The purpose of this Bill is to confirm certain Orders which have been made under the Emergency Imposition of Duties Act, 1932. These Orders are: Emergency Order No. 23; Emergency Order No. 25; Emergency Order No. 30, and Emergency Order No. 31. Emergency Order No. 23 imposed an additional customs duty of 4/8 per cwt. on sugar. These duties were imposed following representations made as to the necessity for protecting the sugar-beet industry against unfair competition from abroad. When Emergency, Order No. 23 came into operation it was found that the provisions in regard to stocks on hand on midnight of the 6th February would operate inequitably against the merchant who held dutiable stocks as against the merchant who was just about to import sugar. For example, a trader who imported, say, 20 tons of liquid glucose on the 5th February would be charged an excise duty at the rate of 4/8 per cwt., whereas if the article arrived subsequent to the imposition of the duty he would be charged at the rate of 2/1½ per cwt. A similar position existed in regard to sugar not exceeding 98 degrees polarisation, and also in the case of molasses. As it was not the intention of the Government to penalise traders in this way Emergency Order No. 25 was made. It provided that, in the case of sugar stocks in hand of a polarisation of not less than 98 degrees, molasses and glucose, the excise duty should be at the rate of 2/4 per cwt.
Emergency Order No. 30 revoked wholly a number of previous Emergency Orders, and, in part, the Emergency Imposition of Duties (No. 5) Order following on the inclusion of the duties previously chargeable under these orders in the Finance Act of this year. Emergency Order No. 31 was made on the 15th May, 1934. It imposed an excise duty of 5/- on every pig carcase, or part of a pig carcase, used for conversion into bacon for sale on any premises in the Saorstát. The circumstances leading up to the making of the order were briefly as follows: It was found that in practice bacon exporters were filling the bacon quota to Great Britain and Northern Ireland at a loss, owing to the fact that the price for bacon on the home market was substantially higher than the nett sum realised on bacon exported. As failure to fill the bacon quota to Great Britain and Northern Ireland would, or might, have been a serious matter in view of the probability that the quota in future periods would be reduced to actual exports, it became necessary to introduce arrangements which would enable exporters to fill their quota. Following on discussions with representatives of the trade, it was decided that the most equitable method of dealing with the situation would be to impose an excise duty on all pigs, alive or dead, used for conversion into bacon for sale, and to pay an increased bounty on exported bacon. These, briefly, are the four Emergency Orders which it is proposed under this Bill to confirm and which it is desirable should be done now.