Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Tuesday, 30 Jun 1970

Vol. 248 No. 1

Membership of EEC: Motion (Resumed)

The following motion was moved by the Taoiseach on Tuesday, 23rd June, 1970:
That Dáil Éireann takes note of the White Paper entitledMembership of the European Communities: Implications for Ireland.
Debate resumed on the following amendment:
To add at the end of the motion: "and urges the Government to ensure that the terms of membership to be negotiated adequately safeguard the interests of the people of Ireland."
—(Deputy Cosgrave.)

Last week we were discussing the question of our application to the EEC in conjunction with the applications made by the other countries who are also anxious to join the Community. I was comparing the remarkable similarity between the approach of the main Fine Gael speakers and the main Fianna Fáil speakers. However, perhaps, it was not so remarkable. At present the application has been formally made and the opening speeches have been made by our Minister as well as by the other Ministers. That being so, this debate takes on a different complexion entirely because now we are talking about something which is in the course of operation.

From the very start we in the Labour Party were of the opinion that it was a mistake that this Government should give the impression that they were terribly anxious to become members of the EEC. We had statements such as "If Britain does not go in, we will go it alone" and this was followed up by other people who said that if Britain go in we will have to go in, and various views in between were expressed. If Ireland is to become a member of the EEC the people of this country should be made aware of what is likely to happen. They should be made aware of the things that will favour them and of those which will be very much against their interests. It is only fair to ask the Government about these points. The Government have given the impression that if Ireland enters the EEC the people of the country will benefit enormously.

A former leader of the Labour Party, the late Deputy William Norton, used an expression which could not be improved upon as a description of what is likely to happen. The late Deputy said: "It would be an excruciating experience for the Irish nation." That is exactly what the position is today. I was listening at 1.30 p.m. to the news bulletin and to the statement made by Deputy Dr. Hillery, Minister for External Affairs. The Minister has gone back to saying that we are prepared to go in and we have no qualms about it. Perhaps it is a good thing to put on a bold face. Some members of the present Government have become expert at putting on bold faces under very severe circumstances. It is not fair to tell the people that everything will be fine and that all our worries will be over once we go into the Common Market.

A number of people have spoken at length during this debate. I do not wish to drag out the discussion too long. The late Deputy Seán Dunne said that if a person had something to say he should say it in a quarter of an hour or else he should go out into the middle of a field and say it to himself. The late Deputy said that after he had made one of his long speeches. I will try to make my remarks as brief as possible. The position as we see it is that if Ireland enters the EEC we will be guaranteed the same prices for our products as those guaranteed to countries already in the EEC. Irish farmers and industrialists are being told things like this which are so much in their favour. They are not told that the agricultural advisers in the EEC are trying desperately to find some way of cutting down on certain products which are being overproduced.

I spoke before about butter and milk products. On 31st March last there was overproduction of one million tons of butter in the EEC. We have overproduction of butter here and have been attempting to get rid of it by almost giving it away to various countries and by subsidising it heavily to our best customer, Britain. In fact, the EEC countries seem to be in the position where they cannot give it away. This may seem odd in a world in which there is so much hunger. Milk and milk products are already overproduced and they represent our main products in agriculture. The solution to this problem of overproduction in the Common Market is being considered. The Mansholt solution is to pay a subsidy for the slaughter of milch cows. I do not know how the Irish dairy farmer would react to that suggestion. At one stage the Fianna Fáil Party were responsible for the slaughter of calves but apparently the slaughter of cows is now being considered.

Beet and wheat are both main crops in this country. They are not required in the Common Market because there is overproduction of these crops. France in particular has tremendous overproduction of wheat and the only way they can get rid of it is to use the European Agricultural Fund to send it outside the Common Market. General de Gaulle negotiated a deal with Red China a few years ago. A large amount of wheat is being given to them at the expense of the other countries in the EEC. There is a shortage of beef in certain parts of Italy. It is said that the Italians do not eat the type of beef we produce. There could be a change in the type of beef produced. That might be a relatively simple matter. The farmers of this country cannot live on beef production alone. The sale of beef to the EEC will not keep many people on Irish farms.

The Irish type of farming does not appear to be acceptable to the EEC because of the size of the farms. Some people believe that an economic farm should consist of at least 200 acres. Mr. Lemass, when Taoiseach, said he thought that was a good idea, but nobody ever explained to the small Irish farmer how the small farms could be converted to large 200 acre farms. That could only be done by getting rid of many small farms. People have been leaving agriculture at the rate of 12,000 per year over the last few years. Apparently, in the EEC the numbers will be increased substantially.

Deputy Dr. FitzGerald interrupted me the other evening when I was talking about how difficult it would be to increase the farms and said I did not approve of group farming. I pointed out that I had not heard anybody in the Fine Gael Party saying he was anxious about the introduction of group farming but I admit that Deputy Tom O'Donnell mentioned it on a number of occasions. I did not hear anybody in the Fianna Fáil Party talking about group farming. Recently, if anyone started talking about group farming somebody, particularly in Fianna Fáil, would come out and brand whoever made such a suggestion as being some type of communist.

Under the terms on which we are going into the EEC, we must increase substantially the size of the farms and get rid of the people working on the farms. I was in agreement with the Minister for Lands when he said that the solution to the small farm would be to have part-time farmers with part-time jobs elsewhere. This is completely contrary to what is suggested under the terms of the EEC membership. Deputy Seán Flanagan and myself will find ourselves out on a limb if the people go headlong for the idea of the 200-acre farm and have no regard for those who must get out of the small farms. There are many large farms in my area. Some of them have been broken up. Very few people have been left with 200 acres. The man who got 150 acres was supposed to have given away a lot of land in the west of Ireland. Perhaps he did.

Most of our farmers have between 20 and 50 acres of land. In congested areas there are many such farms and it is difficult to make a decent living on them. The suggestion that it would be possible to implement the EEC proposals even in County Meath does not appear to me to be feasible. Yet we say we are prepared to accept everything the Common Market countries demand and the treaties of Rome and Paris without further consideration.

What will be substituted for the dairy industry and for the wheat and beet industries? Probably the beef industry will be able to look after itself but the number of persons required on farms will be greatly reduced. We must ask the question whether this means there will have to be a big upsurge in industry.

I have already mentioned in the House that a number of Deputies had a discussion with a group of French industrialists who were interested in starting industries here. While the industrialists were prepared to agree that up to now the Government here had been offering certain facilities to industrialists by way of grants, tax remissions and a plentiful supply of labour, they pointed out that if we enter the EEC we will not be able to continue those concessions and, therefore, there is no point in industrialists coming here with a view to gaining them.

The industrialists I mention were not prepared to accept the assurances some members of our party tried to give them that that was not the case and that the concessions could continue for some time. Some of them were honest enough to suggest that the Common Market idea now, contrary to what was some years ago, was not to improve regions where there was much unemployment by setting up industries. They found this was not working out and that the only solution was to take the unemployed to areas where work was available — to the cities in Germany, France and Belgium. They did not seem to think there was any hope whatever of improving regions such as the west of Ireland.

One of our members asked if there was not a possibility that special provisions would be made for certain areas and suggested the subsidisation of transport to areas far from the centre. The industrialists' reaction was that it would not be profitable to bring raw material into remote areas, manufacture the goods and transport them back to the centre. They stated that if we claimed entitlement to subsidisation of transport to remote areas, Central European countries would be entitled to subsidisation for sending products to Ireland. Some people apparently have convinced themselves that the EEC is Utopia and that if we rush headlong into the Community we will not have any further worries. However, our party have gone into this matter very fully and we are convinced that it will be, as Bill Norton said, "an excruciating exercise".

The question of whether our industries will stand up to free trade competition is another matter which must be considered. If the people who are leaving agriculture and those who are unemployed could be given jobs in industry there would be something to be said in favour of entry. However, it appears industry is having a difficult time with the operation of the Anglo-Irish Free Trade Area Agreement and if we cannot stand up to this agreement how can we deal with complete free trade with such industrial giants as Germany and France?

It has been suggested that there is no unemployment in the EEC. I was interested to read in the European Newsletter of 19th June, 1970, an article entitled “Activities of the Community in 1969”. In this article there was a statement made by a M. Girardin who expressed concern at the increase in unemployment, particularly among the younger age group. He urged the setting up of adequate vocational guidance centres and he deplored the lack of co-ordination between vocational guidance and occupational training. The article might have been written about Ireland, in fact, it was about the EEC, where everything is supposed to be perfect and where it is suggested there is no unemployment.

I was in Brussels last year and was surprised to find men who I thought would be employed in industry working at what in this country would be termed menial tasks. They told me that there was no other work available for them. This also gives the lie to the suggestion that there is no unemployment in the EEC. Therefore, we should be very careful from the point of view of agriculture and industry before joining the Community. This morning the Minister for External Affairs stated that we were prepared to accept everything. To me, his words meant that we were all square with any of the countries either in the Common Market or now applying for membership. I only wish he was right.

There has been much talk here and elsewhere about the negotiations or what must happen with regard to Ireland's entry into the Common Market. Let me again refer to the European Newsletter of 26th June, 1970, where reference is made to the opening of negotiations. It states:

The arrangements for the opening of negotiations with Britain, Ireland, Denmark and Norway are now completed. The opening session will take place at the Kirchberg, the European Centre in Luxembourg on Tuesday, 30th June.

Firstly, M. Harmel, President of the Council and Foreign Minister of Belgium will speak and then M. Rey, President of the Commission. Mr. Barber for Britain, Dr. Hillery for Ireland and the Danish and Norwegian Foreign Ministers will reply. It is expected that the other Foreign Ministers of the EEC Member States will then make statements. It should be underlined, however, that the negotiations proper will be conducted from a common standpoint with a single spokesman for the Six. The first working session with the British will take place on July 21st and with Ireland on September 21st, both in Brussels.

So much for the reply that was given here today by the Taoiseach, to the effect that it did not matter whether the two discussions took place together —that the negotiations in both cases would take place at the one time.

The arrangements made for the negotiations and for the entry of Ireland into the Common Market have been kept from the people. I consider this a mistake, particularly because of the fact that before we can sign any agreement we must have a referendum to decide whether the Irish people are prepared to accept the terms of reference with regard to our Constitution. Are we prepared to make at least seven different changes in the Constitution? Some people have said that the constitutional changes suggested were not of great importance. Let me refer to one of the changes. In Article 5 of the Constitution it is stated that we are a free democratic republic. This must be changed.

What about the other countries?

The other countries have their own problems and will meet them in their own way. They have their own constitutions. Some of them have written constitutions and others unwritten constitutions but we have something written into our Constitution and it is definite that, before we go in, the people of this country must vote in favour of changing at least some of the Articles of our Constitution. These are Articles 5, 6.2, 15.2, 34.1, 34.4.6º, 29.5.2º, and 29.6. There are quite a number of others that may also have to be changed. Let us remember that this country would not join NATO because we argued that as long as the British Army occupy six of our counties, we could not enter into a military alliance with them. Things have not changed and like the Oath long ago which was something nobody could accept and which eventually became an empty formula, this is apparently being swallowed hook, line and sinker by the republicans of this country who, apparently, are prepared to change their colours from day to day.

My objection to it all is that it appears to me—some people may like this — that we are to march into Europe under the Union Jack and be proud of doing so. It seems to me that from being a free, sovereign and democratic nation, we are becoming a province of the British Empire.

That is not so, as the Deputy well knows.

That has happened already by way of the Free Trade Area Agreement.

Today, Britain made an application on behalf of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland for entry into the Common Market and we lined up beside them and said: "Us too".

Why not?

I am trying to give the reasons. Everybody can have a say in this debate and I would suggest that those who are so anxious to help me might wait their turn.

What would be our position if we were left out?

None of us knows. That is another ridiculous question.

Deputy Tully to make his contribution; others later.

I am sorry, a Leas-Cheann Comhairle.

I suppose Deputy Burke's question was fair enough but it is one that a number of other countries will also have to answer, for instance, Sweden, Austria, Switzerland and, if you like, Spain and Portugal, the latter two not counting very much according to my book. We believe that there should have been another approach. Some people said that association would be of no use because we would not have a vote but even if we have a vote what difference will our tiny voice make against the giants? If we had association instead of full membership it would be very much better for all of us.

Mr. Barber said today that Britain would not be prepared to join if the price was too high. As I see it, that is the only thing that might save us but apparently the price does not matter where we are concerned.

Again, I should like to refer to a matter I mentioned last week and on which the Taoiseach took me to task. I asked the Taoiseach why on earth he, on behalf of Ireland, had done something which no other country had done or had been asked to do and that was to guarantee to take part in the defence of that portion of Europe that is in the EEC. The Taoiseach said, not to a statesman but to a French Journalist, that we were prepared to accept all commitments, including defence. Certainly, he got more publicity than if he had made the statement behind closed doors. However, I asked him why and his reply as reported at column 2089 of the Dáil Debates of Thursday, 25th June, 1970, is very interesting. I quote:

My statement was made in the context that we would be part of a Community the defence of which Community would be in our interest.

I then asked the Taoiseach this question:

On reflection, would the Taoiseach not agree that it was rather foolish to guarantee to participate in a military bloc when, in fact, he was not asked that question and there was no necessity to give such a guarantee before applying for membership?

The Taoiseach's reply was:

I have said that many times since then.

Obviously, he realised the error of his statement. Deputy Dr. Cruise-O'Brien has been criticised by some people who claim to know everything. These people say it is all cod that we might be sacrificed in the event of nuclear war. Deputy Dr. FitzGerald suggests that it is necessary to build a third force in the world. Obviously, the third force to which he was referring was the EEC. Of course, if we talk about a third force we are talking about a military force. If he was talking, as I think he was, about America on the one side with the Russian bloc on the other side and Europe in between, we would be helping to make up this third force. I cannot understand why we should be interested, after being neutral for so long, in taking part in whatever holocaust is likely to come but, according to the Taoiseach's statement, it is quite clear that we would be prepared to provide soldiers if necessary in the defence of Europe. In passing, I should mention that, although our Army recruiting campaign has been in operation for about 12 months, we have a smaller Army at the end of those 12 months than we had at the beginning because, I understand, while more than 1,000 have joined, more than 1,500 have left. Therefore, the only way in which we could help in so far as policing is concerned would be by conscription and we all know what the Irish people think of conscription.

We were very glad when we succeeded in getting rid of the British from our ports. Are we now to supply nuclear submarine bases for the defence of Europe? Nobody is keen to bring this aspect to the attention of the public but it is only right that this matter should be aired in this House.

I was amused to hear two or three speakers suggesting that by joining the EEC we would in some peculiar way get our own back on England and that by rejoining France and the other allies in Europe, we would be doing away with the Border. That is a proposition that I could not work out. Therefore, I should like to hear that point being developed. It is true that if both we and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland join the EEC, the customs border between the Six Counties and the Republic will disappear, but that will not mean the ending of Partition.

According to my interpretation of the Treaty of Rome one of the terms upon which new members are accepted is that existing barriers remain. What we are saying is, in effect, that if we go into the Common Market, as things stand, we will no longer have any interest in removing the Border; our interest will be confined to the Twenty Six Counties; the other Six belong to Britain and they can stay there. I regard this as a crime and I believe this is an attitude the Irish people will not be prepared to accept. I also believe that something should be done to straighten this out before it is too late.

Again and again, the people running the Community have insisted they are not prepared to change the Treaty of Rome. One either goes in under their terms or one stays out. They are perfectly entitled to uphold their own Treaty. I think it is more than foolish for a new applicant to try to give the impression that conditions can be changed and that, by going in, one can get them changed in some peculiar fashion. I honestly believe that had an effort been made by applicants as a group before making application to have certain things changed there might have been some hope, but going in as, apparently, we are doing, crawling in after Britain, takes the ground completely from under our feet and I cannot see how we can hope to negotiate on certain matters at a later stage.

In view of what has happened it is rather a pity, I think, that the Government did not decide, before pushing application the whole way, to have a discussion here between all-party representatives. This is a matter upon which there should have been a full Committee of the House, a Committee to examine all aspects thoroughly before application was finalised. This is something on which no one party has all the wisdom. However, the Government decided to got it alone. The Government can have two views on the same thing.

On a number of occasions Government speakers have made the case that certain things were being done because we were preparing for EEC membership. Then we come up against something, which may not appear important to the Government but is very important in the connotation of the EEC. The principle of equal pay for work of equal value has been accepted. There is no discrimination against the sexes. Yet, in this country, not alone have we not adopted that principle but we have, in fact, thrown overboard something upon which Deputy Haughey, as Minister for Finance, insisted last year; he insisted that the same increase should be given to men and women alike. That was going some way towards achieving what the EEC want. What happened this year? We have a situation in which talks have almost broken down because the County Managers Association refuses to agree to equal increases for men and women. Is this not making a joke of the suggestion that we are preparing for EEC membership? I am satisfied the Minister for Health must know that this change is taking place. This demonstrates clearly that we want to have it both ways. There are some who may regard this as a relatively unimportant matter but, if we go into the EEC, we must be prepared to accept the terms laid down and this is one of them.

We have in this House — I do not want to embarrass anybody — a situation in which those who take notes of what we say here are discriminated against on a sex basis: if you are a woman you get £7 a week less than a man. If that is not discrimination against the sexes, you tell me what is. This discrimination will have to be done away with. This is work of equal value. If the Government are really serious they should straighten this out. Deputy Haughey started on the way, but he did not continue. For one reason or another he did not, apparently, give instructions to have this carried right through.

Before we go any further, before this matter is finalised, as, I believe, it will be finalised, next September or October, before a referendum is put to the people, the onus is fairly and squarely on the shoulders of the Government — let it be this Government, or any other Government — to explain fully to the people the effect on them of entry into the EEC. Mr. Barber yesterday evening said there was no hurry to finalise the application as he believed negotiations would take some years. Whether that is right or wrong, the people should be told what will be in their favour and what will be against them and what changes in the Constitution will mean. It would be very foolish to put a referendum to the people without giving the people the full knowledge to which they are entitled. It would serve the Government right if they were defeated on such a referendum, after finalising the negotiations, if they are not honest enough to come out into the open and say that there are snags as well as advantages and tell the people what the snags are.

I have listened very carefully to the debate. We have had many debates on the Common Market both inside and outside the House over a very long period. We had the experience of trying to sell 2,000 head of cattle to Germany a few years ago.

That was not the 2,000 bulls that got lost?

No. The Germans were anxious to take the cattle but we could not sell them to Germany because Germany was a member of the EEC and we were not. Our biggest customer is Britain. We have made agreements with Britain. If we decide not to go into the Common Market Britain will not be able to take our cattle, our industrial products and so on.

Talk sense.

The Deputy can make his own case. We had that experience in trying to sell our cattle to Germany. I am sure the Deputy remembers what Argentine beef did when he was financial adviser to the inter-Party Government.

The Argentine beef was a special case where the farm owners backed the new Government. They held up supplies while the Fianna Fáil Government were going out of office.

We are told that certain countries have not gone into the Common Market. If England, a country we are trading with, were not going in it would be a different matter. We have got to consider what is the best for our people. There are snags in everything. There are snags even in our everyday life. I should like our people, no matter what type of work they are engaged in, to consider every aspect of this. I should like more discussion about the Common Market in the local halls.

There will be if the Deputy waits for the referendum.

Deputy Tully made a very good case here today from one point of view. If we accept hook, line and sinker what the Labour Party are saying where will we end up? Do we want to be left completely out on a limb? Do we want a wall built around this country? Some people in this House would like to do that. We have to be very practical about this. We have to try to get the best conditions we can for our people. We have to see how we will benefit from going into the Common Market. If we do not get in, and if Britain get in, what will be the economic circumstances of this country?

Does the Deputy think that Britain is very weak?

The Labour Party think we are better out of the Common Market. If we lose markets and have an adverse balance of payments our people will condemn us. We have to consider every aspect of this matter. We have to consider the advantages of going in. If we do not go in we have to consider what will happen. Those are matters which I should like to see debated in every parish in Ireland.

We have been talking about the Common Market for a great number of years. I believe our manufacturers, especially those efficiently organised, who have visited factories within the Common Market countries, should be able to say what products we can compete with and what products we cannot compete with. The Government can only do certain things. I know we have advisers in our missions abroad and we also have advisers in the various Departments here who can brief us on the implications of joining the Common Market. However, I should like our industrial leaders to visit the Common Market countries and find out if their specific products will be able to compete with the same products in the Common Market countries. I should also like our farm organisations to visit those countries with a view to telling the farmers of Ireland the benefits they can derive from certain aspects of their industry. All those are matters which concern us vitally.

Deputy Tully a few moments ago said we were going to sell our birthright, that we would be just another part of a federated Europe, that we would only be a small unit. On the other hand, he said that under the Treaty of Rome the territories of all countries were protected. He cannot have it both ways. I cannot see anything happening to the Common Market countries from the political point of view. Germany is Germany; Italy is Italy and all the other countries enjoy their own particular brand of freedom. They have their own individuality. I do not see anything about them all adopting the Italian language or the German language. As far as I can see, in meeting representatives of the Common Market countries, nothing like selling their birthright is likely to happen.

The most important aspect of this matter concerns the impact on the economic life of this nation. What will be the effect of entry? How will our economy be affected if Britain go into the Common Market and we do not? I should like our people to discuss those problems. I could extend the terms of reference but I am confining my remarks to two points. It is easy enough to be glib but this is a very serious step so far as our country and our people are concerned.

I should like to ascertain whether there will be unemployment if we go into the Common Market. I should like trade unions and other similar organisations to visit the Common Market countries for the purpose of having discussions with their fellow workers and deciding for themselves the benefits that can accrue by membership of the EEC. Some Deputies seem to think that they can cure all ills by a speech but such, unfortunately, is not the case.

Deputy Tully made the point that unemployment in certain parts of France was bad and that the workers were transferred to Germany. That may or may not be the case. I consider that as a matter for further negotiation. I have no information about France, Germany of Italy doing anything to injure their respective economies. If I had evidence that they were doing that, it would be another matter. However we have no evidence at all.

Reference was made to the 200-acre farm. The group farming system went on in Ireland in the days of my grandfather, and long before that. I was born on the land myself. The neighbours always helped each other with the hay, the oats, and so on. Such co-operative farming could be developed and extended by goodwill. The present Minister for Lands, Deputy Seán Flanagan, made a very sensible remark when he said that Irish small farmers were not able to carry on unless subsidised in some other way. They received help from their kith and kin working abroad or working in some industry in the local twon or working on the roads, the bog or some other place. Co-operative farming is an aspect of Christian neighbourliness. Farm machinery is very expensive and it lies idle for quite a lot of the time. Under the co-operative system, that expensive farm machinery could be used on five or six farms to the satisfactory benefit of all concerned. Those are the points I was concerned with.

What about our going in and Britain not going in?

It is a fair question. If the Deputy gives me notice of that question, I shall consider its implications.

Fair enough. It was suggested many times. All kinds of suggestions were made.

Every sector of our national life should examine how best it can compete side by side with the various countries of the enlarged Common Market. This should be discussed openly and as many questions as possible should be asked so that nobody will be under any misapprehension about it.

If we do not go into the Common Market and if England does go in it means that our six north-eastern counties will be in the Common Market while the 26 Counties will be out on a limb. We must examine whether such a situation would injure our people and, if so, why. There are people who said in the past that Ireland should build a wall around itself but those people are not in this House now.

They might not have been so wrong.

Do not draw me, like a good fellow. This is the second Taoiseach to discuss the Common Market. Our advisers have been out there. The President of France, General de Gaulle, did not want Britain in the Common Market.

I do not believe that. I do not believe Britain wanted to go in.

General de Gaulle closed the door, anyway. When the French Minister for Agriculture came here he explained the French agricultural set up and system.

All the long-nosed General did say, in effect, was: "You have talked long enough"— and he was jolly well right. The British like to blame him.

President de Gaulle was entitled to act in the best interests of France.

He wanted better terms for his agriculture.

That is true.

Lamb is 16s a pound in France: we should be glad if the French would purchase much more lamb from us. This nation has survived the turbulence and the trials of many centuries. I have faith in our people and in their ability to compete successfully within the enlarged Common Market. Thank God, we have got rid of the ignorant, denigrating approach to the general standing of the person we know. We belittle our own and make much of the stranger whom we do not know and of whose ability and character we have no knowledge. Our people are distinguishing themselves all over the world. On another debate, I mentioned that our manufacturers are selling successfully in various foreign markets. They are the great heroes of our times. In the 1840s, 1850s and 1860s the Irish people showed their ingenuity to survive under shocking circumstances. Just consider the journey to Australia in sailing ships which took seven or eight months to reach their destination. We were a wonderful race to survive the many miseries of our past.

Membership of the Common Market will be a challenge to us. I trust our Government and the Irish people will take up that challenge. I do not wish to see our people misled or left under any misapprehension in regard to what lies ahead. I wish for a cool, calm and deliberate debate on what is the most important step any Irish Government has taken since the foundation of this State. I shall not go into details because I feel that these are matters which concern those involved in our various industries, whether they are trade unionists, manufacturers, farmers or fishermen. I believe these details would be better followed up by these people. On the broad principle we are concerned about going in, what it means to us and if we do not go in what it will mean to us.

Our options in so far as entry to the EEC is concerned are next to non-existent, once Britain decides to enter. However, there are many steps the Government could take to overcome the adverse effects, particularly in the industrial sphere. This debate, in so far as the Government are concerned anyway, should centre around the things to which they can point over the last nine years as an indication of their ability to protect our industrial sector from the adverse effects that entry into the Common Market will have for them. To my mind, the past nine years have not shown the type of action that is necessary.

One finds it difficult to understand the thinking behind the suggestion that we should seek some form of association with the EEC countries. This seems to arise from the belief that the type of competition that exists within it is something from which we should shy away. It would be far better for us to have a vote and a voice in the Community than trying to make arrangements with it from without and depending upon some people, whose interests might even run contrary to ours, to assist us in those negotiations. The White Paper on membership of the EEC is a most depressing document. Our preparations for entry in the industrial sector have obviously been directed by people who are not completely aware of the techniques of modern industrial management, and these techniques are the tools that have made the United States and the European Economic Community the advanced and prosperous communities they are.

The Community we seek to enter now is a far more sophisticated one than the Community of 1961 and it will be an enormous task to prepare the industry of this country for entry into EEC by 1975. The feeble attempts at preparation indicate that successive Governments do not understand the factors involved in the EEC industrial environment and, therefore, their priorities are wrong.

The two principal areas where we have fallen down are planning and labour relations. In so far as planning is concerned, opportunities for EEC membership can only be exploited by means of long-term and short-term planning coupled with Common Market research. The planning can be carried out successfully only by fully qualified, experienced personnel using all the modern techniques of operational research and investment analysis. All these things have been available and for years have been used by the very people with whom we will be in competition in the near future. These techniques have been used by all these successful industries in the United States and in the EEC with the exception of very small backyard workshops. If our state of preparation is an indication of the number of people in responsible positions who believe that this type of planning is necessary and vital for the success of our industry in the years ahead then very big changes will have to take place in a short time.

Basically, two levels of planning are necessary—company level and Government level. Every company employing more than 30 people will be affected by entry into the EEC. Each company should make a detailed analysis of the following factors—the effect of tariff abolition within the EEC and of the imposition of common tariffs on imports from non EEC countries; the possibility of exploiting a greatly increased market. Plans should be made to procure the necessary resources to enable them to exploit the opportunities that EEC membership provides. These plans should, of course, be reviewed and up-dated at monthly intervals and the efficiency of these plans should be determined by comparison with actual results. The Government should ensure that all companies undertake a professional approach to planning and development and, having regard to the fact that they are providing tax concessions and incentives for that work, the Government are in a position to ensure that that situation is brought about. The alternative to it is to allow incompetent management to jeopardise the livelihood of thousands of workers and to squander taxpayers' money.

It is felt that this type of planning is best carried out by company personnel as they are most familiar with the factors involved. Any company that has not got personnel capable of this type of work is dying. The factors involved in this type of planning very from day to day and it is important that plans should be updated when any significant changes occur. This can be done easily and cheaply by means of computer. Smaller companies should be encouraged to become computer minded by availing of the facilities offered by computer bureaux in this country.

So far as the Government are concerned, they have a serious obligation at this critical stage to see that effective planning is carried out by all companies and that the opportunities afforded by the EEC are exploited to the full. They have an obligation also to see that everything possible is done, if we are to enter the EEC, to protect the jobs of all our people.

The Government's role should be the supervision and co-ordination of the preparation and planning carried out by individual companies, broad planning for each industry and the implementation of training and retraining programmes based on estimates obtained by professionals, detailed physical planning, the implementation of programmes designed to provide houses and services in the growth areas. The standard of Government planning must be equally as high as that required for individual companies.

The present state of Government planning can only be described as inept because their plans are not comprehensive. They do not cover all sectors of industry and they are not supplemented by the plans and programmes of individual companies. There should be blueprints for development. They should set out in detail the targets to be achieved each year by each industry, and they should be updated at monthly intervals if necessary.

Government aid should be given only to the firms that are likely to achieve attainable targets by virtue of their efficiency. It is not possible to exaggerate the importance of a high standard of professional management in every sector of our industry if we are to enter the EEC. The standard of planning is the basic criterion of good management. The standard of management of many of our industries is not up to EEC standards. It is not reasonable to expect that it could be. Our industries were developed generally on a protectionist basis as very small units in an essentially rural environment. They have been assisted from time to time by State grants.

The industries in the EEC, on the other hand, have had highly skilled managements for a long time. They have successfully completed post-war reconstruction. The economic departments of the Governments of these countries, in close co-operation with the industries, had by the end of the 1950s not only ensured post-war reconstruction but had also made the EEC such a success that even the sceptical and insular British were prepared to jettison the remainder of their Commonwealth and Empire and become a member of the Community.

At this stage, the Community must be regarded as one of the most sophisticated, successful and progressive economic communities in the world. The essential point is that the main industries in the EEC have been adapting themselves to reach their present position over the past 20 years, starting with the Steel and Coal Community. In spite of their long tradition of highly skilled management and good labour relations, in spite of their vast resources of trained technicians and skilled labour, in spite of the able assistance of the various Governments in providing first-class services, many of these companies received serious jolts as a result of the Treaty of Rome.

This is the type of Community into which our industries will be pitch-forked. They will be expected to reach the same standards of efficiency within five years. This is more than a real challenge. Entry into the EEC constitutes a national emergency. The outcome will be successful in the industrial sector only when there is perfect co-operation between management and workers. Indeed, in the years ahead they cannot be treated as separate entities in any industrial enterprise. The unions now have considerable power and they must share the responsibility. Management must keep the workers informed of the company's economic position and the decisions taken, and they should be able to justify the decisions to their workers. This should not present a great problem to any management worthy of the name.

In West Germany, where they have outstanding labour relations, it is no coincidence that the rights of workers' representatives to take part in decision making is guaranteed by law. This legislation should be examined by the Government here. Unfortunately there is a tendency to copy what happens across the water. The Minister for Labour, whoever he may be, should look around in other quarters and see what we can copy with benefit in these areas.

The greatest task facing Irish industry at the moment is the solution of the problem of bad faith between management and workers. This can only be solved by participation by workers in managerial functions. We have had a Minister for Labour for several years but we are getting further away from a solution every day. An investor invests his life savings in a company and, quite rightly, has a say in the direction of that company. Surely a worker who invests his life's work in a company should at least have an equal influence on the direction of the company? This is the type of philosophy that is necessary if we are to progress in the Common Market.

We realise that entry to the Common Market is the most important step in the history of the nation since the foundation of the State. The EEC can bring a great increase in the standard of ilving of our people and an enrichment of their lives by closer contact with the cultures of Germany, Italy, France and the Low Countries, superimposed on our own culture. These opportunities can be availed of only by a competent, dedicated and just Government. Down through the ages Irishmen have left their mark on the culture of Europe. Surely we will not be found wanting in this or in future generations?

Entry into the EEC will provide increased outlets and increased prices for agricultural products. Beef, mutton, lamb and bacon should all increase substantially in price. I should like to hear what the opponents of the Common Market have to offer to the Irish farmer as an alternative to our entry. For years people in industrial employment have been paid and rewarded at a higher rate, a rate far in excess of what the farmer could hope for. In the Common Market the pendulum will swing in favour of the farmer and give him an income more in keeping with that of urban dwellers. We can hardly deny these opportunities to him.

Initially the Irish farmer will benefit by increased prices. Costs may rise over the years without a corresponding increase in prices which would eventually upset the intial gains. This is something which the Government and the farming organisations will have to keep a close eye on.

Entry to the EEC offers good prospects for expansion in the sheep industry because initially mutton and lamb supplies will be insufficient to meet the demands of an enlarged Community, assuming New Zealand is kept out. The immediate consequences of entry for this country could be disastrous on account of falling sheep numbers. Some years ago we had 5,000,000 sheep. The target for 1969, as set out in the Second Programme for Economic Expansion, was close on 7,000,000 but in actual fact the number of sheep in the country last year was less than 4,000,000. We shall have to get away from this type of planning and programming if we are to survive in the EEC. Here is a situation where, in 1964, certain targets were set but no detailed examination took place in the intervening years to ensure that the target figures were achieved. It is essential that whatever plans are made in any sector they should be checked at regular intervals and if the targets do not look like being reached corrective measures should be taken.

The authors of the Treaty of Rome consider the Steel and Coal Community and the EEC as steps towards ultimate European unity, economic, political and military. The object of this unity is to ensure that the Western European countries have an equal voice in shaping their own destinies and the destinies of other countries with the major power blocs of America, China and Russia. They foresaw the necessity for unification 20 years ago and each year the accuracy of their foresight is being demonstrated. Who knows what power blocs will be formed before the end of this century by the emerging nations of Asia and Africa? Who knows what unjust treatment these individual power blocs will hand out to European countries who do not have a power bloc of their own? History is full of examples of the fate of countries unable to defend themselves. The attitude of powerful nations to defenceless ones has not changed since recorded history began. There are no grounds for thinking that there is a future in this world for a defenceless nation.

Europe is the fountainhead of civilisation as we know it. The leading political philosophers in Europe started a movement towards unity 30 years ago. That intensely patriotic Frenchman, General de Gaulle, when his country was occupied by her traditional enemy, said that the main objectives of the French people after the war should be to build a Europe united from the Atlantic to the Urals. The EEC is not merely a trade pact designed to increase the wealth of a few. It is the greatest European movement since the Roman Empire or it is nothing. We are now asking to play our part in that movement. We should be thankful that we have our independence and are able to play our rightful part in the building of that Europe.

Partition cannot exist in the Europe as foreseen by the authors of the treaty because of the supranational nature of their ideals. Barriers to trade and labour must go and military alliances must remain. We will be left only with a partition of minds and hearts made more formidable by the events of the past few weeks. Just government will in time move these partitions and the actions of misguided men will be seen in perspective. Our economy will be under considerable danger in the EEC but we shall have splendid opportunities.

To my mind the Government should publish another White Paper setting out fully and objectively the likely results of Britain's entry to the Community with Ireland remaining aloof. The Government have a duty to explain to the people the consequences of this situation in terms of the likely drop in employment, wage levels, exports and growth rates. It is essential that the issues of the referendum required to change the Constitution are not confused with emotional clap-trap and with people whose only aim is to further the interests of extreme political views. There are those on the extreme left and on the extreme right who feel they could exploit for their own partisan interests the severe hardships which would result from our exclusion from the EEC.

Chím go bhfuil sé ar intinn ag daoine eile bheith páirteach sa dhíospóireacht seo. Dábhrí sin, ní chaithfidh mé ach ceathrú uair an chlog ag caint. Fáiltím roimh an ndíospóireacht seo; fáiltím roimh an iarratas atá á dhéanamh ag an dtír seo chun bheith páirteach san Euróip nua a bhéas ann amach anso.

Fáiltím roimh an ndíospóireacht seo mar de réir mar a chím is í seo an chéad ócáid a tugadh deis don Teach díospóireacht a dhéanamh ar cheist a thugann le fios go bhfuil glactha ag tíortha na hEorpa gur náisiún í Éire. Measaim gur rud é sin a lig daoine eile sa Teach seo i ndearmad—daoine adeir go bhfuil cailliúint ann dúinne. Ní cailliúint atá ann ar chor ar bith ach bua.

Is breágh linn go léir náisiún amháin a bheith ann agus gur ag labhairt ar son mhuintir na tíre seo inniu atá an tAire agus na daoine eile atá san mBruiséal faoi láthair. Siúd is go bhfuil siad ag labhairt ar son an náisiúin seo, fáiltím roimh an ndiospóireacht seo agus fáiltím roimh a ndubhradh anso.

I welcome the opportunity of being able to speak on the EEC. I admit that the occasion has arisen rather more quickly than I had hoped. I should have liked a little more time in which to brief myself more adequately. I will therefore confine myself to one or two aspects of our proposed entry to the EEC. It is a great source of gratification to me to know that Ireland is recognised in Europe as a nation. Ireland, unfortunately, is not the nation we should all like it to be but in respect of the 26 Counties at least it is accepted now that we are a nation. The position heretofore had been that the three-quarters nation—physically speaking; in spirit and in heart we are at one—had not been accepted because we live under the umbrella of the oppressors who were at the same time our neighbours.

I am not impressed by the attitude of the Labour Party who would suggest to us that this is an attempt by us to sell our republicanism. The Labour Party mind is not easily understood. I shall revert to the question of our independence in a moment. In a situation in which they claim to be the progressive party, the leftist party, and would point to us as the conservative party, it is rather strange that they make the case that in the present EEC deliberations we should have remained aloof as have Spain and Portugal rather than follow the dictates of this House. I find it difficult to associate that type of recommendation and opinion with the progressive, leftist Labour Party.

As I see it, the benefit of independence is that you are free to move in whatever direction you think best for yourself and your country. There does not seem to be any unanimity in the Labour Party. At times some of their speakers remind me of a dog chasing crows; they chase after everything. On the one hand, they say we are going in and next moment they are advising us about what our attitudes should be in the negotiations. At Question Time today they showed a very lively interest in how the negotiations were being handled. Where ab initio you take the view that you should not be there at all, the onus is on you to make the case for not being there and I think that to a certain extent you forfeit the right those who say you should be there have to be concerned about every move in the negotiations.

I cannot see the logic of what the leader of the Labour Party said as regards how small a voice we would have in the European community. He makes the case for our abstention on the ground that our voice would be so small that we should not bother. We would only have, at ministerial level, one in ten representatives and at Commission level, one in 14. Apart from saying that a small voice is better than no voice, I point to the Labour Party itself. That representation compares fairly well with the representation of the Labour Party in this House. Would the Labour Party argue that because they constitute only about one-tenth of the membership of the House they would be better off outside it? I do not accept that is the position: the Labour Party voice is welcome here. By and large, members of the Labour Party have something to offer to the House and certainly, whatever they have to offer they have a much better opportunity of offering it here and advancing whatever cause they claim to advocate than if they were not here. The same applies to our involvement in the EEC. Surely it is preferable to be there and try to change things and guide events in our own interest and protect ourselves in matters which may seem disadvantageous rather than to be outside barking at the moon.

Deputy Corish, as reported at column 1679 of the Official Report, said:

Remember—and again we stressed this from these benches before— what we are concerned about is people and work in this country.

I hope he would not suggest they have a monopoly of the interest in the people in this regard. Surely he would not contend that members of the Fianna Fáil Party and members of the Fine Gael Party have no interest in the people? It is because of that interest that we seek to advise them where their interest lies. Where there is in Europe a scheme or plan for European countries to come together, we must say we think that it is in our interest to take part in this plan. Here it must be said and repeated that this plan did not emanate from the capitalists and big businessmen but from some of the most socialist-minded people in Europe. It is a plan aimed at pooling the resources of Europe for the best advantage of all, a plan aimed at producing a situation where the stronger powers in Europe would think kindly of the poorer countries. I would not make any apology here for what might be termed political consideration: this is a plan aimed at building into Europe a unity that might, and probably would, be necessary in a situation in which the world of the future might be divided into three or four camps. At least Europe would be one.

For too long the people of this country have lived in the shadow of our neighbour and because of that a certain inferiority complex and a certain frustration have grown into the Irish people. We have a lackadaisical, indifferent attitude to nationhood and, perhaps, we have an indifferent attitude to work and to our neighbour, an attitude which, extraordinary as it is, was not corrected until our people moved to other countries where they found themselves meeting new challenges and being called upon to use their imagination, their ingenuity and their inborn talents. It was only then, apparently, that the true Irishman was revealed. Now that Ireland is being called upon to make a contribution to Europe and indeed to the world, I hope the true spirit of the Irishman will again manifest itself and that we shall be able to accept and meet the challenges involved.

While I would question very much Deputy Tully's reference to the excruciating experience of our entry to Europe, I am not without thinking we shall all be obliged to work somewhat harder than we have done to date. Deputy Godfrey Timmins did refer to the attitude of management towards workers. I would include the attitude of workers towards management. In this whole field of labour relations the worker should understand that if he is being paid what is considered an adequate wage he has a duty to give a fair return; and if he is giving a fair and honest return there is a duty on the employer not merely to reward him in financial terms but to honour the importance of that worker to the industry.

Generally speaking—and perhaps it is not the popular thing to say—I have an idea that in Ireland we enjoy a standard of living which is not entirely in accordance with the amount of effort we put into the nation. Whether it is at the professional or other levels, of the teacher, doctor, lawyer, labourer, carpenter, shoemaker, or bricklayer, we have reached the stage where we have begun to take life rather cushily, not realising that the more comfortably somebody else takes it the greater is the price that must be paid in the end. Hard work, whether it is physical or mental, has its reward and in EEC terms it should be borne in mind that we shall be competing with the traditions, the capabilities and the ingenuity of countries which, especially in the matter of industry, have a much longer tradition than we have, and that we must be on our toes.

If Deputy Tully, in envisaging that situation, would describe it as being excruciating I disagree with him. Every normal human being is happiest when he is working. There may be times when the less attractive side of the being would prefer to idle but ultimately, whether we are working for a wage or a salary, we shall be unhappy until we are convinced that the employer recognises the contribution we are making and does not merely recognise us when something has gone wrong as invariably is the situation in some of the bigger industries. I have been talking to men who are employed in worthwhile industries and who are in receipt of good wages. They tell me they feel rather lonely in these big industries because the only time they are recognised is when a machine breaks down or when something goes wrong. Ordinarily the managing director or any other director walks by and is utterly oblivious of the fact that such a man works in the firm. However, when something goes wrong this unfortunate man becomes the most important person. We cannot have it both ways. There have been seminars and all classes of research and study into this, but common sense should tell us that in every person there is a craving for importance which cannot be satisfied in terms of money alone.

In the matter of culture—and when I talk about culture I mean what we believe in, how we think about things, our philosophy and our attitude towards life generally—I would hope that Ireland would have a worthwhile contribution to make to Europe. I see in this an opportunity never offered to us before for the advancement of the Irish language. In speaking about the advancement of the Irish language I am not solely concerned with communicating our thoughts to one another through that medium but about the language as the stamp of a culture which is not in any other part of Europe or the world but which could well be copied by other countries having regard to our attitudes towards life.

Deputy Tully spoke about one matter on which I must admit to having certain reservations, the extension to this country of the principle of equal pay for equal work. I understand that the regulations and the conditions in the EEC are not fixed or immutable, and that we might hope for some little change here. We should make it known in Europe that we do not concede that economic factors alone are those that matter. I would be concerned to ensure that we would not exhort or encourage housewives to leave their homes because of economic factors. Already, in other countries where there was encouragement and exhortation in that direction the folly of that is now presenting itself. In Russia and indeed in parts of England they have now realised that, apart from the social aspects, it is not the best approach economically. Instead of the mother leaving the children to the nursery school and depriving them of care and love, it would be far better if the mother were subsidised and asked to remain at home. I appreciate that there will be occasions when it will be desirable for mothers to leave their homes but we should not lose sight of the fact as far as young people are concerned —and we are more concerned about young people—that they can withstand physical hardship, hunger and deprivations, all of which can presently be rectified, but the one thing which can never be rectified is deprivation of maternal love and consideration when they are young. If equal pay for equal work means that we are going to deprive children of that natural and desirable love which can never be replaced by any other human institution and if we feel we are going to find ourselves in an area where that principle is adopted we should at least present the Irish side of the picture, plead our case and show how we have discovered that where there is family unity, where the family is not disrupted, there is invariably happiness and advancement and where there is disruption of family life, there is the reverse.

I promised initially that 15 minutes should be sufficient for me to speak and as I have exceeded that length of time I ask Deputy O'Donnell's pardon or Deputy Dr. Browne's pardon, whoever is next to speak. As often happens when one rises to speak one finds other thoughts flitting through one's mind. I will conclude by saying that I am happy that Ireland as a nation now has an opportunity of expressing her voice in Europe. I should like to express my faith and confidence in the ability of the people, the workers, to meet the challenges and in the competence of the farmer to adapt himself, to co-operate and to meet the challenges. If we find ourselves in Europe, as I hope we will, Europe will benefit from our voice and I hope that we will benefit from involvement in Europe.

I feel obliged to say how much I admire Deputy Tunney's contribution to this debate. I was greatly impressed by his assessment of the necessary philosophical attitudes and outlooks and his hopes for the role which Ireland can play and the contribution she can make in the EEC, spiritually as well as materially. It is something which has been largely overlooked in this debate and something which I should dearly like to follow up but now, the fourth day of this debate, the general picture regarding the EEC and its implications for Ireland have been well and truly discussed and it is time the debate went from the general to the particular. Some attempt should be made to analyse the effects of EEC membership on the various sectors. I therefore propose to examine the implications for transport, for power and for tourism. There are other sectors of the economy which I should like to examine also but there is a limit to what one person can do.

Transport will be a key factor in determining the competitiveness of our industrial and agricultural exports in the EEC. This is so for obvious reasons, the main one being that because of our geographical position we will be further away from the heart of the European Market than any other member country and our exporters will have to bear a higher element of transport costs than most of their competitors on the Continent of Europe. It is vitally essential that every means should be explored to bring about a reduction in transport costs and to improve the speed and reliability of our various transport services both internal and with the Continent of Europe. In view of the importance of transport to our progress in the EEC I must confess that I felt disappointed and frustrated by the rather casual manner in which the White Paper dealt with the question of transport. Indeed, very little information of value in regard to transport is contained in the White Paper. The chapter on transport is remarkable for its brevity and shows a failure to realise and appreciate the implications of EEC membership for Irish transport. I would in particular criticise the failure in the White Paper to emphasise the key role of transport in enabling us to survive, prosper and trade competitively in the EEC.

When I was so disappointed at the manner in which the White Paper dealt with this important topic my first reaction was to leave it so. I felt that perhaps there was nothing of great importance to the transport aspect of this question. I began to make further inquiries and to do some research. In the absence of any official information in the White Paper, I contacted various national transport operators in this country. I contacted the semi-State bodies, CIE, Aer Lingus, the B & I and Irish Shipping Ltd. I also contacted the Road Transport Association, which is a trade association representing the road hauliers in this country.

While I had been very critical of the manner in which the White Paper had dealt with this important topic of transport, I was greatly impressed at the manner in which the State-sponsored bodies had been keeping abreast of international developments in transport. I must thank the people in those bodies to whom I directed many different queries recently, for the prompt and courteous manner in which they dealt with my various queries. The Federation of Irish Industries made a valuable contribution to the study of transport vis-à-vis the EEC. They issued a publication in 1968 entitled “The implications for Irish industry of the EEC transport policy”. This was a report of a study group set up in August, 1967, by the Federation of Irish Industries to examine the implications for Irish industry of membership of the EEC.

I do not intend to give a detailed account of the history of transport in the EEC since the Treaty of Rome was signed. It would take hours to do so. I doubt if I have the ability or the training necessary to analyse and assess the progress which has been made up to the present. From the massive documentation available it is possible to identify certain important guidelines in relation to transport and to identify the implications for Irish transport. The Treaty of Rome, in articles 74-84, called for the adoption of a common transport policy by all member states. It is of significance to Ireland's application that the Treaty of Rome exempted air and sea transport from its provisions and from the common transport policy. The formulation of a common transport policy, and the various steps which have been taken up to now within the EEC in the field of transport, do no include air and sea transport. They are confined to surface transport, that is, road, canal and waterway traffic in Europe. Because the four new applicant countries are maritime countries, each with a considerable interest in air transport, provision is being made to bring air and sea transport within the scope of the common transport policy in the EEC. This is of great significance to Ireland because, while in our negotiations we will have to accept the various rules, regulations and decisions which have been made over the past decade in relation to surface transport, we are fortunate in that we will be in at the beginning in the formulation of proposals for a common transport policy covering sea and air transport.

On 5th June of this year a meeting of the Council dealt with transport questions. At the end of the session the Council took note of a communication adopted the day before by the European Commission as to the action which should be taken in the sphere of air and sea navigation. Various factors influenced the Council in making their decisions. First of all, four essentially maritime countries, all of which have large interests in the sphere of air transport, have applied to join. In addition, the various steps which had been taken in relation to surface transport were finalised at that particular meeting on the 5th June. Our negotiations will start and we will have to accept the rules.

There are numerous rules and regulations which have been made in relation to transport. Many of them will have a vital bearing and a considerable effect on transport, particularly for CIE and for private hauliers in this country. There are rules and regulations in relation to road haulage. A number of the decisions which have been made by the European Community will have important repercussions on the Irish road haulage industry. The restrictive legislation relating to road haulage which we had in this country under the Road Transport Act, 1933, will have to be considerably liberalised. I noticed on today's Order Paper that the Minister for Transport and Power has announced his intention of introducing a Bill to liberalise road haulage. We know that the liberalisation measures proposed in this new Bill relate mainly to the haulage of livestock.

From my reading of the various documents in relation to road haulage in Europe it would appear that a degree of liberalisation much greater than that envisaged in the new Transport Bill will be necessary. It is not possible to say yet to what degree road transport will have to be liberalised in this country. Under the common transport policy in the EEC Irish road hauliers will have the right to travel through various countries in the EEC and, likewise, foreign road hauliers from the Community countries will have the right to come in here. There will not be, in the foreseeable future, unrestricted rights of entry to this country. The position at the moment is that trucks and lorries from one EEC country can enter another EEC country, or can travel through a second country on their way to a third country. There is free movement within the Community up to a point. There is a system of Community licences in force which limits the number of vehicles from any one country which can haul goods to another country.

I presume when Ireland becomes a member of the EEC we will be entitled to a certain number of haulage licences permitting Irish road hauliers to transport goods from Ireland to Britain and the Continent. However, an Irish haulier will not be allowed to pick up goods in, say, France and deliver them to a point in that country. I do not know how many licences Ireland will be allowed. Looking at the number allocated to existing EEC countries we find that the present scheme provides for the issue of 1,200 licences allocated as follows: France and Germany, 286 each; the Netherlands, 240; Italy, 194; Belgium, 161; Luxembourg, 33. Apparently the number of licences issued is in proportion to the representation of the country; taking the fact that Belgium have 161 licences and Italy 194, it is reasonable to assume that Ireland will probably get a fair deal.

There are other decisions that have already been made and are in force in the EEC in relation to road transport which we will have to accept. There are rules in relation to the working conditions of drivers of trucks and vehicles. From an examination of such conditions for transport operators in the EEC and in Ireland, it appears the EEC conditions are much more rigid. For example, the number of driving hours per day a driver is permitted in the EEC is nine, whereas in Ireland it is eleven hours; a driver in EEC countries is allowed to drive continuously for four and a half hours while in Ireland it is permissible to drive continuously for five and a half hours. Under EEC regulations a driver must keep a log book and proper recording must be done. In fact, a major discussion is now going on within the transport committee of the Community regarding the fitting of various devices to vehicles to record time, the amount of mileage covered, the hours operated non-stop and so forth.

In relation to the weights and dimensions of vehicles, the maximum size of vehicle in the EEC is substantially larger than that permitted in this country. Therefore, hauliers and road transport operators will be permitted to use larger vehicles and this will have the effect of reducing transport costs. However, this heavier vehicular traffic will create serious problems for our roads because they are not suitable for such traffic. It is interesting to note that under the domestic transport policies of France, Germany and Britain, these countries are making an effort to siphon off as much heavy traffic as possible to the railways.

In this country there is complete freedom in the matter of transport rates —it is decided between the customer and the haulier—but under the common transport policy of the EEC all rates will have to be published and there will be little room for private bargaining. Various regulations have been drawn up to operate the system of tariffs and charges for road transport. I do not wish to go into detail on this point because the system is highly technical. In this system of forked tariffs a range of charges is fixed and it is not permissible, except to a 20 per cent margin, to go outside these fixed rates. It is interesting to note that our road tax for heavy vehicles is much higher than the rates obtaining in Great Britain and Europe.

There are several other regulations applying to road transport but I have picked out those which appear to be the most important so far as Ireland is concerned. In so far as it applies to surface transport, the common transport policy of the EEC has implications for the Irish transport industry. Therefore, it is important that we be aware of the regulations and the decisions that have been taken. I have had discussions with the Road Transport Association, which is the organisation looking after the licensed hauliers in this country, and that association have made a thorough study of the situation so far as it applies to Irish hauliers. The Bill the Minister for Transport and Power has announced he will shortly be introducing is of great interest now and perhaps it is appropriate that this Bill should be introduced at a time when our negotiations for entry into the EEC are commencing. I have not seen the provisions of the proposed legislation but I assume it will have regard to the regulations and implications of the EEC transport policy.

I should like to make a few comments about the implications of the common transport policy for rail transport in this country. I realise this is a dull subject but it is of vital importance. These are practical facts and they will have a vital bearing not merely on those whose livelihood depends on transport but to the future competitiveness of our exports. The common transport policy has met with considerable difficulty in regard to the problem of the railways. Indeed, the controversy which has surrounded CIE policy during the past decade in relation to the closure of railway lines and so on is not peculiar to Ireland, because rail transport has been a controversial topic in all European countries during that time. Very often people are inclined to be critical of CIE because of the fact that although they are being subsidised by the Government, they continue to incur losses but it is interesting to note that there is no European railway that is paying its way.

I have taken the trouble in recent weeks of examining the returns for rail transport from 17 different European countries. Some of these countries although highly progressive and industrialised have their problems in relation to their railways and these problems are considerably greater than those we have had here. Their railways, too, are incurring annual losses and these losses are proportionately greater than the losses incurred by our national transport system, CIE. It is also interesting to note that CIE are among the top bracket of railways in Western Europe which receive the least amount by way of subsidy. In other words, the £2.6 million which we voted to CIE last December under the 1969 Transport Bill is, by comparision with other European countries, a relatively small subvention.

The intention with regard to railways in the European Community is that they will be financially autonomous by 1972. The most important provision of the common transport policy of the EEC in so far as it applies to railways, and the one which has the most important implications for Ireland and for CIE, is the provision which calls for the normalisation of railway accounts. This may seem a highly technical term. I recall dealing at considerable length during the debate on the Transport Bill of 1969 with this question of the normalisation of the accounts of CIE.

I hope the Deputy is not opening up a discussion on CIE transport policy.

Is it not permissible, a Cheann Comhairle, to have a discussion in depth on a particular aspect of the EEC?

The Deputy may refer to a particular aspect in general but not in the detail into which he seems to be going.

While I might appear to be going away from the point, what I am saying is of vital importance to the future of CIE—a body employing 20,000 people in this country. I have spent the past four weeks doing a detailed study of all aspects of the common transport policy of the EEC. Our negotiators are at present in Brussels and we shall be confronted with the rules and regulations of the common transport policy of the Community. Surely I am permitted to speak about this situation, or am I to be permitted to speak only on matters we have been talking about for the past ten years? I am sorry if I appear to be contrary in relation to this matter but I considered that it was time somebody had a detailed look at a particular sector of our economy which might be affected by EEC membership. I assure you, and I think you will agree, that what I am talking about is very relevant to the whole question.

Without wishing to be contentious in any way, I have here among the many documents that I have obtained from the EEC Information Office here in Dublin, through the kindness of Mr. Denis Corby and his staff to whom I am greatly indebted, an information memorandum dated March, 1968. It is headed "Common Transport Policy" and deals with the normalisation of railway accounts. This document points out that the railways in Europe must be financially autonomous by 1972. I was beginning to relate this provision to what I had already said in relation to the railways of Western Europe, all of which are losing a substantial amount of money. How is it proposed that this be done? I went on to point out that this would be done by means of what has come to be known as the normalisation of railway accounts.

The Deputy is entitled to refer to transport in Europe but, when he goes into the system of accounts, I think the Deputy is going into too much detail. We cannot have a debate on domestic transport here especially in view of the fact that a new Transport Bill has just been introduced.

As far as I am aware, the new Transport Bill relates to road haulage. It has nothing to do with rail transport.

Discussion of the system of accounts is hardly called for in dealing with the White Paper.

If that is the ruling, then why should we discuss transport here at all?

The ruling will be very wide, I can assure the Deputy, but I feel the Deputy is taking advantage of this debate to introduce arguments which would arise more properly at a very much later date. We should speak in a general way of our entrance to the Common Market. Detailed discussion of the system of transport certainly does not arise.

During my nine years here I have always shown respect for the Chair. This has happened before and it would appear it is not permissible here to look at something in depth. With all due respect, I submit that the common transport policy is relevant to this discussion, that common transport policy being the policy formulated and implemented within the European Economic Community in the years since the Treaty of Rome was signed. These are the rules and regulations which will have a vital bearing on our national transport system, on Coras Iompair Éireann, which employs 20,000 people. They are very worried about this. I have studied the matter at great length and, perhaps, I am overconscientious, but I trust I will be permitted to refer very briefly to this question of the normalisation of accounts.

I do not think the Deputy has any complaint. He has been speaking about transport for the last 36 minutes.

I propose to deliver a two-hour speech on transport. I have studied this over the last four weeks and I reckon it will take me two hours to give the House the results of that study. It will be an extraordinary situation if I am allowed to deal only with the EEC from the point of view of the social and philosophical concepts behind it and am not allowed to deal with practical details. Is the Chair ruling me completely out of order?

No. So long as the Deputy relates his remarks on Irish transport strictly to the EEC, the Chair would be most unfair to the Deputy to rule him out of order in that case.

Since I began to speak at a quarter past six I have not departed from the common transport policy of the EEC. I am now dealing with CIE. I have yet to deal with air transport, shipping and various other matters.

And the Deputy has not mentioned any place outside Europe.

No place outside Europe. In so far as a common transport policy affects CIE, the White Paper, of which I was quite critical, lists in a general way certain implications which the common transport policy will have for CIE. The blanket subsidy we have been giving to CIE under the 1964 and 1969 Transport Acts will no longer be permissible, but the Exchequer in each country will be allowed to compensate the railway companies for any services which come within the category of public services— in other words, services which do not pay their way.

Normalisation of accounts will mean that the commercial operations of the railway company will be separated from the non-commercial ones. Under the regionalisation policy of the EEC it will be possible, I believe, to obtain certain concessions for Ireland so far as transport is concerned. We will be allowed to continue uneconomic transport services if they fulfil certain criteria. If our application is accepted, CIE will have to step into line with other European countries so far as the presentation of its accounts is concerned and its commercial operations will have to pay their way. This new accounting procedure has important implications in relation to staff and conditions of employment. I had intended to spell out the implications but, in view of the Ceann Comhairle's ruling, I cannot do so. I do not dispute the Chair's ruling but, when one is thrown off beam in a highly technical matter of this nature, it is most frustrating.

I said that the common transport policy does not apply to air and sea transport but provision is being made to include air and sea transport within the scope of the common transport policy. This will have certain implications for Ireland, for our national airlines and for our shipping companies as well. Where our airlines are concerned it is very difficult to assess the situation properly. Certain guidelines have already been laid down for the formulation of a common air transport policy. One of the specific aims of the common air transport policy will be the improvement, first of all, of the Community's air network.

Debate adjourned.