Committee Reports::Interim and Final Report - Appropriation Accounts 1938 - 1939::23 March, 1939::MIONTUAIRISC NA FINNEACHTA / Minutes of Evidence


(Minutes of Evidence)

Déardaoin, 23adh Márta, 1939.

Thursday, 23rd March, 1939.

The Committee sat at 11 a.m.

Members Present:





B. Brady.





R. Walsh.

DEPUTY DILLON in the Chair.

Seóirse Mag Craith (Ard-Reachtaire Cunntas agus Ciste) called and examined.


Mr. J. J. McElligott examined.

265. Chairman.—There is no note in reference to this Vote in the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor-General. I notice, Mr. McElligott, in connection with subhead E—Telegrams and Telephones— that you spent less than was provided. Have any representations reached you about the inadequacy of the accommodation in regard to telephones in this establishment?—Yes, we have had representations about it, but I understood that the grievance had been, to some extent, met and that at the present time there was not such a volume of complaint in regard to their inadequacy.

266. I think that is substantially true, but there still arise occasions when you want to use a telephone in this establishment and you are informed there are no lines, which, I think, on the whole, is an unreasonable situation. Do you not think so?—On the whole, if such an occurrence is frequent, I would agree.

267. Although I could not honestly say it is of frequent occurrence, it is sufficiently frequent to be extremely irritating?—I could take up the matter with the Department of Posts and Telegraphs and see whether they could not effect some improvement.

268. If you have not spent all the money, it occurs to me that, in your generosity, you might consider providing one or two extra lines?—The existing position is that we provide two telephonists, we have one double switchboard and ten exchange lines, together with a direct line to the Custom House, the Land Commission, and the Department of Agriculture. There are two direct lines to Government Buildings and 62 internal extensions, as well as a private switchboard, which does not concern the Deputies. The number of calls has not shown an increase, at least so far as some figures that I have before me are concerned. For instance, the number of calls made in 1935-36 was 45,675 and in 1936-37 the number was 36,265. I have not any figures for 1937-38.

269. I think you may rest assured that the ten external lines are not adequate for the volume of business?—As I say, I will take up the matter with the Department of Posts and Telegraphs. The House Committee would consider matters of that kind, I take it.

270. I do not doubt that they do, but whenever we find so courteous an Accounting Officer as yourself, and money in hand, we avail of the opportunity to make representations?—I will do my best in that matter.


Mr. J. J. McElligott further examined.

Chairman.—The following note is contained in the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor-General.

Excess of Expenditure over Grant.

“The expenditure on this account exceeded the grant by £221 14s. 7d. The excess is explained by the Accounting Officer as due to unforeseen extra expenditure arising out of the Anglo-Irish discussions which took place in London towards the close of the financial year.”

271. Can you tell us what was the position in that connection?—As a matter of fact, we were not aware there would be an excess on the Vote until after the close of the financial year. There were four meetings in London, in January, February, March and April, of 1938, and the expenses of the whole delegation on each occasion were borne on the Vote for the Department of External Affairs. It was not until July, 1938, after the close of the financial year that we are discussing, that the apportionment was effected as between the various Votes. The expenses of Ministers were borne on the Vote we are considering at present, the Department of the President of the Executive Council, but the expenses of officials were borne on the Votes of their respective Departments. In all cases the expenses were first paid from the Vote for External Affairs and it was not until after the financial year closed that it was possible to make an apportionment of the expenses as between the different Votes. Then we found the amount that fell to be borne by the President’s Vote involved an excess on that Vote, which has been duly recorded and reported on by the Comptroller and Auditor-General.

272. I take it that our procedure in that case will be that we will submit the usual Interim Report to the Dáil, reporting the excess Vote and recommending that the sanction of the Oireachtas be obtained and I shall propose a resolution along those lines, gentlemen, at the end of our proceedings to-day. Would that be the best procedure?—Yes. We would be much obliged.


Mr. J. J. McElligott further examined.

273. Chairman.—There is no note contained in the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor-General on this particular Vote, but it is customary in connection with the Vote to turn to the first note of the Comptroller and Auditor-General on the out-turn of the year. I notice there, Mr. McElligott, that there is a surrender of £1,631,366 11s. 9d., which represents 5.06 of the gross Estimate. Is that figure arrived at after allowance has been taken for the customary deductions made by the Minister for Finance in introducing the Budget, for over-estimation? —No. This figure has no relation to the £1,500,000 usually deducted by the Minister for Finance in the course of his Budget calculation. It, in fact, goes to show that the £1,500,000 is a pretty near estimate of the saving.

274. But that figure is a forecast of the sum to be surrendered?—That is substantially so. The saving, while it may appear large, and it undoubtedly is large, is considerably smaller than the saving in the year 1936-37, when the figure was £2,926,000.

275. Which represented 9.2 of the gross Estimate?—Yes. In 1935-36 the saving was £2,288,000, so I think the figure shows an improvement in the estimating of the Departments.

276. It undoubtedly does. On that, I think Mr. McGrath and the members of the Committee can congratulate themselves, in addition to congratulating Mr. McElligott?—I have enjoined on the Accounting Officers, following the proceedings of the Committee last November, that they should exercise more than usual care in preparing their Estimates for 1939-40, and I hope we will do even better later on.

277. I am sure the Committee are very glad to hear that. Are we to take it that the provision made by the Minister for over-estimation in his Budget statement will reflect the improvement?—I would not like to commit myself in advance on anything concerning the Budget.


Mr. J. J. McElligott further examined.

278. Chairman.—In regard to subhead C 2, is there any special reason why the preparation of manuscripts for publication fell so far short of anticipation?—The examination and the editorial work was less than was anticipated during the year. Beyond that, I do not think there was any special reason. The work. I think, proved to be more difficult than had been anticipated.

279. But it is proceeding normally?— It is proceeding normally.

280. In regard to subhead F 1, did that commission not sit at all?—That commission has been sitting for some time. It has concluded its sittings, so far as the taking of evidence is concerned, but it has not yet presented its report. The report, however, is expected at an early date.

281. I notice a remarkable expenditure of 4d. on the Vote in regard to Travelling and Incidental Expenses?—That was in respect of postage.


Mr. J. J. McElligott called.

No question.


Mr. J. J. McElligott called.

No question.


Mr. J. J. McElligott called.

No question.


Mr. J. J. McElligott further examined.

282. Chairman.—I take it that subhead B of Vote 15 is a disappearing service?—Yes, Sir, it is less each year. The number of people receiving these ex-gratia payments was only 15 during the year in question. The Vote for the coming year, 1939-40, is £440 and, for the current year, 1938-39, £610. It is in the process of disappearing.



Mr. J. J. McElligott further examined.

Chairman.—On this Vote there is a note by the Comptroller and Auditor-General on page vii as follows:—

Subhead A—Superannuation Allowances.

I stated in paragraph 12 of my last report, in connection with an award of pension under Section 11 of the Superannuation Act, 1936, that I had some doubt as to whether section 28 of the Act, under which an addition of five years’ service had been granted, could be regarded as applicable to the case of a person in whose favour a certificate had been issued under section 11, and I understand that the matter has been referred to the Law Officers for advice. During the year other awards were made in similar circumstances, and I have accepted these awards pending receipt of the advice referred to.”

283. Has that advice been communicated to you yet, Mr. McGrath?

Mr. McGrath.—Yes. the Law Adviser advises that the Minister is authorised under the Act to award these additional five years and, of course, as I said last year, I am satisfied that the Law Adviser ratifies the Accounting Officer’s action in the matter.

284. Chairman.—I take it. Gentlemen, that we agree emphatically with the course agreed upon between Mr. McElligott and the Comptroller and Auditor-General. When the matter was before us last, that course was adopted and a definite ruling obtained and I take it that that satisfies the Committee. And you are quite satisfied. Mr. McGrath?

Mr. McGrath.—I am, yes.

285. Chairman.—The second note by the Comptroller and Auditor-General is continued as follows:—

“A pension of £202 10s. 0d per annum, together with a supplementary pension subject to an overriding maximum of £46 15s. 6d. per annum, and an additional allowance of £540 with a supplementary additional allowance of £93 11s. 1d. was awarded to an officer in whose favour a certificate had been issued by the Minister for Finance under section 12 of the Superannuation Act, 1936. The provisions of section 12 (4) of the Act were applied in determining the period of the officer’s established service and it was observed that the service, as so determined, was reckoned on a continuous basis from the date of his first appointment to the date of his resignation.

Section 12 (3) of the Act provides for the method of reckoning continuous established service and section 12 (4) provides an alternative basis for determining service where such is more favourable to the pensioner. It would appear from the terms of section 12 (4) (a) that under the alternative method of calculation, service must be regarded as having ended on the date of the officer’s appointment to an established position, and I have asked for the observations of the Accounting Officer in view of the fact that, as already stated, service in the present case was reckoned to the date of resignation.”

Mr. McGrath.—Perhaps I should give some more details. This officer was unestablished. He had no pension rights originally and he came into this Service on the 2nd May, 1907, and served in an unestablished capacity until the 26th November, 1922. He came back to the Service on the 6th October, 1932, so that be really had ten years’ suspension. I have read section 12 of the Act very carefully and I find that neither under section 12 (3) nor 12 (4) could he be awarded a full 27 5/12 years, and I wrote to the Accounting Officer pointing out my difficulty in passing the award.

286. Chairman.—Did I understand you to say, Mr. McGrath, that the officer retired from the Service in 1922?—He was suspended for political reasons.

287. What was the date of his suspension?—26th November, 1922.

288. Was he then an established officer? —No.

289. I see, and he was suspended in 1922, unestablished?—Yes.

290. And returned to the Service on the 6th October, 1932, as an established officer?—Yes.

291. Did he subsequently retire?—He served until 11th October, 1934. And then he retired owing to age. Is that right, Mr. Elligott?

Mr. McElligott.—Yes; he retired on the 11th October, 1934.

292. Chairman.—And was his pension calculated on the basis of service from 1907, Mr. McElligott?—The Comptroller and Auditor-General, I think, admits that the period from the 2nd May, 1907, to the date of his reinstatement is to be regarded as pensionable service by virtue of the direction given by the Minister under section 12 (4) of the Act.

Mr. McGrath.—I was merely pointing out the facts of the case, not the law of the case. I was pointing out the facts so that the Chairman and the other Deputies would understand what I was writing about. The main point is that the net difference between myself and the Accounting Officer only amounted to about two years. I wrote to the Accounting Officer, pointing out my difficulty, and he was good enough to refer the matter to the Attorney-General. The Attorney-General has sided with the Accounting Officer and, of course, I submit.

293. Chairman.—But that is no reason why this Committee should submit, even to such an august person as the Attorney-General.

Mr. McElligott.—The Attorney-General confirmed the view that we had taken: that the Minister was acting within his powers under the Superannuation Act of 1936 in making the award and recognising service as from the 2nd May, 1907, to the date of this man’s reinstatement. As between the date of his reinstatement and the date of his retirement, there is no question but that he is definitely qualified for a pension. We set out all the facts in our minute to the Attorney-General. We went into the case in great detail. We put our difficulty, and the difficulty of the Comptroller and Auditor-General, before him. The Attorney-General delivered himself at some length on the subject. The net effect of his ruling was that he concurred with the view that we had taken of the Minister’s powers under that Act. His exact words are:—

“In my opinion the Minister’s award in the present case is in accord with the statutory provisions.”

I think the Comptroller and Auditor-General has expressed himself as satisfied with that.

294. Deputy Cole.—How many years’ service had this officer altogether?—From 1907 to 1934.

294a. But during 15 years of that period he was not an established officer? —He entered the service, as the Comptroller and Auditor-General has said, in an unestablished capacity in May, 1907, and ceased to be so employed in November, 1922. From that date until October, 1932—just ten years—he was out of the service. He was reinstated in October, 1932. He was certified by the Civil Service Commissioners in July, 1933, for establishment with effect as from the 10th June, 1933, which has had to be regarded as the date from which he occupied an established position in the Civil Service, and he retired in October, 1934.

295. Deputy McMenamin.—So that he had only one year of established service? —One year and some months.

296. Deputy Cole.—Was his salary the same in the period 1932-1934 as it was in 1907?—I am afraid I have not any particulars of salary in 1907. The pension amounted to £202 10s. 0d., with a supplementary pension of £46 15s. 6d.

297. Deputy McMenamin.—Did this officer make any contribution to the Superannuation Fund?—Civil servants do not make a contribution to a fund.

298. But in the case of civil servants who become established officers late in life, is it not usual for them to make extra contributions, by way of reduction in their salaries, for superannuation purposes?—The salaries of established posts are supposed to be reduced so as to provide for the building up of a pension.

299. Chairman.—As far as I can see the main difficulty was as to whether he had benefit under that section, which gave him the right to have established service credited to him, for a period not longer than back to 1926. The Minister definitely rejected that benefit and elected to deal with this civil servant under the subsequent sub-section which entitled him to go back to the date upon which he first entered the service. But it would appear that if he went back to the date on which he first entered the service his period of benefit under the Act would end on his being established. It appears that, in addition to the years between his entry as an unestablished officer and the date upon which he was established, the Minister also took cognisance of the years subsequent to his establishment. Is that not so?—That is so.

300. That is the net point joined between yourselves and the Comptroller and Auditor-General?—Yes. That was the point on which the Attorney-General expressed an opinion in favour of the Minister: that he was entitled to assess the officer’s service in that manner by taking account both of the established service as well as the unestablished.

301. Why he did that Heaven alone knows. But leaving this case to one side, what I do not quite understand is this: under the section, suppose the Minister credited the officer with service up to the 5th October, 1932, when he became an established officer, would not the civil servant acquire, by virtue of his service and quite independent of the Superannuation Acts’ special provision, certain pension rights between the years 1932 and 1934 when he was, in fact, an established officer?—Yes, that is so.

302. Would the procedure have been, if the Attorney-General had not given his opinion and if the view of the Comptroller and Auditor-General had prevailed, that this civil servant would have got one pension under the Superannuation Acts in respect of his service between 1907 and 1932, and a separate pension in respect of his 18 months’ service from 1932 to 1934?—I do not think the Attorney-General would question the entitlement of the officer to superannuation benefit in respect of his Vote-paid service: that is, his service from the date of his establishment from 1932 to 1934.

303. But that would have been on a separate basis from the pension which he would have got in respect of his service from 1907 to 1932?—That is so.

303. Is that the net point, that in your view, Mr. McGrath, the pension should have been calculated under the Superannuation Act between 1907 and 1932, and on the Voted—service regulations between 1932 and 1934?

Mr. McGrath.—My opinion in this matter is that if you went according to the Act he would have received a lesser number of years for pension purposes than he has actually got. I do not want to say that I disagree with the Attorney-General, but the natural reading of Section 12 would make it appear that the officer was not entitled to the 27 and 5/12th years. That is the period he got credit for.

304. Deputy Cole.—Although he was out for ten years.

Mr. McGrath.—We must not forget that the Dáil itself has ruled that in such cases the Minister has power to award the ten years.

305. Chairman.—What, in your view, was the correct period in respect of which he should have got pension?

Mr. McGrath.—In my opinion, the most he could have got was 25 years and five months, and that includes the ten years.

306. Chairman.—That his pension should have been calculated on the basis of service from 2nd May, 1907, to the 5th October, 1932?

Mr. McGrath.—Yes.

307. Chairman.—And that he should have got pension in respect of that under the Superannuation Act?

Mr. McGrath.—Yes.

308. Chairman.—Do you contend that after he became an established officer, that is, as from the 5th October, 1932, to the 11th October, 1934, that he had no pension rights at all.

Mr. McGrath.—I do not contend that he had no rights, but the question would arise whether an established officer after two years’ service should get a pension or not.

309. Chairman.—What would your view be on that, Mr. McElligott?

Mr. McElligott.—In the first place, as regards the different periods of service, may I say that it is a fundamental principle of pension administration that periods of pensionable service may be aggregated for the purpose of calculating pension. Under the Superannuation Act of 1936 we had power to award this man pension in respect of the years preceding his establishment. Subsequent to establishment, we regarded him as having acquired a right to an ordinary Civil Service pension. In both cases we were acting in accordance with what was the law and the recognised practice. The only real difficulty that we saw in the case, and it was the point that the Attorney-General adverted to, was finding out the period of service antecedent to establishment that should be introduced into the calculation. Section 12 of the Act allows two methods of calculation, according as sub-section (3) or sub-section (4) is applied. Sub-section (4) happened to be the more favourable in this case, and we applied that sub-section. The Attorney-General ruled that in so applying it the Minister was within his rights. To come to the period subsequent to establishment, the Attorney-General after considering it stated that “the service from 10th June, 1933, to the 11th October, 1934, was established service in the Civil Service of Saorstát Eireann, and it should, therefore, enter into the calculation of the period of service for superannuation purposes on general principles, unless it has been expressly excluded.” Well, it was not expressly excluded.

310. Chairman.—What would have happened suppose this civil servant had never been suspended and had remained an unestablished officer in the Land Commission up to the 5th October, 1932, had then been established and served two years as an established officer? Could his pension rights have been restricted to his two years of established service?—We have various arrangements in connection with established officers for reckoning periods of unestablished service for pensions or for gratuities. We do not give recognition, as a rule, to 100 per cent. of their unestablished service as we have done in this case. The Superannuation Act of 1936 was admittedly generous in its treatment of people such as we are concerned with here.

311. Chairman.—I seem to remember a series of cases in the Department of Agriculture of civil servants who had long worked on an unestablished basis. It was then decided to establish their particular grade. I think they got a gratuity, and that those who came after them were put on the usual pension basis. But it does appear that the officer in this case derived very substantial benefit from being suspended. In fact, as a consequence of his suspension, all his years of unestablished service were converted into years of established service for the purposes of superannuation, so that the poor fool slaving away in his job, and occupying an exactly analogous position, is in a much worse off position than the gentleman who was out for ten years.

312. Deputy O’Rourke.—But what about the poor fool who during those ten years had no compensation paid to him?

Chairman.—Am I to take it that it is the general view that it is a desirable practice that where a man is continued in employment for ten years he should be less favourably treated than a man who for various reasons has not?

Deputy O’Rourke.—Who took it as the general view? You are saying that it is the general view. Nobody is saying it but yourself.

313. Chairman.—I will put the case to Mr. McElligott. Am I to take it that public servants who remained in their positions during this period will be treated as favourably for superannuation purposes as the public servants who did not so remain?

Mr. McElligott.—I am afraid I could not give a general reply to that. Under the Agriculture Act, 1931, we made special provision for reckoning unestablished service as counting in some way towards pension lights. The application of that Act has been a subject of continual discussion between the Department of Agriculture and ourselves, because it is in that Department that there was a large number of unestablished posts. The treatment accorded in the present case was, no doubt, exceptional, as it has been in the case of the people who benefit under the Act of 1936. We, of course, must administer the law as we find it.

314. Chairman.—The words used by the Attorney-General I think cover the definite point raised by the Comptroller and Auditor-General:—

“The service from the 10th June, 1933, to the 11th October, 1934, was established service in the Civil Service of Saorstát Eireann and it should therefore, enter into the calculation of the period of service for superannuation purposes on general principles unless expressly excluded. In my opinion, the Minister’s award in the present case is in accord with the statutory provisions.”

I take it that that covers the point and that we must concur.

Mr. McGrath.—I should like to have my query to the Accounting Officer and the reply and the opinion of the Attorney-General printed in the records.

315. Chairman.—I take it the Accounting Officer has no objection to that course?

Mr. McElligott.—No.

Chairman.—I take it the Committee will direct accordingly.


The following are the documents referred to:—

“Office of Comptroller and Auditor-General.

24th November, 1938.

To the Accounting Officer,

Department of Finance.

Vote 16—Superannuation and Retired Allowances.

Award of pension to Mr.—— formerly Inspector, Grade I, Irish Land Commission.

It is observed that a certificate in Mr.——— favour was issued by the Minister under Section 12 of the Superannuation Act, 1936, and that his established service was determined in accordance with the provisions of Section 12 (4) of the Act. It is noted that the service as so determined was reckoned, on a continuous basis, from the date of his first appointment in 1907 to the date of his resignation.

Section 12 (3) provides that continuous established service shall be reckoned as the period beginning on a date to be certified, but not earlier than 1st February, 1926, and ending on the date of appointment to an established position, together with the period of continuous established service, and Section 12 (4) provides for an alternative basis for determining service where such is more favourable to the pensioner. As it appears to the Comptroller and Auditor-General that, having regard to the terms of Section 12 (4) (a), service under the alternative basis of calculation, must be regarded as having ended on the date of the officer’s appointment to an established position, the observations of the Accounting Officer are requested.

File P. 6/134/34 is attached.

(Signed) W. E. WANN.


The Attorney-General has advised that the award made in this case is in accord with the statutory provisions. A copy of the opinion is attached.

File P. 6/134/34 is returned herewith.

(Signed) J. J. McELLIGOTT.

13 Márta, 1939.



“Roinn an Ard Aighne.

Ard Aighne.

1. Regard must be had to the words contained in paragraph (b) of sub-section (1) of Section 12 in the introductory part of this very difficult section. That paragraph empowers the Minister to direct that the section shall apply to the determination for the purposes of the Superannuation Acts of the period of service of such person in the Civil Service of Saorstát Eireann.

2. In order to determine the period of service there had to be two terminal points, namely, the dates when the service commenced and ended. The service terminated, without question, on the 11th October, 1934. The real difficulty arises in these cases in finding out what antecedent service was to be introduced into the calculation. It is admitted that Section 12 offered to those within it the benefits of whichever of the two sub-sections—(3) or (4)—were the more favourable. Sub-section (4) is the more favourable to the present case.

3. It might have been invidious and have caused some duplication if paragraph (a) of sub-section 4 of Section 12 referred to the date of retirement from the established service of Saorstát Eireann instead of referring to the date of appointment to that service. The service from the 10th June, 1933, to the 11th October, 1934, was established service in the Civil Service of Saorstát Eireann and it should, therefore, enter into the calculation of the period of service for superannuation purposes on general principles unless expressly excluded. In my opinion, the Minister’s award in the present case is in accord with the statutory provisions.

(Intd.) P. P. O’D.

27th February, 1939.

I concur.

(Intd.) P. L.



Mr. McElligott called.

No question.


Mr. McElligott further examined.

316. Chairman.—I do not think we can ask Mr. McElligott any question beyond inquiring if he had a certificate from a Minister of the Executive Council for every disbursement made under the Vote?—Yes, we have these certificates. There was a considerable saving on the Vote.


Mr. McElligott called.

No question.


Mr. McElligott called.

No question.


Mr. McElligott further examined.

317. Chairman.—As to subhead BB— Contributions towards cost of structural alterations in Abbey Theatre, Dublin, £2,800—when is it proposed to undertake that work?—The provision, which was the subject of a Supplementary Estimate in that year of £2,800 for structural alterations in the Abbey Theatre, was repeated in the Vote for 1938-39 and was not availed of, and it is repeated again in the Vote for 1939-40. The carrying out of the alterations has been delayed and I am not in a position to say when the work will be undertaken.

318. It is proposed to keep the Vote open until such time as the Government receives a certificate that the work has been done?—Yes.

319. Deputy O’Loghlen.—Have you any knowledge of any special causes operating to prevent the work being carried out?— I think the Directors of the Abbey Theatre have something more ambitious in mind rather than just the reconstruction of the theatre. They have, I think, ideas of having more than one theatre, having a special theatre devoted to Irish plays exclusively, and accommodation for a school of acting; but I am not conversant with the details of their plans.

Chairman.—Deputies will remember that the Estimates are being discussed and we can raise the question very exhaustively with the Minister.


Mr. McElligott further examined.

320. Chairman.—Are these Grants allocated partly in respect of the number of agricultural employees?—Yes.

321. There is a statutory definition of agricultural employee for the purposes of the grants allocated?—Yes.


Mr. McElligott further examined.

322. Paragraph 16 of the Comptroller and Auditor-General’s Report:—

Subhead F—Defence of Public Officials.

It will be observed that the provision of £600 in this subhead was exceeded by £2,813 16s. 2d. The excess was wholly due, as stated in the account, to the decision of the Supreme Court in the action, Lynch v. Fitzgerald and others. This was an action brought against certain members of the Gárda Síochána for damages in respect of the loss of the son of the plaintiff who was killed in August, 1934, during a disturbance which took place on the occasion of a sale of cattle in Cork. Judgment was given in favour of the plaintiff for £300 damages and costs. An appeal was taken to the Supreme Court, and it was dismissed with costs.”

Chairman.—Have you any further observations to make, Mr. McGrath?

Mr. McGrath.—No.

323. Chairman.—In meeting the law costs of a public servant under this subhead, Mr. McElligott, is any regard had to the determination of the Court on the propriety of the action of the public servant in respect of which he has been sued?

Mr. McElligott.—Yes, As a rule, the circumstances under which the public servant took the action that he did are taken into account. But it does not follow that, if the Court finds the public servant guilty or returns a verdict which indicates that he has exceeded his duty, we will refuse to defray his legal expenses.

Chairman.—Is there an understanding or any statutory provision that where a public servant goes clearly beyond the warrant of his authority, breaks the law, and renders himself civilly or criminally liable, his expenses would not be charged to this Vote?

324. Deputy Walsh.—Do you not think that that is going rather far? You are questioning him on a pure question of policy?

Chairman.—If the Deputy will listen closely, I am asking whether there is a statutory provision or other existing regulation, where a public servant goes beyond the warrant of his authority, or renders himself criminally or civilly liable, prohibiting the charging of his expenses on this Vote. That is a matter of fact. I am not asking if he thinks it ought to be, which would be an improper question.

Deputy Walsh.—You are asking him to decide a question of law and not fact.

325. Chairman.—I am asking him if there is a regulation existing.

Mr. McElligott.—There is no regulation or statutory provision.

326. Do any instructions exist, or is it a matter entirely within the discretion of the Minister as to whether the expenses of a public servant are to be met out of public moneys?—It is entirely within the discretion of the Minister. But, if the public official was not at fault at all, presumably no damages and no costs would be awarded against him, and in that case the question of recoupment from public funds would not arise. The existence of the subhead seems rather to indicate that it is a provision for cases where the public servant has been found by the Court to be at fault.

327. Has it occurred to you that a case might occur in which a public servant, acting within the warrant of his authority, would be sued by a man of straw and, on being vindicated in the Court, would find it impossible to recover his costs and, in such an event, the State might indemnify him?—We have had cases of that kind.

328. That would rather operate to offset your presumption?—Yes. We consider each case individually on its merits and, as I say, take all the surrounding circumstances into account. It is impossible really to lay down a general rule. In the present case, the large excess was due to the heavy bill for counsels’ fees.

329. Leaving aside the present case, can you recall any case in which a public servant was severely censured from the Bench and was, nevertheless, indemnified by the State in respect of his expenses?— No, I cannot.

330. Do you happen to have before you the relevant papers in the case referred to in the report of the Comptroller and Auditor-General?—I have some papers here.

331. Chairman.—Was there, in this case, any censure by the judicial authorities who considered the case?

Deputy Walsh.—I think Mr. McElligott should not answer that question. The Chairman is trying to make a political point.

Chairman.—Surely we must extend to one another the courtesy which we expect to receive.

Deputy Walsh.—I think you are going beyond the functions of your office as Chairman of this Committee.

Chairman.—That is a point you have every right to make but, so long as any member of this Committee confines himself to inquiry as to the facts of a particular case, he must be given the assistance he requires.

Deputy Walsh.—If you have any grievance, the place to air it is in the Dáil.

Deputy Brady.—This case was brought to the attention of every member of the public through the decision of the courts and through the discussions in the Dáil. Everybody should be familiar with the circumstances of the case and I do not see that there is any sense in the question which the Chairman has put.

Mr. McElligott.—I have no record on my files of any observations by the judge on the conduct of the officer concerned.

332. Deputy Brady.—Might there be other cases of a similar nature which you cannot recall at the moment?—There might very well be.

333. Chairman.—Can you inform us whether the judgment of the court of first instance and the judgment of the Court of Appeal were brought to the attention of the Department when the question was being determined as to whether this public servant’s expenses should be met out of the Vote or not?—Yes. The matter was under discussion between the Department of Justice and the Department of Finance and the judgments in question were then considered.

334. You do not happen to have the relevant paragraphs of these judgments with you at the present time?—No. They are not on our file. They were produced by the Department of Justice when the discussions were taking place.

335. When we are preparing our report, the propriety of this payment will be called in question and it would be of assistance to me if the relevant paragraphs of the judgments which were considered by the Department of Finance were made available by way of memorandum,* if that is convenient to you?—Yes.

336. I should also be grateful if you would make available, by way of memorandum, any other papers which, in your judgment, operated to influence the decision of the Minister in determining whether these moneys were properly payable?—Yes. You will understand that, having to answer for so large a number of Votes and having to bring over so large a number of files, I have to leave some files behind.

337. I fully appreciate that. For that reason, I suggest that it might be more convenient for you and quite as convenient for the Committee if you would be good enough to let us have the memorandum I mentioned?—The only files relating to this case which I have here are those in connection with the very substantial bill of costs which was incurred. These files do not contain the particulars for which you ask.

Deputy Brady.—Do I take it that the Comptroller and Auditor-General in his note takes no exception to the payment of this amount?

Chairman.—The note by the Comptroller and Auditor-General is informative. It is for the Committee to take such action as it thinks proper on that note.

338. Deputy Brady—Are we to take it that the note is merely explanatory and that the Comptroller and Auditor-General takes no exception to the payment of the amount?

Mr. McGrath.—The note is merely explanatory. In going through the accounts, I take notes of anything that would be either interesting or instructive to the Dáil. I do not expect each member of the Dáil to sit down and examine the accounts in detail. I do that for them and, in my discretion, I draw attention to any point which I think should be brought to the notice of the Dáil. It does not follow that I am criticising the item to which I draw attention. In this case, the Accounting Officer had authority from the Dáil to spend under this Vote the sum of £67,280 and he spent only £62,011.

339. Deputy Walsh.—Would it be true to say that in, at least, two other famous cases, this point arose—the famous case of the kicking cows in Clare and a famous case in Waterford in 1926 in which certain members of the Gárda were accused of assault, subsequently tried in court and a verdict given against them?—Do you suggest that the costs were defrayed from public funds.

340. Yes?—I think that there were such cases as those to which you refer. To what extent they were analogous to the present case, I cannot, in the absence of any detailed recollection of them, say.

341. This is not unprecedented?— Speaking generally, it is not unprecedented. I cannot speak as to the particular facts of those cases.

Deputy O’Rourke.—What do you. Mr. Chairman, suggest should be done if the State did not defend its officers?

Chairman.—I do not think that we should detain Mr. McElligott while discussing the terms of our report. At the end of our deliberations, the terms of our report will be fully discussed and it will be open to any Deputy to propose an amendment to, or deletion of, any clause of the draft report. It is unnecessary to detain a busy Accounting Officer while we consider what it is proper to do in connection with that report.

Deputy Brady.—You have wasted a lot of his time already.


Mr. McElligott further examined.

342. Chairman.—What are the exact terms of the Grant-in-Aid under Subhead B? I notice that £948 6s. 7d. less than the amount granted was spent.—As I have said in my note to the account, the work of reconstruction at University College, Galway, which was the college for which the payment was intended, proceeded more slowly than had been expected. As the work was only partially completed within the year, this saving on the grant was made.

343. The amount was presumably issued in the following financial year?—I think that the work has since been practically completed. We contributed 50 per cent. of the total cost of the alterations and the remaining 50 per cent. was borne on College funds.

344. Under subhead B B there was an additional grant to University College, Galway, under section 7 (7) of the Irish Universities Act, 1908. How came it that a supplementary grant was issued while the initial grant was unexhausted? Perhaps it was for a different purpose?— It was for a different purpose. It was in connection with the Irish staff of the college that the expenditure was incurred.


Mr. McElligott further examined.

Report of Comptroller and Auditor-General, paragraph 17:—

Advances in respect of Electrical Battery Research and Development.

Including £46,000 in 1937-38, the total amount provided for advances for Electrical Battery Research and Development to 31st March, 1938, was £151,300. The total advance to that date was £145,060 17s. 9d., the balance of £6,239 2s. 3d., not yet issued, being retained in a deposit account. In addition, a grant of £1,800 was made from the Relief Schemes votes for the years 1932-33 and 1933-34. I have inquired whether the conditions and terms of repayment of these advances have yet been determined.”

345. Chairman.—Have you received any reply to that inquiry?

Mr. McGrath.—I have not received any reply.

Mr. McElligott.—The reason I failed to reply was that my reply would be merely a repetition of what I had already informed the Comptroller and Auditor-General on numerous occasions—that we were not yet in a position to determine the conditions and terms of the repayment of these advances. As I said to the Committee in November last, it would be of little use to settle these conditions until there was a fairly good prospect of being repaid and such prospect has not offered itself up to the present. As I said in my evidence at the session of the Committee dealing with the 1936-37 accounts, the commercial exploitation of the battery has not proceeded in the way we had hoped in the early days and I do not foresee our being able to secure repayment of these advances within any reasonable time.

346. Chairman.—Has the Department any view as to the prospects of the Battery Development—is it intended indefinitely going on making annual contributions?—No, the year which we are discussing, 1937-38, was the last year in which assistance was given to this battery from State funds. We did not have any Vote for the service in 1938-39 nor is there any Vote to be taken for the year 1939-40, so that the period of State assistance to the battery has definitely come to an end.

347. Could the Committee be given any idea as to the time when repayment may be made?—Not so far as we are concerned. I understand that the battery company has been in negotiations with the Great Southern Railway Company in connection with the building of further battery trains and that, in fact, some battery trains are at present being constructed for the Great Southern Railways and are expected to be in service before the end of the year.

348. I take it you are keeping in constant touch with the developments that may be afoot regarding the commercial development?—Yes, we are keenly interested. We are anxious to secure some of our money.

349. All the information required by you as regards commercial development is supplied by the company?—Yes, the company always supplies us with the information we ask for.

350. Is the Minister represented in that particular company?—No, he is not represented on the battery company.

351. Deputy McMenamin.—There were a number of trains running to Dun Laoghaire and also some trains running from Harcourt Street on the Drumm battery. Are these trains still running?—I understand at the moment some of them are out of service. One of them had an accident. A steam train, no doubt envious of the reputation of the Drumm train, ran into the Drumm train at some points in Bray at a siding and the Drumm train was knocked about. It did not injure the battery, but it wrecked the chassis. That train has been out of service for some months, but it is expected back again soon. The Drumm trains were removed from service between Amiens Street and Bray, but they are in service between Harcourt Street and Bray.

352. Has the battery company any income?—It has a certain income from the Great Southern Railways for work done for that company, but all this income is used in administration expenses. We have not been able to secure any of it for the Exchequer.

353. The company is not accumulating a debit?—No, except in so far as the interest on the advances is piling up.

354. Apart from that its working expenses have been paid?—Yes, that is so.

355. Is there any provision for any surplus over and above the working expenses to be repaid in reduction of principal and interest outstanding?—Yes, we have laid that down as a principle, but the principle has not yet come into operation.

Chairman.—I do not think there is any other question arising out of this Vote, so we will pass on.


Mr. McElligott further examined.

356. Chairman.—If there is any question which any Deputy wishes to put on this Vote he might turn to the Report of the Public Accounts Committee of the last two or three years where he will get full information on this Vote and what it is about.

357. Deputy Walsh.—Are there any particulars before us in the Vote? What is it for?

Chairman.—Deputy Walsh is loyal to the traditions of the Public Accounts Committee in asking a question on this Vote.

Mr. McElligott.—This Office looks after certain Government properties such as the Curragh of Kildare and the land on the far side of the Liffey and the Phoenix Park. It looks after State rights in foreshores. These briefly are its functions. They have been given in more elaboration in earlier reports of this Committee.

Chairman.—There is in existence in the Reports of the Public Accounts Committee in the last two or three years a very full memorandum setting forth the present functions of the Quit Rent Office.

358. Deputy O’Rourke.—Are these functions worth performing?

Chairman.—They are. It is one of those offices that could not be dispensed with. It is one of those offices that shows a tendency to disappear in the dim and distant future.

Mr. McElligott.—The operations of the Land Acts are tending to minimise its activities; under the operations of the Land Acts those Quit Rents are discharged. It will only be after a time that they will disappear entirely.

359. Deputy McMenamin.—The Quit Rent is redeemed when the land is purchased?—Yes.

360. That abolishes the operations of the office in so far as each particular case like that is concerned?—Yes.

361. Chairman.—What actually is happening at present with the Quit Rent receipts?—They are going into the Woods and Forests Fund and a substantial balance has been accumulating in that fund. This fund with regard to its statutory position is a little doubtful and we have been investigating that in order to make sure whether legislation would be necessary to enable us to deal with the fund or not. At present we are simply continuing it on the old basis.

362. Can you say approximately what the balance in the Woods and Forest Funds is at the present time?—There was a sum of about £300,000 on the 1st March. Of course that includes a large proportion of Land Bonds. That £300,000 is the total of the cash and the investments. As a matter of fact the cash is only a couple of hundred pounds. The other assets consist of Government securities of which Land Bonds form the largest part, so that the fund is being utilised for Government purposes.

363. And accumulating at compound interest?—Yes.

364. This income is annually invested? Yes.

365. Are these any disbursements?— Well, the outgoings are negligible. They amount only to some hundreds of pounds per annum.

366. I hope Deputies will keep the existence of this fund in mind when they hear the Minister saying there are no funds available to carry out certain works. We will tell him about this Fund?

Mr. McElligott.—Unfortunately, most of the funds are tied up at present in Government securities. If they were turned into liquid assets by the selling out of these securities, it would be a source of embarrassment to the Minister for Finance.

Chairman.—I suppose the same might be said of certain other funds.


Mr. McElligott called.

No question.


Mr. McElligott further examined.

Chairman.—On this Vote there is a note by the Comptroller and Auditor-General:—

Exchequer Extra Receipts.

As shown in the Account, a sum of £100,000 received as contribution from the Road Fund for which no provision had been made in the Estimate has been treated as an Exchequer extra receipt. My examination of the payments from this Vote is still proceeding.”

367. Has the examination yet concluded?

Mr. McGrath.—No, but three-fourths of it have been made. We have not any outstanding question beyond the ordinary inquiries.

368. I observe that a surplus of £299,921 11s. 5d. is to be surrendered to the Department, but the Department took £100,000 from the Road Fund, so that in fact the Road Fund was made to contribute £100,000 to the Exchequer by way of surplus instead of spending that £100,000 upon employment?

Mr. McElligott.—I cannot dispute that that is one way of looking at it. There are, however, other ways, I submit, of looking at this matter. A large proportion of the total expenditure of £1,200.088 8s. 7d. was, in fact, devoted to roads and used for the purposes for which the Road Fund would ordinarily be used. Over £500,000 was spent in the year in question on the roads and the contribution of £100,000 from the Road Fund was, therefore, not unreasonable. The surplus on the Vote was, I think, less than the year before; in fact, considerably less. The surplus the year before was £854,000; we drew a sum of £100,000 from the Road Fund.

369. Deputy McMenamin.—Do you mean that this money was spent on main roads or trunk roads?—It was spent mainly on minor roads.

370. Not on new roads?—On some accommodation roads and minor works and roads.

371. You could not say what proportion of it?—No, I could not say what proportion was spent on smaller road works, or on new road works.

372. Deputy Benson.—Does not that mean that there has been altogether £400,000 gone into the Exchequer between this item and the £119,012 extra receipts at the bottom of this note?

373. Chairman.—What Deputy Benson wants to know is, was this £299,921 surrendered to the Exchequer in addition to the £119,012 extra receipts?—No, the extra receipts are quite separate and distinct from the £299,921 surrendered.

374. Chairman.—That is a very interesting discovery on the part of Deputy Benson, because that increases the proportion surrendered on the total transaction to over £400,000, on a Vote of £1,500,000.

Mr. McElligott.—The surrender to the Exchequer is not, I think, to be regarded as money entirely saved because, in fact, the schemes which it was thought would be carried out within this year, and were not carried out, were carried out in the subsequent year.

375. Deputy Benson.—But on foot of a new Vote and new extra receipts to the Exchequer.

Mr. McElligott.—Well, the Vote for the following year was £1,500,000 also, but the expenditure is estimated to be £1,358,000, so that the saving on the Vote will be only £142,000 in 1938-39.

Deputy Benson.—And the extra receipts?

Mr. McElligott.—There are no extra receipts from the Road Fund, but other receipts are about £20,000.

376. Deputy McMenamin.—Do you imply by that that this money was carried forward for the benefit of the forthcoming year?

Mr. McElligott.—Well, I have been suggesting that. It was not carried forward as a book-keeping transaction, but in effect the benefit of the saving that accrued in this year was disbursed in the following year.

377. But it was different money—not this money?—I cannot say that it was the same money.

378. Then it is not right to say that the Vote benefited in the succeeding year as a result of this?—The Vote did not benefit but, in fact, the disbursements from the Vote in the subsequent year were greater on account of the big savings in this year which we are discussing.

379. It was as a result of this?—As a result of the savings.

Chairman.—It might also be said that the failure to spend enough in this year gave rise to the certainty of spending too much in the next.

380. Deputy Walsh.—Would it not be correct to put it this way, Mr. Chairman? A job was started at the beginning of March, costing, we will say £5,000, and it was not finished by the 31st March, only £1,000 of the money having been spent, but the job did not stop. It went on, and the £5,000 was spent. Is not that really what happened?

Chairman.—No—Mr. McElligott will correct me if I am wrong—because when the £1,000 had been spent the balance was not carried forward for expenditure in the following year. It was returned to the Exchequer. The Minister in the following year appropriated further moneys for carrying out analogous works.

Deputy Walsh.—But did the jobs stop?

Mr. McElligott.—The jobs continued, because, as Deputies are aware, we have an arrangement with the Dáil that the works which used to be interrupted coming towards the end of the financial year are now carried on continuously and financed continuously from the Employment Schemes Vote.

381. Deputy Benson.—I am not yet altogether clear on this Road Fund business. Do I take it that £100,000 was drawn from the Road Fund and that actually none of that was spent; that the whole of it is now being returned to the Exchequer?

Mr. McElligott.—The £100.000 which was drawn from the Road Fund was merged in the moneys generally available on the Vote, and it in effect made a sum of £1,600,000 available for the purpose of relieving unemployment. Out of that £1,600,000 the sum of £1,200,000 was spent, and it cannot be said that the £100,000 from the Road Fund was just absorbed for the benefit of the Exchequer exclusively. It was in effect part of the moneys disbursed generally towards the relief of unemployment.

382. Deputy Benson.—But the effect is that £100,000 was drawn from the Road Fund and paid into the Exchequer?

Mr. McElligott.—That is the effect. In fact we did not draw that money from the Road Fund until, I think, January, 1938, towards the close of the financial year, so as not to prejudice the Road Fund too much by making the draw earlier in the year.

383. Deputy Benson.—The effect of it is a concealed raid on the Road Fund?

Deputy Walsh.—I do not agree at all. I think Mr. McElligott has explained it fairly well.

Mr. McElligott.—I do not think I can accept either the term “concealed” or the term “raid.” It was carried out in pursuance of a clause in the Finance Act of 1937, which perhaps I may quote for the benefit of the Committee. Section 18 of the Finance Act, 1937, says:—

“With a view to providing moneys to meet charges which will fall upon the Central Fund in relation to schemes for the provision of employment and the relief of distress, the sum of £100,000 shall be transferred and paid from the Road Fund to the Exchequer at such time or times in the financial year ending on the 31st day of March, 1938, and in such manner as the Minister for Finance shall direct,”

so that the payments were made with the full knowledge and approval of the Oireachtas.

384. Deputy Benson.—I agree that my description would not be suitable if the money had been used but, in view of the fact that it has not been used, it is tantamount to a transfer of £100,000 from the Road Fund to the Exchequer.

Mr. McElligott.—It seems to me difficult to sustain the contention that it was not used, inasmuch as it might be regarded as being merged with the £1,500,000 provided in the Vote. Of the total of £1,600,000, the sum of £1,200,000 was spent.

385. Deputy Walsh.—Would it not be true to say that this £100,000 is still kept to its original purpose—that it was not put into the Exchequer and used towards general revenue expenditure? It is still kept for the purposes of the Road Fund? Is not that so?—I am afraid I cannot accept that either. The £100,000 was in fact paid into the Exchequer as miscellaneous revenue, and in the Department of Finance there remained only a mental concept that it was still available for the purposes of this Fund.

386. But what is apparently troubling the minds of the Committee is where this mysterious £100,000 went eventually?— Its destination was the Exchequer, and it entered the Holy of Holies in the guise of miscellaneous revenue.

Chairman.—I think Deputy Walsh’s questions are most helpful for the purpose of elucidating the truth of this transaction.

387. Deputy Cole.—Is there any chance of that amount coming back again?

Mr. McElligott.—No. Out of the Exchequer there is no redemption.


Mr. McElligott further examined.

Mr. McGrath.—The Committee generally calls Mr. Twomey to give evidence on this Vote.

388. Chairman.—This Vote relates almost exclusively to export bounties and subsidies on agricultural produce, and all the Comptroller and Auditor-General’s notes—with the exception of one—refer to those agricultural exports. I, therefore, propose with your permission to go cursorily through the Vote, asking Mr. McElligott questions only in respect of subhead A and the note relating to that, and asking the Clerk to draw our attention to this Vote again when Mr. Twomey comes before us. If that course is agreeable to Mr. McElligott, and to you gentlemen, the Comptroller and Auditor-General has indicated that it is agreeable to him. Is that agreeable to you, Mr. McElligott?

Mr. McElligott.—Yes. I am quite satisfied.

389. The first note here relates to bounties and subsidies on exports of industrial products. Is that usually dealt with by Mr. Leydon?—Mr. Leydon is more conversant with the details than I am. I think he has answered in the past in respect of industrial products.


Mr. McElligott further examined.

390. Chairman.—In regard to subhead A, has this business been wound up yet?

Mr. McElligott.—Yes. The office in New York to which those payments relate has been closed, and all the records have been transmitted to this side and have been submitted to the Comptroller and Auditor-General, who is, I understand, at present examining them and who will in due course present an account to Dáil Eireann.

391. In regard to subhead B—Repayment of Dáil Eireann External Loan Bonds issued in the Argentine—was this a separate arrangement which you set up in the Argentine Republic?—No. The money raised in the Argentine was raised at the same time as the external loan was raised in the United States. It was looked after by the same people, and the records relating to it were also domiciled in the United States, so we thought it well to perform the work of repayment from the same office in New York as handled the loan in the United States. It was only a small sum.

392. Did you apportion the expenses of the office between the applications from the Argentine and the American applications?—No. We made no attempt to apportion the expenses, inasmuch as the Vote had to be defrayed from the Exchequer, and there would have been no point in it.

393. Did those repayments under subhead B extinguish all the bonds in the Argentine?—Yes. Subscriptions from the Argentine was very limited.

394. And there are no further repayments outstanding on any account?—No. The transactions must now be regarded as completely closed.


Mr. McElligott called.

395. Chairman.—This Vote deals with a payment to the last holder of the office of Governor-General, Mr. Donal Buckley, provided for in Section 4 (2) (a) of the Executive Powers (Consequential Provisions) Act, 1937 (No. 20 of 1937). You certify, Mr. McGrath, that this payment has been made in accordance with that?

Mr. McGrath.—Yes.


Mr. McElligott further examined.

396. Chairman.—On this Vote, there is the following note by the Comptroller and Auditor-General in regard to Exchequer Extra Receipts:—

“The sum of £3,300 10s. 0d. shown in the account comprises repayment of an advance of £1,300 10s. 0d. made during the year ended 31st March, 1937, for the expenses of formation of an Air Transport Company together with a sum of £2,000 advanced during 1937-38, for the same purpose. There are no advances outstanding.”

In respect of this advance that you made, Mr. McElligott, have you any voice in the administration of this company or have you any advisory capacity?—The company is controlled by a board of directors, and the board of directors were nominated by the Minister for Finance. There is also provision for consultation with the Minister for Industry and Commerce on the matter.

397. Well, the next time you are consulting them, I wonder would you represent to this company that the failure to provide proper transport facilities from Croydon to London is gravely prejudicing their prospects. Have you ever travelled by that service?—Yes.

398. Was it your experience that you were deposited at a wayside station, that no proper transport facilities had been provided, and that you had to stagger around, so to speak, with your baggage and wait for a local train to take you to London or foot it?—I have had different experiences. I have been carried to London by different modes of conveyance. I have taken a taxi into London from Croydon and I have also gone by train from Croydon to London. I never had any any difficulty in getting motor transport outside the aerodrome, if I wanted it.

399. But that was not included in your ticket?—No. It cost 10/- to get by taxi from the aerodrome to London. However, I shall mention the matter to the company.

400. I presume that you are aware that every other company coming to Croydon provides free transport for passengers from Croydon to Victoria by road?—It is usually found economical to arrange for road transport with your fellow-travellers in the plane—generally there are four or five—and if they agree to take a taxi together, you can get a very expeditious service into London, in that way, comparatively cheaply.

I see, but still I am sure it would be a great advantage to their own passengers if the company were to arrange for such a service. Provision for such a service is made by other companies, such as Imperial Services, and so on, and I think it a foolish policy on behalf of Aer Lingus Teoranta not to provide proper transport facilities and leave it to their passengers, practically, to have to foot it.

401. Deputy Benson.—In connection with what Mr. McElligott has said, I should like to point out that, so far as I understand, it is illegal for a group of people to arrange to take a taxi in that manner.

Mr. McElligott.—Then, I have been unwittingly breaking the law.

Chairman.—And even incited thereto by Aer Lingus Teoranta. Now we come on to the next Vote.


Mr. McElligott called.

Chairman.—The details of this Vote will be found on page 244. If no question arises on that, I think we may adjourn now, and if nobody wishes to ask Mr. McElligott any further questions we need not trouble him further. We are very much obliged to you, Mr. McElligott.

The witness withdrew.

The Committee adjourned at 1 p.m.

*See Appendix VIII