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Dáil Éireann debate -
Thursday, 27 Apr 1939

Vol. 75 No. 9

Tourist Traffic Bill, 1938—Second Stage.

I move that the Tourist Traffic Bill, 1938, be read a Second Time. The aim of the Bill before the House is to make better provision for the organisation and development of the holiday traffic and for that purpose to establish a tourist board vested with the requisite powers and to provide for the necessary funds for dealing with every phase of the problem. Subject as everything nowadays must be to the developments in the international position, it is considered that the time is opportune to develop in a systematic way the holiday resorts of the country and to reorganise the business of catering for holiday-makers. It is believed that by these means considerable benefits can be obtained for the country—for all sections of the people, including the farming community and for those interested in transport concerns, as well as for those engaged in catering and similar business more directly dependent on the expenditure of holiday-makers. Furthermore, the holiday habit has grown considerably amongst all sections of the people, and it is desirable from every point of view that they should be encouraged and facilitated to provide themselves and their families with suitable holidays in this country.

There is also the important business of attracting holiday-makers from other countries to visit this country and the provision of suitable and adequate accommodation for them, if our efforts in that direction should be successful. The tourist industry is one of great potential importance as a factor in the national economy, more particularly from the point of view of its effect upon the balance of international payments. That fact, while recognised on the Continent for more than a generation, has awakened relatively little interest in Ireland up to very recently, or even in Great Britain. Since then, something has been done in this country to repair the ill-effects of that indifference, but the measures taken have proved inadequate, and, with the phenomenal growth of the holiday habit in recent years, it is apparent that something more must be done if Ireland, with its great natural advantages as a health and pleasure resort, is to reap the harvest it might reasonably expect from that rich source of invisible income.

The figures relating to tourist traffic must be quoted with great reserve, but, on the best information available, it would appear that the annual value of that traffic is in the neighbourhood of £2,500,000, while the annual expenditure of our nationals holiday-making abroad is estimated at about £2,000,000. The net gain revealed by these figures can only be regarded as very unsatisfactory. The history of State intervention for the promotion of tourist industry dates from the enactment of the Local Government Act of 1925. Under that Act a local authority was empowered to strike a rate within prescribed limits and to expend the proceeds, either alone or jointly with other local authorities, in advertising their health and pleasure resorts. Alternatively, a local authority, subject to the approval of the Minister for Local Government, could contribute all or part of the proceeds to an association formed with the approval of the Minister for Industry and Commerce for the purpose of advertising Irish tourist centres. The funds contributed by local authorities could be expended by the approved association only on schemes sanctioned by the Minister for Industry and Commerce. These schemes were restricted by the Act to advertising in its commonly accepted forms. It was considered that the funds could be expended most advantageously by a central organisation and, in practice, only one such body, namely, the Irish Tourist Association, was approved.

That association, which was incorporated as a public company in 1925, has, throughout its career, been hampered by lack of adequate funds, even for its strictly limited programme. The association's position was strengthened, however, when the relevant section of the Act of 1925 was replaced by the Tourist Traffic (Development) Act, 1931, which is still in force. That Act, however, aimed at little more than the repair of the obvious defects of the earlier legislation. It gave the Minister wider powers in the expenditure of moneys contributed by public bodies by enabling the association to expend the money in such manner and on such objects as the Minister for Industry and Commerce might approve. It also aimed at securing a more stable income for the association by obliging local authorities which strike a tourist rate to contribute the proceeds in full to the association, except in exceptional circumstances, and by empowering local authorities to contract with the association for a contribution of the proceeds of the tourist rate for a period not exceeding five years.

Apart from what has been done in the ordinary way of commercial enterprise and by sporadic and often unsystematic local effort, the Irish Tourist Association remains the only organised machinery for promoting the development of the holiday business. The total annual revenue of the association is about £18,000, made up of £14,000 subscribed by local authorities and £4,000 received from other sources, mainly advertisements and subscriptions from hotel and transport interests. Its activities, in the main, are confined to advertising and hotel inspection. It is obvious that such an income is totally inadequate for publicity purposes alone and, in point of fact, no money has ever been at the disposal of the association for newspaper advertising in important countries, such as the United States of America, Australia and other countries where we have racial goodwill. In that connection, I might mention that I understand that the amount spent in the aggregate by the Irish Tourist Association and other interests on publicity work, for the attraction of visitors to Irish resorts, is comparatively less than the corresponding figure for any country that recognises the national importance of the tourist industry. It is probably less than the aggregate amount spent on behalf of any one of the larger British resorts.

Increased publicity must, however, fail in its purpose unless holiday-makers are adequately catered for, and it is in that connection that our holiday industry displays its greatest weakness. The accommodation is entirely insufficient and, to a large extent, out of date. In the matter of ordinary amenities and essential public services, Irish holiday resorts are, in many instances, lacking, and no effort has been made to repair the deficiencies. Local authorities, in some places, have no borrowing powers to meet the necessary capital expenditure, while, in most of the resorts, there is no local authority, except a county council or county board of health, which is naturally concerned with more general problems.

The holiday habit which has become such a marked feature of our time has received a new impetus from recent legislation giving workers holidays with pay. There can be no doubt that in the future there will be almost unlimited scope for the devlopment of holiday traffic in view of the fact that so many workers are now enjoying holidays with pay who never before enjoyed such a privilege. Those people will require information as to how and where to spend a holiday and what the approximate cost will be, and naturally more accommodation will be necessary to receive them and more attractions to secure their patronage. No effort has been made to cater for that class of traffic from urban centres at home which, under existing conditions, is likely to gravitate to such places as the Isle of Man, or has any attempt been made to attract or provide for, the volume of similar traffic which under proper organisation, might possibly be expected from Great Britain or other countries.

The Government has reached the conclusion that it is opposed to the public interest to allow existing conditions to continue and that the time is ripe for the introduction of more effective machinary for the promotion of this important industry, having regard particularly to the holiday facilities required by our own people, but keeping in mind also the situation abroad, and the specially favourable position of this country from the point of view of the holiday-maker After a full examination of the problem, the Government is convinced that in view of the extent and complexity of the work to be done and of the expedition desirable in its completion, the best possible prospect of recovering the leeway that has to be made up lies in the creation of a board vested with wide statutory powers and having sufficient funds at its disposal.

The Bill outlines the machinery which, in the Government's opinion, is best calculated to place the industry on a satisfactory footing. It provides for the creation of a board, having for its objects the registration, grading and certification of hotels, guest houses, holiday hotels and holiday camps, the improvement of such premises, the improvement of holiday resorts and publicity work calculated to develop holiday traffic. Part II of the Bill deals with the establishment and general powers of the Irish tourist board, which will be a body corporate, with power compulsorily to acquire, hold and dispose of land. The board will consist of not more than five members, appointed by the Minister for Industry and Commerce, with the consent of the Minister for Finance. A member will hold office at the pleasure of the Minister for five years and will be eligible for reappointment.

Section 14 empowers the board to build, establish, equip or operate, or to assist in building, establishing, equipping or operating hotels, guest houses, hostels and holiday camps and to provide, or to assist in providing, services, sports, amusements and other facilities calculated to improve holiday traffic, to improve and maintain amenities and conditions likely to affect holiday traffic, to engage in publicity and tourist agency work and to prepare and publish guide books and other holiday publications and to provide, or assist in providing, for the training of persons to do work in connection with holiday traffic.

Sections 15 and 16 deal with State contributions towards the fund of the board, the contributions consisting of a non-repayable grant, not exceeding £45,000 per annum, to cover administrative and other expenses and advances, not exceeding in the aggregate £600,000, to be applied to works, investments or loans under the Act of a profit-earning character, save as may be otherwise provided by the Minister for Finance on the recommendation of the Minister for Industry and Commerce. The annual grant is intended to supplement the normal revenue of the board, and the fees payable for the registration of hotels, etc., and will be devoted to administrative and publicity expenses, estimated roughly in the proportion of £20,000 and £25,000 per annum, respectively.

Would the Minister give us those figures again?

The £45,000, constituting the non-repayable annual grant, will be divided as to £25,000 for administrative expenses, and £20,000 for publicity.

What about the addition to the £45,000 from fees?

That will be divided roughly in the same proportion. Apart from that non-repayable grant, the Bill provides for advances to the board, not exceeding in the aggregate £600,000, which are to be repayable and which will be devoted to works of a capital or profit-earning character. It is, however, provided that the Minister for Finance, on the recommendation of the Minister for Industry and Commerce, may waive repayment of expenditure on works which, though of a capital nature, may not be capable of yielding a financial return as. for example, the provision of amenities, sanitation, etc., at centres in which the necessary finances cannot otherwise be provided. It is, obviousely, difficult at this stage to enter into details of the capital expenditure which the board will find it necessary to incur but it is thought it might be roughly divided under each head somewhat as follows: (1) Loans for the extension and the improvement of existing accommodation, £150,000; (2) loans to, or investments in, new hotels and guest-houses, including provision for hostel accommodation for industrial holiday-makers, approximately £250,000; (3) resort improvements, through the medium of loans and investments, £150,000; (4) provision for sundry investments or loans not covered under any of the other three heads, £50,000. An annual report will be furnished by the board and laid before each House of the Oireachtas.

Part III deals with the inspection, registration and grading of hotels and guest houses, holiday hostels, and holiday camps in accordance with standards prescribed by the board. The Bill provides that, as from a date to be appointed by the Minister, it shall not be lawful to apply these descriptions to premises which have not been registered. Applications for registration, accompanied by the prescribed fee, must be made in the manner and form prescribed by the board. After inspection, the board will register the premises and issue a certificate of registration or will refuse registration if the premises do not reach the requisite standard. Registration will be renewable annually on application and payment of the appropriate fee.

Part IV empowers the Minister for Industry and Commerce to declare an area a special tourist area by Order to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas and to authorise the board, in respect of that area, to establish registers of boarding houses and other forms of residential accommodation, camping sites, restaurants, cafés and similar establishments, cinemas, theatres, sports grounds, band promenades, premises in which games or entertainments are provided for the public and similar places of public entertainment, and local transport services. The Minister may grant powers to the board to enable them to preserve amenities and to restrict the erection of advertisements. He may also confer upon the board powers in relation to the provision and control of guides and so forth in such areas.

Part V provides for the amendment of the Tourist Traffic (Development) Act, 1931, so as to increase the rate that may be voluntarily levied for tourist publicity from 1d. to 3d. in the £ in the case of county boroughs. It transfers from the Minister to the board control of the expenditure of moneys contributed by local authorities to approved companies for tourist development purposes. In addition, the Minister is given power to declare, on the application of any statutory body, that such body shall be a local authority for the purposes of the Tourist Traffic (Development) Act, 1931.

These are the main features of the Bill. Deputies may have views to express on many other sections to which I have not referred but we can discuss these sections more conveniently on the Committee Stage. My purpose, at the moment, is to give a general outline of the nature of the Bill and the reasons which prompted the Government to introduce it. That, I think, I have done and I move that the Bill be read a Second Time.

It is a considerable number of years since a personage who was, perhaps, semi-rebellious then but is now a great supporter of law and order, announced that he had no intention that this country should become either a cattle ranch or a playground for a certain neighbour. I pass that over. It seems such a long time ago, we have travelled far since those days. Personally, I have always regarded the tourist trade as a valuable potential source of revenue which, for various reasons and by various people, had been sadly neglected. Therefore, I find it extremely difficult to oppose the Second Reading of a Bill of this kind whose main purpose is the better to develop that particular traffic to the material advantage of the country.

There are a number of points in this Bill that will require a considerable amount of care and examination on the Committee Stage, but so far as the principle of the Bill itself is concerned—if we regard it as being the intervention of the Government in order to help to develop the tourist traffic—I certainly could not do anything but support a measure of this kind.

Having a fair amount of experience of this country and also having had, on various official and other journeys that I had to make, an opportunity of becoming acquainted with the tourist industry in other countries, I have always been amazed at the extraordinary contrast between what has been done in this country and what has been done abroad. I am not now unduly criticising the people here; there has been great improvement in the last couple of years. But, seeing the efforts that are made in other countries to keep their own people in the country, to start with, and to attract tourists from all over the globe, I always feel that we have lost many opportunities and that we, who have certain advantages—only certain advantages—in this country, have never made anything like enough out of them.

I have seen hordes of tourists viewing scenery in France, on the west coast of France, that I do not think people of this country would bother going across the road to look at. It would be regarded as third-rate or fourth-rate scenery. They have, of course, magnificent scenery in other parts of France, but this just shows that they make every effort to exploit their advantages to the last. The Minister has referred to the changes brought about by recent legislation of holidays for workers. During the last 12 months similar legislation is in operation and a corresponding tourist traffic has been developed in France, and that to a tremendous extent, so that the schedule of the railway time tables has had to some extent to be recast and various facilities have had to be introduced because of this new legislation. It was a very pressing problem in France and the Government faced it, and I think our Government has to face the same problem here.

There is, in addition, something to which I have always attached considerable importance and that is the attraction of outsiders to this country. It may be difficult—I do not say that it is impossible—to attract Continental tourists. I do not believe that they have scenery equal to the scenery we have here; certainly they have not got scenery superior to that of my native place. But they have first-class scenery and, from the point of view of scenery, they could satisfy themselves to a large extent without leaving the Continént. I think the concentration will be mainly on Great Britain, the United States and the Dominions, though I do not say that other areas ought to be neglected in endeavouring to attract people to this country.

Advertising is absolutely necessary, since everything in modern times has reduced itself to advertising. Even politics—the politics of Europe at the present day—contains its element of advertising. We have Russian propaganda and German propaganda, and so on, carried on by people who are attempting to lead the world, and what is that but a development really of the American system of commercial advertising? There is no good in our having scenery which cannot be surpassed, which, I am convinced, is not to be equalled anywhere in Europe, if it is not brought to the notice of people and possible visitors. But there is another factor, also mentioned by the Minister, and that is, that in modern times you cannot consider the situation as it may have been 40 years ago. Modern men and women will not be satisfied unless they have not merely good scenery, but considerable comfort as well. There have been considerable advances in that respect in this country. I should not myself hesitate to say that in many hotels in Ireland at present you get better value in the way of food than you would get for 50 per cent. or 75 per cent. higher prices in England. But this is not known. Some of our good hoteliers are suffering now as a result of the bad reputation which certain people gave to our hotels in the past —as a result of the back-sliding of certain members of the trade in the past.

A number of people may object to Government interference in this matter, but I do not see how it can be avoided. There may be certain dangers—we can deal with them on the Committee Stag—but personally I do not see how they can be avoided, how you can avoid some degree of Government control. Tourist development has been undertaken by a country which has made tremendous efforts since the War, by France, a country which was rather neglectful of it before the War. It had many advantages to offer, many attractions to present to the visitor from outside of which it was rather neglectful, but it has, as I say, made tremendous advances since the War; and quite recently the amount of control—some of the measures which I think you have in this Bill—has been greatly increased, and this has made, as I can say from personal experience, a tremendous improvement so far as hotel accommodation in France and the attention given to the traveller are concerned. I can speak highly of the efforts made to satisfy the visitor and remove any grounds of complaint. I know that there are certain dangers or drawbacks inseparable from Government interference and I may be told that hoteliers know their own business best. Perhaps they do, but what I am afraid of is that if you leave them all to themselves, the "10 per cent." people who do not know their business will destroy the good reputation of the others. I believe that State regulation is unavoidable and in this the Minister will agree with me.

A lot will depend on the personnel of the board, and I would ask the Minister to make every effort to get people who will be absolutely above suspicion so far as "pull" is concerned and regarding whom every hotelier will be confident and feel that he is getting a fair crack of the whip. Furthermore, I would ask that people with experience in this matter be selected. I do not know where the Minister will get them—I think that is one of the difficulties—but he should get men who know the proper type of development, the precise way in which to cater for visitors to each particular tourist place. I do not know what the powers of the board are going to be, whether they have a free hand, but I would consider it rather lamentable if a suitable type of development is not brought about in certain districts. I quite agree that certain people should get a certain type of amusement. There are people who get that amusement in the Isle of Man or in Blackpool and there is no reason why they should not get it here. On the other hand, there are places where it would be a mistake to have these things in, and I hope that there will be a segregation, so to speak, of the localities or different places that would cater for different types. Some people want quiet enjoyment of country scenery and do not want the usual accompaniment of the English seaside resort but—whether we regret it or not —there is a number of people who want the particular type of amusement that is to be found in Blackpool or the Isle of Man and, while there is no doubt they ought to get it, I hope the Minister will see that there is not a destruction of the one by the other, that you will not, for instance, have places, where the quiet enjoyment of the country is to be found, upset by something of the Blackpool type. There is no reason why you should not have something of the latter type, if you want it, but I think they should be kept rather carefully apart.

Again, I say, everything will depend on the personnel of the board. I do not know whether there are in this country people capable of organising without sufficient experience for the particular task the Minister is placing on them. Whether he will find men in this country to do it, I do not know. Perhaps he has them in mind, but I think he will agree that on the personnel of that board the whole successful working of this Bill depends. There is termendous power given into their hands. They can, through inexperience or other human faults, either make a failure of this Bill or make it a success. Everything will depend on the particular type selected.

There are a couple of points that, I must say, are not quite clear in the Bill as it stands. I mention one of them, because it brings me on to another phase of the subject and of the Bill and of the policy outlined by the Minister: Has this board power to make loans out of the sum of £600,000? It has? I doubt if it is provided in the Bill, except by implication. I have that on fairly good authority. I understood by implication that it was the Minister's intention to give them such powers. I doubt if they have, expressly, power to do more than give grants. Undoubtedly, they can pay back to the Minister and that would seem to imply that, if they give money, they can get a revenue for it. That would be something in the way of a loan, but I doubt if a loan itself actually is provided for. However, that is a purely legal point. It has been put before me by a man whose legal opinion I respect. I merely draw the Minister's attention to it; whether that power is sufficiently clearly expressed.

That only brings me on to the other matter, a matter that has raised a considerable amount of perturbation and uneasiness. You are giving powers to the board to build hotels. I, myself, could see certain advantages, for instance, in building hotels of a certain type in out of the way places but you come into much more controversial ground when you give the board power to build hotels to compete with existing hotels. That, undoubtedly, is a matter that will arouse a considerable amount of criticism in the country and, I should say, opposition on the Committee Stage. I presume that the Minister has not it in his mind that the board will compete with existing hotels. I do not know whether he has or not. If so, it is a very doubtful policy to set up a Government institution to compete with existing private institutions that, possibly, are doing the best they can— the best that, in the circumstances, they can reasonably be expected to do. I see certain arguments that can be put forward in favour even of that. I know there are arguments for it. There are very few things in which you could not argue on one side or the other. Very often, it is a case of balancing between what is preferable and what is less acceptable. It is a balance of evils, very often. But, it is a very questionable thing, as I say, to start Government institutions in direct competition with, and possibly with the intention of freezing out, certain private enterprises. That, as I say, is a matter of detail for consideration on Committee Stage—but it is of most important detail. It is a matter of importance in the Bill, but it will come up for consideration on the Committee Stage. I gather, in fact, that quite an amount of this £600,000 is to be spent on hotels of that kind—£250,000—almost half of it —and, if you take in hostels and so on, much more than half. That certainly does require very careful consideration.

There are one or two other matters and I do not know whether the board will have power to deal with them under the powers conferred in the Bill as it stands or whether it is at all possible to bring them within the Bill. Very often, the only control, if there is any control at all, under existing legislation—possibly there is not—may be that of a body like the county council, that may or may not be interested in the tourist traffic. But, the Minister must have noticed, as most people going about this country must have noticed, how some of the most beautiful views are defaced by shocking buildings. I know a view, the equal of which you will not find in the world —and certainly you will not find the superior of it—and you will find a corrugated shed interfering with that view. That sort of thing will develop with the growth of motor traffic. You will have these, not garages, but sheds, put up. I have no objection at all to, say, a nice tea-house being built in a place like that, if it is properly done, but there should be some control. Otherwise, you will have a quick deterioration of the countryside in that way. You will have beautiful scenery destroyed or, at least, very much damaged if people are allowed to have the free hand they have at present. I do not know whether or not the board will have power to deal with anything of that kind. I do not know if the Minister can bring it into this Bill or not, but it is a thing that requires a great deal of consideration from the tourists' point of view. I do not think there is a Deputy in this House who has not noticed the nuisance to which I have referred and the damage that is being quickly done day after day.

There is another matter which I raised on other occasions. It is perhaps outside the scope of this Bill, but it is connected with the tourist traffic— the roads in this country and the absence of certain roads in this country. The roads in this country, in certain of the tourist districts, are an absolute disgrace. I, myself, remember a couple of years ago being advised not to go on a certain road—the road from Dingle to Castlegregory, where there is a truly magnificent view of two bays. That was not because the road was bad, but because I might never arrive at the other end, as it was unsafe. I mention that as merely illustrative. That state of affairs could almost kill tourist traffic there, so far as it depends on motor cars, and a great deal of it does now depend on motor cars. Again, I say, perhaps the board, if it gets going, will be able to bring pressure upon various Government Departments to improve the roads. You have magnificent coast scenery and unlimited lake scenery in this country but you have no proper coast roads. If the Minister would go to the Continent he would see there the way the roads are being built, mainly for the tourist traffic. The amount they spend in roads alone, apart altogether from hotels shows the importance that is attached to that particular traffic and that particular method of making money in other countries.

I say there are a number of points in this Bill that will require consideration because they raise very important points of policy. You have here a potential source of wealth, a source of wealth that is not developed to anything like the extent to which it ought to be developed. Of that I am quite convinced. Remember, it is very remunerative. The money that is kept here and the money that comes here in tourist traffic is, to a large extent, gain; to a much greater extent than wealth that can be got elsewhere. I do not want to exaggerate. You are not going to make tens of millions out of this industry, but you can make much more than you are making at present and at a very good profit whilst giving reasonable and excellent value to the people who come here. There are certain difficulties to overcome— the seasons, and so on, and possibly it may be that hotels do not take enough account of our seasonal variations, even the kind of changes that can take place in summer itself. You may have a hotel that is beautifully situated but, for a person who wishes to sit down and enjoy a particular view, there may not be proper protection from a cold north wind.

There are many problems which the board will have to solve, and I would impress on the Minister, so far as this Bill is concerned, that the success or failure of it will largely depend on the personnel of the board, and every step ought to be taken to choose men that can carry out the work effectively and make the most of this particular industry.

Mr. Brennan

There is a very great temptation to oppose this Bill, particularly from the point of view of the farming community in this country. We find here a provision of £40,000 as a free annual gift to the tourist board, and a provision of £600,000 otherwise. Mind you, we want a lot of give and take in this country, but it requires a lot of "give" to enable the farmers to make up their minds that this is the right thing to do when the Government cannot do something for the farmers. At the same time I do say that, as far as I personally am concerned, I have got over that. I am not a person —nor do I think any of the members on this side of the House want to do so—to stand in the way of any class of the community in this country achieving prosperity out of some particular line. We feel that there is money to be made out of tourism. We feel that, so far, it has been undeveloped, but I must say that as far as the Tourist Development Association is concerned I think that, with the resources at its disposal, it has done wonderful work. I feel that a Bill of this nature is an absolute necessity, but I do not think that the drafting of the Bill has got that care or that thought which to my mind ought to have been put into it. The gretest drawback of this Bill appears to me to be its financial provisions— not that they are not adequate, not that they are not in fact enormous, when one considers how the farming community are being treated. But what appears to me to be an extraordinary thing is that some attempt is not made to co-ordinate the efforts of local authorities with those of the tourist board.

We have set out here sub-sections showing the various activities in which the new tourist board may engage, one of which reads:

"Improve and maintain amenities and conditions which appear to the board to be likely to affect tourist traffic."

I suggest that the matter which was raised by Deputy Professor O'Sullivan, that is the provision of roads, would, if necessary, come under that. The tourist board is not the road authority in this country, nor will it be the road authority in this country. Other people are responsible for the roads— the county councils and urban councils. Again, we have the same thing applying to seashores, public parks, and so on, where the local authorities have been negligent, if you like, in the past. Possibly they had not the finance; possibly they had not the initiative. Now if some provision could be made for a system of co-operation between the tourist board and the local authorities, a good deal would have been done. There does not appear to be any provision at all made for co-operation of that type in the Bill. There is not a word about it. I think that Deputy O'Sullivan's references to the provision of £600,000, and to whether or not the board had the right to make loans, were very pertinent. If the Minister himself will read the Bill he will find that on the reading of it no one would be convinced that the board is about to make loans from the £600,000, because the section states:

"Save as may be otherwise authorised by the Minister for Finance on the recommendation of the Minister, sums advanced under this section to the board shall be expended by the board solely on works, investments, or loans under this Act of a profit-earning character."

Going into the hotel business is, in fact, the only thing that they can do. If we read down sub-sections (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (f) and (g) of Section 14, we will see the activities in which the board may engage. None of these appears to be profit earning. Are we to assume that these are to be done exclusively out of the £40,000, and that there is to be a clear line of demarcation between the £40,000 and the £600,000? It does not appear to me in any case that the Bill is clear enough in that respect.

I do not know where the Minister got the figure of £150,000 suggested for loans to old hotels, and £250,000 for new hotels and hostels, but I think if we took the figure of £250,000 for new hotels and hostels some people in this country would be very much alarmed, and naturally so. I do not think it would be at all a wise thing for a tourist board of this nature to engage in competitive business with other people unless they were absolutely driven to it. It may be a very wise thing for the Minister or for the Government to hold, if you like, a kind of big stick over people and say: "If you do not do so-and-so, we can do something else," but if tourism were directed by a board, and that board itself held profit-earning institutions like hotels there would be a real danger of the board endeavouring to direct tourism in that direction every time to the detriment of other people. I am sure that hoteliers in this country would feel that that would be a sort of infringement, if you like, of their rights. I am not at all convinced that some type of persuasion of that kind would not be necessary, but when the Minister says that it is possible that £250,000 of the £600,000 will be devoted to that end I am feeling alarmed—genuinely alarmed. If we could get co-operation between the board and the local authorities, particularly, say, urban councils along the seaboards and other places which have amenities of one kind or another undeveloped, and if some of this money were lent to them or given to them as a grant to enable them to provide some of the necessary amenities in those places, then, I feel, we would be doing something very useful. But if we are going to make an attempt to set up a board to go all out on its own to set up hotels and boarding-houses and holiday camps, and if we are endeavouring to solve our tourist problem in that way, I do not think we will get very far.

The first essential is to try to develop what we have. As a matter of fact this country is very rich in holiday places. We ought to try to utilise them and develop them as far as we can. Without actually going into business, we should try to develop what is there. I know various places in this country which have lovely seaboards and lovely bathing-places, but there is not a bit of shelter. There is no accommodation. It is appalling. As Deputy Professor O'Sullivan rightly said—and the Minister also—people are leaving this country in thousands every year looking for those amenities in some other countries. We ought to make an effort to keep them here, and the best way to make that effort is to develop the amenities which we have. How are we going to do that? Does this Bill give us the basis for it? I do not think it does, except in so far as it gives £45,000 to the tourist board, to be spent, I take it, under all those headings set out in Section 14. It gives us £600,000 which must be spent solely on works of a profit-earning character. What are works of a profit-earning character? Are we going to take that in its widest interpretation? Are we to consider that the development of a local seaside resort, a bathing resort, would be of a profit-earning character? It certainly would be to the country and to that particular district, but so far as the board are concerned, if they did lend money for that purpose they are not going to get it back. It would be a matter of a grant. I think there must be some type of co-operation and co-ordination established between this board and local authorities. I do not see any other way in which you can get done the matters which you want to get done.

There is a great danger in having a board of five members. I do not think that number is quite enough. I do not hold such a very strong objection to five as I do to the quorum, which is set out as two. I think that is dangerous. There ought to be at least seven members on the board with a quorum of five, or perhaps four. Even though four is an even number, the chairman could have a casting vote. I do not think it is wise, or fair to the country, to put into the hands of two people who would form a quorum, the allocation of a sum of money like £600,000, or even more than that amount.

The case is, I understand, to be made on behalf of the Irish Tourist Development Association, that the chairman of that association ought to be a member of the board during his term of office. That is a wise thing, if the two bodies are going to exist. There is a strong feeling in some places that there will be duplication of work, or else they will be cutting across each other. We cannot tell that until the Act is in operation for some time. Very good work has been done by the Irish Tourist Association for a considerable time and the people who have devoted their attention so closely to this particular matter deserve that their chairman ought to be a member of the board. I would strongly advocate that the chairman for the time being would be a member of the board. Although the chairman might change from year to year, that would be a simple matter and could be provided for.

I think Section 5 is unconstitutional. It sets out that every member of the board shall, while holding office, be disqualified from being nominated or elected and from sitting or receiving payment as a member of Dáil Eireann or of Seanad Eireann. That is unconstitutional. It is a restrictive clause placed upon citizens of this country. It is a new disqualification, outside the Constitution altogether. If the Minister desires that members of the Dáil or Seanad ought not to be members of the board he might deal with it in another way. I think it has been dealt with in the wrong way. It might be possible that members of the Dáil would not be members of the board, but that a member of the board ought to be disqualified from offering himself for membership of either House is unconstitutional and ought not to be proceeded with in that way. There are a lot of matters which would be more appropriate to the Committee Stage and they will deserve close consideration on the part of the Minister and the House.

Coming to the registration of the hotels, that is an absolute necessity. Some people may think, perhaps, that it would be better if that section was not put into the Bill, but I think it is absolutely necessary. There is no other way in which the hotels can be brought up-to-date and in which there will be security for people coming into the country or for people of the country going on holidays. I should like to know to what extent Part III will affect the registration of hotels and boarding-houses. How will it affect houses in the Gaeltacht that have been advertising themselves as a type of hostels for children and for other people going to the Gaeltacht? The Minister would require to be careful in putting in a section of that sort. I do not think it would be possible to bring them within the ambit of the Act and, at the same time, give them an opportunity of doing what they are doing at the present time.

I welcome the Bill. It has been a long time expected by the tourist development people and I think, with the resources at their hand, seeing that the Tourist Development Association did such a huge amount of work on £18,000, we may expect quite a lot from this. I would like the Minister to give very careful consideration to that sum of £600,000, and also carefully consider whether, under this Bill, he can have that co-operation with local authorities which is so absolutely necessary in order to get the development of the seaside resorts, which is one of the first essentials, before you can get very far with tourism in this country.

I should like to say a few words on this Bill. I welcome the Bill, because I believe it is a step in the right direction and that it will go a long way towards rehabilitating the tourist industry which, as we all know, is full of possibilities for this country. My chief reason for intervening in this debate is from the point of view of the Gaeltacht and the Irish language. Deputies must have read remarks that appeared in the Press, passed by certain members of the Gaelic League, followers of the Irish language, to the effect that the operation of this Bill would be detrimental to the revival of the Irish language. I do not agree with them, because I believe this measure can be operated in such a way as to assist the Gaeltacht and the Irish language, if it is done wisely.

I notice that the Minister, in his opening statements, said he proposed to confer power on the tourist board by which they would be enabled to establish entertainment centres, theatres and places like that. I hope when we go as far as the Gaeltacht, when they carry their functions to the Gaeltacht, that they will see to it that the entertainments which will be provided there will be suitable to the Gaeltacht and not in any way detrimental to the Irish language. I believe that if the proper supervision is exercised in those centres where the Irish languages is still spoken and where we want to see it strengthened as time passes, no injury will be done to our national languages or culture. I hope supervision will be exercised, so as to ensure that no entertainment will be permitted to take root in those places that will do harm to the Irish language.

The board could never take that responsibility.

I have gone through Section 14 and I do not see any provision for that supervision in places like the Gaeltacht. There is no reference to it in any part of the Bill. Under Section 14 the board have power to build, establish, equip or operate hotels, guest houses, holiday hostels, etc., but there is no reference to the board having power to supervise those hotels or other places. It should be ensured that the proprietors of the hotels in the Gaeltacht should be Irish speakers and that all their employees should be Irish speakers. I do not see why a provision of that nature should not be included in the Bill.

I do not see any point in the statements of a Deputy O'Sullivan and Deputy Brennan that new hotels should not be established in tourist centres. I do not see any objection to that and I do not believe that when the Minister, in his opening statement, said that it was his intention to confer powers on the board to establish new hotels, he meant that these hotels would be set up in opposition to existing hotels. I take it that these hotels will be erected only where there is no accommodation already and that whatever money is spent in places where there are hotels, will be spent in improving the existing hotels and the existing accommodation.

I believe that this is a time when we should compliment the members of the Irish Tourist Association for the wonderful work they have done for the tourist industry in this country out of the limited resources they had at their disposal. I am sure that if they had more money at their disposal they would have done much greater work. There is something to be said for the suggestion put forward by Deputy Brennan that, in recognition of their services in the development of the tourist industry, it would be a good thing if the chairman of the Irish Tourist Association or some prominent member would also be a member of this board. However that is only a minor detail and can be dealt with afterwards.

Deputy Brennan, in his opening remarks, said that, while he had no objection to the Bill, he would prefer to see money made available for the agricultural industry. He should be aware that, if this measure is operated properly, it will facilitate farmers in many ways. They will get a better market for their produce, especially those farmers who live contiguous to tourist centres. That in itself is something advantageous. I do not see any point in trying to link up the operations of this board with local authorities. After all, the local authorities have enough to do in their own sphere, and I believe it would be unwise to link them up with this board. I think the members of this board should be unrestricted in the operation of the Bill, that they should not be obliged to keep in touch with any local body and that they should be allowed to exercise their own discretion. No doubt they will be men of experience. I hope above all that some of them at least will be men who have had practical experience of running hotels and of catering for people in tourist centres. That is all I have to say on the Bill. I just rose to make that point about the Irish language. I believe that this Bill, if operated wisely, will, instead of doing injury to the Irish language, be of great assistance to it.

The first point I should like to make on the Bill has reference to the manner in which it was brought to the notice of the public. The first reference that was made to it was at the annual meeting of the Irish Tourist Association towards the end of last year. The Bill was introduced in December, but we did not receive the text of it until about a fortnight ago. The point I want to make on that is that I fear that possibly some hotel-keepers and others, who may have been contemplating improvements for this tourist season, may have refrained from proceeding with these improvements until they saw the Bill and saw if any assistance was to be obtained from it. I think if its introduction had been postponed until the season was nearly opened, these improvements would be started and the Bill would be passed before the next season began. There would then be ample opportunity to consider the Bill and to carry out further improvements next year.

As regards the board which it is proposed to set up it has, to my mind, two distinct functions. With one of these I do not think any member of the House would disagree—that is with the function of assisting, registering and inspecting hotels and so forth. With regard to their second function, that is of actually entering into the business itself, I think there can be very grave objection advanced to it and I hope that, before the next stage, the Minister will very seriously consider that particular aspect of it— firstly, whether it is advisable that a board which is going to supervise and inspect hotels should itself be allowed to compete with them and, secondly, if that is to be permitted to a certain extent, whether serious restrictions on these powers should not be imposed in order to prevent the board competing directly with existing hotels. I agree that it may possibly be the intention of the Minister that the hotels which the board is empowered to set up may be established in places for which at present no private enterprise would cater. If that is the intention, I think it is all right, so long as the board can satisfy themselves that these hotels can be built and can show a profit. If that is the intention of the Minister, I think he should insert some such phrase in the Bill as would make it clear that development is restricted to cases of that kind. As the matter stands at the moment, it seems to me that there is nothing to prevent the board building a hotel in Dublin. I cannot imagine their doing that, but there is nothing in the Bill to prevent it. If the board can compete with existing hotels in Dublin or elsewhere, it would not be doing anything to further the tourist traffic in this country. I ask the Minister to consider that aspect of the matter and if his intention is such as I have assumed, I would ask him to insert such clauses as will restrict the powers of the board to development of that kind.

As regards the board itself, I agree that a board consisting of five members is not a large board, but I certainly think that a quorum of two is very much too small and that it is not wise to hand over control of the whole industry, on occasions possibly, to two people. I think the Minister should have included in the Bill a provision for receiving gifts of land. I am afraid we have not in this country a very large number of munificent landowners who are prepared to hand over their land for national purposes, but should there be such persons, we have not, so far as I am aware, any body corresponding to the National Trust in England, and it seems to me that this board could, to a certain extent, take the place of that body in this country. We have had one example of a munificent gift in this country, and I presume the Bourn Vincent Park will be handed over to this board after the passing of the Bill. I think provision should be made by which the board may accept further gifts of this nature if there are any public-spirited people who are prepared to hand over land to be preserved for tourist purposes. If we get large areas of the sea coast handed over to this body it would ensure that these areas would be kept open in perpetuity for the tourist traffic. That would be a great attraction to people to visit this country, particularly people from countries where the population is so dense that large areas of the coast have been permanently lost as tourist resorts.

There are various other points, most of which can be dealt with in Committee, but there is just one more point which I should like the Minister to clear up, whether it is intended that this Bill shall in any way restrict the enterprise of organisations which have existed for a large number of years for registering and inspecting hotels, not for the public at large, but for the use of their own members. This work has been carried on since cycling started, I think. Certainly registration, though possibly not grading, has been carried on since cycling started. I hope it is not the intention of the Minister that these bodies, which have done very good work for their own members, should be prevented from carrying that on by any provision of this Bill. With regard to the rest of the Bill, except for the various points to be amended in Committee, I think it will be welcomed by every Deputy, but I ask the Minister very seriously to reconsider the question of giving the board power to build their own hotels, possibly in competition with existing hotels.

On behalf of the Labour Party, I want to say that we welcome this Bill. It shows a disposition on the part of the Minister and the Government to realise the importance of the tourist industry. For a number of years the importance of the industry has been recognised by certain bodies operating in this country, notably the Irish Tourist Development Association. The members of that association have worked hard for the last 14 or 15 years, and now when they have done the spade-work it is to be hoped that they will not be brushed aside. I should like the Minister to state definitely when replying what will be the exact position of the Irish Tourist Development Association. I do not think the Bill makes it quite clear what the position of the association will be.

I agree with Deputy Brennan, in connection with Section 47, that there should be some co-operation between the board which the Minister proposes to set up and the different local authorities. I do not think it is right that a board of that kind, no matter how important it is, should be permitted to go inside an area under the jurisdiction of a local authority and do certain things which might easily cut across their planning ideas in the area. I think it would be a very wise and judicious thing if something were put into the Bill to secure co-operation between the local authorities and this board. As to the composition of the board, I also agree with Deputy Brennan when he suggests that five members are not sufficient. I also agree with what he said as to two out of five forming a quorum. To my mind, it is absolutely ridiculous that two out of five should form a quorum for such an important board as this. It has been suggested by the Irish Tourist Development Association that the number of members should be seven and that the quorum should be four, and I ask the Minister to consider that aspect of the matter.

This is obviously a Bill which can be better discussed in Committee. The important major points have been touched upon by other speakers. Deputy Brennan, and some other Deputies, suggested that the members of the present Irish Tourist Development Association should be taken into consideration when the Minister is setting up the board. After all, these men have spent a good deal of their time without fee or reward for 14 or 15 years and have done immense work in attracting people to this country against desperate opposition and a good deal of criticism in the beginning. It was very hard for them in the beginning to get local authorities to realise that in their own interests they should pay a contribution towards the funds of the asociation. They have spent a good deal of their time at this work, and I think the Minister ought to take that into consideration when setting up the board. I was a member of the association for a short time, and although I have not as much experience as most of the members, I must say that they have been most impartial in advertising various resorts in the country. It is men of that kind, who have this experience, that I think the Minister should appoint to the board which he proposes to set up. Again, like Deputy Brennan, I advocate that the chairman of that association for the time being should be an ex officio member of the board.

Under Section 5, members of the Oireachtas are disqualified from being members of the board. I cannot see why that should be so. Surely members of the Oireachtas have been useful members of the Irish Tourist Development Association and have given a good deal of their time to it, and I would ask the Minister to delete that provision from Section 5, as I do not see any necessity for it. These are all the points I want to deal with. As I said, this is obviously a Bill which can be better discussed in Committee. There are certain amendments which it is proposed to put down and which I propose to support on the Committee Stage. I would ask the Minister to pay attention to what has been said, especially as to defining the exact position of the Irish Tourist Development Association in its relations with the board which he proposes to set up.

The Minister in introducing the Bill referred to the holiday industry in this country in the broadest possible meaning of the term, but I think his reference to the industry as an invisible export seems to suggest that he has the foreign tourist in mind more than any other holiday-maker. We all know that the foreign visitor is very useful from the point of view of bringing money into the country; but in view of the Minister's reference to the effect which the Holidays (Employees) Bill will have on the holiday business internally, that is so far as our own people will now be better able to take a holiday than they were heretofore, I should like to follow on the line of Deputy Kissane with regard to the effect on the Gaeltacht. I know there has been a good deal of criticism about the possible adverse effect that the passing of this Bill may have on the Gaeltacht, but I cannot say that I have been very much convinced by it. At all events, there is one movement which has not got any statutory recognition and which to a certain extent has anticipated this Bill, and that is the Coisde na bPáisde movement. That was primarily established for the purpose of promoting the Irish language in the large centres of population. It is essentially a holiday movement of a very admirable kind, giving holidays in some of the most delightful parts of the country to the children of the poorest of the community very often. I recommend to the Minister that when this board is established it should be asked to assist in the activities of that movement, but not to take them over, because it could not do the work, I imagine, as well as it is being done, in relation to the facilities provided in boarding-houses.

Hotels have been mentioned by other speakers, and by the Minister, and I think it will be a matter of supervising the facilities, because the hotels are pretty well organised and are specialists in their business. To cater for our own people, who will now have holidays, will be a different problem. We know that these people will not go to hotels. They could not afford to do so. That is where the board should take the initiative. It will be only a case of supervision, after the initial stage, in the other case. Instead of the worst fears of Gaelic enthusiasts being realised, it is possible that they may be agreeably surprised, if some of the possibilities which I foresee are encouraged by the Minister, and undertaken by the board it is proposed to set up. I make special reference to the activities of Coisde na bPáisde and other organisations that are helping in the language revival. They benefit the children of the very poorest amongst us. It is a great delight to everyone interested in the language movement, to have these children brought out into God's sunshine, and to see their happy faces when they are in the Gaeltacht, at the seashore, or amongst the bogs, where they imbibe the language quite naturally. If activities of that kind are not neglected by the board, whatever objections Gaelic League enthusiasts, or language enthusiasts may have, will vanish, and instead of being adverse to such activities they will become their best collaborators.

I wish to support the principle of the Bill, and to re-echo the testimony paid to the board of the Irish Tourist Development Association. I was a member of that board for some years, and I appreciate very much the work that it has done. Naturally its efforts were very much restricted, but the pioneer work deserves the gratitude of the people because, undoubtedly, the publicity that was carried on for many years helped considerably, not alone to bring capital here, but also to extend our friendly relations with the people of other countries. It is a remarkable testimony to the work of the hotels, caterers and other people engaged in the tourist industry that such a very large number of visitors have come to this country to enjoy the various amenities it can offer them. Part IV of the Bill is very interesting because, no matter what may be said, we have various classes of visitors coming to this country who, as well as our own people, go to the different places to enjoy the blessings of our health resorts, amusements centres, or whatever form of sport or recreation that may take their fancy. I am not quite clear what the Minister intends to do in that respect, but I have in mind what could be done with various resorts in my constituency.

I recall with pleasure the remarks made with regard to the Gaeltacht. A large holiday camp was carried on most successfully in one resort, at Knockadoon, where nothing but the Irish language was spoken. I carried on a fairly extensive fishing scheme there for the benefit of fishermen, and many people benefited by taking visitors to the holiday camp to fish and for pleasure boating. There are other centres like Cork Harbour. Youghal Harbour and towns along the coast which would be an enormous asset to this country if they were properly developed. I believe that the board of the Tourist Development Association has been agitating for a long time for the setting up of such a board as is now proposed, and that it should be given certain power to develop hotels, but to restrict, perhaps, hotels in places where the name of the country would be brought into disrepute, as far as visitors are concerned. As to sport, we have also inland fisheries to cater for visitors, and in East Cork, at Ballycotton, there is deep-sea fishing and also accommodation for people who, for health reasons, have been ordered a change by their physicians. There is no question but that we have places that are an enormous acquisition in that respect. Not very far away is Garryvoe, where there is a magnificent strand and where enterprising people are catering for visitors as a pleasure resort. The atmosphere in these places is so different that various classes of people are catered for. A person who would go to one place would not go to the other. Around Cork Harbour there are places like Crosshaven, which is both a pleasure and a health resort.

Then, in the town of Cobh there are fine hotels which could be improved or developed with the help of such a board as is about to be set up. I believe Cobh could be developed into a splendid winter resort. It would be necessary to give help to enterprising people, because they are not able to undertake that work themselves, while we may also be able to attract people from the Continent, but really, I think, we must rely largely on our American relations and on wealthy English visitors who come here. We can also cater for holiday trippers, who have now got holidays with pay. I believe that with proper organisation the boarding-houses will be in a position to cater for them when the board is in existence. We also need considerable development of the publicity campaign that is being carried on by the Tourist Development Association. Perhaps the association did not do everything as we should like, but now that there is to be a special board set up to devote itself to that side of the question, the business can be developed. Remember, no matter how wealthy or how poor a man may be, publicity has an enormous influence. When the name of a place is kept prominently before the people, they will gradually get it into their heads that that is a desirable place to go to, just as the extensive advertising of a particular commodity influences people to buy it.

I rather question the intention of the board to set up hotels in competition with other hotels. I do not know if I interpreted it correctly, that that is the intention, but, if so, I would be absolutely opposed to it. We would be far more likely to help at the beginning with loans to hotels to extend accommodation, or even to a company that would be prepared to set up as caterers for tourists in districts where such accommodation has not been provided. After all, however much people may admire State control, I think the private enterprise of people who have experience and who are devoting all their time and taking risks would be far more likely to be successful than any State enterprise that might be adopted.

There is one point on which I should like to have some information—it was referred to by Deputy Benson—and that is with regard to the work that is being done by certain very fine institutions. For instance, the Cork Council of Women have established a fresh-air fund for children, and they take these children and send them out with the aid of certain well-intentioned people, to various points along our seaside. It is very hard indeed to measure the advantages that these children, the children of the very poor, get from such an activity. I wonder would the Minister be prepared to include such activities as that within the sphere of the board? I think that it certainly would be a very desirable thing.

There is another point, however, which I think it is essential should be taken very much into consideration. Some Deputies who have spoken, have questioned the advisability of co-operation with our public health authorities. I look upon it as absolutely essential that the local authorities should have their powers extended and that a certain amount of control should be given to the public health services in the development of our health resorts. If water supplies are withheld or if sewerage systems are withheld, it is utterly impossible to imagine a floating population of 2,000 or 3,000 people coming into a district during the warmest period of the year and during a period when water is most scarce. It would be impossible to visualise their being able to carry on without a proper system of health services, and I especially direct the Minister's attention to the necessity for taking certain powers to insist on these health services being properly carried out if you are to carry on the development of the tourist industry to any extent. Of course, we have our urban authorities, or our county boroughs and such like authorities who are catering, probably, fairly extensively and efficiently for the hotels in their areas, but in the rural areas where probably the greatest number of tourists go, whether for sport, such as inland fishing or deep sea fishing, or the various other amenities which they can enjoy, whether to see our beautiful scenery or not, it is utterly useless trying to develop a system of tourism if you do not cater specially for the development of the health services. I myself have recognised that very particularly because I have found the greatest difficulty in getting our local authorities to cater for the health services in these areas, simply because the local authorities are composed largely of men who have, perhaps, very little knowledge of or sympathy with the particular places that I mention. It is very necessary that the board should have drastic powers to enforce anything in the nature of the safeguarding of public health. That is one side of the question to which I think it would be very appropriate to direct the Minister's attention.

Now, there are many of our magnificent resorts to which there are no means of approach at all, practically. In fact, they can only be approached over very poor and very bad roads. That is an aspect of the case for which one would want to get the attention of this particular board rather than the developing of any commercial enterprise they might contemplate. The development of these places is a source of considerable potential wealth for the agricultural community because it must be apparent that, if there is a large influx of tourists into the country, they must be fed, and it is probably from the local people, the local farmers and shopkeepers, that the hotels will get their requirements. That is an aspect of the case that ought to make this Bill a popular measure. I am rather surprised at the sparse attendance in the House for this measure, because I think the importance of this Bill cannot be measured, and it is one that the Irish Tourist Development Association and others have been agitating for over a very long time. I shall probably take up certain points in the Bill, on the Committee Stage, with the Minister, but I have pleasure in supporting the principle of the Bill.

So far, this Bill has been welcomed on all sides of the House, and I am sorry if I must be somewhat out of step on the present occasion. I cannot welcome this Bill. I regret that such a Bill should be necessary. I do not at all depreciate the importance of the tourist industry. I do not at all depreciate the necessity for making adequate arrangements for tourists or for holiday makers, but I am very sorry that the tourist industry could not have done for itself what this Bill requires or desires to be done. I think that if they only knew, they would have tried to do most of the things that are provided for in this Bill, because it looks to me as if they are only at the beginning of their troubles. Those who think that they are going to have a delightful time under this Bill are making, to my mind, a very big mistake.

I object to this Bill chiefly because it confers too much power on two people. I know that five members are provided for, but we have got to go by the quorum and the quorum is two. These two people, to my mind, have far too much power. They are practically a State within a State. They have more power than any local authority in the country has. There is no appeal from their decisions. They have the power to interfere with the livelihood of thousands of people in this country, and I cannot understand why, in giving a relatively large sum of money to a body like that, and in conferring such powers upon them, there has been given no right of appeal against their decisions. It is all very well to say that they will be specially chosen, that they will be men of great commonsense, good judgment and so on, but in regard to such bodies, no matter how wise they are or no matter how well chosen they are, invariably, you may be sure that they will not please everybody, and very often they will displease people who will have good reason, perhaps, for displeasure.

It is the history of all such bodies that after their being a few years established the first enthusiasm which they bring to their work tends to wane; they become rather hard and indifferent to criticism and so on, and they tend to make decisions without adequate consideration of the full reactions of such decisions. I think that, to that extent at all events, the Bill is defective, and I think that it ought to have provided for some court of appeal. As I understand it, the Minister for Industry and Commerce will not be responsible in this House for any actions of the board. Once the board has been established it will have full power to do all the things that are laid down for it here, and in many cases the decisions will be very, very difficult; they will be decisions with which a great many people will not agree. For instance, take the question of registration of hotels and guesthouses. The board will decide not to register a hotel after they have inspected it and after an employee of theirs has reported upon it. Two people will decide that it will not be registered as a hotel. That will have very serious consequences for the unfortunate proprietor of that hotel, and will it always be a just decision? Does anybody believe that, invariably, the proprietor of the hotel will be given the benefit of any doubt that may exist or that consideration will be given to the opinion that while it does not conform to a hotel of the ordinary standard to be found in a city like Dublin or a tourist centre like Killarney, it may well be entitled to be called a hotel according to other standards that are as æsthetic and as sound in many ways as the standards that prevail in Killarney or Dublin.

Take also the question of guest houses. A great many people in Dublin, for instance, have been going down to guest houses in the County Wicklow during the past few years. They have been going to farmers' houses which call themselves guest houses, and have thoroughly enjoyed their holiday in them. They do not find in those houses what are called modern conveniences; they do not find many of the things that are required in the most up-to-date places, but that is one of the reasons why they like those guest houses and why they enjoy their holiday in them. Yet because the two bosses do not take the same view they may not be registered.

Deputies should not forget that this measure does not apply merely to tourist resorts. It also applies to centres and places which may become resorts for shooting parties and things like that. It applies practically to the whole country. In view of that, are we sure that the two people who are going to dominate all this business will always take into account the particular tastes of considerable sections of the people? Again, take the powers that are given to them in the "special areas" section. Are those two people going to determine, for instance, that a town like Greystones is to be declared a special area? It will be within their power to recommend that it be declared a special area so that instead of being what it is, a resort for quiet people who like golf and bathing and who like to be in contact with the country, it must provide itself with cinemas, cafés and casinos probably—with all sorts of things that are required in the so-called up-to-date places. Is a big decision like that to be left to two people without any right of appeal from it? I think it is too much, and particularly, I think, that the powers given in Section 14 are so overwhelming as to create a new organ of government, and I feel strongly that they should not be conferred upon so small a body without the right of appeal. I daresay that on the Committee Stage we can consider a lot of these points in more detail.

I am sorry, so far as I am concerned, that such a Bill has been considered necessary. If the Tourist Association has been encouraged to look for such a development of their work, well, it is regrettable. To my mind, the Tourist Association was doing quite good work. If it had continued in a self-dependent way, looking for public support of a voluntary kind for its work, it might have effected a great many of the things that this Bill proposes to do by means of State finance and State action, and to that extent such work would have been a great deal more commendable. I dislike very much the intrusion of State activity in this line of business, and though I know it has been done in other countries I do not know that that is a reason why we should accept it blindly here. At all events, I think that this board is going to prove a very difficult task-master for a lot of people that are welcoming its creation at the moment. A great many people in tourist business will probably find that it does not represent such a benefit as they think it represents at the moment. As the sense of the House seems to be entirely in favour of the Bill, I do not intend to vote against it. But I do regret very much that such a Bill is necessary.

Deputy Moore's dilemma in the matter of this Bill is the natural dilemma of the ordinary member of the Fianna Fáil Party. A frog would not be a Fianna Fáil frog at all if it was not swollen to near bursting point. I appreciate the Deputy's difficulty that in setting up, at this particular stage, any hotel or tourist organisation in the country, the Government is rather tackling the problem of tourist development here with a rather swollen idea. We are to have this small body with its small quorum starting off as if they were to re-create a whole new world with parks, sports, amusements, amenities and training of all kinds, and with the building of hotels and guest houses. As I have said, I appreciate that the Deputy feels that that is rather tackling the problem with a swollen idea, but may I remind him that it is his Party's line on these matters. I can also understand the Deputy regretting that it is necessary to set up a kind of supreme council that may well prove, as he said, to be a hard taskmaster, interfering in a lot of ways. There cannot be satisfactory development in the ordinary business of the country if it does interfere, but, again, that is a Fianna Fáil tradition. Nobody in this country can do anything right until the Fianna Fáil Party shows them how to do it.

It is a world tradition, unfortunately.

Exactly. Every queer patch of plaster, blister and remedy that a half-mad world started to put on during the past ten or 15 years has been the fashion for Fianna Fáil policies and Fianna Fáil plans.

The Deputy is becoming extravagant.

I am simply trying to help the Deputy to understand his difficulties. We have sympathy with him in his difficulties. Later on, I may express the hope that perhaps even the Fianna Fáil plans and the Fianna Fáil outlook have changed, and that we may not meet all the difficulties that we think we are going to meet. I quite agree with the Deputy that if the hotel-keepers, the hotel workers, the sports' providers and the amenity providers of this country are not able to do their own job, then not even five of the Government Front Bench, if they were released to look after this business, are going to make anything like a success of it. There is no use going into the circumstances of the last 17 years in this country and asking whether they were circumstances that enabled the people engaged in the tourist, amusement or amenity line of business to get the best out of their resources, their energies and their intelligence. This is more than an ideal. It is indicating what we would like to see in the country, what we would like to see grow up as a result of the efforts of the people engaged in the various branches of the tourist traffic—this is what we would like to see grow up out of their intelligence and their work.

If the new tourist board is to be a board to which people of all classes in the country can look for assistance and guidance in making the best of their own abilities, in developing the tourist traffic and developing these things in the country that would attract strangers here—either to amuse themselves or to be interested in us—then the board can do something. The only matter that I would like particularly to mention at this stage is the question of the distinction that is going to be made between these various establishments. There is going to be a distinction made between hotels, guesthouses, holiday hostels and holiday camps. Is the proprietor of any one of these places going to be allowed to describe what they are unless he first gets a certificate from the board that the place is a hotel, a guest-house, a holiday hostel, or a holiday camp?

I think it would be well if we could get a rather clear distinction from the Minister as between hotels, guest houses and holiday hostels. It is not because a thing is called a certain name that it is going to be the kind of thing that a tourist in the country is going to stay at. I would like to know if there is any intention in this Bill of preventing an establishment that does not get a distinction from the board from carrying on either as a guest house, a hotel or as a holiday hostel. Is there anything going to prevent the owners of such establishments still taking in tourists if these establishments call themselves "The Anglers' Rest,""The Gaels' Paradise,""Mary's Lodge," or anything else like that? Because, if there is anything behind this scheme that is going to prevent similar houses throughout the country making themselves places to which the travelling tourist can come and get a night's rest, then they are going to curtail that fabric that it is well we should have in the country at the time when there is so much tourism of the tripper kind amongst young people. These people are not concerned with hotels or guest houses, but with hotels of something of the inn type.

I think we ought to have some clear definition as to what guest houses and hotels are and we ought also to know if there is going to be interference with the development of these or a prejudice against the smaller type of inn that we would like to have developed in the country.

There is another thing with regard to the restriction of the holiday camps describing themselves as hostels. There are various organisations in the country, Catholic Boy Scouts, An Oige and things of that kind, that organise their own camps and have their own hostels. I would like to know if An Oige would have to pay a £2 2s. fee to the board? Are they going to be subject to inspection and so on or subject to interference in any way? Again, when it comes to groups, there are the Catholic Boy Scouts. That is one kind of group. They organise their holiday camps; they circularise their own members and their members' friends with a view to seeing that they have as many as possible at these camps. I would like to ask if members of these societies will be prevented from describing themselves or their institutions as holiday camps? Are they to be prevented from going outside the members of their own society in order to get members for their camps? Are they going to be responsible to the board and subject to interference by the board? Section 32 says:—

The registered proprietor of any registered premises may at any time make to the board representations in relation to any other registered premises situate within five miles of the said first-mentioned premises with a view to showing that the registration of the said other registered premises should not be renewed.

I think that is a very serious matter. I think, as a matter of fact, that the Minister will have to drop that section from the Bill when we come to a discussion of it on the Committee Stage. I would like to ask him just now for what purpose a section like that is enshrined in that Bill. That section gives a person whose premises have been registered in any particular area power to appeal to the board. It gives power to the board to cancel or not renew the registration of another premises of the same kind, or even not necessarily of the same kind. Under this section the registered owner of a hotel premises might apply to the board to have registration cancelled or dropped in respect of a guest-house in the neighbourhood within five miles. I would like to know what conceivable consideration would warrant that the board should be given power to do such a thing as that.

To get back to what Deputy Moore raised, that the board should be given power without any appeal to any authority of any kind, seems to me an astonishing thing. I should like the Minister to deal particularly with the question as to what extent similar places are likely to be interfered with by the operations of this Bill and to what extent societies are to be prevented calling their own particular holiday camps by the name of "holiday camps"?

While I agree that it is desirable that an effort should be made at this stage to encourage and promote tourist traffic in the country, I think that this Bill is open to very great objection. In the first place it seems an extraordinary thing that when money cannot be found for anything in connection with agriculture such an enormous sum is being allocated for what is regarded as a very secondary industry. I suppose some farmers will derive consolation from the fact that some indirect benefit will come to them from the promotion of the tourist traffic if this Bill succeeds in its objects. They will also have the consolation of knowing that the provision of such a large sum of money for tourist development proves that the State is not so financially bankrupt as some people would suggest or as the attitude of this Government towards anything needed in the way of helping the farming community would seem to indicate. We know that whenever any demands are made for helping the agricultural industry we are always told that the money is not available. But here we find that an annual payment of £45,000 is provided for this industry and a sum of £600,000 is available by way of loan. That should enable us to expect that some money would be available for the promotion of the farming industry.

In this Bill I find that certain very drastic powers are being conferred upon the Tourist Development Board. It is empowered to control the registration of all hotels and guest houses in this country and at the same time it is empowered to establish hotels and similar institutions in competition with those which it has the power to register. That appears to me to be an absolutely unjustifiable condition of affairs. I wonder what would be the feelings of licensed traders in our towns, if the local district justice was given power to establish a licensed premises. Yet, that is exactly the position we have under this Bill. We have a board which has the power to register hotels, or to deprive them of registration, and also the power to compete with those hotels. I think that is an absolutely unjustifiable power to put in the hands of a public authority. I think this board would be more than human, if it were to ignore completely the fact that it is competing with private enterprise when it is distributing licences, or admitting these hotels to registration. For that reason, I think there is a great objection to giving this board the power to run hotels in opposition to private enterprise. There is no reason why a public authority should be given the power to enter into this business at all. Private enterprise is quite capable of looking after the hotel and catering business generally, and if private enterprise is not capable of looking after this industry, I do not think there is any industry which private enterprise can manage or control. For that reason, I think these powers are altogether too drastic.

There are other powers conferred on the board which, I think, would meet with general approval. These are the powers to improve the amenities of tourist districts. I am not sure whether the board has power to make grants for the improvement of roads in tourist districts, but if it has not got that power, it should certainly be given it, because there is nothing more important than the improving of such roads. We know that substantial grants are given by the State for the improvement of main roads, but no grants are available for the improvement of county roads, and where county roads lead to tourist districts, I think that at least the same grants should be available for them as are available for main roads.

Again, I think the board should have power to make loans to hotelkeepers in country districts such as farmers, who might wish to improve their houses so as to provide accommodation for guests during the summer months. I think there is no reason why the board should not have power to make loans to such people. Far-reaching powers are also vested in the board in regard to the acquisition of land for development purposes. Under this section, the greatest possible care should be taken to ensure that people from whom land is acquired are given adequate compensation. We find that, under various Acts, where land is acquired, the compensation is scarcely ever adequate, and I hope that when this Bill is put into force, the interests of the owners of land will be adequately safeguarded. We know that particularly with regard to recent legislation for the development of the hydro-electric scheme there has been considerable dissatisfaction as to the compensation, and I hope that there will not be similar dissatisfaction under this Bill.

I think the Minister should reconsider the section which gives the board power to run hotels in opposition to private enterprise. He would be doing a very useful work, if he did so, because I think that section is most desirable. If he is satisfied, after careful consideration, that private enterprise is not capable of carrying on this industry in a satisfactory manner, and that it is necessary for the State to intervene in certain districts, he should at least altogether from the board which has power of registration in respect of hotels, because it is quite obvious that the registering body cannot act impartially while, at the same time, it is in competition with those whom it is called upon to register.

Cuirim fáilte roimh an mBille seo. Bille iseadh é atá ag teastáil le tamall fada agus níl aon aimhreas ná go ndéeanfa sé go leor maitheasa. Is fada sinn ag súil le Bille dá shórt. Míse Cathaoirleach Chumann na dTeach Ósta a bhfuil 350 teach ósta faoi n-a stiúradh agus tháinic muid le chéile agus is féidir liom a rá go bhfuil fáilte acu roimh an mBille. Níl faitíos ar bith orm roimh an mBille seo. Duine ar bith a dhéanfas rud ar bith go maith uíl call faitís air. Is maith an rud go bhfuil an tAire ag déanamh roinnt dearmaid ar na factories go ceann tamaill agus go bhfuil sé ag teacht anuas imeasc na sléibhte, na lochanna agus na dtráigheann agus salachar agus gal na cathrach a fhágáil ina dhiaidh.

Gan aimhreas déanfa an Bille seo maith go mór mór mar gheall ar Bhille an Iascaigh—an dá Bhille le chéile tiocfaidh maith asta. Níl mise ag iarraidh áiteacha ar nós Blackpool agus a léithéide sa tír seo. Tá nádúir dár gcuid féin ag an tír seo, nádúir nach bhfuil ag go leor tíortha. Mar sin níor cheart an iomarca gnásanna nua thabhairt isteach. Tá tír againn nach bhfuil a leithéide eile faoi'n domhan, tír atharuíonns a dath agus a gléas, go minic 10 n-uaire sa ló, tír nach féidir le fear ar bith í phéintéail, tír ar mhaith leis an domhan teacht ag breathnú uirthi, tír a mba cheart a chur i gcéill don domhan le fógraí go bhfuil a leithéide ann mar má bhíonn duine ar bith ad iarraidh rud ar bith a dhíol sa tír seo no i dtír ar bith eile caithfe sé fógraí a chur amach. Cuir i gcás an factory is sine sa tír seo— siné factory Guinness—ní fhéadfa tú dul thar tigh ósta sa tír ná feicfe tú taobh amuigh dhe "Guinness is good for you". Mar sin ba cheart dúinn fógra a chur amach a rá leis na tíortha eile go bhfuil Éire go maith dhóibh le haghaidh foghlaeracht, le haghaidh seoltóireacht, le haghaidh snámh agus gach ní theastuíonns o dhuine le haghaidh é féin a tharraingt chun a chéile. Thug Dia na nGrást tír áluinn agus tír ghalánta dhúinn má dheinneann muidféin an chuid eile. Is maith liom-sa go mbeidh an bórd nua seo i ndon é seo a dhéanamh mar bheidh airgead acu le n-a dhéanamh, rud ná raibh ag Cumann an Lucht Cuarda. Cá bhfuighfeá áit ar nós Árainn agus na sean-dúntaí atá ann ach sa tír seo agus nach bhfuil go leor Árainneacha againn le teaspáint don tSasanach, agus do dhaoine as an bhFrainne agus as Meirice agus as tíortha eile?

Is maith liom go bhfeicim Aire na Gaeltachta sa láthair. Cuireann sé sin i gcuimhne dhom go bhfuil suim mhór aige seo i bhfoghlaeracht agus in éanlaithe na tí. Chonnaic mé go raibh sé ag Cumann i gCo. An Chláir —cumann foghlaerachta, cumann a bhfuil sé féin agus a leithéidí sa tír ag dul ag déanamh maith. Tá súil agam go bhfaighe sé congnamh o Aire na dTailte le haghaidh na cumanna so a chur i réim. D'fhéadfaí go leor airgid a bhaint asta seo, as éanlaithe agus foghlaeracht na tíre dá bhfuigheadh siad aire.

Is maith liom gur dhubhairt an Teachta Ó Ciosán agus an Teachta Mac Phartholáin rud éicint faoi'n nGaedhilg is go raibh siad sásta go raibh sí indon seasamh in aghaidh brubhadh isteach ar bith a thiocfadh uirthi. Ba droch-lá don tír é mara mbeadh. Tá mise sásta nach ndéanfaidh na strainnséirí aon dochar don Ghaedhilg ach maith. Tá aon fhear amháin sa tír seo—is iomdha drochrud agus rudaí scannalacha a dubhradh faoi—ach an fear is mó nó an bhean is mó sa tír atá nó a bhí ina aghaidh ní fhéadfa siad a rá nach é an caraid is fearr sa tír seo ag an nGaedhilg é. Sin é Earnán de Blaghd. Nach ndeir seisean go mion is go minic dá fhairsinge dá mbeadh an Ghaedhilg againn gur amhlaidh is mó thubharfadh sé strainnséirí i nár mease agus nach bhfuil faitíos air eisean go ndéanfadh sé aon dochar don teangain. Ach tá go leor Gaedhilgeoirí againn mar dheadh a cheapanns go gcuirfe chuile ghust a shéideanns an Ghaedhilg as an tír. D'imthigh go leor acab san as an nGaedhealtacht bhocht agus cuid acab nar tháinic ar ais. Is mó an chaint atá aca seo nirthi ná na daoine a d'fhan inti agus a choinnigh an Ghaedhilg beo inti i nea-mbuidheachas do chule rud a d'eirigh. Bhí fear sa Dáil annseo agam-sa indé Sir Arnold Bax, fear a raibh eolas aige ar Phearse agus ar Griffith; fear a d'fhoghluim Gaedhilg dhá scór blianta ó shoin, fear ná raibh i nGaedhhealtacht Chonamara le chúig bliana fichead go dtí an tseachtain seo chuaidh thart. Céard dubhairt sé indé leis an gCeann Comhairle ina sheomra féin? Dubhairt sé go raibh bród air go bhfaca sé atharú mór i gcosúlacht na tíre ar a fheabhas ach go raibh seacht mbród air nach raibh atharú ar bith ar an nGaedhilg i gConamara agus go raibh sí chó láidir ann is bhí riamh agus tás ag an domhan gur seo áit a dtáinig go leor strainnséirí ann le cúig bliana fichead. Nach gcruthuíonn sé sin nach ndéanann na strainnséirú aon dochar is nach bhfuil sé in am an mar dheadh seo do thabhairt suas?

B'fhéidir go bhfuil faitíos ar go leor sa tír go mór na tighthe ósta go dtosóchadh an bórd nua ag déanamh tighthe ósta iad féin. Tá mise cinnte nach mbeidh an bórd ina n-amadáin chó mór agus go dtosóchadh tá mé cinnte seo agus dá dtosóchadh tá mé cinnte go mbeidh a dhóthain intleachta ag Aire ar bith a bhéas ann iad d'atharú agus daoine eile a chur ina n-áit. Níl faitíos ar na tighthe ósta atá ann faoi láthair go dtiocfaidh mórán isteach a bhéas i ndon iad féin a bhualadh, tighthe ósta cuid acu chó maith is tá le fáil i dtír ar bith. An fhaid is tá a loithéidí sco ann agus a choinneoidh siad a ceann suas níl blúire faitíos ortha roimh Aire ná roimh an bhord ach má tá caora dhubh ina measc nach ndéanfaidh a gnotha ceart ní bheadh sé ceart ná cóir ag duine ar bith seasamh suas dóibh le haghaidh ainm na tíre seo a chur síos. Misc duine amháin le congnamh Dé nach n-iarrfaidh aon phinghinn iasachta óu mbord le congnamh Dé ach tá go leor daoine a mb'fhéidir a dteastóchadh iasacht uatha agus is maith an rud é bheith ar fáil ag daoine le bheith i ndon an tír seo a chur chun cinn mar gan aimhreas níl dóthain tighthe ósta fós ann.

Tá mé cinnte go nglacfaidh an tAire le cuid de na leasuithe cuirfear isteach a dhéanfas maith don Bhille seo mar níl aon Bhile tháinic of cóir na Dáia so riamh nár feabhsú air é leasú agus feabhsófar an Bille seo sara ngabhfa sé tríd an Teach seo. Duine amháin de bheirt mise tá ar Chumann an Lucht Cuarda ó cuireadh ar bun é. Is maith liom sa deire go bhfuair sé moladh ón Teach seo. Rinne muid ár ndícheali chó fada agus d'fhéad muid é agus chó fada is a leig airgead dúinn leis an tír uilig a chur i gcéill do chuile dhuine.

An bheirt fhear adubhairt tada in aghaidhan Bhille seo isiad an Teachta Ó Mórdha agus an Teachta Ó Cuagáin iad, beirt as Cill Mantán, beirt Teachta as Garrdha na hÉireann más fíor, beirt Teachta as Condae nár thug aon chongnamh riamh do Chumann an Lucht Cuarda. An rud is mó thug siad dúinn le sé bliana £50 sa mbliain, iad seo a bhfuil Brí Chualann, Greystones agus na háiteacha galánta acu ina gCondae, an Condae is mó fuair buntáiste as gCumann an Lucht Cuarda gan pingin air agus Condaethe ar nós Iarmhidhe, Roscomán, Longphort, Cill Choinnigh agus Ceatharlach ag tabhairt na céadta punt dúinn. Nach é an bealach i gcomhnaí é gleo mór ag bairrille folamh? Teachtaí beaga iad seo. Go bhfóiridh Dia ar Chill Mantán.

Nuair a thiocfas céim an Choiste beidh go leor eíle le rá faoi seo. Is mó an faitious atá ag lucht na dtighthe ósta roimh Acht na Siopaí agus is mó an faitíos ba cheart a bheith acu roimhe ná tá aca roimh an mbord ná an Bille seo. Mar sin nár cheart don Aire scéim fé leith a thabhairt isteach faoi'n mBille seo agus na tighthe ósta leigint saor uilig as Acht na Siopai agus na tighthe ósta bheith faoi aon Acht amhán? Dá ndéanfadh an tAire é seo thabharfadh sé misneach do lucht na dtithe ósta. Gan aimhreas déanfa an Bille seo maith do na tighthe beaga chó maith leis na tighthe mór—tighthe beaga a bhfuil a 4 no a 5 de sheomraí acu chó maith le na tighthe a bhfuil leithehéad seomra acu. Mar sin gheobhfa chuile dhuine a thurus as agus ba cheart dúinn uile bheith buidheach den Aire as ucht é thabhairt isteach agus de na cainteanna ar gach taobh sa Teach.

I want to resist the temptation, as a former manager of a tourist agency for four years, to make an election speech about this Bill, because other Deputies in this House have stressed the necessity for it. I would like to draw the Minister's attention to certain aspects of the Bill regarding which the House would like to have some elucidation. Are we to take it that under this Bill it is possible to invoke the town Planning Act in order to add to the various amenities of tourist resorts? There are certain amenities which might be concerned, for example, with the prevention of the growth of undesirable housing, the removal of sewage which bouches on the beach. the removal of refuse from the beach. These things are not specifically mentioned in the Bill, but they could be done under the Town Planning Act. Does this Bill give particular power to do these things, irrespective of what might be done to compel local authorities to invoke that Act? Secondly, as in the case of other Deputies, my mind is extremely vague as to how far local authorities have to co-operate in making the Bill effective.

Taking one example, my own town, Athlone, is a place where people could spend a few hours or a few days for tourist purposes. Action would have to be taken by the board in order to make Athlone effective as a tourist centre. The urban council would have to take action in improving the facilities for tourists at the bridge; some sort of restaurant or café would have to be erected by the Shannon, and the construction of a road would be necessary. It seems to me that you require help from the local authorities to a degree that will compel the Minister to insert provisions of that kind in the Bill. I cannot see these provisions being made through the board alone—perhaps because I cannot understand the Bill sufficiently. I also notice another section in the Bill dealing with sporting rights. Many places in the country have a vague and haphazard method of providing tourist facilities in the form of people who come to stay in farmers' houses and do a bit of rough shooting while they stay there. These rough shooting facilities could be enormously amplified if the game preservation legislation could be amended and if the tourist board could acquire such rights. Many people who indulge in this sport and have individual shooting rights are holding land under the Land Commission, and if the Land Commission are dealing with it it may be difficult to get any decision in respect of such shooting rights. I think also of areas of bog suitable for snipe, where there would be very great difficulty in getting the Land Commission to give a decision, and it would be well if the tourist board be given the shooting rights over those bogs on the ground that people would be likely to spend more money in making use of those facilities. In fact, the shooting rights of the whole area would increase as a result of proper preservation. I would like to ask the Minister has he sufficient powers or has the Land Commission sufficient authority. I notice another section of the Bill in which it says that the tourist board may divide registration of hotels into various grades. Does that mean that the Minister is going to leave it to the discretion of the board as to whether the final list of hotel is graded or not? It seems to me that that should be a fundamental portion of the Bill. I should also like to ask the Minister whether he envisages under this Bill the operation of a casino which would involve further legislation in connection with lotteries.

Speaking generally of the purpose of the Bill, there is no question that there is a large number of hotels which need conversion from the commercial type to the tourist type. In France, where local authorities had the greater majority of powers in regard to tourist development, the State had to come in and take some action such as the Minister is now contemplating, and the loans given by the French Government to hotel-owners for the improvement of their hotels, the development of central heating and other facilities were of enormous benefit. I was reading a report regarding that the other day and I found it stated that the extent to which the loans were defaulted was extremely small and that the scheme has been highly successful. There was been an enormous improvement in hotel management and in many matters of the same kind.

I suppose nearly every Deputy in the House is agreed that anything that can be fairly done to attract visitors to this country ought to be done; but, like Deputy Moore, I am afraid I shall have to make a few hostile observations on this measure. I feel that such drastic powers as this Bill is giving should not be put into the hands of four or five unnamed individuals.

This particular Bill puts into the hands of four or five people more drastic powers in various ways than any legislation which has been passed for some time in this House. That is one main objection I have to the measure. The second is that I think, at this particular moment, the moment of money we propose to expend on tourist development is far too much, when a much more important feature of this country requires capital expenditure which cannot be found for it. I refer to the agricultural community. Some of us have been pleading, year after year, for the expenditure of public money in providing various services for the agricultural community and we have been invariably met with the reply that the money could not be found, but, evidently, for any other purpose it can be quite easily found. In prosperous circumstances in this State I may not have made such observations. If everything was well with the main portion of the people of this country, nobody could object to the finding of money for tourist development, but I do say that, in these days, the people who will derive most benefit from this Bill should do a good deal for themselves. There ought to be a concerted effort amongst the proprietors of hotels and other business, who will eventually gain most by this Bill, to help themselves. A lot has been done in that way and I think a lot more could be done. Nobody will object to a certain amount of Government help and assistance being given to them, but I think this Bill goes beyond what any reasonable person would consider should be done. As I said, it puts very drastic powers, powers almost of life and death, into the hands of these four particular gentlemen. That point has been referred to by various Deputies and I do not intend to go over it again.

I would like to refer to one particular point. Deputy Childers has just referred to it but I am referring to it in a different way from Deputy Childers. I refer to the power to acquire sporting rights, including shooting rights. I do not know that every Deputy in this House knows as much or cares as much about the shooting rights of this country as I do. I have in this House on several occasions advocated that something should be done in this connection. I think it should be done in another way than through this Bill. Perhaps a separate Department might eventually be set up to deal with the shooting rights of this country, just as there has been an attempt made to develop the fisheries of this country. But I do object totally to the powers given under this Bill to four unnamed gentlemen to come and compulsorily acquire any shooting rights they like and develop them in any method they like. Why should that power be given to any board or any men who are not named? The development of the shooting of any State is a science in itself. Profitable expenditure of money might be made on it. For instance, the income derived from shooting in Scotland, by individual owners of shooting rights and others, is immense. The attraction it is to tourists, I admit, is immense. But, again, the profit (if any) accruing from it ought not to be placed in the hands of a board. This Bill means that we are going to have free shooting in this country which the tourist development association—or whoever they are going to be—will acquire as an attraction, to people across the water, in England, France and other countries, to come with their sporing guns and have to advantage of that free shooting. If there is going to be free shooting in this country, I think the people of this country ought to have a share in it, and that the free shooting we have in the bogs and mountains of this country at the moment, in which many sportsmen in this country participate, is not going to be endangered. Why should not the young men of this country have a chance to enjoy free shooting, if it is free? Why should it be conserved for tourists or hotel residents?

Where is that stated in the Bill?

There is not a word about it, not one single word about it.


But the power is there in Section 19, if I read it right. The land which the board may compulsorily acquire includes easements, way-leaves, water rights, fishing rights, sporting rights and other rights.

Where does it say that these are going to be conserved for tourists?

The board are going to acquire them.

Where does it say that these are going to be conserved for tourists?

It does not need to say so. The Minister is talking nonsense. Are they going to acquire them to let me, Deputy Cogan, Deputy Dockrell, Deputy Esmonde and every other Deputy in this House shoot over them? Is it for our benefit they are going to acquire them and develop them? It is obviously for the tourists, because it is a tourist committee.

It is obvious the Deputy has not read the Bill.

It is as plain as the nose on my face——

Not quite as plain.

——that they are going to be acquired for the benefit of the tourists. I do not see any other reason for it. I certainly object to any power being given to any board of four or five gentlemen to acquire compulsorily the shooting rights of this country. I think that is a power that must not be given them and ought not be given them. There are other compulsory powers which, I think, might not be given to them either but I, personally, object to this. I think much can be made, should be made and will eventually be made of the shooting rights of this country. They should be developed to the full for the benefit of the whole State but, in the meantime, we should not have a partial development of the shooting rights, if you like, or compulsory acquisition, for the benefit of, not a section of the people of this country, but tourists coming into the country. As I said, I think a lot was done by the people who are primarily concerned in the tourist industry. Of course, it is a national concern, because the more money that comes into the country the better it is for the country, but I think the people who are primarily interested in this matter have done a great deal and could do a great deal more. There should be much more activity amongst the interests concerned in the counties which Deputy Moore and Deputy Cogan represent and, perhaps, in the county I represent. The interests concerned could get much more help in this matter than they have been given up to the present, but I do not think they should expect the State to contribute to such an extent as we are asked to contribute in this Bill or that any body of gentlemen should get such powers as we are asked to give in this measure.

In common with most of the speakers this evening, I rise to welcome this Bill. I am very glad indeed that the Government officially recognise the importance of the tourist industry. For a number of years past, most countries, some of them not as well situated as ours from the point of view of tourism, have recognised the value of the tourists industry. I understand that in some countries it is reckoned that the value to the country of tourist traffic each year is in the neighbourhood of several millions. I do not anticipate that we would be able to acquire such a valuable benefit as that at once, but I do look forward to the time when the tourist industry in this country, if properly cultivated, will realise an annual income to us of at least £1,000,000. We have here the natural advantages that tourists like and we are assisted by the rise in importance of the motor car. I would divide the type of tourists that come to this country, and whom we hope to attract in increasing numbers to this country, into three kinds. First of all there is the first class of tourists, the motorists, who come here with their own motor cars. We have seen these foreign motor cars on our roads, with foreign registrations, during the past year. I would like to see ten times as many, and I believe we can get them. That class of tourist is a person who brings a considerable amount of money into the country. The mere fact that he goes to the expense of bringing a motor car here is an earnest of the fact that he has money in his pocket to leave here behind him. He benefits garage proprietors, hotels, employees in hotels and, in that way, the people on the land who supply food for the hotels.

The second class of tourists is the non-motoring, travelling members of the public. They get to various resorts by train or by 'bus or by some other form of vehicle, often by hiring a car in this country. They, in their turn create a considerable amount of employment and leave behind them a considerable amount of money.

There is a third class which has of later years been availing itself more and more of the facilities which this country offers, and that is the quiet type of person who comes here looking for a quite holiday. He does not want to go to Blackpool, the Isle of Man, or places of the that sort, but likes to seek out some little quite seaside resort, with a nice comfortable beach. Those persons are coming latterly in increasing numbers. Even if a person of that kind left behind only the sum of £5 in the short period he is here, he is of some value to society in general. Bulking those three classes together they represent members of the human race who come here and who, from the moment they land in this country until the moment they leave, are setting in motion employment; they are making money pass around, and they are leaving money behind them, which is a definite asset to this country.

I have heard speakers here state that there is an objection to this Bill to a certain extent owing to the amount of money it is proposed to make available for tourist purposes. The sum of £600,000 was referred to. Everybody here realises the terrible condition that the farming community is in, and realises that it needs assistance. It is quite a justifiable criticism to say that this £600,000 might possibly be better devoted towards subsiding or restoring the farming industry. I do not take that point of view at all. I believe that the expenditure of this £600,000 is going to be for the benefit of the farming industry, because I believe it is going to increase the markets for the food which the farmers grow in this country. It is going to create an additional eating population—a population which comes here and is prepared to pay for what it gets. In that way, this Bill, if properly worked, and if the system is properly managed, is going to be of great value to this country, and I give this Bill a very hearty blessing for that reason. I believe we have an industry here which, if properly developed, is worth a very considerable sum of money which can be increased year by year. There are special districts or special counties in this country which will be affected in one way or another by this Bill. I represent a constituency— County Wexford—which, I think, will benefit to a considerable extent by this Bill. We have a port of entry into the country in Rosslare; we are on the edge of the County Wicklow, and we have a number of those magnificent semi-private beaches where family parties can go and have a very pleasant holiday. In addition to that, we have rivers, and we have sporting facilities. I think this Bill is going to be of great value to my constituency and, as I have stated, in particular to the farming community of my constituency. Therefore, I welcome this Bill, but there are certain features with regard to it which will have to be looked into. They have been mentioned by different speakers here this evening, and I think most of the criticism has been of a reasonable nature.

There is one matter which I should like to emphasise, and that is the question of the board itself running hotels. The board which is to be set up under this Bill has power to do certain things. Amongst other things it has power to run hotels. I do not object in the slightest to the board running hotels. I assume that places where hotels are needed will be chosen, and that suitable hotels will be erected there. I think it is quite proper that there should be such a board, because it is obvious that private individuals, possibly, are not going to invest their money in those districts. If there is a board there to do so, well and good. But what I do object to about the board, and I think it is a reasonable objection, is that once the board starts building hotels, and going into the hotel business, they are entering into competition with other hotels long founded in this country, which have been struggling through adversity for many years in some cases. I do not think it is right that the same body which is running hotels should be the body which administers the bye-laws and regulations with regard to its competitors. I think that is a reasonable objection with regard to the board. That objection might be overcome by having two boards, or by some other method, but as matters stand at the moment the board is to run hotels and at the same time supervise its trade rivals. I think that is a reasonable objection to that aspect of the Bill, and I hope the Minister will take it into consideration.

There is another matter which arises incidentally out of this Bill, and that is the question of the staffs of hotels in tourist resorts. I do not know whether or not the Minister has dealt with the matter any where in this Bill, or whether he contemplates any legislation in connection with it. I think it has been brought to his attention from various parts of the country in connection with the Act which deals with the hours of employment in hotel service. At the moment I cannot recall the name of the Act but, at all events, very grave inconvenience and loss of money has resulted to hotels whose employees work only for certain stated portions of the year. There has grown up in all those hotels in the different tourist resorts a very fine esprit de corps between employer and employees. During the slack time, the winter months, the employees had plenty of free time and leisure, because the hotel-keeper kept on his staff— they were a trusted staff, a good and efficient staff—and when the rush season came in the summer time the employees were quite willing to work all out to make the enterprise a success. The hotel-keeper now finds himself up against that Act to which I have referred, which prevents the employees from working for more than a certain period. The result is that the hotel-keeper has to take on extra people during the rush season. I draw the Minister's attention to that as a constructive suggestion. A number of hotel owners in my constituency have drawn my attention to the embarrassment which they are suffering as a result of that Act. The Minister will know the Act to which I refer. I think it is called the Conditions of Employment Act. There is no doubt about that grievance; it is a genuine grievance. If any member of this House or the Minister himself goes down to one of our better-class tourist hotels in the country in midwinter, he will see that although he may be the only guest he has the services of a head waiter, an assistant waiter, a boots, an assistant boots, and various other employees. Those people stay on all the year round for the purpose of doing the rush work in the summer season. I understand that representations have already been made to the Minister on that point, and I hope he will take them into consideration when dealing with this matter here in the Tourist Bill.

There are one or two other matters to which I should like to refer. I think there is a very harsh provision in Section 5—I am not so sure that it is not unconstitutional as well—depriving a member of the Dáil or Seanad of the right to be a member of the board. One of the oldest members of the Dáil is a member of the tourist association, and is himself a very hard working hotel-keeper. It does not seem right to me that just because a person is a member of the Dáil or Seanad he should not be allowed to be a member of the board. In any event I suggest to the Minister—it is only a drafting point—that Section 5 is drafted at all events in a rather unconstitutional manner.

The only other point to which I should like to refer is the question of powers to make loans. I gathered from the Minister that the board will take powers under this Bill to grant loans. I have gone through the Bill very carefully, and I fail to see where that power exists. I think it is right that the board should have power to grant loans in certain cases, and I should like the Minister to consider whether under Section 14—I take it that that is the section—it has power to grant loans, because I do not think it has. This is a board which is set up by statute to do certain statutory things. It cannot go outside that, and I do not think that sub-section (b) of Section 14 is wide enough or precise enough to give that power.

I am prepared to vote for this Bill because I think it will be very useful thing for the country and I hope a considerable amount more, a larger proportion than the Minister stated, will be spent on advertising. I do not think the people of the world generally realise the advantages we have to offer in our own way to people who wish to come here for a quite holiday. I have recently been abroad and I have not seen this country mentioned, so far as its advantages are concerned, while every country, countries that you would have to look into the geography book to see whether they exist or not, are mentioned or various railway platforms abroad; but you never see a word about our country. I think it is a very good thing that plenty of money will be spent on advertising. In so far as the amount of money that is going to be spent here is concerned, supposing the £600,000 would be permanently invested—it is not an annual payment; it is going to be a maximum, a permanent investment of £600,000—let us calculated that, at 5 per cent., and all you have to do is to bring into this country £30,000 and you have your 5 per cent. on the £600,000. If you had 6,000 tourists who would leave £5 each behind them you would have the £30,000, and if the whole thing were properly run you would have a great deal more. It is an excellent Bill and I hope it will go through and that the Minister will look into the matters I have mentioned.

I am afraid we are all so enthusiastic about the good qualities of this Bill that we are liable to overlook the possibilities of weaknesses in it. This Bill has been framed to carry on work that has been admirably done by the Irish Tourist Association, with very limited resources, for a large number of years. Their annual income amounts to something like £14,000, and with that comparatively small amount of money and with voluntary help by its executive committee in the matter of administration and with very few paid executive officials, that organisation has done a great deal of good for this country and has certainly put the tourist industry in a way that it now needs only this further push to make it a great success.

I am, in the first place, a priori, prejudiced against the running of any business by a Government because I think business run by a Government or a Government Department is never run on very sound commercial principles. Once a man begins to feel he is paid by a Government Department he gets dug in and has not that same interest in his work as if he was working for a person or a firm whose existence depended on the amount to be made out of that business. A fortiori, I object strongly to this board having the power to set itself up in business and run hotels, while at the same time it exercises the power of supervision and inspection over other hotels. I think that is the main feature in the Bill that I most strongly object to. Otherwise, the Bill, in regard to its powers to give help, monetary assistance, to acquire land and institute amenities in local centres, is very excellent. I think all those powers are very desirable.

I would add that in addition to the existing powers, which seem to be very board, the Minister might take in something which would be of a practical nature, something with regard to the provision of adequate staffs and intelligent, property-trained supervision for some of our hotels. We have got people in the country with the enterprise and with the capital necessary and they tell me that what they find most difficult in the running of a good class hotel is the getting of a trained staff. Very often it is difficult to get the services of a trained manager. I suggest that amongst the powers which should be acquired by the board would be the power to give scholarships for the purpose of training our young boys and girls in housework, house management and the science of domestic economy. I would also give them the power to send young people abroad and to help them by scholarships or small grants to get trained in some other countries that make a more permanent and a bigger feature of hotel life than we do here.

I think this board should be given authority to issue help to local authorities by way of improving local amenities and, net only that, but what I think is more important, giving assistance towards local necessities. I am referring now to such things as sanitation, water supplies and matters of that kind. We have in this country a very inadequate water supply, and with all our progress we have very crude ideas of modern sanitation. Anybody coming into our country and going to our hotels, in the smaller towns particularly, will complain most of all most the lack of facilities for bathing.

I have a case in mind where a friend of mine last year came from America to this country. He was connected with some of the big tourist bureaus there, railways and shipping companies. He made a particular study of matters here and he went to a big hotel in the West, in a fairly large town. This hotel is not run by an individual but by a limited liability company with plenty of capital. After a long, dusty journey he and his friends arrived at this hotel. The first thing they thought of was not food or drink, but a bath. The lady had her bath and the gentleman said he wanted a bath, too. He rang the bell, but there was no response. After a few minutes he put his head out of the door and he said that he wanted a bath. Then he heard the maid telling somebody in the lower regions that the gentleman in such and such a number wanted a bath. Up came the reply: "How the hell can you get a bath when the women has used all the water?" I am not exaggerating that at all; it is a true story.

The first thing our hotels should aim at is securing an abnormal amount of water. God sends us a fine rainfall, but we have no proper methods of harnessing that and putting it to good use in our towns in an effective manner. There are very few towns in the country with an efficient water supply. If this board can do something to help local bodies that are not able, out of their own resources, to get an adequate water supply, they will be doing very good work towards tourist development. The amount of money needed for a proper water supply in our towns would look very big compared with the £600,000 mentioned in this Bill. I have very strong ideas that the water supply of this country ought to be nationalised the same as our power, heat and light. It would take a big sum, but I think in the end it would be better and cheaper for the country.

In the papers every day you will see that some little town or other needs a water supply, that there is a shortage of water in one place, and in another place the pumping arrangements have gone wrong. We are sinking pumps here and there and what we are really doing is wasting money on water and not getting an adequate supply. I am very strong on this question of developing water supplies in view of the importance of our tourist industry. The first thing anybody coming from America or continental countries looks for is a plentiful supply of water in the bedrooms and any amount of baths; they are always taking baths. People in this country do not appreciate that very much, but we have not been trained in the modern methods. If we want to attract tourists we want not only good hotels—we can give them ordinary cleanliness in regard to bedrooms and they do not want French food; we can give them good, decent food—but also proper sanitation and plenty of baths.

I quite agree with Deputy Kissane that there is going to be no danger of the destruction of our Gaeltacht by reason of the development of the tourist association. As a matter of fact I do not see why it should not help the development of the Gaeltacht, because when people come into this country they do not want to come into Dublin or into any of our other cities. They do not want to see a modern Hollywood. They want to see us in our natural surroundings. They want to see our national life. That can be provided for them in the Gaeltacht where, not only the best of our scenery is situated but, at the same time, the nicest of our people live. I think tourists will be attracted by these people if the hotel services are adequately developed. Here again you have an opportunity of training our Irish boys and girls in the hotel business. I think many of our visitors would be very pleased to hear the Irish language spoken amongst our own native hills by these Irish boys and girls.

With regard to the number of members on the board, I think it is a matter of very small import whether you have five or seven members so long as they do the work laid out for them, but I do think that the number for a quorum should be raised to three. There is also the danger that there may be certain clashes between certain other authorities and the board. In the first place, the board having power to acquire certain lands, may clash with the Land Commission, because if certain amenities which are required would involve the acquisition of certain lands and if the board can, by giving notice, compulsorily acquire them, they may be outdone by the Land Commission. In other words, the Land Commission may step in and say "We are going to acquire this land for our purposes." There is a great danger of a clash there. There is also the danger that the board may clash, as pointed out by Deputy Childers, with certain local authorities with regard to such matters as town-planning. The board has the right to remove unsightly advertisements. That may be all very well, but there may be a local authority which is deriving a very nice income from the letting of public spaces for advertisements. Say that an urban council in a small town has a number of advertising spaces and is deriving an income from them. Then the Tourist Board may come along and say "Take down these hoardings. We are not going to allow these advertising spaces to remain." I cannot see anything in the Bill by which such clashes can be obviated. There may be other things in the Bill which will also lead to clashes but these are two instances in which two important bodies might very easily clash with the board.

We had a great objection to this Bill from the Wicklow people. They have been trenchantly dealt with by Deputy Mongan who pointed out that they have scarcely given any money to the development of the tourist industry up to now. He says that they never gave them anything worth speaking about. The representatives of Ga dín na hEireann, whilst perhaps they did not condemn the Bill outright, damned it with a certain amount of faint praise. I think that, on the whole, the Bill is a good one and that the Minister is to be congratulated on waking up to the possibilities of the immense development that lies in front of tourism. I should like also to express the hope that there will be no clash between the Irish Tourist Association and the new board. As a matter of fact, there should be some machinery set up by which the services of that old-established organisation should be recognised and there should be some way of getting the two bodies to operate hand in hand.

There is also the fear, now that the Government is providing money for this industry, that that fact may lessen local and individual enthusiasm. In other words, I fear that the local contribution may get weaker, or perhaps in some cases may not be given at all. That would be a very serious matter, not so much for the amount of money received from such sources but it would be well that the interest of local authorities should be maintained and that a connection between them and the tourist board should be preserved in the development of tourist resorts. I think the Bill is an excellent one, indeed, and will give great consolation and great hope to people who intend to invest money in hotels. One of the fundamental necessities is the proper staffing of our hotels. The difficulty of getting staffs for hotels at present is very great. Every effort should be made also to improve sanitation in the country, and to see that adequate water supplies are provided. The provision of plenty of hot and cold water and of baths in our hotels should also be strongly emphasised.

I am just anxious to ensure that there will be no conflict between local authorities and this board. I notice that in one of the clauses of the Bill power is given to the board to provide amusement schemes. Yet last week we had a Parliamentary Secretary telling us that the opportunities for spending money on relief schemes were getting less. At the moment, in Cork City we are considering schemes of the character which are outlined in this clause, and I am just wondering what would be the relationship between the tourist board and the Cork Corporation in that respect. I am inclined to agree with Deputy O'Neill that in places such as Youghal, where there is a council which requires considerable financial support before it can embark on any schemes such as this. there should be some authority which would enable the people to make the resort attractive. What is wrong in places like Youghal is that the local people have not the money necessary to develop the natural facilities of the resort. It is debatable whether it would be better to give local authori ties power to carry out local development of that kind than to have a board like this constituted. I am anxious to ascertain what the connection between these bodies will be or whether there will be any danger of conflict between local boards and the board to be set up under this Bill.

I should also like to refer to the statements made by Deputy Esmonde on the question of staffing of hotels. My experience, and I have some knowledge of hotel workers, is that they are very dissatisfied with their long hours and conditions of employment. For years they have been agitating that something should be done for them as far as hours and conditions of employment are concerned. I hope the Minister will not change the Conditions of Employment Act as suggested by Deputy Esmonde. My experience is that hotel workers are mostly seasonal workers and are very often out of employment. I think it would be altogether unfair if they were not allowed to take full advantage of the tourist traffic as well as everybody else.

I think the time has arrived when something should be done to make our seaside resorts more attractive than they are. I am prepared, therefore, to support the principle of the Bill, but I want to be clear as to whether there is any danger of conflict between the proposed board and local authorities. I know that in Cork certain schemes were adopted with the object of making Cork more attractive for tourists. We are told that we must not spend money in this manner unless the work is done in a specific way. If the tourist board can now come along and say that they are going to carry out work of this kind, irrespective of what a public board may do, it may lead to complications, and I should like the Minister to give us some indication as to what his intentions are in that respect.

Under this Bill there are immense possibilities of doing useful things to improve the prospects of the country as a whole. In my opinion, under the Bill there is a possibility of doing something that will be very beneficial not only for the industry that is particularly affected, but for the whole of the country generally, especially for many of the poorer parts of the country, by providing better prospects for the people living in these districts. I have in mind that in many of the western counties, which normally are not visited by tourists or never could be made a source of attraction by individuals, although there may be very fine scenery there, this Bill offers opportunities for providing facilities and bringing under the notice of possible visitors the beauties and attractions that are available. If the Bill could be directed towards the development of those areas which offer great attractions naturally and at the same time bring some prospect of spending money into those districts, then it could be, as I am sure it will be, not only ordinarily of very great advantage to the country as a whole, but have the special advantage of bringing some prospect of employment and of spending of money into the poorer districts.

I am of the opinion that the best method to adopt would be to have some form of association by which the local authorities would necessarily be in collaboration with the tourist board and, secondly, the Land Commission. I mention the Land Commission because, in many parts of the country, sometimes the most beautiful parts, there are old disused mansions. These have almost in all cases the advantage of having some lake in the vicinity as well as some very beautiful scenery surrounding them. I believe that many of these mansions could be utilised and at very little cost turned into very useful hostels or hotels. There is the further attraction that must almost inevitably grow up by the development of our fisheries. That is going to be a very big attraction. I believe these old mansions which, in most cases, are white elephants on the hands of the Land Commission, and in many cases are being pulled down at the public expense, could be utilised and thus continue to pay rates to the local authorities. For fishing purposes, I think it will be found that many of these old mansions would be the most attractive centres on which the tourist board could concentrate their efforts.

I am not enamoured by the proposal that the tourist board should go into the hotel business. I think it would be rather risky, in the early stages at least, because you can never visualise what may be the needs of people and what may be the centres of attraction within the next 20 years. At present we have in mind when we think of tourism the provision of good roads. Within the next 15 or 20 years the necessity for roads may be largely eliminated, as we may have aerial services, and in that way new districts which are not practical at the moment may be opened up. I do not think that the investment of any big sums of money in building hotels would at the beginning at any rate, be an advisable speculation or investment.

In addition to the possibilities of the ordinary tourist traffic and of attracting another section of tourists by offering facilities for fishing, there is also the question of afforestation. We have at present a fairly large scheme in hands for developing afforestation on a wider scale than ever before. That should, to a very large extent, increase the possibilities of game. There again the old mansions I have referred to would be ideal for making provision for the type of tourist interested in game shooting. I approve of this scheme generally, and I believe it can be given a definite bent, with advantage to the scheme as a whole, by making provision for a wider circulation of money and something in the form of greater attractions for tourist districts in the country. I hope the Minister will see that it is directed in that way so far as is practicable. On the whole, I believe the scheme is a good one, and I am glad to find that it has met with such general satisfaction.

In common with other Deputies, I welcome this Bill. I should like to make a few suggestions and to get the Minister's assurance in regard to certain points as to which I am not quite clear. In his opening statement, the Minister referred to loans which are to be of a profit-earning character. Am I to take it that any money made available by way of loan will be regarded by the board as an investment? I have received representations in regard to certain areas where the board of health and county council were unable to complete certain waterworks and road-making schemes. Hotel-owners and the local people generally in these districts intend to make an application to the board, and I should like to know if the money that is made available by way of loans could be utilised for these purposes. In other words, if there could be a certain co-operation between the board and the local authority which has no money at the moment to complete these schemes. Could the new board make money available to the local authority and arrange for some method of repayment? I should like to know is that what the Minister meant by loans of a profit-earning character. If that is so, the people I represent would be anxious to co-operate. I shall give one case as an example. In a tourist area in Rosbeg, County Kerry, the board of health spent £3,000 on a waterworks scheme. An area situated about a mile from that scheme has been developed in the meantime. Hotels have been built on the sea-coast there and the local people have applied for an extension of the waterworks scheme, which would cost about £1,000. That is the type of assistance to which I am referring and I should like to know if it would come within the schemes referred to.

Section 14 provides that the board may improve and maintain amenities and conditions which appear to the board to be likely to affect tourist traffic. We have also received representations from other areas with a view to opening up local roads to places of historic interest and I should like to know if money can be made available for the development of such districts and if that is what is meant by local amenities. We believe that very good work can be done by the board in expending money on that type of work.

If, as the Minister stated, the money cannot be expended unless there will be recoupment, my difficulty would be to get these works considered as coming within the category mentioned in the section. I referred on a previous Vote to representations that were made with regard to the damming of lakes and rivers adjacent to famous tourist resorts, and I suggest, now that this Bill is being put through, that there should be co-operation with other Departments, and that the Board of Works and this new board should adopt something like a ten years' plan to get such work carried out. In that way, considerable improvements could be made in certain areas. We have several places in Kerry where, if a few thousand pounds were spent in damming a lake or a river, they would be made much more valuable for fishery purposes, and be an asset to the tourist industry in that part of the country. I suggest that that type of scheme could be undertaken by the board as coming probably within the category mentioned here as an amenity which could be developed in the interest of tourism.

As to the point raised by Deputy Kissane and Deputy Mongan, with regard to the Irish language, I should mention that Ballinskelligs is an Irish-speaking centre, and is an area that should be considered under this scheme. Some years ago schemes were put forward in regard to Irish-speaking centres in Kerry, and some Departments were asked to co-operate, with a view to giving increased building facilities in these areas, as the local accommodation was insufficient. Farmers and other people made application to the Gaeltacht Housing Board for increased grants, in order to provide extra accommodation, but it was found that they could not be given under that scheme, and the suggestion was made that other Departments might co-operate in the matter. I see in this measure a great opportunity for development in that direction, because in the Ballinskelligs area we have a splendid Irish College. In the adjacent areas, where people have to be accommodated, there is also a shortage of housing facilities. I think this new board could go a long way towards formulating some scheme to extend facilities, whether in the way of hostels or a group of buildings, to accommodate the increased numbers of people that visit that Irish-speaking centre. I appreciate what Deputy Mongan and Deputy Kissane said in that respect.

Much capital has been made regarding the Minister's powers to take over land and fishing rights. There is one case in Kerry that is only an example of many other outstanding grievances. I refer to Waterville, where there is a weir and fishing owned by a Mr. Bourke, and it is so arranged that all the hotel-keepers in the area are prevented from reaping any benefit whatever from the fishing industry. Over and over again they made offers to the owner, and asked that he should allow a run of salmon to get through to the upper lake, at least, one day a week, but there has been no result. I submit that that is a case that could be dealt with under Section 19, so that there could be co-operation between the Department of Fisheries and this new board, to acquire that fishery for the general good of the district and for the advantage of the tourist industry. That is certainly an outstanding case and, on behalf of the people I represent in that area, I welcome the power proposed to be given in the section. I think that case is only one of many similar ones, and that it would certainly be a great benefit to the country if they could be dealt with. Tourists have refused to stay in some hotels in the area adjacent to the upper region of the lake, simply because no fish can get up owing to the construction of the weir. For that reason I am glad the question of fishing rights as well as boating rights are mentioned in the section.

In connection with Section 25, I only wish to make the case that was made previously regarding housing facilities at Ballinskelligs, and to see that the board is given power to define the position relating to hotels. There might be a danger, however, that the board could exclude the owners of hostels from taking any part in the accommodation of tourists. I appeal to the Minister to see that instead of any restrictions being placed in the way of those who would provide such facilities, they should be given extra grants. The plea may be made that these places are not situate in proper places, that they have not water supplies or sanitary arrangements. Everybody realises that what we hope for in Irish-speaking districts is to improve the standard of local conditions, and to bring hostels up to the level of modern hotels so that those who stay at them will appreciate having them in those districts.

The only other matter I want to deal with concerns the roads in those districts. Now, there again we have been up against it in regard to the matter of grants and co-operation. In certain areas, and particularly in the tourist area, which I hold is one of the finest in the world—that is, the area from Cahirciveen to West Cork, all along the southern coast—the county council and the Department of Local Government have done very good work in regard to road-making, but there are certain other roads off the beaten track. There are certain famous tourist paths, if you like, or tourist centres of historic interest, that have been left over. There is one main road which they call the Ring Road, and that has certainly been brought up to a very high standard and is an excellent road, but in other directions, as I have mentioned, we have small country roads or small bye roads that have been neglected completely and that are the only means of access to some of these famous places of interest. I believe that there should be some co-operation between the local authority and the Department of Local Government: in other words, that if moneys are to be made available a plan would be devised—a three-year plan or a five-year plan—to deal with this matter. We have put up recently to the Department of Local Government the case with regard to Valentia Island, where a one-year or a two-years' grant would be no use whatever, because it would be too expensive to get machinery into these places, but we have got a five-year plan. I think that is the kind of scheme in connection with which there should be general co-operation between this board and the Department of Local Government and the Board of Works or any other Department that might be concerned—this matter of road-making and so on. It is the only way in which something can be carried through effectively.

In conclusion, on behalf of the people I represent, I welcome this measure, and any suggestions that our people can make or that may be of any assistance to the board will be put forward. I congratulate the Minister and thank him on behalf of the people of Kerry, which is certainly a county that will benefit by this measure, and I can assure him that we appreciate the effort he has made with regard to this matter of tourist development.

I was glad to hear the chorus of approval for this Bill. There were one or two discordant notes. However, I suppose Deputies are entitled to opposition, but I wondered what the farmers, for instance, of a beautiful county like the County Wicklow would think when they heard the words of one of the Wicklow Deputies here, because if there is any county that has benefited more by the development of tourism, in my experience, which is very wide, I would say that that is the county which has benefited the most. The Bill was described by one Deputy as a drastic Bill, and I think that in the fact that it is so described lies its greatest merit. Tourism in this country was never placed on any kind of a stable footing. In fact, we found that in places where nature had thrown around her richest gifts these gifts had been acquired by people who could afford to spend the money upon them, that they had been developed by them for their own enjoyment, but that the same facilities very often were denied to the people. That is one of the reasons why I say that the fact that this Bill is drastic is one of the features which certainly commends the Bill to me.

Deputy Eamonn O'Neill said that the work was done admirably by the old board. The work of the old board, certainly, was admirably done, we agree. The Deputy finished on the same note, but in between he extolled the merits of this Bill, clearly recognising that this Bill was filling up a void which the old board could not fill. We have heard speakers who referred, in general, to one type of tourist, and that is the type who either is wealthy or moderately wealthy, or at least who can afford to choose the place in which he is going to have his house or to spend his holidays. We have heard very little, however, about the other type, and that is the new type of holiday-maker that is being created in this country as a result of the Conditions of Employment Act and the Workers' Holidays Act, and so on, which will provide holidays for thousands of workers for the first time in this year and which provided holidays for the first time for other thousands of workers last year. Now, these holiday-makers will not have a lot of money to spend, and something must be done to encourage them to provide for a holiday and to take a holiday in such resorts as will suit their limited means. For this reason I believe that it will be necessary for the board, which will be appointed when this Bill goes through, to make provision for these workers who will have holidays, in holiday resorts that will be adjacent to where they live— that is, in the beginning—in order to give the workers in the city the habit of leaving the city in times of leisure, thus making their lives a little bit fuller and better.

Take the case of a lot of our seaside resorts that are adjacent to Dublin. Take the case of the County Dublin, which I represent—that is, the whole of the County Dublin—if you leave out, perhaps, Dun Laoghaire, these seaside places along the coast from Bray to Balbriggan, let us say, are patronised by workers of this type, and yet for the most part they are undeveloped. In many instances also, you find that places which should be normally at the disposal of workers or holiday-makers of moderate means are not at their disposal; they are denied the use of them; you have barbed wire fences, high walls, notices that you cannot go here or that you cannot go there; and when people make voluntary efforts to provide these facilities for that type of worker, they are prevented by the people who have arrogated to themselves rights which they would not grant to others, because they could afford to do so.

It has been very difficult to develop these seaside resorts for two reasons. One reason is that seaside resorts usually are very highly valued. Secondly, amenities in these places have to provided for an influx of visitors in addition to the increased population which is noticeable in practically all Irish seaside resorts. but certainly in every seaside resort in County Dublin in recent years.

I recommend that one of the first activities of this board which is to be set up should be to provide for our new tourist: that is the working-class man, so that his eyes would be turned first towards his own country rather than towards any outside tourist resort to which excursions may be run. With regard to the development of these seaside resorts, I am glad to see that power is being taken under Section 19 for the provision of parks. That section gives power to the board to acquire land for any purpose whatever: for parks, bathing pools and for the improvement of boarding-houses and hotels. At the present time the local authorities have not the funds to do any of these things. Deputy Hickey I think it was who spoke of the distribution of money under this Bill on local employment schemes. In connection with that, I would recommend that the closest co-operation should be maintained with the local authority.

A number of previous speakers referred to the Irish language. I see no reason why it should not benefit fundamentally as a result of this Bill. The workers at first will take their holidays in some place near the city, but in future they will go farther afield, I imagine. That is the modern tendency, so that eventually they will, I have no doubt, want to explore the places where their fathers and grandfathers came from. They will then find themselves in the Gaeltacht, and will there have the opportunity of acquiring a knowledge of their own language.

The amount of money mentioned has been criticised. I think that those who have studied anything about tourist development in other countries realise that tourist resorts on the Continent and in Britain, and indeed everywhere throughout the world, are in the main lowly rated, the reason being that men some years ago had the vision to sink money in equipping those resorts with amenities which eventually would repay that expenditure. Those who have drafted this Bill have gone further, because under sub-section (3) of Section 17 they ensure that these moneys will come back, and eventually will be a benefit to the State. In conclusion, I want to lay emphasis on this point: that at the very beginning the new industrial holiday-making population will be catered for adequately under this Bill.

I listened with very great interest to the last speaker because my mind was running along much the same line as his. We have to visualise two classes of persons to be catered for under the Bill, namely, our own people and foreign visitors. The last speaker referred to our own people and to the facilities required to meet their needs. I would like to point out to the Minister that, so far as the seaside resorts in the County Dublin are concerned, excellent train facilities are provided. We are not in the same happy position in Cork. There are two very nice seaside places in my own constituency: one at Garryvoe and the other at Crosshaven. There is no means of getting to either place except by bus. The bus fare to Garryvoe is pretty stiff and not many workers would be able to pay it. There is not a good service to that resort either. In view of that, I seriously suggest to the Minister that transport facilities should be provided to holiday resorts for our own people. That should be one of the functions of the board.

Crosshaven is only about 12 miles from Cork City. Up to a few years ago it was served by the Cork-Blackrock and Passage railway, but since the discontinuance of that service it is a difficult job to get there now. The task of getting back on a Sunday night, after spending the day there, is not a very enviable one. There is a great rush for buses and up to a late hour at night buses have to be sent down from Cork to get the people home. Therefore, while we are considering this Bill principally from the point of view of the foreign visitor, we should at the same time give attention to the requirements of our own people. I am very glad that Deputy Mullen raised that matter. The provision of transport facilities for our seaside resorts should also be borne in mind. It is a very important factor. We have now in operation Acts which provide holidays, with pay, for workers. Many workers will, naturally avail of these facilities. As a matter of fact, before any of these Acts were passed it had been the custom for many workers to take their families to the seaside in the summer months.

I wonder would it be beyond the scope of the Bill if the board which is to be set up would inaugurate holiday schemes, that is, funds into which the workers would pay a certain weekly sum, thus making provision for their holidays in the summer time. The point that I want to stress is that we should pay particular attention to the facilities we provide under this Bill for our own people. With regard to the foreign visitors, I agree that advertising is a very important factor in attracting outside people to our shores. The service that those visitors get here will also prove, I should say, a very important factor. If they are well treated and go away satisfied they will, so to speak, become publicity agents for the country. They will tell their friends of the good holiday they had here and how satisfied they were with the service they got. It is wise, therefore, I think that provision is being made under the Bill for the inspection and supervision of hotels, hostels and of the other facilities available for holiday-makers and visitors. On that point I think the board has too much power. There should be some provision made whereby the Minister would be allowed, say in the case of a hotelkeeper or hostel-keeper who was denied registration, to hear an appeal from that person. It would be well for the Minister to consider on the Committee Stage the introduction of such a provision in the Bill. Very likely cases will arise in which people may not be satisfied with the decision of the board. Under the Bill, so far as I can see, there is no provision for such an appeal.

I am somewhat puzzled by a matter to which Deputy Hickey has already referred. Section 14 (c) says:

improve and maintain amenities and conditions which appear to the board to be likely to affect tourist traffic.

Has there been any consideration given to the fact that, under the present law, the boards of health are supposed to attend to matters like the water supply and sewerage facilities in the various places? I am wondering what will be the functions of the boards of health when the tourist board has been set up? Will the powers of the boards of health or their responsibilities be abrogated by this Bill? In other words, I can visualise places in my constituency which very badly require water supply or sewerage facilities. It is difficult to get the board of health to provide these. This new tourist board might take up that matter off its own bat. It may carry out such works. Then where does the board of health come in? Will the local people apply direct to the tourist board and ignore the boards of health? Will there be any co-operation between the two boards? These are a few of he matters which struck me on reading the Bill. I expect the Minister has given some thought to them. Probably there will be a more explicit case made for these matters by the Minister when dealing with the Bill seriatim.

With these few points rectified, I agree that the Bill is a very welcome one. It is time that this industry should be put on a national basis. There should be some uniformity with regard to the tourist traffic in this country.

A great many points which were raised in the course of a discussion on this Bill were hardly appropriate to a Second Reading debate. These points can be more usefully considered in Committee. I do not, therefore, propose to refer to them now. Neither would it be practicable to discuss local problems and how the board may deal with them. It is possible at this stage to give only a general indication of our intentions concerning the board and the manner of its functioning. Deputies will have to consider for themselves how these intentions solve or leave unsolved the local problems that concern them.

It was an obvious and an easy course to criticise the Bill on the ground that its introduction at this stage is inopportune, and that the Bill could be postponed until other and more urgent problems had been disposed of. I am glad that Deputy Brennan who was tempted to oppose the Bill on that ground resisted the temptation. He resisted the temptation of taking that very superficial view of the important matter with which the Bill deals. The view might have been taken that we are providing ourselves with certain luxuries in the form of improved holiday facilities. We do not regard an improvement in our holiday facilities as a luxury. We regard it as a matter of good business. If we are advising people to invest money in the development of holiday resorts and the provision of holiday resorts generally, we are doing so on the expectation that we will get a return in hard cash.

This is a business matter and not a matter of providing holiday facilities. This is a matter of equipping ourselves to take advantage of the trade that is there, a trade which is not so fully developed yet as it ought to be. There are valuable opportunities of establishing a new source of wealth— of establishing a new national income. Opportunities of that kind should not be missed. This opportunity of developing the tourist business may not be the only one and certainly it is not the only important one. But it is one that should not be neglected, because it is only by improving the national income and developing new sources of wealth that we can do something towards providing ourselves with other benefits and amenities to which Deputies refer.

It is quite correct to say that we must not in this matter lose our sense of proportion. The attraction of visitors from abroad, and what these visitors may do, what advantages they may bring to the country, are matters of importance. Apart altogether from these, there is available within the country a great volume of new holiday traffic with which we are not equipped to deal. There has been in the past ten or 15 years a great development in the holiday outlook of our people and, indeed, of all people. There has been enacted here and in other countries legislation giving the workers the right to annual holidays with pay. These two factors have created a new situation in the holiday catering business with which that business is not equipped to deal. The purpose of this Bill is to ensure that they will be assisted in putting themselves into the position whereby they will get full advantage out of the change in the situation. It is equally true that there is a possibility of doing better business in the tourist industry and of availing of circumstances that bring visitors from abroad. I fully agree with the views expressed by some Deputies that in that particular connection we must rely on the racial goodwill that we have in those countries and get those people in Great Britain, America, Canada and Australia, whose parents were born in Ireland, to take a holiday in this country. If we can do anything to attract these we can create a great volume of business which will be of benefit to a great many in this country. We have not yet adequately tackled the exploitation of that particular business, mainly because of the lack of funds. I hope this tourist board will be able to do it, because it will have the resources which heretofore were not available for that work at all.

It is correct to say that the effectiveness of this Bill will depend largely upon the board that will be appointed. Indeed everything will depend on the board. Many suggestions have been made about the board with which I do not agree. The question of the size of the board may not be a matter of importance. Personally I do not like the idea of a larger board. A board to be effective must be small in number. If we make it larger there is the danger that irresistible pressure will be put upon it and pressure will be used to appoint persons because of their representative capacity. I do not contemplate that any member of the board will represent anybody. My view is that they will be appointed because of their individual capacity and not because of their representative capacity. I do not think the board or the members of it should represent particular interests or that it should represent particular parts of the country. If we were to find a board the members of which would be representative of all parts of the country or representative of a large number of interests that board would be entirely too unwieldy.

Have they been selected yet?

They have not been selected yet. In that connection, perhaps, I may say a few words about some suggestions made here. There was the suggestion that the chairman of the Irish Tourist Association should be ex-officio a member of the tourist board. I do not approve of that. At a particular time the person who holds that office may be the most suitable that could be appointed. But I do not hold that he should be an ex-officio member of the tourist board.

Some criticism has been expressed about the provision in the Bill which debars members of the Dáil and Seanad from being members of the board. There is, on general grounds, an objection to the appointment of members of the Dáil or Seanad on the board of a concern which is subsidised out of the public purse, a board which must be subject to the criticism of the Dáil on the occasion of the annual Vote. This might establish a precedent which in due course might develop into an abuse.

There are, however, apart from that general ground, particular grounds in this instance. It is, I think, desirable that the Government, through the responsible Minister, should alone be competent to deal in the House with the affairs of the board and to answer for the board, but, more particularly, there is the desirability of removing the possibility of the impression being created that one particular district was getting more favourable treatment than another because the local Parliamentary representative was a member of the board when other areas, other districts and other constituencies had not got that advantage. These are all important reasons. The decision of the Government to act upon these reasons and to insert that section in the Bill had no relation to personalities, but if the point is stressed and an amendment moved to delete the section, the force of these reasons can be considered, and, while I do not think the House will find the Government adamant on the matter, I think it is quite probable that when the appointment of the board arises, the same reasons will be equally effective in determining the Government's choice.

The big point made against the powers of the board was that they contemplated the possibility of the board going into the hotel business in competition with those already there. It is not intended that the board should undertake the construction and operation of hotels in competition with existing enterprises, but it is desirable, I think, that the board should have the power of doing so. There are two reasons for my saying that. There may be cases—I can think of one immediately—where private enterprise will not, for obvious reasons, provide a hotel or similar accommodation which the national interests might demand, because it will not be profitable. Private interests, I take it, work for profit, and there may be cases where suitable hotel or similar accommodation is desirable in particular localities, but where that accommodation could not be provided at a profit. The case that occurs to me at once is Rhynana Airport, in County Clare. The volume of traffic passing through that area is not likely, for some years, at any rate, to be sufficiently heavy to maintain a good hotel in that vicinity, but I think we should have a good hotel in that vicinity, no matter who provides it, or how it is to be maintained.

For passengers in or out, or both?

For both passengers and other people who might choose to avail of the hotel accommodation there.

It is only about ten miles from Ennis.

It is a good deal more than that by road.

If it is, it is less than that from Limerick.

The Deputy may be right there. I assume that 99 per cent. of the hotel-keepers in the country would be only too glad to avail of the assistance the board can give them to improve the standard of accommodation they provide. That is a reasonable assumption, and the board is being given powers and facilities to enable them to assist these hotel proprietors to improve their standards of accommodation, and to improve the facilities they are providing for travellers at present; but there may be an odd case where, because of lack of initiative or enterprise, it may be impossible to get, through the persons who are now engaged in the catering business in particular localities, a proper standard of accommodation in these localities, and it will help the board, in its efforts to stimulate enterprise, to get the initiative and the results it desires, to have the powers which the Bill gives to it. I certainly would be very slow to accept any amendment to reduce these powers, and I am supported in that decision by the statement made by Deputy Mongan, who is Chairman of the Hotel Proprietors' Association, that that body has no objection whatever to these powers and no fear that the powers will be used to the detriment of genuine private enterprise.

It is, of course, obvious that the board, to be really effective, will have to work in very close co-operation with the local authorities in the various areas. It is, in fact, impossible to conceive the board being effective, unless it gets the active co-operation and goodwill of these local authorities, at any rate in respect of many of the matters which will engage its attention. The most effective work the board can do in the provision of amenities in the various areas in which they are required is to assist the local authorities to provide them, either by helping them to borrow money for the purpose or in whatever other way the circumstances of the particular case may demand. It is clear, however, that we are not giving the board power to do many of the things which some Deputies thought they should undertake, such as the control of building in seaside towns and other matters of that kind. The existence of this board, a board which will be charged with ensuring that whatever can be done is done to develop the holiday business and tourist traffic in the country, will be in itself an incentive to other interests, whether they are Government Departments or local authorities dealing with tourist roads or town-planning schemes, to conform to the general programme of the board in relation to these matters, and it will be of assistance to Deputies and others interested in these matters to have a board there willing to co-operate in the development of a particular area, if the other parties concerned, the local authority or Government Department, assist in the manner desired, whether by effective operation of the powers given under the Town Planning Act, the provision of tourist roads, or in some other way.

Deputy O'Sullivan dealt with an important point when he referred to the desirability of developing particular resorts according to their characteristics. We have that in mind, and the provisions in this Bill to give the board extended powers of control over developments in what are described as tourist areas were inserted for the express purpose the Deputy had in mind. It is obvious that it would spoil the attractiveness of particular areas if they were developed, say, as certain British seaside resorts are developed; on the other hand, people who want that other type of holiday are entitled to get it in the areas suitable for it, and it is precisely to ensure that development in each particular holiday district is along right lines, along lines which take the fullest possible advantage of the natural characteristics of the district, that we are giving the board these special powers.

I have to apologise to Deputy Benson for the delay in circulating the Bill. It was my hope that we would have the Bill before the Dáil early this year, and perhaps have it law by now, with the board in operation, but pressure of work in the draftsman's office, due to the exceptional circumstances of the past six months, and pressure of work on the Government, have delayed the Bill, and it is only now we have been able to get it before the Dáil. Now that it is here, it will take its normal course through both Houses, but I am endeavouring to arrange matters so that the board will come into existence and the Bill will begin to operate as soon as possible after it becomes law, although it is clear that the power of the board to do anything effective in the course of the present year has been substantially reduced by the unavoidable delay. All the other matters to which reference was made—the size of the board, the constitution of the board and its powers—can be discussed in detail on the Committee Stage. I think it would be undesirable to try to deal with them now because, in the first instance, it would take much too long, and my comments on them, in the second instance, would be totally inadequate.

I was interested in the views expressed by various Deputies as to the possible effect of the Bill on the Gaelic language, and on the preservation of the language in Gaeltacht areas. I think that a most important matter, and again, I must express the view that the results of the board's working upon that problem, as on others, will depend very largely upon the personnel of the board.

I can assure the House that the board to be appointed will be made to realise the great importance which the Government attaches to the preservation of the language and the development of the Gaeltacht, and will be warned of the inadvisability of taking any course of action which might have the opposite effect. It seems to me, however, that this board can do very useful work in the development of the Gaeltacht and in the spread of the language by assisting organisations which are interested in bringing people for holidays to the Gaeltacht—holidays which are associated with the organised study of the language—and by various other means. On that account, I do not think that those who are concerned with the Gaelic revival need be in any way apprehensive of the effect of the passage of this Bill on their work.

Is it intended that a fluent knowledge of Irish shall be one of the qualifications required for membership of the board?

That will not be required by the Bill. It is not the intention to restrict in any way the enterprise of existing organisations which undertake hotel inspection. These organisations which, for the benefit of their members, publish a handbook giving information about the service available at particular hotels will, I suppose, continue to operate in the future. We are not preventing them from doing so. It is intended that the Irish Tourist Association will continue its present activities. The only change in existing circumstances will be that the expenditure of the organisation will, in future, require to be approved by the board instead of by the Minister for Industry and Commerce. In the Bill, we are in fact providing for increased contributions to the Irish Tourist Association from the county boroughs. It is hoped that the contributions at present being made to the association by local bodies will be continued and I, for one, will raise no objection if this new board helps to ensure a continuance of these contributions by directing its activities so as to confer the greatest benefit on those areas which make a contribution as compared with the areas which do not, or which may not do so in future.

The contributions will be voluntary.

Yes. The question of appeal from the decisions of the board is one of considerable difficulty. I think we had better leave the discussion of it over until Committee Stage, when I shall give my views in that connection. It seems to me that you do not get the safeguard some Deputies think by having an appeal to the Minister for Industry and Commerce or some other authority and that, in the long run, the placing of sole responsibility on the board may be the safer course. I do not see the force of the objection which some Deputy made to the section which gives a registered hotel proprietor in a particular locality the power to object to the registration of another hotel in the same area. The objection cannot be sustained. The board cannot refuse registration except it is clear that the premises are ineligible for registration. That is a point the Deputy seems to have overlooked. We had hoped that hotel proprietors would have an interest in objecting to the registration of other premises ineligible for registration because of unsuitability, and in that way, that there would be a continuous check upon the proprietors of such premises, so that they would be kept suitable for registration.

The same would apply to a new building?

A man is entitled to build, and he must get a licence if the premises are suitable?

Yes. Regarding the powers taken to control names, Deputy Mulcahy contemplated the possibility of these powers being evaded by the adoption of special devices. He gave examples of how premises could be described not as hotels, hotels or guest-houses but by some other designation, thereby getting outside the control of the board. I shall consider that matter and, if it is necessary to amend the Bill so as to prevent that type of evasion, we can do so on Committee Stage. For Deputy Childers' information, it is not intended, under this Bill, to authorise the conduct of casinos.

I do not think it is necessary to deal now with any of the other matters which were raised. I shall be only too happy to discuss any of them with Deputies interested when the Bill is before us on Committee Stage. The points raised were mostly Committee points. So far as I could gather, the principle of the Bill was generally accepted by the House, and it is better to allow this debate to come to a conclusion now and arrange for the discussion of these other matters when the Committee Stage is reached.

There is no power to deal with defacement?

The Deputy raised a point as to whether the board has power to make loans——

That is not the point to which I am referring now. The point to which I am referring is the defacement of the countryside by sheds of an appalling description. Apparently, nobody has any power to check that.

I intended to look into that matter which, I think, is important. In Part IV of the Bill, we are taking power to establish special tourist areas. Where that is done, the board will have a lot of additional powers, including powers to restrict the erection of tents or advertisements or other temporary structures. Whether or not that would be sufficient to cover the point the Deputy has in mind, I do not know but I shall examine the matter. It is intended that the board will advance money on loan. The Deputy raised a question as to whether or not that provision was adequately phrased. That is purely a drafting point.

Can this board go into an area and do certain works without the permission or cognisance of the local authority?

That is a very wide question.

Should there not be some safeguard? They might cut across a town-planning scheme.

The local authority could prevent that. In the ordinary course, they will merely assist the local authority in the doing of certain things.

They will be welcome in most cases but there should be some kind of protection for the local authority.

In every area, the board may do a lot of things which are no concern of the local authority but, if they are, they will act with the local authority.

Who will determine whether or not the character of a seaside resort is to be altered? Take the case of an area which has been declared a special area. That may have been the resort of people who prefer quiet. After it is declared a special area, will the board have power to make it an up-to-date place, with amusements and all that sort of thing?

The Deputy who referred to the possibility of Greystones being turned into a second Blackpool has misread the Bill. There is no power in the Bill to compel people to put in certain facilities or amenities. The power taken is to restrict people from putting in facilities or amenities of an unsuitable kind. It is the Minister for Industry and Commerce who determines whether or not an area will be declared a special area and it is possible for the Dáil to annul any order he makes.

What is the power of the board in regard to inadequate health services at a seaside resort?

This board will have no power to deal with that, but they will have power to go to the local authority and say, "This is a tourist resort, or can be developed as a tourist resort." In order to do so, there must be better public health services, and it must be possible to raise the money for the local authority if the local authority could not do it themselves; and the difficulties may be got over in this way. But the main function will be to get the job done.

Question put and agreed to.
Committee stage ordered for Wednesday, 10th May.