MIONTUAIRISC NA FINNEACHTA
(Minutes of Evidence)
Dé Céadaoin, 20adh Bealtaine, 1935.
Wednesday, 29th May, 1935.
The Committee sat at 11 a.m.
DEPUTY D. FITZGERALD in the Chair.
Mr. G. McGrath (Comptroller and Auditor-General); Mr. C. S. Almond, Mr. T. S. C. Dagg and Mr. J. L. Lynd (An Roinn Airgid) called and examined.
VOTE 46—PRIMARY EDUCATION.
Mr. T. J. Morrissey called and examined.
307. Chairman.—We shall start this morning with Vote 46—Primary Education. The Comptroller and Auditor-General has a note here, under sub-head A, referring to Training Colleges under Private Management, which reads as follows:—
I noted that a number of persons trained as National Teachers in recent years had not secured employment as teachers or had taken up teaching in Secondary Schools, and I have enquired whether the question of the recovery of the cost of their training has been considered.
Mr. McGrath.—We have received a communication from the Department in which, amongst other things, they say that that position is being kept under observation and that reminders are being issued at intervals. That is all that I wanted to have done—to be satisfied that the Department was doing its work in that regard.
308. Chairman.—Is this due to a shortage of positions for these persons?
Mr. Morrissey.—Yes, so far as male teachers are concerned.
309. Chairman.—I am asking that question because I heard of a school, a couple of years ago, somewhere in Wicklow—around the Blessington area or near Dunlavin, or somewhere in Wicklow —where they could not get a teacher. Is that true?
Mr. Morrissey.—Would the position in that case be a permanent position or was it just that they wanted a substitute?
310. Chairman.—As far as I can remember, it was a permanent position, but the school was in a lonely situation and, for that reason, it was found difficult to get a teacher.
Mr. Morrissey.—There might have been a shortage of women teachers at that time. I mean that, if a woman teacher was needed, it might have been difficult to fill the position.
311. Chairman.—Now we come to sub-head A. (2).—Advances of Training College Fees. This sub-head reads as follows:
Provision is made under this sub-head for advances, in certain necessitous cases, of the fees payable to the Colleges by students during the period of their training, and these advances are repayable by deduction from salaries when the persons concerned secure appointments as teachers. I have enquired whether it is proposed to regard as irrecoverable advances made in respect of students who were unable to complete their training.
Mr. McGrath.—I may say that I have had no reply to that. It must be borne in mind that this is the teachers’ own portion of the cost of training. It should be understood that the State stands the greater part of the cost of training but that this refers only to the teachers’ part.
Mr. Morrissey.—I think we are agreed on the principle that where failure to complete the course is due to any circumstances within the teacher’s own control, we should press for repayment, and do what we can to secure a refund.
312. Chairman.—So far as you know, Mr. Morrissey, you have never taken such a case into the courts?—No, not to my knowledge.
313. Chairman.—Now we come to sub-head A (3)—Preparatory Colleges—which reads as follows:
The boarding cost per head for the school year 1933-34 ranged from 6/3 per week to 7/2½ per week, showing, in general, reductions as compared with the previous year. Accounts have been furnished showing the receipts and expenditure in connection with the farms and gardens for the school year 1933-34, an excess of expenditure over receipts being disclosed in each case. The average fee paid by the students for the school year 1933-34 was £11 1s. 10d. Eighteen students were admitted to the special Preliminary Course for Fior-Ghaeltacht students conducted during the academic year 1933-34, and the net expenditure on outfits, travelling expenses, and school fees in the financial years 1933-34 and 1934-35 was £1,195 5s. 9d. Thirteen of the students secured admission to preparatory colleges and one obtained a secondary scholarship.
Mr. McGrath.—The first sub-paragraph there is merely for information. It will be noted that the cost is very low. The second sub-paragraph has to do with the form in which the accounts are furnished. It will be noted that there is an excess of expenditure over receipts in each case, but that can be very easily explained.
314. Chairman.—Yes, one paragraph is supplementary to another, and I suppose that, as the costs go down for one reason the receipts go down for the same reason.
Mr. McGrath.—I noticed that the prices credited to the farm were equal to the local market value of the produce concerned. For instance, in the case of butter, I noticed that they credited the farm with 1/4 a lb., which was probably the cost price of butter in the open market. On the whole, however, I think that these costs are satisfactory because, where there is an excess of expenditure over receipts, if they were to add on, say, 6d. to each pupil, we could balance the account. On the whole, as I say, I think that it can be accepted that these establishments are being run economically. These paragraphs, as a matter of fact, are chiefly for the information of the Dáil.
315. Deputy Smith.—Might I ask what kind of farming or gardening is engaged in in these colleges?
Deputy McMenamin.—Ordinary tillage. I should say, and producing milk and vegetables for the students.
Mr. McGrath.—There is one at Falcarragh where, I believe, it would be very difficult to get milk at all if they had not their own farm.
316. Deputy McMenamin.—Supposing two cows had to be bought in such a case as that, I think it would hardly be fair to charge the students with that.
Mr. McGrath.—The charges made here are not of the kind suggested by Deputy McMenamin. If they purchased, say, three or four cows just by way of experiment for the farm, that would be a capital charge and would not go against this 6/3.
317. Deputy McMenamin. — Yes, but the loss on the farm in such a case would be a part of that capital charge. Assuming, for instance, that you sold six cows and replaced them with six other cows that you bought at £5 dearer than the cows you sold, you would lose £30?
Mr. McGrath.—I think the Deputy would have to ask the Accounting Officer about that, but I understand that capital charges are not included here.
318. Deputy McMenamin.—On the expenditure account of the farm?
Mr. McGrath.—On this account.
319. Chairman.—The first part of paragraph 27 reads:—
In my report last year 1 referred to the fact that I had asked for the covering sanction of the Minister for Finance in connection with the application, in particular cases, of the general principles approved by the Minister for the adjustment of the salaries of teachers whose service had been interrupted on political grounds. In one of these cases the required sanction has not yet been received by me.
Are you au fait with this?—In that case, the matter is still under consideration. The required sanction has not yet been given.
320. There is some special feature in the case?—There is. It is rather an unusual case.
321. What is it?—It is the case of a man who was sentenced to, I think, five years’ imprisonment, on a charge of robbery, and he alleges that it was in connection with political matters. It was debated at length at last year’s meeting of this Committee, and the question was adjourned until further evidence was forthcoming from the teacher to show that his contention was correct. He did advance certain considerations.
322. Deputy McMenamin.—Surely the verdict in this matter is sufficient without going beyond it. Taking the broad outlook, is it wise to have a man teaching children who has a sentence of that kind recorded against him?
Chairman.—That is a matter of policy.
Deputy Smith.—The court would have no option but to find a man guilty if he was engaged, for any reason whatsoever, in that way.
323. Chairman.—The period in dispute was 1924 to 1928?—Yes. This man has been giving satisfactory service almost since that time.
324. That has nothing to do with it. It is a sin in the eyes of the law. When did the robbery take place?—In 1923 or 1924.
325. Chairman.—Does the new arrangement cover activities after the “down arms” order made in 1923?
Mr. Almond.—That is correct. That was mentioned here last year.
326. Chairman.—Is there any time limit as to when robbery ceases to be patriotic?—The whole circumstances of the case would have to be considered. Naturally there would be a time limit.
327. If a man for similar patriotic motives goes and robs a bank is he going to be reinstated and given increments indefinitely for the period he might be in jail?—I think this took place as far back as 1923.
328. Was it before or after the “down arms” order?—I think it was shortly after that. His plea was that this raid took place to provide food for the dependants of people in jail.
329. Deputy Smith.—When was he released?—About 1928.
330. Chairman.—The following is an extract from what occurred at last year’s meeting of the Committee:—
“Mr. Doolin.—I should put it this way: that if we got satisfactory evidence that the man was acting under superior orders which he had to recognise, or if we had evidence even that, unauthorised by others on top, he was definitely carrying out this raid for the purpose of bringing relief to the dependants of his previous associates in an active political movement we would be inclined to recommend that to the Minister, but the departmental attitude up to the present has been that there is no evidence in support of either of these contentions—no sufficient evidence at any rate.”
331. The man was still being paid?— Certain considerations were advanced on behalf of the teacher. These were submitted to the Department and the matter is still under consideration, subject to further information to be supplied showing that he acted from political reasons.
Chairman.—I do not want to go into matters of policy, but it seems to me that as the Department of Finance was not satisfied last year that any evidence was forthcoming—morally I object to the payment anyway—and a year having elapsed, and the Department not having been satisfied that this was a robbery due to political action, it seems to me the Department should not pay.
332. Deputy Smith.—How did it come that he was reinstated?—He applied for and was given a position in a school down the country.
333. Did a manager appoint him?—Yes.
334. And he could not be appointed if the manager did not appoint him?—Yes.
335. I take it that he secured the appointment with the consent of the manager?—Yes.
Chairman.—The manager appoints.
Mr. McGrath.—As a matter of fact, he was appointed in the regime of the previous Government. The point at issue is whether he is entitled to credit for eleven years for increment purposes. It is not a question of pay. He has got 11 increments.
Deputy Smith.—For the years he was not teaching?
Mr. McGrath.—Yes. He has not been paid for services that he did not render. We are not asking why he was appointed but why he should get the increments.
336. Deputy Smith.—Is it not a fact that other teachers who were reinstated at the same time got these advantages?
Mr. McGrath.—Everyone of them.
Chairman.—There is a rule covering political cases. This case is peculiar, in that no sufficient evidence has been brought to show that it is what is called “a political case.”
Deputy Smith.—As the Comptroller and Auditor-General says, and it is my contention, there is no question of his being paid for the present work he is doing, but there is an objection to giving this man certain increments for years when he was not teaching. My point is that he was one of a number of teachers reinstated at a particular period. All the others have secured these advantages. This teacher was reinstated on the same plea, and I think that nobody can properly contend that he was not one of that group. I think it is a bit unreasonable to contend that this teacher was not entitled to the same consideration in the way of increments.
Chairman.—The ordinary law is that increments depend upon the period of service, but an exceptional order was made that in certain cases, where men were unable to fulfil that service, because of political activities, they would be credited with that service for incremental purposes. It was a departure from all ordinary rules to credit men with service they did not give, but it was justified on the ground that the circumstances were exceptional, as the men were incapacitated from giving service because they were engaged in certain activities.
Deputy Smith.—I agree.
Chairman.—The only question is whether his absence during that period was due to the activities that can be described as political.
Deputy Smith.—It does not make any difference for the purpose of this discussion. You have already agreed in so far as consenting to re-appoint him.
Chairman.—A man might go and rob a bank and get five years in jail, and after that might be re-appointed as a teacher and draw pay for good service. But, if he turned round and said that inasmuch as everyone else in the same position had got increments for that period, the Department of Finance might say: “There is no one else in that position coming under the conditions of a certain Order made by the Executive Council. You do not come under it because an essential part was that the imprisonment was due to political action.” The question at issue here is whether that was due to political activity within the meaning of the Executive Council Order. That is the question in dispute. A number of years have gone by and Finance have still not been satisfied that this was for political activity. This man or the Department of Education have not been able to bring the required evidence to bear on that. If he is now getting the pay at a rate which suggests that he was working during those years when he was not working, it is, to my mind, illegal until Finance or the Minister are satisfied from the evidence that his absence was of a nature which fell within that Executive Council Order.
Deputy Smith.—My contention, and I think it can be strongly supported, is that ne was one of a group reinstated at a particular time as a result of the Order to which you have referred. You are trying to argue now that while he was entitled partly to avail of and partly to receive advantage as a result of that Order, he cannot partake of the whole of it.
Chairman.—They are two different Orders. The Executive Council might make an Order setting out that the fact that a man has been in prison for any circumstance whatever, will not debar him from being reappointed as a teacher when he comes out, or it might make an order setting out that the fact that a man has not given the service required for increment because he was debarred from giving that service through political activities, will leave him free to get that increment. The first category does not cover the other.
Deputy Smith.—I am asking these questions merely for the purpose of having this clarified. Suppose a man who was teaching got five years’ imprisonment, say, to-day. Do you think that under any circumstances that man would be reinstated on his coming out of prison again?
Chairman.—He might. To begin with, re-appointment in a school does not rest with the Government at all; it rests with the Manager. The Government then decides whether it should pay him for the work he is then doing or not.
Deputy Smith.—The Minister need not sanction. The Minister has the right to appoint, I agree, but my contention is that if a man who was teaching in a school was found guilty now of robbery or any other offence, and came out in five years’ time, it is most unlikely that he would be re-appointed. If he were re-appointed by the Manager, it is highly improbable that the Minister would sanction it. In this particular case, it seems to me that because he was re-appointed by the Manager, and the appointment sanctioned by the Department, it must have been conceded that his activity was political. That being so, it is an admission, to my mind, that he was entitled to the same consideration with regard to this increment as others in more or less similar circumstances.
Chairman.—No, because the Executive Council order would have been worded differently to cover a different situation. It would have set out that in the case of any man who has been imprisoned, irrespective of the circumstances, and re-appointed to a school, will get increment arrangements for the period during which he was absent, but the Executive Council did not say that. They say something like this: In the case of a man who has been absent in prison, having been sentenced for an offence which had a political motive, or was associated with political activities, he will get it. They put the qualifying clause in for the express purpose of excluding anybody whose absence was not due to political causes and the doubt in this case is whether or not it was due to political causes. If it was, he benefits under that order, and if it was not, he cannot benefit under it.
Deputy Smith.—But he has benefited already.
Chairman.—They are two different orders.
Deputy Smith.—I cannot see the difference, I must say, and I think that the mere fact of his re-appointment and sanction puts him into the same category, however much you may say about it.
337. Deputy McMenamin.— We had nothing to do with this. Finance demanded a certain explanation and they have not yet got it. Is that not what we are concerned with?
Mr. Morrissey.—We have submitted the case to Finance and we are awaiting their decision.
Mr. Almond.—We have only just received the decision of the Minister for Finance. He considered all the evidence in the case and decided that the teacher was entitled to the benefit of the doubt. He determined that the motive for the raid was political.
338. Chairman.—The next paragraph of the Comptroller and Auditor-General’s report sets out:
The charge to this sub-head includes £403 1s. 6d. for salary and capitation grant paid to a teacher, referred to in my report last year, who was convicted by the Tribunal established under Article 2A of the Constitution. Having regard to the disqualification imposed by Section 31 of the Article mentioned, it would appear that the payments referred to were not legally made and I understand that the matter is under consideration by the law officers.
Have the law officers given any decision on that?—The matter was submitted since to the law officers and, as a result, a free pardon was granted to this teacher, and, so far as that goes, the matter is regular now as from the date of that pardon.
339. You have paid illegally for three years?—That matter has not been fixed up yet.
Mr. McGrath.—The free pardon only applies as from the date of the pardon.
340. Chairman. — Therefore all that payment has been unlawful?—Yes, but legislation is in contemplation to deal with that.
341. The position is that we can only take the law as it is. Your Department has expended money illegally and, consequently, somebody ought to be surcharged. You are, presumably, postponing that surcharge until the law is changed?—A change in legislation is contemplated.
342. Is this the only case you know of in your Department?—That is the only case so far as I know.
Mr. Almond.—I might mention that the Attorney-General advised that legislation would be required to regularise the payments made.
Chairman.—That means that the Attorney-General has confirmed my report.
Mr. Almond.—The Executive Council have decided to introduce legislation which would have a retrospective effect and avoid the surcharge you mention, but there is a question of the measure being of a more comprehensive nature.
343. Chairman.—There are other people who have been paid in that way?
Mr. Almond.—Not teachers, but there may be other classes.
344. Chairman.—We have to take the law as it is, and it means that the Department of Education broke the law and misapplied public funds. That is the legal position at the moment. The next paragraph of the Comptroller and Auditor-General’s report sets out:
I observed that a teacher who had been reduced from the status of assistant to that of junior assistant mistress from 1st January, 1932, owing to decline in the average attendance of pupils was restored to the position of assistant from 1st January, 1933, following an increase in the average attendance. On investigation of the local records, it appeared that increased averages in 1929 and 1932 were secured by the irregular enrolment of pupils. I understand that the total amount overpaid to the teacher since 1929, consequent upon these irregular enrolments, was approximately £174, of which amount £24 approximately represented contributions to the Pensions Fund. The latter amount has been recovered from the fund and arrangements have been completed for the recovery of the balance.
Mr. McGrath. — Arrangements have been made by which this over-payment will be recovered.
Deputy McMenamin. — “Have been completed,” it says.
Mr. Morrissey.—The payments will be made by a lump sum payment now and deductions until the whole amount is paid up.
345. Deputy Smith.—Is the teacher still teaching?
Chairman.—That is why they can recover. This was surely a case of fraud.
Mr. Morrissey.—I am not quite so sure that it was. It was a case of enrolling pupils irregularly, inasmuch as some were not brought in at the beginning of the quarter. They were only what might be called technical infractions of the rules.
346. Deputy McMenamin.—The children were actually there?—Yes, they actually attended.
347. Chairman.—It does seem to me— I do not know the details of the case— that if that teacher connived to defraud the State, he should not be continued in the job?—It was not what you would call fraud; it was an irregularity.
348. It was the sort of thing a person of the highest moral principles might do? —Possibly.
Mr. McGrath.—Perhaps I should tell you of the difficulties of the Department in dealing with these matters. I have a copy of a letter from a manager and he seems to think that the Department are inhuman because they wish to carry out the rules and prevent people from making wrong returns.
349. Chairman.—As I say, it was the sort of thing that a person of the very highest moral principles might do. The next paragraph of the report sets out:
Arising out of certain cases of irregularities in school records, on which payments from public funds are based, correspondence has taken place between the Departments of Education and Finance and agreement has been reached as to the procedure to be followed in future.
Mr. McGrath.—In matters of this sort, the Department of Education and the Department of Finance found it necessary to circularise teachers and managers regarding these records.
350. Chairman.—The next paragraph of the report is:—
I observe that, in the case of a certain school, payment of the salaries of the teachers was suspended from 1st January, 1934, following a report by the Department’s inspector on certain irregularities in the records. I have inquired whether the amount, if any, of the resulting overpayments has been established.
Mr. McGrath.—The Audit Office only know that payments have been held up in the case of this school. A communication from the Department, dated 16th May last, notifies that overpayments amounting to £269 6s. 7d. were made over the period.
351. Chairman.—That has been recovered?
Mr. McGrath.—The Department of Finance have agreed to a method of adjustment.
Mr. Morrissey.—We have got as far as ascertaining pretty well the amount over-paid, and I think arrangements are being made to deal with the case.
352. Chairman. — These three paragraphs seem to me to deal with the same sort of thing. It seems that some machinery will have to be devised to prevent this—I will not say fraud—irregularity occurring, as it seems to be a well-established practice. The next paragraph of the report sets out:—
The accounts of closed years includes payments of salary to a junior assistant mistress whose services were being retained subject to the maintenance of an average attendance of 30 boys. In view of the statistics of attendance at the school for the years in question, I have inquired why salary was continued, to the teacher referred to, and I understand that the Department of Finance has been communicated with in the matter.
Mr. McGrath.—I was not satisfied that the average attendance at this school justified the staff employed. It now appears that the salary of the teacher was continued beyond the date when it should have been withdrawn under the rules. This is another case of “making up” the records for the purpose of keeping on the existing staff.
Chairman.—That is all being cleared up.
353. Deputy Murphy.—Is there not great difficulty arising at the moment as a result of a very large number of junior assistant mistresses being declared redundant? They have great difficulty in keeping up the averages?—There is that difficulty.
354. Deputy Smith.—What is the position of a Junior Assistant Mistress who happens to be employed in a school where the average for this month may be, say, 28 when 30 is demanded, and, in the following month, may be 32, 33 or 34?— There are certain regulations governing that, showing the number of quarters that would be allowed. They are spread over a period.
355. The teacher does not remain on there at his or her own risk?—No.
356. Deputy Murphy.—Conditions are such at the present time that it is very hard to place any blame on a Junior Assistant Mistress for taking drastic measures to uphold the average. You agree with that?—I could not say that.
357. Deputy Smith.—Does it not happen in some cases that Junior Assistant Mistresses remain on for a period without getting any salary or allowance? —It might happen that she would remain on in the school, unsanctioned by the Department and unrecognised by the Department.
Mr. McGrath.—Perhaps it would help if I explained this particular case. In the case of an amalgamated school, the December quarter attendance for boys was 26.2; in the March quarter, 25.4; in the June quarter, 23.3. Those are three quarters where the attendance was very bad. For the September quarter the figure is 29.5, and we know that for the two succeeding quarters the attendance was very bad. We get suspicious and go over the rolls, finding that in order to arrive at 29.5 the teacher excludes one day in the quarter. If that day were included the attendance would have been under the mark. The school is a mixed school for girls and boys. We found that the girls’ roll was kept for the particular day, which was excluded from the September returns so that we got suspicious. We are trying to do away with that sort of thing.
358. Deputy Murphy.—When a Junior Assistant Mistress has been teaching in school for 25 years, and at the end of that 25 years realises that her continued existence as a teacher will depend on maintaining an extra average of perhaps one or two per quarter, it is very difficult to blame her for taking drastic measures to have extra pupils brought in.
Chairman.—This is really going into a question of policy.
Deputy McMenamin.—You would have to change the rule.
Mr. McGrath.—The Audit Office can only go according to the rule which is in existence and not according to the desired rule.
359. Chairman.—Under the heading “Non-voted Services” there is the following note by the Comptroller and Auditor-General:
With the assent of the Commissioners of Charitable Donations and Bequests the Worship Fund was amalgamated with the Carlisle and Blake Fund during the year and the account of the composite fund is appended to the appropriation account.
What is the Worship Fund?—It is a small sum of money left for prizes by a clergyman in England. His name was Worship.
360. We will now turn to the account which is on page 115. Are there any queries as regards those sub-heads?
361. Deputy Smith.—In regard to C (3) —Van and Boat Services—what does that mean?
Chairman.—It is the expense of collecting the children. This applies to Protestant schools to a great extent. There is a scattered population and a service is provided for bringing in the children.
362. Deputy Smith.—Is it entirely financed by the Department or is there any contributory basis?—In the case of Protestant schools they do contribute a certain sum.
Chairman.—I understand that instead of having a number of small schools scattered around it is an economy to amalgamate them.
Deputy Smith.—What is the percentage, where there is a contribution?
Deputy McMenamin.—There is no fixed percentage, I think.
Chairman.—You are raising a question of policy.
363. Deputy Smith.—No; I only want to know the amounts?—In the case of Protestant schools the State contributes £5 per head.
364. Deputy McMenamin.— For the educational year?—Yes, and there is a lump sum of, I think £1,500 contributed by the Protestants.
365. In the case of the other schools the State pays the whole amount, and that averages out at more than £5 per head?— There is contribution in both cases.
366. Deputy Smith.—That contribution of £1,500 is irrespective of the amount of service provided by the State?—An average service would be required for that figure.
367. In different areas there might be periods when an increase in the services would be required, and I was wondering if that amount would change in proportion? —It is subject to reconsideration. It was just fixed at that figure for the first year.
368. Chairman.—What was the purpose of the Supplementary Estimate shown under sub-head C (9)—Recoupment of Legal Expenses?—This was a special case in which expenses were recouped to a manager in an action that was brought against him. It was felt that there were special circumstances applicable to the case.
Deputy McMenamin.—Was that the Leitrim case?
369. Deputy Smith.—Who brought the action against him?—A person who had been a teacher in the school brought an action against the manager.
Chairman.—The Dáil voted the money so the principle of the thing was accepted.
VOTE 22—STATIONERY AND PRINTING.
Mr. J. B. Whelehan called and examined.
370. Chairman.—There is no note by the Comptroller and Auditor-General. In regard to sub-head F (1)—Printing, Paper and Binding for the Oireachtas—was that increase due to the passing of more Bills? —Yes, and to the fact that the debate was more prolonged than usual.
371. Deputy McMenamin.—Had the printing strike any effect in regard to that increase?—No.
372. Chairman.—If Deputy Kissane were here he would probably inquire— with regard to sub-head F (4), editing, printing, paper and binding for certain Irish texts—why the number of texts coming forward for printing was less than anticipated. Was there anything special to hold them up?—Not on the part of the Stationery Office. Those are texts for advanced students, particularly University students and students engaged on research work. Consequently, the texts require a considerable amount of editing. Although a number of editors were working on them it did not seem possible to give the output which they had anticipated. Of course, some of them would have two texts running concurrently, so that we get perhaps two or three texts together. At the moment there are two texts nearing publication, and two more which we expect to be published in August. Those are rather difficult works to handle.
373. There is a general editorial staff which goes over them and then there is your Department?—Those are not works emanating from what was the Gúm, or the Department of Education scheme. They are special Irish texts.
374. But there is general editorial supervision?—Yes.
375. And the delay is probably due to those who are preparing the books rather than to those on the editorial side. What does sub-head F (5) mean—Printing, etc. (Nos. 12 of 1923, 7 of 1924 and 23 of 1927)?—That refers to electors’ lists, etc.
VOTE 23—VALUATION AND BOUNDARY SURVEY.
Mr. J. Herlihy called.
VOTE 24—ORDNANCE SURVEY.
Mr. J. Herlihy called and examined.
376. Report of the Comptroller and Auditor-General:—
16. In addition to the Maps supplied without repayment to Public Departments, as noted in the appropriation account, Maps to the value of £1,027 10s. were presented during the year to University Libraries, etc.
Mr. McGrath.—The Audit Office wrote that paragraph because it noticed that the presentation of those free copies was not noted in either the Appropriation Accounts or the Estimates and they thought it better, at least desirable, that the Dáil should know it was done. That is one part of the query. Another part has relation to the authority of the Department in presenting those. I should mention that the authority for the greater portion of the sum is all right. We find it is under sub-section (1) of Section 178 of the 1927 Act. As regards three or four Colleges or Universities, we are in doubt as to whether the authority quoted by the Accounting Officer is sufficient and we will have to depend on the Department of Finance as to whether it considers the authority is sufficient or not.
377. Deputy McMenamin.—Were there certain colleges specified?
Mr. McGrath.—In the 1927 Act it specifies definitely the University College Libraries of Cork and Galway, the National University, Dublin; Trinity College Library, Dublin; The Copyright Receipt Office in London, and the National Library in Dublin should be presented with free copies. That is definite. In another section of the Act it says that the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford should be presented with copies on an application to an address in Dublin. So far as we know, there has been no application from either of those Universities.
378. Deputy McMenamin.—Were the maps sent to them?
Mr. McGrath.—They were.
379. Deputy McMenamin.—Is that the ground of your query—are those the matters you are querying?
Mr. McGrath.—We queried those two along with the University at Washington, which has been supplied with a copy on the authority of the Governor-General according to an order of 1st September, 1924. The Governor-General did that, I think, on that occasion to oblige the American representative here, but whether that should cover all future transactions I am not sure; at least I do not think it is quite in order.
380. Deputy McMenamin.—Should not these orders be made by the Minister for Finance, Mr. Herlihy?—They are all covered by Finance sanction.
Mr. McGrath.—Your plea is that they are, but I am not quite satisfied.
Mr. Dagg.—In 1926 the Minister gave authority for supplying these maps, pending the passing of a new Copyright Act in the Free State. The new Copyright Act did not make any change in the Act of 1911, and for that reason I think the authority of 1926 might be considered as continuing to cover the matter. The Minister might be prepared to give further authority if necessary. I think the intention is that the practice should be continued.
381. Mr. McGrath.—I have here a copy of that authority and I cannot read into it a definite authority to supply these things. It is merely authorising you to do what the Act says. I will read the authority, which was written on the 19th February, 1926:—
With reference to your minute of the 26th ultimo… and enclosures, relative to the supply of ordnance survey publications to the Copyright Receipt Office, British Museum, I am directed by the Minister for Finance to inform you that the Attorney-General has advised that pending any amendment which may be effected in the Copyright Act, 1911, by the Oireachtas, the provisions of that Act relative to the supply of publications to the libraries specified in section 15 have effect in Saorstát Eireann.
I am to authorise you to proceed accordingly in connection with the supply to the Copyright Receipt Office, British Museum, of publications and maps issued by the Ordnance Survey Department.
I have this note here:—“Was Finance aware that Ordnance Survey was supplying them without written authority at that time?” That is the substance of my present query.
Mr. Dagg.—I think the Ordnance Survey merely continued the practice that was in operation when the Free State was established.
382. Chairman.—I think the Act sets out that whatever was provided for by the Act of 1911 should continue, subject to any alteration. There was no alteration made, and the only point that arises is with regard to the giving of maps to any establishment not authorised to receive them under the 1911 Act. There is a point with regard to the University at Washington.
Mr. McGrath.—The 1911 Act states that Oxford and Cambridge were to receive copies on application to an address in Dublin. So far as I know, no application was received from Oxford or Cambridge.
Mr. Dagg.—We do not know whether one was received under the old Act.
383. Deputy Smith.—According to the contention of the Comptroller and Auditor-General, the Washington institution would not be entitled to receive copies, application or no application?—It is quite gratuitous to the Washington Library. My view is that the supply of these copies is gratuitous, because I do not think the statute requiring the free supply of books and maps exercises compulsion upon the State. I do not think the State is bound by the Act unless it is specifically mentioned, and it is not mentioned in that Act. The real reason underlying the supply of these maps to these institutions, apart from the fact that you cannot very well refuse to supply maps to places like the National University and Trinity College, is that if an Act of the Oireachtas is passed compelling private publishers to give free supplies of books and maps, the State cannot in decency refuse, where it acts as a publisher, to do the same thing.
384. Chairman.—I think the principle of giving these copies is sound. If there is any question of irregularity, that could be regularised.
Mr. McGrath.—I am quite agreeable, of course, but I would be more convinced if the Accounting Officer would in future make a note of it in the Appropriation Accounts or in the Estimate. At present there is no note. There might be a note in the Estimate each year indicating the Departments supplied.
Mr. Herlihy.—You mean to give the list?
Mr. McGrath.—Yes. In the British Estimates they include in their free supplies these supplies to the Universities, and I think we might also do so.
Mr. Herlihy.—We will certainly have no objection to that.
385. Chairman.—With regard to subhead E—Materials for Facsimile Reproduction of Ancient Manuscripts—why did you not get something in respect of facsimile reproduction?—We did, but it was a little belated; it came in a few weeks too late and was not included in this Account.
Mr. M. Deegan called and examined.
386. Chairman.—With regard to sub-head C (2)—Cultural Operations, Maintenance, etc.—what cultural operations do you refer to—does it mean culture of trees and not humanistic culture?—The culture of trees.
VOTE 55—LAND COMMISSION.
Mr. M. Deegan further examined.
387. Report of Comptroller and Auditor-General:—
48. In my report last year I referred to a repayable Exchequer advance of £200,000 made in March, 1925, to the Land Commission, of which a balance of £130,000 was outstanding. This amount is still due to the Exchequer.
Mr. McGrath.—That is to note that this matter is still outstanding. I do not know whether the Accounting Officer has any further remarks or information to give the Committee.
Mr. Deegan.—Except that your previous report gave some further details. It was fuller than the present one. Those details practically represent the position as it still stands.
Mr. McGrath.—In order to remind the Committee of what is happening, I think a considerable part of this balance is really a bad debt; the Department has made up its mind to write it off.
388. Chairman.—Is it a fact that you have decided to write it off?—Well, acting on the 1933 Land Act we already wiped off £73,000 of it. We have in hands £22,300 at the moment but, as against that, there is due to vendors £8,500, so that we are holding to the credit of the Exchequer about £13,800 at the present moment.
389. It was under the 1933 Act that you wrote it off?—Yes, perhaps it would be well to take the matter up with the Department of Finance.
Deputy Murphy.—It is very unusual to see an over-estimate of that kind.
390. Chairman.—Paragraph 49 reads:—
Under the provisions of the Land Act, 1933, arrears of annuities and other annual payments, not exceeding three years’ accumulation, due to the first gale of 1933, and which amounted to £4,689,059 6s. 8d. have been funded at 4½ per cent. interest over a period of fifty years, while the excess of arrears over the three years’ accumulation amounting to £255,122 4s. 1d. has been written off. In addition the amounts of the instalments due on the second gale in 1933, and on subsequent gales was reduced by 50 per cent., save in certain special cases when the reduction was 55 per cent. The reduction in respect of the second gale in 1933 was £930.198 14s. 1d.
I notice that under sub-head J, there is an excess of £67,000 odd. Is that owing to the fact that these untenanted lands purchased under the Lands Act, 1923-31 had not been distributed?—It is owing to the Act of 1933.
391. There is a very big excess of expenditure over the amount. It is from £20,000 to £87,000. I see there is a note here on the matter which says that the deficiency of income was due to the non-collection and funding under the Land Act, 1933, of the instalments of sums falling due on the 1st May, 1933?—It was due practically altogether to the operations of the 1933 Land Act.
392. Chairman.—That Act only came in that year?—Yes.
393. Sub-head S—Provision to Meet Deficiencies in the Collection of Annuities Payable under the Land Acts, 1923-31. That is really with regard to the 1923 and subsequent Acts, which the Government was to pay to the bond-holders, and the reduction of one half in the annuities required provision to be made to pay the bond-holders?—Yes, the Land Bond Fund had to be replenished to that extent.
394. As far as the moratorium is concerned that is the only fund?—Some of it was funded and some of it waived altogether. It was wiped out.
395. Deputy McMenamin.—That was under the 1933 Land Act?—Yes.
396. Chairman.—Sub-head T is only a book-keeping entry?—That had to relieve the Guarantee Fund.
397. The Guarantee Fund was really for paying the bond-holders?—The county rates are being relieved under sub-head T.
398. You gave it back to the County Councils?—Yes, this is really in relief of rates.
399. This was due to the fact that you could not get the sheriffs operating as quickly as you hoped?—Yes.
400. The Committee Clerk has a letter here from Mr. Deegan with regard to the Gaeltacht services, which reads:—
Irish Land Commission, Dublin.
24 Bealtaine, 1935.
As arranged with you to-day, I shall attend the sitting of the Public Accounts Committee on Wednesday next, the 29th instant, and shall be ready to deal personally with matters arising out of the work of the Land Commission and the Forestry Division of the Department.
In regard to Gaeltacht Services for which I act as Accounting Officer since the 1st January last, I propose to bring with me Mr. Seán Moran, Director of Gaeltacht Services, and to ask the Committee to be good enough to allow him to take my place as witness. He is now in immediate administrative control of that section of the Department and will furnish the Committee with every information at his disposal which they may require.
Mise, le meas,
(Signed) M. DEEGAN.
That is the new arrangement you have for the Gaeltacht Services with the Department of Lands and Forests?—It is under the Department of Lands now.
401. We have not got that on our programme for to-day?—No.
402. When we have it Mr. Moran will represent you?—Yes.
VOTE 66—EXTERNAL AFFAIRS.
Mr. S. Murphy called and examined.
403. Chairman.—I am glad to see you here, Mr. Murphy. I hope your presence does not mean that Mr. Walshe is ill?— No, but he is engaged at the moment with the President and I am acting for him.
404. In sub-head A (3) there is a note about a presentation to the late Secretary-General of the League of Nations on his retirement. Was this a joint contribution?—Yes, it was of a joint nature.
405. In sub-head A (4) I notice there is an increase in the cost of telegrams and telephones. There is £330 18s. 0d. of an expenditure over the estimate. You explain that very laconically by saying that they cost more than was anticipated but that is what we are inquiring into?— The reason was due to the fact that a great many inquiries had to be made by telegraph and telephone in connection with the trade section established here. Inquiries had to be made in London, Paris and Berlin.
406. You were telephoning direct?— Yes.
407. In sub-head A (5)—Official Entertainment—there was a great excess of expenditure over the estimate. Did you bring in a Supplementary Estimate under that head?—No, sir, I do not think so. We had savings under other sub-heads.
408. Yes, but the usual rule is to bring in a Supplementary Estimate.
Mr. McGrath.—Yes, that is the rule.
Chairman.—I think there should have been a Supplementary Estimate.
409. In sub-head A (6)—Special Mission to U.S.A. in 1933—was there a Supplementary Estimate for that?
Mr. McGrath.—That was provided for in the ordinary annual Estimate.
Mr. Murphy.—The mission overlapped two Estimates. There was a Supplementary Estimate in the first year.
410. Chairman.—In connection with sub-head B (5)—the Repatriation of Destitute Subjects of Saorstát Eireann— it is plain that you can never estimate, it is purely guess work. You are satisfied that in these cases you were not bilked? —It is very hard to say. We tried to satisfy ourselves. We get an undertaking that the money will be paid back but we very rarely get it.
VOTE 67—LEAGUE OF NATIONS.
Mr. S. Murphy called.
The witness withdrew.
VOTE 10—OFFICE OF PUBLIC WORKS.
Mr. P. Kent called and examined.
411. Report of Comptroller and Auditor-General:—
Non-Voted Service—River Shannon Navigation.
“8. From the statement appended to the appropriation account, it will be observed that the credit balance on the account has been reduced during the year from £1,793 8s. 10d. to £814 5s. 0d. As expenditure on the service was considerably reduced during the year, I have asked for explanation of the fall in the receipts.
In addition to the expenditure of £5,956 13s. 7d. shown in the statement, a further amount of £204 13s. 1d. was expended within the year from Relief Schemes Vote on the repair of a tow-path no longer used for navigation purposes but which the Commissioners of Public Works are obliged to maintain.”
Chairman.—The second paragraph is just information?
Mr. McGrath.—Yes, just information. It will be noticed that the expenditure exceeds the receipts by £979 3s. 10d. Previously that service was self-supporting. On that account the Audit Office brings the matter under the notice of the Committee, because if this excess expenditure continues it will mean that the State itself will have to step in or that the tolls will have to be increased. Of course, it is well known that the Shannon navigation has been considerably interfered with by the Shannon Electricity Scheme and a fall in the rents is to be expected.
412. Chairman.—Is this the first year it was not self-supporting?
Mr. McGrath.—It is the first year since the Free State took over. I understand the last year it was not self-supporting was 1920-21 under the British regime.
Mr. Kent.—The tolls were increased then. In 1921 they were raised 150 per cent.
413. Chairman.—It would be hardly feasible to raise them again? The 150 per cent. was reduced to 125 per cent. in 1925.
Mr. McGrath.—They had an accumulated surplus which helped them a lot. They were never actually running the navigation for three years in succession, say, at a loss.
Mr. Kent.—No. The tolls have fallen owing, as was stated, to the interference of the Shannon works. Rents have also fallen. The rents are mainly derived from the lettings of fisheries and they have been interfered with a good deal by the Shannon works. We used to get a considerable sum from these but we get very little now. We have, of course, a big claim against the Shannon works amounting to about £30,000. Whether we will get anything back I do not know. That has to be decided later on. That would put the fund on the credit side again.
414. Deputy McMenamin.—What is the basis of the claim?—We claim on the basis of loss of rent on submerged and damaged lands which we used to let before. There is also a claim for loss of submerged lockhouses, loss on gravel, and loss on fisheries, which is a considerable sum—£19,000.
415. Will that go to arbitration?—I think it will be settled in the Department of Finance or the Department of Industry and Commerce.
416. Chairman.—What services are performed for the British Government?—Generally, for the Ministry of Pensions, such as the hospital at Leopardstown Park.
VOTE 11—PUBLIC WORKS AND BUILDINGS.
Mr. P. Kent further examined.
417. Report of Comptroller and Auditor-General:—
Preparatory Colleges—Colaiste Einne—New Works, No. 63.
“9. The statement of expenditure on new works appended to the appropriation account includes a sum of £2,439 3s. 8d. in respect of the cost incurred during the year on the erection of a new training college at Galway. With the sums expended in previous years, the total expenditure on this training college amounted to £25,076 7s. 2d. At the end of 1932 it was decided to abandon the proposal to erect a training college and to build instead a preparatory college on the site. This decision involved the preparation of new plans and bills of quantities and, as stated in the notes appended to the account, a payment of £1,500 was made to a firm of quantity surveyors in settlement of their claim for the preparation of bills of quantities for the building originally proposed.
In the observations appended to the statement the total cost of the college to 31st March, 1934, is shown as £29,141 19s. 6d. This figure, however, includes in addition to the sum of £25,076 7s. 2d. referred to above, an amount of £4,065 12s. 4d., which was expended during the years 1928-9 to 1932-33 on the adaptation equipment of Furbough House, County Galway, which was occupied as a preparatory college up to 1932. The purchase of this house was authorised by the Department of Finance, but as the sale could not be completed owing to legal difficulties, the premises were surrendered.
I have asked the Accounting Officer for particulars of the total expenditure incurred in connection with these training and preparatory colleges, and the extent to which the change of plans will affect the cost of erecting the new preparatory college.”
418. Chairman.—Did this change from a training college to a preparatory college come before the Dáil?
Mr. Kent.—It was the decision of the Department of Education. The Board of Works had nothing to do with that.
419. Chairman.—Did you receive the information you asked for in the last paragraph?
Mr. McGrath.—We got a good deal of information, not altogether official.
Mr. Kent.—I think it was both official and unofficial.
Mr. McGrath.—What I wish to draw the attention of the Committee to is that there is an element of nugatory payments here, that is payments for which no value to the State has been received.
Chairman.—Such as the quantity surveyors?
Mr. McGrath.—Yes, in connection with the Training College. In the Audit Office we calculated that nugatory payments have been made on fees to quantity surveyor, £1,500; superfluous skeleton steel work, £1,600. As regards Furbough House, we believe that £1,200 for repairs and adaptation of the building was unnecessary expenditure; also the salary and expenses of the clerk of works amounting to £265 7s. 0d. As the Accounting Officer has stated, these changes were all made because of a certain decision by the Department of Education.
420. Chairman.—They told you to go ahead with preparing one building and at a given stage changed their mind and told you to make it something different.
421. I think you are hardly responsible for that?—No.
422. On the other hand, as regards Furbough House, it seems to me from what the Comptroller and Auditor-General says that you went ahead with structural alterations to the building before assuring yourself that the transfer was going to take place?—What we did was, when there was a decision by the Department of Education to start the place at Furbough, we came to an agreement with the owners to buy the place for £3,000 plus commission. We went into occupation on the basis of paying 5 per cent. of the purchase price pending proof of title being forthcoming. It is very rarely, in our experience, that title is not made. It was not made in this case, although we made every effort. It is a rather involved business. We did not succeed in making title. All the expenditure was not really nugatory, because there were 31 students there for two years who would have to be accommodated elsewhere.
423. You embarked on structural alterations?—They were not of a considerable nature.
424. Would you normally, for a tenancy of two years, have embarked on the work done there?—We were buying the place and we thought we would succeed in getting title.
425. Deputy McMenamin.—You had purchased the place?—Yes, subject to proof of title.
426. You signed a contract to purchase? —We agreed to purchase on conditions.
427. The contract was subject to being rescinded if title could not be made?— That is so.
428. The default was not on your part —you were bound to reject it as title was not made?—That is so.
429. Deputy McMenamin.—They were bound to reject this the moment the title was not made. They completed the contract to purchase the house for £3,000 and they went into possession, subject to title being made. Ultimately, it was discovered that it was not made. That was the default of the seller.
Chairman.—It seems to me, in ordinary equity, that if, through default of the seller, the potential purchaser embarked on expenditure on that building, he should have a claim against the real defaulter.
Deputy McMenamin.—Was there a deposit?
Mr. Kent.—We made no deposit.
430. There was no fine in the case of his not completing?—I do not think so.
Mr. McGrath. — The Commissioners entered into possession on 25th May, 1928, on a monthly tenancy, subject to a rent of £150, equivalent to 5 per cent. per annum of the purchase price. The Commissioners took the risk that the vendor would be able to prove title.
Deputy McMenamin.—Anybody who buys anything would take a risk.
Mr. McGrath.—It happened in this case that they could not prove title and, of course, the Commissioners could not buy premises which had no title or lease. They could not get a clear lease in the matter.
Mr. Kent.—You have to wait for some time in these cases.
Mr. McGrath.—The expenditure of £1,200 for repairs and adaptation on the premises is another matter.
Chairman.—If you buy a house and, while waiting to have the title proved on the part of the seller, spend £1,200 upon it, you are acting rather unwisely, unless you have some agreement that, if the vendor does not prove title, he will pay you for what you have done.
Deputy Smith.—I think it is very hard to determine which side has the claim in that case—the Department or the vendor. The Auditor-General mentions another matter, that is payment to the quantity surveyors which is a substantial amount.
Chairman.—That was due to the fact that the Department of Education had changed their minds.
Mr. McGrath.—That is in regard to the training college.
431. Deputy Smith.—What was the quantity surveyor doing there?
Chairman.—He was surveying for a training college and the Department of Education turned round and said we want a preparatory college.
432. Deputy Smith.—What was the amount?
Mr. McGrath.—£1,500 for the quantity surveyor and £1,600 for the superfluous steel work.
Deputy Smith.—As between a training college and a preparatory college, I cannot see where the difference came in.
Chairman.—If you were a quantity surveyor you would. If the Department of Education changed their mind they should pay for it.
Mr. McGrath.—A preparatory college is for boys; the training college is for women. The rooms would have to be of different sizes, and different arrangements altogether would have to be made.
Deputy Smith.—I agree there would be a discrepancy but this is a very big one.
Chairman.—If I were a quantity surveyor and people changed their minds as to what they wanted after they had already given an order, I would say they should pay for it.
Deputy Smith.—I do not object to that so much as to the item for the steel.
433. Bourn-Vincent Memorial Park— Report of the Comptroller and Auditor— General. Paragraph 10:—
The administration and control of the park was taken over by the Commissioners of Public Works on 1st January, 1933. The accounts furnished for the year ended 31st March, 1934, show that the receipts from the estate and farm were £2,042 2s. 5d. and the expenditure amounted to £7,298 8s. 6d., leaving the net cost of upkeep of the park for the year £5,256 6s. 1d.
In the course of my audit I observed that a considerable quantity of furniture purchased during the year was taken into store. I have asked the Accounting Officer for particulars of the value of stocks on hands at the close of the year.
434. Chairman.—Was any explanation given?
Mr. McGrath.—We got into communication with the Department and are quite satisfied that a new arrangement will be made by which only a small portion, if any, of the purchases in future will go into store; that is to say, purchases will represent what the Departments require. We know that the Office of Works has difficulty in this matter and as to what they are to have in hand. We think that the furniture in the hands of the Department should be as small as possible. The ideal of the Auditor-General’s office is that there should be no stocks except timber for making repairs and so on, and that purchases, when made, should be made to meet demand at the time being.
Chairman.—That may not be always possible.
435. Deputy McMenamin.—Are there not cases where it would be uneconomical to buy single articles?
Mr. Kent.—There are cases where it would be good business to have supplies in stock.
436. Report of Auditor-General, par 12:—
In addition to the sum of £42,300 1s. 0d. charged against this sub-head, further expenditure within the year of £40,400 was charged to the Local Loans Advances, bringing the total expenditure on Barrow Drainage to 31st March, 1934 (including cost of preliminary investigations in 1925-26), to £502,754 17s. 5d. Of the net expenditure of £500,552 10s. 6d. chargeable as part of the cost of the scheme under the Barrow Drainage Acts, 1927 and 1933, £250,152 10s. 6d. has been met out of voted moneys, the balance, £250,400, being provided out of Local Loans Advances. The total expenditure sanctioned under the Acts for carrying out the works is limited to £550,000, one-half to be provided out of voted moneys and the other half to be advanced by the Commissioners of Public Works from the Local Loans Fund.
437. Chairman.—Is the repayment side going ahead allright?
Mr. Kent.—The final award has not been made yet.
438. Deputy Smith.—Of course the local authorities are already committed to the repayment of their amount?
Mr. Kent.—They are bound to do so by Act of Parliament.
Arterial Drainage—Purchase of Machinery.
439. Report of Auditor-General, par. 13:—
The cost of excavating machines purchased under this sub-head and the cost of major renewals charged to J (5) are recoverable by means of a hire charge raised against the various schemes of arterial drainage on which they are employed. The total expenditure on the purchase and maintenance of machinery to 31st March, 1934, amounted to £35,466 1s. 1d. of which £17,826 17s. or approximately 50 per cent., was recovered at that date under the arrangements referred to.
The cost of minor renewals while the machines are on hire is charged directly against the respective drainage schemes on which the expenditure is incurred.
Mr. McGrath.—It will be seen here that we recovered almost 50 per cent. of the total expenditure. The aim is to recover 100 per cent. in 10 years; we have recovered 50 per cent. in four years. The calculation of the Board of Works appears to be correct.
Mr. Kent.—We favour the taxpayer.
Arterial Drainage—Maintenance of Machinery.
440. Report of the Auditor-General, paragraph 14:—
This sub-head was opened to make provision for the cost of maintenance of excavating machines heretofore charged to sub-head C (Maintenance and Supplies), and to correlate the expenditure under the J-(Drainage) group of sub-heads.
441. Chairman.—With regard to item E (2)—Ex Gratia Payment to Gaelic League. You took the premises over from them?
Mr. Kent.—Yes, they were originally tenants on a short lease.
422. Why did you have to have that house?—It is one of four houses together and these houses were required as an Irish college for the Christian Brothers. We went into the matter, but the Gaelic League refused to give it up. We were legally advised that they had rights, and we had to compensate them.
443. Deputy McMenamin.—What sort of a tenancy had they?—It was a yearly tenancy.
444. Deputy Smith.—You call it an ex gratia grant?—We were advised on the matter, and though we did not go into court, we did not pay without knowing what we were paying for.
445. Chairman.—Item I-Linen Hall Barrack-Who are your tenants there?
Mr. Kent.—The Corporation of Dublin.
446. Chairman.—Are they the people who did not pay the rent?—I am not sure; there are one or two other tenants.
477. Are they ordinary householders, or are they shops?—Not shops; there are stores there.
448. Deputy McMenamin.—Is it a store the Corporation have there?—No, the Corporation has a housing scheme there.
449. Chairman.—Have you got your rent out of these people since?—Yes, it was only a few weeks in arrears. It was paid after the end of the financial year.
VOTE 27—HAULBO WLINE DOCKYARD.
Mr. P. Kent called.
The Committee adjourned to Wednesday, 5th June, 1935, at 11 a.m.