Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Export Bounties on Shellfish.

asked the Minister for Agriculture if he will waive the regulation requiring the production of a British Customs receipt with applications for export bounties, in the case of shellfish exports, in view of the fact that the fee (2/6), demanded by the British authorities, represents in many cases the total profit on consignments.

Dr. Ryan

I would refer the Deputy to my reply to a question on this subject addressed to me by Deputy Fionán Lynch on the 18th ultimo.

Arising out of the Minister's extremely unsatisfactory reply, is he aware that some of these consignments of mussels yield no more than 19/- or 20/- to the consignor, and does he think it reasonable in these circumstances that they should be required to produce a certificate the cost of which is 2/6 in order to secure whatever small bounty they are entitled to?

Dr. Ryan

If the Deputy were here when I gave the reply that I referred to, to Deputy Fionán Lynch, he would know there was no necessity for making the statement he has just made.

If the Minister had the courtesy to repeat so much of that reply as escaped my notice, then my supplementary question would not be necessary.

Dr. Ryan

The Deputy ought to keep himself in touch with the Official Debates when he is not present.

asked the Minister for Agriculture whether he proposes to give a bounty on the export of lobsters, and, if so, at what rate.

Dr. Ryan

This matter is at the moment under consideration.

Arising out of the Minister's reply, may I remind him of the similarity between this and the matter of the Crolly factory? Both have been under consideration for the last two years. May I ask the Minister if he is still labouring under the misapprehension that his predecessor laboured under: that there was no necessity for a lobster bounty? May I ask him further if he will decide this matter and grant the bounty in time to allow the lobster fishers to get about their business, because if he does not, the lobster fishing on the west coast of Donegal will be destroyed?

Dr. Ryan

There is plenty of time yet.

Arising out of the Minister's reply "that there is plenty of time yet," may I remind him that an exactly similar reply was made by. I think, the Parliamentary Secretary about this time 12 months? I want to assure him that in parts of Donegal the lobster fishing begins much earlier than it does in other parts of this country. This will result in very severe hardship on a number of men who depend for their livelihood on this industry if this bounty matter is not adjusted at a very early date.