Wednesday, 29 October 1941
Dáil Éireann Debate
Mr. Hickey: asked the Minister for Supplies if he will state in respect of the ship “Irish Hazel” (a) when and by whom the vessel was purchased; (b) the total price, inclusive of commission, paid for the vessel; (c) her net tonnage; (d) the number of trips she has made to date and the total weight of cargo carried and the amount of the freightage earned, and (e) the maintenance cost per week of the crew; further, whether he will state if the “Irish Hazel” has been surveyed by the Liffey Dockyard Company and, if so, whether a report thereon is available and will be presented to the Dáil; whether an estimate for the reconstruction of the vessel has been obtained, and, if so, whether he will state what sum has been estimated for carrying out the work of reconstruction; whether he will state the present scrap value of the vessel.
Mr. Lemass: As I have indicated on previous occasions to the House, I am not prepared to answer questions of  detail about the administration of Irish Shipping, Limited. The company was established for the express purpose of endeavouring to provide shipping facilities for the importation of essential supplies from overseas to this country. I also told the House quite frankly that ships cannot now be bought on a basis which could in normal times be justified by any commercial criterion; and the difficulties are even greater to-day than they were when I made that statement. I think it is not unreasonable to ask Deputies to wait until this company has been in operation for at least a year before attempting to form any judgment on its activities.
As regards the “Irish Hazel”, I may say that the company purchased this vessel with the knowledge that she would require extensive repairs, and this fact was allowed for in the purchase price. It has not yet been found possible to have the repairs put in hand because of pressure of work in the Liffey Dockyard and the vessel has not yet, therefore, been put into service.
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