CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - SKERRIES TELEPHONE FACILITIES.

TOMAS MacEOIN

asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs whether it is possible to improve the telephone facilities available in Skerries by a reduction in the fee for a call to Dublin from the present price of tenpence-halfpenny, and by the provision of further telephone wires to the town.

The fee for a trunk telephone call from Skerries to Dublin in the daytime is 7½d. in addition to which a local fee of 1½d. is payable if the call is made by a subscriber and 3d. if made from a call office. After 7 p.m. the trunk call fee is 6d. with the addition of a local fee. These trunk charges are in accordance with the general scale of trunk call fees which is applicable throughout the country. Under the concessions announced yesterday by the Minister for Finance the local fee will be reduced from 1½d. to 1¼d.

Skerries has a direct telephone trunk circuit to Dublin and a second outlet via Balbriggan. The average traffic even in the summer season does not warrant the provision of an additional circuit, but the traffic will be kept under observation and should the necessity arise for further facilities to be afforded the matter will receive attention.

Has the Minister taken into account the likelihood that in towns adjacent to the capital city the traffic in trunk calls might be very much increased indeed, if there was a considerable reduction in the charges?

Arising out of the answer, does the Minister realise the desirability of persuading citizens of Dublin to spend their holidays in this country rather than to go to Wales, and of giving them all facilities when they are spending their vacations in Dublin seaside resorts?

As a matter of fact, we have made a departure in respect of Irish seaside resorts, insofar as we have increased the number of postal deliveries in places like Bundoran. We are considering whether a similar concession may not be made to Skerries. The question of trunk charges is occupying the attention of the Minister for Finance at the moment. We may, or may not, announce reductions.