Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - The Drumm Battery.

asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce when a report on the Drumm Battery experiments and operations will be made available.

During the emergency the operations of the Drumm Battery Company, Ltd., have been suspended, and so long as that continues a decision as to the future of the company and the battery cannot be reached. In the circumstances no indication can be given as to when a report on the battery may be made.

asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he will state, with reference to the Drumm Battery development, (a) the financial commitments to the Great Southern Railways by the State arising therefrom, and (b) any other commitments arising therefrom.

No financial commitments to the Great Southern Railways exist in connection with the Drumm Battery development. The only continuing payments arising out of the Drumm Battery are the annual fees in respect of certain patents. The advisability of renewal of these fees is considered from time to time.

asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce whether he proposes to make a statement in the near future as to the working of the Drumm Battery train, and the prospects of this form of traction; further, whether any consideration for Drumm Battery development has been given or is contemplated in connection with post-war plans.

I do not propose at present to make a statement on the working of the Drumm Battery train, or the prospects of this form of traction. I can assure the Deputy that all practicable forms of traction will be considered in connection with post-war development.

asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he will state the amount of units of electricity saved as a result of the suspension of operations by the Drumm battery train, the approximate mileage such consumption covered, and the approximate passenger-carrying capacity.

Immediately prior to 3rd April last, the consumption of electricity by the Drumm battery train was 20,000 units per week, and from 3rd April to 10th June, during which period reduced services were in operation, the consumption was 11,100 units per week. The corresponding train miles were 1,334 and 1,040 per week. The passenger capacity per single train of two coaches is 130, but a train may on occasion be made up of two, three or four units, each consisting of two coaches.