Wednesday, 7 July 1971
Dáil Eireann Debate
Mr. O'Hara: asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if any special consideration is being given by this country's  negotiators for EEC membership to the problems that will arise in the small farm areas in the Republic where there is large scale unemployment and emigration and where there is a growing fear that EEC membership will bring about a worsening of this situation rather than an improvement; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Minister for Transport and Power (Mr. B. Lenihan) (for the Minister for Foreign Affairs): I do not accept the Deputy's suggestion that EEC membership will bring about a worsening of the situation of small farmers and I would refer him to the reply given by the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries on 1st July to questions by Deputy Hogan on this subject.
Dr. O'Donovan: Did the Minister see the Late Late Show on television some months ago when the small farmers, as distinct from big farmers, made it quite clear that they are very concerned in this regard.
Mr. B. Lenihan: The Government intend to place before the Oireachtas and the public in the proposed White Paper the terms of accession and all other considerations which are relevant  to our application for membership of the European Communities.
Mr. M. O'Leary: Arising out of the Minister's very exact reply—exact according to the Minister's standards— may I ask him whether he will give the Irish people a real choice in this matter by supplying them with the information which would suggest what would be the debit or credit side of not entering? The Minister has confined himself to saying that they will merely give information relevant to the Government's own application.
Mr. B. Lenihan: “Quantification” is a very large term but the facts relating to our remaining outside and what these facts would mean as far as the Irish community is concerned will be contained in the White Paper.
Mr. M. O'Leary: asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs whether his Department is aware of trade union  reaction to the EEC Commission's proposal that protection should cease for the motor assembly industry by 1980; and what action is being taken to lengthen the period necessary for adaptation beyond 1980.
Mr. B. Lenihan: The position is that the Community has not as yet put proposals to us in regard to the motor car assembly industry. Until proposals are adopted by the Council of Ministers and formally put to us, I do not think that it would be appropriate to comment publicly on their likely content.
Mr. B. Lenihan: First things first. The Minister has been seeking to have meetings with the Irish Congress of Trade Unions this week on this matter and owing to their involvement in a conference in Limerick this has not been possible but at the earliest possible date such consultation will take place prior to the Minister's own meeting of July 12th.
Mr. Harte: I fully appreciate that this is a serious matter. That is not an answer to my question. What I am asking the Minister is whether the Government accept that after 1980 motor cars will no longer be assembled in Ireland.
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