Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Refrigerator Ship.

asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce whether he will request Irish Shipping, Limited, to undertake the provision of a refrigerator ship service for carcase meat exports from Waterford, Galway, Limerick and Dublin to London and Bristol.

I have recently asked Irish Shipping, Limited, to consider the question of providing vessels with refrigeration equipment for the export of frozen meat overseas and of lightly chilled fresh meat for the London market and the company are at present examining the matter.

Ad interim is it not the case that negotiations were or are proceeding for the charter of one or two such vessels pending the building of a vessel or vessels in the ownership of the Irish shipping refrigeration trade?

I understand inquiry was made as to the possibility of getting a ship on charter with this equipment but that the charter price was completely prohibitive.

That has been dropped then?

The possibility of getting a ship on charter will be examined further, but the only quotations received so far are prohibitive.

May I ask the Minister to look further into that matter as I have reason to believe that there is available at least one such boat—not the Dutch boat—which would do to fill the gap until the two small boats in the possession of Irish Shipping, Limited, can be adapted to the refrigeration trade?

It is not proposed that these two colliers which are on order will be adapted for refrigeration.

The two ships they have —2,000 tons.

That would take some time and will be a very costly business, but the whole question is being examined by Irish Shipping, Limited.

Just to fill the gap.