asked the Minister for Transport and Power if, in view of the demands for transport for livestock and other goods, he will now consider favourably increasing the area of operation of merchandise licences.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Merchandise Licences.
I decided in December, 1967, to extend on application the scope of operation of any existing carrier merchandise licence which permitted the carriage of livestock in a restricted area to allow State-wide carriage of livestock. As a result of the concession over 630 licensees may now carry livestock throughout the State compared with about 110 prior to December, 1967.
As I have already informed the House I have also established a study group to examine the desirability of general long-term measures to liberalise road freight transport for reward. On my direction, the group gave priority consideration to the question of facilities available for the carriage of livestock and has made its recommendations but as I indicated in my reply of 6th March, 1969, I am examining these recommendations and am not yet in a position to make a statement in the matter.
Can the Minister say whether they make recommendations for the extension of the area under which licences would operate?
They do make recommendations for liberalisation.
Could the Minister say when a decision will be made?
In the course of the next few months.