Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Friday, 18 Nov 1927

Vol. 21 No. 16


The Dáil went into Committee on Finance.
Question again proposed:
That it is expedient to amend the law relating to Customs and Inland Revenue (including Excise) and to make further provision in connection with Finance.
Debate resumed.

Resuming the debate on this motion at this stage is like recommencing a tale of "far off things and battles long ago." It is with the echoes only and not with the primary voices in the controversy that one has to engage, and it is difficult, if not impossible, to regather the threads and to reawaken interest in the arguments. However, the one recollection which I am sure is still fresh in the minds of most Deputies is the spirit of sweet reasonableness which informed the speeches not only of the Minister for Finance, but of the Minister for Lands and Agriculture. They were both protectionists, cautious but resolute protectionists, with scarcely a hint in their speeches of the old controversies that drove the former Minister for Posts and Telegraphs into open conflict with the Minister for Lands and Agriculture and with most of his colleagues on the present Government Benches, and almost split the Government Party in two—not a hint, not a word, not a whisper! In fact, as I listened to the speeches of the Minister for Lands and Agriculture and the Minister for Finance I was reminded of a cartoon I once saw—a gentleman bathing, while behind a near-by tree lurked a tramp waiting for a favourable opportunity to steal his clothes. The Government— and probably the Carlow-Kilkenny election had something to do with it—seem to be in the same psychological position as that tramp; in fact I would say that at the present moment almost the only members of the Government majority who are satisfied with their own clothes are Deputy Good and Deputy O'Hanlon. As for Deputy Heffernan and the members of the Farmers' Group, they do not seem to be quite certain which suit they are wearing; they seem to forget that four or five weeks ago they changed their coats on this question.

We do not mind whether the members of the Government steal our clothes or not, provided that they do something really effective to develop this country economically and industrially. But if they do steal our clothes, if they do commit the theft, for goodness sake let them clothe themselves decently and not be strutting around exhibiting their free trade nakedness, as the Minister for Lands and Agriculture and the Minister for Finance did on the opening day of this debate in endeavouring to impress upon the House the specious argument that tariffs increase the cost of living.

In a certain superficial way it may be argued that a tariff which so operates as to produce revenue does increase the cost of living, in so far as it takes from the producer and conveys to the Government a certain proportion of the fruits of production. But it does that because in such circumstances it has a dual nature and function; it is not only a tariff to protect native industries, but it is also a tax to produce revenue. But the total amount of taxation in any year is determined, not by the method of raising revenue, but by the estimated expenditure for that year. Tariffs on imports constitute one method of raising the revenue necessary to meet that expenditure.

Every tariff produces a certain revenue, which may be large or small according to circumstances. But if a tariff is not imposed, what then? The expenditure has still to be met, the revenue has still to be raised, and it must be raised by taxation in another form. Tariffs do not increase taxation; wasteful, extravagant expenditure on the part of the Government increases taxation and thereby increases the cost of living; but because a tariff on imports not only produces revenue but operates also to develop native industries, the advantage is, if anything, on the side of the tariff, as against most other expedients for raising revenue. Take the tariff on boots, to which Deputy Good referred. That tariff, the Deputy stated, produced a revenue of £272,228 in a certain year. He admitted also that its operation has provided employment for 700 hands. So far so good. But from these facts the Deputy proceeded to deduce the conclusion that every extra man, woman and child employed in the boot and shoe industry cost the State to-day £389 per annum. That is a very shallow argument. I do not believe that the Deputy himself seriously intended it or really believed it.

First of all, I would point out that it is not the tariff, nor the industry that it protects, nor the people engaged in that industry, which costs the State £272,228. Certain public services are responsible for that taxation, and those have to be paid for with money raised in one way or another. Suppose we decided to raise that money in any other way than by the imposition of tariffs on imports; suppose we decided to raise it by increasing, say, the income tax, would that appeal to Deputy Good or to Deputy O'Hanlon? I am fairly certain that it would not. But whether it appeals to those who are free traders or not, there is a more important question still: would such a tax provide, as an offset to the disabilities which all taxation necessarily imposes upon industry, any compensation in the form of increased employment? Would it at once create work and wealth for the community, and provide revenue for the State? A tariff will do that, but the income tax will not. Or, if we rule out increased income tax and decide on certain imports which do not happen to be manufactured here, such as tea, for instance, would a tax on tea increase the cost of living? I think most people will agree without any great hesitation that it would. But would it provide increased employment?

Revenue has to be raised: decide not to impose tariffs on imports such as boots and other commodities which we can manufacture here, but to impose a tax on tea instead. Which would be more beneficial to the State? A tax on tea would increase the cost of living. Would it have any compensating offset to that disadvantage? Would it provide increased employment? Because it would not provide increased employment you rule out a tax on tea and suggest instead a tax on something which we do not import but which we manufacture —porter, for instance. Would a tax on beer increase the cost of living, say, to the dock labourer, and would it, as a compensation for that increased cost of living, provide him with increased employment? Or, if we rule out the tax on porter, rule out taxes on articles which we do not import but do manufacture, and suggest instead a tax on something that we neither import nor manufacture—land, for instance— would such a tax increase the cost of living for the farmer, would it make it easier for him to hold his place in the English markets and to find employment for his sons at home on the land? The fundamental fact is that every tax, no matter what, increases the cost of living, but that some forms of taxation carry with them certain compensating advantages to offset their primary disadvantages. The form of taxation which provides that compensation in the greatest measure is a properly considered tax on imports.

The tax on boots not only provided money for the public services, but it provided employment for 700 additional hands. These 700 hands would have had to be maintained by the State, either at work or in idleness. To have maintained them in idleness, to have maintained them on the poverty line, would have cost the community immediately and directly £54,600, and there would also have been a secondary expenditure on public health and prison services, arising directly out of that, which would mean a sum which I do not propose even to guess at. Therefore, not only has the tariff on boots produced a revenue of £272,000, but it has saved to the State £54,600 worth of consumable wealth annually. That represents in interest and sinking fund, at 5 per cent. over 25 years, a sum of £682,000, which would almost provide two additional sugar beet factories— one for the President in Cork—and build 1,000 five-roomed houses. But that is not all. That tariff on boots produced a secondary revenue for the State in the form of income tax on the profit derived from the expanding industry. As well, those profits remained in the industry to provide not only for its expansion, but for the development of associated industries.

That brings me to the point made by Deputy O'Hanlon, and in a more comprehensive way by the Minister for Finance. Deputy O'Hanlon professes to be an authority on the economics of the Stone Age. It is a pity that his economic reading did not extend to a somewhat later date. Then, instead of aspiring to be the leader of the lost cause of Free Trade in this House, he might become a valuable ally of the progressive economists here. The Deputy and the Minister made the point, that because the cost to the consumer of a protected article may be higher than an unprotected one—and I do not admit it must necessarily be so —then the general cost of living must also be higher in consequence. That is a variant of Deputy Good's argument. To illustrate his point, Deputy O'Hanlon contrasted the price which the consumer would have to pay for a pair of boots, of which the declared value on import was £1, and upon which there had been imposed a tariff of 15 per cent., or 3/- in the £1. He contrasted the retail price of that pair of boots with the price which the same consumer would have to pay for the same quality boots if a tariff had not been imposed, and he found that there was an apparent difference of 4/5 in favour of the non-tariff boots. From this the Deputy proceeded to argue that the cost of living to every individual consumer of a pair of such boots has been increased in that year by 4/5.

Let us examine that proposition further, particularly in its relation to the general cost of living. First of all, it is necessary to emphasise that the example given by Deputy O'Hanlon is not a truly representative one. The average value of boots imported is nothing like £1 per pair, and, consequently, the actual average increase in the retail price of tariff boots is nothing like 4/5 per pair. According to the Trade and Shipping Statistics for 1926-27, the quantity of boots and shoes imported into the Twenty-Six Counties during that year was 4,811,232 pairs, of which the total value was £1,792,394, or an average value of 7/5½ per pair. Duty amounting to 15 per cent. of the declared value was imposed on those boots, making their prime cost to the wholesaler, £2,061,253. To that £2,061,253 we will first add ten per cent. on the £1,792,394 to cover handling, storage and other distribution charges and then add another ten per cent. to cover the wholesalers' profit, making the total cost of the boots to the retailers, £2,464,542. To this we also add 33? per cent. to cover retailers' profit, and the cost of all imported boots to the people who are misguided enough to buy them is £3,286,000.

Consider the position if the boots had not been tariffed. The prime cost to the wholesaler would be £1,792,394. We will have to add a sum of ten per cent. for handling, ten per cent. for profit, and 33? per cent. to cover the retailers' charges, and we get a total cost of all imported boots, not tariffed, of £2,891,720. There is then a difference of £394,326 between the cost of the non-tariffed boots to the purchasers and the cost of the tariffed boots to the purchasers to be accounted for. From that £394,326 the State first of all takes £268,859 for revenue purposes. That leaves us then with a sum of £125,467. Let me emphasise again that if the State had not derived that revenue of £268,859 from the tariff, it would have had to secure the revenue in some other way, either by a tax upon tea or sugar or bread or land, or an increase in the income tax. Some other expedient must be devised to raise that £268,859, if it is not raised by way of the tariff. Therefore, the fact that the money is raised in this way by a tariff, and that if it is not raised in this way it must be raised in some other way, shows at least that so far as the £268,000 is concerned, the tariff did not increase the cost of living to that extent, at any rate. The only item that we have to consider, therefore, is the balance of £125,000.

What has been the effect of the tariff? First of all it has provided employment for 700 hands. Taking into account the skilled hands and the charges for supervision, etc., I am not putting it very high when I say that the rate of wages paid to these 700 hands must be about £2 10s. per week, or £130 per year. Seven hundred hands at £130 per year accounts for £91,000, and that leaves us a balance to account for of £34,464. From this sum of £34,464, which we will concede, if you like, as the extra profit which the wholesalers and retailers secure upon these boots—and which amounts, not to 4s. 5d. a pair, as Deputy O'Hanlon wished to impress upon us, but to something like 1¾d. per pair—amounts in fact to something like 1.05 per cent. additional profit to the wholesaler and retailer—the State takes at least £2,500 by way of income tax. That leaves us with £32,000 to account for. Of that £32,000, the greater portion, most likely, is immediately expended in maintaining the wholesaler and retailer of boots and shoes. Part of the expenditure is insurance against certain members of these trades going out of business and becoming a burden upon the community. Furthermore, in helping to maintain the wholesale and retail distributors of boots and shoes, the £32,000 is providing a similar insurance in respect of other sections of the community, and a considerable portion of it is immediately absorbed by these sections who return some of it to the Government by way of income tax and utilise most of the remainder of it in maintaining other sections of the community. Thus the process goes on. The purchase of the necessaries of life puts a sum of money in circulation and tends to provide employment for other sections of the community and to maintain them, while these sections in turn create the same reactions in others, and so on to an infinite series, so that every penny piece in circulation in the community is a rolling stone that, contrary to the proverb, does gather moss.

It may be argued that not all the £32,000 is used in the way I have suggested, and that some portion of it is saved and invested. Even so, in that case, some will be invested at home and some abroad. Probably most of it will be invested at home, because the tendency is, in protectionist countries, in the earlier stages of development at least, to import capital and not to export it. The part so invested at home will create immediate employment, and so make a general return to the whole community. The part invested abroad, which, it is as well to remember now, is practically an insignificant portion of the whole, will, also, make a general return to the whole community secondarily in the form of interest on the investment, thus constituting an invisible export, which will help to redress our unfavourable trade balance. I think, also, in this connection, the reactions of tariffs upon such balances are among the most important and the most advantageous to the community as a whole, but I am not going into that now. It is a much wider and bigger question than we could adequately discuss in this debate, but I shall conclude this part of the argument with this: we find the whole of the difference between the amount of the selling price of the non-tariffed and tariffed boots has been either returned directly to the State, and has, therefore, obviated the necessity of raising revenue by other forms of taxation, or has been expended within the community for the ultimate benefit of the community as a whole.

With these facts before us, I cannot see how it can be argued that any tariff which does not exceed the rate which is essential for the proper protection of the industry increases the cost of living to the community. Before passing from this case, I would like to deal with the more general case made by the Minister for Finance. In the course of his speech he said that the tariff on boots is not at present throwing any great burden upon the people, simply because, so far, it has only been to a limited extent successful, but, as it becomes successful, a point will be reached where it will throw a substantial burden upon the people. These are the Minister's own words. In endeavouring to prove that contention the Minister asks us to assume that when the tariff has been successful and all the boots used here are manufactured here, so that the tariff will produce no revenue, it will still be maintained at 15 per cent.

In regard to that assumption, the first point to be considered is that if a tariff of 15 per cent. produces the results which the Minister asked us to consider—and he holds it will—there is no necessity for the tariff to remain at 15 per cent., because the increased output in the factories will enable these factories to produce more cheaply and to meet the more intense competition from the foreigners. Consequently, the tariff can, without any diminution in its effectiveness, be reduced to 10 per cent. or less. Suppose we take it at 10 per cent., then the total price of all the boots sold in the Saorstát might be enhanced. And it is only a "might." I am not admitting for a moment that a tariff of 10 per cent. will increase the cost of boots sold in the Saorstát by 10 per cent., but conceding the Minister's point and assuming that it does entail the consequential increase of 10 per cent., then the total price of the boots to the purchasers will only have been appreciated by £200,000. What have we to set off against that? In the circumstances he foreshadowed, the Minister suggested that between 7,500 and 10,000 people would be engaged in the manufacture of boots. Immediately before the tariff was imposed, I do not suppose there were 500 hands actively and continuously employed in the industry here. The difference between 500 and 9,000—I am taking the middle and the round figure for convenience— represents the amount of employment a wholly successful tariff would provide, while stopping all imports and producing no revenue. If there was no tariff, 8,500 additional persons who have been in employment consequent on the tariff would either have to be maintained by the community or would have to emigrate. There is no other course. If the Minister is correct in his argument, if the tariff provides employment for those people, then there is no alternative employment that they can find inside these shores, and if they want to remain here they must be maintained by the community as a whole. In the first place, if they are maintained by the community as a whole, then to maintain them even on the verge of destitution will cost £663,000, and the State will have to provide additional revenue for the Public Health and Police services. If they emigrate, then there is a loss to the community by the emigration of those persons of a capital sum which I suggest is almost incalculable, but as I want to deal in terms of figures I will put the loss at no less than £5,000,000. Offset this figure of £663,000 against the £200,000 by which the Minister considers the price of boots would be increased here and you have the net gain to the community and the gross reduction in the cost of living—not an increase but a reduction in the cost of living—which has ensued as a consequence of the imposition of a tariff on boots. So again it is clear that even a wholly successful tariff does not increase the cost of living.

I have dealt with the arguments of the Minister for Finance and the arguments of Deputy O'Hanlon. I am going to say a word about Deputy Cooper. Deputy Cooper, I think, has already proclaimed himself in this House as a protectionist in a peculiar sort of way. I think he is really in the position of the members of the Farmers' group, that he does not know which suit of clothes he is wearing. I remember when the Deputy was engaged on the hustings in the County Dublin in June last he proclaimed himself an anti-protectionist, and one of the most extraordinary arguments that he adduced in support of that attitude was that if protection were imposed it would make it more difficult to procure tropical fruit here. In fact, it seemed to me that what the Deputy chiefly feared was that when one day he would go into a fruit shop he might find the shopkeeper singing "Yes, we have no bananas to-day." The Deputy made a point—and I really cannot see the force of it in this debate—that highly protected countries sold less per head to Great Britain than we do. Well, naturally the country which sells practically all of its produce to one consumer should buy more and sell more per head to that consumer than other countries whose trade is more widely dispersed. I do not see that that furnishes any argument against protection. The fact of the matter is, as Deputy Lemass pointed out, that the protected countries of Europe sell much more to Great Britain than they purchase from Great Britain, and that they appear to be able to make much better terms—to have a much better part of any business contract or bargain that they enter into with Great Britain than we do. Therefore, if there is any argument for the Irish farmer to gather from this discussion, or from the point which Deputy Cooper made in his speech, it is that if he wants to increase his trade with Great Britain, that if he wants to sell more to Great Britain, one of the ways in which that may best be done, judging by the position of the trade of Denmark, New Zealand, of the Netherlands, of France, and the United States of America as regards Great Britain, is to protect our native industries against foreign competition as every one of the countries I have mentioned do.

Now I come, I suppose, to the strongest champion of free trade in this House. We all know that Deputy J.J. Byrne is opposed to protection——

That is not correct.

Then the Deputy should re-deliver his speech—the speech which he made in this debate. If he wishes to retract it, of course, I am willing to give him the opportunity.


I never stated that I stood for free trade. I stand for selective protection.

And for the re-writing of both Irish and English history.

I think the better way to state the Deputy's position would be to say that he stands for infinitesimal protection. But we never had any delusions as to that since we heard the Deputy speak on Deputy Morrissey's motion on unemployment. We discovered then that the Deputy's outlook on this question was fossilised under innumerable strata of economic text-books, memorised but scarcely digested. During the debate on the last occasion the Leas-Cheann Comhairle protested that the Deputy, who at the moment was discussing the merits of free trade, should have protection. We agree, and we suggest that it should take the form of a tariff on economic history, which would save the Deputy from harping back to the days of his boyhood. He never seems to be able to begin a speech without dragging the year 1834 into it.


No; 1923.

Deputy O'Hanlon referred to some Deputies as stone-age economists. I think that we would not be out of order to refer to Deputy J.J. Byrne as an "Early Victorian." Last Wednesday, I think it was, he told us about Cobbett, the father of the Fourth Estate. Incidentally, in this connection, I wonder did he ever hear of Wilkes?

He talked of the wonderful progress England had made as a direct consequence of the repeal of the Corn Laws. England's industrial development was not the consequence but was the direct cause of the repeal of the Corn Laws. The process of development of England's industrial side had started many generations before the Corn Laws were repealed. It started when the British merchants secured a foothold in India. It started when French industry was being crushed under excessive taxation, as Irish enterprise is to-day being crushed under excessive taxation, imposed by Louis XIV. and Louis XV. and Louis XVI., and it progressed during the Napoleonic wars, which gave it a tremendous impetus. The Deputy apparently never heard of or considered the effect of the industrial revolution. The Deputy never considered the effect on England's trade of her victory in the Napoleonic wars. The Deputy never noted the remarkable increase in the volume and value of England's exports which took place between the years 1811 and 1841. Here are some figures for the Deputy to ponder on. The official valuation of Great Britain's exports between 1811 and 1841 is given in these figures: In 1811 England's exports were valued at £34,000,000; in 1821 at £38,000,000; in 1831, £61,000,000, and in 1841, £102,000,000. While Great Britain's trade was growing, mark what was happening to Great Britain's agricultural population. In 1811 the population was 10,164,000; in 1841 it had grown to 15,914,000, but, more remarkable still, the percentage of population employed in manufacture and trade and all other occupations except agriculture had increased from 64.8 per cent. in 1811 to 74 per cent. in 1841, while the percentage engaged in 1811 in agriculture was 35.2 per cent., and in 1841 25.93 per cent. At the period of the Corn Laws agitation in England it seemed as if the population were fast overtaking the capability of the soil to produce the necessary amount of food. It was this intense industrial development, which was drawing labour from agriculture into industry, which produced Malthus with his law of diminishing returns and his principles of population. Malthus's work had much more influence on the repeal of the Corn Laws than the work of Cobden.

The Deputy referred also to Australia. In the last three or four weeks, Australia has become a word benisoned and blest, like Mesopotamia, in the mouths of free traders. They seem to think that it has an almost talismanic virtue. Ever since they read in a newspaper, not remarkable for exactitude in its reports, a summary in twenty lines of what was obviously a comprehensive survey of the whole subject, they have been speaking about Australia. I only glanced at the summary and, so far as my recollection goes, it was a condemnation, not of tariffs, but of the abuse of tariffs. We stand for tariffs, not for the abuse of tariffs. We stand no more for the abuse of protection than for the abuse of Parliament or for the abuse of this Dáil by utilising a false and fictitious majority to suspend the Constitution for the purpose of exterminating political opponents. We stand for the reasonable use of tariffs.

Is it Parliamentary for the Deputy to refer to members of this Party as false and fictitious?

Cap fit, cap wear. We stand for the reasonable use of tariffs as agencies and instruments for the development of native industries. So far as Australia is concerned, even if tariffs have been abused there—and I am neither admitting nor denying that fact—we do know that tariffs have also been wisely used there and that that use has been beneficial to the State and to the community as a whole. We know that under the protection of a 50 per cent. tariff the biggest coach-building factory in the world has been built there. And Australia, unlike Ireland, had not a long tradition of craftsmanship in this particular industry to give confidence and to set a standard. She had no trained workers and had practically no machinery. The Deputy, in the course of his laudation of the British industrial system of the period of which he is an economic relic, referred in terms of the highest praise to the Earl of Shaftesbury. He did not tell us why he praised him.

I merely quoted the Earl.

He did not tell us that that great and most humane man owes his fame to what he did on behalf of the hapless workers of England who were victimised by the industrial system which Deputy Byrne praised so highly. He did not speak of the Earl of Shaftesbury's life of labour to reform the law relating to the employment of workers in mills and factories. He did not tell us of his visits to the hospitals in Lancashire where he found workers crippled and mutilated and presenting every variety of distorted form, "just like a crooked alphabet." He did not tell us of the conditions which prevailed in the collieries at the time; of women degraded to the level of beasts; of children of five and six years of age chained to a cart, crawling on all fours——

On a point of order, the matter under discussion has no relation to the conditions of factory workers.

I am trying to describe the conditions under which free trade England built up her present manufacturing supremacy. I am describing them in the words of a man who was so appalled by them that he spent all his lifetime in trying to remedy those conditions. I am describing to the House this industrial system which Deputy J.J. Byrne holds up to us as a model for imitation. He did not tell us, as I was saying, that children of five and six years were crawling on all fours through collieries, dragging their loads in that abyssmal darkness for eighteen hours every day. Deputy J.J. Byrne, who finds so much to admire in the economic system of England and thinks of England, as he said in the first speech I heard him deliver in the Dáil, as the economic complement of this island, did not tell us anything of these facts.

The Deputy pictured for us the expansion of England's wealth and policy under free trade. Let us examine the reverse side of the picture, the one with which Deputies in this House should be more concerned. England admittedly prospered under free trade for a considerable period, though that fact was due less to free trade than to other circumstances. Her exploitation of her Indian Empire, the development of her colonies, her virtual mastery for an extended period over the Far Eastern trade—these things have much more to do with the growth of England's industrial and manufacturing supremacy than the repeal of the Corn Laws, though the repeal of the Corn Laws admittedly did give her cheap food to sustain her manufacturing people. But the real factor which helped her to secure that supremacy of which the Deputy boasts was the virtual monopoly she had of certain large tracts of territory and the domination she exercised over certain subject peoples.

England admittedly did prosper for a period under free trade. What of Ireland in the same period? Up to 1841, Ireland's population was increasing step by step with England's. In 1841, out of an aggregate population of 21,000,000 in Great Britain and Ireland, 57.44 per cent. were in Great Britain, 32.55 in Ireland, and 10.01 in Scotland. Ireland then had a population of 8,000,000. I am confining myself so far as I can to a purely Free Trade era, though that is rather difficult, because England's attitude in regard to free trade has been substantially modified in later years, and, in fact, to-day she is avowedly a protectionist country. In 1901, out of 41,500,000 people in Great Britain and Ireland, 78.46 per cent. were in England, 10.75 were in Ireland, and 10.79 were in Scotland. Ireland in 1841 had 8,000,000 of people, and sixty years later, in 1901, she had a population of only 4,250,000 souls.

The fact of the matter is this, that England has found free trade just as effective for exterminating this people, for exterminating the ungodly, as Cromwell found the sword. Deputy J.J. Byrne wishes us to continue this process of extermination in order that he may justify his Trinity education. If there is going to be any hope for this country, we must think of the things we produce and the things we require in terms of commonsense. We have idle hands here in Ireland; we have mouths that want to be fed; we have men who are hungry, starving and workless, and so long as those conditions prevail nothing that can be made or grown in Ireland should be imported into Ireland. Only when we follow that principle, the principle followed in their own concerns by the business-men we have in this Dáil, will we put Ireland on a sound economic basis.

The eloquence of Deputy MacEntee has been largely employed in making a case for the Government's attitude with regard to protection for four years. A good deal of his speech has been devoted to giving us a wrong picture of, and a wrong cause for, the effects he has mentioned. I would like to disabuse Deputy MacEntee's mind, and also Deputy O'Kelly's, in regard to something bordering on rashness in their mention of the recent election in Carlow-Kilkenny as having something to do with the economic situation—something to do with the question of protection versus free trade. If the Deputies want to know what gave rise to the result of the Carlow-Kilkenny election, I will supply the particulars.

This matter has nothing to do with tariffs.

I will supply them with leaflets and with half-a-dozen other documents containing particulars.

This has nothing to do with the matter under discussion, and we can only hear the Deputy on that matter.

When the Deputies opposite make certain claims and attribute certain effects to certain causes, I hold I have the right to reply. I do not intend to go into this question much further, but when they are allowed to make a claim attributing the result of the election to certain causes, I should be allowed to reply.

I did not hear any Deputy suggest that the result of the Carlow-Kilkenny election had anything to do with the matter before us.

It has been said.

May I appeal to you, sir, to allow the Deputy to proceed with his speech, as we would be glad to hear him?

I do not want to hear him on that point.

I leave the subject with this remark, that I can supply the Deputies opposite with all the leaflets that had a good deal to do with the result of that election.

The Deputy should also supply us with copies of the speeches of the Minister for Fisheries in which he threatened——

You must allow the Deputy to proceed.

I will perhaps incur, I will not say the displeasure of Deputy J.J. Byrne, but perhaps, a falling out with him, in regard to the causes that led to England's prosperity. Most Deputies have, I think, forgotten the real factor, the key, which opened up England's prosperity. Free Trade was not the cause, though it helped towards that prosperity, but the real key to it has been England's coal, her cheap power. That has also been the cause of the greatness of Germany and America, and it may be said that when steam became the world's power the countries that progressed by leaps and bounds were those which possessed coal and cheap power. Cheap food was only one factor which helped England to capture her world trade, but the real key was cheap power. I do not set any value on the percentages which Deputy MacEntee quoted in regard to those employed in industry and those employed on the Land in England. The percentages which he gave for 1911 and 1841 lead us nowhere. Could he give us the actual number employed in 1841 and 1911?

Very well, 1811. These figures lead us nowhere. I want to know what is the precise position in which we are now. In the earlier stages of this debate, and of the other debate when the question of unemployment was made a question of protection versus free trade, certain statements were made and attitudes were assumed by certain Deputies, but I would like to know where we are—whether it is an indiscriminate claim for protection or a claim for protection after examination and investigation. Listening to the speeches of Deputy O'Kelly and Deputy Briscoe the other day I gathered that they came down from their original attitude of an indiscriminate claim for protection and adopted the attitude of selective protection after examination which the Government has long since adopted.

We on these benches never had a policy of indiscriminate protection. It was always a policy of protection as a result of investigation.

Then there is no quarrel on your part with the Government Benches?

We want to hurry things up.

At which end is investigation wanted?

We want a proper Tariff Commission.

Do they want investigation and examination with a view to imposing or with a view to exempting?

Whatever is necessary.

I hope the Deputy understands me. It is one thing to have examination with regard to the imposition of tariffs, and it is another thing to embark on a wild policy and have examination afterwards with regard to exemption. Who then would represent the consumer if we had examination at the exemption end? I think that the Government have the right end of the stick, as examination at the imposition end is the proper way to deal with the question. We do not want examination at the exemption end. I have heard many debates on this question in this House, but I have never listened to a less convincing case made for protection than I have heard in this debate. I heard the case made much better here before during the last few years, and when Opposition Deputies referred to Deputies on these benches as having stolen their clothes, I would like to know when they first came into possession of this economic suit. Who was their tailor?

I think it was Griffith.

Did they get their tailor from Drumcondra or Cork? The issue here is not between free trade and protection, but between indiscriminate protection and selective protection. We have left the stage of free trade long behind us. We may not all be in agreement here, but the majority of the Dáil have left the free trade stage long behind. The Government stand for deliberate protection after examination, not for unconsidered schemes, but for deliberate, well-thought-out schemes of protection. They have always been careful to take no plunge in the dark, and what they did they did deliberately. Some of us who have been examining this question since 1918 claim to have average ability to deal with it, but we do not make the claim that we know everything about it, even after all those years, but I think we know more about it than Opposition Deputies do. We have reached the stage of knowing how little we know about it, and when Deputies opposite reach that stage they will have gone a long way on the road towards being educated on the question. I hope Opposition Deputies will not be offended when I say that they have yet to pass that stage. Every item requires careful and special study. We cannot apply the same policy to every item for which protection is sought. It should get expert examination. I am sorry that Deputy De Valera has left the House, because I wanted to say something very special to him. A short time ago Deputy MacEntee referred to Deputies on this side of the House as having stolen their clothes. We want to know who is their tailor and when they got this suit of clothes to steal? It is not very long since Deputy De Valera went into the highways and by-ways looking for somebody to help him to frame an economic policy, and early in this year he sent out circulars and issued advertisements for people to meet him in some hall or hotel in Dublin to frame an economic policy. That is the suit of clothes which Deputy MacEntee says that we have stolen.


We did not go to Molesworth Street.

I do not know what street you went to. After the advertisements had been issued we find Deputy De Valera in conference with ex-Deputy Belton, and later he secured Deputy Bergin of Athy and a few other queer fellows. They were at one time touring the country, and were known as the Belton-Bergin troupe. Circumstances have altered, and a good deal of water has since run under the bridges. The Drumcondra tailor has been dropped and the Cork tailor taken on. Now we have Deputy Flinn, Senator Dowdall and his brother, with a new policy, endeavouring to fit up Deputy De Valera and his party with this new suit of clothes.

And a late member of the Executive Council.

Deputy De Valera picked up early in 1927 these economic doves, and he called a conference in some part of the city. These two or three people have been looking for a place on which to place the soles of their feet for a long time. They found Deputy de Valera's conference. They were as anxious to attend that as Deputy De Valera was that they should attend. Exception has been taken here to the persons appointed by the Government to examine the question of tariffs. Even if they are not experts, they were not supposed to be on the particular issues on which they would have to decide, but they were supposed to be experts in the taking of evidence and coming to a decision. This question of experts will come up again on the motion by Deputy Lemass. I think it is premature to discuss it now, and I will reserve what I have to say on that till the motion comes up. But who are the experts on the Opposition side? Mr. Belton, Mr. Bergin and people from Cork very much interested indeed—and I say this without in any way intending to offend Deputies on the other side—in a blind rush for tariffs. We do not want experts to examine this question who have been anticipating and speculating on the question to be examined into. To properly examine this subject we require experts competent to deal with it as a national question. It has been said that this question should not be made a party one, and with that I agree. It is too big a question, too much of a national question, to be dealt with from a party point of view. No effort should be made to make party capital out of it. The proper attitude to adopt is to consider the policy that is good for the nation, and having come to a decision on that point then go ahead with it.

Deputy Doctor Ryan, when discussing this subject, went into details. The impression his speech conveyed to me was that he is inspired by a desire to help, but that he is groping in the dark and is anxious to get light. The same might be said of Deputy Lemass. I think these two Deputies honestly desire to help. With regard to Deputy Ryan's speech, I should like to deal with that part of it where he talked about a tariff on bacon raising the price of the Irish article. We know that the article coming into this country on which it is proposed a tariff should be put is selling at a much lesser price than the price we can get for our surplus bacon on the other side. We know that the price of bacon must go up 2d. in the lb. If we get as remunerative a market here for the stuff we export to replace the stuff we are now importing, if it means rising the price 2d. in the lb., that would leave no better profit for the producer, and then it means that we would have to go higher than the 2d. in the lb. in order to get the 1d. in the lb. that Deputy Ryan has been speaking about. I suggest to the Deputy, as one who knows a little about bacon both as regards the producing and factory ends, that he ought to be careful about his molasses rations and other rations. We do not want bacon produced in this country tasting and smelling like fish. We do not want yellow soft fat; we want white hard fat. I have heard adverse comments here, and more adverse comments still outside, on what is probably the only hope of salvation for this country if it is to occupy any position industrially, and that is the Shannon scheme. One Deputy said the scheme was good, perhaps, but it is twenty years too early; in other words, it is twenty years too soon to stop emigration, for it is only through that scheme or some other means which will give a sufficient supply of cheap power so that we can develop industrially that we can stop emigration.

If it cannot be stemmed by the Shannon door it cannot be stemmed at all. We have not coal, and the only method of producing cheap power is by utilising our water. The Shannon scheme must be the beginning. Otherwise we cannot develop our water power at all. That has been already argued, and no sensible man who reads the records of the debates of this House will doubt it. I have already made an appeal not to make this a party question. I want it to be approached apart from party, and in the light of the nation's need and of clear and deliberate thinking. Judging from the speeches of the Opposition, as contrasted with their earlier speeches. I think they have nearly arrived at that stage. I welcome that atmosphere. I think it is for the good of the nation. It has been said here that there is a considerable claim in the country for protection. That is not so. The Deputies making that claim here do not represent the views of the country.



Let it be questioned. The claims are made by people who are materially interested. These people have been waiting on us for the last three or four years, deputation after deputation. They are not the people of the country. We have no illusions as to what it means. When the claim is made that protection is going to be a benefit to agriculture I, as an agriculturist, deny it. I deny it from conviction, a conviction that has been borne in on me by careful investigation. We are not going to stand in the way of protection if it is going to be for the national good, but we are not going to suffer from the delusion that it is going to be good for agriculture. We have no doubts as to what it will mean for agriculture. If you are going to offer the nation a loaf in the way of protection, very little of that loaf will come to the agricultural community. Their share will only be the crumb of a crust. We have no illusions with regard to it.

Deputy Maguire talked about wheat. He painted a rosy picture about what the growing of wheat would do for the agricultural population. The agricultural population must be very dense if, after the education of years, they do not know what is best for their interests. There are few men engaged in trying to make a living from their lands who would make the assertion that Deputy Maguire made. I do not know what way he farms or whether he farms at all. If he had personal experience of the matter he would, hardly advance the theories that he did about the growing of wheat. If it meant the replacing of some other crop, I would like to know what the value of the other crop would be. He gave figures here that are palpably wrong. He talked about wheaten straw being sold at four shillings a cwt., and said it was needed for thatching. It might be needed for thatching in a particular district, but if he thinks wheaten straw is going to fetch four shillings a cwt. all over the country he is making one of the greatest mistakes of his life. It will not fetch a shilling.

May I ask the Deputy what proportion of his land is under tillage?

I have from twenty to twenty-five Irish acres of tillage. I employ eight men.

Out of how many acres?

If the Deputy will give me notice of the question, I will let him have all the details. I will bring him down for a week. The Deputy may take it that we farm our land on the basis of commonsense and experience, and that the theories re advances are only found in cities and amongst people who know nothing about it.

It is a fair question.

I suggest that the Deputy come down with me, and I will educate him on it. Deputy Maguire, in showing the profit on the growing of wheat, put down wheaten straw at four shillings a cwt. and made no provision for manure, while he only allowed a few shillings for the horse power that is required. In regard to the tariff on bacon, I am ready to make a case before the Commission. There is no use in putting a tariff on bacon if it does not mean that you are going to supply the home trade in addition to the trade we have already. It is not going to help the country if it means that we are only going to supply the Irish trade instead of the English trade, and if it does not mean the production of more bacon in the country. There is no use in developing the pork trade if it means changing from bacon to pork. If a tariff on bacon does not mean that we are going to keep more pigs and that we are going to supply the home trade as well as the trade we have, then people are only talking of what they know nothing about. Another Deputy talked about a subsidy for certain crops. The system of subsidy must be absolutely wrong. If Deputies examine it closely they will see the error of it. If you can make a case for a subsidy for one crop a case can be made for a subsidy for every other crop. An equal case can be made for every crop that is grown.

Is the Deputy against the beet subsidy?

I am glad I mentioned the matter of the subsidy. The Deputy's question shows how little they know about it. The Deputy talks about sugar beet as against crops that have been growing in this country for four or five hundred years. I am talking about crops that we grow in the ordinary way. Sugar beet is being grown for the first time and because of that it is being subsidised. Will anyone put it on a level with barley, mangolds or turnips.

Why should not wheat be on a level with beet?

The Deputy himself can make a speech and explain that.

If the Deputy does not know the difference I am afraid I cannot educate him.

In my opinion subsidies sap self-reliance and self-effort in a people. They make people so careless that they do not put their heart into a thing. You give them the idea that they have something to fall back upon. That feeling leads to carelessness. It leads to national decay and national ruin. The principle of subsidies is wrong because it saps self-reliance and self-effort in the people. It is a direct way of cutting a nation's throat. Any further remarks that I have to make on this question I shall reserve for the motion to be moved by Deputy Lemass. The hour is getting late, and I do not wish to deprive other Deputies who may wish to speak of the opportunity of doing so.

resumed the Chair.

I think the most remarkable thing that has happened in this debate has been the degree in which, due to this debate and due to the causes which brought it about, the two apparently sundered and divided sections, economically, in this House have begun to find a common measure of agreement. I have read all the speeches which have been delivered from all sides of the House, and I am beginning to find a great deal of difficulty in discovering the points of disagreement. I, for instance, had the misfortune the other day to deliver a speech bristling with heresies. I find that all these heresies are now part of the common stock and part of the common belief of all parties in this House, and that, therefore, if I want to be original I shall either have to abandon the things I believe or invent some new heresies. Mind the fact that there is agreement upon a great many fundamental principles does not mean that there are not absolutely lunatic expressions dropping out upon details. For instance, we have a whole series of McGilliganisms. Mr. McGilligan——

I beg your pardon— Minister for Trade and Commerce.

You do not even know the right title.

I shall be happy to be put right. The Minister for Industry and Commerce decided the other day to discriminate in some way between agriculture and farmers. He said that the intention, purpose or result of a tariff system would be to quarter the unemployed on the farmers. Now what are the unemployed quartered on at present? What can the unemployed be quartered on except produced wealth or the savings of produced wealth. We are told, and I believe, that 80 per cent. of the production of wealth in this country at the present moment is by farmers. That means that all the unemployed people, all the people who are not producing, must be quartered upon the producers, and, therefore, they must be quartered on the farmers to the extent, at any rate, of the 80 per cent. to which they are producing. What radically changed the position in this House and brought the two parties more or less into agreement was that there was a general election which went wrong and sent back to this House a body of people who, rightly or wrongly, were determined to have protective tariffs and a protective system of industry brought actively into operation, and, as a result, a moribund association of very excellent Civil Servants produced to order apparently two tariffs. It looks very much as if they will produce other tariffs also to order. Now, one of the tariffs which those people are at the present moment considering is a tariff upon flour, a controversial question.

The Minister for Industry and Commerce the other day alluded to the proceedings of that Tariff Commission, and to the questions which were sub judice with that Tariff Commission. I listened with amazement to the tone and temper of the allusions of the Minister for Industry and Commerce to the proceedings of what was supposed to be a judicial Committee set up on the authority of the Dáil. I was not here on the first day of the discussion on this particular motion, but I read carefully the speech of Deputy Lemass in order to see what impression that speech had made upon the mind of somebody else. I found that it had made the impression upon Deputy Lemass that Messrs. Jacobs were holding a pistol to the head of this Government, this House and that Commission, in such a spirit as to produce an atmosphere of reaction, of hostility, in the minds of people who have heard the Minister for Industry and Commerce, towards Messrs. Jacobs. Deputy Lemass had formed, apparently, the same impression as I had formed. The Minister for Industry and Commerce had given to Deputy Lemass precisely the same impression that he had given to me, if we were to judge only by his speech, that in Messrs. Jacobs we were dealing with an unreasonable and rather an angry man. Now, I could not fit that into anything I knew of Messrs. Jacobs, or the record which it has, the splendid and supremely good record it has in Ireland as an industrial firm. I do not think that any man who knows the history of the firm of Messrs. Jacobs would associate with it in any way deep unreasonableness or folly or opposition to what was ordinarily good for the general community. I went back to find out what exactly had occurred, and I found that there was no basis whatever for the suggestion that Messrs. Jacobs were unreasonable, or desired to hold a pistol at the head of this State, or did or said anything which would cause resentment in this House. That was an impression honestly gathered by two perfectly independent observers from the speech of the Minister for Industry and Commerce in relation to the proceedings sub judice under what is supposed to be a judicial body, the chief member of which is one of the Minister's own staff.

Might I ask the Deputy to name the member of my staff who is on the Tariff Commission?

I may be wrong.

Quite wrong.

I beg your pardon. I withdraw that. I should have said on the staff of the Minister for Finance. But, at any rate, he is subject to a member of the Government. Messrs. Jacob and the millers had been in conference, and certain evidence was put forward before the Commission by the millers at the request of and in full agreement with Messrs. Jacobs after they had given the matter careful consideration. Messrs Jacobs were satisfied if "permits were to be issued to any manufacturer of biscuits or cakes for the importation of flour, duty free, during a defined period to the extent to which flour has been exported by Irish manufacturers contained in manufactured biscuits and cakes during a corresponding period." That was nothing unreasonable. They were prepared to make a reasonable arrangement, and what happened was that when that suggestion was put before the Tariff Commission they themselves said that it was impossible. Now, it may have been impossible, but there does not seem to have been any suggestion of an attempt, if the thing is desirable, to say: "If you are agreed as to what is required to be done we will try to find some alternative means by which it can be done." There is no suggestion of any sort or kind to justify the tone or temper in which the firm of Jacobs was introduced into this House as unreasonable and unreasoning.

We have exactly the same attitude of mind on the part of the Minister for Industry and Commerce in relation to another tariff, the tariff on margarine. He said that this was a tariff to enable slovenly and unbusinesslike methods to continue. That was not based upon any evidence which was in the possession of the House. Either that is evidence which he has privately or it is evidence that does not exist. What the Tariff Commission report said was that one firm of three was efficient. What do the Tariff Commission know about efficiency? What has their training been to pronounce on that? What is their capacity to judge of the efficiency or the non-efficiency of a business concern? An advertisement has been published by one of these firms, which the Minister for Industry and Commerce for the Irish Free State declared to be inefficient and slovenly in its methods, in which it asserts that the best margarine in the world is made in Ireland and that the best margarine in Ireland is made in Cork. Those are two very strong statements, made by a responsible firm. Against that you have the statement of the Minister that they are inefficient. We stand over the statement that there is no better margarine made in the world than in Ireland, and we will stand over, under test conditions, the statement that no margarine is made in Ireland that is better than the Cork margarine. We are prepared to go to an arbitrator to stand over that statement and to show that the Minister has gratuitously libelled an industry in the State, the industries of which it is his business to guard and to maintain. If the Minister is prepared to accept a friendly challenge I will give it to him—that the firm submit samples to an arbitrator and that if he does not bear out what I have said I will pay to the St. Vincent de Paul Society in Cork £100, if the Minister will do so should he find he has done—what I say he has done—libelled and slandered an industry whose credit it was his business to guard.

What is our test of efficiency? Our test of efficiency in that industry is that the product of that industry obtained, in open competition in the market, continuously and over a period of years, a higher price than any competing article. If that is a standard of inefficiency that has not been accepted by the Tariff Commission, then the Tariff Commission itself is utterly incapable of forming a judgment upon a business question. I give that challenge again, personally and not in an unfriendly spirit, because we are all here to guard the reputation of our industries. I am prepared to stand over the statement that the industry which is said to be inefficient has turned out the best products, not merely in Ireland, but in the world, and if the Minister is prepared to accept that challenge I am prepared, in £100, £200, or whatever figure he likes, to make a sporting business of it. to pay to a charity if I lose, if he will do the same, should it be proved that he was wrong in saying that an Irish industry was slovenly and inefficient. Is that challenge accepted? It is open to anybody else upon those benches, who thinks that the reputation of the Tariff Commission and of the Minister is good enough for the money, to accept that sum, or any larger or any smaller sum, before this debate ends this afternoon.

You would require odds on before you would back your own Minister.


I am not laying the odds.

We have had enough about odds.

Let us come to the questions upon which we agree. The first thing upon which we agree, undoubtedly, is that the "single-customer" idea of Irish industry is dead. I will now quote the Minister for Lands and Agriculture: "It is unhealthy to sell all your goods in one market and to have all your eggs in one basket.... No one is so foolish as to take up the position that having only one market for our exports, which in bulk is practically 75 per cent. agricultural, is a sound position." We can take it that there is no section of any Party represented in this House that now maintains the doctrine that it is desirable to concentrate upon one customer. I am not taking any debating advantage at all in the matter. I am not arguing anything from that. All I want is to have it solidly recognised that there is no advocate now in Ireland, except the serial story in the "Irish Times," of the doctrine that Ireland is wise to concentrate on one customer, and one customer only. "No one is so foolish as to take up the position that having only one market for our goods is a sound position." That is an enormous advance.


The Deputy says he does not want to make a debating point. If he will just read two lines further on I will be satisfied.

I will. "Let us agree to start at that point. I want to see industries in this country."


I have not the report before me, but if the Deputy will look down lower he will see another quotation to the effect that it is not wise to throw out the dirty water until you get in the clean.

I agree, and I avoided quoting that because I do value the English market for our goods, and I am not prepared to insult my customer by calling him "dirty water." Now let us take the second thing about which there is agreement—retaliation. Again I will quote, first, as the greatest and best authority, the Minister for Agriculture. Mind, in all this I am not seeking advantage. I am anxious simply that the things which are fundamentally good shall be done by agreement in this House in relation to our economic affairs. The Minister for Lands and Agriculture says that we are paying too much attention to this idea of what anybody else thinks. He says: "Do not worry about saying: ‘Do not do this, that, or the other, because the British will retaliate.'" He is satisfied that is not going to happen. Deputy Shaw again throws over any possibility of retaliation by governmental action. He says there may be propaganda against us, but that there will be no governmental action. Deputy Tierney says that we are not to worry about what people think; that we are not up against retaliation. The only man who is afraid of retaliation is that prominent exporter of agricultural produce, Deputy Good. The only man who thinks that England is mad enough, and foolish enough, to do that thing is the representative of the Dublin Chamber of Commerce.

What happened in the tobacco trade?

We will come to that later.

I have already corrected a Deputy for alluding to Deputy Flinn himself as speaking on behalf of a particular interest. Deputy Good represents County Dublin. It would be better if we kept to that all round; otherwise you will get into difficult water.

We are out to get to the bottom of this story of retaliation. Why should we be afraid of retaliation? Because we have got either of two things. We have got an inferiority complex to the end, or because we have reason to be afraid. It is one or the other; it is either because we have got a slave mind in us, and because it is coming out in our actions or expressions, or because we recognise as a fact that England can do, in relation to this co-equal member of the Commonwealth, what she would not do, and what no one suggests she would attempt to do, in relation to any other member of the Commonwealth. I do not believe that the inferiority complex is founded on any just, reasonable cause. I think the fact that this country has survived all that it has gone through is one of the greatest miracles in the whole history of humanity, and that there is in this country some solid soundness which has been expressed over a period of hundreds of years, a soundness on which we can base a confidence and reliance in ourselves, which ought not to be expressed in an inferiority complex. I do not believe that it would pay England over a period to attempt to subject this country to retaliatory measures. At any rate I am not afraid of retaliatory measures. I am afraid of the immediate impact of retaliatory measures, a sudden outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease. We are familiar with that sort of work. It might hold us up for a bit if we were disorganised here. If she closes her ports against us, or does something of that kind, we could suffer very much under the first impact of the blow, but if, as I have suggested to this House, there is an organised opinion behind this country, prepared to tighten its belt and stand by for a little, there is no weapon in the hands of England but the sword which will enable her to enforce her economic demands upon us. My security that she will not enforce them by that means is this: that in drawing up the Treaty or Constitution, or whatever you like to call it—it was her Act of Parliament—she defined our liberty in the terms of the liberty of the other so-called co-equal members of the Commonwealth.

The Deputy should be clear that the Constitution is our Act of Parliament.

That might be. It is an Act of Parliament of both.

It is ours too. The Constitution is ours and the Constitution Act was passed here.


Under duress.

That is another question.

I will not engage in any argument on that. In doing that, in my opinion, for the first time in the history of England's constitutional relations with this country, the hand of the potter shook. She tied a knot which it will be dangerous fundamentally for her to attempt to cut with a sword. There is general agreement now upon a Tariff Commission, not a Tariff Commission which can be subjected to the pressure of the intemperate utterances of a Minister for Industry and Commerce, but something which is independent, something which, while it does report to the Ministry, has also a statutory instruction to report to this House.

I think it is Deputy Tierney who said that business-men were utterly unsuited for it: that they have their own interests and their own preoccupations. Is an exclusively Civil Service Commission fitted for it? I will tell the House that in our own conferences here I defended the Civil Service Commission as far as I could. I put up as high a case for the Civil Service Commission as I could. But in face of the experience which we have had of the action of the Ministry for Industry and Commerce in this matter, I do say that a commission made up of civil servants is not a commission which deserves the respect and confidence of this House in coming to a decision on a matter in which the Ministry may have opinions of their own. There is another point upon which there seems to be a tendency to agreement— I find it scattered through the different members of the House—that some differentiation in the pressure of income-tax would have a beneficial effect. I do not want to press the point—it could be brought very regularly into order— but I do not wish to press it at present.

We come now to the question which was held to be very controversial—the question of Irish capital. In that connection. I would quote the Minister for Finance. He said on the 8th November:

"I have indicated already that I prefer an industry to be controlled by people living here, citizens of the country, rather than have it built up by people from outside."

He also stated, in a previous debate, that an industry which was built up by foreign capital could not expand, and he gave as an example two firms which did expand because their capital was internal—Guinness' and Jacob's. It is extraordinary that the Minister for Industry and Commerce should go down the country and pick out those two firms as examples of foreign capital for the purpose of attacking the economic case which we have put forward. He said that if the lunacy, or whatever you call it, of Deputy Flinn were carried into effect, if foreign capital is penalised, then we are going to drive out Jacob's, we are going to drive out Guinness', and we are going to drive out Ford's, and we are going to drive out the sugar beet scheme.

Jacob's is outstandingly an example of a firm, a system of industry, and a mentality in industry, which deserves to be encouraged in this country. Starting from small beginnings in Waterford, it came here seventy years ago, and it has built itself up in this city. It has now a branch in Liverpool, but the whole mentality of that firm, as shown in its own evidence before the Tariff Commission, which ought to have been within the knowledge of the Minister for Industry and Commerce when he declared it to be a foreign firm, is the mentality of a firm which is doing everything that is humanly possible to keep production upon this side. Let me say this: if the Minister for Industry and Commerce will come here with the authority of Messrs. Jacob to declare them a foreign firm in this country, then I will accept it. But until he does, until he has the direct authority of Messrs Jacob to label them as a foreign firm, I for one am not going to put that title upon them. I am prepared to say that they are an Irish firm, a credit to Ireland, and a credit to themselves in every act they have taken in industry in Ireland.

Now we turn to Henry Ford. Henry Ford's is another of the foreign industries which we were supposed to be willing to drive out. Why did Henry Ford come here? He came because he was a Corkman—for no other reason. He came here against the opposition of his own staff. He came here to build up in Ireland, and in the city from which he sprang, an industry which would be a monument to himself. Let no man be in doubt as to whether Ford's is paying in Cork. It is a good sound commercial concern, but, on balance, it would have paid Henry Ford better, I think, to concentrate the activities of that firm in one of his other plants. He came here because he was an Irishman, because his capital was Irish, and with the purpose of serving Ireland. The firms of Jacob's and Ford's are not firms that we are going to drive out, or the sugar beet scheme, which has a couple of millions of Irish money in it. That is what is keeping it in existence. I can see some case for saying that the other £300,000 also should have been provided, even from the same source from which the £2,000,000 is being provided, but to say that the sugar beet scheme is an example of foreign capital is simply to talk in ignorance of the facts. We have frankly to recognise, if we are going to face the facts—I am very sorry to say this —that there is good reason why men should hesitate at the moment to put money into Irish industry.

Might I ask the Deputy a question?

I was thinking of asking him one myself, but we will have Deputy Davin's first.

Who controls the share capital of the sugar beet factory?

The share capital is controlled from Belgium.

I was wondering whether this has any relevance to tariffs.

Everything I am talking about is out of the debate upon tariffs—every reference I have here, on which I am arguing, is out of that debate.

The unemployment debate.

With the exception of just a few words at the beginning.

I know that this is a very wide subject, and I do not want to interfere with the Deputy's case, but I think he has been quoting nearly altogether from the debate upon unemployment. For instance, the Minister for Industry and Commerce has not spoken in this debate.

He spoke in a previous tariff debate.

He has not spoken in this debate.

I submit to your ruling, sir. I personally have not been able to detect in any debate up to the present any line of delimitation between debates on unemployment and on this subject, but I shall as nearly as possible keep to the point. There is this difference. I did raise the question of foreign capital. I did not do it carelessly. I shall take a very simple case —candles. That industry was quoted by Deputy Lemass as one in which the tariff worked excellently. My information is that the candle industry in Ireland exists because the two big firms that have control of the raw material are fighting one with the other. As soon as they come together it is doubtful, in spite of the tariff, whether or not you will be able to maintain the candle industry in this country.

The Minister for Finance told us the other day that a large factory was being set up in this country to do the work of a large number of widely distributed soap factories in the country. The fact in regard to the soap industry is this: it is under a tariff, but every single firm, with the exception of Dixon's, is owned or controlled by one single firm.

And Dixon's also.

I wanted to leave something to the good. Now you are going to put up another factory capable of economically doing the work of all these widely-distributed factories—a characteristic of factory life that we want to keep. As soon as you have done that you can shut down all the other factories. And what I want the House to recognise is that when you have shut down all the little factories you can shut down the big factory also if you like in spite of tariffs. I am said to be a sort of whole-hog, wild-hatted tariff man. There is no man who has, in the same sense as I have, pointed out to the House the difficulties and the dangers of this two-edged weapon and called upon the House to take those precautions which the House can take, if it means to take them, to enable tariffs to be imposed in this country and yet to keep clear of that difficulty.

I have said before that the only effective protection for industry in this country is nationality, a sense that this is our own country and that we have to do whatever is necessary to see that this country is maintained. I have on me at the present moment a pair of boots made in Ireland, bought in a retail shop belonging to the factory that made them, but they have taken their name out of them.

You should not wear them then.

No. A man went into a shop—the Secretary of the I.D.A. in Cork—to buy an Irish hat. They showed him a hat, and he said: "This is not Irish." The man said: "It is." He said: "It has not got the Irish trade mark in it." The man said: "It had." This was in a retail establishment, remember. He brought him into the office and showed him the invoice, but he said: "I had to take the Irish trade mark out of the hat before I could sell it in Ireland." I know three firms in one town manufacturing Irish products with Irish capital and Irish labour and putting those products under an English trade mark to sell them. As long as that continues, as long as we are so debased in our own minds, so long as we have the spirit that is afraid of retaliation to the extent that we take our own trade mark out of our own goods no economic expedient of any kind will be effective to save us from the results of that mental degradation. I will give you tariffs, I will give you no income tax, I will give you anything, but give me what Mr. Ernest Blythe demanded from Trinity College the other night: the language of this country universally known, respected, and used. Give me the spirit which alone could make that language universally regarded, respected and used and I do not care what power there is against us. We shall be able to build up the industries, prosperity, the population and the liberty of this country in spite of all comers.

Does the Deputy know Dean Swift's definition of nationality?

I move to report progress.

The Dáil went out of Committee. Progress reported.
The Dáil adjourned to Wednesday, 23rd November.