Tuesday, 26 June 1945
Dáil Éireann Debate
That a sum not exceeding £218,465 be granted to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending the 31st day of March, 1946, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Office of the Minister for Industry and Commerce, including certain Services administered by that Office.
Deputies who have studied the Estimate and compared it with the Estimates of previous years will have noticed that it has no unusual features. The small increase in the total amount required is entirely due to expansion under sub-head A—Salaries, Wages and Allowances paid to officials of the Department. That increase was due to decisions which affected the Civil Service as a whole. The Department of Industry and Commerce has been occupied during the war years in the administration of many of the controls which emergency conditions made it necessary for us to maintain. It is only now, with the ending of hostilities in Europe and the prospect of more normal conditions reappearing in trade and industry, that the activities of the Department have been turned in ever-increasing degree to examination of the problems that will arise in the post-war period and, particularly, to the work of planning the resumption of industrial development. To some extent, that work of post-war planning had been proceeding in the Department at all  times during the war years but, with the approaching termination of hostilities last year and the actual termination of hostilities this year, it has taken on a new importance and is occupying to an increasing extent the time of officers of the Department. The House is, I think, aware that last year we decided to collect information concerning the intentions of existing firms engaged in manufacturing enterprise in relation to the projected extension of their activities after the war. An elaborate questionnaire was issued to all such firms and the replies received have been examined and collated for the purpose of preparing a picture of the industrial situation which may be expected to develop when conditions become more normal than they now are. I should like to say that the firms to whom that questionnaire was addressed co-operated wholeheartedly with my Department and a great deal of valuable information has been procured.
The information, which has been tabulated, not merely indicates in broad outline the nature of our post-war industrial structure but makes possible the determination of particulars of the machinery and plant that will require to be imported as soon as imports become possible as well as the power requirements of industry. That information will be of special value in the conduct of commercial negotiations with other countries and in the preparation of the power-development plans of the Electricity Supply Board. The particulars furnished have also made possible the examination in very close detail of the methods of production employed in industry, and possible revision and improvement of these methods and the preparation of a picture, which is of particular interest and value, of the trading methods employed or contemplated, all of which will be of assistance to the officers of the Department in promoting not merely a further expansion of industrial activity here but expansion upon sound and efficient lines. I may say that it is obvious, from the information supplied, that plans for  the establishment of many new and important industries are well advanced. I cannot particularise in that regard now because the interests of private firms are concerned but it is particularly gratifying to note that the delay in our industrial-development programme which the war caused will not have permanent consequences and that, when it is again possible to procure supplies of plant and materials from abroad, we shall be able rapidly to make up whatever ground we have lost as well as to break new ground in important fields.
For some time past, I have been giving consideration to the adequacy of existing legislation for the regulation of industrial development, for the supervision of industrial efficiency and for assisting industrial expansion generally, particularly with regard to the possibility of encouraging and helping the growth of an export trade in industrial products. The consideration which is being given to these matters is, of course, aimed at the formulation of proposals for legislation which will, I trust, in due course, be submitted to the Dáil. The House is aware that, during the war, many of the tariffs and import restrictions which were imposed to assist the development of industries here were suspended. The suspension of these quota and import restrictions has been maintained and will, of necessity, require to be maintained until supplies of materials become more freely available and the resumption of home production on something approaching a normal scale becomes practicable. The management of these import restrictions during the earlier post-war years will be a matter of some difficulty. While, as I have said, the suspension of those restrictions is still necessary, and will be necessary for some time to come, it is obviously desirable that measures should be taken to ensure that the rapid revival of industrial activity will not be impeded, while it is equally necessary to provide that full supplies of the materials concerned will be available to the community generally.
Mr. Lemass: The disturbed conditions now existing in international trade are symbolised by the fact that, in respect of many classes of goods, it is at the moment easier to obtain the manufactured products than the raw materials from which to manufacture them. That situation is disturbing conditions in some industries, very important industries, at present. In the absence of materials to permit of home manufacture it is, of course, necessary to allow the importation of these goods to continue. It is clearly an abnormal situation when, despite the dislocation of industry in other countries and the scarcity of labour for industrial production of consumer goods, we can obtain these goods, manufactured and packed, while manufacturers here cannot obtain materials either to manufacture them or to pack them. I think that abnormal situation will straighten itself out very quickly, but if there is to be an easement in our situation I think we must take the risk of allowing full supplies to become available rather than the risk of unduly restricting imports until it is clear that something approaching adequate supplies are procurable from home sources.
As the House is aware, a special section has been established in the Department of Industry and Commerce for the regulation of post-war building activities. The publication of the White Paper which, I am sure, Deputies have read, makes it unnecessary for me to deal here at any length with the scope of the plans in contemplation or with the policy which it has been decided to follow in that regard. All the building projects contemplated in the immediate post-war years have been listed and classified. All persons, whether they were private individuals or public organisations, contemplating building activities have been required to give particulars of the activities they contemplate and, where early action is intended, to provide particulars of the materials required for the particular projects they have in mind. As a result of the information furnished, there have been prepared particulars of the various classes and quantities of materials  and also the numbers of workers, skilled and unskilled, that will be needed, if the programme as prepared is to be carried through. Particulars of the requirements are being related to the probable supplies of materials and the number of skilled craftsmen whose services will be available. Plans are being prepared for the purpose of obtaining from internal sources the maximum provision possible of the necessary materials and also for directing into the building trade apprentices in sufficient numbers to ensure that the strength of the workers available in the different crafts will be kept at the level required.
The essential building material that is likely to cause us most trouble is timber. It was the cessation of timber imports during the war which caused a very considerable diminution in building activity. It is the difficulty of obtaining timber imports at present which has made it impossible for us to begin the constructional activities which have been planned. Contacts have been established with some of the supply countries, in the Baltic and in Canada, but I cannot say that any solution of the many difficulties has yet been found. These difficulties are not merely the physical problems involved in transhipping supplies of timber to this country but also the system of priorities which has been established elsewhere and the exchange problems that are going to be an added complication to international trade for many years to come. Discussions in that regard are proceeding now and I am not without hope that some means will be found to enable supplies of timber to reach us, but it is likely to be some considerable time before timber will be freely available or available to us in quantities sufficient to permit of the building programme we had prepared being carried through to the extent indicated.
A Building Research Committee has been established for the purpose of collecting and disseminating information concerning advances in building technique in other countries and it has been charged with the task of setting up standards of building materials and of generally finding practical solutions  for the industry's problems. As the House is I think aware from the particulars already furnished, the whole of the post-war building programme is being considered in consultation with a series of advisory committees representing the persons concerned in all aspects of the building trade. Their work is being co-ordinated by a central advisory council acting in consultation with the officers of the Department of Industry and Commerce.
Deputies will note that the Estimate makes provision for certain grants to the Industrial Research Council. The Industrial Research Council was established many years before the outbreak of the war to organise and facilitate industrial research. During the war an Emergency Industrial Research Bureau was set up to undertake specific tasks that were entrusted to it. It had far greater financial freedom and scope of operation than the pre-war industrial council. The Industrial Research Council has continued in existence and continues to discharge many important functions. The view of the Government is that the time has come when the adequacy of the provision made for industrial research should be examined and the view has been held that we need here in our circumstances something more than a research council, certainly something more than a research council surrounded by the financial restrictions which the present research council has to contend with. It is therefore contemplated that proposals for legislation will be submitted to the Dáil some time in the present year providing for the establishment of an industrial research institute. In view of that, I do not think it is necessary to deal now at any great length with the work of the Industrial Research Council. The whole matter will no doubt be very fully discussed by the Dáil if and when the contemplated legislation is submitted.
Mr. Lemass: There is provision also in this Estimate for the State's contribution to the expenses of the International Labour Organisation. As the House is aware, we have been members of the International Labour Organisation for the whole of the period of its existence. The International Labour Organisation was, however, a product of the Treaty of Versailles and was associated with the League of Nations established by that Treaty. It now appears clear that the League of Nations established by the Treaty of Versailles will disappear and will be replaced by some new international organisation. It is by no means clear as yet what the relationship of the International Labour Organisation with that new international security organisation may be or what the future holds for the International Labour Organisation. It has been the policy of the Government here to support the International Labour Organisation in the past and we have endeavoured at all times to keep our legislation in conformity with the conventions adopted at the International Labour Conferences. Our country has been represented at these conferences both before the war and, in form at least, at the conferences held during the war. It is intended to hold an International Labour Conference in September next and arrangements are being made to send a full delegation, constituted in accordance with the requirements of the organisation, from this country.
Mr. Lemass: The conference is to be held in Paris. A large part of the work of the Department of Industry and Commerce is the negotiation of settlements of trade disputes and the operation of the conciliation machinery which has been established in various  industries to avoid the possibility of such disputes. During the war our record in that regard has been remarkably good. Very few trade disputes have disturbed productive activities here and, in fact, the parties concerned, both on the workers' side and on the employers' side, deserve honourable mention for the steps which they took to preserve good industrial relations and to prevent production or distribution being unduly disturbed by avoidable trade disputes. I do not think that the period of comparative peace which we experienced during these war years will continue indefinitely unless we can devise some means of creating more effective machinery for the avoidance of disputes or the negotiation of settlements when they arise. The House is aware of a development in the trade union movement which has led to the establishment of a Congress of Irish Unions, unions which have withdrawn their affiliation from the Irish Trade Union Congress. I had contemplated that we would have begun by this certain discussions upon the practicability of more effective measures than have hitherto existed for the avoidance and prevention of industrial disputes leading to stoppages or for the negotiation of settlements when stoppages occur.
Mr. Lemass: The recent developments within the trade union movement have impeded the organisation of discussions to those ends, but I feel that it will be possible in the near future to get the minds of all parties concerned in the matter working together so that some practical proposals will emerge. It is clear that in matters of this kind we must endeavour to proceed by agreement. We have not got, and do not propose to take, powers to require conformity with any predetermined plan by any of the interests concerned. I think, however, that the general atmosphere is favourable enough to an examination of the problem and to the preparation of proposals  in agreement which, if they do not go so far as particular people may desire, will nevertheless go some distance towards the maintenance of our comparatively good record in the matter of the avoidance of industrial disputes. In that connection I may mention the Trade Union Act. Activities under that Act have received due publicity in the newspapers. The House is aware that some unions have applied under that Act for the exclusive right of organising workers in particular occupations. At present, however, the operation of the Act is suspended arising out of an action which has been taken in the civil courts by a particular union. It is likely to be some weeks before that action is decided and the hearing of applications by the Trade Union Tribunal resumed.
The Commission on Youth Unemployment, of which the Most Rev. Dr. McQuaid, Archbishop of Dublin, is chairman, has been actively pursuing its inquiries upon the matters given to it to investigate. I am aware that a great deal of work has been done by that commission and its sub-committees, and I understand that a report is being prepared which will, in due course, be available to us and which, when available, will be fully considered with a view to action to implement its recommendations.
The control over remuneration which was imposed by Emergency Powers Order has been maintained, and I think that the House will agree that it is desirable that it should be retained for the present. It is impossible to forecast the trend of price movement in the years immediately ahead. It will be recollected that it was after the cessation of hostilities in 1918 and 1919 that price inflation got almost out of control in this part of the world and entirely out of control in other parts of the world. It is to safeguard this country against the consequences of such abnormal inflation of prices that these controls were considered necessary by the Government and, while it is probable that the experience gained after the last war is being applied by other Governments in a manner which  will prevent the same consequences developing now, it is by no means clear that we can afford to relax these restrictions yet or until there is some evidence that the price position has become stabilised or that the fall in prices which should at some time occur has begun to develop.
It is not necessary for me to speak at any length upon the trend of employment and unemployment in recent years. As the House knows, we have established the practice of publishing annual reports prepared by the committee which I set up for that purpose. That committee meets each year, considers all the available data relating to employment and unemployment, and publishes a report which is not merely extraordinarily informative but gives a reliable picture of all aspects of our employment and unemployment problems. Deputies have no doubt seen that report and have noted the conclusions of the committee regarding the situation in recent years. During the year 1944, the decline in employment in protected industries ceased, and in fact there was a slight increase in the number of persons employed in such industries.
Mr. Lemass: It is circulated to all Deputies. The number of persons employed in protected industries in September, 1943, was 69,343. In September, 1944, it was 71,352, an increase of 2,009. That increase by itself is not very remarkable, but it does indicate that the fall in employment in those industries which had begun with the outbreak of war was arrested last year, and it is particularly noteworthy that the increase was more or less uniform over all the industrial groups.
The Irish Tourist Board has been engaged largely in planning activities during recent years. Some development works entered upon at Tramore have not been completed, and schemes for similar development at Portmarnock, Bundoran and Lisdoonvarna  have been prepared and will be begun in the near future.
Mr. Lemass: ——would be of a narrow kind. However, I really want to indicate the position which affects the Estimate. The Tourist Board, as the House is aware, was established in 1939. It was established to do a specific series of tasks, the most important of which from the financial point of view was the carrying out of development plans at holiday resorts. The advent of the war made it impossible for it to proceed with the performance of those tasks, and for some time after the commencement of the war the work of the board was kept at a minimum. When it became clear that the war had not developed in a manner which made it impossible for the board to work, its activities were revived and the board was instructed to proceed with the preparation of plans for such development, and has prepared those plans in considerable detail for a large number of resorts in the meantime. Plans for the development of some 20 resorts have, in fact, been approved. It is not possible, however, to point to physical accomplishment because the conditions which have limited building work and prevented other constructional activities have, of course, affected the board's work also, but in the three resorts I have mentioned the work will be begun during the present year, and, in all the resorts for which schemes have been approved, as soon as the necessary equipment and materials become available. The board has also, as the House is aware, brought into effect the provisions of the legislation relating to the registration of hotels and guest-houses, and the staff has been actively engaged in the examination  of hotels and guest-houses with a view to registration during the course of the year. It will be appreciated, however, that at the present time it is not possible for the board actively to pursue its aim of raising the standard of the accommodation provided by hotels and guest-houses as the proprietors of those establishments cannot procure the extra fittings and equipment which the board would regard as reasonable in their cases.
Mr. Lemass: They would vary from one resort to another—the development of sites for hotels and amusement centres, the construction of promenades and walks, the building of piers, the creation of parks, all the types of development that would tend to make holidays at one of those resorts more attractive to the ordinary person.
Mr. Dwyer: The reason why I asked the Minister that question was that one type of amusement which is developing a lot in Cork at present is a game called pitch and putt. I understand the Tourist Board are interested in that, and I was wondering if a grant would be given to individuals or clubs to help to promote that sort of amusement?
Mr. Lemass: Not by the Tourist Board. The Tourist Board is under statutory obligations to confine its activities, except in a very limited degree, to projects which will be profit-earning. The general aim of the board is to take an undeveloped region, acquire the land in that region and develop it as a resort, ultimately reselling it at a price which will recover the whole of the expenditure of the board. The  board is not in a position to give out grants to clubs or local authorities for development of those amenities themselves. The board is required so to organise its business that eventually the money advanced from the Exchequer will be recovered.
I presume it is not necessary to deal now at any length with matters affecting the work of the transport branch of the Department. We discussed at great length here last year matters of transport policy, and since the enactment of the legislation which gave rise to that discussion the various steps contemplated to bring the Act into full operation have occupied a large proportion of the time of the officers of that section. Similarly, I presume it is not necessary to refer in detail to plans for air transport development. We had those under discussion here only some months ago in connection with the ratification of the international agreements which were prepared at Chicago. The work of construction at the Shannon airport is proceeding in so far as it is possible to push it ahead with the limited equipment that is available. It is hoped that the works in progress at Foynes will be completed this year and that the dredging of the flying boat harbour at Rineanna and the temporary terminal building there will be also completed. Plans for the construction of the permanent building at Rineanna are well advanced, and construction work upon that building will we trust be begun as soon as there is a reasonable prospect that all the materials required can be procured when needed. Plans for the construction of hard surface runways at the Dublin airport have been completed. Tenders were invited for the work, and are at present under examination in the Department. It is hoped that the work upon the construction of the hard surface runways at Dublin will be begun soon.
Mr. Lemass: It is not a matter in which I have any function. It is quite  clear that the law gives the railway companies full power to impose such conditions, and that in fact the law contemplates that the obligation for payment rests upon the consignor of goods. I can only say that the establishment of the practice of requiring that goods be consigned, carriage paid, was effected in Great Britain many years ago and has worked very satisfactorily there, as soon as the transition period was over. The decision of the carrying companies to adopt a similar system here was, I think, due to the satisfactory operation of that practice in Great Britain.
Mr. Lemass: I would not agree with that. I would not say that it was inexpedient but, clearly, these companies were acting within their rights. They were not asked or required to make any change, nor did they have to secure my approval.
Mr. Dillon: Well, lots of us could have done things which we were not called upon to do, and which would have made the Minister's task very difficult during the emergency, but we did not do so, and one would expect the railways to do as much.
Mr. Lemass: There are other things for which the Department is responsible but in respect of which there has been no abnormal development during the year, necessitating any particular reference to them now. With regard to the food allowances scheme of the Department, under which food allowances are given to dependents of persons in receipt of unemployment assistance, old age pensioners, blind pensioners, recipients of benefit under the national health insurance scheme, as well as widows and orphans, these schemes are being continued and, according to recent statistics, there were 92,000 beneficiaries under that scheme, of whom approximately 45,000 were resident in the Borough of Dublin and the County Borough of Dun Laoghaire. The children's allowances scheme is now working smoothly. Particular  problems that arose in the initial stage have, in the main, been smoothed out, but some defects in the administrative part of the scheme that was embodied in legislation have now appeared. They are not of very great moment, but I think it would be desirable to rectify the matter and, consequently, I propose to ask the Dáil, in the autumn, to enact amending legislation for that purpose. The proposed changes do not affect in any way the principle of the measure; they are merely administrative changes which are found now to be necessary. These defects were not realised when the Bill was being introduced, but experience has shown that it is now necessary to make some changes.
Mr. Lemass: I do not know what the Deputy has in mind in that regard. As I have said, the administrative problems involved are not insuperable and, in any event, can be removed entirely by legislation. The social effect of the measure is a matter upon which opinions may differ. I think it is far too soon to offer any opinion or come to any conclusion on that aspect of the matter and, certainly, I should like to await the reappearance of more normal conditions before attempting to do so. In that connection, it may be of interest to Deputies to know that of the 130,000 awards which were made, 33.6 per cent. involved the payment of the minimum allowance of 2/6 a week; 26.9 per cent. involved the payment of an allowance of 5/- a week; 17.9 per cent. involved a payment of 7/6 a week; 11.3 per cent. involved a payment of 10/- a week; 5.7 per cent. involved a payment of 12/6 a week; 2.7 per cent. involved a payment of 15/- a week; 1.3 per cent. involved a payment of 17/6 a week; and .6 per cent. involved payment of £1 or over per week.
Mr. Lemass: There are. The average payment is 6/1½d. However, these statistics may be of interest to Deputies who are making estimates as to the probable construction of our population, based upon the census figures in the past. I do not think, Sir, that there is any other matter in the Estimate to which it is necessary to refer in detail at this stage. The Estimate indicates no abnormal change in the structure of the Department, nor any undue expansion of activities other than those I have mentioned.
Mr. Hughes: I think, Sir, that it goes without question that the House as a whole is anxious to encourage the promotion and development of Irish industry. I think we all appreciate the importance of a secondary arm in our economic life. We can agree to that extent at any rate, but I think that we can, and that we do, differ fundamentally as to the method that is best adapted to that development so far as serving the interests of the community as a whole is concerned. The Minister has indicated to the House, rather vaguely, I must say, what his policy is to be in the post-war period. He has indicated that tariff and import restrictions are being removed — tariffs and restrictions which where necessary during the emergency period to protect our manufacturers at home — and the importance of procuring raw materials. He indicated also the importance of developing in the post-war period an export trade for exchange purposes. He has informed the House that firms have submitted their post-war plans, which involve the procuring of a considerable amount of machinery, and that as soon as machinery is available and procurable those plans will be put into operation. He wound up by saying that the aim was an expansion of industry here on a sound and efficient basis.
Now, it is that aspect of the Minister's policy to which I want to refer. We, on this side of the House, are  anxious to encourage the development of industry, but we believe that, in our circumstances in this country, the prosperity of our country ultimately depends on our capacity to use the agricultural land of this country, and in agricultural development a considerable amount of the raw material for that development must inevitably come from industry. If agriculture is to prosper, and if agriculture, in its surplus production for export purposes, is to compete in an outside market against other countries, it is absolutely vital that the raw materials used in agriculture should be got at an economic price.
We sometimes talk here about the inefficiency of agriculture. We all admit that there is a fair amount of inefficiency present in our primary industry, but we do not always appreciate that some of the inefficiency, leading to our being unable to compete in outside markets against countries which have developed a greater degree of efficiency, is due to agriculture being burdened with costly raw materials. I am saying that in a desire to be helpful to the Minister. I am glad he has stressed that our industries must be developed on sound and efficient lines, though he has been particularly vague as to how that is to be secured. He indicated, or implied indirectly, that when sufficient raw material is available again in the post-war period, tariffs and other restrictions will be restored. What I am worried about is the degree of protection that will be afforded to industry in that post-war period and, in restoring that protection, what methods the Minister proposes in order to ensure the greater degree of efficiency he envisages. The House is entitled to some information on that aspect of the problem, as it is of vital importance to our primary industry. Whatever raw materials that industry gets from our secondary industries should be supplied at a competitive price, or approaching a competitive price, and the goods should be produced efficiently and be of good quality.
Some industries brought into existence by the Minister, under the policy  operated by the Government, have been some ten years in existence; yet the improvement one would expect in that period does not appear to me to be present now. I would refer, for instance, to the manufacture of agricultural tools. The selection of timber for the handles shows a total disregard for the people who are to use such tools, though we have ash which is quite suitable for the manufacture of proper handles. It is the experience of farmers throughout the country that, during this time of the year, during the hay-making, it is a problem to bring home forks, because of the type of handle that is used. If we go back a few years, and remember the type of foreign fork we could import into this country, which would last almost a lifetime, we are entitled to ask why closer attention is not paid to the production of handles, if the raw material is available. We have plenty of good, straight, clean ash, suitable for handles, and we should have had an improvement in an industry of that sort in regard to the quality of the material turned out.
The same applies to the grains of the implements. While it may be difficult to produce suitable steel, you get one tool where the grains are quite soft, just like wire, and bend about and you get another which is far too hard and where they fly like glass. Whatever may be wrong, the quality certainly has not shown much improvement over a number of years. I admit that some improvement has been effected definitely, but in an industry like that we should have arrived now at the stage where we can produce a decent article. All this is reacting, in regard to tools alone, on the main industry of the country and is adding burdens. I think it is right and proper that the new industries should be developed and that protection should be extended to them, and I agree with the Minister in that regard. Where we differ is in regard to the developing of a secondary industry. If that development imposes a new burden on our primary industry, we must be very careful what we do  about it. If it means that such a heavy burden will react detrimentally on the output of agriculture, then the secondary industry is not worth developing. If development of the secondary industry involves some increase in price, I would not cavil at that. I think we should be prepared and should be prepared to make some sacrifice in that direction, but we are entitled to expect a decent article.
In the same way, in the production of agricultural machinery, surely we should at this stage be producing machinery designed on modern lines, and not be producing those designed on patterns that are completely obsolete? That does not mark any progress. Once you afford protection to a manufacturer, it is the responsibility of the Minister to ensure that those who are compelled to buy his product obtain a decent article. The factory should be run on efficient lines and the design of the article should be modelled on the latest ideas, so far as the particular machine is concerned. We are entitled to expect it at a fair price, and when I say a fair price I agree that, if it is costing a bit more than the foreign product, we need not grumble about that, provided the gap is not too wide and no great burden is thrown back on agriculture. Agriculture is prepared to make some sacrifices for that purpose, but agriculture has to compete with outside production in regard to surplus exports and the margin of profit has been very narrow in the past and may be very narrow again in the future, so our primary industry here cannot afford to carry any undue burdens.
Again, in regard to artificial manures, the Minister knows that there were manure manufacturers in this country before he afforded protection to the production of artificial manure. Even before that protection was extended, those manufacturers were capable of competing against the imported product. Will the Minister tell the House what is his policy in that connection? Is it intended to restore the degree of protection that was there? I suggest it is not necessary. It resulted in increasing the cost of superphosphate to the primary  producers to the extent of something like 40 or 50 per cent. The Minister talked about the increase in the number of operatives in the industry. He referred to the increase within the past 12 months or more. He said that unemployment had been arrested and that there was an increase of about 2,000 employees. At no time were there more than 1,000 people employed by manure manufacturers and out of the 1,000 there were about 100 skilled men. To ensure that we were employing 1,000 persons, the Minister suggested that we should be prepared to throw over on the agricultural community an increase to the extent of about 40 per cent, in the cost of the essential raw material.
I do not think that at any time, from the industrial point of view, it was worth while doing that for the purpose of securing employment for a limited number of individuals. Superphosphate is an essential raw material and there should not have been any extra burden imposed on the food-producing community in respect of its purchase. There is a hope, from what the Minister said outside the House, when he was addressing people interested in this matter, that he may overhaul his ideas to some extent; that the high tariffs, which amount almost to a prohibition, may be removed, and that in the post-war period some effort will be made to protect the primary producer.
After the first world war the manure manufacturers here were able to exist, even when Belgian superphosphates came into this country at something like £1 per ton less than the superphosphate manufactured here. The Irish manufacturers faced that competition and were able to beat it. They were able to beat the foreign superphosphate because the home-manufactures article was in better condition and of a better quality. The superphosphate manufacturers here are capable of carrying on business against any outside competition. If we are to produce food for our own people and to produce food also for export purposes we must get superphosphates at a substantially reduced price, at a price comparable with that  paid by our competitors in the outside markets. If we are not facilitated in that manner, then the Minister is expecting more from our primary industry than it is capable of.
I pointed out on another occasion that lack of adequate supplies of nitrogen in one form or another has been a very severe handicap during the period of the emergency. The most desirable form is sulphate of ammonia. Will the Minister indicate what are the possibilities of securing adequate supplies? How far will the supplies that were available pre-war from Imperial Chemicals be available in the post-war period, or will we have to meet the situation by attempting to produce sulphate of ammonia at home? Would it be economical to produce sulphate of ammonia in this country? I understand the plant is very expensive, and the quantity required here, would be rather limited.
Mr. Hughes: I should like the Minister to tell us what the position is. Does he hope to secure adequate supplies from outside? When may we expect to get supplies of this essential material? Another important matter in connection with agriculture is the production of calcium. We have been dependent upon individual enterprise for the production of calcium. The amount used last year was 65,000 tons and that is really a negligible quantity for agricultural purposes here. The most progressive countries, in the world, such as New Zealand and the Scandinavian countries, have been using much more calcium than we have been using. With our high rainfall, our calcium requirements are far greater than those of other countries. Northern Ireland and Great Britain have been using very large quantities of calcium.
I suggest the production of calcium is a matter that should be seriously considered here. Supplies of limestone occur in various districts that are remote from the acid lands, and transport difficulties arise. The lime that  was available during the emergency was sold at an almost prohibitive price. Normally we would use something like 1,000,000 tons per annum and the 65,000 tons we used last year barely touched the fringe of our requirements. I will direct the Minister's attention to that aspect of agriculture and suggest that there is an opportunity there for development from the industrial and employment points of view.
The production of calcium could well be made a feature of our industrial life. I suggest that the time is opportune to deal with that matter and provision should be made for the installation of modern machinery to grind the limestone rock and produce caustic lime. We have not made as much progress in this matter as has been made in other countries. Other countries have used considerable quantities of calcium to correct the acid condition of large areas of land and that has resulted in a substantial increase in their food-producing capacities. Lack of calcium restricted food production here during the emergency, particularly the type of food in which the Minister was interested.
For instance, the wheat output would have been substantially higher if the calcium deficiency in large areas of land were corrected. Apart from the formation of the soil, the high rainfall we have here is responsible for a great deal of “leeching out” of that important constituent of the soil, so that in the provision of the necessary quantities of calcium to correct that acidity, there is a very substantial volume of employment which could very usefully be availed of and there should be no difficulty in tackling it right away in relation to the provision of the necessary equipment to quarry the limestone rock and to convert it into caustic lime or to produce it as flour limestone. I suggest that the necessary plans in that respect be made at an early date in order to bring about an expanded and developed production.
The Minister referred to building materials and to building plans published  in the form of a White Paper and he indicated that, as we all appreciate, the big problem is timber. He indicated also that he had hopes of securing some supplies of timber. I wonder if any research is being carried out with a view to providing, or attempting to provide, some alternative material for house construction. I may be wrong, but I feel that, with the tremendous demand for timber, the enormous amount of timber required for reconstruction in Europe, timber will be very scarce and very dear, and I should like to know if any attempt is being made to provide an alternative material or to devise a different design for house building. We all appreciate that an enormous number of houses are urgently required, and as we have to wait for timber and as, when it is available, we may secure only a quota which will not meet our requirements, we should be carrying out some experimental work with a view to finding out whether there is an alternative material or whether a different design of house for which a reduced quantity of timber would be necessary could be provided.
The Minister made a slight reference to the Transport Branch of his Department and indicated that, having dealt exhaustively with our transport problem about a year ago, it was scarcely for him to make any reference to it now. I want merely to ask this question: so far as petrol supplies for transport are concerned, is Córas Iompair Éireann getting preferential treatment to the detriment of private interests, because if it is the policy of the Minister to kill private interests, we shall have to exist almost entirely at the mercy of this national transport company and, I think, will have to face a situation in the future when transport charges may be almost prohibitive? Even at present, many of the charges in operation could scarcely be justified. The charges on many lines of goods, live stock and so on, operated by Córas Iompair Éireann, are relatively very high, and, again, in our circumstances as a food-producing country, a country which has to rely for its prosperity to a very great extent on its capacity to use the land, transport  has a very important bearing on our efficency in producing these goods. If it is the Minister's policy even at this stage to give preferential treatment to this national transport company, to the detriment of private interests competing with it, I do not think it fair or justified and I should like the Minister to give some information on the point.
With regard to sub-head K (1)— Mineral Development—I should like to ask whether the two companies have been amalgamated, following the legislation passed some time ago for the purpose and, if so, what advances have since been made. I should also like to know where the moneys are being spent, where the companies are actively engaged at the moment, what prospecting is being done and in what type of development they are engaged.
So far as industrial development is concerned, we are anxious for, and we support, the promotion and development of secondary industry, but we differ fundamentally from the Minister's policy, in so far as it is the Minister's policy, unless he is now prepared to change it, to extend protection for the development of industry regardless of the reactions it may have on other industries, and particularly on the primary industry. We have talked about the expansion of agriculture, and the Minister has, outside the House, indicated the necessity for increasing our exports for foreign exchange purposes, but we can have little hope of bringing about that expansion if the Minister intends to operate in future the policy which he operated before the emergency, of giving to industry here tariffs which amounted to prohibition and which secured the production of manufactured goods but threw back on agriculture heavy burdens which were not justified.
If agriculture is to be made to carry industries which are inefficient, industries which are bolstered up by a system of protection which amounts to prohibition, there is very little hope of an expansion in agriculture. I hope the Minister will tell the House that, when he talks of the development of industry on sound, efficient lines in  the post-war period, he does not mean that he proposes to extend to industry in the post-war period tariffs which will give us inefficient industry, producing foods poor on quality and too costly in price.
Mr. Dillon: The United Irishmen were in favour of industrial expansion and development in this country. The Young Irelanders were in favour of industrial development in this country. The Irish Nationalist Party was in favour of industrial expansion in this country. I, in the fourth generation, am also in favour of industrial expansion. But this is the first generation in over a century when tariff racketeers have been able to impose themselves on our people as the only method of industrial expansion in Ireland. The great confidence trick has been put over on our people that without tariffs and quotas there can be no industrial development, and the people who have been seduced into that illusion all pass every day the firm of Arthur Guinness, Son and Company, and the vast majority of them consume its products. They see one of the greatest biscuit factories in the world which carried the name of Irish industry into five continents and across seven seas—Messrs. W.R. Jacob and Co. They know that all the greatest liners the world has ever seen carry on their foredecks the plate of Irish shipbuilders. They hear in any country they travel into Irish linen spoken of as the criterion by which all other linen from all other parts of the world is judged. Every one of those industries was built up under absolutely fanatical free trade, and any one of those industries is worth more to this country than all the industries that have been established under tariffs.
Now, I ask this House, suppose any Deputy were looking for a job and he was offered a permanent job in Guinness's or Jacob's or one of the great linen industries or the shipyards or he was offered a job by one of the tariff racketeers in this city, and he was contemplating marrying and setting up a family, which employer would he opt for? The Industry that was built up  by free trade or the bloated tariff racket which depends for its existence on a licence with which to rob our people? Will Deputies reflect on that and, if they have some sons who want jobs and they can get good jobs for them in Arthur Guinness, Son & Co. or in a tariff racketeer's backyard, which will they take? If they send their son to Guinness & Co. let them not come into this House again and say that Irish industry depends on tariffs and quotas and the attendant racketeers.
All of us want to see every branch of Irish life thrive and prosper, but we do not want to see Irish industry for ever carrying on its purse the parasites that have attached themselves to it in the last ten years. I pray for an economic D.D.T. with which we can spray Irish industry and watch the vermin that infests it to-day falling off. The particularly poisonous quality of these racketeers is the detestable notoriety which tarnishes the good name of the honest Irish industrialists, of whom there were many before Fianna Fáil was ever heard of and of whom, please God, there will be many long after Fianna Fáil is forgotten. I know that trick of the tariff racketeer when he is exposed to the odium he deserves. He claims that the same censure which falls upon him is falling upon everyone in Irish industry. That is not true. There were always enterprising men in this country engaged in Irish industry who were prepared to put their fortunes to the touch and serve the people as best they could and take such legitimate profits as the enterprise would give. They are with us now and, please God, they will be for ever with us. But there is the other class, too. So long as I can get 8,000 voters to send me to this House I will follow those parasites until we have cleansed the industrial life of this country and have Irish industry operated as it was in the past and will in the future by the same decent type of men, who manned the industrial branch of our activities.
One of the ugliest activities of these parasites who shelter in the shade of quotas and 75 per cent. tariffs is their  love of monopolies. One hears of groups trotting up to the Department of Industry and Commerce and representing that the several members of this group want a quota and a tariff so that under its protection they can enter into healthy competition one with the other to provide the most efficiently-produced articles it is possible to produce for the benefit of the downtrodden Irish people. On this representation they get the class of protection they seek. How long are there several individuals in the group? Very shortly there are agreements and, as soon as decency will permit, there is a monopoly. First there is a little office called the trade protection association of the particular business in which they are interested; then the acquisition of an adjoining office; ultimately the whole floor; and then, to your astonishment, when you order merchandise from one unit of that group, every other unit in the group knows all about it and is in a position to tell you precisely what particular purchases have been made, the price paid, the terms you got, and when you paid your bill. Suddenly you realise that you are dealing with our old friend the monopoly. The boys have got together and it is all one shop now and the only competition that survives in the trade is a competition in ingenuity for devising methods of plundering their customers and through their customers, the public, and concealing from the Revenue Commissioners the unjust profits they have been making in their trade.
I put it to this House that, if there is to be a policy of protection in this country and if that policy creates monopolies in essential commodities that people must buy, these monopolies should be operated by the State for the people. I believe in free trade and free enterprise. So long as we have free trade we need never fear monopolies. We demonstrated that in connection with the cement industry. When the Danish cement cartel put up the price, we brought in Spanish and Polish cement and the price of cement was lower than it was in any other country in Europe, because we strongly  and resolutely fought the cartel and were able to fight it, as we had access to all the markets of the world. But when we got a monopoly established in this country in cement, or flour, or artificial manures, or a ring established, which is only a more polite word for the same thing, I claimed, on behalf of the people, that this Oireachtas should intervene and take over that monopoly on behalf of the people and operate it for the benefit of the people. There is no civilised country in the world to-day which permits rings or monopolies, within tariff protection, to exploit their own people. This is the last country in the world in which that fatuity is allowed to continue.
Mind you, I advocate taking from no man his property. The right to own property is sacrosanct and superior to any right vested in this House or in this Parliament, but I do not believe in giving a gentleman a tariff or a quota on Monday morning and buying it back from him on the following Saturday. Once I had made up my mind that there was a monopoly in this country, established by the gentlemen who had benefited under a tariff or a quota, I would take that tariff or quota off, and, having taken it off, I would tell them to carry on and compete with the world if they wanted to, but that if there was any question of closing down, if there was any question of holding up the Government of our country to ransom by saying “we will throw our employees on the economic scrap-heap”, I would say to them: “Well now, boys, we will take over your buildings, your machinery and your business at a fair price, and, if it is the national policy to operate that enterprise in this country behind protection, the State will operate it for the profit of the community and not for the profit of a corrupt gang whose purpose is to rob the people.”
Sooner or later the people of this country will awake to the confidence trick that is being played upon them. I trust that, when they do awake to that, they will not be forced to the conclusion that this Parliament was an accessory to the fraud. It is because I want to protect our people from any  such appalling disillusion that I ask this Parliament now to say that while “we are not prepared to accept Deputy Dillon's view that free trade should be the rule, and while we adhere to our protectionist policy, we are agreed that we will allow no ring or monopoly to use that policy for the purpose of robbing our people.” The only means of preventing that is to ensure that, if a monopoly or ring be formed, it will be taken over by the State for the people.
You remember, Sir, the day when the doctrine of Fianna Fáil was economic self-sufficiency, but hardened old politicians like yourself and myself have watched them beat a strategic retreat from that fraud. The Irish Press has been working overtime to cover it with a smoke screen and to explain that the proud galleon of self-sufficiency that went into the smoke screen is the same as the rowing boat that has come out again. There are poor Fianna Fáil T.D.s in this House who, like the child looking upon the naked Chinese Emperor, are prepared to say: “Oh, mammy, what beautiful clothes”, and there is not a rag on the rowing boat, not to speak of a mast. But there are lots of Deputies in this House who still believe that, when the war is over, the chimera of national self-sufficiency will return. They do not realise, when they get up in this House and prate about the blessing Fianna Fáil policy was during the war —that it enabled us to maintain essential supplies—that we could not have maintained essential supplies for one month if Great Britain and the United States of America had not sent us our supplies of raw materials regularly and punctually, very often when they were short themselves. Is there, a single commodity, is there a single industrial product that was produced in this country during the past five years, that did not depend from month to month for its continued production on the supplies that came to us from abroad? Take cement. How long would we have kept the cement factories going if Great Britain had not supplied us with coal, and, remember, that coal was not always burned as coal in the cement factories.  It was frequently burned in them in the shape of electricity. We all remember that, when British coal supplies dwindled almost to nothing, the cement factories were closed instantly. Every industrial user in this country who was using electric power was rationed, albeit not as swiftly as the domestic user, but the domestic user had to sit in the dark in order to reserve that shrinking residue for the industrial processes which were absolutely essential. How long would the transport industry of this country have operated if we had not got that coal from Great Britain? Let us assume that every railway engine in the country had been converted to the use of turf and that we did not burn one lb. of coal on the whole railway system of Ireland, how long would the trains have run? God help the poor “goms” of Fianna Fáil who used to urge on the Government to convert railway engines to the use of turf so that we would be independent of outside supplies. They forgot that wheels do not go round without lubrication.
They forgot the gentleman with the long hammer who walks along the train and makes odd noises on the wheels. Did they ever ask themselves “what is he doing?” Did they think he was trying to amuse the engine driver's daughter? He was trying to find out if there were hot boxes on the wheels, and the only means of preventing that was to provide additional lubrication. Have the Fianna Fáil Deputies ever asked themselves “where do the lubricants come from,” and how long would the wheels of industry, transport or anything else that depends on wheels—how long would the very bicycle have stayed on the road—if they had not got lubricants? Economic self-sufficiency! I could go on with the story all day long—rubber, steel and the rest—and at every stage the policy of Fianna Fáil would make a cat laugh, except in one particular thing, that they have discovered that it does not work and that they are trying to throw it overboard.
Having exposed the utter absurdity and the ballyhoo about economic self-sufficiency,  I beg Deputies to look about the world and realise the way the wind is blowing. The tariff racketeers in America gloried in the fact that, though the Finance Committee of the House of Representatives might pass a Tariff and Reciprocal Act, the Senate of the United States would strangle it. That is where they, had their big battalions. It withstood the big battalions, and they fought their last fight on the floor of the Senate of the United States of America. They called to their aid every vested interest which, for generations, had prevailed there, and they received on that measure the greatest defeat that ever was sustained by the vested interests on the floor of the United States Senate.
What does that Act empower the President of the United States of America to do? It entitles him to reduce every tariff imposed by the accursed Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act which brought the economic forces of the world crashing to the ground in the twenties. It empowers him, without further recourse to the courts, to whittle down, by a reciprocal arrangement with any other country in the world, every single tariff. I think it entitles him to reduce tariffs up to 50 per cent., without prejudice to his right to return to Congress to reduce individual tariffs further. Surely the dupes of the tariff racket in this country are sufficiently conscious, and still sufficiently independent, to look beyond the vested interests that menance them here, to realise the trend of the world and what might constitute a terrible peril to our whole economic life. Surely Deputies who developed a taste for pasteurised cheese realised the meaning of economic self-sufficiency when they received notices from Mitchelstown Creamery stating that, in the absence of important raw materials, it was no longer possible to make that kind of cheese.
Was it not a revelation to this House when it was stated that cowhides were being shifted out of the country, to discover that no cowhides were going out, even when boots were  most keenly required by our people, but that in the absence of important supplies, which could not be produced here, we could not make boots in sufficient quantity, and that those which were being made were, on the Minister's own admission, of inferior quality; and that, not by any laches on the part of those responsible for making them. Because they could not get materials with which to combine their skill they could not make the kind of boots which they were always able to make, of the best quality in their class, before tariffs of any kind were there? As Deputies are aware before there were any tariffs there, Irish boots, Governey's and others, were made in this country. Do they innocently imagine there was never such an industry in this country until a tariff was imposed for the making of an Irish pair of boots? So long as our manufacturers had free access to the best raw materials the world could afford, and so long as they had not only Irish but foreign markets, we were able to build up industries that served the nation well. When they were put into the strait jacket of economic self sufficiency, Irish industrialists lost most of their foreign markets and the tariff racketeers here made the pretence that they could protect us from any economic disturbance that might affect the world if we paid them handsomely. We had that fantastic argument year after year, but when the peril came upon us they went bankrupt on every guarantee, except in so far as some of them were kept in being as contractors to the British Government, which gave them the raw material, and permitted them to retain perhaps 20 per cent of the finished product, always on condition that the balance was returned to the British. Our lips were sealed during the war period. We were implored not to mention that fact lest it might embarrass the Minister in the delicate negotiations which he was constrained to undertake. If the Minister is honest, I think he will admit that the cement industry, like the rubber industry and others depended for their maintenance on the understanding that the British would give the raw materials provided we returned to  them the greater part of the products.
Mr. Dillon: Precisely, Had we any reason to believe from our experience in the previous war that we might not be able to get a good deal? As the Minister knows, we had the astounding situation that while we could not get raw materials, finished products were thrust upon us. After telling British industrialists for ten years that if they did not get out we would put them out, that they were intruders, was it surprising, when the scarcity came, that they were anxious to give the finished products? I want to ask the Minister this question again: With the cessation of the emergency, is he going to take tariffs and restrictions off the raw materials of the agricultural industry? He has stated inside and outside this House that he must have at his disposal—when I say “he” I regard him as the industrial element—a fund with which to purchase the raw materials essential for the maintenance of an industrial element in our economy. Where are we to get that fund if we have not exports? Where in the next decade can we expect to acquire the same volume of exports in the agricultural industry? How can the agricultural industry continue profitably to export if it has to pay tariffs on raw materials, on artificial manures, Indian meal, bran, buckets, spades, and forks?
If farmers are required, for the salvation of every section, to produce, to sell and to export to a free trade market, is it unreasonable to ask that they should have the right of access to the cheapest market for the raw materials they have to use, in order to produce those things which they sell in a free trade market, while sustaining an industrial population, the entire output of which is sold on a protected market constituted of the farmers, but under conditions which permit industrialists to import all raw materials free of any tariffs or quotas? Is it same to say that the Indian meal miller may bring in Indian corn, but when it ceases to be the miller's raw material  and the moment it is converted into raw material for the farmer on goes a tax of 2/- per cwt. While the miller is selling inside the tariff barrier, the farmer has to sell in a free trade market. Nobody seems to realise that if that kind of economic insanity continues we are going not only to destroy the agricultural industry, but to bring down in ruins our whole industrial structure and our whole painfully erected social services.
Remember that 90 per cent, of the farmers here have their remedy at hand. If we continue with the folly we will not be the first that attempted it, and will not be the first to learn the disastrous lesson that you cannot destroy a population of tenant farmers. They have a remedy against which there is no counter. If we in this House are persuaded by tariff racketeers to deprive the farmer of the profits of his work he will stop producing for sale. Mark well the words “for sale”. But he will not go hungry. He may have to do what his grandmother did—make underclothing out of flour bags. When he goes to the seaside, he may have to enter the sea in a bathing costume with a green hard imprinted on the back and “W. P. and R. Odlum” on his stomach, but he will have so much clothing in any case, and he can live a great deal longer on those terms than the bloated industrialist can live stripped of the foibles and the fripperies to which he has accustomed himself out of the plunder he has taken out of the people of this country in the course of the last decade or there abouts. The economic havoc which will be wrought in that encounter if the farmers are driven to it will be such that generations of our people will be fully employed to repair it. I do not want that conflict, but I am as certain as I am standing in this House that the people who fought the land war, the people who defended themselves against a greater power than the tariff racketeers ever will be, are not going permanently to lie down and be exploited by those who have robbed them so unscrupulously and so shamelessly while they had leave and licence  of the Fianna Fáil Party to do so. Sooner or later, the agricultural community will show their power silently and unspectacularly, but irresistibly. Every Party in this House should concern itself to prevent that conflict. Unless the tariffs, quotas and restrictions are taken off the raw materials of the agricultural industry, sooner or later that contest must and will be joined.
Tariffs are bad but quotas are utterly inquitous. I often wonder whether or not Deputies realise what a quota means. A quota means that a tariff racketeer, having got his tariff up to about 75 per cent, resolves to exploit the people, and his exploitation becomes so scandalous and shameless that goods begin to flow in even over the 75 per cent. tariff. Remember, there are two ways of raising prices. Most Deputies will say: “If we put a 75 per cent. tariff on a commodity that cost 1/-, how can anyone pretend that the Irish manufacturer will ask 1/8 for his product” He never does that. If you have a commodity of which there are two qualities — a 1/- quality and a 6d. quality—and you put on a 75 per cent. tariff, you very rapidly discover that there is now left on the Irish market only one quality—the 1/- quality. It is quite likely that the manufacturer will boast that he has increased the price only to 1/2. Nobody but a person who has technical knowledge of that trade realises that what the manufacturer is now getting 1/2 for was what used to be sold for 8d. The manufacturer protests that the quality of his commodity is identical with that of the article sold at 1/- before the tariff was imposed but long and painful experience teaches the consumer that, in fact, he is paying 1/2 for what used to sell at 8d. He begins to pay the 75 per cent. tariff rather than continue buying the home-made article, whereupon the merchant rushes to the Department of Industry and Commerce and says that hateful anti-Irish prejudice is preventing people from buying his commodity and he gets a quota. The quota means that only a certain limited number of foreign articles will be allowed in and, whatever the Irish manufacturer  charges, the Irish people will have to pay. It is true that the price control section of the Department of Industry and Commerce will then intervene and examine the price, but where is there in the Department of Industry and Commerce anybody with a technical knowledge of every industrial process that the mind of man can conceive? I have eschewed the practice of naming individual industrialists on the floor of this House in so far as it was humanly possible to do so. I do not propose to do so now, but I know industrial products being produced here which are represented as being equal to a 1/6 commodity but which, in fact, compare unfavourably with the 1/- commodity of pre-tariff days. I am speaking of comparisons that might legitimately have been made in 1939. That confidence trick was being operated, and nobody but a highly trained technician in that particular industry could have tested the commodities for quality. Taking price and quality together, under the protection of a quota our people were being charged more than 80 per cent. in excess of the price they were being charged prior to the imposition of the quota. I urge upon Deputies that, even if they propose to adhere to a tariff policy, in the interests of the consumers let it be tariffs alone; eschew the quota, because that is a general licence to plunder all comers. There is some limit to the depredations that can be done under a tariff, but there is none under a quota.
I submit to the Minister that the package tax is being abused. That tax was originally introduced to induce people to bring in merchandise in bulk. What has actually happened is that, while it has been used on occasion legitimately, in a number of cases it has been used to facilitate the creation of a peculiarly malignant type of monopoly. It is notorious to any Deputy who is familiar with conditions in rural Ireland that a great many commodities lie on the border-line between the legitimate stocks of chemists' shops and those of general merchants. I could name a number of them but I do not think that it would clarify my case very much if I were to do so. Only those engaged in the distributive  trades would recognise the peculiar border-line qualities of the commodities I should mention. In many of these cases, the greater bulk of the articles are being sold by the chemists but a substantial portion is being sold by the general merchant. In the case of package goods, the Pharmaceutical Chemists' Society has maintained steady pressure on the packers to consign more and more lines to registered chemists, under the threat that, if the packer does not confine a particular line of merchandise to the chemists' shops, they will not buy it at all but buy some other package product. The very limited number of packers in the country has made it easy for the chemists' association to extend that kind of activity widely and to cut out from the general merchant a number of lines of business in which he was legitimately engaged and the profits of which were a very important part of his general fund. I do not think that that is a right or proper use of a tax of that kind. It is a matter which I think urgently requires investigation by the Minister, with assessors to assist him from both the pharmaceutical chemists' and general merchants' trades, so that he may be satisfied that both sides of the story are fully and adequately put before him.
I heard the Minister deal with the question of timber supplies. There is nobody in this House who will not sympathise with him in his difficulty in that regard. I would, however, suggest that it seems probable that the area within the sterling bloc might most easily be tapped for timber supplies. So far as I know, the principal sources of suitable timber for the kind of building construction we shall be doing here after the war are Finland, Russia, Sweden and Canada. I should be surprised, with my limited knowledge of Canada, if the efforts of a suitably chosen purchasing mission from this country to Canada would not be attended by some measure of success. Canada is within the sterling bloc. There is a good deal of latent goodwill for our country there. I mention Canada particularly because I well remember discussing the question of Canadian timber  reserves with the Secretary of one of the Provincial Ministries for Forests some years before the war and his telling me that, in fact, they had habitually restricted the cuttings in Canada far below the safety replacement line because, if they once permitted cutting up to the limit of the safety replacement line, there would be such a glut of timber on the markets of the world as would have created a price crisis for the great State-owned timber lands which exist so largely in the northern parts of the Canadian forest country. Therefore, it seems to me there is a well-nigh inexhaustible supply there. The sterling transfer would not represent so complicated a problem as it might if we were dealing with Finland or Russia and the goodwill, some at least of which I hope survives, would be there to help those who own the timber to understand the necessities of us who want it.
I heard the Minister speak of the proposal to establish an Industrial Research Institute. We had an experience of that kind of departure in this country when the Institute of Higher Studies was established. I beg of this House to realise what happened. The Institute of Higher Studies was not in existence for 12 months when a regulation was promulgated prohibiting absolutely any member of the staff of that Institute publishing anything, anywhere, which had not the prior approval of the Director of the Institute. From the moment that regulation was made, the Institute of Higher Studies fell dead because there is no scholar in the world so great that he is entitled to censor the speculation of his humblest colleague. It is quite true that that right of censorship might infrequently, very infrequently, be used but its very existence, the very claim to censor a scholar's speculation, renders an Institute, where it obtains, arid and dead, because if a man's livelihood depends on his retention on the staff—and scholars are notoriously poor—the knowledge that an unauthorised speculation may result in the loss of his job or his capacity to earn, is in itself sufficient to paralyse from the very beginning all independent thought  and so surely as we have an Institute of Industrial Research established in this country, some fatuous regulation of that kind will be made designed to paralyse its activities from the word “go.”
I can say now because we are not referring to any known individual, that you may get some old frump as Director of that Institute who will resolve that no member of the staff is going to produce a research work calculated to put the frump in the shade. So the general standard of work is going to be established for all time at the level of the intelligence of whatever particular individual happens to be appointed to the Institute as its first Director. Why should an Institute of this kind be necessary when we have in the country virtually four Universities, three of which at least are starved for want of the necessary endowments to induce their young scholars to remain in the country and do the very kind of research work that a Research Institute of this character would engage in? Why do we want to push aside the National University of Ireland and Trinity College, in order to reserve for a Research Institute the very type of work on which our most brilliant students should be able to depend when they have graduated instead of being forced to go to England and into the service of great combines like Imperial Chemicals?
If the Minister will call together Dr. Alton, Professor Conway, Professor O'Rahilly and Rev. Dr. Brown, President of University College, Galway, and ask them what resources are there in their respective colleges for the prosecution of industrial research; if he will say to them: “If we provide you with handsome endowments, are you prepared to say that at the end of a decade, whoever holds my position as Minister here will get results which will place him in a position to justify the expenditure during the previous ten years?”, I venture to prophesy that all four will say: “At the end of the decade we may be in a position to produce no concrete results whatever, but this we can guarantee, that at the end of the decade we will produce a volume of work which may be submitted  to any learned institute or to any great industrial enterprise in any part of the world, and unless they are prepared to value it at least twice what you have been asked to pay for it, we shall be prepared to disclaim any further right to ask for endowments from the Government of this country for study of any kind.” Why should we proclaim to the world, in our desire to develop industrial research here, that we, who were educated in these universities, place on record that they are incompetent to undertake research of that kind? There is nobody in this House but knows that the universities are starved for want of money. There is nobody but knows that young graduates are pouring over to England and the United States, not because they want to go but because there is no possibility of their earning a livelihood in this country.
They are anxious and willing to carry on researches in their own universities if there is any prospect of their doing so, and their retention in these universities will secure for oncoming students the advantage of contact with them. Instead of helping the universities, instead of encouraging them, we want to set up a new and rival institution which will make the dilemma of these universities even worse than it already is because, once that industrial research institute is established, thereto will go all Government endowment; it will be the Government's pet child that must be nurtured and carried along. Surely that is a short-sighted policy. At least we ought to give our own universities an opportunity of tackling this work with adequate equipment—something they have never had before—with adequate finances—something they have never had to date—before we proclaim before the world that our own universities are incapable of doing the work we want done and that it has become necessary to establish a new institution wherein to do it.
The Minister referred to developments on the trade union front. I want to say first that, in my considered judgment, the right to strike is sacrosanct in any free country. Take that  right away and you may build a Gestapo headquarters to-morrow morning. There are a great many people who think that the mental excursion from the removal of that right to the vision of a Gestapo headquarters in Dublin is incomprehensible and is jumping much too far at one step. But it is not. The day we ordain that, under ordinary conditions of life, this Parliament has the right to compel a man to work if he does not want to work, we might as well set up slave camps without cap or cloak upon them. At the same time, freedom to organise seems to me to be, not so fundamental a right, but very nearly as fundamental a right as the right to strike. I want to say this for the Minister's very special attention: I watch with apprehension a new departure in which Government patronage is given to the idea that certain types of trades union are to be eschewed and others approved; in fact, that a trades union to survive in this country must follow the design approved by the Taoiseach. Remember, we have had the St. John Ambulance Brigade, a voluntary society, called into the inner sanctum.
Mr. Dillon: There are loud “hear, hears” from the Fianna Fáil Bench. That is a subject they do not like to dwell upon. I submit to this House that where a crime is perpetrated it is relevant to inquire whether it is part of a system or an isolated incident. If you find a whole series of things happening at the same time you are entitled to wonder is there a connection between them——
Mr. Dillon: Yes. The Minister in charge of this Vote has himself dealt with the question of the types of trades union that are to be permitted in this country. He was talking about it just before he sat down.
Mr. Dillon: Quite. Who is going to change the types of trades union? If we suddenly discover that a Government is trying to establish the principle of a Party President, a Parliament dominated by a Party, trying to secure that every local body in the country should be controlled by their Party——
Mr. Dillon: Had nothing to do with these at all but if we discover that the Taoiseach is seeking to control the voluntary societies and we then discover that the Minister for Industry and Commerce is coming in and saying that he wants to control on behalf of the Government the types of trades union that will be allowed to function in this country, are we not getting to the point where no form of activity, voluntary or otherwise, will be allowed to function in this country if it has not the countersign of the political Government of the day?
An Ceann Comhairle: Ministers have been allotted definite duties. Before us are the activities of the administration of one Minister and if the Deputy will confine his remarks to that Minister for the present, he will be in order.
Mr. Dillon: I want to find out are we facing now a principle that only types of trades union approved of by the Minister and his colleagues will be allowed to function in this country? It is a very interesting departure if that is to be the rule henceforth. It will be defended—do not doubt it—on highest patriotic grounds. Caitlín Ní Houlihan will be invoked. The Union Jack will be referred to loudly and eloquently by every “bosthoon” in the country. The firm resolve of the national Government of this country to ensure that there will be no institutions  of this country within this country except those purely Gaelic and Irish will be invoked, while the trades unions that they do not like are being assassinated, and while His Majesty by the Grace of God King George VI, Defender of the Faith and Emperor of India, is signing the credentials of our Minister to Paris.
Mr. Dillon: That he, I venture to prophesy, will tear passion to tatters when he is replying to this debate to explain that his only concern in regard to Irish trades unions is to ensure that they will not be polluted by any element of control by the base, bloody and brutal British Saxon or any other influence outside this country, and when a Minister arrives in this country, accredited to this country by some foreign State, he will be there, as Tánaiste, welcoming him, most becomingly, I have no doubt, and the document which he will receive to pass to the Taoiseach will be an instrument from the head of that Minister's Government addressed to His Majesty King George VI.
Mr. Dillon: ——is part of the Minister's make-up. If the Minister is to mislead a poor simple man like Deputy O Briain by tripe of that kind, I can only do my best, albeit in vain, to open Deputy O Briain's mind to the fact that these protestations of Irish Ireland are made when it suits the fell intention of the Minister and his Government, but are studiously eschewed when the External Relations Act, which this Government passed, are being put into operation.
An Ceann Comhairle: What the Chair objects to is—as instanced by the last two sentences of the Deputy—“the Minister and his Government”. Ministers have been allotted specific duties and Departments. These Departments are dealt with separately. At present the Department of Industry and Commerce is under discussion, not External Affairs.
Mr. Dillon: No, but the Minister for Industry and Commerce and the Tánaiste is the one person and the latest protocol in this country is that the Tánaiste takes something and hands it to the Taoiseach. Surely I am entitled to discuss the Minister as Tánaiste as well as Minister.
Mr. Dillon: Perfectly, but I submit, with respect, that I have a right to discuss hypocrisy in a Minister. If I charge the Minister for Industry and Commerce with taking up a line which on the surface is represented to be one of pure unadulterated patriotism but which on examination proves to be one of shameless expediency with a veneer of hypocrisy around it, I am entitled to describe it to the people for, if I do not describe it to the people, nobody else will. It is important, because there is going to be an attack made on the trade unions in this country. The allies that the Government have been looking for wherewith to precipitate that attack have been marked. Soon the assault will begin. It probably will succeed, because there are sufficient dupes in this country to fall into the trap of that kind of fraud, and I am sorry to say that there are sufficient weak-kneed people in this country to be afraid to oppose it lest they be charged with being tools of some foreign power. But that attack is going to begin, and I am stigmatising it now as part of the general plan to provide that there shall be no activity in this country except what is pleasing to the Fianna Fáil Party.
Before passing from that, I want to say that I do think it is reasonable for the community to demand of  employers and workers alike that if the life of the community is to be disrupted by a strike the community are entitled to know the merits of the issue joined between the parties. Therefore, I think the Minister or this Parliament would be justified in compelling trades unions, both of employers and employees, before initiating a strike or lock-out, to submit their dispute to arbitration, so that it will be judicially examined and investigated and an award in accordance with equity made, such award not to be binding on either party, such award leaving both parties the right to strike or lock-out if they choose to exercise it, but at least, in the event of a protracted struggle going on, the public, whose opinion carries great weight in such matters, would have an informed opinion, and would know the merits of the issues joined between the parties. I venture to prophesy that, if such arbitration were obligatory prior to the initiation of a strike or a lock-out, 90 per cent. of the strikes would not begin, and of those that did begin 99 per cent. would be settled in a few days when public opinion began to make itself felt on the parties joined in the quarrel.
The last thing I want to say is this: I have seen continued over the last five or six years the payment of unemployment assistance—I distinguish between unemployment assistance and unemployment insurance—to unmarried men with no family responsibilities, and I declare it to be, in so far as rural Ireland is concerned, for that is the part of the country I know best, one of the most unqualified curses that ever descended on our people. The picture of strong, able-bodied fellows, with no responsibility in the world except themselves, marching in Tuesday after Tuesday to queue up at the police barrack in order to draw the dole, which they promptly spend on cigarettes, drink and amusements, is a humiliation and a degradation to the whole nation. I say deliberately that no young unmarried man in this country who has no family responsibility should be entitled to draw unemployment assistance; I say deliberately that a young unmarried man who  has no family responsibility should be offered employment in the Construction Corps if he alleges himself to be destitute and declares that his relatives refuse the responsibility of maintaining him until such time as an ordinary job can be found for him, and if he declines to accept that employment in the Construction Corps I would not give him one single penny of unemployment assistance. There are 117,000 of them drawing unemployment assistance in rural Ireland. I suppose there must be 8,000 or 9,000 of them drawing it in Monaghan. I want every single one of them in the County Monaghan to know what I am saying in that regard. I hope to repeat it off every platform I speak from in County Monaghan, and if they do not like it they can lump it. It was done originally as a dirty Fianna Fáil vote-catching racket, and it did catch a multitude of votes for them. There is scarcely a single man on those Fianna Fáil Benches to-day who does not agree with me, and there is scarcely a single man on those benches who would dare to get up and say so, because there is not one amongst them who does not know that a considerable volume of his most scurrilous and unscrupulous support depends upon the assurance or the hope that so long as Fianna Fáil is in power that mass bribery will continue. But it is degrading; it is corrupting; and sooner or later, if the whole economic life of rural Ireland is not to be permanently disrupted, it will have to stop. The sooner the better.
I remember well how Deputy McGilligan was traduced and slandered and misrepresented by leading figures of the Fianna Fáil Government when he spoke on an issue similar to this. I have heard the persistence of the lying campaign that was conducted against him in this House and outside it, and doubtless, if it suits the members of the Fianna Fáil Party, a similar campaign will be instituted against me.
Therefore, let it go clearly on record that my observations refer to the unmarried man without family responsibilities who refuses employment offered to him in the Construction Corps.  Such a person would get no penny of State money from me, and if his relatives refuse to support him then let him go on the rates. Mind you, I assume and understand that if a fellow employed in the Construction Corps is offered a good permanent position he is facilitated in every way in leaving the Corps and taking up his permanent job. That, I think, would be a very essential provision if it does not already exist, which I think it does. I should like to see fellows getting permanent work in preference to the kind of employment which they can hope to get in the Construction Corps, but there is one thing that I do not believe that anyone should stand for, and that is what I once saw in the County Donegal, when a small farmer walked seven miles into Dungloe to lodge his land annuity in the bank. I think his half year's land annuity came to about 28/-. When he had lodged it, and got his receivable order sent away, he started the seven miles walk home to his wife and two children on about nine acres of land. There may have been some arrears. When he was about a mile out of Dungloe on his seven miles walk home a motor car came along in which there was cheering, singing and jubilation. The motor car stopped on the road; it was going in the same direction that he was going. The four occupants were four lads out of his own village. They asked him where he was going and he told them that he was walking home. They said: “Step in. We will never see a neighbour use his shoe leather while we have four wheels under us.” He stepped in and discovered that he was driving home with four youths who had walked into Dungloe to draw out in dole the 28/- that he had walked the seven miles to deposit by way of land annuity. If other Deputies here think that is equity or justice or social service, I do not, and the sooner we put an end to that fraud on this country the better it will be for us all. I doubt very much if Fianna Fail, with all its majority, with all its four years of Parliamentary life before it, will have the courage to tackle that. If they have, I will think somewhat less poorly of them than I now do. At the  same time, if they have the moral courage to do that job I gladly admit this, that it will be the greatest miracle since Moses struck the rock.
Mr. Cogan: The Minister in his opening statement indicated that it is his intention to introduce legislation which will provide for the supervision of industry, for the promotion of the export of our industrial products, and for greater efficiency. I think the House will welcome that statement. Industries generally have expanded considerably during the Minister's tenure of office. It is not my opinion that they have sufficiently expanded. I believe that Irish industries should be further and very extensively developed. During the few short years that this country enjoyed legislative independence under Grattan's Parliament, it was a remarkable fact that Irish industries developed by leaps and bounds. Taking all the facts into consideration, there has not been the same rate of expansion within the years which have passed since this State was established.
If we are in favour of an expansion of Irish industry, we must make up our minds definitely how that expansion is to be brought about. Are we to rely upon free trade and free competition between industries in this country and outside this country, or are we to assist home industries by some form of State aid, whether in the form of quotas, tariffs, subsidies, or any other method which may be devised? If we seriously desire to promote industrial development, I am convinced that the State must be prepared to come to the assistance of Irish industry by some form of protection, whether by tariffs, or quotas, or subsidies. It is a remarkable fact that the industrial expansion which took place under Grattan's Parliament was due almost entirely to legislative measures which were taken to promote home industries.
Deputy Dillon referred to the industry carried on by Messrs. Guinness and seemed to indicate that it grew up and developed entirely under free trade. I am afraid that Deputy Dillon did not read the history of that industry or the history of the legislation promoted by  the Irish Parliament during the Grattan regime, because one of the measures adopted by Grattan's Parliament, which had for its object the discouraging of an excessive consumption of spirits in this country, removed the taxation on beer and thus promoted the brewing industry. In addition to that, we have the fact that, for a number of years after the Union, we had protection for all Irish industries which was given as a sort of compensation for the passing of the Union. Thus we find that those industries which exist to-day and which were in existence when this State was established owe their strength and their vigour mainly to the support which they received from a free legislative assembly in this country.
If we decide, therefore, that the State must intervene to assist the Irish manufacturer, we must take adequate measures, and I think every Deputy is agreed that we should take adequate measures, to see that no industry in this country abuses the aid or protection which is given to it by the State. If we are to do that, we must take very elaborate precautions to ensure that the Department of Industry and Commerce is fully qualified and equipped to supervise fully all industrial development in this country and the working of all manufacturing industries. I do not agree with the statement that it is not in the power of that Department to prevent profiteering and racketeering and all those other abuses which have been so eloquently denounced. The Department of Industry and Commerce would be very inefficient if it was completely unfit to safeguard the interests of the Irish consumer. We know that there are in that Department men who have a very extensive knowledge of the working of various manufacturing industries and of the requirements of trade and commerce. They have made it a life study. We know that during the past few years officials of the Department of Supplies, who will probably be associated with the Department of Industry and Commerce in future, have shown that they have a very deep knowledge of various businesses and manufacturing industries. Provided this House makes it clear to  the Minister and to his Department that it will insist upon the consumer being adequately protected, I believe that it is in the power of the Minister and his Department to protect the consumer adequately.
I, therefore, do not hold the view that the only way to protect the consumer in this country is to abolish all tariffs and all restrictions on imports. I am not so sure that even the complete abolition of all forms of protection of home industries will completely protect the consumer. It is possible for foreigners engaged in the export of goods to this country to combine very effectively to exploit the consumer here, just as it is possible for Irish manufacturers to combine. We, therefore, expect from the Minister and his Department the most elaborate and the most efficient machinery for the supervision of the working of our various industries because the State cannot interfere to protect the manufacturer without at the same time affording adequate protection to the consumer.
Therefore, it is gratifying that the Minister has indicated that legislation is being introduced to deal with the supervision of industry. It should be made very clear that, not only the Minister, but the high officials of his Department must be resolved to act absolutely impartially in dealing with Irish manufacturers, distributors and merchants. The Department's officials will have high judicial functions to perform—they will have the right to decide what particular firms may be given licences to manufacture or licences to import—and it is desirable that, in performing these functions, they should be as free as the judges who sit on the Bench in the High Court or the Supreme Court. For that reason, the Minister must take steps to ensure that no high official of his Department who has an important judicial function to perform is financially interested to any substantial extent in any industries with which he has to deal.
It was disclosed in the Report of the Railway Stocks Tribunal that one high official of the Department was financially interested in the Railway Company. I believe that official was  entitled to invest his money in any company he wished. I am entirely in favour of the fullest measure of freedom, not only for citizens generally but for people in the Government's employment; but there arises a point where the financial interest must conflict with the efficiency and impartiality of the official concerned. Therefore, measures must be adopted, if not to restrict the investment or substantial ownership of industries by officials of the State, at any rate to make the Minister and this House fully aware of the extent of the investments which civil servants hold in such concerns, particularly where the officials have to decide issues as between one firm and another or advise the Minister in deciding such issues.
If we have impartiality and supervision in the Department, in the regulation of profits and prices, all the wild criticism we hear about racketeering amongst Irish manufacturers will completely disappear. During recent years, there may have grown up some industries which were of very little practical use to the country—I think the Minister will agree with that— industries which depend upon semi-manufactured imports and are more or less assembling industries, but there have also grown up in recent years industries which are of immense value. There is, for example, the cement industry, which was referred to by Deputy Dillon. It is a sound and efficient industry, which will make for the enrichment of our people by providing the basic material for many other industries, especially building. Such industries have grown up under certain restrictions on imports and could not have been established otherwise and that is a justification for the protectionist policy in the past and for the future.
No one desires that this country should be absolutely self-sufficient, but everyone believes in a policy of self-reliance, a policy of producing here everything we can produce with reasonable efficiency. Deputy Hughes, in so far as I heard his remarks, spoke very reasonably and sensibly on this question. He said the Irish farmer was prepared to bear some small extra burdens in order to ensure that Irish  industries would be promoted. That was a sound and reasonable view. The Irish farmer is prepared to help in the development of manufacturing industries, as he realises that they will provide him with the goods he requires, that they will provide an extended home market for his produce, and may also provide employment for members of his own family. Therefore, it is a safe and sensible policy on the part of the farmer to be prepared to co-operate in the development and expansion of Irish manufacturing industries.
One industry to which the Minister referred, and which is capable of very extensive development, is the tourist industry. I would like to see the Department studying even more closely the requirements of that industry, and I would like to make one suggestion to the Minister. We have a climate which has many disadvantages from the tourist point of view. We cannot compare with the countries of Southern Europe or of Northern Europe in regard to stability of climate, as we usually get very inclement weather at the time when most people desire to take their holidays. That fact should be taken into consideration by the Department and by any board or organisation set up to develop the tourist industry. For that reason it should be our aim to promote, as far as possible, the establishment of amenities, amusements and entertainments of an indoor nature.
We have a climate which is suited, perhaps, to two types of tourists who may not mind the vagaries of the weather. We have a climate which would attract people interested in hunting or inland fishing; but for the tourist who desires the amenities of a seaside resort we have considerable disadvantages, and we should seek to make good those disadvantages by providing indoor forms of amusement, such as covered public baths and covered amusement parks, tennis courts, etc., which would tend to make the person taking a short holiday a little more independent of our weather.
There were considerable remissions in tariffs on imported goods during the emergency. Many tariffs have been  removed completely and, as a result, importations of various types of manufactured articles have been facilitated. I agree entirely with that policy as an emergency measure, but I think the Minister's attention should be drawn to the dangers which might arise in connection with the free importation of certain goods. There is always the danger that some industry which has been established here may be put out of business for a considerable period as a result of the free importation of certain types of goods. There is a temptation to the manufacturer on the other side of the water, who finds he has a rival here, more or less to squelch that rival by dumping a large quantity of goods of a particular type, a quantity far in excess of our immediate requirements.
If we follow that policy of free importation, we ought to put some limit to the quantity of goods to be imported. For example, it might be very desirable to import a sufficient quantity of a certain commodity to last us six months, but it would be highly undesirable to import a quantity to last for a prolonged period, say for 12 months, because that might bring about the closing down of an industry which might not at the present time be able to obtain the raw materials and which, at the end of six, eight or 12 months, might find the raw materials available, but would find the home market smothered with the imported goods.
One thing that will require intensive supervision is the management of transport. We know that transport is, to a large extent, in the hands of a monopoly. There is a fear that that monopoly may exploit the travelling public and the business community unduly. It is hard to see how the Minister can be impartial in dealing with that monopoly since he was to a large extent responsible for bringing it into existence. I have heard very strong comments to the effect that our long-distance buses—I am not sure whether the short-distance buses were used for the same purpose—were used very extensively for the purpose of advertising the Government candidate in the Presidential election. I do not think  a transport company which enjoys a State monopoly should identify itself publicly with a particular Party, and particularly with the Government Party.
Mr. Cogan: It is quite true anyone can advertise, but the advertising space on a bus window is limited and there has been strong comment on the fact that the limited advertising space of our buses was used exclusively by the Government Party.
Mr. Cogan: If the Deputy says it is not true, I am prepared to accept his statement. The Minister is definitely concerned with transport and I am merely quoting an instance where a monopoly may utilise its position to the detriment and the disadvantage of the general public. Criticisms are being widely expressed with reference to the excessive charges that are being levied by the road transport branch of Córas Iompair Eireann. Those charges are considerably higher than the charges in force heretofore and they are considerably higher than would be the case if rival concerns were allowed to operate freely. When it is possible for the average citizen, whether farmer or trader, to put his lorry on the road again, I should like to have an assurance from the Minister that there will be no interference with such farmer or trader or any other citizen in operating his lorry for his own business. I would also like an assurance that the Minister will encourage individual citizens or firms to operate, for hire, lorries for haulage purposes.
The more competition we have on the roads, particularly in the haulage of goods, the better for everybody. There is no danger that the roads will be completely congested: there is room for everybody. The conveyance of goods is one of the branches of transport which should be allowed to operate freely, and I should like the Minister to make it clear that such  freedom will be afforded to the fullest possible extent. The small farmer in the rural area, the individual lorry owner, can always give a better and more efficient service than the big transport company, with high overhead charges and a big organisation to maintain.
Mr. Keyes: I propose to address myself very briefly to the subject of the transport industry which was referred to by the last speaker, not so much from the point of view of the ornate advertisements which recently adorned the windows of our buses, but from the point of view of asking the Minister if he is satisfied that the best possible for the citizens is being done in the industry. The slashing of the services of Córas Iompair Eireann to one train a day was a very drastic reduction which inflicted great hardship on the community. It was rendered necessary, as we were told then, by the fuel position and, even then, there were some people who were sceptical as to whether the position, bad as it was, justified the very drastic slashing which took place. One feels now that the time has come when some improvement in that position is more than due.
The position in which there is a train on only four days of the week—and the two other weekdays on which no trains run are, peculiarly enough, fast days, Wednesdays and Fridays—is causing very grave hardship and I ask the Minister if he has made any representations to the company with a view to ascertaining if a continuance of this drastic reduction is still warranted. There can be no doubt that, with the end of the war in Europe, such an improvement in the coal situation must have taken place as would warrant an early provision of improved services, and I do not think that a position in which the people are undergoing hardship because of lack of train services should be allowed to continue for a moment longer than is necessary.
Even the service which is given on the days the trains run is most unsuitable for the community. It cannot be said that there is any fuel saving in running a train at the most unsuitable time of the day. We had a train from Limerick which left at 3  o'clock and arrived in Dublin at 7.30. Recently the time-table was altered and the train now leaves at 3.30 p.m. and half an hour is added to the running time, so that it arrives in Dublin at 8.30. It is impossible for passengers who have to get out to the suburbs, in view of the city bus services stopping at 9.30 p.m., to get a meal and catch a bus to their destinations. Matters could not be made more difficult if the arrangements were made with a view to causing difficulty.
I suggest that the time has come when we should not alone have a train per day—and I think we could do much better—but we should have a morning service from the South to the metropolis, which would enable passengers from Cork, Limerick and the southern districts to come to Dublin one day, transact their business and get back the next day. At present, and for some years past, if people want to buy a special stamp in the Post Office in Dublin, they have to spend two nights in the city, because they arrive in Dublin at night and have to do their business next day, the train having left Kingsbridge that morning. Surely, if any effort were made to facilitate the travelling public something better could be done.
One gets the impression that a determined effort is being made to make rail travel unpopular with the community. I hope that is not the motive, but I suggest that there is nothing in the fuel situation which would prevent the railway company from giving a more suitable and more frequent service than is given at present. The morning service from the South which I suggest, such as is being given from the metropolis, would enable people to avoid having to spend an extra night in Dublin. I hope we can do something better, but if we could get one train per day, and a morning rather than an evening service, incalculable benefit would be rendered to a vast number of people.
There is one other very important industry to which I want to refer, that is, the unemployment industry. It is an industry which is with us all the time and which does not seem to diminish in volume. It is true that, in the past  week or two, we have had the annual transfer of a huge number of unemployed to the alleged employment which is provided by taking them from one side of the book in the labour exchange to the other. Under the Employment Period Orders, a certain number of people are presumed to have become employed at a particular stage. Because they live outside the borough areas, they are alleged to be agricultural workers for whom there is any amount of employment.
I have spoken on this subject year after year in this House without very much effect and there is still a very clamant and urgent need for raising the question. In many cases, these people are not agricultural workers in any shape or form. They have never, since the initiation of these Orders, earned 1/- at agricultural work. They are not competent and not fitted for it. They live in the environs of the cities under city conditions. They pay city rents and their employment has always been in industrial concerns. No matter how prosperous a farmer may be, there is no room for men of that type on the farm. They would be in the way in agricultural operations, but, notwithstanding repeated appeals, no effort seems to have been made to segregate men of industrial occupations from these lists of agricultural people when an Employment Period Order is being made. We find in 1945 men from the environs of Limerick, Cork, and other cities relegated to this alleged employment.
I have asked, and I now ask again, what steps are being taken by the Department to ascertain how many of the people struck off the list of recipients of unemployment assistance have gone into employment. A record is published week after week and month after month of the number of unemployed on the register and then suddenly we find that they disappear as if by magic, the allegation being that they have gone into employment. Surely we are entitled to hear that there is a tracing back to see how far they have been successful in getting employment alleged to be offered to them. Surely steps ought to be taken to see if there is any substance in the  statement that employment is available for them.
I suggest that the employment is not available for the people in the agricultural districts and anybody who makes a study of the applications pouring in to the Minister's Department for permits and passports to get to England will recognise that there is not work for the genuine, honest agricultural worker, not to speak of the people from the environs of the city. Take the case of the district of Kilfinane in County Limerick, where all the men, practically, would be found to be agricultural workers. That was a very prosperous village at one time, but in recent times I have had as many as from 40 to 50 applications from that village asking to be allowed to get away to England because no work was available for them there. I have had recently the case of a man from Kilfinane walking six miles twice a week to Kilmallock in order to draw his 10/-, and yet not long ago he was called before the Court of Referees and knocked off because it was held that he was not genuinely seeking work. Now, anybody would think that the fact that a man walked 24 miles a week to sign on should be sufficient proof that he was genuinely seeking work. As a matter of fact, this man was actually hungry, and he brought letters and evidence to show that. He said: “What am I walking 24 miles a week for, if I do not want work?” He had tried to get a passport for England, to seek work there, but he could not get it, and yet the irony of the case is that the Court of Referees held that he was not genuinely seeking work.
I think that the officials of the Department should mend their hands in this respect. The callousness of the Department and its officials, in regard to the way in which these men are being treated, is a thing that is beyond my understanding. I suggest that there are sufficient of these cases to justify a relaxation of the Order, and if there is no employment available for those people, I think that they should not be struck off ruthlessly without some consideration being given as to whether or not they  are able and entitled to get work, and that is apart altogether from the question of those who are dependent on them. I admit that they are not allowed to starve, but they have to go to the relieving officer and look for home assistance. I have another case of a man who had been in the L.D.F. —a very fine young man—who had been confined in the Military Hospital in Kilmallock, and who was trying to live on 6/- a week. He has been applying for a permit to go to England. He may have succeeded in the meantime, and I can only hope, for his own sake, that he has succeeded and has been allowed to go to England. I think it is terrible that a young man of his fine character should have to go away, but he did not have a shilling, and he came under the ukase of the Department's officials and had to go to the relieving officer. Those young men do not like to do that. They do not like to seek such assistance in order to keep themselves and their families, their wives or their mothers, but they must live; and then we get notices from the relieving officer to the effect that the rates cannot stand the strain. On the one hand, these people are cut off by the labour exchange, and then, when they go to the relieving officer, he says that he is told by his manager that in view of the strain of widows' and orphans' pensions, old age pensions, and so on, he cannot do for all of them. I suggest that, as a result, real hardship is being inflicted on our citizens, and I think that no person should be struck off the register until it can be definitely proved that there is employment for him and that he is not genuinely seeking it. I say that there is adequate machinery at the disposal of the Minister in connection with that matter; that the Order should be varied in that regard, and that it is only in the case of people who are able to work, who can get employment and refuse to take it, that the Order should be put into operation. I have appealed to the Minister on previous occasions in connection with this matter, and I am now appealing to him again, in the hope that it will be given sympathetic consideration.
Captain Giles: Before dealing with the main matter, I should like to pay a tribute to many of the small industries which, in the past few years, have stood the test of time and came to our aid during the emergency. It is only right to pay a tribute to them, but now that our industries have been in existence for ten or 12 years, I think the time has come for the Minister to decide what industries in this country are worth keeping on, or which of them should be knocked off. At the present time, many of our industries have a very poor structure. They are barely struggling to live and, had it not been for a very high tariff, they would not exist at all. Industries which cannot stand on their own feet should be let go. We have many other industries, however, which, after a few years of protection, would be able to stand on their own feet and would not need any help. We have had that in the case of firms such as Guinness's, Jacob's, and others in the past, and the same applies to many of the industries that have been established here in the last few years. One thing that must be admitted is that the Minister for Industry is a very efficient and hard-working Minister, that he has energy, initiative and strength of character behind him, but I would ask him to review the whole situation and find out whether or not we are allowing too many foreigners to come to this country and take over our industries. Are we allowing too many foreigners to come in here and get a grip on the country? I quite admit that in connection with certain new industries we need a certain amount of training, but I do not think we should allow these foreigners to come in here in such numbers. Many of the industries here, that I know of, are only a kind of wing of foreign interests. They may give employment, but they are just a wing of foreign interests and an outlet for other countries. We have noticed, for instance, that in the last few years a vast number of people have come in here, with names that we do not know and that we cannot spell, and have taken out naturalisation papers. I do not believe in that, or that such people should be permitted to get a living  here at the expense of our own people. It would appear that our industries are getting more and more under foreign control, and I think that we should have a more national control in that connection and that we should see that the key people in those industries are Irish at heart because, otherwise, it will only be the case of our industries being absorbed by outside interests, as was the case in the past. We should find out what industries are natural to our soil, what industries are national, and build them up to the position where they can stand on their own feet, and then, as time goes on, make every effort to reduce the tariffs, because, if you leave the tariffs there, some of these industries will make no effort to stand on their own feet. If they are not able to stand on their own feet, you will have to leave the tariff there if they are to survive at all, but until you impose some kind of a test on them, they will not make the necessary effort.
Now, agriculture has also borne the test, and I think it is not fair that they should have to bear such a huge cost as they are bearing. Some industries here are not making the progress they should have made. The articles they are turning out are too costly, and that is mainly because you have to buy two or three of these articles for the one that you bought formerly, because the articles that are being produced at present do not last. Take the case of what, I suppose, we may call the pottery industry here—the industry engaged in the production of articles such as jugs, mugs, cups, and so on. Many of these articles are defective. Most of the handles of the mugs, cups and jugs come out if they are placed in hot water, and there are complaints from all over the country as to the vast amount of handleless jugs, mugs and cups in the kitchens of the country. I cannot understand why that should be so, and there must be something wrong with the workmanship, when you compare these articles with those which came in here formerly. It is a great hardship on the people to be continually buying jugs, cups and mugs, as a result of these breakages. I admit, of course, that the kids are responsible for some  of the breakages, but the thing is mostly due to the fact that the handles of these utensils come away in your hand if they are placed in hot water.
The same applies to agricultural implements. We are turning out spades and shovels, but they are very bad and the temper in them is not good. We should try to improve these things so that we will be able to compete with the outside market. There is no use in saying that the spades and shovels we are producing are comparable with those that were produced or imported in the past. They are not. They are too cumbersome, for one thing.
I think these industrial products could be improved, and I believe they will. I would urge industrialists to do so. If they fail to do so, then I think the tariffs which they are enjoying should be lowered and they should be told that in future they will have to compete against the world.
In the old Sinn Féin days we were led to believe that when we won our freedom we would be able to work our coal mines to full production. During the past six years we have produced very little coal ourselves. The Minister should tell us whether he thinks our coal mines are worth anything, or is it the fact that they are too costly to work? We would like to know what is wrong. Our coal mines have been such a failure during the war that we must have been misled by the statements made to us many years ago. It is my opinion that if we had in them the great asset we were told we had, England would have exploited them during the 700 years that she ruled here. Our experiences during the war lead me to think that there must be something wrong. So far as our coal mines are concerned, I think we are all disappointed.
The Department, I think, should engage in a big drive to get machine-made turf when opportunity offers to purchase the proper type of machinery for the purpose. The hand-won turf is desperately dear. The agricultural community is robbed by the prices it has to pay for turf. The output is not as great as it should be. Unless we can get machine-made turf, then I am  afraid the development of our bogs is going to be a flop. I am sure the Minister is anxious that that should not happen, but the truth is that the hand-won turf is too costly. We are not getting an adequate return from the people who are working on the bogs.
I think that we have far too many boot industries. I admit that, during the war, it was difficult to get good quality raw materials. That may be the reason why the boots were of such poor quality. In my opinion if we had far fewer factories the competition would be much keener. Men in the country have to buy at least four pairs of boots for the one pair they bought pre-war. A pair that a man paid £2 for in pre-war days would last him for three years at the very hardest work, but now a pair will not last him longer than three months, even at light work.
I cannot say much against the Minister because he has been energetic in his efforts to get industries established. We, of the old school of national thought, want to see our industries revived, and that any that are revived should be able to stand on their own feet. The members of the agricultural community are quite prepared to be reasonable and are anxious to give our industries a chance. For 500 or 600 years the one desire of the British Government here was to kill native industry. Now that an attempt is being made to revive our industries, the farmers are prepared to be reasonable and are ready to give the industrial revival a fair chance. Still, I think we should have more competition and not high tariff walls. If our industries are well-run and well-managed, then I believe they will soon establish a name for themselves in the way that Guinness's, Jacobs, and the hosiery industry have done. I hope the Minister will look into these matters. At the same time, I would ask him to wipe out any concerns that came in here 10 or 15 years ago, not for the purpose of helping Irish enterprise but for the making of quick money. You have a number of these in the city of Dublin, which are mostly Jewish concerns. They have not their roots in this country. They will start making any kind of article, such as Rosary beads or  sacred pictures. The people behind them are having too good a time at the expense of the Irish people. It is only fair that the Irish people should get a chance, and that we should not have foreigners coming in here under assumed Irish names. They should be treated as outsiders and not get any share in industry here. They come in here like locusts and boast about the concerns they have resurrected. These spring up like a mushroom over night, but in a few years' time, instead of finding an industry revived, you can find nothing but the ruins of an old shed or a factory burned down, whether by accident or otherwise, and that the boys have fled. They get away with the swag. That is unfair to the people of this country.
People who engage in the revival of Irish industry are entitled to a fair return, but not to the huge profits which some of these merchants are making. I think that what I have said will have a telling effect if the Minister takes heed of it. People are getting sick of seeing men having £10,000 and £20,000 in concerns for the revival of Irish industry when we know that four, five or six years ago they had not as much as a bob. How are they able to make those vast sums of money and such huge profits in Irish industry? If they are able to do that in a few years, is it not a foolish thing for farmers to be remaining on the land, especially when they find it so difficult to put a few hundred pounds aside? It is not fair or just that men should be able to make such huge profits. The men on the land cannot make a profit, but these merchants are allowed to get a grip on this country at the expense of our agriculturists.
Seán Mac Cárthaigh: Bíonn áthas orm i gcomhnaí éisteacht leis an Aire Tionnscail agus Tráchtála nuair a labhrann sé sa Tigh seo, bíonn gach ní chomh cruinn agus chomh soiléir agus chomh sólásach san aige in ár gcóir; bhí sin amhlaidh inniú mar ba ghnáth agus déanaim comhgháirdeachas leis dá bharr cé nach gá é mar molann an obair an fear.
Ach ní bhíonn leigheas aige air, is dócha, mar do réir mo thuairimse oibríonn aigne an Teachta san siar air féin agus nuair a bhíos deireadh lena chuid cainte bíonn a chos ina bhéal féin agus a lán rudaí buiniscionn ó thosach go deireadh.
It is always a pleasure to listen to the Minister for Industry and Commerce in his statements to this House, they are so clear, definite and hopeful. They have behind them a record of achievement, and in front a spirit of confidence which will give every Deputy who thinks on national lines encouragement to co-operate in every way both in the House and in the constituencies with the policy of the Minister and of his Department. The revival of our native industries, as a policy, has been before the country from the days of Sinn Féin. It is a revival from the past of the spirit of the nation. It has always been felt that not one arm alone—the main arm, agriculture,—should be active since there is not a livelihood on the land for all our people, but that there should be another side, a sustaining side, in the line of production, the production of such things as our principal industry needs as well as the things which the whole people need in the way of shelter, food and clothing.
Deputy Dillon very often surprises me by the pronouncements he makes in this House. I suppose I should have some experience of him now, and not be angered by his pronouncements and sentiments, but it is sometimes very hard to restrain oneself when listening to his line of thought. If we were to believe Deputy Dillon, practically every industrialist in this country is a fraud, the Government is working on wrong lines, everything is going wrong, and one would think that this nation should either be absorbed into a big empire or sunk in the depths of the sea. The Deputy compares this country with big nations that have wide resources, extending over many  climes, embracing many degrees of longitude and latitude, and with resources which would absorb small nations in a short time, if they were under their aegis. But because we took measures for the promotion of the industries of our own land, and for the uplifting of our people in our own way, Deputy Dillon is angry. He tries to vilify the Minister and the Government which were put into power by the Irish people to carry out their wishes, and which have again and again confirmed their ideas of how this country should be run and how its government should be conducted.
The Deputy spoke of the policy of the Government as being against the interests of peasant proprietors and farmers. If Deputy Dillon had his way the growing of wheat which he described as “codology”—other essential foodstuffs were characterised in similar terms—I believe we would have had starvation here, and that it would be very easy to deal with the peasant proprietors and with the community, because not many of them would be left if his policy had been entertained by the Government or by the people. It is a good job that it was not entertained. One would think that all the industrialists here were frauds, that everything we required should be imported, and that our own people should be left idle.
While the Deputy criticised emigration from this country, he also denounced the policy of the Government in trying to provide work for the people at home. His speech from beginning to end was utterly contradictory. I do not think Deputy Dillon believes every word he speaks. If he does he is an extraordinary man. He tried to secure little silly debating points which would not impress anybody. The leather industry was mentioned. I have been told by people in the trade, not manufacturers, but by people who use leather, that a better article is being produced here now than ever before, except that there is not enough of it available, and that consequently leather suitable for certain types of work is being used of necessity for particular needs for which it was not intended, and therefore does  not give the results expected. Our industries are making progress. The leather industry is one of them. Even if at times people are disappointed for the reasons I mentioned, at other times they get far more encouragement from the results of the work and industries of our own people. Down through the ages our people were known as skilled and capable workers, and given a fair opportunity they will give as good return from their labour as the people of any other nation. When Deputy Dillon speaks about the removal of tariffs and quotas from raw materials as applied to the agricultural community, I wonder does he believe that we should import, instead of manufacturing here, the equipment that comes from Wexford and other places for the farming community? The manufacture of agricultural machinery has been a successful industry in Wexford and other centres and has given useful employment. The Deputy referred to many sides of our industrial position that I will not go into in detail. The Minister and his Department is well able to deal with that question. The Department knows its business. Details and statistic are there to confound Deputy Dillon.
It remains for the ordinary Deputy to say that the people of the country expect the Government to pursue their policy, and to continue vigorously by their efforts to revive our industries by providing any tariffs and quotas that may be necessary to preserve them, so as to provide employment at home for those who seek it and need it. Deputy Dillon talked about the Government making attacks on trade unions. The workers of this country have supported the Government in great measure, and if it were to do anything contrary to their wishes it would not have such strong support from those who put it into power. Without the support of Labour the Government would not have got the majority it got. We have as good Labour members in the ranks of this Party as in any other Party. The last thing the Government would do would be to make any attacks such as Deputy Dillon insinuated on trade union organisations. The Deputy  stated that there is to be an attack on the right to strike, and suggested that there should be arbitration to try to bring about settled conditions, without at the same time making it obligatory on either side to accept the findings, so that the right to strike should remain. That proposal was an amusing one. The only thing the Deputy conveyed was that he was confused regarding his own ideas. He was so prejudiced that he could not accept the fact that this Government is looking for efficiency in industry, because any industry cannot survive unless it is efficient. If tariffs or quotas are imposed that is done in the general interests of the community.
There are particular things connected with the promotion of our industries that I should like to mention, but beyond a passing reference, I wish to mention that there is at least one town in my constituency that has been very hard hit by the change of circumstances, and that is Passage West. That is a town which produced many skilled workers. It has a population of 2,000, skilled in all kinds of mechanical work. The town is so situate that it has a quay on one side and a main line of transport at the back. The only economic salvation for Passage West is the establishment of a suitable industry. I ask the Minister to remember that fact in connection with the scheme which he outlined to-day. The young men of the town are trained, but many of them have to give their services to neighbouring industries or to emigrate, while their own town is falling into decay. I should also like to impress on the Minister the claims of Cork when sites for other airports are being considered. Nobody can envisage what post-war development will be in regard to air-borne tourist traffic, but Cork is a very important centre in this respect.
While I shall never stand up here and take from the claims of other centres to such facilities as may serve their needs, it is my privilege, as it is my duty, to speak for the constituency I represent. We are at a stage of development which makes the present an appropriate time to urge the claims of Cork in connection with these airports. I know that the Minister will  consider sympathetically any reasonable schemes put before him. I feel very confident as a result of his very precise statement to-day regarding the industrial policy of his Department. As regards the points made by Deputy Keyes, I agree that the workers in the suburbs of the city who are cut off unemployment assistance at a particular period of the year are not agricultural workers in any sense of the term. They feel aggrieved because of the present position, and it is up to all of us to try to change it. Local authorities have their parts to play in local affairs and the remedy is, perhaps, to provide more employment for our people. The policy of the Department of Local Government and the local bodies regarding building schemes and the preparation of the sites for houses should soon provide a good deal of employment. I wish God-speed to the Minister and his Department in their work.
Mr. H.M. Dockrell: I want to refer to only a couple of matters. In the first place, I desire to make reference to the preparations being made for tourist traffic. Although it is not very apparent at the moment, we can say quite definitely that we are in the post-war period. I think that the Minister said that the Tourist Board were to deal with about 22 places as a beginning. I suggest to the Minister that the first thing he should do is to try to divide the places which are to be used, or developed, as tourist reception areas into zones or spheres of influence. A number of places all over the world are catering for tourists at present. These places have been built up very gradually and on a policy of private enterprise. That being so, a certain measure of co-ordination has developed. I am sure the Minister and all the members of the House agree that anybody who wants to spend a shilling in any of our resorts should be encouraged, whether he is a national of this country or comes from overseas. But I rather think that the Minister will require to go beyond that. Some of the younger people would, probably, like a promenade on which they could walk up and down, admire the scenery and one another and in the  evening, have facilities for dancing.
Some people of more mature age would like to have hotels of a shade above the ordinary standard of comfort, with more or less quiet, which could be enjoyed in parks, walks or drives. These two classes of tourists cannot be catered for in the same place. One will drive the other out. You may build the most luxurious hotels in the country, but if you have before them a promenade with Christy Minstrels, and if you have dancing places close by, you will not get the class of tourists you would expect to attract to such a resort. I am not running down any tourist who has a shilling in his pocket, but I want the Minister and his Department to keep their ideas as regards those two classes of tourists separate.
The next thing to which I want to refer could be achieved easily and cheaply. I refer to cleanliness, neatness and tidiness. These things are easily achieved. We have unemployed people; yet our standard of cleanliness and neatness is far below what it should be. One nation differs from another in its standards. Our tendency is to look with a very complacent eye on cigarette cartons, bits of sandwich paper, and various other litter in places which people frequent. Amongst a number of rural communities there is a facade of respectability on the seafront or on the lake-front. At the back one finds a very different standard. One sees all sorts of refuse that could very profitably be removed, quite apart from the work which it would provide for unemployed people. That would make for a standard of cleanliness which I am afraid few places in this country possess, and it would enhance the country's reputation as a tourist resort.
I should also like to draw the Minister's attention to a number of places in which shacks and tents of all sorts have been erected. I do not object to them in certain circumstances; if people observe ordinary standards of decency, I do not see why they should not be allowed to have such places, but I suggest that they should not be  erected in proximity to tourist resorts which cater for a great many visitors. If the Minister has 22 places in mind, I suggest that if he surveys them in a more or less critical spirit, he will find in many of them shacks that require to be cleaned up, and, perhaps about a mile away from the centre of some of these resorts, cottages that are in a dilapidated condition. Some of these derelict cottages can be fairly picturesque, but, taking them by and large, they are more or less a blot on the landscape. I should like to urge on the Minister that if he could induce local authorities to spend a little more in these directions, it would be possible to attain a very much better standard of general hygiene which would add very much to our reputation for catering for tourists.
I desire to refer briefly to the question of unemployment schemes, without naming any scheme in particular. I am chiefly concerned with the fundamental principle underlying the schemes. When the war broke out and the country did not know what it would have to face in the way of an unemployment problem, it was probably an inopportune time to consider whether we were proceeding on the right lines in devising unemployment schemes. I think the Government have adopted as their guiding principle in formulating these schemes, what is the greatest percentage of unskilled labour any particular scheme can absorb. That is largely the touchstone by which the relative advantages of various unemployment schemes are judged. There is a great deal to be said for that point of view but I should like to suggest to the Minister that there is another factor which should be carefully considered, namely, whether a scheme will add to the amenities or the capital wealth of a district. I place in that category land reclamation and the provision of walks, roads and playing grounds. I remember having many conversations with the late Deputy Hugo Flinn. He was a man of remarkable ability who held very strong views on the relative values of various schemes, but he had one great virtue— that he could discuss various attitudes  towards a problem with other people without losing his temper and could listen good-humouredly to views that were quite opposed to those which he held himself. I should like to suggest to the Minister that the time has come when a number of schemes which possibly possess a smaller percentage of unskilled labour content should be examined as I believe they would materially add to the attractiveness and capital wealth of tourist resorts. I shall just mention one scheme that I think was under consideration years ago, the reclamation of all the ground between the Pigeon House and Merrion Gates.
I think the first difficulty in the consideration of the scheme was that some sort of model of the bay would have to be built, at a cost of some thousands of pounds, to test the effect of the altered flow of water on the bay. I do not know whether that was ever carried out or whether it was considered by the Department but that is the type of thing I mean when I refer to the improvement of amenities and the increase of the capital wealth of the district. I shall not refer further to these two items because the Minister has covered a very wide field of activities which he controls and because we are passing into a period which will bring its own difficulties.
Mr. Heskin: I wish to refer to some matters of transport. Complaints have been coming in from time to time in connection with the transport system in Waterford. If one has to go from Waterford to do business in Cork, one must be prepared to stay two nights in Cork. A train leaves Waterford in the morning and gets into Cork at 2 or 3 p.m., and there is a train a half an hour later from Cork to Waterford. I would recommend that there should be an early train from Waterford to Cork and a late return train, and an early train from Cork to Waterford and a late return train. There are parallel road and rail goods services in the Lismore and Dungarvan area. That is unreasonable. It is wasteful to have a lorry service delivering goods station to station in areas served by a rail service, while other areas are without any service. These road services  should be diverted from the areas where they are not required to other districts that require them.
A Sunday service from Waterford to Tramore was operated for years and enjoyed by the people. I hope the Minister can see his way to have that service resumed in the very near future. In regard to the goods service to which I have already referred, it is the general opinion that since Córas Iompair Éireann took over the business of the Great Southern Railways the tendency is to get in touch with the bigger firms for the delivery of goods consigned from the source of manufacture to the merchant without giving any chance to those engaged in carrier service or to those people who have private means of conveyance to take goods from the station. That is happening in many areas, and since I raised that question in the Dáil a week ago I received communications from people in County Clare, where the same practice obtains. The danger that I see in that is the possibility of the rail service closing down. The railway is maintained by the company whereas the roads are maintained by the ratepayers, at great expense to the county council and the ratepayers. It is enough to maintain one service, and I hope the Minister will see to it that where you have a rail service running parallel with the road service, the railways will be preserved, because the railways are indispensable, and if we allow the railroad system to lapse the effect of it will be felt in years to come.
The Minister expressed the fear, in connection with post-war building plans, that there would be scarcity of timber. I am afraid that much good commercial timber in this country is being utilised for firewood, such as good elm, oak, ash, scotch and larch. I think that is a disgrace because the problem of the supply of timber for building purposes is one that will confront the Department of Industry and Commerce and the Department of Local Government and Public Health. There should be some regulations in regard to this matter, and supervision of the use of such commercial timber should be exercised immediately so as to safeguard the interests of the building  community and the many people who need housing accommodation in towns and rural areas. I hope the Minister will see that the practice of destroying good commercial timber is discontinued forthwith.
We all agree that Irish industries should be preserved even if we have to protect them to some extent. We all cry out for protection for the agricultural industry and industrial concerns manufacturing the by-products of agriculture. Every industry that we protect and promote in the country will help to provide employment for people who might otherwise have to go on the dole or seek a livelihood in a foreign land. Every Irishman should support Irish manufacture to the full, provided he is getting a good article but I am afraid the tendency in many manufacturing concerns is to consider that anything is good enough for an Irishman. If we are protecting industry in this country we should see that the Irishman gets goods of as high-class quality as he will get in any other country. We can produce high-class goods here: we have the money and the material, and the Department should see that the best possible article is produced and that the idea that anything is good enough for an Irishman is quashed.
I was glad to hear the Minister saying that he intends to establish more effective machinery to deal with trade union disputes that may arise from time to time. I hope the machinery will be effective from the point of view of the workmen and the industrialists. Quite recently we had a trade dispute in Dungarvan which unfortunately continued over a very considerable period. Such disputes and strikes certainly cause discontent amongst the people and create ill-feeling between the workers and the proprietors and upset the home. I hope the machinery proposed will be effective in preventing stoppages or in bringing about settlements when stoppages occur. Where a trade dispute extends over a long period a certain amount of loss is entailed in deterioration of plant and machinery which it is so very hard to procure. Therefore, I hope that when such disputes occur in future the  machinery that it is proposed to set up will be effective in dealing with them and will promote the welfare of all the parties concerned.
Mr. Larkin (Jun.): For a number of years we have been concerning ourselves with the problems that would face us when we entered into the post-war period. Already there are certain signs that problems of a peculiar nature will arise which will require some thought in advance. I think all Parties have concerned themselves with the general problem of employment, the prevention of unemployment and provision of employment not only for those of our own people who will be coming out of our Defence Forces, those who will be returning and those who will be coming out of the armed forces of other nations, but we have had a feeling that, in addition to that there was the essential factor of maintaining the basis of employment that we had here prior to the emergency. So far as the Government are concerned, a number of very wide and very ambitious plans have been given publicity, and I do not think it is unfair to say that in regard to all, except possibly one, that of rural electrification, they must be regarded as being yet at a somewhat vague and indefinite stage. I do not think that at this moment it is of any great value to try to press the Government further in that direction, because I think that they themselves realise that they have got no definite conception of what conditions will be and, because of the particular policies to which they have tied themselves, they have created difficulties for themselves in trying to meet what very possibly will be a problem in regard to employment on a large scale. I think that in one particular aspect we should have some indication from the Minister at least with regard to Government policy in so far as it does affect the maintenance of the existing volume of employment.
Some little time ago I asked a question of the Minister in this House in regard to the 1938 trade agreement. I did so, not merely because I am personally interested in the matter, but because one can see from the Press  that wide circles of employers are interested in this agreement and its possible application in future, and also because wide circles of workers are similarly interested. In particular, I was approached by representatives of workers in the boot and shoe industry. Their concern is very real and, in certain circumstances, can have a very definite foundation. They submit that, even before the emergency, taking all the boot and shoe factories in the Twenty-Six Counties working on full production, they could only find a market for some nine months' production in any one year. Nevertheless, both at that time and during the period that has elapsed since, they reached a peak of efficiency both in regard to the quality of the goods and the cost of manufacture which put them on a reasonable basis of competition with firms outside this country. At the same time, they realise that, because of the tremendously greater market that lies immediately available to boot and shoe manufacturers across the water, the English manufacturers have secured certain advantages which can be availed of if certain clauses in the 1938 trade agreement were to come into force and the benefits were to be extended to them.
The working-men who are engaged in this almost new industry which has grown up in recent years have not taken up the attitude of asking for protection of such a character and of such a class as to make impossible all forms of outside competition, but they do submit that, in their particular trade, not only is protection in the form of tariffs, but, in certain circumstances, protection in the form of quotas is still necessary; that it is still possible to have a situation arise in which there could be adequate protection so far as tariffs are concerned which could be justified both in regard to the cost of production and the resale price and, at the same time, within and around these tariffs there can be gaps left through which, by a process of dumping of excess production, the whole effect of protection would be taken away. They are not arguing the case of the outright protectionist or of those who would seek to utilise the policy of industrial  protection adopted in this country in recent years as a means of trying to create swollen profits. They are speaking from the point of view of workers engaged in the industry, from the point of view of maintaining employment in the industry, of maintaining the skill that has been acquired, and, above all, of maintaining an industry which they regard as essential to the country. They do feel that, in so far as the agreement that has been dormant and not put into effect within the period of the emergency is concerned, there should be some indication from the Minister as to his policy at any time when it may be suggested that the agreement might be revised and various clauses given effect to. They seem to be most anxious that there should be some assurance given that, in an industry which they hold is efficient, which gives a fairly large volume of employment and which they submit produces footwear of equal quality to that of the imported article at a commercial price on the basis of fair competition, they should be protected against what they consider would be unusual forms of competition lying outside the ordinary competition based on prices and cost of production.
I should like, therefore, if the Minister would touch upon this question at some greater length than he did in reply to my question when he indicated that the agreement was still technically in force, although it had not been put into effect, as neither party had given the required notice to terminate it. Now when we are facing actual problems arising in the post-war period, I think it is essential that we should have some indication as to what extent the Government are determined to maintain the present basis of employment in the country, the basis that was available in the normal years before the emergency, and in what direction they propose to incline their previous industrial policy in the building up of industries in the light of certain changes which took place in the period from 1938 when the new trade agreement was arrived at, which it is quite clear has given rise to certain anxiety not only amongst employers, who are well  able to look after themselves, but, particularly, amongst a large section of workers who have now built up a basis of skill and competency and constant employment and who feel some what nervous as to the position that will arise after the emergency conditions have ended. One of the factors affecting their minds is that in this country, although living through emergency conditions in industry, there have not been those conditions of high pressure production which have existed in the belligerent countries where, in many of the industries, there have been technical advancements which, carried into the commercial field, may make tremendous changes in the cost of production and the volume of output of those industries. Therefore, possibly, the whole basis of competition may be radically altered, while we have the trade agreement of 1938 there with the possibility of its being brought into force, thus leaving the way open for an application being made to the Prices Control Commission with regard to the tariffs and quotas imposed as a means of protection for those industries.
Mr. Larkin (Junior): I am prepared to advocate, in so far as this country is concerned, a system under which we will produce the goods we require under reasonable conditions and at a decent rate of wages for our own people.
Mr. Larkin: I am perfectly prepared but I am not prepared to form a policy which involves the putting on of tariffs and quotas and results in excessive profits from the tariffs and quotas and at the same time leaves those who produce the goods without any improved conditions or rates of wages. In the early stages of this policy, we had a condition of affairs where men and women engaged in the older factories were able to earn a reasonable wage, £3 10s. 0d. or £4 a week, while in most of the new factories the same amount  of work was being turned out by boys and girls at from 18/- to 25/- a week. That condition has changed now, I admit, and many of those boys and girls who went in to learn that trade are now able to earn a reasonable rate of wages as skilled craftsmen and are turning out goods of a reasonable quality. Whether their claim to efficiency in turning out as good a quality as the others is true or not, I cannot say, but it is said that they can compete with the cross-Channel products. However, even on that basis of competition they are limited in their market and there is still the possibility of excess production in cross-Channel factories being dumped in here at an unusually low price. That is not protection, but the reverse of protection. I would like to know whether this trade agreement will close that gap or gateway and I would like to know what the policy of the Minister is in regard to it for the post-war period.
Mr. Larkin: I am not in a position to accept their case, as I am not an expert in the boot and shoe industry, but if the Deputy asks whether I am prepared to say that I am against tariffs and quotas, I am definitely not. But that is not the whole story.
There is another matter to which I wish to refer. I am sorry I was not in the House when the Minister was speaking on the question of trade disputes. I wish to deal with it from a somewhat different angle. I think it is quite clear to all of us that, during the five years of the emergency, we have had a very strained condition of affairs in so far as the mass of the working people is concerned. I think it is admitted that they have had to bear a burden which possibly no one in this House expected they would have to carry at the time the emergency commenced and when the control of wages and prices was undertaken. That burden has shown itself to the extent of a cost-of-living increase of nearly 70 per cent. and an average increase in wages of some 15 per cent. It has become progressively worse in each year of the emergency.
 An argument we very often lose sight of is that for the ordinary working-class family the gap between the cost of living and the rate of wages is not a stationary factor, but is progressive. With every year that passed, that gap has been opening further and further, and they have had to dip into their savings and their credit for clothing and furniture and other essentials of life. For many thousands of working-class families who before the emergency enjoyed a certain normalcy, a certain reasonable standard of life, this condition of affairs has brought them back to living from week to week, in so far as they are completely dependent on their current wages. That has created a certain frame of mind which should be heeded by the Minister and the Government. It is quite clear that, if you dam a stream in one direction, it will flow out somewhere else. Within recent weeks there has been evidence of that.
In so far as the control of wages is concerned, there are definite limitations both in regard to standard wages and bonus, and each section of the workers has now a rigid limit laid down, that is, a bonus of 11/- a week. They have rather naturally turned to seek other amendments and easements of the burden. One of the reasons for that is that, from experience, very few employers during the last year or so, in meeting claims for bonuses or increases in standard rates of wages, have attempted to argue that they are not in a position to pay these bonuses. Only last week I was present at a trade board meeting, where there was a submission from the workers seeking an increased rate of wages. In no case did the employer make the case that he was not in a financial position to meet the case. The argument was that they did not wish to increase the wages further, as, in a period of six or nine months, there might be changes in the economic conditions, changes in conditions affecting their industry, particularly the volume of production, and they might find it necessary to go back and look for reductions in wages, and they did not want to do that.
This factor is widely known to many workers, and has been widely accepted by the employers as a whole, and the  inducement to give certain easements is one that is having its effect. This has had expression recently in a number of cases, particularly taking the form of suggestions for improvement in annual holidays. We have one dispute at present in Dublin, and there has been one in Cork. In the past six months there were three or four more major issues where a dispute was only narrowly averted.
In many cases, the argument has been put forward semi-officially or in certain cases officially by Government spokesmen, that improvement in the general working conditions, holidays, etc., cannot be conceded now, as no one knows whether the country can afford it or not. I believe that with the conditions that exist at the present time and the strain of five years weighing upon the mass of the workers, during which the gap between wages and the cost of living has grown progressively greater, there must be a certain degree of understanding and allowance for the conditions which have developed around us and there must be no feeling that we have now come to the end of the emergency and are back to cold economic facts again and that therefore no consideration need be given to those men and women who have carried a heavy burden during the emergency. Such a feeling would create a great deal of harm.
In so far as the Minister carries responsibility in regard to industrial conciliation and arbitration, he should bear in mind the situation that is developing, particularly since the end of the war in Europe, and should take advice on it. It is said we cannot close this gap between prices and wages and the basic argument put for ward by the Government is that it leads to inflation. If so, there should be some other quid pro quo given to those working people who have borne the heavy burden during the past five years, particularly in view of the fact that, both from Government Benches, from statements of employers, from public reports of companies, it is quite clear that a great many employers cannot argue that they are financially unable to meet what is in actual fact a very modest  commitment, especially in such a thing as annual holidays.
There is one other matter in regard to industry on which the Minister should take advice. That is the question of factory inspection. In reply to a question some months ago, the Minister supplied figures which showed that there was a very great drop during the emergency in the number of visits paid by factory inspectors. This may be due to a reduction in staff, they having been transferred to other work. Because of the conditions which exist in the smaller factories, some steps should be taken to restore these men to the pre-war work, so that they may pay particular attention and utilise their powers under the various Factory Acts in respect of many of the smaller factories, where conditions are objectionable and where wide improvements could be made to bring them up to the level of the better-class factories.
One other question that interests me is in regard to bus transport. I notice that the local bus services about Dublin seem to have increased the number of persons allowed to stand from eight to about 12. I do not know whether this is official or not, and maybe I am getting some of the conductors and inspectors into trouble, though I do not think so, as they work under rigid discipline. I do not know whether this is an easement of the regulations or not, and I am not objecting to it, as I have had to stand myself, and I realise the difficulties. However, I suggest in all fairness that if there is a further increase in the earning capacity of the buses, some consideration should be given to the passengers, by a reduction in fares generally, or at least by a reduction in the charges for weekly tickets, which are mainly brought by working-class people, many of whom have to spend from 6/- to 10/- per week on fares. If there is an increase of 20 per cent. in the earning capacity of a bus, without any corresponding increase in expenditure, in view of the profits that the company has admitted earning in recent years there should be some gesture to the travelling public, who have  put up with a great deal during the past few years.
The Minister replied to this question last year in the course of the debate on the Transport Bill, and said there was scarcely a possibility of a reduction in fares, as this money was being accumulated and would be required by the company after the war. There must be a considerable accumulation by now, and any reduction in fares, especially to working-class people, would go still more towards closing that gap between the cost of living and the rate of wages. For instance, for people living in the outskirts of Dublin, nine or ten miles from the city, fares represent a very considerable proportion of their weekly expenditure. A reduction even to the extent of 20 or 25 per cent. of the weekly outgoing would be equal to an increase of 3/- or 4/- in wages. The Minister says that he cannot increase wages. He might at least find a way of reducing family expenses. I suggest it would be possible to do it in this manner, if it is outside his powers to bring down the prices of foodstuffs and clothing.
Mr. Lemass: Deputy Hughes opened the debate by complaining that the indications of post-war industrial policy which I gave were unnecessarily vague. I did not attempt to deal with the industrial policy in any general sense. It can be said that there is no change in industrial policy in so far as its main principle is the development of industrial activity through private enterprise, supported and fostered by the Government in whatever way support or fostering is required. I mentioned that, in the course of our survey of the plans of private firms, we had ascertained that substantial developments were contemplated, including the establishment of a number of new industries. I do not want to particularise the projects I had in mind because they are being promoted by private concerns which may have difficulty in bringing their plans to fruition under the present circumstances and may therefore desire to avoid giving them publicity until their arrangements are completed.
I indicated also that the Government  have under consideration a series of legislative steps designed to facilitate industrial expansion after the war, or to confer upon it greater powers of supervision over industrial activity, with the aim of promoting efficiency, improving trading methods, or expanding export business. I do not wish to deal with these particular matters in great details, because I assume that the legislative proposals under consideration will reach the Dáil some time in the course of the next few months and can then be fully discussed.
In that connection, I must ask Deputy Larkin to excuse me if I cannot give him more definite information concerning the position of the Trade Agreement with Great Britain, negotiated in 1938, than I gave him in reply to a recent Parliamentary Question. That Trade Agreement is in existence. The abnormal conditions which existed during the war have meant that a number of its provisions have had to remain in abeyance but the Agreement has not been terminated by notice, in accordance with its terms, by either party and, consequently, it remains in existence and will continue to remain in force until such notice is given.
The apprehensions entertained by some boot manufacturers, and transmitted by them to their employees, concerning the possible effect of that Agreement upon their industry are, I think, entirely unfounded. Certain spokesmen of Irish industrialists, reading the terms of that agreement after its first publication, made public statements to the effect that the Agreement would have an adverse effect upon industrial enterprise here. I think the only adverse effect on industrial enterprise here came from these statements.
Unnecessary and groundless apprehensions were aroused. There is nothing in the agreement which obliges the Government here to permit dumping in the ordinary meaning of that term. It is clear that industries which were granted the benefit of high protection or quantitative regulation of imports during the earlier stages of their existence must not expect continued protection in that precise form indefinitely.
The boot and shoe industry is a case  in point. It has progressed from small beginnings to an industry of major importance and considerable efficiency. I think it would be true to say that in the years immediately before the war many of our boot and shoe factories were producing boots and shoes of equal quality to the boots and shoes produced in Great Britain, at equal and in some cases at lower prices.
Mr. Lemass: It may be, as Deputy Larkin stated, that technical developments during the war have altered that situation, but I am sure the Deputy would be one of the last to urge that protective measures should be adopted to preserve antiquated systems of production or outworn methods if newer and better processes have been devised in the meantime. One of the things we have in contemplation is to require manufacturers to keep their plants up to date, and to avail of any technical developments that have occurred, so as to ensure that in the less competitive atmosphere of the market here they will not fall behind industry elsewhere in the matter of technical progress. Nothing has happened to the boot and shoe industry in that connection yet.
The agreement gives the British manufacturer certain rights, including the right to have a review of the necessity of the maintenance of protection at the level originally imposed. I am sure it is not necessary to say that we agreed to changes, when negotiating that agreement, which we would have preferred to avoid. It was an agreement negotiated in a rather difficult situation and the primary aim from our point of view was to secure the free entry of all Irish produce, agricultural or industrial, into the British market. That aim was secured by the agreement and, to secure it, certain concessions had to be given to British manufacturers who, in the course of the negotiations, were pressing their Government Departments to secure those concessions.
I do not wish to say that all the concessions the British manufacturers would have wished to receive were  granted. All the concessions which we would have preferred to receive were not obtained, but a reasonable compromise was arrived at which was embodied in the agreement and accepted by us because it gave adequate powers to maintain for Irish industrial enterprise whatever degree of protection was sufficient to ensure its reasonable growth, subject to its being maintained at all times on a progressive basis of efficiency.
Deputy Hughes asked specific questions concerning particular industries and was naturally concerned with the industries engaged in the production of agricultural materials or agricultural equipment. I think Deputy Hughes is forgetting very rapidly the lessons he learned during the war. It is true that we had only limited supplies of sulphate of ammonia, and some of what we had was smuggled, but——
Mr. Lemass: ——we had not unreasonable supplies of superphosphate. If we had not got the superphosphate factories here, we would not have had these supplies of superphosphate. It is preposterous to pretend that we could have secured the manufactured article as easily as we procured during the war the raw materials to make it. In fact, lack of productive capacity was experienced in most countries, and, as I told Deputy Dillon, we were able to trade in many cases our surplus productive capacity for raw materials which we could not otherwise get. Before the war, I explored very fully the possibility of establishing a factory here for the manufacture of sulphate of ammonia. It is quite a practicable industry for this country. Every raw material required by the industry exists here, and exists here in conditions as favourable as, if not more favourable than, those in most other countries. We did not succeed in making progress to the point of securing the establishment of the factory. I am sure that at the time any proposals for the establishment of such an industry would have been resisted  on the ground that it was detrimental to the interests of agriculture, but there are very few Deputies who will not agree that, if we had had such an industry in 1939, our position in regard to agricultural fertilisers during the war would have been very much more satisfactory than in fact it was.
So far as the existing fertiliser factories are concerned, I cannot tell Deputy Hughes whether they will require protection in the form or to the extent to which they required it before the war. Before the war, they required no protection against competition from Great Britain and they got no protection against competition from Great Britain. They did obtain protection by way of tariff on fertilisers imported from the continent of Europe. At one time they were able to maintain themselves without the assistance of protection, but circumstances on the continent of Europe changed. New regulations concerning the discharge of sulphuric acid fumes into the atmosphere required many factories engaged in the metallurgical industry to produce superphosphate in order to dispose of the sulphuric acid and to dispose of it at any price they could obtain for it. It was that circumstance which altered the situation and necessitated the imposition of a duty here for the protection of the local factories.
Whether these circumstances will exist after the war, I cannot say, but certainly it should be the aim of the Government to preserve these industries. Their importance is not measured merely by the thousand men employed in them, as Deputy Hughes assumed. It is measured by the degree of insurance which they give us against inability to obtain fertilisers in circumstances in which other countries are not willing to supply them or we, for any reason, are unable to pay for them.
The same applies to agricultural machinery. Not all forms of agricultural machinery were made here before the war, but many classes of agricultural machinery were made very satisfactorily here. We were able during the war—and again this may be information which some Deputies are obtaining for the first time—to trade  manufacturing capacity for raw materials, and for many years during the war our agricultural machinery manufacturers obtained supplies of raw materials in consideration of the export by them of a certain proportion of these materials in the form of manufactured plant to the United Kingdom.
May I say this also, in reference to some remarks made by Deputy Hughes, that we received from the United Kingdom no complaints whatever as to the quality of the machinery exported? There is no reason in the world why we should not produce here most forms of agricultural machinery and agricultural tools as well as anybody else can produce them. At least one factory in the past had a very substantial export business in agricultural machinery. That business diminished when, as a result of tariffs, the size of the home market available to it expanded considerably. There is no reason why it should not be revived at some future time.
What Deputy Hughes and Deputy Giles said is quite true—that many of the industries established pre-war did not develop in productive capacity or efficiency as rapidly as we hoped, as rapidly as we believed to be possible. One of the obligations resting on the Minister for Industry and Commerce and his Department now is to ensure that these failures, or comparative failures, of the pre-war programme are singled out and re-examined in the light of modern conditions, either with a view to dropping them altogether as projects incapable of development or getting them restarted upon sounder lines than were originally tried. I do not want to take up the position of asserting that every industrial project started here as a result of Government assistance was perfect in every respect. Not all of them were perfect; perhaps not even the majority could be described as perfect and perhaps none could be described as perfect; but on the whole, I think they did a good job. I was agreeably surprised by the resiliency they showed during the emergency, by the way they were able to meet the new circumstances and the difficulties associated with that  period and by the way in which they carried on in a manner which showed a great deal of ingenuity and inventiveness on the part of their directors, managers, foremen and technicians of all kinds.
Deputy Hughes inquired what researches were being made in connection with the building industry towards the production of methods of building which avoided the use of timber. I do not think it would be possible to devise any method of building which would avoid the use of timber altogether, but the research committee which has been established in connection with that industry has already carried out certain investigations, and documents have been published, prepared by the Institute of Architects under the authority of that committee, indicating various methods of reducing the timber required for the construction of houses of various sizes and classifications. These documents have been published at the expense of the Department of Industry and Commerce and have been circulated to all the people in the country who are known to be interested in that matter.
The research committee has been actively at work upon that problem and a number of other problems. They have been collating and examining in relation to the situation here the result of researches carried out elsewhere, and I should like to say that they have been granted a great deal of assistance and co-operation by the organisation in Great Britain which the British Government maintains to carry out researches into building problems and the suitability of materials for various classes of building work.
Mr. Lemass: Yes, the principal difficulty is flooring. Deputy Hughes also asked what was the position concerning these mineral companies. The two companies were amalgamated, under the Act we passed this year, by Order, which came into force on 1st June last. I could not give him the information as to the advances made since then, as that would require an examination of  documents which I had not time to have undertaken.
Deputy Dillon made a number of statements relating to industrial policy with which I profoundly disagree. I think he was, in the main, knocking down bogeys created by his own imagination. He certainly has a definition of self-sufficiency which is completely at variance with anything I have heard from the Government Benches. If I follow his arguments correctly, he proceeds to assert that, because we cannot have a rubber factory without importing rubber and we have not got any rubber here, or a cement factory without importing coal and we have not got enough coal here, or a steel factory without importing iron ore and we have not got any iron ore here, we should not have rubber factories or cement factories or steel factories. Deputy Dillon shakes his head. That, however, seemed to be  the only logical conclusion from his argument.
Mr. Lemass: We cannot have self-sufficiency in the sense that we can have every possible industrial activity carried on here despite denial of access to external markets. We can proceed to establish industry upon a sound basis and we will get many advantages from that process, even though we know that international trade will always be necessary for this country. Nobody has ever asserted anything to the contrary.
|Last Updated: 18/05/2011 20:09:27||Page of 17|