Public Business. - Tourist Traffic Bill, 1938—Second Stage.

Question proposed: "That the Bill be read a Second Time."

This Bill is described in its Title as an Act to make further and better provision for the encouragement and development of the tourist traffic and, for that purpose, to establish a board having certain wide powers. In the opinion of the Government, the time is opportune to develop in a systematic way the holiday resorts of the country and to reorganise the business of catering for holiday-makers. It is believed that many considerable benefits can be obtained for the country and, more particularly, for transport undertakings, for those who are concerned in the business of catering for holiday-makers, for the farming industry, and for many other similar classes more directly dependent on the expenditure of holiday-makers. Furthermore, the holiday habit has grown considerably amongst all sections of the people and it is desirable, from every point of view, that they should be encouraged and facilitated to provide themselves and their families with suitable holidays in this country. There is also the important business of attracting holiday-makers from other countries to visit this country and the provision of suitable and adequate accommodation for them if our efforts in that direction should prove successful.

The object of the Tourist Traffic Bill is, as defined in the Title, to make better provision for the organisation and development of holiday traffic and to set up a tourist board having the necessary powers and having the necessary funds to deal with every phase of the problem. The full significance of the tourist business in the industrial life of a country, although well recognised on the Continent, for more than a generation, has, until recent years, aroused comparatively little interest in this country or in the neighbouring country of Great Britain. In France, immense sums of money are made available from the public purse, not merely for purposes of publicity, but also for the development of health and pleasure resorts, and the improvement and expansion of hotel accommodation. In Switzerland, catering for visitors is the principal industry, and the amount invested in hotels in that country is probably not less than £50,000,000. Germany, in recent years, has provided a special currency for tourists and imposed serious restrictions on the expenditure of her own nationals when travelling abroad, while Italy has maintained a costly system of propaganda for the attraction of visitors, who are also accorded special transport and other facilities.

These are a few of the indications of the important place which the industry fills in Continental countries, and the lesson has not been lost either on the other side of the Atlantic, in America, or in the Far East. Canada's tourist revenue is one of the principal factors in her trade and good relations with the United States of America. The New England States, and California and Florida, owe much of their prosperity to carefully-organised plans for attracting visitors from other parts of the country. In Japan, they have established a tourist association, concerned mainly with publicity, and a tourist bureau providing a ticket sales organisation at home and abroad, during recent years.

By comparison with other countries, England has lagged behind, but the lost ground is being quickly recovered, if it has not been already fully recovered. The stimulus was provided by the remarkable growth of the holiday habit, to which I have referred and which is an outstanding feature of our times, and one that seems destined to become more marked during the next ten years under the influence of social legislation bringing to the workers the advantages of holidays with pay. In this country the possibilities of the industry have not been entirely ignored, more particularly during the past 14 or 15 years, during which useful work has been done by the Irish Tourist Association, but it has to be recognised that the measures taken have proved inadequate and that something more must be done if Ireland, with its great natural advantages as a health and pleasure resort, is to reap the harvest it might reasonably expect from that rich source of invisible income.

State intervention for the promotion of the industry here dates from the enactment of the Local Government Act of 1925. That Act empowered local authorities to strike a rate within prescribed limits and to apply the proceeds to the advertising of their own health and pleasure resorts. Alternatively, with the consent of the central authority, a local authority could contribute the proceeds, in whole or in part, to an association formed with the approval of the Minister for Industry and Commerce for the purpose of advertising Irish tourist centres in general. The funds thus contributed could be expended by an approved association only on schemes sanctioned by the Minister for Industry and Commerce, and these schemes were restricted to advertising in its commonly accepted forms. It was felt that the funds could be expended more advantageously by an approved central organisation, and such a body came into being when the Irish Tourist Association was incorporated as a public company in 1925. Throughout its career of 14 years the Irish Tourist Association has been hampered by want of sufficient funds, even for its strictly limited programme. The association's position, however, was strengthened when the relevant section of the Act of 1925 was replaced by the Tourist Traffic (Development) Act, 1931, which still remains in force. That Act, however, aimed at little more than the repair of the obvious defects of the earlier legislation. It gave the Minister wider discretion in the expenditure of contributions from public bodies, and went some distance towards securing a more stable income for the association by making it obligatory on local authorities which elected to strike a tourist rate to contribute the proceeds in full to the association, save in exceptional circumstances. It also empowered local authorities to contract with the association for a contribution of the proceeds of the tourist rate for a period not exceeding five years.

Except for what has been done in the ordinary way of private and commercial enterprise and by sporadic and often unsystematic local effort, the Irish Tourist Association remains the only organised machinery for promoting the development of the holiday business. The total annual revenue of the association is about £18,000, made up of £14,000 subscribed by local authorities and £4,000 received from other sources, mainly from advertisements and subscriptions from hotel and transport interests. Its activities, in the main, are confined to advertising and to hotel inspection. That small revenue is clearly insufficient for publicity purposes alone, and, in point of fact, money has never been available to the association for advertising in important countries such as the United States of America, Australia and other countries where we have racial connections and good will. Increased publicity, however, must fail in its purpose unless there is a sufficiency of suitable accommodation for every class of visitor, and it is precisely in that respect that our arrangements for holiday-makers are open to the most unfavourable criticism. We have, of course, a number of first-class hotels and boarding-houses, but taken as a whole the accommodation is entirely insufficient and, to a large extent, in need of modernisation.

In the matter of ordinary amenities and essential public services, Irish holiday resorts, in many instances, are lacking, and no serious effort is being made to repair the deficiencies. In some places, local authorities have no borrowing powers to meet the necessary capital expenditure, while in most of the resorts the only local authority is the county board of health which, not unnaturally, is concerned with more general problems. A special weakness is the absence of suitable accommodation for the man with strictly limited means. No effort has been made to cater for the worker and his family, a class of traffic which, under a proper system of organisation, might well be expected in constantly growing volume, not merely from this country but also from other countries. It must be expected that holidays with pay legislation will release a substantial block of such traffic which, in the absence of suitable facilities and attractions, would be diverted to places like Blackpool and the Isle of Man.

Figures relating to tourists' traffic must always be quoted with great reserve but, from the best information available, it would appear that the annual value of this traffic is in the neighbourhood of £2,500,000 sterling, while the annual expenditure of our own nationals touring abroad is estimated at £2,000,000. The net gain which these figures reveal cannot be regarded as satisfactory. The Government has reached the conclusion that it is not in the public interest to allow the existing conditions to continue and that the time is ripe for the introduction of more effective machinery for the promotion of this important industry, having regard particularly to the holiday facilities required by our own people and keeping in mind also the international situation and the specially favourable position of this country from the point of view of the holiday-maker. After a full examination of the whole problem, the Government is convinced that in view of the complexity of the work to be done and of the expedition desirable in its execution, the best prospect of recovering the ground to be made up lies in the creation of a board vested with wide statutory powers and having sufficient funds to carry through an intensive programme.

The Bill before the House outlines the machinery which, in the Government's opinion, is best calculated to place the industry on a satisfactory footing. The principal proposals in the Bill are the creation of an Irish Tourist Board charged with the responsibility for dealing with every important phase of tourist development, State subventions to the funds of the board, a system of compulsory registration for premises described or holding themselves out as hotels, guest houses, holiday hostels, holiday camps and youth hostels; the grading and registering of premises; the control of certain hotel signs and advertisements; the compulsory exhibition of price lists in registered premises; machinery for constituting an area as a special area in which exceptional powers may be exercised by the board, and the amendment of the Tourist Traffic (Development) Act, 1931.

Part I deals with the general powers proposed to be given to the Irish Tourist Board, which will consist of not more than five members appointed by the Minister for Industry and Commerce with the consent of the Minister for Finance. Section 14 defines the general powers conferred on the board. It empowers them to assist financially in the provision, extension and improvement of holiday accommodation, to build, establish, equip, or to operate or to assist financially or otherwise in building, establishing, equipping or operating hotels, guest houses, hostels, holiday camps, etc.; to provide or assist financially in providing, services, sports, amusements and other facilities likely to improve holiday traffic. Financial assistance may take the form of a loan. The board are empowered to maintain amenities and conditions likely to affect tourist traffic, to engage in publicity work, and to publish guide books or other holiday literature, and to provide or to assist in providing for the training of persons who may be engaged in work connected with holiday traffic.

Sections 15 and 16 deal with the State contribution to the funds of the board, consisting, firstly, of a nonrepayable grant, not exceeding £45,000 a year, to cover administrative and other expenses, and a second advance, not to exceed in the aggregate £600,000, to be applied to works, investments or loans under the Act of a profit-earning character, save as may be otherwise provided by the Minister for Finance on the recommendation of the Minister for Industry and Commerce. The annual grant is intended to supplement the normal revenue of the board from registration and other fees, and will be devoted to administrative and publicity expenses, estimated roughly in the proportion of £20,000 and £25,000 per annum, respectively. Apart from that non-repayable contribution, the Bill provides for advances to the board not exceeding in the aggregate £600,000, which are to be repayable and which will be devoted to works of a capital or profit-earning character. It is, however, provided that the Minister for Finance, on the recommendation of the Minister for Industry and Commerce, may waive repayment of expenditure on works which, through of a capital nature, may not be capable of yielding a financial return, as, for instance, the provision of amenities, sanitation, etc., at centres in which the necessary finances cannot otherwise be provided. An annual report will be furnished by the board and laid before each House of the Oireachtas. The accounts of the board will be audited annually by auditors appointed by the Minister for Industry and Commerce, and the balance sheet, profit and loss accounts and auditor's report will be laid before each House of the Oireachtas and will be printed for sale.

Part III deals with the establishment of a compulsory registration system for hotels and other similar institutions, in accordance with standards to be prescribed by the board. As from a date appointed by the Minister, it will not be lawful to apply these descriptions to premises which will not be registered. Part IV of the Bill empowers the Minister for Industry and Commerce to declare an area a special tourist area, by order to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas, and to authorise the board, in respect of that area, to establish registers of boarding houses, and other forms of residential accommodation, camping sites, restaurants, cafés and similar establishments, cinemas, theatres, sports grounds, band promenades, premises in which games or entertainments are provided for the public, and similar places of public entertainment, and local transport services. The Minister can also grant powers to the board to enable them to preserve amenities and to restrict the erection of advertisements. He may also confer upon the board powers in relation to the provision of guides, beach guards, attendants at parking places, and so forth. In granting these special powers, the Minister will have regard to any special claim which may exist under the Town and Regional Planning Act. The intention of that part of the Bill is to safeguard in a special way the interests of parts of the country which are holiday centres, and to ensure their more ordered development.

Part V of the Bill provides for the amendment of the Tourist Traffic (Development) Act, 1931, so as to increase the rate that may be voluntarily levied for tourist publicity from 1d. to 3d. in the £ in the case of county boroughs. While the rate for other local authorities has not been raised, it is expected that these will, as a result of the increased benefits to all parts of the country from increased tourist traffic, endeavour to extend the amounts voted for tourist publicity purposes within the limits of the maximum rates already laid down in the Act.

The second amendment transfers from the Minister to the board control of the expenditure of moneys contributed by local authorities for tourist publicity purposes. That step is dictated by the general aim of the Bill, which is to hand over full responsibility for tourist development to the Irish Tourist Board.

The final amendment is designed to overcome a difficulty arising out of the definition given to the term "local authority" in the Act of 1931. The effect of the amendment will be to enable public bodies which are not embraced by the definition to contribute, if they are so disposed, to the funds of the Irish Tourist Association.

I recommend the Bill to the Seanad. It is a Bill which has received the welcome of all sections and all parties, and although some differences of opinion have arisen concerning some of its provisions, there were no such differences concerning its general principle. Any proposals voiced here for the amendment of the Bill will be carefully considered. I do not regard it as a contentious measure, and I would be very glad to receive the assistance of Senators in the improvement of it, so long as the general aim as set out in the title of the Bill is borne in mind.

I cannot claim to be a section or an organisation. I can only speak as an humble individual, and I wish to say at the outset that although I naturally support the ideals of the Bill, which I am sure appeal to everybody, I cannot see my way to support the machinery in the financial proposals that are embodied in that measure. The Minister and I had many encounters on broad principles of State organisation versus private enterprise. We began that a good many years ago, and I return with increased confidence in the support of private enterprise. I think the records of the last few years have shown that in the matter of this country in only one instance has State control justified itself, and that is in the case of the Electricity Supply Board, which, I admit, I opposed at the outset. I think there is nothing in the whole of the evolution of this State for the last ten years to lead us to believe that we are going to get things better by a system of State control.

This board is given very considerable statutory powers, and it is analogous to a Government Department. I am not going into the minor details, but is there any reason to believe that it is so necessary? Surely in the last few years the tourist traffic has gone ahead very considerably. It is only this desire to hurry things and the belief that things will go much faster by State regulation that seem to justify this Bill. It would be much sounder to go ahead slowly, to let experience develop, to give credit—not State credit, but credit through the ordinary system of banking—and assistance to those people who are successful. I do not believe that by spending a lot of public money the tourist traffic is going to develop more quickly. I know that in Switzerland, which is a great tourist country, the standard of the hotel management is infinitely higher than anything one sees in this country. I refer to the general standard. There may be individual exceptions. That is not a question of money, in my opinion. It is a national tradition of the Swiss to be hotel-keepers. If I really wanted to improve the hotels in this country I would rather subsidise one or two Swiss to come in here and run hotels. I believe that would do far more good. Of course, if the Swiss were brought in here on favourable terms there would be a public outcry that we were handing over our resources to aliens, and all that kind of thing. One of the advantages they have in Switzerland, which Senator Douglas referred to already, is the concession in petrol. That costs money, but it is a simple thing to administer. It does not require a board. Another advantage in Switzerland is the concession on railway fares. That does not require a board. It may require money. I believe a great deal could be done without any of this elaborate machinery.

My main objection to it is that with a heavy and growing financial burden upon us and with the report of the Banking Commission that there is danger ahead of a growing deterioration of the financial position of the country, I think it is very unwise to spend £600,000 of public money to be devoted to this industry, some of which I feel sure, will never come back again, and, in addition, to spend £40,000 or £50,000 in an annual grant. Where are we going to economise? Everybody is alarmed about these economies and the Government is saying that nobody offers a suggestion. I believe this expenditure is unnecessary. If we had plenty of money it might be worth the risk, but in the present position it is unnecessary to spend all this money. I believe the tourist industry will grow of its own accord. For that reason—I may be playing a lone hand—I cannot accept the principle enshrined in this Bill. I do not think it is going to do good commensurate with the money involved. I doubt if it is going to do very much more than is done at present. I realise there are attractions for tourists in this country. I do not want to discriminate and I do not want anyone to suggest I wish to discriminate, but Switzerland has certain attractions which this country can never have. Switzerland has winter sports which are an enormous attraction and which can never be available here. I do not think we are justified in believing that we can ever attain to a position comparable with that of Switzerland. Therefore, though I quite agree with the ideals of the Bill, I think it is a very unwise expenditure of public money, and I very much doubt if this elaborate machinery is going to effect the purpose that the Minister believes.

Is mian liom a rá go bhfuil mé in aghaidh an Bhille seo ó bhun go barr. Níl an t-am fóirstineach dó. Nílimíd ullamh fá n-a choinne. Níl ár dteach in ordú. Nílimíd ar ár mbonnaibh mar Stát nó mar náisiún, agus cuirfidh sluagh eachtrann as dúinn go mór fá láthair.

Tá an Ghaedhealtacht i mbaoghal bháis. Níl aon scéim chosanta i bhfeidhm dí. Ní fiú trácht ar an méid a rinneadh fós leis an Ghaedhealtacht do neartú nó leis an teanga do fhuas-gailt agus má scaoiltear sluagh eachtrann, sluagh Gall, san Iarthar bainfe sé tuisle eile as an teanga; méadochaidh sé an bhagairt don Ghaedhealachas agus ní hamháin sa Ghaedhealtacht ach ar fud na tíre. Tá an troid ar son na teangan dian go leor orrainn mar atá sí; tá naimhde go leor aice fá láthair agus neartochaidh sluagh eachtrann leo siúd. Níl an t-am fada go leor ó d'imthigh na Gaill ó réim san chuid seo den tír le n-ár saoghal sóisealach duthchasach féin a bheith i dtreo againn, agus má méaduightear lucht an Ghall-bhéarla in ár measg, bheidh an scéal níos deacra agus níos déine ná ariamh.

Agus cadé an leithscéal atá leis an mBille seo? Go bhfuighimíd roinnt airgid as uair éigin. Go bhfuighidh óstóirí agus roinnt daoine eile beagán airgid ó na cuairteoirí. Agus táimid le suim mhaith airgid a chaitheamh ar dtus ag súil go bhfuighimíd ar ais é agus biseach leis. Ach abair go bhfuighimís tairbhe as ar an dóigh sin, an fiú é? Cé'n luach a chuirfimíd ar náisiúntacht agus cultúr duthchasach? Tá mé lán-chinnte go dtiubhrfadh Sasain cultúr maith dúinn agus gur dtiubhrfadh sí bríb láidir dúinn dá mbeimís sásta dul siar ar ár gcultúr agus ár náisiúntacht féin. Tá mé lán-chinnte nach leanfaimíd an slí ar gcúl sin go foscailte.

Más airgead agus biseach atá uainn agus fonn orrainn airgead do chaitheamh roimhré, tá slighte in ar féidir é seo a dhéanamh agus in ar féidir seans maith bheith againn go bhfuighimís an t-airgead ar ais agus biseach leis. Tá airgead á chaitheamh ar fhoraoiseacht agus níl an rud sin ag dul ar aghaidh mar ba cheart. Luadhadh cuid mhor de thíorthaibh na hEorpa dúinn atá ag dul ar aghaidh le hobair na cultúrachta. Luadhaim-se na tíortha atá ag dul ar aghaidh leis an bhforaoiseacht i bhfad níos mó ná sinne, an Danmhairg cuir i gcás, agus dar leo féin, gurab iad na crainn an toradh is fearr a thagann as ithir na tíre. Nach bhféadaimís dul ar aghaidh níos tapaidhe leis sin agus an t-airgead seo a chaitheamh air?

Tá airgead agus maoin i n-iascaireacht na fairrge agus chimíd daoine ó thíortha i bhfad níos saidhbhre ná an tír seo—Alba agus an Fhrainnc—ag dul thart timcheall ár dtíre féin agus ag baint luach airgid as an fhairrge mhóir agus nílimíd ag dul i gcomórtas leo. D'fhéadfaimís an saidhbhreas sin d'oibriú i n-áit na gcuairteoirí. Tá airgead go leor i n-ithir na tíre faoi na bpáirceannaibh bána a chímid nuair a théighimíd anonn is anall sa tír seo. Nach bhféadfaimís na daoine a chur ag obair ar an talamh agus slí bheatha a thabhairt doibh? Bheadh sé i bhfad níos fearr dúinn ar gach uile bealach ná bheith ag braith ar dream rógairí reatha ós na tíorthaibh eile ag teacht mar chuairteoirí sa tír.

Tá mise ag tabhairt na tuairimí seo díbh ar cibé is fiú iad. Ní dóigh liom go rithfidh na tuairmí seo i bhfad libh. Is dócha go rithfear an Bille seo acht ba mhaith liomsa mo thuairmí féin a chur ar fagháil agus sin tuairm dáiríribh atá agam i dtaobh an Bhille seo agus i dtaobh an chuspora atá leis.

Bhíos féin le chur i gcoinne an Bhille seo acht má bhíos ní har na cúiseanna céanna atá tabhartha dhúinn ag an Seanadóir Mac Fhionnlaoich é. Ní fheadar cé'n saghas rud a mheasann sé sin a bheith ins an tír seo nó ins an Ghaedhealtacht. An amhlaidh a mheasann sé go ndéanfadh cuairteóirí díobháil don Ghaedhilg? Nilim-se ar aon aigne leis ar aon chor. Ní mar sin a thuit amach i dtíortha beaga eile san Euróip. Ní dóigh liom gur baol dúinne é.

I am rather against this Bill myself, but the speech we have just heard has furnished a number of reasons for being against the Bill, with none of which I am in sympathy. I am entirely and wholeheartedly in favour of the development and the encouragement of the tourist traffic in this country. I have sufficient courage and sufficient belief in the people of this country, and in ourselves, not to be a bit afraid, from the point of view of the Irish language or of Irish nationality, of any influx of tourists from any country, and if the Minister or the board can help to get us, not every class of tourist, but a decent class of tourist to spend money, I am all for it. Like another Senator who has spoken here I am not so sure that the machinery in this Bill is worth the money or will accomplish the purpose which the Bill sets out and which the Minister has in mind. Before I go into that I would like to put on record that as far as I am concerned—and I think I speak for a number of those who are interested in the revival of the Irish language and who are passionately concerned over the survival of the natural Irish speakers in this country—I do not believe that the Irish language is a tender plant which will die if wind from the outside plays on it. If it is as tender as that, no action of any Government or of any people can save it. The notion that the Gaeltacht is a place where the people must be kept in a reservation like Indians are kept in North America, is absurd.

I know several Gaeltacht areas extremely well—I know two well and one extremely well—and the notion that visitors from outside are responsible for the decay of the language is entirely false. The decay comes from inside, from the people themselves, and from the normal home conditions, and not from the special conditions that obtain when tourists are present. At any rate I feel that there is no danger at all to our nationality in the tourist traffic. As a matter of fact, I am sure that the Senator who has just spoken would agree with me that if we were more distinctly national and the Irish language more widely spoken and Irish customs and practices more widespread than they are, the country would be the more attractive to visitors. Therefore, it seems to me you can develop a distinctive Irish civilisation and foster it, without in any way interfering with—but rather helping—the tourist traffic.

The Senator, for example, told us that we ought to encourage forestry. There is no reason why we should not encourage the tourist traffic also. The blunt fact of the matter is that if we develop the tourist traffic we are going to get the bulk of our tourists from England. Now, things are happening in England at the present moment which are preventing that development. The Minister and his colleagues by their conduct in not so recent times are not without responsibility. Even recently their speeches on Partition made a contribution to the present position.

When one goes to England and drives in a motor car—I never drove in a motor car there—the first thing, driving through any part of England on Easter Monday or any time of the year, that strikes one forcibly is that if those English people were brought over to the good Irish roads which are practically empty, they would never go to the continent of Europe again. There is enormous scope for development here. Picnicking on the road between Waterford and Kilkenny on the last Saturday in August, I remember spending about an hour and a quarter on the roadside and the only things that passed in that time were three asses, one motor car and one lorry—and the motor car was an Irish one. But, as regards the particular machinery set up in this Bill I myself feel that the Minister is only following a tendency which existed before he came into office, which has been strengthened very much since he came into office and which is a world tendency—to take power more and more into the hands of Governments, which, in effect, means taking power more and more into the hands of civil servants, or persons who are to all intents and purposes permanent civil servants.

That is a very lamentable tendency, but one which perhaps cannot be avoided. A board, when it has been set up, has many defects, and one of the principal is that its enthusiastic members begin to think that their business is the most important in the State. Experience of most boards is that, if they have powers, they want to exercise them. This board is to have a most extraordinary variety of functions. Endeavours were made in the Dáil to find out precisely what the Minister had in his mind about the board, and I think I am not being unfair to him when I say that he was able to shed no light whatever on the question of what the board was going to do. His position in a nutshell is: "Here is a beautiful country. We ought to have more tourists. Here is a board and here are very ample powers and money for them. Do not ask me what they are going to do." That is a very dangerous position for us.

There are a great many things that could be done to encourage tourist traffic, for example, low taxes, low rates, low costs for hotel keepers and low costs of transport, and a healthy financial position which would enable us to make concessions to tourists, such as are made in other countries, with regard to petrol and railway and bus fares. All these things would help tourist traffic, and none of these things would require a board, but all these things have been, in fact, worsened considerably, rather than improved, by the present Government. We have higher costs of living, higher taxes, higher rates and, instead of improving the roads, the Minister for Finance, the colleague of the Minister for Industry and Commerce, is at the moment engaged in robbing the Road Fund and has made a promise that he is going to destroy it in its entirety. It is quite possible that we are going to set up a board which will set out to do big things, while a number of small things remain undone. The Minister is going to have the appointing of the board. That is inevitable. The Minister, I think, has already stated that he is not sure whom he is going to appoint, but we have a great many precedents to go on and we can be pretty certain that the Minister will appoint political friends of his own to the board. There have been occasionally persons found, accidentally perhaps, who were quite good members of a board, but, in the main, the policy of the Government has been to pick their political friends, put them on boards and pay them salaries for being on the boards.

The board is going to have a staff which is going to pick itself because the Minister thinks the machinery of the Civil Service Commission or the Local Appointments Commission is too slow. I think the machinery of these commissions could, in special cases, be speeded up. I have some experience myself, and I know that, on occasion, they can be fairly rapid, and can break through a good deal of the red tape which is perhaps wrapped around a good many of their normal activities. But here we are going to have a board composed entirely, if we are to be guided by recent operations, of political friends of the Government. They are not necessarily politicians, but, being a rather intelligent person myself, I think I have already seen in the precincts of this House candidates for membership of this board. I am sure the Minister has met them and I am sure that he is not entirely pleased to see them all. That board will appoint inspectors. There are a great many hotels in the country to which practically nobody but Government inspectors go. I was in a hotel one night and there were seven of them, and if the Minister made judicious inquiries in Government Buildings, he could get more information about hotels than any board could gather in the next ten years. Civil servants are the mainstay of certain hotels in the country, inspectors of local government, inspectors of education, and inspectors of various kinds doing various things, doing them together and in the same hotel, or rather from the same hotel.

Leave it "In the same hotel."

By, with or from the same hotel. There must be a great many reports already available, and, as a matter of fact, I believe there is a special association of civil servants who have to travel and who have special information about hotels. Their information would be very valuable and would not require the setting up of a board, or the expenditure of this very big sum of money. The growth of Parliament was a struggle by certain people against a strong Executive, but the modern development of Parliament is that, without turning a hair, Parliament hands over millions of pounds to Governments and to boards to spend and, in effect, loses all control over the spending of that money. That may be an inevitable development, but it has brought dictatorship in many places.

There are a number of things that would make for the improvement of tourist traffic—confidence and peace here, and rational relations with our nearest neighbours, who, I am told by every class of hotel keeper and by everybody who makes money out of the tourist traffic, are the people who are pleasantest to deal with, who spend the most money, and who, as Senator Sir John Keane said, are coming here in increasing numbers. I was in a district near Dungarvan last year and I was frequently on the road from Dungarvan to Youghal and Cork. The amusement of my youngsters in the car was to make out the letters of the English cars such as DOG and SAX. There was an immense number of English cars last year, and, without any expenditure by a board, that number could be increased by a rational form of government and a rational outlook on the part of the Irish people. I agree that great improvement has been made in other countries, notably France and Italy, by Government intervention in the hotel business.

The Minister mentioned that we need accommodation for every class of visitor and that accommodation is insufficient at present. I wonder is it insufficient? My experience is that we have quite a sufficiency of what is called first-class accommodation which, putting it in another way, means accommodation which charges you first-class prices. There is quite a good deal of that, and it is quite good of its class, but we have very little accommodation at all which is good and clean and reasonable in its costs. Perhaps the reason for that is that we have such a small fall of people here. If our accommodation is insufficient, I wonder how are we going to make it sufficient and, at the same time, profit-making? The season is very short. That perhaps is due to our climate. I do not think there is any difficulty at all in getting into a hotel, even in our crowded resorts, in June, July or September. Certainly, I have experienced no difficulty at all in September. You can turn up anywhere you please, even in the most beautiful parts of the country, and have no difficulty in getting accommodation. I do not know whether the board could do anything to prolong the tourist season here, but, if it does not, it seems to me that we have sufficient accommodation, because it is not an economic proposition to increase your accommodation enormously merely for one month in the year.

There are many other things that could be done. I think there has been an enormous improvement in hotels. Whether it is due to the circumstances of the country, or to the Tourist Development Association, or to some other influence, I do not know, but there seems to me to be a very big improvement in recent years. What I feel is the worst feature of all of Irish hotels is the complete lack of any welcome when you get there. When you reach a hotel in France, and particularly a small hotel, the man who owns the hotel and his wife are there, and they have the appearance and the behaviour which suggest that if you had not arrived that evening on the 6 o'clock train, they would have died, that they would not have been able to last out the night in the absence of this visitor from Ireland. When you go into an Irish hotel, you stand in the nall. After a while, a girl passes by and you say: "Hello. Could I have a room?" She calls "Johnnie" or "Tommy," and "Johnnie" or "Tommy" arrives. I have had that experience on several occasions and the worst of that experience is that it happens in an hotel which otherwise is extremely good. If it were a bad hotel, one would not mind. When a thing like that happens in an hotel which is really a good hotel I think you have cause for complaint. These are small points and they require very little money to remedy.

I suppose there is no doubt that this Tourist Traffic Bill will become law and that the tourist board will be set up, but I think the Minister should certainly allow the posts under the board to be filled by some machinery other than the board itself. I agree with all the Minister's arguments about business. But there is a difference between the staffing of this board and the selection by a businessman of his assistants. The businessman can dismiss his staff. He hires them quickly and he can fire them quickly. But we all know that the staff of this tourist board will not be fired quickly. I think that staff should be hired by machinery which could give fair play to all comers and not by machinery which would leave these posts open to influence and pull.

With regard to the expenditure of money there is a very considerable sum involved in the end. I do not know whether in the circumstances of Ireland and England at the moment and in the European circumstances, we are going to get very much out of that type of expenditure. For example does anybody think that it is possible to start in this country holiday camps on a large scale? I very much doubt it. But I would like to see a development of the tourist traffic which would bring people who are not wealthy and would enable them to spend their money without having to spend it in the very biggest hotels. That seems to be the greatest flaw in the present situation. It is a well-known fact that if a civil servant who gets the low scale of allowances and the head of a Department in the Civil Service arrive together in a town they must both stay in a very good hotel or in a very bad one. If anything could be done to improve that situation it should be done.

I think there is in this Bill nothing that contains any danger whatever to what is left of our ancient civilisation or to the Irish language. Steps can be taken to see that no such danger arises. I think we should have confidence in ourselves rather than in endeavouring to put up some kind of wall around this country. The people who will strongly object to that wall are the people who live in these tourist Irish-speaking places, people who want to live a normal life and get a share of what is going. I do not think we are going to do any good by keeping their share of what is going from them. A number of things under this Bill will be dealt with on the Committee Stage. Like the Senator who spoke last I do not propose to divide the House on the Second Reading Stage.

I have to confess that when I first made contact with the Tourist Traffic Bill I was not prepared to give it a hearty welcome. That was principally because I thought it ill-timed and premature. Ill-timed in a world whose tempo is set to the fierce pace of the race for rearmament, whose interests are rather in A.R.P. and bomb-proof shelters rather than in tourist accommodation and attractions. Premature in a nation like ours, which has not yet had time to make a national clean-up of the litter of the past, to clear away the debris of the old dilapidated house and build itself a new house, fit not only for heroes but for tourists whose standards and demands are much more exacting. Indeed, I envisaged our position as that of the tenant of a half-finished house inviting his friends and neighbours to come and stay with him though neither the cooking equipment nor the plumbing is properly installed and the domestic staff is not yet recruited and may be not recruitable. So, for all the millions of visible and invisible incomings tourist traffic holdsin esse and in posse for our country, I thought this Bill could very well wait and that the £645,000 it proposes to place forthwith at the disposal of the board, to be set up under it, might for the present find a more urgent national need to satisfy. But perhaps I was misled by the title of the Bill and the connotation of the word “tourist” which dominates it. That word made me think only of visitors from other countries as if the Bill was designed for their beguilement to our shores, while I should rather have been thinking, as the Minister has been thinking, of our own people, of the hundreds of thousands of our workers who, in consequence of the social legislation for which he is mainly responsible will enter this year into the enjoyment of the right to holidays with pay.

The main purpose of that legislation, the health and refreshment of our working population would be largely nullified if there was no proper provision for their accommodation and no thought to provide amenities and attractions. Amenities and attractions for the refreshment of our tired workers will mean, I hope, if we have a board with the proper outlook, a great and permanent improvement in our own country, a general "spring-cleaning," a clean-up of unsightly rubbish heaps, a toning-up in our standards of cooking and house-keeping, both public and private.

For this big and exacting programme the personnel of the board must be carefully chosen, and I am sure the House will agree with me when I say that it is of the utmost importance, in view of the nature of their task, that there should be at least one good woman amongst them. Most of our Senators are married men. That is in keeping with traditional Senatorial wisdom and for them, therefore, I need not labour the point. They will know that the "woman's eye" with its quick sizing-up of requirements and possibilities is distinctly needed for the kind of work the board is to do.

One of the great difficulties that the development of tourist traffic will have to face is the finding of an adequately trained staff for hotels, hostels, camps, etc. The hotel industry in this country is greatly hampered by the scarcity of trained workers. I note with satisfaction that one of the powers of the board under Section 14 (8) is to "provide or assist in providing schemes for the training of persons to do work which is wholly or mainly connected with tourist traffic." In so far as these workers are needed for the domestic side of tourist traffic it will be most desirable that there should be on the board a woman with experience and proved capability in this field.

The Minister will be wise, too, in selecting the personnel of the board to choose people who know that the best way to bring visitors to our shores, to please them when we get them, to make our own workers' holidays pleasant, invigorating and refreshing is to keep this land of ours "kindly Irish of the Irish, neither Saxon nor Italian." We have qualities and gifts that only need strengthening and developing to make our country a haven of peace in a hag-ridden world. We have a lovely land, but we have allowed its beauty to be disfigured by our own neglect and carelessness. We have the best food in the world, but we spoil it often by careless and ignorant methods of cookery or what is worse by a stupid attempt at copying other people's methods. We have the grandest people in the world, but they often spoil themselves by trying to pass themselves off as imitations of other people. Nobody wants imitations. Everybody wants the real article. Let the aim of the tourist traffic board be to develop Ireland's attractions and amenities on genuine Irish-Ireland lines and the hopes the Minister places in this Bill and the risk he takes in providing so much public money will be justified.

It has appeared from the course of the debate that the Minister for Industry and Commerce was, perhaps, a little optimistic in his belief that this Bill was going to get through without any opposition whatever. A good many of the speeches already made have indicated fairly considerable opposition to the principle of the Bill. Even speeches which tended to accept the Bill in principle contained so much criticism of its general terms that they might almost be regarded as expressing opposition to it. I find myself in the rather peculiar position on the matter of being largely in agreement with Senator McGinley. I dislike the whole idea of this Bill. In the first place, I think that a great deal of what is proposed under it will lead to the waste of money on objects which, in the long run, will be found not to be worth the money. In the second place, I believe that the machinery proposed to be set up under the Bill, even if we grant that a certain amount ought to be done for the development of tourist traffic, is entirely excessive for the purpose in view. Senator McGinley attacked the Bill on the grounds that we in this country cannot, at the present time, afford the sort of highpower mass development of tourist traffic that the Bill envisages. I must say that, in spite of all that Senator Hayes has said, I find myself in very considerable agreement with Senator McGinley.

So am I on that.

It is all very well to say that we ought to hold our heads up: that we ought not to be afraid of having things changed, and that we are not such a tender plant that we can be destroyed by such a thing as tourism. The fact is that the Gaeltacht—again, with all deference to Senator Hayes— is an area which will be very closely involved in this matter, and it is a very tender plant. When you find yourself in the position that you have to pay the people in the Gaeltacht areas to speak their own language, surely that is a sufficient indication that you cannot afford to take the sort of risk that is involved in this go-getting development of tourism.

It is a well-known fact that already the colleges that have been founded during the last 30 years in the Irish-speaking districts, in order to bring non-Irish speakers to those districts, although animated by the best intentions in the world have contributed quite a good deal to weaken the position of the Irish language, and to destroy it in some cases where it existed. As regards certain parts of Kerry, I have heard it said, again and again, that the enthusiasm of entirely well-meaning people who go down there from Dublin to learn the Irish language and crowd into certain country districts, has already gone a long distance towards destroying the Irish language entirely. You are dealing with a thing that is extraordinarily delicate: a thing that has been attacked already, and that is being continually attacked in spite of whatever may be done for it every other day. You are dealing with a thing that is so delicate, that has been so much attacked and weakened already, that anything more done to weaken it may very easily be the last straw—may give it the final blow which will destroy it altogether.

I believe quite seriously that if the development contemplated in this Bill takes a certain form, if all the money that it is proposed to hand out to this tourist board is spent in a particular way by enthusiastic, earnest, gogetters and tourist developers in certain parts of Ireland, it certainly will end in a short time in wiping out entirely all that is left of the native speech and the native habits and ways in those areas. The parts of the country that are going to be affected by this measure are, to a very large extent, the parts that, to my mind, in spite of what Senator Hayes has said, had much better be left alone. Senator Hayes talked with a certain amount of sorrow, I gathered, about the roads. It seems that you still find roads in parts of the South of Ireland where you only meet a motor car once in every 20 miles. Apparently, Senator Hayes thinks that is a bad thing: that it ought to be done away with, and that we ought to hate strings of motor cars going end to end, say, from Waterford to Cork, and from Dublin to Waterford, and when we have reached that happy state of affairs at a cost of £600,000 to the country, plus £45,000 a year, then according to him we shall have reached a state of perfect felicity.

Personally, it would rejoice me to think that even the main roads of Ireland were such that you would only meet a motor car once every 20 miles. I look forward with horror to the idea of this development taking such a form —becoming so intense that you will have strings of motor cars filled with tourists — whether from England, Dublin or Cork, it does not matter where they come from so long as they come from urban centres—scattered all over the country, and all the time helping to give the countryman the idea that he has far too much of already, the idea that he is stuck there, an unfortunate living in misery on the land, and that the only happy people are those that he sees careering along the roads in motor cars, chars-a-bancs and motor cycles.

That is most childish.

Sensible business people, who do not know the first thing of what they are talking about, are inclined to think that these ideas are childish and foolish, but that is the sort of development that has led every country in Europe to the edge of barbarism. The big cities, business at all costs, motor cars, speed and all the energy that is expended in going around in circles—that is the kind of thing that has half barbarised the world already. If we are to have any chance at all in Ireland of creating anything of our own, for heaven's sake let us keep away this excessive development of tourism. If you like to have a certain amount of natural holiday-making, I do not object to it, but, even then, anyone who lives on the outskirts of Dublin is familiar with the masses of people who are vomited out from the city for the week-end, spoiling the country for miles around, putting up huts, scattering orange peels and papers, and ruining everything around them.

And breaking up bottles for the cattle to walk on.

You would not allow them to go out from the city?

I would not allow them into the cities to begin with. We have a system here—Senator McEllin thinks it is modern development, and civilisation, and so on, but, fundamentally, it is crazy—by which we bring up all the healthiest and best young people from the country and give them poor jobs in the towns, and when we have them in the towns we pass elaborate legislation and spend a lot of money to enable them to go out and destroy the country. That is exactly what we are doing, and we seem to think it is healthy, sensible, and intelligent. I regard all this tourist development as one of the greatest dangers we have to face. It might be all right if tourism were allowed to take its normal course. Even then, take the North of Ireland as an instance; most Senators are familiar with places around Belfast, places like Portstewart and Portrush, where they have not needed all this elaborate expenditure of money, because they have a natural instinct for all that sort of thing, because they are Anglicised small-town people and have developed that kind of tourist amenity to the fullest extent. You have places like Bangor, near Belfast, and it is just the same as any other 20 dozen small English towns, with everybody in a bowler hat, going to the pictures in the evening, looking at the lovely amenities, seeing the bathing places, and all the rest of it. The Minister talked about losing a lot of tourist traffic to places like Blackpool. The remedy for that is apparently to have a lot of Blackpools of our own. If people are anxious to go to Blackpool, I would far rather see them going there and leaving me alone to enjoy peace and quiet at home.

Even if you concede that a certain amount of tourist development may do no harm—mind you, I think a small amount is calculated to do no harm, but I am very doubtful whether we have not more than enough already— it seems to me that the machinery being set up by this Bill is wildly excessive. You are getting a sort of one-sided development, due to the one-sided energy of one or two people who are more or less professionals in this matter, people who are very keen on it, and have been able to "put it across" on the Minister and his Department. Suppose I, on the other hand, were to go to the Minister to-morrow morning and tell him I wanted £45,000 a year, and £600,000, in order to build University College, Dublin—in order to do a thing which has been left neglected for the last 30 years since the British Government washed its hands of Irish University education; in order to take the young students of this country and give them an adequate building in which to do their work and pursue their studies, instead of having them stuck in Earlsfort Terrace against Lord Iveagh's back wall —I would be thrown out.

You would not get in at all if he knew what you wanted.

That is only one of scores of things infinitely more desirable and infinitely more necessary, if we are going to have civilised people in this country, than all this one-sided tourist development and invitations to people to come over here instead of going to Blackpool. If you took that £600,000 proposed to be made available under this Bill and made it available for developing the Gaeltacht as a place to live in for the people who are there, or made it available for promoting the use of the Irish language, you would be doing a far better thing for the country. Senator Concannon talked about the necessity for getting good cooks in hotels. Suppose the money were spent on a scheme which I think was put up to the Government long ago, a scheme for taking Irish speaking girls from the Gaeltacht, training them in nursing and cookery, and making them fit to take up positions in families where they are wanted to teach the children to speak Irish, as well as doing other work, you would go a long way towards solving at least a part of the problem of the Gaeltacht. If you were to spend £45,000 a year on it, you certainly would go a long way towards solving it. To my mind, the idea of spending all that money, in the present circumstances of the country, on such a very equivocal benefit as this tourist development, is not worth considering, and I would be ashamed to give a vote to a Bill of this kind.

There are scores and scores of other projects far more apt than this is to do good to the country. Then take the present conditions under which it is proposed to set up this board and spend all this money, when almost every week we are threatened with a European war. We do not know at what moment the war clouds will burst over Europe, and we will have to cease everything connected with tourism for six or eight years. Suppose that in six months or a year—after we have spent a good deal of that money, after we have set up a board and given it funds —we have a war, and no tourists come, where will we be? It is a most unfortunate time, from that point of view, to indulge in such extravagant expenditure as this. Even from our own internal point of view, considering all the difficulties we have recently gone through, considering the position of our farmers and of the ordinary workers up and down the country and how hard they are finding it to make ends meet, it seems to me that we could very well afford to postpone this expenditure for quite a considerable time, at least until our export and import trades have to some extent righted themselves, and until we know where we are as an economic proposition, which we are far from knowing at present. I do not think you could pick a more unsuitable moment than the present for this kind of development.

As an alternative to all this national expenditure and all this expansion of bureaucracy, which will probably do no good at all, I would suggest that we should attempt to make the hotel-keepers organise themselves. You have here an industry, so called. The Minister spoke about it as an industry with invisible benefits. I must say I have never been able to see very clearly where the benefits come in, except to one or two classes of the community. The hotel-keepers are the principal beneficiaries. The railway companies may benefit to a certain extent. Whatever benefits the railway companies get, in all probability the rest of the community loses by reason of the extravagant development that this sort of thing would entail. Why not make the hotel-keepers themselves get together and, if money is necessary for developing the hotel industry, put up the money out of their own pockets? The Minister for Finance told us this afternoon how unhealthy it was to talk about extending credit to farmers. He told us how much better it would be for the farmers to spend their own money. Why not make the hotel-keepers spend their own money on their own industry, and in their own interests? If we say that the tourist industry is of value to other classes of the community, surely to heavens the agricultural industry is of far more value? The whole community depends on it, and yet, whenever a proposal is made to spend a farthing on agriculture, it is met with lectures about propriety and morals from the Minister for Finance. We are prepared to spend money on an entirely problematical pseudo-industry, in regard to which we have no guarantee that any benefits are going to come to anybody, except perhaps to a small and relatively unimportant section of the community. We will not spend money when it is a question of the biggest industry in the whole country, an industry which, as everybody knows, has been particularly hard hit in recent times, and is very badly in need, if not of extensive credit, at least of a breathing space, so that the industry may get a chance to recover.

No matter how much tourism you have, and no matter how much the benefits of holidays with pay are extended, it still remains—and I hope always will remain—a fact that the big majority of the people of this country are farmers, people who do not go out on holidays with or without pay, but stay at home on their land and in their own houses. It is towards their benefit that all national activity and all public expenditure should be directed, and I would suggest that if the other interests in the country, like the hotel interest, want an organisation to help them, there should be some way of compelling them to organise themselves for their own benefit, and spend their own money on it, before calling on the public for the expenditure envisaged in this Bill.

Every Senator who has spoken has had his own faults to find with and his own doubts about this Bill. I certainly have mine, too, and I have listened to several Senators voicing theirs. Without going into the political objections in the political speech of Senator Hayes—because to my mind it was one of the most sinister—I wish first of all to give my own remarks on the smaller items of tourist traffic. I understand that this Bill—I do not say mainly, but certainly it is my interpretation of it—is to help our own tourists, or our own visitors. from place to place within the country. I am sorry Senator Tierney is going, because I intend to speak on a point which he referred to sarcastically a while ago. I want to speak of the traffic from Dublin to the strands in the vicinity. That is tourism on a minor scale. These people spend money, even if it is given to costermongers who sell them stuff at the seaside. If the Bill does not cover facilities for people visiting seaside resorts or coasts in the vicinity of cities and towns, it will not serve a purpose which I would like it to serve. If any Senator visits Dollymount strand with me I will show him the outrageous condition in which that strand is maintained. On a day like Whit Monday I suppose 10,000 people visit that strand. The first thing they see towards the middle of the Bull Wall is a 6 ft. by 4 ft. notice stating that anyone bathing there is in great danger of drowning. There are five of these notices along the strand put up by the Port and Docks Board who, I understand, have no interest in anybody going there. In fact, I expect they would prefer to keep the people away from it. Within 100 yards of the first notice, the corporation have put up shelters to facilitate people bathing but, as I say, the Port and Docks Board have put up a series of notices stating that anybody bathing there is in grave danger of drowning. Several people have been drowned there.

I live in the vicinity and I am satisfied that it is owing to these notices that people do not know the places where there is real danger, and there is a real danger. Senators have heard of Curley's Hole from reading of accidents in the papers. As a matter of fact, there is no Curley's Hole there now; it is perfectly safe there. Yet there is a notice there telling you to beware. There are also other notices along the strand at places where there is no more danger of drowning than there would be on the floor of the Seanad. There is at present a channel there which is positively dangerous. When the tide is going out there may be only one foot of water in one part, but if you go in further it is like walking off the bank of a river—you will drop into three or four feet of water. Children playing and chasing one another might drop into four feet of water and be drowned. I suggest to the Minister that in this Bill we should make provision for the people visiting such places as that. I do not know whose property it is— whether it belongs to the State. It does not belong to the corporation, although they have spent a good deal of money in improving the amenities there by concreting the Bull Wall and erecting bathing shelters. I feel very strongly about the position of thousands of children for whom there is danger there. There are notices in places where there is no danger, but actually they are in the presence of danger where there are no notices.

There is just one mention of life guards in the Bill and that brings me to what I often thought would be a solution of this question. There are sea scouts and other voluntary organisations of that kind in the vicinity of many towns and cities and it might be possible to get these scouts to take on the job of safeguarding strands like Dollymount, which possibly 10,000 people visit, as I say, on a day like Whit Monday. They would probably voluntarily accept the service of guarding that strand during the bathing season. They could be placed where the danger is greatest. I have bathed in many districts in the country and there certainly are places where there is danger if a person does not know the strand. A proper system of marking or guarding these strands would be an immense improvement.

The Dublin Board of Health have made many improvements in Portmarnock, Rush and Skerries. That brings me to the question of family tourism, as I will call it. I certainly agree with Senator Tierney when he states that he does not wish to have Blackpools or Douglases in this country. It would appal me to think that such a thing would develop here and I hope it will not develop from this Bill. I might as well say that I have never spent a holiday across the water, except the holidays I spent there at the expense of the British Government when I was under lock and key. But I have heard so much about the tourist resorts there that I would not like to see anything similar developing here. The village of Rush for a family holiday is one of the nicest places you could get. I mention that because the same thing applies to many districts in the country, especially in the Gaeltacht. I would ask the Minister to see that the board will consider the provision of facilities for families visiting such resorts, whether for a holiday or for educational purposes, as in the case of Irish colleges in the Gaeltacht. There are some facilities afforded at present, but not to the extent that I should like to see for families who visit them for educational purposes as well as for pleasure.

I now come to a point which I should like an assurance from the Minister will be covered and that is in connection with associations with branches in Ireland and in Great Britain whose annual meetings are sometimes held in Ireland and sometimes in England. Provision is available through the municipalities in England for the reception of these conferences. I do not think that there is any such provision in Ireland; it does not obtain in Dublin, at any rate. It should be within the province of the tourist board to grant facilities to the Irish branches of these associations to entertain and provide for the reception of the members visiting this country. If such a thing were provided for it would facilitate many associations, which have branches both in Ireland and in England, in coming here, and many of them who have come here before are very anxious to come again. I have not touched at all upon the other points as to the board or government because other Senators have referred to them. Senator Hayes referred to the board from the political point of view assuming, because the present Government is in office, that everybody nominated on the board and every employee will be a political partisan. I do not think that that is Senator Hayes' experience. I am afraid he is just using it as political propaganda. On the other hand, I do not see why, because one is a supporter of the Government, that should prejudice him.

It sure does not.

It does, and if you had your way you would make sure it would. I am satisfied that the Senator is not sincere in his remarks about partisanship.

He is suspicious.

Suspicion haunts the guilty mind. As I rose to speak, another Senator was about to speak. When he speaks now, I trust that he will remember that he is the representative of the Tourist Association in the Seanad and that he will not tell us that the farmers of Ireland are pauperised or give the impression that we are scarcely in a position to receive visitors. That sort of propaganda here and outside will do more harm than anything else to the tourist business, whether organised or unorganised.

I have never presumed to dictate or suggest to any Senator the line of argument on any subject which he ought to adopt and I definitely refuse to be dictated to by any member of this House. I try to advance my own arguments. If they are not acceptable to Senators they have their alternative. If they wish to do so, they can remain and listen. I am neither impressed nor convinced by the arguments adduced against this Bill this evening. I shall not delay the House, as I intend to speak on the Committee Stage, but I, for one, welcome this Bill. I am perfectly sure that if some of the Senators who have already spoken had been associated, as I happen to have been, with the development of the Irish Tourist Association in the last 14 years, they would not have submitted to the consideration of this House the arguments to which we are compelled to listen this evening. Do they admit that this industry is a great industry? They will have either to admit or deny that. As to the details of their arguments, these are matters for consideration and, perhaps, arrangement by the Minister. The county councils of this country, bodies of hard-headed business men——

The county councils of this country for the last 14 years or 15 years—bodies who toil hard and whom I have tried to defend here—must have been convinced that this was an industry beneficial to the whole community because, during all these continuing years, they have subscribed not liberally but just sufficiently to maintain the nucleus of an organisation and to help the initiative, the courage and the vision of the men who laboured in one of these rooms in O'Connell Street to bring this industry to the position in which we find it to-day—a great, progressive and developing industry. But our funds were limited. Thirteen years or 14 years ago, the entire revenue at the disposal of the Irish Tourist Association to create contact not only with England but with other places was in the region of £10,000 or £12,000. In recent years, it ran to about £14,000. That was the limit of the revenue at the disposal of the men who constituted the tourist association. We felt that the time had come for Government intervention so that we might be brought out of the deadlock that had been created. A few years ago, we sent our general manager to make a tour of the great United States and to broadcast the attractions of this country so as to excite the interest of tourists from that country who were coming to other parts of Europe and spending very lavishly and generously there. It would surprise Senators to know the absolute apathy and ignorance of a great part of the western portion of America and of the States about the beauty spots and attractions of this country and of the many other things that bring tourists into a country. Consequently, I say the time was ripe and most opportune for the intervention of the Government so as to take over a work in which we had reached the maximum of our effort. We could not develop any further as regards the attraction of tourists from England, America and other countries. We had reached the limits of our resources. Therefore, I personally welcome this Bill. It is really a piece of belated legislation.

I was really amazed to hear the contradictions of the speeches here to-night. One suggestion was that this Bill was going to destroy the spirit of the Gaelic movement. Another was that tourism would have a deleterious effect on the Irish people and the life of the country. Another Senator said that it was one of the greatest dangers in modern times. Still another Senator said that the hotel people should be called upon to throw in all their energies and resources in the development of their organisation without Government interference. I wish to tell Senators that hoteliers have thrown a very considerable amount of energy and money into this business in harmony with the efforts of the Irish Tourist Association. It was by their unified efforts that that association was brought to the maximum of success. I hold that it is imperative on the Government to come in and show that they appreciate and visualise the importance of this great organisation which we, as representatives of the county councils, constituted over a period of 14 years. It is an industry which is set into agriculture. I am absolutely convinced of that. Hoteliers have done everything conceivably possible in energy and finance to help the steady growth of this industry for a period of 14 years. They have reached the maximum of their efforts and, perhaps, the limits of their purse. I hope to have some other comments to make about details of the Bill, particularly Section 5, but I shall postpone them until the Committee Stage. I happen to have been one of the pioneers of this organisation. A few of us met in O'Connell Street and, largely due to the skill and organising capacity of the general manager, implemented by the efforts of the members of the association, we made it what it unquestionably has been—a success. As I have said, the limits of success, so far as we are concerned, have been reached and we want the Government to take a due and proper interest in the development of this industry. I welcome this Bill and I think we ought to be grateful to the Minister for Industry and Commerce for coming in even at this belated hour, to help this industry to greater prosperity.

I suffer under a great disability when speaking on this Bill. I have an almost superstitious regard for procedure, and, if allowed, I could point out a good many ways in which the Minister could spend £600,000. I could tell him about the 100,000 unemployed upon whom it could be so easily spent, and I could tell him of farmers who need credit.

He would not listen to that.

I could tell him also of the widows and orphans whose pensions could be increased. I could tell him a dozen ways in which the £600,000 could be spent, but my superstitious regard for procedure prevents my doing so. This Bill has been brought before the House for the specific purpose of developing tourist traffic. Under these circumstances, we are entitled to deal with it by asking whether the Minister is using that money in a proper fashion for the development of tourist traffic. A Bill that could bring on the same platform Senator Cu Uladh, Senator Sir John Keane and Senator Professor Tierney is certainly a remarkable measure.

An bhfuil rud ar bith ar chearr leis sin?

B'fheidir nach bhfuil. I am convinced that Senator Cu Uladh's speech, like the curate's egg was good in spots, but the spots were very few. I have no doubt that the money would be very valuably spent in the development of forestry, or in the development of fisheries. I see no reason why it could not be spent usefully and successfully in the development of these industries. That is not saying that it could not be spent in the successful development of tourist traffic. Even a voluntary organisation has developed that industry to a point that is very remarkable. I have no fears, such as Senator Cu Uladh had, as to the difficulties that people speaking the Irish language will have if there is an influx of tourists into those areas. I do not believe the Irish language will suffer or that Irish culture or Irish development will suffer from such an influx. Are the French people different because people who speak different languages go there? Anybody who does not know French can get a booklet in Wool-worth's in which they will find passages that will enable them to say "Parlez vous; donnez moi". Why should people who go to the Gaeltacht not have phrase books with "Dia agus Muire dhuit; tabhair dom é sin; ba mhaith liom mo dhinéir d'fháil." Perhaps that would induce these people to have a different outlook in the Gaeltacht, just as there is a different outlook about France. Senator Tierney told us that the Irish people had to be paid now to speak their own language. Does the Senator think that by cutting off this source of revenue from them at the present time they are more likely to speak their own language? Does he think that by keeping tourists out of the Gaeltacht the people there are more likely to speak their own language? Would not that have the opposite effect? If Senator Cu Uladh wants to carry his ideas to a logical conclusion he should abolish the Fianna Fáil Party, or 75 per cent. of it, and, possibly, with the exception of two, should not let any Ministers speak west of the Shannon. He should prevent English-speaking institutions and a very important national institution going to the Gaeltacht.

Ní feidir é sin do dhéanamh. We heard it suggested that farmers should get consideration. I agree. I suggest that farmers are going to get some consideration from the expenditure of the £600,000 and the £45,000. I live in a county that has many tourist resorts, and I know that farm produce will be bought as a result of tourists coming to these places. I know that in Lahinch, Kilkee, Lisdoonvarna, Spanish Point and other districts, farmers will benefit because tourists go there. All this talk about the Irish language being injured and Irish culture being injured by tourists is superstition—nothing more and nothing less. I heard some Senators refer to Blackpool, to Brighton and to Douglas. What is wrong with Brighton, Douglas and Blackpool as tourist resorts in England? Must we always put moral barbed-wire around our people to prevent what has been described as the deleterious effects of tourist traffic? Should it not be our ideal to develop Irish character so that it could resist such influences? Should it not be the ideal to develop Irish character so that it would be able to resist anything from outside sources that would be demoralising rather than to be putting up barbed-wire? I have no use for that kind of thing. I think the Irish language will survive even the Tourist Bill, or any other Bill that is brought in if we are in earnest about it. What is wrong about the development of the Irish language is that it is not extended from the schools into the homes, and I suggest to Senator Cu Uladh, with all his knowledge, and his undoubted earnestness about the revival of Irish, that he should set himself the task of having a bridge built joining the schools and the homes, and to see what effect that would have on the Irish revival.

I read the Minister's speech in the Dáil carefully as I was anxious to find out what exactly is his policy respecting the Irish Tourist Association. I was listening on one occasion to the Minister and I thought his speech was the funeral oration of the Irish Tourist Development Association. I wonder if that is right. Is the Irish Tourist Association to be killed, is it to be asked to commit suicide, or is it to exist as a distinct and separate entity? I notice that the board to be set up under the Bill is taking power to carry on all the activities of the present Tourist Association in regard to publicity, hotel registration, etc. But I can see no provision in the Bill to give the board authority to transfer its power to another institution. That is the only way I can see the present association existing, that the board that is being set up would have such powers and would carry on the work of the Tourist Association. There are interests concerned in the Tourist Association which should be considered. For instance, there is a staff, and there are many other things that should be considered. Are the members of that staff going to be dispensed with, and will no consideration be given to them? They are highly trained—they comprise a most efficient staff. The Minister ought to give us some idea whether the Tourist Association is going to die, or is going to be kicked out.

If I had not listened to Senator Cú Uladh, Senator Sir John Keane, and Senator Tierney I probably would have had to content myself with asking these few questions. I am satisfied that there is an opportunity here for the development of roads in the tourist areas and the expenditure of a considerable sum of money in that development. I am satisfied there is an opportunity for the development of swimming facilities, hotel accommodation, the prevention of coast erosion, and the advancement of other things connected with the tourist industry where the expenditure of the sum contemplated could be carried out with benefit to the unemployed and to many of the farming community. I am satisfied that this Bill is one that can do much useful work. I should like the Minister to make quite clear what he proposes to do with the existing organisation that did such remarkably good work during the few years it was in existence.

I came here with the intention of supporting this measure and, notwithstanding anything I have heard against the Bill, I am still convinced that it is sound and deserving of the support of the House. Listening to Senator Madden, who was described by a previous speaker as the representative of the tourist industry here, I could not help observing the way he spoke and the definite conviction that attached to his words as compared with his attitude in connection with other measures. It was quite obvious that Senator Madden was speaking on a subject with which he was fully conversant, and he was definitely convinced as to what benefits could derive from this measure.

Many of the things I had intended to say in support of the measure have been said by Senator Hogan. I agree with what he said with reference to the speech made by my friend, Senator Cú Uladh. I believe there is no danger whatever to come from the further development of the tourist industry in this country. I believe the people can withstand such developments as even the most optimistic of us can visualise. I believe the people in the Gaeltacht will not be influenced in the slightest by any influx of visitors which may come as a result of this measure. Some people may say that that is not so, and it has been pointed out by other speakers that situations in other countries can be compared with the situation which may possibly develop here. All I can say with regard to the language is that one of the principal tourist countries that we know is Switzerland and, notwithstanding the very heavy influx of visitors from England and other countries into Switzerland, that has not in the least affected the people there from the point of view of language. They still boast they have four languages, and those languages do not include English.

As Deputy Hogan pointed out, it is possible for people to get along in any country, irrespective of the language of that country. It is possible for visitors to do their business and get their meals and, if anybody is influenced as a result of the visit, it is the tourist and not the native of the country or State. I believe this is a very desirable measure from various points of view. If I were to look at it from the purely material standpoint —and I may say that that is an aspect on which the Bill has been criticised by the speakers who expressed themselves in opposition—then I would say without any hesitation that it deserves the support of Senators.

The Minister, in his opening speech, explained that the outside tourist industry was worth about £2,500,000 and, even confining it to our own citizens, it was worth something like £2,000,000. The expenditure proposed under this Bill consists of an annual grant of £45,000, plus an advance of £600,000, which is to be repayable. I do not want to go into the mathematics of the thing, but I think any reasonable man looking at the figures will agree that the money proposed to be advanced is very definitely, so far as anybody can judge, a good investment.

People have criticised this Bill and said it is ridiculous to spend that much money on the development of the tourist industry. It would be just as reasonable for a man to criticise the expenditure of 10/- or £1 on a fishing-rod to catch £5 worth of fish. I am sorry to find men, otherwise regarded as very sensible persons and sound businessmen, trying here to justify a criticism along those lines. I do not believe it can be justified.

With regard to the people who live in our own country, I believe it is as important to keep them here, to induce them to take their holidays in their own land, as it is to induce people from outside to come here. As the Minister pointed out, we already have legislation providing holidays for various sections of our people. I believe it is only in keeping with Government policy, following up Government policy already implemented, to develop our holiday resorts and our tourist industry and to try, if possible, to keep every possible penny of Irish money in this country. Apart from that, there is the possibility of bringing in people from outside, inducing people who would normally take their holidays in other European countries, to spend their money here. It is an extraordinary thing to find people, who tell us at other times that we should increase our revenue here and develop various industries, criticising this measure, suggesting it is a bad and insane policy to induce people to spend money in Ireland. I do not believe in that and I doubt very much if those people seriously considered the measure before they made speeches of that kind.

This Bill has also been criticised on the ground that it is the intention to compete with existing hotels. I have read the Bill pretty carefully, I have read the Minister's statement in the Dáil, and I have listened to him here, and it must be quite evident that such is not the case. As I take it, the intention of the Bill is merely to supplement private enterprise rather than compete with it, and if in certain places private enterprise is looking after the tourist industry as far as it is necessary to do so, then I do not believe it is the intention of the Minister, or will be the intention of the board, to interfere.

I believe that a lot of good can be done by the proper development of the tourist industry here, and while I do not propose to go into the various things which could be done, I think it must be quite obvious to every Senator that there is very great room for improvement in existing conditions. We have, as various Senators pointed out, some very good hotels in the country; we have some very good roads in the country; we have some very good fisheries here and many other very good things; but still I think every reasonable Senator will admit that there is plenty of room for improvement. The purpose of this Bill, as far as I can see, is to see where such improvements are necessary and, as far as possible, to remedy any such defects as may exist.

Senator Hogan has referred to the various things which could be done. It is quite reasonable, I suppose, to say that several other things could be done in the country, but I am glad to see that, while Senator Hogan took advantage of this measure to refer to things that could be done, he was wholeheartedly in support of the measure and took the attitude that the measure is a good one and said, in effect: "therefore, I support this Bill." That was his attitude, but I am sorry to say that it was not the attitude of some of the other Senators who spoke. Senator Tierney made what I considered a most extraordinary speech. He made some very extraordinary suggestions. First of all, he suggested that, in the case of this Bill, as in the case of various other Bills, it was merely a matter of some enthusiast on some subject or another coming along and, in the wildness of his enthusiasm, putting something over on the Minister for Industry and Commerce. I do not know whether or not the Senator ever tried putting anything over on the Minister for Industry and Commerce, but I have and I know what has been the result. It is ridiculous to make such statements.

It is quite obvious that the Minister came here to the House fully prepared to receive practically the unanimous congratulations of the members of the House. However, he does not seem to be very worried because the Bill met with opposition from a few quarters from which he did not expect it, but it was quite reasonable to surmise that the Minister came here and expected to get out of the House in about an hour and a half and that the only delay that he could possibly meet with would be that a few people would insist on congratulating him. In the Dáil, from every part of the House, people stood up and said that they believed that this was a good measure and that it was long overdue, and that the result of this would be to help, not alone the hotel proprietors, but the various other sections of the community. Now we have Senators here saying that it is ridiculous to spend all this money on tourism while we have the farmers and workers in such a position and while we have various other people in such a position. My attitude with regard to this measure is that, if and when it is implemented, it will benefit every section of the community. I believe that we cannot have an influx of tourists here, that we cannot have a great development of the tourist industry here, without benefiting the hotels, and that we cannot have any great benefit to the hotels of this country without having a similar benefit to the workers of the country by way of employment. I believe that we cannot have an influx of tourists without having a proportionate benefit, if you like, to the farming community— to the people who will be providing vegetables, fish, and other commodities. I believe that the proper development of the tourist industry cannot but help to react advantageously on practically every section of the community.

Now, I was about to leave the House in order to have a cup of tea when Senator Sir John Keane took the floor, and I must say that I was amazed at his opening remarks. He apparently set out to criticise the Bill because he objected to State interference. The Senator went on, as far as I could hear, or as far as I could gather, to point out that this was really unique as far as tourist development was concerned in most countries in the world.

I never said that.

I am open to correction if I am wrong. He did not say it in so many words, but he went on to say that the tourist industry in Switzerland was developed to a very great extent without State interference.

I did not say that either.

Well, I stand corrected, but that is what I gathered. I have pointed out several times already that there is something wrong with this House as far as sound is concerned. However, that was the general impression I got. I should like to point out to the Senator that the same kind of State interference, if you like, exists in Switzerland; that the tourist industry there is run by the Federal Railways there; that the Federal Railways are, of course, a State institution, and that similar interference, as far as State interference is concerned, exists in France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Russia, Poland, and perhaps in a few other countries which existed 24 hours ago, but which may not exist at the moment. I am not exactly up-to-date as far as world geography is concerned. However, the one thing that surprises me is that a man like Senator Sir John Keane should make such a suggestion and object to the mild State interference, if you like, here in this country, when he knows what has happened in other countries. It is regrettable that Senator Sir John Keane should take that line. I suppose that, if he happened to be reading theSunday Times, as some of the rest of us have, he would be more in touch with the affairs of the world and not take that particular line.

I do not propose to take the time of the House in replying to any number of the various points raised in the debate. I rise principally to make my own position in the matter clear, or as clear as I can. First of all, perhaps I might express my surprise that Senator Quirke has not yet discovered that Senator Sir John Keane is against State interference and that he was surprised when he heard that Senator Sir John Keane is against it. I thought that if there was one thing which every member of this House knew it was that Senator Sir John Keane can always be counted on to make a speech against any kind of State interference.

When it suits him.

On a point of order, Sir, I resent that remark—"when it suits him"—because that implies that I adapt my conduct to my own personal interests. I certainly resent that remark and protest against it, and I leave it to the Senator to withdraw that innuendo.

Leas-Chathaoirleach

I do not think the Senator meant that innuendo.

I did not mean the remark as applying to the Senator's personal interests, and if the Senator takes it as a personal insult, I certainly withdraw it.

Apparently, I have put my foot into it, but I had no intention of creating difficulty between the two Senators. I was merely going on to suggest that I have sympathy with Senator Sir John Keane, but that I do not believe it is possible at the present time to have developments of this kind without some State interference, although I believe that the less State interference that is possible along a line of development in any industry, and certainly in the tourist industry, the more likely the industry is to be successful. I was amused to find Senator Hogan drawing attention to the bed-fellows that this Bill created, and suggested that to have Cú Uladh, Senator Sir John Keane and Senator Tierney in agreement was something remarkable. Well, I find it nearly as strange that I should be, to some extent at any rate, in agreement with Senators Quirke and Hogan: to the extent, at any rate, that I am prepared to support the Second Reading of this Bill. I am prepared to support it because I believe that you are living in a fool's paradise if you think you can develop a country on the lines of taking care of what, I think, Senator Tierney called the tender plants which cannot be allowed to have contact with outside, because, whether you like it or not, people are going to visit this country, and whether you like it or not the people of this country are going to travel about. I think it is far better for people who do visit this country that we should have some measure, at any rate, of efficiency in the way in which we treat them and have a definite standard which would, I hope, be Irish and not an imitation of, say, Blackpool or any other city in any other country, so that we could have something to be proud of and that we could offer to those who visit us.

Therefore, it is not because I want to see the development of Ireland along English lines that I would like to see adequate development of the tourist industry, but because I believe that if we are going to get a considerable number of people coming here, we have an opportunity now, if there is wisdom and efficiency, of developing something, which, while not peculiarly Irish, will, at any rate, enable Irishmen to show themselves in a good light to the people who visit these shores without catering for—I cannot remember the very effective word used by Senator Tierney—the kind of thing that exists at certain resorts of which Douglas and Blackpool are typical. I am satisfied that we could not do that with all the money in the world, for the kind of person who wants such attractions. It would be lunacy, even from the materialistic point of view, to try to cater for that kind of thing here. I hope that will always be the case.

I do not believe, if the Irish language revival movement fails, it will be because of tourists. It will be because of ourselves. I do not think that you will find, in that respect, that the case of Switzerland is a very convincing argument. I think that much nearer home you can find convincing proof of the fact that tourists have very little, if any, effect on the native language of the people. In the tourist districts of North Wales you find that while people will talk to you in English, amongst themselves they will converse in their own language. All the tourists in the world have not prevented the Welsh people from retaining their language. At any rate, I must confess that there is no time at which I more strongly wish that I had a more fluent knowledge of the Irish language than when I am travelling abroad and when I would like to speak in a language that was peculiarly my own. I do not think I am the only Irish person who experiences the same feeling. I think it is quite erroneous to suggest that this Bill will have any effect, either for or against the development of the Irish language, which I think must stand or fall on something altogether different.

Having said that, I am not convinced that this Bill is the best way of achieving its purpose. I am not convinced that there is any case for the expenditure of this money except on the basis that it is going to yield a financial return. I believe that properly administered you can get in a short time an adequate financial return which will justify the expenditure and if it were put to me whether you could expend this money on things which would meet with much less favour from the public, I would emphatically say you could. However, I have an instinctive mistrust and dislike of boards and I do not think it is at all clearly defined, either in this Bill or the Minister's speeches, what the exact function of the board is to be. If the money is to be expended along lines of development which will represent something of the minds and the wishes of the people of the country, we must guard against any development which would make, as an American friend of mine remarked, Portmarnock a sort of Coney Island. If that were to happen I believe the people would soon vigorously express their feelings.

I think it would be much better to administer this Bill along the lines of a Ministerial Department for which the Minister would be frankly responsible. I would prefer to see the best official in his Department appointed on his merits as head of this Department, working this scheme within the limits of the Bill, with the Minister responsible for all questions or discussions that might arise. If you were to have a business company with a clear definite policy, I would have a totally different view. Something along the lines of the Electricity Supply Board would be far more effective. But when you are dealing with something on which we have not yet got a clear, definite policy, I would much prefer to see a responsible official at the head of this section of the Department, responsible to the Minister, with the Minister responsible, in turn, to Parliament. If you give this board powers, it may sound a little more democratic than if the Minister were to make an order on the advice of an official, but we know, in practice, that it is not more democratic. In regard to the appointments to be made by the board, it is bad enough to have the Minister accused of making political appointments, but it is worse to have the same thing alleged against a board which is supposed to be wholly or partially independent. I find a difficulty in understanding exactly what the position will be. The Minister can remove at any time, I take it, a member of the board. Does that mean that by question in the House, by reasoned debate on an Administration Bill, or by a specific resolution, the Minister can be challenged on any act of the board? Does not all this maintain parliamentary control? I do not mean by saying that we want parliamentary control, that I believe we should start to debate these things continuously. We know at present that there are many Departments functioning on which very little public light is thrown except on rare occasions. I still believe that tourist development here requires considerable care. I cannot at all believe in the millennium immediately following the Bill pictured for us by Senator Quirke nor can I believe that it will have the opposite effect, though I do not know what is the polite contrary to the millennium which was pictured for us by Senator Tierney.

The difficulty of saying anything about a Bill like this, at least one of the difficulties, is that in this House when you disagree with Ministerial policy you appear to have no rights at all. Unless you appear to be patted on the back by Senator Quirke, as he was good enough to do with quite a number of people all over the House, or unless you are prepared to agree with the Minister's action in all matters, your views receive very scant attention. One feels that the disposition is completely to Nazify this House, just as efforts have been made in the case of a great many schemes outside to silence those who cannot subordinate their individual points of view to Government policy. When we have reached that stage, this House will have no purpose whatever. We are treated as so many figureheads, because we cannot see eye to eye with the Minister in his proposals. From what I have heard in the debate, I am struck by the fundamental difference in the approach which various members of the House have to the whole problem of the future life of this country. That brings me back to the case I made earlier to-day, how influenced the great bulk of us seem to be by town life, the social conditions that exist in our town, and the consideration that we are always prepared to give to town life and the amenities that have to be provided for it.

With regard to the Minister himself it seems to me, at least in any conflicts I have had with him, that he is always so concerned about holidays that they dominate all his legislation or, at least, most of the legislation of which he has been in charge since he came into office—holidays with pay, holidays for these people and holidays for other people. Now he is making provision for improving holiday accommodation for people of the towns both inside and outside this country. My feeling on this question is that first things should come first. We were told to-day by the Minister's colleague, the Minister for Finance, about the wisdom of a existence, that it was better to live within our own resources and not to ask for money for investment, which could not secure an adequate return. He told us to save a bit, to keep the money in hand until we are satisfied that its investment will show an adequate return. That was the point of view of the Minister for Finance. Here we have the Minister for Industry and Commerce asking for a lump sum of £600,000 and an annual sum of £45,000. To me it seems like trying to put a slate on the roof while at the same time digging at the foundations. It is difficult to contemplate the effect of this sort of legislation on the minds of the people down the country. They are rather amused at this sort of legislation. Make no mistake about it. Leaving aside the people who are interested in the hotel business, who live in our few and rather unfrequented seaside resorts, and the people in the immediate vicinity who may do a little bit of vegetable growing and that sort of thing, the great bulk of our people have not much interest in legislation like this at all. What is it going to bring? How much extra is it going to bring us? We have had calculations made here that the tourist business is worth £2,500,000 a year to the country. Perhaps the Minister will tell us how these figures are arrived at? We see these repeatedly. I do not know how they are arrived at. Do I understand that £2,000,000 of this money is spent by our own people and £500,000 comes from the stranger?

That is not what the Minister said. The Minister said that £2,000,000 was spent by our citizens travelling abroad, if I understood him aright.

Well, anyhow, I would like to know what we are calculating on receiving out of this kind of expenditure because, in the first place, there is expenditure. There is expenditure of cash. In the second place, it has certain consequences. There is no doubt about it. You cannot with a scap of your finger dismiss the point of view so ably expressed by Senator Tierney. The facts are there and unless Senator Quirke forgets the days when he was in the hayfield or any other sort of field, he will know that if one happens to be down the country, particularly in the West, there is nothing but a whirl of dust created by tourists travelling to and from seaside resorts. I have calculated from my own place that in these days a motor-car will pass every two or three minutes. That goes on day by day. One begins to wonder what sort of a country it is. One feels that the world is a strange place. There does not seem to be any connection between that sort of thing and our rural life. That is how I look on it. We have gone a long way towards demoralising our people. There is no doubt about it. They are running away from the country. The Minister on another occasion in this House used a phrase that he was rather anxious to qualify later. They are going. Why are they going? Make no mistake about it, all this business of tourism and tourists, all the noise and apparent ease and the readiness with which you can get money is influencing life in the country. The more you go on spending money to make that side of life attractive the more difficult it is going to be to get the development in the country which the country wants first. Wants first, I say. I am not the sort of individual who believes that we should stick in the mud. Not at all. I think we ought to do our best to put our wares in the window but I would like to put our best wares in the window first. I am not the sort of person who would like to go about pretending that we are ever so much better off than we are, bringing strangers or our own people to our seaside resorts, and making them think that this is really a magnificent country and behind it all something else going on, a grave danger and a leakage which must be stopped but which cannot be stopped in face of this kind of legislation. The Minister may be very eloquent and may make magnificent speeches about the position of agriculture at meetings of the Industrial Development Association but none of these speeches is going to do the thing that this country needs when legislation of this kind is brought in immediately afterwards. That point of view may not be pleasant or acceptable but there are some of us who hold it quite strongly.

While, undoubtedly, our seaside resorts could be made more attractive, I think altogether too much stress is being laid on that side of life. Too much emphasis is being laid on the attitude that leisure and holidays are more important to this country than work. I do not believe it, and I think that what should be said much more frequently in this House and outside is that what this country wants to build it up are not holidays with pay but more hard work. It is very difficult to preach that sort of philosophy side by side with the enunciation of the philosophy that is enshrined in this Bill.

This has been a somewhat odd and paradoxical debate, and I confess that when I recall having listened in debate after debate in this House to Senator Johnston and Senator Baxter and others expressing sentiments, with which I cordially agreed, about the absolute necessity of increasing our exports, it astonishes me that Senator Baxter to-day should speak so slightingly of the value of this invisible export that is provided by a tourist trade. If the tourist trade has already reached anything like the figures, mentioned by the Minister and if it is capable of reaching much higher figures, then it is not a kind of luxury to encourage it. It is, on the contrary, absolutely in the line of the soundest national economy. It is increasing our invisible exports; it is balancing that realisation of our assets abroad of which so much complaint is being made; it is enabling us to pay for the things we are importing from outside in such large quantities. So that I find myself very much at issue with anybody who throws cold water on the value from a material point of view of the tourist trade coming in from outside. The spiritual point of view is another matter. There, I confess, my feelings are mixed. Like Senator Tierney, I personally detest crowds swarming over the countryside. When I go for a holiday myself I much prefer to go to unfrequented places than to frequented places. It is a question that demands serious consideration from the Minister and this board, if created, whether things may not be done, with the best intentions, that have the effect of spoiling the charm of the Irish countryside by bringing in from outside, or from inside, to country places too many people of the wrong sort who spoil the pleasure of everybody else without attaining any great pleasure themselves.

On the subject of the Irish language, of course, I cannot speak with authority, because I do not share the views of the majority of this House. I do confess, however, that it makes me somewhat indignant if anyone should set up the specialised interests of the Irish language as something that debars them from even considering the material value of something that might be so important to us as the tourist trade, as the influx of tourists bringing in foreign money and spending it here. In seeking to prevent the growth of towns and the vomiting forth of the inhabitants of the towns over the countryside I am very much afraid that Senator Tierney is pleading a lost cause. It is too late to preach such a policy as he would apparently wish to see adopted here. There comes to my mind a description which has been given of Shelley: "A beautiful but ineffectual angel beating the air with luminous wings in vain." The Senator's ideas arouse great sympathy in my heart, but they are not realisable.

In ordinary times my feelings about this Bill would be very mixed, but at the present time I find myself definitely unable to support the Second Reading and for a very simple reason, for the reason that Europe—and, indeed, the world—is trembling upon the verge of a very possible war. If that war occurs there will be no problem about keeping our people to take their holidays here instead of going elsewhere: they will be automatically kept here. Equally, there will be no chance of attracting any tourists from outside: that will be taken care of by the general course of events. Yet we are proposing now, at a time of great financial stringency, to embark on a very large expenditure which we may find, in a month or two, is absolutely money thrown away.

I do press upon the Minister the point, that this Bill ought to be held over until the autumn. We all know that the critical period is in the next few months. If Europe survives the next few months without a war we can, I think, see our way to act as if there was not going to be a war. At the present moment I do not think we can prudently do so. I do not think it reasonable to make any such expenditure as is here proposed until the situation clears up.

When I concluded my remarks in introducing this measure, Senator Sir John Keane jumped up to defend private enterprise against another attack from the totalitarian Minister. I have joined issue with Sir John Keane on many occasions in the past, on the comparative values of private enterprise and State enterprise, but we need not fear about it to-day, because on this occasion I am on the Senator's side. I am all in favour of private enterprise in this matter of the development of our country. I think, if we are going to develop our holiday facilities here and take the greatest advantage from the opportunities that we have, we must really largely depend on private enterprise. The Senator and myself, therefore, will be on the same side for the moment, because I share his views in that regard largely—much to his astonishment, no doubt.

However, I do think that private enterprise will require both stimulation and direction. The Senator may not agree with me, but I think it is very easy to demonstrate that stimulation and direction are required. One cannot stimulate private enterprise to do many of the things that must be done if the facilities available are to be fully developed, if we are to take full advantage of the position that exists here. Private enterprise is not going to work except for private profit. Private enterprise will not build public conveniences in holiday resorts, will not put up bathing pools which will be accessible free to the public, it will not stock a river with fish and have that river open to the public, or do any of a thousand and one things that must be done if we are to make this country more attractive as a holiday centre than it now is. Similarly, no matter how energetic hotel-keepers are, no matter how willing they may be to invest new capital in enterprise, they will have the temptation to fleece occasional tourists when they come along. No matter how anxious they may be to clear out the old furniture and put in more modern conveniences for visitors, they will not do that unless assisted and directed by some central authority, so that the enterprising hotelier will be protected to ensure that the use of the name "hotel" will not be abused, that such name will not be associated with the place that is in no sense an hotel but nothing more than a public house.

The particular advantages that offer in particular districts can be fully developed under this Bill. No individual will be allowed, for his own profit, to destroy the amenities of some scenic district or other holiday centre which should be developed along particular lines. We have all heard a lot of condemnation of the type of holiday resort that exists at Blackpool. Now, no one would like to see another Blackpool set up in, say, Killarney, or in some other beautiful part of the country; but there may be some places where something akin to what exists in Blackpool at present might be suitable. Someone must see to it that the gentleman who wants to make money out of hobby-horses or merry-go-rounds will not try to do it at Glen-gariff. If he wants to use that type of equipment and that type of attraction to entertain holiday-makers, he will have to do it at some place that will be more suitable for the purpose than Glengariff or Killarney.

I am not suggesting Shankill. We want to see that private enterprise will get the stimulus that will respond to the requirements of the situation, and, secondly, the direction which will enable it to get the best possible results.

Could the Minister say if the board would have power to prevent the setting up of hobby-horses by a person wherever he likes?

We are giving power to define special areas where an Order may be made by the Minister enabling the board to do anything that is necessary to preserve the amenities of such an area, subject to whatever limitations the Minister may impose on them by the Order. That will be under Section 49 of the Bill.

The main question that arises here is, whether it is worth our while undertaking this expenditure, and, furthermore, whether we should undertake it now. This is a business concern. This is a business undertaking, and we are concerned here in the conduct of this business, for the purpose of getting a livelihood for ourselves. We want to get the best livelihood we can in this country. We are getting some sort of livelihood from manufacture of a certain range of commodities. Can we add to our activities and improve the revenue of our business? If we were managers of a departmental store and we saw the possibility of developing a new department, recognising that we would have to divert to the purpose of that department some of the revenue from the existing activities of the business and invest new capital in the equipment of that new department, we would do it, if we thought that we would obtain more revenue thereby and that we would increase the income of the business and consequently increase the yield of profit.

I believe that the expenditure which is to be made in relation to this undertaking is going to yield a profit. There will be an expenditure of capital. Some £600,000 will be spent in providing facilities for holiday-makers and there is provision for the payment of £45,000 a year to the Tourist Association for such period as may be required. Is this going to increase the national income? Is it going to yield a profit for the nation? Is it going to make it easier for us to finance the various activities on which we are engaged and to maintain the social services we think are necessary?

Senator MacDermot was somewhat astonished at Senator Baxter's inconsistency. I was not. I expected it. I knew that Senator Baxter would oppose the Government in any event, and, even though we were in fact in this Bill proceeding along lines which, on other occasions, he would advocate. I knew he would oppose us on this occasion. We are doing here precisely what everybody who realises the requirements of the national situation will undoubtedly urge. We are trying to increase the national revenue. We are trying to expand a form of productive enterprise which will raise the national income and, consequently, make it easier for us to bear the burden of government and governmental services which may now, in our opinion, be costing more than we can afford. If governmental services are, in fact, costing more than we can afford, as Senator Sir John Keane has said, and as the Banking Commission Report suggested, there are two ways of dealing with the situation. One is to reduce the costs and the other to increase our income so that we can afford them. There is a third way, of course—to try to do both. We are here trying to increase the national income, and if we do increase the national income as a result of increased activity in the tourist business, we are making it easier for the nation to carry on. We are raising the standard of living of the people and benefiting every section in direct consequence thereof.

We should like to see a bit of the other as well.

We can discuss that on another occasion. In relation to this particular project, the one question I want Senators to ask themselves is: will it pay and is it worth while? It is easy enough to say that we could put £600,000 into forestry, fisheries or some other enterprise, some other department of the business. Let us ask ourselves the question: Is it going to pay us more and to pay us more quickly to put £600,000 into forestry than into tourist development? That is a question worth asking and worth answering. Will these Senators who have been talking on that line give us their opinion? Will they consider it carefully? If they had £600,000 of their own money to invest, from which form of activity would they expect to get the biggest and the quickest result? I think we are going to get a much bigger and much quicker return from the expenditure of that money in the manner suggested by this Bill than in many of the ways suggested here. I may be wrong in that. In any event, the expenditure of that money on this particular project is not going to prevent the expenditure of similar sums, or even larger sums, upon other projects, if these other projects are worth while. There is no limit, or almost no limit, to the amount of capital we can afford to invest in projects that are going to yield a profit, and if this project is going to yield a profit, this money is well worth investing in it.

Senator M. Hayes said that we could get on without this board; that if we could reduce taxation, reduce the cost of living, reduce the cost of travelling and get upon more friendly relations with our neighbours, and generally make this country the little bit of heaven that some song-writers say it is, we could attract so many tourists that we would not need a tourist board at all. He is quite right. If all the other nationalities started to fight with one another, but not with us, so that international relations became so bad that those who wanted foreign travel would have nowhere to go but to this country, we would have a different type of problem, the problem of trying to keep tourists out because too many would be coming. It is easy for Senator Hayes to say that, because it means nothing. We are dealing with the situation as it exists, having regard to the prevailing taxation, the cost of living, cost of travelling and the circumstances which may affect our relations with other countries, and, in these circumstances, can we do anything to increase this item in our business, to get a higher revenue for the country from this particular source? I think we can.

A number of Senators referred to the possibility of attracting visitors from England and other countries, and to the effect of visitors coming from England upon our nationality. One of the first objectives to be attained under this measure has no relation to foreigners at all. It is to provide facilities here for our own people to get satisfactory holidays in Ireland. I have no patience at all with the point of view of those Senators who object to masses of people being vomited out from the city to destroy the countryside with orange-peels and broken bottles. That sort of humbug is not going to influence opinion anywhere. We have, however, a number of people living in the cities and in the countryside who like to get a holiday, and some of whom have now been put in a position to get a holiday for the first time. Even if there were no legislation about holidays with pay, even if the general standard of living had not so improved that people are now able to afford holidays who could not afford them before——

That is the limit.

——there has been a development in the mentality of the people which would have raised a problem for us in any event. People are becoming conscious of the value of holidays, of the effect of a holiday upon their own efficiency. The holiday habit has grown, not merely in this, but in all countries, and it has created a business problem, the problem of catering for that new traffic which has arisen and of keeping in this country, if we can, the revenue to be derived from it. Is there any difference between providing a hotel or holiday camp at an Irish resort for the Irish worker spending his week's holidays with pay, in order to prevent him from going to a similar hotel or hostel in North Wales, and putting up a boot factory to manufacture boots which we would otherwise buy from a boot factory in England? There is no difference in principle. We are doing it, if we are doing it at all, because we think it good business to do it; and if we are doing that, can we not, at the same time, consider whether we cannot do something more? Undoubtedly, let us provide these holiday facilities for our people and let us see that they can get not merely good and cheap holidays in this country, but holidays as good as they can get anywhere else, if we can possibly secure it.

We think it will pay to do it, but, over and above that, we can attract visitors from abroad. Seventy-five per cent. of these visitors will be people with racial associations here. They are not going to be foreigners coming in for the purpose of destroying Irish nationality and undermining the Irish language, but Irish people coming home to their own country to see their own folk and to renew their associations with the old country. That is what they will be. Will anyone deny that of the visitors who came to this country from the United States of America last year, 99 per cent. were people of Irish origin or descent, who were coming to Ireland because they had herd Ireland spoken of in their homes in the United States, who knew that they had originated here and who wanted to come back here for the purpose of seeing the old country? The same applies to people coming even from England and it certainly applies to people coming from other countries. These people are not coming in here to destroy the Irish language or to undermine Irish nationality. Their coming will have quite a contrary effect altogether, but, by bringing them in here, we can make a profit. These people are not going to take holidays in any event, and if they do not come here, they will go elsewhere. Is there any reason why we should not set out systematically to organise the bringing of them here, so that whatever profit is to be got will be secured for this country, instead of leaving it to other countries, such as England, France, Switzerland, or some other country, the Governments of which have more business foresight than we have displayed here in the past?

I do not like talking about this question of the relationship between this Bill and the problem of preserving the Gaeltacht, protecting the language and preserving Irish nationality. I am afraid it would be much too easy to deal with what has been said on these subjects in a sarcastic manner, and I am afraid I shall be tempted to do so.

That would be very Irish. Sarcasm is the great note in Ireland.

and most unusual in my case. However, in order to try to keep the question distinct, because I think there would be some value in doing so, I invite Senator McGinley, Senator Tierney, or any other senator interested, to put down an amendment to this Bill to provide that the activities of this board will have nothing to do with the Gaeltacht, and that the money provided by the Bill shall not be spent in the Gaeltacht, and let us see what case they can make for it. This is not a Bill for the Gaeltacht, but for the whole of Ireland.

Oh, no; for Twenty-Six Counties.

That part which is under our jurisdiction. We shall be very glad to extend the benefits of the Bill to the whole of Ireland, if we get the opportunity. It is designed to facilitate the carrying on of a profitable business in whatever part of Ireland that business is best suited to be carried on. If we can carry on that business in the Gaeltacht, well and good. I think we can carry it on there without any danger whatever to the preservation of the Irish language and without any danger whatever to Irish nationality or Irish culture. But if Senator Cú Uladh or any other Senator thinks otherwise, if they are fearful of what the effect on the Gaeltacht might be, let them put down an amendment asking that the provisions of the Bill be not extended to the Gaeltacht and let them make their case for the exclusion of the Gaeltacht from this Bill. I do not think that the operations of this Bill are going to interfere with the preservation of the Irish language or affect prejudicially Gaelic culture.

Have the Senators considered that if they did try to exclude the Gaeltacht they would probably get torn to pieces the next time they entered the Gaeltacht?

That is what the Minister is considering, that is what he has in mind.

If there is a fishing village or a seaside town in the West of Ireland do Senators think that it is going to be in any way less part of the Gaeltacht because sewerage works, waterworks, lighting, swimming pools or baths or any other amenities are there?

Tuigeann Seanadóir Mac Díarmuida an ceist sin nios fearr ná ceachtar againn.

The Suggestion has been made in the course of the debate that we are over-fond of centralising authority and that this Bill means a further step in the development of transferring to the central authority powers of control over social and commercial activities which the central authority should not have. Senator Hayes described that as a lamentable tendency. I would like the Senator to develop that point. I do not know why he used that phrase. I suggest that he used it because it was the first to occur to him. Are we justified in refusing to increase the efficiency of the nation by the setting-up of such authorities, by the creation of such statutory bodies in order to get the best out of our various national activities? I do not think so. If it could be shown that better results could be achieved otherwise I would be prepared to act otherwise. We are doing this because it is the best system. If anyone can show us a better way of doing it we are quite prepared to fall in with him. It is a question of expediency. When it comes to particular matters with which this board will deal, when one has regard to the work that has to be done and how it can best be done, one almost automatically visualises some such organisation as this, some organisation which will have certain powers, certain resources and which will be charged with the responsibility of getting that work done.

Senator Douglas asked why set up this board? He asked why should we not give the Minister this power. Now, if I came here with a Bill giving these powers to the Minister and proposing to have the functions carried out by civil servants, I am quite sure Senator Douglas would be the first to propose an amendment taking the powers away from the Minister and giving them to a board. I think it best that the powers should be given to a board. I have already said that I do not deal in matters of this kind as a politician. It would never enter my head, when considering the allocation of a grant for the building of a promenade or the construction of a swimming pool or a bathing place, to consider whether there was a bye-election in Dublin or whether the Government required support in a particular quarter or not or whether influence could be used for a particular Deputy.

Oh, not at all—we know that.

The Minister is entirely too high-minded for that.

It is precisely because I know my personal position in the matter that I am saying this. I know my personal wishes. I know that if the powers in this Bill were given to me as Minister, every member of the Dáil, irrespective of Party, would be sitting on my doorstep seeking to get a grant for his home town and making the refusal or the getting of the grant a political matter. That is why I decided that these powers should not be given to the Minister but to a board that would be independent of him at least in so far as the detailed carrying out of the plans is concerned.

Is it not correct to say that the Minister can remove the members of the board without notice?

That is correct. We are told here that only supporters of the Government would be appointed on that board. I confess at once that it is very difficult to find intelligent people who are not supporters of the Government.

Oh, this is awfully good.

This is the best yet.

I think it is most ungenerous of Senator Hayes to suggest that we have not been most diligent in our search for people who are not members of the Government to put on these boards. Let the Senator cast his eyes over the personnel of the various boards, let him take for instance the Sugar board and the Electricity Supply Board. He would find on these boards a number of people who are not supporters of the Government.

One heard of 47,000 people who did not vote in the South Dublin bye-election.

Did they all apply to be put on the tourist board?

I do not get that point of Senator Hogan's interjection. The fact is that in the appointment of staffs I have never known political considerations to be taken into account. Nobody will allege that in the recruitment of the staff in the case of the Electricity Supply Board, the Government were ever influenced to any appreciable extent by political considerations. Now, the section here in this Bill is, word for word, the same as that which deals with the Electricity Supply Board. You have there in that section the experience of its operation in a similar organisation which has been in existence for over ten years.

It has been suggested by Senator MacDermot that it is unwise to proceed with this measure at present because there may be a war. I admit that that is possible and it is a possibility which we must take into account in developing our plans. But to what extent are we to allow our activities to be curtailed by the possibility of the outbreak of war? That is a problem that has arisen for me ever since September last.

And every businessman has that problem facing him in carrying on his business.

Yes, and you have got to make a decision regardless of that possibility. Now, as to the question of the outbreak of war, there may not be a war. Are we to suspend activities that may be useful, though there may not be a war? Are we to have such regard to the possibility of war arising that we should do nothing which is not directly preparatory to the outbreak of war? In this case we can go ahead, because there are various presumptions on which we can proceed. Senator MacDermot asked that the Bill should be postponed till the autumn because of the war danger. I am prepared to give the Senator an undertaking that the money now being voted will not be spent immediately. The Act will not come into operation before three or four months. At least three months will elapse before we can proceed to put it into operation. There may be another danger point looming ahead. Should that be reached, a further decision may have to be taken, but I think that we can go ahead now and set up this organisation. When the organisation is functioning we will have to take into account the extent to which international affairs are likely to react on the situation here. Reference has been made to the £600,000. The board is not being given £600,000 to spend. The Bill authorises the Government to make advances to the board up to £600,000, but each advance must be sanctioned. The purpose of the advance must be approved of, and the possibility of the money being repaid examined. That system is copied from the system in operation in relation to the Electricity Supply Board. Senators know that Bills are occasionally introduced in the Oireachtas which propose to give power to increase the limit by which advances may be made to the Electricity Supply Board. We will have one in the next session. When that limit is increased the Government gets authority to authorise new advances to the Electricity Supply Board up to the new limit, but each advance has to be approved of. We are adopting the same system in relation to this board. The system has worked fairly satisfactorily in connection with the Electricity Supply Board, and we think that it should work with equal satisfaction here.

Would the Minister say if he expects that any large amount will be advanced, or expended, before, say, October next?

I should say that not one penny of the £600,000 will be spent before October. There may have to be some money spent out of the £45,000 to meet immediate administrative costs. A question was asked concerning the future of the Irish Tourist Development Association. It is intended that it should continue in existence as at present, although it is to be assumed that its future activities will be confined to publicity work. The particular work it does at present in relation to hotel inspection and registration will, presumably, stop. It will be subject to the new board to the extent that it is now subject to the Minister for Industry and Commerce. The expenditure of the association has at present to be approved of each year by the Minister for Industry and commerce. In future, that approval will be given by this board. The new board may arrange to conduct its publicity work through the Irish Tourist Association. One of the provisions of the Bill authorises the board to operate through an agency for any of the purposes associated with the tourist development business, if they think fit. I should imagine that the two organisations will be able to work hand in hand, and without any serious overlapping in their activities. The Irish Tourist Association is at the present time doing publicity work in this country and in Great Britain, in addition to doing a certain amount of hotel inspection work and registration. The board may arrange for the Irish Tourist Association to continue to do that work in the future, and probably to expand it. In fact, the new situation may mean an expansion in the functions of the Irish Tourist Association rather than a contraction. It is not intended that the Irish Tourist Association should cease to exist. Quite the reverse is the intention.

I think that these are the only points that call for reply at the moment. Many of the other matters raised on the Bill can be more appropriately dealt with on the Committee Stage, matters relating to individual sections. I shall be very glad then to deal with any difficulties which Senators may have. A number of Senators suggested that, while they approved of the principle of the Bill, they thought they could improve on the details of it. I shall be very glad to hear their attempts to do so on Committee.

Would the Minister say whether the constitution and functions of the board are to be defined by any other instrument than this Bill? It would be very important to have regulations made which would avoid overlapping as regards the operations of the board and of the local boards of health and other authorities. It seems to me that that is a point not dealt with in the Bill.

It is this Bill that will define the constitution and powers of the board and nothing else. Their powers, of course, in certain respects will depend on Ministerial orders to be made subsequently, but in so far as their ordinary activities are concerned they are covered by the Bill.

What would the position be with regard to the carrying out of sewerage works?

the board to be set up under this Bill will not undertake the carrying out of sewerage works. It is not being given the power to do that. It is getting power to make loans for that purpose, and to assist financially developments of that kind.

I want to ask the Minister a question in reference to some remarks I made about the control of foreshore. I understand that foreshore is under the control of the Minister for Industry and Commerce. I would like to refer to the effect of this Bill on parts of our foreshore that are positively dangerous.

On a point of order, should not these representations be made by way of amendment?

Leas-Chathaoirleach

That is a matter that the Senator might raise on the Committee Stage. It is not in order now.

I am quite satisfied. I do not want to get an answer from the Minister now, but simply to draw attention to the situation that exists.

Question put and agreed to.
The Committee Stage ordered for Tuesday, 11th July, 1939.
The Seanad adjourned at 10.10 p.m. until Wednesday, 5th July, at 3 p.m.