Wednesday, 13 May 1953
Dáil Éireann Debate
Mr. Crotty: asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if, in view of the increasing unemployment in the anthracite collieries in Kilkenny, he proposes to prohibit the import of anthracite coal to this country.
Parliamentary Secretary to the Government (Mr. Lynch) (for Minister for Industry and Commerce): As I indicated in reply to a similar question  on 25th March, 1953, I have already taken steps to arrange that as from 1st January last anthracite would be imported only in quantities sufficient to bridge the gap between home production and estimated requirements. These steps are now fully effective.
Mr. Crotty: Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that the production of the collieries here is ample for the home market? At the present time miners are leaving these collieries, going to England to work and producing anthracite in Wales to send to Ireland? I would ask the Parliamentary Secretary to prohibit completely the imports of anthracite until we have full employment in this industry.
Mr. Lynch: I am not aware of the price but I am aware there were recent exports of quantities of anthracite from this country. As regards Deputy Crotty's remarks, I do not think he could suggest that the Minister or the Government could take any other steps than to restrict imports to such quantities as would be sufficient to supplement home production, having regard to estimated requirements. That has been done and if there are difficulties in some areas they have not been communicated to the Department.
Mr. Crotty: Apparently the Parliamentary Secretary is not aware that the Irish mines are fully capable of supplying the whole Irish market; and not alone that, they have a surplus. Due to the unemployment position at the present time and the lack of sales, production is being cut down altogether.
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