Location: 3 Mountjoy Square. Private meeting.
The MINISTER FOR FINANCE then presented his Report. He drew attention to Part D. of the Report which contained an estimate of the expenses of the various Departments for the period ending 30th June, 1921.
It would be noted that a new Reserve Fund was proposed to be established. The Ministry had approved of this proposal. He refrained from making any mention of the Book Accounts which were made up to 31st December. They would be printed by the end of the month, and he would give any Member a copy provided he took care to destroy it when read.
F. FAHY (Galway, South) proposed the adoption of the Report, which was seconded by D. BUCKLEY (Kildare, North).
The MINISTER FOR DEFENCE did not agree with the figures set down against his Department in the Report.
The MINISTER FOR FINANCE stated that the amount shown by him was the amount paid by the Finance Department, and he was in a position to say his figures were correct as submitted.
The MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS asked the Minister for Finance to increase the estimate for his Department to £7,000. When sending in his estimate he understood that the unexpended balance from the amount voted to him for the previous period would be at his disposal for the coming half-year.
The MINISTER FOR FINANCE agreed. He said the vote would have to be moved in any case.
SEAN MACENTEE (Monaghan, South) supposed it was a matter of policy that they should hold a certain amount in reserve, but he thought they should not hold up a reserve for a future generation.
The PRESIDENT was confident, so long as they could go ahead, that they would get more money, and he thought it would be a great mistake to keep any of it up when they had good work for it. Questions of money were continually turning up, and he thought in order to regularise it they would have to make it possible for those who met more freqnently than the Dáil to deal with such matters, that it should be definitely in the power of the Ministry to handle questions of that sort. Once they made provision for certain reserves, say, £50,000, and a couple of reserves like that, the Ministry, provided they gave an account to the Dáil, should get a large amount of discretion in the question of dealing with the finances. They would have to do it for efficient working.
The MINISTER FOR FINANCE in reply to the query from the Deputy for South Monaghan, said for special reasons mentioned he considered they should never let their reserve run below £50,000. That was really a small sum, and it did not need very much insight to see £50,000 being spent on certain emergencies. With regard to the money in America at the last meeting his return showed the Loan just above three million dollars. That amount would be very much less even now except for certain financial considerations.
The Report was then put and adopted unanimously.