Imposition of Duties (Confirmation of Orders) Bill, 1953—Second and Subsequent Stages.

Question proposed: "That the Bill be now read a Second Time."

The House is, I think, aware that Orders made by the Government under the Emergency Imposition of Duties Act require to be confirmed by the Oireachtas within eight months, and this Bill, which is similar in form to other Bills produced for the same purpose, was framed to confirm 11 Orders made since last December under the Emergency Imposition of Duties Act. Most of those Orders altered the scope of existing duties so as to cover additional lines or to amend definitions, two of them imposed new duties, and one reduced an existing duty.

An explanatory memorandum has been circulated with the Bill which will have given Senators a general indication of the purpose and scope of each Order, but perhaps it would be desirable that I should run through them briefly to indicate the reasons for making them.

The first Order on the list relates to stainless steel couplings. The manufacture of stainless steel couplings was commenced by a Dublin firm during the course of the past year, and it was clear that they were not likely to make progress in securing a market for their product because of the strength of existing trade connections. To give them an opportunity of getting hold of the market here, which is not very substantial, they required the assistance of a customs duty and accordingly a rate of duty of 50 per cent. full and 33? per cent. preferential was imposed on these couplings and also on plug cocks, joints and similar fittings for use with tubes and pipes. The extent of the market for these goods is not very great and it cannot be regarded as a major development in our industrial production.

The second Order relates to television sets. The position was that a duty of 75 per cent. full and 50 per cent. preferential had applied to television sets for a number of years, but the practice had developed of allowing the duty free importation of such sets to traders requiring them for experimental purposes and not for resale. That practice was open to objection on various grounds and it was thought desirable to reduce the duty—which, as the House will realise, is mainly operative for revenue purposes—to half the old rate and then to withdraw the provision of duty free importation under any circumstances. The position now is that any person can import a television set on payment of the reduced duty.

The next Order relates to combs and hair slides. The Order achieved two purposes. First of all, it excluded from the existing duty certain classes of combs—combs made from metal, glass, wood, stone or mother of pearl —combs of that character not being made here, and there being no point in keeping the duty applying to them. The practice had been operated of granting duty-free licences for these classes of combs, in any event. The position is that in future they will not be liable to duty and free importation will be possible to anybody. The second purpose of the Order was to extend the duty to plastic hair slides, which are manufactured in conjunction with plastic combs, by the same firms.

The next Order relates to tarpaulins. Tarpaulins and similar covers were subject to duty under an old Order when impregnated with pitch or tar. Latterly, tarpaulins have been imported which were impregnated with other chemical substances. The effect of this Order is to extend the scope of the duty to all tarpaulins whether impregnated with pitch or tar or any other chemical substance.

The next Order, which relates to woven tapes and webbings, imposes a new duty upon cotton woven piece-goods not exceeding two inches in width, that is to say, cotton tapes, bindings and webbings. The Order was made because representations were made by the home manufacturers of these goods that they were finding difficulty in disposing of their output. The market for these classes of goods is comparatively small and the wide variety required to meet the market needs places our manufacturers at a slight disadvantage as compared with manufacturers in a larger market. It was considered desirable to give them an opportunity of achieving greater efficiency by having the whole of the market reserved to them and that is why this Order was made. How it is working out is a matter on which I am making some inquiries. There has been a reduction of prices here since the duty was imposed, but there is a position there which requires to be kept under examination, because the expansion in output which was anticipated when the duty was brought into operation does not appear to have been fully realised.

The next Order relates to artificial silk piece goods and its effect was to bring within the existing duty applying to artificial silk goods, goods between 1/6 and 1/3 per square yard in value. The old duty applied only to goods exceeding 1/6 per square yard in value. In future, goods down to 1/3 will be subject to duty. It also reduced the width limit prescribed in the original Order, from 60 inches to 53 inches, in the case of patterned piece goods. The home manufacturers of artificial silk goods claim to be able to meet the full market requirements of the classes of goods to which the duty applies, that is to say, artificial silk piece goods excluding patterned piece goods, less than 53 inches in width, velvet or velveteen and rubber-proofed goods. The reduction in the width limit was consequent on representations made from manufacturers of damask ticken that the protection originally afforded to them was being nullified by imports of rayon damask ticken which was not subject to duty or to quota restrictions as it contained less than 60 per cent. cotton. That material was not caught by the original duty on rayon goods because it was less than 60 inches in width, in patterned colours other than stripe. The position was rectified by an amendment to this Order so as to remove the limit under this Order from 60 inches down to 53 inches.

The next Order refers to certain sanitary wear. Representations were made by the linen and cotton textile manufacturers that the effect of the quota restrictions upon cotton woven cloth was being nullified by the importation of these articles fully made. The Revenue Commissioners had ruled that they were not liable to duty as clothing. Consequently, their free importation was possible. It was an unsatisfactory position in that, while the woven cloth was liable to import restrictions, the goods made from it were not so liable. The effect of this Order is to make them liable to duty.

Cotton ply yarns: Last year, quota restrictions were placed on single cotton yarns. The next stage in the development of the yarn spinning industry was the doubling of cotton yarns. As that stage had been reached by the principal firm engaged in this activity, it was felt that the time had come to impose a duty upon doubled yarns. The producers claim to be producing a range of doubled yarns within certain counts sufficient to meet the full demand here. That, by itself, justifies the imposition of the duty. It will still be necessary, I think, to permit free importation of certain types of yarn which are not being produced here and which are required by other manufacturers in the country.

Iron and steel bars and sections: The steel mills at Haulbowline have been extending the range of their activities to the extent of producing rods, rounds, squares and flats slightly larger or slightly smaller in size than those caught by the old duty. There is a desire to extend the range of activities there in order to maintain the output of the firm. Consequently, the duty was amended to bring within its scope all the various sizes of bars, squares and flats which the company is now in a position to produce.

Unprinted paper: This was one of the Orders which gave the most difficulty and which required the most careful consideration. The effect of the Order is to bring within the scope of the existing duty paper weighing more than 9 lb. per ream. The duty applied previously only to papers weighing 12 lb. per ream or more. It is proposed also to remove from the list of papers excluded from the scope of the duty certain classes of paper including imitation art paper, printing paper containing mechanical pulp, featherweight esparto printing paper, tinted printing paper, writing paper, cream wove bank paper, twin wire cartridge duplex paper, pasting paper, tinted bank paper and manifold bank paper. The original duty was imposed in 1939 on a limited range of writing and printing papers, the manufacture of which in this country commenced in that year. The companies concerned were naturally handicapped by the difficulties which developed immediately afterwards from the war situation and, since then, they have been having difficulty in maintaining their output. In fact, one of the larger concerns engaged in the production of printing paper was closed down for a period during last year. The desire is to give to this industry sufficient protection to ensure its development and, at the same time, to interfere to the least possible extent with the development of the printing and other industries which depend upon them for their raw materials. I do not know that we have solved the problem yet. There is still a possibility that a difficulty will emerge in keeping the paper-making industry in full production and, at the same time, meeting the requirements of the printing industry. I hope that all of these difficulties will be resolved in time.

One of the conditions under which the Government agreed to make this Order was that technical experts would be engaged to examine the production methods here and to see what changes or developments therein would assist the expansion of the industry. I think it is well to say that the intention is to develop this industry and that that intention will be persisted in. We are passing through what may be described as a transition stage in its development now and it will be necessary to keep in very close touch with it to ensure that everything works out as we would hope.

Root crop knives: A customs duty operated before the war upon certain edged tools. It was suspended during the war. Representations were made for its restoration and it was urged that, when being restored, it should be extended to include these root crop knives. That is why this Order had to be made.

As Senators probably know, this industry is located in Wexford and it appears to be quite efficiently carried on. In fact, all the evidence available to me suggests that the prices at which these goods are produced are lower than the prices of comparable imported articles. It was not easy, therefore, to understand why imports were continuing but, in any event, the situation is one in which the restoration of the old pre-war duty could be undertaken without much apprehension as to the consequences. There is a manufacturing capacity equal to the entire requirements of the country and every evidence of efficiency in the firms concerned.

I appreciate that I have given a very brief sketch of the considerations which led to the making of these Orders, many of which were considered for a long time before being made. However, if any Senator wants additional information I shall endeavour to supply it.

Regardless of what side of the House a Senator may sit, he is always rather hesitant about criticising the imposition of a duty which will help in the building up of an Irish industry. Earlier to-day we had a discussion on the Finance Bill and we expressed our views very frankly in regard to the Government's policy of taxation.

We have an additional Bill here, or at least that is how it looks, and what I would like to have from the Minister —he ought to be in the position to know the workings of all these industries, the selling prices of the products and the results of the imposition of a particular duty—is an indication of what the result of the imposition of this duty is going to be. Will the consumers have to pay more for the resultant product as a consequence of this duty or are our industries being put in the position of getting support against the foreign product being dumped here, a product which is no better than our own? On the other hand, are some of these industries going to produce the raw material for some other industry the increased price of which in the final result, is going to be passed on to the consumer and which will cost more than it costs at the moment?

The first Order imposes a duty of 50 per cent. and 33? per cent. on articles of stainless steel which are plug cocks or couplings. I do not know enough about these terms to know exactly what they stand for. Are these things which are being used or which are going to be used in sanitary schemes, water supply schemes and so on? Does this mean an additional tax, an additional expenditure in some social service which we are at the moment in course of implementing? There are a number of other matters in which I might raise a similar question. With regard to the Order which relates to steel bars, rounds and rods and squares, have any of these to do with our agricultural industry or agricultual machinery, and, if they have, what will the result of it be?

The final Order relates to root crop knives. Are these what we know as ordinary pulpers or are they to be manufactured as replacements in larger machines, machines which might be foreign machines? It is a duty of 25 per cent., and if that means that farmers must pay 25 per cent. more, we should know that that is what it does mean, because we will have to pay it, if we buy these machines. The Minister tells us that he has assurances, and is going to see that they are carried out, that the farmer will get an equally good instrument at a price no higher than that of the foreign article. If that is so, the farmer has no reason to be dissatisfied. While the farmers ought to have some liberty in the selection of the kind of machinery they will use on their farms, I do not think that, on the whole, our farmers have a prejudice against the Irish article, if they find it as good, but if it is a matter, from the farmer's point of view, of having to pay 25 per cent. more for the home manufactured product as against the foreign manufactured article, it is definitely a handicap on production and the sort of thing that should not be imposed upon us. It is putting the farmer in the position of feeling that, if he has some money to spend, he must have 25 per cent. more in order to get the machine which is more efficient and economical for him. I do not know whether that is the position or not.

Generally, I do not think the Minister has any cause for complaint as to the attitude of the Seanad in regard to any of these Orders. At the same time, I think it is very important that any of us who have views on these matters should express them and ensure that, when we make the concession of giving a protective tariff to a native industry, that industry will feel an obligation on it to do its job efficiently and well and that the workers in it will do their job as well and as efficiently as the foreign worker. There is no reason in the world why our people should not face up to their responsibilities in that matter, as they must.

In the last analysis, when the Minister gets the support of Parliament for Orders of this kind, the responsibility is on him to see that we are not creating a situation in the development of new industries in which the man or woman going into work there can get as much money for a lower output as a foreign worker gets in his own country. That is a doctrine that has to be preached and we must see that it will be practised. I feel that, at times, we have, perhaps, been more silent on this matter than we ought to be. I do not know how much exactly all this adds up to. It may be that, in the total sum, it might not be any considerable addition to our living costs, to the costs of these articles, but it is important that the Minister should give us some indication as to whether this will mean more money out of the taxpayer's pocket or not.

I should like to ask the Minister whether there are any qualification clauses attaching to these Orders. I presume that there is a licensing clause attached to the Order relating to artificial silk piece goods. I should like to know if the Minister got any report from trade organisations or secondary industries as to the effect of making that apply to cloth less than 53 inches in width, patterned in colour. The reason I mention that —Senator Mrs. Dowdall will understand this—is that ladies' frocks are generally made out of cloth 54 inches wide and this provision would severely affect a secondary industry. Our Irish mills generally do not sell a cloth patterned in colour. They usually sell plain cloths and are doing quite a good job, but there are certain types of cloth which they are still not making and I take it that, in view of that, a licensing clause has been incorporated in that Order, as well as in the Order relating to cotton ply yarns.

The position in that regard, as the Minister knows, is that there are several firms—again secondary industries—manufacturing goods for export who are using cotton ply yarn. These firms cannot pay the existing prices for the cotton ply yarns produced here —that industry is in the early stages of production and I understand its prices are a certain percentage—not very big—higher than the imported English yarn. The firms concerned are firms which export a very big percentage of their production to the English market, and, if they are to hold that market, they will have to get cotton yarn, even at a difference of 4 per cent. It is a very keen market and I hope that if they make an application for a licence, it will be granted.

With regard to the reduction of duty on television sets, the position is somewhat peculiar because what has happened so far it that a tariff has always been raised. This is the first time a tariff has been lowered, and I understand that several importers, who, in an adventurous spirit, imported television sets, find themselves in a rather bad financial way as the result of a sudden decision of the Government to reduce the tariff of 75 per cent. or whatever it was by half. I know it is not the Minister's function to grant a rebate to them or to help them in any other way, but if it could be done, it would help these importers.

I cannot conclude my remarks without referring to the extraordinary speech made by Senator Baxter. He stood up and made a speech on the famous lines of the article being "as good and as cheap" as the imported article about which we have heard so often. Irish industry is not to get any protection, unless it can make an article as good and as cheap as the imported article. The Federation of Irish Manufacturers have on many occasions discussed this attitude of mind and this attitude of speech, an attitude which is not confined to Senator Baxter.

I do not think that is how I put it.

Perhaps I misinterpreted the Senator, but I want to defend Irish manufacture against the suggested idea that, because an industry gets a tariff, its product must consequently be much dearer than the imported article. When any type of industry is established it is necessary to train the workers. It very often happens that in the initial stages the product is dearer but that is due to the lack of technical knowledge and probably to the lack of modern methods of production. I know Senator Baxter is wearing Irish tweed, Irish shoes and hosiery. I have no fears at all but that the factories which have to-day been protected by the Minister will justify themselves entirely. I hope the idea will not get abroad that if a tariff is imposed some poor farmer will have to pay to keep the industry going.

I should like to ask the Minister how he reconciles the policy enshrined in these customs duties with the major recommendations of the I.B.E.C. report. Summarising these recommendations in about two statements they amount to this, that our national policy should be to concentrate upon increasing our agricultural production and on developing in the main those industries which depend for their raw materials on agriculture and that in general our industrial policy should be that in choosing industrial ventures the Government of the day should proceed with rifle selectivity rather than with shotgun diffusiveness. I do not know whether there is much selectivity in having protective duties which include such miscellaneous things as plastic hair slides and squares and angles of steel and various kinds of cotton yarn and about half a dozen different types of commodities not to mention art paper. The Government's traditional policy is to proceed with shotgun diffusiveness. I had hoped the Minister had learned better. He should go on developing agricultural production and industries that arise out of home produced agricultural raw materials.

I certainly did not intend to intervene in this debate. But I should like to support Senator Baxter in what he says. I speak as a person who has to buy a good many of those things mentioned and no matter what Senator O'Donnell says I think it is clear to the meanest intelligence that the effect of these duties will be for the present at any rate to raise prices. If our Irish manufacturers could compete without protective tariffs there would be no need for the present protective duties. We will have to pay more for these articles. We must face that fact. I think we must make it quite clear to our fellow countrymen that we buyers are aware that we are paying a considerable price for Irish articles to promote employment and industry in Ireland. It is no use trying to persuade us otherwise. We will not be persuaded that we are not paying for them. We are, and there is no doubt at all about it. I think we will possibly have to do so with considerable reluctance; but do not let anyone deceive himself into thinking it is not going to cost us more money. We will have to pay more money for certain articles as a result of this for the present. Presumably it is with an eye to the future and if it succeeds in building up industries which in the future will produce articles at a genuinely competitive price in comparison with the price in the world market, excellent. But would the Minister reassure an ordinary buyer like myself by mentioning one or two cases where this kind of protective tariff really has produced Irish manufactured products at a genuinely competitive price? I mean where the material had to be imported from abroad. I am not thinking of things like Guinness' stout for which we can produce most of the raw material ourselves.

I sympathise very considerably with Senator Johnston in his disquiet about this general policy. We are bringing articles from abroad into this country and processing them here, whereas the rich material we have at our disposal in the fields, the woods and the waters of Ireland are being neglected and are deteriorating. The employment that is so badly needed in the fields is coming to the cities as a result of these protective tariffs. I think Senator Johnston's point must be emphasised very strongly. There is a radical danger in that policy for this country. I should like some reassurance from the Minister on the point that in a good many cases these protective tariffs have really produced industries which can sell us goods at prices truly competitive with world prices. I should like to support what Senators Baxter and Johnston said on this Bill.

I thought this Bill was going to have a speedy passage through the House. I was shocked at the tenor of some of the speeches we heard and I can only characterise them as being built on the ignorance of those who spoke. I think it is lamentable that people should get up and make statements assuming, as Senator Baxter did, that when an industry is protected the poor farmer has automatically to pay 25 per cent. more because certain articles described in this little Bill are protected by a 25 per cent. tariff. I think no one can challenge my right when I get up to speak on industry. I can testify to the fact that there are in this country industries which by reason of the volume of their products are underselling the imported article. There are many of them, thank God. Why should the whole of Irish industrial activity be criticised in the way it has been criticised in this House in the past few minutes? This is a House of public debate where speeches are recorded. Some of the Senators who spoke have spoken from the depths of their ignorance and that ignorance has compelled them to use a phrase that will not only be harmful to Irish industry but to the economy of the country. That is what I resent. Certain suggestions have been made about shotgun legislation. That is a harmful phrase.

It is not my phrase, it is an American expert's phrase.

Call it what you wish but the harm is done. The Senator may know a lot about his own particular subject but on this matter he is not at all qualified and to use a phrase such as he did can only be harmful. The Senators who spoke adversely on this matter ought to realise that great care is taken by the Government to see that when protection is given to an industry there is some reasonable hope of success. Certain articles described in this little Bill come in from the cheapest world market, Japan, and the finished article will cost less here than the native would have to pay for the new material. Do you want to employ people in Japan and have our own people idle in this country? I think Arthur Griffith said that the country without an industrial arm was like a man with one arm That is true to-day. Thank God, since we got some degree of freedom, we had Governments that provided that industrial arm. We are talking about unemployment. We have had a great deal of it to-day on the Finance Bill. How much more unemployment would there be were it not for the industries established under this much attacked form of protection?

It is time we dropped all pretence in this matter if we want industrial activity and if we want industrial employment. I hope we will not always regard it in the same way as some people do that unless any industry can produce articles meeting world prices, it is no use. There is no country in the world that has not given some degree of protection to its own people and its own country from the effect of these world prices about which we are being told so much. I want to make it perfectly clear that there are in this country industries some of which I am associated with, which, because of the output being big enough, are supplying not merely the home market but I am bound to say, have an export trade at highly competitive and world prices.

Will the Senator name some of them?

I do not wish to do that. Some of the shoe and shirt industries are doing it. There is no doubt about it. The facts are evident. Hundreds of workers are being employed in the export trade.

We are talking about world prices not about the unemployed.

I am speaking about world prices too. We could not engage in an export trade if we had not competitive prices. We are selling in Great Britain which is a highly competitive market. However, because I am saying these things it does not mean that every industry can operate without protection against the effects of dumping from outside where the conditions are in any way comparable to those obtaining here. You must have volume and you must have a tradition for skill and you certainly need to have a little more common sense than is evident in some of the speeches we have heard here.

Although we have had here already to-day an important Bill, this Bill is, in my opinion, almost as important as the Bill of which the Minister for Finance is in charge. It is only proper, therefore, that we should give this Bill a reasonable amount of attention. This is a Bill not merely to impose new duties but to confirm the imposition of duties that were first imposed almost a year ago temporarily. Now, instead of having to reduce the protection, the Minister thinks it necessary—I am sure he is perfectly satisfied it is necessary —to seek to impose those duties permanently.

Whether it is justified or not, the view prevails that we, in this country, pay considerably more for an Irish-produced article than we would have to pay for a foreign-produced article, and the view to some extent also prevails that the Irish article is not of the standard that it should be. I am not unaware that the Minister is concerned with seeing that in cases in which he imposes duties, the producers of the goods which he protects should provide goods up to a certain standard. I am quite satisfied he has made his view perfectly clear on that and that as far as he can he seeks to have expression given to that view.

The fact remains, however, that the public, our fellow countrymen and women feel that following the imposition of protective tariffs they must in the future pay more for goods which are not as satisfactory or as well produced as goods that they might otherwise be able to obtain. I am not opposing this Bill but I take the opportunity that has been presented to me to express the view that the industries concerned should make every effort to reciprocate the goodwill which the Minister shows to them in obtaining protection for them.

I am also certain that our industries have produced good quality goods and that industries here can undersell the foreign article, but I want to make it clear that there are very few articles produced here which can undersell a foreign article. It would not be possible for the Minister to name more than a dozen home-produced articles that would undersell the foreign-produced article.

Some people have complained that speakers here have attacked Irish industry. It may be said that I have attacked Irish industry. I do not think I would be fairly interpreted as having said anything against Irish industry and I would not like it to be said of me that I am in any way antagonistic to its success. I do feel, however, when we are passing a Bill of this kind to make permanent provisions that the Minister thought necessary a year ago to make only temporary, we should indicate to the people who are getting the benefit of these tariffs that we expect them to go out of their way to show their appreciation to the Minister's Department and to Parliament and thus justify the views that have been expressed from time to time by the Minister.

Unlike Senator Summerfield I speak perhaps from an abysmal ignorance on the matter from the industrialist's point of view. Nevertheless like most members of this House I have some little knowledge from the point of view of the consumer and it is as such I speak. I do not think anybody can really say that people here have been unfair to Irish industry.

Senator O'Donnell referred to the duty in regard to television sets. It must be borne in mind that this Bill is seeking to make permanent provisions that have been in force for a considerable time. I do not think there can be any grievance on that. My view would be that the higher rate of duty on television sets is better for our people. We have nothing to learn from television. If I were the Minister I would impose a prohibition altogether on the manufacturer of television sets here and I would impose a prohibition Order to ensure that we did not allow any into the country.

I hate to disagree with Senator O'Donnell in a matter of detail, particularly in a matter of ladies' dresses, but I do not think the Minister need worry unduly about the width of 53 inches. Any information I have is that it will not be disastrous. However, I did not rise for the purpose simply of disagreeing with the Senator. I rose because I think it is incumbent on me as a man who spends by far and away the greatest part of his time in Irish industry and who is in certain respects a critic of the Government, to say that I have a pretty good knowledge of the staff and officials of the Department of Industry and Commerce and that I feel it is only right to say that there is established there a very efficient section which deals with the various proposals for tariffs.

If any of my friends here think that they can walk in and get a tariff for the asking without proof of efficient production—nobody can prove for the future, but you have got to give mighty near proof before the Minister will even hear of the proposal—they are making a very great mistake. I think it is right that I from this side of the House should say that I have noticed no difference since the change of Government in the way in which these matters are dealt with. We have now established in the Department a very efficient examination process, and a not perfect, but reasonably efficient supervision of the operation of tariffs.

I think that Senator O'Reilly is correct when he says that the public still think that because there is a duty prices must be higher. Now those of us who are in industry know that that is not necessarily a fact. It may be a fact in some cases, but I think it is because of speeches made from time to time that the people still think it is generally true. It is sometimes true, it is often not true; but general debates such as we always have in this House—and I think we are not different from the other House—on Bills of this kind do not really help to clear the position. Obviously it would not be particulaly desirable to have a detailed debate on any particular tariff or Imposition of Duty Order.

Senator O'Reilly is under one misapprehension. He thinks that these were put on as temporary duties. They were not. The practice, of necessity, is that if a tariff has to be imposed or an Order made imposing a duty, it must be done promptly. There cannot be publicity beforehand, and I can see no better method than we have at the moment which gives the Minister in power for the time being the right to impose a duty by Order, and make him come to the Oireachtas within, I think I am correct, nine months. During that time he must get the approval of Parliament. That does not mean that an Order is not intended to be permanent. It is only temporary in the sense of its having been made under temporary powers given to the Executive. It is permanent in the sense that they are intended to be permanent duties and the industries concerned would not have proceeded except on the basis that they were as permanent as anything of the kind can be. All duties are subject to revision and they are intended to be in force for long enough to achieve their particular purpose.

I think it is rather important that all Parties should realise that a country of 3,000,000 which has decided—and it is a decision accepted all round—to develop its industrial arm must, of necessity, have certain difficulties which a country ten or 20 times its size and population would not have. If the Government did not put a tariff on goods which are produced here even though the price is just as low as the imported article the manufacturer would not sell it in sufficient quantity to make it a paying proposition. I also am interested in the retail trade, which I know something about, and I am not running down that trade when I say that there is very keen competition and that the greatest part of that competition is to get variety. Variety is more important even than price. If you can buy a variety of 20 or 30 articles from several different countries your public will be delighted. The prices may even be dearer from outside if you have sufficient variety. Without that variety an unprotected home industry in a country of our size cannot get the quantity and its prices cannot be competitive. It is for that reason that to my mind tariffs are essential particularly in the opening stages of an industry.

Senator Stanford said that it was clear to the meanest intelligence that when we put on tariffs we are paying for them. I think I know what he meant by that though I may or may not have the meanest intelligence. What he meant was that inevitably a certain price had to be paid. Of course, but nothing like the price you would pay if you had more people unemployed and had to maintain them. You have got to examine each tariff and each industry on its own merits if you are going to judge its value to the country. Just because it happens to be an Irish industry is not proof that it is of value. If, on the other hand, it produces goods in general use which are good quality and at the same time employs people who would not be otherwise employed, then it is of itself contributing substantially to the economy of the country which would have to be paid for in some way or another. I am no blind protectionist, and I do not think you can create a millennium simply by putting on duties, nor does the Minister. He has always shown himself most critical—it is not for me to defend him—he can defend himself better than I can. It is, I think, only right for me to say that my experience is that there is a pretty thorough investigation and that it is not just a matter as perhaps it may have been some years ago of asking for a tariff and saying: "I want to start an industry." I think it is very important in the interests of Irish industry generally that this fact should be appreciated and if it was understood people would be less afraid and there would be much less of the general talk that when you buy an Irish article it must be dearer.

For my part I have advised my staff in most cases not to mark their goods Irish. They sell better on their merits. If you feature them specially as Irish, as used to be the case, you may have people wanting to buy an imported article with the completely false idea that because it is imported it is cheaper or better.

As far as this one point made by Senator Stanford is concerned I think it would be undesirable if some of us who are interested in industry were to give lists of goods which are exported, but I will just say this, that I have been connected with an industry now for 30 years and all that time it has done an export trade.

I just want to say that the statements of Senator Baxter and Senator O'Reilly were in the old tradition that we used to remember before the industrial revival got any kind of impetus in this country. I remember that this price and quality business has always been used against Irish products here in Ireland, particularly by a section of the people who did not believe that we could revive industry or provide an industrial revival here. I can well remember times, when, if you presented an Irish article to a customer in a shop, he would ask you bluntly for an English article, and I can say that in the early days, 20 years ago, when industries were being started in this country, it was quite a common practice to state that the articles being produced in our factories were of inferior quality and that they were taking advantage of tariffs in order to increase the prices.

I have particular knowledge of it from my own town of Clonmel. I would like to give an instance just to show how things were 20 years ago, the time I am talking about. I remember that about a year or two after a shoe factory had been established in Clonmel a member of the Fine Gael Party on the Corporation of Clonmel stated publicly that the factory was one in which slave wages were paid and in which child labour was exploited. I think it was intended with that particular complaint to insinuate that the factory could not produce a good quality article or an article which could be sold in competition with articles which were imported.

I remember attending the official opening of that factory, which was perhaps a year after the factory had actually opened. The Minister was present. The chairman of the company at that time was an Englishman, and he made this statement at that meeting, that he was astonished to discover that the article produced in this factory after the short time in which the operatives had an opportunity of acquiring the skill required, was as good as the articles which were produced in his English factory which had been in operation for many generations

Another thing that might interest Senator O'Reilly and Senator Baxter is the fact that the shoes made by that factory were exported to England in great quantities in the past couple of years. I remember seeing in some of the English papers a form of protest at the fact that these shoes were being sold there cheaper than comparable shoes manufactured in Britain. Perhaps Senators Baxter and O'Reilly spoke in good faith, and I believe that is so.

This has been completely misunderstood.

The point I want to make is that this type of talk is definitely hurting Irish industry. It is reviving the impression which was there 25 years ago when it was customary for people to refuse an article of Irish manufacture. I remember when I was a member of the Dáil one Deputy bringing in some cloths and tearing them to show we could not produce a good quality. I remember also a man bringing in a spade handle and breaking it across his knee to prove the poor quality.

You could break some of them to-day, too.

It was an old tradition in this country. We should get down to believing that we make as good an article as can be made anywhere in the world.

If we work.

I agree with that, too. At the same time, I believe that the workers in many of the industries are giving good results. I would like people to get away from that particular angle that we cannot produce an article as cheap or as good here as can be produced abroad. Both the country and the industries will benefit if we forget that idea.

On a point of explanation, may I point out that at least one speaker quoted the case of products for which the raw materials had to be imported? That is really the important point. Leather and linen can be produced here, but then there is paper, steel, silk and cotton.

I did not intend to intervene, but having listened to some of the speakers, I could not remain silent. After 30 years of freedom, listening this evening to the type of speeches that have been made, it was running across my mind whether such speeches would be heard in the Parliament of any other nation. Do you ever read or hear of a speech of that type made in Great Britain, the United States or any other country?

There is a prejudice against Irish-manufactured goods. Why would there not be, what can you expect from the ordinary people in the street, when the elected representatives of the people carry on this type of propaganda? They tell us they are not prejudiced against Irish manufacture. If not, why do they lend themselves to this campaign?

The Minister is only doing his duty by this country in keeping to the principles laid down by every patriotic Irish writer of the past, from Dean Swift to Arthur Griffith. He is doing only what is being done in every other country. What nation is there that is not giving protection to its industries —even the greatest of them? The United States is one of the most highly protected countries in the world and has built its greatness on protection. Great Britain itself has protected its industries over a great many years. It was clamouring for free trade when it was the largest manufacturer in the world. We are only a small nation, new to the manufacture of a great many articles, and for that reason our new industries require protection at least until they get on their feet.

It is only fair to let it be known that many of the articles that are produced here are as good as those produced anywhere else. Take cement: does not everyone in the building trade know that Irish cement is at least equal to any in the world? In my native town of Ennis we have a much derided industry, the manufacture of plain, humble bootlaces, an industry which was laughed to scorn when it was being established. It now employs a couple of hundred hands and is producing an article that can compare favourably with that produced in any other country.

I hope this is the last discussion of this type that we shall have here. I hope that every Senator, regardless of Party, will put Irish interests first. Instead of hampering and hindering Irish industry when he comes to speak, I hope he will say as little as he can against it and everything he can in favour.

Could we have some guidance as to what we are discussing?

I never heard the statement made at the Clonmel Corporation.

The fact is that it was made.

If it were made, I would have protested against it.

The boot and shoe operatives actually published in a paper of which the Senator is a director a reply to the statement made at the meeting of the Clonmel Corporation.

They might do that, but the statement might not have been made.

Senator Burke may take my word for it that it was made. I will produce the proof.

I never heard the statement made and would have protested against it if it were made.

Did you read the paper in which the reply was published?

I can only say that I did not get notice of that question. A lot of heat has been engendered in this debate. I have been interested in Irish industry longer than I can remember and my family were interested in Irish industry before we had any protection in this country and maybe at that time lost a considerable amount of money in Irish industry. We ought to be able to discuss it objectively. Some time or other there must be things about Irish industry that we want to criticise and we should not be too thin-skinned about it.

We ought not be quoted as saying things we did not say.

I am a director of three companies selling Irish goods, some of which are protected and some of which are not. Some of these companies are able to export goods to Great Britain and other places against all competition, but I do not always feel when there is a discussion about industry here that somebody has a big tag on the seat I am sitting in and I am going to be hurt immediately if there is a free, fair and frank discussion. I think Irish goods generally are able to sell on their merits. If some of them are not, it may be the fault of the people who are manufacturing them. Most of the goods that are manufactured in this country can hold their place in any market in the whole world and that is an enormous achievement.

What Senator Douglas said about variety is one of the greatest difficulties. Manufacturing for only 3,000,000 people, we have that enormous difficulty. There is one company in which I have an interest, not a very big company, which sent goods into the North of Ireland and which is able to sell them there; but there is a factory also in the North of Ireland and they are able to come in here over a 25 per cent. tariff and sell goods against us, because the public like something different. That is a difficulty and it is a difficulty which the Minister has in imposing a tariff because, as Senator Douglas says, the public want something that is not quite the same. Anybody who has approached the problem knows that that is so.

I think we ought to give the Minister this Bill. If there are any articles which are not now manufactured in this country and that bear a duty I think the Minister ought to have them removed from the list. If I am not mistaken, he told me last year that he would. I know of one or two articles that are not manufactured or assembled in this country. It causes a considerable amount of inconvenience in business when parts are required for these goods. Refrigerators are not being manufactured or assembled in this country—I understand that they are not; the refrigerators themselves are not being assembled here. It may be that the cold stores, or the compartments or the doors are being made in this country but the actual machine itself is not being manufactured in this country. I understood some time ago that the Minister was going to remove refrigerators from the list of goods for which one would have to receive a licence to import free of duty. I know that, in perishable industries, it causes a certain amount of inconvenience now and again when parts are held up at Collinstown Airport or at the port of Dublin, Limerick, Cork, and so forth.

During the past 20 years or so there have been many debates upon the merits of industrial development and the policy of protection. Senator Loughman said that some of the speeches made here this evening were in the old tradition. Whether or not that is true, I think there has been a great change in their tone and scope since I first came into public life and participated in such debates. I think we may as well face the fact that a change has taken place, a change which, I think, is significant.

There is no likelihood of this Bill being seriously opposed in the Seanad any more than it was opposed in the Dáil. In fact, I think it would not be unfair to say that the approach to it is even less critical than it might conceivably be because there is, nowadays, a hesitation about appearing to be critical of proposals of this character. In the early days of the controversy, a Bill of this kind would have led to long and heated controversy, punctuated by repeated divisions.

There is some heat over there.

I have no objection whatever to a critical approach to industrial development. I think Irish industrial policy is now so firmly established that it can stand it and that criticism, provided it is directed towards helping it rather than stopping it, is useful. It was the shotgun diffusiveness of Senator Stanford's attack which stung Senator Douglas into replying, rather than myself. I think Senator Douglas has effectively corrected Senator Stanford's mistake. Senator Stanford assumed that a tariff was always imposed on imported goods because the Irish goods were dearer, and with the aim of offsetting that price disadvantage. That may be true in some cases and for some time but, as Senator Douglas pointed out, there are many and often much more serious disadvantages felt by an Irish firm endeavouring to enter for the first time into a market previously supplied by outside firms. Variety is one of the factors. Every firm likes to be able to show goods which no other competitor in the same town or district can show. That possibility is reduced when a tariff is imposed and their purchases are directed to Irish firms. When they are dealing with a much larger number of firms producing goods in Great Britain they can make these arrangements which ensure that goods of the same type or the same brand will not be available to other traders in the locality.

The importance of established trade connections should not be underestimated, either. Traders believe that sometimes it is desirable to maintain these connections because they may lead to some advantage later on. It is a fact that confidence in the quality of Irish products is not yet as firmly based as it should be.

When I had to leave for the division in the Dáil, I was supporting Senator Douglas in his reply to Senator Stanford and pointing out the correctness of his assertion that protection is needed in many cases not solely because of price disadvantage of an Irish firm, but because of other possible disadvantages. It is not generally true that the effect of a tariff is to require the public to pay more for the article to which the tariff applies. That may be so in some cases, either permanently or for a period, but it is not unusual to find that the effect of a tariff, by making production more economic in the Irish concerns, is to secure a reduction rather than an increase in the price.

Could the Minister quote examples in cases where the raw materials have to be imported?

I was about to mention one or two cases of that kind, because the best evidence, in my view, that the industrial policy is working out as we anticipated is that many of the firms which were new firms 10, 15 or 20 years ago, getting over their teething troubles, are now successfully engaging in export business. I had the pleasure of seeing a report from a firm in this country, a well-known firm which manufacture ropes, binder twine and other forms of cordages, and which was regarded perhaps more doubtfully than some others when started, than many of the other new industries of that time, that some 60 per cent. of its business in the present year will be export business, and in that case the raw material is entirely imported. It is true that we have that disadvantage compared with other countries, that most of our industrial raw materials have to be imported and that was the point stressed in the I.B.E.C. report.

That raw material has to be imported into Britain and Northern Ireland as well.

Precisely. Many of the successful industries in Britain are those working on imported materials, and, as compared with them, we are at no disadvantage whatever. It is true that the best type of industry to have is one that works on native materials, but I do not know that Senator Stanford was correct in saying that these materials are being neglected. I do not know even what he had in mind in that regard.

I was thinking simply of agricultural products—the fact that agriculture has not kept step with industry, which is the really serious point.

In so far as agricultural products can be made the raw materials of manufacturing industry, it is being done to an increasing extent. I suppose the development of the processed meat industry is the biggest development of that kind that has taken place for many years. In every case where a new tariff is proposed or the extension of an existing tariff urged on us, the possible effect on prices is naturally the main factor taken into consideration. In some instances, the tariff is imposed or a higher tariff brought into operation because of unusual circumstances operating to an extent which constitutes unfair competition with Irish manufacturers.

There is in the case of some materials a two-price policy at present operating in Great Britain. The raw materials of certain industries are sold to British manufacturers at a lower price than they are sold for export and, consequently, goods made from these raw materials can be shipped here at a lower price than that at which our firms could produce. We have met the situation by increased tariffs in the belief that it is only a temporary situation which is bound to end. When Senator Baxter asked me if any of these products which are affected by the Orders to be confirmed in this Bill are dearer than similar products elsewhere, that is one of the considerations I have to take into account before replying.

Steel is the most difficult subject of all to deal with. The British home price is much lower than the world price. Consequently it is not fair to make any comparison between the cost of steel goods produced here with British home prices. A comparison can be made with continental prices. Our prices compare with continental prices. How long the two-price system will operate in Britain I do not know. At the present time the O.E.E.C. are discussing with the British authorities the desirability of retaining it.

There are other instances where if we are to have development at all we must be prepared to accept a higher price. I would be very slow to afford protection to any industry if the indications were that we would have to accept a higher price permanently. The development of production here must necessarily be more costly until full economic output is achieved or until workers are fully trained.

Steel couplings, for example, are goods which were never previously made in this country. A very competent and long-established Dublin firm has commenced to manufacture them. I made a comparison between the prices at which they were selling and the prices at which they could be imported shortly after manufacture had begun and in some ranges of these goods the prices were below the British prices and in other cases they were above the British price. Whether that position prevails now I do not know. It is an attractive industry in that about 60 per cent. of the ultimate selling price is represented by labour costs, an unusually high percentage in present circumstances. There has been an increase in wages during the present year in that industry and whether that increase operates in Great Britain I cannot say.

What exactly are these couplings?

Steel couplings for pipes.

Copper pipes?

No, not copper. The firm that was making these goods was always in the business of making copper joints and couplings. This is an extension to steel.

What are the pipes and tubes used for?

They are used in connection with coupling steel pipes and also for pipe unions, joints and plug cocks, in creameries, breweries, canning factories and the like.

It took a long time to get that out.

So far as edged tools are concerned, I do not think Senator Baxter need have any apprehension about the price. The position there was that the duty was completely suspended and there was no particular reason for restoring it until the present year when imports of these goods appeared to be taking place on a scale which was difficult to understand. We then decided that the time had come when the pre-war duty would have to be restored and the Order in regard to root crop knives was an extension of the previous Order which applied to practically all edged tools.

Are these root crop knives to be fitted to machines that may be imported?

They are hand tools. There are licensing clauses in respect of all these goods. I do not think that Senator Johnston is quite fair in saying that these Orders were imposed with shotgun diffusiveness. These Orders were made over a period of eight months and averaged two a month.

Were they made before the I.B.E.C. report?

Subsequent to that. I claim that they were made with rifle selectivity. I think you can use a rifle 11 times and get the bull's eye each time. If the Senator takes the trouble of reading the precise definition of the goods to which the duties apply he will understand there is no such thing as a hit-or-miss approach. In fact, many of the amended Orders which I have had to make recently were due to the fact that the original Orders were too selectively drawn—the definitions were too narrow to prevent the possibility of evasion of the duties. For that reason importers found a way of evading the duty by slightly altering the articles to which the duty applied. It is true, as Senator Burke said, that some of the duties imposed before the war have not been effective in producing the results anticipated. A revision of the duties is proceeding with a view to amending definitions so as to make them achieve the purpose aimed at or get rid of them altogether where they are no longer required. Some of these Orders were for that purpose. In the case of the duty relating to combs the effect of this Order is to take out of the duties types of combs which were never made even though the duty applied to them.

Stone combs.

I suppose a diamond comb would cover that.

The Revenue Commissioners would get a good comb.

I do not know if there is any other point that I need necessarily refer to at this stage. As Senator Douglas said all these matters are subject to very careful investigation in the Department before any action is taken at all and there is a continuous follow up in the Department to ensure that developments are working out as was anticipated when the Orders were prepared. We are now carrying out a systematic review of the position in every industry mainly to consider the possibility of extending it but also to make sure that the results actually achieved are those at which we aimed. In a few cases we will be forced to recognise that we did not succeed in achieving the development we wanted and that the project will have to be abandoned for the time being.

The assumption that we just put on a duty and let anything happen after that is completely incorrect. There is a continuous follow up and I hope that will always be so. Any firm assisted in this way may incline at some stage to sit back and take the profit arising at the stage of development it has reached and not be prepared to go further. It is our job to keep pushing them further as well as to ensure that they are doing an efficient job as far as they have gone.

Question put and agreed to.
Agreed to take remaining stages now.
Question proposed: "That Section 1 stand part of the Bill."

On Section 1, could I ask the Minister a question? Suppose there was a specific complaint that prices had been increased as the result of some protective tariff, what machinery is there for dealing with that complaint? To whom should it be addressed? Should it be addressed to the Department or is there any public body for dealing with it?

There is the Prices Advisory Body which deals with these complaints in a general way. There may be price Orders applying to the goods in which case the question of whether the Order was being evaded or not would arise. In the case of most goods, however, there is an arrangement with the manufacturer as to the price that he should charge or as to the margin he will take. If there was any complaint there would be an investigation through the Prices Advisory Body as to whether that arrangement was being broken.

As a margin of profit arrangement.

Yes, or in some cases a price arrangement. If it is not a price question of that kind then it is the Department of Industry and Commerce which will investigate the situation. We will frequently accept as reasonable an increase of prices due to the increase in raw materials cost, wage levels or some other factor of that kind. We might discuss with the manufacturer ways and means by which these costs could be offset by other economies but the aim would be to ensure that the industry was being carried on as efficiently as it could be in all the circumstances prevailing at the time, rather than insisting on comparisons between their prices and prices elsewhere.

I want to get a little more information from the Minister. I addressed myself to this article in the schedule in a state of considerable ignorance because I could not make out fully to what it was making reference. It is unfortunate that those people who have spoken on this subject in reply to what we have said, would not read the Bill and they would see that we are trying to get information and not in an unhelpful way.

The Minister indicates that this tubing and piping can have reference, for instance, to the equipment in a creamery. I want to put this question to him. Supposing I am erecting a new creamery. The machinery for it is coming in from Sweden or some other Scandinavian country. What position will I be in about these stainless steel couplings? Am I to bring in the equipment minus these couplings?

Yes, certainly.

I am furnishing a new creamery which is going to cost thousands of pounds. All this piping which is coming in as part of the equipment is not manufactured here.

The piping is fabricated here. You do not bring in the whole organisation; you bring in the parts and assemble them here.

There is equipment for the creamery that must come in. Must it come minus these couplings?

Yes, if the couplings are imported separately. As an integral part of the machine, a nut, a bolt or coupling would not be dutiable but these relate to couplings and plug cocks imported as such. You do not have those complete. They are assembled in the factory. What you have to do is to order the couplings, joints, so forth from the firm here.

Must you fit these couplings?

There is a number of standard sizes made.

Even though it costs more I must have it made here or pay the duty.

You can hope it will cost less if you get it made here.

Is there a licensing clause attached?

Senator Baxter does not seem to realise that if the machine cannot work without these couplings, the officials of the Minister's Department can issue a licence to him.

If there was any suggestion that any range of sizes is not being produced here certainly licences may be given but so far as I know a full range of all the standard sizes is being made here.

Say we bring in creamery separators, an attachment for a big churn and so on. I want to get information as to the position we will be in in regard to the importation of the part I have mentioned. They have been manufactured outside the country. Would we have to pay more for fittings which are available and which have been available to us in the past?

May I add to what the Minister said about the Prices Advisory Body? It is not generally known that manufacturers are under the strict control of the Prices Advisory Section of his Department. It is a most efficient section. Anybody who can survive the rigours of the Prices Advisory Tribunal and the income-tax regulations and still make a profit is a very good man indeed. I merely stand up to pay a tribute to the officials of the Department who deal with industrial matters. It is very seldom we get an opportunity of paying a tribute to civil servants. We are more inclined to throw bricks at them. I think it would be unworthy if we did not on this occasion pay a tribute to them for the assistance they have given us.

I want to try to get this matter cleared up. Senator O'Donnell has not done so. He is making it as clear as mud. Supposing one of our big centres, that is handling thousands of gallons of milk a day has a break up in some part of its equipment. It is not to be supposed that it can get that by a telephone call from where it comes on the Continent. Is that machine or that building to stand idle for perhaps a considerable time before you can set up the machinery here to manufacture this particular piece of equipment?

The Senator misunderstands. This duty applies to pipe couplings and plug cocks and articles of that kind used to connect up steel pipes. It does not relate to churns or any other parts.

The pipes leading to the churn.

And out of it.

If the coupling breaks or the plug cock will not work, and the Senator rings up an establishment in George's Street he is likely to get it.

That is one of the diffculties about a matter of this kind. You cannot ring up a place in George's Street and get a fitting for a machine that has been manufactured in Denmark.

No, but I think you will get a coupling for a pipe.

Question put and agreed to.
Section 2, the Title and Schedule put and agreed to.
Bill reported without recommendation and received for final consideration.
Question proposed: "That the Bill be returned to the Dáil."

On this stage I am not going to say very much by way of attempting to reply to some of the speeches on that side of the House which were made in reply to speeches which were supposed to be made on this side of the House but not made. I have heard people over there addressing themselves to this Bill and I am positive that some of them did not read the Bill and did not know what it contained. I stood up on this Bill to get information. I approached the matter as I thought reasonably, in a fashion anyone ought to with a sense of responsibility and tried to get information as to the amount of employment all these duties were going to give for people in the country. I think it is entirely wrong for any member of this House or the other House to take the attitude that when a measure like this comes before us we are not to say anything that is in our minds as to the policy or what the Bill contains.

I think that the people who are doing the most injury to Irish industry and its further and fuller development are the people who take up that attitude. You cannot defend Irish industry and have the exposition of the situation except the Minister in charge is given an opportunity to address himself to it, and unless there are people who are questioning and who are not afraid of the kind of epithet that can be hurled across the House, charges made that I was unfriendly to Irish industry and to anything that was Irish when what we were trying to get was a clear statement with regard to Irish industry and what has been accomplished since this State has been set up; and you cannot get that unless there are people to ask questions. That was why I got on my feet.

I do not know why I should be confronted with people who think that Irish industry is something that cannot survive except under conditions that are impossible for consumers in this country. I did not suggest that and I am not suggesting it now. I did say this and I am repeating this, and repeating it not in relation to Irish industry alone but to every industrial effort we make whether in field or factory or anywhere else, in the Seanad, the Dáil or the Civil Service—that unless people who are paid for service in this country give a good output of work there can be no hope of raising our standard of living. If all the people crying out for cheaper products, cheaper consumer goods and all the rest, would concentrate some of their attention on giving better output in the day everyone in this country would be happier.

The worst service you can do to Irish industry is to proclaim its efficiency and the return people are giving for the money they are paid. I really do not think it is true. There are quite a number of our country towns where there are industries with people getting a wage for the labour they give and it is very far out of relation to the service they could give to agriculture just adjacent to the town and the return we are getting from what they are paid for their services is making the nation very unhappy and is making things hard for our farming community. We must preach the doctrine, we must see that it is implemented, that wherever there are industries established and people working in them they must learn that they have a responsibility to the consuming public of their nation, and that is to give good service and to give good products and to give them as cheap as they can be got anywhere else, and I say finally it is a confession that we are an inferior race if we are not able to do that.

I would like to add one word to this lively debate. It has been suggested that the interest and enthusiasm for Irish industry is a new thing in this State, just over the last 30 years. Might I remind the Senators that two occupants of this House before the Oireachtas were intensely interested in fostering Irish industry? The Duke of Leinster towards the end of the 18th century was particularly interested, and he held balls and parties in this very room in which all the guests were to come dressed in Irish manufactured clothes; and his successor in this House, the Royal Dublin Society, was no laggard body in promoting Irish industry. It is not an entirely new thing, and I think that we who are the present occupants of this House should remember that fact.

Question put and agreed to.