Control of Imports Orders: Motions of Approval. - Coal-Cattle Pact.

Motion again proposed:
That Dáil Eireann hereby approves of Control of Imports (Quota No. 11) Order, 1934, made on the 21st day of December, 1934, by the Executive Council under the Control of Imports Act, 1934 (No. 12 of 1934).—Aire Tionseail agus Tráchtála. Debate resumed.

When this question of the coal-cattle pact was being discussed previously I was referring to the trades that would be affected by the pact. I was asking whether they had been consulted with a view to seeing how far their commercial experience and knowledge could be brought to bear upon the extent and scope of this pact, so that the best possible conditions that technical minds could devise would be obtained when the matter came to be settled between the two countries. I was referring to the fact that in certain countries, and particularly in the country with which the coal-cattle pact was being fixed up, there were our own representatives perfectly responsible for the handling of trade and business of this kind. I was suggesting that it would be a very great advantage if from these countries where there are Chambers of Commerce in being, our representatives were to send home, say, monthly information as to what these countries were prepared to buy from us in return for what we could buy from them, on a reciprocity basis. If that course were adopted then pacts that might be entered into would present a far more business-like proposition than this coal-cattle pact. If pacts are to be left entirely in the hands of prominent officials, no matter how diligent and efficient they may be otherwise, it is quite obvious if they lack the commercial experience and knowledge they are not capable of arranging pacts. They lack the necessary knowledge to enable them to judge of the quality of the goods and to insist upon a certain standard being maintained. I am informed that in this coal-cattle pact coal was sent to this country in the initial stages which was inferior in quality. Not only had the consuming public to pay for that coal at a premium, but they got a poor article in return for that high cost. Institutions in this country which have to be maintained by the rates had to bear a considerably higher burden by reason of the coal-cattle pact. One of these institutions in particular—the Portrane Mental Hospital—would have to find something like £2,500 more in its budget as a consequence of this pact, than in the previous year. When the coal-cattle pact was first made public, we, on this side of the House, regarded it as creating a new atmosphere and hoped that in the course of time we would see emanating from this so-called settlement additional pacts which would be of a more business-like nature, so far as the Saorstát is concerned, and that would be of more utility to the State.

I believe that this Party hesitated to come out on public platforms to denounce this pact. They felt that it was a step in the right direction, bad as it was, that later on a more reciprocal arrangement would develop, and that as time went on the business relationship between Great Britain and the Irish Free State would gradually work its way into normality. Time, however, showed that this pact, which seemed to be a beginning, was also the end. As such, it is only fair to say that all the gain seems to be on the one side. The producer here pays on the cattle and the consumer pays on the coal. If this Party some time ago had suggested an arrangement of that description on any platform, we would be howled down. We would be warned that we were bending the knee to Great Britain. We would be told that we were advocating abject and complete surrender, that we were encouraging the economic war from the British shore, that we were advocating all that sort of defeatism which had been the curse of this country in the past, that when a national issue was at stake we were the first to try to break the ranks. Yet, we find that when this coal-cattle pact is ultimately arranged by the present Government it is all right, that there is nothing wrong in it, that it is perfectly good business and perfectly genuine national politics.

I should like to leave that aspect of criticism. I never desire to introduce the element of political advantage into anything associated with business. The unfortunate thing in this country to-day is that the whole business of our State is almost entirely dependent upon, and tied up with, officialdom and Government control. I suppose it is only natural that when private enterprise feels that it is under all this control, it should become anæmic, that it should lose its punch and that it should weaken, as it were, in its determination to advance. The result is that all these pacts have not brought about an encouraging situation amongst the producing or the commercial community in this country. They feel that far too much of the official mind and of official action has been permanently established in our business life with the result that by degrees an atmosphere has been created which gives the impression that there are no business associations in this country, no Chambers of Commerce, no initiative worth while apart from that which exists in official Departments. Well, that is not true. I do not know, a Chinn Chomhairle, whether I would be allowed to go outside the coal-cattle pact in this debate and to refer to pacts which might be arranged with other countries interested in the cattle trade particularly by getting in touch with associations such as the Dairy Shorthorn Association. We might, in that way, investigate the conditions which appertain in another country where the surplus of our dairy shorthorn cattle would be probably taken, provided a reciprocity of trade could be brought about.

The Deputy would not be allowed to pursue that line.

Well, my final remark shall be that the trade has not been consulted regarding these pacts. We recently learned how important it is that the trade should be consulted. As we all know, an arrangement was recently made under which we were to have reciprocity of trade with another country. The result was that we were forced to take 10,000 tons of the most appalling oranges grown in that country. Anybody who goes round the country or visits houses where there are children will know that oranges form a staple part of their diet.

This does not arise.

Oranges can be classed neither as coal nor cattle. There is a later Resolution dealing with them.

If there is another agreement concerning them I shall not refer to them now.

The Deputy will have another opportunity.

In conclusion I wish to emphasise that when such pacts are being discussed in future with other Governments, those in the trade affected should be consulted. They should be given to understand exactly, without any equivocation, what their actual position is. Further, when a pact is made it should be insisted that the quality of goods which we are to receive will be maintained at a certain standard so that we shall not be the sufferers under the arrangement either from the financial point of view or from the point of view of politics.

I regard this coal-cattle pact with perhaps more admiration, more satisfaction, than some of my colleagues. Regarded as an incident in the economic war it certainly would be nothing short of disastrous. To anybody who takes the economic war seriously it must be a desperately difficult problem to explain or to justify the coal-cattle pact. But, if we once appreciate that the economic war is a humbug and a sham, I think our outlook on it will be different.

It is true, no doubt, that if Deputy Cosgrave had made the coal-cattle pact he would have been denounced from every Fianna Fáil platform with that intemperance of language which is characteristic of Fianna Fáil polemies. Deputy Cosgrave would be compared to Leonard McNally and other historical characters for having consented to such an arrangement. I am quite sure that if our Party had been responsible for this agreement, objection would have been taken both to its form and to its substance.

It would have been urged that the agreement had been made behind the back of Parliament and without Parliament having been first consulted, and the fact that Parliament had subsequently to implement the agreement would have been waved aside as quite irrelevant, as was done in the case of the famous financial agreement in the time of the Cosgrave Government. Moreover, it would have been said that this agreement had not even been committed to writing. When the Party opposite profess to be so much shocked and perturbed at the Cosgrave financial agreement not having been beautifully engrossed on parchment—of being on a rather scrappy bit of paper or combination of bits of paper—surely they ought to be even more shocked and horrified at their own Government concluding a trade agreement of this kind merely by word of mouth and without anything on paper at all. So that I think it is clear that, if we had responsibility for it, the greatest exception would have been taken to the form of the agreement, in the first place. In the second place, great exception would have been taken to its substance. We would have been told that the traditional Irish national policy, the only sound policy, the only patriotic and genuinely Republican policy would be to burn everything English except English coal. It would have been said that, instead of that, the Irish people were being compelled by their own Government to burn English coal and no other. It would also have been urged that this agreement was providing for the paying over to England of Irish money that was not due to England at all, because each of the 150,000 animals that are to go over as a result of this agreement is to carry an annuity tied to its tail. It would have been said that not only were we, by the admission of the President of the Executive Council, paying over this money in a form that damages us more than the form in which it used to be paid before the present Government came into office, but that, in order to be allowed even to pay over the money in that specially damaging form, we were coaxing the British to consent to it by giving them a monopoly of the supply of coal to this market. All these things would have been urged with the usual energy and bitterness with which such accusations are brought, and have in the past been brought, against any sort of agreement arrived at by a party other than the Fianna Fáil Party.

I will frankly admit that for my part I do not think that these objections to the agreement are justified unless, as I say, you take the economic war seriously. I think that on the whole this country has gained by the agreement. I think that the farmers would have been reduced to a state that cannot be contemplated with any sort of equanimity if this agreement had not been arrived at. Incidentally, I think that the chances of a Fianna Fáil candidate succeeding in any by-election whatever in agricultural constituencies would have been nil if this agreement had not been arrived at. It came just in time to save the farming community from a still more critical situation in the present year than any they had yet been faced with since this Government came into office.

You may prove on paper, if you like, that financially Great Britain gains more than we do, but calculations of that sort are not very convincing. The fact of the matter is that, in proportion, what we gain out of this agreement is far more vital to us than what the British gain out of it.

We are getting a lingering death by it.

Of course that is a point of view. It might be better that the crash should come——

The crash would finish it.

There is something to be said for that point of view. I admit that if the financial crash has got to come sooner or later, then perhaps the sooner it comes the better.

Is Deputy Belton becoming reconciled with Deputy MacDermot?

It is easy to be reconciled about Government policy.

There is always, however, the faint hope that the Government may see the light and may change their policy in time to avert the financial crash. Meanwhile, this agreement does give very much needed relief to the farmers.

There are certain lessons to be drawn from it that ought not to be missed. One is that the theory, which the Fianna Fáil Party are so fond of propagating, that the British are out to crush the economic life of this country, is an unfounded theory. If the British Government were out to crush the economic life of this country, they would never have consented to this agreement. They could have far better afforded to lose their market here for their coal than we to lose the market over there for our cattle. If they had been in the frame of mind represented by the Deputies opposite, they could have called upon the British electorate not to weaken in the struggle against the hereditary enemy. They could have told them that the Irish were near the end of their tether, and that they should hold out and not dream of giving any concessions like this. I think Deputies opposite should recognise that the fact that the British are ready to make amicable arrangements of this sort shows that there is not that sentiment of hostility and arrogance towards us on the other side of the water that they are fond of representing. There is another lesson to be drawn from it, and that is the simple and obvious one, that the British market does still exist, and that it is of the greatest value to us even when there is the state of things in existence that is described as an economic war. If that state of things were not in existence it can easily be deduced of how much more value to us that market would be.

The Fianna Fáil Party seem to be really incorrigible about their electioneering methods. One would have thought that after the series of exposures they have had to suffer in this House, with Deputy McGilligan and others standing up and reading out extracts that must have been very painful for Deputies opposite to listen to——

Not at all.

If the reading of those extracts was not painful to the Deputies opposite to listen to, then I fear that they must be lost to all sense of shame.

They were amusing.

They were very amusing. One would have thought that, having had to listen to the reading of all those extracts from their so-called political literature issued before the general elections of 1932 and 1933——

That was long before this Quota Order came into force.

Long before it, Sir—one would have thought that they would abstain from committing similar errors in the future.

They did not impress the jury.

But I find that, within a few weeks of their having made this coal-cattle arrangement, there is so little co-ordination apparently between those in the Fianna Fáil Party who are responsible for policy and those who are responsible for propaganda that they have actually got out a leaflet stating once more the old absurdity, that the British market has collapsed, that the buying power of the British public is a thing of the past—going, going, gone!—and that the path of economic wisdom is the path of self-sufficiency. To reconcile that line of argument with the pact which we are discussing this afternoon must, I think, be beyond the dialectical capacity of even the most ingenious Deputy opposite. I think that, apart from its practical advantages, the coal-cattle pact ought to have this special advantage in course of time: that a mere contemplation of its provisions ought to educate the Irish public as to the reality and the value of the British market and ought, taken in conjunction with a whole series of Government measures and even with a series of speeches by the Minister for Agriculture, which are wholly inconsistent with the old heresies about the decaying British market, the lack of British buying power and the fatal character, from our point of view, of British protectionist policy—taken in conjunction with these things, it ought to educate the public into a proper appreciation of the true situation. It ought to help the public to realise that the very policy of protection, the very policy of organisation and control which is being pursued in England with reference to agriculture, is a policy that suits us down to the ground if we only have the common sense to profit by it.

Anybody listening to Deputy MacDermot would realise the truth of the statements made about him by the very Deputy whom he quoted as exposing our falsehoods. Deputy McGilligan told the Deputy that he had no moorings in this country——

That was not so amusing.

Deputy McGilligan alluded to the Deputy as a national emergency man who had come in here. One had only to listen to Deputy MacDermot's speech and look back at what has occurred in connection with the coal-cattle pact and the economic war to realise the truth of what has been said. Since Deputy MacDermot has been so anxious that a lead should be given to us, I ask him and the Deputies opposite to follow the lead of the Welsh miners. Apparently there was no Lawrence of Arabia left amongst the Welsh miners to instruct them as to the pressure they were to bring on their Government to force a surrender. What was the position in regard to the coal-cattle pact? Agriculture in England was being protected by quotas. We had on hands here a certain number of cattle. I cannot do better than apply to these cattle the description used yesterday by Senator Counihan in the Seanad. Nobody will accuse the Senator of having Fianna Fáil leanings. Senator Counihan said that there was a certain number of cattle here that would not be bought at any fair and that they had to be got rid of at any price. We cannot help farmers who insist on following the old, bad policy. We see them carrying on the same old thing week after week, month after month and year after year and never getting three jumps ahead of the sheriff at any time. When markets are found for them at home they will not take advantage of them. We found that there was a large number of cattle which we could not get rid of readily. In order to get rid of them once and for all, we had to do this.

How were they got rid of before you got into power?

Any man who is farming knows that they were got rid of at a loss from 1928 to the present day. The loss is much bigger now than it was then, but the loss was there all the time. It would not pay you to produce beef for the British market from 1929 up to the present time. The value of your agricultural produce fell in the British market from 1928 to 1932 by £13,000,000 a year. You sent them more stuff and got £13,000,000 less for it.

How many millions less have we got since you came into office?

Deputy O'Sullivan stated last night that the loss was £6,000,000 in three years. That was the figure Deputy O'Sullivan gave last night. We could, with equal justice, argue that because of the attitude of Cumann na nGaedheal the value of our produce had dropped £13,000,000 in the three years previously and they were not going to have any change——

The policy of the Cumann na nGaedheal Party does not arise on this motion.

I am dealing with the coal-cattle pact and the reason why it was made.

The Deputy had proceeded to discuss the price of cattle in the British market in 1928.

Deputy MacDermot has told us what we should do. We are following the British policy of protection. That is what we are doing. That is what has driven up the price of wheat, about which Deputy MacDermot and the others are howling. That is why we have 200,000 acres of wheat this year. I hope that Deputy MacDermot will go down the country and tell the farmers how "broke" they are. Let him go down and talk to the small farmers of Galway and come back here with a verdict from the small farmers of Galway that he is right.

The Chair has no objection to Deputy Corry or any other Deputy going to Galway and fighting out that issue there. In the Dáil, however, Deputies must deal with the business ordered.

I am only replying to a quarter hour's speech by Deputy MacDermot, in which he devoted a great deal of time to Fianna Fáil promises from 1929 to 1932. That was going back a long way. I am dealing with the present day. I am advising these people who say that the agricultural community are not behind us in our policy to go down to Galway and prove it, and then come back here——

The Deputy must come back to the business before the House.

I will not go into that now. I have given reasons why this coal-cattle pact had to be made. If there are particular reasons those responsible are the Deputies opposite, because they went around the country telling the people: "Carry on in the old way. We will have these fellows kicked out of office to-morrow or after. Carry on in the old style. Do not grow wheat and do not grow beet. Wait until we get into office and we will get you back the British market." That was the cry, and that was the policy, and that is what left us with a surplus stock of cattle that we had to get rid of. I will not be in favour of continuing the coal-cattle pact very long. If they were to stick to the old policy they have a right to suffer for it. If Deputies opposite think it is not right, with all due respect to the Chair, they can take it to Galway.

In so far as this pact is a refutation of the statements of Ministers previous to last Christmas, that the British market for livestock was at saturation point, and that that market could not possibly take any more cattle, every Deputy welcomes the agreement. It proves, at least, that the capacity of the British market to consume our live stock is not yet exhausted. As a business arrangement, however, so much satisfaction cannot be expressed. Deputy Corry attempted to give some reason for the pact, but I do not think he enlightened the House very definitely on the point. We do not know whether it is the intention to make a permanent pact. There are indications that it may be. One Minister informed the House yesterday that investigations on the possibility of coal mining in Donegal were to be abandoned. Perhaps that is a hint as to the permanency of the pact arrangement. I do not know if that was intended. We have not even been informed if we are able to keep the pact. According to the Minister we hope to export as many cattle as were normally exported. There does not appear to be any reason why there should be an extraordinary surplus of cattle. Yet, we have the Government proceeding to exterminate some of the cattle we have, seeing that there is no relaxation of the order dealing with calves. In fact, there has been a great increase in that obnoxious performance because, according to figures that have been given, some 200,000 calves are to be slaughtered. It may be that we may not be able to fulfil our part of the pact, and to send 150,000 extra cattle because, apart from the number of calves to be slaughtered, and the reduction of stock, there are other difficulties connected with the exportation of cattle. There was a recent announcement by the Department of Agriculture that cattle marked in a certain manner could be no longer exported, if they were marked on the right ear. I do not know how many cattle there are in the country with such marking. The Minister for Agriculture should take the trouble to find out. I had a letter from a prominent breeder of cattle to-day in which he stated that he has 100 head of stock all branded on the right ear, and that that has been the brand used on his cattle at all times.

The coal-cattle pact as such was discussed on the Vote for the President's Department. The purpose of the Quota Order is, I understand, to implement that pact in respect to the import of coal. It would be difficult to separate the two aspects of the matter or to rule out of order the effect of the pact on the cattle trade. That question will certainly be debated on the Estimate for Agriculture. In view of these facts, Deputies might try to limit this discussion to coal.

If we are to discuss the coal-cattle pact in any reasonable way it would be necessary to make some reference to both coal and cattle.

There is the question of fulfilment of the pact, whether we will be in a position to fulfil our portion and the British their portion. I was trying to make the case that there was a possibility that we would be unable to fulfil the pact the Minister made. I do not intend to go into the whole question of agriculture because as you, Sir, rightly stated, that will arise on another occasion. There is, at least, a doubt when a man writes that he has 100 cattle that it will be impossible to export. There may be thousands of other farmers in the same predicament, with cattle so marked that cannot be exported. It may then be difficult to find the 150,000 extra cattle required. While references to previous years are not apropos to this debate, in reply to Deputy Corry I might say that there was a decrease in the value of cattle in 1929, 1930 and 1931. There was a world drop in prices in Great Britain as well as in other countries, and the capacity to buy was reduced. There has been a recovery in many countries, particularly in Great Britain. Statistics will prove that.

The English farmers do not think so.

The purchase of cattle and agricultural produce in Great Britain has greatly increased since the advent of Fianna Fáil. I am not suggesting that Fianna Fáil are responsible for the increased prosperity of Britain, but it is a coincidence.

The value of butter, for instance?

Great Britain has increased her imports of butter by 10 per cent.

At what price?

While this agreement is altogether against us, one would have hoped that the Government, if they were not themselves capable of making a better arrangement, would have, as has been suggested, consulted people concerned in the trade who would have enlightened them. As far as the financial end of the agreement goes, it is against us to the extent of about £1,000,000. The British will collect tariffs on these 150,000 extra cattle amounting to about £600,000.

I think that the Minister himself, or at least some Minister, said that the bounties were not affected. As far as I know, the bounties are still being paid. At least, I do not know that they are not being paid and, if they are being paid, that would amount to another £150,000. So that the direct loss in that way would be somewhere about £750,000. At the other end of it there is the tax of 5/- on coal that is being collected by the home Government here, which yields a sum computed by the Minister himself to be about £600,000. So that, in all, it is costing about £1,350,000. Even at that cost one would have welcomed the satisfaction it is to the farmers to get rid of their cattle in any other manner than by slaughter at fictitious prices. It is inconceivable to many of us, however, that a better arrangement could not have been made. For instance, take the arrangement for the export of 150,000 head of cattle. That arrangement was made at a time when Britain had already announced that she did not desire or need anything beyond the money about which there is the dispute, known as the economic war, and when we had Britain's subsequent admission that she was already collecting that money and something more. I hold that it ought to have been possible to arrange some method whereby we would not have had to pay that additional £150,000. It seems not unreasonable to believe that it could have been arranged in the pact that, while it was apparently impossible, or at least inconvenient, to arrange that the duties on these 150,000 head of cattle might be dropped, it might have been arranged that the British would make an all-round drop on the whole total including the 150,000. In that way a reduction of from 10/- to 15/- a head could have been arranged. I am certain that it could have been done if there had been proper business capability behind it.

Now that there is a pact and that the Minister can no longer say that Britain's capacity for assimilating our stock is finished, one hopes that there will be further pacts and that arrangements will be made for the exchanging of other portions of our agricultural produce, or any other produce that we can export, for something that Great Britain can import here and that, in the making of these new pacts, some regard will be had to the financial aspect of the matter so as to see that the financial result will not be against us in the way that it is very definitely against us in this particular coal-cattle pact. It is obvious from the statistics given by the British Parliament and by Ministers lately that there is considerable room for an increase in agricultural imports into Britain. It is obvious that there is considerable room for an increase in imports to Britain in every kind of agricultural produce, in live stock, in butter, of which I was forcibly reminded by Deputy Corry a moment ago, and in other kinds of agricultural produce. There is a great opportunity for increasing our market there in store cattle. The Ministry has pointed out, as being definitely against us in the increasing of our shipments of cattle to Britain, that Britain has recently made very definite arrangements with regard to quotas for the protection of her own cattle. Very rightly too, I should say. But the more they protect that the more they play into our hands, because the mere effort of Britain to produce more meat for her own population at the expense of the foreigner is, of itself, a practical demonstration that they will need more and more of our good store cattle and that the raw material for their beef can be more easily found, and at much better quality, in this country than in any other country in the world. There are obvious reasons why it is to Britain's advantage to take the store cattle from us rather than from anywhere else. In fact, with the exception of one or two countries, there is no place where they can get store cattle in any reasonable condition except in this country, and there is no doubt whatever that the store cattle they get from us are infinitely superior to the store cattle of any other part of the world.

There are obvious reasons why it is to Britain's advantage to take their store cattle from us. If they extend their production of fat cattle, they will need more and more Irish stores, and the shipment of Irish stores to Great Britain means much more to us than the shipment of fat cattle. It is altogether a more lucrative business to the farmer. It pays him better. Every farmer who has produced beef knows that it is just the last stage of finishing the article, to bring it to the condition in which it is eventually sold to the British consumer, that is the most costly. The Scotch farmers who produce the best beef on the English market have acknowledged that the Irish store is the best in the world. Taking everything together, I believe that there is every probability not only that we can maintain our present export, but that it can be very largely increased. I hope that this particular pact is only a forerunner of other pacts of a similar nature, with the hope that when the time comes for arranging these particular pacts, care will be taken to see that the financial accompaniments of the pacts will not be against us.

During the early part of this debate, and during the debate on the Budget, when the coal tax was adverted to, considerable stress was laid on the great hardship that the tax will mean to poor people. I think it is a good thing that stress should be laid on that. Personally, I regret that such a tax is necessary at all, but my reason for intervening is to say that if there were never a tax on coal, the question of coal for the poor, the question of its distribution amongst the poor, is one that cried aloud for attention. If this tax brings that question to the point where the Government will attend to it, then, I think, the tax will not have been so unpleasant as it looks to be at the moment. There is no single necessity with regard to which the poor are more exploited than with regard to coal. They do not know what it is to get good coal or to get coal at a reasonable price. When you take into account all the intermediaries that come between them and the actual producers of the coal, it is obvious that profiteering or, at all events, excessive middlemen's charges make the cost to them altogether more than it should be. There are factors, huxters, merchants, very often importers as well as merchants, and so on between them and the producers, so that by the time the coal reaches them, not only do they get the very worst quality of coal, but they get it at an outrageous price. It has to be admitted, I think, that this tax will not merely be a 5/- tax, but substantially more, and I suggest to the Government that it would well repay them to look into this question from the point of view of municipalisation. Without expressing any opinion whatever on the question of municipalisation by itself, I think that the question of the municipalisation of coal is one that would be almost certain to give advantages to the masses of the people.

I am afraid that it is very far away from this pact.

I am trying to make it relevant in that the question of the hardship that will be brought about by the tax has been referred to again and again. That question is inevitably bound up with the proposal for the approval of the coal quota. I thought that how that hardship could be evaded would be a legitimate point to bring into the discussion.

What about municipalisation of motor cars?

And the trams, which we were promised in 1931?

I do not know why it is that Deputy Belton should be opposed to the idea of municipalisation, unless he is in some way interested in the coal business.

Because it would make it dearer on the poor.

At all events, I think it would be a means of ensuring that the poor people would get a reasonable quality of coal, a thing they have never got. I had some experience during the period of the Great War of the distribution of coal and particularly of the way in which the poor people, of Dublin, especially, were exploited. I confess that, ever since, it has seemed to me a crying evil. I think that next to the bad housing that has prevailed in Dublin, it is one of the problems that calls most loudly for attention.

Why tax it then?

I am prepared to accept the statement that the coal tax is necessary as a means of raising revenue, but I think its hardship on those who will feel it most could be considerably mitigated if the Government took that step. I hope that if they do consider it they will not merely say that municipalisation is not a question for them and that the demand for municipalisation should come from urban authorities, because, after all, the Government have a bigger responsibility than any urban authority.

The Chair is even still more convinced that the municipalisation of coal is not relevant.

I apologise, Sir, and I will leave the question at that. The only further remark I would make is that Deputy MacDermot's experience on the hustings seems to be having a very marked effect on his speeches in the Dáil. His speech to-day was of a quality quite unlike his usual quality. He indulged in a considerable amount of what one might call bluff, and some of his references to shams and humbugs would make anyone who has read the speeches of himself and his colleagues during the present period, feel that the Deputy is trying to hide the phenomenal number of shams and humbugs who seem to exist amongst the members of his own Party. The Deputy forgot, when he referred to shams and humbugs on the question of the economic war, for instance, that he himself was supporting, last Saturday evening in Rathmines, the candidature of a gentleman who said at that meeting that Fine Gael was satisfied to take up the position that there was a question between this country and England which required determination, and again, that it is an eminently suitable question for determination by a suitable arbitration.

We are not going to arbitrate on the economic war now.

I was referring to Deputy MacDermot's attempt to get in thrusts of that kind and at the same time, to forget these extraordinary inconsistencies and expressions of difference of opinion within his own ranks and actually in his own presence.

I am afraid the discussion has wandered a little way from the coal-cattle pact. I shall try to bring it back, if I possibly can. It will be remembered that there was a thing very loudly proclaimed at the end of the war, at the time when we were looking for our freedom, called self-determination. The great cry was that all arrangements between the countries were to be open covenants, openly arrived at. I think that those who sit at present on the Fianna Fáil Benches were amongst those who were most loudly proclaiming against the iniquity of secret agreements and, in fact, on several historic occasions here they have held this Party up to ridicule as selling the country in a very disgraceful and underhand way by making secret agreements. Here we are face to face with a position in regard to this coal-cattle pact in which no evidence has been brought forward or submitted to this House as to who made that agreement. We were told in this House by the President that the agreement was never signed, but this pact was brought to this House and produced here as a fait accompli—as something entered into between two Governments. It must surely have been discussed before it reached finality.

The Minister, in introducing this quota to us last week, referred to it as an informal agreement. Between whom was that agreement arrived at? Some negotiations certainly must have taken place before this pact was arrived at. There must have been some interchange of ideas. Who acted on behalf of the Free State Government in these negotiations? Who acted on behalf of the British Government in these negotiations? I think we have a right to be told that. We have a right to be told when these negotiations began and how they arose. Somebody must have taken the initiative. Was it John Bull took the initiative, or did we? I should be very much surprised if the diehard policy, so evident on the other side of the House, would permit anybody sitting on those benches to take the initiative in a pact of this kind, which simply sold this country economically and nationally. I think this is one of the most disgraceful things ever entered into and, having regard to the conditions that surround it, it was a fool agreement and nobody in his proper senses would ever agree to it, having regard to the strong position we had built up for ourselves.

I will admit that, with regard to coal and the import of foreign coal, the Fianna Fáil Government had done something very strong to hit back at England in the place she could be hit. We were told by Fianna Fáil that the place she could best be hit was in her coal trade. What have we done now? Not only have we taken away any competition from the market, but we have given her a complete monopoly in our Irish market for coal. Even Deputy Moore is shocked by the conditions under which people have to buy coal in this country at the present time. Here we are buying English coal and not allowed to buy anything else. Dean Swift's dictum: "Burn everything English but her coal" has been quoted here and Deputy Corry, who made a speech, a sort of apologia, for this coal-cattle pact, denounced the English coal trade not so very long ago. Not only did he say that it should be tariffed but he said there should be a prohibition upon the import of English coal and that nobody should be allowed to use it. What is the position at the present time? We must buy English coal and we must buy it at any price which England likes to charge us for it and take any class of coal she likes to give us. Deputy Moore complains about how the poor are suffering. It is not because of the cost of distribution or because of rehandling by middlemen. It is due to the fact that your Government has entered into a secret agreement in the form of this pact.

I said precisely the opposite. I said that if there never was a tax on coal, this problem of decent coal at a reasonable price for the poor was one that was crying out for solution.

This represents 5/- a ton more profit.

The Deputy must admit that the whole position is aggravated by this tariff on coal and, furthermore, by the fact that England has a monopoly and is giving us an inferior class of coal. I know something about the coal trade; I have been engaged in it for years. We cannot get anything like the same quality which we used to get in this country about 20 years ago. We are paying 5/- per ton more now than we were paying before the economic war for better class coal. The Irish people are paying in direct taxation on their coal something like £600,000, and something like £500,000 in increased cost; that is a total increase of £1,100,000 for the sake of surrendering our national rights, and giving John Bull a complete monopoly of our coal trade; telling him he is going to have us by the throat for all time as far as the coal market is concerned.

What do we get for it? The right to send 150,000 more cattle into the British market this year. We might have got those in anyway, because, in spite of everything that has been said, England is still spending £300,000,000 on external agricultural produce, and surely to the Lord there is a place for our £30,000,000 or £40,000,000 of produce in that big market. Furthermore, the meat-eating capacity of the English people is on the increase, in spite of all we have been told to the contrary. On account of our geographical position we can give England a class of goods in the form of cattle which she cannot get from anywhere else. We are within three hours of her market. Is it not to England's advantage to keep this country as a place in which she will be able to secure good supplies when needed in times of stress, and should it not be our natural business outlook to take advantage of that position and make all we can out of it? We have thrown away our chance in this coal-cattle pact. We have shown John Bull our weak point, and given him an opportunity of hitting back. He knows how we are situated. We have weakened our position, not alone in this regard but in the whole matter of the economic war. In getting in this 150,000 more cattle we are paying £876,000 more in tariffs. We were going to retain all those moneys in Ireland according to Fianna Fáil. Are they being retained? Even the President now admits they are being dragged out of us. Another £876,000 will be dragged out of us under this coal-cattle pact. We will have to pay bounties on those cattle to get them into that market. The bounties on those cattle I calculate at something like £140,000. The whole thing, from a business point of view, is an outrage. From a national point of view it is a complete surrender. I cannot see that we have gained any advantage whatever. We have shown John Bull our weak points, and given him an opportunity of hitting us in regard to our most vital economy.

I think, Sir, that in regard to this coal-cattle pact we should, at least, get some more information about it. As I said in the beginning, we ought to be told when it began; who took the initiative; who negotiated; where was the agreement signed, and why was it not submitted to this House in some way before it was signed. Let us have no more talk about secret agreements when this kind of thing can be done. The whole economic advantage of this country is going to be thrown away to give John Bull the monopoly of the coal trade in this country, at a very high cost to ourselves.

Mr. Maguire

It is pretty evident from the speeches made from the opposition side that this coal-cattle pact appears to them to be a had one, which is rather surprising because of the fact that it is favourable to this country. If one is to form an opinion from the attitude of the Opposition, it seemed to them that we had at least very little to go bargaining with. We do not regard this as of any outstanding national importance. We consider it a poor bargain, but we do assert that with the materials which we had to bargain with it was the best that could be got. Let us take Deputy MacDermot's speech on the subject. He says that it indicates the goodwill of England towards this country, in so far as England could, if she willed, have refused to make such a contract, and put us into a position in which we would have a catastrophe hitting us this year, and thereby do a good turn to herself. If that is the point of view of the Opposition, does it not indicate clearly with what helplessness they as a Party would go forward to make a bargain in the same circumstances? According to Deputy MacDermot, England could, if she willed, continue the struggle in this year, and have brought us to such a position that we would be compelled to surrender. That is the mentality of the people who say, as Deputy O'Neill has said now, that we have made a bad bargain.

Deputy MacDermot also said that this is a secret agreement which might be put somewhat on a line with the secret agreement which we referred to as made by the Cosgrave Party. There is no parallel whatever between them. This is an open agreement which at the moment is beneficial to the people of this country, and was consequently entered into by the Government of this country, but it is not a binding agreement any longer than the Government considers it necessary and to the advantage of this country to keep it. What is the comparison to the secret agreement which Deputy MacDermot refers to? Is that an agreement which, at the will of the people or at the will of the Government of this country, can be set aside? If it is, what is England going to say to it? One is a written agreement, word by word legally advised, and signed as a contract by the representatives of two Governments. The other is an open agreement, in which two parties, anxious to make a trade agreement, make the best of the assets that they have on their hands, and form a bargain, leaving it open to be terminated at the will of one or the other. There is common sense, good business judgment and national honesty on the one hand. There are the opposites of all those qualities on the other.

Deputy Minch has a very sensitive mind. He says that his Party and himself refused to discuss this matter —that they always consider it advisable to leave business out of politics. He said that rather than jeopardise the position of the Government and the position of the nation they consider that their best service is to remain silent on public platforms and elsewhere in regard to this matter. It would be a good thing if that same sensitiveness which Deputy Minch has discovered in relation to this coal-cattle pact were also felt in relation to other business—for instance, in relation to the payment of land annuities. It would be a good thing if he had never made that speech which he made down the country telling the farmers not to pay their land annuities. If that same sensitiveness applied generally to the whole of the Party opposite, I suggest there would be no shooting of eight cows in Cork and no display of partisanship——

Which bear no relation to this motion.

Mr. Maguire

We are pursuing a policy which must be pretty evident to the Opposition, as well as to the British Government, and which is certainly evident, I suggest, to the people of this country. We met a contracting party and made the best bargain on the goods we had to sell, that bargain being capable of being altered at will. Our difficulty has been that we are selling an article for which we had a small limited market elsewhere. The only alternative that we have to meeting a situation so difficult as this one is to reduce our dependency in regards to that one particular class of goods. Our policy is aiming directly in that course. We consumed much more cattle in this country last year than ever before. This year and in future years we hope that the same will apply. We are in that way limiting the surplus quantity of that material for which we have to make a bargain. We are then in other directions and by other methods reducing to a reasonable extent that commodity which we have in surplus, and there is nobody of ordinary intelligence but must understand that according to the supply so will the demand be. It has been asserted that we have given away a national asset in so far as we have given the privilege to England of the sale of her coal here. We have done it to the extent that it was necessary to make a bargain in the interests of the community. But nobody will assert that during the same period we have not done everything possible to develop the national fuel resources. Deputies opposite may complain about paying an additional tax and burning English coal. They need not burn one pound of English coal, because there is plenty of turf available.

Nonsense.

Why get in coal at all then?

Mr. Maguire

The people who do not want to buy English coal can ask for turf and there are supplies available. There are also going on in an extensive way developments of our coal mines. Three years ago 100 men found employment in the Arigna coal mines. The owner of the mines told me last week that he now had 350 men employed and he was awaiting housing accommodation in order to put an additional 350 men into employment. Is not that the rational way to meet this emergency? Let us reduce to the minimum the commodities that we have to find in an outside market and let us develop to the maximum in our own country the commodities which we are at present depending on from an outside source. The policy of the Government in making this coal-cattle pact is merely to get over an emergency; it merely applies to a transition period; it is merely a bridge over a chasm that we are trying to fill up in order to save the country economically and give it an opportunity to develop its own resources and particularly its fuel possibilities.

Deputy O'Neill described the quota order as a demonstration of national surrender, as a bad bargain and as an unbusinesslike transaction. The Deputy ought to have remembered that his own leader welcomed the coal-cattle pact. It may be true that the Party opposite do not now see the coal-cattle pact in the same light as originally. I think in existing world circumstances a case can be made for a barter arrangement such as exchanging cattle for coal, but one has to look at the consequences which flow from an arrangement of that kind and observe the reactions on our own people. If the barter arrangement is going to have associated with it a scheme for imposing a tax upon our own people because they are compelled to consume a commodity which is not produced here, then it assumes a different complexion. If you could isolate the coal-cattle pact and eliminate the tariffs on both sides, the transaction would be a good one, but we cannot look at the coal-cattle pact in that light.

Originally the tax was imposed upon British coal in order to exclude it from the Free State market and every effort was made to give a preference to coal supplied from non-British sources. To that extent a tax of that kind was understandable. If that issue were raised by a quota order in this House I would have no hesitation in continuing that impost in existing circumstances on British coal so long as alternative supplies could be got from other countries. But we are not being asked to do that in this quota order. We are being asked to give a virtual monopoly to the British of the coal supplies to this country. When we look at the kind of coal the British are supplying we find it is inferior coal, that it is normally dearer coal than was formerly supplied and it bears an import duty which is borne entirely by our own people. If we are going to give the British a monopoly we ought to make sure that the coal is of good quality. The Minister must know by now that there has been considerable complaint against the quality of the British coal and it is dearer than the coal imported prior to the coal-cattle pact. The consumer here is being asked to take inferior coal and to pay more for it. On top of all that he has to pay a duty of 5/- a ton. We are not permitted to get coal from any other country except to a very limited extent, an extent scarcely equivalent to five per cent. of the requirements of the home market.

A originally conceived, the tax upon coal was meant to keep out British coal and give a preference to non-British coal. That was perfectly understandable. Now the tax is being used frankly and nakedly as a revenue tax. I strongly object to a tax originally imposed to exclude British coal from the Free State market being now utilised as a revenue tax. Such a tax in existing circumstances is unjustifiable, and it is especially so in view of the fact that this tax will affect the consumers with slender means, while the amount taken off income tax last year is not being restored.

Some effort has been made to defend this tax on the ground that it will help turf production. Does anybody who has studied the matter really believe that? Is there any difficulty in giving a preference to non-British coal which is a superior coal as compared with our present British imports and which can be bought more cheaply in the world market? If we are going to allow in coal from the point of view of the turf industry, it does not matter where the coal comes from. Any suggestion that this quota order will help the production of native fuel is all moonshine. From the point of view of coal or turf production here, it does not matter where we get our coal so long as we agree to import it. This quota order is a definite agreement to import coal from Britain. It puts a burden on the poor, the persons with slender resources. We are asked to accept in this expedient way the conversion of a tax originally imposed to prohibit imports of coal from Britain to a revenue-raising tax.

Efforts have been made to prove that this tax is necessary. You must have a tax upon coal in order, we are told, to supply certain kinds of services. Almost every tax which has been imposed in this year's Budget is sought to be explained away by certain kinds of new services. If you add up the total of these taxes you will find that the yield from them is capable of supplying the new services ten times over. I look upon this, not from the point of view of whether the coal-cattle pact is a good or a bad bargain. If you could eliminate the imposition of the tariffs on both sides the bargain would be a good bargain. Even if the tariffs were to remain, it would conceivably be a good bargain provided our own people were not asked to pay a tariff of 5/- per ton on the coal and be compelled to purchase that in Great Britain and not allowed to get the coal from other sources. I think asking us through this quota order to give a preference to an inferior quality of British coal purchased here at a price 5/- over that supplied by other countries, and bearing a burden of 5/- a ton, is a burden which our people ought not be asked to bear so long as there are alternative sources of taxation available. So long as that is the position I will have nothing to do with supporting the quota order designed to saddle our people with this additional tax.

I do not intend to heap any more coals of fire on those which have already been thrown at the head of the Minister for Industry and Commerce in connection with this secret agreement which has been designated a gentlemen's pact. When the vast majority of the Irish people were almost crushed out of existence by the Penal Laws, a member of the Protestant Ascendancy Party, and a very narrow-minded one at that, arose and sent forth this slogan: "Burn everything that comes from England except her coal." That cry became as it were the battle cry of a resurgent people. Now when we are in a position to negotiate on equal terms with "the hereditary foe, the base, bloody and brutal Saxon," there has gone forth a decree from Cæsar Augustus, otherwise the present Government, that the Irish people must burn nothing but English coal. Has there ever been such a complete volte face on the part of the Government? I welcome pacts because they foster international friendship, provided these pacts are founded on sound financial principles, but I ask the Minister when this particular tax is considered in its entirety, what political or what money advantages has it brought to the Free State? It is true that, to a certain extent, it has given relief to the farmers, who, owing to the economic policy of the Government, were overstocked. But at what a price? The farmers of Ireland are being permitted to export into England 150,000 extra cattle. These cattle carry a duty of £5 or £6 a head, payable to the British Government. In addition to that, they can only find their way into a competitive market, a market where they have to compete with cattle from almost every part of the world; whereas, on the other hand, British coal comes in here and gets a monopoly of the market. It has no competitor in the Free State. For that coal every consumer in Ireland has to pay a duty of 5/- a ton.

I cannot honestly say from a financial or from a national point of view that this pact is a good one. Deputy Maguire, a few moments ago, admitted that it was a poor bargain. I listened very attentively to what Deputy Norton said, and he put up a strong case against this particular pact which is going to inflict great hardships on a very large number of poor people, whereas the corresponding advantages are by no means proportionate to the hardships which it will impose on the people who are least able to bear the extra burden. I should like an explanation from the Minister why a tax which was avowedly put on coal as a war measure should be now retained for mere revenue purposes? I am sure the Minister will not deny and cannot deny that that tax was first put on as a war measure. It seems to me that it was a rather slippery, slim and slick way of doing things. In view of the coming coal-cattle pact which must have been in contemplation at the time, it was put on for the purpose of vindicating our determination to fight England in the so-called economic war, and then, when it was on, it has been left on and, as things now stand and in the present straits of the Government, will probably remain for this generation. For these reasons I cannot support the coal-cattle pact.

The one outstanding feature about the coal-cattle pact is that it has blown sky high the statements of the Fianna Fáil Party. We have had, from time to time in this House, mysterious statements from the Government back benchers with regard to the British markets. According to the Minister for Defence there was no room for another beast of ours in the British market. We were told by Deputies and Ministers the steps which the Minister for Agriculture had taken in order to protect agriculture, and all this showed conclusively according to the Deputies that the quota fixed by the British Government—before this pact for 150,000 extra cattle was made— was a perfectly fair quota as far as this country was concerned, and that it did not admit of another beast of ours being taken by the British. Now, after all that talk from the members of the Fianna Fáil Party about the collapse of the British market, and statements from people like the President that "the British market was gone for ever, thank God," we find after all that there was really room for 150,000 more of our cattle in England. With regard to the bargain itself, or as it was called, I think, at the beginning, a gentleman's agreement, there are a lot of people in this country who do not call themselves gentlemen, but who may be gentlemen. These people are very anxious to know about this agreement, very anxious indeed. There must be two parties to an agreement, and there were two parties in this case. We are entitled to know what benefits we are to receive for the price we pay. Deputy Norton has at last found out that there are a lot of iniquitous proposals made by Fianna Fáil, and the one which puts a tax of 5/- per ton on coal is certainly a very iniquitous one.

Your Party made a fair contribution to the inquity too.

Coal was never taxed up to this. It took Deputy Norton's associates to put a tax on coal and extend it to the poor.

You put it on things which are even more needed.

Let us see what are the benefits we are to receive from the coal-cattle pact, under which we are asked to fix a certain quota for the imports of coal, as against what we pay. This agreement has been called from this side of the House a secret agreement, but Fianna Fáil says it is not a secret, but an open agreement. What they mean by an open agreement we do not know. Deputy Maguire was very anxious to impress on the House that the agreement he favoured, and which apparently the Government favour, is an agreement which they can break any time they like. That is important. This is an agreement which they can go back upon. It is not a written agreement and nobody has signed it; consequently, they can go back upon it. They are afraid, apparently, to make any other kind of agreement. What are the benefits conferred upon us by this agreement and the benefits conferred upon Great Britain? After all if we make a bargain we ought to see what we are to receive for what we pay. We get rid of 150,000 cattle.

We are supposed to under the gentlemen's agreement.

Will the Minister back that?

As a matter of fact, I asked the President in a Parliamentary question some time ago and that was his answer—150,000 cattle.

And we pay £6 a beast on them.

That is the President's answer. I quite agree with a lot of speakers when they say that this coal-cattle pact was welcomed by the farmers. It was welcomed, because they were driven into such a state of destitution by the Fianna Fáil policy that they could not get rid of the cattle at any price.

The old ones.

The old cattle. They could not get rid of them at all; and we are now getting rid of 150,000 at a very bad price. What is Great Britain getting for her part? She is ranking, by way of penal tariffs, something like £750,000 into her Exchequer on the 150,000 cattle.

She gets £6 a beast.

In addition to that £750,000, she has put 5,000 men who were on the dole at work in her coal mines, according to Mr. Thomas. In addition to that, we are also informed by coal importers in this country that, because of the monopoly which Great Britain has in sending coal here, they have to pay 3/- per ton more for British coal than importers in any other part of the world. We get rid of 150,000 cattle, plus £750,000, and we also get the privilege of paying 5/- per ton more to the Government. The Minister for Industry and Commerce stated yesterday in the Seanad that he intends to reap £600,000 benefit for the Exchequer from the coal tax and, according to the coal importers, we are getting inferior coal.

What I want to know is, what assurances did we look for under this gentlemen's agreement that Great Britain would give us coal of a certain standard quality and that she would give it to us at the world price—the price at which she supplies it to other people? Apparently, we simply have to take what we get and we have to pay the Government here £600,000 for the privilege of taking British coal only. Deputy Maguire told us that this was a perfectly good business arrangement, a good business bargain. I must say that, in the West of Ireland, at least, I am afraid if a man went to a fair and made a bargain like that he need not go home to his wife, because she would not let him in. And the Government stated that we ought to thank them for all this!

Deputy Corry rambled a bit, but he mentioned certain figures with regard to the British market. He also mentioned that the reason our farmers are impoverished to-day is because they are pursuing the old methods and the old policy. I ask Deputy Corry, or the Minister for Industry and Commerce, as far as wheat and beet are concerned, whether, when we reach the saturation point of production, we will have then provided employment and provided remuneration for the whole of the agricultural community?

I cannot answer that on this motion.

No, and I would not expect the Minister to be able to answer that during any other debate on that question. The Minister told the Seanad yesterday that we had practically no surplus cattle now. Are we to assume that the Minister has been led into the same swamp as the Minister for Agriculture when he stated that if we want to be better off we must produce less? Does the Minister for Industry and Commerce believe that because we have less cattle we are better off and we have more wealth? The Minister for Agriculture told us in this House some time ago that if we wanted to get better prices we would have to control production and produce less. That is a new policy—the less we produce the greater our profits.

While the farming community, which has been driven to desperation, welcomed this pact which took the cattle off their hands and put them into a market where we knew there was room for them, but where the Government said there was not, and while I welcome anything that will help the farmers to get rid of their stock, I say the bargain was a bad bargain, and that the interests of the country were not looked after. We have no assurance with regard to the quality of the coal we will get, or the price at which we will get it, and we have to pay the Government here, according to the Minister's anticipation, £600,000 per annum for the privilege of this monopoly for the supply of coal.

Is the Deputy going to vote against it?

This is a bad bargain, and Government speakers agree that it is a bad bargain, but, by way of excuse, they say that it was the best they could get. Bad as it is, it was welcomed on this side of the House. The Government made such a bargain necessary by their wild policy. They had to surrender and to take anything that they were able to get. Deputy Corry said that people who had cattle to sell made it necessary for the Government to accept such a bargain. Perhaps that is so. If no people reared cattle in this country it would not be necessary to make such a bargain. I agree with Deputy Corry, but I want to know what alternative policy Deputy Corry puts up?

He was not allowed to tell the House his alternative policy. He endeavoured to tell the House, but was not allowed to do so.

That was a great pity.

We are discussing this coal-cattle pact, and the merits of the pact. So long as it is maintained that a surplus of cattle in the country has made that pact necessary I submit, with all respect, that I should be allowed to deal in a short way with it. I quite admit that if there were no cattle in the country the alternative markets would not be necessary, and it would not be necessary to make this pact. But what is the alternative? What is to be done with the 16,000,000 acres of land in the country?

The Deputy will have an opportunity of telling the House all about that on the Vote for the Department of Agriculture.

Very well, I will leave it until we have such an opportunity, but there is an old saying that when a lie once gets a start, it is hard to overtake it. Deputy Norton said that it does not matter from what country we get our coal, provided we get it cheap. There is another side to that. Supposing we took from Germany the equivalent of what Germany would take from us in the shape of 150,000 head of cattle. Bad as the English market is at present, would Germany take that extra supply from us?

We need not tax the coal that we buy from Britain.

But then they could not balance the Budget.

I understood the Deputy to say it did not matter where we bought the coal if it was not taxed. The Opposition are accused of making capital out of this coal-cattle pact. I assure the Government that is not so. The Opposition do not want to make political capital at the expense of the Government out of this pact. It is hardly ever referred to in the country because the Opposition liked to see the Government moving in that direction. They encouraged them to move in that direction, and hope they will go further and make more gentlemen's pacts of that description. We thought it was only a beginning, and that was why no capital was made out of it; and that is why this Party refrained from using it for the purpose of making capital out of it. It is only when it comes up for consideration in this House that it is discussed in the right way. As Deputy Norton said in the beginning, coal was taxed first for the purpose of inflicting a blow upon the other party to the economic war. But when that blow was administered to the enemy, the enemy, instead of yielding to that blow, continued to impose taxes upon our cattle. They reduced the quota and, in order that we should get back to the position that we were in before coal was taxed, this pact had to be made. That is the position the Minister has got the country into and that is why it was necessary to make this pact. Nobody knows who made it. The Minister, and other Ministers on the Government Bench, are afraid to tell the House who is responsible, or who signed the pact, and made this gentlemen's agreement. It must be a bad agreement when they are ashamed to acknowledge who is responsible for it.

A great deal too much capital was made out of an agreement made by ex-President Cosgrave when he was in office. I think his agreement was an honourable agreement. He signed it and stood over it. With regard to the coal-cattle pact, nobody is coming forward to claim responsibility for it. I think we should be told who is responsible for it, and who did make this pact. It can do no harm to tell us who made it; it would be better for all concerned to know and the House is certainly entitled to that information.

I, like other Deputies, should like to know from the Minister something more definite about this coal-cattle pact. A number of Deputies have spoken on this subject and amongst them two or three from the Government Benches. So far as we have been enlightened in any way by their speeches it amounts to this: From Deputy Moore we have the statement that the pact was bad, was admittedly bad, because it imposed a 5/- tax on every ton of coal coming into this country. He said it was bad for the reason that coal was one of the essential commodities purchased by the poor. He then went on to stress the fact that coal should be municipalised. In other words, the only argument which we had from Deputy Moore, one of the Government spokesmen on this pact, was that it is a bad one, and that if it is good in any respect, it is only good because it helps to accentuate to the full the problem that exists so far as the poor are concerned in the matter of coal. We then had Deputy Ben Maguire of Leitrim, and his contribution to the debate was that this was not a written agreement; that we did not sign it, and, therefore, we could get out of it any time we liked. That was the effect of his outlook; and it is typical of Fianna Fáil policy in regard to all agreements. Only make agreements that you can break, and get out of, whenever you find them in any way inconvenient. He then went on to say that he did not regard the bargain as of any national importance. I sometimes torture myself by reading the Irish Press. For the last year or perhaps longer the Irish Press has been talking about the powerful weapon in the hands of the Government in the shape of the tax on British coal, and, in the fact, that there are alternative markets from which we could get our coal supplies. It was pointed out, over and over again, that the strongest, and in fact the only weapon we had in the economic war was the coal tax. Miners in Wales and England, we were told, were crying out, and British members of Parliament were going to the Government, week after week in delegations, pointing out that something should be done.

The sole weapon which we had in our hands to fight the economic war has been handed over, so that we may now take it the economic war is over, so far as we are concerned. People generally do not seem to realise that the economic war ended in this country and that we were hopelessly defeated when this pact was signed. The only weapon we had was handed over to the British. Some of the Ministers who speak at the by-elections pending at the moment might make that plain to the people in the two constituencies concerned. The economic war was finished when this coal-cattle pact was entered into. What other weapon have we? We have an adverse trade balance in this country of £20,000,000.

Not on the coal-cattle pact.

The loss on that forms a very substantial portion of the adverse balance.

And our adverse balance used to be bridged principally by cattle sales.

Furthermore, the Deputy for Leitrim told us that this pact was a common-sense, good business pact. Did anyone ever hear such nonsense? Where is the good business or the common sense in the pact? The British are to export over here something like 2,000,000 tons of coal per year, and we are to have imposed on us a tax of £600,000 on that coal for their benefit. What do we get in return? There is no quid pro quo. A question that would occur to anyone hearing of the coal-cattle pact is: what else besides coal and cattle does it relate to? So far as the coal and cattle are concerned, we are paying the tariff on the coal, of which we have given a monopoly to the British, and we are also paying the tariff on the cattle. What else is there in it? Where do we get any benefit from it? There is only one side to the pact. I shall certainly be extremely interested when the Minister gets up and proceeds to unfold the conditions under which this pact was arranged. The President said that this was an ordinary business transaction and that we were going, which God forbid, to enter into other similar transactions. I should like the Minister to tell me what this pact means, because there are people who expect that Deputies of this House will be able to tell them something about such matters. I hope that when the Minister comes to reply he will go into the whole question of the pact and tell us something about it—what it does, when the pact was made, who made it and what its contents are, so that I shall be able to inform the people who question me about it.

Deputy McGovern has said that this is the best pact that the Government could make. I do not agree with that, although it is the best we ever expected them to make and the best they have made up to date. If it brings us through a certain sort of Purgatory, fired by British coal, into the Paradise when we will have no longer a surplus of cattle to send to England, that is only the irony of circumstances. At any rate, in popular language, it is a case of "Heads you win, tails we lose." On the coal-cattle pact the British win at every point. There are two questions pertaining to the whole making of the agreement that have not been answered, although these questions have been put more than once. Who made the pact? What Minister recommended it to the Executive Council? We know that the Executive Council have collective responsibility for it, but was it at the behest of the Minister for Agriculture, who wanted to get rid of some cattle by means other than killing them over here, or was it at the behest of the Minister for Industry and Commerce, who repented of his attitude towards British coal and wanted to range himself against those Deputies who want others to believe that it is protection for Irish turf?

A still further point has to be made. We know that the pact broke upon an astounded Irish Free State some time early in January of this year. We know also that early in December the Minister for Defence used certain language in reference to the British market which, if a Deputy of this Party had used it, would have been denounced as traitorous. He said that we had already got the best quota that could be arranged for in the British market. This seems to indicate, reading between the lines, that prior to the middle of last December that pact had been put up at least once and had been refused. It was in these circumstances open to Ministers to use the language which they used on that occasion but then for once they did something better, the pact was resurrected and brought to a conclusion. At any rate, Deputy Norton, who talks about receiving his Nationalism from the cradle, where I think he also gets his economics, woke up from his early sleep to find that having voted for this tax, as a weapon against the British, he had imposed a tax of 5/- per ton on the only coal which the people of this country were permitted to buy. The Government had gone 100 per cent. British in the period between Christmas Day and the New Year, the holy season of peace and goodwill towards men. Probably that is what led up to this whole business. The ancient heroes were supposed to fear the Greeks when they brought gifts. The British evidently do not fear our cattle because they bring the annuities with them. There is no cause for fear so long as the money is being brought to them.

I do not know the gentlemen who negotiated this gentlemen's agreement, but I wonder if it was beneath their dignity to mention that a member of the British Government, the Secretary for the Dominions, stated on July 4th, 1932, in the House of Commons, that they wanted power to impose this tariff in their own way, at their own time—"impose it in such a way that they feel the circumstances warrant, but only to obtain the amount due and not one copper more. When that amount is obtained we shall cease." That is a specific promise made in the House of Commons by the Secretary of the Dominions. Yet the Chancellor of the Exchequer tells us that he is going to get £500,000 more from these duties than he expected. Why are we forcing this £500,000 on him? Did anybody say to the British when this pact was being negotiated: "Will you cease collecting tariffs on our produce when you have received all you say we owe you? According to your own statements, you have collected more than we owe you already." Why heap on them another £500,000? Unless the Minister tells us that the British were deluding themselves into the belief that they had collected more than was due to them, when as a matter of fact they had not, we shall require some explanation as to why he wants to give them £500,000 more. If there are reasons for giving them this £500,000, they are what the Minister would have described as treacherous some time ago.

In December we were told by the Minister for Defence, speaking of his colleague, the Minister for Agriculture, that they had examined the quotas and that they were quite convinced they were fair, that they had to be judged by previous imports into England as if that were the only basis on which quotas could be discussed. The British gave another ground on which this matter could be discussed. At any rate, round about the time that apparently this was in contemplation, the Minister assured us: "We are republicans here, we are at daggers drawn with the British. There is an economic war on and anybody who says anything to us is a traitor, but the British are fair as far as cattle are concerned." The British claim that we have given them the full market they had in 1931 and this is put up as a good bargaining agreement. The British have got a proper consideration for what we receive from them. Let us see what they gain by this. They gain a much larger market than they had in 1931 in the Irish Free State. Secondly, they are going to get a monopoly of our coal purchases as a result of which they say they will be able to put 5,000 miners into employment together with a couple of thousand people who will get continuous employment at their ports. I think we can take that statement with a grain of salt. I do not believe that as a result of this agreement they will get 5,000 miners back into employment or a couple of thousand workers into employment at the ports, but they claim that.

We should be taking these things into consideration when the people on the other side of the bargaining table say that is what they are getting. We should say: "Very well, we will write that down against you." In addition they say that the British Government will effect a very useful saving in unemployment relief and, lastly, that British industry will receive a not inconsiderable stimulus towards improvement. That is a fair tot. They are going to get £500,000 in duties more than they wanted, they are going to get virtually the entire market in this country for their coal. We will leave out for the moment what we are paying for that coal because that is another disadvantage to us. They are going to put back about 5,000 miners into employment and a couple of thousand workers at the port with a useful saving in their Unemployment Fund and, lastly, they are going to get a valuable stimulus for British trade. According to the Minister's estimate, by buying all British coal we are going to tax ourselves by an additional £600,000 a year.

But this arrangement goes much worse than that. In commenting upon it the English Times used the phrase, that “the special import duties now imposed on Irish cattle will be maintained, and, therefore, the Irish producer cannot expect a higher price for his cattle,” but at least, the newspaper says, “his market will be increased and his industry will not be threatened with a contraction”—I ask Deputies to mark the phrase at the end—“which in the long run and particularly in times of emergency, would not be to the advantage of either country.” The British do recognise that it is an advantage, from their angle, that in times of emergency there should be a thriving cattle industry here. Surely whoever negotiated this agreement for us must have had that somewhere in the foreground of his consciousness and must have brought it out as an item for consideration.

I ask Deputies to add all that up: £500,000 more than the British say they wanted, miners and workers at the ports getting back into employment, the stimulus to British industry and the recapture of virtually the entire market for their coal here. They also dangle in front of our noses this fact that we can still continue to export at a loss. That is the position that has been brought about by Fianna Fáil. We will continue to encourage the live-stock industry here because the British would like to have it in times of emergency.

The last feature of this arrangement is possibly the worst of all. In the same leading article the London Times wrote that “in view of the frequently canvassed suggestion that a levy on imports should be made and used for the benefit of British producers of beef, the large prospective increase in the total yield of the duties will not pass without notice.” In saying that they were pointing the moral that, apparently nobody here could see that this £500,000 going across the Channel is not being appropriated to recoup the British for the withheld moneys. It is not ear-marked for that purpose. When it is asked what that money will be used for, immediately the London Times throws out that bait to the British producer of beef and he fastens on to it at once. “A large prospective increase in the total yield of the duties will not pass without notice.” It was noticed at once by the National Farmers' Union in England. Two meetings were held to discuss the matter. At first they were inclined to be restive about the idea of letting in this number of Irish Free State cattle. Then, apparently, the President of the Association got in touch with the Minister for Agriculture on the other side and brought back to the National Farmers' Union a message which stilled all further comment upon this. The message can be gleaned from the reports published in the newspapers. It amounted to this. At the moment, Mr. Ratcliffe said to the Union, we are looking for help for the British producer of beef. The subsidy that was being granted will expire on the 31st March next. It will lapse then unless a Bill is introduced in the House of Commons. Here, he said, is a new fund; here is £500,000 dropped into England, and here is the nucleus of a big subsidy for cattle producers in England. We are going to fasten on to it. They have fastened on to it, and have made good their argument. The result was that before the 31st March of this year, the Minister for Agriculture in England introduced a measure granting a subsidy for a period of three months. Possibly it will be continued for another three months. The position with regard to Free State cattle is again in the balance, because we understand they are considering in England the imposition of a levy on meat imported. Do we know what is likely to happen in connection with that? Have our delegates who negotiated this agreement been in consultation with the people on the other side in connection with that?

Can we be told what the British do mean with regard to a levy? Is this £500,000, that we are giving them for nothing, going to be counted as our contribution to the levy to help the British producer and to enable him to get into the things that we are so anxious to get out of? Have the Government any philosophy on this, and was it expressed by a Minister the other day when he said that the position we want to reach here is that we will have no surplus to export? If that is the philosophy of the Government, why not go out and make a bargain definitely and decently asking the British to buy our herds from us? Give them over to England and get some money for them. I suggest that it would be better to do that than to be sending over our cattle in this haphazard way and making agreements of this description. The President has admitted that the money is now taken from us in a way that hurts us more than if it were being paid over directly as formerly.

The House has been asked to approve of an arrangement under which we are to admit into this country nothing except British coal. The British have not Deputy Maguire's feelings about Irish coal or turf, because they know quite well that they have virtually the entire of the Irish market for coal. They have no competitor here, and they can charge what they please. As a matter of fact, they are charging more than what was expected would be the increase. The increase in the price of coal is not merely 5/- per ton. It has been somewhere in the neighbourhood —at least the minimum increase—of 6/- per ton, while the average would be about 7/- per ton. That is what we are asked to do so far as payments here are concerned. We are to give the British a monopoly here for their coal, and to export our cattle at a loss. The Fianna Fáil philosophy at one moment appears to be that it is better to export at a loss than never to export at all? We are going to export at that loss, and the British are going to get the money that these cattle will carry into England on their horns. That money is going to give the British £500,000 more than they want. We either say to them: "We are sorry, there is a miscalculation; you have not got all the money that we think you should get," or else we say: "What about the extra £500,000 that you are getting, and which you say is going to put back British miners and, to some extent, British dockers into employment?" I do not accept the figures that have been given but, at any rate, this extra £500,000 is going to relieve to some extent the British unemployment fund. At the same time we are building up the nucleus of a fund which will be added to, apparently, by a tax on other meat and possibly a further tax on our meat. All that is going to enable the British producer to get into that commodity that we are so desperately anxious to get out of on patriotic grounds.

Why the British producer should want a subsidy is hard to find from anyone in this country, when you take the prices that were paid on the Dublin market on Thursday, 6th June. The average price for beasts ranged from 22/- per cwt. down to 18/6. Take the quotations for the same class of stock in Northern Ireland. The prices there ranged from 60/- per cwt. down to 32/-. With those prices prevailing, the farmers in Northern Ireland say that they want a subsidy, while our Minister thinks that we ought to be well satisfied by getting our cattle sent abroad, thus bringing in an extra £500,000 to the British, which they say they do not want. The best price that can be obtained for cattle here is from 22/- to 18/6 per cwt. The Minister for Industry and Commerce at one time disputed the idea that there was any smuggling going on. He did not believe that there was any cross-the-Border traffic in cattle. After much argument he said that he would not even admit to 100 going across the Border. It was necessary for his argument that that should not be admitted because, otherwise, there has to be admitted some reason why the people on this side should be so anxious, other than for the mere joy of the thing, to send cattle across the Border.

Deputy Norton feels aggrieved about this arrangement now, but believing himself to be a patriot, he voted for certain of the emergency imposition of duties. He need not be annoyed about having walked his very people into this, because the Minister for Finance said the other day that if he could not get the money from coal, then he would have to get it from some other source. But the Minister himself knows that the Budget is a complete revelation of this fact: that the ordinary sources of revenue, such as Excise and income tax, have reached the point that it is impossible to put any further taxation on them. Therefore, the Government when hard pressed for money have to turn to the things that the people must eat: butter, sugar and tea.

When you get to that point, it is a very easy matter to jump in a tax on coal. As the Minister says, if we had not got this £500,000 from that source, we should have to get it elsewhere. We should have to put a little extra on tea or sugar, or butter or bread. The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Finance asked the other day: "Why should not taxes fall on the working classes?" That is the Parliamentary Secretary with whom the Labour Party have been so often disputing on the question of having wages paid on relief schemes equated to the wages paid to agricultural labourers. The view of the Parliamentary Secretary is that if the wage that is being paid on these works, 22/-, were not paid, the workers in certain areas would tear the man who took the money from them limb from limb. That shows the level which has been reached. If this tax had not been put on coal, it would have been put on something else used by the working classes. It is not a mere accident that it is imposed on the working classes. The Parliamentary Secretary has asked: "Why should not the working classes be taxed?"

He has not asked that on this motion.

He asked it in relation to a tax on necessities, which included coal.

Not on this motion.

I agree. Deputy Norton has raised a point as to the inequality of this tax, because it is imposed on something that the poor must use. He should not be at all surprised. That is the point to which we have been driven in relation to taxation. Can we get a clear philosophy— economic, political or other—as to what Fianna Fáil is tending towards? The Minister said, with a touch of glee in his voice: "We will soon be in a position when there will be no surplus." Does he mean that there will be no surplus over the amount we eat, or does he mean that there will be no surplus over that and the amount required to pay the British the amount withheld from them? Does he mean no surplus after paying the amount of the annuities and this half million gift as well? At what point is it desirable to chortle about victory in the way of wiping out a surplus? If we are aiming at having no surplus, this is a good pact, because it is certainly going to help to wipe out any exportable surplus of this type. But we gain nothing from it. The only thing the farmer Deputies on this side can say is that they welcome it because it is better than nothing. It is better than being paid for killing the beasts. It is not so flagrantly heretical as giving bounties for slaughtering cattle, or pouring out milk or burning coffee, or any of the other things about which Fianna Fáil were so indignant at one time, but to which they have now to turn as a remedy for the situation brought about by their own blunders.

Is a better bargain than this possible? Of course, it is. When the Minister for Defence spoke about this question before, he described our treatment by Britain as fair. The standard by which he judged was the former imports of other countries into England. I remarked that the British could be fairer, and the Minister's retort to that was that, on the argument I was using, we could claim the whole British market. Possibly that claim could be made, based upon the fact to which Deputy McGovern was allowed to allude in passing, namely, that we send out £38,000,000 for goods, mainly purchased from Great Britain, and that we only get back £18,000,000 —mainly from Britain. Therefore, we do present a big field for exploration, in the marketing sense, to Britain and to British products. The English Times has at the back of its thought on this matter the reflection that, in the long run, and, particularly, in times of emergency, it would not be to the advantage of either country to have a contraction of the cattle industry here. Surely, that reveals the particular mentality with which we can bargain in England. Surely, it applies to something more than that item, looked on as a bargaining factor in this coal versus cattle transaction. Surely, it extends to the whole trade relations. That matter was referred to by several Deputies in December, when the Minister for Defence and the Minister for Agriculture were speaking on this question. Deputies urged then that there were three things to be taken into consideration—(1) that this country offered an enormous market for British goods—they have virtually a monopoly in coal; (2) that, in times of war, this country would be of valuable advantage to England from the angle of supporting herself; (3) that there is definitely, whatever Ministers may say, a recognised sentiment between the two countries that would give us a better footing than any of our competitors, even competitors of the Dominion type. Taking all these things into consideration— our trade, our position in time of emergency, and the touch between the two countries—we are told that this is a good bargain, when we are giving Britain virtually a monopoly of the coal trade and paying Britain £500,000 more than, according to the Minister I have quoted, they want to collect from us. If Fianna Fáil considers that a good bargain, let us hope that the President's wish will not be realised and that we will not have more of these good arrangements.

Will the Minister tell us who is responsible for this pact? Who recommended it to the Executive Council? Who is bold enough to stand up in this House and say that he stands for this as a good agreement and why he so stands? Will the Minister tell us, particularly, the date of the agreement? Perhaps the Minister would also tell us if this pact was brought here as a suggestion more than once, if it met with different treatment on the first, second or third occasion, or whatever the number of occasions was before it was finally accepted, and if there was, at any time, any suggestion that the British would be satisfied with the amount they were getting, and that the total tax should spread over the total number of cattle, including the 150,000? The British are not concerned whether we tax their coal coming in here or not. But it was a matter of vital concern to us whether these extra 150,000 cattle should bear the tax of £6 or £7 per head or whether the entire number of cattle should be taken into consideration when the amount of money the British wanted to get from us, and are getting from us, was under consideration. We have to think of what the President said the other night regarding this question. The moneys, he said, are being extracted from as with greater dislocation and more hurt than if we paid them freely. People who might think that this was only a temporary matter were told by the President—"As to the dispute with Britain, while we regret it, we see no way out." The moneys are being taken from us. Will the Minister go further and tell us—in case he resorts to the usual argument, that we put up no alternative—if he is driven back to the conclusion he put by way of interjection to Deputy Norton and which he stated in the Seanad later, that this money is required as revenue? Does the Minister recollect that he promised that, out of the moneys saved from Britain, over and above the moneys to be applied to complete derating, there would be £2,000,000 by way of economies capable of being effected without inflicting harm on anybody or slashing salaries? Let us take this promise. Leave out the other promises. I have seen a calculation that on bread, butter, sugar and tea the taxation will amount to more than £3,133,000. If we had all the economy that was promised, we could have all that revenue and we would not have to put it on other things. We were promised an economy of £2,000,000. If we got that, Deputy Norton would not have to belabour the Government in a rather inoffensive way because occasionally the people he is supposed to represent are hurt.

I hope I will be allowed to answer and to deal with all these matters.

The Minister will have plenty of opportunities. Will he remember that an answer is required rather than saying: "You are wrong, and you always knew you were wrong?" That is the favourite argument of the Minister.

You are occasionally right.

That is what I call, if the phrase will be pardoned, the "lip" that passes for argument. It is only of the guttersnipe type and reveals a complete absence of argument. There were other promises made. They are not being carried out, and, therefore, there has to be this other taxation. Now, there is the tax on coal. If it was not introduced under the guise of a coal-cattle pact, it would be part of the Minister's Budget statement. That has been avoided. They have avoided presenting that picture to the people, but the fuel of the poor is being taxed, simply because there is no other way to get the money that the Government requires. In other debates people can read the answer as to why other taxes are not yielding what they yielded previously. The Minister will be able to square that with his theory that there is bigger and better industrial prosperity now, all marked by a decreased yield in taxation, and all marked by the situation that we have, when the necessities of the poor must be taxed, although we are told we are in the midst of prosperity. Certainly an answer is required.

It is somewhat difficult to conclude this debate, because it has not been made clear at any stage by Deputies on the opposite benches precisely what is the attitude of their Party on the motion before the House. I had to listen to various speakers for two hours on June 4th, and for three hours to-day, and I am no wiser now than I was at the beginning as to what precisely the Party opposite are going to do on this motion. No Deputy, no official, and nobody who listened to the debate from the beginning can say with certainty whether the Fine Gael Party are going to vote for or against the the resolution.

What resolution?

The resolution we are supposed to be discussing.

If Deputy McGilligan thinks I am trying to make a debating point against him, on the ground that the resolution refers only to the order that imposed the quota restriction on coal, I may tell him straight away that I have no such idea. I am referring to the coal-cattle pact, and to the agreement out of which the Quota Order arose. What is the attitude of the Party opposite to it? Did a single Deputy on that side speak the mind of the Party? Deputy Mulcahy, apparently, was against it. He did not say so precisely, but pretended to argue that the arrangement was going to cost the people of this country £1,600,000. I presume, from the fact that he convinced himself that that cost was involved, he is likely to be opposed to the arrangement and will vote against it. He did not say so definitely. He was followed by Deputy O'Sullivan, who was somewhat undecided as to his attitude, but, in the end, he favoured the pact and the motion. The coal-cattle pact itself was not, he said, objectionable. Deputy Morrissey came out whole-hog against it. He said it was a one-sided pact in which all the advantages went to Great Britain. Therefore, I presume, he is opposed to it and is in a somewhat different camp from that occupied by Deputy O'Sullivan. Deputy Esmonde went further and said it was evidence of a conspiracy between the Governments of the Irish Free State and Great Britain to rob Irish farmers. I take it that Deputy Esmonde definitely opposes it. Deputy Minch also spoke, but, at the end, I did not know what his attitude was. I do not think he referred to the pact at all. Then we had Deputy MacDermot. He made it very clear, in his opening remarks, that he regarded the pact with more pleasure and satisfaction than some of his colleagues. I take it that he is in favour of it. Deputy J.M. Burke said that the pact was not a good one politically or financially and that he could not support it. Deputy Brennan said it was a bad bargain, and I take it he is opposed to it.

Deputy Brennan said it was a bad bargain. Deputy Burke said it was not good politically or financially and that he could not support it.

I said it was the best that could be achieved.

That is what the Deputy said. Deputy O'Neill said it was a fool agreement; the most disgraceful agreement the Government ever made. Deputy McGilligan said it was the best agreement.

No. I said it was the best agreement you could make. Do not quibble.

Deputy Bennett said he hoped the Government would make other similar pacts. Deputy McGuire said: "God forbid that the Government will ever enter into other pacts like it." And they are all in the same Party! I appeal to Deputies opposite——

What about Deputy Moore?

——for the sake of the dignity of the country and in order to save the time of the House to try to agree amongst themselves on what their attitude is on any question.

Like the way you agree with Deputy Moore on this question.

I agree largely with what Deputy Moore said.

Let us have your view.

Is the Party opposite for or against it? Else they do not know where they are. Are they going to vote for or against?

Will I give my opinion?

Can I get an answer on that question? Do they know now what they are going to do? Are they going to vote for or against it? Or, are they going to vote at all? Silence! They do not know. And that is the Party that aspires at some time to take over again the business of governing this country. They do not know their own mind.

Of course, it is bunk. I told Deputy MacDermot before that the whole policy of his Party is bunk.

That is what I called this before. They have not got an argument.

Is Deputy McGilligan for or against?

I am voting for this as the best thing that could be got from the blundering of the Fianna Fáil Party.

Deputy O'Neill said it was a fool agreement; a most disgraceful one, while Deputy Brennan said it was a bad bargain. Deputy Burke said it was bad politically and financially and Deputy McGuire said "God forbid that the Government would make another one." I am anxious to see whether the Party opposite will vote for this agreement or not.

And where will Deputy Moore be?

Where he said. No one has ever any doubt where the present Government, or the Government Party, stands on any issue. That is why we are the Government. We went to the people and told them precisely where we stood on every issue.

If the Deputy opposite thinks that there is anybody in this country so foolish as to wish to give his Party a blank cheque or to give them a free hand to do what they wish on matters of public importance, he is likely to remain in opposition all his life, even if he succeeds in securing election to this House, which, I gather, is not very likely in the future.

Why not argue the pact?

Mind you, argument has not been an outstanding characteristic of this debate at any stage.

I think it has.

Deputies have not argued on the merits of the case. They have not addressed themselves to the fact that the tax on cattle has nothing to do with the agreement made for the exchange of cattle for coal. The tax was not imposed by the coal and cattle agreement. This Government did not impose the tax. This Government objects to the tax, and this Government has the right to object to it, but the Party opposite has not the right to object to it. The Deputies opposite played their part in urging the British Government to put on that tax, and it is sheer hypocrisy on their part to come here now and pretend to protest against the tax and its consequences. That tax was imposed because the Party opposite advised it. It was conceived by the British Government only after the Party opposite had planned it and had urged the British Government to put it into operation. Now they pretend to deplore the effects of the tax. We object to it, and we have a right to object to it. We object to it because we think it is unfair and unjust.

Hear, hear.

However, if Deputy McGilligan wants to know from me what we think of people in this country, claiming to be representative of the Irish people, who advised and urged the British Government to impose such a tax on our own people, he would have to come into the House on some other occasion, because I am afraid I would be out of order if I were to try to tell him now what we think of such actions.

The Minister is not very much in order at the present moment regarding this pact. Why not argue the pact?

This resolution does not impose the tax upon coal. The imposition of that tax in the circumstances of this year arose out of a separate decision by the Government. The duty on coal is being maintained for no other reason other than it is going to bring in revenue that is necessary to maintain the services of Government in this State. It is perfectly true that, if it were not secured from that duty, it would have to be secured from some other duty: and I object to Deputy Norton opposing the raising of revenue in that way when he equally voted against the alternative of raising revenue by Schedule A, Income Tax. The tax is not being levied upon coal used for industrial purposes—at least, on coal used in certain industries where it is a raw material and essential to the process of manufacture. It is not being levied from transport organisations. Apart from that, nobody in this country need pay the tax. There is native fuel available to any householder who wants to purchase it. Deputy Bennett engaged here in one of the usual dishonest and unscrupulous misrepresentations of the Government's attitude which characterises Deputies opposite. Referring to a statement which was placarded across one of the news pages of the Evening Mail last night, a statement that was equally dishonest and unscrupulous, he said that the Government is abandoning its efforts to develop the coal resources of this country. No such statement was made in this House. The statement is not true. There is more coal being produced here now and more people being employed in the production of coal than ever before. The neglected coal resources of this country are being developed and any Deputy who wishes to look up the Estimates will find that £30,000 is being voted for coal exploration work, apart from the much larger sums being devoted to the development of the peat resources of the country and the provision of peat as fuel—good fuel. If Deputy McGilligan or Deputy Bennett, or any other Deputies opposite, object to paying this tax on coal they can avoid it by using native fuel and we shall be very pleased to have them do so. They will not do that, however, because apparently the Party opposite has become a thoroughly pro-British Party. Not merely do they defend the British actions in regard to this country on every occasion in this House, but their whole mentality and outlook upon matters that affect both countries is a British one. We had them here to-day telling us that the British leaders were statesmen: that they were generous in their outlook: that when they made agreements they kept them: that they were decent and honest; and, of course, the leaders of the Irish people, according to them, are false and deceitful and, as Deputy McGuire said, only make agreements when they want to break them. It is an ill bird that fouls its own nest, however, and the attitude of the Party opposite is receiving, and deserves to receive, the indignant contempt of all decent people in this country. If they have such a thorough dislike of the leaders of the Irish people, why do they not go over to England and stay there? It would do us all good.

Why do you not go over there yourself?

A Deputy

You would not be missed.

The pact is a good one. The exchange of cattle for coal on a pound for pound basis is a better agreement than any that has been made in relation to trade matters in this country since the State was established.

That is the first thing the Minister has said about the pact, but it is not true.

At no time from 1922 to 1932, while the Party opposite were in office, did they ever succeed in getting trade agreements with Great Britain or other countries on a pound for pound basis, or even on part of it. That is the type of agreement we are prepared to make with Britain at any time. It is the type of agreement we are prepared to make with any country because, having regard to our resources and to the limited range of goods we have for export, and also having regard to the fact that these goods are a drug on the international market at the present time, agreements of that kind must be to our benefit. I think there was also a cool impertinence about Deputy McGilligan's objection to the fact that the British are charging us a couple of shillings more for their coal than they charge other countries, that almost took my breath away. The fact that the British are charging us a few shillings more for their coal than they charge other countries did not arise this year for the first time. When I was in Opposition here and when Deputy McGilligan was Minister for Industry and Commerce, time and again we drew his attention to the fact that the British were charging for coal here a price a couple of shillings in advance of the price charged for coal for export to other countries. Time and again we asked him what he was going to do about it, and although he and Deputy Cosgrave, the then President, were running around Buckingham Palace in silk breeches on the best of terms with the King of England, he never thought to bring up that matter or to try to arrange for a better price.

Of course, it was not a fact. The Minister should give the dates.

At all times the British regarded this market as part of their internal market, and when they raised the prices to their own consumers in order to subsidise their exports of coal, they raised the prices to us. At no time during the whole of that ten years from 1922 to 1932 was this country regarded by the British coal exporters as an export market, and at no time during that period was the export price made available to us.

That is not so. The reverse is the truth.

I do not think that that is a satisfactory position. For the first time, our people have learned that they can get better and cheaper coal outside Britain, and if at the present time there was a free market for coal, our people would buy German and Polish coal in preference to British coal.

Without a tariff?

Yes, without a tariff, because it is cheaper and better. That is the fact.

It is not cheaper without the tariff.

It is cheaper without the tariff. Leaving the tariff out of account, the Continental coal can be brought in here——

Without the tariff?

——cheaper than British coal, because the British were paying the tariff on their coal.

Tell us when.

The 5/- tariff that operated on British coal last year was paid by the exporters——

Give me the month.

——or partly by the exporters and partly by the shipping interests, and not by our people.

It is paid by our consumers.

However, this possibility of a trade arrangement on these lines arose, and we took advantage of it. It was never rejected and never suggested before. Deputy McGilligan has been having his leg pulled by somebody, judging by the questions he was asking in that connection. This agreement was made by the Government, and the Government are standing over this agreement, and that is all the Deputy need know about the making of it.

When was it made?

It was made at the beginning of this year.

And was never spoken of before the beginning of the year?

So I have informed the Deputy.

Is that a fact?

So I have informed the Deputy.

That is an evasion.

There is no evasion about that. There is no suggestion of secrecy about this agreement. I do not know what Deputy McGuire and other Deputies were talking about when they referred to this as a secret agreement. They have much more information about what constitutes a secret agreement than I have, but this is an agreement which was made, and the fullest possible information about it was immediately given to all the people of this country.

For instance, who made it?

The Government made it.

Who was the intermediary?

The Deputy is not entitled to know that. It is no business of his.

And the date?

I am telling the Deputy the date.

At the beginning of this year.

Did you try to get the tariffs off the cattle at the time?

It is no business of the Deputy's.

That is not a secret.

The agreement that was made was an agreement that was published——

Who signed it?

Nobody signed it. There was no written document at all. An understanding was made under which the quotas for cattle allotted to this country were increased by 33? per cent., and, against that, we agreed to purchase additional coal from Great Britain to a corresponding value. When the Minister for Defence said here, in December last, that the allocation of quotas to this country by the British Government was fair, he was perfectly right.

Having regard to the principles which the British Government were adopting, they had shown no discrimination against this country.

Would the Minister explain——

The Deputy will please sit down until I finish.

Will the Minister explain how it is that there is more chilled and frozen beef being consumed in England now than there was two years ago?

The statement I made is that the British Government, having determined the principles upon which it was going to allocate quotas to all countries, did not discriminate against this country.

Would the Minister explain what I have asked?

We objected to the allocation and every country objected to the allocation, but, on the basis of that allocation, there was no evidence of discrimination against us.

Why object then?

We did not.

You said you did.

We objected on general grounds, not on grounds of discrimination, but we succeeded in getting that quota increased by 33? per cent. under this arrangement, and, by doing so, made it possible to dispose of the surplus of cattle there was in this country in this year. That surplus is going. In the course of a few weeks it will be gone, and when we fill our quota to Britain, when we fill our quota to Germany, when we fill our quota to Belgium and supply our home requirements, there will be no surplus of cattle left.

And you are selling them in Germany under a tariff, the same as you are in England.

It is hoped that the other measures which the Government have adopted will prevent the development of a surplus in subsequent years.

The killing of calves, for instance.

Exactly.

That is a great policy.

And the encouragement of the farmers to get into more profitable lines of production.

You ought to get a farm and show how to manage it.

The farmers know all about it and approved of it. The one thing that is annoying the Deputy is that on every occasion on which we went to them, they approved of it.

Fifteen Opposition Deputies have spoken and surely they ought to have said as much as they wanted to say when they were speaking. The Minister is entitled to make his speech without interruption and he should be listened to.

I do not want to show disrespect but I think the Minister looks for it. He looks for fair argument. He is a sport.

That is not the kind of sport the Chair is inclined to allow.

That is the reason I reply to him when he puts questions. I should have to leave the House if I did not do that.

Deputy MacDermot spoke about Deputy McGilligan's stock speech in which he introduces Fianna Fáil advertisements and seems to think that it annoys us. Somebody on the back benches said it amused us. It always amuses the Party in office to hear the Opposition explaining why they lost elections. The Deputy will have plenty of opportunities, in the course of the next month, of explaining how they came to lose the two by-elections now in progress, and it will be most amusing to us to listen to them. The reason we win elections is that we keep our promises.

Exactly—taxation reductions.

It is, of course, preposterous for Deputy Mulcahy to attempt to argue that this agreement is going to involve a cost of £1,600,000 on our people. The cattle are going to be bought at the market price. I could not get that into Deputy Belton's head when he was talking.

You will not be able to get it in now either.

I will do my best. Whatever the market price is here, these cattle will be exported at that price.

And the price in England less the tariff makes the market price here.

Of course, it does.

And we pay the tariff. Pull off your bluff.

Let the Deputy try to persuade the Party opposite, who urged the British Government to impose that tariff, to urge them now to take it off.

That is between the two of you.

The Deputy had his finger in the pie, too.

Nobody bothers about that.

The Minister's impression was that it would never go on.

I did not realise that the Deputy was so persuasive or that he would be taken so seriously in Great Britain, as he, in fact, was.

But the Minister said it would never be put on.

I think the Minister's phrase was that it was "all so much nonsense."

Whatever the position is, 150,000 additional cattle will be purchased at the prevailing market price here. There is no special price being arranged in respect of that number of cattle.

Is that a definite number?

Yes, 150,000, and whatever the total value of that 150,000 cattle proves to be at the end of the year, we must be able to show that we bought coal to a corresponding value.

Will they be in excess of last year's exportation?

In excess of last year's exportation, and what is more, for the information of Deputies opposite, it will be in excess of the 1931 exportation, just as our export of butter last year was 25 per cent. higher than in 1931, just as our export of bacon last year was 25 per cent. higher than in 1931, and just as all the other agricultural products were higher than in 1931.

And the bounties on them.

And just as agricultural employment at present is about 10 per cent. above what it was in 1931.

Will the Minister explain why the note circulation is the same as in 1931?

Not on this motion.

It is very relevant and pertinent to it.

They were paid for the cattle in coppers and silver.

And cheque books.

The other points raised by the Deputies had no relevancy to the motion, and some were unintelligible, so that I could not attempt to answer them.

That is the best argument yet.

Several Deputies opposite attempted to paint a picture of what would have happened if this pact had been made by the Party opposite, as a Government. "If Deputy Cosgrave had made this pact," said Deputy MacDermot, "the welkin would be made to ring with denunciations of him as a Leonard McNally and other terms of that kind."

Ní nach iongnadh.

Deputy Cosgrave never had the ability to make a pact of that kind.

Thank God for that.

At no time when he was President did he succeed in getting from the British Government an arrangement under which they purchased our goods to the value of our purchases of their goods. During all that period, not merely were we giving some 500,000 cattle to Great Britain for nothing in the form of the payment of land annuities, but we were also buying their goods in excess, and far in excess, of British purchases here, and at no time during that period did Deputy Cosgrave raise an objection, except on one occasion when he went to Carlow and read the figures wrongly and proved that we had a favourable trade balance.

What is the adverse trade balance now?

The adverse balance now——

Is £20,000,000.

A little less. It is about the same as it was in 1926 or 1927.

No. It was £10,000,000 then.

Let the Deputy look up the figures.

Let the Minister look them up.

A very large proportion of that unfavourable balance is represented by the capital expenditure that is now being incurred on the development of our industries.

We could not get the figures when we asked for them.

They were published yesterday.

The Minister said they could not be extracted.

Those published yesterday were reasonably accurate. They were, however, a bit on the conservative side. Fianna Fáil propagandists always understate their case. They find it more effective.

What about the £2,000,000 reduction in taxation?

The agreement is, I think, a good one. It is one that has recommended itself to the country. The Party opposite will not have the courage to vote against it, even though they have spoken against it.

Who said that?

Put up the 5/- tax and we will vote against it.

You had plenty of opportunity of voting against that tax, just as you would vote against any alternative tax.

Put it in the Budget and you will see what the voting will be.

The imposition of the taxation is something which is justifiable, if only on the ground of the revenue it produces. It would take a very substantial amount of additional taxation to make up £600,000. The Exchequer cannot afford to sacrifice that revenue. It may be possible in the future——

There are special circumstances operating in this year, and a certain hiatus in respect of revenue which make it impossible to sacrifice this revenue in this year. The Government makes no apology to the Party opposite for having paid its way; for having balanced its Budget; for having put against items of expenditure, which the Dáil approved, the means of securing money to meet them. We do not apologise for that; we boast of it. If the Party opposite had even the glimmering of an idea as to how they, as a Government, could do the same thing they would have announced it as their policy, instead of having all those contradictory speeches made by apparently irresponsible Deputies, all pretending to speak the Party mind, and all contradicting one another.

That is getting into the lip stage again.

I do not think there is anything else to be said.

No more exaggeration !

The agreement was not a secret agreement. The terms were communicated to the Irish people as soon as possible after the agreement was made. It was apparently welcomed by all sections of our people, whether they were supporters of the Government or opponents of the Government.

Look at the enthusiasts around you.

It has had its effect in relieving the agricultural situation by disposing of the temporary surplus of cattle which would otherwise have caused difficulties this year, and it imposes no additional burden on our people. I, therefore, confidently recommend it to the Dáil.

Before the Minister sits down, I should like to ask him a question. He has told us that this agreement was made by the Executive Council. In the course of my remarks I asked him to tell us who took the initiative in the negotiations from which this pact emerged. Would he tell us that?

The Government has never at any time made any secret of its willingness to enter into agreements with anybody.

Who took the initiative?

The Government, I say, has at no time had any hesitation in saying that it is prepared to make agreements of that kind with anyone. If other countries chose to take advantage of that offer it is difficult to say who took the initiative. We made the offer.

You made the offer first?

We made the offer when we became the Government in 1932, and on every occasion when an opportunity presented itself since we offered to make pacts of this kind, pound for pound, with anybody.

The Minister will not say they took the initiative?

I understand the Minister admits they took the initiative?

Not likely.

Who took it? Was it the British?

It is no business of yours.

That is all right. Leave it at that.

It is a straight question. Will the Minister say who represented the Irish Free State in the negotiations that took place before this pact was ratified?

It is no business of yours. The Government made the agreement, has presented it to the Dáil, and stands over it.

And this House has no right to get any information about it,

Question put.
The Dáil divided: Tá, 84 84; Níl, 8.

  • Aiken, Frank.
  • Anthony, Richard.
  • Beckett, James Walter.
  • Bennett, George Cecil.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Boland, Patrick.
  • Bourke, Daniel.
  • Brady, Brian.
  • Breen, Daniel.
  • Burke, James Michael.
  • Coburn, James.
  • Concannon, Helena.
  • Cooney, Eamonn.
  • Corkery, Daniel.
  • Corry, Martin John.
  • Cosgrave, William T.
  • Costello, John Aloysius.
  • Crowley, Timothy.
  • Daly, Denis.
  • Derrig, Thomas.
  • Dockrell, Henry Morgan.
  • Doherty, Hugh.
  • Doyle, Peadar S.
  • Fagan, Charles.
  • Finlay, John.
  • Fitzgerald, Desmond.
  • Flinn, Hugo V.
  • Flynn, John.
  • Flynn, Stephen.
  • Fogarty, Andrew.
  • Geoghegan, James.
  • Gibbons, Seán.
  • Goulding, John.
  • Hales, Thomas.
  • Harris, Thomas.
  • Haslett, Alexander.
  • Hayes, Seán.
  • Holohan, Richard.
  • Keating, John.
  • Kehoe, Patrick.
  • Kelly, James Patrick.
  • Kelly, Thomas.
  • Kissane, Eamonn.
  • Lemass, Seán F.
  • Little, Patrick John.
  • Lynch, Finian.
  • Lynch, James B.
  • MacDermot, Frank.
  • McEllistrim, Thomas.
  • MacEntee, Seán.
  • McFadden, Michael Og.
  • McGilligan, Patrick.
  • McGuire, James Ivan.
  • Maguire, Ben.
  • Maguire, Conor Alexander.
  • Minch, Sydney B.
  • Moane, Edward.
  • Moore, Séamus.
  • Mulcahy, Richard.
  • Murphy, James Edward.
  • Murphy, Patrick Stephen.
  • O'Briain, Donnchadh.
  • O Ceallaigh, Seán T.
  • O'Grady, Seán.
  • O'Leary, Daniel.
  • O'Mahony, The.
  • O'Neill, Eamonn.
  • O'Reilly, Matthew.
  • O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
  • Pearse, Margaret Mary.
  • Rice, Edward.
  • Rice, Vincent.
  • Rogers, Patrick James.
  • Ruttledge, Patrick Joseph.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Ryan, Martin.
  • Ryan, Robert.
  • Sheridan, Michael.
  • Smith, Patrick.
  • Traynor, Oscar.
  • Victory, James.
  • Wall, Nicholas.
  • Walsh, Richard.
  • Ward, Francis C.

Níl

  • Belton, Patrick.
  • Esmonde, Osmond Grattan.
  • Everett, James.
  • Keyes, Michael.
  • MacEoin, Seán.
  • Murphy, Timothy Joseph.
  • Norton, William.
  • Reidy, James.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies Little and Smith; Níl, Deputies Everett and Murphy.
Question declared carried.

I beg to move:—

That Dáil Eireann hereby approves of Control of Imports (Quota No. 12) Order, 1935, made on the 15th day of January, 1935, by the Executive Council under the Control of Imports Act, 1934 (No. 12 of 1934).

Under this Order the importation of hose and half-hose of silk or artificial silk or a combination of silk and artificial silk is prohibited save under licence. The object of the Order is to provide a sure market for the output of the various concerns now engaged in the Saorstát in the production of stockings of silk and artificial silk and also to stimulate further production. To effect these objects, imports have been reduced to a figure estimated to be sufficient to meet all the needs of the country, when taken in conjunction with the production of the Irish factories. According as production continues to increase, the quotas will be still further reduced, with a view to the ultimate elimination of imported silk and artificial silk hosiery, so far as that may prove feasible. At the moment there are eight factories engaged in the production of silk and artificial silk hosiery in the Free State, and the present gross annual output is in the neighbourhood of 900,000 pairs out of a total annual estimated requirement of 3,600,000 pairs

This seems to be a case in which a quota order is not wanted. The reduction in the consuming capacity of our people is bringing about a state of affairs when the imports of these things will completely fall off and, when the Minister realises the position in which the industry is, he surely ought to offer the House, when introducing this quota order, some more comment than he has offered. The hosiery industry is an important one. He has made very emphatic statements in the past with regard to his achievements in building up this industry. He promised the House that when he brought forward his Directory of Irish Manufacturers it would contain a review of the hosiery and some other industries. For the first time after two years of promising, we were able to get a look at the Minister's Directory of Manufacturers in the Library this morning. There is no review of any industry in it, but we will deal with that on some more suitable occasion.

Take the hosiery industry. The Minister definitely promised the House —I think it was in April, 1933—that a review of the hosiery and some other industries would be forthcoming. He said—column 2236, Volume 46 of the Official Debates of the 5th April, 1933:—

"I have already explained that I would much prefer to give—I think it would be much more desirable— a review of the position, say, in the hosiery and in some of the other industries. That review, of course, will appear in the Directory."

Well, it does not. On the 11th May, 1933, the Minister told the House:—

"In the hosiery industry we have more than doubled production. At the present time there is hardly a hosiery factory in the country that is not installing additional machinery, and taking steps to train workers so that production can be doubled in this year."—(Column 912, Volume 47 of the Official Debates).

The Minister stated in May of 1933, that in the previous 12 months he had doubled production in the hosiery industry and he promised a second doubling of it in the following year. On the 9th August, 1933, as reported in column 1537, Volume 49, Official Debates, the Minister said:—

"In the case of hosiery I said here some time ago that we had in 12 months doubled the production of the industry and would, in this year double it again. I am glad to say that our expectations have been realised, and I hope that in a very short time we shall be able to say in relation to that branch of the apparel industry that we have also finished our job."

As I say, the Minister came forward a second time that year and he reiterated the statement that he had doubled the production in the case of this industry in 12 months and that he was now realising his second promise to redouble it again. The hosiery industry is an important one. It was one of the industries which was protected by tariffs in the Cosgrave Administration. When the tariffs were imposed originally in 1925 there were 500 people engaged at full-time employment. In September, 1931, employment had risen to the equivalent of 1,237 persons in full-time employment. That is an increase of 737 persons in employment for the whole year. The value of the production of hosiery in 1931 was £237,814. The Minister's first double would have given us £475,000 as the value of the industry in 1933 and his second double, if realised, would have brought production up to £951,000 by 1934. In February last the Minister gave us the preliminary figures for production in 1933 but we find that instead of there being production to the value of £951,000 in the hosiery industry the figures returned by the Minister were £384,203. So much for production in the industry and so much for the Minister's capacity of being able to ram gigantic untruths down the throats and into the minds of the members of this House.

That is the position with regard to production, but there is another thing that stands out from the figures with which the Minister has supplied us in connection with the hosiery industry—that the average earnings of wage earners in the hosiery industry were reduced from 1931 to 1933 by the equivalent of £5 a year for each individual. He has given additional employment. He has continued the development of the industry that was begun in 1925, but in the first two years of the continuing development of the industry there is less paid in wages to the extent of £5 a year to every wage-earner in the industry. We are also made aware of the fact by the Minister's own figures that the capacity of the people of the country to consume the products of this industry is steadily declining. The consumption, as measured by the value of the imports and the products was, in 1931, £1,204,000; in 1933 it was £975,000. There had been a drop in the use of hosiery during the two first years of the present Administration amounting to £229,000. That is to say, consumption dropped by one-fifth.

There is considerable room for further expansion in the industry. The total production in 1933 was £384,203. Even with the reduced consumption in 1933, with the consumption reduced by one-fifth, there is considerable room for further expansion of the industry. I should like to hear some comment from the Minister which would show us that he realises these facts and the conditions that are coming about in these industries as in others because of the state of affairs in the country. The industry cannot develop in a satisfactory and sound way if the capacity of the people to consume the production of this industry is still further reduced. The reduction going on is such that quotas will not be required if the present condition of things continues. It is rather a remarkable thing to hear that we have in an industry which is developed and for which there is a pretty big market here, a reduction in the wages earned by wage-earners in the industry in the two years of Fianna Fáil Administration. These are matters that I should like to hear the Minister discuss when he asks us to give him these additional powers of quota in connection with the industry.

The Quota Order which the Dáil is now being asked to approve of does not affect all hosiery production but only the production of hose and half-hose of silk and artificial silk. The hosiery industry, as described for the purpose of statistics in the census of production, covers a much wider field than the production of hose, and half-hose of artificial silk. The importation of these goods is now prohibited except under licence and the fact is that in 1932 the production of these things was not undertaken in the Saorstát practically at all. In that year there was practically no silk hose and half-hose manufactured here. This in an industry which requires not merely substantial capital equipment, because the machines are complicated and expensive, but it also requires skilled workers and its development has naturally been determined by the rate at which the equipment can be procured and the workers trained in the use of it. It was only in the last year that sufficient progress was made to justify the adoption of the method of protection which the Control of Imports Act affords. In other words, it was only then that we could see at any reasonable time ahead a stage being reached at which the imports could cease altogether.

It could be argued that the protection which the industry was receiving by way of protective duty was sufficiently high to enable it to develop or even, if increased protection was desired, that it could have been afforded by a variation in the Customs duties. But the trade involved here is of a particular class in which advertising plays a very large part. In fact, the new factories established here are equipped with the latest machines in the world and have embodied in their methods of production improvements that do not exist in some of the larger and better-known factories in other countries. They are the newest factories of this kind that have been established and, in any case, ought to produce goods of a quality corresponding to those imported at a lower price than they are actually produced in other countries. I am, of course, leaving out of account certain countries where they have temporary advantages arising out of depreciated currencies or other advantages, such as remission of rates or taxes of one kind or another. But, assuming the same overhead charges and the same items entering into cost of production, the more efficient machinery and the efficient methods adopted in factories here have enabled them to produce hose of a quality similar to those available abroad at a lower ex-factory price. There is no reason, of course, why the quality should not be as good as any produced. As I have said, the machines they are using are the most up-to-date in the world. The yarn they use is the same as is used elsewhere and, in fact, the public generally realise that the art silk and silk hose and half-hose available from Irish factories are as good as any that can be procured.

But the firms engaged here could not establish themselves in the market because of their inability to engage in the widespread advertising campaigns which larger firms previously supplying the markets can engage in. One reads advertisements for silk stockings by the dozen in every newspaper and it is on the basis of that advertising really that the goods are sold rather than on the basis of quality and price. It was, therefore, felt that the only effective method to give protection in these circumstances was by limiting the quantity imported, and so the Control of Imports Act machinery was used and a quota Order was made. The production, however, is still a long way short of our requirements and it will, in fact, have to be multiplied four times before imports will have ceased altogether. But even the present production represents an increase of about 900 per cent. on the production for 1932.

Is that another statement or a promise?

It is a statement of fact.

Like the 1932 one.

General Mulcahy referred to the average earnings of workers in the hosiery industry. Deputy Mulcahy is a dangerous man to let loose on statistics. It is impossible to arrive at any conclusion by taking the total amount paid in wages to workers in the hosiery industry and the number of workers in that industry unless you know the class of work within the industry in which they are engaged. As I pointed out, the industry is really a group of sub-industries, and factories which produced art silk hosiery would know nothing about the production of, say, knitted fabric for underwear; and factories that produce underwear and the knitted fabric for underwear would know nothing about the production of fabric for pullovers, etc. The average per worker would depend very largely upon the production in one branch of the industry which might increase more rapidly than others, and vice versa. In any event, I imagine the 700 newer workers brought in, and who are being trained, are achieving a smaller output per individual per week or per year than the older workers and, consequently, their earnings on piece rates would not be as high as those of the older workers. That situation will rectify itself as soon as they get any way experienced. In fact, the workers employed in Irish factories have shown themselves extraordinarily adaptable to this work. On one or two occasions on which I had the opportunity of visiting a hosiery factory certain figures were produced by the instructor, who had been brought over from Great Britain to instruct the workers, showing the greater speed with which the workers here had become skilled in the various processes of the industry than was usually the case in Great Britain. I understand that in the industry they have certain competitions designed to reduce the time in which the various articles can be produced from the raw material, and I think they are claiming that all the records in respect of these competitions are held by Irish factories at present.

One prize they seem to have got is that of getting less money out of the factory. The average wage per person according to the Minister's own statistics is £49 per annum. Is there any explanation of that?

That has been reduced to £44.

The Deputy is using figures which cannot be related to any individual. This is a big industry covering a number of branches, and the workers in one branch may be earning £5, and the workers in another branch 10/-.

The 10/- people must be very much in the majority.

I agree. Probably the learners in the industry, the beginners, have increased considerably in proportion to the skilled hands.

1,000 people were earning about £52,000 between them. That is an average of £49. Give us some data as to the number of learners from which we can get the highest wage paid.

The data is available in the census of production. In any event, the development of the industry is going on and that involves a larger number of new hands coming into it— unskilled workers whom it will take some time to train. In the art silk branch of the industry the usual apprenticeship term in Great Britain is five years. If we are going to develop in the time contemplated we must train these workers to a similar degree of proficiency in a much shorter time, and that is going to mean a much higher proportion of unskilled workers to skilled workers than would ordinarily exist in the industry in other countries, or that will exist here in the industry in due course. As most of the processes are paid for at piece rates, the individual earnings will for a time probably be lower than they will be when the industry is fully established.

They are earning less than £1 per week in that industry.

Probably a number of girls are getting that.

According to your own statistics the whole lot of them are getting less than £1 per week. Is that right?

I do not know.

The point is this. The statistical returns published for 1931-1933 reveal this fact, that there was £52,000 paid in total wages in this industry, an average wage of less than £50 a year. The statistics tell us that the number of people earning has gone up since, and the result has been to reduce the average to £44.

The Deputy is developing an argument, not a question.

I must lay the foundation for the question. The Minister may be right in saying that a big proportion of those who have come in since are learners. But I want to fasten attention on the 1931 figures. The industry was apparently only able to pay £49 per year to everybody engaged in it, taking it all over. What proportion of these were learners? Remember the hosiery industry has been established here for a long time.

I could not say. So far as these particular goods are concerned, silk and art silk hosiery, there was practically no production at all, and most of the workers engaged in production are people who have come into the industry since.

In 1931, the figure was less than £1 a week over this industry. Is that a correct return?

I presume it is.

This is an industry worth developing at less than £1 a week to employees.

It is an industry worth developing. We can improve it.

You have made it worse. Statistics have shown that the wages have gone down. I will read this——

I gave Deputy McGilligan several opportunities to ask a question; he is now developing an argument.

According to the Census of Production for 1931-33, the total yearly wages paid in the silk hosiery industry in 1931 amounted to £52,282, to 1,059 workers making an average of £49.36. The total wages paid in 1933 was £82,022 to 1,859 workers or an average annual wage of £44.40. Is there any possibility of misunderstanding that?

It means there is a higher proportion of learners not getting anything like the same weekly wage.

Nothing like £1 per week.

These were the conditions which I found in the industry when I took it over but they are improving.

Does the Minister anticipate this difficulty with regard to learners which exists in other industries, that when they have, in fact, learned their business they will be dismissed, and new learners taken on?

That danger exists in some industries. I would not say it exists in this particular industry, which is a skilled industry, and there is demand for those efficient in the various technical processes. That danger, which, as I say, exists in some industries is to be met under the Conditions of Employment Bill.

Question put and agreed to.

I move:—

That Dáil Eireann hereby approves of the Control of Imports (Quota No. 13) Order, 1934, made on the 12th day of March, 1935, by the Executive Council under the Control of Imports Act, 1934 (No. 12 of 1934).

This relates to Quota Order No. 13 made on the 12th March. It regulates the importation of woollen piece goods not less than 12 inches in width, and that are not less than seven ounces in weight, per square yard, and are more than 1/3 in value per yard. The object of the Order is to secure the participation of the Irish woollen mills in cloth for external wearing apparel. This apparel has grown largely in recent years, and it is felt that a larger proportion of Irish-made cloth should be used than has been used heretofore. In fixing the quotas the essential requirements of manufacturers of wearing apparel were kept steadily in view so as to make sure that nothing in the nature of hardship would result. The future quotas to be fixed will be based on two considerations. The first will be the kind of cloth required, and, secondly, the capacity of the Irish woollen mills to produce cloth approximating to these requirements. The total requirements are 2,750,000 square yards. The quota as from the 18th March to 31st July is 500,000 square yards, or 66? per cent. of the importation for the corresponding months of 1934. It is not anticipated that any serious hardship will arise in consequence of the 33? per cent. duty on imports.

The interesting fact is that the wages paid in this industry in 1931 did not amount to 30/- per week.

What apology has the Deputy to offer for that?

It is the Minister's pigeon. They have gone up to near 30/- a week.

They are 2d. short.

And as far as the clothing industry goes they have gone down until the wages now are less than 25/- for the business. It is well we should get some concrete facts as established by these statistical productions. The wages, if you take the average, would not amount to 30/- per week at the moment, and as far as the clothing side, apart from woollen piece goods goes, at that end it is less than 25/-.

In case any Deputy might be misled by the information Deputy McGilligan has given that the conditions in the industry in this country are worse than in other countries, I would point out that they are decidedly better. As far as the clothing industry is concerned, there are wages paid here which are substantially higher now than existed here or in any other country before.

If that is so, I want the obvious deduction drawn, that a distinction must be made between the different workers—piece workers and juveniles. I am interested in this question of juveniles. The Minister seems to produce statistics to show that there is the same proportion of juveniles as before. The learners or juvenile class, as far as the clothing end is concerned, represent a very big influx of juvenile labour: that is so of all classes over the whole of insurable occupations. I find that wages have gone down over the whole industry to less than 25/- a week. It is inconceivable that adults are getting that wage. Therefore, there must be a greater number of juveniles employed.

The Deputy has drawn the wrong deduction.

What is the other deduction?

The Deputy has taken the wage paid in a year and divided it by the number of workers employed in a particular day.

That is so. These figures are no good except as showing the number of people employed——

The Deputy has already spoken twice.

As far as I am concerned I might speak a hundred times.

But not as far as I am concerned.

I would not dare to say that, but the figures show that the wages over the industry were as low as 25/- a week. I suggest one explanation. I do not care how much the Minister objects but it has to be borne in mind that there are so many juveniles in the industry that their wages have to be reckoned as if they were adults. There is another matter the Minister introduced, which may lead to wrong results because you take the number of people in the industry over the whole year. Whatever the number of wage-earners in one year it suggests that the number was in occupation all over the year.

And any figures founded upon that would be equally wrong. In my time, when we got figures we had a rule of getting the number of full-time workers employed in the industry throughout the year. That is the figure we want for comparison, not this foolish one, where you may be speaking of a couple of thousand workers, 500 of whom will be only in employment for a three months period, leaving the factory to be carried on by 1,000 or 1,500.

Did you publish them?

The figures were published on each 1st September and 1st April. We published them and the notices with them.

I invite the Deputy to produce them.

They are on the records of the House. The Minister should not talk about producing the records of the House, because he was let down rather badly on that matter some time ago. The records would show that they were adjusted in order to give employment on the basis of full-time employment. We had that calculation always, because all we had to do was to go into the factories and see how many people were engaged on a whole-time basis, how many were engaged on a seasonal basis, or how many were taken on in a rush. We also saw how many were adult at each season of the year and how many were juvenile, and we could get our calculations made in that way. This is subject to misinterpretation in two ways. It is wrong to take it that the average of wages paid is 25/- per week, and it is also wrong to take any calculation based on the assumption that these people are kept in the industry right through the year. As far as one industry is concerned —and it may be applicable to a great many industries—while employment increased, wages came down. The tendency between 1931 and 1933 was towards a decline in the wages paid.

Under this Quota Order the Legislature is taking steps to preserve the home market for our woollen manufacturers. I do not object to the Legislature taking that step provided that, at the same time, the Legislature or the Minister takes steps to ensure that decent rates of wages and decent conditions of labour are observed in the woollen mills which the State, by these Orders, sets out to protect. I wonder is the Minister satisfied with the rates of wages and the conditions of labour which exist in the woollen mills which are to be protected by these Quota Orders? In 1933, according to the official statistics, we find that the production of Irish woollen mills in respect of wool tissues, cloths and delaines, amounted to £829,000. Again we find from official statistics that the gross profit of the woollen manufacturers for that year was £175,000, or 47 per cent. of the value of the net output of the industry. So far as the workers in the industry were concerned, they got 53 per cent. in wages of the value of the net output.

When you come to look over what they produced and what they got afterwards, you find that the work they executed in 1933 worked out at 57/1 per week per worker. For that production they were paid an average of 29/10 per week. That was the average figure per week, and we can be quite certain that quite a considerable number of workers were getting wages substantially below 29/10. But we do not need to quote official statistics in order to ascertain the wages position in the woollen industry. I concede there are good employers in the woollen industry, employers who negotiate trade agreements with the Trade Unions, but there are also a number of employers who are a disgrace to that or any kind of industry and who employ young boys and young girls at outrageously low rates of wages. I do not know whether the Minister has any information on that matter.

Has the Deputy?

The Deputy has information on the matter and if the Minister had inspectors visiting these woollen factories, as he should have, I think he could have supplied the House with the information which I can give him. After all, it is an obligation on the Minister's Department to carry out inspections of the woollen factories. I wonder has there been any inspection of these factories, in view of the general decline in inspections, and whether any of the inspectors have made inquiries as to the rates of wages paid in these factories? There is one case in existence where a woollen manufacturer received a substantial sum of money under the Trades Loans Guarantee Act and the conditions in the industry, or of the wages paid in his factory would be a credit to Africa. Boys are employed there from industrial schools, not with any desire to help boys from these schools but to exploit them at low rates of wages. Preference is given to young boys and girls, to the unprotesting type of person who is prepared to be exploited at low rates of wages and under unfair conditions of employment. This gentleman received assistance from the State under the Trade Loans Guarantee Act but not a single inquiry has been made as to the rates of wages paid or the conditions of employment observed in that factory. The Minister's inspectors do not know where that woollen mill is. They do not know that some time ago an effort was made by the owner of the mill to smash the activities of trades unions there. I shall supply the Minister with the information which his inspectors should have.

Other Deputies, no doubt, represent constituencies in which there are woollen mills. I wish they were in the House. I think if they made inquiries in these mills that they would be able to tell the Minister of the exploitation of young boys and girls at low rates of wages in the mills. This is the new conception of industrial patriotism—to employ young boys and girls at low rates of wages. This is a part of the industrial renaissance that this country would be as well without.

Would the Deputy consider as good adult wages £3 per week?

I would not consider it a very generous wage.

Even of you gave two-thirds of the workers in this industry nothing, you could not give the remaining one-third £3 per week.

All that constitutes an argument for the case I want to make to the Minister on this Order. If the Minister comes to this House with a Quota Order, obviously we should get from him a picture of the conditions in the industry. We have got no picture of the conditions in the industry, or of the wages paid. All we are asked to do is to provide the Irish woollen manufacturers with a Quota Order to give them the whole of the home market, or as much as it is possible to give them, having regard to their capacity for production. There is no indication from the Minister as to whether the industry is a desirable kind of industry to protect, whether it is the kind of industry that is paying decent rates of wages and, that hopes to pay better wages. The whole wages side is ignored, notwithstanding the fact that the Minister could have got from his inspectors a report, as far as the wages and conditions are concerned in some of the mills, which would alarm the Minister. I think that that side of the Quota Orders ought to get a little attention in future and that woollen manufacturers, where they require to be so told, ought to have it brought home to them very clearly that if the community is going to protect them to the extent of tariffing imported commodities, and to the extent of inconveniencing itself in Quota Orders and restrictions, it expects that those people who are being so protected will at least pay reasonable rates of wages and observe decent conditions of labour. I want again to say to the Minister very definitely, in case his inspectors have not told him, that the protection afforded by this Order is only going to encourage some of these mill-owners in their anti-trades union ramp. They are opposed to trades unionism simply because they see in trades unionism some measure of protection against their own rapacity. I think that at all events the Minister ought to insist that anti-trades union complexes should be dropped or not allowed to develop. There ought to be an assurance obtained from these people that they will pay decent rates of wages and observe decent conditions of employment.

One way in which the Minister could do that is by calling a conference of mill-owners and insisting that an effort would be made by the mill-owners in the woollen industry to reach a national agreement with the representatives of the workers in that industry. An endeavour should be made to fix rates of wages at least substantially higher than the rates that are being paid to-day and to secure the observance of decent working conditions in the industry. We are putting a Quota Order on this industry, but because the Minister is doing nothing more than that, what he is really asking is that this Quota Order should be imposed in order that young boys and young girls can be exploited at 5/- or 6/- per week. I suggest to the Minister that there is a heavy obligation on him in connection with an industry of this kind to take steps to ensure that, so far as the mill-owners are concerned, and certainly so far as those who are paying low rates of wages are concerned, they will be compelled to negotiate a wage agreement as the price of getting the protection from foreign competition which this House is giving them. If it is desirable, as the Minister apparently thinks it is, to protect Irish mill-owners against foreign competition in respect of commodities which are produced in Irish mills, it is no less necessary to protect the human material employed in those mills against the exploitation that is going on in some Irish mills to-day.

Deputy Norton's speech is very largely humbug. He comes in here and makes an indignant speech about what he alleges are the bad employment conditions in certain woollen mills. He asks me, as the Minister for Industry and Commerce, what I am going to do about it, when he knows quite well that I can do nothing about it, and that even the limited powers which we propose to give to deal with a situation of that kind have been objected to by such bodies as the Trades Union Congress. We have left the regulation of wages in non-trade board industries——

What the Minister has said about the Trades Union Congress is not correct.

I will deal with that on another occasion, but I think it is correct.

Meantime, I take it that the Minister is withdrawing the statement?

I will put that right. We have certain powers and responsibilities in respect of certain industries scheduled under the Trade Board Acts. In respect of those industries the wages are fixed by a trade board on which there is equal representation of employers and workers, with a chairman appointed by me. On the board's recommendations I fix the minimum rates of wages and enforce them. Factory inspectors have the right to demand information about the wages paid in those industries and to see that the minimum rates are paid. If they are not paid, they have the responsibility of bringing the employer to court and prosecuting him. Outside the Trade Board industries, I have no function whatever in relation to the wages paid. In fact, the factory inspectors have no right, as some Deputies would seem to suggest, to ask for information as to the wages paid in those industries.

Is there any prohibition against them?

Information can be refused to them.

If they are operating under a Quota Order, has not the Minister power?

I will deal with that later. We have left the regulation of rates of wages in non-trade board industries to trades union action. We would like to see these rates of wages fixed by agreement between employers and the representatives of the workers. If the trades unions are not able to do that, we are prepared to establish other machinery and to take responsibility for protecting employment in those industries, but we cannot both be doing it. If the Government comes in to regulate employment conditions in those industries the Government alone is going to have that responsibility. I think that would be a bad system. I think it is much better that there should be voluntary agreements made between representatives of the workers and the employers to regulate working conditions. It may be that the trades unions are not always able to make these voluntary agreements effective. I propose, in the Conditions of Employment Bill, to give them means by which they can make them effective. Certain objections to these proposed means have been raised. I do not think they are reasonable objections, but they have been raised and, possibly, are being raised due to a misunderstanding. At any rate, we cannot ignore the fact that they have been raised.

It is quite true that we could, in certain industries, say to the persons engaged in it: "Pay certain rates of wages or we will destroy your industry; we will remove the protective duty or the Quota Order under which it has developed." That is not an alternative which we would resort to except in desperate cases. We did resort to that alternative in a particular case only last week when three employers in a particular industry were brought to the office. They were told that the rates of wages they were paying were, in the opinion of the Department, much too low. They were given the British Trade Board rates and told that they had to pay these as the minimum or else that the duty under which they were operating was going to come off. They agreed to pay these minimum rates. But, obviously, it is not possible to adopt these methods in relation to industries where a heavy capital expenditure has been incurred, where you have a number of firms concerned and no effective machinery to enforce your will in the matter. Even if you got on paper an agreement to carry out the conditions that you prescribe, you have no machinery to see that those conditions are observed. In any event, I do not see that it would be any great advantage in this country to substitute for the woollens produced in Irish woollen mills cloths produced under much worse conditions in Great Britain or some other country.

That is no excuse.

Because in relation to those industries, even though Deputies are inclined occasionally to make the case that the existing wages here are too low, they are, generally speaking, higher than the rates prevailing in other countries. I am not prepared to take the responsibility of wiping out industries in which very considerable capital sums have been invested and which are giving, or are capable of giving, employment to a large number of people, merely because the trade unions are unable to protect the working conditions in them until other methods for protecting working conditions in those industries have been tried and failed. I submit that these are matters that can be more properly discussed in the Conditions of Employment Bill which will be before the House in a day or two.

Surely this Quota Order affords the proper opportunity for the discussion of these matters?

I am talking about the protection of working conditions in industry.

Can anything about wages, except the point in relation to the annual vacation and the 48-hour week, he discussed on the Conditions of Employment Bill?

The wages agreement register.

Yes, if there are agreements, but, so far as that Bill is concerned there are only the two points in relation to wages that can be discussed: The annual holiday and the 48-hour week.

In certain cases power is being taken in a certain section of the Bill to fix wages where the hours worked are below 48. At any rate, we can discuss all that on the Conditions of Employment Bill, and I anticipate that we will be at it long enough.

I am afraid that we cannot discuss it because it is not in the Bill.

The Deputy has never been prevented from saying his say merely because the matter was irrelevant, and I am sure he will have his say on that Bill.

I would not like to criticise the Chair in that way.

The woollen industry is a very old industry and the conditions of employment in it are very largely traditional. They have got certain methods of working which originated in the very far past. Generally speaking, the conditions in the industry here are better than the conditions in the same industry in Great Britain and other countries. There may be variations between one mill and another. Certain employers are very good employers, while other employers may be inclined to take full advantage of any opportunity that may offer.

On the whole, the conditions in the industry here are better than elsewhere, and that means that these figures are all wrong.

The industry is one for which a new market has been created here. That is why this Quota Order has been made. That new market exists in the ready-made clothing trade—a trade which has developed very considerably in the last couple of years and which requires the finished products of this industry as its raw material. The ready-made clothing trade has been developed on imported material. We think the time has come when we must transfer the orders for cloth which that industry affords to Irish mills. That is being done only to a limited extent at present, but we hope to move in that direction to a greater extent in the future and to secure the production here of certain classes of cloth which are not now being produced in sufficient quantity as well as all other cloths which are required. At most, the biggest reduction in imports which we could effect at the present time in relation to the classes of cloth covered by this Order is 50 per cent. New mills would have to be established or the capacity of existing mills would have to be increased before we could contemplate going beyond 50 per cent. At present, we have only reduced imports by 33? per cent. Even that may cause some temporary difficulty in the ready-made clothing trade because certain ready-made clothing manufacturers delayed too long in placing orders with Irish mills when the quota came into operation. These difficulties cannot have arisen yet, because the quota period is only about half way through and the reduction was only one-third, so that the situation can be examined. The quota fixed for the first quota period is always, to some extent, an experimental one because it is only when you come to administer it, you come up against the difficulties. The definite intention is to secure that an increasing proportion of the cloths used by the ready-made clothing trade will be woven in Irish mills, and the Order is going to be used for that purpose. Other matters referred to can more properly be dealt with by other machinery than Quota Orders. In so far as conditions of employment, in particular, are concerned, we can consider whether or not the provisions of the Conditions of Employment Bill are adequate to deal with the situation when we come to discuss it in committee. I think they can be made effective, but, if they cannot, we are always open to consider suggestions as to other methods.

Question put and agreed to.

I move:—

That Dáil Eireann hereby approves of Control of Imports (Quota No. 13) Order, 1934, made on the 12th day of March, 1935, by the Executive Council under the Control of Imports Act, 1934 (No. 12 of 1934).

This motion deals with Quota Order No. 13. Under this Quota Order, the importation of certain specified sizes of inner tubes of pneumatic tyres for motor vehicles, other than motor cycles, is prohibited, save under licence. The object of the Order is to regulate the imports of such inner tubes with a view to the prevention of the accumulation of stocks before the new factory in Cork is in production. The quotas appointed provide for the normal requirements of the country and, in the matter of licences, there has been no restriction upon importers.

Could the Minister say when the Cork factory will be in production?

It is going into production at present in respect of certain classes of outer covers and will gradually extend to all classes of outer covers and inner tubes, and then to other classes of rubber products. At present, we are allowing the full normal import of those inner tubes with which this Order deals.

Is this a branch of any firm which is starting, or is it a new concern which expects to make its name in the tyre and rubber industry?

It is a company registered here and owned by Dunlops.

It will have behind it the experience and the name and reputation of Dunlops?

And the capacity to charge certain prices.

There is price control.

Where is it? We did not hear about that before. Would the Minister enlighten us? Is he referring to the Prices Commission?

No—to an arrangement between the company and the Department under which the maximum prices for the company's products are fixed in relation to the prices charged for the same products in Great Britain.

The Minister, in his last speech, said that he had no effective machinery for enforcing such an arrangement, if made, and that certainly he was not going to face the people with this alternative: "Pay, or do something with regard to prices, or we will destroy your industry," because he took the line that, once large masses of capital were invested in any factory, he would not wipe it out.

The Deputy has misquoted me.

I shall read the quotation again. The Minister said, in regard to the suggestion by Deputy Norton, that there should be conditions made in regard to wages, these conditions to be enforced in a particular way, that the Department had no effective machinery to enforce these conditions. Apparently, he has machinery in regard to tubes and tyres which he had not in regard to woollens. One way was suggested— that the Minister should say: "We will not give you your quota; we will open the door." The Minister, to that, said: "I will not face any industry with the statement ‘Pay'"— I put in there "charge less"—"‘or we will ruin your industry.'"He took the stand that once large masses of capital were invested in an industry, he would not wipe it out. That is a new mentality for the Minister. I am glad to see it developing.

What I said will appear in the Official Report.

I gave a good rendering.

What will the position be when this factory comes into production? Suppose the Goodyear people want to start here, will they get a permit to start?

Then this company is getting a monopoly.

There is no legal barrier to the Deputy starting a factory here but a foreign company would not get a licence from this Government.

Is there any arrangement about this being a reserved commodity if any national wanted to start?

It is not a reserved commodity.

Is there any arrangement with the company that it would be so declared in the event of internal competition developing.

Was that talked about between the company and the Department?

The possibility of making it a reserved commodity was discussed. When an article is made a reserved commodity, certain conditions attach to any licence issued and few companies would like to work under these conditions.

I take it that the Dunlop people made application to the Minister to start here?

Does the Minister regard the Dunlop Company as a native or a foreign company?

It is the Dunlop people who are making these things.

Dunlop was an Irishman.

The Minister gave them a licence to start?

As an Irish company or as Dunlops?

As Dunlops (Ireland) Limited.

Suppose the Goodyear people want to start, will the Minister give them a licence?

Dunlops have a licence. They would not be qualified to manufacture without a licence under the terms of the Control of Manufactures Act.

Dunlops (Ireland), with 51 per cent. of its capital here, would not require a licence.

They would require to have two-thirds——

Then, they would require a licence.

Suppose Deputy Haslett and I applied to the Minister for a licence to manufacture outer tyres and tubes, would we get it? Is there any obstacle in the way of our manufacturing that class of goods?

If you were nationals of Saorstát Eireann, you would not require a licence.

If an outside firm make application to the Minister, will any obstacles be put in their way?

An outside firm would not get a licence.

How did Dunlops get it when no outsider will get it?

They have got it.

As there is no outsider with any experience of this business, it is not likely that, in the near or distant future, any attempt will be made by a native combine to manufacture these goods. They could not do that effectively because they have not the experience to face a firm with the experience which the present firm has. Boiled down, what has been done? Dunlop (Ireland) Limited is being granted a monopoly of the Free State trade. Is not that the effect of what has been done?

It is admitted.

In effect, yes.

Does the Minister think it wise to create a monopoly? If it was felt in the future that this was not a good thing for the country, is there any way by which the Minister for Industry and Commerce could get out of it? Is he tied to Dunlop (Ireland), Ltd. in any way? If this company had a monopoly of the trade here and if they turned out goods, that in comparison might not be as good as other tyres, have we any remedy against them? Are we under any obligation to carry on? Have they undertaken to produce goods of as good grade and equal in quality and price with any other standard tyres or inner tubes on the market in this or in any other country? We should know what we are doing before we give control. There is not much good in having freedom if we hand it over to foreigners.

Might I stress what Deputy Belton said? I want to know the conditions under which this factory was started. It is quite possible, as far as the law goes, that there is no agreement to prevent any group of nationals here, without a licence, engaging in the manufacture of these goods. The Dunlop people have come in and are going to sink a certain amount of capital, and it is clear, from what the Minister has hinted, that he has made an arrangement that no one else requiring a licence will get one. For how long?

It is not that.

I take it that that question has been discussed with Dunlop (Ireland), Ltd., and that by licensing another outside group, he may be throwing Dunlop Ltd. open to competition. Is that clear, in view of the reference to the freedom of other nationals to enter into competition without a licence? They do not require a licence, unless there was some talk that productions of this type will be treated as "a reserved commodity." Has the Dunlop Company got an assurance against any others requiring a licence, and against nationals who require no licence, and how long does that promise hold?

I would like to know if this procedure will be possible in future? The Minister said there will be an arrangement about prices. Will it be price for price based on quality for quality? If that was so, it would go far towards replying to Deputy Belton's question.

And how will it be enforced?

I put that point repeatedly to the Minister, that quality for quality should go hand in hand with price. How will that be enforced?

The Dunlop Company have been informed that it would be the policy of the Government to refuse a licence to any other external company to manufacture here any class of goods which were being produced by an existing concern in sufficient quantities and of satisfactory quality at reasonable prices. The question what are reasonable prices arises. An arrangement was made under which, having regard to the fluctuations in the cost of material, labour and certain other charges, prices here will not exceed the prices charged by the same company for the same goods in Great Britain, by more than a fixed percentage, varying as the charges vary. For example, we have an excise duty on motor tyres produced here. It was imposed recently and will be a charge which will further increase the difference between prices in Great Britain and prices here. If the workers in the factory here were paid 50 per cent. more than they are paid in Great Britain, then there will be a similar variation in prices. Subject to variations of that kind the prices will have relation to the list prices of the same company's productions in Great Britain.

That will cover, say, the increased cost of coal.

I do not know if coal is used here.

Supposing it is, it would cover that cost.

If coal was essential to the process of manufacture in that industry there would be no duty on coal imported for that purpose.

In all industries?

All industries where coal is the raw material required in the process of manufacture.

Would you say that coal comes into overhead costs?

A manufacturer may use coal where he might use turf, electricity or such power, and in such cases licences would not be issued. In the case of lime burners, grain driers, brewers, certain foundries and other industries of that kind——

Brick makers.

——they are covered. I am speaking from memory. There is a list.

I hope the price of bricks will not be raised?

Who forced the pace, and got the concession?

I do not know that anyone asked for a concession. It was decided to give it.

Was it not refused to certain people at first?

Not that I am aware.

The Great Southern Railways and the Electricity Supply Board.

They are not getting it. It is not given to the Gas Company either.

Where can we see the list of industries enjoying freedom from this charge?

In the Department.

Is it published?

I cannot say. It is different from what we are discussing now but, if the Deputy enquires in the Department, he will get the information.

It is certainly not published.

Is there a remission for the Electricity Supply Board for coal used at the Pigeon House? Is not that an industry?

Apparently not. Neither is the Gas Works.

There is no legal barrier to any Saorstát Company, not requiring a licence, undertaking manufacture. I agree that it is most unlikely that any Saorstát Company will be formed for that purpose, and if there was a move in that direction I think we would be inclined to discourage them for the present at any rate, although the market here undoubtedly will expand. If, however, the Dunlop Company should in any way depart from the spirit of their agreement with us, either in respect of the quantity of production, the price, or the quality, then there would be various methods by which we could redress the situation; one would be by allowing imports to take place; by decreasing the amount of protection afforded, or by issuing a licence to an external company. I have no reason to think, however, that circumstances are likely to arise in which any such means would have to be resorted to in order to enforce the agreement.

Is there not the danger that the Dunlop Company might not advance or keep abreast of the times so far as new patents for tyres and innovations in rubber making, and so on, are concerned?

We considered that there was no other way of getting this industry established here except by getting one such company and putting them in the position in which Dunlop's Company are, and I think that we were lucky in being able to get a company of the standard of the Dunlop Company for that purpose. I think it is the best security we could have that full advantage of any technical developments that may take place in that industry will be availed of here.

Except that there might not be the necessary incentive here as in Great Britain to keep them up to the scratch.

How could you get that here?

Question put and agreed to.

I move:—

That Dáil Eireann hereby approves of the Control of Imports (Quota No. 15) Order, 1935, made on the 22nd day of March, 1935, by the Executive Council under the Control of Imports Act, 1934 (No. 12 of 1934).

This Quota Order does the same thing for the inner tubes or tyres for cycles.

Who has got the concession for that?

The same company.

Question put and agreed to.

I move:—

That Dáil Eireann hereby approves of Control of Imports (Quota No. 16) Order, 1935, made on the 22nd day of March, 1935, by the Executive Council under the Control of Imports Act, 1934 (No. 12 of 1934).

Under this Quota Order the importation of superphosphates, ground mineral phosphates and compound manures, is prohibited save under licence. The object of the Order is to secure to the Free State factories as much as possible of the Saorstát market in artificial manures. Importers have been allowed to import certain portions of their requirements, but the intention is gradually to reduce such quantities until the whole, or practically the whole, of the Free State market is available for Free State manufactures. It is not at present feasible for the Irish factories to supply the County Donegal, and for that reason licences for importation through ports or customs stations in County Donegal are at the moment being granted freely. There has been a growing tendency to import these fertilisers, and but for the imposition of quota restrictions, imports this year would have very much exceeded those of previous years. No serious hardship has, however, been inflicted on importers, as licences have been issued for quantities which, when taken together with the quantities imported during the year before the making of the Quota Order, equal or exceed last year's importations.

This is the most amazing of all these Orders. We get this amazing position here in this return that, in 1931, if we take the import and add it to the home production amount, and if we take the corresponding two items in 1933, we find that there is a decline in consumption here by 58,000 tons.

In the consumption here?

Yes. Notwithstanding the fact that this glorious return says that there are more people engaged in making fertilisers in this country, the amount made in this country has declined by almost 60,000 tons. Besides that, the average annual wage that used to be paid was £139, and that has declined to an average wage of £112. You have, therefore, the amusing situation of a decreased wage, with less production at home and less consumption through the country, while more people are supposed to be occupied in the industry. Again, my intention is simply to say that this is a return that ought to be discredited, but it will be made credible in order to have other calculations based on it. There will be calculations based on it as to the number of people in employment. Whether they are in full-time employment or not I cannot say, but we are told of the increase in the number of wage-earners while the consumption has dropped by 60,000 tons and the average wage paid has also dropped.

During what period?

For the two years between 1931 and 1933. It is certainly a good reflection of the condition of the country.

The importation has diminished and the home manufacture has diminished. I understood the Minister to say that, as far as possible, we would use native products for fertilisers. I wish the Minister had indicated what are the native ingredients he contemplates putting into fertilisers. I hope he is not going to experiment and put in some stuff and say that it is as good as xxx-super simply because some crank who never manured a field in his life was told by some armchair farmer that he grew geraniums in the backyard with it, or something like that. There is quite a number of people like that who can tell all about farming, they think. Most of the phosphates come from the Riffs' country, and the potash comes from France and Germany. Is there a great advantage in manufacturing these here at all, or what ingredients have we in this country for manufacturing either super-potash or nitrates?

The Order only affects superphosphates, phosphates and compounds; it does not affect nitrates or potash.

The Minister must know that there are nitrates and potash in the compounds and, accordingly, I wonder is he right in saying that it is proposed to manufacture compounds here.

They have always been manufactured here. It is not a new industry.

I know that it is not a new industry by any means, but the Minister may not be aware that an attempt was made here a few years ago first to import and then to manufacture artificial manures in a more elaborate way than they were ever manufactured here before or than I have heard of their being done anywhere else. It was a great idea. This firm proposed, on receipt of a card, to visit a farm and, if they were not satisfied after having a look at the land, to analyse the soil at their own cost and, on their prescription, to make a compound to suit that soil. That has been largely done in France. I can buy foreign manures to such a prescription but I cannot buy native manures to such a prescription. If we have to depend on a compound manure of, say, xxx-super muriate of potash and sulphate of ammonia, there is a wastage. The French compound manures have those three ingredients in different forms of availability. They will not be, and never have been, provided in compound manures compounded in this country. The Minister is dealing with a very important matter now. In the matter of fertilisers, and compound fertilisers particularly, xxx-super is xxx-super; muriate of potash is merely muriate of potash and sulphate of ammonia is merely sulphate of ammonia, but when it comes to compounds with those three particular items, it is such compounds we will get here. Some of the foreign manures I have used, and used very largely, were compounded to a prescription and a certificate showing the various ingredients in the compound and the percentage of the ingredients and their availability was supplied. You will not get that from an Irish company and it is essential that we should. It is essential that the farmer should get a certificate when he buys compound manures.

He will get it if he asks for it.

You will get a lot if you ask for it but they would rather you did not ask. You have not to ask for it from this particular company. I think that company got short shrift when they were here, too. I should like to know if I understood the Minister rightly in saying that native materials were to be used as far as possible in the manufacture of the compounds here. What have we here to compound for artificial fertilisers? I should like to know what record it has and what is behind it. I bought some native fertilisers once and I did not buy them a second time. It was not, I may inform the Minister, that I did not pay my bill.

In this matter, I would ask the Minister to be careful. The use of artificial manures is a matter which I have followed pretty closely for over 30 years and I would say to the Minister, with all respect, that he should not be carried away by the people who assure him that they are going to give him the very product we are using.

The Deputy should know that practically none has been imported for the past three years. It is only because at the beginning of this year a tendency to import developed which was upsetting the market here that the Quota Order was made. There has been a substantial tariff upon imported manures of this description for some years now and practically none has been imported. All Irish manures have been used.

But before then, there was none imported.

That is so, and even before then 85 per cent. of the fertilisers used here were made in the country.

I am afraid I shall have to disagree with the Minister in that. I know that we used native superphosphates, but, speaking as a tillage farmer, I can say that I have been following very closely the results in regard to the potato crop. There is a potato fertiliser—I do not want to give anybody a free advertisement—which we have been following very closely for the last five or six years and which we have discovered is far and away beyond anything we can buy at home. I have been mixing home products for years and I am in no way prejudiced against the home products. I merely look for the results, and speaking in a general way, as there is not very much before us to guide us in this matter, I would say to the Minister that if he is going to put this into operation, he should take powers to get us provided with certain manures in cases in which we, who are interested, can convince him that certain manures are more useful to us and will give better results.

There are adequate powers to permit the import of any quantity we like.

My experience of the effect of these Orders has been that the price has gone up, and if this has that effect I reiterate that it will only be making our position more difficult. As I say, I do not want to give anybody a free advertisement but I can give the Minister, or anybody else, facts and figures in relation to this matter and I would ask the Minister to be very careful in what he is doing.

I am sure Deputy Belton is quite sincere in what he said but there has been a suggestion that Irish artificial manures are in some respect inferior to the imported article or the article which used to be imported.

That is not exactly what I said but go on.

I will sit down if that is not what the Deputy did say because I wanted to refuse that in case that was what the Deputy did say or in case that was what the House understood him to say. On the contrary, all the experiments and all the results achieved by the home product have been most satisfactory to those using it and these experiments were carried out over a wide area in the country. I am sorry if I have misinterpreted Deputy Belton, but, in fairness to the trade and to the results achieved, I must say that the Irish artificial manure can hold its own with any imported article we know of, whether it comes from Belgium or elsewhere.

That may be the Deputy's experience but all are not agreed on that.

I would prefer if what I said in that regard, more or less to help the Minister as a warning as to the road he was taking, was not featured as an argument as to the Irish product being as good or better than any other. I had experience for three years of this manure. My bill to the particular firm was over £600 per year and I never got better results. I have mixed my own mixtures of native manures for many years and I have mixed——

The Deputy may not make a second speech. He may explain briefly what he did say, if he thinks he has been misrepresented.

I mentioned before that the different ingredients which give plant food boiled down to three— nitrates, phosphates and ammonia. These three ingredients were guaranteed in the foreign mixture by a certificate which indicated the percentages and the availability. These three ingredients were in different forms of availability and there were some of them in the mixture under other names than those by which we know them commonly and they were available right away. As Deputy Minch knows, nitrates, for instances——

The Deputy should give his explanation briefly.

They were in the foreign compound in different forms of availability and in far more forms than in the Irish compound or than the Irish compound pretended to have them. I found them much better for that reason.

I have nothing to say except to mention that the quantity of fertilisers coming in in this year under this Order is equal to or somewhat more than the quantity that came in last year before the Order was made. No change has really been made by the Order except that the situation has been brought under control.

The Minister should not overlook the fact that the use of artificials has declined in the last few years.

Arising out of Deputy Haslett's remarks, I should say that I have gone into the matter of price, and assured myself that there has been no increase in price from the home factories since protection was afforded.

Question put and agreed to.

I move:—

That Dáil Eireann hereby approves of Control of Imports (Quota No. 18) Order, 1935, made on the 3rd day of May, 1935, by the Executive Council under the Control of Imports Act, 1934 (No. 12 of 1934).

This is an Order which imposes a quota on oranges in consequence of the Spanish agreement under which we have to give Spain a special quota of 200,000 cwt. of oranges in this year. The first quota period operates from 1st June to 31st August. The quota is 85,000 cwt., of which Spain receives a quota of 30,000 cwt. Because of certain statements which have appeared, and certain misunderstandings which, I believe, exist, I want to say first that there is no duty upon oranges imported; secondly, there is no restriction upon the quantity of oranges imported; thirdly, of the total of 85,000 cwt. to be imported in these two months, only 30,000 cwt. will come from Spain; fourthly, the Spanish exporters, under the agreement, contract to export the type of oranges required by the Irish importer, whether the Jaffa type or any other type of orange. The total quota for the 12 months is 330,000 cwt. The total quota that will be allotted to Spain over the year is 200,000 cwt., or less than two-thirds of the total quota, but the actual proportion of Spanish oranges that will be authorised at any time will vary for different periods of the year, as different Quota Orders are made.

There is very grave dissatisfaction in the trade as far as those agreements with Spain and the interchange of trade are concerned. I am reliably informed that the fruit importers, particularly those who are in the main big orange importers in this country, were not consulted in regard to this trade pact, and that if they were they would have been able to put technical experience before the negotiators, who could have regulated the quality of oranges which would be admitted into this country; that is to say they could have ensured that only a first class type of orange would come into this country under that agreement. I have listened very carefully to the Minister and I understand that Spain is to control two-thirds of the importation of oranges into this country. They are apparently to get two-thirds of the total consumption.

Over the year; they are not getting two-thirds at present.

I know that. How can they bring about a state of affairs where Jaffas would be included in their home-grown oranges? The Minister said that Jaffas could be exported under the Spanish agreement.

I said oranges of the Jaffa type.

Are there oranges of the Jaffa type grown in Spain?

Oranges which are as good as the Jaffa type?

That will be news to this country. My information is that at the time of the year at which the Jaffa is available for this market there is nothing to compare with that orange in the Spanish orange groves, and therefore, they cannot be exported to this country. Is the Minister aware that at the present moment there is coming into this country an orange which is not equal to a decent lemon, and that those oranges are already to be seen in our shops and in many of the homes in the country. It is the only orange available—a small, sour, and, to my mind, immature type of fruit. Some action should be taken to see that in regard to the agreement between Spain and the Free State, Spain conforms to the spirit of that agreement, and that the type of orange which they will send over here is going to be as good as they are sending to any other country. I am told on very reliable authority that the oranges which are coming in here would not be allowed into England at any price; that they are what is known as culled out oranges, which will be got rid of in a hurry to this country before we have time to waken up. There must be some truth in the rumour, because that orange is here already. I would strongly advise the Minister that some action should be taken to see that we get good quality oranges in return for the 320,000 dozen or whatever quantity of fresh eggs we are to send to Spain.

The Minister told us that two-thirds of our supply of oranges are to be got from Spain under this agreement. Would he tell us if he has consulted with any merchants in the trade as to whether Spanish oranges were favourites on the market here, and to what extent we consume the quality and strain of oranges that Spain produces and that will be available for importation here? After all, the consumers are the arbiters of the situation, and they have to be catered for. It is not fair to go and make an agreement with a country that claims to be able to supply our wants in regard to oranges, unless that country is capable of producing the type of oranges which we have been consuming here. Is Spain in a position to supply us with two-thirds of our consumption of the class of oranges which we have been accustomed to using? Taking into account variations in the rates of exchange, if there are any, what price will be charged, and how does that compare with the price that our merchants have been paying for oranges? Further, if Spain is to buy eggs from us, at what price will she buy them? Will it be by British prices or Spanish prices? What guarantee have we that they will bear the cost of sending over and, as regards the ordinary packing arrangements that we have, will we be able to send them there and bear transport to a hotter climate? We should know all these factors about this inter-trade pact that has been made with Spain before we are asked to approve of this Order.

I merely want to confirm some of what Deputy Minch has said. Oranges happen to be an article of diet which is especially interesting to me personally, and I have found during the last few weeks a very marked deterioration in the oranges I am able to purchase and, along with that deterioration in quality, an increase in price. Whether these things are the result of the Spanish agreement or not I do not know, but I hope that we are not going to be condemned in this country to have to live on a permanently inferior type of orange at an increased price.

If there has been any deterioration in the quality of oranges, or in the price of oranges, it is not in any way due to the Spanish agreement. In fact, Spanish oranges are not really available at this time of the year at all and neither are the Jaffa oranges. There has been, of course, a variation in the quality of the oranges available because the Jaffa is out of season and the Jaffa is most popular in this country. That is in season from November until June. It is not now available. For the period June, July and August there has been no change, practically speaking, made in the quantities of oranges to be imported from Spain or other countries. The quota fixed merely stabilised the position at last year's figures.

I propose to examine carefully into the complaints that have been made concerning an increase in price or the provision of an inferior quality, because there is no reason why that should happen. It is not the fault of the Spanish exporters. By far the greater proportion of the oranges authorised to be imported under the quota at present do not come from Spain. It is possible that the persons who have been licensed to import oranges are taking advantage of the public misunderstanding of the position in order to increase their profits. In that case, of course, we have the machinery under the Control of Imports Act to deal with them and that machinery will be used.

The total quantities of oranges imported in 1934 during the three months June, July and August was 82,000 cwts. The total quantity authorised under the quota for the same months this year is 85,000 cwts. Last year 56,000 cwts. came from countries other than Spain. This year 55,000 are authorised to come from countries other than Spain. Deputies will see there is practically no change whatever in the proportion which the oranges from Spain bear to the total imports in this year as compared with last year. Undoubtedly, in the months of the year when the Spanish orange is in season there will be a change in that proportion, but it has not taken place yet. There is no justification whatever for any alteration in the nature of the oranges supplied by the importers to the Irish consumers unless there has been a bad season, a bad crop, or some cause like that is operating to deteriorate the quality.

The oranges are sold here at the world price. The Spanish agreement commits the Spanish exporters to sell here at the world price. The practice in the trade is to consign oranges here to be sold by auction, the exporter not knowing what price he will get until the auction decides it. Our eggs sent to Spain are sold at the price prevailing in Spain. The market there is a very good one. Apparently the Spaniards eat a lot more eggs than most people and the market in which our eggs became established for the first time last year and in which they have achieved a very good reputation for themselves, is a market that will be of great permanent value to this country if we establish ourselves in it on a proper basis now. That is why the whole business of exporting eggs there is being controlled by the Department, so as to ensure that only good quality eggs go, that they are properly packed and that the marketing of them is satisfactory. We are anxious to ensure that the reputation of our eggs there will be enhanced.

The total quantity to be exported under this agreement is quite considerable and it will ease the situation here, where the production of eggs has been increasing very considerably despite the advice given to producers that the world markets were becoming limited. The producers did not take the advice offered them, the hens kept on laying and the quantity of eggs this year was considerably higher than the quantity available last year. That situation might have caused a very serious reaction on prices if the Spanish agreement had not been made. The agreement with Spain more than absorbed all the additional eggs available here and it was satisfactory, having regard to the agricultural position here.

It need not be unsatisfactory in any way here so far as the consumers of oranges are concerned, because the agreement possesses safeguards in respect of the price and the quality of the orange. If importers want a Jaffa type of orange, they can require that to be sent by the Spanish exporter, and if the Spanish exporter does not send it, the agreement has been infringed in that respect. That will not arise until after November, when Jaffa and Spanish oranges are in season. At present there is no alteration in the sources of supply of oranges imported into this country. The quota allotted to Spain is no greater proportion of the total imports than the actual imports of Spanish oranges last year.

The Minister did not reply to the point made by Deputy Minch, that is, that the experts in the trade complain they were not consulted and that it has been the habit of the Minister's Department to consult experts. Will he give any reason why he did not consult them, and can he say if it is possible to prevent an inferior type of orange coming in by arranging for oranges to be graded and branded as eggs are? If they were graded and branded it would be possible to know where the inferior type of orange is coming from that was referred to by Deputy McDermot. In that case it might not be necessary to blame the Government with whom you have made the arrangement. If the inferior oranges come from other countries, then there would be no reason for people to suggest that it is the type of orange you agreed to accept in return for our eggs. I think oranges should be graded and branded and marked with the country of origin.

So far as a consultation with the experts is concerned, that was done to whatever extent was considered necessary, but it was not necessary to any great extent. Deputies will realise that there are conflicting interests among the importers. There are, for instance, people who import direct from the country of production and others who import from Liverpool, and then there are people who act as agents for exporters. Their advice conflicts. There was not much necessity for taking advice in the matter and to whatever extent it was necessary it was procured and that was in relation to the classification of oranges and information as to the method of marketing so that prices could be compared and so forth. The agreement was drawn up in a manner that we regarded as water-tight in protecting our interests.

Could the Minister say how did the prices realised for eggs compare with the wholesale prices of last year?

I could not say.

Do I understand the Minister to say that the oranges come in here and are sold by auction here?

As far as our relations with the Spanish Government are concerned, the agreement is that the price will be the world price for oranges but, in practice, I understand that the system is to send oranges on consignment to be sold by auction. Obviously they will not sell the oranges here at a lower price than that at which they are sold in London or they will not sell them in London at a lower price than that at which they are sold here.

But if they do not realise the world price?

Then we would get them cheaper.

I have heard numerous complaints by consumers as to the quality of the oranges lately arriving in the country.

I am just after speaking for the last 15 minutes on that subject.

Will the Minister undertake to see that the oranges are of the quality required?

The Deputy had better wait and look up what I have said. I have given various assurances already.

Question put and agreed to.

I move:—

That Dáil Eireann hereby approves of Control of Imports (Quota No. 18) Order, 1935, made on the 3rd day of May, 1935, by the Executive Council under the Control of Imports Act, 1934 (No. 12 of 1934).

Notwithstanding the fact that the assembly of motor cycles is carried on effectively in the Free State, a certain number without any apparent necessity continue to be imported in a fully assembled state. In order to ensure that all or practically all motor cycles used in the Free State shall be assembled in the country it is intended to fix the quotas as low as possible. I am not inviting applications in connection with this Order, but practically no applications for licences have as yet been received.

Question put and agreed to.

I move:—

That Dáil Eireann hereby approves of Control of Imports (Quota No. 1) (Amendment) Order, 1935, made on the 22nd day of March, 1935, by the Executive Council under the Control of Imports Act, 1934 (No. 12 of 1934).

This is an amending Order designed to facilitate the administration of the quota in respect to pneumatic tyres for motor vehicles and also pneumatic tyres which are used as tyres for any other purpose. The tyre is defined as an outer cover or an inner tube. This Order was made for the purpose of removing from the scope of Quota No. 1 inner tubes of pneumatic tyres so as to secure that licences issued under the Quota Order based on previous imports of both outer covers and inner tubes might not be used for the importation of an excessive number of outer covers and thereby frustrate the intentions of the Quota Order.

Question put and agreed to.

I move:—

That Dáil Eireann hereby approves of Control of Imports (Quota No. 2) (Amendment) Order, 1935, made on the 22nd day of March, 1935, by the Executive Council under the Control of Imports Act, 1934 (No. 12 of 1934).

This is exactly the same thing in respect to pneumatic tyres on motor cycles. It removes from the scope of No. 2 Order inner tubes of pneumatic tyres.

Question put and agreed to.