I said 23/-, and I think later on it comes down to 22/6, or round about an average of 23/- for the whole period. I will tell the Deputy what the exact figures are. They are 24/6 per cwt. for the first three years, 22/6 for the following five years, and 22/- for the last two years. The Minister told us, at the same time as he told us that they were "basing their estimate upon a total production of 86,000 tons for the period," that "a factory was being built which may ultimately be raised to a capacity to deal with 15,000 tons of sugar." It would begin with the production of 5,000 tons per annum. Then it is estimated that "the complete equipment of the factory will run to the neighbourhood of £200,000 for the ten thousand ton factory." I think it was made public that the original estimate was altered and a much bigger factory was entered upon after the Bill was passed. Consequently it is possible to work up sugar to an amount very much higher than was originally contemplated, and we have the result in this first year that, as compared with the 5,000 tons of sugar anticipated, we are to have 13,000 tons of sugar.
One can understand the hesitation about a second factory when the first factory seems to have enlarged its capacity after the agreement was made; that is to say, the agreement with the Dáil. So far from its maximum capacity being 86,000 tons, we have contracted to pay for 125,000 tons in the ten years. Now we are very glad, of course, to see the factory and to see that the farmers have succeeded so well in the first year. It was made known that the Ministers had in mind that a second factory which might be established would only be upon the basis of a much lower subsidy. But the owners of the first factory have got round that fear by doubling the capacity, or multiplying by 50 per cent. the proposed capacity of the first factory, and they managed to wheedle the Ministers to guarantee them a subsidy of an average of 23/- a cwt. on 125,000 tons as against an expected 86,000 tons. It is rather a serious difference in the subsidy, and, while I think it may well redound to the credit of the farmers in the end—because they will know what kind of a bargain to make after the first three years are over—it is not quite as fair to the Dáil as it is to the farmers.
I think it is very generous to the company. All credit to them, and I, for my part, must say that the factory itself is a marvel of scientific organisation and mechanical ingenuity. I do not think that the figure given by the Minister to-day is very reassuring, but I am glad that a figure is stated, because I was fearing that we had let ourselves into an unlimited subsidy, or, at least, into a subsidy only limited by the capacity of the factory. I do not know what that is. I think it is more than a 15,000 ton factory. I think it is probably a much bigger factory than that, and I think that the Carlow factory will be able to deal in the campaign period, when it comes to its utmost effectiveness, with even a larger quantity than 15,000 tons.
There is one matter that I think I might refer to, and that is the position of the factory in respect to employment and in respect to its conformity with the Factory Acts legislation. I have had an assurance that all the requirements of the Factory Acts will be complied with. It is known and appreciated that there were difficulties in the early stages and I think all those primarily concerned were prepared to overlook many faults in that respect. But we have now the assurance that, having got over the initial difficulties, those matters will be fully attended to, and all the requirements of the law— and I hope considerably more than the requirements of the law—will be observed.
I hope, too, that there will be very generous consideration given in future years to the position of the workers in the industry. There has been a fair amount of concord during this first year and I know that both sides appreciate the position. I am hopeful that that will be the beginning of a long period of amity as far as the factory and the workers in the factory are concerned. I do express the hope that it is going to be assured by recognising the existence of people responsible who are able to speak on behalf of bodies of workers, and that collective agreements can be made. Otherwise the amity of the first year might not succeed in being preserved in future years. However, I must say that the project is a hopeful one and I think it will have valuable results for the community as a whole. But I say now, as I said when the Bill was first introduced, that the company has made a very good bargain.