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Seanad Éireann debate -
Wednesday, 5 Jul 1939

Vol. 23 No. 1

Control of Imports (Quota No. 38) Order—Motion of Approval.

I move:—

That Seanad Eireann hereby approves of the Control of Imports (Quota No. 38) Order, 1939.

This Order is perhaps more important. The Order relates to wood screws, and the position is that, originally, when the manufacture of screws was undertaken here, we provided protection by means of a customs duty. That customs duty was effective enough so far as Great Britain was concerned, but it was completely ineffective against certain Continental countries. A duty, though 75 per cent., may be completely annulled by allowing 75 per cent. discount on prices in respect of screws and certain things imported from Continental countries. As a result of this the factory erected in Limerick went out of production and closed down. We have been considering for some time past the necessity of securing its re-opening. Of course the imposition and prohibition on imports, that is, making a Quota Order, appeared to be the course most likely to be successful. But the Senators are aware the making of such an Order by us in connection with this monopoly would be contrary to the spirit, if not the letter, of the Agreement made with the Government of the United Kingdom. The matter, however, has been discussed with the United Kingdom interests, and as a result arrangements have been made which involve the making of this Quota Order by us.

That Quota Order will be operated to ensure that the maximum production of wood screws will be made here and that the balance will be imported from the United Kingdom. The price here will be the same as the price prevailing in Great Britain at any time. The full variety of the screws required in the market will be made available. Those that can be produced here will be produced here and made available from the Irish factory. Those screws that will be imported will be sold through the same organisation. This Quota Order is designed to give effect to the arrangements made. This Quota Order will ensure the reopening of the factory in Limerick and the fullest possible degree of manufacturing of these commodities within this country in future.

One of the most embarrassing matters in discussing anything in this House is the criticising of one individual firm. One does not like doing that, though under the protection of privilege one is free to do so. Do I understand from the Minister that the screws in future will be sold at the same price here as in Great Britain?

Yes; it involved a 10 per cent reduction in price. That has already been effected. There was some difference in the prices before but that has ceased to be effective now since this Order was made. In fact, the screws are all sold through the same organisation, that is to say whether they are imported, or whether made in Limerick. They are sold here at the same price as in Great Britain. That is part of the Order made.

I congratulate the Minister on that.

Will the whole range of these screws be made here?

No, the whole range will not be made here, but the whole range will be available through the same organisation here.

Question put and agreed to.
The Seanad adjourned at 5.30 until 3 o'clock on Thursday, 6th July.