Industrial Development Bill, 1972: Second Stage.

Wednesday, 17 May 1972

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 260 No. 13

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Minister for Industry and Commerce (Mr. Lalor): Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  I move: “That the Bill be now read a Second Time.”

The Bill has a two-fold purpose: first, to provide for an increase in the [1954] finances available to the Industrial Development Authority and, secondly, to extend certain rates remission concessions to areas that are temporarily designated.

The Industrial Development Act, 1969, set a limit of £100 million on the aggregate amount of grants which could be made to the Industrial Development Authority out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas to enable the authority to discharge all their obligations and liabilities of a capital nature. The 1969 Act also set a limit of £100 million on the aggregate amount of grants made by the authority towards the creation of new industries and the strengthening and growth of existing industries. This figure included the amounts of grants payable under previous legislation.

Because of the increasing pace of industrial development since the reorganisation of the Industrial Development Authority under the 1969 Act, the position is that the limit of £100 million has almost been reached and the authority will require to be provided with further funds if they are to continue to discharge their functions. The authority's current commitments for projects approved amount to approximately £56 million. It is, therefore, proposed to increase to £200 million the aggregate amount of grants made to the authority and made by them.

Coming to the second purpose of the Bill, this is, in effect, to remove an anomaly which exists in relation to the application of rates relief to areas defined as designated areas under section 6 (1) of the Industrial Development Act, 1969. The three categories specified in section 6 (1) are

(a) the congested areas as defined in section 3 of the Undeveloped Areas Act, 1952;

(b) an area which before the commencement of this section was declared by an Order under section 3 of the Undeveloped Areas Act, 1952, to be an area to which that Act applied;

(c) any area which the Minister from time to time, with the consent [1955] of the Minister for Finance, declares by Order to be a designated area.

Premises provided for an industrial undertaking in the first two categories I have mentioned are eligible under section 9 of the Undeveloped Areas Act, 1952, as amended by section 14 of the Undeveloped Areas (Amendment) Act, 1957, for relief from two-thirds of the rates applicable for a period not exceeding ten years. However, premises provided for an industrial undertaking in the third category are not so eligible and, as there is no reason why such premises should be at a disadvantage compared with those in the other two categories, the Bill aims to put all designated areas on an equal footing.

I accordingly recommend the Bill to the House.

Mr. Donegan: Information on Patrick S. Donegan  Zoom on Patrick S. Donegan  This is an enabling Bill. We see its parallel in this House three or four times a year, when permission to spend certain amounts of money has to be sought as the extent of the previous permission is reached. From that point of view there is no objection to this Bill and no criticism of it. If we are to continue our policy of giving grants for new factories and grants to existing factories, and if we reach the permitted expenditure of £100 million, it is necessary to come to Parliament to get permission to spend more.

I welcome the fact that £100 million has been asked for this time rather than a smaller sum, which would mean coming back to the House again at an earlier date than will now be necessary. There is no objection at all to this Bill from that point of view. It enables us to discuss how this £100 million is to be spent. I intend to discuss the spending of that money and the giving of grants.

The application of this money is something that should be discussed here in depth, and in all seriousness. We must remember, in relation to the IDA, that the authority were not accepted by the present Government when they were instituted by the inter-Party Government of 1954-1957. The then Opposition spokesman for Industry and Commerce, an ex-Minister for Industry [1956] and Commerce, said that if he got back into power he would remove the authority completely. However, when he did get back he did not do so. This man was Minister for Industry and Commerce twice afterwards, and Taoiseach once, but he did not do anything about the IDA except to expand them.

I appreciate the work of the officers of the IDA and of the authority. I accept that that authority have been subject to Government policy. Government policy and direction have always been present in regard to the IDA. Very often, such Government policy and Government direction have been shrouded in a cloak of absolute denial in this House. Everybody connected with industry in any way knew that policies were being directed in a political manner and for the political advancement of the Government. That is not to say that the moneys spent by the IDA in giving grants did not do good. The officers of the authority did a good job. There were some failures. One spectacular failure which comes to mind was that of the Potez factory. This failure was not the responsibility of the IDA, but of the Government and Cabinet decisions made, in my opinion, with a view to keeping happy a select number of people who seemed to have allied themselves with the Fianna Fáil Party and the Government as industrial entrepreneurs of a rather dubious kind, giving them advantages to which they were not entitled. The main work of the IDA was good, and I hope it will continue so.

Since I became spokesman on Industry and Commerce, I have been responsible within the House in trying not to criticise anything that might be in question. I have tried not to destroy the hope of a job or an opportunity for a job anywhere in the country. I am sure the Minister will concede that to me. I have never taken political advantage of anything that might, perhaps, not have succeeded in its entirety. Politically, I have been too kind and gentle in that regard. I was criticised in a certain periodical for my attitude.

In relation to industrial grants, the Fianna Fáil Government and their [1957] Ministers refused for years to create a regional policy. They refused to admit that they ever suggested that a factory should go in one place rather than another. Everyone knows that they made such suggestions, but nobody can prove it. The Government refused to produce a proper regional policy for the whole of Ireland, including the Minister's constituency, in order to bring the various parts of the country into line with each other and in line with the proper development of the country. There is a table in the Preliminary Statement on Regional Industrial Plans for 1973-1977 which shows the population changes for various regions. In the years 1966-1971 there were increases in the various regions as follows:

East 7.1 per cent
South-West 2.7 per cent
North-East 2.7 per cent
South-East 2.6 per cent
Mid-West 1.7 per cent

There were reductions as follows in the following areas:

Donegal .5 per cent
Midlands .8 per cent
West 2.3 per cent
North-West 4 per cent

I conclude from that that the policy of the Government in relation to industrial grants was faulty over the years. They did not accept that it might have been possible 20 or 30 years ago to maintain the west at the level of services that were then the minimum services that could be provided for the population and, at the same time, to allow the east and the more prosperous areas to develop naturally, or even with greater grant aid, and pay for the fact that the people in the less well-off areas could not afford to provide those minimum services for themselves.

If we are to rely on industry for most of the jobs and rely for most of the tax from income tax and indirect taxation derived from earnings in those jobs, we must accept that the minimum services of guards, hospitals and roads and all the other paraphernalia of Government, which becomes more involved day by day, must be provided. We cannot afford [1958] to leave the snipe-grass country to look after itself any more. The level of taxation in the prosperous areas of this country will be such an impediment to personal advancement that people will not accept it. We will find ourselves in a most invidious position because of our lack of regional policy in industry.

We are now deciding to permit the Minister and his Government to spend an extra £100 million. We should have a regional policy. The party which I represent produced such a regional policy some time ago. It was very aptly named. It was a policy for people. The table on population for 1966-1971 which I have quoted, draws attention to the fact that that particular policy was aptly and properly named.

I would refer the House to the Preliminary Statement on Regional Industrial Plans, 1973 to 1977, page 1, where it states:

Regional development aimed at achieving a reasonable balance in opportunities and incomes between all regions of the country is a priority aim of Government policy. Industrial development is the principal instrument available to us to correct the present regional imbalance within Ireland and between Ireland and the more affluent countries of Europe.

This is the Government whose industrial policy it was for the best part of the last 30 years to say that they would not interfere in the location of a factory.

They came into power after the Industrial Grants Act, 1956 and the Finance (Miscellaneous) Provisions Act, 1956, which introduced two main incentives which are still there, that is freedom from tax on new exports and industrial grants. When they got their hands on those two pieces of legislation they continued to deny that they would ever suggest that there should be the allocation of a grant based on the need for jobs in a particular place. It is only after what was a very successful referendum that we have a preliminary statement regarding this.

The first page tells us for the first time that in times of worry the Government [1959] can sometimes change their mind, at least on paper. The paragraph following the one I have just quoted states:

The Government have now endorsed the IDA approach, which is consistent with the long-term objectives of the Government's regional development policies as published.

When did they publish those policies? In this report the Government are extremely careful to see to it that no votes are lost to them, that it will be to some extent a milk and water report and one which will not indicate that there is a necessity for a factory in one place which might result in the loss of votes in another.

The report points out that the plans for giving grants were prepared on the assumption that Ireland will be a member of the European Communities from January, 1973. I suggest with the inevitable increase in costs within the EEC, the imbalance to which I have referred, and the fact that the poorer areas will still need the minimum infra-structure of hospitals, buildings, roads, et cetera, will further exacerbate the fact that the people of the east have all the opportunities. The people of Louth and Dublin will no longer be able to carry on their backs a population that has not been aided to the stage where they can properly take their place as taxpayers. Tax will be from now on largely on income rather than on property. Rates have reached the stage where, as everybody knows, we are at the point of no return. If we are to have this taxation situation there has got to be what this party have insisted on over the years and eventually brought out a long policy document thereon, a proper accent on the development of the undeveloped areas of our country.

The conclusions which parallel with the conclusions in the Government White Paper on the EEC are modest in relation to the net number of jobs to be produced from 1973 to 1977, but even so they are factual. Industries very often came here which were not high capital intensive industries but this will not go on very much longer.

[1960] Our target for net extra jobs, almost all of which will be aided by grants, from 1973 to 1977 is 38,000 jobs in the manufacturing industry, an increase of 16.7 per cent. The estimated increase from 1966 to 1971 was less but of course it is a period of one year longer. It seems to me that we may still not be doing enough and it may require the fillip industries will get from Common Market entry to succeed in introducing the number of extra jobs we really require.

I now come to the point of whether or not the Government threw away the Buchanan Report in relation to grants for industries or whether they had any regard for it. One of the advantages of such a report is that you may not like it when you get it and there may be some severe criticism of it. For instance, in County Kerry the total activities of the Buchanan group appear to have been a chat with the county manager. They did not undertake a very intensive investigation of County Donegal either. At least Buchanan came out pretty clearly where he felt there should be capital in the way of grants applied and there should be an indication to industrialists when they should go.

The preliminary report is a Government one but is the headline on which the Industrial Development Authority will have to spend their money for the next four years. When one goes to Table A1 of this report one finds, under interim advance factory locations, Donegal, Ballybofey-Stranorlar, Ballyshannon-Bundoran, Carndonagh and Letterkenny. The exception is Donegal town. This brings in everywhere in County Donegal and means that the people who read this report and decide that their town is being left out are left at a considerable disadvantage criticismwise by the Government. If you are from Donegal it is very hard to criticise a report which indicates that you will have advance factory locations in possibly six different locations. Buchanan was far more specific. I have often said I would not go the whole way with Buchanan but I would agree with him that hard things had to be said and that he was prepared in certain cases to say them. In the west, for instance, we are to [1961] have advance factory locations in Ballina, Ballinrobe, Ballygar, Claremorris, Mountbellew and Swinford. In the South-west at Cahirciveen, Dunmanway, Listowel and Skibbereen. These are wide-reaching lists of places that are not easily open to criticism. At the same time it is doubtful whether this report is the sort of thing we would expect at a time when hard things may have to be said and hard decisions may have to be taken.

I should like to refer to the net regional growth targets for manufacturing employment for 1973-1977. These are given in percentages and, of course, if a lesser number of jobs are there the percentage can be greater if you are putting factories in, but my belief is that this report was, to some extent, produced in time for the referendum. I believe it does not come down strongly enough on the various places that should be developed and that a lot of the manufacturing job targets given at page 12 are lists of places and jobs which are politically easy for the Government to announce because they will insult nobody. You do not get a specific number of jobs for each town; you do not get a straight statement that a town has lost 500 jobs in the last 20 years and that there should be something done about it; you do not get a straight statement that a town is not suitable for a certain type of industry. You get, at page 12 for instance, in respect of Donegal, groups of towns—Ballyshannon, Bundoran, Donegal, Glenties and Killybegs. They are meant to get 500 new jobs. Letterkenny, Lifford, Milford, Ramelton and Rathmullen are to get 850 new jobs. Buncranna, Carndonagh, Moville— Gaeltacht areas—1,000 new jobs. I defy anybody politically to criticise that and gain votes. I defy anybody on the Government side to read out that list and lose votes. That is why I believe this is a milk and water type of document and something that has not got the bite in it that we need to have if we are to face up to EEC competition.

You get the same sort of thing in the north-west where jobs are really needed. Ballisodare, Collooney, Dromore West, Easky, Enniscrone, Sligo are to get 900 jobs and Ballymote and Tubbercurry are to get 250. North [1962] Leitrim, including Manorhamilton, is to get 200 jobs and then there is Ballinamore, Boyle, Carrick-on-Shannon, Carrigallen, Drumshanbo and Mohill— 350. I defy the Minister to read that out and lose a vote and I defy anybody to criticise it and gain a vote but it is not what we want. If there has to be a straight statement that perhaps Sligo should be a very decisive growth area and if that was to lose certain votes in Leitrim it is the duty of the Minister and the Government to say so and to say exactly what they are going to do about people who might have to move from Leitrim to Sligo. Instead of that, we have had a nice conglomoration of places that should get new jobs as a result of the expenditure of grant money and that is it. The list becomes extraordinary. It includes one marvellous definition—the Ring towns— Bandon, Clonakilty, Fermoy, Kinsale, Macroom, Mallow and Youghal— 1,000 jobs for those towns. That is not specific enough. There is no mention in this preliminary report, which I admit is only a preliminary report, about the type of industry that is likely to come in, no mention of from whence it is to come, no mention of what level of grants there should be in relation to jobs. I think it is a disappointment.

The fact that we must vote an extension of the amount of money we can spend on grants without reference to Parliament is a normal operation in this House, an operation that all of us have seen many times. From that point of view there is nothing against it. In relation to the other factor, which is that exemption from rates can be, by order, extended by the Minister to certain individual areas, this is only sensible also.

Mention is made in the explanatory memorandum of the town of Clara. If something happens in a town and you want to give an extra little help to a new industry or an extension of an old one I do not see any reason why such a measure as the exemption of rates should not be within the Minister's power. That again is welcome no matter who the Minister might be. That is a procedure that should exist in all legislation.

Having said that, I want to say that I am disappointed by the preliminary [1963] report. I am disappointed that it did not meet up to the challenge of the EEC, that it was not more specific, that it did not indicate what types of industry we were likely to attract, that it did not go into the question of whether there would be more men or more women employed, that it did not go into the question of the number of people seeking employment each year and whether they were male or female. From every point of view, it appears to be in respect of an excellent institution for which I have the greatest regard —the IDA—a report that was foisted upon them, or requested from them in time for the referendum which, happily, has gone the right way.

Mr. M. O'Leary: Information on Michael O'Leary  Zoom on Michael O'Leary  I shall be very brief. After all, the Minister is only looking for something like £50 million extra.

Mr. Donegan: Information on Patrick S. Donegan  Zoom on Patrick S. Donegan  £100 million.

Mr. M. O'Leary: Information on Michael O'Leary  Zoom on Michael O'Leary  What is £100 million between friends? It is a surprise to me that the principal officer of the IDA is not present for this debate. His organisation is, after all, looking for £100 million. It may, of course, be an accurate assessment by the principal officer, Mr. Killeen, of the status of this Parliament that he does not have to turn up here. That is a fair enough assumption, I suppose, on the part of any public servant, on the part of any man in any semi-State——

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Denis Francis Jones  Zoom on Denis Francis Jones  The Deputy is aware that public servants should not be referred to in the House. The Minister is responsible to the House.

Mr. M. O'Leary: Information on Michael O'Leary  Zoom on Michael O'Leary  Agreed, but I was making the point that the IDA, for which the Minister is responsible, true enough, is looking for £100 million extra. It is a very important convention of this House that we should not refer to people by name in this fashion, I agree, but I do recall in a political contest just ended that the principal officer of the IDA did not abide by conventions——

[1964]Dr. O'Donovan: Information on John O'Donovan  Zoom on John O'Donovan  Hear, hear.

Mr. M. O'Leary: Information on Michael O'Leary  Zoom on Michael O'Leary  ——and came out and made a political statement at a certain point of that campaign.

Dr. O'Donovan: Information on John O'Donovan  Zoom on John O'Donovan  Many times.

Mr. M. O'Leary: Information on Michael O'Leary  Zoom on Michael O'Leary  I am saying that the rules have not been abided by, by the IDA. I do not see why we cannot legitimately refer in this House to the fact that a person in the IDA who makes political pronouncements is not here when that organisation, for which the Minister is responsible admittedly, is looking for an extra £100 million.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Denis Francis Jones  Zoom on Denis Francis Jones  The Deputy agrees that the Minister is responsible.

Mr. M. O'Leary: Information on Michael O'Leary  Zoom on Michael O'Leary  The fact is that the Department of Industry and Commerce have shed most of the decision-making in the area of job creation. This is handled by the IDA. The IDA evolve their own policy and decide on the strategy to be adopted over a particular year. The elected representative, namely the Minister, has very little say any more in the whole area of job creation and its planning. This has become more and more a function of the IDA.

This is a matter this Parliament must face. How far can this Parliament shed responsibility from the elected representatives and hand over these decisions to boards which may be quite efficient and which may be doing the job very well? This results in this House having very little to say in the matter of policy on job creation. When one criticises obvious errors in the strategy of such bodies one is breaking one of the cherished traditions of the House by being personal about people who cannot answer for themselves. We do not wish to go back over the recent referendum. The people have spoken and we abide by their decision.

Mr. Carter: Information on Frank Carter  Zoom on Frank Carter  It will take the Deputy a long time to crawl out from under the avalanche.

Dr. O'Donovan: Information on John O'Donovan  Zoom on John O'Donovan  Certain people should keep their mouths shut on political occasions.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  Some people cannot.

[1965]Dr. O'Donovan: Information on John O'Donovan  Zoom on John O'Donovan  Certain people are supposed to keep their mouths shut.

Mr. M. O'Leary: Information on Michael O'Leary  Zoom on Michael O'Leary  Only yesterday the Confederation of Irish Industry, by no means a body that could be considered by any stretch of the imagination to be against industrial expansion, criticised the IDA referendum inspiration on the number of jobs to be provided over the next five years. Deputy Carter may imagine that there are fellow travellers and subversives in control of the Confederation of Irish Industry. I do not know. I wish him well in the years ahead on the forecast on the number of jobs so providentially made by the IDA a few days before the actual date of the referendum. They may be right about that forecast but, so far, no evidence has been adduced to suggest that they may be right.

A far larger question than the actual intervention by the IDA in a political contest, in the circumstances of that particular contest, is where are we going in this democracy if the non-elected chieftains and barons of State boards may, in fact, in an arena of public policy, intervene and say: “This is right; it has nothing to do with politics; it appears to be the correct sensible statement”, when, in fact, that statement has a bearing on the political fortunes of the debate going on at the time? This may be a bigger issue even than was the issue before us in the referendum.

It is not good for our democracy to see non-elected people making value statements, political statements, which can in fact be interpreted as support for either Opposition or Government in what is, after all, a political contest. If forecasts about jobs are to be made they should be made at the appropriate time and not at a time when they become a political football in a particular contest. I regret that that statement was made and that the good record of the IDA was brought low and used in this shameful fashion by the unsubstantiated forecasts being made.

As far as one can see from the IDA plan and the plan adopted by the Government, there appears to be a [1966] total retreat from the Buchanan Report. One wonders why it was necessary to commission the Buchanan Report in the first place because we are now back to the old fashioned days when we thought that industries could be set up all around the country and that whatever local political sensitivities were aroused we could suggest that an industry would be set up. It seems that the whole plan now unveiled in place of the Buchanan plan is very much influenced by political considerations. I would not advise the electorate to put very great faith in the number of jobs being planned in so many parts of the country.

There is in this plan something for everyone. Everyone can feel a bit pleased. Fianna Fáil councillors and local authority representatives can feel there is something in it for them. The very essence of a job plan is that there cannot be something in it for everyone. The uncomfortable part of the Buchanan Report was that we had to select areas of growth. The latest IDA development is that there is no need for selection at all. The whole country is our oyster. There is no need for selection, no need for uncomfortable decisions, no need for one area to feel that it is to become a deserted village. Looking through the report I become suspicious of the grounds for thinking that there is any extra industrial employment to be gained from this new IDA report. Admittedly we must wait for the non-political days of June for the follow-up, the back-up, the proof, of this IDA plan over the next five years.

Mr. T.J. Fitzpatrick: Information on Tom J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Tom J. Fitzpatrick  (Dublin Central): Does the Deputy agree that some parts of the country should be neglected?

Dr. O'Donovan: Information on John O'Donovan  Zoom on John O'Donovan  That is a political one.

Mr. M. O'Leary: Information on Michael O'Leary  Zoom on Michael O'Leary  The Deputy puts his auspicious foot in the pond because he has an unerring instinct for the politics of the situation. In planning employment around the country some areas will have to be left out of course. That is, as I say, part of the problem of having a plan.

Mr. T.J. Fitzpatrick: Information on Tom J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Tom J. Fitzpatrick  (Dublin Central): Broadly based.

[1967]Mr. M. O'Leary: Information on Michael O'Leary  Zoom on Michael O'Leary  Broadly based is the kind of idea we have been going on since 1922; we will have industry everywhere, and the result is that we have it nowhere.

Mr. Carter: Information on Frank Carter  Zoom on Frank Carter  That is not the way the Europeans interpret the position. In fact, they say that our incentives towards industry are the best in Europe.

Mr. M. O'Leary: Information on Michael O'Leary  Zoom on Michael O'Leary  So they say, but there are problems such as transport costs.

Mr. Carter: Information on Frank Carter  Zoom on Frank Carter  That is out. That is only a robin's egg.

Mr. M. O'Leary: Information on Michael O'Leary  Zoom on Michael O'Leary  I know that the Holy Ghost may help in transporting products in Deputy Carter's constituency, but in other constituencies transport needs diesel, trucks and oil, and these things cost money. There are also road surfacing and other matters. The Europeans do not ignore the question of transport costs; nor can we.

Mr. Carter: Information on Frank Carter  Zoom on Frank Carter  They are so insignificant that they did not even deal with them at any length.

Mr. M. O'Leary: Information on Michael O'Leary  Zoom on Michael O'Leary  Who did not?

Mr. Carter: Information on Frank Carter  Zoom on Frank Carter  The Europeans.

Mr. M. O'Leary: Information on Michael O'Leary  Zoom on Michael O'Leary  Transport costs?

Mr. Carter: Information on Frank Carter  Zoom on Frank Carter  Yes.

Mr. M. O'Leary: Information on Michael O'Leary  Zoom on Michael O'Leary  The Deputy is fresh from the hustings where he has been talking about the virtues of joining Europe and he knows that there are large population centres all over that Continent in the main countries. His own area would seem a desert in comparison with certain of the less populated regions in Sicily. So the Deputy will realise that he lives in a unique constituency and this country is also in a unique position vis-à-vis the European mainland.

The problem is that if we are to have a strategy on employment some areas must be left out. This is an uncomfortable choice for politicians to make. If we are to maximise the advantages we may possess in certain areas other areas will be deprived. I [1968] concede that for any Government these are uncomfortable decisions to have to take but with a plan on employment obviously certain areas have to be left out. This was always the risk in accepting the Buchanan proposals in their entirety. His proposals would involve any Government in certain uncomfortable decisions. It is obvious that this Government have now retreated from the whole idea of a plan on employment.

Mr. Carter: Information on Frank Carter  Zoom on Frank Carter  We never said we accepted it in toto.

Mr. M. O'Leary: Information on Michael O'Leary  Zoom on Michael O'Leary  They have gone way back beyond the first, second and third economic programmes.

Mr. Carter: Information on Frank Carter  Zoom on Frank Carter  We were entitled to do it.

Mr. M. O'Leary: Information on Michael O'Leary  Zoom on Michael O'Leary  Of course they are entitled to make mistakes. We thought it was not a sound plan. Certainly, it would not have been sound down the boreens of the Deputy's constituency. The question is whether, in the light of improving our employment prospects, it was advisable to drop the Buchanan plan. This will be decided in the years ahead as we see what will come out of the hotch-potch suggestion that is now to be put in place of the Buchanan proposals. Only yesterday no less a body than the Confederation of Irish Industry expressed their dissatisfaction with the IDA's proposals so far. They considered them to be unsubstantiated and unsatisfactory. They suggested that this signals the end of all the thinking that went into the Buchanan proposals and the question was raised as to why Buchanan was necessary in the first place. There is a typical civil service answer to that to the effect that, he having outlined the situation, we could see better what were the pitfalls and, therefore, avoid them. That is a kind of omnibus answer that we may have on all occasions.

It is a pity that the Minister could not delay coming to the House to seek this extra £100 million for the IDA until such time as we had the sequel to the IDA's statement regarding the [1969] creation of 50,000 new jobs. In this way the Minister would have been, according to the Dáil, performing a more important function than he is now. Surely the Minister could have waited until June before seeking this money by which time the IDA would have announced in part the background material that gave rise to their prophecy of these new jobs. It seems to me that we shall have very little opportunity of discussing here that later material. We are being asked to vote this money on the pretext that the IDA have exceeded their target. This is not treating this Parliament fairly. It is not giving us all the relevant facts. It seems to suggest that the IDA are suffering probably from too much praise or, at least, too little criticism in the House.

I am disappointed that the full-time director of the IDA could not be present here for this debate since the Minister is seeking this extra £100 million on his behalf. In answer to the criticism made of the prediction of the chief officer of the IDA, the chairman of the IDA said some few days afterwards that he claimed on behalf of the IDA the right to speak out on social and economic matters. I would like the Minister to clear up this matter. What are the limits of the public brief of the IDA when talking of the economy of this State? According to the chairman, they may speak on social and economic matters. For a non-elected body these are large areas of comment to claim. They may be of the opinion that they have great expertise and I do not doubt that they have. They have been doing a good job in the past but, in common with any other State body, the IDA are not answerable to the public. They know they will never have to answer to the people in any fundamental examination of their record. It is a serious matter when non-elected people claim the right to speak on social and economic matters. Obviously the IDA work in a sensitive area where there may be a clashing of policies. They may tell us they are not in the business of politics but yet their comments can be construed as lending support to one political side of an argument. Therefore, we must look once more at the authority [1970] of the IDA. A group that are involved in the sensitive matter of job creation should concentrate solely on job creation and they should know where jobs will be created before they predict their creation. Let us not have predictions in the middle of political contests but let us hear from the IDA in about five years from now about the 50,000 jobs they are promising to create during that period but seven days before polling was not the time to make this prophecy.

These warnings of mine may be regarded as being exaggerated but I have read what has been said by the chairman of the IDA who claims a great area of commentary which he regards as proper to the IDA. I have no particular quarrel to pick personally with anybody in that authority but I would say to them that their job does not permit them, if they observe the democratic state in which they operate, to take from the functions of this Parliament—this Parliament that set them up and to which they are answerable. If they have jobs to create nobody here will stop them from doing so. Neither will anyone here deprive them of any necessary moneys for this purpose but let them remember that they are not employed to indulge in political contests. However wise they may consider themselves to be, and however well founded may be their predictions, indulging in political contests is not their function. This party will continue to oppose any semi-State body which seeks to take over functions which belong properly to this Parliament.

During an election contest the Minister is entitled to say that he may create 50,000 jobs during the following six months. Such an utterance would not do any particular harm to anybody but there are people in this country who believe that if a representative of a semi-State body makes the same prediction, there is a difference qualitatively. That is a serious matter for our democracy and I ask the Minister to discuss it with members of the IDA whose chairman claimed the right to speak on their behalf. I deny him the right to make these predictions of new jobs but if [1971] he wants to have that right he will have an opportunity during the next year of going before the electorate and should he be elected to this House he could then make such predictions but he cannot wear two hats, that of the politician and that of the civil servant nor can he confuse the functions of the IDA with debate in this House on the way job opportunities should go during the next few years.

Presumably the Minister will get this £100 million from the House but I would ask him to give the House an opportunity as soon as possible of discussing the material which led the IDA to predict the creation of these new jobs. I would hope that, when that material is available, the Minister will give us the opportunity of debating whether it is legitimate to assume that these jobs can be created during the next five years. I would prefer to be talking in a debate of that kind rather than in the one we are having now. It is a pity that the request for this money could not be coupled with the debate which we should have later. It may be that we shall not have an opportunity of discussing the predictions of the IDA for a long time, perhaps until the introduction of the next Estimate of the Department. It appears that we have departed from the whole concept of planning. Not a parish in the country will be deprived of the largesse predicted by this Government body over the next five years.

Mr. T.J. Fitzpatrick: Information on Tom J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Tom J. Fitzpatrick  (Dublin Central): If the Deputy looks at page 16 of the report he will find that 50 per cent of the jobs are located——

Mr. M. O'Leary: Information on Michael O'Leary  Zoom on Michael O'Leary  Buchanan for the most part based his plan on areas that had a potential for growth. The 50 per cent which the Deputy mentions means 50 per cent less to these potential areas of growth. Basing it on the areas of growth which Buchanan had suggested meant that in the long run more jobs would have been created. The disaster of the political statement of the IDA is that, in the aggregate, [1972] fewer jobs will be created. It is more politically opportune, more comfortable to live with as a document but whether in the long run the economy will suffer by this retreat, as I think it will suffer, is a matter for concern. The Buchanan report had hard things to say, but I believe that a departure from the whole idea of basing our industrial progress on growth centres which could be expanded in the future is a mistake. It seems to suggest that we go back to the old Sinn Féin economic concept that practically every parish could have its factory, and pleasant and idyllic as this idea might appear, it is not realistic. It ignores such problems as a skilled labour force, from which many parts of the country suffer. It is not just the problem of having an unemployment pool in a district. There is also the question of a shortage of skilled personnel in that district.

Lurking in this report is a retreat from the whole concept of planning. That is why I regret it and that is why I presume the Confederation of Irish Industry regret it and why this House should have an early opportunity of discussing the IDA proposals, backed up with their reasons for the predictions they made over a week ago. It would be an insult to the intelligence of the people in the IDA to suggest that it was not clear to them that there was a political connotation attached to their predictions. Anyway I hope this is an isolated instance of intervention in the political arena by that semi-State body. As I say, the later statement of the chairman seemed to mark no repentance or regret for their predictions.

This House in its wisdom set up the IDA, gave them the responsibility of attracting new industry, of building up a reservoir of people in the public service who would have the experience and the expertise to attract new industry, who would know what our potential was in this area. I applaud the decision to give them this task but they were not given the gift of prophecy. I hope the Minister will find time when replying to tell us whether we can get this debate on the whole background of the IDA predictions in the next few weeks.

[1973]Mr. Carter: Information on Frank Carter  Zoom on Frank Carter  It seems to me that both of the Deputies who spoke on this subject are vexed. I do not know why they are vexed unless it be that the publication from the IDA was issued during the course of the latter part of the referendum campaign, and, let me say, not in time to influence in any way the referendum. Why should it? It was on a completely different subject and had no relation whatever to the aim of the referendum. Therefore, there is no point, in this debate or in any other debate in this House, in confusing the aim of supporting industries here with the referendum.

Dr. O'Donovan: Information on John O'Donovan  Zoom on John O'Donovan  There were many statements made by the IDA during the course of the referendum.

Mr. Carter: Information on Frank Carter  Zoom on Frank Carter  No matter how vexed the Deputy may be, and the Deputy is vexed——

(Interruptions.)

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Denis Francis Jones  Zoom on Denis Francis Jones  Deputy Carter.

Mr. Carter: Information on Frank Carter  Zoom on Frank Carter  As one of the leaders of the Labour Party, the Deputy will literally have to be dug out from under an avalanche of paper.

Dr. O'Donovan: Information on John O'Donovan  Zoom on John O'Donovan  Very light paper.

Mr. Carter: Information on Frank Carter  Zoom on Frank Carter  And do not expect Deputies from this side of the House to come to the rescue.

Dr. O'Donovan: Information on John O'Donovan  Zoom on John O'Donovan  Wait until the winds begin to blow.

Mr. Carter: Information on Frank Carter  Zoom on Frank Carter  The point I am trying to make is that this report came out too late and was not at all inspired to direct or deflect the aim of the people away from the referendum. It is merely traffic in the lowest form of politics to make this suggestion. Do not tell me that because the report was published last week, in the closing stages of the campaign, that the people had even time to digest——

Dr. O'Donovan: Information on John O'Donovan  Zoom on John O'Donovan  Was that the only statement that was made by the IDA during the campaign?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Denis Francis Jones  Zoom on Denis Francis Jones  Deputy [1974] O'Donovan will have an opportunity of speaking.

Dr. O'Donovan: Information on John O'Donovan  Zoom on John O'Donovan  I will. I am only talking about the report.

Mr. Carter: Information on Frank Carter  Zoom on Frank Carter  I deplore the foul attempt which is being made to confuse this IDA report with other matters totally unrelated. However, getting back to the Bill, I think the aim of the Bill is a good one. Those of us who have lived with industry know that any Minister trying to help industry was literally hogtied by the cribbed, cabined and confined principle of the congested districts and, now that industry is expanding, it is quite understandable that the IDA should be seeking more capital to promote such expansion. The first aim of this Bill is to provide the necessary help for industry. The second aim is to give further reliefs. In the past these reliefs appertained to a certain range of industries located in certain districts and they could not be applied in other areas in which aid was required. The provisions in this Bill will go a long way towards smoothing the path of industrial progress.

Reference was made to the Buchanan report. We never subscribed to the view that the Buchanan report had to be accepted in toto.

Dr. O'Donovan: Information on John O'Donovan  Zoom on John O'Donovan  The Deputy is quite correct. The Government pigeon-holed the report.

Mr. Carter: Information on Frank Carter  Zoom on Frank Carter  I am grateful to the Deputy for confirming the fact that I am correct as to one part of my argument.

Dr. O'Donovan: Information on John O'Donovan  Zoom on John O'Donovan  The Deputy is correct. To the best of my knowledge, he never said he accepted it.

Mr. Carter: Information on Frank Carter  Zoom on Frank Carter  We are not trying to throw cold water on the Buchanan report.

Dr. O'Donovan: Information on John O'Donovan  Zoom on John O'Donovan  It would be a pity if you did. It cost a great deal of money.

Mr. Carter: Information on Frank Carter  Zoom on Frank Carter  It was commissioned to find out certain things about industry.

[1975]Dr. O'Donovan: Information on John O'Donovan  Zoom on John O'Donovan  Does the Deputy know what the cost of it was?

Mr. Carter: Information on Frank Carter  Zoom on Frank Carter  We will come back to that aspect later. Having studied the report, we were satisfied that growth centres would not suffice in our circumstances. We are prepared to argue this at any level, across the floor of this House, around the boardroom table and from any platform. The facts of our situation bear out our point of view. We are relatively young in industry. Our aim is to promote not merely industry but also the quality of life. This has always been adverted to by sociologists, industrialists and professional men of every kind. The first aim is to promote more growth and the second is to ensure that the quality of life will remain reasonably kind. This latter is sufficient to satisfy the stand we are taking with regard to the spread of industrial development.

Deputy O'Donovan is a professional political economist and he knows that today one has to bring the job to the man rather than the man to the job. Hence regional development and the spread of industry to county and secondary towns. It may be said that we are doing this from a political motive, but one can always impute motives, irrespective of how high or how low the aim may be. We are aiming reasonably high in accepting this IDA report as a reasonable plan to enable us to come to grips with our particular circumstances.

Dr. O'Donovan: Information on John O'Donovan  Zoom on John O'Donovan  Is the Deputy now speaking for the Government?

Mr. Carter: Information on Frank Carter  Zoom on Frank Carter  I am not.

Dr. O'Donovan: Information on John O'Donovan  Zoom on John O'Donovan  I was just wondering: he said “we” accept the report.

Mr. Carter: Information on Frank Carter  Zoom on Frank Carter  Any Deputy is welcome to contradict what I am saying. I am speaking from my own point of view as a member of my party.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  Is the Deputy speaking for the Labour Party?

Dr. O'Donovan: Information on John O'Donovan  Zoom on John O'Donovan  Like the Minister's colleague, I am speaking for myself.

Mr. Carter: Information on Frank Carter  Zoom on Frank Carter  Deputy M. O'Leary implied [1976] that we are doing this from a low political motive.

Dr. O'Donovan: Information on John O'Donovan  Zoom on John O'Donovan  I do not think he implied anything of the kind.

Mr. Carter: Information on Frank Carter  Zoom on Frank Carter  He said we wanted industries in every boreen. That is not so. We accept the report because we believe it is the best plan to enable us to strike a fair balance in our circumstances.

Dr. O'Donovan: Information on John O'Donovan  Zoom on John O'Donovan  Would the Deputy agree the midlands are now a depressed area?

Mr. Carter: Information on Frank Carter  Zoom on Frank Carter  They are not.

Dr. O'Donovan: Information on John O'Donovan  Zoom on John O'Donovan  Not half!

Mr. Carter: Information on Frank Carter  Zoom on Frank Carter  Far from it.

Dr. O'Donovan: Information on John O'Donovan  Zoom on John O'Donovan  What about the town of Athlone?

Mr. Carter: Information on Frank Carter  Zoom on Frank Carter  I invite the Deputy to take a drive with me down to the midlands tomorrow night.

Dr. O'Donovan: Information on John O'Donovan  Zoom on John O'Donovan  What about the Minister's town of Clara?

Mr. Carter: Information on Frank Carter  Zoom on Frank Carter  The towns of Clara and Athlone will be all right.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Denis Francis Jones  Zoom on Denis Francis Jones  I am sure Deputy O'Donovan will make his own speech in due course.

Mr. Carter: Information on Frank Carter  Zoom on Frank Carter  We are not obliged to accept the advice of the Confederation of Irish Industry, of industrial correspondents or industrial consultants. Our task is to take the best part of advice tendered and apply that as equitably as we can all over.

Dr. O'Donovan: Information on John O'Donovan  Zoom on John O'Donovan  The Government paid a great deal of money to industrial consultants. I will say that. There is that difference.

Mr. Carter: Information on Frank Carter  Zoom on Frank Carter  I am not decrying the importance of industrial consultants.

Dr. O'Donovan: Information on John O'Donovan  Zoom on John O'Donovan  It would be a pity if the Deputy did.

Mr. Carter: Information on Frank Carter  Zoom on Frank Carter  We are in an age of specialisation and governments and others have to have the advice of consultants.

Dr. O'Donovan: Information on John O'Donovan  Zoom on John O'Donovan  I will have a few words to say about that.

[1977]Mr. Carter: Information on Frank Carter  Zoom on Frank Carter  Because we take what we think are the best proposals made and try to apply them is no reason for assuming that we are ditching all the advice given. We are not. Far from it. We have, and I hope shall always have, a second aim. The secondary aim should always be in accordance with the primary aim, which is the proposed growth and it is to provide that the quality of life here will not deteriorate. Those are laudable aims and that is why the Minister is right in introducing this Bill to provide further money for the IDA, to increase to £200 million the capital which may be used for industrial promotion and, secondly, to even out procedures whereby grants and aids in general may be applied to the setting-up of industries. We who have lived with the spectre of the congested districts legislation know a little about this matter and we think this legislation will smooth out the rough spots and that it will be easier for a Minister to interpret the principles which would help in the setting-up of industries in certain areas which he may consider eligible for relief either in the matter of rates or otherwise.

Similarly, we think the report published last week by the IDA is an excellent one. Unfortunately, because of the activities of the past fortnight some of us have not had time fully to study and assimilate this report. If we had, we could deal at length with it but we hope to be able to do so in the near future and when discussion arises again on this subject we hope to go into our industrial aims on a broader basis and perhaps have a longer discussion.

Mr. T.J. Fitzpatrick: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  (Cavan): Deputy Carter is surprised and somewhat indignant that anybody should doubt the veracity of a Government or semi-State publication produced with the blessing of a Government on the eve of a national electoral contest. Like many of his colleagues in Fianna Fáil the Deputy is blessed with a short memory. I suppose it makes life more bearable for them if they are able to forget the past. Those who have been in public life for some time cannot forget that on previous occasions announcements were made [1978] on the eve of by-elections and general elections to meet the situation. I first entered politics in a by-election in North Mayo in 1954. A biscuit factory was announced——

Mr. Carter: Information on Frank Carter  Zoom on Frank Carter  It was a bit earlier, I think.

Mr. T.J. Fitzpatrick: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  (Cavan): It was in the early fifties. Do not call me a liar for a couple of years so far back. I remember a biscuit factory being announced and the impression was given that it would be built before the count. This served its purpose because I think Fianna Fáil won the by-election.

Dr. O'Donovan: Information on John O'Donovan  Zoom on John O'Donovan  It was counted before it was built, in any case.

Mr. T.J. Fitzpatrick: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  (Cavan): The factory never materialised. Later still, in 1964, the Government were involved in a rather important by-election in Roscommon-South Leitrim and some of the papers carried an announcement that the Shannon would be drained at a cost of £20 million. People were almost contemplating selling their wellingtons in the hope that the drainage would take place soon. We have never even seen a plan for the drainage of the Shannon since. Then we had the 100,000 new jobs announced in Clery's ballroom.

I do not say this is a dishonest publication but it is unfortunate that it was released under the benediction of the Fianna Fáil Government on the eve of a national electoral count. If Deputy Carter throws his mind back to some of the matters I have mentioned he will not be so surprised or annoyed about the type of speech made by Deputy O'Leary.

Having said that, I am all in favour of expansion of the industrial drive particularly as I come from one of the counties mentioned as having shown a fall in population in the 1971 census. Leitrim, Mayo, Roscommon, Longford, Cavan and Sligo have shown a fall of 2 per cent or more against the national trend. I regard that as unsatisfactory from the point of view of my constituency. On another page in this report I see that Cavan and Monaghan [1979] towns are scheduled for advance factories and it is to that aspect of the matter I should like to devote some attention.

When another Bill was being introduced here some time ago by the Minister's predecessor, Deputy Colley, to take power to acquire compulsorily sites for advance factories, I approved of it and I suggested that the Minister should take power to acquire, on payment of suitable compensation, factories which had been built with the aid of State money and which had not lived up to expectations. Deputy Colley on that occasion told me that he had considered this and did not think it would be wise because we might frighten off those who intended to build factories with State aid.

I do not believe we would frighten off any worthwhile, genuine developer who intended to start an industry here. There are instances throughout the country of factories which have been built with vast sums of State money and have never got off the ground. There is such a factory in Cavan town provided with the assistance of nearly £200,000 of State money. It never employed more than 30 people—that may be a slight exaggeration: at some time it may have gone up to 50 but when I put down a question about it at one time the employment was 11. It may be more now. The fact is that it never employed a fraction of the people it was set up to employ.

It is now in the private ownership of a dog-in-the-manger firm who will neither make it work nor give it to anybody else who would make it work. I have reason to believe that is not the fault of the IDA who have tried to acquire it but are not succeeding with the people who built it with, I should say, very little capital of their own. After a five year period they acquired it and when they sold all the rest of their property in and around Cavan town they retained this particular white elephant with some long-term purpose in view.

I do not believe this building should be confiscated. The Minister for Industry and Commerce should have authority to acquire it on the payment [1980] of suitable compensation. In arriving at suitable compensation it would not be unreasonable to take into account the amount of State money which went into the building of it, and hand it over as an advance factory. The 25 people who had employment in it could find employment with someone who would take it over. Two hundred people could be employed in this undertaking in Cavan town if the dog would get out of the manger and let somebody else get on with the work. That would go a long way towards arresting the decline in population. I am not saying that the person involved in this is using political influence to keep on this undertaking, but he certainly has become a national, political personage closely associated with the present establishment.

Cavan town is listed for an advance factory. I wish to express my appreciation to the Minister and to the IDA for so designating it. I wish to blame the people who were charged with the obligation of getting a site for an advance factory. They have fallen down on the job in the past. I would like the Minister for Industry and Commerce to use his influence with the Minister for Local Government in order to get a decision in an application to acquire a site for an advance factory in the town of Cavan. I do not want to have any kick-back at me. In my professional capacity I was retained to object to a proposal to compulsorily acquire a factory in Cavan. I am speaking now in my political capacity, and not in my professional capacity.

I want the Minister for Local Government to give a decision on an inquiry that was held in Cavan town in September or October last about a proposal to acquire some land for a factory. I am not saying what way that decision should be given. I want to make that point clear. A decision should be given so that the people of Cavan would know whether they were getting this site or were not. I emphasize that I am not saying what decision should be given. I was involved in this matter professionally for a client of very long standing, but in fairness to that client and in fairness to the interests [1981] of the town and of the community, a decision on this matter should not be held up any longer. In so far as advance factories are concerned there are two points I want to make.

It is not right that a building should be erected at very considerable State expense on representations made to the IDA and the Minister for Industry and Commerce that it is going to employ 200 people, say, and then it turns out that it only employs one-tenth of that number and still remains in private ownership to the detriment of the area concerned. That cannot be justified on any honest reason. I want also to repeat that I am not saying that it should be taken without compensation. It should be compulsorily acquired in the same way as land can be compulsorily acquired for housing, road-making or a variety of other purposes, on payment of suitable compensation, taking into account the amount of State investment in it.

This Bill deals with rates remission. As spokesman on Local Government for this party, I wish to speak about that. I do not understand the Minister's brief on this subject. The Minister says:

(a) the congested areas as defined in section 3 of the Undeveloped Areas Act, 1952;

(b) an area which before the commencement of this section was declared by an order under section 3 of the Undeveloped Areas Act, 1952, to be an area to which that Act applied;

(c) any area which the Minister from time to time, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, declares by order to be a designated area.

The Minister goes on to say that the first two categories are eligible for relief from two-thirds of the rates applicable for a period not exceeding ten years, and the third is not. The Minister does not explain how the third category is in a different position, or what relief is granted to the third category. It is a pity that Deputy Carter has left the House. I could have told him from memory how the second category came about. It came about when the Government lost a seat in Longford in [1982] 1957, and in Monaghan in 1957, and almost lost a seat in Cavan in 1957, which they did, in fact, lose in 1961. An amendment was brought in to have Cavan, Longford and Monaghan added to the list of underdeveloped areas for the purpose of grants, et cetera. The proposal of the Minister is to grant further remission of rates—with which I agree, and about which I do not wish to be misunderstood because I believe in giving assistance to industry in its early years to encourage it. This mickey-mousing with the rates problem highlights before the House and the country the injustice of the rating system, the inequity of it and the hardship it inflicts.

We have here a proposal to relieve industry from rates. In the budget, or earlier on, we had a proposal to take some percentage of the health charges from the rates. We know that the agricultural community have been relieved of rates to a very considerable extent. I agree with this. I want to ask the Parliamentary Secretary, and through him the Government, when are we going to have a proposal in this House to relieve the unfortunate householders on small incomes up and down Ireland from the crippling injustice of the present rating system. When is it going to be brought to an end? The Government know how bad the position is. They introduced the system of reliefs. They also know about the small farmers being crippled. They have dealt with that. The Government know that if the entire health charges were to pass on to the ratepayers the position would become unbearable.

I wish to speak on behalf of people on small incomes. I have spoken in the House on this subject before. I produced a leaflet from across the water about a fair system of relieving lower incomes from rates. It would not be fair or proper to let an opportunity like this pass without highlighting the position of two people living in County Cavan with valuations of £20 on two houses side by side. One of those people is living on an income of from £1,500 to £2,000 a year and the other is a widow or an elderly couple living on £10 a week. The rates are about £6 in the £ and each person is paying £120 [1983] a year in rates despite the fact that one can hardly make ends meet and the other is considerably well off. I want to avail of this and every other opportunity I can to hammer at the Government and the Minister for Local Government until they do something about the rating system and the injustices of the present operation.

I specifically wanted to refer to the advance factory position in Cavan town. If I can persuade the Minister to take compulsory powers, on payment of compensation, to acquire white elephants, harness them and make them work I will have done a good day's work. I hope a decision will be given on the other inquiry which was held in Cavan. I hope the fact that the Government have had before them this Bill to relieve industry from rates, will mean that they will do something about the appalling injustice of the rating situation.

Dr. O'Donovan: Information on John O'Donovan  Zoom on John O'Donovan  The debate on this Bill has generated rather more heat that I thought it would. I do not think any politician is responsible for that as I think it came from elsewhere. I do not intend to refer to the provisional plan for jobs which was issued by the IDA. This was, perhaps, produced a week or a fortnight before it should have been. That is not what interests me about the recent political activities of the IDA.

Last October or November the manager of the IDA went on the Telefís Éireann News programme and spoke about the number of jobs in hands and what the total redundancies were. I did not object to him appearing on the News but I objected to him saying that the number of redundancies in industry last year would be 4,500. He must have known as well as I did that this was a grossly inaccurate figure. There were 3,500 redundancies in the first six months of last year but this man had the impertinence to come on the News, as manager of the IDA, and say there would be a total of 4,500 redundancies for the whole year. I do not need to tell anybody what the total number of redundancies for last year was but certainly when this figure was quoted by this man it was obvious that [1984] it was grossly inaccurate. After the News that night I was so annoyed that I rang up Telefís Éireann and got on to a man who told me he was not too far up the line there. He admitted he heard the News and that he knew enough about the subject to be astounded at this statement.

The manager of the IDA never ceased to butt in on the political matter which went on in this county for the past six months. There were two men involved in this. At the end of the referendum campaign the chairman of the board of the IDA, Mr. John O'Donovan, came on the News and said that not alone had the IDA never got interested in this matter but if they were instructed by the Government they could tell the Government they could take a jump in the Liffey. He then said that we should go into the EEC. Deputy M. O'Leary was quite right. If this House had any respect for itself it would not tolerate this kind of thing for one moment.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Denis Francis Jones  Zoom on Denis Francis Jones  I am sure the Deputy will appreciate that he is refering to somebody outside this House who cannot reply to his criticism.

Dr. O'Donovan: Information on John O'Donovan  Zoom on John O'Donovan  Either of those people can reply to what I have said. If the newspapers report what I am saying they can reply to this in tomorrow's papers. If they are entitled to go on Telefís Éireann and make statements like this, surely I am entitled to refer to them, particularly when one of them spoke several times on the Government broadcasting service. Surely I am entitled in this House to reply to what this man said.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Denis Francis Jones  Zoom on Denis Francis Jones  Of course, the cardinal principle has always been that within the House we refrain from criticising people who are not in a position within the House to defend themselves.

Dr. O'Donovan: Information on John O'Donovan  Zoom on John O'Donovan  There was a certain understanding about these matters. Civil servants and the directors of semi-State bodies behaved in a certain way. Am I to be prevented from talking about them if they behave in a different way? I certainly am not. [1985] I do not care what the convention has been. Once they change the rules and behave contrary to the rules and understanding which the manager in particular knew well as he was for many years a civil servant. I am entitled to criticise them. Once the rules are broken by one side, they can be broken by the other side. I do not intend to pursue the matter further. I said what I wanted to say. I am grateful to you, since you appear to think it is not proper that these men should be referred to, for allowing me to comment that much. I will say no more about the subject.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Denis Francis Jones  Zoom on Denis Francis Jones  All the Chair will say is that the Deputy has long experience of the matter that Ministers are accountable to the House and that they should be criticised in the House.

Dr. O'Donovan: Information on John O'Donovan  Zoom on John O'Donovan  I will come right away to the Minister. The Industrial Development Authority was established by the first inter-Party Government. The late Seán Lemass said at that time: “When I come back as Minister one of my first acts will be to axe this body and kill it.”

Mr. Donegan: Information on Patrick S. Donegan  Zoom on Patrick S. Donegan  That is right.

Dr. O'Donovan: Information on John O'Donovan  Zoom on John O'Donovan  It is 20 years since he said that but this body was never killed. He did not axe it because he thought it proper that the Department of Industry and Commerce should be the people to advice the Minister about industrial development, as was always the way up to then. I do not mind explaining why the IDA came into existence because I think it is relevant to the Bill.

They came into existence because some other officials and myself—I think I played no mean part in the matter—started to criticise the manner in which tariffs were being reimposed for the protection of industry. I take pride in the campaign we fought to keep the tariffs at a reasonable level. It created so much havoc in the discussions of the inter-Party Government that, I think, Mr. Seán MacBride, who was then Minister for External Affairs, said: “Let us take this out of politics. Let us take this [1986] out of discussions around the Government table. We are wasting too much time on it. Let us give it over to this body.” That was done. The IDA were set up. The next thing was that we had a telephone message, not from our own Minister but from another Minister, to say that we were to continue the campaign about the tariffs even though the IDA were in existence. There was a protest from the Minister for Industry and Commerce to myself about it because he could not get anybody further up the line. He said: “I thought this matter was to be stopped.” I replied: “So did we, Minister.” There was a long pause while the Minister for Industry and Commerce tried to think up a suitable reply to that. I do not think there was any worthwhile reply. The fact that it was saving the ordinary purchaser of the commodities on which the tariffs were being reimposed a great deal of money apparently had the support of a large section of the Government.

The present Minister came in looking for £100 million extra for the IDA with one of the flimsiest briefs I have ever seen. It is a purely technical brief. There is not a syllable here about the expenditure of the £100 million. There is more genuine matter about a side issue, namely this anomaly about rates, to which I have no objection, than there is about the expenditure of the £100 million. There is not one word about how it is to be spent. Do the Government know where they are going in this matter? I do not believe they do and I do not believe the IDA do either. There was a large increase in industrial employment in 1968. At that time the vote for the IDA was £8 million. I think there was an increase of 9,000 in the number of people employed in industry. The Government said: “Eureka. Here we have it. All we have to do is spend plenty of money on the IDA and we will create tens of thousands of jobs.” Last year £23 million was voted for the IDA. How many jobs were created? When one allows for redundancies, I think there was a negative number created last year. I shall not be precise about whether there was a plus or minus [1987] 1,000 or 2,000 but when you compare £8 million with the £23 million that was voted last year, last year's result was deplorable. Yet the people who are running this show are the people who stick their noses into politics and want to advise the people on a political matter.

This preliminary report is at least honest about one thing. We were told recently about the 55,000 jobs that were to be created in the next five years in the EEC. This report is honest to the extent of saying that there will be 17,000 redundancies, so the net increase in employment will be 38,000 jobs. In all the verbiage that was produced at the expense of the taxpayer during the referendum campaign not a single word was said about where those 38,000 jobs would be created. I did see one suggestion that there would be 10,000 additional jobs in the food processing industry. I will buy that one, although the food processing industry could mean anything, but there was no evidence produced about the new jobs we were told about during the campaign.

Mr. Connolly: Information on Gerard C. Connolly  Zoom on Gerard C. Connolly  There was evidence.

Dr. O'Donovan: Information on John O'Donovan  Zoom on John O'Donovan  What evidence?

Mr. Connolly: Information on Gerard C. Connolly  Zoom on Gerard C. Connolly  What argument did you put up against our entry? No argument.

Dr. O'Donovan: Information on John O'Donovan  Zoom on John O'Donovan  I do not think that has much to do with what I have been saying.

Mr. Connolly: Information on Gerard C. Connolly  Zoom on Gerard C. Connolly  Oh, yes, if you want to keep out the factories. Is that not what the Labour Party wanted?

Dr. O'Donovan: Information on John O'Donovan  Zoom on John O'Donovan  If the Deputy wants to draw a smelly red herring across the discussion he can go somewhere else and do it.

Mr. Connolly: Information on Gerard C. Connolly  Zoom on Gerard C. Connolly  It was done on you down in Tullamore. There is no need for me to do it.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Cormac Breslin  Zoom on Cormac Breslin  Order. Deputy O'Donovan.

Dr. O'Donovan: Information on John O'Donovan  Zoom on John O'Donovan  There was no evidence about these 50,000 jobs but it [1988] bore a considerable resemblance to the famous 100,000 new jobs. I am sure the Deputy can cast his mind back to the 100,000 new jobs.

Mr. Connolly: Information on Gerard C. Connolly  Zoom on Gerard C. Connolly  Are we not all doing well?

Dr. O'Donovan: Information on John O'Donovan  Zoom on John O'Donovan  Are the 80,000 unemployed doing well?

Mr. Connolly: Information on Gerard C. Connolly  Zoom on Gerard C. Connolly  We will always have a little of that.

Dr. O'Donovan: Information on John O'Donovan  Zoom on John O'Donovan  It is at a record level.

Mr. Connolly: Information on Gerard C. Connolly  Zoom on Gerard C. Connolly  It was higher when you were in power.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Cormac Breslin  Zoom on Cormac Breslin  Order. The Deputy should cease interrupting.

Dr. O'Donovan: Information on John O'Donovan  Zoom on John O'Donovan  The Shannon Free Airport was one of a number of excellent ideas that the late Deputy Seán Lemass had, outstandingly good. Why was it so successful? Because these companies from Germany, Japan and France got inside the British tariff system by planking their factories at Shannon and the British did not regard it as sufficiently important to wipe it out. It was rather like the time they put the 10 per cent tariff on every commodity, when they broke the Anglo-Irish Free Trade Area Agreement. The Dundalk boot and shoe manufacturers were able to get their stuff across the Border. Though Sunbeam Wolsey made a great effort their lorries did not arrive in time at the Border posts, they were closed when they arrived and they could not get their stuff through. I think it was Mr. Callaghan, the then British Chancellor of the Exchequer, who said that the Irish businessmen were very quick to react but that he thought they could put up with it. The British Government did not regard it as of any great importance that every lorry in Dundalk was occupied in shifting across the Border as quickly as possible that morning every shoe they could get hold of out of the boot and shoe factories. Of course, they were quite right. Mr. Callaghan, the British Chancellor, instead of condemning it, said: We can [1989] put up with that kind of thing. Good luck to them.

The point I am making is that when we go into Europe the significance of the Shannon Free Airport will go. The industrial estate will go. The Germans and French companies who are there can export their goods to Britain from their own parent factories. Why should they not close down factories in Shannon? They were presented with the factories by the Government. They were given large grants towards the cost of the machinery. They now have trained labour at Shannon and, if they are satisfied with the rate of profit, and especially because of their exemption from taxation, they may well stay there, but there is no reason why they should stay there in order to get to the British market.

There is a good deal of talk about industrial consultants during this debate. The Leas-Cheann Comhairle pulled me up for making a reference to people outside this House. If I say that I think most industrial consultants are charlatans will that pass muster? There is no occupation in the world at present in which there are more charlatans operating than in industrial consultancy. If I mention firms I am not saying that they are charlatans. To the best of my recollection the cost of the Buchanan report was £100,000. Perhaps I might tell a story about industrial consultants. Apparently much of the work of the IDA will be based on the reports of industrial consultants. In other words, a good deal of this money will be spent on reports from them.

A very large semi-State body employed one of the very best firms of industrial consultants. This is an exceptionally good semi-State body employing exceptionally able men. They paid £20,000 to this excellent firm of industrial consultants. The firm are one of the best established and best known and longest in the business. They had a look around the large semi-State body and the gist of their report was: “The problem is a great deal more complicated than we expected so we would have to put a number of men on it for two years to come up with the proper answer and that would cost £100,000.” I am glad to say that this semi-State [1990] body, a good deal older than the IDA and a good deal older than many of the semi-State bodies, were tough enough and solid enough to be able to read that one correctly. They were not going to be walked up that garden path.

Time and again the Government have paid sums like £100,000 to industrial consultants from the United States on the strangest subjects. What connection is there between industry in the United States and industry in this country? It is like comparing the effort in the United States to put a man on the moon with our effort to keep a few people living on the offshore islands off the west coast. There is no connection whatever between the two problems.

I am sorry the Minister did not stay in the House. I had great sympathy with the Minister for Finance because I went on for a long time in the Budget debate. The Minister for Education had to put up with a lot in the debate on education. This debate has not been going on for so long. It may be that the Minister had an important appointment, perhaps with the IDA and important people like that, and could not stay in the House. I think he should have stayed for the debate. Three hours is not too long for any Minister to stay in the House for a Second Reading debate on a Bill to provide £100 million.

When the Taoiseach is introducing a debate—and I do not criticise this —very often he says nothing very much in his introductory statement and keeps the real pith of what he has to say for his reply. It is obvious that the Minister for Industry and Commerce will not make any reply to this debate because he has not been here for it. There was also a great deal of discussion about regional policy. It is accepted by everybody that the EEC has no proper regional policy. It has even been suggested that when our Commissioner is appointed he might be made Commissioner for regional policy. This is hoped.

I must protest in the strongest fashion at any Minister having the temerity to come into this House looking for £100 million with a two-page [1991] brief, one page of which is devoted to a side issue and the other page of which is purely technical. In fact, what it says is that the IDT want more money. We could all do with more money. I hear a great deal of talk among Deputies about getting more money. If they make this kind of case for more money they will get a very poor reception.

Sir Anthony Esmonde: Information on Anthony Charles Esmonde  Zoom on Anthony Charles Esmonde  The Deputy is interesting the political commentators now.

Dr. O'Donovan: Information on John O'Donovan  Zoom on John O'Donovan  It is no harm that for once I should say something that might interest them. I hope that the people who are running the IDA, including the chairman who disowned any desire on the part of the IDA to enter into politics and then proceeded to make a political remark, and the manager who never stopped making political remarks for six months, will now get out of politics for all time. What they are commissioned to do by the Parliament and Government of this country has nothing whatever to do with politics.

Mr. J. O'Leary: Information on John O'Leary  Zoom on John O'Leary  I welcome this Bill which proposes to increase the limit from £100 million to £200 million on the aggregate amount of grants which could be made to the Industrial Development Authority out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas to enable the authority to discharge all its obligations and liabilities of a capital nature. This is probably one of the most important Bills to come before this House for a considerable period.

Dr. O'Donovan: Information on John O'Donovan  Zoom on John O'Donovan  Hear, hear.

Mr. J. O'Leary: Information on John O'Leary  Zoom on John O'Leary  To get the record straight, we know that in 1969 when the Government were considering the Buchanan report they considered the Buchanan recommendations in the context of the proposals for regional development generally and decided that a regional development organisation was necessary in each of the regions and that each regional development organisation should submit their own plans and proposals which in turn would be examined by the IDA in [1992] Dublin and which would provide the basis for the preliminary statement that was issued some weeks ago by the IDA. So far as we in Kerry are concerned, the Buchanan Report was not acceptable nor was it acceptable to the people of the country as a whole. The Government were wise in deciding to set up these regional organisations and in requesting each region to prepare and submit their own plans for the consideration of the IDA. We must consider also the necessity for deriving the maximum benefits from the aids towards regional development that will be available to us within the EEC.

We all know how important it is to have regional policies so as to derive the maximum benefits from the EEC. I am pleased with the preliminary statement issued by the IDA. I hope that when the statement is examined fully and when the next statement has been issued, the regional industrial policy of the Government will be clear. While the Government have decided to adopt an overall regional policy, it is important to note that in a democracy such as ours, where there is a free enterprise economy which is subject to limitation by the decisions of private individuals and firms, there cannot be a hard and fast policy that would benefit one region as against another, or which would channel an industry into one county as against another. In this regard I have grave doubts as to the feasibility of setting up large industrial estates. We should concern ourselves with each county as a unit. Perhaps we should even work on a town-by-town or village-by-village basis. I do not favour large industrial estates, certainly none larger than an area of 50 acres, at least not for the next four years or so.

We know that it is the policy of the Government to effect a continuing decrease in emigration until we reach the stage where there will be no involuntary emigration. Such a situation can be brought about only by industrial expansion.

It is worth nothing that if Dublin's future growth is to be held to its natural increase the aggregate population of the remaining cities and towns should be double the 1966 figure. That [1993] is a big challenge for those who are interested in industry and in the provision of jobs in rural Ireland. It is vital that it be realised. I agree that the development of towns should be encouraged and that this development should incorporate a relatively large expansion of towns in areas that are remote from existing major towns. I agree also with the policy that recognises the importance of the continuation of measures for the development of the Gaeltacht areas.

It is worth nothing also that the Government's regional policy will provide a basis on which support will be sought from the European Social Fund and from other Community resources. This must be borne in mind in the preparation of any policy of industrial expansion. I maintain that within the context of any regional development plan for industrial expansion there should be no departure from the preservation of the county as the basic local government unit and as the basis also for a local effort that would provide for industrial expansion in particular areas. Should we depart from the concept of the county councils as development authorities we will be in serious trouble in so far as the provision of jobs is concerned. It is good that in the industrial field there should be a certain amount of rivalry between counties and it is important that the county spirit should be encouraged.

I come now to the preliminary statement which was issued recently by the IDA and which outlines their industrial plans between 1973 and 1977. It is well worth nothing what they have in mind in respect of the south western region, the region with which I am primarily concerned. I believe that the targets set by the IDA for this region can be attained provided all the State agencies co-operate with the local agencies and with the various local development associations and organisations within the south western region.

The estimated increase in net extra jobs between 1966 and 1971 is over 4,000 in the south western district, which means an increase of 13.3 per cent for that period. It is important that we should strive to ensure that our targets for the period 1973 to 1977 are [1994] achieved and surpassed. This plan provides for an increase of about 7,000 extra jobs in the south western region during this four year period, which will be an increase of between 19 and 20 per cent. If this is to be achieved, there must be no relaxation of effort on the part of any section of the community in that region. In page 13 of the IDA's preliminary statement there is a breakdown of the increase in jobs and in employment which the IDA envisages in the various towns and villages through the south western region. They envisage an increase of about 1,300 people in the Ballyheigue-Castleisland-Farranfore-Killorglin-Rathmore-Tralee districts. The IDA could have broken this down to a much finer point. Certainly Tralee and north Kerry will probably take in Listowel and Ballyheigue, as a separate entity and a projection prepared for that area. There should also be a special plan for the mid-Kerry area which takes in very important towns and villages in the centre of Kerry which is right at the heart of the industrial diamond in Kerry. I have in mind Milltown, Castlemaine, Firies, Farranfore, Currow and Scartaglen. A projection should be made which would show the potential development of this whole district and the potential number of jobs which could be made available in each of these towns and villages. There is a large labour force, both male and female, in this area, and it is vitally important that a projection should be made in this district.

I like very much that statement issued by the IDA in page 15 of their preliminary statement, which is an excellent factual statement, and I should like to put it on the record of this House. Under the heading “Implications of the Strategy” it states in paragraph 5, page 15:

There are two main differences between the proposals of the IDA and those of the Buchanan study. Both strategies are designed to bring about improvements in the country's urban and industrial structures. Under the Buchanan recommendations these objectives would have been achieved by a high degree of concentration of investment and job [1995] creation (approximately 75 per cent of new jobs in the period 1961-86 were to be located in the nine recommended growth centres). This policy would have led to heavy internal migration of population, and, in the consultants' view, eventually to the development of a self-sustaining, integrated industrial structure.

IDA experience in the five years to 1971 indicates that the Buchanan team's assessment of the potential of Ireland for industrial development was too pessimistic; consequently, the level of concentration required for the attainment of national objectives (population and employment) need not necessarily be that recommended in the Buchanan report. The IDA proposals, which involve less radical change in the urban structure (though over 50 per cent of new job creation would be located in the nine growth centres recommended in the Buchanan report) are consistent with the Government objective of keeping population dislocation to the minimum. In this context, the IDA took account of the fact that up to March, 1971, excluding the mid-west region, grant-aided industry has been established in over 240 locations.

I agree entirely with the IDA's proposal and statement in this regard. I believe the Government were quite right in stating as their objective to keep the population dislocation to the minimum in rural Ireland. This is vital. The second main difference between the IDA's proposals and Buchanan's is in relation to the policy for the smaller population centres and, in particular, to the development policy for those parts of the country for which Buchanan did not provide a solution. I congratulate the IDA on framing such a policy for these centres for which Buchanan did not provide and in respect of which Buchanan forecast doom and gloom.

I also approve of map 4 in the schedule to the preliminary statement of the IDA and of their statement that Killarney will be a centre for development within the south-west region. I agree entirely that Killarney [1996] is an ideal centre for an industrial estate of the size and nature of which I spoke earlier. The establishment of new industries and the expansion of existing industries is the only way in which we can bring the incomes and the standard of living of those in the west and the south-west into line with the incomes and standards of living of those in other parts of the country. The average income here is only half what it is in the EEC countries and the average income in the eastern part of this country is higher than it is in the west. I believe industrial development is the principal instrument available with which to correct this imbalance. I can see no other way of correcting it.

With the development of industry there must also be the development of services. I have in mind educational and training facilities. I have in mind water and sewerage facilities and transport. Good roads are of vital importance. There must be an adequate supply of electricity. I would urge the Minister to impress on his colleagues the importance of all these factors. Where electricity is concerned the position is very serious in some areas. Deputy Begley knows only too well what the position is in Kerry. In the area Kenmare/Kilgarvan, which has enormous potential from the point of view of industry, there is a very serious problem in regard to the provision of electricity. The ESB completely underestimated the demand.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Cormac Breslin  Zoom on Cormac Breslin  I doubt if that would arise on this particular Bill.

Mr. Begley: Information on Michael Begley  Zoom on Michael Begley  It would because, if there was an industry, they would not have any power.

Mr. J. O'Leary: Information on John O'Leary  Zoom on John O'Leary  It is very important.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Cormac Breslin  Zoom on Cormac Breslin  It may be important, but it is not relevant.

Mr. J. O'Leary: Information on John O'Leary  Zoom on John O'Leary  If we are to promote industry it is important that all essential services should be provided. I would ask the Minister to draw the attention of the ESB to the dire position in Kilgarvan and Kenmare and [1997] to get the ESB to provide electricity there at a reasonable cost.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Cormac Breslin  Zoom on Cormac Breslin  That does not arise on this Bill. The Deputy may get an opportunity of informing the ESB rather than the Minister.

Mr. J. O'Leary: Information on John O'Leary  Zoom on John O'Leary  I am looking forward to the detailed plans which will be published in June. I trust there has been widespread consultation on these plans at regional, county and local level. It is very important that there should be consultation with the people. I know that the IDA work in close co-operation with Gaeltarra Éireann and Roinn na Gaeltachta. The population loss in the Gaeltacht areas is proportionately greater than it is in other areas. This was shown in the recent census. The future of Kerry depends on the number of new jobs created in the towns and villages of Kerry. In the existing industries there are very few vacancies. There are no retirements and no resignations and there are no jobs available for the young people leaving school.

I do not agree with the IDA's policy of one plan for the area from Cahirciveen to Sneem and into Kenmare. This area should be divided into two regions. One could have a very good industrial centre in the Kenmare/ Sneem/Kilgarvan area. This is a viable unit from the point of view of population. At the moment in this area there is a great dependence on tourism and on small farms and the vast majority of the small holders would take up industrial employment if it were provided for them. The provision of sites for industry in every town and village is important and the Minister or the IDA should ask county councils or county development teams to acquire such sites. It is important to have them because everybody knows that when land which is urgently required is pinpointed the price becomes very high.

The Minister or the IDA should tell Bord Fáilte not to interfere too much with industrial progress particularly in counties along the western seaboard. I know that Bord Fáilte have done a very good job in their own field in the provision of hotels, guesthouses and bedroom accommodation but they are [1998] overstepping their duties entirely when they try to hinder industrial progress in certain areas. I am firmly convinced that if they had their way we would never have an industry in Killarney or in County Kerry. It is vitally important that Bord Fáilte should be very careful when they move into the area of industrial promotion. I can appreciate their concern for the preservation of amenities which are very important to the nation as a whole. I agree that no section of the community or no county can claim any area as a special amenity for themselves; amenities are the concern of the whole nation and should be preserved for future generations and no generation should say that they own any of our great natural amenities particularly recreational and tourist amenities. But a line can be drawn where the preservation of these amenities conflicts with industrial development and progress. It is very important that the IDA and Bord Fáilte should work in close co-operation in regard to industrial development. The IDA, the county development teams and the county councils should be the bosses in this field, not Bord Fáilte.

I welcome the proposal to erect advance factories. In County Kerry it is proposed to erect two such factories and I think money would be well spent in providing one in Kenmare which is one of the two areas in the county where the population is decreasing. It takes in a very good area and I strongly suggest that an advance factory be built there. It is vital where you have smallholdings, as in the west of Ireland that these areas be industrialised rather than areas with large holdings. From our own experience in Kerry we know that the ideal situation is to have part-time small farmers also engaged in industry. This scheme is working very well in east Kerry and I have heard experts in agriculture say that the smallholder who is also engaged in industry gets more income per acre from his land than the man who is employed whole-time on a small farm because he has more money to invest in his holding and he can also specialise in certain activities. I am a firm believer in smallholders getting employment in local industries.

[1999] If we are to maintain and increase our population in the west and south-west it is vital that we should attract as many industries as possible, large and small, into our towns and villages.

Some previous speakers commented on the number of people at present unemployed but it is important to distinguish between those who are unemployed and those who are unemployable and when speaking of that figure we should have regard to the number of smallholders, more and more of whom come on to this register each year as a result of improvements in social welfare benefits affecting their situation in the budgets over the past few years.

Regional policies are vital for this country if we are to gain the full benefit of entering EEC as far as industry is concerned. The same applies to other fields of activity. It is important to have a good regional policy. I am also convinced that within each region we should have regard to the county system, the towns and villages. Despite what previous speakers have said, I believe we can please all the people in this regard if we have the will to do so.

I was very disappointed to hear the two previous speakers from the Labour Party criticise unfairly, I thought, the chairman and general manager of the IDA. He has a job to do and is naturally very much concerned about the provision of employment opportunities and about the future of industry. He would not have come out with the statements he made but for the fact that he considered it was in the national interest to do so. I believe it was in the national interest to make those statements and I resent very much the allegations made against him by the Labour Party spokesmen. They were most unfair. I believe he spoke in the best interests of the country and that he was seriously concerned about the provision of employment in this country in the future.

We must remember that the primary purpose of our entry into the EEC is to ensure our markets and jobs. If there is anyone in this [2000] country who should be concerned about the provision of jobs it is the chairman and general manager of the IDA. He did his duty as an Irishman and acted in the national interest when, before the referendum, he spoke about jobs. He spoke as the chairmen of CIE, Bord na Móna, Aer Lingus and Bord na gCon would have spoken if the position of their boards was in the same jeopardy as that of the IDA.

I do not agree with Deputy O'Donovan who stated that the No. 2 aspect of this Bill should have been No. 1, even though I know that it is important that all industrial enterprises should get maximum remission of rates because they are providing employment and helping to build up the country.

I would like to know whether garages would come under the heading of industrial undertakings in respect of relief from rates. Many garages could come under this heading. I would like to see them do so. New garages particularly should get relief.

I would like to thank the Minister for the manner in which he introduced this Bill. I would like to compliment the chairman and general manager and all the officials of the IDA for the courtesy they have shown to me over the years.

Mr. Begley: Information on Michael Begley  Zoom on Michael Begley  My comments will be brief. Perhaps the Minister can tell me whether my misgivings on a few points are justified or not. I was disappointed that the Minister did not give us more detail about how the £100 million is to be spent. Perhaps he should have come into the House with a brief more than a few pages long telling us about the £100 million, and telling us that he is changing the 1969 Act. The Minister may perhaps give us more detail when he is replying.

Is it envisaged by the Minister that small industries in County Kerry and up and down the western seaboard in places like Mayo, Galway and Clare, will be exempted from rates? Will the Minister give me that information when he is replying? In Kerry there are over 60 small industries. In the [2001] Donegal Gaeltacht and in the Galway Gaeltacht there are small industries which employ seven or eight people. They get special grants from the IDA through the county development teams. Will the county councils now have power to exempt these industries from paying rates? They are providing employment in their areas. Such areas will never attract big industry because they have not got the necessary services. The Minister may take a second look at this. Perhaps directions could be given to the county councils empowering them to give relief in rates to these industries.

The IDA report is one of the best reports ever published. It is one of the best reports which ever came from any Department in any part of Ireland. It will not give offence to anyone. People will say that it is too ambitious and that every area is covered. No politician or development group anywhere in Ireland can say a particular area is ignored. It is a masterpiece in public relations. I am not implying by innuendo or otherwise that the IDA should be criticised. They have played their part very well in building up Ireland since they were established by the inter-Party Government. The measure of their success has proved that it was well worth while setting up the IDA. I would like to compliment them on the wonderful work they have done throughout the country.

I have certain misgivings about some aspects of the IDA and these are connected with the liaison with another semi-State body, namely, Gaeltarra Éireann. In this report they get out of the web very nicely by giving one paragraph to the Gaeltacht. It should be borne in mind by Members of this House how other sections of our community are trying to live. It says:

The overall unemployment in the Gaeltacht is generally higher than the national average. The employment structure plays a major role in the lower level of per capita incomes which characterises those areas.

It also says:

An action programme for the Gaeltacht has recently been proposed [2002] by Gaeltarra Éireann and the Shannon Free Airport Development Company.

To dismiss the Gaeltacht by passing it on to the Shannon Free Airport Development Company and Gaeltarra Éireann is a bit high-handed. The IDA should have put more thought and more work into the problems of the Gaeltacht. This report was published some time in February. It was handed to the Minister for Finance, Deputy Colley, and he appeared on television accepting the report. I do not know what he did with it. I thought perhaps we would have it here today. The Minister when replying might, perhaps, assure the people of the Gaeltacht that there is a place for them in Ireland, in their own locality working there and speaking the language which they love and which they are trying to preserve —the Irish language. Perhaps the Minister would ask the Minister for Finance to discuss the implications of the report in the House.

Unless something is done now no one will be left in the Gaeltacht. We will not be able to do anything for the people in the Gaeltacht in the years to come. From a survey carried out by the South-west Regional Development Organisation it appears that it is from those areas that most emigration occurs. I appeal to the Minister and the IDA to develop a sense of urgency about those areas.

I would like to refer to an industry which has not been a success although I think the IDA should come clean about it and tell the people of the Dingle Peninsula what is the whole story. I refer to Blasket Sea Foods, Limited. This company got a substantial grant from the IDA but unfortunately they went “bust” before they got off the ground. A liquidator was appointed and the Dingle fishermen came together with members of the IAOS. I was at that meeting and many of us spoke of the wisdom of the fishermen purchasing this factory for themselves to use it as a deep freeze centre for the fishing fleet at Dingle. The Dingle fishermen's co-operative and other people collected a substantial amount of money. They bid something in the region of £30,000 for that [2003] factory. Another company, known as Atlantic Fisheries Limited, went £100 more and it was knocked down to the highest bidder. The IDA should have known that some of the directors who were in Atlantic Fisheries Limited were directors of Blasket Sea Foods Limited. It was very bad politics by the IDA to have the same firm come along with a different name and acquire this property again.

I have been told that the company which outbid the fishermen cannot meet the amount of money they bid at the auction and that their deposit is gone by the board. When local initiative manifests itself and when the fishermen put the money where their tongues are the IDA should encourage them. They should not have sanctioned the sale of that premises to the new company, who were actually the old company with a different name. I do not want to be critical of anyone but I think the fishermen should have got this factory. In the years to come if fishing is to survive in the EEC we will have to have deep freeze facilities at our different harbours.

The South-Western Regional Development Company prepared a report which was sent to all members of local authorities and to TDs in the last few weeks. I hope the IDA will accept that report. We are never short of reports in Ireland. We had the Buchanan Report, the Lichfield Report and now we have this report which, in my opinion, is far ahead of both Lichfield and Buchanan. These people were able to take the best of Buchanan and the best of Lichfield and from the practical experience they had of how things were developing in different counties, how population trends were going, they have been able to bring out this report. I hope the IDA will get rid of all the reports they have and accept this report as the bible as far as the south-west is concerned.

The Industrial Development Authority recently decentralised and put two representatives in Cork city and two in Galway. If they have washed their hands of the Gaeltacht, as is implied in this report, they should invite Gaeltarra Éireann to send a representative [2004] or make Gaeltarra Éireann a member of the South-Western Regional Development Company. The people in that region have a voice which should be heard. If the IDA are not prepared to look after them then Gaeltarra Éireann should be on the board. I know the Minister was not there when the regional development boards were set up but he should drop a note to the Minister for Local Government and tell him that Gaeltarra Éireann should be represented on those boards. If there is a cake to be divided let Gaeltarra Éireann get a slice of it if they are on the inside. If they are outside they do not know what is happening.

Deputy O'Leary mentioned that a certain amount of money should be given by the IDA to county councils to purchase industrial sites near the different towns and villages. I certainly agree with this because everybody knows if money for those sites is put up by the ratepayers there will be an outcry. It is quite possible that sites could be there for years before the IDA look at them. It is too late in the day to go purchasing sites when an industry has been announced for a certain place because immediately the speculators move in for housing and other purposes and prices automatically jump up and somebody gets rich very quickly.

In the past few years I have met families home on holiday from England who wished to stay at home. This is very significant. At one time they wanted to go, now they want to come back. Some of these people are very skilled. They have acquired the knack of industry. They are perhaps daughtsmen, carpenters, et cetera. It is about time the IDA opened offices in London, Birmingham or wherever there is a pool of Irish labour because these people have indicated that they would like to come back. Perhaps they do not want to bring up their children in the English environment, or because of housing conditions, pollution or something else they want to come back. This is a sign of confidence in the country. There should be a census of the people who want to come back. Some of these people could be settled quite easily here.

[2005] I wish the IDA every success. I hope they will continue the good work they are doing. If they get a chance they should step in and give Gaeltarra Éireann and the Shannon Free Airport Development Company the benefit of their technique. They have proved down the years that when they are interested in an area they can make a difference. Our coastline, specially our south-western coastline, should be looked after. We could do great things because Irish people can now see that wages are every bit as good as in England. Our emigrants have expressed confidence in us. We should make an all-out effort to repatriate those people. If we are to hold our heads high among the nations of Europe we must have skilled people. I believe we have plenty of them if we tap the source.

Mr. T.J. Fitzpatrick: Information on Tom J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Tom J. Fitzpatrick  (Dublin Central): I should like to welcome this Bill. The fact that this additional money is required shows that people have confidence in this country, that industrialists and businessmen have confidence in the future prospects of this country. I hope that in a short period we will have to come into the House again to look for additional money.

The work the IDA have performed over the past number of years is a credit to them. We all know we depend to a large degree on industry to keep people in jobs. We must apply our minds to seeing how we can expand it in every way. Great credit is due to the IDA for their planning ahead and encouraging new industries to come into the country. Now that we are to enter the EEC the potential will be much greater. The attractions for industrialists will increase and more industries will come here as time goes on. This, of course, will depend on ourselves. Industries cannot be established here unless we give the proper training to our employees and manage our affairs in a civilised manner.

This preliminary report is an excellent document. It is quite comprehensive and covers all parts of the country. It is very difficult to forecast precisely when industries will be established. Many people asked me during the referendum campaign if I could give [2006] details of industries or when they would start. This is very difficult. I can appreciate the difficulties which officers of the IDA must encounter in trying to give details of precisely what type of industry will be established in a particular town. Taking an overall picture of our industrial potential, I think they have forecasted in an accurate manner and I believe that their decentralisation policy is undoubtedly the best thing for the country.

We had charges from the Labour benches that we had neglected the Buchanan Report. Many of Buchanan's suggestions are implemented in this report but one set-back in the Buchanan Report was that the big concentration of jobs was in nine particular growth centres. I think this would not be desirable for the rural population in general. It would be better to scatter industries throughout the country. This would create a better society.

The training of staff will play an important part in our industrial development. The days of unskilled employment are past. Skilled or semiskilled labour will be increasingly called for in future. If you look at our situation today you will find that there is a great scarcity of skilled or semi-skilled labour in many industries. The Department of Industry and Commerce should work in close liaison with the Department of Labour to develop a greater pool of skilled labour. When an industrialist thinks of coming to this country the two most important things he has to consider are the availability of labour and whether it is skilled. If we are siting industries in the west we must be sure there is available sufficient skilled labour. This is why certain industries come to Dublin where there is a greater pool of skilled labour available. We must counteract this if we are to diversify our industries and attract them to rural areas, especially along the west coast.

Dublin is becoming top heavy with the shift of population. When a town or city grows to such a size it is self-generating; it creates its own jobs. According to the IDA report, a [2007] smaller number of industrial manufacturing jobs have been created in Dublin over the past number of years. This is an indication that the policy of regional development is succeeding. It is a very slow and tedious job to try to diversify industry to remote parts of the country. By and large, industries gravitate towards where manpower is available, where there are suitable shipping facilities and where the various services are at hand. I can see the difficulties for the Government and the IDA in trying to attract industries to remote parts of the country. This is due to lack of services which must be provided.

New roads must be constructed, sewerage and water schemes and the normal facilities for living must be provided. These are factors which we will have to consider if we are to get the top personnel to live in the west of Ireland or other parts of the country. We must ensure that the environment and the facilities such as schools and houses are up to the standard they require. There is no good in moving a factory to some part of the country if you cannot attract the top personnel. We must ensure that there is proper housing accommodation both for personnel and staff.

Roads will be another major problem. To develop the west properly a major road will have to be built out of Dublin. It is quite likely that much of the shipping and the exports will go through the port of Dublin. If the west is to be properly developed this will have to be thought about. Undoubtedly, it will be a necessary step if we are to succeed in carrying out the Government's regional policy. The building of factories in advance is desirable. Quite often when industrialists come to this country they encounter great difficulties in acquiring sites and processing grants and loans through the IDA. If we had a certain number of advance factories this would be a big attraction. If industrialists could come here and rent a factory a greater number would come.

Quite a number of industrial estates are in the course of being built around [2008] the perimeter of Dublin. Many of the small factories in the older parts of the city should be moved out into these new estates. Some of them are not up to the proper standard for people to work in them today. I am speaking about the smaller factories in the older parts of Dublin. The owners should be encouraged to move out into the new estates. This would be of benefit to themselves and to the country generally. When they stay in old factories they do not make an effort to expand but if they were encouraged to move out to the new estates they could expand their industry and their exports. One man said to me that the prices charged for these industrial factories are prohibitive. I do not know whether that is true but I know that the rents charged are very substantial. This is probably one of the things which make it prohibitive for the owners of very small old factories to move out into a modern factory.

I see in the report that the population of Dublin is still continuing to expand. This is a natural development. Now that we are going into the Common Market and will be able to avail of the funds within the Common Market, with a good regional policy we can reverse that trend. We must try to check this trend especially as we will have people leaving agriculture. It is imperative that industries should be created in rural Ireland if we are to have a healthy and viable and well balanced population. Since we are joining the Common Market we must do intensive research into the whole problem. It will be difficult to reverse that trend but we must do it. The Government are firmly committed to industrialisation and to keeping the population spread evenly throughout the country.

It is encouraging to note that in Donegal north west, in the midlands and other places job creation has risen from 8.6 per cent to 20.4 per cent. This is an indication that some progress is being made. No matter how small a factory is, if it employs only 10 or 15 people, it is a help to the town. It is difficult for small factories to compete against the giants. Perhaps the small factories could join together while keeping their own identity. They could [2009] share ideas and techniques. It might be possible for the small factories to send apprentices to the larger factories to learn certain techniques and then go back to the smaller units. The small factory is the ideal unit for the small rural town. In trying to establish a major heavy industry in a small town you can encounter many problems connected with sewerage schemes and the availability of manpower. We must do everything possible to encourage people to set up small industries. We must give them every help we can from a technical and a financial point of view.

We can look fairly optimistically to the future taking into consideration the achievements we have made over the past number of years. Advances have been made against a very difficult background. We must realise that over the past two years labour difficulties in this country were one of the worst in Europe. Still we have had a record number of applications for industrial grants. I believe that with the combined efforts of the trade unions and of management and employees, industrial expansion will accelerate at a much higher rate than in the past. Now that we are in Europe it is almost certain that industrialists from such places as the US, Canada and Japan will wish to set up industries here, from where they can export to the Common Market countries. However, every effort must be made to avoid the experience of two years ago when this country had what must have been the worst record in the world in the field of industrial strife. That situation must never be allowed to develop again because it would do untold harm by discouraging industrialists from coming here. The importance of the role of the trade unions and of management cannot be over-estimated in the context of the achievement of the potential of this country. The upholding of the national wage agreement indicates a sincere effort by the trade unions to ensure that industrial development will not be disrupted. It is a credit to Congress. The upholding of this agreement is vital in the context of industrial development. Of course, the goodwill of the workers is absolutely necessary if we are to have industrial progress. We are experiencing progress now and we [2010] are moving towards more sophistication of management in business. Management techniques must take account of the status and security of employees because these two factors are probably more important to employees than is the wages factor. Also, industry will have to see how far they can go towards implementing a profit-sharing system for employees.

We will not achieve the progress we desire, and which we can now achieve within the Common Market, if we approach all these matters in a haphazard way. It would not be good enough for anyone to adopt the attitude that only directors or shareholders of firms will gain substantially. There must be progress in a broad sense so that everyone will benefit to some degree. The proper marketing of our goods abroad is very important in all of this. There must be good design, packaging and so on. While there is success in this sphere now, I believe we can do even better. If necessary, we must recruit marketing experts to sell our products on foreign markets. Progress now is in our own hands. The number of applications that have been received from foreign industrialists who wish to set up here is indicative of what this country has to offer.

Despite the gloomy predictions that we have had from certain quarters during the past three or four weeks it is obvious that there is much scope for advancement and expansion within the Community. Those prophets of gloom are people of no vision. No people can isolate themselves from where the markets are.

The IDA are playing an everincreasing and important role. They are vital in the context of our industrial expansion and in the achievement of full employment. Industry and tourism are the two most important spheres to be considered in the attaining of full employment and regardless of what capacity a person may be in he can play his part in ensuring that this country becomes more prosperous. Fortunately, the IDA have been progressing during a number of years. Their techniques and research have been responsible for encouraging industrialists to come here.

[2011] Certain remarks were made here this evening concerning a statement made by the chairman of the IDA. I have read the report in question and I considered it to be the report of a businessman who happens to be head of the IDA. I did not regard it as having had any bearing whatsoever on the referendum. It was an impartial report which was issued by coincidence shortly before the referendum. It is not fair that the Labour Party should make these criticisms. The chairman had a right, as head of that authority, to make the statement.

In conclusion, I congratulate both the Minister and the IDA on what they have achieved. I welcome this Bill. As industries increase, it is probable that the Minister will be back to seek more money. I hope this will be the case because it will be a further indication of our advancement in the industrial sector.

Sir Anthony Esmonde: Information on Anthony Charles Esmonde  Zoom on Anthony Charles Esmonde  It is refreshing to hear a Dublin Deputy expressing the opinion that there should be a decentralisation of industry outside Dublin.

Mr. T.J. Fitzpatrick: Information on Tom J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Tom J. Fitzpatrick  (Dublin Central): Of course, everyone says so.

Sir Anthony Esmonde: Information on Anthony Charles Esmonde  Zoom on Anthony Charles Esmonde  There is no question but that there has been too much centralisation in Dublin as a result of which the population of the city has grown out of all proportion to the rest of the country, and economically that is unsound.

This is a very important Bill because it gives us an opportunity of discussing industry which is very necessary at the moment in view of the massive vote the other day in favour of EEC entry. He gave the impression from his short opening speech that he was just introducing permissive legislation and that he expected that everybody on this side of the House would say they would co-operate with him and that the whole discussion would then close down. The Minister ought to have taken the opportunity to explain to the House and to the country the industrial policy of the Government. While the IDA [2012] administer policy—and I might say they administer it very well—the policy-makers are the Government, and I could quote the words of the Taoiseach and say that things will never be exactly the same in this country. While there will not necessarily be an industrial revolution, there will certainly be a complete realignment of industry. Even those of us who supported EEC entry and who are confirmed Europeans know that there will be considerable changes, that there will be considerable redundancies and also considerable industrial expansion. Therefore, we are entitled to hear from the Minister what his plans on these lines are.

There is a mistaken impression that when we go into the EEC we must have very large and powerful industries in order to meet the industrial competition of the other European countries. That is not so. The major portion of industries in the present EEC countries employ under 100 men; in fact, many of them employ a great deal fewer than that. Industry in the EEC has been largely based on auxiliary industries, in many cases supporting the smaller farmers. I am sure the Minister knows as well as I do that in the Black Forest and also in the Vosges across the Rhine in France agriculturalists are supported in the main by small industries based largely on the raw materials existing there, timber and so on. The same applies in the smaller built-up areas, what they call villages, in Europe, which constitute a population of about 2,000 people. They all have industries there. If we are to maintain employment and enable people to stay in the areas in which they were born and brought up we must have a policy on the same lines here.

To date we have not had such a policy. Our industrial policy has been a rather mistaken one, an attempt to build strong and viable industries, many of which have gone to the wall and put many people in these areas out of employment. The Minister for Industry and Commerce has an opportunity which none of his predecessors has had before. The situation is completely changing. The present policy is, to my mind, completely unsuccessful, [2013] that is, large industries based on imported raw materials which are very costly to import and remove most of the profit from those who are manufacturing the products here. The greater part of the capital investment in the industry, instead of going into full employment for the native population, is spent on the import of such raw materials.

The Minister should turn his back on that policy. What has happened in the west of Ireland—we do not get any industries in the constituency I represent although we tried hard enough to get them there—is that many industries that were set up in areas where populations have been centred have gone out of business. The people who have come into these towns are left with no employment, and that has been conducive to emigration. That is a policy on which the Minister should also turn his back.

I suggest the Minister should concentrate industries on the villages, and by that I do not mean that the place where the church and the school are should be regarded as a village. Industries should be concentrated in certain smaller villages with populations of, say, 200 or 300 people, that is, about one-tenth of the size of the European villages in which industries have been concentrated. There has already been a suggestion emanating from the European Commission that the massive unemployment situation here should be examined in the interest of all the countries concerned. Of course, the interest of the other European nations is that they do not want an outflow of people from here to those countries. They see that we have something that nobody else has got. We have plenty of space for industrial development. Therefore, I applaud again what Deputy Fitzpatrick from Dublin has said, that we should move our industries out from the built-up areas to the rural areas as much as possible. We also have cheap space for industrial development. The cost of purchasing a site in continental Europe or even in Britain is phenomenal. We have something which will encourage European industrialists to come here, and we can solve our unemployment problem. It is not likely that they will [2014] pour their labour in here because they are very short of labour, both skilled and manual. That is one of their problems.

Therefore, when the Minister was introducing this permissive legislation here authorising the IDA to extend their operations by another £100 million, he should have given the House some indication of what his plans are. It may be that he has no plans but I am sure he must have given the matter some considerable thought. This Bill that he is bringing in is rather putting the cart before the horse, because reading the report, I gather the IDA do not intend to formulate their plans until some time in June and it appears that this Bill could possibly have waited for a little while. Even if they want to expand industrially, they are not going to do it overnight. This Bill should be brought in in the full light of the plans to be promulgated by the IDA, in which case we would be in a better position to assess the situation. I take it that anybody who is interested in industrial development here and in investment in industry here will read the debates in this House. Foreigners, knowing little or nothing about the country, will concentrate naturally on statements made by Ministers. This Bill is so important I shall be very surprised if Ministers do not come in here and contribute to this debate. We have had debates here in which one could talk about anything, such as the recent budget debate, and we have had Ministers spouting for hours on end about the good economic situation and our future prospects. Here is an opportunity for Ministers, if the Government have an industrial policy, to come in here and tell us what that policy is. We do not have to worry about agriculture because it will look after itself in the EEC. If the Government have an industrial policy they are doing a disservice to both the House and the country in not coming in here and stating what that policy is.

I should like to see priority given to the siting of industries in small built-up areas with populations running from a few hundred up to 1,000 in order to ensure that rural Ireland will remain in existence. I have watched rural Ireland dying over the last 21 years. The population [2015] is going down everywhere except in the city of Dublin and the province of Leinster. Twenty-five years ago there was employment in rural Ireland because modern agricultural machinery was still in the future. All that employment has now disappeared with the advent of modern machines and there has been no rural industrial development to meet the situation.

I am very familiar with the west of Ireland, with the Border counties and with the midlands. In my own area, unless we go out and literally pull the people in ourselves, we will never get anything. The population of Wexford is increasing and one would think it should be an obvious place for industrialisation. If the Minister concentrates his efforts in the way I have suggested, if his colleagues support him in his efforts and provide the wherewithal, rural Ireland will be saved. If the present policy is continued, and it looks as if Fianna Fáil will be with us a little longer, then rural Ireland will die. After the last war Vienna, the capital of Austria, was hardly able to exist. There was extreme poverty because they did not have the feed-in from the rural areas, the feed-in which is essential to keep capital cities alive, and it was only when oil was discovered that the economy became sound again.

The policy of development here at the moment is suicidal. Dublin is being built up. Huge industrial estates are mushrooming on good land which could be in full agricultural production, producing essential raw materials. The centre of Dublin, if the present trend continues, will become an empty shell. No factory will come into the centre of Dublin because the infrastructure in the modern world demands adequate parking facilities. As I say, rich agricultural land around Dublin is being converted into industrial estates. This is all wrong. This debate is entirely relevant to the EEC. We can only progress by decentralising and utilising our own raw materials to the fullest extent. If rural Ireland is allowed to deteriorate any further, Dublin will become a city of the dead.

I should like to take this opportunity of saying a word of thanks to the [2016] IDA. They are doing a magnificent job. I have met some of the staff recently in connection with the opening of one or two factories. They go into everything very thoroughly. They know their job and they do not take unnecessary risks. They may have been had on a few occasions, but they have learned by experience. They can be fully trusted with this extra money. They are entitled to an industrial policy which has the full backing of the Government in the light of the very difficult but, at the same time, promising future that lies ahead when we enter Europe.

Mr. Briscoe: Information on Ben Briscoe  Zoom on Ben Briscoe  I congratulate the IDA on the excellent job they have been doing and the dedication they have shown. There is very little fault to be found with the workings of the IDA, as far as I know; I am not aware of any criticism. In Dublin, we have reached saturation point as far as industry is concerned. There is a tremendous housing problem. It is not as bad as it was, but it is bad enough. People follow after industries. If we want to attract industry to rural areas we will have to change our housing policy. Instead of waiting to provide the houses when the industries are established we will have to adopt a policy of providing houses at the same time as we establish the industry. That is the only way in which we can stop the flight of the people from the country to the city. We must encourage industries to move out. The satellite town is a good idea where it can be established. As Deputy Esmonde said, setting up an industry at every crossroads is not on.

Yesterday, speaking on the budget, I said that what we really needed to get industry to go to the west—you cannot make industry go where it does not want to go no matter what incentives you offer— where it is so badly needed, was to have a first-class road system between east and west. If we could establish a good motorway within five or six years, I believe we would have very little trouble in encouraging industry in the west. I think we must make this a No. 1 priority if we are to develop industry in the west. [2017] I hope the IDA will recognise this is needed and press for it.

I am pleased to have here the Regional Industrial Plans 1973-77: Preliminary Statement and to find that the IDA have been acting on the Government's policy stated in the early 1960s and restated on 19th May, 1969. I am also pleased to be able to say that if anybody had forecast in 1969 that a few years later we would be seeking another £100 million it would have been said that he was premature.

We have probably one of the best and most intelligent labour forces in the world. No industrialist who has set up here has ever had to complain about the quality of the Irish people's work. This is our finest asset. I am convinced that in the years ahead the problem will be to get sufficient workers to man the industries. I wish the Minister the best of luck with his work and I predict that he will soon be back looking for more money to finance further industries. I believe we will be deluged with industries before very long. It is very important that the Congress of Trade Unions in particular should maintain the discipline they have practised in the past year. If we are a stable country, with a stable working population, nobody would hesitate to come here to set up an industry with good employment content —which is what we want.

Mr. Cooney: Information on Patrick Mark Cooney  Zoom on Patrick Mark Cooney  I regret that I must join in the criticism of the Minister for the appallingly skimpy statement with which he introduced this Bill. In a matter of 19 lines he made a request to the House for £200 million for a semi-State body. I suggest to him that in treating this matter in that trivial way he has insulted Parliament and demeaned his own office because what is involved here, as Deputy Esmonde said, is the entire industrial policy of the nation. It is apt that the Industrial Development Authority, the semi-State body charged with the implementation of Government policy, should have just recently produced their preliminary statement which raises an immense number of important issues which could be very aptly debated through the vehicle of this Bill. But not one of these issues was raised by the Minister.

[2018] From this statement of the IDA it now becomes clear that Buchanan has been shelved, something that was suspected for a long time. Buchanan was published quite a few years ago and it was the first large-scale study in regard to industrial development. It met with a lot of criticism because of its policy of large growth centres and the Government's reaction was to let the fire burn around Buchanan and when it died down see if Buchanan was burned and if it was singed extensively, put it on one side and come up with something more politically acceptable. This appears to have been the decision but we do not know because the Minister has not told us. I submit that it is his duty to tell us if Buchanan is not acceptable and to give us the reason why and to argue strongly in favour of the change of emphasis now revealed in this preliminary report by the IDA.

Because it is a preliminary report, I suppose it does not deal in detail with the reasons for the change. It points out that there has been this change of emphasis from Buchanan. There are two main differences between the IDA proposals and the Buchanan study. Both, incidentally, have the same objective of increasing the country's industrial growth. Buchanan recommended that this would take place in a selected number of areas where there would be a high concentration of growth, whereas the IDA now seem to have opted for a programme of greater dispersal. No doubt, socially the IDA programme is more attractive because one would not like to see a situation where certain favoured towns or minor cities would draw off the best from the surrounding countryside. That, no doubt, was the danger in Buchanan. Whether it was the entire danger is a matter on which we would like to hear the Minister. We should like to hear why he accepted that this was the danger, why he felt Buchanan's arguments were invalid and why his arguments regarding the creation of subsidiary agricultural employment and subsidiary employment in services and that they would balance the growth in the favoured centres were not valid.

A very important factor in the Buchanan thinking, as I understand it [2019] as it appears from the IDA report, was that the larger the growth centres the better chance they had of becoming self-propagating; that they in turn would create further growth, not necessarily in the particular centres but in outlying centres. If this conclusion of Buchanan has validity, it is extremely important because what we want to do, in addition to creating the initial impetus, is to create a structure which will itself create further jobs. It must be a matter of further argument and of conflicting opinion whether that end can be achieved if your initial growth is dispersed on a wide scale. The inter-action and inter-dependence that could come from a concentrated growth might be missing if the growth is dispersed over a big number of areas just as the physical distance between smaller growth points might prevent this inter-action which would create the extra growth that would come from the larger concentration. This is a tremendously important point. The Minister did not touch on it. He did not even attempt to touch on it. I wonder is he aware of what the IDA have published. What is the point of coming into the House and asking permission to capitalise the IDA to the gigantic sum of £200 million and not speaking one word on the policy which the IDA have enunciated? Is this Government policy? Is it IDA policy? Does the Minister know what it is? The IDA have indicated in this report that in June— next month—they will issue a detailed policy statement in a couple of volumes. One would have imagined that that would have been the proper time to have come seeking this extra finance.

In this preliminary report the IDA indicate that funds will be available from Europe by way of subvention for industrial investment. How much will come? What conditions does the Minister expect to be attached to such money? How is it to be used? All these are critical questions in relation to the future industrial life of this country. Not one of them has been dealt with by the Minister. The Minister takes 19 lines to ask the House to invest £200 million in the future of Irish industry. [2020] It is an appalling performance and I regret that I have to make this criticism, but it is my duty as a Member of this House to make that criticism. I will be interested to hear how the Minister can attempt to justify his failure to deal adequately with this tremendous sum.

The future of Ireland depends on our industrial policy, and yet the man in charge of that policy thinks so little about it that he ignores it completely. The other half of this Bill before the House is to provide for rates remission for certain favoured areas. As is pointed out in the explanatory memorandum —I do not know whether the Minister has read the memorandum issued with the Bill—the only favoured area so far is the town of Clara in County Offaly. The Bill is to provide rates remission for industries which might be set up in specially designated areas. It is a matter of supreme importance to know by what criterion an area is to be designated for special treatment.

Dr. O'Donovan: Information on John O'Donovan  Zoom on John O'Donovan  Clara is a sore point.

Mr. Cooney: Information on Patrick Mark Cooney  Zoom on Patrick Mark Cooney  One can understand the position in relation to Clara. I do not blame the Minister for having a special interest in Clara. One can see why the Minister designated Clara. It was hit by large-scale redundancy. Is that to be the only criterion? Are there other criteria which may be invoked from time to time? One would suspect so from reading the IDA report which deals with the incentives that can be used towards having its plans implemented. Reference is made to influencing the location within Ireland of certain projects by using specially designed packages of differential incentives. This body, which is charged with the expansion of our industry, makes the tremendously important and significant statement that it will seek to influence the location in Ireland of projects by using specially designed packages of differential incentives. This is a matter of tremendous political importance to everyone in this House. It is a matter of tremendous industrial importance to people who might be thinking of investment. The House is entitled to know precisely what is meant.

The Minister has a duty to tell us [2021] about what is meant. Does it mean that the Minister has the power to designate areas as he designated Clara? If so, are these areas to be designated by criteria other than that which designated Clara, namely an ad hoc redundancy? Will extra incentives be formulated by the IDA other than the incentives of increased grants available in some areas which are not available in others? Are incentives other than the remission of rates going to be provided? Numerous important questions arise out of this report. The Minister has failed to tell us about them.

The report itself raises a number of issues as between different regions. This idea of regions within this small country, which itself is only a region, is something which has been slipped in gradually and now we are presented with full-blown, established regions. This has been followed up in the area of health administration. Regions are mentioned under the Health Acts. There are rumblings in the field of local government. I have not the slightest doubt but that we will be presented with a regional package in that field also. Having decided to administer the country via different regions, it becomes a matter of concern to those of us who live in one of these regions to see whether that region is getting a fair crack of the whip. It appears to me, as a Deputy from the midlands, that the midlands have been the Cinderella of industrial development.

This is very clear from one of the tables in the appendix to the IDA report. It is clear that the midlands, between 1961 and 1971, had the least amount of money expended on it by the IDA. In terms of expenditure per head of population and as a percentage of total expenditure the midlands was very much bringing up the rear. The position now in regard to 1973 to 1977, covered by this preliminary report, is not much improved. The volume of jobs is projected at 600 gross, or 500 net, having regard to the redundancies which the IDA expect. This number is out of proportion to the size and population of the area.

[2022] I would have expected the Minister, using this Bill as a vehicle, to have justified the differentials that must appear between this region and other regions. I am particularly interested in the midlands region. No doubt other Deputies will find discrepancies, disparities and inequalities that they, too, would like explained. It is the Minister's duty, when this document is presented to us, to come in and justify this policy and the methods of its implementation. He has totally failed to do so. In a trite 19 lines the Minister asks for £200 million for this semi-State body.

I mentioned 600 jobs. That figure relates to the Athlone area alone. The total number of jobs projected for the midland region is 3,400. That is the gross projection. The net increase, after providing for redundancies, is expected to be 2,800. These figures are divided between five counties. For the town of Athlone and two smaller, adjoining towns—Moate and Ballymahon—600 is the projection there. This is altogether inadequate for this particular area. Athlone, in the Buchanan report, was one of the major growth centres. The population projected for Athlone was in line with its status as a projected growth centre. We now have it considerably demeaned in the sense that the number of jobs provided for it is less than the number of jobs provided for the Portlaoise-Mountrath-Portarlington area where the Minister lives. One begins to wonder are cynical politics being played with the fortunes of the people in the midlands at the expense of other towns?

The population projections for Athlone are in line with those of Buchanan but there are no jobs projected to meet these population forecasts. One begins to wonder how much validity there is in the projections for the other areas in this preliminary report. One can only hope that when the final reports are issued there will be facts and figures to substantiate all these projections.

There is a total of 55,000 gross new jobs projected for the entire country and for Westmeath, about 2 per cent of these, about equivalent to its proportion of the total national population, [2023] but not at all in line with the projection of population increase.

It does seem extraordinary that in the town of Athlone, which has an industrial history, a hinterland of persons accustomed to industrial employment and which has certain physical characteristics in the sense that the local authority have acquired a large industrial estate, with the infrastructures to which the IDA attach so much importance, there is not greater concentration on growth. It is depressing that the Minister could not see his way to treat Athlone at least equally with his own area of Portarlington/Portlaoise. One sees that the population per job in relation to the midlands is an unfavourable ratio in relation to the rest of the country.

It is a matter for concern to me and to other Deputies from the area, including the Minister for Transport and Power, that the town of Athlone in particular and the surrounding area which includes part of County Roscommon, for which the Minister for Transport and Power is responsible, has been downgraded in this report. We have been presented with this report without any statement by the Minister, without any justification or explanation for it. The Minister knows as well as I do that Athlone suffered grievously from redundancy over the past number of years. A total of 400 jobs was lost over a short period. This is a serious blow to the morale of a town. One would have thought that the IDA, the body charged with remedying such a position, would have been able to provide at least hope for the area and to show the area that it was entitled to some special consideration, particularly when the buildings, the population, the necessary conditions and the infrastructure were all present. This has not happened.

I am challenging the Minister to tell us why Athlone has been downgraded, to tell not merely me but his colleague in Government, the Minister for Transport and Power, why it has been downgraded and why a town that has suffered so much over the past number of years by serious redundancies [2024] is not being brought up again to its former position. It must be apparent that the Buchanan policy of larger growth centres—which is not totally rejected by the IDA—could be applied in somewhat less form in Athlone. If it were to be applied there and if there were concentration of growth there, that concentration would prove Buchanan right to the extent that it would be self-generating and further growth would take place in the adjoining smaller towns. But, as I say, the Minister comes in and asks coolly for £200 million for this semi-State body and makes that request in a speech of 19 lines. The whole future of the country is in the hands of the IDA and it is an altogether outrageous performance on the part of the Minister.

This Bill should not be before the House at this stage. It should have been introduced after the final and full IDA plans had been published. I do not think there is any particular urgency about it. The Minister certainly did not indicate any urgency about it. He indicated nothing in his speech. If there is no urgency about providing these funds it should have been left until after the full IDA report was issued and there was time for it to be studied and analysed and the full implications considered by all Deputies and an examination made as to what region deserved to be favoured and if the reasons which caused it to be favoured were valid. At this stage we do not know. We have only a very limited report available to us.

Again, how is the financing of the IDA to be tied up with whatever funds will become available from Europe? The IDA say in this report that funds will be available but the Minister does not tell us what conditions will be attached to those funds, what extent of funds will be available, how they are to be spent, will we have full control over their administration, will it be subject to control from Europe. All these points of information are not given to us. The Minister has insulted the House by coming in and asking for his money in this way.

Mr. O'Connor: Information on Timothy O'Connor  Zoom on Timothy O'Connor  The fact that the House is being asked to provide £200 [2025] million to the IDA shows forward thinking. It represents the injection that is needed to get the type of development that we require throughout the country. I cannot understand the suggestion made by the previous speaker that industries should be directed to growth centres. I have had considerable experience of European industrialists. In all cases I found that they are not interested in going into industrial complexes. They are far more concerned with going into smaller areas where there is considerable population in the outlying districts. This is the ideal way of creating employment in areas in which there are many smallholders. In my town the fourth factory is going up at present and we hope by the end of next year to have a total of 500 persons employed in the factories there. There are two further industrialists that I hope to bring into the region. Killorglin can take up to 15 factories. There is a labour pool of 3,000 to 5,000. Many of the workers are in England but they are interested in returning. This is the type of development that we want in Kerry, particularly in outlying areas, rather than industrial estates or growth centres in bigger areas, as was recommended in the Buchanan Report.

The county development team in Kerry were thinking along the lines that the centre of Kerry should be developed in the extreme. If my figures are right, as I have reason to believe they are, it costs about £20,000 to establish one job in places like Cork city and Waterford. In other words, when the factory is provided one then requires to provide the necessary housing, schools, roads and other amenities that go to make a built-up area. It has been established in Kerry that the cost of creating one job is less than £5,000 because the roads are already in existence and are used to only about one-fifth of capacity; the schools, churches and other necessary amenities are not used to capacity. In addition, there is the advantage that workers can live at home. They may have small holdings or parcels of land on which they can grow food for the household.

I would like to see the lines suggested by the IDA spread out over [2026] small areas because that is the way you find industries on the Continent. The farmers in Europe are trying to get out of the big complexes they find themselves in. I have made many trips to Munich and I found the only way they could extend there was upwards but this did not make for cheap or economic production. They have no place to get land in Munich. There is a 15-mile green belt around the city which prevents them getting any land in close proximity to the city. If industrialists go beyond that 15-mile limit there is no labour available. This is one of the reasons why German industrialists are interested in coming here.

I am not satisfied from my many trips to Europe and the people I met there that we have really got the message home to them. They said they had not met anybody officially from this country. I found that the IDA have been trying to get to those people but it is very difficult to get to see big businessmen in Munich. An all-out approach should be made by the IDA and also by our ambassadors and consuls in the different parts of Europe.

We have lost many industries in the past to countries outside Germany, particularly Portugal and Spain. We should try to encourage as many of those people as possible to come and set up industries here. The morning after the referendum result one of the top industrialists, who is a Deputy in the German Parliament, phoned me from Frankfurt to congratulate us on the great vote for entry into Europe. He said that Ireland has written her name high in the skies of Europe, that it will give us a big say in affairs there. We have shown the way to Britain, Denmark and Norway and we will be highly thought of. Large industrialists will now be interested in coming here.

The west is the one area which we need to get the maximum industry into. We have got a fair share of industries into Kerry over the last two or three years and in a few years time we should have many more in Cahirciveen and Dingle. We have the labour and every facility there. Industrialists [2027] are interested in getting into areas where amenities are available and also near scenic areas. This should be exploited particularly by the IDA. When industrialists come here they are just shown the industrial sites and are not brought along our coastal areas and our beauty spots which would induce them to stay here.

When industrialists came to Kerry we showed them the Ring of Kerry and the lakeland district and many of them came back and set up industries. We should try to encourage small industries employing from ten to 30 people to come to this country. In Germany up to 84 per cent of industry employ less than 30 people in each industry and a very big percentage of this number employ less than ten people.

The £200 million will play a big factor in the immediate development of industries in this country. The Minister should be congratulated on his forward thinking in this matter. In the next five years I am sure we will see a large influx of industry into this country. Previous speakers mentioned the top-class labour force which is available in this country and which is well appreciated in Europe. All the foreign firms, who have established small industries in Kerry, have stressed the fact that the people there are keen to learn and are very willing workers. All they need is some training to get into maximum production. Many families who have come back from England are being trained in the factories there and we find they make the best workers. They are much more appreciative of their jobs and the fact that they have a chance of earning a living in their homeland. They make every effort to see that the industries in which they are employed get off the ground.

This is a factor the IDA should take into account and make known to industrialists coming in. All too often in rural areas there is no check on the labour pool. Industrialists, and indeed the IDA, are inclined to look at the number of inhabitants of a town and regard that as the number from which employees are to be drawn. In Killorglin there are 1,300 people but if a circle with a five-mile diameter [2028] is drawn around the town there are 12,000 people inside it. There is a very large population in the surrounding rural area and this is what makes Killorglin rather attractive for industrialists. This check is not carried out, particularly in the west. There is not a sufficient check on the perimeters of the towns which would show a much greater population than the towns themselves.

There is an industrial estate in Tralee. I know we lost two industrialists because they were shown that estate and nowhere else and in the heart of the estate there was a lime producing plant. Those two industrialists left because they said this would be detrimental to their products and they could not set up near it. Tralee town has a population of 12,000 or 13,000 people. A large proportion of that figure are engaged in the county offices. There are hospitals in Tralee with large numbers of patients and staff. Then there are the shops in the town. The result is that the amount of labour available in a town of that size is far less, in many cases, than in some of the rural areas and the rural areas would be much more attractive to industrialists. I am sure this applies to many centres. Industrialists would like to get into smaller towns or to the open countryside, if possible, where there is sufficient labour in the country. These people pay more attention to their jobs and provide more contented and better labour. This is not availed of to the extent to which it should be. I know this is how the Germans in particular think because much of their labour lives outside the cities and towns. They look for the same thing here. This is not being pushed ahead enough or sold to them.

We have a great future in this country. Our people are forward thinking. They showed by the very big vote they gave in the referendum that they believe in Europe, that they believe in looking ahead. Let us not talk about the £200 million being put up too soon. It is not a minute too soon. It should have come before this but we have this demand now. I should like to congratulate the Minister on his forward thinking. Time will prove that it was the type of forward break we [2029] needed to get the industrial break we are looking for. I would ask the Minister to concentrate as much as possible on the west because this is where the labour is, the type of labour German industrialists in particular are looking for. When we get the west going the rest of the country must benefit from it. We have Irish people working in foreign countries who are anxious to come home. They have a right to be brought back. I hope this £200 million starts this type of development and that the best of our labour, which is in England and elsewhere, will have the opportunity of coming back and bringing the crafts they have acquired abroad back here to develop our country.

Mr. Timmons: Information on Eugene Timmons  Zoom on Eugene Timmons  I should like to congratulate the Minister on this important measure. It marks a great step forward in the economic and social progress of our country. As a Dublin Deputy I share the view of my colleagues who have taken part in this debate and welcome this measure. As everybody is aware, Dublin has got top-heavy. This preliminary report of the IDA emphasises that. It points out that between 1966 and 1971 the increase in population was about 55,000. It has become increasingly clear that there is serious need to decentralise and regionalise economic growth. As a public representative for some years I have been very much aware of the drift to the city. Because of the lack of job opportunities in other cities and rural towns people inevitably drift to Dublin or to England and other countries. That trend has been reversed and it is reassuring to note that many people are returning to this country and availing of the new opportunities being provided under the policies put forward by the Government over the past number of years.

The rate of expansion in Dublin is a cause of concern to all of us who are interested in community welfare. I have been very sympathetic towards people who were faced with problems when they came to the city and were successful in obtaining employment. They had difficulty in getting accommodation and in many cases they were exploited by rapacious landlords. In [2030] the priority regulations of Dublin Corporation it is laid down that no family can get accommodation in our city until they have a four years residential qualification. I know certain families who migrated from other parts of the country who are being forced to pay £8 a week for one room, allegedly furnished, in this city.

I should like to see the Government taking steps to deal with this. It may not be relevant to the motion before the House but it is an aspect of social injustice which should be investigated and some steps should be taken to curb people who are exploiting a fellowcitizen or a fellow countryman in that manner. Only last week I had the case of a young man with two children living in a room with the minimum of furnishings, a carpet on the floor and a couple of pieces of doubtful furniture. He is paying £8 10s a week for this room in a certain part of our city. He was presented with a letter from the landlord looking for a further increase because of the recent increase in rates in Dublin city.

This is an area of exploitation that demands some control. I will probably have an opportunity at some future time to raise it again, but it is an aspect of life that conditions have produced here because of the lack of industry and the lack of facilities in other areas. It is most important that the policy which is being formulated by the IDA, who have done so much to produce job opportunities for our people, should be encouraged. It is up to us to ensure that financial assistance is made available to increase job opportunities. As previous speakers have said, it poses great problems.

On page 6 of the report it is stated:

Although the period 1966-71 has seen a welcome shift in favour of the counties outside Dublin in their ability to attract new employment, an active regional policy is needed to ensure the continuation of this trend towards a better balance between Dublin and the rest of the state in the generation of new employment opportunities.

I think all Deputies will agree with that. The measure which the Minister [2031] has introduced will go a long way to check this imbalance which has produced very serious social problems. I mentioned the social problem of a man, his wife and young children who are forced to accept accommodation at exorbitant rents. There is also the problem of single people who come to our city and are forced to accept accommodation with four persons to a room and are charged £3 or £4 per head. Some of the houses in which these people have to live have no independent rating system. They were family residences many years ago. They were never converted into proper flats but just let out on that basis and, apparently, they do not come under the control of the rating authority.

I know of two houses in a certain suburban district in which there are 16 families. The average rents work out at £4 or £5 a week. The rateable valuation of the houses is roughly £20 to £25. There should be better control of those matters. These are just sidelights on the problems of migration and emigration that have faced our country. The provision of new industries in areas which have not been provided for before is very welcome. I support the aims of the IDA to maintain and expand employment in the country regions, mainly because of the grave social problems that migration has created in our city and the financial strain it has imposed on the citizens in providing extra services and extra finance through rates and taxation. I welcome this measure as a brave step forward, a progressive step forward, in trying to end the exploitation in accommodation of which I am so conscious.

The report also points out that, apart from the finances provided by the Government, now that we are entering the EEC we will benefit from the financial policies that have been evolved by that organisation. This will undoubtedly accelerate economic growth. I should like to congratulate the Minister once again. He was criticised in the House because of his brief introductory speech but this is a sound measure and he is following a sound policy.

I would like to associate myself with those previous speakers who condemned [2032] the unfair attack on the director of the IDA. This is a man who is dedicated to his work and who has devoted his whole lifetime to elevating the economic structure of this country. In the report that has been referred to he was merely making a very valuable projection in regard to our future economic development as he saw it in terms of the EEC. No doubt as time goes on his optimism will be justified.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  It is only reasonable to expect that a Bill of this kind would meet with the approval of the House. However, my introductory brief on Second Stage has been the subject of a great deal of criticism in that I did not endeavour to spell out in detail the manner in which the money I am seeking for the IDA is to be spent. However, had I made a long-winded contribution at that stage I would possibly have been criticised by some members of the Opposition for being guilty of duplication, for indicating something which obviously all of them know already because everybody who has contributed to the debate has drawn attention to the fact that the first page of the preliminary statement that was issued some time ago by the IDA indicated clearly that the Government endorsed fully the approach of the IDA. Therefore, it should not have been necessary for me to give the House a synopsis of what was stated publicly by the authority some time ago.

Deputy Donegan referred to this Bill as being enabling legislation. He is correct in that. I have come here before seeking moneys in a similar fashion for CTT. One would expect that a Bill of this nature would have the effect of encouraging people to make observations on the activities of the IDA. The introduction of this Bill is fully in accord with what has been the practice here in the past. This £100 million is to enable the authority to fund their programme during the next three years. In its own way this is an indication of the progress that has been made by the authority. The original £100 million granted to them is now almost spent. This, too, is an indication of the success of the authority's programme.

[2033] I was surprised that Deputy O'Leary indicated that he was not too sure whether the Bill meant the provision of £50 million or of £100 million but he posed the question: “What is the difference in a few million pounds between friends?” To say the least that is indicative of a lackadaisical approach.

Mr. M. O'Leary: Information on Michael O'Leary  Zoom on Michael O'Leary  I hope the Minister is able to recognise irony.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  The remark was followed immediately by an attack on both the chief executive and the chairman of the IDA. Both expressions were in the same tone so that I did not know whether the House was to assume that Deputy O'Leary was not as serious in his remarks about these people as he was in his straightforward remark as to the inconsequential difference between an allocation of £50 million and £100 million.

Mr. M. O'Leary: Information on Michael O'Leary  Zoom on Michael O'Leary  Surely it was the Minister who was being inconsequential in presenting us with a two-page speech regarding a request for £100 million.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  I made note of the Deputy's remark at the time as I did not wish to interrupt him then. He commented that I had very little to say on the activities of the IDA and the progress that has been made during the past three years by the re-formed authority. I did not consider it necessary for me to sing the praises of the IDA but, as I saw it, the Bill gave to Deputies the opportunity of criticising or praising the authority, depending on their particular point of view. The purpose of bringing a Bill of this kind before the House and of having money provided on the basis of what are the expected requirements for a three-year period is to give the House an opportunity of discussing the activities of semi-State bodies at reasonably regular intervals.

A number of Deputies drew attention to what they described as haste in introducing the Bill. It has been suggested by some that the Bill was introduced before the issuing by the IDA of more comprehensive documents than their preliminary statements. As I [2034] indicated in my brief it is necessary to introduce the Bill at this time in order to provide the IDA with the necessary money to continue to encourage industry. I pointed out that the present limit of £100 million has almost been reached and that the authorities must be provided with further funds if they are to continue to discharge their function. In fact, the amount of money that has been expended as of now is £99 million and unless this Bill goes through reasonably soon the situation will be that the authority will not be in a position to fulfil their commitments. As I indicated also, their current commitments for projects approved amount to approximately £56 million. On the basis that the IDA are spending a little less than £30 million each year it is logical to assume that the amount being sought here will be used by them on further industrial promotion during the next three years.

I wish to make some further reference to the attacks that were made on the chief executive and the chairman of the IDA by both Deputy M. O'Leary and Deputy O'Donovan. All of the executives and members of the boards of State-sponsored bodies have a specific job to do, and I find no fault with any of the statements made by the chairman or by the chief executive of the IDA in relation to the advantages to this country of achieving membership of the EEC. It was indicated quite clearly in the preliminary statement that all the projections they have made were based on a number of assumptions the principal assumption being that we would be members of the EEC on 1st January, 1973. Deputy M. O'Leary actually went out of his way to say that nobody would have minded if a Minister or some other politician had made this statement, but that non-politicians should not enter into that field.

Mr. M. O'Leary: Information on Michael O'Leary  Zoom on Michael O'Leary  They should not enter into politics.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  The Deputy did not do any credit to himself or any other politician when he said, in other words, that nobody minded the claims made by elected politicians, whereas everybody took seriously claims that [2035] are made by the chief executive of the IDA.

Mr. M. O'Leary: Information on Michael O'Leary  Zoom on Michael O'Leary  The Minister is elected. I am entitled to attack a claim by the Minister.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  The Deputy is entitled to his own point of view, but I do not accept that he is entitled to assume that if a Minister makes a statement it is not to be taken seriously but that if the chief executive of a State-sponsored body makes a statement it becomes a fact. That is a grave reflection on all politicians.

Mr. M. O'Leary: Information on Michael O'Leary  Zoom on Michael O'Leary  The IDA statement was unfounded. I do not mind the Minister making an unfounded statement. The Minister objects when I reply to the IDA in this House.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  No. I leave it to the Ceann Comhairle to deal with the question of introducing personalities.

Mr. M. O'Leary: Information on Michael O'Leary  Zoom on Michael O'Leary  If the IDA——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Cormac Breslin  Zoom on Cormac Breslin  Order. The Minister is entitled to speak without interruption.

Mr. Briscoe: Information on Ben Briscoe  Zoom on Ben Briscoe  The IDA would know better than anybody what the position would be.

Mr. M. O'Leary: Information on Michael O'Leary  Zoom on Michael O'Leary  Then we should abolish the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  I thought it was remarkable for the Deputy to state that it was not a good thing to have non-elected people making political statements in relation to the EEC debate. It goes without saying that there were far more self-appointed people making very serious allegations on behalf of the campaign for non-entry to the EEC than there were elected people making statements.

Mr. M. O'Leary: Information on Michael O'Leary  Zoom on Michael O'Leary  Non-elected people who are servants of the State.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  There were some of those.

Mr. M. O'Leary: Information on Michael O'Leary  Zoom on Michael O'Leary  I object to such people making political statements.

[2036]Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  That applies to both sides of the fence. Some Deputies found it necessary to criticise me for rushing this Bill into the House, as they described it, before anybody had the opportunity of seeing whether this plan or programme of the IDA would be successful. If it were found possible to wait for the appearance of the full details of the IDA programme, which is expected some time around the middle of June, it would still be considered a fitting time to discuss it, although even within the next 12 months it will not be possible to judge in the smallest way the success of the strategy of the IDA in this regard.

Deputy Donegan, leading off for Fine Gael, and a number of other speakers following him, complimented the IDA on the success of their efforts to attract industry and to expand industrial development. In fact, Deputy Donegan criticised the Minister and the Government for interfering, as he saw it, with the activities of the IDA. On the other hand, Deputy M. O'Leary interjects that there is no need for a Minister for Industry and Commerce because the IDA are doing the job without Government interference. Therefore, it is very difficult to get the concise, collective views of the Opposition parties.

Mr. M. O'Leary: Information on Michael O'Leary  Zoom on Michael O'Leary  The Minister is simply a messenger boy for the IDA when, in a two-page speech, he looks for £100 million.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  I need only have had the one paragraph to get across the message to the Deputy. Two pages seemed to be too much for him. He did not know how much money I was looking for.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  The consensus of opinion from listening to Deputies with the exception of the two Deputies who spoke on behalf of the Labour Party, was that there had been enormous industrial development in this country over the last 20 years. Good progress has been made. Perhaps, if I deal with the contribution of Deputy Begley, that will be the most effective way of assessing the [2037] effect of Government policy over the last number of years.

Mr. M. O'Leary: Information on Michael O'Leary  Zoom on Michael O'Leary  And the contribution of Deputy Cooney. Do not forget that.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  I heard all the contributions made here. Deputy Begley drew attention to the fact that a great many emigrants are now coming home and staying at home. He interpreted that as showing great confidence in the country. He was talking about the development of industry on the basis of the regional programme drawn up by the IDA designed to keep these people at home and use at home the skills and talents they picked up elsewhere. He agreed that their return was an indication of the progress that has been made and the confidence that these nationals have in the development of the country. He also pointed out that they discovered that wages here are now as good as they are in England and this was another reason why they were coming back here. That contribution by a front bench member of the principal Opposition Party is a clear indication of the success of the policy carried out by successive Ministers over the years, with the full co-operation of a very active Industrial Development Authority.

Mr. Donegan: Information on Patrick S. Donegan  Zoom on Patrick S. Donegan  An Industrial Development Authority created by us.

Mr. Briscoe: Information on Ben Briscoe  Zoom on Ben Briscoe  But not to the extent to which it has developed since.

Mr. Donegan: Information on Patrick S. Donegan  Zoom on Patrick S. Donegan  Fianna Fáil said they would close it down.

Mr. Briscoe: Information on Ben Briscoe  Zoom on Ben Briscoe  It is a very different body from the one established by the coalition Government.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  Deputy Donegan criticised the Government for interfering too much with the authority. The Deputy implied that there is political interference in the activities of the IDA.

Mr. Donegan: Information on Patrick S. Donegan  Zoom on Patrick S. Donegan  I said the Minister denied it here, but it happened, and now the Minister clearly agrees that there is a need for regionalisation. That is not a criticism of the IDA. It is a criticism of the Minister of the day.

[2038]Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  I could not accept that. The IDA has complete freedom to use incentives to steer industry into the different regions in an effort to achieve the objectives outlined in the programme. There is nothing wrong in that. It is something to be encouraged.

Mr. Donegan: Information on Patrick S. Donegan  Zoom on Patrick S. Donegan  That was something that was rigidly denied for 20 years. Now the Minister says he will do it from now on.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  The IDA will do it. Over the past two years I have found myself answering questions here in connection with difficulties that have arisen in particular industries and I have been asked by Deputies to direct the attention of the IDA to particular areas with a view to steering replacement industries into them in order to avoid unemployment or alleviate redundancy. I have never said I would not do so. I have undertaken on a number of occasions to remind the IDA that there were problems in particular areas. That happened in the case of Waterford.

Mr. Donegan: Information on Patrick S. Donegan  Zoom on Patrick S. Donegan  Dundalk.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  Not with me.

Mr. Donegan: Information on Patrick S. Donegan  Zoom on Patrick S. Donegan  Clara.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  Dundalk, Athlone, Cork, and there was a special case in connection with Clara. Where difficulties arise and special problems exist there is no reluctance on my part to indicate to the IDA the need to make a special effort with regard to the provision of industry in a particular area. That has been my policy since I took office.

Mr. Donegan: Information on Patrick S. Donegan  Zoom on Patrick S. Donegan  This was our policy and we exonerate the Minister.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  I thought I devised it myself.

Mr. Donegan: Information on Patrick S. Donegan  Zoom on Patrick S. Donegan  I am afraid the Minister did not.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  Deputy Donegan criticised what he alleged was a lack of regional policy. He drew attention to the introductory paragraph which states:

Regional development aimed at achieving a reasonable balance in [2039] opportunities and incomes between all regions of the country is a priority aim of Government policy. Industrial development is the principal instrument available to us to correct the present regional imbalance within Ireland and between Ireland and the more affluent countries of Europe.

This was the quotation he used to prove that the Government had now changed their views.

Mr. Donegan: Information on Patrick S. Donegan  Zoom on Patrick S. Donegan  Correct. And the next paragraph too.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  “The Government have now endorsed the IDA approach...”

Mr. Donegan: Information on Patrick S. Donegan  Zoom on Patrick S. Donegan  I underlined the word “now”. “Now” is the operative word. “The Government have now endorsed the IDA approach...”

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  We are talking about the IDA approach in the five-year period 1973-1977. This does not indicate that the Government did not endorse the IDA approach over the last number of years because the Government and the IDA have been synchronising their approach.

Mr. Donegan: Information on Patrick S. Donegan  Zoom on Patrick S. Donegan  The word “now” is highly indicative. That is the mildest way to put it.

Mr. Briscoe: Information on Ben Briscoe  Zoom on Ben Briscoe  It is a very interesting word. I wonder who put it there.

Mr. Donegan: Information on Patrick S. Donegan  Zoom on Patrick S. Donegan  It is highly indicative.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  So long as we have continued industrial progress I have no objection to the Deputy reading anything he wishes into this document.

Mr. M. O'Leary: Information on Michael O'Leary  Zoom on Michael O'Leary  Could the Minister tell us why it was not possible to delay this request for this extra money until we had the background to the general prediction of the IDA with regard to the number of new jobs over the next few years?

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  I indicated in my opening remarks that, if this legislation does not go through——

Mr. M. O'Leary: Information on Michael O'Leary  Zoom on Michael O'Leary  In three weeks time they would be bankrupt. Would [2040] it not be giving more respect to this Assembly to come to it then rather than introduce this matter with a two-page speech just looking for the money?

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  Six months ago the Government issued a White Paper in connection with our application for entry into the EEC and that White Paper indicated that we had a programme of industrial development which would generate 55,000 new jobs before 1977. Both the Opposition Parties wanted to know on what this prediction was based. The Deputy now says we should have waited another three weeks until we had it item by item.

Mr. M. O'Leary: Information on Michael O'Leary  Zoom on Michael O'Leary  The Minister says we have it.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  It is stated here in this preliminary statement by the IDA. Apparently that is not sufficient either. I have no doubt that when the full information is presented in the middle of June it still will not satisfy the Labour Party.

Mr. M. O'Leary: Information on Michael O'Leary  Zoom on Michael O'Leary  It does not satisfy the Confederation of Irish Industry.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  The confederation is not dissatisfied. They have not indicated in any shape or form that they question the IDA's capacity to generate these jobs.

Mr. M. O'Leary: Information on Michael O'Leary  Zoom on Michael O'Leary  They are not happy either.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  They question the advisability, or otherwise——

Mr. M. O'Leary: Information on Michael O'Leary  Zoom on Michael O'Leary  Of the policy.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  ——of the placement of the job. They questioned the acceptance by the IDA——

Mr. M. O'Leary: Information on Michael O'Leary  Zoom on Michael O'Leary  They questioned the policy.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  ——of the Government policy under which the IDA were operating. The Government indicated this in 1969 when they said the purpose was to achieve broad-based [2041] regional expansion leading to a faster rate of industrial growth and a higher level of employment in industry and services and to keep the population dislocation to the minimum consistent with these objectives. This is what the IDA programme is all about. The CII news sheet found cause to disagree with that——

Mr. M. O'Leary: Information on Michael O'Leary  Zoom on Michael O'Leary  Fundamental criticism.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  ——but they are not disagreeing with the capacity of the IDA to generate the 55,000 new jobs about which we are speaking, which was questioned before and is being questioned now by the Deputy and no matter how it is presented to him, in a month's time or six months time it will continue to be questioned until 1977 when the target will have been achieved.

Mr. M. O'Leary: Information on Michael O'Leary  Zoom on Michael O'Leary  In three weeks time we are to be given the reasons and not in six months time.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  In three weeks time.

Mr. M. O'Leary: Information on Michael O'Leary  Zoom on Michael O'Leary  Why could we not have——

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Denis Francis Jones  Zoom on Denis Francis Jones  The Minister must be allowed to reply. If questions are to be asked when he has concluded the Minister may be disposed to answer them.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  I want to say clearly that there is no question of the IDA being bankrupt next week or the week after, but every Deputy knows that there is no way in which I, or the Minister for Finance, can make money available to the IDA unless it is voted to them by this House. We certainly do not want a situation where an industrialist has his factory built and his machinery installed and is held up for money because of a hint that there is no money in the pool just because we have to wait three or six weeks to try to get a message across to a questioning group of politicians who still do not accept the decision of the people.

Mr. Donegan: Information on Patrick S. Donegan  Zoom on Patrick S. Donegan  Fair enough. I accept that.

[2042]Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  Deputy Donegan, having studied this preliminary statement, made a straightforward statement about his conclusions on it. This indicates a logical approach. Perhaps I shall be accused of doing the wrong thing again but he said the conclusion arrived at in the report, amounting to the creation of 55,000 industrial jobs in the period specified, was modest but factual. I hope it will prove to be more modest than factual. It is much too early to draw conclusions but the early reports I am getting from the IDA at present, so soon after the success of the campaign to enter the EEC, indicate that it has generated an enormous amount of industrial inquiries, so that it is quite possible that we have here a programme which will prove too modest in relation to the achievements.

Deputy Donegan referred to Table A.1 in the report. This was the Interim Advance Factory Location Programme. The Deputy picked out the Donegal region and the six towns mentioned there and said that it included every town in Donegal with the exception of Donegal town and indicated that this was a political gimmick to make the people in the towns happy. In fact, this is not a programme for the future. It is a list of the advance factories at present in course of construction and which was announced here almost 12 months ago. Most of the factories mentioned here are approaching completion.

Mr. Donegan: Information on Patrick S. Donegan  Zoom on Patrick S. Donegan  Not the locations.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  Yes, I think so. There are about 33 in all. Some of them have been held up due to difficulties about procuring sites or planning permission from local authorities. Deputy Fitzpatrick of Cavan drew attention to the hold-up in procuring a site in Cavan town for the advance factory mentioned here for the north-east area. A total of 20 out of the 33 are in course of construction at present and tenders have been accepted for a number of others— Carndonagh, Longford, Mohill, Carrigallen and Ballinrobe. There are others at the design stage and some of them may be held up in various ways. They include Ballyshannon, Tipperary, Cahirciveen, Listowel, Mountbellew, [2043] Ballygar and a special one at Gort which is not even mentioned here, Swinford, Skibbereen, Dunmanway, Kells, Cavan, Monaghan, Manorhamilton and Ballaghaderreen. This is not a political gimmick to make people in those towns happy. Actual factories are being provided in those towns and the IDA are in the process of attracting industrialists into them.

Mr. Donegan: Information on Patrick S. Donegan  Zoom on Patrick S. Donegan  Point taken.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  The Deputy went on to deal with Table 4. It may be no harm to talk in general about groups of towns. Many Deputies mentioned these. Spokesmen of Fine Gael mainly drew attention to the fact that anybody who would criticise the selection of towns in these areas would be divesting himself of political support. These towns are treated as areas into which the IDA propose to attract sufficient industry to generate jobs for the numbers mentioned in the last column in each case. There are some very small towns which do not appear in those lists but I look upon the towns selected as part of an industrial development area where the IDA are now committed to generating sufficient industrial development to fulfil the targets indicated in this table.

Listening to Deputy Esmonde I had assumed for a time that he had not studied this report but subsequently he got around to saying he had studied it. He was advocating a type of policy by the IDA which would create the kind of employment envisaged here and which was criticised by Deputy Donegan, I think, as being in the nature of political gimmick and too far removed from the Buchanan Report. It was too far removed in its own way from the Buchanan Report. I claim that CII are wrong in their criticism of the document in one way. I have not a copy of the CII observations here, but so far as I can recollect they indicated that the IDA made no reference to Buchanan. In fact, the IDA report indicated the point on which they differ from Buchanan. In paragraph 5 on page 15 of the report they draw attention to the fact that there are two main differences between [2044] the proposals of the IDA and those of the Buchanan study.

Deputy J. O'Leary read the full extract from the report. The main difference between the IDA plan and Buchanan is that Buchanan envisaged the creation of 75 per cent of the jobs in nine growth centres—the three specific areas of Dublin, Cork and Lime-rick-Shannon-Ennis and six other major towns. In this case approximately 50 per cent of the jobs will be generated in those nine centres, whereas the other 50 per cent will be generated with a view to bringing the jobs to the people rather than having the people migrate to the jobs. That is one of the great advantages of this programme in the regional plan which the IDA prepared. This is the reason why the Government are fully behind the IDA approach in this matter.

Deputy M. O'Leary spoke on the overall plan set out. He said that the IDA plan means a pittance for every parish in the country. There are 5,000 jobs to be created in the Ballyshannon-Bundoran - Donegal - Glenties - Killybegs area. There would be 1,200 jobs in the Athenry-Galway-Gort area. There would be 400 new jobs in the Ballybunion - Ballylongford, Listowel-Tarbert areas. They will not be accepted by the people in those areas as “pittances”.

Mr. M. O'Leary: Information on Michael O'Leary  Zoom on Michael O'Leary  When they see them.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  I do not know whether the Labour Party spokesman on this, Deputy M. O'Leary, would prefer to see a different type of programme— which he would also criticise—setting out a plan for the creation of 200,000 new jobs over the next few years, jobs that could not be achieved.

One of the greatest advantages for the people is the realisation that the plan cannot alone work, but will actually work. There is sufficient experience in each of the regions of the success of the efforts of the IDA up to now to generate industry. Furthermore, people realise that the object of this exercise in the planning of further industrial expansion is capable of achievement. The most useful diagrams in this whole presentation from the IDA are those which set out, in black [2045] lines, the job creation targets for 1973-77 and relate them to the net increase in employment from 1966-71. From looking at the balanced graphs, the average man can see that what the IDA are setting out to do can be achieved. The IDA have the capacity——

Dr. O'Donovan: Information on John O'Donovan  Zoom on John O'Donovan  If the IDA told us what the industries were instead of giving us diagrams and figures, we would be much more prepared to listen to them.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  We have a situation where Deputy O'Donovan is lifting the IDA on to a peculiar sort of pedestal and where he is now asking them to set themselves up as fortune-tellers and spell out what is going to be presented in Loughrea in 1977.

Dr. O'Donovan: Information on John O'Donovan  Zoom on John O'Donovan  The Minister said that he is having far more inquiries now than he had heretofore.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  Exactly. There is a difference between inquiries and the actual final product. This is why I am saying that in this document to which reference has been made the achievements in each region between 1966 and 1971 are set out. It shows the number of jobs created and the industries introduced between 1966-71. A logical projection is now made that following our successful entry into the EEC the volume of jobs that can be created will be great. This is what IDA expertise is all about. They know that they can generate jobs. They are permitted to grant inducements in order to steer industries into given regions, so as to bring that region up to what was forecast for it in regard to employment.

Deputy T.J. Fitzpatrick (Cavan) said that the Minister should have the power to acquire compulsorily a factory which has failed. The Deputy was referring to a factory to which IDA grants had been paid. He mentioned that compensation could be given. The IDA make arrangements in regard to grant-aided factories. They build in a provision now so that they are in a position to re-acquire a factory with a view to attracting a different industrialist into it. I am unaware of the case which Deputy [2046] Fitzpatrick had in mind in relation to a Cavan factory. I do recall that two or three years ago a factory in that town did run into difficulties. I am not too sure if it is the factory to which Deputy Fitzpatrick referred. My understanding is that that factory got itself straightened out and is now progressing reasonably satisfactorily. I hope that is not the factory to which Deputy Fitzpatrick referred. It would be unfortunate if he was referring to that factory which, as far as I know, is going pretty well at the moment.

Deputy Fitzpatrick was anxious that I should use whatever influence I have with my colleague the Minister for Local Government to get him to acquire a site for a factory in Cavan. That is one of the factories mentioned in the list that we were talking about a moment ago.

Deputy Begley referred to the acquisition of sites, in a different context. He suggested that the IDA should make money available to local authorities for the purchase of sites for industrial development. He felt that the Industrial Development Authority should give 100 per cent of the cost to local authorities. He mentioned the difficulty he had experienced that when a potential industrialist arrived in an area there was the possibility of local speculators moving in ahead of the local authority. My experience leads me to believe that the incentives should come from the local authority itself. Every good local authority is at the present time endeavouring to purchase and to develop land so that it will be available to industrialists. It would be very wrong if the IDA were to take the initiative in this regard. In cases where the local authority are seeking sites adjacent to towns, there is a wealth of goodwill in the area towards that development. The owner of the land, in the interests of the locality, will be as reasonable as possible with the local authority in the sale of the land. If the IDA were to take the initiative in purchasing the site there might be a tendency on the part of the owners of land to increase the price. If we were to adopt the suggestion, made by Deputy Begley in all good faith, there is the possibility that the [2047] cost of the site would be inflated. In my view it is the local authority that should make arrangements for the purchase of sites.

There is close liaison between the IDA and the local authorities through the various county development teams. I do not consider that at this stage I should recommend to the IDA that they should subsidise local authorities to the extent of 100 per cent in respect of the purchase of sites because this would have the effect of encouraging speculation rather than discouraging it.

Deputy Begley seemed to assume from the report that the IDA had cut itself off from Gaeltacht development and from Gaeltarra Éireann. I want to say that, on the contrary, their programme completely ties in with the plans for Gaeltacht areas. Table 4, pages 12 and 13, of the preliminary report shows the areas in which the IDA hope to co-operate with Gaeltarra Éireann and Roinn na Gaeltachta in the generation of jobs. By writing their commitment in this regard into their programme the IDA show that they have become deeply involved in the provision of jobs in these Gaeltacht areas.

I presume that Deputy Begley does not expect me to deal with the details in regard to specific local industries that he mentioned. I have made a note of his remarks and will look into his complaints.

Deputy Begley also said that there was a great number of small industries in his county and in western areas. He wondered if these industries qualify for the two-thirds remission of rates and whether or not the local authority had power to grant this remission over the ten-year period. I want to tell him that they have the power but the Deputy would need to be aware as to what this remission covers. It applies to premises certified by the board to have been provided for an industrial undertaking in an undeveloped area by the board or by means of grants provided by them. This means that the two-thirds remission can be given to any small industry, along with a bigger industry. It could be given to any small new factory which has been provided either [2048] by the IDA by way of advanced factory that has been let or sold by way of grant aid, which is the case in which the Deputy would be interested. Under the Principal Act, the factories the Deputy inquires about are covered for rates remission. There is nothing to stop county councils giving remission of rates to these new factories. Rented factories are not covered; it is the grant-aided factory.

Mr. Donegan: Information on Patrick S. Donegan  Zoom on Patrick S. Donegan  Any small industry anywhere can get that?

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  No, in the undeveloped areas. This is what the other part of the Bill is about—undeveloped areas.

Mr. Donegan: Information on Patrick S. Donegan  Zoom on Patrick S. Donegan  I thought the Minister said anything that got a small industry grant.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  It does not cover Louth or Laois.

Mr. Donegan: Information on Patrick S. Donegan  Zoom on Patrick S. Donegan  I knew that but I thought the Minister said otherwise.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  No. Deputy Briscoe and Deputy Tom Fitzpatrick of Dublin and Deputy Timmons subscribed to the IDA's programme for industrial development in Dublin simply and solely on the basis of natural growth of population. This is what is envisaged here and in the overall local government regional plan. The IDA are becoming more and more conscious of the need to encourage industries to decentralise as far as the Dublin area is concerned. It is heartening from my point of view and from the point of view of the IDA that Dublin-based Deputies who speak responsibly on this issue should see things in exactly the same light.

Deputy Cooney questioned whether the IDA policy was Government policy. There is no doubt that it is and this is what is clearly stated in the first page of the document. He also questioned their decision to influence locations of industries by using special incentives and asked what the special incentives are. He had in mind asking the Minister to develop new types of incentives to draw industries into areas where the IDA needed to draw them. Under the terms of existing legislation there are [2049] ceilings to which the IDA can go by way of grant-aiding industry.

The tax-free incentive has from the point of view of major export orientated industries now become the main attraction. The IDA are naturally endeavouring to use that to the maximum extent and in some cases they have been able to attract industries on the basis of the tax-free concession without having to provide a capital grant at all. This is the type of incentive the IDA are most anxious to use at the present time. It is very seldow now that the IDA have to pay the maximum grant which they are statutorily allowed to pay to an industry setting up in most parts of the country. It is following that pattern that the IDA will be able to fulfil their commitments in this plan by being able to give a lesser incentive in order to discourage a person from going one place and the greater incentive in order to encourage him to go some other place.

Deputy Cooney said that the midland region was the Cinderella in regard to industries. It would be rather unfair and wrong of me, even if I am from that region, to go into the pros and cons of this matter and to speak about the lack of industrial development there. If one examines this document minutely and critically, one will find that great effort is made to try to balance out the industrial development and to bring up the areas which do not appear to have got their share. Deputy John O'Leary spoke about the great necessity of doing a little more about the Kerry area.

Looking through the document one can see that the south-west region is perhaps not the one which is the most neglected. If I had more time I could probably go into more detail in that regard. It is not necessary for me at this stage to go into specific details because I do not think it is appropriate for me to go through the nine regions and try to spell out how one has an advantage on the other or how one has a disadvantage vis-à-vis another. The overall programme which the IDA have devised will bring untold benefits to many areas.

The spokesmen who appeared to be opposed to this seemed to accept the [2050] fact that the plan has been extremely well received in the country generally. The greatest tribute to the plan was paid by Deputy Donegan who said it would be political lunacy—perhaps those are not the words he used—for any politician to criticise the manner in which the industries were to be distributed around the country. If that is so it means that it only remains for the IDA in the five years facing them to fulfil their commitments in this regard. Deputy Donegan will have to agree that if they do they will have done a splendid job.

Mr. Donegan: Information on Patrick S. Donegan  Zoom on Patrick S. Donegan  Of course but that was not my point.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  If they are doing a job which makes everybody happy it must be the right job for the country.

Mr. Donegan: Information on Patrick S. Donegan  Zoom on Patrick S. Donegan  The Minister is taking my point out of context. My criticism of the plan was that it was deliberately written in a way to make everybody happy politically, electorally and every other way. That is the slight criticism I had.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  Two years ago when I went into the Department of Industry and Commerce I asked the chief man of the IDA if he could come up with a plan which would make the country happy. I believe they have done that.

Mr. Donegan: Information on Patrick S. Donegan  Zoom on Patrick S. Donegan  Electorally happy.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  I would be doing my job extremely well if I could devise an industrial policy which would make everybody happy.

Mr. Donegan: Information on Patrick S. Donegan  Zoom on Patrick S. Donegan  Electorally happy.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  Economically happy is what makes one electorally happy. The people are electorally happy because they are economically happy and they are not one-fifth as happy as they will be in five years time provided they do not make any mistakes in the meantime.

Dr. O'Donovan: Information on John O'Donovan  Zoom on John O'Donovan  You will not be here in five years time.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  I have heard Deputy O'Donovan making predictions over the past three or four years.

[2051]Dr. O'Donovan: Information on John O'Donovan  Zoom on John O'Donovan  How many wrong predictions have I made?

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  Only major ones.

Dr. O'Donovan: Information on John O'Donovan  Zoom on John O'Donovan  The Minister said he had been listening to my predictions. I did not make any prediction. I said nothing about the document because I regard it as a collection of figures and graphs.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  The intention is to put the figures and graphs into effect. I heard the Deputy say two years ago: “Do not mind all this claptrap about the EEC. Britain will never join the EEC”. I suppose the Deputy is still saying that.

Dr. O'Donovan: Information on John O'Donovan  Zoom on John O'Donovan  When did I say that?

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  Every day in the Dáil.

Dr. O'Donovan: Information on John O'Donovan  Zoom on John O'Donovan  I was right twice. I was right in 1961 and also in 1967. That is not a bad record.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  It was in 1970 the Deputy said that.

Dr. O'Donovan: Information on John O'Donovan  Zoom on John O'Donovan  The Minister can wait and see whether, in fact, it will end up with Britain going in. I take it that if Britain does not go in we will not go in.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Denis Francis Jones  Zoom on Denis Francis Jones  I think we had better keep to the Industrial Development Bill.

Dr. O'Donovan: Information on John O'Donovan  Zoom on John O'Donovan  If Britain does not go in, we do not go in despite the referendum. Will you reverse the referendum?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Denis Francis Jones  Zoom on Denis Francis Jones  Let us get back to the Industrial Development Bill.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  When Deputies contribute on such a Bill as this they want to speak on their own areas. Deputy Esmonde had a go at the Minister regarding the lack of information and for failure to outline the plans of the IDA. He said that he was from an area where there was no industrial development but he finished up by saying that he wanted to pay a tribute to the operatives within the IDA particularly in connection with two new industries [2052] which had been established in his area, If a Deputy wants to make a point he should not ruin it subsequently by admitting that the point made was for the sake of being critical. He did not mention what the two industries were perhaps they were not big, but it struck me as being rather contradictory. He was completely in favour of the industrialisation of the smaller towns and spoke about certain experiences he had in Germany and Austria. His experience of developments that had taken place on the Continent seemed to me to be positive proof of the fact that this figure and the graphs we have here are an outline of a programme that really can be implemented.

Mr. Donegan: Information on Patrick S. Donegan  Zoom on Patrick S. Donegan  I believe it can too.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  Deputy Donegan said it was realistic and I think it is. I have endeavoured to cover everything. Perhaps I should have made a more comprehensive statement.

Dr. O'Donovan: Information on John O'Donovan  Zoom on John O'Donovan  Does the Minister think we said that the £100 million cannot be spent? Is that what he thinks?

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  Not alone will we spend that £100 million on industrial development over the next three years, and get good value for it, but I confidently expect that, despite the efforts of Deputy O'Donovan, we will also be able to make use of the European Economic Fund to add to this £100 million that I am asking the House to vote on this occasion in order to put extra zip into our industrial development programme. When I come back to the House in three years time seeking the next £100 million for industrial development——

Mr. Donegan: Information on Patrick S. Donegan  Zoom on Patrick S. Donegan  I hope the Minister will stay in the best of health but it will not be him.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  ——I hope I will be able to stand up proudly and hold this document, or the fuller document from the IDA that will appear in about a month's time, and say: “Here we are. We are three-fifths of the way through the term outlined and planned here”. We may even be reaching our overall five-year target. I am not making a pronouncement in that regard. I agree [2053] with the IDA that this development is a most realistic one and will be achieved. All we want at this stage to help the IDA to achieve this is the £100 million mentioned in this Bill.

Question put and agreed to.

Agreed to take remaining Stages today.


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