Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Multi-National Corporations.


asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if any sectors of the Irish economy are controlled to any unsatisfactory extent by multi-national corporations.

As the Deputy is aware, it has been the policy of successive Irish Governments to invite foreign manufacturing enterprises to set up establishments in this country, and an inevitable result of this policy pursued over a period is that certain sectors of industry are dominated by firms which could be regarded as multi-nationals. Whether this domination could be considered as control "to any unsatisfactory extent" is a matter of opinion, varying with time and circumstances.

Would the Minister investigate this because this has been the policy over many years and it is only now that the public are becoming concerned about the domination of these companies and how it might affect the trade and industry of the country as a whole?

What the Deputy said is right as to recent public concern. It is on record that my own concern is of considerably longer standing. The solution is probably not to single out these firms for disapprobation but to put even greater effort into the parallel growth of indigenous Irish firms. I think we have reached a level of industrial take-off where we should probably devote more attention to our own indigenous industry.