To ask the Minister for Home Affairs if he has received a request from the City and County of Cork Tied House and Retail Vintners' Association for an inquiry into the tied house system presently prevailing in Cork; and, if so, when he proposes to hold inquiry?

I have received a request, dated the 20th November last, from the Secretary of the City and County of Cork Tied House and Retail Vintners' Association, asking when it may be possible to hold an inquiry into their position and particular disabilities.

A previous similar request was received in the Ministry as far back as January of last year.

While I quite agree that the position of brewery tenants and the system of tied houses generally is one which requires to be inquired into, I must point out that there is a clear line of demarcation between that question and the more immediately pressing question of the abuses arising from the manufacture and sale of illicit spirit and the evasion of the licensing laws, which is at present under consideration.

I recognise the necessity for a comprehensive inquiry into the Tied House System, but I am not in a position at present to say approximately when such an inquiry may be held.