Location: Unknown. Private meeting.
It was here decided to take up the clauses of the memorandum separately, and the SECRETARY FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT proposed, and M. STAINES (St. Michan's, Dublin) seconded the adoption of Clause 4 of the memorandum down to and including sub-clause (h).
J. MACENTEE (Monaghan South) was in total disagreement with the proposals regarding the reduction of the Child Welfare grants.
Dr. R.J. HAYES (Limerick East) stated that it was the opinion of a Committee of Doctors that the health scheme mentioned in the motion could be dropped for a short period in the present emergency without injury to the national health.
The SECRETARY FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT explained that the sums raised in rates for those services would be spent on them. The dropping of the services was only rendered necessary through the refusal of the English Government to fulfil its contracts.
J. MACENTEE (Monaghan South) was of opinion that the people in a position to pay rates should be asked to pay the extra £5,000 necessary to provide meals for Dublin school children.
ART O'CONNOR (Kildare South) enquired whether any arrangements had been made with Labour in the country districts regarding deductions in salaries and wages.
The SECRETARY FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT stated no arrangements had been made outside Dublin. This was not recommended by the Commission.
JOSEPH MACGRATH (St. James', Dublin) strongly objected to the proposal to close down the Tuberculosis Hospitals.
The SECRETARY FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT explained that the economies adopted by the Dublin Corporation were absolutely essential.
J.N. DOLAN (Leitrim) suggested that the financial proposals be first discussed. They could not decide what economies were necessary without first knowing what amount of revenue they might be able to raise by the collection of land annuities, etc., in Ireland.
J. MACDONAGH (Tipperary North) agreed. The revenue schemes to be discussed might result in a large amount of revenue coming in. He thought they should declare all their commitments to the British Government absolutely cancelled.
The SECRETARY FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT could not agree to this suggestion. The advances made to the Local Authorities must appear on the debit side of their books. It would be adopting a very dangerous principle to decide to wipe them out.
The SECRETARY FOR FINANCE said that the proposal to withhold principal and interest on loans was wrong. They should be paid to the National Government. If a Commission were set up to work out financial relations between the English Government and themselves the new Government should take over liability for payment of this money. It was the duty of the Department to put before the public bodies a clear conception of their obligations towards the children of the State. He had not the slightest doubt that the citizens of Dublin would pay the money necessary to provide meals for the children. If the Dublin Corporation, circulated and approached every householder in the matter they would get the money.
COUNTESS DE MARKIEVICZ (St. Patrick's, Dublin) stated that she was one of the Committee who originally started the feeding of children in Dublin. If an appeal were issued for this purpose it would be responded to.
J. MACENTEE (Monaghan South) moved:—
"That all reference to child welfare be deleted from the list of economies recommended."
The amount required for the supply of meals was infinitesmal. They should try to make distress less hard.
SEAN ETCHINGHAM (Wicklow East) seconded the amendment. He believed that means of raising the money could be devised.
J.N. DOLAN (Leitrim) supported the amendment, and suggested as an addendum that the Republican Government be asked to provide the money withheld.
The ACTING-PRESIDENT stated that the proposal meant that they take over the English Government's responsibilities. He understood that the Dublin Corporation were applying the same amount of money as usual to these services. Were they going to make the public bodies responsible for the starving children and cloak up what the English Government was doing?
The SECRETARY FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT did not consider it fair to place the responsibility of providing money withheld on the shoulders of the Republican Government.
The amendment proposed by the Deputy for South Monaghan was agreed to.
The SECRETARY FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT suggested that the proposal regarding the withholding of principal and interest on loans should be altered to read:
"Principal and Interest due by Public. Bodies on foot of English Government Loans to be credited to the Local Taxation Account against Grants due by the English Government and unpaid."
The SECRETARY FOR FINANCE accepted this suggestion.
The adoption of Clause 4 of the memorandum amended to read as follows was then put and carried:
"Economics to be carried out by Local Bodies on the lines laid down in the Report under the following heads:—
a. Principal and Interest on British Government Loans to be credited to the Local Taxation Account against Grants due by them and unpaid
b. Stopping payments made to persons doing work for British Government and expenses incidental thereto
c. Economies on Road Works
d. Venereal Diseases
e. Economies by abolition and Amalgamation of Workhouses
f. Economies in Asylums by sending home some patients, etc.
g. Tuberculosis—economies by reducing number of patients under Hospital treatment and by amalgamation of Hospitals
h. General Economies, i.e. Stationery, Legal Expenses, etc.
Total estimated saving during remainder of financial year for all Ireland