Dáil Éireann - Volume 285 - 19 November, 1975

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - National Library Report.

29. Mr. Wilson asked the Minister for Education when he expects a report from the inter-departmental committee on the Humphreys Report on the National Library; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Mr. Richard Burke: A formal report from the inter-departmental committee on the Humphrey's Report is not expected. However, certain recommendations to have additional accommodation made available to the National Library have already been submitted to me by the committee.

[1551] This they did after considering the question of accommodation in the light of the Humphrey's Report. It is envisaged that the committee will submit further recommendations from time to time on measures to be taken towards the long-term development of the library.

Mr. Wilson: Will the Minister state if the inter-departmental committee have been meeting on a regular basis?

Mr. Richard Burke: Yes, in fact the last meeting was in October.

Mr. Wilson: May we not have an indication from the Minister as to their recommendations?

Mr. Richard Burke: I can indicate that the Government to their credit are the first Government to provide extra accommodation for the library. The deliberations of the committee are resulting in proposals for the acquisition of adjacent premises for the library.

Mr. Wilson: Are the inter-departmental committee dealing only with accommodation?

Mr. Richard Burke: No, they have a wide brief. They are continuing investigations into how the services might be improved.

Mr. Lemass: Did the Minister state there was no effort to provide extra accommodation before this Government took office? Is he not aware that several alternatives were proposed to the board who run the National Library by my Department during my time but that they were found to be unsuitable? Will the Minister please put the record straight and tell the House that several efforts were made and that it was only recent developments that made the present extension possible?

An Ceann Comhairle: We are now entering the realm of argument.

Mr. Richard Burke: Efforts may have been made but they have been fruitful in this case.