Wednesday, 22 March 1939
Dáil Éireann Debate
Risteárd Ua Maolchatha: asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce whether he is aware that the total number of registered unemployed in the Dublin and Dun Laoghaire district for the end of February has increased from  18,134 in 1937, to 20,240 in 1938, and 23,656 in 1939, and the total number in receipt of unemployment assistance at the end of February has increased from 10,496 in 1938 to 13,187 in 1939; and if he will state whether any inquiry has been made into the causes of the increase in unemployment in this district; and, if so, if he will state what these causes are; and, if not, whether he will institute such an inquiry with a view to ameliorating the position.
Mr. Lemass: I am aware that the combined numbers registered this year at Dublin and Dun Laoghaire Employment Exchanges have been greater than in 1937 or 1938. The aggregate increase between February, 1937, and February, 1938, was caused by small decreases in the numbers of persons employed in a large variety of industries. The aggregate increase between 1938 and 1939 was also due to decreases in the numbers employed in a variety of industries. The individual decreases were small for the most part. There is, however, a considerable decrease in the numbers employed in the building industry. The increased registrations this year as compared with last year are also attributable to some extent to the smaller numbers who were employed in employment schemes. For the country as a whole, the average number of persons on the live register in February of this year was somewhat lower than in February, 1938. I hope to be able to make available at an early date a memorandum regarding employment and unemployment in 1938.
Mr. Lemass: Not in a special way. It will be similar to the memorandum  previously published in respect of earlier years. It will contain the information and the conclusions of the drafters of the report.
General Mulcahy: In view of the fact that the figures show a steady increase in the unemployed registered in the City of Dublin, would the Minister consider addressing himself specially to that question?
Mr. Lemass: I think there is no doubt whatever that the increased numbers registered as unemployed in Dublin and Dun Laoghaire now as compared with last year are due almost entirely to the decline in building operations.
Mr. Norton: Would the Minister say whether this memorandum will merely contain an explanation of the number of persons unemployed in 1938, or will any portion of it be devoted to statements as to what is going to be done to provide employment for the 105,000 registered as unemployed in 1939?
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