Anglo Irish Trade Agreement 1965
Over the last five or six years, starting with the promise of 100,000 new jobs, we have had various agreements, bills, one thing and another proposed by this ruling Fianna Fáil party. We had the five-year plan, which was changed into the first economic expansion program, then abandoned and reintroduced like a hot cake before the 1961 parliamentary elections, painted with all the cosmetics that go with political awareness, and was called the second economic expansion program. We had a new tax system, the turnover tax, which was introduced in the House and described by the ministers who proposed its adoption as a tax system that people would not have to pay, that the industry would assume, that commercial premises would not pass it on to the consumer, and we know the result. We know the difficulties that the government found itself in at that time. We know that they were in a position where they had to hold two by-elections. We knew people knew it, but Fianna Fáil knew that after contesting these two by-elections around or around the date, the Labour Party had called for the by-election for the by-election in Cork City, their political fate had ended as they had. In order to assess the balance of the agreement, I think it is necessary for us to look at its trade provisions in both directions. The resulting trade growth will be a measure of the value of the agreement for both countries, but the expansion of British exports to Ireland will depend on our ability to import them, or in other words, the additional revenue generated by the agreement in Ireland. Since the suspension of the examination of our application for accession to the Community in July 1961 would have meant that we would in any event have been temporarily excluded from accession, any interim link with the Community should have taken the form of an association which, according to the wording of the Treaty of Rome, would consist of an `agreement establishing an association with reciprocal rights and obligations`. In order to overcome the obstacle to the Common External Customs Tariff, the association should have been based, as in the case of Greece, on participation in the Community customs union. Last night I had a discussion with a doctor friend who told me that he knew the Taoiseach exceptionally well.
I don`t know what the Lord`s policy is, but after discussing this agreement until the early hours of the morning, I found myself with the opinion that if we could know the Taoiseach`s innermost thoughts, he would freely admit that he was misled by another person who occupies a higher position in this country today. What does this agreement mean? What does this agreement say for our people? Is it free trade commonly referred to as such by Fianna Fáil spokespeople? Is it really free trade? MP Andrews nods in agreement. Does Mr Andrews agree that British industry has full access to Irish markets? The Committee on Industrial Organization stated in its final report that it was to be expected that the total reduction in employment in existing manufacturing industries would amount to about 10,000 amounts for the transition to free trade in the context of ACCESSION TO THE UNECE. Before I conclude, I want to reiterate that we will be hit very hard by this agreement and that, in its efforts to hide the facts from the public, the government has not been honest. It is not honest to bring forward a measure of this magnitude in the House and try to pretend to the House and, through us, to people that this is just an ordinary trade agreement that will be to our advantage. It is not to our advantage and it cannot be to our advantage. It will take all the skill, all the courage of our people, to overcome the very great difficulties that lie ahead. It is one of the biggest decisions made in this country in the last 160 years. We had the Act of The Union, the Treaty, and now we have this Economic Act of the Union. That`s what it is, and make no mistake. This trade agreement will not solve all our problems.
I tried to show what he can do. To the extent that it preserves the precious assets of the farming community of this country, we could not conscientiously vote against it. It is a fraud to call it a free trade agreement. There is no equality because the British industrialist is free to work here on the terms of equality with our industrialists, but the Irish farmer is not so free to compete with the British farmer in Britain. .