§ 73. Dr. Little
asked the Minister of Supply whether, in view of the pressing need for iron required for war purposes, he will order a fresh survey to be taken of the Dromara and Dechomet districts of County Down, where iron-ore is available to meet many of our war needs?
§ The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Supply (Mr. Sandys)
The iron-ore deposits in these districts were examined by experts two years ago. The results of this examination were given to my hon. Friend in reply to a Question on 16th October, 1941. I do not feel that any fresh information would be obtained by holding a further investigation.
§ Dr. Little
In view of the most unsatisfactory answer and the fact that I have visited the Dromara mines and have formed my own opinion, I wish to ask my hon. Friend whether he is aware that what is required to make the Dromara mines a paying proposition and useful in the war effort is the installation of a thorough pumping system, and that electricity is there awaiting it? Will he do that, as it is a shame and a crime that this state of affairs should exist?
§ Mr. Sandys
What is needed is a higher grade ore in the ground. These deposits have been examined by experts, and the bulk of the deposits have been found to contain a high measure of impurities and not to be suitable for steel making. We have plenty of low grade ore all over the country.
§ Mr. Stokes
Can the hon. Gentleman tell the House the percentage of iron in this ore, or give any indication of it?