I would like to begin by agreeing with Senator Robinson in her remarks last evening when she questioned the statement in the opening sections of the Minister's speech yesterday. The Minister said there had been an extensive debate on the Single European Act and that he welcomed that. It is with regret that I must question that statement and I do so on the basis of the second item which is before us this morning. We are, as we were yesterday, discussing three items, the Single European Act Bill, the motion on neutrality and report No. 34 of the Joint Committee on the Secondary Legislation of the European Communities. It is very interesting to bear in mind the date of the publication of report No. 34. The formal date on which Deputy Collins signed it as chairman of the joint committee was 3 December 1986 and page 69, column 121 states:
...looks forward to an informed and enlightened debate on the European Communities (Amendment) Bill, 1986, so these fears can be allayed and hopes that this report will make a useful contribution to the parliamentary process.
If that was signed on 3 December 1986 and it is now 17 December 1986 I must say I find it closer to conversion than to convincing anybody to assume that in 14 days all the questions that are raised by the Bill will be met. It is a somewhat facetious expectation.
Given that, if I were to go beyond the report itself and say what has been the character of the debate to date, I do not think any serious parliamentarian in Europe could regard the debate that has taken place either publicly or in Parliament in Ireland as comparable in terms of adequacy with the debate that has gone on in the Parliaments of the other member states. I will say a little more about this on another matter this evening, but I am quite depressed at the lack of conviction that is present in Ireland and within the parliamentary process towards opening up foreign policy in general and matters like this in particular to public scrutiny.
Yesterday Senator Dooge made a rather coy reference to the proposal we will be discussing this evening of a joint Oireachtas legislative committee as imposing the Danish model on Irish foreign policy. That is a travesty as I will make clear later on this evening.
In my opening remarks I said we were at one end of a spectrum, a spectrum in which the Irish citizen and most of the Irish parliamentarians are precluded from understanding or having access to foreign policy decisions. We have the least political accountability of the many countries in the European Community. I said that at the other end you had Denmark where policy formulation initiatives come from the Danish Parliament and particularly its foreign affairs committee. I explicitly said that I was not suggesting a committee on the Danish model but simply establishing a committee here which would have enabled us to have access for the first time. I find it a little irritating to be misquoted like this, not on one occasion but on more than one occasion. I realise the intent of all of this, because it was something that was borne out later in the speech and something to which I will address myself extensively this morning, that is, the general arrogance that prevails in relation to matters of foreign policy. I described it last week as the substitution of a kind of infallible expertise for political accountability.
When I begin to consider an item such as this I am far less than happy that a debate has taken place. What debate? The Minister yesterday gave a fine, thorough speech. Senator Dooge gave us a fine speech based on his experience of the evolution of European political co-operation but I ask how can somebody say that there has been a very fine public debate and that he welcomes it. How could there be, unless I am living in a different island? I was more interested as Foreign Affairs spokesman of the Labour Party than the average citizen, and I would suspect than very many people in the Dáil and the Seanad are in the process of European political co-operation. I am not a conspiracy theorist, but I believe I am entitled to hear in a committee of these Houses rather than outside of them in private what is happening in European political co-operation.
I am elected to this House to ask questions on foreign policy and I would have thought my colleagues in the Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael parties would feel they were elected into the Dáil and Seanad to make foreign policy accountable in this country. I am sadly disappointed to find that the party on this side are opposing a motion I have tonight on establishing accountability in foreign policy. Their refusal will impinge very seriously on my consideration as to what I am going to do about this Act and my own intentions on it. Equally, I am deeply disappointed in relation to the Fianna Fáil Party's attitude. I had thought there had been in the past an opening up there, a commitment to try to make foreign policy more public and more open both in the Parliament and among the public. I warn as to what we are doing. The suspicion that is sown in the minds of the public has been sown by people who deliberately and jealously are guarding matters of foreign policy for themselves.
There was a touch of coyness about the speech yesterday when, quite correctly a former Foreign Affairs Minister and Member of this House took exception to people writing letters to the papers saying: "Whatever the Taoiseach said, whatever the present Minister for Foreign Affairs said, whatever I said"— he was speaking about himself —"please ignore it". He was correct in that. He was not correct to say: "Who would better understand it? All three of us were in there making it work." The idea was that we should suspend our judgment and exercise belief.
This country has paid more than its price for the definition of religious and theological matters in terms of the fantastic and the miraculous and in terms of some kind of deus ex machina explanations of the world. I object to it in a matter of policy and I do not want to be fobbed off by someone saying: “When we had the reports of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on the Secondary Legislation of the European Communities we had an opportunity to raise a number of these issues”. We did and some of us raised some questions about it, but it was not an adequate debate. I deny emphatically that a debate has taken place and I also question most seriously the political wisdom of those who announced that this had to be concluded by the end of this year and that it had to be signed by 1 January.
Let us be clear what had happened at that stage. The cat was out of the bag — a process that was not made accountable — the EPC process — regularly in this House on the basis that what was a matter of foreign policy in other member countries was not a matter of foreign policy here but was a matter of diplomatic practice. The suggestion was that only the wild people outside who are against Europe are the people who are kicking all this stuff up, but I am not one of the wild people. My own interest in international affairs goes back far beyond the discussion of items like this. I happen to regard many of the enthusiastic Europeans who try to reduce foreign policy to the concept of a single integrated market and so many pounds being spent in shopping baskets by a large number of consumers as a particularly shrunken, eviscerated and narrow view of internationalism.
I wrote in my address to the Labour Party, one of the last ones I suppose I will give, that those of us who are Socialists have to regularly remind ourselves that we are members of a wider and more generous family than the family we occupy on this island. The notion that has run through much of the contribution, miserable as it has been, has been the suggestion that many of the people who are raising questions are people who do not understand. I can say this, and it is in relation also to the economy taking up a concept that was developed last week of delegated responsibility, we are paying a high price for the myth of delegated expertise in this country. There is no place where we are paying it more than in the realm of the economy. It is falling in tatters around us in relation to its principal indicator, the inability to provide jobs for our people with all of the attendant poverty that flows from it.
Once again in that realm there is a touch of the miraculous, the apparition, the deus ex machina that will save us. There is the view that maybe if interest rates came down miraculously jobs would start appearing, or the related lesser view, the kind of climatological heresy in relation to economics that, if the atmosphere is right everything will be all right. It is like growing mushrooms — keep out the light; keep it moist and they will start popping up through the peat moss. There is this notion that employment will break out like a rash or, as I said, like mushrooms in the Irish economy. I find that thinking profoundly undemocratic and I reject the suggestion that people who have questions to ask about what we are discussing here are wild people. I differ from some of them. I differ from them in that some of them see a great plot afoot. I do not and I never have, but I will develop this point in the fullness of time.
I am interested in how you can achieve a consensus on foreign policy with Britain in a number of areas — Southern Africa, Central America, Latin America, the Middle East, Iran and Iraq — when you know there are talks at a different level, deeper, more serious, going on between Britain and the United States and that details of some of these are surfacing in the United States Foreign Relations Committee in the course of evidence that has been given and so forth. What are we doing? We are telling the public that there are great achievements possible within the concept of consensus. I have not told the public that. The Minister has and the people on that side of the argument have. I do not deny it and I do not reject it, but I think the onus is on them to flesh that out in public discussion, to take on these issues. I am only using that as an example. I will turn to many more matters in a few moments. I want to know the response to the suggestion that has been made on one side of the public debate, such as it has been, that there has been a very narrow contribution made to the whole negotiation process on social and economic grounds.
I would like to be corrected but yesterday I sat through most of the debate and there was one word missing from most of the speeches and that was the word "unemployment". I remember discussions in 1971 and about an idealistic Europe — the founding fathers of Europe, never war again, all of us participating in the commitment to peace. It was idealistic material. I remember meeting Altiero Spinelli when he came here. We had reservations at the time. He said, more or less trying to change my opinion on some matters: "Please do not leave it to all of the conservatives in Europe, the right wing people. They are going to regenerate Europe, start it going again. Why leave it to them? Look at the price you are going to pay for it". He had his eyes open about what he was doing. My point is that his statements were idealistic in the extreme. I have a document here saying that when we remove the barriers we would have a market of hundreds of millions of people, that it was a Europe of consumers. That is part of the argument. The next part of it is a Europe that is defined in terms of a market place, not only a consumers' market place but a market place that is at war with other market places. We will have the capacity because of the size of the market to deal with Japan and the United States.
I found Senator Lanigan's speech yesterday curious because I did not quite know whether he was arguing in favour of a single market in terms of free trade or whether he was arguing in favour of a new kind of protectionism, that Europe should protect itself against Japan and the United States. I gathered that from the main thrust of his arguments, but I do not blame Senator Lanigan because most of the classical economic models have been stood on their head in the presentation of this argument so far. No more so than in the rather unusual suggestion that at the same time as you are creating a more perfect market, removing barriers and when you are paying tribute to your Commissioner for his good work in demolishing all the walls you are, at the same time, managing to create on a sure basis, regional and social policy.
I hope we do it. It will be like a chicken learning to fly in the air for hours on end. It has never happened before. It does not happen in the United States with which comparisons have been made. Eighty per cent of regional expenditure in the United States is accounted for by defence spending. That is what regionalised expenditure is there. I looked at all of these strategies at one time in regional policy. I am in favour of regional social policy. I am simply saying that these are some of the nuggets which we are going to discover in the rich basket that has been offered to us in this 13 day comprehensive public debate and in this three day wonderful, extended parliamentary debate. The idea of a perfect market that is going to have principles in it, that is going to give advantages to the lower income regions, and I said I will be convinced. I am willing to go back and learn my economics again if there are some new theoretical principles that have been adduced.
Let me begin at the beginning and say a couple of things. There is something that I noticed in the actual resolution. We are discussing Items Nos. 1, 2 and 3 together. Item No. 2 — and here I just want us to be absolutely clear because it will require an extended response from the Minister — reads as follows:
That Seanad Éireann reaffirms Ireland's position of neutrality outside military alliances, and notes with satisfaction that the provisions in Title III of the Single European Act relating to the co-operation of the High Contracting Parties (that is, the Twelve member States of the European Community) on the political and economic aspects of security and the closer coordination of their positions in this area do not affect Ireland's position of neutrality outside military alliances.
Let me be very clear: that is a conditional statement on neutrality. I believe it is a good motion to pass but the wording of it is not very clear. I want to place it on the record, while I am spokesman on Foreign Affairs for the Labour Party, that that is not our definition of neutrality and these words are not our words, and I should know. The wording that we would put into a resolution would not qualify neutrality in such a fashion. Let us read the phrase again that we have: neutrality outside military alliances.
The concept that we have had in use in the Labour Party for a long time, and which we have convinced the Confederation of Social Parties in Europe to use in our meetings at the socialist international, is the concept of positive neutrality. In this language "neutrality outside military alliances" of, what I find very hard to take is that people who actually use that formulation and who vote for it are the very people who will have colleagues standing up on their hind legs saying: our so-called neutrality; the doctrine of our so-called traditional neutrality. They pretend not to understand what it means when they have so narrowly and tightly defined it like this to make it a nothing.
I know exactly what I mean by positive neutrality. I mean that it should be used as a tool of foreign policy, that it should be used as a set of norms in diplomatic practice and that it should be an open process. I wish people who do not believe in that and who reject it stood up and said so. I respect them for holding the views they do, because then we will know where we stand. As far as I am concerned this question of "neutrality outside military alliances", let us be very clear, is not positive neutrality as we have written about it in our documents in the Labour Party. It is not positive neutrality as we understand it. We now have 14 documents published by the Labour Party on neutrality. No. 1 on page 21 gives a discussion on an action programme to implement neutrality, including an education programme for their own members, an education programme in the country, an education programme for parliamentarians that would involve the experience of other countries and so forth.
I find it curious here listening to people mocking the Danish example about how inoperable their system is as a tool of foreign policy, given what we have ourselves which I have plenty of opportunity today to make very clear. There are other matters we should have and, I might say in this regard, in the next month or two before I end my period as Labour Party Chairman I expect a major conference to be convened here in Dublin of the major neutral nations at which we will have an opportunity to hear their experience of using neutrality not as something that is creating a problem for them.
I completely agree with the people who are at the other end of the argument from me in this who want a definition of words, but I am completely opposed to people who say we are neutral but, if the values of the west were at stake, not ideologically neutral, the idea being that with peace on one side in the west you have warlike aggression in the east. We would not be neutral if we could negotiate the reunification of this country, the position taken up again and again by many politicians some of whom would like to forget they took that position. There is no doubt in my mind it has been going on for almost 40 years. It is the Fianna Fáil position from time to time; their position could be adjusted if unification was being discussed.
The people who are creating any confusion whatsoever about the term "neutrality" in Irish foreign policy are the people who want to put in these conditions without having the courage to say it. As I think I mentioned earlier, they remind me in the economic area of people who are profoundly inegalitarian in everything they are doing, but have not the courage to say so. They preface everything with: "We say in Versailles"; "we would all love every child in the country to have the best education possible but", "we would all like every child in the country to have the best possible health service but", the idea being to say: "This country cannot afford any of your egalitarian nonsense; we believe you are going to damage everything if you drag all our children down to the level of the poorest children; you are going to destroy a wonderful professionalised medical service by making it public". Their predecessors in the 19th century, fine conservatives, as rabid as you could see, had something the present lot are missing, that is, they had courage. They were not as convoluted in deceit that language had to be twisted to have this big long preface, on the one hand, and on the other hand, "but".
I welcome anybody who wants to hear my views any day on the question of neutrality spelt clearly. It is positive neutrality. It needs affirmation in the Constitution. An education programme at home needs to become a principle in foreign policy and we need a guiding set of practices in our normal diplomatic relations. This will involve us opening up. People are arguing about going from one box into a glorified cupboard and suggesting that the difference between us is one of being broad-minded or being narrow-minded on issues of foreign policy. I have already said I profoundly reject that. It is only in recent years that I heard all of this notion that foreign policy is principally determined by issues of a large market and so forth. I am not suggesting that; I am simply saying I welcome being able to talk with people among the neutral nations, the neutral group, the non-aligned nations and so forth.
I do not have any innocent fears on foreign policy like one of the political parties — only I cannot remember it about 15 years ago — when it was described as the opening of embassies in as many countries as possible and to continue our efforts to fight international Communism. The point I make here is that there are lots of nations with whom we must have relationships if we are to have peace on this planet and if we are to assure ourselves of ecological survival. There are lots of nations with whom we need to have close relations if we are to renegotiate a new international economic order.
Let us not hear that this is an argument between internationalists and nationalists. I will come to the exact phrase in a moment. Some of those people who are asking questions about some of these issues are described as people who are blinkered nationalists. I am an internationalist and there is a distinction between being an internationalist and being somebody who believes in the linking of supranational institutions. It is much as the distinction between breadth of mind and the addition of bits of technical knowledge here and there.
The main problems that arise in relation to the matters we are discussing arise principally as far as the public are concerned in relation to the issue of neutrality. We have gone a great way towards answering those questions. The motion that is down with its defective language is a small step in a country that in parliamentary terms has abused language rather than using it with any great flair for accuracy. I do not say that as a pedant. I think of the long history in my own time, when we have had non-marital children instead of illegitimate children and we have family planning, that is not the use of contraception and the long attempts in the recent Irish parliamentary tradition to avoid making words seem what they mean. At any event, given that reservation about the wording, the motion goes quite a way, although there are points that are unresolved following it.
The second main issue is in relation to the single market. I am not in recent years practising as a professional economist but I have had enough of a background in economics to know that there are a number of inherent paradoxes contained in what has been said and what has been offered for our consideration that need to be dealt with. Most people who argue in favour of the single market argue in terms of what it will make possible in terms of the very large market. The basic assumption is that it will create a wonderful opportunity should we be able to get into that larger market.
There have been figures thrown around in this regard. The Irish Council of the European Movement document has been quoted by many of the previous speakers. It is in that document that the figure of £8 billion was used, that technical, fiscal and bureaucratic barriers to trade are estimated to cost European business £8 billion a year or 2 per cent of Community gross domestic product. With respect, European business is a concept very much less than the European people. There is not any reference in that paragraph of the document to the employment content of the economy that would have an £8 billion a year advantage from the freeing of tariffs.
There is also reference made to the fact that Ireland exports 66 per cent of its output of its manufacturing industry and 80 per cent of that to countries within the European Community. Therefore, the assumption is that, if you put these together, you have an enlarged market that is freed of tariffs and you are able to sell into that market if you have the marketing expertise. There are 400 out of 850 companies located in the Republic whose main centres of decision-making are within the Community. The idea is that they will expand and that jobs will start popping up, a refined climatological argument.
We would have been much better served if instead of the information document we had a proper White Paper. We should have got one. We had time for one and I believe that these issues should have been addressed. There is no element which makes the case for a White Paper better than in the discussion of the economic implications of the single market. We should look at what happened in the Irish economy to the present, beginning with the Lemass period. At the time of the Anglo-Irish agreements, a great number of native protected industries, as the phrase used now is, were shaken out. People at that time said "they closed their doors".
In the later period, many other aspects of the Irish manufacturing industry in the seventies were also shaken out. Therefore, there is a very narrow indigenous component now within the Irish economy. We have had some good companies realising that they need to trade abroad and earn in larger markets. Some half dozen companies I can think of, but not major engineering or innovative technology ones, are selling in the United States and capturing sections of that market. This narrower indigenous sector that is left is primarily in relation to the services sector. I worry in this regard that I have seen no convincing evidence. I am willing to be an optimist about the Irish economy. I want our people to have as good an income level as anybody in the Community if it can be managed but I believe we should be very careful about these questions that are being raised.
What are the realities in relation to services? Services, as I understand it in economics, includes everything from financial services, electronically managed and transmitted to cook turning hamburgers and fast food stalls. How are you going to capture and keep the top high grade services? You need to do so for there to be advantages in the single market, as we describe it, by selling on of services even if you were able to do so. The assumption is that you will be able to retain a sufficient number of these high grade services at the top of the spectrum. You need them for more than their own earning capacity.
In every place that the consumer effect of the service sector in the economy has been analysed, people speak about the multiplier effect of earnings in the higher grade services down through the others. If you lose those, you lose the multiplier effect down through the economy as well. Maybe that is wrong, but certainly views like these were examined at a seminar of the Economic and Social Research Institute. Unfortunately it did not get the publicity it needed and the debate has not taken off in the way that it should. Not only is it a matter of the implication for the services sector of the Irish economy of the single market, but there is the very human, very real, employment effect.
I cannot help getting the impression that the economic set of preparations and the ones which would be addressed in a White Paper have not been addressed. Let us take the third item we are discussing, report No. 34 of the Joint Committee on the Secondary Legislation of the European Communities. On page 50, paragraphs 90 and 91 the committee addressed the question of employment. I said that in all the contributions to this debate, it hardly surfaced at all. I stick to that observation. Paragraph 90 states:
The completion of the Internal Market could have important implications for three aspects of Irish economic development: investment, employment and market diversification. According to the Irish Council of the European Movement, there are over 850 foreign-owned companies in Ireland employing 80,000 people directly, and giving employment to a further 80,000 in the services sector.
I would love to know the source of that figure but let me contain myself. Paragraph 90 continues:
Over 400 of these firms have parent companies located in other Community Member States. There is, therefore, considerable scope for attracting new investment in a more economically integrated Europe from within the Community as well as from third countries. In particular the advantages of establishing closer working relationships and joint ventures with other companies in production, research and marketing activities must be impressed upon Irish manufacturers.
I certainly agree with the concluding aspect of it. If we are to have an economic growth from traded services abroad and, if we ever rise to it, from high grade manufacturing commodities that are traded abroad and so forth, it certainly requires the kind of aspiration that is reflected towards the end.
I do not understand the economics of the idea that new investment would take place in Ireland. There used to be a small chapter in economics text books of the introductory kind a few years ago that dealt with the theory of the location of industry but it is truly a Celtic kind of economics that suggests that having completed the removal of all the obstacles to trade, location and investment, you should then set off to the mists of the periphery of the Community to establish, invest and expand the potential for exploiting your huge new market. These new economic insights are so valuable that they deserve White Paper elaboration. Perhaps when the Minister replies he will answer these questions about the precise employment effect at each level and each of the models, if you retain the high grade services and keep the others, if you do not retain the high grade services and keep some of the others. These are things we are entitled to know.
I expected a more complete submission to Members of Parliament from the trade unions in this regard. Their response could have been somewhat better. In paragraph 90 of the joint committee's report they are relying on the Irish Council of the European Movement. Good luck to the Irish Council of the European Movement. They have made their case well sliding with the speed of an ice skate dancer over thin ice in relation to all of the economic areas, particularly employment. In paragraph 91 however, the report goes on to a second major source of economic truth, Jacques Delors, President of the European Commission, paragraph 91 states:
In a recent speech Jacques Delors, President of the European Commission called for a cooperative growth strategy which by adding one percentage point to the Community growth rate could reduce unemployment by 30 to 40 per cent over the next five years. An integral part of that strategy must remain the increased economic activity which will result from the liberalisation of inter-Community trade.
What kind of economic thinking stands behind that? Certainly if you have growth you have employment of a certain kind. It depends on where you have the growth and it depends on where the investment is located which, in turn, depends on the view as to whether within an enlarged market investors might go towards where they can centralise their advantages, or whether they are pushed towards the periphery. When we come to the very abstruse concept of cohesion we will see what is proposed in that regard.
There are two ways of assisting the regions within Europe. I recall once offering a paper to the Irish Council of the European Movement for publication in 1971 and 1972— it was one of the few papers they decided not to publish — in relation to regional policy and regional strategy. There are a couple of ways of justifying spending in the region. One is that, having established the single market from economic growth, in turn, you give a kind of residuum to the periphery; you start relocating funds. It is a kind of European Community dole.
The second way would be that you would assist projects by reducing obstacles to industrialisation, for example, assisting infrastructure and whatever. You could do it like that. You could do it out of the enhanced growth of the Community. You are not departing too much from a residual model. The third model was the one to which many people in Ireland aspired. That was that you would realise that there were significant gaps. Indeed I might say that many of them were idealistic people in the early days of the European Community who believed that you could reduce the gaps not only in income levels but in participation levels, levels of education and so forth between the periphery and the centre. They did not want to do that from a residuum that was through the released capacity of the regions to create a form of life and a form of economy for themselves that would provide all of these things.
I believe that aspiration was genuine but I equally believe that it cannot be reconciled as I understand it with the concept of a tariff free market. That is what my problem is, and I do not want to drive people to the point of tedium. In this regard, I am relying on the joint committee composed of some of my most distinguished colleagues. They produced this report on 3 December. It is a wonderful aid to our debate. On page 54, paragraph 99 the report stated:
However the Joint Committee urges that all necessary steps be taken to mobilise our national agencies so that they can put preparations in hand immediately to ensure that Ireland can respond quickly and effectively to any new opportunities that integrated regional programmes will present.
It reads like a prayer. The second part of the paragraph states:
The Joint Committee was pleased to be assured by the representatives of the Department of Foreign Affairs that an integrated approach is already under active consideration in relation to Community structural funds.
The pathos of those two paragraphs in relation to our agency's preparedness for submitting new proposals in relation to new regional strategies that might come from the Commission and the statement that the committee were pleased to be assured that the representatives of the Department had an integrated approach under active consideration reminds me of the poor tenants in the 19th century going up to the door of the big house and saying; "We are pleased that himself will be home from England in the next few weeks and the poor humble tenants will get a higher price for their potatoes." It is a pathetic two paragraphs. That is no reflection on the members of the committee but it is a reflection on the preparations in the economic and social area in relation to the economics of this matter and the employment effects of it.
I said that I feel that these are the two main areas: the question of neutrality and the question of the single market. Can I summarise my remarks on the former of these for a moment? I feel that if there was less equivocation about what is meant by neutrality and the removal of these tacit conditions that are regularly put on it, we would all enormously benefit. I have equally said that a constitutional affirmation of neutrality is desirable and an education programme at home and abroad about what we mean by it is very valuable. We are damaged by language that is used to condition it by people who really oppose neutrality.
There are other sides to it all. Let me make this point once and say that it is fundamental for me. This entire debate has been damaged enormously by the manner in which the EPC process has been presented to the Irish public. I am not reflecting for a second on those who have participated in it. I am not attributing motivations to them, and I am not suggesting conspiracies. I have said that I regarded Senator Dooge's speech yesterday as a very thoughtful, reflective and valuable speech describing his own association with the process. I am saying that the removal of that procedure from discourse in these Houses and from public debate has ill served this debate that is going on at present. I am so insistent on the matter that I am returning to this evening because if this Bill is passed, as it obviously will be, if we continue in the same way, we are removing matters of deep concern to them in relation to the political, cultural, social and economic area, indeed some people say the moral concern of the Irish people. I believe that Parliaments lessen themselves by subscribing to a process like that — after the Bill is passed we will need the maximum openness.
In relation to the second matter, the question of the internal market, I said that there is no area which more justified the publication of a comprehensive White Paper teasing out the economic aspects, particularly looking at the employment implications, dealing in detail with an analysis of the service sector and looking at the history of the expansion or contraction of the service sector in different circumstances. All of that would have been very valuable.
In that regard I mentioned the inherent paradoxes which have been suggested in relation to the economics. There is an issue which arose in the Minister's speech in which he suggests that there is no difficulty with many of these matters. It is in the nature of Ministers to have a good intentioned view of the public, but to have no less a view of their own relationship to the world. Thus, it is perhaps my own distance from such decision-making that enables me to see things differently. Where the Minister sees that there has been an extensive public debate, I think there has been an unwelcome rush with this legislation which was unnecessary and undesirable. Where the Minister sees an evolution because he has been close to it — Senator Dooge reminded us of three people who were very close to this process — I cannot see this evolution because no mechanism exists for me to tease out other than the reported detail of it. I am one of the people who think that all of the people who work extending our foreign policy are all the time working for Irish interests and are professional to the highest degree. I would just like to know what they are doing.
Equally, the most scarifying suggestions as to what is afoot, behind the people's back and so on, would not be possible in such an open process. The Minister said he was satisfied in relation to the constitutionality of this measure; he was quite convinced of this as were the Government. That is the view of the Tánaiste, my party leader, that on the constitutional grounds there is nothing to be worried about. My views are more sceptical. Maybe because I am a rationalist, but I think this matter could have been put beyond doubt. It could have been referred to the Supreme Court for an opinion and the Supreme Court could have decided if it was necessary to have a referendum. Yesterday Senator Dooge spoke about what happens at referenda when emotion is released. It reminded me of Bertrand Russell's remark about power, that where you have a large crowd gathered together, particularly if you had music playing, you could get them to believe in anything. Whether we like it or not, the referendum concept has not been damaged by some of the unwelcome results that have come from it in recent times. What has happened is what Russell feared, reaction has been exploited and fundamentalism has spilled over. People will write books on outcomes of referenda but the concept is a good one and should not be lost by our hurt experiences in that regard in recent times.