Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Seanad Éireann díospóireacht -
Wednesday, 19 Jul 1950

Vol. 38 No. 8

Appropriation Bill, 1950 ( Certified Money Bill ) —Second Stage.

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

This Bill is in its simplest form this year; there are no clauses with regard to a Counterpart Fund, and there have been certain other finance measures. It is a routine but an essential feature of our finance system. The purposes are twofold. Firstly, it authorises the issue from the Central Fund of the balance of the amount granted to meet the cost of the supply services for the year, and, secondly, it appropriates to the proper supply services and purposes the sums that have been granted by the Dáil that so far remain unappropriated.

This attaches itself to the Central Fund Act of the year. Under the Central Fund Act, 1950, there was authorised the issue from the fund of such part of the moneys required for the year as was voted on account by the Dáil. That amounted to £26,710,660. A further issue of £51,615,593, provided for in the first section of this year's Appropriation Bill, will make available for the services of the year the total amount asked for in the 1950-51 Estimates. There are also included the Supplementary Estimates voted by the Dáil since 31st March, 1950. This amounts, roughly, to a trifle short of £200,000.

In the second respect, the point of appropriation, this Bill is designed to give final and statutory effect to the Vote on Account, and to the special resolutions agreed to by the Dáil following the detailed consideration of the Estimates and the Supplementary Estimates. Section 3 provides that each grant provided for the current financial year shall be expended on the services to which the Schedule to the Bill appropriates it. It provides for the formal appropriation of supplementary grants for 1949-50 that were not covered by the Appropriation Act of last year, and it further provides that the Appropriations-in-Aid may be expended on the services indicated.

Section 2 has the usual provision in regard to borrowing, enabling the Minister for Finance to make borrowings under the limitation set out in the section. The borrowing must not exceed £51,615,593 authorised to be issued out of the Central Fund by Section 1. Of course, nothing like that amount of borrowing will take place.

The Bill before the House is, as the Minister states, an essential part of the many finance measures put before this and the other House. It is more important to this House, having regard to the fact that this House has not an opportunity of discussing the Estimates individually.

Here we have set out in the Bill more or less the whole field of Estimates for the coming year. One, I am sure, would be compelled to observe the very brief statement the Minister made in putting this Bill before the House. That seems to be his usual form. Last year we drew the attention of the House to the same practice and pointed out that it would be well if more information were given. Only a few weeks ago we had a discussion on the Finance Bill. On that occasion more than one member of this House drew attention to the present position, particularly the situation in Europe, and we tried to get from the Minister some indication of Government policy and what the Government propose to do to bring this country through any emergency that may arise as result of what some of us thought at that time might take place and what has since actually taken place. We were accused on that day of starting a campaign of warmongering, of trying to excite the people, to distract their attention from other things.

I put it to the House to-day that the one question exercising the minds of the people is the policy of the Government and the steps they propose to take to provide for that to which many of us drew attention here on the last occasion. We were asked by some Senators on the other side whether we advocated the drafting of men into the Army for the simple purpose of forming fours. You can always over-estimate and always draw some red herring across any argument. When we spoke from this side, we had in mind that the people desire some indication as to the Government's policy.

We know the past approach of two persons who now hold key positions. One key position is that of the Minister for Defence, who is charged with the responsibility of the Army, the maintenance of discipline and provision of equipment. He is charged in no small way with the direction of Government policy in regard to that Army and how it may be utilised. The people are fully aware of his attitude during the emergency out of which we have hardly passed yet, and particularly his approach to the maintenance of neutrality. Statements were made from time to time, and one particular statement was that if a parliamentary decision had to be taken by vote, he, for one, would not vote for the policy of neutrality. Other members of the present Government, on that occasion and as far back as 1938, were predicting that war would come and that we could not maintain any semblance of neutrality and must be involved in it. It is natural, therefore, to expect that the people should have some anxiety as to Government policy and as to the preparations being made.

The next responsible Department which would be called upon to make the greatest contribution, should the present state of Europe deteriorate to such an extent that we would find ourselves in a new state of emergency, is the Department of Agriculture. The people—the farmers, particularly— remember quite well the policy of the present Minister for Agriculture and his attitude to the provision by our farmers of food for the people. These matters create no small amount of anxiety amongst our people.

We had a statement from the Minister for Defence recently that we were driven willy-nilly into a policy of neutrality. Since we spoke on this matter in the House on the Finance Bill, certain events have taken place and now we want to put a few questions to the present Minister. Having regard to the events of the last few weeks, it would serve a useful national purpose if in his reply to this debate, he would give an outline of the steps proposed to be taken by the Government. We have the experience of the past emergency. We know where our failings were, particularly in supplies. We saw our transport system brought practically to a standstill. Prophecies were made by the members who now compose the Government, that we need take no heed, that all the food we required in the way of flour, sugar, tea, and so on, would be made available from both the British and the American people, and not alone that but that it would be shipped here in ships owned by those States.

As regards the shipment of goods from America during the last war, we know quite well that the only American ship that entered an Irish port during that war was a ship that came into Galway Harbour, not for the purpose— as prophesied by no less a person than the present Minister—of bringing food in here, but for the purpose of taking American citizens away from this country to safety in America. I want to ask the Minister if the present policy is now being given effect to, and if there will be a reliance on that provision which the Minister himself prophesied would be made during the last war.

We would like to know what provision is being made for supplies of fuel for transport and what provision is being made for storage. We have heard much in recent months about the land rehabilitation scheme. We have heard of the amount of machinery that is being purchased and brought in. We would like to know now what provision is being made to keep that machinery in motion. Is storage being made available? Are steps being taken to make that storage available, so as to have sufficient oils of various kinds to keep the machinery moving? In the last war, we knew that our farmers were hard pressed to maintain the production of essential foods. One of the first steps to be taken immediately fertilisers were procurable would be, it was promised, to give them to the farmers at a most reasonable charge, in ample quantities. Now that we are almost on the threshold—if we have not passed that stage—of what might be called another great European emergency or war, no matter what our attitude may be, whether we are driven to take part in it or whether we are in a position to maintain our neutrality, we are bound to come under its effects. What steps have the Government taken to ensure ample supplies of fertilisers and to make storage available, so that if our farmers are once more compelled to provide our food they will be given a better opportunity than they had on the last occasion? I do not wish to dwell too long upon this matter, but I think it would be well that the Minister should give some indication on it in order to case the minds of the people.

We come then to an examination of the Bill itself. That might, perhaps, be more effectively done on the Committee Stage, but there are one or two items to which I would like to draw the Minister's attention on this stage. Considerable sums of money have been made available in practically all Departments for expenditure of one kind or another, but there is nothing in the Bill, or in any financial measure so far introduced, which would indicate that any steps are being taken to implement the promises made by the Parties now forming the Coalition Government prior to the last general election. We still have quite a number of unemployed. We still have emigration. I would like to draw the Minister's attention to the fact that the incidence of unemployment and emigration is far higher in the congested areas than elsewhere in the country. It is from Galway, Mayo, Donegal and Kerry that the great numbers of our people are forced to emigrate in order to find employment abroad. The tide of emigration still flows on. There is no provision in this Bill which would lead one to suppose that the Government is coming to the rescue of the people living in what is commonly called the Gaeltacht. There is no provision made to provide even temporary employment for them. There is no inducement given to them to remain here. In that direction the Government has failed.

I think we should be given some information by the Minister about the commission that was set up with such a blowing of trumpets on the formation of the Coalition Government to consider and report on the problem of emigration.

Is that the Emigration Commission?

But that is the one you wanted to set up yourselves.

The Minister and his Government set up a commission to inquire into the causes and effect of emigration two and a half years ago. I do not know how many meetings that commission has held. I do not wish to criticise the personnel of the commission. I feel it is faced with a very difficult problem and that they are doing their best to collate all the information and to make recommendations as to how the problem can be dealt with in the future. While they are sitting, the tide of emigration continues. There is no provision in this Bill which would lead one to suppose that any steps are being taken to stem the tide of emigration, particularly from the areas to which I have referred.

Does the Senator mean that there is no specific sum against emigration?

Because I would say there is about £25,000,000 in this Bill towards stopping emigration and most of it is expenditure to which you object.

I want to draw the Minister's attention to what is a national problem. That problem is gravest in the particular areas that have suffered most all down through the centuries and where the people have maintained the Irish language and the Irish way of life. It is from these districts that emigration is greatest at all times. I suggest there is no provision in this Bill.

There are millions in this Bill.

There is provision made for many schemes, but there is no provision to help the particular districts to which I have referred. We would like to have some information from the Minister as to when we may expect to have the report of that commission. Has the commission already presented its report? When will that report be made public? When will steps be taken to implement the recommendations made in the report?

There was another commission set up over which the former Attorney-General, a member of this House, presided as chairman. That was set up to inquire into the subsidy given to the millers. For many years we heard criticisms made of that subsidy. I understand that body made its report and recommendations some time back, but the report has not yet been made public. I think the public is entitled to know what recommendations were made. I think they are entitled to know what the findings are and what steps the Government proposes to take to implement those findings. It was suggested by one responsible Minister at one stage that the milling industry should be taken over and run by the State. That might be a solution. I do not know whether or not the Government is prepared to adopt that suggestion. If it is discovered that the millers, as has been suggested, lined their pockets at the expense of the people, what steps does the Government propose to take to take back a little of the lining? If the millers have not lined their pockets and if the payment of the subsidy was justified and should be continued, it is well that the public should know that that is so. It is well that that admission should be made.

There is provision in this measure for grants to harbours. Senator Concannon made a special plea to the Minister on the last occasion he was in the House for sympathetic consideration to an application made by the Galway Harbour Commissioners for a grant towards the development of that harbour. As a result of an interview between the harbour board and the Department of Industry and Commerce, we were disappointed last week to discover that the harbour authorities had been told that they must go back and prepare a more modest scheme. The scheme put forward and the plans prepared were a very costly item and they were presented to the Department of Industry and Commerce for its consideration. Now we are told that we must prepare a more modest scheme. We have had a feeling in the West for a long time that the attitude in Dublin is that anything is good enough for the West. A considerable amount of money has already been expended on the development of Galway Harbour. The Minister himself recently referred here to wasteful expenditure on roads and he painted a graphic picture of men employed on a piece of road work to-day and the whole thing being dug up again to-morrow. I think a lead should be given in this matter by a responsible Department. I think that wasteful activities should not be entered into. The fact that the Galway Harbour Board was told that it must be content with a more modest scheme leads one to believe that patchwork will be the order of the day. Now the Galway Harbour Board is told it must accept a more modest scheme and some years hence it will be told to prepare a proper scheme. To my mind that is a complete waste of money. Time, materials and men are wasted carrying out small works. I think a lead should be given by the State in this particular matter. I agree with the Minister that a certain amount of expenditure carried out by local authorities in connection with roads in the way he described is wasteful. The job should be tackled properly at the beginning. I appeal to the Minister to have this matter of making sufficient moneys available to the Galway Harbour Commissioners reconsidered so that they can go ahead with the original scheme outlined by their engineers.

We also have provision made in this Bill for public works. I think that what I have just said would apply to public works. Sometimes we see works carried out, even in this House, under the heading of public works which one would not entirely agree with. One feels that it could be more efficiently carried out if given to a contractor. This Bill provides that moneys be made available for public works. This, probably, is the last occasion on which we shall have an opportunity of referring to certain matters this year. In that connection, I want to say that when a Government decides to set up a State Department it also has the duty of finding a building for the staff of that Department. Recently, we had a discussion on the question of finding housing accommodation for the Department of Social Welfare. What did we find then? That there had been what might be described as nothing less than a raid on the funds of the National Health Insurance Society to take over Store Street premises from Córas Iompair Éireann. The raid was in the region of £1,000,000. I am not at all too sure that the sum that will ultimately be required will stop at that figure. Since the matter was raised in this House, we have had public attention again called to it. In view of that, I would at this, the eleventh hour, once more make an appeal to the Minister to reconsider the matter and allow that building to be used for the purpose for which it was first intended.

What was that purpose?

A cinema!

And a restaurant?

The position, at any rate, is this, that many people, not only in this country but visitors from abroad, have expressed the view that the building should be used for the purpose for which it was originally intended. Quite recently, we had a statement published from an eminent architect in which he said, in a very emphatic way, that if the building were completed as a bus station it would be one of the finest in Europe.

A bus station?

Yes. We have, of course, the sneers of the Minister and of his colleagues that it was only intended to be a cinema or a restaurant. At any rate, it was admitted in this House by a Minister, who, after all, must be the person responsible as far as this House is concerned— I refer to the Minister for Industry and Commerce—that Smithfield will also contain a restaurant.

It is not in order on this Bill for the Senator to discuss the relative merits of Smithfield and the Store Street premises.

I am drawing the attention of the House to the fact that sums of money are being provided in this Bill for the provision of Government buildings and I am saying that it is the duty of the Government to provide a building for the staffs of Government Departments. I do not think it was right to acquire this building for that purpose at the expense of the funds of the National Health Insurance Society, and at the same time to deprive the travelling public of the facilities which it was proposed to make available for them in the Store Street premises. That certainly, to say the least of it, was not a good thing to do. The only excuse that could be given for doing that, even by the Minister or by the most ardent supporters of the Government, was that that decision was come to, not as a matter of economy, not for the sake of saving Córas Iompair Éireann from bankruptcy or for the purpose of putting it on its feet again, but through political bias and for no other reason.

That is the opinion that people who have examined this whole question have arrived at. I suggest that, even at this late hour, the Government should reconsider the whole matter. I suggest, too, that the Government should give the new Board of Córas Iompair Éireann, which they have appointed themselves, an opportunity of re-examining the position. If the new board, in their wisdom, decide that it is in the interests of the travelling public and of Córas Iompair Éireann itself as a national transport service that they should be allowed to complete the building as a bus station, I think they should be allowed to do so. But they have been deprived of that opportunity. The decision in regard to the building was made not by the former chairman and Board of Córas Iompair Éireann.

The other board did it.

The decision was made by the Government.

The board asked that steps should be taken. That was stated openly in the Dáil and was never denied.

I should like to see the minutes of the meeting of the board at which that decision was made produced for the information of the public. The public are quite aware of, and are quite convinced of, how the decision was made, and why the board——

The board made it.

As I have said, this is probably the last occasion on which we shall have an opportunity of discussing the matter. I would, therefore, appeal to the Minister and to the Government at least to reconsider this question.

Those of us who are supporting the Government, and supporting Government policy, should feel not only complimented but very satisfied indeed that the spokesman for the Opposition in this House had so little criticism to offer on Government policy. The Appropriation Bill affords Senators an opportunity of making criticism on Government policy, and of advancing constructive proposals as to how Government policy could be changed or amended so that conditions for the people of the country as a whole would be bettered. I do not like to be too severe on Senator Hawkins. Personally, I feel that the very mild tone of his speech was in a way a compliment to the Government. There was almost tacit approval of what the Government are doing. The fact that we have had a complete absence of any concrete criticism of what is being done, I think, indicates that what we see before us in the Appropriation Bill, as well as the proposals embodied in it, have met with the acceptance of the people of the country as a whole. If the Opposition are in disagreement with the way in which money is being spent, then I suggest they should give us some evidence of that in their speeches. I suggest to them that, unless they are politically bankrupt, we should have constructive proposals from them as to how the money could be better spent. We have not had that from Senator Hawkins. During three-fourths of his speech he contented himself by putting a series of queries to the Minister, queries as to what will be done in certain eventualities. He joined his colleagues in the rôle of prophet. I suppose it is true to say that prophets never like to be disappointed. They will always hope, I suppose, that their prophecies will be justified by events, and that someone will come to their aid if there is the possibility that they are going to be let down.

This was one of the queries which Senator Hawkins put to the Minister. What are the Government doing, in the way of making preparations, if war comes? We can work ourselves into such a state about war that eventually we arrive at the frame of mind in which we believe there must be war. If there is a great deal of talk about war, the longer it goes on it seems to be an effort by those who want to keep out of war to get away from it. I do not think it advisable for a small country like this, any more than it is for a large country, to have too much talk about war. If one were to examine the attitude of the Great Powers, who are definitely going into it if there is a world-wide conflict, one will observe the caution with which they speak of world war. God knows, none of us wants it and the less talk we have about it in public. I think the greater will be our contribution towards averting it. I do not say we must not think about it, but I do say that a small country like ours should have less talk about war. If necessary, there should be silent preparation and thought and examination about the situation that would confront us in such an eventuality but that examination should be impartial and it should be realistic. That is just what we are not getting.

Senator Hawkins started off by demanding information from the military angle as to the preparations the Government were making. Certain statements have been made by the Minister for Defence and his colleagues on that aspect of national policy and I am not going to follow them up. That may or may not be satisfactory to Senators opposite but I am going to suggest that the condition of preparedness to-day is at least as efficient, and up to as high a standard, as it was in 1939 when the people now in opposition were in control. If there was one thing obvious in 1939 to any student of history, it was that war was inevitable. There was not as much talk about it then, but it came. There were many people who saw it was coming from 1932, 1934 and 1936—in fact, from the first day that Hitler entered the Rhineland. What was the condition of preparedness in which we found ourselves in the autumn of 1939? On the military side, surely nothing like as advanced as it is to-day. There is no doubt that, prior to the last war, we had to send our students of military history abroad to make a study of strategy. Our young men were being sent abroad to study in military colleges in foreign countries. They came back with the knowledge and education which they obtained there. They are now placing them at the disposal of the rising generation who, no doubt, are passing on that knowledge to the younger recruits. There can be no question—I do not think it would be questioned by Senator Hawkins or any of his colleagues—that our conditions to-day on the military side are at least a great deal better than they were in 1939. Let that statement be challenged if Senators can challenge it, and let evidence be produced to support the challenge but, for goodness' sake, let us not be told, without any evidence to support the statement, that we are in a worse position now from the point of view of defence than we were in 1939.

The problem of defence is not a problem for the Government alone. It was not a matter for the Government alone in 1939. The leaders of all political Parties were called together and a council of defence was formed. We did not pick and choose the men we wanted to go into the armed forces of the country. They came from all political Parties and I have no doubt that as many came from amongst the supporters of the Parties that were then in opposition as came from those who were supporting the Government. I speak with some knowledge of that matter and I know what was the attitude of some of the people then in the Government when we were trying to organise the country and trying to get young men into the Defence Forces. I know what happened in my own county. Let us get away from that aspect of the situation for the moment.

What is the Minister for Agriculture doing in regard to the provision of food for the people and to keep starvation from our doors in the event of war, this very much abused Minister for Agriculture, the man who never did anything right according to the Opposition? There again, I say that the situation to-day, in 1950, under the ministry of James Dillon, is ever so much better than it was in 1939 under the ministry of his predecessor in office, Dr. Ryan. I challenge contradiction on that and I shall prove my statement from figures which are available to the Opposition just as they are available to me. No doubt a wise people will make provision for the future in regard to food supplies whether we are going to have war or whether we are not going to have war. It is necessary for the farmer to have vision for years ahead as to how conditions are likely to develop. It is months and months, indeed, sometimes years, before you are able to sell the product you produce on the land. In live stock that is so and there is at least a period of eight or nine months after you have sown your seed before you reap in the harvest. Farmers everywhere have, therefore, to take a longer view than any other section of the people. The man who wants to carry on a live-stock economy will make provision for a balanced production. He will secure food supplies for his stock in winter just as well as in summer, as prudent farmers everywhere are doing. I think, speaking generally, that is the attitude of the farmers in the country to-day. I know that when the Opposition speak in critical tones of Government policy in regard to food supplies, they are thinking primarily in terms of acres of wheat. This is a matter which is constantly under discussion.

The Minister for Agriculture in replying in the other House to the debate on his Estimate, quoted the ex-Minister for Justice, Deputy Boland, who was reported in the Roscommon Herald of Saturday, June 17th, as making the following statement—the quotation by the Minister is to be found in column 516 of the Official Report for July 4th:—

"During the war we were at least in a position to ensure a fair sized ration of bread from our own wheat, and also sugar, and, as a result of the Fianna Fáil Government, we were able to overcome most of our fuel difficulties. Now, however, thanks to the activities of Mr. James Dillon, we are almost totally dependent on outside sources for our bread and our animal feeding stuffs."

That statement is definitely untrue and it should not be repeated. In 1939, when the people opposite were in power, there had been years of propaganda in regard to the growing of wheat up and down the country. The people were stormed from every church gate and with advertisements in the newspapers. It was an article of faith with Fianna Fáil, a sign that you believed in Fianna Fáil, that you grew wheat. In 1939, the year the war was coming to us—and everybody knew it was coming—they secured 255,280 acres of wheat.

It was 21,000 when they got power in 1933.

I have all the figures from 1935, and I am sure that an intellectual like Senator Séan Hayes will enlighten the House as to why there was a falling off in the acreage under wheat under the Fianna Fáil Government during the years until the war came.

Will the Senator quote the 1931 figure?

The Senator might be allowed to make his own speech. Other Senators will have their opportunity afterwards.

We are trying to get the facts. If you were facing an enemy outside it would be most important to get the facts of your position straight if you were not to die, and if these people are as concerned about feeding the nation as they pretend they are, they would be as interested as I am. They are difficult to enlighten but I will try. In 1935 there were 255,280 acres of wheat, and under the much abused present Minister for Agriculture——

The Senator will agree that that was a great achievement despite the propaganda of your people.

Under the present Minister for Agriculture we have 362,805 acres.

That is an exaggeration.

When you have an interruption from Senator Hayes that that is exaggeration and when these figures are in the statistical abstract published by the Government——

Senator Baxter should be allowed to make his speech.

You also have the figures in the cost-of-living index.

Without this cross talk we would get on better with the business.

During the war, in 1940, we had 305,000, and 463,000 in 1941. That is the point we reached, and I have no hesitation in saying that the present Minister for Agriculture in 1949 produced more wheat from 362,000 acres than was produced from 463,000 in 1941.

That is a big change from the time he said he would not be caught dead in a wheat field.

There is not, in my opinion, in any country in the world a more vicious and unjust campaign against any Minister than there is against the Minister for Agriculture here at present. I was a member of the national executive of Fine Gael during the earlier years of the war.

What did you do to the present Minister for Agriculture then?

If Senator Baxter were allowed to make his speech——

I am going to tell the Senator something and he will not be pleased with the story, but I challenge contradiction before I say it. In 1941 at one of the meetings of that executive, in February, I think, we realised the danger to the country. It was just those days when the then Minister for Agriculture, Deputy Dr. Ryan, was being sent on a stumping campaign up and down the country urging farmers to put a greater area under wheat. Our information in the executive was that farmers were not doing this, and we realised the serious situation which would confront the country unless more land was put under wheat. It was decided at that executive meeting that a deputation would be selected to go to see the Taoiseach, Deputy de Valera, to urge on him that the way to get more wheat was to increase the price to the farmers. We selected as the man to head that deputation Deputy James Dillon, and those to accompany him were the late Jim Hughes, Senator James McGee and myself. At the meeting in the room in which we were sitting—I am sure Senator Hayes was also present—the present Minister for Agriculture got up, went to the telephone, asked to speak to Deputy de Valera, and got on to his secretary. There was prevarication; Deputy de Valera could not be seen, but after difficulties we made some advances. There was no hope, Deputy Dillon was told, of seeing Deputy de Valera that day. He pointed out that this was a matter we regarded as being of very great urgency and asked when could he be seen, but we could not get an answer. We did get some information later that day and were told that the Taoiseach would see the deputation the following evening. I had to go home and could not accompany the deputation, but the deputation went to the Taoiseach and included Deputy James Dillon, the late Jim Hughes and Senator James T. McGee. Practically immediately after the deputation left the decision was taken to increase the price of wheat by 5/- a barrel, and on the radio that same night an announcement was made to this effect. The announcement was accompanied by the statement that this was the result of a deputation from the Fine Gael organisation and it was also indicated that this was going to increase the price of flour and listeners, of course, were to accept that the price of flour was increased to the consumer because the Fine Gael deputation had gone to the Ministry to get an increase in the price of wheat. The gentleman who led that deputation to get more money, so that more wheat would be grown, was the present Minister for Agriculture, and in this House I publicly challenge the leaders of the Opposition to give me a denial of that.

He was not in Fine Gael then.

Perhaps we might get to the Appropriation Bill, 1950.

The past and present policy and the Minister's attitude of mind to the growing of wheat has been so consistently challenged, so blatantly misrepresented, that I think the country should know the truth. I have all the figures here over all the years, pre-war and post-war, with regard to the growing of wheat. We have had statements from the Minister himself and from his colleagues that more wheat will be available this year than in any year in the history of the country as far as recorded figures go.

I sometimes feel that what is annoying the Opposition most is that this is the truth, that wheat is available and that there is considerable evidence of security with regard to our food supply position. They would be happier if there was not that security and if they could afford to be critical. Otherwise why not face facts and when facts are available, why not accept them? If the position is as they say it is, if it is not satisfactory, let us have some constructive proposals. When we have this line of argument from the Opposition, I would ask them to give us their views on what they would do. I challenge the farmers over there to say whether they want compulsory tillage applied. Do they or do they not? If not, if you are not going to compel farmers to put certain areas under tillage, the only alternative is to give farmers such a price as to encourage them to grow it, believing that it will be profitable. The present Minister for Agriculture believes that to make the job attractive for farmers by increasing the price of the product would be a more profitable national approach than to use our compulsory powers. When the Minister went into office his Government increased the price of wheat.

No, the present price of wheat was fixed in November, 1947.

All I can say is that I do not know why the Fianna Fáil Party did not release that information for the election. Why did they not, if they had taken the decision?

It was announced before it.

I did not know it was announced.

Does the Senator say that the 1950 price was announced in 1947?

The price of wheat was fixed by the former Government in November, 1947.

For the year 1950?

For the year 1948.

If that is true, Fianna Fáil have plenty of people to look up the newspapers and the official records. I challenge any member of the Opposition to produce any tangible proof of any statement made by any responsible Minister before the former Government went out of office that the price was to be 62/6 per barrel. Let it be produced and then we will accept it. None of us ever heard of it; none of the farmers ever heard of it until the announcement was made by the present Minister for Agriculture.

The announcement was made by Radio Éireann.

If that is so, it can be produced. We can check it up and I am ready to withdraw my statement if that is made known. It is something of which I am completely ignorant. The present Minister for Agriculture increased the price of wheat and gave a guarantee for five years. In our judgment that is the best way to encourage the farmers to grow any crops. Do these Senators want the price increased beyond 62/6? I am sure they would be quite prepared to ask for that. But if it is increased let them not forget the announcement made by Radio Éireann when their Government was in power that the price of flour must also be increased.

Not necessarily.

I do not know what reply the Minister for Finance may give to Senator Hawkins' other queries with regard to Government policy, the quantity of fuel in store, the quantity of oil in store for the machinery to be used on the rehabilitation project and the quantities of artificial manures. Whoever said it in the other House, so far as this country is concerned I believe there are supplies which we can lay up and which we should lay up in so far as it is wise. Any wise farmer will always have something in his barn and the nation should also have something in its grain silos. A provident farmer is not going to cut turf in the middle of winter. You have to stack turf in the turf house and, in the same way, you will have to store the hay and the grain for the cattle. I have no doubt that the Government have given ample consideration and attention to that aspect of our problem.

The Minister and his colleagues in the other House stated that the best preparation we could make for war, in addition to having certain stores, is to build up the fertility of our soil. That is the best preparation we can make. It is something that the previous Government neglected, although we talked about it in this House year after year. We can produce the records of the advice we gave, but no constructive effort was made to build up the fertility of our soil. The truth is that with all the wheat growing they carried out before the war the most fertile fields we had were completely exploited before the war broke out and the fields in which we should have stored fertility upon which we could draw were the poorest and most impoverished in the country. The result was that we had hundreds of thousands of impoverished acres of land and the legacy which was left to the Minister to restore the fertility of these impoverished lands is an immense undertaking. It has to be faced, however. The Minister and his colleagues are to be congratulated on the enthusiasm, the vigour and the imagination with which they are facing it. The land rehabilitation project is one aspect of it and a very vital one. It is important also that there should be a storage of fuel for the machinery required.

The Minister for Agriculture, in the other House, when addressing himself to this problem of the rehabilitation programme, made a statement which I did not see reported in any newspaper. So far as I know, it has been given no publicity whatever. I was astonished that such a vital declaration of policy, such a valuable statement, did not attract the notice of the daily papers and that for the nation's sake they did not give publicity to it. There has been a point of view very frequently expressed in regard to the land rehabilitation project that it is not only the lands which require drainage that require rehabilitation; that there are large areas all over the country of poor land which are very dry, where the rainfall is low and where the capacity of land to hold water is not very great. These areas are generally parts of hillsides and, from the point of view of fertility and vigour, they are very debilitated. It has therefore been urged that something ought to be done for these lands.

I may say that a number of my colleagues of the Fine Gael Party and myself saw the Minister for Agriculture before the land rehabilitation project was announced and discussed this aspect of the project with him. In concluding the debate on his Estimate in the Dáil, the Minister made a statement. I do not know if it has been brought to the notice of any Senator. Had I not been told about it by a Deputy who listened to it and who was very interested in the proposal, I would not have known of it. This is what the Minister said when he was referring to the lack of fertilisers and the poor soil, as reported in Volume 122, column 526, of the Official Reports:—

"Very well; I am prepared to test that out and, under the land project, if any farmer in Ireland believes that his land lacks nothing but fertilisers to make it fructify and if he will apply to the Department of Agriculture—the scheme will have to be prepared in detail, but I offer the Dáil the outline of it now—enclosing a fee of 1/- per acre—if he is a tenacre man, 10/-; if he is a 1,000-acre man, £50—we will test the soil of every field upon his holding and we will undertake to provide, deliver and spread the lime, the phosphates and the potash the land may require. He will be informed of the total cost and, subject to his paying any fraction of that cost, the balance can be funded as an annuity to be consolidated with his land annuity—subject to the provision that second recourse may not be had to that scheme unless and until the annuity in respect of its first application has been redeemed."

I do not know if that statement of policy has been brought to the notice of any of the other Senators. I must say that there are large areas in the country where the application of that plan would produce a revolution in regard to the quality of the soil. The expenditure of £40,000,000 on the land of the country is the greatest act of faith any Government could make in regard to the country's future. I felt that there was something slightly lopsided about that scheme but, with that declaration, there comes a balance into the scheme that will make it applicable to the country as a whole, to the poor hillsides to be found in many counties just as much as to the low-lying, waterlogged lands which need all this big equipment which the Minister has secured for their drainage and rehabilitation. It seems to me that we can have a quiet satisfaction in regard to the policy pursued by the Minister and his colleagues. We can be confident that the conduct of the nation's affairs is in very competent hands, that there is vision and foresight in the way the money is to be spent, that there is imagination as well and that they are not afraid to take risks.

Senator Hawkins was critical about the unemployment and emigration position. I think that is pure fantasy. I do not know any part of rural Ireland to-day in which there is unemployment. In my own county, a county of small farmers, there is no unemployment, and—I have said it before and I now repeat it—some of our county schemes under the Works Act are limited by the availability of labour. That is true not only of my own county. I heard a story from Donegal the other day which sounds so astonishing that it is difficult to believe, but which is a fact. It is, perhaps, also true of West Galway, as Senator Hawkins will probably find if he makes inquiries. If you want to get turf cut in West Donegal to-day, and if you wanted it during the past month or two, the man who will cut that turf will charge £1 per day and can get it. There is not much evidence of unemployment there.

Is there any emigration?

I think there is and I think there was. There was emigration all during the years when the Senator and his colleagues were very silent about it. The most disastrous phase of the emigration took place during their time. I do not propose to go back to the causes——

If the Senator wants me to give the cause, I can give it in three words—the economic war. It was the economic war started it.

I want to say to Senator Baxter what I have often said before: If the Senator or other Senators on the opposite side want to go back to the economic war, I and my colleagues on this side are prepared to devote not only the rest of the evening but a whole week to it.

It is very far away from the Appropriation Bill of 1950.

When the Senator interrupts, he is always liable to get an answer, and he may not like the answer. The truth of the matter is that the position in many districts in the country is really tragic, but that is not a problem for one Party alone.

It is a problem for which your Party said they had a solution at the general election.

Senator Hawkins might allow Senator Baxter to proceed.

All one can say about that is that there was not much evidence of the application of a solution during their time. I am not saying that they did not try to, because I do not think that would be true.

You should remind them that Deputy de Valera said it was one of the permitted crimes which should not be allowed to go on.

The fact is that there has been emigration up to such a point in a great many districts that the race there is incapable of replacing itself. I have a keener appreciation of this than most Senators. I have probably said more in this House, if Senators are fair to me, about emigration over the years than most, and I have studied it more closely. It is less than it was, but it is less for a variety of reasons. A great many of the people are gone, and they went in Fianna Fáil's time, as the figures which are available show. They went in the midst of the war at a time when the land of this country required rehabilitation, and they went to Britain where they were engaged in the rehabilitation of the land of Britain, when we should have kept them employed on our own land. When boys go out of a district, you find a condition in a parish in which the girl there does not find one boy whom she will marry, and, looking at it the other way round, exactly the same thing is happening, and, if Senators want the evidence of a close observer, I suggest that they canvass the opinion of Senator Mrs. Concannon.

That is what is taking place and has taken place, and the position to-day is such that we may see such a contraction of the population in a very short time, because of the operation of natural forces, that it will be quite impossible for our people to hold on in the more remote fastnesses of the country. That is going to bring about a development of another kind which is not at all pleasant. There is this to be said, however, that a great deal of the emigration that has gone on over the past 20 years has been as much due to a condition of mind as to economic necessity. A great many boys and girls left the country and went to work in conditions that were not as pleasant or as happy as those of the surroundings from which they went. They would not write home and tell about what was taking place, and others followed, and because one boy left, a girl left the week after. The drain is going on, and, if it is to be stopped, there must be realism in our approach and in our effort to stem this bleeding. These people will have to be talked to in a manner in which we have not been courageous enough to talk to them in the past.

We may attempt to spend money in a variety of ways, but if we are to hold on to the people in the hinterland, the people along the seaboard and in towards the centre, one thing against which we must set our faces is any further development of the City of Dublin from the point of view of industry. It should be a cardinal policy of the Ministry from this on not to have any industry within 30 or 40 miles of Dublin City. If you want to hold the people living beyond that point, you will have to build defences not so very far from their own doors. These defences will be the growth of urban communities producing something our people require, or something which perhaps we may export; but that is the only way in which the population can be held. We will have to build defences against their going much nearer to their own homes than we have attempted in the past. If we have to pass an Act of the Oireachtas to prevent this line of development of building up Dublin which has been taking place, it would be a national duty to do so.

Senator Hawkins referred to the artificial manures and the storing of these manures, and I am all with him in that respect. Probably the most vital of all the things we ought to store against an emergency is a supply of fertilisers. If you have wheat or grain of any kind, you will get a crop the following harvest. We may have a lean period in between, but we will know the crop is coming on; but we can only be certain of it if we have the fertility in the soil. If you have it stored, no matter where, it will be an asset which will stretch its benefits into the years beyond, and, from that point of view, I should like to hear if there has been any close consideration of the possibility of the development of a nitrogenous industry in the country. All during the last war certain quantities of superphosphates, of phosphatic manures, came into the country, but, from the point of view of nitrogen, practically nothing came in, except the sprinkling which was taken in across the Border. That is one of the things for which we should make provision in the future. It may be expensive to consumers and to the nation as a whole to sustain it, but it would be a sheet anchor, one of our greatest measures for security in any period of emergency.

In agreeing as I do with the Government and supporting wholeheartedly Government policy, which is giving such satisfaction to the country as a whole, I believe there are projects such as that which, in present circumstances, ought to receive close-up attention which might not be necessary if conditions in the world were other than they are.

I feel sorry for sensible people who have to listen to a speech such as we have had from Senator Baxter. There are many sensible people on both sides of the House. Senator Baxter went to great lengths to have a crack here and there and to criticise Senator Hawkins but Senator Baxter in his calmer moments will agree that anybody would be justified in saying that Senator Baxter's speech was an excellent exhibition of shadow boxing. All this talk we have heard about criticism of the rehabilitation project of the present Government is so much shadow boxing. I have not heard anybody speak adversely in connection with that particular scheme. As regards Fianna Fáil speakers that I have heard discussing projects of that kind introduced by the present Government, the furthest they have ever gone is to say—quite justifiably— that in certain cases schemes were put up by the previous Government and that credit for these schemes is being claimed by this Government. That is a perfectly justifiable attitude for any member of Fianna Fáil to adopt either here or outside. To try to create the impression that because something is being done by the present Government it must be criticised and condemned by the Fianna Fáil Party is so much nonsense. That is not the case. Generally, those who support Fianna Fáil in this House, on county councils, on county committees of agriculture and public bodies everywhere, are a fairly good cross-section of the people, sensible men who know what is good for the country. If something that is good for the country is being done by any Party, they do not want to take the credit from that Party.

I am quite prepared to admit here publicly that a considerable amount of good is being done under this rehabilitation scheme. While I and other speakers might think that certain things could be done a little bit better in a different way, I am always prepared for somebody to tell me, as I will be prepared to tell them, that the best hurlers are always on the ditch.

The only thing that I could take from Senator Baxter's speech was his evident jealousy of the present Minister for Agriculture. I have no particular natural love and affection for the present Minister for Agriculture but, if the present Minister for Agriculture introduces a scheme which I think is a good scheme, I do not go around the country trying to steal his thunder. Senator Baxter told us that he and a few other people went to the Minister and discussed this scheme. The suggestion was that, as a result of Senator Baxter's discussion with the Minister, this scheme was brought forward. If the scheme is to be a success, it should have the whole-hearted support of the members of the House and particularly of the members of the Minister's Party. Senator Baxter's way was a petty way of approaching a matter of that kind.

In connection with compulsory powers for tillage, the question has been asked repeatedly, and I have answered the question on a previous occasion: "Would you approve of compulsory powers in connection with tillage at the present time?" My reply to that, as an individual—and I think it would be the reply of most members of our Party—is that if that question was asked a week ago or even to-day, I would say we have not any definite evidence that compulsory powers are necessary in the immediate future but that we have no apologies to make for having used compulsory powers in the past. Rather than criticise the Fianna Fáil Government of that time for having used compulsory powers, Senator Baxter or any other reasonable, sincere Senator should congratulate those people and should give credit where credit is due.

It must be evident, even at this late stage, some years after the conclusion of the war, that were it not for the use of those compulsory powers the people of this country would have starved during the last war. I challenge contradiction on that. It was fairly evident to anyone who was in touch with events at that particular time that there were days when it was touch and go whether or not the country would be faced with starvation and, incidentally, with revolution.

I do not propose to go back on the statements made by members of the Fine Gael Party at that time in connection with compulsory tillage. I do not propose to go back on the period from 1932 to 1939 when Fianna Fáil consistently advocated increased tillage on the basis that the only sane policy in peace time or in war time was to try, in so far as it was possible, to grow our own requirements, particularly in so far as bread was concerned. I do say that, in the same circumstances again, a Fianna Fáil Government would do the same thing. I would like to get an answer from either Senator Baxter or the Minister as to whether or not, if this country were again faced with war and with a similar situation, a shortage of food supplies and a shortage of the means of production of food supplies, they would introduce compulsory tillage. I would like an answer to that question. If they say that they would not in any circumstances introduce compulsory tillage, then I would say that the reference Senator Baxter made to the interest that the Fianna Fáil Party had in connection with the safety of the people and food for the people might be turned back on him and the cap would fit him a lot better than it fits some of us.

It is foolish really to waste the time of the House or the country or to waste the newsprint of newspapers by a debate which is largely founded on a policy of overlooking facts. Senator Baxter went into the figures of production of wheat over a number of years and told us with a great flourish of trumpets that more wheat was got from a certain number of acres in 1950 than was got from a greater number of acres in 1941. Anyone who knows anything about current events knows that it was only in the last few years that fertilisers became available in any quantity. As Senator Baxter admitted in another part of his speech, during the emergency "we had no fertilisers except what was dribbling in over the Border". That is so. Admittedly, the land deteriorated over a considerable period. There was consistent impoverishment of the land. What was the alternative? The alternative was consistent impoverishment and starvation of the people. The Government at that time were faced with that situation and I again say that, rather than criticise that Government, Senators should admit that they faced up to a very difficult situation, regardless of the popular vote or anything else, fully convinced of the responsibility they held as Government. The results proved that they were right.

In connection with this very important deputation which came from the Fine Gael national executive in the early stages, of the war, I would not like Senator Baxter to have a grievance over something that happened even as long ago as that. In fact, I would not like anybody to go around with a chip on his shoulder. Senator Baxter told us that a decision was arrived at at a meeting—on a certain Monday, I think it was——

I did not.

When did you say it took place?

The Chair is satisfied that it does not matter.

The Senator can choose the day for himself. A meeting was held on a certain day and, as a result of that meeting, a decision was arrived at that the then Taoiseach should be approached in connection with increasing the price of wheat. The then Deputy James Dillon called up the then Taoiseach, Eamon de Valera, to request an interview. An interview could not be arranged immediately. Another telephone call was made. Eventually, an arrangement was made to receive the deputation, headed by the then Deputy James Dillon, on the following evening. The then Senator Baxter, as I think he was at the time, with all his interest in the agricultural community of his part of the country, was so busy that he could not wait and accompany the deputation, and use his persuasive powers with the then Taoiseach, because it would mean that he would have to wait overnight and see him on the following day. Surely we have not reached the stage when we think that the Taoiseach, no matter which Government may be in power, ought to be on tap, as it were, in regard to appointments, and that he should receive a deputation at a moment's notice, even from Deputy Dillon. If any of us here were to call up the present Taoiseach and ask for an interview, we would not expect to be told: "Come right along." It might happen that you would be told to come along this evening or in half an hour's time, but any man in that position—particularly at that particular time—would be likely to be so booked up with appointments that he could not receive anybody inside a period of 24 hours. Now, it is held up as if something desperate had happened.

No. I was only pointing to the fact that Deputy Dillon was leading the deputation.

You did not pick it up correctly, Senator. Senator Baxter was telling us why Fine Gael put Deputy Dillon out of the Fine Gael Party.

I do not think I am getting any useful help. Senator Hawkins says that that was the reason why Deputy Dillon was put out of the Fine Gael Party. That is not so, and I do not believe that.

With regard to suggestions which might be made, I believe a desperate effort should now be made to put away a store of fertilisers. I do not believe it should be done in tons or in hundreds of tons: I believe it should be done in thousands of tons. I do not mind stating that at the beginning of the last war I made the suggestion that £1,000,000 should be spent on wheat. I repeat that suggestion now that £1,000,000 or more should be spent on wheat to provide against a possible emergency. I make that suggestion without criticising anybody and, while I make that suggestion, I say that the country is now in a better position to face an emergency than it was at the beginning of the last war because at that time we had not the equipment to carry out the enormous amount of tillage which would be necessary to feed the people of the country. We had not the men trained to carry out the tillage policy of that Government or of any other Government. As a result of the tillage policy of the Fianna Fáil Government, and operated over a number of years, men all over the country got to know how to handle a pair of horses, a plough and a tractor. I am sorry to have to say that that tillage campaign was denounced in every parish of this country by people who should have known better. However, as a result of that policy we have a situation whereby, if necessary overnight, men can be turned to the production of wheat, oats and the various other crops which would be required in case of emergency. The only thing which might, and which would, indeed, require definite attention is the question of traction and transport for the purposes of agriculture. It should not be necessary for me to have to give quotations to show that we are all well aware that there has been a drift towards mechanised farming. If we should be faced with an emergency I ask any sensible man how long will our mechanised farming last? I have stressed time after time that it is dangerous to go over totally to mechanised farming and to advocate a policy which might bring about a situation here that, in an emergency, we would be left without the means of the production of the food we require. I say now as I have said before that a desperate effort should be made to maintain in this country sufficient horses to carry on a tillage campaign in case of emergency.

Statements have been made here in the past and made again to-day that no useful purpose can be served by talking of war. I say very definitely that no useful purpose can be served by sticking one's head in the sand. Generally speaking, the people of the world to-day are turning their attention towards war and preparations for war. While we in this country may not be war-minded, there is no reason why we should not make the necessary preparations to defend the people of this country in the event of war. Any public man who denounces such a policy is not doing his duty to the country. Within the past couple of weeks we have seen a picture of men at work in this city demolishing A.R.P. shelters. On the same day we saw pictures in the papers of other countries of men at work building A.R.P. shelters. Though the A.R.P. shelters which were built in the early stages of the last war may now be out of date, at the same time I am practically convinced that a better type of shelter should be built now. Surely, with the war clouds hanging overhead, we ought not demolish A.R.P. shelters but rather should we proceed with the building of bigger and better shelters and the making of more provision for our people in case of war. Some people say that it is bad to have too much talk about war but I think it is very bad not to have some talk about war. If you do not talk about war publicly in this House and in the other House, you will not have people prepared to carry out the instructions which it may be necessary to issue in case of a sudden emergency. It is all very well for Senator Baxter or anybody else to say that this war is a long way off. It may be a long way off and I hope it is a long way off but I should have liked Senator Baxter to have been with me yesterday in Denmark and in Sweden and to have seen what I saw there— guns being moved into position to protect the airfields. I think he will at least have to admit that some countries are taking the danger of the outbreak of war seriously. I saw the guns being moved into position and I am satisfied that these people are not taking these precautions just for fun. Very definitely, at this stage, we should take our responsibilities seriously. We should take the necessary precautions and recruit the strongest army we can recruit. Whether we are going to remain neutral or to be involved in war one thing is certain and that is that the only way to be reasonably sure of peace is to be ready to defend the policy of whatever Government may be in office. We might as well face the situation now that the peace of the world is in a very precarious position and that it is up to us to look after our own people and protect their interests so as to be able to look after them to the best advantage in case of emergency.

This is one of the few occasions in the course of the year when the Seanad has an opportunity of reviewing Government policy generally. I do not intend to wander more than is absolutely necessary from the text of the Bill which we are debating this afternoon. I shall, therefore, say very little and what I shall say will, I hope, be directed to the Appropriation Bill as far as possible. I should like to say that the Taoiseach in the Dáil recently, in connection with the Estimate for his own Department, gave to the country a very valuable review of the statistical situation. It is only fair for us in the Seanad and in the Dáil who will make use of these figures, to pay a tribute to the officers and officials who prepared them. Without them our contributions to current discussion might possibly be even less helpful, despite the best of intentions. I should like to impress on the Taoiseach the necessity for asking the officials to publish these figures fully as soon as they possibly can be published. At present, we rely on the speeches of Ministers for some very valuable statistics. We got some in the speech of the present Minister on the Budget in May and more from the Taoiseach the other day; but it would be very desirable if we had all these figures published as soon as possible so that we could study them at our leisure and with special relation to the earlier figures published by the same Department. The general impression created by these figures, which the Taoiseach gave in the Dáil the other day, confirmed that created by the Minister for Finance in his Budget statement in May last. The national income has been rising; agricultural production has been rising; industrial production has been rising; though not, perhaps, as rapidly as might be desired. Above all, exports have been rising, also. The great increase in exports in the past few years is a very encouraging feature. It is one which has been rendered possible by the cessation of war conditions. Therefore, it is one which nobody should attempt to make any Party debating points about; I, for one, would not attempt to do so. The main thing is that it has taken place. The fact that our balance of payments is in equilibrium shows that the country is paying its way with the outside world, if we set apart the abnormal problems arising out of the hard currency difficulties.

While the main picture in the figures given by the Taoiseach is satisfactory, there are one or two less satisfactory elements to which it might be well to draw attention. There is one matter that cannot easily be cured, if it can be cured at all—although it is agreed by everybody that it should be—and that is the continuing drain of emigration in the country. There is no feature of Irish public life in relation to any of our industries or activities which does not directly or indirectly bear on this question of emigration. Everything that can give employment will tend to reduce emigration. If one were to discuss emigration at any great length, one would have to deal with every aspect of Irish life, with employment in agriculture and in industry. Therefore, I do not think one could possibly deal with it satisfactorily, and all I will do is draw attention to the fact that the drain on our manpower continues, although I do not suggest that to stem it would be an easy matter.

The second unsatisfactory feature of current statistics which I think is, perhaps, slightly more relevant to this discussion, is the falling short of savings in the country. Rightly or wrongly, the country is committed to an investment programme, depending on private and public investment. We fully debated public investment two or three months ago. The fact appears to be, from the figures given by the Taoiseach, which bear out what we know already from other sources that, current savings are not equal to the finding of the capital necessary for this new investment programme. As I said in relation to emigration, a discussion on the desirability of these various investment projects might take me too far afield. We have discussed it here at length in this Chamber and it has been fully discussed several times in the Dáil, in the Press and in the country. Therefore, I do not propose to enter on that type of discussion.

The Estimates have been passed by the Dáil and the Appropriation Bill will, no doubt, be passed soon and, therefore, we may take it the financial programme of the Government must be regarded as an accomplished fact, as something that will take place whether we like it or whether we do not like it. Therefore, I will not waste the time of the House discussing the desirability, either from the theoretical point of view or the practical point of view, of this public expenditure, its objects and whether it should be met by borrowing or from taxation. The fact remains that it will be undertaken. When an individual or a community makes up its mind that it will do certain things it has to borrow money in order to do them. The practical subject for discussion in the present circumstances is how we can borrow as cheaply as possible, where we can get the money and on what terms. The decision to get it has been made already—that is an accomplished fact —and the only question so far as I know that has not been decided, it has not been publicly announced, is the method by which it is proposed to raise these large sums of money.

When this matter was being discussed earlier this year, I threw out various suggestions. I suggested that the variety of securities in the Dublin Stock Exchange was rather limited and certain people who read my observations in this Chamber have since informed me that they agree with what I said. I have been told by a large London stockbroker that the range of our Government securities is not sufficiently wide to satisfy requirements. I will repeat what I said on that other occasion. I suggest that the Minister ought to explore the possibilities of raising some of this money on shorter and cheaper terms than apply to existing Irish Government securities. I am not asking him to issue Treasury Bills or experiment with Treasury Deposit Receipts; still less am I asking him to use the printing press or resort to any inflationary type of borrowing. All I am asking him to do is to provide for savers in this country supplies of a type of security which, I have been informed, certain savers will be willing to take up.

I am told, but I cannot say whether my information is correct or not, by people connected with the business world in Dublin, that there are considerable sums of money being kept in liquid form mainly by companies and that these companies are unwilling to invest their savings in securities, the value of which may fluctuate owing to circumstances outside the control of anybody in this country. I supplied the Minister, on the last occasion when this matter was being debated in the Seanad, with three types of security which, it was suggested to me by experts in the matter, might find acceptance in Dublin. One is the 2½ per cent. Savings Bond of a fixed date of redemption not further than five years; another is something calculated to appeal to the private investor rather than the company, a 2½ or 3 per cent. Saving Bond issued on tap, with a certain maximum holding for each individual and possibly some concession in relation to income-tax; and the third type of security which, I understand, has been very satisfactorily used in England, is a tax certificate.

Since I made that speech there has been published—and I refer to it here because it has not been published in the sense that it is on sale to the general public, though it may be of interest to the Seanad to be informed that this publication will be in our own Library in the Oireachtas—an exceedingly valuable publication dealing with the history of the gilt-edged market for the last 50 years, by a very well-known London firm of gilt-edged brokers. This is an encyclopedia of the gilt-edged market.

Incidentally, I may say, by way of a footnote or in parenthesis, that it contains some rather interesting material regarding the financing of the old Irish Government prior to the amalgamation of the Exchequers in 1817. It has some new historical material regarding our own country and is an extremely valuable publication. It is arriving in our own Library and any member of the Seanad who wishes to know all there is to be known about gilt-edged securities will find it in this valuable publication.

The reason I mention it is that, in the course of correspondence with the firm responsible for this publication, I made the inquiry if, in view of their great knowledge of the gilt-edged market, the things I put forward on the Finance Bill here seemed to them to be reasonably correct. I was told that there is very little doubt that there would be a market for a certain type of short-term Government security in this country. I was also informed that it might be worth considering the possibility of offering securities of this country in the London market, with some provision for exemption from Irish income-tax, that it would be possible for a market for securities of that kind to be found outside Dublin.

We are committed to this borrowing programme and, whether we like it or not, we accept it. We were told by the Taoiseach in the Dáil last week that the current savings of the community are unable to meet the total capital expenditure and we have been exhorted to save more. That exhortation may be realised in the long run, but in the short run the money must be raised and if the current saving of the community are not sufficient to meet the capital requirements—except by resort to inflationary devices, which I exclude from consideration—a certain amount of external financing becomes necessary. I have not referred to the Marshall Aid, as there is something exceptional, something transitional in that, which cannot be discussed in the general way in which we are discussing this matter.

There are two ways in which external financing can take place. One way is the way I suggested a few moments ago, that is, an attempt to interest outside investors in Irish Government securities, offering them at cheap terms. The other way is the way in which we have been financing externally, that is, by depletion of our external assets. I want to repeat what I said in the debate on this subject in the Seanad. The balance of payments appears to be in equilibrium, so far as we can see, but I want to put this point to the Minister and I hope he will agree with it, that whereas in normal times, one year with another, an equilibrium in the balance of payments is an essential aim in the policy of every well-governed and every properly financially administered country, it should not be made a fetish, something to which every other consideration should have to take second place. It is like balancing the Budget. It is a useful general principle, a good rule of thumb, but a principle which, in certain circumstances, may have to yield to principles of greater urgency. There has been a great deal of discussion for the last two or three years on the propriety of repatriating external assets in order to build up the equipment of the country. In a general way, I think that the propriety of some action of that kind is agreed on by all Parties and by everybody in the House, subject to possible disagreement regarding the precise amount which would be repatriated and the particular purposes for which repatriation should be made.

Since I made those observations two or three weeks ago, it seems to me that the situation in the world has changed, not for the better. I do not wish to use this debate as an opportunity for talking about the danger of war. Everybody knows that the international situation at the present moment is not good. There is no necessity for Senators to say that in order that the public may know it. I have no reason to hold, more than anyone else, any personal opinion about that, but I would make this suggestion, without attempting to prejudge any issues or point in any particular direction, that at a period when international communications and international supplies are even remotely threatened, the definition of capital expenditure can take on a broader sense. Objects of expenditure which, in the long run, in normal times, might not be regarded as proper subjects of capital expenditure might be so regarded in periods of emergency, where the accumulation of stocks, even of finished goods, may be amongst the most important types of capital investment in which any country could invest its savings. I ask the Minister to apply his mind to that.

I need not tell the Minister—he knows as well as I do—that in modern discussions on problems of finance the definition of investment has been greatly widened from what it used to be. In current discussions on the American business situation, one cannot read very far without coming across the word "inventories," which simply means "stocks." When a business is adding to its stocks of raw materials, it is said to be investing quite as much as if it were making savings for expansion. I think the same is true of a nation. At a time when there is even a remote threat of the interruption of international supplies, the accumulation of stocks of essential raw materials can be justified as an investment and even finished commodities or consumer goods can be justified as a form of investment which could not be so justified in more normal circumstances.

In other words, there are certain periods in history, both for individuals and for nations, when commodities are a better investment than money, and I am not sure that the present is not one of them. That is the note upon which I shall end my observations. I hope that the Minister for Finance will try to do two things which have not yet become accomplished facts in financial policy: one is to borrow what has to be borrowed as cheaply as he can, and the other is to broaden his definition of "investment" in the light of the changing and not improving circumstances of the present international situation.

There are a few points I would like to raise. Some of them have been put before me; some of them are my own. They would more properly be dealt with under the Estimates but, as we get no opportunity in the ordinary way of raising matters germane to the Estimates, we have to take whatever opportunity is offered to us under this present measure. There is no harm in my mentioning these points this afternoon.

I think it is an extraordinary thing that in one county, to my own knowledge, and in another, according to what I have been told, poor boarded-out children are not looked after as they ought to be. I know that in one county the position, as far as the home in which these children are kept is concerned, is simply farcical. I do not wish to put any men out of work but I think there is definite room for improvement. The inspectors in these homes are men. I respectfully suggest that when these men either retire or die their positions should be filled by women. Women understand children and they often find out things which a mere man will overlook.

I understand, too, that it is customary to send out a formal notice a day or two before the home is inspected notifying the home that the inspector proposes to call. What is the use in having an inspector calling when the children are all dolled up and everything in the garden is lovely? On all the other days these children are doing work unsuitable to their years. They are little better than slaves. These matters should be dealt with in a wiser way. I presume these homes still come under the Minister for Local Government. I suggest that that is one of the first matters to which he should direct his attention. There should be no necessity to send out notices notifying these institutions of the proposed visits of inspectors. That simply defeats the object.

I want to touch now upon the evil of emigration. Emigration is certainly on the increase. There can be no doubt about that. The evil of it was brought home forcibly to my mind by an individual case with which I came in contact. I was in a London hotel some months ago and the hall porter discovered who I was. Naturally he was anxious to have a chat. I think he came from County Clare. We had been talking for a little time and suddenly he said: "When is the Coalition Government going out of office?""Oh, God knows," I said. "The next election I hope.""God forgive them," he said. "Only for them I would not be here." He was one of thousands. Those were his exact words: "Only for them I would not be here—I was doing well enough." I think he said he was working on turf.

Another matter which I think is very wrong is what is commonly called—the Minister will not like the expression— the Government black market. I take serious exception to it. The last time I mentioned it the Minister informed me, in his most reassuring manner, that through it we are helping to subsidise commodities for other people. I object to it in principle. It means that those who have money can buy more while those who have not got money must do with the ration. The ration is not sufficient. There should be some method whereby everyone would get a little more even if it meant we all had to pay a little more. More butter, tea and sugar should be available to the ordinary people. I think two prices are bad. Personally I never call it anything but the Government black market.

With regard to the Department of Posts and Telegraphs, I would like to point out that a number of new houses are going up all over the suburbs and the ordinary postmen find their work utterly beyond their capacity. My post used to reach me around 9 o'clock. It now reaches me any time between 10 o'clock and ten minutes to eleven. The unfortunate postman is overwhelmed with deliveries. There is practically a little Mount Merrion now in and around Rathfarnham and the existing postmen are overburdened and cannot do their work. They are finding it extremely difficult to get anyone to undertake holiday duty because the wages paid are too low.

I understand we shall have a Holy Year stamp. I ask the Minister to ensure that no English will appear on those stamps. It may be wise to have Anno Sancto and the same words in Irish, but no English of any kind should appear on them. We had enough of it on the last two stamps. I am very pleased and proud to say that I never bought one of them. I can manage very well without them.

There is grave dissatisfaction with regard to broadcasting. Some people simply shut off the radio altogether or switch over to a foreign station. I consider that a bad thing. I do not know whether there have been any improvements. Probably there are great difficulties in the way. One appeal I would make is to ask that plays should not be broadcast in which there is any suspicion of blasphemy. The people who write these plays may believe they are performing some service to art but I do not think it is the function of a Government Department to disseminate their ideas. I know that in one house in which I was the radio was turned off because it was simply shocking. The most Sacred Name was freely used and that was being broadcast all over the country, for little children amongst others. It was horrifying to listen to it.

I first got my understanding about a matter of this kind when I was 13 years old. We were spending a holiday in my father's city, Birmingham. At that time, like many other children, we were interested in theatricals. My elder brother used to write the plays and we acted them. Some of our distant relatives over there had to do with the theatre and, on one occasion, we were asked to show our learning by doing a play. The expression came into the play: "My God, you killed my child!" The child fainted when the play was over. A relative said to my father: "Very good, the children are great," but he also said: "Listen to me, Jim; tell them they are not to use the name of God on the stage in public or in private; let them change that expression to ‘Great Heavens, you killed my child.'". The man who said that to my father was not a Catholic. I do not know if he had any religion, but he had respect for the name of God. That happened in a Protestant country or, shall I say, in a non-Catholic country. In that non-Catholic country I learned my lesson, that the name of God must be respected on the stage, and dear knows, it ought to be respected in Catholic Ireland on the wireless.

Captain Orpen

For once, I agree wholeheartedly with the claim put forward by Senator Quirke when he said: "Now is not the time to put one's head in the sand." That came, curiously enough, from the opposite side of the House, because while Senators there may be facing certain conditions and drawing attention to the deterioration in world events, they seem to be peculiarly oblivious of the facts regarding this country. I, like Senator O'Brien, want to draw attention to the Taoiseach's very remarkable speech which he made in the Dáil on last Thursday. It has been aptly described as a second Budget speech. Well, comparisons are odious and so we will not compare it with the Minister's, but I would like to draw attention to certain very interesting features in that speech.

First of all, the Taoiseach started out by explaining that the Statistics Office was now under his Department. I think in view of some of the figures we are getting, that there is in the Office of Statistics a wider conception in regard to its work than there used to be. In days gone by, the chief function of the statistical department was to know where we had gone. The officers there acted as an historian who measures factors. Perhaps a few years ago they were even allowed to show, by measurement, where exactly we were or where we are, but they were always, practically, excluded from making any suggestion by figures as to where we were going. It is interesting to note that we are beginning to get figures that tend to point where we are going, and, of course, from the point of view of those who have to carry the burden of the management and direction of the State, the most important figures we want are ones which point to where we are going. We all know where we have gone.

The Taoiseach in his speech—I am quoting from column 1760 of the Dáil Debates of last Thursday—drew attention to the substantial rise in the national income, and carefully warned us that most of that rise was merely a price change. He said:

"The real improvement in the standard of living since before the war has been experienced for the greater part, if not entirely, by the agricultural section of the community where, as it will presently appear, the improvement was most needed."

Now, I think that is true, but it is well to stress that that improvement in the standard of living of the agricultural community could be more aptly described as a redress of the want of balance, because all figures previously seemed to show that there was an undoubted disparity in the standard of living of the rural community as against their more fortunate brethren in urban areas. So, while it is undoubted that there has been this improvement in rural Ireland, it is more in the nature, as I have said, of a redress of the want of balance.

The national income rise to £352,000,000 as against £156,000,000 in 1938 can, as we say, in the main be accounted for in price change. In other words, the real improvement is not as substantial as one would have liked. Now in this House—I think Senator O'Brien referred to it just now—the question as to the desirability of how far one should go in the repatriation of our external assets for capital development is a matter for debate. It is very nice to say that we must bring back all our assets held abroad and utilise them at home. It is not altogether wise to do that, unless we take very good care that when we repatriate these assets we will use them for productive purposes. If we merely continue to bring them back for the purchase of consumer goods which, presumably, we will consume as quickly as we can, we may easily be left in the condition that we will have no more to bring back, that we will have no income from them, and that we shall have consumed the goods. Therefore, I say it is highly desirable that we keep a very careful watch on how our accumulated external assets are dealt with. May I say, in parenthesis, that these external assets were, to a very large extent, made by the agricultural community, though they no longer hold control of them? They are now being utilised by the community, and not always too wisely. If we bring these assets back and use them for capital purposes of a productive nature, well and good. Of course it is a wide subject; the question arises as to exactly what is, strictly speaking, "a productive nature"—whether it is self-liquidating, merely very desirable, or a necessity like housing. We can justify large capital expenditure, I think, on houses provided we have regard to the real reason why we build these houses. It is very nice to say that we must rehouse the population. Are we going to put new houses always where the people we wish to rehouse are living under bad conditions? We must remember that a house, even a modern house, as I am told by a builder, is expected to last three generations. Therefore, if we always consider, when we are rehousing the population, that the rate at which houses are to be built and the location of these houses must be determined by where the people are living to-day, we may create trouble in future.

In a democracy almost the only means the Government has of directing willingly the movement of population is by means of subsidised houses. Nobody in a democracy wants to see people directed to where they are to live. Yet, as I think Senator Baxter pointed out, Dublin is becoming an overloaded incubus on the rest of the country. I think the population of Dublin is one-sixth of the total population, just about the same proportion as London is to the rest of Great Britain. It is generally in that case referred to as the Great Wen. We have an opportunity now and in the course of the next generation or so, of preventing, to some extent, any further excessive overgrowth of our capital because by providing houses and occupations in alternative places you can to some extent at the same time willingly move labour and decentralise industry. You cannot do the two things separately. They must go together and now is the time to attempt that rather difficult process.

I want as usual to refer to one or two agricultural matters. The Taoiseach in his speech drew attention to the fact that, at long last, the volume of agricultural production had got back to its pre-war or 1938-39 figure. There was a slight increase, in fact, in the net volume of production. One of the things that always strikes the uninitiated is how slowly the volume of production in agriculture changes. People seem to forget, or seem not to remember, that agriculture unlike industry, operates on diminishing returns as against increasing returns and that it is a very slow production process. You cannot get the rapid build up or the rapid fall that is admittedly a feature of industry. While the volume of agricultural production has now regained the 1939 figure, it is well to remember that over that period it succeeded in doing that and at the same time in handing over to industry, and possibly to emigration, some 80,000 people. I cannot give the exact figure because we have got only the intercensual period of 1936-46 and 40,000 since 1946 leaving agriculture. Admittedly it is quite legitimate to say that in the past there was over-employment in agriculture. There were some areas where people were not fully and usefully employed but now, in the eastern counties anyway, we have reached a stage where it is going to be difficult to bring about a large intensification of agricultural production if, at the same time, that requires additional manpower.

Some of us on the coming into force of the land rehabilitation scheme undertook to do work on our own farms. Most of us who said that we would do that after six months looking for workers have not yet succeeded in getting anybody to dig the drains. That is the position to some extent in the eastern counties. Therefore I think we must realise that if, as we hope, we are to get increased agricultural production it can only be brought about by methods which will tend to make better use of the available manpower. In other words, despite the warnings, we must go on using a number of machines to increase output with the same number of employees.

One of the things, of course, that have been holding up agriculture, one of the factors that have contributed to the chronic static nature of the volume of production, has been want of price stability and lack of confidence in the future. That has been inbred into the farmers from bitter experience. Another factor is that despite an excellent advisory service, despite masses of leaflets, books and pamphlets, we as yet have no real detailed knowledge of how to make the best use of the facilities available on the land. We use things wastefully; we do not know; we have not enough research, enough detailed knowledge; to use a rather objectionable but very descriptive phrase from the United States, the farmer's trouble is the "know-how." We have not got it yet although we are getting a little towards it. In the past when we were young we used to be told that if we did this, that or the other it would lead to better animals, better crops, better farms and better farming. We were never told what "better" meant; "better" for whom? That was always left out and unless at all times when we are investigating technical problems that are directly related to the economic results we are just wasting our time.

The Taoiseach in his speech pointed out that over the period 1938 to 1949 the total output of those industries that are normally enumerated rose by 43 per cent. He used a rather remarkable phrase to which I would like to draw attention when he said:—

"The increases in the index of the volume of production have, of course, been accompanied by an increase in the total number of persons engaged in industries covered by the Census of Industrial Production from 166,000 in 1938 to 206,000 in 1949."

The operative word is "of course". I wonder does this House realise what has taken place. Over the same period agriculture has regained its 1938 volume of production and it lost a rather larger number of people. I think we need not go any further into it but it just presents one point to one's mind. It rather looks as if, over the period 1938 to 1949 agriculture has become very much more efficient and one would hope that industry is doing so as well.

Just a note on industry: our industrial expansion is something to be proud of. We had a lot of leeway to make up, but while it may be completely justified while we have infant industries to give them all that measure of protection one would give to an infant, I wonder how long one should consider an industry is an infant. How long must the consumer protect that infant? Some of these industries have reached the stage when cutting teeth is over but do I see any marked change in the measure of protection that some of them are finding necessary? After all, I know it is a little hard to say that the only measure of efficiency is to be able to face world competition. That is not always a right viewpoint. A late starter in the field cannot be expected to be able to face world competition. In another country I have heard the complaint made that there were "featherbed" farmers. I wonder have we a corresponding word for some of our industries here? I stress this point about the industries because of these figures that appear in the Taoiseach's speech of the internal movement of population, what we might call the purchasing of workers from the countryside and bringing them into the town. It is a process which has gone on for centuries, but it cannot go on ad infinitum. The time must come when we arrive at a balance between agriculture and industry. It is very hard to see what that balance is. Naturally, it depends upon the productivity of the agriculturist: how many earners on the land can provide for how many other earners? You must have a balance somewhere if you are ever to achieve a satisfactory life for both.

Some Senators were asking to-day what the Government are doing to prepare this country in the event of another emergency coming upon us. We are asked: are they storing this and storing that? I maintain the best place to store food for danger ahead is in the fertility of the land. The Minister for Agriculture, in his closing remarks on his Estimate, urged farmers to buy fertilisers in the late summer and autumn in order to facilitate the manufacturers so that they can deal with greater quantities. That is one point which, obviously, the Minister for Agriculture is stressing as a means to increase the storage of fertilisers. I suggest that some Senators should bring their minds back to June or July, 1937, just for a moment and inquire what the position of the phosphate rock store of our manufacturers was on that date. Normally, they hold about 100,000 tons. They had practically none then, as they did not buy that year because the price was going up. We started the war period with practically no phosphate rock on hands, if my recollection is correct. We are doing something this time.

If I have done nothing else, I think I have drawn attention to one of the outstanding speeches which is full of information and as to which, as Senator O'Brien says, it would be most interesting if we were given the basis on which some of those figures were arrived at and how they were compiled, because if we are to know what is happening and what is going to happen, we want what is called "hot" statistics, statistics giving us a measure of what is happening in our own time and not merely what happened in the past.

Senator Baxter in his speech, in which he apparently spoke for his Party, deplored all the war talk. People talk of what they are thinking about and it is difficult to read the newspapers at present and not think of war. Since we last met a war, which we hope may not be the beginning of the war, has already started. We are interested in that to this extent, that already a lot of young men of Irish blood fighting in the American forces have lost their lives. For that reason, it is impossible for anybody not to think of war. It would be wrong for the Oireachtas to adjourn for the summer recess without having, on behalf of the Irish people, some assurance from the Government that they, too, are giving thought to the possibility that a war may break out, except, through the mercy of God, it is averted, and we may be involved, or at least there may be serious repercussions for us. Nobody can deny that that is the position. I think, therefore, that it is quite within reason that we should have from the Minister for Finance, who is perhaps the most important Minister in the Government, because the man who holds the purse strings directs policy, some assurance that the Government are thinking of what may happen if war breaks out.

It is not, perhaps, the province of this House to talk about military preparations, but it would seem common sense that what was done during the last war and was found to work satisfactorily should be done at present when there is a real fear of war; that is to say, there should be a defence council with members of all Parties in it, assisted by the Chief of Staff, the ex-Chief of Staff, who had experience during the last war, and people like General Costello and General MacNeill, people who know a lot about military strategy and developments in the military art. That would be only common sense.

It is unfortunate that in the Dáil the Taoiseach should have treated the suggestion in the rather flippant way he did. I am sure that some members of this Government and some of the members of the previous Government which I supported have ready tongues and sometimes say things which are smart and trenchant and which stick. Although they do not, I must say, represent the mind of the speaker, they are remembered. For instance, the Minister for Agriculture will be long remembered for saying that he would not be seen dead in a wheat field. That is used to the detriment of the reputation of the Minister for Agriculture and makes us suspicious of his attitude towards the position of this country, if all the essentials for our existence from outside sources are cut off. We must contemplate a condition in which we are a sort of beleaguered garrison. With the experience of the last war, and while we have yet time, we ought to think out and provide the things we can provide ourselves or which we can get in. The Government should be giving serious thought to such a position.

Wheat is not the only foodstuff that we need. It is very important and there has been more talk about it than anything else. But there is also the question of tea, a very important part of our dietary. Readers of the newspapers know that already in England the 2 oz. ration is threatened. I think, therefore, that the free sale of tea should be abolished and that all tea stocks should be put on the ration. At all events, the Department in charge of this important matter—it may have already laid in stocks—should see to it that stocks are laid in and that these stocks are carefully conserved.

We could also reduce the ration. What would the Senator say to that? Would she agree to that?

Already people are afraid that the tea ration will be reduced and something should be done about the buying up of tea. It is a very serious danger and we ought to know that the stocks are going to be fairly divided amongst the people who have money and the people who have not. The Government has to take the major part in looking after us in respect of defence and provisions, but the trade unions have also a very important part to play. I am glad to see that they are getting after the too frequent unofficial and lightning strikes which have played such havoc not only with the industry of the country but with trade unionism itself. Trade unions have a duty to the country and they should not be selfish. In the case of some strikes authorised by trade unions, the interests of the common people were not considered at all, and in fact there seems to be a danger that a dominion is growing up within a dominion and that trade unionism is threatening democracy. I hope that the leaders, who are all very good and loyal Irishmen I am sure, will look after that.

The trade unions have taken on a very heavy task. The labourer can give his labour or he can refuse it, but, when he joins a trade union, he gives up the absolute right by his own free will to dispose of his labour, and therefore it behoves the leaders of trade unions who have taken over these rights not to forget the interests of the community when considering the interests of trade unions. I believe this aspect has not been considered and it ought to be considered because it is most important. We have had a frightful strike in Galway for the past three months, a strike which has done great harm to Galway as a port, not to speak of the harm it has done to the trade of the city. It is time for the trade unions to give consideration to the moral aspects of strikes and to the obligations they have to the community as well as to their own members. Some serious consideration ought also to be given to what are called sympathetic strikes. These matters must be considered by the trade unions themselves and the time when we have reached a position in which we are in grave danger is not the time at which they must consider them.

We ought to realise that there is a real danger and that it is not by phrases that that danger is to be fought. We ought to be able to rise above Party in this House and in the other House in relation to these matters. Only a year ago last Easter, the Government proclaimed the Republic of Ireland, and, by that declaration, it took on an obligation not alone to the world and to the Irish people but to the dead generations and to the generations that will follow. A Government which proclaimed the Republic of Ireland is, we think, bound to take proper thought for the defence of the Republic of Ireland, and I believe that it is only necessary to put it to them that they should not dissipate their effectiveness by trenchant phrases about the situation. They should face up to it and tell us, in so far as it is consistent with our safety, that new thought is being given to many problems that will lie on their shoulders and in respect of which I here and now bespeak the support of the House and the Irish people.

Some Senators have underlined the dangers of war. They tell us that there is no use in our sticking our heads in the sand, but if, in the context of this Bill, it is in order to underline the dangers of war, may I intervene to say that others may be sticking their heads even deeper in the sand? I suggest that those, both in this island and in Britain, who support the policy of dividing Ireland in face of the present international situation, are sticking their heads in the sand even deeper. I just want to go on record as drawing attention to the fact that there are degrees of blindness in face of present dangers; and still more I want to go on record as saying that those who support Partition bear a great proportion of the blame for the difficulties of this country in making full preparation for the possibility of war.

Mr. O'Farrell

So many pleasant byways have been opened up in this debate that I should not like to travel along them in the few minutes left to me, so I move the Adjournment.

Debate adjourned.

It was announced that, after the Adjournment, we would take Item No. 8—motion in connection with the teachers' superannuation scheme—and then the Agricultural Workers Bill. It is proposed now to take, after Item No. 8, the Local Government Bills, and to take tomorrow, after the Turf Development Bill, which will be the first business tomorrow morning, the Agricultural Workers (Holidays) Bill. The Minister for Finance, therefore, will not be further required this evening.

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