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Seanad Éireann debate -
Wednesday, 31 Jul 1946

Vol. 32 No. 11

Industrial Research and Standards Bill, 1946—Report and Final Stages.

Government amendment, No. 1:—
In page 4, Section 5, to delete paragraph (d), line 42, and substitute the following paragraph:—
(d) to publish the result of any test or analysis carried out by the institute or by any other person on its behalf.

Amendments Nos. 1, 2 and 3 hang together. On consideration of the points raised here in Committee I thought it was desirable to make more specific provision in the Bill to enable the Institute for Industrial Research to arrange with outside bodies for the carrying out of any research on behalf of the institute, or of any investigation, test, or analysis which the institute is empowered to make under the Bill in accordance with its functions as set out in Section 5. The necessary powers are being conferred on the institute by the new sub-section (2) which is to be added to Section 5 under amendment No. 2. The new paragraph (d), which is being substituted for the existing paragraph (d) in Section 5, is consequential on the extended powers which it is proposed to give the institute.

As one of the members who raised the point, I am very glad the Minister has brought in these amendments which, I think, meet the case. As a matter of fact, the more I think of it and the more I consider the number and the variety of experiments, particularly with regard to standards, the institute might be asked to undertake, the more it seems to me essential that, certainly for the first number of years, it should have this power.

Amendment put and agreed to.
The following Government amendments were also agreed to:—
2. In page 4, Section 5, to insert a new sub-section, as follows:—
(2) The institute may arrange with any person for the carrying out by that person on behalf of the institute of any research; investigation, test or analysis referred to in sub-section (1) of this section.
3. In page 7, Section 19, to insert after the words "undertaken by" in lines 11 and 15, the words "or on behalf of".
Government amendment No. 4:—
In page 7, Section 19, sub-section (2), to insert at the end of line 18 the words "after consultation with the industrial research committee."

I intimated during the discussion in Committee that I would bring in an amendment to this effect which requires that, before coming to a decision under Section 19 (2), the Minister for Industry and Commerce will consult with the industrial research committee.

That was also a point that I raised. The amendment is better than nothing, but I am not at all certain that it will meet the point. I take it it means in effect that where there is a private interest they themselves can discuss the matter also with the institute and that they would know that they would not be overridden without the point of view of the institute being heard. That is as much as we can get under the circumstances, though I am not sure that it will get over that difficulty.

Amendment put and agreed to.
Government amendment No. 5:—
In page 8, Section 22, to delete sub-section (2), lines 23, 24 and 25, and substitute the following sub-section:—
(2) A standard mark shall include the words "Caighdeán Éireannach" or the initials "C.E." and may include the words "Irish Standard" or the initials "I.S." or any other mark.

There was a suggestion in the course of the discussion in Committee that the standard mark should be in Irish only or that the corresponding initials only should be approved. I find that I am unable to accept that fully. There may be occasions when the standard mark will be used in connection with exported goods and, in such circumstances, it may be desirable to permit the use of the standard mark in English and in Irish. I propose a further amendment, therefore, that the standard mark shall include the Irish form and the Irish initials and may include the English form and the English initials in any particular case.

Does this mean that there will be only one standard mark?

One of the objections to my mind, apart from the question of the Irish language, is that I do not want orders coming to a manufacturer for one dozen with the Irish trade mark and 50 dozen with the English trade mark.

The standard trade mark will be as prescribed in any individual case.

It seems to me that there ought not to be in any one case two trade marks, one of which is in Irish and the other in English. I believe the net effect will be bad.

That will not be the position. The Minister will prescribe the mark. Ordinarily, that will include only the Irish words or the Irish initials, but in certain cases he may prescribe a mark which will also contain English words and initials.

In every case the words "Caighdeán Éireannach" or the initials "C.E." will be on the standard, but there may be, in addition, the words "Irish Standard" or the initials "I.S.", or there may be the mark "C.E." with no words? That is the guaranteed standard?

There seems to be a change in the amendment—"or any other mark". The amendment sets out that:—

"A standard mark shall include the words ‘Caighdean Éireannach' or the initials ‘C.E.' and may include the words ‘Irish Standard' or the initials ‘I.S.' or any other mark."

There seems to be a further change there from the Bill.

I was considering the possibility of authorising in certain cases the use of other foreign languages, where goods are being exported to a particular market. As is well known, Japanese goods came here marked "Made in Japan" in English, not in Japanese words. If ever the occasion should arise, it would be possible to authorise a mark in that form, but, in any case, the Irish words or the Irish initials must be included.

If the Minister wishes in a particular case to put "I.S." on the article, he must also put the initials "C.E."?

That is quite right.

That is not exactly what was said a minute ago.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 6:—

In page 12, Section 38, sub-section (1), after the word "institute" in line 47, to insert the words "including the work of the standards committee".

The House will remember that when speaking earlier on this Bill I tried to make the point that the really important section deals with standards— standard mark, specification and so on, by which means there will be some assurance that commodities are of such a quality that the customer will be safeguarded. Following out that line of thought, I would stress that the standards section of the Bill is the really important one and that the research section is incomplete and minor in so far as the Bill goes. Yet we find that if there is an annual report, or whatever report may be made part of the proceedings of the institute, it will be done by the research committee. There is not one word to ensure that the standards section of the work will receive an adequate report.

On the face of the Bill they are two separate committees and there is nothing whatever in this measure about a report from the standards committee. The report only gives, by implication, the research committee, who are alone made responsible by law in the matter of the report, the right to report on the work of the institute, which includes the more important section, I submit, that of the standards committee. I think the section should be recast to place an obligation on both committees to make separate reports, but at this stage that might be far too elaborate. It would mean a good deal of redrafting, and I would be quite satisfied if the words in my amendment were embodied. It merely means that the report shall have definite regard to the work of the standards committee, which I ask the House to recognise as the more important section of the institute's work.

The Senator's amendment does not achieve anything, because the standards committee is an integral part of the institute and the report must cover all the work of the institute, including the work done by the standards committee. It will be appreciated that the organisation of the institute is so designed that the industrial research committee is, in effect, the administrative body. It has charge of the finances and has functions in relation to the recruitment of staff and generally will be responsible for the business management of the institute.

It is to be assumed that in preparing its report to the council the industrial research committee will consult with the standards committee and, in so far as the standards committee's work is of a somewhat different character from the work of the industrial research committee, it is less likely to be the subject of discussion at the council meetings. The only possible report that might come from the standards committee will be a list and particulars of the standard specification which had been prepared and an indication of the matters that were under consideration.

The industrial research committee's report will deal with the progress of research and the difficulties encountered in particular researches and will be far more likely to be the subject of discussion at the council meetings than any report from the standards committee. However, it is not intended that the work of the standards committee will not be reported to the council. It will be reported and the section so requires. The addition of the words suggested by the Senator will not alter the intention of the section. The committee's work must be covered in the report.

I am satisfied that the whole effect of the section is to place the standards committee, which is the more important committee, in a subordinate position. I feel that there should be some direction, for what it is worth. I think statutory directions are worth something because, if the report contains little or nothing about the work of the standards committee, one can raise the matter in Parliament and ask: "Why is not something being done about the work of the standards committee, in view of the statutory obligation to have regard thereto?"

I cannot accept it, although the Minister says so, that the research section is the more important section. Actually, under the Bill it may be in greater prominence, but as regards what it would do for the public, I am rather sceptical. I am hopeful that the standards committee might do a lot and might give in the near future, at very little cost, quite a substantial protection to the public against the production of articles of an inferior quality. I am sorry the Minister will not accept the amendment. In the circumstances, I withdraw it.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Government amendment, No. 7:—
In page 12, Section 38, sub-section (2), lines 52 and 53, to delete the words "together with such observations as the director may have made thereon to", and in line 54, to insert after the word "report", the word "and", and to delete the words "and observations".

Amendments Nos. 7 and 8 hang together. There was some objection raised in Committee to the proposal in Section 38 that the report of the industrial research committee would be submitted to the council with the observations of the director thereon. I agreed to delete these words and the purpose of the amendment is to remove from the sub-section the requirement that the report will be submitted with the observations of the director.

Amendment agreed to.
Government amendment, No. 8:—
In page 13, Section 38 (3), line 2, to delete the words "the director and".
Amendment agreed to.
Government amendment, No. 9:—
In page 13, Section 40, line 21, to delete the words "by the institute"; and in line 22, to insert after the word "publication" the words "by the institute".

This amendment is consequential on amendment No. 5. If the institute can have researches and tests carried out by some outside body on its behalf, this section must be altered accordingly.

Amendment agreed to.
Question—"That the Bill, as amended, be received for final consideration"—put and agreed to.
Agreed to take the Fifth Stage to-day.
Question proposed: "That the Bill do now pass."

The Minister has made certain improvements in the Bill—improvements of a minor character—but I should like again to strike the note I struck on Second Stage, and to say that, unless steps are taken to encourage, and to encourage generously, pure scientific research, industrial research cannot, in fact, be conducted to any satisfactory conclusions. Industrial research is an off-shoot of pure research, and a great many of the biggest firms in England and America which encourage what is called industrial research really conduct, under their own auspices, pure scientific research. If anybody, whether manufacturer or Minister, thinks that you can put research workers working at a particular hour in the morning and make them work for a certain number of hours a day, and, at the end of a certain period, get a definite result, he is mistaken.

It cannot be done, and anybody who considers the setting up of industrial research laboratories, or doing anything which will have specific industrial ends, must remember that all that work is based upon pure research, and that the greatest results which have been achieved in industry, and indeed in agriculture, were achieved by people working in a laboratory by themselves without any specific industrial or agricultural aim. We must start industrial research on the ground, by grants for pure research by the universities. It is a case where haste is not possible, and the Minister in concluding the debate on the Second Stage, and by certain amendments which he put in and which he accepted, has indicated that the work will be done in close contact with the universities. I hope that will prove to be so.

It seems to me also that the Bill will be difficult to administer. I do not know where we will get the kind of person who will be head of industrial research, head of a standard bureau and who will direct a number of people doing research and who will himself have time, as the Bill indicates, to conduct, if he so pleases, independent research for himself and on his own account. There would be a very big number of what one might call human problems, and it appears to me that the director will need to be a person of outstanding capacity. I should also like to say that there is a very considerable difference between scientific research and what one might call ingenuity. The improvement of machinery, the getting of better "gadgets", so to speak, is quite a different thing from scientific research and a person may be good at the one and by no means good at the other.

However, it is desirable that Irish manufacturers, and indeed Irish agriculturists, should have at their disposal the very latest being done in pure science and which may be turned to account for either agriculture or industry. This Bill will by creating a library, as has been indicated, and by keeping us in touch with the most recent work, advance on that particular ground. I give the Minister credit for the best of goodwill in the matter, but he cannot make any progress unless there is more encouragement for pure scientific research. Unless industrial research is built on that foundation, it can have no success.

I wish to endorse what has been said by Senator Hayes. As a university professor, he speaks with far more authority and far more knowledge than I on this matter, but I am apprehensive about the adequacy of this Bill, largely in view of remarks which have fallen from Senator Fearon, who has a great knowledge of scientific research, and from Senator Kingsmill Moore, who has very considerable knowledge of the legal aspects of a matter of this kind. I feel that the whole approach has been perfunctory, that such an important matter as scientific research should have been preceded by a deliberate examination of all the data involved. We should have called upon the collective wisdom of our scientists in the form of some commission to make recommendations as to the best set-up for the development of research. The Minister did say that certain bodies were consulted. I have no close knowledge of what bodies these were, but I understand—I am subject to correction—that one of them is a body which was set up only in very recent years—rather a war emergency body, with no really traditional knowledge of the whole subject of research.

I am not at all satisfied that you can make a hard and fast distinction between agriculture and scientific research. I see certain forms of plant life which have a distinct bearing on industrial products, such as straw and paper, and a number of others which will occur to members of the House, the quality and the type of which must affect the other, and so on. With regard to the question of paper and straw, certain qualities of straw may be the best for certain qualities of paper, and it will be a question of reconciling the requirements of the crop and of the industrial product. All these are questions which, to my mind, make it impossible to exclude from any industrial research the question of agriculture, and all I ask the Minister now is to say that he regards it only as a tentative approach to the whole problem, that he will have the matter examined in view of the importance of science in the future by those best qualified to make the examination during the next few years and that he will come forward then with a comprehensive measure, treating this whole matter far more seriously, and, if necessary, placing larger funds at the disposal of the institute, and, in addition, making the whole question of standards a matter of separate legislation. I hope that will be the line of our approach in the future to this most important matter of research.

I have only to express my regret that I was apparently quite unable to make any impression on the Minister or on the Seanad in regard to the aspect of this measure with which I was particularly concerned. It is true that I have the rather negative consolation of knowing that, from the point of view of scientific research, agriculture is not ruled out as not coming within the bounds and the possibility of benefit under the measure, but it is only a negative consolation, because, quite clearly, whatever Senators on the other side of the House may think, this is purely for the benefit of industry. It may be that the Minister, knowing very well what he is after, has hopes that he is laying the foundation for the establishment of a scientific research institute in the country and that the little which may be done with the £15,000 provided under the Bill may prove what might be done if the basis were broadened and more money made available.

The one thing clear in the discussion throughout is that we can lay no claim to be doing anything in the scientific field on behalf of agriculture. No claim is made to any achievement of any considerable merit on behalf of agriculture in the field of science. It does not appear that any steps are being taken to ensure that science, in relation to agriculture, will be given an impetus which agriculture very badly needs. I am speaking now in the hope that the Tánaiste will set his colleagues an example by what can be achieved under this measure. If he can only make the other members of the Government have an appreciation of what may be achieved for the nation through scientific efforts, let us hope that a little of what he is able to have done with this £15,000 will help him to convince his colleagues that, while industry requires the help of scientists, agriculture requires it 1,000 times more, and that while agriculture remains the base and the foundation of our national life, it must get every possible encouragement. From the scientists we have received no help. It is a matter of regret that the Minister did not see his way to give such a direction, in legal phraseology, in this measure as would make it imperative that this new body would work equally for agriculture and for industry.

It may be argued that the Minister's responsibilities are mainly in the field of industry, but in the Government he has a wider responsibility —it is collective. I am hoping that the Minister will try to stir his colleagues to an appreciation of the fact that many people who are terribly concerned about the progress of agriculture are very depressed that we are making no attempt to get into the line in the scientific field of progress that is so obvious in other agricultural countries. If we are blamed occasionally for being backward, the fault is not always with the farmers. While a great deal of money is being spent, I agree, in various activities, in the hope that the farmers' position may be bettered, there is negligence in one great field, where seed could really be sown that would bring forth fruit a thousandfold. I urge the Minister, now that he has got the measure, to try to convince his colleagues that, as a start is being made here, a much wider field remains relatively untilled.

Frankly, I am perturbed by the nature of Senator Baxter's remarks on this Bill. He has a sense of grievance from the point of view of agriculture about a Bill which is designed to encourage industrial research. Every industrialist and every citizen, whether engaged in industry or in agriculture, will agree with what Senator Baxter said about the need for greater research, but I respectfully suggest that he makes a very bad impression, when he goes on to suggest that this Bill gives a sense of grievance to those who are interested in agriculture. The grant that is being made is a puny one. Everybody agrees that the amount being devoted to industrial research is so puny that it will not achieve much in the fields it is designed to cover.

I hope that the Minister for Agriculture will be as zealous for the development of agricultural science as the-Minister for Industry and Commerce is in regard to industrial research, and that we may have a really comprehensive Bill in the near future which will provide an adequate sum for agricultural scientific development. I am sure the Senator will not mind if I emphasise that this Bill is simply directed towards industrial research. I do not see that any real good can be done by continually harping on a sense of grievance in relation to agriculture on a Bill brought in to encourage industrial research. I think it is a pity the Senator spoke the way he did.

I do not want to pour tepid water on the Bill at this stage, but it is really hard to get warmed up about it, having regard to the small sum of money being made available. I do not want to comment on that, though it is really a grotesquely small sum, unless the Minister hopes to be able to make use of something like the heavy water in the atomic bomb in order to compel pressure on the Treasury, so that he can get a decent sum of money for research. I join with those who consider that the amount is comparatively paltry for the problem that is before us. One reason for my lukewarmness is the fact that the Bill has been rather rushed upon us. We know that the Minister has said that certain people have been consulted. I cannot say in what particular. I know that a large number of people are interested in this question but I have not come across many who were consulted. There was an excellent summary by Colonel Edgeworth on research published in the Irish Builder and Engineer last March and I am sure that he and others who discussed the subject at the particular meeting would have been very useful to discuss sections of this Bill. I know many others. When the institute is established, I hope it will not be too late for those intimately concerned with the problem to give some help and information. The Minister has shown himself very skilful in the choosing of devices for the organisations with which his name is associated. I suggest, as a motto for his industrial research measure, a quotation from Rutherford which we have here:—

"In a certain class of society there is no lack of ideas. What is important is the power of discriminating between those ideas which are likely to be fruitful and those which are not."

In the other House the Minister said that apparently there is no limit to the nonsense which can be talked so long as it is relevant. We have no lack of ideas and, of course, no boundaries to all the ideas. I believe if we had given the ideas a little bit more chance of being fruitful, they might contribute something to this particular venture.

I wish to express my resentment at Senator Baxter's remarks. It is quite common for members of this House, and of the other House, to launch an attack on people who are not in a position to defend themselves. In this case, Senator Baxter has launched an attack on people who have been working on scientific research in this country for a number of years and, not alone have they been working, but they have been working successfully. I do not think we can excuse Senator Baxter on the plea that he does not understand what has been done. He has been asked time and time again to read the Department's leaflets, and to make himself acquainted with subjects that are coming up for discussion in this House. Senator Baxter laughs at that, but if he would eliminate a little of the parish pump politics, study things on the merits, then come to this House, where politics generally are not played for Party purposes, and carry on a sensible discussion, he would eliminate his twopence-halfpenny grievances and we would get along much better. I am sure Senator Baxter knows that this matter of research was taken away from the Department of Agriculture some years ago, and handed over to the university and that, at the same time, the college in Glasnevin is, in fact, under university control. In that college we have numerous professors who have not only made their mark, even on the mind of Senator Baxter, but have made it internationally. These are men who are known internationally for their work in agricultural research over a number of years. In Glasnevin College we have a man whose name will be known for generations—Professor Drew. He has been working on general agriculture. Then Professor Caffrey has been working on seeds. Professors Grimes and Sheehy have been working on milk and the dairying industry generally. The knowledge compiled by those men and distributed for the benefit of everybody, except those who refuse to read, is enormous. Those men should get full marks and full credit for the work they have done, instead of being attacked here, where they have no means of defending themselves.

Senator Quirke alleges that I made an attack on those men. Will he point to anything I said which would suggest that I made an attack on any of the men he mentioned? I did not dream of doing anything of the kind. It is very unfair of Senator Quirke to introduce the names of professors, to none of whom I referred, and suggest, by inference, that I cast reflections upon them.

I envy Senator Baxter in his injured innocence. In his opening remarks he said with great emphasis: "We have got no help from the scientists". Either he did not know we had any scientists or his assertion was that they were doing nothing —that we were getting no help from them. It is justifiable for me to say that we did get help from those scientists. There is nothing wrong in my saying that those men have done valuable work. There is no reason why I should not mention their names because we should be proud of those men, as most of us are, rather than condemn them. Men in Senator Baxter's position should make known the services which are available through these men for our agriculturists. I should be prepared to accept the statement, if made, that we do not make full use of those men. We do not avail fully of the benefits placed at our disposal by them through the Albert Agricultural College. There is a system there whereby farmers can have their soil tested. Special envelopes are furnished on application. A farmer can send a sample of soil with a view to finding what it contains and learning how he should treat it.

In my view, agriculture is not alone an industry but the basic industry of this country. Listening to the Opposition speakers, one would imagine that agriculture was outside industry, was foreign to industry. I believe that many of our industries in the future, to be successful, must be based on agriculture. Many of the things we will manufacture will be made from milk and milk products Already, we have many things made from milk products. We see them selling in the shops and one would doubt that they could be possibly manufactured from milk. I think that we should encourage these people by overpraise rather than underpraise to carry on that work. In that way, we shall be doing a better job for the country as a whole and for agriculture in particular.

While I agree largely with what Senator Fearon said, I am not quite so pessimistic as he is. I place a fair amount of hope on the 50 persons who will have an annual meeting in the form of a council. Those people will include, I am sure, many of those whom Senator Fearon and I think should be consulted if the industrial research institute is to be successful. I am hoping that the majority of the men we have in mind will be found amongst the 50 and that they will have an opportunity of saying that they cannot carry on on a grant of £15,000. I hope that, when they say that, they will not put forward a skeleton scheme but something of a practical nature which it will be impossible to resist. I should not be far wrong if I said that, of the large industries in Great Britain which have their own research departments, there is not one which does not spend considerably more than £15,000 per annum on that department. One or two firms of which I have knowledge set aside considerable sums for research. They employ promising young men under a scientist and they take their chance, without giving too much instruction, as to what will result from this form of what Senator Hayes described as "pure research". That system has proved very successful and profitable. I do not see why it should not be equally successful here. While I do not agree with Senator Baxter, that there should be in this Bill a specific instruction to engage in agricultural research, the cost to be met out of this sum of £18,000 plus whatever the Government may contribute for special work, I do not share Senator Quirke's idea that he was making an attack on the scientists or that anything he said warranted the great irritation and indignation which the Senator purported to voice. If he is amazed at the injured innocence of Senator Baxter, I can only express my amazement at the innocent indignation of Senator Quirke, which was no more impressive than, if it was as impressive as, that to which he objected in Senator Baxter. I do not believe that in Ireland, no matter what you put in a Bill, you could segregate industry and agriculture or industrial research and agricultural research. Industry, if it is to be successful, must have direct relation with agriculture. How would you separate research into the bottling of gooseberries from research into the growing of gooseberries? That example could be multiplied by a million. There is no clear line and there never can be a clear line.

In effect, an institute of this kind will only be permanently successful if means of co-operation with other bodies such as those referred to by Senator Quirke are found to be possible. The amendments introduced by the Minister and the general way in which he has met the criticism of this Bill suggest what I believe to be the case, that he does not want the institute to be too closely tied.

To my mind, the most encouraging thing in the Bill is the method by which it is to be financed, that is, by providing a sum of money, watching how it is spent to the extent of seeing that you get value for it but not tying it down under strict financial control. I think far better results will be obtained from research by that method than could be obtained in any other way.

Ní theastaíonn uaim ach aontú leis an achainí a rinneadh tráthnóna i bhfabhar breis cabhrach a thabhairt do na hollscoileanna le go gcuirfidís an taighde chun cinn. Na daoine adúirt gur fánach againn a bheith ag súil go rachadh obair thaighde an tionscail chun cinn gan na daoine a bheith á dtréineáil agus á n-ullmhú san ollscoil, tá an ceart acu. Ina dhiaidh sin, ní dóich liom gur gá aon imní a bheith orainn i dtaobh na scéime sin. Is léir ón mBille gur féidir i gcomhnaí obair áirithe a thabhairt do na hollscoileanna le déanamh mar rinneadh go dtí seo agus is léir freisin nach bhfuil an institiúid ag braith ar £15,000 le haghaidh a cuid oibre. Rinneadh go leor cainte ar a laghad airgid agus atá curtha ar fáil i gcóir na hinstitiúide. Tá daoine ag ceapadh, sílim, nach mbeidh le fáil ach £15,000 in aghaidh na bliana. Níl a fhios agam ar léigh na Seanadóirí a bhí ag caint mar sin an Bille go cúramach, agus, go mór mór, dá léidís Alt 34, fo-alt (2), d'fheicfidís go bhfuil sé ráite go soléir gur féidir breis airgid a thabhairt don institiúid le haghaidh oibre speisialta do réir mar is gá agus do réir mar bhíos an tAire Airgeadais sásta. Má cuimhnítear air sin, agus má déantar tagairt dó, ní dóigh liom gur féidir a bheith imníoch ó thaobh cúrsaí airgid. Thairis sin, tá mé cinnte go dtuigfidh lucht ceannais na hinstitiúide go gcaithfidh siad, go mion agus go minic, dul i gcomhairle le muintir na hollscoile i dtaobh ceisteanna éargnúla agus taighde agus ón taobh sin den scéal níl aon imní orm de bhrí an Bhille seo.

Rinneadh tagairt arís indiú do scéal na talmhaíochta agus an gá atá le obair thaighde i gcúrsaí na talmhaíochta. Sé'n faitíos atá orm de bharr na cainte a rínneadh go mbeidh daoine taobh amuich, daoine nach bhfuil eolas cruinn acu ar scéal na talmhaíochta, ag ceapadh go bhfuil faillí á dhéanamh sa tionnscail sin. Sin rud nach bhfuil fíor beag ná mór. Mar adúirt an Seanadóir Ó Cuirc, blianta ó shoin, do tógadh obair thaighde ar chúrsaí talmhaíochta as lámha na Roinne Talmhaíochta ar fad, agus an Coláiste Talmhaíochta a bhí ag obair i mBaile Atha Cliath, do tugadh isteach faoi Choláiste na hOllscoile, Baile Atha Cliath í d'aon turas obair thaighde a chur chun cinn. Ní hamháin é sin, ach cuireadh Dámh speisialta ar bun i nOllscoil na hEireann le teagasc a dhéanamh agus le taighde a dhéanamh ar thionscail na talmhaíochta. Ní hamháin é sin, ach ceapadh a lán daoine go speisialta mar ollamhna ar na brainsí éagsúla talmhaíocht d'aon turas go mbéadh an t-am agus an deis acu obair thaighde a dhéanamh ar mhaithe leis an tionscail. Ní hé amháin gur tugadh an t-airgead dóibh, gur tugadh an tsaoire agus an gradam dóibh a dhéanfadh neamh-spleadhach iad, ach tugadh feilmeacha mór dóibh, ceann i mBaile Atha Cliath agus ceann i gCorcaigh; tugadh saotharlanna dóibh, tugadh stoc agus gach goireas dóibh le go bhféadfaidís a gcuid staideir agus taighde a chur chun cinn. Is féidir do dhaoine a rá nach bhfuilid sásta leis an obair atá déanta acu.

Tá a lán daoine á rá gur theip ar an ollscoil a cuid oibre a dhéanamh go ceart i gcúrsaí eolaíochta agus taighde. Na daoine atá ag cainnt mar sin, ní thuigeann siad an scéal go ceart. Ar an gcaoi chéanna, deir daoine nár éirigh le lucht eolaíochta talmhaíochta nó lucht taighde an oiread a dhéanamh agus ba chóir. Ba mhaith linn go ndéanfaí níos mó ach, mar dúirt mé, ba chóir dúinn a bheith buíoch as ucht an mhéid atá déanta ó cuireadh Daimh na talmhaíochta ar bun faoi Choláiste na hOllscoile, Baile Atha Cliath agus Dáimh na Deiríochta fá Coláiste Ollscoile Corcaigh. Is méid é gur féidir linn maíomh as, rud a thuigeas duine ar bith a chuireas spéis mar ba cheart san obair.

As an obair atá deanta ag an Ollamh Drew i gcúrsaí sadhláiste tá cáil air ar fud an domhain agus déantar tagairt go minic sna foillseacháin léannta dó agus dá chuid oibre. Agus, ar an gcaoi chéanna, is cuma a mbaineann sé le taighde ar stoc nó ar ghalraí barraí, galraí chruithneachta agus fataí mar shomplaí, tá mór-chuid déanta, obair an-tábhachtach. B'fhéidir ná rabh sé ar intinn an tSeanadóra Baxter nuair bhí sé ag cainnt indiu gan cothrom na féinne a thabhairt do na daoine sin ach, ar a laighead, ó tharla gur hainmnigheadh eolaidhthe cliúmhúla ó am go h-am le linn na ndiosbóireachtaí, níor mhisde go dtiúbhraimíd moladh do na h-eolaidhthe talmhaíochta as ucht an mhéid a rinneadh siad agus chó maith is a rinneadh siad é.

Ní'l aon bhaol ann gur ndéanfar faillí ag an institiúid seo ar thaighde a bhainfeas le talmhaíocht. Rud a dúirt an Seanadóir Ó Cuirc nuair bhí sé ag cainnt, go mbrathfa a lán den dul ar aghaidh agus forfhás tionnscail san am le teacht ar buntionnscal na tíre, bhí lán ceart aige agus aontúim leis ann. Ós rud é gur mar sin atá, feictear dom nach féidir do'n institiúid seo gan áird a thabhairt ar tionnscail na talmhaíochta agus go gcuirfidh siad cuid mór obair taighde ar bun a rachas chun socar na talmhaíochta.

Ag an am céana is maith liom go mór go bhfuil dealú cruinn déanta idir obair thaighde do thionnscail déantoir-eachta agus obair thaighde do'n tionnscail talmhaíochta. Is tionnscail ar leith ar fad é an tionnscail talmhaíochta, tionnscail ar leith amach is amach é, agus ar an adhbhar sin, níor mhaith liom go meascfaí an dá rud; níor mhaith liom gur cuirfí gnáth-obair thaighde ar an tionnscail talmhaíochta isteach fé obair thaighde mar a bhéadh ar bun ag an institiúid seo atámuid ar tí a bunuighthe. Chomh fada agus is gá chomh oibriú bheith ann idir an dá ceann, bíodh sé ann, ach bímís cinnte go mbeidh a cuid institiúidí faoi leith ag gníomhú arson an tionnscal talamh-aiochta. Mar gheall ar chomh mór agus is príomh-thionnscal na tíre í bímís cinnte go gclaoidhfear leis an taighde speisialta ar mhaithe leis an talmhaíocht.

This Bill has been criticised, somewhat unfairly, I think, for not being what it does not profess to be. What it professes to be is set out in the Long Title and to bring in extraneous matters, to force into it work which it was not designed to accomplish would, I think, defeat its object. In addition, it would not be proper to ask the Minister for Industry and Commerce who has charge of this Bill to be responsible for agriculture, and I think it would defeat the object of the Bill if we brought into it more than it can bear. At the same time, I imagine that it was a good thing that the discussion took the form it took, because Senator Baxter brought home to us the importance of agriculture in our national economy and stressed the necessity of encouraging research in relation to it. With that, we all agree. I should also like to draw the attention of the House to a very important speech made by Senator Ó Siochfhradha on the fishing industry. The fact that these speeches were made is something gained, although they have nothing to do with the object of the Bill.

To my mind, the great importance of the Bill is the mobilising of talent and experience which is represented by the council. I quite agree with what was said—that you cannot bring the 50 men who will form the council together without getting good results, and it is from the results of their discussions that we hope will proceed the progress of industrial research of which this country has great need. I feel with Senator Summerfield that the endowment, £15,000, is very small. It gives the whole matter a rather measly look, as if we did not take the institute seriously. That appearance is not relieved by the sub-section of Section 38 which allows more money to be provided for special work. It seems to me that it would be very difficult to prepare an estimate showing what money will be required in that way, and there might be a hold-up of very necessary work. It may be that I do not know the technique of these things, but I should like the Minister to make it clear that, if money is needed for any special work, there will be no technical difficulty, in relation to the necessity to prepare estimates, in the way of the Minister for Finance giving it in proper time.

The stress placed upon the importance of pure research in relation to industrial research activities by Senator Hayes is, I think, justified. Nobody will disagree with him in his assertion that pure research must precede the application of scientific principles to industrial problems. I do not know to what extent the State is subsidising pure research in the universities at present, or proposes to increase the assistance given in that way, but I would emphasise, as I emphasised on a previous stage of the Bill, that the scope of pure research is international, and that the function of any organisation such as we propose to set up here is to take the results of research work done anywhere, the facts and principles established thereby, and apply them to the particular industrial problems with which this country is faced.

That task is the one we are giving to the council to be established under this Bill. We cannot hope at any time to undertake the financing of pure research work, on the scale on which it has been done by governmental and industrial organisations elsewhere, but there is no reason why we should not have quite a useful organisation for the one specific task for which we require it. I agree also with Senator Hayes that the effectiveness of this institute will depend very largely on the persons who direct it—upon the capacity of the director and upon the members of the industrial research council which will have its management in their custody. I think, however, we should be able to find in this country people who will be able to apply to this work the knowledge and experience required for its successful fulfilment.

In talking about consultation, I think that Senator Sir John Keane and Senator Fearon must have had in mind a different form of consultation from that which I undertook in relation to this Bill. I realise that there are many people in this country who could offer many useful opinions as to how the industrial research council should work, the researches upon which it should engage and the particular manner in which these might best be undertaken, but that type of consultation was not undertaken by me. That is the function of the council to be established.

The decision of the Government was to set up a research institute. We have had an industrial research council without an institute in the past, a body which functioned in the very limited field which was permitted by the methods adopted for financing it, and, from our experience of the work of that council, we decided that industrial research, if it was to be effective in the field where we required it, must be undertaken by an organisation with control of its own laboratories and its own staff. That is the decision the Government took and it was concerning the implementation of that decision that consultations were undertaken. We are proposing to set up an industrial research organisation; we are proposing to give it a home, equipment, laboratories, staff and an annual subvention which will be entirely at its disposal, and to give it such additional sums as it may require for special researches, and we leave it to get on with that work without any day to day Government supervision.

No doubt the council of the institute will contain many persons who will be able to offer useful advice as to how the work of the institute should be organised and the committee of the institute will no doubt consult with individual members of the council, and others in a position to help it, in arriving at answers to the various questions which will confront it as soon as it meets the researches to be undertaken, the manner in which they are to be undertaken, the amount of money that should be devoted for a specific purpose and the persons most suitable to use in connection with any particular form of work. I did not and I do not propose to undertake consultations of that character. If I had followed the lines which were suggested I would presumably have been expected to put into this Bill some directives to the council or taken power to supervise its methods of working. As the House knows we proceeded on different lines. We are giving the council no directives except the general function set out in Section 5. There is no power of Ministerial supervision over its work except in the limited sphere of organisation where the Minister might properly intervene or where funds in addition to the annual grant are required for special purposes.

Like Senator Summerfield I am unable to follow the process by which Senator Baxter argued himself to the conclusion that, because this is an Industrial Research Bill, the Government is not going to do anything about agricultural research. The Senator talked a great deal about agricultural research, but if he intended to imply that the Minister for Agriculture has been negligent in his duties in that regard I think he must know very little about what is going on. Senator Quirke expressed the view also that Senator Baxter cannot be very well informed concerning the agricultural research activities now in progress. His observations certainly justify that view. A substantial amount of money is being spent on agricultural research under the auspices of the Department of Agriculture and as I informed the Seanad substantial additional sums are being provided in regard to the scheme outlined in the White Paper for a specialised form of agricultural research. Not merely has the Minister for Agriculture been successful in getting far more money from the Exchequer for the purpose of agricultural research than I have been in relation to industrial research but he has succeeded in spending that money much more quickly. I believe that the lands and buildings required for the veterinary research institute have already been acquired. I have not got near that stage yet in regard to industrial research. The position is that effective institutional work in general agricultural research has been proceeding for many years. We are only now starting that work in relation to industrial research. It is true to say that we are doing as much in relation to agricultural research having regard to our resources as other countries which are far wealthier than we are. We may not be spending larger sums of money but we are spending relatively as much at least and are getting as good results as many of them. I disagree entirely with Senator Baxter's conclusion that we have failed to realise the importance of science in relation to agriculture. On the contrary, I think there has been quite notable progress in recent years in the application of science to Irish agricultural problems and that quite substantial results have been achieved therefrom.

It would be wrong to leave the Seanad under the impression that the £15,000 mentioned in the Bill is the sum total of all that is to be spent on industrial research. I think that the mention of that sum in the Bill tends to falsify the picture to some extent. In the first place, the Government propose to spend whatever capital sum is required to provide this institute with a laboratory and equipment. The whole of the capital cost involved in the construction of buildings and in the equipment of laboratories will be defrayed out of public funds. For the operation of these laboratories and the provision of staff to work in them this annual grant of £15,000 will be provided, but over and above that annual subvention there will be made available from time to time such additional sums as may be required to finance particular researches. The difference between the situation that will exist in the future and that which existed in the past is that the annual sums provided in the past for industrial research were related to particular researches proposed to be undertaken by the industrial research council. That industrial research council had no laboratories and no staff. It had no continuing activity. We contemplate-that this new device will not merely falicitate the planning of work for a longer period of time but will also enable the various research activities of the institute to be kept more closely in relation one to the other than was possible under the old system where specific grants were given to named professors in different colleges for particular and clearly defined purposes.

I think myself that this industrial research institute will be a useful instrument to promote industrial efficiency and improve our prospects of establishing in this country new industrial processes. If it is as successful as I hope it will be, then I am quite sure there will be little difficulty in getting for it whatever increased financial provision can be justified. It is, however, desirable, I think, that we should begin on a practicable and modest scale and let the institute grow, if growth appears to be possible, providing the finances required for its extended activities, as they appear to be practicable and justifiable. It would, I think, be an error to start on a grandiose scale and find subsequently that we could not produce results related to the larger expenditure thereby involved.

Many of the fears expressed by Senators as to the manner in which the institute will work were, I think, based upon the desire which is natural enough to see set out in the wording of the Bill precise terms of reference for the organisation which will be established under it. We deliberately decided to avoid setting out precise terms of reference for the committees so that we could give these committees a free hand and we acted in a manner in which we thought the Dáil and the Seanad would approve: in a manner that we thought would give the best results. I quite appreciated that it might lead to a description of the Bill as being perfunctory and to a misunderstanding of the amount of preparatory work that went into its drafting, but nevertheless I am quite satisfied that it was wiser to proceed on that line than to attempt to elaborate a detailed course of action for the institute and to insist on imposing on it statutory obligations in relation to all details of its work.

The standards committee to be established under the Bill might have been set up as a separate authority but we believe that there are advantages to be secured by the course that we are taking. No doubt the normal practice in other countries is to have the standards authority as a separate organisation, but having regard to the limited resources in personnel available to us we think it is preferable to have the two authorities—the industrial research authority and the standards authority —linked together, utilising the same staff and the same organisation, and we do not believe that the work of the standards authority will be anything the less effective on that account. However, if in the progress of time there should appear to be substantial advantages in having two separate authorities and giving each a separate existence, that can be done. I feel quite certain that the standards committee will be able to do really effective work in its own sphere within the framework of this Bill and within the limited resources made available to the institute.

Question put and agreed to.
Ordered: That the Bill, with amendments, be returned to the Dáil.