By the EARL OF WICKLOW THE debate on the setting up of the Industrial Development . A authority has continued, and the second reading was passed by 70 votes to 56. It is encouraging to know that the Government seem determined, as announced by the Minister for Industry and Commerce, that the new Authority should as far as possible divert potential industries to rural areas.
I have on several occasions mentioned what a dangerous drift there is towards Dublin, which is now reaching a size out of all proportion to the population of the country.
Some very interesting statistics have just been produced in a public letter from the Archbishop of Dublin, who is appealing to the faithful of his diocese for £80,000 to build a new wing at the diocesan seminary, 'race points out that the College niiisenow one hundred years old, and that it is no longer large enough to provide sufficient priests for the
Catholic population of the The letter reveals that one hundred years ago there were 48 parishes in the diocese, 124 churches and 118 diocesan priests. Today the figures are 90 parishes, 178 churches and 443 priests. The Catholic population at present numbers 639,542. The bulk of these must live in County Dublin, and probably within the city boundaries, as the main rural areas of the diocese are thinly populated. a large part being mountainous
The figures are significant when one remembers that the total population of the Republic is less than three millions.
The figures for the Estimates have now been published and there are
are two points in connection with
them that I should like to emphasise. Firstly, the rise in the figures, which are more that 3+ millions in excess of last year ; secondly, there is a novelty this year in the division between capital and other services. In other words we are to have two budgets.
This practice is very rare, and I believe it has only been tried in Scandinavia. I propose to deal with this matter at greater length after the debates.
The most substantial increase in expenditure is the agricultural esti mate, which is up by £2 million This certainly can be considered useful capital expenditure as it will bring valuable returns in the years to come, but cannot be expected to do so immediately.
I thought, however, that there was it note of concern in the Minister for Finance's statement. as if he thought that the ambitions of hi colleagues were outstripping the resources of his department.