Imposition of Duties (Confirmation of Orders) Bill, 1954—Second and Subsequent Stages.

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

This Bill is similar in form to others that have from time to time been submitted to the Seanad. Its purpose is to confirm eight Orders which were made under the Emergency Imposition of Duties Act over the past eight months. Orders made under that Act have to be confirmed by legislation. This Bill would have been time enough in May or June next but in view of the pending dissolution of the Dáil it was thought desirable to bring it forward now and get it enacted so that no complications would arise by reason of the fact that the Dáil would not be meeting during the month of May.

There are eight commodities affected by the Orders scheduled to this Bill. None of them is of major economic importance. They include berets, pot scourers, oils and fats, welding electrodes, single yarns of cotton and artificial silk, asbestos draining boards, milk cans and agricultural tractor tyres. The only new duty imposed in this Bill is that on welding electrodes. The Orders relating to pot scourers, oils and fats, single cotton yarns amended duties already in operation. The duty on berets was increased. The duty on milk cans which had been in operation previously but which was suspended was restored at a lower rate. The Orders relating to asbestos draining boards and agricultural tractor tyres revoked duties previously in operation.

So far as berets are concerned this form of headgear has increased in popularity among certain people and berets are manufactured here by two firms, one in Cork and one in Mayo. Competition between them is fairly keen and prices are fully competitive with the prices of imported berets. While I understand there were some technical difficulties associated with the manufacture these have been overcome and production is now proceeding on a scale capable of meeting the full demand for these products. There are over 50 people employed in the manufacture of berets, which seems to be an indication that their popularity is increasing.

There was a duty on pot scourers made of metal and that was extended to include pot scourers made of artificial plastic and also to cover steel wool. The Order really effected an amendment of the definition of pot scourers to which the duty applied.

The position is the same in regard to oils and fats. That duty operated for a number of years and covered within its scope a number of oils which were not in fact produced here. At the time when the duty was originally imposed it was considered that definition difficulties would arise if these oils were excluded from the scope of the duty. Since the duty came into force duty free licences for these oils have been issued on application. On reconsideration of the duty, however, it was found possible to get over the definition difficulty and actually to exclude these oils from the scope of the duty so that the necessity to issue licences for importation would no longer arise. The Order also amended the duty to provide that the mere addition of water would not invalidate the duty and that, again, was a small measure taken to make good the original decision and to prevent evasion of the duty.

As I said, the only new duty arising out of this Bill is on certain welding electrodes. Welding Electrodes (Ireland) Limited have commenced production of these commodities. They are associated with a firm in Britain which formerly supplied most of the market. That firm has given them the technical assistance and marketing advice which they required and they are producing these welding electrodes at prices similar to those prevailing in Britain. This firm when established planned to develop an export trade from the beginning and they have installed capacity which represents about twice the requirements of the Irish market. They will need to get export business if the whole of the capital is to be remunerated and they have had ample testimony as to the quality of the production and evidence that the prices at which welding electrodes are being sold here are comparable with the prices of those selling elsewhere.

The Order with regard to single cotton yarns was designed to amend the scope of the previous Order which related to single cotton yarns. That duty upon single cotton yarns was imposed for the purpose of protecting firms engaged in production here. There are four such firms operating in the country. It was found that the market was being seriously affected by the importation of yarns composed of a mixture of cotton and rayon to which the duty did not apply. It was decided then to extend the scope of the duty. That step was taken more readily when the firms engaged in the production of single cotton yarns undertook to supply these mixture yarns as well and are now doing so, I understand, in a reasonable degree.

There was a duty upon asbestos draining boards which are not now made here and, so far as I can discover, not used here, and, therefore, we are revoking the duty.

So far as milk cans are concerned, this duty applies only to milk cans under 12 gallons capacity. Most Senators will know that the majority of milk cans used here are of a larger size than that. The duty was brought into operation before the war but it was suspended during the war years. The manufacture of these 12-gallon milk cans and smaller milk cans has been resumed and the firm which is making them has entered into undertakings with us that the cans will be sold in this country at the British domestic prices; that is to say the same prices at which similar cans are sold in Great Britain. There was, however, some reason to apprehend that supplies of cans might be imported for the purpose of getting rid of surplus stocks, particularly from continental countries, at the time of the year when seasonal demand was greatest. There is a seasonal element in the demand for these cans and it was thought desirable to keep that position under control by imposing a small duty. The customs duty, which was previously fairly considerable, has been lowered to 15 per cent. full rate and 10 per cent. ad valorem and that is merely to ensure that this firm making the cans will be able to enter upon production for meeting the whole market requirements for the cans and, therefore, to fulfil its price undertaking.

The position in regard to agricultural tractor tyres was somewhat anomalous. The House is probably aware that, following the commencement of the manufacture of rubber tyres here, an excise duty upon Irish-produced tyres was brought into operation. The purpose of the excise duty was to secure revenue for the Exchequer, or, rather, to prevent the loss of revenue to the Exchequer which the commencement of manufacture at home would otherwise have occasioned. There was a limited range of agricultural tractor tyres produced by the Dunlop company in Cork. These tyres were subject to an excise duty while at the same time agricultural tractor tyres could be imported without duty. We had, therefore, the anomalous situation that home-produced tyres were subject to a duty while imported tyres were not subject to it, and that was resolved by revoking the excise duty on agricultural tractor tyres.

I do not propose to go into a full-dress debate about the wisdom or otherwise of the policy enunciated in these Orders of the Minister, but I am particularly concerned with this duty on creamery cans to which I addressed myself on a previous occasion. It is the generally-accepted policy of every Government here to impose duties on the importation of foreign goods. When I went into the other House in 1923 as a member of the Farmers' Party, we were confronted with somewhat similar Orders by the Government of that day and we filled columns in the records of the Dáil in the succeeding years on the burdens which were being imposed on the agricultural community arising from the tariffs which were then being imposed. We have come a long journey from that. We are conscious of the fact that these extra duties are being paid by our consumers here.

That is not true.

We will let Senator O'Donnell talk for himself. If a farmer has to pay 15 per cent. more than he paid before for creamery cans by virtue of an Act of this Oireachtas, the Senator will have to prove to me that what I said is not true, when I know it to be a fact.

The Minister has said they are being sold at the same price.

I know he did. This is an important matter to the section that I am concerned about, that is, the dairy farmers. I am speaking on behalf of the dairy farmers. I know it is the policy of national Governments to help to develop native industry, but there is a point at which we must stop, we must hesitate and examine what are the implications and the consequences of a particular duty. You are imposing here in this Bill a duty of 15 per cent. ad valorem, 10 per cent. preferential, on the importation of certain milk cans. They are only certain milk cans of 12 gallons and under, but they are milk cans used by the small farmers in the small farming districts in the country. They are not the milk cans that the 40 cow man in Limerick or South Tipperary would be concerned about at all. They are the cans used in my county and in the dairying districts and small farming areas of the country. We are going to pay, and we ought to know exactly what the situation is at the moment with regard to the importation of these cans.

I do not want to be misinterpreted and misrepresented on this matter. I am merely telling what the fact is. I do not think in the first place that this matter has been very well handled at all in so far as the Minister or his people are concerned over taking the decision in conjunction with the people who are going to set this development going. I do not think that what has taken place as a result of the original decision of the Minister is a compliment to them. My information is that some people in business in this country who were very anxious indeed to assist the people who are engaging in this new development were awaiting the day when they would be able to supply this particular commodity. They waited and waited, and the tariff was imposed after a bit, but in the meantime other people who were not much concerned about what the native industrialist was going to provide were able to stock up with cans; and then we had a position that some of those other people who were in the business and could not get the product from the new firm had to go out and buy and had to pay the duty, so that those people who are trying to encourage the native concern have got a tariffed article in their stores and are trying to compete with the other people who have it in minus the duty. That sort of situation does no credit to anybody. It is not the kind of way a law like this should be imposed. It should apply equally to all citizens on the same day, and particulars and facilities should not be given to one that cannot be enjoyed by the other. If this particular firm advised that they required this tariff, in my judgment anyhow it should not have been imposed until they were in a position with their equipment to put their goods on the market, but so far as I understand it that was not the situation. That is my first complaint.

The second point I want to make is this. The native product is to be sold at the same price as the foreign commodity plus the tariff. That is the position at the present time, and there is this further to be said, that the native product is not as good. One does not like saying this, but we are the people who are buying, and these are very expensive commodities to-day. You do not get very much for a couple of pounds now. Creamery cans are very expensive, and if they do not give the service the farmer is being taxed, and it is the small farmer who is being taxed. I do not know is it worth it. I do not think it is. I have no experience, and I am not acquainted with the conditions in this industry with regard to raw materials or anything else, but I do not like the farmer to be made the guinea pig for an experimental process in regard to some new development here. The farmer, and especially the small farmer, the man in my county with four or five or six cows, will be able to put his milk in a ten-gallon can and certainly in a 12-gallon can, and he is the man who is going to pay. There are thousands of these in my county. It is a creamery area from one end of it to the other. We are going to pay more for this article coming out of an Irish industry or to buy a foreign imported creamery can. Again, if we are going to buy the imported creamery can we are going to buy it because if both are the same price and it is regarded as a superior product we cannot be blamed. I do not know that the Minister in having a position like this is justified. I think the hardship imposed, the extra tax imposed, on the small producer is a discouragement in these days when that particular man is going to face very considerable difficulties in his production and undoubtedly going to have to sell against a falling market. It will be difficult to hold his prices, and in a situation like that he will have to pay more for the raw materials. My view of this matter is that a tax like that demands more study, and it is just not sufficient, it is hardly justifiable, to impose a tax like this on a section of the community, and a certain section who are less well able to bear it.

I am not against the general policy of tariffs. I am not against the policy of trying to provide our own needs when those needs are something that is generally consumed; but when there is just a limited market and a limited number of purchasers, less well able to bear a burden like this, I am not for it, especially because I am satisfied that the thousands of small farmers in my county who are dairy men, sending their milk to the creamery as we do all over the county, and in other parts of the country, are the people who are going to pay the tax. I want at least to record my disapproval of this whole matter and the way it has been handled originally, and in the second place the unwisdom as well as the injustice of the imposition of this tax.

It is deplorable that Senator Baxter has got back on his old bicycle, attacking, by innuendo, new Irish industries. It is particularly a pity because the firm concerned is a very old established firm here and I understand it is extremely well equipped to turn out the type of can to which Senator Baxter refers. It lost the market to some extent due to causes not under its own control and it did not find it very easy, at least at first, to sell its product for some time. Due to the fact that certain people apparently were aware or guessed that the tariff might be going on, they had stocked up to some extent. Statements of the nature that Senator Baxter makes should not be accepted at all by the public—that because an industry starts here the resultant article made here is dearer to the consuming public. The Minister himself has stated that a guarantee has been given in this particular instance by the company concerned that the price will not exceed the current domestic price in the external market. I think that is right in this case as far as I know of the firm concerned.

I rather deplore the innuendo here that a firm here is being bolstered up to produce an article which the Senator suggests is not as good as the imported article. On that I am not prepared to argue, because I have not seen the articles and even if I had seen them I would not be competent to judge which was the better, but the insinuation here is that because an industry is started here under a protective policy the article as a result has necessarily to be dearer and the consuming public must of necessity pay more for it, and pay more as a result of being mulcted, as it were, by a protective policy. That is what this whole argument comes down to. It would be no harm if we had some declaration by some people here whether they stand for a free trade policy or a protection policy in this country. It is obvious that the Minister stands for a protective policy. The repercussions of that affect all the sections of society. He had put a tariff here on a thing known as a beret which is not used mainly by farmers. Senator Baxter's argument is that because a can is used mainly by farmers it is an unfair tariff.

I think it deplorable that at this stage of our lives we should have the sort of argument that because an article is protected by the Government it is, ipso facto, a poorer article and a dearer article than the imported commodity and that it must inflict a penalty on the farming community. I think it goes without saying that any measure likely to affect detrimentally agricultural consumers would not meet with the approval of industrialists generally. We, as industrialists, are alive to the necessity of having a complementary arm in our agricultural community, and the enactment of anything that may bring a sense of frustration to industrialists or to the farmer is not a good day's work for the nation. I deplore any attempt to use this House to broadcast the suggestion that the can that is being made by an Irish firm is not as good as, or is dearer than, the imported article and that we are penalising the farmer by reason of the fact that the Minister is forcing him to buy the Irish manufactured article. That sort of statement is a statement which is to be deplored and is one which should not be made.

On this occasion I am not going to enter on a field which might lead to a much bigger sphere of discussion on the whole question of the principle involved—as to whether the duties which have been imposed by the Government are justifiable. If we accept the fundamental premise that they are necessary and sound in the national interest, then we must support them. If we do accept that, then Senator Baxter is wrong and this house should not be used to attack the quality of any article made by an Irish industry unless there is absolute and positive proof that the article is of poorer quality, that the methods pursued in its production are inefficient or that the service to the community is not such as would justify the Minister giving protection to that article. Unless such proof is forthcoming, it is deplorable that a statement of that nature should be made in this House.

As regards the duties on berets, I think I can say that the farmer has no cause for complaint, because even the raw material for these articles is of Irish production. The berets are made of Irish wool so that the process of manufacture is entirely Irish. The only trouble that I see there is that the duty refers to articles made of felt or felt material. There is a possible chance of evasion because, as I understand it, the actual definition of the material used in the manufacture of berets is knitted material that is not felt. That might give a loophole to people who might like to import articles made of materials which would not be exactly defined as felt made of felt material. I should like the Minister to deal with the point as to whether berets the material of which is made of felt would come within the scope of the duty.

As regards the duty on cotton and silk yarns, I hope the Minister will extend the licensing facilities because I understand that these mixture yarns are essential in the production of certain types of low-grade textile articles or rather low-grade textile articles which are necessary to meet demands by the poorer sections of the people. I do not know whether the cotton mills or the spinning mills have been producing this mixture yarn so far. I doubt very much if they have.

You are quite wrong.

I am very glad to hear that they are. If we are in a position to supply these yarns, it furnishes a further justification for the Minister's action in imposing these duties, but I understand that, some time ago, some of my friends who use this mixture yarn found it rather difficult to get it in the Irish mills. The one thing I deplore is the fact that, as I understand it, the imposition of the duty came at such a late period that it has not yet effected any benefit for the firm concerned.

Much of what I should like to say on this Bill has been already said by Senator O'Donnell, but I wish to go on record in protest against the nature of the speeches we get from Senator Baxter every time there is a suggestion here of a tariff affecting anything used by the farmers. I feel that I am correct in saying that if we were to go back on all the speeches made by Senator Baxter in recent years, we would find that he has got one set type of speech. Quite recently, we had the same speech that we heard in the last half-hour from the Senator on a Bill dealing with buckets. It cannot be that Senator Baxter is always right and that the rest of us are always wrong. If it is admitted that in the initial stages of the creation and development of an industry some measure of protection is necessary to enable that industry to get on its feet and to protect it against the competition of heavy imports from other countries with a long tradition of industrial efficiency, it will be generally recognised that these duties are justified. A striking fact is that practically every farming village and town in Ireland is eager to get some of these constantly maligned industries. I wonder if Senator Baxter is speaking for the farmers when he talks about the allegedly evil effects of the imposition of these duties.

I know what I am talking about.

Senator Baxter is a Pooh-Bah—he knows more about industry than those who specialise in it.

I spoke of one tariff only.

I am in possession now. I did not interrupt Senator Baxter when he was speaking.

Do not exaggerate.

He comes here and makes a positive statement without proof. He made a very long speech from which we are to infer that the poor small farmer is in danger of extinction, because of a tariff of 10 or 15 per cent. on a certain type of milk can. Was there ever anything more ludicrous? Nobody says a word about the degree to which this Government have seen to it that the lot of the farmers of this country has been greatly improved, and we all are delighted that it has. Senator Baxter takes it on himself to speak for the farmer but many of us on this side who have country contacts doubt whether the farmers of the country generally would like to be fitted with the cap that Senator Baxter seeks to put upon them—that, because of this measly little protective tariff to help a new industry, the farmer is in danger of extinction. I protest against the fact that every time a measure is brought before this House dealing with duties we get the same type of speech here from Senator Baxter. Senator Baxter may think he is helping the farmer. I say he is not and he is certainly not helping the country.

Have I not the right to make my speech?

I hope that Senator O'Donnell did not mean that this subject was so sacrosanct that one dare not speak on it. As one who would like to keep to the middle of the road, to avoid being hit by the missiles thrown from one side or the other, by either Senator Summerfield or Senator Baxter, I should like to say something on behalf of an industry which may be affected by one of the tariffs imposed by this Bill. There is a very large assembling industry in this country using metal generally as a material. There is the assembly of motor-cars, the assembly of small ware of various sorts, enamelled and galvanised. There is also the manufacture of such articles as rainwear tanks and of dozens of other things in which these electrodes are used to weld. It is a very highly specialised job in which a knowledge of physics and chemistry is necessary, if one is to do the job in a proper way.

If major industries which are exporting goods and which require certain types of electrodes to assist them in their manufacture find that the home electrodes are not suitable for the job, I would like an assurance from the Minister that the proper type of electrodes will be made available to them. I have no information that what is being made in the country is not suitable, but it would be a great safeguard if the Minister agreed to insert a licensing provision to enable these various highly technical types of industries using electrodes in a very big way to get permission to import their requirements, so that they will not be hindered in the development of the export business in which many of them are engaged.

The House is well aware that my point of view on measures of this kind differs considerably from that of Senator Baxter and my only reason for speaking is to say that I disagree also with Senator O'Donnell's attitude and to some extent the attitude of Senator Summerfield. I have been engaged in industry over a fairly long period and I am not in the least frightened because there is some criticism when Bills of this kind come before the House. Irish industry is now sufficiently well established that it can stand up to that criticism and can welcome it and answer it, when it comes.

If there is criticism outside. I would prefer that it should come from Senator Baxter or Senator O'Donnell, who incidentally made some criticism on his own inaccurately, than that it should simply be whispered outside. Senator O'Donnell, while horrified about milk cans, put in a little aside to the effect that mixture yarns were not being produced here. In that, he just was not correct and I could make a very eloquent speech about the iniquity of using this House to suggest that certain types of yarns which are being produced here are not being produced here. No harm at all is done by that and it may even do good, because it makes clear that they are being produced, a fact which Senator O'Donnell did not know.

Let us be realists about this and let us not be afraid of a little criticism. I can truthfully say that I am speaking on behalf of the vast majority of Irish industrialists when I say that if our industries are being whispered around as being inefficient or if it is suggested that something is wrong in relation to their prices, the sooner that comes out where somebody can answer it, where the Minister can answer it, or where, if necessary, the industries can answer it, if the Minister is not in a position to do so, the better. I think that is all healthy and for my part I am not a bit afraid of it.

If only to make clear that it is not a case of Senator Baxter against the rest, I should like to say a few words on this Bill. It has always struck me that on occasions when we have a Bill of this kind dealing with the imposition of duties, with protection, certain Senators—sometimes Senator O'Donnell and at other times Senator Summerfield—doth protest too much. They complain without having any reason to complain. We here are perfectly entitled to give expression to criticism without causing any grievous offence to people who really only think we are causing offence.

We may not all accept what Senator Baxter has said and we may not all think that his criticism was quite in point in a number of instances, but I do not think he has been in any way unfair, and it is wrong for any person, interested in particular matters or not, to complain, or pretend to complain, grievously when criticism is directed towards such matters. They are very important matters for some sections of our people—the section of our people who make the articles and the section who purchase them. I believe the Minister tries to keep evenly between these sections. I am satisfied from observations he has made in public from time to time that he feels he has a duty to help industry, but he has also made it clear that the people who purchase these articles have rights and that manufacturers have obligations to them.

The Minister will have to give me a great deal more information before I agree to give him the Second Stage of this Bill. He has made no case for it. It is a Bill which seeks to confirm Orders, in the nature of temporary Orders, imposing duties and I should have thought that the Minister would have gone into great detail to justify the permanent imposition of duties which heretofore were only temporary. When I say he has not made any case for the Bill, I have perhaps made an over-statement. He has certainly made a case for the removal of the duty on asbestos draining boards which, apparently, are not used at all here now and indeed for the removal of the duty on motor tractor tyres. What was happening in that case was ridiculous and it may be that other similar things are happening unknown, to us.

If we look at the particular objects for which this Bill is designed, we find that there is a variation of the duty on berets. By all means, let us have that duty, if we are satisfied that we shall be doing some good to the manufacturers and purchasers of these articles. It did occur to me, however, to ask myself if there is a gesture to any particular person in regard to berets. Are they becoming particularly popular these days? I should like the Minister to give us details to show what benefits are being conferred on industry and on the public in the permanent imposition of that duty on berets. I should have expected the Minister to give us in some detail the number of people employed in making these articles and generally the benefits conferred on the people in the matter of price by the production of these articles here.

I do not complain very much if we must pay a little more for articles manufactured here than we would have to pay for imported articles. I have no grievance on that head. I would have a grievance if we had to pay very much more for the homemade article, but I have no real grievance where there is no great difference in price, but we should be told by the Minister in sufficient detail to enable us to make up our minds what benefits are conferred on the particular industries and on the public by the permanent imposition of these duties. Until the Minister gives us that information and, by that information, satisfies us that we should agree to impose them, I cannot consent to giving him this stage of the Bill.

The manufacture of milk cans and other dairy equipment is a natural corollary to a prosperous and successful dairy industry. The great countries in which dairying equipment is manufactured are Denmark and Sweden and they are great precisely because the dairying industry in these countries is also great. We have in this country a dairying industry which is not prospering and which has to be heavily subsidised at the expense of other sections of the community, including the consumer. It is typical of the whole industrial policy that we should be taxing the equipment of the dairying industry and making dairy production more expensive. It is another example of the besetting sin of putting the industrial cart before the agricultural horse. Unless we reverse that in the near future we will never have a prosperous agriculture or a prosperous industry.

I recognise it is an unusual political situation which requires Senator Baxter to go through the formality of declaring that he is not against the general policy of protection. If he approached his Party committee he might get the same privileges as are extended to Deputy Dillon, who makes no secret of his hostility to protection.

I am not. I never said I was against the general policy of protection.

The Senator has repeated the formula of saying that he is not against it even though he never seems to agree with its application in an individual case.

In some individual cases.

With regard to milk cans, the position is that there was a duty of 45 per cent. full and 30 per cent. preferential on milk cans of all sizes imposed before the war. That was suspended when the manufacture of milk cans became impossible. It has been reimposed but only in respect of milk cans under 12 gallons capacity. The duty is now 15 per cent. full and 10 per cent. preferential instead of 45 per cent. full and 30 per cent. preferential.

With regard to Senator Baxter's complaints in respect of stocking up of milk cans, I was not quite sure whether he was complaining because some people foresaw the possibility of the duty being imposed and began a stockpile or because the duty was brought into operation before the Irish firm was in a position to supply the whole of the market requirements. It was a combination of both. It is true that there was some evidence of stockpiling during the time the plant for the manufacture of milk cans was being installed. In fact, the firm was in production and putting the cans on the market before the duty was brought into operation. That was due to my desire to be completely satisfied as to the capacity of the firm to produce cans of good quality and at competitive prices before imposing even this low rate of duty. I was quite satisfied they were doing so. Samples of the milk cans were submitted to the Department of Agriculture which certified to me that they were up to the highest standard of imported cans. I have received no complaints that the price undertaking given by this firm has not been fulfilled. If Senator Baxter does, in fact, know of any case where the Irish cans are being sold at the price of the imported cans, plus duty, I will be glad if he will give me the information.

Both as to the quality and the price.

Let the Senator make sure it was an Irish can that was defective in quality before he complains about it. There is no reason that I know of why there should be any difficulty in getting immediate delivery of Irish-made milk cans. In fact, I have been told there is quite a substantial stock, that the firm has not yet been able to get into full production and that, consequently, they can meet orders as they come in. No traders in these cans need have any difficulty by reason of the coming into operation of this duty.

With regard to the mixture yarns, our estimate is that present requirements of these yarns are about 2,000,000 lb. weight per year, and of that requirement of Irish manufacturers about 75 per cent. can at present be met by the Irish mills. At the present time, the duty free licences for the balance are being issued, and the licence given to any individual firm is related to the orders placed by it with the Irish manufacturers.

So far as the berets are concerned, the application from the manufacturers was for the imposition of a duty upon felted berets. There never has been any suggestion from them that the duty was being evaded by the bringing in of berets made of anything other than felted material. I do not think it is practicable to make berets except from felted material, otherwise they would not last through a shower of rain.

With regard to electrodes, I am not quite sure what Senator Burke's complaint was. The electrodes produced are, so far as I know, regarded as quite satisfactory by all the firms using them. If any situation should arise in which proper types of electrodes were not being produced and were not available to any Irish manufacturer, then we would do something about it. I think that is not a situation we are likely to be confronted with. Also, those electrodes are produced from wire which is drawn here, so that the establishment of this industry represents a further extension and a further market for another industry which was recently brought into operation.

The other duties to which reference was made, particularly the excise duty on tractor tyres, does represent a situation which had to be rectified. It only became a matter of importance recently. As soon as it became obvious that an unsatisfactory situation existed, the excise duty was repealed and the present position is that agricultural tractor tyres, either of Irish manufacture or imported, are available here without any duty of any kind being charged upon them.

Question put and agreed to.
Agreed to take the remaining stages to-day.
Bill considered in Committee, reported without recommendation, received for final consideration and ordered to be returned to the Dáil.