CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - CINEMAS AND ENTERTAINMENT TAX.

asked the Minister for Finance (a) whether he received a deputation from the Cinema Exhibitors and Theatres Association on the question of the abolition of the Entertainment Tax; (b) whether he promised to consider the matter and to receive the deputation again; (c) whether a further meeting did not take place in spite of requests therefor; (d) whether he received a copy of a resolution which was passed unanimously at a meeting of the above association to the effect that any relief granted by the Government regarding this tax would be passed on to the public; and (e) whether in view of this, and to prevent the closing down of a number of cinemas in the Saorstát during the summer months and the consequent unemployment, it is intended to make a revision in the scale of entertainment tax in the forthcoming Finance Bill.

(a) A deputation representing the Theatre and Cinema Association (Ireland) was received on the 16th March, 1926, in connection with the proposed abolition of entertainments duty. (b) A promise was made that the representations of the deputation would receive consideration. (c) A second deputation from the association was received on the 27th November, 1926, when an undertaking was given that the question of regrading the tax so as to lighten its incidence on the lower-priced seats would be looked into. Two requests for a further interview were made subsequently, but it was not considered necessary to receive a deputation, as all the relevant facts had already been presented. (d) No copy of a resolution to the effect that any relief granted by the Government regarding the entertainments duty would be passed on to the public was received by the Minister for Finance. (e) It is not intended to provide for a revision of the entertainments duty in the forthcoming Finance Bill.

Am I to understand from the Minister, with reference to (d), that he did not receive the resolution referred to, stating that they would pass on the concession to the public?

I did not receive it.

Is the Minister aware that these gentlemen say that they forwarded this resolution to him prior to his Budget statement?

I am not aware of it. I did not get any resolution, and if I had I would not have believed it.

You would not have believed it?

I would not have accepted the statement.

Am I to assume that, if a body of important citizens state that they would pass on a concession to the public, the Minister is justified in saying that he would not believe it? I ask you, Ceann Comhairle, is that a proper statement for the Minister to make?