Committee Reports::Report - Appropriation Accounts 1960 - 1961::15 March, 1962::MIONTUAIRISC NA FINNEACHTA / Minutes of Evidence


(Minutes of Evidence)

Déardaoin, 15 Márta, 1962.

Thursday, 15th March, 1962.

The Committee sat at 11 a.m.

Members present:







P. J. Burke,

N. Egan,



DEPUTY JONES in the chair.

Liam Ó Cadhla (An tArd Reachtaire Cuntas agus Ciste), Miss M. Bhreathnach, Mr. P. S. MacGuill and Mr. J. R. Whitty (An Roinn Airgeadais) called and examined.


Dr. W. J. Coyne called and examined.

119. Chairman. — On subhead B.— Victualling Patients and Rations for Staff—I notice that, while the number of patients estimated for was 85, the daily average was, in fact, 90. Had you any difficulty in providing for the extra five? —No. The number of patients has been going down since the turn of the decade. We thought that trend would continue. In this particular year of account we got an extra five, but we had no difficulty and were able to put them up comfortably.

Deputy Clinton.—The note on this subhead says that there was an increase in the cost of certain items of food stuffs, e.g., milk and butter. I was not aware of any increase in milk and butter prices in that period?—There is a seasonal variation in the price of milk.

120. Deputy Carter.—On subhead C.— Uniforms, Clothing for Patients, etc.— did they arrive at a satisfactory pattern for overcoats for the attendants? Was the solution found?—No, I am afraid the solution has not been found. It is rather involved. Shall I give you the details?

I am familiar with the details. I only want to know the outcome?—No solution has been found yet.

121. Deputy Booth.—On subhead D.— Travelling and Incidental Expenses—is this not an extraordinarily good estimate? Was there any restriction?—It is incredibly good. In actual fact the figure was £999 19s. 3d. It just happened to be a fluke.

It seems to have been Dr. Coyne’s lucky year. The same applies to the next subhead?—I do not know.

122. On subhead G.—Appropriations in Aid—Note No. 3, the same rather applies. The estimate was almost exactly £255. Is that the only type of produce, apart from farm produce, sold from the Asylum? Is it only leather work and mats?—That is all: mats and rugs and the attendants have the privilege of buying vegetables at cost price.

From the farm?—Yes.

It was just a lucky estimate?—Yes.

It was your lucky year?—A very lucky year. The other one is incredible: £999 19s. 3d., it varies so much.

123. Chairman. — On Note No. 1— Receipts from Attendants for Rations— on what basis do the attendants draw rations?—They are priced at 1/9d. a day plus 1d. service charge for use of utensils, etc.

The witness withdrew.


Mr. J. S. Martin called and examined.

124. Chairman.—On subhead B.—Law Costs—how long are you waiting for this bill of costs?—About two years. The amounts would hardly justify an annual return. We think it more economical to leave a few years elapse.

The witness withdrew.


Mr. B. Ó Brolchain called and examined.

125. Chairman. — This is your first appearance before the Committee and you are very welcome, Mr. Ó Brolchain. Paragraph 26 of the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General reads as follows:—

Subhead D.—Printing and Binding.

26. The 1959 issue of the telephone directory was the first issue under a new contract and in order to increase the number of subscribers listed on each page smaller type was used. The type was not considered satisfactory and it was decided to use a new and heavier type in printing the 1960 issue. This change involved additional expenditure of £2,490 on resetting for which the sanction of the Minister for Finance was obtained.”

Have you anything to add to that, Mr. Ó Cadhla?

Mr. Ó Cadhla.—No, I have nothing to add.

126. Chairman.—Might I ask, in regard to the printing of the Telephone Directory, for how many issues does the contract provide?—Normally for five issues. There was a contract in 1954 and a new contract in 1959.

Is the same type used during the lifetime of the contract?—Normally, yes.

The type in 1959 was considered unsatisfactory for some reason. Could you give us the reason?—The position was that from 1954 until 1958 we were using eight-point type. If we had continued using that type it would probably have meant a Directory split in two. To avoid that we decided, in consultation with the Post Office, on six-point type. The six-point type seemed satisfactory and was used in the Directory. After the Directory came out there were complaints from the public. It was decided to meet those complaints by using a heavier type.

You have no complaints about the 1960 one?—None, so far.

Deputy Booth.—Was there any variation in the paper and ink used or was it only in the type?—Only in the type.

127. Chairman.—We shall turn now to the Vote itself on Page 39.

Deputy Booth.—On subhead B.— Carriage and Transport—I hope it is not because I have a vested interest but I was just wondering if there is any connection between the reference in the note to the maintenance of official vehicles being higher than expected and, at the same time, that a new motor vehicle expected to be purchased was not, in fact, purchased? Is there any connection between the failure to replace the vehicle and the higher maintenance expenses?— It is very difficult to answer that question exactly. It is true we intended to replace the vehicle at a certain time and that, subsequently, we decided that a different type of vehicle, a mechanical horse and trailer, would be preferable to the van we had in mind. That entailed a certain amount of delay. The vehicle which was to be replaced was beyond economic use and there were heavy repair bills. Whether during that period any money was spent on the vehicle being replaced I could not say. There may not have been, in which case the delay would make no difference.

128. Deputy Carter.—On subhead C.— Incidental Expenses—what type of uniform is deemed to be protective clothing?—Overalls and dungarees. We issue them to the warehouse staff. We may also provide protective clothing for the rotaprint staff, though I cannot say offhand that we do.

129. Deputy Booth.—On subhead E.— Paper—there is a note: “Excess attributable to increased demand for photocopying paper …” Does that mean there is a greater use now in the Stationery Office of photocopying as opposed to duplication in other forms? Are you switching over to photographic copying?—This is a development resulting from the Organisation and Methods survey going on throughout the Service all the time. In certain places it was found preferable to use photocopying machines. When these machines are purchased, there is a saving in staff— coupled with an increase in expenditure from our vote. In 1959 we had thirty-seven photocopying machines. In the year of account the number had risen to forty-nine. I believe we now have about sixty-two.

Is it the experience that photocopying results in a saving of both time and staff?—In certain circumstances, yes. For certain types of copying there is no doubt the photocopying machine is preferable. But it depends on circumstances, of course.

Deputy Clinton.—Is there some doubt about the circumstances?

130. Chairman.—I notice, in regard to subhead G.—Office Machinery and other Office Supplies—the note says “A number of accounting and other office machines and equipment for which provision was made were not purchased within the year.” Did you abandon the idea or was it merely postponed?—Subhead G. is extremely difficult to estimate. Departments give their estimates as to what they will require. We make provision accordingly. It may happen that, because of a change of policy, or for one reason or another, the machines and supplies are not bought within that year, or, if bought within the year, the payment might not come to account within that year. For example we ordered a tabulator for an Office in 1959-60; it cost close on £10,000. Ordinarily, it should have been paid for in the year 1960-61 but, in fact, it was not paid for until 1961-62 because delivery was not effected in time.

That is the explanation?—Yes.

It has not been abandoned?—No. It has not been abandoned but postponed.

Deputy Booth.—Is all office machinery purchased through the Stationery Office and not directly by the Department concerned?—We purchase the machinery. We are the purchasing agents. We enter into the necessary contracts for maintenance.

131. Deputy Cunningham. — I suppose the over-expenditure under subhead D.— Printing and Binding—is responsible to some extent for the under-expenditure under subhead G.?—No. The over-expenditure on subhead D. is due to a great extent to the PAYE scheme and the eradication of bovine tuberculosis scheme.

I am sorry. I meant subhead E.—the photographic copying machines?—We would not necessarily restrain our expenditure on one subhead merely because we have over-expended on another. We would go for a Supplementary Estimate, if that were necessary. It would be preferable.

If some of the copying work were done on photographic machines, that would lead to a lesser expenditure on typewriters?—In that sense, yes.

132. Deputy Booth.—Might I raise one point in the additional notes on page 41. My curiosity is aroused in regard to a sum of £66 written off, with the sanction of the Minister for Finance, being the value of stocks of an official publication withdrawn from sale. The reference number would indicate that it was a fairly old publication. I was just wondering what publication it was?—They were between 600 and 700 volumes of the leaflets of the Department of Agriculture, dealing with crop cultivation and so forth. Some leaflets were out of date. Some were becoming obsolete. The Department decided to withdraw them. The sum written off is the sale price as marked.

It is not the writing off of the actual amount. It is a bookkeeping write-off?— Yes.

133. Deputy Carter.—Is there any demand at all for the Oireachtas debates? —There is. There are 112 copies issued to subscribers and a number are sold over the counter. I have not got the all-over figure. We do not keep separate figures for each publication sold.

Deputy Sherwin.—Does anybody bother either listening to us or reading us? It would be interesting to know.

Chairman.—At least, there are 112 subscribers.

Deputy Cunningham.—All alive, I hope.

134. Chairman. — The previous note states that a payment of £220, in addition to the amount payable under a contract, was made on an ex gratia basis to a contractor for unforeseen additional printing work. Could you give us some information on that?—What happened was that, during the Korean crisis, we were building up stocks against a possible emergency. That was in 1951-52. We purchased some Swedish paper. Some of it was used in producing the English-Irish dictionary for An Gúm. The paper was creased and would not feed into the machine properly and, therefore, there was a considerable loss on machine time. With the consent of the Department of Finance, we recouped the printers that loss of time. Afterwards, as you will see in another note, we put some of that paper to waste. You will find a sum of £16 in the writes-off.

135. Deputy Cunningham. — In the Appropriations in Aid there is, under item 4, mention of a recovery from local authorities of four-sevenths of the cost of printing and paper required under the Electoral and Juries Acts. What exactly does that entail? Is it the register?—Yes. We arrange for the printing of the register of electors. By law, we are recouped four-sevenths of the cost, plus a small percentage for departmental expenses.

Is that for all local authorities or for some only?—For all local authorities.

Deputy Cunningham.—No defaulters?

Deputy Belton. — Donegal County Council?

Deputy Sherwin.—They are always kicking-up about it anyway. They say we should pay it.

Chairman.—I think the Joint Committee on the Electoral Law recommended a change?—I should mention that ballot papers are a Central Fund charge.

136. With regard to the trading and profit and loss account in relation to the Government Publications Sale Office,* there appears to be a considerable drop in the sale of An Gúm publications as compared with 1959-60 from £8,000 odd to £4,500. Yet, profits seem to have increased. Can you explain that?—Our nett profit is down from £2,147 to £443. The drop can be attributed largely to one publication—the English-Irish dictionary of de Bhaldraithe of which £4,000 or £5,000 worth was sold in the year in which it came out. Naturally the sales dropped in the following year.

The witness withdrew.


Mr. J. Mooney called and examined.

137. Chairman.—Under subhead A.— Salaries, Wages and Allowances—the note says: “Savings mainly due to a number of posts remaining unfilled …” Are you having difficulty recruiting technical staff?—The saving there was mainly on Ordnance Survey staff. Actually, some of it was due to the fact that the pay of one of the staff was on the Army Vote and continued to be on that Vote for some time after, although we had provision for him. There was some hold-up in recruitment. A competition was to take place for the recruitment of technical staff but it did not take place as early as anticipated, for various reasons. There were vacancies up the line also which were not filled. There are still a number of vacancies but we hope we shall be able to bring the staff up to strength before long.

You are not experiencing any difficulty in enticing the technical staff to the service?—Heretofore, we have been more or less confined to recruitment from the Army. There is an arrangement by which a number of Army personnel are in the Survey Company. When they are in that for a while they are recruited into the Ordnance Survey proper. We have been thinking that that involves too narrow a field of recruitment. We are thinking in terms of widening the field—not to cut out recruitment from the Army but to make the field wider, to take more advantage of the technical schools, and so on. If we had it wide like that, I think we should have no difficulty in recruiting all we want. In the past, there was a policy which still affects the service, a policy of economy. There was restriction of activity after the War. A lot of the work got into arrears, as a result. We are moving in the other direction now. We are starting to remeasure the whole country and re-triangulate it, as we call it. At the moment, a primary retriangulation is taking place. When that is completed in about one and a half years’ time, there will be more detailed forms of triangulation. The prospect is that there will be a vast expansion of staff. This is all subject to Finance approval, the money being available, and so on, and policy.

Deputy Cunningham.—Is the change of policy to a wider field reflected? There was an advertisement for staff?—No.

It is intended to have advertisements for staff?—No. We have not got Finance approval or looked for any big expansion of staff yet. It will be a slow process. It will take some time to evolve.

138. Chairman.—Subhead B. relates to Travelling Expenses.

Deputy Cunningham.—This reconnaissance work is in progress in various parts of the country. I have seen them around my own place in the course of the past year or so. Is it being done on a country at large basis or is it by way of county after county?—Country at large.

Deputy Cunningham.—It must be a pretty expensive job.

139. Chairman.—The terms “precise levelling section” and “re-triangulation” are technical. What do they actually imply?—“Triangulation” covers distance. The other covers heights. Triangulation is concerned solely with distances. Take a point on the top of a mountain, such as Kippure, and one on another mountain 30 or 40 miles away, in view, and then a third point. The whole country is formed into triangles all linked up with the original triangle. All that is necessary then is to measure one side of one triangle and two of its angles. In the original triangulation this measurement of one side of the first triangle was done at Lough Foyle. They got a piece of ground at sea level where they could get a perfectly straight line. That was measured in a most accurate manner, then, with rods, and so on, all dead plumb level. The angles are then measured at night with an optical instrument looking towards lights at distant points. The angles are measured very accurately. Having the measurements of one side and two angles, you can work out the other two sides, no matter how long they are, and then proceed to work out all the other triangles. They observe several points from one point.

I take it you will bring things up to date and make them accurate?—More accurate than before. There have been a lot of advances in these sciences. Other countries have moved ahead, Northern Ireland and Britain. We cannot afford to fall behind them too much.

140. Deputy Cunningham. — The country people, when they see these vans with “O.S.O.” on them, begin to wonder exactly what it means. Would it not be a good idea to have, in smaller print underneath, “Ordnance Survey Office”? It would relieve the curiosity of a lot of my neighbours.

Deputy Booth.—More than curiosity. There is always a feeling that it has something to do with the Valuation Office.

Deputy Cunningham.—Yes, it would.

Deputy Booth.—For the protection of the Ordnance Survey, it might be well if it were made perfectly clear in the country that they are not connected with the Valuation Office. Is there any proposal or has any work been done on the use of aerial photography to assist in this new survey or is there any possibility of linking aerial photography with the observations on the ground itself?—From time to time, suggestions come forward for that. I should say it is largely in the air, so to speak. It would involve an awful lot of expense. The Air Corps are more interested in it and have a special camera for doing it. I could not say at the moment to what extent it will be required by the Ordnance Survey.

Deputy Clinton.—You cannot get exact measurements from aerial photographs?— You can get them, and there is a way of correcting the faults, or distortions shown up. We have an instrument for this purpose called a stereotope. The important thing is to get this primary triangulation done and to have sanction for any further expense that will be involved. We foresee that it will be very costly to do all this re-survey. It is quite possible that the financial powers may demur.

141. Deputy Booth.—In previous years, there was reference to expenditure on the provision of fundamental bench marks, that is, to get your basic levels. Is that complete?—We are in the process of putting those up. The fundamental ones are fixed, that is, the first levels. As the thing goes on, more marks will be put up here and there.

142. Deputy Cunningham. — This triangulation is primary or at first stage? The Accounting Officer did mention that there will be smaller triangulations. Is that another stage which is necessary before the thing is got on paper or is this the final stage before getting the thing mapping?

Chairman.—The Deputy is asking if it mentioned triangulation in the early stages. You mention smaller triangulations. I understand that there will be a further series of triangulations developing from the original triangulation in the Lough Foyle area?

Deputy Clinton.—A more detailed examination?—There will be a primary one of very big triangles. Then there will be secondary, tertiary and fourth order triangulations. The fourth order will be of small ones. They will relate to cities, towns and small areas. There will probably be parts of the country, say, mountains and country places not covered by the fourth order triangulation. Where you want to have an accurate survey of streets or of pieces of ground of high value, you go into those details. It is the fourth order of triangulation, so to speak. As regards putting on maps, it will depend on what maps you have in mind. Obviously, for large-scale maps, for instance, for a city or town where you want to have great detail on a large scale. you would have to wait until you would have detailed triangulation done before you would start putting it on the map. On the other hand, a map for the whole country, for a wide area, say, for motoring, a small-scale map—inch or half-inch—could be done without retriangulation.

143. Deputy Cunningham. — The purpose of this survey is to revise all the existing ordnance maps, what we call the Ordnance Survey or 25 inch scale map where you get fields and dwelling houses shown. The purpose is to renew or have an up-to-date one of those 25 inch scale maps for all the country?—Yes. We also have in mind quickening up the cycle of revision. Heretofore, that has been too slow. We have been very much behind other countries. We hope to aim at a cycle, say, of something like 15, 20 or 25 years. That means that the whole country would be re-surveyed every 20 years or whatever would be regarded as appropriate. That will involve a lot more staff and work.

144. Chairman.—With regard to the Appropriations in Aid, No. 2 refers to fees payable pursuant to 23 Vict., c.4 (sec. 9). What does that mean?—Under the 1860 Act (Rateable Property (Ireland) Amendment Act), people are entitled to call on the Valuation Office or write and get certified copies of maps, extracts from the valuation lists, and so on. It is laid down in the Act that these services may be charged for. Fees may be collected. Those are the fees.

145. Deputy Clinton.—On Note No. 1 in Appropriations in Aid, is that a fixed charge?—It is a fixed charge. It represents the total amount collected from local authorities towards the cost of annual revision of valuations. It was originally intended to represent about half the cost of the annual revision, but it has never been brought up to date. It is now completely out of date and bears no real relation to the cost of revision.

We had better say nothing about it so?—It should be vastly greater.

146. Chairman.—In regard to the last note which refers to a loss of £87 to public funds arising from faulty work-manship which was written off, how did that happen?—It arose from the faulty insertion of a grid in connection with printing of a map. I shall read out a letter dealing with the matter which is rather technical. It states:—

“To replace stocks a reprint of some 5,000 copies of Sheet No. 15 of the 1:126,720 O.S. map was recently put in hands. Part of the requirement, in accordance with now standard practice, was that the National Grid should be incorporated in the black outline printing plate. The technique involved is that a glass engraver cuts the grid— correctly in position and with extreme finesse of line width—into the glass negative containing the black detail. Information regarding the positioning of the grid is supplied by the Computing Branch on strips of Whatman’s paper, each side marked to show whether it was for the north, south, east or west edges. Being inserted in a negative the supplied data should be reversed by the engraver in order that the finished result should read the right way about. In this instance, the data supplied was correct but the engraver failed to reverse it and wrongly incorporated it in ‘positive’ position on the negative with the result that it appeared in reverse position on the printing plate and on the printed map. The error was detected at a stage at which a loss of £86 12s. 10d. had been incurred and the product had to be scrapped and the work commenced anew.”

147. Deputy Carter.—In regard to Item No. 3—Sales of Maps—you realised more than anticipated on those sales. You canvassed the retailers, I notice. Do you attribute the increase in sales to that aspect of activity?—It is very hard to argue from cause to effect. I suppose it is part of the greater prosperity and more interest in things than in the past. It is due also to the canvassing. We are pushing the sales and hope to increase them a lot further. I personally feel there is great scope for selling more maps. I should like to see a map of every farm in every farmhouse and so on. We hope to get down to that in a big way when we get time. Definitely sales have gone up. In addition, a great proportion of the maps are supplied free to Government Departments—about £21,000 worth, as shown in the table on page 44. We have a feeling that it should be possible to expand that very much, more particularly as regards the cash sales. We would not be interested in expanding the giving out of maps free, but if they have to be given out we have to do it.

148. Chairman.—In regard to Appendix B.—Presentations of Maps—can you say how these presentations are made? Have you a list? Do you only present them on request?—Under the Industrial and Commercial Property (Protection) Act, 1927, section 178, various bodies are entitled to get them, for instance, Trinity College Library, the National University Library, three copies, one for each of the three constituent Colleges, I presume, and the National Library of Ireland. They have a right to get copies of all books, maps and so on. In practice, some of the bodies entitled to get maps find they do not want them all, so they just limit their demands to a map of the particular area they are concerned with.

Are these institutions listed in Appendix B., entitled of right to get these?— Yes, under this Act of 1927, or by agreements.

149. Deputy Booth.—I presume we are also entitled to similar services from the survey departments in other countries, or do they come under the heading of Ordnance Survey at all? Does that come under the Stationery Office or somebody else?—I think there are reciprocal arrangements. I know that Trinity College gets books which are printed in Britain. I think they are entitled to get a copy of any book printed almost anywhere.

Chairman.—What Deputy Booth is asking is: whether are there reciprocal arrangements whereby we get maps from those countries to which our maps are going?—Whether we get maps from the British Ordnance Survey, I do not know. If you would like to know, I shall find out.

At your convenience you might send us a note on this point?—All right.*

The witness withdrew.


Mr. J. Mooney called.

No question.


Mr. P. S. Ó Muireadhaigh called and examined.

150. Deputy Clinton.—On subhead F.— Expenses in connection with International Congresses, etc.—are they expenses in connection with congresses outside the country or inside the country?—Outside the country, mainly the World Health Organisation.

151. Chairman.—On subhead I.— Grants to Health Authorities—what is the present position with regard to the audit of the accounts of Health Authorities?—All returns up to 1958-59 have been certified; all returns for 1958-59 have been certified except two and these are with the auditor and should be cleared in the very near future; 41 of the 50 returns for 1959-60 have been certified and three are with the auditor: seven returns for 1960-61 have been certified and five are with the auditor. This represents a considerable improvement on the position as it was some years ago.

152. Deputy Belton.—On subhead K.— Grants to Voluntary Agencies—what voluntary agencies would receive grants under this heading?—They are bodies which look after underprivileged children. mainly illegitimate. The agencies are of two kinds. One kind deals with boarding-out. The two major ones in this category are the Catholic Protection and Rescue Society and the Nursery Rescue and Protestant Children’s Aid Society which, between them, received nearly £2,200. The other kind consists of institutions which care for illegitimate children. There is a number of those. I can give the committee a list if it is required.

Chairman.—I do not think Deputy Belton requires a list.

Deputy Belton.—No.

Deputy Booth.—Is it just a grant on a per capita basis?—No. They get 50 per cent. of their approved expenditure on the service.

153. Deputy Clinton.—On subhead L.— Grant to An Bord Altranais—the grant was originally £1,950. How did it exceed that? Is that not a single grant? How does it fluctuate?—The Grant represents the deficit in the accounts of the Board for the year in question. In compiling the information, on which the estimate was based, An Bord overlooked an item of £400 for a refresher course in public health nursing.

154. Chairman. — On subhead M.— Dissemination of Information on Health and Health Services—there was a sum of £10,000 included towards the cost of publishing and distributing a booklet on the Health Service. What is the present position in regard to that booklet?—We have been repeating that provision over a number of years, but, last month, the Minister told Deputy Tully in the Dáil that, in view of the lapse of time and of the decision to have the whole question of the Health Services reviewed by a Select Committee of the Dáil, he felt it would be inappropriate to publish the booklet at this stage. Therefore, the decision has been taken not to go ahead with the publication.

Deputy Carter.—Was it a general booklet of an informative character?—It was to have been a comprehensive booklet which would be understood by the average man in the street telling him his rights under the Health Acts and now he should go about securing them.

We have had one publication of it already, have we?—No.

You did not publish any copies of it at all?—No, it was not published. Of course, the health authorities all have their own leaflets, based on a draft we gave them, which they distribute in their own areas.

Chairman.—Something akin, I take it, to the explanatory booklet published by the Department of Social Welfare on social services?—We had it in mind to have something much more detailed.

155. Deputy Clinton.—Under subhead O.—what type of technical assistance was envisaged?—It had been intended that some people should be sent abroad, to the United States of America, probably, in connection with the establishment and development of a rehabilitation centre. The National Organisation for Rehabilitation did not get into its stride as quickly as we thought it would and, in fact, the £3,000 has not yet been spent. It was repeated in the next year.

156. Chairman. — Members will have received copies of the statements showing the expenditure on the health services under various heads, in respect of 1959-60* and 1960-61.** I note that the total cost of the health services has been rising. It rose by approximately £500,000 as between 1958-59 and 1959-60 and by £800,000 as between 1959-60 and 1960-61, while the cost of tuberculosis hospitals and infectious diseases has been falling. Do you anticipate that trend continuing? —In the absence of expansion of services, we hope the increases will not continue to quite the same extent, though the recent revisions in salaries and wages have increased costs very considerably. We certainly hope the cost of the tuberculosis service will continue to decline, though probably not as rapidly as it did in recent years. Beds required for pulmonary patients have decreased to 2,000 but we cannot expect the number of beds required to decline at the same rate as it did in the past.

157. With regard to the Cavan tuberculosis hospital there has been a very big drop. Is there any particular reason for that?—I have not gone into it in detail, but it is probably explained by the closing of Lisdarn Hospital. Cavan had a large tuberculosis hospital at Lisdarn and, about that time, it was being converted into a general medical and maternity hospital for Cavan.

158. The total expenditure on hospitals for the chronically ill and mental defectives has been rising by about 10 per cent. over the last three years in the country generally, but the expenditure by Dublin Corporation on these services almost doubled in the same period. Was Dublin Corporation showing a special interest in this service and making a special effort?—The probable explanation is, I think, that Crooksling, which was formerly shown under the heading of tuberculosis, is now used to accommodate senile patients transferred from St. Brendan’s and, consequently, the cost is now included under this heading.

Deputy Clinton.—And the opening of Ballyowen as a mental hospital?—No. That would come in under mental hospitals, not under special homes. I should mention also that St. Mary’s accommodated only tuberculosis patients in the early years; it now caters for a large number of geriatric patients.

The witness withdrew.


Aodh MacBrádaigh called and examined.

159. Chairman.—Paragraph 84 of the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General reads as follows:—

Subhead C.—Pay of Civilians attached to Units.

Subhead J.—Mechanical Transport.

84. In the course of a test check of the records of maintenance work on army transport vehicles it was noted that considerable sums were expended on the repair of vehicles which had already given prolonged service. I have asked for the observations of the Accounting Officer on the economy of repairing, at costs varying from £100 to £250, six vehicles, the mileages of which ranged from 100,000 to 150,000. Five of these had been in service for some twenty years.”

Have you anything to add, Mr. Ó Cadhla?

Mr. Ó Cadhla.—I received the following reply to the questions raised:—

“It is appreciated that many army vehicles have been a long time in service and have very high mileages recorded. The maintenance in service of such vehicles, rather than their replacement by new vehicles, has been dictated by budgetary considerations and, in this connection, it will be realised that the replacement of all such vehicles within a short space of time would entail a very high capital outlay. A programme of replacement of old vehicles has been pursued in recent years and it is intended to step this up to the greatest extent permitted in coming years.

As to the economy of overhauls carried out to vehicles, such overhauls are not carried out unless there is a reasonable expectation of a fair return for the expenditure involved.

It may be mentioned that, since the vehicles referred to in the query left workshops at Clancy Barracks after repair in 1960, they have covered the following mileages and have undergone additional repairs as follows—”

We raised questions on six vehicles. The mileages vary from 2,000 to 22,000. The cost of further repairs varies from £25 to £76.

160. Deputy Booth.—Is there any plan now to get an over-all system whereby vehicles would come up for review more regularly, or after a certain mileage, or something like that? Or will this be postponed until the procedure outlined by the Comptroller and Auditor General has proceeded a little further and some of the arrears have been caught up?—The position is that we need all the vehicles we have. We have to keep them in operation until we get new ones. As we explained in our reply, we buy as many new vehicles as we possibly can; but we have to have money to buy new vehicles and, until we get them, we must try to keep those we have in operation.

Chairman.—Is all Army transport maintained in a central depot?—In the main, yes.

What kind of jobs are done by outside contractors?—We do not get many big jobs done by outside contractors except in the case of some Fórsa Cosanta Áitiúil vehicles stationed in remote areas.

161. Deputy Booth.—It is of interest surely to note that the total surplus to be surrendered in this Vote is £371,000. Is it that the shortage of funds is under this particular subhead only or was it considered that any of this surplus could have been spent under subhead J.— Mechanical Transport—in excess of the original provision possibly under that subhead. The fact is the total Vote would not have been exceeded. In actual fact the expenditure under subhead J. was, of course, exceeded by £18,000 but, even then, there was a very big surplus surrendered at the end of the year?—All I can say to that is that we bought 58 vehicles; in other words, we purchased to the full extent permissible under the provision made in the Vote for vehicles.

Deputy Clinton.—Is it correct that the vehicles purchased were not replacements?—They were all replacements.

I thought, from the explanation, that they were new?—Yes, but in replacement of old ones.

What about the purchase of cars for officers on duty with An Fórsa Cosanta Áitiúil?—That is a different matter.

162. Chairman.—When we come to the relevant subhead we can deal with that. Paragraph 85 of the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General reads as follows:

Subhead K.—Provisions and Allowances in lieu.

85. Statements have been furnished to me showing the cost of production of bread at the Curragh bakery and of meat at the Dublin and Curragh abattoirs. The unit costs are as follows:—


pence per lb.

pence per lb.




Cost of production



Cost delivered


















The average price of cattle purchased for the Dublin and Curragh areas was £74 and £77 per head, respectively, as compared with £79 for each area in the previous year, while the average production of beef per head was 686 lbs. and 703 lbs., respectively, as compared with 676 lbs. and 664 lbs.”

Have you anything to add, Mr. Ó Cadhla?

Mr. Ó Cadhla.—I have nothing to add to paragraph 85.

163. Chairman.—The cost of meat increased although there was a fall in the price of beasts. They dropped from £79 to £74 and £77, but the price of meat increased. How is that accounted for?

Deputy Booth.—Meat is down.


Deputy Booth.—The price varies slightly.

164. Chairman.—How do these prices compare with those in the other commands? Have you any figures?—I have not got the figures, but the prices compare reasonably, between 2/- and 2/4d. a pound.

165. Chairman.—Paragraph 86 of the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General reads:

Subhead P.2.—Naval Service.

86. A steel perch which marked the position of a dredged channel used by the Department’s vessels in passing from Haulbowline to Spike Island became defective and was replaced by a concrete perch. This work which was entrusted to a contractor was completed in February 1960 at the cost of £1,440. It appears that the new perch was erected in a position some fifty feet from the edge of the dredged channel and that its usefulness in adverse conditions of tide and weather is reduced since it does not mark precisely the line of the channel. I have invited the observations of the Accounting Officer on the matter.”

Have you anything to add to that, Mr. Ó Cadhla?

Mr. Ó Cadhla.—I have received a reply to my inquiry, which I would like to read:

“The perch which was being replaced had become defective by reason of the undermining of the foundations and, for this reason, it was clear that the new perch could not have been sited in the same position as the old one. The specification embodied in the contractor’s tender provided that the new perch was to be erected in a position as specified by the Officer Commanding, Naval Depot, Haulbowline, and, in a letter which formed part of his tender, the contractor indicated that his design was based on placing the perch far enough back from the edge of the channel to get a moderately level bed for the caisson and to enable the piles to get a good key into the rock.”

In the same letter the Accounting Officer stated that the caisson would be floated out and sunk in an agreed position. The tender was accepted on this basis. While the liaison which was maintained during the currency of the work between the Officer Commanding, Naval Depot, and the contractor through the Corps of Engineers, was not all that could be desired, a Court of Inquiry which investigated the whole matter found that, from the evidence given by the contractor, it was not possible to get a site for the perch nearer the edge of the channel than that obtained and, from the evidence generally, it had not been established that any more effective means of marking the channel could be provided.

Deputy Burke.—That is a lengthy explanation.

166. Chairman.—I take it that the Naval Service agree that this perch is a safe navigational matter now?—They do. We have no complaints since it was put down. It could not be installed in the same position as the old one. The foundation of the old one was undermined by the sea. The new one is not in exactly the same position. Therefore, it is not as good a mark but it is the nearest we could get to the original mark.

Do other vessels use that channel besides the Department of Defence vessels?— Small vessels, such as pleasure vessels, use it.

167. Chairman.—Paragraph 87 of the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General reads as follows:

Subhead U.—Compensation.

87. The charge to this subhead comprises:—



(a) Compensation for damage or injury in cases of accidents in which army vehicles were






(b) Compensation for property commandeered or damaged or






(c) Compensation in cases where personnel were killed or injured during training, including compensation for personal injuries to members of

the Reserve, Second Line






Have you anything to add to that, Mr Ó Cadhla?

Mr. Ó Cadhla.—No.

Deputy Clinton.—How does this compensation arise? Are those claims not covered by insurance?—Some of them are on a knock-for-knock basis.

Chairman.—Do these agreements favour the State?—I have no doubt they do.

Deputy Booth.—You hope so.

168. Chairman.—Paragraph 88 of the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General reads as follows:

Statement of Losses.

88. Losses written off during the year are detailed in a statement appended to the account. The total is made up of:—



Cash losses charged to ‘Balances





Deficiencies of stores and other losses not affecting the

1960-61 vote





The corresponding figures for losses in the previous year were £43 and £35,695.”

Have you anything to add to that, Mr. Ó Cadhla?

Mr. Ó Cadhla.—No.

Deputy Booth.—There is a very satisfactory reduction in the amount of deficiencies of stores and other losses, as compared with the previous year. Is that because the previous year was unduly high, in which case is the year under under review just about average?—The previous year was unduly high and this one is about or below average.

169. Chairman.—Paragraph 89 of the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General reads as follows:

Service outside the State.

89. In July 1960 the Government acceded to a request from the Secretary-General of the United Nations to supply a battalion of troops to serve with the United Nations Force in the Republic of the Congo. Under powers granted by the Defence (Amendment) Act, 1960, a battalion of some 700 officers and men was despatched in July, and in August a second battalion was sent in response to a request for further assistance. Both battalions returned in January 1961 and were replaced by a third battalion.

The United Nations has undertaken responsibility for expenditure incurred in making the forces available over and above those costs, including pay, which the Government would have been obliged to meet in any event. Transport to and from the Congo, accommodation, rations, etc., are provided direct by the United Nations together with a daily subsistence allowance. Expenses incurred specially by the Department of Defence consisted principally of overseas allowances varying from 15s. to £2 11s. 3d. per day and were charged to a suspense account. As stated in a note to the appropriation account £252,517 was received from the United Nations in March 1961 in settlement of an initial claim which included the bulk of the extra expenses incurred in sending the first two battalions. £247,568, representing expenses specially incurred, was credited to the suspense account and £4,949, expenses already borne on the vote, was credited to subhead Z.—Appropriations in Aid. (See also paragraph 90).”

Have you anything to add to that, Mr. Ó Cadhla?

Mr. Ó Cadhla.—No. It is for information.

170. Chairman.—How many men are serving in the Congo at the moment?— One battalion, roughly 600 men.

Are the United Nations meeting these claims satisfactorily?—They are, yes.

Deputy Booth.—Does it take a tremendous amount of additional work in the Department to prepare these claims or what details do the United Nations require? Is it right down to detail or is it the basic headings?—We have to get the detailed information and satisfy the Comptroller and Auditor General. The United Nations accept his certificate. They pay on that.

Deputy Booth.—It must take a lot of time?—There is a good deal of extra work in it.

171. Chairman.—What special Congo expenses are ultimately recovered from the United Nations? Why were they debited to a suspense account? Would it be more appropriate to go in for a Supplementary Vote?—The previous year, we had the money back. The expenses were charged to a suspense account and were refunded before the end of the year, so we did not need a separate subhead. The same thing will happen this year, we hope.

With regard to subhead A. of the Vote itself, page 161, (Pay of Officers, Cadets, N.C.O.s. and Privates), how does the strength compare with last year? Are recruits coming in satisfactorily?—They are coming in slowly, I am afraid. The strength is much the same as last year.

172. Deputy Booth.—On subhead A.1. Military Educational Courses abroad—is it that the expenses were larger or that the number of courses were increased? What courses are actually covered by this subhead?—I have not a list of the courses.

Were they courses in excess of what was originally estimated?—The difficulty is that the Estimates are prepared before we are sure what vacancies we will get. It is the question of getting the vacancies.

And you cannot be sure as to the fee? —No.

Deputy Belton.—How many men avail themselves of these courses?—I could not answer that offhand.

Deputy Burke.—I suppose they are selected?—We look for a particular course and we send on that course the number of officers we think appropriate.

Deputy Belton.—Roughly how many each year would avail of these courses?— I have not got the exact number.

Chairman.—Perhaps the Accounting Officer would send us a note in relation to these courses at his convenience.*

173. Deputy Clinton.—Subhead A.2. refers to Expenses of Equitation Teams at Horse Shows. The excess is just due to increased expenditure generally?—It is casual. It is a thing you cannot estimate very closely, travelling expenses, particularly.

174. Deputy Burke.—Subhead A.3. refers to Bounties, Rewards and Gratuities. Can you say roughly how they come about?—We pay a certain amount—it has been £10 in the past— where a soldier re-enlists after a certain period.

175. Deputy Booth.—Subhead C. refers to Pay of Civilians attached to Units. The explanation under this subhead refers to casual absences of employees. There is a saving there of £17,000 which, if it were all due to casual absences, means there was a fair amount to do?—Casual absences could include such things as a job becoming vacant and it not being filled for a month or so.

It is casual vacancies as well as casual absences?—Yes.

176. Deputy Clinton.—Subhead J. refers to Mechanical Transport. I got the impression, when reading the note on that subhead, that the amount was for the purchase of new cars and not replacements for some special work in connection with officers on duty with An Fórsa Cosanta Áitiúil?—These are officers assigned to An Fórsa Cosanta Áitiúil who require cars to carry out their duties, for which they get an allowance. But, in the initial purchase of the cars, we loan them the money and they repay it. That money comes in again as an appropriation in aid.

Are they replacements?—They are not our property at all.

177. Deputy Sherwin.—With regard to subhead M.—Clothing and Equipment— is it our policy gradually to do without horse transport?—It is.

Chairman.—If it is a question in regard to policy, we cannot expect the Accounting Officer to answer it. Subhead N.— Animals and Forage—would be the subhead, anyhow.

178. Deputy Booth.—Going back to subhead M., we always seem to have this saving in respect of non-delivery of uniforms?—It is a recurring problem. As I mentioned last year, only two or three contractors undertake this work. They already do the work for the Post Office and the Gardaí. We have great difficulty in getting delivery.

Does this mean that the Army is always chronically short of uniforms?—No. There is not a shortage of uniforms.

Why is it, then, that the amount voted does appear to be necessary?—We need certain stocks. Our stocks are much lower than we would like them to be, but there is no shortage for day to day needs.

You can keep going?—We can just keep going.

179. Deputy Carter.—Is it through the Post Office or do you deal directly with the same contractors?—All Government clothing is bought through the Post Office Stores.

Officers’ uniforms and all?—The officers buy their own uniforms. They get a cash allowance for the purchase of uniforms.

180. Deputy Clinton.—On subhead N.— Animals and Forage—does that figure cover the cost of horses for the Equitation School?—Yes.

It struck me as being very low for all Army horses in view of the cost of these horses?—It means we do not buy many horses for the Equitation School. They are expensive.

Deputy Sherwin.—You said it was a question of policy, Mr. Chairman. We bought less than we intended. Is that because we decided not to buy?—We are certainly not buying for ordinary Army use. We are getting away from horse transport.

181. Deputy Carter.—On subhead O.— General Stores—I am not quite clear whether it arises on this—the question of the regulations regarding fire protection in the various barracks. Did you find a satisfactory solution?—Yes. A new regulation was issued last November, which, we are satisfied, will cover fire prevention.

182. Deputy Sherwin.—On subhead P. —Defensive Equipment—what sort of equipment is referred to?—That subhead covers military equipment, guns and so on.

This is serious, is it not? You want equipment and cannot get it?—We get it but we just do not happen to get it before the end of the financial year. We might get delivery a month or two afterwards.

183. Deputy Booth.—On subhead R.— Fuel, Light and Water in kind and Fuel Oils—I presume we do not have to account to the United Nations for savings under this?—No.

Deputy Booth.—It means our troops are being warmed by the Almighty under the sun in the Congo rather than by solid fuel here!

184. Deputy Carter.—On subhead V.— Barrack Services—I was looking through the Book of Estimates regarding the attempt made to find a solution for the question of the installation of electric meters in married quarters.

Chairman.—I think a solution has been found for that?—Yes. We have invited the Electricity Supply Board to tender for the supply of meters.

Deputy Booth.—It has not been finalised yet?—No.

185. On subhead X.—Incidental Expenses—one of the items referred to is advertising. Does that include advertising supporting the recruiting campaign?— Yes.

Is there any reason why the advertising was reduced, why the advertising expenditure was not proceeded with?—We did not undertake the usual newspaper advertising campaign for recruits in that year.

We have already learned there was no improvement in the rate of recruitment? —Yes, that is so.

Deputy Booth.—I hope we can take that matter up again at a later stage.

186. Deputy Burke.—On subhead X.2. —Hospital Treatment of Soldiers’ Dependants—does this mean that the dependants of all soldiers will be treated or what section of them will be treated?— Soldiers’ wives are entitled to free medical treatment. So also are soldiers’ children —boys to the age of 16 and girls to the age of 18.

Up to what rank?—Non-commissioned officers and men of the Permanent Defence Force.

187. Deputy Sherwin.—In regard to subhead A.A.—Expenses in connection with the Offences against the State Acts, 1939 and 1940—I suppose you will not need this next year? On subhead B.B.— Medals, etc.—does the saving arise because you are more strict now in the allocation of medals or because you decided they were not required?—That is not the cause of the saving. It is a question of stocks. It is very hard to estimate accurately what the demand for medals will be in a particular year. There are various types of medals. The Deputy is probably thinking of the 1917-21 medal.

Is that not included?—Yes, but there are also, for instance, the emergency medals. We still have applications for them. As well, there are Army medals.

Have you become more strict in the allocation of the 1917-21 medals?—Not any more so than in recent years.

188. It amazes me that there are 57,000 people with medals. Is it not a fact that those are only granted where there is evidence of service for three months prior to the Truce?—Evidence of membership only.

Three months before the Truce?—Yes, from the 1st of April to 11th July 1921.

Deputy Sherwin.—I certainly do not accept there were 57,000 serving.

Deputy Belton.—I think Deputy Sherwin is perfectly right there.

Deputy Sherwin.—I thought the Department were becoming more particular in the allocation of medals and might feel they might not need so many?—We have to be satisfied that the person was a member of one of the appropriate organisations from the 1st April to 11th July, 1921. We have to get satisfactory evidence to that effect.

Deputy Sherwin.—You seem to be more particular. That is why I thought you did not need so many medals for the future. However, it does not matter.

189. Deputy Booth.—On subhead Z.— Appropriations in Aid, No. 21, Refunds in respect of services of seconded officers —there was an excess amount realised. Could the Accounting Officer tell us who is affected by this subhead?—Two officers seconded to the Army Canteen Board.


Only the Canteen Board?—And there is one clerical officer who was seconded to the Clerical Officers Association. That makes up the amount.

Two Army officers and one civilian?— Yes.

190. Deputy Carter.—What is deemed to be surplus land?—Land for which we have no further use.

Contiguous to military posts?—Yes, in some cases. Actually this deals with lands at Tallaght.

191. Deputy Booth.—On the question of losses—Item No. 13 on page 167—there is an amount written off of £895 in respect of clothing found to be deficient on desertion of members of the Defence Forces. Is that over a period of a year?— Over a period of the year.

Does that show an increase or is it much the same?—It is more or less the same.

It seems a fair amount of clothing to be removed unless each deserter takes a fair amount with him. What is the rate of desertion, or is that a matter we cannot properly ask at this stage? How many soldiers are covered by the £895?—I could not answer that offhand.

Deputy Belton.—It would not be such a great deal when one takes account of boots, socks, coats, overcoats and so on.

Deputy Booth.—I suppose an effort is made to recover them?—Yes, every effort is made.

192. Deputy Sherwin.—On item No. 27 —is all service in the Congo compulsory? —No. voluntary.

I thought in the last legislation before the House it was to be compulsory in future?—Yes.

I was wondering, if it was compulsory, if any who were notified they were going to the Congo would back out?—No, it is, in fact, voluntary service, even though there is provision in the Act for compulsory service.

Deputy Booth.—The position is that while they can be drafted that power is not being availed of at the moment?— That is so.

193. On page 168 there is a note which refers to three officers on loan to the United Nations. Are those the officers still in the Middle East?—These three officers are Lieutenant General MacEoin and two other officers.

We have not any officers like Colonel McCarthy who was in the Lebanon?— A few have gone out, like General MacEoin to special appointments on the United Nations staff, as distinct from service with the Irish contingents.

We have not any officers serving otherwise than in the Congo?—We still have one in the Lebanon.

Is he regarded as being on loan? Three officers were referred to. It now appears they are General MacEoin and two officers on his staff?—Yes.

Where is the officer in the Lebanon?— He is in the same position as officers in the Congo, being paid by us.

He is regarded as a unit officer?—That is so. These other officers on the headquarters staff in Leopoldville are paid by the United Nations. They are on loan to the United Nations.

They are off our strength altogether?— Yes.


Aodh MacBrádaigh further examined.

194. Chairman.—Paragraph 90 of the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General reads as follows:—

Subhead P.—Special Compensation —United Nations Force in the Congo.

90. Provision was made by supplementary estimate for grants of compensation to dependants of members of the Defence Forces who were killed in action or who died as a result of service with the United Nations Force in the Republic of the Congo (see paragraph 89). Rates of compensation were fixed at £3,500 in the case of a married man and £2,000 in the case of a single man irrespective of military rank, and the charge of £31,000 to the subhead includes six payments of £3,500 and five of £2,000. A recent claim which has been made on the United Nations for recovery of the compensation paid includes also the capitalised value, as actuarially assessed, of allowances payable under the Army Pensions Acts to dependants of the deceased men.”

Mr. Ó Cadhla, can you add anything to this paragraph?

Mr. Ó Cadhla.—This paragraph is for information only.

Chairman.—We turn now to the Vote itself on page 170.

195. Deputy Burke.—Subhead B.— Travelling Expenses—is very small?— They did not do any travelling in that year.

196. Deputy Belton.—On subhead C.— Wound and Disability Pensions and Gratuities, etc.—I presume that all the men involved in the Glen of Imaal tragedy during the emergency are covered under this heading?—They are.

Do the Army authorities give any contribution to St. Dunstan’s Hospital; the people there have bent over backwards in helping the officers who lost their sight?—We do not give any contribution.

I understand St. Dunstan’s have supplied seeing-eye dogs, and so forth, to some of the officers who lost their sight?—I could not say about dogs, but they did supply them with equipment and training.

I know one who was supplied with a dog?—Two men were involved. They got equipment and training. One is still working in England. The other is a telephonist with us.

Deputy Belton.—In view of the magnificent work the institute does for our soldiers I think the Minister should consider making some contribution to St. Dunstan’s.

Chairman.—The Deputy might take the opportunity to intervene on the appropriate Estimate in the House to raise that matter.

197. Deputy Sherwin.—On subhead E. —Surgical and Medical Appliances—do disabled persons receive free appliances? —Yes.

Are you sure?—If they have pensions.

A friend of mine, an old Fenian, complains he is denied appliances. He has one leg?—If the loss of his leg was due to service and he has a disability pension in respect of it then he would certainly be supplied with an artificial leg.

198. Deputy Belton.—Under subhead L.—Compensation for Death or Personal Injuries sustained by Members of the Local Defence Force and Medical and other Expenses in connection therewith —would that cover the position of soldiers killed or wounded in the service of the United Nations, or are they covered by the United Nations?—That is met by the United Nations. We pay in the first instance and recover subsequently from the United Nations. It is not included in that.

Deputy Booth.—Subhead L. refers to the former Local Defence Force only?— That is so.

It is wartime and emergency expenditure?—Yes.

199. Deputy Carter.—Under subhead P.—Special Compensation, United Nations Force in the Congo—is that the subject of negotiation for recoupment at the moment?—Yes.

Deputy Booth.—The note under this subhead refers to a lump sum of £3,500 and another lump sum of £2,000 remaining unpaid. Is there any reason why these amounts were not paid over?—They were paid subsequently.

Was payment delayed for any particular reason?—Yes. These payments are made very punctually, but there are difficulties in odd cases.

Is there any expense on public funds in respect of dependants of those who were killed, or does the United Nations Organisation take over complete responsibility now?—The United Nations Organisation takes complete responsibility.

There is no claim then under our Acts? —We pay the Army pension, and then claim recoupment.

We pay the pension to which the officer or soldier is entitled?—That is so.

And recoup that from the United Nations later?—Plus the lump sum.

That is additional?—Yes.

The witness withdrew.


200. Chairman.—Gentlemen, as I indicated earlier to the meeting, I have to leave now.

Deputy Booth.—I move that Deputy Belton do take the Chair for the remainder of this meeting.

Question put and agreed to.

DEPUTY BELTON took the chair.


Mr. J. Garvin called and examined.

201. Chairman.—Paragraph 27 of the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General reads as follows:—

Motor Vehicle Duties, etc.

27. A test examination of the revenue from motor vehicle duties, etc., was carried out with satisfactory results. The certificates and reports of the Local Government auditors who examine the motor tax transactions of local authorities are made available to me.

The gross proceeds in 1960-61 amounted to £6,349,910 compared with £5,974,774 in the previous year. They include fines amounting to £44,303 collected by the Department of Justice, £5,835 in respect of fees received under the Road Traffic Act (Parts VI and VII) (Fees) Regulations, 1937, and £63,793 received from government departments in respect of State-owned vehicles. £6,456,000 was paid into the Exchequer during the year and £8,458 was refunded leaving a balance of £86,323 as compared with £200,871 at the end of the previous financial year.”

Have you anything to add, Mr.Ó Cadhla?

Mr. Ó Cadhla.—That paragraph is for information only.

202. Chairman.—We will turn to the Vote then.

Deputy Clinton.—Under subhead G.1.— Contribution towards Housing Charges of Local Authorities—is that a sum that would normally vary?—It is an estimated figure.

It seems to have worked out very well? —It was paid in full. If more fell due for recoupment in respect of the year in question, it would be paid in the following year.

203. Deputy Booth.—In the Notes there is reference to an ex-gratia payment of £3 in respect of property stolen, damage to clothing and surgical expenses arising out of accidents? Does £3 cover all that? —I am afraid I am not able to answer that in detail.

It appears curious that a claim for property stolen, which must have been important enough to be dealt with on an official basis, damage to clothing, and surgical expenses could total a mere £3— The amount for surgical expenses and damage to clothing was probably for a bandage and stockings as a result of a fall in the office.

204. Deputy Carter.—In Note 6, in the Appropriations in Aid, there are refunds of certain housing grants. What type of grant is covered there?—These are the ordinary housing grants payable to private persons, on the building of a new house. As you know, two grants may not be paid in respect of the one house. Sometimes the builder may have got the grant and, if the subsequent occupier also gets a grant, there must be a refund by the ineligible party.

The witness withdrew.

The Committee adjourned.

* See Appendix XIII.

* See Appendix XIV.

* See Appendix XV.

** See Appendix XVI.

* See Appendix XVII.