Control of Manufactures Bill, 1932—Second Stage (Resumed).

Question again proposed. —That the Bill be now read a Second Time.

When speaking on this Bill last night, I drew attention to the fact that no business or industry could be successful unless it had first-class direction. The object of this Bill, I think, is nominally to secure a high state of industrial development in the shortest possible time. If that is not the object of the Bill, it ought to be. It should be the aim of the Bill to put the least strain on the public, so that we would arrive in the shortest possible time at a state of efficiency as regards the quality of the article produced, the design of the article and the price at which it would be sold. This Bill does not do that. This Bill does not aim at the essential of any successful business —the securing of the best and most intelligent direction. Capital is not invited from outside.

I see no prospect of any business firm from Britain, America, Canada, or Germany—these are practically all the countries which sell finished articles here—coming in here under the terms of this Bill. If capital does not come in, then you have nothing to rely on but home direction. How does one try to secure efficiency and to bring industry up to date? How would the Minister go about it if he was directing a business? Would he not insist, in the first place, on some member of the concern having sufficient knowledge of it, and possibly technical knowledge, from the very root of that business in order to enable him to direct it? The directors of any business should have enough knowledge to know when they were well served. Even if they had not technical knowledge they should know if they had a good manager, if they were well served on the technical side and by every member of the staff. What are the chances of getting that sort of direction under this Bill? Where is it to be got and within what space of time? Would not one look for that knowledge amongst people who have already acquired it, where business and industry have been brought up to modern requirements? Otherwise is this to be a sort of experiment, to let things grow up and to meet the obstacles on the road? If the Minister or anyone else was looking for a director for a business would he not look for one amongst people who have made a success of business? I do not think the Minister or anyone else would shut his eyes to that possibility, by excluding assistance that could be secured from successful firms, and in their place relying upon the 111 failures that we heard of last night.

In passing I might say that more harm was done to the progress of industry by the statement made here last night than it is possible to imagine. Could there be anything more damaging than the blazoning from the Government Benches of the statement that there had been 111 failures in industry in 10 years, and that during a period when many of these industries, if not all, were already depressed? Is that the sort of prospectus that is to be issued inviting Irish capital to go into Irish industries? What inducements do the terms of this Bill offer to outsiders to come into Irish industry? They do not offer any inducements, because people will not come in and invest capital here unless they have the privilege of directing the business. If they do not own the majority of the shares they cannot direct the business. Apart from that, there is an atmosphere and an obvious intention in the Minister's mind, and in the minds of the Party behind him, in connection with this Bill. Where else are we to look for direction, management, and technical knowledge except amongst people who have already made a success in business?

I admit that technical knowledge, and possibly management, can be had here if it is paid for, but direction cannot be got. Is it amongst the ranks of the 111 failures that direction can be got? Under these circumstances is it not strange to have an appeal made for Irish capital? Is it from amongst the failures that people will be got with business training and with the keenness necessary to make business a success? In my opinion the Bill sets out to exclude efficiency. The history of Irish industry, and the experiments that we have had here—and I think experiments is the right word to use regarding most of them—have been sad reading for people with Irish sympathies. Nothing short of State compulsion will force people who have money in the banks at home, or capital invested abroad to invest here—nothing but the compulsion of the gun. There is nothing to justify the optimism that was expressed on the opposite benches with regard to the enthusiasm that Irish capitalists will show to invest in Irish industries. There is no time and no room for experiments with industries. The history of Irish enterprise shows that except there is proper direction Irish capital will not be invested in these industries except by compulsion. The Bill aims at the denial of proper direction of industry. Are we to fall back on the 111 failures? On looking over this question I suppose the Minister thought of a State director of industry, the obvious chairman of which I believe would be Senator Connolly, judging by his record and the record of people by whom the Minister seems to be advised.

Ultimately the agricultural community will have to bear the load. This is no age for experiments so that when we have efficiency we should try to maintain it. Even though tariffs were put on it is possible for the Minister to have efficiency. He can control foreign capitalists here as easily as he can control Irish capitalists. It was Deputy Dowdall, I think, who said last night that we had allowed peaceful penetration by foreign capitalists, and that as a result we would be as badly off as when we were ruled by the landlords. This State was powerful enough to deal with and to rule the landlords. It is powerful enough and free enough to control foreign capitalists. It will be as easy to deal with foreign capitalists as with other people. What will be good enough for Deputy Dowdall with regard to capital invested here will be good enough for foreign capital, and it will be just as easy to control it. The only road to success in industrial development here is to see that the people at the head have a full knowledge of the business they are going to direct. They must have that knowledge from top to bottom. If they have not got it they must have people connected with the business who will have enough knowledge to know if they are being well served in the different departments.

If there is no unreasonable restriction put on foreign capital coming in here you will have all the advantages of the progress and development connected with different firms established in other countries such as Canada—and a lot of our machinery is copied from the machinery that is used there— America and England. Whatever progress they will be making in other countries, those who represent them in this country will benefit by their experience. That would be much better than to be obliged to rely purely on the experience gained at home. It has always been the case here that our machinery was merely a copy of a patent that has expired. Patents are allowed to die out. I am prepared to say that in the presence of some of the manufacturers who do not know how to make a hopper for a turnip slicer.

This Bill is a bad Bill. It does not aim at progress; it is a clog on progress. It seems to me there is more vote-buying about this Bill than there is national development. It is going to lead us in the wrong direction and it should be rejected.

I sympathise to some extent with the activities of the Minister for Industry and Commerce, but at the same time I think the measure he has introduced into this House, and which we are now considering on Second Reading, has in it the germs of very great dangers. I think there is a great deal to be said for restricting the activities of foreign capitalists in a country which is just embarking upon its industrial era. I am not as great an enthusiast as is the Minister for the industrialisation of this country. I am not sure it will be as unqualified a blessing as he seems to think it will.

His particular apprehension at the present time is that there will be a stampede of foreign capital into the Twenty-Six Counties, and before very long every industrial activity in the country will be in the hands of British and American capitalists. I do not envisage any such violent stampede as the Minister seems to apprehend. Whatever move there might have been, I think it will be very much deterred by this Bill. But that is not the object of the Minister. The Minister's object is to control the capitalist after he has got him and to provide that those who do come will not embark in enterprises calculated to destroy the existing native industry. I think that the Minister is in danger, not only of preventing the marauding capitalist who would try to do away with the native Irish industry in order to acquire a monopoly for himself, but also of creating an atmosphere in this country which will deter any enterprising foreigner from coming in here.

We are engaged with the principle of this Bill and not with its individual sections; still one cannot help referring to certain sections in order to illustrate the principle running through the Bill. Section 2 lays down the principle upon which the Minister is going to differentiate between the different companies coming here. In that section alone I think there are very great pitfalls because it will be exceedingly difficult to establish definitely what kind of person the Minister seeks to have control of. "...any person who carries on a business...to make, alter, repair, ornament, finish or to adapt for sale any article, material or substance..." Does that include the butcher? The Minister might be very much surprised to know that since the House imposed a tariff on meat and fowl, a very large number of butchers crossed the Border. Does the Minister propose to use the Bill for the purpose of controlling the activities of the butcher?

It is very difficult to draw the line where you will stop if you once take powers of this kind. How far is the Executive going to interfere with the everyday life of the commercial community if powers of this character are put into their hands? It will be exceedingly difficult to differentiate between the persons who come within the scope of the Bill and the persons who do not. Sub-section (4) of the same section is rather important and I will ask the Minister to give it special consideration. A principle quite new to me, certainly in statutes, is enshrined in sub-section (4). That sub-section purports to change the onus of proof from the prosecutor to the defendant. I do not know if that is some new statutory procedure which has now become recognised. I think that under such procedure the Minister can charge a citizen with a breach of the law and then by statute discharge himself of the burden of proving his charge and he can throw upon the defendant the onus of proving his innocence. To my mind that is a revolutionary change. If irregularity is alleged against a citizen by the Executive it is the duty of the Executive to bring home the irregularity, and until they do, the courts would hold the man innocent of any irregularity or breach of the law. I think I am right in saying sub-section (4) makes a serious inroad on a very vital principle in the whole administration of the law.

The most dangerous principle involved in this Bill arises from what I am proud to think is at present and has been the reputation of our Government ever since the Saorstát was founded. No matter how profoundly we disagree with Ministers politically, I have never heard any person suggest, and I have never found any credence for any suggestion made outside, that any Minister of the Saorstát Government was corrupt. The very reputation the Cumann na nGaedheal Government earned for the Executive and that the Fianna Fáil Government has maintained is, in my opinion, a great pitfall. While we are legislating for to-day we should bear in mind tomorrow. There are certain principles which, although we might abandon them with perfect safety under existing circumstances, are of such vital importance to good government and so dangerous if abrogated that, no matter what the existing circumstances may be, we should not lightly consent to their abrogation.

Here you have a Bill which introduces a new principle and that is that the Minister, in his absolute discretion, can admit or exclude an industry from operation in this country. There is nothing like plain speaking. I am proud to repeat as a citizen of this State that our Government has been, and is to-day, incorruptible. I consider it an exceedingly dangerous thing, particularly when Ministers' salaries are reduced to a figure which I believe to be inadequate for the work they have to do, to place coming generations of men in the danger, the desperate danger, of temptation.

Where you have powerful financial combines trying to get into this country, human nature being what it is, if the desire of entrepreneurs to get into this country is sufficiently strong it will be found that they will be prepared to pay for the privilege. There could be no difficulty in any Dáil in asking for an amendment of such a principle as this on the ground that the Minister for Finance in 1960 or 1970 might be a very undependable person who had a majority at his back; that starting with that reason as to why this should not be encouraged it might be found in the hour of danger that there was a possibility of evil arising from such encouragement which at that particular moment it would be most difficult to provide against. Therefore, at the present moment when we might with confidence give these powers, to either of the Governments available in this House we are free, and we should take advantage of that freedom, to withhold it on the grounds that it is an undesirable practice in a democratic country to place in the hands of a Minister arbitrary powers of this kind and that it opens the door for the possibility later on of corrupt suggestions or invitations being extended to whatever Minister might be in charge of the Department administering this Act.

The same observation applies to paragraph (d) of Section 5. There again, the most extraordinarily wide powers are given to the Minister. I have not the slightest doubt in saying that these powers to a conscientious man would prove an introlerable burden; he would be called upon to decide questions, and to meet representations, to withstand things which it is not reasonable or right to ask any individual to pass judgment upon and subsequently to defend. I suggest to the Minister that in a later stage of this Bill he should invite the Dáil to provide him, if he is determined to go on with this Bill at all, with some kind of assistance by way of an impartial tribunal to which he could refer questions arising under Section 5, sub-section (2), paragraph (d). I would even go further and suggest that any findings which that independent advisory body might bring to him should be laid on the Table of this House for approval before they became operative or for retrospective approval after an interval.

I do not think that any precautions that we can take to prevent the potent possibility of corruption creeping into the public life of this country could be too strong. Our great security at present is our greatest danger. Over and above this aspect of the case I dislike this Bill, because, while I would be inclined to support the Minister in adopting a measure to control capitalists here and to bring activities such as we know were on foot in connection with the flour industry in this country before the advent of Fianna Fáil to an end, I think it is very desirable that the Executive should be in a position to control such activities as these, possibly in consultation and co-operation with the Dáil itself. But I think this Bill goes a great deal beyond that and goes a great deal too far. I would suggest to the Minister that if he throws his mind back to the development of other countries and, especially, the United States of America during the 19th century, he will see that if a Bill of this kind existed in that country it never would have reached the industrial development which it did. I certainly doubt that it would. I should like the Minister to consider this: If he had the powers which it is proposed to confer upon him by this Bill, and if one of the agricultural implement makers in this country was at that time making farm tractors, could he ever have admitted Henry Ford to this country? Could he have ever resisted the case that would have been put up to him that we had a native industry turning out pretty groggy motor tractors which succeeded in moving and which would sometimes plough? Could he conceivably resist the case that here was an Irish industry that had been struggling under great difficulties, that seldom had any profits, but that still gave employment to 120 men? If the Minister had the powers which this Bill will confer upon him, could he, in these circumstances, have admitted Henry Ford to Cork? Could he have admitted the factory that provides the largest individual item in our exports for the last two years? Could he in such circumstances have admitted the factory that has turned this country into an exporting country in the line of business that they are engaged in? I do not think he could.

I think he would have found that there was an absolutely irresistible case in favour of the home manufacturer and against Ford. It would be explained to him that this was not one of the legitimate casualties in the economic revolution proceding. I put that case because I note that on such a case being put up to him he would promise, if he had an impartial tribunal by his side, to refer the whole question to the estimation of that impartial tribunal; he would then bring the report of that tribunal and lay it on the Table of the Dáil and he would state that he was not prepared to override the findings of these experts unless the Dáil was prepared to do so.

If this Bill is put into operation you have no such resource. The whole burden of the decision will be put upon his own shoulders and it will be for him to decide whether an inefficient industry was to be perpetuated in this country or whether there was to be admitted a man who could give such splendid conditions of labour, a man who was prepared to train, on a well-paid basis, workers as skilled artisans and who was prepared to turn our country into a great exporting factor in that particular field of industry. I would suggest to the Minister that the more fruitful course to take for him would be to eschew every effort to give preferential treatment to any business such as indicated for the tobacco manufacturers in the Finance Bill, to let it be known that any man who embarks on industrial enterprise in this country will get a fair crack of the whip in every way, and to let it be known that monopolies in this country will not be tolerated and that the exploitation which so frequently worries the mind of Deputy Norton—indeed on every conceivable occasion—will not be allowed, but that decent conditions will be insisted upon for labourers and that we will have no industrial dictators and no labour dictators either. If he allows that to be known and seeks powers towards that end from the Dáil, I believe he will rightly overcome his difficulties and I believe, with such powers in his hands and such declaration of freedom for every legitimate entrepreneur, he will do far more to stimulate industrial development in Ireland than he could hope to do through the instrumentality of this Bill.

Reading this Bill, and listening to the opening speech of the Minister and to many other Deputies who have spoken, one would come to the conclusion that there was a great fight going on between Irish capitalists and foreign capitalists as to which of them were going to be allowed to start industries all over the Free State. One would think that this State was over-industrialised, instead of being very much under-industrialised. We have heard, in this House and outside it, for the last four or five months, and particularly during the last three weeks, a great deal of talk about the 80,000 unemployed. We are told of the sympathy that there is for them and the steps which the Government are taking to see that industries are started which will provide these unemployed with permanent work; and of the anxiety of the Government that these industries should be started as soon as possible. I want to put it to the Minister, or to anybody in this House: if this Bill is passed as it stands, how far is it going to defer the absorption of the unemployed into industry? It is from that aspect that I approach this Bill. Speaking for myself personally, I do not care whether industries are started at the moment with either foreign or native capital so long as they are started and our unemployed are absorbed into them. We have very few industries unfortunately. If this country was industrialised, and if the Minister was able to produce any evidence that the existence of native-owned factories was being endangered by any action taken by foreign capital, then certainly he would be, in my opinion, in duty bound to ask the House to give him such powers as would prevent the exploitation of this country or its factories or industrialists by any foreign combine or set of combines. We know quite well, however, that there is no competition unfortunately: that we cannot get either native or foreign capital to start industries. The Minister has not produced one bit of evidence to show us that there is any anxiety on the part of native or foreign capitalists, of people possessed even of small amounts of money, to invest their money in Irish industries. The Minister told us yesterday that it was the desire and the intention of the Government to promote a rapid development of industry in this country. I suggest that instead of accelerating the development this Bill is about the greatest brake that could be put upon the development of industry here.

What is the position? Industries in this country have got very substantial protection. A number of them have been protected since 1924. That protection has cost the taxpayers a sum out of all proportion to the relief given to the unemployed or the benefit given to the country as a whole. The present Government have increased that measure of protection very substantially. We have no evidence even yet that those industries are going to absorb the unemployed to any extent. It is well known to the Minister and to Deputies that, so far as the majority of the industries which have got protection are concerned, they increased their prices up to the amount of the tariff, and instead of putting the increased profits into their business, providing more up-to-date machinery, and making their business more efficient so as to meet outside competition, the extra profits went into their own pockets or in higher dividends. People who can be induced to invest their capital in Irish industries are going to get a further preference by 20 per cent. of a concession in income tax. They are not satisfied with that. They want a monopoly created. Whether that is the intention of this Bill it certainly will be the effect of the Bill when it becomes law—to give certain people who have started in this country, or who have struggled on, a monopoly of the business of the country. So far as I am concerned, I have no use for monopolies, either native or foreign; there is no difference between them. Monopolies are created for one purpose, and for one purpose only, and that is to fleece the consumers and the workers. When it comes to doing that our natives are just as good as any foreigner who comes in. My opinion is that this Bill, far from attracting capital into industry in this country, will frighten not only foreign capital, but Irish capital, because the Irish capitalist who will be thinking, as a result of the Bill, whether it is advisable to put his money into starting industries, will ask himself the question: What guarantee have I if I put money into native industry that this Bill will not be amended or regulations made under it, as passed by the House, which will catch me in the net and make my capital and the business in which my capital is invested subject to the political head of a particular Department for the time being? In my opinion, we are not going to induce people to put money into industries and set up factories here in that way. Deputy Dillon rather surprised me with one statement he made. He told us that the Minister's object was not to prevent foreign capital coming in, but to control it when it did come in. I think the most effective means the Minister could take to prevent foreign capital from coming into this country is to intimate beforehand that when it does come in he is going to control it. I am surprised that Deputy Dillon did not realise that.

There is another aspect of the question. Deputy Dillon touches upon it in a certain way, and I should like to deal with it very briefly. It is this: If this Bill succeeds in inducing a number of people in this country to put their money into industry and to start a number of factories, and if, for one reason or another, these factories are not successful, or they try to deal unfairly with the public; and if the Minister or his successor, whoever the Minister for the time being may be, is inclined to give a licence to an outside factory to come in and start in competition, what is the position going to be? Do we not know quite well that if there is a vested interest in an industry here, no matter how inefficient it may be, no matter how badly run it may be, immediately an attempt is made by another firm to set up in competition an appeal will be made to the Minister. The present Minister, or any Minister, will find it very difficult to grant a licence to a foreign firm to come in here and produce the same article as an existing Irish firm, because he would be denounced as anti-Irish, standing for the foreigner, having no regard for the native manufacturer who invested his money and so on. I want to make my position clear. My main concern is as to the effect of this Bill upon the unemployed—whether it will advance us to a position in which we will be able to absorb our unemployed in a comparatively short time or whether it will shove the date of that absorption further off. I am sure I shall be told by the Minister when replying—if he thinks it worth while to pay any attention to my few remarks—that he has much more sympathy with the unemployed than I have. I hope he will not say that. He has said it very often. He has so much sympathy with the unemployed that when the motion dealing with them was under consideration he did not think it worth his while to remain in the House. I am concerned for the unemployed. I believe the Minister is concerned, too, and I know he has a big responsibility. I believe that he realises not that he has a much bigger task on hands than he thought he had three or four months ago. I suggest that this measure will make it much more difficult for the Minister to deal with the unemployed. So far as I am concerned, I do not care whether foreign capital or Irish capital is used so long as industries are started here to absorb the unemployed. In my opinion, this Bill will do more to retard the industrialisation of this country than anything that has been done since the Act of Union.

This Bill can bring no hope or satisfaction to Deputy Morrissey or any Deputy looking at the matter in the way he does. I do not think that the Bill is seriously intended to do any such thing or that it is intended to do what is stamped on the face of it as its purpose. Put before the House in the circumstances in which it is being put, this Bill is nothing but a piece of modern advertising. It is an attempt to boost a certain mentality on the part of the Government—an attempt which they are not backing up by suitable action. It is not so much a boost of faith without good works as a boost of hope without good works. The Minister realises as much as anyone that this Bill is not going to do anything in the immediate future to bring assistance to the increasing numbers of unemployed. The Bill is introduced after a considerable number of tariffs have been imposed without examination— without putting before the House or the people any of the details which it was contemplated would be furnished when the House was asked to impose a tariff, a tariff meant to last and, while it lasted, establishing the roots of necessary industry here and establishing them safely and efficiently. It was hoped that they would be established in such a way that they would be able to exist without the tariff. A glance at the Act which set up the Tariff Commission will show the type of examination intended to be carried out before a tariff was imposed and the type of information intended to be placed before the House.

Is the Deputy now dealing with the Control of Manufactures Bill?

I submit I am.

Then the Deputy should show how his remarks bear upon this Bill?

A large number of tariffs have been proposed to the House without information, good, bad or indifferent, as to the position of the industries which it was hoped to develop here. We had no information with regard to the extent to which these industries existed, with regard to the extent to which capital was invested in them, with regard to the wages paid or with regard to the efficiency of the industries. These tariffs were proposed here while a blind side was kept so far as information was concerned. A Bill is now set down to keep out foreign capital. This is being done for the rapid industrial development of the country.

In so far as this Bill is put before us as a weapon to assist in the rapid industrialisation of the country, I submit that we have not been told what we ought to be told in relation to the tariffs that have been imposed. These things must in a general way be referred to when we come to examine the extent to which the keeping out of foreign capital, or the regulation of its coming in, will assist in the rapid industrialisation of the country. If the Minister had thoroughly examined the situation as regards tariffs and put before our industrialists information with regard to conditions here, I could understand his introducing a Bill like this and inviting other industrialists to risk their money on ground that had been, to some extent, surveyed and mapped out. But the ground is not surveyed or mapped out for them and I submit that our industrialists are not going to be induced by this measure to put their money into industry. The Minister realises that the manner in which he approaches his tariffing—apart from the political and other circumstances surrounding it—is not going to induce Irish capitalists to put money into industry here at such a speed as will in any way meet the unemployed position here. If he wanted rapid development of industry without an examination of what the position was, he ought to leave the position as regards capital completely open. I submit that the incoming of foreign capital would not take place at such a rate that it would completely keep Irish capital out of industry here, but that, from seeing non-Irish capital, with skilled management and skilled directorates, which foreign capital usually brings in, persons with capital here might learn something of the confidence of the more experienced industrialists, something of their methods and of the way they order their business.

We are told that application for this Bill has been made by manufacturers who did not dare to go before the Tariff Commission and ask for a tariff. We are getting this Bill at the demand of persons who want direction in the matter of wages, quality of goods, prices, and capital but without any examination of its effects to enlighten the House or the public who will have to pay the demands that must be made through tariffs on industries.

I submit to the Minister that what he said about the rapid industrialisation of this country he would not have said if he was not prepared, for some reason or another, to sacrifice to a certain extent the credit of this country for some other nearer objective of his own. I submit that this is simply a flag-waving exhibition at the expense of persons who are unemployed to-day, who are awaiting the development of industry in order to boost the idea that the present Government is the great unmoving Party that is rapidly going to industrialise this State. We are told that the Bill is for the protection of native capital against foreign capital; that it is for the protection of our people from industrial exploitation by foreign capital. A measure intended to assist in doing that is put before the House without the slightest scrap of information as to the amount of capital that is invested in this country, the amount of capital that is to a certain extent idle and the amount not idle.

Here is a Bill intended to protect Irish capital that contains no single provision for the protection of any Irish capital in whatever industries there are here. I am sure that our industrial development is not such as we would like it to be. We realise that there is much greater industrial development here at the present time than the Minister saw any other Party going to add to materially within, say the next ten years. There is no suggestion, as far as I can see, in the Bill that any of the Irish capital at present invested in industry and controlled by Irish hands is going to be protected from passing into the hands of foreign capitalists. Deputy Dillon referred to certain matters in the Bill which, if properly operated, ought to be put into the hands of the Commission. If this Bill is to be worked at all a Commission should be set up to deal with everything that is involved in it. Deputies will remember that when the Electricity Supply Board was set up, a big industrial undertaking was in the hands of the State, and a Commission, in the shape of the Electricity Supply Board, controlled it. It was made explicit that no member of that Board should have any interest in any electrical undertaking. Here we have a Bill which puts into the hands of a Minister, who may be a part-time Minister, and who may be a director of many companies in this country, complete power and absolute discretion to say what industries may come in, what foreign capital may or may not come in to establish industries, and to prescribe within his absolute discretion the conditions and the terms upon which he will issue a licence. I submit that everything Deputy Dillon says in connection with that proposal is only too true, and that it is astounding to suggest to the House that it cannot have anything but a frightening effect upon capital coming in.

Deputy MacDermot referred yesterday to some of the circumstances that surround the present situation, the political circumstances, the position with regard to throwing away the preference in the English market, the position with regard to Gallaher's and to the new Finance Bill where, in the same way—and it is to some extent controlled by the Minister for Finance and the Minister for Industry and Commerce—there is a proposal to give preferential income tax relief to capital that now comes in, with the position that if the President of the State was the beneficial owner of a tobacco factory that it was intended to give relief to, he could not get that relief contemplated in the Finance Bill. An Old Age Pensions Bill was introduced the other day which deals with certain aspects of nationality, and a person claiming to be a national under that Bill could not qualify under the Control of Manufacturers Bill to be a national. There is that confused attitude with regard to discrimination between different sets of people and between different sets of capital. It creates a situation here by which the Minister certainly cannot expect—if it is to be taken seriously—that persons with Irish capital or persons with foreign capital, will come along and develop industries. Nothing could have been more meagre than the statement made by the Minister when introducing the Bill. The Minister has had ample opportunity of dealing with the matter, considering the amount of work that he must have dealt with in connection with the Finance Bill, and the Customs duties that he imposed before the Finance Bill, particularly when we take into consideration the discussions that took place prior to the introduction of this measure. The Minister must have had time to examine what he proposed to do and what he hoped exactly to achieve in the development of Irish industry rapidly. I think he would have served his object very well if he had given us a review when introducing this measure of the different ways in which he was bringing about his objective. He must have spent a very concentrated time, and if he is not in a position to give us a concentrated statement that would link up for us and for those people with to invest who are watching the development of his policy here, then I submit he is simply blundering along with a hope that he has to be propaganded and without, perhaps, such faith as he would like to have that this measure will go any distance towards realisation.

I have no hesitation in stating that this Bill is opening wide the door to graft and corruption. I do not wish it to be understoode that I am insinuating the present Minister for Industry and Commerce is not worthy of any confidence. I think this is a most audacious attempt to flich from the elected representative of the people the responsibility of administering the affairs of the State. It is not so very long since, from this side of the House, the Minister denounced attempts to deprive local representatives of the right to administer affairs according to their views and according to their conception of the manner in which they should discharge their duties. That was a monor matter as compared with this. The Local Appointments Commissioners were entrusted by the House with a certain responsibility. Perhaps the Minister will cast his mind back and recall the manner in which he denounced that proposal by the Minister for Local Government at the time. If, in the Minister's opinion, that attitude on the part of the then Government was reprehensible, how much more reprehensible is it for the Minister to approach the House now with such a proposal as is contained in this Bill?

I describe it as audacity on the part of the Minister to ask the House to invest him with the authority that he seeks under this Bill. I think I might revert to the experience of the Minister's predecessor in office in connection with the electricity Supply Board. That Board was set up and it was given certain authority, so much authority that it was almost on all fours with the judges of the superior courts. The Minister's predecessor subsequently has reson to regret that the House consented to give the Board such extensive powers. The House actually placed the Board in such an independent position that the Minister could not in any way exercise jurisdiction or even indicate that in his opinion they were not moving in the right direction without first coming to the House. The present Minister may say: "That is what I want to aovid; I do not want to havce to come back to the House.

No man, Minister or anybody else, should have the right to arrogate to himself the authority of saying who should get this ore that. We have observed the sad, disastrous results that have occurred in the case of Governments outside this country after they vested Ministers or other individuals with certain authority. It has been proved to the hilt that graft and corruption followed in the train of proceedings of that kind. I do not insinuate anything against the present Minister, but we must realise that, with human nature as it is, and with definite probabilities there of these things happening, it is they duty of elected representatives to safeguard the people who sent them here. If we assent to a proposition of this kind do we reeally deserve the confidence reposed in us by the people? We would be guilty of a very serious responsibility if we assented to this measure. The Minister must be of opinion thazt there is great lack of vision amongest Deputies when he expects them ot pass a Bill of this type without opposition.,

This measure is brimming over wiht audacity. The Minister asks for unlimited authority, to be exercised in whatever way he wishes. We have had ample experience in the Budget, which was weighted down with evidence of incompetence, and even that was acknowledged by the Minbister when he said, "We err, but we learn by error." Is this another sample of the way in which we are going to learn by error? If Deputies are prepared to take the risk, they are gambling with the whole position of the country. If they are prepared to gamble with that, they are unworthy of representing the people. We should act cautiously in a matter of this kind, and we should hesitate to trust anyone with such unlimited authority. With certain limitations the proposal means that the Minister can instruct people to live in the country and can direct others to leave it.

We are told that capital is a danger to this country. If there is any country that needs more capital it is the Free State. We are in a sound financial position, but it was the care, caution and good judgment of the last Government that established that. Once we have arrived at that stage and secured that position it is our bounden duty to try to the best of our ability to safeguard and maintain the position. I can hardly imagine that the Minister is really serious. Perhaps it is all a kind of good joke on his part. Anything I have said is not personal so far as the Minister is concerned. The Minister may be here only for a short time — much shorter perhaps than he himself thinks. One never knows that perhaps someone else who might not be worthy of such confidence or trust would be put in his place. I desire emphatically to protest against the Bill.

I must say I am against this Bill. As has been said, I believe that instead of advancing the industrialisation of this country it is calculated to retaed it. I do not like the attitude of the industrialists who are really behind this Bill., We has experience of them during the office of the late Government. They came in and demanded certain terms. They were then supporters of the Government and they wanted to formulate to the government their terms. However the late Government resisted them, and, then they transferred their allegiance to another Government. The cheif card in their pack was that they should get such tariff ane protection as are now outlined by the Minister in this Bill. I think that is immoral and that no section of the people of this country should be placed in the position that, by their support or opposition to a Government, they should be able to dicate their own terms. I do not think there is much more to be said. Everything that could be said against this Bill has been said and very well said, but I am sure it will not affect the Minister's attitude. He will perisist in his instructions, and as the Minister himself said, he is ready to learn by errors. If the cost of the errors was the personal expense of the Minister nobody would object, but the cost of his education in this instance will be at the cost of the nation.

It really matters very little to the unemployed in this country and to the people in employmnent where the capital comes from. If 9 or 10 per cent, or it may be 5 per cent. of the profits leave this country it does not matter very much certainly to the employed so long as they get good employment. We have evidence that a so-called foreign capitalist is inclined if anything to give better terms to employees in this country than those we have at home. There is another thing. Our industrialists, or at least that section of them now pressing this Bill, got a fair opportunity from the last Government of making headway and they made very little headway. I sincerely hope, however, that they will be slow to go on with the privilege this Bill confers upon them which is simply mortgaging the nation.

We have been discussing this Bill for, approximately, six and a half hours, and I think if Deputies had taken the trouble to read it before offering comments on it a lot ofg time might have been saved. It is quite obvious to me, that a number of Deputies, who participated in this debate, have not taken the trouble to find out what the Bill is about. They have been talking about a Bill which is not before the Dáil at all. Before dealing with a few relevant points raised by some of the Deputies who have spoken, it is necessary because of the misunderstanding to which I have referred, that certain of those points should be cleared up definitely here now. This Bill does not give power to the Government to create monopolies. It does not give that power to anybody. On the contrary it is a weapon which may, in conceivabole circumstances, be used to prevent monopolies. There is nothing in the Bill which would induce anybody to investage the possibility of creating a monopoly in ths market for nay class of goods. It does not place any new restriction, of any kind, on any industry now existing in this country, or upon any industry if established in this country by citizens of the country.

Deputies who talk about politicians coming into business, and Governmental interference with business administration, are miles wide of the mark. There is nothink in this Bill which enables any politician to come into business or give the Government the slightest power to interfere with the administration of any business concern. It does not keep new foreing firms from coming in here. It is not designed to prevcent additional foreign companies establishing factories here. It is designed to secure that that Government should have some powers of regulation in respect to firms which have come; in that they will be able to say in regard to a partiular application whether it is desirable, in the interests of the country, in the interests of industrial development, in the interests of the employed and the unemployed, that particular firm should be allowed to operate in the country. It does not involve Government interference with the administration of any new foreign firms which shall establish factories here. Once a company gets its licence thqat licence cannot be taken from it unless it deliberately breaks its contract and leaves itself liable to conviction for an offence. If convicted in court, after evidence has been given, the Government can withdraw the licence, but not otherwise except on the application of the licences. If that is all clear to the minds of the Deputies we can go on to deal with the things in the Bill as drafted.

The Main points raised in the relevant speeches were in my opinion the following: — first that this type of legisaltion is unprecedented; second, that the Bill is not necessary because there is no danger arising from what is called economic penetration; thrid, that the proper policy for the Government to adopt should be to allow everybody and anyboduy to establish factories here, and fourth and fifth, the points running through the speeches of Deputies opposite and one of which was so eloquently argued by Deputy Davis that this Bill give the Minister too much power, and that argued by Deputy Fitzgerald Kenney and Deputy McGilligan that the Bill is so drafted that it gives nobody any powers at all. The other points of importance which were raised were mainly Committee points which can be effectively dealt with on the next stage of the Bill. But let us take these points one by one and let ys see what validuty the various arguments possessed.

We are told that this legisaltion is unprecedented. The cautious Deputy McGilligan confined himself to asking a question, and he asked mne had I any example of legisaltion similar to this in any other country. Deputy Fitzgerald-Kenney was not quite so cautious. He said that he did not know that it any other country in the world there was legislation that conferred similar powers as was proposed by this Bill. Deputy Blythe went off at a tangent altogether. He said that the Bill was like something that would be introduced into a debating society, that there was soemthing childish about it and that it seemed to fall far away from the standard established by the late Government. The fact is that there is practicaly no country in the world which has not legisaltion of one kind or another regarding foreign countries operting in its midst. In a number of cases that legislation in operation in these countries is very much more drastic than what we are proposing to bring into operation here. I have here a number of the tariffs that operate in various other countries. I do not propose to go through them and I shall only give a few examples, for the purpose of showing Deputies that, not merely is this legsialtion similar to that operating elsewhere, but that it is much less drastic than that which operates in a number of countries. In Australia a foreign company desiring to do business must register in the particular city in which it intends to operate and it must obtain permission beforehand so to register from the Treasurer of the Commonwealth.

The Treasurer may at any time he deems it necessary, require the Company to have such fixed assets in Australia as are sufficient to secure its Australian creditiors. The Company may not, except with the written consent of the Treasurer, engage in any class of business in the Commonwealth other than that authorised by the Commonwealth Treasurer. It is preculuded from acquiring the freehold or leasehold for more than 10 years of any land in the commonwelath without the express consent of the Treasurer and also from acuqiring any minig lease or control of any one deposits, or any mining or metallurgical company of business in Australia or any shar or interest therien.

A Deputy

Is the Minister anxious to follow in their footsteps?

In Norway, a law which came into force in June, 1931, makes it compulsory for a foreign company operating there before purchasing property in Norway to have not nless than 80 per cent. of the capital or shares in an enterprise owned in Norway. Foreigners need a concession for the purchase of more than 20 per cent. of the capital or shares in an enterprise. The transfer of shares to foreigners as security for loans in prohibited. Provisions have been added to make it very difficult for foreigners to acquire shares in Norwegian corporations through men of straw. In Poland, branches of foreign industrial companies must have an industrial certificate, which is equivalent to a permit or licence to do business. They pay a percentage tax on net profits, depending on the proportion of profits to paid-up capital, and also a capital tax, amounting to 1/2 per cent, of paid-up capital. In Roumaina, foreign companies operating in the country before the introduction of the law now in force, were compelled to substitute at least 51 per cent. foreign-owned capital by internal capital. They have also an article in the Constitution which reserves the acquisition of real estate exclusively to Roumanian citizens. In Sweden, the right of a foreign company to conduct business is subject to a special arrangement. Generally speaking, the Royal consent must be obtained before a foreigner can engage in trade or manufacturing activities in the country and the payment of both State and Communal taxes for a period of three years must be guaranteed.

I could spend an hour reading the provisions of similar enactments in operation in other countries. The few I have given, in my opinion, effectively dispose of the contention made here, that this type of legisaltion in unprecedented, that we are doing something which was not attempted elsewhere, something which would be thought of in a debating society. Undoubtedly, the members of the late Government established a standard of statesmanship unknown in any other country in the world, but it does not follow that other countries are necessarily foolish on that account. We are told that we should not worry about economic pentration. We have two different types of argument, one from Deputy McGilligan and another from Deputy Blythe. Deputy McGilligan said that economic penetration is not taking place; Deputy Blythe said it does not make any different whether it takes place or not. Those who listened to the speech of Deputy Mulcahy to-day, and to the outpourings of the salve-mind of Deputy Blythe last night, must have begun to wonder if these Deputies realised themselves how far exactly they have drifted from theor base. Some years ago they had a different outlook. Some years ago, when this State was being established, when the power of regulating the affairs of our people was being put into their hands for the firs time, they had a very different outlook. I should like to read for Deputies opposite a quotation from the speech delivered by the late General Michael Collins during the Treaty debates, when urging the acceptance of the Treaty.

As I have said, the English penetration has not merely been a military penetration. At the present moment, the economic penetration goes on. I need only give a few instances. Every day our banks become incorporated or allied to British interests, every day our stemship companies go into English hands, every day some other business concern in this city is taken over by an English concern and becomes a little oasis of English customs and manners. Nobody notices, but that is the thing that has destroyed out Gaelic civilisation. That is a thing that we are able to stop, not perhaps if we lose the opportunity of stopping it now. That is one of the things that I consider is important in the nation's life, perhaps more important than the military penetration. And this gives us the opportunity of stopping it. Indeed when we think of the thingy from that economic point of view it would be easy to go on with the physical struggle in comparison with it. — (Offi cial Report, Vol. I. page 34).

Is that the only information the Minister has of any penetration that is going on? We have got to information.

I read the extract to let Deputy Mulcahy know where he was when he started, as compared with the position he is in now.

I submit that the Minister gave us the quotation as a substitute for information.

We shall deal with the information. The fact is that when the Deputies got the regulation of the affairs of this State into their hands for the first time, they were conscious of the fact that there was a porblem to be dealt with and they undertook to deal with it. They urged the acceptance of the powers conferred by the Treaty and they said: "When we have got these powers we can deal with the situation." Then for ten years they remained idle, they remained inactive in relation to the penetration going on. Now they come here to argue that that penetration is in itself a good thing, something we should not attempt to check, something that we should be very glad about. When Deputy McGiligan talked yesterday about the possibility, of leaving a certain factory at the North Wall there as a monument, he made a suggestion which is worthy of consideration. There are other mounments down there to the policy which the late Government adopted. There are idle mills there, and trading concerns, transport concerns, and manufacturing concerns all over the city which, ten years ago, were in the beneficial ownership of Irish people, but have since been acquired bu foreign interests and are now, as the late General Collins said, "a little oasis of English customs and manners."

Will the Bill deal with that situation?

Will the Minister point to anytbing in this Bill that is going to prevent that going on?

Is the Deputuy's objection to the Bill that it is not drastic enough? On what leg is he standing?

We are asking fore information about the situation and about the Bill.

Is that his objection to the Bill — that the powers are not sufficient to deal with the problem, or that we should have no powers at all? If Deputies opposite would only discuss these Bills amongst themselves before they come here wasting time making speeches about them, and trying to get agreement amongst themselves as to their attitude, and give us one set of arguments to deal with we could make progress. But each one took a different attitude, put forward a different set of arguments. This hydra-headed sort of opposition is soemthing no Minister could possibly contend with.

Why do you not deal with the Bill?

Is the Deputy opposed to the Bill on Deputy Mulcahy's grounds, that it is not drastic enough, or is he opposed to it on Deputy Davis's grounds that it should not be there at all?

I am opposed to it because it is thoroughly bad.

Deputy McGilligan said we have had a tariff policy in operation for nine years and it did not affect the economic penetration which the Government fears. Deputies who sat behind him had the grace not to laugh. They has a tariff policy in operation for nine years, a tariff policy that protected nothing, that was designed and operated merely to bring in revenue so that the Government extravagance might be maintained. They has a tariff system which, while in operation, instead of decreasing imposrt was actually ineffective in stopping a continuous increase of imports. Deputies come here and quote figures relating to the delcared value of our imports and, as these figures have declined, they assume that thew volume of imports has delined. The assumption is entirely wrong. There is published to-day, and available for Deputies, a new volume of the trade and shipping statistcs, giving certain information relating to these things not contained in previous volumes. I advise Deputies opposite to study that volume with great care. If they look at the graph in one of the earlier pages. they will note, in relation to their late tariff policy, the coutinuous upward tendency of the line representing the volume of imports in recent years.

Is there a graph showing the increase of employment in the tariffed industries in thes years.

I am reminded of an incident which occurred at the seaside, where I was last Sunday. There were two boys employed with a nmound of sand. I said, "That is something very interesting; what is it intended to be?" One of the boys replied, "That is the Great Wall of China." The economic peneration which has been going on during the past nine years was probably all the more insidious because it was not noticed to the samje extent as it was before the Free State was established. It was going on it that uncontrolled manner. It was there. If Deputies opposite have any doubt about, it let them cast their minds back over some of the outstanding events of that period—the different companies operating here in manufacture and in other ways which were acquired by foreign interest and the new distributing concern, as well as manufacturing concerns, of foreign ownership which came into existence here. Soem time or other, we must check, that. The late General Collins thought he could start checking it as soon as the powers given by the Treaty came into his hands, We are going to start now. This Bill is designed to give us the means of doing so. It will be operated, not to exclude foreign companies where there is room for them, where they can confer any benefit on our npeople or provide increased employment for our workers, but, eventually, to secure that there will be means of control in the hands of the Executive Council, so that the domination of a particular industry or of industries by exteranl interests will not be allowed to arise.

There is nothing in the Bill stating that.

If the Deputy thinks the Bill is not drastic enough, he can introduce amendements to give us additional power.

I want the Minister to stick to the Bill before the House.

Deputy McGilligan said here yesterday that there was no class of business in this country which because of its inherent weakenss was picked out for attacik by English or foreign interests—"except,""except.""except," and he gave us three exceptions before his mind stopped working. We are told that the policy should be to allow in anybody who wants to come in. Deputuy Morrissey said that we were letting down the unemployed when we did not di that. Let us take an obvious example. Let us take the case of an indsutry which has reached and passed saturation point already — an industry in respect of which it can be said that the exsting concerns are more than capable of supplying all, or even double the requirements of our people. There are such industries.

What are they?

Clothing and confectionery. A new foreign concern coming in here cannnot possibly mean increased employment in these industries. It can only mean the transfer or employment from an Irish-owned factory to a foreign-owned factory. It cannot possibly means any benefit for our people. It might be that, in special circumstances, it would be desirable, even in relation to such industries, to allow an additional concern in if it had methods of production, technical skill or made a particular class of product not available here herefore. Gnerall speaking, I think it will be admitted that where there can be no question of increased employment and where there is no question of the adequcy or efficiency of Irish concerns to supply the requirements of our people. we should operate this Bill to refuse permission to foreign concerns to come into that particuloar industry. We have been asked has there been a stampede of English capital——

Who is to decide the question as to when an industry haS reached saturation point?

I will deal with that later. We are asked if there has been a stampede of English capital into this country. There has been something of that nature, but that stanmpede has been in regard to particular industries in which it is not wanted.

: We have been given no information.

If the Deputy does not read the Press and get information there, he cannot get my information from me. I am not in a position to come in here with the names of English firms which have approached my Department in connection with the establishment of factories. when we took office and decided on a tariff programme, by public speech any by every means in our power we let everybody interested know that it was our intention to introduce legisaltion of this kind. Our desire was to prevent any unregulated stampede of foreign capital into industry here,. We succeed to the extent of 95 per cent, in doing that. That Bill is here and it is not going to deter theswe English companies from coming along. I am clear in my mind that a number of them were holding back until the terms of the legislation were known. They have come to my Department since.

Does the Minister think that these outside companies will get 51 per cent. of their capital here?

Outside companies need not have 51 per cent. of their capital here. Will the Deputy read the Bill before he starts to talk about it?

Might I ask the Minister to deal wiht the point which Deputy Dillon has just put — who is to decide when saturation point is reached.

I intend to deal with that, but I will deal with it in my own time. It is advisable, at this stage, to give some indication of the principles on which any Minister for Industry and Commerce—no matter which side of the House he came from—would operate the powers given under this Bill. If it is a question whether one foreign firm or another foreign firm should be allowed into a particular industry, he will obviously choose that firm with the better industrual record. Deputy Gorey and other Deputies who are continuously talking about the inefficiency and incompetence of Irish manufacturers might some day realise that there are inefficient, dishonest and incompetent manufacturers outside Ireland who might want to come in here. Irish manufactures, instead of being ineficient and incompetent, as the Deputy thinks, are quite the reverse. The sooner this self-condemnation, this demonstration of the slave attitude towards Irish industry is ended the better for our industrial development.

In my view we should, if possible, endeavour to reach the position that, instead of having these English and foreign companies coming to the Department with applications for permits to establish industries, we should have the Department going to them with invitations, that we should, as it were, review our industrial needs, realise where we are weak ans there outside material or technical knowledge is required and go seeking for it. When we have such power as is conferred by this Bill we can do that more effectively than at present. It is quite obvious that where an external concern proposes to establoish a new industry which did not exist heretofore, and in respect to which no one on this country has experience or the technical skill necessary for its operation, we should welcome, and will welcome, any foreign firm or any external firm proposing to engage in that industry. The same thing applies in respect to these industries where there is adequate room for development, and where, for any particular reason, there is no prospect of that development taking place rapidly through existing orgainisations. In respect of companies who approached us already we have heretofore always raised the question of an export trade.

Deputies opposite appear to ridicule the idea of an export trade in manufactured goods from this country. I have no doubt they will be pleassed to hear that quite a number of external companies proposing to operate, and to which we have already given approval, are constructing factories from which they intend—they have bound themselves formally to the Department —to conduct an export trade. Some of them have discovered that they can do an export trade from this country much more effectively than from their parent factories. It is necessary alos that we should have in respect of private companies operating here some limitation as to the size of the unit they intend to establish. It is not in tended that will be reduced to a size that will be uneconomic, but we should know to what extent, they propose to supply our market, and be limited to that extent. We must have certain regulations with regard to the class of products. I think Deputy Good asked me if a foreign owned concern proposing to come here to manufacture a different class of goods from that which it now produces — goods of an allied nature — would require a licence. It would.

Even if it were seven years in operation here?

If it were proposing to manufacture a type of goods that it did not manufacture heretofore.

Even after seven years here?

After 100 years. We might insert something — although I would not bind myself to do so — by way of a condition in the licences as to the location of the factory. Let us come to the discussion of the power. We are met with the amazing suggestion that these powers should be given to some economic tribunal like the Tariff Commission. IN other words, that power should be taken from the hands of the Dáil given to a body over which the Dáil should have to control. The Minister for industry and Commerce is a member of the Executive Council the members of which have collective responsibility. Every act done by a Minister in his official capacity is open to question and to debate here. If the Dáil becomes dissatisfied with anuything he does or, if he does anything of a questionable nature, it is in the power of the Dáil to remove that person from office. We think that is a democratic way of exercising power of this kind. It retains for the Dáil effecive control over the operation of the powers in the Bill, a control which would cease to exist if any suggestiongs made by a Deputy opposite were adopted, and if the matter were referred to the Tariff Commission.

I do not know if the Minister is referring to me. I said deliberately that should be done in conjunction with the findings of the Commission which would be laid on the Table.

A Deputy on my left I think suggested that we should have an advisory committee.

We have an advisory committee. I have behind ne the best advisory committee that could be got, the officers in the Department of Industry and Commerce, men who have more knowledge relating to the industrial situation than any other body that would be established and that would take twelve moths to get it.

They are all theoretical men. Practical men are wanted.

In other words, we should take in, in respect to any particular business, men engaged in that business.

They are the only people who know anything about the matter, if you ask me.

We know whether existing concerns are capable of supplying the needs of our people at competitive prices, whether they are supplying articles of a satisfactory quality, whether there is room in an industry for a new firm, whether the entry of that new firm would improve conditions, whether it would mean increased employment or some other advantage to our people. All that knowledge can only be got by people within the divine or the sacred college of business men to which Deputy Good belongs!

Has the Minister not stated that the industry of the country is going to be run in future by the Government and by civil servants?

There is nothing in this Bill about that.

You told us that they are the best judges, and that they are to be the judges in the future.

This Bill does not give any power to the Department of Industry and Commerce, or give any Minister power to interfere in any business established or to be established in this country.

You told us a moment ago that no business could be extended without a permit.

I did not say anything of the Kind. I said so in reference to the manufacture of a range of goods notn made here.

If you read the Bill you will find that is so by Section 2 (d).

I said that any foreign owened concern engaged in the manufacture of one class of goods here cannot engage in the manufacture of another class of goods without permit. There is no restriction upon any Irish owned firm or upon any company, 51 per cent. of whose capital is owned by Saorstát nationals, engaging in any business at any time. We heard talk about corruption and graft, always of course, coupled with the suggestion that no one would ever hint for a moment that members of this Governemnt were likely to be got at in that way. Why is it always assumed that it is members of the Government must be or may be at some time corrupt? What advantage is it going to be to eswtablish the Tariff Commission? THat was the example which was given us in order to avoid this danger. Are not member of the Tariff Commission or any other body likely to be as human as members of the Executive Council? Would they not be more liable to approaches of this kind and could not they get away easier?

Have they not to submit reports to this House?

What is the suggestion? Is it suggested that Minister should take responsibility for decisions that they did bnot make? Surely it is not conceivable that if the Tariff Commission makes decisions the Minister is going to take responsibility for decisions in the making of which he had to information.

A different thing altogether.

The fact is that if the tariff policy opens the door to corruption so does the Free Trade policy. What extraordinary logic it is to argue that if it pays an Irish manufacturer to bribe a public servant in order to get a tariff, it does not pay an English importer to bribe a public servant to keep a tariff off. It is not possible to legislate for disinterestedbess. If evrer at any time we have fears that we will have in office a Governbment so corrupt that it is prepared to operate the powers given to it according to the amount it gets from private interests, all the legisaltion we can put on the Statute Book will not prevent them successfully getting away for a time, but they will be found out. If we are not prepared to take risks we can stop still and stagnate. If we are going to get the work done the the harm of the last 100 years wiped away, we have to take risks and the risks that the House is aksed to take in this Bill are practically negligible. It has been suggested, as a sort, of counter argument to that relating to the powers of the Ministdr, that in fact the Bill is so dreafted that the Minister has to powers. We have been told that any good lawyer could drive a coach and four through the Bill. I do not think that is so. If it is so it does not make any difference. This Bill gives a clear indication of what the government policy is. We say that as far as indusrtries may be established by citizens of this country, or by companies in which out citizens hold 51 per cent. of the capital we are not going to interfere.

In so far as industries owned by foreign citizens and existing here are concerned, we are not going to interfer with them. In so far as new manufacturing enterprises may be started by foreing firms, we propose to make them subject to licence anx when we give them a licence that ends, it that is our decision and tnhey can go ahead without any further interference in respect of their administration. If any company tries, by means of a legal trick, to defeat our policy, to get in here through the terms of this Bill against our wishes, it does so at its own risk. I am certain there is no body of businessmen going to risk the expenditure of capital in an attempt to get away with a trick of that kind.

The late Government set a very good example when they brought in a sepcial Bill to prevent a firm engaging in the manufacture of casein in the town of Tipperary, against the Government's policy. We are told that Gallahers and Ranks are outsider the scope of the Bill. That is quite obvious. That particularly emphasises what I have been saying — that this Bill does not interfere with any foreign-owned concern existing here. I do not wish to say anythig in respect of Gallahers at this stage and Deputies opposite might consider the advisability of shutting down on it, too.

If the Minister would offer any sign of hope it would be easy to do that.

We hope to introduce proposals at an early date with regard to the flour-milling industry. Deputy Good made inquiries in respect of paragraph (b) and (f). In regard to (b) we do not regard debentures as representing part of the capital. Capital there does not include debentiurs. So far as paragraph (f) is concerned, where the owner of a business dies the person administering the estate or carrying on business pending the granting of probate or the termination of the proceedings in that respect, will be regarded, whether he is is or not, as a national of this country and there will be no interference with the carrying on of the concern. After the administration is completed the successor of the deceased person who carried on the business without a licence must get a licence if he is a foreigner.

Does not that interfere with the sale of the goodwill of the business — that is, if the Minister may say he will not issue a licence?

To an extent that is correct. As far as the sale to an Irish citizen or a group of Irish citizens is concerned, there is no restriction. If it is designed to sell, bequeath or transfer to a foreigner, that person may have to take the risk that a licence will not be given.

This Bill jeopardises the value of goodwill in such circumstances?

In such circumstances.

If the property belongs to a foreigner who has a licence, will his successor have to apply again for a licence?

No, not in that case. It is suggested by Deputy Blythe that we would be doing effective work if, instead of controlling new manufactures, we controlled retail distribution. There is probably an urgent ease for taking steps to control foreign companies engaged in the retail distribution trade. That problem is being examined at the moment. Deputy J.J. Byrne made a rather peculiar remark, about which I am not clear, as to the beneficial effect of the establishment of a tabacco industry here which took place without a tariff.

I referred to Fords in Cork.

The Deputy was, I understood, referring to tobacco. In order to clarify the minds of Deputies, it might be no harm to point out that we would have that tobacco industry existing in some part of the country whether the Imperial Tabacco Corporation came in here or not. We can get industrial development.

Would you have the same rate of wages paid?

We might have a more satisfactory rate of wages paid.

You would have a worse rate.

Deputy McGilligan raised the question of trade treaties. If the situation should arise that our policy in this regard conflicts with any obligations in respect of trade treaties, we will have to consider getting released from these trade treaties. The question of the most favoured nation treaty may have to be considered in the near future if new circumstances should arise. We are told by Deputy McGilligan tthat this Bill will not entice Irish capital from aborad because people will have no security. Will the rejection of the Bill increase the security for Irish capital here? I said yesterday that Irish investors preferred to take the lesser risk of Hatry securities rather than put their money into Irish securities, and very many of them were wise to do so. However, we are going to change all that and we are going to make the manufacturing business in this country such a gilt-edged security that no investor need be afraid to take a risk.

We are told that the Bill is not going to make for stability. This blessed word "stability" was dragged in time and again. i thought that we had worked it to death at the election. It seems to me that if this Bill makes for anything it will make for stability. The situation which existed heretofore, since the advent of this Government into office and since the adoption of its tariff policy has meant, and will mean, instability until we can get legislation of this kind in operation. I was asked whether people would be willing to invest money in Irish industry under the conditions set out in the Bill. They are willing to do so.

Deputy Dockrell asked what would be the likely effects of the Bill on the prospects of the cement industry. The prospect of getting the cement industry established would be delayed by 12 months if the Bill is rejected. We had Deputy Blythe talking about this policy preventing the introducing into this country of more efficient methods of production. I am sure he was the nonsense of that himself; if not, the rest of the House did. Deputy Blythe went on to make again here a speech he made two years ago when the situation in the flour-milling industry was under discussion. He said, "Let the situation develop. When we find that damage is being done, then we have power to deal with it, but let us wait until the damage is done before decieing to take action." Deputy Blythe told us there was no need to take action at that stage, but if the situation got worse he could take action. He was always reassuring the Dáil that he had his eye on the situation and that he had power to take action when necessary; but action was never taken.

I fould a very cryptic note in one of the files in my Department and it was written by my predecessor. The note was to the effect that this situation had now reached the stage where action, and effective action, might have to be considered. But they were only talking about action; they never took it. We have Deputy Blythe advising us, in relation to the general situation here, to adopt some dilly-dally policy such as they adopted. We are advised to let the damage be done, to let the horse be stolen before we lock the stable door, and we are told we alwasy have power to take action. They had power to take action when they were in office, but they never took it. That is the policy that Deputies opposite operated for 10 years and that is why Deputies opposite are where they are now and we aare not going to follow their example.

Would the Minister refer to Section 2, sub-section (4)?

It would not be possible to administer this Bill if that section were not there. It would be obviously impracticable to expect the officer of the Department to know whether the persons engaged in industry were resident in the country for seven yearts, or whether they were born citizens or whether they were citizens within the definition. It is not likely that any action be takne unless the obvious provisions of the Bill are departed from. In this case we think the onus of proof should be upon those concerned. It will not prove an annoyance. In most cases the person has to prove he was an Irishman and that he comes within the limits of this Bill that entitles him to exemption of licence or to prove that the company was in existence here before 1st June, 1932. That is that only matter that airises under the section and it is there because the administration of the measure would be impossible if the onus of proof was placed upon the Department.

Would the Minister consults his law officers as to whether this is not introducing a new principle of a very revolutionary nature? It strikes me it is. Perhaps I am mistaken, but I do not think that the Minister would wish to create a great revolution in juris-predence.

We have had so many revolutions in our jurisprudence in the past, especially since Deputy Fitzgerald-Kenney came into office, that another revolution will not make any difference. In any case, I am satisfied about this, that there are other Bills on the Statute Book similar in their operations.

May I ask the Minister is it the intention to refuse licences to applicants until this Bill becomes law?

No. I explained yesterday that a number of foreign manufacturers are in contact with my department at the moment, and have been for some weeks past. If it is considered desirable that they should be allowed to operate they will be informed by me on behalf of the Government that a licence will be issued to them when the Bill becomes law, and, in that way, they will be able to proceed with their plans without delay. We shall consider ourselves bound to issue licences when necessary. It is not desirable when we should delay any development of that kind now taking place or about to take place in this country.

I am anxious to get full information about this. I understand that one big manufacturer has made an application to the Minister for a licence during the last fortnight and that licence is not being granted. But neither has it been refused, but I am aware that other foreign manufacturers who made application to the Minister have received a licence and are at the moment operating. I want to know why the distinction?

There are no licences at all in operation at the moment, because the need for licences does not arise until this Bill becomes law. Certain manufactureres may have received letters on behalf of the Department intimating that licences will be issued. The Department is raising no objection to their operating here and licences will be issued on the passage of this Bill.

I am satisfied if the Minister will issue such a letter in the particular case to which I am referring.

I do not know of any such case.

May I ask the Minister when this matter is brought to his notice will he issue a letter at the first available opportunity?

In connection with the licences to which the Minister has committed himself would he take into consiederation Secton 5, sub-section (2) paragraph (d) and would he make a statement as to what the terms and condition that he proposes to attach to the licences are?

I did make a statement of that nature.

Is the Minister not going outside whatever he said in his speech?

It is time we should have poiwer along the lines indicated. For example, a firm engaged in the manufacture of readymades may apply for a licence. In respect to one particular class of readymades there may be more than enough firms at that end of the business, and we might want to be satisfied that the firm would not engage in that particular business, or, perhaps only to a certain percentage of the total output. Again, we might require that the total output should be a definite limit. In this readymade industry an obvious condition would be that Irhs cloth would be used in whole, or to a large extent, and regulation of that kind would have to be effected.

When we go into Committee, if this Bill is not defeated now, we might have to introduce amendments indicating ways in which the granting of licences should be indicated to the House if it is thought necessary that they should be indicated. In view of the fact that it may be desirable parituclarly where there is general power to attach terms and conditions, it may be desirable that the terms of the licence should be communicated to the House. Would not the Minister consider whether it would be worth while announcing in the next few weeks to persons in the industry the terms and conditions on which the licence would be issued.

Will the Minister answer the question I raised in connection with section 2 (b) in regard to national corporate bodies where a transfer of shares would put them acorss the borderline? Are they to get indemnity?

As far as tghe exsting companies are concerned they are not affected by the Bill. As far as new companies are concerned they will have to make provisions necessary to ensure that they will not be outsider the scope of the Bill.

I do not quite understand where a national corporate body has more than 50 per cent. held by nationals so long as that is to they are all right, but if they transfer some of their shares will not that put them across the borderline?

So far as the companies now in existence are concerned they are dealth with under paragraph (a) and they are nbot concerned. As to new companies established here with shareholding capital they will have to take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that a situation will not arise in which it would put itself outside the scope of the Bill by transferring more than 51 per cent. of its capital to foreign owners.

Does the Minister say that it does not apply to existing companies? Is that the Minister's policy?

Has the Minister considered the section with regard to making alternations and repairs? for instance, does that apply to butchers, to tea blenders or to millers?

It would certainly apply, in my opinion, to tea blending, I do not think it would apply to butchers. It is intended to apply to any manufacturer.

Tea blending is not manufacturing tea. Does that come under the description "to adapt any article for sale"?

I amy take it from what the Minister said in reply to Deputy Dockrell that would be possible under this section for foreing capital to get control of the shards of a company existing in the Saorsát before the 1st of June.

There is not new restriction upon companies prior to the 1st of June.

But it would be possible to get control of a company in the Saorstát before the 1st June.

But the Minister says that has nothing to do with existing companies. Surely when the last surviving owner of a company dies, or when the last surviving shareholder dies, under sub-section (d) it applies to exisitn companies.

If a person who is operating an industrial concern without a licence, because he did not need a licence died, and if the business came, as the result of inheritance, into the possession of a foreigner, then that foreigner would require a licence.

Or that company.

Yes, that company.

The Minister says that the main object of the Bill is to prevent the foreign control of Irish industries. What section prevents foreign control of industries? I am aware that Section 2 deals with capital, but I am not aware of any section which deals with control.

One usually means the other.

Not at all, because the holders or ordinary shares may appoint the board of directors, and you may easasily have a company all the ordinary shares in which are held by foreigners and the debenture stock by Irish people.

The Minister referred to the damage to the flour-milling industry. I should like to know if what he calls the damage to the flour-millingh industry was due to the competition of mills controlled by foreign capital, or was rather due to the depletion of capital in the Irish-owned mills, owing to losses sustained by the owners of such mills in enterprise outside their millions business.

I am afraid that is not within my official sphere.

Question put.
The Dáil divided: Tá, 69; Níl, 57.

  • Aiken, Frank.
  • Beegan, Fatrick.
  • Blaney, Neal.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Bolnad, Patrick.
  • Bourke, Daniel.
  • Brady, Bryan.
  • Brady, Seán.
  • Breathnach, Cormac.
  • Brenn, Daniel.
  • Briscoe, Robert.
  • Browne, William Frazer.
  • Carney, Frank.
  • Carty, Frank.
  • Geoghegan, James.
  • Gibbons, Seán.
  • Gormely, Francis.
  • Gorry, Patrick Joseph.
  • Goulding, John.
  • Harris, Thomas.
  • Hayes, Seán.
  • Hogan, Patrick (Clare.)
  • Humphreys, Francis.
  • Kelly, James Patrick.
  • Kennedy, Michael Joseph.
  • Keyes, Raphael Patrick.
  • Kilroy, Michael.
  • Kissane, Eamonn.
  • Lemass, Seán John.
  • Little, Fatrick John.
  • Lynch, James B.
  • MacEntee, Seán.
  • Maguire, Ben.
  • Maguire, Conor Alexander.
  • Moane, Edward.
  • Clery, Mícheál.
  • Colbert, James.
  • Corish,Richard.
  • Corry,Martin John.
  • Crowley, Fred. Hugh.
  • Crowley, Tadhg.
  • Curran, Patick Joseph.
  • Derig, Thomas.
  • De Valera, Eamon.
  • Dowdall, Thomas P.
  • Everett, James.
  • Flinn, Hugo V.
  • Flynn, John.
  • Flynn, Stephen.
  • Moore, Séamus.
  • Moylan, Seán.
  • Murphy, Patrick Stephen.
  • Murphy, Timothy Joseph.
  • Norton, William.
  • O'Grady, Seán.
  • O'Kelly, Seán Thomas.
  • O'Reilly, Matthew.
  • O'Rourke, Daniel.
  • Powell, Thomas P.
  • Rice, Edward.
  • Ruttledge, Patrick J.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Ryan, Robert.
  • Sheehy, Timothy.
  • Sheridan, Michael.
  • Smith, Patrick.
  • Traynor, Oscar.
  • Walsh, Richard.
  • Ward, Francis C. (Dr.)

Níl

  • Alton, Ernest Henry.
  • Anthony, Richard.
  • Backett, James Walter.
  • Bennett, George Cecil.
  • Bluthe, Ernest.
  • Bourke, Séamus A.
  • Brasier, Brooke.
  • Broderick, William Jos.
  • Brodrick, Séean.
  • Burke, Patrick.
  • Byrne, John Joseph.
  • Coburn, James.
  • Collins-O'Driscoll, Mrs. Margaret.
  • Conlon, Martin.
  • Cosgrave, William T.
  • Craig, Sir James.
  • Davis, Michael.
  • Desmond, William.
  • Dillon, James M.
  • Dockrell, Henry Morgan.
  • Doyle, Peadar Seán.£O'Mahony, The.
  • Duggan, Edumud Hohn.
  • Esmonde, Osomond Grattan.
  • Finlay, Thomas A.
  • Fitzgerald, Desmond.
  • Fitzgerald,Kenney, James.
  • Good, John.
  • Gorey, Denis John.
  • Hassett, John J.
  • Hayes, Michael.
  • Hennessy, Thomas.
  • Hennigan, John.
  • Hogan, Patrick (Clare.)
  • Keogh, Myles.
  • Kiersey, John.
  • Lynch, Finian.
  • MacDermot, Frank.
  • McDonogh, Fred.
  • MacEoin, Seán.
  • McGilligan, Patrick.
  • McMenamin, Daniel.
  • Minch, Sydney, B.
  • Mongan, Joseph, W.
  • Morrissey, Daniel.
  • Mulcahy, Richard.
  • O'Brien, Eugene P.
  • O'Connor, Batt.
  • O'Hanlon, John F.
  • O'Leary, Daniel.
  • O'Neill, Eamonn.
  • O'Reilly, John Joseph.
  • O'Shaughnessy, John Joseph.
  • O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
  • Reidy, James.
  • Roddy, Martin.
  • Wolfe, Jasper Travers.
Tellers:-Tá: Deputies G. Boland and Allen; Nil: Deputies Duggan and P.S. Doyle.
Motion delcared Carried.
Committee Stage to be taken on 28th June.