Tuesday, 4 December 1962
Dáil Eireann Debate
Dr. Browne: and Mr. McQuillan asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce whether persons then unemployed, or disemployed as a consequence of changes designed to make Irish industry generally efficient and competitive, will be eligible for retraining and resettlement, should Ireland enter the EEC as a full member.
Dr. Browne: and Mr. McQuillan asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce whether the 180 men recently disemployed as a result of the closing of flour mills will be eligible for alternative employment, resettlement or retraining schemes, to be made available for persons disemployed as a result of industrial regroupment necessitated by Ireland's proposed entry into the EEC.
If the Deputies are referring to the European Social Fund, the Position appears to be that assistance can be sought from the Fund in respect of schemes for the retraining and resettlement of any unemployed or disemployed workers. In regard to the remaining aspects of the questions, I would refer the Deputies to replies given to questions on this matter on the 14th and 22nd November, 1962. I wish to make it clear, however, that the redundancy in the flour milling industry is a result of a reduction in the consumption of flour and bread and not of our application for membership of the EEC.
Mr. McQuillan: Will the Minister state, with reference to Question No. 47, whethere persons disemployed as a consequence of the change will be given an opportunity of getting retraining and resettlement? Will he state what is the position of all the people who are likely to be disemployed between now and the date of our application? Will those individuals be in a position, through Government aid, to have access to money for retraining or resettlement in view of the fact that their disemployment is the result of preparations for entering the EEC?
Mr. J. Lynch: As the Deputy has been informed already, this whole matter is under consideration by a special committee and, as he has also been informed, it is not possible for us to say in advance of our negotiations whether any workers rendered redundant as he suggests will be entitled to access to the Special Fund in anticipation of our membership of the Common Market. These are matters that are under close consideration, on the one hand, and will be subject to detailed negotiations on the other, when we undertake them with Common Market countries.
Mr. McQuillan: Is it possible for the Minister at this stage to say if, pending a decision arising from the negotiations with the EEC members, the Government are in a position to offer any hope of resettlement or compensation for those who will be disemployed?
Mr. McQuillan: I do not want to prejudice this matter. Would the Minister allay the uneasiness that is in the public mind and in the minds of people who are likely to be disemployed, by stating that the Government are particularly interested, as far as resettlement is concerned?
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