Go ndeontar suim ná raghaidh thar £49,542 chun slánuithe na suime is gá chun íoctha an Mhuirir a thiocfaidh chun bheith iníoctha i rith na bliana dar críoch an 31adh lá de Mhárta, 1938, chun Seirbhísí Iompair agus Meteoraíochta.
That a sum not exceeding £49,542 be granted to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1938, for Transport and Meteorological Services.
Most of the sub-heads of this Estimate are similar to those of other years, and I do not think it is necessary to say anything in relation to them. There is, however, as Deputies will have noted, a substantial increase in the total of the Estimate, due to two causes, firstly, increased expenditure under sub-head C upon civil airports, and, secondly, the institution of a new service, that is, meteorological services, for which provision is made in the sub-heads in D. So far as these two items are concerned, I should like to give the Dáil the following information. The provision made for civil airports includes the cost of the acquisition of land, both in connection with the Dublin airport and that which is being constructed upon the Shannon. Certain provision is made for salaries, wages and allowances. The operation of services at Collinstown and experimental flights from the Shannon, pending arrangements of a permanent nature for the management of the aerodromes may require the provision of aerodrome staff, and it is necessary, therefore, to make some provision for such expenditure. The Vote for the Office of Public Works and Buildings contains provision for the construction and equipment of the Shannon airport. There may, however, be items of equipment arising in connection with experimental transatlantic flights which cannot be regarded as related to a permanent airport, and provision is being made for that purpose also.
I do not know if Deputies would like me to give a more detailed statement concerning the meteorological services. These services are being provided for in the Estimate for the first time and it may be desirable that I should give some indication of what is involved, particularly as the cost of them is not inconsiderable. The Executive Council decided last year to establish a Saorstát meteorological service and, in consequence of that, an Order in Council was made, transferring to the Minister for Industry and Commerce from the Minister for Education functions in relation to meteorological services which were allocated to the Minister for Education by the Ministers and Secretaries Act, 1924. The functions of the meteorological service may be summarised as follows: (1) the collection, study and publication of meteorological data and the investigation of meteorological and geophysical problems; (2) the supply of forecasts, statistical information and technical advice on the application of meteorological science in various fields, to industrial and public utility undertakings, to the Press, to the broadcasting authorities and to individual members of the public, and the supply of similar information to Government Departments and to the Defence Forces; (3) the provision of meteorological facilities for civil air lines operating to and from airports in the Saorstát or flying over Saorstát territory, and the supply of advice on the meteorological aspect of civil aviation problems generally; and (4) co-operation with other State meteorological services and meteorological organisations in other countries. A Director of Meteorological Services was appointed last December and, subsequently, negotiations were entered into with the British authorities with a view to the transfer to Saorstát control of the existing meteorological organisation within the Saorstát. That meteorological organisation was heretofore maintained by the Meteorological Office of the British Air Ministry. A substantial measure of agreement has been reached as to the basis for transfer and that transfer took effect as from 1st April this year. Provision is being made in this Estimate for the full cost of the existing service and for anticipated developments during the course of the year. The existing organisation consists of the Valentia Observatory and a network of five telegraphic reporting and 190 climatological and rainfall stations throughout the Saorstát.