CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. - FLOUR MILLING TRADE.

To ask the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he is aware that several Flour Millers have shut down their works, if others contemplate doing so, if this action is a result of the dumping of flour in this country by rich English Corporations; and if he can recommend to the Dáil any measure having for its object the encouragement and preservation of the Flour Milling Trade.

The position of the Irish Flour Milling Industry is not good. There is considerable short-time working and unemployment. The primary cause is stated to be the importation of foreign flour for sale at prices with which the Home Industry cannot compete. Employers and employés have discussed incidentally the question of restrictions on the importation of this foreign flour, but are not agreed as to what is the best policy to adopt, nor, indeed, that the admitted difficulties can most effectively be dealt with by legislation. It will be appreciated that the problem involves economic considerations of great importance and scope, and that action could only be taken after careful deliberation. I propose to see the parties directly concerned and with their assistance to investigate the matter in all its bearings.