Industrial Grants (Amendment) Bill, 1962—Second Stage (Resumed).

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

When the debate was adjourned last night, I was speaking about my constituency and how it had fared under the original Act. It was no harm to say that the Act had proved itself another Fianna Fáil failure. This report of the CIO—this Bible—tells us that the centralisation of industry in Dublin was all wrong. I have heard Deputies for the past eight years thundering that in this House but the Government took no notice of it at all. Ministers would reply: "Well, we have not the siting of the factories. We cannot help this. If industrialists come along and say they want to put up a factory in Dublin, that is all right."

It was pointed out to the Minister that concessions should have been given to industrialists with the suggestion that they establish their industries in various centres in the country. It was suggested also to the Minister and to his predecessor that the proper thing was that the Department should actually give a direction to the people concerned. That was scoffed at by the Minister's predecessor, who is now the Taoiseach, and by the Minister himself.

However, here we have it in this report, which is to be our Bible, that now the best thing we could do would be to select areas down the country for industrial expansion. That is all to the good. However, we have been eating the lotus about this for the past seven or eight years. If anything emerges from our application for membership of the Common Market, at least that emerges and at least some kind of consciousness was hammered into the Government and the Government's officers that it was not a case of sentiment but that industrial development should be in the areas and in the places which suited industrialists.

I have no doubt, and I do not want to be told it again, that Dublin is the most suitable place but there are other parts of the country almost as suitable. That is what I want to put on the records of this House. I have heard criticism in this House and outside it, and it was uttered in the most venomous way by the supporters of the Government, when Great Britain or British industrialists were mentioned or if a British product were coming into this country which might be a detriment to an Irish product. Deputies would not come in here to try to defend the Irish product but to cast venom on the British product, on the British and on the ancient enemy.

Today, I heard the Taoiseach on this very important Parliamentary Question say: "Our trade arrangements with Great Britain are of basic importance." I wrote it down as he said it. I welcome it. I was beaten and physically assaulted by supporters of Fianna Fáil for saying that. I am glad now that it took all this running after the Common Market to bring the Government to their senses. The Government have come to their senses and this Bill says that the Government have come to their senses. Deputies from other constituencies as well as from my constituency can tell the Minister that we had our unemployment problems, that our people experienced great hardship and that we had people with great skills leaving this country, from our eastern and southern seaboards, for Great Britain or the United States—and there seemed to be no meas on them in this House and nobody seemed to care.

If entrepreneurs came in—and our information was that they wanted to come to places outside Dublin on the eastern or southern seaboard — they were directed to the western seaboard I have been trying to get information about entrepreneurs who came in here and who when they found that they would have to locate the factory in a part of Ireland which did not suit them at all — they would have taken Drogheda or Dundalk, Wexford or Waterford—decided against it. Their factory is now being built in Northern Ireland because they got the concessions there. It is a good thing that now we are giving the concessions and that these concessions are available. It would be well if British industrialists were amongst the industrialists asked or even enticed to come over here. It was strange — there must have been some reason for it—that, in all this industrial drive in the past year or two, British industrialists did not seem to come in. We had Continental industrialists and even Oriental industrialists.

I should like the Minister to make a statement about the industrial area at Shannon. I hope it is doing well. Is it a fact that some of the industries there closed and that the people concerned turned to something else and, for the purpose of statistics, they are shown as opening a new industry? If that is right, I should be glad if the Minister would say so and if it is not right, I should be glad if he would tell me it is not right.

Deputies should speak for their constituencies and I am speaking for mine as regards industrialisation. About 15 years ago, the stir came in Waterford after many years and a new industry came there, Waterford glass. That is one of the our greatest industries now. It did not come through any Government action; it did not come to Waterford because they liked the colour of our hair. It came because Waterford has a great tradition in glassmaking and because Waterford is known all over the world for the quality of its glass and therefore Waterford was the right place to open a crystal cutglass factory. That was done and done well by the promoters. The present Chairman of Hospitals Trust, Mr. Joe McGrath became Chairman of the Waterford glass factory which is setting a headline to Irish industry in its promotion, the way it sells its products and because of its great rule and great policy of high quality.

There are no "seconds" in Waterford glass or in the glass factory. If any of their products is not perfect, it is neither sold nor offered for sale but destroyed. That is a headline for Irish industry in a country where many industrialists have the idea that anything will do, more especially when they are behind tariff walls and when they have the protection of the Government.

There was another promotion in Waterford which was not due to Fianna Fáil but to the inter-Party Government. The paper mills were established in Waterford and later the metal industries were set up there. Deputy Norton was Minister for Industry and Commerce at that time. Then ACEC was established. These are great exporting industries, paying top wages and with splendid working conditions. We have some industries which were established before that, Allied Iron Founders, for instance, and I am proud to say that instead of coming up here and begging with their hats in their hands for tariffs, crawling for protection and begging for grants, we have there an industry making enamel ranges and although one of the greatest manufacturers of these is the Carron Iron Founders in Glasgow—one of the oldest, if not one of the greatest iron founders in Britain—the Waterford factory is exporting its products to Glasgow. That is a headline for Irish industry at a time when all the starry-eyed young men were going about to bring us into the Common Market.

We had addresses at chambers of commerce meetings and at various public functions in Dublin about all the production we were to have and how that production was to be stepped up and what they would do about it. I suggest to the Minister there is just a little more to it than production; there is the selling of it. I draw the Minister's attention to these Waterford factories that have salesmen able to go out and sell their production, and who have been selling it before ever there was a Common Market, in all the countries of the world. We have many of these young salesmen in Ireland who would almost need to be called in and told or even trained— although some of them have been salesmen for years—how to do their job because they have never sold in competitive markets. It is necessary for the Minister's Department and the Minister himself to bend to that task.

ACEC in Waterford make electric transformers, even monsters in size— it is not one of these small, piffling back-yard industries—and these transformers are sent to the ends of the earth, to India, South Africa and South America. Because of all this, years passed by and no industry was established in Waterford except one just recently. Anything that we moved to do was snapped away from us.

I should like to remind the Minister of the treatment Waterford got. I shall go back a few years, not too many. People from various constituencies and centres of population used to come to Dublin agitating for industries in their areas. We had to put up with industries being pilfered out of Waterford. An industry was established in Drogheda, the oil and cake mills in the 1930's. They went in for refining edible oils. That seemed all right. They were established under heavy tariff. I was farming at the time and my attention was first drawn to this factory because the price of dairy cakes and oil cakes doubled. I hope that will not be a headline for the nitrogen factory. When the war ended, a factory that had been established in Waterford in the early years of this century, McDonnell's margarine factory, was just transferred from Waterford up beside the oil and cake mills in Drogheda. No protest we could make would stop this.

I have discovered that when protests are made by Waterford people to the Fianna Fáil Government, they are not listened to. Fianna Fáil prefer to destroy anything that is there. There was another factory in Waterford, the HMV company, which was doing well. That did not close down but was transferred to Dublin. Afterwards, I heard that one of the principal reasons for the transfer was that the two golf courses available in Waterford were not up to the standard of the management who wanted to be near the golf courses in Dublin. Any protests made by the local authority, by Deputies or by the unions in Waterford were not heard by the Fianna Fáil Government. I think if there was a factory in a western area or perhaps in certain other portions of the country and it was doing well, the management would not be allowed to take it away from the provinces and set it up in Dublin.

We have heard something about the forgotten men in an industry and it reminds me of the treatment of my constituency by Fianna Fáil. We had a great industry in Waterford—an industry of buying live pigs, slaughtering them at home and exporting them.

I am not clear as to the relevancy of this. The Deputy is going back into the industrial history of Waterford. It does not seem to fit in with any section of these Bills or any principles underlying them. These Bills are for the setting up of industry, for the giving of grants, the selection of sites and such matters.

I want to point out that industries were destroyed which might be recreated again. They were there, and the people in those places do not have to be trained.

I am almost certain that other Deputies had in their areas industries that failed.

But these industries did not fail—they were murdered. They were taken out of Waterford by the Fianna Fáil Government.

I cannot see the relevancy of this. The Deputy will have to deal with the creation of industry.

There would be difficulty recreating those murdered.

The Deputy understands perfectly well that these two Bills are for the creation of industry, for the provision of grants and such matters. What therefore has the history of extinct industries in a district to do with that?

With respect, Sir, if an industry was extinct, it is good to talk about it. The Waterford glass industry was extinct in 1850 and was recreated in 1950.

That does not justify the discussion of an industry which was extinct and remained extinct. I cannot allow this philosophic discussion to proceed any further. The Deputy will deal with the matters in the Bill and not with the history of industrial Waterford.

With respect, industrial Waterford is very important.

The Deputy has nothing else to talk about.

It is time to talk about it. We had a Minister representing it on the Fianna Fáil benches for many years and, if you look up the index, you will find he never said anything about it at all. I have to listen to other Deputies speaking, and rightly so, for their constituencies. This is the kind of industry we should establish. Industry that can export, that is not looking for protection, for grants and for handouts. The live pig industry I was talking about did not need any handouts but it was destroyed by two Acts of Parliament here.

Having said that, will the Deputy please come to the two Bills and their provisions?

The Minister mentioned the amount of money that could be given in grants. I quote from the Irish Independent of January 30th:

The Minister said that he would give grants in excess of either 50 per cent. of the fixed assets or a sum calculated at the rate of £1,000 per worker, the number of whom would be estimated by the Board on the basis of full production. The grant would be calculated on whichever of these sums was the lesser. Should the proposed grant exceed £500,000, the Board would require the consent of the Minister for Industry and Commerce and the Minister for Finance.

I assumed from that, that if the Minister gave £500,000 towards the establishment of an industry, he would expect 500 people to be employed in it. Some time ago, the Minister said in respect of the nitrogen factory that 300 men would be employed in it. Yet this factory is to cost £7,000,000. According to the Minister's figures yesterday, 7,000 people should be employed in that factory. I call the Minister's attention to that because perhaps I will be asking him to meet local entrepreneurs from Waterford and I would hope he will have these figures in his mind and be generous.

There is another very important matter I wish to draw to the Minister's attention. It has been repeatedly said in the lobbies of this House and, as our friend Shakespeare would say, "upon the Rialto", that the people promoting smaller projects are not well received by the IDA. It is said that if you come with a small but reasonably good project for a small town or village, a project which would not cost more than £40,000 or £50,000, such schemes are not duly considered. I should like the Minister to make a firm statement on that. From my own experience, and that of other Deputies on both sides, small projects do not seem to be welcome to the powers that be in the Department and in the IDA.

Some of the greatest industries have started in a small way. It is better economics that a small industry be set up in a village at the end of the Shannon power line. That kind of industry only requires Shannon power to run it. These small industries, with men of tenacity behind them, have been known to spread and to make their towns big. In the town of Campile, I have seen a small creamery extend, turning the place from a village into a small town. I refer, of course, to the Shelbourne Co-op. I have seen also, as many other Deputies have seen, the growth of an industry attached to a creamery in Mitchelstown. Now they are making cheese and sending it all over the world.

If the committees, or the owners, or the managers of small businesses such as the two I have just mentioned approached the Department for grants or other forms of assistance, I have no doubt they would be turned down. For that reason, I should like the Minister to give this matter his personal attention. I should like him to consider all applications, no matter how ridiculous some of them may seem, to examine them and reject them if they seem to be of no use. They cannot all be that bad. There is an opinion abroad that nobody who comes to the Department with a proposition in respect of a small industry is ever listened to.

I agree with Deputy Esmonde that Deputies from all sides of the House who ask questions in the Dáil relating to proposed industries for which grants are being sought should be given proper replies by the Minister instead of being referred to Foras Tionscal. All Deputies should have some say in the matter and if we think fit to put down Parliamentary Questions seeking information from the Minister as to why the promoters of prospective industries were refused assistance, the Minister should give us the information because after all Foras Tionscal are operating on moneys voted to his Department. I would point out to the Minister that when we ask for such information, in all politeness and deference, we should be given the required information instead of being treated with the brush-off we have been in the habit of getting from his colleague in the Department of Transport and Power.

I welcome this legislation and wish to say that, in Limerick, we have been agitating since the introduction of the Undeveloped Areas Act to get Limerick city scheduled under its provisions. Local organisations such as the Limerick City Council, the Harbour Commissioners and the Limerick Chamber of Commerce have for years been advocating this treatment for Limerick. In the city, we have a first-class harbour, rail and road transport facilities and are deprived of the benefits which people living two or three miles away across the Shannon are enjoying.

On top of all that, to kill any chance we might have had of getting industrialists to come to Limerick, the Government set up an area at Shannon Airport giving authority to certain people to start an industrial zone. That industrial zone received, by way of grant from the Government, up to 31st March, 1962, a sum of £614,500. Industrialists were encouraged to come in there because they could avail of ready-made factory premises with offices laid on, as well as a subvention towards the installation of plant and machinery. The people at the head of this industrial zone had no qualifications whatsoever. I am not decrying Shannon. The day Shannon closes down——

Would the Deputy relate it to the provisions of the Bill?

I am pointing out the necessity for the introduction of these Bills and their advantageous effects, as far as Limerick City is concerned. I think that is embraced in these Bills.

Yes, but the development that took place at Shannon does not seem to be relevant.

Is it not a fact that the development which took place at Shannon could be described as the development of a special area and that the Government contemplated, as a result of the CIO report, the setting up of industries in special areas? The zone already set up at Shannon is an example of this.

The development at Shannon Airport is not relevant to either of the two Bills we are discussing.

It is useless to try to discuss anything in this House, if that is the case.

With respect, Sir, I want to point out the advantages accruing to Limerick city arising out of this Bill. I am not decrying Shannon. I want to see it encouraged in every way, particularly in view of the effect of certain action by the Minister for Transport and Power which practically closed down Shannon as a traffic centre.

This is an Act to extend the duration of certain provisions of the Industrial Grants Act, 1950, and otherwise amend that Act. The House is discussing with it the Industrial Grants Act, 1951. How that can be related to the development of this already established zone is beyond me.

Heavens above, are these people not receiving grants to the extent of £614,000, and surely to goodness we must be allowed to make a comparison between Shannon and Limerick which is only 11 miles away? I want to point out to the Minister the mistakes that have been made and to advise him on them. I come here only to help him and my constituency. I am not decrying Shannon but I want to see that people in authority at Shannon are properly qualified for their jobs and that people who are unqualified——

The Deputy is coming down to administration at Shannon.

I am coming down to the placing of industries. If money is to be spent on industry, it is our business and the Government's duty to see the industries are placed in proper locations. That is what I am coming to and if you will allow me, I shall. These people set themselves up as the Shannon Development Authority. They have done good work without being qualified for it and we fired out £614,000 to them to spend on foreigners coming in without any security for workers and with all juvenile and female labour. These people who have come over to Shannon can turn the key in the door of any factory and wave us goodbye in Limerick and there can be no more about it.

The factories I want to see developed in Limerick, now that we are included in the provisions of this legislation, are the old traditional industries associated with the city. I know instances of industrialists in Limerick desirous of expanding their businesses and incidentally creating more employment in the city, applying for grants and being turned down. These people all gave good employment to male adult labour which is more than can be said for Shannon.

I want to point out to the Minister that the most important point in this Bill is the placing of factories. The reasons for that are very simple and I will give the Minister one or two examples. A particularly reputable world-famed manufacturing company came here and wanted to be supplied with the raw material, milk, for the manufacture of their product. Of all places, where were they sent? They were sent, and forced to go if they wanted to start in Ireland, away down to Rathmore in the Kerry mountains. That factory is still in Rathmore but this is the position: as a result of the Government forcing those people to go there, milk has to be transported now, and since that day, to Rathmore from all parts of Counties Limerick, Tipperary and Cork.

And West Cork.

Yes, West Cork certainly. It is sent down to the village of Rathmore and from Rathmore, when it has been processed, it is sent back to the city of Dublin to be manufactured into the company's article. There is no sense, but absolute stupidity, in the action of the Government of that day. Another case in point is a cheese factory which was set up in County Wexford. One would not get as much milk in County Wexford as would colour the tea of the people of Limerick. The milk has to be drawn into County Wexford from Kilkenny and the neighbouring counties. If people had any commonsense in the placing of these industries, the insistence would be on the locality where the milk, labour and the transport facilities are available. We in the city of Limerick have a population of something like 53,000 or 54,000 people, plenty of labour and plenty of facilities by way of transport, and I want to impress on and to appeal to the Minister now that the city of Limerick should be one of the main centres under this industrial drive.

We made recommendations long ago for the development of the condensed milk factory in Limerick. The Condensed Milk Company are sending milk all over Ireland. There is a cheese factory there at the moment, but Limerick, being the second largest-milk-producing county in Ireland, I think deserves the consideration of any dairying industry that might be started as a result of the grants being made available by the Minister now.

As I said, we in Limerick have received nothing, or very little, in the past by way of any industrial progress as a result of the special treatment that has been given to Shannon Airport. The people of Limerick are glad, and I am glad, that the Minister has taken the action he has taken. I submit to him now, before anything pertaining to dairying is considered, in the light of transport into and out of the centre, that there is no reason in the world why Limerick should not get priority over any other city in the area covered by the Acts.

I shall be fairly brief in my comments on the two measures now being discussed. I should say, first of all, whatever the merits of the two Bills may be with regard to the country generally, there is not the slightest doubt, and it is clearly to be seen in the measures that the death-knell of the west of Ireland will be sounded when the two measures are passed by this House.

We have had the situation over a period of years where this underdeveloped areas measure, which was introduced some years ago, has proved to be almost completely ineffective in stabilising the population west of the Shannon. I shall not bore the House with comments I made here when the first measure of this nature came into the House. I pointed out that the type of legislation that was introduced was insufficient and would not give the results which were expected. I challenge any Deputy to deny the truth of those statements, made in this House as far back as 1953-54. The flow of emigrants has not been reduced by a fraction as a result of any industrial development in the west. The type of industries which have come to the west are, to my mind, ones which are on shaky foundations and their staying power is very suspect indeed.

In addition to that, there was no over-all plan in the minds of either Foras Tionscal or the Industrial Development Authority to create some sensible pattern with regard to industrial planning. The type of industrial development which has taken place, not alone in the west, but in the country generally, can be described as a crazy patchwork of industries set up haphazardly in areas purely from pressure of local committees or by persuasive methods used on politicians by people in high position. The situation has been that in Merrion Square and in the other head offices where the grants are sanctioned, we have had nothing but queues of deputations from every little town in the west of Ireland, each begging for an industry for their particular locality.

I must say I was sorry for the officials who had to suffer the embarrasment of pointing out repeatedly to these deputations that the officials hands were tied, and that they could do nothing to help. When we consider the situation, can anybody justify the handing out of public money for the setting up of what can be described as assembly industries, miles away from good distributing centres and miles away from the raw materials, and subsidising these industries and giving them protection for unlimited periods—and not alone giving them protection but giving to the groups which set them up profits not subject to taxation for a very long period. I think the situation is disgraceful up to the present so far as the working of the previous grant Acts is concerned.

The argument has been put forward that a considerable amount of employment has been given in the undeveloped areas. Deputy Coughlan pointed out the situation in County Limerick. It cannot be denied that the majority of these free-wheeling industrial adventurers who come in here are on the make so far as this country is concerned. They have no ties with this country; they have read our advertisements abroad and have been told that this is a wonderful place to come to and dig their two arms into the kitty.

To my mind, the wages paid are a disgrace in what is described as a Christian community. We hear announcements made by the Minister week after week, at the opening of these tinpot factories, that the factory has 30 employees at the moment and that it is hoped to build this figure up to 300. In regard to the factories which were opened in the past eight years and which started with 25 or 30 employees, with a promise of building up to 100, I should like the Minister to tell me how many of them ever reached that figure over a period of three or four years. That is the true test of the progress made by any of these industries. If the Minister cares to trace the history and go back to the opening ceremony of any of these factories and count the number employed the day they opened and the number employed to-day, he will find that in the majority of cases there is very little——

The Deputy will be surprised to hear that a recent survey proved almost 97 per cent. achievement of employment potential.

Is the Minister suggesting to me that of the industries established in the west of Ireland in the past eight years——

I will not be cross-examined.

If the Minister makes an intervention and suggests that I am inaccurate, he must, when challenged, give the facts.

I have given them.

I want to make it clear that I do not accept the Minister's intervention that all the industries started in the west of Ireland have not reached 97 per cent. of their potential employment figures. If that is the situation, I should like him, without mentioning the names of the industries—unless he wishes to do so —to explain how a number of factories in the west of Ireland are still employing the same number in 1962 as they employed in 1957 or 1958. I should also like him to explain how it is that the type of labour being employed can, to a great extent, be described as juvenile or female labour. I know of a particular factory in the west of Ireland which has been established for quite a number of years now. I wish to refer to the case of a mother and daughter who are working in that factory. They have to travel by CIE—by bus—into the town in which the factory operates. The wages of the young girl, who is now 17 years of age, are £3 2s. 6d. per week, out of which she pays 12/- to CIE for her fare. Her mother's wages are £4 per week and she pays a fare of 18/- per week.

May I intervene? Ninty three per cent is the figure.

Those two individuals have to get up at 6 o'clock in the morning to get into work by 8.30 a.m. That factory is lauded to the skies today by the Minister and this Government. The gentlemen who run it can drive around in a Mercedes and can make any profit they like. It is considered Christian and right to pay people who work eight to ten hours per day in those dumps £3 to £4 per week. We do not want that type of industry developed here. It is clear that in all these factories you have a very big turnover of labour. Each year, a number of young girls are recruited—say, 20 young girls are brought in. Out of those 20, perhaps 18 disappear after 12 months. They go off to Birmingham or Liverpool and another group is brought in. That management are getting away with profits they are not entitled to because what is really alleged to be skilled work is being done by unskilled labour, on the ground that these employees are trainees. The position all along is that these trainees are doing the work the whole time. They leave before completing the full two or three year period of training, when they would reach what the trade unions claim is a living wage, because they are disillusioned.

These factories get away with low wages, bad conditions for the workers, big profits and a good time generally, so far as the State is concerned. What do these Bills propose to do? They propose to extend to the rest of the country the facilities which have been available in the west of Ireland. I do not care what type of equivocation the Minister indulges in or what statement he makes to suggest that there is still an extra attraction in the west of Ireland. I want to make it quite clear that there is no attraction left in the west of Ireland from the moment this Bill passes.

I was on a deputation before Christmas to the IDA in connection with an industry for the town of Boyle. There was a very representative gathering of the local citizens from the town of Boyle. They came to Dublin and, to give them their due, they went to a lot of trouble to prepare information for the officials. They asked for help for an industry. It was pointed out to them that the officials did not consider it their duty to direct an industry, that they had no power to do so. So far as they were concerned, every town got equal treatment. I accepted that personally. That deputation left Dublin fully aware of the fact that their chances of having an industry in Boyle were practically negligible under the existing legislation. Would the Minister tell me if their chances will improve one degree as a result of this new legislation ? Is it not a fact that if there was a possibility of an industry coming to Boyle in December last, attracted by the existing grants, the individual who was likely to set up that industry was wavering or balancing other areas against Boyle. The result of this measure now is that the scales are tipped in favour of the eastern parts of the country. No longer is there an incentive to a business group to come to a place west of the Shannon, if they can get the attractive facilities offered in this measure on the east coast.

It is admitted in the EEC bloc that the really industrialised region is based on a triangle between three of the major cities of countries which are members of the EEC and that the tendency for industry even in Britain at the present time, in spite of Government persuasion, grants and otherwise, is to establish itself in the south and east of the country. If that is the tendency in Britain, can it be logically suggested that in Ireland there will be any tendency to move to the west of Ireland, Donegal, Clare, Kerry, Roscommon, Galway or Mayo?

In relation to the facilities now being given by the Government to industrial concerns, it must be faced that advantage will be taken of those attractive propositions on the east coast. If the Government persist in their outlook with regard to Europe and wish to pursue their application for admission—I do not want to say anything about that on this particular measure—is it not logical to suggest that the east coast will get practically all of these new industries which may appear on the horizon?

We have to take into account shipping facilities, port facilities and the transport difficulties involved. Here is a Government which have over the years expressed their dismay at the fact that there is a dwindling population in the west of Ireland. Here is a Government deliberately by legislation taking steps to reduce further the population of the west of Ireland at a time when it is absolutely essential to stabilise that population if it is not to disappear altogether.

I am convinced, as a result of those two measures, that the Government's idea for the west of Ireland is to use it as a tourist centre and that as far as they are concerned an Irishman will be a rare sight in the west of Ireland in another generation. I think it is regrettable that Deputies who have spoken in this House, who are alleged to look on the attractions offered by the Government from a national point of view, should actually from this side of the House congratulate the Government for giving the same facilities on the east coast for the development of industries as are given in the west. I do not accept that that is in the national interest. It is not in the national interest to make a bigger colossus of Dublin than it is today at the expense of the rural areas.

Will any Deputy tell me that any industrialist will go down to Athlone, Castlerea, Castlebar, Tubbercurry and set up an industry there, if he now can establish it right in the heart of County Dublin and get the same grants for so doing? I would not blame him. I have never met any philanthropist amongst this industrialist class. It is money and profits which motivate them in any decisions they take. The decision with regard to the welfare of the west of Ireland must not be left in the hands of such private individuals.

The Government's attitude all along has been: "We will make the grants available; we are sorry if advantage is not taken of them." That is the Pontius Pilate attitude: wash your hands of them. The Government are afraid all along the line to take steps which would direct industries into the areas where employment is needed. When I say "direct industry", I mean the proper type of industry and not what is happening at the present time, leaving it to every Tom, Dick and Harry to establish what he thinks he can make a quick profit on. There has been no over-all plan. The idea which is mooted in the CIO report is something which was advocated in this House 10 years ago. The Government should pick centres like Galway, Limerick, Sligo, Athlone and set up State——

What about Castlerea and Boyle?

The Minister has not the foggiest clue of what I am talking about.

I do not think the Deputy has either.

The Government should set up State-run industries in those areas. If you spend the money on the proper major industry in a particular locality, you can leave the development of the ancillary industries to private enterprise. It is an established fact that if there is a first-class industry, a healthy, solid one, based in a locality and that, as a result, industry flourishes, ancillary or other smaller industries will build themselves up in the adjoining towns.

For instance, if Athlone were properly developed, there is nothing to prevent a town like Roscommon or Castlerea being used then as a location for smaller industries which would feed the major factory in the town of Athlone. The same would apply to the city of Galway. It would mean that small towns within a radius of 25 to 30 miles of Galway would improve and be strengthened as a result of the first-class development of Galway. What have we in Galway? We have no real effort made even to develop the port which is absolutely essential. Instead of that, the services which should be provided by the State are even being curtailed. I refer to rail services.

That does not arise on this Bill.

I do not intend to pursue it. I am trying to paint the picture of the shortsighted manner in which the Government are looking on this development business. If the Minister suggests that he does not follow my line of reasoning, I refer him to what took place in Wales and Scotland when the Labour Party went into power. I refer to the way the State— it was a Socialist Government; a Labour Government were in power— was responsible for the redevelopment of areas in Wales and Scotland which were up to that centres of desperation and despair and where work had not been available for 15 or 20 years before. It was through the State setting up new industries in those areas that hope was given and employment provided for the unfortunate people. It was not left to private enterprise. If it had been left to private enterprise, they would be empty today. I admit there is a serious situation there now but it is nothing to what the situation would have been if that action had not been taken by the Government. Similar action should have been taken by this Government ten years ago, instead of saying: "We are about to contemplate the setting up of development centres."

At least one good thing has come out of the Government's application for membership of EEC, that is, the investigation being carried out by the CIO people into existing industry. I do not accept that that investigation is a complete and thorough one at all. Even though it is incomplete and lackadaisical in many ways, its reports give the hint of the danger signal to the community of the conditions in which certain industries find themselves and what is likely to happen to them if membership of EEC is thrust upon them.

It is an established fact that according to all the reports available, the industries referred to are in anything but a healthy state. Anybody who reads them can have nothing but a feeling of the deepest concern for the welfare of the workers in all those industries. Most of the industries are assembly industries in one way or another dependent on raw materials from abroad and dependent on the importation of raw materials over the price of which they can exercise no control. Apart, therefore, from being at the mercy of outsiders, who run the industries, you are also at the mercy of those who supply the raw materials. It has been a disaster for this country to base its industrial development on the type of assembly industry to which I have referred, a type of industry which is owned and controlled in a great number of cases outside the State.

What will future development be? Will it be a further rash of these assembly industries? What real efforts will be made under this measure to provide industries based on native raw materials? When I speak of developing group areas and industrial centres, I think that what has been suggested for Limerick by Deputy Coughlan is the ideal. Where you have milk, stick to the processing of that commodity, together with whatever ancillary agricultural industries come from the production of milk. There are other areas which are excellent for horticulture, the production of fruit and vegetables. These should be encouraged and developed. It is in these areas the processing centres should be set up. Areas that have a tradition for pig breeding should be developed. Centres should be set up on a scientific basis.

All that will cost plenty. I read a report about ten years ago, a report submitted by a very prominent individual close to Government circles. He made the case to the Government that they should spend in one county £1,000,000 for the development of the pig industry, with a view to capturing the huge market then available in America for canned hams and other products. The Danes have since moved into that market and, inside of five years, they have raised their exports from £111,000 to over £11 million. We simply sat down on that. No effort was made to spend money on that project. Yet that is exactly the type of industry the Irish farmer needs. It is one of his traditional types of production. It is one that would give first-class employment. It is one that would give us the exports we need.

This Government talk about "export, or we die". What we are doing is exporting our people to work in these industries in other countries. I have no illusions left with regard to the two measures we are discussing. So far as the west of Ireland is concerned, these measures spell the death knell of industrial development there. These measures will only help to speed up depopulation in the west of Ireland. The Deputies who support this Government cannot hide behind the Government in regard to these. Deputies from the west who are members of the Fianna Fáil Party have a responsibility to state publicly that they believe some alternative steps must be taken by the Government to help the people in the west and in the undeveloped areas generally. If they do not do that, then I believe they are betraying the people who put them into this House. Not only that, but they are helping to cut their own throats politically because the numbers of their supporters will be reduced as a result of these measures.

I find it hard to believe that men who can only be described as decent, upright men have not got sufficient courage to make their presence felt in the Party meetings by demanding protection in the true sense for those people who have waited so long for a plan from the Government which would enable them to live on their small holdings and in the towns and villages of the west of Ireland. I know I am wasting my time speaking here; I know I have wasted my time speaking here over the years. I know, however, that these measures will not be long in operation before the country is given an opportunity, through the medium of a general election, of saying what it thinks of measures such as these. It will not be long until the country is given an opportunity of telling this Government: "You have led us up the garden path for the past five years. You have walked the country into nothing but trouble since you came in." Before any measure passed by this House can have a serious effect on the west of Ireland, and on other parts of the country, we ask that you go to the country and let the people decide the fate they wish to bestow on you.

Had I not gone down to the Library before luncheon and read the debate on the Undeveloped Areas Bill when it was being piloted through this House, I might be inclined, having listened to Deputy McQuillan, to sympathise with him. But Deputy McQuillan cannot have it both ways. He said on the earlier occasion that the Bill was no good. He says the same thing today. He then proceeds to lament the taking away of the powers conferred by that earlier measure. It is very difficult to follow that type of reasoning.

We all know that the parent Bill was brought in for a specific purpose, namely, to try to stem the flight from the western areas. That legislation has done a great deal of good in certain areas during the ten years. There were some disadvantages; there were some drawbacks. There were periods when very little was done. In the first few years, practically nothing was done. But the lifetime of the Bill has been comparatively short and, perhaps, not much could be done.

I view these two Bills with a certain amount of misgiving. I should be a hypocrite if I said anything else. If, however, the Government believe they can establish industries in the rest of the country, I should be doing a bad day's work were I to try to stand in their way. I believe the Minister and the Government will take steps to ensure that this measure will not have a bad effect on the undeveloped areas. From that point of view, I think the terms of the loans are too short. Five years is too short a period to allow an industry to set up and, at the end of the five years, do what it likes. The term should be extended to ten years at least. That would give the industry time to get properly on its feet. The Minister should keep a very close eye on the position to ensure that there will be no walking out after five years.

Some speakers commented that money was being given to foreign investors to come in here, establish an industry, and fly by night. My experience is that the foreign investors coming into Sligo have been a great deal better than some of the Irish industrialists. They are giving very good employment and paying very good wages. I sincerely hope there will not be an end to that.

I have very little further to say about this Bill except that I have great doubts about its effects. I should, however, like to point out to the Minister that in areas where industries are set up, the local councils have many commitments in regard to housing. If an industry is allowed to leave that area, these councils find that they have many empty houses on their hands and much unemployment. I would appeal to the Minister to see that some steps are taken to prevent that happening. The rest of the country wants industries and nothing should be allowed to stand in the way of places getting industries.

It has been my experience that the setting up of an industry is a very difficult task and from the pattern which is emerging, I see that industries are inclined to set up along the coast. I do not think this Bill will help the rest of the country because industries will be setting up along the east and south coasts and where there are ports and other facilities. Some of the western towns like Galway, Sligo and Killybegs, will still attract industries but the change in this Bill will have no effect on the midland and other counties. I would also appeal to the Minister to ensure that no group of investors will have power to step out of an area in which they have established an industry, walk off and take advantage of this Bill to set up in another part of the country, leaving behind them what is practically a ghost town.

Instinctively we must welcome a measure that promises a prospect of expansion. I am not going to be diverted into social thinking or a socialist concept in dealing with the matter that is ad rem. I think Deputy Gilbride had his tongue in his cheek to some extent. He is perfectly aware of the fact that this simple measure could have devastating effects on the undeveloped areas, unless, as I believe, and the Minister will be able to tell me, the Government envisage, outside this legislation, a different type of plan for the encouragement of industry suited to the areas on the western seaboard, right around the Kerry coast and back to West Cork, the kind of re-organisation envisaged by the Government's decision to set up these local committees under the chief agricultural officer to see what can be done. I take it that I can say fairly, that that type of development, in connection with rural areas about which so many laments and dirges have been sung, would be extern to any concept of grant legislation under the industrial pattern such as this Bill conceives.

I feel that many an industry has been lost because, where private enterprise is concerned, you cannot direct industry. People who found that advantages were available to them in difficult circumstances of intake of material and ultimate distribution, did not go into those areas. If the help envisaged in this new legislation had been available to them in more accessible areas, we might have many a worthwhile industry established here now. I want to say to Deputy Gilbride, and to the Minister, that if there is not what I feel there must be behind this, a plan of financing in a different way the kind of area development, processing and increased production methods which may be conceived on the western seaboard areas, then this Bill could well be the last nail in the coffin of the hope of any industry being attracted into the undeveloped areas.

I have a great deal of reservation about this Bill for another reason. I have a great objection to the growing complexity of companies under State auspices which we are getting in relation to development. Apparently we had an organisation built up under Foras Tionscal and we had an investigating scheme which, according to some people, was over-assiduous. However, generally speaking, people had created at least a certain amount of confidence here in the Oireachtas that their investigations were thorough and their approach to grants was as far as possible unbiassed and not activated by any political motives or by any particular influence.

It now seems queer to me that we are to set up a new company. A new company always envisages new directors, new administration groups and an increasing phalanx of civil servants. I have reached the stage where I am flabbergasted at the enormous numbers of people, civil servants and local authority officials, who have to be employed to guard and protect, tax and collect from the now dwindling population of under 3,000,000. In order to give industry an impetus, it is not cumbersome machinery we require but something that can be effective and useful, particularly now that we are running into a situation which the Government did not envisage, even though they were constantly warned by some of us that in the ultimate analysis the European economic situation might be fraught with tremendous hazards.

In the situation we now have to face, for whatever period, it may be impracticable for us to proceed with any further efforts to join the enlarged community and we shall have to try to get something that will give employment and, above all, stimulate exports. I do not know whether Deputies take the balance of trade index figures seriously but the Minister will agree with me that there is one immediate urgency, that is, the stimulation of exports. I can conceive that with this Bill, acting as a fund supplier, certain people could have certain types of industry ready fairly quickly to do a substantial export trade. I have been staggered by investigating some of the exports that we now have to find what a short period it took some of them to become established in the export market. I feel that we have only been clawing and fiddling at an industrial plan for a long time. It may be—and I readily concede that there are reasons for it, in view of the overall mantle of the economic drive towards membership of the EEC — that we were stultified and atrophied in the consideration of certain industries because we felt that we might only be encouraging a subsidiary or a rival to some of the monster industries that they would have to compete against in the general Community. But for the present anyway, that particular concept must be put aside and the immediate problem faced. We should use this breathing space, this interregnum, to do something about the uneconomic industries we have behind tariff walls.

That is my objection to this type of measure: it is not broad enough in its concept to do some of the things the Minister in his post-prandial speeches strongly referred to recently, not broad enough to try to direct what were assembly industries or what were purely knock-down and put-together industries protected by tariff walls and which heaped on to the users' back, an extra charge. It is time we got somebody like the Minister, or his senior staff, directing their minds to the problem of getting these industries into economic shape because, even though I believe the Minister is fundamentally honest and earnest in his appeal and exhortation to the people in this type of industry, they will shed crocodile tears for his trouble and will not give a twopenny damn about what cessation of employment there may be if their plants go out of operation. They have had their chips and they know it.

I want to see the machinery of assistance simplified, not complicated as I believe will happen as a result of this measure. I want to see the encouragement of Irish technicians and Irish experts into Irish industry. In cases where technical staff and technical knowledge are required, and where the Minister is giving very substantial grants to industries for development here, the Minister should direct them to try to procure the return of an Irish emigrant suitably qualified in their expert field or the employment of an Irishman at home who is so qualified before they go to the far-flung corners of the world for all types of nationals to make up their expert team. It would be a tremendous encouragement to the drive the Minister had in mind in his recently-announced industrial scholarships and to the drive for getting more and more highly-skilled and technically-trained officers in all branches of productivity.

I do not mean, in saying that, that the Minister should get us any further involved in an extraordinary modern phenomenon. I remember a time when we lawyers were regarded as the people who bedevilled the scene of Irish industrial development; nowadays, we have time-and-motion study, work-study experts, cost accountants and so on, to the extent that by the time you get through the administration of an industry, you wonder how our forefathers were able to make industries successful in past generations.

I am not seeking that type of complication but I think the Minister might bear this consideration in mind, not making it an absolute condition but certainly getting it established in a very positive way in the manner of application and the basis of support so that there would be a very substantial chance that Irish experts or highly-trained Irish technical staff would have preferential treatment for appointment in industries supported as they may be under the terms of these Bills by a very high degree of grant.

I am not terribly enamoured of a grant policy unless there is some basic reason why the industry needs to be stimulated. The only real purpose, in many of these industries at the moment, that I can see, is to be able to produce substantial, marketable and highly-competitive products for the general world market. I cannot see in any subsection of, or emanating from these two measures, any directive towards developing industry to fill the lacuna in the market that is available to us generally in England. I cannot see in this measure anything that will encourage the type of industry for which we have the raw material. No matter what experts may say or committees may say, no matter what kind of verbosity is used about it, there is no practicality in an industry for which you bring in the raw material to be processed and then send back the product ultimately to compete against manufactured products in the country of origin of the raw material. We have too many such industries here.

I suggest the Minister should use what power he has in these Bills to try to ensure that the types of industry that will be substantially helped will not be industries which will be facing the ultimate prospect of competition against the country producing the raw material or which might find themselves in the position that the country supplying the raw material might, for competitive purposes, withhold supply at a vital stage in the company's development.

I am endeavouring to get the Minister's perspective as to what the over-all picture is in relation to industry. I cannot see bonfires burning in Macroom, Skibbereen, Bantry or Clonakilty because of this measure, unless there is behind it a well of hope that, outside this concept of the undeveloped areas and aid to industry, the Government have a plan to finance food-processing plants, fruit-growing, box-making and to develop the timber potential in the forests in that area. Unless that is there, this legislation is crazy, because it is defeating the purpose of the original Undeveloped Areas Act. It is removing any carrot the Undeveloped Areas Act might have had to attract industrialists into that area.

Unlike Deputy McQuillan, I do not believe the Government—particularly since their announcement yesterday about accepting the plan for developing the western areas, Kerry and West Cork—intend to abandon the search for a solution of the economic difficulties there.

Apparently the Deputy has not read the Bill. The differential is maintained up to a grant of £250,000.

The Minister is well aware that the carrot has not been big enough to bring anybody into some of the areas the Minister and I would like to see them in. I am not taking the Minister to task. I do not blame the Minister for certain things not happening. A tremendous effort has been made by the Minister's Department and other organisations to get industries in this area. I would not blame the Minister for the failure because of economic circumstances, the difficulty of transport and the intake of raw materials. The circumstances in relation to the earning capacity of an industry are the deciding factors in regard to the establishment of a factory anywhere by private enterprise. I do not want the Minister to feel I am trying to needle him. I am not.

The only reason I intervened was that so many Deputies seemed to suggest in their speeches that the differential between grants in the undeveloped areas and the rest of the country was gone.

No, I never thought that. These measures will enable people to get grants more readily outside the undeveloped areas. However, their industries may be very valuable and I would not like to stop them being developed. The point I was making was this. No matter what criticism we might make of these Bills, the Minister should be in a position to tell us that, apart altogether from aid for the undeveloped areas, the Government had a plan to make money available for development there as distinct from any legislation by the Department of Industry and Commerce.

I want to disabuse Deputy McQuillan's mind of the idea that this Bill, per se, could be the death knell of any district. We would be doing the dog in the manager if we were to tell our people in the undeveloped areas: “All is gone,” when we know that, as a consequence of the Government's decision, be it for good or evil, there is a plan to try to pull together the potential of the western seaboard and places like Kerry and West Cork into some practical type of rural economy, to develop it and provide the people with a living in industries suited to their own districts.

I would welcome without any equivocation whatever any development in industry that would provide employment. On reflection, the Minister might consider that the setting up of a separate company may not be the most expeditious way of dealing with the increased type of grant he wants to make available. Inordinate delay can be caused through the establishment of the company. If this Bill is to give assistance to industry, and if the employment potential is to be quickly increased, then the less cumbersome the machinery is made, the better it will be and the more effective will be the result. Any effort of the Government to put one extra person into gainful employment is worthy of support.

Reading the Minister's speech, I was amazed to see his concept of employment potential vis-à-vis the legislation that went through here in connection with the fertiliser factory. There does not seem to be any reality in the number of people he expects to be employed for the expenditure of £1,000,000 under this Bill and the number to be employed for an expenditure of £7,000,000 on the nitrogen factory. But there may be problems involved there in respect of machinery, technicalities and chemicals which are not involved in the case of other industries. Therefore, I shall not try to present the Minister with that type of analogy because it may not be sound.

We hope the Bills will achieve the purposes the Minister has set out in his speech. But he would want to be wary that some of the results of Foras Tionscal grants in the past will not emerge again and that we will not have factories for making bowling alleys taking up their tents and disappearing like Arabs into the night.

I have some misgivings about this Bill and consequently I cannot welcome it in so far as I am a Deputy from an undeveloped area. The implications contained in it lead me to believe that the Government have in mind the idea of abandoning the establishment of further worthwhile industries in the undeveloped areas, especially in the west of Ireland. Some of the statements made by the Minister when introducing this legislation need clarification. Such statements as that which suggests that a two-thirds grant may be made available in exceptional circumstances need to be better defined, as would this statement: "Where the board are of opinion that there are sound economic reasons why the industry could not be established in the undeveloped areas...."

To my mind, that leaves a loophole affecting towns like Ballymote, my home town, where there is a population of 1,000 people and where the only industry is probably the railway station for exporting our youth to England. I can be told, of course, there are sound economic reasons why a certain firm should not establish a factory there and that consequently the same firm may be given a higher grant, up to two-thirds of the cost, to establish an industry in an area other than an undeveloped area. There is a loophole also in another statement by the Minister that Foras Tionscal have power to give higher grants in certain circumstances outside the undeveloped areas without any action on the part of the Minister.

I believe these statements will militate against the west of Ireland. I agree there is a differential, but it may not work in favour of the western counties or the undeveloped areas as a whole. For a start, the benefits available under this legislation are not big enough to entice industrialists into the undeveloped areas, since they might qualify for better facilities in other areas. If the same concessions and advantages as were given to the undeveloped areas in the past are envisaged for other areas, including the east coast, it spells doom for the prospects of establishing any further worthwhile industries in the west of Ireland.

It is logical to expect that if the Government are sincere about establishing industries in undeveloped areas, or even maintaining existing ones, grants for the undeveloped areas should be increased. I have no objection at all to the giving of grants in respect of industries outside the undeveloped areas, but I think the differential should be greater, and in order to achieve that, the grants to the undeveloped areas should be increased. I have mentioned the problem of maintaining existing industries. As the Minister knows very well, our largest industry in Sligo is in jeopardy at the moment. I do not intend to be critical about this because, as a member of the chamber of commerce in Sligo, I know the Minister has taken a particular interest and will do all he can in the matter. However, if this Bill should have anything to do with the closing of that factory, in which the people of Sligo invested £40,000, I think the Minister will agree with me that it would be bad news for the west of Ireland. On the wireless today I am given to understand, the closing of another west of Ireland industry was announced.

Would the Deputy give some particulars of that? I have been making inquiries since Deputy P. O'Donnell intervened at Question Time and have been unable to get any facts.

I was told about it; I did not hear it myself.

I thought the Deputy might know something more about it.

As far as I can understand, it was in Claremorris.

It was in Northern Ireland as far as I understood.

It is bad enough to put blame on the Minister for his own sins.

I am satisfied the Minister knows all about the difficulty in Sligo. Some hundreds of families will be thrown out of work and others in the town find themselves in a state of uncertainty. I hope this Bill will not create more uncertainty in the west of Ireland where the people thought they had secure employment and now find they have not. I know the Minister is doing his best in that matter but I must say I cannot welcome this Bill because I think it is a bit nebulous in relation to what will happen in the west of Ireland in the future.

The Undeveloped Areas Act was introduced with a view to giving employment to people in the west of Ireland and with the hope of stemming emigration. It did some good, even if in some parts of the west emigration has not been stemmed to any great extent. Particularly in my constituency of South Leitrim and North Roscommon, where there are a number of farmers living on small, uneconomic holdings, if something is not done to supplement their incomes by the provision of some form of industrial employment, they cannot hope to exist. I must say I was surprised some months ago when the Minister for Industry and Commerce made an announcement that three other counties, Cavan, Longford and Monaghan, were being scheduled as undeveloped areas. I could understand that action if something more had been done for the west of Ireland. This Bill goes even further than the Minister's announcement in respect of the three counties mentioned. It makes available to the whole country the same financial advantages as the undeveloped areas.

People who live outside the underdeveloped areas seem to be of the opinion that there is an industry or a factory of some type or other in every town in the underdeveloped areas. I want to emphasise here and now that that theory is completely wrong. Towns like Mohill, Rooskey, and others, all within a short radius of each other, have not as much as one industry. The development committees of these towns were hoping to get industries and they felt that their turn had not come until the larger towns, such as Roscommon town and Carrick-on-Shannon, had got some industries. I might mention that Carrick-on-Shannon has a rather small industry which is doing reasonably well and giving some employment. We had experience of having an industry opened in Roscommon town last year and it, again, is doing well.

The development committees of both those towns, and all other towns of that size, were hoping to get more industries. This Bill, in my opinion, tends to crush their hopes somewhat. We certainly cannot hope to satisfy ourselves, despite what we are told, that this Bill will go any way further in giving those towns I have mentioned, which have no industry, an industry. The only people who, in my opinion, will benefit from the Bill are those who live in coastal and other industrial areas. Let us be quite honest with each other. If an industrialist from within the country goes into the Department of Finance and examines the advantages to be got in the underdeveloped area and compares them with the advantages he would get outside that area from this Bill, you will find that his industry will move in the direction of Dublin, or as near as possible to Dublin.

I honestly think that it will ultimately be of no advantage. Like other Deputies from the Roscommon constituency, I was a member of the deputation who visited An Foras Tionscal during the month of November. We were members of a deputation from the Boyle Development Committee. I must say we were received courteously by the officials, and they explained the development measures in detail. In my opinion, under this Bill, their chances of getting an industry have become less than before the Bill was introduced.

In conclusion, I would say to the Minister at this stage that unless he makes a greater differential between the areas in the underdeveloped area and those outside it he will not tempt any more industries into that area.

I assure the Minister at this stage that I will not delay the House in replying.

The Deputy is 25 minutes late.

I think it would be wrong of me as a Corkman, and particularly as a Fermoyman, not to say how pleased I am that some commonsense has been brought to bear on this whole industrial problem. I am a member of the Fermoy Industrial Improvement Committee. We have for a long time been agitating that Fermoy and other towns in Cork should be brought within the scope of the Undeveloped Areas Act to the extent set out in this measure. I think it only right and proper for me to say, on behalf of the Fermoy people who have for years and years been looking for industries of major importance, that we welcome the Bill. While I sympathise with Deputy Gilhawley from Sligo-Leitrim, as one who worked in that county for four or five years and knows all the towns he mentioned and knows, as he does, that there is no industry of any importance in any of them, I thing the whole country should be on the same basis in this regard. The people in towns like Fermoy are just as entitled to industrial projects as towns like Mohill or Boyle. It is for that reason I believe the Minister is looking at this whole problem at least in a more commonsense and broader way than previous Ministers for Industry and Commerce. I hope and trust that what he has in mind in the wider scope of this Bill will have the effects he suggests in the years ahead.

The Minister for Industry and Commerce to conclude.

Before the debate adjourned last evening, two Deputies said something to the effect that the changed conditions in relation to the British application for membership of the European Economic Community should now cause me to think again about the introduction of this Bill. One of the purposes of the introduction of this Bill is to introduce, or should I say, legislate for a system of grants for adaptation purposes to enable existing industries to become more competitive in freer trade conditions. In so far as these two Bills provide for such grant assistance, I want to assure the House that, first, there was no question of rushing into a decision to provide such assistance, and, secondly, and more important, that there can be no question of relaxing the implementation of these Bills and the application of these adaptations because of the suspension of the negotiations for British entry to the Common Market. On the contrary, it is my belief now that there is even greater need to press forward with all our preparatory activities for freer trade.

I am glad that, by and large, the Bills have received a welcome from both sides of the House. In so far as there have been misgivings, they have come mainly from Deputies who represent constituencies in the areas that had been designated in this legislation as underdeveloped areas. I want to say here and now that the main differential in favour of underdeveloped areas is not being removed. In cases where the maximum grants amount to £250,000, that maximum would have covered almost every grant that has been hitherto given to new industries established in the underdeveloped areas.

I did not like to intervene in the course of remarks made by Deputy McQuillan and others while they were developing their arguments on the lines that this differential was wiped out. Having said that categorically, I hope that no further misconception of what these two Bills will do will arise.

A variety of minor criticisms of our grants policy, many of them completely unsustainable, were made during the course of the debate. One of them was from a few sources, that the policy outlined in the Undeveloped Areas Act had completely failed. Nothing can be further from the truth. The recent reports, to which I referred when I resumed this debate, of An Foras Tionscal indicate clearly that the policy of the Undeveloped Areas Act has met with reasonable success. That the Government and everybody concerned would have wished for a greater degree of success is only natural. We hope that the inducement of industrialists to those areas will continue under the amended Undeveloped Areas Bill now before the House.

Debate adjourned.