Skip to main content
Normal View

Seanad Éireann debate -
Wednesday, 24 Jul 1946

Vol. 32 No. 10

Industrial Research and Standards Bill, 1946—Committee

Sections 1 to 4, inclusive, put and agreed to.

I move amendment No. 1:

In paragraph (a), after line 27, to insert a new sub-paragraph as follows:—

(iv) discovering technical processes and methods which may promote the expansion or development of agriculture.

This amendment raises the issue to which I adverted on Second Reading. Two points of view were then expressed. Senator O Buachalla was inclined to think that this matter was covered by the Bill. Senator O'Dea expressed himself in the form that he would be disappointed if it were not. The Minister clarified the position by indicating that it was not and that it was not the purpose of the Bill. I understand fairly clearly what the Minister is making provision for. However, I am seeking to add as a function of the institute the discovery of technical processes and methods which may promote the expansion or development of agriculture. I do not know what objection the Minister may make to that addition. I hope he will not raise any. He may argue that this is not the sort of function which should be given to this body which is primarily intended to help in the development of industry and that the development of agriculture, from the scientific point of view, is such a vast problem that another body should be vested with authority to deal with that problem. I am seeking to have this amendment inserted because I see no indication whatever of any action which will make it possible to achieve for agriculture what I am seeking to achieve through this amendment. I said on Second Reading that everything in this country is secondary to agriculture. Nobody will contest that. The Minister on some recent occasions has indicated his belief that the success of industry is dependent on the productivity and purchasing capacity of the agricultural community. The success of industry can only be achieved when agricultural production is successful. Therefore, antecedent to any real development of industry must come the development of agriculture.

If the Minister is convinced that industrial research is essential to the success of industry, there is ample evidence that it is even more essential to the full development of agriculture. He will admit that, speaking generally, there is no research being done here on behalf of agriculture. I do not want to be misunderstood. I know that all along there has been a certain limited experimentation, but the vast field of agriculture is left untouched from the scientific point of view. I think the Minister did say something the other day about what has been done by the Ministry in some respect with regard to the cultivation of cereals. I think he referred specially to the oat crop but, at any rate, he referred to the grain crop. I do not want to speak disparagingly of what has been done here but I have been very interested in what our Department has done in the way of giving us new breeds, new varieties, and so on, and I have to confess to a disappointment. That is all the more distressing when we know what other countries are doing. We know that other countries are going ahead. It may be that the problems confronting agriculturists in other countries are so pressing and urgent that they are compelled to employ science to an extent that we feel is not necessary here. Perhaps if nature were less kind to us there would be pressure upon us to utilise science to an extent that so far has not been thought of. The Russians have succeeded in cultivating a perennial wheat. They tell us they are reaping three crops a year.

In Canada, where the problems with regard to the cultivation of wheat are not unlike the Russians', but different from ours, they have bred drought-resisting wheats. They must breed varieties that will overcome smut and various fungoid troubles. At present they have an immense problem in what they call the saw fly, which is destroying huge areas of wheat across the prairies. The egg is laid in the shallow stem of the wheat and at certain periods the fly creeps down and saws through the stem and vast areas are left dying. They have used science there in overcoming their difficulties and in breeding a variety that will stand up to the harvesting machinery. We have not thought of doing anything like that. In the main, the varieties of wheat we cultivate are imported from soils and climates unlike ours. Some of them have been bred to drought resistance while we require the contrary. As far as I know, we have only one cerealist in the country. He is doing the best he can under the circumstances. We are breeding varieties of grain on the agricultural farm at Glasnevin, where the soil is very perfect and the annual rainfall 24 inches, and the seed is sent down to Cavan and the West of Ireland, where the soil is very different and where the rainfall may be 40 inches to 60 inches. At present half of the oats in my field are flattened, and there are fields of wheat in that condition also. That is because science is not doing its job for agriculture. The farmer is frequently criticised for being backward and for not doing a variety of things that he ought to do for himself. These are things he cannot do for himself.

I saw recently where a Spanish business man was welcomed over here and, in an interview, expressed the hope that trade between this country and Spain would be developed in the future to a much greater extent than it is at present or has been in the past. He stressed that there were very considerable possibilities for the export of seed potatoes to Spain. In my opinion, that possibility exists all along the Mediterranean and is unlimited. If we were able next spring to export seed varieties of potatoes to Spain, we could import considerable quantities of potash from that country. What is the situation here in that respect? I cannot remember when the last new variety of potatoes was put on the market. Not for years and years have we developed a new potato. Go to any of the farmers and they will tell you of the failure of their crops and that they are losing faith. I am not talking about something in which l have only a superficial interest. I am very concerned about this and I regret that science has not been doing its job for the farmer here. We could probably grow the heaviest yield of potatoes in the world, even on the poorer soils, if science were to aid in the production of new varieties. Like everything else in nature, potatoes wear out and stock has to be replenished and rejuvenated, but nothing has been done about it. I am not going to discuss the problems of breeding as far as the science of genetics is concerned. In every aspect of nature, there is a vast untapped field, about which science has done very little here and in which our farmers are themselves unable to do anything, because they are not being served by science.

The Minister adverted on the last occasion to what was to be done in the way of veterinary science. I know there are provisions being made for that. There again we are backward. It may be said that we are no more backward than any other agricultural country, but I meet that by saying that there is no country in the world which should be as forward in veterinary science as we should be, as in no other country is production of live stock such an essential part of the national economy. We have got the grandest foundation stock in the world, probably, and it is our national responsibility to improve and develop it to the fullest possible extent. We must find out all the problems of disease that confront us and that lessen production and the value of our herds. There is a great deal in the science of genetics, but nobody here has begun to think about it yet.

I am not the least bit jealous about what the Minister is going to do for industrialists. In fact, I quite agree with him and am anxious to help in every possible way. However, I plead with him that, inasmuch as no other Department is undertaking the responsibility of giving agriculture the same possibilities of development as are being given to industrialists under this Bill, the Minister should take the responsibility now to make it possible at least that some of the discoveries which he made in the name of industry may also be devoted to the development of agriculture. It is quite conceivable that a scientist in a laboratory working on an idea may work in a particular manner because he is after something which he regards as being beneficial to industry. If you widen the scope of the purpose that he is trying to serve and bring agriculture in as well, there is no reason why he should not approach the problem from the broader viewpoint. It is quite conceivable that work like that can be made effective both for agriculture and for industry and that the activity on behalf of agriculture—which might not necessarily be undertaken if there were not power in this Bill to do so— might in the end be beneficial to industry as well.

I know the Minister said that only a very small sum of money was being provided. We have no power here in regard to that, but I would be prepared to spend much more on this. Above everything else, it is the one expenditure that will amply reward the taxpayer and I hope the Minister will see the justification for adding this paragraph to the section. If I could see the Minister for Agriculture or someone else undertaking this responsibility, I would not press this point, but as the circumstances are and as no one else is attempting it, I think this House would be ill-advised to permit the opportunity to pass without ensuring that agriculture would be given the same chance of being served under this Bill as industry is about to be given under it.

There is nothing in the Bill which precludes the institute from examining scientific problems relating to agriculture. That absence of prohibition is due to a desire not to circumscribe unduly the institute's work, but it is not intended that it will have a primary responsibility to undertake agricultural research activities. No one will dispute the contention put forward by Senator Baxter as to the desirability of having research activities undertaken in relation to problems of agriculture. It would probably be difficult to fix a limit on the amount that might usefully be spent either on agricultural research or industrial research. However, the State is spending on agricultural research work at least as much as it is proposed to spend under this Bill on industrial research, and as was indicated in the White Paper, the State is proposing to spend a great deal more. In these circumstances, it seems somewhat unreasonable for those who speak as advocates of the agricultural industry or as representatives of the Irish farmers to seek to get their hands upon this very limited sum which has been allocated for the primary purpose of industrial research.

It may be that Senator Baxter has in mind merely the opportunity given by this Bill to advocate further expenditure on agricultural research, but his amendment is to take out of the very limited amount allocated for industrial research some proportion for use in relation to agriculture. I think that is not a reasonable proposition. The amount is limited and will not provide a very large institute. It will not permit of large-scale researches, which are common in other countries, being undertaken here, but will permit of the creation of a useful organisation, provided its field of activities is reasonably limited in size. If we give to this institute a direction in the Bill that it is responsible for agricultural research also, the amount available for industrial research, properly understood, is further reduced and the additional amount made available for agricultural research would be so small, in relation to the requirements of agricultural research, that it would not be worth providing.

It is open to any Senator to advocate that the State should provide more money for agricultural research. The State is proposing to spend more money on that work, far more than on industrial research. That is probably right enough, but I would urge that the Seanad should not seek to allocate to that larger work the comparatively small sum that it is proposed to devote to the limited purposes of the Bill.

Are we to take it from what the Minister says that, since in Section 5 (a) (i), "promoting the utilisation of the natural resources of the State," the natural resources are quite unqualified, questions in connection with turf development, dairying or fruit-growing would come in under this? I am simply applying here what the Minister said in replying last week, in a very important paragraph of his speech:—

"If it is appreciated that the members of the committees which are to be set up as part of the organisation of this institute are free to do everything that they are not prohibited from doing under this Bill, then the position will be better understood."

That is to say there is nothing in the Bill to prohibit the institute from engaging in research relating to agriculture, to dairy problems or to any farm problem. It can engage in research of a most comprehensive kind.

The institute is not precluded from undertaking scientific work on agricultural problems, but it is primarily directed to devote its resources and time to the improvement of the technical processes and methods used in the industries of the State and to discover industrial processes and methods which will permit of new industries being established.

In view of that the amendment is, in my opinion, irrelevant.

Assuming that what the Minister has said is the intention, I am rather inclined to think that this section requires considerable amendment. This is to be a body corporate. A body corporate will have some objects. Its objects will be very much like the objects of a company incorporated under the Companies Acts, and hence they will limit its activities. Unless there is something in the Act to say that they can do anything if they are not prohibited from doing it, I think the law would hold that they can only do what they are given a function to do within the Act. Money will be provided, and they will be governed as a corporate body by such powers, functions and rights as are given to them under the Act. I do not think that they will have any other powers, functions and rights, nor do I think that the Minister would have the power to give them any other.

I would like to know whether any outside bodies or groups were consulted in regard to the formulation of this Bill, whether the Industrial Research Council was consulted, and whether the members of it sent forward any considered opinions. I have the feeling that this Bill is being pushed through with a certain amount of haste. I do not mean haste in the political sense that something is being pushed through so that people would not know about it. The reasonable time allowed for a normal Bill has operated in the case of this Bill. My point is that what we are dealing with here is an operation of an experimental character. I suggest that before setting up an institute of this kind it would have been well if we were able to feel that time had been given—not for this House, which is very limited in its capacity, or the Dáil which is also, I imagine, considerably limited in that way—for due consideration of it. If that time had been given, then we might have had, either through the Minister himself or through members of the House, the opportunity of getting the opinions of outside people on it, particularly scientists.

I feel a certain amount of difficulty with regard to the wording of Section 5. Taking it as it stands, I am not sure whether it will be held that paragraph (a) and sub-paragraph (i), (ii), (iii) will be taken as being three separate paragraphs, or whether they will be taken together as a function. It may be that one function will be to undertake, encourage and foster scientific research and investigations with the object of promoting the utilisation of the natural resources of the State. Another sub-paragraph provides that the institute is to undertake, encourage, and foster scientific research with the object of improving the technical processes and methods used in the industries of the State. If it is to be taken that these sub-paragraphs hang on each other, then I think there is a very definite limitation, and I doubt very much if agricultural research could be undertaken except it turned out, in an accidental way, that such a research would be for the benefit of industry. If Section 5 is to be taken, as I am inclined to think it will be taken, as three separate sections, the effect means that as far as function is concerned, there is very little limit in the way of fostering scientific research, provided it is for the utilisation of the natural resources of the State, but that the institute can go outside the natural resources of the State if it is for the purpose of improving technical processes and methods, or for the purpose of discovering technical processes or methods, etc.

I do not know whether that is the intention or not. I think that, possibly, it is the intention that, so far as the natural resources of this country are concerned, there should be practically no limit as far as function is concerned, but that as far as research is designed to improve the use of commodities which may have to be imported goes, it will be limited to industrial research. I think that probably would be the effect though I am not perfectly certain about it. I do not believe that it is possible to define any research, and say that is to be industrial research, whereas I think you could have an institute which the Minister or the Department would ask to do a specific function with a specific object. If it was the Minister for Industry and Commerce who was concerned, he would be specially interested in problems relating to his Department and to industry generally which are under his care. It seems to me that to make a success of any institute, it is necessary that it should be as wide as I think it is in paragraph (a) (i).

There is another matter which I should like to deal with though it may not be strictly relevant to the amendment. It is in connection with the definition and it may save time if I deal with it now. I assume it was intended that it would be possible for a person or a company to go to the institute and make arrangements, by the payment of a sum of money, for the doing of a certain amount of work in a certain direction; that it might be possible to ask that a test or an analysis be made for an industrial purpose. I assume that a person or company would pay so much for that and would obtain the result, and that that is one of the ways in which the institute is going to derive revenue. If that is not intended, then I think this sum of £15,000 will not go very far. I doubt if it will be of any use at all.

If what I am suggesting is the case, then I should like the Minister to make a careful examination as to whether it is a function of the institute within the section, because if it is I doubt it. It seems to me that so far as the issuing of reports is concerned, that its function is to make a report either to the Minister or to make a public report. I think that a great deal of the work from which the institute will derive money will be work done at the request of, or by arrangement with, companies or private interests. That work will be done for payment. Those companies or private interests will expect to get a report. I am not objecting at all to the fact that the institute should derive part of its income in that way, but I seriously question whether Section 5 is wide enough to enable that to be done. It may be that it was accidentally left out. But I think the institute ought to be allowed to do a thing which I thought it was intended to do.

When listening to Senator Douglas I was reminded of the average citizen who tries to see where common sense lies when he finds a very simple matter clouded in legal phraseology. The Minister in his last statement indicated—he was supported in this by Senator Fearon—that this section will not preclude the institute from engaging in any kind of research calculated to benefit industry or agriculture.

If it is necessary, in order to prevent any possibility of error or the limitation of otherwise worth-while research, that something more definite be put in, so that scientists engaged in research, who accidentally or incidentally discover something of value to agriculture, will be instructed to bring that into the light, let us have such wording, but I could not envisage a case where, having discovered something of interest or value to agriculture, the scientists would not at once make known that fact. I am impressed by the very limited amount of money which will be available. I take the liberty of endorsing everything that Senator Baxter has said as to the value of agriculture to the State. Nothing would be more desired by industry generally than that agricultural research should be developed to such extent as the State could afford but let us do that in proper and distinct fashion. If we attempt to split this little Vote up into two categories and make it incumbent on scientists to devote their energies to agricultural research, we shall be in danger of getting no good results for either agriculture or industry. I am sure that it will bring balm to Senator Baxter's soul when the Minister for Agriculture comes along with a worth-while scheme of agricultural research such as has already been referred to by the Tánaiste. Such a scheme is envisaged, as we can see from the details in the White Paper. But let us have a worth-while agricultural scheme, entirely distinct from this scheme. The Minister is quite right in his contention that the amount available under this Bill is too small to be divided. I have not seen the snags in the phraseology to which other Senators have referred. If more definite wording is required, let us have it but I do not think that we would get anywhere by acceptance of the amendment we are discussing.

I take it that the principal object of this amendment is to enter a caveat against the danger of over specialisation in research. We do not want either agricultural or industrial research in blinkers. We want to ensure that, if persons engaged in industrial research strike some new discovery which, when fully developed, might have a predominantly agricultural interest, they should not feel that they are departing in any way from their terms of reference by pursuing that research to the very end, either under their own auspices or in conjunction with whatever agricultural research bodies are functioning. The object is to widen the terms of reference so that research may not be pursued in blinkers by those industrial research people. If it were an agricultural research body which was under discussion, I should be wholly in favour of pursuing all matters of primarily industrial interest if by chance they came across such in the course of their operations.

Undoubtedly, it is impossible to draw a hard and fast line between agricultural and industrial research. For example, research into the problem of producing superphosphate in the cheapest possible way or, possibly, improving on the chemical composition of the kind of superphosphate that is usually produced, is an industrial problem, but it is also a matter of profound interest and importance to the agricultural community. In fact, nothing could be of greater value to agricultural interests at the present time than some discovery which would divide by two the cost of producing superphosphate and multiply by six the total amount of phosphate available for agricultural use. Equally, if a research body associated with the Turf Board should discover some method of producing sulphate of ammonia from turf, which might make it both plentiful and cheap, I think they should be encouraged to pursue that investigation to the very end, although it would be primarily of agricultural interest. I profoundly deplore this apparent conflict between agricultural enthusiasts and industrial enthusiasts.

Surely it is quite time we recognised that we can have a sound development of the nation as a whole only if both agricultural and industrial development are pursued in a harmonious spirit and with due regard to the welfare of the national economy as a whole. If that were done, I think that agriculture would, naturally, come in for the major share of development, seeing that our resources are more agricultural than industrial, but I think that every intelligent agriculturist recognises that the right kind of industrial development is bound to react favourably on agricultural welfare. Equally, I think that the industrialists should recognise that agricultural development, to which scientific research could make valuable contributions, would have most favourable reactions on the development of the right hand of industrialism. Perhaps in the past there has been a certain bias against agriculture on the part of the Minister and his Department. Perhaps that bias is less noticeable now than it was in former days. It is more by way of gesture of sympathy and co-operation between industrial interests and agricultural interests that I should like the Minister to accept this amendment. In practice, it may not amount to very much but, as a symbol or gesture, it would imply that, for the future, we recognise that agricultural and industrial development must go forward hand in hand.

When, on Second Reading, I expressed certain doubts by reason of the apparently limited nature of this Bill, I understood the Minister to say that it was, more or less, a tentative thing, that it was an experiment in one form of research and was intended to pave the way for wider schemes. He pointed out the ridiculously small amount of money which was being voted in this case. I hope the Minister will explain that a little bit further to us in connection with this amendment. If this Bill is meant only as an instalment and to see how the particular organisation which is being set up will work, I am prepared to withdraw such criticisms as I offered and not to indulge in any further criticisms. But if this is meant to stand by itself and not as an instalment then I should join the ranks of those who feel that the scope of the investigations is much too limited. My own hope would be that we should have a council of research with five branch committees, one for medical research, one for veterinary research, one for agricultural research, one for industrial research and one for research into what I may call, for want of a better term, pure science; that those committees should be interlinked and correlated and be able to refer certain aspects of the questions with which they are themselves dealing for further elucidation by other committees, that there should be a joint laboratory in which very expensive pieces of apparatus which could not be duplicated for each committee would be available to all and that the whole organisation should work as one whole, divided into five branches for the purpose of specialisation. I did think that there was some shadow of hint in what the Minister said that he had something like that in his mind as the ultimate goal.

On this amendment and the other amendments on the paper, our attitude will have to be guided very much by whether the Minister is able to clarify what I think was the hint that he gave because, if this is a tentative measure and if the organisation is only one which is being tried out, then I think we ought not to be too critical and ought to give thanks for the fact that research of some kind is being encouraged rather than to attempt to be too critical of the method which is put before us but, if this is the only research Bill which is going to come before this House for a matter of five or ten years, then I think we will have to sit down to it and see if we cannot make it better, in view of the criticisms that have been uttered.

It seems to me that there is a considerable misunderstanding with regard to this section. Last week there was a good deal of reference to the necessity for full definition of the term "industrial research" and I tried to make a case for leaving the section as it is as I feel that adequate definition of that term is already provided in it. I listened attentively to the debate that ensued and I have read carefully over the report since and I am even more convinced now than I was last week that, in the interests of research, it would be well not to tamper with the section but to leave it as it stands.

Clearly Section 5, sub-sections (1), (2) and (3), provides that, if necessary, certain research work in the agricultural field may be undertaken. Again, it is worth remembering that there is nothing in the Bill which prevents the institute now or at any time referring work for investigation to outside bodies. At least I take that to be the case. Last week we had a certain bogey man raised, that is to say, that as a result of this Bill, research in the universities would be literally choked. From an examination of the matter we discovered that there is nothing to prevent the universities undertaking work on behalf of the institute, just as they undertook work for the Industrial Research Council. Equally, I do not see anything in the Bill that prevents the institute at any time in future referring work to the universities and also to industrial corporations to be carried out by them on behalf of the institute. I think we are making this mistake, that we are visualising a building to be called the institute and that no work of a research kind shall be undertaken except within the four walls of that institute. I think that is a mistake. It may be that those who regard it in that way are taking the right view but, from my reading of the Bill, that does not seem to be what is envisaged. For instance, if agriculturists believe that some investigation should be carried out in the matter of pneumatic tyres for agricultural equipment of one kind or another, I do not see anything to prevent the institute taking up that matter and referring it to a body like the Irish Rubber Company, or even to Ford's, to examine the production of a wheel. I do not see anything to prevent the institute referring the matter further, say, to the School of Dairy Science of Cork University, to which is attached a rather big farm, or to the agricultural college attached to University College, Dublin.

If jam manufacturers had some question in regard to their industry, for instance, in relation to pectin, there is nothing to prevent their referring it to the institute and the institute, in turn, referring it to the new college in Wexford which will specialise to a considerable extent in fruit production and research. There is nothing, either, to prevent the institute referring a matter of that kind to the agricultural college attached to University College, Dublin. Take another instance, if from further investigation of the soya bean it appeared that a substitute might be produced in Ireland, I cannot see that under this Bill the institute is prevented from referring that question to the agricultural schools or colleges or even to private agriculturists.

There is to-day in this country an important pea canning industry. Prior to the establishment of that industry a considerable amount of research in pea-growing in the fields was carried out by the agricultural college in Athenry. I know of that. Similar work may have been carried out in the other colleges. I do not wish it to be taken that Athenry college or any other college worked specifically on behalf of the company that eventually went into the business of canning peas. But it is beyond question that the research work was most valuable to the industrialist and the agriculturist. There is nothing to prevent matters of that kind being referred by the institute to the agricultural colleges working under the Department or to the agricultural schools associated with the universities, any more than there is anything in the Bill which prevents the institute referring matters of pure research to the schools of science attached to the universities.

If this method of procedure which I believe must be adopted in very many instances by the institute is adverted to and if the flexibility of Section 5 as it stands is adverted to, it will be seen that there is no reason for anxiety that the industry of agriculture will be overlooked in whatever researches or review may be undertaken by the institute.

Tá suim agam féin sa leasú atá anseo agus san alt den Bhille a bhfuil baint aige leis. Do réir mar thuigeas ón gcuid a léigh mé, ba chinnte mé go raibh cead, faoi thearmaí an ailt sin, ag an bhforas a cuirfear ar bun, chun aon chineál taighde nó cuardaigh eolaíochta a dhéanamh ar aon chineál tionscail. Ó thuigeas gur mar sin a bhí, níor bhacas le bheith ag cur leasuithe isteach air. Ach anois, ó thuigim ón Aire féin gur mar sin atá an scéal, táim níos sásta fós ligint leis an alt mar atá sé agus gan bheith á leasú.

Is furus a thuigsint an imní atá ar an Seanadóir Baxter mar gheall ar eolaíocht talmhaíochta. Tá tionnscal eile ná dearnadh fós in Eirinn aon taighde nó aon eolaíocht faoi leith ar a shon—sin é tionscal na hiascaireachta. Is áthas liomsa go bhfuil caoi anois, do réir mar a thuigim ón Aire, ag an bhforas nua roint éigin den obair sin a dhéanamh ar mhaithe le tionscal na hiascaireachta. Tá cuid mhaith taighde le déanamh faoi ná dearnadh fós.

Níl cabhair ar bith, taobh amuigh de chabhair airgid agus soláthar gléas-anna, a thabhairt don iascaire i nEirinn chun a thionscail a shaothrú. Níl eolas le fáil i dtaobh an éisc féin, i dtaobh síolrú iasc, nósanna agus béasa iasc, gluaiseacht iasc agus trátha nach séasúil é. Is beag an t-eolas atá ag iascaíri i nEirinn ar na nithe sin, taobh amuigh den méid eolais a fuair siad ón traidisiún agus óna sinnsear ar an gnó. Do réir mar is eol dúinn, níl sa tionscal sin againne ach rud beag suarach fós, maidir leis an méid atá déanta ag tíortha eile— i Sásana, san Noruaidh, sa Spáinn. Tá na Spaínnigh anois ina gcabhlach mór loingis tímpeal an chosta anseo, ag baint feidhm as an saibhreas, agus sinne istigh ar an bport ag féachaint amach orthu. Dá mbéadh cuid mhaith eolas agus eolaíochta agus toradh taighde le fáil ag na daoine, bheadh siad níos fearr sa ghnó seo saothruithe an éise. Teastaíonn taighde sa chuid sin ar an iasc féin agus isna nithe a bhaineas le síolrú éisc.

Tá taighde eile le déanamh, atá an-riachtanach agus an-phráinneach ar fad, sé sin, conas tairbhe a bhaint as an iasc nuair a beirtear air. Gheobhainn a rá gurb é an cineál tionscail éisc atá againn anois ná an luaithe a beirtear air é d'ithe, agus i gceann dhá lá, trí lá nó ceithre lá ná beidh aon fháil ar iasc mura dtagann an aimsir oiriúnach agus muran féidir le bád sa chladach dul amach agus breith air. Tá sé riachtanach breis eolais agus taighde a dhéanamh ar éisc a choinneáil in-ite ar feadh tréimhse fada, ionas go mbeidh iascairí i ndon é a chur ar fáil ar fud an tire aon lá den bhliain. Níl sé sin á dhéanamh againne faoi láthair, ach tá sé á dhéanamh i America, san Norraidhe, i Sasana agus sa Spáinn. Is beag feabhais atá tagaithe ar eolais i dtaobh iasc i nEirinn le trí chéad blian. Níl aon nós níos fearr ná níos eolaisí againn anois. Tá riachtnas mór le taighde a dhéanamh agus comhairle, fios agus teagasc a bheith le fáil do na daoine a mbeadh fonn orthu dul leis an tionscal sin atá tairbheach agus a fheadfaí a mhéadú faoi fiche thar mar atá sé anois. Ó tá na téarmaí sa Bhille seo, tuigim gur féidir leis an Institiúid Taighde seo an saghas sin oibre a dhéanamh. Fágann sin go bhfuilimíd i ndon suim a chur san obair sin agus saothrú a dhéanamh ar a shon.

Tá rud beag maidir leis an bhforas féin ba mhaith liom a mholadh don Aire, .i. go dtabharfadh sé "Foras Taighde agus Caighdeán Tionscail" mar phríomh-ainm ar an bhforas, agus "Coiste Taighde Tionscail" ar cheann acu agus "Coiste Caighdeán Tionscail" ar an dara ceann, agus go mbeidis sin mar phríomh-ainmneacha ar na forais sin atá le cur ar bun.

My object in joining with Senator Baxter on this amendment really is to emphasise the limited scope of the whole measure. I join very emphatically in the plea made on the Second Reading by Senator Hayes, and also indirectly just now by Senator Kingsmill Moore, that this whole question of research is being approached in far too perfunctory and parochial a manner. After all, look at the enormous potentialities of science, the part science is playing in the world to-day, and visualise what it is going to play in the world of the future. Here we have a Bill which purports to deal with this question of research—leave out agriculture, if you like—where the initial expenses contribution is to be a miserable £15,000 a year. I should like to know how this matter has been approached by the Government. One would have thought that the State, embarking upon legislation on this very important matter, would have set up a commission to examine the whole field of research—industrial, agricultural and scientific—that the best brains, the best evidence and the best information would be available to that commission and that there should have been a considered report upon which legislation would be introduced. Here we have a proposal to make an annual grant of £15,000. I grant that there may be further sums ad hoc. My feeling is that you will hear little or nothing in years to come of a research body acting in that manner.

One advantage of our passing plenty here is that we get a number of very interesting visitors. I was talking to a man on a reasonably high level in the big concern of Imperial Chemicals on the question of research. They spend something approaching £750,000 a year on research and he said: " We are fortunate if we really find anything of world consequence more than about once in ten years". He mentioned to me one thing of really outstanding importance, which had something to do with insulating material in connection with radar and which was of really outstanding importance in the last ten years. How we may provide anything more than a well-meaning person or possibly a new building from this approach, I fail to see. I am speaking only as a layman, but with even more assurance as a layman, as no one qualified to speak has endorsed this Bill, and those in the House qualified to speak, are distinctly critical of the narrow approach to the whole subject.

Like Senator Kingsmill Moore, I would rather if the Minister had said that this would do to go on with and that we were going to examine the whole question comprehensively. With regard to agricultural research, I think that Senator Baxter stated what many of us think. He is more closely in touch with practical agriculture than I am and he says that they have discovered nothing for research in agriculture in recent years. Surely this is something that should make us consider whether we are approaching the whole question of research in a proper manner. No doubt we do spend something on agricultural research through the various colleges, but we are not approaching it in a comprehensive manner and endeavouring to bring it into the picture even in the same way as the Minister hopes to bring in industrial research. Personally, I think the only thing of real value in this measure is the standards provision and the test. I feel that it would be much more satisfactory if the Minister would withdraw the Bill and bring up a Bill dealing with research comprehensively and separately from standards, because they are not being treated as they should be treated in this measure.

When in his opening statement, Sir John Keane made what I considered an apology for having been associated with Senator Baxter, I was beginning to have some hope for Sir John. After going along, however, for some time and having made some sensible statements he said that having listened to Senator Baxter, who was far more closely associated with agriculture than he was, he was forced to think that the whole field of Irish agriculture remained, in the words of Senator Baxter, untapped. I must say that Senator Baxter's speech made me feel sorry for the Minister who had to listen to speeches of that kind. It is a pity that Senator Baxter did not think of getting a few copies of the agricultural leaflets and it is a pity that the people who back him up do not get a few copies of them too and find out for themselves what is going on in agriculture in this country. Senator Baxter says "the whole field of Irish agriculture has been untapped" and that "science has done nothing for the agricultural industry" and several such phrases.

The Minister does not need anyone to throw bouquets at him but I say this much, the Minister and his Party have proved to Senator Baxter and to people like him not alone that wheat can be grown in this country but that it can be grown successfully in every county in the State. That, in itself, is a great achievement and a great achievement towards the development of Irish agriculture. I have a certain admiration for a man who clings to a lost cause when it is obviously a lost cause but you get very tired hearing the sub-leaders in the Irish Independent re-echoed by Senator Baxter and people like him. We got to a stage here where we are providing practically all our wheat requirements as compared with the position when Senator Baxter's Party was the Government, of being only able to provide, I think, two weeks' supply. We have had no new potatoes, Senator Baxter told us, for years and years. If Senator Baxter looked up the leaflets he would know that that is not so, just the same as every person who has the neck to get up and talk about agriculture should know, but more especially a person who regards himself as the sole spokesman of agriculture in this House. We have had several brands of new potatoes.

What are they?

Dunbar Rovers.

When did we get them?

Within the last two years. Golden Wonders and New Champions were others.

They are not new.

Arran Banners are not so old either. I am not as old as Senator Baxter, but when I was a young lad the only potatoes in this country were Champions. Now, with regard to Senator Baxter and his oats, I want to say that a lot has been done in this connection also. It is a good many years since the Department of Agriculture College at Glasnevin developed Glasnevin's Sonas and it has given very satisfactory results. I do not want to throw cold water on the efforts of a number of sincere and industrious men who have performed achievements of great merit under the conditions in which they had to work. Very important research was done in connection with peas in Athenry and something has taken place in Johnstown in the new college there. Anyone in touch with events here would remember the statement made by the Minister for Agriculture that it was anticipated to have very considerable developments in this institution.

Having said that, I want to say that I think there is a lot to be said for the suggestion that we should have more intensive development of agricultural research. But why bring it into a Bill of this kind? As the Minister pointed out, there is nothing to curtail the activities of anyone who discovered anything either in the field of agriculture or industry. I think we should not infer too much from a Bill of this kind but rather to anticipate more comprehensive measures in regard to agriculture. If we were to only judge the Minister on his record I think we may have no fear that anything that is necessary will be done in connection with the agricultural industry. I say this as a representative of the agricultural industry in this country yielding to no one, not even to Senator Baxter, in my interests in agriculture.

I have listened to Senator Quirke's speech of glib superficialities, because that is all it was and it has had no effect on me whatsoever. It was in no way connected with the purposes of the Bill. He must not have seen the implications of his speech when talking the ráméis that he did. Talking about what his Party had done in regard to the growing of wheat and claiming it for science is just ridiculous. Scientific endeavour was in no way responsible for growing wheat. For that matter Senator Quirke knows that there was far more wheat grown in this country before he and I were born than in 1945 or 1946. All that really takes us away from the purposes of the Bill. He made no attempt to face up to the issues raised. Certainly I was not impressed by his speech nor was I impressed by Senator Ó Buach-alla's special pleading that because we were not definitely excluding agriculture from the purview of the activities to be engaged in under this Bill agriculture was going to get attention. I much preferred the Minister's frank and honest declaration on the purposes of the Bill but, having heard from him what he intends to do, I must express disappointment. It is because I believe that, that I wanted to have it inserted in the Bill. Senator Ó Buachalla pointed out the various sorts of activities that might be engaged in under the Bill, but they were mainly activities of a type which might be classified as industrial although related to agriculture.

How would the Senator describe the work that is being done by the Agricultural College at Glasnevin on potato growing with regard to starch content? Is it not worth while to advert to work of that kind and to its significance?

On what varieties of potatoes?

On many varieties. If the Senator will look up the reports of the Department of Agriculture over a number of years he will see that very important papers, dealing with the results of the research work carried out there, have been contributed. Surely work of that kind must be of considerable importance to people engaged in agricultural as well as industrial activities.

I do not want to be misunderstood. I am all for the Bill, but I think it is too narrow in its scope. I agree absolutely with Senator Douglas when he said that he did not know how anybody was going to separate industrial research from agricultural research. Perhaps some person with some sort of a split brain, if not a split personality, could give us a definition of the difference, but, frankly, I cannot understand it. Neither can I quite follow Senator Summerfield's attitude in regard to this measure, because I imagine that the more you broaden the base upon which you are going to build your structure of research the greater will be the possibilities actually for industrial research.

The point is that more money would be required in order to do that.

Exactly, and there is nobody against that.

The money provision in the Bill is limited.

I have been thinking of that. I must also advert to the fact that, while the Minister in charge of this Bill is Minister for Industry and Commerce, he is also Vice-President of the Government. When he was speaking as An Tánaiste I was hoping that he would have revealed some of the intentions of the Executive with regard to its whole policy of research, but he said nothing, apart from what he said on the last occasion that the Bill was before us. So far as veterinary research is concerned, and what is known about it, one generally gets the impression that it is mainly concerned with problems of disease in our live stock. I would remind the House that there are all sorts of problems with regard to veterinary research which call for examination. I have to confess my disappointment at the Minister's attitude. I am afraid that I must refuse to accept the point of view of Senator Ó Buachalla and other Senators that so-and-so is going to be done for agriculture. I believe that nothing will be done, and if I want confirmation for that view, apart from the frank statement that we had from the Minister for Industry and Commerce, I would refer Senators to Section 6 which makes provision for the constitution of the council.

It is provided there that the qualifications for the 50 ordinary members shall be their " attainments in scientific research applied to industry or the support which they have given to such research or their ability to promote the adoption of standard specifications in industry". Their qualifications are related altogether to industry, so that I can see quite clearly that the field of agriculture is going to be left unexplored.

I cannot permit this opportunity to pass without expressing considerable disappointment at that decision. Apart altogether from the fact that agriculture is being left behind, I am disappointed for another reason. The Minister may tell us that some sort of an agricultural research organisation is going to be set up, but I cannot see it. I do not see—and in this I am in absolute agreement with Senator Douglas—how you are going to have agricultural research and an industrial research institute. It would be thoroughly unsound. If my amendment were inserted in the Bill, then the Minister's institute could later on be strengthened by the addition of funds. You would have there the nucleus of an organisation that could do for agriculture what it was doing for industry. You would have the machinery, and all that would be needed would be to provide more money to keep your scientific workers engaged. You would have all the mechanism requisite for the purpose you wanted to serve. I am sorry that is not being done. I know, of course, that the financial provision in this Bill is very limited. A great deal cannot be done with £15,000. One can say this, that the Minister will get something for his £15,000, and that if he requires another £30,000 he will come along and ask for it if he can show that he has got some value for what has already been spent. What I am afraid of is that you are going to go on spending money in that field of endeavour and that nothing is going to be done for agriculture.

There is no doubt whatever that the Minister will get on with his job. He indicated that he did not think it was quite fair, because of certain small things that were being done for agriculture, that we should be making a claim for a portion of this small sum. All that I can say as an agriculturist is that I would be prepared to vote five times and ten times this sum for agricultural research, and I believe that has got to be done. With all respect to the views expressed by Senator Quirke and others, I reassert that we have no people in agriculture working in a scientific way to provide us with new varieties of potatoes for the old ones. We have got nothing for years and years. Nothing has been done either in regard to the grain varieties that we have been importing. There is nobody going down to the country to try to do anything with those grain varieties under the climatic and soil conditions that prevail.

What about the county committees of agriculture and their demonstration plots ?

Senator Quirke now tells us that we have got demonstration plots. Imagine, the Senator cannot differentiate between demonstration plots and the efforts of scientists to cross grains, one with the other, to inoculate clover plants, or to try to give us new varieties of potatoes. Senator Quirke classifies the demonstration plots with the work a cerealist does in his laboratory. The scientific man may be working for ten years or more in his laboratory before he discovers a new variety.

The Senator said that nothing was being done in the country with regard to imported seeds.

No. We have experience of what people are doing in the country. They have to shift and change from one variety to another in parts of the country. Take the case of wheat. My experience is that people are now going away from the winter varieties to the spring varieties. That is because there is no scientific endeavour to try to cultivate a variety that would suit our soil and climate. We have got to import and what we import has not yet become acclimatised. What we require, above all things, is scientific effort.

I am more firmly convinced than ever that this amendment should be inserted in the Bill. I do not know what the attitude of the House is going to be to it. The Minister's point about the small sum of money that is being made available is not a sufficient justification for rejecting the amendment. I am quite satisfied that, under the Bill as it stands, nothing is going to be done for agriculture except perhaps by accident or because whatever is done will have an industrial effect. Surely from the point of view of agriculture, nothing is going to be done under the Bill for agriculture, and I am not satisfied with that position.

Senator Douglas was perfectly right when he said that when a company is set up under an Act of the Oireachtas that company has only the rights given by the Act which set it up. That is good law. The law also is that, when an Act is being construed, it must be construed according to its wording. In a court of law no account is ever taken of a debate in either the Dáil or Seanad. Any interpretation given, even by the Minister, will have no effect on the judge deciding the issue. He must decide according to the words in the Act. In Section 5, the functions of the institute are set out as,

"to undertake, encourage and foster scientific research and investigation with the object of promoting the utilisation of the natural resources of the State".

If a judge had to interpret that, I think he would hold that the most natural resource of the State was its land. For that reason, I suggest that the amendment is not necessary. When I was speaking on the last occasion I was aware of the research being done at Glasnevin, but I was not aware of the investigation made at Johnstown College, Wexford.

Nothing has been done there yet. It has only been established.

There is always an esprit de corps among scientists. If they are investigating any particular matter and are asked to carry out an investigation by any scientific department or by scientists even in another country, they will respond. The amount allowed by the Bill—£15,000—is very small. As the Minister said last day, at least £30,000 a year is being devoted to research in agriculture. In this Bill, the Minister concerned is the Minister for Industry and Commerce. He would, probably, not like to insert words which would give the impression that he was taking upon him the functions of another Minister. Personally, I should rather that there was no such division at all in connection with scientific investigation but I can see the Minister's difficulty in his dislike to appear to take on the work of another Minister. I am perfectly satisfied that the more research councils you set up, the better it will be for agriculture and for industry. For these reasons, I think the amendment is not necessary.

Before the amendment is put, I should like to make it quite clear that I am resisting the amendment not because I regard it as unnecessary but because I regard it as undesirable. This is an industrial research Bill. I called it such and introduced it as such and I want no misunderstanding as to the functions of the institute which will be set up under it. We have not defined the functions of the institute so rigidly that it will be precluded from undertaking examination of scientific problems related to agriculture but it is not intended that it will do so as its primary job. It is a foolish argument that the provision of funds for industrial research, as contemplated in this Bill, precludes the possibility of funds being provided for agricultural research or limits the amount of money that may be provided for agricultural research. The State is providing money for agricultural research. The Government has announced its intention to provide a great deal more money for agricultural research. In fact, no limitation is placed upon the amount that may be so provided by the enactment of this Bill or the restriction of the functions of this institute primarily to scientific problems arising in connection with industry, as ordinarily understood.

Senator Fearon quoted me as saying here on Second Reading that the institute may do anything which it is not prohibited from doing. I was referring then to the institute's methods of working not to its functions. The institute cannot undertake any activity which is outside its scope, as defined in Section 5 of the Bill. It cannot take the money which is being given to it and spend it upon matters which have no relation to the functions indicated in the Bill. I was dealing on the occasion in question with the suggestion that the committee of the institute might act within its own institute and have no contact with research work proceeding in university colleges or in private firms. In so far as its methods of operation are concerned, it is being given considerable freedom. So far as the expenditure of the annual subvention of £15,000 is concerned, it is being given complete freedom.

I want to correct any false impression I may have given that this £15,000 per year is the sole revenue which the institute will have. It may, in addition, get from State funds specific amounts for particular investigations, as decided by the Minister for Industry and Commerce—not by any other Minister, but by the Minister responsible for industrial development—which may help either to establish new industries or to improve industrial technique and efficiency. The amounts provided for the special investigations will have to be determined in relation to their importance and voted by the Dáil. In addition, the institute may charge fees for research work done for private firms. I do not think, however, we need regard the revenue which the institute may obtain from such fees as facilitating an expansion of the scope of its activities, because these fees will ordinarily not exceed the amount required to cover the cost of the work actually done for outside firms. The institute may also charge fees for analyses, but it is not intended it should do work which would now be done by public analysts in the ordinary course of their business.

There is one other matter to which I wish to refer. I stated here during the Second Reading debate that the Bill was prepared over a long period and that, in the course of its preparation, discussions and consultations took place with the chairman of the Industrial Research Council and the chairman of the Emergency Scientific Research Bureau. Several other persons interested in industrial research also expressed their views concerning the proposal to have an institute, the manner in which it should be established, the manner in which it should operate and the resources which should be made available to it. I do not wish it to be understood, as some people did understand, that consultation with any of the individuals I have named implies that they gave unqualified approval to the provisions of the Bill. There were many divergent views as to the form the institute should take, as to the manner of its constitution, as to its methods of working and as to the resources which it should have. Consultation was for the purpose of eliciting the views of the individuals and the organisations concerned but the decisions ultimately arrived at concerning the institute, its methods of working and its constitution, are the responsibility of the Government and of no one else. It would, however, be a mistake to think that consultations with parties who are well fitted to advise in these matters did not occur. Such consultations did occur over a long period and were extremely beneficial to me in framing the measure and putting it into the form which I believe will prove to be most workable. I would urge the Seanad not to accept this amendment. The rejection of the amendment does not mean that we do not share the views expressed by Senator Baxter and others as to the importance of agricultural research. It merely is an indication that we think it better policy to confine this institute to one job, to enable it to do that job as best it can, and not to hamper it by giving it too wide a field with too limited resources to work it.

I am profoundly dissatisfied by the Minister's approach. I am quite satisfied that he is sympathetic to agricultural research but he visualises doing agricultural and industrial research in separate compartments. That is where I join issue with him. On the scientific and higher plane, research cannot be so divided. It is unbusinesslike, unscientific and extravagant in administration to visualise the setting up of separate officials, separate directors and possibly separate buildings. That is wrong. This matter should be approached more liberally. I wonder if the question was put to those whom the Minister consulted but I think any body of people experienced in research would bring research on its higher plane under one building, under one institute and, generally, under one direction. The Minister says this is merely an interim measure and I propose to recommend the Government to examine the whole question deliberately with a view to much more considered legislation in the course of the next two or three years.

Amendment put.
The Seanad divided: Tá, 5; Níl, 17.

  • Baxter, Patrick F.
  • Butler, John.
  • Crosbie, James.
  • Johnston, Joseph.
  • Keane, Sir John.


  • Clarkin, Andrew S.
  • Concannon, Helena.
  • Farnan, Robert P.
  • Hawkins, Frederick.
  • Hearne, Michael.
  • Honan, Thomas V.
  • Johnston, Séamus.
  • Kehoe, Patrick.
  • Kelly, Peter T.
  • McCabe, Dominick.
  • O Buachalla, Liam.
  • O'Callaghan, William.
  • O'Dea, Louis E.
  • O Shiochfhradha, Pádraig.
  • Nic Phiarais, Maighréad M.
  • Quirke, William.
  • Summerfield, Frederick M.
Tellers:—Tá: Senators Baxter and Joseph Johnston; Níl: Senators Hawkins and Hearne.
Amendment declared negatived.

I move amendment No. 2:—

In paragraph (c), after the word "analyse" in line 33, to insert the words "either through itself or through the medium of authorised agents."

The object of this amendment is really to discover what is in the Minister's mind and in that of his advisers with regard to the method of testing. I could conceive that it would be highly desirable in the interests of economy to employ outside bodies to carry out tests and I want to be satisfied that that power is implicit in the Bill. For instance, electric lamps should have been tested long ago in a deliberate manner and the obvious body to do that would be the Electricity Supply Board. One could conceive a number of places where commodities should be tested in the interests of the public and it would not be economical to test them entirely within the building and the immediate resources of the institute.

I do not quite understand the Senator's point. We are empowering the institute to test and analyse commodities intended for sale or for use by the public, for the purpose of advancing scientific research, ensuring conformity with standard specifications, encouraging standardisation or generally for the public benefit; and we are enabling the institute to publish the results of any such test or analysis without incurring legal penalties. Presumably the institute could carry out such tests without being legally empowered to do so. The inclusion of that reference in its functions means that it is authorised to spend its funds on that purpose and the subsequent safeguard is intended to ensure that, if the institute finds that some commodity is being offered for sale under a trade description that may mislead the public, they can announce that fact and no action will lie against them.

There are other people engaged in analysing and testing commodities as a profession and it is hoped that matters can be arranged so that the work of the institute will not interfere with them in any way. It is not intended that the work at present being done by public analysts should be diverted to the institute, which will carry out its tests and analyses on its own initiative.

Is it mandatory on the institute to publish the result of any test or analysis it makes?

I could understand that, in certain cases, it might not be advisable that certain information be published.

The report may be published and the publication is privileged.

It appears to me that one of the functions is to publish. There should be some limitation, such as to publish "with the consent of the Minister".

I do not want to bring the Minister into it.

I think the committee could be trusted to use commonsense with regard to publication and that there is no serious danger. Is it essential that the commodities must be intended for sale? In the course of preparation or in bringing something to production, you might want a report from the institute long before the article was intended for sale.

I am still a bit worried as to the possibility of a clash between the work done by the institute and that done by a private analyst. Is not the institute going to undertake analyses at the request of private individuals? Obviously, the institute will have a very fine laboratory, if not the finest in Éire, and will have appliances which no private analyst could hope to have. Certain things— vitamins, for example—will be sent to the institute to be analysed and these are things which might ordinarily be done by an analyst in a routine way. Is it proposed to restrict the work—I do not think it should be restricted— so that nothing would be done which might harm the private analyst in any way?

As regards the term "commodities intended for sale" would it not be better to say "to test and analyse substances"? That brings me back to the original question—is the institute open to receive work from outside, problems for analysis, or can these problems come only in a roundabout way? If only in a roundabout way, I am sure it can be overcome easily by saying that it is for the, purpose of ascertaining whether it is in the public interest or not. One can apply that to anything. I can hardly see how this will not threaten the work of the ordinary analyst, even in spite of the very carefully constructed paragraph (iii).

Senator Fearon appears to be afraid that the public analyst would be interfered with. That could not occur. Under the Sale of Food and Drugs Act, the analysis must be made by the public analyst and no other evidence would be taken.

That is so far as the Food and Drugs Acts are concerned. The institute is empowered under Section 35 to do analysis for any person and may charge a fee therefor. I would like to have devised some form of words which would define clearly the circumstances under which the institute could do analysis, so as to minimise, if not prevent altogether, interference with the work of public analysts, but I could not get a water-tight form of words. The relative paragraph of Section 5 was drafted so as to minimise the risk, but if the institute is to act as we intend it to act, we cannot restrict it unduly in that part of its work. Reliance will have to be placed upon the good sense of the committee, to ensure that their functions will be carried out in such a manner as to confine the work actually done to the purposes which the institute is intended to serve.

It is quite obvious that the institute will have to do some work of testing and analysis for private persons. For example, if there is a standard specification published, a manufacturer obtaining the right to use a standard mark may require the institute to test or analyse his product from time to time, to ensure that he is taking no risk in offering it for sale under the standard mark. It is further intended that the institute shall have power to go to the market and take any commodity offered for sale and publish an analysis of it, if it thinks the public interests will be served.

The House will remember a case that appeared in court some time ago, consequent on an announcement which the Minister for Agriculture caused to be broadcast. Someone was offering for sale what purported to be a cure for a certain cattle disease. The Minister for Agriculture was satisfied that it was a fraud, so he announced an analysis of the medicine through the Press and over the wireless and warned the public against it. An action for damages was taken against him, but was not proceeded with. If a similar case arose again, it is the institute which would carry out the analysis and publish the result: and they would be protected from an action for damages by the relevant section of the Bill.

There are authorities in other countries which have a similar power and many cases of deceptive trade descriptions can be visualised, which are not actually fraudulent. I remember reading of a case which occurred in America, where blankets were offered for sale described as "part wool". The authority which carried out the analysis said: "It is true that they are part wool—there is one thread of wool in them, that is all". They published that as a result of their test, in order to protect the public against the misleading description "part wool". It is intended that the institute will have general power, on its own initiative, to test and analyse commodities and publish the result of that test or analysis, if they think the public interest so requires. While the institute will primarily work on its own initiative, it may have to work also, on occasions, at the request of private persons and is being empowered to do that work and charge fees therefor.

What I had in mind —evidently the Minister did not see my point of view—is that the institute should act in the interests of the public as a protection against the evasion of specifications under the mark. I have not got the confidence in human nature that the Minister appears to have. I am definitely afraid there will be a temptation to water down and evade the specifications which qualify for a national mark. Who, then, is going to protect the public? There should be a duty on the institute to take samples of articles covered by the mark and specification and to have them analysed, either in the institute or by outside bodies such as universities or, in the case of electrical apparatus, by the E.S.B., who will be qualified to do so and who can do so more economically.

If I understand the Senator's point properly, the institute is fully authorised to finance activities done by other people on its behalf. Section 33 (2) says:—

"The institute may render such assistance, financial or otherwise, as it thinks proper to persons undertaking research of a kind which the institute is itself authorised to undertake."

It has not to do with research. It is the protection of the public under the standard mark. You see the mark on a given article, but what assurance have you that the article is up to the standard specification covered by that mark, that it has been adhered to? Whose duty is it to protect the public in that matter?

The institute will have the responsibility of testing these commodities periodically and ascertaining if they are up to standard.

Has the institute that responsibility?

Under what section?

It is the function given to, the institute under Section 5 (c).

Now, we have agreement so far. Will that authorise the institute to use outside bodies if it sees fit for that purpose?

No; it is intended——

That shows the point of difference between us. The Minister says the institute has a responsibility to ensure that the standard mark is valid and, if necessary, the institute may test for that purpose; but the institute may not have within its resources the means to make that test.

It may be far more economical to have these tests carried out by a university or by some outside body with the necessary apparatus. To give a simple example, I do not think the institute would set up equipment necessary for testing cement samples. It is already in existence and obviously would be used just as other equipment for other purposes would be used by whatever bodies have it. I want to ensure that under this Bill the institute has power to test itself or through the means of its authorised agents. That seems to me to be commonsense. I think, under the Seeds and Fertilisers Act, Senator Baxter will tell me more about it, the Minister has power to take samples and carry out tests as to germination and as to the standard of fertilisers. With regard to the national mark I am very anxious that the public should be protected in the very narrow market.

I think we all agree that we want to protect the public and that we want the protection of the public to be one of the functions of the institute. This is reasonably clear in the Bill. The point that may be in the amendment is this: the institute may find it convenient to test a certain commodity by sending it to the National University. Can the institute then proceed?

The responsibility for prosecuting is that of the Minister. Presumably, he will be obliged to produce in court satisfactory evidence that the article tested was not up to specification. He is not necessarily obliged to use the institute but I think that he would ordinarily do so.

The other point I want to make is this. First of all the prosecution is in the name of the Minister? Information is sent to him by the institute?

That is right.

The other question is, there may be a flaw in the case of the publication of the analysis. I rather visualise that for the sake of economy and efficiency the institute will make use of various laboratories particularly in the City of Dublin and that there will be numbers of tests that will not be done in the institute but by representatives of the institute. I wonder if without some such insertion there would not be difficulty on the part of the institute in publishing the results of the tests which they did not do themselves. I suggest the Minister should look into this before the Report Stage so as to ensure that the institute would be protected for the work it did not do itself. I recall the case which was on the wireless and I think the Minister remembers that too.

Perhaps the Minister would also consider the advisability of inserting a clause to the effect that a certificate of the institute will be evidence in court. At present under the Food and Drugs Act a certificate is prima facie evidence. Otherwise the Minister will have to produce the evidence in court.

I will look into that.

Am I right in saying then that the responsibility rests with the Minister for seeing that the public is protected?

That is right.

It rests on the Government to see that the public is protected in so far as examining goods under the national mark goes and the testing of goods under the national mark can be done either by the institute or by any other body called upon to do so by the Minister?

I should say the Minister can employ anyone he likes for the purpose of making tests but I presume that the status and qualification of the people employed would be a matter for consideration if he was presenting them as witnesses in a prosecution.

The status of what?

The status of the person he employs will be a consideration if he is proposing to present him as a witness. I think that ordinarily the Minister would use the institute as the testing agent. In practice, as in the case of misleading trade descriptions, which are offences at present, the institute will get a complaint from a member of the public that goods purchased by him do not appear to be up to the standard of specification. The institute will then carry out a test and if the test shows that the goods are below standard, prosecution will follow.

Tested by the institute.

Ordinarily by the institute but it will be some years before the institute will be able to do all those tests and until then it may designate other bodies to do the work.

That is what I want to get at. The tests will not be held up until the institute is sufficiently equipped to carry them out themselves.

Is it proposed to attach any charge for the use of this mark?

A fee can be charged.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

I move amendment No. 3:—

In paragraph (c), lines 33-34, to delete the words "intended for sale or for use by the public".

What I want to find out by this amendment is if these tests are not more confined to commodities in use. I can conceive it necessary to test components or ingredients of commodities. As I read it, finished commodities are referred to and it may be necessary to test the ingredients that go to make up a finished commodity or to test articles in the process of manufacture.

The Senator, I think, misunderstands the point. The institute has three functions. Scientific research and the preparation of standard specification will naturally involve testing and analysis every day. Paragraph "C" was put in to make it clear that in addition to industrial research and the preparation of standard specification the institute will have another function, namely, testing commodities offered for sale to the public. That is a separate function and it was to make it clear that it is a separate function that the paragraph was inserted.

I think the words "intended for sale", or "for use by the public", are not necessary and may possibly bring about unnecessary restrictions. If you read "C" carefully you will find that it is to test and analyse commodities, intended for sale or for use by the public for the purpose of (i), (ii), (iii) or, generally, for the object of ascertaining, for the public benefit, the characteristics of such commodities. This indicates that general power is given, but rules out certain commodities probably intended for sale.

I thought it was desirable to make it clear that the institute has three functions: first, to conduct industrial research; second, to prepare standard specification, and thirdly, this additional function of testing and analysing commodities offered for sale to the public and to publish the results. It was to make it clear that this is a separate function from matters that arise incidental to research activities that this was put in.

I do not want to press the point, but supposing a firm in the course of their work of selling commodities made minor changes. There is no question of research involved there at all. I imagine that if they decided to put something on the market and wanted to get the institute's view of it, they would be prepared to pay for the information. I am not satisfied that that is covered by any function, although I imagine that it was intended to be so included.

Section 35 provides that the institute "shall have power to charge, receive and recover fees for researches, tests, investigations and analyses undertaken by the institute on behalf of any person."

They can only do under Section 35 what they are allowed to do under Section 5. There is a point in this which, I think, might be examined. I may say that why I am so critical about this is that I have been caught myself with regard to the objects of certain companies. That is why I gave so much attention to this.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Sections 5, 6 and 7 agreed to.

I move amendment No. 4:—

In sub-section (2), after the word "members" in line 20, to insert the words "four of whom shall be nominated by the council and five appointed by the Minister."

It seems strange, in view of the anxiety expressed in so many quarters about this measure, that I should be the only person who is active in the matter of amendments. In this case I personally do not agree with what may be described as the set-up of the Bill. I should have preferred to see it presented in a different form—that there would be, for instance, a chemical institute, a textile institute and divisions of that sort. Senator Fearon would be far more competent to define these divisions than I am. I would prefer that the heads of these different sections under the Bill would form the board, and that it should be the directing body. The Minister's approach is different. I would plead with him to have this matter examined in the course of the next few years.

The object of the amendment is to bring this council of 50 into closer association with the research committee. I imagine that the country will be pretty well combed by the time the Minister has got 50 people qualified to be put on the council. After all, 50 is a big number of people to be qualified to be associated with research. I think that, having got the council and given it a status and put on it responsibility in the matter of reports, it would be only fitting and proper to let it nominate a minority on the research committee. The Minister may say that it will be as long as it is broad—that he will have already nominated a number of people on the council and that he cannot see where he can get anybody who is not already included. I feel that he might give a definite status to the council in this matter of nominating a minority on the research committee.

I have considered the suggestion and I think it is objectionable. It is quite true that it is highly improbable that any person would be nominated on the committee who would not otherwise be included in the membership of the council. If appointed as a member of the committee he would be ex officio a member of the council. The field of selection is not so large that there is any likelihood that a person who might be appointed on the committee would not be deemed eligible and suitable for the council. I think, however, that, first of all, it is necessary to regard the committee as a team which will consist not of a number of persons with similar qualifications but a number of persons with different qualifications combining between them the ideal organisation to take charge of the research activities of this institute.

The possibility of getting a properly balanced team will be minimised if we have two nominating authorities. Secondly, I think it is undesirable to introduce this element of election into the council. If the council had responsibility for electing four members of the committee it might produce a situation in the council which would not be in the best interests of the institute. Conceivably, there might be canvassing. There might be something akin to the formation of parties in the council to support the candidature of individual members of the committee. The council would be an undesirable body to use as a nominating body. I am opposed to the amendment on these two grounds—the undesirability of using the council as an instrument for that purpose and I think also it is desirable to keep one nominating body to ensure a properly balanced team for the committee. I think the amendment is not desirable.

A lot will depend on whether the council is to be the first body to be appointed or the committee. I can imagine a council of 50 reaching a zero conclusion after a year's work, and of a small committee giving good advice for the selection of a council.

I suggest that the committee should have power to provide that at least four members would be on the council. There should be some co-ordination between the two. Either that or they should be ex officio members.

All the members of the committee are ex officio members of the council.

Maidir le halt a 9, agus le halt a 12, agus ar fud an Bhille, ba mhaith liom a iarraidh ar an Aire, agus a thathaint air, ins an chead chéim eile den Bhille seo, go gcuirfeadh sé an teideal Gaeilge mar phriomh the ideal ar Choiste Taighde Tionscail agus Coiste Caighdeán Tionscail, agus chomh maith céanna, Foras Taighde agus Caighdeán Tionscail in inead na dteideal i mBéarla atá anois ar na nithe sin. Ba mhaith liom a iarraidh ar an Aire go gcuirfeadh sé féin na nithe sin sa Bhille fé mar atá, mar shampla, "Bórd na Mona" mar theideal ins an Bhille a bhí ar siúl againn coicíos ó shoin sa Tigh seo mar phriomh theideal ar an mBórd a dhéanfadh freastal ar thionscal na móna.

While I am disappointed, I am not surprised at the Minister's attitude. It is quite in conformity with the present tendency towards centralisation. The Minister and myself are very much opposed on that issue. I like the less tidy and more fortuitous method of allowing individualism to have certain play. The Minister likes the not less orderly but more streamlined approach to everything. We differ on that, and not for the first time. I think we have reached a sorry pass when 50 eminent men qualified to deal with research cannot be trusted to find five of their members without canvassing and other undesirable practices in a matter of nominations to their body. All canvassing is not over because it is denied to the council, but there it is. I have put my point of view. The Minister has got the power, and I have no alternative but to make my protest and withdraw the amendment.

Might I point out to Senator Sir John Keane that the Bill is based on the principle of Ministerial appointment? The council of 50 members is to be appointed by the Minister. It is only for that reason I am accepting that position. If it were to be an outside body, independent of the Minister—not clearly under the Minister, as it is—I should be in entire agreement with the suggestion that they should have the right of nomination of the committee.

What we are setting up is a Government institution.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

In Section 9 it is provided that the research committee "shall act... in all matters except as otherwise expressly provided in this Act". I do not know if that is definite enough. Why should not the committee do all acts assigned to it by the institute?

The research committee is being set up as the governing body of the institute. It controls the funds and, subject to the powers of the director, is responsible for the staff.

Might not the phrase "except as otherwise expressly provided in this Act" refer to Section 5?

No, it is intended to provide for reservations to the standards committee and to the director. The standards committee has an independent status in relation to standards; the research committee has nothing to do with that.

As regards sub-section (2), is it necessary to provide that a member "shall be appointed for his attainments in scientific research applied to industry"? It seems to me that the number of persons here who have reached the stage of attainment in that branch of research must be very small. The best people for this task would be people like some of the scientists who, during the emergency, not having attainments in research as applied to industry, applied their talents in that direction with quite a considerable amount of success. For a portion of this committee, what you would want would be persons with attainments in scientific research but I do not think it is necessary to provide for attainments in scientific research as applied to industry before a person can become a member of the committee. Does that not unnecessarily narrow the choice?

I think that the emphasis should be on scientific research as applied to industry in order to indicate the type of person the Minister is bound to select but he is not excluded from appointing persons with general scientific attainments.

Section 8 put and agreed to.
Sections 9 and 10 agreed to.
Amendment No. 5 not moved.

On the section, I should like again to express my anxiety as to the protection which will be afforded to the ordinary housewife and user in so restricted a market, with so many potential dangers in regard to quality. I should like to know who will take the initiative in regard to standards. I should like to see, for example, cooking pots included. I was shown two cooking pots recently by a very good Gael. He would be essentially a person who would be approved by the Minister's Party. He said: "That is an Irish one and that is an English one and I have no doubt which to recommend." That was a personal experience. I want to have a wide range of standards for all articles of everyday use. Whose duty will it be to see that this wide range will be established?

Under the Bill, it is the duty of the Minister for Industry and Commerce. He requests the standards committee to prepare specifications.

Is the Minister in sympathy with the idea that as wide a range of standards as possible should be provided?

Yes, subject to discussions with the manufacturing or trading interests concerned.

Section 11 agreed to.
Sections 12 to 18 agreed to.
Question proposed: "That Section 19 stand part of the Bill."

I should like if the Minister would develop more clearly what he has in mind regarding sub-section (2). I am somewhat afraid, regarding this provision, that there will be a certain reluctance on the part of the larger-sized industrial firms to pay substantial sums for the purpose of further research into ideas which they may have. They may have a feeling that the result of their expenditure will just go to the Minister. I see the need under sub-section (2) for some form of arbitration or for the institution of some body other than the Department, which is entitled to say, according to the sub-section, that they will allow a certain proportion to go to the person concerned and that they will decide the extent of that proportion. It has not been easy to persuade certain of our industrialists to contribute towards such research as has already been done. I did my best to persuade those with whom I am associated to contribute to it and I had some success but I had considerable difficulty as well. I should like to know how the Minister, thinks this provision will work out.

It seems to me that this is the fairest course. If some private firm comes to the institute and puts a problem before them, requesting them to carry out an investigation as to whether and, if so, how, a particular thing can be done, and the institute, as a result of their work on that problem, produce something that could be called a discovery—a patentable invention—it is quite obvious that it should not be the exclusive property of the party who employed the institute. The institute which applied itself to that task, which is a public organisation set up by public funds, should have the responsibility of ensuring that some proportion of the permanent benefits of their work would divert to the public. That is what is intended here, that if there is a valuable invention or commercial property as a result of work done by the institute on behalf of a private firm that the ownership of that property should be divided between the Minister representing the State and the private firm on whatever basis is considered equitable.

It may be possible to have a provision there for arbitration, but I think arbitration proceedings would be particularly difficult in a matter of that kind and perhaps unduly prolonged. The division would have to be based on the extent to which investigation had been undertaken by the private firm in advance, to what extent they had a good idea at the time the institute took over the research work. If they came along and said, "Here is something which we would like to do and have no idea of how to do it" and the whole of the research work leading to the invention was undertaken by the institute, then, obviously, the claim of the private person to a permanent interest in the invention would be small. If on the other hand they came with an idea which was almost perfected but which they could not make work and the institute was responsible merely for the final touches which made it a workable invention, then clearly the claim of the private concern would be very large. How an arbitrator would award in these cases would be difficult to decide and in fact it seems to me that it is probably better to leave it in the hands of the Minister who will have the responsibility of protecting the public interest, to the extent there is a public interest, and the desire to encourage people to use the institute in cases of that kind and, consequently, will not be disposed to act unfairly to the private interest.

I would probably be inclined to agree 100 per cent. with the Minister in the way in which he thinks it should be divided but I think it is only right that I should warn him of the consequences if he leaves it "in such proportions as the Minister may determine". Remember, nothing he has said is in the Bill or can be put in the Bill.

That is true.

If there is no other way by which there would be consultation with certain other persons, I am afraid the tendency will be that, where it is just a problem that the firm has and do not know anything about it, they will pass it on because they do not expect anything, but, where it is something that they have gone some distance with, or that some of their employees have gone some distance with, they will do their best to keep it from the institute and see if the money cannot be spent privately or in such a way that they will get the benefit. What I am really putting before the Minister is that I think there is a genuine uneasiness that the institute may not get as much of the work as it would get otherwise. I did not put down any amendments to this Bill, not because I could not put down three times as many as Senator John Keane, but because, in the nature of the Bill, I thought it was better to raise these points in Committee and see what arose. I recognise that the responsibility of a new experiment like this is almost entirely the Government's and it is up to us to make suggestions and to press them, but there is not much use in pressing them any further than the Minister is prepared to go by means of amendment. Quite frankly, I could not think of a clear plan that I would put up but I would think it would be even better if the onus were on the institute to agree and then ultimately, in the event of failure, the Minister might have the decision.

I think the workable system would be that the Minister will determine the issue after consultation with the industrial research committee.

Something like that, or I would prefer that they would do it in the event of agreement between the owner and the industrial research council and, in the event of disagreement, that the Minister would come in.

I think the Minister must come in. The Minister would have a somewhat different point of view on this matter from the council. The Minister, after all, would be much more concerned than the council to protect the public interest in their property. The council might be only concerned with the prestige and popularity of the institute and not necessarily unduly perturbed about the public interest in the matter. I think the Minister, in consultation with the industrial research committee, would be better.

I think the thing that would give the best results would be that in the event of this occurring— and I hope it will occur—I hope the institute will succeed—that the institute itself and the persons concerned would put up a scheme to the Minister which he will finally decide on one way or the other. With certain amendments that, I think, would be a desirable thing to achieve.

This criticism was put up to me straight off, "I would not put any money in that because it simply means that two or three civil servants will be given the job of fixing these things and you would not have any say in the matter". That does not mean the civil servants would not consult but it is always a delicate matter between the actual person who is going to gain or to lose. You cannot very well consult with him, and I think the other way would be far better and I suggest the Minister would put in some phrase that would indicate that this would be a matter of negotiation with the research council but that the Minister would decide ultimately what was the amount.

I will see what we can do in the matter.

Under sub-section (4) bonuses or royalties may be paid to members of the staff of the institute, out of moneys at the disposal of the institute. Not surely out of the £15,000, which is very small, for the administration of the institute? I suppose the defraying of part of the costs of special investigations would come under that.

It would be out of any funds the institute might have. Its sources of revenue are the £15,000, the funds it may get from private research fees and moneys got for special investigations. Out of any of these funds the institute may give this encouragement to its staff by way of bonus or awards for work of special value.

Or royalties.

Any invention is the property of the Minister.

There is, I take it, nothing preventing the Minister himself, if he chooses, utilising a discovery. The Minister, in replying, said it does not follow that the Minister himself will utilise a discovery or invention commercially but, of course, there is nothing to prevent him, if he should ever desire to.

Perhaps the Minister will explain as to how he proposes to use sub-section (3) because, generally speaking, science should be international and knowledge should be free and I do not like the look of sub-section (3) which would allow the Minister to sit down upon a discovery or invention in the same way as we understand trusts have found it convenient to sit down upon an invention for fear it should endanger their immediate property.

There may be some reason why the committee would regard as undesirable the publication of an invention. Ordinarily an invention is published in consideration of the grant of a patent and it may be, and is not unusually the case, that a patent does not give complete protection because of technical difficulties or diversity of practice in other countries. Publication here, of course, is publication everywhere and there could be discoveries or inventions of a type that could not properly be protected by patents and which it might be desirable to get into commercial use here before publication or which for some reason might have to be withheld pending some further investigations which would enhance its commercial value. There are occasions where inventors and discoverers do not take out patents because they want to complete their work or because they do not feel their property can be protected. Ordinarily I think the policy should be to publish full details of any discovery or any work done by this institute, but if the institute committee has got a view that any particular matter should not be the subject of a report for a time, then I think the Minister should have regard to that view before coming to a decision.

It will remain a kind of national secret process compared with the secret process of a firm?

It may be.

It would be made available to Irish nationals?

And could conceivably be made available to the firm that initiated the investigation.

Question put and agreed to.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

It is now 6 o'clock.

I can say that it is quite clear that my work in the Dáil will not start at 7 o'clock, as I had hoped.

Could we continue and finish?

If it would be practicable to finish the Committee Stage and adjourn, would that be better?



Question proposed: "That Section 20 stand part of the Bill."

I am a little bit puzzled as to the meaning of sub-sections (1) and (2) when taken together. One says the institute shall formulate for the Minister specifications and the other says: "In formulating specifications they shall comply with the directions of the Minister." It is not by any means clear. They have to formulate them and they have to comply with the directions. Surely there must be some limit as to what is intended. Otherwise it is a farce.

The particular matter which I have in mind in that regard is the desirability of having specifications which will be related to manufacturing practices and manufacturing resources here. Conceivably the standards committee could just take the standard specifications of Great Britain or some other country and reproduce them as Irish standards. That I think would not be desirable. In fact, the aim should be to get standard specifications which would be related to the raw materials and available productive capacity here in so far as specifications relating to commodities manufactured in this country were concerned. Furthermore, I think the standards committee in preparing these standard specifications should consult with the manufacturing and trading interests here that are likely to be affected by them and the Minister would ordinarily require the standards committee, before preparing standard specifications for any commodity, to consult with named associations of manufacturers or individual manufacturers or other commercial organisations which might have a point of view to express in the formulation of the specification. It is to ensure that in that regard the Minister, who is assumed to be in touch with commercial needs and to know and understand the industrial and commercial problems that will arise, will be able to indicate to the committee the procedure they are to follow in the preparation of a standard specification.

I see it is really intended to be in connection with procedure rather than in the form in which it appears. I will not press the point but may I say at the same time that I agree 100 per cent. with the Minister that you must consult with the persons who are going to produce the goods? That does not mean that you accept their standards.

But it does mean that you have to take care in setting up a particular standard as to what the exact effect will be. I know very little about whiskey but I know the standards in Scotland and Ireland are different but that does not say that one is better than the other and you could set up a standard that would be a perfectly true standard but which could not be used.

That is what I am thinking of. The illustration I gave in the Dáil was a standard specification for workers' heavy boots. There would be no good in producing a specification which no manufacturer here could conform to because of the nature of the machinery that is installed or the nature of the materials available to him. Clearly, therefore, in the preparation of such specifications the committee would have to consider, not merely the standard of quality which it was desirable to attain, but the standard of quality which existing manufacturers could in fact attain.

Yes, and that the standard as described was an accurate one.

An accurate standard and a fair one.

Question put and agreed to.
Section 21 agreed to.
Question proposed: "That Section 22 stand part of the Bill."

It seems to me a mistake to use the two languages in a standard. It seems to me that under this section we may have four marks, one which is to be in Irish, with the full name, one in Irish with initials, one in English with "Irish Standard" on it and another in English with the initials "I.S."

Surely this is a matter in which we are all very anxious to get a recognised Irish standard with an Irish mark. If it is not desirable to have an Irish one let us have an English one, but only one. The idea of two does not appeal to me at all. The Irish one with "I.S." does not appeal to me either. I just glanced at the telephone directory and I find that there is "Irish Steel", "Irish Shipping", "Irish Sewing Cotton Company", "Irish Shell", "Irish Shoe Supplies", "Irish Sugar Company". There are quite a number of others too, all well established.

While I think there is something to be said for having only one, the fact that one would have to be Irish might operate to discourage the use of it altogether in certain cases. While in the drawing up of contracts and other business negotiations it was desirable to avail of the Irish standard specification I think it should be possible to have it designated by the English form and still have it legally binding. That is why I suggest there should be provision for the English and Irish form of the name. Ordinarily it has been our practice to establish Irish names as the forms in common use. In this particular case there are some advantages in having an English form with a legal status.

I do not see why you should not have an Irish standard specification with the recognised Irish sign. The old Irish trade-mark long before the Treaty did very useful work and strangely enough it was used largely by some of the most conservative and most English firms in the country.

Does a mark cover a specification or can any article made outside a specification be covered by a mark?

A standard mark can only be used on goods which conform to the standard specification. The mark will not be "C.I." or "I.S." but it will be Irish standard mark No. 151 or 496 or whatever particular number is prescribed.

I see. I feel when this is in operation it will be a great improvement.

What will be the effect of the withdrawal of a licence in regard to goods already listed?

I think it will mean that they cannot be sold bearing the mark.

You may have a commodity in general use on sale in all the retail shops all over the country when the licence is withdrawn. It seems to me that it would be rather disastrous if the ordinary shopkeeper could not sell his stock.

He is not debarred from selling the stock without the mark.

That would be all right if the commodity was a yard of cloth. By cutting the corners off it you could get a market for it. I think there should be some period of warning before the licence is withdrawn. I quite agree that a person should not be allowed to sell again, but there may be difficulty there. These standards will be largely for items of food and the marks will be on packages and things of that kind. I am particularly anxious that nothing in this Act would operate against the use of the mark. I do not want people to prefer to buy something without the standard mark. because it would be safer.

I will have that examined.

Can it not always be provided that a copy of the invoice may be produced showing that the goods were purchased before the licence was withdrawn?

I would like to examine that whole matter.

Sections 22 to 33, inclusive, agreed to.
Question proposed: "That Section 34 stand part of the Bill."

On the section, it has been represented to me by persons of experience who are well qualified to give an opinion that the requirement in the section of having to go to the Minister for any moneys exceeding £15,000 a year would introduce a certain amount of rigidity and limitation on the free operation of these research committees. I am told that it is not practicable to put forward a cut and dried proposition based on so much additional funds That does not mean to say that if the committee is going to run into big money that it may not have to go for extra funds. It will be placing a severe limitation on the committee if it has to go to the Minister for anything over £15,000. It will limit the work of the committee and of the director. They will have to examine their schemes from that angle. As well as I remember, there are 11 or 16 members between the research committee and the standards committee. Presumably, they are going to be paid salaries in the region of £600 a year or £700 a year. On that point, perhaps the Minister would enlighten me. It is a matter that I overlooked on an earlier section. Who is going to fix the salaries of the members of this committee? According to the Bill, they will fix them themselves. That certainly is a new departure.

The members of the committee will not be on a salary basis. They will be like a board of directors. The salaried officers of the institute will be the staff.

Does the Minister expect to get competent people to act on a research committee merely for their expenses? One section provides that the remuneration and expenses will be fixed by the committee. I cannot see unpaid members of the committee.

I do not say they would be unpaid, but I contemplate that their remuneration will be something in line with what the directors of a company would obtain where full-time service, or anything approaching it, is not expected.

Has the Minister examined how far £15,000 would go, even in the case of a very modest project? The director is going to be paid. I should imagine that a man of his standing would be paid something like £2,000 a year.

The intention is that the State will provide the cost of the laboratories, the equipment and the physical assets. The institute will receive, in addition, £15,000 a year out of which it will defray the normal operating cost of the laboratories, the cost of the normal working of the institute, and pay the remuneration of the director as well as his staff and the remuneration of the members of the committees. Over and above that, the State will give grants for special investigations. The procedure at present is that the Industrial Research Council, which now exists, has no funds at its absolute disposal. It can only undertake research work when it has submitted a scheme for examination, with an estimate of the cost of it, and when it has got approval for the scheme. That procedure would continue in future, as far as special investigations are concerned.

It is contemplated that the committee will prepare, at the beginning of each year, a programme for special investigations, that it will bring that programme to the Minister for Industry and Commerce and will get approval for it as well as approval for the amount to be expended on each such investigation. The actual expenditure of the funds provided will be at the discretion of the committee, but the amount will have to be voted by the Dáil, over and above the £15,000 which is there to maintain the ordinary day-to-day working of the institute. The only alternative to that arrangement would be to increase the £15,000 and provide for no special grants. But that higher amount might prove to be inadequate for the work to be done in any one year and excessive for the work to be done in another year. This seems to be the only possible device by which the income of the institute from State funds can be related to its programme of work in each year.

I understand the Minister's point of view, but I do not think it is a sound one. I think that the proper method would be to have an estimate each year.

There will be an estimate each year prepared by the committee and presented to the Minister. That does not mean that the Minister must accept their estimate without question. He can refuse to sanction it, or he can modify the amount asked for

What is the object of dividing it into two separate departments? This £15,000 is going, presumably, to pay the director.

It will do more than that. I hope we will get a director who will work for a good deal less than £15,000.

There will be a big staff to be paid.

The salaries of the staff and the ordinary working expenses of the institute will be met out of this £15,000.

I imagine that there will have to be an assistant director. He would have to be a very well paid man. A colonel has two majors under him, and a major two captains. You cannot very well have a director in the air with nobody between him and the typist.

The estimate of £15,000 was arrived at in relation to what we estimated the staff and other expenses of the institute would cost.

Does that leave anything for the members of the committee?

They are included in that figure.

It seems to me that £15,000 is a very small amount for what is being contemplated. I hope that the Minister will be able to reconsider this between now and the Report Stage.

I could not get more than £15,000 before the Report Stage of the Bill is taken in the Seanad.

I think that if you are to get any results at all you would want £40,000 or £50,000. I think that, on this basis of finance, the whole thing is going to be a damp squib. On the Report Stage, I intend to come back to the curious provision whereby the members of the committee are to fix their own remuneration.

Someone said that it was a device to get them at less than the Minister would have to fix for them. We are saying to them: "There is £15,000; we trust you to spend it properly, even in the matter of your own fees, rather than have the Minister stepping in and deciding its allocation." The argument which I thought was weighty against that device was this: that, left to themselves, the members of the committee would perhaps fix a lower fee than the Minister might deem appropriate. The theory was that, once we set up this committee and gave them this sum, it was to be entirely at their discretion as to how it would be spent, so that the element of Ministerial supervision would be at a minimum.

I do not like this idea. I think that the sum of £15,000 is quite inadequate even as a nucleus and it may be very hampering to the work of the institute if they have to come along and make a definite case for definite sums.

I agree with Senator Sir John Keane that the sum of £15,000 is very small. But I completely disagree with him in his reference to the method adopted by the Minister. I think that the method adopted is by far the better one in connection with a body of this kind. The right thing to do with such a body as we have in mind is to give them an adequate sum of money to be used at their discretion. A far better result will be got from scientific men by that means than by obliging them to go to the Department of Finance to get sanction for every button which is required for an office boy's uniform. I rose to say how pleased I was the Minister adopted this method. It would be disastrous if this body were to be told that this sum of £15,000 was the last word in connection with the running of the institute. The position should be that this £15,000 would be for setting up the institute and providing a planned scheme. They should be at liberty to submit a further plan showing that, for the efficient running of the institution, a larger sum would be necessary. We should not get to the stage whereby every change in the staff or in the plan would require to have Ministerial sanction. For that reason, I disagree with the view of Senator Sir John Keane in that regard.

Staff can be employed as required by the institute for special investigations for which special allocations are made.

As I understand, they may undertake a special investigation for me if I pay them for it. They may also undertake a special investigation for the Minister, in which case they will be paid for it, apart from the sum set out here.

That is so.

The Minister will not take offence if I say that this is a refreshing but very unconventional outlook regarding the expenditure of public money.

Sections 34 to 37 agreed to.

I move amendment No. 6:—

In sub-section (1), line 46, to delete the words "industrial research committee" and substitute the word "director".

With the permission of the House, I shall also deal with amendment No. 7 as follows:—

In sub-section (2), lines 51-52, to delete the words "to the director", and in line 52, to delete the words "as the director" and substitute the words "as the committee".

A report is to be published by the institute. The extraordinary provision is made that the draft report shall be prepared by part-time members of the research committee, who will be receiving merely a honorarium. In other institutions, Governmental and commercial, the head executive would prepare the report—in this case, the director. He is there whole-time and has control of the staff, files and materials for the report. The report will be submitted to the director who will make his observations upon it. Then it will go to the advisory body— the council—and finally find its way to the Minister. That is a very unconventional and round-about way of doing the job.

I think that the committee's report should go to the council. There may be a question as to whether the committee's report should be submitted to the director for his observations and whether the director's observations on the report should also go to the council. But it seems to me that, inasmuch as the aim is to make this council, when it meets annually, a sort of scientific convention at which questions of general interest may be raised, it is desirable it should have, not merely the committee's report but the director's observations upon the work which has been proceeding under his control during the course of the year. That is what is provided for here. If there were strong objections to the device, I should be prepared to drop the submission of the committee's report to the director for his observations rather than make it the director's report which would go to the council. I think that it is the committee's report should go to the council.

The director receives the report. He is a full-time officer. He makes what observations he thinks fit and then the report goes forward to the people above him who are only part-time. What is the reason for departing from the standard procedure?

What we want to get is a report from the governing body, which is the committee.

In a commercial concern, it is the directors who report. The draft is prepared by the senior executive officer.

Senator O Buachalla reminds me that we have empowered the director to carry out research on his own responsibility in addition to the research carried out by the committee. It is clear that the report of the director should be available to the council, which would want to know not merely of the research being carried out by the committee but also of the research which the director has in progress.

I shall leave the amendment on the Paper and perhaps the Minister would consider some alternative for the Report Stage.

I do not know of any alternative except to leave in sub-section (1) only.

Even that is better than if the committee sent the report to the director. In a matter of this kind, nobody is going to challenge the legality of the practice. I am more concerned with the respectability of our Statute Book.

I shall consider whether we can cut out the director in that connection.

Amendment No. 6, by leave, withdrawn.
Amendment No. 7 not moved.
Sections 38 to 40 agreed to.
First and Second Schedules and Title agreed to.
Bill reported without amendment.
Report Stage fixed for Wednesday, 31st July, 1946.