Public Business. - Control of Manufactures Bill, 1932—Committee.

SECTION 1.
(1) In this Act— the expression "the Minister" means the Minister for Industry and Commerce;
the expression "prescribed" means prescribed by regulations made by the Minister under this Act;
the expression "body corporate" means a body corporate registered under the Companies Acts, 1908 to 1924, or the Industrial and Provident Societies Acts, 1893 to 1913;
the word "shares" shall be construed as including stock but excluding debentures and debenture stock.
(2) Each of the following persons shall for the purposes of this Act be a national of Saorstát Eireann, that is to say:—
(a) a person born in Saorstát Eireann or the area now comprised in Saorstát Eireann;
(b) a person who at the relevant time is and for not less than seven consecutive years immediately preceding that time has been resident in Saorstát Eireann.

Amendment No. 1 in the names of Deputies Good and Dockrell is consequential on amendment No. 7. Amendment No. 7 is, I, submit, out of order, in so far as it introduces a new principle into the Bill and, anyway, imposes a new charge on public funds.

It is out of order.

I submit that amendment No. 7 comes in under the title of the Bill. The title of the Bill is "An Act to make provision for controlling the carrying on of manufactures in Saorstát Eireann." Amendment No. 7 proposes an alternative method to the method proposed by the Minister. It is, I submit, completely within the title of the Bill.

It would involve an extra charge on public funds. It can only be moved by a member of the Executive Council.

I bow to your ruling, but I do not see any provision by which they are to be paid.

Amendment 9 says "that they are to be paid such remuneration as the Minister shall determine."

I admit that amendment 9 is out of order but why should amendment 7 be ruled out?

It is consequential.

I submit that amendment No. 7 is perfectly in order. Amendment No. 9 is not but if the House accepts amendment No. 7, even if amendment No. 9 is ruled out of order, the Minister would give effect to it and if necessary the Minister, being a perfectly constitutional Minister, would carry out the wishes of the House. I submit that amendment No. 7 is in order and is within the title of the Bill.

It introduces a new principle.

It is an alternative procedure to that outlined in the Bill. On the Second Reading the fact that unlimited control was being given to the Minister was severely commented on. I submit that the alternative is in order. It is not my amendment but as a matter of general principle for the guidance of the House I should like to know the grounds on which it is ruled out.

The Bill, as read a Second Time, did not contemplate this provision within the scope of the Bill.

Might I put this point? There are certain things in this Control of Manufactures Bill where the Minister can in conjunction or after consultation with another Minister, do. If consultation with a second Minister is out of order why is it proposed that the Minister should have the help of a Commission?

That is not proposed.

But it can be brought to that. Setting up a Commission does not take away responsibility and as long as the Minister's responsibility is there that is all that is before the House on Second Reading.

Is it the point that this principle was not raised on Second Reading?

It was raised and that Stage was passed.

That I admit, but it is one of the many blots on this Bill and it was referred to by almost every speaker on Second Reading.

It was not included in the scope of the Bill as read a Second Time.

Can we never bring in any amendment to a Bill? An amendment cannot be brought in on a Second Reading.

The Deputy knows how to amend the Bill all right.

I should think this matter is in order, if you ask my opinion.

I move amendment 2a.

2a. In sub-section (1), to delete lines 16, 17 and 18, and substitute the words "the expression ‘body corporate' means a body corporate whether constituted before or after the passing of this Act and whether constituted within or without Saorstát Eireann."

The necessity for these amending words here is that some of the companies concerned may be foreign companies and consequently would not be registered under the Companies Act or under the Industrial Provident Societies Acts which apply only here and in Great Britain. It is merely a drafting amendment.

Question put and agreed to.

I move amendment 2b: 2b. To insert at the end of sub-section (1) the following words:—"the expression ‘adapt for sale' includes pack, bottle, or label for sale."

Some doubts arose as to the exact meaning of the term "adapt for sale." It is a term used in statutes before this. On occasions the question was raised in court whether "adapt for sale" included packing or bottling for sale. I have had an examination made but I am unable to find that any definite legal decision was given on the point on that question which arose in one or two cases. It seems desirable therefore that, in order to remove doubt and avoid the possibility of litigation, the intention of the Bill should be clearly stated and that the term "adapt for sale" should be definite as including packing, bottling or labelling for sale.

Can we have some information as to what the scope of the manufacture that was contemplated is, because I notice in the margin of the Bill "restriction on the carrying on of manufactures." Now apparently a person who puts a pennyworth of peppermint lozenges in a paper package is packing for sale, so that there would be no difference between that class of person and Guinness's brewery under the Bill. I ask the Minister does he contemplate the wholesale trade only, because if so he has not mentioned it. If he is contemplating getting down to the absolute retail business, to a person who may pack sweets or toffee in penny packages in his shop, I suggest that the Minister should give us some information as to the stage at which he wishes to take any further notice of these people. In other words does he wish to bring within the ambit of the Bill the whole of the retail trade, because, as far as I can read it there is nothing to show what is the size, or the scope of the business which it is intended to bring in under this Bill. Apparently, as I have said, it reaches a person who puts a pennyworth of sweets in a package of paper.

The person who puts sweets in a paper package is not packing for sale; he is packing after the sale. The term used here, "make, order or adapt for sale" is a phrase used in previous legislation and has had a definite meaning assigned to it in a number of contested cases. The principle in the phrase "adapt for sale" was questioned in certain cases. We have had an examination made, and got a record of those cases, but we have been unable to prove that any judicial decision was given as to the precise meaning of the term, although in some cases the question was raised whether it included bottling or packing. In view of the fact that these questions were raised but no judicial decision recorded we have decided to define the term in the manner stated. It is intended that the scope of the Bill should extend over any manufacturing enterprise. It is not intended to include the retail trade. We contemplated the possibility of having an omnibus Bill that would include the retail trade, but decided it was not practical. This Bill is not intended to apply to the selling of goods retail. In regard to this particular phrase "adapted for sale" it is true we must include the publican who bottles stout and one or two other operations of that kind. We considered the possibility of excluding them but we decided it was better in the long run to prevent ambiguity and to make sure that the Bill did cover the particular form of enterprise we had in mind when we were subjecting these people to the scope of the Bill and making it necessary that a foreigner, proposing to engage in that particular business, should get a licence. I do not think it is any hardship upon the community that a foreigner should get a licence. It brings the Bill slightly further than we intended, but we decided that it is better to bring it forward in this respect than to raise ambiguity as to the particular class of industry to which the Bill should apply.

I am rather surprised by the statement of the Minister that this does not apply to retail trade. I should like if the Minister would point out what are the words that confine it to the wholesale trade or to manufacturers. In the ordinary acceptation of the term one would think a person carrying on business for the purpose of gain might be engaged in the retail trade. What does the keeping and carrying on of a shop mean? I take it everybody who owns a shop works for the purpose of gain. It appears to me to be perfectly plain, as I have said, that the Bill applies to retail business as well as manufacturing business. If I am guilty of any oversight, or fail to see any limiting words in the Bill, I should be obliged to the Minister if he would point them out to me, but as far as I know there are no limiting words. The Minister has drawn a very fine distinction indeed. He says if you put sweets into a paper after you have sold them you are not putting them into the packet for the purpose of selling because the sale is complete. So there is this very beautiful distinction according to the Minister that if there is a person in this country who can sell, say a pennyworth of sweets, provided he puts them into a paper bag after sale he is not packing for sale, but if he puts them into the little bag before sale, and then if he sells a pennyworth, he will be guilty of a very grave and heinous offence unless he has gone to the Minister for Industry and Commerce and got a licence.

Surely the Minister does not mean that supposing a man is selling sugar and makes up in advance a pound of lump sugar in a bag in anticipation of what my friend here calls the rush hour and a purchaser comes in and he sells him a pound of lump sugar made up in a bag in that way— surely the Minister does not suggest that he is not within this Act if he makes up the bag in the purchaser's presence and that he is within the Act if the bag has already been made up in the manner in which I have suggested. If so, it is simply a farce.

The Deputy may be an authority on farces. I do not claim to be so, but if he reads the section it is not the carrying on of any business for the purpose of gain but the carrying on of a business for the labelling, packing or bottling for sale. That is one which is contained in the Factories Acts and other legislation and means the manufacturing interests as distinct from a retail business. The Bill is intended to do that and not include retail business.

We have not got to Section 2 in which we can discuss the full effect of the measure and what it is intended to include within its scope. The words "adapt for sale," as used further on in Section 2, are considered as being the packing, labelling, or bottling for sale. The Minister says it is not intended for the retail trade. Personally, I think the retail trade should come in more than the manufacturing end. If we have got to put up with this, it has at any rate saved something from the wreck. Packing one can understand in a particular sense. Bottling, particularly, we can understand. Labelling, I cannot understand, if it is not intended to bring in the retail trade. Even publicans who bottle are going to be brought within the scope of manufacturing.

Take the case of packing for sale. Deputy Dockrell referred to the example of the pennyworth of sweets which are got up in packages or twists in readiness for the children who are let loose from school at halftime. Does the Minister know of the packing that goes on in anticipation of the rush? These twists, as they are called, are got ready for the rush and does the Minister suggest that these retailers are to be reckoned as manufacturers hereafter? That is packing in preparation for a sale or packing before a sale. Does that come under the definition "packing for sale?" I cannot see how it is going to be taken out of the scope of the definition. Take labelling for sale. There used to be price labels on different goods. The type of label or tag depended on the commodity—such as meat. There were labels or tags with a spike on them with which the thing could be stuck up. The same applies in the clothing trade. Price labels were sold with a certain hook at the back so that the label could be pinned easily on to goods displayed in the window. Take a draper who displays goods in his window. He hangs on tags of this kind. That is not labelling after sale. It is labelling for the purpose of sale. Are these drapers going to be brought within the scope of this? The Minister says it is not his intention. I am arguing that the phrase does not carry out his intention. When the Minister walks into any fruit or vegetable shop in which every article is labelled, is that to be considered a process of manufacture which will bring the ordinary greengrocer within the terms of the Act? The Minister says it is not his intention, but surely it is going to happen.

The term "adapt for sale" is one which was devised and intended originally to include these particular processes of bottling, labelling and packing for sale, but in consequence of certain questions which had been raised and in consequence of the ambiguity of certain decisions given in regard to these questions, certain doubts had arisen. It does not make any difference, whatever, whether a certain person is to be called a manufacturer or not. It is of very minor importance. But within the scope of this Bill we get exactly what we want to get. It may be possible, and is possible, that in order to ensure that we cover all the manufacturing processes that we have in mind we will also have to cover certain other processes, for the present, which we would prefer to exclude. It will not prevent any citizen engaging in these industries. In certain cases the foreigner coming in would require to get a licence, and we prefer to take the lesser risk of going too far to not going far enough in respect of our definition. I will use a word which I would prefer not to use—it is intended to cover the business of packing, labelling or bottling for sale, wholesale, that is, as a firm to manufacture, and not for sale retail, but it is not possible to put in that phrase, because it would be open to all sorts of evasions and ambiguities in respect of the Act and, secondly, it was decided to include the phrase as it stands there to clarify the meaning of the phrase "adapt for sale" in the manner that we suggested, and to operate the Act to ensure that no restrictions would be imposed in any quarter except in such quarters as were intended.

Does the Minister intend to catch greengrocers by this?

I do not think I do, but let me say this: that the process of packing peas is something we want to include.

Is it thought that this phrase excludes greengrocers, although they may label for sale in the manner I have described?

I feel that these words, which the Minister endeavours to explain, namely, "adapt for sale," will be liable to many interpretations. I am rather concerned with regard to two commodities, and I want some information from the Minister as to how he will interpret the term "adapt for sale" in the case of, say, bread and milk. The Minister is aware that, for hygienic reasons, bread is now packed in paper. As we are all aware, that is quite an up-to-date way of presenting the bread. We have also had milk distributed in bottles in the towns for many years. It is delivered by retailers with small caps used in the bottles instead of corks. Will the Minister consider bread so wrapped in paper known as parchment—a very fine quality of paper—as coming within the ambit of this measure?

Of course. Baking bread is a process of manufacture.

Will milk in the container I referred to come within the ambit of this section?

Certainly.

The Minister has admitted that he cannot carry out what he wants to carry out because it would lead to ambiguities. He wants to exempt retail traders but he cannot because there would be an ambiguity. Therefore, he is asking the House to do what he himself does not want to have done because of his inability to find words to carry out his ideas. That is a very strange attitude for the Minister to take up. The Minister talks about the meaning of "adapt for sale." As this section stood at the beginning, "adapt for sale" would have had, in my opinion, a comparatively restricted meaning because you would construe "adapt for sale" ejusdem generis, to use the legal phrase. The words that went before would mean altering in some way to make saleable a particular article, but according to this extension of the words—a very broad extension—there is to be no alteration or anything of that kind. Not only does it clearly take in the case of a retailer putting a lb. of tea or a lb. of sugar into a bag prior to sale, but it is sufficiently extensive to cover almost anything—even bottling peas. A foreign greengrocer who had not lived here seven consecutive years who engaged in shelling peas, would be obliged to have a licence from the Minister.

The word "wholesale" used by the Minister would need some explanation. In country districts, a large number of traders distribute to smaller traders sugar and other commodities made up in paper bags. There might be misunderstanding in cases of that kind. In country districts, the business is usually a "rush" business. A post office would have, about post hours, a large quantity of goods made up in anticipation of customers arriving just prior to post time. In country villages, too, on Sundays, there are certain hours during which there is a rush. Small farmers and labourers would do their marketing at a time when they would be in that particular village. A good deal of revision should take place in connection with this question. So much packing is done and so many small items are involved, that a considerable hardship would be inflicted, particularly in the case of the retailer in the country district who sells wholesale to small shopkeepers.

I want to make clear that whether this amendment is carried or not the position will probably be the same. I have been advised that there is some doubt amongst jurists that the term "adapt for sale" includes packing, labelling and bottling for sale. There is some doubt amongst those who have had this question under examination on that point. The amendment is inserted for the purpose of clarifying the position in regard to this Bill so that litigation will not arise. Deputies have come to the point that they cannot see the wood for the trees. They are examining one particular phrase and they are losing sight of the Bill. The phrase must be interpreted in the light of the Bill which is a Control of Manufactures Bill—a Bill which makes provision for the control of manufactures in Saorstát Eireann. The intention is—and I am informed by those responsible for the phraseology that the effect is that the Bill will apply only to those engaged in a process of manufacture, whether it be the complete process from the raw material up to the finished article or some intermediate process. Any person engaged in a process of manufacture comes within the scope of the Bill. The borderline case is that of the publican who bottles stout. It is, I am informed, probable that the publican who bottles stout is within the scope of the Bill. In that case, we would prefer to keep him there rather than risk ambiguity and have the law that any foreigner who, after 1st June, 1932, wants to engage in that business here, should have to get a licence. I do not think there is any harm in having persons of that kind brought within the provisions of the Bill, though if we could get a clear border between those who are primarily retailers and those who are primarily manufacturers it would be preferable. The processes are so involved that it is not possible to get that clear definition. There must be borderline cases, at any rate, and the difficulties which will arise in that connection can be overcome only by wise administration.

Have the Minister's legal advisers, when advising him, as he said they were, as to these words, given him an opinion as to what they meant standing by themselves or in the particular context in which they are now? Naturally, they are controlled by their context, and I would press the Minister for an answer to this question—if his legal advisers told him that in construing a section of a statute the title of the Act would be taken into consideration by any Court.

I should like to get an answer to another point. "Adapt for sale," we are told, has a certain meaning in another piece of legislation —dealing with what? Factories, I think, the Minister said. The words "sale" or "adapt for sale" will bear a certain construction in that piece of legislation. Has the Minister been advised that any interpretation or extension given the phrase "adapt for sale" in the Factories Act, arising out of the context of the Factories Acts, is going to be carried bodily into this phrase when used in what is described as a Control of Manufactures Bill? I do not think that any lawyer would advise him in that way. Deputy Fitzgerald-Kenney has put the other point as to the title. The Minister says that we cannot see the wood for the trees. He fails to see his own Bill for the title. The title has no validity. The operative section is Section 2. Does the word "manufacture" occur in Section 2?

In the title.

The title has no effect. It is not part of the law. A judge might refer to the title in the last resort, but only in the last resort. This Bill refers to persons who carry on a business by way of trade or for the purposes of gain. They are not to do "any of the following things," and we get a list of things—"make, alter, repair, ornament, finish or adapt for sale any article, material or substance" and so on. The word "manufacture" does not occur in the section and there cannot be a limitation placed on the section which is not there and which I say is, designedly, not there.

The operative section of the Bill does not contain the word "manufacture" from beginning to end. "Business" and "trade" are the two words that are mentioned. The word "manufacture" or the words "process of manufacture" are deliberately left out. The Bill, as I read it was, I think, designed to catch the retail trade. We are told by the Minister to-day that that is not his intention. Does it carry out his intention? I do not believe that it does. This amendment is a very definite extension of the Bill as far as I can see.

The Minister will not answer our queries.

There has been a considerable amount of argument about this and we might be arguing it for the whole night and yet get no further, because we are dealing with what obviously must be a very difficult question. We are trying to deal with a border line, and at some particular place the border must be fixed. In the whole process of business there is a process of manufacture, a further process of manufacture, a yet further process of manufacture, a process of adapting for sale, and a process for actually selling retail or wholesale. Somewhere along that line you must put a mark and say that one set of operations comes within the scope of this Control of Manufactures Bill and that the other set does not. Where are we going to put the mark? Wherever you put it there are certain cases in which it will be almost impossible to decide whether or not they should be regarded as within the scope of the Bill or without the scope of the Bill. Our intention is that this Bill should apply only to those who are engaged in a manufacturing process of some kind. We have got a form of words which appears to carry out our intention, although we realise that in certain aspects the scope of the Bill has extended a little further than we should have liked. But I do not think that any harm was done by that. I do not think that any harm would be done if it were practicable to have a Bill which would cover the process of retail selling as well as the process of manufacture I think it would be probably necessary at some time to have legislation similar in principle with this dealing with the retail trade. But for the moment we are anxious to confine the Bill to the process of manufacture and this form is the best that we have been able to devise for that purpose. I agree that there will be certain classes in respect to which doubts will be expressed, and we could discuss these doubts for years without getting any nearer to agreement. When the Bill was introduced we thought that the term "adapt for sale" by itself was sufficient for our purpose. But certain doubts have been expressed in that regard arising out of certain judicial decisions based upon that term, and in order to prevent these doubts arising in respect of this Bill, we define the terms as including packing, bottling or labelling for sale. It may be that it would be held in the Courts that the term "adapt for sale" does not include packing, bottling or labelling for sale; and in order to avoid any necessity for taking the Bill to the courts for interpretation we are putting in this definition section at this stage.

The Minister tells us that his legal advisers have advised him that the title "Control of Manufactures Bill—an Act to make provision for controlling the carrying on of manufactures in Saorstát Eireann" governed the interpretation of Section 2.

I did not say that.

The Minister's advisers did not advise?

I did not say that.

I beg your pardon. He now admits that the argument is valueless.

I did not put the argument.

Would the Minister tell us what a manufacturer is. I put it on the Second Reading whether a manufacturer under this Bill would be an ordinary trader, and up to this moment I have not received an answer. Is an apple woman outside the Zoological Gardens who makes up papers of nuts for monkeys a manufacturer under this Bill?

This Bill is headed "Control of Manufactures Bill." When we come to examine it we find that it is a Bill to control manufacturers and retailers. That is what it amounts to. Every retailer in the country comes under the scope of this Bill. Every newsagent who puts up a newspaper in a wrapper and labels where it is to go to and every species of retailer in this country comes under the scope of this Bill. The Minister says that he wanted to catch the manufacturers and in order to be sure of doing so he got a bit beyond the border line. I suggest that when he said that he could not see the forest for the trees—he has decided to take in the forest in order to include the trees. That is the position. He has gone far beyond the limit that anybody thought was intended by this Bill. He said that that is in order to make assurance doubly sure. But I should like to protest against a Control of Manufactures Bill being converted into a Bill for the control of manufacturers and retailers.

That is a shocking piece of obstruction from beginning to end. It must be perfectly obvious to anybody with any commonsense that nobody is going to move in this matter to impose an artificial interpretation of this particular definition. Who is going to move it? The Bill only applies to foreigners and outsiders. Who is going to move against some greengrocer who has been doing business here?

And the Guards are under the control of the Government.

The Guards have to carry out the law.

And the Guards are going to interpret the law according to commonsense, and not to give it some absurd interpretation. No one in the world is going to do otherwise. The idea is a pure myth.

If the thing is so absurd it should not be in the legislation.

It is not the wording of the Bill that is absurd; it is the particular interpretation.

I have asked the Minister a particular question and Deputy Little has required a certain amount of skating to get over it, and has given us a certain amount of hysteria to explain the absurdity of having this in a piece of legislation. We are told it is unfair, that it is only the manufacturing process is aimed at. It is clear you are getting in the retail.

Question put.
The Committee divided: Tá, 63; Níl, 46.

  • Aiken, Frank.
  • Allen, Denis.
  • Bartley, Gerald.
  • Beegan, Patrick.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Bourke, Daniel.
  • Brady, Bryan.
  • Brady, Seán.
  • Breathnach, Cormac.
  • Breen, Daniel.
  • Briscoe, Robert.
  • Browne, William Frazer.
  • Carney, Frank.
  • Carty, Frank.
  • Colbert, James.
  • Cooney, Eamonn.
  • Corry, Martin John.
  • Crowley, Fred Hugh.
  • Crowley, Tadhg.
  • Curran, Patrick Joseph.
  • Derrig, Thomas.
  • De Valera, Eamon.
  • Flinn, Hugo V.
  • Flynn, Stephen.
  • Fogarty, Andrew.
  • Geoghegan, James.
  • Gibbons, Seán.
  • 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 F.
  • Little, Patrick John.
  • McEllistrim, Thomas.
  • MacEntee, Seán.
  • Maguire, Ben.
  • Maguire, Conor Alexander.
  • Moore, Séamus.
  • Murphy, Patrick Stephen.
  • 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.
  • Sexton, Martin.
  • Sheehy, Timothy.
  • Sheridan, Michael.
  • Smith, Patrick.
  • Traynor, Oscar.
  • Walsh, Richard.
  • Ward, Francis C. (Dr.).

Níl

  • Anthony, Richard.
  • Beckett, James Walter.
  • Bennett, George Cecil.
  • Blythe, Ernest.
  • Bourke, Séamus A.
  • Brasier, Brooke.
  • Broderick, William Jos.
  • Brodrick, Seán.
  • Burke, Patrick.
  • Byrne, John Joseph.
  • Collins-O'Driscoll, Mrs. Margt.
  • Conlon, Martin.
  • Cosgrave, William T.
  • Craig, Sir James.
  • Davis, Michael.
  • Dockrell, Henry Morgan.
  • Doherty, Eugene.
  • Doyle, Peadar Seán.
  • Duggan, Edmund John.
  • Esmonde, Osmond Grattan.
  • Fitzgerald, Desmond.
  • O'Shaughnessy, John Joseph.
  • O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
  • Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
  • Good, John.
  • Gorey, Denis John.
  • Hassett, John J.
  • Hayes, Michael.
  • Hennessy, Thomas.
  • Hennigan, John.
  • Keating, John.
  • Kiersey, John.
  • Lynch, Finian.
  • McDonogh, Fred.
  • MacEoin, Seán.
  • McGilligan, Patrick.
  • Minch, Sydney B.
  • Mongan, Joseph W.
  • Murphy, James Edward.
  • O'Connor, Batt.
  • O'Hanlon, John F.
  • O'Leary, Daniel.
  • O'Mahony, The.
  • O'Neill, Eamonn.
  • Roddy, Martin.
  • Wolfe, Jasper Travers.
Tellers:—Tá: Deputies Boland and Allen; Níl: Deputies Duggan and Doyle.
Question declared carried.

Amendments 3 and 4 will be taken together.

In sub-section (2) (a) to delete all after the word "in," line 23, to the end of the paragraph and substitute therefor the words "Ireland or a person either of whose parents was born in Ireland." (Earnán de Blaghd.)

In sub-section (2) (a), lines 23 and 24, to delete the words "Saorstát Eireann or the area now comprised in Saorstát Eireann" and substitute the word "Ireland." (John Good; Henry Morgan Dockrell; Patrick McGilligan.)

I beg to move amendment 3. The words in the Bill are not very clear. I am unable, in the absence of any explanation from the Government Benches, to explain what is meant to be conveyed by paragraph (a) of sub-section (2). In any case, I think that any meaning it could have is narrowed unreasonably, having regard to the purposes of the Bill. As the Bill stands, I think the President of the Executive Council—I mention him by way of illustration—would in 1923 or, in fact, at any time down to 1927, have been unable to carry on any business that involved the putting of a piece of paper around goods in this country without having a licence from the Minister for Industry and Commerce as he was not born in the Saorstát or in the area now comprising Saorstát Eireann—I do not know what the difference is there—and as he was, owing to his absence in America in 1919 and 1920, in the position that he had not been seven consecutive years in the country, he would have been unable, within the scope of this Bill, to carry on any business without a licence.

It seems to me that the words I propose, which follow the Constitution, are much more suitable. This Bill is aimed at confining the ownership of certain classes of business to Irish people. You probably cannot easily get a definition that will be completely watertight and not subject to criticism. A person may be born in Ireland, but that person in no sense of the word could be described as Irish. He might have no interests in the country, no sympathy with the people of the country. You might easily have people whose parents are Irish who would have an enormously greater interest in the country than people whose parents might be foreigners, but who might be born in Ireland.

When the Constitution was being devised, for the purposes of citizenship we admitted all who were born in Ireland or either of whose parents was born in Ireland. What is good enough for citizenship should be good enough for the carrying on of these industries; it certainly should be good enough to authorise the packing of sweets or anything of that nature. What is good enough for citizenship should be good enough for the carrying on of any business. We adopted something of the same nature for entry into the Civil Service. A person who would not be qualified under this Bill to carry on business in the Saorstát would be qualified to sit for competitive examination and enter the Civil Service and afterwards be engaged in very responsible official duties.

We should try in these matters to have a certain amount of consistency. I do not want to suggest to the Government that they should alter the provisions of the Constitution in regard to citizenship or the provisions of the Civil Service Regulation Act in regard to eligibility. The definitions in those Acts were the subject of a good deal of discussion and it was thought when they were adopted that they met the needs of the situation as far as they reasonably could be met. Deputies on the Government Benches talk a great deal about the partition of the country and about re-union. We had that in mind when we considered the definition clauses in the Civil Service Regulation Act. There are people who are outside the Saorstát not through any fault of their own and very much against their wishes. They are outside as a result of circumstances over which they have no control. We felt we ought not to slam the door in the faces of people of that sort in regard to the Civil Service if they were willing to come and work here.

Equally, it is not a far-sighted policy in regard to industries to slam the door in the face of other people and to treat them as if they had no interest in and no relationship with this country. So far as the children of Irish parents who happened to be born in America or England are concerned, their interest in this country is quite likely to be as deep as the interest of a person who happened to be born here but who went out of the country; probably their interest would be greater.

I do not know whether in drafting the Bill, the Minister had certain cases in mind; that he had in mind individuals whom we wanted to exclude—to make it impossible for them to carry on business here. If he had anything like that in mind it was a bad principle on which to draft a Bill. It would be far better to look at this matter more or less in the abstract. The Bill proposes to be a permanent measure and the bigger considerations ought to operate in the minds of the Ministry to the exclusion of any sort of personal issues.

What the Minister is aiming at in getting Irish nationality in the ownership of manufactures will be adequately served if he adopts my amendment, which sets out that the ownership must be that of persons born in Ireland or one of whose parents was born in Ireland. It is going a great deal further than there is any precedent for to take the line that the Minister is taking. I suggest it is certainly inconsistent to have a person eligible for citizenship, eligible for a place in the Government service, but ineligible to carry on the very minor operations in the nature of packing, for instance, that are now included in the Bill.

There are two things that arise out of this amendment. There is first of all a definition of the term "National" for the purpose of the Bill. In that respect let me say that I am not prepared or anxious to stand rigidly upon the definition contained here. It seems to me to be a sound definition. That people are excluded from the definition that should be included would apply to whatever definition one could get. If any Deputy thinks there is a better definition possible and if he produces that definition he will find that I will not be unreasonable. I realise that the definition there is not perfect. It is possible that somebody might produce a better definition. What I am not prepared to do is to extend the advantages which it is proposed to confer upon citizens of the Saorstát to engage in any industry here to persons who are not citizens of the Saorstát— persons resident or born in the Six County area. That is I take it the main feature of the Deputy's amendment that these advantages which we confer upon our own citizens should also be conferred upon people in the Six Counties.

I am thinking also of people born out of the Saorstát.

As far as including in that definition persons both of whose parents were born in the Saorstát I am quite ready to accept it. I have no objection to that at all, but I see strong political objection to extending to persons in the Six Counties the same advantages and privileges that we give to citizens of the Saorstát—people who have been cut off from the purview of this State by partition and who are in the majority at any rate anxious to maintain partition. So long as they are anxious for political reasons to maintain the Boundary there they must be prepared to accept the disadvantages which the Boundary implies. If these people want to have the advantage of trading in this territory, the advantage of direct contact with our people they can secure that advantage by co-operating with us for the termination of partition. But so long as the Boundary is maintained and so long as there are persons in the Six Counties anxious to insist on the partition of the country, then these people must be prepared to accept the disadvantages as well as what they may consider to be the advantages of that situation.

Suppose they do not; suppose they are as much against partition as the Minister?

If they are anxious to terminate that situation——

They may be as anxious and as powerless as the Minister.

I do not think we are powerless. I think if we get agreement on both sides of the Border, then the Border will not last long.

That is very nice side-slipping.

However, to get back to the amendment and away from politics at the moment, the position is that the amendment could not be accepted merely on that ground that it extends the term "National" and proposes to confer upon people who are not citizens of the Saorstát advantages enjoyed by Saorstát citizens by including persons both of whose parents were born in the Saorstát.

Either of whose parents, not both.

Yes, either of them.

What is the reason for drawing the section in the way it is drawn? What is the reason for the exclusion?

What does it mean?

Why not say "either of whose parents"?

Who is meant to be secured?

It is not meant to secure anyone. I only wanted a reasonable definition which would last until we got a Nationality Bill passed here.

Why go beyond the Constitution?

We want to have excluded from this Bill people who were not born here; we want to give the advantages of the Bill to people who were born in the Saorstát because presumably people born here are "nationals," unless they have accepted nationality elsewhere. We also want to give it for a reasonably long period of seven years. I would not be prepared to accept any shorter period. Deputy Blythe referred to the insertion of the seven year period "and for not less than seven consecutive years". I take it that a temporary visit to another country does not interrupt residence here. I take it that the term has a legal meaning and the legal meaning would apply to this particular case. That is the intention—when a person who has been clearly resident here for seven years or a person born here or a person both of whose parents were born here.

"Either of whose parents" is a term in the Constitution.

Would the Minister say why he has dropped out "either" and put in the condition that both should be born here?

"Either" is too wide.

Is the Bill intended against the President of the Executive Council?

The Deputy can make any jibe he likes.

It is not a jibe; it is a fact.

It is to exempt from the necessity of getting a licence in respect of any enterprise carried on here, persons who can be fairly regarded as Saorstát citizens. Other persons must get a licence.

There is a little pocket which the Minister has not explained—in the Constitution it reads "Either of whose parents was born in Ireland." Why get away from that?

Because it is too wide a term. A person both of whose parents were born in this country can be accepted as being within a reasonable definition of the term "National," but the person "either of whose parents was born here" might not be a national.

Why not they be nationals?

I have put in here a definition of the term "National" for the purpose of the Bill as a temporary expedient until such time as we have a more permanent definition and I have put in the seven years' permanent residence.

Then we may take it that the same restrictions will operate in the Nationality Bill which the Minister has promised to introduce?

The Deputy surely does not intend to discuss that Bill now?

No, but there is something behind this, and we propose to extract it from the Minister. There is some reason for the restriction here and we are entitled to know what it is. The term "either of whose parents" is in the Constitution. There must be somebody, some individual or collection of individuals whom it is decided to exclude and the House is entitled to know what that body or individual or individuals are and who the persons are who are to be excluded. The Minister has not given any indication of whom they are. We have got two definitions, one, where a person derives as a citizen from the Constitution and the second definition where persons so entitled are now deprived of the advantages of engaging in business in this State. I have got no brief for the President of the Executive Council. Is there any reason why the President of the Executive Council was excluded?

He is not excluded.

"A person, both of whose parents were born in Ireland." That excludes the President of the Executive Council.

The Deputy has gone back to it again.

Can we get an explanation as to what the restriction clause means and what we are to get out of it?

I want to pursue this point.

I guessed you would.

The Minister must have felt weak on the matter and thought he was getting off. We have a definition of "national of Saorstát Eireann." It has not been explained yet what it means. I personally have some doubts which it may be possible to resolve, as to the meaning of the phrase in paragraph (a) "a person born in Saorstát Eireann or the area now comprised in Saorstát Eireann." If that word "now" had been "at the relevant time" I could understand it better. What is the precise meaning of the phrase? Does it mean that the Minister is taking the words "Saorstát Eireann" as covering all Ireland up to a certain date and, thereafter, that it will only cover the Twenty-Six Counties, and that a birth certificate will be required to find out whether persons were born in the Twenty-Six Counties area after a date in 1925? Is that the purpose of the phrase? I am anxious for information on the matter.

It appears to me to be the case that Saorstát Eireann at one time did include all Ireland.

The attempt made here is that you are deeming to be a national of Saorstát Eireann a person born in Ireland up to a particular date in 1925, and after 1925 until some boundary situation——

Why 1925?

1925 is the date of the Boundary settlement. That is why I take it as the operative date. If the Minister has some date in mind we should know what is the pivotal point of time around which this portion of his proposal is to turn. That is one thing. The second thing is what has just been urged. At present we have a definition of "national" for citizenship purposes—for all the rights and duties of citizenship. That right and these obligations are given to people in a wider way than in this phrase where they are "those who were born in Ireland or either of whose parents was born in Ireland." The Minister is restrictive at present to the point of excluding from citizenship all those except people born in Ireland. I am always remembering the second part, the seven years point, those whose parents were born in Ireland. So that all whose parents were born in Ireland are still outside the scope of "national" as far as this is concerned. We are told that the Minister is likely to consider an amendment sympathetically to bring inside the scope of "national" people both of whose parents were born in Ireland. I am not sure whether he is going to that extent, or whether he is restricting it to "both of whose parents were born in Saorstát Eireann." That is still a restriction on the constitutional position in regard to citizenship, because a person, either of whose parents was born in Ireland, can claim to be a citizen of the State. Why the change? There may be some reason. Either it is haphazard or otherwise there is reason for it. Has it been found that the wider extension of the term, namely, that to be deemed to be a citizen of the country, a man must have been born here or either of his parents born here, has brought an undesirable class into the country? Has it been found that our aspirations, or business capacity have been limited by the inclusion inside the term "citizens" of those people for the purpose of citizenship? If there is no answer going to be given, we must simply take it that this was arrived at in a haphazard way, and there is no great reason for the exclusion of people either of whose parents was born in Ireland and limiting it to people both of whose parents were born in this country.

We may be told that this Bill has a different purpose from the citizenship Article of the Constitution. Of course it has. But I should say that the interests affected here are less important than what was comprised in the term "citizenship," and the class of people under consideration here are relatively less important and even the objects for which we are going to operate this here are less important than the whole wide scope that is given in Article 3 of the Constitution in relation to getting citizenship here in the beginning. The Ceann Comhairle has said that it is not relevant to discuss nationality on this. The whole question of nationality is coming in. I am wondering—I just ask the question—is this a forecast of what is in mind with regard to nationality hereafter? Because, again, if it is, it is going to be a very serious limitation upon the wide freedom conferred by the Constitution and it has not yet been explained as being dangerous in any way that that freedom should exist.

The Minister said he is ready to consider one extension only, and that is the inclusion in paragraph (a) of people who, although not born in this country, spring from parents both of whom had their origin here. I object to that as a limitation. I think that until a case is made the Article of the Constitution holds the field and no case has been made against it. On the other hand, the Minister objects to the geographical extension from keeping it "in Ireland," as it is in the Constitution—keeping it "in Ireland" at any rate. He says he is going to keep it so that those who had their origin in the Six Counties after a certain date are to be excluded until such time as the Six Counties themselves are brought inside the geographical area of this country. That surely is against all that was inherent in Sinn Féin. I always thought that one of the principles of Sinn Féin was that the minds and eyes of anybody who could be considered a national of this country should be centred upon this country and not turned away from this country. There was a great drive in the old days to get people's eyes turned away from Westminster, to get their minds and eyes turned upon Dublin. We were going to look for a centripetal sort of force instead of centrifugal, taking Dublin as the centre. The Minister is departing entirely from that at present. He is going to penalise. Why penalise? I could imagine his taking power, since he has taken such wide powers of discrimination to himself in this Bill, to discriminate against certain folk, but he is going to penalise a whole class of them. The question has been put to him that he may be penalising people who, if they could achieve the object, would be ready to have the Six Counties transferred under the Government of the Free State. He is not going to give these people even the help they might have against folk who think the other way by pointing out to them the advantages that there are in having association of a particular type here. The whole context of the Minister's argument, his whole outlook, is definitely away from what Sinn Féin used to be.

One last thing. The Minister said he is taking this clause with paragraphs (a) and (b) as being roughly what comprise citizens at present, as being more or less the conditions that achieve the acquisition of citizenship for a person. I presume he knows that there is no person born since the Free State came into existence who is in fact a citizen of this country. That has still to be rectified by legislation. That is why I thought the Minister was giving a forecast of what is in the Government's mind with regard to nationality and the legislation which is still to come.

The Deputy who has just spoken said that the Ceann Comhairle suggested that it was out of order to discuss nationality on this amendment. The Ceann Comhairle ruled out of order the discussion of the terms of a possible Bill suggested by the Minister for Industry and Commerce dealing with a definition of "nationals."

I merely wish to state that the terms used here are in no sense to be taken as a forecast of what any measure dealing with nationality would provide for. We considered only the narrow question raised by the Bill. It is proposed to exempt certain classes from its scope. It is proposed that certain people can at all times engage in any form of manufacturing enterprise here without any restrictions whatever. What classes should they be? Persons who are born here and persons who had a long period of residence here. These are the two classes we are including in the scope of the Bill. I am prepared to agree if pressed to include persons both of whose parents were born here. Let us consider the possibilities of giving privileges to persons within these classes without relation at all to what the Constitution provides for in respect of citizenship or what the Civil Service regulations provide in respect of entrance to the Civil Service or what the Nationality Bill to be introduced may provide for. The narrow question before us at the moment is to what classes should these special privileges be given in our nation. I believe it would be inadvisable and unfair to the country and detrimental to the purposes of the Bill if these privileges were extended to any wider class than those provided for in this definition with possibly the amendment I have suggested.

May I point out to the Minister that a person may have been born of Irish parents outside Ireland through accident? A person may have been qualified by the Constitution but may have been out of the country during the years 1925-26; he may have all the interests that a citizen could have here and be debarred by this description of a national. I know myself of one case. There happens to be in the neighbourhood in which I live a man who was in America for a couple of years. I do not know whether he has entered into business but he is debarred by reason of that.

He is not debarred.

He has not been seven years here.

Any person can engage in business here subject to licence; he is not debarred. Let the Deputy get any definition of "national" here and I will produce a hard case which is outside the definition.

This is your Bill.

I suggest that the Minister is making in this matter economic discriminations between different classes of citizens of this State. Take the case of a man who was born in Belfast in the year 1890 and who came in here to this State in 1925. He must get a licence.

Deputy Blythe stated that you could not get any definition which would be watertight.

I put it to the Minister that he is doing what I say has become an ingrained habit of the Government, he is trying to make economic distinctions and give economic privileges operating between different classes of citizens of the State.

I am not aware of it.

The Minister has thrown out a challenge as to whether any Deputy could give him definitions in which he would not find a hard case. Here is a definition: "A person born in Ireland or either of whose parents was born in Ireland." The Minister asks for any definition and said he would give a case which would be a hard case under it.

Any of those people Deputy Cosgrave has been talking about, who are interested in this country, whose grandparents were born here but whose parents were not. There are some such people who have taken a very keen interest in this country and who would be in a position to invest substantial sums in this country. We have had a number of them visiting us for the past week.

Might I point out to the Minister that the Border runs very awkwardly for some people in this country?

In all cases.

In all cases in which men have worked practically all their lives in the Free State and who are living in Northern Ireland. There are cases in which the Border runs practically through a town. One side is in Northern Ireland and the other in Southern Ireland. Are we going to exclude people who worked all their lives in Southern Ireland simply because they are forced to live by circumstances in Northern Ireland? We have another case in which the Border runs through a house, one side being in Northern Ireland and one in Southern Ireland. Are we to enquire as to which part of the house a person was born in? We are getting into an extraordinary position. A man who has worked all his life in a shop on one side of the street possibly lives in a house in the other side of the street but across the border. Such a man is to be deemed a non-national under this Bill. The thing is ridiculous on the face of it. It is clearly an injustice to our own citizens.

Partition was ridiculous from the beginning and the only way to meet the situation is by abolishing it.

You should not make bad worse.

Question—"That the words proposed to be deleted stand"—put and declared carried.
Amendments 3 and 4 not moved.

I move amendment No. 5:—

In sub-section (2) (b), line 26, to delete the word "seven" and substitute the word "three."

I should like to point out to the Minister that in this amendment we are proposing to reduce the period in which a man must be domiciled in Saorstát Eireann to three years. In my opinion, the provision in the Bill absolutely rules out anybody who has taken up residence for trade purposes. At the present time it is exceedingly difficult to get manufactures started and to get employment for our nationals. We see that while other countries are engaged in putting every inducement they can in the way of people who wish to manufacture, we are busy piling on difficulties for them. I should like to suggest to the Minister that this period of three years might in certain circumstances become very important. A man might make a very important invention and this very question might decide him as to whether he would take the manufacture under it to some other country. Remember that success in manufacturing is composed of a number of small items, each one of which is almost so small as to be negligible. I would suggest to the Minister that he cannot be too easy in facilitating people in starting manufacturing in this country. The fear of a thing is often very much worse than the thing itself. If a man has to consider whether he will get a licence or apply for a licence it may just make all the difference to him as to whether he will embark in industry in this country or not. I would appeal to the Minister to accept the amendment.

This is an amendment which I could not at all accept. It seems to me that the period of seven years is the shortest which could be contemplated in this respect. The proposal here is that a person who is not a citizen of this State, who had no previous connection with this State, should be regarded as a citizen and given all the rights of citizenship after three years' residence. I do not think that the Dáil could agree to that. I think that the period provided for in the Bill is a reasonable period and that any shorter period would tend to make the Bill entirely inoperative.

May I point out that the case the Minister instanced to-day, in reply to a question from a Deputy, was mainly that of an owner who may have fallen ill? May I instance a similar case, if he forces this question of seven years' residence, that might happen? Some of the manufactures of this country are of a highly technical character. A man who has been carrying on a business may, for some reason or other, be unable to continue to carry it on. He has got to get somebody with technical skill to continue that business. Perhaps that person cannot be found on this side. What is he to do? Is he to close down his business? Let me give an illustration. A man dies who had been carrying on a highly skilled business. His executors are unable to get anyone to carry on, but it is necessary to maintain the business. How is it to be maintained? The executors can carry on to a certain period. If the period of three years is accepted a person could get qualified. A man will not give his skill and operate a business unless he is going to get control or become owner of the business.

Under the Minister's Bill he would have to wait seven years before he would have an opportunity of controlling that business. It appears to me that the Minister is placing difficulties in the way of nationals carrying on their business that he is not placing in the way of non-nationals. A non-national who gets a licence for a business can give that licence to another non-national, and the Minister cannot object. But in the particular case I mentioned the Minister can close down the business which he cannot do in the case of a non-national. In other words, he is putting difficulties and restrictions in the way of nationals, which are not imposed on non-nationals. That does not appear to be reasonable. If he had to take powers in certain circumstances it would be different but in all cases to say that the person must have seven consecutive years to qualify him before he can carry on a national business is a very serious matter. I think the Minister ought to consider a proposition of this kind in the interests of our own nationals. I press upon the Minister to say whether at a further stage he will not consider this aspect of the problem and bring up some further proposal to meet the case put forward.

The Deputy seems to be arguing altogether away from the point of his amendment. The Deputy says that if a person is carrying on a business, when he wants to sell it he cannot sell it to a foreigner without obtaining a licence. That is quite true. It was for that the Bill was introduced. It was introduced to make it impossible for foreigners to acquire the ownership of industries established in this country unless, in the opinion of the Government, it is desirable that they should do so.

May I put this question? Supposing a national does not want to sell to a non-national, how will he carry on his business if he cannot get men with the necessary amount of skill amongst the nationals of his own country?

I cannot follow the the Deputy. The Deputy raised the case of a man who desires to sell his business to a non-national.

No, of a man who does not want to sell.

If he does not want to sell he need not.

He wants to carry on, but he is unable to carry on himself, and he cannot get any national in this country with the skill necessary to carry on. How then is he to carry on?

The Deputy is dealing with a person who wants to sell his business. If he does not want to sell it the Bill does not affect him at all.

But at the moment if he wants to carry on the business, and not to sell it, he may not be able to get a person of sufficient skill, either English or Scottish, to carry on that business for him.

He can get them at any time.

No. In the future it will be necessary for the person who wants to carry on the business to get control.

If he wants to sell his business to a foreigner he will require a licence. The Deputy is now clearly talking about a person who wants to sell his business.

But supposing he wants to carry on?

If he wants to carry on there is nothing in the Bill to prevent him.

But how long will it take a person who comes in to become a national?

Why does he want to become a national? The Deputy now talks about a person who wants to carry on business, but he was talking a moment ago of a person who wanted to sell his business.

You want to compel him to sell.

I do not. This Bill is designed to deal with the position created by the fact that a foreigner, of any kind, up to now could obtain immediate ownership of an industrial enterprise here. The Bill relates only to ownership of industrial enterprises. If a person is carrying on a business here he can bring in an Englishman or a Scotchman for his business or 20 Englishmen or 20 Scotchmen, and there is nothing in our law to stop him. If he brings in a Frenchman or a German the law will stop him. That is one of the anomalies of the law. This Bill deals only with the ownership of businesses and with persons who want to sell their business. They can sell to any other citizen of the State without restriction, but if a man sells his business to a foreign ownership, then under this Bill a licence is necessary. And it is in the power of the Minister for Industry and Commerce to stop it, if he believes it to be in the national interests to do so.

Supposing a man was born in Newry and had six years' experience here. The owner wants to sell, but he cannot sell without a licence. His name may be O'Neill or O'Doherty or O'Donoghue, but he cannot get a licence. We have people here in this State whose roots do not go back as far as that, but they would be qualified, while the man from Newry who has been six years here is not qualified.

I want to refer to the narrow point between the seven years and three years. On Second Reading I asked the Minister to give me some statement as to legislation of as drastic a type as this in any other country. I phrased my questions rather precisely, but he did not answer. He gave examples of certain discrimination by way of taxes operating in certain countries against foreigners, and a few things like that of which I knew. Is there in any of the countries he mentioned, in reply to me, to be found a difference made between the period prescribed for national purposes and the period prescribed for obtaining licences to do business? For instance, has he any knowledge of what the conditions obtaining in Norway are, as to whether or not in certain cases a very limited period of residence is required in order to be deemed a national for Norwegian purposes? I understand, in some of the countries mentioned, and in other countries that could be mentioned, where they have certain restrictive legislative taxes there is a differentiation made between the period required to qualify for citizenship, and to qualify for admission on the payment of admittance taxes. That is a point that the Minister might enquire into before the next stage. I think he will find there is a difference which would point this moral, that countries which have to discriminate against foreigners coming in by way of licence taxes do not operate their nationality law in all its rigidity upon business. At one time the period in Norway was as low as a year. The phrase ran in a negative way that no person could qualify to be a director of a Norwegian company unless he passed twelve months in that country. There is a case to be made for something less rigid in connection with business enterprise than with citizenship or nationality. There is considerable rigidity in the qualifying period for nationality, which ought to be something longer than the qualifying period for taking out the licence under this Bill, and from that point of view there is a case for a shorter period.

Question—"That the word proposed to be left out stand part"—put and agreed to.

I move amendment 6.

In sub-section (2), after line 27, to add a new paragraph as follows:—

(c) A person who has become entitled to the beneficial ownership of a business or of a share therein either through the bequest or on the intestacy of a national of Saorstát Eireann as defined in paragraphs (a) or (b) of this sub-section.

The Minister said, speaking of this Bill, that 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 this country. Under the Bill as introduced a national will not have the same powers of disposal over his business as he has at present. If that is not introducing a restriction or a limitation, I do not know what the word means. This undoubtedly is a limitation, and one which may have very serious effects where it often happens that the next of kin may live in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales. A man may have a business, and his family may be scattered, and he gets old and he wishes someone to succeed him. The Minister also said the firms engaged in industry here are for the most part small firms. They represent the enterprise of private individuals who risked their savings in a pioneering attempt to establish certain forms of manufacture. Surely you must have continuity in business if a small business is to establish itself and grow, and surely the avowed object of the Minister is to promote industry in this country. Why then is there this limitation when a national goes to dispose of his business? The amendment only asks for powers to bequeath the business or, in the case of an intestacy, that the business should pass unfettered to the next of kin. Where a foreigner applies for a licence and it is granted, such licence remains in force, and must under Section 7 be transferred with the business. Why, therefore, is there this discrimination against a national? The foreigner gets a permit to hand on his business to a foreigner, and why should not the national be placed in the same position? If a national dies and bequeaths his business to a foreigner, possibly his next of kin, maybe his son or daughter or somebody else who has been for a number of years in Northern Ireland. Scotland, England or Wales, the owner (for such would be the owner) may be debarred from carrying on the business and the bequest becomes valueless unless he can find a national to purchase the whole of the controlling interest in the business. If that is not imposing a limitation on the national as opposed to the foreigner, I really do not understand what this Bill means. I give the Minister credit for suggesting that he wants to give the utmost power and the widest scope to his own nationals to carry on business, but it really seems to me, in the case of a national business, that it is in danger of being over-laid by the Minister for Industry and Commerce, and I would suggest to him that he should consider this amendment in the interest of fair play between his own nationals and foreigners.

The amendment is not one which can be accepted. It is in conflict with the principle in the Bill. It proposes a very wide extension in the cases in which no licences would be required. If a national bequeaths his business to a foreigner a licence will have to be necessary. I think the Deputy is wrong to assume that any unreasonable attitude will be adopted by any Minister for Industry and Commerce—

I did not suggest that.

—in cases where grave hardship is likely to be inflicted, but the danger of having the general principle of the Bill undermined and the scheme behind it defeated would be too great if the amendment were accepted. It proposes a very wide extension in the cases where no licences would be necessary, and would involve a very great departure from the original scheme, which could not be considered.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Section 1, as amended, agreed to.
SECTION 2.
(1) It shall not be lawful for any person who carries on a business by way of trade or for the purposes of gain to do any of the following things in the course or as part of such business, that is to say, to make, alter, repair, ornament, finish, or to adapt for sale any article, material, or substance, or any part of any article, material, or substance, unless either—
(a) such business is, at the time such thing is done, in the beneficial ownership of an individual or two or more individuals who is or all of whom are at that time nationals of Saorstát Eireann; or
(b) such business is, at the time such thing is done, owned by a body corporate the issued capital of which is at that time to an extent exceeding one-half (in nominal value) thereof in the beneficial ownership of a person who is or of two or more persons each of whom is at that time either a national of Saorstát Eireann or a body corporate all the issued capital of which is at that time in the beneficial ownership of nationals of Saorstát Eireann; or
(c) such business was in existence on the 1st day of June, 1932, and such business is, at the time such thing is done, owned by the body corporate by which it was owned on the said 1st day of June, 1932, and the doing of such thing would, if it had been done on the said 1st day of June, 1932, have been in the ordinary course or formed part of such business as then carried on; or
(d) such business was in existence on the 1st day of June, 1932, and such business is, at the time such thing is done, beneficially owned by the individual or all, some, or one of the individuals by whom it was beneficially owned on the 1st day of June, 1932, and the doing of such thing would, if it had been done on the said 1st day of June, 1932, have been in the ordinary course or formed part of such business as then carried on; or
(e) such person is the holder of a new manufacture licence and such thing is done under and in accordance with such licence; or
(f) such business is carried on in direct succession to a deceased person who would, if such thing had been done immediately before his death, have been lawfully entitled, under the foregoing provisions of this sub-section, to do such thing in the course or as part of such business, and such thing is done in the course or as part of such business between the date of the death of such person and the grant of probate of his will or letters of administration of his personal estate or, is so done by the personal representative of such person while carrying on such business in due course of administration; or
(g) such thing is done in the course or as part of a business carried on by an assignee in bankruptcy, a trustee of an arranging debtor, or a receiver or manager appointed by a court in continuation of the business of a person who would, if such thing had been done immediately before such assignee, trustee, receiver, or manager commenced to carry on such business, have been lawfully entitled under the foregoing provisions of this sub-section to do such thing in the course or as part of such business.
(2) For the purposes of paragraph (b) of the immediately preceding sub-section but not further or otherwise, the following provisions shall have effect, that is to say:—
(a) where a national of Saorstát Eireann dies and is at the time of his death the beneficial owner of any shares in a body corporate, such shares shall, until the grant of probate of his will or letters of administration of his personal estate, be deemed to continue in the beneficial ownership of a national of Saorstát Eireann, and upon such grant being made the personal representative of such national shall, so long as he is entitled to such shares in his representative capacity, be deemed to be the beneficial owner of such shares and, if he is not a national of Saorstát Eireann, to be a national of Saorstát Eireann; and
(b) where a national of Saorstát Eireann becomes a bankrupt or carries an arrangement with his creditors and such national was at the time of his bankruptcy or arrangement the beneficial owner of any shares in a body corporate, and his interest in such shares becomes vested in his assignee in bankruptcy or a trustee of the estate of such national as an arranging debtor, such shares shall be deemed, so long as such interest remains so vested, to be in the beneficial ownership of such assignee or trustee, and such assignee or trustee shall, so long as such interest remains so vested be deemed, if he is not a national of Saorstát Eireann, to be a national of Saorstát Eireann.
(3) Every person who does any act which is a contravention of this section shall be guilty of an offence under this section and shall be liable on summary conviction thereof to a fine not exceeding fifty pounds together with, in the case of a continuing offence, a further fine not exceeding ten pounds for every day during which such offence is continued.
(4) Where a person is charged with having committed an offence under this section, the onus of proving the matters or any of the matters mentioned in paragraphs (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (f), and (g) respectively of sub-section (1) of this section shall lie on the person so charged, and until the contrary is proved it shall be presumed that none of those matters is applicable in relation to the act alleged to constitute such offence.

I move amendment 10:

In sub-section (1), to delete all from the word "do," line 29, to and including the word "adapt," line 31, and substitute therefor the word "manufacture."

I should like, if I might be allowed, to discuss with it amendment 11:

In sub-section (1), after the word "say," line 31, to insert the word "so," and after the word "substance," line 33, to insert the words "as materially to alter the nature or character thereof, and substantially to add to the value thereof."

Amendments 36, 37 and 67 would then be for discussion.

There are different references in the different sections but the idea is common. I would like to be allowed to consider how far they absolutely fall when we come to consider Section 5. It is proposed under amendment 10, which relates to the operative section of the measure, to cut out all these phrases that occur mainly in lines 30 and 31, that is to say, to substitute for certain phrases here now as follows: "to do any of the following things in the course, or as part, of such business, that is to say, to make, alter, repair, ornament, finish, or to adapt for sale," the simple word "manufacture."

Alternatively, amendment 11 proposes to get these various processes in Section 2, as it stands, limited in this way—to do any of the following things... to make, alter, repair, ornament, finish or to adapt for sale any article, material or substance or any part of any article, material or substance "as materially to alter the nature or character thereof and substantially to add to the value thereof." That gets us back to the main purpose of the measure of which Section 2 is the operative section. When arguing previously on an amendment to the definition section, the Minister did say, I think in an unguarded moment, that the whole of the phraseology had to be considered within the framework of the measure itself and that the measure itself was a Control of Manufactures Bill. At that time, I pointed out, and was joined by other Deputies in pointing out, that the word "manufacture" nowhere occurs in the operative section. We got, I think, the Minister's tacit admission, in the end, that the phrase used in the title was of very little effect so far as the scope of the Bill was concerned. This Bill, according to the Minister's statement of his own intentions, is aimed only at manufacturing processes and controlling those who engage in manufacture but it is so drawn that it will take in anything which can be interpreted to be covered by the phrase in that section "to make, alter, repair, ornament, finish or to adapt for sale any article, material or substance." Take that one word "repair." Sewing a button on a garment is "repairing." Is it intended that the person who, in the ordinary course of sale-business, engages in repair should be brought within the scope of this measure? At the beginning, when I heard the explanation of the measure, I should have thought not. I am beginning to doubt now what is intended. Take the word "ornament." I know that certain types of ornamentation which are affixed to a variety of materials are in the manufacturing line but there is a tremendous amount of ornamentation of a trivial type which would not come within the second phrase "materially to alter the nature or character thereof and substantially to add to the value thereof." Then we have the phrase "adapt for sale." It was because the phrase "adapt for sale" appeared so loose in the context of this Bill that I tabled these amendments. This evening we have got that phrase still further extended. We have got it extended to cover packing, bottling or labelling for sale. It was pointed out, when that amendment was being discussed, that anybody who labels—and most traders label—will certainly be deemed to be inside the scope of this measure and, if he is not a national, he cannot carry on except under licence given at the discretion of the Minister. The whole scope of the measure turns upon this phrase.

Remember what the licence means. The licence is to be granted at the absolute discretion of the Minister. The licence may grant to the person who makes application leave to do all, or some only, of the things he asks leave to do, or the licence may be refused. When granted either in whole or in part, it may be granted subject to such terms and conditions as the Minister thinks fit to specify. We were told—it was insisted upon on Second Reading—that one of the guarantees in this was that once a licence was granted it could only be withdrawn on application precisely made for its withdrawal or for an offence. The hint was rather conveyed that the offence would have to be proved by a court process to have been committed. But when the Minister can himself say what he considers to be the proper terms to be imposed on the licensee and when he is to be—as he is to be here—the judge of the relevancy of certain information which he can demand, the court is thrown very much into the background and the Minister has complete control not merely of the grant or refusal of the licence but of the insertion of conditions. He may afterwards request information which, in his opinion, is relevant, and not to furnish information which he thinks is relevant is a breach of a condition which may lead to the withdrawal of the licence. That is the licensing system and it is going to be applied—to what? The Minister says manufactures. The measure itself does not say that. In the operative section—Section 2—the notable thing is that the word "manufacture" is nowhere used. We do get the word coming into the context of the Bill later on, when reference is made to the granting of new manufacture licences, but in this section—the operative section—the word "manufacture" does not make its appearance.

It is proposed to do by these alternative amendments what is declared to be the intentions of the Government. All these phrases can be cut out and the simple word "manufacture" put in. That would mean that the section would read: "It shall not be lawful for any person who carries on a business by way of trade or for the purposes of gain to manufacture for sale any article..." unless the conditions set out are fulfilled. Alternatively, let us keep these phrases, as they are probably considered to be of value in describing certain variations in manufacturing processes, and let us limit them by some of the phrases which ordinarily are used when manufacturing processes are described. I think that these words in amendment 11 have the sanction of many pieces of legislation dealing with manufactures. The section would then refer to the doing of any of these things so "as materially to alter the nature or character thereof and substantially to add to the value thereof." It would be interesting to hear from the Minister what grievance he has against the phrase proposed. I should be glad if he would indicate what he thinks is going to be kept out by the use of this phrase which he intends to catch by the measure itself—not by the phraseology, because I think it is very loosely drawn and the scope is very far flung.

But does he really want to catch as a manufacturer the person who, in the course of business, sews buttons on garments, or does any small repair of that type? I do not know whether he considers that a boot repairer is a manufacturer, and whether that type of business should be brought within the scope of the Bill. I do not know whether ornamentation of a trivial type is to be brought within the scope of the Bill. In the discussion we had on this matter previously, I asked if the Minister intended to bring within the scope of the Bill people who packed or did up for sale. The Minister has given me further examples to-day—the wrapping up of sweets in twisted pieces of paper, and the labelling of articles, as every trader labels articles in a shop window, which is labelling for sale. Is it intended to bring all these things within the scope of this measure? If so, why not go boldly out and say "manufacture or sell" and clearly and distinctly bring in not merely the manufacturing end but the retail end? It would be a much easier method to administer, and it would be much easier to get simple definitions if the Minister adopted that policy. There is a great deal more to be said, in the industrial state we are in at the moment, for limiting the retail end of things to nationals than for limiting the manufacturing end, but certainly in the state in which we find ourselves there is no case for doing both. If this Bill is going to do it in regard to manufacturers, then let it be so defined. Let us know what is in the Minister's mind, and let us see can we get a phrase for it. I am moving, as alternatives, and I would like to have them discussed together, amendments 10 and 11.

If the Deputy has any strong sentimental attachment to the word "manufacture," and would like it inserted in that section, I cannot, at the moment, see any reason why it should not be inserted, but I think a necessary consequential amendment would be a new paragraph in the definition section to the effect that the term manufacturer shall be taken as including making, altering, repairing, finishing or adapting for sale.

That is the same thing, then?

It is the same.

That is no good.

The position which was arrived at, and the instruction which was issued was that any person engaged in manufacturing operations should be brought subject to this Bill and that phrase, that collection of terms, "making, altering, repairing, finishing or adapting for sale" was lifted bodily out of existing statutes as a phrase which has, in law, clear meaning, and was inserted there as implementing the idea and instruction that was issued. That phrase has a meaning in law—

In a particular piece of legislation.

The interpretation which is attached to that phrase would, I take it, attach to it still in this Bill.

I cannot claim to be a legal expert, but—

Have you been so advised?

I have been advised that my purpose, which was to confine this Bill to persons engaged in manufacturing enterprises, is met by the insertion of that particular form of words in that particular section, in that particular manner. What is the alternative suggestion? The alternative suggestion by the Deputy would create a new host of difficulties. Not merely would it obviously limit the scope of the measure to a substantial extent, but it would also give rise to another set of questions as to what "material alteration in the nature or character of the substance" is. We want to bring subject to this Bill, for example, the business of packing peas in bottles. We want to bring subject to this Bill the business of blending and packing tea, of packing salt, and of packing patent medicines and things of that kind. Is any one of these processes capable of being described as "material alteration in the nature or character of the substance"? I do not know. It might be held that the packing or bottling of one of these substances would be a material alteration of the nature or character of the substance, but it is not clear, and, instead of resolving the difficulty which the Deputy sees arising in this amendment, he would create a new host of difficulties if his amendment were accepted. I think the safer course to take is to stick to the term which is used in existing legislation, and which, in a law court, has a clear meaning, and to keep it in the Bill, knowing that under any circumstances the effect of this Bill on individuals, or on the course of industrial development here, is going to be determined, not so much by the words contained in it, as by the spirit behind its administration. In so far as it is intended that the Bill should apply only to persons engaged in manufacturing enterprises, if it were found, and I do not think it is likely to be found, that, in fact, the form of words used extends its scope to cover some other form of activity, then, obviously, those responsible for its administration would feel themselves obliged to restrict their activities, to restrict the Bill in operation to those engaged in manufacturing enterprises until the necessary amendment could be effected in its terms, but the term used there is, we are advised, that best suited to give effect to our will in this matter, and our will and our wish in this matter is that this Bill should, in its scope, extend only to manufacturing enterprises and to no other form of manufacturing activity.

I asked the Minister on the last occasion, and he rather gave me a different answer, had he been advised that the definition which applied to a phrase like "adapted for sale" in other legislation was going to be carried bodily into this Act, and he rather said "no." Surely it is clear it will not. Would the Minister consider this: the word "surgeon" can be used in regard to veterinary practice and it can be used in regard to medical practice and to dentistry. Does the Minister say that whatever interpretation was attached to the word "surgeon" in a Veterinary Bill would be carried into a Dentists Bill? The word "premises" is a word generally used. It is used in regard to house property, in, say, town tenants legislation and things of that nature. Supposing we come to legislation dealing with sanitation and supposing we come again to legislation which is to deal with Factory Acts and the observance of certain conditions. Is the definition that goes with the word "premises" for the purpose of landlord and tenant going to apply to the word "premises" when introduced into sanitary legislation? Clearly not, and yet that is the case the Minister is making, that these phrases have a definite meaning. They have in a certain piece of legislation in the past. I have said to him, by means of this or in some way, let the word "manufacture," not extended by these words, appear somewhere in this Bill.

What does it mean?

There is, certainly, in the absence either of any extending terms or limiting terms, a definition which will be given ordinarily by the courts, but mainly it is an etymological definition that the Minister has. The Minister says that he put to certain advisers "cover me for manufacturing processes," and they dealt with it in the etymological sense of anything that was done by hand, in which there is a hand process performed. Sewing on a button is manufacturing, if you take the mere meaning of the word, but it is not manufacturing in the sense of the word "manufacture" that the Minister wants to get, in the sense of industries in the country, as we ordinarily understand it. But this is to be brought into the scope of the Bill as it is. That is no answer. You may say "very good, take that definition," but a border line has to be put somewhere, but do not attempt to make the excuse that because a certain meaning applied to this phrase in another piece of legislation, it is going to apply here. It clearly will not.

Amendment 10 put and declared lost.
Question put: "That the words set out in amendment 11 be inserted in the appropriate place."
The Committee divided: Tá, 42; Níl, 59.

  • Anthony, Richard.
  • Beckett, James Walter.
  • Bennett, George Cecil.
  • Blythe, Ernest.
  • Bourke, Séamus A.
  • Collins-O'Driscoll, Mrs. Margt.
  • Conlon, Martin.
  • Cosgrave, William T.
  • Craig, Sir James.
  • Davis, Michael.
  • Dockrell, Henry Morgan.
  • Doyle, Peadar Seán.
  • Esmonde, Osmond Grattan.
  • Finlay, Thomas A.
  • Fitzgerald, Desmond.
  • Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
  • Good, John.
  • Gorey, Denis John.
  • Hassett, John J.
  • Hayes, Michael.
  • Hennessy, Thomas.
  • Brasier, Brooke.
  • Broderick, William Jos.
  • Brodrick, Seán.
  • Burke, Patrick.
  • Byrne, John Joseph.
  • Hennigan, John.
  • Keating, John.
  • Kiersey, John.
  • Lynch, Finian.
  • MacDermot, Frank.
  • McDonogh, Fred.
  • McGilligan, Patrick.
  • Minch, Sydney B.
  • Mongan, Joseph W.
  • Murphy, James Edward.
  • O'Connor, Batt.
  • O'Hanlon, John F.
  • O'Leary, Daniel.
  • O'Mahony, The.
  • O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
  • Wolfe, Jasper Travers.

Níl

  • Aiken, Frank.
  • Allen, Denis.
  • Beegan, Patrick.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Bourke, Daniel.
  • Brady, Bryan.
  • Brady, Seán.
  • Breathnach, Cormac.
  • Breen, Daniel.
  • Briscoe, Robert.
  • Browne, William Frazer.
  • Carty, Frank.
  • Colbert, James.
  • Corry, Martin John.
  • Crowley, Fred. Hugh.
  • Crowley, Tadhg.
  • Curran, Patrick Joseph.
  • Derrig, Thomas.
  • De Valera, Eamon.
  • Flinn, Hugo V.
  • Flynn, Stephen.
  • Fogarty, Andrew.
  • Geoghegan, James.
  • 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 F.
  • Little, Patrick John.
  • McEllistrim, Thomas.
  • MacEntee, Seán.
  • Maguire, Ben.
  • Maguire, Conor Alexander.
  • Moore, Séamus.
  • Murphy, Patrick Stephen.
  • 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.
  • Sexton, Martin.
  • Sheehy, Timothy.
  • Sheridan, Michael.
  • Smith, Patrick.
  • Traynor, Oscar.
  • Walsh, Richard.
  • Ward, Francis C. (Dr.).
Tellers:—Tá: Deputies Doyle and Bennett; Níl: Deputies Boland and Allen.
Amendment declared lost.

If amendment 12 is withdrawn at this stage I will accept it in principle and endeavour to have an amendment embodying the same idea introduced on the Report Stage. The same will apply also to amendment 13, which is similar in nature.

Amendments 12 and 13 not moved.

I beg to move amendment 12a:—

In sub-section (1), (b) to delete in lines 39 and 44 the words "capital of which is" and substitute the words "shares of which are."

During the discussion upon the Second Reading the question of the interpretation of the term "issued capital" in paragraph (b) was raised. I propose to delete that phrase for the purpose of clarity and to insert the words "issued shares." As the term "shares" is defined in the definition section, that removes any doubts as to the interpretation of the clause.

Amendment agreed to.

I beg to move amendment 14:—

In sub-section (1), paragraph (b), line 46, after the words "Saorstát Eireann" to add the words "provided always that where such business is at the time such thing is done owned by a body corporate which has been incorporated subsequent to the passing of this Act it shall be sufficient for the purposes of this Act if during the period of the first seven years after the date of its incorporation the issued capital of such body corporate is to an extent exceeding one quarter (in nominal value) thereof in the beneficial ownership of a person who is or of two or more persons each of whom is at that time either a national of Saorstát Eireann or of a body corporate the issued capital of which is at that time to an extent exceeding one-half (in nominal value) thereof in the beneficial ownership of nationals of Saorstát Eireann."

I move this amendment with the object of facilitating the establishment of a company in the first instance. I will ask the Minister to accept this amendment. It leaves a period for foreign shareholders to qualify as nationals. As I stated on a former occasion, it makes the way easier for a company so that some part of the technical knowledge, etc., may be provided by foreigners. I suggest that as long as the Minister's object is achieved after a certain time he may very well give a period of grace during which the company may be nationalised in the full sense. I have much pleasure in moving this amendment.

[An Leas-Cheann Comhairle took the Chair.]

I am afraid the amendment could not be accepted. It cuts across the principle of the Bill. The purpose of the amendment is to facilitate the establishment by foreign companies of manufacturing enterprises here, without the obligation of procuring a licence. The intention of the Bill is that there should be certain powers of planning and control in relation to industrial development, so that, if necessary, we could limit the extent to which foreign capital, foreign companies, and foreign individuals might engage in industrial manufactures. In the case of a company which it is considered desirable should be established, or establishing an industry of which there is need, or engaging in any particular form of industrial activity which heretofore has not been established, power will be given, or there will certainly be no difficulty in procuring a licence. The intention, however, is, that there should be power of control in certain cases. This amendment is designed to destroy that power of control, and to make it possible for a company to establish an industry here without the obligation of getting a licence, although in fact under foreign ownership. That is undoubtedly the purpose of the Deputy's amendment. If it is obviously desirable that a particular company should be allowed to operate, a licence will be available. If it is not desirable, and if there are good reasons in relation to the industrial situation why such a company should not be permitted to operate, there is no reason why the power given under the Bill to prevent it should be limited or evaded by the insertion of a provision of this kind.

I suggest to the Minister that while what he has stated is absolutely correct, probably in a particular instance he will be very much inclined to facilitate people who want to start manufacturing, unfortunately, in practice, he will not find the occasion arising just as he hopes. The Minister has envisaged the case of a person who goes round to him and asks for the best terms he will give for starting an industry. In practice, I suggest that something quite different happens. A manufacturer who is contemplating starting an industry in the Free State will endeavour by post to secure a position and he will get a number of replies by post. He will make his decision without ever getting near the Minister for Industry and Commerce, even though the Minister, as he suggests, will be in a very complacent mood. I suggest that he is sacrificing the substance for the shadow.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
The following amendments appeared on the Order Paper:—
15. In sub-section (1) (c) to delete all words from and including the word "would," line 51, in page 2, to the end of paragraph (c), page 3, and substitute therefor the words "is authorised by the memorandum and articles of association of such body corporate; or."—(Patrick McGilligan.)
16. In sub-section (1) (c), page 3, line 1, to delete all words after the word "been" to the end of the paragraph and substitute the words "within the memorandum of association and articles of association of such body corporate which were in force on the said 1st day of June, 1932.—(John Good; Henry Morgan Dockrell.)

Amendments 15 and 16 can be debated together.

I move amendment 16, which is practically of the same character as amendment 15. The amendment suggests that the latter portion of sub-section (c) of Section 2 should be deleted. The object of the latter portion of the sub-section is to limit business to exactly the same lines of business and the same departmental control as existed on the 1st June, 1932. The Minister will agree that if a company wanted to get into any department that they were not in at that date they would have to get a permit. The object of the amendment is to limit them to such business as is set out in the articles of association. If the Minister does not see his way to concede this right to these companies it will mean that on the day the Bill becomes law more than 1,700 articles of association will, more or less, become invalid. In other words these companies, which have certain rights under their articles of association to embark on certain businesses, will be prohibited, except with a permit from the Minister. That is for nationals. We do not think that that is desirable in business, where it is necessary that there should be a considerable amount of enterprise. We do not think it is desirable that there should be any handicap on enterprise. The Minister will see that it is a handicap and that it certainly should not apply to the business of nationals.

I think the Deputy's figures are a gross exaggeration. I do not think there are 1,700 foreign companies engaged in manufacturing here.

These are the figures that were given to me by one who is an authority. They are not my figures.

It is possible to get the exact figures in relation to foreign companies engaged in all classes of business, including the retail distribution.

I did not say foreign companies. I said articles of association.

There is no restriction at all on companies more than 51 per cent. of whose capital is owned by nationals of Saorstát Eireann. They do not come under this Bill and are in no sense subject to any restrictions. The proposal here would so extend the scope of the Bill as practically to nullify it altogether, because every company takes power in its memorandum of association, and articles, which it does not exercise. Acceptance of the amendment would really defeat the intention behind this Bill. Further, the reference to memorandum and the articles would have no meaning at all in the case of a body corporate established outside, say, Great Britain.

The intention behind the Bill is that any foreign company which was engaged in manufacturing enterprise here prior to the 1st June, 1932, can continue in the same manufacturing enterprise indefinitely, without being subject to any new restrictions of any kind. If, however, a company which was engaged in one form of manufacturing industry, but which had powers under its memorandum and articles of association to engage in another form of manufacturing enterprise, decided to do so, then obviously it would be defeating the intentions behind the Bill. Deputies received recently, perhaps, a memorandum and articles of association of a company which is proposing to operate a laundry here and which took power to operate any business from banking down to distribution. A large number of companies have very extensive powers under their articles of association but they do not exercise half of them. The intention is clear that a company can continue without any restriction to do what it has been doing; but I would not be prepared to accept any amendment which would mean considerable extension of that principle.

Would the Minister explain the remark that the amendment proposed by Deputy Good would not apply to foreign companies outside Great Britain as the memorandum and articles of association would not be applicable to them?

Perhaps I was wrong in stating that. It would have that meaning, but it is conceivable that it might have no meaning in relation to a company outside Great Britain?

Is the Minister aware that the words used are "a body corporate" which under the definition "means a body corporate registered under the Companies Acts, 1908 to 1924, or the Industrial and Provident Societies Acts, 1893 to 1913?"

That has been amended by a previous amendment, amendment 2 (a) which has altered that definition. Otherwise the definition there confines it to companies which are registered in Great Britain and Ireland.

With regard to the Minister's intimation that he could not accept this amendment, the position of any body corporate is that in the ordinary way the memorandum or articles of association are the charter of the company. People in the case of a public company are invited to subscribe to shares in that company on the basis that that particular company is to carry on a particular class of business. I understand the Minister's intention in this Bill is to deal with companies that are formed here or commence to carry on business here after a particular day. But in the case of the companies which are said to be protected by this amendment and which are already carrying on business here, the position is that people are shareholders in them; they have subscribed for those shares or they have accepted the transfer from other shareholders of those shares on the basis, according to the charter of the company, that they are entitled to carry on certain business. I think Deputy Good's remarks are justified when he says that the effect of Section 2 as it stands is to cut in on the charter of those companies and to impose, as it were, a sort of restrictive power in the Minister to deal with the general trading power of companies to which the public were asked to subscribe on the basis that these companies could carry on a particular business. I would impress on the Minister that foreign companies, I mean those companies not registered under the Companies Acts, might not be excluded, and that he would preserve for the companies registered under the Companies Acts the provision that such company would not be excluded from carrying on here business permitted by their articles of association, provided that the company was carrying on that business prior to the 1st June, 1932.

It would be possible to accept the principle that the State has no right to cut across the articles of association of any company. There may be ten, twenty, or one hundred companies registered who may have taken power under their articles of association to engage in the business of the distribution of electricity. The State would be quite within its rights in deciding that nobody can engage in that business except the organisation established by this State. As the Deputy says, under this Bill we may decide to-morrow that in a particular industry certain conditions shall apply. We may decide in relation to an industry that does not exist here at the moment that a certain firm shall be allowed to engage in it on the understanding that no other firm shall have a right to engage in it; and we would have the right to do that, notwithstanding how many other companies had the power to engage in it under their articles of association. We may decide that the powers to be exercised by any company shall be only those powers that they have been exercising and that are secured to them under the Bill. We may decide that if they want to increase their powers or to exercise further powers or if they want to go into any branch of industry then they become subject to the Bill.

The Minister is confusing two things. The State may have power. Whether it has the right is another question. We are dealing here with a Bill called the Control of Manufactures Bill, and this particular amendment is an amendment of much more importance than has been considered by the Minister. The Minister deals with a foreign company in much the same way as one deals with a medicine bottle upon which there is a label. What is a foreign company? The Minister has only in mind one particular designation and that is whether or not it is registered here.

Excuse me; I was not dealing with that.

In two of the larger concerns that there are in this country, probably two of the largest, a majority of the capital of the company is owned by residents and nationals of this country. One is discriminated against because it is not registered here, and the other is discriminated against in another Bill. Now, during the War, it so happened that certain manufacturing companies discovered that it was possible to use certain by-products very profitably. These two particular firms in question may possibly discover within the next few years a new use for some byproduct. It may be that there are some potentialities in respect of their articles of association which would permit them to engage in that particular manufacture: but they would be stopped owing to the Minister's confusion of mind as between the meaning of the terms power and right. The Minister has confused these terms. The Minister will have to put on his considering cap with regard to this and other matters in connection with the Bill unless he means to savage the capital of the people of this country invested in these concerns.

I will undertake to do anything the Deputy suggests if he promises to read the Bill. There is nothing about being registered here or elsewhere. If 51 per cent. of the issued shares are held by persons resident here, a company for the purposes of this Bill is regarded as a Saorstát company and exempt from any restrictions. The Bill does not stop anybody, foreigner or national, from engaging in industrial enterprise, but in the case of foreigners who were not established here on 1st June, 1932, it provides that in certain cases the Minister will have power to stop them, if it is in the national interest.

The Minister knows as well as I do that the capital of big concerns fluctuates daily. What might be 51 per cent. to-day might be 49 per cent. to-morrow. How does the Minister stand with regard to that? Is it that if 51 per cent. is in the hands of our nationals they can start, and are they estopped when it is 49 per cent.? Has the Minister read his Bill? And what is his answer to my question?

Exactly what the Deputy said. The Deputy is quite right.

This is a nice state of affairs.

The Minister has given as examples why he cannot accept the amendments what I conceive to be entirely outside the scope of the Bill. He tells us what everybody knows, that in a memorandum or articles of association a manufacturing company may take power to do the business of banking, it may take power to lend money on the security of land. That could not possibly come within the scope of the Bill, because what this Bill purports to put a prohibition upon is set out in Section 2: "to do any of the following things in the course or as part of such business, that is to say, to make, alter, repair, ornament, finish, or to adapt for sale any article, material, or substance or any part of any article, material, or substance." The example that the Minister gives as a reason why he could not accept the amendment is that of doing banking. What on earth has that to do with the section? There are very few memoranda or articles of association, so far as my recollection of them goes, dealing with manufacturing companies that do not specify with particularity the articles which they are about to manufacture. The Minister has given one example of some company within the last week or so that purports to carry on another industry in addition to the industry which it in fact is carrying on. What I suggest is this: that if either the memorandum or the articles of association specify with any particularity the particular classes of business which the company takes power to carry on no power to prohibit any of these should be taken by the Minister. The Minister gives another example—the distribution or supply of electricity. That was dealt with in a particular Act. I do not think that is an example bearing on the question before the House. Where companies have taken power, as they do, in a memorandum or articles of association, to carry on by way of manufacture particular classes of business, I do suggest to the Minister that he has made no case in his argument here, by referring to the general power of banking or other powers, for not accepting the amendment giving relief to these companies that, by their memorandum or articles of association, have taken power to carry on particular classes of business.

If what the Deputy says is correct the amendment is not necessary, because the Bill provides for what the amendment purports to do. The Deputy says that any manufacturing company specifies the particular manufacturing processes it proposes to engage in. If that is so, and if any foreign companies operating here are, in fact, engaged in the particular manufacturing processes which are specified in the articles of association, then they can continue to do so.

The Minister is mixing up taking power to carry on businesses with actually carrying them on. What we object to is limiting the powers of a company to the business actually carried on on 1st June. What we say is that there should be no infringement of the powers of a company which has undertaken a right to carry on certain businesses, although in fact, it may be carrying on only one of these businesses on 1st June.

Take the soap manufacturers. They are not manufacturing explosives. Suppose it were possible to manufacture explosives from some by-product they will be prohibited from doing it.

If they are native companies they can manufacture as many explosives as they like, but, if foreigners, they require a licence.

It seems to me that the Minister has produced here such a magnificent doctrinaire Bill that he, tied down to his theory, does not seem to have ever considered how his Bill will work out in practice. He has been talking glibly about foreign companies. Let us take a large company whose shares are being sold, and are changing hands from time to time. Take Messrs. Guinness. Suppose Messrs. Guinness wish, under the new definition of altering for sale to alter for sale their stout by putting it into bottles, and they start a bottling industry and put a label on their bottles, what must Messrs. Guinness do? They must go round to every single shareholder they have got, and they must say: "Will you please send in your birth certificate; we want to know whether you were born in Saorstát Eireann?" Then to those who reply: "I was not born in Saorstát Eireann; I cannot produce my certificate," they have to say: "Will you please produce to us documentary evidence that you have been residing for the last seven years in Saorstát Eireann; otherwise we will not be entitled to start our bottling industry unless we get permission from the Minister for Industry and Commerce," and the Minister, at his mere whim, can withhold permission because he may say that there were sufficient bottling industries for stout already in the country. That is only one example of what may happen to a very large firm. Any firm that wishes to carry on its business, that in fact has a varying number of shareholders, must immediately get permission to carry on anything. As has been pointed out, there may be a company which is what the Minister calls a native company. A block of 5,000 or 6,000 shares may change hands as a result of a sudden sale, and immediately that native company becomes a foreign company, and is liable to prosecution and to a heavy fine for every single day it carries on.

The Bill is obviously conceived as a doctrinaire Bill, and to safeguard the existing companies in this country I think the Bill is going to jeopardise all sorts of companies, native or foreign, that may start. I can hardly imagine any Bill so well designed to prevent even native companies starting in this country because it is preventing persons investing capital in industry as they can never dispose of their shares, because their shares are made unmarketable. Let, at any rate, the existing companies be safeguarded. There are not so many existing companies. If the Minister does see that there are any companies that have wild and extravagant articles of association let him deal with these companies, but let the general principle be that the existing companies in this country are now safe. If there happens to be a sale to a person living in this country, who was not born in it, and has not been permanently residing in it for seven years, although he may be the son of Irish parents but happened by accident to be born in the Channel Islands or anywhere else, and he invests a large sum of money, the company in which he invests the money becomes an illegal company at once. Let us at any rate have the existing native companies safeguarded.

The Minister is in danger of disqualifying members of the Fianna Fáil Party because most of them were born in the clouds and they are there yet.

It would take a member of the Cumann na nGaedheal Party at any rate to say that the bottling of stout was not in the course of the business which Guinness's are carrying on or was not Guinness's business.

It has not been carried on by them.

It is certainly in my opinion in the ordinary course of the business which they are carrying on.

It has not.

They have never done it and they are not doing it at present.

The Minister is innocence personified in business matters.

Question—"That the words proposed to be deleted stand" put.
The Dáil divided: Tá, 56; Níl, 41.

  • Aiken, Frank.
  • Allen, Denis.
  • Beegan, Patrick.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Bourke, Daniel.
  • Brady, Bryan.
  • Brady, Seán.
  • Breathnach, Cormac.
  • Breen, Daniel.
  • Briscoe, Robert.
  • Browne, William Frazer.
  • Carty, Frank.
  • Colbert, James.
  • Corry, Martin John.
  • Crowley, Fred Hugh.
  • Kissane, Eamonn.
  • Lemass, Seán F.
  • Little, Patrick John.
  • McEllistrim, Thomas.
  • MacEntee, Seán.
  • Maguire, Ben.
  • Maguire, Conor Alexander.
  • Moore, Séamus.
  • Murphy, Patrick Stephen.
  • Norton, William.
  • O'Grady, Seán.
  • O'Kelly, Seán Thomas.
  • O'Reilly, Matthew.
  • Crowley, Tadhg.
  • Derrig, Thomas.
  • Flinn, Hugo V.
  • Fogarty, Andrew.
  • Geoghegan, James.
  • 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.
  • O'Rourke, Daniel.
  • Powell, Thomas P.
  • Rice, Edward.
  • Ruttledge, Patrick J.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Ryan, Robert.
  • Sexton, Martin.
  • Sheehy, Timothy.
  • Sheridan, Michael.
  • Smith, Patrick.
  • Traynor, Oscar.
  • Walsh, Richard.
  • Ward, Francis C. (Dr.).

Níl

  • Alton, Ernest Henry.
  • Beckett, James Walter.
  • Bennett, George Cecil.
  • Blythe, Ernest.
  • Bourke, Séamus A.
  • Brasier, Brooke.
  • Broderick, William Jos.
  • Brodrick, Seán.
  • Burke, Patrick.
  • Byrne, John Joseph.
  • Collins-O'Driscoll, Mrs. Margt.
  • Conlon, Martin.
  • Cosgrave William T.
  • Craig, Sir James.
  • Davis, Michael.
  • Dockrell, Henry Morgan.
  • Doyle, Peadar Seán.
  • Esmonde, Osmond Grattan.
  • Finlay, Thomas A.
  • Fitzgerald, Desmond.
  • Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
  • Good, John.
  • Gorey, Denis John.
  • Hassett, John J.
  • Hayes, Michael.
  • Hennessy, Thomas.
  • Hennigan, John.
  • Keating, John.
  • Kiersey, John.
  • Lynch, Finian.
  • MacDermot, Frank.
  • McDonogh, Fred.
  • McGilligan, Patrick.
  • Minch, Sydney B.
  • Mongan, Joseph W.
  • O'Connor, Batt.
  • O'Hanlon, John F.
  • O'Leary, Daniel.
  • O'Mahony, The.
  • O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
  • Wolfe, Jasper Travers.
Tellers:—Tá: Deputies G. Boland and Allen; Níl: Deputies P.S. Doyle and Bennett.
Question declared carried.

I move amendments 17 and 18:—

17. In sub-section (1) to add at the end of paragraph (c), line 3, page 3, the words "or at the relevant time is in the ordinary course or forms part of an extension of such business as previously carried on; or."

18. In sub-section (1) to add at the end of paragraph (c), line 3, page 3, the words "or at the relevant time provides suitable alternative use of the machinery and plant previously employed for the purpose of such business or."

I suppose it is better to discuss these two amendments together?

Yes, 17 and 18 and possibly 19.

The last amendment aimed at the enlargement of the nature of certain business for the purpose of carrying it forward after a particular day. These amendments are somewhat different. The last amendment aimed at giving a business more or less its legal right at the time of incorporation. These refer to points raised by one or two Deputies on Second Reading as to whether or not, if a business decided on extension, it would be permitted to engage in ordinary extension or whether it would be confined rigidly to the phrase "things in the course or as part of such business as they carry on." I take an example that must occur to everybody. I take the firm of Fords in Cork, which was established, originally, for the purpose of making motor cars. Afterwards they gave up the idea of making motor cars and took to the manufacture of tractors. Somewhat later because of the state of the Russian market, which was the big market for export they decided, in attempting to save the factory, that they would engage their machinery and plant in a certain type of business very far removed from either motor cars or tractors. The managers of that firm did a considerable amount of publicity for themselves and a tremendous amount of work seeking orders. They were even going to engage in the manufacture of grates. At one time they were looking for orders for railway material. How far they succeeded I do not know, but they had the intention of extending along these lines. Whether going into the tractor business, from the motor car business, would have been deemed to be in the course or as part of the firm's business, previously carried on, I do not know, but I think it is clear that the manufacture of fire grates by a firm established for the purpose of assembling motor cars, and afterwards drifting into the manufacture of tractors, would not be within the terms of the section here. And in fact after I drafted this amendment I was wondering if it was sufficiently wide to catch all these things in.

At any rate, I think the second or alternative clause is sufficiently wide. The amendment I drafted would be sufficiently wide to take in, say, the case of a firm like Guinness. If you had a firm which was a foreign firm, engaged in the manufacture of stout, but had not gone in, at a particular period, for the manufacture of their barrels, would cooperage count as an extension and such an extension as would come within the meaning of "things in the course or as part of such business"? If you had such an establishment conducted here under private auspices, and it decides to branch out into something so near as the making of barrels by people engaged in the factory, or if you had a firm engaged in the manufacture of cars, and bad times coming, and they, having considerable plant, turned to another type of manufacture that could not be considered akin, I think it only right that they should have the right to change over to that other form of business. We do seek to get firms into this country and in a big way. The Minister was optimistic enough to hope that we might even get an export business from here. If that is so, we certainly must allow them to change over from one business to another if they consider their plant suitable so to do, in the normal expansion of their business, and the security for these things would be that there would be no undue interference by the Minister.

I do not think the amendment moved by the Deputy is any substantial improvement on the terms of the Bill. The Bill states that foreign firms engaged in the manufacturing enterprise on the 1st June, 1932, may engage in anything that would be done in the ordinary course or as part of such business.

Progress reported. The Committee to sit again on Thursday, 30th June.
The Dáil adjourned at 10.30 p.m. until Thursday, 30th June.