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Dáil Éireann debate -
Tuesday, 9 Jul 1946

Vol. 102 No. 3

Committee on Finance. - Industrial Research and Standards Bill, 1946—Committee.

Sections 1, 2, 3 and 4 agreed to.

Major de Valera

I move amendment No. 1:—

To delete paragraph "c" and substitute therefore a new paragraph as follows:—

(c) to supervise and control the testing and analyses of commodities intended for sale or for use by the public and where necessary or expedient for such effective supervision and control, to test and analyse such commodities and to publish the results of such tests and analyses.

I think I raised on the Second Stage a question as to the implementation of paragraph (c) which defines the functions of the institute. That paragraph reads:—

"To test and analyse commodities intended for sale or for use by the public and to publish the results of such tests and analyses."

The difficulty in that section as it stands is this, as an enabling section it is certainly wide enough to cover whatever powers the Minister wants, and as a mere enabling section it is not objectionable. But, in my opinion, it is rather too wide. The clause is wide enough to embrace as part of the functions of the Research Institute the whole gamut of analyses under the Food and Drugs Acts and so forth. In fact, it is wide enough to constitute the institute a super public analyst, in fact a State institution for carrying out the duties of a public analyst. I think I am right in saying that that is not the Minister's intention, that the intention is to set up a bill of standards, which will define the necessary standards, and that this clause is simply to enable him to make that function effective. For that reason, I am moving this amendment. It all boils down to this: does the Minister intend to set up a very elaborate public analyst department, or is it simply to enable the section to give effect to the standards laid down by the bill of standards?

I see another difficulty in this Bill as it stands. It is so wide that I can see it applying itself to such matters as food regulations under the Public Health Bill, when it becomes law, or the Food and Drugs Acts as they stand. There is a big question as regards the existing public analyst. Does this measure, as it stands, encroach upon the functions of public analysts as they exist? For the information of the House, I might mention what probably every Deputy knows, that it is mandatory on every local authority to appoint a public analyst. These public analysts, in fact, fulfil an important function. They carry out analyses referred to them, either by these bodies or by private persons, with a view to seeing that commodities conform, or otherwise; and they further carry out a useful function of general analyses for the convenience of the public and of industrial firms. As this paragraph stands there is a threat to these public analysts. I do not think it is the Minister's intention to act in any way to the detriment of these analysts but, for the purpose of clarifying the situation, I move this amendment. I think the function that is required is merely one of supervising and making sure that the standards laid down are effective. In actual practice the normal way would be that public analysts would function as heretofore, determine the agreement, or otherwise, of the commodities with the standards laid down and the function of the institute would be to co-ordinate and control these standards.

There is one other matter, which is of no little interest to the House, in this connection. It is the question of finance. If, on the one hand, the intention is merely to have a bureau of standards with the necessary machinery for making it effective, while the work of analyses is carried out by public analysts, then the size of the institute and the equipment involved need not be excessive. If, on the other hand, it is visualised that the institute will itself carry out such analyses and will itself arrange for control I can see a much greater expenditure being involved—a much greater expenditure as regards staff, equipment and accommodation, for work which is being done now as economically as it can be done under the present system of public analysts. In other words, the routine of analyses and the implementation of the standards laid down in their application to ordinary commodities is no part of the ordinary function of an institute like this and, therefore, that work should be left to the public analyst. It is for that reason that I move this amendment.

I agree with Deputy de Valera's amendment to this section. What we want to find out is if it is the intention of the Minister in this respect that this Industrial Research Institute should engage in public analyses or should it confine itself to the setting up of standards? I think Deputy de Valera has put the case very clearly. Is it the Minister's intention that this Research Institute should carry out the work which is at present being carried out by public analysts and analytical chemists. I personally do not imagine that is the Minister's intention.

I have the greatest sympathy with the section as it stands in order that the Research Institute should have widest possible powers, but I would be very averse to giving it powers which would conflict with people who are earning their bread and butter on this particular type of work at the present time. I would also ask the Minister if this is likely to interfere with the administration of the Food and Drugs Acts and the Fertilisers and Feeding-Stuffs Acts.

I understand that public analysts and analytical chemists are somewhat perturbed at the prospect that the powers given to the institute under paragraph (c) of Section 5, might be availed of to give the public a free service for which they now have to pay when employing public analysts and analytical chemists and that their livelihoods may thereby suffer some interference. I tried to explain in a brief form when introducing the Bill on Second Reading what the motives were in providing, as in paragraph (c), that the institute would have the function of testing and analysing commodities intended for sale and publishing the results of them. It is quite clear that the institute must have power to test and analyse commodities offered for sale. It may need to do so arising out of its research activities. It will certainly need to do so arising out of its control of standards; and I think it is desirable it should also do so on its own initiative where it believes the public welfare will be served by making known the results of tests or analyses of goods offered for sale. It is not intended, however, that it should do in circumstances where a public analyst would be now employed. I do not think this amendment meets the case.

However, I am prepared to consider to what extent it is possible to provide a legal assurance to the public analysts and analytical chemists that the powers of the institute will not be used to their detriment in the manner they fear. It is necessary that the institute should have functions and powers given to it in this regard. It may, however, be possible to devise some form of words which will be of more value to the persons concerned than my assurance as to the manner in which the powers shall be used and which will provide an effective safeguard for them. This amendment as it stands will not do that but if Deputy de Valera will allow the matter to stand over I will consider to what extent it is possible to get into the Bill limiting words which will have the effect of giving the institute the functions and powers it should have but will, at the same time, ensure that these functions and powers will not be used to the detriment of public analysts and analytical chemists who are gainfully employed now in those fields.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Sections 5 and 6 agreed to.
Question proposed: "That Section 7 stand part of the Bill."

On Section 7, may I take it that the committee may fix expenses without limitation or without any check by the Minister?

Reference was made to that in the Second Reading. The position is that the State is going to give £15,000 to this institute to carry on its administrative work and meet its ordinary routine outgoings. In order to minimise the extent to which the State would control or exercise power of supervision over the functioning of the committee, or the expenditure of the council, we propose to leave it to themselves to determine what their own remuneration should be. We will endeavour to get a responsible committee which will not act in a foolish or irresponsible manner. I thought it desirable, however, to leave that matter to themselves rather than that we should take power to fix remuneration and thereby exercise a more detailed supervision over the committee.

Section 7 agreed to.

Major de Valera

I move amendment No. 2:—

In sub-section (2), line 18, to delete the words "nine members" and substitute therefor the words "six members in addition to the director."

Very little need be said about this because the matter was dealt with to some extent on the Second Reading of this Bill. The reason for inserting the director here is tied up with Section 15. We are dealing with Section 8. The reason for moving the reduction in numbers is because the Minister wishes this to be a working committee or an executive committee which will get work done and not merely an advisory body. From all our experience of large committees I think it is desirable that the number here should be limited. I think the work will be done more expeditiously and more effectively by six men than it could be done by nine men. That is the net reason for this. Six members would also allow for representation of the various scientific interests that would be necessary, such as physicists, chemists, engineers, etc; perhaps you will want a biologist too. So much for the number.

With regard to the inclusion of the director, I do not wish to press that point on the Minister, but I should like to go back to the point made on the Second Reading Stage of the Bill, that the position of the director was anomalous and that, to my mind, there were two solutions, not perfect, but the best that could be got. One was to make him the chairman of that committee; the other was to make him the executive. I am moving that he should be ex officio chairman of the committee in the later amendment and, therefore, the committee would consist of the six members mentioned together with the director. That is the reason for the amendment.

I am not at all sure that it is wise to seek to reduce the size of the committee, because it may be necessary, in order to give representation on this committee to the various interests that should be represented on it, to have a committee of nine. Nor would I agree that a committee of nine would be necessarily slow and cumbersome. I would, however, be prepared to leave the matter in a more open form by amending sub-section (2) so as to provide that the committee would consist of not more than nine members, so that it would not be necessary to have the full nine members appointed at any one time. I would not regard it as desirable, however, that the size of the committee should be necessarily restricted below nine, because in matters with which this committee will deal I think there is a good deal to be said for the point of view that wisdom lies in a multitude of counsel.

I doubt very much that the functions of this institute will be facilitated by restricting unduly the size of the committee. It is a somewhat different type of organisation from the more commercial type of body where small numbers lead to quick decisions and prompt action. That will not be so essential so far as this committee is concerned, where it is important that there should be brought to bear on the problems with which the committee will deal the minds of people who have a specialised type of training or individual points of view. Therefore, I feel strongly that the number should not be changed in sub-section (2), but I will consider submitting to the Dáil on the Report Stage an amendment which will provide that the committee will consist of not more that nine members.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Section 8 put and agreed to.
Section 9 put and agreed to.
Question proposed: "That Section 10 stand part of the Bill."

This is what I was dealing with previously. The other section referred to the council; this refers to the committee and the same principle applies throughout.

They have power to fix their own remuneration?

Yes. They are to run the institute and are given a certain amount with which to run it. We assume that we will get a committee which will make the best possible use of it. I have no strong objection to taking power for the Minister for Industry and Commerce to fix their remuneration. It is just that I felt it is desirable in relation to this committee to establish the relationship of complete trust in their judgment and in the administration of the institute and of the funds of the institute which is implied by putting Section 10 in the form in which it is here, rather than maintaining the principle we have applied in other cases of requiring Ministerial sanction for each item of expenditure.

In the case of a committee like that you might easily find these people under-remunerating themselves instead of over-remunerating themselves.

It could happen.

Question put and agreed to.
Sections 11, 12 and 13 agreed to.

Major de Valera

I move amendment No. 3:—

To add at the end of the section a new sub-section as follows:—

(3) The director shall be ex officio the chairman of the Industrial Research Committee.

The net point is that in the section as it stands, taking it in conjunction with Section 15, the director of this institute is in a peculiar position. He is subordinate, apparently, to the research committee and he cannot even vote there. He must carry out the research decided on by them and the directions of the standards committee. In addition to that, he is empowered to act independently on behalf of the institute. As Deputy Hughes said on the Second Reading Stage, I think that this makes for friction, because you will have two heads, and the question is, to my mind, whether the director should be the chairman of the research committee, which will be the committee that will be getting work done in the sense of executive work, or whether he should be the executive of it. I am moving the amendment in the form that he should be the chairman of the committee. But, of course, the other solution is equally desirable. There is no reason for delaying the House further except to press the point of view on the Minister.

The Deputy will understand that it is a matter which has been fairly fully considered and that the type of organisation contemplated in the Bill was decided upon after that full consideration. It is a matter upon which it must be recognised that individual judgments may very easily differ. I would not agree at all that the director should be chairman of the committee. I think a chairman independent of the director is a better system of organisation. It has proved to be so in private business and is likely to be so in an organisation of this character. It is necessary in that connection to bear in mind that we are really setting up two institutions. There will be one building, one staff, and one set of equipment, but two separate authorities using the building and the equipment for somewhat divergent purposes and having this director as their executive officer in the performance of their functions.

The research committee and the standards committee will stand in relation to the director on an equal footing. If you make the director chairman of the research committee it would, I think, necessitate a reconsideration of the whole scheme of the Bill, because he would then be in a somewhat different relationship to the standards committee than is proposed here. It is true that we are establishing a research committee not merely as the body in charge of the research activities of the institute, but also as the financial authority of the institute. It will control the funds and, to that extent, it will rank superior in the organisation of the institute to the standards committee. But, in so far as the standards committee have separate functions to perform, they will be independent of the research committee in the performance of those functions and will be entitled to get the services of the director and the staff of the institute to whatever extent is necessary for them.

There will be a situation which will be somewhat unusual, in having two separate bodies using the same institute, the same equipment and staff, and, because of that, it was preferable that the position of director should be defined clearly in relation to both. The intention is that the Research Committee will have full power to decide how the funds available to the institute will be spent and what individual items of research will be undertaken there. We are proceeding with a different machine from that we had previously in the Industrial Research Council. The Industrial Research Council had nothing except a library, and the disposal of certain funds. In order to get certain research work done, it had to enter into an arrangement with the university colleges or other persons in control of equipment so as to have the equipment available for the purpose of its researches.

In the future this institute will have its own laboratories, equipment and staff and it will be necessary for the director to have control of the staff. We clearly set him up as the authority which controls the staff. He is responsible for discipline of the staff and for the proper running of the institute. One of his duties will be to see that work is always there for the staff, even if there are gaps in the research programme, or if, for any reason, researches have to be delayed or suspended or postponed for a period. It is for that reason we give the director the power to carry on and direct activities independently of the committee. We do not give him the power to refuse to obey the instructions of the committee, to refuse to do anything the committee may direct him to do, but we give him power on his own initiative to employ the staff and the resources and the equipment of the institute on research activities which he thinks worth while and which can be fitted into the inevitable gaps which will occur in the programme of the research committee.

It is impossible to be dogmatic in a matter of this kind. I think this is the type of organisation that will work best. I may be wrong and it may be necessary to reconsider the matter if difficulties should arise, but I think they are less likely to arise in this type of organisation than in an organisation of a different kind. There may be friction. I do not think anything we can put in a Bill will avoid friction if there are personal incompatibilities. I hope it will be possible now and in the future to get officers who will work harmoniously one with the other and thus eliminate the possibilities of friction. If friction should arise between the director and the committee or any of the staff of the institute, I do not think we could eliminate it by changing the provisions of the Bill. We may eliminate it by changing the director or the committee or the staff, and that step might have to be taken. I think it is much wiser to leave the Bill as it is.

I gave the matter careful consideration. Various people advocated alternative forms of organisation. Deputy de Valera suggested one and there have been even different types of organisation suggested from that contemplated by either of us. Having regard to the experience of the Industrial Research Council, and some experience of other organisations of this character, and information as to how such institutes have been organised elsewhere, I think the scheme provided for in the Bill is really workable and is likely to prove satisfactory. That hope may prove to be unfounded, but I prefer to leave the Bill as it is and see how it works rather than proceed on the other basis of having the director an ex officio chairman of the committee or clearly subordinate to the committee in all respects.

Major de Valera

I take it from the Minister that the intention is that the director will be a managing director under a board of directors.

The director will be a managing director of the institute, but whatever the Research Council decides must be done, he must do. There will be no question of the director having any power to refuse to carry out the instructions of the council. These instructions must be carried out by the director but, if the opportunity offers, he may carry on independent research through the institute. That is the one respect in which he is given independent status. He is independent of the committee in his appointment and it will be appreciated that the probability is that the director, if he proves satisfactory, will remain there for life, whereas the personnel of the council might change.

Major de Valera

I see a difficulty in the words, in Section 15, "the conduct of research". These words in the Bill seem to me to give him a wide scope independent of the body which is intended to conduct research. What will be the machinery for referring problems to this institute? Is it visualised that the institute or the committee or the director, if he has separate powers, will decide on problems, or will it be a question of having problems referred to them?

The institute shall carry out such researches, including researches on a laboratory or on a pilot plant scale, and such investigations, tests and analyses as the Minister may request and may, in addition, carry out such researches and such investigations, tests and analyses as the committee or the director may from time to time think proper. The practice will be that the committee will come at the beginning of a year with a research programme for the year, to be financed partially out of the £15,000 annual grant and partially by means of special grants for which the Bill provides. The adequacy or suitability of the research programme will be considered and there will be agreement on behalf of the committee to limit activities in certain directions and on behalf of the Minister to introduce a Supplementary Estimate in the Dáil to provide for whatever grants, over and above the annual allocation, may be required. In practice that is what will happen. We provide that the institute shall carry out whatever researches may be requested by the Minister and they may carry out researches in addition which they themselves consider worth while.

Major de Valera

Supposing the director decides it is desirable to embark on a certain research and he brings it before the committee and the committee decide that the research should not be undertaken, we have under the terms of the Bill a situation where the committee says "no" and decides against the research, but nevertheless the director, if he feels strongly enough, under the powers conferred by Section 15 could say: "Very well, but it will be carried out by my independent research." There is a concrete example of where friction could occur and there is nothing in the Bill to prevent it.

Clearly, the type of research work which the director could carry out against the wishes of the committee would be limited in so far as he could spend no large sums of money. He could use the services of the staff and the equipment and resources, but, unless the committee are prepared to devote money to the purpose, the director will have very little to work on.

Major de Valera

The staff and equipment are all he requires for the purpose of research.

Not necessarily so, and clearly the power of the director to carry out research independently is subject to his primary duty to direct and supervise the conduct of the research decided upon by the committee.

Major de Valera

Are the words there, "subject thereto", a sufficient safeguard?

You have not merely the words "subject thereto", but also the words "primary duties". I think it is quite clear that his primary duty is to do what the committee desire and it is only subject to the discharge of that primary duty that he may carry out other work.

Major de Valera

I will not press the amendment to Section 14, but I see that difficulty and it may be necessary later in the institute's history to amend that.

I admit that is possible.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Section 14 agreed to.

Major de Valera

I do not wish to move amendment No. 4, but I would like an assurance from the Minister that he will look into the point. I accept his explanation, but I feel that the wording of the section could be improved.

The wording might be improved. I shall look into the matter of the wording. The intention is to put upon the director this obligation to carry out the research decided upon by the committee and, subject to that, to give him a certain right of independence.

Amendment No. 4 not moved.
Sections 15, 16 and 17 agreed to.

Major de Valera

I move amendment No. 5, of the additional amendments:—

To insert in line 3, and in line 7, before the word "such" the words "or cause to be carried out".

These amendments have been circulated in typescript.

Mr. Morrissey

Perhaps the Deputy would read out the amendments?

Major de Valera

The actual wording of the section is "The institute shall carry out such researches, including researches on a laboratory or on a pilot plant scale and such investigations," etcetera. Later on it says "and may in addition carry out such researches... as the said committee or the directors may from time to time think proper." The amendment proposes to insert before the word "such," the words "or cause to be carried out." The section would then read "The institute shall carry out or cause to be carried out such researches," etcetera, and again in line 7 the section would read "carry out or cause to be carried out such researches." My reason for moving the amendment is that although it is the Minister's intention to have a very elaborate institution, and as far as possible to have this institution self-contained, in the problems which in practice will confront any major research, there will be side-lines which may be more easily dealt with in some other laboratory than in the laboratories of the institute.

To make the matter more specific, supposing in the conduct of a research, the need for a specialised spectroscopic examination arises. In the course of some research on metal, or it may be on some chemical, there may be some need for a detailed investigation of a spectroscopic nature. That is a highly specialised business and even if the institute might have certain spectroscopic apparatus available, it might not be able to cater for that problem. If it were decided to equip itself to cater for just that problem it might find itself confronted with quite unnecessary expenditure, on the provision of equipment which would not normally be wanted and which would not normally be used. Not only would it be confronted with the difficulty and expense of obtaining that equipment, but it would also be confronted with the difficulty of getting an actual specialist in spectroscopy. It might not be economic in the ordinary running of the Institute to maintain a spectroscopic department so what is the institute to do? On the other side of the picture you have in University College, Dublin, a relatively well-equipped school of spectroscopy, with the gratings and other equipment in charge of a very experienced person. In such a case like that, the research committee and the director might like to refer the problem to such an experienced and trained school. It might be the most economical way of doing if and it would probably be the most expeditious way of doing it.

I have taken one example but it can occur in a great number of lines. Any Deputy can use his imagination. For that reason I move the insertion of these words in the section for the sole purpose of leaving it open to the director or the research committee, as the case may be, to refer problems of that nature to the laboratories where they can be more expeditiously and economically dealt with. This in no way cuts across the functions of the institute itself. I would strongly recommend the Minister to accept the amendment because, no matter what happens, in actual fact the institute will have to avail itself of outside resources. There is no use in talking of it as completely Sinn Fein with a wall around it. Even in the matter of a library, the institute may have to rely on the library of the Royal Dublin Society, of University College, Dublin, or other libraries. There is nothing wrong in that. I am not advocating a new line of procedure at all but circumstances will arise in which recourse to outside facilities may be necessary. I therefore move the amendment.

There is nothing in the Bill which prevents the institute from arranging with universities, colleges or other authorities for conducting on its behalf specific inquiries or furnishing answers to particular queries which they are in a position to give, or on matters which they are equipped to explore. I want to be clear, however— and perhaps this is where Deputy de Valera and myself are in disagreement —that it is intended that this institute will set up its own building and its own laboratory. It will spend its money on buying equipment for itself. It is not intended that it should be merely empowered to make arrangements with university colleges, to subsidise university laboratories or to work through the college laboratories as the present Industrial Research Council does. Clearly and definitely, the one lesson we have learned from our experience in industrial research is that if any effective progress is to be made it can be done only by an institute. A committee which does not control its own laboratory and which operates on the methods by which we have been proceeding heretofore, is not likely to be productive of results on a sufficient scale. In so far, therefore, as the amendment is designed to empower the institute to arrange for a specific task to be done for it in university laboratories or other research works, it is unnecessary. In so far as it is intended to suggest an alternative policy to that on which the Bill is framed, I would be against it. I think it is clearly desirable that the obligation should be on the committee of the institute, once it is set up, to get moving as rapidly as possible to the stage where it will have its own laboratory. In the meantime research work may be done under the supervision of the institute in some other laboratory, but it must be clear that the principle on which the Bill is framed is that industrial research requires an institute and that it is intended that the institute will do its work through its own laboratories and staffs, not through the laboratories and staffs of university colleges.

Major de Valera

I am in complete agreement with the Minister that he must set up an institute that will do the work itself and will have facilities for doing it, but that is not my point. I would, perhaps, go further than he has gone. I suggest that the only way to get research of this nature done is to set up your institute with your own staffs and laboratories. Section 18 provides that it shall carry out such research. The difficulty is that certain small problems may have to be settled elsewhere. As a safety precaution, I want to make the intention completely clear—that the institute will have full power to deal with research, and that it will not be hampered in any way. It is in that sense that I have moved the amendment and not with any desire that the work should be sent to the university or other laboratories.

Section 18 says that the institute shall carry out such research as the Minister may, after consultation with the committee, request. The functions of the institute are defined in Section 5. They are to undertake, encourage and foster scientific research and investigation. It seems clear to me that there is nothing in the Bill which limits the committee as regards the research work done in its own laboratories. It can, in fact, arrange to assist and foster research work done elsewhere. In so far as that is the purpose of the amendment, I can assure the Deputy that it is not necessary.

Major de Valera

I think it would be safer to include the words in the amendment. I do not think that the acceptance of the amendment would cause any difficulty.

The amendment is not necessary.

They may not be anxious to do the work themselves.

Major de Valera

Anyone with experience will know that they would be anxious to do the work themselves, but because of the nature of the problem there may be certain occasions when it will have to be referred elsewhere.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Sections 18, 19 and 20 agreed to.
Question proposed: "That Section 21 stand part of the Bill."

On that question, may I ask the Minister how it is proposed to administer this section? Will sanitary inspectors be appointed by the industrial research committee?

Who will initiate proceedings?

The Minister or any member of the public. This section merely makes it an offence for any person to represent a commodity to be a standard specification when it is not.

To what extent will the section conflict with the functions of the local authorities under the existing law?

I do not see that local authorities have any functions at all with regard to standards. We are dealing here with a standard specification for building tiles or some such commodity. That, by itself, means nothing except that there exists a standard in relation to which the quality of particular goods may be examined. If a manufacturer applies for the right to attach to a commodity produced by him a standard mark, then certain consequences follow under the section. The person who attaches the standard mark to goods or sells goods in some form which would lead people to believe that they are of standard specification when they are not, commits an offence. The purpose of Section 21 is to define the offence of representing goods to be of standard quality when, in fact, the goods are not of that quality.

Will the Food and Drugs Acts come under this section?

No. Sub-section (4) of Section 20 precludes the Minister from doing that in any case where another Minister is authorised to prescribe specifications as, for example, the Minister for Local Government and Public Health is in relation to foods and drugs.

Major de Valera

I take it then that the implementation of the section will be through the ordinary public analyst?

No. The institute will have the right to test or analyse any commodity that is offered for sale, particularly any commodity that is described as being a standard specification. It will not have to rely on a public analyst to find that out. It will have the right itself to test and analyse the commodity, and can report to the Minister with a view to having a prosecution instituted.

What I am anxious to find out is how far will the analyses, which are at present carried out by the public analyst, be carried out by the research institute, and how far will that work conflict with the position under the existing law?

I dealt with that matter on Section 5. It does not arise on this section which relates to standard specifications.

Question put and agreed to.
Sections 22 to 30, inclusive, agreed to.
Question proposed: "That Section 31 stand part of the Bill."

Here again there is no limit fixed to the members of the staff of the institute. I take it they are working within the £15,000?

That is so.

In relation to the expense of the staff there is no check by the Minister?

There is a provision concerning the remuneration of the staff which shall be determined by the director with the approval of the Minister. There will be power to fix scales.

Major de Valera

Is not that provision in the hands of the director and does not seem to be controlled by the committee?

The director will be in charge of the staff. He will appoint the staff and may remove the staff. He is the man in charge and is responsible for the organisation.

In other words the county manager.

He is the county manager.

Major de Valera

And the committee will be the county council.

If that is so the staff will be appointed and removed by the director with the approval of the research committee.

Certainly. He is the man in charge.

If the committee disapproves, the director cannot remove anybody according to sub-section (2).

If a row develops it will have to be resolved.

Question put and agreed to.
Section 32 agreed to.

Major de Valera

I move:

In sub-section (1) to delete in line 48 the word "industrial".

I think this goes fundamentally to the root of the possible effects of this Bill. The sub-section reads:

"The institute may, with the approval of the Minister, provide scholarships and other awards for the training of persons in industrial research."

I have not got a copy of this amendment.

Copies have been handed around. They were circulated in typescript.

Major de Valera

The object of the section is very properly to promote the training of people in research, and without some encouragement for the training of research workers the institute would very quickly suffer for want of staff. Proceeding further, if it is going to be research worthy of the name, whether industrial or applied, taking it most realistically, persons engaged on that work, and particularly with the higher aspects, will have to be graduates of a university. There is no use in thinking that you can take a man, give him an elementary smattering in physics or chemistry, then put him in as a type of specialist and make him a full-scale research worker. That will not work. Work in research presupposes a general broad background of knowledge, applicable to a wide range, that can be brought to bear on the problem, but that knowledge must be broad enough to embrace all the ways around the problem as well as directly through it. That particular education can only be secured by going through the equivalent to a university course. Therefore, the basic training of our research workers, whether in so-called pure fundamental research or industrial research work, must be the same. For that reason, I suggest that the limitation should not be there, that the actual first stages of training, and the best type of training that can be given for research work, is broader research training as given in our colleges.

It is going to be practically impossible to train a research worker on the actual job of research work itself because of the preliminaries involved. The question is: what does this word industrial research mean? To every gentleman sitting in an office it may be easy to say, or even for lawyers to say. In practice, the situation is very different. The fact is that industrial application to industrial work has invariably originated in the laboratory, and is so-called pure research work. On the other hand, as I mentioned on another section, there is hardly an industrial problem of any size that is undertaken as industrial research, which does not involve some "pure research".

In 1939 it was, shall I say, only the most theoretical physicists who were at all interested in uranium. Uranium was merely a chemical curiosity to theoretical science, and the phenomenon of nuclear fission was important to theoretical physicists and mathematicians, and beyond that nobody was very interested. In 1945-46 there is a very different situation. Quite apart from the question of its application to war, arising out of the mathematicians' calculations you are faced in the bigger countries with a revolution in power production—a revolution of a magnitude which could not have been foreseen when such things were being considered in their initial stages of experimentation. If ever there was pure research, it was the research of the physicists and the mathematicians at that stage. If ever there was a practicable job of industrial research, involving all the organisation necessary for research, it was the work done on the American continent in connection with nuclear fission which culminated, not only in the so-called atomic bomb but in other chemical discoveries as well.

Where did radio start? Where did the whole field of wireless start? It started with Maxwell's equations. It seems, perhaps, pedantic to labour this here, but I do want to drive home the very crucial point that you cannot draw a line between pure research and applied research. Not only can you not determine what is of practicable application or what is not, but in the actual solution of your problem you will constantly have to go back again to pure research standpoints.

Now, I want the institute to be absolutely free to endow research where it knows that such will be of benefit to it in the carrying out of its functions. The Minister has pointed out, in dealing with another section, that this institute will be composed of commonsense, responsible members. Everybody subscribes to that.

If they are going to be commonsense, responsible members they are not going to fritter away the money placed at their disposal to carry out research on wild-goose schemes. They can be trusted to that extent. But, apart from the question of training for research work and the grants necessary for that, there is the wider question that your research worker must be trained in general research. Scholarships and other awards should be made available for that.

I must touch now upon another problem mentioned by the Minister in his reply on the Second Reading to a point I made in relation to electro-chemists. The Minister said that at the moment electro-chemical industries would be uneconomic here. The point is that if we are going to undertake industrial research in this country we want some place where we can train at least a percentage of electro-chemists. At the moment we have none. We must train those, not with a view to establishing an electro-chemical industry but in order to have them available to assist in the problems which will arise in industrial research, such as corrosion and rusting. Rusting is a problem which will be of immense practical importance. It is a problem which is very closely tied up with industrial research. Corrosion and rusting are also tied up with electrochemistry.

Having regard to the fact that the institute will have a responsible director and will itself be a responsible institute, with problems upon which to spend the money placed at its disposal and with facilities for carrying out the work for which it is founded, I think it should not be restricted by this misleading word "industrial" but that it should be free to promote its own interests and facilitate its own functions, for instance, if it appears to the institute that it would be of assistance to them to endow some piece of research work which, on the face of it, appears to be purely academic, or in the training of staff, or the prosecution of its own researches, I would strongly urge upon the Minister to delete the word "industrial" in sub-section (1).

I agree with Deputy de Valera, if the word "industrial" has that precise effect in that section. I am not so sure that it has.

It is not necessary for me to enter into a discussion as to where pure research ends and industrial research begins. It is not necessary to assert that all industrial progress has its origins in the laboratories of the pure research workers. Nobody is disputing that. What I am determined upon is that the very limited funds available to this institute are going to be spent on industrial research and on nothing else. I am not dealing with the research organisations available to the State. It is no part of my function to subscribe to the view that more money must be spent on training research workers or on the training of electro-chemists. That is the function of the Minister for Education and the universities. I am strongly opposed to this amendment. I want to make it quite clear that any awards made by this institute or any scholarships provided under Section 33 will be confined to industrial research and will be used for no other purpose except to facilitate the training of industrial research workers. Any case that has to be made for improving the present educational facilities or the giving of better training in scientific subjects to university graduates must be addressed to the Minister for Education. That is his function. The function of this institute is to carry out industrial research and Section 33 is designed to ensure that its funds will be spent on matters directly relevant to the training of industrial research workers.

Major de Valera

May I ask the Minister, what is industrial research then?

It is defined in Section 5, paragraph (a).

Major de Valera

Then would the Minister consider defining industrial research in the terms of Section 5, paragraph (a)?

I hardly think that is necessary. It is quite obvious that Section 5 makes it quite clear that it must be research for the purpose of promoting the utilisation of natural resources, improving technical processes and methods used in industries, and discovering technical processes and methods which will facilitate the expansion of industry or the development of new industries. I think the wording of Section 5 is quite adequate.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Major de Valera

I move amendment No. 7:—

To add at the end of the section a new sub-section as follows:—

(3) The institute may, with the approval of the Minister, purchase or procure apparatus and equipment for the use of universities and institutions where persons are trained in research, provided that such apparatus and equipment shall remain the property of the institute and provided that the industrial research committee are of opinion that such purchase or procurement will encourage or foster, directly or indirectly, scientific research as in Section 5 hereinbefore set out.

This amendment runs very much on the same lines as the amendment which I have just moved. It is for the purpose of enabling the institute to purchase equipment and apparatus, to be used by another laboratory if necessary, for the training of research students in the prosecution of its own functions. A problem might arise similar to the problem I mentioned in relation to a laboratory of spectroscopy. In the course of some research, which the institute has undertaken, it may be necessary to get some such apparatus. The difference is merely between the procuring of this apparatus and working with existing facilities, or the procuring of a whole laboratory. That is the first reason for this amendment. The second reason hinges upon what I have already said. I still feel that there is grave danger the institute will not be as independent as the Minister hopes it will.

Its independence will ultimately depend on the flow of graduates, the training of graduates, and the supply of research workers within the State. If they are to be suitably trained for the purposes of the institute it will be necessary to set up or endow training schools. There are two solutions: either the institute will find itself blossoming out into a super-university or else provision of the necessary facilities will have to be made in the existing schools.

I would not be prepared to agree to this amendment. I think £15,000 per year which this institute will have is merely enough to provide for the purchase of equipment and the other administrative expenses of the institute without undertaking to subsidise university colleges as well. I could not possibly agree to it.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Sections 33 to 38, inclusive, agreed to.
Question proposed: "That Section 39 stand part of the Bill."

Major de Valera

There is one observation I should like to make to the Minister on the question of the publication of scientific information. Sub-section (2) says that the committee may, with the approval of the institute, publish scientific and technical information in the name of the institute. Of course that is quite proper. But it is usual in institutes of this nature and in scientific bodies that the names of the research worker are shown on the publication if it is in the nature of a paper.

There is nothing against that in the section.

Major de Valera

When it is in the nature of a paper research workers will be allowed to have their names put to it? There is no greater incentive to the research worker than the publication of an original paper.

It will be for decision in the first instance by the committee.

Major de Valera

There is nothing to prevent it?

There is no statutory bar.

Question put and agreed to.
Section 40, First and Second Schedules, and Title agreed to.
Bill reported without amendment.
Ordered: That the Report Stage be taken on Tuesday, 16th July.