Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Dublin Hotel Development.

10.

asked the Minister for Transport and Power if he will outline his Department's policy in respect of the continued development of new hotels in the city of Dublin, having regard to the desirability of ensuring that existing establishments are not forced to close down and, in particular, that the continuity of employment in respect of the existing trained catering workers shall be maintained.

The scheme of financial assistance for hotel development which has been operated by Bord Fáilte was designed to ensure an adequate supply of hotel accommodation to meet traffic needs. This scheme has been suspended since July, 1969, and Bord Fáilte have not been taking on new grant commitments since that date. Bord Fáilte provide advice to intending developers about hotel development but neither my Department nor the board are empowered to restrict the building of hotels in Dublin or elsewhere and developers take their own decisions about their projects. Any hotel development now in progress had been approved by Bord Fáilte for grant assistance prior to July, 1969, or is proceeding without a grant.

I am informed by Bord Fáilte that the developers of approved hotel projects now in progress in Dublin have, generally speaking, proved themselves to be generators of new traffic and that these new hotels are expected to provide further job opportunities for trained catering workers on a permanent basis.

May I ask the Minister if they get the same grants as those who build hotels elsewhere?

No. There is a scaled grant system and as you go further west and ultimately to the Gaeltacht you get the highest grants and in Dún Laoghaire the lowest.

Would the Minister be able to give the number of new hotels built in Dublin in the past five years?

That is not in the question but if the Deputy looks in the Bord Fáilte report he should get that information.

The Minister should not be facetious in replying to questions.

I am not. I appreciate that Deputy O'Connell is always very serious in his questions.

The Minister should provide comprehensive replies.

I have the greatest respect for Deputy O'Connell.