Tuesday, 11 March 1941
Dáil Éireann Debate
Mr. Doyle (for Mr. Browne): 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: 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: 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. 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: 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.
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