Housing (Gaeltacht) (Amendment) Bill, 1948— Certified Money Bill —Second Stage.

Question proposed: "That the Bill be now read a Second Time."

The general purpose of this measure is to make more money available for Gaeltacht housing and to bring the level of the grants available under the Housing (Gaeltacht) Acts into line with the revised grants for which provision has been made under the Housing (Amendment) Act, 1948. It is also designed to facilitate the erection and improvement of dwelling-houses in the Gaeltacht.

Under the present Bill, provision is being made to increase the total amount of grants and loans from £750,000 to £900,000. This is a net increase of £150,000. This sum, together with a balance of £90,000 remaining from the £750,000 to which I have referred, will give us a total provision of £240,000 for new grants and loans for housing in the Gaeltacht.

Up to the time of the passing of the Housing (Amendment) Act, 1948, the grants available under the Housing (Gaeltacht) Acts for persons erecting houses for their own occupation were greater than those obtainable under the general Housing Acts. By Section 3 of this Bill, I propose to restore the differential in favour of applicants from the Gaeltacht. Under sub-section 1 (a) of Section 3, I propose to increase the grants in respect of dwelling-houses, the erection of which commenced on or after the 1st day of November, 1947, to the sums specified in the First Schedule to this Bill. The maximum grants which could be made heretofore were related to the aggregate rateable value of all the property of the applicant. They were: (a) £90 where the aggregate rateable value did not exceed £5, (b) £85 where the aggregate rateable value exceeded £5 but did not exceed £10, and (c) £80 where the aggregate rateable value exceeded £10. For the future, I propose that the making of grants on a valuation basis shall be discontinued in respect of applications sanctioned under Section 3 of this Bill, and that the grants in respect of dwelling-houses the erection of which commenced on or after 1st November, 1947, will be as laid down in the First Schedule to the Bill.

The maximum improving grant under the present Acts is £40. Sub-section (1) (b) of Section 3 provides for the increase of this improving grant to a maximum of £80, in the case of an improvement or extension commenced on or after 1st November, 1947.

The new housing grants of sub-section (1) (a) of Section 3 represent an increase in each case of £25 over and above the maximum grants available for similar houses under the Housing (Amendment) Act, 1946. The increased improving grant provided for in sub-section 1 (b) of Section 3 is the same as that available under that Act.

Sub-section (2) of Section 3 makes provision for grants in respect of dwelling-houses the erection of which commenced on or after the 1st November, 1945, but which were not occupied on or before 1st November, 1947. The amounts of these grants will be as specified in the Second Schedule to the Bill. These grants, which are to be made available irrespective of rateable values, represent an increase in each case of £17 10s. 0d. over and above the maximum grants available in similar cases under the Housing (Amendment) Act, 1948.

I also propose in this Bill to increase the amount in the case of an improving grant where the application therefor was made before the 1st day of November, 1947, and where the improvement or extension, in respect of which the application was made, was commenced but not completed before the 1st November, 1947. In sub-section (3) (a) and (b) of Section 3, I am making a provision to have the improving grant in such cases increased to £60. This is in line with what has been done under the Housing (Amendment) Act, 1948.

Under sub-section (4) of Section 3, I am providing that the amount of any grant which may be sanctioned under Section 3 of this Bill will not be subject to the limitations imposed by the relevant sections of the 1929 and 1934 Acts, whereby the amount of the individual grant was governed by the aggregate rateable value of all the property of the applicant. The deletion of reference to rateable value will facilitate administration.

As the Acts stand at present, a person to whom a grant has been made may also be provided with a loan when it is apparent that the assistance given by way of grant is not sufficient to enable the work of house erection or improvement to be undertaken. In the case of the erection of a new dwelling-house the maximum loan which may be sanctioned at present is £80. I propose in Section 4 to increase the amount of this loan to a new maximum of £100. In this connection, I am providing in the Second Schedule of this Bill for the repeal of sub-section (2) of Section 3 of the 1934 Act which limited the aggregate amount of building grant and loan in any individual case to £160, as such a provision could no longer apply in the altered circumstances.

Section 5 provides for the cessation, after the enactment of this Bill, of the sanctioning of grants for the erection of poultry-houses and piggeries. In order to provide for any cases where the sanction has already been issued and where the work has not so far been completed the relevant sections in the 1929 Act are not being repealed. The Minister for Agriculture has agreed that the provision in the Housing (Gaeltacht) Acts for grants for poultry-houses and piggeries is no longer necessary in view of the farm buildings scheme being administered by his Department, under which larger grants are available than those provided for under the Housing (Gaeltacht) Acts. These grants are on a generous scale ranging from £24 to £12 for piggeries, and £20 to £10 for poultry-houses. The maximum grant which can be made for a poultry-house or a piggery under the Housing (Gaeltacht) Act is £5.

By the proposed cessation of grants for poultry-houses and piggeries I am removing what was an obstacle to the speedy erection of dwelling-houses. The sanctioning of grants for house erection under the present Acts is conditional on the provision of suitable accommodation for poultry and pigs, and in this way there was an element of compulsion which slowed down the building of dwelling-houses. This compulsion I propose to remove, thus freeing myself and future applicants from any entanglements which might impede the housing drive in the Gaeltacht. Accordingly, I am also making provision in Section 6 for the repeal of the sections of the 1929 Act in question.

I welcome this Bill. Last June, in the debate on the Finance Bill, I pleaded with the Minister for Finance to make money available for Gaeltacht housing. This Bill follows the usual procedure of making increased grants available to those residing in the Gaeltacht over and above that which is provided under the Local Government (Housing) Acts. Last year the Minister for Local Government introduced a generous measure governing the whole country. When the provisions made in this Bill are compared with the provisions made by the Minister for Local Government last year one finds that the increased benefits for the Gaeltacht are not all that we would wish them to be. I regret that the Minister did not give us more information. The statement he has given deals more or less with the various sections. The Minister has failed to give the House a broader outfit line or picture of what is proposed, of the work to be done or the steps to be taken in dealing with the matter. The only information that the Minister has given us is that in 1929 the first Housing Act was introduced in which there was provision for the expenditure of a sum of £250,000. Since then a Bill was introduced in 1931 and under various Acts that were passed from 1931 to 1939 further sums were provided which brought the total amount made available to £750,000. This Bill provides only £150,000. It is proposed that that sum should be expended on the erection of new houses in the Gaeltacht districts.

With that sum of £150,000 there is also available a sum of £90,000, being a balance unexpended owing to the scarcity of materials and the difficulties in general of building since 1939. The Bill provides for grants up to £250 and a loan of £100, making a total of £350. There is a sum of £240,000 available. If we were to expend all that money in a year or two years we would have erected from 600 to 700 houses in the Gaeltacht.

We have expended £750,000. I would like to have from the Minister further information: How many houses have been erected in the various districts of the Gaeltacht since the first Gaeltacht Housing Bill was introduced; how many of the people concerned availed of loans to supplement the grant; how many availed of the combined purchasing scheme in procuring building materials; how many of those applicants erected piggeries or poultry houses? Has a survery or an estimate been made of the total number of houses that would be required in the normal way throughout the Gaeltacht? This Bill is limited in so far as it is confined to particular sections of the country and it is limited further by the fact that the applicant must be in the position of having a house already. It is not proposed under this Bill to give grants to people throughout the Gaeltacht to erect a house in any place they wish; it will only be given for the replacement of a dwelling.

We would like to have from the Minister some information as to what it is proposed to do with the other people in these districts and how many it is proposed to transfer to other parts of the country in the migration scheme. What is the position of young workers in the various Gaeltacht industries who would wish to get married and settle down while continuing in their employment? They will be debarred from the benefit of these grants. That is quite a number of questions but it is all information which I, and, I am sure, the other members in this House, would like to have.

The purpose of introducing this measure at the outset was to give special consideration and help to Irish speakers and sufficient is made available to enable them to erect poultry houses and piggeries. Is it a condition that the applicant must be an Irish speaker or does it apply to every person residing in the districts scheduled in the 1929 Act regardless of whether they are Irish speakers or not or whether Irish is the spoken language of the home? I take it from a statement made on the Committee Stage of this Bill in the other House that the latter is the case. The Minister gave an indication then that he did not propose to enforce any regulations regarding the Irish language being the spoken language of the home.

Let us examine the terms of this Bill in relation to the provisions of the Local Government Housing Act of 1948. The 1948 Act made provision for the payment of a grant of £135 to a person building a three-roomed house without water supply through a public utility society. The present Bill makes provision for £15 extra.

Suppose the house was not being built through a public utility society, in the original case what would the grant be?

£150, a difference of £25. It is not so many months since that Act was passed and the same conditions apply. Since 1932 where a person was building through a utility society the grant was increased by £10. I know from my own experience that people in the Gaeltacht of Galway who propose to build a house by the aid of the grant would build through a utility society. I am quite confident that if the Minister looks up the figures he will find that the majority of houses erected in Connemara, despite the fact that the grant was increased under the Gaeltacht Housing Act as compared to the local government grant, were built by means of a local government grant. This Bill provides £15 more than the former grant and it makes available £100 as a loan, but a person building through a utility society in any part of the country has the benefit of £10 extra and can also get a loan from the local authority, the county council or the borough council of the area in which the house is being built, of up to 80 per cent. of the value of the building. A man building in the Gaeltacht under this scheme is compelled to be satisfied with the grant plus £100. Those of us who know the difficulties of building in districts like Connemara know full well that it is more costly and difficult, as sand and materials have to be carted very long distances, than in districts where materials, transport, tradesmen and skilled labour are available.

The Minister proposes to remove the valuation basis and I regret that decision because under previous Acts the grant was determined on the applicant's valuation, thus acting as a brake and seeing that the person with the lowest valuation and in need of the greatest help got the greatest help. I fear that because of our opening this door the greater number of applicants will be the type of person who could almost afford to build a house without any aid from the Government or local authority and not the people for whom we should cater most. I would prefer if the Minister had given greater grants and greater facilities for loans to people with the lowest valuations and eliminated the people who could afford to build.

The Minister has also taken steps to remove from the conditions of erecting a house in the Gaeltacht that of providing a poultry house and piggery. I regret that the Minister has taken that decision. Whether a house is built in the Gaeltacht or any other part of the country I believe that the time of building it, when the materials are there and the workmen are on the job, is the time, if possible, to get out-offices and piggeries. It can be done more efficiently and cheaply. Apart from that it is an inducement to people to build them. I disagree with the Minister when he said that there was compulsion to build them in the other Acts. There was no compulsion whatsoever. Section 7 of the 1929 Act deals with circumstances where the Minister may refuse a grant:-

"(a) there is in existence or will be provided with the aid of a grant under this Act or otherwise accommodation for domestic poultry ancillary to and suitable and sufficient in the opinion of the Minister for such dwelling-house, or

(b) the Minister is of opinion that, having regard to all the circumstances, the occupier of such dwelling-house could not be expected to keep domestic poultry."

I assume that was inserted in the Act of 1929 in order to provide for the very rare case where an applicant may not, for one reason or another, be in a position to keep poultry or pigs and the Minister, under the circumstances, could pay the grant. Therefore, there was no compulsion. The Minister, both here and in the Dáil, informed us that it would be much better to remove this condition from the erection of houses in the Gaeltacht areas and to allow the applicant to make application to the Department of Agriculture for the grants that will be made available from that Department. Is that not asking people to do things in a roundabout manner? They have, first, to fill up an application form. I am sure 99 per cent. of the people who will apply under this Act for a housing grant will have to travel whatever distance may separate them from the local solicitor to fill up the form. The application is granted. The house is begun and finished and the grant or loan is paid. They have then to make another journey, probably to the same solicitor, to ask him to make another application— this time to the Department of Agriculture for a grant or loan to erect a poultry-house or a piggery. All the material that would have helped to erect the out-office has by this time been removed from the dwelling-house.

Senator Baxter is a terribly innocent man.

He is not. Tell us why you say the materials would be removed if it was necessary to build an out-office?

I am trying to put before the House the importance of having the building of out-offices carried out in conjunction with the erection of the dwelling—house. The Senator asks why the material or implements which might be necessary for the erection of a piggery or a poultry-house would be removed. They would be removed because the contractor, having completed the erection of the dwelling-house, would have departed, and until the dwelling—house is completed the piggery or the poultry-house may not be erected under the grants that may be available from the Department of Agriculture.

Will the contractor not be a local man?

If Senator Duffy is so far removed from rural Ireland as to think that a contractor can exist in the Gaeltacht areas of Connemara or Kerry and keep building houses in those districts, he has my sympathy.

There are dozens whom I know of.

They will not be long there.

I am sorry to hear that they are going to be liquidated by the Senator.

Quite a number of them have been liquidated recently. The Minister for Agriculture appealed for an increase in our pig population and in our poultry stocks. Here is one way of encouraging that matter—particularly when provision was made for it in the past. The Minister may say that the grants from the Department of Agriculture for the erection of poultry-houses and piggeries are more generous. That is no excuse. If the Minister thinks these grants are more generous for those people to help them to do what he would like them to do, why not increase the grants this year for the erection of piggeries and poultry-houses? Let the one application suffice. Let the one inspection be sufficient. Let the one contractor do the job.

The proposals the Minister put before this House are not sensible. They are not going to achieve their purpose. They may achieve one thing, namely, delay, and they may save some few pounds. If that is the purpose then it is all very well, but if it is the purpose of the Minister, as I am sure it is, to help the people in the Gaeltacht areas to better their conditions, to have better houses, then I think, taken in conjunction with that, that he should revert to the old practice of making available at the same time the facilities for piggeries and poultry-houses. It is now over 12 years since the other Housing Bill was put before this House and quite a number of people have completed their houses under it. My regret is that this Bill was not introduced earlier. Quite a number of people in the Gaeltacht areas have applied to the Department of Local Government in this connection. Grants, under the Local Government Housing Grants, have been sanctioned and the work has begun. The sum of £15, of which they are deprived, is small, but to those people £15 is £15. I would urge the Minister, even at this late hour, to consider the matter of increasing the grant.

Would the Senator be good enough to explain what £15 they are being deprived of? I am not clear about what point the Senator is making.

Memorandum A of the Local Government Housing Acts, 1939-1948, sets out free grants from State funds. In rural Ireland, as the Minister and members of this House are well aware, the general procedure is that houses are erected for members by public utility societies. There is an increase of £10 to be availed of because there is a public utility society in the area. The applicants avail of that society, particularly because in the majority of cases it issues credit notes to enable them to start the work and to complete it. In the case of a three-roomed house a grant of £135 is available from the Local Government Housing Grant. The Minister's proposal is to increase that sum by £15, and so on, up to the five-roomed house. In each case the valuation of £15 is the same.

Another very serious aspect of building in the Gaeltacht is the difficulty of securing materials. In the past, a combined purchase or contract system enabled those who wanted to erect houses under these Acts to get the materials. I do not see any provision in that respect. I am sure the Minister will be able to tell the House that that system will continue because otherwise this Act will not be effective. The persons whom it is proposed to benefit would not be in a position to purchase the materials except in that way.

There are some other points which I should like to raise now but which, I think, would be more appropriate on the Committee Stage.

To sum up, I should like the Minister, before the Committee Stage if possible, to give me the answers to the questions I have asked. How many houses have already been erected? How many houses, in the Department's opinion, are still required in the Gaeltacht areas and will he be prepared to drop his proposal to depart from the valuation basis? Will the Minister, if he is satisfied that the provision is not already sufficient, increase the grants and have it incorporated in the Bill as in the 1939 Act and all the other Bills passed in connection with this matter of making provision for these people in regard to erecting their piggeries and poultry-houses?

Two points have been stressed by Senator Hawkins to which I desire to direct attention. In one instance, I am in agreement with the Senator, but, in the other, I differ very considerably from him. Where he dealt with the question of the grant being related to rateable value, I am in agreement with him. I cannot understand why a person living in the Gaeltacht, with property of a poor law valuation of £100, £50 or £30, should get a larger grant when building a house than the person a couple of hundred yards on the other side of the border between the Gaeltacht and non-Gaeltacht area, with the same valuation. It seems to me that the special provision which has been made for a number of years in respect of the Gaeltacht was made on the assumption that you were dealing with very poor people, people with limited incomes, people with small holdings, people who normally would never be able to accumulate sufficient money to build their own houses or provide buildings for their domestic animals. When, however, you come to deal with a person who has a considerable holding of land with a valuation of £25, £30, £40 or £50, you are dealing with a person who is at least as well able to provide his own house as the people with similar valuations in the non-Gaeltacht areas. I think, therefore, that the whole case which has been made for special privileges, special grants for the Gaeltacht areas, is destroyed by this departure from the test of rateable valuation.

As a matter of fact, I am wondering whether there is any case at all for a special department to deal with the Gaeltacht areas, and this is where I differ from Senator Hawkins with regard to the second point. He is distressed because applications will be made for grants for the erection of piggeries and other out-offices to the Department of Agriculture. What is wrong with that? What is wrong with the Department of Agriculture that it could not administer the entire services for agriculture in Ireland and for the people who live by agriculture? I cannot see any case for the maintenance of a special department for the Gaeltacht, particularly now when the test of rateable valuation goes, to distinguish it from the rest of the country. I think that what has happened is that we have grown up to accept the conception of the congested district and the Congested Districts Board, and that, because there was a special assignment of the Gaelic fringe on the western seaboard to a special body for special consideration by the British Government, we have decided to continue it for the past 25 or 26 years. The same practice has been continued of having a particular Department dealing with the conditions of land holders in the Gaeltacht areas to distinguish them from land holders in neighbouring districts and, in fact, in some cases in the same county.

I think West Cork is one of the Gaeltacht areas, but I believe North Cork is not, and I can never know which is West Cork and which is North Cork at certain points. I am not now reflecting on Cork people, but merely on the manner of sub-dividing the county for electoral purposes. The town of Macroom has changed hands, as between one constituency and another, five or six times since this State was established, and I do not know whether the town of Macroom becomes a Gaeltacht or a non-Gaeltacht area with all the changes in the electoral boundaries, but it could easily happen. It is just as sensible as many other things that do happen. I am unable to appreciate the reason why there should be a special Department, special machinery with special staff, very largely duplicating what is being done in the Department of Agriculture, for this area of West Cork, so that it will be distinguished from North Cork, South Cork and East Cork, all of which areas adjoin it, when dealing with the problem of the land holder.

I feel strongly that the country should be treated as a unit. If provision is made for grants for houses and for grants for piggeries and other out-offices they should be based on some principle which is common to the country as a whole. If, as Senator Hawkins said, and I accept his view, the smaller the valuation, normally the poorer the occupier, and therefore the greater the need for larger grants— I agree with that—why should it be applied in Mayo and not in Leitrim, and it should be applied merely in West Cork and not in South Cork? The whole system of dealing with the Gaeltacht areas should be reviewed from that angle. I do not suppose that this is the appropriate time to deal with it, but I differ from the view Senator Hawkins takes with regard to grants being made available for piggeries and other outhouses from the Department of Agriculture, and I agree with the view expressed by the Minister and inscribed in the Bill.

I am not quite sure what kind of contractors Senator Hawkins had in mind when he spoke of contractors who cleared up all their outfit and deserted the countryside once a house was built, because the fellows I know who build houses—labourers' cottages for the county councils, Land Commission houses and other houses of that kind in the west of Ireland—are usually small farmers from the neighbourhood, fellows who are fairly handy. Such a contractor is not always a member of a recognised builder's union or the appropriate trade union for his craft, because he has several crafts. He is builder, bricklayer, stone mason, plasterer and carpenter; he does all the jobs. That is the type of fellow who usually takes a contract for a great number of these houses. He is in the neighbourhood and he does not clear away. We must also remember that these houses are not 50 feet high and do not involve the use of the kind of scaffolding or machinery which a builder in Dublin would use if he were building a cathedral, for instance. I do not think there is much reason for grumbling on that score.

The other point the Senator dealt with, in passing, was the advantages to be derived from the utility society. I think these advantages are mythical. I happen to know instances in the country, particularly in the early days after the enactment of the 1932 Housing Act, where the local builders' provider formed a utility society, paid £1 and got it registered, and all the fellows who wanted houses or wanted houses reconstructed were his members. He drew the cash and dealt with the Department and the fellow who was going into the house did not know much about what was happening. If I am not making a great mistake, the then Minister for Local Government expressed disapproval on one or two occasions at that system. I know it existed and that a utility society in a great number of cases—I do not say all —was very largely a camouflage put up by the local builders' provider, who very often was contractor, builders' provider and utility society, he was everything in the show and captured all the cash. I do not know whether he gave good value or not, but that is not the point. The real point is that there was not a utility society in the sense in which we understand it. I would urge that the Minister, in giving these grants, should ensure that, so far as his resources permit, the grants will go actually to the pockets of the people for whom they are intended.

I wonder if I would be allowed to make an explanation to Senator Duffy? I think he has made a very serious charge against utility societies, and against——

Against some of them.

——the merchants who have, in one way or another, been connected with these societies. I can say safely here in this House, from experience, that were it not for the encouragement, assistance and cooperation of the merchants with the utility societies, there would be very few houses built in rural Ireland to-day.

My intervention is just to obtain a little clarification. We all know that this Bill is to deal with the Gaeltacht proper. Senator Duffy has nibbled at this point. In Clare, while it is not regarded as the Gaeltacht proper, there is more than half the county scheduled as Breac Ghaeltacht or Fíor Ghaeltacht. The same applies in West Kerry and West Cork. I do not know if the area so described will come under this Bill and get the same facilities that the Gaeltacht proper is entitled to under it.

I was glad to hear that Senator Hawkins, in his opening, apparently welcomed the Bill, but I confess that anything he had to say afterwards made me feel that to him the Bill was unwelcome. It should be the first duty of the House to welcome the Minister to it, as I think it is his first visit. We all feel glad that he has come with an olive branch, even though that has not stirred the enthusiasm on our left that one might expect.

The Bill is a very small, self-contained measure, and the Minister has had the privilege of introducing it, because his predecessors did not do so. Why did they not do so? It struck me, when Senator Hawkins was making his demand for information, that most of his queries were queries which should have been put to the Minister's predecessor in office. He complains about what the Minister is taking through this Bill from the people in the Gaeltacht. The truth about it is that the people in the Gaeltacht are at a disadvantage in the matter of housing to-day as against the rest of the country. The Minister is trying to do something to level it up and he has done the job of levelling up rather well. In justice, when we have a Minister of State concerned about the people in the Gaeltacht, we ought to welcome this wholeheartedly and applaud the Minister for what he is doing. I do not think one of the arguments which Senator Hawkins attempted to make would hold water.

I do not know everything about the Gaeltacht, but I know a little about it. I was a member of the commission in 1925 and, if I mistake not, the subsequent Housing Act of 1929 was introduced as a result of some recommendations made by that commission, of which I had the privilege of being a member. I do not know what has been done for housing in the interregnum between the 1929 Act and the introduction and passage of these other Acts. Senator Hawkins ought to know more about that than I; in fact, he ought to know more about it than the Minister. He should be able to tell this House what was done under the 1934 Act and how many houses were built and what was spent.

Seven thousand houses.

In the Gaeltacht?

That can be checked up. I do not know.

Fifty-eight under the 1929 Act.

The figure was 3,760.

The Minister says that 3,760 is the total number. Senator Hawkins' information should be as complete.

There was £785,000 spent on 300 houses.

It is only 100 per cent exaggeration, but I am not surprised, as we are accustomed to that.

The actual figure is 3,760 new houses built and 2,698 existing houses improved.

Senator Duffy agreed with one view that was expressed by Senator Hawkins, and he cited what might happen in North Cork and East Cork, but as far as the area affected by this Bill is concerned the areas will not be spoken of as North Cork or West Cork or Connemara or Donegal, but as Gaeltacht areas. I understand the Gaeltacht areas are fairly specifically described, on recommendations based on the Gaeltacht Commission Report, which did not take into account Parliamentary areas as they existed then or as they were visualised in the imagination of Fianna Fáil in later years.

Much was done under the 1929 Act, a certain amount was done under succeeding Acts, and now the Minister is carrying on the work. He has available to him the additional grant he is providing himself and the unspent portion, what remained over from previous grants, making a total of £240,000. That is a fair sum of money. Senator Hawkins calculates he is going to build 600 or 700 houses. Apparently, he is going to make them all 5-roomed houses, according to my mathematics. Anyhow, it does not matter whether it is 600 or 1,000, while the problem of the proper housing of people in the Gaeltacht remains, it is a problem that cries out for solution. The Minister is doing a great deal by increasing the amount available by loan. Senator Hawkins makes a comparison between what is happening in the rest of the country and what can be procured from county councils. I think he will find that the moneys available for applicants to county councils for loans to build houses are comparatively small. Certainly, it is very small in my county, where I am a member of the county council. The truth is, this Bill had to be introduced because those who introduced other Housing Acts appeared to have forgotten the Gaeltacht.

Why were not these proposals embodied in the other Act? Why was it left to the present Minister?

When was the Act passed?

It was introduced early in 1947.

No, in 1948 and your Government came into office on February 18th, 1948. There was no time between the passing of the Act and the general election.

If the Senator's Party were interested in the Gaeltacht it is obvious, when there is talk about people leaving the country, that houses would have been provided for them. As far as these people were concerned they were lost sight of, while the better-off classes were looked after owing to the operations of utility societies. The present Minister brought these proposals before the Oireachtas so that the condition of the people in the Gaeltacht would be brought up to the level that exists in other parts. The Senator was only trying to make a case against these proposals. Is it not time that some sense in that respect was displayed? He suggested that the grants should be larger. Coming as I do from rural Ireland, I should like to see grants of all kinds larger, but the whole trouble is to find the money. When we are asked to pay we do not like it. It is easy to make demands. While studying the case made by the Senator I heard him ask the reason why the cost of erecting houses in the Gaeltacht was greater. If there is any place where the output per man would be greatest one would imagine that it would be in the Gaeltacht. When I was coming into Leinster House last week I stood in amazement at what some working men in Dublin were trying to do. I called a couple of other people to have a look. I saw one man "picking" with a shovel, lifting clay about one foot off the ground and throwing it down, and then another man with a shovel picked up that clay and put it into a barrow. That is the truth. Senators coming into the House could see it.

What part of rural Ireland did they come from?

I do not know; they were no credit to it. That is the sort of thing that goes on, and that makes the cost of housing high. I hoped that there would be little of that in the Gaeltacht. I do not believe it could happen there. While it is true that the cost of materials is high, I believe that the labour content is the major factor in raising the cost of housing. I suggest to Senator Hawkins that if suitable labour is available in any place it should be in the Gaeltacht.

More cheaply?

As to cheapness I am thinking of output per man per day. As the persons I referred to had their coats on and wore collars and ties, they would not be much use for work in the country.

Probably for the Hospice for the Dying.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

Senator Baxter should be allowed to proceed without interruption.

I am trying to meet the case that Senator Hawkins made as to this Bill being unfair to the Gaeltacht. There are skilled men in the Gaeltacht who can turn their hands to anything. They can dig, make foundations, put in windows, put on slates and build chimneys. That is the type of worker that we want to cultivate, and rather than decrying it, Senator Hawkins should be proud of it. I am prepared to go further than that, although it may not please some people, and say that what we hope to have are workers with an all round capacity. I would be proud of the work of men in the Gaeltacht, just as I would be very annoyed if anyone told me that I was not using the skill that God gave me, in the right way. If I was not free to do what I considered to be the right thing in the place I was in, I would move to some place else, even to the wilds of the Gaeltacht.

Senator Hawkins, referring to the repeal of Section 5, stated that this Bill takes away the power to make grants for poultry-houses and piggeries. Surely that is the concern of the man who is going to build? If he is going to get more money under the scheme operated by the Minister for Agriculture, he would be unwilling to build under a scheme where the grant was smaller.

Why should the grant be smaller?

I do not know if the Senator has experience of these schemes. When we start to rebuild farmyards, cowsheds, poultry-houses and piggeries we will want to have the plans well considered so that they will be applicable to conditions as we find them. In my view the Department of Agriculture should deal with that aspect. I think the officials of that Department are the most competent to determine the type of buildings to be erected. They are the people to give advice there and not the Department of Local Government. I do not think that inspectors from the Department of Local Government should be asked to give advice on poultry-houses and piggeries. The poultry instructresses advise farmers in such matters. They have experience and know far more about such matters than highly qualified architects in the Department of Local Government or the Board of Works.

I do not know if Senator Hawkins was serious in his other reference. The Senator talked about the disadvantage a farmer would be under, when the house was erected, concerning the removal of equipment. I do not know if he was referring to shovels, picks and trowels, seeing that no lifts are necessary for houses of this type. In the main the erection of these new houses is only starting. The scheme under the Department of Agriculture will be brought in at an early date and will, probably, be in operation before houses that come under the control of the Department of Lands are erected. There is no point in the Senator's argument there, and I am sure that he now sees the futility of it. I feel that under this Bill the Minister is making a contribution towards better living conditions in the Gaeltacht. The problem remains of trying to keep people in the Gaeltacht. People have been leaving it from one generation to another. That is understandable. Lines of communication have been maintained between people who have left 30 to 50 years ago. They leave during harvest and come back for the winter and spring. Any hope we have of keeping people there is by improving living conditions. The provision of better homes will be a major contribution.

In regard to the point that has been made as to the question of valuations being dispensed with as a test, that is a test about which I always feel rebellious. A man with a £5 valuation will get a certain grant. For instance, if he had £5 valuation he got £90 grant and if he had a valuation of £5 5s. he got only £85, and so on. The valuation that was put on his place many years ago is the determining factor. That valuation bears no relation to present value. It is not a fair or equitable test. If a new valuation was put on there might be some case for it but, on the whole, conditions of living for the great majority of the people are so much alike that these differentiations reflect no credit on the State or on anyone. If you want to dispense justice and deal out a little charity you will not judge by a difference of 5/- in valuation. If the State is going to help and will make a contribution to better conditions in rural districts, the sooner we reach the stage where it will be done because it ought to be done and because if it is not done by the State it would not be done at all, the better. In my judgment that should be the test. When our Minister for Agriculture introduces his scheme I hope he will not measure out the amount of relief by way of grant for poultry houses or piggeries by the valuations.

Ar eagla go mbéadh díombáidh ar Senator Baxter, ba mhaith liom a rá gur maith liom an Bille a bheith ann. Is fearr ann ná as é. Is fearr deireannach ná go brách é. Rinne an tAire a dhicheall, agus d'éirigh go maith leis, míniú a thabhairt dúinn ar céard atá ins an mBille, ach sílim go mba deacair uair níos feiliúnaí d'fháil ná an uair seo le go ndéanfadh an tAire céanna atá i bhfeidhil na Gaeltachta léargas éigin ar scéal na Gaeltachta agus cad na taobh gur thug sé an Bille seo isteach agus cé acu an dóigh leis go socróidh an Bille seo ceist achrannach na Gaeltachta agus cé acu an dóigh leis go ndéanfaidh an Bille seo leigheas ar an scrios atá déanta ag a chomh-Airi ar an nGaeltacht sa mblian atá caite. Shílfeá, an tAire atá i bhfeidhil na Gaeltachta, go mb'fhiú dó innsint dúinn céard é méid na deacrachta ins an nGaeltacht. Caithfidh go bhfuil tuairim réasúnta aige ar cé mhéid teach atá déanta sna blianta atá caite faoi na hAchta éagsamhla; caithfidh go bhfuil fhios aige cé mhéid teach atá cóirithe nó deisithe no feabhsaithe faoi na hAchta céanna. Caithfidh go bhfuil tuairim aige faoi céard atá ar intinn ag an Rialtas i dtaobh na Gaeltachta, ciacu an mbeidh daoine sa nGaeltacht nó nach mbeidh do réir an pholasaí atá leagaithe amach acu.

Tá faoi bhun £250,000 le caitheamh faoin mBille seo, cuid de ag teacht isteach ó na h-Achta atá ag dul as feidhm anseo. Cé mhéid teach a déanfar ag an airgid sin? Níl fhios agam. B'fhéidir, nach ndéanfaí níos mó ná 700 nó 750. Do réir mar atá an scéal ag imeacht san nGaeltacht níorbh fhiú teach eile a dhéanamh ann. Caithfidh go bhfuil fhios ag an Aire 'na Dháil-Cheantar fhéin go bhfuil an glas curtha ar níos mó ná aon doras amháin agus muintir an tí sin bailithe leo as an tír ar fad. Agus an rud is measa faoin sórt sin imirce— nuair d'imíodar san am atá caite bhí paidir ar a mbéal go bhfillfhidís, ach an mhuintir atá ag imeacht inniu is mallacht atá ar a mbéal acu.

Shílfeá go n-innseodh an tAire dúinn agus an saol atá ann, má tá crosbhóthar ann. Ní hionann an saol inniu agus an saol sa mbliain atá caite. Tá mé cinnte den méid seo, dá mbeadh Aire de lucht Fhianna Fáil ann, go gceapfadh sé go mba é a dhualgas go dtiúradh sé léargas éigin do mhuintir na Gaeltachta agus do mhuintir na tíre i dtaobh stad na Gaeltachta agus faoi céard atá i gceann an Rialtais le feabhas a chur air nó le deireadh a chur leis.

B'fhéidir go gceapann an tAire nach bhfuil móran baint ag an méid atá mé a rá leis an mBille. B'fheidir go gceapann sé nach fiú agus nach ceart tagairt a dhéanamh do Roinn na Gaeltachta agus Bille den tsórt seo ós ár gcomhair. Chuala mé an Seanadóir Baxter agus é ag canadh poirt i dtaobh na Gaeltachta. B'fhearr dó cloí leis an bport atá de ghlanmheabhair aige, port na talmhaíochta atá tógtha amach againn ins an bhlian atá caite. Nuair chuals mé an Seanadóir Baxter á rá go mba mhaith leis go bhfeicfeadh sé cuid de sheirbhísí na Gaeltachta faoin Aire Talmhaíochta, shíl me gur chuala mé an rud is éadóchasaí a d'fhéadfainn a chloistéail i dtaobh na Gaeltachta nó i dtaobh scéal ar bith—go mbéimid ag súil le haon rud fónta o'n Aire Talmhaíochta i dtaobh na Gaeltachta—an fear gurb é a thuairim gurb é leas na tíre dá n-imíodh fiche duine óg as gach duine is fiche i gcéin; fear a cheap gur cheart an beartas a rinneadh ar mhaithe le dream áirithe san Iarthar agus san Tuaisceart, chun iad a chur ar a leas, chun deis saothruithe agus deis mhaireachtála a thabhairt dóibh, a bhriseadh; fear a rinne an oiread is a rinne an tAire Talmhaíochta chun drochmheas a tharraingt ar na daoine sin, é á mholadh dhúinn sa Seanad sa lá atá inniu ann cuid de sheirbhísí tábhachtacha na Gaeltachta fhágáil faoi Aire na Talmhaíochta.

Ba cheart don Aire, agus an Bille seo á thabhairt isteach aige, léargas a thabhairt dhúinn ar scéal na Gaeltachta. Cé mhéid tithe atá riachtanach; céard is dóigh leis a tharlós faoin mBille seo maidir leis an líon daoine sa nGaeltacht agus le deis mhaireachtála a thabhairt don líon daoine sa nGaeltacht? Is léir nach bhfuil tuigsint ró-chruinn aige faoin méid tithe atá tógaithe sa nGaeltacht nó cé mhéid scéim atá ann atá ag freastal ar an nGaeltacht maidir le tithe. Tá Achtanna na Gaeltachta ann agus bhí tithe á dtógáil faoi na Rialtais Aitiúla, faoin mbardas agus faoi na comhairlí condae, faoi Choimisiún na Talún agus, mar a mhínigh an Seanadóir Hawkins, tógtar tithe faoi Public Utility Societies. Cé mhéid teach atá déanta faoi na scéimeanna seo go léir? Cé mhéid teach a rinneadh agus a deisíodh faoi Acht 1929 agus cé mhéid teach a rinneadh agus a deisíodh faoi Acht 1934? An Seanadóir Baxter agus an chaint a bhí ar bun aige! “Much was done under the 1929 Act and something was done under the other Acts.” B'fhiú dó tuairisc a chur ar céard a rinneadh faoi na hAchtanna sin. Is cuma liomsa cé na hAchtanna a rinneadh an obair fúthu, ach an mbeadh, aoinne ag súil le cleas mar sin chun cur in iúl dúinn gur faoi Acht 1929 a rinneadh an obair go léir sa nGaeltacht agus nar dearnadh tada faoi na hAchtanna in a dhiaidh sin? An mbeadh aoinne ag súil le na leithead sin de chaint ó dhuine a ligeas air gur duine ciallmhar agus gur duine stuama é?

Is maith liom an Bille seo a bheith ann agus sé an fáth gur maith liom go speisialta é a bheith ann mar go bhfeictear dhom gur comhartha é go bhfuil ciall éigin tagaithe i lucht an Rialtais i dtaobh na Gaeltachta. Rinneadh faillí chomh mór agus comh fada sin sa mBille seo go raibh an tuairim cinnte buan tagaithe chugam fhéin agus chuig muintir na Gaeltachta gur cheap muintear an Rialtais más torthaí exotic trátaí gur cine exotic muintear na Gaeltachta agus dá luaithe a díbríodh as an tír iad sé abfhearr. Ach tuigeann siad anois go bhfuil croí agus anam sna daoine sin agus go bhfuil ceartas ag na daoine sin agus is maith ann é. Chuir an Seanadóir Baxter, agus é ag ionsaí an Seanadóir Hawkins, ina a leith go ndearna Rialtas Fhianna Fáil faillí i muintir na Gaeltachta. Tá mise ag rá anois leis an Seanadóir Baxter agus leis an Aire atá i bhfeighil na Gaeltachta go dtiocfaidh siad lá ar bith, bíodh sé luath nó mall, ós comhair muintir na Gaeltachta leis an scéal fhágáil fúthu agus níl amhras orm faoin mbreith a thiúraidh siad faoi cé sheas dhóibh agus cé nár sheas. Ceapann an Seanadóir Baxter go bhfuil cuid againn ar a nós fhéin agus gur dóigh linn nach bhfuil sa nGaeltacht ach ainm; ceapann sé go bhfuil cuid againn ar a nós fhéin nach bhfaca é ón lá a bhí Coimisiún na Gaeltachta ar bun; ceapann sé nach bhfacamar daoine dá gcur i mbun oibre agus ag saothrú airgid mhaith, nach bhfacamar tithe ag dul suas dóibh agus an feabhas a bhí dá chur ar a saol sna blianta atá caite. Níl fhios ag an Seanadóir Baxter ach oiread leis an Aire atá i bfheighil na Gaeltachta an scrios marfach a rinneadh ar na mílte duine sa nGaeltacht san Iarthar, sa Deisceart agus sa Tuaisceart ó tháinig an Rialtas seo isteach. Rinneadh faillí, adeir siad, i muintir na Gaeltachta ach is beag údar cainte atá ag na daoine sin. Caithfidh nach bhfuil mórán tuisginte nó mórán meabhair acu nó ní chuir feadh siad caint astu mar a chuir an Seanadóir Baxter tráthnóna.

Chuir an Seanadóir Hawkins an cheist cé hiad na daoine a gheobhas buntáiste faoin mBille seo. Do réir mar a thuigeann muidne, ní bhfuighidh aon duine teach ach an duine go bhfuil teach aige, pé ar bith sórt tí é, cheana féin. Tá sé mar sin sa mBille seo agus fanfaidh sé mar sin sa mBille seo, ach ní dóigh liom, dá dtugadh an tAire cúram ceart don scéal, go bhfágfaí an scéal mar sin. Tá iarracht á dhéanamh sa nGaeltacht tionscail nua do chur ar bun. Tá sé riachtanach go mbeadh daoine ina gceardaithe, go mbeadh daoine i dTír Chonaill ag plé go lánaimseartha le fíodóireacht, le cleiteáil agus le fuáil agus sé an rud céanna é i gConamara; ta daoine ag plé le fíodóireacht agus le táilliúireacht. Tá monarchain ann dóibh; monarchain bheaga iad, ach monarchain, muna mbeadh tada eile ann, a thugann andóchas agus an-mhisneach do mhuintir na Gaeltachta. Tá monarchain mar sin sa Spidéal agus i mBaile na h-Abhann. Ta muid ag iarraidh ar na daoine le fada an lá dul ag plé le hiasgaireacht agus cloí le hiasgaireacht mar cheird mar caithfidh daoine bheith sa nGaeltacht. Caithfidh daoine cloí le siúinéaracht nó iompar a bheith acu nó lorries. Ba cheart go mbeadh ceardaithe ann agus seans acú cloí lena gceird ar leith. Má chuimhnimíd ar an rún a bhi againn go mbeadh muintir na Gaeltachta ag dul i líonmhaire, go mbeadh deis shaothruithe acu agus deis acu dul i líonmhaire, ba cheart seans a thabhairt do dhaoine nach feilméirí iad deontas a fháil agus buntáistí an Bhille seo a fháil chomh maith le daoine eile.

D'fhéadfaí a rá liom go bhfuil scéimeanna eile ann. D'fhéadfaí a rá liom go ndéanfar tithe do dhaoine eile seachas na feilméirí faoi scéimeanna eile. Tá a fhios agam é. Ach sin é an rún nach bhfuil mé sásta leis, ach oiread agus bheinn sásta go n-athraítear an scéim i dtaobh tithe na gcearc agus crónna na muc ó Roinn eile faoi Roinn an Aire Talmhaíochta. Is cuma liom cé thógann na tithe cónaí nó tithe na gcearc agus crónna na muc. Is é mo thuairim gur fearr i bhfad go mbeadh an scéal faoi aon Roinn amháin. Is fada ó fuaireamar é sin amach. Is fada ó fuaireamar amach, má's rud é g o ndéanfaí tairbhe nó maitheas do mhuintir na Gaeltachta, go mba cheart go mbeadh an scéim faoi Aire speisialta faoi aon Roinn amháin.

Is féidir leis an Roinn Talmhaíochta, gan amhras, tithe a thógáil. Is féidir leis an Roinn Rialtais Aitiúil tithe a thógáil sa Ghaeltacht. Tá a fhios sin agam, ach níl mé sásta gurb é sin an rud is fearr do mhuintir na Gaeltachta, gurb shin é leas na Gaeltachta. B'fhearr liomsa go mbeadh an Ghaeltacht leagtha amach mar cheist faoi leith agus go mbeadh aon Aire speisialta amháin i mbun na hoibre sin. Sin é an fáth go mba mhaith liom go mbeadh an obair sin ar fad—tithe do na daoine agus tithe le haghaidh ainmhithe—faoi aon Roinn amháin, 'sé sin, Roinn na Gaeltachta. Dá bhrí sin, tá mé ar aon aigne leis an Seanadóir Hawkins nuair adeir sé go mba chóir an chuid sin den Bhille a leasú. Níl mórán dóchais, is dócha, faoi sin anois, ach dá mbeadh an tAire sár-thuisceanach, thuigfeadh sé an scéal agus dhéanfadh sé amhlaidh.

Rinneadh tagairt do na buntáistí atá ag muintir na Gaeltachta thar mhuintir na n-acraí. Is maith liom go bhfuil deontais £25 sa mbreis ag dul dóibh thar mar atá ag dul do dhaoine eile, ach mar sin féin tá cuid mhaith den cheart sa méid a dúirt an Seanadóir Hawkins faoi sin. Ní hionann an saol atá inniu ann agus an saol mar bhíodh sé. Ní bheidh muintir na Gaeltachta i ndon tithe a thógáil sa tslí chéanna agus a rinne siad fadó. Tá fhios ag an Aire féin, b'fhéidir níos fearr ná ag mórán daoine eile, an imirce atá ar siúl ón nGaeltacht le blianta. Ní foláir nó go dtuigeann sé nach mbeidh cabhair le fáil sa Ghaeltacht sa tslí a mbíodh go nuige seo. Beidh ar na daoine atá ann díol as i bhfad níos daoire ná mar bhíodh, má tá an obair seo, tógáil tithe ceare agus crónna muc, le dul chun cinn. Tá na habhair gann agus daor, agus beidh sé deacair ar mhuintir na Gaeltachta taisteal fada go dtí an baile le haghaidh a gcuid abhar a dhéanamh pé uair a bheid ag teastáil uathu agus sa mhéid a bheid ag teastáil uathu.

Níl fhios agam arbh é an Seanadóir Baxter a bhí ag magadh nuair a dúirt an Seanadóir Hawkins go bhfuil ar mhuintir na Gaeltachta costaisí arda a dhíol as tógáil a dtithe. Cheapfadh aoinne go mbeadh níos mó eolas faoin scéal sin ag duine a bhí mar bhall de Choimisiún na Gaeltachta. Déarfadh innealltóir leo nach ceart dóibh dul go dtí an áit seo chun gainimh a bhailiú le haghaidh a dtithe—más maith leo teach réasúnta maith ba chóir dóibh dul níos faide ó bhaile, áit a bhfuil gainimh níos fearr le fáil. Is cuma, bíodh nach bhfuil ach ceann amháin i gceist, bíonn trioblóid agus cruacht agus costas orthu.

Tóg, mar shampla, muintir na n-oileán; oileáin Árainn agus na hoileáin eile. An gcuimhnimíd ar an stró a bhíos orthu dul agus b'fhéidir seachtain a chaitheamh i gcathair na Gaillimhe, ag iarraidh na huirlisí agus na rudaí eile a bhíonn uathu d'fháil? Seachtain iomlán a chaitheamh sa mbaile mór agus an costas agus an trioblóid atá ag gabháil leis sin! Cheapfadh duine go raibh bronntanas mór dá thabhairt do mhuintir na Gaeltachta ó bheith ag éisteacht leis an Aire ag caint mar gheall ar an £25. Tá sé go maith, ach caithfidh mé a rá nach bhfuil mé sásta, agus an saol mar atá sé gur leor é sin mar dhifríocht idir scéim do mhuintir na n-acraí agus scéim do mhuintir na Gaeltachta.

Tá rud eile le cur san áireamh ag an Aire nuair a bheadh sé ag maíomh as an difríocht de £25—más £25 é— agus is é sin go bhfuil daoine sa Gaeltacht faoi láthair, níos mó ná ag aon am eile sna 16 bliana seo caite, gan obair. Sna blianta atá imithe, bhí obair le fáil acu. Bhí siad cinnte go mbeidh suim áirithe airgid sa bhlian ag teacht chucu faoi na scéimeanna éagsúla, go háirithe scéim na móna. Níl an obair sin le fáil acu anois. Tá súil agam go bhfuil cuid den airgead sin, as an méid a fuair siad sna blianta atá caite, curtha i dtaisce ag cuid acu. Ach nuair a chuimhníos duine ar an saol a chaitheann siad, ní foláir nó nár éirigh leo aon rud a chur i leataoibh, ach oiread le daoine eile.

Tá rud amháin sa mBille agus cheapfadh duine gur rud an-thábh-achtach é. Tá deontas faoi leith, deontas ard, deontas níos aoirde ná an gnáth-dheontas, le fáil ag daoine atá ag tógáil tithe faoin tuaith in áit a bhfuil camraí agus píopaí uisce reatha. Cé mhéid áiteanna sa Ghaeltacht a bhfuil an scéal mar sin? Tá uisce reatha sa Spidéal agus i Ros Muc. Tá cúpla áiteanna mar sin in Iarthar na Gaillimhe ach cé mhéid áiteanna a bhfuil scéim chamraíochta ann? Is maith an t-Alt sin, ach ná ceapadh aoinne gur buntáiste mór don Ghaeltacht é.

Cuireann sé sin i gcuimhne dhom rud ba mhaith liom a chur faoi bhráid an Aire. Tá deontais airgid le fáil ag daoine, faoi scéimeanna éagsúla, chun tancaí uisce a thógaint—tancaí déanta de choncréid. Is trua nach bhfuil níos mó díobh sin á ndéanamh. Is é mo thuairim go mb'fhiú do dhuine atá i mbun scéimeanna le haghaidh tithe a thógháil sa Ghaeltacht ceist uisce a chur ar fáil sna tithe sin a scrúdú. Dob fhiú duine éigin, innealltóir, a chur i mbun na ceiste sin chun a fháil amach cén áit ba chóir an tanc a chur ar fáil— duine a thuigfeadh cén sórt píopaí a bheadh ag teastáil agus cén úsáid a bainfear as an uisce sin i gcúrsaí an tí, agus i gcúrsaí feilméireachta, agus cén úsáid a bainfi as an uisce sin maidir le losáin uisce agus a leithéidí sin, duine éigin a thuigfeadh scéal na Gaeltachta agus an riachtanas atá leis na rudaí sin agus a cheapfadh scéim réasúnta oibre maraon leis an gcostas a bheadh orthu agus a dhéanfadh iarracht éigin chun a leithéidí sin de scéimeanna a chur i bhfeidhm in éindigh le tógáil tithe. Má tá daoine ar an tuairim go bhfuil uisce reatha riachtanach, má tá daoine ar an tuairim, agus tá siad ar an tuairim, go bhfuil seirbhísí camraíochta riachtanach don Ghaeltacht chomh maith le haon áit eile, dob fhiú don mhuintir atá i bhfeighil seirbhísí tithe na Gaeltachta machnamh éigin a dhéanamh ar an gceist sin agus treoir éigin a thabhairt do na daoine ina thaobh. Luaigh mé é sin cheana—ní maidir le tithe ach i geás scoltacha, gur mór an trua nach bhfuil iarracht éigin á dhéanamh againn le hinseacht do na daoine cén chaoi a mbaineann na rudaí seo lena sláinte, cén chaoi a mbaineann siad le maitheas na f ilméireachta. Bíodh sin mar atá, tá súil agam ar aon chuma go mbainfidh na daoine, pé ar bith méid acu a bhfuil an misneach agus an dóchas acu dul i mbun tithe, feidhm as an mBille agus as na buntáistí atá le fáil faoi. Ba mhaith liom go meabhrófaí dóibh fhaid is bheadh tithe dá dtógáil, go bhféadfaidís feabhas mór a chur ar na tithe agus ar a saol ach feidhm a bhaint as na deontais atá le fáil i gcóir tancanna uisce.

Labhair mé i dtaobh scéal na dtithe éanlaithe agus scéal na muc. Ní raibh fúm mórán a rá faoi sin, má bhí fúm tada a rá faoi, mura mbeadh an tagairt a rinne an Seanadóir Hawkins sa méid a bhí le rá aige—rud a bhí ciallmhar. Tá mé go láidir ar an tuairim go bhféadfadh muintir na Gaeltachta a lán a dhéanamh dóibh féin ach go gcoinneoidís idir cearca agus muca i bhfad nios mó ná mar rinneadar go dtí seo. Chomh fada agus is féidir le haon duine amháin é sin a chur in iúl dóibh, agus chomh fada agus is féidir le haon duine amháin iad a theagasc i dtaobh buntáiste crónna na gcearc agus na muc, tá sé déanta agamsa. Tá súil agam d'ainneoin nach mbeidh an chabhair le fáil acu faoin mBille seo, go bhféachfaidh siad chuige go mbainfidh siad an chabhair amach pé ar bith caoi is féidir leo é d'fháil.

Is deacair a bheith an-mholtach mar gheall ar rud ar bith atá beartaithe ag an Aire i dtaobh na Gaeltachta, go mór mór nuair a chuimhníonn duine ar chomh cruaidh agus atá an saol ag muintir na Gaeltachta agus go háirithe ar an éadóchas atá ina gcroithe sin ón tuaisceart go dtí an deisceart. Déarfainn an méid seo le muintir na Gaeltachta: "Ní hé lá deiridh an tsaoil é." Biodh an misneach acu agus tiocfadh an lá go bhfuighidh siad seans mar bhí beartaithe dóibh agus mar bhí á fháil dóibh sna blianta atá caite. An oiread agus atá maitheas sa mBille, molaim é, agus an oiread agus atá maitheas sa mBille, molaim do mhuintir na Gaeltachta an oiread feidhme agus is féidir leo a bhaint as.

This Bill is essential and that ensures its acceptance by the House. The fact that it is a Money Bill prevents us making any important amendments to it. Yet I suppose we have the right to criticise it, and it has been criticised, but there is nothing in any of the criticism I have listened to which points to any fundamental defect in the Bill. The Bill does for the Gaeltacht what was not being done for the Gaeltacht by the Act of 1948 and what the earlier Gaeltacht Housing Acts did not do efficiently in modern conditions. The criticism has been made—I am not trying to take the Minister's job by answering these criticisms for him—that the grants for piggeries and hen-houses are withdrawn under this Bill; are not included in this Bill and are not brought up to the same level as the grants available from the Department of Agriculture. The fact that they are available from the Department of Agriculture, and that they are greater than the grants formerly available under the Gaeltacht Housing Acts, is sufficient reason for cancelling them in this Bill, and Section 5 repeals the two sections which dealt with piggeries and hen-houses. That is not to say that it is no longer possible for people in the Gaeltacht to build hen-houses and piggeries. They can get the grants and can get them at the full amount available to the people of any other part of Ireland.

That is the one defect that I see in the Bill as a piece of legislation—that it is special legislation for one part of the country. I think that, on a general matter like housing—I agree in this with some of those who have spoken— there should be a general policy and it should be generally applied.

If this Bill were intended, as it is not intended, to encourage the language, or to preserve the Irish culture and tradition, well and good, you might have a special Bill, but there is no bribe or inducement offered in this Bill to the people to speak Irish. They can build houses whether they will speak Irish or English in them and they can repair them, whether they speak Irish or English in them. I am against the principle of trying to bribe people to speak the language, just as I am against the principle of trying to coerce them into doing it. I should like to encourage them to do it. I do not think bribes should be held out, and Senator Hawkins did find fault with the Bill because it did not contain a bribe to the people to speak Irish and did not give them special consideration on the understanding that they would speak nothing but Irish in these houses, when built or reconstructed.

Although this Bill is belated, although it follows the Act passed last year for the rest of the country, it does give to the people of the Gaeltacht better facilities than are given to the rest of Ireland. The amount of the grant or loan here seems to me to be more attractive than those available in the urban areas under the Bill of last year. The Bill of last year makes available a maximum grant of £275 for a house, but it restricts the area to 1,250 square feet; but in this case there is no restriction. There can be five rooms and each room can be as big as you wish to make it and the house will qualify for the grant. Under this Bill, also, a loan is available.

This gives me an opportunity of talking about grants given for houses, and I find that the housing grants given under the Act of last year are practically useless to the people for whom they were intended, and I hope that the grants given under this Bill will not turn out to have the same illusory benefits. Any Senators who read the newspapers will discover that, instead of the grant of £275 made available by the Oireachtas to help people to purchase houses being used to their advantage, in some cases, I believe, it has merely been added to the previous price of the house. A house which cost £1,500 or £1,600 before that Act was passed, cost that, plus the amount of the grant after. Some builders did it openly, while others disguised it a little. I brought to the attention of the Minister for Local Government an advertisement of houses for sale in which the price was specified. I showed him the purchase price of the same house on the same site built by the same builder 12 months before, that price being £275 less. He could not say that the cost of materials and labour had gone up to that extent within 12 months. The Minister made inquiries and he supplied me with the reply he got. That reply was that the new house, though on the same site and of the same type, would be approximately 50 square feet bigger. When the builder found he could not get away with it, he said: "I will build a little further out," and he brought the front wall out a foot and charged £275 for it. Other builders advertise that the price of a house, even though it be the economic price—perhaps it is —is £1,600, plus £275. Therefore the actual price of the house is £1,875 and not £1,600, as would seem at first.

The reason they put it that way is that the grant was designed to enable people who had not got money to purchase houses by putting down a deposit, and what the builders and building societies are doing here in Dublin is robbing these people entirely of the benefit of the Government grant. The Government grant is subtracted from the price of the house, and the price to the purchaser is £1,600 with the grant already deducted. You cannot regard the grant as part of your deposit, and if you have not got £200 or £300 to put down, the Government grant does not help you. It was intended that the Government grant would help those people who had not got ready cash, but it does not help them in any way. Even if it does not put up the price of houses, it does not make it easier to purchase them. A building society will give an estimate of what they will advance on a house, and all the time left out of account is the Government grant, and in the end you find that the people who are supposed to be benefiting from the Government grant will have to put their hands into their pockets or into somebody else's pockets and find £200 or £300 deposit, or go without a house. The position now is that the grant of £275, plus the £200 or £250 which a man must find, means that the deposit on a house is £500, instead of the £100 or £200 it was before. So those fine business men who have such admirers and such heroic justifiers in this House will always find a way of getting around an Act.

One remark made by Senator Baxter was about the laziness of Dublin workers. If he knows anything at all about Dublin, he knows that most of the people working in Dublin on building schemes come from rural areas. From his description of them, we must assume that those people he saw came from Cavan. Senator Baxter has spoken of seeing a man taking a spoonful of clay on the point of a shovel and raising it a foot high and then letting it gently down again and the next man then starting on it. Senator Baxter was like the man in the parable in the Scriptures, who gathered his friends around him. He gathered them around him and stood looking at the men doing a little, while they did nothing whatever. Whatever the man was paid for shovelling clay, he was paid much less than Senator Baxter or his friends are paid as company directors and Senators.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

The Senator is getting away from housing.

Hear, hear!

If the workers of Dublin are brought into it, I have a right to defend the workers of Dublin. But for the workers of Dublin, whatever they get paid, we would not have men here like Senator Hayes, who now wants to throw mud on them, though it is through them that he is where he is to-day.

Why should Senator Hayes be brought into this argument?

Because the Senator said "hear, hear".

I said "hear, hear" when the Chair suggested that the Senator was wandering as he wandered very frequently and very maliciously.

You have wandered a good distance since I first knew you.

I should like to join with Senator Baxter in welcoming the Minister to the House on his first appearance. I am particularly glad, being a woman, that his first offering is a Housing Bill, and especially a Gaeltacht Housing Bill. I welcome the Bill as everyone has done, even those who criticise its details. Everybody in this House and in the other House has welcomed the Bill. I welcome it, not only for what it contains but for its implications. It proves that, whatever Government we have and no matter what change of Government comes, there still will persist the recognition that the Irish people have a responsibility towards the people in the Gaeltacht. Recognition of that responsibility is implicit in this Bill, in the increased grant for housing there in comparison with houses by the Land Commission or under local government, and for that reason I welcome the Bill.

I do not like to make a long speech, as this is a matter that requires technical knowledge which I do not possess; but I take the opportunity, which I hope the Minister will welcome, to make a suggestion to him. It is very important that we build a good type of house, well laid out and labour saving. That does not mean something like what you see in American magazines, with labour-saving devices. It means that a lot more common-sense could be applied to the building of houses, to the sort of fireplaces, and so on. The Minister knows the conditions very well and I hope he will look on the suggestion as a reasonable one. I hope that, before setting about the building, the architects might have consultations with some women who have great experience of life in the country.

In his own Department, there is one woman who has spent her life, since the Congested Districts Board days, helping people to go from their hovels to new houses. Her advice would be very useful on the lay-out of the house, fireplaces and cooking facilities. There are two or three women with extraordinary experience, enlightened women, and I hope it will not be out of order to mention them. Miss Mellett was born in the Gaeltacht and has great practical experience. Mrs. O'Donovan is another, and I am sure the Minister's colleague, the Minister for Education, would allow them into a conference with his architects, so that when they are building these houses they will be designed to help the women in their hard work.

I agree with what Senator Ó Buachalla said about tanks. It is very important to have proper water facilities. That need not cost very much, and the increased grant given for houses with sewerage and piped water would help towards the solution of a question that is very urgent in many parts of the country. We want our people, if they do live in the Gaeltacht, to live proper lives and have a proper standard. Unfortunately, the worst part of what is happening in the Gaeltacht now is the number of women who are leaving. We have often heard of the want of man-power, but far more tragic is the want of woman power. If we can stem that drift by providing proper houses, it will be work well done.

It is not a question of spending a lot of money, but one of spending a lot of thought. That is what we want, and I hope that the Minister, who is a countryman himself and knows the conditions of the people, and knows what will suit them, will do as I have ventured to suggest. I hope he will call into consultation some of the women who have great practical and great social experience, and bring them into a council when he is planning the new houses. I am sure our colleague, Senator Miss Butler, would be very glad to preside at a little meeting which the Minister might call. I make that suggestion very diffidently and I hope the Minister will welcome it.

I wish to thank Senator Baxter for welcoming me to the House, and also other Senators who have been helpful, particularly Senator Mrs. Concannon, who made some very useful, as well as constructive suggestions. That is the type of suggestion we want, because the best of Ministers and the best of Departmental officials cannot envisage every detail that would produce perfect legislation. It is very pleasant to every Minister to be met with constructive suggestions in both Houses.

Senator Hawkins asked for certain figures. Under the Housing (Gaeltacht) Acts, 3,760 new houses were built, and 2,698 improved. 6,029 new poultry-houses were built, and 510 were improved. 3,009 new piggeries were built and 1,092 improved. Quite a number of Senators were confused on the definition of "Gaeltacht areas." Senator Baxter explained the position as it exists in the Schedule of the 1929 Act. That has not been changed. Senator Honan was interested in the position of County Clare. There are 79 electoral divisions in County Clare in the Gaeltacht area, and they will qualify under the Act.

They are included in the Breac-Ghaeltacht?

They may or may not be. These electoral divisions are determined principally by the percentage of Irish speakers in them.

Under the Gaeltacht Commission a map was published with the areas marked red and yellow. I think those with the yellow mark indicated the Breac-Ghaeltacht. I take it that the Breac-Ghaeltacht is entitled to grants under the Housing Act.

In order to make the position clear, all the various electoral divisions under the 1929 Act are based on the fact that 25 per cent. or more in the area are Irish speakers. That was the position when the map which has been referred to was used by the Gaeltacht Commission in 1926. It is quite possible that the areas have now changed and that the percentage of Irish speakers has changed. If there was a check at the present time, perhaps, some of the areas that qualified then, by having 51 per cent. or more of native speakers, might not do so now. That would, of course, change the position, while other areas that did not qualify then might qualify now. Senators who have any doubts on the question will find it explained in the Schedule to the Act of 1929.

Senator Hawkins thinks that this Bill is not generous enough. Neither do I. The Bill is not as generous as I should like it to be. Senator Baxter dealt fully with that matter. We should like not only to give the full cost but to give a free gift of money in these cases if we had money to spare. The trouble is that we have to do the best we can with available resources. These proposals are not all that we should like them to be, just as the Local Government Housing Act of 1947 was not everything that the Fianna Fáil government at the time or the Opposition would have liked it to be. We are very anxious that the Gaeltacht, above any other part of the country, should not suffer, but get any benefits that are going. Even though the differential between the grants under this Bill and grants under the Local Government Act has been criticised in this House, the position, nevertheless, is the best that we can make it.

The fact that the compulsory erection in some cases of piggeries and poultry-houses is not enforced under this Bill caused a certain amount of criticism. May I explain that there is a very liberal measure available for having such cases dealt with by the Minister for Agriculture? That measure gives much more than we are giving. I cannot see what would be gained by having a matter, which is one for the Department of Agriculture, dealt with by a separate section of another Department. It could be argued that our officials could do it, but the experience, even of our predecessors, has been that the compulsory erection of poultry houses and piggeries actually impeded the erection of dwelling-houses. When this Bill becomes law we want applicants to get houses built as quickly as possible.

Senator Mrs. Concannon wisely mentioned that, when building houses, care should be taken to see that good houses were provided, and, secondly, that labour-saving devices were installed. I agree with Senator Mrs. Concannon, that the lack of such amenities has contributed fairly considerably to the flight from the land. There is a good deal of drudgery in country life owing to the lack of hot and cold water and electric light, I am sorry to say, in country houses. These amenities should be made available to people living in the country, particularly in the Gaeltacht. This is an age of improvement, and we are moving on.

I will give full consideration to the suggestions made by Senator Mrs. Concannon as regards consulting women about designs, so as to make life in the home more pleasant. If we can provide some useful designs I can assure all Senators that their suggestions will be conveyed to the Minister for Local Government in the hope of embodying them also in the other housing schemes.

Debate adjourned.

I should like to inform the House that the Local Loans Fund Bill was passed in the Dáil to-day and that the Seanad will meet to-morrow to consider that Bill.

Business suspended at 6 p.m. and resumed at 7 p.m.

I was speaking of possible improvements to dwelling-houses. I will have the suggestions put forward by Senator Mrs. Concannon examined with a view to seeing what can be done about them because I am in favour of them.

A good deal of play was made about the fact that poultry-houses and piggeries will not be erected under this Bill. A good deal of pressure was brought to bear on me in the Dáil to have that function reinserted in the Bill, but I could not agree because experience in the Department has proved that it had a delaying effect on the erection of dwelling-houses. Under the 1929 Act, which was not repealed, we could not, without consulting the Department of Agriculture, erect either poultry-houses or piggeries for these people. It has been said that the fact that an applicant for a new dwelling-house must apply to another Department for a grant to erect out-offices will entail a good deal of trouble, bother and, possibly, irritation. There is an element of compulsion contained in Section 7 of the 1929 Act that has not been repealed. Section 7, sub-section (1) says:-

"No building grant or improving grant shall be made under this Act in respect of a dwelling-house in respect of which a grant out of public moneys is being or has at any time within seven years before the passing of this Act been made under any other Act of the Oireachtas or any British statute.

(2) No building grant or improving grant shall be made under this Act towards the erection or the improvement or extension (as the case may be) of a dwelling-house unless either—

(a) there is in existence or will be provided with the aid of a grant under this Act or otherwise accommodation for domestic poultry ancillary to and suitable and sufficient in the opinion of the Minister for such dwelling-house, or

(b) the Minister is of opinion that, having regard to all the circumstances, the occupier of such dwelling-house could not be expected to keep domestic poultry."

There is a similar paragraph dealing with piggeries. There is only one relieving clause—paragraph (h) of sub-section (3), which says:—

"The Minister is of opinion that, having regard to all the circumstances, the occupier of such dwelling-house could not be expected to keep pigs."

In that case our official had to consult with an official of the Department of Agriculture and to take the advice of such official as to whether the applicant for a dwelling-house should be relieved of the necessity of erecting a poultry-house and piggery. The grant was small in that case and the grants at present available from the Department of Agriculture are liberal. All Senators, regardless of political affiliation, would like to see the grants bigger. Nevertheless the grants at the present time are about four times as great as the old grants. Surely that meets the situation. In addition, the Department of Agriculture will give immediate attention to any application for an out-office by an applicant for a dwelling-house under this Act. That should meet the case and that should set the minds of Senators at rest. They must know that I have no desire to curtail any of the benefits enjoyed by these people under any previous Act. What I want under this Bill is that I should be a free agent to erect dwelling-houses, of the best possible type, at the shortest possible notice, for applicants in the Gaeltacht areas. That is the whole spirit of this Bill. I want to cut out as much red tape and trimmings as possible that may delay or hold up the erection of a dwelling-house. Every person in the House will agree with me when I say that these people deserve a great deal in the way of housing. The quality of their land in nearly all cases is poor. Their valuations are low and they are not well able to help themselves because their means of livelihood are limited as compared with people in other areas.

Senator Duffy was uneasy about the removal of the valuation test, if I might call it that, lest people with high valuations, £20, £30, £50— Senator Hawkins mentioned £100— would get a grant. Every single application must be sanctioned by the Minister and I cannot imagine any Minister, myself or anyone who would be in charge of Gaeltacht Services after me, sanctioning a grant for a person who is obviously wealthy enough to build a house out of his own pocket and who is mean enough to apply for a grant. I know perfectly well that Senators had visions of business people, for instance, with pretty stiff banking accounts applying for grants. They will not get away with it, as I will reject such applications. We want to give people in the Gaeltacht, Irish speakers, a neat, up-to-date dwelling-house and as good value as possible for their money, or, rather, for our money. There is no danger of any grant being made to a person who has already liberal means. I never came across even £20 valuations in the Gaeltacht, in Mayo or Galway.

Is there anything in the Bill to exclude such a person from applying?

No, but the application comes under the scrutiny of the Minister.

Then the Minister has the discretion——

The Minister has the discretion of ruling such a person out. Endless trouble and difficulty have been caused in the past through these applications. For example, I know a man, living in the Gaeltacht, who is alleged to have 11,000 acres of land, but his valuation is only £9. It is part of Ireland all right, but it cannot be described as land from an agricultural point of view. It is just a sheet of barren rock. There are no high valuations in the Gaeltacht, and very few of those people who have thatched houses or poor houses at the present time, and who want a grant, have a valuation exceeding £5. Every member of the House can set his mind at rest about that.

The reason why some of these things were dropped out was that we had the knowledge that we were not curtailing the grants in any way. With regard to poultry-houses and piggeries, the matter is the very same with regard to the Department of Agriculture, and I cannot imagine why the Act provided that it was absolutely necessary for a person to erect them along with a dwelling-house. A person in the Gaeltacht with limited means who applies for a grant to build a dwelling-house has enough on his hands for one year in erecting a dwelling-house and he will be very good if he is able to follow that up with a little out-office or two in the subsequent year. It was said that they have to apply to the Minister for Lands for a dwelling-house and to the Minister for Agriculture for out-offices. There are agricultural instructors in every part of the country within easy call of every person in the Gaeltacht and in the plains, and these agricultural instructors, I must say, are most courteous and anxious to help all the people with whom they come in contact. If people want a piggery or a poultry-house or a place for a horse, cows or calves, the agricultural instructors are at their command. They will fill up a form and send it off, and it will not entail any hardship, good, bad or indifferent.

I know the Gaeltacht fairly well. Some Senators come from the Gaeltacht and know I am speaking the truth when I say that. I do not like the implication that some of the things which were in the previous Bill are being left out to try to deprive the people of the Gaeltacht of something or other. They are not. We are anxious to give them a good dwelling-house in the shortest possible time with the least amount of red tape. The combined purchasing system which obtained under the old Acts will have the effect of buying materials for a house £20 to £40 per house cheaper, which means that this whole system is much better than that under the Local Government Act. We will arrange for the stuff to be purchased, and in case any Senator gets the idea into his head, or her head, as the case may be, that the benefit of the combined purchasing system will not apply for out-offices, we will arrange also that it will apply to the erection of out-offices. Senator Ó Buachalla mentioned the Aran Islands. Materials will be dumped in the Aran Islands for the people, every ounce of them. We will try to have it landed on the site for them, and arrange to have it purchased at the cheapest possible figure, which means an additional £30 or, I hope, £40 free grant.

The point was made that this Bill, like the other Acts, was only to replace existing dwellings. Such is the case, because almost all the Gaeltacht is a congested area. I think it was Senator O'Farrell who seemed to think that a congested area was a line drawn haphazardly to divide one portion of the country from another. There was a very hard and fast test applied by the Congested Districts Board, namely, that the number of inhabitants in a given area was divided into the poor law valuation of the area. The congested districts want all the attention they can get, even yet. Some areas have been very well relieved in the past by the Congested Districts Board and, since its abolition, by the Irish Land Commission, but a great deal remains to be done.

Some Senators were inclined to confuse the activities of the Land Commission and Gaeltacht housing. The Land Commission build their own houses either by giving a contract or by employing direct labour under the supervision of their own engineers. I should like to tell Senator Hawkins that there will not be any contractor and that there never was one in the case of the erection of Gaeltacht houses. Let me pay this tribute to the people there. While they may not have had the same opportunity as the people in the plains, and so forth, of becoming acquainted with tools and thus becoming handy, they built most of the houses themselves and from what I saw myself and from the reports in my Department they are excellent houses, and their out-offices are too. The result is that I believe that in the Gaeltacht areas to-day there are handy-men of the more advanced kind and hard workers. Mention was made of what certain Senators actually saw. Let me say that I believe that the people in the Gaeltacht are very probably the hardest workers in the country and, from the point of view of health and physique, they do not seem to be any the worse for it. We all admire a good, thorough-going, hard-working man. The people will build the houses themselves without contractors. I am proud to say that they are handy enough to build them. They have passed the test and, mind you, the test of our engineers is pretty stringent. We will not allow any bad work. Anybody who goes through Connemara or the Gaeltacht areas of Donegal, Mayo, Clare or any of the other counties, will find that every one of the houses is bright and well-built. Most of them are made from stone, and are excellently roofed. There is no danger of slates blowing off, and so on, and the same remarks apply to the out-offices.

Senators were anxious to know whether the present figure, the sum of £240,000 which will be available under this Bill, will be sufficient to complete the task. We do not believe that it will but we know that the present sum will build approximately 1,000 houses. We hope that more will be built because the anticipation is that the cost of building materials will go down rather than increase but even if the cost of building materials stays as it is we will build approximately 1,000 houses. I know quite well that the Houses of the Oireachtas that will be sitting in the days when the present money is spent will not have the slightest hesitation in voting a further sum to complete the project. I would say, although we have not any accurate figures, that almost as many more houses have to be built as have already been built. In other words, the job is only half-done. We are anxious to get on with the work and to give the people their houses as soon as possible. I believe that no matter what political Parties may be in the country in the days when this money will have been spent, the Dáil and the Seanad of the time will joyfully vote as big a sum to get on with the good work.

The question of the floor area was raised—whether the same 1,250 square feet of floor space will apply as applies under the Department of Local Government. I would point out that that is fixed by regulation of the Minister. We shall not be hard and fast; we shall not make it unworkable because of hidebound regulations. I do not believe in that. I believe a little leniency will be very good and I hope no Senator will be uneasy any longer on that score.

It has been said that the Bill should have been introduced some time ago. It should have been introduced long ago. It is not so easy to draft a Bill in such a manner as to be as near perfect as human ingenuity or brains can devise. The drafting of a Bill takes time. All I can say is that I did not lose any time in getting it under way since I came into office. I want to make it clear that the Bill was not in existence before I came into office, but at the same time I do not want to take this opportunity of throwing blame, because that would only engender bitterness and I do not want that. The whole object and spirit of the Bill is the erection of the houses as soon as possible. We are anxious to get on with the work.

I would say, in regard to poultry-houses and out-offices, that I feel the applicant, in the case of a dwelling-house, should not be tied down to erect them. We would rather leave the matter to himself. He may build the dwelling-house this year and if it is possible to improve on the designs that existed up to this, we will do so. I do not know what can be done in that regard, and I am making no promises, but we are anxious to build his dwelling-house first and, if he wants to keep poultry or pigs, then let him apply to the Department of Agriculture in that respect, but we do not want to compel him to build an out-office which he may not require. He will have every assistance from our inspectors if he wants it and he will have the full co-operation of the officials of the Department of Agriculture in regard to out-offices, in addition to the combined purchasing section to cover any out-office he may wish to erect. I do not think we can do much more. We are cutting out red tape. We are giving him the benefit of the agricultural grant for out-offices, and freedom to erect whatever out-office he may desire and we are giving him the benefit of the combined purchasing section to purchase the materials for his out-office as cheaply as those for his dwelling-house and, lastly, we want to do it speedily. If anybody can improve on that I should like to hear about it.

Question put and agreed to.
Agreed to take remaining stages to-morrow.