Industrial Grants (Amendment) Bill, 1966: Second Stage (Resumed).

Question again proposed: "That the Bill be now read a Second Time".

When we adjourned last night I was stressing the importance of a positive attitude towards some industries in this country and the danger of allowing xenophobic instincts to prevent us from appreciating the fact that without this inflow of foreign industry any solution of our problems under present conditions, and conditions for many years ahead would be impossible. I think more could be done to get this point across to people. I do not think the Government have done enough to emphasise the contribution made in this way. The statistics published from time to time follow a routine form. "So many industries have been established in this six months period, so many were home industries and so many were foreign industries." I do not think the scale of the contribution involved has been brought home by this kind of approach.

This was brought home to me forcibly when the Second Programme was prepared and when it transpired that something like one-third of the total increase in industrial output in the seven years of the Programme was projected to come from new foreign industries. That dramatises what is involved. Moreover, since then this figure has had to be revised slightly upwards in view of the inflow of new industry. More could be done to get this across to the public and to get rid of this xenophobic attitude.

The Government could do more in two respects to help in this matter. First of all, they could do more to help people get away from their belief that foreigners are favoured in regard to industrial grants. The reasons for this belief are clear enough. Obviously, a foreigner starting in industry here is starting a new industry. Therefore, he is entitled to a grant for a new industry whereas the ordinary Irishman who is engaging in new industrial activity is expanding his existing firm and at the present time does not get the same kind of assistance. He does not get that which the foreigner gets.

I should like to ask the Minister what he is going to do when the adaptation grants come to an end? At least they have bridged the gap between the foreign industrialist and the industrialist at home or the existing industrialist from abroad who is already here. The adaptation grants will be discontinued at the end of next year. The gap here will become once again almost an unbridgeable one with regard to the Irish firm, unless it is associated with a foreign firm already engaged in industry here. Irish industry here will then get no grant whereas the foreigner starting a new industry gets the full grant. The Minister will have to consider replacing the adaptation grant by some type of permanent assistance whether it takes the form of tax relief or grant to domestic or earlier established Irish industries or some other form. This would discourage this xenophobic feeling which is not helping to expand employment here.

There is one administrative change which could help here. For purely historical reasons the anomalous position exists here where a foreigner seeking to start an industry or seeking to expand his existing industry here can approach the Industrial Development Authority who have experts geared to assist industrial development. They have staff who are trained and experienced in this work. Their staff are more or less permanently engaged on this work and they are particularly interested in and concerned with it. That Authority have facilities for foreigners who want to start industries here or who wish to expand industries which they have already established here. They are helped as regards grants and loans which they may obtain. They get every assistance in that way. The foreigner has only got to knock on the door or ring up the Industrial Development Authority and he will get all the assistance he needs with regard to any problems he may have. Unfortunately, the Irish industrialist, who may be starting just as important or as big an industry here, has to go to the Department of Industry and Commerce. He cannot avail of the facilities of the Industrial Development Authority. The Department of Industry and Commerce have retained control over native industrialists who may wish to start or expand industries here. The Industrial Development Authority are geared to help foreigners but cannot offer any facilities to the Irish industrialist. The Irish industrialist feels himself discriminated against because a public agency exists which is available to foreigners only. This is unnecessary and a mistake.

This view is quite widely shared. I am not the only person to feel it. The Minister will find, if he seeks views on it from responsible people concerned with it, that this is a matter of concern and that the arrangements should be changed so that Irish industrialists should have access to facilities as foreign firms have. At the moment it might almost appear desirable for an Irish industrialist to get a foreigner to take some shares in his business in order that he might get IDA assistance. Anything that discourages this feeling of discrimination, this delusion of discrimination—it is a delusion—is good. We hear every day remarks about a foreigner being able to get anything he wants.

The position is that foreigners start new industries here while Irish industrialists expand existing industries. There will always be some element of apparent discrimination but do not let us make it worse than it is. Let us minimise it by getting rid of our more faulty administrative arrangements. I do not want to be unduly critical and I can say that the standard in this country of the failure rate of new industries is not abnormal. I believe that the failure rate in Puerto Rico, for instance, which like ourselves is seeking foreign industrial investment, is much more unfavourable generally than ours. The trouble is that our failures have been spectacular ones. The industries which became unstuck, those which either closed down or which had to be subsidised like Verolme, were big ones. In our proper anxiety to attract large industries, we have generally failed and by comparison with Northern Ireland our record is poor in this respect.

In our anxiety to attract these large industries we should not take chances on dubious ones. I can understand the Government's desire to have some plums but unfortunately in picking our plums we picked shipbuilding and aircraft, two of the most dubious candidates that could have been picked. The Government, in their anxiety to attract large industries here, picked the two of the world's industries which were the least likely to be successful. More discrimination should have been shown. The enormous State investment in Potez and the very large grants and loans and continuing subsidy to Verolme are things which serve to discredit foreign industrial activity in Ireland.

Though in general the record in this respect is not as poor as people believe it to be, it is again made to appear poor by the failure of the larger ventures. It has been said that for some of these larger ventures, which are very important, the Government themselves have been responsible and the decisions have not been made by advisers down the line. I do not know whether this is true or not, but if, in fact, the Government are responsible, rather than their agents, for these major industries, they should be more careful in future to ensure that they make sound choices, now that our industrialisation has got off the ground. It is understandable that in the early stages one will take anything that is going. The whole Shannon venture started by taking dubious ventures which were most unlikely to survive. Two of these ventures quietly disappeared when they had served their purpose.

When we have reached the stage we have got to, we do not need to do that, and we can take a more responsible attitude particularly in regard to major ventures. I think we need to adopt better methods. We need more expertise because the whole problem of industrial development has become extremely competitive. The Government have sometimes quoted what was said by the United Nations about our grants and incentives, that they were the best in Europe, or words to that effect. But, quite a number of years have passed since the Economic Commission for Europe of the U.N. made that comment. It was probably in 1959 or in 1960.

Since then, other people have improved their incentives and facilities. We have fallen behind, not only in the amount of aid given but in our approach to the problem of industrial development. We started on the basis of advertising and sending people out looking for any industry we could get. That is the only way you can start. In view of technological developments, we now need to prepare ourselves with the best advice and assistance we can get at home and abroad, for major industrial developments. That can be the centre and the heart of new industrial complexes. This is a highly expert business and it is doubtful whether the expertise necessary would be available in this country. If we are to compete with other countries which are making this kind of positive constructive approach to industrial development we shall have to employ such expertise.

I am glad the Government have decided that consultants should be brought in to advise on changes in industrial promotion and I am sure these industrial consultants will advise that we should adopt a more sophisticated approach, making use of the necessary expertise which is not available at home and which is understandably not to be found within the administrative ranks of our Civil Service.

We need also in the bodies concerned with industrial promotion not only this highly technical expertise in feasibility studies and modern industrial promotion techniques but we need people with special skills of a less abstruse character to help to organise efficiently the methods we adopt at present in industrial promotion.

I am not convinced that the various bodies here, including An Foras Tionscal, have got within their ranks the kind of expertise in the form of economists, accountants, lawyers and statisticians that is now needed for this job. We have made a mistake in confining ourselves to the extent that we have done to the administrative ranks in the Civil Service in this country. I can say that in An Foras Tionscal the main job hitherto has been to issue State money and to ensure that it is properly spent and is not abused. It is understandable that the emphasis should have been initially at any rate, on administrative staff to carry out this task. It was understandable that the staff should be administrative civil servants and that the board should consist also of administrative civil servants or former civil servants.

But I think that as time goes on, we need more expertise and that An Foras Tionscal and other agencies should try to draw from outside the Civil Service, as the IDA does, to get the kind of expert knowledge that is needed by way of accountants, lawyers, and so on. It is worthy of comment that experience has shown that Americans, and in many cases Europeans, are much happier in dealing not with civil servants but with other business people. Where this is not possible, and it has not been possible here hitherto, they are happy to deal with experts like lawyers in regard to problems of industrial development. Other countries know this and have practised it.

In the Netherlands, the whole process of industrial development is organised by the Federation of Industries of that country. It has not taken a narrow view but has taken on itself to bring in foreign industrialists and Americans are much happier in dealing with industrialists than with civil servants of whom they have certain suspicions. I think that because of the calibre of many of our people working in this field that difficulty has been to a remarkable measure overcome. Many Americans have expressed themselves very happy with the treatment they have received in dealing with our agencies here but they are happier in dealing with lawyers or professional people than with civil servants. Another reason, therefore, for bringing in more non-Civil Service expertise on the board or staff of these bodies and in An Foras Tionscal is that, apart from drawing on a wider range of expertise, this would help to facilitate our dealings with certain Americans and possibly more Europeans.

I also wonder in the light of things we hear from time to time whether the control exercised by An Foras Tionscal, despite the obvious efforts of the staff to ensure that money is properly accounted for, is quite adequate. As I understand it, if a foreign industrialist comes here to build a factory he can employ his own architects and his own engineers. I do not intend any reflection on foreigners; that would be the last thing I would do. But, we cannot know whether these people are entirely reliable. There are other countries where professional standards are not as rigid as in this country and there have been rumours of connivance between these foreign professional people andentrepreneurs in order to make the cost of a project seem slightly more than it should be. These rumours may be unfounded but the Minister should consider whether it might be desirable, and I do not say this out of any nationalist feeling or wanting to “give jobs to the natives”, to require the employment in an advisory capacity of Irish professional people. There may be nothing in these rumours about connivance but I think it is something the Minister should consider. He could consider whether the existing methods of control are at any rate sufficient.

I should like to move on to the question of information. Very large sums of money are being spent in this way and I think on the whole they are well spent with some notable exceptions. But, we are not being given all the information and the kind of information we need about this. The information given is ineffective, obscure, inaccurate and unreliable. First of all, An Foras Tionscal, which is the crucial agency for this purpose, publishes its report around this time of the year, and it gives details of the grants paid in the 12 months ended March previously. Where it gives details of grants paid it says how much was approved for the firm in question but we are never told how much was approved for a firm unless something is paid within the previous 15 months. There are reasons given for this, that the approval given may not have been fulfilled and the money provided for this purpose may never be applied. But this means that the information we get is limited. We only hear of an approval if money is actually paid and only after it is paid. The time-lag can be great if the grant is paid early in April of one year and 15 months will then pass before the Irish public know to whom it has been allotted and how much has been paid by way of grant.

Successive Ministers for Industry and Commerce have resisted on highly dubious grounds pressure to give more information. An Foras Tionscal are bound by statute to give no information except to the Minister. They are possibly the most secretive body in the country, outside the Revenue Commissioners, in this respect. The Minister in turn repeatedly has said in the Dáil, as other Ministers have said before him, that it is not the practice to disclose anything except when it is published in the Foras Tionscal report. I would ask the Minister to reconsider that. Too much money is at stake for it to be dealt with in this cavalier fashion. We are entitled to know within a reasonable time whether grants have been paid or that they have actually been paid. It is not reasonable that Parliament and the public should have to wait 15 months before knowing what amount has been paid and when it was paid. In some instances, because of this delay in giving information, firms have gone out of business before we have even heard they have been given money.

I suggest that the Minister should very quickly change this practice. Another point is that the figures as presented by An Foras Tionscal are obscure and confusing and are recognised as such by everybody inside and outside the public service. There has been no uniformity of practice in stating the amounts of grants approved or in giving information about when they were approved or when the money was paid. The information given generally states the total amount this firm has had approved throughout its history of grants, but in some cases the figures given are of the latest approval though there may have been an earlier approval of which nothing is said. It is an enormous job to find out just what grants have been paid and when they were paid or approved. It has taken me many hours of work to get a dossier together about how much has been paid to each firm, when it was paid and how much is outstanding. It is improper that the Oireachtas and the interested public should be forced to do research of this kind to get information which could be simply presented. The Minister should require more stringent standards in this respect.

Again, in progress reports on industrial development we find inconsistencies of a kind which are quite indefensible. I challenge the Minister to explain some of the figures his Department have produced and which he and his predecessors have stood over in the Dáil. I shall give two examples. In June, 1961, it was stated in the September Progress Report on the Second Programme that there were 28 projects under construction involving £11 million and which, when completed, would give employment to between 3,500 and 6,000 people. Six months later, we were told that in the previous six months, nine such projects had been completed costing £1½ million giving potential employment to between 1,400 and 1,500. A simple arithmetical calculation suggests that that would leave 19 industries uncompleted, involving £9½ million which would give employment to between 3,100 and 5,400; but in September, 1961, while we find more industries than this under construction, with a higher amount of capital investment, the employment potential of these industries under construction now is between 2,000 and 4,300! Simple substraction thus suggests that a number of new industries have been initiated involving a certain capital sum but also involving the employment of minus 1,100 people! This type of expansion was repeated a year later.

The same type of calculation carried out over a similar period, the latter half of 1962, yields even more remarkable figures, that a number of new projects were started involving a total investment or £11 million and producing a negative employment of from minus 1,100 to minus 3,000! The Minister should investigate how these statistics are produced. He should not get up and produce figures which can be shown to be absolute nonsense. If the employment content in the firms under consideration suddely disappears or is cut by half or two-thirds the Minister should say so. He should not try to cover this up with these figures. I do not know any explanation of these arithmetical errors or whether there has been a change in the character of the industries concerned leading to employment falling through. Certainly for any Minister to produce figures of that kind to the Dáil is an insult to the intelligence of the House. That matter should be looked into.

Moreover, we get a similar picture regarding the total amount of the grants paid according to An Foras Tionscal, for example, though this is more easily explained although it is certainly unsatisfactory. In the financial year 1961-62, in March, at the end of the financial year, the accumulated amount of grant approvals was given as £6,130,000. In the next year grant approvals were £1,280,000 but at the end of the year the accumulated approvals were £6,585,000. We had lost £824,000 of grant approvals in the meantime. I have similar figures for other years. In 1958-59 there was a loss of £580,000 grant approvals. There you had the situation where the accummulated figure at the end of the previous year was £2,086,000, grants approved were £734,000 and at the end of the financial year the total was £2,233,000. We had lost £580,000. One might think that discrepancies of this kind would require some explanation from somebody, from An Foras Tionscal or from the Minister, but none was given. Neither the Minister in the Dáil nor An Foras Tionscal—and I followed this very closely—have given any explanation or done anything except pass quietly over the figures and hope that Deputies and Senators will not notice. This is completely unsatisfactory.

I would like in regard to An Foras Tionscal reports to ask the Minister to answer a question which has been puzzling me for a good while. An Foras Tionscal reports give in respect of each of the three types of adaptation grants tables of grants received, approved, rejected and under examination at the end of the year. They do this in great detail by county and by industry. Each year you start with the figure received. I would like to ask the Minister does the figure of applications received at the beginning of the year include those under consideration at the end of the previous year or not? If they are not included, what happens the ones under examination? Why are we never told what happens to them? If they are included how does it happen that in a number of instances the total number received is less than the number carried over? I can give a number of examples of this. In March, 1964 three applications for grants in the canning industry were carried over into the next year, but in the next report two were received. Either three disappeared into Limbo, and we are never told what happened to them, which is an extraordinary way to account for these activities, or they are included in the ones received in the next year, but then what happened to the other one? These are figures for the undeveloped areas grants.

Similarly in the same year in March, 1964 two approvals in the undeveloped areas for the leather industry were carried over, but only one was received next year. Again, in regard to the adaptation grants, four applications for County Limerick were carried over, and next year only three received. In Mayo, three carried over and one received. In Offaly, two carried over, none received. The Minister must tell us whether, in fact, the ones under examination disappeared from our ken, or what happened to them. The form of the report should be changed. Why do not the figures add up?

I have shown that the standard of statistical accuracy and information that we get from An Foras Tionscal and the Minister is completely unsatisfactory. None of these figures add up or make sense. There are constant discrepancies in the way we are handling public moneys, and this type of misinformation is a disgrace. I should be fair to the Minister. I am certain that he is unaware of this. I am not suggesting that he has any direct personal responsibility or that anything is being covered up. I attribute it not to any Machiavellian policy of covering up mistakes but to simple stupidity and inefficiency. If the Minister were to study these reports he would find very easily these types of discrepancies. Now that I have drawn attention to them he ought to have them reviewed and try to ensure that something better is done.

There is, however, a more fundamental defect apart from the fact that the figures do not add up, and that is that over the entire period of operation of this grant there has been no review of progress achieved. We are told in every report and in every speech of the Minister what the employment potential of the new industries is, but what the employment actually is, is something which they are unable to answer as the Minister does not know, and this is quite unsatisfactory. We spend a lot of money on these grants and I believe that it is well spent, and on the whole the return we get is high. I suspect, indeed, that we get an excellent return from them, and that much of the public scepticism about them is unwarranted. But we are spending millions, now running into tens of millions, and the fact that the Government apparently never inquire as to whether the stated aims of theentrepreneurs are ever realised is quite unacceptable.

The present system of grants is a good system though it may or may not be the best possible system. There may be deficiencies in it. But if nobody ever inquires what happens to an industry after a grant has been given there is no hope of improving the system. I have been pressing this for a long time. I raised it first in February, 1959. The replies I received initially were that this could not be done for lack of staff. Subsequently I was told that it was undesirable to make direct inquiries from firms that had got grants, that they had got them without strings and they might be offended and might even pull out if asked how many they were employing. This, of course, was just nonsense, and there is no need to ask them. We have the census of industrial production, and the Central Statistics Office could inform the relevant authorities of the amount of employment in each of those firms in each year and by that means a check could be made on how performance compares with expectations. One such study was, indeed, carried out by Miss Fennell of the Agricultural Institute. That we should be reduced to depending on the Agricultural Institute as a source of information on the success of our industrial policy is a measure of the inadequacy of the attitude of the Government to this problem. Her study suggested that in the Undeveloped Areas 87 per cent of the employment target was realised at the time it was carried out three years ago. Her methods were not acceptable to the relevant authorities, though I do not know whether their objections were correct, but in any event this study is some years old. It covered only the Undeveloped Areas, and it was a voluntary survey by somebody who could put no pressure on anybody, who did not have access to figures and had no access to the census of industrial production. It is quite extraordinary that seven years since this matter was first raised by me, and presumably it was raised by other people before that, nothing has been done to assess the success of this policy. It is not a complicated job. It is a matter of some tens of hours of work in the Central Statistics Office to extract the information and compare it with the statements in the IDA files. That this should not have been done for seven years because there are not enough people to do it is absurd. As a result we simply do not know how successful our policy has been. We know—and Ministers will state again and again—that this year so many factories started, with an employment potential of 2,000 to 5,000, but how many are employed, in fact, subsequently we do not know. I am not at all clear as to what "employment potential" means. I should like to be clear on it and the Minister might perhaps answer this—when we speak of an employment potential of 2,000 to 5,000 whether that employment potential relates to investment within the company started with the aid of that grant or whether a lot of this employment potential is dependent upon getting a further grant subsequently. I suspect that whether or not the firm states it, that is what, in fact, happens in many cases.

Not only have we no information as to the actual employment of these firms but we know nothing about the volume of output or exports for which they are responsible. Again, this information could be very readily obtained. It is sitting there in the files in the Central Statisics Office. We do not know how much these firms are producing. I suspect it is a very large figure, that as has been suggested in the Second Programme one-third of our additional output would come from those sources but I may be just as wrong as the Minister in thinking that. It is up to the Minister to find out and, having found out, to publish the information.

Recently some suggestion was made of a study of this kind. I know it had not been made up to a year ago but it may be that some such study is under way. I would ask the Minister to publish it. I think the Minister ought now to consider the publication of a White Paper on our promotional policy, including the result of any review he has had carried out as a result of what has been said here today. That White Paper should assess the achievements and results frankly. I do not think the Minister would lose by this. It would give an impressive picture of what has been achieved. The Minister would not lose in any way by publishing it and the country would benefit by opening up the whole question of discussion on promotional policy, which is often carried on at a very low level.

Another matter which is the cause of confusion and about which the Minister should also do something is the fact that he himself, his Department and the IDA publish quite different sets of figures of new industries starting. The IDA publish a list of new firms starting with foreign participation which, I think, is confined to firms of some substance. There have been one or two minor errors, of things put in twice but, by and large, it is a reliable list and a very useful one. But the Minister also publishes figures of the new industries setting up here and how many of them have foreign participation. The two figures never correspond because the Minister's definition of a new industry is one that is so generous —and I must say this is openly said in his statement—it includes any activity where the investment is £10,000 or more. In modern conditions you are lucky if £10,000 buys you three jobs; it is more likely to be 1½ jobs but yet that criterion determines what is a new industry or its equivalent in expansion. This is a bit ingenuous or, perhaps, disingenuous. I think there is something to be said for the Minister bringing his system of classification into line with that of the IDA. To publish two different sets of figures only causes confusion, discord and lack of uniformity in the whole information published. I think the IDA system is a much more rational one. They do not go round dredging the place to pick up every little project.

Again, there is no correlation between the IDA statistics and those published by An Foras Tionscal. An Foras Tionscal publish how many grants are given to firms but not how many have foreign participation. It should not be beyond the wit of man for two bodies with common board representation to get together and publish a joint set of figures or to include them in the figures available from the IDA. Once again, we have confusion because of a lack of any regard for giving accurate detailed information on this subject of major concern in this country, in view of the amount of money being spent on it.

I should like the Minister to comment on the progress made in recent years, or lack of it, in this particular field. I have been disturbed by some of the figures he has published recently. Maybe I am not interpreting him properly. We are told in the recent Progress Report on the Second Programme — and the Minister in fact repeated this, I think, in his speech on the Industry and Commerce Estimate in the Dáil—that at the end of the year 1965 49 new projects were under construction—this would be projects with investment of £10,000 upwards— involving £29 million investment and providing between 2,500 and 4,500 new jobs. In the 12 months ended June, 1963, the Minister stated proudly in the Progress Report on the First Programme that there were 47 projects then under construction, costing £26 million and giving, when completed, 4,500 to 10,000 new jobs. This does not seem to be good progress. In 18 months the number of projects is hardly up, the money has gone up a bit and the job potential has been halved. It may be that we are moving into a period of much greater capital intensity in industry. It may be that there will be a growing problem here but I would have thought that if that is the case, the Minister would have made some reference to it. Over an 18 month period the capital cost of these more technological projects has doubled and when the cost of providing employment has doubled in that period, surely this is something about which the Minister should have said something. It is a matter of very great public interest if we are going to have to put twice as much capital into providing employment as we did in the past.

In 1965 he told us that 47 projects started costing £18,500,000 to provide 1,400 to 5,350 new jobs. Three years previously 44 projects started in the year 1962, which cost only £7,250,000, only 40 per cent of what had to be spent in 1965, but they provided 2,700 to 5,450 jobs. This is more jobs for 40 per cent of the capital and the same number of projects. I do not consider that is progress. It seems to me that two things are happening here. The flow of industrial projects has levelled off; it grew rapidly in the period 1958 to 1962, but the figures suggest that it has levelled off since. If that is the case, it is a matter for serious concern because with all that has been done in this field, we are providing jobs for only a small fraction of people who are looking for work in this country. We need something like 17,000 to 20,000 new jobs per year in industry. The figures here suggest that if all those plans are realised we might get something between 2,000 and 4,000 jobs a year out of these projects, providing a fraction only of the 17,000 jobs we need. Of course, it takes time to build up and if the previous increasing trend had been maintained I would not be too critical of the fact that we had not yet got near the ultimate target but it is disturbing that the number of new projects has levelled off, that the cost is still rising, that the employment content is falling so sharply, apparently, and that the same amount of capital buys many fewer jobs. That is a disturbing trend and the Minister should tell us what the position is. Is it due to temporary fluctuations? There was talk at the time when our application for EEC membership fell through that there was a diminution of interest in investing here. Perhaps this has since recovered. Or, is there some permanent cause? Is it that the attractiveness of Northern Ireland and other development areas abroad is becoming so great? Is it because the cost of industrialisation per job is rising as rapidly as these figures would appear to show?

It is a matter of regret that in his speeches in the Dáil and Seanad on this subject the Minister speaks from such a routine brief. We get the same speeches every time, the same words with never a change. We hear that so many new industries have started, involving so much investment, the employment potential is so much and so on. It is like saying prayers and just changing the person you are saying them for. At no stage has the Minister, to my recollection, ever said anything about the basic problems or whether we are losing ground or making ground. The level of debate in this and the other House may not at times be as high as the Minister would like it to be but it is his lead which tends to determine this. If he led the debate on a proper level he would get the kind of debate this subject warrants.

I have mentioned the fact that we have perhaps been losing ground in recent years in this business of attracting industry. It has been widely stated that one of our problems is that the Northern Ireland system of grants is so much more flexible than ours. Flexibility is a dangerous thing and one of the advantages of our system is—despite the total inability of the Department and Foras Tionscal to make anything add up—that we have some kind of reasonable control over the money spent. Spending is within certain defined limits and cannot go beyond them. It cannot go higher than a proportion of a certain amount without special authority. With such control there can be no abuse, but we may be tying our hands too tightly. I should like to hear from the Minister on this.

There is a strong feeling now that the flexibility in Northern Ireland has played a large part in attracting some of these large plants to Northern Ireland such as the synthetic textile industry and major industries in the chemical and electric field. I wonder whether we are tying our hands too tightly. It is true that in Northern Ireland they have the "old boy" network which we have not got because we are not old boys of the right schools so far as England is concerned, but some of it is also due to the greater flexibility they have in Northern Ireland. This is something the Minister should consider.

I would be reluctant to suggest any relaxation in our present controls but this may be necessary in this competitive world if we are to meet the kind of competition which we do meet from Northern Ireland. It would be much better if we in North and South could do the job together. Although there will always be competition for industry between every town and village in the country I would hope to look forward to the day when in both industrial development and tourist development and perhaps in export development the two parts of the country would work together. We know the competition that exists between every town and village in this country. Indeed, they are anxious to cut each other's throats to get an industry. I suppose it is difficult therefore to hope for close co-operation between North and South but we cannot afford to let Northern Ireland go on attracting the heavy industry while we continue to attract the relatively small and relatively unimportant industries.

Coming back to the part of the Bill dealing with industrial estates I have no hesitation in welcoming this. I regret that the time taken by the Government to reach a favourable position has been so long. This matter came up with the Committee on Industrial Organisation in 1961. The Committee published their report in 1962. The report which came out was unambiguous. It reflected the views of employers, trade unions, the Department of Finance and the Department of Industry and Commerce all of whom were in favour of moving from the scattered spread-out industrialisation which we have had and which was not terribly effective and involved some element of concentration in Dublin and Cork. The report was very clear on this. It did not leave any room for ambiguity.

If industries were not scattered about they can help each other. One of the great features of the Shannon Estate is the kind of co-operation we get between the different firms. One may want to borrow a fork-lift truck from another and someone in another firm may have the expertise to repair a machine for another firm. That is the type of co-operation which is possible when firms are gathered together and impossible when they are scattered around the country. Part of the success at Shannon is due to that fact. There is also the inter-action of managers working together when you have a number of managers working in different firms in the same area as against a man being the only manager in one town which is 20 miles away from another industry. You also get less square pegs in round holes. If someone has a job with one firm that does not suit him he can change to another firm.

There is also the fact that there is the strongest possible evidence that Irish people once they leave the farm require and demand urban life. Irish people have never been rural settlers outside their own country. When they leave the farm they may go to Cork or Dublin but not to another rural centre outside their own region. There is no internal migration of that kind. When they leave they go to Coventry or London or Boston or wherever it is. When Irish people leave their own regions they want all the amenities of urban life. One of the reasons why our towns have not developed is that they do not have these amenities. It is a vicious circle. One of the peculiar features of Ireland is the failure of the provincial towns to develop. There has been a decline in their population rather than the growth we might reasonably have expected.

The fact that this is the kind of environment that people seek and stay in when they go into industrial employment is something which should influence our policy.

There is also in the case of scattered industries the problem of repairs and the lack of spare parts. Lack of educational facilities is another factor, and there are very serious deficiencies in this respect in many parts of the country.

There are, therefore, many reasons why industries thrive in industrial centres. It is not a coincidence that most industries are in large urban centres and in this country we have offered the kind of urban facilities in which industries thrive only in Dublin and Cork so that the rest of the country has been denuded. This problem has been tackled in a half-baked fashion in the past by trying to stop Dublin from growing and spreading. That is going against the tide. We should go with the tide and not against it. This proposal to establish development centres put forward by the CIO is one which I think we should all welcome. It is a pity the Government, when they got this clear cut recommendation, felt it was such a hot potato that they had to refer it to another committee who took a good deal of time to consider it. When this second committee presented its Report there was a further delay before the Government made up their mind.

One can sympathise with the Government's problem. If you are going to select centres for development you will always leave many others out, but at all times the Government have to grasp political nettles. I am glad that they are at last going to do something but I am sorry they were so slow. When they had the CIO Report they had a good excuse for going ahead. It is a pity they took so much time. Some Members of the Government had doubts with regard to this. I can remember Senator Dr. Ryan expressing himself critically after the CIO Report came out. The Taoiseach also made some critical statement in regard to it. Another Minister, however, before the Government decision was known, made an unscripted statement in favour of development centres at a meeting in University College, Dublin.

There were divided, opinions on the part of the Government in this matter. It is a pity this held up the decision. It is now nine months since the decision was announced and where are we today? There is some talk about looking at sites in Waterford and in Galway. No other centres have been chosen.

I should like now to draw the attention of the House to what I mentioned a few minutes ago. We are not concerned only with industrial estates, which this Bill refers to, for this is a part only of the programme for establishing development centres.

It is rather disturbing that the Bill does not seem to make any provision for this. It does not seem to have regard to the broader consideration. I think it is worth quoting what the National Industrial Economic Council had to say on this. This is what they had to say:

We agree with the Committee that the establishment of an industrial estate is an essential part of the process of building-up a development centre. It would be dangerous, however, to over-emphasise the role of industrial development or to treat it in isolation, for industrial expansion depends upon (and is affected by) the quantity and quality of the basic infrastructural services (e.g. water, sewerage, electricity) and of housing, the availability of educational, health, commercial and financial services and general amenities... There should, therefore, be a comprehensive approach to planning the growth of a development centre with due emphasis not only on its role as an industrial centre but also as the commercial, financial, educational, health, social and administrative centre of its region. This means that decisions about the location of important new facilities in any of these fields should be made only when the centres for the different regions have been identified. If such facilities are now located in towns which are not subsequently selected as centres, resources will be wasted, the growth of the centre constrained and its impact on its region limited.

This Bill concentrates entirely on industrial estates. It gives responsibility for starting those estates to An Foras Tionscal. The Minister has said very little about this matter. He has spoken about industrial estates as if they were in some degree in isolation from the background. I would like to hear more about the administrative arrangements in relation to this matter and how the industrial estates are to be with the educational, social, administrative and other measures in regard to development centres. I am also concerned about the selection of the centres. I can appreciate the Government's reluctance to stick their neck out with regard to this but they cannot get out of responsibility in this matter by simply allowing those centres to select themselves in the process of reviewing the physical planned regions. This is really quite unsatisfactory.

The fact is that in most of those areas it is perfectly obvious what the centre will be and what will be the activity in that centre. In one or two other cases there is no other alternative. The Government could say this now and get on with the job of developing the centres. They are evading their responsibility in leaving the selection of the centres to the physical planning arrangements. This process is an evasion of responsibility. It also may be in some instances particularly dangerous because the physical planning regions themselves have been chosen in a completely arbitrary manner. No justification has ever been given for the choice of those regions. The only justification given was that it does not matter what regions are chosen. This is the excuse of the Minister for Local Government with regard to this matter.

But we are then told that this arbitrary division will be the framework within which the development centres will be chosen. This is where there is some confusion of thought. Having arbitrarily chosen the particular region they are going to choose a development centre in each region. That is my impression from what the Government have said on this subject. The existence of these planning regions means that you have arbitrarily decided you will have development centres in these regions.

To illustrate this point one of the regions which has been chosen is the north-west. This comprises the counties of Donegal, Sligo and Leitrim. Those counties have less population than any other physical planning region in the country. One of the physical characteristics of those counties is that their population is less than that of any other planning region, yet we find here that this region is divided into two in this arbitrary process, namely Donegal and Sligo-Leitrim. What follows from that? The Minister comes in here and says we are going to allow centres to select themselves in regions.

When did I say that?

I am not giving a direct quotation. This is my understanding of what the Minister said. I will get exactly what was said. I shall quote from the statement of Government policy on development areas, the 31st August, 1965 which states:

It is intended that the identification of development centres, in each region, will be undertaken following the completion of the regional surveys which are being undertaken by the Minister for Local Government under the Local Government (Planning and Development) Act, 1963.

That is a statement issued on the Report of the Committee on Development Centres.

The Senator is taking from that that those regions will identify themselves.

"The identification of development centres in each region will be undertaken following completion of the regional survey."

That is not what the Senator said earlier.

I should not have used those words in relation to the Minister. It is said here that the identification of the development centres in each region will be undertaken. That means that having divided up this smallest of the regions in Ireland into two, then it is decided there will be a development centre for each region. It means there will be two development centres, one in Donegal and the other in Sligo-Leitrim.

This may be good or it may be bad. There may be good reasons for it. I do not wish to go into it because it is a highly technical business. What is undesirable about it is that a decision to have two such centres in the north-west was taken not because somebody had examined all the circumstances but, on the contrary, because of a purely arbitrary decision by the Minister for Local Government, himself a native of Donegal, a decision which is impossible to justify in that it subdivided the smallest region into two even smaller regions.

The whole thing looks very like an arrangement to ensure that Donegal will have a development centre and this is confirmed by the extraordinary performance of the Minister for Local Government at a seminar in Derry recently when he caused considerable annoyance to all those who had come together to try to achieve some co-operation between the two sides, North and South. Speaking completely against the purpose of the seminar, he proceeded to announce all of the things that would be done in Donegal, including a development centre at Letterkenny, an airport at Donegal, so close to Eglinton, and a technological institute despite the availability of similar services in Derry.

His intervention was received with horror by all who had come together to achieve co-operation between North and South. The Minister insisted on speaking in a way that sabotaged the whole thing, in order to get more support for himself in his constituency. This sort of thing, this play-acting, is not the way to get co-operation with the North or to select development centres. The whole process needs to be looked at again. The regions must be chosen on some solid basis, not simply arbitrarily selected to suit the political proclivities of particular Ministers.

Moreover, and this is endorsed by the NIEC Report, this development centre idea is one which I am sure is the right answer for most of the country. We shall not get decentralised development outside Dublin unless we make other centres attractive to industry and attractive to workers to live in them. The Government were wrong to put the idea off for so long and they are wrong now to put the selection of centres off until the physical planning regions are surveyed.

But it is clear that in the north-west there is a special problem. It is not certain that development centres can be an adequate answer to it because that part of the country is different from the rest in that it does not have medium-sized centres scattered through it and it has this artificial border cutting through it showing complete disregard for its geographical situation. Because of that, the NIEC comment on it was:

For physical planning purposes, the Minister for Local Government has designated Donegal and Sligo-Leitrim as separate regions, and the remaining counties are incorporated in three other regions.

I would have inserted the word "arbitrarily" before "incorporated". It goes on:

If the north-western counties are to enjoy their fair share of national expansion, alternative policies must be sought, not only at the local level but also in a wider context. In the counties which border Derry, Fermanagh and Tyrone, the potential for economic development could be increased by closer economic relations with Northern Ireland. The advantages of such a move would be especially important for north and central Donegal.

Such a move the Minister for Local Government endeavoured to sabotage at the seminar in Derry. The NIEC comment continues:

The possibility of introducing special policies to encourage economic development in a number of the larger existing towns in all the north-western counties should be considered by the County Development Teams and the other bodies concerned.

I should like the Minister to explain what the Government statement of policy on that NIEC Report means. I have read it quite a number of times without being able to understand it:

The Government accept the opinion of the National Industrial Economic Council that development centres and industrial centres will not be equally effective in promoting economic growth in all regions. They have not, however, accepted the view of the Council that, in the Counties Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, Mayo, Monaghan, Cavan, Longford and Roscommon, the establishment of industrial centres is unlikely to be effective. The Government accept that special policies are required to raise the level of economic activities in these counties.

If, in fact, the development centres are to be effective in these counties and the Government give no reason for rejecting the view of the NIEC, it is not clear what special policies will be needed.

Equally effective.

The Government, at any rate, seem to feel they will be effective. If they reject the idea that they are likely to be effective——

Equally effective.

It is effective or it is not. I do not know how you can have something which is effective but is not equally effective. In any event what are the special policies proposed by the Government. The NIEC felt that the development centres would not be effective in the ordinary sense and they seemed to feel that it would require a completely new approach to the problem, involving intensive dispersed development—a concentration of small-scale industrial development in these regions. If we concentrate on development centres which are not effective in this area we may fail, while if in those parts of the country we try to encourage smaller industries in smaller towns, this might provide the best solution.

In pursuing this development policy for reasons that are not economic but are in conformity with the political advantage of the Minister for Local Government, in that way the Government may not achieve the desired results. If they rely on development centres as being effective but not equally effective, whatever that may mean, they may not put the required emphasis on the special policies needed and suited to these regions. Whatever is done in the development centres may not pay off or may be wasted.

I think the Government have a duty to answer the questions I have been posing. It is nine months since we had this statement from the Government on the NIEC Report. What are the special policies for the north-west? What kind of policies are they? Are they to take the form of small scale industrial development? Are the Government thinking along the lines of the NIEC recommendation to seek co-operation with Northern Ireland and, if so, are the Government going to restrain the Minister for Local Government from activities similar to those he engaged in in Derry? Are they going to adopt policies involving both North and South? I cannot exaggerate the effect of the Minister for Local Government in Derry. I have been in Northern Ireland since and I have heard strong views expressed about the Minister for Local Government and about the damage he did. I wish he could be made aware of the views.

What is the Minister for Industry and Commerce doing about co-operation between the North and South. In the Donegal/Derry region, for example, very fruitful results could be achieved. There is need for co-operation which has not been experienced in the past 20 years. It could greatly improve the economy of that region. One thing which struck me and which I mentioned in Derry is that the area is eminently suitable for such co-operation. If the Minister for Industry and Commerce could permit, for instance, the free entry of bread from Derry to Donegal and the free entry of milk and milk products from Donegal to Derry it could be a tremendous advantage to both sides. The Border is an inhibition to economic development in the region. It is a total absurdity. The idea that Derry should be cut off from its natural hinterland and that centres should be cut off from their natural market locations cannot be sustained.

Again, after nine months what is being done about the Government statement on the NIEC Report in this connection? Is the Minister contemplating industrial development of a more dispersed character by way of small industries in small towns? Is he contemplating co-operation with Northern Ireland? What is the Minister considering? Is he considering the kind of exchange arrangement of milk and bread between Derry and Donegal?

I think nine months is a long enough gestation period for the Minister to come up with some special policies and not leave the people in continuing uncertainty about what, if anything, will be done for them.

I should like to ask the Minister a question on another aspect of this problem. Why has An Foras Tionscal been made responsible for this industrial estate? I am not saying that this is the wrong answer. It is not the only answer but is a possible answer. An Foras Tionscal is a purely civil service body concerned with accountability. It pays out grants and ensures that the money is used to the best advantage. But the running of industrial estates is a development activity, an entrepreneurial activity, a promotional activity, and all these do not fall within the scope of An Foras Tionscal. An Foras Tionscal has the attitude, and I see good reason for it, that it must preserve secrecy at all times and it must give no information except to the Minister. It is the second most secretive body in the Government. To give to it the promotional development task of establishing, promoting, advertising and developing these industrial estates is on the face of it surprising. It is not the best body for this purpose. Why was it chosen? It means that for this purpose this body would operate in double harness carrying out two separate functions.

It can be done and I think the Shannon Free Airport Development Authority is doing this. But all this will mean a revolutionary change in An Foras Tionscal. Would it not have been better to ask the IDA to do it or could there be a separate agency for this purpose? How is An Foras Tionscal to work in with the development bodies? What kind of administrative structure will there be? How will it work in with the local authorities? Will the local authorities be responsible for these developments? Educational developments are a matter for the Department of Education, social development is a matter for the Department of Social Welfare and how will all this be co-ordinated? It seems to me there are difficulties ahead in that a lot of time could be lost and great effectiveness lost if the administrative problems here are not sorted out in a clear-cut way.

The Minister could give an indication of what will be done and I do not think that words like liaison are good enough. We want to see something concrete done. The fitting of this into the whole concept of development centres is a problem that is new to us and to the local authorities and it is new to Government Departments and it will not be easy and it needs a lot of thought as to how it can best be done.

My fear is that apart from the Government's general endorsement a year ago the NIEC warning has been ignored.

However, the Minister will no doubt be able to assure us on that point. One worries a bit when one hears about Irish Ropes threatening to leave Newbridge and General Costello in Carlow in the same position because they cannot get houses. If we cannot get houses built in these existing industrial centres because of some lack of co-ordination or through some weakness in our legislation— and I do not think this is being remedied by the Housing Bill—one cannot help but be worried about how we will achieve the massive development required to build up all the development centres to the degree they should have been built up over the years. When we cannot even cope with a simple problem of a few score of houses, how can we hope to coordinate all these different things simultaneously in these centres? This will be a major problem and we have not yet come to grips with it. It will be a while before we sort it out.

To sum up, we still have a long way to go before we make the impact we should in this way. I have not wished to criticise the Government's policy here. I have criticised deficiencies in particular areas and I think the Government should look ahead with a more sophisticated approach to some of these problems.

What is discouraging is that we seem to have reached a plateau in industrial development. There has not been much new development in recent years and this is a plateau on which we are spending more and more money on less and less jobs. Perhaps this is inevitable. We have no information on the new employment we are providing because the Minister has never undertaken any survey of how many jobs are being created. But even if the potential employment is secured it will still be only a drop in the bucket. Two to four thousand jobs a year are all that is hoped for—nobody has ever checked up to see if they are being secured—but yet we need 17 to 20 thousand jobs a year in industry.

We are only on the fringe of this problem and we have a long way to go if we are to solve it. We can only solve it if we have positive approaches to it, and we will not solve it if we set our minds against any form of State enterprise or against foreign enterprise. There is a positive and constructive approach required and that is something the Minister will find in this House.

I should preface my remarks by saying that I do not agree with the line taken by Senator Garret FitzGerald when he says this Government should not be criticised with regard to industrial policy. The fact is Senator Garret FitzGerald expressed a view of disapproval of the policy pursued by the Government in the industrial field, particularly in relation to undeveloped areas, and An Foras Tionscal. I want to be fair to him. Perhaps he would like to see more done. We shall have to get a true picture of the situation in this country at the present time and we shall not get it by building a big case of the very small point of An Foras Tionscal and adaptation of industrial estates.

We have at the moment a deepening crisis, which is looming ahead at the present time. It is not unexpected. It is not a bolt from the blue and I believe this deepening crisis can be traced in a major way back to the ill-planned priorities made and pursued down the years by different Governments. We all know that over the years one particular Party has had a major share of responsibility. It is not unfair to suggest that they must take the major share of blame for the crisis that is developing. It might have been a much more assiduous task and possibly a far less rewarding one in the political sense if the Government fostered and developed our primary industries. If they had done so the long-term results for the country would be much more fruitful and beneficial to our people as a whole. It is a matter of great regret that the Governments took the easy way. It cannot be denied that priority was given over the years to the establishment of assembly industries dependent in the main on imported raw materials. These concerns—and there are many of them in Ireland, in fact the majority of our industrial concerns are dependent on raw materials from abroad—did, in fact, bring much wealth to the few, and this came about through a period of prolonged feather-bedding and protection.

Everything seemed to go well until the idea of widening our horizons became attractive to the Taoiseach, and when the question of the Common Market was being discussed and the Taoiseach had already decided that we were going in it was then realised that we might not be so well prepared with this industrial fabric to compete with outsiders. At that stage the error of the previous policy was exposed when the CIO reports shocked the Taoiseach. We all know without going into detail on those reports what, in fact, they did. They sounded the death-knell of the majority of these industries which had for so long been feather-bedded, and I would say in all fairness to the Taoiseach at the time feather-bedded not for the purpose of allowing them to continue over the years but protective in the initial stages to enable them to grow. It cannot be denied that these people decided to use protection as a form of permanent crutch to help them over economic humps and difficulties rather than utilise this protection for the purpose of building up a strong and competitive industrial establishment. At any rate the Government were deeply shocked by the CIO reports. The result of that shock, I think, had a traumatic effect on the Taoiseach, because he went from one extreme to the other.

Having read these reports, he decided that instead of protection we must get into a free-trade situation immediately. I think that this decision was taken rashly in a fit of despair or in a feeling of vengeance against those whom he had put on their feet and protected so long. It cannot be denied that all during that period the major industries, namely, agriculture, fishing and forestry, were neglected, particularly by the Fianna Fáil Government, and the nation is paying today for that neglect.

This Bill, while I welcome it, is going to do very little indeed to reverse that situation or alter the gloomy picture which faces us at the moment. This Bill, indeed, is an attempt to improve legislation that first came into operation in 1952. At that time the aim of the Government was to do something to help the undeveloped areas, to help the poorer counties, to give them a higher share of industrial employment even though it was of a type that I have referred to. That early legislation, as Senator FitzGerald pointed out, had very little effect in the field of employment, and other changes took place. I must say that when the further changes took place they did not favour in any way the poorer areas or the more remote areas from the city of Dublin. In fact, the benefits available to the undeveloped areas were extended to the entire country. There was the first positive proof that the Government had decided that the first priority of all would be employment. They decided that no matter where the employment would be given at any rate employment itself was the prior need, so that immediately the emphasis on the setting up of industries was switched from the undeveloped areas particularly to Dublin city.

Here again this Government must take responsibility for what they have created. Fianna Fáil industrial policy by switching over the last ten or fifteen years from developing the western areas and the rural areas, with possibly one exception, Shannon, have created a freak in this country with a monster head and a puny body. The monster head is Dublin, overloaded with population and over-industrialised in comparison with the rest of the community, lopsided in the economic field. There is a major problem ahead for those industrialists in Dublin today who have benefited in a big way by the protections made available by the Government in the form of grants—adaptation grants, improvement grants, enlargement grants, loans,et cetera—to them. The situation in this city is such that it cannot be denied that in the labour field we have many factories employing young girls who have little responsibility to anybody except themselves at that age and who are earning without any more responsibility to their parents even, as much as married men with large families are earning down the country, who are supposed to be working in industrial employment.

By their actions here in allowing the same rate of attraction to obtain in Dublin for industrial development as outside it the Government lost a glorious opportunity to embark on its decentralisation policy. Over the years we have the advice given from many reputable quarters that decentralisation was essential on the part of the Government in the fields of administration and industry. The idea that Dublin 10 years ago was looked upon as being top heavy was accepted. The situation has not altered, except for the worst, in the last ten years. This is the Government which, on a number of occasions, openly stated that it was part of their policy to remove Government offices, Departments and headquarters from this city and place them in areas much more appropriately situated. For instance, the Department of Lands were to go to Athlone or some other centre where they could and should function. I shall not go into detail on these things, except to say that it was established Government policy, approved by the Opposition and, indeed, by people outside, that decentralisation must be a priority. Not alone did the Government fail to carry out this policy in that regard but they allowed industry to centralise itself in Dublin when, at their disposal, there was an economic weapon in the form of inducement and persuasion of industrialists to get outside the city of Dublin and go to the west of Ireland, the midlands and other areas. That weapon was not used to a sufficient degree because if it had been the lopsidedness as far as Dublin is concerned would not be so apparent.

When one looks at the list of grants approved under various headings, as far as An Foras Tionscal is concerned in the city of Dublin and in the rural areas, a true picture emerges of Government solicitude for the Dublin-based industrial concerns. I shall give the Minister an example. The counties of Roscommon and Leitrim, in a period of ten years, received approximately £65,000 in industrial development grants while, last year, in the city of Dublin one firm, making postcards, were approved grants for twice that amount. Last year in the city of Dublin one firm concerned in the biscuit and confectionery business, were approved grants of £90,000 approximately to expand their business. This was done for the export market. I have nothing personal against the group involved—I shall not name them—but I do say that in the last ten years that one firm was responsible for closing up most of the small bakeries throughout rural Ireland, particularly in the west. That firm was prepared to send a big van as far as Westport and did not give a damn if they sold only half a dozen loaves there. I do not know how it paid them to do it but I do know that policy was pursued over the years, to the extent that they entinguished every small bakery from here to Westport. Having done that glorious act, they could be given a grant of £90,000 from the Government to expand still further. Is there any common sense about that type of expansion? Is there any justification for four firms in the city of Dublin, making scenic postcards and getting approval for nearly £200,000 when entire counties have not got a fraction of that over the last 12 years?

I mentioned the problem in Dublin with regard to labour, the fact that people outside Dublin get £7, £8 and £9 a week and are expected to rear families on it while young girls in Dublin are able to get £7 and £8 a week, perhaps giving 30/- to their parents and having the rest to spend on themselves. Which should be given priority as far as employment is concerned? The problem arises in Dublin in these factories with regard to conditions of employment, the difficulty of getting young girls to stay at work and we have, at the same time, thousands of men passing through this city to get work in England, while the Government will not make any move to direct industry, by persuasion or otherwise, into the rural areas. My answer to the problem is— I know it is not as simple as it may appear from a discussion here, but there is an answer to many of these problems today—instead of giving grants to firms in Dublin to expand and enlarge their concerns, many of these factories should be asked to go outside Dublin. Their labour problem would then, to a great extent, be solved.

Again, I do not want to criticise new factories but if we take, for instance, the primary industry here—agriculture —in which the small farmers depend on a secure and guaranteed price for their pigs and products, is it logical to locate the headquarters of the Pigs and Bacon Commission in the city of Dublin? More power to the people and good luck to them who, as individuals, can succeed in doing so! Should they be allowed is another question. I maintain that it is in the pig breeding areas, where that is the major industry for the farmers, the processing centres for agriculture should be established. I am told immediately that would create problems in relation to transport, shipping and so forth. If that is the case there is no point in producing this type of Industrial Grants Bill. If we are going to establish in Galway factories which depend on raw materials from abroad and it will still pay them to export from Galway by sending their goods cross country, why should not the same principle apply to the primary industry, the pig industry and so forth?

A major argument in favour of centralising the pig industry and others like it in Dublin is that transport costs and so forth would be too much. If you decentralise them that argument must also apply to the type of development the Minister is proposing now. I do not accept that this is true. I believe you can get over the transport problem if you subsidise your transport system in a proper way. We proceeded to roll up our railways like a carpet until they reached Kingsbridge—there is some new name for it now—by this gentleman who is coming into Telefís Éireann. He rolled up our railways, he gets away with it and then we proceed to spend millions on the roads. There is nothing wrong with producing a policy which would have fast freight trains from Galway to Dublin; from Westport or from Sligo and these places, fast goods trains which would carry the goods of a particular factory or a group of factories, without any double handling, unloading or anything else right on to the ship for export. That is what our railways should be used for instead of closing them down. That type of policy could be properly developed in the industrial sense.

Section 4 of this Bill gives power to An Foras Tionscal to establish and administer industrial estates. I have always advocated, since the first time I came into either House of the Oireachtas—the necessity for the State itself taking a very active part in the creation of industries and in the control of industries, particularly where public finance is concerned in the form of grants. I welcome this section. I am afraid, however, that An Foras Tionscal has become a kind of frozen body; it has got into a rut; the mentality in it at the moment is such that it would not warrant giving An Foras Tionscal the power. I would prefer the idea that the Government would set up a special industrial body which would be charged with the actual control of the industries themselves, partially or fully as the case may be, depending on the degree of outside participation. An Foras Tionscal or the IDA would be a separate group to deal with finance and general policy. I am quite open to argument on the administrative end, but I do not think An Foras Tionscal as constituted would be the best body to deal with it. At the same time, the idea is welcome, and it is long overdue.

In this Bill there is provision for the establishment of industrial estates, and there is nothing to suggest that their location should be restricted in any way to particular areas, at a particular time, and so forth. Galway and Waterford I understand are given priority in the initial stages. I will not dispute their right so long as a start is made, but I do say this with regard to Galway. Here we have a substantial town with a potential for the development of the primary industries that should be in the vicinity. Go west to Connemara and the potential there for forestry has never been explored. The potential in Galway for fishing has been examined in a half-hearted fashion only. Unquestionably its potential for tourism has been given attention and perhaps priority, but Galway should be a key centre for the processing of the products of the agricultural, forestry and fishing industries. The Government have neglected those major things to which I have referred, and they are proceeding to establish an industrial estate there which, I presume, will be based on the blueprint of the existing estate in Shannon, and be a carbon copy of it.

I do not want to be taken as being against the idea of industrial development, but I want to point out what should be on the priority list. I must remind the Minister and his colleagues that on numerous occasions in the other House a former leader of the Fianna Fáil Party, who shall be unnamed, used to rear up in the House and say: "We are not going to destroy Galway by making it another Birmingham or Liverpool, by introducing industry into it." I wonder how many Senators recollect that that was part of his policy over the years, and that the people in Galway and Connemara were told: "We want to preserve Galway as a virgin headquarters unsullied and unspoiled by the smoke of factories." That was the Fianna Fáil plan for Galway which resulted in denuding the countryside of the very people they professed to believe were the salt of the earth. That day has gone, and I suppose there is no use in reminding these people of their lack of foresight in the past in regard to development in Galway.

The fact is that in the west, within reasonable distance of Galway, there is a tremendous potential for industrial development based on an afforestation programme which should have been started 30 or 40 years ago. I need not tell the House what our imports of timber and timber products are. Our imports bill in that field is huge, and it is not getting any smaller. Technical advances and scientific investigation show that timber and timber products can now be used for a great variety of modern appliances and modern conveniences, but we are without the raw material which would provide the basis of numerous manufacturing concerns.

It is not yet too late for the Government to say that side by side with setting up these industrial estates in Galway they will concentrate on Connemara, and other areas in the west, which are ideal for afforestation and the processing of the products of the fishing and agricultural industries. If we can see our way to making grants available to groups of people from France like the Potez group, to come in and produce goods like heaters from raw materials which they import, surely we can make money available to build up our own primary industries.

I will not go into detail about that particular factory, but I will remind the Minister that when grants were first made available to this group his colleague, Deputy Lynch, was Minister for Industry and Commerce, and I asked him in Dáil Éireann would this factory reach the standard requirements in regard to safety precautions. The Minister told me that so far as this country was concerned they would. What is the position today? The stores are chock full of heaters which cannot be exported because they do not meet the British safety requirements. If that happened in any other concern someone would be sacked, but the Government were prepared to hand over money to this group and let them go ahead making stoves and heaters at a time when a number of tragedies had taken place due to heaters which were found to be unsuitable by the bureau of standards, or whatever it is called.

The fact is that we cannot sell these heaters and the stores are full of them. I understand that some attempt is being made by an oil company to help this group to alter the specifications and structure so far as safety standards are concerned. This group were supposed to be modem and efficient. They came in here on the basis that they knew everything about this industry. An Foras Tionscal and the Government Departments concerned bowed and scraped to their superior knowledge, but we found that they knew less that the mere Irish about the safety precaution requirements for foreign markets.

Let me come back to what I consider to be our primary industry. Even the growing of grass is a primary industry. What way do we treat the people of Galway and the surrounding areas who are now supposed to be waiting patiently for new industrial developments? They cannot see their land for nine months of the year because of flooding. Is agriculture not an industry? Are we doing anything to ensure maximum protection from the land by draining it? We are saying that we will give a grant for industry. We give it to the lad with the cigar or the Mercedes. That lad has a Mercedes outside his factory when a mere bicycle would do the work. Those people are engaged on processing raw materials which come from abroad and right here there are raw materials which we cannot see because the land is flooded. I referred to drainage. There is not a penny available for it.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

The Senator should not do any more than make an indirect reference to it.

That is all I propose to do. The biggest industry in the west of Ireland at the moment— The Minister can check this—is Burnhouse factory in Ballinasloe. They have had to increase their transport to carry the dead cattle and pigs in the west of Ireland today. Anybody will realise the hardship it is to a small farmer who has lost three or four cattle or five or six sheep. As far as the west of Ireland is concerned the undeveloped areas grants were supposed to be the be all and end all but Potez and others were allowed to start industries and that is all that was done to save the west.

I am satisfied that a big capital in— vestment programme by the State is essential to help the west. The west has not been treated as it should. When I speak of the west I refer to counties like Kerry, West Cork, Galway and other western counties. We should not look on helping those areas as giving alms. The people in those areas are not beggarmen. They are handicapped because of the fact that Dublin is looked on as the major centre in Ireland and consequently those people have to emigrate. Can this measure, as such, play a big part in solving the serious emigration problems or improving them? Will this measure be effective in setting up a proper industrial fabric in the areas I have referred to?

I do not think it will. I believe we are still nibbling at the problem. I am 15 years talking on those lines. The nearest I can get to persuading the Government to bring in some form of socialist development is section 4 of this Bill which allows the State body to move in and set up industries, to build factories or rent them out to private industry. This is all we can achieve since 1952 by way of getting aid for the west of Ireland.

What happened in Scotland and Wales? I shall not bore the House in regard to the situation there but after the last war, from 1945 on, there was a tremendous planned programme by the British Labour Government. They set up major industries in both Scotland and Wales. In Scotland they embarked on a tremendous afforestation programme in the more depressed areas. They also brought in industries under State supervision and with State aid. They did this in a big way. State aid was the only means by which those areas could be restored or saved from utter desolation. Why cannot we see the light here in this country after 40 years messing about with private enterprise?

Under this measure there will be no end to the number of grants or the number of people in private enterprise availing of State aid. We read pronouncements in the paper or listen to people on television condemning State aid. They say that the State should not interfere in this, that or the other thing. Despite this those people accept State aid when they are starting new industries, whether it is Newbridge, Dublin or elsewhere. They have their two hands out for every penny they can grasp in the form of State grants but they do not want anybody to tell them how the money should be used. They do not want any State interference yet they take every penny of public money which they can get.

The Minister is aware that in the last 12 months while the negotiations were going on for large State grants some of those people were actually in the process of being taken over by outside concerns. How can the Minister reconcile giving a grant to a X factory while it was in the process of being gobbled up by another firm outside the State? We must have money to burn as far as those industrialists are concerned. The Minister must have a gold mine when helping those industrialists yet when it comes to another Department we cannot get a penny for development.

I was dealing with the Galway industrial centre which is about to be established. Let me again refer to the raw materials available there. Not too far from Galway we have the Tynagh Mines. These mines, in my opinion, may have a potential so far as industrial wealth is concerned but what do we do? We allow people to dig up the countryside and, having taken out the raw materials, the minerals, there will be no processing done in Galway which is now to be set up as an industrial centre. We provide facilities for those people so that the processing will be done in a European factory. The processing for the extraction of the minerals will be done outside Ireland. What in the name of God advantage is there to this country in allowing that to happen here? The only employment given in this country will be in the mines. The major money will be made by companies on the stock exchange. The work on the processing, smelting and extraction of the minerals will go to workers in European processing centres.

Should we allow that to happen? If the deposits were of a minor nature I suppose it would be a reasonable and economic proposition to let that happen but those people have stated quite clearly that the amount of deposits are beyond their wildest dreams. They have said they see even greater promise than anybody here or in Canada thought possible. If that is the case should that not strengthen the hand of the Government to insist on the processing and extraction being carried out in Galway or elsewhere in the country? Why should we set up an elaborate transport system, a shipping fleet and provide harbour facilities to allow them to take those deposits out of the country when they suggest they are such valuable deposits? If we were to pursue that policy, there would never be any hope of having the extraction and processing done in this country.

That is one of the reasons why St. Patrick's Mines went overboard. It was the same process. We allowed those people in to dig up the countryside, to ship the raw materials to European concerns for processing and when the market dropped for copper, there was no incentive to those people to carry on. They closed down and Irish money went down with them. Since then, the price of copper has gone from £460 per ton to £750 per ton and they are all interested in poor St. Patrick again because they think they can extract more money if they start digging again. If deposits are known to be there, nobody should be allowed in unless they agree to do the processing within the State. That would steady those people up.

A point of particular interest to me in the Bill applies also in existing legislation. For example, a new factory is being opened and the Minister is presented with a golden scissors. While he examines the machinery, he sees perhaps 100 people employed and he describes in glowing terms how the factory, when going full steam ahead, will employ 300. Will the Minister tell me of a single factory since 1962 that has reached the employment figure he or his predecessor forecast for it when it was opened? I know of a factory where, on the day the Minister was invited down to open it, a number of people were dressed up in lovely smocks. The next day half of them were let go, getting a day's pay. The poor Minister was not responsible. I should like to emphasise that the present Minister was not involved. However, the poor Minister went away with a glowing feeling, brought about, I presume, by the fact he had been told so many people were being employed and would be employed in the future.

Having criticised this measure and previous legislation, it is only right that I should say what the Labour Party think should be done. We believe the State has a major responsibility to set up industries here. Labour's aim is to establish a priority list of industrial projects, based primarily on our own raw materials. That would in no way cut out highly desirable industrial investment from abroad. When we have raw materials that show good possibilities, we should give priority to their development. A blueprint for such development is the Irish Sugar Company.

In the field of vegetable and beet growing, we have the co-operative spirit among the growers, particularly the beet growers and their associations. We have the growers allied to State enterprise in the form of the beet factories and both co-operate to the mutual benefit of the farmers as producers, of the community who get a reasonable product at a reasonable price, and the workers. That is the idea the Government should try to expand. We know that great opposition faces the Government from private interests. In the past, great pressure was brought to bear on the Government to hand over to private enterprise successful State undertakings. The people concerned would not touch these industries until they saw they were successful. A previous Minister went so far as to decide to hand over two or three such enterprises. That day has gone and instead of handing successful State enterprises over to private individuals, the Government should now embark on a greater scale on developing industries on the lines of the Irish Sugar Company.

If we are to stop the haemorrhage of emigration, it is essential that the State move in now. The Minister should have no uneasiness about people who condemn socialism. Their outlook is as dead as the dodo. Though a number of people shelter behind the excuse that the idea of socialism is contrary to our philosophy and our moral approach, recent events have proved that the socialist approach is essential in underdeveloped countries like Ireland, which is fighting for its life as a small nation, the only nation in the world today with a falling population. We cannot continue to allow the development of the country and the welfare of the existing population to the vagaries of private enterprise. The State has a big responsibility and though this little measure is but a crumb from the table, we in the Labour Party believe the time is not too far distant when a more comprehensive provision will be put into operation along the lines I have been advocating.

I have seldom heard Senator McQuillan make a more vehement speech in support of the principles which the Minister has announced in his Bill. The whole basis, theory and principle behind the Bill is the decentralisation of industry. In that respect the Bill expressly provides for the setting up of industrial estates in various regions throughout the country. The survey of these regions is a matter for the Minister for Local Government. Pending the completion of that survey, two such estates are being set up, one in Galway and one in Waterford. Only by such processes can there be decentralisation because one cannot force an industrialist to go here, there or the next place and sink his money.

One can encourage an industrialist and one can give him grants but everybody experienced in industry realises that if you start an industry in an out of the way place, where you have not other industries and where you cannot have the services of electricians, of fitters, of technical advisers the prospects are very much reduced. By providing for the renting of factories in these industrial estates, the Minister has taken a great step forward because in a backward district a person might not be prepared to sink £100,000 or £200,000 in the building of a factory but he will be prepared to take a gamble for a year, two years or five years, depending on the location of the industry.

The Minister because of this legislation, can encourage industrialists to go to the west, to go where he wishes them to go, and the real virtue behind the industrial estates is that the principle will help to introduce to this country industries and technical knowhow which are not here now. When dealing with facts and with industrial principles. Deputy McQuillan was not quite correct. Perhaps he had not informed himself of the facts. He has criticised An Foras Tionscal because a few industries to which they have given grants have failed. We should remember however, that in any case where An Foras Tionscal gives a grant, the person getting the grant has out of his own pocket put up three times the amount of the grant. A grant of 25 per cent is given and the person who wishes to establish the industry puts up 75 per cent of the capital. Therefore, if the Government, or the State lose a certain amount of money, it must be realised that the entrepreneur has lost three times that amount.

It should be realised, I think, that in general, of those industries which have been helped by An Foras Tionscal not more than approximately four per cent have failed. I would say to Senator McQuillan that if he were given by some fairy godmother tomorrow a sum of, say, £10,000 and given the benefit of the advice of any stockbroker to whom he cared to go and he were told to spread this money over 100 industries, he would have done exceptionally well if 96 per cent of the industries in which he invested the money turned out to be successful and only four per cent turned out to be failures.

If the four per cent were as big as the other 96 per cent what would the Senator say?

I would still say that if only four out of 100 went wrong the Senator would still have done well. I would say, furthermore, that from the point of view of income, this is still a most worthwhile investment for the Government. What one must realise is the Government are in a position of being better than a 50 per cent shareholder in any industry that becomes a success.

If an industry is a success, the Government collect under the profits of that industry 7/- in the £ in income tax and 3/- in the £ corporation profits tax, that is, 10/- in the £ in all.

Not if it is an export industry where no tax is paid.

If the Senator is supporting the idea that export industries should not be supported by income tax relief. I should like him to express the idea and then I shall deal with it.

I am only correcting the Senator on a point of fact.

The Senator said that 25 per cent was the total given to theentrepreneur to set up an industry. In fact, it is the reverse in many industries in the underdeveloped areas.

In the underdeveloped areas, I am aware that grants heretofore were as high as 50 per cent. I, in my own small way have had experience of setting up industries in Limerick, Sligo, and other counties in Ireland and I am aware of the facts and the circumstances.

It is not 25 per cent.

In certain circumstances, they did grant 50 per cent but in those circumstances I found that 75 per cent of the products had to be exported. That is my personal experience. I should say, therefore, that An Foras Tionscal deserve the congratulations not only of this House but of the entire country. I would say, furthermore, that anybody who has had practical experience of An Foras Tionscal would not for a moment agree with, shall I say, the deprecatory remarks made in regard to them this morning.

In so far as small industries and industries in underdeveloped areas are concerned, I think they employ up to 100. They have various schemes which give assistance in practically every branch in the development of an industry. I know from personal experience as I have paid 700 guineas to a firm of efficiency consultants. I must say I was not pleased with their advice. I do not think they investigated the matter fully. I consulted An Foras Tionscal and I got their assistance, and for a paltry sum of £60, I got a very full report from them. Their advice was correct and the advice for which I paid 700 guineas was wrong.

Which does the Senator favour—the State or the private capitalist?

I am speaking of the remarks made in criticism of An Foras Tionscal.

Bad and all as they are, they are still better than the private individual.

They have a special department which is not Civil Service, I understand, and as far as I know, the people who came down from An Foras Tionscal were complete experts in their line of business.

State servants?

In other regards, too, An Foras Tionscal have shown their enthusiasm in these directions. We are told the Government do not establish industries in the west of Ireland or in Kerry or Donegal. All the Government can do is encourage people. You cannot force industry into a place that is not suitable for it. The people who are the best judges of whether an industry is suited to a particular place are those who are putting their own hands into their own pockets who are prepared to take a gamble, who are manufacturing an item and who are undertaking the entire cost. They have measured the market and are hoping to be able to sell their products on that market and after that, they will be able to make a profit.

Or whether there are nice trout in the river nearby.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

Senator Nash should be allowed to continue without interruption, and it will help if he looks in the direction of the Chair.

In regard to the trout, I may say that it has been found possible on a few occasions to get a more efficient manager because there was a trout river in the locality. I have also heard Senator McQuillan say that for the past 15 years he has been talking, talking, talking about this matter and has got nowhere. May I suggest to him that for one year he should do something, something, something about the matter instead of talking and I have no doubt he will get his way? One cannot expect a Government to be a divine authority putting their hand into their waistcoat pocket and producing factories. First of all, the area would have to be acquired through the local people who had enthusiasm, patriotism and pride and it would be necessary to get the confidence of the people around to start a factory. One must get the idea from them, get three-quarters of the money from them, see that the idea is practical, and then one can go to the Government and submit the proposal and say: "Here is our proposition; here is what we are prepared to put up; here are our proposals: are you prepared to give an adaptation grant or not?"

I would suggest to Senator McQuillan and any other people who criticise about the west of Ireland and other parts of Ireland that they should get some people around them and devote their own enthusiasm—there is no doubt they have popularity locally; otherwise they would not be in one of the Houses of the Oireachtas and no doubt they have personality and powers of persuasion—to doing something practical in that direction. I have known little towns in Ireland where when these facilities were not available, local people have clubbed together, bought a site, built a factory, and given a lease of that factory to a particular company to encourage them to come to the district. This now gets over that difficulty.

I personally feel that while this will not solve all our problems, it is one of the finest and best steps taken so far to encourage Irish industry, and I am very glad from my personal experience that the detailed working of the Bill has been left in the hands of An Foras Tionscal.

Business suspended at 1.5 p.m. and resumed at 2.30 p.m.

I welcome this Bill because I believe that what the Government are setting out to do is, indeed, something which will be of benefit to the country but it is regrettable that the number of people we find in industrial employment today, compared with the amount of money already spent, is perhaps small. For that reason, a closer scrutiny or examination should be made of people who propose to set up new industries. Their backgrounds and their proposals should be more closely examined.

The figure of £30 million is a sizeable one indeed and I should like to see it being spread a little more evenly over the country. For instance in my own county of Laois, the Government have spent no money whatever in setting up any new industries over the years. It must be one of the few counties which has not benefited from this legislation. On the contrary, one firm which sought to establish an industry there last year—the Avonvale Milk Factory—was diverted to another county, by direct action of the Minister for Agriculture, so we appear to be the Cinderella as far as industrial areas go anyway.

The Shannon Industrial Estate have done wonderful work and, from their report, certainly appear to be thriving. The personnel on the Estate, the people responsible for the development down there, are to be congratulated. I am sure that if those people are given the task of extending their activities to other centres in the midlands and in the West, their ventures will be crowned with the success which Shannon has brought forth.

I am doubtful whether at this stage the Government are sincere in bringing forward this Bill and indicating that they are going to spend £30 million under this heading, because last week in the Dáil the Minister for Lands announced regrettable reductions in the Vote for Forestry. That is an industry in itself. In the local forests, the first few years after planting are the years which really matter for the young trees, the years when care and attention is needed if they are to develop properly and be of benefit to our economy. That, in itself, must be regarded as an industry and one of great potential, when most of the trees first planted by a native Government become ready for cutting and use. It is indeed extraordinary that the State should find it economic at this stage to reduce the number of people working in that Section, at a time when they should be doubling up on the employment there in order to achieve desired results.

I should like to ask the Minister if, when his Department are setting up these new industrial areas, they will give some industries to the midland counties which have hitherto been more or less dominantly agricultural. He should give this matter serious consideration and perhaps, site some of these industrial estates there. At the present time, with agriculture not going so well, it would be very beneficial and very comforting to the rural community to see signs of industrial growth in their midst because down in rural Ireland when we hear so much about economic expansion and industrial expansion, we take it all for granted but we have no great practical experience of it. The population in the midlands especially—and perhaps in every part of the country—should get a fair crack of the whip. These developments should not be confined solely to one or two privileged areas.

Under this legislation a tremendous amount of good has been done. Successive Governments' eyes have been wiped by a few smart Alecs but it is more than ever necessary now that the people concerned in the Department should exercise diligence and give those proposing industries a closer scrutiny to ensure that State moneys will be well spent and accounted for. I have every hope that that will be done.

I should like to ask the Minister when he is replying to give some indication as to when this £30 million will be spent and how far the plans for this work have progressed.

I should like briefly to comment on a statement which was made this morning by Senator FitzGerald when he criticised the Government's decision to include Donegal in what was left out of the NIEC Report. This is not the first time Senator FitzGerald has publicly said that he believes Donegal should not be so included. At a convention in Derry some months ago he expressed a similar opinion. Senator FitzGerald may be an expert on many subjects, but I can assure him he is not an expert on the economic situation in Donegal. Apart from a visit to the county some years ago, I understand he has no experience whatsoever of Donegal.

We believe the port of Rathmullen to be the deepest port in the country and it can carry the heaviest boats. We hope that in the not too distant future the Government will be in a position to establish an industrial estate there, and so prevent the haemorrhage of emigration to which Senator McQuillan likes to refer. If Senator FitzGerald and the Leader of his Party had their way, the entire west of Ireland from Donegal to Kerry would be wiped off the map. Are we to plant trees from Kerry to Donegal, and send the people away? Oliver Cromwell believed that the Irish people should be sent to hell or to Connacht. It would appear that we have another Oliver Cromwell in our midst at the moment, in the person of Senator FitzGerald.

It is a pity the Senator did not hear what Senator FitzGerald said instead of acting on a misreport.

That would spoil it.

The Senator got the report very quickly.

The debate in the Seanad has ranged widely over several Departments and the responsibilities of several Ministers. Senator FitzGerald said earlier that the Minister for Local Government made a speech which shocked everyone. I told the Minister for Local Government about this opinion, and I found it hard to restrain him from coming here and taking my place. He felt that he held a different opinion from the opinion of Senator FitzGerald but he would not in any way accept that he himself was wrong. He felt he was defending an interest which should have been defended——

Partition. Yes, quite.

——and that the Senator was handing away things that should not be handed away.

He is quite ready to meet the challenge if presented in his presence, and I am sure he will need neither my help nor the help of the Senator who spoke before me to do this.

Much of Senator FitzGerald's speech related to the responsibility of the Minister for Local Government, that is, in relation to the development areas. I do not think I should go too far into this question. The 1965 progress report on theSecond Programme for Economic Expansion at paragraph 186 refers to physical planning, building and construction. Surveys are being carried out on a national basis for the identification of these development centres. It is being done in a scientific way and work is going on at present. There have been some interim reports but the full study is not yet completed. When it is completed centres will be identified and further action will be taken.

The Minister for Local Government does not feel the need to wait on science?

He is in charge of the surveys which are going on. I shall leave that because it is not relevant to the business before the House. I shall not deal with every Department of State which was mentioned. Everything was covered from fisheries and grass to flooding, but they are not covered in the Bill.

Coming to my own responsibility for industrial development I should like to answer on behalf of the Government and our Party that our philosophy in relation to industry is that we should encourage private enterprise. Where private enterprise has not succeeded in meeting, or attempted to meet, the needs of the country, my Party under different Fianna Fáil Governments have established State bodies. Generally, our belief is that private enterprise, properly encouraged, will supply the necessary employment opportunities.

Senator McQuillan started to trace the encouragement given to private enterprise. It is quite true to say that it was protected for the purpose of getting industries started, to get a beginning of growth which would later lead to healthy industries which could compete in markets overseas and at home, in free competition with other countries. The problem was to find the point where this growth had taken place and where industry was strong enough to compete.

Senators will remember that for some years now the Government have been trying to get Irish industries into a competitive position by exhortation. After many years of exhortation it was found that not a great deal was being done. There were some notable exceptions which are competing in overseas markets but it was found, generally speaking, that exhortation did not work.

In order to stimulate the private interests concerned to make themselves competitive, the Government undertook to have unilateral outs in protective tariffs and we had two of those cuts, but even then not everyone saw the need for adaptation. The completion of the Free Trade Area Agreement with Britain before Christmas, which becomes effective in July, was the most effective instrument so far in stimulating Irish firms to undertake the necessary work for adaptation. The first three months of this year have shown a very spectacular increase in the number of applications for adaptation grants. This, in turn, reflects the work of adaptation that is going on.

Part of the Bill before the Seanad provides an extended period in which these grants may be given to industries to adapt themselves. No one seems to disagree with that part of the Bill. The part of the Bill which relates to industrial estates brought a fair amount of discussion on the general policy in industrial development and the attraction of industries. As far as most of the points which were made are concerned, either the decisions were already made by me and not announced or the announced decisions have anticipated the criticism.

The first criticism was that the IDA give special treatment to foreign prospective industrialists in this country. This is the job of the IDA. They should go out, promote and help people who may be tempted to set up industries in Ireland. I have been of the opinion that there should be equal treatment for Irish industrialists and I have decided that the IDA should do this promotional work for the Irish industrialists, too. I have arranged with them that they will undertake this work. I do not think this has been publicly announced. It has been arranged.

I was not aware of that but I am delighted to hear it.

Senator FitzGerald started well. He started off on the basis that we should welcome foreign industries and foreign investment here. Generally speaking, people will always say that, but then they have to ruin it by saying that we should keep an eye on those people with regard to the way they spend the money given to them by way of grants. I think the idea that when you give a grant to private enterprise and let them work away on their own free will, without any Government interference, is based on the assumption that if you interfere with them too much, they will not want to come here.

That is one of the reasons why I have been reluctant to survey the grant-aided industries but I have announced in the Dáil that this survey is in hand at the moment. I am not in a position to say when the results will be published but the survey is in progress by the IDA of grant-aided industries. When this is completed, we will have a great deal more knowledge of what has happened and what progress has been made. I do not think Senators mean to be suspicious of industry or to think a promoter is up to some mischief if he does not reach the employment figures he had hoped for. The actual potential employment depends on the success of the industry, which depends on many things such as the market, costings and many other factors. Therefore, it would be more than a human being could do to guarantee that he would be a great success and that the money would be 100 per cent safe in the industry he sets up.

All those promoters, as Senator Nash has said, run a very high risk themselves. There is a greater amount of their own money invested than the amount of money they get from the State. As far as any money from the State to overseas investors here is concerned, the fact is that the money is mainly to help them in overcoming the difficulties that must arise for a foreign firm setting up in a country which is strange to them. The attractions we can offer in the way of the availability of a labour force and other attractions, such as tax incentives, are really more important than the grants which they get. The grants help them to overcome the difficulties which must attend the setting up of an industry in a strange country and perhaps a country which has not the tradition of industry which their home country has.

I have decided already, and announced, that the time has come for a complete re-appraisal of our industrial development work. The IDA have employed consultants of international repute who have done this work for other countries. I expect that when this report is in, we may have a new, more scientific approach, rather than just guessing what is the best way to go next in relation to the type of industry we want and the type of production we want. As well as that, I informed the Dáil that a research and information section has been set up in the headquarters of the IDA which is intended in time to supplement the general approach to the attraction of industry by a more selective approach for particular products.

Those are the three main points which were brought up in relation to the Industry Development Authority, the survey of grant-aided industry, the re-appraisal of our approach in industrialisation and the giving to the IDA of the function of helping Irish industrialists who want to set up industries. With regard to the question of statistics, I shall go into the matter and see if there is any better way of producing statistics. I am not averse to finding a better way or a way that is more easily understood but I want to be clear as to what we want in this job. Do we want industrialisation or discussion about industrialisation because the attraction of private enterprise, and especially people from other countries, is not always compatible with greater discussion or exposure of information about their firms? This is a decision which has to be taken by the Minister for Industry and Commerce. How much information should be given out for the sake of satisfying ourselves here at home that those people are spending the money granted to them in the best way and how much information should not be given? It might be that if we give it out, it would discourage those people.

I do not think I suggested giving additional information. I suggested the present information could be added up.

There is a note in the report of An Foras Tionscal for the year ended 31st March, 1965, which says that the amount was £3 million in respect of 51 projects which did not proceed and some £181,000 in respect of grant adjustments. There is a continual change. Afterwards, it is found they might need more or less than what they proposed before they got the go ahead. This is a constantly changing position and you are bound to have changing figures arising from it. While it might not lend itself to a happy discussion by changing all the time, it reflects the continuous change and it cannot be made otherwise.

Senator FitzGerald made a very good case for flexibility. It was only bettered by the case he made for cautious rigidity. Indeed, the case he made for encouragement was only matched by the case he made for discouragement sometimes. There was a good case made for publishing figures but there was also a better case made for not publishing them. This is what the IDA meet all the time. There is competition with other countries and areas in other countries. They are competing with these and at the same time they must make sure they do not have too high a rate of failures. This must be left to the Minister to see how much of it is for discussion and how much should not be for discussion, in case it would discourage the activities of the IDA.

In reply to a point raised by Senator McDonald, the figure of £30 million represents aggregate of all moneys spent, the sum of every year's spending added together, not what was spent this year or last year; it would represent the sum total of all the moneys An Foras Tionscal are permitted under law to grant. I do not think there was any other point raised except for Senator McQuillan's suggestion about the establishment of industries based on our own raw materials. It appears from this as if we were using imported materials in industries to the detriment of our own raw materials. We try to set up industries to give employment to the maximum number of our people and these require the importation of raw materials which, when processed here, can go into competition on the export market. It cannot be suggested that is wrong. Such industries have not been set up at the expense of industries based on home raw materials. In adjusting the amount of grant, the fact that Irish raw materials were being used would be a consideration in the minds of An Foras Tionscal.

Question put and agreed to.
Agreed to take remaining Stages today.
Bill considered in Committee.
Section 1 agreed to.
SECTION 2.
Question proposed: "That section 2 stand part of the Bill".

I found it very difficult to understand a paragraph in this section, though I read it a number of times. I am not very wise as to its interpretation. Crudely interpreting it, does it mean that the period of payment of grants is being extended to December, 1967, and that the period for approval will be extended to September, 1967?

The application must be in by the end of September. It can be approved up to December and paid up to then but it cannot be approved after December, 1967.

Is the position that there is no time limit as to payment?

Could the Minister say why that was not set out clearly in the section?

It was the lawyers.

The Minister is the ultimate boss.

The draftsman.

The Minister should tell his draftsman to set it out properly.

Question put and agreed to.
Section 3 agreed to.
SECTION 4.
Question proposed: "That section 4 stand part of the Bill."

On the question of industrial estates, I asked the Minister to indicate why it was decided to give responsibility for them to An Foras Tionscal. I did not challenge this frontally but it requires some justification in view of the different character of the board's work at the moment. Could the Minister say something about that? I also raised issues in regard to development centres. I appreciate the Minister's difficulties in replying on the broader issues but the fact that there is this division, that the Minister can deal only with industrial estates and that the development centres are the responsibility of another or other Departments is unsatisfactory. The NIEC made certain recommendations in this respect. There should be some general liaison and co-ordination in this matter. I appreciate that the Minister is responsible only for part of this but he must surely know how his part is to be co-ordinated with the rest. This is a fair question, in view of the NIEC warning.

Senator McGlinchey and I seem fated to speak about each other in each other's absence. I wish to say that his comments here were a little wide of the mark. What I said earlier was that I would express no opinion on the merits of the provisions as regards Donegal, that I was not competent to do so. What I said was that a decision was taken inadvertently in a nominal division of the country and that this decision to get the plan going was taken in conjunction with the Government's statement of policy on the NIEC report and through this we had arrived at a decision to create a centre in Donegal which may be a good thing or a bad thing. This decision, I said, should have been a formal decision, formally set out and planned. I am all for studying things scientifically but there is no case for having scientific studies based on areas arbitrarily chosen. I did not say there was no need for a centre in the North West but I criticised the arbitrary subdivision of the smallest region in the country.

There has been a misunderstanding here. Let nobody think that I suggested Donegal should not be developed. On the contrary, I think it has great potential for development particularly considering the self-reliance of the people which is not common to other parts of the country. I suggested, however, that it should be developed in conjunction with its cross-Border neighbourhood, that there should be co-operation between it and the hinterland of Derry. I expressed concern at the attitude of the Minister for Local Government which is completely at variance with the NIEC recommendations. The danger is that he will sabotage regional planning there for the sake of local nationalism. I do not wish to push that further.

On the first point raised by Senator FitzGerald, this was a decision arrived at by the Government. It is hard now to remember what the pro and con arguments were. The Government felt that the grant-giving body, already experienced in this work, should do it and that it was not necessary to set up a new body to do it. The Bill seeks power for An Foras Tionscal to appoint the type of staff which it was thought would be necessary, the type of staff who would be more suitable as officers of An Foras Tionscal in the running of industrial estates.

In reference again to the Government's statement of policy on the NIEC recommendation, paragraph 6 of the statement sets out the Government's acceptance of the proposal of the NIEC except for the view that in certain counties mentioned the establishment of industrial centres is unlikely to be effective. In regard to the Senator's reference to the Minister for Local Government and his suggestion that the Minister was going against the NIEC recommendation on his own, this was a Government decision and it is recorded in the Government's statement of policy. I should like to tell the Senator that the Minister for Local Government has suggested he should spend a holiday in Donegal.

That seems a very sound suggestion, coming from a source I do not usually look to for sound suggestions. When this matter about development centres came up, I thought about the problem and how it could be tackled in industrial estates. I have discussed it with several people and they share the view that the problem of developing an industrial estate is really a local one. The great success at Shannon has been due to the fact that there was a particularly able team of people dedicated to the Shannon Estate and to nothing else. That is the way is should be. It is somebody else's job to see that the Shannon effort does not interfere with other areas.

Now that seems to me a good precedent. What disturbs me is that we will now have industrial estates with development centres throughout the country which will be organised and run from Dublin, from an organisation which is very much, as it should be for the job it is fulfilling, a Civil Service organisation. I would have thought a better solution would be to establish development companies locally similar to the Shannon company, but I do not think we have enough expertise in many aspects of this business for each centre to have as good a team as there is at Shannon. I do not think you can readily staff all these centres as well as Shannon.

What I thought might be done is that the central agency would have a team of experts available to the local people but the management, promotion and the current running would be done locally in conjunction with the whole work of developing these into major industrial centres. It does not seem to me that it would be done effectively from Dublin. It may be that to get them off the ground, the An Foras Tionscal approach is the best. I would visualise a fairly rapid decentralisation. Otherwise, I do not think we will get the same impetus and drive the people at Shannon have. I cannot see that applying in Waterford and Galway when people come from Dublin to do the job and who are referring back all the time to Dublin. The Shannon company avoids danger of conflict by having one or two representatives of the IDA on the board. This ensures liaison. That is a good system. I wonder would the Minister reconsider the way he is proposing to run these agencies. It does not seem entirely proper. Does the Minister really visualise these being permanently run from Dublin and not on a local basis at all?

All this seems to me to be a vote of no confidence in Shannon. It has been a success at Shannon, despite criticisms which were unwarranted and unfair. I would have thought that we should try to develop the Shannon industries. It must be realised that everyone cannot have a team like that at Shannon and you may have to draw on a central source for more expertise, but the local initiative is very important. Would the Minister consider this?

I do not think this is necessary in the section which empowers An Foras Tionscal to recruit their own staff, officers and servants of the board for establishing, developing, maintaining and managing these industrial estates. There are only two at the moment and it will become clear as time goes on what type of management is needed. One can say the Shannon Estate is directed from Dublin because it started from the Department of Industry and Commerce, now the Department of Transport and Power, but they have local management. There was nothing to prevent An Foras Tionscal, if they found it necessary, having local management. We are seeking power to have this at their discretion.

I think there is slight evasion there. The Shannon company is a company in its own right with a board of directors who are responsible for running it and staff on the spot. The whole thing is organised locally and even board meetings are held at Shannon. To say that it was initiated in Dublin is, I think not correct.

It was initiated in Dublin. What I mean to say is that at the time of the legislation we were at the initial stage in the development of this type of industrial estate which will appear in greater numbers in development centres. We are looking for these powers so that the staff to run each will——

I do not think the Minister can equate local employees of a Dublin board with the Shannon experiment. I do not think it was initiated in the Department of Industry and Commerce. It was initiated locally which was a good thing and it was local pressure which led to its development. Certainly I do not think you can equate the local staff of An Foras Tionscal with Shannon. I am glad the Minister's mind is not closed to the possibility that at a later stage it will be decentralised and put on a local basis.

Question put and agreed to.
SECTION 5.
Question proposed: "That section 5 stand part of the Bill".

As I understand it, this gives power to employ staff who will not be members of the Civil Service.

This is the intention in giving them powers to employ their own staff so that they are employing the type of person who would properly run that type of industry, the type of person thought most suitable for that type of work.

This is only for industrial estates; this power does not extend to other activities of the board?

It is for the management, development and maintenance of industrial estates.

Does the Minister consider that, in fact, the board of An Foras Tionscal, as presently constituted, is ideal for that? The board consists of four civil servants and one ex-civil servant. At Shannon, there are one or two non-civil servants, entrepreneurial people, and perhaps part of the success of Shannon is due to the mixed character of the board. There are the entrepreneurial staff, a representative of Irish Steel Holdings as general manager and there is also a consultant on the board. I wonder whether An Foras Tionscal could be reconsidered in the light of that. Its dual roles are incompatible.

I can see the Minister arguing that An Foras Tionscal with its present activities is best run by a Civil Service board and there would be difficulty in bringing in business men orentrepreneurs, but I would not accept that. Experience has suggested, perhaps, that I would be right in not accepting it. That argument would not apply to industrial estates. Would the Minister envisage evolving the board in a direction more appropriate to a body organising and running an industrial estate or would he feel inhibited in so doing by the other responsibilities of An Foras Tionscal?

There are the promotional activities of the IDA, and An Foras Tionscal is responsible for determining the amount of grants. These meet what the Senator wishes to exist in one body if you had the change in the board of the industrial estates which he asks for.

Can the IDA recruit non-Civil Service personnel?

My point is that the board are a Civil Service board. consisting of representatives of the Departments of Agriculture, Gaeltacht, Finance and Industry and Commerce and one ex-civil servant. I wonder is the Minister prepared to consider an evolution of that board to bring in people with experience, now that the board is to undertake activities in the industrial field?

The nature of their work makes it desirable for them to be constituted as they are.

That is my worry.

The promotion offered by the IDA supplements this. It is necessary that it be constituted like this.

The Minister is making my point. He is giving the board responsibility for establishing industrial estates which will be promoted, I hope, in the same effective way in which the Shannon Industrial Estate has been promoted by most energetic and able methods. This is promotional activity, and it is precisely because it involves promotional activity that I am suggesting that what was done in Shannon should be followed in this instance. The Minister is now putting An Foras Tionscal in the position of undertaking new activities of a promotional character. There is a legitimate doubt about the desirability of this link-up and I am wondering whether in fact I might not have been right in mentioning the possibility of the IDA being the more appropriate agency for this work.

If you go back to what I said in introducing it, I said that we will have many industrial estates in development centres and the decision had to be made that they should not compete with one another actively, or with other areas which are not industrial estates. The type of promotional activity which goes on in one industrial estate may not seem desirable for other industrial estates. The committee which reported on this reported on the basis that the setting up of the industrial estates—and I said this in introducing the Bill—would of its own attract industries which would not otherwise come to Ireland at all. As of now the existence of the estate attracting industry being dealt with by An Foras Tionscal is as far as we have gone in our thinking on this matter. It may be that in time we will see that it is necessary to make them more promotional, but Government policy is not to attract industry to an industrial estate away from other areas of the country, but rather to attract industry to Ireland which otherwise would not come at all. Maybe this change will come.

Now the Minister really has me worried. I am beginning to see not daylight but darkness ahead in this tunnel. The Shannon Estate has been successful precisely because those running it have had the authority to promote and seek business outside Ireland. They have rightly and properly sought business of a kind which would not come to any other place in Ireland and indeed most of the industries there are of that character. A number of them have not made use of air transport to the extent that would suggest that the existence of air transport facilities was an important element in attracting them, or as prominent as it was alleged to be. But this has been the main factor, that the Shannon people have set out to get new types of industry that would not have come otherwise. What are we going to do with these industrial estates? The basis on which it is proposed to set them up is that they will not promote at all, and I can imagine nothing more disastrous than this half-hearted approach.

The Senator should try to visualise the situation that we will have to see what experience teaches us. I would not say that they would not promote at all but they should not promote competitively. It is better to start in this way and as time goes on some of the effects may show the need for a change and it is easy to change.

I quite agree that we should learn from experience but we have had experience in Shannon which has been so very successful. I have had considerable contact with it. I was close to it in the early stages and am still in touch and I know that its success depends on the active promotion of the Shannon Estate and seeking industries and trying to get them to go there. They have sought industries to come there which would not have come elsewhere. This required a major promotional effort. For the Minister to say that we must learn from experience and see what happens, not doing any promotion in the first instance, means that we would set up these estates and then wait until somebody would come to take advantage of them.

I would not exclude promotion by the IDA of industry for industrial estates.

It was not the IDA who went out and got business for Shannon, though they did put certain business in their way. Shannon has generally tried to get industries to come which the IDA would not have got because of the particular promotional effort put into it by the Shannon people. Now I do not think it is sensible to suggest that, having learned from this experience, we should do as the Minister says he wants to do in his speech, that is to leave it to the IDA to continue with its present work and also to engage in promotional activities. The IDA should be let get on with its general job of seeking industries for areas which are not going to have industrial estates where we will want to get industrial growth throughout the country. The experience of Shannon makes it quite clear that these estates will depend on their promoting themselves with energetic effort and enthusiasm by the people on the spot, and not waiting until the IDA will direct somebody to them. The IDA policy hitherto has been one of total neutrality, not to direct people anywhere for fear of political repercussions if they encouraged people to go to one particular location. Is the IDA going to actively promote these estates, look for people for them and encourage people to go there and divert people to these estates? The answer to that I presume would be "No".

From where?

From other parts of the country.

No. If the Senator went back to the committee which examined this it said that the existence of the estate would attract industry which would not otherwise come. This is the whole basis for doing it. We have a difference of opinion and we will not solve it unless we are to stay here debating it all night.

I do not want to waste time, but I want to clarify the fact that we had a precedent and we have gone some distance from following that precedent. There is a difference of opinion here and I suggest that the Minister will want to reconsider the procedure. These estates should have power to do as Shannon has done. Shannon has been a success and has got for itself new business that would not otherwise have been got. The IDA promote business generally, and they will not bring in new business, though indeed some of it will drift to these estates. There is definitely a conflict of thought on this matter and the Minister would need to give it further thought. He is apparently confused by the statement of the committee that these estates will attract new types of industry. Of course, they will in a negative sense, that their existence will lead to some people going there, but unless somebody gets out and sells these estates we will not get anywhere. It is a fact that Shannon has sold its attractions that brings in the business. There is confusion of thought and the Minister should give further thought to this promotional point. It is fundamental and affects the whole set-up. The Minister is on the wrong track, and everything that he has said convinces me that he is now on the wrong track here.

Question put and agreed to.
Sections 6 to 8 inclusive agreed to.
SECTION 9.
Question proposed: "That section 9 stand part of the Bill".

May I just confirm my understanding that promoters of private industrial estates will receive grants similar to those which the promoters of a factory will receive which will enable them to reduce the rents?

Question put and agreed to.
Sections 10 and 11 agreed to.
Title agreed to.
Bill reported without amendment and received for final consideration.
Question proposed: "That the Bill do now pass."

I know the Minister is rather busy and, for that reason, I did not speak on section 5 because I might have been tempted to pop up and down a good deal. Section 5 is the section which, the Minister will recall, Senator FitzGerald was agitated about. It is time the Minister for Industry and Commerce asserted himself, in government and out of it. This is a section which has to deal with the appointment of staff by An Foras Tionscal to man these new industrial estates. I think the situation has been reached where if we are to get anywhere in industry in this country everything should not be hawked from the Board of An Foras Tionscal to the Department of Industry and Commerce and thence to the Department of Finance where people get down to examining things they know nothing about in order to determine whether or not the Minister for Finance can give his approval to a particular appointment. I think the Minister for Industry and Commerce should have blanket approval from the Minister for Finance.

If I had my way I would delete this from the section altogether. If we are to get ahead at all with industry in this country we shall have to do away with this idea of going over to the Department of Finance for approval for everything; and that means obstruction because the Department of Finance is constituted to obstruct the payment of money and keep down prices. That is not the way Bord Fáilte is operated. The members of Bord Fáilte are not civil servants but rather an independent body acting under the direction of the Minister for Transport and Power. Similarly, in relation to the operation of this Bill, the staff to be appointed should be the very best available. It may be that somebody has to be given an outrageous salary, by Department of Finance standards, in order to attract them into a particular job and the Minister for Finance, acting by his civil servants and advisers, might be creating difficulties.

I do not think the Minister for Industry and Commerce should put up with that kind of situation any longer. If we want to act in a business-like way, the last authority for sanctioning approval should be the Minister for Industry and Commerce and, if the Minister for Industry and Commerce cannot be trusted in these matters, the Taoiseach should change him, although I do not think that would be necessary in this case.

Question put and agreed to.