Tuesday, 7 April 1964
Dáil Eireann Debate
Mr. McQuillan: asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce whether he has seen the statement by Lieutenant-General M.J. Costello, general manager of the Irish Sugar Company, that there was a racket in the exporting of low-price sugar by some interests; whether he has investigated this matter; if he will give details of what this racket is; and if he will make a full statement on the matter.
Mr. J. Lynch: I have seen this statement but I do not understand it. The export of sugar as such or in goods is prohibited except under licence. Licences to export sugar are issued only to the Irish Sugar Company and licences for the export of goods containing Irish-manufactured sugar are issued only on the certification of the Sugar Company that the appropriate export price has been paid. In the case of the limited quantities of sugar which are being imported for the export trade under special authorisation granted in respect of this year to two manufacturers of sugar goods the export licences are limited to the quantities imported.
Mr. McQuillan: Surely the Minister is not serious when he states he does not understand what was reported in the daily papers recently as being a statement made by Lieutenant-General Costello in which he further stated that backstage pressure was being used by people who wanted to make money quickly in the export market when he referred to people looking for export licences. If this is true and if it is also true that there was a concerted move, according to General Costello by some of the manufacturers of goods which use sugar, not to buy industrial sugar but to buy commercial sugar in order that they would get commercial sugar at the industrial price at a later stage, would the Minister not consider that there is every reason for an inquiry by him on behalf of the community into whatever has taken place behind the scenes in the export of Irish sugar, processed or otherwise?
Mr. J. Lynch: Where disputes arise  between the supplier of sugar and the manufacturers, the contract for the provision of such sugar provides for a system of arbitration by which the dispute can be investigated. In the two cases which the Deputy may have in mind that procedure is being followed so that at this stage the matter should be regarded as sub judice.
Mr. J. Lynch: There is an arbitration procedure which provides for the appointment of an arbitrator with the agreement of both sides to the contract. I do not think I should comment any more. This is a legal matter outside my responsibility.
Mr. J. Lynch: I shall answer the question to the extent that the procedure to which I have referred has been availed of by the parties to the dispute. I do not know where the Deputy got the information about £100,000 profit——
Mr. J. Lynch: As I have already explained, he is agreed between those concerned in the contract made between the two parties. In the form of the usual arbitration two persons act, one on behalf of each party, with an independent chairman.
Mr. Dillon: On a point of order, there are no legal proceedings. There is no issue sub judice or any judicial person involved in this matter. If the matter were in the hands of the courts we would understand at once, but I want to submit, as a point of order, that there is no matter in the hands of the court.
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