Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Wednesday, 3 Apr 1963

Vol. 201 No. 7

Committee on Finance. - Vote 47—External Affairs.


Go ndeonófar suim nach mó ná £396,100 chun slánaithe na suime is gá chun íoctha an mhuirir a thiocfaidh chun bheith iníoctha i rith na bliana dar críoch an 31ú lá de Mhárta, 1964, le haghaidh Tuarastail agus Costais Oifig an Aire Gnóthaí Eachtracha, agus Seirbhísí áirithe atá faoi riaradh na hOifige sin, lena n-áirítear Deontas-i-gCabhair.

Le cead an Cheann Comhairle, agus de réir an nóis atá ann le blianta anuas, tá sé ar intinn agam an Meastachán le haghaidh Gnóthaí Eachtracha agus an Meastachán le haghaidh Comhar Idirnáisiúnta a thógaint le chéile.

£594,100 atá sa Mheastachán le haghaidh Gnóthaí Eachtracha. Is £550 de laghdú glan é i gcomórtas le Meastachán 1962-63. Cé go bhfuil soláthar breise £8,600 ann faoi trí Fho-Mhírcheann le chéile, tá £7,600 de laghdú ins na suimeanna atá ag teastáil le haghaidh Tuarastal, Pá agus Liúntas agus Seirbhísí Faisnéise, agus is mó de £1,500 an méid a ceaptar a gheobhfar faoi Leithreasa-i-gCabhair.

Tá an méadú £4,100 sa tsoláthar le haghaidh Taistil agus Fochostas bunaithe ar an gclaonadh caiteachais atá ann faoi láthair. Séard is mó is cúis leis an méadú ná go bhfuil costas taistil agus aistrithe tí agus costas postais, teilegrafa agus nuachtán do mhisiúin taidhleoireachta agus oifigí consulachta na Roinne thar lear ag dul in airde.

£19,000 atá sa tsoláthar le haghaidh Aíochta Oifigiúla. Is £4,000 de mhéadú é sin ar mheastachán 1962-63. Mar sin féin in ainneoin go bhfuil praghsanna na seirbhísí agus líon na gcuairteoirí tábhachtacha in Éirinn ag dul i méid, ní dóigh liom go mbeidh aon bhreis chaiteachais ar fiú trácht air ann i 1963-64, mar gur caitheadh tuairim is £19,000 faoin Fho-Mhírcheann so gach bliain le dhá bhliain anuas.

Tá laghdú £1,850 sa Mheastachán— £30,000—le haghaidh Seirbhísí Faisnéise. Is chun dhá scannán ar Éirinn a dhéanamh agus chun leabhrán faisnéise ar Éirinn a fhoilsiú atá £19,250 den tsoláthar so. Soláthraíodh £20,600 le haghaidh na scannán agus an leabhráin i 1962-63, ach thóg an obair thosaigh níos mó ama ná mar a ceapadh agus níor caitheadh ach £3,100 as soláthar 1962-63.

Maidir leis an Meastachán le haghaidh Comhar Idirnáisiúnta, tá laghdú glan £76,880 ann, ach i dteannta an Mheastacháin bhunaidh i 1962-63 bhí Meastachán Forlíontach ann mar gheall ar cheannach bhannaí de chuid na Náisiún Aontaithe. Mar sin, is mó de £31,020 é ná an Meastachán bunaidh glan i 1962-63. Séard is mó is cúis leis an méadú so ná go bhfuil breis soláthair le haghaidh caiteachais á dhéanamh ag Comhairle na hEorpa, ag an Eagras um Chomhar agus Forbairt Eacnamaíochta agus ag na Náisiúin Aontaithe. Tá an chuid eile den tsoláthar breise ann mar gheall ar ár ranníocanna le haghaidh Fórsa Éigeandála na Náisiún Aontaithe i Gaza agus imtheachtaí na Náisiún Aontaithe sa Chongó agus mar gheall ar ár ranníocanna breise le haghaidh Ciste Dídeanaithe na Náisiún Aontaithe agus Ciste Speisialta na Náisiún Aontaithe.

This year there is a small increase in the Grant-in-Aid for Cultural Relations with other countries. A sum of £14,000 is provided in the Estimate which is an increase of £500 over the corresponding provision made for last year. Deputies are, I am sure, conscious of the national importance of disseminating abroad a wider knowledge of our culture. This activity is not only important for our international political relations, but also our tourist and export industries.

In administering the Grant-in-Aid, I have, of course, the benefit of the advice of the Cultural Relations Committee which is composed of members of recognised competence in their various fields. I wish again to express my appreciation of the generosity with which the members of the committee are putting their time and knowledge at the disposal of the State.

Provision of £30,000 is being made under Subhead E to give effect to the activities of the Information Section of my Department. This sum is £1,850 less than that provided for in last year's Estimate. Of the total of £30,000, more than £24,000 is required by three items—commissioning of films, publication of an information booklet, and the Weekly Bulletin of the Department.

When presenting last year's Estimate, I dealt at some length with the commissioning of two films dealing with economic development and social progress in Ireland and the publication of a high quality information booklet. I had hoped that both projects would be completed before the end of the last financial year. However, this did not prove to be the case. The working out of the definitive treatments for the two films and the drawing up of the contracts with the producing firms in each case have been unavoidably protracted. It is, therefore, necessary to renew most of last year's provisions, viz. £12,800. We expect to have all the outstanding preparatory matters disposed of in the near future and the making of the films completed before the 31st March, 1964.

Work on the publication of the new information booklet intended for distribution mainly by our diplomatic and consular offices abroad is now at an advanced stage. The booklet will present basic facts about Ireland to foreign readers in an attractive format with photographs, coloured reproductions, graphs and a map and should meet the need for a comprehensive small handbook on Ireland. The final text is now in the hands of the printer and publication is expected during the summer months.

The Weekly Bulletin continues to be one of the most important media available to my Department in the carrying out of its information functions abroad. It has a circulation of about 11,000 copies. It is distributed to numerous newspapers and journalists, libraries and universities, government departments, people in public life and friends of Ireland abroad, and enables them to keep abreast of developments of significance in Ireland. I am satisfied that over the years it has contributed greatly to the formation of a broader and more accurate picture of Ireland and of Irish life and culture.

The remainder of the money being provided under Subhead E is to service the many aspects of information work carried out by the headquarters staff of my Department and by the offices abroad. Last year I pointed to the growing interest in many countries in Ireland and Irish affairs, and in the intervening twelve months there has been, I am glad to say, no sign of an abatement in this regard. More and more material in the form of books, and pamphlets, films, slides and photographs, magazines, memoranda, gramophone records are needed to meet this growing demand for information on every aspect of Irish life but particularly on the social, economic and cultural sides.

There has also been a marked growth in the number of visiting foreign journalists, radio, TV and film publicists, on whose behalf the Information Section of my Department makes arrangements and supplies material to facilitate them in the carrying out of their assignments. These visits have resulted in the appearance throughout last year of many informative feature articles and supplements on Ireland. The publishers have been leading newspapers, journals and magazines in Britain, the United States, and most Western European countries.

The value of all these information activities is considerable in helping to add to the good name of Ireland abroad and to lessen the currency of the misconceptions about our country which are numerous and of long standing.

In recent years, we have had the pleasure of welcoming annually an increasing number of eminent public personalities from other countries whom, of course, we are very pleased to have visiting us. Similarly, the number of international groups coming here to participate in or hold conferences in this country continues to be maintained at a high level. Increased provision has had to be made in the estimate for this subhead because of the extra hospitality obligations involved. These developments are very desirable as, apart from giving us an opportunity of paying our respects to our visitors, they help to promote a more intimate knowledge abroad of our country and our people and have a stimulating effect on trade and tourism.

In the current year, we expect to see a continuation of these trends and among the international conferences already scheduled I might mention the following:—

National Union of Journalists.

British Diabetics Association and the Irish Opthalmological Society Joint Congress.

British Geriatric Society.

World Convention of International Federation of Agricultural Producers.

British Federation of Master Printers Conference.

Institute of Fuel Drying Congress.

British Pharmacology Society Conference.

International Competitions for Apprenticeships.

Council of Europe Sponsored Conference on Geography Text Books.

Postal History Conference.

International Youth Hostels Federation and Rally.

World Assembly of National Federations of Pax Romana.

College of Teachers of the Blind Conference.

In the Council of Europe during the past year, notable progress was made towards achieving the aim of its Statute. Significant contributions, in social, cultural and technical co-operation, were made both by the Committee of Ministers and the Consultative Assembly.

There have been important increases both in membership and activities. Switzerland was invited to join the Council and will probably sign the Statute this year.

Another highly important and most welcome development was the association of the Holy See in the cultural activities of the Council. The decision to invite the Holy See to participate was taken unanimously by the Committee of Ministers and, on December 10th, 1962, a representative of the Holy Father deposited the Holy See's instrument of accession to the European Cultural Convention. The wisdom and experience of these new members of the Cultural Council will be of great benefit to it in its work.

As Deputies may recall, the Council of Europe undertook an immense programme of cultural activity when the Council of Cultural Co-operation was set up in 1961. That programme is now being carried out with vigour, especially in the field of education. The Higher Education Committee, for example, is studying the setting up of new universities; the Out of School Committee discussed adult education and sports questions, and in 1963, the programme of the General and Technical Educational Committee will concentrate on teacher training, modern language teaching, road safety education, pupil guidance and civic and European education. In addition, the Third Conference of European Ministers of Education which was held in Rome with the assistance of the Council of Europe, discussed topics such as the educational needs of children over the next four decades, investment in education, the role of the humanities and educational research.

One of the most important achievements last year was the expansion of activity in the legal field. For some time now, the European Committee on Crime Problems has been concerned with prison and penal matters including juvenile delinquency. Following a resolution adopted by the European Ministers of Justice at their second Conference which was held in Rome under the auspices of the Council of Europe, the Committee of Ministers decided to set up an ad hoc committee of senior officials to determine in what sectors the legal programme of the Council can be expanded, with particular reference to the drawing-up and conclusion of multilateral European treaties unifying or harmonising the provisions of current or future municipal law. Special attention will also be paid to the question of unifying the conceptions and principles on which the law is founded.

It is, therefore, gratifying to note that the work of the Legal Committee of the Assembly, which met in Dublin last June, has been of great value to the Council and that our representatives have played an active part in it. The Assembly was addressed at its session in Strasbourg in January of this year by our Minister for Justice, who spoke on the proposed expanded legal programme of the Council of Europe. Moreover, the European Ministers of Justice have accepted the Government's invitation to hold their third conference in Dublin, probably next year.

Much progress has also taken place in the social field. A new scheme for the award of fellowships to personnel in social welfare work has recently gone into operation. Social service administrators, members of the staffs of social services and social workers will be given an opportunity to increase their technical knowledge and experience by studying in European countries, and to participate in studies and research of common European interest.

As regards the scheme of medical fellowships Deputies may recall that in 1961 Irish nationals obtained 17 of the 114 Fellowships available. Last year was also a highly successful one in this field and Irish candidates obtained 14 Fellowships, the highest number awarded in any country. In addition, an Irish national has been appointed as one of three experts holding joint medical fellowships to study the harmful effects of noise on health.

A further item in the sphere of public health was the signing of the European Agreement on mutual assistance in the matter of Special Medical Treatments and Climatic Facilities.

Other Council of Europe Conventions signed during the year were the European Agreement on travel by Young Persons on collective Passports between Member Countries of the Council of Europe, and the European Convention on the Liability of Hotelkeepers concerning the property of their guests. The Government hopes to be in a position to ratify the latter Convention and the European Agreement on the Protection of Television Broadcasts in the near future.

During the year, the council continued its studies in matters such as copyright, patents, consular relations, "pirate" broadcasting, and road safety. New and important initiatives in nature conservancy, air pollution and the harmful effects of noise on health were undertaken. In these activities, which aim at the harmonisation of legislation and procedures between the member countries, Irish representatives have fully cooperated.

We are continuing to participate actively in the work of the OECD. A significant development last year was the inauguration, in co-operation with the OECD Scientific and Technical Personnel Committee, of a study of the long-term needs for education resources in Ireland.

In November last, I attended the OECD Ministerial Council meeting when the work of the organisation during its first year was reviewed, with particular reference to progress made towards the fulfilment of the target of a 50 per cent over-all increase in gross national product of member countries in the decade 1960-1970. For the individual country this means an average annual growth of 4.1 per cent. In the first three years of the decade our annual growth has averaged 4.5 per cent.

An important event last year was the issue by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees of a Report to Ireland which explains in detail how the money collected in Ireland during the World Refugee Year has been spent for the relief of refugees in many parts of the world. The voluntary contributions of our people were used to help clear the refugee camp at Falkenburg, towards the construction of housing for Armenian refugees in Greece, for instructions in camps in Italy, for the relief of Algerian refugees in Morocco and Tunisia, for famine relief in the Congo and for vocational training for young Arab refugees in the Near East.

A total of £71,000 approximately was collected which reckoned on a per capita basis places Ireland eighth on the list of contributing countries. At the request of the Government, the collection was organised by the Irish Red Cross Society. I know that Deputies will wish to join with me in paying tribute to the Chairman and members of the Irish Red Cross Society for the magnificent way in which they carried out the task entrusted to them.

In the past year, the United Nations faced a further series of crises. In spite of the difficulties, however, it helped significantly in the maintenance of international peace and security. It also made some worthwhile contributions to the growth of international understanding and although many of the most urgent international problems remain unresolved, I feel that if these are approached in good faith and with the same spirit of restraint and accommodation shown in some of the debates at the United Nations over the past year, there is hope for the gradual evolution of a world order of law and law enforcement based on justice in the conduct of international relations.

The United Nations is not, of course, something which exists apart from its members. It is only as strong and effective as its members permit it to be. It is, however, an instrument which its members can use to ease the tension between the great powers and to promote international peace, respect for the fundamental rights of peoples and progress for all nations. Through its social and economic programmes, the Organisation can materially assist the social structures and economies of countries in course of development. In the General Assembly the greatest contribution which smaller states can make to the future of the United Nations and the cause of world peace is to exercise their new-found responsibility with moderation and restraint and assist in the development of a healthy world opinion which few nations can afford to ignore consistently. Rather than promoting their own interests as their sole concern, small states have most to gain by the development of the rule of law throughout the world and of international machinery to enforce it.

Through our membership of the Security Council last year, the Government had the responsibility of facing decisions on a number of critical international situations on which we might not normally have had to take decisions.

Last October, the world faced an acute crisis in Cuba which threatened to upset the delicate balance of power and lead to nuclear war. The wisdom and restraint with which the President of the United States handled the situation and the intervention of the United Nations for which he called, led to the removal of the Russian missiles and thus eased the threat to the American continent and to world peace. The United Nations played a significant and essential role in bringing about this desirable result. The Security Council met as the United States navy and the Russian ships were steaming towards each other in the Atlantic. Both the United States and Russia had tabled motions demanding that the other side should first abandon its position and that afterwards negotiations should be entered upon. In our intervention, we suggested that negotiations should be commenced immediately and we supported the call to the Secretary-General to use his good offices to effect a peaceful settlement of the crisis. The Secretary General's intervention was accepted unanimously. Without his able and unremitting endeavours of the following days, backed by the moral authority of the United Nations, it would have been difficult, if not impossible, for the two great powers to negotiate directly and to reach a peaceful settlement of the crisis.

The dispute between Pakistan and India on the question of Kashmir, which Pakistan raised in the Security Council last year, was a difficult problem for the Government involving as it did two countries with which we have diplomatic relations and strong ties of friendship.

When the question of Kashmir was put on the agenda of the Security Council, it soon became clear that the majority of members favoured the tabling and passing of a resolution which would mark their deep concern at the continuation of the dispute and strongly urge both parties to enter into negotiations at once in order to arrive at a peaceful settlement. All the nonpermanent members of the Security Council, with the exception of Rumania, entered upon discussions with a view to drafting an appropriate resolution. The resolution which our delegation finally tabled attracted only two negative votes — those of Rumania and the Soviet Union — out of eleven. In our opinion, it went as far as possible to meet the preoccupations of India and Pakistan while fulfilling the duties and responsibilities imposed by the Charter upon members of the Security Council.

I am glad to note that, following American and British mediation, talks have since been held on Kashmir between India and Pakistan and I trust that these discussions will continue until an amicable settlement is reached.

It was with dismay that we learned of the attacks which commenced last September by the forces of Peiping on the Indian Border. In a message to the Taoiseach, Mr. Nehru gave a summary of the Chinese operations and expressed the hope that his country could count on our sympathy and support in the difficult situation which it faced. The Taoiseach conveyed to Mr. Nehru an assurance of the fullest sympathy of the Irish Government and people with the Government and people of India in their struggle against aggression.

Through our membership of the Security Council last year we also had the opportunity of congratulating six new states on the achievement of their independence and of welcoming and supporting their applications for membership of the United Nations. These states, namely, Burundi, Rwanda, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Algeria and Uganda, were subsequently admitted to the Organisation, bringing its total membership to 110. We look forward to the prospect of friendly and fruitful co-operation with these new states in the work of the United Nations and wish them every success in the tasks which they face in the years ahead.

In the Congo, the situation has taken a dramatic turn for the better in recent months and its political independence and its territorial integrity seem now reasonably secure. The Secretary-General now finds himself in a position to effect an immediate reduction of 7,000 men in the United Nations force and he intends to withdraw them all as rapidly as the situation allows. At present we have 868 men in the Congo. Upon their repatriation in a few weeks time, they will be replaced by contingents totalling approximately 500 men.

The Irish troops in the Congo for the past year continued to live up to their high reputation, acting throughout in a manner which justifies our pride in them. As we would expect, they have comported themselves at all times with honour and forbearance and I should like again to pay tribute to them for the high standards they have maintained and for their loyal devotion to duty. During the operations in Katanga last January, it was a source of gratification that Irish troops were given a warm welcome by all sections of the population when they entered Kipushi.

The United Nations operation in most of the Congo has now largely turned from the maintenance of order to the provision of an extensive programme of economic and technical assistance. During the emergency period of the past few years, United Nations staff were moved in to fill posts in hospitals, airports, telecommunications centres and food distribution points throughout the Republic. Today the major emphasis is on training the Congolese themselves to take over all essential services and it is hoped that by the close of 1964 the Congolese will be in a position to assume most of the administrative and technical responsibilities for the normal running of their country.

The movement towards national independence and freedom in Africa is one of the great historic facts of this century and the sympathy of the Irish people for this movement is widely appreciated. It is our earnest hope that the final phases of this evolution will take place peacefully and that the rule of law, rather than the rule of force, will finally determine the emergence of all the peoples of Africa to national and democratic freedom. Perhaps the two most urgent questions considered by the General Assembly last year were those of Ruanda-Urundi and Southern Rhodesia. In June, the Assembly adopted a resolution supported by Belgium endorsing the emergence of Rwanda and Burundi as two independent and sovereign States. The resolution called on the Belgian Government to withdraw its troops and provided for the grant of special United Nations technical assistance to the new States. The small number of Belgian troops which were retained in the territories to facilitate the transitional arrangements were withdrawn by the end of August and both countries were subsequently admitted to membership of the United Nations. It is a source of gratification that the independence of these two States was achieved in an atmosphere of order and stability and that tribal violence, which it was feared might erupt after their independence, did not in fact occur.

On the question of Southern Rhodesia, we supported a resolution in the General Assembly calling for the suspension of the Constitution of December, 1961, cancellation of the general elections to be held under that Constitution, the convening of a conference to formulate a new Constitution for Southern Rhodesia and the extension of political rights to the whole population without discrimination. We did so in the belief that, if serious disturbances are to be avoided in the area, it is essential that the franchise should be widened to allow all races to play their part in its future development. We realise, however, that major political changes can only be brought about with the exercise of care and patience. The situation in Southern Rhodesia continues to cause serious concern and will no doubt be the subject of further discussions in the United Nations.

One of the successes of the session was the endorsement by the Assembly of the agreement concluded by Indonesia and the Netherlands concerning West New Guinea. The role played by the Secretary-General in facilitating talks between the parties was an important element in resolving the problem. One of the unique features of the agreement is that the United Nations has been entrusted with executive authority over a vast territory for the first time in its history. As Deputies will be aware, the Government acceded to the request of the Secretary-General that two Irish officers should participate in the United Nations Observer Group sent to the territory to report on the operation of the cease-fire between the two parties and to negotiate locally in case of violations.

With the emergence of a large number of independent countries particularly in Asia and Africa, the United Nations has been devoting more attention to economic questions designed to reorganise world economy on a basis of just partnership between the economically advanced and the new and developing nations. We are now entering a new year in the United Nations Development Decade and already a number of important proposals have been adopted including the World Food Programme, the proposed United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and the intensification of the United Nations technical assistance and preinvestment programmes. We are co-operating in this work by responding to the extent of £300,000 to the appeal for funds for the World Food Programme, also by maintaining our voluntary contribution to the Expanded Programme of Technical Assistance and by increasing our subscription for the current year to the United Nations Special Fund. We also participated in the conference held in Geneva in February last under the auspices of the United Nations at which scientists, technologists and representatives of Governments discussed the application of recent scientific and technological progress for the benefit of less-developed areas.

I regret to state that the threatening crisis in the finances of the United Nations continues. This is amply demonstrated by the fact that the emergency peace-keeping operations in the Middle East and in the Congo have been saved from collapse only by the revenue from the United Nations bond issue. As Deputies are aware, Ireland contributed a sum of 300,000 dollars to this issue. Up to the 1st March last, some 125 million dollars worth of bonds had been purchased out of a total of 200 million dollars authorised.

During the Assembly session, I thought it well to devote most of my statement in the general debate to the danger of the disruption of the United Nations through the failure of many member States to meet their due shares of the cost of implementing the decisions of the Security Council and the General Assembly. I emphasised that it was quite wrong and altogether inadmissible that we should be asked to recognise a financial veto by means of which the permanent members of the Security Council could later nullify decisions of the Council upon which they refused to exercise a voting veto, or by means of which they are in a position to defeat decisions of the appropriate majority of the Assembly when such decisions are in the course of implementation. To cede such an uncovenanted veto to the major powers or to any group of powers would, of course, not only introduce an element of constant uncertainty into the operations of the United Nations but would bring the Organisation into dishonour.

I suggested in my statement to the Assembly that there were three possible ways of making certain that the implementation of the decisions of the United Nations would at all times be assured of adequate financial support. These are, first and foremost, the payment by members of their annual assessments promptly; secondly, an increase from time to time in the Working Capital Fund to a sum in keeping with the level of the annual budget; and thirdly, the granting of power to the Secretary-General to borrow in any financial year up to the full amount of the cost of implementing the decisions of the United Nations in that year.

During its discussion on financial matters, the General Assembly adopted a number of other important resolutions. It accepted the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice of July 20th, 1962, to the effect that expenditures for United Nations operations in the Congo and in the Middle East constitute expenses of the Organisation within the meaning of Article 17 (2) of the Charter. That paragraph provides that "the expenses of the Organisation shall be borne by the Members as apportioned by the General Assembly".

Deputies will recall that Ireland made both oral and written submissions to the International Court of Justice to the effect that assessments on member States for the Middle East and Congo operations are obligatory. The Assembly also adopted the resolution setting up a Working Group of Twenty-One to study special methods for financing peace-keeping operations involving heavy financial commitments such as those for the Congo and the Middle East. A special session of the General Assembly is to be convened in May to consider the financial situation of the Organisation in the light of the report of the Working Group. It is to be hoped that the work of the special session together with the reduction of the Organisation's commitments for its military operations in the Congo and the appointment of Mr. Eugene Black, the former President of the World Bank, as the Secretary-General's special financial adviser, will result in placing the finances of the United Nations on a more secure basis than at present.

At the last session of the Assembly, a resolution which we co-sponsored on the question of technical assistance to promote the teaching, study, dissemination and wider appreciation of international law was adopted unanimously. At present we are represented by the Permanent Representative at New York on committees established by the Assembly to improve the work of the Organisation and to organise a Year of International Co-operation. Last year, Ireland was again elected to membership of the Statistical Commission of the Economic and Social Council for a further four-year term and our representative, the Director of the Central Statistics Office, was reelected Chairman of the Commission.

Under the auspices of the United Nations, several officials of our State Departments and State-sponsored bodies, recruited through my Department, are assisting the Governments of underdeveloped countries in the building up of their public administration and economic structure. Over the years the services of a number of Irish professional men, in particular doctors, have likewise been put at the disposal of those countries through the specialised agencies of the United Nations. We also co-operate with the UN and the OECD in providing training facilities in Ireland for officials of the underdeveloped countries. In all this work for underdeveloped countries, I feel we are but trying to maintain the great tradition of service and devotion established under immense difficulties by Irish missionaries, teachers, doctors and nurses in various parts of the world.

The unanimous election of U Thant as Secretary-General of the United Nations, without any conditions and with an implicit rejection of the "troika" concept of the office, was one of the major achievements of the United Nations during the past year. As Acting Secretary-General, U Thant had firmly upheld this concept of his office and proved himself, by his diplomatic skill and dedication to the principles of the Charter, a worthy candidate to succeed the late Mr. Hammarskjoeld. It was a source of gratification that he found it possible to visit Ireland last July in the course of his visit to European countries.

During the last session of the General Assembly, I again emphasised that we are opposed to all nuclear tests but more especially those causing radioactive fallout. Most members of the Assembly were deeply anxious that the nuclear powers should negotiate agreements between themselves which would end all tests as quickly as possible and that a climate of fruitful negotiation should be created between these powers. Therefore, we joined with these states in supporting a resolution recalling the urgent need for the suspension of nuclear tests and urging the EighteenNation Committee on Disarmament at Geneva to seek the conclusion of a treaty to this end with effective and prompt international verification. While three of the nuclear powers have since suspended nuclear testing on a voluntary basis, the Geneva Committee has not made sufficient progress on the problem of international inspection and verification to warrant undue optimism.

One of the items on the Geneva Committee's agenda is the question of preventing the further spread of nuclear weapons which was the subject of Irish resolutions in the UN since 1958 and of one unanimously adopted by the General Assembly in 1961. Proposals for dealing with this problem in the first stage of disarmament negotiations are now included in the separate disarmament declarations of both the United States and the Soviet Union. This agreement by the great powers on the desirability of preventing the spread of nuclear weapons gives hope for the conclusion of an agreement between the nuclear and the non-nuclear states to prevent the further dissemination of nuclear weapons before the situation gets completely beyond control.

In conclusion, I think it would be fair to say that the United Nations has strengthened its position in world opinion by its achievements over the past year and that Ireland has loyally contributed its share to the good work. The Organisation can rightly claim to have done much for the reduction of tension between the major powers. It can face its future tasks with confidence if all its members, large and small, contribute according to their means and continue to promote the spirit of restraint and accommodation.

I move:

That the Estimate be referred back for reconsideration.

In this review of 20 foolscap pages, the Minister has failed to mention once one of the most important developments in international affairs directly affecting this country since his Estimate was last discussed, namely, the breakdown of the negotiations in Brussels for our membership of the European Economic Community. We are now in a position of considerable isolation in international affairs, due to the failure of the Brussels negotiations, and it was reasonable to assume that the Minister would have given us some indication of the policy of the Government arising out of the failure of these negotiations.

We in the Opposition have shown a considerable amount of forbearance and self-restraint in the criticisms which we have made of the Government during the negotiations from the time the Government announced that they were deciding to apply for full membership of the ECC. We believed that it was our duty not to embarrass the Government in those negotiations. But, now, when they have concluded, and it would appear a pretty definite conclusion, we are at liberty to express the view that the Government's relations with handling of European affairs have been characterised by a lack of interest, first, by a lack of confidence and by a lack of candour.

If Deputy Costello would allow me, I should like to point out that there was no notice of intention to move to refer this Estimate back and the Chair was not informed that the Estimate would be referred back.

That is so; it was an error. I understood it was intended but it has not been done.

From these benches in the past few years, we have been pointing out to the Government the importance of developments in Europe, the importance of not ignoring our contacts and our friends in Europe, the importance of endeavouring to make as many contacts as possible with the development of the European Economic Community in Brussels and, long before it was suggested that this country was going to join the European Economic Community, we suggested that it would have been desirable if we had in fact approached, even on an informal basis, the Commission at Brussels with a view to ascertaining what terms we could have obtained either by way of membership of or association with that Community.

Our lack of interest in European affairs is something that, of course, has been noted and the consequences of that lack of interest were seen in the manner in which our application for full membership was dealt with.

The Government, when they first decided to apply for full membership of the Community, apparently on 4th July, sent a memorandum to the European Economic Commission indicating that on account of its economic situation and the development plan it was pursuing this country would not be able to accept all the time limits laid down in the Treaty of Rome. Very shortly afterwards, the Government, apparently, had to withdraw this memorandum. I say "apparently", because this memorandum has not been made public, but reference to it and to the fact that it was withdrawn was made in the bulletin of the EEC at page 23. It is quite clear from it that the Government misjudged and mishandled the situation. First of all, they said we would require special conditions and then they said they would have to withdraw such a requirement.

I have suggested also that the Government have been guilty of lack of candour in these negotiations, lack of candour with the people, during the past 18 months because the people were not informed fully of the economic consequences that would flow from our membership of the EEC or of its political consequences. A good example of the way in which the Government handled the Irish people in this matter and also foreign representatives here was the Taoiseach's Press conference in September when he was asked by the visiting journalists what Ireland would do in regard to Europe, should negotiations for British membership of the EEC fail. He replied that we did not make our application for membership of the EEC conditional on the success of the British application, as Denmark and Norway had done. If Britain's application for membership should fail, he said, we would nevertheless pursue our application, provided it was economically possible for us to do so and with the proviso: "if the EEC wish us to go on with it." A report of that Press conference was published in the Departmental bulletin of 24th September, 1962.

Surely that was bluff of a very considerable sort? Surely this was an assurance to the Irish people that we were not connected with the British application to join the EEC and surely events have proved how hollow that boast was? Those visiting journalists saw representatives of our Party and they were told in no uncertain manner by the Leader of our Party that our application depended on the British application. Then the visiting journalists found the difference between the two Parties. They saw that the Government were in favour of continuing negotiations to join the EEC, even if the British application failed, while we were not. That was the impression left in their minds and it was against that background that they wrote their articles when they went back to their own countries.

Events in a very short time warned us how idle those boasts were. These boasts were followed very quickly by de Gaulle's turning down of the British application. This is not just so much water over the dam. These things are relevant in our attitude towards the Government's handling of our international affairs because it is difficult for us to have confidence in a Government who carry on such negotiations in that way and then postulate in the way this Government have done in international affairs, particularly in our relations towards Europe.

An example of the lack of candour to which I have referred was given in the debate on this Estimate last year when the Minister replied to questions many of us asked him as to the political commitments of our joining the European Economic Community. When it was pointed out to him that he had stated we were not to join any bloc, that we were to be independent of blocs, he made the startling suggestion that by joining EEC, we were not joining any blocs. Later he said this:

If, however, we join the European Economic Community and that community evolves in the way in which a number of people want it to evolve, namely, into a political community, a type of federation, then we will certainly be a member of that community. Just as Galway and Cork are members of this Dáil, so Ireland will be a unit in the European Community.

I quote that from Col. 1418 of Vol. 194 of the Official Report. He denied we were joining any bloc, notwithstanding his qualification that he looked on Ireland's part in the Common Market as Galway's or Cork's part in this Dáil.

It is quite obvious that the Government's foreign policy changed and changed radically in the past couple of years and that from the time they took their decision to join the EEC, this policy has taken a turn considerably for the better. I hope the fact that these negotiations have failed and that our application for membership of the EEC has also failed will not mean a return to the neutralist foreign policy the Government attempted to follow shortly after they assumed office. I think it is the duty of the Government to investigate every problem to which the uncertain future may give rise for our adhesion, either as full members or associate members, to the EEC.

It is extremely difficult to forecast events. Probably nobody at the present time knows what the future link between EFTA and the EEC or between individual members of EFTA and of the EEC will be, but it is quite clear that we are now in a position of complete isolation, that this country is neither in the EEC nor in EFTA, that our Ministers have to go to England to find out what decisions are being taken vitally affecting our interests. It is a position from which we should endeavour to extricate ourselves as quickly as possible. I should like to see developments in the next year — perhaps it will be longer — in which the countries of Europe who are not at present in the EEC may enter into some arrangements, perhaps on a bilateral basis, for association with the EEC, if not in full membership.

It is possible — and this is all conjecture — that there may be no further full members of the EEC for some considerable time. It is also possible there may be some solutions available for the problems of such countries as Denmark and Austria who are particularly concerned about the trading divisions of Europe which will occur. If such solutions are sought, and if they are found, it is possible they will be sought on a basis of association with the EEC. In such circumstances, it might be possible for Ireland to seek some form of association with the EEC.

I have never quite understood the attitude of the extreme nationalists in this country who regarded our application to join the EEC as a betrayal of our national heritage, because the realities are that we are becoming more and more closely bound up with Britain since its EEC application failed, that in the years to come, if we do not join the EEC, we will become more and more dependent on the British market and on the booms and slumps which that market experiences. It is to get out of that position, to improve our markets and our economy that the EEC offered such tremendous opportunities for us.

I have referred to the fact that the Government should avail themselves of any opportunity that might arise in this connection. It would be a great mistake if we were now to turn our backs on Europe, if we were to demonstrate all over again our lack of interest in European affairs. I think that lack of interest in European affairs is a fundamental aspect of this Government's whole policy. It is seen here to-day in the Minister's speech because, in fact, although he reviewed some of the work of the Council of Europe, anybody reading that speech — and persons, experts and others in the chancelleries of foreign Governments will read it, as well as people in international organisations — and concerned to find out what Ireland's attitude is will find not one word of support for this European idea, not one word of regret that Ireland has failed to obtain membership of EEC. We now find ourselves in this position of isolation from which I sincerely hope we shall shortly emerge.

Earlier, I said that in fact there had been a change in the Government's foreign policy since they first came into office. It is a change which we warmly welcome. The Minister indicated some of the activities of the Irish delegates in the Assembly of the United Nations and in the Security Council. He did not, in his review, however, mention the fact that this country had voted against the admission of Communist China to membership of the United Nations. We all remember the discussions we had on that issue — how the Government said they were merely voting for a discussion on the subject; how they failed to state whether or not they would vote for or against the admission of Red China when, in fact, the substantive issue came before the Assembly as it now has. They have now voted against the admission of Red China and I think the decision was quite correct. No other decision could have been taken by this country. I very much regret the type of speeches that were made and the failure to make quite clear the attitude this country was adopting towards what was, and is, a very important issue in the UNO General Assembly.

In the annual discussion of this Estimate, it is usual for some, and quite often, many Deputies, to refer to the position of our emigrants in England. I shall do so here again this evening. Year in, year out, suggestions are made that we have a duty and a moral obligation to persons who are forced to leave our shores and that we cannot wash our hands of them when they go to live in England. That is true and I think the Government have failed over the years to fulfil that duty. If it is true — and I understand it is — that there are two permanent officers from London County Council here in Dublin looking after the interest of mothers who have illegitimate babies in the London area, that is indeed a shocking state of affairs. We should take care of our Irish citizens, even when they are forced to leave the country through economic circumstances. We should do a great deal more in the way of welfare and assistance for our emigrants in London. It will mean more expenditure, more money, but that is something which I think the House would be prepared to accept.

I do not want to decry the efforts being made by the voluntary organisations that are doing great work in helping these unfortunate emigrants or decry the work of the Embassy and its staffs in London and elsewhere in England, but the fact is that the existing services for emigrants are inadequate and many emigrants find themselves in what is to them a foreign country without any help or assistance. They find themselves bewildered by the very difficult conditions in which they often have to live and they get very little help from the authorities to whom they would be entitled to look. This is a perennial complaint on this Estimate but one about which I feel, by dint of repetition, something may be done.

The other aspect of the work of the Minister's Department to which I shall refer are the references made to the assistance to the underdeveloped countries of the world. Undoubtedly, one of the major world problems is the problem of underdeveloped countries. This has become a trite remark, so well known that it is almost ignored. We are doing something in that respect but we have not the great wealth and resources of other countries, some of which, such as the United States, have contributed magnificently towards increasing the standard of living in the poorer sections of the world. But I wonder whether we have done enough? I wonder could we do more to assist these underdeveloped countries? The Minister has said that we have undertaken to train people in this country but how many are in fact training? What has been the extent in practical terms of our assistance? I know we have sent out doctors and technicians to some of the specialised agencies of the United Nations but how many have we in fact sent out?

Would it be impossible for us to have here a sort of peace corps on the lines of that which the American Government recently inaugurated? Would it be impossible to try to obtain the services, particularly of young people, of teachers or engineers or scientists or professional or business people who would be prepared to go out for a year or two and support, as far as they can with their knowledge and experience, the efforts of some of the underdeveloped countries? I should anticipate a ready response to such a suggestion and I should be very much surprised if our people were not prepared to help these people abroad if the organisation were properly established.

I know an attempt is being made to do something in this respect. I understand, for example, we allow the service of teachers who serve in Nigeria to be reckoned as pensionable service here. But I think we should contribute a little more than in the past. I think it is a development which our people would welcome and for which we are well suited.

I should like to refer at the outset to a matter I mentioned in the discussion on this Estimate last year and which, I think, merits some consideration at present, especially in view of recent changes in the Government of the Six Counties. I have repeatedly expressed the view that the question of Partition is one which requires calm and dispassionate consideration; that it is important, first of all, to recognise that Partition was created by the Government of Ireland Act of 1920. Occasionally, some pseudo-historians or pseudo-propagandists try to create a different impression but, in order to understand this problem, it is essential that we should appreciate the facts and the facts can be understood only if they are properly and correctly presented.

On many occasions, the view has been expressed both in this House and elsewhere that this problem is one which can be solved by goodwill and by an effort to secure the co-operation and understanding of all concerned. In common with others, I have often expressed the opinion—I am glad to say it appears in recent times to be more widely accepted—that force is no solution of this problem. What we can do to advance the ending of Partition is a matter which must be decided by the Government responsible to the people and to the members of the House.

It is reasonable enough that a great number of people who are anxious to see Partition ended are dissatisfied with the slow rate of progress. Many may feel that, because it has not ended, little advance has been made. On the other hand, if we look at some of the greater problems that have been solved in other spheres—some of a more complex character—we note that they have been settled with goodwill and on the assumption that all concerned were anxious to see the particular matter satisfactorily adjusted.

It is, therefore, important, in considering this matter once the idea of force has been ruled out, that the question is considered afresh, that the various aspects of the problem are fully explored and that adequate consideration is given to the different questions involved in it. It has often seemed that some of the propaganda in favour of ending Partition was designed more to satisfy the emotions of those indulging in the propaganda than in achieving any concrete advance. It is important, therefore, to reject, where necessary, most emotional propaganda and to substitute for it facts, however unpalatable or however difficult some of them appear to be.

It is certain that ultimately unity will be achieved. While the day may be somewhat more distant than the most optimistic of us might have expected in the past, nevertheless the experience of what has happened elsewhere justifies our confidence that this problem can be solved. The unity of our people, the determination of our people and the tenacity of our people in the past enabled this country to achieve the freedom and liberty which it enjoys for this part of the country. It is, therefore, desirable that we should utilise that inherent traditional strength that is available to us in order to deal with the remaining political problem which exists.

With the improved climate of opinion which has resulted from the cessation of the attacks on the Border and elsewhere, we now have an opportunity to plan carefully and to work towards an agreed solution which would be acceptable not only here but in the North. The recent change in the office of Prime Minister up there has again brought this matter to the front. While it would be unwise to expect any spectacular changes, nevertheless the change is an indication that the passage of time has, in itself, the prospect of making advances which might have been impossible in other circumstances. I wish therefore to stress the importance of utilising any and every available opportunity for furthering economic, social and cultural co-operation between the two parts of this country. The fact that changes are inevitable with the passage of time may mean a better prospect of an understanding, a better realisation that the problems which affect the country are more likely to be solved on a joint basis than by regarding as permanent the solution which was adopted as an expedient over 40 years ago.

Another matter to which I wish to refer and which I believe arises out of the failure of the EEC negotiations at Brussels is the trade position between this country and Britain and between this country and the continental countries with which we have trade agreements. It has been the traditional policy of this Party to exploit to the fullest extent our trade potentialities with Britain. We have repeatedly expressed the view that these trading opportunities should not only be exploited to the fullest extent but that it was in our interests and indeed in the British interests also to develop our trading relations to the maximum extent. We have consistently advocated that because of the proximity of the British market and the traditional economic links which make trade between the two countries relatively easy. We have, in close proximity to us, a market of over 50 million people. Trade between this country and Britain runs at present at about £250 million on a two-way basis. That is a substantial trade, no matter what standard is applied. We have consistently held the view that, because of our proximity to and our traditional trade links with Great Britain, the scope for further development should be continuosly explored and exploited. While stating that view, it has been our policy to assert and advocate our political rights.

It is, however, necessary now, in view of the failure of the Brussels negotiations, to review again our trade with Britain. Trade between this country and Britain is governed not only by the Trade Agreements but also by custom and practice and in view of the possibilities and the consequences which may well flow from the failure of the EEC negotiations, it is important that we should explore fully the possibilities of revising our trading arrangements with Britain.

I notice that the recent discussions which the Taoiseach and the Minister attended in Britain were mainly of an informative character. I do not think that in present circumstances that is adequate. It is important for us that we should explore the possibilities of developing our trade and of expanding existing markets and, above all, of ensuring that our position in that market is not weakened or jeopardised by trading arrangements with other countries and other competitors in that market. It is important, therefore, that we should review existing trading arrangements, have a critical look at the existing agreements as well as the practice and custom which prevails in respect of commodities and goods probably not included or not specifically covered within the agreement.

Even more important from our point of view is the pattern of our trade with continental countries and here the position is not nearly so satisfactory. In so far as the trade between Britain and ourselves is concerned, while we would certainly welcome and be anxious to see it expand and develop so as to provide increased markets in respect of not only agricultural products but industrial products as well, the trade returns between this country and the Continent make it imperative that agreements should be reviewed.

Most of these agreements between ourselves and the European countries have now been in operation since the 1950's. It is correct to say, I think, that all the trade agreements have lasted for at least a decade, some of them for a little more and maybe some of them for a little less, but in each case the trade between this country and the continental countries is heavily adverse. The picture, in particular, between this country and the EEC countries, the Six, shows that we export to them goods to the value—or did last year—of £10 million to £11 million and we import from them goods to the value of over £40 million.

A recent reply was given in the Dáil which indicates the percentage of exports to imports in respect of the Six EEC countries and if those figures are examined, it will be found that the position is very heavily adverse. In respect of Belgium, the percentage of exports to imports for the period January to November, 1962, was 17; in respect of France for the same period, 18.5; in respect of the Federal Republic of Germany, 27.1; the Netherlands, 21; Italy, 33; and Luxembourg, 0.2.

These figures indicate the extent to which our trade with these countries is adverse. As I say, many of those agreements have now been in operation for a number of years. In a number of cases, of course, they have been renewed, either without modification or with slight modification. In view of the pattern of trade and the likely delay in any workable arrangement being reached as a result of the breakdown in the Brussels negotiations, I believe it is time to review them, and review them critically, because we must ensure that no discriminatory or other practices are adopted to prevent our getting the full scope and advantage from the trade agreements which should be available to us.

The problem of Irish people in Britain has been referred to in previous debates as well as in this debate. I notice from the Minister's speech that an appointment had been made—I think it was last year—of a special officer in the Embassy in London to look after this matter. I readily appreciate that this is a difficult matter, difficult from many angles. It is difficult because of the magnitude of the problem involved, because of the very large number of Irish people in Britain and the fact that they are spread over so many cities and so many areas. Nevertheless, the fact that it is a big problem should not prevent our taking whatever action seems necessary or possible.

The voluntary organisations dealing with this matter have for a great many years rendered magnificent service and done all that lay within their power to offer advice and guidance and to supply information to Irish people going to English cities and towns. Indeed the organisations concerned have worked in the closest spirit of co-operation and harmony with the Hierarchy here and with the Hierarchy in Britain. If it were not for the work of these organisations and the interest and help of the Hierarchy and the priests and other social workers working under them, the problem might be even greater.

However, it does seem to me that the appointment of an officer in the Embassy in Britain to assist and cooperate with these organisations is a step in the right direction. Whether a single official will be capable of carrying out the multifarious duties is doubtful. I appreciate that the cost involved may make it difficult to appoint a number of officials but in view of the great problems involved, and there is no need to elaborate on them, I feel the Embassy, the Department and the Government have a duty to ensure that any steps which can be taken and which would assist in promoting this work and in providing guidance and advice should not be withheld. If necessary, some other activities of the Department might be curtailed in order to provide this service.

The question of the extension of our territorial waters is one that has been the subject of questions here from time to time. I should be glad to hear from the Minister whether any steps have been taken to proceed with the question of the extension. As I understand the position the matter failed to reach agreement narrowly at the Convention on the Law of the Sea at Geneva some two years ago and since then, very little progress has been made, mainly because the initiative in this matter must be taken in co-operation with other nations who are also interested.

There is a very strong feeling amongst our fishermen that an effort should be made to extend the territorial limits. In view of the implications involved and of the livelihood of so many fishermen being affected by the possible extension and the advantages inherent in such an extension, I feel we ought to consider taking the initiative in securing, if not agreement to the extent envisaged at the Geneva Conference, agreements between ourselves and other countries directly concerned in order to extend the limit of our territorial waters.

The question of the contribution of this country to the United Nations was referred to by the Minister in his speech and is to come up at the special May meeting of the Assembly. I feel strongly that we should urge the Assembly to impose whatever sanctions are possible on countries who default in respect of their subscriptions. It is quite intolerable that the United States in particular and, even more so, a country of our size and resources, should be called on to pay more than our contribution in respect of any particular operation of the United Nations because of the default of Member countries. The United States, because of the tremendous response to the bond issue, is bearing the bigger share of the extra cost involved. Here we have shown our willingness in taking up some of these special bonds but a strong effort should be made to organise opinion among the countries anxious to see the United Nations effective to ensure that the provision of adequate funds and other supplies necessary should be maintained. For that reason, we should endeavour to mobilise opinion and to contribute our part in favour of sanctions against Member countries who default in their annual subscriptions.

One of the specific matters I wish to refer to is a note which was circulated recently in the Board of Works Estimates for Public Works and Buildings. In that note, I noticed provisions have been made for the building of a new Embassy for this country in Nigeria. The total estimated cost is £64,000 and the provision for this year is £5,000. It seems that the cost of such a new Embassy in a country with which we have only recently opened diplomatic relations is somewhat high. I should be glad to know from the Minister what are the reasons for such a costly Embassy in that country and if there are specific factors which are responsible for its high cost in a country with which we have only recently opened diplomatic contacts.

Another matter to which I wish to refer is that of the film and booklet. I note from the Minister's remarks that the film on Ireland has been delayed and that the booklet is expected to be printed during the summer. I am anxious to know who is responsible for the editing of the booklet and whether it will be a factual one, giving up-to-date economic statistics and facts about the country or is it intended that it should be a propaganda issue. I think it should be a factual one and should contain all the necessary information that one might expect in a booklet of that nature. The propaganda should be left to Bord Fáilte or any other organisation which is responsible for it.

Many years ago, there was a very suitable booklet called "The Saorstát Éireann Handbook". It was valuable in that it made available a great deal of information to those who wished to use it. Since then, we have had no such booklet and although a number of publications are issued, there is no ready handbook available giving factual information on the economic and other facets of our national life.

The last matter I wish to refer to is that I was glad to read recently a speech made by our Permanent Representative at the United Nations, Mr. Boland. It was, as one would expect, a good speech and put clearly the correct position of this country on the matter of Red China. It was important that should be said, because it cleared up any unnecessary misunderstandings which occurred in certain quarters over the attitude taken by the Government. The remarks of our permanent representative clearly defined our position and, I believe, represent the national viewpoint on this matter.

This should be a very important Estimate in view of the fact that this Government have made their position quite clear in connection with the European Economic Community. We have agreement between the two major Parties in the House that it is highly desirable that Ireland become a member of EEC and that neutrality is now out of date. In those circumstances, it is only fair that the people should have an opportunity of hearing from the Government what their real policy is on this issue of neutrality.

According to the Taoiseach, this country was never neutral and never will be neutral. According to the Minister for External Affairs, a senior member of the Cabinet, this country is neutral, has always been neutral and will remain neutral. Those may not be the exact words he used in a speech he made in the United Nations in 1960, but if I am not correct, the Minister can contradict me. He said we were neutral, that it was not our policy to create further tension in the world by joining either of the existing blocs or helping to create a third bloc.

It is most significant that the Minister for External Affairs never opened his mouth on even one occasion during the past two years since membership of EEC became an issue. He has on no occasion—publicly, at any rate— subscribed to the viewpoint held by his Taoiseach. One would think, in the case of a man of his experience and wide knowledge of world affairs, that his services would have been availed of in Europe to pave the way for Irish admission to EEC. Instead, the Minister for External Affairs was kept far away from Europe. The Taoiseach took it on himself to act as Minister for External Affairs in so far as the EEC negotiations, or probings, were concerned.

That leads me to assume that the Minister for External Affairs is being loyal to his leader by keeping silent, but, at the same time, he has no belief whatever in this policy expounded by the Taoiseach, in this reversal of engines, in this sudden about-turn being preached by the leader of his Party. The Minister must be admired for that. At least he is being consistent. He is condemning publicly this sudden change on the part of the Taoiseach by keeping silent on it. He is being honest enough to show his disapproval in that manner.

Deputy Costello pointed out there was not one word of regret in the Minister's speech about Ireland's failure to gain admission to the EEC. That is perfectly true. There is not even a pious wish that we might get in one day. In the past few weeks, however, the Taoiseach has made it clear he has not given up the ghost in that regard—at least, he pretends he has not. He is all out for the EEC. One would think that in the opening speech of the Minister on this Estimate, we would have had some reference to this issue of membership of the EEC. This debate is unrealistic because we are not being told what is going on behind the scenes in the Government as far as the United Nations is concerned, on the one hand, and the EEC, on the other.

It is significant that the Taoiseach took off on an expedition to Europe some months ago and failed to bring the Minister for External Affairs with him. It is significant, when one takes into account that in the past few weeks, the Taoiseach saw fit to bring the Minister with him when going to Britain. Why was it essential to bring the Minister to these discussions in London when it was not considered important to invite the Minister to pay a visit to any of the capitals of the EEC countries? It is from our Embassies abroad, I gather, that the Government glean information about Ireland's standing abroad and the feelings of other Governments in regard to us. The Minister is head of that Department and, as such, should be in a position to give the most up-todate information on developments taking place in Strasbourg, Paris and all the major European cities.

In those circumstances, it would not have been unreasonable to expect that, when the Taoiseach was going to find out what the reaction was to Ireland's application for membership, he would have brought the Minister for External Affairs with him. Instead he sent him over to America, on the very far side of the planet and had him out of the way. But why is it, when there is a trip across to London —although we do not know what took place there—it is essential to get the Minister for External Affairs? I understand that broad matters in connection with policy were discussed in London—Ireland's relationship with Britain in general so far as trade is concerned.

When it is considered that trade which included the industrial field and the agricultural field was involved, one would have thought that the Minister for Agriculture would have been taken to London. Instead it was the Minister for External Affairs, so that gives an added importance to the visit to London. The Minister for Agriculture could be left behind, although agriculture represents 75 per cent of our exports, and the Minister for External Affairs was brought instead. What was discussed in London? An attempt was made in this House to find out what took place over there, not a word for word account, but at least something to give the public some information from their representatives. The Taoiseach when questioned here was very vague, very parsimonious with the information he made available. It was only after repeated cross-examination —if that is the proper description— that he grudingly admitted that discussions took place on the Congo situation.

I should like the Minister for External Affairs to elaborate on the discussion that took place between himself and the Taoiseach and the representatives of the British Government, on the Congo. What was discussed? Was the question of Ireland's participation in the Congo discussed? Did the British Government wish to know whether Ireland was thinking of withdrawing her troops from the Congo? We know there has been very strong lobbying in the Conservative Party in Britain to blacken the character and the activities of the Irish troops, and indeed other United Nations contingents, in the Congo. We know that prominent members of the Tory Party have utilised newspapers and other means of publicity to blacken the good work and be little the good deeds performed by the Irish and other United Nations troops. We know the reason for that is that some of these people have a strong financial interest in the mining companies in the Congo.

What was so important that the Minister had to go over to London and discuss the Congo with the British Government? Why did it arise at all? Why did it become so important at this particular stage? Was there any question of a bargain as far as the Irish stand in the United Nations was concerned? Was this meeting between our representatives and the representatives of the British Government to have an understanding, or to make it clear that Ireland's position in the United Nations was changing; that the stand taken by our Government in the last few years was being altered and that we are prepared now to obey the rules of the club as laid down by, perhaps, the Americans or the British?

On the debate for the Department of Defence, I mentioned that while the Minister for External Affairs was pointing out that Ireland was neutral, and that we were proud of the fact that we were not tied to any existing world bloc, we had a member of the Oireachtas, in the other House, representing the Fianna Fáil Party stating in Strasbourg that Ireland was not neutral, that she was in the forefront as far as the fight for Christianity was concerned. He had the audacity to go on and say that even so, Ireland had the greatest sympathy with countries like Sweden and Switzerland who were neutral.

I wonder does one half of the Fianna Fáil Party know what the other half is doing? The Minister for External Affairs wins acclaim for Ireland as having a courageous voice and not being part of any bloc, and we have another part of Fianna Fáil speaking in Strasbourg on Ireland's application to join the EEC stating that we are not neutral, that we never were and that even at that we had the greatest sympathy with certain neutral countries and were hoping, as Senator Ryan said, that it would be possible to find some sort of association for these neutrals to allow them to go in with the EEC.

Can the Deputy quote the statement?

I quoted it some weeks ago and Deputy Booth can take my word for it that he stated——

The Deputy cannot quote it now?

The Deputy can take my word that I am not misquoting the Senator.

Of course you are; you always do.

I would be the last to do that on an issue such as this——

Give the quotation or keep quiet.

——especially as he is not a member of this House. That is why I would not like any question of a misquotation to arise.

Go and get your facts straight.

Deputy Booth will not put me off. The Fianna Fáil Party have two voices on this. I think we are going to get a third now when we hear Deputy Booth.

No. Just stick to facts and we will all be quite clear.

There are two different policies by the present Government.

Stop talking nonsense.

I want to know which policy is the House to accept and which policy is the country expected to believe? Are they to be all things to all men as far as their policy on external affairs is concerned? I would not like the good work which has been carried in the United Nations, or the good name of Ireland to be spoiled or destroyed, as a result of the Tower of Babel that is being created now by the different voices of the Fianna Fáil Party, all with their own policy according to the time they are speaking, the place they are speaking in and the audience to whom they are speaking.

We had the leader of the Party speaking in Germany with no reservation whatever on our commitments, if we were afforded membership of the EEC. He had no reservations whatever on our political or defensive commitments. We had him in this House hopping from one foot to the other, quibbling, back-tracking and utilising all the machinery available to him in this House to avoid giving a straight answer on that, for months on end. It meant that Deputies such as Deputy Dr. Browne and myself had to pursue him here with a series of questions week after week, month after month, to try to pin him down as to what exactly was his policy. It could not be done. He denied pointblank the idea, and pooh-poohed it on other occasions, that Ireland would accept anything of which we did not know all the implications. He made it quite clear in this House that we were accepting nothing of which we did not know the full implications. Yet, he goes over to Europe, to Bonn, and states that we will accept the full implications, political and defensive. In other words, we will buy a pig in a poke when we go on the Continent but here at home we say to the people: "No, we must know the full significance of what we propose to join."

Will the Deputy quote the Taoiseach correctly?

He will not.

It would confuse the argument. I do not blame him.

I do not know why they send in Deputy Booth at this time of the evening.

Just to annoy the other Deputies, that is all. Apparently it is succeeding.

Not as far as I am concerned. One of the strong arguments put forward by the Fianna Fáil Party on the desirability of joining the EEC was the fact that it would help in no uncertain way to end Partition. I read in the local papers in the West of Ireland speeches made by the leading members of the Fianna Fáil Party to the effect that this was the solution to Partition. That was thrown out as another carrot to catch the nationalists and supra-nationalists to whom Deputy Costello referred. The idea was: "We will get support from all and sundry on this: Partition goes as soon as we become members of the EEC."

They had no policy on Partition for the past 40 years. We never heard a word about it except perhaps in a little few lines in the debates in the House. Just as the Minister in his opening remarks paid tribute to the Irish language by saying a few words in Irish, the same little tribute is paid to the issue of Partition. Suddenly, Partition bobbed up and the suggestion was that if we became members of EEC, Partition would go. Do we hear a word about it now? The Partition issue goes back into cold storage again until we get some other chance of trying out the EEC gimmick.

It is not unfair for me to suggest now, as I have done before, that while it is desirable and laudable to produce solutions at international level for major, knotty, world problems, it would be far more desirable, far more appropriate and far more important to try to produce a means to end Partition here at home.

It is an extraordinary thing that we are able to advise every other country in the world how to run their country; we are able to point to the weaknesses that exist in various countries, in Africa, the Middle East, even South America. We are able to rap the Chinese on the knuckles now and again. We are able to look into the backgardens of every other country in the world and tell the people how to get rid of the weeds. We never seem to look out the backwindow at the garden of weeds we have here. We can see all the difficulties far away, but nearer home, when we have to solve the problems ourselves, it is a different kettle of fish; there is no effort.

I do not propose to dwell at any length on the type of significance that is being attached to the change of horses in what is known as the occupied part of this country. It is no harm to have a bit of common sense about this matter. This Government have been asked are they prepared to accept the Unionist version of government in the Six Counties; are they prepared to recognise the present Government in the Six Counties. This Government, so far, have refused to afford official recognition to Stormont. That being so, may I ask the Minister for External Affairs how does he propose to operate an extradition agreement with that Northern Government which he and his Government say they do not recognise? Is it not politically dishonest on their part to prepare legislation for an extradition agreement with that territory and at the same time, pretend that they do not recognise the Government there? I am posing that question. Further, have they the guts or the honesty to say straight out now that they do or they do not intend to recognise the Government in the Six Counties, or is it their intention to go on pretending to the people in the Twenty-six Counties that they do not recognise these people publicly but will play ball with them behind their backs? Why are they not honest and say where they stand on this?

Reference was made here by a number of other speakers to conditions obtaining in Britain in connection with Irish emigrants. It is important for us to remember, first of all, that the most satisfactory way to deal with problems of the nature which have arisen in England, social problems in particular, as far as Irish people are concerned, is to deal with those here at home. Solve your emigration problem by providing an opportunity for the Irish men and women in England today to work in Ireland and your problem is solved. There would be no question of being worried or of having to blush at the misdeeds of Irish emigrants in England if our Government did their duty by providing in Ireland work for the boys and girls who have to emigrate. There would be no problem about the Irish in Britain and there would be no need to appoint personnel or welfare officers in Britain if opportunities for work were provided at home.

I realise perfectly well that there is little hope while this Government are in office of putting a stop to emigration by the provision of employment here. I am speaking in a practical sense and I want to make some practical suggestions. If we accept the fact that Irish boys and girls have to emigrate as a result of the incompetence and inefficiency of an Irish Government, then there is a duty devolving upon the Government to see that in so far as lies within their power, Irish people will not come to harm in Britain. In greater London there are as many Irish-born people as there are in the province of Connacht, if that means anything to Deputies here.

If we look at the problem from that angle we can see the difficulties that will face any Department if they are seriously to make an endeavour to help emigrants with advice and assistance. One of the major difficulties in London particularly, as far as Irish men and women are concerned, is the fact that they all have to live in digs where they are not welcome between 8 o'clock in the morning and 10 o'clock at night. That means that after work the men in particular have no home life of any description, the result being that many of them gravitate to the pubs in their locality. Any Deputy who wants to see the result of that has only to examine the list of court cases at the various borough sittings on Monday mornings. Admittedly, they are composed of minor offences, drunk and disorderliness charges, but most of the names on these lists are Irish names.

Very often the reason for this is that Irishmen living under such conditions are lonely. Very often the fact of having to live away from home puts a chip on their shoulders. In order to avoid this, we should contemplate the setting up of a number of social centres in the different borough areas of London, particularly where there are the greatest concentrations of Irish workers. It may be said they would cost a lot of money. I know it could not be done for pennies, but our Embassy in London cost £250,000. It may be desirable at this stage to maintain a luxurious Embassy like that there but I think £250,000 spent on the renting of suitable buildings for conversion into proper social centres would be a far more practical investment of the money.

At any rate, it would be no harm to explore the means through which funds could be made available for the setting up of such social centres. To put it bluntly, I am suggesting a type of centre which would be nonmonastic. I shall not go any further than that for fear of misrepresentation. We want them to be places to which our young people will gravitate rather than pull back and say: "We will get away from that; we are looking at that long enough." The prospect of establishing hostels could also be examined. There would be no need for a subsidy since they could be run on a paying basis. If it pays landladies in London to keep Irishmen and Irish-women as boarders, I suggest the establishment of hostels could be a practical proposition. Any profits from them could be utilised for the running of social centres, billiards rooms, reading rooms and meeting rooms where our emigrants could congregate, have talks and dances. It will be suggested there are already dancehalls for Irish people in London. That is so but they are run on a commercial basis and are no solution to the problems I mention. In fact, in many instances, they are as big a racket and an exploitation as the non-Irish amusement centres in Britain.

Reference has been made to the fact that there are two full-time officers for the purpose of trying to trace relatives of young girls who had illegitimate babies in Britain. This, too, is a problem that is not being faced properly. Why is it that the Irish seem to be the biggest offenders in this respect—that the highest percentage of illegitimate babies born in London are among Irish girls?

Of course it is true.

It is a nice idea to throw out like that into the air.

If I am wrong in this, I hope it will be proved to me.

The Deputy should get his own facts straight for a start.

I hope some Deputies who have more information than I have will tell me about it outside the House. That is all I shall say about it at the moment. I believe it is no use our hiding our heads in the sand on such issues. It is here in Ireland that the proper steps should be taken to solve problems of that sort. It is a fact that many unfortunate Irish girls go across to England rather than have their babies here. I know that down the country it used to be the position in county homes that girls who were unfortunate enough to become pregnant and have illegitimate babies were kept in the homes for up to two years before they could get out. As far as I know, that is the position all the time. They can get out, of course, if they take the child with them, but many of these girls are not in a position to do that. Nowadays, with the advent of legal adoption, such problems should have become easier of solution. Instead of appointing officers in the Irish Embassy in London or in other Irish centres in Britain to give advice when the damage is done, it is here in Ireland the problem should be faced and the help given.

In conclusion, I want to say to the Minister for External Affairs and his colleagues in the Government that the Partition problem is one that cannot be forgotten. There is no use in thinking that it is just a matter of discussion with our opposite numbers in the Six Counties. There are major difficulties to be faced and two of the key difficulties are social and economic problems, apart altogether from a good deal of vested interests which have built themselves up on both sides of the Border.

There are difficulties also regarding social conditions, social welfare and health legislation. We are far behind in these matters. The man in the street in the Six Counties, who would like to see the country united, will ask some very awkward questions before he agrees to that unity. He will want a guarantee at this stage that the health services will not be disrupted or damaged, that the social services, old age pensions, unemployment and other benefits will not be in any way diminished, if unity becomes a reality.

Some people take the view that the real trouble in both parts of the country is that neither part is able to become a viable unit on its own, that a combination of north and south is needed before the country can advance. There may be some truth in that but the argument itself is not complete. It does not justify the failure here over the years to make this a better country not alone for those who are in it but for those who should be in it—those who have to emigrate.

If we are really serious about co-operation, the last thing we should have done here is to start competing with the Six Counties in shipbuilding, for instance. In a small country when the emphasis is on big business, on merging small units into big cartels, it is not correct policy—and apart from that it is bad business—to start a second shipbuilding industry in the south when we have in the north one with a wonderful history and record of achievement. It does not help to smooth the diplomatic path to have that kind of competition. That has been in my mind for many months. I am sure the ordinary citizen in Belfast, the man who works in the shipbuilding yards and who finds it very difficult now to carry on in the present situation when very few orders are coming from Britain to keep the shipyards going, must think it strange that even this part of Ireland, which should be helping, if possible, has set up a shipbuilding industry, even though the competition is only in a small way. No real effort is being made to bridge the gap when that is happening.

When replying to the debate, the Minister, I think, should explain the secret of his silence in the past 12 or 18 months on the EEC issue. Is my interpretation of it correct? Is his silence to be taken as a sign that he disagrees with the viewpoint of his Taoiseach on the issue of neutrality?

I shall be very brief but I should like to avail of the opportunity to put forward an impression I received in recent weeks when travelling abroad. In America, I was in the mid-States where activity among the Irish was not very pronounced until recent years. I was also in some of the major cities on the east coast and I am convinced there is now in that Continent a tremendous fund of goodwill towards Ireland and the Irish people. While our representatives abroad are doing very good work and any I met were very capable people, I think we should seriously consider increasing the allowances we make to them so that they can further develop goodwill there.

How can we celebrate St. Patrick's Day nine or ten times a year?

The Deputy wants to sell the Embassies in London and Paris. Those premises are worth far more now than when they were bought. I believe this goodwill, if developed and encouraged to a great extent, will not only pay off in tourism but also in industrial investments.

A surprising thing about American industrial development in Ireland, I believe, is that there are very few of what we call emigrant Irish participating in such investments. Many of these American concerns are the undertakings of people of other origins. The city in which I was on St. Patrick's Day has a population of less than 4,000 and yet I understand they have great hopes of filling a Boeing jet from that city alone to come here and reciprocate my visit— the only person from Ireland to attend that reception—and celebrate Independence Day on the 4th July in Dublin. That is the goodwill—one person goes from Dublin to Emmetsburg and they hope to have 50 or 100 coming to celebrate their national holiday here. I believe that a system of expenses might be evolved by the Government and, if necessary, an all-Party Committee could be set up to examine these expenses and satisfy themselves they were justified, expenses over and above what are allowed now.

I think everybody who has gone across to America realises that there is a great feeling of goodwill towards Ireland which has increased tremendously in recent years. It was made quite plain to me that to be a descendant of an Irishman some years ago might not have been the most popular thing in the world but to-day everybody in America apparently is trying to find some heritage from Ireland on the side of the mother or father, grandmother or grandfather, and if and when they find it, they are ready to boast about it.

Therefore, I believe that, although our representatives abroad have had some increases in their allowances, they are still inadequate, particularly in countries such as America where the status symbol is of tremendous importance. The size of your car, a mink coat, and all these things, are looked on in a much different way from the way in which they are looked on here. To enable our representatives, if necessary, to entertain in the more expensive clubs or hotels some additional allowance should be made to them so that they will not have to content themselves with the better establishments as distinct from the best. To my mind, for any official representative of Ireland, the best is what should be available to him.

With general reference to foreign policy, I said last year, and I should like to say again, that it is quite clear that our independent attitude to foreign affairs is unlikely to be interfered with for years and years to come. We must recognise that there are only two really great powers in the world, the United States and Russia, and that nations such as ours can carry on with their independent lines without any interference.

However, we are committed to a policy of greater co-operation and, as far as possible, integration with other countries in Europe. Here, again, we can take a leaf out of the book of the United States of America. They have announced that they intend to discuss reduced tariffs. They are also very much in favour of freer trading with Europe as the European countries are anxious to have freer trading among themselves. In this regard, they have gone farther than we apparently have gone in taking care of the workers who may become redundant as a result of this policy.

If a worker in America becomes unemployed, because of the growing foreign competition as a result of lowering of trade tariffs, it is proposed by the United States that the worker or his appropriate trade union will file a petition with the Government for a trade readjustment allowance. To qualify for this allowance, a worker must have been employed for at least 1½ of the previous three years in the trade affected and must have worked 26 of the previous 52 weeks in that trade before he lost his job. If he meets this test, it is proposed that he can draw from the Government 65 per cent, of his average weekly wage for a period up to a year. Benefits are also paid, if he is forced into part-time employment. If he decides to train for a different type of employment, the trade readjustment allowance is also payable to him while he is taking this course in the new skills he has to acquire. The Government are then committed to trying to find employment for him. If the suitable employment available for him happens to be away from the area in which he is living, the Government will pay a cash grant, pay the cost of moving himself, his goods and his family——

I am hoping the Deputy will relate all this to the Estimate.

One could relate anything to external affairs.

That seems to be so, in general.

I am suggesting that the Minister for External Affairs will, in that capacity, take note of these developments in America and convey them to the Government so that the Government might consider acting——

The Deputy could tell his father about them.

I should prefer to have these remarks on the record of the House. In this way, the Americans have a similar policy to ours such as grants for retooling, and so on. This is something we can take note of and perhaps consider utilising for our own benefit here.

One of the Opposition speakers earlier to-day came along to jibe at our attitude towards Communist China. I have given some consideration to exactly what happened to make Communist China isolated from the United Nations and I should like to make some reference to it here. In 1949, when Nationalist China was being defeated on the mainland, the United States official policy was one of "watchful waiting". Although the Government of the Republic of China retreated to Formosa, a United States consulate-general remained in Peking and 14 American consulates remained open on the mainland. I read in a book by J. Leighton Stuart, Fifty Years in China, published by Random House, the following extract:—

The United States Government was apparently in a quandary. It seems to have been unfavourably disposed towards the National Government and favourably disposed towards the Communist régime. But abuse by the Communists of property of the United States in Peking produced in the United States such waves of popular resentment that official action affirmatively favourable to the Communists was precluded. The Government did, however, take negative action against the Nationalists.

For example, in January, 1950, the United States Government wrote off "further military aid to the Nationalists". The only economic aid that followed from them was what had been committed some time previously. By that time, the Americans were being kicked out of China. Their consular property in Peking was seized. Consul Olive was imprisoned in Shanghai and on June 5th, 1950, Communist Korea in the North attacked South Korea.

That does not seem to be relevant.

I believe an understanding of this position might eliminate some of the remarks as to our attitude in the United Nations towards Communist China.

One might not accept the versions of all authors of the position.

It appears to me, from any examination of the American attitude right up to the time the United Nations interfered in Korea, that the attitude of the United States was in favour of admitting Communist China to the United Nations. In view of that, I believed earlier on that our Government were quite right in suggesting that this problem should be discussed and certainly I believe that matters of this nature should be discussed. If the United Nations is to function properly, we should hear every country's point of view, no matter what we think of them, and if we do not like it, let them know in the General Assembly.

I am particularly concerned about the introduction of a system whereby in certain circumstances our representatives abroad would not be precluded from giving the type of reception or entertainment which might lead to further development from the point of view of industry or tourism. Some new expense system should be evolved in this connection. We should have no hesitation in seeking to ensure that our representatives abroad are symbols of a progressive people, a people advancing in the world and gaining respect far greater than the size of our nation might suggest it was possible for us to gain. In this regard, therefore, I would ask the Minister for External Affairs to have a look at the allowances paid to our representatives abroad with a view to improving the situation.

What I have to say will be very brief but I should like to refer to a matter which I think is of some importance. I listened carefully to the Minister's statement here today and I noticed not so much what he said as what he did not say. I found in his statement no reference to the problem of Partition. Deputy McQuillan has already dealt with that. I also found that in his statement the Minister for External Affairs had nothing whatsoever to say in regard to the Common Market and EEC, and this is surprising. It is particularly surprising because I venture to say that at the moment in the country there is the most widespread confusion as to what exactly is our foreign policy.

Some years ago, the Minister for External Affairs coined the phrase that we were a non-aligned nation. In fact in this House time and time again, the Fianna Fáil Deputies stated that our function in the United Nations was to be the honest broker between the big Powers in the world. That policy at least had the merit of being clear. It was not a policy that appealed to me and to my colleagues on these benches. We did not feel that as between the Powers of the Eastern and the Western blocs, we could ever truthfully say that we had no bias one way or the other. However, that was the policy adopted by the Government and by the Minister for External Affairs.

Then last year and for six months before it, a curious change began to take place. The Taoiseach and other members of the Fianna Fáil Party began to emphasise that no true Irishman could ever be neutral as between the East and the West. This policy of neutrality, we were told by Fianna Fáil who had invented it, never existed; it was contrary to our history. Confusion began to spread. People wondered whether non-alignment had now disappeared with this condemnation of neutrality. The situation began to get muddier still because last year the Taoiseach, speaking to a very influential columnist from the country from which Deputy Lemass has apparently just returned, informed this American columnist that in so far as this country was concerned we were going into Europe willing to accept all the military commitments that might arise from our entry into Europe. That seemed to indicate that this country was prepared to join NATO. It seemed to indicate the burial of neutrality. It seemed to indicate that where a matter of trade and commerce was concerned, we were prepared to abandon any of the principles that we used to regard as being worth standing for.

It is in these circumstances that I, as a member of this House, the sovereign Parliament of this nation, am anxious to know where this country stands now. Are we going back now to the policy of non-alignment that was buried up to the end of January of this year? Is that again our foreign policy? Does it mean we shall hear again the old speeches we used to hear that as between East and West we are neutral? Are we going back again to what the Minister for External Affairs was saying some years ago that our role is that of the honest broker between East and West? If so, let us say so. If so, let that be stated clearly at the conclusion of this debate as being the policy of the Government because it is bad for this country to find itself without any policy in relation to external matters. It is bad for the country itself and for the general public morale.

I think myself the Government changed their feet. They decided against the point of view expressed by the Minister for External Affairs, against the policy in which he had obviously once believed. When Common Market participation became impossible at the end of January of this year, the Government found themselves without any foreign policy. That is our position today. That is bad for the country and it is much better that there should be some fresh thinking now. It is much better now, when these negotiations in relation to Europe are no longer there, that we should firmly decide either to stand aside from the Western bloc, from the military commitments in Europe, or to go in. At least if we decide to go in now, it cannot be said we are going in merely to sell butter on the European continent. If we decide to go into NATO or any similar organisation, let us do so because it is the right thing to do, not because it is a convenient step to announce. It is that display of political expediency which we have had from the Government in the past 12 months that has been so distasteful to anyone who really values the honour of this country.

I feel bound to say that, as against the speeches made in other years by the Minister for External Affairs in introducing his Estimate, his speech this year seems to give much more information. He seems to have got away to some extent from the humdrum speeches we were used to hearing year after year when we discussed the Estimate for the Department of External Affairs. He did travel a little further afield than in recent years and it is all to the good. In other years, he just gave us a description of the different details under the various headings of the Vote and so the sort of speech he made today is somewhat more encouraging. It could, of course, be very much better, but it is encouraging.

In the beginning of his speech, the Minister referred to the Weekly Bulletin of the Department, a copy of which I have here. It contains a copy of a speech made by the Minister on 5th June, 1961—it does not say where. The production of this Bulletin could be regarded as a laudable effort but it is a pretty puny effort as well. The motives of those who produce it are good and the Minister lauds it in his opening speech and says it has a circulation of 11,000 copies distributed widely throughout many parts of the world. I would be rather ashamed of that document if I were an Irish person living abroad, not because of its contents but because of its general appearance. If we are to have a Bulletin issued by the Department, we should conserve our weekly efforts and have it issued monthly or quarterly so as to make of it something of which we could be justifiably proud.

Many of us have friends abroad who are thirsting for news of Ireland and who wish to have something in their hands which they can show to their friends, something that will portray life in Ireland and give an indication of what the people think and of Government policy, but I would not send this Bulletin to any of my friends. It appears to me to be too mean and too cheap. If there were available a Bulletin which was prepared in a much more presentable way, I would be very pleased to send it to those interested in Irish affairs who are now resident in foreign countries.

What the new information booklet will be like I do not know but I hope it will be something of which we can be proud. I expect that the publication will mean some additional expenditure for the Department and I wonder if, when we issue that booklet, we will include in it advertisements for our products which are very well known in the world but which, nevertheless, could do with some advertising. The payments for these advertisements would go some way towards defraying the cost of the booklet, which I hope will be produced in a reasonably short time.

For a long time Partition had been a subject of discussion in this debate and it seemed to be the only aspect of foreign affairs, if one could consider it foreign, which the Dáil discussed up to five or six years ago. I think we should show much greater concern, not so much for the Northern Government as a body, but for the people there. In view of the evidence of mass unemployment in the North, I think we should be much more vocal. I appreciate how delicate the situation might be, if it were made to appear that the Taoiseach was rocking the boat but I do not think it right that the Government should have remained silent in view of the fact that there are from 40,000 to 45,000 Irish men and women unemployed in the North.

I was amazed when I read that the new Prime Minister of the Six Counties complained that we down here did not recognise the Six Counties. He ought to remember that the British Government, which purports to have some control and responsibility for the North, hardly knows it exists. If they did, they would not allow a situation to arise there in which there is such a large percentage of unemployment. There has been emphasis on greater co-operation between the two parts of the country. One of the best examples of true co-operation is that which exists in the trade union movement, a trade union movement which is united under the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and which comprises half a million members joined together in an effort to benefit themselves. If there is to be a gesture from the new Prime Minister, Captain O'Neill or whatever he calls himself, one of the first things he could do is to recognise the Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions which, up to the present, has not been recognised.

We do not seem to have the same verve and enthusiasm for the European Economic Community as we had this time last year. It is obvious to everybody that the reason for that is the breakdown of the British application for membership. I do not intend to devote any of my speech to the economics of the Common Market but about this time last year, there were very strong expressions of loyalty and obligation to the countries of the European mainland. Everybody discovered, after hundreds of years, that we were connected culturally and historically with Europe. That wave of feeling seems to have died down quite a lot since we have discovered that we are not to become members, at least for some very considerable time. I believe that this propaganda was designed to win our people away from our traditional policy of neutrality.

Up to January and February of this year, we were discovering that we had a duty towards Europe and we in the Labour Party were asked on many occasions, when we questioned the matter, what was neutrality. The Taoiseach asked me: "What is neutrality?" I was taken a back when I heard the Taoiseach asking that question. I do not want to give it many definitions, but neutrality was one of the main planks in the election platform of the Fianna Fáil Party for many years and no doubt procured a substantial number of votes for them. The Taoiseach did not have to explain at that time what neutrality was. The neutrality about which he and I spoke during election time is the same type of neutrality as that we have been speaking about for the past 18 months. The definition is the same now in 1963.

If we are preparing to abandon our policy of neutrality, the courageous and honest thing is to say it straight out. I appreciate that both Deputy Booth and Deputy McQuillan will never get unanimity on the question of what was inferred in the various statements made over the past 18 months. That is part of the confusion. I will not say it is deliberate, but it has been caused by the various statements made by the Taoiseach and other Government Ministers.

Ever since 1939, we have been taught to be proud of our neutrality. We boasted about it. There was one Deputy who had the moral courage to say he was against it. Of the 152 members of Dáil Éireann at that time, only one said he was against it; the other 151 were for it. We did not need to have any definition for them. It meant a non-alignment, not joining a bloc, not joining a military alliance, not appearing to be with one side more than another.

If the definition of neutrality has changed, I should like to know it from either the Minister or the Taoiseach. The Taoiseach was somewhat childish last autumn when the inference could be drawn—I shall not say he inferred it—from speeches he made that anybody for neutrality was not for the democratic and Christian forms of Government we know and support. The inference could be drawn from many of his statements that anybody who was not prepared to join a military alliance or political bloc in Europe was pro-Communist or prepared to sit back and see the Communists eat into the Western world.

There should not be any necessity for anybody in this country to proclaim how the Irish nation stands when it comes to the question of the democratic form of government and way of life as against the totalitarian and Communist form of government and the type of life people have to live under it. All our efforts are devoted towards preserving our freedom and the democratic way of life. We have always demonstrated that under the British Government, and especially under native government over the past 41 years.

As far as the EEC is concerned, I recognise that we had to make application for membership when Britain made application. Without putting yea or nay on it, our trade with Britain is so important that we would have to sacrifice a lot if we were to remain independent in the economic sense. But I want to pose this question, which has not been answered by the elder statesmen of this House and those who have been the leaders of this country for many years; must we sell our neutrality for economic advantage? That question should be answered. I believe the Taoiseach was trying to tell us that he believed we must sell our neutrality for the economic advantage of membership of the EEC. It would be much more honest if he said that was the case. It was a childish pretence— it was more; it was deceitful for him— to pretend we were going it alone and that we were independent of Great Britain in our application for membership. It was quite fraudulent for him to try to associate our application for membership with the problem of Partition. That was purely a sop thrown out to satisfy a certain section of his own Party.

In many of the replies the Taoiseach gave to questions dealing with EEC, neutrality and so on, he pretended to be embarrassed and irritated by these questions, and he gave the impression there were some malcontents on this side of the House who wanted to wreck the national boat. As far as we in the Labour Party are concerned, these questions were asked honestly. We wanted to know the answers, but the Taoiseach only confused and bedevilled the various issues raised. I should like to pose the question, so that we may consider it: must we sell our neutrality for economic advantage? If that is the case, let us consider it. But do not let us pretend to divorce one thing from the other and pretend we can go it alone on many issues on which we cannot go it alone.

On previous occasions on this Estimate, I have complimented the Minister for External Affairs on statements he has made from time to time. As far as the Labour Party were concerned, up to about two years ago, whether we agreed with him or not, we knew what the policy of the Minister was. We had a pretty good idea, if not a detailed one, as to the policy he was pursuing in the United Nations and the policy he intended to pursue. But he became extremely vague as soon as the Government, with the unanimous approval of this House, decided to apply for admission to the EEC. It is a legitimate criticism, I believe, to say he seemed to shut up.

The Taoiseach, the Minister for Industry and Commerce, the Minister for Agriculture and the Minister for External Affairs should be the chief spokesmen and informants of the Irish nation in the matter of our application for membership of EEC and of the repercussions, for good or for evil, that may follow. We had comments from three of these Ministers, but the Minister for External Affairs did not make any statement. It is legitimate to assume, therefore, that he was in some difficulty about it.

I referred last year to many of the speeches the Minister made in previous years and applauded him in the main. He spoke in this House on 17th May, 1961, on neutrality and the joining of blocs. This is what he had to say:

Irrespective of the question of Partition, important as that is, in our view the most important contribution which Ireland can make in international affairs is to play its part as an independent nation, free from alliance, in reducing tensions between States, and in forwarding constructive solutions for the sources of such tensions. We have endeavoured to do so, in the UN and elsewhere, by, for example, proposals aimed at restricting the spread of nuclear weapons and at encouraging the growth of areas of law. It is because our position is now internationally understood and accepted that we were free to make such proposals and that we were able to make our contribution to world peace by sending our soldiers to the United Nations Observation Force in the Lebanon in 1958 and last year to the Congo where combat troops of nations belonging to NATO and other military blocs are not acceptable.

Let me not tear that as under. Let me simply ask the Minister is he prepared to make in April, 1963, the same statement as he made on 17th May, 1961?

We had quite a discourse from Deputy Lemass about how we could better employ our public servants attached to the Department of External Affairs in the United States of America and other countries. He said the solution was to give them a bigger allowance. I will not speak for or against that. I do not know whether it is the real solution. I do not think it would help much if this country were to try to compete with some of the wealthy nations, or compete with many of the eastern countries which spend quite an amount of money on lavish entertainment. I do not believe we could stand up to it, but one thing that has been stressed in discussions on external affairs for years, and which can be repeated in 1963, is the need to place emphasis on our ambassadors and consuls abroad trying to obtain more trade and business for the country.

I do not suggest they are not engaged in that work but if any extra money is being spent, it should be spent employing trained personnel to try to get much more trade than we have. It seems to me that in many cases we have ambassadors and consuls in the wrong places. There are many important places in which we have none and there are others in which we have them which seem to be no use. I do not believe that compared with a Russian, British, American, or French Minister our people are fully occupied in gleaning information at cocktail parties and meetings. I do not think it too important that they should be engaged in what is regarded as purely diplomatic work. All their efforts should be directed towards getting more trade and they should regard themselves as trade attachés more than anything else.

Lastly, I want to refer to the care of our people in Britain. I think they need care. All of us deplore the fact that so many Irish people are forced to work and live in England but it can be said that a great majority of them have either a strong hope or a faint hope that they will be able to come back here and they are reluctant to settle down in England. We must confess as well that in many areas in Britain, our people are not accepted, to say the least of it. In many parts of Britain they are cold-shouldered and they find that they have been more or less rejected by the Irish nation because they failed to get employment here, and over there they are not welcome. I know there are traditional cities and centres where they are welcome and fit into the community very well but in other parts they are cold-shouldered and they resent it.

I am not conversant with facilities provided by the British Government or the local authorities but I would certainly support the idea put forward here that there should be some help from some of our Departments. Whether that should be from the Department of External Affairs or the Department of Social Welfare or some other Department, I could not say at present, but all the encouragement that can be given to them to collect in some community centre should be given. They should be helped as far as possible with their various problems, even to the extent of being placed in employment. Many of them travel from Dún Laoghaire to Holyhead, from Rosslare to Fishguard, and other points, without knowing where they are going to obtain employment. If centres were established, at least in the landing ports, very valuable advice could be given to them. If we cannot provide employment for them, we should give more help and encouragement to them in the land which is not so very far from us.

I should, first of all, like to deal with a few points raised by previous speakers. I am glad that Deputy Corish referred to Partition, as did Deputy Cosgrave. This is a question which properly arises on this Estimate but one which is fraught with tremendous difficulties. First of all, we must realise that the Government of Northern Ireland is not an independent Government in the strict sense of the word, and that it has no power to conduct external relations of any type. It must work only through the British Government in Westminster and we must not feel therefore, that every time we make an offer of co-operation to that Government and it is not immediately accepted, it is an action of pure malice on the part of the Northern Ireland Government.

In many cases, the Northern Ireland Government are not able and are not authorised to take any action directly with us. The whole position is very vague and very confused and in actual fact, we do have relations with each other. I am glad to say that these contacts appear to be getting closer and I hope more productive. When Deputy Corish was speaking about his passionate desire to see greater unity in the country, he committed what, to my mind, is the cardinal sin, unintentionally, of being downright offensive to the people of Northern Ireland. We always feel offended when people from the north mispronounce the word "Dáil" or the word "Taoiseach" and we feel they are doing it out of sheer badness. It is exactly the same when public men, or even ordinary citizens in private conversation, insist on referring to that territory as the "Six Counties". To be perfectly frank, I do not care twopence whether there is a formal recognition of that Government but at least we should try to behave ourselves in such a way as not to create offence unnecessarily but Deputy Corish, like many others, did so. Even when referring to the new Prime Minister, Captain O'Neill, he referred to him as "Captain O'Neill, the new Prime Minister, or whatever he calls himself". That is a slighting reference and I was very sorry that a person like Deputy Corish should do that. I do not think it was done intentionally. I think it was a mistake but it was a tragic mistake. It cannot be said to be a complimentary remark.

I think a considerable responsibility rests upon the Government to build up a closer contact than exists at present but the responsibility does not rest solely upon the Government. As I have said before in this House, a very heavy load of responsibility rests on the ordinary citizens. A positively frighteningly high proportion of our people regard anywhere north of Skerries as practically foreign territory. They may get up as far as Drogheda or even Dundalk but to many of our people these are strange cities quite unknown to them and as for crossing into Newry or getting as far as Belfast, the idea just never occurs to our people at all.

Northerners come south but we very rarely go north. Yet we sit here and pontificate about Northern Ireland as if we knew what we were talking about and in 99 cases out of 100, we do not. It is time that we all took this matter seriously to heart and, as a matter of policy, went up north far more often, whether on business, on holidays or just for the fun of it, to try to see what it is like, what its problems are, what its people are thinking about, how their minds work. If we could have much more interchange on that level, we would do a great deal better.

Deputy Corish also referred to this question of neutrality and described it as our traditional neutrality. That is a conception which I cannot accept at all. I do not know how the idea got around that Ireland was traditionally neutral and I do not know that anybody felt that our neutrality in the last war was something of which we were to be essentially proud. It was an essential policy and the only policy which could be followed in those circumstances but I never heard anybody boasting of it or saw anybody patting himself on the back about it. You do not pat yourself on the back for being neutral, any more than you pat yourself on the back for being belligerent. The fact was that in 1939 hostilities broke out in Europe and we had to adopt some attitude to these hostilities, either to join or to remain outside and our choice, for various good historical reasons and for political reasons at the time, was absolutely right. With practically unanimity, it was decided that we would remain neutral in that conflict but that was not a decision for all time; it was a decision in one particular set of circumstances.

The war eventually ended, but the war mentality remained and most of the world remained divided into the belligerents and non-belligerents. The name normally given to the non-belligerents was "neutrals" and consequently we continued to regard ourselves as neutral and to be so regarded by others. But there was no clear definition of the word "neutrality" and there was a great deal of woolly thinking about what the word meant.

In fact, we took every possible opportunity of getting back into the stream of international thought and action. We were one of the founder members of the Council of Europe and would have been a member of the United Nations at a very much earlier date if our application for membership had not been blocked by Soviet Russia. That was not the action of a country with a tradition of neutrality.

I would hope, therefore, that we would try to forget what So-and-So said on this occasion, unless we remember at the same time the circumstances in which that remark was made. A phrase—a speech even— taken out of its historical context can be used as a means or drawing an entirely incorrect conclusion.

Before the contribution of Deputy McQuillan, whose remarks we can treat with the most complete contempt because they were largely based on gross misquotations, we had Deputy Cosgrave. I am sorry that Deputy Cosgrave's speech was a rather colourless one but it was one to which one could not take any great exception. He referred to Partition in a rather vague way but then went on to dwell on the Fine Gael policy of expanding trade with Great Britain and relying on the British markets. I know the criticism is normally made of Fianna Fáil that there is division of opinion on many matters but the remarks of Deputy Cosgrave were very different from those of Deputy Costello.

Deputy Cosgrave was quite obviously supporting a continuation of the British trade connection and almost a concentration on development of that market. Deputy Costello, however, was pointing out, more correctly, as would appear to this side of the House, that our economic dependence on the British market for our agricultural exports has been one of the greatest handicaps from which this country has suffered for many years and that membership of the European Economic Community would have enabled us to break out of that unfortunate tie-up.

Deputy Cosgrave also mentioned the booklet to which the Minister referred in his introductory speech. There is one point on that about which I should like information from the Minister. In how many languages is this booklet to be printed? I would hope that it would not go out purely in English. In the magazine Development, which is a private venture, published here, I notice with delight how often French or German is used in the publication and in the advertisements. In our publicity, we must be very careful as much as possible to put our propaganda across in the languages of the countries which we wish to influence. We tend to fall into the British error of feeling that anyone who is worth knowing knows English or, if he does not, should learn it. I would hope, therefore, that this booklet will be very well produced and will be published in at least two other European languages.

Deputy Costello made a rather petulent speech and I got the impression right from the start that he was not able readily to convince even himself. It is a very common reaction that when one is doubtful about a point, one tends to shout very loud. Deputy Costello referred to the idle boasts and posturings of the Government in connection with our application for membership of the EEC and stated it was quite untrue that our application was not conditional on the British application. Quite obviously, there is a connection in some way but it never was a condition and it is quite incorrect to say that we were never keen on the Common Market until Great Britain appeared to be trying to get in also. It is a fact that Irish influence has always been asserted to try to further the cause of European unity and that we were doing all we could in the negotiations before the Treaty of Rome was signed to try to hold Europe together. We were fully prepared at that time to take our place in a new European community. When those negotiations broke down and Great Britain pulled out, or in fact was put out, again through French pressure, our position was that we were not then yet ready to make an application on our own.

Deputy Costello stated that there had been a radical and very satisfactory change of Fianna Fáil policy since the question of our EEC application came up. This of course is entirely untrue and there is no foundation for it whatever. We have always been trying on this side of the House as, I think, has been the case all round the House, to encourage all measures for European unity. He went on then to refer to the failure of our application. I hope it is not because I am an incurable optimist, but I deny absolutely that our application has failed or that it has been rejected. Negotiations on our application have been suspended and that is as far as it goes. It has been accepted in principle as a basis for negotiation, but owing to circumstances outside our control, the negotiations are suspended. Therefore, anyone who refers to the failure of our negotiations or the complete collapse of efforts to enlarge the Community is doing a great disservice to the cause of European unity.

We must at all costs keep our spirits up and keep the spirits up of others as well because this temporary setback has injured many, if not all, of the countries in the Community almost, if not entirely, as much as ourselves. Everybody has been shaken by it to some extent and we must not say there has been a final failure. I do not think we are fooling ourselves when we deny there is a final failure. There has been a temporary setback and nothing more.

Deputy Costello also referred to our isolation from the European Free Trade Area. The Deputy knows perfectly well that EFTA offered nothing to us whatsoever and that membership of it would have placed us in fact in an even more difficult position than the reverse. In any case — it is easier for a backbencher to say this than a Minister — I believe EFTA was a bluff right from the start, nothing more than a counterblast to the obvious success of the European Economic Community. It suffered from the great weakness that it was based purely on economic grounds and there is no real future for a community based on economics alone. I think, therefore, we were just as well off to keep out of EFTA and keep going with our application for admission to the Community.

He commented adversely on the fact that the Minister had not dealt with the question of the Community at all. I can well understand, or at least imagine a very good reason, why the Minister did not involve himself in this and I think it is worth while to try to see the situation as it stands at the moment. As I said before, a very severe blow has been struck at the whole structure of the Community by reason of the French rejection of the British application. We can all get annoyed with the French President — most of us have done so — but here again I think we must be patient and try to be understanding at the same time.

We have only to cast our minds back a very short time to remember that France at that time was still suffering from severe military reverses in IndoChina, was heavily involved with military operations in Algeria and a very ticklish political situation there, that this affected not merely her affairs outside metropolitan France but was splitting the whole country inside as well. We had a situation where ordinary parliamentary government through the operation of political parties had been proved to be a failure, when Governments were collapsing and when in fact parliamentary government was becoming impossible.

We had, in fact, a situation where mobilisation of civilians had to be called in Paris in order to resist a possible invasion of the capital city by a mutinous army from Algeria. That was a very difficult and dangerous situation. A great country was obviously showing signs of complete disintegration, and at that time only one man could be found who could rally the country around him. De Gaulle did precisely that. He had to take action which in many cases was unpopular and which outside was regarded as dangerous, but the fact remains that de Gaulle did get France back on the road again but only by playing up the great traditional role of France in Europe as the leader in culture, in military affairs, in economics and everything else.

He had to put forward a grandiose policy. He did so and he has got away with it. It has naturally made him a man who is very hard to live with. We have got to put up with it for the moment: we have got to be sympathetic with a country that has had such great difficulties. We must wait until the situation becomes more stable again, as it undoubtedly will, unless people lose patience and start being offensive or aggressive. We have to remember, too, that in Europe we have had this age old conflict and suspicion between France and Germany. We have had the aging Dr. Adenauer trying, as his last closing act before his career is ended, to reach a dramatic reconciliation with France. This treaty of mutual friendship was concluded just before the temporary collapse of the EEC negotiations. Many people felt Dr. Adenauer could have exercised greater influence on General de Gaulle than he did but here again we must be sympathetic with an old man who has a very long-cherished ambition which he sees practically within his grasp. Was he, at that stage, to risk falling out with the leader of the French nation over a temporary setback, even though that setback was something of which he himself greatly disapproved? We must forgive him if he did not do what many of us would have liked him to do.

I feel our policy at this stage is one of almost ignoring the temporary setback in Brussels and proceeding as if things had been brought to a triumphant conclusion already. That is precisely what the Government are doing. Warnings have been given very clearly that the dismantling of our trade barriers must proceed with exactly the same urgency as if our application had already been accepted, on the clear understanding that we earnestly hope that the negotiations will be reopened at a comparatively early date and that, when that happens, we shall not have got completely out of line with countries that have also been reducing their trade barriers.

There is no change of policy in that regard but I think in this rather difficult situation, any statement which the Minister might make as representative of the Government might be misinterpreted. My remarks can be very safely ignored but I think the Minister would be very wise not to involve himself in a discussion of our EEC prospects because it is hard to do that without some expressions of regret or even recrimination at the fact that the negotiations have not already been completed.

The Minister dealt very extensively with the work of the Council of Europe and I think he did so very properly because there we can still exert considerable influence and gain a tremendous amount of experience of what membership of a European community would entail. Anybody who has been to Strasbourg and is asked by someone having no knowledge of it at all: "What does it all mean?", finds it very difficult to give a concise answer. The only answer you can give is: "Go out there and see for yourself. Get the atmosphere of the place." It is very difficult to say exactly what goes on, what makes it so exciting and, at times, so frustrating. But our representatives there have done an extremely good job and I should hope that this year, in particular, if possible, there should be no change in our delegation because the delegation appointed last year has soldiered through the period of the Brussels negotiations, has seen something of the agony which that has caused in Europe and will be all the better able to pick up some of the broken bits and carry on next year. I should hope that all political Parties would nominate the same representatives for next year. In that way we would get greater continuity and also we would show the other Europeans that we were taking the job really seriously.

Generally speaking, the matter of publicity for Ireland was never of greater importance and one of the best ways of getting good publicity is by showing the country in a really hospitable light to prominent people who come here. I know there are outside this House those who feel that the amount spent on official entertainment is far too large. On the contrary, I feel we do not spend half enough on it. I was very sorry to see that in the report of the Committee of Public Accounts last year adverse comment was made on expenditure on entertainment. This comment was completely unjustified by the evidence placed before the Committee and I am very sorry that, although I am a member of the Committee, I was away on holidays when the actual report was accepted.

We are not spending half enough on entertainment. It is not unlike advertising in business. People say there is a lot of money wasted on advertising. If so, it is incredible that so many people in business should be willing to waste money in that way. All of us in business cannot be fools and the fact remains that if you do not advertise your products, you do not get business. Any other country is prepared to spend vast sums on entertainment. Some of us here have had experience of it at the receiving end. Two years ago, I was in Germany with the Ceann Comhairle, Deputy J.A. Costello and Deputy P. Brady for 12 days and no trouble or expense was spared for those 12 days.

Typical of the way the German Government viewed the situation was this occurrence. One night while in our hotel in Bonn, a group of students or teachers from Nigeria came into the hotel and the official of the Bundestag who was conducting us around spotted them. I said to him: "Do you know anything about that group?" He said: "No, but I shall find out now." He spoke to the leader of the group of about 35 and he came back about a quarter of an hour later quite clearly having been considerably shaken. He said: "You will not believe what that group were up to." He then said that they had come from Nigeria up through North Africa, across the Mediterranean into Greece and Turkey and into Russia. Then they told him that they had been to "Free Germany" and had now come to see what "occupied Germany" was like.

That German official certainly did not lose any time. Inside 20 minutes, he had got in touch with his office and had got officials to start mapping out a complete tour at Government expense for this group of Nigerians. Their hotel bookings were to be made. The following morning a large bus awaited them outside the hotel to take them on a tour of the Federal Republic. That would cost the German Government a lot of money but they felt it was worth while. How right they were! In a matter of minutes, a tour lasting about a fortnight was arranged for 35 foreigners without any question of the expense. The money was there for entertaining foreign visitors.

We could do much in that way. When committees of the Council of Europe are brought here, I am delighted because so often in the Council of Europe, we have found, as the Minister states, the reputation which Ireland has abroad, and even in Europe, is based upon complete fantasy. We need to show these fellow-Europeans of ours that we are not a dying community of peasants but that there is a dynamic community here that is going places, that is worthy of interest and that represents a good place in which to invest one's money. In that connection, therefore, I feel that the provision for entertainment is, if anything, on the low side. I would hope there will be no queries about it in future.

On the question of the United Nations, we have had some intervention by various people. Deputy Costello was obviously terribly disappointed by the fact that when the vote was taken on the admission of Communist China to the United Nations, the Irish vote was given against it. What a pity: I can quite see his disappointment because he has been preaching so long that the vote would go the other way. It only proves that we were right all along and that we were not fooling anyone when we said we would fight to the end to get this matter placed upon the agenda and fully discussed. Fine Gael, in particular, kept jeering at us and saying in effect: "You are Communists at heart. You want them in. You are going to vote them in and you are terrible people."

Nobody believes you are a Communist.

I am awfully glad. The fact remains that that taunt was thrown across the floor of the House time and time again. I can sympathise with Deputy Costello, therefore, in his disappointment when he found all his allegations were entirely unjustified.

I feel on the subject of the United Nations, too, that our policy has been impressed by the Minister's reference to the necessity for moderation and restraint. There is a terrible temptation, especially for a small country, to jump up and to make pompous pronouncements. I see the point has registered and I am glad it has. The only point which the Government have been making very clear is that mere biased pronouncements as such are valueless and that what must be done and is being done in the United Nations is to follow a policy of moderation and restraint and to influence other countries in that way by being a bridge between rival groups and blocs and by helping to interpret one group to another. That is the way in which the work should be carried out. That is the way in which it is in fact being carried out.

The statements by our representatives — the Minister or others at the United Nations — have been singularly free from futile pomposity. They have dealt with reality with moderation, restraint and to great effect. For that, I think we should be forever proud.

Among the things of which I am most proud is the fact that our loyalty to the United Nations has never faltered, even at times when it was difficult enough not to be critical. From this big distance it was hard sometimes to see what United Nations policy in the Congo really was: what the immediate objectives really were and whether the means adopted to attain those objectives were the best. We could easily have got into a wrangle over this. Instead of that, I think very correctly and with great loyalty, we just said: "We back the United Nations Organisation in whatever it is doing; we have committed our troops to the leadership of officers appointed by the United Nations and we shall back them in whatever they are told to do."

We could have got into a stupid wrangle by taking sides, for instance, between Dr. Cruise O'Brien and the late Mr. Hammarskjoeld. That sort of argument is entirely fruitless and would have got us nowhere. Many of us, I think, were tempted to leap to Dr. Cruise O'Brien's defence. Many of his criticisms, I am afraid, are probably well justified. At the same time, I do not think we should lose faith in the United Nations for a moment.

Let us realise the situation in which the United Nations Organisation found itself in the Congo. The country had only just obtained its independence and formed a type of Government when the whole organisation disintegrated and that Government appealed to the United Nations to come in and help. The United Nations had no earthly experience of colonial administration. The only Powers which did have experience of dealing with that type of situation were Powers which would not be acceptable in the Congo in any circumstances.

The Congo operation, from the military and civil sides, was an entirely amateur operation. It was carried out by men and women with no previous experience whatsoever of any similar operation. They were operating in a country where the people were strange, where the language was strange, where the distances involved were fantastic and where communications were virtually non-existent.

If we were to criticise the United Nations in those circumstances, we would be doing the Organisation less than justice. How on earth that operation ever succeeded is, to my mind, one of the greatest miracles of modern times. It was carried out with tremendous enthusiasm and tremendous high-mindedness but in many cases with almost incredible incompetence and confusion. I say that without meaning to be critical but just seeing the sad facts. It was almost impossible to get a communication from one place to another. Even radio was uncertain. With so many languages involved and so much translation, the danger of misunderstanding was magnified out of all measure. The fact remains that by solid hard work, by blood and sweat and toil, this operation has been almost completely successful already.

As the Minister said in his speech, the operation is now drawing to a close. It is foreseen that in the comparatively near future the entire Government and administration of the Congo will be in the hands of the Congolese people. That is something of which we should be tremendously proud. At the same time, it does not mean that we accept everything from the United Nations as gospel. We can be critical even of our friends and it is only right it should be so but under no circumstances should we allow our criticism to verge on disloyalty.

The whole conception of the United Nations is terribly exciting. We must remember that there has never been anything like it before and it is bound to have its growing pains. I know it is maddening, as Deputy Corish said, that a small country like ourselves should have to pay extra simply because Soviet Russia, France and some other countries will not contribute to the Congo operation. I know it is maddening — it is infuriating — but, here again, we must have this moderation and restraint and try to soldier through the awkward growing pains of an international organisation.

We have a contribution to make and we have already made a very considerable one. It is my earnest hope that that will continue and that we shall continue not only to give the maximum support and co-operation in all United Nations operations but that we shall keep our eyes very much focussed on Europe as well, that we shall take no step now or make no speeches which will be in any way apt to lead to a breach between ourselves and those we believe to be our fellow European countries.

Let us be understanding of their difficulties, their problems and their historical background. Let us be forgiving if they appear to be rude and rough with us at times. When God made time, he made plenty of it. Do not let us feel worried that the Brussels negotiations have been suspended at present. All being well —and I think they will all be well — those negotiations will be resumed. As long as we can work on that assumption, we shall be doing a good day's work for ourselves and for the European Community. The European Economic Community has been shaken; it has been wounded. The wound will take a little time to heal. Let us try to help it to heal rather than the reverse.

Overall, I believe that our contribution to international affairs has been a helpful and a constructive one. This is a Vote which should meet with the full approval of the House. My only criticism is that we do not spend enough time discussing international affairs. I would hope that as time goes on, we might have more frequent debates and that these debates might be rather more concerned with the facts of the international situation than with the bandying of Party political points backwards and forwards in the House as sometimes happens. We have progressed tremendously and have achieved quite a remarkable unanimity on many aspects of international affairs. That is as it should be but if there is constructive criticism, I hope we shall hear it. So far, I have not heard anything which was constructive to any great extent, but hope springs eternal and some leading members of the Opposition have still to address us.

It is a remarkable thing that the Minister for External Affairs should introduce his Estimate in a statement of some length this year and make no reference at all to the Brussels negotiations or the European Economic Community, make no reference to Partition and the state of affairs in Northern Ireland and make no reference whatever to the talks which have taken place in London and in which he himself was a participant with the Taoiseach. Deputy Booth recommends the Minister for External Affairs to be discreet. It is a strange interpretation of Parliamentary responsibility if in his annual rendering of his account, the Minister is not to supply Parliament with the facts. If he does not do that, why talk at all?

Possibly the most significant thing that has happened in this century, with the exception perhaps of the war, has been the collapse of the Brussels negotiations. I think it is true, quite apart from the exclusion of Great Britain, ourselves, Denmark and Norway, that a very serious injury has been done to the whole spirit of European union because the concept of European union was founded on that most difficult relationship of great Powers with small Powers, all bound together by a tacit agreement to operate their joint enterprise by consent rather than by veto or majority rule.

That elusive quality of mutual confidence has been completely shattered not only by the decision of the French President to announce the French veto on the admission of Great Britain to the European Economic Community in a public Press conference but also by his subsequent unilateral invitation to Denmark to join the Community without any prior consultation with the other members of the Community. It would ill become any of us here to speak disrespectfully of the President of France. At the same time, where our vital interests are touched, it is legitimate for us to comment and to express the regret that most of us feel that this very important European development has been so crudely arrested and so seriously put in permanent jeopardy.

It is true to say there has been a most radical change in the foreign policy of our Government, a change which we welcome. Two or three years ago, we were prancing about at the United Nations declaring ourselves to be unaligned and unassociated with anybody, uncontaminated by contact with Great Britain, the United States of America, Russia or anybody else. I cannot pretend to reconcile that attitude with an application to join the European Economic Community, with a declaration that you accept not only all the economic but all the political and military commitments of such membership without reservation. Those two positions are not reconcilable.

The last position which was declared by the Taoiseach in his interview given to Mr. Salzburger, the diplomatic correspondent of the New York Times, was a reversal of the position taken up by the Minister for External Affairs last year and I assume the Government instructions to the Minister for External Affairs were altered, that he made up his mind not to resign and to accept the change of policy. If the Minister for External Affairs believed that no question of principle was involved, of course, he was perfectly right to take instructions and act upon them. Many of us would have thought there was a question of principle involved but the Fianna Fáil conscience is extremely elastic and he has managed to reverse engines and remain at his post. If he thinks that is consistent with propriety, more power to his elbow.

Let us be clear and plain about this. Deputy Corish expressed some difficulty in comprehending what was the Fianna Fáil mind on the European Economic Community. Of course, nobody would know what was the Fianna Fáil mind on that because there was no Fianna Fáil mind on it; there were two minds which struggled to prevail within the Party, one held by the Taoiseach and the other held by the Minister for External Affairs. The Taoiseach prevailed, but what was the argument for Ireland joining the EEC? It is perfectly simple. If Great Britain joined the European Economic Community, Ireland had to join because the alternative was to allow a tariff barrier to be raised between us and our traditional market in Great Britain which would have excluded our agricultural exports from Britain.

That reason alone was sufficient to make it obligatory on us to seek admission to the EEC but that was not the only reason. I believe the much more enduring and significant reason was that the EEC was in itself a great concept and an enterprise eminently worthy of belonging to for two reasons: first, the European Economic Community was committed to the principle that an end must be put to the ever-widening gap in the standard of living enjoyed by industrial workers and agricultural workers, and to ensuring for those who live upon the land a standard of living comparable with that of those who worked in the factories; and, secondly, the purpose of the EEC was to produce a truly united Europe as a step towards joining in an Atlantic partnership with the United States of America on the basis of absolute equality, one, to defend freedom and, two, to develop the joint resources of a united Europe and the United States of America to help the emergent nations of Africa and Asia to live in conditions in which it would be possible for free institutions to survive and thrive.

That is a great objective and, apart altogether from our own personal immediate economic interests, from the point of view of the highest possible ideals in international life, it was hoped that this country was going to secure membership of the European Economic Community. I hope we may live to see this objective achieved. I am afraid we shall have to wait some time but I hope it will be possible that the spirit of European unity can survive the shock of the French veto. I hope it may come to pass that the European union will make a new beginning on the basis of re-affirmed mutual confidence, that the great partners in that union will not arrogate to themselves the right to trample underfoot the difficult convictions of the weaker partners.

In that connection, I want to register a complaint against the Taoiseach for his reports to this House on the progress of the proceedings at Brussels and I take the trouble to make these complaints because, although these reports are water under the bridge and past events, they strike at the fundamental confidence that ought to exist between members of this House in the accuracy and honesty of answers given by Ministers to Parliamentary Questions. On one occasion, I asked the Taoiseach if his attention had been drawn to the fact that it was widely believed in Europe that Denmark's negotiations with the European Economic Community were far advanced while ours had gone no further than the registration of our application for membership. I had heard these rumours in Brussels and Strasbourg. The Taoiseach replied to me in this House that he had made careful inquiries and that there was no truth whatever in those reports, that the position was the same with regard to Ireland's and Denmark's applications for membership. I recall that on that occasion Deputy Norton asked did that mean that in no sense was Ireland at the end of a queue for membership and the Taoiseach replied "None whatever".

Consequent on the breakdown of negotiations, the five Powers who were anxious for the admission of Britain, Ireland, Norway and Denmark instructed the Commission of the European Economic Community to make a report on the state of negotiations for the European Economic Parliament. That report was duly submitted and on Page 105 of that Report, the following words appear:

On 10th August, 1961, Denmark announced that it wished to negotiate with the European Economic Community with a view to accession under Article 237 of the Treaty of Rome.

On 27th September, 1961, the EEC Council of Ministers accepted this application.

A first hearing of the Danish Delegation at ministerial level took place on 26th October, 1961. This was followed by six meetings at ministerial level and five meetings of officials, with various contacts at other levels.

On the same Page of this Report, you can also read:

In addition, the Republic of Ireland also declared, in a letter of 31st July 1961, that it wished to enter into negotiations with the Community with a view to accession under Article 237 of the Treaty of Rome.

On 18th January 1962, a first meeting was held with the representatives of the Irish Government; at this meeting Mr. Lemass, Prime Minister of Ireland, referred to the problems which accession might pose for his country. A meeting with Irish Officials was held in Brussels on 11th May, 1962.

On 23rd October, 1962, the EEC Council of Ministers accepted the Irish application for negotiations with a view to accession.

That is as far as Ireland got and on Page 107 of this Report, the following statement occurs:

In the case of Denmark, the conversations were thus well under way by 29th January.

With Norway and Ireland on the other hand, the negotiations proper had not yet got under way, but contacts had been made and the importance of certain special problems had been assessed.

That statement by the European Commission to the European Parliament flatly contradicts the statements the Taoiseach made to Dáil Éireann. In my judgment, it is deplorable that a situation could arise in which it is on the records of this House that the Taoiseach deceived Dáil Éireann in a carefully considered parliamentary reply and that he reiterated his deception in every supplementary question asked him on that day.

I want to ask the Minister for External Affairs whether his attention has been directed to the statement of Herr Schroeder, the West German Foreign Minister, made yesterday at a meeting of the Common Market Council of Ministers at Brussels, when he said that nothing should be done to make further negotiations with Britain more difficult. He proposed that a permanent consultation council be set up between the permanent representatives of the Six in Brussels and the British delegation. Ambassadors of other candidate countries, Ireland, Denmark and Norway should also attend its regular meetings. I should be glad to know from the Minister when he is concluding what is the reaction of the Government to that suggestion and whether they propose to partake in the discussions as proposed by Herr Schroeder.

I was surprised that the Minister, when speaking, made no reference to the developments in Northern Ireland with the resignation of Lord Brookeborough and the appointment of Mr. O'Neill to the position of Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, particularly in view of that fact that it would be a useful thing if he availed of the occasion to say he welcomed the development of the discussions that are taking place between Senator Lennon and representatives of the Orange Order in Northern Ireland. I believe such discussions must do good and I am happy to say they have been received with approbation and joy by certain religious elements in Northern Ireland whom we have heretofore always associated with the more extreme forms of obscurantism in politics. I hope that better relations will develop, because the closer we manage to be, the better for all of us when the day of ultimate reunion comes.

I believe now as firmly as I believed 40 years ago that the British partition of this country by the 1920 Act cannot and will not survive, but it is only cowardice on our part to say it is good politics to sweep the whole business under the rug. It never can be swept under the rug. It is quite an illusion for anybody in London, Belfast or Dublin to imagine it can be swept under the rug. It is doing no service to Ireland or to Anglo-Irish relations to pretend it can be swept under the rug. It will not be swept under the rug, and in every generation there will emerge a tendency among young people to resort to violence and outrage so long as Partition remains.

It is quite true, as Deputy Cosgrave said, that violence and outrage, far from contributing to the early solution of this problem, make it more intractable and difficult. But we do not want the problem to be more intractable and difficult. We do not want Anglo-Irish relations to be poisoned by the inherent consequences of Partition. It is right for us to say— those of us like myself who have been all my life and my people before me advocates of Anglo-Irish reconciliation — that one of the most potent sources of prevention of true Anglo-Irish reconciliation is the existence of Partition, and it will always continue to be so.

I welcome, therefore, any prospects of better understanding and more co-operation between our people in Northern Ireland — and they are our people — and ourselves. I welcome any occasion to express the fact that the people in Northern Ireland are Irish and as much entitled to be recognised as part of this country as any of the people in the Republic. I should be glad to hear from the Minister an expression on behalf of the Government of his rejoicing that cordial talks can take place between representatives of our people on both sides of the Border, and the reiteration of the Government's desire to see the Border disappear on a basis of understanding and reconciliation, divorced from force or violence, or a desire to score at the expense of our people in Northern Ireland, in the knowledge that at present they are going through great difficulties and will welcome — even if they do not admit it — the assurance of our sympathy and desire to see those difficulties pass.

The Minister and the Taoiseach derive their authority to speak on behalf of this country from their membership of Dáil Éireann. It is because we in the Dáil by a majority chose them that they speak as head of the Government and Minister for External Affairs. Is it unreasonable to suggest that when they proceed to London to discuss Anglo-Irish relations with the Prime Minister of England and their opposite numbers in the British Government and when the Minister for External Affairs comes to render his annual account to the House, he should say something of what took place? I was speaking to a prominent English pressman recently and he said: "Those were the quietest talks I ever heard. You could suspect that anything had gone on in the course of the conversations from all the information that either side were prepared to impart."

That is not a healthy state of affairs. This is a democracy and so is Great Britain. The people have a right to know what went on at these talks. They surely did not exchange civilities about the weather. There must have been some discussion of the future. We were told that the purpose of the meeting was to discuss the probable developments consequent on the termination of the Brussels negotiations. What did the discussions cover? Was there a discussion, as well there might have been, that if we could not realise at this stage full membership for both of us in EEC, could the possibility be examined of an economic unity between ourselves and Great Britain, in which our agricultural community would enjoy some of the benefits they had hoped to get in a European economic union, and that we would extend to Great Britain some of the tariff concessions which the Taoiseach had announced it was his intention, on behalf of the Government, to concede not only to Great Britain but to all the other members of the economic union, if we joined the EEC?

Would it not be a great step forward if we established an economic community in these two islands, and between ourselves set a headline for Europe, showing that if it was possible for one of the smallest and poorest nations in Europe to function on the basis of equality and mutual good faith with one of the most powerful and richest nations in Europe, it ought to be possible for all nations to do as much? In the meantime, we would secure for our agricultural community a very material improvement. So far as Great Britain was concerned, it would, I think, probably make a substantial contribution to better understanding between ourselves and the British. While our influence is not either ubiquitous or omnipotent, it is surprising in how many places we count. I throw that out as a suggestion which I would have liked to have expressed if I had been there.

If these matters did not engage the Minister's attention while he was in London, I wish he would feel free to tell us what did engage his attention. The picture as we see it at present is that the two gentlemen came back from London with one hand as long as the other. That is not a very happy outcome of discussion between the Taoiseach and the Minister for External Affairs in consultation with the Prime Minister of Great Britain, the Foreign Secretary and the other Cabinet members who met them.

The Minister for External Affairs when introducing this Vote referred to our activities in the OECD and I heartily second his testimony of the usefulness of that body and its great potential for helping in the development of world trade along healthy lines. He said that the objective of the OECD was, in the next ten years, to expand the gross national product by 50 per cent; and he said that involved an annual expansioin of 4.1 per cent but that he was happy to say that our average increase in the gross national product in the first years of this decade represented 4.5 per cent.

Shades of the White Paper.

Perhaps the Deputy has spoken a little too soon because, when you come to examine the average to which the Minister referred, it consists of 6.5 per cent in 1960, 4.5 per cent in 1961 and 3.4 per cent in 1962, but it has the alarming element in it that it is moving in the wrong direction. It began substantially above the annual average envisaged by the OECD, but at the end of the first three years, it had fallen substantially below it. I believe we should lose no time urging on that body that one of its primary functions should be effectively to control the ghost that haunts every Government in Europe which seeks to expand production and provide full employment in its own jurisdiction, that is, the ghost of the balance of payments. Denmark has her back to the wall at present legislating for the most vigorous restrictions because, in an endeavour to expand the gross national product, she has run into appalling balance of payments difficulties and now has to take most exceptional measures to control that situation.

The fantastic fact is that if Europe were a federal union, there would be no question of balance of payments at all, but because it is not a federal union, every nation in Europe seems constrained to strangle every other nation through its balance of payments. That over-simplifies an economic fact in the world but it is not so extreme an over-simplification as to distort the picture. It is fantastic that in the latter half of the 20th century we should all be playing about the maypole with balance of payments. One nation runs into difficulties and uses measures to restore its own balance of payments but which precipitate balance of payments difficulties for its next door neighbour, who thereupon take measures which have the inevitable result of making its neighbour bankrupt, and thus brings another neighbour into her own predicament.

We are reaching the stage when the United States of America and Great Britain are getting on the see-saw and as Great Britain goes up, the United States goes down. If Great Britain goes down, the United States will go up. France at present is bursting with money. She is lending money to the United States of America and the funny thing is that she is not lending goods. It is not goods which anybody is short of; it is just money and the fantastic part of it is that it probably means no more than opening a ledger and making two entries because the day is long since past when you shipped gold across the Atlantic. Now you ship it across from one side of the cellar to the other. When it is on one side of the cellar, it belongs to France and when it is on the other, it belongs to the Federal Bank of America. Then if France gets into difficulties, you run to the cellar and put all the gold on the other side and everybody breathes again. The cry then goes up that the Bank of England is in trouble.

You are oversimplifying it.

That positively happens. It positively happens at the present time. They are lending each other money for the purpose of correcting balance of payments situations. The French paid their debt, due by them under some of the Marshall loans for one or two years in advance. I think I am right in saying that for years there has been no shipment of gold. Gold is held for each other in the same bank.

The problem calls for a statement in the simplest terms; the solutions to the problems are complex and difficult but great progress has been made in the past two or three years in the solution of these problems. Machinery has been set up in the International Monetary Fund, and has been set up by the Governors of the Central Banks of the countries of Europe and the USA, designed to correct the situation, but it still remains true that almost any country that embarks on a policy designed to create employment and a continued rate of expansion of its own gross national product is virtually certain to run into balance of payments problems unless its wealth is gargantuan and there are very few countries in the world left of whom it can be said that their reserves of wealth are sufficient to permit them to take the risk. I suppose France would be one, and Switzerland might be one, though it is constantly in danger of the removal of "hot money", if there was ever the slightest chance of her currency coming within sight of devaluation.

Is it not fantastic that the situation can arise in which a lot of sharks, and sheiks from the desert and thugs from the back streets of Brooklyn and the banana republics of South America, can stash their illgotten gains in the vaults of some particular country and then, by withdrawing it at a crucial moment, can precipitate an economic crisis in the country and cause balance of payments difficulties by drawing out the "hot money" they have stashed away in the most secret places they can find in order to conceal from their neighbour how effectively they have stolen?

Sooner or later, that position must be resolved. I believe the realisation of the European Economic Community and the establishment of an effective Atlantic partnership would have brought us nine-tenths of the way to the point when the free world could have said to the bright boys: "If you do not want your money in our currency, put it in roubles and see how you like it. You can shift the stuff round and round the mulberry bush. Within the society of free nations, we do not give a damn. The day is now gone when your operations can affect the welfare of our people. Our object is to achieve full employment and expanding output and we are going to do it and we have combined to such good effect that those who control money cannot prevent us."

Nationalise the whole lot.

Nationalise, my foot. If we could not do better with money than Beeching is trying to do with trains, nationalisation would not help us very much.

There is a big difference.

Bad and all as he is doing with the trains, he would make a "hames" of money. There is only one way to settle the money situation, that is, to create a position in which you say to them: "Round and round the mulberry bush. We do not give a fiddle-de-dee and if you do not like that, put it in roubles and talk to Khrushchev about it." The day we are in a position to do that — and we would have been in a position to do that if the Atlantic partnership had been established — then the road will be open to a satisfactory expansion.

In the meantime, I agree with the Minister for External Affairs that OECD will contribute towards the objective I have in mind and which I believe most reasonable men have in mind, but we will not get there until the resources of the free world are effectively combined for the purpose of giving all our people a reasonable standard of living in consideration of a fair day's work, whatever job they have.

I do not regard the United Nations as so sacrosanct as some other Deputies would have us believe it to be and I want to ask the Minister for External Affairs: does he not agree that if there is one place in the world where Parkinson's Law has got out of control, it is the United Nations? We have a proliferation of subsidiary bodies and subsidiaries to the subsidiaries and committees of the subsidiaries and sub-committees of the committees of the subsidiaries of subsidiaries which is becoming a public scandal. There is an army of international civil servants, many of whom, I am bound to say, I believe for the protection of their own employment, are thinking up plans for international activity, some of which appear to me to be utterly insane.

I believe the United Nations to be a useful institution. It may pass through a difficult time in the immediate future but, taking the long view, it is a useful institution. If there is one thing that can destroy it, it is the uncontrolled operation of Parkinson's Law and if it goes on proliferating into additional committees and additional functions which it arrogates to itself, if it continues to churn out the endless mountain of papers that nobody reads. There are tons of it circulating in the world every day and every hour of every day and I do not believe any living creature reads it except the unfortunate civil servant whom we pay to sit at the United Nations desk in our Embassy or Department of External Affairs, who wears himself out thumbing his way through these masses of balderdash which pour out, the necessity for which justifies the appointment of another half dozen in New York who, of course, must be carefully chosen on the basis of geographical origin. If you appoint a Russian, you must appoint an American, and then you must appoint an African, and then you must appoint an unaligned one and then the Arabs rise up and say they want one too and you end up with three fellows who have created jobs for themselves and three who have horned in, on the ground that the original three did not adequately geographically cover the whole United Nations.

That situation must be stopped. It is not peculiar to the United Nations. The moment you get an international assembly or body which derives its revenue from the several governments represented at its deliberations, that tendency develops and you find yourself being called to committee meetings in the Mediterranean when they could just as well be held in Capel Street or Piccadilly, but, astonishingly, everybody discovers that on this particular occasion, because it is April, the place to go is the Mediterranean and on your way you will meet somebody bustling back from the Riviera but you will rarely, if ever, find somebody hurrying from Bradford, or Glasgow or some relatively accessible place. These are places where international committees rarely, if ever, meet.

These operations to which I have referred are relatively insignificant beside the uncontrolled operation of Parkinson's Law in the United Nations and its subsidiary bodies like UNESCO and the FAO. The ILO is about the only one of which it could not be truly said. The rest of them are all at it and they ought to be controlled. I should like to hear the Minister, when he is concluding, challenging that allegation of mine, if he is in a position to do so.

I have heard all my life talk about the enforcement of international law. Could anyone tell me what is international law? Did you ever meet two authoritative people who agreed on what is international law? Ever since Grotius wrote his book, the world has been talking sagely about international law but no two men you talk to about it know what is the law of nations and, so far as I know, there is no authoritative source to which you can go to find out what is the law in terms of international law about anything.

There used to be the story about the Chinese Emperor who was waylaid by two confidence tricksters who pretended to throw a beautiful suit upon him and persuaded him that it was a sight so diaphanous and exquisite that no one but someone with a saint's eye could see it. He did not care to confess that he was not a saint. He could not see that he had not a stitch on him at all but marched out into the street believing that only saints would see him. Everybody claimed to be a saint and admired his clothes in raptures until a child too young to know a sense of guilt turned to his mother and said: "But, Mother, he has not a stitch upon him". Then the Emperor went home quickly.

I often think it is like that with international law. Everybody talks about international law but nobody can ever tell me quite what it is. Books are written about it in abundance. One of the essentials of law is that it should be ascertainable and that it should be universal. Applying that standard to the concept of international law, I do not believe it exists.

I want to make a reference to a matter mentioned by Deputy Cosgrave which I think calls for explanation. In the Estimate for Public Works and Buildings, under the heading of "New Works, Alterations, and Additions" in the Estimate for 1963-64, there is an item: Irish Embassy to the Federation of Nigeria, the residence of the Ambassador and Secretary, £64,000. Is that not rather a lot? What member of this House, having in contemplation the erection of a residence for himself and his family, would seriously suggest that it would be reasonable to lay out £64,000? We must at once concede that we may assume that an Embassy of this kind will have some office accommodation, although it speaks of a residence for the ambassador and secretary, but surely this is going to town?

What did the furniture cost?

They have not got around to the furniture at all. This is the residence but maybe that £64,000 includes furniture as well. I do not know. The way it appears here is: total estimated cost, £64,000; provision in this year's Estimate, £5,000. In regard to the Irish Embassy in Sweden, we are to improve the Ambassador's residence there and to improve it, we are to spend £6,000.

These are magnificent figures. I agree that in an annual expenditure of nearly £200 million, it is hard to get excited about £6,000, but can you imagine any of us blandly saying we were about to improve our house to the tune of £6,000? If I thought of a thing like that, I would get a weakness. I would think it was out of the question. I really do think this requires reconsideration. We have got into the habit, a great mistake, in my opinion, of buying palatial embassies. Now, you cannot run a palatial embassy except on a palatial income. There is nothing more depressing than to go into a palatial establishment and find it being run on a shoestring.

If you are running a very large house which is very handsomely appointed, you must have a very large staff, and in the world in which we are living at present, very large staffs are available only to billionaires or multimillionaires. They can have them and pay them fantastic sums. Of course our ambassadors, on their allowances, cannot very well employ much more than a daily woman and you cannot run a palace in a European capital with a daily woman. It is grotesque. It would be far better if a nice modest house were purchased, suitably appointed, which it would be possible for the Ambassador to staff adequately out of his allowance and, without ostentation, offer the hospitality such a house would allow.

I believe we have reached a stage when that procedure is called for and when a review of the present arrangements should be made. I think I am not being unreasonable when I suggest to the Minister that £64,000 for the Embassy in Nigeria suggests we may be making the same mistake there as we made elsewhere. I can well imagine what Deputy Carter would have had to say if I were Minister for External Affairs and introduced an Estimate including £64,000 for an Irish Embassy in Nigeria. He would have hit the roof: he would have screeched and denounced me in the most vigorous language.

Would he not be right?

I suppose he would, but I find it very difficult to engage in such pyrotechnichs, because I am hag-ridden by the conviction that our job is to make Parliament work, and the way to make Parliament work is to use argument and reason in the hope they will prevail. I think this expenditure is deserving of censure. I await the Minister's explanation before I finally commit myself, but unless there is some very exceptional explanation, it ought to be reduced.

I suppose we on this side of the House could jeer, and quote the Minister's speeches against him, dwelling on the remarkable somersault he has performed in his present office. If he had somersaulted in the opposite direction, I would have conceived it my duty to do so, but inasmuch as he has somersaulted in the right direction, I shall say he is a bit less daft than he used to be. I welcome his acrobatics and the more somersaults he turns in that direction, the more amenable he shows himself to public representation and the more emphatically he dissociates himself from the policy of his past, the more I rejoice, and the greater grows my confidence in the power of Parliament to reform men such as he.

Votes like those for the Department of Lands and the Department of Agriculture do not concern me very much because the only way I have been concerned with such activities has been in the growing of a head of salad or perhaps the rearing of a chicken. On Votes such as this, however, I find myself called on to speak. In regard to this Vote in particular, I want to state that I take a great interest in external affairs for the simple reason that, as I have said on many occasions already, I am very fond of history and that involves other nations and their growth.

I want to deal with one particular aspect before I forget it. Deputy Corish and others pilloried the Government for their change of foreign policy, because they advocated neutrality in certain years and then accepted the need to enter into agreements with NATO and the Common Market. In my opinion, an individual may make what sacrifices he likes in abiding by a principle but once he assumes responsibility for others, he must subordinate those principles in the common interest.

A very dangerous doctrine.

No, it is not. Once a man becomes a Minister or a Prime Minister, he must forget individual principles and must think first of the security of the people whose destiny he directs. A Government must be cold-blooded on what is the best policy for the public good. If neutrality were the best policy in the interest of the State in certain years, it does not follow it will be the best in other years. If the Government thought a change from the neutrality of other years was in the best interests of the country this year, they were bound to change their policy. It is all very well to have pride, but pride is useless if your children are crying from hunger. If our economic destiny is best suited by entry into the Common Market, then the Government had every right and duty to direct their policy towards such an entry. If that meant a change——

Like the Independents.

I, for once, am on my own. Do not worry about the Independents. Anybody who examines the history of the world and the growth of nations will see how Governments have changed their policies to suit their peoples. Only a few years ago, the Americans were pumping tanks and guns into Soviet Russia, whereas they hate Russia. In fact, you will be expelled from America today if they find you ever had any connection with the Communist Party. Yet, this America which hates the word "Communist" supplied guns and tanks to the Russians because it suited them to do so because a greater danger was likely in the success of Germany taking over the Continent which in turn would have meant war between the two worlds, a war in which America would fall. America realised it was in her own interest to fight with the devil if the devil was on her side.

We accept German goods ourselves.

When the war ended, America goes back to her former policy of siding against the major power which was then Russia. Within a year, you had Churchill at Fulton fuming against Russia and asking for resistance against the Russian advance — and Churchill was right. And if the Government here think this is the right policy now and want to change it later, it is their duty to do so. I do not want to enlarge on that because anybody with common sense or who has studied history will know the position.

In my study of history, I know of the case of Cardinal Richelieu, the Cardinal Prime Minister of France. At that time, Cardinals were ten a penny and were prime ministers of many nations. This was just after the Thirty Years War, a bloody war in which the religious issues predominated and each side inflicted heavy slaughter on the other. Yet, although Richelieu was Prime Minister of Catholic France, he had no hesitation in joining up with Protestant Sweden and Prussia to attack Catholic Spain and Austria because it was in the interests of France. This question of saying that the Government were neutral then but not now is just nonsense. The Government are entitled to change their policy any time they like in the interest of the well-being and security of the State.

I have always been interested in Partition and I have made a study of it. I believe I could teach people the history of Partition because I have examined it thousands of times and from every angle. I know that there is nothing much that the Minister could say about it. Perhaps it would have been right for him to make some comment but there is nothing much he can add because the position is exactly as it was 40 years ago. As I see it, it will remain that way for another 40, or perhaps 100 years. There is no use in fooling ourselves because there is a change of Prime Minister. That means nothing. He was chosen because it was known that he would preserve the status quo. Just because he appears to have an Irish name, some people are hopeful, but it must be remembered that that family was married into the Chester family who led the planters into this country and they dominate the whole Tory Party of Ulster.

I believe the change of Premiership means nothing. If certain people laud and encourage talks between Orange and Green, it is all very well, but, in my opinion, that will come to nothing: it is just palaver. Those people are determined to maintain what they call their constitutional position and they have not the slightest intention of ever surrendering because to do so would be to give up their own political power. I am pretty sure they have no intention of even giving that a thought.

I see no solution to Partition now and the only way in which I see a possible solution is through some change of power politics in Europe so that nobody can come to the North's assistance and then it will be easy for us to walk in there and take it. When that will happen, I do not know. Deputy Booth said that they had no power but I should like to remind him that when this foolish action of the Coalition in abolishing the External Relations Act was taken — at least that left the door slightly open: we were associated with the Commonwealth and we Republicans could accept that position — what was the result? The Ireland Act followed in Britain. That specifically stated that no British Government would ever again interfere in the constitutional position of Northern Ireland, unless the people there themselves decided to change it.

Actually, those Northern bigots, as I shall call them, have the power if they want to use it, to end their present position. Actually, Britain surrendered her power to those people in the Ireland Act. I have no faith in any palavering way of ending this problem: I have no faith in palaver at all. My judgement of history is this: every worthwhile change is decided by force or the threat of force. I never knew it to be otherwise. The unity of Italy was achieved in that way. The ending of slavery came after four years of bitter fighting, although for 60 years they had been palavering. Even the Congo situation, about which there has been so much talk, was not ended by anything except the United Nations marching in and using force, threatening to take Tshombe's life and property. Only when the United Nations were about to march in did he agree to their terms. Nothing worthwhile was ever surrendered except by the issue being forced.

I am not talking about marching on the North. We are not in a position to do that and while I agreed in principle with what the Republicans were doing, it was just foolishness because it could not succeed. The principle appeals to me, even if the actions did not.

Surely you would not allow the United Kingdom to have control over a single sod of Irish soil?

That is not the point. Who agrees with it? But can we throw them out? That is the issue. We accept it because we must. I suppose the Minister accepts it for the same reason. We have not the power to do otherwise. That is why I said some change in power politics in Europe must come whereby those who are preventing unity will not be able to interfere. Then it might be possible to go ahead, but not until then. We are not such fools as to forget that the people I have referred to exist up there. They are there and the Ireland Act pledges that if there were any interference, they would use all the force at their command. The force is there and we can do nothing about it. So, if the Minister said nothing, he did so because he is realistic enough to know he can do nothing about it.

He talked a lot about it.

Admittedly, but talk is meaningless. No worthwhile change ever happened without force. If a beggar in the street asks someone for alms, he will get a penny or threepence. He would have to take out a knife to get a pound or more. The principle is there all the time and you can get nothing in this world except by force: what you will get otherwise is only coppers or buttons.

A gentleman from the Cabra area came to me about six months ago and said his wife was an Englishwoman but she had been married to him, an Irishman, and living in Ireland for 20 years. When she went to get a passport to go to Lourdes, she was told she was still an Englishwoman but that they could change her into an Irishwoman at the cost of £10 or ten guineas. Why should that be? Her daughter was born in Ireland and she got an Irish passport but the mother who was married to an Irishman for 20 years would have to pay £10 to get her Irish passport. She had not £10 and so she had to go to the British Embassy to get her passport.

How did Singer get it?

I thought that when any woman married an Irishman, she automatically became an Irish citizen. If a person has to pay £10, which is a lot of money, to go to Lourdes, I think there is something wrong. The Minister should look into it.

As I said, the Minister can do nothing about Partition. I wish he could; I wish we all could. But we cannot — and let us be sensible about it. Again, in regard to what we ought to do, we shall have to be very coldblooded and do anything we think is best if it is in the interests of the country. We should forget our own tinpot notions and think only in terms of our responsibilities. If we do not do that, we shall be failing the people whom we pretend to represent.

I think the last speaker could write a very curious handbook on curious political principles.

I am a realist: you are not.

I believe he would have been a delight to Samuel Lover, if he lived in our time.

Grimms' Fairy Tales.

The Minister's whole Department is founded on palaver. Parliament itself is a civilised development of Deputy Sherwin's mind. I regret Deputy Sherwin is a deplorable throwback in this matter. I should not like the principles he enunciated tonight to be accepted by anybody in the House.

The disproportionately high contribution we have made to world affairs is a matter of pride to all of us. We can be satisfied with all we have done. I believe the world will accept our credentials in this matter of our external relations.

The subjects in the Estimate cover a very wide field. A lot of the Minister's work has been in what I would describe as the area of idealism. Our work indicates that our real interest in the task of establishing international relationship in the interests of international peace has been well done: we should be proud of it. I shall take a less global line. I want to speak on one matter closer to us in mundane things but of very great importance to our people.

Apart from political matters and the seeking of economic information, it is clear at once that the satisfactory nature of our trade with one country is a remarkable phenomenon. With most other countries, our balance sheet is remarkable for its lack of balance. But, with our relations with Great Britain, the opposite is the case. Counting our invisible exports to that country, the situation is so satisfactory that it brings into balance our trade with all other countries. In other words, our relationship with the British enables us to trade with the rest of the world and still be able to pay for what we import. For that reason, I, like other speakers, am disappointed that no reference has been made by the Minister to the obviously friendly discussions that took place between the British Prime Minister and one of his Ministers in London the week before last.

Our contacts with Great Britain fall into a very special category and, in spite of the past, there is a natural affinity between the two islands. I think the cardinal policy of Government here should be to buttress and strengthen that relationship. We are close in blood. Most of the people of this country have Norman and Saxon blood in them. In Great Britain, the percentage of first generation Irish is growing, regrettably. However, the extent of the proportion of those of Irish blood, going back to six or seven generations, must be formidable. Therefore, all the elements required for close association between our countries are there. We speak the same language and we believe in the same kinds of things. Our countries are complementary in their economies.

There are 50,000,000 people in Britain. They need food and we can grow it. We need certain manufactured goods and they can make them. We should fasten those links very closely together: I am occasionally amazed by the lack of knowledge of British visitors to this country about the people who live in Ireland. The growth of tourism and the rapidity of communications will probably improve that situation.

The Minister's reference to the number of British conferences being held in this country pinpoints the matter further. They are of far more value than the actual monetary return that would come from one conference or a whole set of them. The people who come here and who meet the people of Ireland, in the warm and friendly atmosphere that these conferences generate, will, when they return, help to strengthen the ties still more. Therefore, we are compelled, willy nilly, by the developments in the past few months to walk closer together. If de Gaulle has been responsible for that, I do not think it is the least of the services the French have rendered to Ireland.

Now, the British themselves have always acknowledged the unusual relationship between us — unusual in various ways. Indeed, the way they do these things is sometimes very puzzling to constitutionalists. But they do them. Even last week there were the arrangements about our sugar production which continue to amaze some of the people involved in that industry and perhaps some such type of Englishmen who live in London clubs, but it does not amaze anybody who has looked at the history of the two countries over generations.

None of us can foretell what lies before us in our relationship with the Six Counties but I am quite sure that by fastening closer the ties that bind us to Great Britain, both in friendship and trade, it must improve relations with the Six Counties. Deputy Booth made a reference to that in his speech. I remember that in this House 9 or 10 years ago I asked of the then Government to consider the following four proposals: (1) that we should recognise the Northern Ireland Government; (2) that we should set up a Trade Commissioner there and invite them to set up one here; (3) that we should lower tariff barriers between the two areas— we have done some of that now — and (4) that we should build our ships there —at that time we were building our ships elsewhere.

I agree with Deputy Booth that when we refer to personalities of the Northern Government we should never refer to them except with courtesy and respect and that we should respect them for what they are. They are stubborn, tough Irishmen. They have a point of view very different from ours but we must regard them for what they are: they are Irish. They would object more forcefully than any of us would if they were not so described. We should not convey any impression that we are trying to set up a Trojan horse of any kind. They are straight people and we should be straight with them. Our attitude should be that if they do not want to come in here, we do not want them.

The sum of what I am saying is that about 90 per cent of our external relations activities should be with Great Britain. That is the proportion that would most fully benefit Ireland and Great Britain, and I think it is the real wish of all the people in these islands. We have established now that the heavy political seas that existed in my boyhood have died down. The real links that bind us are not political at all. They are links of blood and trade and once the political link has been broken, the situation is healthier. I disagree with the last speaker who said the preservation of the External Relations Act was of assistance to our relationship with the British. I believe it was humiliating both to the British and to ourselves and that it was far better discarded, as it was discarded. It was a deplorably humiliating and involved idea. We were republicans inside the country but outside the Hill of Howth we were king's men. The present situation is clearer and healthier.

We have been very fortunate in the quality of our Irish representatives in Britain — Mr. Dulanty, Mr. Boland, Mr. McCann and now Mr. Cremin. They have made an important contribution to the amity between the two countries. They were our best men and it is fitting that our best men should be in that post. We have also been very fortunate in the quality of the British representatives here, and if we have moved into friendlier waters with Great Britain, not the least of the credit must go to the men representing each country.

All these things can be said now on this policy of friendship with Great Britain without any fear of national diminution of any kind. Such things could really only be said in a Parliament of a completely free nation. Whatever the economic or political future of the world is to be, it cannot be gainsaid that the free countries of Great Britain and Ireland are closely bound by many ties and it should be a cardinal concept of our foreign policy to strengthen and maintain those ties.

I shall conclude with a request to the Minister. I think the Weekly Bulletin of his Department should be sent to each member of the Dáil and Seanad. Deputy Corish might be right when he objects to the presentation but, on the other hand, it conveys the impression of being a businesslike document issued off a roneo every week and giving the day-to-day information. I do not object to that side of it. I should like to see the handbook circulated to Deputies and I certainly would not agree with Deputy Corish that there should be any advertisements in it.

I would endorse the remarks of the last speaker about the great desirability of strengthening the bonds of friendship between this country and our nearest neighbour, Great Britain, with whom we have so many ties of kinship. I welcome the various proposals which have been made on so many sides for extending the hand of friendship to the North of Ireland. I particularly welcome that members of the Fianna Fáil Party have so changed their tune and are prepared to extend the hand of friendship, as the Taoiseach indicated yesterday, even to the Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, for it was not always so.

Listening to these various proposals made here in the past few weeks reminded me of an incident in my childhood when the then Lord Mayor of Dublin, my father, accepted an invitation in the year 1935 or 1936 to attend the opening of a waterworks at Silent Valley in Belfast. The Fianna Fáil Government were up in arms at the Lord Mayor of Dublin misrepresenting the city by attending such a simple ceremony. Truly it can be said that Fianna Fáil have learned a lot in the past 20 years and we on this side of the House can boast that we have taught them a great deal. The present Minister, as far as I can remember — and I hope I am not doing him an injustice — was one of those who was conspicuously associated with the denunciation of the episode of which I speak.

If it is desirable to extend the hand of friendship to Great Britain and if it is desirable to welcome British tourists here and to welcome leading personalities from all over the world— the Minister in his speech expressed his satisfaction at the number of distinguished world personalities who were visiting our shores — surely we are entitled to ask, when a member of the British Royal Family comes to visit her relations in the midlands of this country, why it is necessary for her to sneak in by the back door at Shannon Airport——

That is the principal airport of the country.

——instead of being royally received in the capital city by Ministers of State and indeed by the head of the State. Why should it be necessary for her, when she wants to visit Dublin city, to do so surreptitiously in a car that nobody can recognise and just have a fleeting glimpse of the sights of this city? That is a most undesirable state of affairs. It is a most undignified position in which to place any distinguished visitor and most particularly a member of the Royal Family of our neighbouring country. I hope that at an early date we shall have an opportunity of seeing to it that if any other members of the British Royal Family choose to visit our shores, they will be received with dignity, cordiality and with traditional Irish hospitality.

I wish to refer to a matter which has been mentioned by Deputy Cosgrave, a matter which I have mentioned here on several previous occasions, that is, the problem confronting our emigrants in Britain who stray from the straight and narrow path, who, by reason of the sordidness of their lodgings, or by lack of familiarity with a strange environment, fail to measure up to the standards of the majority of their country's men and women when they take up work in Britain. There are many associations doing wonderful welfare work for our emigrants in Britain, trying to run hostels and recreation centres and to give them a helping hand when they are in trouble. All of these, without exception, are in a precarious financial position. They are trying to do work which should be financed by the State.

Any Irish parent is entitled to expect the facilities of the Department of External Affairs to be made available to their sons and daughters, if they have the misfortune to get into trouble in Britain. They are entitled to hope that the support of the Irish Government is available to organisations such as the Legion of Mary and other such associations which are doing this welfare work without much thanks from the Irish people as a whole. There is not a train arriving at Euston station which is not met by a representative of that organisation and they try to ensure that helpless and, perhaps, penniless emigrants, some of them green behind the ears, will not succumb to the many pitfalls of a pagan society. The debt of gratitude which the Irish people owe to these associations is a deep one and it is a disgrace that they should not be helped financially by the Irish Government.

The Minister's attitude on a previous occasion was that the Irish community in Britain was sufficiently affluent to look after its own lame dogs. The Irish people who get into trouble in Britain are usually those who have just arrived there. It is a disgraceful state of affairs that this welfare work should be dependent upon 3d raffies and 6d pools. I remember some years ago travelling on top of a London bus with an Irish clergyman, a Columban Father. The bus was going through Camden Town where there are 50,000 Irish people living. These people live in lodgings from which they are expelled at 8 o'clock in the morning and to which they may not return until 10 o'clock at night so it is small wonder that they go to the public houses.

We passed a derelict cinema and the priest said it had been sold for £15,000. He said it was a tremendous bargain if he had the money to buy it and turn it into a welfare centre for our young people, a place where they could dance and have a library. The poor man had not got 15,000 shillings for such a proposition and he still has not got it. Yet the Irish State can make money available for such folderols as the £64,000 Embassy in Nigeria. That money would be far better spent on welfare work for our emigrants in British towns and cities.

I have spoken rather mildly on this matter on previous occasions. I am speaking angrily on it tonight because I feel angry and disappointed about it. A few weeks ago, we read that 5 per cent of the population of greater London are native Irish born people. There are as many Irish people living there as there are in the whole province of Connacht. I know a certain good lady in London who engages in welfare work through a Catholic association. She deals with women exprisoners and on one occasion an Irish girl went to her looking for the fare back to Dublin. She thought she would try out a certain stratagem and told the girl to go to the Embassy. The girl went there and was told that they could do nothing for her and she was sent back to the lady who had advised her to go to the Embassy in the first place.

When I mentioned this matter before, the Minister said it was not public policy to make money available when it would not be subject to audit by the Comptroller and Auditor-General. I am not misquoting the Minister on this matter but that is a lot of nonsense. We give grants to the Royal Irish Academy, the Academy of Music and to the Zoological Society but no Irish civil servant or auditor has any function to report on any of these bodies. I am confident that if the Minister places his confidence in the bodies carrying out this welfare work — most of them under the control of religious — his confidence will not be misplaced.

I would plead with the Minister that some means of giving a £ for £ grant to those engaged in the welfare work be found. I do not want to see a team of civil servants moving into this field. The Minister is right when he says this work should be left in the hands of the zealous voluntary workers now handling it. Their zeal and motives of Christian charity provide the right inspiration for this work. It is a form of inspiration which cannot be replaced by any State officials. Let us give them the money to do the work and stop tinkering with the problem. It has gone on long enough.

Our work in the United Nations has been excellent and has helped to spread the name of Ireland throughout the world, particularly in the Congo. Our efforts at meetings of the Organisation have brought the name of Ireland before the world.

Reference has been made to the position our emigrants are placed in when they cross the water. The vast majority of them emigrate without any skills whatever, but, now that vocational schools are springing up throughout the country, we hope that in a short time most of those who have to emigrate will be in a position to take up skilled work. That will enable them earn more money and thus obtain better lodgings.

What I wish to refer to particularly is the question of the Six Counties. I agree with Deputy Barry and others who have spoken that the greatest friendship should exist between this country and Britain. We are placed side by side geographically, but when you find one country trying to impose her will on another by passing the Government of Ireland Act, 1920, to partition this country against the will of the majority of the Irish people, how can great friendship on our part be expected? We have done a lot to bring about that friendship and put our hearts into it but, because of the partitioning of our country, can we have that great friendship? Another sentiment was expressed by one Deputy, but the end does not always justify the means.

We should not sacrifice our principles under any circumstances. By all means, let us have trade agreements and so on between the 26 Counties and the Six Counties, but I do not think any Government of this country could recognise them as an integral part of the United Kingdom. That would be giving away the whole position for which Irishmen sacrificed themselves. There have been instances of close co-operation on several occasions, such as in regard to the Foyle Fisheries and the ESB on the Fermanagh border. The more of that we have the better, if they are prepared to accept it and work with the Government of this country. But I do not think any Irishman would have us accept them as an integral part of the United Kingdom.

Reference was made to our embassies abroad. The best men we have should be in those embassies, men capable of procuring trade for this country. No matter what anybody says, we have been for the past 160 years in the stranglehold of one market. Undoubtedly our greatest market is provided by Great Britain, our nearest neighbour, but we have been in the stranglehold of that market since the Act of Union. I do not mind what our embassies cost or if they are palatial buildings, so long as they are the means of getting increased trade for this country. In that way, they will pay for themselves. Mention has been made of the new embassy in Nigeria. I do not know why it should cost so much. There may be some reason. In any event, I am sure the Minister for Finance would not provide money unless it were needed to provide something the country required.

I should not like this Estimate to pass through the House without availing of the opportunity to pay a tribute to all those who have in any way contributed to the stand we have taken in the United Nations. When one looks around the world today and sees the titanic armaments being assembled by various nations, when one hears stories of the appalling power of destruction of the new nuclear weapons, it must become obvious to each and every one of us that the part we can play in a world organisation in which armaments play such a part must be a very small one indeed. The part which a small country like this is permitted to play on the world stage in the sphere of armaments must always be a small, an infinitesimal part compared with that of the giant armament countries with which we are associated in these international conferences.

I do not think we should ever try to build a reputation based upon the small armaments we could assemble at any particular moment. Our contribution in the international field must be a contribution based on our fundamental belief in the desirability of peace and in the rule of law. So long as our representatives in the United Nations take the stand that Ireland is an uncommitted nation, independent in that uncommitted stand, and that our policy is one of supporting action calculated to bring peace to the broadest area of the world, calculated to ensure the supremacy of the rule of law, and one of opposing every other form of action which threatens violence, then I think we can build for ourselves in the international councils a reputation far greater than we can ever hope to build by reliance on our physical and armament resources.

I want to say that I think the Minister played, in a very difficult situation, a good role in making it clear that our stand in the United Nations was one by which we desired to make the fullest possible contribution, based on the supremacy of the moral issues and our stand, and I have watched it closely, has all the time been on the side of supporting whatever appeared to us to be right, irrespective of who our companions were, and irrespective of whose feelings we might hurt in taking a free and independent stand. The uncommitted attitude of our representatives in the United Nations has given our stand, and our whole standpoint, a sincere independent basis. Nobody now suspects us in the United Nations; nobody can now accuse us of being the pawn of any other power or groups of powers. Our attitude in the United Nations, while it took some time to establish, is now clearly indicated by the fact that whatever moral issues are involved, whatever right or wrong is involved, whatever peace or war is involved, the Irish delegation is to be found on the side of peace and the side of the rule of law.

While from time to time that attitude may be misunderstood when some other countries with whom we are friendly take another view and are to be found in other lobbies, nevertheless in time not only will our point of view be justified as an uncommitted nation but our stand as an independent and uncommitted nation will be reinforced by the fact that we do not feel obliged to go into lobbies in support of those with whom we have otherwise friendly contacts. While a member of the United Nations organisation, we must view everything from an Irish angle, not from the angle of the power politics of Latin America, the curious inscrutable politics of the East, or the power politics of Europe. We must look at all the issues from the standpoint of what we ourselves would wish other nations to do if we were involved in the issue which affects them.

Thus there is reason for congratulating the Minister and our other representatives there on the stand taken in emphasising the independence of this country and on the uncommitted stand which it has taken on all issues which came before the United Nations. I hope that policy will continue. I think it is along that line that we will build a reputation, a world reputation, for independence and sincerity, for peace and social justice, and making clear to all and sundry that we are not the instrument of any other power, that our policy there, as here, is based upon the concept of our own people on these matters of peace and war, and the rule of law as against the rule of violence.

I should like to avail of the occasion to pay a tribute to all the Irish troops who have volunteered for service in the Congo in the past few years. The whole country will applaud the magnificent part which they played in policing that country and will have nothing but admiration for the manner in which they did it under, at times, especially provocative circumstances. The fact that the Irish troops have proved so popular in the Congo and the fact that their tasks were carried out with a uniform pleasantness on most occasions, is an indication that there, too, we have established ourselves as being on the side of those who want to restore law and order to a country which unfortunately has been riddled with intrigue and disorder. It is unfortunate that some of our troops lost their lives in the course of some of the battles in the Congo. The nation will salute their memory and it will retain memories of the splendid part our troops played. I hope that Almighty God will give peace and eternal happiness to the souls of those who fell on the battlefields of the Congo in an effort to preserve the rule of peace and law in that newly emergent nation in Africa.

I should like to refer now to Deputy Sherwin's speech. He prefaced his remarks by saying he was rather a famous historian and that he not only could teach members of the Dáil something they never knew about Partition but in the broad field of world history was without compare. I do not want to challenge the depth or the extensiveness of Deputy Sherwin's knowledge of history except to say this, that I do not begrudge him the deductions he has drawn from history. If he had read less and drawn more realistic deductions, he might have on the whole made a much better historian than he proved himself tonight. He told us, the information being based on his profound readings on Partition, that he himself was satisfied it would take 40 years to end Partition and two seconds afterwards, he said he thought it would be 100 years before Partition ended. That was the precision by which the Deputy judged the solution of Partition: 40 years one minute and 100 years the next.

He went on to say that he thought one of the difficulties was the repeal of the External Relations Act by the inter-Party Government. What he did not know apparently was that from 1922 until the passage of the External Relations Act, which was passed when King Edward abdicated from the British throne, for those 14 years we were in the British Commonwealth and the fact that during those years we were in it never induced the British to take the view we were entitled to have Partition abolished while still in the British Commonwealth.

As everybody knows, the 1938 External Relations Act was a subterfuge, a mean, miserable subterfuge because it was passed against all tradition. King Edward at the time broke through the British rule of succession and said he was no longer going to be king. By that action, he fractured the whole British code of succession and it was therefore necessary to get the individual countries of the Commonwealth to pass separate legislation to acknowledge the new king as king because the whole code was that when one king drew his last breath, the next was appointed immediately and hence the world got the expression "The king is dead; long live the king." But by the manner in which King Edward departed from the British throne the whole Act of Succession was broken and we had to pass something which would, so far as we were concerned, keep us in the Commonwealth and acknowledge the new king as the King of Britain. Nobody can doubt that in any way. I know of all the long and painful conferences of the period.

What did we do under the External Relations Act? Up to then, of course, the King was the origin of our external relations. Then we passed the External Relations Act under which the King still remained the organ of our external relations and the President was the head of the State for the purposes of our domestic activities. The President's writ ran over the Twenty-six Counties but when you came to accredit somebody outside, then it was the King who had to do the accrediting. That showed itself up during the war when, I think, our ambassador left Berlin and we could not appoint a new ambassador because of the fact that the British King, being at war with Germany as head of the Commonwealth, could not accredit a new ambassador from this country to Germany. Being at war with Germany as head of the Commonwealth, he could not be accrediting ambassadors for us at the same time.

We repealed that Act in 1948 or 1949. I think it was good that we did so. The whole constitutional position at the time was cloudy and murky. What we did then was to establish the President, not merely as the organ of our internal relations in the fields proper to him, but as the organ of our external relations as well, and today the President accredits our representatives in any country in the world with which we desire to have diplomatic arrangements and he receives the credentials of ambassadors here. We have given the President here a new and better and more dignified status than that of being a sort of worn out second-fiddle to a British king, who was a chief representative for us in matters of external relations.

Deputy Sherwin laments the repeal of the Act. I think it is to the credit of the House that all Parties at the time supported its repeal and I do not think anybody now is politically so stupid or intellectually so impoverished as to want to restore an Act of that kind in the pathetic belief that it would bring about some mesmeric change in the British attitude towards Partition.

It may very well be that Partition is a problem which will take a long time to solve. I am convinced it will not be solved by force of arms. I cannot see how we are going to create unity with the Six Counties by making war on the people there. I cannot see how any country can produce unity of mind and unity of heart by means of the bullet and the bayonet. We have to be patient; we have to be understanding. We have to set a good example to our fellow countrymen in the Six Counties and to show by our collective development as a nation and by our individual growth as a people with our instinctively attractive habits that it would pay them to be united with this portion of the country so that all may make a contribution to spelling out life in a better and happier way than that in which it is being spelled out in either part of the country today.

We should not overlook the fact that Partition was conceived and born in Britain. Downing Street was the birthplace of Partition. The British Government have a heavy moral responsibility for the continued existence of Partition. It is impossible to imagine that a small little area like the Six Counties could possibly exist without British finances, without British protection, without heavy British subsidies. If the British were to say to those whom they defend in the Six Counties that they desired Partition to be brought to an end and a unified Ireland created, not only do I believe they could achieve that by their own action but I believe they could bring together a united Ireland which, even from the British point of view, could be a better source of friendship and of strength than a sundered Ireland can ever be.

One can only hope, as one Six Counties Prime Minister, Lord Craigavon, said, that this partition cannot last forever. That fact will be demonstrated one day and it will be possible to unite the two parts of Ireland into that single Ireland which was made one by nature, by history and by Almighty God. We must all work for the attainment of that objective. We can work the better for it by reliance on peaceful means, persuasion and tact than by resort to arms, upon which Deputy Sherwin so profoundly relies.

I should like to make one further observation on the question of our embassies abroad. I have received nothing but kindness and consideration from these embassies whenever I had occasion, as I have frequently had occasion, to visit them or to seek their assistance or advice on one matter or another, but I should like to suggest to the Minister that in the new climate into which we are likely to move in the Common Market, it is desirable that more emphasis should be laid on the necessity for promoting trade than there appears to me to be, in these embassies today. It is quite natural that the people in embassies should feel that they are there for the purpose of maintaining the usual diplomatic association and niceties with the countries to which they are accredited, but, over and above that duty, there is another duty, that is, the promotion of increased trade between the two countries.

While the ambassador may be necessary as the titular head of the mission, I should like to see alert people appointed as trade commissioners in our embassies in countries where we are likely to do business so that they could act, as it were, as commercial travellers for the products we have to sell, perhaps to arrange for mutual trading relations on a mutually rewarding basis with the countries concerned. In the past, with the exception, perhaps, of Great Britain, I do not think we have had any trade representatives in our embassies abroad. We may have had somebody in Washington or perhaps in Canada but the main emphasis in all our embassies has been on the maintenance of diplomatic relations and the discharge of the various diplomatic duties. I should like to see in the new climate into which we are moving more emphasis being laid on the trade aspects of the diplomatic missions because I believe that if we are to survive as a viable entity in the Common Market, it will be necessary for us to garner all the trade we can from every part of the world in which we can get it.

Progress reported: Committee to sit again.