asked the Taoiseach if he will make available in the Library a copy of the statement made by him at a dinner in Dublin to mark the golden jubilee of Comhlucht Siúicre Éireann in which he stated that the company was one of the early projects of his Government.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Comhlucht Siúicre Éireann: Statement by Taoiseach.
The answer is in the negative.
May I ask the Taoiseach if on that occasion he is correctly reported as having said that the sugar beet industry was one of the early projects of his Government? Perhaps the Taoiseach may not have been correctly reported in the papers and I should like to hear from him if that is so?
I was invited to attend a dinner commemorating the silver jubilee year of Comhlucht Siúicre Éireann, the Irish Sugar Company. I was asked at the dinner by the Chairman of the company to speak and I spoke about that company. That company was formed in 1933 by an Act of the Oireachtas. It is not celebrating its golden jubilee and it is not going back for a period of 50 years. I was dealing with a company that was slightly over 25 or 26 years old.
Is the Taoiseach not aware that the sugar beet industry in this country was established and that the first beet factory was set up by the Cosgrave Government?
That is an entirely different matter.
I should like to say that I do not want to detract—I am not given, I hope, to detraction in any form——
I do not want to detract from anything that was done by others. The State is a continuity, and Government, although its members change, has also continuity. Each succeeding Government takes over the assets that have been created, no less than the liabilities that have been incurred, by its predecessors. That has always been my attitude.
Might I ask the Taoiseach if he remembers the sugar beet project being described as "a white elephant"?