Dáil Éireann - Volume 108 - 29 October, 1947

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Locke's Distillery.

Mr. Flanagan asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he will state the date on which the sale of Locke's Distillery, Kilbeggan, to the Transworld Trust, was first brought before his Department; and by whom this information was conveyed.

Mr. Flanagan asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce whether the export quota of whiskey for Locke's Distillery, Kilbeggan, has been increased from 4,000 to 8,000 gallons a year; if so, the reasons why this facility was granted; and also by whom representations seeking the increased quota were made.

Mr. Lemass: I propose to take questions Nos. 12 and 13 together.

On the 9th September, 1947, Mr. Joseph Cooney, Secretary of Locke's Distillery Company, who was accompanied by Senator William Quirke, informed an officer of my Department that an Irish-controlled company in association with certain Swiss interests proposed to take over and carry on the distillery. It was indicated that a prospect of developing the sale of Irish whiskey in Switzerland, a hard currency area, was foreseen but that its success would depend on the granting of some increase in the existing small export quota of 4,400 gallons, and a quota of 8,000 gallons was requested. [987] The application was referred to me and, on the understanding that the details of the proposed scheme for the acquisition and operation of the distillery were satisfactory and that the additional exports would go to Switzerland, I decided to sanction an increase in Locke's export quota of mature whiskey to 8,000 gallons per annum.

Mr. Flanagan: Is the Minister making it quite clear to the House that the application for an increase in the export quota for Locke's was definitely made by Locke's?

Mr. Lemass: It was made by Mr. Joseph Cooney, the Secretary of Locke's.