§ Mr. O'DOWD
asked the Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture (Ireland) whether he can state what steps, if any, are being taken by the Department in the direction of developing the coalfields of Arigna, situate in the counties of Sligo, Leitrim, and Roscommon; and has any Report been received as to the quantity of coal and iron to be obtained in that region?
The VICE-PRESIDENT of the DEPARTMENT of AGRICULTURE (Ireland, Mr. T. W. Russell)
Part of the coalfields in this neighbourhood are being worked by private enterprise. The Department's mineral expert inspected these coalfields in 1904. He was of opinion that Slieve-an-Ierin district was worthy of being prospected for coal. The Arigna mines were inspected in 1903 by a mining expert employed by the Treasury in connection with a proposal to provide special transport facilities for that district. The expert estimated the amount of workable coal on the northern and southern sides of the Arigna River at 4,650,000 tons. Ironstone also occurs in the neighbourhood of Arigna and in other districts. The Department do not undertake the work of prospecting, that being a matter for private enterprise; 204 but they afford all available information to inquirers respecting the occurrence of mineral deposits in Ireland.
MARQUESS of TULLIBARDINE
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether there is any intention of extending the Minimum Wage Bill to Ireland?