Minister for Supplies

The Minister for Supplies (Irish: An tAire Soláthairtí) was created by the Ministers and Secretaries (Amendment) Act 1939, to assist Ireland through World War II, or The Emergency, as it was referred to by the Government of Ireland. Although the legislation creating the new department was not passed until 21 December 1939, it was given retrospective effect, and was deemed to have come into force on 8 September 1939.[1]

The Minister for Supplies was charged with controlling production, distribution and pricing of vital supplies during the Irish Emergency. According to the historian Bryce Evans, Minister Seán Lemass, introduced full rationing in Ireland 'too late', ensuring the black market trumped later state attempts at equitable distribution amid the British wartime supply squeeze.[2] Earlier historians had pointed to Lemass's successes in stockpiling essential goods.

The minister's functions were transferred to the Minister for Industry and Commerce on abolition of the office on 1 August 1945.[3][4] Lemass had been serving in both positions from 1941.

Name Term of office Political party
Seán Lemass 8 September 1939 31 July 1945 Fianna Fáil


  1. "Ministers and Secretaries (Amendment) Act 1939, Section 12: Commencement". Irish Statute Book. 21 December 1939. Retrieved 13 September 2019.
  2. Evans, Bryce (2014). Farewell to Plato's Cave.
  3. "Minister For Supplies (Transfer of Functions) Act 1945, Section 3: Transfer of functions of Minister for Supplies and abolition of office". Irish Statute Book. 11 July 1945. Retrieved 13 September 2019.
  4. "Minister for Supplies (Transfer of Functions) Act, 1945 (Appointed Day) Order, 1945". Irish Statute Book. 20 July 1945. Retrieved 13 September 2019.

See also

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