asked the Minister for Transport and Power if, in view of the reported statement of the Minister for Education that the Government were considering revising the present constitution of the Shannon Free Airport Development Company to enable it to be the competent authority to develop industry in the Limerick-Shannon-Ennis areas, he will state whether the Government have made a decision in the matter; and what definite action is contemplated.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Shannon Free Airport Development Company.
As I stated in my reply on 16th November to the debate on the Estimates for my Department, the part which the Shannon Free Airport Development Company might take in industrial development in the Limerick-Shannon-Ennis area is a matter which would need to be related to a decision on particular development centres. Since no decision has been made regarding development centres, the position of the Shannon Free Airport Development Company in relation to them has not been determined.
Is the Minister aware that this question was tabled by me to the Taoiseach last Friday in an endeavour to clarify what is an extraordinary situation which has arisen as a result of two apparently contradictory statements by two Ministers, one, the Minister for Education, who made a public statement on 21st October which was published in all the newspapers and was broadcast on radio and television, to the effect that a special Cabinet meeting was held to consider the full employment situation and that it was intended to bring Limerick and Ennis in with Shannon under the one development authority? However——
The Deputy is making a long speech.
——the Minister for Transport and Power, to whom my question has been passed, denied this last Thursday.
I did not deny it. The Minister for Education said that the matter was being considered. I made it clear that the Government would be considering the question of development centres throughout the State, would take into account all the relevant features, employment potential, existing employment and so forth, and that the Minister for Education spoke hopefully in regard to the idea that this might be extended to the Limerick-Ennis areas. I made it perfectly clear, and I was not speaking inconsistently with what the Minister for Education had already stated.
Is the Minister aware——
Would the Deputy appreciate that there are 138 questions on the Order Paper and a Member's motion on the adjournment?
With all due deference, this is a very important matter. Is the Minister aware that the Minister for Education stated specifically that it was intended immediately the Cabinet Meeting had been held to consider this matter—and it is reported in the newspapers of 23rd October that this was the intention—to bring Limerick and Ennis in with Shannon under the one development authority, and it is further reported on the subject——
The Deputy is not entitled to quote from documents. He will resume his seat and allow questions to continue.
Surely on behalf of the people of Limerick who sent me here, I am entitled to seek some clarification of this?
The Deputy is not entitled to make a speech.
If what the Minister for Transport and Power has said is true, then this is a deliberate attempt to deceive the people of Limerick.
Question No. 2.
I am not leaving this question unanswered. I want clarification of this position.
The Minister for Education stated specifically that a special meeting of the Cabinet would be held.
The Deputy will resume his seat.
The Minister for Education specifically stated that a special meeting of the Cabinet was called to discuss this question and the Minister for Transport and Power says now——
Deputy Coughlan must resume his seat.
Let us have the truth from the Minister for Education or the Minister for Transport and Power. We are finished with the by-election and we want clarification.
The Deputy will leave the House.
I have no intention of doing so.
In view of Deputy Coughlan's disobedience to the Chair, I must name him.