That Dáil Éireann hereby approves of the Control of Imports (Quota No. 13) (Woven Woollen and Synthetic and Artificial Fabrics) (Amendment) (No. 2) Order, 1955.
Section 4 (2) of the Control of Imports Act, 1934, provides that any quota Order made under the Act and any Order similarly made amending a quota Order shall cease to have effect on the expiration of six months from the date on which it was made unless it is approved by each House of the Oireachtas by resolution passed before the expiration of the said six months.
The Control of Imports (Quota No. 13) (Woven Woollen and Synthetic Synthetic and Artificial Fabrics) (Amendment) (No. 2) Order, 1955, was made on the 2nd June, 1955, and must be confirmed before the 2nd December, 1955.
The Control of Imports (Quota No. 13) Order, 1935, as amended by subsequent Orders prohibits the importation of woollen and worsted and certain types of rayon cloth except under licence. There is an exemption in the Order for printed fabrics, which are not produced here.
In November, 1954, certain of the Irish mills, which had previously engaged to a small extent in the production of rayon suitings, decided to go into this trade in a fairly substantial way. It emerged, however, that a cloth was on offer to the trade here which had been specially prepared to evade the quota control. This cloth had a pattern printed on one side and was finished in such a way that either side could be used as the outer side of a garment. In the case of trousers, gaberdine coats, etc., it is, of course, immaterial to the wearer whether the garment is printed on the inside or not. These cloths, according to statutory provisions, were printed fabrics and, as such, exempt from the quota. This evasion of the quota was regarded as a serious threat to the Irish mills. Traders who had placed orders with the mills were reluctant to confirm them as they feared that when the weakness in the quota became generally known, there would be large scale importation of cloths printed in the manner indicated and they would find themselves with the Irish cloth left on their hands.
It was decided that the existing exemption regarding printed fabrics should be substituted by an exemption for fabrics with a bona fide design or pattern permanently printed or painted thereon which is visible on both surfaces of the fabric. Where genuine printed cloths happen to be caught by the quota reasonable facilities for their importation are granted. This amendment prevented the importation of cloths designed to evade the quota but as almost all genuine printed cloths have the printing showing on both sides, traders are still free to import their requirements of genuine printed cloth.
The amendment of the Order was effected by Control of Imports (Quota No. 13) (Woven Woollen and Synthetic and Artificial Fabrics) (Amendment) (No. 2) Order, 1955, made by the Government on the 2nd June, 1955, which came into effect on the 9th June, 1955.