Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Córas Iompair Éireann Chassis Factory.

Major de Valera

asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he will state (a) what has become of the machinery and machine tools acquired and delivered for the Córas Iompair Éireann Chassis factory at Inchicore; (b) whether any of the same has been sold or otherwise disposed of, and, if so, to whom and for what purpose; (c) whether any such machinery or machine tools have been exported, and, if so, whether the same was exported under licence, giving particulars of such licence or licences.

Approximately one half, in value, of the machinery and machine tools for the chassis factory at Inchicore has been retained by the board for their own use. The balance has been disposed of by sale—some by export and some to purchasers in this country. I am not prepared to furnish particulars in respect of the firms to whom the plant was sold.

Major de Valera

Will the Parliamentary Secretary say what machines were exported under licence and what licences were issued? That does not disclose the name of the purchaser.

Would it be correct to say that some very exclusive type lathes, which are now irreplaceable, were, in fact, exported?

I have not details of the particular machine tools in question but, as I understand it, three export licences were granted, one in March, 1950, the second in May, 1950, and, subsequently, a supplementary licence was issued of the date of which I have not a record.

Major de Valera

Cannot the Parliamentary Secretary tell us what class of machinery was exported? Cannot he be a lit bit more specific and tell us whether they were lathes, other machine tools, or whatever they were?

I said I have not the particulars.

Major de Valera

What?

I have not the particulars.

Major de Valera

Is it not a fact that it would be now impossible to secure these machines within any reasonable space of time if we wanted to import them again?

They are not required.

They are irreplaceable.

Major de Valera

Of course they are required. Is not it a fact, as Deputy Briscoe said, that they are now irreplaceable?