Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Wednesday, 10 Jul 1968

Vol. 236 No. 5

Committee on Finance. - Vote 3—Department of the Taoiseach.

: Tairgim:

Go ndeonófar suim nach mó na £56,200 chun íoctha an mhuirir a thiocfaidh chun bheith iníoctha i rith na bliana dar críoch an 31ú lá de Mhárta, 1969, le haghaidh Tuarastail agus Costais Roinn an Taoisigh.

The Vote for my Department consists almost entirely of salaries, wages and allowances totalling £51,850 out of a total provision of £56,200 for the current year. There is an increase this year of £5,500 under subhead A, a sum of £6,000 having been added for the necessary expansion of the Government Information Bureau to meet presentday needs. Proposals as to the numbers and grading of the additional officers have not yet been finally formulated. Two clerk-typist posts have also been added to the staff of my Department. The travelling expenses provision has also been increased to cover increasing expense on official visits abroad. The net increase in the Vote is £5,950, and savings resulting from the reorganisation of subordinate staff have offset the increased provision for the Government Information Bureau. There is a decrease of almost £28,000 in the allied services provision. The expensive part of the reconstruction of the bedroom block in the State Apartments in Dublin Castle has been completed. So much for the Vote for my Department.

In recent years it has been customary for the Taoiseach in introducing the Estimate for his Department to give a short survey of the current economic trends and future prospects, and I propose to follow that precedent. I think we can claim with justification that we have made a quick and satisfactory recovery from the economic difficulties that faced us and, indeed, many other European countries, and countries throughout the world, in 1965 and 1966. Preliminary figures for 1967 indicate an eight per cent increase in national income at current prices, and a 4¼ per cent growth rate, or increase in the volume of gross national product. For 1968, a growth rate of about four per cent was anticipated. At this stage with half the year gone, the indications are that there will be an increase of 4½ per cent in the growth rate for 1968. Only Italy at 5½ per cent, Norway at five per cent and the Netherlands at 4¾ per cent, among the western countries, showed a higher growth rate than Ireland in 1967. During this year the other countries in Europe, for example, France at 3¾ per cent, Denmark at 3¼ per cent, the United Kingdom at one per cent, West Germany at minus ½ per cent as well as the United States of America at 2½ per cent, showed a lower growth rate than Ireland. It must be remembered that in the more affluent countries to sustain a high continuing growth rate entails a very much greater effort.

However, our primary concern is with our own growth rate. Rates of 4¼ per cent indicated for 1967, and 4½ per cent now anticipated for 1968, are I think an endorsement of the Government's economic policies. Between 1958 and 1966, the percentage growth in Ireland was 33 as compared with 31 in the United Kingdom, and 51 per cent is the average for the countries of the EEC. It must be remembered, however, that in the European Economic Community, industry contributes 5½ times as much as agriculture to gross domestic product at factor cost. In Ireland the corresponding figure is 1¾ times. It can readily be seen, therefore, why the difficulties in the way of expansion of agricultural output are such important considerations to our economy.

Output of the transportable goods industry in Ireland rose by 86 per cent between 1958 and 1967. In the Common Market countries, industrial production in the same years rose by 71 per cent but, because of the great importance of industry compared with agriculture in the economy of these countries the overall gross national product of the Community rose by a substantially higher percentage than ours did. Industrial output in 1967 showed an increase of 9 per cent following an increase of 4.7 per cent in 1966. This almost doubled the increase. The Report of the Quarterly Industrial Inquiry for the March quarter, 1968, issued last week, indicated that for that quarter output was up by nearly nine per cent over the first quarter of 1967.

Agricultural income showed a substantial increase in 1967. Sales off the farm, plus consumption of own produce on the farm, rose by £29.4 million over 1966, and gross output, making due allowances for changes of stock, rose by £16.7 million. Net output rose by £13.2 million and net income by £11.8 million. Among the contributing factors were an increase of £19½ million in cattle output, £8 million in milk supplied for industry, over £3 million extra for wheat, £2 million extra for sugar beet and £1.4 million less paid by farmers in rates. These were offset by a fall of £2 million in pigs output and £1.3 million in wool output. By the beginning of 1968, cattle and sheep numbers were down by 2.3 per cent but pig numbers were up by ten per cent.

I now come to a review of our international trade and payments. In 1967, exports increased by £40 million and outstripped the increase in imports, so our import excess fell to £106 million in that year. Net invisible exports have been showing a steady increase over recent years and in 1967 for the first time exceeded the outward balance in visible trade by £10 million. This contributed to the very high net external assets figure in December, 1967, of £295.1 million. This is an indication of the value of tourism which is probably the greatest contributor to our inward balance in invisible trade, and is a justification for the efforts the Government have been making over the years to expand our tourist business.

In the first five months of this year, the value of imports was £202.4 million. This was £36.1 million more than in the corresponding period in 1967, indicating that devaluation is making itself felt on import prices. For the first five months of this year, the figure for total exports, at £128.9 million, is nearly £20 million more than in the corresponding period in 1967. Consequently the import excess at £73.4 million for the period January to May, is over £16 million higher in 1968 than last year. The Government, of course, anticipated that events would be likely to take this course because of increased domestic demand, devaluation of sterling and, of course, the restraints on domestic demand in Britain. I will refer later to the necessity of ensuring that we keep a watch on domestic demand in the months to come. By the end of March, 1968, when imports had increased by about £15 million in all, £10.3 million of the increase arose on materials for further production; £3.8 million in consumption and goods and £1.1 million in capital goods.

Consumption goods ready for use imported in the first quarter of 1968 represented 22.2 per cent of the value of total imports as compared with recent annual figures varying from 19.4 per cent to 21.9 per cent. This indicates a very small upward trend. However, I think we must watch this trend because there are certain dangers inherent in it, especially now that some wage increases have been negotiated: other wage increases are in the pipe-line.

It is well known that, following a wage increase, there is usually an increased demand for consumer goods. Unfortunately, in most instances, these consumer goods are, to a very high proportion, imported goods. Therefore, the people who enjoy the benefits of increased wages ought to ensure, in the interests of the economy generally and in their own interests, that they avoid the purchase of imported consumer goods and, rather, concentrate on the purchase of home produced goods as much as possible.

By May of this year, the net external assets figure had fallen by £26 million but, taking into account that the import excess on international trade had increased over the period January-May, 1968, by over £16 million, this fall is not a disturbing one. Indeed, it may be contended that the external assets standing at that figure might have been too high, having regard to the need for the generation of more economic development at home.

Our trade with Britain has increased substantially this year. At the end of April, the latest date for which we have figures, imports from Britain increased by £9 million or 15 per cent over the corresponding period in 1967, while exports to Britain increased by over £8 million or 16 per cent in the same period. If we add trade with the Six Counties, imports increased by £9½ million or 14 per cent while total exports increased by £10½ million or 17 per cent, leaving the import excess £1 million lower on United Kingdom trade in January-April, 1968, than it was in the same period of 1967.

The conclusion to be drawn from these figures, overall, is that the Free Trade Area Agreement with Britain is stimulating trade between our two countries. Our situation vis-à-vis the EEC is unfortunately not so favourable. Over the months January-April, 1968, imports from the EEC increased by £6 million, that is, 29 per cent. That increase, of course, may be attributed to some degree to devaluation. Exports to imports from the EEC increased by £6 the EEC increased by £1.7 million—20 per cent extra—as compared with January-April, 1967. The import excess, as a result, is over £4 million a month—higher for the first four months of 1968 than it was for the corresponding period of 1967.

We have, of course, a valuable export in lead ores and concentrates over a number of years past. The value of these exports to the EEC increased by £1 million but, on the other hand, exports during the first four months of 1967, which were valued at £1 million, were not repeated in 1968. These exports included, amongst other things, milk, dried and powdered. Unfortunately, that is another product which is effectively excluded from the Common Market as a result of the Common Market agricultural policy.

As everybody is aware, Common Market countries themselves now have what they call "a mountain of butter" because of the increased milk production within the Community. They are finding tremendous difficulty in disposing of it not only within the Community but in markets abroad. We have all heard of butter being offered in markets which are net importers at about £100 a ton which works out at something like 1s per 1b. It is obvious that this will create a tremendous problem for us, for the Exchequer and for the economy in general. As I said a few weeks ago in the House, every effort will be made to explore the possibility of expanding exports to the Community but the prospects of expanding agricultural exports in particular are not promising in the short-term in view of the Community's imports restrictions.

I now turn to employment. Insured employment increased substantially in the past year. If we take the number of insurance cards current in January, 1968, they show that a record number of 717,737 was reached or 9,279 more than in January, 1967. Details of the sales of insurance stamps in the March quarter, 1968, came to hand last week. The average weekly insured employment, as disclosed by these weekly insurance stamp sales in 1967-68, worked out at 528,600 or 11,000 more than in 1966-67. Consequently, the average duration of insured employment also increased over the previous year.

Deputies will have received last week the Quarterly Industrial Inquiry Table for the March quarter, 1968, which indicated that the average number of people engaged in manufacturing industry increased by 1,550 over the year 1967-68 while, for all industries producing transportable goods the increase was 1,775.

: Fantastic.

: I do not claim that as a great achievement.

: You had better not.

: I now come to unemployment. The latest published live register total of 53,341 is that for 28th June, 1968—4,666 more than at the corresponding date last year. All during this year, the live register has, in fact, been higher than last year. One of the causes of this is the extension from 156 days to 312 days in the maximum length of entitlement to unemployment benefit. This increase in duration of entitlement is estimated to add about 1,000 persons to the live register.

High rates of benefit and assistance have also no doubt tended to increase the numbers that continue on the live register. Deputies will have received this morning the Industrial Analysis for the Live Register as at mid-June, 1968. They will be able to judge for themselves the increases and decreases in the various categories of employment.

During these summer months, the live register appears particularly high because of the discontinuance in 1966 of the annual Employment Period Orders. The live register was an indication of effective unemployment but, as the House has been told, it is being thoroughly examined now by the Minister for Labour. It will be recalled that a recent survey at Drogheda indicated that about one-third of the males and practically all the females on the live register there were not available for full-time work. In Dublin, the majority of women registering are married and only about one-tenth of them are looking for full-time employment. The surveys are proceeding in other urban centres.

With regard to emigration and population, the Census of Population Report of 1966, volume 1, which was published last year, showed that since 1961 the population of the State rose by 65,661. This 1966 census substantiated the intercensal annual population estimates which indicated that our population had increased each year, beginning with 1962. The population estimate for 1967 indicated a further increase and trends since then lead me to expect that the population estimate for 1968 will again show a substantial increase. Since the foundation of the State, the annual population estimates had not up to this shown an increase in seven successive years. The Census Report to which I have referred estimated that the emigration in the period 1961 to 1966 was 16,121 each year. That is less than any previous intercensal annual average and less than one-half of the annual intercensal average in the decade 1951 to 1961.

This result was all the more gratifying because the current passenger traffic statistics from 1961 to 1966 seemed to indicate a much higher rate of net emigration. For many years we have been dependent for current indications of net emigration on the net outwards passenger balances by sea and air. During the 1950s there was a fairly close relationship between the net passenger balances and the net emigration but the 1966 Census Report indicated a much larger disparity in the first half of the current decade and therefore throws into doubt the value of passenger balance figures as a reliable indication of emigration in the future. For what they are worth the outward passenger balances for the year ended 28th February, 1966, were 26,500 as compared with 21,800 for the year ended 28th February, 1967.

With regard to prices, consumer price rose by 2¾ per cent in 1966 and by 3¼ per cent in 1967. This year they are rising more strongly and the consumer price index for mid-May was 4.1 per cent higher than for mid-May last year. Although the devaluation of sterling is contributing to this increase, we must nevertheless be watchful to ensure that only price increases that are absolutely unavoidable will be allowed to take effect. The Government for their part have continued to enforce the six-monthly continuance orders under the Prices Stabilisation Order, 1965, and the power derived from that order is exercised by the Minister for Industry and Commerce to ensure that prices are not increased unnecessarily. Price increases normally follow substantial and unavoidable increases in costs. Through the operation of the present price control measures, it is the Government's intention to ensure that unwarranted price increases will not take place and that every effort will be made by businessmen to avoid or minimise increases in prices.

The present price control arrangements have already served to eliminate unwarranted price increases. They have also helped to promote competition partly by heightening public awareness of prices. In this regard there has been no change in the Government's policy that in normal circumstances there can be no substitute for free and fair competition. Consumer prices increased here in the period between 1958 and 1967 by 31.4 per cent. I have before me a table of price increases for the same period in the Common Market countries and in the United States. Of the Common Market countries, at least three had price increases at percentages higher than we had in that period. France had 39 per cent; the Netherlands had 37 per cent; Italy had 36 per cent; while the United Kingdom showed an increase slightly below us of 28 per cent.

The latest returns of weekly retail sales to hand are those for April last. Retail sales were very good in that months, 8½ per cent over the corresponding month in 1967, but in part this was due to Easter buying because Easter fell within that period. In the same month, there were, and this is another indicator of increasing buying capacity, 5,580 new motor cars registered, the highest number registered for more than three years. These indications, as well as the increased circulation of money and increased weekly industrial earnings for the March quarter of 1968, are consistent with the increasing domestic demand to which I referred earlier.

It has been said by economists that the greatest growth industry in an expanding economy is education. Therefore I think that no review, no matter how short, of current economic trends would be complete without a reference to education. The achievements of the past two years, which were the result of planning which had gone on for some years previously, were, to say the least, very great indeed. They were not confined to any single branch of education. Beginning with primary education, we see that the pupil-teacher ratio has been increased to the extent that over 1,000 additional teachers are now employed in national schools without any increase being made in the total number of pupils in these schools. There was a fairly steady increase in the numbers attending national schools over previous years and with the developments now offered by post-primary education young children who reached the age of 12 to 14 are not continuing as was formerly the case.

We have mounted the largest programme ever for the replacement or improvement of national school buildings and a working document for a new post-primary school curriculum has been completed and will be discussed with all the interested parties within the next few months. The introduction of the post-primary education scheme in September last had and will continue to have the greatest educational and social effects. Prior to last year the annual increase in numbers attending post-primary schools averaged 5,600 and the numbers last year increased by over 18,000. Thus the tremendous impact which the introduction of the scheme for post-primary education had can be seen.

Another great development was the provision of free transport for all school children residing more than three miles from the nearest post-primary school. Within 12 months of the announcement of the intention to provide free transport, a nationwide network of post-primary school transport was in operation, catering for 56,500 pupils every day. The social implications of this are very wide indeed. No longer will parents of families living in rural areas have to contemplate leaving those areas in order to secure post-primary education for their children.

Passing from the field then of post-primary education to the region of higher education, we find the story is also one of marked achievement. The introduction of the scheme of higher education grants will ensure that there will be henceforth a real opportunity for any clever pupil to proceed all the way up the educational ladder; higher education will no longer be the privilege of those who can afford it. The extent of the opportunity being offered can be measured by the fact that last year county councils and borough councils provided about 275 university scholarships. It is anticipated that the number of grants which will be awarded this year will be in the region of 1,000. Extensive university building is proceeding in Belfield and in Cork and approval has been given for a large building scheme in Galway.

Members will be aware of the announcement made last week by the Minister for Education on behalf of the Government in relation to higher education in general and in relation to Dublin in particular. The measure of approval of the decisions and proposals contained in that statement which has been forthcoming from various interested bodies is such that I can say now, without qualification, that the successful implementation of what is proposed is assured. I should like to say, too, that in these proposals for university education the complete viability of Galway and Cork Universities will be fully protected by the Government.

The maintenance, and probable improvement, this year of last year's high growth rate and continuing increase in our population are two aspects of this review to which I should call particular attention. In the currency of the Government's Third Programme of Economic Expansion, which starts next year, our aim will be to achieve even better results, with, of course, the co-operation of all interests concerned. I have given the facts and the indicators of our economic progress as concisely and, I think I may claim, as objectively as I can. Behind them are stories of hard work, of solid achievements and, at the same time, of frustrations.

I said at the outset that we are entitled to claim credit for getting back to, and even exceeding, the record growth rate we enjoyed during the years 1960 to 1965. If the world wide inflationary trends and economic depression to which I have referred had not affected us during 1965 and 1966, it is reasonably certain we would have achieved a higher growth rate and we would now have greater employment numbers. But even that would not have been good enough. We still have too many unemployed. Some of those who are employed on the land or in commerce and industry have incomes far below the national average and, even though they are supplemented by social welfare payments, these payments, especially in the case of those who have no other form of income, are not as high as we would like them to be. We are all responsible for the solution of these problems—the Government primarily, but not the Government only. Every member of the community, who has strength of mind and body, has a part to play and especially every organised group. Economic progress is essential if we are to achieve the type of social progress we desire. This simply stated is the social philosophy and policy of this Government. Economic progress can be retarded by outside influences, as happened in the past, but its achievement in the long run is primarily our own responsibility.

There are many fronts upon which progress can and must be made. We must attract investment into the public sector. If such investment does not yield or earn a reasonable return, then we will not get it. If our strike record is worse than that in other countries with which we have to compete for investments, then those who have these investments to make will not come here either. Investment will come only where the climate is right, where the Government are seen to undertake their work prudently and where there is a due degree of co-operation and understanding between Government, employers and workers. We must export more industrial goods and more agricultural produce. If wages, producers' incomes and cost of production are higher than those of our competitors in foreign markets, then we cannot hold—indeed, we may well lose—our places in these markets. Everybody accepts these facts and will give expression to them, as I have done, but lipservice alone in support of any cause never won victory for that cause; if we are to succeed, success will involve total commitment on the part of the community and the Government.

We must, first of all, get our priorities right. We must agree on the actions we must take and on the actions we must avoid if we are to reach our goal. There is no other way. To pretend there is is mere illusion and the sooner there is a deeper and more widespread appreciation and realisation of this fact, the sooner and the farther will we be along the road to the kind of expansion we desire. For our part, the Government intend to press on with their economic and social programmes. The fact that we were able this year to increase the capital development programme to something like £130 million, an increase of almost That places an obligation on the 25 per cent over last year, is, I feel, at once an indication of the soundness of our policies and of public confidence in the economy. It is also an indication of our determination to press forward to the limit of our capacity with development programmes in the social field, in agriculture and in industry. The Government will press on vigorously with this task of development. I speak for the Government. I appeal to the community: Let us get on with the work.

: That is what one might call a statistical requiem for the Second Programme.

: In considering the economic and social problems which affect the country in general and, in particular, so many sections of the community, it must be recognised that the effect of Government action and Government policies, together with the influence of Government decisions on various organisations within the State and on different community aspects, is more far-reaching now than ever before. The rapid expansion of Government intervention and the consequences of Government decisions, directly or indirectly, affect to a much greater degree more diverse sections of the community than was the pattern in the past. This trend, a trend which has grown to such an extent and which bears on so many different facets of our society, places an obligation on the Government to ensure that adequate and proper consultation takes place at all times and at all stages between the various interested parties affected by State policies or Government decisions. The most notable failure of the Government in the past 12 months, or so, has been the inability of the Government to consult directly with the interests affected. This has applied particularly in respect of industrial relations, in respect of agriculture and, indeed, in respect of industry itself.

This country, compared with other countries we have direct contact with, compared with countries we seek to become associated with in conjunction with the EEC, has a very poor record, a very low standard. We have, in so far as social security is concerned, a lower percentage of total expenditure compared with the other countries who are associated with the European Economic Community or who are members of that organisation. In so far as the average annual number of days lost through industrial disputes per 1,000 persons employed in mining, manufacturing, construction and transport is concerned, the record of this country is the worst, with the exception of Italy. We have an average annual number of days lost through industrial disputes of 632, compared with 45 in Germany, 49 in the Netherlands, 288 in Britain, 301 in France, 437 in Belgium and 885 in Italy. That is the position as exemplified by a study made by the responsible authorities of the European Economic Community and which was presented in the form of a report prepared by the responsible organisations in this country and which is available in the statistics readily procurable by Deputies and others who are interested.

That situation is magnified and expressed in practical terms for the people of this country by the bad record of a number of State and semi-State organisations. We have had in this country over the past few years a situation in which all the major State organisations suffered stoppages and interruptions of work, cessation of services, disruption of supplies, the consequences of industrial disputes and industrial conflict which, on the statistics assembled and the facts provided by the figures which are available, places this country in the second least favourable position of any country in Europe.

No matter at what country we look, whether big or small, whether they are old established democracies or States that have newly won their freedom, whether they have a democratic system of government comparable with the one we have here, whether they operate under an authoritarian regime, the facts which are produced, the figures which are shown, indicate that, with one exception, the worst record for industrial relations in Europe is that shown by this country.

Government, an obligation on the Dáil, an obligation on industry and the trade unions, an obligation on all who are concerned with economic and social progress to see that discussions are initiated, that talks are promoted, that consultation is developed under which it will be possible for those concerned and those affected to consult and to consider and discuss the various problems which affect their interests and to decide on a policy and a programme that will not merely protect their interests but will provide for the community a policy and programme, a set of objectives and a set of targets which will be attainable within the framework of industrial and social discussions based on the interests not only of those directly concerned but of the community.

We have consistently and frequently expressed the view that one of the biggest challenges, one of the greatest problems which faces us today is to find ways and to establish means in which the worker can participate effectively in guiding his own destiny. We have repeatedly expressed the view and have endeavoured to create a climate of opinion in which it is recognised as generally acceptable that the day has gone when industrial society can be divided sharply into two groups—the bosses who owned or controlled everything and took all the decisions and the worker who was expected to take orders and accept whatever wages he was offered and be inarticulate about what was decided.

That day, happily, is gone and the trade union movement can claim a large share of the credit for this improvement and development. Today, it is widely recognised and generally accepted that the proper, effective and efficient method of operating industry in the broadest sense, both of management or directorate and workers, is one by which all citizens have a right to share in the national wealth. A method by which the ownership of property and the right to exploit it and develop it is not the God-given right of a particular class or a privileged or exceptional group. This must be generally recognised in future in this country as well as elsewhere. It must be recognised particularly in the State-organisations.

It is a regrettable fact that two or three of the biggest State organisations in this country have the worst record for industrial relations, that there is a failure to communicate between management or directorate and the worker on the floor, that there is an inability to communicate effectively between one and the other, a failure to recognise that it is not a question of one section deciding on policy and dictating that and having it implemented or another, objecting to the decisions which are taken, refusing to implement them. The common interests of both as well as the overriding interest of the community demand and expect that there must be consultation and discussion between management or directorate, as the case may be, and the workers involved. In future, this must be recognised generally in business in this country if it is to be organised and run effectively. The worker has as much at stake in the business in which he works as the manager or owner who operates it, and perhaps more so in many cases because the worker's whole livelihood depends on his job, whereas the shareholder and the director may well have other interests and other concerns from which he can benefit.

There is no doubt that the facts presented in the studies made by the EEC, the ILO and other comparable organisations indicate that the record of this country compared with many others in Europe shows that we lag behind in effective methods of consultation and of operating industrial enterprises, that there is a failure to communicate and to understand and that the responsibility for that does not lie on one side or the other. In many cases it is equally divided between management and workers and trade unions. It is neither the monopoly of one side or the other. In any organisation, somebody has to be responsible for accepting responsibility and for making decisions. This applies no matter how an enterprise is owned, whether it is by the State or co-operatively or by shareholders.

At the same time, we have to recognise and accept increasingly that management is obliged to operate with the positive support and co-operation of the worker instead of, as was often the case in the past, relying on his passive acceptance. A phrase that is being applied more frequently in modern times is the concept of industrial democracy. It is essential that we recognise the legitimate aspirations of the workers for increasing participation and consultation and that that should be sympathetically and adequately understood by employers and by State and semi-State organisations as well as by the Government. It is equally important that such a slogan or description should not become merely a slogan or a phrase to be used to cloak ideologically-motivated methods to infringe on what is, at least in our present state of development, management's legitimate responsibility. Such an attitude can only hinder progress towards a highly desirable goal.

If the worker is to contribute fruitfully through increasing participation in the development of the business, industry or undertaking in which he is engaged, then it is going to call for some effort on his part to equip himself with the necessary expertise, knowledge and skill. The trade union movement has a vital and essential part to play in exerting and and encouraging its members to press on with the necessary study and application so as to equip themselves with the skill, knowledge and practical experience for this work. In this way the worker can participate effectively and, indeed, can equip himself much better to participate and to extend the opportunities for his active and fruitful participation. The better equipped he is, the more skilled he is, the more highly trained a worker is, the more readily is the value of his potential contribution likely to be recognised.

On the other hand, the employer must still take and management must still accept responsibility for the initiative in encouraging the workers along this road and for directing and guiding their enterprise towards the potential and realisable opportunities which present themselves to it. They must see that such action must involve a break with traditional attitudes. This will increase, enhance and advance the longterm interest of the worker and his commitment to the common cause as well as the provision of higher living standards, a greater sense of security and, indeed, a more satisfying social environment.

One of the defects we have had in this community, one of the attitudes we must overcome, one of the outmoded procedures and attitudes which we must reject and discard is that by which outdated slogans still pass for policies on industrial relations. One of the defects—I have explained this previously in reply to the trade union movement, as well as to management and industry—is that in many respects we have tended to adopt and accept an attitude comparable with that which was suitable in Britain maybe 50 years ago and which was accepted and was operative in Britain whether it was accepted or not at other times and in other areas.

We have in this country a unique and valuable opportunity, a situation in which we have no heritage comparable with other countries of bitterness and dissension comparable with what might be considered capitalist regimes or areas in industry or business in which the director was on one side and the workers were on the other. We should reject and refuse to accept what are merely secondhand ideas on matters which have flowed over here from Britain and concentrate instead on devoting our energies towards developing ideas suitable for our own particular circumstances, for our own conditions, applying to our own operations, designed to meet our own needs and requirements and capable of providing and serving our own industry and our own interests.

There are a great many advantages, many peculiar opportunities, which are available to a small country. If we exploit those opportunities and take advantage of the chances available, they will develop and extend the prospects before us. One of them is that it makes possible more intimate and informal relationship between the different sections of the community. It is ridiculous to have employers and workers organised against each other in a country like this, as if we were a huge industrial society with all that means and with—to use a modern phrase so much overworked—a lack of communication, a lack of contact and a lack of getting through as between one side and another.

We have in this country no such barriers, unless we create them ourselves. We have no such walls which divide one section from another, no such hindrances which separate one group or category in the community from another. But if we have them to any degree, we have an obligation to see to it that they are demolished forthwith and that action is taken to consult and discuss and to create an atmosphere in which it is possible to have that personal touch which is essential for progressive, satisfactory and harmonious human relations. One of the other advantages we possess is that we inherited very little of the evil traditions of the capitalist system which existed in bigger, older industrial societies. We have no legacy of bitterness or a heritage of antipathy to get over. We are not divided rigidly into mutually hostile classes. There is in our everyday life a widespread recognition that all citizens have equal rights and that no person's value as a citizen is to be measured by the particular occupation in which he or she happens to be engaged. These are advantages on which we should eagerly and willingly build.

We have the opportunity to set an example to the world in the establishment and development of a productive type of society, a more enlightened industrial society in which the traditional distinction between the employer and worker will become increasingly meaningless, in which all will in effect participate and contribute to the common good according to his or her particular talent, each in consequence receiving a share of the benefits which is seen to be just and fair according to his or her contribution.

The facts which are seen to exist by a recitation of these characteristics of our society involve accepting that in our newly-established State enterprises as well as in our existing industries we have an opportunity—but so far as the Dáil and Government are concerned we have an obligation—to see that the State companies, bodies like the ESB, CIE and Bord na Móna or Aer Lingus or any other State organisation establishes an industrial system which reflects the willing acceptance by all in the organisation of responsibility for its effective operation, direction and management.

One of the great criticisms reflected in the figures shown by the statistics compiled by ILO and similar organisations is that we have failed in regard to the number of days lost through industrial disputes. It is not sufficient for us to show that there has been an improvement this year compared with last year, or in one six-month period compared with another. So far as the figures I have quoted have indicated, we have the worst record but one of any country in Europe. In that category the greatest failure probably is the State and semi-State organisations. We must reorganise that the old-established idea of a personnel officer responsible for considering and discussing problems on behalf of the workers with the management or of transmitting to the workers decisions by the management is not suitable, satisfactory, effective or efficient in the present framework. We must endeavour to establish a system comparable with that which has proved effective and workable in other countries, whether they are called workers' councils, or committees of management representing workers and management or directors. We must establish an organisation that is effective, efficient and workable which will enable on the one hand, decisions of the management to be communicated to the workers and those on the floor, and on the other hand, will enable those on the floor to transmit grievances and complaints and opinions in the most effective, efficient and useful way that can be evolved.

In many other countries such councils exist designed to cater for the overall interest of the organisation as distinct from the mere negotiation of wages and salaries. In fact, in a great many of them the particular concern of wages and salaries is left to another body. It is a separate matter that is discussed and decided by a body on which representatives of management and workers are concerned in which the interests are presided over, or decided in the event of failure to reach agreement, by an independent chairman. But the actual conditions, the effective implementation of policy, the attitude and effects that policy may have on the interests of those concerned are efficiently and properly considered by a council representing both management and workers.

We must establish these in regard to the ESB and CIE, two bodies in which the very vital interests not merely of those employed and working are concerned but the far wider activities of the community are affected and can in some cases be brought to a halt because of disputes or disagreement on interests or attitudes not solely concerned with wages, not entirely or directly concerned with salaries or incomes but concerned with a whole range of matters such as fringe benefits, conditions, the circumstances in which people work and the conditions in which they are obliged to operate or provide a service. All these are questions which must be considered in the broadest possible concept of industrial relations which have nowadays impinged not merely on those directly concerned but affect the wider interests of the community and the nation as a whole.

One of the criticisms that has been expressed and one of the factors which influences outside investment in this country, one of the restricting factors on far greater investment by outside interests in industrial enterprises, in economic and similar projects here, is the fact that we have a bad record of industrial relations. We have no heritage of bitterness or conflict in the broad sense between capital and workers, between management and those directly employed in a concern. We have had, and we must accept as a natural risk of ordinary everyday activity, disputes and conflicts such as arise when people will not agree on decisions or policies unless they are adequately explained and properly understood. But compared with other countries we have no heritage of industrial dispute, no legacy of dissension or disunity comparable with many other countries but nonetheless we have a very bad record compared with other European countries. That is one of the factors that has influenced investment in this country and which will, in future, affect the extent to which outside interests will participate here.

This is where I believe the greatest failure lies so far as Government policy is concerned. We must accept that in a modern society, a society in which everybody is a partner in the development, expansion and improvement economically and socially of living conditions, an obligation rests on the Government and on State enterprises to set a headline. It is for that reason that we are concerned, like many other countries, with the failure of the Government to accept that other sections in the community have a part to play and that there is a duty to have their views considered, their opinions consulted, their attitudes respected and their interests taken into consideration when decisions are being put into operation.

In the last analysis, if it is a question of State expenditure, if it is a question of State subsidy or of Government subvention, raised through the taxpayer, being provided, then ultimately the decision must rest with the Government. Whether the decision is right or wrong, whether the amount is adequate for the needs of those concerned in it, the Government must accept responsibility and the final decision must be taken by them. If that decision is accepted, well and good. If it is not accepted, then the community must avail of the opportunity in an election to change the Government.

It is a complete fallacy, however, to imagine that a Government can establish, as this Government attempted to establish, an agricultural council nominally representative of the agricultural interest but which could not be regarded in any sense as other than a Fianna Fáil cumann giving its views to the Minister for Agriculture. That action has been condemned, irrespective of politics. It has been rejected by the farmers' organisation. No matter whose face has to be saved, no matter whose name or what personality is involved, if it means changing a Minister or if it means changing a decision, there is far more at stake here than the personality of a Minister, the soundness of a Government policy, or the reputation of the Fianna Fáil Party or any other Party.


: Hear, hear.

: This is a national question. The farmers' organisations, irrespective of politics, have rejected not only Fianna Fáil nominees but Fine Gael nominees as well, as they were entitled to do, and I am particularly glad that they also rejected Fine Gael nominees, because it exemplifies that the farmers' organisations speak on behalf of the farmers and not on behalf of a particular political organisation.

The same applies to industry. One of the criticisms expressed and one of the failures pinpointed by the Report of the Federation of Irish Industries was in relation to its own role. It is no longer the plaything of the Fianna Fáil Party. In the past one of the defects of that body was that it was virtually handpicked and that every time they held a function, unless they got the incense boat and used it in respect of whoever was the Fianna Fáil Minister and the Taoiseach, no obligations were discharged.

This organisation represents the industrialists of this country. It is concerned in their welfare and it is directed towards promoting their interest and developing their economy. One of the facts to which they adverted in the course of their report "The Challenge: Industry and Free Trade—A Business Study" was this:

On the State's side, in addition to the drawing together of the various services dealing with industry, the Government will need to provide for direct representation of industry through its representative organisations on the bodies planning and operating the various services and aids. In the past, largely because of the absence of appropriate representative machinery it has been the practice for industry representatives on bodies such as Córas Tráchtála, Institute for Industrial Research and Standards and the Kilkenny Design Workshops to be selected directly by the Government and appointed to act as individuals. This system will have to be changed in future if industry and these services are to work together to agreed policies and plans.

I welcome the decision which was announced last week by the Minister for Industry and Commerce to separate the Industrial Development Authority from the Civil Service. That is in line with the original decision we made when we were in Government, and the reason we did not implement it was that Deputy Lemass, who was then the effective spokesman, if not the nominal leader, of the Fianna Fáil Party, expressed the view and gave it as the considered opinion of the Fianna Fáil Party that if they were elected, they would repeal the Act under which the Industrial Development Authority was established, that they regarded it as inimical to the welfare and progress of Irish industry. Time has proved, events have proved, employment has proved, the finances have proved, the economy has proved, that the establishment of the Industrial Development Authority was one of the most magnificent breakthroughs in economic and social progress since this State was established. The former Deputy Morrissey was Minister for Industry and Commerce and Deputy John A. Costello was Taoiseach at the time. One of the facts that influenced us in deciding to separate the Irish Development Authority from the Department was that a number of people who were appointed to the Board were concerned as to their personal position and at the prospect that if there was a change of Government, their status or position might be jeopardised. We have got over that. We have now had a change of Government two or three times, and it is now just 20 years since the Industrial Development Authority was established.

There is a widespread realisation by industry and workers as well as by politicians and, above all, by people outside the country that the Industrial Development Authority is the instrument whereby the Irish people and the Irish nation can promote, develop and encourage from abroad economic and other assistance, whether it is technical know-how or expertise or the actual finances with which to exploit the resources of this country to the advantage of the Irish people as well as to the advantage of those who invest in it.

One of the facts which has been proclaimed in recent months is the extent to which there has been an improvement in industrial development and in industrial employment. It is notable that, despite the moderate increase in employment, in so far as the targets laid down in the Second Programme are concerned, in so far as the aims which were announced as realisable and which were expressed as attainable are concerned, the figures presented in the Second Programme have not been realised. In fact, we now have 49,000 people fewer at work than the programme promised, and we have 7,000 people more unemployed than this time last year. One of the deficiencies in this Programme is the fact that the Government and the organisations responsible have taken no steps to try to reach the targets proposed by the NIEC and that with the passage of each month these targets become more and more unattainable.

We believe that the failure of the Second Programme and the inability to reach the targets is a failure again to communicate and to consult with the interests affected, that the major defect in the Second Programme and the likely defect in the promised Third Programme is that it has been prepared by those who are not directly concerned with its implementation, that it is a blue print or a white print laid down by Government Departments, that the effective operation of the programme has not been decided upon or considered as a result of direct consultation with industry and agriculture on the one hand, and workers and trade unions on the other.

We have in this country a situation in which our industrial progress compared with that in a number of other countries not merely falls behind them, but falls behind the targets laid down when the Programme was announced. The defect of the present Programme has reflected itself even in wider spheres. There are problems affecting our social policy. The difficulty confronting many sections of the community is expressed and exemplified in the housing situation. One of the stock answers, and one of the regular replies given by the Minister for Local Government, no matter who he is, is that we have voted, or provided in the Book of Estimates, or the annual Vote for the Department of Local Government, more money for housing than was provided last year or the year before.

That fails to take account of the steep rise in the cost of building, the steep rise in the cost of construction, and the fact which presents itself to every individual seeking to provide himself with a house that not merely has the cost of building increased, but that the problems of interest payments on loans and the problems of providing loans are getting more and more difficult for those in need of them. The grants and loans which are applicable under the Small Dwellings (Acquisition) Acts have remained virtually unchanged for the past 20 years. There have been minor modifications. It is widely recognised and generally accepted that the SDA grants provided by the local authorities or supplemented by supplementary grants are completely unrealistic. We have to accept and realise that we must adopt a completely different system if we are to operate an effective and appropriate system of financing house building. The present system of grants is outmoded, outdated, inadequate, and incapable of providing for the needs of the country, or the needs of individuals.

We have to accept in regard to housing as we have accepted in a very limited and defective way in regard to family allowances, that the task of providing a home and providing adequate accommodation for families depends not only on income—there may be exceptional cases in which a person's income is greater than that of his neighbour—but that in the last analysis the obligation and duty to provide a home and accommodation which devolves on the individual is affected by the size of the family and by their ages at a particular period. He has an obligation not merely to provide a home based on numbers because, if a person is obliged to provide a home for himself and his wife on his own income, he has a much easier task and a relatively simpler task than that of a person who has three, four, five, six or seven children. In addition to providing a home he has to clothe and look after the children, and the present rate of family allowances is a joke when compared with that provided in other countries.

We have advocated, and we recommend again, that a definite decision must be taken to provide a proper system of social security and health services. Our present system is inadequate and incapable of providing the necessary services. It does not provide the benefits which are essential for the person concerned, or for his wife and family and above all it places a burden on the individual as well as on the community which is out of proportion to the benefits provided. We welcome the recent announcement by the Minister for Finance that it is proposed to consider a comprehensive scheme based on insurance. We have consistently advocated that the only proper and effective means of providing a social welfare code here to provide an adequate and proper health service is one based on insurance. The defect of the present system is that it is based in the main, on the single stamp, and on a system of contributions which is out of date and outmoded. Over and above that, the health service based on contributions by the State and by workers and employers and local authorities is unsatisfactory. It must be based on insurance. I have repeatedly expressed the view that workers as well as employers must accept a graded rate of contributions. The present system of providing health services based on contributions from the rates does not provide satisfactory health services and, above all, it does not provide a satisfactory rates system.

There is no use criticising the rates system unless there is an alternative. One of the great secrets of the Government is the Report of the inquiry into an alternative system to finance those services which are at present provided out of the rates. Some years ago the Taoiseach's predecessor announced that it was proposed to set up a committee to consider this problem. So far the deliberations of that committee have remained secret. Today we find in Dublin city a waiting list of 8,500 persons looking for houses. Of that 8,500 persons almost 2,000 are living in one room. I know that in my own constituency of Dún Laoghaire—and this applies to other areas too, to Limerick, Cork, Waterford, the urban areas like Kilkenny, and many rural areas as well — there is an acute housing problem because of the failure not merely to provide money, but the failure by the Government to give decisions and sanction proposals which come from local authorities, and their failure to provide the ancillary services.

It is not sufficient to say more money is provided. It is not sufficient to say more finance is available than last year or five or ten years ago. Everyone knows that because of price increases aggravated by the wholesale tax, building costs have increased. We are facing a problem in which old attitudes and old systems of financing are inadequate or insufficient to provide a remedy for the people who are in need of homes. We must accept and realise, if we are to provide a remedy for these problems, that we must adopt an attitude similar to and comparable with the direction and initiative shown by the inter-Party Government when the late Deputy Murphy was Minister for Local Government 20 years ago, and which marked a great breakthrough in housing.

Some consideration has been given in recent months to the question of the development of our educational services. There has been a great deal of talk, and sometimes the talk and the headlines have obscured the realities of the situation. In recent years, and in recent months particularly, the Government have given the impression, or attempted to create the impression, that we are devoting a very considerable proportion of our resources to educational development. It is interesting to examine the actual facts of the situation.

In 1931, 37 years ago, 21.7 per cent of the Supply Services was spent on education compared with 14.40 per cent this year. In other words, if we were to spend the same percentage of the national supply Estimates on education this year as we spent 37 years ago, when education did not loom as large either on the horizon of politicians or on the horizon of students as it does today, we should be spending an additional £24 million over and above that which was planned or proposed in the Second Programme. Indeed, it would fully implement the proposals we made in Towards a Just Society.

One of the matters that has been the subject of consideration by the Government and by the State, as well as by the authorities concerned, is the question of university education. We believe the universities have a very vital part to play in the development and expansion of educational service. We believe that those concerned in it have a role to play in the community far exceeding their numbers and far greater than the actual personnel involved in it. It is for that reason that we believe it is essential that the personal interests or the attitudes which may be adopted by particular sections or groups in the educational sphere must not be allowed to impede or impair the development and expansion of the service.

We believe there must be an overall plan for educational services and for educational facilities. There must be a proper grants system for university education. Such a system must ensure that there is not conflict between the Minister of the Government and the teachers. The lack of foresight which has affected our educational system in the past or which has affected our housing or our social programmes must no longer be allowed to impede or impair the progress of our educational developments. We believe therefore, that, no matter how concerned particular sections or groups may be, no matter how their interest may be affected or influenced, the paramount consideration is the welfare of the students and the general welfare and progress of the nation.

We believe there should be full and adequate consultation between the authorities of the different universities so that their attitudes and interests and views may fully and properly be considered. The attitudes of their staffs should carefully and fully be weighed in deciding on policy. Above all, the welfare of the students and the welfare of those likely to attend universities in the future must be considered, properly co-ordinated and taken into account in whatever decisions are taken.

It is not sufficient in respect of university education any more than industry or agriculture that the Government should adopt an attitude of: "There is the decision; take it or leave it". In a modern democracy, it is absolutely essential that the interests of those affected by decisions should carefully be weighed, fully considered, and that proper and adequate attention should be given to the views expressed. Having done that, the responsibility afterwards devolves on the Government for taking decisions. There is, in this whole history of the Government attitude to the university, an indication of a lack of a definite decision, a failure to decide on what should be done based on the decision originally to establish a commission and then the second decision to take action irrespective of what that commission recommended.

Now, in recent weeks, we have seen and I think some concern has been expressed, and rightly expressed about, the report of a speech or an interview or a view expressed by the Minister for Education. The Minister for Education spoke recently to a reporter of the Daily Telegraph and the report of that occasion appears on page 20 of the Daily Telegraph of Tuesday, 4th June, 1968. It is an English newspaper of very conservative background. In that interview, our Minister for Education expressed the view that Scotland and Wales would be ill-advised to break away from England. I quote now from the last four paragraphs of that report:

In Southern Ireland we have learned the hard way and have now turned the corner. We now have an expanding economy, balance of payments and a rise in external reserves. This has only come about as the result of a whole generation's efforts.

It is a slow, painful grind and independence per se will not solve the problems in Scotland and Wales as a euphoria.

Scotland and Wales would be well advised to maintain their links with England and develop some form of regional Parliament to give them a greater voice in the running of local affairs.

According to the report, he went on to say:

If the British Parliament had backed Gladstone and given us Home Rule, a limited form of self-government, a lot of bitterness between this country and Britain would never have happened.

That attitude, if it reflects the Government view, is a disastrous viewpoint. If it does not, it should be repudiated.


: Hear, hear.

: No matter whose view is involved in this sort of thing, if it does not reflect the national viewpoint it should be repudiated. The Minister responsible should repudiate it or deny it. Alternatively, he should accept responsibility and say he was responsible for it.

The last thing I want to deal with is the question of our relief fund and the steps we have taken to provide relief in Biafra. I expressed the view yesterday—I think it is generally accepted—that the Irish people willingly and gladly accept the liability of providing relief, assistance and succour for the starving people in both Nigeria and in part of the eastern region known as Biafra. In this country we have many memories of a personal kind in the sense that a great number of families have traditional knowledge from one source or another. We have, too, in many areas in the country, memories and examples of the privations, hardship and misery which our people suffered at the time of the Famine a little over 100 years ago. It is one of the facts which has influenced our history probably more than many others, other than the Penal Law. It is one of the memories that are readily and easily in our minds and one which comes readily before our eyes when considering our history, particularly our recent history. We therefore recognise and fully understand the stark reality of the horrors and privations which face the people of Nigeria, and particularly the people of Biafra.

We know from the comparisons that have been made that a population somewhat comparable with that which existed here before the Famine of 1847, of roughly eight million people, confined in an area either the size of Munster and Leinster or Munster and Connacht, are faced with starvation. We recognise that we have a humanitarian responsibility and a responsibility which devolves on us, having the advantage of freedom and independence, to provide succour and relief for them and having endeavoured to provide that, we have a duty and a responsibility to see that what we send reaches the areas and the persons for whom it is destined. Over and above that, we have a responsibility and a duty to use every available means to procure by any international method a cease fire in the area.

We are not concerned with and we have no interest in the political, military or any other attitude of either the Federal Government or the breakaway eastern State under the name Biafra, or the tribal or other interests involved. We want to see a cease fire. One of the attitudes which we have prided ourselves on and one of the claims we have repeatedly made as members of the United Nations, or in the past as members of the League of Nations, is that we adopt an independent attitude, that we decide in an objective way on the matters which come before such organisations and that we do that because of our interest in world peace and in peace in a particular area or region.

Recently we made great play of our participation in the non-proliferation treaty and everybody regards that as a useful decision and a useful and desirable objective but we are now faced with an immediate and practical problem, and there is a general impression, so far as one can assess from reports and views expressed by press and other commentators, that there is in the United Nations attitude to the Nigeria problem an approach that is far too legalistic and formalistic. We are not interested in these aspects of the matter. We are not interested in the theories of independence or the trappings of decisions taken by either of the authorities concerned, or the attitudes adopted by Governments, Parliaments, or organisations representing themselves as independent and separate. We are interested in the survival of individuals as human beings.

We must therefore exert ourselves as a nation that itself has suffered from similar circumstances when we had not got independence. We have an obligation to use our influence in the United Nations, no matter whom it affects or whom it hurts. We have an obligation to cease creating the impression that we are only interested in abstract ideas because so far as this and many other countries are concerned, the non-proliferation treaty is an abstract idea that will never become a reality and whether it does or not, no one can prove whether it is operating or not operating.

We have a duty to provide help, succour and assistance and we have done that according to our physical, financial, medical and other means, but that is not enough. Over and above that, we should use our endeavours in the United Nations, whether we offend against the theoretical or legalistic or formalistic attitude of international civil servants or anyone else, because if the United Nations fails to achieve peace and fails to bring relief to Nigeria, then it can cease to represent the welfare and the interests of humanity. The very purpose for which the United Nations was primarily established, to help the suffering, is at stake, and if we cannot do this in respect of eight million people in a non-developed and non-exploited country, how can we expect anyone to accept that an organisation can do it for a modern and sophisticated society of great nations?

Here is a great challenge before the United Nations. As I said, we have no interest in the political, military or economic aspects but we have an interest in helping and assisting the oppressed and suffering people of these areas and an inescapable obligation and a duty to see that our efforts, political, financial, medical and otherwise are used to the greatest possible extent to bring relief and help to those who need it.

: I can appreciate that the Taoiseach's political speech will be in his reply and that the speech which he delivered——

: It depends on what the Deputy says.

: I am sure the Taoiseach will have a political reply anyhow. The Taoiseach gave us statistics in an endeavour to demonstrate that the country was progressing and that there was an air of prosperity in the land. Somebody interjected and said, and I agree, that the statisticians and the economists would be very pleased with his review but I am sure that he is as much a grass-roots politician as anybody else in this House and he must know that despite these statistics with regard to growth, external reserves, et cetera, we still have problems and he still has them in his own constituency, which do not seem to be capable of solution by the Government, or else the Government have no intention of trying to tackle them. Despite all he said, we still have the problem of providing jobs, the alleviation of poverty and the establishment of a proper health scheme, tackling the housing problem and the problems of extending industry and agriculture, and last but not least, something to which I referred before, the efficiency of the Dáil.

The Taoiseach engaged here to-day for half an hour or threequarters of an hour in a statistical review but I think we should also have a look at the work of the Dáil since January and February of this year. If we were to mention the achievements, I do not think they would be regarded as being very impressive. We passed a Road Traffic Bill which was desirable and a good piece of legislation. We passed a Bill which would provide for higher education grants and it was important and desirable. We passed the Shannon Free Airport Development Company Bill and we had the Referendum Bill, and we had the Budget. I do not think anybody in the House could mention any more pieces of legislation or motions dealt with by the Dáil in this session.

: The Social Welfare Bill, the Tourist Traffic Bill, the Gaeltacht Industries Bill.

: These are the ones that will make any impact on the people. There was nothing else of significance initiated by the Government. As a matter of fact, as far as the initiating of business by the Government and the engaging in business is concerned, it seemed to me there was a deliberate filibuster by the Minister for Local Government on the Referendum Bill and on the two Bills to provide for changes in the Constitution in order to use up the time of the Dáil because the Government had no other measures to put before it. I and my Party believe, therefore, that until Dáil Éireann is made more efficient and more streamlined, this House will continue in the same way as it has being operating, not only since January of last year but for many years before that.

As I said, the Taoiseach will make his political reply at the end, but today he seemed to me, at any rate, to be making a deliberate attempt to play down the two major problems about which we have always talked here—unemployment and emigration. Again, of course, he wants to put the best face he can on it; he changes the rules in order to present a very different picture from the picture with which we are so familiar as far as employment, unemployment and emigration are concerned.

: The facts only! What are the facts?

: I shall talk about them. As the Taoiseach says, they are facts. Before I do so, however, I think one should make reference to a subject which was referred to by the Taoiseach and referred to at some length by the leader of the Fine Gael Party, Deputy Cosgrave, that is industrial relations. All of us are concerned about industrial relations and none of us can be happy if the position is, as outlined by the Taoiseach, that we are one of the worst countries in Europe as far as strikes are concerned.

: The Deputy would want to get his personalities right now.

: Sometimes, I admit, I get mixed up between Deputy Lynch and Deputy Cosgrave because they talk with the same voice on so many things. However, one of them referred to the fact that Ireland was very high up as far as strikes were concerned. Now I had occasion to talk about this before and I said then, and I repeat now, that one would think the Irish worker was a different sort of animal from the worker in Britain and in Europe. Whilst it is not said in specific terms, there is always the inference that there is something radically wrong with the trade union movement here as compared with Britain and certain European countries. The fact is that both sides, management and workers, have responsibility for industrial relations, be those relations good or bad.

The responsibility of management has not, in my opinion, been stressed strongly enough here. There was a Government report recently which said that some of the industries in the underdeveloped areas had failed because management had failed. It would be reasonable to assume, I think, that if management failed to keep industry in production, there is a strong likelihood that, as far as industrial relations are concerned, they fell down on the job in this particular direction, too.

I do not think the Minister for Labour has fulfilled his responsibility since he was appointed Minister for Labour. He gets very indignant here when he is questioned, particularly by members of the Labour Party, on the subject of industrial relations. I think he believes his only function is to introduce and steer through legislation, as he did the Redundancy Bill and some other measures, valuable measures, admittedly, as far as industrial relations and workers' benefits are concerned; but I believe he has a bigger function than that. I believe he has missed the most important part in his role, namely, the co-ordination so absolutely vital and necessary between management in industry and industry as represented by the workers.

I believe we fall down on industrial relations mainly because there is not sufficient participation by the workers in industry. There is no decision for them to make in the majority of cases. Again, as has been said many times on these benches, the only time there is any consultation between management and workers is when there is trouble. That is the only occasion I know of on which the two sides come together. The workers are never consulted about the plans for the industry, about methods of increased production, about providing for economies. They are consulted about nothing whatsoever. The only consultation is when there is some difference of opinion with regard to wages, hours, or conditions of employment. Mark you, too many employers regard their workers as ciphers to be dismissed at will and taken on at will. Irish workers certainly have this impression and so long as that impression persists, there will be this hostility between workers and industry.

There is, I think, too little realisation that workers are the most important element in industry and, if they are, then they should be allowed to participate. It is just not good enough that a worker should be given 24 hours notice that his place of employment is either going to close down or that he is to be dismissed. The factors leading to dismissal or the closing down of the industry did not take place within 24 hours. Management know weeks and months beforehand and, in many cases, the closing down or the laying-off of workers would be avoided if there were more consultation between the workers employed and the management of the particular industry.

There were some slight references— I think by the Taoiseach—to foreign investors and the fear some of them have of coming to Ireland. I do not want to go over the EI dispute, but that was a typical example of how someone led these people astray. When they suggested coming here, or when they were being invited to come here, they should have been told in explicit terms that this was a trade union country——

: This is the most highly organised trade union country in Europe. This should have been spelled out to these industrialists in black and white and, if there was any misapprehension as to what the trade union set-up was here, then somebody was at fault in Industry and Commerce, in the Industrial Development Authority or in some of the semi-State agencies. But no trade union could tolerate a situation in which an industry like EI would refuse to recognise any number of people who wanted to become members of a trade union, no matter how small that group might be. In any case, I think the Government have now learned a lesson —at least they should have—as far as industrial relations are concerned and legislation to provide for such relations, having had the experience of the ESB (Temporary Provisions) Bill. This was the disaster the Labour Party forecast it would be. It proved that on two occasions.

The Government should now, in a real effort to improve relations between workers and employers, and particularly between workers and employers in semi-State industries, take this particular piece of legislation off the Statute Book altogether. Can anyone conceive of any court or any tribunal in this country compelling or making an Irishman go to work? Consider all the resentment there was when people were imprisoned because they picketed outside some of the premises of the ESB. I do not know of any other country in Europe that has that sort of legislation. That is the sort of legislation that gets the back of the trade union movement up and that is the sort of legislation the Minister for Labour should decide to scrap immediately.

I have talked about the provision of jobs. The main indication of the success or failure of any Government is the employment figures, or the unemployment figures. Immediately the Government here stand condemned. The Taoiseach spoke about the statistics and freely admitted, as he must, that on 30th June, 1968, compared with 30th June, 1967, there were 4,600 more unemployed. This is a fact. There has been no change in the past six months that would tend to minimise the problem we have with regard to the increase in the number of unemployed. The Taoiseach said that there was a survey carried out recently in Drogheda from which there was evidence that one-third of the people were not really looking for work, that some were registered for part-time work or some were married women and not available for full-time work. This is not a new situation. This is not a situation which makes it unfair to compare 1967 with 1968 or 1966. This has always been the position. I admitted in a speech in the Dáil some years ago that even amongst the unemployed, there were many who were not capable of taking up employment because they had been so long unemployed that they would find it difficult to adjust themselves to getting out at 8 a.m. and returning at 6.30 p.m.

The plain fact is that over the past two years there has been a consistent increase in the number of unemployed in the whole country. For that, Fianna Fáil must take responsibility. I know that they may not be particularly concerned about the number of unemployed because, ranged over the 26 Counties, they do not represent a lot of votes at election time but even if there are one-third who the Taoiseach says are incapable or unwilling to take up full-time employment, we still have a problem with the rest and it is the duty of the Government and of this House to make every effort to provide employment for them. The Taoiseach said that these figures were distorted because now it was possible for people to draw unemployment benefit for a full 12 months. This has been introduced in the past few months and would not have any effect in about six or nine months time.

I referred some time ago to a speech the Taoiseach had made at the National Management Conference on 27th April of this year, in Killarney, and on which he has not yet commented in this House. He said that one-third of the home market would go by the middle of the 1970s. This was his quote, as I read it in the Irish Times on 29th April, 1968. I do not know whether he said it or not. I would regard it as a sort of estimate that one-third of the home market would go by the middle of the 1970s. As far as I can relate that to employment, it means that 50,000 jobs will be lost. I could not see anything in the speech about plans to ensure that these jobs would be replaced by some other jobs. I would say—and this was the inference by the Taoiseach—that this will be as a result of the Anglo-Irish Free Trade Area Agreement concluded some few years ago, because, as the years go on up to 1975, the gate will be opened wider and wider every year for the easier entry of British manufactured goods to this country.

The Taoiseach has a lot of explaining to do on the Anglo-Irish Free Trade Area Agreement and on the Common Market. We were told about two years ago that the Anglo-Irish Free Trade Area Agreement was not intended to run its full course, that this would be in the nature of a practice run in preparation for entry to the European Economic Community. Now it seems we will have to go the full gamut and the full gamut means that practically everything in Great Britain can come into this country and compete with the Irish manufactured product, but, as I said, the Taoiseach and the members of the Government said it was not expected that it would continue its full course to 1975 because we would become a member of the European Economic Community by 1970.

Yesterday, I think for the first time, the Taoiseach admitted that 1970 was not now a realistic time for entry by Ireland to the European Economic Community. Therefore, we suggest, as we suggested on many occasions in recent weeks, that the Irish Government seek a discussion with the British Government with a view to the making of a new Agreement. I believe, despite what the Taoiseach said today, we got the worst part of the bargain. This has been felt as the Julys roll on. Every year there is a decrease in the duty to be paid on British imported goods. As time goes on, the situation will get worse. I know that in my own constituency some of the industries there are beginning to feel the pinch. I cannot talk about industries in other constituencies. As far as my constituency is concerned, they are beginning to feel the pinch and are finding it much more difficult to produce at competitive prices and to sell their products.

The Taoiseach refuted the suggestion I made last year that there were difficulties in his own constituency, the city of Cork, due to the operations of the Anglo-Irish Free Trade Area Agreement. Our view was, and still is, concisely that we got too little for agriculture and gave too much away as far as industrial products are concerned. We believe, and have always believed, that the Government were over-optimistic in assuming that this country would become a member of the EEC by 1970. This is another of their gimmicks that exploded because 1970 was represented to the Irish people and to the farmer in particular as the year of deliverance. Now, the year of deliverance, not due I suppose to the fault of this Government, must go far beyond 1970.

I am not too impressed at all by the figures given to us recently with regard to exports. It is true that exports have increased, particularly as far as the agricultural industry is concerned, but, again, I do not think we can be as optimistic in this year as the Taoiseach would have us be, particularly in regard to agriculture, because this year was a special year in which there was the epidemic of foot and mouth disease in Britain and a year in which it was possible for the Irish farmer to export cattle and at a better price.

I suppose I will be accused of repetition when I mention some figures here but they are revealing figures. They ought to be placed on record here on the day when the motion for the Adjournment of the Dáil for the summer of 1968 was moved. The Taoiseach did not spend a long time talking about employment and unemployment when making his opening speech today. As I said at the beginning, we judge Government on the record as far as employment and unemployment are concerned. The record has not been impressive since 1962. From 1964 to 1967, we gained 3,000 new jobs, that is, including industry and agriculture. I do not think that is a record of which the Government should be proud. It is something on which the Taoiseach should have made much broader comment, not briefly gloss over the figures as he did.

The Budget was not spectacular. I suppose it was attractive in that it gave certain increases in the social welfare code, but, again, there was no sign of leadership from the Government through the Minister for Finance as far as industry and the provision of jobs are concerned because there was nothing in the Budget speech by the Minister for Finance except the promise of a Third Programme. The House should be told when this Third Programme will be published and what it is to contain. We are told that not alone is it to contain an economic plan for the country in preparation for entry to the European Economic Community by 1970 but a social plan as well. Whether the Government have decided to adhere to the publication of the Third Programme, in view of the fact that we will not be in the EEC by 1970, I do not know.

The latest gimmick of the Fianna Fáil Party has been the promise of a Third Programme, but if we look back over the past ten years, we discover that in practically every single year there was a gimmick and all these gimmicks seem to have exploded. We had the First Programme in 1958. That flopped badly. In 1960, we had talk, talk and talk in every part of the country, including in this House, about the great advantages there would be for Ireland if we were to become a member of the European Economic Community. For the present anyway that appears to be only a myth. In 1963 we had the Second Programme for Economic Expansion. This was announced by the then Minister for Finance and by the last Taoiseach to be a failure. Prior to that, the present Taoiseach, as Minister for Finance, asked in the first sentence of his speech one year: "What went wrong?" The same question could be asked by the Taoiseach of the Second Programme. It did not give the results which were so enthusiastically forecast by the then Taoiseach and the members of his Government. In 1967 we had the resurrection of the idea of our becoming a member of the EEC, and in 1969 we have the promise of the Third Programme.

We are not at all impressed by the publicity the Minister for Industry and Commerce got for his plans for industrial development. We have always believed that the Government must take greater initiative in the establishment of industry. They have refused to do this. I would not say they are a 100 per cent private enterprise Party but they are a 95 per cent private enterprise Party. They have on occasions gone into the field of semi-State companies, and very successfully in many instances. We wonder why they do not go much further. It must be abundantly clear to everybody that, not alone are private enterprise not taking an interest in the establishment of real industry in this country, but that the type of foreign investor who came here to establish industries does not seem to be attracted any more.

The Taoiseach talked about the state of the economy and the increase in growth he expects this year and gave us various other statistics. I do not think the Government can claim responsibility for these matters, just as they disclaim responsibility when the growth is only 1½ per cent or two per cent. No matter what way you look at it, we are like a cork on the ocean, subject to outside influences, particularly those from Britain. Unless we take some initiative ourselves, we are always going to have this seesaw—up for two years, down for two years, and so on.

We have had this particular problem so far as the provision of jobs is concerned and we do not seem to have made any impact in that respect. With a great sounding of trumpets, we were told in the past year or two that industrial estates were to be established in Waterford, Galway and in one other area. I do not know whether these have been a success. Perhaps the Taoiseach would be able to tell us? In Waterford, for example, have we had any dramatic increase in the number of jobs? Have the factories been established in Galway? Has there been any dramatic increase in the numbers employed there?

Deputies are also concerned about the future of our provincial towns. It is all very well to talk about establishing industrial estates in this and that centre, but the Government have a responsibility to ensure that industry in the smaller towns, particularly old-established industries, will be maintained. There does not seem to be the slightest interest in that. I have had evidence of that in recent years when dealing with various Ministers for Finance in regard to two or three industries in my constituency. Is it the policy of the Government to write off these smaller towns? Is there to be any drive to ensure that not alone will existing industries be maintained but that new industries will be attracted? Are we going to build up an industrial Ireland where industry will be concentrated in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway and one or two other cities? It is not good economics to allow the smaller provincial towns to die or to remain at a standstill.

If we are to provide industrial employment for our people, we must utilise the resources and amenities already there. If this is not done, we will find that the emigration figures to which the Taoiseach referred will become bigger as the years go by. On emigration, it is interesting to hear the Taoiseach say that the method by which we always determined emigration is now all wrong. Therefore, I do not know what comparisons we can make. He said that emigration up to April, 1968, was 26,000, that is, having regard to the system we have always employed to determine what emigration is. I think this is a pretty steep increase because in the previous year the figure was something like 20,000.

We have to relate that figure to the fact that compared with this time last year another 4,600 people are unemployed. I will not say that the Taoiseach is complacent about this. While the statistics he gave us may be true, we cannot afford to shove these problems under the carpet. He talked about poverty. I suppose there are not a lot of votes in the type of people to whom I want to refer now. The Minister for Finance may applaud himself by saying that in every year for the past nine years there was provision for increases in social welfare. This is true. We had one of the biggest increases ever the year before last and the one this year was a pretty decent one as well.

: The best ever.

: We concede that, but these rates are not good rates. Last week I had occasion to ask some questions regarding the number of persons in receipt of various allowances. I discovered that the number in receipt of disabled persons' maintenance allowances was 21,454. These are people who have not sickness benefit or any other benefit from the State.

: At what rate?

: I will let the Deputy make his speech later.

: I am not going to make a speech.

: These are people who cannot work. There were 31,243 people on unemployment assistance, 32,000 on unemployment benefit, 58,000 on sickness benefit, 34,000 on home assistance, nearly 10,000 in county homes, plus those in receipt of old age pensions, contributory and non-contributory, plus those in receipt of contributory and non-contributory widows' and orphans' pensions. Apart from the last people mentioned, I have totted up 190,000 people. If there are added on to that those in receipt of old age pensions and widows' and orphans' pensions it comes to a pretty formidable figure, about 250,000. Many of these—I could not say how many but we will say half —have dependants. That means that there are approximately 500,000 in this country living on what were described by the Minister for Social Welfare last night as inadequate allowances. This is a problem we have to face up to. Might I say that the record of my colleagues in the Labour Party in that respect is clean.

: Half a crown.

: It is all related to the cost of living and the turnover tax. Look, I am trying to put the problem as objectively as I can and I am not trying to score political points. What I am trying to say is that there are 500,000 people in this country whose incomes, according to the Minister for Social Welfare, are inadequate, because he said last night he did not believe that even £5 per week would be sufficient for these people. I believe that while the initiative and most of the responsibility rests with the Government, particularly the Minister for Social Welfare, all of us have an obligation towards these people. As a Party, we have always discharged our obligation to any proposals put forward by any of the Ministers for Finance but in the past few years we gladly gave our votes and were first into the Division Lobbies to vote for taxes we knew would be applied to social welfare recipients. We did it on the last Budget and if it had been suggested that these taxes on petrol, drink or tobacco had been doubled, we would find it very difficult, if not impossible, to resist them because we understand that the people I have mentioned, in order to have any minimum standard of living, must get much more than they get now.

The Taoiseach and members of the Government, including the Minister for Social Welfare, would be surprised at the response, not so much from the Deputies but from the people down the country, to the proposals in the last Budget. There was not in my constituency, or in that of anybody I spoke to, a squeak against the taxes so long as they knew they were being devoted to deserving people.

I do not know if the Minister for Local Government is dragging his feet regarding housing as much as he is regarding the referendum. We in this Party are not impressed at all by comparisons with other years regarding the amount of money given out. We are only concerned with and will only be impressed by performance. So far as the present Minister is concerned, he has not performed well regarding the provision of houses. He may tell me what the late Deputy T.J. Murphy did in 1954 or what Deputy P. O'Donnell did not do in 1955 and 1956. He is Minister for Local Government now and it is no consolation to people without houses for him to be able to say that X houses were built in 1956 and that the Government built X+Y houses in 1967. I do not believe he is tackling the problem vigorously or that he is serious about it. If he were, he would regard the provision of houses as a national emergency.

We proposed in the Budget debate that the Minister for Local Government should seriously consider the introduction of a system of building licences so that only building that was absolutely necessary would be done and that all the resources of the State would be devoted to the provision of houses for people in towns, cities and rural areas. This is not impossible. During the Emergency when we wanted an army we could get plenty of money without difficulty. We trebled, or multiplied by five or six, the Army strength. We had an enormous LDF and LSF. We had the money. Here we have a situation where banks are being renovated or built, office buildings are being erected or renovated and insurance company buildings are being erected in a matter of weeks, while our people cannot get houses.

There are people living in one room, perhaps man and wife with two or three children. There are young married couples destined to live with their in-laws for three, four or five years, a very pleasant prospect for them. There are people living in houses with roofs falling in or rain coming through. This should be the concern of the Minister for Local Government, instead of this asinine, stupid proposal he has been discussing here for the past three or four months, to change the electoral system. I am sure he has devoted practically all his energy in the Custom House, certainly in this House, and at home, when he is not sleeping, to changing the electoral system. It may be possible for Fianna Fáil to change the system but I think all of us would be unanimous in saying that the Minister for Local Government and his Parliamentary Secretary should devote all their time to providing houses. He says that we have the money. We have tens of thousands of building workers, skilled and unskilled, and we need houses. The simple question is: why can we not get them? The Minister cannot tell us and any time he replies to Parliamentary Questions on housing, he is concerned only with scoring political points.

Time is limited in this debate and I do not want to take up much more of it. Other members of my Party will speak about the necessity for the introduction of a health scheme. I have mentioned housing and also the efficiency of the Dáil. The Labour Party were quite serious when, in the recent debate on Oireachtas salaries, we suggested that the Dáil could be streamlined and made much more efficient, giving much more production. In a very short time, for the autumn session or perhaps earlier, if we get a meeting, we shall have proposals that can be considered by members of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael which we believe will make this House much more efficient so that we shall not be, as we now are, at the end of a session having done relatively little in the Dáil for the people of the country.

: The debate on the Taoiseach's Estimate gives an opportunity to discuss in general terms Government policy. The Opposition seemed to say that the Taoiseach in his speech was inclined to paint a rosy picture and suggest that everybody was well off and that there was no need for criticism or comment. We are as wide awake as the Opposition members and we know there is work to be done but we can also see that the economy generally is in a sound condition, especially compared with Britain or the United States where they seem to have financial crises one after the other. We had our own financial troubles a couple of years ago but the Government took steps to counteract them, and how right they have proved. At present we have a growth rate that is only surpassed in Western Europe, as the Taoiseach said, by Italy, Norway and the Netherlands. That is something to be proud of, bearing in mind that in the past six or seven years, the population showed an increase for the first time since the establishment of the State.

: Achieved by Fianna Fáil cumainn.

: Achieved by the Irish people with confidence in the Government they put into power in the last general elections. With an increasing population, you will have demand for more housing, sanitary services and so on. There is a worldwide trend for people to leave rural areas and settle in towns and cities and no country has succeeded in stopping it. It is the same here. We should remember that ours is mainly an agricultural economy and only in the past 20 years or so have we entered the industrial field. It is very hard for the small farmer to survive at present. He is up against it, just as the small shopkeeper is up against it through competition from supermarkets, and I am glad that any bonus, grant or incentive the Government can give, they are inclined to give to the small farmers. We have the small farm incentive bonus scheme, derating of land up to £20 valuation and grants for various types of farm work.

All over the world there is the problem of disposing of the vast milk surplus and we know that other countries have dumped on the market milk products and have seriously depressed prices. I ask myself whether we could do more on the home front. There is a campaign at the moment to encourage people to drink more milk, but I do not think we are going about it aggressively enough. If one goes to any town in the country, one can get any kind of drink, whether a mineral, beer, or what have you, but the one thing which is very hard to get is a glass of cool, clean milk. The Department should pursue this campaign more vigorously because every gallon we can consume at home will mean so much less that would be subsidised.

We have heard a great deal of talk, especially from the Fine Gael Party, to the effect that the National Agricultural Council is gone, that it was a failure. Times out of number, the Minister for Agriculture has stated that the Council was flexible, that it could be changed. This is evident from the communications he has sent out to the various farming bodies telling them they could come in and criticise, if they so desired.

: That Council has died.

: Is the Deputy delighted?

: Deputy Corry is not.

: My colleague, Deputy Corry, was is an organisation which established the best industry.

: Deputy McGilligan, as Minister for Industry and Commerce, started the beet industry.

: Deputy Corry represented the beet growers since 1934. The cry today is politics for the politicians, farming for the farmers. When I look at the list of candidates elected, I see an ex-Fine Gael Senator who stood at the last three elections for Fine Gael and I see a Fianna Fáil county councillor who stood at the last election for Fianna Fáil, so I do not think that cry has been adhered to, politics for the politicians and so on.

Deputy Cosgrave stated at the last Fine Gael Ard Fheis that he believed —and there were no objections—that the farm of the future would be 300 or 400 acres.

: Deputy Cosgrave said no such thing. He was quoting Dr. Mansholt.

: Why did you not contradict him?

: He did not say it. How can you contradict a statement that was not made?

: He said the small one man farm would not survive. They were as mute as mice over there. Fine Gael say there is no hope for the small farmer and that farms must be turned into ranches of 300 or 400 acres. In the main, our farmers are small farmers and they are entitled to whatever help we can give them. They know well that if Fine Gael get into power, the subsidies will be withdrawn from them, just as the leader of that Party decried the subsidising of milk.

It has been said here that the Government have been doing nothing about housing. An increased amount of money is being provided each year for housing. When the population is increasing, as it is, more houses are required. That was not the case some ten years ago when the population was going down. It was very easy to get houses then. The rural areas must also be considered. The provision of water for the countryside is very important. I am glad to see that people in various parts of the country are organising their own group water schemes. I have heard it said there is no money for group water schemes. That is not the case. There is not a county where group water schemes are not going ahead, due to the grants and the initiative of the people concerned.

Again on the matter of housing, in my own county of Cork, a pool of land has been provided on which houses can be built adjacent to many towns and villages. I know of one case where land is available and where people have asked the council to build the houses for them or have undertaken to do it themselves.

In regard to education, since the free post-primary education scheme came in, it is grand to see all the mini-buses and buses bringing the children to the various secondary and vocational schools throughout the country. This scheme is a lasting monument to the late Minister for Education, Donogh O'Malley. Thank God, we have reached the stage at which each and every child can get a fair crack of the whip and go to the top if he or she has the ability, regardless of the financial position of the parents.

When the Department of Education decided to provide central primary schools and announced that it would be necessary to close the one- and two-teacher schools, all Parties agreed. However, when some Deputies opposite went back to their constituencies, they found people who objected to the closing of a school; the Deputies concerned took the same line and tried to turn it to political advantage. The Department of Education has been most helpful in this regard within the past few years. They have listened to all the suggestions which were put up by the local parents committee or by the local public representatives, and not one of these schools was closed without going fully into all aspects of the case. That is something people are inclined to overlook.

At the moment there are many wage claims in the pipeline. I am glad to say a great number of them are being negotiated on a long-term basis. It is a very healthy sign that these negotiations are taking place in an orderly and democratic manner with the various unions involved. I should like to remind the Labour Party that workers of all shades of political opinion belong to these unions, and when increases are granted, they should bear in mind that they are granted through the unions and that it is the healthy state of the economy that makes these increases possible. If things were not well in the country, these increases could not be granted. This year we have had increases for all the social welfare classes. We in this Party believe that they are still not high enough. That is quite true, but I am glad to see that each year they are getting something, and that at last the Labour Party seem to have grown up, and when taxes are being imposed on one commodity or another of late, they are inclined to vote for us after the Budget.

At last we are moving away from the days when politics were based on the Civil War. Now and again there are outbursts in the House and of course we always have one at Question Time around this time of the year when Fine Gael request that some of the Army personnel should attend the Michael Collins memorial ceremony at Béal na mBláth in August. I should like to make a public statement on this matter. Within the past few years, that monument was desecrated and it was said that our Party had done it, or given orders to have it done. It was cried out during the Presidential election over loudspeakers that we had descrated that monument, that it was "those terrible people" who did it. We did not do it. I was amazed when Deputy Creed said today that Fine Gael had nothing to do with sponsoring the Collins commemoration each year.

: I did not say that.

: You did.

: I did not. I said it was not a Fine Gael organised commemoration.

: Did you not organise Fine Gael people to attend it?

: I did not.

: You did.

: What is wrong with it, if we did?

: I want to clear up the point that our Party had nothing to do with desecrating that monument. We probably all come from families that held different views at the time of the Civil War and we are all proud of the part they played, but politics are going further and further away from that era. This is the era of bread and butter politics.

: The Deputy's remarks would not seem to indicate that.

: I want to clear up that point once and for all. I do not like discussing what happened.

: It was unnecessary to mention it.

: It was necessary because this question is put down year in and year out.

: Are we not entitled to put down questions?

: You are perfectly entitled to do so.

: There is room for all opinions.

: The Government still have the confidence of the people, regardless of what the Opposition are trying to do. That confidence has been demonstrated in the by-elections which we seem to be having at very regular intervals. We are facing a referendum in the not too distant future, and we are facing it in a proper democratic manner and by a proper democratic process. The people can vote on whether they want this proposal or not.

There is one group for whom I always make a claim and I will again, that is, the survivors of the War of Independence. We are still not doing enough for them. They got a little concession this year. They are becoming fewer each year and I would ask the Government to be more lenient with them so that they will have more comfort in their old age.

: Year after year we have increasing Government expenditure, and this year has been no different from others. I should like to bring to the attention of the Government the fact that this country is finding it increasingly difficult to finance the schemes and policies which the Government put forward.

The Taoiseach referred to the enormous difference between our industrial position and our agricultural position, and the difference between those percentages and the percentages which appertain in other countries. He emphasised the difference between agriculture and industry here as compared with the position in most other European countries. That principle being established, I should like to ask the Taoiseach and the Government would it not be wise, following on that relationship, and following on the necessity to encourage industrial growth in every way, if taxation were kept to a minimum. This is such a big subject that I cannot go into every aspect of it, or even most of the aspects of governmental expenditure.

We have to take care of the aged. We have a duty to the less fortunate people in the community. Recognising that, and recognising what has been spent on education, and all the various calls on the Government, nevertheless if industry is to be fostered in every way, it must be recognised that the Government must be very careful not to increase taxation too much. If it is increased too much, both on industries and on individuals, saving will be prevented, and the goose that is expected to lay the golden egg will not be able to do so. We will not be able to take care of the aged and the sick at the highest level possible if the industrial arm of the economy is not able to carry the burdens placed on it.

In that connection, make no mistake about it, taxation does not affect industries and wealthy people only. Taxation affects every section of our community. We used to refer to working-class people. That is a misnomer nowadays because we are all workingclass. There are practically none of the people who used to be classed as drones. They do not exist now in our society. Every man or woman in a gainful occupation must bear some share of taxation. If taxation hits people too hard, not only does it affect the purchasing power of the people and the cost of the products we produce, but savings which could go to finance and expand industries are affected. We have no money and we have to call upon outsiders to lend us money, with all the difficulties that sometimes brings with it, difficulties of understanding the situation and, perhaps, when they come here, difficulties of understanding our people.

I would refer to the necessity for care in Government expenditure in relation to the starting of industries. We have seen outsiders come in here and start schemes. Very often, that is good. In many cases, they have been successful and have brought employment and profit to the country. In that connection, when the mining developments really come to fruition, we hope they will add to the purchasing power of this country abroad. However, some schemes have not been successful. I have in mind, just now, the scheme for an aeroplane factory not far outside Dublin city. It was to provide employment for large numbers of people. Unfortunately, the foundation for that scheme was not solid with the result that the industry never got under way. Certainly, no part of an aeroplane was ever produced there that I know of and apparently it is now obvious that it never will.

The pity is that the care which would be devoted to the application of a native Irish industrialist or person was not exercised in this case. I do not make the foolish case that Irish money is handed over to foreigners, just for the asking, but certainly we sometimes appear to be bedazzled by the spurious promises of certain foreigners. It would be far better to advance money for less spectacular and individually smaller industries based on a solid national and native foundation, that is, industries which would arise out of our national products.

We on this side of the House are in favour of advancing money for industry where there is a reasonable chance of success, after thorough examination of the matter by experts. I do not know how the money for this aeroplane industry ever came to be advanced. I remember an industry—it is finished and gone for many years—and there was tremendous difficulty in getting money. In fact, Government money was never put up at all, although it was half-promised and, in the end, Irish investors lost their money. However, that industry never got off the ground. I cannot understand how the people connected with the aeroplane factory managed to get so much Irish money and, in fact, spent it on projects that never came to anything. Very great care should be exercised in every respect and the Irish taxpayers' money should most jealously be protected. Undoubtedly, there is a sort of airy-fairy attitude about money for foreigners. It contrasts with the dour demands of the tax-gatherers on our own citizens.

The subject of industrial relations was mentioned by the Taoiseach and other speakers. I always find myself in a difficulty when I come to speak about this matter because, having had a great deal of experience of industrial relations, I am aware of what is involved. Human relations enter into it, too. It is impossible to blame one side or the other in many cases: sometimes one can. At any rate, little good can come of an unduly long discussion on industrial relations here if they become the plaything of Party politics and are tossed across the floor of the House. The matter can be raised here and discussed if injustices are being done on one side or the other.

All sides of this House should be very careful to discuss industrial relations from the point of view of justice to all citizens and all interests concerned and not from the narrow point of view of any interest which they themselves may hold. Taking into account the power of trade unions, the need for men and women to get work and the need for capital to provide gainful employment, industrial relations constitute a very important factor in modern society in the sphere of relationship between employer and employee. Other factors such as the fall in the value of the £, the increase in the cost of living and sometimes political factors enter into it too.

We have had industrial relations difficulties in Ireland. The Taoiseach said we are one of the worst countries in Europe with a bad record of industrial strife. Fortunately, the industrial strife we have had has never been of a particularly bitter nature but there has been too much of it. We must work out a method of settling differences between both sides. In industrial disputes, the public generally should not be made the victim. Surely, in this day and age we can find a way to settle industrial disputes without creating hardship and agony to the public at large?

To conclude on this aspect I want to say that this House should always be very careful that it is a centre for developing harmonious industrial relations and not for fomenting industrial differences. The settlement of these matters will come from outside this House and when I say "settlement", I mean the way by which they will be settled. Some body should be set up with a great deal of authority in these matters and it would have to be set up by direction of this House. Its deliberations should be kept free of this House as the deliberations and actions of the courts are. How to achieve that I cannot readily answer but I do feel that as we move forward in civilisation we should be able to settle our differences in these matters. Other civilisations have broken down on this very point and we here should be very sure that our way of life does not break down under the impact of bad industrial relations because we could suffer very much if they did.

We have had many weeks here of debate on a Bill on proportional representation and while I do not wish to go over all that again, it is one of the matters down for discussion in this debate. I would say that on this question of PR and the House which emerges as a result of elections carried out in that manner, one then has a Dáil which mirrors the opinions and the different views of our people. If by any chance through PR being defeated, and I do not think it is at all likely to be defeated, the situation arose in which one had a monolithic Party operating in this House, not only would political differences be very much greater than they are but political unrest would inevitably ensue and industrial unrest would be very much increased because the viewpoint of various sections of our people would not be adequately expressed in this House.

: I am sorry, but I cannot allow any further discussion on this matter which has been discussed at length in the House. The House has agreed to the measure and it has gone to the Seanad. Consequently, there may be no further discussion on it.

: I just wanted to say that this was bound up to an extent with the type of changes the Labour Party have put forward. They have spoken about changes in the House and so on and I only wish to touch on it from what I would term an almost political-philosophical point of view, but if the Chair does not wish me to continue on that line, I shall not. I will only say that in this Chamber it is important for us not only to form a Government, and at times to form a strong Government, but also to have the most adequate discussion and representation which is possible here. This has a very great bearing on the position of industrial unrest. We have not exactly had industrial unrest but we have had industrial difficulties and those have not arisen from the character of Dáil Éireann, but we would want to be very careful that we do not bring about a situation which would create more difficulties for us in that field.

I will leave other aspects of the year's work to other speakers and I should like now to refer to broadcasting and television. It is very important that not only should the radio and television services be as free as possible but they should appear to be as free as possible and the Government should be very careful not to give the impression of ruling the station with a too heavy hand and cutting down free speech and the legitimate freedom of people commenting and broadcasting, especially on current affairs.

I conclude by referring to this tragic situation in Biafra. We are all glad that the Irish people, through the Government, have been able to send supplies to Biafra, but I would sound this note of warning to the Government: there seems to be an idea abroad that in a country as backward as Biafra, it is possible that the Government there are not operating in a way in which a Government in this country would operate, or perhaps a European Government. Undoubtedly this terrible famine is developing in Biafra and the Government must be very careful that the supplies reach their destination, reach the hands and mouths of the unfortunate people who are starving. We are all glad that the Irish nation, small as it is, has made a contribution towards helping in this terribly sad calamity.

: I should like to take this opportunity to mention some very important problems which face the country at the moment and which are being ignored by the Government. One important item is housing. We have a calamitous situation today, with thousands of people being homeless ; yet we have the Minister for Local Government boasting that we are voting more and more money for housing. The fact is the housing situation is critical and only an emergency, crash housing programme will do anything to remedy it. There is no purpose in the Minister for Local Government saying the problem will be solved by 1975. The present critical situation is due to the incompetence of the present Minister and the incompetence of a Government who have dragged their feet where this problem is concerned. Families are separated; families are living in dissension; families have had to emigrate because they could find no housing accommodation. A couple of days ago I met a husband and wife in their thirties. He had served in the Defence Forces for five years. He earns £11 a week. He could procure only one room for which he is paying a rent of £5 per week. He has no hope whatsoever of being housed by Dublin Corporation. All he can do is tear up his discharge book and emigrate to Britain.

Deputy Dunne asked the Minister if he would consider subsidising couples who were compelled to live in furnished flats or make some effort to control the exorbitant rents being charged for these flats, and the Minister refused to take any action whatsoever. He would prefer to devote his time to the Referendum Bill. It would almost seem as if he is utterly unaware of the critical housing situation in Dublin. He has, by deception and by giving false figures here in this House, tried to paint a rosy picture of building projects in Dublin. The responsibility for the present shocking situation is his. Housing is the biggest problem facing us today. It is a sad commentary that in a so-called Christian country, husbands and wives are compelled to live apart because they can find no housing accommodation. Indeed, there are as many as three families living in small cottages.

There is no use in the Taoiseach talking about prosperity when we have such a situation. It is ludicrous to use the word "prosperity" when people are compelled to live in such conditions. We are now about to recess and no effort has been made to cope with this very serious problem. No proper programme has been presented by the Minister. Even people who try to secure a deposit for a house find themselves overwhelmed by ever-increasing deposits. A couple now must put down a deposit of £1,000. Recently I was told by a builder that houses which cost £3,900 four months ago will now cost £4,500. No effort is made by the Minister to check this scandal of rising housing costs and the situation is becoming utterly impossible for these people. The Government encourages private speculators but they take no steps to check the spiralling costs of housing.

The Minister for Health is with us and this is a good moment to refer to our health services. In December, 1966, a White Paper was published. It was discussed at length. It was stated then that negotiations would take place quickly so that legislation could be introduced to provide a free choice of doctor for the lower income group. The present Minister is now dragging his feet. It is two and a half years since that White Paper was published and we are no nearer a free choice of doctor for the lower income group.

: The Minister refuses to answer questions on the subject. There is no sign of any legislation. How could there be when he has not even arrived at the conclusion of negotiations with the medical profession? He asked for secrecy to serve his own purpose. There was no question of the medical profession asking for secrecy. He asked for secrecy so that the negotiations could be protracted in order that there should be no need to introduce legislation next year, or even the year after.

: Nonsense: rubbish.

: Why will the Minister not answer questions which concern the people? The public are concerned because the free choice of doctor promised in the White Paper has not materialised. It is very easy to produce a White Paper. We pressed the Minister on the need for legislation. We have asked him to give us some indication when he will introduce legislation and he has refused to answer. I can only conclude that he is not interested. He knows he will have to produce a scheme, but he is not anxious to produce it.

: It is inevitable, but he has decided to delay as long as possible.

: I do not like to interrupt——

: I do not think the Minister should interrupt. I accuse the Minister of dragging his feet in this.

: I shall be glad to admit it is "nonsense" when the Minister brings in this legislation.

: Next session.

: We heard that last session. The Taoiseach talks about prosperity. We hear talk of elaborate plans. We have mentally retarded in need of institutional care and there are no means of providing that care for them.

: Are there any depths to which the Deputy will not stoop?

: I have some facts about the mentally retarded who need institutional care. Last week the Minister gave an elaborate list of institutions which could provide treatment and, when questioned further, he admitted there were no vacancies.

: The Deputy is talking utter tripe. I will not interrupt any more.

: The Minister admitted there are no vacancies in these institutions. The Minister is dragging his feet.

: Even Deputy Harte admitted this publicly in the House last week and he is no great admirer of the present Government.

: I am saying publicly now—I have read what the Minister said——

: The Deputy had better consult Deputy Harte.

: ——that the Minister admitted that the places on the list he gave me had no vacancies.

: The Deputy is so irresponsible I will not answer him.

: The Minister admitted there are no vacancies in these institutions.

: The Deputy is so irresponsible I will not take any more notice.

: I have read the debate. I thought I might have misheard the Minister. Now we have heard nothing from the Government about the means of financing the health services. They obviously prefer to leave them as a burden on the rates. Almost 40 per cent of the rates in Dublin alone is used to provide for the health services and the Government have no concrete proposals for the financing of these services. We, in the Labour Party, maintain that a payroll tax of 2 per cent would bring in £11 million. Two per cent is a very small amount when one considers that in Italy the payroll tax is 13 per cent and in most European countries ranges from 5 to 13 per cent. A payroll tax would be an excellent means of providing finance for the health services. A sum of £11 million is a substantial amount and a payroll tax of 2 per cent would be very small. We would say that the Minister could very readily bring in legislation, with the means of financing suggested by us, extending free choice of doctor to the middle income group. I do not think he should confine free choice of doctor to the lower income group.

We talk about prosperity in the country while there is a marked increase in unemployment. Employment is a good measure of prosperity. We could not be a prosperous country if the unemployment rate is on the way up. The first bite of the Anglo-Irish Free Trade Area Agreement is only now being felt. We have enjoyed the best of that Agreement. The good days are over and we can experience nothing but further unemployment and increased emigration as a result of it. The floodgates are being opened now. The Government were hoping that our entry into the Common Market might solve the difficulties which we would experience in the second period of operation of the Anglo-Irish Free Trade Area Agreement.

I wish now to refer to some of our social welfare problems. There is the ludicrous situation that a widow who pays full contributions receives only half benefit in the event of illness. The Minister has consistently refused to alter this unjust law. If a married woman and her husband were working, in the event of her becoming ill, she would get full social welfare benefit. A widow with dependants receives only half benefit under the Social Welfare Acts. I would ask that this anomaly be rectified as soon as possible as I consider it a most unjust law against widows.

Another problem in the social welfare sphere arises from the failure of employers to stamp cards for their employees. The onus is placed on the employee to seek redress from the employer. Many an employee who found himself without social insurance benefit was told, on seeking the reason, that his employer had not stamped his card and that he alone is responsible for that. Many employees find themselves penniless, without any means of support, in these circumstances and the Department of Social Welfare say that the onus is on the employee to seek redress in law.

These are some of the unjust provisions of the Social Welfare Act that should be rectified if we are talking about productive work in the Dáil.

The Taoiseach referred to industrial unrest. The workers in this country are very tolerant having regard to the injustices meted out to them. They have no say whatsoever in industry. Proper provision is not made for them. We saw many examples prior to the introduction of the Redundancy Payments Bill of workers being declared redundant in order that they might not benefit under that legislation. We have seen what happened in France when the whole economy almost collapsed when workers felt that they did not get a fair share.

The workers of this country are very tolerant, having regard to the fact that their wages barely provide the necessities of life. In face of that, they are very tolerant. I have seen many pathetic cases and wondered why there were not more people emigrating. I wondered what the purpose was in their living. They had nothing to get out of life. They were barely overcoming starvation in many cases. The Government can offer only an increase in indirect taxation. Foodstuffs and essential commodities are taxed more and more. No effort at all is being made to increase direct taxation. The Government should give earnest consideration to a revision of the income tax system, providing for an increase in allowances for income tax and then an increase in direct taxation.

The Government seem to feel very proud of the fact that free secondary education is being provided. It is the duty of the Government to provide this education and no one should seek kudos out of its provision. Grants have been provided for university students. Students who work during the day and attend university at night receive no allowance whatsoever in respect of university fees. The Minister refused to consider them.

Liberal grants have been made to industries. No effort was made by the Government to consider having more control over the industries that were established in this country by foreigners. The present Minister for Industry and Commerce was saddled with the problem of the white elephant in Clondalkin—the Potez factory— which was a disastrous failure, as is being realised now by the Government. The Government refused three years ago to admit the fact that it was a failure. The present Minister for Industry and Commerce was the first to admit the fact that it was a failure and is endeavouring to do something to relieve the situation. It is terrible that we should have to vote more money for this white elephant. It is terrible that the Dáil should be devoting its time to a referendum which the people do not want.

: We cannot discuss the referendum.

: I think we should discuss it.

: The Chair does not think so.

: The time of the Dáil has been taken up. I am not discussing the referendum.

: I thought the Deputy mentioned the referendum.

: I am mentioning the fact that so much time was devoted to it which could more properly have been devoted to much more important business and legislation that would benefit the economy and provide better social welfare. I have to refer to the fact that a Minister for Local Government would not tackle the urgent problems that exist. It is a terrible reflection on a Government that they should seek to waste the time of the Dáil as they did.

We have had the Minister for External Affairs ignoring everyone in the country who called on him to intervene and offer himself as a mediator in a disastrous civil war that is causing death and famine. He is responsible to this House. He has ignored pleas from the public that he should offer himself as a mediator in this conflict. It is typical of his arrogance and his disregard of public opinion.

There is a vital need for the Dáil to reconsider the work it does in the light of what we have seen to date in the last session. There is urgent need for reform so that the Dáil can become more productive and so that it will be seen by the public that the Dáil is attending to the business of the country more efficiently. I should like to conclude on that note and say that I feel pleased that our Party are taking the initiative in making suggestions for the reform of this House.

: We heard the Taoiseach open the debate earlier today and even his most severe critic must recognise that he gave a very honest report on the work of the Government in the past year. He pointed to the progress that had been made, and at the same time, told us we would have to do better if we were to implement fully the policy of the Government and bring about a fuller life for all our people. He was able to show some very good progress. He gave the figures for industrial employment and referred to education, housing, and all the other matters vitally affecting the lives of the people.

He made an interesting point when he said that as wages increase, so do the demand for consumer goods. But I wonder are our people playing their full part in this regard? The old Sinn Féin policy was that we should buy Irish goods first, but I think we have lost sight of that fact. Recently I went into a shop to buy a small garment. First of all, the shopkeeper showed me a British article. I asked him had he no Irish made ones and then he showed me another one which he said was made here under American licence. I had not got the time to go and check all this as I was in a hurry to buy. I wonder how much more could people do by insisting that they will only accept a foreign article if an Irish one is not available? If four typists in Britain could start a campaign to get the people to buy British goods, surely we with our record in this matter should be able to do much better than we are doing? We should try to reduce the colossal bill for the importation of articles which can be manufactured here and can bear fair comparison with the imported article. I would appeal to the sponsors of the Buy Irish campaign to try to step up the campaign. In this way we could provide many more jobs for our people. The Minister and the Department of Industry and Commerce is playing a vital part in the drive to provide more employment but their efforts will be set at naught unless the people co-operate fully in this matter.

I want to refer now to a matter I always mention when I speak on occasions like this. I thought we had reached the stage where people were beginning to look at our problems here factually, but having heard the last speaker and all the old clichés and ill-founded statements, I fear we are back to square one. He said that we have thousands of people homeless. This is altogether wrong. We have thousands in need of proper housing, but there are very few families really homeless. Such statements do not help to add one more dwelling to the national total but merely serve to confuse people. They do not bring any comfort to those on the housing list. I certainly do not deny that we have a housing problem in this city and in the country, but I can only speak with knowledge of the city. Why have we such a problem? It is because we have a booming city.

: Because we have not enough houses.

: We have also a booming building trade. This is a good barometer of national progress. If the building trade is doing well, you can take it that the economy in general is doing well. The Government must find the money to finance housing and this can only come from a buoyant economy. There may have been times in the past when money was not as plentiful as it is now. Yet progress was kept up, even by previous Governments. They did make an honest effort to eradicate the housing problem. That we have not succeeded is due to the fact that the people are now looking for a better standard of housing and we are trying to give it to them. I think the figure for housing this year is £28 million. That is a sizeable sum to come from the national purse.

Even if we had all the money we needed, there are other aspects of the housing drive to be considered. You can see in the paper every day advertisements for carpenters, bricklayers and other building workers. It is good to see this. We have brought back workers from abroad to help to solve this problem. In Dublin at present agitators are going around the city carrying banners proclaiming "Ten Thousand Homeless People" but they are doing nothing to solve the housing problem.

: You will be attacking the priests next.

: I will be attacking you next.

: You have attacked me.

: It is dishonest to suggest that the housing problem in Dublin is the manufacture of agitators. There is a housing shortage in Dublin and the Deputy knows it.

: He said there was a housing problem.

: Do not say it is merely a problem of agitators.

: The Deputy is unable to talk about the housing situation. I am a member of the corporation. He is not and he took damn good care that he would not be.

: The omniscience of Deputy Moore.

: Deputy O'Leary is not typical of the Labour Party. Thank heavens, they have much better members on the corporation than Deputy O'Leary. They also happen to be Dublin men and that helps.

Returning to the Dublin housing situation, at present we have about 8,000 applications, some from single persons who must be housed. By 1971, we shall have provided about 21,000 dwellings which the competent officials feel will overcome the housing shortage. I cannot see the problem ending in any city that is a living city; no city has been able to achieve that. Recently we heard a member who said he had visited Moscow say that they would never solve their problem either. We hear people say we should nationalise the banks, the breweries and everything including labour, but in Russia they have done all that and still have a housing problem. A former Taoiseach once said that he wanted to take the gun out of Irish politics. We all subscribe to that but I would add that we should take the housing issue out of politics.

: What would be left?

: Housing is too important to be made the subject of petty politics. That can be left to agitators and people outside but at least in this Assembly, we should show some sense of responsibility.


: So long as you can keep issues out of politics, the Deputy will be safe. The Minister for Industry and Commerce called for a winter of debate so that he must be able to admit that there is a problem in the country.

: Of course there are problems.

: Deputy O'Leary must have a bad liver or something. He is not helping.

: The Deputy is over-complacent.

: I am not, but I am trying to do something for housing. The Deputy is doing nothing.

: Where are the results?

: All over the city.

: Homeless people.

: Deputy Moore should be allowed to proceed without interruption.

: There is a neat distinction now between homeless people and those crowded into some sort of a building.

: It is a very big distinction.

: If crowding satisfies you, that is all right.

: The very fact that Dublin Corporation has proceeded with its housing drive is a tribute to the Taoiseach and Government in that they have so organised the economy that the money is forthcoming. You cannot build houses without money any more than without bricks and mortar.

: The money was not there from 1958 to 1964?

: I have made a vow not to go back but I could answer that very well. The money is there and the workers are building the houses.


: There is no point in trying to confuse them with the facts.

: Deputy O'Connell said people emigrated to help the housing situation. Compared with some of the cities in England, the Dublin housing problem is small. Taking Glasgow or some of the smaller cities, we find they have the same problems of a rising population and people seeking a higher standard of living, which, of course, is quite right.

: Thank God, we did not have Hitler's bombers.

: Deputy O'Connell also said that you needed £1,000 deposit for a house nowadays. If people looked at the newspapers, they would see that we are offering houses for £150 deposit.

: To how many?

: That is a reasonable deposit.

: How many houses are being offered at £150?

: Our first scheme was 280 and we shall have ten times that——

: That is 2,800. Is it suggested that that will meet the needs of Dublin?

: We are also building thousands of houses for renting.

: Deputies should allow Deputy Moore to proceed without interruption.

: I understand the Deputy's interest in the Dublin situation. If we remove the housing problem, apart from attacking Taca, the Deputy would have no grievance but he would rather have a grievance over people who want good housing.

: We shall have a grievance as long as Fianna Fáil are there.

: I appeal to Deputies to allow Deputy Moore to make his contribution. Other Deputies will have an opportunity of speaking later.

: May I ask the Deputy to refrain from using four-letter words like Taca?

: The Deputy uses them himself.


: A housing problem should not be made a political play-thing. We are doing very well with our housebuilding programme. We will bring the problem under control, given a buoyant economy to provide the money. I have often heard people criticise the building of office blocks but who works in those buildings? It is the workers who build them. I do not know why building of office blocks should be condemned.

: It is a question of priority.

: We have this type of hypocrisy from the boy here, Deputy O'Leary, about office blocks.

: I know this is Tír na nÓg but I am not so young——

: I do not want to be insolent but when I refer to the Deputy as young, I am speaking of his mental age.

: Senility should not address me in that way.


: The Deputy should not be interrupting on something he knows nothing about. He should talk about agriculture.

: A very important industry.

: Leave that to the Minister for Agriculture.

: Deputy O'Leary has shown that he is completely ignorant of the needs of Dublin people.

: There is a lot of grass growing in Dublin where you have knocked down the houses.

: There were a few houses knocked down around Butt Bridge.

: The Deputy could be an expert on agriculture in view of the amount of grass growing where houses were knocked down in his area.

: There are public parks there. Despite Deputy O'Leary's opposition, as I have said before, thanks to the Labour Party, we have much better members in the corporation and in this House. I think he was ill chosen to speak on the Dublin housing problem. There are 45 members in the corporation, of whom 12, I think, are TDs. I make a plea for members of all Parties and for members of local authorities who give their services free to this type of social work in order to help their fellowmen. Members of such bodies get no return for this work and, indeed, recently they have been subject to most vicious attacks. In fact a member of the Deputy's Party opposite was assaulted on leaving a meeting of Dublin Corporation.

: Dublin Corporation is not responsible. It is the Minister for Local Government who is responsible for housing.

: The Deputy does not know what he is talking about. I appeal to the Taoiseach to think of these members of public authorities who do this work and to see if some service for which they would not have to pay, such as postage, can be afforded to them. These men get no salary, and we should show our recognition of the good work they do by helping them in some way.

The matter of health was mentioned already this evening. Again it is a problem because, as science progresses and the expectation of life is lengthened, we will have a lot more old people. In the housing situation, old people must get special care. To build a house and put a family into it is all right but we must provide special services for the old people. I am glad to say that, apart from the local authority effort, there are several charitable organisations who have come forward to provide dwellings for these old people. They are doing great work, backed by Government and local authority finances. However, this effort is not enough and in order to see that the old people are properly housed we must step up the effort tremendously; apart from just providing a dwelling for them, there are certain services which they must have, a resident nurse, a communal diningroom and such amenities. We owe it to these people to provide the best possible accommodation for them, and I am sure there is nobody in the House who would object to providing the money for this purpose.

The Minister for Health has promised that legislation will be brought forward to modernise the health services. Quite a big percentage of the money spent on them comes from the local rates, and we hear the cry very often that the local rates should be relieved of the health account. To the ratepayer this is good suggestion, but I always fear that if the central government take the health rate from the local rates, that they will demand that they should run the whole health service. In the health services especially, the local touch of the people who best know the conditions must be preserved.

: They are run by the officials anyhow.

: Not altogether. There are the health authorities, the local authority members, and they do some very good work, too. To achieve the improvements we want, whether it is in industry, in housing or in health, we must have a sound economy to provide the money for these purposes. The Government are to be congratulated on the fact that they have managed their affairs so that we can provide the money for the essential services. In the last year or two, the people, at six out of seven by-elections, have shown that they still back the Government. I am convinced that as long as we keep to our present policy the people will continue to return us.

: At this time of the year it is customary in a debate of this kind to have a review of the nation's business. From my experience here, it never fails to amuse me, on the one hand, or make me sad, on the other, to hear Government speaker after speaker come in here to put a gloss on failures and blow up the little achievements into something very mighty indeed. The other feature of it is that they come in completely indoctrinated, all saying the same thing, the only variation being that some of them are long-playing records and others somewhat shorter; the market is like that even in records.

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

: Much has been said already about the principal aspects of the nation's business. Labour relations have been dealt with, housing, health, external affairs, agriculture, emigration, employment and unemployment. Whatever is said here by the Government spokesmen advancing their cause by way of talking about the growth in the national output or very nearly reaching targets, I still like to apply the test to this Government that their former Taoiseach, now Deputy Lemass, applied to it at almost all the times when he spoke on these matters. He said the test of good government, the acid test, was the figure for emigration and unemployment. On last year's figure, unemployment is up by close on 5,000 people, and emigration seems to be on the up too. So, so far as those two figures are concerned, and in so far as they constitute a test, this Government have failed, and failed miserably.

We had the First Programme for Economic Expansion. It did not work; we had the Second Programme for Economic Expansion and it has not worked either. Now we are told we are to have a Third Programme for Economic Expansion. We do not know when we will get it. The problem, I imagine, would be a shortage of scriptwriters to write funny stories that would be accepted as serious for a sufficient length of time. In my view this country is going through a very difficult period. It may not look like that on the surface, but I think this nation is very sick indeed. Its bloodstream is considerably slow, and its arteries have been hardened by complacency on the part of the Government, and the frustration of a bludgeoned people.

: I know Deputy Lindsay is speaking with his tongue in his cheek. Surely he does not believe that?

: I do not have to have anything else in my cheek and I do not have a Demosthenic pebble in my mouth, as Deputy Crowley does on occasion.

: The Deputy cannot have any sort of a pebble in his mouth when he can pronounce a word like that.

: There is in this country a considerable amount of irritation, but people are inclined to put up with it because they feel, at the moment at any rate, that there is no way out. They are taxed to the last. It is true that the social welfare benefits and benefits generally for the needy have been increased. They have been increased in amount, but when we contrast them with the depreciation in the value of money and the ever-growing cost of consumer goods, these increases are really a book-keeping transaction only, and do not generally improve the lot of the recipients.

We have heard a lot of talk about housing. Deputy Moore made a very neat distinction between people who are homeless and people who are living in overcrowded and insanitary conditions. It appears that if you are living in an overcrowded house or an overcrowded room, and consequently in insanitary conditions, that is perfectly all right as a standard with this Government. To be homeless, you have to be on the street, as it were, or outside the fence or in the ditch. Virtually you have to be an itinerant before you are accepted as homeless, according to the standards of local government operated by the Government Party.

I always thought a home was a place where you could turn the key or raise the latch on a self-contained compartment, whether a house or a flat. I did not think that tenement buildings or corporation houses overcrowded by the marriage of the younger members of the family would constitute a home any longer. When I talk about homeless people and people in need of houses, I am talking about a family unit in need of a house, whether it be in Dublin city or anywhere else. It cannot be gainsaid that there is a shortage of houses for people who cannot afford to invest the capital and build for themselves. Consequently it becomes the duty of the Minister for Local Government, operating through the various local authorities, to provide houses for them. That is the simple picture that should obtain.

On the health side, we are told by Deputy Moore that the Minister for Health has promised an overhaul of the health services. We got that in the shape of a White Paper—was it two, three or four years ago? —and nothing has happened since. The only silver lining in this clouded health situation we have here was in the speech of the Minister for Finance introducing the Budget, when he said they would have to consider health on an insurance basis, and examine it on that basis. This is the policy we have been advocating, and it is an extension of the very successful Voluntary Health Insurance Board.

These things cannot be deferred. Housing cannot be deferred. As I said on another occasion in relation to education, I think the people would put up with increased taxation in order to have all our people properly housed, just the same as they would put up with increased taxation to have all the health needs of our people properly catered for. We have not enough hospital beds, nor have we enough doctors, curiously enough. Nurses are going from here. I suppose this is due to better conditions of employment elsewhere. So long as that situation continues, we cannot by any stretch of the imagination say we are going on well.

In the field of education, we are engaged in almost daily controversy as a result of the way things are being done. It is absolutely necessary that the people affected by decisions should be consulted so far as possible before those decisions are reached and thrust upon them. It is during the course of a discussion on the Estimate for the Department of Education in this House that we on this side of the House should have given to us a resumé of what the Government propose to do in the field of education, be it building, be it the re-arrangement of courses, be it the amalgamation or merging or anything else you like to call it, of the universities, be it a sort of marriage of secondary and vocational education or anything else that is being done. It should be discussed here in this House beforehand.

If it is too large a subject for the House, then the efficiency of this House which has been asked for by some Deputies would be vastly increased if we had more Committee work, more Select Committee work, and if Members of all Parties were selected to work on Bills or programmes. There is no great division or controversy in a small country like this on vital subjects which affect all of us, such as education, health and housing. We must all agree that housing is necessary. We must all agree that the health needs of our people must be fully catered for. The best possible education must be available to all the children of the nation.

In relation to this and, indeed, to other kindred subjects, the question of Committee work might advantageously be considered. There is no great difference, in principle, among any of us. Whatever differences there are would be differences in relation to administrative detail or the particular methods employed to do certain things to achieve the same goal. It would appear that I am arguing for a very happy and very comfortable matey sort of Parliament but I think Parliaments can be such in areas where the controversy is not great and where the difficulties which arise are not insurmountable. There are principles on which people will always divide, and necessarily divide.

With regard to health, all of us must note the ever-increasing rates demand and must pause to think of the hardships thereby created. In some areas, rates can be very big and very awkward to have to meet. In smaller areas where there is remission of rates on new houses or where there is derating up to a certain valuation, then things need not necessarily be so bad. However, I am thinking of people in our cities and towns. The services they get for the rates they pay are relatively small. The small shopkeepers, the small suburban dwellers, the people in the cities, are hit very hard by increasing rates because their valuations are, of course, so much higher.

If the health burden were operated centrally, on an insurance basis, it would considerably reduce the rates and generally give rise to a happier state of things. I do not think the people are satisfied with the way the health services are being operated at the moment. They get bills which some of them cannot pay. Some can pay but will not pay if they can exercise any influence with anybody. They may go to a county manager or to a city manager, for example, to get a bill reduced. That is being done every day in the week. We should have a better-satisfied community if everybody paid a little, thus avoiding the humiliation of having to approach county councillors, Teachtaí Dála, Senators and so on, and at the same time demoralising the administrative strength of the county manager, as the case may be.

I come back to the subject of education. We have made strides in education but I do not think we were sufficiently prepared for them. I have had representations made to me about schools where the people in charge are harassed for want of room. I know these representations to be genuine and well placed. I am quite sure I am not the only person to receive these representations: there are a few representatives. I am quite sure every Deputy in whose area there is a secondary school receives representations about getting the Department, the Office of Public Works, or whoever is ultimately responsible, to hurry up with the provision of classrooms. With instant building and all the other methods of modern building, it is not difficult nowadays to provide classrooms in a matter of weeks, provided the money is available for the purpose. If the money is not there, the work cannot be undertaken.

The people in charge of such schools should be told that we were not quite ready for this scheme, that we did not expect so many new pupils would come in under it, that we realise they have not the space, that we shall try to put up the money and that, if they will wait for a year or two, we shall come to their rescue. It must be very difficult for people to be patient if they were promised something, say, last November, December or January only to find, now that their schools are closing for the summer holidays, that not a spadeful of foundation has been dug and not a new classroom has been provided in their grounds. This matter will have to be faced squarely.

There is a similar shortage of space in vocational schools. I cannot understand—this is a Government job—why a searching investigation cannot be made between the time that elapses from the date a proposal is sent up from the local authority until eventually it receives sanction. I cannot understand this delay which can run into months and sometimes even into years, unless it is a tactic to avoid the expenditure of money.

Water supplies are a very urgent problem, particularly in tourist areas. Some few years ago, the fashion was the regional water supply scheme — only, of course, costings came in and then reality took over. A regional water supply scheme in one particular area of my constituency would cost nearly as much as would buy the whole lot of it—houses, stock, everything. Of course, reality prevailed and the scheme could not be proceeded with. Then there was a change of Minister and we had a switch-over to group water schemes — the voluntary effort coupled, of course, with grants. I would say they are more workable than regional water schemes. They would probably have been the right thing to consider from the beginning. A very serious situation exists in Achill Island in this regard and it all appears to be due to delay.

Other speakers, I am sure, will deal with the question of participation in profits and management—if I might use the French expression of today. I do not know what the ultimate solution will be but we had a lot of strikes here and it is the job of the Department of Labour, which is a very specialised Department, to be able to see in advance where causes which are likely to give rise to unrest will spring up and nip them in the bud.

I could never see the sense in negotiations going on haphazardly and then there is a strike and everybody comes into the picture, mayors, chairmen of county councils and everybody with influence all trying to settle the strike, until finally it is settled. All that could have been done and should have been done before ever a strike took place because strikes are costly things and they are the cause of great hardship for employees as well as for employers.

With regard to government generally, there is too much delegation of authority going on. The semi-State bodies and the State bodies are taking a little bit too much on themselves. After all, they are operating on the taxpayers' money. As a matter of policy, they are or should be under the supervision of the Government. Recently we gave a vast increase to Bord na Móna, a very big increase to Bord Fáilte, and of course we gave the annual donation to Córas Iompair Éireann of some millions. If these bodies are to be charged with spending the people's money, a very watchful eye must be kept on the way they spend it and a very watchful eye must be kept on the manner in which they attend to the business of the people over whose funds they have supervision.

I am referring particularly to Bord Fáilte. Generally I find Bord Fáilte an excellent organisation if the thing is big. If your plans are elaborate and the amount of money you want is very great, then Bord Fáilte is the organisation to go to. It is better than a bank. However, if you are small and to them relatively unimportant, obstacles are put in your way. I have a problem which affects five premises in the north-west of Mayo which Bord Fáilte should never have allowed to arise. I have a question down to the Minister for Transport and Power tomorrow who may give me a satisfactory answer in this regard. This is a question of these houses, these hotels, because they are hotels and they come under the statutory definition of a hotel under the Intoxicating Liquor Act, 1960.

Bord Fáilte in its governing legislation has described as its function the registration of hotels, guesthouses, holiday camp sites and the like. All they can do is grade hotels; they cannot alter the statutory definition of an hotel and they are refusing to register houses with ten bedrooms separately set aside for sleeping accommodation for travellers and which, having a dispensing bar with a licence given pursuant to section 2 of the 1902 Act by the Circuit Court judge, come under the definition of hotel under sections 19 and 21 of the Intoxicating Liquor Act, 1960. Bord Fáilte have a register of hotels and this register appears to be only for places that are big, which have mighty rooms with carpets deep in pile, where afternoon tea costs the earth. These are the hotels in which Guinness costs 4/6 a bottle. Where you would get it for 1/8 or 1/9, it is not an hotel; it is not dear enough. This is the standard. I want to warn Bord Fáilte through the Taoiseach that if they do not register these places as hotels, and I do not care if they are grade Z, they will be compelled to do so before this month ends.

I notice in reply to Parliamentary Questions about the closing of Garda stations that there is a great deal of talk about efficiency, about bringing more guards into crowded centres and that the squad car will do the job of the man on the bicycle in the isolated area. The presence of a policeman is worth 20 phone calls for him to a crowded centre to come out, or 20 calls that might be picked up by the squad car. His very presence is a deterrent. It is like capital punishment, which is also a deterrent. I do not agree with this. This is a question of money and again it indicates the tendency which is creeping in here, and it is a weak Government that allows bureaucracy to take financial control. I would rather do a little well than do too much patchways. This is what is happening.

The presence of a Garda station, even if there is only one garda living in it or living in one of those houses built by agencies, is a great deterrent. Not alone is he a deterrent to younger people who may perhaps be attracted to attempt to commit a crime, petty crime at the beginning perhaps and more serious crime as time goes on, but his presence also affords a sense of protection to older people or people living alone in these isolated areas. Mark you, however isolated an area may be or how far it may be removed from a village, it is always possible to find a blackguard there just as it is to find him in more crowded parts. The presence of a policeman will keep that fellow right, as long as he knows there is a policeman watching him or a policeman who may catch him. Then he will not break into any old lady's home or the home of an old man, and he will steer clear of anybody's property which may not have been locked away. If you close these stations, you are creating an arena of crime in every isolated area in which you close them.

I do not see the sense of all this. We cannot deal with psychological happenings by telephone. Doctors do not operate by telephone; lawyers do not plead cases by telephone. Deputies, in so far as they can, do not rely on the telephone. They like to see the particular constituent who wishes to have a grievance remedied, and so it is with everybody else. There is this element of the personal touch and the presence of someone, a presence which is bound to have a significant effect on the community in which that presence resides. This is particularly the case with the Garda station or the village policeman. Take those away and you give those whose natures are not as strong as the natures of others the opportunity to begin on the road to crime. You will also take away at the same time protection from people who need it.

I do not think this Government have anything wonderful to boast about, remembering the growing emigration figure, the 5,000 more unemployed as compared with last year, and fewer and fewer people on the land as each year passes. While exports may have increased, imports are still very high. If one takes into account the changing value of money and higher costs, it is quite obvious that as much is not being done now as some people think is being done. I was particularly impressed by that figure of 22 per cent devoted to education in 1931, at a time when money was money. Money built schools, good schools, in those days. The most recent figure for education in the Supply Services is around 14 per cent. That is not progress. Until such time as the Government take this House into their confidence, tell the whole truth and cease giving glossy versions of spurious progress to Dáil ceanntair and to associations to which they are invited, this country will not progress because, as each day passes and with each false announcement, the confidence of the people grows less and less and the time is not very far distant when this Government must realise that confidence in them has worn very thin indeed.

: The Taoiseach's speech today must have struck even the most calloused member of the Fianna Fáil Party as one of the most depressing contributions we have heard in this House for some years. I was reminded of a lecturer talking to first year economic students, an unfortunate man wading from figure to figure, cliché to cliché, excuse to excuse, in an effort to explain how far we had advanced and how much progress had been made, all the while comparing that progress with countries like Italy and other developed countries. The Taoiseach even went to the length of explaining that, though these countries had a higher growth rate, the fact was it was more difficult for these countries because they were better developed. This from the Taoiseach of a country which has 20,000 people leaving the country every year, obviously not impressed with the progress that is being made.

Even if the Taoiseach and his Government lack a sense of mission, and even if he must take refuge in statistics to prove his Government are not doing too bad a job, he must know that his feeling of complacency, very evident throughout his speech here today, is not shared by other Ministers in his Government. Witness, for example, Deputy Colley, Minister for Industry and Commerce, calling upon the Party faithful in Limerick last Saturday night to sit down to a winter of debate. Then listen to the Taoiseach today saying there is nothing to debate about; all we do is compare this statistic with that statistic, this growth rate with that growth rate, and there is no question but that progress has been maintained and the country is advancing on every front.

The Taoiseach said we had gone over the 4 per cent growth rate for last year but he neglected to tell us that we had a very low growth rate, something like .09 per cent, in 1965 and, in 1966, we barely reached two per cent. In other words, if we average the growth rate over the years, we find the average is pretty low. When the Taoiseach finished, I was prompted to say that his speech was like a statistical requiem for the Second Programme. There was this explanation as to why we had not achieved targets in this direction and why we must do better in that direction, and at the end he said we must press forward. Indeed, there was so much pressing forward there was grave danger that the Deputies behind him might squeeze him to death. Reality did not creep in at all. Where were the facts of which we were all aware? Where were the facts about emigration, unemployment and bad housing, facts with which every Member of this House is acquainted, facts which exist all over the country? Only tonight we had a Fianna Fáil Deputy explaining that the—according to him—alleged bad housing situation in Dublin was manufactured by agitators and that there was no housing problem. Those of us who have any contact with the people know that there is a grave housing situation and no solution in sight.

: There is a solution in sight.

: It must be very far in the future and the Deputy may have longer sight than I have. The problem will not be solved, unless there is a change of policy, in the next five or ten years, and those affected are seriously interested in its solution.

The Taoiseach spoke about increasing trade with Britain. The fact is that at the moment our home market is being taken over at an ever-increasing rate by competition from Britain. All our fears about the Anglo-Irish Free Trade Area Agreement are being realised. We regarded it as a very bad bargain and developments now would seem to bear us out. Already certain sections of industry have felt the full blast of competition and workers now know more about this Agreement than they did when it was introduced here with such a fanfare of trumpets by the Fianna Fáil Party.

: Exports up by £20 million.

: The Taoiseach said that in the early 'Seventies, we will lose a great portion of our home market to British manufacturers. This will be the result of the Agreement introduced here with a fanfare of trumpets. One understands that a Deputy reared in the hothouse of Fianna Fáil politics, believing that the writ of the Party Leader is the law, may have some difficulty in accepting facts, but how is it that so many accept the alibis put forward by Ministers when they know, as a result of their own experience, that the people are deeply dissatisfied with this Government? It is all very well to indulge in wishful thinking but I believe the people are crying out for a change of Government. It is up to the massive Labour movement tied up in trade unions to understand that they have no power, no way of influencing their standard of living or how they live, unless they take political action.

The same Deputy tonight more or less said: "Let us take housing out of politics as we took the gun out of politics"—in other words, let us have politics without issues. Because, do not forget, housing is a political question and when we condemn the housing record in Dublin, we do not condemn Dublin Corporation. We condemn only one man—the Minister for Local Government. He is the person responsible for the housing morass in Dublin. He, and only he, is the person who in law is responsible for the fact that so many people live in one room. Only he is responsible for the number of marriages breaking up because of unsatisfactory accommodation for married couples. Let us have no mystery about it. Only the Minister holds the purse strings to the housing problem in Dublin, not Dublin Corporation. They are without power in this regard and can act only under the law set out by the Minister for Local Government.

We have seen from this Government that when social issues are referred to they do not stop short of calling some people Reds and when some priests make political statements they do not stop short of abusing them also. Our Party welcomes the entry of priests into politics and looks forward from now on to seeing Christians of all denominations taking a full part in politics. If the Fianna Fáil Government do not like priests in politics, let them come out and say it. They do not understand the edicts from the Vatican Council if they object to priests coming into politics.

The Taoiseach said that whilst the position in regard to Britain might be satisfactory in the amount of increasing trade the position was not satisfactory in regard to the European Economic Community. He may well say it because so much of our policy has been framed over the last few years on the distant prospect of our entry to the EEC. There has been less certainty month after month. The Taoiseach, last year, went on these trips to European capitals. We do not know what he said of any significance to any of the Prime Ministers. Presumably he talked about hurling or some other thing close to his heart. We do not know much about the results coming from these talks.

: That is a ridiculous statement by Deputy O'Leary.

: I have made the suggestion. I do not know what the Taoiseach spoke about to these Prime Ministers because as we are discussing this motion tonight, we are no nearer entry to the EEC. In fact, this very afternoon, in answer to a question, the Taoiseach said quite simply, honest man that he is, that he did not know when we would enter the European Economic Community. Fair enough: that is an honest statement of the Government's position on this. I merely point out that the policy of the Government was framed on the assumption that we would be a member of the EEC by 1970. That is no longer possible.

This Adjournment Debate can be used in several different ways. Government Deputies can come out with the old refrain about how many by-elections they won in so many parts of the country, proving, therefore, that this Government are the popular Government. How many people have voted with their feet in the past ten years—voted with their feet against the policies of this Government? Twenty thousand every year have left this country. How many by-elections would be lost by this Government if these people were in the rural areas they went from? Why did they leave? Ministers of this Government have the impudence to get up to compare the bankrupt company they run in this country with such countries as France, Italy and Germany. They have the impudence actually to compare the stability of government, as they call it, in this country with the situation in these countries. Let there be no mistake. This is a bankrupt enterprise that you are running and however much book-keeping the Taoiseach may do, in every area that counts as far as the people are concerned — housing, jobs and emigration—this Government are a total write-off.

This Government may win a by-election in an area which suffers heavily from emigration, may win a by-election because they are able to afford to send every Minister away from his desk to these by-election areas, because they are able to get all their friends who owe a debt of one sort or another to the Party in office to help. They may, in fact, help the Party in office in the constituency by living in the constituency for a month or six weeks. Such constituencies, paradoxically enough, the more poverty-stricken they are, the more they support the Government. Many reasons have been offered at various times but nobody could suggest that some of the constituencies that have returned Fianna Fáil candidates over the last by-elections are normal constituencies in population make-up, because, increasingly, the majority of rural constituencies under your control are becoming abnormal population set-ups— populated by the elderly and by children. The young people whom you talk about, who are necessary for increasing productivity, are in Britain or elsewhere and this—and we will be old-fashioned enough to say it—is the acid test that we apply to the performance of any government.

The Taoiseach may plead one statistical cliché after another to suggest that things are all right but the trademark of this present Taoiseach is utter complacency. It is not a complacency shared by other Ministers of his Cabinet. As I have remarked already, Deputy Colley has called for a winter of debate—or a winter of discontent. Certainly, it is a winter of discontent. He has called for a winter of debate to commence. I do not know who will be the chairman of the winter debate or what, in fact, will be the subject matter of the winter debate, but, at any rate, let us admit that he is aware that there is something to debate about and aware that all is not well in this happy situation that the Taoiseach referred to here this afternoon.

There was a Prime Minister in Britain who was called unflappable. I do not know if Deputy Lynch is unflappable but, most certainly, he has a great air of complacency about him and an unruffled appearance in face of the problems we see all around us. But, then, this is a Government who increasingly, even to their friends, even to their most ardent supporters, must appear to be a Government who are reaching that dangerous stage of arrogance that they feel themselves no longer answerable to public opinion.

: Deputy O'Leary would recognise arrogance.

: What kind of Government is it which set up an organisation called Taca, to refer to this Taca once again, which has been referred to and referred to. I think it is an interesting indication of the kind of public morality espoused by this Government when they can set up a thing called Taca to finance their organisation. We all know the reasons —the jobs done and the debts due— why such people join this organisation and set themselves up to be the forefront of the Party election machinery. This Government, after ten years, in fact, are now in the deepest sense, condemned in the eyes of the ordinary people. That is not just wishful thinking. It is a problem and a challenge for the Labour movement, most of which now sleeps peacefully and does not engage in political activity. It is a question mark to the trade unions up and down the country, to the little people that Deputy Colley referred to as the people that his Party catered for on one occasion, all the people the early radical Fianna Fáil Party represented. It is a challenge to all these people to organise themselves politically.

: The Deputy should refer to the Minister as the Minister for Industry and Commerce.

: I beg pardon, no disrespect is meant to the Minister. I was, in fact, comparing him advantageously with the Taoiseach of the Government who is not aware of some of the problems that the Minister appears to be aware of. Of course, this Government, after ten years, having become a Republican Party, have forgotten about that part of the country which was so valuable an electioneering tactic for so many years. This was the author of all nationalism in this country. This Government were the original authors of the national spirit in this part of the country—the constitutional Republican Party. Yet, they have done little in all their talks with the Northern Prime Minister, so far as we can see, to redress the problems of people living in that part of our country who are discriminated against. In fact, quite recently, the Chief of Staff went to a party—I think that is how it was described—in Belfast. He just went, said the Minister. One can imagine the card coming to the Chief of Staff's private house asking him to come to a night out with the boys in Belfast to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the RAF being in that part of the country, just asking him to come along and bring the Commander of the Air Corps with him, purely without any political significance. He mentioned it to the Minister for Defence and the Minister said: "That is only to you as Chief of Staff and it has nothing whatever to do with me; go along."

Again, it indicates the change of heart of the Government—the heart transplant that has taken place in Fianna Fáil—that this kind of thing can take place in Belfast and that we would make no effort whatever through the British Government to see that Mr. Terence O'Neill would keep to his public promises of improving the lot of all the people in that part of the country, to see to it that all would get a fair crack of the whip in respect of housing and jobs and to see to it that religion is no longer used there as a divisive element in the community. As far as one can see, all our present Taoiseach has done is to be photographed smiling with Mr. O'Neill and has not asked him for anything in return.

On the question of social needs, it appears the Government are not going to be very active. The housing problem is generally explained away by saying that we spent more money this year than last year or that the percentage is up on what it was five years ago. The tremendous alibi has been hit upon that as the city is growing, one will always have a housing problem. That is to be admitted. But the problem and frustration of the Dublin housing situation and the housing situation generally is that under present measures, one cannot foresee any end to the problem. One considers all the body of laws around housing. One considers all the factors that make the housing situation worse or more unbearable in Dublin and other cities. One considers the situation where there is no control, where rents of private flats can go sky high and there is absolutely no appeal against these tremendous rents being charged for these private dwellings.

To suggest that our housing record can be compared with that in Britain and industrial cities of the Continent is to ignore completely these other factors that come into play in our case. It is true that there are people in Dublin and other parts of the country who have no choice but to spend the larger part of their incomes on providing a shelter over their heads—a shelter which presumably they will never own as the money they should be saving to get themselves lasting accommodation must be frittered away in buying this exorbitant accommodation. This Government to their shame have dismantled any rent restrictions there were and in setting up a free market for housing, have favoured the strongest while the weak have gone to the wall. This is the social problem of the Government at present. All power to the big man but in regard to the small man, the more means tests we adopt and the more we grind him to the ground.

I do not blame any member of the Fianna Fáil Party who feels some slight unease at the kind of Government who lead us at present. I refer to the kind of Fianna Fáil supporter who might feel some kind of nostalgia for the past and who might wish to look at the origins of the Party and realise that at one stage it might have had some radical remedies for the Irish problem. Such a person must ask himself what has happened. We have a Minister for Labour, a man who made a lot of ominous sounds in the direction of trade union rights. In the areas where there is little controversy, such as worker training and job resettlement, what progress has been marked by the Minister? Instead valuable time has been frittered away arguing about the abridgement of this or that union right. In fact, we brought this country to a new low level of industrial relations some time ago when we jailed workers under an Act we of this Party had objected to as unworkable. We said this day after day; yet the Deputies of the Government Party trooped in like dodos and voted for this Electricity Supply (Special Provisions) Act. Industrial relations cannot be improved by jailing people. If one is to have liberty in industrial relations, better negotiations and a better spirit between employer and worker, it cannot be brought about by coercion and jailing. But this Minister was forced to go to the limit of jailing workers in an industrial dispute.

We do not hear so much now about some of the measures he had at the beginning of his reign. But we hear even less of the things we would like to hear about—the vast problem of worker retraining. Even to the point of making people sick of it, we are forever referring to the fact that precious months are passing out of our hands as we come nearer to a future dominated by free trade. What an advertisement this Dáil has been for the correct use of parliamentary time over the past few months. What an advertisement we are to the people for the dignity of Parliament and the reform of Parliament. We should ask ourselves how relevant we have been under the auspices of this Government during the past few months as we were led stumbling through speech after speech by the Minister for Local Government. Charitably I do not know whether he himself knew what he was talking about at the end of it. We were wasting valuable time when we should have been discussing issues of real concern to people of all political persuasions in the country. The Government suffered this House to continue hour-long debates on a subject we asked them to go to the country on months before. In the spring, we asked them to bring this matter before the people so that we could get on with the real business of the country.

: Fifteen Deputies of your Party spoke.

: We will be lucky if we will get it now by October. You say that it is the people must finally decide, but for months you have chickened on these people and wasted time discussing a proposal we wished to bring to the country months ago. Now you are hoist with your own petard in regard to this referendum. But it is too bad that the whole dignity and standing of the Dáil should be brought down to the level of your predicament in the PR debate. It is just too bad for those of us who feel there are more urgent problems before the country that we should have had to come in here week after week to listen to the repetitious arguments from your side on a matter which should have been brought before the people long ago, if you thought it necessary to do so. It was not sufficient that the people decided it adequately in 1959. You felt the urge to put it before them again in 1968. I only hope the people will be wise enough to give you so bad a beating that you will have to wait another ten years, if you come back in any form of Coalition Government, before you try to do this once more.

: We cannot have another discussion on the referendum.

: It is completely irrelevant.

: Why does Deputy Crowley not change places with the Ceann Comhairle?

: Do I hear a flap in the Labour Front Bench?

: When Deputy Crowley can make as relevant a speech, he will have something to talk about.

: Eloquent silence.

: At one time we were famous for our fairy tales. Some of the things the Government have said in the past have been proved by experience to have been fairy tales. We had the First and Second Programmes. It was very sad listening to the Taoiseach's speech this evening. How pathetic it was in its account of what was attained in comparison with the target set out in the First and Second Programmes. How pathetic it was to realise that the whole planning policy of the Government is in ruins about them, that we have not met one target, that we are still no nearer to any economic aim than we were at the start of the '60s, at a point more favourable internationally than for many years, and to realise that our social services are very poor by European standards. We do not have to go as far as Europe to find this. We need only look at our fellow countrymen in Northern Ireland who enjoy far better social services.

The Taoiseach remarked that our population had increased by 60,000 or 65,000 since 1960. Only a few weeks ago the Northern Ireland Government released figures to show that their part of the country had reached the same population level as it enjoyed in 1841. Applying that argument to our situation, it shows the puny sort of boast the Taoiseach made tonight. If our population were to reach their level — and they have had a very high unemployment level by United Kingdom standards—our population should now be in excess of six million if we were to reach the figure of 1841.

Therefore, when the Taoiseach suggests that we have arrested the disastrous flight of people that has been going on without interruption through the years under native rule, for a few temporary years—and at the next upsurge of economic activity in Britain, we shall have another rise in emigration in excess of the present rate of 20,000 each year going from the parts of the country in which the Party opposite enjoy most support—it is a very flimsy claim. That is something for the elder Members to think of. Some people's seats may be safe but not all of them. But it is not a question of seats but one of survival for this part of the country.

Here is something to remember. We may yet, unless our policies are changed radically in the matter of employment and State enterprise, have to thank Partition for maintaining the Irish race because only in that part of the country is the Irish race advancing and maintaining its population ratio. Only there have they brought the Irish population back to the 1841 level.

We have a Minister for Social Welfare who is promising many reforms. Most of our social welfare suffers by coming over in an abridged form from Britain. It is not suited to Irish conditions. Where a British law is passed regarding old age pensions or children's allowances, by the time it reaches here, it is considerably altered both in benefits and network of recipients. That is the kind of social welfare we have here—no real thought given to it, no real investigation of where poverty exists in our community, although one might answer quite reasonably that one can make up an ordinary cost of living index and realise that many thousands of our people, under the present social welfare code, must be living on the verge of poverty, under the breadline. No investigation is necessary to understand this problem and how it affects our people.

What must they think of the deliberations of this Assembly and of the actions of the Government who think they are doing an excellent job when so many thousand people, not in Biafra, Nigeria or Vietnam but in our own country, are suffering these things in our cities, towns and countryside? We cannot say we are succeeding in one of the essential things for our people. It is understandable that Deputy Moore should wish to have politics that would leave out such issues as housing. Many members of the Government would wish for a system of politics leaving out housing, social welfare and the cost of living but this is the whole meaning of politics. It is what politics is about— the solution of these problems.

The Taoiseach said we must make sure demand does not rise too high. One would imagine he was speaking at a seminar of first year students and not as a Taoiseach who had a political and social message to give, leading a Government who he was confident could deliver the social goods to the people. His speech was a collection of economic clichés more fit for an economics students class than for Parliament. He said we must keep down demand, that we must see to it that wages are kept at the present level. We all know the position of wage-earners and salaried and industrial workers, the backbone of our industry. We know that so many of them have their backs to the wall at present in regard to the cost of living. We know, outside Party propaganda, that this is so. We talk about inflation as it applies to governments and international institutions. Many of these families are living in weekly inflation, not able to make ends meet, hoping week by week to win something or that something will turn up to balance their budgets. We know that people living in corporation flats, as a result of the policy enunciated by the Minister for Local Government, must be ground down for ever more cash to reduce the bill for corporation housing.

For many years we have called for the only rational way of attempting to settle the problem of wage earners and their cost of living, that is, a workable income policy. The Government have not shown themselves capable of introducing an incomes policy nor have they any interest in doing so. It is useless to preach to people who already find it too hard to live. That is the daily experience of so many people throughout the country. They are not imagining the grievances which exist in their daily lives in the province of their families.

We have heard about education. It is most hypocritical to begin congratulating ourselves on catching up on a half century's inactivity in the area of education and saying how much has been achieved. How many Irish children still go to schools built in Victorian times, not to talk about the number living in houses built in Victorian times? How many schools are admitted by the Department to have been condemned, schools that have no decent sanitary accommodation? Taking even that example, as it arises in primary education, we must understand that the prospect of a fair deal in education for Irish children has only been opened. We should not pat ourselves on the back and suggest that so much has been done that we can now begin to quote the Proclamation and say that the educational problem, in fact, is solved. We have started the process but a great deal remains to be done.

We have done nothing in the incomes sphere and nothing to ensure that the cost of living does not go completely beyond the control of people earning £14 or £15 a week. There is little realisation in the Government of this problem. The Ministers appear to be so concerned with the problems of management, as they see them, that they have lost sight of the man on the shop floor turning the machine, on whom everything depends. They have forgotten his problem. Hence their legislation shows scant regard for his situation, for giving him an element of social justice in his work and at home or for his children at school, or his relatives when sick, in connection with social welfare.

The Government the Taoiseach leads at present are devoid of any social nature and have lost any desire to alter things so that for the vast majority circumstances will be improved. People say that all the politicians at Leinster House are in fact the same. In a little over two weeks' time our Party will be coming out with policies which we think suit Irish conditions. We will, as we have suggested before, call for community control of our financing system. We will call for a decent incomes policy for our people. We will call for new radical policies for selling our products, because the Government show little inclination towards doing anything in this area.

What a small Party in this House attempt to do does not receive much publicity, but if we are to save the Irish people from becoming completely cynical in regard to the consensus policies that operate under the Taoiseach, it is up to the Labour movement to bring forward alternative policies so that at long last people can point to a real Opposition. It has received some publicity in the past few days, but we should like to see the foreign affairs service under our Minister for External Affairs concentrating more and more on gaining export markets. We should like to see our embassies more market-conscious. We should like to see in each embassy at least some person delegated to this job of seeking out new markets. The only hope for our future is increasing exports in increasingly diversified fields instead of depending on Britain. It will probably remain our principal market for many years, but we must seek markets elsewhere. Our external affairs service gives the impression that it has no interest in such vulgar things as trade.

We have over the past year called for an improvement of the relations of this country with countries abroad. We do not do so in any spirit of not knowing our place in the world. Only too well do we understand how small a country we are and how we may be disregarded. However, we will be disregarded more than we are if we do not look after our own business properly. Therefore it is a shameful thing that in regard to the only African country with which we have diplomatic relations, when that African country, Nigeria, was plunged into civil war, we could do nothing but take the line that our Minister has taken. When we had the opportunity of trying to avert that conflict and restore peace, we did nothing. The same Minister is fluent in regard to desert spaces, Tibet, nuclear weapons, and other less urgent issues, but when it comes to raising our voice to avert human suffering, he is silent.

The Taoiseach will agree in his heart of hearts that after ten years, it is time for any Party, especially a Party with the inner problems the present Government have had, to get out of office and think about the meaning of the Party in terms of Irish life, what the Fianna Fáil Party is about and why it exists. Undoubtedly there is a place for a Fianna Fáil Party in this country. If a democracy is functioning, there must be a place for a Party who believe that things are all right as they are, just as there must be a place for a Party who wish to institute reforms.

As I have said elsewhere, the Taoiseach and the other Minister of his Government are in need of a rest. What is needed now is a Government that will renew people's interest in politics, especially the interest of young people. We hear about young people not being interested in politics. I do not blame young people for not being interested when they must look at the kind of Government we have had for the past ten years, the kind of Government that shuffles from one cliché to another, covering up their lack of progress in every field with one excuse or another.

It is up to the army of men and women, the small men and women in business, in industry up and down the country, to make their voice heard, the people whom the Minister for Industry and Commerce called to a great winter of debate. It must be admitted that, unlike the Taoiseach, the Minister for Industry and Commerce is aware that there are problems. The whole attitude of the Taoiseach is utter complacency and a seeming disregard of the problems and of the deep discontent that is prevalent.

: I should like to make it clear that the responsibility for housing and for the number of houses built in each year, whether by Dublin Corporation or Cork Corporation, is that of the local authority.

: Nonsense.

: I brought members of my housing committee up to see the Minister for Local Government yesterday to establish where the responsibility lay for delays. I found the delays were about fifty-fifty, as much our delay as that of the Department. I found something else, that since 1956, when those gentlemen in the mixum-gatherum left office, any proposal for housing was faithfully carried out. It was up to the local authority to think out their housing policy, to bring it in and work it. I admit frankly there are delays in schemes. Unfortunately a very bad headline was set from 1954 to 1956 in the Department of Local Government. The unfortunate Minister at that time had to tell the officials to hold up scheme after scheme because there was no money to pay for them.

: The Deputy is mixing up his dates.

: I am not mixing up anything. I am talking about the last time you ran out. Put a date on that. Officials got into the bad habit of holding on to files, waiting until the next one would come for fear they would run out of work.

I have found in connection with housing that the Department of Local Government have been most co-operative and in every scheme put up to them they did their part. If the position were otherwise, I would say so, and I would make no bones about saying it. The Deputy started to moan about the unfortunate people who have to fly from the country, and said there was no employment. I wonder what has Deputy O'Leary done in regard to providing employment for those people. We heard other Deputies talking. What line did they take in the towns and villages which are their responsibility as Deputies? What steps have they taken towards providing employment for those people?

Let us take the town of Youghal which is very much in the news at present. What happened there? I remember a period when I would go to canvass that town during an election. I would knock at a door and a poor woman would come out and say: "Oh Martin, poor Mick has gone over to England to see if he could earn enough to keep the life in us." This was a seaside resort. It was alive for three months of the year and dead for the other nine. Let us take the position in that town today. A few days ago they had a visit from the Director General of Bord Fáilte. They said to him: "There are some sharks below on the beach and they are stinking to high heaven. You can bloody well go down and look at them," and look at them he did. Youghal is a thorn in the side of Bord Fáilte and the local regional tourist organisations complain that because it is a resort in which no one is unemployed they could not care less about tourism because it is prosperous anyway.

: There must be more than the sharks on the beach.

: The entire town can offer only 134 bedrooms, and only one with a bath. Industries in Youghal are providing full employment for the population, and workers have to be brought in from a distance of 40 miles. There is no talk there about unemployment and everyone flying from the country. That has been done in roughly 15 years. There is a complete change of attitude. No longer are they depending on rooking the visitors who come for a couple of months. They have a completely new outlook and attitude.

At one time the situation in Cobh was that people were employed for one fortnight lining up stuff over in Haulbowline for smashing up for auction. That day is gone when 14 or 15 unfortunate men found employment for a couple of weeks. We now have 600 men working. Deputy O'Leary, I presume, is one of the trade union officials who got a job out of the workers in industries which were built up by the former Taoiseach, Deputy Lemass. Let us look at it in that light. He built up industries here. He got hundreds into employment which made it possible for Deputy O'Leary and other gentlemen like him to come along and organise the workers to get better terms and better conditions. Those are the changes.

Fourteen or 15 months ago, we had gentlemen talking about the Verolme Dockyard while the Labour Party were muttering. Today the Verolme Dockyard is giving full employment to 800 men. We had an election address on this issue given in County Cavan by Deputy Fitzpatrick in which he said their first objective would be to get rid of extravagances like the Verolme Dockyard. It was to be thrown out and scrapped which Deputy Barrett and others like him attempted to do here for three days, with mutterings from the Labour Party who are supposed to be looking after the interests of the workers. Let us look these things in the face and see where we are going, what is being prepared, and what is being done with the Government help and assistance that is being given.

I put down a question yesterday in connection with a small industry in Midleton. I asked the Minister what grants were paid by An Foras Tionscal to East Cork Foods Limited on the primary, first expansion, second expansion and third expansion stages, the acreage of vegetables contracted for and the amounts paid to growers in each of the four years of production, the employment given and the total amounts paid in salaries and wages in the four years. The answer makes enlightening reading when we consider the Deputies who are moaning and groaning and crying about the conditions in their constituencies and the employment there. Let them look about them and endeavour to do something for the people who sent them here.

The total acreage in 1965 was 269; amount paid to growers, £14,936; employment, average, 60; and salaries and wages, £17,938. The total acreage in 1966 was 656; amount paid to growers, £39,746; employment, 76; and salaries and wages, £30,982. In 1967, the total acreage was 717; amount paid to growers, £57,690; employment, 87; and salaries and wages, £44,230. Up to 4th April last, the acreage was 1,236; amount paid to growers, £107,645; employment, 140; and salaries and wages, £70,166. In the present harvest, acreage 3,200; amount paid to growers, £300,000; employment, 420; and salaries and wages, £210,000. That has been done in four years. Deputy O'Leary mentioned some unfortunate men but there would be 410 more of them but for that little job and that amount of work which works two ways together.

The income of the farmers has been increased in four years from £14,000 to £300,000. The wages for the workers have increased from £17,000 to £210,000. That all arose out of the genius and the brains of Lieut. -General Costello who went down there, saw what they had to offer and then put up an offer which was accepted by the people of the area, namely, that he would put up £30,000 if the farmers of the area would put up a similar amount. Out of that little sum, that industry has been built. That is a lesson to the mourners and the groaners we hear in this House—a lesson in what can be done. Each one of you, in your own rural constituencies, should get out and do some work for the people who sent you here.

Then we come to the Government's part in this. I inquired how much would be given by way of grant. The first grant was £146,342, which included £4,400 by way of a training grant for the workers. In the first expansion, £61,000 was given. No grants were given in respect of the second and third expansion periods. Therefore, the total amount in grants from the State was £208,000—or less than the farmers are getting for this year's crop and exactly about the amount that will be paid in wages this year to the workers. I am giving that as one example of what is happening in this country.

In that town, you will not find one idle man. If you come along there and take a young lad of 17 or 18 years and put him in to work and he finds himself happy in constant employment, he will look around and put his eye on a good-looking lassie and decide it is about time they got married. The next thing is that he is up to the local authority looking for a house. On every occasion, the local authority were able to meet them, thanks to the co-operation of the Department of Local Government. Those are the facts. First, you find employment for them. Next, at the end of their day's work, you give them a decent home to go into. Let the luxuries follow. However, let those two come first. That is what I found.

Deputy O'Leary was moaning also about wage conditions. No man is ever satisfied. We all like to get a little more. I shall give one example of wage conditions in one of the industries I am speaking of. Take wage conditions in Irish Steel. On one occasion, I had a letter from a worker's wife asking if I could get a medical card for her. She had six children and was living in a local authority house and she found it hard to buy the tablets and medicines prescribed for herself. I sent the facts of the case to the City Manager who is also the manager of Cork Health Authority. He went into the case. He gave me a return of that worker's wages for the 12 previous months. That worker was not a foreman. He was not anything big. He did not walk around with a collar and tie on him. He had a tongs for shifting along red bars. His wage for the 12 months was £1,187. The Manager sent it back to me and said he was dealing as generously as he could with the case, which he did. Even on that wage, we hear moans here about——

: Eight people living on £20 a week.

: Look here at me——

: I have been looking at the Deputy for many years.

: ——there is no man in Dublin or within 12 miles of it who would work in a fit. You have them so blown up about how badly off they are, and all the rest of it, that, if they saw work in the morning, they would lie down beside it. Do not tell me anything about that. I am talking about workers, not dodgers.

: There should be an age limit for membership of this House. That is obvious. What Deputy Corry is saying is evidence of senile decay.

: I am here 41 years. The contents of this document in my hands are one description of my work in the past four years here.

: We had another description a fortnight ago.

: In those four years, I have worked for a market worth £300,000 a year for the farmers of Cork. I have worked for wages that are worth over £210,000.

: Lieut.-General Costello was the man.

: Lieut.-General Costello had 25 other counties to travel. He could not get the co-operation anywhere else he got from me. That is the difference. That is what I want Deputy Dunne and others to get into their heads. I want them to get some realisation of what can be done. If I went out to Deputy Dunne and told him that £2,500 a year is not good and that he should look for £5,000 a year, he would believe me in a minute and would do no work for his constituents but look for the £5,000 a year for himself. I know Deputy Dunne inside out. I have been listening to him long enough here, the Lord between me and all harm.

: I hope the Deputy will listen to me when I speak later in this debate.

: These are facts, and facts are stubborn things. I challenge Deputy Dunne or anyone else in this regard. The happiest of relations exist between the industries I mentioned and the trade unions and the workers employed in them. I do not want any fellow with a Dublin accent down there because we would know what brought him there, straight away. However, those are the facts of the situation.

The only gap that exists in this country today is a bad one and a pretty fearful gap. It is a gap which, in my opinion, has already been allowed to grow too wide. I refer to the gap between the five-day week worker and the worker who has to work the seven days of the week. Unfortunately we have not got a five-day cow. The gap has been growing year by year and then we talk about people leaving the rural areas. The reason they are not leaving the rural areas in greater numbers now is that there is employment there for them. However, they are no longer prepared to work a seven-day week when they see their neighbours working a five-day week at three times their wages. That is the gap that has to be closed. There is no good pretending one thing and doing another. There is only one way of closing it, that is to follow the example of the Sugar Company.

At a meeting the other day they found that on costings on which beet has been paid for ever since General Costello and I agreed on costings in 1947, that in the past four years the price of beet went up from 125s to 151s this year, that is, roughly 26s a ton. That is the one crop for which the farmers with the co-operation of the Sugar Company got a charter of freedom because they got the price fixed on the cost of production plus a profit. It is the only agricultural crop today for which the farmer is paid on that basis and then we hear a wail because sugar has gone up by 1d a pound. Another thing which we must face is that there is due on the crop that is in the ground some 11s a ton, some £500,000 odd, and I hope that those now in charge of the growing side of that industry will see that they get it. Good luck to them. Those are the facts and, as I say, at times facts are very stubborn things.

Anyone who travels around the country can see the changes that have occurred. He will meet people who left nine or ten years ago and have returned, and if he listens to them, he will hear them speak about the changes which they see in the country. Those are the changes we want. This is the manner in which we want to see industry upon industry being built up because when a town gets an industry, it will want a further industry in ten years time in order to keep the population it has. These are matters to which every Deputy should pay more attention in his constituency. Deputies are not elected to come in here to have bells rung or to do other things here; they are elected to look after their constituents' problems, whether it be in regard to an old age pension, a medical card, housing or anything else. This is their job. Above all else, they are elected to look around and if they have an unemployment problem in their area, to see what industry they can find which will provide jobs for young boys and girls.

When we went out to establish the freedom of this nation, it was not to have our boys and girls go to the foreigner to get their bread. We went out in order that we could build a happy, united and prosperous country in which our boys and girls would find employment. All I have to say to this Dáil is: let Deputies get out now and do these things.

: Deputy Corry said that if a town had an industry now, it would require another industry in ten years time. I agree with him, but I would point out that many towns which have not got an industry will be closed down almost is ten years. That is the situation throughout the West. We are suffering for the want of an industry and the sooner towns with any kind of population get an industry the better because, if not, they will find themselves in a more serious situation than they are at present. Every year the rates are going up and the people in these towns find themselves paying the full rate with no relief whatever. The people in these towns are those who suffer most because of this continuing increase in rates. People in many places in my constituency have asked for the erection of more telephone kiosks and with the closure of post offices there is a greater need for a second telephone kiosk, such as in Manorhamilton. I would ask the responsible Minister seriously to consider putting a second kiosk in towns with such populations.

: This would seem to be a minor detail which would be more relevant on the Estimate.

: We hear a lot of talk about tourism every year, and while it is a great money earner something would want to be done more quickly for my part of the country than merely advertising. The tourist season lasts for only about four months, and if the season is bad it may last for only two months. Tourists do not want to be going from their hotels to the seaside in bad weather. Tourism is all right in some centres but in many parts of the West there is a very heavy rainfall and the sooner something is done for that part of the country the better it will be, because tourism is not the benefit there it is cracked up to be. For the country as a whole it may pay a dividend, but there is not a great deal of money in it where small towns and villages in the West are concerned. These require some little boost at this time of the year. This is 10th July and a few days ago I asked two people, a hotel proprietor and a guesthouse proprietor, how they were doing and they said: "No good." The number of tourists was negligible.

Housing is still a problem. There should be a speeding-up of Departmental sanction. Last year I went to the county council offices with two men whose tenders were accepted for the replacement of two houses, one, a three-bedroomed house, with ten in family, and the other a two-roomed house, with the parents and four children all sleeping in the one apartment. That was last November. About May sanction issued. Later a snag arose and only today did I learn that one house has been finally sanctioned and the other will be sanctioned before long. There must be something wrong when that kind of delay can occur.

: I do not want to interrupt the Deputy, but a detail like this would be more appropriate on an Estimate.

: It is no harm to mention these facts. They are matters which should be brought to the notice of the Government. Deputy Corry said that they cannot get men to do the work in his area in Cork. Unfortunately the reverse is the case in my constituency; we cannot get work for the men. The number employed on the roads is now limited because wages have gone up to around £9 per week and the money allocated for road works is also limited.

: Again, I do not want to interrupt the Deputy, but details which could be discussed on Estimates ought to be reserved for Estimates.

: I am afraid I shall have to fold up. I do not blame the Leas-Cheann Comhairle. Unemployment is very serious. Homes are closing up and that is something we must take notice of because, if an area becomes depopulated, others will get out. They will not live in a wilderness. Part of the trouble arises because of delays in sanctioning houses and dividing up land. I listened to lengthy debates on the Land Bill in this House. We all thought great headway would be made. There is very little change now as compared with the period prior to the passing of that Bill. There should be an increase in the Land Commission staff in Sligo. They are overworked. They control Sligo, Leitrim, Roscommon and parts of Mayo. More staff should be appointed to speed up the work. There are farms lying idle while their owners are in Britain or America. Neighbours are still working the few poor acres, acres lying adjacent to farms no longer worked, farms on which they cannot set even a ridge of potatoes. If people got an extension to their holdings, I believe they would hold on to the land because they are proud of their land. Many who emigrated would come back tomorrow morning if they could get a decent sized farm. They do not emigrate out of love.

This is not propaganda on my part. The facts speak for themselves. The evidence is there for all to see. The homes are closed. Anybody who wants to can go down to the West and see for himself what is happening there. There was a good deal of talk about the First and Second Programmes for Economic Expansion, but our problems are still unsolved. Sligo is a magnificent centre. Something will have to be done to save the northern end of Leitrim. The railway has been closed. There were other premises that were closed. There was a mill there that closed. The net result was that there were very few pay packets coming in from anywhere except business houses in the town and that was not enough to meet the growing population and there was no alternative for the majority of the people but to emigrate.

The price of milk should be re-examined. Many people today are getting a price around 1/7d and 1/8d a gallon. If people are expected to stay on small farms, a price higher than 1/7d or 1/8d must be guaranteed. The worker has a five-day week and a fixed wage while the farmer works seven days a week and at this time of the year works about 14 hours a day. That is another matter that should be examined in the light of protection for the farmer and encouragement for him to remain in this country. People were encouraged to increase milk production and they did so.

: I do not want to interrupt the Deputy but detail of this kind should be reserved for Estimates and is not appropriate to this debate.

: I accept your ruling, Sir. That matter should be dealt with. Down through the years I have been agitating on behalf of parents about the condition of schools. The schools I have in mind are still without sanitary accommodation. In some cases pupils have come from other schools and the number on roll has been almost doubled. For the sake of the health of the children, sanitary accommodation should be provided in all schools.

In a number of cases prefab buildings are being placed beside schools to provide extra accommodation. Admittedly, the Department were quite generous in providing prefabs as a solution to the problem of school accommodation but I do not think it is good for the country that there should be so many prefabs attached to schools. For the sake of the provision of employment and for improvement of the position generally, it would have been better to have proceeded with extensions to schools that had been planned and in respect of which architects had been paid fees and heavy expense had been incurred. This would have avoided the necessity for prefabs, which will deteriorate in time and the construction work will still have to be done.

I should also like to say—I do not know if I am in order in saying this——

: The Chair cannot rule in advance.

: I wish to refer to the provision of accommodation for mentally retarded children. If it is not in order, I shall not proceed.

: Generally, in a debate such as this, details applicable to Estimates are not in order. Discussion of broad lines of policy is in order.

: All I will say is that I hope the Minister will proceed with plans for the provision of accommodation for mentally retarded children. This is a big problem.

: As I understand it, the Adjournment Debate provides an opportunity for Deputies to review the progress or lack of progress of Government policy over the session of Dáil Éireann which is now drawing to a close. I want to protest in the strongest possible manner against the fact that practically the entire time of the session of the Dáil since Easter has been taken up with a debate on the proposed changes in the electoral system. I know I am not permitted to go into this matter in this debate but the people of the country have begun to realise that the time of the House over the past three months, since the First Stage of the Bill to amend the Constitution was introduced, has been wasted, that the time, attention and energy of all the Members of the House could have been more gainfully employed in trying to find a solution for the many serious economic and social problems which confront the country.

Economic and social problems exist and have become even more serious in recent months. Despite the rather rosy picture which the Taoiseach painted this afternoon, one does not have to look too far to see that. We are still awaiting the introduction of the so-called Third Programme for Economic Expansion. While the country has been floundering for the past 12 months in the wreck of the Second Programme, we are awaiting—and it would now seem that we will wait in vain—the introduction of this new and supposedly revolutionary policy which will be known as the Third Programme for Economic Expansion. It is a scandalous state of affairs that we should have spent three months here in futile debate on a proposal to change the electoral system, despite the fact that the people are well satisfied with the system that has served us for years, and the Government have not yet got around to introducing legislation to provide the new health services which are so badly needed and which were promised in a White Paper a couple of years ago but which as yet show no sign of becoming a reality.

There is no indication of a change in outlook on the part of the Government in relation to the serious problem of unemployment. Despite all the statistics that may be quoted from the Government side of the House, the fact remains that unemployment exists. Like Deputy McLaughlin, I should like to relate the experience of my own constituency. For any Member of this House, the acid test of the success or failure of Government policy is the results to be found in his constituency. Despite the fact that we have had a Fianna Fáil Government in power continuously since 1957, despite the fact that we have had a First Programme and a Second Programme for Economic Expansion, despite the fact that reviews, studies, examinations and surveys have been going on for over 12 months, we have to-day in the city and county of Limerick 4,051 people unemployed. This figure was given in reply to a question tabled here about two months ago by my colleague, Deputy Coughlan. I know of nothing that has happened in the past two months to effect a reduction on that figure. In respect of employment— described by a former Taoiseach as the acid test of Government policy— this Government have failed hopelessly, so far as my constituency is concerned, to tackle this serious problem.

During the past year the Taoiseach was requested by Limerick City Council to receive a deputation to discuss the serious unemployment problem in our city. I have given the unemployment figure for the city and county but the figure for the city of Limerick alone is approximately 2,230 people. Concerned at this serious situation, the city council last January or February sent a request to the Minister for Industry and Commerce; but the upshot was that neither the Taoiseach nor the Minister was prepared to receive this deputation representing the citizens of Limerick. Admittedly, following extreme pressure from all sides and following a public outcry in Limerick against the failure of the Government to take action, steps have been taken recently to tackle this problem. We have had the announcement of the extension of the facilities of the Shannon Industrial Estate to embrace a wider region including Limerick, Clare and North Tipperary. We have had also the announcement of the Government's decision to establish an industrial estate in Limerick. city.

Within this context of economic development, I may be in order in referring to the new concept of regional development which is being initiated in the Limerick, Clare and North Tipperary area. Speaking here a short time ago on the Vote for the Department of Industry and Commerce, I referred to the fact that this concept of regional development was a good idea. It is an idea that has been overlooked for far too long, an idea which has a very great potential, but I want to warn the Taoiseach and the Government that there are one or two very important factors in relation to it which should not be overlooked.

A special organisation has been established and a chief executive appointed to promote the development of this region. It is vitally important to the success of the concept of regional development that the Government should encourage active co-operation between the statutory development body and the local voluntary organisations in the region, particularly the local development associations. Provided this co-operation is encouraged, there is a very great potential in this idea of regional development.

I sincerely hope there will be no delay in proceeding with the establishment of the industrial estate at Limerick city. As I have said, the unemployment problem there is very serious and very little has been done to tackle it. Since this Government took office in 1965, not one single industry has been established in my constituency. On the contrary, we have had the unfortunate and—from the point of view of the Government—the unforgivable and indefensible occurrence that some of our old-established industries have been forced to close down. These were industries that had existed for over 100 years, and in one case an industry for which Limerick enjoyed an international reputation for a long number of years. I refer to the bacon industry.

It is a terrible indictment of the policies pursued by the Government over the past eight years that we should have today in the Limerick area the situation in which bacon factories have been forced to close down because the farmers were not finding it economic to produce pigs. On the other hand, in recent months milk has been poured down the drain because there were not sufficient factories to process it. It is a tragic example of the failure of the Second Programme for Economic Expansion.

I do not know whether there is going to be any change of attitude on the part of the Government to our major national industry, which is of course agriculture. I have always believed in—and I trust I will always do so—the potential of this great national industry. I believe also—and I want to spell it out clearly and emphatically —that the small holdings of this country can be made viable economic units, provided we have rational and realistic Government policy to encourage smallholders to make the best use of their holding.

Unfortunately, we have a situation now in which Government policy for agriculture seems to lay no emphasis upon, and even to ignore completely, the importance of co-operation in Irish agriculture, and in particular its importance in relation to the survival of the small family holdings here. During the past 12 months, on the occasion of the introduction here by the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries of his last Estimate, in the course of a 30 or 40 page speech, the Minister did not even once mention the word "co-operation". When speaking during that debate I referred to this omission by the Minister but in his reply, if my memory serves me aright, he made no reference to this. It has been clearly established that the principles of co-operation properly applied can play a vital role not merely in saving the West but in saving the small family holdings of the country. We have numerous examples of groups of farmers combining and working out a system of co-operation which enabled each individually to take a maximum production from his holding, but no encouragement is being given to our farmers to co-operate to produce more efficiently.

According to a reply I received from the Minister for Agriculture at Question Time some months ago, despite the fact that a substantial annual expenditure goes, through this House, to the Agricultural Research Institute, the Institute has undertaken no survey, no studies and no work in the field of agricultural co-operation. This is disgraceful. In all sincerity, I say that the co-operative movement and co-operation represent the only hope for our small family holdings not merely in the West but also in the South. Encouragement must be given to farmers to co-operate. The psychological prejudices and the psychological barriers against co-operation must be broken down. They can and have been overcome. As I said, we have a number of outstanding examples of where the co-operative movement properly applied can result in greater efficiency to enable small farmers to survive.

As regards the attitude of the Government to our major national industry, it is regrettable and deplorable that we should have, over the past year, a continuation of the bad relations which exist between the Minister for Agriculture and a certain section of the farming community. I submit that the Taoiseach, as head of the Government, has a serious responsibility in this matter to ensure that proper relations are restored between the Department, the Minister and the farmers, because it is only by joint effort on the part of the Department, the Government and the farmers that we can hope to have this major national industry advance towards its fullest potential.

We have had a continuation of the debacle—and it is nothing else—of the National Agricultural Council. I was glad to know yesterday from the reply given from the Minister for Agriculture to my question regarding the NAC that apparently all aspects of the NAC are being reviewed. I believe that this NAC has been a complete fiasco. It has done nothing practical for the farmers and, as at present constituted, cannot hope to achieve anything tangible or worthwhile. I might be accused of being nasty in this but I have very strong feelings on the subject: the NAC, as at present constituted, if it is continued in that way can only be explained away by the suspicions that many people have had that it is nothing other than a weapon in the hands of the Government to keep various farmers' organisations at one another's throats. Unity can be restored to the farming community but the Taoiseach, as head of the Government, has responsibility to show a lead and an example in this matter.

In my opinion also, the Government slipped up very badly in relation to the dairying industry and while I do not want to go into details in regard to it, when on 11th of June I asked the Minister for Agriculture if he proposed to take any steps to compensate the dairy farmers for the loss of income caused by the lack of adequate markets for all the milk they produced and for the increase in the milk levy, the Minister in reply said that the question of compensation for dairy farmers was a matter for the Government.

In that context I presume I am in order in asking the Taoiseach or the Government if they have any plans regarding this most important sector of the agricultural industry. In view of the fact that the Minister is not prepared to make a statement on it, I hope the Taoiseach when replying to this debate will go into details about this industry. What are the Government's plans regarding the reorganisation and rationalisation of the industry? What is the Government's attitude to the various surveys and reports published in the past five years concerning the industry? What steps do the Government propose to take now to ensure that next year there will not be a repetition of the appalling situation we had this year when hundreds of thousands of gallons of milk had to be poured down the drain because there was no economic outlet for it.

These are questions that vitally concern not merely the farming community or the dairy farmers but the whole economy. There is no doubt that difficulties are arising in the export market for dairy products——

: I do not want to interrupt the Deputy but I think a detailed discussion of any particular facet of agriculture would properly arise on the Estimate.

: Surely this is a wide debate in which we can deal with any subject.

: Provided the Deputy does not go into detail.

: But the Taoiseach is responsible for his Ministers.

: There has been discussion on the Estimate and details of Estimates are out of order in this debate.

: I bow to the Chair's ruling and I shall endeavour to keep within the rules. I have referred to unemployment, particularly in regard to my own constituency. I now come to housing which is, or should be, regarded as a top priority in the social policy of any Government. Just as in regard to the unemployment figures which I gave, the record of the Government in regard to housing in my constituency and particularly in Limerick city is very bad. Without giving the full figures for the past 11 years, I would merely mention, as an indication of the failure of the housing policy of the Government, that in the financial year 1967-68, which is the last financial year, not one single new house was handed over in the city of Limerick, and we have approximately 800 or 900 families in urgent need of new housing.

The Minister for Local Government said last week in reply to a question that plans are in hand which, if implemented and carried out within a reasonably short space of time, would help towards a solution of this housing problem. We in Limerick have grown despondent and we are very sceptical of these plans in hand. If I remember correctly, there were 243 houses built in the financial year 1966-67. There was quite a lot of boasting on the part of the Government about this performance, but in the last financial year, as I say, there was not one new house built. This again, like the unemployment figures in my constituency, is an indication of the failure of the Second Programme for Economic Expansion, and it has been admitted even by the Government that the Second Programme has failed.

I have already referred to the future of the small farmers, but there is another section of the community which is being sadly neglected by the Government, a section of the community which could be termed the forgotten people of this country. I refer to the small shopkeepers, particularly the small business people in our rural towns and villages. These must be among the hardest hit people of the community. The evidence is in every rural town and village where small shopkeepers are forced to get out because their little business is no longer viable.

It might be asked what any Government can do to help these people. There are a number of ways in which they might be helped to survive. These small shopkeepers are paying rates based on valuations which were fixed many years ago when these rural towns and villages were thriving communities. With the advent of the supermarket and with the depopulation of the countryside, these small shopkeepers are finding the struggle impossible. Many of them have given up the struggle and have been forced to take to the emigrant ship. In this modern age of advanced economics and sociological thinking, it should not be beyond the bounds of possibility for the Government to devise some scheme which would help these people. I sincerely hope something will be done for them.

There is another national problem which the Government have not tackled with the urgency it deserves. I refer to drainage, which has become the No. 1 topic of by-election campaigns. Again, talking of what I know and in the light of the evidence of my own constituency, I can say a considerable portion of the land in east Limerick is subjected to severe flooding from the Rivers Maigue, Mulcaire and Groody. Despite numerous promises that have been made over the past five or six years, despite the fact that dates were fixed for the commencement of work, the Minister for Finance last week was unable to say when work would commence on the drainage of these three rivers.

When we examine the results of the Government in relation to agriculture, in relation to unemployment, in relation to housing, in relation to drainage, in relation to the health services and various other social services, we find that they leave much to be desired. As other speakers have already said from this side of the House, and as Deputy O'Leary also said, the fact that so little progress has been made and that there are still so many economic and social problems not merely remaining unsolved but becoming more and more serious every other day, is an indication that we have a Government in power for 11 years continuously who lack initiative and lack the energy and the enthusiasm necessary to solve these problems, a Government who sooner or later, and let us hope sooner rather than later, will get out and give a chance to others who are prepared to tackle these problems.

: The Minister for Education.

: On a point of order, I do not think it is good enough that the Minister should take advantage of the debate in this way, to spend a couple of minutes waiting and to intervene in the debate when others have been waiting for a considerable time. Ordinary courtesy would suggest another method of intervention on his part.

: The Deputy had his chance to get up after Deputy McLaughlin, and he did not do so.

: That is not the case. I have been here, as the Taoiseach knows, for a considerable time. It is most discourteous of the Minister to take advantage of the rules of the House——

: Not at all. There is no rule of the House on this.

: If there is no rule of the House on it, there is no reason why the Minister should be let in to speak now.

: There were two Opposition speakers.

: Two from the Opposition and one from the Government side.

: The Minister for Education.

: This debate has, quite rightly, ranged over the whole field of social and economic development in our community. There has been criticism of the Government from the Labour and Fine Gael benches. We as a Government say there has been substantial progress in both the social and economic spheres of development in Ireland in the past two years, and, indeed, over the past 11 years that were referred to in such a derisory manner by Deputy O'Donnell. This progress can be seen to have taken place.

I wish to refer in particular to the Department for which I am responsible, the Department of Education, and to suggest that in this field the most outstanding progress has taken place, not just in the past year or two years but over the past 11 years— referred to again by Deputy O'Donnell in such a derisory manner—due to the planned Fianna Fáil policy in regard to educational development.

If the Labour Party want to talk about socialism, I would say that equal opportunity in regard to education is the most fundamental social principle of all.

: There is no equality of opportunity in debate here quite obviously. The Minister rambles in here when he likes and says his piece when he feels like it.

: And my piece is going to be substantial.

: That remains to be seen. That is the Minister's opinion. It will be a revolution and a revelation if he says something substantial.

: The Deputy has been in accord with my opinion in the past for which many thanks.

: I did not get that.

: He is trying to tell you they are doing something we advocated ten years ago.

: It was the late Deputy O'Malley who did anything that was done. He did it on his own. Do not try to exploit him.

: Excuse me: the late Deputy O'Malley was a member of the Fianna Fáil Government which planned every stage and step of the educational achievements not only last year or the year before but over the past 11 years. I do not want to enter into the ramifications of personalities. The Fianna Fáil Government are committed to social and economic advancement in a disciplined manner, with the Government in charge. We are dedicated to doing this business in this way and we are not dedicated to doing this business in the destructive manner which broke up two coalitions between Labour and Fine Gael.

: I think Fianna Fáil have nightmares about coalitions.

: It is indicative of the social thinking of the Labour Party that during the period of the last coalition prior to 1957, when Deputy Corish who is now the Leader of the Labour Party was Minister for Social Welfare, and Deputy Sweetman, his conservative colleague in that Government, Minister for Finance, we saw annual increases in social welfare benefits of 1/-.

: The Minister did not see it. He was sucking a lollipop at that time.

: It is indicative of the social thinking which has always characterised the Labour Party, and as Senator McQuillan said recently——

: Talk sense. Do not do the blackguard.

: Senator McQuillan said that the Labour Party could not be regarded as the Party of social progress. He said they talked about socialism but that in practice they did not mean it at all.

: The Minister is going to Russia now.

: I am asking Deputy Corish to deny or confirm that the annual increase in social welfare benefits, old age pensions, unemployment benefits, and widows' pensions was 1/- during those years.

: Misrepresentation.

: It was 2/6d over a three year period. That is socialism in action. We are concerned with socialism in practice.

: The Minister is Minister for Education. He should grow up and talk sense

: We are not concerned about socialism in principle but socialism in practice.

: The Minister is concerned with one thing only.

: Is the Minister a socialist now?

: The most important sphere——

: Tell us about the turnover tax.

: Tell us about the workers you put in jail for going on strike.

: In the current year we have devoted £54 million in the sphere of education alone.

: Republicans moryah.

: In the field of education, we have devoted £54 million which is more than three times the amount devoted to it five years ago. We want to see complete equality of opportunity for our boys and girls.

: It is about time.

: We regard this as fundamental social thinking.

: Terrific in 1968.

: We regard this as far more realistic social thinking than increasing social welfare benefits by 2/6d over a period of three years.

: The Minister is a riot.

: Tell us about the lads you put in jail for going on strike. Tell us about that kind of socialism.

: The Minister, without interruption.

: The Minister is provoking interruption. He has no right to be talking. He is talking out of turn.

: I am perfectly entitled to talk.

: In your turn, but you are talking out of turn now.

: When we compare the conservative Fine Gael and Labour record in the sphere of social welfare development in 1954 to 1957 with our record over the past three years in which the social welfare benefits were increased by 5/- or 10/- per year——

: Tell us about the turnover tax and the wholesale tax.

: Money did not fall in value to that extent. You cannot equate an increase of 2/6d between 1954 and 1957 with an increase of 22/6d between 1965 and 1968.

: It was 10/- a week for 16 years.

: These are the unfortunate facts of life, unfortunate so far as the Labour Party are concerned, because the Labour Party are now engaged in a massive confidence trick at the expense of the Irish electorate. To the ordinary working people who have traditionally voted Fianna Fáil, they are now purporting to be the Party of social progress. This House is the place in which to expose them. They will seize any opportunistic expedient to line up with Fine Gael to impose on the people policies of conservative reaction.

: Ten shillings for 16 years.

: That has been their record.

: You gave the old age pensioners 10/- a week for 16 years.

: I am talking about the very recent past.

: I am talking about the time when Mr. de Valera was Taoiseach and the old age pensioners got 10/- a week for 16 years.

: Perhaps Deputy Corish wants to go into the hoary past but the young generation are not concerned with it.


: He gave £100 to the Biafra Fund—the President of Ireland. Let that go on the record.

: He wants to talk about the Welsh nationalists.

: In due course I will deal with that misrepresentation and misconception as well. Deputy Corish should not be too quick to put forward aspects of nationalism and republicanism.

: Why not? Develop that.

: As I have said, we regard the whole question of educational development as fundamental. We recognise that this is fundamental so far as social investment is concerned. We have decided to use the resources of the State garnered from taxation in this field.

: Platitude after platitude.

: We want to educate our boys and girls to the fullest extent of their talents.

: Platitude after platitude.

: There is no platitude involved. It is a fact that from next September——

: Cliché after platitude.

: ——our boys and girls in post-primary education——

: Thanks to the late Deputy O'Malley. Do not try to steal a man's credit. Do not try to drag his mantle over you. You are not big enough.

: The availability of post-primary education——

: He was not a member of the same Party. He had not the same kind of mind.

: He did not bring over Pierpoint.

: It was purely an accident that he happened to be in the same room.

(Cavan): His forebears were Blueshirts.

: And blue they were.

: The availability of post-primary facilities to all our boys and girls is the outstanding achievement in education since the formation of the State. I am not talking in platitudes when I talk about rural transport, buses bringing young boys and girls into centres of primary education, due to the amalgamation of schools to provide a wider range of subjects in the primary school curriculum, and buses bringing boys and girls into central post-primary education establishments, whether they be secondary schools or technical schools, free of charge, so that they will have the opportunities enjoyed in the past by people who were better off. That is socialism in action. That is Fianna Fáil policy. That is Fianna Fáil in action. If they want to go into the field of university and higher education, we have just taken in both Houses of the Oireachtas the first steps to provide student grants for boys and girls who wish to participate in higher education to enable them, having passed through the Fianna Fáil schemes of primary and post-primary education, to go ahead to higher education as well and to the fullest extent of their talents in the field of higher level education.

Progress reported; Committee to sit again.