has been promoted. As I say, there is no need to say anything about Deputy Dr. Hillery. We have a fine team. Their average age, including the Minister for External Affairs, is 49.

It is a good job that does not apply to Deputies.

We are only backbenchers.

What is their mental age?

Ask yourselves that question. A Canadian friend of mine looking at them guessed they were about the 50 mark leaving out one or two. He said: "They are the finest, most intelligent body of men I have seen in a Cabinet." They are an excellent Cabinet; we should be proud of them and I congratulate them.

One of the proposals before us in this motion is that Deputy Boland, former Minister for Social Welfare, is being nominated as Minister for Local Government. I want to say that I welcome that nomination, when we must have a Fianna Fáil Cabinet, of course. Deputy Boland is a colleague of mine in County Dublin. It is my view that the greatest problems that exist in local government exist in Dublin city and county. Let me say that his predecessor in office has not made his job easy for him. I believe there has been an enormous neglect and failure to provide anything like sufficient houses for the people.

There is an itinerant problem. There is an enormous road development problem. There is a very big problem in the extension of various services. Now that a County Dublin Deputy will take over the Department of Local Government, great things will be expected of him. I hope he will be able to find a solution to most of these problems in the shortest possible time. I know he is aware of these problems.

Do not let me forget anything.

I can assure Deputy Boland that I shall not let him forget anything. I hope that when I visit his Department from time to time, I shall be welcome to see him on the various problems that arise, if he is not already aware of them.

Like most of the Deputies who have spoken in this debate, I believe that the right thing, the sound thing, in fact the honest thing for the Government to do in the present circumstances would be to go to the country and accept the verdict of the people. I do not believe that it was a change of leadership that was needed. I do not believe that it was a reshuffle in the Cabinet that was needed because we all know that this Cabinet has been shuffled like a pack of cards. What we need and what the country needs is a complete break from an administration that has been guilty of years of mismanagement of the nation's affairs—a Government who failed in every Department to produce the results or to make the progress needed if the many ills from which the nation is suffering are to be overcome within a reasonable time.

Unemployment is at a continuously high level. At the moment, we have in the region of 50,000 unemployed. At the same time, emigration is continuing apace. The investment in education has been deplorably low. The health services have remained almost unchanged for a long period of years. At the same time as all this is so, rates and taxes of all descriptions are at an all-time high and continue to soar. The selection of priorities in the spending of the limited amount of capital available to us leaves much to be desired. These are some of the matters which I believe must be examined and considered in an effort to assess the performance of the outgoing Government and the prospect of the incoming Government composed more or less of the same people.

The cost of living has been allowed to soar, with all the consequent unrest and hardship that this has brought along with it. This industrial unrest has shown itself in a spate of strikes, lockouts, parades, protest parades and marches all over the place. The balance of payments has reached such an alarmingly high level that the Government have found it necessary to impose on the people a very severe credit squeeze. All these things have happened in a very short time. They have happened within the past one and a half years or so. As we all know, it was only last spring 12 months the people were being assured by Fianna Fáil speakers that all that was necessary for the expansion and development of the economy, for greater prospects and greater prosperity for our people, was to "Let Lemass Lead On." We know that, a few months later, the real position began to reveal itself. We all know what has happened since.

As I say, we have had these protest parades and these marches and some of them are not finished yet. We have the unfinished dispute that exists between the National Farmers Association and the Government. We have the protest over the proposition to institute rents for the local authority tenants which they feel they are unable to bear. Most of us have already spoken on these proposals to impose these exorbitant rents. A short time ago, we had parades by the dairy farmers. All of these people have not suddenly decided to put themselves to all this trouble and all this hardship unless there is good reason for it.

The adverse balance of payments became so bad that the Government had to impose a very heavy credit squeeze. The result of this was that the growth of the economy stagnated. Activity in business and industry slowed down. I think it is right to say that the industry which has been most severely hit by this restriction in credit is the building and construction industry. We all know that the present position is that it is virtually impossible to get loan capital for building. The building societies have closed down on the issue of capital for the time being and so also have the insurance companies. They are not giving credit. The local authorities are promising credit, if money is available from the Local Loans Fund in 1967 or 1968.

This loose and uncertain sort of undertaking, however, is not being accepted by the banks and consequently they are refusing bridging capital, which was a normal thing for the banks to do, indicating that they have no confidence in the Government's ability to provide the necessary finance to meet the demand in this situation. The unfortunate position many people have got themselves into is that they have paid deposits of anything from £400 to £1,000 on houses and these houses are now built but they are not allowed to occupy them. Now, this is causing great hardship. They are not allowed to occupy these houses and not only that but they are being charged exorbitant credit by the builder on the balance outstanding. This is one of the problems the new Minister for Local Government will have to look at very closely. While they are waiting for the local authorities to produce the money, they are paying for expensive accommodation in flats and many of these people have entered into contracts with the builder, contracts they cannot break. Many of them have bought some of their furniture. That describes the private housebuilding sector.

We go then to local authority houses. There is a vast number of people all over the country in deplorable housing conditions who must be content to stay in those housing conditions for a long time to come because the money allocated has already been spent. Fortunately on second consideration, in the constituency I represent, we were allowed to start some schemes, giving fresh hope to people at least in seeing a start made, but we do not know when these schemes will be completed. That is the state of the building industry, one of the most important industries we have and this is a cause of unrest, because many people are losing their employment and having to emigrate; but this is only one of the sectors.

We used to hear an immense amount about the Second Programme for Economic Expansion. In fact, up to a year or so ago very rarely did a Fianna Fáil speaker stand up without mentioning the Second Programme. But we hear very little about it today; we hear very little about it because, of course, none of the targets are being reached, except the target for taxation, which has been well exceeded. In the First Programme, agricultural expansion was regarded as a sine qua non of overall economic growth but, by the time the Second Programme came to be written, the confidence in agriculture seemed to have waned considerably. This falling off of confidence, or lack of confidence, was indicated in the type of phrase that “if agricultural growth did not reach 2.7 per cent, well then industry would have to be called in to fill the gap and make a greater contribution”.

Another thing is worth mentioning in this regard, and it is relevant to something that happened recently when we had the farmers' march and the sorry spectacle of these respectable, decent, hardworking men left sitting on the Ministry of Agriculture steps for 20 days and 20 nights before the Minister would condescend to see them. One of the statements made, and made quite clearly, in the Second Programme for Economic Expansion was that the requirements from the various sectors were indicated and it was stated that the methods for arriving at those requirements would best be worked out by the organisations representing the interests in each separate sector, in consultation with the Government. We have reached a sorry stage in our history when, having printed that document, in which this statement is clearly made, the farmers are denied the opportunity of discussing their problems, their enormous problems at the moment, largely created by a Minister for Agriculture who has concentrated his entire effort and staked his whole future, and the future of the country, on increasing cattle numbers between 1964 and 1970 by 33 per cent. He did this, obviously, without regard to the fact that he did nothing whatever to improve the marketing organisation, to ensure there would be worthwhile outlets for this increased number of cattle, and without regard to what was happening in European and British agriculture. He will be leaving Agriculture, and indeed nobody in the industry will have any reason to be sorry, because they have had more than enough of his arrogance. Certainly his miscalculations and misjudgments have left the farmers in a sorry state.

It is worth quoting what he said to the farmers no later than last May in volume 222, No. 9 of the Official Report, at column 1503, in his introductory speech on the Estimate for Agriculture. He was talking about the various improvements he has secured in the Trade Agrement. He said:

These measures of support for our carcase beef and carcase lamb export trades, together with the unrestricted access to the British market which has been secured under the Free Trade Area Agreement for our store cattle, sheep and lambs, the reduction from three months to two months in the waiting period for these store animals, and the abolition of the differential of ¾d per lb. in the guarantee payments on store sheep and lambs exported from here to the United Kingdom——

and this is the important part:

—provide a solid foundation on which the profitable expansion of cattle and sheep production can be based, and livestock producers can expand output in the confident knowledge that adequate export outlets and satisfactory market prices will be available.

In the next column, he said:

...the international outlook for beef points to an assured outlet for all the cattle we can produce.

What can we think of a Minister for Agriculture who last May was so misinformed and who failed so completely to appreciate what was happening in Europe and in England in relation to cattle production and the problems of export from England and from here? He is the man who is now being put in charge of the finances of this country. I have to say that I personally cannot repose any confidence in such a man, and I will certainly vote against him.

I went to considerable trouble to put some sense into that man when the crisis had arrived, and when he was refusing to be reasonable and carry on normal discussions with the people who were in trouble. I went to the Taoiseach also and spent a long time with him, but I could not get any sense into him either, but fortunately, and for reasons which I cannot say, in the end reason prevailed.

We hope the new Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries will start a new era, and will look to the people who have spent their lives in that industry to advise and guide him. He, too, like Deputy Haughey, has not an awful lot of experience in the agricultural field. Why we in this country embarked on this policy of moving away from intensive, high employment, high output agriculture, to the most expensive system of dry cattle grazing in the circumstances in which we found ourselves is hard to understand. We embarked on that without having any plans to increase fodder, to improve markets, or to secure greater outlets. We secured the number of cattle but, if we did, last year we drove 14,000 people off the land, and all the extra jobs we were able to provide was 7,000, and that was a total of 7,000 in industry and in services.

At one and the same time, the acreage of grain has dropped; corn alone dropped 98,000 acres between 1965 and 1966, and there has been a big drop in root crops, and there has been an enormous drop in pig numbers. These are all the intensive lines, the high output lines. These are all the high employment lines. We have gone right away from them and nothing is being done to change that situation. At the same time as we have a serious balance of payments problem, we are importing about £20 million worth of grain and foodstuffs, foodstuffs that could and should be produced here at home.

It is difficult to understand what is the agricultural policy of the Government, or where they think they are going, or what plans they are making for the future. We had the Minister telling us fairy tales as late as last May. We have the extra cattle numbers but they are virtually unsaleable, and if they can be sold at all, they are being sold at a loss of anything from £10 to £20. We have had vivid and painful experience of this. Cattle which have eaten a full year's grass are being sold for exactly what was paid for them—if they are lucky, as someone said. Calves which were worth £25 last year are worth £5 to £10 this year. This represents a loss of 6d a gallon of milk, and the unfortunate farmers who paraded to Dublin to make their protest got 2d a gallon.

Deputy Lenihan seemed to give the impression that we would have a certain opportunity in January. I do not know exactly what he meant, but I gleaned from what he said that they do not intend to move the writ in time to have the by-election before Christmas. We all thought the Government were in a hurry to test the opinion of the people and that we would have the Kerry by-election before Christmas. It is now obvious that they have decided to shy away from it, to put it off. I would not wonder at their being anxious to shy away from the prospect of facing the people.

The man who will be in charge of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries in the future is Deputy Blaney. I do not seem to be able to get away from him at all; he seems to be haunting me. All I can say for Deputy Blaney when he was in the Department of Local Government is that he will be remembered as the greatest talker who was ever in the Department. He spent eight hours replying to the debate on his Estimate this year, trying to talk himself out of his own difficulties, and trying to save the Government's face, because houses were not being built and there was no money to build houses, because there were so many people in serious trouble and so many people who had been misled by the statements he made that there was no shortage of money for housing.

There is chaos in town planning as a result of the legislation he insisted on putting through this House and applying on a blanket scale throughout the country before we had the personnel to deal with it. He failed to solve, or even start to solve, the itinerant problem and he has been at it now for the past five, six, seven or eight years. I do not know what else he can be remembered as, except as the Minister for Local Government who failed to build houses in anything like sufficient numbers for the people.

What about Ballymun?

He failed to ensure that money was available to finance housing in the private sector. However, I hope his performance in Agriculture will be better than it was in Local Government, but his performance in Local Government does not give us any reason to have confidence in him in Agriculture either. I hope we will see more action and less talk.

I have referred to the many changes which have taken place in the Cabinet in the past couple of years. Those changes took place because of embarrassments created by the non-fulfilment of promises made, or because of the serious conflicts which had arisen between individual Ministers and the principal people whom they were expected to represent in this House.

We had Deputy O'Malley in Health. I must say most of the people in the country were pleased with Deputy O'Malley's performance in Health for the short time he was left in it, because the history of the Department of Health has been a sorry one, certainly since I came into the House.

I remember when we came in in 1961 a Select Committee was set up as a matter of urgency to deal with health services and to propose vast improvements. The progress of that Committee was frustrated by the then Minister for Health until the Government got out of office. Then Deputy O'Malley came in and set about producing a White Paper. In that White Paper many promises were made and prospects held out for better health services for the people. On the few occasions I had to approach Deputy O'Malley as Minister for Health to get one or two sensible things done he did them and I say that his intentions were good always and that whenever he got an opportunity to do sensible things he did them. He got a great grasp of his Department in a short time which indicated to me that he got down to the job. However, I think it was an embarrassing situation for both himself and the Government. I think the Government used to shiver in case he would commit them to something more and consequently they had to get him out of that office and into Education.

Deputy Colley got himself into so many scrapes and so much trouble with school managers and various people throughout the country in the controversy about one- and two-teacher schools and other matters which he could have treated in a sensible way that he had to be shifted from the Department of Education. He could have done an excellent job had he been prepared to listen to the people, but he was not. He is now in Industry and Commerce and I am afraid that again he may lead us up the garden path in the same way by imagining that nobody knows anything but he. In the Department of Education he decided that all school building would have to cease until he had made a comprehensive survey of the post-primary needs of the people.

This comprehensive survey, like the other committees and commissions set up by this Government as delaying tactics, was nothing more than a dishonest delaying tactic on the part of the Minister for Education at the time. Of course, he denied that. He said it was a waste of money going on building schools until the survey had been completed and he stopped the building of a school where the lowest tender had been accepted and a clerk of works appointed. That was not the action of a man of sense. Such a survey was desirable. Two years ago I made a suggestion to the Department that such a survey should be made because they did not know where they were going in the matter of the establishment of vocational schools. They had little or no regard for future development and little or no idea of what was happening in the schools, especially in the rapidly developing areas. I was amazed at the lack of information in the Department. At any rate, while the survey was going on, everything had to stand still for 12 months. We have heard nothing about that survey.

Deputy O'Malley came into the Department of Education and one of the first things he did about a school I was interested in was to say: "Go ahead and build it." There was to be no waiting for the survey. That is what I like about a Minister. I only hope Deputy O'Malley will be able to do the same thing in many other areas. It is action, it is an understanding and commonsense approach we need and if we are to continue to get that from Deputy O'Malley I hope he is left in the Department of Education.

Hear, hear.

For the lifetime of the present Government.

I shall get back to Deputy Blaney for a moment. There is an enormous job to be done if the farmers are to get to the position they deserve. I do not know if he is the right man to do it. I hope he is. There is an enormous job also to be done in Fisheries. I have never been very close to the fishing industry and perhaps know much less about it than I should because in my view it has an enormous potential which, for reasons I could never understand, has not been realised. I was amazed to discover that during 30 years of Fianna Fáil Government all the capital expenditure in the fishing industry was less than a quarter of a million pounds.

That is not true, actually.

It has been published. It is rather difficult to believe it. Deputy Lenihan was in that Department but was moved from it just when he was beginning to learn something about it. That has been the history of the Fisheries Branch. It was in charge of a Parliamentary Secretary and he was shifted as soon as he got to know something about it.

Would the Deputy quote his authority on the figures?

There is an enormous potential there which we are making a very small effort to realise. It has been starved of capital and the only sensible thing done in recent years has been the survey work and this has brought to light the enormous potential there is for this industry. The late President Kennedy had a hand in this research and exploration project: it was he who sent over the members of the first team who started this research work. When we see the fantastic mistakes made in capital investment in industry and see the fishing industry wide open on our doorsteps to be reaped it is difficult to understand why we have not put more effort into it and made capital available to it. I hope that Deputy Blaney will appreciate this and do everything possible for this industry.

I have nearly reached the end of what I intend to say. We have throughout the country a lot of trouble. We have an immense amount of trouble in the Post Office in relation to telegraphs and I hope there will be some improvement there. I also hope that people who have been waiting for years for telephones will see some improvement and that they will not be called on to pay five, six or seven years in advance before they can get a telephone. Similarly, we have been listening to complaints about the capital demanded by the ESB from people in rural Ireland who require electricity installation.

I intend to say a word or two about the Common Market and our efforts to get into it. Our entire agricultural policy during the past few years seems to have been geared to and based on the assumption that we would be in the Common Market by 1970, but for some reason the efforts of the Government to achieve that aim seem to have fallen far short of what was necessary and desirable. We read in the newspapers today and heard the announcement last night that the British Government intend to renew their efforts to get into the Common Market. They have arranged to have meetings with the head of the six Common Market countries with a view to pushing their application and we have heard that they are in close touch with Ireland because of the joint interests of the two countries. I should like to know if we have been invited to sit in on these discussions.

It seems clear, for the first time, that, if we are to get in at all, we must go in with England. It was said in this House at one time that we were prepared to go it alone. That was said by the man who has retired within the past few days but for some reason he has never explained why he changed his mind in that regard. Their activities and their efforts to come to some arrangement with the countries of the EEC which might be beneficial to the agricultural industry here, particularly, have fallen far short of what they should have been.

We have trouble at present in the Sugar Company and in Erin Foods. We called in a firm of consultants to assist us in deciding what should be done in those two industries. We have been supplied with a report by this company, Arthur D. Little, but I am assured that, if the full report were presented, it would show a very different picture. It is very hard for people in public life, if such a report is suppressed, to assess what is the future or what is the best move to make in relation to those very important industries if we are to expand employment in rural Ireland. We do not know what is the best way to go about it and it is not easy to discover that from the Report.

I believe the Government have recognised also that their efforts in industrial development have fallen far short of what they should be, if we are to provide the employment opportunities we need in this country. I understand the same firm have been invited to advise us on the general promotional organisation we have here in relation to industry. That is something which is overdue. We have failed completely to realise that our efforts were far less effective than they should have been, that they were disjointed and that we had four or five bodies doing the job which one promotional body should have been doing and that we should have roped in other sectors of the economy which could help in the establishment of industry. We could have consulted local authorities because of the role they play when it comes to providing sites for the establishment of industries. I hope the outcome of this investigation will be satisfactory for the country and that we will have much greater employment opportunities arising therefrom.

It has been mentioned many times in this House that the position in regard to the Potez factory, in my constituency, is far from satisfactory. It is a sorry reflection on the Government that the immense amount of money spent on the expansion of this industry, as far as the State is concerned, should have been spent and that industry allowed to mark time. Instead of employing, as it was supposed to employ, 2,000 people, it employs only between 40 and 50 people. There is no explanation given as to why the Government are not concerned with this matter and why they have no alternative industry to take the place of this industry which has been such a disappointment. As I say, the efforts in this sector of the economy leave much to be desired. I hope these will be much more successful in the future.

Another point I should like to mention, in passing, is the continued sale of land to foreigners. I was amazed to hear last week, in reply to a question in the House, that so much land is still passing over to foreigners. The 1965 Act does not seem to be operated in the way we all expected it to operate. Section 45 of that Act is not much use, if all those people are still allowed to come in here to buy the land which is far too scarce. That was the reason for the introduction of this legislation. We all had some anxiety that the property of this country was passing to foreigners. Nobody objects to—in fact, we all welcome—foreign capital being invested here in some industries and we should not like to discourage the investment of foreign capital in some industries here.

We will have, whether we like it or not, a new Fianna Fáil Government and for the good of the country I hope this Government will be more successful than the Government who held office since I came into this House. Unfortunately, I see no great prospect of any change in that regard. We will only have to wait and see.

I deliberately refrained from offering to speak before this. Anybody listening to many of the speeches made in this House today must agree with me when I say that the speeches I listened to have been of a very low calibre. The whole atmosphere was one of unreality and one of playacting in which I would say, in this respect, the honour went to Deputy Dillon, not for the first time, and in which there were several juvenile leads from all Parties, maybe even including my own.

One wonders what was the purpose of it all. It occurred to me that it would not have done public life, public representatives or parliamentary institutions any good whatever if the proceedings were on television. Deputy Dillon, of course, gave his own particular version, very convincingly, of history and, because I have a personal regard for the man, I feel sorry to say that when history is written, it will not treat him at all as kindly as he would expect.

Again, I ask myself what is the purpose of all this today. Only a few hours ago, we were assured we would not have to sit all through tonight until tomorrow, or maybe even longer. When the new Taoiseach was elected, after his opening remarks he requested the co-operation of all Parties and all Deputies in the handling of the affairs of the country. The response certainly was not what one would expect. One wonders was it because the news broke that he would be attending a private engagement in his native city tomorrow night? Surely nobody would expect that he would have allowed anything to happen in this House to prevent him from fulfilling that engagement? We were then told we would go on until 10.30 p.m. and resume the debate again next week, although everybody knows that nothing has been said today which was not said in the very recent past. It has all been said again today by some speakers who even spoke for over two hours to tell us what they told us often enough even in our recent history.

Much emphasis was laid in the earlier part of the day on the succession, as it is called, the long knives which were used or were about to be used and the various ambitions thwarted and otherwise among the members of the Fianna Fáil Party. Of course, to me all this is evidence of one thing, of how disappointed, how terribly disappointed, our opponents are with the way things turned out.

Hear, hear.

(Cavan): Do you mean your opponents in the Party or your opponents over here?

I am old enough to remember that the newspapers who used to report for the Opposition printed the lies as to who was going to succeed de Valera as Taoiseach. The knives were used on Deputy Aiken, Deputy MacEntee and Deputy Lemass. They were all fighting as to who would succeed Deputy de Valera at the time as Taoiseach but of course all that is past and gone. This time when Deputy Lemass, Taoiseach as he was, intimated that he was going to resign, of course the newspapers immediately started the old campaign about the various contenders for the office and the various disgraceful methods they were going to use to secure the position. What was done was done in a purely democratic way. A decision was taken which most people thought and I am sure the country thinks an excellent decision.

Hear, hear.

And whatever people may say, the fact remains that it was an admirable choice. The people's reaction has been one of pleasure and as far as Fianna Fáil are concerned, they came out from the room after electing their nominee for Taoiseach, a stronger Party than they were when they went in.

How was Charlie the Greatest—the greatest what?

I am telling you what happened and I am telling you the result, and it is perfectly obvious that unless the cap fitted it would not have been as favourable as it was. There should not have been all this talk, this skulduggery, for want of a better word. While humility is a virtue, limited ambition is no sin. Ambition in a young man is something I admire. I have not much of it but I admire those who have it and are willing to use it. I see nothing but good in Party conventions in this House and, if anything, things seem to be going further forward.

(Cavan): I think I was ruled out of order in this regard.

I did not interrupt anybody. If Deputy T.J. Fitzpatrick feels I am hitting too hard——

(Cavan): I am drawing the attention of the Chair in an orderly manner to the fact that I was ruled out of order when I attempted to speak about the Taoiseach.

I take it Deputy Healy is discussing the Government.

I refer to remarks made in this House before I rose. One thing I deplore, and I am sure any decent person deplores, is personal insult directed at persons present in the House and backbenchers. Surely they decide how to do their work, whether or not correct administratively, but I deplore the type of insults that came across the House.

It is nothing like what I heard from Fianna Fáil.

For instance, I heard discussed today the statement of the Chairman of a State board who criticised Members of the Dáil. I do not know the man. I only know his name from discussions in the Dáil but I am not surprised that he would do as he did. I was present when a certain Deputy made allegations against this State body, as to how the members were promoted, how they were demoted, how they were pensioned and everything else.

Deputy Dowling said it.

The Minister in charge went over every point made by that Deputy and categorically denied them. I was present when that Deputy again made the allegations, as if the Minister had never spoken. Surely it is only fair that a person who is not here must be resentful when he has no chance to defend himself?

Hear, hear.

(Cavan): The Minister in charge of the gentleman in question described his statement as a consistent statement.

I am speaking about my own reaction.

There are responsible Fine Gael Members in the Front Bench.

It is like mob rule.

I am glad I am succeeding a man who made a reasonably constructive speech, Deputy Clinton.

He is a responsible member.

He is a responsible member of Fine Gael, but he speaks about marches and parades. Does he remember that we are living in a democracy and does he realise that if there is any group, whether trade unions, farmers, civil servants, teachers, Guards or the Army—whatever they are—who feel they are strong enough to pressurise the Government into giving them their demands, that is the end of democracy, to my mind. They must come around the table, plead their case, show the justice of it and get justice done. This is not a country where the people have to wait long. We go to the people often. It amazes me when I hear the Opposition shout: "Go to the country; have an election". I think every three years on average we have an election, and they are only back here again when they shout: "Go to the country". You have indeed a poor idea of the intelligence of your electors.

Hear, hear.

It is a poor compliment to the Irish people to say: "We have decided for you all the time", and that is what you are saying. You will have to try it again because we will be here again after the next election, and well you know it.

It is heartening for the by-elections.

The only thing I want to say in passing in regard to Deputy Clinton's remarks about the Potez factory is that undoubtedly that misfired and there was a time on the Fine Gael benches when there were remarks about the Verolme Dockyard failing. But they got on well. It is not because you do not succeed every time that you should not take the initiative. Therefore, I would ask Deputy Clinton to be moderate.

As regards the present Taoiseach, he has nominated his Cabinet as his team. It is not his first team, but I have every confidence in the team he has selected, in the team he has picked for the next few years.

Mr. O'Leary

Whatever the quality of the debate today in reaching a new low or otherwise—and our opinions may differ on that—I think the events of the past few weeks may themselves have been the inspiration of some of the reactions of ordinary people to them because whatever our political view we must admit that the events of the past ten days at any rate approached the quality of a circus. I suppose this House, just recovering from those circus acts, must at least reflect some of the events of the past few weeks.

I must say that I for one see a new situation arising from the events of the past week. I was reared on the idea that in the country there was one political Party above all others who showed absolute solidarity, complete unanimity of decision and made most of their decisions behind closed doors. I was reared on the idea that there was one political Party in the country who if they did not make infallible decisions, always had a monopoly of the wisest decisions. In the past few days I have seen this idea I had up to this, this illusion of the absolute solidarity of Fianna Fáil, come tumbling to the ground.

For the first time for many years, certainly since the second World War, we have seen the inner works and tensions of that Party exposed in no uncertain fashion. It was no conspiracy of the opposing political Parties that brought these inner tensions to the surface but rather what the last Deputy would call the lawful ambitions of the contestants. I think it is a little bit too much to ask that we should accept this ten days' circus act as an exercise in democracy. It was, from the very beginning, a clash between rival political