Industrial Grants (Amendment) Bill, 1962 (Certified Money Bill) Second and Subsequent Stages.

Wednesday, 13 February 1963

Seanad Eireann Debate
Vol. 56 No. 3

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Question proposed: “That the Bill be now read a Second Time”.

Minister for Industry and Commerce (Mr. J. Lynch): Information on John Lynch  Zoom on John Lynch  These two Bills, one of which amends the Industrial Grants Acts and the other the Undeveloped Areas Acts, are closely related as they deal with the changes which are being proposed in the legislation governing industrial grants. For this reason and because Senators will wish to compare the proposed changes in the legislation covering the undeveloped areas and the remainder of the country I propose to take the two Bills together.

The existing legislation is due to [227] expire on the 31st December, 1963, and it will be necessary to continue it beyond that date. The emergence of problems in relation to certain projects, such as those projects with a relatively high capital and low employment content, also make it necessary to seek amending legislation. Industrial firms, moreover, have to adapt themselves now to free trade conditions and will incur expenditure in doing so. It is desirable, and this is the appropriate time, to provide special financial assistance to those industries that will be unable to provide all the necessary finance out of their own resources to enable them to prepare for the new situation.

The main changes proposed in these two Bills are the removal of the limit of £250,000 for grants which may be authorised by An Foras Tionscal outside the undeveloped areas; the fixing of new limits for grants which may be given by the Board, the substitution of a single composite grant for the separate grants for buildings and equipment; the introduction of adaptation and extension grants for the purpose of enabling firms to prepare for free trade conditions; the extension of the powers of An Foras Tionscal to enable them to give grants in areas outside the undeveloped areas for the training of workers and the construction and repair of roads, bridges, etc.; the increase in the amount available for grants from £15 million to £20 million and the revocation of the expiry date of the present legislation.

Under the present scale of grants, buildings rank for higher grants than plant and machinery. In the undeveloped areas, for example, the grant for sites and buildings may be as great as the full cost, while the grant in respect of machinery and equipment may not exceed one half the cost. Outside the undeveloped areas the grant in respect of sites and buildings may be two-thirds of the cost, while the grant in respect of machinery and equipment may not exceed one-third of the cost. As the relationship between the cost of buildings and plant and machinery may vary widely [228] from one industry to another, it is not considered necessary to preserve the present distinction between grants for building and grants for plant and machinery. It is, accordingly, proposed that the amending legislation should provide that a composite maximum sum should be paid towards the cost of buildings, sites, machinery and equipment.

Taking first the case of projects involving grants not exceeding £250,000, it is proposed that the composite grant should not be more than two-thirds of the cost of the fixed assets in the case of projects in the undeveloped areas. Outside the undeveloped areas the grant will normally be limited to half of the fixed assets, but provision is made that a grant of up to two-thirds of this cost may be given in exceptional circumstances and where the Board are of opinion that there are sound economic reasons why the industry cannot be established or developed in the undeveloped areas.

There has been strong pressure from various quarters in recent times for the removal of the distinction, in the maxima for grants, between the undeveloped areas and the rest of the country, and the Government have considered this aspect of the grant legislation very carefully. They have come to the conclusion, however, that it is still necessary to preserve a distinction in favour of the undeveloped areas and this is being provided for in the case of grants of up to £250,000. At the same time it will be easier to secure such grants up to a maximum of 50% in other areas as it will no longer be necessary for promoters to establish that their projects are of exceptional national importance and cannot be established in the undeveloped areas.

An Foras Tionscal, will be able in certain circumstances, to apply the undeveloped areas scale of grants to projects located outside the undeveloped areas. Unlike the provision in the Undeveloped Areas Act, 1952, which enabled An Foras Tionscal to apply the undeveloped areas scale of grant to projects outside the undeveloped areas only where the Minister [229] for Industry and Commerce had previously made an Order extending the scope of the Act to the particular area concerned under the new provision An Foras Tionscal will have power, in certain circumstances, to give higher grants for projects outside the undeveloped areas without any action on the part of the Minister.

Section 8 of the Industrial Grants (Amendment) Bill will also be relevant in the approach of the Board to requests for higher grants outside the undeveloped areas. In addition to the specific requirements laid down in Section 2, this Section imposes on the Board the obligation of having special regard in their general operations to the need for attracting industries to the undeveloped areas.

Large-scale projects (most of which have so far been located outside the undeveloped areas) in respect of which promoters seek grants in excess of £250,000 and also, in some instances, loan finances accommodation, have presented serious difficulties under the present arrangements and the Industrial Development Authority and An Foras Tionscal have stressed the need for providng a means of resolving these difficulties and removing the present state of uncertainty in the minds of industrial promoters as to what grants would ultimately be forthcoming.

The test now applicable (that is a substantial employment content) in a case in which An Foras Tionscal would recommend to the Government that there should be a grant in excess of £250,000 has been found unsuitable for major projects. After long consideration of the problem and the examination of various possibilities, including that of State participation in such projects, the following proposals appear to the Government to offer the best solution:—

(i) The removal of the limit of £250,000 so that the Board of An Foras Tionscal will be able to give grants in excess of this figure. The Board, however, may not give grants in excess of either 50 per cent. of the fixed assets or a sum calculated at the rate of £1,000 per worker, estimated by An Foras Tionscal to be employed in the industry when in [230] full production, whichever of these two sums is the lesser. Should, however, the proposed grant exceed £500,000, the Board will require my consent and that of the Minister for Finance. These proposals have been written into the two Bills which also provide that, if either of the two limits I have mentioned, namely, 50 per cent. of the fixed assets or £1,000 per worker, be exceeded in the case of any proposed grant, it will be necessary to obtain the consent of the Government before the grant can be approved.

(ii) The setting up of a separate Finance Company, which would be managed by the Industrial Credit Company and financed directly by State funds to provide, on preferential terms, in lieu of a larger grant than would be available under the limits I have just mentioned, a proportion of any loan finance required. The Industrial Credit Company itself, would be available to provide further loan finance on commercial terms. The Minister for Finance has under consideration at the moment the legislation which will be needed for the formation of a semi-State holding Company, to be managed by the Industrial Credit Company which may, inter alia, grant loans where An Foras Tionscal make a grant.

It is intended that the combined amount of grant and loan, on preferential terms and otherwise, to be provided by the Board, the new Finance Company and the Industrial Credit Company, for any project will not exceed two-thirds of the fixed assets thus ensuring that promoters themselves will provide at least one-third of the fixed assets. Subject to these arrangements, the Industrial Credit Company and the proposed new Finance Company would between them provide loan capital up to a maximum representing the full amount of the balance of the cost of the fixed assets, over and above the total provided by way of grants and promoters' contribution. One half of the loan would be a contract loan provided by the Industrial Credit Company at commercial interest rates, [231] repayable over 12 years, with no capital repayment for the first two years. The other half of the loan would be made by the new Finance Company on the basis that it would be repayable only at the option of the borrower and would be free of interest for seven years. Thereafter this loan would bear interest at a rate not less than that of the contract loan and at such a level as to act as a spur to promoters to repay the loan. If the promoters do not repay it then the State (through the proposed new Finance Company) would share in the profits of the undertaking.

The question as to which of the two limits (50 per cent of the fixed assets or £1,000 per worker) will be the effective one will, of course, depend on the employment content of the project. For a project with a sizeable employment content, the effective limit will be 50 per cent. of the fixed assets. The case of the capital-intensive project is also catered for, and for such a project the effective limit will be £1,000 per worker. So, for example, if we take a project of which the total capital cost is £1,200,000 and which is estimated to give employment ultimately to 300 workers, the maximum grant which the Board may give would be £300,000. In the same case the promoters could (subject to the decisions of the appropriate bodies) obtain a further £500,000 of which £250,000 would be a loan from the Industrial Credit Company and £250,000 an interest-free loan from the new Finance Company. The balance of £400,000 representing one-third of the cost of the fixed assets, would be provided by the promoters themselves.

It is my view that these new grant and loan arrangements are very necessary at the present time and, indeed, I fear that, failing their introduction, the possibility of attracting to this country large-scale projects will be seriously diminished. I believe that the adoption of these proposals will considerably improve the prospects of securing the establishment here of really worthwhile industries.

It has already been announced that the Government intends to introduce [232] special grants for the purpose of enabling industry to adapt itself to free trade conditions and proposals for such grants are contained in section 4 of each of these two Bills. It will be seen that the Bills provide for the making of grants up to one-quarter of the cost of schemes for the enlargement or adaptation of industrial undertakings. Adaptation expenditure on plant, equipment and buildings will qualify for these forms of assistance, provided the project satisfies the test of competitiveness. Capital programmes of a kind designed to expand productive capacity, which would not qualify for a grant under existing legislation, will be covered by the proposed arrangements, as well as re-equipment not involving expansion.

It is the intention that these grants should be an alternative to loans on special terms from the Industrial Credit Company for industrial re-equipment. In a case where a firm might not consider the 25 per cent. grant to be adequate, it would have the option of applying instead to the Industrial Credit Company for a special re-equipment loan. These special loans will cover a proportion, to be settled in each case by the Industrial Credit Company, of the expenditure involved and will be granted where that Company is satisfied that there is a definite prospect that the re-equipment project will make the undertaking fully competitive. Firms will, of course, also be free to obtain ordinary loans either from the Industrial Credit Company or from some other source.

I would like to make it clear that the purpose of these grants and loans is to help finance re-equipment and readaptation, not simply routine replacement. In this connection, it is likely that, amongst the criteria to be observed, will be a comparison of the expenditure proposed by a firm with its capital expenditure, together with expenditure on renewals and maintenance, in recent years, for the purpose of ascertaining whether, in fact, the firm's proposals involve accelerated expenditure.

The object of these adaptation and re-equipment grants and loans is to enable firms to make themselves fully competitive and so the position could [233] well arise that their effect would be to help a firm to compete with an existing Irish competitor. This is a position which must be accepted. Even when the home suppliers are already meeting the home market in full, applicants would still be regarded as eligible for grants, provided that there is some possibility that they could break into the export market. Such a situation could, in fact, provide an incentive to seek export outlets rather than engage in unprofitable competition on the home market.

A further change proposed in the Industrial Grants (Amendment) Bill, Sections 5 and 6, is to enable the Board to give grants for the training of workers and for the construction of roads, bridges, etc. in the case of projects situated outside the undeveloped areas. The Board already has power to give such grants in the case of projects within the undeveloped areas. No upper limit for the amount of these grants is being proposed. It would be unrealistic, if not impossible, to attempt to arrive at any estimates on which maxima could be based. However, expenditure for these purposes in the undeveloped areas has been quite small and there is no reason to suppose that the position in this regard will undergo any radical change in the future. Up to the 31st December, 1962, grants towards the cost of training workers, totalling £134,000, were approved by the Board. No grants have been given specifically for the construction of roads, bridges, etc.

Little needs to be said about the remaining provisions of the Bills. The existing legislation is due to expire on 31st December, 1963, and it is proposed to revoke this provision and leave the date of expiry indefinite. The aggregate amount of the grants which may be given under the existing Acts may not exceed £15 million. With the removal of the expiry date, the introduction of new limits and new types of grants, it is necessary to increase this figure and a revised limit of £20 million is specified in Section 7 of the Industrial Grants (Amendment) Bill, 1962.

Senators will have seen the CIO [234] Report on Industrial Grants which has been published and the announcement made by the Government indicating its attitude towards the proposals in the Report. One of the principal proposals in the Report is that a small number of centres should be established for development and provision made for a grant differential in favour of these centres. This proposal will be considered in connection with the Second Programme for Economic Expansion. The remaining proposals in the Report are acceptable generally and effect is being given to them in the Bills, or will be given administratively within the framework of the revised legislation.

I recommend the two Bills to the House.

Mr. Fitzpatrick: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  I propose to confine my remarks on the Second Stage of these Bills to their general effect on the country as a whole. Their effect is to reduce or remove the preference at present operating in favour of the poorer, more remote and underdeveloped areas of the country in the allocation of industrial grants. When they become law, they will make it easier for industrialists to get larger grants for establishing factories or industries in the wealthier parts of the country where perhaps, it is more desirable to reside. As one who strongly believes that the survival of rural Ireland as a virile and healthy unit of the nation is essential, I disagree rather violently with the effect these Bills will have on the country.

The Undeveloped Areas Act was first introduced in 1952 and it covered an area formerly covered by the Congested Districts Board. I held the view then that though the 1952 Act covered a considerable part of the country it did not just go far enough. It took the line of least resistance and adopted the old Congested Districts Board area notwithstanding the fact that there were then fringe counties which were in bad need of preferential treatment. The 1952 Act did a considerable amount of good. As a result of it, industries were set up in the poorer parts of the country and these industries did something to stem the flight from the land, but it cannot be said by anybody that so much had [235] been achieved under the 1952 Act that it was no longer necessary. In fact, as recently as October, 1962, the Government seem to have held the view that there was still need for preferential treatment for the poorer areas because following the general election of October, 1961, the Government made an Order, as they were entitled to do, extending the scope of the Undeveloped Areas Act, 1952, to three further counties, Longford, Cavan and Monaghan. Now within a very short time of that Order of late 1961 the Government seem to have changed their mind about the policy of encouraging industrial expansion in rural Ireland. It is not much more than 12 months since the Government affirmed their belief in the policy of the Undeveloped Areas Act and yet we have these Bills coming before us now. It would appear to me that over six months ago the Government must have changed their mind.

I should like to ask why the change in policy. My own personal view is that these Bills were drafted and decided upon on the assumption that England would be admitted to the European Economic Community and that our admission in the immediate future was a foregone conclusion. Obviously, that assumption was incorrect and it may be a very considerable time before we are admitted to the European Economic Community if ever we are. Therefore, having regard to the undeveloped state of considerable tracts of the country, I think the Bills are premature and very much so.

There seems to be some doubt in the minds of foreigners whether the entire country is not underdeveloped, but I think there can be no doubt that many counties West and NorthWest are certainly underdeveloped and need preferential treatment. The effect of this legislation is, in my opinion a foregone conclusion. It will make it impossible to get industrialists to establish industries in the poorer and more remote parts of the country. Counties like Cavan and Monaghan, which in my opinion got a raw deal in the industrial revival, will now [236] certainly never get any industry. These two counties have enjoyed the unqualified preferential treatment afforded by the Undeveloped Areas Act for only a little more than 12 months and during that time they have not got the industries or help to get industries which they should have got. It is now lights out for them.

I think it does not need any great argument to convince one that that is so. If it was difficult or impossible to induce industrialists to go to these remoter areas when they were given preferential treatment there, we have to assume that they certainly will not go there now when the preference is removed, when they will get the same treatment within a few miles of Dublin or other large centres of population.

In my opinion, these Bills mean that the Government have decided to abandon as hopeless, and as not worth bothering about, vast areas all over the country, including the province of Connacht and the three surviving counties of Ulster. On a former occasion in the presence of the Minister for Finance I raised the question of the flight from the land and the Minister told me that the flight from the land was not confined to this country but was something that was happening all over the world, something about which he and his Government could do nothing. I venture to suggest to the Minister and the Government that one way of trying to keep the people on the land and ensuring the survival of the small farm is to decentralise industry so that people can continue to run their farms and work in factories.

Some members of the family could run the farm and others could work in the factories and the whole thing could become economical. I am told that that has been done with great success in Germany. The policy of these Bills seems to me to run in entirely the opposite direction. I may be told by the Minister that Section 8 makes it incumbent on the authority to have regard to the overall desire of the Government to promote industry in rural Ireland. Without being offensive in any way, I would call that a “pious hope” section. If any industrialist [237] wants to make a case for setting up his industry in the Eastern counties, or within a few miles of Dublin, he can do so with success.

One general point which I should like to mention is that when these Bills become law they will have to be interpreted from time to time by foreign industrialists and, I suppose, foreign lawyers. It is a great pity that these Acts are growing numerically. The first one was in 1952 and I would say that it has been amended several times. Now in order to ascertain what the law is a person has to delve through several Acts and deal with several boards. It is difficult enough with the language problem for foreigners to find out what the position is here without adding to the difficulty by multiplying the number of instruments to what they have to refer.

Professor O'Brien: Information on George Augustine Thomas OBrien  Zoom on George Augustine Thomas OBrien  I am sorry to say that I do not agree with Senator Fitzpatrick in his interpretation of the effects of these two Bills. Briefly, the effect of the Bills is to lessen if not nearly abolish the distinction between the more developed and the less developed areas of the country. Section 8, which Senator Fitzpatrick dismissed as a pious hope, still points to the desirability of bearing constantly in mind the national aim of decentralising industry and attracting industry to the undeveloped areas and endeavouring to promote the attainment of those aims. We presume the board would have to act in the spirit of the Act. The time has come when realistically, apart from sentimentally, we have to accept the necessity for the location of industries in the most suitable areas; when we had to accept that the old days of the congested districts board mentality are disappearing, that the history and policy of the congested districts board, which was set up in 1891, was excellent in its time and did a great deal of good work, but that it is not relevant to the circumstances of to-day.

Senator Fitzpatrick said that he thought these Bills were drafted in the light of the admission of the United Kingdom and ourselves to the European Common Market. I think [238] it is quite possible that that is so, but I would strongly make the point that whether the United Kingdom or ourselves are admitted to the Common Market the realities of the necessity for competitiveness in the coming years will still remain—that, in fact, exclusion from the Common Market may make it even more necessary for countries like ourselves and Great Britain to increase efficiency and competitiveness in order to hold their own in international trade.

The fact of the matter is that the world as a whole is passing into an era of tariff reductions. There is a new spirit moving in international trade. It is to be seen in the Common Market and the reduction of tariffs between European countries, but even now, with the breakdown of the British negotiations to enter the Common Market, the whole spirit of the debates in the British House of Commons which have taken place in the past few days has been that tariffs are going to be reduced elsewhere, that the United States is most anxious to obtain tariff reductions and that tariff reductions are going to be introduced into other countries. Therefore, the necessity for efficiency and competitiveness in countries that wish to export to any part of the world is becoming greater. We went through a period of 30 years of protection and I think that era is over. Many of us were critical of the amount of protection afforded to Irish industries in the 1930s but that is a matter of history now. Everybody is agreed that protection has done its work and if this country wishes to retain its position and take its part in industrial life in the world, it has to increase its exports. If it has, every factor that can affect competitiveness and efficiency must be encouraged to the utmost.

One of the factors affecting efficiency is the location of industry, that some areas for various reasons have advantages over others. Therefore, although I know I am treading on the sentimental corns of many members of the House, I cannot help feeling that the time has now come when Irish industry must be treated purely on business lines and that it [239] must be located in those areas where it has the lowest cost of production and, therefore, the greatest capacity to export in competition with other countries in the world. As I say, the Bill does provide that the less developed areas will receive special encouragement but at the same time the distinction which previously existed between undeveloped and developed areas has been, if not completely destroyed, greatly lessened and I think it is a step in the right direction.

We have to accept facts as they are, and the only hope of advance in this country is by increasing our industrial exports. In the past few years there has been a considerable increase in industrial exports. That increase in industrial exports can be continued but it can only be continued if we make a proper effort towards complete efficiency. We are living in a world where tariffs are being reduced all around us whether we enter the Common Market or whether we do not and we cannot afford to be sentimental in these matters. They have become entirely business matters and, unlike Senator Fitzpatrick, I welcome the Bill. It is a step towards realism and a step which is necessary in the conditions in which Ireland will find itself in the immediate future.

Mr. Moloney: Information on Daniel J. Moloney  Zoom on Daniel J. Moloney  When these two Bills were published I was somewhat alarmed at the apparent disadvantages which were staring the undeveloped areas in the face but on close examination of the Bills I am somewhat relieved to find that in practice the differential will not be so damaging as I anticipated. It is about time that some amending legislation was introduced for many reasons which have been mentioned by the Minister. I must congratulate him for the manner in which he is making the grants now available.

Under existing legislation, while in theory certain projects, which were to be sited in the undeveloped areas, were eligible to receive State assistance to the extent mentioned by the Minister, that is, the full cost of the [240] site, the full cost of the building, and half the machinery cost, in very few cases was the maximum ever allowed. Any promoter coming from abroad would obviously have to show a reasonable amount of earnestness in the proposal he was putting forward. The only way that could be done was by making a substantial contribution by way of personal capital. My information so far as it goes is that most of those projects that received grants in the undeveloped areas have to accept less than the maximum possible in many cases. On the average on the basis of what the Minister now proposes, it works out approximately at two-thirds of the value of the fixed assets. There is in addition to that by a further inducement, introduced for the first time, a loan through the Industrial Credit Company. Part of this loan is given at a very preferential rate somewhat similar to what is allocated by Bord Fáilte for the development of hotels, and the other part of the loan at the commercial rates of interest which will be comparable with the existing bank rate.

It does seem that the general scale of grants applicable to the undeveloped areas over the past nine or ten years did succeed in bringing a lot of industry to those areas that would not otherwise be located there. The tendency is for foreign people coming in here to site their undertakings as near as they can to the main centres of population, namely the cities of Dublin, Galway, Cork and Limerick. It was a very substantial additional incentive that made it possible to get these promoters to consider outlying areas in provincial towns and villages. Undoubtedly the new Undeveloped Areas Bill will not help in that regard. However, with the generous scale of loans which the Minister has introduced it will not have the detrimental effect one speaker told us this evening it would have.

Those grants which were initially introduced were much on the generous side and for practical purposes it was unlikely that they could continue on that scale. It is unfortunate that in many parts of the undeveloped areas [241] the full impact of those grants has not been obtained. Many opportunities were missed because the local development bodies whose job it was to prepare the list of local attractions for people coming in did not have their job done as they should. Foreign interests were brought along only to find out that some of the facilities offered were not to be had in practice.

I should like to avail of this opportunity to congratulate the Minister on the very fine work done by the two bodies under his control, namely, the Industrial Development Authority and An Foras Tionscal. The drive made by those two bodies over the years has succeeded in getting us to the stage we have now reached. If opportunities were missed, in most cases it was due to the fact that local community organisation was not as efficient as it should be. I was hoping that when any new legislation would be introduced— perhaps the Minister would have taken note of this and do something about it. I suggest that some form of financial assistance should be available to regional development groups or organisations to do a certain amount of local preparatory work with a view to attracting industry to their respective areas.

The situation in regard to the availability of sites is very unsatisfactory. Local development groups have no money to buy sites and the only progress that could be made in that direction is that they could take options on parcels of land which were suitable for industrial development. The local authorities in some cases have, to their credit, acquired considerable tracts of such land and developed them for industrial purposes ready for factory erection when an industry offers. It is very much to their credit that in those centres—I think there would not be more than half a dozen in the whole country— industry has been attracted in a very considerable way. That goes to show that if the local effort were better organised greater progress could be made.

With regard to the new scale of grants which the Minister proposes, [242] a person could put the interpretation on the new Bill that in the higher scale of grants the emphasis is still being placed on the area formerly scheduled as the undeveloped area. I sincerely hope that that is the position. The Minister, however, explains in his introductory address that the incoming promoters will no longer be obliged to make a case as to why the undeveloped area part of the country is unsuitable for their project. In other words, they can set up in a part which is not sited as undeveloped and in certain circumstances may qualify for a grant to the same extent as if that project were sited in an undeveloped area. I hope that the bodies appointed by the Minister to deal with these applications will have a very positive outlook in that connection, because if some preference is not continued in practice as well as in theory to the undeveloped areas the possibilities of those districts attracting industry in future are not going to be very bright.

Government policy in the matter of industry, I take it, is unchanged so far as it favours decentralisation within reason. People coming in here particularly with projects of some magnitude such as are coming along from time to time must have a say in this matter. It is to be accepted that on a number of occasions in the past we have lost some big projects because of the differential that existed in the grants even since the Industrial Grants were introduced.

I think that the new arrangement whereby composite grants are available simplifies the matter. The Minister was very wise to bring that new arrangement into operation in the legislation he is introducing.

Training grants are a matter to which I should like to refer. The Minister states that the amount spent up to the present in training grants is something around £130,000. One could infer from his remarks that he probably would be more pleased if more money were spent on training grants. He has now introduced these grants to apply to all parts of the country. This is a very important step and one that will have a very [243] considerable impact in the industrial drive. I feel, however, that the time to send people for training is not always when an industry arrives. A certain elementary training in initial stages at least could be undertaken from the technical schools preparatory to placing boys and girls into industrial employment. The most successful way to have that training undertaken if it were practicable would be to find an outlet for those boys and girls abroad who have obtained their group certificates at the technical schools.

One will readily answer my suggestion by saying that you are going to send those people abroad and possibly they will be trained for a type of industry that might never come to their district or to the country. I do not think it would work out like that at all. The training I propose for them is an initial training for six months or a year, while they would be waiting to take up other employment. The group certificates are nowadays considered a very important passport for boys and girls to go into industrial employment. It is unfortunate that it could not be followed up by a further extension course in existing industries in this country, at approved centres set up by local technical schools, or, better still, if they could be sent abroad and the cost of training paid through an approved organisation. As the law stands, the only person who qualifies for a training grant is the promoter of an industry who has succeeded in getting a grant from Foras Tionscal. Our technical schools are adjusting themselves wholeheartedly to the new requirements of industry and we are very fortunate to have training schools of that type. They are ready to accept any further challenge that might be necessary, and in that regard I would seriously suggest to the Minister that he should give them any encouragement possible to grapple with the problem I have referred to.

If it is not out of place I should like to make a case here so far as it is within the Minister's power to provide better office accommodation for Foras [244] Tionscal and the IDA. I understand that in recent months the Foras has succeeded in getting more satisfactory accommodation but the position is still bad in regard to the IDA. Both these bodies are entitled to the best accommodation available in this city. They are doing most important national work and it would be of considerable help to them in their dealing with incoming industrial promoters if they had attractive and impressive offices to receive those people. There is complete congestion in the IDA premises in Stephen's Green and the staff are working under tremendous difficulties. I do not think that it should be impossible at this stage, now that the Minister has renewed their role in this legislation, to find better buildings in a more appropriate surroundings.

There is a further point. I would suggest to the Minister the necessity for the appointment to each of those bodies, or perhaps, to them jointly, of a public relations officer competent to speak a number of European languages who would meet incoming industrial promoters and to take them to the various other Government agencies with whom they necessarily have to come in contact. I understand that at the moment the members and officers of the IDA and the Foras Tionscal are the people who have to do that work. They have done it very well but their time is too valuable and important to be taken up with work of that nature. Apart from that, this is a specialised job and could be done very successfully by a person specially selected for the purpose.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach:  The Senator has sufficiently ingratiated himself now with the various bodies and I think he should return to the Bill.

Mr. Moloney: Information on Daniel J. Moloney  Zoom on Daniel J. Moloney  I welcome the adaptation grants to which the Minister referred. It appears to me that they will be administered through the bodies mentioned, the IDA and Foras, but what is not clear to me is the type or classification of firms which will qualify for those grants. The scope of their administration is not absolutely clear but I take it they will [245] be available to existing manufacturing concerns whether or not they received assistance in the past by way of grants to set them up. What I want to know is whether they will be available to small industries in the country because it is desirable to encourage the continuation of small industries like outwork in shops, workshops or in the homes. I understand that in European countries outwork contributes very substantially to the overall production of industry. There is not enough of that type of activity here. Our people are more inclined to go into factories and large centres of production. There is quite a lot of outwork that could be done in shops or in people's homes but, of course, equipment and machinery must be utilised to make it economically possible. I hope that that type of industry and enterprise can qualify for adaptation grants. I expect that such concerns as builders providers and engineering shops established for many years can qualify. We have a very generous system of loans and I am sure that the proprietors of this type of industry will take advantage of them.

I would like to try to kill the idea which is abroad in the country for years that the Minister's Department here is not inclined to consider proposals from Irish nationals to set up industries as favourably as those from people coming from abroad. My experience in that connection disproves that belief completely. I have known fully Irish controlled firms that succeeded in getting very generous treatment from IDA and Foras Tionscal. Our people, of course, have not the same variety of industrial experience to offer in the matter as foreigners. They are not able to offer the know how backed by experience which foreign companies have and it is quite obvious that that is why grants are refused. That is something we should explain very fully because there is a certain amount of discouragement among our own people who might have a worthwhile project in mind but are not inclined to come forward because they believe they are doomed to disappointment when they come to the IDA. As we know, there is at the moment a [246] certain amount of protests because certain industries which, it is maintained, could be set up and carried through successfully by Irish interests are set up under foreign auspices and receive support. Again there is the question of a market for output. When you reach saturation in marketing it does not seem wise to set up further industries making some article which would make the position worse than it was before.

I suppose the adaptation grants would cover the printing industry. A challenge is offered to the printing industry as to others to try to adapt themselves to changed conditions. We have excellent firms in the printing industry. In my opinion they compare very favourably with cross-channel firms and in recent years they have succeeded admirably in substantially increasing printing exports. Exports from the printing trade have gone up from some thousands of pounds ten years ago to three or four million pounds. The master printers are rather worried at present about the application of industrial assistance grants. When the Minister is summing up at the conclusion of the debate this evening I should be grateful if he would refer to that problem. Evidently there is a feeling just now through the country regarding the coming in of an outside printing combine which is seeking grants from the Government. Irish owned concerns are prepared to meet any challenge which is likely to come their way owing to changed conditions at home even if we never enter the Common Market. There is a change in every type of industry and I am satisfied that Irish printing firms who have put such an amount of capital and effort into their enterprise over the years and who succeeded in facing severe competition already from abroad can give more than a good account of themselves in all the modern techniques of printing. I would ask the Minister to allay their present fears and assure them that their enterprises will get sympathetic consideration.

Professor Quinlan: Information on Patrick Michael Quinlan  Zoom on Patrick Michael Quinlan  In welcoming these Bills we are simply acknowledging the fact that we have got to do the [247] same as has been done in other countries in the great struggle to attract industry. In some other countries they have the practice of building factories and letting them at a nominal rent. Here we have a slightly different approach. We give very substantial grants up to a limit of two thirds. This, of course, is exceedingly generous and it is called for in view of the competition we have to face.

The Bills before us do effectively wipe out the differential between the developed and undeveloped areas. They extend to the developed areas benefits already available in the undeveloped areas. The differential is so small that I doubt if it would be sufficient to attract any industrialist who preferred a site in one area to a different part of the country.

I do not see what more we can do financially to attract industry to the undeveloped areas unless we make people a present of factories altogether. The Minister should try a different approach on the undeveloped areas. The previous Bill of 1952 accomplished a certain amount but not what it was hoped it would accomplish at the time it was introduced. Certainly, it has not stopped the problem of the flight from those areas. It we were honest we would have to admit that the position in those areas is worse than it was in 1952 and that the Act has not been able to halt the decline.

A certain amount has been done but it has not reversed the trend by any means. A new approach is called for and I hope the Minister will follow with an amendment of the Undeveloped Areas Bill—I am not sure that it needs an amendment or not, but he should try to attract smaller industries than the £250,000 industries envisaged in this. The difficulty is to get the initiative, to get local people to help themselves. That is the problem. We might be able to explore the possibility of workers' participation in industry at a small level. The workers might not have the money to put up to provide the one-third at the outset, but perhaps they could draw on earnings, on working longer hours or overtime or other means possible [248] in a local community and on a small scale to buy their way into the industry.

After a number of years, they would be partners in that industry and they would not be as likely to leave it as if they were just wage hands in a much larger factory. As well as that, being partners in this small industry, they would feel that they had a stake in it, and in times of difficulty they would be prepared to take measures to keep it going. That would not be possible for workers in much larger areas. They would be prepared to work like the farmer, in so far as when longer hours are required he is prepared to work them and when an extra push is called for he is prepared to give it. Perhaps, something like that, something on the psychological plane and the appeal of ownership, may be the added incentive that we are lacking in the undeveloped areas. We should be able to work into those undeveloped areas far more of the spirit of the local credit union. We need only look at a region like Antigonish where the idea of small people coming together and pooling small savings has been able to achieve wonders. Tremendous industrial developments have taken place there in the past 20 to 25 years and we may have a lot to learn from it.

Perhaps the Minister could extend or apply this system of grants for training workers to grants for the local development association in those small towns and perhaps give pound for pound, or even better than that, enable the local people to send some of their members abroad to see what can be done, whether it is to explore how the credit union works or acquire bigger ideas to bring to their town. We cannot go any further in the direction of increased grants and, therefore, we must explore other means of getting our undeveloped areas going. I have not got very much more to add except to mention a few general points in the Bill which strike me as being strange. In Section 4, subsection (2) there is a ceiling of one-quarter placed on the grants for enlargement or adaptation in respect of changing what the factory is doing.

[249] This limit seems to be much too low. Surely an extension could almost reach the stage where the enlargement was as large as the parent factory itself, or it could be for some process not catered for in the parent factory? It does seem to be unnecessarily restrictive. On the other hand, in Section 5, subsection (2) the total granted by way of assistance for training workers shall not exceed the actual amount of the wages paid by the undertaking to the workers plus the amount of their travelling expenses. That seems to go to the other extreme of being far too generous because the firm, if it gets the maximum allowed, is not asked to contribute anything to the training of the workers or even the travelling expenses. I wonder how those two can be reconciled.

I want to look at the whole problem very briefly from the national standpoint. What are we trying to do? We are trying to attract men of ideas for our factories, trying to get them to set up factories to increase national output and to do the job better than it has been done. To that extent we are prepared, in regard to factories costing £20,000, to give a free grant of £13,000 or £14,000. Surely the same problem has been brought home to us in the field of agriculture in our efforts to get into the Common Market? Our hope seems to be that the difficulties in industry would be somewhat cushioned by what we hope would be the increased prospects for agriculture. If it is necessary to meet a problem there, to get up-to-the-minute management, and give every inducement to obtain that, surely corresponding inducements are necessary to get up-to-the-minute management and efficiency in our farms which are also factories? Yet, you take the contrast on one side where we are all agreed, and I heartily endorse it that this man with his £15,000 factory can get a £10,000 grant but after six years haggling the best that can be produced to put this young manager on to a farm to increase the output, is a grant of £500 if he is one of 15 people selected in the whole country. While we are serious about industry and while we can commend the Bill it [250] just serves to show how wrong we are in our whole approach to improving the management of the biggest factory in Ireland, the land of Ireland. Until we do that, there is little hope of expecting to lift up the country as a whole. A bird never flew on one wing. This Bill may provide a wing on which industry can fly but certainly agriculture is the broken wing of our economy. I would ask the Minister to see that the wing is strengthened.

Éamon Ó Ciosáin: Information on Eamon Kissane  Zoom on Eamon Kissane  Like other Senators, I welcome these two Bills because they provide for the further and better financing of industrial projects. Senators on all sides of the House realise that if the economy is to be strengthened, unemployment diminished and the tide of emigration stemmed, it must be by the better industrialisation of the country. The last speaker referred to the importance of the agricultural industry and, of course, we all agree with him. Like him, we are of the opinion that every facility by way of financial assistance and technical advice should be made available to the farmers so that agriculture will be improved.

At the same time, it is in the industrial sector that the greatest possibilities lie for the advancement of the economy. Everybody realises that and it is a good thing that this Government and the predecessors of this Government realised the importance of the industrial arm. The greatest amount of credit for that must go to the Taoiseach, Deputy Lemass, because he realised it more than anybody else and he gave this policy of increasing the industrial capacity of the country his unstinted support at all times.

I do not share the apprehension of all those speakers who tried to persuade us that the extension of these industrial grants to all areas of the country will have a detrimental effect on the undeveloped areas. As somebody has pointed out, there is still a differential there, but apart entirely from that, it is now over 10 years since the Undeveloped Areas Act, the foundation Act of 1952, was passed by the Houses of the Oireachtas. Any fair minded person would have to agree [251] that a decade is a fairly lengthy period during which to give the people living in the undeveloped areas preferential treatment. I say that now as a Senator who supported wholeheartedly the passage of the 1952 Undeveloped Areas Act through this House. There were many people then who were doubtful as to whether that measure should exist at all or not. It was an innovation— nothing like it had been attempted here before on the same scale. By and large, that measure has produced good results.

I do not at all agree with Senator Quinlan when he says the position in the undeveloped areas is worse now than it ever has been. How can that be when, according to the figures I have here, no fewer than 123 industrial projects were started in the undeveloped areas, involving an expenditure of £6,128,000? If that stimulus will not succeed in improving the economic position in the undeveloped areas, I do not know what will. A lot depends on local initiative in these area. Unless you have local initiative and people who are prepared to come together and organise themselves with a view to having industrial projects started in their respective areas, no matter what the Government or this House will do, it will be of no avail.

I have heard many complaints outside the undeveloped areas about the preferential treatment that was being given to those areas. Industrialists and people interested in industrial development in the other areas had a sense of grievance that they were being deprived too long of the benefits available to the people in the undeveloped areas. I am sure the Minister and the Government must have found themselves in some difficulty as between the two lines of thought: some people saying nothing should be done outside the undeveloped areas that would be likely to interfere with the prospects in these undeveloped areas, and others outside the undeveloped areas saying they were entitled to the same treatment as the people in the undeveloped areas. There is a divided allegiance there and the Minister and the Government have catered for them all. As I have said, [252] 10 years is a reasonable period in which the people living in those undeveloped areas were able to enjoy the preferential treatment accorded under the 1952 Undeveloped Areas Act and the amending Act of 1959. In any event, Senators will see that more financial aid is being made available in all cases and that is a step in the right direction.

There has been reference to certain complaints that were made about preferential treatment for foreign industrialists. Of course, there is no such thing. The same facilities are available to both foreign and native industrialists. If there were any preferential treatment, it should be in favour of the native industrialists; in other words, we should consider giving the industrialists living in this country preferential treatment as against people who come in from outside. I know, of course, that other people would not hold that view, and would say we do our best to attract foreign capital and that the way to do it is to give them the same facilities as are available to our own people. There can be two points of view about that.

There is also the question of the industrialists with big financial resources, millionaires who might come in here under the legislation as it is. They get the same treatment and have the same facilities as the ordinary industrialists here. I do not know whether it is right to give the millionaire who comes in here the same facilities as the ordinary struggling industrialist. However, that is a point that can be discussed.

Business suspended at 6.5 p.m. and resumed at 7.15 p.m.

Éamon Ó Ciosáin: Information on Eamon Kissane  Zoom on Eamon Kissane  I do not think it would be right for me to hold up the House on these Bills. I think I have said all I intended to say. I pointed out that I thought the extension of these grants to the whole country would not seriously affect the people in the undeveloped areas. The same grants are available to them and no doubt intending industrialists are aware of the facilities available in those areas.

[253] I should like to join in the tribute paid to the Industrial Development Authority and to Foras Tionscal. I would say that a lot of people in the country do not rightly understand the function of the IDA or Foras Tionscal. I understand that it is the duty of the Industrial Development Authority to give advice on the type of industry that would be likely to succeed and that it is the function of the Foras Tionscal to examine projects coming before them to see if they would be worth while and, of course, to see if the employment content would justify the amount of money expended on the industry. There is a certain amount of confusion in people's minds as to what their functions are.

I often thought it might be as well to have one body instead of two. I do not know whether I am right in that. The Minister knows much more about it and I should not like to venture my opinion against his. He has a sincere interest in industrial development and I congratulate him on what he has done up to now, since he became Minister for Industry and Commerce. I would say it is a good thing to bring in a composite scheme of grants because people did not know exactly what percentage would be available, say, for building construction, or what percentage would be available for plant and equipment. Sometimes one would require to have a good memory to think of all those things and be able to give advice to people on them.

As I said, I do not think it is right to hold up the House much longer. These Bills do not lend themselves to any lengthy discussion. Their objects are set up clearly and I must say that the Minister gave us a very lucid statement on the whole position when he introduced the Bills.

Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange  Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange  In industrial expansion, I believe, lies our greatest economic possibility and, perhaps, our only solution to unemployment. We have at the moment something like 70,000 people unemployed. I believe that if we increase our industrial output we can do something about that and, therefore, I welcome these two Bills, because money spent on bringing [254] industries to Ireland, especially to-day, and providing work for our people at home is money well spent. England has failed to get into the Common Market and that also affects us. We have a breathing space which may last a year or two years. During that time we should make full use of that breathing space. We must accept the facts as they are. We are living in a changing world and we must move with the times. We must prepare for the future to the best of our ability and with the resources available to us. If we do that at present nobody can blame us in the future, even if we do not solve all our economic difficulties, but if we fail to do our best there is no denying that coming generations shall blame us and I expect we would deserve to be censured.

The inter-Party Government believed away back in 1956 in inviting industrialists from abroad into this country with the money and the technical know-how. They were severely criticised at that time for their action and their policy but they have been proved right and the 1959 Bill and this Bill also have proved how right they were. As far as industry is concerned, Ireland is still relatively an undeveloped country. We have the manpower and are still acquiring the technical knowhow. Many of our technical schools are doing wonderful work in that regard. We have the raw material and there is no reason why industry should not progress.

Senator Ó Ciosáin stated that the greatest credit should go to the Taoiseach for our industrial development, that he gave this policy unstinted support at all times. I do not want to take away any credit that is due to the Taoiseach for what he has done over a long number of years for industrial development. However, we are proud of what was done away back in the past by the first Government of this State led by Mr. W.T. Cosgrave and Deputy Patrick McGilligan, the then Minister for Industry and Commerce. They had the vision at that time to start the Shannon Scheme in the teeth of bitter opposition. Because they started the Shannon Scheme the Governments in office afterwards had [255] the electrical power to build up our industrial arm in conjunction with our agricultural arm.

It would be impossible to build a prosperous industry on a stagnant agriculture and, unfortunately, that is what we appear to be doing. One is complementary to the other. They should go forward together instead of pulling in opposite directions as they seem to be, like two goats. If agriculture is prosperous our industries will also prosper.

As one coming from an area outside the undeveloped areas, I welcome these two Bills. They indicate a more favourable attitude towards the establishment of industries outside the undeveloped areas and giving people in County Westmeath, the county from which I come, the opportunity for the first time of getting an industry or, perhaps, industries for the midlands. Experience has proved even in England that a Government cannot make industrialists go to any un-devloped area or any particular area. Industrialists will choose their own sites or very often will. They know their own business better than anybody else and I believe we lost many industries in Ireland over the past few years. Many industrialists would not come to this country because they were being directed to go to certain areas and they were not prepared to establish their factories in the undeveloped areas. With the changes brought about by these Acts, I hope many more of these industrialists will set up their industries here. The people of Westmeath, especially in towns like Mullingar, Moate, Kilbeggan, Castlepollard and Delvin will be delighted with the introduction of this Bill. There is not one major industry in any of these towns despite the fact that they explored every avenue, followed every lead and were prepared, if necessary, to put up the money. Because we were in such close proximity to the undeveloped areas and, I suppose, so far away from ports on the east coast, all the major industries passed us by and nothing faced the people of these towns up to the present except emigration.

[256] I have advocated these changes and our county council last year unanimously passed a resolution seeking them. While I appreciate the difficulties west of the Shannon and even in counties like Longford, I always felt there should not have been such discrimination between one part of the country and another. Senator Ó Cíosáin said the Taoiseach gave this policy unstinted support at all times. It is very interesting to contrast in the Dáil debates the attitude of the Taoiseach and also of the Fianna Fáil Party when in power with the irresponsible attitude of the Taoiseach as Leader of the Opposition, to see how quickly he can adopt a policy against which he spoke vehemently in 1956. The provisions of this Bill are in direct contrast with what was preached by the Taoiseach, then Deputy Lemass, when he was opposing the 1956 Act. He bitterly criticised that Act which was introduced by Deputy Norton, the then Minister for Industry and Commerce, and went as far as to promise to repeal it if Fianna Fáil got back into power. Instead of the 1956 Act being repealed its provisions are being continued and, in fact, its provisions go much further than the 1956 Act. I wish to quote what the Taoiseach, then Deputy Lemass, said at column 1948, Volume 160 of the Official Report of the 5th December, 1956:

If it could be shown that any single industrial proposition that would not otherwise proceed was likely to go ahead quickly because of the provisions of this Bill, I would say that that is an argument in its favour. We have not been told that. Indeed, no reason has been advanced for the Bill at all. There is an implied assumption that industrial development has been held up by the absence of free grants. That is not true.

Then he went on to say at Column 1949:

You do not have to meet it by going into the pockets of the taxpayers to hand out grants of this kind when, by doing so, you are creating a situation in which concerns [257] that might otherwise develop will not develop unless this grant is given to them....

The Minister for Industry and Commerce, at page 7, paragraph 13 of his statement today said in relation to the introduction of these Bills:

I feel that failing their introduction the possibility of attracting to the country large-scale projects would be seriously diminished. I believe that adoption of these proposals will considerably improve the prospects of securing the establishment here of really worthwhile industries.

That is despite what Senator Ó Cíosáin has stated.

Éamon Ó Cíosáin: Information on Eamon Kissane  Zoom on Eamon Kissane  The circumstances were different in those days.

Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange  Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange  I hope you have not similar circumstances in a few months' time. That is all I hope in the interests of the country. The Government at that time were doing their best to get foreign industrialists to come in and they were severely criticised despite the fact that the Senator stated the Taoiseach always believed in this policy.

He also stated at that time, as reported in Volume 160, column 1950:

The Minister can have his Bill, as far as I am concerned——

He was fairly critical and I suppose he was entitled to be critical. We are all entitled to be critical and I do not deny that I am critical myself. He said:

The Minister can have his Bill, as far as I am concerned, but I want to make it clear, that, in my view— and I may at some time in the future be empowered to influence Government policy—I think it has no importance whatever in relation to our industrial development and it —represents a completely wrong approach to the problems of Irish industry as they exist today.

The only thing is that the Government are now giving bigger grants and have gone further afield than was envisaged in this Bill. This is a continuation [258] of what the Taoiseach opposed at that time. It is obvious now that the Taoiseach and the members of the present Government have accepted the wisdom of the inter-Party policy introduced at that time, even though it may be seven years after they said, when the 1956 Act was introduced, that it was an undesirable principle in the operation of industrial policy, that it was unnecessary and was the wrong type of aid.

Mr. J. Lynch: Information on John Lynch  Zoom on John Lynch  When was the principle of industrial grants first introduced?

Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange  Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange  I suppose it was under the first Control of Manufactures Act, 1952.

Mr. J. Lynch: Information on John Lynch  Zoom on John Lynch  Proceed from there on.

Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange  Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange  I remember when the inter-Party Government spoke of bringing in industrialists from abroad, they were severely criticised. We were to be self-sufficient at one time and did not like any money to come in from abroad. I am glad that those people have been converted and appreciate that this policy has borne fruit. Even the present Taoiseach now realises the soundness of the policy then introduced and has swallowed hook, line and sinker everything that he stated in 1956. The principle that the Minister mentioned was only envisaged and only came into operation in the undeveloped areas.

Éamon Ó Ciosáin: Information on Eamon Kissane  Zoom on Eamon Kissane  Could the Senator state how many industrial projects were carried out under that Act?

Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange  Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange  Under the Act that Deputy Lemass bitterly attacked in 1956? I suppose there have been a few hundred. He was to repeal that but he did not.

Mr. J. Lynch: Information on John Lynch  Zoom on John Lynch  If there were a few, without the hundred attached to it.

Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange  Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange  Despite all your talk there are 51,000 fewer people in gainful employment today than there were then, and 300,000 people have taken to the emigrant ship and are [259] working in London, Birmingham, Coventry and other places.

The Taoiseach stated recently that whether we enter the Common Market or not we are going into an era of freer trade. We all believe that, and we should make full use of the time at our disposal to prepare our industrialists for the competitive period that definitely lies ahead. For that reason I welcome these Bills, but at the same time we hear speakers getting up and giving all the credit to one particular man. I do not want to take from him any credit that is due to him. More luck to him and to anybody, to the present Minister. I wish him complete success in all he can do to bring industrialists to this country. I believe that with our adverse trade balance standing at the highest figure on record of over £100,000,000 with our imports increasing and exports decreasing, it behoves each and every one of us to make the best use of the opportunities afforded us in the Bill.

As I stated before, the period at our disposal for doing that may be very short. The future of our country and the employment of our people depend on what we may be able to do in the next year or in the next two or three years. After that it may be too late. We do not know. As far as we are concerned we are prepared, as we always have been, to put the country before Party, because we believe that patriotism is a very poor thing if it is only pride in the past and no inspiration for the future. We are prepared to support a dynamic industrial policy that will bring prosperity to our people and give employment to them at home no matter who introduces it. At the present moment we cannot afford to sit back. We must be up and doing. The fact that Britain was not allowed into the Common Market and that I suppose our application will not succeed when Britain was not allowed in is a shock to our hopes and aspirations, because our industrialists were being prepared for entry into the Common Market, but with the help that our industrialists will get in these Bills we can intensify our efforts in the years ahead. If we [260] do, it will be for the good of the country. I believe that we must be fully prepared inside the next two or three years to play our part in the competitive period that undoubtedly lies ahead. I am a believer in Irish industries and am fully convinced that given the proper lead and encouragement they can meet the difficulties that face them and surmount them. I want to say that the industrialists are getting that encouragement at the present time, because I want to give credit where it is due.

To succeed, everybody in the country—management, workers and the Government—must pull their weight. In the competitive period ahead there can be no slackness, no easy-going methods. We must produce the best, and if we do that industry will survive and help to bring prosperity to this country.

I may be wrong, but this legislation seems to favour the big industrialist. Some of the public believe that when people go to the Industrial Development Authority they get rather a poor reception if it is for a small concern. If it is for a proposition envisaging the spending of, perhaps, half a million pounds, or very big expenditure on buildings and equipment, they get a very much better reception. That should not be. We are losing small but valuable industries on that account.

A small industry can grow into a very big industry and give employment and help in our export drive. I was with the Industrial Development Authority a few months ago with people who are prepared to set up a soft toy factory in Mullingar. They put up their proposition, which was for export. They were prepared to employ, for a start in any case, 20 or 30 people, and they were prepared to branch out in different directions. They were in communication with people in Germany but they did not get their licence or any grant to go ahead. They would be in competition with Gaeltarra Éireann. I do not know whether that is right or wrong but in any case they were refused.

I was speaking to one German who [261] was attached to this business. He is in it in a big way in Germany and employs 400 people. He started off in his own back-kitchen with four people and now has 400 employed. He is one of the biggest exporters of these soft toys from Germany. It goes to prove that those people can start off in a small way and expand. No matter how small or insignificant the proposition may look, every help and encouragement should be given, especially if they are Irish people. The public seem to think they are not getting it at the present time. I may be wrong. The Minister knows much more about it than I do.

I am glad to see that the very important matter of housing is being taken into consideration in this Bill. We know this is a big problem. We know that many industries which were started here in recent years have had a big problem to overcome in that direction. In many places at the present time industrialists have to send buses out over a large part of the country, where the workers have to travel long journeys. This is expensive on the industrialists. It is a big handicap and a big hardship for many of the workers. I welcome that section of the Bill.

I also welcome the section dealing with the training of workers. It is a progressive section and the Minister is to be congratulated on it. I am very glad that there is provision for the training of workers in areas outside the undeveloped areas because many industrialists have had to meet heavy expenses in training workers and if we join the Common Market, which I hope we will in the next few years, then heavy expenses may be incurred by many industrialists in sending workers out for training to Germany, Italy or to other countries.

I have been asked to raise another point with the Minister. I have been told that there is greater scrutiny of Irish industrialists than of foreign industrialists when they apply for grants. I know of a particular industry which was short of money at one particular time. It is now under different management—relations of the people who were in it in the past. It was [262] short of money at one time and not going too well but it is going reasonably well at the present time. They are giving employment to 25 or 30 people. They made an application for grants or for loans to buy new and up-to-date machinery quite recently but were refused. Many of us cannot understand why they were refused.

One danger, perhaps, that I see in this Bill is that more and more industrialists may be inclined to concentrate in Dublin, to the detriment of the rest of the country. The Government had a policy of decentralisation. I wonder is there anything they can do now in that direction? Many people claim that this country is like a small child with a big head. I think it would be the wrong thing for the whole country if many more of our industrialists were to concentrate in the city. It would be much better if they were encouraged to move to different parts of the country.

In those Bills we are encouraging industrialists with the taxpayers' money and, as Ireland is predominantly an agricultural country, I believe that we should give greater encouragement and greater grants or loans to industries based on the raw materials available at home here in Ireland. That Ireland is an agricultural country cannot be over-emphasised in our industrial activity. I believe that the best type of industries to spend the taxpayers' money on are industries which can produce their own raw materials at home and not have to depend on their importation from the ends of the earth.

There could be greater concentration on that and it is my opinion for what it is worth that there should be greater grants given to industrialists who are prepared to do that because even in the competitive times that lie ahead they will have a much better and greater opportunity of competing and remaining viable, no matter what competition they may meet. I would prefer to see greater grants available, for example, for meat processing, food canning and for vegetable and fruit processing. From an economic point of view and to give more employment to our own people, we should go in for [263] processing more agricultural produce instead of exporting it as we do today. Instead of exporting our cattle and our sheep and wool, it would be much better, in the national interest and in the interest of the country, if more of our produce were processed at home. It would give employment to our own people here in Ireland and we could then export the finished product. I welcome the Bill.

Pádraig Ó Siochfhradha: Information on Padraig An Seabhac O Siochfhradha  Zoom on Padraig An Seabhac O Siochfhradha  Tá gach taobh den Tigh fábhrach leis an dá Bhille seo, agus ní ceist argóna feasta iad is dóigh liom. Dhá Bhille is ea iad a bhfuil príomhchuspóir amháin ionta, is é sin forbairt tionscal. Ins an dara ceann tá leaschuspóir eile—an fhorbairt sin a dhéanamh ins na ceantracha neamhfhorbartha, pé ceantracha iad sin, mar níl sé léirithe dhúinn fós, dáiríre, cad iad na ceantracha atá i gceist. Is é an phríomhchuspóir a forbairt tionscal in aon áit in Éirinn. Tá gach uile dhuine taobhach leis sin, gach uile dhuine imníoch go gcuirfí i bhfeidhm é agus gach duine i ndóchas go mbeidh toradh torthúil rafar ar na hiarrachtaí a dhéanfaí. Baineann sin le hÉirinn go léir cé acu forbartha í nó neamhfhorbartha. Níl aon argóint ná aon cháineadh, ná aon cheist mar gheall ar thairbhe agus tábhacht an chuspóra sin.

An ceann eile, atá ina leaschuspóir, ná chun iarracht a dhéanamh ar ceantracha áirithe go ndéanfaí forbairt tionscail iontu sin. Tá le tuiscint asta gurab é an neamhfhorbairt atá i gceist ins na ceantracha sin ná ná bhfuil tuiscint ar siúl iontu fé mar ba chóir nó fé mar ba mhaith linn. Pé scéal é, sé an tarna ceann sin go bhfuil spéis agamsa ann, an fhorbairt i gceantracha neamhfhorbartha. Is dóigh liom gurb é sin an riachtanas is mó atá i gceist i láthair na huaire ach fé mar a dubhairt ó chianaibh níl sé léirithe cad iad na ceantracha atá neamhfhorbartha nó an bhfuil aon idirdhealú á dhéanamh ins na ceantracha sin féin.

Is dóigh liomsa go bhfuil, agus fátha maithe leis. De bhárr Bille 10 mbliain ó shoin do cuireadh forbairt ar siúl, nó iarracht forbartha tionscal [264] ar siúl, ar fuaid na tíre neamhfhorbartha fé mar a thugtar air ach nílimse sásta leis an míniú sin, leis an deighilt sin a bheith chomh hiomlán nó chomh mór sin, agus chím toradh na neithe atá tagtha de bhárr cumhachtaí an Bhille atá ann le 10 mbliana nach ins na ceantair is mó go raibh riachtanas le tionscal ionta a bunaíodh tionscail atá bunaithe de bhárr an Bhille sin 1952.

Im chontae fhéin, cuir i gcás, tá roint déanta ach ní i gCorca Dhuibhne nó in Uíbh Ráthach a deineadh an obair ach i gCill Áirne agus i dTrá Lí. Is beag deifríocht idir Cill Áirne agus Trá Lí ar thaobh agus Blá Cliath ar thaobh eile maidir le gnáth mhuintir an chontae. Sin é an idirdhealú ba mhaith liomsa a dhéanamh agus sin í eochair an scéil atá i gceist agamsa. Is dóigh liomsa gur cheart agus gur mithid an ceantair sin tuaithe, ná raibh tionscal ar siúl ionta go dtí le déanaí, leis an mbeagán a cuireadh ar siúl faoi Bhille 1952, a roinnt arís mar tá an deifir chéanna idir Chiarraí Thuaidh agus Cill Áirne ar thaobh agus Uíbh Ráthach agus Corca Dhuibhne ar an taobh eile nó idir Chonamara agus Contae na Mídhe. Tá an deifríocht chomh mór, chomh cinte sin i gceist a fhorbairt tionscal gur gá, is dóigh liomsa, réiteach eile a dhéanamh agus idirdhealú a dhéanamh idir áiteanna den chineál sin.

Tá tagairt san Bille do dhualgaisí náisiúnta. Is ceann desna dualgaisí náisiúnta an Ghaeltacht agus forbairt na Gaeltachta. Is beag ar fad atá déanta go dtí seo ag aon Bhille chun é sin a chur chun críche. Tá fáthanna leis sin. Ní híonadh liomsa gur tugadh faillí ionta mar gheall ar na fáthanna agus ar an mhiniú a tugadh i dtaobh na ndeacrachtaí atá ag gabháil leo ach is dóigh liomsa, o thárla an Bille seo a bheith ar aigne lucht riartha, gur gá aire speisialta a thabhairt do cheantracha áirithe nach bhfuil ar a gcumas a leas féin a dhéanamh toisc fáthanna nach bhfuil leigheas aca air, agus toisc uireasa taithí nó cleachtodh nó, bfhéidir, uireasa airgid. I ngach forbairt atá i gceist ag an mBille seo tá tagairt do dhaoine a éalóidh cabhair chun tionscal a bhunú. Beidh ortha féin cuid áirithe den chostas agus den [265] airgead a bheidh ag teastáil a sholáthar chuige sin agus má bhíonn deallramh na hoibre ortha agus geallúint in a n-iarrachtaí go n-éireóidh leo gheobhaidh siad deontaisí ón Rialtas, ach ní bhfaighidh siad ach cuid den chostas. Táimse ag tagairt don Ghaeltacht— Conamara, Iarthair Dhún na nGall, iarthar an Chláir, iarthar agus deisceart Chiarraí, iarthar theas-thiar Chorcaigh. Ní féidir leo san ní do bhunú dóibh fhéin taobh amuigh do thionscal talmhaíochta bfhéidir, nó, an rud atá bfhéidir ar a gcumas, iascaireacht. Ach maidir le monarcain agus trácht ar neithe a dhéanamh nár deineadh riamh ins an ceantair chéana, tá sé sin thar a gcumas agus ní haon mhaith bheith ag coinne go dtiochfaidh aon dream aca le chéile, go gcuirfeadh siad £20,000 nó £50,000 le chéile chun tionscal mór éigin a chur san áit. Níl sé in a gcumas agus ní bheidh.

Sin é an idirdhealú ba mhaith liomsa a bheith in aigne an Rialtais i leith dúthaigh neamhfhorbartha, go bhfuil dhá ghné aca ann. De ghná, níl bailtí móra ann go bhfuil lucht airgid ionta. Agus níl airgead le fáil le chur isteach i ngnóthaí nach dtuigeann siad. Tá a fhios agamsa an méid atá ar siúl cheana féin. Tá forbairt déanta i gcúrsaí eallaigh agus talmhaíochta, creameries agus neithe den tsort sin. Tá roinnt déanta i dtaobh fásradh—glasraí agus a n-úsáid. Tá beagán mar sin déanta ach ba mhaith liomsa, agus do mholainn do lucht riartha an Bhille seo, go dtógfaí na ceantair sin ar láimh agus go ndéanfaí teagasc ar na daoine chun feidhm a bhaint as na neithe atá ar fáil i mbéal an dorais aca agus go bhféadfaí rud éigin a dhéanamh dóibh sin.

Do thagair an Seanadóir L'Estrange do neithe atá ag fás nó le fáil i dtionscal na feirmóireachta. I gCorca Dhuibhne agus i Uíbh Ráthach tá cuid mhór olann caorach le fáil. Ní déanfar aon ní leis sin ach é a bhailiú in a bheartaí agus a chur as an cheantair síos go Corcaigh nó anonn go Sasana nó go h-áit éigin eile. B'shin rud gur ceart agus gur féidir rud éigin a dhéanamh leis chun feidhm do bhaint as ins an áit agus tairbhe na hoibre sin a bheith ag muintir na háite. An muintir a tógtar le Gaeilge agus atá in [266] a nGaelgóirí is cheart gach iarracht a dhéanamh chun go bhfanaidís sa bhaile agus go mbeadh obair le déanamh ins an mbaile aca. Sin é an fá gur mhaith liom go ndéanfaí idirdhealú idir na dtúthaigh neamhfhorbartha féin, i dtaobh ceantracha den chineál sin agus ceantracha eile mar a bhfuil airgead ar nós Trá Lí agus Cill Áirne agus áiteanna eile agus córacha chun cabhrú le tionscal.

Tá a fhios agam go maith na fáthanna atá leis an Gaeltacht a bheith gan tionscal déantúsaíochta, mar shompla iarthar-theas Chorcaigh, Uíbh Ráthach go léir, Ciarraí theas, Ciarraí thiar. Tá na ceantracha sin anois gan bóthar iarainn agus na gná bhóithre atá ann, bíodh gur maith iad chun lucht taistil agus lucht turasóireachta, ní dóigh liom go ró-mhaith iad le h-aghaidh do gléasanna móra troma iompair.

Tá na neithe ag teastáil i gcóir tionscal a bhaineann le ceantar tionscail. An chéad rud, córacha taistil agus gléasradh a bhéadh oiriúnach don chóir taistil sin, sé sin, cóir traenach agus iompair. Do theastódh leis uatha le h-aghaidh tionscal áirithe córacha cuain agus fairrge agus taistil thar lear. Cuireann na riachtanaisí sin an Ghaeltacht ar fad beagnach as aon chabhair nó aon tseans mar sin a theacht. Ach tá tionscail bheaga ann agus ba chóir iarracht a dhéanamh ar iad sin a bhunú. Ba chóir, faoin mBille seo nó faoin údarás a bheidh ag feidhmiú an Bhille, go mbéadh cumhacht aca daoine a chur go dtí na ceantair sin—iad a theagaisc agus a mhúineadh agus a thaispeáint do na daoine cad eile is féidir dóibh a dhéanamh chun breis teacht isteach agus ioncaim a bheith acu féin agus maireachtaint go compórdach sa bhaile.

Sé an ní a thárlóidh má bhionn na tionscail ins an Galltacht, agus is cinnte gur mar sin atá sé fé láthair, in ionad bheith ag dul go Sasana—rud tubaisteach go leór dóibh—gur ag teacht go Baile Átha Cliath, go Trá Lí agus go Luimneach a bheidh siad. Ach fágfaidh siad an tig agus an baile in a dhiaidh agus beidh siad chomh imithe ó bhaile agus atá na daoine atá imithe go Sasana nó go Meiriceá. Arís, luaim [267] seo, gur dualgas don Stáit an Ghaeltacht. Tá sé sin admhaithe. Tá sé sin mar chuspóir ag an Stáit, ag an Rialtas agus anois ó tá caoi chuige, ba mhaith liomsa a thathaint ar an Rialtas go ndéanfaidís beart chun a mhúineadh, a theagaisc, a mhealladh nó a thiomáint ar na daoine neithe do chur ar siúl in a gceantair féin gur féidir iad a chur ar siúl agus a sholáthródh slí bheatha dóibh féin sa bhaile. Sin é mó léiriú ar cheist an dá chuspóir seo. Molaim iad araon. Is ion-mholta iad agus tá súil agam go mbeidh toradh céatach ar na h-iarrachtaí atá déanta. Ag tagairt dóibh san ní h-aon díobháil—agus is annamh a luadh é— a rá gurab é Connradh na Gaeilge deich mbliana agus trí fhichid ó shoin a chéad luaigh riachtanas tionscal Éireannach agus déantús Éireannach. Ba mhaith liom go luafaí é sin le buíochas ar Chonnradh na Gaeilge mar tá teagasc an Chonnradh anois ag dul i bhfeidhm agus sinne ag lorg slithe chun an obair a chur ar siúl.

Mr. Ross: Information on J N Ross  Zoom on J N Ross  I support those Bills. I have a certain sympathy with Senator Fitzpatrick and Senator L'Estrange in their wish to see rural Ireland with its fair quota of industries but I am afraid it is not a practical proposition to do more than encourage the industrialists to go to an undeveloped area. It is no good taking an industrialist and trying to force him to set up in an undeveloped area if it is not his wish to do so. If he is calculating his costings, his skilled labour, his management and all the various problems that he has to calculate before he sets up his industry and decides he cannot put that industry practically in an undeveloped area, it is completely false economics from the country's point of view to try to force him to go there. While I have every sympathy with the Senators who spoke for the rural areas, I do not think it is practicable to try to do any more than is being done by these Bills and by the Industrial Development Authority to encourage these industrialists to go to those areas —but to do no more than encourage them if they cannot see their way practically to set up in those areas.

[268] Senator Moloney felt that in the past projects had been lost because of a differential in grants between one part of the country and another. My experience is that the projects have often been lost for completely different reasons. I feel that we have got in those Bills, and in their predecessors, encouragements—a carrot if you like —to the industrialist. But, against that we have still got a brake against an industrialist, that is, against a foreign industrialist coming in, and we are trying to encourage foreign industrialists.

I would quote the Control of Manufactures Act and the Industrial Development (Encouragement of External Investment) Act, which latter Act I consider to be one of the most misnamed in the statute book. The carrot is on the one hand but on the other hand I think many of the projects, to which Senator Moloney referred, and which have been lost, have in the past been lost because foreign industrialists will not come in here to set up if they are restricted by the Control of Manufactures Act. In certain respects the Act of 1958 has modified the effect of the Control of Manufactures Act so far as exports and very small industries are concerned, but it has not modified them so far as the home market is concerned. Together with the carrot, I suggest that the Minister should consider now the taking off of the brake of the Control of Manufactures Act and the 1958 Act.

I quite appreciate that that brake cannot be taken off all of a sudden. There are too many industries which have been set up and which have been protected by those Acts but surely it is time for the Government to say here and now that in a certain number of years the Control of Manufactures Act and the 1958 Act will go? I think that our industrialists who have been able to set up, and rightly have had the protection in the past to set up, under those Acts, should now be given a warning note that the time has come to set their industrial houses in such a state that they can meet foreign competition. But, I know from my own experience that a number of foreign [269] industrialists will not set up in this country if they are faced with the Control of Manufactures Act and the Industrial Development Act.

I was sorry to hear Senator L'Estrange criticise the Industrial Development Authority. He criticised them on two counts, first, that they were prepared only to consider large industries before they would consider small industries, and secondly, that they gave far more consideration to foreign investors coming here than they gave to Irish investors. I was particularly sorry to hear that because my own experience of the Industrial Development Authority is that it does not matter whether you have a big project or a small project to bring to them they treat all projects with the same care, consideration and courtesy; that has been my experience with big projects and my experience with small projects. They are extraordinarily careful and extremely courteous and I have had the same experience so far as foreign investors and Irish investors were concerned. I was extremely sorry to hear Senator L'Estrange criticise them because they are doing —in some respect a thankless—but an extremely good job of work.

I should like to ask the Minister to clarify one point which is bothering me. Section 4 sub-section 1 of the Industrial Grants (Amendment) Bill provides that the board may make grants towards the cost of enlarging an industrial undertaking in an area other than an undeveloped area or of adapting the machinery, plant, equipment, buildings and so on. There is no provision in that section for making a grant towards new machinery. While it is true that there is provision in the Industrial Grants Act of 1959 for the board to make a grant for the provision of machinery and equipment, that provision is pretty closely hedged because in order to make a grant under that Act the board must be of opinion that:

there are sound reasons why an industrial undertaking cannot be established or developed in the undeveloped areas and that the undertaking is, having regard to its size, [270] character or the probable extent to which its products are likely to be exported, of exceptional national importance.

It seems to me that areas other than undeveloped areas are going to be at a serious disadvantage. Take a small industry, not necessarily in the Dublin area, but say in the Cork area or somewhere on the east coast. If it wishes to get new machinery, it is very unlikely that the board will be able to make the grant for new machinery under the Acts as they are at present or the Bill as at present drafted because they will have to be satisfied that the undertaking is of exceptional national importance. I would like the Minister to clarify that for me but I think the position now is that there is no provision for a comparatively small industry to get a grant towards the cost of new machinery, plant or equipment. I would like the Minister to deal with that point in his reply.

Mr. Mooney: Information on Joseph M Mooney  Zoom on Joseph M Mooney  On the proposed Bills we must ask ourselves whether we are going to classify the whole country as a developed area or as an undeveloped area. Because in actual fact we are extending the provisions of the previous Act relating to the undeveloped areas to the whole country. My interpretation now is that we are scheduling the whole country as an undeveloped area.

Coming from a rural area, I feel that we are going to lose some of the advantages we had under the old Act but I also feel that as a people we are prone to publicise our disadvantages too much and not to give enough vent to our advantages. The question of transport is very often raised as a problem in the siting of industries but surely in a small country such as this it would be a matter of only a few hundred miles and if we get a suitable industry there should be no difficulty in having it established in the area to which it has been invited. I know from my own experience that transport would not be considered a very great problem from the point of view of British industry. They have this problem in Britain. They have industry sited a distance from their ports and [271] they have to transport their goods for export. If the bias is to be in favour of the city, as Senator L'Estrange said, the city of Dublin is going to become bigger than the rest of the body. Anybody who has experience of travelling through Dublin or of endeavouring to travel through Dublin will see that industrialists would be at a great disadvantage if they tried to establish in the city rather than in the country because when they had goods for transport they could do several miles far more quickly on a country road than they could get from one end of the city to another. Indeed, in the time it would take to get from one street to the next, you would have covered several miles of road in the country.

In the area I come from we have a problem which is worthy of mention: an industry which has just announced it is closing. I should like to emphasise that the Government are at no fault in this particular case. The Government fulfilled their obligations under the Act. They provided money and local people provided money but, unfortunately, due to circumstances outside the control of the Government and of the people concerned, the company had no option but to close down. There was a snag which can be remedied in this Bill. The period of five years during which a grant can be made available should be extended as a safeguard not alone to the area in which an industry is established but to local investors. Forty thousand pounds of local money was invested in the industry in Sligo and the people have no redress. The industry was governed by another industry in another part of the country and since Sligo is scheduled an undeveloped area, it is the industry that is suffering as a result of recent events.

The primary purpose of the Bills was to develop industry in the country and I know that the primary purpose of the IDA was to develop goods for export. Like Senator L'Estrange, I feel that if we could have industries based on native raw materials in either the undeveloped or developed areas, there should be no difficulty in attracting industry. I am interested in food processing, [272] meat processing. It should be possible to attract industry to the particular areas where those things are and even to start that production.

Following a trip I took part in last year to the Shannon development area, I feel it cannot be emphasised too often that the amount of money invested by the State is not so great, though it might sound fairly high to some people and is the taxpayers' money. In the case of the Shannon Development Company, for every 16/8 invested by the promoters only 3/4 was invested by the taxpayers of the country. I think that was pointed out to us at the outset. People are inclined to get the impression that a lot of money is being invested. We have the case of the mineral exploration which is going on at the present time. I can speak for only one company—the Ambassador Oil Company. The number of people who feel that public money is being poured out in this country is amazing. My information is that it is not public money; it is money belonging to the people who have come in and received licences to explore for minerals in the hope that they would contribute to the economic development of the country. If they are lucky enough to find something it will be to our benefit; if they are not, it is going to be their loss because it will be their money. As soon as the public is made aware of those things we will have less propaganda about the amount of money being handed over to foreigners in the guise of industrial development.

While I agree with some points made by Senator I'Estrange there is one point with which I do not agree. I reminded him on more than one occasion that the present day generations are not interested in what was said last year or who said it, or what was said the previous year. Their sole interest at the moment is: “What does the future hold for me?”

Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange  Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange  Some people do not like to be reminded of what they said in the past.

Mr. Mooney: Information on Joseph M Mooney  Zoom on Joseph M Mooney  I believe this Bill and its predecessor have given them hope. We have evidence on every side [273] that it has fulfilled what it was intended to fulfil. It has provided stable and remunerative employment at home for our young people. I should like to get an assurance from the Minister that in the event, even yet, of industries being attracted to what heretofore were known as the undeveloped areas—we can now describe other counties as undeveloped areas also—the utmost consideration and sympathy will be extended to any proposal coming from the undeveloped areas and that where possible, in order to give any advantage to which they may be entitled, consideration will be given to making the maximum grant available.

I should like to agree with Senator Ross in regard to what he said about the Industrial Development Authority. I have had occasion to go there on a few occasions and I found the officials most helpful. A thing which people forget is that these people are the guardians of the State's finances as far as industrial development is concerned and we cannot blame them if they seem to be very strict in their investigations. They have to be because, as each of us knows, they have been bitten at least once, if not twice. As far as the work they are doing is concerned the evidence is there. Another matter which should be emphasised is that all the money has not been given to foreigners. We must not forget that many of the undertakings that have been established had Irish interests and that if the money has been made available it has not been given to anybody to take out of the country. It has been ploughed back into the country and it is helping to develop the country and the national economy. Senator L'Estrange has been quoting from the past. I do not like going into the past but since we are living in the age of “pops” and “top twenties” I would remind him of a theme song which he used sing, “Come Back to Erin.” That song would have more results today than it had in the days when the Senator was singing it.

Mr. J. Lynch: Information on John Lynch  Zoom on John Lynch  I am glad that the Seanad, almost unanimously, has given approval to these two Bills. There have, of course, been the inevitable [274] complaints that the differential in favour of the undeveloped areas is being removed. I was amazed when this theme was repeated over and over again in the Dáil and I am very much surprised that it should have been repeated here again because, if Senators read the Bill, they would see clearly that the differential has not been removed. In the case of grants up to a maximum of £250,000 the differential is maintained. The method of computing the grant has been changed but, by and large, the total amount of the grant in any given case will be at least the same and possibly it could well be increased in the case of a new industry. I say that it could well be increased because sometimes it happens that the amount of capital required for plant and machinery is very often disproportionate to the cost of the building. Therefore, by having a flat composite figure of 6? per cent. for buildings and plant and machinery it could happen, and I am sure it would happen in many cases, that the total amount of the grant could be higher than under the existing legislation.

When I say that the differential remains up to a maximum of £250,000 that means that the differential remains almost in its entirety as far as the undeveloped areas are concerned. Of the 123 grants that were made available under the Act up to the end of March, 1962, the last date for which a report is available from An Foras Tionscal, only in four cases was the maximum of £250,000 exceeded. Therefore, in effect, 119 of these cases qualified for grants of £250,000 or less and, indeed, much less in many cases, so that the inducement to the undeveloped areas in the case of grants not exceeding £250,000 still remains over and above the rest of the country. I might say in reply to the criticism to the effect that the Undeveloped Areas Act has failed in its purpose what I have just said is an indication that it has met with a marked degree of success. It is true that we did hope for a greater degree of success and that there would have been a greater diffusion of industries around the undeveloped areas, but there has been a reasonable degree of diffusion and in some cases the rate of industrial development has [275] been such as to absorb all the available labour potential in the areas.

It has been suggested over and over again that foreigners receive much more favourable treatment than Irish people. I have tried to give the lie to that statement as often as I can. We all know that if you repeat a lie often enough you will get people to believe it and, in fact, you might believe it yourself. I doubt if the same applies to the truth because——

Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange  Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange  Not in politics anyway.

Mr. J. Lynch: Information on John Lynch  Zoom on John Lynch  ——you never seem to be able to get it across. I gave detailed figures in the course of the debate in the Dáil about the number of grants made available to purely Irish promoters, to foreign promoters and to those with an Irish and foreign content. If I give the broad percentages it might sink in better. Up to the date which I mentioned, the end of March, 1962, there was something short of 200 industries in toto established with the aid of grants in the undeveloped areas and in areas outside the undeveloped areas. Of those, 48 per cent. were undertakings with only foreign participation. Forty-five per cent. were undertakings with only Irish participation and the remaining seven per cent. contained both foreign and Irish participation. Surely those figures indicate that there is no bias whatever in favour of foreign investment in regard to grants made available by An Foras Tionscal?

Senator Quinlan and Senator Ross raised a question about Section 4 of each of the Bills. The Section provides for the same purpose and is numbered the same in each of the Bills. This is in relation to what we call adaptation grants. These adaptation grants apply to industries which are already in existence, which could be made competitive in free trade conditions with the expenditure of more capital, and industries where the money cannot be provided out of the ordinary resources. Therefore, it applies both in the undeveloped areas and in the rest of the country. It [276] applies also, in reply to a specific question asked by Senator Ross, to the replacement of existing machinery by new machinery and it has no application at all to the ordinary grants for new industries or for major developments or extensions of existing industries. Its application is mainly to existing industries which may require a greater capital injection for the purpose of making them more competitive in free trade conditions and also in cases where all the capital cannot be provided out of their own resources.

The Senator will probably remember that the first interim report of the Committee on Industrial Organisation recommended that interest free loans for a period of five years—free as far as repayment of capital and payment of interest were concerned— should be made available to those industries that would require heavy expenditure for adaptation or extension for free trade conditions. The Government, having examined that recommendation adopted it but decided as well to make available as an alternative to those loans those 25 per cent free grants in case the promoters thought the 25 per cent grant would suit their purposes better. It is the recommendation of the CIO and the extension of it by the Government which are being provided for in the two Sections 4 of the respective Bills.

Senator Fitzpatrick suggested that these Bills were prepared in anticipation of our entry to the Common Market. I think he also suggested—I may be wrong but if he did not somebody else did; this is a matter of the lamb and the wolf but I am not charging him with it as an allegation—that if we had known, when these Bills were being prepared, that our entry to the Common Market might be delayed, we might not have come forward with them. That is not true. The operation of these Bills over the years, naturally, showed up certain shortcomings and it was mainly to repair those shortcomings that the Bills were introduced. In so far as free trade is concerned, it is true there are two specific sections, Section 4 in each case, which are particularly designed for adaptation to free trade conditions. Therefore, by [277] and large, it is not true that our possible entry to the Common Market was the only cause of the introduction of these Bills.

Senator Moloney raised a question which is operating in the minds of some people at the moment, that of making available to development associations or regional groups of development associations financial assistance to enable these local groups to buy options on land suitable for industrial development purposes. As many Senators have observed we have gone a very long way in making financial provision available for industrial development. I firmly believe that would kill all ideas of self help. By all means let these local industrial development associations be formed, because I believe the vigour and activity of these associations over many years have succeeded in attracting industries to their particular areas, but if they were to be helped in the way Senator Moloney suggests it would take all the initiative and all the vigour out of such associations.

Senator Moloney also referred to what he called the scare among the printing industry. I have answered a number of questions in the Dáil about the alleged scare. The position is that inquiries were made in this country about the possibility of the establishment in it of an industry for a new type of printing—phototype setting they call it. It is not completely new because it has been done in other countries. The promoters were told it would appear primarily to be a trade union problem and they were advised to contact the trade unions concerned and they succeeded in making an agreement with one of the trade unions which will cater for workers who would be employed in such an industry if it were set up.

Secondly, the purpose of the industry is stated to be completely for export; and, thirdly, an application would have to be made ultimately, if it is to proceed, to An Foras Tionscal which body must have regard to all the circumstances and the possibility of injury to the existing Irish printing industry. In the meantime, the promoters [278] of this industry have been in touch with the Industrial Development Authority and the Authority are now awaiting further approaches from these promoters. I want to repeat that as far as the trade unions are concerned the promoters have made their agreement with the trade union; as far as the effect on the Irish industry is concerned, the purpose of the industry is stated to be completely for export. Suitable guarantees can be inserted by An Foras Tionscal in the event of an application being made for a grant and in the event of the industry going ahead to ensure that it will not compete on the home market with the existing industry. I do not think there is any need to go further in this instance, but because of the fact that it was raised here I thought I should at least reply to the points raised.

Another point made was in respect of a particular industry, namely, the Sligo industry mentioned by Senator Mooney. It is true that some years ago a grant was made available for a cotton yarn factory in Sligo. Unfortunately, some time in the early autumn of last year a substantial portion of that factory was burned down and a substantial number of workers lost their employment as a result. The usual guarantees as to the disposal of the buildings and machinery were negotiated by the promoters of that industry and the period of operation of those guarantees had expired before the factory was burned down. Sufficient of the factory was still standing and sufficient machinery was intact to enable production on a limited scale to proceed, but in the meantime the cotton industry of Lancashire had been experiencing considerable difficulties and many pressures were put on the British Government about the imports of cotton yarn from Ireland and other countries as affecting the output of the Lancashire mills.

Much of the capacity of our cotton yarn mills is exported to Britain. There is very limited, in fact, no extra scope for output on the home market. Therefore, any extra production in that line would have to be for export. The immediate market we had at our disposal was the British market, and [279] having regard to the pressures on the British Government from the Lancashire industry, limits were imposed on suppliers of cotton yarn to the British market. These suppliers include India, Portugal, Pakistan and Ireland. India and Portugal agreed on voluntary limitation. Pakistan, a British commonwealth country, incidentally, did not agree and limitation was imposed on them. It was suggested that we should accept a voluntary limitation as well. We resisted the level of the limitation suggested and, as a result of negotiations I undertook with the President of the Board of Trade, I was able to get the limitation increased to a level that was regarded as satisfactory in the circumstances by our home mills. If I had not agreed, a limitation would have been imposed much lower than the amount we can now export on a voluntary basis.

The fact is that the capacity of our existing mills, excluding Sligo, is more than enough to fulfil the requirements of the home market and the export market now available to us, so that was the main reason why it was not found possible, first, to rebuild the Sligo factory for the continued production of cotton yarns and why, subsequently, having regard to the limitation on our export capacity, the promotors decided to discontinue operations in the Sligo factory.

Meantime I want to assure, as I have done privately and otherwise, the people of Sligo that I am very conscious of the problem created there by the loss of some two hundred or so jobs, and every effort is being made to provide alternative employment in Sligo in the existing factory or any extension of it, and I have stated that in the event of a new promoter taking over these premises, the Undeveloped Areas Grants Acts will be available for further grant assistance should it be required. I am hopeful that the situation there will be resolved in the near future. I can say no more about it just for the moment.

Speaking about Sligo, Senator Mooney also raised Ambassador Oil. He quite rightly said that there is no [280] public money of the Irish taxpayer by way of direct tax or loan going into the operation of Ambassador Oil. Ambassador Oil were given concessions in this country to bore for oil or natural gas, with the obligation that they would expend from their own resources certain sums of money over certain periods. They have, I understand, expended more than they originally undertook to expend. The fact is that no taxpayers' money in any shape or form has gone into the operations of Irish Ambassador Oil.

Bhí an Seabhach ag caint faoi na ceantracha neamh-fhorbartha. Sa chéad Acht i 1952 tá siad léirithe agus dob iad sin na sean-cheantracha cúnga. Do cuireadh leo ó shoin ceantracha a bhí gar dhóibh i gContae Chorcaigh agus i gContae an Chláir agus trí contaethe sa tuaisceart, eadhon, Longphort, an Cabhán agus Muineachán.

Tá sé fíor nár cuireadh morán tionscal nua ar bun sa Ghaeltacht. Mar sin féin, fé mar is eol don tSeanadóir, tá beartanna fé leith idir lámhaibh ag an Rialtas mar gheall ar na ceantracha cúnga go léir. Tá coistí Chontae curtha ar bun anois chun freastal ar na ceantracha sin. Chomh maith leis sin, fé mar is eol don tSeanad, cuireadh Roinn na Gaeltachta ar bun blianta ó shoin agus is mó rud atá déanta ag an Roinn sin maidir le leas na Gaeltachta.

Senator Ross mentioned the Control of Manufactures Act as a deterrent to foreign investment. He also mentioned the Industrial Development Authority (Encouragement of Export) Act as a deterrent. The intention in the passage of the Industrial Development Authority (Encouragement of Export) Act of 1958 was to relieve exporting industries of the restrictions of the Control of Manufactures Act. He said he had evidence that these two Acts have deterred foreigners from setting up industries in this country. I have no evidence whatever that the Industrial Development Authority (Encouragement of Export) Act in particular has deterred any foreigner from so doing. Nevertheless, as he knows, under the Control of Manufactures Act, there is this provision for a new manufacturing licence [281] whereby a wholly foreign undertaking is permitted under the new manufacturing licence to carry on an undertaking if it is not already being done here or not likely to be done by existing Irish companies. Nevertheless, it is true that the time is coming when the continuance in operation of the Control of Manufactures Act will have to be seriously considered, but, as the Senator observed, many industries have been set up on the basis of the existence of this Act, and it may take some time, even when the decision has been taken ultimately to take it off the Statute books.

I do not like following Senator L'Estrange up all his little byways and avenues, but having listened to many of his party colleagues in the Dáil, I can only conclude that somewhere in Fine Gael literature or in the party room there is a heading “Industrial Achievements of Fine Gael” and on the top is the Shannon Scheme and next is the Industrial Grants Act of 1956, because several of his Party colleagues in the Dáil asserted that the principle of industrial grants was first introduced in 1956. The Senator knows well that that is completely wrong. The principle was first introduced in 1952. It is true that the Taoiseach very severely criticised the 1956 Industrial Grants Act during its passage through the Dáil. That Act was in existence for two and a half years when it was amended and extended in 1959. Unfortunately, that Act was very limited in its provisions. In the first place, it limited grants for industries set up to the very inadequate limit of £50,000. That was very small and was not conducive to attracting the best type of industry one would hope to attract to the country.

Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange  Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange  He said that those people did not want any grants at all.

Mr. J. Lynch: Information on John Lynch  Zoom on John Lynch  I will deal with that if the Senator wants me to. Secondly, the Act did not permit existing companies to undertake major development. Therefore, if an industry existed and if it was possible for them to extend their line of business by setting up adjacent to their existing plant a [282] new factory, then the provisions of that Act did not help them. They would have to set up a separate company and would have to conform with the very serious restrictions in the 1956 Act. At the time it is true that the Taoiseach did say that those people whom it was intended to attract would not be attracted by grants with a limit of £50,000 and he said clearly—if the Senator wants to read it he may do so—that loan provision would be much more effective for that purpose. In fact, the results have shown that the Act was not very effective, because in the two and a half years up to 1959 since it was enacted grants amounting to only £264,850 were made under its aegis. In the two and a half years since the 1959 Act was passed grants amounting to £4,188,000 were made available.

Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange  Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange  They would not even have time to build the factory in the two years after it.

Mr. J. Lynch: Information on John Lynch  Zoom on John Lynch  The limitations of the 1956 Act were such as to limit any possibility of reasonable industrial development under it. Further, I want to say that the 1956 Act did not represent any change in thinking about industrial grants in this country. It was an extension of the principle that was introduced in respect of the undeveloped areas to the rest of the country, and was a very minor extension at that.

Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange  Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange  Why did he say that it was a completely wrong approach to the problem?

Mr. J. Lynch: Information on John Lynch  Zoom on John Lynch  As I said, it was intended to help industries where there would be a high capital investment and the Taoiseach clearly said—I remember it well—that what appeared to him to be needed was capital assistance if necessary by way of loans but which would be ample to serve the purposes it was intended to achieve.

Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange  Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange  He says that those people would come without grants and that we were giving them the taxpayers' money where they did not need it.

[283]An Leas-Chathaoirleach:  The Minister must be allowed to continue without interruption. What the Taoiseach said in the Dáil is of no consequence here.

Mr. J. Lynch: Information on John Lynch  Zoom on John Lynch  It is of some consequence, I submit. However——

Professor Hayes: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  No great consequence.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach:  Of no consequence as a debating point.

Mr. J. Lynch: Information on John Lynch  Zoom on John Lynch  Senator Ó Ciosáin suggested that there should be only one body. That was tried and failed. When the 1956 Act was passed, An Foras Tionscal was already in existence and that body dealt with the examination and making available of grants under the 1952 Act. The 1956 Act entrusted the same function in respect of that Act to the Industrial Development Authority, and they found that it was embarrassing for them because they were primarily a promoting organisation and having brought a proposal beyond the promotional stage, they found themselves then examining the merits for grant purposes. In 1959, when I introduced the amendment to the 1956 Act, the Industrial Development Authority specifically requested me to take the grant-giving powers from them and repose them in a separate body, An Foras Tionscal; so that from 1959 An Foras Tionscal were responsible for the examination of grants applications and the making of grants under both Acts. I think that is a better system. The Industrial Development Authority can now continue their promotional functions without the embarrassment of having ultimately to turn down, if necessary, a proposal that they find is without merit from grant point of view.

These are most of the points that have been raised in the debate. I do not think that there are any others, but if there are any questions I can answer I will be glad to do so.

Mr. Ross: Information on J N Ross  Zoom on J N Ross  Arising out of the Minister's speech, there is one point which I would like him to clarify. I was interested to hear that one of the purposes of Section 4 of each of these [284] Bills was to enable a grant for the replacement of machinery and buildings. With respect that is not what the section says. It only says “to adapt the machinery, plant, buildings....” etc. There could be machinery, for example, worked by hand which would be adapted to being worked by power. I do not take it that under the section, as at present drafted, a grant could be made for new machinery to replace old, and I would ask the Minister to bring in an amendment to provide specifically for replacement.

Mr. J. Lynch: Information on John Lynch  Zoom on John Lynch  I do not think it is necessary, because the draftsmen were quite clear about the purposes of the adaptation grants. They knew exactly what they were intended to achieve. I am satisfied that the Bill, as it stands, empowers An Foras Tionscal to make grants available for the provision of entirely new machinery within Section four, and I do not think it is necessary to introduce an amendment.

Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange  Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange  Many Senators spoke of the desirability of giving extra grants to industries based on the raw material we have at home—in other words, based on agriculture. At least three or four Senators referred to the fact that we are sending sheep, cattle and wool out unprocessed. We believe that in the years ahead factories based on these resources will be viable and able to stand up to competition. Would the Minister comment on that?

Mr. J. Lynch: Information on John Lynch  Zoom on John Lynch  There is a degree of discretion available to An Foras Tionscal and I can assure the Seanad that the board use that discretion in favour, first of all, of grants for industries in remoter areas and also in favour of particularly desirable industries. The industries the Senator has in mind would be such.

Question put and agreed to.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach:  Next Stage?

Mr. J. Lynch: Information on John Lynch  Zoom on John Lynch  I would appreciate being given all Stages today because the adaptation grants are rather urgent. An Foras Tionscal have many applications.

[285]Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange  Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange  I suppose there is no use going up all the avenues now. We will forget the past and we are agreed to give the Bill all Stages now. We have short memories at times, so let us forget the past.

Agreed to take remaining Stages today.

Bill put through Committee, reported without recommendation, received for [286] final consideration and ordered to be returned to the Dáil.


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