To ask the Minister for Industry and Commerce whether his attention has been called to the exceptional hardships suffered by several firms in the motor building and engineering trade in Clonmel during the last two years in consequence of (1) losses during the Black and Tan regime; (2) of the seizure of property during the occupation of the town by Irregular forces during the past few months; and (3) the interference with transit through destruction of roads; and whether, as a consequence of these cumulative losses, there is grave danger of a considerable industry being permanently lost to the town; and whether such loss can be prevented by prompt financial assistance; and, further, to ask whether the Government has given consideration to these cases, and, if so, what decision has been reached.

The Motor Building and Allied Engineering Trades have suffered severely in Clonmel under the conditions prevailing for the last two years, and the Government has considered the representations made to it to that effect. Urgent representations have been made to the British Government in respect of losses incurred by reason of action taken by their forces prior to the Truce. In respect to losses incurred owing to recent Irregular activities, the Government is considering the possibility of giving priority to the settlement of claims for compensation on which the employment of any considerable number of persons depends. But until a claim for compensation, made under the procedure to be set up for that purpose, has been definitely proved, the Government is not prepared to make advances on account.