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Dáil Éireann debate -
Thursday, 27 Mar 1969

Vol. 239 No. 8

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Import of Land Drainage Tiles.


asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if in view of the present difficulty in obtaining land drainage tiles he will consider granting permission to import tiles free of duty.

I assume the Deputy is referring to land drainage pipes.

The evidence available to me is that adequate supplies of land drainage pipes can be procured from Irish manufacturers. Until definite evidence is furnished that supplies cannot be got from these sources, I am not prepared to grant duty free licences for the importation of such pipes.

My information is that there is at least six weeks delay in the supply of those tiles. Would the Minister make inquiries to check whether that is true or not? My information also is that the cost of transport in relation to them is so enormous that further consideration might be given to giving a temporary licence to allow the importation of such land tiles.

The information available here is that the production of pipes in this country amounts to 25 million a year against a home market usage of 14 million a year and any delays which occur are due to haphazard ordering, that consultations have been going on between the Department of Industry and Commerce and the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries with a view to trying to get a more ordered approach to supplies by the principal firms concerned.

I fully appreciate the interest the Minister has taken but my information is that there is at least six weeks delay in the supply of those tiles. The information comes from the committee of agriculture who are very much alive to the difficulties involved. They also bring out the point that the cost of transport from the nearest manufacturing firm in the Republic increases the cost of those tiles beyond recognition. I understand there could be a reciprocal agreement whereby people on the eastern seaboard might be able to export to Northern Ireland if Donegal were allowed get those pipes from Northern Ireland.

Is not the land project a wonderful producer of ancillary industries?

I would like to say that, according to the information available to me here, there is no substance at all for the suggestion that there is apparent delay. Most of those firms order ad hoc, one load at a time. Even with that they were asked to furnish particulars which they apparently were not able to do. The other matter about the distance factor and the freight factor is one I will bring to the notice of the Minister for Industry and Commerce, but I do not think there is any substance to it.

Would the Minister not have a meeting with the committee of agriculture?

We cannot have any further discussion on this.

I want to ask a supplementary question. Would the Minister not take this matter up with the committee of agriculture in Donegal?

I think it has been pretty thoroughly thrashed out between all the parties concerned.

Has information been sought from the committee of agriculture in Donegal?

This I do not know.

Would it be possible to inquire?


There are an awful lot of people employed here and they claim that there is a big supply of those and they cannot sell them.

My information is that they cannot be got in Donegal.