To ask the Minister for Finance whether it is the intention of the Government to abolish the excise duty on home-grown tobacco, and thus—(a) encourage the development of this important national industry; and (b) enable those who have already an accumulation of this product to clear out their stock at a fair price.

The question of abolishing or modifying existing duties or imposing fresh duties is one which will have to be carefully considered in connection with the Budget proposals to be submitted to the Dáil for the coming financial year. Pending such consideration I am not in a position to make any pronouncement on the points raised in the Deputy's question.