That Dáil Eireann hereby approves of Control of Imports (Quota No. 31) Order, 1936, made on the 27th day of August, 1936, by the Executive Council under the Control of Imports Act, 1934 (No. 12 of 1934).
This quota order relates to certain classes of electric filament lamps. The description in the Orders is of a rather technical nature, but it means that the ordinary household lamp is made subject to quota restrictions, whereas other classes of electric lamps are not so restricted. Electric lamps were subject to import duty at the rate of 75 per cent. previously, but for various reasons which I shall mention it was found that the existing import duty was not sufficient to secure that a reasonable proportion of the market here would be secured for the company manufacturing electric lamps here. One of the main reasons why the import duty was not entirely effective was that many of the principal firms engaged in the distribution of electric lamps were either controlled by, or very closely associated with, the combination of foreign lamp manufacturers which previously supplied the market here, and Irish producers found very considerable difficulty in getting their products placed upon the market through existing distributors at all.
Furthermore, large quantities of lamps were imported previous to the imposition of the duty and, in fact, following the imposition of the duty, and considerable stocks were obviously being held in the country, with the result that the output from the Saorstát factory was considerably below its capacity. One of the results of the making of the quota order and the consequent provision to the company concerned of a secure market for their products was that the price of their product, which had previously been fixed at the same level as the price of the combine product, was reduced and, in fact, we look forward to and expect further reductions in the price of their lamps as their output increases. We do not think that expectation will be disappointed.
In 1935, approximately 1,250,000 lamps were imported. The first quota period is from 5th October, 1936, to 31st December, 1936, and during that period the quota is 120,000 lamps. That represents a reduction of approximately 50 per cent. on the imports during the corresponding period last year. It is considered that such a reduction need cause no difficulty to any distributor in obtaining supplies, firstly, because of the fact that there are large stocks in the country and, secondly, that the Free State concern is, in any event, capable of supplying the full requirements of the country. That quota has not yet been utilised in full, and there is a proportion of it still available for distribution under Section 9 (3) of the Control of Imports Act, should occasion ever arise for it. I think I can say that the quality of the lamps being produced at Bray is as good as can be reasonably expected. These lamps were submitted to very severe tests by the Government purchasing department and other semiofficial organisations, and they stood up to the tests very well. We have received from these sources information that the quality of the lamps is good, and having regard to the fact that their price has been reduced and that further reductions can be anticipated with increased production, there appears to us no reason why this measure of protection should not be afforded to the industry.