In 1933 the IRA drafted the following Social Programme as its Constitutional and Governmental Programme for the Republic:
We have within our own nation all the resources which are required to provide every citizen not only with the essentials of life but with comfort. Luxuries may not be yet be available, but the first stage is to provide an adequate standard for all.
The resources and wealth of the nation are very largely in the possession and under the control of those sections who are hostile to national freedom, and who have allied themselves with british imperialism. The immediate task is to rescue from them the heritage which they have robbed and plundered from the mass of the people. The powerful interests which dominate Irish life at present were built up on the basis of the conquest.
The machinery of the state was devised and has been developed to serve these interests. The powers of this state machine must be smashed. The machinery of the state of the republic of Ireland will be devised to serve, not any privileged sections, but the needs of the whole people.
Members of the Irish Republican Army must accept the responsibility which the organisation has shouldered and which history and tradition has imposed on it; that is the leadership of the struggle for national freedom and for the economic liberation of the people. They must make themselves familiar with all phases of the struggle. Not only must they be the organised and armed vanguard but they must also supply leadership and guidance in directing the thoughts of the people along constructive and revolutionary lines.
THE NATION’S RESOURCES
The right of the individual citizen shall be admitted to personal and private property, the possession of which is not in conflict with the common good.
(1) LAND & AGRICULTURE
The soil of the nation and all its resources are the property of the people, and shall be subject to their jurisdiction.
The soil of the nation shall be used primarily to produce food for the people.
It shall be the policy of the state to settle on the soil as great a proportion of the population as it can bear, and as economic good sense justifies. Large holdings of land not being used productively in accordance with government requirements shall be redistributed.
Occupiers of the land who comply with reasonable requirements of the community shall be guaranteed security of tenure with the right of succession to members of their families. These requirements shall be met by producing sufficient food to render the community self-supporting and independent of foreign food supplies.
As the state shall demand the utilisation of land to its fullest productive capacity, it shall guarantee to the producer a minimum return for produce. The state shall accept full responsibility for marketing of the surplus at a guaranteed minimum price after provision has been made by the producer for himself and his family.
It shall be the policy of the state to promote, as rapidly as possible, the co-operative organisation of the agricultural industry. Through the co-operative organisation credit shall be made available, by the state banking institution, for the development of all branches of the industry, and for improving the standard of the agricultural community.
The agricultural co-operative organisations shall be co-ordinated with the distributing and marketing organisation; these shall be responsible for regulating the production and internal distribution of food supplies, and for marketing the national surplus.
Co-operative organising of the industry shall be voluntary. Legislation shall not be applied to those who do not wish to enter the co-operative.
Those who elect to remain aloof shall not be entitled as of right, to share in the state credits and facilities afforded to the co-operative communities. They shall be responsible for according to any hired labour they may employ conditions of employment equal to the standard maintained in the co-operative communities.
All rivers, lakes and inland natural waterways, and their resources, are the property of the people and shall be subject to their jurisdiction.
The claims of any individual or company, to their exclusive ownership or use, or the fisheries there of shall be abolished. Inland, coast and deep sea fishing shall be controlled and directed by the state.
It shall be the policy of the state to promote the development of the fishing industry along co-operative lines. Through the co-operative fisheries organisation, credit will be made avaialbel by the state banking institution, for the fullest development, organisation and modern equipment of the industry, and for improving the standard of life of the fishing community.
The national wealth and credit shall be made available and shall be applied by the state for the creation of a manufacturing industry capable at least of providing for the normal and essential needs of the community.
Industry so created shall be the property of the community. Workers in these industries shall be responsible for the operation, under state direction and management; and they shall be renumerated on a wage basis.
The productive organisation shall be co-ordinated with the distributive organisation; these shall be responsible for the regulation of production, internal distribution, and for the marketing abroad of any surplus.
It shall be the policy of the state to bring about, as early as possible, the co-operative distribution of products. To achieve this end, such financial and credit facilities as will be required shall be made available through the state banking institution.
Each co-operative shall be responsible for distribution within its own area, and for transferring any surplus to the central marketing and imports board
The distributing and co-operative organs shall work in conjunction with the producers, both agricultural and industrial, in their areas and with the central marketing and imports board.
(5) BANKING & CREDITS
The state shall establish a monopoly in banking, and in the creation and issuing of credit and currency, so that the wealth and credit of the nation shall be available for the benefit of the community.
(6) PRIVATE ENTERPRISE
Private enterprise both in production and distribution of commodities shall be permitted, subject to the maintenance of conditions of employment in private enterprises being equal to the standard maintained in state financed co-operative enterprises. Private enterprise shall not be entitled to share or participate in the credit and other facilities afforded by the state to co-operatives.
(7) TRADE & COMMERCE
To stabilise and safeguard the national economy, and to control production and distribution, exports and imports shall be controlled by the state through the central marketing and imports board.
Imports which would impede internal trade shall not be admitted. Overseas and coasting trade shall, as far as possible, be carried out by the state mercantile marine.
All forms of public and inland transport shall be operated by a body set up by the national economic council.
All forms of insurance shall be made a state monopoly. After a date to be appointed, insurances shall not be effected with private companies. Insurances which have not at that date matured or expired may be continued.
The state shall be responsible for the provision of adequate housing of citizens. Citizens shall be encouraged and assisted by the state to become owners of their own homes. After a date to be fixed by the government, the building of houses for sale or rent shall be declared illegal. Houses declared unfit for human habitation by the public authority shall be destroyed and no compensation shall be paid to the landlord in respect of such houses and sites.
(11) GROUND RENTS
As the soil of the nation is the property of the people and subject to their jurisdiction, this jurisdiction shall be exercised to abolish landlordism in all cities and towns, and in any land required as sites for building purposes. Land required for building purposes and for providing social amenities shall be acquired on the basis of its agricultural value, and no payment shall be made in respect of the additional values in it by the community.
Taxation for natural purposes shall be assessed and levied on:
(a)Personal income of the individual, i.e. after allowance for the maintenance of himself and his family has been allowed for.
(b) Private trading and property
(c) Co-operative trading
(d) Unearned income – a supertax to be imposed
(e) Land not being used productively
(13) ECONOMIC CONTROL & DIRECTION
A body shall be created by the government and styled the ‘national economic council’, the members of which shall be chosen by the co-operatives. Its functions shall be to co-ordinate and advise on the control and development of:
(a) Agriculture (b) Fisheries (c) Manufacturing Industries (d) Banking, Credits and Taxation (e) Internal Marketing, Imports and Exports (f) Transport (g) Transport (h) Insurance (i) Housing
The present elaborate and bewildering system of law shall be swept away and a codification of laws on non-technical language shall be carried out. The principle of arbitration shall be adopted and extended as far as possible in civil cases.
The judiciary shall be appointed by, but shall be independent of, the government and shall be irremovable except on proven maladministration. The legal profession shall be a branch of the civil service, and the services of lawyers shall be available to all citizens. In certain cases the state may charge a fee for legal services.
The regular police forces shall be small as possible and shall be supplemented by forces recruited and controlled by the local authorities.
The penal code shall aim at the reforming of the offenders rather than at their punishment