asked the Minister for Finance if he will state (a) the number of men employed on the Brick and Cashen drainage scheme; (b) the number of mechanically skilled men employed; (c) the number recruited through the local employment exchanges at Listowel and Tralee; (d) the number employed who had service in the Defence Forces, and (e) the number of workers employed who are not natives of Kerry in view of the fact that there were 1,500 registered unemployed at the Listowel exchange in March, 1952, and that the inception of the scheme has not improved the position.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Employment on Brick and Cashen Drainage Scheme.
(a) The number of men—apart from engineers —employed on the Feale (or Brick and Cashen) drainage scheme on the 24th June, 1952, was 67; (b) 23 mechanically skilled men are employed; (c) the number recruited through the local employment exchange is 32; (d) it is the practice of the employment exchanges to give preference to men with service in the Defence Forces: the Commissioners of Public Works have, however, no record of such service in individual cases; (e) 15 of the workers employed are not natives of Kerry.
asked the Minister for Finance if he is aware that fishermen on the river Feale have no prospects of earning sufficient to pay for their licences this year due to the operation of heavy dredgers in the river; and, if so, if he will have them employed on the Brick and Cashen drainage scheme in order to relieve local unemployment and thus avoid the possibility of their emigrating.
The answer to the first part of the question is in the negative. Any additional labour required for the scheme will be recruited through the local employment exchanges, at which men seeking employment should register.
Would the Parliamentary Secretary tell us how did persons not natives of Kerry happen to register for employment at the Listowel or Tralee labour exchanges? Is it not reasonable to assume that a man resident in Waterford would register at the local labour exchange, and not elect to register at Listowel or Tralee? Is it a mere coincidence that these 15 gentlemen elected to register at labour exchanges remote from their ordinary place of residence?
There is no question of their registering in Listowel. The men concerned are experienced men. They are capable of taking on that particular type of work, the driving and controlling of dredgers. They were men of experience, and were taken from the Brosna. In addition, there is this rule of the Commissioners of Public Works as regards drainage schemes, that no ganger will be employed, who is a native, in his own county, or within a distance of 30 miles from where the scheme is in operation.
Does the Parliamentary Secretary say that there is a rule in the Board of Works that, if there is a scheme being carried on in any part of the County Cork, no Cork man can act upon it as a ganger?
As far as a drainage scheme is concerned, that is so.
I understood that a man should not be resident ordinarily within 30 miles of where a drainage scheme is being carried on, but I never heard of a rule being laid down that, if there is a public works operation going on in County Cork, no man from the whole of the County Cork may be a ganger on it. If that rule is in operation, I think it ought to be reviewed.
I do not know if there is anything very wrong about it.