Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Crane and Grab for Courtown Harbour

asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he is aware that the County Surveyor of Wexford, following representations made by the Minister in which he supplied the names of firms, communicated with about 40 foreign firms, including Canadian and American, for the supply of a crane and grab for Courtown harbour; that the greater number of these firms declined to supply the crane and grab and that about six only gave a quotation; that in most of the quotations received there were variations from the specification, and all of them were considerably higher than an English quotation received; and, further, that the foreign firms required a much longer time to supply the machinery; and whether in the circumstances he will take steps to see that a permit is issued to the Wexford County Council for the importation, free of duty, of a British-made crane and grab.

The answer to the first, second, third and fourth parts of the question are in the negative.

The application to my Department for a licence in respect of the crane and grab in question was not supported by any statement or evidence that any attempt had been made to purchase the crane and grab in countries other than those to which the Emergency Duty applies. This would have been a relevant consideration at the time the application was made, and I am unable to understand the failure of the County Council to supply the information conveyed in the question to the Department in support of the application. Should the applicants now decide to renew the application and to support it with additional information, or to put forward any new considerations in relation thereto, I will examine it again on receipt of such information or representations.