§ 36. Mr. P. MEEHAN
asked the Vice President of the Department of Agriculture (Ireland), if the Department has recently handed over its saw mill and woods at Dundrum, county Tipperary, to an association of creameries for the manufacture of butter packages; whether the Department actually provided the association referred to with priority certificates to enable them to procure the necessary machinery; if he is aware that there are many splendidly equipped box mills in the South of Ireland capable of making all the butter packages necessary and dealing with all suitable timber avail able for such purpose; whether he will explain why, in the interest of the State, the association was provided with priority certificates for machinery, thereby congesting the machinery shops, so that butter manufacturers can make their own boxes and leave idle the already equipped box mills in the South of Ireland; and whether the butter manufacturers are in a better position and more competent to manufacture wooden packages than the genuine box-makers?
§ Mr. DUKE
The sawmill at Dundrum-has been transferred for a limited period to the Suir Valley Creameries Association, Limited, to enable them to make boxes 1631 from timber purchased by the association from the woods at Dundrum, but the woods have not been handed over to the association. The Department of Agriculture do not issue priority certificates, but they supported the application of the Suir Valley Creameries Association for such a certificate, as they have done in similar suitable cases. There are, I am told, several manufacturers of butter-boxes in the South of Ireland, but their output was inadequate, and many of them imported ready-made box-timber in large quantities. A representative of the Department was informed that such importation was necessary. The machinery being supplied to the Suir Valley Creameries Association is, I am informed, second-hand. The Department of Agriculture have at present no data to enable them to answer the last part of the question.
§ 38. Mr. MEEHAN
asked the Vice-President of the Department, of Agriculture (Ireland) why the numerous applications made by Irish box makers for Dundrum timber were persistently refused or ignored by the Department?
§ Mr. DUKE
No application for timber has been refused by the Department of Agriculture where the proposed conditions of sale were satisfactory, and where the timber was not required in the saw mill at Dundrum for Government purposes. I am informed that saw mill owners have been supplied with timber from Dundrum -on numerous occasions.