Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Standard Electric Plugs.

2.

asked the Minister for Transport and Power if, for the convenience of householders he will take steps to have a standardised plug used in future by the ESB.

I would refer the Deputy to the Dáil Debates of the 2nd March, 1967 wherein the Minister for Industry and Commerce indicated that he was having the question of the necessity for compulsory safety standards for household electric plugs examined by the Institute for Industrial Research and Standards. Until the report of the Institute is available and the appropriate action decided on, it would be premature for the Electricity Supply Board to seek to do other than ensure that the plugs and sockets meet existing standards.

The Board have had this question under review and when a decision on the primary matter of safety has been taken, the other aspects relating to design and dimensions etc. will be reviewed from the point of view of convenience.

I take it that the Parliamentary Secretary is still awaiting this report? Is that right?

When does he expect that the report will be available?

The report from the Institute for Industrial Research and Standards?

I have not any information. They will be reporting to the Minister for Industry and Commerce.

Have they not been cogitating on this rather small point for rather a long period and does the Parliamentary Secretary not feel that there is something he might do to hurry them up?

No; I do not accept that they have been cogitating on this matter over a long period. This is something that the Minister for Industry and Commerce promised to look into on 2nd March last and arranged with the Institute at that stage. I do not think it can be suggested that those people have been cogitating for a long period.

With respect to the Parliamentary Secretary, I am referring to the ESB, from whom the House and the country have been awaiting standardisation over a considerable number of years.

The Deputy was not listening to my reply. I conveyed that the ESB were waiting to get the report from the Institute for Industrial Research and Standards and I did say that when a decision on the primary matter of safety has been taken, the other aspects relating to design and dimensions will be reviewed.

Could I ask this simple question: leaving out all questions of safety and everything else, surely the resources of this State are equal to resolving the problem that if you buy three electric appliances, the plug will not fit into the sockets and you have to get three different sockets? It ought to be possible to design one standard power plug that will go into every socket.

That is exactly what we are now proposing to do.

That is exactly what we are asking you to do.