Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Imports of Molasses.

asked the Minister for Finance if he will state whether molasses imported for the manufacture of power alcohol will be admitted duty free; whether alcohol produced from molasses will be imported free of duty, and whether motor spirit produced by the National Oil Refinery will be subject to duty; and further, whether he will indicate the anticipated loss in revenue involved in the new fiscal arrangements arising from the establishment of the National Oil Refinery.

Molasses for use by a licensed distiller in the manufacture of spirits, including industrial alcohol which, presumably, is the power alcohol referred to by the Deputy, may be imported without payment of customs duty subject to compliance with certain conditions.

With regard to the second part of the question, spirits, whether denatured or not, produced from molasses, are liable to the ordinary customs duties on spirits: there is, however, provision whereby imported spirits may be delivered under certain conditions for use in the manufacture of power methylated spirits without payment of duty in the case of imported spirits chargeable with duty at the preferential rate.

With regard to the third and fourth parts of the question, I cannot at this stage make any statement as to the fiscal arrangements which will be operative when the new oil refinery at Dublin is producing to capacity.

Will the new oil refinery ever operate in Dublin?

Wait and see.

"Wait and see" is a very prudent answer.