Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Biscuit Supplies.

asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he is aware that there is a plentiful supply of biscuits made by the British manufacturers in this country at present, while Irish-made biscuits are rationed out; and, if so, if he will have this matter investigated so as to keep our own factories in full-time employment.

Imports of biscuits, which are subject to customs duty, represent only a very small fraction of total consumption of biscuits. The volume of such imports in 1952 was substantially less than in 1951 and 1950.

It is correct that the demand for biscuits appears to have expanded and Irish manufacturers appear to have temporary difficulty in meeting all requirements. I understand however that steps are being taken to increase productive capacity. So far as I am aware there is, and has been for some time past, full-time working in the firms engaged in this trade.

Arising out of the reply, is it any wonder that you have the Dublin unemployed marching here on Leinster House when their leader is a biscuit worker who is unemployed since last September? I have seen these British manufactured biscuits in all the shops and the biscuits made in Dublin are on quota. I think that should not happen if we are going to protect our industries as we should.

The firms engaged in biscuit manufacture in this city informedme that they have full employment at present and are planning the installation of additional capacity to increase their output.

You may have wrong information, because here is a copy of an English paper, Times Pictorial——

That is a very proper description of the paper.

It said: "Biscuit workers unemployed since last September."

A proper description —I will remember that. That is a description given by Fianna Fáil.