Dáil Éireann - Volume 5 - 15 November, 1923


AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: The motion before the Dáil was: “That the Dáil returns thanks to the Governor-General for his address and approves of the legislative programme of the Government as outlined therein,” to which an amendment was proposed by Deputy Johnson: “To delete all after the word `Address' and to substitute therefor the words, `but while approving of the decision of Ministers to “avoid waste and extract the utmost value from all public expenditure” (Par. 23), cannot agree to methods of retrenchment which would be detrimental to education or which would cause suffering to the aged poor.' ”

Mr. GOOD: In the discussion that has taken place on the amendment just read out, I fear the Dáil has, to some [820] extent, lost sight of the object of the important statement made by the Minister for Finance. I will read the opening paragraph of that statement so as to remind the Dáil of the object which the Minister had in view in making that statement. He stated: “As we have reached the stage when the credit of Saorstát Eireann is for the first time to be put to the test of an appeal for funds to be borrowed in the open market I think it is proper that I should acquaint the Dáil with such particulars of the financial situation as will enable an accurate judgment to be formed of how we actually stand.”

The Minister very rightly recognised that there was in the minds of a great many persons in the Free State some very considerable doubt as to the financial position and the financial stability of the Free State Government, and in view of the loan which he proposes to call for he thought it wise to make a statement on the whole financial situation. That statement, I think, justified the feeling that existed, and which was known to many of us in the constituencies during the recent election. I would like here to say that the Minister's very full and frank statement has done much to restore confidence and to allay that feeling. That statement has revealed a very serious financial situation. He informed us that the Budget this year would be some eighteen and a half millions short of the amount necessary to balance. Of that eighteen and a half millions he proposed to raise seventeen and a half by borrowing, and to get a further sum of one million from other sources. He further informed us that in addition to that one million there would be a debit in the coming Budget of some two millions to meet debt charges, making altogether a sum of approximately three millions, which will have to be raised. As he pointed out, there are two means by which that money may be obtained—either by increased income, on the one hand, through taxation, or reduced expenditure on the other side.

All will agree that the Minister adopted the wiser course in refusing to add to the present burden of taxation in the Free State. As he pointed out in his statement, the Free State at present [821] is suffering from an exceedingly high rate of taxation, much higher than that which exists in Great Britain. To add to that burden would have only helped further to kill industry and further to aggravate the serious problem of unemployment. Might I point out to the Deputies of this Dáil, in connection with this matter, the serious increase per head of the population that has occurred in this country during recent years? In 1914 it cost £2 16s. per head of the population to govern Ireland. In 1916 it had risen to £2 17s.; in 1919 to £5; and in 1923 it exceeds £10 per head. In view of these figures, few will deny the wisdom of the Minister to decide on reducing expenditure rather than adopting possibly what might be looked upon as the line of least resistance—that of increasing taxation. Now, having decided to take this course of reducing expenditure, naturally whatever particular department he decided on to make the object of his retrenchment in that department there would be considerable objection to any retrenchment. I think if exception can be taken at all to his statement and the methods he proposes, it is this, that instead of taking two isolated cases he should have allowed, or should have called for the report from that survey that he informed us he was having made of the expenses in the various departments.

Deputies will remember the statement. He says “Savings on such a scale are not possible without retrenchment over the whole field of the public services, wherever there is a discretion for applying it. A survey is accordingly at present in progress of every head of public expenditure for the purpose of ascertaining where curtailment can be affected with the least detriment to the public interest.”

If exception can be taken at all to the action of the Minister I think it is to the fact that he did not get this survey before he made his statement because possibly if it could have been brought home to the minds of all the various public departments that retrenchment was absolutely necessary in the national interests, and that all would have to bear their share in the national interests of that retrenchment he would have avoided much of the opposition [822] that has been raised by those two isolated sections. First of all with regard to the case of the teachers if we are to have retrenchment in public departments, as appears to be absolutely necessary, they must be treated all on the same terms. It would be obviously unfair to call on the members of the Civil Service or certain Departments to make sacrifices and to refuse to apply the same retrenchment scheme to other departments. It appears to me to be a question of all or none. When the Minister decided on a policy of retrenchment in public departments I do not see that the teachers have any real grievances. I think much the same can be said with regard to the old age pensions, because both the increases in the case of the teachers and in the rate of the old age pensions were made on the basis of the increase in the cost of living, and it is only reasonable to ask when this cost of living has come down that the increase put on to meet the increase in the cost of living should likewise come down. That is a principle, I think, which ought to be generally admitted. I think, speaking as a Deputy in the Dáil, that the figures which the Minister gave us in connection with old age pensions caused some alarm. Few of us were aware that the old age pensions in the Free State to-day amounted to such a large sum as 13.2 per cent. of the Free State Income. That, to my mind, is an exceedingly alarming figure, and one which I think needs some enquiry. I would suggest, in this connection, that there are three Departments, two of them State Departments and a third a Local Department, which might be put under one head to avoid overlapping and waste. You have old age pensions, unemployment payments, and in addition to these you have, what is in many areas a very heavy charge, the question of outdoor relief. I am quite satisfied that if we can see these three funds administered in the one Department instead of under three heads a considerable saving in the amount of waste would be effected.

Now, I come to a subject that I must say I feel to some extent responsibility in connection with.

It is the statement of the Minister [823] with regard to grants for housing. He stated:—

“For the purpose of facilitating the transition to that nominally, though not really lower, level of wages and prices which present conditions warrant and require, the Government, without hazarding the general pursuit of economy, are desirous that such resources as they can provide shall be applied in the most beneficial manner. Continuance of State aid to housing, which is also vital on other grounds, offers a prospect of being useful in this direction, and the Government would be prepared to formulate a suitable scheme as soon as there is evidence of a reasonable adjustment of both prices and wages in the building trade.”

That, to my mind, is a most serious and important statement, and ought to have the careful consideration of all those engaged on both sides of this large industry. What is wrong with the building industry that houses are not being built? The simple answer is, as all those engaged in the industry know, that houses are not an economic investment. Costs are too high. Wages in the Free State in the building industry are the highest in these countries. I have here a return which shows a comparison of the wages at present paid in the industry. In 1914 tradesmen in Dublin were paid 9d. an hour; the same tradesmen now receive 1s. 10½d. an hour, an increase of 150 per cent. In London, in 1914, tradesmen—I have taken bricklayers as an example—received 11½d.; they receive to-day 1s. 7½d, an increase of 69.5 per cent. Deputies will note that in the case of London, where they are paid a higher rate than in the eight great cities in Great Britain, they received 69 per cent. of an increase, which is practically equivalent to the increase in the cost of living over pre-war rates, as against 150 per cent. in Dublin. In Glasgow the increase is 80.9 per cent., and in Belfast it is 111.1 per cent. That is in the case of tradesmen. Let us take the case of building labourers. In Dublin we are paying labourers 1s. 4d. per hour, as against 5d. in pre-war days, an increase of 220 per cent. In London labourers are paid 1s. 2¾d. [824] as against 11½d. in pre-war, or an increase of 84.4 per cent. as against 220 per cent. in Dublin. In Glasgow the rate is 90 per cent. over pre-war, and in Belfast 166 per cent., so that you see, as regards the four centres that I have taken, Dublin, in the case of tradesmen and in the case of labourers, is very much higher than any of the other centres. What is the result of that? Take a house that cost £400 in pre-war days. What is the effect of that increase of wages on that particular house? I arrive at that by adding 185 per cent. to £200. I am divulging what is known as a trade secret, I am afraid, in order to give you this information. It is that in making up the cost of an ordinary house building materials would practically account for one half of the cost and labour for the other half. The increase in materials at the moment is approximately 100 per cent., so that if you add 185 per cent. to £200 you get a sum of £570, and if you add 100 per cent. to the other moiety of £200 you get a sum of £400. The total amounts to £970, so that on that basis a house that cost £400 in pre-war days cost £970 to-day, which, everybody will agree, is not an economic proposition, and consequently no houses are being built.

We have been told in this connection that the reduction in wages on the other side has not brought about any increase in the industry. Only last night I read a statement made by the responsible Minister for housing schemes in Great Britain. It was to the effect that at the moment more houses were in course of erection in Great Britain than at any time since 1909, so that that will, I think, refute the statement that the lowering of wages has not brought about any increase in the production of houses.

Deputies will recollect that Deputy Johnson made a strong point in connection with the position of building in Copenhagen. That was made some little time ago. I will refresh the memories of Deputy Johnson and the other Deputies by reading the statement that he then made.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: The arrangement we made yesterday was that this amendment would open the question [825] of economy and retrenchment. Deputy Good has gone into a subject which seems to have no connection with the amendment, no matter how one regards the amendment, and I think he is going to quote now from a speech which was made on the main question.

Mr. GOOD: Yes, but the whole subject is referred to, with all respect, in the matter of the statement made by the Minister for Finance, and that statement, I think all the Deputies will agree, is of such importance to all those engaged in the industry that it is necessary that the facts in connection with the industry should be made clear.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: I quite agree, but it is merely what would be the best time for having a discussion on the particular question. We were rather on the question of economy and retrenchment, and if Deputy Good's line is followed, as I should imagine it will be, by other Deputies, speaking for or against his point of view, we would have a discussion on housing, the cost of housing, and wages in the building trade, sandwiched in between speeches such as we heard yesterday dealing with the reduction of teachers' salaries and old age pensions, and making suggestions for possible economies which the Government might put into operation. I think it would be better if the discussion on housing took place after we had disposed of the amendment, and when the main question is before us. I did not like to interrupt Deputy Good at first, but as a matter of arrangement, I think it will be better if we disposed of this amendment first, and took up the question of housing and the building trade, which is a separate question, afterwards. It is merely a matter of when we take it up, and Deputy Good will not, of course, be precluded from making a speech on the general question, and bringing in the matter he is now bringing in, and others will not be precluded from following him.

I think the Dáil will agree that we are now mixing up two totally different matters in one debate. For example, I am quite sure that there will be a very elaborate reply on this question [826] of wages in the building trade, and a comparison with England and other places, and if that gets in between our discussion on this amendment I am afraid we will be in difficulties. I would let Deputy Good go on the main question.

Mr. GOOD: Well, I am finished on the main question, and really my object in intervening at all was to make the position with regard to building clear. Of course you will understand that it was referred to in the address from the Governor-General, and it was also referred to in a very pointed way in the statement made by the Minister for Finance. I think under the circumstances, however, I was justified in dealing with the matter at some length.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: I have no objection to the length of the matter at all. The Deputy will be in order on resuming on the general question, and that will give us a discussion which will be more in order at that particular time, and if the Deputy does not continue now on that matter we could postpone the consideration of it until the amendment is disposed of.

Mr. GOOD: I quite agree.

Mr. MORRISSEY: Listening to the criticism of the workers of Ireland, which has fallen from the lips of some of the Deputies of the Farmers' Party, one would be inclined to believe that their chief function here is to still lower the poor standard of living of all grades of Irish labourers. We on those benches desire the prosperity of the Irish farmers, for of course we realise that agriculture is our main industry, and that the success and efficiency of that industry is essential to the development of the resources of the nation, and we know that industrial peace is essential to the development of the resources of the nation, but you cannot have industrial peace merely by wishing that it should be.

You cannot nor, I dare say, will not have it by attempting to fling unjust discredit on the poor; by persistent condemnation and abuse of the underdog. Nobody wishes to change positions with him; nobody will if they can avoid it. The Ministry found him wretched enough and they now propose [827] to increase his wretchedness by taking from him a share of the comforts given him by an alien Government. They pay repeated and eloquent lip-service to the rights and powers of Irish democracy, but the Ministry never consulted the country as to the desires of the people in reference to old age pensions. Democratic Governments appeal to their people for support on some definite programme of proposed legislation. Our Ministry made their appeal on their achievement in smashing or crushing for the time being the attempt made by an armed minority to establish supremacy in the country, and their victory at the polls does not give them the right to come forward now to weaken the prop, if I might put it so, under the old people of the country.

We are told that this blow to the poor is the result of the destructive civil war that was carried on in the country during the last 12 or 18 months, but England carried on a war at a cost of seven millions per day for four or five years, and did not cut the old age pensions. There has been a greater fall in the cost of living in England than there has been in this country, yet no Minister there would dare come forward with a proposition to cut the old age pensions because of that. The Government here sought no mandate from the people for this, and they know very well that they would get no mandate to carry out what I call this inhuman act in the name of economy.

The Government from time to time, both in the newspapers and in the Dáil, have boasted of their economies in the Post Office. How have those economies been brought about? By reducing the wages of the poorer paid officials and by dispensing with the services of auxiliary postmen and turning them adrift. I will cite one or two instances which have been brought under my notice in my own constituency. An auxiliary postman, with a wife and five children, and with 20 years' service, had his wages reduced to 11s. per week. Of course, the Postmaster-General will tell us that his work was curtailed. I admit it was, as he delivers now only on alternate days. Still [828] he is compelled to contribute for unemployment insurance, and notwithstanding the fact that he is idle three days in the week his work is arranged in such a way that he will not be allowed to draw any unemployment benefit. Another auxiliary postman with 40 years' service was treated in a somewhat similar way. These are some of the economies that have been carried out in the Post Office that we hear so much of.

The Government also take great credit for the big reductions they are making in the army, but they do not indicate what public works they are going to provide in order to give employment to demobilised men. These men, in most instances, have gone to join the big army of the unemployed, and the policy of the Government as regards the urgent needs of the workers seems to be a policy of ruin or drift, the end of which no man can foresee, but which, I think, every thoughtful man should look forward to with an amount of dread.

The Government during their election campaign recently did not consult the people as regards the cut which they are making in the salaries of national teachers. The national teachers are the men and the women that we used to be told were the spear-head of Sinn Fein. They were supposed to be the sponsors of the movement that led to the establishment of the Free State. The movement was called by the Government's late opponents that of the mad schoolmasters. Now, one of the first official acts of the Ministry is to reduce the teachers' salaries by 10 per cent. One feels inclined to ask when did the Minister for Finance become such a superman that he can alter and fix matters vital to the nation without the consent of the people. I might ask why the teachers, who are a respectable and intelligent body of men and women, were not consulted and asked to assist in framing economy proposals suitable to the Service before the Minister to put his cut into operation. It is my firm conviction that the credit of this country cannot be maintained by trying to fling unjust discredit on the poor, as has been sought to be done by several Deputies. We have heard and read a lot during the last few weeks [829] with regard to abuses in connection with old age pensions. I agree that there are abuses, and must be abuses, just as in every other service, but they have been magnified here and in the newspapers in order to cover the inhumanity of the cut.

The Minister stated that he will not hesitate to scrap other services, the maintenance of which cannot be justified. Since the Minister has seen fit to start his cuts on old age pensioners one will not be surprised if the next thing we hear is that the Minister is going to try the pruning knife on the dole, and to leave the unemployed on compulsory hunger strike, for want of food. We, on these benches, would like to get an assurance from the Minister that it is not his intention, if I might put it so, to steal all the eggs from the Labour hen-roosts.

Mr. THOMAS NAGLE: I want to support the amendment of Deputy Johnson. In doing so, I would like to draw particular attention to the old age pensions cut. There were some statements made by Deputies regarding the reasonableness of this cut that I wish to refer to. The Minister for Agriculture and Deputy Good stated that when the old age pension was increased to 10/- it was on the basis of the cost of living, and that as the cost of living had since gone down, the Government were more than reasonable in only reducing the pension by 10 per cent. The Minister for Agriculture congratulated Deputy Johnson on his mathematics. I am sorry that I cannot congratulate the Minister on his mathematics. If, as he admitted, the cost of living was 120 per cent. above the 1914 level when the 10/- was fixed, then the figure was certainly not fixed on the basis of the increased cost of living, as I have yet to learn that 10/- is 120 per cent. over 5/-. I would also like to point out that before the cost of living went down below that figure——

Mr. HOGAN: On a point of explanation, what I did say was, that the old age pension was increased at that date because of the increase in the cost of living, and must have had some relationship to it. That is what I said.

[830] Mr. NAGLE: I accept your explanation, but I suggest the relationship is very distant—something in the nature of a thirty-first cousin. The Minister for Finance mentioned that the pension remained at 10/- when the cost of living figure was 176 per cent. above the pre-war figure. “Judged in this light alone,” he said, “it is manifest that a fall in the cost of living index figure to the present level of 80 per cent. above pre-war makes a prima facie case for substantial reduction of the pension.” The way I would reason that out would be, instead of reducing the old age pension now, if it ever had to be reduced, or if it was considered reasonable to reduce it in proportion to the cost of living, that the Government should at least allow it to stand for such a period after the cost of living had gone down as would make up for the money that the pensioners did not get, but should have got, during the period when the cost of living was mounting from 100 per cent. pre-war to 176 per cent. which it arrived at in November, 1920. The Minister for Agriculture suggested that Deputy Johnson might ask the Government to increase it as from 1908 to 1914. I think that at least it should have been increased, especially if you are going to settle everything on the cost of living basis, during the period when the cost of living went above 100 points over the 1914 level. I am supporting this amendment because I object to wage reductions in any case, and also because I object generally to the statement made by the Minister for Finance. The reason I object to that statement is because the Minister for Finance and other Deputies who spoke appear to have no other remedy for the industrial situation, and for the general economic needs of the country than a reduction of wages. They do not appear to bother their heads in the least about attempting to reduce the profits, that we all know have been made in this country during the past few years.

Let us see from his own statement the difference between people who draw interest, say, and the people who earn wages. The Minister made a statement to the effect that perhaps a million and a quarter would be spent on the improvement and repair of roads during [831] the next eighteen months. Further on in his speech he said:

“It is an essential feature of these schemes that they cannot be initiated until definite recognition is given to the fact that the Government, in the financial and economic interests of the country, cannot consent to allow them to be conducted in a manner that would raise or keep prices or wages above the nominal level at which they should fairly stand at the present time.”

I presume the phrase “nominal level at which they should fairly stand” is to be in proportion to the present cost of living figures, as compared with 1914. There is another reference in the Minister's speech to which I take great exception, and this, in conjunction with what he had previously said, states the whole case. Talking about the loan, the Minister said:

“The loan that we are about to issue will, in accordance with the recent Appreciation Act, have the absolute security of the Central Fund of Saorstát Eireann, and the charge in favour of the stockholders will, therefore, secure their rights in priority to any of the demands made on the Exchequer for the ordinary public services of the State. In addition to being an entirely gilt-edged security, the loan will possess for subscribers the advantage of giving a yield which, as this is our first venture on the open market, must necessarily be somewhat more favourable than that obtainable in other investments of like standing.”

Later in his speech the Minister said: “Next to this source the realisation of investments at present held in Government and other securities abroad is likely to be of the most service both to the State and to the investor, who will obtain by the exchange a higher income and at least equal security.” [Official Report, Column 675-7, Nov. 2nd, 1923.]

Deputy Cooper, in talking yesterday about the teachers, gave a quotation from a recent meeting in Dublin attended by members of the National Teachers' Organisation. He stated that one of the teachers threatened that they would advise the parents of the children in their charge to refuse to subscribe to the loan, and he wanted to know was that a patriotic thing to do, [832] and suggested that it was a peculiar kind of patriotism. Certainly the Minister has not got very much faith in the patriotism of the people who have money to invest in this country when he thinks he can only get that money by offering to them a higher rate of interest than they could get otherwise, or in other countries for money they have to invest. I suggest that the reduction in the teachers' salaries, and in the allowance to old age pensioners, will be merely taking money from these people to give an increased rate of interest to people in the country whom the Government expect will invest money in their loan. That, generally, is the reason why I object to the proposed cuts. I say that the Government is just falling into line with the employers, generally, in this country, in their attack on wages. The policy seems to be that if anything goes wrong, blame the people who work for wages; if any economies are to be effected, reduce the wages of the people who are compelled to work for a wage irrespective of whether the things which they produce are dear because of their wages, or because of the profits that the employers are making in the sale of those goods. I do not know if I am in order in referring to a debate which took place a fortnight ago. Deputy Woulfe on that occasion, in talking about unemployment, referred to housing and road-making.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: We have just decided that we will take the housing question later on.

Mr. NAGLE: I was only just going to call attention to what Deputy Woulfe said on that occasion. He mentioned about houses being dear in the past, and that they had been built for people who lived in rural Ireland and who could not afford to pay an economic rent for them. He stated that the tenants paid a rent of a shilling a week, and that the difference had to be made good out of the rates. I suggest that the people who live in these houses, for which an economic rent has not been paid in the past, could only pay a shilling a week because of the fact that their wages were so miserably low. If houses have to be [833] built at an economic rent the people who are going to live in them, and pay rent for them, certainly should have a wage sufficient to meet that cost, the same as every other cost. The old age pension is going to be reduced to 9/- a week. There is a tendency in this country, as well as in England and in nearly every country in the world, to reduce wages to freezing point, and even below it. That is put forward as a remedy for all the ills under which we are suffering at the present day. I can understand the employers putting that forward as a remedy because there was a noted writer on economics who mentioned that employers knew everything about their business except the reason for which their business existed. We are driving down, though Deputy Cooper said the other day we were not, to the Coolie level. He said that there was one thing the dockers' employers in Dublin did not do, and that was to import Coolie labour. Another Deputy, I think it was Deputy Egan, in talking about the standard of luxury, as differentiated from the standard of living, said, or suggested, that the workers should never attend picture houses, that they should not have a flutter on the “gee-gees,” that they should never attend a coursing meeting, and that they should not drink any of Guinness's porter.

Mr. EGAN: On a point of order, I did not say that.

Mr. NAGLE: The Deputy suggested it in his speech which is here in the Official Report, but he may not agree with my peculiar way of quoting from his speech. The Deputy made reference to the standard of luxury in the country, and went on to blame the workers for not refraining from attending picture houses in order that they would be able to work for lesser wages.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: The Deputy is now going into the general question. I think he ought to leave that over until we come to the debate on the general question.

Mr. NAGLE: Would I not then be precluded?


Mr. NAGLE: Very well. I suggest, [834] as a solution of the whole problem, that the teachers should work for nothing, that the old age pensioners should not want any pensions; and that the people should not want to live in houses, I suppose that would solve the housing problem. Tradesmen engaged in the production of houses should also work for nothing, and then there would be nothing but profit for the building contractor, and profit for the builders' suppliers.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: The Deputy must conclude now.

Mr. O'MAHONY: There is one point upon which all Deputies must agree, and that is that the Minister for Finance has to balance his Budget. He can only have a healthy balance if his income is equal to, or greater than, his expenditure. Unfortunately, the statement made by the Minister for Finance shows that this year there will be a substantial balance of over a million on the wrong side of his ledger. Next year he will have a further increased balance on recurrent expenditure of an additional two millions to float the loan to enable the State to carry on. Where are these three millions of money to come from? Is it, as Deputy Johnson said, to be the result of increased taxation—increased taxation in a country that is already groaning under excessive taxation and prohibitive rates. Local rates and governmental taxation, if increased, are going to crush out the remaining element of fiscal life in this country. Therefore, there is only one alternative for the Minister for Finance, and that is to economise. Economy is absolutely essential if you are going to maintain the country in a sound financial position, and if you are going to get the people and the banks in the country to back your loan. If you are to go on the policy of spend, spend, spend, and increase taxation to meet your increased expenditure, the time will come, and come very surely, when you will have no money for old age pensions or for teachers, or for labour, or for unemployment or anything else. Like Othello, your occupation as a nation will be gone. Nobody in this Dáil, either on the Government Benches or any other benches, views with satisfaction the proposal to reduce the [835] amount granted to the old age pensioners, or to reduce the teachers' salaries, but I say it is a case of Hobson's choice with the Minister for Finance who has to find the money to balance his Budget, and he proposes to find it in the only way that will recommend itself in the existing circumstances in this country to level-headed people.

Now, objection has been taken to his proposals on the ground that he proposes to economise slightly at the expense of the old age pensioners and the National teachers. Some Deputies who criticised the Minister on this point evidently read his statement in this Dáil very closely, but there are none so blind as those who will not see. They evidently conveniently close their eyes to that portion of the Minister's statement that did not fit in with the views that they expound in this Dáil. The Minister asked what could the Government do to bridge this gap of several millions that he found in his Budget. The obvious alternatives, he told us, were higher taxes or lower public expenditure, or partly one and partly the other. He said it was unnecessary for him to dilate upon the evils of high taxation. We all recognise that taxation has reached breaking point in this country, and that it will be safe to go no further. What we all anticipate, and what we all hope will result from the measure taken by the Minister, is that from the overdue reduction in our high taxation we will have some benefit out of it in the near future. Did the Minister suggest that he was going to confine his cuts to these two particular services? By no means. He pointed out that these two services accounted for nearly 50 per cent. of the recurrent national expenditure. And what do the two cuts amount to?

To something like £650,000. That is to say, £650,000 in a case, in which he has to face, if not this year, at any rate next year, a shortage of three millions in the National Exchequer. Now, £650,000 is less than one-third of the amount of economies or monies that the Minister for Finance must find next year. That is spread over one-half, or nearly one-half, of the National Income. [836] Therefore, it is up to the Minister, in some way or another, on the remaining portion of the National Income, to find the remaining two-thirds of his shortage. What does he say with respect to that? “It is proposed, accordingly, to aim at securing forthwith substantial savings throughout the public services, distributing the inevitable sacrifices as fairly as circumstances permit.” As far as I can see, the only objection that could be taken to the action of the Minister is, that he has associated with two definite services, the expenditure on which is more definite than with respect to other services, a definite cut in each case. In the case of the other services he has, as anybody can understand, to go into the personnel of these services, to see whether they are over-staffed, and, if so, to what extent he can reduce the staff, and to see whether it can be possible to increase the hours of service given by the existing staff, and thereby still further reduce the staff, and to see what extent the present salaries and emoluments associated with these bodies are warranted. That, of course, is not a matter that a Minister who has only recently been appointed to his position could deal with thoroughly. I say it was a better and a sounder policy on the part of the Minister to wait until he got reliable statistics for these several Departments, rather than put before the Dáil an ill-considered return concerning them. Had he done so, and found that he made an underestimate, we would all be up in arms condemning and criticising the Minister later on.

I am not going to deal with the question of housing or wages and all that. I intend later on when the general debate is resumed, to address myself to these questions. We had a good deal of criticism here. As the Minister for Agriculture pointed out last evening, the Deputy, criticising the Minister for Finance, offered no substantial suggestion as to how he could meet the deficit he is faced with. Deputy Johnson suggested increased taxation or tariff on imported manufactured articles. Well, tariff on imported manufactured articles is a very delicate question, requiring a good deal of consideration, because it may result in robbing Peter, [837] in the country, in order to pay Paul, his neighbour. From the National point of view, that is a very dangerous policy to pursue until you closely consider the question in all its bearings; there is no use in taxing imported manufactured articles which this country does not produce, and which it could not produce by reason of the encouragement the taxes would give the native manufacturer. Because you are then only transferring to the consumer the taxes which the Government pockets.

That is a bad policy, because it hides from the people that they are paying these taxes. It is not as evident as when you are paying direct taxes. The Minister has been blamed and the Executive Council has been blamed for imposing these cuts on two bodies, two sections of the people, the teachers and pensioners. These are two sections that we all, if we could, would relieve from the cut, if the financial position enabled us to do so. Who is the Minister for Finance in this case? The Minister for Finance is Deputy, or President. de Valera. The Minister for Finance is paying for the destruction that de Valera's dupes committed during the last eighteen months in the country. It is the voice of the Minister for Finance that is demanding the reduction, but it was the other that caused the destruction that has now to be paid for, destruction that imposes on this Dáil a necessity for making radical reductions in these two Services as in every other Service in the country, as will be developed when the Minister has his complete returns before him. There was one point that Deputy Johnson made, and it was a bit illogical on his part. He said that we, in this country, should not emulate British expenditure. He said that we should emulate British economy. But he did not suggest, when speaking in the Dáil a short time ago, that we should emulate the economy in the case of wages that the English worker and the English employer were compelled to adopt in view of foreign competition. That is all I am going to say on that matter for the time.

Deputies are concerned about this road expenditure. Well, I hardly think it has any association with the Resolution before the Dáil, and I shall, therefore, [838] defer my remarks with reference to the proposed cut in connection with it, until such time as we debate the general issue. Deputy Redmond made a reference to Civil Servants whose services are being dispensed with, and his references, unintentionally, I know, would convey a wrong impression to the Dáil and a wrong impression to the public. These Civil Servants exercised the rights that they were entitled to under the Treaty. The Treaty gave them the privilege of retiring, and they exercised that right. That right might not have been exercised as generally as it was, only for the general unrest that was in the country, and I suppose they thought they would make hay while the sun shone. Now suggestions are being made to reduce existing Civil Servants. As I understand, the Civil Servants who are being handed over by the British Government, under the terms of the Treaty, are assured of all the privileges, all the salaries and emoluments and all that they would have enjoyed if the British Government had continued to function in this country. Therefore it would be a dangerous policy to interfere in any way with these public servants, because that may have the result that Deputy Redmond regrets, of making these also resign their positions.

That would necessitate the appointment of others to replace them, so that instead of resulting in a national saving, it would only impose upon us considerable additional national expenditure.

As regards the Civil Servants, the uggestion is that no reduction has been made with respect to them. Anyone reading the speech of the Minister for Finance will find that he says the Civil Servants, whose salary at the end of 1920 was between £150 and £500 a year, have suffered a reduction varying from 30 per cent. at the lower salary, to 25 per cent. at the higher salary, so that these public servants, long before the cuts intended to be made came into operation, have suffered a reduction in their salaries at least equal to, and possibly substantially more than, it is proposed to make with respect either to the Teachers or the old age pensioners. The analytical figures were so effectively gone into by the Minister for [839] Agriculture that I am not going to trouble dealing with them. He showed clearly, taking into account the cost of living now as compared with the cost of living when pensions were fixed, that no hardship could result from the cut. I deprecate the cut on these people. I really believe if we could apply ourselves effectively to the abuses that no doubt exist in association with the Old age pensions, we would bring about a considerable saving. People having a substantial amount of land, fairly well stocked, for no other purpose——

Mr. GOREY: And Bank accounts made out of buildings.

Mr. O'MAHONY: —than to evade not alone their legal obligations, but their moral obligations, made over those lands in favour of their children, and the children refused the natural right that always in the past was jealously regarded by the Irish child, no matter how poor that child might be, of making suitable provision for the parents. I think, when the details of abuses in connection with the old age pensions are gone into, it will be quite possible to discover deserving cases; undoubtedly there is a large number of deserving cases. We ought to hesitate taking 1/- or anything from them. When the whole question is gone into, I think it will be found that none of the deserving cases need be made suffer. I hope the Minister will make provision for such cases and will clearly establish that relief will be given and provided.

Mr. GOREY: That is worth 200 votes.

Mr. O'MAHONY: As regards the teachers, we all know that in the pre-war days the teaching body was entirely underpaid; but we have a statement made here; that statement has not been controverted, and if it were open to challenge, I am sure Deputy O'Connell would have challenged it. That statement was that the salaries of the teachers have been increased from 3 to 3½ times the pre-war standard. Now, if we take the middle figure of 3¼ times, and if you take 10 per cent. off that, it will leave you with something like £295, as compared with a salary of £100 pre-war. Surely, taking into account the cost of living and the legitimate increase [840] in salary that the teachers were undoubtedly entitled to, this £295, as compared with the pre-war salary of £100, leaves us sufficient margin not alone to pay for the increased cost of living but to provide for a decent increase in what everybody was satisfied were absolutely inadequate pre-war salaries?

Mr. O'CONNELL: Provide for a decent cut.

Mr. O'MAHONY: With the idea pervading the amendment, nobody could take exception. That is, nobody would like to make a cut upon, in the one case, an essential service, and in the other case, a deserving body amongst the old and the poor classes of the country. But “Where needs will the devil drives.” We are compelled to, and we must, make ends meet. We must balance the books. No Deputy has shown that the Minister can effectively do so by any other means than by making an all-round cut, not a cut confined to those two particular instances, but an all-round cut that, I believe, when the personnel of the different staffs is investigated and the reduction of salaries considered, will represent substantially a much bigger percentage than is concerned in these two cases.

Reference has been made to the Army. I should like to see the Army at a considerably reduced figure from that which the Minister for Defence anticipates will be the case at the end of the financial year. At the same time, owing to our experience in the last 12 or 18 months, we must hasten slowly. As long as it is necessary to keep an Army in being to secure the legitimate protection that the citizen is entitled to, then the duty is cast upon the Minister of doing so; but I would make some appeal to him, as has been made by other Deputies, and that is to consider whether the officers' establishment is not too large in proportion to the establishment of men, and whether substantial reductions might not be effected also in the salaries of the higher grades as compared with the lower grades in the Army. If we are going to economise, let us economise all round. Let us economise in every direction in which economy, consistent with efficiency, is possible. I am certain that [841] neither teachers, pensioners, Civil Servants, nor any section of the public life of the country will feel dissatisfied if they find that the axe of economy is generally and equitably distributed.

PADRAIG Ó h-OGÁIN: An rud a bhí le rádh agam tá se ráite cheanna. Is doigh liom gur mhór an truagh gan iarracht mór a dhéanamh chun stóp do chur leis an bhfeall átá ceapaithe. Caithimid admháil go ndearn na muintéoiri naisuiúnta obair mór ar son na tíre. Do dheineadar a ndicheall chun an Gaoluinn d'ath-bheochaint, agus cuirim an ceist ar Aire um Airgead “An bhfuil aon dream eile againn a dhein níos mó oibre ar son teangain na tire ná na muintéoirí naisiúnta?”

When the grip of the foreigner was relaxed on the throat of the nation some of us imagined that the bloom of health would colour the face of the country, and that those who were charged with the administration of the essential restoratives would see that those restoratives were applied in proper proportions and in a proper manner. If I judge rightly, education is one of the most essential restoratives the country needs—that is real national education—and anybody who has been in close contact with the country's happenings will admit that the national teachers have done more to save the national life of the country than any other body of citizens. I put the question directly to the Minister for Finance. Can he mention any body of citizens who did more for the Irish language or from whom we can expect more for the salvation of the Irish language than the national teachers? Under foreign and alien administration they did excellent work, and it would seem to be a new standard of justice were we to continue the penal regulations they suffered from in the past. I have seen in several cases that the Minister for Finance is keenly interested in this, and I believe honestly he is. I ask him is it a proper way to induce those people to give effect to that hope he has expressed so often for the salvation of the national language of the country inadequately to recognise and scantily to appreciate the [842] services the teachers are likely to give in the future. Several of the speakers yesterday did not take this into account at all, and Deputy Bryan Cooper seemed to confuse motion with progress. They are two entirely different things. If he gave any serious thought to the progressive programme of the national schools of this country, and if he gave any thought to the progressive methods of teaching expected from teachers, he would admit that progressive salaries would be more in the nature of things than reduced ones.

Progress is a natural growth; pruning and dwarfing are artificial introductions. I suggest as we have progressive programmes of education and teaching, progressive salaries should be the rule. Deputy Redmond endeavoured to make a suggestion to the Government regarding one service that might possibly help the Minister for Finance to bridge over the chasm in his budget. I will endeavour to make another. I have here a demand signed by 30,000 people, men and women in the constituency which the Minister for Education is representing, demanding that certain retrenchments be made in certain directions, and they demand that avenue to be travelled before any other avenue in Government expenditure. They demand that the expenditure of £20,000 or £30,000 per week entailed in keeping in the political prisoners be done away with and that it should go into the Government Exchequer to relieve the deficit. That is a demand which I would recommend for the consideration of the Government, and particularly for that of the Minister for Education. Deputy Gorey would have us think that the teachers in the country are living in Paradise, and that their economic conditions are different from those in cities or towns. I do not know whether Deputy Gorey thinks there are any teachers living in the cities or towns. I suggest there are thousands. I also suggest he is fighting with glass when he uses that argument. The Minister for Agriculture should take note that the farmer is a country dweller and also participates in the economic advantages the teachers of the country have and in striking a flat rate on income the Minister for Finance should take that into account.

[843] Mr. GOREY: Hear, hear.

Mr. HOGAN: I am glad to hear Deputy Gorey say “Hear, hear.” It puts him in the position that he admits he suffers less, and, therefore, should be penalised. He tells us that teachers in the country marry, and, therefore, double their incomes. I wonder do the farmers in the country marry and thereby increase their income. Regarding the old age pensions, it is difficult to see why this was singled out except that the Minister, having struck at the youth of the country, thinks, to be consistent, he ought to strike at the aged. In that I compliment him for his consistency. It has been proved we owe money to the old age pensioners, because when the cost of living went up, the rate of pensions did not go up accordingly. I am going to ask who fixed the rate by which we calculated what the standard of living was in 1908. Who said 5/- in 1908 was any standard of living? Who said 10/- a week is any standard of living at all now? It would be more decent and honest for the Government to say that it is because they have the power to make those cuts that they do so. Their basic principle is that they have the power to do it, and it would be more honest for them to tell us that that is the principle they are working on, and not that they are working on principles of justice and consideration.

Mr. WILSON: I did not intend to rise again in connection with this matter as we defined ourselves, I think, very clearly in the speech of Deputy Gorey yesterday. We look upon the reduction of old age pensions with regret. We look upon it in the light of a necessity. We are sorry that the necessity arises, but where the necessity arises we realise that we must do justice. The figures quoted by the Minister for Agriculture yesterday place it beyond yea or nay that a reduction of 1s. from 10s. leaves the old age pensioners in a better position than they were two years ago. I will not deal with the aspect of the subject concerning teachers or old age pensioners. My real reason in rising is to draw the attention of the Minister for Finance to the fact that by reason of the Government [844] borrowing so largely on bills from the banks, the farmers in this country are getting restricted credit and thereby are placed in sore straits. Heretofore, or at least in the time of inflation, everybody knows that the farmers sold their farms at high prices, but immediately bought new ones and went to the bank and got a mortgage. The banks were then glad to get the custom of the farmers, but now they find it more profitable to lend money to the State on short term loans. They are thus restricting the credit of the country and placing these men in jeopardy. They are forcing them to sell their stock to reduce their liability, and they are reducing the number of people who would be able to buy this stock by reason of the restriction on credit. I hope the Minister for Finance will bear in mind what the British Government did a few years ago under Lloyd George when they made preparation for this deflation and adopted a system by which the farmers were given long term advances by the State to enable them to weather the difficulties so as not to be placed on the roadside. The reduction in the teachers' salaries has been spoken of as a weapon which is going to destroy education in Ireland. I would be long sorry to think that our 15,000 schoolmasters and schoolmistresses are so wanting in civic ideas and patriotism that because of a reduction by a small amount in their salaries they are going to be rendered useless and, in revenge, will neglect their duties.

Mr. O'CONNELL: Who said that?

Mr. WILSON: Nobody specifically mentioned it, but that is the underlying principle on which the matter has been debated here. We are told that these men have done so and so, and now they are to be repaid by being reduced in their salaries, and because of that reduction they will neglect their work. I realise that it is a hardship for any man to be reduced, and I think that those who have twenty years' service and who have only £300 a year are not suitable subjects for reduction, but rather initial salaries should be reduced. Young men coming from training get £170 a year, and these are more [845] fit subjects for reduction than married men with twenty years' service who are compelled to live on £300 a year reduced by 10 per cent. I just want to refer shortly to the statement of one Labour Deputy. He spoke of the Farmer Deputies pressing on the under dog and that they as a body were always throwing discredit on the workers of Ireland, particularly, I suppose, the agricultural labourers. There is nobody who examines the subject but will find that the agricultural labourer in Ireland is worthy of as much pay as we can afford to give him. We recognise that while wages in England have been considerably reduced and that while the farmers there are quite close to the markets, the prices we are paying ought to be higher than the standard set in England. We recognise that the labourers in the past have stood by us in our difficulties, and that it is only by direction of their leaders in the cities that the line of cleavage has taken place. Their prosperity and ours are interwoven. Anything we say here must not be taken as if we intended to crush them or interfere with their prosperity. I see readily where the complaint is made. In the agricultural industry we support our unemployed, but why should laboureres on the land getting 30s. a week be obliged to contribute to the Central Fund in tobacco, beer, and sugar in order to give the men in the cities 30s. a week for doing nothing, while the agricultural labourer is working as hard as he can for the same money. They are being used by the city dwellers to their own disadvantage. Their interests are interwoven with those of the farmers, and the farmers and the labourers, if they understood each other rightly, would be in a position to call the tune here and make laws for the prosperity of both.

Mr. JOHNSON: The labourers have long memories.

Mr. CONNOR HOGAN: With the exception of Deputy Johnson and his followers and those whose cries fill the columns of the yellow Press, I believe the country will endorse just as strongly as this Dáil, the proposal contained in the statement of the Minister for Finance. I refer not alone to the [846] concrete proposals which he outlined, but to the more shadowy reforms which he promised would be initiated. A good deal of ink has been spilled over these two questions for the past fortnight, and the only argument that I could see in the public Press on behalf of the teachers was that if a teacher lost 10 per cent of his salary he could not meet his pupils in the morning with a smiling face. With such a state of mind it is almost impossible to argue. We say to them let them have a heart, and when they take heart let them realise what the situation demands.

Let them realise that the deficit facing the Minister for Finance is the outstanding question, and that the nation as a whole, and every individual composing that nation, must bear a share of the sacrifice in righting the situation. A good deal was said about broken treaties and the sanctity of engagements. I wonder if those people realise that time and time again when agreements were entered into they immediately started agitations requesting advances in pay. What are the arguments put forward on their behalf? That it was impossible to work for the wages they received. Let us understand the reverse of the process. Suppose the State finds it impossible to pay them, must they be bound by the hard terms of a bad bargain? I need not remark, surely, that the teachers would be bound by the terms of what they would regard as a bad bargain. For instance, if the currency was inflated from an economic collapse, does any Deputy believe that the teachers would not immediately demand increments to keep pace with the cost of living? They certainly would. Similarly, the State, in the interests of the people, and of its very existence as a civilised nation, must, in view of the dreadful deficit we are faced with, urge economy all round. There is no particular animosity against the teachers; they have not been victims, nor have they been singled out in this matter. There must be an all-round reduction in the case of every person drawing public money.

Mr. DAVIN: What about the Governor-General?

[847] Mr. CONNOR HOGAN: I cannot speak on behalf of the Governor-General. That is a question for the Minister. As Deputy Wilson pointed out, we very much regret that it is necessary to cut the old age pensions, but the same argument that I have advanced applies to this case, that it is necessary, in the interest of national solvency, to have this cut. Deputy Johnson threw down a challenge yesterday when he said that no candidate went up for election on a campaign of economy. I am in the unhappy position of having to reply in the affirmative. I did, and I certainly will vote for the proposals put forward by the Minister for Finance, and against the amendment, because I feel that it is necessary, in the interests of the nation, that these economies should come into operation forthwith, and I realise perfectly well that if we do not economise now there will not be a shilling to give any man in a year's time.

Mr. O'CONNELL: The Minister for Agriculture spoke yesterday, and as is always the case, when he speaks, we had an interesting address. He is an adept at making a good speech when he has a good case, and vice versa. He told us, at the outset, that he would vote for this amendment. I hope he will remember that when the Division comes.

MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE (Mr. P. Hogan): Possibly Deputy O'Connell's speech would compel me to change my mind.

Mr. O'CONNELL: It might be well that the Dáil, at this stage, should be reminded of what the amendment is. It is:

To delete all the words after the word “address,” and to substitute therefor the words “but while approving of the decision of Ministers to `avoid waste, and extract the utmost value from all public expenditure,' cannot agree to methods of retrenchments which would be detrimental to education, or which would cause suffering to the aged poor.”

Of course, I take it that those who vote against the amendment are thereby saying that they can agree to such methods. However, the question is, and [848] I hope that the Minister for Agriculture, before he finally makes up his mind, will make enquiries, say, from the Minister for Education, or such Deputies as Deputy Professor Magennis, Deputy Lynch, Deputy McCabe, and those who have an expert knowledge of this question, as to whether or not the proposed action announced by the Minister for Finance will in fact be detrimental to education. He himself made no attempt to show that it would not; neither has anybody who has spoken on behalf of the proposal. The Minister for Agriculture scoffs at the idea of describing these proposals as in any way autocratic. They are, in his opinion, the essence of democracy. It is perhaps not unreasonable to think that a Minister who has such a love for rough and ready methods of administration, should be pleased with the method adopted in this case. He tells us that it is quite right, that these proposals have been given to the Dáil, and it is for the Dáil to accept or reject them. But perhaps the Minister does not know that at this very moment, before the Dáil has accepted or rejected, or expressed any opinion whatsoever on the proposals, the actual cut, so far as national teachers are concerned, is in operation. That is an undoubted fact. I would ask the Minister for Finance to correct me if I am wrong. The Minister for Agriculture, and most of the other speakers, referred to more cuts. The Minister for Agriculture repeated it; so did Deputy O'Mahony and other Deputies, but up to the present we have no indication whatsoever, nothing beyond mere general promises as to what these cuts are to be.

We are to have a survey, an examination of the position, to see where cuts can be made. There was no survey into education; there was no survey into the position of the old age pensioners. When this survey is finally made, if it is to be made, shall we get an assurance from the Minister that the cuts will take effect from the same date as the cuts from the old age pensioners become effective, or the cuts in the teachers' salaries become effective? The Minister for Finance, in spite of what the Minister for Agriculture has said earlier, told us that these cuts were not made because of a fall in the [849] cost of living. They were made in order to reduce expenditure on public services, and it is not unreasonable to ask why two services should be singled out to be the first, without any guarantee whatsoever, except mere vague promises, that cuts would take place in any other direction in the Government.

I agree with Deputy Good and Deputy O'Mahony, who, I think, said that if there is to be an effort to reduce expenditure, and if sacrifices must be made, then they should be made and borne equally by all. We have no intimation from the Minister for Finance or any other member of the Government as to what the intention is with regard to any other public servants. There is no intimation that the basic salary of any Civil Servant will be reduced, and that those servants who appear in the Estimates as having inclusive salaries will be reduced, or that the Civic Guard, or D.M.P., State Solicitors, Under Sheriffs, and Clerks of the Peace, and other public servants will be reduced. Only one body of public servants is specially singled out for reduction, and in my humble opinion, and the opinion of a great many others, that is the service that should be the last to be singled out. National teachers, as I have always stated, and will continue to state, are not grumbling, and will not grumble, at having to bear their fair share of any sacrifices to be made by the nation, as a whole, but they object, and in my opinion rightly, to be specially singled out in the first instance before there is any more than a mere general intimation that we are going to have all round cuts in the public services. Until we have definite statements as to what other servants are to have their incomes reduced, this general talk of economy and all round retrenchment is so much eye-wash. One would have imagined that the Minister, in his attempts to balance his accounts, would have said that all the Departments of State would have to bear a certain percentage and that the course he would take, and it would have been the wise course in my judgement, should be to go to all the Departments and say, “We want ten per cent. off the expenditure of this particular Department.”

[850] If that were said to the Department of Education, and that Department were compelled to reduce its expenditure by ten per cent., I have not the slightest doubt whatever that the teachers would co-operate with the Ministry of Education in effecting that reduction. The Minister for Agriculture taunted Deputy Johnson with having only one constructive proposal to put forward. I listened closely to the Minister for his constructive suggestions, and the only one I could gather was a request to Deputy Johnson to reduce the cost of living. The Minister has strange ideas of the responsibility that should attach to a Government. Bread is a very important item in the cost of living. How, might I ask, would Deputy Johnson proceed to reduce the cost of bread, for instance. He might, perhaps, ask the workers to work for nothing, and thus reduce the cost of the loaf by something about one halfpenny. How would he reduce the cost of meat? How would he see that the farmer and producer got a fair share of the price which the consumer has to pay for the meat? These are things which it is the duty of the Government, who have the responsibility in the matter, to look into, and surely it is not very helpful or constructive on the part of the Minister for Agriculture to attempt to throw his responsibility on other people. They have not made any great progress in putting into operation even the small recommendations of the Commission which they set up a few months ago. We are waiting still for the result of their efforts in that direction. To tackle the profiteers and profiteering would probably be too troublesome a problem. It is much easier, of course, to look at the total sum paid for old age pensions and education, and simply divide it by ten, and say “We are going to save this amount.”

Deputy Cooper, in the course of his speech, said a lot was being said with regard to the agreement, and that a great deal of importance was being attached to it, and that is perfectly true. In my opinion the discontent caused by the announcement made by the Minister for Finance amongst the teaching body is not so much at the actual loss of the £30 or £40 per annum as with the [851] method adopted by the Minister for Finance, in view of the solemn agreement entered into. Deputy Cooper was labouring under a misapprehension when he spoke of teachers breaking previous agreements. That is not so, and the quotation made by Deputy Cooper had to do with an altogether different thing, as the Minister for Finance can probably tell. The Minister for Finance should be very well informed in these matters, because the principal officers of his Department were in the British Treasury Department at the time these agreements were come to. One of the matters dealt with was purely temporary bonuses, which were revised after short periods by the same Board which entered into the agreements, and which contained a special provision by which this revision should be made. I want to emphasise the point that only one agreement was entered into at any time with regard to a permanent scale of salary, and this is the agreement which I have here, and which the National teachers are speaking of when they refer to a solemn agreement being broken.

The Civil Service Arbitration Board, which adjudicated on this particular claim and pronounced judgement on it, are exactly the same body who adjudicated on the claim of the Civil Servants. The Civil Servants are engaged under the terms of the agreement arrived at by that Arbitration Board, and the Government has not departed one iota from the terms of that agreement in their treatment of Civil Servants. Not only have the Government kept the agreement in the letter, but in the spirit, for if they had kept it in the letter alone Civil Servants would now be paid according to the British cost of living figure. This agreement entered into on that occasion is not at all confined to salary scales. As I pointed out on a previous occasion, it is a very comprehensive agreement, and deals with conditions of service, and are we to take it now that the teachers are no longer bound by that agreement?

It abrogated many of the rules which were in force until that agreement was signed. Are we to understand now [852] that one portion of the agreement may be disregarded while the other portions must be strictly kept by the teachers? It is not a question merely of figures of salary that is involved in this matter. It is a question of the whole of the conditions of service. Much has been made out of the fact that this agreement was entered into at a time when the cost of living was near its highest point, but the salaries only came into full operation in April, 1922. Surely if this agreement had any relation to the cost of living the peak point of the salaries would have been paid at the time when the cost of living was at its highest. The teachers bartered away at that time immediate gain. They could have got, if they insisted, the same terms exactly as the civil service got. They could have got a very much higher increase at that particular time than they did get in actual practice, but they bartered away immediate gain for stability and permanency, and now that permanency is being taken from them, so that they have neither end of the stick.

This agreement, for instance, contains provisions under which salaries can be reduced in certain conditions. The average attendance at school may go below a certain figure, and the teacher has no control over that. Down goes his salary to the extent of £70 or £80. If he writes to the Department of Education to complain, the agreement is quoted for him. If he writes again protesting he will be told that his own representatives signed that agreement, and his mouth is effectually closed.

The Minister for Finance feels that this agreement and those conditions do not bind him in any way. I am not surprised that he holds that view after listening to what he had to say yesterday, speaking on another matter with regard to what he called paper safeguards. He has no regard whatsoever for paper safeguards. I just took a note of what he said at the time. He said there used to be a lot of talk about paper safeguards, but when there were no paper safeguards it was found that we were, perhaps, just as well off then as now. I can only say that is an extraordinarily strange doctrine coming from a representative of a Government [853] which pins its faith and the country's faith to an agreement or document that was signed some two years ago in consequence of and by virtue of which we are all here. If a paper agreement can only be regarded as a scrap of paper when either party to the agreement finds that he is in a position to so regard it, well, then, we have done with stability in all matters.

Deputy Gorey has a wide and varied knowledge of many things, but when he enters on the domain of education I am afraid he is not always a success. He undertook to give us figures, and the figures he gave us were these:—A first class principal, he said, began at £370 for men and £300 for women. Perhaps I might tell Deputy Gorey, first of all, that there is no such grade as first class principal in the service; secondly, that no teacher begins at £300 or £370. I have the figures here in the official document. It states that the normal scale for men trained teachers shall commence at £170, and the normal scale for trained women teachers shall commence at £155. There are other teachers who begin at £100; there are teachers who begin at £110; there are teachers who begin at £130; but the normal scale, I take it, is the one that Deputy Gorey has in mind. At the end of some 20 years or so the man who begins at £170 may find himself at £370 per annum, but to do that he has every year to undergo a severe test of his efficiency by officers of the department. No one knows better than those who have been engaged in the service of teaching how difficult it is to get through that test. It is not a mere matter of form as tests of efficiency are in some services. I was very pleased to hear Deputy Wilson express the opinion that a man after 20 or 30 years' service as a national teacher is not too highly paid if he gets £370 per annum. He did say, however, that £170 was too high as an initial salary. I would like him to compare that with the salary that can be got in another service. A teacher spends from 7 to 9 years preparing for his position. He has to undergo a secondary education or the equivalent of it. He has to go to a training college. Some years before the new scale of salaries came into operation the fees paid at the training college [854] were nominal—£5 or £10. They have been increased to £45 between the past few years. At the age of 21 or 22 this young man goes out and takes up the important work of teaching, getting £170 per year. From that £170, 4 per cent. is deducted to contribute towards his pension. He has to pay for his lodgings, and very often travel a long distance to his school. It is not unusual for him to take his share in paying to keep the school clean, tidy and equipped. His brother might come along at the age of 18 or 19 to the Civic Guard Depot here in Dublin, spend 3 or 4 months in training, and go out and get £182 10s.

Mr. WILSON: And stop there.

Mr. O'CONNELL: He does not stop there. Read the recent reply given by the Minister for Home Affairs. In addition, he lives in barracks and he has other allowances, of the value perhaps of £20 or £25 yearly. I did not hear from Deputy Wilson any complaint that this public service was too highly paid. These rates which I have referred to are in operation only from 1922, and all during the war years teachers were living largely on hope and on credit— hoping for the time that was coming in 1922 when the agreement which they had entered into in good faith would begin to bear full fruit. Deputy Gorey challenged me to say that teachers in other countries were as well paid as here. I think he mentioned England as an exception.

Deputy Gorey need not run away to Belgium, France, Russia, or Austria, or even to England for comparisons. He has only to go some 40 or 50 miles, across the border, into the Six Counties, where he will find the teachers working under this agreement—which was an all Ireland agreement at the time—and those very scales and conditions are in full operation in that area at the present time. Although the Six County Government during the last year brought in an Education Bill, which increased very considerably educational expenditure in that area and which made special provision for increasing the salaries of Secondary teachers, still they have not touched that agreement. They pay the teachers and continue to pay them, and no move has been made to [855] cut off 10 per cent. or any other percentage. If they can afford to do that in the Six Counties, it is not too much to expect that we in the Free State should be slow to touch such an essential service as education. Deputy Gorey touched on a great many other things. I can only say that Kilkenny seems to be the happy hunting ground for teachers. After what the Deputy stated no doubt there will be 40, 50, or 60 applicants for every vacancy henceforth advertised in Kilkenny. His playful references to myself I pass over. I will only say that I am willing to swop my share of this world's goods with Deputy Gorey, and I will get 6,000 or 8,000 teachers who will do the same.

Mr. GOREY: Done!

Mr. O'CONNELL: All right, we will enter into an agreement about it, and I hope it will be kept more honourably than the one we are talking about. I was not surprised at the attitude taken up by Deputy Gorey, but I would be extremely surprised to know that the farmers of Ireland, as a body, would echo the sentiments he expressed yesterday. Apart altogether from the fact that the teachers are in the main drawn from the farming class, and that teaching is one of the few openings that farmers' daughters in the country have to look forward to, there is no class who will benefit more by increased education than the agricultural community. On the other hand, no class will suffer more if the educational efficiency of the country is interfered with. That is why I say that I would be surprised to know that the opinion of Deputy Gorey was general amongst the class he represents. It is not unusual to find teachers in the country looked up to by farmers as helpers in many ways. I know several co-operative dairy societies to which teachers act as secretaries. I know perhaps a few branches of the Farmers' Union that owe their success to the co-operation of the local teacher.

Mr. GOREY: Sometimes he is chairman.

Mr. O'CONNELL: The teacher who is chairman of a branch of the Farmers' Union will have a big strain put [856] on his allegiance when he reads Deputy Gorey's remarks of yesterday. The rate of salary paid to the teachers, as I have said, was not fixed on a cost of living basis. The cost of living did not enter into it. What did enter into it was the figure which would attract to the service suitable men and women. That was the main consideration. It should be the main consideration. We had it on the last debate that took place in the Dáil on education from the Minister of Education himself that the new rates of salary had not begun to operate yet, to attract the right class of people. I hope if the Minister for Education gets an opportunity of intervening in this debate that he will tell us exactly how far the new rates of salary have up to the present succeeded in attracting to the profession a different type of men and women from those who have been coming into it for the past few years. The records of the Training Colleges will show the numbers of failures amongst the students since the Ministry of Education raised the standard somewhat, and will also show exactly what the position is now. Within the past few days I came across a circular that has been issued by the Church of Ireland authorities calling attention to the fact that the supply of teachers is running out. This may seem strange to Deputy Gorey, but the facts are there. I will read some extracts from this statement. It asks: “Are our schools to be closed?” “What can we do?” A few facts will demonstrate that these are not academic questions, that they bar our way, and that unless we deal with them future progress will be impossible. There will be no future for the Irish Church. If the Irish Church is to continue we must have schools. Schools are impossible without teachers, teachers are impossible without a training college well supplied with students.” The Circular goes on, and asks: “What is the prospect at present of a sufficient or even a moderate supply of teachers?” It says “Each year 45 women teachers are needed to supply vacancies; 28 left College in 1923. At most 28 will leave in 1924, and only 17 can be expected to leave in 1925.” The Circular was published before the cut was announced, so that [857] I am afraid even 17 will not be available after the action of the Ministry. The Bishops of the Church of Ireland issued this document, in which they say: “What is wanted at the moment is candidates who can pass the Easter examination of 1924. A great number of candidates have not hitherto done so, many having failed at this examination.”

They find it necessary to send out a special document of that kind, urging and enticing their people to invite candidates to come forward for the teaching profession, and that in spite of these exorbitant salaries which are being paid, according to some Deputies of this Dáil. They send documents out telling what the salaries will be, and of course they will have to revise these documents now. Now there is one important feature of the Minister's statement that I would like to emphasise. It seems to have been lost sight of by most of the speakers here. All the speakers here refer to the 10 per cent. cut as if that was the final end of the proposal, but that is not so. I quote from the Minister's statement. He says:—“The Government have decided that an immediate cut must be made in the remuneration of the teachers. They do not want to take drastic action at short notice, and to make the full reduction which the facts appear to justify at once. They, therefore, propose that a reduction of 10 per cent. should be made, with effect from the 1st November, and that an inquiry should be set on foot immediately for the purpose of exploring the question of what further adjustment may be proper.” [Official Report, column 672, November 2nd, 1923.]

Now this is not a question of a 10 per cent. cut that we are considering here; it is only the beginning, and I want to emphasise that. I want to show that that very suggestion has increased, and naturally increased, the discontent among the teaching body. The teachers are told there is to be an immediate 10 per cent. cut as from the 1st November, and there are promised other reductions. The teacher in this instance is like the Cockney in the song, “ 'E don't know where 'e are.” The Minister for Finance, speaking a few evenings [858] ago on the question of Irish, said that he believes with Padraig Pearse that freedom for this country was a worthless thing unless there was the preservation of the national language. There are few in this Dáil who will disagree with that. Deputy Hogan, speaking from the Labour Benches a few moments ago, challenged the Minister for Finance to say what other body in Ireland was doing as much at the moment to preserve the national language, and to revive the national language, as the national teachers were. It may be said, of course, it is their duty. That is all very fine, but this particular task—new work to many of them—cheerfully undertaken, cannot be carried on without a fund of enthusiasm, without special effort every day of the year. It is not a question of doing work which is easy to them, and which comes natural to them. It is work that requires every day in the year special effort, and effort requiring behind it a fund of enthusiasm; effort which requires the entire attention of the teacher; and now we find this apple of discord thrown in amongst the teaching profession to distract their attention from what should be rightly a matter which would claim their fullest attention. “They had,” said the Minister for Finance, “at their disposal the machinery which would enable them to revive and preserve the Irish language.” What is the machinery they have if it is not the machinery of the schools? There is not the slightest doubt in the mind of anybody who has at heart the cause of the Irish language that if the language is to go down in the schools it goes down in the country. The schools are the only hope, and surely the Minister who would bear that in mind, and bear in mind the things for which we have been striving in this country for generations, would consider very carefully indeed before he would take any step which, instead of oiling that machinery, would throw sand into it to clog its wheels, and that is what the Finance Minister's action in this matter has done.

Deputy Johnson was challenged to say whether he went to his constituents and asked them to vote for him and for increased taxation. I ask any Deputy [859] on the benches opposite whether he went to his constituents and told them that if they elected him he would support a cut in teachers' salaries.

Mr. GOREY: Here is one.

Mr. O'CONNELL: And the cut in old age pensions?

Mr. GOREY: No, not in old age pensions.

Major BRYAN COOPER: As a matter of explanation, may I say that I stated in my election address that I would cut down all estimates? I did not specify teachers' salaries or old age pensions, but I did not except them.

Mr. O'CONNELL: Deputy Johnson quoted yesterday an announcement that had been made on the 20th of August— I think it was by the President of the Executive Council, who was then also Minister for Finance. The announcement was made on behalf of the Cumann na nGhaedheal, and we had it there that education was to be reformed in its whole character and outlook, and that effects would be made to attract to the work teachers who would be enthusiastic and whose remuneration would be secure. It would be difficult to believe, and yet we are constrained to believe by the facts, that at that very moment when the Minister for Finance was planning these words, officials in his Department had then under consideration the cutting of the teachers' salaries. Now, if Deputies who support the Government will ask themselves honestly if they have a mandate from their constituents to support this action, and I lay special strain upon the fact and special strain again on the fact that I am objecting to the singling out of these two special services—if they can persuade themselves that they have a mandate to support the Government in the action they have taken, and above all in the method in which that action was taken, then, of course, they will vote against the amendment moved by Deputy Johnson. I am constrained to think that the silence of many Deputies on this matter is an indication that they are not quite satisfied that their constituents sent them here to support such action [860] as this. If the suggestions made by Deputy Major Cooper and by Deputy Captain Redmond had been taken, and if a Committee had been set up—an independent Committee composed of members of this Dáil or people outside —to go over the whole field of administration and expenditure and report where savings could be effected, and if such a Committee, which would have the confidence of this Dáil and of the country, had been set up and reported, that the teachers with others should have a cut, well, then, perhaps, the Government would not meet with the same opposition as it is meeting and must continue to meet with in the action they have taken in this matter.

AIRE UM OIDEACHAS (Eoin Mac Néill): Tá a lán cainnt ar an gceist seo. Cuireadh mion-phointi os ar gcomhair —mion-phointi nach bhfuil ciall no eifeacht ionnta. Acht in a dhiaidh sin agus uilig is soléir an cheist í agus caithfimid í a scrudú ins an doigh ceart. Dá m-ba rud é nar thuit rudai airithe amach 'san tír seo le deidheanaighe thiochfadh linn i bhfád nios mó a dheunamh ar son oideachais. Ni feidir linn an cheist seo a phléidhe gan aire a thabhairt do'n mheid airgid a chaill an tír ar feadh na blíana.

There has been a great deal of rhetoric and a great deal of special pleading, and a great many of what I may call debating society points made in connection with this discussion. We have a plain situation to face. It would have been possible, under certain circumstances, had certain things not happened, to maintain and to improve beyond measure, the whole position of education in this country. I impeach the sincerity, and I impeach the candour which, on every occasion, ignores the fact that that improvement would have been, and should have been, possible, and ignores the reason why it has not been possible. It is like some resolutions that we read in the newspapers from public boards scraping up votes, scraping up votes here and there from people and avoiding the essential, the plain, and the main truth about these things. Now, it is not pleasant for a Minister, in charge of any Department, to have the money at the [861] disposal of his Department reduced. It is not pleasant for me in particular; it is not pleasant in the matter of education to have a reduction, and I do not pretend that it is pleasant. I do not say that in order to curry favour with teachers, and I am not going to balance what I say, as one or two who have spoken here on this debate have balanced what they have said, by throwing out catchwords to console the people, while they intend to vote in a certain way on this amendment.

The amendment has been worded in a very artful form. I ignore the artful form of the amendment, and I propose to vote against it, and no one will misunderstand me or anyone else who votes against it. No one will venture to pretend, or, at all events, if they do they will not take in the members of this Dáil: they will not even delude themselves that we are voting for the detriment of education or for the oppression of the aged poor.

Mr. JOHNSON: On a point of personal explanation, I would have desired that the amendment should have directly referred to the two items, but as a matter of procedure and order, it was necessary not to refer to the Minister's address. Therefore, the direct form had to be avoided.

Professor MacNEILL: That is, so far, satisfactory. I think it is clear now, at all events, that it is not a case of voting for or against the detriment of education or the protection of the aged poor. In voting against this amendment, I am going to vote for the benefit of the education and for the benefit of the aged poor. Deputy O'Connell has asked whether any of us, in going up for election, proposed retrenchment. Well, we did not propose retrenchment on two particular items. The Minister has made that clear. But over and over again, as probably some of those who are present here, and who were opposed to me in the election in Clare, may testify, the Government of that time was attacked, and I think unfairly attacked, by the official representatives from the official headquarters of the Farmers' Party on account of extravagance. I made it perfectly clear at that time that the policy of the Government that I would support, if I [862] were elected, would be a policy of retrenchment. It was evident to everyone that the whole future of this country depended, and depends now, on one thing more than any other, and that is on sound national finance. The future of education in Ireland depends on placing the finances of this country in a sound position, the future of the aged poor in Ireland depends on placing the finances of this country in a sound position. Is it suggested that we are going to make a capital loan in order to meet the present high expenses, high I do not say in reference to the merits of the subject, but high in reference to the resources of the State—the present high expenses on the head of education or on the head of the maintenance of the aged poor. Are we to borrow for these purposes?

If we are to borrow what is to be the end of it? If we have to borrow on continued annual deficits that means borrowing and more borrowing, and more borrowing, borrowing to infinity. The first duty of this Government, and the first duty of any national Government, and the first duty of the Deputies of this Dáil at present, if they have in view the future stability, the future progress, the future peace, the future liberty and independence, the maintenance of the liberty and independence which this country has attained, is to place the finances of this country on a sound basis. That is my profound conviction. I believe that industry, I believe that employment, I believe that education, I believe that the Irish language, and I believe that every interest which we wish to advance, depends on that. I believe that if we fail in that one respect we fail in every respect, we lose everything, we will lose the whole of our national control over education, we will lose the future economic welfare of the country, we will lose peace, we will lose prosperity, we will lose our liberty, and we will lose our national independence.

Consequently, I have made up my mind a long time ago that the principal policy, the chief national policy that is before the Government and the Dáil, and the people of Ireland at present, transcending everything else, is the security of national finance. And the [863] basis of that, as quite a number of speakers have said before me, is that expenditure that can be estimated as “current expenditure” shall not exceed the revenue which shall be estimated as “current revenue.” If that cannot be secured, then we cannot ask our own people, and we cannot expect our own people to face the prospect of being, as they ought to be, their own national creditors. Moreover, many things have been alluded to. The whole ground, almost of national existence, has been covered in this debate. We have had the army, the farms, unemployment, and I do not know what was not mentioned. On the particular head of unemployment, there is no question that without sound national finance, we shall be faced with an immense increase of unemployment, and without making reductions where they can be made without grave injustice, we shall increase unemployment. We have been told about an agreement. I think it would be well for us to be candid on that subject also. Supposing that money values had taken a different course and that the money values embodied in this agreement, as it is called, were reduced at present to one-half of what they were at the time, would the agreement stand? Would it be claimed that the agreement ought to stand? I do not think so.

Mr. O'CONNELL: Might I interrupt to say that we could not break the agreement without the consent of the other party. We had not the power to do it. The decision lay with the other party.

Professor MacNEILL: I do not understand the interruption. I do not think it is possible—and possibly the exponents of the doctrines of the Labour Party would enlighten me on the subject—for the State to bind its own Sovereignty, to bind its own power absolutely and rigidly by the terms of an agreement of the kind specified. I have not myself the terms of that document, whatever it is, before me. I should be very glad to have them. I can only deal with the thing on general principles. This body here is a Sovereign Legislature. Everyone understands that the Sovereignty of this [864] nation rests in it. I do not think it contracted away, two years ago, its powers to modify the terms upon which it remunerated any form of public service.

Mr. O'CONNELL: It is not this Dáil that is modifying the agreement.

Professor MacNEILL: It is this Dáil that is modifying the agreement, and the very fact that this debate has been challenged, will show and will prove that it is this Dáil that is modifying the agreement. As Deputy O'Connell has endeavoured to put me right on that point, I will endeavour to put him right with regard to another point. He says the cut was introduced recently beforehand, and that it is operative already. It is not operative already. It cannot operate until the end of this month, and if this Dáil decides that it cannot operate, it cannot operate at all, and it is not operative yet.

Mr. JOHNSON: Are we to understand, then, that the rate of pay for this month will be the old rate of pay?

Professor MacNEILL: If the Dáil so decides.

Mr. JOHNSON: Is the proposition put before the Dáil?

Professor MacNEILL: I am very much puzzled by these interruptions. I wonder what is the meaning of the amendment? Does not the amendment propose to set aside—would not that be the effect of it?

Mr. JOHNSON: It is not within the power of any private member to raise matters of finance. Is it the formal proposition from the Minister that there should be a change in the rate of pay of these teachers for this month?

Professor MacNEILL: I deprecated rhetorical arguments and special pleading. If this amendment is going to be carried against us, if it is going to be carried against those responsible for the retrenchment policy of the present Government, the Deputies opposite know perfectly well what the result will be. We stand by this policy of retrenchment, and as far as our responsibility is concerned we are determined to carry it through. It would probably [865] be a waste of time if I were to attempt to deal with quite a number of arguments put before us. We have been told, for example, about the Northern Government. The Northern Government has no such responsibility in finance as we have. It has to face no such conditions as we have to face. The Northern Government is subordinate to the British Government, and its finances up to the present have been fed and guaranteed by the British Government. We are an independent State; we have to stand on our own legs, and we have to manage our own finances.

There was another point which has just been barely touched upon. Deputy O'Connell felt that there was some force in it when he said that these increased salaries only came into operation in April, 1922. When were they fixed? The value is to be taken, not at the time at which they came into operation, but at the time at which the salaries were fixed. Even if we are comparing present values with the values of April, 1922, and certainly and emphatically if we are comparing present values with the values at the time when the salaries were fixed, my belief is it will be found that the 10 per cent. reduction is not a reduction at all; that is to say, it is not a reduction in value. The salaries subject to a 10 per cent. reduction are equivalent in value— much more equivalent in value—to the salaries originally fixed. That is a point which has been ignored, and I do not wonder that it has been ignored. I was a Civil Servant myself, and I remember making a desperate fight over being compelled to work overtime at 1/6 an hour. I felt it would be a great injustice, and I made all the fight I could. I am not surprised at the teachers making all the fight they can in order to maintain their salaries at the highest figure at which they can maintain them. Deputy O'Connell certainly has spoken here with very much more moderation than many of the teachers have spoken elsewhere, to judge by the reports we read in the papers.

He has not threatened us with a campaign against the finances of the State, and although he has said that a reduction of salary means a reduction in enthusiasm, he has not uttered any veiled threat here against the teachers doing [866] their duty in carrying out the policy of national education which is the nation's policy. I congratulate him on having avoided those more violent lines, those menacing lines, of argument which have been addressed to us outside. He has recalled the fact that, speaking before in this Assembly, I spoke with satisfaction of the prospect that improved salaries would lead to an improvement in the personnel of the teaching profession. I cannot see the point of argument in a circular which he produced from the Church of Ireland Education Society. I wonder does that circular impute the shortness in the supply of teachers to inadequate remuneration? I think that the causes, whatever they are, are to be sought elsewhere. I am quite sure that the causes are elsewhere. Deputy O'Connell referred also to the cost of training, which some years ago was nominal and which now amounts to about £45 a year. I might recall to his mind that in an Act which the present Minister for Finance sponsored in the last Session of the Dáil, he provided special powers for the County Councils—and that for the first time—to assist teachers with regard to the expense of training. I wonder whether the teachers themselves have been alive to the existence of that provision, or how far they pressed it on the County Councils that it would be desirable for them to use this special financial power? It seems to me if the County Councils were wakened up on the subject we would hear less about the shortage in the supply of candidate teachers.

So many points have been brought forward, I leave them to others to deal with them. I content myself with saying it is no more grateful to me than it would be to any other Minister in my position to have less money to spend on education. It is not fair or right to say that two particular points of retrenchment have been singled out. The Minister has already made that clear. I am sure if it is necessary he will again make it clear that he aims at a wide and comprehensive scheme of retrenchment. It would not have been possible to bring forward such a scheme—it would have been absolutely impracticable—as Deputy O'Connell suggested, namely, to assess each spending department [867] in the State with an equal assessment of a 10 per cent. reduction or something like that. There are probably some departments in which a larger reduction than 10 per cent. will be possible. There are others which, from the nature of the case, are dealing with development in the country and are themselves developing, and it would not be possible, as a matter of ordinary practicable policy, to assess them with the same reduction, or with any flat rate of reduction of expenditure.

That is plain, but the Minister has made it clear, and I think no one here misunderstands him—that he intends to extend the policy of retrenchment all round so far as it is practicable. The actual amount of reduction obtained on the two items which have been singled out, not by the Minister, but by those who are attacking the Minister, because they have the tactical advantage in concentrating on these two points—the total amount that could be saved by 10 per cent. reduction on these two items will not meet the Minister's requirements for the purpose of producing properly balanced accounts, but that purpose I, as a member of the Ministry, stand by the Minister for Finance. He acts in this policy of retrenchment not for himself, but for the Government, and not for the Government alone, but for the nation, and in that policy I stand by him. I think it is the most important item of our policy at present, and I trust that he will be an efficient instrument of the Government, of the Dáil, and of the country to carry that policy resolutely and successfully through.

Mr. HEFFERNAN: I have had to remind myself now and again that this is a debate on the financial statement made by the Minister for Finance, and not a debate on the cut which the national teachers are asked to bear. I must say that I approve, and at the same time disapprove, of the statement made by the Minister. It would be a strange thing if I, as a member of the Farmers' Party which made economies in all national and local services the foremost plank in their platform, should disapprove of any steps taken [868] by the Government in the nature of economy and retrenchment. I was almost taken by surprise, and was very much pleased, when I heard that the Minister for Finance had taken upon his shoulders a determined attempt to bring the finances of the country to a stable and sound basis. Although I approve of his action in doing so, I cannot say that I fully approve of the method by which he did it. It would seem to a casual auditor of this statement that the methods which guided the Minister were something like this. He said “We will have to retrench; now I will have a look at the expenditure list.” One of the first items that strikes his eye is the immense amount of money spent on education, something like four millions. At the same time he sees an item for a somewhat similar amount for old age pensions, and he says: “I will retrench on these two items.” I do not think that that is the right way to go to work on retrenchment. If retrenchment is necessary, as, of course, it is, all members of society, whether in the Government or outside it, should be forced to bear their share.

I have been closely associated all my life with many school teachers, and for many of them I have the highest regard. They are men who earnestly devoted their lives to inculcating ideas to their pupils which will lead to their advancement, and they did so at a very small remuneration. It is hard lines on them, at the moment when they were getting on their feet and becoming free from financial care, to be forced to bear a cut on their salaries. At the same time I believe they will have to do what every other member of society has to do, simply bear it, because the first essential to the prosperity of the country is a sound financial basis. We as farmers feel that we have borne more than our share of the depression which has fallen on the country. We have borne a large portion of taxation. Our prices are governed by foreign markets, and our salaries are not fixed at the highest war rate. We have to take whatever price we get in the markets of the world. It will be necessary that every member of the community should bear a reasonable share of the burden placed on us, and that the [869] greater portion of the burden shall not be thrown on the farming community. There are a great many departments of State. I noticed in the Government returns on expenditure and revenue that there are over fifty Votes. I think there is room for economy in every one of these Departments. We would like to be sure that strenuous efforts will be made at once towards economy. We read in the papers day by day of appointments being filled which are not necessary. Civil servants are walking idle about the streets, while other men are filling their jobs. If there is any truth in those statements it is necessary to have measures adopted to stop such procedure.

I think a small committee should be set up with instructions to wield the axe in every department in which it can be wielded, and not to have it confined to one or two departments. There are other big estimates in the Government list besides education and old age pensions. There is, for instance, the Army. We all recognise the absolute necessity for the Army, but we are not at all sure that the Army is being run as economically as it could be. We are not sure that the higher officers are not being paid higher salaries than they should be. There are a great many internal economies within the Army that could be effected, such as in the catering, clothing and other branches in which we would like to see economies. We hear talk about establishing a flying corps and cavalry regiments. Are such things necessary? I, for one, cannot see that they are necessary.

Mr. JOHNSON: What would the President do without them?

Mr. HEFFERNAN: There is one item in the financial statement that does not please me, and that is with regard to the Post Office. We see that the estimated expenditure for the year is £2,720,000. The actual return for the half-year is £750,000, or £1,500,000 for the year, which means a loss of £1,200,000. Is it not possible that some economies could be enforced in regard to that system? I had a good deal of sympathy with Deputy Morrissey when he spoke of the auxiliary postmen who had to relinquish their jobs or take [870] smaller salaries. I do not see why we in the country should be forced to bear the brunt of the economic axe. I do not see why we should be forced to have an unsatisfactory postal service in the country while the cities and towns have a full service. We should not be asked to bear such a large proportion of the expense of conducting the Post Office service.

I am sorry to see it has become necessary to enforce a cut in the pensions given to the old people of this country. I cannot say I would be prepared to vote against such a cut because apparently it has been absolutely necessary. Statements have been made by Deputies with regard to pensioners getting pensions to which they are not entitled, and I think Deputies are referring to the cases of small farmers who are getting pensions after having made over their farms to their sons or daughters. They say it is a duty which should be imposed on these sons and daughters to maintain their parents. Are Deputies aware of the profits made by small farmers in the past two years, or do they think those small farmers are in a position to support anybody? Are they in a position to support themselves? Deputies say these farmers should not have been allowed to retire until they retired into the grave. I must say those statements are most unreasonable. Finally, I should say that we are willing to give all the support possible to the Government in enforcing economy, and we wish to see economy, not piece-meal, but economy enforced all round. All officials who are drawing salaries from the Government should be forced to bear an equal share of the economies. There are other methods of economy which I think will come within the purview of the Government. They hardly come within a discussion of the statements made by the Minister for Finance. There are economies in Local Government to be effected. It is the duty of the Government to see that efforts are made at once to enforce economy in all public and local services.

MINISTER FOR FINANCE (Mr. E. Blythe): Like Deputy Hogan, I could almost vote for this amendment if it had been put in a slightly different [871] form, and had been something in the nature of an addendum. It is unnecessary to assure the Dáil that we do not desire the detriment of education or to inflict suffering on the aged poor. We have simply to face the situation we are up against. This country has been thrown under a great burden of debt during the last year, and money has to be borrowed to meet the liabilities of the country. Deputy Johnson, in his statement, said if there was no struggle during the last year, we would have been as badly off owing to the clause in the Treaty with reference to the British National Debt. Whatever might have happened then, we would not have been up against the necessity of getting large sums of cash which we would have to borrow in the open market. If we had not to borrow big sums we could have run on for a year or so with an unbalanced Budget. It would not have mattered if we had to borrow two millions or so. It is undoubtedly an entirely different thing when we have to go into the open market to borrow big sums on terms which will not be ruinous to this country. Between good borrowing and bad borrowing there is the difference between safety and ruin. If we cannot establish the credit of this country, nothing can go ahead in it. There was talk about the need for spending money during next winter for the relief of unemployment. We could not think of undertaking this work without establishing our credit. If our credit is bad, and we have to borrow at some extravagant or ruinous rate, it would be impossible to contemplate such work. Take the Land Act. The actual operation of the Land Act will not cost the State very much, but if land is to be divided up, money must be borrowed to effect improvements. It will be a crushing burden on the tenant or occupier if the money cannot be borrowed at reasonable rates. Everything depends on reasonable and fair terms that will not destroy the country. We will have no credit if we do not make the best attempt we can to balance our Budget, and to show that from year to year we will be able to pay our way. To my mind there is no possibility of thinking of higher taxation. This country is fundamentally an [872] agricultural country. The farmers of this country have to sell in a market where there is lower taxation than there is here. They have to compete with people who have lower taxation. If we go in for high taxation we are simply going a step further towards strangling the agricultural industry. I realise as well as Deputy Johnson the advantage there would be in the development of industry, and in promoting the growth of industrial towns and cities, if that could be done; but you cannot change the whole economic system of a country overnight. These are matters in which you must go slowly, or you will do more damage than you can anticipate.

Mr. JOHNSON: Let us know the direction.

Mr. BLYTHE: I think that high taxation, or increased taxation, must be absolutely ruled out. As a matter of fact, we might be compelled by circumstances to decrease our taxation. We might be compelled to make cuts that we do not contemplate at the moment to enable us to decrease taxation, for I believe if the British lower their Income Tax another 6d., and ours remains at 5s., our yield would decrease. There are cases where, if you put your taxation higher than the circumstances would warrant, your yield diminishes. I believe we would be in that position in regard to Income Tax if what I have suggested were to happen, and in that case, I believe, to safeguard the revenue we have, we should sacrifice the revenue that would be brought about by reductions. In any case if we could reduce taxation, it would be one of the best possible ways to facilitate the development of industry. I think there is nothing we can do which will promote industrial development better than to cut taxation down, and that can only be done by effecting savings. When we talk about savings we must look at the situation steadily, and we must really try to understand its seriousness. Some of those who have spoken here, and a large number of the people who talk and write about the matter outside, do not face its seriousness. More than £3,000,000 must be saved if we are to balance our Budget in the financial [873] year, so far as ordinary recurrent expenditure is concerned. That postulates an army which will not cost more than £2,000,000. If the Army costs more than £2,000,000, then the saving to be effected will just by so much exceed £3,000,000, so that it is necessary to face the fact that we must economise in every way that we can.

Mr. DARRELL FIGGIS: I do not want to interrupt the Minister, but he states that the Army, on the estimate that he made for recurrent expenditure, must not exceed £2,000,000. In his opening statement he said £4,000,000. I would like to know exactly which of the two figures we may accept, or if his present statement has not been made in error.

Mr. BLYTHE: I estimate that the Army for the next financial year will cost about £4,000,000. I anticipate that we will have to borrow some of the Army expenditure for the next year, but we cannot go on borrowing for the Army. I do not expect that we can get down to what I would regard as normal expenditure for the next year, but that does not contemplate that we will pay £4,000,000 out of revenue. When I say that we must effect a saving of £3,000,000 to balance our Budget, I do not contemplate paying £4,000,000 out of revenue for the Army. I believe that we will have to borrow to the extent of a couple of million pounds to meet the Army charge. It is necessary to face the making of savings in every possible direction. A great deal of the talk about old age pensioners and teachers is absolutely unreal; it does not move me in the very least. People say, “Why should these be singled out?” I know that the people who say that do not believe for a moment that they are singled out. Deputy O'Connell casts doubts on my honesty or sincerity when I say that further cuts will be made in respect of other services, but he is quite prepared to accept the statement that we will consider whether further cuts, or what further cuts, can be made on the national teachers. There is not much consistency in that. These two services were services where it was possible to make a straight cut, as it were.

[874] The teachers bore no reductions as the cost of living fell. It was possible to make an all-round cut. For reasons that I will come to in a moment, except in one or two other cases, it was not possible to make an all-round cut; the thing had to be gone into in detail. You had to see where the burden could be laid more heavily and where it had to be laid more lightly, but I defend these two cuts on their merits. Other cuts will be made very soon. I have already made up my mind, subject to further consultation with the Departments concerned, in regard to other very substantial cuts, and I have put forward suggestions in regard to other very substantial cuts already.

Take the case of the teachers' salaries. A male principal teacher, Grade II., with about 20 years' service in a school of 60 pupils, received, before the war, in salary and capitation, £129 per year. He receives at present, in salary and capitation, about £436 per year, representing an increase of £238 per cent. That means that that particular teacher has had 125 per cent. added to his pre-war salary, with full Civil Service bonus on top of that. That would indicate that a cut could be made, having regard to the fact that these new salaries were fixed when the cost of living bonus was at its highest point. When the negotiations leading up to the fixing of these salaries took place, the cost of living was steadily rising. Admitting, as I do, that the pre-war salaries were inadequate, I think that it is not good economy to take a whole class and to increase their salaries to the extent that I have indicated, because, taking them on the average, you get men with certain ability and certain qualifications coming on at low salaries, which is the thing that happened in the Civil Service. You had increases; men were graded anew, and you had the same men doing the same kind of work on very much higher salaries. I think if you are to get the best value for your money increases should not be so rapid or so sudden as that for a whole class of people.

Deputy O'Connell referred to teachers who were getting a salary of only £24 a year pre-war. Now they are getting £110, five or six times the pre-war [875] salary. There has been a very substantial increase there. I do not believe that any reasonable person really believes that there is any injustice in this 10 per cent. cut. We should have regard, as we have in other respects, to the value of the money paid and not to the number of notes. If the teachers' increases had been spread over a period when they got the full scale, when the increase was fixed, they would not have been nearly as well off as they are today. If the cost of living goes down another 20 per cent. they would be a good deal better off than they are today. It is ridiculous to argue that they should be paid so much money in notes regardless of the value that that is stability. That is not stability. You have stability by giving them such a salary as will enable them to live in a certain way and at a certain rate. The outcry I do not take too seriously. It is just the sort of outcry that is natural and is to be expected, and I do not believe that you will find the teachers refusing to do their duty. It does not do them an injustice, and I have no fear that, in spite of any soreness, they will fail to do their duty, just as before the cut was made. All classes of people have had to suffer cuts, and they have gone along when they recognised it to be inevitable, and accepted it, and there was no more about it. I do not attach any importance to the suggestion some very foolish teachers have made that they would not do their duty in the future. I think they only got intoxicated with the eloquence that sometimes goes on at these meetings.

The old age pensions question has, I think, been very carefully debated. We have no desire to hurt or to cause any suffering to the aged poor. We were very reluctant indeed to come to the decision that this cut should be made, but it was clearly one that could be made without inflicting hardship, because it leaves the pensioners in substantially the same position as they were so far as the actual value is concerned, pre-war, and in a very much better position than they were a couple of years ago, or than they were when the pensions were fixed. It is not very much use, having regard to the seriousness [876] of the financial situation, to say that money could be saved by striking off those who are not entitled to the pension. We want it all, and anything that can be saved by striking off those not entitled will have to be saved. I believe, however, there is more humanity in making an all-round cut than in trying to make a saving by an administrative tightening up. When you have a service like this there is a great deal of rigidity.

If you attempt, too carefully, to exclude every single person who might be excluded by any rule you will inflict more hardship than you will by spreading over the cut in this way. I would save all that could be reasonably saved by careful administration, but I certainly would not be out to save the last penny that could be saved by rigid administration, because I believe you would have your rules cutting out people who ought to have pensions. I believe that, while some legislation should be made to have a tightening up, that particular thing ought not to be carried too far, because you have to see that you do not need to press it in such a way that there is no absolute discretion in favour of the applicant in a doubtful case.

In regard to the Civil Service, there has been a great deal of exaggerated talk which has gone from mouth to mouth, and newspaper to newspaper, about swollen staffs. As a matter of fact, practically no permanent appointments have been made since the change of Government.

Mr. JOHNSON: Do the temporaries cost nothing?

Mr. BLYTHE: I will deal with that. For instance, on the established staff, between the 1st of May and the 1st of October, there was really a reduction of 189. A temporary staff have been taken on in considerable numbers for temporary work. For example, a considerable temporary staff is required to deal with Army Accounts and Army Finance, but there has not been any permanent appointments owing to the fact that the Civil Service Commission was not set up, and there cannot be any inflation of the permanent staff, so that if the permanent staffs are inflated it [877] is not our fault. We have certain special difficulties in dealing with the Civil Service. The people who were taken over at the change of Government were given certain rights under Clause 10 of the Treaty. I think that that is the worse clause in the whole Treaty. It follows the line of the Act of 1920, and was incorporated in the Treaty direct from that Act. I do not know what negotiations ever took place in regard to it. I certainly think that Civil Servants were entitled, on change of Government, to some reasonable protection, but the clause goes further than such a clause need have gone.

Mr. O'CONNELL: Why not scrap it?

Mr. BLYTHE: We have no intention of scrapping the international agreement which enabled this State to be set up, and which enabled the Irish people to have control over their own affairs. If we dismiss or alter substantially the conditions of service of these Civil Servants who have the protection of that clause, we might let ourselves in for a swollen superannuation charge, which would perhaps exceed the savings that we might effect by a cut in this particular service. The Treaty gives rights to those particular servants to retire on particular terms if there is a material alteration in the conditions of their service.

We have been charged already with getting rid of civil servants and public employees wholesale. Deputy Captain Redmond said that we had a policy of “sack the lot.”

Captain REDMOND: I must interrupt the Minister. I am very sorry, but that is not what I said. I asked whether that was to be the policy.

Mr. BLYTHE: In all, the discharges have totalled 454. These include 36 Resident Magistrates, 23 Crown Solicitors, 304 Petty Sessions Clerks, and 53 officers of the Marlborough Street Training College, which is closed down, leaving a very small number of other civil servants. To my mind those discharges were unavoidable in the circumstances. They were financially [878] very costly, but not to have made them might have been a great deal more costly still. For instance, when the Resident Magistrates were discharged there was no sort of civil government in the major part of the country. You had neither police nor courts, nothing but the army. There was no use in putting police there without putting courts. You could not have the Resident Magistrates to function. Some of them were fair and reasonable men who would have been good enough magistrates; others of them were incompetent, but whether competent or incompetent you could not use them. For the interest and for the future of the country, and in order to get settled conditions, it was necessary to get rid of them and to establish courts in which there would be public confidence and against which there would be no public feeling. The same thing applied to the Crown Solicitors and Petty Sessions Clerks.

Mr. WILSON: Petty Sessions Clerks!

Mr. BLYTHE: In the present atmosphere we may not realise the difficulties that existed until a very short time ago. Conditions are comparatively settled now, but anybody who will just cast his mind back will realise that without the changes that were made, without getting rid of the old officials whom the people felt to be nothing more than agents of the old regime, it would have been impossible to get a system of police and a system of courts and civil government working in the country. It would be a different thing at the present time, but in the circumstances that existed when these things were done there was nothing else to do. Remember it would not take very many Mallow viaducts or very many mansions to meet the whole cost of these discharges. If we did try to use the old officials whom the people were against we would have caused a continuance of the campaign of destruction that would have cost us a great deal more than the charge that was involved in making the change. For my part I say that the Government has absolutely nothing to regret or apologise for in regard to them. We have very carefully done as little as [879] we possibly could have done in the public interest in the matter of discharges. We have never discharged any man for the purpose of making room for another. Never! I say that without any hesitation. We discharged men with regret and reluctance, and only when we felt that the public interest demanded it.

In addition to those who have been discharged 700 persons have retired in consequence of the change of Government, and under Article X. of the Treaty, they have got special terms, but not terms that were so onerous on the State as those that were given to people who were discharged. Of the 700, 400 have gone from the Post Office, and there is just one matter for regret in that. During the Post Office strike there was some thought of dismissing the men who were on strike. The settlement came a little quickly in the end, and the men were not dismissed. They went back to work and then—I do not know whether the whole 400—but the majority of them went out claiming that they would not serve under the Free State Government, and claimed Treaty terms. It is a matter for regret that they were given the opportunity of doing that.

The suggestion that has been made that the Government, by inflating the public services and by wholesale discharges of people who were willing to serve the Government, have brought the country to the present financial pass is entirely without foundation. When we say that the headquarters establishments of the Government must bear their share of the economies that are to be effected we must have regard to all these facts. We first have to make our economies in such a way as to see that they are not neutralised by swelling the pension lists. Then we must have regard to the fact that very substantial cuts have come off the ordinary civil servants during the past eighteen months. The man who in March, 1921, had an inclusive salary of £200 has now an inclusive salary of £140. The man who had £300 eighteen months ago has £214 now. The man who had £400 has £294. The man who had £500 has £374. That is, a civil [880] servant who had £500 in March, 1921, has already suffered a cut amounting to £126 per annum, so that fairly substantial cuts have already been taken off.

In the Government Departments economies are to be effected in two ways. They are to be effected by salary reductions where you can effect the salary reductions. They are to be effected by reductions of staff. You cannot go into a Government department and say that anything is to be done on the lines of ten or fifteen percent. In the Departments in which there is over-staffing the over-staffing is in pockets. You must go over the service, you must examine the department, you must see where the economies can be effected. If there are to be salary cuts you must see where the salary cuts should take place. If there are to be eliminations of personnel, you have to go over the department and see where those eliminations can take place.

At the present time the Civil Service roughly consists—these figures are not just up to date, but they are roughly accurate—of some 7,856 established civil servants (of whom 4,339 are in the Post Office and 3,517 in the other departments); and 12,078 unestablished civil servants (of whom 8,264 are in the Post Office and 3,814 are in the other departments). Staff has to be eliminated by getting greater output where the output is insufficient, and by getting rid of services where the services can be got rid of. It might have been possible, if we could have waited long enough, to have given a complete scheme of economies, to have said we propose to save so much in such a department and so much in such another department, and bring out a total here to the Dáil. But Deputies, I think, will see that cannot be done in a week or even in a month.

We must really effect our economies as we can see how they are to be effected. We are not in the pleasant financial position in which we can say that the teachers are not to be touched until the last possible clerk has been discharged from, say, the General Registrar's Office, or whatever office you like to talk about. When you have a deficit of three or four millions to be [881] made up, and the necessity of borrowing immediately ahead, you cannot take the casual irresponsible attitude taken up outside and say So-and-So should be the last. Anybody who will look over the Estimates for a moment will see that it will be with the very greatest difficulty that four millions or three and a half millions of saving can be effected. I would like any Deputy who looks over the Estimates to try and form an opinion as to where that amount of money is to be got. Roughly speaking, I can see where the most of it is to be got, but the remainder of it will have to be got by very close scraping indeed. It is simply trifling with a very serious situation to suggest that we should wait, and that we should go on spending at our present high rate until we can see what is the last economy to be effected. As I have stated, to suggest that we intend to make the cut in these two services and then do no more is an insincere suggestion. So far as we are concerned, we might as well not bother at all if that was all we were going to do. If it was our intention to make these two cuts only, better not begin at all, as the result would go nowhere near meeting the deficit. Deputies should at least give us, if not any credit for sincerity, at least credit for having some little intelligence. It would be only earning odium for ourselves and doing nothing to stave off what would inevitably overtake the country if we did not attempt to balance the Budget. I would ask Deputies to look at it in that light.

The suggestion has been made that an independent Committee should be appointed to look over the Departments. At the moment, I do not believe that an independent Committee would be of any value. The appointment of a Committee would simply delay the work and not expedite it. We are not a bit afraid of doing anything that is necessary to be done. We have done many things that were unpleasant and difficult during our period of office, and we are not afraid of doing anything necessary for the welfare of the country. We are able to face any unpopularity that may be necessary for the purpose of balancing the Budget, so that we do not need the protection of a Committee. We do not need to say:

[882] “We would not do it, but the Committee recommended it.”

There are matters on which we might want advice from a committee. There are matters where it is not simply a question of economising, but a question of dispensing with services. That is a much more difficult matter than is involved in the cases we have mentioned. It may be very important and have widespread reactions to dispense with a particular service, and in that respect it would be a good thing for us to get advice from some sort of a committee, representing different points of view, who would examine the matter.

As far as one particular service is concerned. I have had under consideration the appointment of an independent committee, but there is really no virtue in a committee as such. The matter is fairly simple, and certainly the driving force is very strong. Failure to show a clear determination to balance our Budget would mean that we might get a certain amount of money now, but we would get it on onerous terms. We would not get enough to carry us any distance, and when we came to look for more the terms would be still more onerous, and the burden cast on the country would be greater than might be expected from us. That would be detrimental to the national interest, and so we would be slipping down the slope to complete bankruptcy. We are absolutely determined that we are not going to be in the position, having brought the country through all that it has been through, of allowing any sort of sentimental feeling or any desire to drift along comfortably to cause us to let the country get into as bad a mess as we brought it out of. I can only say to Deputies at the present moment that we will effect all the economies necessary to balance the Budget, and that we will not spare any class or any service that can be laid under contribution. We must do that. It is our simple duty to do it, and we, I think, can be trusted to do it. There is no need, I think, for me to indicate to the Dáil the economies where the decision as to the exact nature and extent of the economies is not fully come to. There is no need to put forward [883] suggested economies, but we are under the necessity of indicating, in a practical manner, that we do mean to economise. People have stated here, one after the other, and there has been a sort of parrot cry throughout the country, that we should not have effected these particular economies until we were ready for them and until we could announce the whole lot of the others. My settled conviction is, it is not much use to promise the country those interested economies sometime. We must show them the economies now. It was in that spirit, in places where the matter was fairly simple, that we decided on announcing the economies at once. The other economies that are coming will be announced [884] as they are made and as we have come to a final decision as to the exact character and to the exact nature of the particular economy. Deputy O'Connell reminded me of Oliver Twist when he was asking for more, that is more for other people. The more will be forthcoming all right, so that he need not be alarmed. If he simply thinks of the teachers he will probably have enough to think of, and we will effect the economies in regard to other people. As I have said already, some credit should be given to the intention of the Government, and to the determination of the Government, to do what it is their duty, in the interests of the country, to do.

Amendment put:

The Dáil divided: Tá, 16; Níl, 69.

Seán Buitléir.

Darrell Figgis.

David Hall.

Séamus Mac Cosgair.

Tomás Mac Eoin.

Risteárd Mac Fheorais.

Tomás de Nógla.

Ailfrid O Broin.

Tomás O Conaill.

Aodh O Cúlacháin.

Liam O Daimhín.

Eamon O Dubhghaill.

Domhnall O Muirgheasa.

Tadhg P. O Murchadha.

Pádraig O hOgáin (An Clár).

William A. Redmond.


Pádraig F. Baxter.

Richard H. Beamish.

Earnán de Blaghd.

Séamus Breathnach.

Seoirse de Bhulbh.

Próinsias Bulfin.

Séamus de Burca.

John J. Cole.

Bryan R. Cooper.

Sir James Craig.

Louis J. Dalton.

Mícheál S. de Duram.

Máighréad ní Choileáin Bean Uí


Patrick J. Egan.

Osmond Grattan Esmonde.

Seán de Faoite.

Henry J. Finlay.

Desmond Fitzgerald.

John Good.

John Hennigan.

William Hewat.

Conor Hogan.

Tomás Mac Artúir.

Peadar Mac a' Bháird.

Seosamh Mac Brighde.

Alasdair Mac Cába.

Domhnall Mac Cárthaigh.

Liam T. Mac Cosgair.

Pádraig Mac Fadáin.

Seán P. Mac Giobúin.

Risteárd Mac Liam.

Eoin Mac Néill.

Seoirse Mac Niocaill.

Liam Mac Sioghaird.

Liam Mag Aonghusa.

Seosamh Mag Craith.

Pádraig S. Mac Ualghairg.

Patrick McKenna.

Martin M. Nally.

John T. Nolan.

Peadar O hAodha.

Mícheál O hAonghusa.

Chriostóir O Broin.

Seán O Bruadair.

Próinsias O Cathail.

Aodh O Cinnéide.

Conchubhair O Conghaile.

Eoghan O Dochartaigh.

Séamus N. O Dóláin.

Mícheál O Dubhghaill.

Peadar S. O Dubhghaill.

Pádraig O Dubhthaigh.

Eamon S. O Dúgáin.

Seán O Duinnín.

Donchadh S. O Guaire.

Mícheál R. O hIfearnáin.

Aindriú O Láimhín.

Séamus O Leadáin.

Fionán O Loingsigh.

Thomas O'Mahony.

Pádraig O Máille.

Risteárd O Maolchatha.

Séamus O Murchadha.

Pádraig O hOgáin (Gaillimh).

Pádraig K. O hOgáin (Luimneach)

Seán M. O Suilleabháin.

Caoimhghín O hUigín.

Séan Príomhdail.

Liam Thrift.

Amendment declared lost.