Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Spades and Shovels (Customs Duties).

asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if, with reference to the Customs Duties (Spades and Shovels) (Provisional Imposition) Order, 1932, he will state (1) the number of the Saorstát firms engaged in the manufacture of the protected articles, the amount of capital invested therein, the number of persons employed therein and the value of their annual production; (2) the relative costs of production here and in Great Britain; (3) the cost of labour and rates of wages in this industry in the Saorstát as compared with such cost and rates in Great Britain; (4) the increase, expected to result from the Order, in the number of firms engaging in the industry, in the invested capital, in the employment given, and in annual output; (5) to what extent consumers of the articles protected by the Order can have their requirements met by home manufacturers; (6) what benefit is expected to accrue to the Revenue of the Saorstát from the new duties and (7) if any application for aid, other than the tariff, has been made to him by any of the firms now engaged in the industry, or by any person or firm proposing to engage in the industry.

Three firms are engaged in the production of spades and shovels and employ approximately 40 men on this work. A fourth firm, whose works are at present closed, is expected to reopen.

All the firms concerned are engaged on other work in addition to the manufacture of spades and shovels and the detailed information asked for is not available in relation to spades and shovels alone.

Having regard to the stocks now in the country, it is anticipated that the home manufacturers will be able to meet all requirements in these goods. No benefit is expected to accrue to the revenue.

Since the imposition of the duty, no application has been received from the industry for assistance.