asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he will state the circumstances influencing the decision of his Department in refusing permission for the sale of the M.S. "St. Ultan" of Cape Clear, seeing that this boat, which was used for trading between Cork and western seaboard ports, cannot now get any trade to carry, is not required for national purposes of defence or fishing, and is practically the sole asset of the owner who can now sell her at a good price; and will the Department either take over the boat from the owner, or compensate him for the loss incurred by prevention of a profitable sale, which leaves him with an asset on his hands which must necessarily deteriorate seriously if the boat cannot be kept afloat in some useful capacity.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Sale of Cork Boat.
My Department has not refused permission for the sale of the M.S. "St. Ultan" of Cape Clear. The owner has been informed that no objection will be raised to the sale of the vessel within the State but that having regard to the necessity of retaining all available means of transport for supplies essential to the life of the community sanction for the sale of the vessel for use only outside the State cannot be granted.
Having regard to the present very heavy demands upon land transport, I cannot agree that vessels engaged in coastwise shipping cannot get any trade to carry.
I am not in a position to take over the boat from the owner as my Department does not purchase or operate ships. In all the circumstances, I do not consider that the owner is entitled to any compensation in respect of the prevention of the sale of the boat outside the State.
This boat could be sold for something over £700——
How much did he buy it for?
Something over £700. It cannot be used for trading or fishing and it is not required by the State for any purpose, so that the boat will, probably, become derelict and will not be worth 70 pence. Does the Minister not think it unfair to deprive this man of the chance of getting a price for his boat?
We are depriving a lot of people of the right of selling things outside the State for high prices. Motor cars and lorries cannot be exported even though they command a high price outside. That is because we consider it essential in the interests of the State that such equipment should be kept here. The war may last a long time.
This is a type of equipment which will not last. It is a wasting asset.