Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Petrol for Commercial Travellers.

Tuesday, 11 March 1941

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 82 No. 3

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Mr. Doyle (for Mr. Browne): Information on Peadar Seán Doyle  Zoom on Peadar Seán Doyle  asked the Minister for Supplies whether, having regard to the national importance of the work done by commercial travellers in facilitating the distribution of commodities, especially of foodstuffs, he will consider granting them an appropriate allowance of petrol.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  Owing to the limited supply of petrol available for distribution it is not possible to grant licences for the purchase of petrol to the very large majority of motor car owners, including commercial travellers.

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon  Zoom on James Matthew Dillon  Is it not correct that certain commercial travellers have, in fact, received allocations of petrol?

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  No. No petrol is given to commercial travellers in respect of private cars.

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon  Zoom on James Matthew Dillon  I do not know anything about commercial travellers who have private cars. I do know that some of them who have lorries going around distributing merchandise are getting petrol.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  Allowances are being made to lorry owners.

[275]Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon  Zoom on James Matthew Dillon  And persons who are distributing goods, more or less as hawkers, are getting it. Travellers who are bringing around their merchandise and offering it to their customers out of the car are getting allowances.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  All lorry owners are getting petrol this month.

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon  Zoom on James Matthew Dillon  May I ask the Minister, in view of the concession made to a certain restricted class of travellers, would he consider, at least for the present, giving to such commercial travellers as are debarred by the state of their health from using alternative forms of locomotion an allowance of petrol to enable them to continue earning their living? There are some men —I may say they are very very few— who are physically unable to get in and out of trains and they are completely knocked out of their jobs.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  I would not agree with the Deputy that they are very few—at least, the number of persons who have made applications for allowances of petrol supported by doctors' certificates is very large—but it is not practicable for my Department to carry out an investigation of the circumstances in individual cases. We must distribute the available petrol supplies in relation to categories. To attempt to judge between the merits of the claims of individuals would be impossible.

Mr. O'Neill: Information on Eamonn O'Neill  Zoom on Eamonn O'Neill  Would the Minister consider making an exception in the case of areas, such as certain areas in Cork, where there is neither bus nor railway service?

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  It is not possible.


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