The purpose of this Bill, A Chathaoirleach, is to confirm a number of Orders which were made during the past six months under the Emergency Imposition of Duties Act. These Orders are set out in the Schedule of the Bill and there is also an indication of the general subject matter of each. Nos. 1 and 10 both relate to cheese and the result is that a duty of 4d. per lb. is imposed on imported cheese, which corresponds to the levy on home-produced cheese. No. 2 imposes a duty upon almonds which have been subject to any process of shelling or on any preparation which, in the opinion of the Revenue Commissioners, consists mainly or wholly of almonds. A factory had been established at Dublin for the purpose of carrying out the processes of shelling, cleaning, drying, cutting and grinding almonds. It is not an important industry, but there is no reason why that work should not be done here, nor is there any increase in price of the prepared almonds in consequence of the making of the Order. No. 3 imposes a duty on enamelled hollow-ware. A factory has been constructed at Tralee and is now coming into production for the manufacture of enamelled hollow-ware. The employment which will be given in the industry is not inconsiderable and will probably prove of considerable benefit to the town of Tralee. The industry also creates prospects for development in other directions. The price of the enamelled hollow-ware produced there will be slightly, but only slightly, in excess of that charged for corresponding hollow-ware produced and sold in Great Britain.
Reference No. 4 imposes a duty on certain floor coverings and paper felt. A factory for the production of felt-base floor coverings and the printing and finishing of linoleum is being erected at Tipperary and no inconsiderable employment will be given there. The industry is one which we are glad to have established and it is being launched by a local company which has the support of a Belgian company of very high reputation. The price at which the products of the factory will be sold will be approximately the same as the price of corresponding products produced and sold in Great Britain.
Reference No. 5 effects an amendment in the existing duty on grassseed, and No. 6 increases the existing duty on cotton thread and cotton ply yarns from 40 per cent. to 100 per cent. as it was considered necessary to have the higher duty in operation because of circumstances which had arisen affecting the industry which had been established in Westport. The purpose of the higher duty is to prevent imports taking place except to the extent to which licences may be issued for that purpose.
Reference No. 7 imposes a duty on certain sports requisites. A factory for the manufacture of these sports goods is at present being constructed at Portarlington and quite considerable employment will be given therein. The factory is being built by a local company with which a British company of very high reputation in the manufacture of these goods is associated on the technical side.
Reference No. 8 imposes a minimum duty on leather. Certain classes of leather are subject to anad valorem duty but, in consequence of the completion of plans for the manufacture of all classes of leather, a minimum duty becomes necessary. Such might not be necessary on all classes of leather, but for purposes of administrative convenience it is felt desirable that the same duty should apply to all classes of leather, because sometimes it is not easy to distinguish between one class of leather and another. New tanneries have been opened and others have been planned which will, it is hoped, produce all the leather of all classes other than those excluded from the scope of this Order required here. When these tanneries have been established and are in full production the price of leather available from them will not be higher than the present price ex British factories.
No. 9 imposes a duty on springs, axles and wind screens. A factory will be established at Wexford for the production of laminated springs for use in vehicles and for axles, axle boxes, axle arms and also wind screens for vehicles. A public company has been formed for that purpose. The industry is one which gives considerable employment, and it is expected that when these articles I have mentioned are being successfully made, it will be capable of development to include other articles of a corresponding nature. Reference No. 10 I have already mentioned in connection with No. 1. It relates to cheese.
The Orders which have been confirmed by this Bill were made between the period from the beginning of September to the end of October and in accordance with the provisions of the Emergency Imposition of Duties Acts; the earlier Orders on the list are due for confirmation by the Oireachtas. If such confirmation by statute is not made, they cease to be operative. There is still a considerable period to run in respect of the later Orders, but it was considered desirable to incorporate them so that a similar measure will not be necessary until the Finance Bill, 1935, is being introduced. The Orders were all made in pursuance of the general policy of stimulating industrial production by affording reasonable protection, and the new industries created in consequence of them will be of assistance in reducing unemployment and increasing the production of industrial goods within the country. It will be noted, I am sure, with satisfaction by Senators that these new industries are being established in various parts of the country where employment will be particularly beneficial.