SEANAD IN COMMITTEE. - FINANCE BILL, 1925.

Question—"That the Title of the Bill be postponed"—put and agreed to.
Question—"That Section 1 stand part of the Bill"—put and agreed to.

I beg to move the following recommendation:—

New section. That, after Section 1, a new section be inserted as follows:—

"2.—(1) The right of deduction arising under Section 21 of the Finance Act, 1920, shall be deemed to arise in respect of any child aged upwards of sixteen years as regards whom the Revenue Commissioners are satisfied that during the whole of the current income-tax year he was and will be unable to maintain himself and was and will be dependent for maintenance on the parent chargeable to tax by reason of disease (including blindness or other physical defect and mental disease or affection), in like manner in which it arises in respect of a child whose age on the first day of the current income-tax year does not exceed sixteen years.

(2) A deduction under this section may be claimed and allowed within six months after the end of the current income-tax year."

This recommendation aims at giving relief to parents who might have a child or children over 16 years of age. That child, or children, might not be able to make provision for himself, or themselves, and might have to be maintained by the parents. The children may be unable to provide for themselves by reason of infirmity or disease. I put it to the Seanad that any parent, who may have a child, even though that child be over 16 years of age, who is dependent on the parents' support, should get some relief similar to what he would get if the child was not over 16 years of age. I am sure that will appeal to anybody who has had the experience of rearing a family. We have often heard of parents who have gone to a great deal of expense educating a child, and even when that child is 16 years of age it is unable, through some disease or infirmity, to undertake some employment and it has to be dependent on its parents. It is only reasonable that the parents should be relieved to the same extent as if the child was not over 16. The recommendation strikes me as being a reasonable one.

I am sorry when Senator de Loughry was reading the Finance Act, he stopped short at Section 21. If he read Section 22 he would find there are there allowances for dependent relatives. In the case of a child who, through some incapacity, is unable to maintain himself, the parent becomes entitled to an allowance under Section 22. The difference will be £2 in the rate of allowance. For a second or a first child the allowance is £27. The allowance for a dependent relative is £25. I do not think you should make any distinction between different classes of dependent relatives. I do not think Senator de Loughry's recommendation should be adopted.

I overlooked what the Minister has referred to.

Recommendation, by leave, withdrawn.

I would like to move a recommendation to the effect that the income tax allowance should be one-seventh instead of one-tenth in connection with earned incomes.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

I should imagine that this is provided for in another Act and it is not touched in this.

There was an amendment, similar to that, proposed in the Dáil. The proposal was that the allowance should be one-sixth instead of one-tenth. I was able to make a calculation as to the amount of the cost if such an amendment were adopted. I found that to reduce it to one-sixth would cost £250,000. I do not know what a reduction to one-seventh would cost; it would certainly cost a substantial sum, such a sum as would upset the balance aimed at in the Budget. It could not be accepted without other and considerable changes in the Budget, perhaps the imposition of other taxes to make up the deficit caused. I would say that the suggestion of Senator Colonel Moore would cost £200,000.

If the Minister does not desire to accept the suggestion, I do not wish to press it. I may mention that the reduction to 4/- in the £ only affects those with small incomes, to a limited extent, whereas an allowance of one-seventh for earned income would affect a much larger number of poor people. I would also like to mention the extraordinary difficulty that arises in arranging what income tax should be taken over for the British Government and what proportion should be for the Irish Government. It is terribly hard at present to manage all these affairs, and it seems to me it will be worse.

Recommendation, by leave, withdrawn.

I beg to move:—

New section. That, after the foregoing section, a new section be inserted as follows:—

"3.—Where any person chargeable to income tax is entitled to make deductions under Section 21 of the Finance Act, 1920, in respect of five or more children, the amount of the deduction in respect of the fifth child shall be £36 and the amount of the deduction in respect of any child in excess of five shall be £45."

This is a recommendation which will give some relief to parents of large families. I think that parents who have five or more children should be entitled to some consideration. As far as I can see, it means that a father who is an income-tax payer will receive about £2 under the proposed rate of allowances more than under the present rate. I do not think I need stress the point that parents who are confronted with the problem of rearing a family of five, or over that number, deserve any concession that could be given by the State. I do not think it is asking too much to suggest that they should be allowed this little concession.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

The House will remember that these are recommendations only.

This would have the effect of introducing a certain element of complexity into the income tax code, which is certainly complex enough. If we alter it at all we should aim in the direction of simplicity. As the matter stands, there is an allowance of £36 for the first child and £27 for each subsequent child. If Senator de Loughry's recommendation were adopted by the Seanad and accepted by the Dáil, we would be in a position that there will be £36 for the first child, £27 for the second, third and fourth children, £36 for the fifth child, and £45 for the sixth. That would be rather too ridiculous for the sake of £2.

I do not know if the Minister has less than a family of five or six. If he was in the position of a parent of five or six children he would realise it is a very reasonable proposition. A parent faced with the problem of providing for a family of five deserves some little support. A man with a family of five should receive some little encouragement. It only amounts to about £2 for each child over the number of five. I think the recommendation is reasonable. I am in the position of having six children. I suppose I should not put that forward as a reason for this recommendation. I realise the position of fathers of families, five or more in number, and they deserve some encouragement.

I cannot see why the number should be five or more children. There would be some logic in suggesting there should be a flat rate of £36. or something like that, although we could not accept that this year without adjustments. We budgeted rather closely this year, and we left practically no margin. Anything that would cost £2,000 or £3,000, or such a sum as that would be impossible. If a change were wanted in any future year, the allowance for children might be increased. That matter was considered before the Budget was introduced; we considered raising it to £50, or some such figure all round. If there were a margin again, probably that would be done. We ought not to get on a switch-back scale such as Senator de Loughry suggests. There ought to be a certain amount of straightness about the thing, and people ought to have some idea of what the allowance would be. If it is indicated there is £36 for the first child and £27 for each subsequent child, most people will know about it. If you are told it is £36 for the first, £27 for the third and £45 for the sixth, it becomes difficult to understand.

Why does the Senator stop at six children? Would not the argument be still more potent if he went on to ten children?

I do not stop at six.

What would be the proposal in regard to the tenth child?

There must be a limit.

I do not suggest any limit.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

The maximum in the amendment is £46, not 46 children. There is no increase on taking quantity in the recommendation.

There would be very few people affected if you applied it to a family of ten.

There would be plenty.

Will the Senator suggest that the scale should come down again after six, as a mark of disapproval?

Recommendation put and negatived.

I move:—

New section. That, after the foregoing section, a new section be inserted, as follows:—

"4.—For the purposes of deductions in respect of children under Section 21 of the Finance Act, 1920, £11 earned income (being income in excess of personal allowance and allowance for wife, if any) shall be deemed £9 assessable income, in so far as, by being so assessed as aforesaid a deduction in respect of a child or children arises in respect of it. Provided that where any such deduction as aforesaid has to be made in respect partly of earned and partly of unearned income, or where for any other reason a fractional part of £11 shall be relevant to any such deduction as aforesaid, the assessment of such fractional portion of £11 shall, being earned income, be in the proportion aforesaid of £9 assessable income for £11 actual earned income."

The provisions in the English Act are in those terms. Since I introduced this recommendation it was brought to my notice that a similar resolution in the Dáil was turned down. Apparently it would be only a waste of time to press this recommendation.

Recommendation, by leave, withdrawn.

The following recommendation is consequential on the preceding one and I withdraw it:—

New section. That, after the foregoing section, a new section be inserted, as follows:—

"5.—Without prejudice to the continued application of Section 16 of the Finance Act, 1920, and any other provisions respecting the assessment of earned income (so far as not hereinafter in this section expressly varied), the first £270 of taxable income (that is to say, of income in excess of personal allowances and allowances and deductions—if any—in respect of wife, children, dependent relatives or insurance premiums) of any person chargeable to income tax shall, so far as it represents earned income, be reduced for collection by such amount as will make the sum collectable and payable in respect of the portion of income aforesaid bear to the sum assessed and apart from this provision payable in respect of it, the same proportion as the fraction five-sixths bears to the fraction nine-tenths."

Recommendation, by leave, withdrawn.

I move:—

New section. That, after the foregoing section, a new section be inserted as follows:—

"6.—In the case of income tax in respect of the income of a widow, any portion not exceeding £200 of taxable income (that is to say, income in excess of personal allowance, deductions for children and other reliefs actually arising in the particular case and actually chargeable to the tax) which is unearned income, shall be reduced by one-tenth before assessment, in like manner as an equal amount of earned income, pursuant to Section 16 of the Finance Act, 1920."

This is to give some relief to a widow. I hope the Minister will accept the recommendation. A widow who is bereaved of her breadwinner should receive some consideration from the State. What I propose is not very much, and it is the least the State should do for a widow. She should receive some help by way of extra allowance.

It seems to me it is difficult to see how we could confine this to widows. There might be people who would be really a great deal worse off than a widow with an income of £335 per annum unearned, if the widow had no dependents. This would apply to a widow who had up to £335 per annum unearned. I do not think that is the hardest case possible.

Then there are other people. You may, for instance, have an invalid spinster who may be a much more deserving case than a widow capable of doing work or carrying on business. It is all very well simply to take a class and try to harrow us about it, but I do not think there is any reason why we should select one class which might not be particularly necessitous at all. This does not apply to widows who are, unfortunately, left without any provision. There will be no income tax chargeable unless there is £135 derived from capital or investment. I do not think that these are the hardest cases. In any case this one-tenth allowance has been confined to earned income, and I do not think that it would be satisfactory at all to extent it to unearned income.

As a matter of fact the recommendation is that the richer a poor widow is, the more relief she will get.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

That is an encouragement to save.

Recommendation put and negatived.

Question—"That Sections 2 to 15 stand part of the Bill"—put and agreed to.
SECTION 16.—SUB-SECTION 2.
(2) The duty imposed by this section shall not be charged or levied—
(a) on boots or shoes (including slippers, goloshes, sandals, and clogs), nor on any component parts or accessories thereof, nor
(b) on any accessory of personal clothing or wearing apparel imported separately from the clothing or apparel and made wholly or mainly of non-textile materials, nor
(c) on any component parts of umbrellas, nor
(d) on any article of a surgical or medical character and intended to be worn because of or as a preventive against or remedy for any physical ailment or defect, nor
(e) on unblocked hat shapes or hoods of whatever material made, nor
(f) on ornamental feathers or artificial flowers imported for use in the making or trimming of personal clothing or wearing apparel and so imported separately from the clothing or apparel.

I beg to move the following recommendation:—

That Section 16, sub-section (2), be amended by the addition of the following:—

"(g) On goods on which duty has already been paid sent out of Saorstát Eireann and returned without any improvement or alteration thereto."

I think I had better explain why I put down this amendment. A number of houses, large drapery houses mainly, in the city of Dublin, and in some other parts of Ireland, carry on a trade with England and America in linen and similar goods. They carry on a parcel post trade and, of necessity, a considerable quantity of goods have to be sent on approbation, and, from time to time, they are returned. In the Bill as it stands I am informed—and this is the definite, concrete case for the amendment—that if a firm imports Irish linen goods from Northern Ireland, as one or two large firms in Dublin do, and send these goods, on which they have already paid duty, on approbation to England or America, when they are returned they are forced to pay further duty. That, I am assured, especially in the case of one large firm, represents a very large amount.

Correspondence took place between a leading concern, with which, I may explain, I have no connection, and the Revenue Commissioners who received the matter sympathetically, but the firm have been informed that the required relief cannot be given. This amendment was put down so that it will enable the Revenue Commissioners to make such regulations as to permit goods to be sent on approbation, and if the senders are able to satisfy the Commissioners when the goods are sent back that they are the same articles on which duty had previously been paid, they may receive back the amount of the duty. This recommendation was drafted by people interested, and the Minister will, no doubt, be able to say whether it meets the point or not, but I am informed that it does.

I would support the amendment. It transpired yesterday in a statement of the Minister that a duty on dairy produce had evidently been considered when this Bill was being framed. I suppose that that consideration is likely to occur again. As regards agricultural produce, it frequently happens that when goods are sent to England a consignee refuses to accept them and they have to be brought back here. If some amendment, such as this, were not brought in to meet the case, these goods would probably be subject to import duty. I can readily imagine a case of that sort, and, if the position is not made clear, hardship may be inflicted.

I have been asked to support the amendment and have much pleasure in doing so. As has been explained already, a number of our firms do a considerable export parcel-post trade. Some of these parcels are not of Irish manufacture, and are imported into this country and duty is paid on them. They are sent out again to England or America, and sometimes they are sent back. It is hardly fair that these people who have paid the duty should have to pay again when the goods are re-imported.

Senator Dowdall was, I think, speaking under a misapprehension, as goods which are the produce of Saorstát Eireann and which are exported from the country, are not subject to duty on re-importation. There is no duty charged on goods manufactured in this country and re-imported. Even if you were at some time to put a tax on Irish dairy produce there would be no danger that Irish dairy produce would be subject to a tax on re-importation. As regards the question of goods not manufactured in Saorstát Eireann, the matter has been carefully considered, and amendments on these lines were proposed and defeated in the Dáil. We are satisfied that this concession would be extremely costly and difficult to administer, and would probably lead to fraud on the Revenue, unless administered in such a way as to render the concession nugatory, and that, of course, would be undesirable. Identification is difficult enough in the case of articles, the produce of Saorstát Eireann. If some article is imported, which is alleged to be the produce of this country, you can go to the manufacturer and ask him if he made this article, and you could check in a reasonable way whether it is the produce of Saorstát Eireann or not. If it is made elsewhere, brought in here, and alleged that it has been exported and re-imported, it is difficult to find whether it is the article which went out. It would, in fact, cost more to encourage this sort of trade than to kill it.

Before the articles can be exported they have to be examined and checked. Articles of little value might be sent out and replaced by articles of high value which would be sent back here, and it might be alleged that they were being re-imported. We had many discussions about this both with officials and those representing trade, and, with every desire not to disturb existing trade or interfere with business carried on heretofore, we are convinced that this arrangement is in the interest of revenue, and that it keeps down the costs of administration as well as they can be kept down. This recommendation was refused in the Dáil, and if it were passed here I would have to ask the Dáil to refuse it again. It is not a thing that we have not considered. It has had most careful attention, and anybody who thinks over it will see that this recommendation could not be of benefit. Say you have a fur coat made here and you export it. The value may be small. Substitution occurs outside, and a fur coat, on which high duty would have to be paid, is sent back, and it is alleged that it is the fur coat that was exported. If such a thing as that is not to take place, great care will have to be taken in marking the goods, and the cost to the Customs would be considerable. If you have fur coats made here and one is exported and brought back again, it is easy to bring it to the firm and ask to have it identified.

Does the Minister think that it would be equally impracticable to include goods manufactured in Ireland? I do not believe that there will be a continuation of the business of dutiable goods manufactured in England being sent here and being sent back again. In the case of goods manufactured in Northern Ireland it is a different matter. I think it is a serious matter unless some possible way can be found by giving the revenue commissioners power to allow firms to make deposits with them. I am not concerned very much with the matter except in the case of goods manufactured in Northern Ireland, as I think partition will only exist for a small period in our history. I was not aware, and apparently certain correspondence which I have seen with the officials rather misled me, that this matter had been definitely dealt with in the Dáil. If the Minister is not prepared to meet the case I do not press the recommendation.

It is not a question of the retail trade but of the wholesale trade. That can be met by a system of warehousing. A firm here dealing with a firm in Northern Ireland or in England and which sends samples to its customers there need not pay duty on these goods. The representatives of trade expressed themselves satisfied that, having regard to the difficulties that existed, we were doing the best that could be done under the circumstances.

That is quite correct. In the case of one retail firm it represents £20,000.

Recommendation, by leave, withdrawn.
Question—"That Section 16 and 17 stand part of the Bill"—put, and agreed to.
SECTION 18.
Sub-section (2): The duty imposed by this section shall not be charged or levied—
(a) on any picture painted or mounted on wood or on any picture frame made wholly or partly of wood or on any picture framed in any such frame or on any component part of any such frame, or
(b) on any apparatus made wholly or partly of wood and adapted to be used for the purpose of household cleaning by means of suction or on any component part of any such apparatus.

I move:

That Section 18, sub-section (2), be amended by the addition of the following:—

(c) or any object of decorative art manufactured in any part of Ireland.

This is a comparatively small matter which the Minister may possibly see his way either by the means proposed in the amendment or by similar words to deal with satisfactorily. There is an exemption in the case of picture frames, which I believe had been held to be furniture. For a number of years there has been in the North of Ireland a trade in Irish goods, and the people who were engaged in this trade were very largely those with whom many of us had contact in more difficult days in the past. They make certain brooches, and certain kinds of articles which are not dutiable, and there is a considerable trade in these, and in various kinds of cigarette boxes and glove boxes which are certainly articles of art. They are nearly all Celtic ornaments and designs, and the trade is almost with the South of Ireland. In view of the fact that picture frames have been exempt from duty, and as this is a comparatively small matter, I would ask the Minister to see whether he could not make a similar exemption in the case of these articles, which the Commissioners are satisfied are articles of decorative art. There may be administrative difficulties, but I think the Minister would be able to find a way of meeting the recommendation.

I think the people concerned had better remove to Dublin, and then they can send these articles to the North without paying any tax. That is the best suggestion I can make. I do not think it would be practicable to distinguish Northern Ireland and England in customs matters. Partition is there, and there is no use in our blinking the fact, no matter how we dislike it. We cannot give preference to Northern Ireland. We cannot select a particular bit of customs entity and give exemption. We may give special rates as in the case of motor cars to Great Britain, and we may give them to the Dominions. We may take the customs entity and give special rates but I do not think we can give part of a customs entity special rates. We cannot have a certain rate for England, and a different one for Scotland, and another for Northern Ireland. We must recognise that partition exists, and we cannot say that an article made in Northern Ireland shall be admitted free if there is a duty on the same article imported from England or Scotland.

The amendment does not propose that, though I admit that my arguments suggested that. I recognise that we cannot possibly differentiate between the areas in what is politically Great Britain. At the same time one might in dealing with certain articles have consideration for articles made in Ireland.

These articles are made in Dublin and Cork.

Recommendation, by leave, withdrawn.
Section 18 agreed to.
SECTION 19.
Sub-section (2): The duty imposed by this section shall not be charged or levied—
(a) On glass syphons, nor
(b) on glass bottles which the Revenue Commissioners are satisfied are adapted for use solely for feeding infants, nor
(c) subject to compliance with such conditions as the Revenue Commissioners may think fit to impose, on glass bottles or glass jars which the Revenue Commissioners are satisfied are imported for use solely for containing milk for sale.

I move:—

That Section 19, sub-section (2), be amended by the addition of the following:—

"(d) Subject to compliance with such conditions as the Revenue Commissioners may think fit to impose, on glass bottles or glass jars which the Revenue Commissioners are satisfied cannot be obtained in Saorstát Eireann and are imported for use for sale filled with products of Irish manufacture."

I am afraid this amendment may meet the same fate as the previous one. If it is not acceptable, I will not press it further. This is an effort on my part to try and meet the case I mentioned yesterday with regard to an ink factory near Dublin, which had to close down for a period owing to difficulties with regard to supply of bottles for their requirements. At present this firm cannot get in the Free State the bottles they require, though they may be able to get them in six months' time. If they import the bottles from England they have to pay a duty of 33? per cent., fill them with ink, and sell them in competition with English firms whose bottles filled with ink are imported free of duty here.

This recommendation, as drafted, of course practically means the repeal of the bottle tax. It would admit all bottles practically free, for they would all be brought in for the purposes of sale, filled with products of various kinds.

Would they not be nearly all made in Ireland?

I think they would not be made in Ireland, and in that case I think the purpose of the bottle tax would be defeated by this recommendation. I know there is a certain hardship on the firm referred to by Senator Douglas. We had hoped that there would be a full supply of bottles before this, but the firms engaged in bottle manufacture have been undergoing a process of financial reconstruction. Delays have occurred, and they were prevented from undertaking the manufacture of bottles as rapidly as we had hoped. The difficulties have been overcome. We will put every pressure on them, recognising they owe a good deal to the State because of the protective tariffs which have been put on as regards their industry, to supply ink manufacturers at the earliest moment. The ink manufacturer to whom the Senator has referred, and one or two others, have been hard hit, but other bottlers have not suffered injury to the same extent.

Recommendation, by leave, withdrawn.
Sections 19 to 24, put and agreed to.
SECTION 25.

I move:—

That a new paragraph be added at the end of the section as follows:—

(c) The word "caramel" now contained in sub-section (3) thereof were omitted therefrom.

Section 15, sub-section (3) of the Finance Act, 1924, defines the expression "Sugar Confectionery" to include sweetmeats, caramel, jams, marmalade and jellies not containing cocoa or saccharine. Caramel is a constituent raw material used in the manufacture of sugar confectionery for the purpose of flavouring, and is really a burnt sugar. It is not an article sold for public consumption, and must not be confounded with the term "caramels," which is a sweetmeat. The article known as "caramel" should for the purpose of duty come under Section 21 of the Finance Bill, 1925, and be liable to duty at the rate of one penny per lb., or ten pence per gallon. The article is generally used in the confectionery trade, and also in the brewing and distilling industries, but is not used in sufficient quantities to warrant its preparation in An Saorstát as a commercial proposition.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

Your recommendation rather carries on that confusion. If caramel is singular, it should be "was" not "were" in the recommendation.

That was used in regard to the other omission.

I think there is something in what Senator Sir Nugent Everard says. I would like to look into the matter with a view to seeing whether there would be a demand for its manufacture here. I promise that the matter will be carefully investigated before the next Finance Bill. I do not want to refuse it definitely now, and I think it should be allowed to stand over. The law regarding this has been in operation for a year, and no complaints have reached us officially, and consequently the thing has not been looked into except when this recommendation was put down. There may be a sufficient demand to have that article made here. I would like that aspect investigated. I would undertake, if the recommendation were not pressed, to have the matter very carefully investigated with a view, if the facts as stated by the Senator are correct, to have this change incorporated in the next Finance Bill.

I am quite prepared to leave it in the hands of the Minister. I am sure he will come to my view in the end.

Recommendation, by leave, withdrawn.
Question—"That Section 25 stand part of the Bill"—put and agreed to.

I move:—

That, after Section 25, a new section be inserted as follows:—

"26.—Section (which imposes a Customs duty on boots and shoes, including slippers, goloshes, sandals and clogs, and on the component parts and accessories thereof) of the Finance Act, 1924 (No. 27 of 1924), shall, as from the 1st day of July, 1925, be so construed and have effect as not to apply to boots, shoes and sandals having a length (measured from tip or front of toe to back of heel) not exceeding six inches, nor to any component parts or accessories which the Revenue Commissioners are satisfied are adapted solely for use or capable only of use as component parts of boots, shoes or sandals having the length aforesaid.

"Provided that the exemption created by this section shall not extend to slippers, goloshes or clogs, nor the accessories or component parts thereof, nor to any boots, shoes or sandals which, though not exceeding six inches in length, are adapted or intended for use by women or for any purpose other than as children's boots, shoes or sandals."

I am not sure my recommendation is properly drafted, but what I wanted to effect was that children's boots and shoes, which are not made in the Free State, should be exempt from the duty now imposed. I think that is desirable, and that it will be very much welcomed, as the bill for children's boots in the average household is a very considerable item. We were assured that these import duties were put on not so much for revenue purposes as to protect Irish industries. These boots are not made in Ireland, and therefore the benefit of protection does not follow, while the poorer classes are severely hit.

Perhaps the Senator would include ladies' slippers, as they are not made in Ireland.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

It depends on the measurement of the feet—6 inches.

It is a difficult thing to describe children's boots, I admit.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

It would certainly include Cinderella.

There is some manufacture I think of children's boots in the Free State, and I know there are people who are discussing the question of opening factories for the manufacture of children's boots. I was talking recently to a person interested in the boot trade who was particularly keen on following up the opportunity which the tariff presents in this respect. In any case I think the effect of an exemption of about half the total boot imports, or more than half,, would destroy any hope of an expansion of the boot industry. People are building factories and installing machinery in the belief that the tax will last for a considerable time. If we did what is now suggested in the recommendation they would say that the tax on ladies' boots will also go, and that would stop further progress. I think as the tax was deliberately put on all boots and shoes that it should be kept on for a reasonable time until we see if advantage will be taken of it and if people will instal machinery for that purpose. If we begin to whittle it down now those who contemplate the erection of factories will fear that the tariff will come off altogether, that they will not have an opportunity of getting their businesses properly established, and no progress will be made. I believe that such an amendment as this would absolutely shake the confidence of the manufacturers. If after six, seven, or eight years it was apparent that some particular class of boots or shoes was not going to be manufactured we might exempt that class from the tariff. But the starting of new industries, as I said yesterday, is a slow business. I have no doubt that we will have the manufacture of children's boots undertaken to a considerable extent before long. I have nothing more definite to go on than the talk of people who are interested in the industry, but I am satisfied that we will not be very long in the position in which we have been for the last year or two.

I would like to support the point of view adopted by the Minister. I was against this 15 per cent. on boots last year. I would have been strongly in favour then of this, or some other amendment in the same form, but I am now equally strongly of the opinion that once we put on a duty we have got to make up our minds that we will keep it there for a pretty considerable period which, I should say, should certainly not be less than ten years, because it costs a great deal in the case of boots to buy machinery, of which I have some little knowledge, and it is very difficult to obtain it. It is controlled by very large organisations in the States, and to some extent in England, and it will take a very considerable time before any benefit will be obtained for this new industry here, if benefit is to be found at all. If you were to ask them, I am quite sure that those who are now interested in this business would immediately say, if this recommendation were carried, that we do not know our own minds, that as it has been changed this year they have no guarantee that it will not be changed next year. For good or evil, once we make up our minds to impose a duty, I am strongly of opinion that we must keep it on for a considerable period.

I do not like to do anything that might hamper the starting of any industry or the improvement of an existing industry. I am afraid that I have not got much encouragement. I must only assume that the majority of the Senators have not any experience of providing boots for children. However, in six or eight years those who are children now will be men and women. As I have got no encouragement, I do not want to press the recommendation.

Recommendation, by leave, withdrawn.
SECTION 26.

I move:—

That a new sub-section be added to Section 26 as follows:—

"(3) The duty on saccharine imposed by this section shall not be charged or levied on any articles of food where it is shown to the satisfaction of the Revenue Commissioners that such articles are for use by persons suffering from disease."

This is another suggestion which may be equally impracticable. It affects a much smaller number of people than any of the other suggestions that I have made, and this is a case where I have a certain amount of sympathy with Senator de Loughry, because it is from personal experience that I discovered that a certain anomaly arises in this case. There are some four or five hundred persons who suffer from the disease called diabetes in this country who get supplies of commodities which they cannot obtain in Ireland, as their number is not large enough to enable these things to be produced in Ireland. They are brought in small quantities by parcel post, and there is a minimum duty of 2/6, with an addition of 6d. on each parcel. That means simply that most people, unless they are prepared or are wealthy enough to pay an absurd price, must do without these articles. It has not occurred in my own case, but in the case of my boy I had to pay. I know quite a number of others who are unable to get it because of the fact that very small quantities of saccharine are used in it. I do not make anad miscricordiam appeal to the Minister, because that would not be fair to him; if it is unworkable that is an end of it.

I would not have put it down but for the fact that I find in the case of the 15 per cent. duty on clothes certain articles were exempted for the use of persons suffering from disease. In this case the articles I refer to are only made by five or six firms. They are made for diabetic cases, and the one which I obtain contains only about .01 of saccharine, but a small consignment containing that much pays 3/- duty. They cannot be imported in large quantities because they would not keep. What I suggest may be impossible, but I cannot help feeling that if it is possible in the case of clothing it should be possible in this case. I am not dealing with a general case, but with commodities that are made specially. What I suggest may not be possible, and if so I have no wish to press it.

I think that something might be done to meet the point raised by Senator Douglas if it were possible in the time to consider it. We might have to confine it to saccharine in certain articles, for instance, because I do not think we could accept the recommendation as it stands. We could not make this amendment to the Bill without further investigation. It is a matter in connection with which I would like to meet, after the Bill is passed, certain of the people who are interested in the matter, with some representatives of the Revenue, and perhaps we could also have advice from the State chemist, and see whether the difficulty could not be met.

I believe that where the proportion of saccharine is so small as that mentioned by Senator Douglas in connection with a special class of article we could manage to arrange for some form of exemption. There is a certain amount of difficulty, of course, in dealing with articles that are brought in by individuals; there are administrative difficulties to be overcome. It might, however, be easier, if instead of putting it in this form we exempted from duty a certain class of article, even though it might contain saccharine. We would not have time now to draft a satisfactory section for the present Finance Bill. Although I was once spoken to personally on the matter, representations in regard to the hardship of the case have not reached the Revenue Commissioners, nor have I really been officially approached about it, and the amount of consideration that I think the matter would require has not been given to it. I would undertake to have it carefully investigated by the Revenue Commissioners and the State Chemist, with a view to meeting the difficulty in a subsequent Bill.

My view of pretty well all the recommendations is that they are really for next year, because it is obvious, except in some small matter, that the Minister, having arranged his Budget, cannot accept recommendations to any extent at this stage. I may say that any recommendations I have put down have been put down in the hope that the matter would be considered for next year rather than for this year. I would like to say that is not in any sense a complaint, because I know from my own experience that the Revenue Commissioners go out of their way to deal promptly with parcels that contain goods of this kind where delay would be very serious. Patients have to get these goods prepared every week. The Revenue Commissioners have given every kind of consideration to these cases, and I would not like it to be thought that I am making a complaint.

Recommendation, by leave, withdrawn.
Sections 26 to 36 put and agreed to.

I propose that after Section 36 a new section be inserted as follows:

"On and after the 1st day of August, 1925, Section 25 of the Finance Act, 1924, shall not apply to any goods which are imported by parcel post."

This is a recommendation of much more substance and importance than any of the others which I have put down. I have put it down, I am afraid, very much in the same way, recognising that quite likely it will not be accepted this year. But it is a recommendation which I would like to urge very strongly on the Minister. There is amongst traders generally considerable resentment against the minimum duty of 2/6, and the 6d. tax. I personally have never been quite as enthusiastic in my objections to that minimum duty as most traders have been, because I think that where you are receiving goods by rail there is no reason why there should be any encouragement to the very small parcels. But I do think that from the point of view of the country generally the minimum charge of 2/6 on any article received by parcel post causes very considerable resentment. A child who receives a box of chocolates, worth a 1/- or 1/6, from England or Northern Ireland has to pay 3/- duty, because that is the minimum.

I could give any amount of absurd cases which, to my own knowledge, have aggravated people who have gone out and voted against the Government. I do not suggest that it affects the Government unless it happens the day before an election, but I suggest it does cause considerable aggravation, and I cannot help feeling that because the parcel post is dealt with in a separate Department it is not so necessary in the case of parcels coming through the post to enforce this minimum duty of 2/6. It may be said that this proposal would allow of a certain amount of abuse. Possibly, it would be better to have a minimum of 6d. or 1/-, but if we could have an exemption of parcels it would meet with a considerable amount of satisfaction. Parcels sent by parcels post are limited in size and weight, and therefore large parcels could not come in by parcels post, thereby escaping the duty.

In case the Minister might be inclined to give favourable consideration to this proposal during the next twelve months, I wish to intervene in opposition to it. The English papers that come in every day are packed full of advertisements of wares, mainly drapery wares, of people across the Channel, who employ no assistants here and pay no income-tax here. It is now proposed that this exemption be made in their favour. The Minister for Posts and Telegraphs could tell us what the cost of the carriage of these parcels is, and he has to transport them around the country to people, a very large and foolish section, to whom the main attraction is that far-off fields look green. The managing director of a drapery business in the South, showed me in his shop an article which he had put up at a normal percentage of profit. He showed me theDaily Mail of the same day, with an advertisement of the identical article at a higher price. He assured me that a number of people came round collecting for bazaars and charities who, as he rather graphically put it, were dressed in the Daily Mail, and that he was supporting people who sent away for the same article as he was selling. I do not think any case has been made for this amendment; in fact I think that if some other deterrent of a financial nature could be devised to prevent the growth of this shopping by post, it would be in the interests of practically every class of the community here. If by any device the Minister could restrict it more, it would be a good thing.

I am afraid I have no sympathy with the recommendation. A similar amendment was proposed in the Dáil, to abolish the amount, or reduce it to 6d., or something like that. This, of course, only deals with a certain number of small parcels, but the proportion would be larger than one would, perhaps, think at first, because there is no doubt that there would be a tremendous diversion of traffic to the Post Office if the minimum duty were to be abolished in the case of postal parcels and retained in the case of other parcels. Postal parcels are not a paying portion of the business; we lose heavily on parcels, and we lose particularly on parcels from Great Britain, where we only get a proportion of the postage, and where we have the heavier end of the handling. It is more costly to handle the delivery of parcels than to handle them at the other end.

There is a particularly heavy loss on parcels imported from Great Britain, and we must restrict them. There would be a tremendous increase if this recommendation were adopted; there would be, of course, a certain loss of duty, and there would be the old difficulty that we wish to get rid of, that of having highly-paid officials spending hours in assessing threepence or four-pence duty. There would be immediate congestion, and there would be delays in dealing with articles sent through the post, because now it is a comparatively rapid business. A great proportion of these parcels are of the type on which an official can easily see that the duty is not more than half-a-crown; he says half-a-crown, and the thing is done in a couple of minutes. Work that can now be done in half an hour would take a highly-paid officer eight or ten hours to do it if this change were made. That is a consideration, and it is the consideration that induced us to propose the minimum duty. I think, as a matter of fact, unless the trade was altogether altered and the necessity did not exist any longer, that we could not drop the minimum parcels duty. It would mean, perhaps, £15,000 or £20,000 a year extra for the Customs staff. That is a consideration, and I believe that people must buy packets of postcards and send them to their relatives, saying: "Do not send us at Christmas any of the following," or some such thing.

At any rate, I do not think we should alter the arrangement at present standing owing to the cost to the State of the Customs administration and the extra cost in respect to administration for the sake of dealing with the birthday box of chocolates.

I ask leave to withdraw the recommendation.

Recommendation, by leave, withdrawn.
SECTION 37.
(1) On and after the 1st day of January, 1926, an excise duty (in this Act referred to as dog duty) of five shillings shall be payable on every dog aged one month or upwards in respect of every year or part of a year during which such dog is kept in Saorstát Eireann.
(2) Where any person before or after the passing of this Act but before the 1st day of January, 1926, pays duty under the enactments in that behalf in force at the passing of this Act in respect of a dog for the period of twelve months ending on the 31st day of March, 1926, and before the last-mentioned date pays the dog duty imposed by this section in respect of the same dog for the year 1926, such person shall, subject to compliance with such conditions as the Revenue Commissioners shall think fit to impose, be entitled to an allowance by way of deduction from the last-mentioned duty of an amount equal to one-fourth of the first-mentioned duty.
(3) The dog duty shall be under the care and management of the Revenue Commissioners but shall be paid and collected through the Post Office by means of licences to be taken out annually for the purpose by the persons liable to pay the duty.
(4) The dog duty in respect of any dog shall be paid by the person keeping the dog and every person who keeps a dog aged one month or upwards on which dog duty has not been paid in respect of the year then current shall be guilty of an offence under this section and shall be liable on summary conviction thereof to a penalty of five pounds.
(5) The Minister for Finance may make regulations for the collection of the dog duty and the issue of licences on payment thereof but shall not make any such regulation in relation to the duties of officers of the Post Office without consultation with the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs.

I want to ask your guidance on these recommendations as to whether or not I shall deal with them separately.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

I think you had better deal with them separately.

I move:—

Section 37, sub-section (1).— That the following words be added at the end of the sub-section:—

"Provided that the duty imposed by this section shall not be levied or charged on

(i) a dog kept and used by a blind person (including a person not stone-blind) for the purpose of leading and guiding the said blind person;

(ii) a dog of the collie or sheepdog breed kept by a farmer or person engaged as shepherd or otherwise in tending sheep, for the purpose of assisting him in tending and shepherding such sheep;

(iii) a dog kept in a house (not being a house situate in any county or other borough or urban district) or in any yard, garden, field or outbuilding immediately adjoining any house (other than one situate as aforesaid) which, by reason of the situation of such house and the age, sex or infirmity of all the inmates of such house, is, in the opinion of the Revenue Commissioners, reasonably necessary for the protection of the inmates of such house against robbers or other evil-doers:

"Provided that the exemption arising under this paragraph shall apply only in cases where the total rateable valuation of the house, together with any yard, out-offices and lands included in the same unit of valuation, and the valuation of any other houses or lands in Saorstát Eireann occupied by the occupier of the said house, does not exceed eight pounds annually, and that the age of any inmate of any such house as a matter for consideration relevantly to the exemption shall be deemed to mean an age of under eighteen or over sixty-five years."

With regard to (i), I hardly think the Government want to impose a duty or licence on a dog kept by a blind person which is used for leading him. I do not think it needs my recommendation to the Seanad, and I hope it will be accepted.

The tax has heretofore been charged, I believe. I do not know whether the police actually interfere in those cases. I should not suggest that the police do not do their duty, but there are certain difficulties. You may have the dog of the family alleged to be the blind man's dog or the dog of the neighbourhood may be alleged to belong to the blind person. I dare say an amendment could be introduced to enable the exemption to be given. At any rate, I will consider whether we could get an amendment put into the present Finance Bill or not. If I cannot get something which I regard as sufficiently satisfactory drafted in time, I shall not recommend its acceptance in the Dáil.

I do not know where we are.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

You are in a rather favourable position for the blind man's dog. As the Minister says, he sympathises with the situation and will see whether he can in this present Bill, when it goes back to the other House, get in an amendment in appropriate words.

Recommendation (i) put and agreed to.

The next is a recommendation that a dog kept solely for the purpose of assisting a shepherd in tending sheep, and assisting a farmer should be exempted. I think it is desirable that a dog kept solely for shepherding purposes should be exempted.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

You have not the word "solely" in it. You might put it in before the word "purpose."

I am afraid it would be very difficult to confine a dog's activities.

I think the dogs that would get off under this are those that people would desire to have destroyed. There would be too many exemptions. If a dog is kept for looking after sheep he is worth paying 5/- per annum for.

Recommendation (ii), by leave, withdrawn.

The third recommendation is rather different. I should like to give an exemption to people living in remote parts of the country where the houses are outside the urban area and where, by reason of the sex or infirmity of the inhabitant, it is necessary to keep a dog for the protection of the house. It is not a laughing matter at all to people who have any knowledge of the country. There are houses in the country where the dog is the sole protector. You have labourers' cottages or small cottages in remote parts where the sole inhabitant may be an infirm old woman or man who keeps a dog, probably, whose bark is worse than his bite. Still the bark is sufficient to warn off evil doers. I do not think it is asking too much because I confined the recommendation first to houses outside urban areas, and second to houses with a lower valuation than £8. I do not think it is asking too much that people who have a dog for the protection of the house and for the purpose of warning off evil doers should be exempt from the tax. There are any amount of places which depend on a dog to frighten away evil doers.

I am afraid we should except a very large number of dogs from this. Farmers are particularly anxious that the dog duty should be enforced because they say that during the years when the dog duty was not collected there grew up in the country large numbers of curs who did great damage to sheep. I think we should not adopt a recommendation which would lead to the dog tax being practically impossible to collect. There would be so many dogs which should not be taxed that people who had dogs which clearly were taxable would be encouraged to avoid paying the tax.

They must satisfy the Revenue Commissioners if necessary that the dogs are for the protection of the house. That is what I want. I do not think the Minister's objection counts in that case. The Revenue Commissioners must be satisfied that there is a reasonable case that the dogs are for the protection of the house.

I do not think the Revenue Commissioners would be satisfied with that.

Recommendation put and declared lost.
Section 37, with a recommendation, put and agreed to.
Question—"That Sections 38 to 44 (inclusive) stand part of the Bill"— put and agreed to.
SECTION 45, SUB-SECTION (1).
In respect of every accounting period beginning before and ending on or after the 1st day of January, 1925, the proviso to sub-section (1) of Section 52 of the Finance Act, 1920, shall be construed and have effect as if the following paragraph were inserted therein in lieu of the paragraph (a) now contained in the said proviso, that is to say:—
"(a) in the case of every accounting period beginning before and ending on or after the 1st day of January, 1925, the profits arising in the accounting period shall be apportioned between the part of the period which is before that date and the part of the period which is after the 31st day of December, 1924, in proportion to the respective lengths of those parts, and no tax shall be charged on so much of the profits apportioned to the first-mentioned part of the period as bears to five hundred pounds the same proportion as such first-mentioned part of the period bears to twelve months, and no tax shall be charged on so much of the profits apportioned to the second-mentioned part of the period as bears to one thousand pounds the same proportion as such second-mentioned part of the period bears to twelve months."

I move:—

"That in Section 45, sub-section (1), line 61, the word ‘one' be deleted and the word ‘two' be substituted, and in sub-section (2), line 4, the word ‘one' be deleted and the word ‘two' be substituted."

I do not know that there is very much use in view of the small House now in raising the question which I had hoped to raise, not that I thought for a moment the Minister could accept it in this Finance Bill, but because I think it is the direction in which he ought to go in the future rather than that of doing away altogether with the Corporation Profits Tax. The effect of this amendment would be to increase the exemption which is allowed to firms before they pay any Corporation Profits Tax. Personally, I think one of the greatest drawbacks to the tax in Ireland is that it prevents firms for whom there would be many advantages in becoming limited companies from becoming so. They remain as partnerships, which does not help them. When a firm reaches a size when their net profits reach £2,000 or £3,000 they have got to be a limited company, and it is for smaller firms who compete with those who are partnerships that the £1,000 exemption is not sufficiently large. I do not want to press the matter, because I hope in a larger Seanad at a more favourable time we might discuss the question of the Corporation Profits Tax. It is foolish in a small House to discuss the matter now, and therefore I beg to withdraw the recommendation.

Recommendation, by leave, withdrawn.
Question—"That Sections 45 to 50, the Schedules and the Title stand part of the Bill"—put and agreed to.