CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. - IRISH CONSULATES (MADRID AND ROME).

To ask the Minister for External Affairs if it is true that the offices of the Free State in Madrid and Rome have now been closed. Further, if he will indicate, of the total amount of work being done by his staff, what proportion of the staff, or of the work of the staff, is taken up by the external relations of the Free State, and what proportion by publicity in Ireland, and if it is proposed to make the necessary distinction between these in all future estimates for his Department.

The office in Madrid has been closed. The office in Rome has not been closed. The distribution of the work is of such a nature that, for the present, it is impossible to say what proportion is external affairs and what proportion is publicity It has yet to be decided if the two branches will be estimated for separately.