Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Tuesday, 23 Jul 1935

Vol. 58 No. 9

Reserved Commodity (Sewing Cotton) Order, 1935.

Debate resumed on the following motion:—
That Dáil Eireann hereby approves of Reserved Commodity (Sewing Cotton) Order, 1935, made on the 2nd day of July, 1935, by the Executive Council under the Control of Manufactures Act, 1934 (No. 36 of 1934)—(Minister for Industry and Commerce).

When I moved to report progress on this matter on Friday last, I was drawing the attention of the House to the fact that the Minister for Industry and Commerce was asking us to approve this Reserved Commodity Order and was proposing, if we did so approve, to issue a licence to a firm in Westport for the manufacture of cotton thread. I pointed out that the Minister had not given any particulars as to the conditions he proposed to impose on the firm in question. We had no indication as to when the firm would be able to supply commodities to satisfy the demand from the home market. We had no information as to the rates of wages proposed in the factory or as to the type of person to be employed. We had no information from the Minister as to what the conditions of employment would be like. I sought to call attention to the fact that the legislature was being asked to give the Minister power to give this firm a monopoly. In such circumstances, the House was obviously entitled to know something about the conditions of labour and what rates of wages would be paid. I am sure it must be obvious that when the Minister issues a licence, on the confirmation of this Order, the House will, with its eyes wide open, be giving an absolute monopoly to a Westport firm and it will have no assurance as to the rates of wages and the conditions of employment which will be observed in the factory. If the Westport firm is allowed to go ahead, by virtue of the reservation made in respect of it, under the licence that will be issued by the Minister, then we may assume that no other firm will be allowed to manufacture thread in the country, and if any other firm should attempt to do so the Minister would be confronted with all kinds of pressure in order to ensure that the interests of the Westport firm will not in any way be impaired by the establishment of a second factory. The only way in which the Minister can then safeguard the Westport firm will be by making it impossible for any other firm to be established with his benediction and good-will.

If, as the Minister wishes, we are going to give him facilities to put the Westport factory in a position to manufacture the whole of our home requirements, then I submit that we are obviously entitled to know the conditions of employment which will operate in that firm and also to know that that firm will be able to supply the whole of the home market, and that the consumers in the home market will be able to obtain thread on conditions at least as favourable as they obtain to-day; or if there is to be any variation we are entitled to know what the variation is likely to be. During one portion of the Minister's speech he indicated that the price of cotton thread at Westport would be substantially the same as the prices at which similar thread could be obtained from the British combine. Apparently the Minister thought well to obtain that information from the firm. Surely the Minister could also obtain from this firm particulars as to the rates of wages and particulars as to the conditions of employment it proposes to observe and, generally, information as to the kind of persons who would be employed in the firm. Calling attention in this House to the dangers of giving State benefits to private firms without obtaining any guarantees from the firms in question, I quoted on Friday last a notorious example of State assistance being given to a particular firm in the County Kildare without having obtained any guarantee as to the rates of wages paid by that particular firm. And I said then and I now repeat it——

The Deputy should not repeat himself.

I am not repeating myself, but I want to deal with the point made by the Minister on Friday last. I then said it was nothing short of a scandal and I repeat it now that it is nothing short of a scandal——

If the Deputy says now that it is nothing short of a scandal he is certainly repeating himself.

It is only in these first few words that I repeat myself. It is suggested then that it was nothing short of a scandal that that particular firm should be allowed to get assistance from the State without giving any sort of return; and because I took steps to expose that notorious instance of the exploitation of Irish workers in the interests of a certain enterprise, the Minister indulged in one of his ill-tempered and, if I might say so, ill-mannered remarks in connection with Irish industry. The Minister said that my exposure was an attack upon Irish industry. I want now to tell the Minister very definitely and in language that he can clearly under stand that my attack in that instance was altogether on a particular employer who was exploiting Irish workers while this particular one was being assisted by the State and was having the benefit of a high tariff wall erected for him. The Minister attempted by his attitude and remarks to say that any attack on such employers in this country was an attack on Irish industry. That statement is a contemptible misrepresentation of the real issue, and I tell the Minister very definitely that the good Irish employers in this country resent the establishment of that kind of industry because it is a social evil, because it is an economic injustice on other competitors and because it seeks to establish here an industrial fabric that is not capable of being sustained except at the price of exploiting Irish workers at starvation rates of wages.

I say to the Minister very definitely that it is his task and it ought to be the task of any Minister for Industry and Commerce to make it clear that if we are going to have industries in this country, national or other industries, they will pay fair rates of wages to the workers and it should be the task of the Minister to stand up here and denounce the type of employers— fortunately a minority—who are only too anxious to try to exploit Irish workers at the lowest possible rate of wages at which they can induce them to work. Instead of taking that obvious line, instead of standing up and denouncing that type of employer, the Minister by his attitude on Friday last showed himself, in that instance at all events, in a rôle which was certainly a surprising one to me. He said on that occasion that that attack on an employer was an attack on Irish industry. I tell the Minister that that statement by him is a deliberate misrepresentation of the real position——

I made no such statement.

Let the Minister read his own speech.

It is the Deputy's job to do it if he purports to quote me at the moment.

Let the Minister read his own Party organ. I suppose I will not be accused of bias in quoting that. The Minister was highly annoyed and highly indignant because I sought to warn him against the dangers which flow from giving private enterprise facilities at the expense of the State without getting any guarantees from the private firms concerned. In this instance I want to make sure that if the State is going to give private enterprise certain facilities we are entitled in all reason to know the conditions that are being imposed upon these firms. Yet the Minister came to the House on Friday last and made a very brief statement which contained no information of the kind we were entitled to expect on an occasion such as that. Having made that brief statement he asked Dáil Eireann to approve of the Reserved Commodity (Sewing Cotton) Order without the House being given the necessary information. I think that attitude on the part of the Minister is inexplicable. I think it is without precedent that the Minister should come to this House and ask for the wide powers which he is seeking in this Motion without giving the House the detailed information which it seeks in connection with this particular matter. Even apart from this particular instance I think the whole policy of the Government in granting facilities to private enterprise is wrong—without making sure that certain conditions in respect of the rates of wages and certain conditions of labour will be observed in these undertakings which seek facilities from the State. The whole policy of the Government seems to me to be that we want industries here at any price, the main consideration being to get the industry and that it does not matter what kind of exploitation is carried on in order to establish and to maintain that industry. It is obviously a task for the Minister for Industry and Commerce to take every possible step to ensure that so far as he can the conditions of employment and the rates of wages paid approximate to the most ideal that it is within the power of the Minister or the power of this House to make. My complaint against the Minister is that in giving facilities to private firms he has not taken steps to ensure that these firms will be required to pay fair rates of wages and to observe fair conditions of labour. The whole policy of the Government in this particular respect seems to be to get industry at any price. As against that kind of rash policy, as against that kind of panic for industry I suggest to the Minister that his policy should be tempered with the desire to see that such industries as are being established and in particular in respect of such industries as are seeking assistance from the State, he should take steps to ensure as a condition of the grant of any assistance by the State that fair rates of wages and fair conditions of labour will be observed by the firm in question. So far as this House knows, no such steps have been taken in this particular instance. So far as this House knows, no steps whatever have been taken to ascertain from the firm in question what rates of wages it proposes to pay.

The Minister came to the House and asked to have this Motion approved, but there was not a single indication from the Minister that he proposed to impose upon this firm any conditions in respect of wages or any other feature of employment in the industry. We are being asked, therefore, so far as this particular industry is concerned, to make it a closed borough for this firm. If we are going to do that, we ought to do it with our eyes wide open. We ought to do it when we have knowledge of the conditions of employment in the industry. We ought to do it when we have knowledge of the rates of wages to be paid. I think it is grossly unfair for the Minister to come to this House, and ask for the authority which he seeks in this Motion, without giving the House the detailed information which it requires in respect of the rates of wages, the conditions of employment, the sexes of the persons to be employed there, and the proportion of one to the other. I am not asking the Minister for anything unreasonable in asking for that information. We certainly ought not to be asked to approve an Order enabling the Minister to issue a licence to a particular firm, and to make this industry a closed borough for that firm, without having first obtained all the relevant information in respect of the conditions of employment in the undertaking.

It is quite possible, and indeed it is highly probably, that if this firm has a licence issued to it, and any subsequent proposal is submitted to the Minister for the establishment of a second undertaking in that particular industrial direction, the Minister will be prohibited from allowing that second industrial undertaking to be established, at least so far as the powers in his Department are concerned. This House will have placed itself in this position: It may give the Minister power to issue a licence to one particular firm, without information as to the wages or conditions of labour in the factory. Afterwards those conditions may come to light. They may be found to be unsatisfactory, but the House will then have put itself into the position of making a closed borough for one firm paying low rates of wages, and being prohibited in fact from permitting a second firm to be established, even though the proposed rates of wages are substantially higher than those paid in the first instance. I want to protect my vote against that possibility. I want to protect the State against the possibility that it will be used to subsidise an industry by the issue of a licence of this kind. I want to put the State in the position that it will not give its imprimatur to the establishment of a closed borough for the private owners of an enterprise, unless there is some definite information as to the rates of wages and conditions of employment. I hope that, since Friday last, the Minister has been able to get information on the matter. I hope we are now going to hear about the rates of wages and conditions of labour. I hope we are going to hear how many men and how many women will be employed in the undertaking, and that on to-day, Tuesday, we can have the information which we ought to have got from the Minister when he was moving this Motion on Friday last.

Aside from the whole question of whether this firm should or should not be licensed, and aside from the whole question as to whether it is desirable to permit the manufacture of this commodity in this country, I should like to ascertain from the Minister whether in fact the Government can see no way of inducing the manufacture of such commodities in this country except by setting up private monopolies, which are to be permitted to exploit the market for their own benefit, the creation of new national wealth and the provision of employment for Irish workers being secondary to the main consideration, which is to line their own pockets, and afterwards, and only incidentally, to create new sources of employment. The Minister used to be in favour of nationalisation of certain kinds. Has he given any consideration to the question of dealing with a problem such as this, and of introducing new lines of manufacture here, by setting up publicly-owned and publicly-controlled undertakings to produce such commodities here? It is not a very far step from having a publicly-owned and publicly-controlled sugar beet company, and Shannon scheme, to having a similarly owned and controlled industry in respect of cotton thread or other commodities. I should like to know whether the Minister, who used to be so fond of nationalisation in other days, has now completely abandoned any possibility of using the resources and the powers of the State in order to assist in the establishment here of industries which, so far, private enterprise has not established, and which private enterprise will only establish on being guaranteed an unrestricted monopoly in the home market? There may, of course, be people who will say that the State cannot run those schemes as efficiently as private enterprise.

I should like to remind the Deputy that this is a specific resolution dealing with a specific matter. The opportunity for reviewing the administration and policy of the Department of Industry and Commerce was on the Vote for that Department. The Deputy is not in order in canvassing the whole policy of the Department of Industry and Commerce, and the Minister's views on nationalisation and other questions, nor would the Minister be in order in stating his general policy, on this resolution.

I accept your ruling, Sir. I do not desire to travel outside the ambit of this Order, except perhaps to the bare fringe of it, where I might be permitted to ask the Minister whether this is the only way in which he can have sewing cotton manufactured in this country, and to point out to him that there are other ways of inducing the manufacture of that commodity here rather than by the setting up of a private monopoly, such as the Minister has indicated to the House that he proposes to set up if this Order is approved. My complaint will be shared by many complaint will be shared by many other Deputies, is that the House, which is asked to give these facilities to the Minister, is not given information to enable it to judge the merits of the case. It is not given any precise information as to the rates of wages and conditions of employment to be observed in the industry which the Minister seeks to assist if this Order is passed. I think the Minister has treated the House most unfairly. If he had put as much energy into the compilation of these necessary statistics as he did into his display of disorderly interruptions on Friday last I think we might have had much more helpful information in considering a matter of this kind. I now suggest to the Minister that, in respect of this Order and the licence to be issued under it, it would be very much better for Irish workers and very much better for the reputation of the Minister and the Government if, instead of putting so much energy into defending a minority of Irish employers who exploit Irish workers, he put at least half the energy into defending the rights of Irish workers to be given reasonable standards of living.

In connection with this Order, we are entitled to ask the Minister what he has done to safeguard the conditions of Irish workers, what he has done to safeguard consumers, and what he has done generally to ensure that the national wellbeing is being fully safeguarded by the issue of a licence to this particular firm. I have no particular complaint to make against the firm in question. It happens to be in Westport, but it is immaterial for the purposes of my argument where it is situate. My one desire is to ensure that if we are going to give facilities to a private firm, we ought: (1) to get a guarantee about the rates of wages that are to be paid and the conditions of labour that will be observed; (2) to make sure that the consumer is protected; and (3) to make sure that the national wellbeing is protected, and that we are not setting up here a kind of private uncontrolled monopoly with which this country at some future date may be compelled to deal. I would like, therefore, to know if, in those three simple respects, which should be the special care of and in the special province of the Minister, he has taken steps along the lines I have indicated? If he has done that, we can consider this Order much more intelligently on receipt of that information from the Minister than we could on the meagre and very inadequate information which he gave to the House on Friday last.

There can be no doubt, after listening to Deputy Norton's speech, that he is interested in rates of wages. He repeated 22 times that he wanted the Minister for Industry and Commerce to tell him the rates of wages that are going to be paid in Westport. I can assure the Deputy that, if he were to repeat his question another 22 times, he will get very little information from the Minister. But out of evil cometh good, because the leader of the Labour Party is now beginning to learn that when any Deputy of this House has the temerity to ask the Minister for Industry and Commerce for information which the Minister ought to vouchsafe himself without being asked for it at all, it is the Minister's practice to reply that those questions are asked with a view to sabotaging Irish industry. I have had that reply made to me several times, and my recollection is that when the Minister made that reply to me Deputy Norton sympathetically nodded his head. Now he discovers that that kind of misrepresentation, that dishonest weapon, is being used against himself. It will always be used by the Minister when he wants to cover up his own tracks. Whenever the Minister wants to conceal the activities in which he is engaged, he denounces anyone who dares to draw aside the veil as doing something that is calculated to sabotage and overthrow the industrial life of this country. It is useful that Deputies on the other side of the House are beginning to learn, by bitter experience, what that means. It simply means that the Minister for Industry and Commerce does not want to expose awkward facts. It is his most odoriferous red herring to draw out whenever it is necessary to raise a good smell, and to throw people off the track, that the person who crossquestions him is sabotaging Irish industry.

Deputy Norton laid very heavy emphasis on the dangers of exploiting persons working in factories protected by a monopoly. I agree with him. On the Conditions of Employment Bill, I suggested to him that he should put down an amendment giving the Minister for Industry and Commerce power to prescribe the type of employees and the rates of wages and the conditions under which they would work in every monopolistic industry of this country. I suggested that a standard should be set in those monopolistic industries far higher than it would be practical to expect in the ordinary competitive industries of the country. I shall be interested to see whether, on the Report Stage, Deputy Norton will concern himself with drafting such an amendment. If he does, I will support him.

I suggest that amendments to the Conditions of Employment Bill might be more properly discussed on that Bill.

Deputy Norton raised this question of exploitation; that there is the danger of the exploitation not only of the men and women working in those factories but of consumers, and the consumers are the working men and women of the country. Bear this in mind, that Deputy Norton waxes eloquent about the exploitation that is going on in those monopolistic industries. There is exploitation going on at the present moment in this country which Deputy Norton is responsible for.

That is untrue.

Let me explain. If the Deputy votes for a tariff of 75 per cent. on a certain commodity it may not exploit the individuals working in the production of that commodity, but it does exploit everybody in the country who has to buy that commodity, and is at the present moment exploiting them. I have drawn the attention of this House on diverse occasions to specific articles. I have deliberately chosen articles which are principally purchased and used by labouring men and women, by people with a very small margin of income over and above what is required to purchase the necessities of life. I have pointed out to the Minister, and to the Labour Party, that the effect of these prohibitive tariffs of 75 and 100 per cent. was to raise the price of those commodities on the home market and to impose a burden on the consuming public, and in these special cases the consuming public is composed largely of the labouring men and women of the country—agricultural labourers and industrial labourers. That is the kind of exploitation I consider to be much graver and much more dangerous than the exploitation which is in embryo in this Resolution. I have again and again asked the House to join with me in insisting that exploitation of either kind should be prevented by confining ourselves (1) to free competition within the country and (2) to protective tariffs as against prohibitive tariffs.

And the effect of prohibitive tariffs is not, on the Deputy's own admission, relevant to this Resolution.

I beg your pardon; that is so. But I object to this monopoly business altogether, and I object to this specific monopoly to be granted in respect of thread for more than one reason. Let me remind the House that we do not even allow a public authority in this country to appoint a dispensary doctor on its own volition without entering into an examination of the claims and qualifications of the various applicants for that position. We do not allow the Civil Service to appoint anyone—no Minister is allowed to appoint a civil servant—in the Civil Service without first referring the matter to the Civil Service Commissioners. It has been the policy of the Oireachtas to take out of the hands of persons actively engaged in politics in every department the right to make any public appointment which carries with it emoluments from public funds.

Yet, that is our settled policy in that regard. We allow one individual, the Minister for Industry and Commerce to hand out monopolies to individuals from abroad, or to nationals of this country which may be worth anything from £10,000, £20,000, £30,000 £40,000. Is that a desirable situation? Is it good that a Minister, who is an active politician should have placed upon him the duty of giving to applicants concessions worth anything from £10,000 to £100,000 per annum? I do not think it is. I think it is bound sooner or later, as certain as we are sitting here, to bring corruption into the public life of the country, bound to result in grave public distrust and bound to give rise to evils which that kind of patronage always brings in its train, no matter in whom you may vest the patronage. I object to this particular monopoly in Westport because the Minister has never told us what these gentlemen are actually going to do in Westport. We are told they are going to produce thread. What does that mean? Are they going to bring in thread as yarn, simply polish it in County Mayo, and put it on reels, or, are they going to dye it in County Mayo? If so, in what range of colours is the thread to be dyed? Are they going to bring in raw cotton and genuinely to manufacture by spinning thread? I am going to suggest that they are not going to spin a single yard. No thread is going to be manufactured.

These gentlemen are going to have a complete monopoly of a pretty valuable market, and they are not going to manufacture thread at all. They are simply bringing in the yarn, finishing it and dyeing it in a very restricted range of colours. If anyone wants a colour other than what these gentlemen have in a very restricted range, he will have to pay an exorbitant price and to take an exorbitant quantity of it in order to justify the dyeing operation. We have got into the habit of planking on tariffs, restrictions and quotas, and no one ever seems to think of what the repercussions of these tariffs will be. If you give a monopoly of thread manufacture to Westport, and if you restrict customers of Saorstát Eireann to a small range of threads, it means that you are going to put every ready-made clothing manufacturer at a very serious disadvantage, if he cannot get the colours of thread required for the trade, unless he is prepared to buy a very large quantity of each particular shade which he may require and unless he is going to pay an exorbitant price for it. I understand that a great many of the ready-made clothing manufacturers have protested very emphatically against that, and pointed out to the Minister that it would hinder them very considerably. I have not heard the Minister giving any information on that aspect of the situation.

He told us what he expected the effect of the order would be on the consuming public. Let the House remember that a great many of the consumers of thread in this country are manufacturers. I do not believe in offering criticism of a scheme of this kind without making a proposal. I want to say to the Minister that I believe we can establish a thread factory and that we do not want any monopoly at all. If the Minister has made up his mind about the manufacture of cotton thread, I do not think this scheme should be followed up. If it is to be followed up I think it could be done much better than in the scheme adumbrated in this resolution. I venture to say that if the Minister will give me two months I will make a proposal by which we will spin thread, dye it black, white, and two or three standard shades, reel it, pay decent wages, take no more than a fair profit, and maintain the industry without any monopoly at all. I will undertake to have it done by a firm that stands high in the trade, and I will undertake in the presence of the House to take an interest in the enterprise, or not to take an interest in it, whichever the House thinks best calculated to serve the success of the scheme, and there need not be any monopoly at all. I am satisfied it could be done.

Why has the Deputy not done it?

I do not believe the manufacture of thread in this country is really a genuine proposition at all. Supposing the scheme I adumbrated was attempted it would have to be qualified by this, that the Minister would undertake to give a licence to import free of duty all shades of cotton thread which were not produced in this country, because the Deputy is probably aware that there are about 360 shades in current use. In addition to that, you must be ready to meet perhaps 20 or 25 special shades that it would be quite unthinkable to undertake the dyeing of unless you had an adequate demand. Therefore, a licence to import free of duty from the principal factory would be wanted for shades to meet special requirements. In addition to that, the Minister talked about cotton thread but, in fact, they are not going to attempt to manufacture thread in all forms at all because, as far as I am aware, there is no suggestion that Westport is going to try to produce embroidery thread. It could not produce it in any variety, because there is no market, and therefore the Minister will have to issue licences for imports of embroidery peculiar to the embroidery trade. Sewing cotton is the only thing they would manufacture there. I do not think it is an economic proposition. I believe consumers must pay more for thread if they are to get an article of the same quality, and as good as they got before.

If the Minister is resolved to go ahead with his proposal, I urge him to withdraw the whole scheme of restrictions and to leave the market in the Saorstát open. If he will do that, or postpone this proposal until after the recess, I will undertake to put a scheme before him between this and October 1st, which would call for no monopoly. I will undertake to manufacture thread and give any reasonable standard of shades, and to offer reasonable guarantees against exploitation of the public, and reasonable guarantees as to the price that the public will have to pay for thread. It will have to pay more. There is no doubt about that.

Manufacture here means that consumers must pay more unless the public is given an inferior article, but they will not be unreasonably exploited, and the people manufacturing will be reasonably paid and will have reasonable conditions. Before the Minister gives prohibitive tariffs — never mind monopoly — he is entitled to demand the most exhaustive guarantees as to conditions of labour, as to the price at which the commodity will be sold and as to the quality of what is going to be produced. He has not satisfied the House that he has made any such requisition on Westport, and he has not satisfied the House that the persons to whom he is going to give this monopoly are persons who ought to get this monopoly at all. I mentioned at an earlier stage that so far as my information went one of the gentlemen in question never manufactured thread. He has a strictly honourable, commercial record in Belfast and in the North of Ireland, but a record which no more qualified him to set up as a manufacturer of thread——

Than yourself. Did you not say that you would put up proposals to the Minister about a scheme?

No. I said that I would undertake to put up a scheme. I will undertake to take an interest in it if the House considers that necessary, in order to guarantee good faith, or, if the House prefers, not to take any interest in it.

Why did the Deputy not avail of the invitation that was published in the newspapers to submit any objections he could think to the making of the Order?

He was not briefed then.

I am not briefed now. I now make a proposal to the House. I did not enter any objection. I had no information as to the proposals in Westport. I want to tell the truth to the people about those who went to Westport to make money out of the consumers of this country, and I have no desire to get into this mess, of grabbing money out of the pockets of the people. I do not want to be involved in exploiting the people. I do not want to be involved in the manufacture of anything that is going to cost the consumers in Saorstát Eireann more than if it were purchased elsewhere. I have no smack for that kind of enterprise at all. I do not want anything out of public funds. I have never got anything from the public funds, and I should be much happier to die without getting anything out of public funds. Very few people have a scrap of objection nowadays to putting their hand in the public pocket or the public purse and taking out what they can get their claw upon. I do not like that. I do not want to grow wheat and collect the subsidy. I do not want to grow beet and collect the subsidy. I do not want to make thread and compel the people to pay for my profits when I am not prepared to give them as good and as cheap an article as they would get elsewhere. But if this country is determined to do that, and to do it in a way which appears to me to be calculated to inflict a greater hardship on the consuming community than some other method that presents itself to me, I am prepared to recommend that other method to the Government and I should be prepared——

There was a statutory period for objections. Why did not the Deputy object during that period?

The Minister will get an opportunity of answering me. If I may say so, he is conducting himself somewhat like a mountebank during this debate. It would be much better if he would wait and answer me, the leader of the Labour Party and anybody else who intervenes, when the proper times comes. I would much rather that the Minister or some of his own supporters would engage in the manufacture of this thread and indulge in this profit-making out of protected industries. But if they will not, I am prepared to exert myself to the best of my ability to get the job done as cheaply and as efficiently as it can be done under the circumstances in which we find ourselves. That is the extent of my offer. When Deputy Walsh leans forward and says: "You, yourself, have an interest in starting a thread factory," let the Deputy suggest to his own colleagues, whether in Westport or in Wicklow, that they should take example by me and, before they embark on any such enterprise, get up and inform their colleagues what they propose to do and invite their colleagues to investigate the conditions under which they propose to do it. If the Deputy does that, and his colleagues take example by what I am doing now, public life will be all the better——

The Deputy is indulging in a safe form of libel and taking advantage of the privileges of the House.

I hope the Deputy will not interrupt me. I suggest to the Minister that a scheme along these lines is better calculated to lead to the production of thread on something approaching an economic basis——

Why did not the Deputy make his proposal within the statutory time?

What does the Minister mean?

Why did the Deputy not come forward with his proposal within the last two months?

A Deputy

He was not briefed.

The Control of Manufactures Act provides that, before a reserved commodity order can be made, there must be publication in the newspapers. A time is specified during which any person who desires to put forward any objection or proposal must do so. That time has lapsed. We did not hear of the Deputy's objection during that time. Why not?

I have no desire to engage in the manufacture of thread. I have no information as to the terms upon which the people in Westport propose to manufacture thread. I have questioned the Minister several times in this House with a view to getting the necessary information and he has consistently refused to give it. There is no question of a brief having been prepared. There is no question of my having an interest in the manufacture of thread. I do not want to manufacture thread. I am quite prepared to allow anybody else to embark on the manufacture of thread and I suggest that it could be done reasonably economically and much better than under this monopolistic system. The essence of the proposal I have to make is that there should be no monopoly, that any citizen who wishes to embark on the production of thread should be free to do so. That would remove all the objections that we have to offer. If the Minister says: "There is your tariff; there is your market; go ahead, but remember that if any other Saorstát national desires to embark on this business, he can do so," that would remove our objection to the proposal.

If these people in Westport have the capacity to produce thread economically and efficiently, they need not be afraid of competition. If they are doing this work economically and fairly, vis-a-vis their own employees, who is going to jump into a restricted market such as we have here in Saorstát Eireann to share it with them? No sane man will do that. The only reason people of this kind want a monopoly is either they intend to charge more for the thread than can be reasonably asked for it, or they intend nominally to charge what has been charged in the past but so to reduce the quality that the consumer will get less value for his money than he has been getting. In the third place, they may propose to staff the whole establishment with women and pay them the lowest possible wage they can get away with. Therefore, I ask the Minister (1) if he will remove the monopolistic character of this undertaking and open the market to other Saorstát nationals who desire to embark on the industry; (2) if he will inform the House—if he is determined to go forward on this monopolistic principle—what it is exactly that the factory in Westport is going to do; (3) if he has any information from the people in Westport of the standard of quality they are going to maintain and the price at which they are going to make it available to the consuming public.

All that information was given to the House last Friday.

I challenge that.

The Deputy was not here.

I have read carefully what the Minister had to say and I found it unsatisfactory. If the Minister is prepared to recapitulate what he said so as adequately to reply to the objections I have made, I am sure the Chair will allow him to do so. In the fourth place, I want the Minister to inform us if this undertaking will produce embroidery cotton thread and colours in sewing cotton thread. Until the Minister gives us the information I have asked, I do not think he ought to have these powers. What I am particularly interested in is whether the Minister will consider reviewing the position he has taken up in this matter and opening this market to Saorstát Nationals, wherever they come from, who want to embark on the manufacture of thread. If he does that, I am satisfied he will get a better proposition from some other source—a proposition from individuals who detest the principle of monopolies and would much prefer to operate competitively in an open market.

I did not intend to intervene in this debate until I heard the speech of Deputy Dillon. It is very strange that the staff in this factory in Westport seems to be troubling so many Deputies. I wonder if the worrying of Deputy Norton about the Westport factory is due to the fact that he did not succeed in wiping the eyes of the Westport people as Newbridge did in the case of the people of Tralee. Deputy Dillon, in that style of which he is a past master, indulged in what I call safe libel by taking advantage of the privileges of this House to make every dirty aspersion on the people connected with that factory, every sly insinuation and every mean implication that it was possible for him to make. He admitted that he knows absolutely nothing about the factory. Then he gets up and talks about people whose hands are stained with exploiting the Irish people owing to the Government policy of protection. I wonder did any exploitation of the Irish people take place under free trade? Would it be honest or reasonable for me, coming from the shop-keeping class the same as Deputy Dillon, to say that the shopkeepers of Ireland exploited the Irish people under free trade?

It might be honest but it would not be in order.

And that thereby they were a crowd of rogues or thieves. As the son of a shopkeeper I would certainly resent that, but it would be at least as honest and have as much evidence to support it as Deputy Dillon's statement and vile insinuations about the people who are taking advantage of the protection policy of the Governeent. I wish Deputy Dillon would have the courage to go to Westport and make the speech that he made here to the people of Westport. I can assure him that he would not be very pleased with the answer—and, mind you, it would not matter what Party they supported, whether they were supporters of his own Party or supporters of our Party. But, of course, as I said, Deputy Dillon takes advantage always of the privileges of this House to make any outlandish statement that enters his head. Deputy Dillon then confessed, though of course he vigorously denied it afterwards, that at the back of his mind was the fact that some people, who are apparently interested in the thread manufacturing business are in touch with him and have put forward something in the nature of a proposition to him; or else Deputy Dillon has discussed this proposition with these people, and now they find that they have been anticipated. Of course, Deputy Dillon and his friends have been very indignant because they have been anticipated. Although Deputy Dillon has met with disappointment, he should not allow himself to indulge, to say the least of it, in these ill-natured remarks, and he ought to give this enterprise a chance.

Deputy Norton stated that I had given the House no information as to the conditions that were going to be imposed on the company that will manufacture thread at Westport in respect to the rates of wages they are to pay, the types of persons who are to be employed there, and the conditions under which they will be employed. The exact words used by Deputy Norton were these:—

"So far as this House knows there is not going to be any condition imposed on this company in respect of the rates of wages they are to pay."

Deputy Dillon, of course, started off his remarks by drawing attention to the fact that Deputy Norton had asked for information concerning rates of wages and told the House that I would not give that information. When I was speaking on the matter, I assumed that Deputy Norton, as the leader of a Party in this House, and Deputy Dillon, as a Front-Bench member of a group that calls itself a Party, would at least have taken the trouble to have read the terms of this Act under which this Order is being made. Does Deputy Dillon know what this Act provides in respect of the rates of wages to be paid by firms that get a licence under a reserved commodity order? Does Deputy Norton know?

I was not waiting for the Minister to tell me.

The Deputy made it quite clear from his speech that he had not troubled to find out.

What are fair wages in Westport in a factory like that? Do not be talking nonsense always.

He stated that so far as this House knows there is going to be no condition imposed on this firm in respect of rates of wages. The Act provides in Section 25:—

The wages paid by the holder of a reserved commodity manufacture licence to persons employed by him for the purpose of the business authorised by such licence shall not be less than would be payable if such business were carried on under a contract between the Minister and such holder containing a fair wage clause similar to that for the time being contained in contracts made by Ministers and Government Departments.

If any person who is the holder of a reserved commodity manufacture licence acts in contravention of this section, such person shall be guilty of an offence under this section and shall be liable on summary conviction thereof to a fine not exceeding £50.

The Deputy did not know that.

The same is in the Shannon scheme.

He did not trouble to refer to the Act before he came to the House and made an impassioned speech in which he alleged that no condition whatever was being imposed upon this firm in respect of the rates of wages they are to pay. If he had merely taken the trouble of reading the Act he would not have committed himself in that way. He would have avoided the blunder he made. He would have avoided another blunder. He would have seen that there is no power under this Act to impose upon this concern any condition whatever in respect to the type of persons to be employed in the concern or the condition of employment. There is no provision in the Control of Manufactures Act, under which this licence is being given, under which the Minister is empowered to impose any conditions in respect to these matters.

You are giving them a monopoly.

There is a Bill before the House, as the Deputy knows, called the Conditions of Employment Bill, in which the Government is proposing to take, for the first time, power to impose conditions in respect to both these matters; power that will be exercised in order to ensure that the conditions of employment in Irish industries as are we wish them to be. In that regard, I think I am entitled to make a protest against every occasion upon which a matter relating to Irish industry is raised here being availed of for the purpose of creating the impression, without proof, without evidence, without positive assertion of any kind, that Irish industries are sweat-shops and places where the exploitation of workers takes place.

Nobody made that statement.

Deputy Norton, having got one example of what he alleges is a concern which engaged in the exploitation of its workers, trots out that one example on every occasion on which matters relating to industry are discussed.

I could give you dozens.

When Deputy Norton came in here on Friday and made a speech about the conditions prevailing in a factory in Kildare which manufactures bolts and nuts, he was not speaking about that for the first time, or the second time, or the tenth time, because, for the past two years, on every occasion upon which matters in relation to industry were under discussion we heard all about this one concern in Kildare; and on overy occasion I warned Deputy Norton, as I warn him again, at least to find out something about the conditions of employment in that concern before he commits himself to a definite statement about them.

Will the Minister state what they are?

I am going to deal with the matter from two points of view. First, on the general question. The concern to which Deputy Norton referred was assisted under the Trade Loans (Guarantee) Act, and under that Act there is no power to impose any condition whatever in respect to the rates of wages to be paid to the employees of the assisted concern. Nor do I think it is desirable that the State should undertake generally the obligation of fixing the rates of wages to be paid in every industrial occupation. The policy of the Government in that matter has repeatedly been made clear. We think it is preferable that the rates of wages in industry should be fixed by agreement between the employers, on one hand, and the trade unions representing the workers on the other. If there is an admission by Deputy Norton on behalf of the trade union movement, that they are unable to organise the workers, or to organise them in an effective way so as to protect their interests and to prevent exploitation, then the Government are prepared to consider taking to themselves whatever powers are necessary in order to regulate and control rates of wages, but if the Government undertakes that task then it must be allowed to do it alone.

Give them more than 22/- per week, what you are giving to the forestry workers.

Deputy Norton has tried to run away from the particular point he raised. He knew quite well when he raised that matter on Friday that the Government had no control whatever over the rates of wages paid in that concern, that the concern had received no licence of any kind from the Government to which a condition could be attached, that it had no relation whatever to the particular concern, the establishment of which at Westport was relevant to the debate, and yet he brought it in here in order to create the impression that Irish industry as a whole was in a condition in which many of the factories could be called sweat-shops and in others workers were being exploited.

That is untrue.

The Deputy had to bring it in once more although he has referred to it here time and time again. He has referred to it here at least a dozen times. He has raised it on every occasion on which industrial matters were being discussed here. This one concern in Kildare is a small concern. In no way can it be regarded as typical of Irish industry as a whole yet the alleged conditions in that one concern are mentioned time and again by the Deputy in order to create the impression that Irish industry is conducted upon the exploitation of workers and upon the payment of low wages. Deputy Norton, whether he wishes it or not, by adopting that line is playing into the hands of those who are anxious to find some excuse to prevent the development of industry here—interests that were concerned in the importation of goods from abroad and whose profits are being reduced by the development of production here. But even if that one concern were as badly run as Deputy Norton alleged, it should not be advanced as typical because it is not typical.

I did not say it was. The Minister is misrepresenting my statement.

I am saying that Deputy Norton has advanced as an example of Irish industries that are badly run, where workers are badly paid, that one concern in Kildare. He has advanced that one example time and time again. Whether it was his intention or not, he succeeded in conveying the impression that the conditions in that concern were typical of the conditions in Irish industrial concerns generally. The conditions in that concern are not as Deputy Norton alleged, that 12 are employed at 5/- a week.

I did not say that.

The Deputy said something to that effect.

I say that is a deliberate misrepresentation of my statement. The Minister might quote from the official debates.

Unfortunately, the official debates are not yet available. I am not responsible for testing the accuracy of the Deputy's remarks. I have no control of the conditions of employment in that concern and I am not responsible for fixing the rates of wages. The Government has no way open to it of criticising these rates of wages even if the conditions there were as bad as they are alleged to be by the Deputy. If they are the trade union movement is open to criticism, because the unions insist on keeping the matter of the regulation of wages to themselves. If they cannot succeed in eliminating conditions like these, subject to their admitting the fact and agreeing to leave the matter to the Government, we are prepared to undertake the exercise of powers to protect the workers in these concerns. In fact, I have been informed by the management of the concern that the conditions of employment are not as the Deputy alleged.

Ask the local Fianna Fáil Cumann.

I had a letter from the managing director of the concern in which he set out the rates of wages paid to his workers and undertook to allow the Department to check the accuracy of the rates set out by him, by an examination of the books of the concern.

Do I take it that the books will be made available from the first day the factory was opened and that the form inviting applications for employment will be made available?

The Deputy can take nothing of the kind. I did not ask them to send me this letter. They sent it to me on their own initiative and in view of the impression created by Deputy Norton, in fairness to the employers and the concern, their side of the case should be stated. Their side of the case is that they are employing not ten or 12 workers, but that they are employing 41 workers.

When was that?

On the 20th of July, 1935. Some of these are learners. The learners are aged 16, 17 and 18 years of age. The wages paid to these learners who are employed in the factory for the purpose of learning their business extend from 10/- to the youngest, up to 22/6 for the eldest. There are also a number of improvers, that is learners who have progressed up to a certain stage and who are competent to do the work of improvers. The wages paid to them are from 25/- to 35/- a week. The workers, that is the trained workers, who are employed in the concern are paid wages ranging from 40/- a week for the lowest paid, to 80/- per week for the highest paid.

How many of these are there?

There are four at 40/-, two at 45/-, one at 52/6, three at 60/-, one at 75/-, and one at 80/-. I am not vouching for the accuracy of that return; I am stating that it is a return supplied by the management of the concern, and I suggest to Deputy Norton that before he makes allegations as to the conditions of employment in this concern, similar to those he has made in the past, he should take the trouble of ascertaining whether the information supplied to him is correct.

Might I inform the Minister that I did take the trouble he suggests, and that these were statements made to me by employees of the concern. The Minister might consult the local Fianna Fáil Cumann for confirmation of his figures.

We have had from the Deputy all about the exploitation of workers and about the scandal that exists in many industrial concerns. The fact of the matter is that the conditions of employment and rates of wages in Irish industries are much superior to the conditions of employment and rates of wages in industries in Great Britain.

Hear, hear.

Thanks to the trade unions.

Thanks to the efforts the Government have adopted to ensure that the evil conditions which have brought about low rates of wages in Great Britain are not reproduced here. When we embarked upon our industrial programme, we appreciated the fact that because of the industrial deficiency here, we were in a position at all events to be able to avail of the experience of other countries and to avoid the evils associated with industrialisation in other countries. We have deliberately prevented the development of unnecessary competition. We have before this House at the present time a Conditions of Employment Bill which is designed to give us statutory powers to enforce uniform conditions of employment in different industries, and to ensure that the evils associated with industrialisation in other countries will not be reproduced here. That Bill has not been paralleled in any democratically controlled country in Europe.

Deputy Norton said that instead of denouncing the bad employer, I defended him. I invite Deputy Norton to quote a single instance on which I defended a bad employer or said anything that might be misinterpreted as a defence of a bad employer. The Deputy knows quite well, because it has been frequently stated here, the attitude of the Government in relation to industrial conditions and industrial rates of wages generally. We have brought forward proposals, which are now under consideration, to ensure a general levelling up of rates of wages and conditions of employment in industry, despite the fact that difficulties are being created from many directions to the enactment of that measure and that obstacles of various kinds are being put in the way of it. Deputy Norton said our whole policy was to get industries established at any price, no matter what exploitation of workers might be involved. He cannot produce a single shred of evidence of any kind whatever to support that statement. In fact, the whole history of the industrial revival which has taken place during the past two or three years is a contradiction of it. Now, let us deal with this concern at Westport. It is not a private, uncontrolled monopoly. It is neither a monopoly nor is it uncontrolled, but Deputy Dillon knows, perhaps better than I do, that there is something approaching a monopoly in relation to sewing cotton at the present time; that there is a combine in Great Britain which is now enjoying, and has enjoyed for a number of years, a practical monopoly of this market. I never heard Deputy Dillon in this House enquiring what protection the consumers were receiving against the activities of that monopoly.

There is no monopoly in Great Britain, and the Minister knows it.

There is a monopoly, and there has been a monopoly here which, at the present time, is adopting a well thought out and carefully prepared plan to smash this industry at Westport. I am going to deal with that more fully later on, but I want to point out now that the adoption of this Resolution does not create a monopoly. In the speech, however, in which I proposed the adoption of this Resolution, I informed this House that we proposed to make this sewing cotton a reserved commodity, not because we regarded the making of it a reserved commodity as an essential for the establishment of the industry, but in order to ensure that it would be established in the West of Ireland. Deputy Dillon said that the industry could be established without a reserved commodity Order. So did I. If Deputy Dillon had been here on Friday, he would have known that I said that also, and that I said that the only reason why it was decided to make it a reserved commodity was to give power to the Government to make sure of the establishment of the industry in the West, as we considered it an industry particularly suitable for establishment there. We could have got it established, without this Order, by the concern that is now engaged in it if we so chose, but the industry would not have been established in Westport or in any other town on the Western seaboard, and it is necessary to provide industrial development and the opportunities of industrial employment in that area to a much greater extent than, or at any rate to the same extent as, in any other part of the Saorstát. However, no industrial concern engaged in an industry of this kind is going to establish its factory in Westport if it knows that a competitor can start in the centre of the market, in Dublin or in Cork; and we did this in order to ensure that the industry would be located in the West, and for no other reason.

Neither will the firm be uncontrolled. If Deputies had taken the trouble to read the Act under which the Order is being made, they would have found in it almost two pages of conditions which may be attached to any licence issued under that part of the Act.

The Minister says "which may be attached." Tell us which of them you have attached.

No licence has yet been issued, or can be issued, until the Order has been made, and the Order cannot be made until the House adopts the Resolution.

Tell us the conditions which may be attached.

Again, if Deputy Dillon had been here on Friday last he would have learned something about the matter——

Tell us the conditions.

——which would have prevented him wasting the time of the House in asking for information which had already been supplied to it. I think it is unreasonable that the House should be asked to waste time to-day— that I should be asked to waste my time to-day—giving to Deputy Dillon information which has been given already to the House in his absence.

Go on. Do your job.

Deputy Norton said here that I gave him one scrap of information: that is, the information that the prices to be charged at Westport were not to exceed the prices charged in Great Britain by the British thread combine. Of course, Deputy Dillon said that the prices here were going to be higher than the prices charged by the British combine: that this was going to be a concern to exploit the Irish consumer, and that it was the business of the Government to allow that exploitation of the Irish consumer to take place, and that any concern established in Westport or anywhere else was bound to be inefficient and to charge higher prices and exploit the Irish consumer. Imposed as a condition, in consequence of an undertaking given, the prices, quality for quality, of the thread produced at Westport will not be higher than the prices charged in Great Britain.

Will it be spun there?

The Deputy is trying to get me away from one point on to another point.

On a point of order, Sir, the Minister purports to quote me as saying that thread produced here must cost more, whereas, in fact, I said that thread spun, manufactured and dyed here would cost more. Will the thread be spun in Westport?

I shall make my speech in whatever way I think fit myself.

Well, that is the question. Will it be spun at Westport?

Deputy Dillon said that to describe this factory at Westport as a thread factory is a fraud. That was the precise term he used. He did not ask any question. He made the positive assertion. He knew all about the concern at Westport and expressed his conviction that it was going to be a fraudulent concern: that it was not, in fact, going to manufacture thread. The factory is going to undertake such manufacture as is normally done in a thread factory, and, whatever degree of manufacturing it will undertake, it is going to give employment to 200 people in Westport—a not inconsiderable number. It is going to engage in the different processes of manufacture. It has been capitalised to the extent of £20,000, in the initial stages, but additional capital will be required before all the stages of manufacture can be completed—all the stages of manufacture from the yarn up. They are not going to spin cotton yarn, nor do we desire it.

It took a long time to knock that out of the Minister.

I have already informed the Dáil of what precise processes of manufacture are going to be undertaken by this factory. If they came forward with the proposal to spin cotton yarn, we would prevent them doing so because we want to get the cotton yarn industry established, and, in order to make that possible, it is necessary to concentrate the production of yarn in one plant. Therefore, in this concern, yarn is not being spun nor do we want it to be spun, but all the processes of manufacture from the yarn up—which is the phrase I used on Friday last—will be undertaken there, and 200 people will be employed in the doing of it. Deputy Dillon then came forward with an offer to produce another factory himself.

The Minister may consider that offer as withdrawn.

When this Act was before the House in 1934 and when this particular part of it was under discussion here, I said there never would be a case in which we would come with an Order to make some commodity a reserved commodity but that we would have Deputies, briefed by interested parties, coming in to say that a better proposition than the one presented by the Government would be forthcoming. I told the House that, during the statutory period provided in the Act, after publication of the intention to make this Order, another British concern came forward with a proposal. I have no doubt that it is the same concern that Deputy Dillon has in mind, and I have no doubt also that that concern —a very powerful one, with very large resources—in conspiracy with certain wholesaling houses in this country, have prepared a plan to smash this factory. The plan was so carefully prepared, and in such a way, that it is going to tax the ingenuity of the Government to defeat it.

Tell us what the plan is and we will do all in our power to help you.

The Deputy will learn later. If he examines the import figures for cotton thread into this State for the last 12 months, and the previous 12 months, he will see a rather considerable change has taken place.

Has it any lesson?

The Deputy knows, because it was explained three weeks ago that the original duty on the cotton thread imposed when that Westport factory was commenced, had been successfully evaded by a particular device. That will come before the Dáil again in another form. I merely want to say that Deputies should be careful concerning the interests that approach them in this matter. The evidence of a concerted attack on Westport is overwhelming.

On a point of order. The Minister says that attempt was made to approach certain Deputies. I am not sure what ground he has for saying that Deputies were approached. I can assure the Minister I did not see any people interested in the import of these commodities or concerned in the industry.

I made no such allegation or suggestion. What I said was that Deputies should be careful in accepting any representations made to them.

Arising out of what Deputy Norton said, it may be necessary for me to say that I have been approached by nobody, though I sought information from authorities in Great Britain and elsewhere, on thread manufacture. But I was approached by nobody.

Only three Deputies spoke on this debate. If the Minister makes the statement that Deputies were approached, we ought to have the information as to who they were and who approached them.

I did not say that Deputies were approached.

It is only one of pretty Fanny's ways.

I did not say the Deputies were approached, but that if they were, I want them to know that a British combine, and I am sorry to say, with the active co-operation of certain merchants in this country, have prepared their plans to destroy the market for Westport and for the goods to be manufactured there.

I have no hesitation in describing that as balderdash.

The Deputy will find that in this, as in many other things, he is wrong as usual. Deputy Dillon also referred in a disparaging way to the people associated with the factory. He said that one of them was from Belfast, and never made thread in his life. Does the Deputy ever make the slightest effort to check their accuracy before he comes down here and makes these slanderous statements? So far as I know, no person connected with this concern has any interest in Belfast. Fifty per cent. of the capital is owned by business men in Westport. The other 50 per cent. is owned by British Thread Mills, Limited, Leicester, a firm with half a million of capital and a first-class reputation. Where did Deputy Dillon get his information that any member of the firm came from Belfast and had no previous experience in the manufacture of thread?

How long is that firm manufacturing?

For a number of years.

For how many years?

I cannot say.

Perhaps the Minister will inquire.

Deputy Dillon said that this concern in Westport was going to be run by people inexperienced in the manufacture of thread.

Deputy Dillon said no such thing.

Well, the Deputy implied it.

I did not imply it.

I said the whole purport of the Deputy's speech was that we were entrusting the making of this thread to people who did not know anything about it.

The Minister is talking through his hat.

And then the Deputy runs away when he is brought to task. These are always the tactics of the Party opposite. They make their usual unfounded charges and when challenged run away from them.

On a point of order.

Is this a point of order?

I have not heard it yet.

Is the Minister entitled to purport to quote what a Deputy said?

A Deputy is entitled to give his interpretation of another Deputy's speech. If he purports to quote from that speech he must do so accurately.

The Deputy made his allegation that the firm engaged at Westport and, in fact, to be entrusted with the manufacture of cotton thread were associated with people who had no experience, and who could not produce thread in the variety and quality to which we are accustomed. Then when he was proved to be wrong he ran away from his allegations. He always runs away and always will. No insinuation as I have shown, or allegation, is too low for Deputies opposite to make. But when asked to produce some evidence in support of these insinuations and allegations you cannot see their heels for dust.

I do not know what allegation the Minister is referring to.

We are engaged in the establishment of this industry because it is in the nation's interest that it be established. It is an industry that is quite suitable for establishment in this country and particularly in the West of Ireland. It is because we regard it as suitable to the West of Ireland, and that it is so suitable that we have made it a reserved commodity. The industry is being established by a first-class firm, associated with all the technical advantages appertaining to a firm of very high reputation. It is a firm that has successfully competed against the combine in Great Britain, and has produced thread of first-class quality, and sold it below the combine's price. Employment growing as production increases will be given to Irish workers to the number of between 150 and 200, when the factory is in full production. That number of course will not be employed until the factory is in production on a proper scale. A number of workers have been trained for the work in Leicester. They have now come home and they are training other workers. It will be some time before a sufficient number are available to enable the factory to get into full production. Before full production can be undertaken a considerable addition to the factory works will have to be built.

Can the Minister say what is the present rate of wages?

No, but there is a statutory obligation enforceable by fine for not paying fair wages as defined in the relevant section of the Control of Manufactures Act, 1934.

Is the Minister aware that a similar provision was in existence under the Shannon Scheme and was found to be useless? Is he aware that this also may be found to be useless?

I do not anticipate it will be found to be useless. This is a very important industry; it is a new one in this country and one that we were assured by other British firms could not be established here at all. Now that it has been found possible to establish it, and now that it has been established, I think this Motion is one that should commend itself to the Dáil for all the reasons I have mentioned—because of the employment that will be afforded, because of the importance of the industry and particularly because, without this Resolution, the establishment of the industry in the West of Ireland would not be a practicable proposition.

Question put.
The Dáil divided: Tá, 49; Níl, 28.

  • Aiken, Frank.
  • Beegan, Patrick.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Bourke, Daniel.
  • Brady, Brian.
  • Breen, Daniel.
  • Briscoe, Robert.
  • Browne, William Frazer.
  • Carty, Frank.
  • Concannon, Helena.
  • Corbett, Edmond.
  • Daly, Denis.
  • Derrig, Thomas.
  • De Valera, Eamon.
  • Doherty, Hugh.
  • Dowdall, Thomas P.
  • Flynn, John.
  • Flynn, Stephen.
  • Gibbons, Seán.
  • Goulding, John.
  • Harris, Thomas.
  • Keely, Séamus P.
  • Kehoe, Patrick.
  • Kelly, James Patrick.
  • Kelly, Thomas.
  • Kilroy, Michael.
  • Lemass, Seán F.
  • Little, Patrick John.
  • Lynch, James B.
  • McEllistrim, Thomas.
  • MacEntee, Seán.
  • Maguire, Ben.
  • Maguire, Conor Alexander.
  • Moane, Edward.
  • Moore, Séamus.
  • Murphy, Patrick Stephen.
  • O Briain, Donnchadh.
  • O Ceallaigh, Seán T.
  • O'Doherty, Joseph.
  • O'Grady, Seán.
  • Pearse, Margaret Mary.
  • Rice, Edward.
  • Ruttledge, Patrick Joseph.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Ryan, Martin.
  • Ryan, Robert.
  • Sheridan, Michael.
  • Smith, Patrick.
  • Walsh, Richard.


  • Belton, Patrick.
  • Bennett, George Cecil.
  • Brennan, Michael.
  • Corish, Richard.
  • Cosgrave, William T.
  • Costello, John Aloysius.
  • Curran, Richard.
  • Dillon, James M.
  • Dockrell, Henry Morgan.
  • Doyle, Peadar S.
  • Fagan, Charles.
  • Fitzgerald, Desmond.
  • Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
  • Good, John.
  • Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
  • Keating, John.
  • MacEoin, Seán.
  • McGuire, James Ivan.
  • McMenamin, Daniel.
  • Morrissey, Daniel.
  • Mulcahy, Richard.
  • Norton, William.
  • O'Higgins, Thomas Francis.
  • O'Leary, Daniel.
  • O'Mahony, The
  • O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
  • Pattison, James P.
  • Rice, Vincent.
Tellers:—Tá: Deputies Little and Smith; Níl: Deputies Doyle and Bennett.
Question declared carried.