WRITTEN ANSWERS. - STATE AID FOR MATERNITY AND CHILD-WELFARE SCHEMES.

asked the Minister for Local Government and Public Health whether he is aware that several local maternity and child-welfare schemes are threatened with discontinuance owing to the falling-off of voluntary subscriptions and the loss of other sources of income, and whether he can take any steps to ensure the future maintenance of work of recognised value to the poorer sections of the community, more especially in the Gaeltacht.

Local Nursing Societies have experienced difficulty in collecting funds for the maintenance of their work. So far as they undertake Child Welfare services they are afforded the maximum possible assistance from the Child Welfare Grant. The organisation principally concerned with the provision of district nursing services in the Gaeltacht appealed recently for an increased subsidy for Child Welfare work and I have undertaken to recommend the Department of Finance to agree to a higher rate of contribution in connection with the estimate for the coming financial year.