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Dáil Éireann debate -
Wednesday, 17 Aug 1921

Vol. S No. 2



Glaodhaim anois ar Earnán de Blaghd chun a chuntas a thabhairt dúinn.

Sé an chéad chúram a tharraing an Aireacht so chúichi ná obair chonsulachta thar lear. Bhótáladh £10,000 chun consuil a chur thar sáile cun tráchtáil na hÉireann a chur chun cinn i dtíortha iasachta. Tuigeadh don Uachtarán nuair a bhí sé in Americe go raibh dian-ghá le consul ansan agus do hiarradh orrainn-ne féachaint chuige go gcuirfí fear éifeachtúil anonn gan mhoill. B'é an fear a cheapamar chun na hoibre ná Diarmuid Fasait—fear a bhí tar éis an-obair a dhéanamh don Chumann um Aibiúchán Tionnscal i gCorcaigh.

Do thoilig Diarmuid dul go hAimerice go ceann leath-bhliana, ach nuair bhí an leathbhliain istigh, do thoilig sé fanúint ann go ceann bliana eile.

Tá sé tar éis tabhairt suas don obair anois. Dhin sé árd-obair i gcaitheamh na tréimhse a thug sé sna Stáit, agus níor thaise do sna Consúil eile é, mar atá: L. O Ceárnaigh sa bhFrainnc; Domhnall Mac Eil san Iodáil; agus Gearóid O Ceallaigh, Cúnt, san Eilbhéis agus sa Bheilg. Tá consul ceapuithe agam don Tír-fó-thuinn leis ach níor eirigh leis cead gluaiste d'fháil chun dul ann fós.

Ach ní féidir do chonsul éachta móra a dhéanamh ar an bpointe.

Ní thagann tora ar a chuid oibre ach go mall. Ní mór do daoine a spreaga chun tráchtáil a dhéanamh le hÉirinn; ní mór do caidreamh do nasca idir lucht déantús na dtíortha iasachta agus ceannuitheóirí na hÉireann; ní mór do a chur in úil do lucht tráchtála thall gur mian le muintir na hÉireann caidreamh a bheith acu leo agus tráchtáil a dhéanamh leo. Tá cúram mór ar Chonsuil na hÉireann thar lear agus tá tora fónta ar a gcuid oibre cheana féin.

Monarcha Phortláirge—Dhineas tagairt cheana do thrachtáil na feola úire agus don mhonarchain chóiríochta atáthar le cur ar bun i bPortláirge. Dubhart go raibh an t-airgead bailithe agus suidheamh fachta ina cóir, agus ná rabhthas ach ag feitheamh nó go gciúineodh an saoghal chun tosnú ar an obair.

Boycatáil Earrai Shasana—Tuigeadh don Dáil ná féadfaí déanamh de cheal earraí Shasana ar fad agus sé rud a socruíodh ná earraí áirithe a chosc 'na gceann is 'na gceann. Tá cúig ordú curtha amach go dtí so ag cur cosc ar earraí den tsaghas san, eadhon: (1) Meaisíní Feirmeoireachta; (2) Brioscaí, Smeara Bróg, Gallúnach; (3) Margairín; (4) Féilirí; (5) Subh, Fionta Leigheasacha, Ungaí atá déanta do réir oidis rúnda. Tá tora fónta ar bhoycatáil na n-earraí cheana féin.

Coimisiún Fiafruighthe Maoin is Tionnscal Éireann—Mholas an obair a bhí déanta ag an gCoimisiún agus ag na daoine a chabhruigh leo. Tá tuarasgbhála táchtacha curtha amach acu, mar atá "Tuarasgbháil ar Bhleachtas,""Tuarasgbháil ar Riaradh Beithidheach,""Cur Síos ar Ghual na hÉireann"; agus tá a thuille tuarasgbhála ullamh acu le teacht amach gan mhoill, mar atá "Tuarasgbháil ar Industrial Alcohol." An cur síos ar Ghual na hÉireann 'se an leabhar is mó le rá é dá dtáinig amach riamh maidir le maoin agus cúrsaí tionnscail na hÉireann. Is mór an mola atá ag dul do lucht an Choimisiúin dá bharr.

I need not read my Report, as it is already in the hands of the Deputies and deals with many matters of detail. I have already said the first work to which attention was given by this Department was the appointment of Consuls to further Irish Trade abroad. We first appointed Diarmuid Fawsitt, who had done excellent work as Secretary to Cork Industrial Association, work for which he was very well known. We have also appointed Consuls in Paris, Genoa, Antwerp, and Rotterdam. The number of Consulates established is small, but that is due to the fact that the maintenance of Consular establishments is a very costly item and to the fact that the results of Consular work come slowly. These results are built up of a thousand items each of small significance in itself, but of great importance in the aggregate. The value of the work done by the Consuls is becoming greater day by day, and the Dáil will extend the number of Consuls when the time is opportune and when resources are available. The Consuls have given great service in putting Irish and various foreign firms in touch with one another. I may say that firms which would be called Unionist have not been a bit shy in coming along and asking for the help of the Consuls to get in touch with markets for goods they had to sell.

More than two years ago our attention was directed to the Dressed Meat Trade. We anticipated that the Drogheda project would fail, and we were of opinion that such a trade would be of great importance to this country in keeping money and employment in the country. I estimate that if the cattle which are exported fat now to England were slaughtered at home, work would be provided for 8,000 additional people without taking any account whatever of the many subsidary industries which would spring up.

We were of opinion that that industry could best be developed by the formation of Co-operative Societies of farmers. We set to work, and Mr. Barton gave a great deal of attention to the matter. We succeeded in starting a project in Waterford for which a sum unprecedented in the history of the Co-operative movement was collected—a sum of almost £200,000. The initiation of that Society was entirely due to the work we did, though of course at later stages our hand was not apparent in connection with it. Owing to the sabotage and outrages of the enemy forces, no actual building work was undertaken, but it certainly will be started shortly; and I have no doubt that through this factory a very remarkable change will be brought about in the trade and agriculture of the country, because there is no more wasteful form of trade than the exportation of fat cattle as carried on here at present.

The Boycott of English goods was considered as long ago as May, 1919, but the time was not considered ripe for that until spring of the present year. In March last a Decree was passed authorising the Ministry to issue from time to time Orders prohibiting the importation of British goods which Irish firms could produce or for which we could get substitutes either in Ireland or in foreign countries.

We have since that time issued 5 Orders which dealt with only 12 classes of goods, but I am sure you are all aware of the effect this small number of Orders dealing with such a small range of goods has already had. Manufacturers whose goods were dealt with in those Orders were able to increase their output two or threefold, and other manufacturers whose goods were not so far dealt with also benefited. I have spoken to manufacturers who said that immediately that the Orders were published pro-British wholesale firms whose only desire was to buy from England became afraid to buy from anyone except from Irish manufacturers. As regards cigarettes, the manufacturers have been snowed under. I have had to look into the question of what goods should be prohibited and in what order, and as a consequence I have been enabled to see that by pursuing this policy of exclusion of English goods we could, within a couple of years, work a transformation that would surprise most of ourselves. Already manufacturers in all parts of the country are extending their premises and putting in new machinery. I certainly think, if the war is resumed, we will be able to strike a vital blow at the enemy with this policy.

The work which our Consuls had undertaken at the beginning was difficult, because there were no means here of discriminating between British and other goods. Since the issue of these Orders began and their effect became so marked, people on the Continent and in America who could not be interested in the Irish market before, immediately woke up to the importance of the new situation and of the new spirit in the country. The other day I saw a letter from a big American Packing House, which had refused to establish a depot in Ireland some time ago, saying Ireland could be supplied well enough from their English house. They now wrote and said they were reconsidering the matter.

There is another activity which I should like to deal with; that is, the work of the Commission of Inquiry which has been going on for the past couple of years. That Commission has done work which is of national importance, and many well-known citizens and leading business men have given a great deal of time and work to the Inquiry, but owing to the fact that it was an omnibus Commission and set out to investigate a number of different subjects simultaneously, we were a considerable time without a Report from it. However, the Reports are coming now all in a bunch. Some time ago we had an Interim Report on Milk Production in Irish and in English; after that a Stock-Breeding Farm Report, a Coal Memoir and a volume of evidence were published. The Industrial Alcohol Report and a second volume of evidence will be out in a few days. Four other Reports are promised for certain before the 31st October.

I would like to take this opportunity of paying a tribute to the members of the Commission for the extremely arduous work done on this Commission.

Tairgim go ndéanfar díospóireacht ar an tuairisg seo ag an Siosón Príomháideach.

Aontuím leis sin.

Glacadh leis an rún d'aon ghuth.

The Report circulated to Teachtaí was as follows: