Go ndeontar suim ná raghaidh thar £11,116 chun slánuithe na suime is gá chun íoctha an Mhuirir a thiocfaidh chun bheith iníoctha i rith na bliana dar críoch an 31adh lá de Mhárta, 1939, chun Seirbhísí Iompair agus Meteoraíochta.
That a sum not exceeding £11,116 be granted to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1939, for Transport and Meteorological Services.
This particular Estimate, which was formerly only of routine importance, has acquired additional significance, mainly on account of the additional two sub-heads — sub-head B, relating to civil airports, and sub-head C, relating to meteorological services. The Dáil is aware that the Government has engaged in the construction of two civil airports, one at Dublin and one on the Shannon. The main provision for the construction of these airports is made, of course, on the Vote for the Department of Public Works, but the sum of £10,100 is provided for various purposes in connection with these airports on this Estimate. I gave the Dáil on an earlier occasion an estimate of the cost of the airports, both the Shannon and the Dublin airport, which, of course, was only an approximate estimate because nothing more detailed could be made available at the time. It appears from the information now available that the total cost of the land aerodrome on the Shannon will be approximately £535,000. The question of the provision of a flying boat base on the Shannon was reconsidered last year, and in the light of the information available it was decided to proceed with a scheme of partial development of a flying boat base at an estimated cost of £270,000. The estimate of the total capital cost of the Shannon airport, therefore, is £805,000. The Dublin airport is estimated to cost £360,000. The sub-head of this Estimate dealing with airports provides for the acquisition of land in connection with both the Shannon and Dublin airports. Furthermore, the operation of experimental flights from Dublin and the Shannon, pending arrangements for the management of the airport either by the State or by Aer Lingus Teoranta, may require the provision of an aerodrome staff, and £1,000 is included in the Estimate to cover such expenditure. Although, as I have stated, the main cost of the airport is provided on the Vote for Public Works, there may be items of equipment arising in connection with experimental transatlantic flights which cannot be regarded as pertinent to the permanent airport, and a small sum is provided in this Vote to cover such expenditure if it should arise.
The meteorological service, as Deputies are aware, is a new service. Following a decision taken by the Government in 1936, an Order was made under the Ministers and Secretaries Act transferring to the Department of Industry and Commerce from the Minister for Education the functions in regard to meteorological services allocated to the Minister for Education under the Ministers and Secretaries Act. The meteorological organisation as it now exists consists of a small headquarters staff, a skeleton organisation at the Shannon operated on an agency basis by the Meteorological Office, London, pending the appointment of trained personnel to the aerial service; a network of five telegraphic reporting stations, and about 190 climatological and rainfall stations. Provision was made in the Estimate for last year for extension of the organisation as taken over from the British authorities. It was subsequently considered desirable to defer certain developments until the present year. The present Estimate, therefore, includes provision for certain developments originally scheduled to be effected in last year, that is to say, the establishment of a Meteorological Office at the Dublin airport, the extension of the networks of telegraphic reporting and climatological stations, as well as further developments. Circumstances during the last year did not permit of the recruitment and training of personnel for the aerial service as originally intended. It is anticipated, therefore, that, provided a sufficient number of suitably qualified candidates is available, recruitment will proceed in the present year, and the necessary provision is made in this Estimate.