Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Peat Fuel Delegation.

asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce whether he will state the total cost incurred by the delegation which visited Germany and Russia to study the utilisation by those countries of peat fuel; whether he will state the Vote on which this expenditure is borne; whether he will state the grounds on which the delegation gave assurances either in Germany or Russia that information collected by them would be regarded as strictly confidential; whether these assurances were given with his knowledge and approval, and, if so, whether he can state if the delegation obtained any information in reference to the subject matter of their inquiry which is not known to the world at large.

The total cost incurred by the delegation which visited Germany and Russia was £415 2s. 1d. This expenditure was met from funds provided by Grant-in-Aid included in the Industry and Commerce Vote.

In certain cases the delegation gave assurances that the information collected by them would be regarded as strictly confidential as part of the information referred to the affairs of private firms and was given only on condition that it would not be published. I am satisfied with the action of the delegation in this regard, which resulted in information being made available which was not otherwise procurable.