Seanad Éireann - Volume 6 - 14 December, 1925

THE SHANNON ELECTRIFICATION SCHEME (RESUMED DEBATE).

Question again proposed:—

“That the Seanad regrets the unhappy auspices under which the Shannon Electrification Scheme has been launched, and hereby records its considered opinion that the success of the undertaking and the general interests of the State will be best promoted by a recognition on the part of the Government of the right of the workers engaged to rates of wages at least sufficient to provide themselves and their families with the indispensable necessaries of civilised life.”—(Senator O'Farrell).

MINISTER for INDUSTRY and COMMERCE (Mr. P. McGilligan): I had an opportunity, although not present at this debate, of reading what was said on Thursday last, and while I want to follow whatever arguments were put up, I do not want to follow by any means the tone in which the [76] arguments were put forward. If I may deal with one of the minor points in connection with this matter, Senator O'Farrell has again and again given utterance to what I must regard as a delusion from which certain members of the Labour Party, both here and in the Dáil, suffer, and that is that a big number of men have left the scheme.

I was asked in the Dáil, as the Minister responsible for this scheme, to state the facts. I understated the facts, to my own detriment. There is no question of 1,000 men having left the scheme. I talked of 156 workers who were deprived of employment by the strike pickets, 18 rejected on medical grounds, and 5 dismissed as inefficient. Certain of the others left of their own accord. I can be quite precise as to that number now; 45 left of their own accord, without giving any reason. The other figure with which I must supplement that reply is this, that of the 156 who were called off by pickets over 100 have since returned, and are at present working on the works, and of the 56 who are not back, a certain number presented themselves for reemployment, and were not taken on, because it was not considered that they were suitable for the work. So that, instead of 1,000 men leaving, which is Senator O'Farrell's statement, unsupported by any evidence, the fact of the matter is that 156 were called off by strike pickets, that 100 of these have returned, that the great majority of the remainder presented themselves for re-employment and were not accepted. Forty-five left without stating any reasons. I do not want to say that the example I am now giving applies to all the 45, but there is a statement I would like to make with regard to three of them. Three men presented themselves for work one evening and got a night's accommodation in the huts. They were aroused next morning to go to work. They dressed themselves fully, including their overcoats, and they went out and looked at the work and said that was not the work they thought of taking up. Then they made to get out of the camp, and they were asked where they were going to go, and they said that, as a matter of fact, they were going to the nearest workhouse [77] and that they had lost their way the night before. In other words, these men left because they were asked to work. I do not say they are typical of the 45, but the position is that, instead of having all this very large number of men leaving the works, you have a very small number who actually did leave. That argument defeats itself. If a very big number of men are going to leave the works because they cannot stand the nature of the employment, there is no necessity to have long labour debates either here or in the Dáil, or any organised opposition to the scheme. The nature of the scheme will defeat itself. No people will stay on if by a certain period they find the work is such that they cannot continue. If that is taken as an argument, we need not debate it any further, because the scheme will not go on. It is a well-known fact that at the moment there are 900 men working on the scheme, despite the fact that some few men have left.

Mr. O'FARRELL: How many of these 900 are German?

Mr. McGILLIGAN: One hundred and nine of them are German.

Mr. FARREN: I thought it was stated that 300 of these were German?

Mr. McGILLIGAN: No; that figure of 300 is a mistaken figure, given by somebody for whom I am not responsible. There are certainly not 140 Germans employed on the works. I read the phrase “a pig-sty existence” used here with regard to the works. I do not know why that phrase should be used.

Deputy Johnson visited the works, and when he had been shown through the recreation hall he was asked to view the kitchen, inasmuch as a great deal of play was made out of the food supply. He refused to view the kitchen, and it was put to him by the ex-Commandant in charge of the grounds that it would be an unreasonable thing for him, who protested so much against the food, if when he was on the grounds and had an opportunity of inspecting the place, he did not avail of the opportunity to do so. He then looked [78] through the window, I believe, and had that type of perfunctory inspection.

I replied to him in the Dáil stating that he was down inspecting the place and he was satisfied with the other conditions, but he refused to look at the kitchen lest he should have to pass favourable judgment on that, too. That statement was objected to on the grounds of sarcasm. I regarded it as quite a justifiable statement. There was the case of a man who had actually visited the place; after insisting on getting his way into the camp to see what the other conditions were like, he had nothing to say about them. He refused to inspect the kitchen, although requested to do so. I have further proof with regard to the satisfactory conditions existing in connection with the scheme. If the Seanad will bear with me, I will read a report from the medical doctor on the conditions existing at Ardnacrusha. This report is in connection with the workmen employed on the scheme.

Mr. O'FARRELL: Is the doctor an employee of the contractors?

Mr. McGILLIGAN: He is. If it is going to be taken up as an argument that a medical doctor, a professional man, is not going to produce a report which is unbiased, simply because he is an employee. I leave it to the Labour Party. However, we will hear what their arguments are later. The following are extracts from the report of the medical officer:—

The Limerick men sleep in their own homes; practically all the men engaged at Clonlara, whose homes are quite near, also sleep in their own homes. All others are housed in the huts at Ardnacrusha.

These huts, six in number, four smaller and two larger, are erected on sloping ground about 100 yards from the road, from which a newly constructed road leads to them, with a gravel path to each hut.

The four huts which were built first are supported on piles, and are well raised above the ground. They are composed entirely of wood, the walls of two layers, an outer overlapping and an inner lining of wood, [79] and the wood roof is covered with rainproof asphalt roofing material. There are two stoves in each hut.

The other two huts recently erected are larger, capacious structures, with a steel framework, one being double-walled of wood, technically called double tongued and grooved V-sheeting, and the other of concrete blocks, cemented together, and each has a wood roof covered with asbestos cement slates.

Each large hut is divided into three compartments, with a stove in each, and one side of each compartment has been partitioned off, where the men can wash.

The foundations have already been laid for two more huts, and the foundations of others have been marked, all to be constructed on similar lines, i.e., steel framework. Concrete walls with wood roof covered with rainproof roofing material. The beds are spring beds, hospital pattern, with mattress, pillow, sheets, and four blankets. The sheets are laundered once a fortnight.

Two field latrines are in use at a suitable distance from the huts, and also a barrel latrine for use at night only, while further away, where the majority of the men are at work, another field latrine is in use.

Drains have been dug on each side of the road leading to the huts to take away the surface water after the rain and keep the ground about the huts dry.

The men take their food in the dining hall, and a large dining hall is being constructed, with seating accommodation for 800 men.

Breakfast at 6.30 a.m., consisting of one pint of tea with sugar and milk, ten ozs. of bread and two ozs. of creamery butter. Price sixpence.

Dinner at 12.30 p.m., consisting of ½ lb. meat or 6 ozs. of bacon without bone (weighed uncooked), 1 ½ lbs. of potatoes, ½ head of cabbage or its equivalent, 2 ozs. of bread. Price seven pence halfpenny (7 ½d.).

Tea at 5.30 p.m., similar to [80] breakfast, with the addition of ½ oz. jam. Price sixpence.

This is the official ration. Extras can be had reasonably cheap, if desired, and supper is served at 9 p.m. at night to those who require it.

A first-aid dressing station has been erected in a central position at Ardnacrusha, and others will be erected as the works progress.

There has been so far no serious accident, and only one man has suffered from serious illness (Head Disease) due, not to the conditions of life at the camp, but to rheumatic infection contracted some years ago.

Electric light has been installed in all the huts, cookhouse, dining halls and outside. The camp is lighted throughout with electric light.

A dry canteen will be opened in the course of a day or two where men can buy very cheaply clothes, shirts, boots, dry foodstuffs, and so on.

The camp is in charge of a very efficient Camp Commandant, who sees to the comfort of the men and the general cleanliness. On Sundays the men attend Mass at 8.30 a.m. and 11 a.m., and then go for walks.

Games such as football and hurling will be organised later, and generally everything is being done with a view to making the men comfortable and contented.

Again I would like to repeat the statement given by the employee of the firm. That the men are contented is, I think, vouched for by the fact that only about 200 men have left, and they were either called off by strike pickets or they have left without stating reasons. Of these 200, 156 were called off by strike pickets, and 45 left without stating reasons. Over 100 of that number have returned, and practically the whole of the remaining 56 re-applied for work but were refused on the grounds that they were not suitable.

Mr. FARREN: At what rate of wages were the men who returned to work paid?

Mr. McGILLIGAN: At the same rate of wages.

[81] Mr. FARREN: What is that rate?

Mr. McGILLIGAN: It is 32/- a week unbroken time, or at a certain rate per hour for broken time.

Mr. FARREN: In Limerick the wage is 52/- a week.

Mr. McGILLIGAN: I am speaking in regard to Ardnacrusha. Of the men who left because they were called off by strike pickets, the number I have indicated have come back to the very work they left, exactly the work they left. There may have been two classes of workers, but there has been no change over in regard to these types of men. Limited numbers of men have been employed at the rate of 50/- and those numbers have shown little variation.

Mr. FARREN: Does the Minister say that some of the men who left work because of the 32/- rate went back and are now being paid 50/-?

Mr. McGILLIGAN: As far as I know, that is not the fact. I object to the statement that men left because of the 32/- a week. I am stating that certain men were called off. I read out a statement with regard to meals. Deputy Farren protested at the last meeting of the Seanad against the breakfast and tea. He said:—

“The men engaged on this work will be up beyond their middles in mud and slime from 8 o'clock in the morning until they leave off at night. And they are to do that work on three slices of bread and a cup of tea.”

Of course they are not.

Mr. FARREN: Are you quite certain of that?

Mr. McGILLIGAN: I am merely pointing out to the Senator that for the purpose of argument he may have omitted all question of the dinner when he made the statement that the food is not sufficient for the men to do this work on. There is a certain ration which they can get for 1/7½. If they believe they can get better food at that rate elsewhere, they are free to get it. If it is believed that the food is not sufficient, they are free to get it anywhere they like.

[82] Mr. FARREN: Are there facilities?

Mr. McGILLIGAN: There are facilities for them to do so. May I put an alternative? If the question at issue is that the men want more food, for which they are prepared to pay, I will see that they get it.

Mr. FARREN: The point is they are not getting sufficient wages to enable them to do that.

Mr. McGILLIGAN: That is getting back to the wages question. If the food is not thought sufficient there is a way of getting over it. We say on behalf of the contractors that certain food is being supplied at a certain rate and that that food, taken in conjunction with the rate of wages, is very good, and, from the point of view of money charged, it is very reasonable considering the food supplied. Now, as to the wages question, 32/- for 50 hours. I think it was stated here that that wage has been raised recently. Let it be taken that it has been raised to about 35/- for 50 hours. That wage is for a band of men who, working at the work for which they have been taken or to which they have been accustomed, would only get somewhere between 24/6 and 25/6 a week. That, we are told, is a penalty. These men, failing the Shannon scheme, if they were able to get work elsewhere, would be getting, say, 25/6 for a week of 59 hours. That is the comparison which I want to impress on people. We are told it is a scandal that they should be getting 32/- for a 50-hour week, whereas if they had not the Shannon scheme they would be in receipt of 25/6 for a 59-hour week.

Mr. FARREN: Where?

Mr. McGILLIGAN: In that county.

Mr. FARREN: In what part?

Mr. McGILLIGAN: In the country adjoining Ardnacrusha they would be getting exactly 25/6 for a 59-hour week. If you take an average all over the country, they would be getting 25/- for a 55-hour week.

Mr. FARREN: If they were builders' labourers, what would they get?

[83] Mr. McGILLIGAN: I will deal with that later. That is the basis upon which I make this case. I have this to add, namely, that food has been supplied at a certain rate and it is a cheaper rate than that at which they could buy it themselves, and they are being saved money in regard to food owing to the communal system by which it is supplied. They are living rent free. They are having supplied to them a certain type of hutment. I have the doctor's report here, and the huts are open to anyone who wishes to visit them. The beds are as I described, spring beds with mattresses, sheets and blankets, which are being provided free. A certain amount of play has been made with regard to the type of houses and the food provided for many agricultural workers. I thought that we had got to the end of that kind of argument. A certain Labour organiser was around Limerick in the early days of this conflict and he was asked by the Labour Adviser of this scheme to take a motor car, go into the country, stop as many men as he met, until he accumulated information from twenty men who were agricultural labourers by asking them what perquisites they got. The offer was refused, but it is noteworthy that the Labour organiser went out, and since then I have heard nothing from him with regard to perquisites. Certain farm labourers do get perquisites, sometimes in the way of a house and sometimes in the form of a certain amount of food, but where they are getting perquisites their wages sink sometimes to between 15/- and 18/- a week. There are 212,000 agricultural labourers in this country who are not getting a single perquisite. Some may be getting a house and some food, but there are 212,000 of them without any perquisites, and the average wage is somewhere in the region of 26/-.

Play has been made upon the fact that men come from Dublin, where they have a house to support, to Ardnacrusha. Compare them with the labourer in rural districts around Ardnacrusha. The Dublin man goes on the Shannon scheme. The question of housing does not matter, as there is no question of payment for two houses, [84] because the house in connection with the Shannon scheme is supplied free. If the Dublin man had any equipment to keep up in Dublin, he would have to keep it without the Shannon wages. Any one of the 212,000 agricultural labourers who may have a house and who goes on to work on the Shannon scheme is not in any way prejudiced by the fact that he has a second house to support, as the house on the Shannon is provided free. In addition to the 212,000 agricultural labourers, most of whom are striving to maintain families on wages from between 20 to 25 per cent. less than those on the Shannon scheme, you have at least 250,000 uneconomic holders of land, most of whom are also trying to maintain families on wages, according to parties most concerned, about 50 per cent. less than what can be got on the Shannon. If the wage on the Shannon is going to be doubled, I think that attention must be drawn to a phrase used here, and that is, that the wages are going to be doubled at the cost of the small farmer and his family. There has been a lot of talk in regard to decent conditions and to a standard which has never been made to fit in with the ordinary conditions of the country.

Mr. O'FARRELL: Would the Minister realise that it is the consumer of electricity who is concerned? This is supposed to be a commercial concern, and the small farmer does not come into it unless he consumes electricity.

Mr. McGILLIGAN: He comes into it in this way. I have a Shannon scheme which has been sanctioned by the Oireachtas, and it has been sanctioned by those who approve of the scheme mainly as a result of arguments and reasons produced to show that the scheme would be economic and would pay for itself. If there are to be additions to wages the cost of the scheme is going to go up and the scheme becomes uneconomic. If there were any reasons urged why wages should be raised, I would feel it my duty to go to the Dáil and the Seanad with a new Shannon scheme which would mean extra cost and the money would have to be raised in the first instance by the people who pay most of the taxes of the [85] country, namely, the agricultural community, especially the small farmers.

I have noticed that one argument to which I have been subjected by implication in the Dáil has been dropped here, but it has rather been hinted at. Certain Labour Deputies have been making calculations on figures which were secured from me through Parliamentary questions. I do not mind that. It is a useful exercise to make calculations if all the facts are taken into consideration. They have, as I say, been doing sums, and the sum put up generally is this: You say you have 2,100 or 2,500 workers and you take all these as receiving 32/- a week for a three year period, and you get a figure. You subtract that figure from another figure. That second figure is got in this way: It is known that the wages on any scheme of this sort generally run to about one-third of the constructional cost, and, owing to the high wages in this country, that is raised to about 36 or 37 per cent. You take, therefore, a certain percentage of the total cost on the constructional side and it works out to nearly £1,000,000.

From that figure you subtract the figure you have already there, which you get from 2,100 men at 32/- per week for three years. You say there is a big reservoir here from which you can draw money. That amounts to £387,000. That as a calculation is sound, but it does not take into consideration all the facts. There are other facts to be taken into consideration, and one of them is that unskilled men are employed in the Limerick area at 50/- per week, and, further, a large number of skilled and semi-skilled men have to be employed at rates higher than 32/- per week. I asked one Deputy in the Dáil if he would make a calculation with regard to 2,100 unskilled men, some of whom would be getting 50/- a week, while the rest would be getting 32/- a week—about 1,000 skilled and semi-skilled men at the higher figure—and fix a figure which he would consider suitable between skilled and semi-skilled workers, and then say if there is any reservoir left for the skilled hands.

A new calculation has been made, and it has been found that there is nothing [86] of that £900,000 for men at present receiving 32/- per week. If further proof of that is wanted I can give it. It does not matter that you can say down to the last man how many are to be employed. The number would fluctuate according to the season and type of work, and according to how the work was getting on, but you can take it definitely that at times there will be 5,000 men on that work, and at times only 3,000. We are working up towards the 3,000 at the moment. I believe that when we get 2,000 unskilled and about 800 skilled men that there will be no going back on that 2,800 for a considerable period, but at times it will rise to 5,000 and, as I have said, there will be fluctuations according to the class of work and seasonal conditions. Other factors will have to be brought in. It is not necessary at any time for 3,000 men to be employed. A considerable amount of work could be done in Germany, and we could get work from there in a finished condition. That would mean that there would be less employment here. If there is any serious difficulty with regard to employment it would be only a matter of agreeing by arrangement with the contractors that a certain amount of work which is sent across here only partially completed and gives employment here will be sent across to the other country.

Mr. O'FARRELL: Work for German blacklegs.

Mr. McGILLIGAN: And that would mean that wages would be lost to this country, and wages at a higher rate than are paid in ordinary occupations. That matter of the extra reservoir of money which can be drawn off at present has been so often commented on that it may have taken root in people's minds, but it can be taken from me, having taken that question up and down, that there is no reservoir of money from which additions can be made to the cost of the scheme. Talk has been made here about profiteering. I wonder are Labour Senators well advised to talk about profiteering in connection with this scheme? Senator O'Farrell makes it difficult for me to argue this point, and it is difficult [87] for him to hear me on this subject, when he said at the beginning that he had no right to speak for the men concerned as they are not members of the unions which he or his Party represents. A matter to be considered by Labour Senators when they talk about profiteering is that they should not turn on themselves a searchlight the glare of which they may be anxious to avoid later on. What does profiteering mean? Does it mean getting more out of the work than the investment of money in a business would in the ordinary course justify or more money than the business could legitimately pay? Do these Labour Senators consider that they are trying to exact from the community a much greater sum of money than the community can pay for this particular work?

Mr. FARREN: They can pay for everything else.

Mr. McGILLIGAN: That is the first item I submit to their consideration, and to the consideration of this House. Senator O'Farrell said distinctly, and he might as well have stated it distinctly, for it is fairly well known, that the bulk of the men about whom this conflict is raised are unskilled workers who do not belong to any of the unions represented here, or by Labour in the Dáil. There has been talk about builders' labourers, and this being an entirely engineering piece of work. I gather that this is an attempt by the urban trade unionists to extend all over the country that urban organisation, and to get applied the rates of wages and the restrictive conditions which might be applied to a more highly industrial country than this, but which applied here would mean not merely the ruining of industries, but the impossibility of starting any industry which would be likely to lead to the future success of the country. If people here are inclined to agree that it would be better for the good of all concerned that people should pay a certain amount of money extra so that the labour unions could extend their power or influence, to put it from their point of view, to people over whom at present they have no [88] influence at all, and if Senators consider it is right that the whole series of trade union regulations should apply to the farming community in the country, to the 212,000 agricultural labourers, and the 250,000 uneconomic holders who have to work and sweat their families, then they should vote for this motion. But until they have definitely and clearly foreseen the repercussions of assenting to a motion of this sort I beg of them to disagree.

Mr. FARREN: I would like to ask the Minister whether the wages are now 32/- or 35/- a week.

Mr. McGILLIGAN: The wage at the moment is 8½d. an hour.

Mr. FARREN: I think it is hardly fair for the Minister to suggest something about restrictions without making a definite statement.

Mr. McGILLIGAN: I will throw out one remark with regard to restrictions. If the Senator believes, as he might have reason to believe from that statement, that I mean anything with regard to restrictions on output, or anything like that, that has not entered my calculations, and if the Senator thinks it applied to him I will withdraw the word “restrictions.”

Mr. FARREN: I do not think it is fair for the Minister, or any other person, to make a suggestion without giving some definite proof of it.

Mr. DOUGLAS: On a point of order, have we not been listening to such suggestions during most of this debate?

Mr. McGILLIGAN: I need only refer to a statement made by Deputy Johnson in the other House, if it is permissible to refer to that here, in which he said: “You would get better work out of these men if they were paid more.” I wonder what deduction is to be drawn from that.

Mr. FARREN: Human nature.

Mr. McGILLIGAN: It may be human nature, but it is a restriction.

Mr. KENNY: I was not here the last day when Senator O'Farrell addressed himself to this question. Senators who are members of public bodies should [89] know that in pre-war days the practice was to observe the Fair Wages resolution of the House of Commons. A public body could adopt that or not, just as it liked, but once it did so, no work could be undertaken by it unless the wages for that work were in harmony with the wages paid for that particular class of work in the district. That was a very sound principle to work on, and trade unions generally accepted that as a fair basis, because in different districts different conditions obtained. For a long time everything worked harmoniously, and these bodies had no trouble. Then the war came and dislocated matters, and they never got back to that standard since. A single man can live in fair comfort on a certain wage. If he is a married man his comfort is divided by two. If he has a family of one or two children, naturally his table will not be so well provided, or what he can provide for his table will have to go a little further; he will begin to go into the region of short rations. There is something to be said about that here.

In France, as many of you will know, they have a system of pooling for sectional trades, and they strike a standard wage for a particular work— 40s. a week, we will say. The single man gets so much under that. The married man is given the standard wage, and for every child a certain allowance is made per week. It seems to be an equitable system, and, of course, in France the origin of it was with a view to increasing the population. It has not worked out according to plan; the population has not increased, although this system has been in operation, and has been extending for the past year and a half. But the basis of it was quite equitable. The trouble in connection with the Shannon scheme, as I understand it, is that a man may have two homes. If he is a married man, his 32/-, after paying 12/- for his keep, and a shilling or two for his tobacco, is possibly not enough to support the other home, with the wife and one or two children. If he is a single man, the wage should be all-sufficient, because, for unskilled labour it compares well with pre-war rates. I do not think that the pre-war wages [90] for unskilled labour exceeded 16/- a week in rural districts. According to Senator O'Farrell, the cost of living figure is 188.

Mr. FARREN: What about the price of stout?

Mr. KENNY: Does the Senator mean porter?

Mr. FARREN: Guinness.

Mr. KENNY: Guinness is not amongst the articles upon which the cost of living is computed. Guinness's stout and tobacco are excluded. I do not know that any unskilled worker in pre-war days ever had £1 a week to jingle in his pockets on a Saturday night after paying for his board. That is what a man working on the Shannon scheme will have, with lodging and board provided, so that, compared with pre-war days, he is in a far better position to-day. It is all right for trade unionists to make a good fight, the best fight they can. That is their particular job, and the principle underlying trade unionism is very sound. Good results have flown from it when the principle is carried out logically and with moderation. But unfortunately trade unions have at times run riot. I know that trade unionism has very much to account for in connection with the Waterford labourers' strike. The farmers at the time made, according to their circumstances, the most generous offer they possibly could make in order to avert a strike. I know that because I was amongst them. They made an offer that they could not really afford, but the organisers who were sent down would not agree to it. One of them was from Belfast, and he did not know, I suppose, a turnip from a mangold. He was a man named Baird, an iron-worker by trade. Whether it was the lure of his northern accent, or something else—we generally attribute to northerners wisdom that we do not believe southerners possess—the labourers followed him like sheep. The result of it was that the farmers came together themselves when the question of title arose, and when the claim was put forward that they were not entitled to [91] their land. They closed their ranks, and decided to see the strike out. The strike cost the union about £44,000, and the farmers went from tillage to grass. A great many of them have not gone back since. The strikers resorted to ruthless methods. They broke up agricultural machinery and resorted to incendiarism and methods like that.

Mr. FARREN: Tell the other side of the story now. How many labourers' homes were burned?

Mr. KENNY: There possibly may—

Mr. FARREN: You did not tell us about that.

CATHAOIRLEACH: I cannot allow the cross-examination of speakers.

Mr. KENNY: They might, by way of reprisal, have resorted to some methods of this sort. That was always in dispute. I heard the accusation that labourers themselves, in order to have another argument, connived at this sort of thing. I put it to trades unionists here that this is a matter that does not concern the Shannon scheme alone. It concerns the prosperity of the whole country. Any manufacturer, any business man, will not go out of business willingly if he can possibly carry on. We have had instances in this country where trades unionists have taken up such an arbitrary attitude that they have closed factories down and put a lot of their own fellow-workers out of employment. Some of these factories, as you all know, have not been opened since. They have been closed for years. That, I think, is trade unionism run riot. I am positive that so far as agricultural labourers in Waterford are concerned, with a little reason and with a little care and approach to the whole situation, the matter would have been easily composed. I was approached myself to intervene and I did at the time, but it was too late. The farmers told me: “Well, we have made up our minds to fight together and we will see it through.”

One of the Senators who spoke on behalf of labour said they going to impede and harass this scheme in every [92] way they could if it were not settled according to their ideas. I think that should not be the attitude of responsible Irishmen on a big national work of this sort or in any work that is struggling for existence, struggling to live and carry on. We are all, I presume, wishful that the country would prosper. We would like to see an ideal wage paid in every industry, but really if an industry or any project of this sort is not able to bear an ideal wage I think it is the duty of Irishmen to make a little sacrifice and certainly not to adopt such methods as were suggested by Senator O'Farrell.

Mr. FANNING: I have been deeply interested in this discussion. One statement made by the Minister for Industry and Commerce rather arrested my attention. In it I see the possible opening of a way out. Nothing in my judgment could be more lamentable than that a deadlock should arise to intensify the struggle between organised labour and the promoters of the Shannon scheme. The Shannon scheme, let me say right off, is an enterprise for which I have had the greatest admiration from the very first moment it was spoken of. I raise my hat to the genius of the men who formulated it, because I see in it infinite possibilities for the future industrial development of the country. There is one aspect of the case which I would wish the House to consider. I shall not trespass on your time more than a few moments while we examine this question of the wage of 32/- a week. We will take the Ardnacrusha portion of the work first into consideration. I put down 12/- a week for food. I think it would not be unreasonable also to allow a man 1/- a week for tobacco. One suit of clothes will not stand for a very long time on work such as this, and I will allow at the rate of 1/6 per week to meet the requirements of wear and tear. It undoubtedly is strenuous work. Assume he is a married man living away from home and that, as Senator Kenny says, he has two children. He must of necessity remit home every week-end a postal order and pay for a stamp and envelope, and for that I put down 4d. There would be repairs [93] to attend to, and a little laundry work and various other little things, and all these total 15/7. You will observe at the moment that I am not in harmony with the Guinness enterprise or anything else. That is rigidly omitted; 15/7 represents the Ardnacrusha man's bare requirements.

A man cannot, unless we are here to favour the absolute brutalisation of humanity, live below that. That leaves a balance of 16/5 to be remitted. Now we will come to the other end, the more humane end and the domestic end, of this subject. I can picture a mother with two children living in a not very attractive tenement in the city. If they were reduced to the appalling necessity of a one-roomed tenement it would mean that they must pay a weekly rent of 4/- if not more. To that I add the price of half a sack of coal which would be about 1/5, and these two items of rent and coal together total 5/5, reducing to 11/- the net sum upon which that mother and her couple of children will have to carry on. I divide that 11/- by three and the mother and two children are reduced to a weekly average per head of 3/8 I divide that 3/8 by seven, and the net result is that there is the sum of 6½d. per head per day for the mother and the two children. The children may be of school-going age, but that is all they have to exist on. I have allowed nothing at all for the various little etceteras which are needed in a home to send out the children in a clean and tidy manner to school on week-days and to church on Sundays. I have omitted insurance which would reduce the amount to 6d. per day per head for the three. I was hopeful, as I said before, that the Shannon scheme would develop and would ultimately bring about all the good results anticipated for it by its promoters at the time it was introduced. But I wish to say that if it is to be promoted on this basis of reducing the men actually engaged on the work and their children at home, to social conditions that are absolutely below those of pauperism, then that is a position of affairs that I cannot stand over.

As I understood the Minister, he mentioned that the men were to get [94] eightpence-halfpenny an hour for a fifty hour week. That would bring their wages to something like 35s. 5d., and would be but a slight improvement on the present rate. Why, I ask, should we split hairs on this question? Would it not be better, no matter where the money comes from, that on a big scheme like this we should do something better than what is proposed here? I do not think there is any section of the people that would feel a slight advance, if such were made, on the terms now proposed. If this castiron figure of 32s. per week is to prevail in the case of men who are doing the hardest part of the work, then I cannot stand over that figure, and I refuse to have my name associated with it on ordinary humanitarian grounds. Unless there is some little response in the way of making the proposition more acceptable to labour for humanity's sake, there will be nothing left to me but to support the motion moved by Senator O'Farrell.

Mr. CUMMINS: It is indeed refreshing to hear a Senator outside the labour ranks say something in favour of the lower dog. It is not often that we have the privilege of hearing that in this House, but I do hope that the appeal which has just been made by Senator Fanning will produce a good effect in the House. I hope, too, that his appeal will evoke some response from other Senators in the House who are also outside the labour ranks. I believe that the present crisis, although Ministers prefer to think otherwise, is a national one, and that it should be treated in a national way. The question of strikes has been referred to here. The strike weapon has always been condemned by responsible labour leaders as a weapon of despair, and as the last weapon that should be used in a civilised country. It should be only used, and can be only used, as a relic of barbarism, and it is that which our present Government intend to bring into action. Senator Kenny referred to the Waterford strike. We know what the disastrous results of that strike were. He informed us that he was asked to intervene in that strike, and then that he was told he was too late.

[95] Perhaps the same thing may happen in the present instance. If it happens in this instance, the strike will not be confined to a locality or a district, but its effects will be far-reaching, and it may fling back the country into a state of chaos resulting in losses to all sections of the community that the present Government do not dream of. I would earnestly urge on the House to try and find some way out of this grave crisis if they are not prepared to back up Senator O'Farrell's proposal. I should say it would be a wise voice that would arise in some part of the House and propose an alternative, and let this question of wages as between workers and employers not resolve itself into a question as between the workers and the Government.

There is an idea dormant in the minds of some, and perhaps very active in the minds of others, that the Government, since its advent into office, has lost no opportunity of making an attack upon the humblest classes in the community—the wage-earners in the various spheres of activity in this country. Not one of these classes has been left untouched. Those in the junior grades in the various Government services have been attacked from time to time. The Government has also encouraged the local public bodies to launch the same kind of attack upon wages. It has supplied the information on which the present rate of wages is founded in the case of the Shannon scheme, and now it is not content to back employers in this country in their onslaught on organised labour, but it is also backing an alien employer with the same end in view.

Mr. McGILLIGAN: And raised the rate by six shillings a week.

Mr. CUMMINS: I regard this as a disastrous attack on trade unionism. It has been suggested here that trades unions have been instrumental in killing industries in this country. I thought that was an idea that had been abandoned in all the progressive countries in Europe and even beyond the Atlantic. We have had it quoted and stated that in England such is the case [96] but we want proofs of that. Trades unions, I assert, have been an immense influence for good. Where countries have not acted in a civilised way, trades unions have compelled them to come back to a civilised state. I hold that they are a great instrument for good. Is it suggested, at this hour of the day, when these unions have brought their members to a certain standard of living that this combined attack on the part of the Government, on the part of employers and on the part of public bodies should be to disband and destroy them—to leave them in an isolated position to be the prey of every demagogue who comes along to prey on their ignorance? We have no violent labour leaders in this country. The labour ranks have been blamed for not being sufficiently aggressive. They have adopted the political instrument, and they have tried to use that instrument by way of redressing grievances of the workers. If that fails the one thing left to them is to adopt the strike instrument, the one that should only be resorted to in a barbarous State. Let us not be forced into that state. I hope there will be voices raised, from every section, in an appeal to the Government to find some way out of this impasse before it is too late, and to urge them to leave the matters in dispute to arbitration to settle this question before the event rather than after the event, if the economic life of the country is not to be thrown back for the next ten or twenty years.

Mrs. WYSE POWER: Before Senator O'Farrell replies, might I ask him whether this resolution, that we are now discussing, was drawn in relation to the 32/- per week? Had the Senator the 32/- per week in his mind then?

Mr. O'FARRELL: Yes, the 32/- per week plus the rumours about the other few shillings.

Mrs. WYSE POWER: That would be about 35/5?

Mr. FORAN: Before Senator O'Farrell replies, I would like to ask the Minister if he knows anything about the strike among the German workmen engaged upon this scheme and will he [97] tell us what it was about or how it came about?

Mr. McGILLIGAN: I saw by the papers that there was talk of a strike among the Germans. I do not know whether there was one or not. I heard afterwards that they went on a deputation. I do not know what it was about but it was not serious, and the men are all back at work now. The strike was less serious than we were told, remembering that it left 900 or thereabouts at the works, as many men as could be accommodated at the moment. I thought, when I spoke a while ago, that I was winding up, leaving Senator O'Farrell to reply. Since then Senator Fanning has spoken. He wants wages subsidised, for that is what his speech comes to. If I am to come to either House of the Oireachtas with a Bill to subsidise wages I will take the lowest wages first of all, the 212,000 agricultural employees who at present get 24/- a week; and after we have added the cost of them to the taxation of the country, then it will be necessary to subsidise the small farmers with uneconomic holdings who are not paying the members of their own family for the work they do, and after that we will come to the 3,000 much favoured and much sheltered men engaged on the Shannon scheme. If the Senator stands for taxation of that kind I hope it will get through the country.

Mr. FANNING: I based my attitude on figures that cannot be controverted, and I showed that a married man getting 32/- per week, if he has a family of two children, is reduced to a standard of 6½d. per head per day.

CATHAOIRLEACH: You have already made your point quite clear.

Mr. FANNING: I say it is preposterous that any Christian man could stand for that.

Mr. McGILLIGAN: If it applies to these it applies with much greater force to the 212,000 men who are getting less than 24/-.

Mr. FORAN: I do not think the Minister has answered my question as [98] to whether he heard there was a strike of Germans at the work.

Mr. McGILLIGAN: I heard there was.

Mr. FORAN: Did you make inquiries what it was all about?

Mr. McGILLIGAN: It did not last half an hour.

Mr. FORAN: What was it about?

Mr. McGILLIGAN: The men went back to work.

Mr. FORAN: On what terms?

Mr. McGILLIGAN: On the old terms.

Mr. FORAN: May I ask——

CATHAOIRLEACH: We cannot have a system of question and answer across the floor.

Mr. FORAN: Since you allowed the Minister to go outside the question and answer me, I suggest to the Minister that he should make inquiries as to what was the cost for maintaining the three men who refused to work on the Shannon scheme and have since been driven into the poorhouse.

Mr. McGILLIGAN: It did not cost the Shannon scheme anything.

Mr. FORAN: It cost the State something.

Mr. CUMMINS: I ask the Minister what were the figures paid to these 212,000 men he talked of.

CATHAOIRLEACH: We cannot have this cross-examination of the Minister. Senator O'Farrell will deal with all these things in his reply.

Mr. O'FARRELL: When I introduced this motion I did not do it for the purpose of making debating points, or for the purpose of propaganda. I hoped that in an intelligent and unbiased assembly of this kind there might be found a few men who would agree, no matter what party or group they belong to, or what interest they represent, that the conditions offered under the Shannon scheme were not such as a civilised country could tolerate. I am sorry that with one honourable exception not a single member got [99] up to say a word of friendship, or to offer anything but empty sympathy for the unfortunate victims of the latest Mussolini.

The debate was remarkable for the profound ignorance displayed by some of the Senators in regard to what is a navvy. Senator the Earl of Mayo vouched the information that a navvy's was a person who is paid navvy's wages. He said, later on, that a navvy was a man who pushed a barrow along a narrow plank, and that was the end of his definition of a navvy. Senator Dowdall said that this was an engineering scheme with work for others besides navvies attached to it. One would hope that Senator Bennett, upon whom we looked as a man with some feeling of humanity, and who prides himself on belonging to the democratic party in the past which fought for political freedom, would, at least, have taken up a different attitude in this debate. Instead of that, he indulged in a most laboured and uncalled-for apologia for the Government. I think Senator Farren struck the right note when he said that in all probability Senator Bennett thought that, having been elected to a Ministerial post, it was his unpleasant duty to try and make an apology for the Government to which he belonged. He said he could not vote for the motion until he knew what were the indispensable necessities of civilised life. He need not go any further to find that out than to realise that men, whether they are civilised or barbarous, want food, clothing and shelter. He said if it can be argued that a man with a family of four or five can supply food, clothing and shelter to his family on 32/- a week, it would be impossible, on any system of economics, to convince him that the present wage was anything like unreasonable.

Senator Sir John Keane asked “Why do you not fight this matter on industrial methods?” In other words, why not call a general strike of labour all over Ireland; his fellow Senator from Waterford comes along and gives us a lecture on the evils of strikes. I maintain this is the proper place to raise this question. This is a Government [100] scheme, and the Oireachtas is a party to it and has sanctioned the scheme, and this is the place to discuss it. When we come to discuss the matter here we are asked “Why do you not have a strike?” Senator Sir John Keane also made the blunt and honest statement that labour was a commodity in the market regulated by the process of supply and demand. Well, if that is the principle, of course, on which most employers go, it is well to have it an acknowledged fact from one of them, at all events. When you talk of labour as a commodity what is the use of appealing to a commodity to have a spirit of patriotism, of citizenship, or a soul? Why demand from it those sentiments and higher feelings that belong to human beings? However, doubtless labour will take the hint and I hope it will be seen by the workers throughout the country, from the division, the way they have been humbugged at elections for the Dáil and the Seanad by people who come along with humbug and talk about political issues, about this, that and the other thing, promising they will look after their special interests if elected and on every single occasion, big or small, that they get an opportunity they vote for putting them into conditions of poverty and debasement. Senator Dowdall's argument was that 32/- a week is better than nothing. He admitted that it was not a high wage and so did Senator Sir John Keane. In other words, because people are starving you are justified in giving them as little above nothing as they will accept.

There are some very great Christians here and some of them, including Senator Gogarty, have recently gone on pilgrimages to Rome. There are also others and I hope they came back with their souls sanctified and their minds purified. At all events they went to see the Pope and accordingly would have some respect for his predecessor, Leo XIII.—perhaps the greatest of all Popes. This is what he said with regard to the question of paying the worker, if he is starving, the lowest possible difference between nothing and what he will accept:—

If through necessity or fear of worse evil the workman accept harder conditions because the employer [101] or contractor will afford him no better he is made a victim of force and injustice.

Those who go on pilgrimages would do far better for their own souls and for the community if they took advantage of that advice, and if they practised rather more by example than by precept. I do not know exactly what Senator Gogarty meant when he made some sort of gibe at labour that they had imported patriots from abroad who used the argument of patriotism. If his insinuation is that because someone happened, through no fault of his own, to be born elsewhere, and becomes a citizen of this country, then he must be deprived of all citizen's rights, that does not coincide with Senator Gogarty's attitude in regard to the Medical Council, where he fought for the maintenance of existing conditions, so that Irish doctors will have the right of competing with British doctors, and may be able to earn a livelihood abroad. We cannot have the door open to our people in every other country if we are going to bolt and bar it to everyone who comes here. That is the sort of tolerance to which we are treated in this House.

Senator Linehan was trying to make a labour argument against this motion, and went on to quote the outer circle of County Dublin, where the farm labourers are paid 35/6 weekly. The Minister came along and one would have thought that the House would have heard something interesting from him. We thought he would have got away from the little pedestal on which he seems to have placed himself. I am sorry to say there was nothing helpful to be deduced from his arguments. He said there were less than 140 Germans there. Our information, obtained in Limerick, is to the effect that there are at least 300 Germans at work. The Germans have had a strike owing to the conditions that were imposed on them, and they got some relief from the grievances which caused them to strike.

Mr. McGILLIGAN: You have some proof of that?

Mr. O'FARRELL: I have. The pig-stye [102] conditions that I referred to were the conditions in the huts. I do not know what conditions the Germans were in, but I feel that whatever the Germans would do in the way of cooking they should be able to do it cleanly. I was referring to the pig-stye conditions of the unfortunate men who have to live on 32/- a week. We must bear in mind that this 32/- is only equivalent to 17s. pre-war, and that, in addition, there were deductions for unemployment and national health insurance. I do not know if it is so, but I think the Minister will agree that unemployment deductions are being made to stamp the men's cards. I think that will be acknowledged. Seeing that this is agricultural labour, then why are agricultural labourers not brought within the Unemployment Insurance Act? If the men on the scheme are agricultural labourers, and doing the same work as agricultural labourers, why are they brought within the Unemployment Acts? They are paying 1/1 for unemployment insurance, and that leaves them with 1/1 less than 32/- weekly, and for broken time 1/1 less than 35/5.

The Minister read a doctor's report. It was certainly more of an architect's report. I do not know that any doctor could have reported on tumbling roofs and mud-houses and made use of a lot of technical terms that only a carpenter or an architect would use. Obviously the whole thing from that point of view was prepared. The doctor is an employee of the firm. The Minister admitted that the men could not do with the food that they get for 12/- weekly and that they had to make provision for supper at night. The men have to buy supper, and we can fancy what would then be left out of 32/-.

Mr. McGILLIGAN: I do not like to interrupt the Deputy, but I do not admit anything of the sort.

Mr. O'FARRELL: The Minister has a small appetite, and he thinks the navvy, working in the open-air and up to his knees in mud, can live on a piece of bread, butter and jam from 5 o'clock in the evening until 5 o'clock the next [103] morning, when he will get another meal.

Mr. McGILLIGAN: I gave certain conditions.

Mr. O'FARRELL: They have a canteen there where the men can buy food. That is going to be a profitable transaction for the contractor. What the men should be sending home is going into the pockets of the unknown contractor. The Minister spoke about two hundred and twelve thousand agricultural workers. It is a grand thing to spring information of that kind on the House. No one else knew where to get that information because of the fact that his Department is behind in the compilation of statistics that similar departments in every other country produce. Recently I wanted to find out by means of Government statistics how many railway men were at present employed and how many unemployed, and I found that the Government Department—the Transport Department—for which we are paying a very large sum every year, did not know. I went to Dublin Castle and I found that the last return was for the 8th December, 1923, and that they would not have another return for a couple of months; in other words, two years have to pass before the Minister's Department can have this information. We have no way of checking the figures, and no one seems to be able to give the information. He talked a good deal about no rents being charged, but the plain fact is that 32/- is useless as a wage and is quite unable to maintain civilised life. He issued a very weighty word of warning to the Seanad, and stated that any increase in the wages would make the scheme uneconomic. He seeks to play on the trembling knees of the farmers—they are trembling already—by stating that if a penny, two pence or three pence an hour more were given the farmers would have to pay. How does he make that statement? This is to be a self-supporting scheme. I showed, and the Minister did not attempt to deny, that if £300,000 more were paid that would more than bring every man up to 50/-, and the cost per unit on the lowest estimate made by himself in the driest year [104] would be only one-tenth of ¼d. per unit. He says that would make the scheme uneconomic.

The consumer will have to pay for that. If the consumer is not able to pay one-tenth of a farthing more per unit the scheme is not worth talking of. The workers of the Shannon scheme are not getting the wages an ordinary private contractor would have to pay if he had gone there to do this work instead of going there under Government auspices. The Minister indulges in threats, and says that he will get all the material finished in Germany. He has done his worst. He has imported German blacklegs already, and he is welcome to them. I do not envy the lovely political welcome he will receive when he faces the people after the Shannon scheme. I do not envy the Government the glory he is going to bring them. If this new pact, made in London, will increase our credit, it will enable us to get those five and a-half millions at a half per cent. less than we would have got them if the pact were not signed. That would save us £26,500 a year in interest alone. The Minister has ignored that. Does he say he will be able to get it at a half per cent. less? If he says no, then the pact has not increased our credit, and is a humbug. Why did he not say what he is going to do with the £26,500? He could give it in part to the workers in wages. He dealt with all the petty points, and left out all the really important things. He accuses the Labour Party of indulging in profiteering because he says they are trying to get more out of the job than the country is able to pay. I have shown that the increased cost in wages would only be an infinitesimally small addition to the cost of electricity. He says we have no right to speak because the men are not trades unionists. On the same principle every union could be beaten on every dispute because when a dispute is on the employer could bring in a lot of non-unionists and put them on the job and say: “You have no right to speak on this.” We have a right, and we have got to defend all attacks on the conditions of labour. He might put a lot of Coolies on the [105] job. Everyone realises that bringing in Coolies would bring down the standard of living, and that we would be justified in complaining. We look on the men employed as the equivalent of Coolies. Their starvation conditions are being utilised to pull down the conditions of labour. What is the effect going to be on the general trading community, on the shopkeepers, the farmers, and on anyone who has services of any kind to give away? When you reduce the wages you restrict the purchasing power. The towns along the Shannon thought those men would have something to spare and spend, but they got a terrible shock. One of the reasons why things are depressed is because the worker who always spends his money when he gets it can now only spend on the absolute necessaries of life. The effect of giving low wages in the Shannon is to allow the main advantage to go to the Germans instead of to the Irish worker. Another effect is to restrict trade. There would be something in the nature of a revival if those few thousand men had decent conditions of employment. I do not think there is anything else the Minister said worth referring to. He said: “We will bring the country to ruin if those men get over 32/- a week.” I wish him joy of his victory. It will be one of the most grisly and melancholy victories any Government had in this country.

Senator Kenny indulged in a well-intentioned lecture on the evils of strikes. It is a pity he did not, at the same time, discourage the policy of the employers in indulging in the midnight acts of savagery which disgraced Waterford. I do not know much about Waterford. I do not belong to the union involved, but if the Press reports are accurate the acts of outlawry were not confined to one side, and unless I am mistaken they were started by the farmers ably led by Senator Sir John Keane. The man referred to, Baird, is the man who led the strike. Doubtless he was an injudicious gentleman. It is alleged he came from Belfast, from which city he was driven out by the people who are to fall on our necks as soon as the Pact becomes law. I congratulate Senator Fanning on his [106] maiden speech and on the good purpose to which he devoted it. It is, as Senator Cummins said, a revelation for us to find anyone in this House who is prepared to go out and say that workers should get at least Christian conditions and say it when a vital issue is at stake. Any amount of people will say it when they are not asked to vote for it and our general experience has been that Senators, no matter to what party they belong, have inevitably voted against the improvement of labour conditions and in favour of depressing them at every opportunity. In this respect it is extraordinary to find that the most reactionary party are those who prided themselves formerly in following the old Sinn Fein organisation. They think that economic liberty is not worth talking about. I would prefer to trust myself to a crusty old Tory who, no matter what his faults may have been, knew more about economic liberty than those new-found Mazzinis. Some of them imagine themselves Mussolinis although they do not fit his cloak. In conclusion I must say that it was with the deepest pain we entered on a struggle like this. The work started before we were ever consulted. We looked on the scheme as our own and we had hoped to appeal to every workman to make it a brilliant success. That offer is still open. We are prepared to meet the Minister or the contractors to try and arrive at a fair and reasonable settlement of the dispute. We are still prepared to try and make the scheme a great success, and it is for the Minister to say whether the scheme is to be a success or not.

Mr. BARRINGTON: May I draw your attention to Standing Order No. 27 which provides that any motion of this sort——

CATHAOIRLEACH: What sort?

Mr. BARRINGTON: A motion such as that which Senator O'Farrell has proposed——

CATHAOIRLEACH: You mean a motion like the present.

Mr. BARRINGTON: Or that the Seanad proposes. I was greatly struck during this debate by some remarks.

[107] CATHAOIRLEACH: Are you calling my attention to a point of order?

Mr. BARRINGTON: I move that the Seanad proceed to the next business.

CATHAOIRLEACH: You are probably within your right in moving this but I think you should have done this before the debate had concluded.

Mr. BARRINGTON: I was waiting because the time to do it is when the debate is over.

CATHAOIRLEACH: No, it is for the purpose of preventing debate that the Standing Order was passed. After the time of the House had been taken up and the motion had been threshed out it was never contemplated under that Order that you should then move it. The Standing Orders do not seem to preclude you, and if you think it a reasonable thing to do I cannot rule you out, but undoubtedly, in practice and intention, that Standing Order was for the purpose of enabling a discussion of this kind to be cut short. Now, when the whole discussion is concluded, the Senator moves this with the object of preventing a division.

Mr. BARRINGTON: It is not to prevent a division. I think a division will be necessary on the subject. Senator Jameson, to all intents and purposes, raised the question.

CATHAOIRLEACH: Senator Jameson made on such suggestion. He suggested to the Senator that it might be better for him to withdraw his motion. I am not stopping you. If you move as you suggest, I will accept the motion.

Mr. BARRINGTON: If I am in [108] order, I move that we proceed to the next business. The reasons I have for so moving are the same reasons as Senator Jameson gave. In the first place, the Seanad is not a properly constituted body for fixing wages. If the Seanad did express an opinion as to whether or not wages are insufficient, it has no powers to enforce any decision. Under these circumstances I move that the Seanad proceed to the next business.

Mr. FARREN: On a point of order, I would refer the Seanad to Standing Order 28. I respectfully submit that the motion has been put. This is a double-edged sword; it can cut both ways. If the Senator has not the courage to vote he need not.

CATHAOIRLEACH: I had not quite finished speaking when the Senator rose to make his motion. I was in the middle of a long sentence. I could not rule the motion out on the point of order made now. I cannot rule it out of order.

Dr. GOGARTY: If the motion is seconded, would it not leave the House open for another long debate?

CATHAOIRLEACH: But is the motion seconded?

Dr. GOGARTY: It is not, but if it were would it not leave the road open for another debate?

CATHAOIRLEACH: Senator Barrington's motion is not seconded and I will therefore put the original motion. There will be no further debate on the original motion.

Mr. FARREN: All right.

Question put. The Seanad divided: Tá, 10; Níl, 21.

William Cummins.

Michael Duffy.

Sir Thomas Grattan Esmonde.

Michael Fanning.

Thomas Farren.

Thomas Foran.

Major-General Sir William Hickie.

Cornelius Kennedy.

Francis MacGuinness.

John Thomas O'Farrell.

Níl

Thomas Westropp Bennett.

William Barrington.

[109]Sir Edward Bigger.

Mrs. Costello.

John C. Counihan.

Countess of Desart.

J.C. Dowdall.

Sir Nugent Everard.

Martin Fitzgerald.

Oliver St. John Gogarty.

Henry S. Guinness.

Andrew Jameson.

Patrick W. Kenny.

[110]Thomas Linehan.

James MacKean.

James Moran.

Joseph O'Connor.

Michael F. O'Hanlon.

James J. Parkinson.

Mrs. Wyse Power.

William B. Yeats.

Motion declared lost.