CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. - UNEMPLOYMENT IN MALLOW.

TOMAS DE NOGLA

To ask the Minister for Industry and Commerce whether he is conversant with the extent of the privation being endured by large numbers of the working class population of Mallow and district as a consequence of a succession of trouble, viz.:—

1. The destruction of Cleeve's Factory, the Town Hall, and ten of the principal business houses by the Black and Tans on September 30th, 1920, followed by

2. The suppression of fairs and markets and the shutting down of motor garages,

3. The decline of tillage in the locality,

4. The dismissal of artizans and labourers hitherto employed about the military barracks but dismissed on transference to the Irish Government,

5. The recent destruction of the railway bridges, including the Blackwater Viaduct, and consequent stoppage of railway traffic?

Further, how many persons are registered as unemployed in Mallow, and how many others not registered are unemployed in Mallow, and whether those workers who lost their employment in consequence of the destruction of Cleeve's Factory have been deprived of unemployment benefit and are now practically starving?

Mr. O'HIGGINS

It is the fact that considerable unemployment exists in Mallow and district, largely due to events such as those mentioned in the question. But all persons normally employed in the insured trades, who satisfy the conditions, are in receipt of unemployment benefit. On 2nd October, the latest date for which figures are available, 317 persons were registered for employment at Mallow. No statistics are available as to the number of unemployed persons who have not registered. The disqualification for unemployment benefit of any of Messrs. Cleeves' workers is due to their having lost their employment in circumstances which do not entitle them to benefit.

TOMAS DE NOGLA

I understand some of these unemployed since 1920 were drawing the unemployment benefit up to four weeks ago, and that it has now been stopped.

Mr. O'HIGGINS

I have a note here to the effect that, after being burned by the Black and Tans, Cleeves' Creamery was rebuilt by the firm, and the workers did not therefore lose employment by the burning, but because of subsequent strikes and the seizure of the factory. The Department has held that the loss of employment was due to a trade dispute, and consequently disallowed benefit.