Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Mayo Forestry Workers.

19.

asked the Minister for Lands if he will state in respect of each year since 1965 up to the latest date for which figures are available the number of workers employed on forestry work in County Mayo.

In reply to the question the figures requested by the Deputy are as follows:—

Employment in County Mayo

1965-66

221 workers

1966-67

177,,

1967-68

149,,

1968-69

144,,

1969-70

145,,

1970-71

152,,

Does the Minister not appreciate that because of the fall in numbers employed by the forestry section of his Department over this period many homes have had to close since there was no cash income to supplement the income from the small farm? Does the Minister not appreciate that this is a very serious matter for the people concerned?

Employment has, in fact, been rising in the last two years, even if marginally.

Surely the Minister will not boast about three extra people employed?

I am not boasting about it at all.