Committee on Finance. - Industrial Grants (Amendment) Bill, 1966: Second Stage.

I move that the Bill be now read a Second Time.

The main proposals of the Bill are, firstly, to provide for the establishment and administration by An Foras Tionscal of industrial estates, with factory premises for renting, in development centres and, secondly, to continue in operation for a further period the scheme of enlargement and adaptation grants to assist industrial undertakings in preparing for free trade conditions.

To take the first proposal—Deputies will have seen the Report of the Committee on Development Centres and Industrial Estates and the statement of policy indicating the Government's attitude to the proposals in the Report. For the convenience of Deputies I might recall that it is the intention on completion of the regional surveys being undertaken by the Minister for Local Government to identify development centres in each region. Meanwhile, it is proposed to proceed with the development of industrial estates at Waterford and Galway. The necessary powers to enable An Foras Tionscal to establish and administer industrial estates are contained in section 4 of the Bill.

I should like to make it clear that the identification of development centres and the setting up of industrial estates is not intended to involve the discouragement of industrial development at other locations where there are no industrial estates. The Government have already indicated in the policy statement to which I have referred that the dispersal of industrial activity throughout the country, where this is economically feasible, yields important social advantages, and that, in the administration of the industrial grants scheme, the location of industries in other development centres will be encouraged. It is confidently expected, however, that the development of industrial estates will attract thereto industries which might not otherwise have been located in Ireland at all but for the facilities offered at these estates.

It is also proposed in the Bill that An Foras Tionscal should be empowered to make available, at reduced rents, factory premises situated in industrial estates administer by An Foras Tionscal and also to make grants available towards the reduction of rents for factory premises situated in what may be termed private industrial estates. This power is inherent in the provisions of section 4 in relation to estates administered by An Foras Tionscal and a specific provision is made in section 9 in relation to estates in the other category. When factories are made available at reduced rents it is the intention that the reduction in rent would not be more advantageous to an industrialist than the amount of a grant which he would have been given under the existing legislation.

I am sure that the House will agree that the industrial grants scheme which has been in operation for a considerable time and under which assistance is provided in appropriate cases to industrialists who build their own factories, has been an important factor in the progress so far achieved in industrial development. I am satisfied that the provision of factories on inindustrial estates at attractive rents will represent a significant extension of the range of incentives available for industrial development and, therefore, should stimulate activity among industrialists contemplating industrial projects that are suitable for location in an industrial estate.

Under the existing legislation the aggregate maximum expenditure provided for in relation to grants which the Minister for Industry and Commerce may make to An Foras Tionscal is £30 million. It is not proposed to increase this amount, at least for the time being. Section 3 of the Bill proposes, however, to increase from £20 million to £30 million the aggregate amount of grants An Foras Tionscal may make for industrial development.

It is also proposed, in section 5, that An Foras Tionscal should be empowered to recruit staff for the administration of industrial estates. As the type of work involved will be more akin to commercial activities than normal Civil Service procedures, it is desirable that An Foras should have this power so as to ensure flexibility in staffing arrangements both in the administrative and technical spheres.

Deputies will recall that in March last, I had the "Report on the Progress of Industrial Adaptation" prepared and presented to the House. This report sets out in fair detail the steps which have been taken to prepare industry for the coming of freer trade. It also indicates that in many respects the work of industrial adaptation is far from complete. However, the failure of some firms to seek assistance and the lack of progress in certain directions mentioned in the report may be due to the uncertainty that had obtained regarding our future trading relations. This uncertainty has now been largely dispelled and it is to be hoped that more firms will urgently apply themselves to the task of adaptation.

The legislation which enabled An Foras Tionscal to assist firms by way of special grants, not exceeding 25 per cent of cost, expired on 31st March, 1966. The Government feel that if the impetus towards adaptation which has been generated is to be maintained and strengthened the continuation of the grants scheme is necessary and one of the purposes of this Bill is to extend the operation of the scheme to 31st December, 1967, as provided for in section 2 of the Bill.

Up to 31st December, 1965, some 600 firms had formulated adaptation proposals representing a capital investment of over £55 million. In addition, as is indicated in the report, the adaptation councils have been applying themselves to the solution of the various problems highlighted in the reports of the Committee on Industrial Organisation. The council in some industries have achieved quite good results. Others have not as yet made any real impact on the wider aspects of adaptation—joint marketing, training, etc.—which involve cooperation between individual firms in the same industry or in related industries.

There is an urgent need for a great burst of activity in these aspects of adaptation—equally urgent, I would say, with the need for progress in physical adaptation by way of modernisation of equipment, expansion of premises and the like. I am confident that the desired progress will be realised as I think it is fair to say that industry is now far more aware of the need for adaptation measures than it was when the legislation was first introduced. This, of course, is hardly a matter for surprise. The conclusion of the trade agreement with Britain brings us to the threshold of free trade and it is only the most ostrich-like mentality that could in present circumstances ignore the need for drastic changes in all aspects of industry. Evidence of the new and more realistic outlook is afforded by a sharp increase in the number of applications for grants received in the quarter ended 31st March, 1966.

I do not propose to delay the House by going into the matter too deeply as the report which I have mentioned is up-to-date and covers the ground in a most comprehensive way. I would, however, like to repeat what I said in a foreword to that report "It is clear that much has been achieved; it is also clear that more remains to be done. Action cannot now be postponed. Now is the time for an all-out effort to ensure that what has still to be done will be tackled with energy and completed with speed".

I recommend the Bill for the approval of the Dáil.

It is a matter of extreme gratification to the Fine Gael Party, who in company with the Labour Party were responsible originally for setting up this legislation for industrial grants, to find that the Government have now acceded to our request that there should be changes in this legislation. Following the period 1956 to 1957, when at the outset this legislation was opposed by the Party now forming the Government, experience showed the necessity for change. Year after year, and in particular in the past two years when we demanded this change, the Government were behaving with the stolidity of a bullock and the inflexibility of a mule. Today it is pleasing to find there is a step forward and that in fact what we have been demanding from this side of the House, while not granted completely, has been acceded to in part. We do not think the Government have gone far enough in this amending Bill but we will support it as far as it does go. We feel good will come from it.

I want, however, to refer to one change in relation to adaptation grants which is not a step forward but a step backwards. The first announcement by the Government of adaptation grants brought with it the statement that these grants would be subject to a time factor. The idea was that the Minister's lá na scolb would be immediately with us rather than that the manufacturers would have a long time in which to delay and find themselves caught out by conditions of freer trade either in the Free Trade Area or the Common Market. This was a good idea but the date set was an incentive rather than a fact. We knew people could not either physically or financially complete their adaptation by that date and it was felt all along there would be an extension of it. In the extension we now have in section 2 of the Bill, we also find a change. Originally, those seeking adaptation grants, who had not the application completed in detail but wished to proceed, were allowed to proceed with the adaptation work and take the risk of having their grants approved or rejected. The position in the new legislation is that in fact the adaptation work for which an application is made cannot be retrospective to 1960 but must refer to work to be done in the future.

I believe this restriction is brought about by the shortage of money at present so far as the Government are concerned. I hope it will be removed. There are companies who find themselves in the position of knowing that as free trade with Britain becomes a fact they will either have to adapt quickly or find themselves put out of business. A detailed application for an adaptation grant can take as long as 12 to 18 months to produce. People have to deal with their architects and engineers. They have to select the particular type of machinery and get quotations for it. It is amazing the amount of delay there is at present in getting these prices and getting the whole thing on paper. From that point of view, section 2 is to a certain extent restrictive. It is something that can be looked into in the future.

I welcome the suggestion that industrial estates are to be set up elsewhere than in Shannon where they are a success. The interesting point—it is no more than an interesting point now—is that Shannon was set up to create air freight. The last figure I saw in relation to this was that only 18 per cent of the products of the factories there were in fact going out by air. I would like to see more of it going by air. However, so long as the factories are operating and employment is being created, the good being done is quite sufficient in relation to the expenditure involved. It is an indication that the right decision has been made in going to other centres of industrial growth to set up industrial estates.

The figure for air freight at Shannon is surprising when you analyse it. It may have improved since. When you take into consideration that one of the factories there is a computer factory and the other makes radio and television components for America, it is extraordinary that the figure is so low. However, if the industrial estate at Shannon is a success, we should proceed along these lines. I would suggest that Shannon has succeeded better than the system of individual grants. Of course, these must be there also because you cannot send every industrialist to an estate like an Indian reservation if he wants to go somewhere else; but at the same time the system whereby factory bays are built and remain the property of the Government and the system outlined by the Minister today whereby the grant is given to the factory in the form of reduced rent show the flexibility that was not there up to now and which we on this side of the House were demanding so vociferously.

This question of setting up centres for industry is something that can cause a very considerable amount of local political agitation and is something for which the Minister can find himself under severe criticism. I would much prefer if, instead of workers emigrating from Leitrim to Birmingham, they could go to an industrial estate in Sligo. Where there are ten or 12 units of industry in the same place, one can help the other. I remember being in Birmingham on one occasion trying to get an industrial machine which was delayed and which was holding up production very seriously. I was in the office of an executive in a factory where grain dryers were being manufactured. That executive was in the position, in relation to component parts which he himself was not manufacturing, to pick up the phone and ring fellows called Bert, Joe and Fred with whom he discussed to what football match they were going on Saturday and where he would meet them for a point on the way home from work, and he could get these component parts moved up in the queue in that factory so that sufficient machines could be produced. That is one of our difficulties, inherent in the fact that we are not a large industrial nation. It is a great advantage to an industry when there are other ancillary industries within the estate all being able to ring up and help one another so that production and delivery schedules can be adhered to. I believe industrial estates are one of the excellent moves forward which should have been made years ago.

Ownership of the factory by the Government is something I entirely support. If abona fide manufacturer comes here with the intention of setting up a factory, putting in his own money, the Government can give him a grant in the form of reduced rent or give part of the grant in cash and give the rest of the grant in the form of reduced rent. If he is a bona fide manufacturer, he would welcome that situation. In the event of production stopping the factory would revert to the Government and there would be an opportunity of re-starting production by leasing the factory to some other manufacturer and thus keeping employment in the district.

I could give an example of this. The Minister said I was taking credit for it, but I was not. Something I said at a meeting was picked up and, willynilly, an announcement was made. I am sure it has happened to the Minister also. However, this has been guarded against in the particular industry I have in mind. No matter what side of the House we are on we are keeping our mouths shut, and announcements are being given to us all at the same time. I refer to the GEC factory in Dundalk and the happy situation that has developed with Emerald Isle at Shannon. There was a long period when this factory was lying empty and when we were in the position of having our shekels on a racehorse and hoping it would come home. We would be on something like the favourite if the Government owned such factories and if they were freely available and if we could guarantee the goodwill, that was obviously there with the GEC, to get something elsemoving within the factory. When production stops in a factory it should be possible for the Government and Foras Tionscal to move in and get it started again. It is fortunate that down in Louth this happy situation developed of itself through the goodwill of the vacating company. This is excellent, but again we should not be put in the position of having our shekels on a racehorse. We should be in the position of owning the factory and giving the industrialist the advantage of reduced rent.

This step forward is being copied from British legislation. There is nothing wrong with copying the other fellow's good things. The Minister can see how it operates and if it succeeds with the other fellow, there is the chance it will succeed with him. This has been copied from legislation in Britain which was set up when the shipbuilding industry declined. Particularly in Lancashire, in the northern part of England and Scotland, the establishment of industries was encouraged by the leasing of factories at low rents. This is also being done in Northern Ireland with considerable success.

This is the sort of flexibility we need, particularly when we consider the situation of the Minister for Transport and Power, who was described here this morning by Deputy Dillon as the wizard boy, in regard to what happened in Clones, the £12,000, and the legal situation of the Minister for Industry and Commerce. I agree with the Minister there has to be risk but it horrifies me to think of that happening in a place like Clones, particularly having regard to the position of the Minister for Transport and Power in that area at the moment. It makes one realise that the other system of renting space is far better.

Would the Deputy talk about Castleblayney where there was a very interesting development some years ago?

This was a very different situation in that the wizard boy, the Minister for Transport and Power, was very insistent that Deputy Dillon should go away and stay away. Deputy Dillon, being the gentlemanly kind of person he is, went away and stayed away, and now all the poor man has to do is to get the £12,000 back for the builder of the factory.

I wish to talk about the question of grants for new factories in any place in the country, outside presumably those procured by the manufacturer himself. As I said, the degree of flexibility that could exist in the giving of grants and loans simply does not exist. The only flexibility, prior to the introduction of this Bill, is the flexibility whereby a grant can be converted into the interest factor in the repayment of a loan. That can be done in conjunction with the Industrial Credit Company and it is a good thing. That is the only degree of flexibility and the factory premises are largely used by the manufacturer for the purpose of getting money perhaps from the commercial banks. Very often they are mortgaged. That is all right so long as there is success. When there is failure, it is both embarrassing and annoying for the Minister to find himself under criticism here, with the green grass growing around the doors of the factory and the Minister unable to do anything about it.

I want now to suggest a few ways in which more flexibility could be introduced. The Minister in his reply on the Estimate said that if there were freedom from income tax on goods for home consumption, that would affect competitors producing a like article. That is quite true, but there are instances in which this would not be the pattern. Mention has been made of an aeroplane factory on the Nass Road. That factory would produce only aeroplanes and aeroplanes are not produced by anybody else.

Are not produced—full stop.

No one here is buying aeroplanes. Suppose Guinness's and Goulding's bought executive aircraft, if there were freedom from income tax on the profits of those aircraft, then the Minister could leave the money with the people concerned for the relief of Potez or as a grant towards the establishment of a new industry. That is from the sublime to the ridiculous, but there are many products which are not made by anybody else and there are many products which are being made for the first time. One could not do this with electrical products because you have GEC and EI and Philips. One could not give freedom from income tax for home production in alleviation because, if one did, one would place them in a better positionvis-à-vis their competitors. But there are products in relation to which this could be done and this degree of flexibility would be very valuable. It would be one way of giving grants to a responsible firm without handing out large sums of money for the building of factories, factories which do not belong to the Minister and which may lie idle for years unless one has the goodwill I mentioned this morning in a specific case.

The Minister has made no reference to the grading of grants and to the giving of the highest percentage of grants to those industries prepared to manufacture from raw materials freely available here. A factory established here to process the raw material from the land is far more valuable than a factory which has to import its raw material. That is not to say there should be a severe disincentive to industries importing raw materials but we have not yet succeeded here in processing our agricultural produce to the degree to which we should process it and exporting it to the great centres of population. Erin Foods are making an effort in that direction but it is no secret that profitability is in question there. I hope it will be successful. I would wish that every possible effort would be made by the Government to encourage this major effort capitalwise and every other way. There does not seem to have been any great attempt at that. Indeed, where an effort has been made, it is regrettable that there have been a few failures.

Grants should be graded and the greater grant given to those prepared to manufacture from native raw materials. We must also have a much greater examination of opportunities abroad. That is very necessary. Córas Tráchtála are doing a good job and the Minister indicated in his Estimate that there will be an examination by a specialist firm of our industrial potential. We would also need a very specialised and comprehensive report of opportunities abroad particularly in relation to goods which have their roots in native raw materials.

The Minister mentioned failure. He mentioned 13 firms that had failed, representing four per cent and a sum of £499,000, and he suggested there were as many failures under the interParty Government.

As many in proportion to the years you were there.

The Finance (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act and the Industrial Grants Act left only a year of paper operation and by the time Foras Tionscal got off the ground, there would be a further estimated number of months.

I go back to 1952.

The Minister is referring now to grants for industries in the undeveloped areas?

There is a catch in that and the Minister will not catch me out that easily. The first legislation giving grants for the whole country was in 1956-57.

The point I was making was that Ministers were interfering and, once Ministers interfere, failure follows. The number of failures was proportionate under each regime.

The only legislation in 1952 was legislation for the underdeveloped areas and that cannot be compared with the present legislation, which is for the whole country, and the foundation for which was laid in 1956-57.

It is a different point.

I do not want to find myself at variance with the Minister. Maybe I was a little hard on him a couple of days ago and I should make amends. I should like to know who produced this scoreboard. The question is what have been chalked up as failures? The Minister indicated that failures amount to £499,000 or four per cent.

There were more failures in the Deputy's time.

I do not accept that. The Minister is mixing up the Undeveloped Areas Act with the Finance (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act of 1956 and the Industrial Grants Act of the same year. That is not a valid comparison. The best thing we can do is, I suppose, to part company on that. The figure of £499,000 is not a factual figure. Chalked up on the scoreboard, there has not been any industry about which a final decision has not been taken: I do not know. However, if you are to count up on the scoreboard of failures in the £499,000 cases where finalisation has not taken place, if you chalk up the Clones factory where the unfortunate contractor is waiting for £12,000——

The Deputy wants future failures.

No. I want to know if the file is not closed, which is exactly what has happened when the Minister produced his figure. It is not counted up as a failure because, if such were so, a far greater sum than £499,000 would be involved. We, on this side of the House, are quite prepared to accept the risk but we suggest that the degree of failures has been too high. The flexibility which has, in part, been injected into the grants and encouragement of industry by this Bill, is good. We suggest it is not good the whole way and that, in fact, inflexibility in the past was the cause of the high degree of failures. If the Minister had designed this three or four years ago and introduced the degree of flexibility he is introducing now, these failures would be far fewer.

The Minister says we are like the surgeon who never gives an opinion until after the operation. Then he produces another medical term in the next sentence. He refers to his diagnosis of the industrial grants situation. We do not want a diagnosis; we want a remedy.

I was diagnosing the criticism.

With regard to the Potez factory and the Minister's reference to the surgeon who never gives an opinion until after the operation and his assertion that he did not hear us say there should not have been a factory when it was first suggested, may I remind him that we on this side of the House are not on the inside and are not responsible for the situation? It is the Minister's responsibility. I will give him full marks for this: it is a sign of a good Minister when he accepts complete responsibility for his Department. However, it is his responsibility and nobody else's to see to it that the decisions made are right and proper. It is our right and our duty to say now: "This does not look as if it will be a viable proposition." However, it would not be right nor would it be proper or correct of us, when a project is first mooted and when we know no more than we see in theEvening Herald or perhaps in the Evening Press, to produce opinions while the Minister and his advisers in An Foras Tionscal and other places have files available to them on the subject as thick as their wrists. We are not meant to be soothsayers and fortune-tellers or to decide whether an industry is good, bad or indifferent, judging by the scanty knowledge an Opposition may have. It is the Minister's pigeon: he can shoot it. It is not ours. It is our duty merely to comment on legislation and to suggest other legislation which it is felt should be introduced; this we have done.

This measure is half the way we have to go and, in that context, we welcome it.

I shall be very brief because I think the subject has been very adequately covered by the Minister and Deputy Donegan. Of course we approve of the decision now taken in the Bill before the House. However, there are a few matters on which I should like to comment. It does appear that the Minister is now attempting to come into line with Northern Ireland and to regain the position we had when we were able to compete because, over the past six or 12 months, Northern Ireland was, in fact, swiping industries which might have come here but for the change in the legislation down there. I hope this will remedy the position.

I am rather disturbed about the situation regarding industrial adaptation. As the Minister now says, there is a big upsurge in applications from people who want to adapt their factories. Is the Minister satisfied that present finances will be adequate for requirements? Is there a danger that there will now be a rush by people to do something which they should have been doing for some years past but particularly in the past six months? The Minister may find himself in financial difficulty in this regard. The matter requires immediate attention if that is so.

While it is all right to talk about the success of the Shannon Development Area, which is at present being considered, the Minister will need to be very careful that, in putting the accent on this type of development, he does not perhaps accidentally affect existing industry. We do not want to see any more ghost towns. Because of the setting up of a development area, we do not want to see workers and industry being channelled away from areas where their families have lived for many generations. There is a danger of that if the matter is pursued too far. The Minister will have to be very careful about the siting of these industrial areas. I know that the temptation to plant one of them in out-of-the-way places where there is no other type of employment must be very great. The Minister should make use of the information which was made available as a result of an OECD survey which proved, a few years ago, that, no matter how well an industry may be established in an out-of-the-way place, there is a great danger that, because of lack of social amenities to which workers and, indeed, the management of the factory have been used and because of the extreme difficulty in getting proper housing accommodation, unless a town is built up around the actual industry, that type of industry is inclined gradually to close down.

It is true that in France, Germany and, indeed, in a number of other central European countries, in particular, quite a number of industries closed within a period of two to three years of their start, even though it appeared at the time of their initiation that they were bound to be successful. The only possible explanation was that they were in such an out-of-the-way place that the people were not prepared to stay there. Because of the high incidence of unemployment in this country, it may be felt that perhaps that cannot happen. While we agree with Deputy Donegan's theory that if you cannot find a job in Leitrim, then the next best thing is a job in Sligo or elsewhere, nevertheless, if the Government continue with the system of setting up industry they should, as far as possible, try to keep the people to be employed there in their own area.

I entirely agree with the sentiments of Deputy Donegan about the accent on native material and particularly agricultural material. I mentioned on the Minister's Estimate, and I repeat, that the big trouble in this country is that we have been trying to set up industry mainly with working materials which have to be imported, manufactured and re-exported. If we can use native materials and particularly try to use the products of the land, including fruit, vegetables and other crops, and timber, there is some hope of success and there is not the danger of an upset abroad which may close down these artificial factories which have been set up in many places and which do not seem to survive.

There are certain very notable exceptions but in general there is far greater hope for industries based on native material. The Government should not be ashamed to subsidise them, if necessary, until they get a good hold. It is too bad that some of those in existence do not seem to be going so well. There must be some solution to the problem. The management or somebody else must be making mistakes. It is too bad that the beet sugar industry does not seem to be going well, that the beet acreage and production seem to be dropping unless we import certain types of raw material. If the Government are really serious about industrialisation, they must find a solution for the ills of existing industries.

Another point I should like to make is that attention must be given to numerous small industries, particularly in rural Ireland, that have been carrying on with a small labour force and small output for a long time. Sometimes it is a business that has been in the family for generations and they have not been able to increase output or labour content because they cannot get money. One criticism I have of Foras Tionscal is that they seem to be very careful about assisting people like this who want to improve their industry and employ more and more men. The number of forms sent to such industrialists, the queries put to them and the investigation carried out before eventually they get a stencilled letter telling them that for one reason or another, they do not qualify—all this is a poor encouragement to people attempting to improve themselves and their families and provide work for the neighbouring workers anxious to find employment. An effort might be made in this Bill to reverse this tendency and change the emphasis.

While County Louth, for instance, has been particularly successful in getting industries, County Meath does not share that good fortune. The other day I spoke about the strong Deputies, strong backbenchers and strong Opposition members, and that applies very well here because in Louth we have the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister and an active Deputy in Opposition and Louth has got—and I compliment them on it—quite an amount of industry.

Is the Deputy himself not active?

But I would need the assistance of an active Minister and perhaps an active Parliamentary Secretary to achieve what I want. We had an opportunity some time ago of getting a fishmeal factory in Mornington and for some reason it became literally bogged down, although even the land was bought and everything seemed to be going well. Even Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries in neighbouring counties were making statements about what they were doing to get it established. But it seems to have disappeared. Perhaps the Minister would try to have used to a greater extent, as was mentioned earlier, the produce of the sea.

I still believe that if we are to give assistance grants to industrialists outside the country, the onus should be on the Government to insist on having a nominee of the State on the board running the company because so far the pattern has been that those people are able to do what they like and apparently no report is made to the Department and eventually they move off and the first information the Government have of the position is when notification is sent that the factory is closing down.

I do not intend to delay the House any longer. I agree that the intentions of the Bill are good and I hope the results we get when it becomes law will be equally good.

I also hope the intentions are good and that the results will be better. As regards siting of industries in my area in Galway, I should like to add my word of commendation and assure the Minister that this will get full co-operation from the people of Galway. The matter was discussed recently in connection with city planning and I had the pleasure of proposing its acceptance, with one reservation which I should like to bring to the Minister's attention.

The site is on the east bank of the Corrib and there is quite a large labour force on the west bank and we have only a few bridges cluttered up with traffic at present. Must we bring that volume of labour across town day in, day out because that is where you must get a lot of labour from? While accepting that heavy industry should be sited as is proposed and accepted by the corporation, the Minister and the Department should bear in mind the importance of bringing the mountain to Mahomed instead of bringing Mahomed to the mountain. That could be done by siting some light industries on the west bank of the Corrib. There is great trouble with traffic in every city and we shall only aggravate the situation by putting all our eggs in one basket.

I have seen factories open with a flourish in my own town and I have seen them close without as much as a wink. I feel the Minister should have some grip on these industries. He should put somebody on the factory floor to see how the money is being spent. Were we just shovelling out money to foreigners who came here and disappeared overnight because we had no grip on them?

Can the Deputy name them?

The Deputy comes from the same area and he should be ashamed to name them.

It would be very interesting. The Deputy should know his facts.

If the Deputy were as long in public life as I am, he would know what I mean. Closings of this kind cause a lot of suspicion among the workers and the air of suspicion is bad for the future of industry. There are complaints from long-established industries in my area—I can give my young friend a good deal of information on this if he wants it—who have applied for grants to renovate their factories and were turned down. They felt the only thing against them was that they are Irish.

It is very suspicious, especially as they have seen so many foreigners come and go. They themselves were allowed to close down, even though they used Irish raw material. Such things are allowed to happen. I welcome the renting of factories because I feel we have a certain grip on these industries and can tell them to get out if they are failures and we can hope to replace them. As it is, we have not that grip.

It is amusing to recall that the Minister for Transport and Power, in replying to a question I raised in this House in connection with the Potez industry in my constituency, said the reason for their difficulties was that the winter was too mild to sell oil heaters. Surely it is not when the winter is there that we buy oil heaters? I am not decrying this industry because they are producing quite a good article but there was a failure, and I should like to point out to the Minister that he should have somebody on the floors of these factories so that we would know what is happening. There was a flop in regard to salesmanship. That is where the industry failed. They piled the stuff up. There were 38,000 of the finest heaters that could be got but there was no sale because of failure in that respect. I am glad to note that they hope to make a start on a newer type of burner. I wish the factory well.

As far as Galway is concerned, I can assure the Minister that while I am on a local body, he will get every co-operation because there was never more need for industry, having regard to the continued strain on the mailboat train day in, day out, leaving Galway. Young men have been asked to come home to work in some of the factories in Galway. They broke up their homes in England and came back and had to break up their homes again and return to England. These men will not come back again while such things are happening. I should like the Minister to ensure that where money is given, it will be properly spent for the common good.

I should like to join in the welcome on behalf of the people of Galway for this decision of the Government to set up industrial estates. It has been a very wise choice to select Galway as one of the areas for the setting up of these estates initially. The availability of labour in the city of Galway is quite small but there is a large labour potential in the area within a 30-mile radius of the city. The success of the estates would bring back to the city many emigrants who are now working in industrial areas in Manchester, Birmingham, Coventry and Liverpool. It is a pity that these young people have to go away.

As I have suggested on other occasions, every encouragement should be given to the development of growth centres and Galway has proved over the last ten to 15 years that it is a natural growth centre and a place where money can be wisely spent, where there is a great chance of success because the right type of people would be attracted to live there. It is a nice place in which to live, having every modern amenity, without being too big. This is important if you have to try to hold executives and other people in a district. Galway has the amenities for every class of person who would like to come in and work there. Certainly, those who have come from America, Germany and other continental countries have been very pleased with Galway. These reasons may seem small but they are very important when a man is moving his family in order to set up in a new place. Persons who have come there have always settled in with the people of Galway very easily and have been very welcome there.

The setting up of these industrial estates will help to eliminate a lot of red tape attached to applications for industrial grants and also a lot of the ground work which must be carried out. When a man decides to set up a factory in an area such as Galway, he has to purchase a site which must be in proximity to water and sanitary services. Such services must be available and must be adequate. Otherwise, the cost of development of the site will be very expensive.

Design construction and other such work and especially dealings with Government Departments tend to delay, sometimes for three or four years, before a factory can get into production. I know several cases where people have fought shy of involving themselves in such complications and rather than set up in Galway and other places outside Dublin have not set up at all. The industrial estates are the answer, where ready-made factories are available and all a person has to do is to decide to set up a factory and the premises will be rented to him, with all services laid on, and he can be in production as soon as the machinery is installed. In the other cases that I have mentioned that may not happen for three years from the time of the initial decision to set up a factory. The time taken to instal the machinery may be six months, making a delay of three to four years before actual production can start.

I would again appeal to the Minister and his officials to try to be of far greater assistance and to be more willing to adopt business-like methods when dealing with business people and not continually to quote regulations to them which, as I said on the Estimate, are absolutely meaningless to a man who feels that he is wasting time dealing with Government officials when it would be much better for him to be in his factory looking after his workers and keeping up production schedules and trying to meet order dates. A great deal of time is wasted dealing with import licences and reexport licences and applying for grants. There is a great deal of red tape. It would be of great assistance if some decent effort were made to get down to work.

The Minister has stated that there would be a tendency in connection with these industrial estates to attract industries which might not be located in Ireland at all but for the facilities offered at these estates. That statement is rather dangerous and I should like the Minister to explain it further when he is replying. If that type of wording is given into the hands of officials they will say, "This factory would be here anyway and we will not allow them into the industrial estate." They read some of these statements too literally, drawing only one meaning out of them, not being flexible. I would hate to think that industrial estates were being set up only to attract industries which otherwise would not be located in Ireland. There are in Galway several progressive industrialists, people who over the years have developed markets, expanded production, installed new machinery, increased employment, on very small sites. I have gone through many of these factories and find that they are piecemeal, men working in one shed, other men working in another shed and finding it difficult to produce as economically as some of their opponents in business can produce in modern factories.

I should like the Minister to let me know whether those industrialists who are already in Galway and who find themselves hampered by the smallness of the sites that they at present occupy will be considered if they make application for a factory bay when the estate is ready? Are the Government prepared to rent these factories to such people whom we know to be efficient and to be manufacturing goods which are marketable and who could possibly double their output and employment if some assistance were given to them by way of renting these factory bays to them? I want to know, are our own people to be denied these modern facilities? Are they being made available only for foreigners?

No Irish need apply.

The Deputy has already made his statement. I should like that point to be answered by the Minister, if at all possible.

There is another which I also mentioned briefly on the Estimate for Industry and Commerce. A decision was made to set up an industrial estate in Galway. What do we find? The job of designing the estate was given to a firm on the east coast of Ireland. I do not want to specify the particular place. Probably Dublin. I am not sure. That was a terrible blunder, a type of blunder that has been going on for far too long. It is time some change was made. If qualified professional people living in the west of Ireland are to be overlooked in the matter of important projects, a great deal of the talk about assisting undeveloped areas would not seem to make sense.

We have put up with this for some time. We are determined to make a stand on it now. The men who live in the west of Ireland are competent and highly qualified and their competence cannot be questioned by anybody. Their buildings and work are there for everybody to see. Why should they be overlooked when they are rearing families in the west of Ireland? However, when the big plum comes, it is handed over to people living on the east coast. I would ask the Minister to consider this seriously because we will continue this pressure until we see the result of it.

Debate adjourned.