Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - National Lifeboat Institution.

50.

asked the Minister for Transport and Power if, in view of the magnificent life-saving work done by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution for fishermen and sailors in this country, he will recommend to the Government the payment of a generous annual contribution to the funds of this institution.

51.

asked the Minister for Transport and Power if he is satisfied that the service provided by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution is adequate to protect those who may need the assistance of this very fine voluntary institution around our coasts; and, if not, if he will consider a State subvention to enable an expansion of such service.

With your permission, a Cheann Comhairle, I propose to take Questions Nos. 50 and 51 together.

The service provided by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution forms part of the general sea rescue service network. As regards the adequacy of this service, I would refer Deputy Esmonde to my reply to questions by Deputies T. O'Donnell and P.D. Harte on 26th February, 1970 in which I dealt with the adequacy and efficiency of the marine rescue services as a whole.

The Lifeboat Institution is an independent voluntary organisation which has not sought and does not receive any kind of State subsidy in this country or in Britain.

I am not aware of this previous reply. Could the Minister indicate whether there will be a State subvention to augment this magnificent service?

It was a very full reply. It occupied three pages last week.

All I want to know is whether there will be a State subvention or not.

The last sentence in my reply last week: "A special comprehensive review of the various services and of the operation of the system as a whole is being carried out at present and I hope to be in a position to make a full statement on the matter in the near future."

Does the Minister not realise that in the meantime there are probably brave men gone down due to wrecks at sea and so on? Would he not indicate when that comprehensive report will be cleared and we shall be in a position to know whether there will be a state subvention or not?

Very shortly. I dealt with it very comprehensively last week.