asked the Minister for External Affairs if it is intended to maintain the Irish News Agency in existence.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Irish News Agency.
In the last financial year the sum of £29,000 was spent on the news agency. Its earnings amounted to £1,150. The Estimates for this financial year provide for the expenditure of £25,000 on the service. It is too soon yet to come to any definite judgment on the matter, but I shall make every effort to see that this sum is expended with a view to making the agency a success from the national aspect and to increasing its earning capacity.
Then it is proposed to continue the agency?
Is it correct that the revenue of the agency shows a steady increase in recent months?
I could not say exactly.
Do we understand the Minister to say that he intends to carry on the news agency?
We approach these matters a little bit differently from the late Government. We do not set out to stop all useful agencies of government as the Deputy suspended the land improvement and farm buildings schemes.
Do we understand the Minister to say that he intends to carry on the news agency? That question permits of a yes or no answer. If he still continues to wriggle, we will ask the question again in a fortnight.
The Deputy can ask any question he likes. I said that I shall make every effort——
Yes or no.
I said that I would make every effort to see that this agency for which the Dáil has provided £25,000 is a success from the national point of view and the financial point of view.
May I inquire if this is, in fact, a reversal of the view expressed by the present Minister for Industry and Commerce when in opposition that they would start with the news agency?
It indicates the determination of this Government to make use of every agency at its disposal to forward the interests of the Irish people and the Irish nation.
Another bit of the programme dropped.