Sul má scoireamar le haghaidh sosa, bhí mé ag cur síos ar chuid de na pointí a bhí á lua ag cuid de na Seanadóirí a labhair tráthnóna ní i dtaobh an Bhille, ach i dtaobh na ndaoine atá agus a bhí fábharach d'Fhianna Fáil. Bhí mé ag déanamh tagairt go speisialta do chuid de na rudaí a bhí á lua ag an Seanadóir Baxter. Ceann de na rudaí eile a luaigh sé: go mba mhaith liom go mór cur ina choine, is é an rud é sin gurb é an rud ba mhaith le muintir Fhianna Fáil go dtiocfadh scrios agus bochtanas ar an tír agus trí bhochtanas agus scrios do theacht ar an tír, go gcuideodh sé leo mar Pháirtí.
Dúirt mé faoi rud adúirt sé tráthnóna go mba suarach an rud adúirt sé, ach más féidir rud níos suaraí a rá, sin é an rud é. Ní theastaíonn uainne go dtiocfadh a leithéid ar aghaidh sa tír. Dúirt mé go minic cheana gurb é an rud ba mhaith linn go raghadh cúrsa na tíre chun cinn agus, maidir liomsa, is cuma liom sa tuibaiste cé chuirfidh chun cinn iad, má cuirtear chun cinn iad. Ní miste liom a rá nach gcreidim go gcuirfear chun cinn iad go sásúil faoin Rialtas atá ann, ach má chuireann siad chun cinn iad, beidh mise ar na daoine is túisce a thiubhras moladh dóibh as ucht a gcuid oibre.
Is duine é go mbeadh a leas féin agus leas an tSeanaid á dhéanamh aige dá gcoinníodh sé a bhéal dúnta níos mó ná mar choinníonn sé. Bhí sé ag caint anseo tráthnóna agus á rá dá mba rud é nach raibh móin ins an tír, dá mba rud é nach raibh prátaí ins an tír, dá mba rud é nach raibh daoine le fáil le hoibriú ar na portaigh agus da mba rud é go raibh na daoine óga ag imeacht as an tír, ar cheart dúinn bheith ag cur síos orthu anseo agus strainséirí anseo ag éisteacht linn? Is cuimhin linn go maith, nuair a bhí an cogadh ar bun, an chaoi a d'iompar an Seanadóir Baxter agus cuid dá chomrádaithe iad féin sa tSeanad agus taobh amuigh agus is cuimhin linn an uair a bhí an náisiún seo i sáinn agus an uair ba chóir dúinn bheith cúramach faoi na rudaí adúramar agus níor choinnigh sé a bhéal dúnta.
Is fíor go bhfuil móin gann agus go mbeidh sí gann. Is fíor go bhfuil an tír gan prátaí agus is fíor nach bhfuil fir le fáil le hoibriú ar na portaigh. Is fíor go bhfuil na mílte agus na milte duine imithe as an tír ó tháinig an Rialtas seo isteach, agus taithníodh sé leis an Seanadóir nó duine ar bith eile, fógróimíd na rudaí seo go dtí go gcaithfidh na daoine atá ciontach iontu cuimhneamh orthu agus iad a leigheas. Ní hamháin é sin ach an Seanadóir Baxter a bhí ag caitheamh molta anseo tráthnóna leis an Aire Airgeadais agus leis an Aire Talmhaíochta, rinne sé dearmad insint dúinn go bhfuil 50,000 duine glanta amach as an dtuaith le dhá bhliain anuas, agus ní hamháin é sin ach go bhfuil tionscail na tíre á scrios, mar mhínigh an Seanadóir Ó Cuirc, agus muintir na tuaithe ag gluaiseacht leo ón dtuaith agus muintir na tuaithe agus muintir na mbailte móra ag glanadh leo as an tír. Taithníodh sé leis an Seanadóir Baxter nó ná taithníodh, déarfaimíd iad anseo agus taobh amuigh.
The Minister, in putting this Bill before us, was rather economical in the matter of speech. I do not blame him for that. He made a fairly long speech on the Budget and he hoped that we had read whatever he said in the Dáil on this Bill. I can only say that I read whatever he said, except whatever he may have said on the Final Stage yesterday evening. I want to say that, so far as I am concerned, he will have to spend another while on the hard stool and will have to spend another while making speeches, before he convinces me that he is on the right track. We could not be very interested in what he said, he said so little.
The Bill has certain features in it which we shall have to discuss at length, but, apart from that, the main interest this evening was in the speeches of the Senators who believe that the Minister for Finance is the world's greatest financial magician, just as the Minister for Agriculture is the greatest Minister for Agriculture the world has ever known or is ever likely to know. The main feature of the discussion seems to be that of making a virtue of running into debt. It might be all right on occasions that we should run into debt, but we will want to be given much stronger reasons than we have been given for running into debt to the extent we propose to run into debt and the way we propose to run into debt.
Senator Baxter seemed to be the leading light in defending the Bill and the policy enshrined in it. I think the proper course for Senators on this side would be to treat Senator Baxter with contempt. I should like to treat him with the contempt of my silence, but I want to protest—and I want it to go on the records—against the type of sneer and attack in which he indulged this evening with regard to the speech of Senator Hawkins. Senator Baxter told us that the discussion of this Bill was a matter for a person of special ability, a person with ability to analyse the Bill. He was not satisfied with Senator Hawkins. May I say that, if ever a man failed in his attempt to analyse a Bill or what was inherent in a Bill, Senator Baxter failed this evening, and failed miserably?
I want to protest also against his references to the matter of this country's neutrality during the last war. I think diplomats, with one exception, agree that this country fulfilled the obligations of neutrality to the letter. I think it was generally conceded that we could not have conducted ourselves with greater fairness than we did during the war. All I can say is that, thanks be to God, that Senator and his colleagues were not in charge of affairs in this State during the war. He made, again, the statement that it would give members of Fianna Fáil satisfaction if the people of this country were to be impoverished if prices were to fall and so on. May I say, Sir, that the mind that is capable of thinking in that way, and the person that is capable of making such accusations against political opponents, and especially opponents with the record of Fianna Fail, is hardly fit to be in public life at all. I protested before against that type of insult and that type of attack. I protest against it again as strongly as I possibly can. For the rest, as I say, the proper thing to do with regard to Senator Baxter is to pay no heed to him in future and, in that way, to express our contempt for him.