asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he has ever communicated with the Directors of the Clyde Shipping Company, and of the Cork Steam Packet Company, Ltd., with a view to inducing these companies to get their boats repaired and conditioned in the local dockyards of the Port of Cork, where they receive the bulk of their trade; if not, whether he will make immediate representations to those companies on the matter, seeing the enormous amount of unemployment prevailing in Cobh and Passage.

Representations have frequently been made to the Shipping Companies using Saorstát Ports that it was their duty to see that the work of docking and repairing their ships was given to Saorstát dockyards. Comparative costs and other conditions have to be taken into account. A substantial proportion of the work has, in fact, been given to Saorstát yards, but I am not satisfied that in respect of both repairs and new construction more could not reasonably be expected. I will, therefore, continue to make representations to the shipping companies concerned.