Dáil Éireann - Volume 56 - 07 May, 1935
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Employment on Improvement Works.
Mr. Davin Mr. Davin
Mr. Davin asked the Minister for Lands if he will state the reasons why men employed on improvement works carried out by the Land Commission are not engaged through the local labour exchange; the nature of the instructions issued to inspectors and others regarding the method of selecting men for work on such schemes and the order of preference, if any, to be given; whether it is in order to employ two persons out of the same family and living in the same house and to refuse employment to able-bodied married men in receipt of unemployment assistance, and if he will consider the advisability of having persons employed on such schemes in future engaged through the local labour exchange.
Mr. O'Grady Mr. O'Grady
Mr. O'Grady: A considerable proportion of the moneys expended by the  Land Commission on estate improvement works is repayable by tenants or allottees by means of additional annuities on their holdings. In selecting unskilled labour for such works first preference has always been given to tenants or allottees or to the families of tenants or allottees whose holdings will be subject to such additional annuities or will benefit thereby. Apart from those coming within the above-mentioned category, it was the practice of the Land Commission up to May, 1934, to engage unskilled labour through the employment exchanges Owing, however, to pressure of work on employment exchanges consequent on the operations of the Unemployment Assistance Act it was decided last year that the exchanges should be relieved of the responsibility for providing labour required for Land Commission operations. The work of selecting suitable unskilled labour was then placed on the local officers of the Land Commission and the practice of giving first preference to tenants or the sons of tenants whose holdings would be subject to additional annuities as a result of the works undertaken has been continued. The following instructions have been issued in connection with the recruitment of any additional unskilled labour required:—
(1) Those in receipt of unemployment assistance to be employed before men not in receipt of unemployment assistance, it being understood that where practicable men longest unemployed will get preference;
(2) Seventy-five per cent. of the vacancies to go to married men and 25 per cent. to single men.
With regard to the latter part of the question, the existing arrangements have been found to give satisfaction and it is not at present proposed to alter them. I shall be glad, however, to investigate fully any instances which may be brought to my notice in which it is alleged that labour has not been engaged on an equitable basis.
Dáil Éireann 56 Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. Employment on Improvement Works.