In connection with the arrangement under which the Electricity Supply Board is proceeding now with the construction of certain works on the Liffey, rather than wait until there was a need for such works on its own behalf, it does not involve any extra expenditure. In fact, it is more economical than the construction of the whole works at one time would be, and, at the same time, meets the more urgent need of the Dublin Corporation in the matter of water supply. So far as the actual details of the works are concerned, I think we must at present place our reliance on the Electricity Supply Board, to ensure that these are sound from the engineering point of view. I do not think it would be right or proper for the Minister for Industry and Commerce, or his officials, to proceed to put their opinion upon the engineering point of view of these works above that of the Electricity Supply Board. If the Minister and the Dáil have not confidence in the personnel of the Electricity Supply Board then there is an obligation to change them. Having that confidence, a confidence which is at present justified, I think we must leave the matter in their hands. The Board prepares the schemes, and when they involve additional capital expenditure, it is necessary to get my approval. That approval is given in the ordinary course to schemes that appear to be economic and sound. In principle there is very little difference between the Board proceeding to tackle the situation on the Liffey and the Board doing precisely the same thing at the Pigeon House. It is installing additional plant at the Pigeon House, and we can assume, I think rightly, that the various plans made in that connection were sound in every way.
We are entitled to assume that the plans made in connection with the Liffey are equally sound. The plans which are being immediately proceeded with take into account the requirements of the Dublin Corporation. The Corporation have expert opinion as to how their needs will be satisfied in connection with these plans, and a large part of the total amount of work involved in the whole project will be done by the Corporation, at the expense of the Corporation. No provision is made for that in this Bill. The report which the Corporation received from the experts is its own property and has not been furnished to me. We are concerned, therefore, only to the extent to which the combined plans involve expenditure by the Electricity Supply Board and, in that connection, as I stated on the Second Reading, the Board would not be in a position to use economically the power generated from the Liffey for some years to come. But, on the face of the arrangements made, it can proceed forthwith with the partial construction of the reservoir, to be completed when it is considered sound to do so in its own best interests, and I am informing the House that that does not involve the Board in any additional expense. Rather the contrary, it involves an economy, and it was on that basis that, I think, the Board undertook the arrangement.