Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Buy Irish Campaign.

16.

asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce why he delayed until now before taking positive action to encourage a Buy Irish campaign.

There has been no delay. For some years a Buy Irish campaign, financed mainly by a grant-in-aid from my Department, has been carried on by the National Development Association. In addition, in recent months, I and other members of the Government have in public speeches urged the importance of promoting the sale and purchase of Irish goods.

The Minister has indicated that a Buy Irish campaign has been an on-going thing as far as the Government are concerned but I should like to know why he had to wait until the housewives, the trade unions, and the manufacturers drew his attention to it and until the unemployed list had increased enormously before he added the weight of his ministry to this overall appeal. Why did the Minister wait until such time as most of the distributive trade have done their purchasing for Christmas? The Minister should have moved sooner and more actively in this regard.

I do not accept that I have not added my weight to this matter. I can recall having made a speech as far back as August on this subject.

Why did the Minister and his colleague, the Minister for Labour, who have been asked on a number of occasions to intervene in the trade dispute in Irish Distilleries, did not do so? We are going to have another increase in the balance of payments arising out of the fact that the trade will not be able to get the products of Irish Distilleries and will have to sell Scotch.

That is a separate matter.

It is not; we are talking about buying Irish goods and the Ministers should do something positive about this dispute.