Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Haulbowline Oil Storage.

asked the Minister for Defence if, in view of the large revenue which in previous years was received by the Cork Harbour Commissioners in harbour dues from ships using the oil bunkering facilities in the harbour, he will endeavour even by temporary substitute for the harbour to have the oil storage facilities at Haulbowline made immediately available for oil storage and bunkering.

The position regarding the oil storage installations at Haulbowline is that they are at present leased to Cork Harbour Oil Wharves, Limited, and the lease will not expire until the 30th April, 1952. As stated in my reply of the 20th June last, to a previous question by the Deputy, I have no function in regard to the provision of commercial bunkering facilities, but I am prepared to consider favourably applications for a fresh lease of the installations to enable a bunkering business to be undertaken commercially at Haulbowline. I am advised that until the jetty which is under construction alongside the installations has been completed, it will not be practicable to bunker vessels there. This jetty is due to be completed in April, 1952.

Will the Minister look up the lease of the Cork Harbour and see whether there is any obligation on them to keep those oil tanks filled and, if so, will he see that obligation is fulfilled, or does he intend having those tanks empty until next April?

Could the Minister indicate when it is hoped to bring to a conclusion this private war between the gone-wrong Lord Mayor and the gone-wrong Minister for Agriculture in connection with Haulbowline?