Central Fund Bill, 1949 ( Certified Money Bill )— Second and Subsequent Stages.

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

This Bill takes the form which is usual with regard to this type of legislation, with the exception of one section, Section 4, to which I direct special attention. It is designed to meet the new situation which has arisen on account of the moneys known as Marshall Aid which come to this country. The only arrangement so far made by statute in connection with these moneys is a section which was put into the Appropriation Act last year, whereby this money is to be put into an account in the name of the Minister for Finance which is to be held in the Central Bank. If no other statutory provision were made, that money would simply lie there under the control of the Governor of the Central Bank. Presumably, he would have power to invest, but I do not know exactly what these powers are and it has not been thought that the responsibility or the discretion with regard to making investments should rest there. Accordingly Section 4 is brought in.

In the end it amounts to this, that, according to sub-section (3), the Minister for Finance may, from time to time, pay into the fund which is to be established under the section such moneys as he desires to draw from the account which is now held in the Central Bank, and later, by sub-section (5), discretion is given to, and responsibility put upon, the Minister for Finance in that he may invest these moneys. The phrase used with regard to the investment is "that moneys that for the time being belong to the credit of the fund may be invested in any manner in which moneys of the Post Office Savings Bank are for the time being authorised by law to be invested." We have relied upon that phrase because the system under which the Post Office Savings Bank moneys are invested has been well known and the circumstances are probably familiar enough to Senators. In any event, it amounts to this, that these moneys may be invested in stocks, funds or securities of the Government of this country, securities guaranteed as to principal and interest by the Government of this country, trustee stock or securities of an Irish local authority or stocks, funds or securities of the Government of the United Kingdom. It means in the end that I will have complete discretion with regard to the picking of investments inside the range I have described.

The object of this is to ensure that, if that be thought desirable, these moneys will, so to speak, come into the Exchequer and may be then appropriated to whatever purposes moneys in the Exchequer may be devoted to. That would ordinarily mean that these moneys may be applied to anything which is backed by an Estimate passed through the Oireachtas or an investment which is set up under some piece of legislation. It is the intention that these moneys will be used, so far as we can make use of them, for productive purposes. The Marshall Aid moneys have been given in general for the rehabilitation of Europe. So far as this country is concerned, they have been supplied to us to enable us to make certain purchases at the moment which we could not do without certain dollar credits being given to us, but we have to fit the economy of this country into the new economy of Europe.

We have promised, in a plan which has been put before the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation, to aim at getting increased production, mainly on the agricultural side. We have, therefore, pledged ourselves publicly to achieve that increased production. It is quite clear that that increased production will not come of itself, and it is proposed to use whatever moneys may accrue to us from Marshall Aid, or some part of them, for aiding agriculture. In so far as that will mean a diversion of these moneys to such things as the reclamation scheme associated with the name of the Minister for Agriculture, that scheme has neither an Estimate upon which to found nor any legislation to control it, and either an Estimate or a piece of legislation will be necessary before that scheme can be put into operation.

The rest of the Bill merely relates to the moneys in respect of which a Vote on Account has already been taken. That Vote is in the usual form. It is a request for roughly one-third of the moneys which are in the Book of Estimates for the Supply Services. That has to be done at this part of the year because the individual Estimates have to be discussed in detail before they are passed, and, as that occupies many months in the early part of the year and the State services have to be provided for in the interim, this Vote on Account is taken in this way. The items which comprise this Vote of almost £23,000,000 are set out in the White Paper which has been circulated. The net sum required for the Supply Services for the coming year is £65,406,570, which shows a decrease of £6,394,728 on the net provision of £71,801,298 for the current year. That latter sum includes the Supplementary Estimates passed during the year and probably the comparison that will be easier to institute is between that figure of £65,406,570 and the figure on the face of the Book of Estimates last year, £70,520,477. The Book this year as compared with the Book last year shows a decrease of £5,113,907.

Of the Estimates, 38 show increases amounting to almost £3,750,000; 31 show decreases amounting to £9,483,346. Some of the Estimates show no change and this year no provision whatever has been made for four services which were in last year's Book of Estimates, namely, the grant under the heading of Athletics, which was £25,000 last year; Repayment of Trade Loan Advances, Alleviation of Distress in Europe and certain repayments to the Contingency Fund. The increases granted during the year to the Civil Service amount in a full year which has to be budgeted for to £700,000. These are now spread over the individual Estimates and account for the increases in quite a number of Estimates which show increases.

Some substantial increases are carried by certain Votes. The Public Works and Building Vote shows an increase of £250,000; Supplementary Agricultural Grants, £192,000; Widows' and Orphans' Pensions, £548,000; Fisheries, £87,000; Primary Education, £108,000; Lands, £107,000; Posts and Telegraphs, £327,000; Health, £330,000; and Old Age Pensions, £1,327,000. The decreases are mainly these:— Aviation and Meteorological Services, £551,000; Unemployment Insurance and Unemployment Assistance, £121,000; Defence, £859,000; National Health Insurance, £358,000; and Social Welfare Services, £146,000. Two decreases, one which is substantial and real and the other which looks substantial, but which is very unreal, are these: The really heavy one is in respect of the Department of Industry and Commerce. That shows a decrease of £6,584,956. The other to which I have referred is Agriculture, £449,730.

The Estimates are not down by as much as I would have liked, but at least they show that we are setting out on what I think is the right way. I think the Estimates ought to please all those except the section of this community which appears to hate the taxpayer and wants to smite him on every occasion.

The Bill before the House affords an opportunity to members of expressing their views and examining what has happened during the past year and the provisions that are being made to carry the many services operated by the State over the next 12 months. For such an important discussion, the time is rather limited for the members of the House to go into detail on the matters before us. Last year we had a Book of Estimates presented by the Minister providing for £70,000,000 odd. On that occassion the Minister issued a slip informing the House that he did not take any responsibility for the presentation of that Book of Estimates or for putting into operation the many matters contained in it. When introducing the Budget, the Minister told us that there were various economies both large and small which he had decided would relieve that year's budget to the extent of over £2,000,000, and that adjustments in subsidies would mean a further reduction by over £3,000,000. He went further and said:—

"I am also taking account of further reductions in expenditure totalling £1,122,000 which I am closely pursuing and confidently expect to capture."

One of the principal items of savings last year was £750,000 on the Army. Another major economy, the Minister informed us, would result from a change in the manner of defraying the cost of the cash supplements to benefits under the various social insurance schemes—national health insurance, unemployment insurance and contributory widows' and orphans' pensions. The relief to the Exchequer in a full year would be over £900,000, together with £450,000 from the Widows' and Orphans' Pensions Investment Fund.

The Minister based the saving on subsidies of £3,000,000 on the assumption that there would be a drop in the price of imported wheat, and he, therefore, proposed to spread over the five years from last year an average sum of £7,134,000. It was also proposed to save some £20,000 in reducing the subsidy on sugar and removing the subsidy on butter and various other items of consumption.

When we come to examine the Bill presented to us this year and compare it with the statement made by the Minister last year that on the Book of Estimates of £70,000,000 odd he proposed to save a sum of £6,500,000, we find in this year's Bill, for which the Minister must now accept full responsibility, the sum of £65,000,000. There is no provision in this Bill for the various schemes announced by various Ministers and there is no provision made to fulfil many of the promises made during the election campaign and which formed part and parcel of the many policies and programmes declared during that campaign.

If we examine just a few of the headings, we find that under the Department of Social Services there is a saving of £1,813,000. We have been informed by the Minister that the increase in old age pensions amounts to £1,327,000. But, we find decreases in other services: widows' and orphans' pensions fund, £510,000; national health insurance, £358,000; grants towards supply of fuel to necessitous persons, £6,000; grants towards provision of assistance in kind to persons in receipt of home assistance, £68,000; grants towards providing additional home assistance, £65,000, and unemployment insurance and unemployment assistance, £475,000 and £175,000 respectively, making a total sum of £1,813,000 of a saving. That leaves a surplus after providing the increase for old age pensions that we hear so much about.

In addition, there have been savings arising out of the withdrawal of food vouchers and placing responsibility on local authorities, thereby increasing the rates. There have been savings arising from the reduction in the grants from the Road Fund. That matter has already received consideration in the other House, but I would like to mention in passing that, not alone have the Government reduced the grant from the Road Fund by £2,000,000, but, a few months ago, a Bill was passed to enable the Minister to borrow on behalf of the Road Fund in order to give local authorities grants to repair and maintain the roads which the former Government had undertaken would be carried out by a grant from the Central Fund and not from the Road Fund. If we add the £2,000,000 that the Minister has saved in respect of the carrying out of these necessary repairs arising out of the transport of turf and other essential commodities during the emergency, to the saving of £2,000,000 arising out of the reduction in the grant from the Road Fund, we see that £4,000,000 has been saved in that direction. It is a question of depriving our local authorities of the financial assistance that would enable them to complete the roads programme that they had prepared. It has placed very serious obligations and strain on local authorities. It has deprived many workers of work.

First, a circular was addressed to each local authority by the Minister for Local Government informing them that, to benefit to the full extent of the road grant, they must raise the rate for road works to the same as last year, despite the fact that the road grant by the Department was cut by 40 per cent. The Minister and the Government have informed county councils and the workers that work will be found for displaced workers. Last year on the Central Fund Bill we drew the attention of the Minister to the number of persons who would be unemployed, particularly in Gaeltacht and turf-producing areas, as a result of the Government dropping the hand-won turf schemes. Arising out of that, provision was made to give a special grant to each county council to tide them over and to enable them to find employment on the roads for persons who had been employed on turf production. That was not a success, because the amount of money allocated, for instance, to Galway County Council was £20,000, whereas the sum expended on turf production in County Galway in the previous year was £180,000. A grant of £20,000 was expected to find employment for the same number of persons as were employed by the expenditure of £180,000 in the previous year. Now, we have a complete turn around and the Government has decided that those persons who were employed on the bogs and whom, for saving, we took from the bogs and put on the roads, must now be taken, for saving, off the roads and put on other schemes. But those other schemes will not come into operation until the 1st July and, as far as the workers who are being deprived of their livelihood are concerned, it is a case of "live horse and you will get grass".

A later announcement causes still further anxiety. The Minister for Agriculture, who is sponsoring this scheme, tells the people that the scheme will not come into operation except in eight counties. It is a strange thing that none of the counties where turf production has been carried on in the past to the greatest extent is one of these eight counties. Therefore, unemployment will increase and emigration will continue. No matter how useful and beneficial the Minister's scheme may be in the eight particular counties where it will be put in operation, it will be of very little benefit to the people in the Gaeltacht areas who may read in the Press that such a scheme is in operation in other counties.

That is only for the moment. Is not that so? Will not the others follow?

Only for the moment, the workers of Galway, Kerry, Mayo and Donegal are told that money cannot be found to find employment for them on the roads, that they must wait until the 1st July until this scheme is begun and, when the 1st July approaches, the Minister for Agriculture, who is sponsoring this scheme, tells them that the scheme is going to be tried out in eight counties, that it is an experiment, that we must go cautiously, we must examine and see whether it is of real benefit and whether it is worth the amount of money that will be expended. We must go so cautiously that it will take two and a half or three years before we can extend the scheme to all Ireland. We propose to drain the country. It is not the land we are draining; it is the country we are draining. The drainage goes on every day.

The Minister, in his brief statement here, tells us that one of our greatest aims must be to increase agricultural production. It is strange that that is one of the Estimates we find being reduced from last year. We find a reduction in the provision for the glass-house scheme of £63,882. This scheme has been in operation for 12 months. In reply to questions asked by various Deputies in the Dáil, the Minister for Agriculture gave the production per glass-house and the amount of money that each person who erected a glass-house had received for the produce. Surely the Minister and the Department and the Government should be able to form an opinion as to whether it is possible to go ahead with this scheme. One of the greatest disadvantages that the scheme had to encounter was the feeling that the Minister was not in favour of it. Therefore, what should have been an effort to make the scheme a success was, one might say, in the other direction. Despite the lack of encouragement to people in the Gaeltacht to do something to make themselves independent, cold water of every kind was thrown on the scheme. The scheme was a success, and any Senator who has visited the area of the Gaeltacht in South Connemara can convince himself—and I would encourage every Senator to make a short trip there next summer and see for himself whether the people of this area are worthy to be encouraged—that those people should be helped to do for themselves what nobody can do for them. We have been told by the Minister for Lands, great and all an advocate as he was of land division in the past, that, having examined the problem of congestion, there is not sufficient land available to remove congestion from the West of Ireland and the other congested areas. With that picture before us, we must do something for the people whom we cannot remove from those areas.

It would be interesting for Senators to know that in the last 12 months emigration from the Gaeltacht areas has been a record one. In an answer to a question in the Dáil we find that the Gaeltacht areas were the greatest contributors to the 40,000 people who left our shores in the past 12 months. 20,000 men emigrated from Kerry and 1,000 females; from Donegal 4,000, and from Galway 2,384 men and 1,444 females. These people left the Gaeltacht last year, the first year in office of a Government composed of members of each Party which promised during the general election that they had a plan and a policy to end unemployment and stop emigration. Despite that, this great drive of people from the Gaeltacht took place in that 12 months. Strangely, it is not alone from the Gaeltacht areas. If we go to the rich lands of Limerick we find that 1,370 men left Limerick last year and emigrated from the country.

In the Book of Estimates we find, with regard to agriculture, that the Farm Improvements Scheme has been reduced by £21,675. Farmers on each side of the House will bear witness to the beneficial results of this scheme in the past and they know full well that farmers are very anxious to avail of it. Again an answer to a question in the Dáil shows the number of persons who applied under this scheme during the past 12 months and who have not got certificates to proceed with the work so far, and still we have a reduction of £21,675 in the farm improvements scheme this year, a year in which we are telling not alone our own people, but the whole world, that we are making an all-out effort to increase agricultural production.

There is another very important scheme to help the farmers. We have been told in this and in the other House in the past that one of the great disadvantages of our farmers is a lack of proper farm accommodation. The late Government introduced the Farm Buildings Scheme to help farmers build barns, haysheds and various other accommodation necessary. We find now, however, that the scheme has been left in abeyance for the past 12 months. Many of these people who are faced with emigration could find employment building for farmers. We have also been advised that we should use fertilisers to a greater extent but this has been dropped from the Book of Estimates, left completely in abeyance at a reduction of £28,890.

With the many statements that have been made in the past 12 months, we find that instead of receiving encouragement, our farmers are now in a position that they do not know where they are going or what policy to pursue. Last year an advertisement was issued by the Minister for Agriculture advising our farmers to grow oats and potatoes and telling them that having grown oats and potatoes there would be a market for them at really good prices. If any farmer could not find a market he was just to get on the phone to the Minister and the Minister would see that his oats and potatoes were disposed of. Now, not alone has the Minister failed to provide a market for oats, but he has failed to provide a market for seed potatoes and that was an industry which had grown up and been encouraged over a number of years.

We have failed to get a market for over 9,000 or 10,000 tons of seed potatoes. I have been informed that a market could have been found, that a market was offered to the Minister for Agriculture, but that for one reason or another the Minister turned down that offer and the people engaged in the production of seed potatoes, for which there was a good export market in the past, were left with them on their hands. Every farmer here knows the difficulties farmers have at the present moment in finding a market for oats and ware potatoes. It is all very fine for the Minister for Agriculture to tell farmers to walk the crops off their land. He means by that to feed them to live stock. That is all very well for large farmers and land owners who have the live stock, but the small farmer who grows these crops as cash crops to pay his rates and rents or to buy any live stock he might require finds that he has not a market for those commodities he produced on the advice of the Minister for Agriculture. Nothing has been done, but the Minister has changed his mind this year. We on this side—and I personally—are very glad at the Minister's conversion. That man who would not be seen dead in an acre of wheat has issued an advertisement to farmers telling them to do the right thing and grow wheat. We are delighted at the conversion although it has taken the best part of 16 years to make it. We are very pleased that he has now been converted to the extent that he has issued an advertisement at the expense of the people, advising farmers to grow wheat and warning them at the same time if they have not the means to utilise their oats and potatoes by walking them off the land not to grow them but to grow wheat and barley. Two contradictory pieces of advice were given to the farmers in the last 12 months. They were first advised to grow oats and potatoes as a good market would be found, but this year they are told not to grow oats and potatoes unless they are in a position to walk them off the land but to grow wheat and barley instead. You are told, however, only to grow barley if you have entered into a contract with Messrs. Guinness or other maltsters. It is no harm to remind the Minister, even in connection with the barley price, that the price of barley to growers who are under contract to Messrs. Guinness is due, not to the Minister, but to the members of the Beet Growers' Association who went on their own, taking their courage in their own hands, and did what the Minister failed to do and got a price for their barley.

Is that not a much better way?

A statement was issued last week by the Minister for Agriculture that he had entered into an agreement with the British Minister regarding egg supply. Brought down to hard facts, that meant an reduction of 6d. a dozen or 10d. a score for eggs to Irish producers. One must ask a question about that. The former Minister for Agriculture entered into an agreement with the British people regarding the supply of eggs over a period of years at a particular price. Why did the present Minister go to the British Ministry and ask that negotiations on that question should be opened when the contract period does not expire for the next two years? If it were a question of getting, possibly, a better price for our farmers it would be all right, but the price to Irish farmers is reduced by 6d. a dozen. The Minister issued another advertisement last year encouraging the farmers and the women to produce more poultry and eggs and telling them that the more they produced the greater the price would be. That advice was taken and production went up, but since then the Minister for Agriculture politely tells the people that while production has reached a certain point and while he told them the more they produced the better the price would be, there would now be a reduction of 6d. a dozen or 10d. a score. At the same time as the price to the Irish farmer goes down the price to the British consumer goes up.

What about the Irish consumer?

He is like the taxpayer.

In the past year two commissions of inquiry were appointed, one to look into the development of our agriculture or grasslands and the other into the conduct of our railways. One thing was common to both reports. Both recommended the setting up of quite a number of councils, advisory or otherwise. In order to solve our many problems regarding agriculture we are going to have five new commissions or advisory councils to tell the farmers what to do. Perhaps it might be better if somebody were to tell them over a period of years, rather than to have one man telling them one thing to-day and another to-morrow, so may be there will be some advantage in these councils. They may make up their minds over a period of years and take things out of the hands of the Minister for Agriculture. But where are all those commissions and advisory councils going to lead? An announcement was recently made by the Minister for Industry and Commerce informing the people of Dublin and of the country that it would be essential to increase bus and railway fares. There was 12 months' delay in giving effect to that request. Last year the Minister for Finance placed a burden of £150,000 on Córas Iompair Eireann by an increased tax on petrol at the same time as the persons responsible for the conduct of Córas Iompair Eireann held that it was essential, if services were to continue, that bus and railway fares should go up. With that knowledge it took 12 months for the Minister to make up his mind to do it. It has caused a loss.

The fact that the Minister for Industry and Commerce took over 12 months to make up his mind to give effect to the recommendations of the directors of Córas Iompair Eireann that it was essential to increase rail and bus fares if the service was to continue.

That was not the suggestion. The suggestion was to dismiss 3,500 men, to restrict private haulage, to close down the branch lines and to raise the fares.

Was that not in the Milne Report?

I am not talking about the Milne Report. I am talking about their demands.

It was essential that bus and rail fares be increased.

They asked that before the wages had been fully increased.

The Minister dillydallied for 12 months. At the same time as the Minister for Finance he imposed a further levy of £150,000 on Córas Iompair Eireann arising out of the tax on petrol.

And I gave them more, by allowing them to bring in bus bodies free of tax.

I expect we shall have an opportunity of discussing these two very valuable reports in detail later. If we were to go into details now the debate would last much longer, I think, than is contemplated.

Despite the many promises to improve the lot of those people, and conditions generally, there is a decrease of £20,000 in the Estimates for the Gaeltacht for this year. Two months ago a Housing (Gaeltacht) Bill was passed by this House. On that occasion I sounded a note of warning. I said I hoped that what I felt at that time might happen—and which I knew, from experience in the past, did happen— would not happen again. I regret to say that my warning was not heeded in regard to attempts being made by various people to make use of this for political purposes. In introducing that Bill the Minister for Lands referred to his generosity to those people and to the prompt assistance he was going to give them in regard to their building. I would point out that not one halfpenny has been provided in the Book of Estimates for 1949 to give effect to the Housing (Gaeltacht) Act. A sum of £1,250,000 is provided to pay whatever arrears arise under the 1939 Act. I requested the Minister for Lands, when the 1949 Gaeltacht Housing Bill was going through this House, to speed up the issue of the regulations governing the application of the Act. These regulations have not so far been laid on the Table of this House and I am informed that they have not yet been printed. At the same time, I understand that a member of the Fine Gael Party has announced that if intending applicants under this Act call to his house for a copy of the regulations he will provide them—notwithstanding the fact that I have been informed by the Department that they are not yet available.

Great promises were made recently in regard to the undertaking of a large afforestation scheme. One would expect, in that connection, that some provision would appear in the Book of Estimates to give effect to such a scheme. A sum of £25,000 is provided to purchase land for afforestation in the coming year, although not only the people of this country but the people of Europe have been informed that we are going to plant 25,000 acres per year. As I have already said, a sum of £25,000 is provided for the purchase of land for afforestation in the coming year. I would point out that that £25,000 is provided out of a sum of £454,375 which will be made available to the forestry section, Department of Lands. In the year 1935-6 the Estimate for this section of the Department of Lands was £230,510 and out of that sum £109,000 was provided to buy land for planting. Perhaps the Minister for Lands or the Minister for Finance will explain how it will be possible to acquire land sufficient to afforestate 25,000 acres out of a sum of £25,000. If it can be done, all I can say is that it will be a great accomplishment.

There has been a reduction in the Estimate in regard to the tourist industry. This affects the operation of the Tourist Board and of the Tourist Association. The benefits of the activities of and the publicity by these two bodies are reflected in many parts of Ireland and in my own county, too. The Minister has told us that the tourist industry in this country was worth about £35,000,000 last year. When the Bill which dealt with the setting up of the Tourist Board was being debated members on all sides of this House and of the other House gave their approval. Undoubtedly, through the activities of this board, there have been great improvements in hotel accommodation in this country and in all that helps to encourage the tourist industry. During the general election, and since, there was a lot of unjustifiable criticism of the Tourist Board and references were made to luxury hotels. It was suggested that, by catering for tourists, we were giving the people from foreign countries something of which we were depriving our own people. We were told that we were providing food, clothing and other essentials for foreigners which should have been made available, to a greater extent, to our own people. With the change of Government these wonderful critics suddenly realised what was being done in that direction. They realised that tourism is a valuable industry—more valuable than our whole cattle export trade—and that this country derived from it large sums, such as the sum of £35,000,000 which we derived last year.

In order to set up models which other hotels might follow, the Tourist Board took over some houses and converted them into model hotels. In my county, Ballinahinch Castle was taken over. It is now proposed to sell the Castle and the other hotels. Now, it stands to reason that if a person is going to sell something he will first try to prove to the purchaser that he is going to get value for his money. In the Dáil, the Minister has stated that in the past year or two these hotels have not paid their way. Surely one would not expect hotels of this particular kind, which have been in existence for only a very short period, to show an immediate profit. I consider that it would have been much wiser, not alone in this respect but in respect of other projects also, if the Minister had held his hand and if a serious effort had been made to show that these undertakings could be worked successfully. The intention of the board and of the former Government was that when the hotels had reached the stage when they could be run at a profit they would be disposed of to people who would continue to run them in the same manner in which they had been run while under the direction of the Tourist Board.

Quite recently a statement was made by the European Recovery Organisation. They pointed out the necessity for nations such as ours which are in receipt of Marshall Aid to avail to the fullest of American tourists and to do our utmost to attract them to the various countries in order to help to repay the debt we are incurring under the Marshall Plan. There is an early reference to an air service. We have already sold that, and I expect we cannot get it back.

Thank goodness.

They say, further, that a problem which should be tackled without delay is the problem of adapting our hotels to the requirements of American tourists. One of our Ministers spent three weeks or a month on a trip to America. The primary purpose of that visit was to get technicians for our industries—forgetting that we had already got rid of quite a number of technicians in this country and that they had to emigrate to different parts of the world. The most important part of that mission, we were led to understand, was the encouragement of American tourists to this country during the tourist season. If we are to encourage them to come here, I hold that we should have transport available to bring them here.

There was a gala day last year when we were told a great national drainage scheme was being started. The scheme was put in operation by the blowing of a great whistle. What has been the position since? What provision is made in this Book of Estimates to give effect to the promises to implement this great national drainage scheme? A sum of £151,000 is provided for Brosna and an additional £30,000 is provided for a drainage survey. That latter sum is for a drainage survery—not for the carrying out of a drainage scheme in any area except in that in which it has already begun and for which plans were prepared prior to the taking over of office by this Government.

There has been a further reduction in health services. During the general election much comment was made in regard to the steps taken by the previous Government to build hospitals and sanatoria and in regard to the provision of accommodation for our sick, and particularly those affected with tuberculosis. It is strange that, despite all the criticisms that were made while the previous Government was in office, the present Minister for Health is curtailing the programme by 50 per cent. There has been a reduction of over £9,000 in regard to child welfare. There has been a reduction of £5,000 in the provision for the supply of milk to necessitous children and there has been a reduction of £113,000 in the provision for preventive treatment for tuberculosis patients. We have had all these decreases and yet, on the other hand, we have a sum of £10,455 for publicity and for propaganda by the Department of Health. This is a new departure. We reduce by £5,000 the amount of money to give free milk; we reduce by £113,000 the amount made available, as compared with last year, for preventive treatment of tuberculosis; and, while we make all these reductions, we provide £10,000 for publicity. We must consider that together with the fact that the hospitalisation and sanatoria programme prepared by the former Minister has already been cut by more than 50 per cent. The Minister himself admitted that in the Dáil.

We come to another very important point in the Book of Estimates, the provision for housing. When the Minister was here last year, we had a rather lengthy discourse on the then position of the Transition Fund. Since then, the position has not been clarified to any great extent. Various appeals have been made to local authorities to go faster with housing, but what do we find at this eleventh hour? Previous to the war, two-thirds of £350 was provided as subsidy to local authorities for the erection of houses for letting to persons who were taken from slum areas. Since then there was a £5,000,000 fund set up, known as the Transition Fund, out of which money would be made available to local authorities, together with the ordinary grant, in order that the rent of those houses might be brought within the reach of the occupants. As the Minister knows, the Transition Fund expires to-morrow. Already various questions have been put to the Minister for Local Government regarding the assistance the local authorities are going to receive.

Will it stop the arguing if I say that it is going to be continued?

The provision made last year by the Minister was that it would expire on the 31st March.

It is not going to expire.

No public statement has been made.

I am making it now. It is going to be revived.

It would be no harm if the Minister informed the Minister for Local Government.

He knows all about it.

We have another reduction brought about because another item is put in abeyance. I would like the Minister to say whether it is really in abeyance and whether the apparatus has been sold, as was intended. I am dealing with the £40,000 approximately, under wireless broadcasting, in connection with the short-wave station. Having regard to the events of this particular month, and to what happened last year, it should be clear to everyone that we ought to have a short-wave station of our own.

Have we not got the Irish Press?

We saw that, last year, when the Taoiseach went to broadcast to Europe and elsewhere, the broadcast message was censored by the British broadcasting authorities, or curtailed at least. One would have thought that once was enough to burn one's fingers, but we have had the same thing happening this year. Apart from any other argument in favour of having our own station, these two events are sufficient to impress on us the necessity of being independent, so as to avoid giving to any power a position in which they could dictate to our leaders when and what they are going to say over the air.

On the question of economy, the Minister told us last year he was saving £6,000,000. The Book of Estimates then was £70,000,000 odd. That brought the Estimates down to about £65,000,000. He now tells us he is going to save a further £6,000,000.

I did not say that.

Then they should be about £60,000,000, but we find that the demands before us at present are greater, without making provision for many of the schemes, for Gaeltacht housing, and so on. We have no economy, no saving.

Is that the conclusion—that there is no economy?

I am glad to hear it.

Could we have a headline on that to-morrow?

What has happened really is that the Minister has taken £3,000,000 from food subsidies and has put on to a certain section of the people the burden of paying extra prices for tea, sugar, bread and butter. When you examine the Estimates again, you find that in place of economy, we have, I think, 11,000 more civil servants. Under each Department, there is a sum provided for increased remuneration. I am not quarrelling with that, but it shows clearly that these increases—during the year a Supplementary Estimate was introduced in the other House for £700,000—were brought about as a result of the increased cost of living. Therefore, if the Minister holds that the cost of living has gone down, there should have been no need for this £700,000 to compensate the various services because of the cost of living.

It is proposed to set up, in the near future, many councils. There is one on the way, if it is not already set up, but there is no Bill, no Order or anything else in relation to it before us. However, I would like to ask the Minister a few questions in relation to it. It is very hard to define what its function will be. This council will occupy some building.

What council is it?

The Industrial Advisory Council. It will recruit a staff. We have had complaints before, when boards were being set up, about recruitment of staff and there have been violent discussions on the point. Will the staffs of these new boards be recruited through Civil Service examinations or by other methods?

From existing civil servants. That is a disappointment to the Senator?

It is good to know how they are being recruited.

It is bad to have the disappointment, that it was not the other method.

I am not disappointed. I understand that, if this council is to be effective, it must carry out a very detailed inspection of industry.

Where did the Senator get that idea?

If the council is going to be of any use and going to advise the Minister, it must know what it is advising about.

Every industry? Did the Senator say that?

They would probably curtail their activities at the start to industries coming under tariffs or quotas or State benefit of some kind. I can see great difficulties arising out of this probing into other people's business.

Does the Senator remember the Industrial Efficiency Bill? There was a gentleman in it who was to exercise a continuous supervision over all business in the country.

That Bill in the normal course would go before each House of the Oireachtas, where every member would have an opportunity of examining it and expressing his views. However, in the setting up of this particular council, no one knows what it is going to do. We know only that its membership is composed of certain people.

I wish to request the Minister to give some guidance as to where we are going. Confusion seems to have become more confounded as the year passed. We have statements being issued by Ministers from day to day, and many times, after those statements were made, we were informed that the particular Minister was giving expression only to his own personal views and was not speaking as a Minister. Last week, the Minister for Finance addressed a meeting and gave his views on State-controlled boards and on social services. When we relate those views to the statements made by Deputy Norton on various other occasions, we are confounded as to the policy which is to be made effective in the coming year. The Minister for Social Welfare promised a comprehensive insurance scheme early this year. We have gone on from month to month, and some little has been done, but what credit has been claimed for has not been done. While old age pensions have been increased by £1,375,000, a saving of £1,870,000 has been made on social services in general. Contributions from national health and unemployment insurance have been increased and also from the employer, to the extent that the saving made in one direction is almost entirely compensated for by the increases in the other.

I am sure that neither the Minister nor the Labour Party is satisfied that this is the social security scheme we were promised. We were told many times here and during the elections that it was only a matter of taking hold of the Dignan plan and giving effect to it. This Government is now 13 months in office and the Minister has all the paraphernalia of office at his disposal, but we have not got even a White Paper on the subject. The Minister for Finance says social services should be taken like medicine, just as required, while the Minister says he is working night and day on a comprehensive social security scheme. One Minister says we must nationalise the railways, the milling industry and other industries, while another tells us that State controlled boards should be avoided, like social services, and taken only in small draughts.

If members on the other side give expression to their views and to what they know, they will admit that there is a general depression throughout the country. We have 84,000 people drawing unemployment assistance; we have 40,000 who emigrated during the last 12 months; and we are now told that 20,000 people have been driven out of employment on the roads by reason of the reduction in the road grants. There is no policy put before the people and no encouragement given to industrialists. In place of encouraging industrialists to go ahead and to extend, there is a rod held over them in the form of a board which is to investigate and these people do not know what the board will do.

I suggest to the Minister and to the Government that it would have been better if they had taken the advice given them early on and had gone much more slowly in their abandonment of the various schemes which they abandoned. Much play was made of the losses entailed in turf production and we are now told that employment is to be found for 10,000 people in turf production this year. Would the sensible thing not have been to have gradually eliminated hand-won turf, and, as that was being eliminated, to introduce the machine-won turf and thereby keep in the turf producing areas the workers who eventually would find employment on machine-won turf? That would have been wise national policy. Nobody can describe the action of the Government as having been taken for any reason other than pique because it was a Fianna Fáil scheme. Because it was given effect to by the previous Government, it must be scrapped immediately and a stay of 12 months must be put on all turf production. Now, when that period has passed, it is proposed to go in wholeheartedly for the production of machine-won turf.

We have heard about the losses sustained on the turf in the Phoenix Park. My own view is that the greater part of these losses could have been avoided. It was a good national insurance that the fuel was there, if required. We have had a very favourable winter, but, were it not for that favourable winter, the House will agree that this fuel would have been required. There was a serious shortage of coal and other fuel throughout part of the country during the year. My own view is that this was done for the purpose of showing a greater loss than should have been shown. We had turf in the Park, and, while that fuel was there, Government Departments were advertising in the daily and weekly newspapers for supplies of fuel for the various institutions under their control. If there had been a serious attempt by the Government to save the people's money, this fuel in the Park could easily have been diverted to the various institutions for which supplies had to be procured from the current market.

Would the Senator say what institutions advertised?

The Army, the Board of Works and every institution under Government control in this and other cities.

Did you say that they all did? I do not remember it.

Many of them did.

Could the Senator say which of them did?

I have not got the date with me, but if the Minister is anxious—

I thought, when the Senator was so sure, that he would know.

Contracts for supplies were advertised and are advertised each year for fuel to various Government Departments and I hold that, in the exceptional circumstances of this year, these supplies could have been procured from the dumps in the Park rather than through public advertisement, and the money saved could have been put to the credit of the people.

I said at the outset—and I am sure that any Senator who takes the trouble to examine carefully the Estimates will come to the same conclusion—that, for the past 12 months, we have had the most expensive Government the country has ever had. We have in more ways than one a greater number of persons unemployed and a greater number on short time. A number of our factories are on short time and others are disposing of part of their machinery. We have the highest figures ever recorded for emigration, and, if these are not signposts on the road to depression, I should like to hear from the Minister and from members of the Government Party what are. I should also like to hear what they propose for the rectification of that position and for putting the nation back on its feet as it was when they came into power on 18th February, 1948.

Senator Hawkins has covered a very wide field in his survey and I do not propose to follow him in his meanderings. The net position is that, in spite of making available about £2,500,000 additional for social services, by way of increased old age pensions, widows' and orphans' pensions and blind pensions, the Minister has reduced the Estimates by over £5,000,000. That is the whole complaint of Senator Hawkins. He has gone over the great majority of the Estimates and in every case has condemned any reduction in expenditure. He does not seem to think that any reduction in taxation is admissible or justifiable and he is terribly disconcerted because the rake's progress which was leading the country fast to bankruptcy and financial chaos has at last been stopped.

The Senator was humorous in some of his remarks and tragic in others, but, in the main, recklessness of statement was the characteristic. One of his last statements was that 20,000 road workers would be unemployed this year as a result of the reduction in the road grant. There are never any more than 24,000 or 25,000 road workers employed altogether in the whole country, and yet he rattles off this figure of 20,000 which, no doubt, will be featured in the Irish Press to-morrow as a statement of fact instead of a statement of humbug. He has blossomed out, as all Fianna Fáil speakers do, on the question of unemployment. The unemployed man is, unfortunately, exploited by all politicians and used as a sort of amiable backmail with which to advance political interests. Fianna Fáil went into office, as we all know. in 1932, on the slogan that no unemployment was justifiable in this country, that it was an undeveloped land which could give employment to double its existing population. We were told that not only would the unemployed workers at home be employed but we would have to bring back the exiles. In 1937, when Fianna Fáil were in their sixth year in office, the average unemployment figure for the whole year was 81,800. In 1938 the figure was 88,700, and in 1939, the last pre-war year, the figure was 93,100. The average unemployment figure for last year, taking one month with another, was 61,900, or less than two-thirds of the figure in the last pre-war year, when Fianna Fáil were in their eighth year in office. We then had over 90,000 unemployed, without bringing home any of the emigrants. During the Fianna Fáil period of office the unemployment figures reached an all-time high. The first year Fianna Fáil were in power over 5,000 railway men were dismissed and there was a greater depression in the country than I ever remember in my time.

When we turn to the rural workers we find that, in 1938, the average number of rural workers on the live register looking for work was 48,000. In 1939 it was 47,100 and last year the average number was 30,400, 17,000 less than in 1939 and 18,000 less than in 1938. The average unemployment, taking one month with another, in 1947 was 55,200, and in 1948 61,900. A good deal of the increase as between 1947 and 1948 is due to the different time of commencement of the employment period Orders in the two years, and everybody who has studied the position at all is aware of that fact. It was also due to the fact that, in 1948, we for the first time quite definitely proceeded to pass from a war-time to a peace-time economy. We could not go on for ever employing thousands of men on cutting turf which nobody wanted at prices which were ruinously uneconomical—selling turf for 54/- a ton which cost something like £5 9s. 0d. or £5 10s. 0d. a ton. The outgoing Government had itself decided to stop that process—the country could not possibly afford it. When you are passing from one economy to another there is an inevitable time-lag, which inevitably means temporary unemployment, and that accounted in large measure for the difference in the allover average rate of employment in relation to 1947.

In 1948, the number of insured workers on the live register represented 9.3 per cent. of insured workers employed. In 1939, again when Fianna Fáil were in their eighth year of office, the unemployed in insured occupations represented 15.6 per cent. of the total of unemployed workers—15.6 per cent. as against 9.3 per cent. One would imagine from the speeches we hear and from statements in the Irish Press that 1948 was the first year in which we had any unemployment, that Fianna Fáil had solved that problem during their 16 years in office. The general trend last year was for unemployment to increase because of some form of recession or slump which is either taking place or is threatened. In Belgium, for instance, the percentage of insured persons unemployed in 1947 was 3 per cent. and, in 1948, it was 7 per cent., or more than double. An unemployment rate in industry of about 2 per cent. is the general allowance made by economists for frictional unemployment. That is looked upon as no unemployment for practical purposes because there is always a number of unemployable persons and there are various time lags which cannot possibly be bridged. By this standard, we have never been other than unsatisfactory. For 1948, the figure is 9.3 per cent., but, as I have pointed out, in 1939, it was 15.6, which was very considerably worse.

The question of emigration has been raised again as if it were only last year that emigration was of a serious character. In the ten years 1936-46, 189,942 persons emigrated from this country. In the ten years that Fianna Fáil were in power approximately 190,000 persons emigrated. For a period they went in to develop agriculture and to make every farmer grow wheat, whether he liked it or not. It was still a remarkable fact that the workers on the land were 58,000 less in 1948 than they were in 1928. Certainly that was not evidence that a Fianna Fáil Government helped to develop agriculture.

The question of Córas Iompair Éireann has been raised. We will have a full opportunity of discussing that on a Bill which, I presume, will come before the Oireachtas in due course. Really, if supporters of the Opposition were wise, they would say very little about that company. The whole administration and policy of that company was in keeping with the squandermania which was practised by the Government in national affairs. It started at the beginning by filling posts by people whose principal qualification was their ability to pull political strings. The trained and experienced and competent railway officials were set aside, forced to retire or humiliated in such a way that further services on their part were of comparatively no value. Then we had examples of squandermania. For instance, there was a proposed building, which would have cost £927,000, at Broadstone, and which was declared by Sir James Milne to be unnecessary to the extent that all the necessary facilities could be supplied by the expenditure of less than £100,000. We have the huge structure near the Custom House and a number of other gigantic buildings going up here and there was a number of proposed buildings which have been stopped.

One extraordinary feature of all this development was the fact that the engineers employed by the company itself, who would have to maintain these buildings in future, were never consulted by the board in regard to anything arising out of these huge proposals. There was an architects' department during all the past years. It was abolished by the new chairman who went to outside architects. As one indication of what that means, there was paid in architects' fees in respect of two buildings sufficient to pay the old Córas Iompair Éireann architects' staff and to maintain the office for 25 years. That was the sort of management that was started and that has been actively defended by Deputy Lemass in the other House. He was responsible for the appointment of the chairman of the company.

Senator Hawkins has referred to an alleged economy in the matter of the treatment of tuberculosis patients, ignoring altogether the fact that over 800 additional beds have been provided by the new Minister for patients who would have been left to die under the previous Government. There were questions in the Dáil a couple of weeks ago regarding the treatment of a tuberculosis patient by the manager appointed by Deputy Lemass for Córas Iompair Éireann. A young man with six years' service who was out sick with tuberculosis was summarily dismissed from the service although the doctors had declared that he would be capable within a very short time of resuming his service. Eventually, he was given a clean bill of health but the management, obstreperously and decidedly, refused to take him back and even to see the trade union representatives on his behalf. I am glad to say that, since the change has taken place, the new chairman has taken a different line and has offered to take the man back if he is passed by his own doctor as having a clean bill of health. I understand that that has been done and that he has been restored to the service. Here was a young man who would have to go to the world and ask some other employer to take him. He would have had to admit that he was dismissed from the service of Córas Iompair Éireann because of a disease of which he is now cured and that a great public institution of this kind treated him in that inhuman manner.

That is only one of many cases with which I, unfortunately, had the task of dealing during my term as secretary of the Railway Clerks' Association. A heartless, impersonal attitude of mind had been adopted such as never had been experienced on the railways before, so that the railway staff, certainly 21,000 of them, will not regret the fact that a change has taken place.

In the matter of hotels, I think the Government are taking the right line in disposing of those hotels. They were not, I believe, a success financially at a time when other hotels were making fortunes. I had only a few experiences of those hotels. I had one deplorable experience of one of them to which I brought a visiting M.P. The manner in which we were treated was something that I would like to forget. It was not the type of treatment that would help to advertise or encourage the tourist movement here or to do credit to a State-owned institution. However, that may have been an exception, but it certainly was not something of which the country could be proud and it was not an indication that, because they were State-owned, they would be an acquisition to the nation in encouraging the tourist industry.

Generally speaking, the country will certainly welcome the fact that, in addition to this very substantial reduction in the Estimates, there has been an improvement already in the treatment of the weakest of our citizens, the aged, the widows and orphans, and the blind. We know that that is only an instalment of what is to come. It was time, in any case, that some regard should be had to the poor and to those not able to fend for themselves, instead of cutting a dash before the world and pretending, by having luxurious air services working at a colossal loss, by proposals to build magnificent Houses of Parliament, and by encouraging extravagance in the boards and institutions influenced by the Government, that we had wealth which we certainly had not. We are a wealthy nation if we are developed, but we will certainly not develop ourselves by spending in the manner in which expenditure was incurred during the latest years of the Fianna Fáil Government. It is because this extravagance has been shown up that critics from the Opposition side seem to base fact that there has been a reduction in these extravagant Estimates at the same time that more money is made available for social services.

Caithfidh mé a rá go bhfuil sé deachair a shocrú céard air ba cheart labhairt ar an mBille atá ós ár gcóir. 'Sé an fá go bhfuil sé deachair, ní mar gheall ar nach bhfuil dóthain abhair le labhairt air, ach mar gheall ar chomh mín agus chomh cúramach agus a scrúdaíodh agus a cíoradh an Bille ins an Dáil. Léigh mé go cúramach na hóráideacha a rinneadh sa Teach sin ar an mBille, ó gach taobh, agus is doiligh, dar liom, aon rud a rá ag duine ar bith nach bhfuil ráite ins an Teach sin. Mar sin féin, tá dualgas orainn ár dtuairmí a nochtadh i dtaobh gnéithe áirithe d'imeachtaí an Rialtais chomh fada agus is féidir iad a thabhairt faoi deara d'réir polasaí airgeadais an Rialtais. Ba mhaith liom a rá—agus ní chuirfidh sé ionadh ar an Aire ná, b'fhéidir, ar aon duine den taobh eile den tSeanad, go bhfuil mise go háirithe an-mhí-shásta, ní leis an mBille é féin, ach leis an Aire.

Bhí mé ag súil, nuair a thiocfadh an tAire isteach tar éis breis agus bliain dó sa bhfeidhmeannas mar Aire Airgeadais, go mbeadh a aigne déanta suas aige i dtaobh polasaí cruinn cinnte éigin don tír i rith na tréimhse a bhfuil súil aige bheith ina Aire. Nuair a bhí mé ag caint an bhliain seo caite, rinne mé tagairt do na geallúintí a rinne an tAire agus a chomh-Airí. Bhí mé ag fiafraí de an raibh aon tuairim aige go bhfeidfeadh sé na geallúintí sin a chomhlíonadh. Ní dheachaidh mé an-dian air ag iarraidh freagra. Dúirt mé leis an uair sin gur thuig mé a laghad ama a bhí sé sa bhfeidhmeannas agus nár mhiste liom má bhí sé ag iarraidh spáis chun a aigne a dhéanamh suas agus polasaí cinnte a dhéanamh amach. Ní bheinn chomh bog sin leis i mbliana; bhí neart ama aige a aigne a dhéanamh suas agus na ceisteanna a chuir muidne air an bhliain seo caite a scrúdú. Bhí neart ama aige—céad fairíor géar —go dtiubhradh sé faoi ndeara an mí-ádh atá tuitithe ar an tír de bharr na faillí atá déanta aige féin agus ag a chomh Airí i rith na bliana toise gan áird a thabhairt ar an gcomhairle a thugamar dhó bliain is an taca seo.

Gheall sé dhúinn go laghdófaí an costas maireachtála. B'in é an chéad rud. Ní hé amhain gur gheall an Rialtas go laghdófaí an costas maireachtála, ach dúradar linn an laghdú a déanfaí. Shocrai an chuid is tábhachtaí den Rialtas ar laghdú 30 faoin gcéad. Bhí mé ag breathnú ar an Iris Trádála an lá cheana agus thugadar figiúirí le haghaidh an chostais mhaireachtála i Mí na Samhna, 1947 agus i rith na bliana 1948, agus céard atá le tabhairt faoi ndeara? In áit an costas mareachtála a bheith laghdaithe, is amhlaidh go bhfuil an costas maireachtála imithe suas.

The cost of living figure?

An treoiruimhir le haghaidh an chostais mhaireachtála——

The cost of living figure has not gone up and the cost of living has not gone up.

——Mar atá sé le tabhairt faoi deara in Iris Tradála na hÉireann. Deir an tAire nach bhfuil an costas maireachtála imithe suas. Níl mé a rá nach gcreideann sé féin é sin, ach má tá an tAire sásta fiosrú a dhéanamh taobh amuigh den eolas atá foilsithe ag a Roinn féin, an Roinn Statisticí, má dhéanann sé scrúdú pearsanta ar Bhudget pearsanta agus scrúdú a dhéanamh air mar atá déanta agamsa, gheobhaidh sé amach go bhfuil an costas maireachtála fírineach immithe suas.

Dúirt mé an bhliain seo caithte, nuair a bhí mé chur síos ar bheartas an Rialtais i dtaobh móna, go raibh an chuntúirt ann go n-íocfadh muid go daor as an mbeartas sin, agus an raibh an ceart agam nó nach raibh? Bhí mé a rá an uair sin go raibh faitíos orm go mbeadh móin gann i mbliana agus ní amháin go mbeadh móin gann ach go mbeadh muintir na tíre i rith na bliana gan ábhar tine de bhrí nach mbeadh gual le fáil acu. Cuirfidh sé iontas ar an Aire é seo a chloisteáil. Bhí a lán daoine bochta i nGaillimh nár fheil an mhóin dóibh. D'iompaigh siad ar ais ar an ngual agus fágadh iad gan tine. Bhí ar na daoine bochta, daoine nach bhfuair an mhóin shaor ón geiste speisialta atá i nGaillimh lena tabhairt dóibh, idir 3/6 agus 3/9 an céad meáchain íoc ar mhóin. Beidh an tAire i ndon cúntas an-bheacht a fháil air sin tríd na hoifigí a chuireann an t-eolas ar fáil le haghaidh figiúir an chostais mhaireachtála a cheapadh. Ba cheart don Aire a bheith anchúramach i dtaobh na bhfigiúir atá dá bhfoilsiú. Ní hé go mbeadh lucht ceapaithe na bhfigiúir sin ag iarraidh bréagriocht a chur orthu, ach gan amhras níl sna figiúirí sin, dá fheabhas iad, ach meánacha no averages. Duine ar bith a bhfuil beagán eolais aige ar chúrsaí unimhríochta, gan trácht ar mathematic nó statisticí, tuigfidh sé an laige mór a bhaineann le meánacha. Meabhraím don Aire nach bhfuil scéal an chostais mhaireachtála immithe chun feabhais sa gcuid is mó den tír.

Gheall an Rialtas go labhrann an tAire ar a shon ní amháin go laghdóidís an costas maireachtála dúinn agus go n-ísleoidís é 30 faoin gcéad, ach ghealladar go gcuirfidís obair thairbheach fhóntach ar fáil do mhuintir na tíre seo fré chéile. Ghealladar go gcuiridís mar a dúradar fhéin, "full employment," ar fáil. Bhíomar ag súil go ndéanfaí tosach air sin ar a laghad. In áit tosach a dhéanamh ar obair fhóntach lán-aimsireach a chur ar fáil do mhuintir na tíre seo, séard a rinneadh tosaigh ar dhaoine a bhí in obair thairbheach a bhriseadh aisti. Níl aon amhras, mar a dúirt an Seanadóir Hawkins, go bhfuil an líon daoine sa tír atá díomhaoineach imithe i méid i rith na bliana seo caite. Deirim leis an Aire agus leis an Seanad nach dtugann sé sin aon tsásamh dhom. Feicim mo mhuintir féin briste as obair, feicim mo ghaolta féin agus na mílte daoine a bhfuil aithne agus eolas agam orthu briste as obair. Ní hé amháin go bhfuil siad briste as obair ach tá éadóchas orthu nár cheapas go bhfeicfinn in Éirinn choíche. Ní hé amháin go bhfuil siad briste as obair ach tá siad súite san éadóchas. Is cúis é sin go bhfuil mé mí-sásta, ní amháin leis an mBille—mar cén gnó atá againn le bheith mí-shásta leis an mBille?—ach le hiompar an Aire agus an Rialtais i rith na bliana seo caite. Sin é an fáth a bhfuil mé chomh mí-shásta is atá mé leis an óráid a thug an tAire anseo tráthnóna. B'fhéidir go mbeadh sé mar fhreagra ag an Aire nach é seo an t-am tuairise iomlán a thabhairt ar a bhfuil beartaithe aige le haghaidh na bliana atá romhainn. B'fhéidir go gceapann an tAire gur b'é lá an Bhudget an lá ceart chun é sin a dhéanamh. Más é sin a thuairim, beidh mise foighdeach. Bíodh spás aige idir seo agus sin. Má thagann sé isteach sa Seanad nó sa Dáil agus beartas rathúil ceaptha amach aige ar mhaithe le muintir na tíre seo, níl aon duine is mó a bheas áthas air dá bharr ná mise.

Ná cheapfeadh an tAire ná aon duine go bhfuighim sásamh ar bith, nó go bhfuigheann duine ar bith a thaobhaíonn liom ar an taobh seo den tSeanad sásamh ar bith, as an ngéarchás ina bhfuil an tír agus gach duine inti faoi láthair. Dúradh linn i rith an toghacháin, agus cuireadh ós ár gcóir mar pholasaí an Rialtais, go mbeadh deireadh le imirce. Ní thugann sé aon tsásamh dom go bhfuil daoine ag imeacht as an tír. Bliain ó shoin dúirt mé leis an Aire gur thárla, faoin tuaidh go háirithe, de bharr polasaí an Rialtais, go raibh na mílte daoine, idir óg agus aosta, gan obair. Dúirt mé leis go raibh eolas agam go raibh na daoine sin bailithe ins na beairicí ag lorg na gceadúnas riachtanacha chun imeacht as an tír. Cad é an freagra a bhí ag an Aire dhom? Dúirt sé liom: "Abair liom ainm aon duine amháin," ar sé, "atá i gcruachas"—amhail is dá dtabharfainn ainm aon duine dhó i gcás mar seo. Ní raibh an tAire sásta leis an méid a dúirt mé faoi rud a bhí os cóir mo shúl agus rud a bhféadfadh sé féin, dá dteastaíodh uaidh, a chruthú ach iarraidh ar na Gardaí nó ar na sagairt ins an gceantar. Chruthaigh an tam gur agamsa a bhí an ceart agus nach ag an Aire a bhí sé, cé faríor géar faoi.

Bunaíodh Coimisiún chun cúrsaí imirce a scrúdú. Bunaíodh Coimisiún chun moltaí a dhéanamh don Rialtas conas deireadh a chur leis an imirce. Ba náireadh an rud é gur bunaíodh an Coimisiún sin sa chéad áit.

It was the proposal of the last Government.

Bíodh sé mar sin. Ná ceapfadh aoinne go bhfuil aon dabht agam faoin cheist seo. Níos mó ná uair amháin i rith an toghacháin deireannach sheas mé ag éisteacht le daoine a bhí i gcoinne Fianna Fáil—agus cuid acu ina n-Airí faoi láthair—á rá go raibh beartas acu, go raibh plean acu, go raibh scéim acu, chun deireadh a chur leis an imirce. Chun na daoine a chur amú, dúirt siad go raibh pleananna agus scéimeanna acu chun deireadh a chur leis an imirce. An túisce a fuaireadar an deis chun an plean a chur i ngníomh, an t-am a fuaireadar an comhacht teacht le chéile agus a gcuid smaointí ar an scéal a chur le chéile, b'in é an t-am a rinne siad faillí agus a bhunaigh siad an Coimisiún chun an scéal a scrúdú.

Your leader had a plan in 1932. We could have taken over than plan.

And it was not put into operation.

If it had been, it would not have had much result.

Tá mise ag caint mar gheall ar pholasaí an Rialtais atá i gcumhacht anois agus nílim ag caint mar gheall ar pholasaí an Rialtais atá imithe.

That might be, so to speak, the banana skin on which they slipped.

Tá Leabhar Meastachán ós ár gcóir. Tá Bille, atá ceapaithe ag an Aire, ós ár gcóir. Tá mé ag caint agus leanfaidh mé ag caint ar na gealltanaisí a rinne an tAire agus an Rialtas agus ar an bhfaillí a rinne sé féin agus a chomh-Airí ins na gealltanaisí sin. Níl aon mhaitheas scadán dearg a thabhairt isteach sa díospóireacht mar gheall air cad dúirt treoraí an Pháirtí seo nó Treoraí an Pháirtí úd. Tá an iomad baint agam leis an saol. Tá an iomad spéis agam ins an saol in Éirinn chun dearmad a dhéanamh agus gan fhios a bheith agam ar mo chuid tuairimí. Ós rud é go bhfuil an cumhacht ag an Rialtas anois, an ndéanfaidh siad amhail mar gheall siad go ndéanfaidís? Tá bliain amháin caité o cuireadh an Coimisiún ar bun. Ní foláir, ins an gceist seo amháin atá le plé ag an gCoimisiún seo, go bhfuil pleananna Fine Gael, An Lucht Oibre, Clann na Poblachta, agus gach plean eile atá le fáil ós cómhair an Choimisiún. Tá aithne mhaith agam ar chuid bhaill an Choimisiún seo. Tá meas mór agam orthu de bharr an tréanáil speisialta a fuair siad agus atá an-oiriúnach i gceist den tsórt seo. Nuair a cuireadh ceist le déanaí ar an Aire Leasa Shóisialaigh mar gheall ar imeachtaí an Choimisiúin seo, sé an míniú a thug sé, an míniú a bhí aige ar an bhaill den Choimisiún, ná gur fir an-ghnóthach na baill den Choimisiún sin agus nár fhéad sé iad a bhrugh ar aghaidh ins an obair seo a thug sé dóibh le déanamh. Ar mhiste liom é seo a rá leis an Aire? Má tá na daoine seo ró-ghnóthach chun dul i mbun na hoibre seo, má tá na daoine chomh haineolach sin nach dtuigeann siad chomh práinneach is atá sé an cheist mhór seo a scrúdú agus tuarascáil a thabhairt air, is cóir deireadh a chur leis an gCoimisiún agus, má tá muinín ag an Rialtas as an gCoimisiún, is cóir dóibh daoine nua a chur i mbun na hoibre. Is masla don tír go n-éiróidh Aire agus go ndeirfeadh sé ar cheist chomh práinneach agus chomh tábhactach leis an gceist seo—ar ceist ar dearnadh an oiread sin propaganda ina taobh i rith an toghacháin—gir fir ghnóthach iad na baill an Choimisiúin seo agus nach bhfuil an deis acu dul ar aghaidh leis an bhfiosrúchán, mar is cóir. Fé mar dúirt mé, ní raibh sé ceart, sa chéad uair, an Coimisiún seo a chur ar bun. Ach, ós rud é go bhfuil sé ar bun agus gur léir anois nach féidir leo an obair a dhéanamh mar is cóir, agus chomh tábhactach agus chomh práinneach is atá sé, in ainm na eneastachta, ba chóir deireadh a chur leis. Dúradh go gcuirfí deireadh leis an imirce. Nílimid ag fáil aon treoir, mór nó beag, ar conas a cuirfear deireadh leis. Sin é an triú fáth go bhfuil mé mí-shásta inniu. Nílim mí-shásta, mar dúirt mé, leis an mBille ach mar nár thuig an tAire go raibh sé de dhualgas air léargas éigin ar pholasaí an Rialtais in aghaidh na bliana atá le theacht a thabhairt duinn. Níl fúm dul tríd na Meastacháin ach ní thógfaidh an Seanad orm má dhéanaim tagairt do chúpla pointe a bhaineann leis na Meastacháin.

Tá spéis faoi leith agam i gcúrsaí na Gaeilge. Tá áthas orm faoin réiteach atá déanta ag an Aire le breis cúnamh a thabhairt do Lucht an Bhéiloidis. Táimid ar fad ar aon intinn gur obair an-tábhachtach agus an-phráinneach í sin. Is maith liom go bhfuil an deontas dúblaithe. Má cruthaítear dúinn nach leor an méid sin airgid, leis an obair a dhéanamh taobh istigh d'achar réasúnta, tá súil agam, pé Rialtas a bheas i réim, go bhfaghfaidh siad an t-airgead atá ag teastáil.

Feicim go bhfuil socraithe ag an Aire cabhair breise a chur ar fáil le haghaidh drámaíochta. Níl fhios agam cén bealach a cuirfear ar fáil é. Tá súil agam go bhfaghfaidh Taidhbhearc na Gaillimhe cabhair, mar teastaíonn sé go géar uaith. Is obair fíor ion-mholta obair sin na ndrámaí agus is maith liom go bhfuil an chabhair bhreise sin tugtha, agus molaim an tAire dá réir.

Ní maith liom an laghdú atá déanta ar an deontas a bhí le fáil ag Comhdháil Náisiúnta na Gaeilge, atá ar bun ag féachaint leis na daoine a ghríosadh agus a spreagadh i dtaobh na Gaeilge. Níl fhios agam an bhfuil ag éirí leis an scéim sin ar an mbealach a cheapamar go néireodh leis ar dtús. Ach tá 5 nó 6 nó 7 blianta ró-ghairid le héifeacht oibre den tsórt sin a mheas. Is ceist an-mhór í ceist aithbheochainte na Gaeilge agus is ceist an-chasta í— an pobal i gcoitian a dhíriú ar an mbealach ar mhaith linn, ionas go dtuigfidh siad a ndualgas. Ba mhaith liom go bhfaghfaidh an Chomhdháil an deontas go ceann tamall eile blianta, go bhfeicimid cén chaoi a n-éireoidh leo. Do hiarraidh orm le cúpla bliain dul go dtí áiteanna ag labhairt ag feiseanna agus ag aeríochta agus caithfidh mé a rá i bhfábhar na hoibre atá déanta ag timthirí na Comhdhála, go raibh an ríméad orm a fheabhas d'éirigh leo na feiseanna agus na aeríochta sin a thabhairt le chéile. Ba chúis ionadh liom an bealach a bhailigh siad an oiread sin daoine isteach ins na cruinnithe sin agus an spiorad a thabhairt fá deara ina measc. Ní gá dom na háiteanna a luadh anois; iarraim ar an Aire mé chreidint nuair a deirim go raibh mé lán-tsásta leis an chaoi a bhí an obair sin ag dul chun cinn. Má bí sé ag dul chun chinn mar sin ins na ceantracha eile ina raibh timthirí ag obair, ba mhór an trua ar fad aon laghdú ar chumhacht nó ar chumas na Comhdhála.

Ní thaithníonn liom a thabhairt faoi deara an méid atá curtha in áirithe i gcomhair deontais na bpaistí ins an nGaeltacht a laghdú i mbliana thar mar bhí anuraidh. Tá £2,500 de laghdú ann. Is ionann an deontas agus £5, agus feicim, mar sin, go bhfuil an tAire Oideachais ag súil go mbeidh 500 níos lú daoine i dteideal an £5 sin d'fháil i rith na bliana ná mar a bhí ins an am atá caite. Feicthear dom gur dona an scéal é sin. Níl fhios agam cén t-údar a bheadh leis mara mbeadh an oiread sin daoine idir tuismightheoirí agus clann, ag imeacht leo as an nGaeltacht.

Scéal na Gaeltachta don tír fré chéile, tá sé thar a bheith tábhachtach. Céard é an cuspóir atá againn ina thaobh? Ba mhaith linn an Ghaeilge a shábháil agus a leathnú, ón nGaeltacht amach, ar fud na Galltachta. Cén chaoi is féidir linn an Ghaeltacht a neartú mara dtagaimíd i gcabhair ar mhuintir na Gaeltachta? Nuair a chuir an Teachta MacPharthaláin scéal mhuintir Bhaile na hInse os comhair na Dála aréir, agus é ag cur síos ar an teach ósta atá le díol, thugas fé deara gurb é an freagra a thug an tAire Airegeadais air agus ar dhuine dá lucht leanuna: "Céard a bhí ag na daoine sin roimhe seo?" Mara dhóigh dhe, an saol a bhí ag muintir na Gaeltachta i bhfad ó shoin, an bhfuil an saol sin maith go leor dóibh anois?

Ní mar a chéile an dá rud.

Ní féidir stad na Gaeltachta d'fheabhsú gan an Stát do teacht isteach i gcabhair orthu. Tá cuid mhaith déanta ar a son cheana nuair rinneadh iarracht ar chuid mhaith a dhéanamh ar a son ins na blianta atá caite. Cuimníodh an t-Aire air: An fiú an Ghaeltacht a shábháil? Más fiú, caithfidh sé bheith fial leis an nGaeltacht le go mbeadh deis oibre ann, ní anois agus arís ach ar feadh na bliana agus go mbeadh ioncam réasúnta ag gach duine—chomh réasúnta agus atá ag dream air bith eile sa tír.

Dúirt mé anuraidh agus tá mé a rá arís—ní haon mhaith don Aire bheidh a rá: "Má bhrisim den mhóin iad tabharfaidh mé obair ar na bóithre dhóibh; agus má bhrisim de na bóithre iad tabharfaidh mé obair ar dhréineáil agus ar rudaí eile dóibh." Ní dhéanfaidh malairt oibre mar sin cúis. Caithfidh siad obair d'fháil ní amháin ar feadh 2 nó 3 mí ach i rith na bliana go hiomlán.

Ní amháin sin ach caithfidh siad obair d'fháil sa tslí gur féidir leo bheith sáthach dóchasach go socróidh siad síos ins an nGaeltacht, go bpósfaidh siad agus go dtógfaidh siad clann ann. Luaigh mé anseo, nuair a bhí Bille Tithe na Gaeltachta ós ar gcomhair cúpla seachtain ó shoin, go mba cheart don Aire Tailte bheith níos féile agus é ag breathnú ar scéal seo na Gaeltachta. Dúirt mé ansin nach raibh an dearcadh ceart aige ar scéal na Gaeltachta nuair nach féidir le duine deontas d'fháil le haghaidh tithe ins an áit ach duine a bhfuil gabhaltas talúin aige inti. Má tugtar gabhaltas reasúnta talún do mhuintir na Gaeltachta, beidh a lán daoine briste as a gcuid gabhaltaisí agus céard a thárlochas ansin—muintir na Gaeltachta do laghdú agus tairgéad a dhéanamh díobh le haghaidh Béarla.

Más mian linn scéal seo na Gaeltachta d'fheabhsú, caithfimid teacht i gcabhar orthu díreach ar an gcaoi ar tháinig sinn i gcabhair ar thionscail na tíre. Más fiú an Ghaeltacht a shábháil, más fiú an pobal sin a shábháil, is fiú teacht i gcabhar orthu, agus go fial. Ní haon mhaith bheith ag malairtiú ón saghas seo oibre go dtí saghas eile oibre. An t-aon rud amháin a dhéanfas leas ins an áit sin—ollscéimeanna bheith ar bun agus iad bheith ar bun gach aon mhí i rith na bliana i dtreo is go mbeidh slí mhaireachtála ag na daoine atá ann faoi láthair, agus ní amháin é sin, ach go bhfuigheadh breis daoine an tslí mhaireachtála chéanna inti.

Ní maith liom an scéal a bhí len aithris ag an Aire mar gheall ar an díolaíocht bhocht atá ar leabhra Gaeilge atá curtha i gcló cheana féin ag an nGúm. Ní inniu ná inné atá an scéal sin a déanamh imní dom. Blianta ó shoin nuair a bhí mé ag oscailt Feise Bhaile Atha Cliath, 'sé brí na hóráide a thug mé go mba cheart dúinne, a bhfuil spéis againn sa Ghaeilge, dul amach agus na leabhra seo a chur ós comhair na ndaoine féachaint le díolaíocht orthu a spreagadh ionas go mb'fhiú a chlóbhualadh agus ionas go suidhfeadh daoine síos agus na leabhra Gaeilge seo a léamh. Sé ceann de na gnóthaí is ionmholta d'obair Chomhdháil Náisiúnta na Gaeilge sa mbliain atá caite go raibh an scéim sin ar bun acu agus arís, dá fheabhas dár éirigh leo, agus d'éirigh leo go maith, tá sé ró-lua le tairbhe na hoibre sin a mheas mar is doigh liom gur i bhfeabhas a bheas an scéim sin ag dul ó bhliain go bliain.

An chaint a bhí ar bun i rith na bliana i dtaobh cúrsaí tionscail agus an ionsaí a bhí á dhéanamh chomh minic sin ar lucht tionscail na tíre, níl aon amhras nach bhfuil sé tar éis cur isteach go mór ar lucht gnótha na tíre. Ná ceapadh an tAire ná aon duine go dtugann sé aon tsásamh dom na rudaí seo a luadh. Tá sé in am go ndéanfadh an tAire agus an Rialtas a n-aigne suas ar céard tá siad ag brath a dhéanamh i dtaobh leathnú tionscail ins an tír. Níl aon mhaith a rá go mbeidh an Seanadóir Ó Dubhthaigh i bhfeighil na hoibre sin feasta. B'fhéidir, sul a mbeidh deireadh leis an díospóireacht seo, ó thárla go bhfuil sé ina údará ar an taobh sin den obair feasta, go dtiubhradh sé léargus dúinn ar céard tá brath acu a dhéanamh agus léargus a thabhairt dúinn ar cén chaoi a rachas a bpolasaí i gcionn ar an tír.

Labhair an tAire an tráthnóna céana le ceann de na cumainn cuntasóirí is tábhachtaí sa tír—na cuntasóirí costála. Tá mé cinnte, má labhair an tAire leis na cuntasóirí, gur labhair na cuntasóirí leis. Ar dhúirt cumann na gcuntasóirí leis an Aire go bhfuil cleasaíocht ar bun ag lucht gnótha? Ar dhúirt na cuntasóirí leis an Aire go bhfuil brabach á cheilt ag lucht gnótha na tíre? Ar dhúirt na cuntasóirí sin leis an Aire go bhfuil bréagriocht ar na cláir fuíollaigh atá dá gceapadh i gcomhair na gcomhluchta sin i rith na blianta atá caite? Tá sé in am ag duine eigín eirí suas ar son an Rialtais agus a rá: "Tá an Rialtas tar éis scéal seo tionscal na tíre a scrúdú; tá an Rialtas tar éis an scéal seo go léir faoi brabach gnótha, an scéal seo go léir faoi chuntasíocht i gcúrsaí gnótha, a bhreathnú agus seo é ár dtuairim i dtaobh na gcostanna sin agus seo é an polasaí a bheas againn feasta i dtaobh na gcostanna sin." Céard iad na sceimeanna nua i gcomhair tionscail na tíre atá ceapaithe ag an Aire, taobh amuigh den méid a bhí ceapaithe ag Rialtas Fianna Fáil? Cén tslí oibre a bheas ag an Rialtas leis na tionscail nua sin nó leis na scéimeanna sin a chur chun cinn? Mar dúirt mé cheana, b'fhéidir gurb é tuairim an Aire nach é seo an áit agus nach é seo an lá le go bhfuighfimis an tuairisc sin, ach, muna bhfuighidh, ba cheart dó é dhéanamh nuair a bheas an Budget á thabhairt isteach aige, agus ní hé amháin go mba cheart dó ach caithfidh sé é a dhéanamh mar seo é a dhualgas ós comhair na Dála.

Dúirt mé nach raibh fúm cur síos ar mhórán de ne Meastacháin ach tá Meastachán amháin eile go mba mhaith liom tagairt a dhéanamh dó, sé sin, Meastachán an Airm. Ní thaithníonn liom an laghdú atá déanta i dtaobh an Airm. Ní thaithníonn liom go speisialta an fhianaise atá le feiceál ar Leabhar na Meastachán ar an bhfaillí atá á dhéanamh i gcúrsaí an Airm. Ní thaithníonn liom an laghdú atá le tabhairt faoi deara i dtaobh na riachtanas i gcóir an Airm, mar shompla, feicimíd laghdú mór, cuir i gcás, maidir le stóras ginearálta, stóras cogaidh, stóras innealtóirí, laghdú an-mhór déanta i dtaobh an chúltaca. Tá sé ceart go leor go mbeadh an oiread fear againn san Arm agus abhí an bhliain seo caite ach, na leatheanta seo, ní féidir le fear troid le píce nó le cabáiste. Is léir ón Meastachán go bhfuil laghdú á dhéanamh ar éifeacht an Airm agus ní thaithníonn sé liom. Má táimid ag barth go ndéanfaidh tír éigin eile cosaint dúinne más gá é le linn éigeandála eile, ba cheart é sin d'fhuagairt don phobal. Má táimid ag brath ar chonradh, má táimid ag brath dul i bpáirt le tíre eile in aon aontas éigin, ba cheart é sin a rá go soiléir le muintir na tíre. Ach, ní maith liom, ní hé amháin an laghdú atá á dhéanamh ar an Arm, ach na nithe a bhfuil an coigilteas á dhéanamh orthu, ní thaithníonn sé liom beag ná mór.

Níor mhiste liom, ós ag caint ar scéal an Airm atáim, a rá go bhfuilim an-mhí-shásta ar fad nár glaodh ar lucht na bhfórsaí cosanta áitíuil an bhliain seo caite le haghaidh téarma tréanála mar bhí ordaithe.

With whom does the Senator suggest there is any agree ment?

Níl mé a rá go bhfuil a leitheide déanta. Ní dúirt mé é sin. Ní dúirt mé aon ní go bhféadfaí a thuigsint is gurb in é a bhí le rá agam. Luaigh mé na beartanna éagsúla ar Mheastachán an Airm a bhfuil laghdú mór déanta orthu. Más mian leis an Seanadóir Ó hAodha é, gheobhaidh sé é ar leathanach——

Cad mar gheall ar an gconradh?

Míneoidh mé cad dúirt mé. Ní leigfidh mé d'aoinne malairt leagain a chur ar mo chuid cainte. Gheobhaidh an Seanadóir é ar leathanach 370 de Mheastachán an Airm. Tá mé tar éis a rá an laghdú atá déanta ins an Meastachán seo. Tá mé tar éis a luadh annseo na beartanna tábhachtacha a bhfuil coigilteas déanta orthu mar shompla, agus níl ann ach sompla, stóras ginearálta an Airm—warlike stores—mar a deireann siad féin.

Tuigimíd go léir é sin.

Supposing all these things were cheaper in their cost?

Bíodh sin mar atá, tá mise a rá nach bhfuil aon mhaith an oiread seo fear a bheith againn muna bhfuil an goireas ceart iomlán acu. Dúirt mé nach dtaithníonn sé liom go bhfuil a chosúlacht air go mbeadh muid, b'fhéidir, ag braith ar thír eile le muid a chosaint. Má tá an míniú ann go bhfuil laghdú i gcostas na rudaí seo, sin miniú sásúil. Má's amhlaidh go bhfuil míniú mar sin le fáil sásóidh sé mé. Más léir go bhfuil an coigilteas seo á dhéanamh bhrí gur féidir goireas airm a cheanamh níos saoire agus san am céanna go mbeidh an tArm chomh héifeachtach agus a bhí agus chó h-éifeachtach agus is féidir, annsin bheinn lán-tsásta.

An poinnte deiridh a bhíi gceist agam i dtaobh an Airm, sé an pointe sin go bhfuilim an-mhí-shásta nár glaodh lucht na bhforsaí cosanta suas le h-aghaidh an tréimhse tréineála mar bhí geallta nuair bhíodar á dtabhairt isteach ins an bhfórsa. Ní hé amháin go bhfuilimse mí-shásta faoi ach bí cinnte go bhfuil lucht an fhórsa féin an-mhí-shásta freisin. Briseann sé sin spiorad na ndaoine, briseann sé spéis na ndaoine atá ins an bhfórsa in a gcuid oibre. Tá súil agam go ndéanfaidh an Rialtas— ó sé an Rialtas atá freagarthach as— aithbhreithniú ar an scéal agus go bhfuighidh na fir deis ar an tréineail mar ba cheart go bhfuighidís é agus mar atá iontuigthe d'réir na dtearmaí ar ar tugadh isteach ins an bhfórsa iad.

Ba mhaith liom tagairt a dhéanamh d'Alt a 4 den Bhille atá ós ár gcóir. Mhínigh an tAire dúinn an rud a tharlaíonn don airgead seo atámuid a fháil ó na Státaí Aontaithe. Tá mé sásta go bhfuil an ceart aige nuair a deireann sé nach ceart go bhfagfaí an t-airead sin' na luf ins an mbane agus gan cead úsaid a dhéanamh de idir dhá linn nó le haghaidh cuspóirí a gceapann an Rialtas go mba cheart an t-airgead d'úsáid ina leith. Is cosúil go bhfuil an t-Alt sin riachtanach le go féidir leis an Aire greim fháil ar an airegead agus ba mhaith liom an greim sin a bheith aige air, ach ba mhaith liom go bhfuighimis leide níos mó ná mar a fuaraemar inniu ar céard atá beartaithe ag an Aire a dhéanamh leis an airgead sin. Is trua nach bhfuil an tAire annseo anois ach is cuma. Feicfidh sé an tuarascáil.

Agus inneosfar dhó é.

Cé an chaoi ar éirigh leis an iasacht tíre? An bhfuair sé an t-airgead ar fad? An raibh, már ba ghnáthach, "oversubscription" ann?

Ní ra sé sin gnáthach, ar aon chuma.

Ar tairgeadh níos mó airgid dó mar theastaigh? Tá imní orm nach bhfuil muinín ag an tír as an Rialtas mar bhíodh.

Tá súil agat nach bhfuil.

B'fhéidir nach bhfuil.

Tá súil ag an Seanadóir nach bhfuil, ceart go leor.

Ar mhiste dhom an méid seo a rá—gur suarach, gránna an chaint é sin ag an Seanadóir Ó hAodha—go bhfuil súíl agam nach bhfuil muinín ag muintir na hÉireann as an tír nó as a Rialtas. Tá sé ar aon dul leis an sórt seo cainte a bhíos ar bun ag an Seanadóir Ó hAodha ó am go ham agus ag cuid dá lucht leanúna, go dtugann sé sásamh do mhuintir na tíre seo a bheith ar ocras, muintir na tíre seo a bheith gan obair. Is náireach dó a leitheid a rá agus ba cheart dó é tharraingt siar.

Tá suíl ag an Seanadóir nach bhfuil muinín ag muintir na tíre seo as an Rialtas. Tá sé sin fíor. Dúirt sé féin é. Dúirt sé go bfhuil áthas air nach bhfhuil muinín ag muintir na tíre seo as an Rialtas

Is rí-mhinic a dúirt mé, agus a derim le mo chaírde anseo, má chuireann an Seanadóir Ó hAodha agus cuid dá cháirde isteach orm, gur bé an rud is béasaí a dhéanamh gan áird a thabhairt orthu. Ní thiubhraidh mise a thuille áirde ar aon rud a déarfhas sé. Sé an cur isteach deiridh a dhéanfas sé an cur isteach sin, an cur isteach deiridh a bheas súil agam leis uaidh nó ó na lucht leanúna.

Níl aon eolas agam cén chaoi d'éirigh leis an iasacht—

Tugadh gach tuairisc air sa Dáil.

D'fhéadfadh an Seanadóir Ó hAodha é sin a rá liom. Tá mé ar lorg eolais agus ag iarraidh comhairle a thabhairt don Aire agus don Rialtas agus a spáint cá bhfuil an bhróg ina luí comh fada agus atá sé ar mo chumas é a dhéanamh. Má tá eolas ag an Seanadóir Ó hAodha ba cheart dó é a thabhairt dom. Má tá eolas aige nach bhfuil agamsa a thiubhradh sásamh dom ba cheart dó é a thabhairt dom, ach ní ceart dó masla—agus masla gránna—a chaitheamh liom mar a fuaireas ón Seanadóir Ó hAodha agus cead aige dul ar aghaidh.

Theastaigh uaim fháil amach cen chaoi a bhí ag éirí leis an iasacht i dtreo is go mbeadh fhios agam fén fonn atá ar dhaoine airgead a chur ar fáil i mbliana le haghaidh scéimeanna foirbirte na tíre. Ba mhaith liom a fháil amach an as an airgead ataimid le fáil ó Mheiríocá a chuirfeas muid foirbeart ar an tír. An bhfuilmid ag brath ar dollars a gheobhfas muid ó Mheiriocá chun scéimeanna móra dréineála, tráchtála, foraoiseachta agus eile a chur chun cinn? Do réir téarmaí na réiteachta seo atá déanta againn le Stáit Aontaithe Mheiriocá, is iasacht an t-airgead seo atáimid le fháil agus más iasacht é tá oibliogáid mhórálta orainn an iasacht sin a íoc ar ais móide ús 2½ faoin gcéad. Beidh orainn tosnú ar an ús a íoc agus an "sinking fund" faoi 1956. Ní dóigh liom gur ciallmhar an rud don Aire a bheith ag iarraidh na scéimeanna sin ar mhaithe linn a chur chun cinn le hairgead iasachta mar sin. Mura bhfuil an Rialtas ag brath ar an airgead ó Mheiriocá le haghaidh na scéimeanna sin, cén ait a bhfuighidh siad an t-airgead? An bhfuighfidh siad é as iasachtaí coigríche speisialta nó "special foreign loans" ar thréimhsí fada? An bhfuighfidh siad é as an airgead atá sábhaáilte cheana féin ag an tír má tá a dhóthain de ann agus creidim féin go bhfuil? An bhfuil muinín ag an Aire go bhfuighfidh sé an t-airgead sin agus, má fhághann sé an tairgead atá sabháilte ag an náisiún, céard iad na tearmaí? Céard é an dóchas atá ag na sealbhóirí go mbeidh siad abálta an t-ús a íoc agus an iasacht a íoc ar ais nuair a thiocfas an t-am chun é a íoc thar ais?

Béidir nár mhiste a mhíniú cén fath a bhfuil imní orm. Bhí mé ag léamh na tuairisce atá ag Mr. Holmes i dtaobh tailte féir na tíre. Is mór an trua nár shábháil an t-údar sin a chuid dubhaí. Tá an chuid is mó de na rudaí atá ráite san tuairisc ráite cheana sna téacsleabhra agus ag an gCoimisiún a bhfuil tuairisc foilsithe acu le blianta. An méid atá tábhachtach sa tuairisc dob fhéidir é a rá i 20 leathanach. Tá rud amháin ann a gcuirim spéis ann, áfach. Cuireann sé síos ar Scéim Dréineála na Bearbha agus an méid acra a tiormadh sa cheantair. Deireann sé—agus níl fhios agam céard a bheas le rá ag an Aire Talmhaíochta mar gheall air—nar bhain na daoine feidhm as an talamh atá taomnaithe agus gur cheart iachall a chur orthu feidhm cheart a bhaint as an talamh. Sé an fáth a bhfuil mé ag caint ar an scéal ar fad, nach bhfuil fhios agam cé acu is fearr roint airgid a chaitheamh ar thailte maithe nach bhfuil imithe rómhór i léig, nó é a chaitheamh ar na tailte teóranacha nó "marginal lands" nó ar thailtí atá taobh amuigh de na teóranacha agus gan eolas againn cén toradh nó cén tairbhe a bheas le fáil. Tá mé ag iarraidh fháil amach cé na deacrachtaí atá ar an Aire chun an t-airgead sin a fháil le haghaidh na scéimeanna sin nó an mbeidh orainn na rátaí úis d'ardú ó 3 faoin gcead go dtí 4 faoin gcéad nó 5 faoin gcéad mar más rúd é nach bhfuair sé an oiread airgid agus a bhí súil aige leis le linn na hiasachta deiridh, d'fhéadfadh sé bheith amhlaidh nach bhfuil an pobal sásta leis na rátaí úis. Céard é an ráta a shásóidh iad a gcuid rachmais a chur ann? Cén seans atá aige an t-ús fháil idir an dá linn agus an "sinking fund" d'fháil chun an t-airgead a íoc ar ais nuair a thiocfas an t-am ina mbeidh sé dlite? Bhfuil sé de rún ag an Rialtas airgead nua a chruthú mar a bhí ar intinn ag an Aire Airgeadais agus é i bhfreasabhra ins an Dáil, gan beann aige ar bhanncanna ach a rá leis an Stát airgead a chur ar fáil agus nótaí bannc a chlóbhualadh agus go mbeadh sé chomh mhaith le haon airgead eile?

Cad é an beartas atá acu i dtaobh an scéil? Má chaitheann an Rialtas an líon mór airgead seo, conas mar a bheidh an scéil i dtaobh luachanna? Má tá an líon mór airgid seo le caitheamh conas mar a bheidh an scéil maidir le luachanna, go ginearálta agus le luach an airgid féin? Sin é an fáth a ndéanaim tagairt don scéal. Sé mo thuairim gur chóir go bhfuighfimís, freagra iomlán ar na ceisteanna sin. Má deireann an tAire Airgeadais liom: "Ní hé seo an t-am ceart chun an cheist seo a phlé," má deireann sé liom, nó má deireann an Seanadóir Ó hAodha liom, thar ceann an Aire, go dtiocfadh an t-eolas sin go léir amach ag am an Bhudget—

Tháinig sé amach timpeall seachtain ó shoin sa Dáil agus tá sé le fáil i dTuarascáil na Dála. D'fhiafraigh an Teachta Mac an tSaoi an t-eolas sin den Aire agus ceapaim gur tugadh an t-eolas sin.

B'fhéidir é. B'fhéidir gur tugadh freagraí ar na ceisteanna sin go léir atá curtha agam.

Ní deirim gur tugadh freagraí ar na ceisteanna go léir atá curtha agat ach tugadh freagra i dtaobh iasachtaí.

Má deireann an tAire nó an Seanadóir Ó hAodha go bhfuil am ag teastáil chun na ceisteanna sin a chíoradh, nó nach é seo an t-am chun na ceisteanna sin a chur, tá mé sásta fanúint mí nó dhá mhí le haghaidh na bhfreagraí. Ach, ceisteanna móra iad agus ba chóir go bhfuighfimís leargus orthu. Tá súil agam go bhfuil scéimeanna maithe in aigne an Aire i dtaobh an airgid sin.

Arís, ba mhaith liom é seo a rá. Tá súil agam go gcreidfidh na daoine sin nach bhfuil ar aon aigne linne nuair a deirim é seo. Má thaispeánaim anseo mo mhí-shástacht leis an Rialtas nó má thaispeánaim mo mhí-shástacht le iompar nó le polasaí Aire ar bith—má dhéanaim tagairt do na deacrachtaí atá le fulaing ag na daoine ins an tír seo—ní dhéanaim é sin le fonn agus ní dhéanaim é le súil go bhfuigfidh mé aon bhuntáiste politiciúil dá laghad dá bharr.

It is more or less inevitable that discussion of the Central Fund Bill is, in certain respects, unsatisfactory. That is always the case because a pre-Budget discussion of expenditure, without regard to taxation, is rather unsatisfactory. I listened with considerable interest to Senator Hawkins. He did what, I suppose, some of us did but not at the same length, when in Opposition—make long and, perhaps, irrelevant speeches. I could not follow all that he said, but I followed it reasonably well, and I think his speech was a fairly detailed account of the policy of the Party which he represents. It is, therefore, surprising that I find myself in partial agreement with him in two matters to which he referred, one being at the beginning and the other at the end of his speech.

The Senator started by expressing a certain amount of regret that the Estimates had not been reduced by a larger amount. To that extent I find myself in complete agreement with him. He went on to state that he felt the Government—and I think it applied to all Governments—should go slowly before making drastic changes. With such sentiments I find myself in substantial agreement. But when trying to apply the principles to the Senator's speech I am completely bewildered. He complained bitterly because the Minister for Social Services was going a little slowly about making provision for schemes of social service. I disagree with the view that Senator Hawkins expressed in the middle of his remarks. He thought that this scheme should be brought in immediately, whether fully prepared or not, but, in my view, in a matter of that kind a little delay might be wise. I hope the Minister will not bring in that scheme until it is well thought out and ready for public criticism and amendment.

The Senator was very aggrieved because the Minister for Industry and Commerce went slowly before accepting a recommendation to increase fares, plus, I think, a recommendation for a reduction of certain staffs, and the closing of some branch railway lines. I have not got all the details, but I think the Minister was wise to have gone slowly there. What harm has been done? The only harm done is that it cost the State a certain amount of money which it paid to Córas Iompair Éireann and that went into the pockets of people all over the country when they paid lower fares. That may not be a desirable thing, but it was certainly more desirable than making a hasty decision without giving it proper consideration. Accordingly, I prefer Senator Hawkins's peroration to the middle part of his speech.

I do not propose to follow the Senator in detail, and I hope I am not wronging him when I say that I was able to find only one suggestion made by him proposing reduction of expenditure. He seemed to base the whole of his case on the assumption that if you are not spending money you must be inefficient. I do not accept that view. The Senator assumed that if there was a reduction in the Estimates for a Department it was going to do its work less efficiently. He picked out one particular item, and suggested that there should not be a provision of £10,000 for propaganda for the Department of the Minister for Health. He thought that item absurd or too high.

I do not know whether all that propaganda is as good as it might be, but I am absolutely convinced that if for £10,000 yearly we could persuade the people of this country that tuberculosis is curable if taken in time, and get that idea into their heads, the £10,000 would save the State eventually thousands of pounds as well as being a safeguard against misery and unhappiness for thousands of people. I say that the kind of advice that would help people, either to keep their health or to get cured at an early stage, is a good way in which to spend money, provided it is done properly. The fact that it is provided does not mean that it can be done properly, but the idea is a good one. All the rest of the Senator's programme was that more money should be spent.

I should like the Senator to point out where I suggested that £10,000 should not be spent. I drew attention to the fact that there was a reduction in the Estimate of a certain amount, and that there was a new allocation of £10,000 for publicity.

The Senator will agree that I do not want to misrepresent him. The impression I got was that his criticism concerned that particular way of spending money while decreasing other items of expenditure. My answer is that if good health could be increased by propaganda, it would be an extraordinarily good thing. However, that is a minor point. I took it that that was one of the things the Senator picked out that might be reduced. If I am wronging him I apologise. Probably the Senator thought that item should not be reduced but reduction should be on more general lines.

This brings me to what I regard as the fundamental position. Some Senators suggested that there was a certain amount of depression ahead. We had better face the fact that there is a certain amount of recession in trade and that it may become more extensive. I think at the moment that it is temporary. It is to be hoped that that is so. Providing there is not another war at an early date, we must go through a certain period of recession and a certain lowering of prices. That means that under such conditions individuals will be extremely careful about their expenditure. Those responsible for business, for families, or whatever their responsibilities, will have to avoid unnecessary expenditure and, in particular, to avoid luxuries. The State ought to set that example.

It should be the policy of the Government to do everything in its power, in a period in which there is definitely a recession, to avoid increased taxation, if it can possibly be avoided. If you are going to see that in your economy the lowest paid class of the population does not suffer, then you must cut your coat according to your cloth, and must make some attempt at saving.

There was another matter on which I should like to say a word, as the Senator referred to it. There has been, in my opinion, a certain amount of unworthy and undesirable criticism of a body which has not yet met or functioned, namely, the Industrial Development Council. As far as I can sense the feeling of industry and trade generally, it is that they hope that body will succeed, that they are prepared to co-operate with it, to give any assistance possible, and all the information that may be desired. There is a general desire that its work should be successful. It may be that it might fail. But why start to try to destroy it before it has commenced operations? Why make little of the salaries to be paid to these men, the majority of whom are probably earning as much or more at the present time, and who we know perfectly well have taken little or no part in politics? Of the limited number of them that I know personally, I am aware that they have done extremely useful work in their present occupations.

I should like these particular men to be given a chance. I think all Parties would like it. We look to them to produce something that would be of assistance to the Government to develop industry by means of co-operation and not by means of any dictatorial powers.

As far as I am concerned no reference was made to the salaries it is proposed to pay to these men.

I was under the impression that such a reference was made. There were certainly references in another place, and may I say that I deprecate that type of criticism. There was proposed under the old Government, in a Bill which did not become law, a different type of council which gave certain autocratic powers. That caused a great deal of uneasiness and criticism amongst industrialists of all kinds and supporters of all Parties. As far as I can judge at the moment, the same people—and again they are supporters of all the different Parties or of none— feel that, if this new body is going to work on the basis of co-operation without being given autocratic powers, it should be given every chance to become a success. I want to take the opportunity—as I am, to some extent, a representative in this House of industry—of saying that, as I believe it to be the attitude of industry towards this council.

I take it that there is general agreement that this Central Fund Bill will be passed this evening and it may be necessary to sit a little late for that purpose.

Why must it be passed this evening?

It must be signed to-morrow, to become law to-morrow. I take it that the House will pass it to-night.

Agreed.

Business suspended at 6 p.m. and resumed at 7.15 p.m.

In the course of this debate, a lot of territory has been covered and I have no intention of traversing it again. We have had the vices and virtues of this Government compared with those of the last and I have no intention of going over those points. In spite of the considerable reduction announced by the Minister for Finance, the Central Fund still needs over £65,000,000 for the purposes of the central administration of the State. When we add to that many more millions that must be found by the community for local taxation, we should ask ourselves whether the cost of governing the country has not gone to fantastic heights and whether we should not do our best to give to the Minister, what I believe he would welcome, suggestions as to how this awful impost on the people might be reduced. We should not blind our eyes to the fact that there is an ever increasing demand from the Central Government for more and more things to be done by the Government for the people, more and more services that must inevitably be paid for out of taxes. No man, no matter from what Party he comes, could possibly provide all these services and at the same time continually effect economies in administration. Another thing we must face is that what I call the recent years of lavish spending, of abnormal plenty, of abnormal circulation of money, are definitely at an end. Let us not fool ourselves; money is tighter to-day than it was this time a year ago and it shows signs of becoming tighter every day.

In the course of the debate, many speakers referred to unemployment. Unfortunately, there is no magical wand that is going to get rid of unemployment, but one of the surest ways of limiting the degree of unemployment will be to give speculative private enterprise more encouragement than seems to be the fashion prevailing to-day. You cannot get capital invested if one day you bully it and the next day you cajole it. Yet that is the lot of the private speculator. I am going to make an admission right away. We know that, in recent years, because of abnormal circumstances, some people and some firms—and they were not all manufacturers—some distributors and private speculators in all walks of life made money at a rate and on a scale that they never anticipated they would make it. But if they did, people like the unfortunate manufacturer and distributor, who had audited accounts, reflected those profits in the heavy taxation they paid to the State. It is worth having on record that some of the most fantastic moneys made in this country in recent years were made by a type of person who paid no tribute to Cæsar at all, the backyard merchant and the small office trader, who made abnormal profits and stuck to them, because he was not giving the State any record of what he did.

The cost of Government here has increased and I do not think we should blame either the present Minister for Finance or his predecessor for all that abnormal expenditure. But should we not suggest that the administrative machinery is a little bit obsolete here? I know it may be considered outrageous even to suggest it. I am now going to pay a tribute to the general competence and general courtesy of our really magnificient Civil Service. At the same time, I feel that the type of structure is one that should be examined. I am satisfied, as a business man, from what I have seen, that some of the offices of administration in this country leave room for considerable economy. We all know of men who have given service to the State in Departments other than the Civil Service who, under this Government as well as under the previous Government, when the time came for them to go out on pension have been found—and I use the word deliberately—comfortable jobs in other Departments of State.

Senators know that I am speaking of things that have happened. If it is possible for these plums to be found, almost on the instant, for people who, in the normal course of events, would be going out on pension, I feel that if what I suggest, an overhaul by people competent to do it, were made of the various branches of State expenditure, far more economies than are at present being made would be found possible. We know the general structure. It seems to me that, no matter what little activity is engaged in by the State, you start off with a secretary and one assistant secretary or more. There are then deputy assistant secretaries, principal officers, higher executive officers, junior executive officers and right down the scale. Each little department feels that it must preserve its own dignity by having the full hierarchy and the whole set up must be engaged in the activity.

I was careful to preface my remarks on this matter by saying that we have a Civil Service in this country of which we have every reason to be proud. Its probity, integrity and general courtesy are, I think, unexcelled. It is the structure, I think, which should be looked into, because to whatever degree it exists, I am satisfied that it does exist to some degree, and if the Civil Service were overhauled in the way a big business corporation would overhaul its activities and its staff, I think we will find that we have considerably more civil servants than we need to run the country efficiently and economically. We might find, too, that some of the men giving service to the State should be, in comparison with commercial undertakings, more adequately remunerated than they are, but we find also that many men are doing work for which they are being far too well paid.

These are things that occur to me. I am a bit of a realist in these matters, I am afraid. As I say, I have in some sense sympathy with the Minister in having to come before this House and the other House and announce, as he has announced, with sorrow, that he finds it necessary to ask for £65,000,000 for the Central Fund. It is no use trying to make political capital out of a matter like this. I do not intend to, as I never indulge in that type of thing, but I think it is time that, as a big corporation, if it found itself facing a difficult time, would have its affairs looked into by competent people, we looked into ours to see to what degree economies could be made without sacrificing efficiency.

I make the suggestion in all friendliness to the Minister because I am afraid that since we started governing our own affairs, we inherited a system that may or may not be ideal for our needs and we may have inherited with that system some of the faults which, I think, could be eradicated if they were investigated. I do not propose to go into details now because in a few weeks the Minister will be with us again in connection with the various suggestions in his Budget. I content myself with these few criticisms which are made, not in any desire to be harmful, but with the hope that they contain the germ of an idea which, if followed up, may result in economies.

I propose to commence my remarks by congratulating the Minister on carrying out the promise he made last year to reduce the Estimates by a substantial amount. That cannot fail to be a source of congratulation to the country. I think one can say also that the distinction which has been drawn by him and his colleagues between current and capital expenditure is sound and on right lines. Whereas the Minister has attempted to cut down expenditure on current and non-remunerative services, the Government has envisaged a very far-reaching programme of capital expenditure for the development of the productive resources of the country. The Minister mentioned that that might possibly be financed partially by Marshall Aid, but, however it is financed, wherever the source of finance comes from, there can be no question whatever that the long period programme of development, of reclamation, of afforestation, of the fertilising of the soil, will, in the long run, yield an abundant dividend and amply justify itself in relation to the productivity of the country and the standard of living of the people and will, we hope, help to stem the tide of emigration and to cure, to some extent at any rate, the vicious problem of unemployment which so many speakers have referred to in the Seanad.

I am afraid that in the Seanad I never can lose sight entirely of the people who sent me here to represent them and, therefore, I cannot help feeling that it is rather a pity that in this great programme of developing the resources of the country the development of the talent and latent ability of the people does not seem to occupy the same attention in the Government's programme as the development of the soil. I would have thought that this great programme of development required a great deal of expertise. I would have thought the development of the soil required a large number of professional people, chemists, engineers, agricultural graduates above all, and I would have thought that for the production of these people the universities, my own university and the other universities in the country, might have been given more adequate assistance to produce that expertise because, if it is not produced there, it cannot be produced elsewhere.

I do not wish to put my case for additional financial support for the universities on any selfish ground. I want to make that perfectly clear. I am not arguing the case in favour of the university colleges for their own sake. I am arguing in favour of it because I consider it to be one of the most productive national investments that any country can make. Other countries with more claims on their finances than ours have, I am afraid, a more enlightened attitude towards university education than we have to-day. In this modern world, with advancing technology and increasing competition, it is everywhere seen that scientists and technicians are the most valuable products a country can produce. One point that I would like to put forward very strongly is that the production of these technicians and scientists, these people who are competent in the applied sciences, can only rest on the basis of pure scientific research. I do not think I need press the point to a Minister who has been so many years associated with the staff of my own college that all experience proves that applied science rests on the basis of pure science and that countries which are advanced over this in applied science have been those countries which in the past have devoted most of their resources to apparently sterile investment in laboratories, mathematics, physics, chemistry and the more abstract sciences which are the true foundation of all progress in the modern world.

Looking around this country to-day, one cannot help being greatly impressed by the important part played by university graduates in all public services. I do not wish to particularise but, just looking around very quickly, one sees it without being personal, in the Executive Council; one sees it in the very highest range of the Civil Service, secretaries, higher executive officers, higher administrative officers. We see it on the judicial bench. In every profession, everywhere we go, we see the importance of the Irish universities and perhaps it is not selfish of me to say of my own college to a greater extent than any other. University graduates are the lynchpin on which the whole development of Irish industry, agriculture and technology has taken place. You have only to look at Thom's Directory and it is studded with the names of our graduates—engineers, architects, chemists, doctors, lawyers, accountants, secretaries. It is quite remarkable. I know. I am speaking from experience. When I was a candidate for the National University last year, going through the list of graduates, it was impressed upon me that our graduates —University College Dublin graduates in particular were playing an extremely important part in the life of the country.

The Minister knows as well as I do that this good service which I think we have given to the country has been obtained with somewhat slender resources. Compared with the facilities available in other countries in the universities, University College, Dublin, of which I can speak with firsthand personal knowledge, has been suffering from chronic financial difficulties from the very day it was born. The date of the laying of the foundation stone appears in Roman numerals over University College, Dublin. It is 1914 —a bad year to start a new enterprise. Since then, we have been fighting with inflation, with financial crises, with wars and world depression and all the time our student population has grown until now we have, in a building which was constructed for 800 students, nearly 3,000 students working in scientific faculties, at great inconvenience, I may say with regard to some of them who are working in the old part of University College, almost in a condition of danger because the old buildings are falling down. Our extern examiners in the medical sciences express surprise at the good work we are doing in the conditions under which we have to labour, and I think it is great tribute to the quality of my colleagues and the quality of our students that a university which is so ill-housed, that is so understaffed, the staff of which is badly paid by modern standards, should be turning out such highly qualified graduates which, as I said before, have really made the running of the whole show possible, because, if you were to go through Thom's Directory and take away the National University graduates from the various Government Departments and boards, the medical profession and the judicial bench, it is very hard to see how the whole thing could carry on.

I do not wish on the Central Fund Bill to digress into Estimates. I understand that, strictly speaking, it is not correct, but I would like to draw the Minister's attention to one or two considerations which I think are relevant, because I am confining myself, I hope, to questions which I was told could be the subject matter of the debate on the Central Fund Bill. Looking at the Book of Estimates for the present year, I am afraid I was rather disappointed. Last year on the Appropriation Bill the Minister excused the Estimate for the universities on the grounds that he was working on his predecessor's Estimate, which, of course, was true. This year I expected to see pluses where I saw minuses last year and minuses where I saw pluses. I must confess, however, that the Universities and Colleges Vote was minus £15,000 as compared with the Institute for Advanced Studies, which was plus £10,000. I want to make very clear beyond all possibility of misunderstanding that I have the greatest admiration for those people who are engaged in the Institute for Advanced Studies. They are all from the point of view of scientific knowledge much greater men than I am. They are dealing with the obscurities of the outer universe, cosmic physics, and with the still greater obscurities of the old Irish language. They are people living in a world of their own. I am debating this question from a strictly utilitarian point of view as it is the investment of the nation's money. The Vote for the Institute for Advanced Studied is, roughly speaking £50,000 a year, and the Vote for all the universities put together, taking into account the faculty of agriculture, etc., is £400,000. From the utilitarian point of view and not merely from the highly scientific and abstract point of view, can it be contented that the work done for the country in producing its professional men by the universities is not worth more than eight times the work done by the Institute for Advanced Studies?

If we have some sort of data, some mark or standard to go by, I would suggest that if the Institute is worth £54,000 of the public money this year, then the Irish universities are worth more that £400,000 and University College, Dublin, in particular is worth more than roughly £194,000 which it is getting. The Institute for Advanced Studies has seven professors and no students whereas we have over 100 professors and 3,000 students. By that calculation we can claim more than four times the annual grant of the institute.

I do not wish to make comparisons with other countries and I do not want to be accused of slavishly following everything the British do, but I cannot refrain from drawing attention to a document, University Development, 1935/1947, published by the London Stationery Office in 1948. I will not read any figures beyond the first one. The grants to the British universities in England, Wales and Scotland—not Northern Ireland—from Parliamentary grants adminstered to the Universities Grants Committee in 1935/36 was £2,000,000 and in 1947/48 £6,880,000. On the 1st March this year the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced in a written reply in the House of Commons that in the coming year he would provide £12,814,000 for recurrent grants to the universities. In addition to that, he proposes £4,750,000 for non-recurrent grants on capital expenditure. One cannot argue from the circumstance of another, but one must remember that Great Britain has been through the strain of several years of very serious war and has suffered great capital losses of all kinds. She has ceased to be a creditor country and has become a debtor country. We escaped the war and although we did not escape all the consequences we escaped physical destruction. Instead of being a debtor country, we piled up assets abroad, although I am aware that they are not worth as much as they were. If the British Government in those circumstances takes the view that the dividend earned on this investment of £12,000,000 next year in the universities on the recurrent side is worth while in a country suffering from acute shortage, I have a feeling that we could expend more than £400,000 on our universities. British universities have sources of income that we have not got. They receive large grants from local authorities and we have nothing corresponding to that in Ireland at all. Their fees are higher because they are dealing with a richer population, and many of the old universities have large endowments and land and estates of their own. They do not depend to the extent we do on Government grants. I do not wish to worry the House but I should like to repeat that I am not asking from the point of view of the university or college but that I am not asking from the point of view of the country. I suggest that this country, if it is going to spend so many millions on land reclamation, can spend more than it does spend on university education. It is not fair to ask the university, and particularly University College, Dublin, to continue to provide the services it is providing without putting it in the position of reasonable comfort in the future.

When Senator Hawkins was speaking this afternoon the Minister stated that it was proposed to staff the Industrial Development Council with permanent civil servants. I should just like to query whether it is wise to do so. I have not very strong views on the matter myself but I know other people who have. I am taking this occasion to voice that doubt because I have heard the view expressed outside by very responsible and influential people that this body should not be staffed by civil servants—that it should be an independent body and that its activities should not be hampered by having to submit to Civil Service procedure.

I notice that in the speeches to which we have listened so far there seems to be on one hand a desire for greater expenditure and on the other hand a criticism of the magnitude of the bill, which is only one-third of the demand for the Supply Services, before us this evening. Perhaps the most remarkable thing of all is that both these lines of thought find expression in the same speech. Senator Hawkins, for instance, was critical of the amount of the Estimate. At the same time he criticised the inadequate provision made for many of these services covered in the Book of Estimates. It seems to me that one cannot please those who are looking for more expenditure and those who are looking for a reduction in the demand on the public funds at the same time. Later on there will be a Finance Bill providing for the taxation which is required to meet these bills. I have a feeling the Finance Bill will considerably exceed £70,000,000. After all, the Estimates we are dealing with apply only to the Supply Services but the Finance Bill will have to provide money too for the Central Fund Services. They may very well amount to £7,000,000 and that is, roughly, a bill of, say, £72,500,000. That is a very tidy sum. I have a certain amount of sympathy with the view expressed by Senator Summerfield in which he specially drew attention to the need for limiting the amount of the demand. The only way we can get taxation down is by limiting the amount of the demand we make on public funds.

May I draw attention to one aspect of this demand which seems to me to be the governing factor and is likely for long to remain the governing factor, in determining the amount of the bill which the Irish taxpayer will be called upon to foot? The sum required for the Supply Services in respect of food subsidies, subsidies for agriculture and subsidies for local government administration, totted together, amounts to £30,000,000. On the Book of Estimates, covering a total of £65,000,000, there is provided for these three services £30,000,000— almost half the total amount of the bill which we are called upon to meet. I do not want to go into details, but if we omit the food subsidies there is; going to be a tremendous rise in the cost of living and there is going to be a complete upheaval in the industrial world because of demands by trade unions on behalf of the workers in every category to recompense them for the increased cost of living. I do not see any means of avoiding that subsidy for a considerable time. There is an agricultural subsidy provided. I think the farmers will probably tell us that it is not a subsidy for agriculture but rather one for relief of rising prices. However, between agricultural grants and moneys of one kind or another, almost £10,000,000 goes into agriculture out of public funds and something like £7,000,000 goes to the relief of local rates. The only difficulty about that figure of £30,000,000 is that somebody has got to provide it. It comes out of taxation. Unfortunately, a very substantial part of the £30,000,000 will come out of the pockets of the people who are getting the subsidies. The matter, in fact, is one that cannot be dealt with in a debate of this kind because there are very many aspects that require consideration. I think the time has arrived when all Parties in this State might consider what is the best attitude to adopt towards this problem of subsidisation, in the interests of the community as a whole. There are really no debating points to be scored and there is no political advantage to be gained by chipping the Minister for Finance and saying on the one hand that he is asking for too much in his Budget and on the other hand that he is not giving enough in regard to the Supply Services. I think, however, that most of the criticism which has been levelled against the Minister must, on reflection, be discounted. He has the least enviable job in the Government. It does not matter very much what he does—he will have critics. If he saves money he will have critics and if he spends money he will have critics.

There are some things which have been done during the year which, I think, reflect credit. We should not deny credit to the Minister for his achievements. Might I draw attention to the fact, first and foremost, that by and large there has been a stabilisation of prices during the year 1948? There has been no increase in prices. In fact, there is a reduction of a point or two, but it does not very much matter whether it is a point or two down or a point or two up—there has been a stabilisation of prices. The prices may have been too high a year ago—I think they were. They may still be too high, but at any rate stabilisation has been effected and it is being effected in spite of the fact that the wages of the industrial workers have been increased by £5,000,000 a year and the salaries of the supervisory, clerical and commercial employees have been increased by £2,000,000 a year.

It does not matter.

Because the cost of living has risen.

That is silly. What is the use of a man in this House saying that the cost of living has risen when everyone knows that it has not? The Senator's colleagues will have an opportunity of speaking if there is any misstatement of mine to which they desire to reply.

The point I am making is this, that the price level has been stabilised throughout 1948, and has been stabilised, in view of the fact that there is much more money in circulation than there was a year ago. Wages in agriculture increased by £730,000, wages of clerical and supervisory staffs increased by £2,000,000, wages of industrial workers by £5,000,000 and, on top of that increased expenditure, there is the increased income of persons in receipt of pensions or who secured benefits of one kind or another, to the extent of £1,750,000.

These figures tot up to £9,500,000. That is to say, there was £9,500,000 in circulation in 1948 over and above the amount in circulation in 1947, the inflationary impact of which must be apparent to everybody who studies the figures. Therefore, I say that if the Government has not succeeded in reducing prices they have achieved a good deal in the way of holding prices firm in the face of that additional expenditure, the effect of which is to increase appreciably the spending power of the community amongst whom these additional moneys were expended.

I am not at all ignoring a certain element in the community against which charges have been levelled on many occasions and in this House, the charge of profiteering. There is profiteering still. There are people in the community who are, obviously, making far too much money for the services they render, and I have hopes that the Minister, having had a year to examine the situation, to which he addressed himself a year ago, in relation to the profit margin, will now, when introducing the Budget, take steps to ensure that where unreasonable margins of profit have accrued, they will be collected for the benefit of the Exchequer.

I was rather intrigued by the speech of Senator Hawkins so far as it applied to agriculture. The Senator complained of the discontinuance of certain grants, payments or aids to agriculture. But, by and large, the income of the agricultural community increased by £5,000,000 in 1948. I am not challenging the fact that there is a considerable amount of poverty amongst people in certain areas of rural Ireland, particularly on the Atlantic seaboard, and that people in country districts are leaving and emigrating or looking for jobs in the towns. That is beyond question.

Does it not present a problem, which was not visualised in the criticism of taxation policy which we have had? It seems to me that this question cuts very much deeper. Compulsory tillage, aids to agriculture, the provision of glass-houses to grow tomatoes, guaranteed prices for butter and meat, all have been tried over a period of years in one form or another. They have been tried extensively during the last ten or 12 years but, at the same time, we are confronted with the fact, that between 1928 and 1948 almost 70,000 people deserted agricultural occupations.

Forty thousand last year.

I accept that figure, if it was 40,000. They left rural Ireland at a time when the income of the rural population was higher than at any previous period.

That is a problem for the Emigration Committee.

It is a problem for this House. This is one of the two Houses of the Oireachtas which has to decide in the long run what the policy of the State is to be. I think Senators on both sides of the House will be sufficiently reasonable to admit the genesis of the problem, and to ask themselves, what is to be the real solution. No Government since 1922 has been able to discover a solution. The problem is there all the time. It is usually called "flight from the land" but that is hardly the proper designation. In many places people are not flying from the land, but are flying from rocks and bogs. Now that we are on the eve of a new project to improve the value of land, to drain it, to clear it of scrub, rocks and rushes, we have to ask ourselves whether, in fact, that scheme and the vast expenditure it will involve eventually, is going to make life attractive in Connemara, in Kerry and in Donegal?

The scheme is not being put into operation in Connemara.

Is it the Senator's suggestion that if the scheme were put into operation there the problem would be solved? If not, what is the use of lamenting, or what is the use of saying that it is not in operation? My case is this, that something more than a scheme of this kind is needed. I think you want to alter the way of life in rural Ireland, you want to recognise No. 1, that a great proportion of the people who are unemployed, particularly in the Gaeltacht, and along the western seaboard, are not unemployed in the strict sense that factory workers are unemployed. A man or a woman may be unemployed periodically, but they have some land that they can work, but the period of work it requires is only for a few months, and the balance means idleness.

Unless there is something to put there in the way of normal employment, or adequate holdings of land, there is going to be unemployment, poverty and emigration. It seems to me that afforestation schemes, drainage of rivers, reclamation of land will provide jobs for a period, just as relief schemes do for a couple of months in the year, and give a cash income to those employed. But there must be an end to that. Surely we do not want to employ people on the making of roads for the sake of giving them employment?

I take it that the purpose of making roads is to provide an amenity for the community, and not to provide employment. If we devise some means of making roads in Connemara, which will last for 50 years, are we not achieving something valuable, or is it the contention of Senator Hawkins that having made the roads, we should take them up again in order to provide employment? That does not seem to make sense. It seems to me that what is needed is some permanent method of employing people, who have not sufficient employment on their own land during the off season, at something useful, something that will give them an income in the form of wages and, at the same time, enlarge the resources of the community; in other words, something that will help to enrich the people as a whole.

If we have a boot factory, we think of it as something that provides the community with boots and shoes, something that they need. The provision of employment is secondary. We do not build boot factories for the purpose of creating employment, neither should we drain rivers, make roads or plant forests primarily to provide employment, but rather to provide the community with something that will enrich the nation and enable the people as a whole to live a better life, while incidentally giving a decent income to those who are providing that amenity.

It is true that there has been a considerable volume of emigration, but it is also true that the number of people employed in industry increased during 1948. The total number employed at the end of 1948 in industrial occupations was 20,000 greater than at the beginning of 1948. In other words, we saw the absorption of 20,000 Irish people into industrial occupations. The decline in employment has been mainly on the land and on the land it has been in respect of the small-holders. Compulsory tillage and these artifices that have been referred to will not increase the volume of employment, because they do not apply, in the main, to the small-holders. Senator Hawkins knows quite well that, in the larger part of Galway, at least West Galway, a greater part of Kerry, Donegal and Mayo, the holdings are extremely small. Even if the holding in Mayo was 50 acres, it does not mean very much when you remember that the poor law valuation is only £3 or £4. Even the size of the holding is not a good way of measuring the prosperity or the lack of prosperity of the occupier. If the holdings are large, they are poor, offering a very poor standard of living to the occupiers; if they are small, it means almost destitution. A small holding need not necessarily involve a poor standard of living for the occupier. Anyone who knows County Dublin knows very well that a man with three or four acres of land in Rush has probably a far better standard of living than the man with 50 acres in Roscommon.

There is only one Dublin City in Ireland.

That is true. The average holdings in Switzerland are smaller than in this country, but the standard of income amongst the agricultural community in Switzerland is considerably higher than the average here.

Because they cater for the tourist industry.

Farmers? I am talking of agriculture.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

The Senator should be allowed to continue his speech.

There is a very significant fact in regard to Switzerland. Since all sections appear to cater for the tourists, the fact is that the small farms of under 20 acres show greater yields per acre than the farms of over 50 acres, and the income per person employed is greater on the small farm than on the large one. That is within the country itself. It is not necessary to make comparisons outside. I do not want to discuss the question of tourists in Switzerland with Senator Hawkins, but I would ask him to spend a month in Switzerland.

Is that an invitation?

I will be prepared to consider that. The tourist makes very little impact on the lives of the farming community. There are tourist centres, just as Killarney is a tourist centre. I do not know that the tourists who visit Killarney enrich the people in Dingle, or that those who go to Rosapenna do very much for the people in Inishowen, as a community.

There is another point regarding unemployment, a serious one for Senator Hawkins, on which I would like him to reflect. The last figures I saw show that there are 48,000 men unemployed in rural Ireland and 28,000 of the 48,000 are in four counties, the great bulk, of course, being in Donegal and Kerry. West Galway itself is a very fruitful source of unemployment. It seems to me that we require to examine that situation as we know it— and we all know pretty well what the country is, as it is not a very big country and we have all been through great parts of it and are familiar with it— and we ought to see what can be done to remove the misery which unemployment causes in the community and the burden it places on the community as a whole. We must have regard to the fact that large sums of money are expended on social welfare or pension schemes of one kind or another which are really promoted to enable people to live where, in other circumstances, they could not have existed at all.

All this debate I have listened to here and the debate I listened to yesterday in Dáil Eireann seem to me to pose this question: "Can this community continue raising money and spending it without result in the way it has been doing over a period of years?" If the Budget this year is going to amount to £72,000,000, as I think it will, it is very likely to be £75,000,000 next year and £80,000,000 the year after. I calculated in 1946 that if Fianna Fáil were in office in 1950, the Budget would be £100,000,000. I think it is true—it would have been £100,000,000—and we would still have the poverty, the emigration, the destitution and the demand for more schemes and more expenditure. That is the problem we have to face. Taunts and reflections will not solve it. There is a serious obligation on Senator Hawkins, with the resources at his disposal, to examine the situation and to find out dispassionately, away from politics, why there is this need for such a large expenditure in a very small country on the relief of poverty and destitution and why there is the persistent flow of emigration to escape the poverty with which we have not been able to cope.

I believe that Senators, on whichever side they sit, will be of one mind in congratulating the Minister on the substantial reduction he has effected in the Estimates for the year ended March, 1950. That reduction is welcomed both for itself— I hope it will reflect itself in some lessening of taxation—and for what it stands for. I take it as standing for a realisation of the fact that this is, if not a poor country—somebody has objected to its being called poor—an impoverished, a struggling country, and for us to have crippling taxation, crippling expenditure, to vie with other countries is bound to lead to disaster. The amount on the Book of Estimates for this year is a healthy sign and we are very glad to congratulate the Minister on the fact that he has reduced the Estimates to that extent and we hope that it will reflect itself in lowered taxation.

At the same time, one has two disturbing fears. One is that what is cut down at the centre may be passed on to the circumference—as the saying has it, "What is lost on the swings may be got back on the roundabouts." What I have in mind is the tendency to cut down central taxation by putting it on to local taxation. Everybody knows that that bears far harder, with less discrimination, on people than central taxation. In the case of central taxation, income-tax or whatever it is, it has some relation to your income; but, in local taxation, that does not count at all. There is no such restraining influence in local taxation. That is the experience we have in Galway, where we have very high rates. There has been a little reduction—last year, the rates were 34/4 and this year, to the credit of the corporation, they are 34/-. But, with that, there has been a revaluation, and what I object to in that revaluation is the criterion adopted by the Commissioners of Valuation. The criterion for revaluation is a very elusive figure, a figure that means nothing at all, called the letting value of a house.

Everybody knows that there is a famine in houses, and houseowners, being human like everyone else, are inclined to exploit that position and to charge rents which have no real relation to the value of the house. I have one case in mind—that of a poor widow who decided to start a boarding house. She rented a house for £2 10s. a week. The valuation of the house was £7, but, as the letting value was £2 10s. a week, the new valuation was trebled. The unfortunate woman had undertaken to pay both rates and rent and it is a crippling blow for her. I know that the Minister has no control over the Commissioners of Valuation, but I think they ought to realise that at present the letting value is not a proper criterion for a new valuation, and the Minister might hold his hand if he is tempted to reduce the burden of central taxation by passing it on to local taxation.

The next fear is that there may be Supplementary Estimates. I hope that the Minister, by careful management, will find it unnecessary to have too many of these Supplementary Estimates and that they will not be very heavy. With feminine inconsistency— woman always has the right to be inconsistent—I begin to talk now about Supplementary Estimates. We had a sort of cheerful hint from the Minister for Education that the case of the pensioned teachers was under sympathetic consideration, and if there were to be a Supplementary Estimate in relation to these teachers everybody would rejoice. I do not need to put forward arguments because everybody knows the arguments for the old pensioned teachers. I do not want to take up much more time. It costs money to speak in this House and that is why I always speak briefly, but I hope the Minister will implement the promise we thought we got yesterday and give careful consideration to the case of these pensioned teachers.

I should like the Minister also to reconsider the cutting down of the grant to the Comhdhail, which has been reduced by, I think, £4,000. It had not time to get into its stride or to do the things we think it could do. There is another provision which has been cut down, very regrettably, that is, the amount provided for the Commission on Irish Place Names. These are things which cannot be replaced. It depends on tradition and on the sounds of the names and the people who know these things are all dying away. It would be a great pity if we were not to make an attempt to capture that from our past. A few thousands should make no difference. I wish the Minister had not cut down the amount provided for this purpose, and it would be a grand thing if he would reconsider his decision and restore the original sum provided.

There has been criticism in this and in the other House of the Government for not producing what was called "a comprehensive scheme of social insurance". I know something about how things work in the North, and, for my part, I think the Minister is very wise to go slowly in this matter. It is a crippling burden there on small employers and there is a great danger that the ordinary middle classes will be crushed out of existence. I hope that will not happen here. We all know that social insurance is most necessary. Every Christian State must feel the duty of providing for those who cannot provide for themselves, whether through unemployment, sickness, loss of the breadwinner or any other cause. It is a duty for us all to pay cheerfully for that, but a comprehensive scheme of social insurance covering everybody from the cradle to the grave is, in my view, bound to do more harm than good.

I have always thought of social insurance as being something like a crutch or an artificial limb which is necessary in certain cases, but what we should aim at is to have healthy people. It is easy to say that that should be done, but the greatest task any Government can have is the provision of well-paid employment for people, so that they can not only provide for themselves and their families but put something by for the rainy day. It is very important, too, that people themselves should help, because the Government cannot do everything. There are certain things which we must do for ourselves. We must revive the old Irish virtues of hard work and thrift. Our people went through harder times than perhaps any people in the world, but, because of hard work and thrift, they came through, and, if we do not get back to that hard work and thrift, no matter what Government is in power and no matter what is done for anybody, we are simply going to perish.

One of the reasons for emigration is that people have the wrong idea of what is called the good life. The good life for a great many people consists of amusement and spending. I do not object to amusement. Everybody needs it but some people make it the be-all and end-all of life. They spend money on dances, cinemas and cigarettes and all the other things and they regard them as necessities. That throws the whole thing out of proportion. If we increase social services to such an extent that we put our whole economy out of gear, it will lead to disaster. There is only one way in which, with God's help, we can come through. The Germans after two devastating wars, are prepared to work hard. They will revive. Nobody can knock down a nation that works hard and is thrifty. We must all realise and give example in our own lives of these two virtues as far as we can aim at them. Governments can do a certain amount but people must do a lot of these things for themselves.

I think the worst part of emigration is the drainage of woman power, that the women are leaving in such numbers. The future of this country depends on the women. The woman who works hard and gives her family an example of hard work will do more than any economist for the future of this country. Our education must take that into account. We talk a lot about farming. That is a subject in which I am interested. The most essential part of the farm is the farmer's wife. We must try to get our women to train their children to all the serious, noble duties that human beings must perform if we are to survive.

I find myself so appreciative of the success of the Minister in effecting a substantial reduction in the Estimates that I am very loth to make any suggestion that would tend to increase rather than reduce. Nevertheless, the Minister appreciates that there is this universal desire to economise in almost everything except the one or two pet subjects of the particular Deputy or Senator. I can claim, I think, that the particular Vote in which I am interested, No. 26, Universities and Colleges, is very small. It represents only one-half per cent. of the total Estimates for the year—10/- in £100. I understand that there will be a future occasion for detailed consideration of Votes such as this and, therefore, to-day I do not propose to make any differentiation as between the two universities or the four colleges or, in any one of these, as between the various subjects. We all share one common difficulty, a difficulty which, year after year, presses more and more heavily on the governing bodies of the colleges: that is the difficulty of meeting the calls for increases in salaries of the teaching staff. The obvious method, of increasing fees payable by students, has been tried. Increase has followed increase, but the fees now are at such a level that any further increase would have two serious effects. It would first tend to reduce the numbers—that is not altogether, possibly, a bad thing—but it would debar from the benefits, whatever these benefits may be, of university education, many very deserving students, and many worthy of university education.

We have to realise that, despite our political independence, we cannot cut ourselves off from the effects of things happening outside and, ultimately, the salaries and wages payable in this country are affected very considerably by the salaries and wages payable in other countries. The staffs of the universities in this country have considerable freedom of movement as between this portion of Ireland and Northern Ireland, Great Britain, Canada, the United States, Australia and New Zealand. People come and go, and if the level of salaries payable in other countries is higher than in this country, our best teachers will leave this country, or many of them will do so.

I give one instance of what is happening. The University Grants Committee in Great Britain, within the last couple of weeks, has declared a new scale of salaries for teachers in the medical schools. This salary scale has been approved by the British Chancellor of the Exchequer. Taking the subject in which I am obviously interested—for a professor of bacteriology the salary is £2,250 to £2,750. I have held my Chair for 25 years and I regret to say that I have not reached the lower end of that scale, and I am a very long way away from it. Furthermore, in the British schools, special distinction or merit is recognised by higher scales. Four per cent. are entitled to a maximum of £5,000, 10 per cent. to a maximum of £4,000 and 20 per cent. to a maximum of £3,000. So, elsewhere, and not very far away, the professors are being paid very much higher salaries than any university in this country is capable of paying.

I am not asking any Senator to shed tears for the sad lot of Irish professors. The number of tears collected from this Chamber for that object would be singularly small. We are a small class. We hope we are deserving. I am not sure that everyone quite agrees with that. But, I am not making any claim for professors. I am basing my claim on the needs of the students. The quality of the teaching given in our colleges to the students is governed ultimately by the quality of the professors and lecturers. If we cannot afford really competent, really good professors and lecturers the standard of our teaching is going to decline and the standard of our students is going to decline also.

I claim that an increase under this particular heading would not be unproductive. It is quite a different matter from the great sums that are payable, and rightly payable, for the unfortunate poor, the aged, the blind, and so on. I am not trying to put this in competition with them at all but, in the case of what I may call, without any disrespect, these charity payments, payments which are completely justifiable, we are trying to atone for the sins and errors of society which have been responsible for the misfortunes of those whose distress we are trying to relieve. I claim that in putting money into the universities and colleges in this country we are indulging in a long-term policy of investment. We are investing a very modest amount of money in proportion to the total call on the income of the country. We are investing this modest sum with the hope, and I believe with the certainty, of getting a more than adequate return in the future in increased earning capacity, improved methods of industry, improved technical advance and improved health of community. Therefore, I claim that this is at least one of the grants which is worthy. I know the Minister is sympathetic to such calls as this and I do beg of him to reconsider the amount made available under this heading.

It gives me a temporary feeling of great importance, as I am sure it does other Senators, when the Minister for Finance comes here and asks our permission to spend £23,000,000, and we should be doubly delighted at the thought that he will come soon again to ask for twice as much. But I get depressed when I think that whether we say "yes" or "no" he will get the money anyway and we will have to help in the paying of it. If I had any criticism of the Government at all—and I have—it would apply to past Governments as well as present Governments, and it is that they are following too closely on old traditional lines. As long as they are following the old plan there will be the same defects in the national life. We talk of emigration and unemployment, but emigration and unemployment are inevitable in the system under which we live now. We all know that. Although I live in Dublin I am interested in rural Ireland. Reference was made to the abundance of our university graduates, but there was no reference to the abundance of university graduates who had to leave the country to look for work. I am sorry that so many had to go and, as nobody can so well appreciate the value of a heavy overcoat in a winter storm as the man who has not got one, I am fully conscious of the value of a university education to a man whether he works at his profession or whether he is forced to become the most casual of casual labourers. Any education, particularly a university education, is worth anything it costs even if it never brought in a substantial income. I know that from experience. It may seem strange coming from me, but I would like to see the universities more fully endowed than they are now. I think that not nearly enough money is spent on them. I think that they should be so well endowed that education would be available there in the highest possible degree to anyone in the country capable of utilising that education. It should not be confined as it is now to people who either win a scholarship or whose parents have struggled to pay the fees. Naturally, some of the best people in the country come from the poorer class. They have had to survive and to struggle, and if there is any good in them it is brought out. Even Trinity College will admit that one of its proudest pupils is a man who had not much money going in. His statue is outside it and I think he had to sweep his way through college. We are exporting too many university graduates.

Senator O'Brien boastfully, and rightly from his point of view, spoke of the number of graduates, particularly graduates of the National University, who hold important positions. That is a tribute to the university, rather than to the man who got the position. Because those people had a degree, the degree was recognised apart from themselves. The man who employed them, apart from the Civil Service or State, which are stepping stones to higher things, very probably never had a degree, a man who simply opened a public house and made money or who had a factory and made motor cars like some people and is able to employ a graduate and able to see the value of the education.

I am interested in rural life and I am interested in the attempt to increase production and put into operation schemes which were in abeyance before the Government came in, such as drainage, afforestation and other things. Now that the Government wants to put new agricultural schemes into operation, the difficulty is that there are not enough people who are trained in the science of agriculture. Here is an agricultural country with a shortage of trained agricultural scientists and a super-abundance of engineers without any engineering factories. We have a top-heavy sort of mechanism in the State. More should be done to encourage graduates to take up scientific agriculture if they want to make a living.

There has been criticism of the amount we spend, particularly on the Civil Service. I believe that the Civil Service is far too costly and everybody else thinks the same thing, with the exception of the civil servants, but most people dare not say that. I will offend Senator Mrs. Concannon in this, but my remedy would be to stop recruiting for the Civil Service for a number of years. It would thus, ultimately, be reduced. Those retiring on pension would go out and the others could do their work, and nobody would have too much to do. I worked a long time ago as a temporary civil servant. I had to do most of the work and I had practically nothing to do. I would go further and this is what I think Senator Mrs. Concannon will not like. I would especially stop the recruiting of girls. There are too many girls employed in the Civil Service and in industry. Girls have gone into industry and have displaced men. A girl in industry or in the Civil Service, whether she is a typist or anything else, in a few years comes to earn a few pounds to spend on herself and nine-tenths of them do not think of making it their career. Their natural career is—if they get a husband—to found a home for themselves, and most of them want to do this. I have mixed with civil servants and know them very well. A girl who goes into the Civil Service and who earns a reasonable salary to spend on herself each week is very hard to please in the matter of a husband. She does not want a man of the utmost spiritual and mental value, but she wants to see his bank book.

The reason so many female civil servants and clerks remain unmarried is that they can spend £4 or £5 a week on themselves and will not marry a man with an income of £7 a week and rear a family on it. This is a reason for women leaving rural Ireland. I regret that women are leaving Ireland, and particularly rural Ireland, and most of the girls who work in the offices in Dublin come from rural Ireland, where they are being replaced by milking machines. I do not blame girls for not wanting to milk a cow. We have come a long way from the days of Knocknagow, when the fellow wanted "an agricultural labourer sort of wife". Something should be done to stop the attraction of the city, and here is where the new industrial commission, or whatever it is called, might be able to see that fewer industries are started in Dublin and the big cities and more in rural Ireland. I would like, if possible, to see some Government Department shifted out of Dublin, taking their staffs with them to the rural parts. There are too many people in Dublin, and as long as they are in Dublin you will have unemployment. There is scarcely such a thing in rural Ireland as unemployment. No man in rural Ireland who is physically fit need be unemployed, because even if he is not employed by an employer he has a house and garden of his own where he can do something for himself. He may not be economically employed. In Dublin if a man is not employed by an employer he is completely destitute and the State must look after him. It is bad policy for the State to undertake to look after a man and his family if he can look after himself. When the State undertakes to give £1,000,000 it costs £500,000 more in administration. I have nothing to say to the Government except that the Government is following the old plan.

If we had something more in the nature of what was recommended a long time ago, a vocational organisation of society, we would be able to solve some of our problems. It would solve our industrial problems, our social problems and our economic problems. People will say that they do not see any merit in that, but it is there and it has already been recognised. When the Labour Court was set up a system of vocational organisation was set up. Capital and labour were represented. The new industrial body has, presumably, capital and labour represented. If they can be equally represented and if they can work together on boards set up by the Government, capital and labour should be encouraged to come together and work together. Governments and particularly democratic Governments, will always be criticised because democratic Governments must aim at popularity and not at efficiency.

This Central Fund Bill provides rather wide latitude for discussion. It was availed of this evening by certain speakers to carry on a form of attack which has been very much in evidence since the change of Government. We have had it before in the Seanad and in the Dáil and on various boards throughout the country. It has been in evidence, too, in a certain section of the Press. The net purpose, I suppose, would be to impress on all and sundry that doom and disaster has fallen on this country because we have an inter-Party Government. Of course, that has not happened. The vast majority of the people in this country are very far removed from doom and disaster. Certainly thousands of old age pensioners whose miserable pittances have been substantially increased as a result of the change of Government do not believe that this is such a bad Government.

A large number of applicants for old age pensions and for widows' and orphans' pensions who, hitherto, were debarred by an unfair means test from receiving these pensions are certainly not of opinion that the change has been for the worst. Those 8,000 sufferers from tuberculosis who have been provided with beds as a result of the policy of the Minister for Health, and their relatives, will certainly bless the circumstances that brought about the change in Government. While I am on that point I should like to say that it is very necessary that there should be adequate provision for an expansion of the school medical inspection scheme. That scheme is being carried out at the present time by a depleted staff in several counties throughout the country. Though the staff does its work thoroughly the benefits which should be derived cannot be derived unless there is a proper follow-up treatment.

The administration of one of the most criticised Departments, that Department over which the Minister for Agriculture has charge, has been referred to and the Minister himself has come in for a lot of criticism, too. The Minister for Agriculture has attended various meetings in different parts of the country held by different county committees of agriculture. At these meetings the members were certainly not all of one mind politically. My information, however, is—and I know that so far as my own county is concerned it is correct—that those who attended the meetings were impressed by the policy the Minister put before them. Of course, the results he expects will not be as immediate as we should like them to be. Many people are of the opinion that the concentrated attacks on the administration of this particular Department and on this particular Minister are made because there is a fear that he will be given an opportunity of carrying into effect his policy to its fullest extent.

I know that, in regard to primary education—and in regard to secondary education too—it would be very difficult to convince the parents and teachers that the change has been for the worst. This is one of the services where a sympathetic Minister could, at the outset, apply remedies to the sores that were festering, and with which teachers and children suffered for quite a number of years. As the Minister for Finance is present now, I should like to reiterate the hope which was expressed by Senator Mrs. Concannon and Senator Dr. O'Connell to General Mulcahy yesterday afternoon in this House, that he will make some provision for the veterans of this profession who did such good work in this country for the Irish language and for the preservation of Irish customs at a time when it was not as safe nor as fashionable to do so as it now is.

Because of the reduction in road grants we had a series of protesting resolutions of the snowball type. No one has been deceived by these. They were mainly politically inspired and have now petered out. For a long time I have been of the opinion that quite a lot of the expensive work which has been carried out on roads in this country was absolutely unwarranted. It was simply work of a type which catered for high-powered cars. There was no consideration for the pedestrian or for horse-drawn traffic. I know of cases where S-bends on roads, that certainly were a deterrent to speed, were removed. The roads were diverted through bogs and morasses with the result that their maintenance will always be a heavy item of expenditure. Further, the results which will be obtained will not be as good as those which would obtain had the sites of the roads not been altered. There is, too, in many cases, an apparent wastage of expensive road material and machinery which proper supervision should rectify, with considerable saving to the country.

In so far as the protests in regard to the change of fuel policy by the Government are concerned, I think the monuments of turf mould in the Phoenix Park should be adequate proof of the foolishness of the work of the late Government in trying to create the impression that their policy in that regard should be continued for all time.

Would the Senator tell us what percentage of that turf mould came from County Mayo?

The Senator hardly had it analysed.

In conclusion, I should like to compliment the Minister on this Bill. In opposition, when some of us advocated an increased allowance for social welfare and for old age pensions, we were informed that no such thing could be done except by increased taxation. The Minister has satisfied all and sundry that it is possible to do these things without increasing taxation. As a matter of fact, in a little over 12 months he has reduced taxation by over £12,000,000 and substantially increased the services in which we are so interested.

Captain Orpen

I should like to congratulate the Minister on his ability to prune away a lot of dead wood from the branches of the machinery of State in the hope that in the future it will become more productive. I was puzzled by Senator Hawkins' speech. I listened carefully and I wondered whether the Senator was misinformed, whether he did not read the literature which is normally available to every Deputy or Senator or whether he just did not understand it because he trotted out a whole series of old familiar friends. He started with tomatoes. From that he went on to the reduction in the farm improvements scheme. In that respect I am prepared to grant that possibly he does not know why there was a drop there. Of course, we had the farm buildings scheme. Most of these points have been answered time and time again and my only surprise is that Senator Hawkins was not aware that they had been answered. Of course, the fertiliser subsidy came out. Does he not know that the world price of fertilisers had fallen, when measured in terms of fertilising quality and not merely measured in hundredweights? Surely Senator Hawkins knows the real position. It was made very clear the other day—or does he not believe it? Does he not know the excellent bargain that the previous Minister for Agriculture made with reference to eggs? Does he not know the type that bargain was? But does he remember the one which was to follow in 1950?

This is only 1949.

Captain Orpen

I know. The Senator has probably remembered that eggs would be 1/6 in 1950. Having got that quite clear, Senator Hawkins, I can go on to one or two little items to which I should like to draw the Minister's attention and of which he is probably already aware.

Senator O'Brien and others talked about universities. I look upon the importance of universities from another end. I feel that we want more and better products from the university. We want the research worker, the person trained with the research mind, as there are many agricultural problems to which we do not know the solution. Many of them have been solved in other countries, but we do not know to what extent the solutions apply here.

We are embarking on an immense scheme of land rehabilitation, but I regard that as only a beginning. It is a big beginning, no doubt, and I compliment the Minister for Finance on having the foresight to give his consent to such an all-embracing scheme, which one hopes will pay a handsome dividend in time. Let it be noted that that is only part of what we must do to get the full return we hope for from the land. A great deal of our land is very unproductive and, in consequence, cannot bear the burden of a high number of workers per 100 acres of agricultural land. In the past, with low wages, it could bear a high ratio of workers, but to-day it cannot. That is one of the reasons why people are leaving the land. If, however, by means of rehabilitation, we can not only increase the productivity per acre but also increase the range of products that can be grown economically in areas remote from the places of consumption, the towns, then we can employ a larger number of persons per 100 acres. Some people have said that, very often, the small farm can employ more per acre than the large farm. I think that is true, but true only as long as there are farms, in this country or elsewhere, that can produce the expensive products. The small farmer depends on varied production—animal production, feeding and so on—and as long as he does not produce the expensive products he can get a high productivity per acre. With this "new look" in agriculture that has come about by the possibility of land rehabilitation, perhaps the farmers throughout Ireland can at last confidently undertake production on a scale that hitherto they have been afraid to attempt.

I wish to offer some criticism on the stoppage of the additional road grant. This stoppage is coming at a time when, with the decline of tillage, a greater number of people have to seek employment on the roads instead of on the land. Furthermore, the actual work has not been completed. The special grant was given in the past two years to carry out work necessitated by the wastage of the emergency period. That work had not been completed, as far as we could see, and the grant was required for at least another year. The primary object of local bodies is to maintain the roads themselves, but an almost equally important object was to maintain employment in rural districts, as, owing to the casual nature of employment on the land, the people have to look in great measure to employment on the roads. In County Limerick we made a calculation and found that we were spending 25 per cent. of our expenditure on the roads for the purpose of employment. We found that by a system of mechanisation and economy we could have reduced the expenditure by that amount, but it would mean throwing people out of employment. The Government should have recognised that the money was mainly for employment purposes, and it should not have been cut down. If there is employment in other directions at a later stage, it will make up for it, but the grants should not have been cut at present, especially when there is so much unemployment.

I hope the Government will endeavour to put the cutting of turf this year on a scale comparable with the years before last. The sudden stoppage of the turf business last year was responsible for a great deal of unemployment and emigration in many parts of the country.

Is that the hand-won turf?

Both the hand-won and the machine-won turf. I understand that the machine-won turf is being brought on.

Is it the hand-won turf the Senator wants brought on again?

If the whole business could be done——

What would you do with it? The Park is full of it.

Only for it there would have been a famine. There was an expectation last year that coal would take the place of turf, but that did not materialise. The coal is too dear and I think there will be a market for years to come for turf.

Turf has always been cut in certain parts of the country.

It is only for the immediate locality.

Is not that what you want?

Was there not ever a market before up to the time of the emergency? In my part of the country where there are no bogs, if the last winter had not been so fine there would have been a famine in fuel.

I wish to offer criticism also in regard to the Army Estimate. Many people are not interested in that question now, and I would be as glad as anyone to see that Estimate reduced, if possible, but I fear that, in the present world situation, this is not the time to economise on the Army. As a matter of fact, we should be strengthening the Army and spending more money on it. We hope it will not be needed, but in view of the world situation we do not know what is before us. It would be the duty of the Government at present to increase the Army and make it as effective as possible. We should bring in all the weapons of war we possibly can with our resources and have them in readiness in case of an outbreak of war. I regret that, in such a position as this, the Government is economising to any extent on the Army.

I have been interested in Senator Summerfield's statement regarding the Civil Service. I always felt that a reform of the Civil Service in general was overdue in this country. It is not alone that all the offices might be over-staffed, or that, in general, expenditure by Government Departments might be too heavy, but that this traditional red tape which has grown up in the Civil Service—it is possibly in the Civil Service of every country—does the greatest harm. In an undeveloped country like this these Civil Service methods have a most depressing and strangling effect so far as the future of the country is concerned. Individual civil servants are all right, but they have never been allowed to use initiative which could be of service. The red tape procedure had grown so strict that they were afraid to take any step at all, with the result that there was no room for initiative. If individual civil servants were allowed more initiative, and if there was less overlapping and less red tape, I am sure the country would get far better service from those in the Civil Service. I also agree with the Senator who said that there were too many women employed in the Civil Service. I think it is a mistake that there should be so many. I agree that the numbers in the Civil Service should be reduced by curtailing future recruitment.

Finally, I regret that the Minister has made no provision for the shortwave station of which I spoke last year. I think it was a great mistake on the part of the Government to abandon it and I sincerely hope they will reconsider their decision and restore it.

I am afraid I have to express disappointment with the speech of my colleague, Senator O'Dwyer. I thought he would have addressed himself at some length to the agricultural policy of the Government, because I know how intensely interested he is in agriculture, and I should have been glad to have heard his views. So far, we have not had any authoritative expression of opinion from the Opposition side on the proposals of the Government for the future of agriculture, which is the biggest thing in the country, the most vital part of our whole economy, a part of our economy in which we must be intensely interested. Especially for those of us here who come from farms, it is vitally important that we should have that point of view ventilated here. The fact, however, that it has been neglected by the Opposition, who have concentrated on other aspects of Government policy, induces some of us to follow them some part of the way, and I have one or two comments to make on Senator O'Dwyer's references to the Government's turf policy.

He urged that there is a necessity for concentrating on turf to a greater extent this year than was the case last year. He understands, I take it, that, so far as machine-won turf is concerned, production is going on at full blast and that there has been an extension of the activities of Bord na Móna, but with regard to what we speak of as hand-won or slean turf, if there is to-day a shortage in many parts of the country I suggest it is due to the propaganda of the Fianna Fáil Party last year. I read recently that there was a shortage of fuel in Ennis. Imagine County Clare, which exported thousands of tons of turf in other years, not having enough for itself! And why? Because of all the propaganda that went on last year against it. On the other hand, the Minister interrupted and said he wished he knew who wanted hand-won turf. There are thousands of tons of it in the Phoenix Park and we certainly do not want that experiment repeated.

Before I left Cavan the other day, I saw a lorry load of blocks from the Phoenix Park in the town and every day as one comes up here to Dublin, one passes dozens of lorries bringing these blocks from the Phoenix Park up to Meath, Cavan and other parts of the country. We passed these same lorries 18 months ago taking these same blocks from Cavan and Meath up to the Phoenix Park. Anybody can have that experience if he travels along that road. These blocks are probably being distributed all over the country in the same fashion, to Westmeath and Meath and Leix and Offaly, whence they came—the same lorries, wasting more petrol taking these blocks back to the fields in which they were cut. We do not want to see that futility repeated, and certainly the Minister does not want it, so that we will not have to bear the losses inflicted on us as a result.

With regard to the reduction of the road grant, the Minister will probably deal with that. None of us who are members of local authorities liked that. We never like to see the sums which come from the central authority to the local authorities being reduced. We would always like to keep them high, but we know that when they were given to us last year—very extravagant sums were given last year by people who were not going to provide them—they were much larger than they were the previous year. Two years previously, circulars were issued to all the local authorities indicating that this was not a permanent feature in the financing of local authorities as far as the central authority was concerned.

What strikes me when I listen to and read speeches by the Opposition to-day is that, although they are out of Government, they have the idea that they ought to make Government policy. They cannot understand why the present Government must not follow the plans they laid down when they were in Government. That is quite absurd. In the first place, some of the plans were very bad. Some of them were quite good. I supported some of them in this House as strenuously as some of the people over there, certainly with regard to the policy of the constitution of Bord na Móna and all that. But, many things were being done by the Government 18 months ago that the present Government could not undertake and it would not have the support of the people who voted for them if they continued that policy. The Opposition will have to learn that they cannot make the Government do what they want the Government to do, that the Government must be responsive to its supporters in the first instance. In so far as the Government are doing the right thing, I suggest to the Opposition that they would do very well to record their accord. Let us try to be as impartial as we can in examining the failings in our economy and in our national policy that tend to weaken the nation as a whole.

There has been a great deal of talk about emigration. Senator Hawkins interrupted somebody to say that 40,000 left the country last year. I do not know what Senator Hawkins' experience is but my view is that no boy or girl will make up his or her mind in a day or two to clear out of the country in the next week. It is a whole chain of circumstances that determines people in that matter. Some of these people, no doubt, were going to relatives in the United States last year.

The rest to convents.

I do not understand the interruption. If they did leave the country last year, they were making their plans the previous year, no doubt, and in the case of a great many of the people who left the country to go to Britain last year it was the policy carried on in 1947 that determined their departure. I have a table showing the figures of emigration during the reign of those who have ceased to reign. In 1942, in the midst of the war, the figure was 51,711. In 1943, it was 48,324. There were bogs to drain and hills to reclaim in those years and quite a number of people left the country and went over and reclaimed land in England that is being cropped to-day. You people did not think of that and yet you declaim against the present Minister because he wants to keep these people here and get this job of work done. In 1944 there was some arrangement between the Government here and the British Government to put restrictions on travel permits between the two countries. Travel between the two countries practically stopped. In that year the figure was 13,613. In 1945 there was a further change and the figure went up to 23,794. In 1946 it went up to 30,034 and in 1947 it was 31,238. It was all the time climbing. We will wait and see what will happen in 1949.

As the Senator has supplied us with such a table of figures, would he give us the number of people who came back, over and above the number that emigrated, in 1947, and found employment here—which was over 12,000?

The Senator gave 40,000 for last year. The compilation of the figures that I have read out and the figures that the Senator has given for last year is the same. The Senator cannot have two heads on his penny. That is the position that must be faced here. Sixty-one thousand people were exported in the midst of the war. It was stood over here and we represented that there were things these men could do here. Remember, Fianna Fáil at that time had been ten or 12 years in office. That was the fruit of their labour.

We must applaud the greater part of Senator Mrs. Concannon's speech, and I am sure that the Minister, as another Northern, will find heart and comfort from many of the things she said about our plans for social insurance, and so on. We deplored the export of our people and we deplore it now, but is it not better for all of us to face the facts because, collectively, we have responsibility in this matter? That was the situation under the previous Administration. There is no doubt that, in regard to the thousands who left this country last year, the psychology was created in 1947 and the conditions in their homes were the determining factor. It was the previous Government who were responsible, not the people who are in power now. Let the present Administration be judged on the fruits of their labour, when they have had an opportunity.

It is a pity you did not realise that fact when you were promising to stop emigration and end unemployment.

Who promised that?

I do not know that the Senator heard any promise from me because, as far as I am concerned, I have always tried to be a realist. I do not believe in that sort of plan or promise. I do not believe you can wave a wand and stop emigration because there is a psychology about all this, apart from the economics of it, that has to be dealt with. You helped to create the psychology. You have played a major part in it. You created a psychology for the people of Clare last year when you did not cut as much turf as will keep them in fuel this spring. Fuel was dragged to the Phoenix Park and the present Minister has to bear responsibility and tax the people to take it.

It was a good job it was there or you would be without a fire in Cavan.

Ten years' supply of firewood was overdoing it.

None of these people would do it in their own homes. Any man that I know of, no matter what his political affiliations may be, Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael or any other, will never pile up more than two years' supply of fuel in his own place and Senator Hawkins, coming from a turf country, will admit that that is true. When you are dealing with State funds it is a much simpler thing.

Senator Summerfield, who was, I think, supported to a certain extent by Senator Martin O'Dwyer, urged reform of the Civil Service. Senator Summerfield wants a study and examination of the work of the Civil Service and their methods. He pleaded that there was a possibility of reform and a possibility of the work being more satisfactorily carried out. I think a study of the methods of the Civil Service would be helpful to everybody concerned. Over a number of years, and especially over the last 12 months, I have made frequent contact with people who are not satisfied with a number of those employed in the Civil Service— and they are not the poorly paid, away down the line people—but others who are not pulling their weight. Many people, in the commercial community especially, have a complaint in this regard. They feel sometimes that some of these people are pulling their weight in the wrong direction. I think there is cause for dissatisfaction and I would suggest to the Minister that it would be a very good and valuable thing from the Government's point of view, from the point of view of efficiency, administration and satisfaction, if the Civil Service could convince the State and the citizens of the State who are responsible for financing the whole organisation of the Civil Service that they are both civil and a service.

I want to say a word or two very briefly about the plans for the development of our land. The Minister for Agriculture is attacked everywhere by everyone who can possibly attack him.

That is not fair.

He is attacked in the light and in the dark and in the open. He is misrepresented on every conceivable occasion and that is the truth about it. It is a rather unpleasant thought to have, but I believe that many of those who attack the Minister are afraid of their lives that he will succeed. It is not a creditable thing to say about our own citizens, but many of the criticisms I have listened to and read could have no other reason. What better or more heroic task could a man set hand to than the reclamation of millions of acres of land? Those millions of acres of land declined more during Fianna Fáil's period of office than at any time before that. The decline in the health of our soil is evidenced in a variety of ways and he has good work to do in restoring those barren hillsides. A perfectly running machine was not handed over to him. Not only was the soil run down and productivity falling, but there was a situation here last year when he came in to handle the live-stock industry that it was 250,000 less than in the previous years. It was 250,000 less at the beginning of 1948 than at the beginning of 1947.

They must have killed them all before they went out of office.

It is a fact and perhaps you can explain it. The figures can be authenticated. Pig stocks were the lowest in history when the Minister for Agriculture came in. I do not know what Senator Hawkins had to say about the failure of the Minister in dealing with our surplus of potatoes and oats, but one thing is that if you passed on as many pigs to your successor as his predecessor passed on to us there would be no surplus of either potatoes or oats. If you studied your economics and figures more closely, you would not pass the same unfavourable judgment on your own Administration as your argument provides.

The war was responsible.

Something has to be responsible. There must be some excuse.

It is no excuse. The war was responsible.

Let us accept Senator O'Dwyer's argument that the war was responsible for the reduction in our cattle and pig population. When you knew that the pig population was so low what did you think the Minister could do with surpluses when they came along? There were years when you had a surplus when Fianna Fáil was in office. I remember seasons when the potatoes were left in the fields in Donegal because it did not pay farmers to take them out.

The surplus was brought about as a result of the advice in an advertisement issued by the Minister.

What surplus had we?

Potatoes and oats.

The statement the Senator has made is not in accordance with the facts. When the Minister went to Britain last year with his colleagues he made an agreement with the British Government, part of which was that they were to take 50,000 tons of potatoes. At the time of the agreement that portion of it was one of the least thought of. I myself thought it of no value whatever as I did not contemplate a situation where we would have such a surplus as to be able to sell 50,000 tons of potatoes to Britain. I do not know what happened elsewhere, but in part of my own county, the east end of it, potatoes were available for export and have been sold. I know two men adjacent to myself who sold 20 tons of potatoes each at £8 a ton.

They would have got £10 a ton from the alcohol factories, I understand.

That is like all the rubbish Senator Hawkins talks.

The alcohol factories were built on a basis of paying 35/- a ton.

I compliment the Minister for what he has done. I would join issue with the Minister just as quickly as anybody on the other side of the House. I am concerned that the Minister should succeed in his task, as our country's future depends upon it. The stoppage of emigration, the growth of our population, our prestige at home, our estimation of ourselves in our own eyes and our prestige abroad depend on the ability of the Minister to succeed in keeping the people at home and in building a more vigorous Irish nation than we had in the past.

The reclamation of land and its rehabilitation is an essential part of the better development of our country and it seems to me that this matter requires very careful study. I feel that, concurrently with the carrying out of the work of land reclamation, there is another aspect of our plan for agriculture which should also be concentrated upon. There is a great portion of the country where drainage is not required at all and where the immediate potential output is much greater than on the land which must be reclaimed. The Minister and his colleagues would be very well advised to give close and intimate study to the possibility of improving the fertility of the land, the fertility of which can immediately be increased, because that would give the greatest output in the shortest time. Goods would be more plentiful; it would be easier for people to live; there would be a greater quantity and variety of produce available for the consumer. That could be done simultaneously with the work of reclamation which the Government has put before it.

I heard Senator Summerfield say at the commencement of his remarks that there was a slackening off of purchasing. I do not know that he said that there was a reduction of purchasing power, but there is a sort of feeling around that we are touching on the edge of a depression. That again merely may be psychological but I would be glad if the Minister could indicate accurately what the position is. Is there, in fact, less currency in circulation? Is there a lower purchasing power than there was six months ago? The impression has got abroad that the Minister has somehow done something to restrict the availability of credit and in some invisible fashion has whispered something which has a somewhat depressing effect on business. I do not know exactly what the situation is, but I think it would be important for the Minister to clarify that situation and he is quite capable of doing it. We ought all be glad—I do not say we can because I do not think the people over there would be glad if the Minister would succeed—but that is not the way it ought to be. If we were patriotic we would try to aim to do things right and accept the opportunity of debating failures as nobody can succeed all round. In so far as the Minister has succeeded in reducing taxation, I think he is to be complimented and encouraged. I think he is wise when he says it is his desire to take as little money as possible—consistent with the maintenance of public services at a reasonably high standard of efficiency —from the citizens but rather to leave it to themselves to develop by their own efforts and activities a higher standard of life for themselves, believing that that is something that can be shared by the community. If that policy is pursued by the Minister he will be acclaimed in 12 months' time by a much greater mass of the people of the country than is the case to-day and I am satisfied that he has more support to-day than he had 12 months ago.

A number of people have congratulated the Minister on the reduction he has brought about. I think all reasonable people on every side of the House will agree that it is desirable to cut out any wasteful or foolish expenditure. In so far as the Minister has been able to do that, I think it is most desirable. I believe, however, that there is a danger of cutting down too much—cutting down expenditure on something which might be very useful for the good of the community simply to please the taxpayers. That is a danger which should be guarded against. There are occasions when, I believe, it is for the public good for the State or the local authority to spend additional money. They can often spend the money better than the private citizen would spend it if it were left to him.

Senator Mrs. Concannon raised what I think is a very important point, that although national expenditure through the Central Fund might tend to go down, rates are, generally speaking, tending to go up. That important point deserves to be considered by every citizen. I believe that a great deal of the money which is obtained from the rates is well spent, but the question arises whether it would be better to raise that money by taxes or by rates. I believe that in certain cases it would be better to raise it by higher taxation on wealthy persons, because a substantial increase in rates hits the poorer sections of the community very heavily. For example, the wage-earner in a small country town with an income of little over £3 a week very often pays at present as much as £6 a year in rates. A few years ago he paid about £3 in rates. Would it not be better to reduce the rates on persons with small incomes, whether they be wage-earners or farmers with small holdings, and to raise that money by taxing those who can afford it better?

Persons with incomes of over £1,000 a year, and especially those with incomes over £1,500 a year, should be more heavily taxed rather than the man with only £3 a week. I suggest that that proposition deserves more consideration than it gets. It surprises me how few people refer to that aspect of rates and taxes. It is not much use suggesting that rates should be reduced, or that taxes should not be allowed to get higher, unless some practical and constructive proposal is put forward as to where the money should come from to meet the necessary expenditure. In that connection, I would suggest that money might be first raised by increased surtax on incomes exceeding £1,500 a year. If that is not sufficient, we should increase income-tax on incomes over £1,000 a year. Another suggestion is that more money could be raised by death duties, estate duties and succession duties. I am not suggesting for a moment that we should necessarily do exactly the same as was done in other countries where conditions are different. As Senator Professor George O'Brien mentioned, however, it is useful sometimes to compare what happens in the case of our next-door neighbour, Britain, and here. In that connection, I should like to draw the attention of Senators to the fact that at the present time in Britain estates of £20,000 pay an estate duty of 12 per cent., while in this country, estates of £20,000 pay only 9.6 per cent. Again, in Britain of £50,000 pay an estate duty of 24 per cent while in this country the figure is 19.5 per cent. There is, therefore, a very big difference between our rates of estate duty and the British rates, and I think the possibility of increasing estate duty here should be considered. Money raised in that way could be used for the benefit of, or reduce the burdens on, some of the poorer sections of the community, especially those who at present pay a large amount in rates in proportion to their incomes. I believe that these suggestions are worthy of serious consideration.

I should like to congratulate the Minister on reducing taxation. While I am dissatisfied with the reduced grants for roads there is one feature about it that, I think, must console the farming community and the ordinary people of the country. It is the first time a Government grant has been given for the county roads which are the roads generally used by the farmer. Farmers in the West of Ireland and, I presume, in other parts of the country, too, have for a number of years been agitating in regard to roads. They felt that too much money was being spent on them. I believe that all the farmers of the country will welcome the new position although, probably, they might feel more satisfied if the roads could be maintained. However, there is a provision whereby the money must be spent on improvements.

I would like to say that there is great satisfaction among the farming community, especially in the West of Ireland, and in my own County of Roscommon, in regard to drainage. I happen to live on the borders of Mayo, Sligo and Roscommon and the drainage scheme known as the Tinacarra drainage scheme concerns at least one-third of the County Roscommon. It also takes in a portion of Mayo. The land involved is some of the poorest land in Ireland and some of the poorest farmers in the country live on it. I hope the Government will tackle the matter immediately and that we will have results in that connection in the next 12 months.

A lot has been said about emigration. I have always regretted emigration but I think we should be frank and admit that it has always existed and that it always will exist. I think that during the emergency, when people found great difficulty in obtaining permission to emigrate to Britain, if the ports had been open emigration would have reached a figure much greater than was reached in those years. I was haunted by both married and single men in my area during the period of the emergency to get passports for them so that they could emigrate to England notwithstanding the amount of work on the bogs and on other schemes which was available here at the time. I say, without fear of contradiction, that if there had been no stoppage on emigration to England during those years it would have reached a very high figure indeed. I may say that I succeeded in only a very few instances in obtaining the necessary facilities for those men. As they often pointed out to me, even though the wages here were good there was always the hope that they would make more in England. As I say, in a few cases they were allowed to travel. We should be honest about that matter. I do not believe in people making political or Party capital out of it. It is a serious position. It would be very nice to see everyone living at home.

I am in close contact daily with the small and middle class farmers of Sligo, Mayo and Roscommon and can safely say, without fear of contradiction, that all of them were never more satisfied than they have been with the agricultural policy administered during the past 12 months. We have heard a good deal about potatoes and oats. In speaking for my own market town. I can say that potatoes—Champions— have not been sold since last October in Ballaghaderreen at less than 15/- a cwt. and Kerr's Pinks have not been sold at less than 10/- a cwt. I would ask Senator Hawkins to take last Saturday's Roscommon Herald and see an advertisement from a countyman of his own who says he will have lorry loads of Kerr's Pinks in at 10/- a cwt. That is not giving them away. That price compares favourably with the 2/-or 5/- a cwt. in the alcohol factories.

Oats has not been sold under 19/-a cwt. in Ballaghaderreen and it has gone even as high as 24/-. I am a member of Roscommon County Committee of Agriculture. At one of the meetings, a member said they could not get rid of potatoes in the Athlone area. I know someone who goes in extensively for pig feeding and I asked this member to put me in touch with the people who had potatoes. He said he could not do so exactly there and then, but would send me word. He put me in touch, not with farmers but with a man who deals in potatoes and I got six tons taken from him; but let me remind the House that I had to wait three weeks before he was able to collect the six ton lot. He was told he need not be exact about them, as they were for pig feeding. These potatoes were got at £6 15s. 0d. per ton, for Kerr's Pinks.

Regarding eggs, naturally people would prefer to be getting 30/-, but 30/- is something they had not got until last year. Never before since the great war did the producers get that. I remember that, during the economic war, 5/- a 100 was the price and I heard some of Senator Hawkins' friends at that time say: "Thank God, the eggs are cheaper now." The women of rural Ireland are perfectly satisfied and think 25/- a good price, something they did not expect to have. Even more so, it is a price that will last for two years. On old hens people have made 2/0½. a lb., a price they never got before.

Regarding dropped calves, I have seen that, during the economic war, they were sold at 4/6 each and that money was handed over to the bull owners. Now they are £6 to £10 each. There are very few small farmers who would not have two, three or even five cows with a calf every year. Yearling calves at the last fair at Ballaghaderreen went at anything from £15 to £23 each. The small and middle-class farmers of Mayo, Roscommon and Sligo own at least from two to six cows, and if each has a calf it means so many calves in the year. The result of multiplying that number by £15 or £20 is very different from the result when multiplied by 10/- each.

With regard to unemployment, I can speak of it only as I know it in my own neighbourhood. There is a very large number of small farmers there, and I believe that the unemployment figure is very greatly exaggerated in many places. At present, Bord na Móna have a lorry going around my area looking for men and they cannot get enough men to work. I can safely say that the townspeople of Ballaghadereen who want a bank of turf cut during the coming season will have great difficulty, as they had last year, in getting anybody to cut it for them. The result last year was that the prices demanded for cutting by task, as is usual with these people, were so high that a great many of them were not able to get their banks cut. Any Senator who doubts these statements of mine can come down to Ballaghaderreen with me and see these things for himself. I can prove everything I have said. It is a pity that facts would not be faced up to honestly.

As to the policy of the present Minister for Agriculture, there are some things in it with which I disagree, but the farmers now appreciate that they are not browbeaten or threatened, as they were by the former Minister. I regret to say that the former Minister thought fit to browbeat, or threaten to browbeat them in the way he did, in view of the fact that he sprang from farming stock. I would expect more from him than that he should say that he would put a Guard in every yard and field, and make various threats of that kind. The present Minister has taken up a different attitude, and I hope the farmers will appreciate it and respond to it, and will not let tillage down. I should not like to see it going down. I always held the view, and I said it publicly during the emergency, with regard to compulsory tillage, that better results would have been got if there had been less tillage and if it had been done better. I still believe that, and that is the attitude I would commend to the farmers—to do less and to do it better.

May I conclude by saying that I heartily endorse the remarks of Senator Mrs. Concannon with regard to hard work? I definitely believe that, if we want to improve the position, we will have to face up to the hard work and that there must be a lot less nonsense. There is entirely too much amusement and seeking after pleasure in dancing and cinemas and the people in rural Ireland were very much better off when there was less of it. Instead of inducing the people to remain at home, these amusements have the opposite effect and my personal view is that people who will go 20 miles to-day to a dance will like to go 30 or 40 miles to-morrow.

I rose to speak earlier, but, fortunately for me, Senator Meighan was called before me. If I crossed his t's and dotted his i's, I should be doing fairly well. He has made an excellent speech and I can bear out his statements with regard to prices. I should congratulate the Minister on being as fresh and vigorous as he is and should congratulate him for having spread his wings during the past 20 years in the country for he has left us the best scheme which is operating so far, the only scheme which anybody brought in which was worthy of the consideration of rural Ireland, the Electricity Supply Board scheme. If he is to be outdone, he will be outdone by his colleague, the Minister for Agriculture, in his reclamation scheme. It is an awful pity that the first Governments established in this country did not put into effect some schemes like these and keep people in the country. If we put the carpets we have here, as it were, on the fields of the country, we probably would be able to keep the people there.

My sympathy goes out to the innocent representatives who come here from the universities. The universities have too many people in them. Some of us in the country want to build houses in order to keep the people there and some of my colleagues on my right tell us: "Our houses are falling down, but still we have too many people in them." I hope the Minister will keep well on the track which he and his colleague, the Minister for Agriculture, are travelling. They are on safe ground. The Minister for Finance has endured down through the past 15 years all the storms that came and nobody else has put up a better scheme. I venture to think that in ten or 15 years' time, no one will have put up a better scheme than that put up by the Minister for Agriculture. If he succeeds in reclaiming the 4,000,000 acres, he will have done more than was expected from him or from the family from which he springs.

In his short career, he has saved the best labour-giving crop this country has, potatoes, and his scheme to buy 50,000 tons of potatoes at prices varying from £9 10s. 0d. to £10 10s. od. was excellent. Fortunately for me, I was left with a very little less than 100 acres of potatoes, about 160 tons, and they have all gone to County Monaghan under the Dillon scheme at £10 10s. 0d. That is satisfactory because it is a labour-giving crop. There is no labour giving in the growing of oats or beet, but there is considerable labour giving in the potato crop. There is considerable labour giving in stall feeding and he has done something to safeguard that.

I happened to attend, as chairman of my committee of agriculture, the first meeting which any Minister of this Government addressed. It was the meeting of the Minister for Agriculture with the committees of agriculture. He told us he would try to get the best prices he could and straightway raised the price of barley by 10/- a barrel. That was three or four days after the Government was formed. He went on to another idea. Having told us that he expected to get the best prices obtainable for farmers, he said he expected us not to come to him grumbling about wages, that the wages of the agricultural labourer were too low and he would like to see them getting wages as good as those paid to any of the people in the industrial communities in the towns. Somehow, I think that is sound—it is unbeatable; and the Minister is doing his best to live up to it. I hope that he and the Minister for Finance will have the best of luck in carrying it out, because, to my mind, it is ideal.

I am glad that in this House there has been only one point of view expressed about the Book of Estimates before the House. That is the point of view expressed by the Opposition when Senator Hawkins, who, I assume, speaks for the Opposition, says there are no economies in the book. The Irish Press wavered. First of all, the various services have been slashed and then, later, the economies that were presented were a fake but the Senator has now come full round the circle—no economies.

I would like to remind the Seanad of what would be before them in this financial year that we are just finishing if it had not been for the particular economies that we achieved last year. The Book of Estimates last year was £70,500,000. The Central Fund services were another something short of £7,000,000—£77,500,000. I am supposed to have exacted a terrific toll from the people—and it certainly is a very heavy one—in getting from them this year about £71,000,000. I budgeted for about £70,500,000 and then there were certain things added on during the year. Of course, if Fianna Fáil took the £77,500,000 that they would have had to look for and added on the increase to old age pensioners—which, of course, they would not have—and added on the extra tea and had given the pay to the Civil Service—all of which has been given during the year— it would have brought that £77,500,000 over the £80,000,000 mark. So far as this year we are under £80,000,000, so far there has been a saving.

Next year still lies a bit in the lap of the gods, because the Book of Estimates that is here—that is the housekeeping expenses for the year—does not mean that all these moneys are going to be spent and when May comes I hope to be able to present a better picture of those things to the Seanad, and it may well be that we will not be faced even with the expenditure of that reduced sum, reduced even though it contains no economies.

I suppose I may take Senator Hawkins as being still the chief mourner of the Party. The official demise of the Government took place over a year ago, and I would have thought his sorrow would have been some what assuaged by this time. But, thinking of the old one with a sort of affection that, I suppose, the Senator cannot get over, he has still to keep the mood on him. But, he might at least be accurate in some of the things he said. When he was on the question of the fuel dumps in the Park, and when he complained that the present Government really prevented the sale—the riddance, I suppose—of some of that stuff, I asked him: "What advertisements did you see with regard to Government institutions?" I challenged him if he saw it in regard to any one except the Army. He said "yes". I am still wondering does he say "yes," because I will say "no." There was a definite order to Government Departments which was insisted on. It was not a very proper thing, possibly, that all this rather decaying stuff up there should be offloaded on them, but still we thought, in the circumstances, it was proper to do so, with the single exception that certain contracts were placed by the Army in the neighbourhood of the Curragh, on the representation that quite a number of people in that area had for years got accustomed to supplying the Army, and it would not be right and proper to cut them off suddenly, but, outside those, I doubt if the Senator could get me any example of any Government Department on whose behalf an advertisement was issued asking for the supply of fuel, except from the dumps in the Park.

He has talked of three things with regard to farms—farm improvements, buildings and fertilisers—and complained that all these were cut. I do not know how he can say that about farm improvements. The farm improvements moneys have not been cut. I made no attempt to get even any saving out of them last year. If the money which was on the face of the Estimate was not entirely issued, that had nothing to do with any economy campaign. There was no attempt to cut that money. I do not know that any saving was effected in that part of the Vote.

As far as fertiliser was concerned, the fertiliser subsidy has been completely and entirely a delusion. In the year 1945-6, £120,000 was voted for it. In 1945-6, the Senator will know, £15,000 was spent. In the year 1946-7, founding on the previous experience, the provision was reduced from £120,000 to £77,000. In that year they managed to spend £30,000. In 1947-48, the provision was £123,000. The spending was £19,000. Last year it was put down at £250,000. There was less than £1,500 spent. But, it was for a different reason last year. It was because fertiliser was coming into the country and coming in cheaply and the price at which fertiliser was sold this year was 10/- a ton under the subsidised price of last year. Why, in these circumstances, I should be expected to put down, just for show, an amount of money which was not required, which nobody in his senses would demand, I cannot understand.

As far as the farm buildings scheme was concerned, this has all been threshed out before, and I do not know whether it is worth while going into it again. The farm buildings scheme was hurriedly thought up in 1947. There were three rather important by-elections taking place in the autumn of the year. Following the results of these by-elections, the then Government decided that they would have to do something to rehabilitate themselves. One of the things was a scheme for farm buildings. It took shape about the month of December, 1947, and the then Minister for Agriculture decided that he would promote a scheme of this type. If he did, he was immediately written to by the then Minister for Industry and Commerce. The letter was quoted in Dáil Eireann. The Department of Industry and Commerce had to point out that progress under the proposed scheme must be restricted to the rate justified by cement supplies, which were expected to be barely sufficient in 1948-49 for the continuation of housing work on the present scale. The Minister for Agriculture insisted on putting down some money for farm buildings, knowing well that there was not enough cement to give him to permit of any being used for farm buildings, and none, in fact, was used. There was a seasonal surplus for about two months in the year, but that was always expected and had to be held over for the ordinary housing use on which priority had been put. The farm buildings moneys are at £250,000 this year and we expect this year to spend them, but it was completely and entirely a fake scheme as far as it appeared in the Estimates for last year, and the letters that have been read in Dáil Eireann, some of which I have here, show that.

The Senator also referred to Córas Iompair Éireann. I should have thought that this whole business about Córas Iompair Eireann was one that anybody belonging to Fianna Fáil would keep miles away from, several bus lengths, at least, away from, but they will wander in on it. The Senator's objection to the present Government, as far as I remember, was that by not agreeing to certain suggestions as to increased fares made in the early spring of 1948 the position of Córas Iompair Eireann had been seriously weakened. The Senator ought to know what the situation with regard to Córas Iompair Eireann was. The first thing was that, prior to the change of Government, there had been secured from the previous Minister for Industry and Commerce, permission to increase rates and fares up to a certain point. The Córas Iompair Eireann directors did not increase the fares by the amount allowed. Why they did not do that they still have to explain but, when the change of Government took place and when the responsibility would have been on the new Government, they came along, but not with a proposal to increase fares, as is commonly believed.

The first proposal was that they should be allowed to close all the branch lines. Later they modified it to the majority of branch lines. When they were asked if they had any idea or estimate of the unemployment that would be caused by that, they suggested—it was only an estimate—that it would be something around 1,000 men. They asked leave to cut down their maintenance by a very big amount indeed, sufficient—they measured it in terms of unemployment this time—to enable them to dispense with the services of 2,500 people. In addition they asked leave to increase fares very heavily. They did not stop there but suggested that even these three devices would not get in the amount of money they wanted to make up and they asked leave to increase freights as well. They recognised, however, that if they increased freights they would lose traffic so they frankly proposed that private hauliers in general should be more or less put off the road and that they should be restricted very narrowly indeed to a small area from their base. If that could be achieved they asked leave to increase freights as well as fares. Do not let anybody be misled by the view which is current at the moment that these proposals were put up only as alternatives. When they calculated the amount of money the proposals would save they found it would be £500,000, on each and they wanted £1,500,000, so they quite obviously wanted to get all three. Having put these proposals before the Minister for Industry and Commerce and myself, they faced us and said: "We know well that if you allow these proposals to go through, involving the dismissal of 3,500 men, we will have a strike and if we have a strike the railways will be ruined."

That was the business idea of the directors of Córas Iompair Eireann and the proposals they put in the early summer of 1948! At that time, of course, the directors were running into very big schemes of capital development such as the enormous house down at Store Street and the other building outside Donnybrook. There was a project to rebuild the Broadstone at the cost of £1,000,000 and other schemes of which the public have not heard. Sir James Milne points out a number in the pages of his report—and that is not the whole of them—running into £3,000,000. One of the criticisms in his report is that the company, even if it was having good revenue, should be slow to embark on them and, of course, they were completely outside the range of Córas Iompair Eireann. This was the time—though we did not know it— that they were running in such a way that they were dodging their creditors. The matter had gone to such a point that none of the officials could really be seen around Kingsbridge. Senators probably read in the papers that one of the details they had in their safe was cheques to the extent of £500,000. They had them written so that they could pull them out if somebody got too importunate or if the bailiffs were in, but they could not issue them because there was no money to meet them. That was the condition to which Córas Iompair Eireann brought themselves under circumstances promoted by the Government Senator Hawkins backed.

The Senator drew attention to certain matters in the Gaeltacht Vote and said that the main Vote was down by £20,000. It is for the reason in the main that the various items in that Gaeltacht Vote, such as materials, yarns and dye stuffs, are down in price and the cost of machinery, looms and so on, has gone down, too. The reduction in the moneys in the Vote does not mark any reduction in the volume of employment given as a result of the expenditure of these moneys. It is just that costs have got easier so that it is possible to make a saving while providing the same amount of work.

With regard to Gaeltacht housing, if the Senator will look at the Vote on page 297 of the Estimates, he will see reference to grants under the Gaeltacht Housing Acts, 1929 to 1939 and not to the last Act. He may have missed that.

I understand that.

One could not make provision in an Estimate prepared at a time that the last Act had not gone through and that is the reason why there are some small reductions. It has been understood and accepted that when the other Gaeltacht Act gets going there will have to be a definite increase in that Vote and, of course, it will be given.

A comment of the same sort applies to the criticism the Senator passed on the Health Vote. He pointed out certain savings. There are, of course, but again, if the Senator had paid more attention to what is on the face of the Estimate, he would have seen the explanation. The point he referred to is in Vote 68 under sub-head M, but the balance of the grants in respect of years previous to 1948-49 is only the balance of the old grants all of which is swept up now into the main health provision which is found under sub-head H, and sub-head H is up by £479,000. What the Senator is complaining of in connection with these small sub-heads, seeing that the main sub-head is up by £500,000, I fail to understand.

We had the usual complaint from the Senator regarding the short-wave broadcasting station. I understand that the value of the short-wave broadcasting station, in the Senator's mind, is that, had it been there, the broadcast of the Taoiseach, Deputy Costello, would not have been censored by the B.B.C. It would have had a worse fate if we had tried to put it out from the short-wave station. It would not have been heard at all, as we have no wave-length. There would be no special advantage in having the Taoiseach's remarks completely broadcast to nowhere instead of being partly broadcast to some area.

Forestry is another matter referred to by the Senator, but if he looks at the Vote he will find a footnote saying that the unexpended balance is not surrendered, and there is quite a substantial amount of money in that Vote already. Additions were made to it this year and if business advances at the rate forecast, more money will have to be found for that purpose.

I think a similar comment can be made regarding his remarks on drainage. The Vote is mainly up because of increased provision for machinery. There is an amount of money to be spent on machinery, if machinery is available, and we have bought more than ever before. It is not easy to get it and if it comes on the market it will be purchased, and the money will be provided for it.

Those were the main wails, if you might call them that, that the Senator had, and they do not amount to a whole lot. I would take it as a compliment that he could not say more than that except on the general matter of emigration, which I will deal with later.

Senator Mrs. Concannon spoke of two small points. She complained that the Vote for Comhdháil Náisiúnta has been cut. So it has. I am ready to reconsider that if a case is made, but I would like people like the Senator who are interested in the development of the Irish language to take such groups as the Comhdháil and examine them and see whether they are doing their work properly and whether the work they are doing, or have set out to do, is really helpful to the Irish language. I know it is dangerous for a person like myself to deal with this at all. There were three points of view with regard to the Irish language expressed long ago: that you can deal with Irish, so to speak, on the eyewash level; on the other side, at the racket level; and in between is the area which the real promoters of the Gaelic language occupy. I think Senator Mrs. Concannon would be there. I appeal to her to take this matter seriously.

The Comhdháil are having their subvention cut this year for this reason— that as far as I can see from the material put before me and from the advice that colleagues better informed than I am can give me, they have not done their work properly. They set out on far too ambitious a programme without having accomplished the work that they had really put on their shoulders in the first instance. They started off by co-ordinating the work of existing societies engaged in the Irish language revival movement. Originally they got a small subvention to pay administration expenses and that more or less met the office expenses. That was increased afterwards to enable them to have certain organisers through the country. They increased the organisers.

I think the subvention started in the year 1943-44. They started on a £2,000 grant the first year and three years later they were claiming £30,000, and they have more or less made their claim at that level ever since. They want to associate themselves with a kind of work that is far beyond what anybody thinks is desirable of accomplishment by them. If they keep to the co-ordination work, concentrate on the Breac-Ghaeltacht and the vocational schools' work, it is thought they may do useful work. In the main, what does one find they are doing? They have organisers, and, so far as the report is concerned, it shows they are occupied selling the newspapers. These are newspapers which are carried on by subvention. There are three Irish papers, one weekly and two monthlies to which the Government gave subventions. Some subventions are being cut this year and for the same reason.

Let us take it from the Comhdháil point of view first. There were organisers who were being supplied by funds from the Government and they were attempting to sell newspapers which were being subsidised by the Government, and they were not even accomplishing the sale of these subsidised papers with any great success. I think those interested in the Irish language ought to investigate this matter. There are three papers in the main. The subsidy for one of them comes to 1/- per copy and the sale price is 2d. The subsidy for another is 1/9 per copy, and for the third 1/6. It has been estimated that if they could get about 3,500 readers each they could make the papers pay, but they cannot get them. It is a lamentable situation in which there is not to be found in the country, out of a population of 3,000,000, 2,000 or 3,000 people to buy these papers, although the sale of them is pushed by organisers who are operating under a subvention from the Government. I suggest that those who want to see the Irish language promoted ought to investigate that situation and see if something cannot be done about it.

The paper situation is particularly bad. In no case did receipts cover the printing bills. In connection with one of them the sales in the last year that I have an account for brought in a little over £300 and the expenditure was £4,295. With regard to the second, it is somewhat better. The total sales amounted to £250 and the full expenditure was £660. In the case of the third, the full receipts were £511 and the expenditure £1,500. That, I suggest, is not a very creditable situation and I do not think anybody ought to criticise me for cutting these subventions if it is only to get some attention directed to this situation by those who really desire the promotion of the Irish language and who think this is the proper way to help to get good work done.

It is always presented in this way: if these books and papers are not provided Irish will be and will remain a school subject and there has to be something else provided for people who want to read something beyond school texts. There is the sad conclusion forced on the people interested in this matter that there is no interest in the Irish language. There is no interest, certainly, if the interest is to be measured by what I have stated—that you cannot get 3,000 or 4,000 people who will pay enough money to take the weekly or these two monthlies so that they can be put on their feet. I am not cutting the subsidy entirely; I am cutting it back a bit more or less as a disciplinary matter. I think that people better able to inquire into it than I am ought to inquire into it, and Senator Mrs. Concannon is one whom I would suggest.

How many public servants are getting special allowances because of their knowledge of Irish?

That is another matter.

They do not read the papers.

That is the point. If one takes the subvention given with regard to the use of the language in the home and the subvention given to Irish as a school subject and as a university subject, and the numbers affected by them, as Senator Duffy pointed out, they could give the reading population required.

We have a number of people in the Guards and in the Civil Service who recieve allowances for their knowledge and use of the Irish language.

Some of these days I hope we will get a full debate on social services. For some weeks past the Irish Press has been picturing the Tánaiste and myself almost in fisticuffs every evening. They will have a more pleasing subject to-morrow. They will be able to picture myself and Senator Mrs. Concannon in a huddle. I am certainly glad to get the report I have got this evening on the matter. Do not let anybody think that because I have expressed views of a particular type, these views exclude social services. I have always made the point that, if we were starting afresh and everything was to be moulded in the way we would like it, we could start probably in a way that would obviate reliance on social services.

But people get old, get into a certain condition of invalidity and in different ways suffer from the vicissitudes of life who in their early days had not enough money given them by way of wages or salaries out of which they could be expected to make provision against these misfortunes. I have always stated that it would be better in the end—probably it would be less expensive and certainly it would be more desirable socially—if people could be paid sufficient rates of wages and salaries to enable them to make this provision for themselves. I have always understood it to be the Christian view and part of the Christian life that people should be asked to develop their own personalities by facing these responsibilities of life and making provision for themselves. I suggest that this is socially a more desirable objective than the other and I will always maintain that. Nevertheless, it may be that this State will have to incur very heavy expenditure in regard to social services. I have always objected to boasting about the extent of social services. You might as well boast about the degree of sickness or poverty you have in a community.

One minor topic this evening was the question of the grants in relation to the Road Fund. That topic is associated with the other matter of emigration and unemployment with which I want to deal. I wonder if there would be any objection in this House to making a choice. Suppose we had to make a choice in regard to the spending of a limited sum of money which was available. The choice would be whether you would rather spend that money on roads or in the fields to improve agricultural production. I do not believe anybody, on considering the matter, could have any doubt in his mind as to the decision to be taken. Everybody would opt that they would not spend the money on the roads but that the money should be spent on the land, in the fields of the country, particularly if it were going to improve production. We propose this year to divert money from the roads to the land. We believe it will give as much employment as expenditure on the roads would give, and we believe that it will yield better results in the end. That is the general problem. The particular problem that faced the Minister for Local Government this year in connection with the road grants was that a certain scheme had been set on foot in the period 1946/47. It was presented as a restoration scheme. It was to cost about £3,000,000. The £3,000,000 was in the Road Fund because very much had not been taken out of it during certain of the war years. It was presented that that work might go on for a year, maybe a second year, but it was certainly put on the basis that there was no certainly or continuity about it.

Year by year, when the letters went out on three occasions, that was stated. The background of the letters written by the Minister for Local Government in that connection has been revealed in Dáil Éireann on the 23rd February. It was found that the then Minister for Finance, Deputy Aiken, had very positively expressed his dislike of the whole scheme. He originally gave his approval of it on the strict understanding that the revised basis of allocation between the Road Fund and the rates would last for one financial year only. He insisted that the letters would contain a sentence to the effect that it was purely a measure confined to one financial year. When the matter came before him a second time for approval it was strenuously resisted by him to such a point that his assent, although granted, was very much delayed and that was supposed to have been the cause of great embarrassment to the local authorities. That was the situation towards the end of 1947. The general election took place on the 5th February. It is a pivotal date as far as this matter is concerned. On the 12th February the Government decided that they would give a grant of £2,250,000. They did not, as they had previously done, say where the money was to come from. But three days later when that Government knew it was facing the road, and the road out, it met again and decided that they would notify the local authorities of the grants. They did so by telegram —a thing they had never done before.

A Senator

And on a Saturday.

So, within two or three days of going out of office, they notified the local authorities by telegram of a grant of £2,250,000—leaving it to their successors to say where the money was to come from and to provide it. That was a scandalous piece of political trickery. At that time the Minister for Finance, if he had held his previous views, would simply have objected to the whole thing. He could have said that the restoration programme, as presented to him, must have been completed by that time. Certainly, more money than was originally contemplated was spent on it because it lasted for over three periods while, initially, it had been presented that it was likely to last only one financial year. It came this year to the point where the matter had to be reconsidered. We had a plan to have money spent in certain other ways and you cannot spend money on everything at the same time, because the money is not there. Consequently, you have not the money for the various kinds of work. We decided that this money should be cut down and devoted to other purposes. It was at least time that this matter showed signs of petering out. It is obvious that, if there is going to be a diversion and if the money is to be devoted to other purposes, that scheme cannot be continued. It would be quite improvident to have big allocations for road grants. The roads must, by this time, have been restored to their original state. Senators will also remember that before the war the local authority, in respect of rates, used to provide £2 for every £1 provided by the central authority. The situation has changed now. The local authority pays £1 for every £2 which the central authority pays. It is about time we got back to the more wholesome pre-war practice.

Much comment has been made in regard to emigration and unemployment to-night. Before dealing with the problem, as such, I want to refer to the fact that, in December of 1947, the last Government woke up to the fact that emigration was likely to increase. A memorandum was presented by the Department of Social Welfare to the then Government. A lot of the facts and figures are set out with great clarity. The warning is given that during the war it was possible to retain people at home by preventing those engaged in certain types of work from going abroad unless they could give evidence that there was no work for them at home. In many ways there were impediments and hindrances on those going abroad. However, during the war the path to America had been completely closed. After the war it was opened again. The American Legation was receiving applications from intending emigrants. The question of visas was being considered. As late as the 15th December, 1947, the last Government decided to take cognisance of emigration. The last paragraph of the memorandum is in this form:—

"Apart from the immediate problem dealt with so far in this memorandum the Minister is of opinion that the effect of emigration on the present and future population trends here, more particularly in view of the influence here of the population changes anticipated in the relatively near future in Great Britain, is a matter which would repay careful examination. He accordingly suggests that the Government might consider the appointment of a commission with wide terms of reference which would examine the population position and probable developments as influenced by various factors of which emigration is one."

We are criticised for having set up a commission on emigration. The last Government had set up a commission to consider a variety of things affecting the trend of population here, emigration being one of them. It was understood that once the ports were opened again and there was freedom to go to American there would be an outpouring of all these people who during the war years had wanted to emigrate and who were being encouraged by their relatives to do so. It was recognised that once the ports were opened there would be a big outpouring of our citizens from this country and a big influx of our citizens into America. One of the Senators beside me has mentioned that you do not get a visa to go to America arranged in an evening. The case has been put to me of two people from the same town who had applied to go to America. They had applied, I think, with a three weeks' difference in the date of their applications. It was thought to be a desirable thing that they should go together. Application was made to the American office here that they should be allowed to go at the same time. The application was made in such a way that the latter applicant would have been promoted to the date of the prior applicant. It was rejected, on the grounds that it would mean that several thousand people would be displaced. However, if the prior applicant would like to date himself to the date of the latter applicant's letter, then it would be all right. That means that inside three weeks thousands of applications to go to America had poured in. Those decisions, as I have said, were not taken overnight. As Senators will admit, if they think about the matter, these people are going as a result of decisions taken by them years ago. It is only in the recent period that they have been able to fulfil their desires to get outside the country. It is a problem that has to be met and we are trying to see what we can do about it. There has been a good deal of experience in this matter.

Emigration and unemployment, I suppose, can be taken together. At least they would be taken together in this House. It might be urged here that the lack of employment was the cause of emigration. In 1928, the former Minister for Industry and Commerce. Deputy Lemass, expressed the view that:—

"Ireland can be made a self-contained unit providing all the necessities of living in adequate quantities for the people residing in the island at the moment and probably for a much larger number."

I need only recall the old phrase about calling back the emigrants, but that might be regarded as a sort of immature view that would have been discarded as people grew up. In 1942, the then Taoiseach, speaking in the Dáil on the 15th July, deplored emigration and said:—

"It is wrong to say that we are trying to induce our people to emigrate or anything of that sort. We are not, but we cannot put up a barrier. In the case of a man who has £7 a week or £5 a week in the particular industry he is in at present, if, through lack of raw materials, that industry closes down and that man loses his employment, we cannot say to him ‘you must stay here; we can only give you 30/-or £2,' or whatever may be the sum which the community as a whole may be able to afford to give him to maintain himself and his family."

Similarly, when talking about emigration, he said that it would be quite wrong to prevent people from going if they had a desire to go, or to put up a barrier and say to them "you must stay at home." Later he said that:—

"I do not believe that the majority of them would go were it not for the fact that their ordinary means of livelihood at home have been taken from them. I believe they will come back those of them who will be still there. I do not want anybody to think that it is a matter of satisfaction to us to see any of our people, for any reason whatever, leaving the country."

There was very little in that record of 1942 to show any plan for keeping people here. The Taoiseach of those days simply threw aside what he, apparently, took to be a suggestion made to him that people should be restrained here forcibly, and said that that could not be done. He went on to say that:—

"I do not see any solution for this problem except a solution based on a complete change of our whole social system. You may do it if you conscript labour, and mind you if you do that you will cause a lot of those hardships which I for one am anxious to avoid."

That was not very heartening for those who were listening to the Taoiseach who, at one time, thought that the country could get back to the old 8,000,000 population. That was his view in 1942.

Deputy Childers spoke on this in the Dáil on the 13th May, 1947. Possibly, Senator Hawkins would bring this to the notice of whoever wrote the editorial in the Irish Press two days ago. He said:—

"We are an adventurous people. We have been forced to emigrate in all our history and it has become a habit amongst us."

He spoke about the problems that the people at the other side had and how these offered temptations to the people of this country. He said again:—

"There is a temptation to people of adventurous spirit in this country, regardless of income, and naturally the people with great intelligence from the poor areas will want to venture forth into the world and, finding acceptable employment available to them on a scale never before, certainly not in the last 20 years, they will go to that employment."

Deputy Childers put it on the ground that emigration was a mixture of a spirit of adventure and enterprise and of better employment on the other side. Speaking in the Dáil in July, 1947, the then Taoiseach said that the most important question was that of emigration. He said that when they had done the best they could there was that drift from the land to the towns, that there had been that steady drain since the famine and perhaps it was a tendency that could not be stopped. In the same debate he said that emigration could only be remedied by some better provision for the rural population, particularly those actually employed on the land. He pointed out that there had been a decline in the numbers engaged in their basic industry, and that raised the question whether there was any solution to it or whether it was a natural decline. That was the view of a man who had been 15 years in Government, who came in with a plan to end everything, including unemployment and emigration. He said that if anyone could see a solution for the difficulties in agriculture they would be glad to consider it. That was the view of people who came into power full of ardour about employment and the stoppage of emigration, and who, in later years, came to a better appreciation of the situation.

I will read a comment or two from Deputy Lemass. Speaking in the Dáil on the 4th June, 1930, he said:—

"The outstanding fact concerning unemployment in this country is that it need not exist at all."

Later, in the debate, when the figure of 80,000 unemployed was questioned, he broke in to speak of how that problem could be tackled. I interrupted him by saying that he appeared to be approaching it by way of a gradual and selective type of solution. His answer to me was:—

"You could find an immediate solution for unemployment to-morrow."

Deputy de Valera, a year earlier, had said:—

"The more I consider the position the more convinced I become that the problem of unemployment in Ireland is quite capable of solution and the more certain I feel that it is a crime against the unemployed and against the nation to leave it unsolved."

Before he became Taoiseach he had a solution for unemployment, but years later he did not see any solution for it except a solution based on a complete change of our whole social system. He came to agree with Deputy Childers that there was a tradition about emigration, that it started in the Famine and was going to go on. It is quite clear that there is only one way of stopping emigration, and that is by providing employment. If there is an opening for employment in the country, and if people still continue to go, they certainly are not being driven out. There may be a pull from some other country, but there is no urge here for them to go. The problem, I suggest, should not be over-stressed. Senator Meighan gave us his own personal experience with regard to people who are called unemployed in this country, while at the same time Bord na Móna and other organisations are making a demand for workers and cannot get them. That is not news, and it should not be news to the members of the late Fianna Fáil Government.

In the early part of 1947 there was a bit of a scare on in regard to the production of fuel and a conference was called in April, 1947, on turf production. It was opened by the Taoiseach, Mr. de Valera, and was eventually taken over by the Minister for Local Government, Deputy MacEntee, and by Deputy Childers. There were gathered into that conference all the people who were supposed to know the local areas—county engineers, county surveyors and other officials—and they were gathered from over the whole Twenty-Six Counties.

They had an address from the Taoiseach, opening the conference in the morning, and in the evening they were summoned back and invited to speak their views frankly. The main problem was to get the same number of workers to produce a greater quantity of turf in a given time. He implored them to do everything they could do to get turf cut.

After he had lectured them for a bit —I do not propose to give any names in this—one representative from one of the northern counties broke in and said:—

"There is a point I did not like to mention this morning in connection with the turf programme last year, that is, the unwillingness of some men to go out and work at all. We had one district last year in which we could not get the men to work. Most of these men are on the dole all the winter. Last year when we asked them to go out and cut turf they refused and I reported this to the labour exchange and all I got was an acknowledgment. There was no action taken—an extraordinary thing—disinclination—people do not want to work any longer. There are too many social services."

He was asked why he did not mention that in the morning and he said he was afraid of hitting at Government policy.

The Minister said:—

"If people refuse to work it is up to use to see that those people are not kept in idleness."

The representative said:—

"I gave particulars of these cases in writing to the labour exchange on six different occasions and I got a promise from the Minister that that would not occur again."

Whereupon, another man from another county broke in and said:—

"I had the same thing in my county. Three or four years ago I got a grant. There were plenty of men unemployed but they would not go out to work. First, they could not walk two and half miles, and when a lorry was provided they could not work unless they were paid every Saturday. Last week there were 70 men unemployed in the labour exchange"—

and he mentioned a particular town—

"and I do not know what to do with them. Some say they are not fit for work."

In any event, he could not get them to work and they were registered as unemployed.

A man from one of the southernmost counties said:—

"Mine is not quite the same experience. There is a general tendency to avoid going out to work at all. If that is to be cured I do not think it can be done by dealing with individual cases but by a thorough investigation of the whole administrative side of paying doles."

And then he added:—

"There seems to be a conspiracy between the dolemen, Guards and those in the labour exchange whereby men can continue drawing the dole and do not turn up for a recognised job. I can prove it—men working for farmers and others—possibly Guards —at reduced rates. There is grave abuse about the whole system."

Another representative added: "I have had the same experience. The men say they can earn more by drawing the dole." The Minister asked: "Can I say it is a fairly general experience?" and they all said: "Yes." At any rate, there was no change made. That was in April, and there was no investigation made in the labour exchanges and no better effort to see that men would not draw unemployment assistance and then work for farmers or Guards or other people at reduced wages. That simply goes on.

Lately in the Dáil Deputy Lemass said quite frankly that he admits the unemployment register is quite inaccurate and Deputy Childers makes it a complaint that we who are now the Government, when in opposition, knew the list was inaccurate but we pretended it was accurate.

There are a number of people unemployed in this country, but I find it hard to understand why there should be so many and I find it very difficult to understand why there should be anything like emigration on a big scale. There are more incentives to work at the moment in this country than there have been for many years. There has been a general increase in wages and salaries as paid to those who live by wages and salaries. Certainly, in the calendar year 1948, the situation was such that the increase in wages and salaries that had been achieved all round—there might have been gaps here and there, but generally achieved —had equated the increase in the cost of living since the 1938-39 period. The rates of wages were relatively up by the same amount as the cost of living had gone up.

In addition to that, taxation had been reduced. Things that in England are regarded as incentives to the worker to make a better effort—beer and tobacco—have been very definitely reduced in price and, in addition to that, there is a vast amount of money pouring out through the country at this moment. Senators, no doubt, know of the returns in the Official Gazette from time to time relating to receipts into and issues out of the Exchequer. There are certain issues of a capital development type. For the year ending 31st March, 1948, these were running at a figure of about £5,500,000. I subtract £1,000,000 because it was expended under the Air Navigation and Transport Act and it was mainly for the buying of Constellations. It would not have meant much employment here, in any event. There was something like £4,500,000 expended.

Anyone who will follow this will see that that amount has almost doubled in the financial year we are now finishing—1948-49. It is not conceivable that there should be an extra expenditure of something like £4,500,000—the old £4,500,000 has been added to and brought to £9,000,000—and that that amount of money could go through the country without there being some reflection in employment. One must despair of finding a solution by the expenditure of money if you can have £4,500,000 doubled and at the same time a very big development in unemployment and a big increase in emigration.

These things are frightening from any angle. If anybody is interested in or is afraid of inflationary pressures, he ought to be particularly afraid when he hears of this amount put into circulation over and above what was put into circulation last year. Senator Baxter asked whether the returns I had in regard to currency showed that there was any reduction in purchasing power in this country. Far from it. The note circulation for the period ending 31st March, 1947, was £43,000,000: for the period ending 31st March, 1948, it was £46,000,000, and for the period ending now it is £49,000,000. There is every sign that one can see of a bigger purchasing power in the hands of the people which, in turn, should create a bigger demand and show some return in the way of occupation for the people of the country. I find it impossible to discover what the reason is. In any event there is only one course to be pursued: that is to see what can be done in the way of increasing work. It is for that reason that we decided upon the establishment of this Industrial Advisory Authority in the first place; and, secondly, upon the scheme of land development to which we have put our hands.

Senator Hawkins said that industry has been terrorised by the setting up of this industrial authority. I do not know why that should be. Senator Hawkins was a member of the Party that dictated the Industrial Efficiency and Prices Bill. Under that Act there was to be a prices commission which would consist of three people, a chairman and two other members. They were to investigate prices, conditions of work and everything else that had to do with industry. In addition to that there was to be an individual selected as chairman under Part V of the Bill. It was his function to exercise continuous supervision over the efficiency of such undertakings and industries as would fall within the ambit of this particular Act. If industry could tolerate that, I do not know why industry should be afraid of the authority established by us.

There are quite a number of things that should be investigated. Applications for tariffs are coming before the present Government pretty regularly. One of the difficulties with which we find ourselves faced is that the last Minister for Industry and Commerce, who was supposed to be the champion of protection, gave what amounted to free trade conditions to a large number of industries towards the end of 1946 and the beginning of 1947. I got a calculation made as to the particular imports in respect of which duties had been suspended. I got a comparison made between those imports in the year 1938 and 1948 as one method of finding out what the result of the suspension of tariffs was. The suspension covered goods of an import value of £6,680,000 in the year 1938. Goods in these ranges were imported into this country in the year 1948 to the value of £28,000,000. That was done by the "whole-hogger" in protection. He gave us that year of free trade. We have not yet got over the effects of it.

One of the most amazing purchases permitted during that year was the Dutch confectionery and Dutch chocolates. In the year 1947 £1,119,000 worth of Dutch chocolates were imported into this country. How any man with any eye on his balance of trade, apart altogether from the question of disturbance, could permit that to happen I cannot understand. The effect is such that it is virtually impossible for any group of Ministers to examine the situation thoroughly. That is one of the matters we would like to have investigated by the industrial authority.

Knowing how much reliance is put upon the wisdom of the late Arthur Griffith, I thought it wise to refresh my memory on what Griffith, who is regarded as the apostle of the tariff movement here, has written in regard to tariffs. In his pamphlet on Sinn Féin policy, under the heading of "What Protection Is", he wrote:—

"Protection does not mean the exclusion of foreign competition—it means rendering the native manufacturer equal to meeting foreign competition. It does not mean that we shall pay a higher profit to any Irish manufacturer, but that we shall not stand by and see him crushed by mere weight of foreign capital. If an Irish manufacturer cannot produce as cheaply as an English, or other foreigner, only because his foreign competitor has larger resources at his disposal, then it is the first duty of the Irish nation to accord protection to that Irish manufacturer."

That is what some protected industrialists in this country would recite— at least they would recite it if they knew it. But they would not go on to recite what immediately follows. They would not recite this:—

"If, on the other hand, an Irish manufacturer can produce as cheaply but charges an enhanced price such a man deserves no support—he is, in plain words, a swindler."

I want now to get some authority to discover if there are any "swindlers", in Griffith's terminology, because there are industrialists here enjoying protection. I do not believe that there is anyone belonging to the manufacturing groups who will not admit that there are some. If any individual publicly speaks so much as one word of criticism against any of them, whether they be few or many, he is always paraded afterwards as speaking of the whole group. I do not speak of the whole group. I know a number of manufacturers who need no protection at all and who can get on admirably without it. Quite a number of them wanted protection and they got it for good reasons; they make good use of that protection by giving a good article in return. There are others who create problems.

One of the matters I should like to have investigated, too, by this industrial authority is the case of the industrialist who uses his position for the purpose of blackmail. All of you have heard of a certain people who are alleged to put women and children in the front line in time of war and who hide behind them when the attack is on. But their conduct is not more contemptible than is the conduct of the industrialist who blackmails, or attempts to blackmail, by pitching his workers out and telling the public: "I gave so much employment to so many people; they are now out of employment and they are going to stay out until such time as I get a tariff." I think that particular type of conduct requires careful scrutiny when it is indulged in by a company, for instance, which subsequently decides to distribute bonus shares of £1 each, free and fully paid, to each of its ordinary shareholders and which, having distributed £1 free to all the ordinary shareholders, then publicly states at its general meeting: "We have no reason to believe that we will not be able to pay a dividend of 10 per cent. per annum on both the old and the new shares," and, subsequent to that general meeting, proceeds to lock out a number of its employees and tells the Government that "they are going to stay out until such time as you come to my assistance with a tariff". That is something that must be investigated immediately by an industrial authority to discover whether that company ought to be allowed to foist itself and its goods on the public here. I have a record here of a number of companies which have adopted that line of conduct. I think they call for investigation.

Take then the matter of issuing bonus shares, particularly when those shares are manipulated by very dubious methods indeed. Take the writing-up of property that had depreciated in a particular way. I want to have the capital structure of some of these industries that have been established here investigated by an industrial authority. Some years ago I called attention in Dáil Eireann to a company here which had issued a public prospectus. From that prospectus it emerged that that company had repaid themselves their capital twice over out of profits and they proposed to sell to the public at a rate which would give them their capital for the third time. Set out, too, in that prospectus was a little agreement by means of which four of them had established themselves in lucrative positions in the company for a period of five years. One was managing director at quite a high salary; the other three had not quite such high salaries but they had very definitely manipulated the whole business so as to render it virtually impossible to make any change for a period of five years. That is only one case. There are even worse offenders than that. There are concerns which have pretended to extend their capital in such a way that they can pay a dividend of 20 per cent. and, in their accounts, make it appear to be 4 per cent.

Further than that, I would also want to have investigated certain matters that were made the subject matter of a good deal of critical comment at the time the Commission on Vocational Organisation was sitting. One of the organisations that came to give evidence before that commission was questioned by the chairman as to whether the particular organisation he represented had any policy, and if so what it was, with regard to concerns which attempted to capitalise goodwill, licences and tariffs. That was brought further and investigated by the chairman and certain other members in the case of four or five named concerns. In connection with one of them—I do not think there is much use in attempting to keep publicity away from this because it is too well known but leaving out the name for the moment the question was put:—

"Is it not true that in that case Messrs. X got something in the region of £600,000 ready money from the Irish people for the sale of their shares, which they could have exported to England and that they over-capitalised the value of their shares to an extent which means a tax of 2/-...

—there is no longer any question of publicity—

... per sack on the price of flour?"

That was the question put, that the over-capitalisation which had been permitted represented a tax of 2/- to the Irish people on every sack of flour that they produced and sold.

Another company was referred to, a different company, and the chairman put this question:—

"And I think it is reasonable to assume that they also are extracting 2/- additional per sack from the public because of the writing up of goodwill?"

Eventually, the commission came to a third concern and they asked the witness who was giving evidence before them what was the entire capital of the concern. It was £170,000. Then that was investigated still further and it was found that a considerable amount of that was set down as value of premises. The premises had been on their books at some sum about £2,500, but they were going into the tariff world and the buildings suddenly went up to £16,000 and were entered in the company's records at that figure. They were content to do with that so far as the buildings were concerned but they capitalised the goodwill at over £100,000. Their assets were represented as £170,000; quite possibly the real value of the assets was £30,000 but they capitalised the chance of making good under a tariff and they wrote up the value of their buildings. They were not the only firm to do that.

At a later point the chairman of the commission refers to another company. The cost of the plant was given in the balance sheet at £9,000. They applied for a tariff; they had a very good chance of getting it and they got what was called a special valuation made of their plant. They got an outside valuer, a valuer not belonging to this country, to make a valuation and eventually the plant formerly valued at £9,000 makes its appearance in the balance sheet at £64,000. There is a good deal more material of that kind—I shall not delay the House further by referring to it at this late hour of the night—the investigation of which would occupy the time of the Industrial Advisory Authority for quite a long time and in regard to which it will be possible to show that properties have been written up to fictitiously inflated values. That commission proved to their own satisfaction that there had been this capitalisation of goodwill where the goodwill depended on the acquisition of licences or tariffs. People have since been paying on foot of these increased valuations. We, in any event, are going to ask the advisory authority to give us advice in these matters.

We were responsible in the first instance for a tariff policy. We have a policy in regard to protection, and the industrialist, who is giving a good return for the protection he is getting, need have no fears or hesitation in regard to any depression. He will have as good a business life as he ever had before under a system of protection which will be fair and reasonable to all concerned. So far as the purchasing power of the people is concerned, there is certainly as much available, if not more, than at any time in the history of the country to ensure a good demand for goods produced in the country.

Finally, we have the land reclamation scheme. The full details of that will be given by the Minister when the necessary authority for the expenditure is sought. No money can be spent on that until the necessary legislation or the Estimate to provide for the expenditure will be brought before the Dáil and the Seanad. In any event, the scheme is before the people now. An expert was discovered here and he was asked to write on the condition of the land in this country. That report has been published. I presume Senators have read it, but if they have not, I would advise them to read it. They will find many amazing comments in it. One of the most amazing was where he described the land of the country as generally being good but, he said, in each of the 26 counties there is land which is producing as little as it was possible for it to produce, under the conditions of the Irish climate, it had become so poor. That certainly showed that there is a great field for development. We are going to make certain provision to ensure that that land is going to be developed. At least we shall put certain resources at the disposal of the owners of the property. We are making this venture, but we are not looking for any increased rates from that land in the way of drainage rates, etc.

If we can get better productivity out of the land, that will add to the national income. We shall get satisfaction for the expenditure of the money, both financial satisfaction as well as satisfaction of another type. That scheme has been described in Dáil Éireann by a Fianna Fáil Deputy as the greatest piece of folly that ever came out of a madman's head. I want that phrase marked for future reference. We do not think it is that, we think it is a reasonably good scheme. We have pledged ourselves to the American administration which is providing us with certain funds that this country is going to be developed to a point of productivity which will mean a big increase in output. We hope that the scheme will produce satisfactory results. There is something of the element of a venture about it but it is for the farming community to seize their chances and to give us a return, not in rates or anything of that kind, but in general production out of which we shall get results that will be beneficial to the whole country.

Question put and agreed to.
Agreed to take the remaining stages to-day.