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.