Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - EEC Road Haulage Agreements.

39.

asked the Minister for Transport and Power the number of bilateral agreements that have been negotiated with EEC countries concerning road haulage; and if the Government have secured an increase in the number of Community licences for Irish hauliers.

Bilateral agreements concerning road haulage have not as yet been concluded with other member states of the EEC. Negotiations are, however, in progress with a number of member States with a view to the conclusion of agreements relating to licensing arrangements for international road haulage. The absence of such agreements has not so far given rise to any serious difficulties.

Negotiations are also in progress at present with all other member States with a view to the conclusion of bilateral agreements providing for the introduction of a system of bracket tariffs for the carriage of goods by road between Ireland and the other countries of the EEC as required by EEC Regulation 2826/72.

There has been no increase in the Irish allocation of community quota authorisations established in December, 1972, which was as follows:—

1st January, 1973— 31st March, 1973

20

1st April, 1973— 31st December, 1973

23

1st January, 1974— 31st December, 1974

26

The Deputy may be interested to learn, however, that in January, 1974, the European Conference of Ministers of Transport introduced a licensing system permitting multilateral road haulage for reward between member states of the ECMT and that Ireland was granted a quota of 13 licences for the year 1974. All of the EEC and ECMT licences have been allocated among Irish hauliers.

How do the 13 licences for 1974 compare with 1973?

There was none.

Is the Minister pressing to have the number of licences increased?

There has not been a meeting of the Ministers for Transport for some time because of difficulties which arose between two member States. It is proposed to hold a meeting in May when the quota system will be reviewed again. I will, of course, press for an increased allocation for Ireland.