Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - The English Millers' Mutual Association.

asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he is aware that the English Millers' Mutual Association control the number of flour mills that are to work or not to work and the quantity of flour that those working are to produce and sell in the Irish Free State on a quota basis; if he is aware that the quota of Messrs. Ollivers, Buttevant, Co. Cork, has been sold to Messrs. Johnston, Mooney and O'Brien, Dublin, permanently depriving 80 families in Buttevant of means of livelihood, and if he is further aware that the quotas of the Midleton, Clondulane and Mallow mills are now being transferred from East Cork, which will result in 250 more families being deprived of their means of livelihood, and if he will take immediate action to prevent this control of the livelihood of 330 families in East Cork by a foreign combine.

The information available to me does not support the suggestion contained in the first part of the question. I understand that after Messrs. Ollivers' mills had been destroyed by fire their quota was purchased and is now being milled by Messrs. Johnston, Mooney and O'Brien, a Saorstát firm.

With regard to the mills at Midleton, Clondulane and Mallow, I do not anticipate that any change will be made in the present position pending an announcement as to the arrangements which the Government will have to propose for the future of the flour-milling industry.

Does the Minister intend to put an end to the quota system which has been in force in Irish mills?

An announcement of the arrangements which the Government will have to propose for the future of the flour-milling industry will be made in due course.

Is it correct to say that the quota system has been imposed by an outside body?

My information would not support that contention.

I thought not.

When the quota was sold by Messrs. Ollivers to Johnston, Mooney and O'Brien, of Dublin, from whom did the sellers get their right to sell that quota?