Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Factories in County Clare.

Mr. Hogan

asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he will state the number of factories within the administrative County of Clare, the number of people employed in these factories, the rates of wages paid in these factories to (a) men, (b) women, (c) boys, (d) girls, and the nature of the commodity or articles produced in these factories, where in the county these factories are situate, and how many inspections have been made of these factories by his Department within the past 12 months.

The number of factories, workshops and other places to which the Factory and Workshop Acts apply in the administrative County of Clare which are on the factory register kept in my Department is 262. I have not information at my disposal which would enable me to state the numbers employed by these factories or the rates of wages paid but, in the case of certain of the trades to which the Trade Board Acts apply, minimum rates of wages fixed by the boards apply. The information furnished in connection with the Factory Acts includes a general indication of the nature of the work carried on at the premises but this would not enable me to state precisely the nature of the commodity or articles produced in all these establishments. Forty-five of the premises mentioned are in Kilrush and district, 54 in Ennis and district, 44 in Ennistymon and district. The remainder are scattered in other parts of the county. Since the beginning of the present year 102 of the premises in County Clare on the factory register have been inspected.

Mr. Hogan

Can the Minister indicate more precisely where these 262 factories are situated in County Clare, and can he also say whether the Trade Board rate of wages is paid by the firms filling Government contracts in County Clare?

I did not state that there were 262 factories in County Clare. I said that there were 262 factories, workshops and other places to which the Factory and Workshop Acts apply. I have no information as to the rates of wages paid but in all cases where the Trade Boards Acts apply, my information is that Trade Board rates are being paid.

Mr. Hogan

Has the Minister investigated whether in certain factories which are filling Government contracts Trade Board rates of wages are paid? How many inspections have been made of the particular factories filling Government contracts at the moment in the county?

I cannot answer that question, but if the Deputy will supply any information which will indicate that any factory or other concern is not paying the Trade Board rate of wages, I will arrange for the necessary prosecution.

Mr. Hogan

I have on several occasions directed the Minister's attention to one particular factory which is filling a Government contract and is not paying the Trade Board rate of wages.