Committee on Finance. - Vote 40—Industry and Commerce.

I move:

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.

If one were to seek a pious homily or quiet sermon, one would be satisfied with the Minister's speech on the introduction of the Estimate for his Department but anybody seeking anything else would not be satisfied. The speech has no bite in it. He has not dealt with the very serious problems facing industry today, and particularly this year, within 12 months of the signing of the Anglo Irish Free Trade Agreement and the impending certainty of a movement in a wider sphere of activity such as the Common Market.

The introducing of this Estimate should have been used in a far more definite way. We should have got a much more positive indication from the Minister of his approach to the problems that beset us. Let us face the fact that things are not as they should be. During the major portion of 1965, there was an increase in manufactured goods of 3.8 per cent. In order to employ our people and to replace the numbers leaving the land, the estimate in the Second Programme for Economic Expansion is 7.8 per cent. In round figures, we are running four per cent behind the increase in industrial production that is sought in the Second Programme.

There were 8,000 fewer people at work in this country than in 1964, according to the figures I have here for 1965. That means 8,000 fewer people to buy shirts, boots, shoes, 8,000 fewer people to eat and drink, 8,000 fewer people to make use of public transport. It means that our home market has seriously been depleted and that we are not facing up, on the basis of employment production or export, to the guidelines set out for us in the Government's much-vaunted Second Programme for Economic Expansion.

In this situation of industrial unrest on all sides, one would think the Minister's generalisations would be translated into something with more bite and more attack in relation to the ills that beset us. There is the utmost necessity for the success of industrial expansion and the achievement of the targets laid down by the Government —we see now that they were nothing but targets and they were so defined by us at their inception. It is absolutely necessary that industry shall expand. There is nothing in the Minister's statement but a glossing over of the existing situation when he relates industrial production to the record year of 1964. If we must all drive motor cars today and all shave by means of the safety blade or electric razor and if we use more and more industrial products and fewer and fewer of the products made in our own parish, surely we cannot be unaware of the effect that that must have on our economy? For instance, 50 years ago we went to the farrier for a set of shoes for our horse and we shaved ourselves with a razor which had belonged possibly to our father before us. If that is the trend even at home, then surely there must be a greater demand for industrial goods and an expansion in industry, which unfortunately, seems to be counterbalanced by a reduction in agricultural employment.

There is no use in the Minister's being slightly complacent and taking the line that, while the position is not so good, it is not so bad, either. We must face the fact that we have failed and that the whole structure of our industry is one that indicates great difficulty and danger before we reach the "year of the great wind" of 1975. The Minister preferred that the "great wind" should be in 1970 instead of 1975. I agree that ní hé lá na gaoithe lá na scolb and awareness of, and preparation for the day of the wind is essential. I do not think the Minister has produced any help for us in that regard today.

The first thing we must do is align our agricultural production to our industrial activities. This has not been done. Attempts to do it have so far not met with great success. There is an opportunity here for the handling of our agricultural products and their exports. One thing that could happen, if it were possible to examine it, is the establishment here of a meat marketing board without overall power and without all enveloping operation, to bring about a situation whereby one of our greatest agricultural products could be processed so that it would exist when the time came that deficiency payments for cattle in Britain disappear and cattle achieve their real price whether slaughtered here or in Britain. This is something that could have been adverted to by the Minister but he preferred to generalise. When the wolf is at the door, as is the case in 1966, we cannot afford to generalise.

Let us examine the dilemma of the Minister for Industry and Commerce. It is that his Taoiseach, two and a half years ago before two by-elections, settled in a most hurried way negotiations that were going on between the trade unions and the employers' representatives for a figure of 12 per cent and 2½ years. Whether the 12 per cent was right or wrong may be argued but one thing they cannot argue now is about the 2½ years. It is accepted by industrialists and trade unionists to the extent of about 99 per cent of them that the action of the Taoiseach —he boasted of it at the time—in putting to them the agreement which they eventually reluctantly accepted with the figure of 2½ years in it, was the greatest catastrophe for industrial relations that ever hit the country. The position is that prices follow up wage increases in from nine to 12 months. It is unfair to the working man to create a situation for him which is static for 2½ years. Whether the increase should have been five per cent less or five per cent more is of little consequence because it is the 2½ years and the immediate application of a figure of 12 per cent that mattered. Within a year it was bound to create the inflation that has brought us to the sad and sorry state in which the Government now find themselves. That is the dilemma of the Minister for Industry and Commerce: he found himself with the legacy of what I may call political prostitution left to him by his Leader when he made this quite unfair and improper agreement.

I often recall that the Press used to speak of us on this side of the House as gifted amateurs. I do not know whether we are gifted or not but they regarded us as amateurs and regarded the Government Party as professionals and they said that was why Fianna Fáil succeeded. I want to say this— and the Parliamentary Secretary is a friend of mine—we now have a man facing the most difficult situation in which industry ever found itself; he is a very nice fellow, a medical doctor from Clare in charge of this Department aided by a country solicitor from Mayo. They may be more professional in their political activities than we are but at least if we were in their shoes we would have people who have experience of industry, people who as employers have sat on one side of the table and negotiated with the trade unionists on the other; people who have been in the Labour Court without going there as politicians and people who have sat on the other side of the table as trade unionists and negotiated with the employers. Instead, we have two very decent men with no experience of any kind of industry coping with the most difficult industrial situation we have ever met and the legacy left to them of political prostitution. The Taoiseach by going in and settling those negotiations created this creeping, I should say galloping inflation and placed the country in pawn. The difference between professionalism and political prostitution is one degree; I would prefer to be described as an amateur in political circles on the basis that we would have in our ranks men of experience who would know where they were going at all times and would not be swayed that hair's breadth from professionalism in politics to political prostitution.

Let us now talk of what happened about Budget time. The Minister did not come in here and announce the figure that the Government felt was right. His Leader did it. The Taoiseach when he contributed to the Budget debate announced that the correct figure was three per cent for an increase in wages this year. That was his guideline. When I contributed to the debate —Deputy Tully is smiling again; he knows exactly what I am going to say —I looked across the House and said: "Do not worry about this three per cent. What will happen is that trade unionists will meet the employers across the table and hammer it out. That is how it has been and how it will be". They will disregard this three per cent. Deputy Tully is still smiling. I put it to him on that occasion and asked did he agree with me and his answer was: "I sure do".

He is a practising trade unionist and I am a practising employer in a small way and we both know this procedure. We have been operating it for the past 15 years at least. The Government do not seem to know it. We now have the situation in which the Government have gone out on a limb and have found themselves entirely discredited and quite wrong. Their suggestions are unaccepted and they are left out on that limb by the Labour Court, in this year in which money and effort— which I intend to prove later—and support for industry are reducing because financially they are in pawn.

The action of the Government at Budget time in relation to the price of goods, wages and a prices and incomes policy is worth recording. The first thing that must be said about it is that at the time of the last election, 7th April, 1965, the Taoiseach attacked the policy of Fine Gael in regard to prices and incomes policy both from the point of view of trying to prove to the employers that the Government were trying to peg down their prices and trying to prove to the trade unionists that the Government were going to peg down their wages. I am quite certain that in part, at least, he succeeded in swaying a lot of votes. Of course, what the Taoiseach says at election time when he goes around the country and what he does are two extremely different things. He has again moved from this status professionalism to which I have referred. He said prices and incomes policies were ridiculous, that they could not be implemented, that they would peg down wages and prices. What happened after the Budget? What are the consequences of it? The Government have occurred were it not for the fact that their action at the time of two by-elections, when they forced an improper wage agreement on employers and employees, was coming home to roost. They decided they had to do something about it. Again, the unfortunate pawn in the game, the Minister for Industry and Commerce, was set to do the dirty work and he had to produce his Prices (Amendment) Bill, now the Prices (Amendment) Act, and there was a suggestion of guidelines on wages.

Let us see how this Prices (Amendment) Act operates. The first thing is that in certain instances it was applied retrospectively. I want to refer to the suggestion, accepted as an order, given to the brewers, that they should remove one-fifth of a penny a pint which had been put on at the time of the Budget. This represented a cost to the brewers of the order of £500,000 to £600,000. One must remember that they had met the 12 per cent without any increase in prices and that their net profits from which they give dividends and provide their employees with excellent working conditions had been reduced by as much as £1 million the previous year. Yet the Minister took this line and the imposition was made.

What has happened since? There was a most disastrous strike in the ale breweries which went on for as long as ten weeks and which was eventually settled for quite a sizeable sum but which, in my opinion, would never have occurred were it not for the fact that the Minister had legislated retrospectively as far as brewers were concerned at the time of the Budget.

Let us examine also what happened in relation to another company in this country. A fertiliser manufacturer, Gouldings, dropped from a profit situation of £450,000 to a loss of £153,000 in six months. No doubt, the accountants of that firm were at the Minister's door in relation to the question of an increase in the price of fertiliser. The Minister just threw the Prices (Amendment) Act to the country and let these things happen.

Will employment in the fertiliser industry be maintained? Will employment in the brewing industries be maintained? Will interference of this kind by the Minister for Industry and Commerce encourage investment in this country by some of the companies who have been long established here and from whom we would wish for investment because their directors reside in the country, have a stake in the country and would wish to be called Irishmen?

It is common knowledge in business circles that money has been invested in Gouldings by the two large groups of operators outside this country on the basis that Gouldings were to make themselves as efficient as their counterparts on the Continent and in England, that the investment would reap its reward and that the fertiliser manufacturers during the period of investment and of making themselves efficient would get a subsidy on fertilisers. No doubt, a certain subsidy on fertiliser as distinct from the farm subsidy will be paid. That has been taken into account.

When prices of raw material rocketed abroad, the Minister for Industry and Commerce who, apparently, does not understand a profit and loss account, took certain action. If he did understand a profit and loss account, he certainly would not have done what he did. These people have lost £153,000 in six months and between corporation profits tax and income tax, his Government have lost a couple of hundred thousand pounds for a start. The two investing groups who have put their money in there will hardly ever put another shilling into Ireland again and the best employers in this country, namely, the breweries, have been placed in the position since the last Budget that they are unfriendly in the relations they have with the Government. Around this town it has been clearly said in business circles that the Minister for Industry and Commerce took the decision on his own, that he did not go to the Cabinet. In other words, the other men in the Cabinet are feeding him to the wolves on the basis of a bad, incorrect decision, the results of which will come home to roost when the profit and loss accounts of the other companies are produced. This is the sort of bungling and the sort of mistake that come from lack of experience but the charge is against the Government and the place for correction is the ballot box.

I want to discuss the position in relation to foreign investment here which this Minister has so greatly discouraged and in relation to foreign loans sought abroad for investment here in such things as An Foras Tionscal, which will make the matter relevant. If the Government go to America or Germany and take a loan at 7½ or 8 per cent, the Government get no return from income tax from Irish nationals as they would if Irish nationals and Irish insurance companies took a part of a national loan here. The estimated figure, which was refused to me by the Minister for Finance, but which we know because we had a Minister for Finance in our time, is that two-fifths of the dividends paid on national loans in this country return to the Government coffers in the shape of income tax, corporation profits tax and so on. Here we are going to Germany and 7½ per cent plus two-fifths which we do not get back because the German nationals pay their income tax to Germany works out at a real figure, according to a definition by Deputy MacEntee some years ago, of 10½ to 11 per cent and, by our action in price control, when it should be possible by fiscal and other measures to control prices in another way, we are discouraging people who would desire to come here to invest money and to employ our people. Could anything be more like my description—a man with two club feet walking over a strawberry bed?

I want now to discuss the position in relation to grants and loans. It was the Minister for Agriculture who first made the retort across the House here at Question Time two years ago that if you criticise the failure of a company that got a grant, all you are doing is discouraging another company from coming in; there will not be any more companies if failures are criticised. It is the job of an Opposition to examine the actions of the Government in their individual decisions. Parliamentary Question Time is the greatest weapon the Opposition have for that purpose. If individual decisions of the Government, apart from policy or anything else, are wrong, these are a reason for the Opposition to criticise the Government and to apportion blame and a reason why the Government should lose credit in the country. There is nothing wrong with this criticism as long as it is done in the proper way. People will find when I ask questions about individual companies that got grants and have ceased to operate, or perhaps never operated, that the name of the company is never given and the position is that the trading prospects of that company within the country are in no way impaired.

Let us face the fact that it was this Party when in Government, with the Labour Party in 1956-57, who instituted the Finance (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act of that year and the Industrial Grants Act of that year also. From that date to this, no material change has been made in the legislation. I submit that surely on experience, if experience were translated into deeds, there was a need for change. One does not start a thing and find that one has hit the bull's eye the first time. I am going to suggest that in relation to incentives for new industries, the accent should be on the reduction or removal of tax, not only on exports but on the first years of production for home consumption. Would it not be far better, as I pointed out, if a person came from Germany and started an industry and did not pay tax for some years than that we of ourselves should go to Germany, take a loan and give it to An Foras Tionscal to give a grant to this man to set up an industry, or to the Industrial Development Authority for the same purpose, and pay two-fifths additional interest on the loan because we get none of it back into the Exchequer?

It would be far better if tax incentives were given in this way. I do not suggest that there is no need for grants for industries but I not only suggest to but demand of the Government that in future when grants are given, there should be a debenture or there should be a mortgage on the building, or a chattel mortgage on the machinery, because the experience has been that when there is a failure, it is the Government who are holding the baby and the promoters of the industry can lop off the export arm and return to the State whence they came.

It has been suggested to me by the Minister in debate across the House that in fact these people lose a lot of money, too. I am going to say that paper will not refuse ink and I am convinced that while they have lost, their losses are less than their losses on paper. I want to point to one particular company in which the gross loss at the moment, between loans and grants, is £1,319,000, from which must be taken of course whatever can be returned to the Government in assets, if the company does not go on. We have had constant protestations from the company's executives and principals that they are going to go on, but I think every man of business knows that the production of executive aircraft, to employ 1,700 people near Dublin, is something that was never practical. It is something that does not seem to be "with it" at a time when if France and England want to build airliners, they have to come together in order to have the technical skill and the availability of component parts which are required, and when we find that the aircraft has a Rolls Royce engine and when we are told that not only are we going to assemble them but make them, as it were, with our hands. We have £1,319,000 stuck in it and my estimation is that if the Government get back £319,000 they will be very lucky.

Let us point now to a dangerous situation which happily seems to be moving towards a satisfactory end. We had in my constituency an industry which got a grant of £300,000 and closed within six months of opening. It happens that another company is going in there and that the prospect for employment is good. I should like to say that I welcome this. I knew about it and I announced it myself some five or six months ago and caused a bit of a furore. I am delighted that this has happened and I should like to record it here. However, we had this 12 months of uncertainty when we had £300,000 on a racehorse. I do not think that this country is rich enough to put itself in that position and if an industry gets £300,000, there should certainly be a mortgage on the building.

There is legislation coming before the House to which I shall refer later, if I am in order, to set up further industrial estates. There is no doubt that the Industrial Estate at Shannon has a great potential and there is evidence of a good start. If we are going to own estates, surely there is nothing wrong with owning a factory? I believe that in the event of the failure of industries towards which grants have been paid, it is imperative that the buildings should revert to the State. There may be some cash adjustment to be made in this but it is an absolute must. I understand at the moment there are difficulties in relation to failures inasmuch as the State which provides most of the money to erect the building cannot get possession of it.

This is not an individual instance. We have a company not very far from here to which grants of £137,000 were paid and which never opened. We have a company to which grants and loans of the order of £200,000 were made and which was to employ 30 workers. There is no sign of anything more happening there and there is extreme difficulty in finding how many there are there. You would nearly have to have sixth column workers to get the information. We have another company which received well over £100,000 and after that loans of £90,000 from An Taisce Stáit and which was closed and nobody knows whether it will open.

Such cases are too numerous. We can point to our successes and it is fair enough for the Minister to say that you hear all about the failures but nothing about the successes. But the number of failures in relation to successes is far too great. May I become a little more unpopular in this House and say that one thing of paramount importance is that Minister of State particularly should be removed from influencing where the grants go and the matter should be left entirely to the board of An Foras Tionscal which is a wonderful, first-rate body? There is evidence, in the case of many failures, that the Government Ministers, or Government Ministers of the time, had a say in making the decision as to whether or not the grants would be given. I honestly believe that the Fianna Fáil Cabinet at the moment cannot be trusted and that birds of a feather flock together. As far as the future of industry is concerned, what is of paramount importance is that this idea of not what you know but who you know being the measure as to whether or not you get a grant must cease.

Can the Deputy produce the evidence to which he refers?

If the Deputy desired it, I could point to constituencies where there were failures and where there were friends of members of the Cabinet, but I do not think the Deputy would desire it. I do not come in here and say these things without knowing of them. In my approach to these questions, except in a case like that of the executive aircraft which is well known to everybody, I try not to affect the future, however hazardous, of any company that is still in existence, or functioning on paper from behind closed doors. The Deputy would not desire me to do this. If he meets me outside, I can give him names and facts and figures.

I would prefer the Deputy to do it here rather than make vague insinuations he cannot substantiate.

Very well; I will give you one. On your head be it. You are the one who asked for it. If anything happens in relation to this in future do not complain that I referred to the friendship between a particular Minister of State at the time and the principals of the company. You have asked for it as a Fianna Fáil Deputy and a member of the Fianna Fáil Party. Now I am going to give it to you. Deputy Smith, as Minister for Agriculture, was the strongest friend of the principals of the Cavan Engineering Company that ever was. The money was poured into it, and there are now 30 people employed there. If you want me to go further, you can have me go further. On your head be it.

You have given no evidence of anything.

I want to go further and discuss the state of our industries at present. I now propose to discuss the position in relation to the Dundalk Engineering Works. I would refer to the Government hand-out on the matter in the form of a press release from the Government Information Bureau. As Deputies can find this in the Library, I shall not quote it in full. In the first paragraph, the statement is made that, while in regard to these companies a public issue was always regarded as the right thing to do, it had never been practical because losses persisted. The receiver in the case has now been instructed, however, to sell these companies as a going concern. That instruction is contained in the ultimate paragraph on the second page. I want to know how anybody can sell companies in which losses persist as a going concern. If it is not possible to float a large company or group of companies on the public market, is it possible to sell them as a going concern? When companies are making losses there are only two reasons for buying them. One is that somebody else might have an interest in the loss from the point of view of income tax. Secondly, a person might have an interest in the company because of the machinery or property it owns. But if it is constantly making a loss, unless the purchaser has some means of waving a magic wand and turning that into a profit, I do not see how these companies can be sold as a going concern. To me it seems quite impossible.

The action of putting in a receiver was quite incorrect. I spoke here at very short notice at the time of the decision, in fact within 24 hours. Having studied as I do every year the profit and loss accounts and documents filed in Dublin Castle on these companies, my reaction was that a company which had trebled its turn-over and reduced its losses from around £700,000 to £125,000, a company which had been started in order to employ 800 and was in fact employing 690, was at that stage worth carrying on. Let us remember the history of this company. When the Dundalk Railway Works closed, something had to be done to safeguard the employment of the men employed there. The Government went to the Industrial Credit Company, suggested an engineering works should be set up and told the Industrial Credit Company to provide capital. The board of the Industrial Credit Company said this was not an ordinary commercial risk, that it was a social matter, defending people's livelihoods and that they did not regard it as a sound commercial risk. The Minister for Finance at the time said: "Right; the Government will underwrite it." An Taisce Stáit was formed shortly afterwards for exactly that purpose, to enable the Government to issue funds themselves or underwrite risks not commercial risks without recourse to the Industrial Credit Company.

The Industrial Credit Company never regarded the matter in this way. They wanted to have repayments and interest on all the money they had given, irrespective of whether or not there had been spectacular losses in one or other of the companies. The position was that in one company, Heinkel Cabin Cruisers, there had been a loss, as near as I can make it from a study of the accounts, of £1,200,000 over three or four years. That company was wound up and closed. Yet when one takes into account the improvement in the situation of the remaining companies, it must be borne in mind that they were still being charged again and again by the Industrial Credit Company with the repayments and interest on this £1,200,000. It is exactly the same situation as if you put a pound on a horse, the horse lost and you kept moaning about it for the next 50 years and charging interest against yourself. It is nearly as ludicrous as that.

Certain things have happened. Nine months before this decision was made to put in a receiver, there was a decision to put in a person to examine whether management were doing their job or not. Thereupon a man for whom I have great personal regard and who is well known for his support of the present Taoiseach and Government, namely Mr. "Tod" Andrews, resigned on the spot. When the receiver was put in, the managing director, Mr. Eddie Grace, resigned on the spot. The situation is most unhealthy. It is a situation in which the Government distrusted the very people they put in, who were, in my opinion, doing their best to make a job of it. In respect of performance, everybody is liable to be regarded as adequate or as inadequate. An outsider, who reads the facts and figures, can pass judgment. My considered opinion is that the Government were wrong in their actions. I went to the Minister for Industry and Commerce and his Parliamentary Secretary as far back as six or eight weeks ago and said: "Look, it is quite clear that people who are buying component parts for their industries from the Dundalk Engineering Works or its subsidiary companies will not continue doing so for fear they will be left without them. If they are making wheelbarrows and the wheels come from Dundalk, they fear they will not have wheels for their wheelbarrows".

There is only one wheel on a wheelbarrow.

I am using the plural. I am referring to wheels for wheelbarrows. My information is that there have been very few repeat orders. There was a conference on redundancy with the unions in the last fortnight. I hoped when I went to the Parliamentary Secretary and his Minister that they would do something about it. I pledged myself not to say one word about this in Louth or anywhere else until I told them. I held my peace until today. Then I told them by letter, which is in front of the Minister, that I would speak on it today.

It is my considered opinion that mistakes have been made. Speaking as an outsider looking in, I believe there will be redundancy. I believe the procedure adopted was not correct. An excellent man of high reputation has been put in there as receiver. I believe his position to be entirely untenable. I may be wrong in that—I hope I am —but that is my considered opinion on an examination of the facts. I would desire that the Minister, his Parliamentary Secretary and the Minister for Finance should look at this again. They have had eight weeks in which to look at it since my pledge that I would keep my mouth shut. All I got was a letter saying that my representations had been considered. There are 690 people working there and there have been two conferences on redundancy. The Government have taken a certain line, and they have found many of their own supporters of great ability, two of whom have resigned, in disagreement with them. This is no minor matter and I have kept my word for eight weeks. I notified the Minister before I started speaking here today.

Let us consider also the question of adaptation grants in relation to grants for new industry. There are two factors affecting the size of grants available for adaptation and for new industry. The first factor is political, because every government, every Minister, every Deputy, loves to point to a new factory and say: "I put it there." The second factor is that there are so many existing industries that need adaptation that the best the Government can do in the prevailing circumstances is to give them a 25 per cent adaptation grant rather than a 50 or 60 per cent grant for a new industry, depending upon where it is.

I do not object to that, because one thing this Government has been taught in the last while back is that you must have good house-keeping and live within your means. However, I do object to the rigid interpretation of matters as applied to existing industry. I can give an instance—and more luck to the industry—of a new industry that received about £130,000 and is employing a set number of workers producing a certain article for export. I can point to an existing industry which had to leave its premises because of fire hazard and which over a period of years found it difficult to get the capital to build again. They built an entirely new premises just as the new industry did. Their grant on the basis of their building costing £60,000, was £15,000, or 25 per cent. They are employing 30 more people than the new industry and doing the same job for export.

Does it not seem that the legislation we put through in 1956-57 needs revision, as I have stated here before? The Industrial Grants (Amendment) Bill which is before us in 1966 for discussion later in the year does not give the sort of revision about which I am talking. If the Government can only afford, in certain cases, 25 per cent of the cost of adaptation, there is one thing that must be left to existing industry, that is, the opportunity and the right to get capital to put up the remaining 75 per cent through the banking system of this country. Let us remember that, whereas the man who comes from America, Germany or France will probably get the money he is putting up from his banking system, from profits in the country whence he came or from other sources, the industrialist here, because of the nature of our financial institutions, is largely confined for credit to the commercial banks.

In the last financial year the Government took £31 million from the commercial banks. The Government and the local authorities took the staggering figure of 99.1 per cent of the new money coming forward from the commercial banks. That leaves, for churches, for private use, for industry and for agriculture nothing except the amount of money that was received from the banks' customers by way of repayment of overdraft. As far as the expansion of industry is concerned, that is entirely inadequate.

What is the projection outlined in the Budget for the amount of money that the Government will take from the commercial banks this year? At Budget time the figure was £28 million. Since then there are three or four instances which indicate that figure must willy-nilly be increased. How does the Minister think, how does the Cabinet think, that existing industry, which has been sacrificed on the altar of price control, which has no recourse, because of our financial institutions, for adaptation money to supplement their grants but to the commercial banks, are going to adapt, and the choice is to adapt or to disintegrate? There is no other means open to these people. Can anybody tell me from where the money is to come? If they had had the profits which would have allowed them to do this over the last ten or 15 years they would have adapted anyway. There are instances of this to which anyone can point. Where are our industrialists to get the money? I do not notice Deputy Booth being verbose on this occasion.

Let me point now to the question of even short-term credit which is affecting this availability of money for industry. Is the story true that is circulating in this city in the last fortnight that the Government wanted £26 million in Exchequer Bills by the end of July? Is it true that when the banks said they had not got it they were told to get it from their customers? Who are their customers? The companies the Minister is asking to adapt themselves for free trade, the people who are getting 25 per cent of the cost of it and have to find 75 per cent of it from the commercial banks or from their profits? Where are their profits gone? They are sacrificed on the altar of price control. These are things which give the clear line that the Government have gone wrong.

It is not that the Minister has gone wrong. He is in a dilemma. Whether or not he was playing on a nice wicket or a sticky wicket does not matter. The fact is that he has to face the situation that industrialists must get the money to adapt: the Government are taking the money so that he cannot get it.

The Minister's proposals in relation to the Labour Court are worth considering, but what help are they? The Minister says on page 27 of his speech:

I envisage making available machinery for the issue of binding arbitration awards for parties who themselves are prepared to take that particular course.

In other words, he is prepared to impose arbitration on those who are prepared to receive it. If I sit down in negotiation with Deputy Tully—to use the example again—we are both seeking agreement. If we are prepared to give the arbitration to somebody else the result, at that stage, is pretty well fixed. Do they think Deputy Tully, as a practising trade union official, would give arbitration to somebody else at a stage where he felt there was another slice of the cake for him? His members would annihilate him if he did. He has to do his job for his people. I think Deputy Tully will agree with me.

Of course I would.

Of course. This is all window-dressing — exactly like the speech on the Budget.

I am glad to see you are all friendly again.

Deputy Tully is one of my neighbours. I met him socially in Butlin's last year and we had a lovely day. We are all friendly.

We are even friendly with the Minister when he goes to Butlin's.

Mr. O'Leary

Let us beware of commercial plugs.

I met him in Red Island, too. The last section of the Minister's speech referred to pickets. Pickets are seasonable at the moment. The Minister would be far better off if he had not put that paragraph in at all because the right to picket is now accepted.

I do not deny that.

I know that. If you start to stop it now, you will be locking the fellows up just as you are doing outside this House now. It would be far better to hold them as we did. We let them walk up O'Connell Street and deliver their letter to the Taoiseach.

Marshalled by a Fianna Fáil Deputy.

They had a few bottles of shout on the way home and in all they had a great day. They had something to talk about.

The Fine Gael Party had a lot to talk about—1/- a gallon for the milk.

The only amusing thing was they were marching to get a market. However, these are matters of agitation, and I would suggest that the Minister, in relation to picketing, let well enough alone—self-imposed arbitration, and the operative word is "self-imposed". Neither side will go that far until they feel they have given as much of the cake as they can and they are getting the slice of the cake to which they are entitled. They will then go to arbitration. There is only one place to discuss these matters, that is, across a table, with the Government away over in Government Buildings minding their own business.

I should like to say that it is not incumbent on Fine Gael to produce a policy of industry, as we are in opposition. I have been critical of the Minister, personally critical, and I hope I did not offend him. I have never been so critical before but I feel it my duty to be critical. It is incumbent on me to make certain suggestions. I am a bit worried as to whether or not the effort, firstly, to provide technological colleges is, or is not, halted by the credit squeeze. We were to have one in Dundalk. We had no trouble about the site but there is still no sign of a stone being put upon a stone.

The second suggestion I have is by way of new year resolution, even in the month of May. May day is an excellent time to make new resolutions. The Government should cease to influence the issue of grants. It is one thing to have, say, an opposition Deputy, or, say, Deputy Booth who is an ordinary Deputy of the Fianna Fáil Party, going along making a case to An Foras Tionscal because that type of man has not the power to promote or dismiss: that is the power a Minister has. When a Minister—and I do not include the present Minister here today —intrudes himself, there is certain grave unrest. He does so in a position of power and he should not do it.

We must have full scale expanding market research in relation to the advent of the Free Trade Area and the Common Market. We have the same sort of figure for Córas Tráchtála and a reduced figure of £500,000 for An Foras Tionscal. That means we are not making any greater effort in relation to promotion abroad or market research. Admittedly, the Minister is bringing in a team of technical experts to assess our industrial situation here. I believe that as some of our home market will be taken away by imports when tariffs are removed, we must increase our exports. Ní hé lá na gaoithe lá na scolb; it is something we should do now and the expansion of Córas Tráchtála and the seeking of markets abroad is of absolute importance.

The decision to reduce by £500,000 the grant to An Foras Tionscal is an indication of the way things are going, a terrible evidence of failure. Remember An Foras Tionscal are the people who will issue the 25 per cent adaptation grants or the 50 or 60 grants for new industries. The Minister indicated that there are 49 new industries on the stocks. Where will the Minister get the grants for them, if there is to be a reduction of £500,000?

It is not a reduction in expenditure. They still have as much money as they spend.

This then is the same sort of operation as the Minister for Finance has been adopting with the ESB and the Agricultural Credit Corporation. As soon as they get funds, he takes it back from them.

In other years, they did not spend as much. I can assure the Deputy we are now re-estimating in accordance with expenditure. We do not intend to limit their activities.

The Vote is what interests me. I am certain there are many things the Minister does not intend but in the exigencies of the financial situation and with his contacts with the Minister for Finance things shall become a fact even if unintended by the Minister for Industry and Commerce.

We are in the position where £9 million is all that has been paid so far for adaptation grants and there are 412 applications awaiting payment when the work is completed. To have reduced the loan available to An Foras Tionscal is tantamount to saying that existing industry will not be able to get the 25 per cent. The action in reducing the amount, however explained away by the Minister, is an improper act and one which should not have occurred.

I have been particularly critical but I believe criticism was necessary. I believe this show has gone wrong. I believe it is quite possible that the present incumbent of the office of Minister for Industry and Commerce, given a certain period of years, will wish to right things that have gone wrong. Our position is that while Fianna Fáil are the custodian of Irish industry, a tariff situation was built up which will leave us in a very vulnerable position as we approach Free Trade and a Common Market. In the second place, the intrusion of the Taoiseach in wage negotiations and his most improper influence thereon resulted in a situation of galloping inflation in this country. As a result our industries are in a bad competitive position today.

I believe grants were given more on influence with certain people than on the basis of the value of the proposal. These things are most important, but more important still is the mishandling by the Minister of the present situation at the time of the Budget, the creation of a situation whereby one of the best public companies in this State made a gain of £150,000 and then a loss of £150,000 in six months. The intrusion of the Minister into the affairs of the breweries—one of the best instances of old Irish industry— is something also to be deprecated. The blame for these things is something which must fall on the Government. We on this side of the House merely want the opportunity as soon as possible in the ballot boxes to get Fianna Fáil out of office and ourselves in.

Deputy Donegan referred early in his speech to the fact that there were two sides to this debate—the gifted amateurs of Fine Gael and the professionals of Fianna Fáil. I wish for a short period to intervene in this Pro-Am tournament to put forward a point of view of somebody and, without being technical or using the amount of data which Deputy Donegan so ably put across, I shall attempt to put our side of the story. I believe— and my Party believe—that, industrially, the country is in a sorry mess. I was rather amused during the week to hear of the Taoiseach in addressing a body—actually they were the Tourist Board and Bord Fáilte—talking about the public image which successful politicians should put across and how Mr. Wilson had told him that the successful politician should not appear to be the keen-eyed business man.

I believe most of the present Government Ministers are attempting to put across to the general public the image of the keen-eyed business man. However, Mr. Wilson contended that was not the right image: the image of the family doctor was a far more successful one. I should like to make this comment, that if the Taoiseach is this nation's family doctor and does not change the present medicine, the nation will be changing its doctor because the situation in Ireland at the present time is one of despondency. I am not one of those people who go around talking about despondency and gloom and saying every day, no matter what the situation is, that things look desperately bad. I am quite sure the Minister for Industry and Commerce, for whom I have great respect, must agree with me that at the present time the situation in the country is bad.

The statement the Minister has made here is a mass of understatement. He excuses it from the start by referring to the fact that he would deal only with important matters and if Deputies wanted to raise individual matters—as Deputy Donegan has done—that was all right, they could be dealt with in their own way. This excuses the Minister from trying to explain away the desperate situation in which Irish industry finds itself. One of the expressions used on more than one occasion here and indeed used on innumerable occasions by Ministers for Industry and Commerce, past and present, is this question of the potential of employment of factories about to be started. The Minister appears to think that as long as the employment potential is high, everything with regard to a factory is reasonably good and all he has to do is to take account of a number of these factories who, in order to get the big grant they want to equip themselves, give an employment potential far beyond that which it might possibly be, have that figure accepted by the Government and subsequently it is found that only a fraction of the people who were to be employed have been employed. Apparently the Minister still has not learned the lesson that you cannot get away with a statement in this House that the employment potential is good in a particular industry because somebody said so.

The Minister and his Government must realise that as long as we have this continuation of under-employment, we will be in trouble in this country. The loss to the State of not alone the assistance which must be given to those who are unemployed but also in the various taxes which must be collected from the employed men and women is telling on the economy of the State. Yet we have the Minister in this 34 page statement giving no guidelines as to how we are to get out of our difficulties but simply going back on the old clichés:

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.

Would the Minister like to say in his reply how far this falls short of the proposals in the Second Programme for Economic Expansion, or the number of people who are to gain employment if we are to live up to even portion of it by 1970? Does the Minister realise that this figure of 5,400 is less than half the number who left agriculture this year and will, unfortunately, be leaving agriculture again this year? Does he not realise that even if this is true and 5,400 persons are employed, a further 7,000 people must either find employment elsewhere or emigrate, and emigrate is the usual way they get themselves out of their difficulties? The Minister has missed an opportunity of stating the facts clearly and telling the country what exactly has happened, how unfortunate the situation is and what he thinks should be done in order to get us out of our difficulties.

The Minister referred very briefly to the Free Trade Agreement with Britain. I do not blame him for that at all. The two major Parties apparently were satisfied that this was a good thing. We opposed it as strongly as we could and we still oppose the idea. We believe a bad mistake has been made. Unfortunately, though the Minister says: "Well, the ten years will pass quickly and we should say five years rather than ten so that we would be making a better preparation", we should not forget that the first effects of it will be felt after 1st July this year. We should not forget, nor should the Minister try to make us forget because when the time comes we will have to remember it. I believe that the drop of ten per cent in tariffs, coupled with the removal of the quota system, will have a disastrous effect on Irish industry.

It is admitted in this document read by the Minister that very little preparation has so far been made to meet this or any other type of challenge. It is all very well to say: "Oh, people are now wakening up to it; they were very slow to realise they needed adaptation" but they are wakening up to the realisation that they will get it very difficult because this stupid agreement was made. They are wakening up to the fact that even though the Minister has been talking about adaptation grants if everybody who should apply for them did apply, the Government would find it very difficult to find the money needed to carry out the necessary adaptation between now and 1970.

There is very little reference either to the question of retraining and the Bill which is supposed to be before this House. I do not know whether the Government are serious about this. I honestly believe they do not know themselves whether or not this is something which will be of any good or whether it is just being put in in order to keep the minds and tongues of those who would be likely to kick up a row about it off the Government. I think the present situation is that the Bill was talked about last year, has been drawn up and we have no further information. Even the Bill, such as it is, did not in fact cover the major proportion of those who require it now. Agriculture is completely left out and under agriculture, I presume, is included Forestry and Bord na Móna employment, which comes under Agriculture in the statistical headings. Does it mean that the State is leaving this completely out, so that we will be like the NIEC from which the agricultural industry has been omitted altogether, on which we find that the major industry of the country is not represented? Here again it looks as though the town mentality is being introduced and that the people who are affected, in the country districts, do not receive any consideration.

There are a few bright spots. The Minister says:

The most notable event during the past year has been the commencement of production at the lead, zinc, silver and barytes mines at Tynagh.

I am delighted for a very personal reason, as the Minister knows, to see the success of that mine. Again, as the Minister is aware, originally I brought those people to the country and interested them in starting mining.

No reference is made to the effect this will have on the economy. I am told from a reliable source that within a year or two exports of ore will have a tremendous effect on the economy and that exports from the Tynagh mine alone will represent 50 per cent of the income which comes from the cattle industry. That must have a tremendous effect on the economy. The Minister made a very good agreement about the royalties that are being collected. There were no soft spots. Even the people who started mining for the first time in living memory in this country consider the royalties to be very hefty. This must represent a very big income; yet we do not see any reference to it under any heading except in this one paragraph.

I understand that mining operations in Tipperary are likely to take a longer period, but that inside a few years the output will be almost as big as that of Tynagh. If that is so, and if the income turns out to be what is expected, we should be in a pretty strong position, but there is no ray of light in the statistics given or in the Minister's figures. He just mentions it in passing as something that is happening. The Minister might have given us more detail about that because it might have shown that everything is not as black as it appears to be. It also might encourage people who are seriously interested to come in and expend substantial sums of money. I am not referring to the fly-by-nights who want to get the right to prospect over half the country and have not got the equipment to prospect one square mile.

I am sorry that the exploration for oil has not been as successful as was hoped. It appears that we have little more than water as a natural fluid. I should like to know why we waited so long to introduce legislation to ratify the Geneva Convention which covers this item. Perhaps there is some reason, and the Minister might comment when he is replying.

The Minister also referred to exports. He said:

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.

That is very good news. He also said:

Apart from the fall in the cattle trade, one of the principal retarding factors in our exports in 1965 was the British import surcharge.

I should like to ask the Minister if he can give us the figure of the actual cost. He said that a sum of £2½ million is included in Subhead R for this type of assistance in 1966-67. Does that represent the true figure? I asked the Taoiseach about this on a previous occasion and he said it was not possible to assess the exact figure. Surely there must be a fairly good idea of what the British import levy is costing us and how it is affecting our industries? A general statement that it is affecting them is not sufficient. We should have more information.

I hope the proposed increase in man-made fibres as a result of the removal of the duties will live up to expectations. If it does, it could counter-balance much of the losses which we are suffering on the other side. I hope the Minister is right and that there will be a big increase in the export of man-made fibres.

Not in employment?

I am coming to that. I wonder if the Minister can say how the increase which is expected will affect employment. The manufacture of man-made fibres is becoming—if I may use the expression—a very fine art. While some years ago quite a number of people would be employed, with modern machinery the numbers are being reduced gradually. It is becoming so mechanical that I believe a big number of extra workers will not be employed. Perhaps the Minister would tell us what effect this is likely to have on labour, and particularly on male labour. There is a tendency to employ female labour, and very young female labour, in many industries, and that is not the answer to our problems.

Deputy Donegan dealt very fully with the question of grants. Deputy Booth may disagree with this—and I have no evidence to support it except the evidence of my eyes—but industries appear to be springing up in the districts of the rather strong members of the Cabinet, including Clare. Subsidised industries seem to be springing up in areas like that and not in places where there are Fianna Fáil Deputies who are not able to put their case as strongly as others, and there are a few of those. It seems that industries are following Ministers rather than natural locations.

They are going to Clare because of the excellence of the workers.

The workers in Clare are excellent, as they are everywhere else in Ireland, but at the same time, I think industries get a little encouragement to go to places like Clare which, if the Minister will excuse me for saying it, is a little out of the way, and I am quite sure the Minister has his hand in the pie. What I am concerned with is that industries are started in areas where they have a chance to survive.

I do not agree with Deputy Donegan that the way in which the buildings are tied up would help. I think the answer is that if we are to give State grants, we should have at least one director on the board of the company. We should have at least one director who will know what is happening. It has happened, and is still happening, that companies are badly run and no one outside the board of directors knows anything about it until the company is ready to close down. We have had a few examples of that. If we had someone on the board of directors whose responsibility was to the State, and who could act as a watchdog, we could keep a very much closer eye on what is happening. The amount of grants given in some cases appears to be pretty high, and the amount in proportion to the money being invested by the people who are starting an industry seems to be very high in some cases.

One of the things also with which I do not agree is the system by which the State is very chary about giving assistance to existing companies. They feel new industries should get preference. Might I make the suggestion to the Minister that he try to devise a system whereby somebody would decide what type of industry was likely to have a fair chance of survival and only allow such type of industry to be started with State aid in this country? If that were done, perhaps there might be a smaller proportion of failures.

I know the Minister has said, and rightly said, that the industries that close get headlines and those that are successful are not very much heard of. That is true. The proportion of industries that close may be pretty small but the fact that some of these industries are closing down, or slowly grinding to a standstill, after receiving very substantial State grants, is a matter for uneasiness among the general public, It should be a matter of definite uneasiness for the Minister and his colleagues in the Cabinet who must wonder what they must do in order to try to get industries firmly established.

You can change the incentives. That might possibly be a help but I honestly believe that unless we are satisfied that the industries being established are the ones that have a chance of survival, the Department should be very slow about giving assistance to them. I would also suggest—I have said this in the House on numerous occasions since 1954—that the State should attempt to encourage more and more industries which are dependent for their raw materials on agriculture. It is the very height of nonsense to be importing raw materials, manufacturing articles with them, attempting to export them to the country of origin and in many cases trying to compete against industries that have been firmly established in that country. Those industries have not a hope of survival.

We are an agricultural country, whether we like it or not. Our primary industry has always been, and still is, agriculture. If we could have some industries established which would supplement our agricultural industry, we would be able to do a lot more for the people who are attempting to eke out an existence on the land. I do not propose making any comment on what is happening outside the gates of this House except to say this. It is quite true that people who work hard for long hours in pretty bad conditions, even if they are self-employed, must certainly feel, when they come up to Dublin and see the conditions in which some people are working here, that they are the forgotten men of this country and for that reason I honestly believe we have got to try to do something for them. If we had more industries. Such as the milk powder industry, which was introduced very successfully in this country with a big employment potential, that would be the answer to many of our problems. We should forget our highfalutin' ideas of believing that we will solve our problems with some of the foreign industries manufacturing goods which it has been proven we are unable to sell and attempting to manufacture things which apparently we cannot even make.

The Minister has been critical about the present situation on the labour and management front. You know, there are an awful lot of people in this country who are prepared to sit back at their desks and think that there is an easy way to solve labour-employer problems in this country. We have, of course, the suggestion such as the one made by Deputy Donegan and indeed made frequently by Fine Gael Deputies in this House, and outside the House, that it was the Taoiseach who gave the 12 per cent to the workers for the purpose of winning two by-elections. I want to put this on record. I know, and everyone who is concerned with the trade unions knows, that we succeeded in getting from a very reluctant group of employers a 12 per cent increase, whether or not the Fianna Fáil Party, led by the present Taoiseach, took advantage of that to say that it was their Party who got the increase. That is entirely a matter for himself and his own conscience.

We are perfectly satisfied that the 12 per cent increase was won by dint of hard negotiation. I was one of the negotiators and we successfully hammered out the agreement in the Shelbourne Hotel around the corner two years ago. There is no use in saying this has been broken or that has been broken. The whole cause of the trouble lies with the Department of Industry and Commerce and a certain portion of it must fall on the shoulders of the present Minister. We said then, when the 12 per cent increase was implemented, that the only hope of holding the line for the period of the agreement was by the introduction of price control. The present Minister, the Taoiseach and every member of the Government, on every occasion they got, said that price control would not work and there was no use in introducing price control. It was only when the 12 per cent had been eroded and as much more had been taken out of the pockets of workers and everybody else that the Government agreed to introduce price control.

The Bill, which we were told then would not work, is now given by the Minister as one of the ways in which we can stabilise the cost of living. We were told what the 12 per cent increase would mean and now we are being told what a further increase will cost and the harm it will do. We know the blame for it must rest on the Government. We asked them to introduce price control two years ago but they were prepared to do nothing about it then. They waited until it was too late. They closed the stable door when the horse had gone.

The Minister takes pride in the fact that in October last the Prices Control Bill was introduced and that its object has been to hold the cost of living since. If the Minister wants any type of evidence to prove what I am saying, there is the evidence for him. The increases which were put on by the manufacturers, the importers, the wholesalers and the retailers following the last round of wage increases would not, I believe, have been allowed anywhere else. They got away with murder. We know that and everybody knows it. It was rather amusing to find that some of the people who added on 12 per cent to the cost of their products did so on the excuse that wages had gone up by 12 per cent. If we were to believe that argument, then wages must represent the entire cost of production. Of course, we know that is a lot of nonsense.

When the question of the new wage agreement came along, we found the Taoiseach, who as I say, took no positive action in the previous wage agreement except to bring the two parties together and suggest an increase of eight per cent, suggesting that the state of economy would only allow an increase of three per cent across the board. The Minister for Finance was the first to say this. He was followed by the Taoiseach and the cry was taken up by all the Members of the Government: "This is it". Was it any wonder the Federated Union of Employers felt they could safely stick to the three per cent and that they had the support of the Government in that? When this was discussed before, Deputy Donegan said in the House it would not work. It did not work.

Hear, hear, to myself.

Hear, hear, to yourself. It was in everybody's mind at the time. Anybody with commonsense could tell then that it would not work, particularly in view of the fact that at the time this three per cent was suggested a savage Budget was imposed by the Minister for Finance. At that time I met an old man and he said to me something which I thought was stupid at the time. I asked him what he thought of the Budget and the old man said: "If you do not drink, if you do not smoke, if you do not work, if you do not drive a car it is not a bad Budget at all". That old man appeared to be a bit of a fool but I think he hit the nail on the head all right.

The Minister for Finance in that Budget imposed all those things on anybody he could catch, at the same time saying that three per cent was all the workers could expect. Since then we have had a lot of shuffling of feet, with Members of the Government blandly disclaiming that three per cent was the figure they had suggested. Many of them who were the fathers of that bright thought suggested that was not what they meant, that they meant something else, but it is on the records of the House and it is on record in the newspapers that three per cent was the figure they tried to put across.

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions met and took a very statesmanlike decision. Despite the fact that it would take more than £1 a week to get most of their members back to the position they enjoyed before the start of the last wage round, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions agreed, in the interests of the economy, that their members should not look for more than £1 a week. They pointed out particularly that the lower paid workers should get that £1 a week. All the stalling that has taken place since cannot alter that situation. Congress said they wanted not less than £1 a week for the lower paid workers and since then the Government have suggested a figure of £1,200. The Labour Court took up a position between the Government and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, saying that in some cases it should be decided to accept the £1 a week in two instalments.

When discussing this matter earlier, I said and I say it again now, that as far as the workers are concerned there is not a snowball's chance in hell of three per cent being accepted. Most of the lower paid workers—we have them now clearly defined—must get £1 a week not in two instalments but very quickly if they are to survive. In this matter I do not agree with Deputy Donegan that any relaxation should be given in price control to allow this increase to be given. If employers seek to justify increases in prices, there is room for consideration but I say that a general relaxation of prices to allow people, who are already making too much profit out of what they are handling, to pay increases to their employees should not at this stage be permitted in any circumstances.

The Minister referred to a change in the Labour Court. He referred also to the number of strikes that have been occurring. Industries which carry on from year to year without strikes are not mentioned by anybody but as soon as a strike takes place it is news, it is highlighted, and strangers coming in may get the impression that every industry or most industries are being closed down by strikes. That is a fallacy and it should be definitely made plain to all and sundry that no such situation exists in this country. I do not think a lot of people, including Members of the Government, appreciate the fact that before a strike takes place the matter is fully considered by the people concerned.

Before the strike becomes official, a vote must be taken and there must be a definite majority in favour of strike action. People who are going on strike do so knowing that the strike may last a long time. All people in employment, all people who are members of trade unions, know all about the strike in Dublin in 1913. Some people might be horrified to know that at the present time there are strikes which impose as great a hardship on the people involved as the strike of 1913. The number of people depending on strike pay, walking about unable to work because a principle will not be conceded by an employer is surprising. People do not go on strike at the drop of a hat. They do not go on strike unless they are perfectly satisfied that there is a good reason for it—that it is the only way to solve their problems.

The more people who appreciate that, the more appreciation there will be of the difficulties of those in charge of the labour movement. People seem to imagine that trade union officials spend most of their time trying to foment strikes. We spend most of our time trying to prevent strikes, trying to get the concessions in some other way. If there is no other way, I can only repeat what an eminent churchman in the country said to me some years ago: "The strike weapon is a hard weapon to use but the day it is taken out of the hands of the workers they become slaves again". The strike must start and must continue if there is no other way of winning a concession.

The Minister referred to the Labour Court and suggested there are discussions between the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and the Federated Union of Employers—rather that they are being consulted on certain proposals. That is true but I submit the Minister would be well advised to consider this very deeply before he interferes too much with the set-up of the Labour Court. There is a rumour—it is hard to imagine how rumours start; people laugh at them at first but change their minds when they see they have not been far out—that an attempt has been made to tie up the Labour Court so that it will investigate only major disputes —that it will become arbitration which must be accepted by both sides, with odd exceptions. If that is true—I do not know because I am no longer a member of Congress executive—it means that minor disputes will be left to one side.

Deputy Donegan said, and I agree with him, that across the conference table 99 cases out of 100 are settled but I warn the Minister that minor disputes might burst into flame and succeed in closing down more industries than disputes which at their start involve 1,000 men. The Minister would accordingly be well advised to remember that aspect before he comes to consider final conclusions on the Labour Court. The question of a final arbiter has been mentioned and I quite agree with the statement made here that if we are to have compulsory acceptance of the findings of somebody, unless there has been agreement originally between both sides we shall be in dire danger of a repetition of what happened for a different reason. The one thing workers will not accept is a law which says they must not go on strike. If a situation is reached where the State attempts to legislate to prevent strikes because arbitration says the dispute has been settled, the Government will be making their own trouble.

I should like to see some arrangements drawn up which would make easier possibly the path of those who are attempting to have wages and conditions of employment bettered. However, I think the only thing the State can do is to ensure that where State employment is concerned they do not lag behind. We hear Ministers of State preaching about what good relations should be and how employers and workers ought to be able to meet and discuss things, but last February 12 months the trade union I represent carried out discussions with the Department of Lands and to this day we have not been able to get anything more than the comment "The matter is still under consideration". If that is the example which is going to be set by the State to employers and employees in outside employment, then the Department of Industry and Commerce will have a very thorny job in trying to settle labour problems.

I sincerely hope that the tenth round wage increase will be settled without any further trouble. I hope we will see —I sincerely believe we will—a sensible approach by the employers to the situation now. If only they could understand, if only the Government could understand, that the wage increase being sought now is not something to compensate for the next 12 months but an attempt to try to get back to the position in which the workers were two years ago, when the last wage increase was granted, then we could reach agreement very much more quickly as between the employers and workers. But so long as we hear advice given that all the country can afford is three per cent, because three per cent is the expected increase in GNP for the next 12 months, there is not a hope in the world of any type of agreement.

In conclusion, I should like to make a comment on the Minister's statement that industry would be well advised to continue to think of 1970 as the day of the big wind rather than 1975. May I say that I believe the day of the big wind will be 1st July, 1966? After 1st July, 1966, very many people will know whether or not they are going to be able to survive——

Did the Minister say that?

——or whether they will have to join their fellows across the water.

Is it a blow or a blow-out?

He said "Ní hé lá na gaoithe lá na scolb".

The Irish quotation would have no sense without it.

At the outset I should like to comment on some comparatively small matters. First of all, I should like to refer to State companies and the question of greater control over them. I am far from being alone when I say that I am far from satisfied with the way in which State enterprises are controlled. Control is far from satisfactory. That is not to say that I believe the administration is imperfect, but I believe that, when State monopolies are set up with public moneys, there should be some way in which their affairs can be brought regularly under examination. Granted we have that with CIE, the ESB, and so on, at the annual general meeting, which is something like the annual general meeting of an ordinary public company, but the public are represented by some officer of the Department of Finance and there is no way in which the affairs of the company can be debated. It would not be helpful to these companies to have their administration, certainly their day-to-day administration, debated across the floor of this House, but I have never been able to see any reason why some all-Party committee should not be set up to act in the place of the shareholders.

Here is a breakthrough now.

I wonder if this is within the scope of the administration of the Department of Industry and Commerce?

I am subject to your ruling in the matter.

The Minister has some semi-State companies, has he not?

I have a few.

We are discussing the question of industrial relations. Perhaps if I confine my remarks to that matter——

The Deputy will be out of order if he does not confine himself to the rule of relevancy.

If I go outside, I shall undoubtedly be pulled up. On the question of industrial relations, sometimes these State-controlled companies have taken action which has tended to have a chain reaction in industry generally and that has been most disadvantageous, to put it mildly. Whether the industry is directly under the control of the Minister or under the control of some other Minister, this is a matter which deserves the Minister's consideration. Can we get some way in which there will be greater public examination of the way in which these companies operate? Deputy Tully referred to the possibility of control of State-aided companies, that is, companies which enjoy grants from State funds. There is certainly something in what he says but, at the same time, I cannot see that any company's operation would be greatly aided by having somebody who was nothing more than a professional watchdog. I prefer the Minister's approach when he says the investment of public moneys in new industries is something always fraught with a certain amount of risk. That is a risk which must be taken. I do not believe any company could operate satisfactorily if it has on its board someone who is acting as a watchdog or yapping at the heels of the other members of the board all the time.

I think that does happen. I know at least one case in which the Minister nominated a representative from his Department to an industry that had received assistance.

That is sometimes done through the Industrial Credit Corporation, but I think they are very slow to do that.

We shall find ourselves discussing the administration of these companies if the debate proceeds on these lines. The Minister has no responsibility.

I am quite happy to leave it at that.

All the same he has a fair amount of responsibility out on the Naas Road.

I do not mind Deputies quizzing him on his responsibilities but I do not want to extend the scope of the debate. It is wide enough already.

On the question of industrial development, I have long felt that there is a lack of central control. We have a number of bodies—the Industrial Credit Corporation, the IDA, Foras Tionscal, Córas Tráchtála, and so on—any one of which, or all of which, may be involved in a new industrial enterprise. It is not helpful to new industries, I think, to be exposed to the danger of being passed from one to the other. I know it would be a very cumbersome organisation if the whole lot were centralised, but I think that is something which should be kept carefully under review.

At the same time, it would be much more attractive to a new investor in Irish industry if he were told to go to the offices of some organisation, as for instance, the Industrial Development Authority, where he would get all the information he might require and could then pass on to sub-departments dealing with credit facilities, State grants, and so on. However, I think, and I am confirmed in my view by some of the stories I have heard, that a lot of discouragement has been caused to people who were told, in effect: "We should like to help you but you are slightly outside our line. We suggest that you go to offices such and such, which are down the street." When the person goes there he is met most cordially and is informed about his proposals, in effect: "They are slightly out of our line and you should go back to where you started in the first instance."

They are in Mount Street Crescent now. They have three houses there.

There is the danger that they may not remain there permanently. There should be some advisory body which could give the complete picture about State aid and assistance.

The Minister referred to the Free Trade Area. My only possible criticism is that I do not think he stressed sufficiently the possibility—and it is a very real one—that, long before the full effect of the Free Trade Area with Great Britain comes into force, we shall be members of the European Economic Community. Even from today's newspapers, it is becoming increasingly clear that the British application for admission to the EEC will quite possibly be made before the end of this calendar year and it is very much more a possibility that Great Britain will achieve membership during 1967. If that comes true—I believe it is very possible and that it will come true—it is obvious that we shall be in the same position and that our application for membership will be accepted at the same time as that of the United Kingdom. We shall then be faced with a rate of reduction of our protective tariffs very much higher than that set down in the Free Trade Area Agreement with Great Britain. For that reason, I think the Free Trade Agreement was a good one. At least, it put the red light on again. It had been switched on when our application for EEC membership was made in the first place but when that application broke down, together with that of Great Britain, there were many who felt that the status quo would be maintained and that there was no great need for further adaptation or further exciting new planning of any sort. That was a danger situation for the whole country.

I believe, therefore, the Free Trade Agreement was absolutely necessary not only because of the advantages it undoubtedly gives us but because of the challenge also contained in it. I do not agree for a moment with Deputy Tully that on 1st July next we shall feel the big wind. The amount of protection at present given against imports of industrial material from Great Britain is amazingly low. A great proportion of British imports into this country already come in free of duty. A reduction of 10 per cent in the amount of protection which exists at present is small enough, in all conscience.

Whether or not we like it, we are moving into a free trade era and we cannot carry on any longer with this practice of protection which has proved its usefulness in the past but which has now outlived that usefulness. Obviously, it cannot be maintained and will not be allowed to be maintained. The Irish industrialist is not suddenly being exposed to competition at this stage. He is merely being made to face the facts of life and it is no harm that that should be so. I am not in the slightest degree nervous about the results of this Free Trade Area Agreement not even about the results of full membership of the EEC because I have a far higher confidence in Irish industry than some members of the House, particularly those on the Opposition benches.

I believe our policy of protection of industry has paid off handsomely in the building of new industries and the creation of new skills and techniques. We have plenty of initiative and plenty of ability and we would be able to exploit very fully the opportunities which free trade conditions will offer to us. I strongly support the Minister in his view that 1970 should be regarded as the deadline. I do not believe that this 10-year period in the Free Trade Area Agreement will be allowed to run the normal course as I think we shall be in the EEC long before that.

We now come to the really difficult question which the Minister has raised —the question of industrial relations that has introduced the discussion on the First National Wages Agreement and has exposed the great area of disagreement between Deputy Donegan and Deputy Tully. Deputy Donegan stated quite categorically that the First National Wages Agreement was the brainchild of the Taoiseach, that he was entirely responsible for it and for all its adverse effects. Nothing, of course, could be farther from the truth.

He said so.

While I do not agree fully with Deputy Tully, I think it has got to be stressed again and again that the National Wages Agreement was negotiated between two parties and was not imposed by the Government.

He boasted that he made the agreement.

That is not a fact, as the Deputy well knows: it is a propaganda statement. The Deputy should try to keep as close to the facts as possible.

I shall emphasise them on the first occasion we get here.

That is a point I raised before and the Deputy was not very keen to do so. It is better to produce the facts rather than uninformed suspicions. The facts are——

Two bye-elections.

——that demands were already being made by trade unions for a very large wage increase which were meeting with great resistance from the employers' side. It was obvious that unless some national agreement could be negotiated there would be a free for all in which only the strong would win, in which the stronger unions might be able to get better terms for their members and the weaker unions or the self-employed people would get nothing. It was only at that stage that the Taoiseach intervened——

Ha, ha—"intervened".

Facts do not embarrass me in the way they embarrass the Deputy.

They do not embarrass me either.

It was only at that stage that the Taoiseach intervened and suggested that both sides should sit down together without him——

With him. He boasted afterwards that he made the agreement.

The Deputy might be allowed to make his speech.

The Deputy had an opportunity to develop that point if he could but he will not do it by interruption. Let him try to keep to the facts when he makes his speech. Now that he has made it, let him stay quiet and listen. When the employers and Congress got together, they made all possible efforts to reach agreement.

Once again we were faced with exposing the whole economy to the law of the jungle and once again—I am looking the Deputy right in the eye—the Taoiseach intervened——

Just before two by-elections.

The Deputy is entitled to be allowed to make his statement without interruptions.

——to insist that they come together again, which they did and, as Deputy Tully said, they negotiated a settlement. What the Taoiseach had every reason to be proud of is that it was a negotiated settlement between the two sides of industry which had universal coverage instead of being a sectional agreement in the interests of only the more powerful unions. That was a very reasonable effort, something of which anybody might be proud and an absolute breakthrough in industrial relations but it was not the Kingdom of Heaven and nobody ever said it was. It was made perfectly clear by the Taoiseach in all his speeches that too high an increase in rates would produce adverse effects. That is a matter to which the Minister referred in his opening statement this afternoon. He said:

The workers' representatives have asserted that a 12 per cent increase in 1964 turned sour by reason of price increases. I hope the experience will not be lost. Above all, I would ask the unions to impress on their members the futility of pocketing a wage increase and then shrugging on to someone else the job of trying to immobilise prices.

That is where I must join issue with Deputy Tully because that is precisely what he is trying to do. He had been warned and so had Congress and, in fact, Congress and the Trade Union executives knew perfectly well that you could not have a 12 per cent wage increase without some increase in prices and the cost of living. That is not possible. To put up costs by a 12 per cent wage increase and have no price increase simply by introducing price control is nonsense and any reasonable person knows that.

We have always made it clear that price control is not the final answer. It may have to be introduced, as it has been, as a short-term, temporary measure only, but it is not the answer to all our problems. Cases have been quoted by Deputy Donegan where price controls appear to have penalised a certain company. I do not know if that claim is correct because without a very full investigation of the affairs of the company one could not know enough to be quite categoric.

The trade unions were warned in advance that if the wage demands of 1964 became too high the results would be bad. In fact, the results were not all that good; they were not all that bad either. People should remember what conditions were like before the national wage agreement and what they are like since. Quite definitely, there has been a marked increase in the standard of living since the national wage agreement. This is something I have argued about with different people. For instance, in the last election during the canvass a man made the claim to me that wages had not gone up whereas the cost of living had. He admitted rather regretfully that he had received the 12 per cent. Under pressure he confessed that that represented 37/6d a week wage increase for him but he said it had all gone on the cost of living. After a lot of digging I managed to get an admission from him that out of the 37/6d his wife had got only 20/- for housekeeping and he admitted she incurred most of the expenditure. He had an extra 17/6d in his pocket for his smokes, drinks and other requirements. At that stage he said to me: "Actually, it is the extra cost which is the real killer." I asked him what that was and it turned out that what was really annoying him was that when he took his wife out in his car, for an evening out and perhaps a few drinks and a meal he had to get a babysitter who sat in front of his fire, looked at his television, probably gave herself something to eat and charged 10/- a night.

That was a man who was earning good wages, living in a subsidised county council house, driving his own car and able to take his wife out every fortnight or three weeks—more power to him—and pay a babysitter, have a good fire in the house, have television and everything else. These are things which ordinary workmen were not able to do before. I do not say that the 12 per cent alone made this possible but the standard of living of the working people has been rising very steadily. We have short memories; we forget how we lived two years ago and we assume what we are getting now is what we always had. Actually, there are people who now own cars and who four or five years ago would never have thought of the possibility of owning a car. Naturally enough, I am prejudiced; I am all in favour of that, but it is a fact and I know it. People are enjoying television, proper household electrical equipment and so on which a few years ago were beyond their wildest dreams.

I do not say that everything is all right but it is an illusion to say that the 12 per cent wage increase has been absolutely gobbled up by the increase in the cost of living because it has not. The warning has been given at all levels that if a general wage increase is granted, there must be some increase in the cost of living and if the wage increase is too high, it will, as the unions felt it did the last time, turn sour in their mouths. There is a great deal to be said for the employers' contention that even the 12 per cent was not by any means the whole story, because, as the Minister has said, what employers regarded as smart devices were being used, in the nature of claims for status pay, service pay, and so on.

This first National Wage Agreement was an experiment. It was not an absolute and complete success, but, if it had not come off, the results to the economy would have been far, far worse and we would have been in a state of much greater chaos than we are at the moment.

Who have been pressing for increases? Many people like Deputy Tully are pressing for increases now and they are the very people who will admit that the last increase under the National Wage Agreement turned sour. We have to face the fact that a largescale wage increase does not produce absolute prosperity for everyone. We have to face economic facts. That is something which the senior executives of the trade union movement know very well indeed. If we cast our minds back a few months, we do know that the demands being formulated by certain unions were for increases at least up to the 12 per cent level, and some even higher. Very careful consultation took place, very careful consideration was given to the whole matter and after a tremendous amount of effort, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, as has been referred to by the Minister, did manage to tone down the demand very considerably. I know that the demand is still higher than is justified by the economic situation but at least the £1 a week was a more reasonable suggestion, particularly if, as had been suggested by the Government, this wage increase was confined to the lower-paid workers rather than the higher-paid.

Personally, I feel that it is a blot on our society that we have so many people in the very lowest wage group. There are some people who are working for a ridiculously low wage and these are the people who should get absolutely top priority. But to say that anyone who is getting £1,200 a year or more is in urgent need of an increase of wages is just nonsense. It reminds me of a man who came to talk to me about what might happen in the Budget and asked for my comments as to what the chances might be of any tax concessions, and so on. He painted a gloomy picture of his own financial position. He even went so far as to comment on the price of a rabbit which his wife had bought the day before, as being scandalous—over 7/-. He apologised to me for not having called before. He said he realised that he was late but that he had been away for three weeks. I asked if he had been away on business. He said he had been on holiday with his wife in Teneriffe. That is the sort of situation which all classes are apt to find themselves in. There was a man who was able to go to Teneriffe for three weeks holidays and yet was able to convince himself that he was living in conditions of grave financial strain. Probably, a few years ago the idea of a holiday in Teneriffe never occurred to him but now the idea had occurred and he found himself able to do it. He was literally grumbling that he found it so hard to afford a holiday in Teneriffe. It does affect all classes.

There was the situation in 1965. We are faced with this question as to whether we can maintain some sort of discipline and order in a wage structure or whether we are just going to put the cat among the pigeons and see what happens. The Irish Congress of Trade Unions has done absolutely as much as it can do in present circumstances in trying to restrain the demands of ordinary trade union members. It cannot go nearly far enough. It cannot go nearly as far as it would like to go.

These new wage demands are coming along with all the demands for fringe benefits, for shorter working hours, for more holidays. This, at a time when productivity is increasing only very slowly. It is obvious that, in fact, shorter working hours is not the demand of people who require more leisure. It is simply a demand for more overtime. Everyone knows that but very few people are prepared to say it openly. I have had experience of it in business. So has everybody else. When there is a negotiation like this, the workers want the hours reduced from 45 as they were to 42½ and now when they are 42½ down to 40 but the immediate next step is; "Now let us negotiate the overtime rate we will have to work to make up for the time we have lost". That is crazy. A lot of overtime is absolutely wasteful activity. With industry today, much of the work is very boring, repetitive, almost automatic, work and there is a limit to the amount of time a man can work in those conditions and still keep on the job. Even if he is not tending a machine which is just churning out material, he is repeating a certain action over and over and over again with deadly monotony.

There is a great deal to be said for reducing hours of work if productivity can be maintained and in many cases it can be maintained or even increased because if hours of work are too long, men and women just cannot keep on the job all the time. The sheer deadly monotony of it gets them down. There is a great deal to be said for more breaks, shorter working hours and people will then be able to do their work better and faster. The two things are closely and inevitably interlinked. Shorter working hours must be followed by higher productivity per hour. That does not mean that it is a matter of someone standing over the unfortunate workman with a whip and driving him on all the time. It is a matter of better organisation, better supervision and clearer appreciation by the workman as to what is involved. That can be done.

I am all in favour of shorter working hours. I am all against increasing overtime. Shorter working hours are ideal from everybody's point of view but in far too many cases overtime is entirely uneconomic. I would hope that even at this stage we could reach some sort of agreement on a national level as to what the new wage structure should be for a limited period. The original period of two years and six months under the first agreement was too long. Probably a year is about as long as you can go, particularly in present circumstances. I am still very doubtful whether all this can be done by free negotiation. What we keep on talking about is the whole principle of collective bargaining, about this being not only desirable but essential. I agree that there is a lot to be said for it, but the proper basis for collective bargaining is to have representative and authoritative negotiators on both sides.

There is no use negotiating with a fellow who has to go back and ask the boss. On the employers' side, the boss may be the board of directors; on the trade union side, unfortunately, the boss is harder to find. The boss is the whole body of members of that union. You cannot carry out negotiations on that basis. You must have people who are fully authorised plenipotentiaries who are authorised to come together to meet each other, hammer out an agreement and let it be final as soon as it is signed at the table. There is the terrible weakness at the moment of the sectional approach to all industrial relations, this business of "I'm all right, Jack", people looking at industrial relations purely from their own point of view. It is weakening the whole structure of industrial negotiation.

There has been mention of the pickets outside the House at the moment. That to my mind, is a tragic symptom of the dangers of sectionalism in our community at the present time. The National Farmers Association do not want to fight the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association and the creamery milk suppliers do not want to fight the NFA. They should be on the same side and united, but somehow they became divided and they are fighting with each other, with the Government, with the Minister and everybody else. Once we have this sectional approach, we will never make any progress at all, This business of a small group of people using power to achieve their own selfish ends, regardless of the interests of the community, is something we just cannot allow to continue unless we are prepared to allow the country to drift into complete chaos.

We have the situation with the Electricity Supply Board at the moment of 100 men who may put tens or hundreds of thousands out of employment at an hour's notice. Those 100 men are represented by trade unions who are now opposed by another trade union. This trade union objects because it was not consulted. Here we get the tragic division in the trade union movement, one trade union arguing with another and one trade union saying: "If you place a picket on the generating station, we will instruct our members to break that picket and go in and work." That is hopeless. If you are to have a trade union movement, it must stick together.

The employers are as bad. You get organisations like the Federated Union of Employers which are trying to get a united movement but you will always get the shortsighted employer who is trying to get the better of his immediate competitor by granting some concession which he knows if granted by the rest of his colleagues would create chaos but he will grant that concession in an effort to get a short-term advantage over his competitor.

Sooner or later we have to face the fact that either voluntarily or compulsorily we must get organisations which can be properly representative and have full authority to negotiate on all questions of industrial relations. There are those who say that the trade union movement has already grown far too big and too strong. My criticism is exactly the reverse. I think that the movement while it is big is far too weak. In many cases, it is entirely helpless. Those at the head can only plead with their members and the ordinary trade union member, or the ordinary employer, is never able to see the whole picture. You have to have experts who will come in and give expert advice and assistance. The leading executive of a trade union movement should be composed—and in many cases is composed —of very well-qualified men. However, as I say, they can only plead with their members instead of telling them.

I have been criticised for saying this before because I am told that the trade union movement is essentially a democratic movement and every member must have his say. I cannot repeat too often that that is not democracy; it is anarchy. We do not have a referendum on every bit of legislation we intend to submit to this House. Democracy is where rule, executive power, is handed over for a limited period to a small executive body and that is something which neither the trade unions nor the employers have got around to doing. We have to set up an employers' organisation, call it the FUE or what you will, which will be representative of all employers but whose decisions shall be binding on all employers. Similarly, we must have an executive on the trade union side which will have authority. If the members, either employers or trade unionists, do not like the decision of their executive, there will be annual meetings at which they can be unseated and replaced by somebody else. At least while the executive are in office, they will have power to negotiate from some strength. That is the weakness of both sides at the moment.

Reference has been made to the Labour Court. It has done good work in the past but certainly its constitution is in urgent need of something more than a review. Its procedure is not clearly enough laid down. It may be because I was trained as a lawyer that I was horrified to find the amount of irrelevance allowed at the proceedings of that court. It should be much more strictly controlled with rules of general procedure. I feel that it should be a proper legal court in every way. I know there is opposition to any such suggestion but in all other phases of human relations in our society, we are subject to the rule of law. I have never yet found anyone who can explain to me why industrial relations should be outside the law, while personal and contractual relations are subject to law. If I enter into a contract for the building of a house, I can enforce that contract against the builder. That is perfectly right. If I have a disagreement with my neighbour, I may not go over the wall and cut down his trees or beat his children. If the worst comes to the worst, I must institute proceedings before the courts and have my grievances investigated and have the whole matter settled according to law. Now, if there is a case of dismissal of an employee, or if there is a case of misconduct by some supervisory staff or by an employer, why have we to come to blows over this or use force over it? Why can we not come to law and get the matter settled once and for all?

Deputy Tully said—and I am not saying this because he has just come in—that people do not rush into a strike lightheartedly. I know that they do not but I also know, and I am sure he knows, that half the time nobody ever believes that there is going to be a strike. The strike weapon is as valuable or as useless as a nuclear weapon. It is a threat. That is its main value. Once you have to use it, it blows you up as well as the other fellow. I know there are those that say you cannot be a world power unless you have nuclear weapons. That is all cod. There are likewise people who say unless you have the right to strike, you have no other protection. That is likewise all cod. That is the sort of thinking which should have been abandoned 50 years ago because it is completely outdated. There was a time when the working-man was engaged in small-scale industry with small employers, where there were factories with 50 or at most 100 employees, where the conditions of work were appalling, where the amount of exploitation was almost beyond belief and where the worker had only one final weapon. That was the strike weapon which could cripple his employer and which in certain cases had to be used for that purpose. But the worker now has plenty of protection. He has all the protection of the inspectorate system to make sure conditions of work are good and that his safety and health are looked after.

To say a strike is still a necessary weapon to use just does not make sense because the person who gets hurt is not the right person. One man said to me in a recent experience I had: "We will have to go on strike." I said: "Do by all means if you feel you must. I have gone as far as I can." He almost turned on me and said: "It is all very well for you because you will not get hurt." But I was the employer. I was the fellow who should get hurt if he wanted his way. That is the craziness of it. It is not the manager or the managing director, or even the board of directors, who gets hurt if all the employees go out on strike. The shareholders may be affected marginally, but only marginally because the effects are not all that great. The only people who get hurt are the wives who have to try to keep things going on strike pay or, even worse, the wives who have to try to keep going without even strike pay because their men are not involved in the strike but cannot pass the picket.

They are paid strike pay.

Not in all cases.

Yes, if they are members of a trade union.

If you are a member of an Irish trade union. The experience to which I am referring concerns a large British trade union operating in this country where no strike pay was paid out.

If it is an official strike, it must be paid out.

I only wish the Deputy would get after the National Union of Vehicle Builders because they do not agree with him. It seems to me to be brutally unfair but it is a fact. Those are the people who suffer in a strike, not the employer. Those are the people who are disemployed although they are not involved in the strike.

What is going to happen these ESB men? They are having a dispute. Well and good, maybe they are right; maybe they are wrong. It is not for us to decide one way or the other. But are they entitled to put tens and even hundreds of thousands of other people out of work? The answer is: of course they are not. I do not think they will even claim that right themselves. They claim the right to defend themselves, but they do not like the idea of putting men out. However, this is degenerating into a game of bluff. Will the ESB hold? Who is going to call whose bluff? One hundred strikers do not think the ESB will allow the supply to be cut off. The ESB say: "If you men go out there will be a breakdown in supply and no electricity for anyone." Is one side bluffing or are both sides bluffing? Why have we got to go through the suffering of unemployment and the terrible human suffering which may be caused if this strike comes off simply because there has been disagreement between 100 men and the ESB as to their status in the company? There is no question of life or death involved. There is no question of proper living conditions or working conditions. It is purely a status question. Are we going to be held up to ransom for this? At the moment it seems the men themselves have no intention of doing it. They are using the strike as a threat. Just like a nuclear weapon, if you have to carry out your threat, you blow yourself up as well.

There was a speech reported in the papers yesterday by a member of the Dublin Port and Docks Board where he stated we must give up this claim that we have a God-given right to strike. The Minister in his speech referred to a God-given right to prosperity. It is time we stopped talking about our rights. Everybody is at it. We have a right to this and we have a right to that. There is no question of obligation at all. I would much prefer that we could get agreement on this question of at least some limitation of strikes and pickets. But if we cannot get a general consensus of opinion— and it is very hard to get it—I cannot see any alternative except to enforce it. I think everybody would be delighted if we did. Public opinion is building up so that I believe no matter what legislation on this subject the Government introduced everyone would breathe a deep sigh of relief and say: "Thanks be to God, they have done it at last."

Nobody wants a strike. Nobody ever wants it. I agree with Deputy Tully it is a thing which everybody tries to avoid, the employees even more than the employers. But it is unnecessary. It should be absolutely invariable that if agreement by negotiation breaks down both sides will be compelled before taking any further action to go to the Labour Court, submit their case and accept the finding. It is only if you know you have got a rotten case from the start you will fail to accept the ruling. If you have a rotten case from the start you should never have made it in the first place. We can set a headline for other countries if we act with imagination and courage. I do not think we should wait to see what other countries do. I think we can do anything they can do or do it better. This is a time of utmost urgency for the Government to call employers and trade unionists together and say: "You have got to settle your own affairs within a very limited period or, so help us, we will settle them for you". This applies to both sides. I am not just agitating against trade unions. I am against undisciplined, irresponsible employers every bit as much, because they can cause every bit as much chaos. We have to have discipline. As Deputy Tully knows from his Army experience, a well-disciplined unit is a happy one, but an ill-disciplined unit is sheer misery for everyone.

We can have a disciplined, ordered society, or we can have chaos. At the moment I think we are heading for chaos. It is not necessary. We can make our society an example to everyone. I feel optimistic, even though the situation is not all that hot, because I have an overriding confidence in our ability as a nation to order our own affairs. It has been said about us for centuries that we never could do it. I think we have not done badly, but we could do an awful lot better. We need fresh thinking and the readiness to throw out into the ashcan a lot of old, outdated ideas and conceptions on industrial relations which we should have abandoned years ago. This we can do and I think we will. But we must not wait for the initiative to come either from employers or trade unions. I am afraid both sides have failed, both sides are too frightened of each other and of their fellows. The initiative must come from the Government and some ultimatum must go out. I do not want to grind the faces of the poor. That is not my aim and objective in life. What I am anxious to do is to get it clearly accepted that this business of saying: "If only we can get a big enough wage increase, everything in the garden will be lovely" is sheer nonsense. A general huge wage increase will land us all in the soup. If we can get increased productivity, as we can get, with better hours of work, better conditions all round, we shall have an even higher standard of living; we shall have much greater pride in our whole community and we shall have something of which we can be really proud when we face the following generations.

We keep on saying: "If only we can get round this wage demand, we shall be all right." It is not just a question of keeping it below three per cent. It is a question of developing a new system whereby wage rates and working conditions generally will be reviewed by an impartial body which will give a final decision. We have got to have it sooner or later, and the sooner the better. I do hope the Minister will act very rapidly and very decisively and, if he does, he certainly will have my strongest support, as long as he acts with equal resolution both as regards employers and trade unions.

I should like to refer to the question of grants which are being paid annually to industries starting in this country. I would be anxious to hear from the Minister the amount in grants paid over the past 12 months and also the number, if there are such, of industries which received grants over the past two or three years and which were unsuccessful. I should like to know the exact amount of the grants paid to these industries. It is grand to have official openings by the Taoiseach and Ministers of State of huge factories that are backed by State money and to read speeches in the newspapers saying these industries are capable of employing so many hundreds of people. There was one instance a few years ago of a factory in the west of Ireland which was to employ something like 700 people, as was mentioned by the Taoiseach when he was opening it. From answers to questions I have heard in this House over the past few months, I am afraid the figure is far below the expectations expressed on that occasion. A number of these industries, even though backed by State aid, have not reached the figures of employment indicated by members of the Government when they were being started.

We have been warned time and time again in this House about the removal of tariffs and the effect it may have on industries. I am quite convinced—and I am not an optimist—that the majority of our industries which have been given a chance over a number of years with protective tariffs are quite capable and will be quite capable of competing with any industrialists in other countries. There might be the odd case of an industry that might not be strong enough to withstand competition but, generally speaking, after the protection which has been afforded to industries over the years, if they cannot stand on their feet by 1970, as has been mentioned, it is poor credit to the headway we have made.

There has been a lot of talk about strikes and wage demands. This is a point I raised last year on the Estimate for Industry and Commerce. Many strikes that take place are unnecessary. I have yet to be convinced that where there is a proper sense of understanding any disagreement between management and workers cannot be settled without the hardships that strikes bring about for employers and employees. A previous speaker has said that the person who suffers most is the wife of the wage-earner. Everybody suffers in the case of a strike, both the employers and the employees; perhaps in certain cases the employer can stand it better. However, if there is a sense of responsibility, as I am sure there is, among workers and employers in general, a lot of these matters could be ironed out without loss of employment and even a loss to the economy where industries are in the export market. That is something the Minister and his Department ought to keep in mind when we talk about the Common Market and about industrial production. What is the use in talking about what we intend to achieve if we are not prepared, every section of the community, to work in harmony in industry as well as in every other sphere of life?

There is mention in the Minister's speech of the special promotional drive by Córas Tráchtála to counter the effects of the British imports surcharge. I take that as a reference to the Buy Irish campaign. In general, this has been a success, but I was appalled to see on the Order Paper last week a question asking the reason for the importation of tricolours into this country which were made in Japan.

We are advertising with a Scotch terrier.

It is no credit to us in our Buy Irish campaign to find that many of the tricolours displayed in the recent celebrations were made outside this country.

There is a point mentioned in the Vote last year also in relation to the Castlecomer Colliery. We were all familiar with the case at the time and indeed there was widespread fear last year that this colliery was going to close for good but seemingly, I am happy to say, due to the pressure brought on the Department by——

The Irish Transport and General Workers' Union.

Everybody gets credit except the Government.

With the help of Deputies from Carlow and Kilkenny, we succeeded in persuading the Minister to give this colliery a new lease of life.

Will the Deputy accept the responsibility if it does not work?

There is a figure of £140,000 quoted for last year, and I think is was definitely money well spent. I should be glad to hear from the Minister at a later stage what the up-to-date position is in this case. Certainly if the Department of Industry and Commerce had not come to the aid of the colliery at that stage there would no doubt have been widespread unemployment and more people for the emigrant ship.

The 12 per cent increase was also mentioned and there seemed to be disagreement in the House, as far as I saw, as to who was responsible for it. Now, I would be inclined to agree with the person who apparently was speaking to Deputy Booth. The workers in this country and the majority of the lower-paid groups were much better off before the 12 per cent increase than they are today. I have heard it from them and I know it is right. One of the reasons was—and we drew the attention of the Government to it at the time—when that 12 per cent was paid and at the time of the 2½ per cent turnover tax the Government made no move whatsoever to control or stabilise prices. When the horse was gone they tried to shut the stable door. I am afraid that at that stage it was too late and the result was that those who got that increase found that it was offset by the increase in the cost of living. So, we can safely say we were better off before than after.

Another fault with regard to that increase was that at the time it was not the lower-paid section of the community who got the real benefit. The 12 per cent, as we all know, was also paid to those in the higher brackets of £3,000 and £4,000 a year. They got the 12 per cent increase while the lower-paid worker, and anybody in the region of £8 a week, got something like £1 at that stage. I suppose the idea would seem changed now when we talk in terms of £1 a week, or a set figure, instead of this 12 per cent. Even though that figure in total throughout the country represented a huge sum, there were so many in the very high income group who got increases that it was not, to my mind anyway, spread out justly to the community because the people who were really most entitled to it certainly did not get the benefit.

We have mentioned increases in wages. I hold with increases within reason and I suppose there is some justification for the £1 a week negotiations in progress at the moment, but there is always the danger of the incapacity of employers or industrialists to meet these increases. I am sure when everything is ironed out and increases are paid we can depend on those who are in receipt of them to help, in the interests of the economy and the country, by giving of their best in order to maintain productivity.

Mention has been made about shorter working hours. There is a certain amount to be said in favour of shorter working hours. I am inclined to agree with the previous speaker that it is possible in certain industries to work shorter hours and maintain production. We can understand that the person overworked naturally is not in the best state of health or alert enough to give of his best. There is something to be said for shorter hours and it has been proved in firms where shorter hours have been agreed on over the past few years. In such cases production has not fallen. When we talk about strikes and disagreement between workers and employers not often enough are the workers given credit. They will be criticised if they go on strike. They will be criticised if there is disagreement with employers. That will certainly get publicity but there are workers, and I say the bulk of workers, in this country who are as good as, if not better than, those in other countries throughout the world.

I have no doubt about the capability of the workers in industry, on the land and in other walks of life. They are as interested as employers in the welfare of the country. It is with that in view that I think that if we can all work as a team it is more necessary than ever today. Things may look black, and they certainly look gloomy at the moment, but if we can have co-operation between workers, employers and industrialists in every section of the community, I believe we can surmount all the difficulties we have experienced in the past and the future need not appear as gloomy as it certainly does at the present time.

I do not subscribe to the contention of Deputy Governey that the situation is gloomy. Certainly the outlook could not be termed gloomy when we realise that, in the industrial field, the factories set up since 1958 have now achieved a 150 per cent increase in the production of export commodities. This, in a relatively short period of eight years, cannot be termed a gloomy prospect. Certainly we can hope in the future that not alone will this amazing growth be maintained but that the industries so established may go on to even bigger and greater things.

Certain charges have been laid at the door of the grants board and the IDA. I for one would like to refute them because I have had occasion to go to the IDA with various industrialists in the recent past and I have found that the basis of argument and consideration on which they examine the claims of the various industrialists is very fair. They examine minutely and in great detail the claims of the industrialists. It would be a tragedy, even a treachery to justice, if we were to have, in this Republic, a group of civil servants who treated in a light fashion the appropriation of grants or aids to any industry, if we had in this country people who could be persuaded, by argument and by fictitious figures, to give grants unjustified by hard facts and realities. We have heard of our near neighbour's position where the grants board suffer substantially due to the glib fashion in which cases are presented to them. Our grants board has made no such faux pas and it is the integrity of the men at the helm which has prevented this because we are assured that money being made easily always attracts the sharks to try to take their unjust share of it. Therefore, this House owes a special debt to the integrity, courtesy and ability of the personnel in our IDA and various grants boards.

I was very pleased to read on yesterday's Irish Press, Mr. Frank Robbins, a member of the Dublin Port and Docks Board, give a headline for the nation to “cease talking of the God-given right to strike”. While we all accept that it is a very essential weapon, too much emphasis can be placed on it and this can distort the picture. We have in this country strong unions, which are responsible, which can make just claims for their members. It would be wrong of those unions or, indeed, of any section of their members, to impose on the majority of the members, or by a breakaway action, hardship on fellow-workers in other industries by unlawful or unwarranted strikes.

The cost of any strike is immeasurable because no one can ever assess, either in hard cash or in human suffering, what follows in the wake of a strike. A strike which takes place in one factory may affect people in employment only remotely connected with it, in factories 100 or 200 miles away, as indeed did the dock strike in my constituency which affected a factory and put 100 men out of employment. These are things we need: unions which are dedicated and sincere in their actions and by and large in the Irish Congress of Trade Unions we have got this measure of realism and responsibility. Therefore, we can over-emphasise the strikes situation in this country and create a bad impression abroad because if we have one asset above any other, it is the fact that, heretofore and today, we have maintained a good picture abroad of good labour relations and this compensates in no uncertain fashion for the lack of finance we may be able to give by way of grant to foreign industrialists to come here.

We have also in this State a management problem. This is a very natural problem because we had not an historical industrial background in the recent past—I mean in the past 60 or 70 years. We fall behind in this because management is not at the top level it should be and a very intensive course will have to be pursued by the personnel coming into industry from this side. All too often when there are difficulties experienced in industry, the charge can be laid at the feet of the workers. I have seen in various industries throughout this country, and particularly in my own constituency, that the workers have as much aptitude and as much concern for their jobs, families and the industries in which they are getting employment as the workers in any other country in Europe. It cannot be accepted that our workers are inferior in intellect or efficiency to those in other countries in Europe. We must maintain a growing pride amongst our workers in their workmanship, which can be and is as good as anything else outside of this State. Management must face up to its responsibility in this field and ensure that their contribution to the industrial side of life is equal to that of the workers.

We have had a number of industries set up here in recent years. Each of them has been aimed at one specific object, namely, to produce for export. These have been successful because they were given definite aims and definite terms of reference. They were told in no uncertain manner that the home market was very limited and it would be essential that they should gain markets abroad, and not merely gain them for one or two years but with a view to maintaining them and to obtaining the increased demand which would in time come from these markets. In the past it was a sad experience to find that some industries gained markets and then were unable to complete the contracts into which they had entered. Thank God, we now have a better approach to this matter, with clearer guidelines and a system whereby markets are obtained and maintained.

The closure of one or two factories has been referred to here. This gets banner headlines, publicity away beyond that which it merits. There is little or no comment on the successful small factory or the one which maintains a steady even growth, nothing spectacular, nothing which makes the front pages of any newspaper, but which nonetheless gives useful and gainful employment to the people concerned, and benefits the nation by the contribution it makes to our national economy. All too often it is now becoming the popular and accepted thing to give short names and abbreviated versions to various things such as "National Productivity etc., etc." The hard facts are the goods we export and the employment we give. If we are to achieve any degree of success flowery language will never substitute for the hard realities.

With the advent of the free trade area with Britain in July of this year we are conditioning ourselves for what must eventually come. We must look forward to a European economic community and to our part in it. Therefore, it is of tremendous benefit to our industries to get a conditioning period of ten years in which to prepare themselves. We could not go overnight into any free trade area without first of all warning employers and employees of the consequences and the serious imposts and demands on them. The markets are there. The room for expansion is there. It is up to us on this side, and to industry, to ensure that we are able to take full advantage of any situation that presents itself in the coming years.

The members of the board of the IDA have been most successful in the attraction of new industries. We had in South Tipperary last week the opening of a factory by one of the world's leading underwear manufacturers. This factory was opened here because of our image abroad in labour relations. This has taught us a very worthwhile lesson. The factory has brought us German know-how, Irish labour and Swiss finances combined, and the lot together giving employment. This will be a training ground for the future for the people in the town of Clonmel and district. It is on these beginnings that we can build up for ourselves a reputation which we sadly lacked up to the industrial drive of the Thirties. It is only since the Thirties that we have tackled the problem of industrialising Ireland. The rape of Ireland as regards industry which was perpetrated by foreign domination denuded us of many of our old-established industries and unfortunately with the passage of time, and with that historical background, the climate which conditions people to work was lost. We had to start from the ground up, and having started I think we built sound and solid supports for our future development. We have brought into industry the youth of the country who will readily be trainable in the skills which modern industry demands.

I listened to various Opposition speakers bemoaning the fact that there was too much machinery in modern industry. We must accept the fact that if we are to compete we must turn out the finished product at the cheapest possible price, and in most cases this means machinery must be used, and machinery of a very complicated nature. This will give us the technicians and the operatives. These two very distinct and definite types of people have been too sadly lacking in our society and population generally. Our vocational schools could be geared to do a better job and to do a more comprehensive job of training the young personnel who in the final analysis will be going into industry. When the Minister was Minister for Education he foresaw this problem when he contemplated the introduction of the comprehensive school. This, I think, will to a large extent satisfy the need in industry for these skilled persons, and they will be able to meet the vigorous and numerous demands of the new era.

The board of the IDA and, indeed, many private industrialists who are trying to attract industry to come here, could greatly be helped by a more vigorous attitude on the part of our diplomatic corps abroad. Our diplomatic corps should be in the nature of a trade mission. We cannot afford the luxury of a completely professional diplomatic corps.

As regards the mining industry I am very pleased to note that in Gortdrum, a few short miles from where I live, explorations have started and valuable employment is being given to many people in the district. This is only the forerunner of what could well be a major break-through for us. It could mean that this country would become one of the three greatest producers of barytes in the world. It also means the investment by foreign companies of sums in the region of £7 million in this country. They do not invest just in the faint hope that something may come of it. They are engineers in their own field and they invest after careful consideration only. All this augurs well for the future of the mining industry in South Tipperary and in the country at large where numerous mining concessions have been taken out.

This will also mean a vigorous injection for the copper-mining industry which up to 70 or 80 years ago was in existence in the Holyford district, but which because of lack of funds or the poor price of copper at the time ceased to function. Indeed, these explorations will be most welcome and if these people come to us they will be given a céad míle fáilte.

We must pit our selling ability against the vast resources of the wealthier nations. We have an abundance of labour here which is a scarce commodity to a great degree in many other countries. We lack the ability to match pound for pound the inducements which we can give as compared with the more industrialised countries of Europe. Those are deficiencies that we can make up for only by a better climate and a climate of a kind which is reasonable at all times.

I believe too much emphasis has been placed on strikes of a minor nature. Strikes will inevitably happen because our nation has not yet emerged into one in which all the people are satisfied at the one time. Every section in the community must help each other but we usually find that is not the case. Therefore, there will always be a certain number of disputes. This is only human nature. I want to say that journalism in this country is at an appallingly low standard at the present time. We should be given a better lead by the Press instead of what we get. They do not adopt a realistic approach to conditions.

Industry has cost £74 million. That is a sizeable sum for a small country but it has been worthwhile. It has given direct employment to 35,000 people. If we can give employment to 35,000 people for every £74 million we can give, the investment is not alone paying off in cash, it is paying off in the human element, which is vital to any country. "Ill fares the land to hastening ills a prey where wealth accumulates and men decay".

Industrial growth and full employment appear to be the aim of the Minister and his Government, as it is also the aim of the British Chancellor of the Exchequer and his Government but they adopt two completely different methods of achieving that end. In his Budget today the Chancellor of the Exchequer said their aims were a stronger pound, steadily-growing industrial strength and full employment. He said the message is clear—more savings and less tax. Our trouble is that we look for more savings but more tax.

We saw that in the recent Budget. We saw the tax go on certain commodities. I shall not go into them in detail but let me just say, in passing, that the British Chancellor of the Exchequer, in order to procure his aims, announced that there would be no change in the rates on beer, tobacco and spirits, no increase in income tax, no increase in surtax and no increase in vehicle licence duties. There is another difference. We are seeking, as the Minister told us today, on the recommendation of the IDA, further foreign capital for industry. I presume, in seeking foreign capital, the Minister was also referring to British capital.

What does the British Chancellor of the Exchequer tell the House of Commons? He says that he had decided that some voluntary action was needed to slow down the flow from the United Kingdom to what might be called the developed sterling areas— Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the Irish Republic. In other words, Britain is taking steps, although voluntary at the moment, to stem the flow of capital to this country. I know the headlines set by Britain will be followed by many other countries.

It is voluntary.

I stand corrected. He had to say some voluntary action but as the Deputy knows there are two ways of voluntarily doing a thing. One is by going to it and the other is by getting a prod on the backside to do it. They are both cases of voluntary action. On the subject of industry, I wonder if it is worth while attracting foreign industrialists to this country where we have not got the raw materials? We are not, at the moment, taking sufficient advantage of the raw materials of this State. We can never say, until we do that, and until we develop industry based on raw materials, that we are successful in establishing industry here. Let us take the manufacture of Japanese pianos at Shannon Airport.

When did that happen?

I understand they manufacture Japanese pianos there.

They do not.

I am not as well up in the piano as the Minister may be. He may have an opportunity of playing it more often in his constituency than I have. I never get an opportunity of doing so.

Deputy T. O'Donnell contends that Shannon is in the Limerick constituency.

Deputy O'Malley also claims Shannon as part of his constituency as so many of his constituents work at Shannon Airport.

There are no Japanese pianos manufactured at Shannon Airport.

There are pianos manufactured at Shannon Airport and every solid item going into those pianos is imported into this country.

Except the labour content.

Except the labour content. There are other Japanese products manufactured there. Unless you have an industry which does not depend on the importation of raw materials you can never say that that industry is guaranteed a successful future. Take, for instance, any emergency which may arise. Any world war, be it confined or otherwise, prevents the importation or the procurement of those raw materials. I would prefer, instead of going into the failures, to talk about the successes and look at the thriving industries we have in this country based on the raw materials which are procurable in the country. I do not wish to take them in order of priority but let me mention Guinness, the Whiskey Distillers, the Sugar Company and the ESB. May I bracket them and call them white or pink elephants as Deputies on the other side once called them? I would also like to mention Bord na Móna. Those are industries which are based on raw materials procurable in this country. What have we done to develop industries from other raw materials?

Have we looked around our seaboard to see what could be done with the harvest of the foreshore? In the north of Scotland and along its east coast, there are many industries based on the seaweed harvest. We have not taken advantage of that. About 38 different materials can be procured from the seaweed which grows on our coasts. In some parts of North Scotland, dredgers go out to harvest the seaweed from the bottom of the ocean. Here we have a golden line around our country and no effort whatsoever has been made to develop it in any worthwhile sense. I am quite aware that some small industrialists on their own have endeavoured to do something about it but if we are anxious and desirous of procuring outside industry with know-how, surely one of the places we should look to is Scotland where this industry has been made a success in order to try to entice them to come here.

Take afforestation. What are we doing to process our forests which have now come to maturity? We have set up veneer industries in some places but these industries unfortunately depend on imported raw material. I do not think we have a paper pulp factory in the country.

What about chipboard?

We have two chipboard factories.

Yet we could not get chipboard to put up a platform outside the GPO on Easter Sunday. We had to bring in the material.

We are not using our own forests but the chipboard factories are. What happened at the GPO is another matter.

Why did we not use our own chipboard on the GPO platform? We imported the chipboard from Poland. What is happening in the two factories?

It was not waterproofed.

So we had to import timber from Poland to erect a platform outside the GPO to honour the men of 1916 simply because our own homegrown, manufactured chipboard was not waterproofed.

That is very cheap.

What is very cheap?

What the Deputy is saying.

Does the Deputy not see the amount of employment that could be given in procuring that material at home? What is cheap in what I am saying? Is it that we could get the Polish chipboard cheaper than our own? I would sacrifice the difference in the price.

It is the Deputy's talk I am speaking about.

What is wrong with it? Is it because it hurts somebody? Is it not right to say it? We have fought in Donegal for the establishment of a chipboard factory at Ballyshannon. In passing, I should say that as far as I can see, if you want the proper treatment in this country, all you have to say is that you are establishing an industry and the development association concerned and the Deputies concerned will entertain you and keep you free for weeks, in the hope that eventually you may decide to start a factory in their town. They will announce that they have succeeded in enticing you to start that factory. Then you suddenly pulled out because you found no suitable place and no suitable labour. We fought for a chipboard factory for Ballyshannon and we were almost assured of it. Then the people concerned pulled out and nothing has happened. I shall leave it there for the moment but shall refer to it later when dealing with industry on the western seaboard.

What are we doing about our fishing industry? Are we making any efforts to establish factories to process our fish, to can our fish? I was informed quite recently, and I believe it, that fish was imported from Africa I shall check it by way of question and answer in the House.

You closed the fish factory in Galway.

Sure, it was never open. What are you talking about? Like a good boy, do not interrupt men when they are speaking.

I shall interrupt when I have something to say.

There are places where you would be slapped on the backside if you did it.

The Deputy may think that is funny but the lack of employment in Galway while this factory lay idle was not at all funny.

Why did the Deputy not open it?

Fianna Fáil did. There are 90 people working in it today.

Nobody disputes that but where are the fish coming from?

It does not matter. There are 90 people employed there.

Fish imported from Africa are being processed into fish fingers.

Where are the 15 boats that were supposed to go to Galway to supply that factory with fish? Deputy Flanagan came in and scattered them all over the country——

Deputy Molloy was at school and he should have remained there. Deputy Flanagan endeavoured to build up the fishing industry in the country. There was the fishmeal factory in Killybegs.

Where is the fishmeal plant in Killybegs?

It is still there.

It is not.

It is there and thriving. Come up and spend a holiday there and see it.

The Deputy must return to the Estimate.

I quite agree, but when I am interrupted, it is very difficult.

The Deputy might like to get away from it for a while.

From the Estimate.

Deputy Flanagan was engaged in many things, including the opening of the Meevagh enterprise. They are trying to drag these red herrings across the path and I am inclined to follow them to their logical conclusion.

Would the Deputy tell us——

Deputy Molloy will have an opportunity of speaking very shortly.

Will he be allowed?

He will. He has it written out. He will manage. I am talking about all we could do to set up industries based on our fish harvest —processing and canning and various other operations.

I come now to our agricultural produce. Are we making sufficient efforts to export our cattle other than on the hoof? Have we established factories or sought markets abroad for chilled, frozen or canned beef? I do not believe we have. We heard a lot of talk today about the Tynagh mines. We are delighted to know that Tynagh is such a success but I wonder what is the labour content. I do not think it is very high.

It is very hefty.

It is quite high.

I am delighted to hear it but I think it could be higher. It is all right to laugh but that mine produces zinc, lead silver, and barytes. Lorries take them to Galway, ships take them to Canada and in Canada they are processed.

All I know is that they leave Galway Bay and I do not care where they go, be it Timbuktu or Hong Kong. It does not matter where they go. They could be processed in this country.

They will, too, very shortly.

Before the next election?

We must have a little patience.

If we made an effort to encourage people to come in and establish an industry for the processing of these raw materials, our people would be much better off.

Why, then, does the Deputy interrupt me?

Because we are doing it.

Let me move to another subject which has taken up a lot of talking time, the present state of industrial relations. We all deplore them. They are something new in this State. Since the unfortunate general strike of 1913, industrial relations here have not been bad. Is it worth while going into what has caused all the industrial strife we now have? Is there any doubt whatever that it was Dr. Ryan's Budget of 1963 which caused all the trouble? It was the 2½ per cent turnover tax imposed by the Minister for Finance. We were told at the time that it would never be passed on to the consumer, that competition between vendors would absorb it. What happened? Not only had the unfortunate consumer to pay the 2½ per cent but in many cases he paid as much as five per cent and 7½ per cent. The people got so fed up that they told the Government in no uncertain terms what they thought of the turnover tax in the by-election in Dublin North-East. Unfortunately we had two further by-elections in Cork and Kildare and the blackest day we ever had, the meanest trick we ever saw played, the lowest depth to which we saw the Government sink was when the 12 per cent increase was granted on the very eve of those two by-elections. Remember, the turnover tax hit the poor. For the first time the poor were taxed. When the 12 per cent increase was granted——

What about the shilling you took off the old age pensioners?

Do you know what we had to do with it? We had to build the bridges destroyed by you people before you were dragged in here in 1927 by the scruff of the neck. That was the time when Deputy Lenihan was wearing the uniform I was wearing. That is where the shilling went.

My country's uniform.

His country's uniform, correct; the uniform of the country people were sabotaging. However, we were talking about the 2½ per cent. We did not worry about the 12 per cent increase, provided it was given to the poor, unfortunate worker, to the poor by way of social services. What happened? That 12 per cent, and more, was given to the judiciary, to the highest civil servants in the State, and right down along the line. The Taoiseach told us the economic cake was so great we were all entitled to a slice. He started a free-for-all. The cost of living went up. We had the cost of living following wages and wages following the cost of living. There was no lead from the Government. There has been no lead yet from the Government.

We have had industrial strife all down the years. It is a sad thing that every time one switches on the news— it is no use hiding one's head in the sand ostrich-like and pretending one does not hear—there is a strike or a threatened strike. I do not blame the workers; I do not blame the trade unionists. I blame the Government. Deputy Booth, I think, suggested today that there should be a permanent relationship between employer and employee. Such a relationship would be useless, unless the Government are also brought into it. There is no use in having a relationship between employer and employee so long as the Government go on increasing the cost of living. Any agreement must be tripartite to ensure that when there is a standstill on wages, there will also be a standstill on prices. Only in that way can we settle the industrial strife, industrial strife which is not tending to attract industrialists to this State.

I would appeal to the Government, to the Minister and to Deputy Lenihan to establish as many industries as possible based on the raw materials in the State. It is no good setting up industries for which we have to import the raw material. That has never been a success anywhere. It may have been all right in the days of the British Empire when she could procure all the raw materials she wished for her factories. We know what is happening today. The Chancellor of the Exchequer says that action must be taken to stem the flow of sterling from the United Kingdom to the developed areas of Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the Irish Republic.

We are in good company.

I am afraid we never left it.

Is it not a credit that England are worried about the money coming out of England over to us?

Deputy Crinion does not know apparently that we drove most of that money over to England by compelling the bankers under the Finance Act to disclose investments and deposits in this country for income tax purposes. Millions of pounds moved across the water after that.

Hot, useless money.

We were very glad to get hot, useless money. We warned you that the economy of the State was being founded on hot, useless money. Remember the strictures of Deputy Dillon: Be careful; you will drive the hot money out of the country. What has happened? Deputy Lenihan calls it hot, useless money. Mark you, a pound note, no matter where it comes from, is good. I wish to goodness economists would learn that simple elementary rule; you either have money or you have not and you do not care where the £1 comes from, whether it is hot or cold, so long as you have it.

If you have a stolen pound, you know what will happen to you.

It depends on where it was stolen. A great deal of it gets in here still. Puritans talking about what we should do with stolen money! Have the Deputies ever thought about how we built up the Hospitals Trust? Have they ever thought about the illegality of selling Sweep tickets across the Border in Fermanagh and Derry or across the water in London? The Government and the Hospitals Trust thrive on breaking the law and taking the stolen money across the Border here and across the water from London. I do not think it is any harm. I think it is a good thing. There is no harm in it. The £1 we get in that way is a good pound. If the Deputy can tell me a better pound, then let us try to get it somewhere else.

I appeal to the Minister and his Government to set a lead and display initiative. I appeal to the Minister to take the unions and the employers into his confidence. Do not leave it entirely to the unions and employers. The Government must enter into agreement as well. The Government must not take advantage of any agreement entered into by the employers and employees, coming along subsequently and increasing the cost of living. The Government must be a party to any agreement entered into. The Government must display initiative and the sooner they do the better it will be for the economy as a whole.

The Minister has made a very comprehensive statement but there are a few points to which I should like to refer. I believe there is necessity for having an independent member on boards of directors to represent the Government's interest in new firms for at least ten years, especially in the case of foreign industrialists setting up here. I feel that this being public money, especially when large amounts are concerned, the interest of the public would be safeguarded if we had a voice on the board of directors of these firms in their initial years to make sure there were no irregularities and that the interests of the people were properly being looked after.

I should like to support a plea made at the National Convention of the Junior Chambers of Commerce of Ireland in Galway last Saturday night. The request was made to the Taoiseach to consider the young industrialists for positions as directors of semi-State boards. This was an excellent suggestion for recognition of these young men who have the training and the ideas, the training which probably was denied to the older industrialists who had to rely on their own practical ability and who had not available to them modern educational methods. These young people are devoting their energy to the furthering of our industrial development and it would provide a tremendous incentive for them if they were recognised in this way. There are very many excellent young men who would ably represent the Government on these State boards. I would ask the Minister to consider this, when such appointments are being made in the future.

It is stated here in the Minister's brief, and it was also mentioned by some contributors to this debate, that the odd closure of the industrial concerns started by State grants attracts a lot of publicity. Probably these things make news or the newspapers make news of them. A failure percentage of three per cent is certainly very low in relation to the tremendous success which this industrial development sponsored by the Government has generated. It may be a bit unfair: it is proper to inform the public as to what is happening public money but a lot of publicity is given and it gets more publicity than is justified —certainly in the case of my town, where a factory has never closed down at all.

We have heard statements from members of the Opposition that the Potez factory in Galway is closed. The Potez factory in Galway is not closed. There are people there earning a good living and the prospects for that factory are quite good. If this continuous running down, creating bad feeling and doing away with the goodwill of this company is continued by members of the Opposition, and carried on to members of the general public through the press, it will be very difficult for a good firm like that to sell its products.

As a representative of Galway city, I feel that this type of behaviour is unfortunate. People should be more careful in the public statements they make concerning industries in which a lot of money has been invested, which give good employment and in which the prospects are actually quite good and the product is first-class— and nobody can deny that. Anyone in industry or in business trying to sell goods knows that salesmanship is not automatic: it never was. It consists of a certain type of technique. If you have a good product, you will sell it. Where this factory might have slipped up was in its sales methods and this is something which can be and is being rectified. I have every confidence in the future of that factory and I make that statement with some knowledge.

In the city of Galway, several factories have made tremendous strides, due to the assistance of State grants. There is no need for me to mention the great work that has been done in the Steinbock factory in Galway. The products manufactured in that factory are mainly for export and, this year, the factory has been extended. It is employing an all-male staff and is steadily increasing employment—a wonderful achievement and a wonderful success, as is, also, the Michael Anthony factory in Galway which is also being extended this year and which is now one of the biggest employers there. The goods they manufacture are all for export. It helps our exports in a very substantial way. These things should be stated.

When Galway is mentioned, people continually mention that the Potez factory is not progressing as rapidly as was expected. That type of talk is rather unfair to the people in the Industrial Development Authority. I can safely say that there are very few factories in the city of Galway which have not received some State aid within recent years and every one of them is expanding and availing of the adaptation grants.

The Minister referred to two industrial centres. I presume he was referring to the industrial estates to be set up in Galway and Waterford. In regard to these industrial estates, and every such undertaking by the Government, I would make the suggestion here publicly that it is most unfair that all the professional work that goes into the designing of these buildings is given to professional people residing on the east coast of Ireland. The west has been the subject of very much discussion over the past three or four years. The most important people in the country have expressed their views on what is known as "the problem of the West". Yet, where we have highly qualified professional people setting up in Galway—people with the highest qualifications—they are passed over by State concerns when work for the State is to be done.

It is obvious to me and to most of the people in the city of Galway and other cities in the west of Ireland that there is something wrong with this method. If a man sets up there, at least he has put his stake in the west of Ireland and has shown his confidence in it. These people's competence cannot be questioned. I strongly suggest to the Minister that when in future such work is being done the people living in the area where the work is to be done be considered. We had a problem, because of this, where an outside firm of architects raised ridiculous problems which the professional people in the city and all the business people in the city could easily have overcome if any kind of negotiations had been carried out. However, because this firm who were asked to set up a certain project, were not familiar with the environment, the layout of the site and the people living in the place and were not regularly visiting the sites, an awful lot of lack of co-operation arose and many small problems took weeks to be solved. If we are to be hampered by any of these types of methods, then the west is no place for any professional man of ability to set up practice. I know that the Government have sympathy with this point but it is always better to air one's point of view rather than to keep everything to oneself.

I hope and trust that the Minister will keep a very careful eye on the progress of this industrial estate which has been set for Galway city. We shall not tolerate any undue delay in the laying-out of the site and the factory buildings, now that the decision has been made and the appropriate legislation has been put before the House.

Another point which I have come across in relation to industrialists especially from Galway city is that of two separate sections to deal with the issuing of re-export licences. One section deals with goods which will not be subject to any further processing and the other with goods which will be subject to further processing. Licences for each of these two types of goods are issued from two different buildings far apart in Dublin city. I should like to know why must duty be paid on these goods which are further processed. I know this duty will be refunded to a person who imports a commodity and does not intend to carry out any further processing on it except probably break it down into smaller units and re-export it. That person has to pay duty and it will be refunded when he re-exports the goods. If he can prove he carried out some processing on them he will get a re-export licence free, without paying any duty. These little things are hindering industrialists who are only interested in manufacturing for a profit. In doing that they give good employment.

To be in business and to deliver the goods on time and at the same time put up with this type of red tape from Government Departments is very difficult. The Department should be more reasonable. Quoting regulations to me is a complete waste of time because it is the interests of the country that are at stake. The Departments should be able to think like a businessman and act and move like a businessman rather than be continually quoting regulations. If these difficulties cannot be overcome special powers should be given to the Minister to say, where a simple case arises: "Issue the licence and do not hold everything up." To hold goods up at the docks is one of the cruellest pastimes of these people and anybody who has to go down to the customs to get goods cleared may take a good two days because you will be sent from Billy to Jack all over the place. That way of dealing with the public holds up industrial progress; it breaks a man's heart and takes away li = "2" fli = "-1"initiative and is not in the interests of the country.

If the Minister and ourselves are to expect industrialists to work to provide a better standard of living and make the economy more viable by helping progress the responsibility does not lie solely on the manufacturers. Much of the work they do, especially those involved in exporting, is concerned with people in Government Departments and more speed is required and a more reasonable attitude could be adopted by them and more businesslike methods. If that were done, if export facilities were improved, it would enable industrialists to make a profit more quickly and efficiently and reinvest the proceeds thus creating greater employment at a faster rate.

There seems to be some confusion in the Minister's Department about the interpretation of the words "further processing". This is very important because it means the difference between going to one or other of the two sections I have already mentioned. If a man is importing goods for further processing he will get a re-export licence free. I would be grateful if the Minister, when replying, would spell out for me and for any of the industrialists that I could inform what exactly the Department means by "further processing". If a man imports a commodity in bulk or in block form, grinds it and repacks it in smaller packages and gives good employment in this very small process and re-exports it and makes a profit, is that further processing? Is he to be held up paying duty and waiting for months with his capital tied up for a refund from the Department? If these two sections were amalgamated this rationalisation would mean greater efficiency and would greatly improve relations between Government Departments and industrialists engaged in import-export business.

Nobody can deny that the industrialisation policy of the Government has been a great success. The yearly increase in industrial employment bears this out quite clearly and the only unfortunate thing is that we have this continuous drain from the land, a problem which no country yet seems to be able to solve. Thank God for our industrialisation policy which has helped to maintain reasonable employment figures. Industrial employment has been making tremendous strides. A clear illustration of the progress brought about in the standard of living by this policy was brought to my notice quite recently in a factory in which I worked some years ago. I took great pleasure in seeing that the bicycle shed there had been taken away to make room for employees' cars. It is said that the 12 per cent was eroded but I do not altogether accept that statement: certainly, the people in my constituency are enjoying a better standard of living.

When trying to attract industries or discussing the setting up of new industries with industrialists, I recommend the Minister to concentrate on areas which are known to be growth centres which have proved themselves already, areas to which people are being attracted to live. I am very much against setting up factories in isolated areas in small towns where, if the slightest thing happens to the industry, the whole town is in mourning and it is the greatest disaster that could happen. That is bad policy and not one that you would be sure would succeed.

Greater emphasis could be placed on existing Irish industries. Whether owned by Irish people or foreign investors, they are employing Irish people. I refer to existing industries which have proved themselves in the open market and are manufacturing products which are selling well but because of lack of capital are hindered in expanding production. This is the type of industry I should like to see Government money poured into, with everything else taken into consideration. Where people have a market in which they have been trading for a number of years, they know the potential of the market.

I am not too sure it is safe to bring in industries which have to import their raw material. First, they give very little employment and that only in the factory itself. If we could use our own raw materials in the agricultural and fishery products, already mentioned by Deputy O'Donnell, we could have tremendous potential for industrial progress. If I were to put down a Parliamentary question about the volume of imports of foods which we grow in this country but which are imported in canned, bottled or other form, I think the figures would be very substantial. This would prove that we have the market here for our products if we were in a position to undertake further processing. Why import so much tomato ketchup and all the other ketchups? A very substantial amount of money is involved in imported salmon. At the same time, we export salmon. Can we not attract someone into this country to set up a salmon-canning factory?

The IDA seem to be too much attracted by big foreign industrialists. I agree that such industrialists can be of tremendous benefit to the country but if our native raw materials are used for the purpose of manufacture, there will be twice the employment content and increased employment for farmers and others handling the raw material before it reaches the factory and we will know something about the article being produced and thereby have a much greater chance of success in marketing and selling it.

I understand that there were announcements in the British House of Commons today as to the abolition of the ten per cent levy on imports into Britain by next November. I should like to express my welcome for this move and to say "thank you" to the British Government for finally withdrawing the levy which contributed so greatly to our present difficulties and the difficulties which we have been experiencing over the past few months. Despite the levy, we did make progress but we would have made far greater progress if the levy had not been imposed and the money spent in repaying to industrialists part of the levy could have been spent more productively, giving employment and increasing our wealth. This move by the British Government will be welcomed by all Irish industrialists. We could say that it is high time it was removed.

I am sorry the Chancellor of the Exchequer thought fit to make a request to British financiers voluntarily to restrain from investing in the four or five countries that he mentioned. I do feel honoured that he has included Ireland in the countries he named as developed countries, such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada. We have heard a great deal in various economic debates from the other side of the House that the country was bust. Some of that might begin to stick. Certainly, the British Chancellor recognises us at our real worth. Unfortunately, he is acting against us when he is asking for voluntary restriction on capital investment in the countries he mentioned. The people of Ireland are always prepared for a challenge and I am sure this challenge will be met when it comes.

I should like to conclude by endorsing the Minister's appeal to employers and workers to come together to increase productivity, to increase exports, to maximise our national product, to make Ireland an even better place to live in. By doing this, employers and workers will bring financial benefit and greater security to themselves.

I was eagerly awaiting one word of appreciation from Deputy Molloy of the Fine Gael Party for the efforts they made in putting the fish processing factory into Galway. Deputy O'Donnell made reference to it; Deputy Molloy made reference to it. I recall with very great satisfaction seeing the plans and sketches for that factory before the site was available and I can recall Deputy Dillon, as Minister for Agriculture, endorsing the establishment of that factory in Galway and saying that it was an area that deserved the establishment of a fish processing factory.

One would imagine, listening to the speeches of Fianna Fáil spokesmen, from time to time, that there was nobody who had any interest in industry but the Fianna Fáil Party. It would be well for them to recall that the first seeds of industrial development were sown by the former Deputy McGilligan when Minister for Industry and Commerce, that it was the first Government of which Deputy McGilligan was Minister for Industry and Commerce who considered the outlines of future industrial development. It was that Government who embarked on the provision of electricity from which we receive rural electrification today, one of the most successful schemes of native government. It was during Deputy McGilligan's period of office that the beet factories were established which have made an outstanding contribution to Irish industry.

I often wonder if the whole question of investment in industry has been given the serious thought by the Government that it merits. Whether we like it or not or whether we are satisfied with it or not, we are an agricultural country. If a small portion of the moneys that have been invested in industry had been invested in our principal industry, agriculture, we would be perhaps one of the most prosperous countries in the world today. It has been ordained by Providence that our country is an agricultural country. No matter what any Government may do, they cannot alter the fact that this is an agricultural country, despite all the efforts of various Ministers to convert it into an industrial country. Those efforts have been responsible for the fact that agriculture is in its present state of collapse and decay and has us in a state in which many of the industires established in recent years have not been the thriving success that was expected.

I want to pay this tribute to the present Minister for Industry and Commerce: he is noted for his understanding and courtesy. To be Minister for Industry and Commerce carries a very great and grave responsibility. A Minister for Industry and Commerce is responsible for the development of Irish industry on a proper and sound basis. Irish industry has a great challenge to meet. I have often wondered whether the Government have given sufficient serious thought from time to time to the amount of money they have invested in Irish industry and are satisfied that the money so invested has given a satisfactory and fair return to the taxpayers. It is indeed regrettable that our main industry has been so sadly neglected. However, that is the Government's policy and I presume they will follow it while they are in office.

I venture to say that among our industrialists we have some of the most outstanding industrialists in the world today. Many of the items which we produce can stand up to the test of world competition. It is only right that special reference should be made to the textile industry which provides very considerable employment and enjoys a very profitable export market. I am glad to note that efforts have been made by progressive men in the industry, like Mr. Declan Dwyer and others, who are now planning and reorganising their industry and looking ahead not for five years but for ten or 15 years, in order to be able to cope with the keen competition and the challenges which are likely to face the textile industry in the future.

I am sure that the Minister for Industry and Commerce will agree that the articles produced by the textile manufacturers reflect outstanding credit on the skill in this industry. We are often inclined to be shy and bashful about the quality of what we produce. I do not say that everything we produce is far superior to what is produced elsewhere, or of excellent quality. There may be times when what we produce may not be up to the standard we all desire but can anyone point to the country which produces everything for export which is of a 100 per cent excellence? What we export to Britain, Canada and the United States from this industry is equal to the best that can be produced in any part of the world. Those engaged in the textile industry deserve our appreciation for the manner in which they have handled the export of textiles and also for the manner in which they are preparing for the future and reorganising their industry. I hope any reasonable requests made either to the Industrial Development Authority or to the Minister will receive the fullest possible support in order that their programme of development may be assisted. It is a programme which I think is worthy of the fullest possible support.

Reference has been made to the pushing of the sale of Irish goods abroad. I have often felt that our sales organisation abroad was not as fully geared as it could or should be. There are many people in Canada, the United States and Britain of Irish descent or Irish connection who would be only too glad to purchase something manufactured in this country. However, for some reason or other, it is extremely difficult in every part of Britain to get supplies of Irish agricultural produce or other goods manufactured here. I remember a leading American businessman coming to this country and ordering supplies of frozen fish in Killybegs and then going to Clover Meats in Waterford and ordering supplies from them. He sent a consignment home and the goods were put in his stores in Jackson Heights. No sooner did they appear in his windows than there were queues lining up to purchase the fish from Killybegs and the products of Clover Meats. Before the merchant knew where he was, his consignment was sold out and he proceeded to have his orders repeated. He could not possibly come to Ireland for the purpose of obtaining every order and he was informed that it would not be possible for him to have continuous supplies. Later he was told that it would not be possible for him to have any supplies for 18 months. Then he was told it was unlikely that he could be guaranteed supplies. No keen businessman in the United States or anywhere else likes to have something displayed in his windows today that he cannot guarantee his customers he is going to have next week or the week after.

I understand that this gentleman made representations to our trade organisation in New York and that he was not too pleased with the outcome of his inquiries. I can remember on another occasion when he was home that he had a long consultation with General MacEoin on the matter. He said in my hearing that there were many thousands in the United States who were anxious to purchase goods of any description, once they came from Ireland, because of the association between this country and the United States, and they felt that thereby they were paying tribute to this country and saluting our manufacturers. In addition, there were many other reasons why they were anxious to purchase these goods. This merchant said he received many complimentary messages about the fish from Killybegs and the products from Clover Meats which he had displayed in his window. He said it was regrettable that he or any other merchant or agent could not be guaranteed continuous supplies.

When we are providing money for industrial development, we must ask ourselves whether we are providing this money wisely and economically, whether the industry in question will employ sufficient people and whether what the industry will produce will have a good demand on the export market. I think we have invested some tens of thousands of pounds of the taxpayers' money very foolishly, so far as some industries are concerned. I was alarmed recently to hear of the vast amount of Irish capital invested in the frozen foods factory near Banagher. I thought there was a future for that factory when it was opened by the Taoiseach a short time ago. Very large sums of the taxpayers' money have been invested in that industry. Now it is closed down completely. What will the Minister do with this factory? A number of people in Banagher and in the Laurencetown and Eyrecourt areas of Galway were employed in that factory. I do not like asking Parliamentary questions about a matter of this kind. It is bad enough seeing those people looking for employment, but I am satisfied that the money provided by the Irish taxpayers for such an industry must not have been well and wisely spent. A large number of farmers in the area contracted to grow peas, celery and other vegetables. They felt at that time that there was a tremendous future before them. Eventually, the factory did not take what they produced. Now it has closed down completely and is likely to be converted from a factory into a rockery. What is the Minister going to start in its place?

I have often wondered why Laois is the only county in Ireland where no industry has been set up. The Government are proposing to establish industrial estates in Waterford and Galway. I understand also a survey is being carried out at present which may lead to the setting up of an industrial estate in the midlands. If this takes place I would respectfully point out to the Minister the reasonable distance between Laois and Dublin and the efficient road and rail links between both places. Further, if it is intended that the port of Waterford be used to export the products of these factories, I would point out that Laois is not very far distant from Waterford either. Therefore, I would respectfully suggest that the area of Portlaoise be considered for the establishment of an industrial estate in the midlands.

At one stage there were great prospects of a milk processing industry being established in Durrow. The hopes of everybody in the town were high of having established there a worthwhile industry which would give outstanding employment. A site was available and was, I understand, approved by the promoters, who looked upon it as probably the most ideal site for this factory. But then it fell not to the Minister for Industry and Commerce but to the Minister for Agriculture to decide where the factory should go. Despite the fact that the industrial advisers had advised that the site at Durrow was the most suitable, the Minister asked to be presented with other sites. He was presented with a number of other suitable sites, and, wisely or unwisely, he selected a site not in Laois but in Kilkenny. The site convenient to Durrow, recommended as being in the best area for such an industry, was rejected. That leads me to believe that the present Government instead of helping to promote industrial development in my constituency have been responsible for depriving the county of that proposed industry at Durrow. That was wrong.

The industrial estate at Shannon has been the subject of criticism from time to time. I have been a believer in the setting up of that estate. I saw the work going ahead. While it may be true that raw materials had to be imported and foreign capital had to be sought for the setting up of those industries, I was satisfied to see Irish men and women working at home in their own country. I put this to any critics of the industrial estate at Shannon: would it not be better to see them working at Shannon for foreigners rather than see them working for foreigners outside their own country? I have no criticism to offer of the atmosphere of progress at Shannon. I wish it every success and good luck. I feel a little pat on the back might be more effective rather than an effort to pull down these industries before they are well up.

To satisfy my curiosity about Shannon I have visited it frequently. Any time I went down there I saw an improvement from the time before. If I am asked what I mean by progress, it is not what I consider to be good bookkeeping or whether it is a wise investment but the fact that I see men working, drawing pay packets and spending their money. That is what I consider to be good economics. If I see men and women working, drawing pay packets and producing a good article for export to any world market, that suits me. That is what I saw at Shannon. That is what I hope I will see in Waterford and Galway and that is what I hope I will see set up some time in the midlands. Many people may have reason to be critical of the setting up of these industrial estates. But before we offer criticism we at least ought to let them be set up, see what they will produce, see what the export market will be like, see how much the workers' pay packets will be and see what improvement will be effected in the standard of living of those living in the areas where these estates are set up.

It would be wrong to think that in the times in which we are living an industrial estate like the one at Shannon could go from success to success week after week and month after month. In the unsettled conditions that exist in the world, there must be some temporary setbacks from time to time. We all have those temporary setbacks in our business and in every branch of activity. I want to salute the work of the directors of the Industrial Estate at Shannon. They have done a good job and if there have been temporary setbacks, I am satisfied those men have sufficient training and experience to recover from them. If there are difficulties there, I hope the Government will come to the assistance of those people. It is amazing to me the number of people from County Clare, Limerick city, Limerick county and from as far as my own constituency who have been employed at the Industrial Estate at Shannon. While I am speaking on this Industrial Estate, let me refer to other projects in Waterford and Galway. I wish them success and I would appeal to the Minister to consider the setting up of an industrial estate in the County of Laois.

Reference has been made from time to time in the House to the industries set up at Baldonnel and Galway by M. Potez. Again I do not intend to be critical. I do not think it would be right to be critical, but one can be inquisitive without being critical. I am reading from the Irish Press of Tuesday, 29th March, the front page of which states: “The French aircraft manufacturer, M. Henri Potez, flew into Dublin last night for talks with the Government. He denied that either of his company's two factories in this country is in danger of closing down, and he also said that it is not true that Potez industries were in financial difficulties.” Of course it would be very hard to say the one at Baldonnel is closing down because it has not been opened yet. I quote again: “Asked how soon the aircraft factory at Baldonnel would go into production, M. Potez said: `That depends on the orders. In the aircraft industry you must have lots of patience and not expect results too quickly'.”

This factory for the manufacture of aircraft was set up when the manufacture of aircraft in every other country in the world was either at a standstill or completed. The report goes on to say, and this is the part that puzzles me: "M. Potez has already invested £3½ million in the Baldonnel project and the Government have put in a further £1 million odd."

£1,319,000.

May we ask the Minister, without being critical of M. Potez—and let us have every confidence and every trust in such an outstanding industrialist who has come to this country to manufacture aircraft; in fact it is a pity he did not bring more of his friends over along with him—if this gentleman has invested £3,500,000 in Baldonnel and if the Government have put up £1,319,000? Surely the building I look at every day when I come here has not cost almost £5 million to put there? Surely the machinery or the equipment inside could not have cost over £5 million? I should like to know on what this large sum of money has been spent in relation to Baldonnel. I hope the Minister will go into some detail in leaving the minds of taxpayers at ease in regard to investment in this industry.

I am glad to know from what M. Potez has said here that there is no danger of this industry closing down when it opens. When this man came over here to put money into an industry, he must have seen some possibilities in it. Men like him do not fly over here for the purpose of giving a present of £3,500,000 to the people and fly off again. Birds of that character are very rare. It may be that next year or the year after, or the year after that again, this will be a thriving industry and that according as orders for aircraft come in, they will be placed at Baldonnel. With the fabulous cost of aircraft at the present time, it is probably unlikely that big orders for expensive aircraft will be placed in a hurry, but we do know that aircraft cannot last forever and that all air services and air companies are most particular that their aircraft are skyworthy. In the future, when the aircraft market opens up again, we can hope that some of these orders may be placed in Baldonnel. It cannot be possible that this gentleman came over here last March to have talks with the Government and that the Government did not go into the facts with him. I presume the Minister for Industry and Commerce met him. A Minister cannot disclose confidential conversations he may have with an industrialist of this type who is keen, of reputable character and a man of courage, because any man who would invest £3,500,000 in the Baldonnel project must be a man of courage.

The Minister should clear up the situation once and for all and, if there are people uneasy about Baldonnel, he should make an effort to allay their fears. I am sure M. Potez knows whether or not there are likely to be any orders for aircraft within the next five years. That is why this Potez industry at Baldonnel and the industry at Galway have been the subject of criticism. May I say I offer no criticism? I judge all these industries by the pay-packets the workers get. If I see a man walking out with a good pay-packet, that is all that concerns me and all that concerns those engaged there. It helps to give the workers a good standard of living. I am prepared to take M. Potez at his word. We must have patience as it takes time to accumulate orders in the aircraft industry. If that is so, surely the Minister has gone deeply into it, and perhaps he will assure the House and those of us who are critical that there is no need for our fears and that this industry will most certainly warrant the huge amount of State investment and taxpayers' money that has gone into it.

What I want to guard against is the national investment of over £1,300,000 in this Baldonnel project meeting the fate of the Fresh Frozen Foods factory in Banagher. I had my doubts about the success of this Banagher project all along but I never made any reference to it in this House, the reason being that, if one criticises an industry before it is well on its feet, one is likely to harm its credit and damage its standing. I had every hope that the project in Banagher would continue and I do feel there is something wrong there. I hope the Minister has investigated how all the State money invested in the Banagher project has been spent. Is he satisfied this money was spent wisely and satisfied that the best technical advice was secured?

When there is fabulous State investment of that kind, I do not think the project should end up in disaster, as it did. That is why I feel the Potez industry at Baldonnel is one in respect of which, may I say with all charity, we should perhaps be patient until we see what orders may come. What gives me hope for that industry is the fact that this reputable gentleman who is prepared to invest those millions is satisfied that the industry will go ahead. If he is satisfied, it is well worth waiting to see what will happen. Mind you, there may be a limit to our patience.

What do we do then?

What does the Minister do then? The ball is at his foot.

That will be a job for the Minister for Industry and Commerce.

Hear, hear.

I am glad the Deputy thinks we will still be in power.

I do not mind who is in power; we on this side of the House are not concerned with power. We are only concerned with being what we are, a good Opposition, I hope, and by our wise counsel and our advice we may be able to help the Government to keep on the straight and narrow path.

I doubt it.

That is difficult because they have strayed from the straight and narrow path so many times.

(South Tipperary): They have sabotaged the economy to keep in power.

A good deal has been said from time to time about our markets abroad. That is why I want to take this opportunity, the first opportunity I have had in the House of doing so, to say that I have read criticisms in the papers and have heard speeches criticising severely the Irish pavilion at the World Fair in New York last year. I do not know if the Minister for Industry and Commerce saw the pavilion.

That pavilion was visited by millions of people. I am the first to take this opportunity of paying tribute to whoever was responsible for the selection of the site for the pavilion. It was very easy to select a site because of the extent of the World Fair ground and it could have been very easy to get a site that would be possibly out of view. I thought the site for the Irish Pavilion was splendid. A good many people have been critical about the design but I thought the design of the pavilion did this country credit and whoever was responsible deserves a clap on the back. I should also like to praise the films on Irish scenery which were put on daily.

I want to pay tribute to the manner in which the pavilion was laid out, and to pay a well-deserved tribute to the display of Irish products there. I can recall that on the two occasions on which I visited the pavilion there was a bale of briquettes on display. It was amazing to see the interest displayed in the Irish peat briquettes by visitors to the fair from the four corners of the world. It was the one thing in the Irish Pavilion that most certainly attracted attention. I do not know whether it was curiosity made people make inquiries but it at least gave us the honour of having something original.

I do not know what orders were taken at the World Fair, or if any orders were taken, but our Waterford glass was most certainly very well displayed there. Waterford glass can be described as the most select product exported from this country and we should be proud of the demand from many parts of the world today for it. It has certainly put Ireland on the map in many parts of the world. It is only when one goes outside the shores of this country, one really appreciates the very favourable comments one hears about our products. We Irish have one failing, that is, we are too fond of criticising each other and too fond of criticising what we produce and make. We always seem to have a good ear to listen to the outsider boasting about what he can do and are too fond of moaning and wailing about ourselves. I say we can do as well as the best of them in the world and that half of those outside this country who criticise what we do are merely jealous of us. May I say in relation to our whiskey—of which I am not a judge—that with good marketing organisation we could beat the Scotch black?

I want to pay a tribute again to the director in charge of the Irish pavilion, a civil servant of the Department of Industry and Commerce who knew his job and who showed great courtesy to everyone with whom he came in contact. That goes for all his staff in New York, too. They must have met millions of people in the two years they were out there. I venture to say there was no pavilion which extended the same courtesy or welcome as the Irish pavilion. The Irish pavilion, in so far as the United States was concerned, was our best possible advertisement for Waterford glass, for Irish whiskey and for the other Irish products displayed there. I spent a long time there looking and listening to people expressing views, anxious to see if they would be critical. If one wants to find fault, one most certainly will find fault but in so far as the display of Irish goods and Irish-manufactured products was concerned in the Irish pavilion in New York it was worth every penny piece spent on it. Not alone was it worth every penny piece spent on it but it is advertising of a kind which can be a great asset to Irish industry.

That is why I want to offer some criticism of the Government in relation to the pavilion in Exposition 1967 which takes place in Montreal next year. Due to economic and financial circumstances, the Government have put off the idea of the originally designed pavilion for Montreal. I think it was a terrible pity. I really feel it was one of the great tragedies. It is amazing the number of Irish people in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and generally in the province of Quebec who are looking forward to Exposition 1967 and, particularly, the great link between this country and Canada because the real father of the Canadian nation was an Irishman—Thomas D'Arcy Magee—and it is with great pride that any Irishman observes the high esteem in which Thomas D'Arcy Magee is held in Canada. Monuments and memorials to him are set up outside the Parliament and, mind you, no Canadian ever goes about blowing them up—a sane and civilised people who respect memorials to a great man who helped in the establishment of Canada as a nation.

Because of the great link between Ireland and Canada, it was a terrible pity, for the sake of a paltry sum, that Ireland should not have been at its best for Exposition 1967. We have a responsibility as a Government to put our country first. We are playing our part in the United Nations; we are playing our part in the maintenance of world peace in sending our Defence Forces to Cyprus and the Congo; and all over the world we are playing our part. We have played our part in the World Fair in New York and why not do so in Canada in 1967 by having the best possible pavilion there? I do not know if the Minister for Industry and Commerce saw the site picked out for the Irish pavilion in Montreal. Perhaps he did, but it was only a stone's throw from the Russian pavilion which probably will be one of the finest. Again, whoever was responsible selected from the huge plans of the pavilions of Exposition 1967 in Montreal the site for the Irish pavilion and it was ideal.

I have the feeling that the same good results, if not results better than those achieved in New York, would have come from our pavilion in Montreal in 1967. I should tell the Minister for Industry and Commerce there must be keen disappointment in every Irish-Canadian family throughout the length and breadth of Canada because of that decision. That decision may be due to the Government's financial and domestic problems but it is penny wise and pound foolish. I have always been a great believer in spending, and spending well, where we must spend. You do not get anything for nothing. The Irish have done well in Canada. Anyone who goes to the trouble of looking up the records will know that many Members of the Canadian Parliament have Irish connections—fathers, grandfathers or great-grandfathers who left this country before, during and after the famine years.

The Government have acted unwisely in this matter. They were probably afraid for many reasons that very severe criticism would be offered to the setting up of a pavilion at Expo 67. I do not offer that criticism. On the contrary, I criticise the Government because of their failure to do so. Every penny it was estimated that pavilion would cost would have been well worth spending. In the long run, it would be well worth our while to display what we produce. It is now too late for the Government to change their mind. I am sure the buildings on the site are well advanced.

Canada will be 100 years a nation this year. Here was one occasion on which we could have given some recognition to the close links and the friendship between Ireland and Canada and the part we played in setting up Canada as a nation. The least we could have done was to have a pavilion in Montreal. I should prefer to see a proper pavilion erected rather than something like a mission stall. Either do it well or do not do it at all. That is my motto. A job half done is no job. I most certainly am critical of the Government for the manner in which they handled this matter. I am sorry they did not do better, and it is probably too late now to do anything about it.

There has been a good deal of criticism of the relationship between employers and employees, and between workers, trade unions and employers. Strikes are bad in any country. I have never seen anyone coming out of a strike better off than when he went in. There is always a certain amount of losses on both sides. The relationship between trade unions, employers and employees must have broken down completely. The ordinary citizen thinks there must be no link between them. We have dispute after dispute and strike after strike.

I have not a great deal of confidence in the Labour Court as constituted at present. I am not satisfied with the long delays in making recommendations and the slow manner of dealing with these problems. The time has come for the Minister to face up to the situation. This calls for a new approach by which the employers, the employees and the Government would come together and see that these difficulties are ironed out. The Government should be a party to whatever agreement is reached between employers and employees. The Government cannot wash their hands like Pontius Pilate and say: "They are fighting between themselves. We have clean hands and a white veil. Let them fight it out." The people expect Government intervention.

We have lost more time through strikes than any country in the world probably. Is it any wonder that we are in the position we are in? Is it any wonder that our exports are not up to standard? Is it any wonder that we have a balance of payments problem? We have workers on parade carrying strike banners. Our export markets cannot be supplied because of trade disputes and the Minister and the Government are sitting looking on and doing nothing about it. I want to accuse the Government of inactivity.

Many people are inclined to blame the trade unions and the workers for looking for too much. That is not the case. Probably there is a cycle every 50 years. Fifty years ago the workers were treated as if they were dumb animals. They were fired around anywhere. They were fired out of employment. They had to take what they got. They had to work long hours and, if They did not work the long hours their employers wanted them to work, they were thrown on the streets. The employers acted so cruelly and so brutally 50 years ago that the workers were looked upon as mere servants on whom the employers could spit.

I am glad that those days have gone, never to return I hope. The employers no longer treat their workers as the scum of the earth. That day is gone. We are living in a new era and the worker is as good as the employer. The worker takes his place the same as the employer, and the worker is entitled to the same benefits as the employer. I do not know what the position will be in 50 years' time but I am glad, happy and proud that we have reached the stage now where the workers cannot be thrown around as if they were cobblestones.

Great tributes have been paid to the men of 1916. We salute them all. They had to work long hours and, if We all have our own opinions and, in my opinion, Connolly was the greatest of them all.

The Deputy is in the wrong Party.

I am giving my own opinion and I think Connolly was the greatest of them all. We all have our own favourites and some people may say someone else was the greatest of them all. They were all great men, probably the greatest Ireland has ever produced and probably the greatest that Ireland will ever produce. Men of their ability, courage, loyalty and devotion are not to be had today, and it is unlikely that they will be there in the future. We must realise that the position today is not as it was years ago. The workers' turn has come. We rejoice that the workers have now taken their place and can no longer be trampled upon or thrown out of employment. They can no longer be given a pittance to live on, and they can no longer be asked to drudge for long hours by night as well as by day. We rejoice in the fact that we have a strong trade union movement. If we had not, God help the masses of the workers. If it were not for the trade union movement, there might be some employers who would blame the Irish workers today the same as they did 50 years ago. I repeat that day has gone. Now we realise the time has come in which employers and employees must work together. Neither the worker nor the employer gains anything by staying out.

We are faced with a bank strike next week. This is another unfortunate set of circumstances in which somebody from the Government should intervene immediately in order to prevent chaos following on this action. The Government must give a lead in this. They must take some practical steps. They must set up machinery whereby workers, employers and the Government will all be bound together. All three must work together. If you leave it only for two, you will not have any harmony. You will have one trying to get ahead of another. The Government must show responsibility and must see that there is co-operation between the employers and the employees. That is why I hope that at some future date there will be a sane approach to this whole problem and that we may see an end to those unfortunate strikes which are now taking place practically every day in the week.

I do not wish to go into what has or has not been responsible for this. What has been done has been done. We know the last round of wage increases, together with the turnover tax and the suspension of the food subsidies, as well as Government policy, have aggravated all these circumstances considerably. That is the way it was at the last general election. The people had an opportunity then but they still put the present Government back. We expect that some firm steps will be taken to have a sane approach to the whole question of a wages policy. This is not impossible and I hope that practical steps will be taken by the Government to deal with the matter.

I want to express regret for detaining the House so long and also for detaining the Minister who I know is anxious to have his Estimate passed through quickly. Today, Mr. Callaghan, the British Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced that the British ten per cent levy on goods entering Britain will go in November next. That is welcome news to Ireland. I hope and trust somebody from the Government will sit down and write a little note of appreciation to him about this matter. I am sure the Taoiseach will write to Mr. Wilson and I am sure the Minister for Industry and Commerce will also write to his opposite number. The removal of this levy will be a great help because many of our industries were really worried about the imposition of the ten per cent levy. They were worried when it was 15 per cent. Some of them were worried that the levy was likely to last for a long time. I am glad the British Government decided to end it. It will be a considerable asset to industrialists in this country. Now that this levy will go soon we should express our appreciation and our grateful thanks to the British Government, Mr. Callaghan and his colleagues, for the step they have taken.

It was probably necessary for the British Government to impose this levy because of balance of payments problems. This was the same problem as faced Deputy Sweetman in this country in 1956 and 1957. We all hope the British economy will thrive. They are our nearest neighbours and our best neighbours. They are only a stone's throw away from us and it is encouraging that the Government have become converts to the value of the British market. We all welcome that conversion. We should express our thanks to the British Government and tell them that we will do the best we can to step up on our exports to Britain and that where we are bringing in on a quota basis to this country we hope to increase that. We should also say to them that we hope to increase our export trade and to step up our standards so that we will send the best we can into Britain from this country, that the standards will be as high as possible so that the trade between our two countries will improve. That will reflect great credit on the ability and skill of the Irish workers engaged in industry.

I want to say a few words in reference to our Irish workers in industry. They certainly rank as the best. Many years ago our workers were not trained in industry. We have been told by many foreigners that the Irish workers are very quick to acquire the skills. That is a very fine tribute to the training our Irish workers get in industry. State investment in industry is £74 million which gives employment to 35,000 people. I sincerely hope that the Minister's aim will be to increase the numbers employed in industry in this country and, in addition, that he will see to it that every penny of the Irish taxpayers' money invested in industry will be wisely invested and not invested in projects which are unlikely to succeed. God knows, the Irish taxpayers are finding it hard enough to pay taxes without having their money invested in some faulty industry that will burst like a balloon overnight, with resultant loss to everybody.

Again, I appreciate the Minister's patience. I most certainly appreciate his courtesy. It is a great pity that his colleagues in the Government do not follow his example. He is always prepared to listen. He is a man who is prepared to give advice and enter into consultation with various groups. I wish him every success in the year ahead. I hope it will be a year in which he will be able to step up industrial exports, a year in which he will be able to get rid of the strike plague in this country in the knowledge that he will be increasing the numbers employed in industry. I hope he will seek to improve the standard of living of industrial workers to the best of his ability.

Mr. O'Leary

This must be about the fifth occasion on which an opportunity has been given to us to discuss the economic situation during this Eighteenth Dáil. It is a measure, I suppose, of the intractable problem this Government face in our economic expansion and anybody looking reasonably at the present situation, whatever goodwill he might feel towards the Minister, cannot feel that an honest analysis of the present situation gives any room for being over-happy about the progress made or about the future. The employment targets have more or less fallen down and the Minister presides over a Department which must realise that whatever the suggested potential of employment is, the actual employment figures recorded during the past two years have been extremely disappointing.

In a situation marked by a lot of industrial unrest, a reaction which is understandable, we have pointed out the reasons for the industrial unrest. This unrest is not founded on the whims of agitators for reasons we cannot understand. It is pretty clear why it exists. It is tragic that in a situation marked by such industrial unrest, the situation in respect of the expansion of employment is not better. It is bad that the Government cannot point with solid assertion to an area of increasing employment.

The Minister, in the opening part of his statement, said that a survey is intended of the amount of industry in this country, its pattern and development. This is long overdue. It seems to me that during the past few years there has been uncritical acceptance of foreign investment, the trends in which have not been investigated as deeply as we should wish them to be —the growth of these industries, the markets they are seeking and the employment potential that may realistically be achieved. Part of the problem may be that in the case of many of the new industries their development may have been insufficiently equipped for us to assess the technical problems and there appears to have been a cavalier attitude to the chances of success of certain industries. It is not enough to say loosely that in this type of expansion, based on private enterprise, failures are an essential accompaniment of success. The investment of taxpayers' money is something the House is concerned with. This is not a country in which we can dig deeply into the taxpayers' pockets. Here every £1 must be spent with the most realistic motives and after the fullest investigation.

My Party are not convinced that this searching analysis has been undertaken. There has been a too slaphappy acceptance of the most flimsy estimates, made after the most cursory examination. The Government may deny it but this is the way it appears to me.

There is no point in pointing the finger at any particular industry or factory, but there has been quite a formidable array from the different constituencies of industries that in one way or another have been helped by State cash and for extremely uncertain reasons. The Minister mentioned the uncertainty which he thinks has been the problem of Irish management and which has been dispelled by the Free Trade Agreement with Britain. The recent Report on Progress and Adaptation, from my reading of it, does not give an encouraging picture of the future of Irish management from the point of view of its preparedness for freer trade. The Minister speaks about plans for practical adaptation but in June we shall be in the first stage of a free trade era and I do not see this note of urgency in management from the point of view of what we are entering. I know the Minister and his colleagues in the Cabinet have gone to exhaustive dinners throughout the country——

Exhausting.

Mr. O'Leary

You ate them; I did not. From a trade union point of view, I do not think we have seen the response from management which the present situation demands. I do not see much point in sending a telegram of congratulation to the British Government because, some months after the opening of the Free Trade Area, in November, they will lift the import levy. That shows the shallow bargain we made with them—that there will be a retrospective period, as it were, before the British catch up with the elements we had thought would immediately follow our Free Trade Agreement, and I disagree with Deputy Flanagan that we have anything to be proud of in this respect.

However, that is by the way. The Minister mentioned that we will have to reassess the incentives we are giving to industries at the moment. Indeed, this will be quite a problem because there are many areas in these islands which are giving incentives to attract new industries which are much more comprehensive and far more attractive than we have been offering to try to get new industries established here. From this point of view, there will be an extremely testing period before us if this policy of ours, which the Government are committed to, of luring in industries with tax incentives, is to be of any use from the point of view of expansion of employment. There are areas in England, in Scotland and Northern Ireland where industries are being attracted by a far larger purse than we have been using. On the kind of logic the Government have been following so far, their only hope would appear to be to make even more attractive their efforts to lure industries to this country.

I hope that at a very early stage the Minister will give this House an opportunity of discussing in what direction the Government policy of incentives is going. It is extremely important it should be debated at the earliest possible opportunity, if and when any decision has been arrived at. Leaving aside the general problem of adaptation for the moment, the Minister's speech says that 600 firms have formulated adaptation plans. Coming down to the actual figures of the physical implementation of the plans, we should get away from the cosiness of round figures about plans and potentials: we should be told what Irish management has done to prepare for freer trade.

I am not too confident that one section of our industry which apparently was to reap most benefit from the trade agreement with Britain, the manmade fibre industry, is in a position to capitalise on any advantages from free trade The Minister has expressed a pious hope that this industry will have taken advantage of the six-month period leading to free trade. I do not have much evidence that management in this area will really capitalise to the extent the Minister appears to think, as expressed in his statement.

On the question of general adaptation, the trade union advisory bodies which have been set up have not been, I think, fully utilised to the limit to which they could have been utilised. I have a feeling, and there is a slight impression left by the Minister's statement, that these advisory bodies have largely been used to report work that has gone on elsewhere. I do not think they have been involved in the actual routine work or in the making of important decisions on adaptation and it is not sufficient in that connection to say that some problems peculiar to management can be shared with the workers' side.

Progress reported; Committee to sit again.
The Dáil adjourned at 10.30 p.m. until 3 p.m. on Wednesday, 4th May, 1966.