Public Business. - Imposition of Duties (Confirmation of Orders) Bill, 1940—Second and subsequent Stages.

I move that the Bill be now read a Second Time. This Bill proposes to confirm three Emergency Orders, Nos. 203, 204 and 206. The first of the orders is an amendment of a definition which appears in Section 1 of the Finance (Customs Duties) (No. 4) Act, 1932, whereby a customs duty was imposed at the rate of 9d. per square yard, or 6d. preferential on articles defined as compositions made of plaster of paris in sheets or slabs. Emergency Order No. 203, which it is proposed to confirm by this Bill, simply alters that definition to make it read:—

"Compositions which are made wholly or mainly of or from gypsum and calcium of sulphate and which are imported in sheets or slabs."

There will be no change in the rate of duty.

The Emergency Imposition of Duties (No. 204) Order provides for an amendment in the application of the duty chargeable on certain woven tissues of wool or worsted. Prior to the making of this order, these woven tissues bore a duty at the rate of £3 per cent., or 30 per cent. preferential, in every case in which the value of the tissue exceeded 1/6 per square yard. The amendment now proposes to raise the exemption limit, that is to say, to extend the exemption so as to cover worsted tissues, not merely which do not exceed 1/6 per square yard, but which do not exceed 2/6 per square yard in value. To that extent it is a relaxation of the duty.

The Emergency Imposition of Duties (No. 206) Order proposes to exempt from duty component parts of agricultural machinery other than ploughs in all cases where the value of those parts does not exceed £2. Hitherto the exemption limit has been 5/- per part, and this, as is clear to Deputies, proposes to raise the exemption limit from 5/- to £2 per part.

Other than ploughs?

Yes, other than ploughs.

These are not exempted?

These are not exempted.

What about tractor ploughs? They are not made in this country.

In that case I do not think there will be any difficulty. They are not made here at all.

The Minister mentioned that Emergency Order No. 204 was a relaxation of the duty. I take it the fact is that the price has risen and that 2/6 now is equivalent to 1/6 pre-war?

I would not be prepared to go as far as that.

Question put and agreed to.
Agreed to take the remaining stages now.
Bill considered in Committee.
Sections 1 and 2 put and agreed to.
Schedule and Title put and agreed to.
Bill reported without amendment.
Question—"That the Bill be received for final consideration"—put and agreed to.
Question—"That the Bill do now pass"—put and agreed to.

This is a Money Bill within the meaning of Article 22 of the Constitution.