That a sum not exceeding £8,966,700 be granted to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1967, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Office of the Minister for Industry and Commerce, including certain Services administered by that Office, and for payment of sundry Grants-in-Aid.
In the Book of Estimates, the net Estimate of £8,966,700 for the year 1966-67 compares with a sum of £7,206,000 granted in 1965-66, including Supplementary Estimates for £177,000, and shows a net increase of £1,760,700. On the 1st March, 1966-too late for inclusion in the Book of Estimates— an additional sum of £1,620,000 was granted by way of a further Supplementary Estimate, bringing the total amount granted in 1965-66 to £8,826,000. The actual position is, therefore, that the Estimate of £8,966,700 for 1966-67 exceeds by £140,700 the total sum of £8,826,000 granted in 1965-66.
The principal increases arising in the financial year 1966-67 result from net increases of £274,000 in the provision for temporary assistance for industry, £64,000 in the grant-in-aid to Córas Tráchtála and £56,000 in the provision for Departmental salaries and wages after taking supplementary Estimates in March, 1966, for £2,225,990, £36,000 and £70,000 respectively, into account. The provision for An Cheard Chomhairle has been increased by £15,000 and a new service, An Chomhairle Traenála accounts for an increase of £10,000. Minor increases in other subheads amount to £6,795, bringing the total increases in expenditure to £425,795 to which must be added a net decrease of £7,614 in Appropriations-in-Aid giving a total of £433,409.
There are decreases in expenditure under a number of subheads in the year 1966-67. There is a reduction of £500,000 in the grant-in-aid to An Foras Tionscal, a reduction of £130,000 in shipbuilding subsidy, a reduction of £57,999 in the provision for New York World's Fair and £49,490 in the provision for St. Patrick's Copper Mines Ltd.—for the two latter items only token provisions of £10 each have been made. The provision for Technical Assistance is down by £50,000 and there is no provision in 1966-67 for Castlecomer Collieries Ltd. for which £140,000 was provided in 1965-66 by way of Supplementary Estimate in December, 1965. Decreases in other subheads will amount to £66,219 bringing the aggregate of the decreases to £993,699. However, when allowance is made for the savings of £700,990 taken into account in the Supplementary Estimate in March, 1966, the net decreases amount to £292,709. The net increase in the Estimate for 1966-67 compared with the year 1965-66 is therefore £140,700.
I propose to confine my speech to major topics which I consider the House will be most interested in rather than attempt to cover all the numerous activities of my Department. There is a considerable volume of active administrative work going on all the time in relation to such things as insurance, labour laws, health and safety in workplaces, apprenticeship, patents, company law, etc. I know that there are Deputies who will be concerned with one or more of these activities and if any Deputy wishes to raise any questions in relation to them, I will be only too happy to deal with them when replying to the debate.
Industrial output and employment maintained an upward trend during 1965, though the rate of growth was slower than in some recent years. In 1965, 47 new industries and extensions went into production, representing an estimated total capital investment of £18.5 million and an employment potential of about 5,400 persons. Projects with foreign participation accounted for about 60 per cent of the capital investment and nearly 70 per cent of the employment involved. At the end of 1965, 49 new factories having an employment potential of about 4,500 persons and estimated investment of £29.1 million, were under construction.
The majority of the new undertakings established here in recent years are based on production for export. This is illustrated by the value of industrial exports, which in the past year was over 150 per cent above the corresponding 1958 level. The progress in the industrial sector of the economy is further demonstrated by the fact that in the seven year period 1959 to 1965, new industries and extensions which have commenced production, represent an estimated investment of £74 million and an employment potential of 35,000 persons. Projects with foreign participation accounted for nearly 80 per cent of employment and investment.
Closures of factories due to commercial failure have from time to time attracted a great deal of publicity. It is unfortunately the case that failure often attracts more attention than success and that the same degree of publicity is not gained by the many firms which are expanding production and employment and achieving increased sales in export markets. It must be accepted that an active policy for the attraction of industry has to contain an element of risk. The success of each individual project undertaken cannot be assured. The alternative, however, to a progressive development policy is to face stagnation. The financial losses suffered in the failures are minimal in comparison with the total gains.
I referred in my speech on the Estimates last year to the survey of the grant-aided industries and indicated that I hoped that this would be initiated at the end of 1965. Due to staffing difficulties it was not possible to make as much progress up to now as had then been hoped but I am pleased to say that these difficulties have been overcome and that the survey is now well in hand. This survey is being undertaken by the IDA.
I have also been conscious for some time of the need for a thorough re-appraisal in all its aspects of the programme for the attraction of industry from abroad. This need has been highlighted and made more urgent by the conclusion of the Free Trade Area Agreement with Britain. An important consideration in this connection is that the terminal date of the major tax concessions has been fixed in relation to British trade and that the ten year period will begin to diminish within a few years.
Other developments here point to the need for such a re-appraisal. These include the designation of two new industrial centres, activities in the physical planning sphere, the establishment of a Manpower Authority and the extensive re-examination of our educational system. The incentives available elsewhere in Europe especially in the North and in Britain have altered considerably since the Irish incentives were introduced. As the attraction of outside industry is a highly competitive field this too suggests the importance and urgency of a re-assessment of our incentives.
On the recommendation of the IDA I have, therefore, decided to engage the services of a firm of consultants with considerable world-wide experience in this work to assist in a major re-appraisal, being undertaken by the Authority, of the programme for the attraction of foreign industry. The survey of the grant-aided industries will provide useful data for this wider re-appraisal and it is also intended that this firm of consultants will give advice in connection with the survey. The consultants will examine the methods and procedures for attracting and dealing with projects at all stages in the light of prospective developments here and abroad. It is envisaged also that the consultants will be asked to examine the opportunities available for the establishment of particular groups of industries here.
The Industrial Development Authority is actively pursuing its campaign to attract foreign industrialists to Ireland and promotional expenditure has been stepped up. During the year, Board members and senior staff made an increased number of visits abroad in connection with promotional matters and particular industrial projects. The Authority now has permanent offices in London, Cologne and New York as well as full time representatives based in Chicago and Paris. A Research and Information Section has been set up at headquarters which will in time supplement the present general approach to the attraction of foreign industrialists by a more selective approach for particular products or groups of products.
Interest in mineral exploration continued to increase during the past year. Some 322 new applications for prospecting licences were received and 198 licences were current at 31st March, 1966.
The most notable event during the past year has been the commencement of production at the lead, zinc, silver and barytes mine at Tynagh. It is expected that full production at Tynagh will be in the region of 150,000 tons of cencentrates per annum. It is also expected that 100,000 tons of barytes will be produced annually. The exploitation of these deposits makes a valuable contribution to the national economy.
A lease of State-owned minerals at Silvermines, Co. Tipperary, has been granted to the operating company, Mogul of Ireland Ltd., which has announced the completion of a £7 million financing arrangement to bring this lead-zinc-silver mine into production early in 1968. Annual production is expected to reach 140,000 tons of concentrates. The production of barytes at Silvermines, which commenced in 1963 is in the region of 100,000 tons per annum. The combined output of barytes from Tynagh, Silvermines and other mines is likely to make Ireland the third largest producer of barytes in the world. Valuable deposits of copper and silver have been discovered at Gortdrum, Co. Tipperary. Exploration work and a feasibility study have been carried out but conclusive figures on tonnage and grade have not yet been released.
The Oil Exploration Licence of Ambassador Irish Oil Company Ltd., and Associates is due for renewal for a further five year term in respect of about 75 per cent of the original area. Drilling during the initial five year term did not meet with success. Work by the companies during the past year has been confined to geological studies and seismic and marine studies in territorial waters.
The principles governing the exploration and exploitation of petroleum deposits and other mineral resources outside the territorial waters are governed by the Geneva Convention on the Continental Shelf, which deals with the allocation of the shelf between neighbouring coastal States. Legislation is being prepared with a view to the ratification of this Convention by this country. When the legislation has been enacted and the Convention ratified, we will be in a position to issue licences for the exploration and exploitation of the Continental Shelf adjacent to our coasts.
The big event in the last twelve months was the conclusion of a Free Trade Area Agreement between Ireland and the Government of the United Kingdom. This has been fully discussed in the Dáil before now and outside of it too. I would just say that the searching for and finding of wider markets and wider marketing opportunities are the natural consequences of our decision to industrialise this country. While the first stage of industrialisation was for a home market if we are to sustain a standard of living here comparable to other countries and offer employment opportunities to Irish people in Ireland then we must manufacture for much bigger markets than that of 3,000,000 people here at home. Hence our continued interest in a wider marketing arrangement including Europe.
How we succeed in dealing with these new opportunities will have a fundamental effect on the course of our history. I think it is safe to say that nearly everybody concerned with industry and commerce in Ireland now accepts in full the desirability of greater markets and hence the necessity for competitiveness in these markets. In recent years our industrialists have shown by the increasing level of exports that Irish products can compete in export markets with the best that other countries can offer.
Industrial exports in 1965 were £81.4 million as compared with £77.2 million in 1964. This represents an increase of £4.2 million worth over the record year of 1964. The percentage of total exports represented by industrial products has risen steadily each year and stood at 37.3 per cent in 1965 as compared with 30.5 per cent in 1961. The year's trading pattern last year was characterised by a marked recovery in the second half of the year—recovery of the ground which was lost in the first half. At the end of last June total exports were more than £10 million worth below the figure for the first six months of 1964 but by the end of the year the gap had been closed and the 1964 record had, as I say, in fact been exceeded. Apart from the fall in the cattle trade, one of the principal retarding factors in our exports in 1965 was the British temporary charge on imports. This applies to a wide range of manufactured and semi-manufactured goods and affected about £50 million worth of our exports. As the Dáil knows, the temporary charge was reduced from 15 per cent to 10 per cent in April 1965. The main effects of that levy were to prevent an expansion in exports which we had come to expect because of the annual expansion in previous years. That the levy did not have a catastrophic effect upon us is, I think, due to the Government's decision to provide financial assistance which was approved by the House in the form of Market Development Grants. A sum of £2½ million is included in Subhead R for this type of assistance in 1966-67.
In trying to assess the prospects for exports in 1966, 'the Anglo-Irish Free Trade Area Agreement, which comes into operation on 1st July, must be taken into account. The principal advantage to Ireland on the industrial side will be the immediate abolition of all remaining British protective duties on Irish goods and of particular significance is the removal of the duty on articles containing man-made fibres. This duty was long a stumbling block to Irish exporters, particularly in the textile field, and, while its abolition will to some extent be of lesser benefit because of the existence of the temporary import surcharge, I think that taking everything into consideration— the present level of trading, recent and current performance in the export field and the various factors, favourable and unfavourable, likely to weigh heavily in 1966—it seems reasonable to expect an increase again in exports in the coming year. Our exporters will have had six months' advance notice in the field of man-made fibre and I hope they will have by now made the fullest use of the period so that we should have an immediate benefit in exports from July onwards.
When I speak of exports and various factors influencing them I assume —and maybe I have no right to assume—that there will be no deterioration in the competitiveness of Irish goods. As indicated in a recent NIEC report, the extent to which export prices can be insulated from the forces pushing up domestic costs on prices is limited, limited by the smallness of the home market and the high proportion of the output of Irish industries which must be exported. The Irish goods now being exported, the report pointed out, are being exported because they can compete with similar products from other sources.
The special promotional drive by Córas Tráchtála to counter the effects of the British import surcharge was fully dealt with when the Supplementary Estimates for the Department were passed on 1st March last.
The statutory limit on grants payable to Córas Tráchtála is £2½ million. Since its establishment total grants to the Board have run to over £2 million and with the provision in this year's Estimate the total grants will exceed the limit imposed by legislation. Because of this, a Bill is in course of preparation to provide for an increase in the aggregate of grants which may be paid to Córas Tráchtála Teoranta.
One of the most important matters concerning my Department is the adaptation of industry for freer trade. The Committee on Industrial Organisation in its general reports and its reports of the 26 sectors of industry which they surveyed provided blueprints for the work of adaptation. I think I can say now that the foundation for progress in adaptation work has been well and truly laid. This can be judged from the report of the Industrial Reorganisation Branch of my Department. This report Progress in Adaptation I presented to Dáil Éireann recently. Some industries particularly have carried out a substantial degree of physical adaptation.
I like to think of adaptation as something to be considered in its short-term and its long-term aspects. Physical adaptation which covers the provision of machinery and plant for the re-equipment and expansion of industry could be regarded as the short-term adaptation. In the long-term adaptation I would include such matters as rationalisation, specialisation, training, research and design programmes. It is, of course, much easier to evaluate the progress made in relation to physical adaptation. So far some 600 firms accounting for probably 60 per cent of industrial production and including most of our larger concerns have formulated adaptation plans. A total capital investment is involved in these plans of the order of £55 million and grants and loans amounting to £9 million have so far been approved in respect of these projects.
Up to recently, I found it necessary to say that too many firms within the various sectors of industry had not yet undertaken physical adaptation. I think many of them were able to plead uncertainty as to the future before the signing of the Anglo-Irish Free Trade Area Agreement. Some, perhaps, were pessimistic about the possibility of their survival in free trade. Whatever the reasons, the time seems to have arrived now when most people are beginning to bestir themselves.
There was a spectacular increase in the volume of applications for adaptation grants received during the first quarter of this year. At present there are 287 applications representing a capital investment of £13.56 million with Foras Tionscal. For comparison purposes I might mention that since the beginning of the adaptation grants scheme a total of 412 grants involving a capital investment of £48 million have been approved. The applications received in such numbers during the first part of this year cover a wide field and practically every sector of industry is represented. A considerable number of them were related to expenditure which has already been incurred. The processing of these applications is a specialised task and because of the large number involved it may take some time to clear them all.
For firms who for one reason or another have not undertaken adaptation, the Government decided to extend until December, 1967, the date by which applications must be approved by An Foras Tionscal. The necessary legislation which will shortly be presented to the House will provide that application must be made not later than the 30th September, 1967, and that any applications from the 31st March of this year on must relate to future expenditure in order to quality.
Some 24 Adaptation Councils have been established in industry and I feel it is of the utmost importance that individual firms give the fullest support to their councils. There has been some criticism of the effectiveness of adaptation councils and I agree there have been grounds for criticism but the substantial success achieved by some adaptation councils is enough to encourage me to believe that the basic idea is sound, if given the full support of industry.
Joint action in such matters as rationalisation of production, and export marketing can contribute materially to the building up of the competitive capacity of Irish industry and adaptation councils can do much to promote this type of co-operation. This is the phase of adaptation into which industry must now move and it is to these problems we shall have to give increasing attention in the coming year or two. I do not think that industry is yet fully alert to the need for co-operative action whether in the export market or in meeting outside competition at home. I know it is only fair to say that attention had to be given in the first place to physical adaptation and less time was therefore available, in many cases, to consider how best these others matters of rationalisation and co-operation might be tackled. However, some industries have tackled them and this should encourage others to follow.
In its third interim report the CIO suggested that advisory bodies be established by the trade unions representing workers. These advisory bodies were envisaged as being available for consultation by the appropriate adaptation council on matters affecting the interest of workers. Twenty-two advisory bodies have been established and I am glad to be able to say there has been useful consultation between some of them and the appropriate adaptation councils. While recognising that decisions relating to adaptation are a management function, I should like to see an extension of the type of counsultation which has taken place. I believe that only good can come of it.
I hope that industry clearly understands the role of Government and the role of my Department in the adaptation process. Every possible help, every encouragement will be given but at no time is an effort made to coerce industry to take steps which it feels itself are unjustified. Neither the Government nor my Department have any secret weapon to offer to industry but we do believe that there is within industry the brain power, initiative and the spirit and energy which allied to hard work can achieve not only the measure of adaptation outlined by the CIO but can continue to guide the expansion necessary to realise the targets set out in the Second Programme.
Long before the accomplished fact of free trade between Britain and Ireland in 1975 the effects of competition will be felt. Industry would be advised to continue to think of 1970 as the day of the big wind rather than 1975. Apart from any other considerations, we continue to keep our eyes on the possibility of joining the European Economic Community and this possibility is still basic to our general economic planning. To industry I say: "Ní hé lá na gaoithe lá na scolb".
During the past 12 months the subject of industrial relations has been very much in the public mind. It is a complex subject with various facets but, like many another subject, it is generally only the bad news that gets the headlines. If bad news comes in a wave, there is a tendency to regard the whole industrial situation as being in jeopardy.
I think it is necessary for us to try to maintain a balanced judgment in this whole matter. In the first place there are vast numbers of firms and wide sectors of industry in which industrial relations are good. These, of course, rarely make the headlines in the newspapers. I would suggest, however, that, if they have not already done so, the Federated Union of Employers and the Federation of Irish Industries should consider making a special study of a selected number of firms among those that have good records in the field of industrial relations to find out how things are managed in those firms and what can be learned that could perhaps be disseminated with profit.
Industrial relations cannot very well be divorced from the general economic scene and a review of the past 12 months in the field of industrial relations in Ireland must, of necessity, cover also the economic situation. It is unwise to imagine that the ex-factory price of a commodity can remain unaffected by movements in production costs or that production costs do not include the cost of labour. It is particularly foolish to think that while prices can legitimately be affected by increases in, say, the cost of raw materials and overheads, they should never be affected by increases in labour costs. There may be a tendency on the part of workers to press a claim for higher wages and then feel that every employer can automatically absorb the extra cost and keep prices stationary. The sooner this type of thinking is discouraged the better for everyone. The workers' representatives have asserted that the 12 per cent increase of 1964 turned sour by reason of price increases. I hope the experience will not be lost. Above all I would ask the trade unions to impress upon their members the futility of pocketing a wage increase and then shrugging onto somebody else the job of trying to immobilise prices.
Towards the middle of 1965 the Government found it necessary to draw attention to certain unfavourable trends in the general economic situation. I had discussions with the Federated Union of Employers and with the Irish Congress of Trade Unions. I emphasised that the immediate job ahead of us was to try to hold the economic line and prevent breaches that could have very serious consequences. In particular I tried to make it clear that this was not the sole responsibility of one side or the other but that we were all involved. At the time, the 1964 wage agreement was taking on a very tattered look. If the workers were soured by the feeling that prices had eroded the 12 per cent, employers were equally soured by what they regarded as smart devices in the nature of claims for status pay, service pay and so on. The atmosphere was not good.
However, the Federated Union of Employers and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions came together in September, 1965, and launched a review of the 1964 agreement, coupled with an examination of the prospects for a new agreement. They remained together until 22nd December, 1965, when the talks broke down because the parties could not agree on the framework for a new agreement. I should like to emphasise that the Government were not involved in these talks which were an exercise in free collective bargaining at top representative level.
In January last the Irish Congress of Trade Unions convened a special delegate conference and decided that workers should seek an increase in wages of up to £1 a week. In the meantime, the best economic advice available to the Government indicated that increases beyond three per cent would be giving us more than our situation would warrant. The position was, therefore, that representative management and labour were out of touch; the economic experts had said three per cent and the Congress had said up to £1 a week.
In this atmosphere, the Taoiseach and I had discussions with the Federated Union of Employers and with the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, following which the two sides agreed to come together again. They did so under a chairman of their own choice who was independent of management, labour and Government. After talks which extended over a week, the parties again failed to find agreement. Since then the Labour Court has had discussions with these bodies and has issued guidelines for the negotiation of current claims and the Government has given its comments on the guidelines.
The public are inclined to think of industrial relations almost exclusively in terms of strikes. We have had our share of strikes and threats of strikes, goodness knows. However much we may deplore this, I regard the condemning of each and every strike as a somewhat futile exercise. It is like saying that nothing should ever go wrong, which is the same as deploring human nature. Neverthless, I think the time has come to ask ourselves if we know what we are doing. This country has no God-given right to prosperity irrespective of what we ourselves do in the conduct of our affairs. It has been truly said recently that the freedom won in 1922 was not an end in itself; it was no more than freedom of opportunity to shape our own destiny. We are not a strong country, but we are showing a tendency to carry on as if we were so strong that nothing could adversely affect us. This is madness and in the approaching era of free trade we may very well take a severe beating unless we look to our defences. Good industrial relations are a vital part of our defences and I think that those who would weaken that sector, whether employers or workers, would be doing a very bad day's work.
In so far as law can help in maintaining a good system of industrial relations the Government has already arrived at broad decisions on the amendments which should be made in the Industrial Relations and Trade Union laws and I have made these known to the Federated Union of Employers and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and invited their comments. While I do not wish to anticipate the publication of the detailed proposals I can say, however, that I hope to enhance the prestige of the Labour Court to provide for a greater degree of centralisation of trade disputes in the hands of the Court. This would be an effort to ensure that awards, recommendations or findings would be given by a body in a position to take an overall view of the situation and to ensure uniformity of approach to matters in dispute.
The idea that somewhere along the road of a trade dispute there should be a court of final appeal is, I think, a good one. The question is should that idea be voluntarily accepted by the parties as a matter of honour, subject only to moral sanctions? Alternatively, should the State try to impose a court of final appeal on the parties, always of course bearing in mind that in these circumstances more than moral sanctions will be demanded? The House will have an opportunity of considering this question.
I envisage making available machinery for the issue of binding arbitration awards for parties who themselves are prepared to take that particular course.
While peaceful and reasonably placed pickets are a legitimate arm of the strike weapon, I think the time has come to take a look at the Trade Disputes Act, 1906, and I envisage doing this in the proposals which I shall submit to the House.
Lest the workers of the country should be misled by some one-sided statements which have been made recently into believing that the Government are asking the workers alone to tide us over the present difficult situation I think it well that I should remind them of the restraint which has been imposed on employers in relation to prices. I introduced certain price restraints in October last. These were aimed at securing a measure of price stabilisation. I am glad to be able to say now that these restraints aided once again by a vigilant consumer public and a generally co-operative reaction by manufacturers, importers and wholesalers, have helped to reduce the advance in the Consumer Price Index between mid-May, 1965, and mid-February, 1966, to one solitary point compared with advances of six points in the corresponding period in the years 1963-1964, 1964-1965, while the Index has not advanced at all in the period mid-November, 1965, to mid-March, 1966.
I am sorry that I cannot say that the position has yet so changed as to allow me to forecast any immediate or early withdrawal of the existing restraints. I sincerely hope, however, that a situation will not develop which would force me to introduce measures of a more stringent nature. No equitable form of statutory price control can secure stable prices in the face of increases in raw material and/or conversion costs, but subject to this fact, I will continue to use my powers under the Prices Acts 1958 and 1965 to maintain, so far as possible, the measure of stability achieved over the past year. I must make it clear again, however, that the position must be influenced to a great extent by developments in industrial relations because there is no answer to increases in raw material and/or conversion costs except greater productivity arrived at by mutual effort on the part of intelligent, understanding management and an efficient and willing labour force.
While co-operation in the question of prices has been general, it has not been universal, and some cases of non-compliance are under consideration. My aim is to achieve universal compliance without resort to harsh enforcement measures. But I must give warning that I intend to secure complete compliance and will use all the powers at my disposal to do so.
My comments on the subject of manpower policy will be brief. The Parliamentary Secretary will be intervening later in the debate to make a fuller statement on the subject.
We have made quite satisfactory progress since the White Paper on Manpower Policy was published last October. We have introduced the Industrial Training Bill which provides for the establishment of a new industrial training authority with wide powers to deal with all aspects of industrial training and retraining. Deputies will shortly be given the opportunity of debating the provisions of this Bill. We have prepared a draft scheme for redundancy payments and resettlement allowances.
This is a very important and a very complicated scheme and we decided that it would be unwise to prepare the necessary legislation without consulting both sides in industry. The draft scheme has been carefully examined by the Manpower Advisory Committee and has now been circulated to various interested bodies for their comments, The Manpower Advisory Committee which is representative of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and the Federated Union of Employers, was set up some time ago to advise and assist the National Manpower Agency in its work.
The initial steps for the development and improvement of the placement and guidance facilities of the Employment Service have been taken and measures are in hands for the initiation of a manpower forecasting service and for the provision of information on careers. We have also established, under the aegis of the Manpower Agency, an Interdepartmental Committee to ensure a high degree of co-operation and co-ordination between the various official agencies concerned with manpower problems.
The Parliamentary Secretary will be dealing with some of these matters at greater length during the debate. I think I have said enough to make it clear that we have made a good deal of progress during the past months.
Under the Free Trade Area Agreement with the UK, this country is free to take action on its own initiative against dumped or subsidised imports which cause or threaten to cause material injury to an Irish industry. Such action must be consistent with the principles laid down in the GATT in regard to these matters. The Government fully realise that in a Free Trade Area this country may be particularly vulnerable to dumping and suitable legislation will be introduced shortly which will enable speedy and effective action to be taken against any form of dumping likely to cause material injury to our industry. The Federation of Irish Industries have put forward certain proposals to counter dumping and in framing the necessary legislation full consideration has been given to these proposals and to the views of Irish industry generally as to the most appropriate measures to be adopted.
As already stated I have confined my speech to major topics in which I felt that the House would be most interested and if any Deputy who is concerned with one or more of these activities wishes to raise any questions in relation to them I will be only too happy to deal with them in my reply to the debate. I should say, of course, that a lot of detailed information about the Department's activities in these and other matters is made available regularly to Deputies in various annual reports. Deputies will be familiar already with the annual reports published by the Institute for Industrial Research and Standards. An Cheard Chomhairle, the Irish National Productivity Committee, the Patents Office, the Factory Inspectorate, The Labour Court, An Foras Tionscal, Córas Tráchtála, the Registrar of Companies, the Registrar of Friendly Societies, the Insurance Companies Report, Fair Trade Commission, Report (White Paper) on ILO Conventions and Recommendations.
While I wish to finish this speech on an optimistic note it is conditioned by the fact that, while the Government are making every effort to advance the industrial development of the country, they must have the whole-hearted co-operation of employers and employees if their aims are to be achieved. I feel sure the House will endorse my appeal to employers and workers to come together, to increase productivity, to increase exports to maximise our national product and to make Ireland an even better place to live in. In doing this, the employers and the workers will also bring financial benefit and greater security to themselves.