asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs when he expects to provide more adequate accommodation for the Irish Chancery premises at Bonn.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Bonn Chancery Premises.
The question of whether alternative accommodation is required for the Chancery at Bonn is at present under consideration in consultation with the Office of Public Works.
Would the Minister not agree that the situation there is extremely unsatisfactory both in respect of the Chancery and in respect of the furnishings and residence? Will he make sure that the Chancery is adequately furnished and that there is adequate accommodation?
An expert examination was made and there is a plan for the rearrangement of the space available. There is a proposal about furniture. The conditions of the leasehold have not been settled. This was not our fault. When they are settled it will be possible to make the arrangement.
Is the Minister suggesting that the actual Chancery will remain in the building it is now in— merely rearranging the rooms?
This was an expert examination by officers of the Office of Public Works and they say that a rearrangement of the space would make it adequate.
Is the Minister familiar with the office?
We must take the architect's advice on these things. No matter how often we look at it, there are experts on how to do it.
That may be, but will the Minister agree that the accommodation is of such a character and such a total quantity that you could not rearrange it to produce suitable and satisfactory offices for an Irish embassy? Will he apply some kind of standards so that we will not be in the position of being at a serious disadvantage vis-á-vis other countries in having people coming to Irish offices which are not up to the standard which people expect for a normal office, never mind an embassy?
As distinct from an economist's opinion, an architect's opinion is that it could be rearranged.
Would the Minister consider referring to Messrs. McKenzie for a report?
He says it could be done—the man from the Office of Public Works, who, I presume, is an architect.
I cannot understand why the Minister referred to an economist?
An economist as distinct from an opinion strongly expressed here that it could not be done.