Location: 3 Mountjoy Square. Private meeting.
The PRESIDENT said he thought that the Minister for Finance was not taking too rosy a view of affairs in America when he said that he hoped the expenditure there would be covered by the receipts. In America they had three million square miles to cover and it was only now being organised. They should be very well satisfied with the work which had been done. The Irish White Cross relief collections would be very large. If the necessity for this collection had not occurred, they would have asked for authority to issue another Loan, and would easily have secured the same amount as the first Loan. After all the expenses of the first Loan were paid, he calculated they would have 4,000,000 dollars left.
J. MACENTEE (Monaghan, South) asked if they intended to use all the money in hand during the coming year.
The MINISTER FOR FINANCE explained that the figure of £210,966 6s. 3d. represented the sum in hand in Ireland. Provision had been made for an expenditure of, roughly £225,000. This made an apparent deficit, but, on the other hand, there was a considerable sum to their credit in United States, America. The present Report should be read in conjunction with that presented in the January Session.
He drew attention to the item in Appendix A. of his Report of £2,000 voted by the Ministry to the Commission of Inquiry into the Resources and Industries of Ireland. This vote now came up for confirmation. The Acting President had promised the Commission of Inquiry that when their funds fell below £1,000 a further vote would be made to them.
J. MACENTEE (Monaghan, South) asked was this amount in excess of the £5,000 already voted, and was informed that this was the case. He urged that the whole work of the Commission to date should be reviewed by a Committee of the Dáil.
T. HUNTER (Cork, North-East) agreed that a review of the Commission's work should be immediately undertaken.
The SUBSTITUTE MINISTER FOR LABOUR suggested that the Department of Trade and Commerce should be made definitely responsible for the work of the Commission and should ascertain how far the results of its inquiries could be utilised for the good of the country.
After further discussion J. MACENTEE (Monaghan, South) moved, "That having regard to the fact that the sum already allocated to the Industrial Commission was now exhausted and that the necessity for a further grant has arisen, a Committee of the Dáil should be appointed to review the work of the Commission and to make whatever recommendations may be advisable regarding it."
On the suggestion of the MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS this motion was withdrawn on an undertaking from the Director of Trade and Commerce that he would, with such assistance as he may require from members of the Dáil, inquire into the work of the Commission and make a report to the next Meeting.
It was explained that the Department of Trade and Commerce was in fact responsible for the work of the Commission.
SEAN HAYES (Cork, West) mentioned the question of Income Tax. He had heard that terrorism would be resorted to in the collection of this tax. He suggested that collectors should not be allowed to collect.
The Report of the Finance Department was then adopted, including the vote of £2,000 to the Commission of Inquiry, which was confirmed on the undertaking mentioned above.