Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Bula Limited Payment.

11.

asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if any money has yet been paid to Bula Limited; and, if so, when it was paid out.

No moneys have yet been paid in respect of the acquisition of shares by the State in Bula Limited. Certain matters of a legal and accounting nature, which normally arise in the case of a transaction of this kind, must be attended to and the parties are engaged on these matters at present.

The Parliamentary Secretary will note that the question asked was whether any money has been paid to Bula Limited and the reply stated that no money has been paid for the acquisition of shares. Are we to take it that the Parliamentary Secretary is giving the answer to the question put, or are we to take his words literally?

I do not think any money has been spent under any other subhead. I do not think any other payment under any other subhead would arise anyway.

We may take it, then, that no money has been paid to Bula Limited or on behalf of Bula Limited?

To Bula Limited. That is what we are talking about.

Since the Parliamentary Secretary chose to answer the question by stating that no money has been paid to Bula Limited for the acquisition of shares, which was not what was asked, I must ask some supplementary question to try to arrive at the exact position.

I wish to give the Deputy the most exact and precise information possible. My information indicates solely that no money has been paid in respect of the acquisition of shares. I cannot go any further. I cannot be categorical as to whether or not other money payments may have been made under some completely different authorisation to Bula, but I will inquire and let the Deputy know the position.

I appreciate that. Does the Parliamentary Secretary appreciate that the question put to him is the one I am asking him to answer, and that he now says he cannot answer categorically?

Would the Parliamentary Secretary say whether any guarantee has been entered into by the State in respect of or on behalf of Bula Limited?

The question of a guarantee would be a separate matter. I suggest that the Deputy put down a separate question.

Does the Parliamentary Secretary think that we might be luckier in getting an answer to that question?

The Deputy might be lucky.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary say if any money was paid to the individuals concerned during January, 1977?

I have no information to indicate that that is the case.

Question No. 12 please.