Thursday, 16 February 1939
Dáil Éireann Debate
Minister for Posts and Telegraphs (Mr. Traynor): Before moving this Vote I should like to explain that, arising out of a previous Vote, Deputy Mulcahy desired some information in respect to the purpose for which the building in Exchequer Street was being acquired by the Post Office. The purpose of the building is to extend trunk facilities and also to find new accommodation for the broadcasting establishment. The expenditure is divided between Telephones and the Broadcasting Department.
Go ndeontar suim Bhreise ná raghaidh thar £25,165 chun íoctha an Mhuirir a thiocfaidh chun bheith iníoctha i rith na bliana dar críoch an 31adh lá de Mhárta, 1939, ehun Tuarastail agus Costaisí Oifig an Aire  Puist agus Telegrafa (45 agus 46 Vict., c. 74; 8 Edw. 7, c. 48; 1 agus 2 Geo. 5, c. 26; na hAchtanna Telegrafa, 1863 go 1928, etc.); agus Sheirbhísí áirithe eile atá fé riaradh na hOifige sin.
That a Supplementary sum not exceeding £25,165 be granted to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending 31st March, 1939, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Office of the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs (45 and 46 Vict., c. 74; 8 Edw. 7, c. 48; 1 and 2 Geo. 5, c. 26; the Telegraph Acts, 1863 to 1928, etc.); and of certain other Services administered by that Office.
The total excess over the authorised Estimate amounts to £73,625, against which there is an offset of £4,299 from increased Appropriations-in-Aid and £44,161 from savings under other sub-heads, leaving a net excess of £25,165. The specific reasons for the additional provision under the various sub-heads are shown in Part III of the Estimate, but some further particulars regarding the principal items may be desired. Additional staff provision, necessitated by the general growth of services, involves approximately £7,000; improved postal facilities in provincial areas, £9,500; cost of the General Election in June, 1938, which was unanticipated, £2,000; increased cost of Christmas arrangements, £2,500. Additional labour on engineering maintenance and renewal work and increased purchases of engineering materials— sub-heads I (1) and (K)—involve £20,400. A smaller amount of relief to these sub-heads has been afforded from telephone capital funds than was anticipated, by reason of the carrying out of the full programme of telephone capital works for the year not being found practicable. Increased engineering travelling costs, due mainly to storm repairs, amount to £3,100. Increased superannuation payments, caused by unanticipated ordinary retirements and by abnormal retirements under Article X of the Treaty, account for £16,500. The offsetting savings are mainly due to the provision made under sub-head P in the original Estimate to meet deficiencies arising out of the  withholding of certain moneys by the British Administration having been rendered unnecessary by the Financial Agreement of April, 1938; to expenditure on the installation and operation of radio equipment for civil aviation purposes being less than the amounts provided; and to anticipated expenditure for the provision of additional accommodation not materialising during the year.
Mr. Norton: I should like to know from the Minister what the programme is in connection with the premises which it is proposed to acquire in Exchequer Street. The Minister said that these premises were required for extension of trunk facilities. Do I understand that it is intended to maintain some of the trunk lines at Crown Alley and others at Exchequer Street, or is it proposed to transfer the trunk lines to the new premises and to maintain Exchequer Street exclusively as a trunk exchange?
Mr. Traynor: We want to clear out the trunk system at present in Crown Alley. We are transferring that, though not wholly, to Exchequer Street, when ready. We shall be dividing the trunk system between Exchequer Street and St. Andrew Street. We intend to use Crown Alley exclusively for the purpose of the automatic telephone system.
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