Committee Reports::Interim and Final Report - Appropriation Accounts 1940 - 1941::16 July, 1942::Appendix



In the course of my examination before the Public Accounts Committee on the 17th instant I undertook to furnish further information to the Committee in regard to the question raised by the Chairman, Deputy Dillon, as to whether, instead of the letting arrangements with the Turf Development Board, it would not be a more desirable procedure to sell the Clonsast camp buildings and equipment to the Board outright. The agreed arrangements under which the buildings were erected and equipped provide that:—

“If at a subsequent period the Office of Public Works decides to abandon the labour camp experiment at Clonsast the Turf Development Board will take over the buildings and equipment for such payment as will represent their actual value at the time to the Turf Development Board in connection with their own arrangements, provided always that the Office of Public Works will have the option of dismantling and removing the material and the equipment for their own use or otherwise disposing of the buildings as they may think fit.”

The question of implementing these provisions was under consideration following the closing of the camp in December, 1941, and on the representations of the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Finance it was decided that it was not desirable to relinquish ownership of the camp premises until such time as the Parliamentary Secretary was certain they were not likely to serve some further experimental purpose. While the reasons for retaining ownership of the property may not now appear so strong owing to the fact that other camps have since been erected, the possibility cannot be overlooked that when the present emergency is over problems involving the provision of employment for urban labour may remain to be solved. In such event the Clonsast camp would be best suited for the purpose, as the premises are better built and equipped. The production at Clonsast of turf by mechanical process also affords a better method of trying out experiments in connection with the employment of urban labour.

(Signed) J. J. McELLIGOTT,

Accounting Officer.

Department of Finance,

30adh Meitheamh, 1942.