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

Debate resumed on the following motion:
That the Vote be referred back for reconsideration.
—Deputy Cosgrave.

I wish now to make a few observations as regards the amount of money provided for local authorities. As a member of a county council, I would naturally be personally concerned that we would recive sufficient money for our essential works on housing, sanitary services and roads. I have already adverted to and protested against the trend in housing financing which I mentioned earlier, namely, that there has been a switch from the provision of local authority houses, as such, towards private housing. I regret that a decreasing interest has been paid to the provision of local authority housing because that has to provide shelter for the very poor and the weakest sections of our community who are absolutely unable to provide anything from their own resources. A similar trend is obvious in relation to water supplies. In my constituency, we had works drawn up to the value of £2½ million. We paid £8,000 to architects for drawing-up these schemes.

Now we are virtually to switch from these regional schemes to group schemes. I have no objection to group schemes. Per household, the charges tend to be lower. However, I feel this is forced upon us because central Government want to cut down on the amount of money they are providing to local authorities. I think the Taoiseach should, in his reply, give us some reason why local authority subventions are being cheesepared so much, particularly in view of the fact that the amount of money coming into the Taoiseach's exchequer is quite good. Compare, for example, the first eight months of this year with the first eight months of last year. Revenue, as they describe it, is excessively buoyant. Total receipts to the Exchequer from 1st April, 1968, to 6th December, 1968 —eight months—were £211.8 million whereas, for the corresponding period this year, the figure has advanced to £258.3 million. This is a jump of nearly £50 million. It is a tremendous jump in a revenue increase. On the face of that, we are being unfairly treated at local authority level by the central Government authority.

I recognise—and the argument is always put up here in the House— that the amount of money the central Government are giving to local government is increasing proportionately year by year but, against that, let me point out that the case is being improperly made. Some of the money allegedly given back to local government is the agricultural rebate. That is not given back to local government. We do not get one penny of that to spend as local authorities. It is a hand-out to the local farmers. I do not begrudge it to them. It amounts to about £17 million per year, speaking from memory.

We must also consider the road fund. I think £12 million is the amount collected by local county councils for taxes on cars. In the 1966 Finance Bill local taxation was increased by about 20 per cent and it was decided at that time throught the office of the Minister for Finance that that increase would go straight to revenue and not find its way into the road fund at all. For years here there was always a row if the road fund was raided but now it is being done legally, if not legitimately, and this 20 per cent is scooped off before it finds its way into the road fund.

If you add the amount of money collected on car taxes, plus customs and excise on petrol, from car parks and cars coming in here, it amounts to about £50 million a year. We should be entitled at local level to receive the full amount from the road fund in view of the tremendous amount of money the Government are getting through cars and from car users. In general, with a very buoyant revenue at the moment the Government are being unduly penurious with the local authorities this year.

Someone mentioned the balance of payments at Question Time. I have some of the recent figures here. Someone asked was our balance of payments deficit ever as big as it is now, and, of course, it was not. In 1967, we had a surplus of £15 million. In 1968, we had a deficit of £20 million. This year we will have a deficit possibly of £60 million, and in 1970 the projection is possibly another £60 million. Our external reserves have gone down somewhat and the nature of our external reserves has been altered. We switched from sterling to gold at one time, and then we switched from gold to the International Monetary Fund, and lately we are selling our gold and buying dollars. Whatever switching we did, we did not do it in time. We lost about £8 million when devaluation took place because we had left too much of our money in sterling fund. Our financial authorities in the Department of Finance or the Central Bank were caught there when we lost approximately £8 million by not making that transfer in time.

I was dealing with the trading figures which the Minister for Finance was at such pains to play down. I had just begun to mention them before Question Time. I will give the figures again for the record because I am old-fashioned enough to think that trading figures are still important. In 1968, our exports were £329.3 million and our imports were £484.4 million, an import excess of £155.1 million. In 1969, our exports were £366 million. That showed an increase of £36.8 million. Our imports were £584.8 million showing an increase of 100.4 million. That meant that our import excess was £218.8 million. By any standards that, taken in conjunction with the static of diminishing external reserves and a projected balance of payments increase of £60 million, is a serious situation. No playing around with figures or other statistical data can alter the serious import of those returns.

To use a common or garden expression, I feel that we are moving into the red. We have mounting rates, our balance of payments is going against us, the cost of living is rising rapidly and we have, therefore, what is called inflation. We have increased industrial unrest. We have the worst record in Europe in industrial employment relations and hours lost through industrial unrest. We have social discontent. We have an increasing disparity of income between the higher and the lower sections of the population. We have evolving here a two-or three-tier society. Our emigration and unemployment problem stands unresolved and we have increasing pressure from the farming community.

That is not a happy pre-Christmas picture. It is my duty here to stimulate the already euphoric temperament of the Fianna Fáil Party. I want to quote now from the booklet from which I have already quoted, the Economic and Social Research Institute Quarterly Economic Commentary, September, 1969. At page 19 it is stated:

Even at this stage, genuine moderation in income demands by all sectors of the community would undoubtedly help to solve this dilemma. A slower growth in money incomes than that assumed here would, in the present inflationary circumstances, probably result in equally rapid growth in real incomes, while perhaps averting the very genuine danger of a serious interruption in economic growth which is implicit in any directly restrictive action which the authorities might feel obliged to take.

In the face of that and other remarks in this publication and other publications, what advice can one presume to offer to the Government at this stage? I will make two suggestions. My first suggestion is that the Government should take the advice we have given them over a long period. They should make some effort to introduce price control. They should in some way establish a prices and incomes policy if we are to have stability in the value of money, stability in our society as well as good industrial relations. The Government are making no attempt to do this. My second suggestion is that they should have a more effective monetary credit control policy. Admittedly, the Central Bank have been trying to do this but not too effectively and they have failed to control the private sector and they have failed to control the Government. Of course, the final responsibility for our economic position lies with the Government. They have been the greatest offenders and it is difficult to look towards the future with equanimity when you have a Government which raises all sorts of objections, who will not even consider an incomes and prices policy and when you have a Minister for Finance who can only speak of wage control and will not introduce these kinds of scales on a broad front, the only type of front that will be acceptable in a board society. I can recall when this question of monetary credit control was first mentioned here by us. It was regarded by then then Deputy Seán Lemass as being a daft notion. The Central Bank has a very important function in this and it is becoming increasingly accepted that as well as the economic factors monetary credit control is an important factor in planning and fashioning a progressive economy.

Yesterday this debate gave me an extraordinary feeling of unreality, a feeling which persisted this morning before I came back into the House, but today it has taken a turn for the better. We have had some exceptionally good contributions. I am not saying that the contributions yesterday were poor. Indeed I thought that the speeches from the Labour benches were far and away the best speeches yesterday. There was a feeling yesterday that the Taoiseach was withholding what he had to say until the end of the debate. At least I can give him this much credit, that it was his own speech and he did not dish out gobbledegook and we had no references to shortfalls, decentralisation and so on. The Taoiseach is extremely fortunate that he has a few sensible men on his team. I am including in that remarks the Minister for Labour, the Minister for External Affairs and the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs. If I may, I will repear a conversation which took place on these benches recently. A colleague remarked to me: "The Taoiseach frequently looks very worried at Question Time" and I looked over and there were four men on his left side—the Minister for Justice, Deputy Moran, the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries, Deputy Blaney, the Minister for Local Government, Deputy Boland and Deputy Haughey, the Minister for Finance, and my reply was: "If you had those men on your left you would be worried too". I am not to be taken as being personal in this; it is purely what I have observed myself.

The Minister for Labour, Deputy Brennan, could charm the birds off the bushes. Today he ended his speech with the phrase "steady as we go" and he really was the personification of that phrase during his charming speech. It was a wonderful performance. To be fair to him and to his predecessor, they have handled a very delicate problem with velvet gloves. Anyway, he certainly set the tone for today's debate and it never really got down to the level at which it was yesterday. It has been a genuined debate. The Minister for Labour pointed out that we have been lucky, which is true. We have had a serious inflationary trend, which he said was everywhere but I would say it was around the western world. It has been around a long time and it has undoubtedly helped our position. His main constructive proposal was that he would have discussions with the employers, the trade unions and this House. Well, I want to be fair to the parties on this side of the House. This is just not on. It is the business of a government to govern and I do not believe that it is necessary to have national discussions, the national government kind of idea.

The Minister referred to unofficial strikes and to what a dreadful incubus this has been. There will be very few figures in my speech, but let me take one which he mentioned. He said that 800,000 man days had been lost this spring. Now, that is equivalent to 3,200 men on the basis of working for 250 days in the year. The figure of 3,200 per year is not all that great when you have nearly 60,000 unemployed. In fact, it is one-two hundred and fiftieth of the industrial and other labour forces and, therefore, less than ½ per cent of the total employed. The Minister's figure sounds very big but when you turn it around as I did, it turns out to be only 3,000 men for one year, a very small part of the total labour force.

I am not one of these people who believe that you can push the economy around, that you can do major things and get away with it. The Minister has established a system which he hopes will lead to the early detection of trouble. My own experience of industrial troubles was that if you were capable of locating where the trouble was likely to arise before people had locked horns you could do something about it.

The Minister mentioned also that he was trying to fix this recent dispute in the ESB. The ordinary clerical workers had a certain status and when the Quinn Report came out it upset that. The ESB clerks had a status between clerical officer and executive officer and they were demoted to the status of clerical officer. This upset a tradition which had been established in the late 'Twenties when there was a much tougher outlook in economic matters than there is now. This attempt to make everybody the same cannot possibly succeed. You cannot put everybody into the same kind of box. You cannot interfere with the status of a large group of people in an organisation without sowing the seeds of serious trouble.

The Minister then went on to talk about extra taxation to bring up the welfare classes. We have almost exhausted the possible types of taxation. I would say that in no other country in Western Europe have they so many different kinds of taxation as in this country. We have income tax in a way in which they have not got it in most of the EEC countries; we have the turnover tax and a large wholesale tax. There are discussions about an added value tax. It is said the added value tax would be in substitution for the wholesale and turnover taxes, but that is not the experience here. Before the turnover tax came in a large merchant in this city said to me: "I would have no objection to a turnover tax, but it will be added on to all the other taxes." That is what happened and, to make matters worse, when the then Minister for Finance was asked how the merchants, who were very concerned about it, would collect it, he made what I presume was intended to be a facetious reply, but it was a very unsuitable reply which brought about a very bad situation. He said: "You can collect it any way you like."

Deputy Hogan referred to the 12 per cent which the workers received two years ago. I made a calculation at the time and there had been a nine per cent increase in the cost of living since the previous round of wage increases. Therefore, in giving the workers 12 per cent all that was being provided was something to cover future inflation. The inflation turned out to be much worse than was anticipated, not for the reason the Fine Gael Party put forward, the 12 per cent, but because of the two and a half per cent turnover tax which put up prices by about six per cent. Productivity increased in that spring of 1964 and when the workers looked at their 12 per cent they found they were receiving only the same amount as they had been getting before the increase was given.

I agree with a great deal of what the Minister for Labour said. He spoke about people maintaining differentials. They are inclined to do that. He then spoke about the competitive years that lie ahead. Although the Anglo-Irish Free Trade Area Agreement is incomparably better than being in the Common Market, it is still the Achilles Heel of our whole industrial system. The Minister is inclined to think that a breakthrough has come and he thought that emigration was at long last receding.

There is no point in pretending that progress has not been made. Progress has been made, but I do not like to see Ministers coming into the House— I am not talking about the Minister for Labour—and gilding a good case with the most beautiful gold paint. They are not satisfied to tell a good story; they want to embellish it. In this connection the Taoiseach repeated something about the cost of living— this is something I was extremely interested in at the time—that it went up by five per cent in the year 1968. I received a letter from the Central Statistics Office last year and since my reply was going to be fairly tough I did not like to reply to it at all. I was pressed by them for a reply, and I shall read out what I said to them. I asked them a question in the letter and they did not reply to me; otherwise, I would not be reading out the letter. It is addressed to the head of the Central Statistics Office and dated 2nd April, 1969:

I regret the long delay in replying to your letters...

It is possible for me, however, to give you a considered opinion about the matter which the Committee... has under consideration.

This small country contains a large number of people who seem to think that we can do all the operations involving physical effort which are only feasible for countries with a minimum population of 20 million persons. Admittedly, the Central Statistics Office has had a remarkable record in keeping the country in the forefront of new inquiries but there are limits to the resources available, both physical and financial. So far as I am concerned, it may be taken that in general the statistical information about our economy is adequate and I would like to express my personal appreciation of the services which have been rendered to me personally since I left the Civil Service about 20 years ago. That Office is in a class by itself when it comes to providing information for the universities.

I am, however, aware from comments of technologists and others who think their own work is the most important activity in the world (and unfortunately many really good technologists can be put into this category) that the Central Statistics Office cannot supply them with the kind of detail which they require. But, frankly, I doubt whether the statistics office of any coutry with a population of less than 200 million could do so

Moreover, the Central Government current expenditure has more than doubled in the current decade and I think the day for a little economy has long since arrived!

As a matter of fact I was grossly underestimating because, as I pointed out to the Minister for Finance on the Appropriation Bill, Government expenditure in the past ten years has gone up from something like £113 million in 1959, the first year Mr. Lemass was Taoiseach, to something like £365 million this year. This is a fabulous increase. I must say that, at one stage, I thought the Minister for Finance, having changed his order when he was talking about the four important factors, was not going to deal with Government expenditure at all, but he did come out with it eventually. I hope he is successful with what he is going to attempt. I shall continue the letter:

There is, however, one matter about the work in your Office which perturbs me seriously at present. This is the astounding figure of a ten points increase in the consumer price index of November 1967 and 1968. How does the Office reconcile this with the following simple facts?

(1) Both the domestic exports price index and the imports index also showed an increase of ten points but in each case on a base of 113 as against the consumer price index base of 193.

(2) Sterling was devalued by 14 per cent and one would need to be very green indeed to accept a statement in the November issue of the Central Bank Quarterly Review and believe that the effects were over by the Spring of last year.

I do not know who wrote that statement, but let me say what I know about economics. A devaluation of that sort takes a couple of years to go through the economy. In reply to parliamentary questions the Taoiseach now talks about the belated effects of devaluation. They are not belated at all. It is obvious it takes a long period of time for that kind of thing to go through the economy. The third item of the letter is a very important one:

(3) The 11th Round of wages increase took place last year in this country and, if you feel like it, I should be grateful if you would tell me what it amounted to on the average.

Both of us are old enough to remember the furore when a young and innocent Parliamentary Secretary tried to persuade the people of Ireland in the autumn following the outbreak of the Korean War that there had been little or no increase in the cost of living and I think the verdict of the people went clearly against the view which was purveyed by the Department of Industry and Commerce at that time.

It is a matter for regret that not a single comment has been made on this occasion. It seems to me that far from this lack of interest showing greater confidence in the work of your Office, it proves that the general public are no longer interested and this view is confirmed from information which I have had about discussions on wages and salaries which have been taking place recently.

I ended then with a tribute to the Office.

During the summer of 1968 I made it my business to call frequently on a friend of mine who is a small grocer in order to find out how prices were going. On each visit he went right around the shop telling me which articles had gone up and by how much. The extraordinary thing was that the cost of living index according to the Central Statistics Office showed no increase at all all between May and August of 1968. I am not arguing that they do not get it right, because in the long run they do get it right. The Minister for Finance tried to rectify the situation by introducing the mini-Budget. The effect of that was that the Central Statistics Office started a new index in November. The cost of living went up by 1.1 per cent a month for the three months from November to February and that was before the maintenance strike took place. In that period there were no wage increases. There was no reason at all for the cost of living to rise, yet it went up by 1.1 per cent. Perhaps this was a readjustment process.

During the election the Fianna Fáil Party talked about a five per cent increase in the cost of living last year. Of course, it was not five per cent. I would say it was approaching ten per cent in the year 1968. That figure would be right on the simple argument I have read out if the currency is devalued by 14 per cent. It would take between a year and fourteen months for the effect of this to go through the economy. My suggestion therefore that the cost of living went up by ten per cent in 1968 is what ordinary commonsense teaches one. It does not take a B.Comm. or a doctorate to be able to make an assessment like that. I do not blame the Minister for Finance for being careful about this matter. On the contrary, I agree with that particular approach.

I do not blame the Government for taking time about making decisions on the Buchanan Report and the Devlin Report. As a person who has spent a long time in the Civil Service I do not see anything wrong with the Government's sending the Devlin Report to the Department. What other way could it be examined properly? I should, of course, say that I have never read the Devlin Report but I understand it recommended that the Land Commission be abolished. What other way could the Government get that recommendation examined except by sending it to the Department of Lands? There is nothing wrong in this approach at all. It may look strange to people who did not spend as long as I did as a clerk in the Civil Service.

The two Ministers who spoke this morning were telling us that we must be careful about wages. I should like to know to what extent wage-earners contribute to an adverse balance of payments position? I do not think they contribute to it at all. They do not buy Mercedes cars.

I realise the Government are saying that the greater part of the increased imports this year represent capital items, but that depends how one defines the word "capital". Two hundred years ago Adam Smith defined the word "capital". He said, "capital is that part of a man's stock from which he expects to derive an income". There are a lot worse definitions of capital than that roaming around Government Departments. If there is no return for the money invested it is not strictly capital expenditure, it may be social expenditure, it may be a prestige investment.

Would the Deputy extend the point about the balance of payments as related to wages?

Whenever I go around the country and meet the ordinary people on wages I find there are two items they have which could be said to affect the balance of payments. Usually they have a television set. The second item —this would not affect the balance of payments; all it does it put a floor under the gentlemen who buy new cars—is a secondhand car. We can, I think, forget the secondhand cars. The only thing is that if they were not sold here they would be exported.

They use petrol, of course.

But the petrol is manufactured here in Whitegate. Perhaps the Deputy forgets the Government established that.

Another white elephant.

Does the Deputy think Whitegate is a white elephant?

Whitegate cut the cost of petrol to a remarkable extent. I am interested in the suggestion that there should be a seven per cent increase in wages next year. Do not forget that we have a round of wage increases only every two years and one has, therefore, to take the two years from 1968 to 1970; on my figures the cost of living in those two years has risen about 18 per cent. The Taoiseach, the Minister for Labour and the Minister for Finance do not believe for one moment that wages will go up by only 7 per cent. I read in the newspapers that the Irish Hospitals' Trust employees—mostly elderly women and young girls, had got an increase of £2 a week and will get another 30/- increase next year. This is an increase of £3 10s. It is not 7 per cent. Let not fool ourselvves. Let me pay tribute to the Irish Hospitals' Trust; it is about the only place in which one can get employment for a poor widow.

It is no use pretending that there has not been wage restraint. There has been wage restraint on a large scale. It is going now. We all know that. The workers in Cement Limited claim an increase of £7 a week. Why should they not? According to the same newspapers, Cement Limited made a profit of 2½ million last year. If the workers get their increase of £7 a week the only man who will suffer is the Minister for Finance because he gets roughly 10/- out of every £ profit made by an industrial organisation. All that will suffer are Government finances. I have no doubt the workers will not get an increase of £7 a week because there is an extremely right wing conservative approach in that particular organisation.

The Minister for Finance said there were four matters upon which we should keep our eye—prices, pay, Government expenditure and the balance of payments. I have no objection at all to the Minister saying we should keep our eye on these things. Deputy Hogan dealt with prices. Now it is no use pretending this Government started yesterday. Those of us who take an interest in public life are aware that the Government that existed in this country in the early 1960s did not believe in price control at all. Until they were pushed into it they did nothing about it and it was during that period that the foundation was laid of the present rapid inflation. The difficulty about inflation is that, if you can keep it at a modest one per cent a year, or two per cent, it is almost ideal because it makes things slightly easier for progressive people and slightly harder for the people who have already made their money and are in clover. When, however, you get a situation in which there is the kind of increase in the cost of living to which Deputy Hogan referred and you have the price of money at ten per cent, it is no use at that point thinking about inflation: inflation is the great evil.

Both the Taoiseach and the Minister for Labour referred to what they described as the very satisfactory increase in industrial exports. I challenged the Minister for Industry and Commerce the other day to give me the figures for imports in regard to Shannon Free Airport Development Company and he told me he had not got that figure. Now, if one has a good tale to tell, one should not exaggerate it. The Taoiseach said that industrial exports are greater than agricultural exports. But it is not the gross that counts. It is the net and net agricultural exports are immensely greater than industrial exports.


I think more strongly about the £30 million the dairy farmers are getting than Deputy Lenihan does. I protested when the figure was only £15 million in 1965. This is one of the matters on which I disagreed with Fine Gael. What do the dairy farmers expect us to do for them? Do they expect us to bankrupt ourselves for them?

The Taoiseach and the Minister for Labour said there had been a very satisfactory increase in industrial exports. The Minister for Industry and Commerce told me that the exports from the Shannon Free Airport Development amounted last year to £42 million. How much of that represented imports? The Minister told me he had not got that figure. Now I have the figures for an earlier year and three-quarters of that amount was for imports, so that we spent £30 million on imports to create £40 million worth of exports. I do not deprecate that.

I regarded the establishment of the Shannon Free Airport as a splendid idea. As it has developed so it has proved. There is one thing I should like to say to the Government; I do not think they quite appreciate it and I should like to remind them. They remember, but they do not say it. We have had two remarkable years climatically. It is remarkable that this year was better than last, or so I am told by the farmers, because the rain came at the right time and the heat came at the right time.

And the general election.

Is the Deputy suggesting it generated some heat? Not all that much. We were on the receiving end of what heat there was. We are not doing badly since we came to this House. We seem to have caused a certain amount of trouble in the Fianna Fáil ranks judging by their behaviour over the past three or four weeks.

The Minister for Finance said our economy is basically sound. I agree, and such difficulties as are arising arise because of the same thing that was done previously. The Government fixed up its own finances at the expense of the economy. One of the best statements made yesterday was that made by Deputy Treacy when he spoke about the shocking amount of income tax people must pay. In real terms it is at least twice and nearly three times what it was pre-war. I am talking about those subject to PAYE. It is grossly improper that a farm labourer pays income tax while the man he works for does not. The point Deputy Hogan made that in inflationary conditions those who get in first, in particular, gain and they, of course, are the people with resources. They have no difficulty in making their dispensation.

The Minister for Finance, for the second time in his speech, said he was anxious to have discussions with the other parties. This is not the duty of the Opposition—to help out the Government—when some of us think that the Government is engaged in a great deal of very wasteful expenditure and generally have shown no sign of the kind of economy in which I believe, including even economy at Christmas time at the expense of Parliamentary Secretaries. I would believe in that.

The Government will have to pay attention to the balance of payments in 1970 and it may well be that the balance will come out as the Minister more or less forecast. I am not so much interested in fiddling with exact figures. Let us not fool ourselves; they are not so exact. You cannot come too quickly to a conclusion about them because, taking one month with another, random influences may operate. The Minister also said that our external reserves are still adequate by international standards. But Deputy Hogan put his finger on a point. We are in fact independent and we could do what we like but so far we have tied ourselves closely to sterling and, because, I suggest, we are a very small part of the total economy of these two islands when you consider the 50 million population in Britain, we can remain on the wrong side of the ledger for a considerable period, much longer perhaps than we could if we were entirely independent. Mark you, we would have gained at various periods if we had set up our own independent currency during the thirties.

The Minister for Finance ended by saying that if there is only a four per cent increase in output next year a seven per cent increase in wages and salaries is not unduly restrictive. This is not the problem. The problem is one of maintaining the standard of living of the lowest paid workers. If I might go back to Ricardo, the greatest of all economists, whom the Americans are now searching for ideas, he taught—he lived during the Napoleonic War period——

He was not in Fianna Fáil.

He is still reasonably valid.

He said that wages are fixed at the level of subsistence. He went on to make a very shrewd observation and he said that the subsistence level is different at different times. I regard many of the ordinary workers in my own constituency and in that of Deputy Dowling where there are more of them, as being at the absolute level of subsistence, men trying to rear families on £13 or £14 a week. If, in fact, since they last got an increase the cost of living has gone up five per cent in one year and seven in the next, making 12 per cent altogether, what use is seven per cent to them? My belief is that the cost of living has gone up by something approaching 20 per cent. I believe my figure is accurate. I do not mind figures of calculation; I look at the field, think about it and reach my own conclusion. If the cost of living has gone up 20 per cent how can these people who are on ground level live on an increase of seven per cent? They cannot, but the truth is they will not have to live on it. I am talking only about the period for which we must compensate. Recently a serious report in England pointed out that wages in real terms had not gone up there since 1934, that is to say, that in so far as they have gone up, they have gone up, no more than the rest of the economy. There is continuous talk about wages in England.

Let me come to where I differ completely from some of the Fine Gael spokesmen. I differ with Deputy Hogan and Deputy FitzGerald.

I said nothing.

Yes, the Deputy said it in the House and I took him up on it. I have a simple view about this matter. Anybody who believes in a prices and incomes policy in this country is crazy. If it cannot be achieved in England, where 85 per cent of the people are on wages and salaries, how can it be achieved here where the percentage of people on wages and salaries is about half the total. We cannot do it. The farmers will be all with you when you are putting a floor under them and lifting them up but the day you put a tax on them the story will be different. Suppose the price of cattle has gone up very high and you say: "Let us put a tax on cattle at the point of export," the farmers would regard you as mad.

You would not be in Government.

Not very long. It is no use suggesting such a policy.


What is the Deputy's solution?

Now Deputy Crowley comes in with this. I have answered it so often but let me answer it once more. If I say that something stinks or some solution stinks I do not have to put anything in its place. If it stinks, it stinks and that is all there is to it. It is as simple as that. The duty of an Opposition is to oppose.

To get over there as quickly as we can—that is the duty we have.

And they have been performing that duty beautifully for years.

Let me come on now to what is really a serious problem and which has been mentioned today on both sides of the House. Last evening the chairman of the St. Vincent de Paul Society came on television and pointed out that there was more absolutely dire poverty in this city now than ever there was before. He is not a politician. I did not see the programme. This was reported to me. He also said, I understand, that the St. Vincent de Paul Society had exhausted its resources. This has been mentioned already. I heard it in the House and elsewhere. Among the weaker citizens I include the unskilled workers—it is a bad name but it describes the ordinary worker—the family man in poor health, the widow and the old people on pensions and children. Many of these people live in the most wretched conditions. The leader of our party pointed out to me today that a mother with three children gets £4 a week. There is no use in pretending that this is reasonable.

I have a particular interest in children and always have had, for a reason. I think of the future. What is gone is gone. There was circulated to us recently a little booklet called The Common Market and the Common Man. This showed that our children's allowances are only half the British rate and it is the lowest in Western Europe if you exclude Spain, Portugal and these countries down there. This is deplorable in a country like this. I put forward a solution to this, not once but many times. Whoever in the Fianna Fáil Party put in the first child for a child allowance was mad. This is nothing to do with social work, nothing to do with people willing to bring up a child.

The first child does not get the allowance.

Is that all that Deputy Crowley knows about it?


The Deputy must be allowed to make his speech. Will Deputy Crowley allow Deputy O'Donovan to make his speech?

The Minister might convey this idea to his colleagues: there are huge numbers of No. 1 children—300,000—and the amount that they get—10/- a month—is miserable. Nobody worries about it. If that were transferred to families of four and more children at the other end of the scale it would enable the children's allowances for these children to be doubled. This is the answer to that problem. If a man, a ground level worker, has three children he may be in tough conditions but if he has eight or nine children he is in deplorable conditions. The Minister may take it that Crumlin is full of such people, people on £13 or £14 a week. I am not saying one word in criticism of their housing conditions. That housing scheme was a very fine scheme. Everybody thought so at the time. This is with me a basic idea to improve the economy of the country, to improve the degree of welfare in the community.

A few years ago I was shocked to meet a man in the hills of County Wicklow, an agricultural labourer, who had many small children. The conditions of the family certainly went to my heart. It is so easy to solve it. You do not have to spend that much money on it. It could be done by transferring the money for the first child to the children at the other end of the scale. There are old ladies who keep cats and bachelors who keep dogs for the cost of one child. If people are not prepared to pay the cost of one child they should not have got married in the first instance.

There is another form of discrimination against the children in this city. I referred to it earlier at Question Time today. It is the disgracefully large classes in schools. My colleague, Deputy Barry Desmond, had an argument with the Minister for Education. They were not talking about the realities, with due respect to them. The Minister said that he was attempting to achieve a maximum of 35 children in a class. This city is full of classes of 55 and 60 in the national schools. Let me pay tribute to this Government. What they have attempted to do for education is the best thing they have done. I do not want to take credit from them. When they came into office there were as many as 90 children in a single class in this city.

The average is now 35.

For the whole country. I protested to the Minister that he was not talking reality. There may be a small school in Tory Island with perhaps only 15 children. I will say this for the Fianna Fáil Party, what they have attempted to do for education is one of their best achievements. The Minister's idea is certainly acceptable to me, that is if he could get it down to 35. There should be no class in excess of 35. That is what he said. I take it that he is doing the best he can.

I come now to a subject on which I have extremely strong views. I must have needled the Minister for Finance at the end of his speech when I asked him what was the relevance of what he had been saying about our position in regard to the EEC because he threw at me, "No man has been wronger oftener than you have". Nobody makes a statement like that in a serious debate unless you have needled him.

That statement could have been true and very likely was.

I asked what was the relevance of what the Minister had been saying. Of course, it had no relevance. He picked up an obiter dictum of Deputy Corish. Deputy Corish yesterday said that the EEC was a rich men's club. The Minister proceeded to prove with bell, book and documents that in fact, the EEC was spending more money each year on the undeveloped countries, the African countries. At one stage in this country, in their enthusiasm, certain officials started writing about this country as an undeveloped country. Let me pay tribute to Seán Lemass. He said: “No, I will not stand over that.” He said that he would accept that we are underdeveloped. He was absolutely right. This country was a developed country in the year 1900. It had a full railway system, a telephone system, roads and all the rest. There is no use in pretending we are all still naked savages who paint our bodies.

We have been down from the trees for a while.

That remark was fatal. That was a bit of a blunder.

It comes from jungle studies.

Certain errors have been made by the Government of a minor type to which I might refer: first of all, the way our mining rights have been given away and, in particular, the way Gulf Oil was given the right to erect this terminal in Bantry Bay without paying any harbour dues whatever.

By a coincidence, Gulf Oil was owned by a family of Irish extraction from the North of Ireland—the Mellon family in Pittsburg. I was a student in the United States when they started setting up Gulf Oil. They were cutting a chunk out of the Standard Oil empire. I went on a tour from north to south of the United States. They were putting up these petrol stations all over the place—untold resources. This is the company to which we give a present. There is a genuine difficulty in this. The sum of £140,000 which we get from royalties from the mines would not pay an insurance premium on the danger of a break-up of one of these tankers going into Bantry Bay. It is not the Torrey Canyon: that is an old story. Again, quite recently, a few weeks ago, there was a break-up of one of these huge tankers and 70 or 80 people were lost. There are all kinds of problems here. There already was a difficulty of some oil getting around.

Let me stand over what I wrote in 1961 and which proved to be accurate, namely, that the British would not go into EEC and that we need not be unduly worried about it. I said the Government of the time were to be praised because they were able to get firms here to improve their methods by drawing attention to this: I had no objection to creating a certain amount of effort on the part of industrialists to prepare for EEC.

To join EEC will be the greatest disaster since the Famine that ever hit this country. We were in a common market for 120 years; look what happened to our industries in it. For quite a period, for about 30 years after the year 1800, it did not look as if anything serious would happen—then we were wiped out: silk mills, cotton mills——

I mean we were in a common market from 1800 to 1920. We were in a common market with a large developed economy. Our small industries were wiped out; some of them were not so small; some were very large. We have put a great deal of effort into developing our light industries. In my generation, it was a major effort. Are we to sacrifice it all, throwing it overboard? The Fianna Fáil Party have departed from their base in this. I think I know the people who sold this idea to them. Their base, fundamentally, is reasonable protection for our industries. The sell-out took place in the Anglo-Irish Free Trade Area Agreement. I said at the time that the Government had sold the long-term interests of this country across the Irish Sea for short-term advantage. I notice that the Government are still talking about the advantages that will come from this Anglo-Irish Free Trade Area Agreement. We have had the advantages. We shall pay the price from now on.

If the Deputy is not in favour of EEC, of what is he in favour?

Back on the old question. All right, I shall answer the Deputy the way the former chief of the Fianna Fáil Party used to talk. We shall depend on ourselves. Is that good enough an answer to the Deputy? That is Mé Féin, Sinn Féin, self-sufficiency, and all that. Does that answer it? O.K.

You will do very well on home-produced honey, anyway.

A matter was mentioned yesterday by Deputy Corish, of which I am in favour. It would be extraordinary if I were not in favour of it considering the way this party will do at the next election, if it is adopted. I am in favour of votes at 18. The recent analysis of the results of the last election, which seemed reasonably accurate, in Nusight was intriguing. It suggested that the young people, on the whole, are more inclined to vote Labour than the people over 45 or 50. This is true, of course.

We have only Deputy FitzGerald's word for this.

I meet a good number of young people. I talk with them in University College. I meet them through my own family, and so on. I find that the nice, quiet approach which was there at the end of the 1950s and in the early 1960s has gone completely except in two Faculties. It has not gone in Medicine or in Commerce. The reason is that they are the with-it groups. They can see the future. But, in general, in the Faculty of Arts, where people are taught to think, I hope—they should be, anyway: it is by far the most important Faculty in any university——

Hear, hear.

——they are definitely revolutionary in their outlook. They are not satisfied. They have more time to think and they should be trained how to think. I do not blame him for not doing it but the Minister for Finance, Deputy Haughey, promised me he would tell me what it would cost to allow the night students their fees free of income tax. I asked him if it would be £50,000. The Minister said it would be much more than that. I have made a calculation since. Although there are night Degrees now in UCC, where there were not before— they started again—and in UCG, I believe the total cost of the concession would be £35,000. It is a bagatelle. It is very unfair to these students who make sacrifices and especially now that they have to go three miles out to Belfield—we know what bus fares are like now. That is another point I would put to the Government.

I might perhaps put to the Taoiseach a question I asked earlier, as the Taoiseach is now in the House. Where did the Taoiseach get his seven per cent? It is some kind of calculation or is it just a hope or did the arithmetical economists come up with the number? The Taoiseach's speech yesterday—I shall end on the same note as I begun—had one merit: it was his own in the sense that he did not read a lot of gobble-de-gook in the House. But the figures were not his own. It was purely a number of figures. I do not believe that political economy is arithmetic. I practice the black art, too, just as other professors do. I have never queried their figures. When I was 21 years of age I thought you could get an answer to any problem in figures. I have certainly grown older—whether wiser or not, I do not know—and I do not believe any longer that you can get the answer to any problems by figures. I think that has been proved here in the 1950s and 1960s.

Mathematical economics.

Sorry. Mathematical economics is a different thing. Mathematical economics is serious thought. It is arithmetical economics; this is what I object to.

I never went beyond Clay. I suppose, therefore, I can be forgiven.

It is a very excellent textbook. It is a pity they do not continue with it still.

I should like to refer to an incident that took place in this House yesterday-week in relation to the rights of the Deputy and to proper respect for the Chair. Quite a considerable amount of publicity was given to this particular section. Statements were issued by the Labour Party Whip which gave a completely erroneous impression of what happened at that meeting. Many people have endeavoured to indicate that members of the Fianna Fáil Party were responsible for the situation that developed on that occasion. Leading articles which appeared in a number of newspapers also indicated that members of Fianna Fáil were the culprits.

In the statement issued by the Labour Party Whip it was also indicated that the conduct of the Fianna Fáil Deputies was to be deplored. That is not the case. The irresponsible conduct of the front bench members of Fine Gael and the Labour Party members who were present on that occasion is to be deplored. Deputies on this side of the House have rights as well as Deputies on the other side.

I should like to point out to the Deputy that while he may comment on it, it has nothing to do with the Taoiseach's' Estimate.

Nothing to do with what?

Acting Chairman

Nothing to do with the Taoiseach's Estimate.

This matter has been discussed by quite a number of Deputies today and yesterday, and it is only fair that it should be clarified and the position put in its proper perspective.

Acting Chairman

The Deputy may ask to make a special statement in the House if he wants to, but he can only comment in passing on it at present.

In passing I should like to say that a planned attack by the front bench members of Fine Gael and members of the Labour Party to deprive members of their right to speak on a particular motion is to be fully deplored. There was a concentrated effort of planned interruptions for approximately 40 minutes in order to ensure that a Member from these benches could not make some of the points which he was duly entitled to make on the ruling of the Ceann Comhairle. I should like to point out that on that occasion this was the situation, as reported at column 939, volume 243 of the Official Report. Deputy Andrews was speaking and he said:

I am surprised that the Labour Party should be absent from a debate with such a high social content....

Therefore, he indicated in the course of his speech that there was no Labour Party Member present in the Chamber. This is quite true. Following the termination of Deputy Andrews' speech Deputy Byrne of the Fine Gael Party offered and so did I. At that stage there was no member of the Labour Party in the Chamber. As reported at column 941 of the same volume of the Official Report the Acting Chairman, Deputy Carter, called Deputy Byrne. I said:

This is the third Fine Gael speaker, and there has been only one Fianna Fáil speaker.

The Acting Chairman said:

I am calling on the speakers as they offer, and I am trying to rotate them.

Two speakers offered on that occasion. There was no Labour Deputy in the House and I assumed that I would be the next speaker because I was the Deputy who had offered with Deputy Byrne.

Acting Chairman

I have to tell Deputy Dowling that this is not relevant to the debate and he cannot continue.

Of course, it is relevant.

Acting Chairman

I am warning the Deputy that he cannot continue on that line.

Can I quote?

Acting Chairman

No. The Deputy is supposed to be dealing with the Taoiseach's Estimate.

Can I refer to the conduct of Deputies in the House?

Acting Chairman

The Deputy can refer to the conduct of Deputies in the House but he cannot re-read the debate which took place here.

Surely I can give quotations from it?

Acting Chairman

I am sorry, but the Deputy cannot quote at length.

I want to say this in relation to this attack on democracy and on the rights of Deputies. On that occasion the irresponsible elements in this House on the front benches of the Fine Gael and the Labour Party interrupted no less than 133 times in 40 minutes, and that is allowing for a ten minute interruption for a division. This was a deliberate attempt to deprive Members of the House of their right to speak.

How many were points of order?

Further to that, 33 interruptions were recorded of which no explanation was given. That makes 166 interruptions on that occasion from members of both Fine Gael and Labour—including Deputy Garret FitzGerald.

How many were points of order?

The points of order were a device to ensure that Deputies would not have their say. Deputy Garret FitzGerald may think this is a slick way to stifle debate and to ensure that Members cannot express themselves on such important matters as the social welfare motion which was before the House and which was withdrawn from yesterday's discussion. I wonder why, but that I will deal with at a later stage.

On a point of order, will I be in order in referring to this matter in equal length when I am speaking?

The Deputy may not get an opportunity to speak.

On a point of order, if I may have the Chair's attention——

This is the Taoiseach's Estimate and I would like a bit of objectivity, as it were. There is no use in any Deputy starting to restate what took place here last week. I am afraid the Chair will not be able to permit this.

If I may make my point of order, Sir, the following morning in the papers the situation was represented or misrepresented and the blame for these disturbances was laid on the Fianna Fáil Party. Deputy Dowling is trying to be objective. He is being objective. He is trying to arrive at the truth of the situation. We were unfairly blamed for what he is now proving to be the responsibility of the Opposition.

I suggest that there should be a public inquiry into these newspapers.

Acting Chairman

Whatever the case may be the Deputy has been permitted to refer to it briefly but not to dwell on it. At this stage in the debate no useful purpose would be served by having it all over again. Therefore, I am appealing to Deputies to refrain from concentrating on that subject.

Hear, hear.

Again in passing, as regard these disturbances which took place for 40 minutes, one can readily realise how difficult it is to deal with such an important matter in a few minutes. It would appear that some Deputies regard as unimportant the question of undermining the authority of the Chair. This is clearly indicated in volume 243 of the Official Report. There were 133 interruptions by the Opposition and no Labour Member was present when I offered to speak. A statement appeared in the press in relation to the conduct of Deputies in the House. It appeared on 13th December in the Irish Times and the Labour Party Whip, in an effort to cover himself up because there were no Labour Deputies present in the House——

On a point of order, you have already ruled on this point as did the Chairman before you. Are you going to allow this to continue?

A Deputy

This is further evidence of the effort to stifle our speeches.

There should be a judicial inquiry into the Irish Times.

We believe in the absolute freedom of the press.

Acting Chairman

The Deputy is permitted to give a brief explanation but not to extend it. If the Deputy intends to extend the argument I shall have to rule him out of order.

I have not even made a brief reference to it yet. I was just outlining the irregularities which occurred and the fact that an effort was made to convey to the public that we were responsible for the rowdyism. Some Deputies come in here on occasions as they did on that occasion, to kick up a row in order to get their names in the press and show that they have been in the House, and then they go home. I am here every day and on this occasion I offered to speak on a very important subject. I want to say that the statement issued to The Irish Times, which was printed in good faith, was completely erroneous and misleading. It is only fair that when a false impression is given by a Chief Whip that we should be able to correct that statement here because it refers to the conduct of Deputies. I am quite sure that the Taoiseach would not condone this type of irresponsible conduct and would not tolerate it from these benches. As I said before, the position was that no Labour Deputy was in the House, but the statement was issued to the press in order to cover up the lack of discipline in the Labour Party but——

I should like to ask a question, Sir. We have no wish to re-open this matter which would involve discussing whether your action was appropriate or not but you will appreciate that if this continues we will have no alternative but to do so.

Acting Chairman

I have asked the Deputy to wind up the point and to refrain from developing it.

This type of planned interruption cannot be tolerated because there would be no order whatever. As the Chairman is aware, an effort was made on that occasion to undermine the authority of the Chair, both in regard to himself, to the Leas-Cheann Comhairle and the Ceann Comhairle, by the irresponsible attitude of Deputy FitzGerald and members of the Labour Party.

Other members of the Labour Party?

On a point of order, the Deputy seems to be extending the matter.

He has been out of order for a quarter of an hour.


I should like to refer to the speech made by Deputy Cruise-O'Brien who read a paper here to us here today relating to the Dublin housing situation. Of course, he was completely wrong and he has no idea of the problem. One would think that no houses had been built in the city at any time and that substantial numbers of people were in dire need of accommodation. The number of people on the waiting list at present is less than 5,000 but this is one of the problems caused by a fast growing economy and supply and demand. Because the economy is expanding and because of the expansion of the city, the increase in population, the industries developed by Fianna Fáil, there is a greater number of people in the city now than ever before. This is as a result of the employment which is available and there will be further opportunities for more employment and people are tending to come home from abroad and take up work in the industrial centres in such places as Ballyfermot, Walkinstown, Coolock and other places. The further expansion of such sites will attract more skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers from abroad. This is a very good thing and we will cater for them. One of the reasons for the number on the list is that a more liberal definition of need has been taken into account than in the past and there is a higher priority for elderly people. A fixed number of dwellings is now being provided for this section, and very rightly so. In addition, the family of husband, wife and child, where the family is unlikely to increase, is now on the waiting list which was not so before. This gives some indication of the position compared with another occasion. If we were to compare the figures on the list now with any other period and take all the factors into consideration I am quite sure that the position is very healthy indeed.

Another factor is that higher standards are now demanded. In the past people were prepared to accept lower standards but now with prosperity and full employment high standards are sought by the people and they are seeking more and more houses and a better standard of housing. This can be taken in conjunction with the question of urban renewal. It is our policy to demolish unfit dwellings and dwellings that do not come up to standard. We have had flats opened at Sarah Place, Islandbridge, and at Keogh Square, Inchicore, and other centres throughout the city. The flats at Sarah Place were opened a few days ago and they provide an excellent type of accommodation. A few months ago the disruptive elements in this city tried to prevent the demolition of old stables in which the people were then accommodated. The housing action group supported by some ex-members of the Dublin City Council endeavoured to prevent the corporation from providing proper homes for these people, demolishing the accommodation which existed so that they could make way for a better type of accommodation. It is worth mentioning that every Dublin Deputy was invited to the opening of the Sarah Place flats but not one Deputy from the Labour Party showed any interest in the opening of these dwellings or thought it worthwhile to be there when they were opened by the Minister for Local Government.

It was stated earlier that certain people could not get housing accommodation and the name of Dennehy was mentioned. This man refused an offer of accommodation from the Dublin Corporation not so long ago and is prepared to live in a caravan that is being provided for him by some group outside. This is the person who led the agitation for housing accommodation and now he himself refuses to accept accommodation here in our city. I do not know who has advised him not to accept this accommodation, but it is quite obvious that he was advised, just as he was advised and paid to carry out the activities which he did carry out in the not so distant past.

In relation to Deputy O'Brien's assessment of the situation, the Dublin Corporation have 52,280 dwellings, in addition 15,000 SDA loans have been advanced, 10,700 of which are current loans; and 8,765 repair grants have been made available. This constitutes over 76,000 dwellings provided through Government or local authority grants, and taking an average of five people per family, it means that about 380,000 people in our city or two thirds of the population of the city have been housed by the Dublin Corporation.

The corporation debt for borrowed money at 31st March, 1969 was £80,060,000. About 19/6d in every pound relates to housing only and 6d for other services. Yet people say that Dublin Corporation are doing nothing about housing. In addition to that, for the last three years the Minister for Local Government has given £1 million to the Dublin Corporation each year for the acquisition of land. Quite a substantial amount of land has been acquired by the Dublin Corporation for its housing programme and for future housing programmes. I should like to quote from the summary of the housing programme of the Dublin Corporation: schemes in progress, waiting list, 2,077 houses; purchase houses and private sites programme: in progress, 1,238; a total of 3,315 houses. In regard to schemes about to commence, waiting list, 61; purchase house and private site development 448; a total of 509 houses. In regard to schemes which are being formulated, many of which will come before the Dublin Corporation within the next few weeks and will be in operation in a very short time, these are the details: waiting list programme, 4,965; purchase house and private site programme, 1,707; total 6,672 houses. Sites acquired or listed for acquisition for waiting list programme, 3,830; for purchase house and private sites 6,000; total 9,830 houses. This gives a total for the housing programme of 20,326 dwellings. Deputy Desmond stated the other night we needed 14,000 houses in the city, but the corporation are providing 20,326.

A few years ago when the corporation housing programme was not progressing as rapidly as the Minister for Local Government would like, he sent representatives of the Dublin City Council to European countries to examine building systems so that an additional number of houses could be built by other methods because of the full employment in the building trade. There is full employment in the building trade in Dublin city at the moment, and if the corporation wanted to double their output next year they could not do so by traditional means because the labour force is not available. As a result of this visit to Europe, the Minister undertook the development of the Ballymun scheme where over 3,000 dwellings were erected by the Dublin Corporation outside their own housing programme. This was done to ensure that there would be a volume of houses greater than the local authority had anticipated. This is to the credit of the then Minister for Local Government, Deputy Neil Blaney, and his successor, Deputy Kevin Boland.

In case I have not given enough detail in relation to the scheme in progress, I should like to give the following information: Coolock-Kilmore scheme, 36 houses under construction; Kilbarrack East, sections 1 and 2, 288 houses; Kilbarrack East, section 3, 200 houses; Charlemont Street, 36 houses; Queen's Street and Blackhall Place, 54 houses; Dominick Street, 90 houses; Islandbridge, 68 houses; Ballygall Road, 32 houses; Jamestown Road, 17 houses; Sarah Place, 52 houses; Emmet Road and Vincent Street, West, 288 houses; Poplar Row, 122 houses; Dorset Street, 50 houses; Northumber-land Road, 4 houses; Clanbrassil Street-Vincent Street South, 72 houses; Great Charles Street and Rutland Street, 48 houses; Tallaght, East, 32 houses and 188 flats; Tallaght East, section 2, 60 houses and 21 flats; Coolock-Kilmore, 128.

This gives a total of 2,077 dwellings being built by Dublin Corporation. As I said before, tenders were approved and contract documents are being prepared in relation to Chamber Street, Ennis Grove and Dublin Street, Baldoyle. Apart from that, further housing accommodation tenders and offers have been received and are under examination for Hogan Road, Ballyfermot.

This gives a clear indication of the energy and effort that is being put into the housing programme in this city. It also indicates the remarkable lack of knowledge in relation to the housing situation on the part of Deputy O'Brien and other Members.

That is in regard to tenancy houses, but on the purchase and private sites programme, as at 31st October, the following is the position: schemes in progress, Kilbarrack East, section 4, 14 houses; Finglas 2K, 26 houses; Kimmage Road Lower, 24 houses; Old Bawn, Tallaght, 242 houses, as part of the McInerney offer to Dublin Corporaion; Donaghmede, 710 houses, as part of the Gallagher Group offer to Dublin Corporation; Tallaght East (NBA) 184 houses; and Kilbarrack East, 180 houses which makes a total of 1,238 private purchase type houses under construction at the moment for Dublin Corporation in addition to the tenancy houses which I have already mentioned.

In relation to the future programme of purchase houses, offers have been accepted and contract documents are being prepared for a further 10 houses in Kimmage Road Lower and a further 22 houses at Kilbarrack East. Tenders and offers have been received and are under examination for 86 houses at Kilbarrack East 5B, 6B and 7; 124 houses at Kilbarrack West sites; and 206 at Kilbarrack West 1, making a total of 448 houses. With regard to schemes in formulation for acquired sites, site development work is in progress at Rathfarnham, Holylands for 294 houses; Howth Section 4 for 62 houses, and Baldoyle 306 houses. Layout plans are with the Department of Local Government for the first section of 195 houses at Darndale, and layouts for the balance of 600 houses at Darndale are being prepared; 150 houses at Ballymun Avenue and 100 houses at Ballymun Road making an additional total of 1,707. In addition to that, sites acquired by agreement have been made available for 6,000 houses. A total area of 970 acres has been acquired by agreement making another 6,000 sites available for private and purchase type sites.

The Dublin Corporation, the Department of Local Government and the Government as a whole have a definite and complete interest in providing houses for our citizens. We want to ensure that each person has a home of his own in the shortest possible time, as Deputy Desmond said the other night when he was speaking to thirty people in Dún Laoghaire.

They were thirty people without houses and three of them were members of Fianna Fáil.

The corporation programme vastly exceeds the amount which Deputy Desmond states is required. I have explained in some detail the type of programme that has been formulated and pursued. I am quite certain that in the quickest possible time, with the labour forces available, we will have the further development by the NBA at Tallaght of 700 houses, at the request of the Minister for Local Government. In addition to that, there is the development at St. Michael's Estate, formerly Keogh Square.

It is our intention to ensure that houses are provided not only for those on the waiting list but also for people living in unpleasant or low standard houses. Deputy Dr. O'Connell has stated that he could provide 20,000 houses in a year. The capacity of the available working force is in the region of 3,000 dwellings. This figure has been maintained by the Dublin Corporation in relation to the NBA programme and the corporation programme as a whole.

Deputy O'Leary raised the question the other day about the retention of the factory at Ballymun. I should like to see the factory retained. For the Deputy's information the position was that we consulted the building trade group and the unions concerned and we agreed that we would develop Ballymun and when that was completed we would discuss the situation again.

We had a meeting last month; they are quite agreeable to go ahead.

The understanding was that as soon as Ballymun was completed we would have further discussions to see if the building trade would still be in the position of full employment. If there was still full employment, then an extension of this period would be necessary. It is highly desirable that large scale developments of the magnitude of the Ballymun estate be made. I do not hold with the fifteen storey structures but there is plenty of space available if we can utilise the services of this factory in order to ensure that the programme can progress as quickly as possible. I am concerned that the people who have been trained in new skills, thanks to the Minister for Local Government, Deputy Boland, and the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries, Deputy Blaney, who brought about this situation and introduced this system, are fully utilised. These people are a very valuable asset to our economy.

I have explained the housing programme. I do not think Deputies should be under any illusion as to what the situation is in this city. A comparison was made yesterday between the housing situation in Ireland and the housing situation in that socialist State across the water.

Which socialist State across the water—Cuba or Great Britain?

I will take Great Britain, I shall let Deputy Dr. Cruise-O'Brien take Cuba. I should like to give some figures so that on the next occasion when we discuss this problem they can be quoted correctly. I am quoting from the December issue of a magazine called The Word:

This Christmas will be another cold and cheerless one for millions of people in Britain—for those shivering in 1,800,000 houses unfit for human habitation; for 400,000 families, including 1,400,000 children, living in slums and overcrowded conditions; for 150,000 people sheltering in old buses and broken caravans.

That is the situation over there in that great socialist State, which we were told yesterday has the answer to all our housing problems.

After the last Coalition Government in 1956 we had no building tradesmen and no building workers in the country. A stock of building workers has had to be built up over the years and we now have full employment in the building industry. That is not to say that tradesmen, labourers and semi-skilled operatives were unemployed. They were certainly employed, but they were employed by Wimpey McAlpine on sites in cities like Coventry, Birmingham, London and elsewhere.

We have now full employment here and our building workers responded to that happy situation in no uncertain fashion throughout the country in the last general election in ensuring that Fianna Fáil were returned to power so that they could remain in employment in their own country and Fianna Fáil will ensure that they will remain in employment. In view of the programmes set out, I am quite sure we can continue with full employment in the building trade for many a long day to come because, when sufficient houses have been provided, there will be other building developments to utilise to the full the resources available in men and materials. The building workers in Ballyfermot, Drimnagh and elsewhere can be assured of full employment in the future and they can plan accordingly. Many are now buying their own homes from Dublin Corporation under the schemes available. The sale of corporation houses to tenants was opposed by the Labour Party for quite a considerable time because Labour realised that when men owned their own houses they would cease to support Labour. We believe that every man should own his own home and facilities are being made available to that end. Loans are available without a deposit, if purchasers so desire. This is an important step forward in the social standing of the individual. Workers are now in a position for the first time to purchase their own homes and the number of tenants who have indicated an interest to date in the purchase of their own homes is 8,300.

It was alleged here that the number of houses built was the lowest of any country in Europe. That statement was made yesterday. Mr. Robert G. Wood, United States Under-Secretary of State for Housing and Urban Development, attended a seminar here on housing in June last and he said that the American delegation were very impressed by the extent of the Irish Government's contribution to housing and planning. He said that, proportionately, the contribution is considerably greater than similar contributions in the United States and that recent progress in extending the volume of housing and progress in development and planning was especially notable. This is the opinion of a neutral person who examined the situation here in depth. It is very gratifying to have such a statement from someone outside this country and it gives us great heart to learn that there are some who fully understand the situation, even though they are 3,000 miles away.

The houses we build are amongst the largest in Europe. For that reason the number may be lower but the accommodation provided is larger. Families in Britain and elsewhere are smaller than the normal family here and so the demand here is for more larger accommodation. The corporation are building five-roomed, four-roomed, three-roomed and, in some cases, single-roomed dwellings to cater for all sections. This is an aspect that is often overlooked, perhaps deliberately. Perhaps some people do not understand; I would prefer to think they do not understand and, judging by their statements, it is obvious they do not understand the housing situation here or what has been done.

The problem of the slums has been largely solved in Dublin, though there are still some small pockets. In 1967 the corporation assessed housing needs and it was estimated then that 3,423 families were living in dwellings which were unfit and incapable of economic repair. A substantial number of these families has since been rehoused and the number of dwellings now declared unfit is very, very small indeed. In addition to what I have already stated, the corporation have made sites available to organisations and individuals to enable them to erect houses of their own. The sites are as follows: Larkhill, 169; Cabra, 93; Crumlin, 231; Sutton, 33; Walkinstown, 65; Milltown, 30; Ballyfermot, 5; Finglas, 108; St. Anne's 104; Donnybrook, 34; Donnycarney, 14; Rathfarnham, 48; Terenure, 213; Coolgreaney, 127; Beaumont Road, 8; and St. Canice's building society, 64 sites. This is further proof of the desire to ensure that people who can and will build houses of their own will get an opportunity to do so.

Some time ago Dublin Corporation had a scheme to encourage small builders to remain in production so as to ensure that a reasonable price structure could be maintained. They invited small builders to apply for small numbers of sites which would be developed. Sites and services would be provided and all the builders would have to do was build houses. At Milltown and at St. Martin's estate in Crumlin we have this type of development. At Milltown 16 sites were developed by a small contractor and at Crumlin 34 sites were developed by four contractors, a further indication of the desire to make sure that not only big builders would get the contracts but that the small contractors would also have their opportunity. This was a very creditable development and I trust it will be extended as time goes on to ensure not only a steady price structure but also variety of houses. There will be no monotony because each contractor in the case of St. Martin's estate developed eight houses and each had a different design and different facilities, thus avoiding the monotony with which we were familiar in the past.

As former members of Dublin Corporation, Alderman Moore, Deputy Tunney, Deputy Timmons and myself and others have played our part to the full. What I have said is positive proof of it. We used our influence to ensure that there would be no breakdown in the housing situation. Many people would like to see the disruption of the housing programme. Efforts were made to sabotage it and, in the not too distant past, to deprive the corporation of the opportunity to level sites for housing. There was a situation last week when at a function to which all Deputies were invited not a single Labour Deputy was present. This indicates their attitude to housing in this city. Only a few people are aware of the Labour Party attitude to housing and they are the members of Dublin Corporation who had to fight hard through the years to overcome many obstacles placed in their way by the same tactics used in this House a few days ago in regard to the business of the House. Not alone did we see the disruption of housing programmes but we saw the eventual abolition of the council because people refused to do their duty. What can be more convincing than to look at the press reports on the occasion when we had members of the Fine Gael and Labour Parties refusing to do their duty because it was the unpopular thing to do?

Through the years we were aware of the difficulties and the criticism of various contractors that emerged. On the night we received the offer from the Gallagher Group to provide 800 houses at Donoughmede the first question asked by a Labour councillor was: "Who is the contractor?" We also heard references to "jumbo jet alley" by members of the Labour Party trying to terrorise people and paint such a picture that the corporation would not accept the 800 houses offered to them by the Gallagher Group. This group has made a very substantial contribution to the housing of our people. McInerney's offered 1,200 houses which, unfortunately the corporation did not accept in full although I and other members of the corporation urged that the full amount be accepted. If at that time we had accepted the 1,200 houses on a package deal we would have got them at a much reduced rate. It was approximately £100 a house for 1,200 houses which would mean a substantial saving. The groups that were in the corporation in greater strength than Fianna Fáil were able to outvote us on this very important issue of getting as many dwellings as possible through a very generous package deal, generous in comparison to the prices we have to pay elsewhere.

Again, I should like to pay tribute to the two contractors who were almost hijacked by the present vice-chairman of the Labour Party, by other members of that party and by members of the Fine Gael Party who thought they could identify the company in some way with Fianna Fáil. Certainly, some of the directors are the owners of the company. That was the sole reason why they did not want to accept these contracts. They pointed the finger to Deputy Gallagher, a very honourable man. The contribution they made on that occasion was just as disgraceful as that which they made here in regard to the affairs of this House last week.

The 700-house NBA scheme at Tallaght is a very welcome and desirable project and one that will help to rectify the situation that has developed in the city over the past few years in which the only housing accommodation available was on the north side. This meant half the waiting list who were southsiders and required accommodation on the south side were unable to get it and had to take it on the north side in Ballymun flats or elsewhere. Because of views expressed again by certain members of the Labour Party that the jets would take the top storey off Ballymun, the people were terrified of accepting that accommodation. We now know that many who refused accommodation in Ballymun are crying out for another offer which they cannot get because Ballymun is full. That fact proves that the accommodation is acceptable and of a high standard. The people who are in Ballymun will substantiate this. There have been problems and difficulties in evolving this great £10 million scheme, the largest single local authority housing scheme in Europe: that indicates the magnitude of the project. People were deterred by the suggestion that the top storey would be taken off by the first jet that flew over. I wonder what will be the objection to the Tallaght scheme. We have not heard this yet. No doubt, there will be some objection or some scare in relation to this scheme before it is finally developed. Unfortunately, the price of land is a factor. This development was held up by a speculator for a considerable period because he wanted to get £100,000 that he had been offered by a British construction company for the land.

Why did not he take it?

Because he could not get planning permission, because the land was unserviced.

Therefore, there was no offer.

There was an offer providing he got planning permission for housing development. He did not get planning permission and eventually, after he had hung out for a considerable time, using all angles to try to get planning permission—many Members of the House will tell you to what length he went to get planning permission—the corporation made an offer of £60,000. The scheme was held up for a considerable period and the cost of the construction of the houses has gone up because of the increase in pay rates and in the cost of materials. I might also mention that this section of the land was sold for approximately £2,000 an acre—I do not begrudge that to anyone—while the highest price obtained for land in the same area was £1,700 an acre. That had an effect on the Tallaght scheme. I shall not mention the man's name.

The Deputy would not do a thing like that.

Do not push me. As I have said, the result of the recent general election indicated that the people appreciated the genuine concern of the Fianna Fáil Government for matters relating to development. There was a violent type of agitation witnessed in this city, unfortunately, over a period. We have seen the statement recently issued by the Dublin Housing Action Group in answer to the speech of the Minister for Local Government at the opening of Sarah Place. They might as well not have issued it because it is the most milk and water type of statement that ever came from that body. It shows that they have examined their conscience and are now prepared to be less inflammatory and more realistic than they were in the past in the statements they publish.

Deputy Conor Cruise-O'Brien raised the question of differential rents. Reading his paper today one could describe it as "The Thoughts of Conor Cruise". Judging by the statements the Deputy made, he is completely out of touch with this country. Possibly when he has spent a little more time here he will become familiar with the position. If he reads the Dáil Debates in relation to the housing programme in Dublin he may be brought up to date and will then be in a position to assess the position properly.

Deputy Cruise-O'Brien is now crying for the Dublin Corporation tenants who were paying differential rents. I agree in principle with the differential rents scheme. I do not agree that every section of the scheme is perfect. I had some resolutions before the Dublin City Council seeking an amendment of the scheme from time to time, some of which were opposed by members of the Opposition parties. They were opposed purely for the reason that it was a Fianna Fáil member who was trying to ease the burden on the tenants. Deputy Cruise-O'Brien cannot have it both ways. The scheme was introduced in 1950 during the reign of terror of the first Coalition Government. If differential rents are wrong, it was the Coalition Government that imposed them. It was a Labour motion before Dublin City Council that introduced the scheme for differential rents. If differential rents are wrong, the blame must fall on those who proposed and implemented the scheme. The man who proposed it was a man for whom I had great regard, the late Jim Larkin. I am quite sure that his motives were sound.

It was absolutely incorrect to make the case to the people during the last local election and the last general election that it was Fianna Fáil that imposed the differential rents and Fianna Fáil that increased the rents. When I challenged statements made by Labour members, people were inclined not to believe me but to take the word of a person who was giving erroneous information. Possibly the man did not know the position. He was a Member of this House. Their campaign during the local election was fought on the basis that rents would be increased in the Crumlin, Drimnagh, Ballyfermot and other housing estates by as much as 35/- and 40/- a week. This was a deliberate attempt to confuse the public. I can well understand people, having been brainwashed by members of the Labour Party to believe that their rent would be increased by 30/-a week, deciding how they would vote. "Thirty bob a week" was all you would hear in the housing schemes and people believed it. When the scheme was revised some people got a reduction in their rents and others had to pay 2/-, 3/- or 4/-, which they did not mind.

The people of Dublin are an intelligent people. The people of the nation are an intelligent people. From 1932 to the present day there were two occasions when they were misled. One can pardon a man who sins twice in 31 years. On those two occasions the people were misled by deliberate lying campaigns just as on this occasion they were brainwashed effectively. That will not happen again. That happens only once in my lifetime. I will make sure on the next occasion, despite the moans and groans of the political banshee who went around my constituency, that we will have an answer ready well in advance so as to ensure that the people will have no doubt in their minds.

Deputy Cruise-O'Brien suggested that there should be an inquiry and investigation into the matter of differential rents. I suggested that five times in Dublin Corporation. The matter was discussed but, when the pressure went on, what happened? The housing manager stated that if he altered the scheme within certain limits, he must get the same amount from the housing pool that, if rents were reduced for one section, they must be increased for another. The majority of the council were prepared to accept that it was better not to disturb the situation because if a person's rent was increased and if they were somewhat responsible for doing the honourable thing—reducing the rent for the people in need— there would be a reflection on them by the people with the £sd who could afford to pay. I feel a number of parts of this scheme need rectification as, indeed, do also the former Fianna Fáil members of Dublin City Council——

There is no such thing.

——former members, and Members of Dáil Éireann. This particular point was contested some time ago by the Labour Party who said they were still members of Dublin City Council because they had a vote in the Seanad elections——

We were assured by the Minister. The law gave them that, not the Minister for Local Government.

Former members of Dublin City Council and the other Dublin Deputies have arranged a meeting on this particular item in the course of the next week or so with the city manager and the commissioner, whenever we can get an available appointment, to discuss the things we think are wrong with the system. We think the system can be adjusted and rectified to the satisfaction of all the people. We shall endeavour now, as we did on previous occasions, to ensure that justice is done in full to the people who are pressed by a situation. We will also ensure that a person will not be deprived of accommodation because of his inability to pay. That is to say, we shall have rents at such a level that a person without ability to pay will get a house. As the Minister for Local Government stated on many occasions, if a person could not afford to pay one shilling, that person should get a house. If he could not afford to pay one penny, that person should get a house. If he cannot afford to pay, he should get the accommodation if the needs of the person demand it. That is the Fianna Fáil outlook—that the person should be assisted right along the line. That is my view. It is the view of the other members I have met and with whom I discussed these matters in great detail on a number of occasions and who have recently made certain arrangements with regard to the city manager and the commissioner. We were always regarded as reasonable people when we were in the Corporation. We supported what we considered just, whether or not it was popular. Because of that principle by which we stood, these people have more respect for us than they have for other parties. I think I have fairly well covered housing. I have shown that even the American Under-Secretary of State for Housing is in agreement with me, certainly, and that he is in agreement with the policy as laid down and pursued by my party.

Deputy Cruise-O'Brien mentioned a Labour motion that was before the House some time ago and what was described as an unruly attack by members of Fianna Fáil in, what he called, heckling the leader of the Labour Party when he was speaking.

I do not see how that matter would arise on the Taoiseach's Estimate.

Deputy Cruise-O'Brien mentioned it. He mentioned the conduct of Members of this House.

In passing. It was a matter that was before this House.

Since the Deputy states that another Deputy referred to this, I shall permit the Deputy to make a short statement.

This particular motion was put down by the Labour Party some time ago. It was discussed fairly fully in the House. All the members of the Labour Party signed this motion —the whole 17 of them. It is an all-front bench party.

If you joined the Labour Party you would not be in the front bench, I can assure you.

This is a clear indication that it is one item on which there is entire agreement in the Labour Party. Even Deputy Coughlan signed it and Deputy Desmond, so they must have been in complete agreement on that occasion. Deputy Murphy signed it and the other socialist back-benchers signed it. It shows it is one item on which these people were in complete agreement. The motion itself was one which showed that the Labour Party wanted to direct workers—just imagine trying to direct trade unionists where to work—"You work in Ballyfermot"; "You work in Foxrock", and so on.

That is socialism.

What would you know about it—not one darned thing.

This direction of labour would appear now to be the policy of the Labour Party. If they get the power, men will be directed to work in Wicklow, Kilkenny, Cork, the Aran Islands, and so on. The Labour Party believe in the direction of labour, the direction of the necessary men. If at any stage we are under a Labour Government here, we shall have this question of direction of labour and nobody will be sure where he will end his days. This would be an ideal way to end the housing problem in Dublin—to send about 1,200 or 1,400 families together down the country and then we would have adequate houses to cater for the remainder of the people.

The Department of Lands in Castlebar.

They might go much further than the direction of labour and the confiscation of land. These are two things I do not agree with and that my party do not agree with and that the members of my party spoke against. Seeing that it is the policy of the Labour Party, the only other thing I would say about their motion is that, having listened to the estimation of the situation in Dublin and the future prospects, the Labour Party are now aware that the housing programme is on the way to completion. In an endeavour to cash-in, they put down a motion which appeared on the Order Paper and which they discussed. One would think they were the people who built up this housing programme, but it was built up before their motion was put down. These houses will be produced. If the houses in this programme were produced after the Labour Party motion went down, the Labour Party would say, in effect: "Our motion of December last brought on this scheme". It was a motion that endeavoured to cash in, but the serious aspects of the motion were the confiscation of land and the direction of men. I see what is behind that. This is their method of solving the housing problem—to move people out of our city——

Over to Castlebar.

——and this direction of labour——

That is where you yourselves have made arrangements to send them.

We are not sending them——

You are chasing them.

This is a voluntary effort.

This is something we have to deplore—the question of the direction of labour and the confiscation of land. It certainly does not appeal to me and I am sure it will not appeal to the people of this country. Where they got this theory I do not know. Obviously, it came from one of the backfront benchers. There is such confusion that we do not know whether they are back or front benchers. We do not know who is the leader over there.

Since the Deputy said we are Facists and Communists at the one time——

I did not say they all are. Deputy Tully is a decent man. He is contaminated by this motion. This motion is a clear indication that the O'Brienites and others have got their message across to him and that he is now mixed up in this and caught in this web.

The trouble is that the free education was not there in time for the Deputy.

Maybe it was not. That is another point. I had not the opportunity of availing of the great O'Malley scheme of free education. If I had that opportunity, which, unfortunately, I had not, I would probably be better equipped to deal with the position today.

I agree with the Deputy.

Nevertheless, the free education was an asset to the nation and has been accepted by all as a very important step forward in the thinking in this country. It was the Fianna Fáil Party that implemented this. I was unable to avail of secondary education, nevetheless, I have given a very educational lecture so far tonight. I am quite sure that some of the people who did avail of it would not be able to do as well.

So long as the Deputy is satisfied that is all right.

To pass from this socialist motion on the direction of labour and the confiscation of land which I deplore, I should like, before I deal with more important items, to deal with some interruptions in the House yesterday. I waited a long time to see would Deputy Donegan come into the House.

He is shooting bats.

Deputy Donegan is a man with a keen sense of rumour. He came into the House yesterday and stated that he was told by a councillor at an election count where the position was that the first two seats had gone against the Government that the ignorant republicans would later make up the balance in favour of the Government. If a person did make that statement to him, the man who repeated that statement is twice as bad as the scoundrel who made it in the first instance, if, in fact, anyone did mention it. So far as the republicans are concerned, we have great respect for them. We are the Republican Party.

I can assure Deputy Donegan and others that we have great respect for the men of uncompromising principle who did not yield to the foreign enemy or the native slave. We will always respect them. We will respect their outlook and we will respect the things for which they fought and for which some of them died. It is deplorable that Deputy Donegan should use his position in this House to insult decent republicans, decent men who throughout their service to the nation gave all they had. As I said, many gave their lives. We stand by the ideals of these men. I do not want to talk about the past. I do not want to go back on history. I look to the future. I will stand up for these great and courageous men who gave everything they had to ensure that we would achieve the freedom we have today and that we will achieve ultimate freedom.

This is an unfortunate situation. It is consistent that members of the Fine Gael Party would take occasion in a slick way to try to degrade honourable men such as Deputy Donegan tried to degrade here yesterday. It did not get the press this morning. I do not know whether he cut it out of his speech down in the Editor's room. I can assure the House that this is not the last he will hear about these insults to these courageous men, these men of uncompromising principle, men who would not yield to the foreign enemy or the native slave. We will not do it either.

He spoke about the divisions in Fianna Fáil. I cannot find them and I am a member of this Party. I can well see the divisions in Fine Gael. We were well aware last week that the knights with the long knives were in session for a while. I wonder if Deputy Garret FitzGerald can tell me if Deputy Richie Ryan is completely rehabilitated because I want to say something to him as soon as he appears in this House. If it will take a longer time to rehabilitate him let me know, because I do not want to take advantage of a man who is going through this process of corrective training in the Fine Gael Party.

I should like to be informed on this. I do not want to attack the man if he is going through this course of corrective training. If he is completely rehabilitated we will deal with him effectively. As we saw in the course of his speeches some time ago, there are terrible men in that party, terrible people, people who are ready to stab their leader in the back. They had set a date for it. The assassination of Deputy Cosgrave was fixed for May, 1971. They even had the date fixed, and probably the place.

The Ides of March.

I should like to know if any other member of Fine Gael is receiving this corrective training. I am told now that Mr. Maurice O'Connell is trying to have Deputy Richie Ryan expelled from Fine Gael—the reverse of what happened on the last occasion. Deputy Donegan's references to Taca and to the Taoiseach and to the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries——

Did he say anything about bats?

He did not say anything about baths. He probably wants one. He wants some sort of cleansing anyway in relation to the foul material he threw out here yesterday about republicans which we will not stand for.

Taca is a respectable organisation. The fund-raising medium of Fianna Fáil is a respectable organisation. People subscribe freely. If they do not want to subscribe they need not subscribe. There is no coercion, unlike the methods employed in some parties. In relation to the Fine Gael Party I might mention the £300 a man candidates they had. In the last election, one man would not be allowed to contest it because he had not got £300. Each man had to provide £300—the Just Society. This is Class 4 in the Just Society.

One can see where they get their money. They blackmail people into standing for them on the basis of: "You are OK. Give us £300 for national headquarters." We saw the mess national headquarters made of the Ryan affair. They issued several statements. We had statements coming and going like carrier pigeons and they did not know where they stood. I was looking for some tickets for that fight-in but I could not get them. I am quite sure that if they issued tickets they would have a very full bank account today. Many people were interested in the de-briefing session and the confession stage done in the best Russian-style tradition.

We would be interested in tickets for the Blaney-Lynch fight.

That is over now.

What was the result? Who won?

The Deputy sees the result.

So there was a fight?

The Parliamentary Secretary is here. He is a responsible and honourable man.

Unlike Deputy Garret FitzGerald he spent the evening here rather than arguing about his salary in UCD. He has the interests of the people at heart.

We do not mind a man looking for a few bob.

Deputy Crowley's interruption is lost on me.

This is quite a respectable organisation. A number of people have contributed to it voluntarily and have shown their appreciation of the wonderful work done by the party over the years in the development of houses, industries, social services and all the other services we have provided freely down through the years. There is nothing wrong with the Taoiseach, nothing wrong with the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries and nothing wrong with the Minister for Local Government. These are all honourable men who are doing a good job and nobody can dispute that. Deputy Donegan, in order to try to get more of the dirt across that he tried to get across in relation to the republicans, made this attack on honourable men like the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries and the Minister for Local Government. I cannot say all that I would like to say as Deputy Donegan is not here but I will deal with him on another occasion and I will not be prevented as I was on a previous occasion by people on the other benches. That is their idea of democracy. However, I will find an occasion to make Deputy Donegan swallow his words in relation to honourable men.

I was very glad to hear the Minister for Finance say that we should keep a keener eye on prices. I fully agree that we should. I should like to say that the prices which housewives in this city have to pay for farm produce are disgraceful. In Ballyfermot, Crumlin and in other places they are paying £61 12s a ton for potatoes in supermarkets where they are supposed to be getting reduced prices. I understand that those who produce the potatoes get £18 to £20 so there is cause for concern. This is one matter which if it was not examined quickly could bring about a variety of situations that might not be controlled so easily. Housewives are being "soaked" for farm produce such as eggs, cabbages and other necessities of life. These are all home-produced products. Imported tinned vegetables seem to maintain their price levels but we have a fluctuation of prices for farm produce. I should like to see the farmer getting more than £20 a ton for his potatoes and there is a very good case for that, but some middleman, or "muddleman" or highwayman is able to extract £41 12s from the unfortunate housewives. As I say, this matter should be looked into as a matter of urgency, to ensure that the housewife will get a reasonable crack of the whip. I would ask the Parliamentary Secretary to convey my strong views on this matter of marketing farm produce to the Minister.

There are a number of rings in this city operating against the housewives. They must be broken and an effort made to ensure that the housewives get these items at a fair price. That is all they require. The producers also only want fair and reasonable return for their energies and the services they provide. Something should be done about this so that the farmer will get more for his farm produce and the housewife will get the farm produce more cheaply, and then everybody will be happy, except the middleman.

I did not intend to deal with the question of the weaker sections of the community but, as I was deprived of the opportunity on Wednesday week, I want to deal in detail with the weak, the aged, the infirm and those who are in need of one type of assistance or another. It is necessary to go back in order to examine the position in depth. We can go back to the taking over of the State by a native Government. At that time the British left us a legacy of neglected social problems and the only solution they had to some of the problems was the workhouse. Many of the aids that are available today were not available then. I agree that some people are existing on a fairly low level but the bulk of the community have a reasonable income and if they have not got it now I hope they will with the aid of their trade unions and other bodies which make representations on their behalf. This is just to give an indication of the type of mentality that existed in the early days when a former Minister for Industry and Commerce said that they had certain limited funds at their disposal. We also have limited funds at our disposal. He said that people may have to die in the country through starvation. That was the outlook of the then Deputy McGilligan and it is to be found in Volume 9, column 562 of the Official Report.

It is not in order to discuss these matters on the Taoiseach's Estimate.

I wanted to go back a little bit.

The Deputy has gone back a fair bit.

In 1932, unemployment assistance did not exist, widows' and orphans' pensions did not exist and a variety of other aids did not exist. This position was rectified by Fianna Fáil and they have been progressively increased and in the last Budget substantial increases were given to the various sections which required attention. The Minister for Finance examined the position in depth and a number of contributions were made from the limited funds at our disposal. The funds were given out by way of increases in children's allowances where some allowances were increased from 15s 6d to 30s and others from 26s 6d to £2. I might mention that Deputy O'Donovan had a great idea today. He suggested we should take money from the first child and give it to the fourth: the woman with four children would not get any more if that were done.

So everybody has four children?

I would not feel like taking money from anyone. I would not even take it from an old age pensioner, as some people did. There has been progressive increases in all these allowances over the years. Last year there was an increase of 10s in old age pensions, blind pensions, widows' and orphans' pensions, adult dependants' allowances, unemployment assistance, infectious diseases allowances and disabled persons' allowances. These people who are in receipt of children's allowances, people with large families, would not like the deduction Deputy O'Donovan suggested should be made in the allowances. Fianna Fáil have widened the range of social welfare benefits. There were no widows' and orphans' pensions or children's allowances until we came to power. There is one thing about this party, if it is necessary to impose taxation for the benefit of the weaker sections of the community we do not hesitate to go into the Division Lobby to vote for increased taxation. That does not apply to other parties. The Labour Party did, on occasion, support some of the financial resolutions, but on other occasions they voted against resolutions which were designed to help the needy and the depressed sections of the community.

Other benefits which have been introduced in the last Budget are increased personal allowances for married men, increased allowances for handicapped children and relief for medical expenses. This relief is long overdue and I hope it will be reviewed yearly or occasionally.

The Minister for Finance spoke very clearly about the problems facing the country, and I hope they will be fully understood by the Opposition, and that when proposals are put forward for improving the lot of the weaker sections they will play their part by going into the Division Lobby and giving us their support.

The cheap fuel scheme was mentioned, and there was an extension of this scheme this year. This and other very welcome improvements were made available out of the limited resources at the disposal of the Government. Increases were also granted to public service pensioners. We have not neglected the aged. There is free electricity, free television licences and free transport. We have not got a right wing policy, a left wing policy or a middle of the road policy. It is Fianna Fáil policy, to look after every section of the community. It is our policy—Fianna Fáil policy. We do not have to get it from Cuba or from any other alien source.

In addition to all the State assistance, there are many voluntary organisations. I should like to refer again to Deputy Donegan who criticised me here yesterday. He indicated that in a speech of mine I praised the members of the St. Vincent de Paul Society and of the Legion of Mary. I have the highest regard for these people. They are doing great work in the city, and it is diabolical for him to say I was wrong to praise them in this House. There are many other organisations, such as the Mother Mary Aikenhead Social Centres and the Salvation Army, who are doing excellent work in the city for the aged, people who live on their own. They are giving a service which is not yet provided by the State.

I want to be associated with such organisations. Time does not permit me to cover other fields. If the debate had been going on for another day or so I would certainly have carried on a wider discussion. I have, however, given you the value of my assessment of the housing problem. I shall conclude by saying, that I, too, like the Minister for Labour, would like to wish you all a very happy Christmas.

I should like to turn rather belatedly at this stage in the debate to the Department of the Taoiseach. Being a newcomer to this House I am unduly conscientious on this point. I had thought that was the subject of this debate and I feel before the debate closes reference should be made to that subject, as it has not been done in the last two hours.

The Taoiseach's Department is a small Department. The Devlin Report said that it is one Department in which there is room for expansion. The Devlin Report makes a number of proposals which oddly enough, in the light of that remark, involve the transfer of functions from the Taoiseach's Department. The reason for that the Devlin Report says is that the Taoiseach's Department should carry out a greater function of co-ordinating the activities of Government. The emphasis in the report is on the failure of co-ordination, the problems created by a lack of co-ordination and the value to be got from greater co-ordination. That, to my mind, reinforces very strongly the views that have been expressed on this side of the House with regard to recent utterances by Ministers and in regard to the whole business of Government policy.

I have been asked to deal with a particular point which is relevant to this debate, because it is the responsibility of the Taoiseach, relating to official archives. There is at the moment a grave danger of the destruction of some official archives, in particular in the Office of Public Works. There is great concern among Irish historians about the total lack of interest of the public service and, I am afraid, of Ministers for the preservation of archives for historical purposes. I appeal to the Taoiseach to examine the position and make sure that valuable material, which will be vital to the writing of our history in the future, will not be destroyed. Over 20 years ago valuable material was destroyed.

I believe there is material in the Office of Public Works about the Famine, about the running of the ViceRegal Lodge, about the building of our railway system. There is also a valuable collection of photographs. All this material is in danger of destruction. In view of the fact that archives are at present in the charge of the Taoiseach's Department, and the Devlin Report recommends their transfer to the Public Records Office, I would ask the Taoiseach to examine the position to see that no further records are destroyed.

We can look to Northern Ireland for example in this instance where the whole matter is extremely well dealt with. Indeed, I believe there is an offer of co-operation from Northern Ireland in this matter. We could well do with some assistance from them. In fact, the position is so bad here in regard to the destruction of material that the Northern Ireland people are willing to take over some of our material and look after it if we are not prepared to do so ourselves. Because of the limited time for debate I shall not develop that point further, but it is one causing great concern to Irish historians. While they are divided in their views as to which part of our heritage should be preserved, I do not think they have divided views on the necessity to preserve our archives. The permanent loss of anything which will tell us about our past and which may be used by historians in the future would be tragic and something which the Taoiseach and the Government should not allow to happen.

I shall turn now to the question of the role of the Taoiseach as enunciator of Government policy—as he described it himself yesterday. I am concerned about this because of the conflict which has arisen. I say "conflict" advisedly. I cannot fully accept the Taoiseach's reassurances in this matter which he gave yesterday on the conflict between himself and the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries in relation to Northern Ireland. I have examined the record very carefully on this because the Taoiseach kept reiterating that he had already answered the question.

I think I can show from the record that he has not answered the question. I think there is a real need here for sorting out what the Government's policy is. There are two separate issues here. We did try to distinguish them in the Northern Ireland debate, and I thought we had done so successfully, but I am very disappointed with what has happened since. There are two issues involved here. The first issue is that of not using force, and our attention has been directed to this issue in the last week. The second issue, which is also of great importance and to which very little attention has been directed, although it was also the subject of attack by the Minister for Local Government—the issue that all parties seemed to agree on two months ago when the matter was discussed—is that there should and could be no question of ending Partition without the agreement of a majority of the people of Northern Ireland. That issue, which all parties agreed about, has been contested by the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries. I should like to read the relevant portion of what he said because I want to contrast it with what the Taoiseach said. I am quoting from the Irish Press:

It is important to correct some recent misconceptions about the rights of the majority of the people of Ireland in regard to the Partition of this country...

It should be made clear here and now that the majority in the Six Counties has no moral right to decide on Partition...

To say that the majority within the Six Counties should have the right to decide on Partition is to accept that Partition was in the first justified ...

... it is the majority of the people of all Ireland who alone have the right to decide this question ...

The Fianna Fáil Party had never taken a decision to rule out the use of force if the circumstances in the Six Counties so demanded.

I shall not deal with the question of the use of force because it can be said that the Taoiseach has repudiated in fairly explicit terms the Minister on that point, but not on the other vital one.

The record starts with the Taoiseach's speech in Tralee, which was encouraging and reasonably explicit, although not as explicit, apparently, as was necessary, if we were going to have this record straight. The Taoiseach said:

It will remain our most earnest aim and hope to win the consent of the majority of the people in the Six Counties to means by which North and South can come together in a re-united and sovereign Ireland...

Again he said:

The unity we seek is not something forced but a free and genuine union of those living in Ireland...

He also stated:

Of its nature this policy—of seeking unity through agreement in Ireland between Irishmen—is a long-term one. It is no less, indeed it is even more, patriotic for that...

I thought that was a very encouraging development. We all did. That was followed by the explicit statement of Fine Gael policy on this issue and I shall read that statement because it received the Taoiseach's endorsement and it is important to note what the Taoiseach has endorsed:

It is the duty of political parties in the Republic, who must be concerned for the people of Northern Ireland, and especially for the exploited and maltreated minority, to recognise these facts and to have regard to the wishes of this Northern minority. This duty is reinforced by the self-evident fact that, force as a weapon of policy having been rejected by all responsible political groups in the Republic, the only way in which the present divided state of this island can, or should be modified is with the consent of a majority of the people of Northern Ireland.

The Taoiseach in the debate in this House had more to say on this subject but, before coming to his endorsement of Fine Gael policy, I will quote what he said in opening the debate:

As for the long term, it is our aim to win the agreement of a sufficient number of the people in Northern Ireland to an acceptable form of re-unification.

In closing the debate, he said:

Deputy Garret FitzGerald made many assertions and many criticisms on behalf of Fine Gael. After the Fine Gael ten-point plan was announced, I said that it did no more than reiterate Government policy declared on a number of occasions; there is nothing new in it.

He went on to trace what he described as the development of Fianna Fáil policy since 1921. His quotations were somewhat selective, and one could have got another list proving the opposite. But it is, of course, probably true that, if you take any political party for 50 years and all the people who made speeches for it, a careful selection will produce different impressions. I do not fault the Taoiseach for this. At the end of his attempt to show some continuity of policy—I will quote the concluding phrases of this dialogue, because there was a certain amount of dialogue in it:

Dr. FitzGerald: Would the Taoiseach not accept that the only way in which it can or should be modified is with the consent of the majority of the people of Northern Ireland? There must be consent and force is abhorrent. This is a technical point not covered in the Taoiseach's statement.

The Taoiseach: What I said is a development of a line of policy. It is quite clear.

It certainly was not quite clear.

It is implicit in everything I have said. First of all, there is recognition of discrimination and recognition, too, of the need to win over a majority in order to solve this problem.

It is neither clear nor explicit because, while the Taoiseach had shown the development of Fianna Fáil policy, he did not explicitly endorse, by using these words that Fine Gael had used and Labour had used, that Partition could and should end only with the consent of the people of Northern Ireland. At this point, Deputy M. O'Leary intervened:

It is a development which has not been announced in that form before.

Minister for Education (Mr. Faulkner): It has been consistently stated for years.

The Taoiseach: It does not matter who started it so long as we are on the right road.

I may say that, when the Taoiseach said that—it is not reported here— I called across the floor of the House: "Well, we will settle for that".

Would the Deputy give the reference?

It is volume 241, columns 1590 to 1593 of the Official Report. That is the position in which we were left. It was a happy position. The Taoiseach himself commented in his concluding speech upon the unity of purpose shown by the House. Indeed, he congratulated the Opposition parties for their response in this matter.

There we stood, we thought, united on this matter and, not only united in not using force—on that we have been united for a long time—but united on this new principle which had not been asserted explicitly before in this House, certainly not by the Fianna Fáil Party, and I am not sure even if it was made explicit by the other parties either, that Partition could and should end only with the consent of the people of Northern Ireland. I think we all believed on both sides of the House that the Taoiseach in the words he used, though he did not use explicitly the particular words we had used, was endorsing what we said. Everybody believed that, south and north of the Border.

Then what happened? The Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries made his speech. I shall read the Taoiseach's statement on that because there is a very great difference in the tone of the Taoiseach's remarks now and before. Whatever has happened, whatever influence he has come under, whatever reason he may have for pulling back from the position he adopted, as all parties did in this House, there is a change of tone. This is the Taoiseach's statement; this is the statement issued by the Government Information Bureau. Asked to comment on the Letterkenny speech of the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries, the Taoiseach said:

The policy of the Government on the partition issue is and continues to be precisely as I most recently stated it to be in Dáil Éireann on October 22nd last.

Fair enough. He then went on to quote what he had said in the course of his speech at Tralee on September 20th about not using force.

I want to make it clear, however, once more that we have no intention of using force to realise this desire. I said as recently as 28th August that it was and has been the Government's policy to seek for the reunification of the country by peaceful means.

Then he quoted from his Dáil speech on the use of force as well and he said:

This policy has been endorsed again and again by the Fianna Fáil Party. While Mr. Blaney's feelings on the Partition issue are very deeply felt——

That was a nice way of putting it and we are not convinced that his feelings are as deeply felt as appeared from the expression——

and he occasionally finds it difficult not to give public expression to them, he knows and endorses Government policy, as he did in his speech in Letterkenny last week.

In that statement of the Taoiseach's you will note that there is no reference whatever to the crucial point in the Minister's speech, which was not a question of using force, for what he said was that force could be used if the people were being massacred in Northern Ireland; it is not plain, in fact, that force should be used to end Partition. But the crucial thing in the Minister's speech, which was missed and, mark you, it was missed by the Press as well, was this repudiation of the basic concept, basic to the new policy all parties had adopted, that Partition can only end with the consent of a majority of the people of Northern Ireland and, in the Taoiseach's reply, there is no reference whatever, there is no mention, of that crucial point in the Minister's speech.

There was a question down in the House on the subject and the Taoiseach's reply yesterday was simply to refer to his statement of whatever the date was in the Library, from which I have just quoted. There were supplementary questions. I myself put a series of supplementaries. So did other people. The supplementaries I put asked the Taoiseach to state explicitly again his position on this question of consent as the basis of reunion and the only reply I extracted from him each time was: "I have answered that." He has not answered it. There has been no answer to it. His statement makes no reference to it.

I call on the Taoiseach in this House tonight to set the record straight. It would be a tragedy if he were pulled by any force within his own party in a direction which could undo the great work done here on October 22nd and 23rd, when a real step forward was taken in the history of this country. when a break-through was achieved and the three political parties were not seeking to make capital at each other's expense but were concerned only with the national interest and agreed on a policy which had never been explicitly stated before. This is the only policy upon which reunion can ever be achieved. That great work is now in jeopardy because one man on those benches, the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries, up in Donegal, for his own purpose, has been prepared to use this tragic situation in Northern Ireland to benefit himself politically in that area.

Now that is fair enough. We know who he is and we know what he is like. We know how he reacts to things. I am concerned, not for him, because he is small fry, but I am concerned with the Taoiseach as head of the Government and the policy the Taoiseach seemed to enunciate here when he endorsed the Fine Gael statement and when he, at that time, stood firm on this principle that Partition should end only with agreement. But he is not standing firm on it now. There has not been one word on that point from him since the "Blaney" speech was made. There has been a repudiation of the use of force, which is not really an issue in any event, but no reference to this question of consent and there has been from the Taoiseach what cannot but appear as a less than honest series of replies to supplementaries: "I have answered that question." It may be that he thinks he has answered it. It may be confusion on the Taoiseach's part—I will be charitable and assume that it is—but, if it is confusion, let him set the record straight tonight. Let us not lose the benefit of the step taken here two months ago. Let us not endorse something to the benefit of the particular political interests of a particular Minister in a particular county.

There is too much at stake for us to play party politics. The parties on this side of the House did not play politics at that time and have not done so since. We have not sought to exploit the position. We had proper criticisms to make of the particular manner in which the Government acted in August and we made them here in a form which the Taoiseach himself accepted as reasonable, coming from an Opposition two months after the events in question. We did not attempt in any way to make political capital. On the contrary, we supported the Government in its policy and we joined with the Government, as we thought, in supporting this idea of reunion with consent, the only basis on which reunion can be achieved.

I appeal to the Taoiseach not to destroy what has been achieved but to consolidate it when here tonight he comes to reply. He is not opposite me now, but there are people there who can tell him what I have asked, who can tell him the line of argument I have pursued, who can tell him how I have searched through his speeches and what I have found in them, what I have read from his statements, and how I have shown that there is nothing in them, nothing in this point ad rem and what this House requires and what he has a duty to give us is a clear specific reiteration of those words which he ought to give us again here tonight.

There are other aspects of the Taoiseach's role as co-ordinator of Government policy. He has a role also in ensuring that his Ministers not only do their work but confine themselves to their work and do not undertake activities outside which cut across their work. At this particular point I want to refer to the position of the Minister for Justice. The Minister for Justice has been accused here of continuing to practise as a solicitor while holding ministerial rank. There has been no denial forthcoming from him or from the Taoiseach on this point. The Minister for Justice did say that on a particular occasion he just happened to drive up to the court in a State car and just happened to be talking to a few solicitors in relation to a case with which his firm was dealing, but that he did not happen to be briefing counsel on that occasion and that counsel were briefed by two other solicitors "employed by my firm" were the words he used. He made it quite explicit that he is not practising as a solicitor. I do not think it is acceptable for any Minister, as distinct from practising as a solicitor, to retain a sleeping partner in a firm. I am even in doubt about the sleeping partner, but I admit this is an open question. This question has not been settled on either side. There are divided views on it.

I should like to put on record my view that the Minister for Industry and Commerce, in giving up his solicitor's practice, put himself in a position of jeopardy if in future he is in Opposition. He took an action which goes beyond what is required by the normal convention of this House and the country and he is to be congratulated for the honourable stand he took. But I would not fault other Ministers if they did not follow his example and simply remained sleeping partners in a practice. It would be better if they did not, but the convention is that they may, Nobody has suggested changing the convention and therefore I am prepared to leave it at that.

What is totally unacceptable is that any Minister should practise as a solicitor and what is above all unacceptable is that the Minister for Justice should do so. I am not a practising lawyer and I am open to correction, but my understanding is that the Minister for Justice has a number of functions to perform in relation to the administration of justice. He is concerned with the appointment of judges, with the courts and with the Garda Síochána and he also has certain functions which enable him in certain cases, in particular cases such as extradition cases, to overturn decisions of the courts. He is responsible for drafting legislation such as legislation currently being drafted in connection with the rent restrictions code. For any Minister in that position to be a practising solicitor puts him in an impossible position and is open to serious misconstruction. It means that, if somebody is concerned with extradition, the solicitor to go to would be the Minister for Justice because if his solicitor failed to get him off in court, his solicitor could with a stroke of the pen deal with the matter next day as Minister for Justice.

It means that this Minister has clients, all of whom must be either landlords or tenants and many of whom will be coming to him on matters concerning being landlord or tenant. It means that that Minister alone—not any other member of the Government—knows what he intends to do in regard to the rent restrictions code. He knows what increase in the value of property or change in rents may occur and, therefore, he alone is in a position to advise his clients as to what the future law will be and how to profit from it. I do not suggest that he has done so but for him to be a practising solicitor is incompatible with his position as Minister for Justice.

The Taoiseach was questioned on this in the House. His reply was a non-reply. I shall read the question and the answer because I think we have a right to require from him tonight an explicit answer to this question. I quote from volume 242 of 12th November, 1969, at column 721:

Mr. L'Estrange asked the Taoiseach whether any directorships or other positions in any business or other concern are held by Government Ministers; and, if so, if he will state their nature.

The Taoiseach: No Minister holds any position that could reasonably be regarded as interfering, or being incompatible with the full and proper discharge by him of the duties of his office.

On another occasion subsequently I asked another question on this matter and a number of Deputies asked supplementaries but they failed to extract from the Taoiseach any statement as to what positions Ministers do hold. We are entitled to have that information: what other jobs do they hold? The Taoiseach has not disclosed that to the House. He is simply saying that he has established certain criteria in his own mind which he will not communicate to us, that he has applied them in his own mind and that he is satisfied that no Minister holds a position which is incompatible with his office. As it now appears that the Minister for Justice is practising as a solicitor while he is Minister for Justice there is evident conflict of interest here of the most flagrant kind. If the Taoiseach does not see that this is a conflict of interest and if he regards this as something which could not reasonably be regarded as interferring, or being incompatible with the full and proper discharge by him of the duties of his office, I am not happy to leave to the Taoiseach this decision. I am not happy to leave it to him to formulate criteria in his own mind and apply them without telling us what they are.

In the light of that evidence of looseness of thinking on the part of the Taoiseach, of his willingness to adopt an attitude which seems incompatible with the high integrity required of him in office we must ask him to tell us tonight first, what are the principles underlying the holding of other posts by Members of the Government? Secondly, what Members of the Government hold what positions? Let the House then decide whether the criteria are right or not. If they are not we can put down a motion to discuss them and propose they should be changed and to decide whether the Taoiseach has been applying these criteria thoroughly and properly in the decisions he has been taking. At present the House can take no such action: it does not know what the critera are or what jobs Ministers hold. It is not a good thing for the country that suspicions aroused in this way should be allowed to continue. We should know what the position is, what criteria are applied; what Ministers hold what posts. We should then be in a position to say whether or not we think it is compatible with the carrying out of their duties as members of the Government. We are entitled to that and I would press the Taoiseach on it.

I would also press him to tell us what he thinks of the letter the Minister for Justice wrote. We have heard the Minister brazening it out in this House: it could be called nothing else. He said explicitly that he took back not a word. He defended his right to write a letter of this kind as Minister for Justice, signed "Minister for Justice", a letter in which he said:

"After discussing and considering the matter I consider the only thing for you to do is to move in quietly to Mrs. O'Mahoney's house. Once you are in we will try and find ways and means of keeping you there and ultimately getting you recognised as the official tenant. All I can say— and this is strictly confidential—is that once you are in there I will do my best to keep you there. For obvious reasons you should destroy this letter and tell nobody on what basis you are getting into the house."

The Minister for Justice regards that as perfectly compatible with his office as Minister for Justice. He has told us in this House that to write a letter of this kind encouraging squatting is perfectly all right. He has in fact given free licence to every Member of the House to encourage squatting, but whatever benches we sit on, Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael or Labour, very few will follow him in that.

In Dublin city there is a real housing problem which Deputy Dowling managed to make disappear into thin air. I shall come back to that on the Local Government and I shall take him sentence by sentence through his speech. It will be a long speech on my part but worth it to get the record right once and for all. In this city there is an appalling housing shortage at present. I do not claim to be able to compare it with the past since I have only recently become involved as a Deputy. I know how bad it is now. I see no sign of any Deputy on any side of the House encouraging squatting. On the contrary, Deputies of all parties have adopted a responsible attitude and the only person who has not done so is the Minister for Justice.

Does the Taoiseach stand over this letter? We know that the Minister for Justice does. Does the Taoiseach? I want to hear him defend or repudiate it in this House. I want one more thing from the Taoiseach on this subject. We heard some months ago, before the general election, a letter read out here written by a Member of this House at that time in which he referred to certain financial transactions related to local authority matters. I refer to the former Deputy Martin Corry. Will the Taoiseach state if he stands over the appointment of the person who wrote such a letter——

Those who are not in the House should not be drawn into the debate. They are not in a position to defend themselves.

It is not a question of them defending themselves but of the Taoiseach defending himself. I submit that the Taoiseach is head of the Government and one of his Ministers has appointed this gentleman as director of a State company at a very advanced age. If he were a person of great distinction——

The Chair wishes to point out that on the Taoiseach's Estimate criticism of a Minister is not in order.

I am asking the Taoiseach whether he stands over this decision of the relevant Minister because on the matter of the integrity of members of the Government the Taoiseach is, as he says himself, the judge and it is the Taoiseach I want to answer on this point. I want to know if he stands over this appointment; does he consider it to be correct?

Let me summarise the questions I am putting to the Taoiseach. His advisers and the Parliamentary Secretary will tell him more fully what I have asked. First, I am asking him to repudiate not this use-of-force statement by the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries—that has been dealt with reasonably adequately—but the statement in regard to the question of the ending of Partition by consent. There is nothing on the record of an absolutely explicit character on this point from the Taoiseach, although he gave us every reason to believe in the debate here that he endorsed everything that was said on this point. I have pointed out that in his statement of 9th December there is certainly a reiteration of his views on the use of force but no reference whatever to the question of ending Partition by consent.

According to the order made earlier today the Chair must now call on the spokesman for the Labour Party.

I will recapitulate the point, as the Taoiseach has come into the House. In fairness to him, I think he should know the points I am raising. I will finish immediately then.

I am sure I will get a note of them.

Nevertheless, I should like to recapitulate them and I have the permission of my colleague here to do so. It is this question of consent in regard to the ending of Partition. I do think we are entitled to a clear statement on that. I have asked the Taoiseach to state what are the criteria he applies as regards the holding of other posts by Government Ministers and what Government Ministers hold what posts and, should he fail to answer this question, I would ask him to state explicitly whether he upholds the situation in which the Minister for Justice has been practising as a solicitor and has admitted to doing so and what view he takes of the letter written by the Minister for Justice. Finally, I would ask him if he will comment on the appointment of Mr. Martin Corry to a post as director of a State company.

When the Taoiseach was opening the debate yesterday evening he took 30 minutes exactly. I felt he could have taken much longer and could have covered a lot of points which we would have liked to debate over the last two days. Deputy Joe Dowling took one hour and forty-five minutes to make his contribution. Are we to take it that there is another contender for the Taoiseach stakes or is Deputy Joe Dowling now the appointed spokesman of Fianna Fáil, as the only man to put the facts before the House? Is he the person who has been designated by the party to say the things that should be said, I believe, by the Taoiseach if they are to be said at all? What is the situation?

During Deputy Dowling's contribution there were one or two points mentioned that are worthy of note. One in particular was the reiteration of the fact that the Fianna Fáil Party are the Republican Party. Some years ago a group of people, including myself, having lunch in a hotel in Stockholm discussed politics in general and Irish politics in particular. There was a member of Fianna Fáil, a member of Fine Gael, myself of the Labour Party and a doctor, who was also a parliamentarian, from Austria. He wanted to know what the three parties were. The Fianna Fáil man said, "We are Fianna Fáil, the Republican Party." The Fine Gael man said, "We are Fine Gael, the Party that declared the Republic." The doctor with a certain degree of perplexity, turned to me and said: "What party are you?" I said, "I am of the Labour Party, the only party that was never responsible for the execution of republicans." When people stand up in this House and call themselves the Republican Party, they should first take a good look back. Deputy Dowling was prepared to trot an awfully long way back and I do not propose to follow him but I think that comment should be made. It makes me laugh when I see "The Republican Party"—granted it is in small print now—on the Fianna Fáil posters saying that they are the only people who uphold republicanism. It was an attack on Deputy Donegan.

We do not say that.

You do not say anything, usually. You say you are the Republican Party.

We are but we do not say we are the only Republican Party.

It would look rather silly if there were more than one Republican Party. Or, are we all Republican Parties? If we are all Republican Parties, to put "The Republican Party" on the posters is sillier still. However, we leave that to the Deputy and to Deputy Donegan in the next election.

I should like to make a brief comment on the situation in the north which deserved to get more attention in the Taoiseach's speech and possibly will get a lot more when he is replying. As my accent will reveal, I come from north of the Boyne. There we are closer to the Border, with the exception of some of the people in Donegal and Louth, than most people in this country. We spent a lot of time in our young days going over and back across the Border. Hardly a week passes that we do not go up and down there.

The Taoiseach, at the start of the dispute, in the horrible, dark days of last autumn made a tactical error. His first speech—I grant that he did not intend to do it—gave the impression to people in Northern Ireland that there was a hope of troops from the south going in to invade the north. Those who know the facts know that that is not possible. I am quite sure the Taoiseach did not intend to suggest it but that point was made and the serious situation built up as a result.

Secondly, the Taoiseach, having made his famous speech some time ago in Kerry, did a very good job because he spelled out in very plain words what the Government meant and the debate in this House reiterated on the part of the three parties that there was no intention of sending troops across the Border and there was no intention of forcing the people of the Six Counties into the Republic unless with the wish of the majority. I think he did a good job.

I am not prepared to accept a statement, even from the Taoiseach, as long as he allows somebody who is a Member of the Cabinet to state the direct opposite. Unless the Taoiseach is prepared to say that he does not agree with the statements made by Deputy Blaney and echoed by Deputy Boland, when he gets the opportunity, there will be confusion in this country. It is wrong that that should happen. The Taoiseach, who is an honourable man, should not allow himself to be pulled around because the story going the rounds is that we are back to the old days, that the Leader of Fianna Fáil is on both sides at the same time, on the left hand side of the road and on the right hand side of the road and if there is any danger from the left or from the right, he immediately runs to the centre and is safe there; there is somebody to say, "You are an extremist Republican", somebody else to say, "It is all right. We do not believe in physical force of any kind". Let us have it out once and for all. If the Taoiseach is prepared to stand over his statement, then let him tell the people, who have been degrading him and the Government and the country by making statements which they are not prepared to stand up to and which nobody can stand up to, to get out of the country.

I suggest that if the people who feel strongly about the situation in the north felt as strongly when the trouble was here, their place, like the so-called IRA, was in the north, the place where they could be of some use. They were not there when they were wanted. They were not there when the troubles were on. There is no use now, in the safety of the Republic, shouting across the Border at people, saying, "If you try it again, look at what we will do". That little game is played out. The Taoiseach made a statement which in my opinion was explicit and should not have been changed and he is being degraded by the statements made by other people.

Incidentally, I understand that the Government were anxious some time ago to ensure that the Six Counties would be referred to as Northern Ireland. I do not know why. I noticed that Deputy Boland today reacted very strongly when somebody accidentally referred to it as Northern Ireland and said there is no such place. There is such a place, we know, but I do not agree that it is all in the Six Counties. Some of it is and some of it is not. I do not want to go any further on that issue.

Listening to the Taoiseach and to a number of Fianna Fáil speakers one would get the impression that this is a land flowing with milk and honey in which everybody is doing very well. Then we see something like this in the Evening Herald of 17th December:

Appeal by St. Vincent de Paul Society.

Unless there is an immediate generous response to his appeals for funds for the St. Vincent de Paul Society in Ireland many thousands of poor people throughout the country will have to go without much-needed help. It collects and distributes about £550,000 each year. In Dublin, the Society looks after 10,000 families which include the unemployed, the aged, disabled and the destitute and about £200,000 is distributed in the city area which has about 250 conferences.

It is wrong for people in this House merely to say, "Are these voluntary bodies not doing a great job?" This appeal does not refer to people who want a little help. It talks about the destitute. It talks about people who have nothing, people who are hungry, people who have no homes. As long as there are such people in the country we should not in this House or outside it try to create the impression that the country is better than ever it was, or, to use Deputy Haughey's expression, that we never had it so good.

On 18th March he said that the country was in a terrible condition. With tears in his eyes he appealed to everybody, particularly the workers— it is always particularly the workers— to make sure that they did not make excessive demands, that they would go easy on the employers as the country would not be able to stand up to further increases. Mind you, this time the cost of production in this country had risen less over the previous 12 months than in any other country except Japan. Yet the workers were told: "Tighten your belts; take it easy; things are very bad." Then the general election came along and before the general election came the budget. The same Minister came into this House and literally said it was the best year of our lives—his own words. He talked about the wonderful things that had happened and the wonderful country we have. The election took place. During this debate numerous references have been made to that election. I do not want to follow the trails which have been trod by speakers on both sides of the House, particularly on the Fianna Fáil benches, of how they won the election. Deputy Dowling was one of the people who talked about it. I will tell Deputy Dowling how they won it. Seats were won by certain people because they blackguarded everybody. If they accused the Labour Party, as they have, of telling lies about rents and other costs, we can not alone accuse but prove lies that were told during the election campaign, particularly about the Labour Party. I regret it was not totally confined to Fianna Fáil. Some members of Fine Gael apparently caught the contagion and did the very same thing. Here we are, in the Labour benches, with neither tails nor horns and the election is over. The extraordinary thing about it is that again here this evening an attempt was made to prove that we were fascists and communists at the same time. The Deputy thought he was back on the election platform. We have a clean sheet. If anybody wants to prove we are one or the other then outside this House is the place to make these statements. It is a bit ridiculous——

Were the election statements made outside the House?

They were whispered to the housewives from door to door. They were repeated in conversation. They were not stated off a public platform because they would not have the guts to do so.

Has the Deputy the evidence?

Let us have it now, then.

I have only 30 minutes to make this speech. If the Deputy is that interested, I shall produce the evidence——

"The Golden Grill" in Letterkenny: that is the evidence.

If we are to believe the St. Vincent de Paul Society—and I am sure we must—an awful lot of people are in a pretty poor way. If they have to spend over £500,000, which they get from the public, then somebody is slipping up. There is no use in saying that they are not doing a good job. They should not have to take from the public and spend the £500,000 on, what they call the destitute.

Deputy Dowling and others talked about the position of housing in this country and particularly in this city. Would somebody answer the question —perhaps, the Taoiseach would answer it when he is replying: "Has the Dublin Corporation, or what now acts for Dublin Corporation, got down to less than four in a room for priority for housing? Is there any chance of rehousing even now a man, his wife and three children living in one room, that is, five in a room? Have you got below that—because that was the latest I heard, five people living in one room? Yet Fianna Fáil say there is no housing problem. As far as the city is concerned, the housing problem has almost been solved overnight. That is the proof of it. If there are 6,000 or 7,000 names on the waiting list in Dublin, then all the blowing of these people who talk about the housing problem being solved sounds awfully hollow. I think Deputy O'Donovan said that if some of the people who were talking were themselves living under some of these conditions, perhaps they would be a lot easier to talk to.

We have also heard the statement by Deputy Dowling, which he must know was untrue, in reference to two motions by this party. He said the Labour Party had a motion down that workers should be directed from one area to another. The only suggestion about direction I have heard from anybody is from the Government benches when they suggested two weeks ago that we should go into the Common Market. When it was pointed out that if we went into the Common Market there might be considerable unemployment in this country the reply we got was that there is no unemploymen in the Common Market. That suggests that the people who are out of work here, because of the stupidity of the Government, should be able to find work in Brussels, Berlin or Paris. That is what Fianna Fáil call not directing workers.

The second comment Deputy Dowling made here—I am sorry to have to repeat his name so often: possibly it is because he talked for so long —was in reference to the Labour Party wanting, according to him, to confiscate land. This is one of the gimmicks used during the general election. The Labour Party policy is very clear on this. We make no apology to anybody for it. We suggest that where building land is required within the areas of towns and cities it should be possible for the Government to decide that they and local authorities are the only people who would be entitled to get possession of that land. It is true that we would suggest that these lands should be taken at a fair price. The Government, who state the Constitution would not let them, at present, confiscate the lands—that is where I expect Deputy Dowling got the word: the Minister for Local Government used it—have no objection whatever to the local authorities and to various speculators confiscating the wages of the workers who have to pay for these houses when they are built. People who want to build their own houses are having their money confiscated because it costs as much as £2,000 and £3,000 an acre for a site for a house. Then we are told by the Government, in effect: "We cannot confiscate the land on these people."

Speculators can still come in and buy up land here if they know the sewer or water main is going in that direction, and then sell it and fleece our public. That is all right, according to Fianna Fáil. But, if you try to take it from the speculator and pay him the price he paid for it, then, that is confiscating. That is the social policy of the Fianna Fáil Government. Apparently, also there is no objection at all by the Government to the continuance of the system where furnished and unfurnished flats and dwellings are let at astronomical prices. We are told the marriage rate is increasing slightly. I do not know how that is. Newly-weds have to do one of three things—(1) to go in temporarily with in-laws; (2) to take a flat and pay £5 to £10 a week for very few amenities or (3) to live in some hovel with the rats—and I have known of a case over the past few weeks where rats bit children in bed. Then Fianna Fáil tells these people, in effect: "It is too bad but there is not enough money to build the necessary houses and therefore you will have to wait your turn." We are told by the Taoiseach that it is all right as far as emigration is concerned and that things are getting better. I think the figure he gave us was 12,000. I will not quarrel with him but I would say 15,000.

I do not think I used a figure.

I think the Taoiseach did. I think somebody asked him and he said about 12,000. Perhaps I am wrong but that is my recollection of it. Is the Taoiseach satisfied with the figure of 55,000 people unemployed and 12,000 to 15,000 emigrating and, if he is not satisfied, why did he not say in his opening speech what he proposes to do about it? Apparently, as long as things can be kept as they are and the status quo can be maintained everything is grand and there is no necessity to try to do anything drastic to improve the situation.

I notice that the Minister for Labour is now talking about bringing people back to this country. I was rather interested to listen to a comment on the radio which Mr. Con Murphy was supposed to have made about certain areas in England where emigration from here has stopped. The suggestion was that we had nearly reached the stage where nobody would be emigrating and that we were inviting tradesmen and craftsmen and trained people to come back here.

Would the Taoiseach like to comment on what has happened with regard to training people who are unemployed for jobs that are available? I know that they cannot be instant tradesmen. They cannot be instant anything. Surely there must be some people who are partly trained and who, with some attention, could be useful in particular jobs. We are told that there are many jobs for trained people and apparently we are not doing anything about supplying these. We now have the gimmick, because it looks well, of inviting people to come back from England. I would love to see every Irish emigrant in Britain back in this country and I know quite well that if they came back here the Government in England would not be in office for very long after the next election. At the same time, it would be most unfair to invite these people to come back and then find that there were not any jobs for them, or that the conditions were not what they were told they were, and most certainly that there were no houses for them.

Mr. Connor

They are coming back to Kerry.

Good for them. There is plenty of room in Kerry.

For Christmas.

They should come back to Kerry because during the election people went around from the Deputy's party with lists of people who were in England and said: "Johnny and Paddy are away. Is it not grand that we are starting a factory and they will be coming back?" I hope they all came back. I hope the Deputy stood over that anyway.

There will hardly be room for them.

The Taoiseach referred yesterday to the question of wages. I was very interested in this part of his speech and I was wondering what exactly he would say. I should like to ask the Taoiseach did he give full consideration to the statement which he made here yesterday afternoon? If he did, what did he mean by it? He talked about 30s and 7 per cent. In view of the fact that 30/- would be 7 per cent of £21 per week, what happens to the man who has £10, £11, £12, £13, or £14? What happens to the State employees who this year were promised 25s from June and £1 from October? That would bring them to the magnificent sum of £12 10s a week.

In passing, is the Taoiseach aware that some of the drainage workers did not yet get the increase which was granted to them from June and from October? They have not yet got it and it is now coming up to Christmas. I know the reason they did not get it. It is that they are only ordinary workers and that the people who are dealing with it do not give two damns. The Taoiseach knows what happened when the increase was mentioned here last year. The Minister for Finance announced that he would include £2 million in the Budget for the purpose of increasing the wages of low paid workers. That evening I commented that I considered it would take about £8 million to give any kind of a decent increase at all. After that the 25s and the £1 were agreed on. It has now been discovered that the figure is over £7 million.

Why is it over £7 million? Because what I suggested would happen did happen. The Minister for Finance said this was to bring up the low paid workers. In fact the low paid workers were granted the £1 and the 25s and the £4,500 and the £5,000 and £6,000 people got 4 per cent. The result is that the low paid workers are worse than they were before they got the £2 5s which was talked of here.

What will happen in this case? Will the Taoiseach say it is 7 per cent and that applies to everyone, or will he say it is 7 per cent with a floor of 30s? If so he should say so because, if he does not, it will be misinterpreted. I am just looking for information. I understand that these matters were discussed between the Minister for Labour, the Minister for Finance and the trade unions. I understand that it was made very clear to those two gentlemen by the trade union representatives that, in view of the fact that settlements amounting to far more than this have been agreed on in certain industries, there was not a hope in the world of having this sort of thing accepted even with a floor of 30s. What happened? The Taoiseach came along yesterday and made this statement. I hope he will be able to clarify it this evening.

Hear, hear.

Last summer we heard talk around election time that the Minister for Finance was arranging the increase of £1 and 25s in such a way that for the first time a principle was being established. He said it would apply to both men and women without any difference. Yesterday the Taoiseach said this 30s, the 7 per cent, will apply to male adult workers. That is the expression he used. Apparently he considers that what the Minister for Finance said was rash and he does not want to continue it, and women workers who, if they gained anything last year, are now back where they started.

Does the Taoiseach not appreciate that the Agricultural Wages Board are almost certain to interpret his statement in relation to agricultural workers who are at present on the massive wage of £11 12s, and that they will get 15s. That is 7 per cent. Why make an ambiguous statement like that? Why put the already awkward industrial relations in a worse position than they were in before? Does he not realise that, while we hear a lot of talk here about lost man hours due to strikes, most hours are lost because the employer first offers the lowest possible increase he can think of and battles right back until eventually weeks afterwards, and thousands of man hours afterwards, he gives what he knew originally he could give.

In passing let me say I think it is a shame that in a semi-State body like the ESB there should be a strike for six months involving a small group of employees. In addition, people who are at present getting the ESB services and who are making no provision for paying for them will be in a rather peculiar position when this strike is settled, as settled it must be. I am quite sure that the people at the top of the ESB will have them disconnected when they find that the amount they owe is over the usual bill. These things may be far too low to be understood by the Taoiseach and by members of the Government front bench——

I know all about this strike. I know all the efforts made to settle it.

I never yet saw a strike that had not to be settled around the table. I am taking no sides on this, but I saw a number of people from the unions side on the television and there was nobody there from the ESB to say whether their case was right or wrong. That was the only forum open to the public for consideration of this matter. They were treated with contempt. If a semi-State body adopt that line, and are allowed to adopt it, I do not know where we are going.

We heard a lot of talk about the necessity to prepare for free trade. When the arrangements were made for free trade with Britain some years ago we all remember the debate here, and we remember the then Taoiseach complimenting his Ministers on the big fight they made to get the concessions which they got, he said. We are still looking for them and we have not found them. Now we find that bit by bit our industrial sales are being taken over by Britain and retail sales of practically everything. I was interested to hear Deputy Dowling talking about supermarkets and the prices charged for potatoes. He seemed to forget that when protests were made from this side of the House about the coming in of foreign supermarkets they were pooh-poohed by the Government who talked about their right to come in and set up here.

Last year on the Taoiseach's Estimate I challenged him to go into any shop either in Dublin or in Cork and ask for a pair of socks, a shirt or any other wearing apparel and I said that if he was not offered three articles of British manufacture before one Irish-made article was produced I would be making a big mistake. I know what is happening. Bit by bit the British manufacturers are taking over our home market while we are standing by with our fingers crossed and saying that we will never break an agreement, that we will reduce tariffs by 10 per cent each July until they disappear and the British Government is laughing at us and sticking on an extra 15 per cent and then 10 per cent on our exports. Is that the way in which a Government should carry on? If an agreement is made why is it not carried out?

Reference has been made to the EEC and we said before, and I repeat it, that this country will never go into it. Britain is having second thoughts about it and I am sure the Taoiseach is well aware of that. If the Government are not, the people are. We are an agricultural country depending in the main on agricultural produce; we are subsidising the dairying industry to the tune of £31 million. How are they going to go into what has been described as "mountains of butter"? The only solution to the mountains of butter is to subsidise the farmers who will slaughter their cows. What are the Government thinking of? The signs must be there for them to see. It must be more evident to them than to us that things are not right in the EEC. Why make the position worse than it is? The farmer has a small chance of making a living here now but his chances will be much less if he has to compete against what Deputy Donegan said was the might of French agriculture. Even with the EEC prices the French farmers, particularly the Breton farmers, are dissatisfied with those prices. Yet we are asked to agree with the Government that we must go in.

For four or five years Mr. Seán Lemass, when he was Taoiseach, was always saying "We will be in by 1970". When that did not appear to be coming off and when he moved off the present Taoiseach said that it would be 1972. If the Taoiseach is there in 1972—I hope he will be in the House but not over there—I am sure he will be saying "1975 or 1976, what does it matter?" This matter has been dealt with as a kind of gimmick. Fianna Fáil are very good at finding gimmicks when things start to go wrong. If the economic position is bad they think of something that is going to happen, something with no relation to the economic position, and they concentrate on the other thing. So far, unfortunately, the general public seem to have fallen for this trick. If the Government can they will keep their minds off matters which are really urgent.

They succeeded very well recently in regard to television. Whether we agree or disagree with the way in which RTE is run it seems the Government have fairly effectively prevented any Labour Deputy or Senator or other speaker appearing on any public opinion programme which is likely to deal with economic affairs. There was a programme on every month which at different times was called by different names and it was one in which current affairs could be discussed. The Government now, with or without the aid of Fine Gael, have succeeded in knocking it out and there does not appear to be any other programme to replace it. They seem to be happy that the people do not get an opportunity to hear the other side of the story. As somebody pointed out to me, it is not unusual to see four or five Ministers appearing on television on the same evening.

A matter which has been mentioned here by a number of speakers is the visit of the Springboks. I believe that the Taoiseach and the President set a good example but it was a pity that they did not go further. Why did they not decide the match should not be played.

It is a free country, thank God.

There are a number of free countries but this sort of thing could be prevented and in the interest of the general public and of order it should have been banned. I heard people from both sides saying that these were sportsmen who were coming and not politicians, that they roll around in the mud and that afterwards they are not interested in politics. If that is so I have a suggestion: why do the Irish Rugby Union not put a coloured man on their team, or why do they not have a coloured referee? Then we would find out whether they were sportsmen or politicians and it would settle the problem without any difficulty and without having to have a parade. I am violently anti-apartheid and practically everybody in this country is.

What about Limerick?

The position about Limerick is that Deputy Coughlan is a member of this party but we do not do what the Deputy's party do. We do not gag him and say "Do not say this". Any member of the Labour Party is entitled to say anything he likes as an individual. That is what Deputy Coughlan is doing. I do not agree with what he is saying or what he is doing but I defend his right to say it and to do it.

Was it not the South African Government which said that Basil D'Olivera would not be accepted if he appeared on the cricket team? I do not say our Government should act like the South African Government but this is what they did when a coloured man was put on the English cricket team.

Some people have been sarcastic about this and said "Why did the Labour Party or other protesters not protest about people coming from Communist countries"? A person can change his religion and he can change his political views but he cannot change the colour of his skin. There is a difference if you think over it. I hope that there will be no matches but, if there are, I hope that if there are pickets that they will be peaceful pickets and I hope that nobody will provoke a row. Pickets in this city and country have been blamed for a lot of things. I know more about pickets than anybody in the House through my job as a trade union official and before that. The ideal picket is the one put on by working men for a decent wage and decent conditions. Other people who picket in the same way start off doing a good job but the bright boys come along and throw stones or they stand in amongst the picket members and throw stones or try to hit a policeman or they succeed in persuading the policeman to have a "go" at somebody who is carrying a placard which they think is objectionable. They are the people who cause the trouble. I hope that if there are pickets they will be peaceful and there will be no trouble.

The time is becoming short and there are a number of other matters with which I should like to deal. I want to be as brief as I can. I hope the Taoiseach will confirm that the Criminal Justice Bill which was before the last Dáil will not be reintroduced in the same form. I should also like to know if the Taoiseach will be prepared to say that a public inquiry will be held into the circumstances surrounding the collapse today of the new vocational school in Coolock, with the loss of life. Thirdly, I should like to say that since the election a number of new people have come into this House. It has been generally commented that the standard of debate has improved. This I would agree with. I regret, however, the standard of conduct has not improved. The trouble is, of course, that the example being given by a couple of Government Ministers—and I am prepared to name them if it is necessary—has caused uproar in this House on more than one occasion. It was suggested that something which happened the other night in this House was caused by a group of people in the Labour and Fine Gael benches. Everyone who was present knows that was not so. I heard a Member of this House telling a deliberate lie. I shall not mention his name because if I did the Chairman would make me withdraw the charge.

What was it?

The deliberate lie was that, when a Fianna Fáil man was called after there had been three Fine Gael and two Fianna Fáil speakers, there were no Labour members in the benches here.

He did not say that.

Deputy Tully has a very limited time, and he should not be interrupted.

The records will prove whether or not he was right, because I was in a position to know what was going on.

I was here, too.

Everyone in the House who has any respect for parliamentary democracy must make up his mind that the kind of scenes that have occurred in this House should not continue. I have great respect for the Ceann Comhairle, but as one who has from time to time sat in that chair, I found it would not be a bit unusual for me to have a subconscious prejudice towards my own party; I would fight against it and maybe go too far the other way, but the prejudice is there and it is only a human thing. When people hold up their hands in horror and say this is shocking and this should not happen, they should remember that. A couple of things should be done. First, I would suggest to the Taoiseach that he, the Leader of the Fine Gael Party and the Leader of the Labour Party, should discuss this matter before the next Dáil. An effort should be made.

Which matter?

The matter of the conduct in this House.

Of Fianna Fáil Deputies.

I am saying the code of conduct which was recognised in this House for so many years should be respected. I am not saying that one party more than another is blameless in this.

Deputy O'Higgins pointed a finger over here.

What I am saying is that the example being set by two Government Ministers, one of whom walked out of the House one night and left the Front Bench empty when a debate on social welfare was on——

The Parliamentary Secretary was there.

He walked in and sat up the back and eventually, being the decent man he is, he came down to avoid a row. The two people who are doing all the talking about what should be done in this country and what should be done in the north are not here to make a contribution to this debate. Is there a reason for that? I suggest there is a very good reason for it. When we asked that there should be a meeting of the Dáil to discuss the north during the height of the troubles there, the Taoiseach said he did not want that because he felt things might be said which would make the position worse. We felt it was either the Fine Gael Party or ourselves he was talking about. We now realise the poor man was talking about his own party and that he knew better than we did what was likely to happen.

I was talking about the Dáil.

I suggest the reason why neither Deputy Blaney or Deputy Boland were in on this debate is that the Taoiseach had no guarantee what they might say and the safe thing was to leave them outside the door.

We have now come to the end of this session of the Dáil and we are coming towards the end of this debate. I want to start my remarks by continuing to refer to the problem which Deputy James Tully has just mentioned. I have been a Member of this House for many years. Members of my family have been associated with this House since the State was formed and I speak, in relation to what I have to say, out of a deep love for this House and out of a deep sense of the significance this House has and should have in our democracy. I want to assert, so that there can be no doubt of what I have in mind, that this session has seen on three or four occasions an effort made by certain Fianna Fáil back bench Deputies to stifle free debate in Dáil Éireann.

I do not know whether the Taoiseach is conscious of that. I suggest a very simple inquiry among Deputies from his own county will reveal the ringleader, and I shall name him, Deputy Flor Crowley. Deputy Crowley and some other Deputies associated with him have consistently tried on many occasions to prevent Deputies from this side of the House engaging in orderly discussion. It was in relation to that that I recently made my own personal protest. I am glad I did, and I hope the next session of the Dáil will not see a repetition of what has gone on here before. If we do not have and do not appear to have orderly discussion here, a fair clash of opinion, a fair exchange of views, then people outside will lose any faith, any confidence, in this Dáil and in this Parliament, and democracy itself will suffer.

We are discussing here the Taoiseach's Estimate, and the Taoiseach as head of the Government has a responsibility to this Dáil that elected him. He also has a responsibility under the Constitution to see not only that things are done properly but also to see that the Government of which he is the head act as a Government. In his speech yesterday Deputy Tom Fitzpatrick referred to Article 28 of the Constitution. That article lays down that the Government must meet and act as a collective authority. I should like to ask any fair-minded Deputy in this House, in relation to events we have seen and the things that have been done in recent months, whether it can be truthfully said this Government have been acting collectively and whether they have been fulfilling their constitutional duty to give evidence of collective responsibility? I assert that they have not.

Recently we heard the Minister for Lands expressing what he said was his own personal view in relation to agriculture, lands and industry. We heard him saying, on his own personal authority, that the Land Commission structure should be altered, that the agricultural policy should be changed in many ways. There was a good deal of sense behind what he had to say. Of course, in saying that, he reversed the Government decision that the Department of Lands was going to Castlebar. He was answered by the Minister for Justice, and very rapidly we had two members of the Government advocating distinctly contrary points of view. The Taoiseach was hauled into that particular debate and he produced the wonderful expression that the Minister for Lands had a very fertile imagination.

No, I did not say that. I said he had a lively and fertile mind.

I take the point. In any event, here is an example of two Government Ministers advocating two contrary points of view. I have no doubt that each of them held his view sincerely but why did they not thrash it out in the council chamber and decide there what should be done and then let the appropriate Minister or the Taoiseach speak for the Government? Certainly, it caused confusion in Castlebar and it caused confusion throughout the country. Nobody knows what the proper land policy is and nobody knows what the object of the agricultural policy is because two Ministers have taken contrary points of view.

Every time the Minister for Local Government speaks he puts his foot into whatever he is saying. At the most inauspicious times he produces the most old-fashioned views on this country, on the problem of Partition and on the question of the reunion of Ireland. He apparently knows no laws. He is not guided by regard for his colleague, the Minister for External Affairs or for his leader the Taoiseach. He says what he has to say merely for the sake of saying it.

The Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries—did someone think I had forgotten him?—has flatly contradicted the Taoiseach. He has made it quite clear that he advocates and believes in a policy which has been disowned and repudiated by the Taoiseach, but still he is Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries, although twice—I think it is without precedent—the leader of the Government has had to stand up here and retract statements made by the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries. One might ask why he is still in the Government and I suggest the reason is that the Taoiseach is afraid to put him out. He is afraid he would organise outside the Government and cause embarrassment to the Taoiseach and the Fianna Fáil Party. I sympathise with the Taoiseach in the situation in which he finds himself. One of his own colleagues has deliberately advocated the use of force, if circumstances require such force, in relation to Partition.

On 22nd October of this year and on the days following the Taoiseach's speech in Tralee I thought we had at last achieved something worthwhile in this country. I thought it had been accepted by everybody, including the backwoodsmen of the Fianna Fáil Party, that the reunion of Ireland was not worth the spilling of one drop of Irish blood. I thought it was settled and accepted that the reunion of this country could only be achieved by securing for that point of view a majority of those who, at the moment, are separated from us. That is what the Taoiseach said and it was printed in a special booklet which was distributed throughout this country and the world. Obviously, Deputy Blaney, the man who did not take any part in the debate on Northern Ireland in this House, did not agree with it.

He sat in here and tried to get in but he was precluded from doing so by the clock.

He was either kept away from it or he kept away from it. The only time Deputy Blaney ever speaks in relation to the North of Ireland is when he has a verbal petrol bomb to throw.

He was not excluded by time this evening.

That is true. There is a serious principle involved here. We are or should be in this House seriously concerned with achieving, in the interests of our country, the means whereby all of us who live on this island can accept and take responsibility for the future of this island. The Taoiseach has said, sincerely and honestly, that we will not achieve that if we have to fight to do it. We will merely be creating a division more serious. We will, perhaps, create a division that will last much longer. We have got to achieve reunification by agreement but the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries by everything he has said and by everything he has done has brought insecurity in relation to accepted State policy. He has caused difficulty and trouble and he has made the job of decent Irishmen like John Hume and Ivan Cooper ten times worse. Does everybody not know that after Deputy Blaney's speech last week, in relation to the use of force, an apparent division, an apparent crack, an apparent coming apart of the Unionist Party disappeared? I would not be surprised if the Prime Minister of Northern Ireland sent Deputy Blaney a telegram saying: "Thanks, Neil, you are doing well for us".

I do not mind what problems the Taoiseach may have in his Party but I am concerned with the fact that he is the trustee to the people of this country under the Constitution and it is his duty as trustee to see that collective responsibility is observed by his Government. Where this collective responsibility, in a matter of outstanding importance, is defied, broken and breached by the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries I want to know what action the Taoiseach proposes to take. The only action he should take in the interests of the country and in the interests of democracy is to say to the Minister "Out you get". He should withdraw his assignment as a Minister of State but, of course, this will not be done. In the new year we will have further retractions by the Taoiseach of further speeches by the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries. The credibility gap, in relation to who speaks for the Government of this country, is going to grow wider and wider.

May I end in relation to this subject by saying that the people of this country are entitled to know that when Government policy is stated by the head of the Government it will remain Government policy unless it is altered or reversed by the Government themselves? Until that is not only accepted, but seen to be done, there will always remain a question-mark as to what is going on behind the scenes and as to who, in relation to Partition, speaks for the Government.



Chair, Chair.

Deputies will cease interrupting.

There will always be a question-mark as to what exactly is Government policy on these important matters. Deputy FitzGerald has already raised the particular matter to which I intend to refer now. On 12th November last Deputy L'Estrange asked the Taoiseach "whether any directorships or other positions in any business or other concern are held by Government Ministers; and, if so, if he will state their nature" and the Taoiseach replied:

No Minister holds any position that could reasonably be regarded as interfering, or being incompatible, with the full and proper discharge by him of the duties of his office.

Some time later I tabled a question to the Taoiseach asking whether, in view of the fact that the Minister for Justice was a practising solicitor, and had continued to practise after his appointment as Minister, the Taoiseach regarded him as a proper person to continue in membership of the Government. That question was ruled out of order because it was regarded as repetition. I, therefore, have to raise it now.

The fact is that a member of the Government, a Minister of State, since his appointment to office, has continued to pursue his profession and to act as a solicitor in competition with other solicitors. I am sure he is both an effective and an efficient solicitor and the only question I want to raise is whether such conduct is appropriate. We have heard a great deal about law reform. We have been told by the Minister concerned of new legislation. We have been told of changes in the law in relation to landlord and tenant. There may be many other changes proposed or considered. To all these changes, this practising solicitor is privy and a party.

A Minister of State some years ago referred to "low standards in high places". That Minister is the Minister for Industry and Commerce. On his appointment as a member of the Government he was a practising solicitor. On his appointment, he sold his practice—lock, stock and barrel—and he cut himself off from the practice he had built up. He was certainly applying proper standards to the high place to which he had been appointed by his Taoiseach.


Hear, hear.

Why should there be a different standard, not for the Minister for Industry and Commerce, or the Minister for Local Government, or the Minister for Agriculture, but for the Minister for Justice, who, being a Member of the Government practises in the courts of this country as a solicitor? Maybe I am unduly sensitive in these matters, but it would strike me as inappropriate if I were asked to hold a brief in the High Court and I saw that my junior was "Mr. J. Lynch, B.L.". It would be regarded as a bit absurd or strange, to say the least of it, were the Taoiseach to continue to practise his profession, an honourable profession, as a lawyer. The Taoiseach, of course, would not do that and it is something that should not be done by any person with a sense of responsibility and integrity.

Membership of Government involves considerable responsibility. It involves high standards. The remuneration may not be tremendous. I do not know what it is now but, big or small, a member of the Government should be a whole-time servant of the people. I hope the Taoiseach can give us his views on this.

May I say that when this matter was raised here and the Minister for Justice was taxed with it, he gave Dáil Éireann an example of clowning that has rarely been surpassed? He indulged in a two-day marathon, in the course of which he threw mud and displayed malice towards all. Figuratively speaking, he heaved a battering ram at all his special and particular hates. In the course of that he referred to Deputy Sweetman.

Deputy Sweetman was Minister for Finance in the Government of which I was a member. He also was a practising solicitor. I assert that never once, from the date of his appointment, did Deputy Sweetman use his office, earn any fees, or have anything to do with the practice of his profession as a solicitor.

The same is true of Deputy O'Donnell, who was also a member of the Government. He entered into a partnership with another solicitor and he handed his practice over during that time to that partner. But, here, we have a member of the Government, who is the sole member in a solicitor's office and who carries on as Minister for Justice simultaneously, as if this was his job and being Minister was just a nice, pleasant "mixer" in association with the practice of his profession. I should like to ascertain the Taoiseach's views on that.

I shall not refer to any other member of the Government, but it would strike me as a sorry thing if the Minister for Justice, while he was Minister for Lands, also practised as a solicitor. I do not know whether he did. I assume he did. Certainly that does not appear to me to be the right thing to do.

Might I also ask the Taoiseach to give Dáil Éireann some information with regard to the withdrawal of the prosecution in a particular case in Cork. This was mentioned some time ago in this House. I do not know anything about the details, but I do know that a prosecution pending before a district justice in Cork was withdrawn. On the day on which the case was to proceed, senior and junior counsel, on behalf of the Attorney-General, appeared in the district court and informed the district justice that the prosecution was proceeding no further. The district justice, having asked for an explanation, was told that no reason would be advanced. There may have been—I am sure there were—bona fide reasons why the prosecution did not proceed but, in the interests of the administration of justice, the reasons should, I think, have been stated in court. Since that was not done, and since queries have been raised in the local press, the Cork Examiner, and in other national newspapers, I should like to ask the Taoiseach, if he has the information and, if it is possible to give it, to give it to this House.

Hear, hear.

A word or two now about the present economic situation: it appears that we are now in the middle of a vicious and dangerous inflation which clearly threatens the stability and security of our economy and the wellbeing and the way of life of thousands of decent people. I regret to have to say that I believe that this has come about because the Taoiseach and his Ministers within the past 12 months have failed utterly to face up to their responsibilities and preferred to play politics with the national finances.

Yesterday, the Taoiseach in what was styled as a "warning about inflation" in this morning's newspapers referred to the great increase in consumption as evidenced by the rise in the index of retail sales of plus 9 per cent in value terms for the first quarter of this year and plus 13 per cent in value terms for the second quarter. The Taoiseach, with a slight change of figures, might well have been quoting himself on 5th November last year when he brought in the Supplementary Budget. He then referred to the "fast rising imports this year directly due to a strong upsurge in personal consumption". He said that retail sales, turnover tax receipts and registration of new motor cars all provided evidence of a significant increase in personal consumption and suggested that the pace of the increase was accelerating. He went on:

As compared with last year, the volume of retail sales, for example, was up this year by 1¼ per cent, 4½ per cent and 6½ per cent in the first quarter, the second quarter and the month of July respectively.

Last year because of an increase of 1½ per cent and 4½ per cent the Taoiseach said that the situation was serious and justified an increase in taxation of £19 million. At that time he thought the balance of payments would be £15 million and he proceeded to take action. That is only a little more than 12 months ago so that last year the Taoiseach and the Government were on notice, as he said himself, that things could go wrong in 1969. The Taoiseach said:

We will deserve best to retain the confidence of the people by showing in the coming months both courage and responsibility.

What happened? Taxation of £19 million was imposed last November. Then in January there was a special Government announcement that wage increases should be limited to 4 per cent. Then we had the maintenance men's strike settlement which provided for a figure of 20 per cent. Following that settlement it was abundantly clear that the economy was facing ugly and formidable difficulties. Consumption rose steeply. The balance of payments deficit really began to go wrong. The Economic and Social Research Institute forecast a balance of payments deficit at that time of £50 million for this year. In those circumstances of course, the Minister for Finance went on television on 18th March and he gave a dramatic performance. Here is what he said:

These are serious times. Calm, responsible leadership by those who wield power in the community and the exercise of restaint everywhere is what we need.... The Government have a fundamental responsibility to keep our money sound, to maintain its value and to make sure that the living standards of our people are not destroyed by inflation.

Having referred to the difficulties of the budgetary situation which was then developing and to the fact that in 1968 things had gone against us with a balance of payments deficit of £20 million he warned that the balance of payments deficit in 1969 at the very best could be as high as £50 million. Then he warned:

The choice before us is simple: either reason is restored in the field of incomes or we face a future that may include a tough Budget, a cutback on social spending, a credit squeeze, import restrictions and all the hardships and unemployment that these entail.

Strong and courageous words indicative of a Minister for Finance's concern with the facts of an economic situation. What happened? One would expect that following that television appearance a Government who knew the score and were aware of the danger and who must have been conscious that the savings of the thrifty and hardworking citizens were likely to be eroded and destroyed by rising prices, would take appropriate measures at that early stage to settle the economy, cut out these incipient difficulties and put everything on the correct course. No. Seven weeks passed and on May 7, the Minister for Finance brought in a Budget which I can most simply describe by saying he made an attempt in it to give something to everybody, farmers, businessmen, workers, old age pensioners, widows and orphans and even to writers, sculptors and artists. He went around like a ministerial Santa Claus with a bag of presents for the people.

Of course everybody fell for the trick. A spending spree began and galloping inflation really got under way. Consumer spending soared by 13 per cent: prices began to shoot upwards and our balance of payments deficit surged to an estimated figure of £17 million. Was this a display by a Government who were going to maintain the confidence of the people by showing both courage and responsibility? Or was it a display of political expediency by a political party that wanted to snatch a quick victory in a general election? I assert that is what it was, that in May of this year the Taoiseach and his Ministers knew what was necessary, knew what they had to do but knew that if they did it the effect would last throughout the summer into the autumn. They knew that if they had to fight an election either in June or October it would be the same and so they deliberately acted contrary to the national interest, brought in a Budget which was inappropriate and then dissolved the Dáil and went to the country.

Now we are face to face with uncontrolled inflation and the situation in which the big spenders are spending the savings of the small people, a situation in which prices have risen beyond control and the value of money has been depreciated. Our external assets, the Minister for Finance says, have depreciated only slightly. Of course that is so, because into the country in the past year has come an inflow of foreign capital. But what kind of capital is it You can go around this city to any of the non-associated banks and banking concerns and borrow money at 14 per cent to indulge in speculation. That is the kind of money that is coming in at the moment, hot money, slush money. It is papering over an ugly economic situation.

What would happen if this inflow of foreign capital ceased? Where, then, would we be? The jobs and the way of work and the livelihood of struggling families in this country would disappear. I charge this Government, everyone of them, with direct responsibility for this situation by failing to display the kind of courage and responsibility which the Taoiseach talked about last year, by preferring to play in a cynical way the political game in this country. They ran away from their responsibilities, they allowed inflation to get out of control. They have shaken the confidence that should exist in our economy and then we had the Taoiseach coming in yesterday and warning the people about inflation. He and his Government have been warned time and time again. I will not refer to them but there is the Central Bank Report in September, the Quarterly Review from the Economic and Social Research Institute.

Every indicator, every observer, every writer has been warning these gentlemen of the dangers that they were letting loose on the livelihood, not of them, but of ordinary struggling people in this country, the workers, the ordinary people, thrifty and responsible, who have saved and who have tried to make a decent way of life. Nothing was done. Prices have risen. Money has fallen in every possible way. In the last six or eight months this economy, this State, has been headed straight for the rocks and nothing was done. We had cavorting Ministers for Local Government talking about Partition and fighting Ministers for Agriculture and Fisheries organising private armies. We had all this sort of rubbish and the Taoiseach sitting there with folded arms doing nothing. Yesterday he said the situation is dangerous, difficult, the wage increase now must not be more than 7 per cent.

Where has the Taoiseach been in the last two months? Does he not know that negotiations have been going on affecting almost every industry, that 20 per cent has already been granted and agreed in many respects? There is not a chance of a snowball in hell of getting agreement in relation to 7 per cent. There might have been if the Government had been responsible. There might have been if the Government had been courageous. There might have been if somebody had done something about prices, if somebody had done something to control the inflation. Now, like so often happened before with members of a Fianna Fáil Government, when the spending spree is over and the bills have to be paid, they want to hand the check to the working people of this country.

I regret to have to say it, a Cheann Comhairle, but it is true, that damage has been done and I do not believe that it is retrievable at the moment. I believe we are facing a serious and dangerous year ahead and every worker who loses a job, every pensioner who feels the pinch of the pension being depreciated, can blame this Government and every member of it for running away from their responsibilities, for failing to take appropriate action in the spring of this year. They might not have won the election; they might have lost some seats but, at least, if they went into Opposition then they could have gone out conscious of the fact that they had shown courage and responsibility. That was not to count. For the purpose of getting, by a political false pretence, an election victory, there was the absurd crisis of March 18th being turned into instant sunshine on May 7th.

Here we have them now talking about their responsibility and sense of purpose. The plain fact is that for the last six or seven years we have had a repetition time and time again, as has been pointed out earlier by Deputy Cosgrave, of stop-go, stop-go, restraint, inflation, deflation, and the one constant feature of these periodical ups and downs has been Fianna Fáil still there and growing unemployment.

Deputy Lynch was "stop" and Deputy Blaney was "go".

Now we are going to have a renewed concern with regard to prices and incomes. What have the Government been doing about prices and incomes for the last eight or nine years? Just look at the ESB. The Taoiseach knows all about it, he says.

Did he ever hear of the Fogarty Report? Was anything done about that? What is being done about industrial relations in our own State concerns? Nothing whatsoever is being done or ever will be done but when anarchy faces the Government, when difficulties are there, then there is great concern about having to do something about industrial relations.

The plain fact is that this Government have not in recent years faced up to their responsibilities. They have been sitting there coasting from crisis to crisis hoping that on the night everything will turn out well. There has been no plan, no policy. Talk about economic management, take the Devlin Report which has been referred to already. They were not even capable of coming to a decision on the Devlin Report. It has to be sent along to be read by all the civil servants in all the various Departments. This is the Government that are responsible at this stage for the destinies of this nation, a Government on which the future of every family in this land depends. I do not believe they are competent. I do not believe they are capable. I do not believe they are a government. I believe they are a group of individuals all speaking with different tongues to the dissatisfaction and trouble of us all.

I want to say at the outset that we on these benches have heard Deputy O'Higgins speak exactly in that strain in every economic debate since he became shadow Minister for Finance and before it. He has spoken about the dangers of inflation, lack of responsibility of the Government, neglect to face up to responsibilities, and so on. I want to tell Deputy O'Higgins and his colleagues that it is precisely because he and his colleagues did not face up to their responsibilities when they had the opportunity that they are on that side of the House. I have heard this same speech before each of the last three general elections. I have heard of this alleged failure to face up to responsibilities, this allegation of neglect, incapacity. Nevertheless, the people continued to show their trust in this Government and not in the Fine Gael Party or in the Labour Party, because they knew that when they gave them that trust they reneged it and when responsibilities showed themselves they ran away from them.

I want, Sir, to start by a number of references to what I said yesterday about prices and incomes. When I used the figure 7 per cent I did so advisedly and I related 7 per cent to the average industrial worker's wage being about £21 10s which would give roughly 30/-. I want to say at the outset that I put forward this proposition in the interests of the workers themselves and of the economy of the country and in doing so I pointed out what had happened this year and in the previous year. Let me give a simple example. If productivity goes up by 4 per cent and wages go up by 10 per cent then inevitably prices will go up by the simple subtraction figure of 6 per cent. Already, price rises are outstripping wage increases. The only safe way to have wage increases in this country is to relate them as near as we can to productivity. It is in the interests of the workers themselves that I have put forward this proposition. If we continue to let increased wages outstrip productivity, causing, in turn, increased prices, then this inflationary trend is bound to continue. What I propose is not only in the interests of the workers themselves; not only in the interests of their job security; not only in the interests of the economy of the country but in the interests of the thousands more who are seeking employment in Ireland— and, thanks be to God, in the past couple of years, we have been able to offer increased employment to about 10,000 or 11,000 extra people annually.

I shall deal with as many matters as I can. May I say, at the outset, that I was surprised at the absence of contribution on economic matters in this debate by the Opposition and, more particularly, by the members of the Labour Party. I think Deputy O'Donovan was the only one who in any way dealt with the subject. Through the Whips, the Labour Party had conveyed to me that they wanted a debate on economic matters——

A general debate.

I do not think it was contested yesterday when I said a debate on economic matters. The remarkable feature has been the reluctance of the Deputies opposite to talk about economics.

Why does the Taoiseach not deal with the points made in the debate?

I shall deal with Deputy O'Brien in a short time.

Are you descending to personalities, too?

I am not. I am dealing with the points he made. If Deputy O'Leary himself and Deputy Cluskey dealt less in personalities— shouting insults across the floor of the House at Deputy Crowley—then we might have the basis of good order.

God forgive you.

I just heard them.


I am not surprised that the Opposition Deputies did not deal at any length with the economic situation in the country because obviously they are concerned only with the politics of failure. Had the figures I gave yesterday indicated failure on the part of the Government to advance the economy then we would have had plenty of comment and contributions on that matter. Deputy Corish says he does not like statistics but if the statistics suited his book, then he would attack the Government on these statistics.

I did not say that.

Something to that effect.

I am not suggesting we have not problems to solve. I know they are serious and complex. I alluded to them yesterday. The Government will face up to these problems.

What about Blaney?

I shall deal now with what Deputy Cluskey has in mind.

Deal with the Letterkenny Parliament?

Almost every Deputy who spoke here referred to Deputy Blaney's Letterkenny speech. Almost everyone who referred to the speech referred to a division in the Government. I want to assure the Deputies opposite that when it comes to a division within parties they have far more to worry about than we have over on this side.

The child whistling past the graveyard.

The Deputy need not worry about my whistling past the graveyard. I was born and reared near one, as a matter of interest. I am not a bit concerned about my particular position. I am not afraid to lose it. If I do, well and good. However, so long as I have it, I shall do the best I can.

Deputy Cosgrave, Deputy Corish and other Deputies again referred to this Letterkenny speech. I want to say once again that Government policy is that Partition will be solved by peaceful means and by no other way.


Hear, hear.

I was asked by the press, the very next day, to comment on that speech. I was able to point out that Deputy Blaney himself, in that speech, proposed peaceful means as the ideal solution. If I went farther back, I might remind the House that, a couple of years ago, Deputy Blaney put forward certain propositions about a Council of Ireland—getting people to work together and to allay suspicions and transcend barriers between the peoples. I should like Deputies to refer to that speech, as well. I want to reiterate once again that this Government reject arms or force of arms as a means of solving the problem and will rely, in so far as we can, on attaining re-unification by peaceful means.

"In so far as we can": Are there any circumstances in which——

As far as we can attain re-unification. I am not saying there is a simple solution to re-unification: that is the qualification I had in mind.

Force is ruled out?

Force is ruled out.


Read what he said. Send him a copy.

(Cavan): Why does the Taoiseach always follow the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries——

Order. Would Deputies allow the Taoiseach to conclude?

I think I have said this as unequivocally as I can. I want to pursue the question Deputy Corish asked me about the federal solution. When I proposed that federal solution initially——

May I suggest to the Taoiseach that he continue to bear in mind the deep feelings of Deputy Blaney in relation to Partition?

Any feelings I have in this regard are honest.

——I realised and admitted that it was not for the first time the federal solution was being put forward. Might I point out that there were very few interruptions from the Government benches while Opposition Deputies were speaking—particularly of the two speakers who had only a limited time. I would ask to be allowed to speak now without interruption.

That is so.

I hope to get the same consideration as Opposition Deputies got from this side of the House.


Hear, hear.

I have much to deal with in the time available to me. I was saying, in relation to the proposed federal solution, that it had been put forward many times over the past 40 or 50 years. I admitted candidly that I had no ready-made solution for Partition. I said that, within the federal solution, there may be steps taken, intermediate stages, that could be discussed. If anybody has a solution to this problem then I would be the first one to accord him the highest honour we could bestow. I am not a monarchist but I would put a crown on him as King of Ireland, if I could.

I suggested in my second reference to it here in the House that we might conceive of a situation where people in the Six Counties, the North of Ireland, Northern Ireland, whatever term you use, could maintain economic and financial links with Britain and that we would try to build up our economy here in the meantime so as to even up standards and also try to make as much progress as possible to eliminate the barriers of suspicion so that ultimately, standards being equal on both sides, we could have a situation that would be a prelude to the coming together of all our people.

Hear, hear.

As I have said, I have not any precise remedy. I have, however, initiated some working documents on the proposition. They are only suggestions. They could be amended or extended in the course of negotiations, when these negotiations would take place. I have not in any way finalised my views. The Government have not considered them yet to any extent. Nevertheless the work is going on to see in what way we could put up some kind of a structure, to see what we could do in order to move towards this re-unification.

I fully recognise in the meantime that there are many difficulties and many psychological aspects in this problem. We must try first of all to win the confidence and understanding of all the people in the Six Counties. Every effort should be made to try and promote co-operation and understanding between the majority and the minority in the north and in any way we can down here to promote the same kind of co-operation and understanding between people on both sides of the Border, recognising that there are genuine apprehensions, not just in the case of the majority in the Six Counties, but genuine apprehensions perhaps in many other cases as well.

I would be glad to pursue co-operation on practical matters that would inure to the benefit of people not only north but south of the Border as well, the people of all Ireland. I say "pursue" advisedly because this practical co-operation is not new. There was in one of the inter-party Governments some legislative co-operation in connection with the Great Northern Railway. There were more particularly, in the term of office of my predecessor, more practical examples of co-operation in these areas.

When I was Minister for Industry and Commerce, I promoted the idea of giving certain tariff concessions over and above those that were provided for in the Anglo-Irish trade agreements to genuine Six County manufacturing firms. Representatives of these firms came to the Department of Industry and Commerce to discuss their problems with officials in that Department and, in fact, some reasonable but not spectacular concessions were given tariff-wise and quantity-wise to these firms.

When I mooted that suggestion at one time—and I think this is a fact that might as well be known—I was interviewed by a BBC commentator from Belfast, a man whose name I think was Flackes. He asked me would I be prepared to discuss these concessions with the Northern Minister of Commerce, Mr. Faulkner, and I said I would. He went back to Belfast and told Mr. Faulkner what I said and Mr. Faulkner said he likewise would be prepared to discuss the extension of these tariffs with me.

About that time—I did not know it then—there had been certain contacts made between my predecessor, Mr. Seán Lemass, and the then Prime Minister of Stormont, Captain O'Neill. I was told this meeting was about to take place and it was suggested to me that my meeting with Mr. Faulkner might be deferred. I did, in fact, defer my meeting with Mr. Faulkner but, as a result of the meeting between the two Prime Ministers, an impetus was given to the kind of practical co-operation that was commenced before that. That impetus was carried further by me.

I am still prepared to pursue any avenue of practical co-operation again on matters that will benefit people in both parts of the country. I can say without any tongue in cheek, or without any hint of evasion, or the suppression of any ambition, that I do so and will continue to do so with a view to the ultimate reunification of this country.


Hear, hear.

Before moving on would the Taoiseach deal with my point about reunion by consent?

There should be no interruptions. The Taoiseach may answer questions at the end if he pleases.

Did the Deputy get that increase which he spent the evening looking for?

Some references were made to the Common Market, more particularly by Deputy Tully. He, apparently speaking on behalf of the Labour Party generally, and as I understand Labour Party policy, rejects any idea of our entering the Common Market. I heard Deputy O'Donovan speaking some time before him and he put forward the same point of view. They spoke about the protection of our industries and the maintenance of employment.

I should like to suggest that, unless we go along with this movement of entering trade blocs, where trade barriers are being brought down, obviously giving a greater degree of competition amongst firms within these blocs, we will have to find some alternative. We cannot live in economic isolation. I should like to ask the Labour Party what they propose. What is their alternative? They have never put one forward that I heard of. They must realise that, if we are to stay out of this movement towards freer trade, we will be faced with barriers in every part of the world that our protective industries will find it very difficult to get over.

There is now, following the Hague summit conference of the six member States of the European Economic Community, a definite prospect of negotiations being opened by the end of June. The communiqué issued after the conference states that the member States have agreed that negotiations should be opened up with the applicants and that the Six should undertake as quickly as possible the essential preparatory work. After that conference, the representatives of the member States indicated that they expect this preparatory work to be completed within the first half of 1970, and that negotiations could be under way by 1st July, 1970.

As I think the House is aware, this work has already started. The meeting of the EEC Council of Ministers on 8th December last, agreed on a list of points on which a common position must be established among the member States before negotiations begin. Deputy Corish mentioned in relation to these negotiations some remark he attributed to the Minister for External Affairs that British negotiations would be long and difficult—he might have used only one adjective but it does not matter—and that Irish negotiations would be short and easy.

I do not know whether he properly interpreted the Minister, but it is well realised that, because of the importance of the specifically British problems in relation to entry, it is expected that the negotiations with the United Kingdom will be more difficult and much longer and that there will, perhaps, be more meetings. When they made their report not so long ago to the Council of Ministers about the pattern of negotiations the commission acknowledged that fact but did say— and this is what we have been looking for—that negotiations ought to open simultaneously and terminate simultaneously and that, in between, on any matters that are common to the other member countries, matters which Britain will be negotiating with either the Commission or the representatives of the Council of Ministers, on any matters that will be common to the other applicant countries, or would be of interest to them, there should be liaison and consultation between these other member countries as well. What is important and what we have tried to establish is that ultimately entry, if entry can be attained, will be attained simultaneously by ourselves and Britain and, of course, the two other applicant countries.

Speaking about international relations Deputy Cosgrave referred to the free trade area agreement and the breach of that agreement which he alleged the British Government committed by the imposition of the special import deposit. We recognise that this is technically a breach of the terms of the agreement but the British Government under that agreement, as we would be, are entitled to impose quantitative restrictions in the event of balance of payments problems arising for them. Balance of payments problems did arise for them and had they imposed quantitative restrictions under the terms of the agreement then there is no way in which we could have overcome these restrictions and maintained the level of our industrial exports and, indeed perhaps, our agricultural exports, to the British market. The fact that they imposed the import deposit obligation enabled us, admittedly at some cost to the Exchequer, to surmount successfully this barrier, or what otherwise would have been a barrier to the entry of Irish goods to Britain. The success of these measures has imposed this Exchequer obligation on us and indeed in the current round of ministerial talks our Ministers are insisting that this factor should be taken into account in reviewing the operations of the Anglo-Irish Free Trade Area Agreement.

As I said already, the current meetings were only held on one day and they will be resumed early in the New Year. I come now to Deputy O'Brien who suggested that I should deal with housing. It is a great pity that Deputy O'Brien was not here when Deputy Joe Dowling discussed very effectively——


——showing not only a great interest in and concern for the people who are looking for houses but also a deep knowledge of this subject. I commend Deputy O'Brien and his colleagues to read carefully the official transcript of Deputy Dowling's speech. I am quite serious about this because I have never heard such an exhaustive appraisal of the housing problem in Dublin and——


——exhaustive, I said—and such a comprehensive exposé of what has been done in this field.

Now, Joe, you are promoted.

Speaking in general —I will not leave it all to Deputy Dowling—the House will be aware that in 1964 we put forward a White Paper which tried to anticipate what the housing needs would be and projected how we could, using all our resources wisely, reach the situation in 1970 where we might have between 12,000 and 14,000 new houses annually. At the end of March, 1969, we had already passed the 12,000 mark and indeed we had passed the 13,000 mark and we were well on the way—and this is a target I am proud to be able to say we have reached—of reaching the target of 14,000 in the current year.

However, that is not all. As the House is aware, another White Paper has since been published and it makes even greater projections. I want to assure the parties opposite, the Labour Party in particular, that when we talk about projections we talk realistically about them. We do not like to put forward figures just for the sake of cutting a dash, figures that we might not be able to reach. We have to take account not only of the needs but of all our resources, physical and financial. I can assure the House, and indeed I can assure everyone who is genuinely and objectively concerned with this problem, that every £ of capital that we can spare is being allocated to housing. If we had some fairy godmother or some philanthropist who could offer us £10 million more a year free I doubt, having regard to our physical resources, having regard to the limit of skilled workers that we have, if we could use that £10 million. We must recognise that it takes more than money to provide houses; it takes skilled men and unskilled men.


Do not be interrupting your Taoiseach.

I am aware that our housing capacity and our building capacity is extended to the limit at present. I want to assure the people who are genuinely interested in this, the people most seriously affected, those looking for houses, that the Government are doing everything possible and that there is no use talking about crash programmes, no use talking about pie-in-the-sky programmes. We have to be realistic and we have to make sure that our resources are adequate for the targets we set and the needs we have to meet. I am not talking in this vein to the people who will join in any agitation, and the same people are to be seen in every agitation, and who are campaigning about the lack of housing in this city and——

Leave Father Sweetman out.


I want to assure Deputy O'Brien that the Government are not complacent about our housing situation. We recognise that there is a housing shortage and I want to assure him that the Minister for Local Government who is primarily responsible for housing is anything but complacent about housing. On the contrary——


If there is any rift in our Government it is that between the Minister for Local Government and the Minister for Finance in relation to the amount of money he can provide for Deputy Boland's demands. I can assure you without any equivocation that this is the case. In regard to housing, even though I am Taoiseach and some people suggest that it is not expected of me, I still visit my constituents at week-ends, not every weekend. When I came into Dáil Éireann first I used see them in Cork every Saturday. That was at the end of the war, admittedly, when the building momentum was just being taken up again, and seven out of ten people that I met were looking for houses. Now the proportion is that there is hardly one out of ten but there are about three or four out of ten who are looking for transfers from good houses in one area to more desirable areas from their point of view. Deputies will have read with interest the report of the Cork city manager to members of the corporation that a very high percentage of those on the waiting list were refusing offers of houses because they preferred offers in other areas.

The same applies in Galway.

I am assured that the same applies in Galway. When there was a housing problem, the first real problem that arose, it was tackled in a realistic way by the Fianna Fáil Government. They tackled the problem in 1934 onwards and I can assure the House that the problem will be tackled with equal success and vigour in the future.

I was asked about the Department of Physical Planning. I answered a question about this some weeks ago as to why I had not proceeded with it at this stage. It is a fair question, but when I decided to set up a Department of Physical Planning and Construction, I was not aware then, even though I tried to find out, what the recommendations of the Devlin Committee would be. It was not available. At the time my idea was that since our resources generally, financially and physically, were limited, it would be a good idea to try to co-ordinate all our building activities, road construction, hospital building, factory building and any other public building of that kind. The Devlin Committee have since recommended almost the direct contrary. They have recommended that the Office of Public Works might cease as a building agency and that the building efforts of each Department which has building responsibilities, Agriculture, Local Government, Health, Education and so on, would be confined to that Department.

Naturally this report by the Devlin Committee was carefully considered. I want my view considered against the recommendation of the Devlin Committee, but I still adhere to my view. I think mine is right, but I want to make sure, before I make another move, that I am absolutely right and that I should not do anything else. Deputy Tully raised the question of the Springbok tour.

Others did as well, but this is as much in the context of Deputy Corish's point about the right of protest, a right which I defend with him to the last ditch. Those who make protests must be aware of and must accept the genuine convictions of other people as well. I do not deny anyone the right to protest publicly as long as it is done lawfully and peacefully.


Hear, hear.

This applies more particularly to people who are protesting against other lawful activities. These people often call themselves liberals, but they cannot have it both ways; they cannot be so liberal as to try to impose their will on other people. This brings me to the forthcoming visit of the Springbooks rugby team. I was invited in my capacity as Taoiseach. I declined the invitation. Our views about apartheid and about discrimination in any form are well known.

Did the Taoiseach give his reasons.

I just declined. I gave my reasons verbally to an officer of the IRFU. Incidentally the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries was invited, not as Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries but in his capacity as President of the Football Association of Ireland. I want to make that clear, because some questions were asked about it. I was asked a question in the Dáil and I was asked supplementary questions, and some of the answers to the supplementary questions were misinterpreted and subsequently misused by some of those people who are pursuing this protest. In reply to a question by Deputy Desmond about selection of teams on a racial basis, I said I abhorred the selection of teams on that basis. I did not abhor anybody or anything else. I said I abhorred selection of teams on a racial basis, and I shall always stand up for selection on merit. Deputy Conor Cruise-O'Brien asked what about the reception of racially selected teams? I said I was not receiving them. I was reported the next day as having snubbed the Springboks. I want to be quite fair to them and to myself. I said I was not asked to receive them. Indeed, I was never asked in my present capacity or any other capacity to receive a visiting rugby team.

The Irish Rugby Football Union are pursuing their lawful activities. They arranged for this match and invited the Springboks to come here. They are entitled in a free country to select an international team to play whatever team they like. I recognise that people are entitled to protest because of their deeply felt convictions about apartheid, but let us hope these people who protest will recognise that other people have rights as well. Let us hope, above all, that whatever protest takes place will be peaceful.

I was asked a couple of questions about the Minister for Justice and his alleged practice as a solicitor. I raised this matter with the Minister and I received this reply from his office:

"The Minister is the owner of the firm bearing his name. The firm employs a solicitor and, in accordance with the rules of the Incorporated Law Society, the name of the solicitor appears on the firm's letterhead. The solicitor now employed is Mr. R. O'Connor, who was appointed recently. Mr. O'Connor's predecessor, a woman, resigned to get married in August. The Minister did not, as alleged in the Dáil, appear in the High Court in Galway to instruct Counsel. The instructions were given by two Solicitors, who have authorised him to disclose that fact publicly. Their names are P. J. McEllin, Solicitor, Claremorris, and W. B. Gavin, Solicitor, Galway. The Minister was only in Galway for about three hours on the Monday in question and left at lunchtime for Dublin. The only case that was contested from the Minister's firm went on before the Court on Tuesday (when the Minister was in fact in Dublin). It was settled on Tuesday morning and W. B. Gavin, Solicitor, instructed Counsel on behalf of Michael Moran and Company. Neither has the Minister appeared in court on any other occasion."

I accept that from the Minister

But does he practise as a solicitor?

He does not practise as a solicitor.

Will Deputy O'Higgins withdraw the charges now?

The Minister maintains his office, staffs it with a solicitor with whatever qualifications are necessary, a practising certificate. Deputy Sweetman, when he was Minister for Finance, similarly maintained his office.

He did not.

He did. He maintains his interest. Deputy P. A. O'Donnell, as Minister for Local Government, maintained his office as well, and, as far as I know and according to what I have been told, opened up an office convenient to the Custom House while he was Minister for Local Government.

Is the Taoiseach saying the Minister is not practising?

The Minister is not practising.

That is not correct.

Has he practised since he became Minister?

I have read to the Deputies——

That does not answer the point.

As far as I am concerned, it does. The Minister referred to the possible merger of the two branches of the legal profession.

(Cavan): Tell us about the letter he wrote?

The Taoiseach has refused to answer.

I am satisfied he did not advocate anything illegal in that letter.


I have very few minutes left, and again I did not interrupt anybody, no matter what they said, for me or against me. I listened quietly to Deputy Tully opening a tirade on me, fair enough it was hard hitting stuff. I am not hitting anybody; I am telling the facts as I know them.

The Minister has been criticised for making these suggestions. He spoke in Galway on 8th November on the subject, "The Law of Ireland in the Future". He said:

The idea of a unified profession should get far more thought in this country, and I believe that unification should be our ultimate goal.

This was said in the context of the previous sentence he uttered, that lawyers of one member state of the Common Market can practise in the courts of any other State. He mentioned that in Germany there was only a unified profession.

I do not know what the position will be. The legal profession itself recognise that its system of practice is not perfect. Even if it were perfect, most old systems, as this is, would become imperfect by evolution of time in any event. I want to assure the legal profession, whatever changes will become or have become necessary, that any changes will only be made after full consultation with them.

Reference has recently been made in this House to particular decisions in court and, while anything that happens in any part of this country is a subject matter for comment, and, if necessary, debate in this House, I think we should try to refrain as much as we can from discussing decisions made by impartial judges. A reference was made to a court decision in a traffic accident in County Laois—I know nothing about the facts, but I think we should try to refrain from references to these decisions. We know nothing of the facts and I think we would object if members of the judiciary started commenting on what we said and did in this House.

I want to deal very quickly with the case in Cork. I heard about that case, without knowing anything about the facts, from the Fianna Fáil director of elections some days before the election came up. He told me that the party in Cork was concerned about the suggestion that this case was not being prosecuted. I heard that there were four, five or six youths involved—I forget exactly how many—who were alleged to have committed a series of offences, involving joy rides in cars over a period of some months in August, September and October of 1968. In the course of these jaunts they stole small sums of money, including sums like 1/8 from a charity box in a church. They were charged with a big number of offences representing the same incidents. The charges in all amounted to 208 and the total amount of money involved was £100. The mother of one young fellow discovered he had been engaged in this, and his father questioned him and extracted a full confession from him. I believe he literally frogmarched the boy to the Garda station and made him repeat to the Garda Síochána the statement he had given to him implicating the boy's colleagues. As I have said, the amount involved was about £100 and the parents of the boys paid back the money. The Attorney-General had doubts about the validity of the statement as admissible evidence. I told the Attorney-General that whatever doubts he had, I for one, would like to see the case go on and justice be done and be seen to be done. However, I am not the man to tell the Attorney-General his business. He stated his view of the case and decided to enter a nolle prosequi. I would like to deal with that at greater length, but unfortunately I cannot.

What had the director of elections to do with it?

I am sorry. I should have said our election agent, who is a solicitor. He heard about the matter in Cork; he asked me to inquire into it and I did so. I did not and still do not know the name of the man. The implication was that because it was in my constituency I had something to do with it. No member of my party had anything whatsoever to do with it, and, in fact, until the matter was a fait accompli, knew nothing about it.

Would the Taoiseach not agree that it might have been better if that explanation had been given to the district justice?

I am sorry, I would like to expand on this a bit more about the non-disclosure of the reason for the nolle prosequi, but time does not permit me to. I am told this is a matter which is never disclosed. I would like to give one example of this. There was a nolle prosequi entered in the case of a man who was dying from cancer and the reason was not given.

The motion for the setting up of the Tribunal investigating the "7 Days" programme has now been passed by both Houses. I have had consultation with the Chief Justice, the President of the High Court, the President of the Circuit Court and the President of the District Court, and I have been able to procure the services of the following judges: The Honourable Mr. Justice Seán Butler, a Judge of the High Court, as chairman; The Honourable Mr. Justice Denis Pingle, a Judge of the High Court; and the President of the District Court, Mr. Justice Cathal O'Flynn. In case there is any comment on the absence of a Supreme Court Judge, I was unable to procure the services of one for a number of reasons. I was asked by the President of the Circuit Court specifically not to appoint a Circuit Court Judge, and there were genuine reasons for not doing this. I think we have an impartial and competent Tribunal. The appointments will be notified formally.

I would like to say of Deputy Corry that no better man than he could be appointed to the Sugar Company. I do not believe there is a man in Ireland who knows more about beet growing and the sugar industry than Deputy Corry. I am told his colleagues in Cómhlucht Siúicre Éireann were very glad and very pleased to have his services.


I want to end by saying that I subscribe entirely to the hope that the next term will be conducted in a calm and dignified atmosphere. I resent and reject the suggestion of Deputy O'Higgins that the fault is on our side. The fault is on all sides. I shall not attribute blame to anybody or identify people. As far as I am concerned, I am prepared to enter into any discussion with the leaders of the other parties to ensure as far as I can that our debates will be conducted in future in an orderly way, as this debate has been, by and large. I think Deputies are entitled to commendation for that.

I want to wish all Members a happy Christmas. I make every allowance for the fact that the Fine Gael Members opposite are still suffering from the aftermath of their recent earth tremors. I hope they will try and pull themselves together. I hope, too, that the Labour Party will get over their problems whether they jump up overnight or over week.

I want to end by assuring you all that the country is in the best possible hands.

Question: "That the Estimate be referred back for reconsideration" put.
The Committee divi ded: Tá, 51; Níl, 68.

  • Barry, Richard.
  • Begley, Michael.
  • Belton, Luke.
  • Belton, Paddy.
  • Bruton, John.
  • Burke, Joan.
  • Burke, Liam.
  • Burke, Richard.
  • Byrne, Hugh.
  • Clinton, Mark A.
  • Cluskey, Frank.
  • Collins, Edward.
  • Corish, Brendan.
  • Cott, Gerard.
  • Creed, Donal.
  • Cruise-O'Brien, Conor.
  • Desmond, Barry.
  • Dockrell, Henry P.
  • Dockrell, Maurice E.
  • Donegan, Patrick S.
  • Donnellan, John.
  • Dunne, Thomas.
  • Enright, Thomas W.
  • FitzGerald, Garret.
  • Fitzpatrick, Tom (Cavan).
  • Flanagan, Oliver J.
  • Fox, Billy.
  • Governey, Desmond.
  • Harte, Patrick D.
  • Hogan, Patrick.
  • Jones, Denis F.
  • Kavanagh, Liam.
  • Kenny, Henry.
  • L'Estrange, Gerald.
  • Lynch, Gerard.
  • McLaughlin, Joseph.
  • O'Connell, John F.
  • O'Donnell, Patrick.
  • O'Donnell, Tom.
  • O'Donovan, John.
  • O'Hara, Thomas.
  • O'Higgins, Thomas F.
  • O'Leary, Michael.
  • O'Reilly, Paddy.
  • O'Sullivan, John L.
  • Ryan, Richie.
  • Sweetman, Gerard.
  • Taylor, Francis.
  • Thornley, David.
  • Timmins, Godfrey.
  • Tully, James.


  • Aiken, Frank.
  • Allen, Lorcan.
  • Andrews, David.
  • Barrett, Sylvester.
  • Blaney, Neil.
  • Boland, Kevin.
  • Brady, Philip A.
  • Brennan, Joseph.
  • Brennan, Paudge.
  • Brosnan, Seán.
  • Browne, Patrick.
  • Browne, Seán.
  • Burke, Patrick J.
  • Carter, Frank.
  • Childers, Erskine.
  • Colley, George.
  • Collins, Gerard.
  • Connolly, Gerard C.
  • Cowen, Bernard.
  • Cronin, Jerry.
  • Crowley, Flor.
  • Cunningham, Liam.
  • Davern, Noel.
  • de Valera, Vivion.
  • Dowling, Joe.
  • Fahey, Jackie.
  • Faulkner, Pádraig.
  • Fitzpatrick, Tom (Dublin Central).
  • Foley, Desmond.
  • Forde, Paddy.
  • French, Seán.
  • Gallagher, James.
  • Geoghegan, John.
  • Gibbons, Hugh.
  • Gibbons, James.
  • Gogan, Richard P.
  • Haughey, Charles.
  • Healy, Augustine A.
  • Herbert, Michael.
  • Hillery, Patrick J.
  • Hilliard, Michael.
  • Hussey, Thomas.
  • Kenneally, William.
  • Kitt, Michael F.
  • Lalor, Patrick J.
  • Lemass, Noel T.
  • Lenehan, Joseph.
  • Lenihan, Patrick J.
  • Loughnane, William A
  • Lynch, Celia.
  • Lynch, John.
  • McEllistrim, Thomas.
  • MacSharry, Ray.
  • Meaney, Thomas.
  • Molloy, Robert.
  • Moore, Seán.
  • Moran, Michael.
  • Nolan, Thomas.
  • Noonan, Michael.
  • O'Connor, Timothy.
  • O'Kennedy, Michael.
  • O'Leary, John.
  • O'Malley, Des.
  • Power, Patrick.
  • Smith, Michael.
  • Timmons, Eugene.
  • Tunney, Jim.
  • Wyse, Pearse.
Tellers:—Tá: Deputies R. Burke and Cluskey; Níl: Deputies O'Malley and Meaney.
Question declared lost.
Vote put and agreed to.