Financial Resolutions—Report Stage. - No. 1—Customs.

I move:—"That the Dáil do agree with the Committee in Resolution No. 1—Customs."

1. That a customs duty of an amount equal to twenty-five per cent. of the value of the article shall be charged, levied and paid on all woven tissues made wholly or partly of wool or worsted (other than blanketing and floor-coverings) which are imported into Saorstát Eireann on and after the 21st day of February, 1929, and are so imported in the piece and are of the weight of seven ounces or more per square yard and are of a value exceeding one shilling and sixpence per square yard.

2. That whenever the Revenue Commissioners are satisfied that any woven tissue which but for this clause would be chargeable with duty under this Resolution is of the nature of blanketing or felt and is suitable and intended solely for use in the manufacture of saddlery or harness or for use by printers for the purposes of their printing business or for use as ironing cloths by laundrymen or tailors, the Revenue Commissioners may, subject to compliance with such conditions as they may think fit to impose, permit such woven tissue to be imported without payment of the duty mentioned in this Resolution.

3. That whenever the Revenue Commissioners are satisfied that any woven tissue which but for this clause would be chargeable with duty under this Resolution is imported for use by the importer in the manufacture by him in Saorstát Eireann of personal clothing or wearing apparel for exportation under a contract providing for the supply of such tissue to such importer for use in such manufacture, the Revenue Commissioners may, subject to compliance with such conditions as they may think fit to impose, permit such woven tissue to be imported without payment of the duty mentioned in this Resolution.

4. That the provisions of Section 8 of the Finance Act, 1919, shall apply to the duty mentioned in this Resolution in like manner as if woven tissues made wholly or partly of wool or worsted were mentioned in the Second Schedule to that Act as goods to which fourfifths of the full rate is made applicable as a preferential rate, but with the substitution in the said section of the expression "Saorstát Eireann" for the expression "Great Britain and Ireland."

5. That the value of any article shall for all the purposes of this Resolution be taken to be the price which an importer would give for the article if the article were delivered, freight and insurance paid, in bond at the place of importation, and duty shall be paid on that value as fixed by the Revenue Commissioners.

6. It is hereby declared that it is expedient in the public interest that this Resolution shall have statutory effect under the provisions of the Provisional Collection of Taxes Act, 1927 (No. 7 of 1927).

Since the Resolutions were submitted to the House we have had an opportunity of studying the Report of the Tariff Commission, and also of reading the speech which the Minister for Finance made with reference to the Resolutions. I think that anyone who has read this Report will have become satisfied that a very strong case exists for the protection of the woollen milling industry. The various arguments which are set out by the Commissioners constitute, in my opinion, a conclusive case, and left them no alternative but to make the recommendation with respect to that industry which they ultimately did bring forward. It is, of course, to be regretted that the application was not granted about the time it was made, because it is obvious that a very considerable sum has been lost in wages to Irish workers, and a much larger sum in wealth to the nation as a whole, in consequence of the two years' delay which has occurred. It is, however, much more to be regretted that, despite the very long time the Tariff Commissioners gave to the consideration of the application, they do appear to have overlooked several very important considerations concerning it, and to have misunderstood the implications of other facts bearing upon it. I would like to deal briefly with these points. The first of them has been already referred to in the public Press, and concerns the position of the ready-made clothing manufacturers in the Twenty-Six Counties under the new duties. In their Report the Tariff Commission, paragraph 96, claim:

The increase in the duty on wearing apparel containing woollen or worsted tissues should prevent the making-up trades from suffering any loss because of the new tariff.

A careful examination, however, of all the facts which one can secure in relation to the industry, both in the report and in Census of Production, seems to indicate that their conclusion in this respect is not correct. The duty of 15 per cent. on wearing apparel was first imposed in 1925, and since then there has been considerable development in the industry, resulting in the employment of 2.234 new hands, and a reduction of about 70 per cent. in the value of the imports of boys' and men's suits since 1924. Part of that reduction is, no doubt, accounted for by the general fall in prices during that period but we know from the Census of Production that the value of boys' and men's suits produced by the ready-made clothing manufacturers of the Free State in 1926 was £648,000, or just 77 per cent. of the total imports of 1924, the year before the tariff was imposed. It would be, I think, exceedingly regrettable if, in consequence of any miscalculation on the part of the Tariff Commission or on the part of the Executive Council, who gave this matter only very hasty consideration, the good work done in the development of the ready-made clothing industry by the duty imposed in 1925 should be destroyed. The Tariff Commission themselves were apparently awake to the danger that might possibly arise as a result of the imposition of this duty on woolen cloth. In the same paragraph from which I quoted before, paragraph 96, they say:—

Our main object, however, in suggesting the modification in the apparel duty was to ensure that in endeavouring to assist the woollen and worsted manufacturers we did not injure the manufacturers of ready-made clothing in the Saorstát. These were our especial concerns, partly because we believed that the industry was of increasing importance and also because the imposition of the tariff in 1925 caused the investment of new capital and the training of many new workers; we assume that this development has been effected in the belief that the benefit of the tariff would continue for a reasonable period, and we considered that a tariff on cloth without an increase in the tariff on apparel would have the effect of reducing the margin of protection at a time when the industry could not yet be regarded as sufficiently developed to meet open competition.

From an examination of the various facts which they adduced in relation to the recommendation which they made, it appears to me that they have made a very serious miscalculation, and that in consequence of the imposition of the new duty on woollen cloth, they will be doing a serious injury to an already established and rapidly developing industry in the State. The two main points to be considered in this connection are: first, whether the ready-made clothing manufacturers require protection to the full 15 per cent. duty hitherto enjoyed by them, and secondly, whether the cloth they require can be supplied, or is likely to be supplied within a reasonable time, by the Irish mills. With regard to the first of these points, there does not appear to be any doubt that the clothing manufacturers require, at least, a protective duty of 15 per cent. If anything, that duty is inadequate, as the continued import of this large volume of goods would seem to indicate. In addition, the figures quoted by the Tariff Commission on page 56 of the Report, show that the cost of cutting, making and trimming ready-made suits in the Free State is somewhat higher than in Britain, due, I am informed, not to any difference in the rate of wages paid, but to the fact that the workers in the industry here have not yet been able to become as efficient in their work as the workers in the same industry in England. It is true, of course, that the ready-made clothing manufacturers claim that they have reduced their costs in consequence of their increased production since their industry was protected, and such facts as I have been able to ascertain appear to bear out their claim. We must, however, bear in mind that there is also some indication that the ready-made clothing manufacturers in England cut their prices, to some extent, for the purpose of meeting the new duty, and they are, apparently, prepared to cut their prices further, if necessary, in order to retain their business here. In that connection, I might read for the Dáil a circular which was issued by one firm of ready-made clothing manufacturers in Britain, with a large import trade to Ireland, which they sent to all their customers here on the day following that on which the new duty was imposed. It reads as follows:—

In view of the increased tariff on wearing apparel which comes into force to-day, we have decided to reduce our prices on all garments of 20/- and upwards by the 5 per cent. involved. This reduction will come into force from the 1st March next. We trust you will avail yourselves of this concession, and shall be glad to have your future orders on this basis. Always at your service.

It does appear, therefore, that if the new arrangement has the effect of reducing the amount of effective protection which the ready-made clothing manufacturers enjoyed up to this, some modification in the proposal is urgently required. With regard to the second point, as to whether the Irish woollen mills can supply, or are likely in the near future to be able to supply, the cloth which the ready-made clothing manufacturers use, such facts as we can discover from the Tariff Commission's report and elsewhere seem to indicate that such is not the case. According to the Census of Production, the cloth used by the ready-made clothing manufacturers in 1926 cost on the average 4/3 per square yard. If the Saorstát mills could supply cloth of good quality and of sufficient variety of design it this price, then there would be no justification for any arrangement that would permit clothing manufacturers to continue to import the cloth they used to import before, and still enjoy the same degree of protection.

It appears, however, from the report that, although some of the Irish mills produced a cheap wearing cloth superior to the imported British cloth, they have not been manufacturing any quantity or variety of cloths of the style and finish required by the ready-made trade, nor do they appear, from their statements as published in the report, to be contemplating doing so in the near future. It would seem, therefore, that if the Irish clothing manufacturers are forced to use the available Irish cloth of cheap varieties exclusively, the consequence would be a big increase in the importation of English ready-made suits, despite the 20 per cent. duty, because of their more popular design and finish. The same result would, of course, be established if there was any substantial reduction in the measure of effective protection which the ready-made clothing manufacturers enjoyed before these Resolutions were introduced.

If in consequence of giving protection to the woollen milling industry we were to bring about a position in which the importation of ready-made clothing into this country from England were to be greatly increased, it would, I think, be a very undesirable consequence of the recommendations made by the Tariff Commission. The Tariff Commission, however, appear to believe that the combined effect of an additional 5 per cent. duty on wearing apparel, which they recommend to give, with the exemption of cloth under seven ounces in weight or under 1/6 per square yard in price, would be to give the clothing manufacturers the same degree of protection as they had before. Again I must say that to me that does not appear to be the case. It is obvious, I think, that the Irish manufacturer who has to sell his suits, after paying a 20 per cent. duty on the cloth contained in them and a shilling extra for the making, is not getting a 15 per cent. preference over the importer who pays 20 per cent. duty upon the imported suit. In fact, he is only getting about a 5 per cent. preference approximately—that is, if the cloths contained in the suits are the same in each case.

The Tariff Commission produce on page 56 some tables in which they show that even under the new arrangement the Saorstát manufacturer is in a position to sell a suit, made up of cloth costing 4/- per yard, at 1/4 less than the importer can sell a suit made from the same cloth here. The Tariff Commission, I think, would have been well advised to have gone a bit further, and have worked out for themselves what the position of the Saorstát manufacturer in relation to the importer was under the old arrangements and before the new duties came into operation. If they had done so, they would have found, I think, that before these new duties came into operation, the Saorstát manufacturer had an advantage of 2/11 over the importer, and that that advantage is now reduced to 1/4, or by about 60 per cent. It does not appear either that the exemption of cloth under 1/6 per square yard really affects the question.

Amongst the tables given at the end of the report, there appears a detailed list of the cloths imported through the port of Cork during the twelve months November, 1927, to November, 1928. Again, the Tariff Commission, I think, would have been well advised to have worked out for themselves the cost per yard of the cloths mentioned in that list. I have done so, and I cannot find that there was a single yard of cloth affected by the tariff which cost under 1/6 per square yard. Most of the cloth imported, even cap cloth, is considerably in excess of that figure. It does not appear, therefore, that that exemption has any real bearing on the case. Neither has the exemption of cloth under seven ounces in weight, because the cloth that is mainly used in the manufacture of men's and boys' suits is much heavier than that. It seems, therefore, that the operation of these new duties, while helping the woollen manufacturing industry, will undoubtedly destroy the ready-made clothing industry, and nullify the effects of the 15 per cent. duty on apparel which has been in operation since 1925.

It is possible, of course, even now, to remedy that state of affairs. Two solutions of the problem are possible: first, to increase the price of the exemption limit; and, secondly, to increase still further the duty on ready-mades. There are serious objections to the first course. The Tariff Commissioners themselves, apparently, considered it, and made the following remarks in connection with it:

The difficulty is that the material which they use consists largely, though by no means exclusively, of the lower grade woollen cloths which the applicants do not propose to manufacture. We could not recommend the exclusion of the whole range of such cloths from the scope of the tariff, because the better qualities of them compete with much of the cloth manufactured in the Saorstát.

It would therefore seem that the second course I suggest, of increasing still further the duty on ready-made clothing, is preferable. I may say that if, by adopting this suggestion, the effectiveness of the duty on woollen cloths would be impaired in any way, I would not make it, because although the ready-made clothing industry is an important one, it is not nationally as important as the woollen manufacturing industry; and if we have to make a choice as between the two, as, in effect, these Resolutions make us do, then we would prefer the woollen manufacturing industry to the other. There is no reason whatever to prevent us taking steps to preserve both industries. The effect of increasing the apparel duty to, say, 30 per cent. would not, I think, in any way diminish the effectiveness of the duty on woollen cloth. There would still remain the 20 per cent. duty on imported cloth to serve as an inducement to the ready-made clothing manufacturers to use as much Irish cloth as possible. The clothing manufacturers using Irish cloth will have the advantage of that 20 per cent. over any competitor who continues using imported cloth. On the other hand, the demands on the ready-made clothing industry which, according to the Census of Production, used in 1926 1,564,000 square yards of woollen cloth, will induce the woollen manufacturers to cater for that trade.

It is true, of course, and I have no doubt this objection will be made in the course of the debate, that to still further increase the duty upon wearing apparel will result in an increase in the price of the suits made here from imported cloth by the amount of the duty paid upon the cloth in them. That is a serious objection and deserves serious consideration. We are, however, faced with no satisfactory alternative. The only alternative which is open to us is to allow the ready-made clothing industry here to die out. If that were to happen, it would involve loss of employment to 3,039 workers, and, following upon that, the importation of the suits which we require from Britain, and paying a 20 per cent. duty on them. The increase in the price of the ready-made cloth offered for sale here would be much greater if the tariff were not increased to 30 per cent. than if it were so increased.

We do not avoid an increase in the cost of wearing apparel until the Irish mills can supply cloth to ready-made clothing manufacturers in sufficient quantity and in the design which these ready-made clothing manufacturers require. That proposal might be objected to on the ground that it might increase the cost of ladies' apparel imported as well as the price of men's and boys' imported suits. There seems no reason why the manufacture of such ladies' apparel should not be attempted. If an increased duty would result in a start in that direction it would be all to the good. I would place these arguments before the Dáil and ask the Deputies to give them serious consideration. I am sure there is no Deputy here that would like to contemplate that by helping the woollen manufacturing industry in the manner set out in these resolutions he would effectively destroy an industry which has rapidly developed in the last three or four years and put into the ranks of the unemployed 3,000 or 4,000 workers. The duty on wearing apparel has more than justified itself. The value of men's and boys' suits imported since 1924 has decreased by 75 per cent. There is no reason whatever to contemplate that the importation will not have entirely disappeared if that industry continues to receive in the future the same amount of effective protection it received in the past. One other point I wish to make. Regarding the recommendation of the Commissioners that the Imperial preference rate of four-fifths of the entire duty should operate in this case, it is, I think, very remarkable that the Tariff Commissioners did not give a single argument in their Report in support of this recommendation.

We had a statement made by the Minister for Finance in proposing the Resolutions that the Imperial preference is being given for the purpose of easing the marketing difficulties that might arise for the woollen manufacturers in the near future, and we have the statement by the Minister for Agriculture that the reason we are giving Imperial preference was that Great Britain was our best customer, and we should do everything to please her. Neither of these reasons was given by the Tariff Commissioners. They gave no reason whatever. They merely make a recommendation, and leave us to guess the motives for doing so. With regard to the operation of this rate, I would like to say it is not at all unlikely that a duty will be placed on woollen cloth imported into Great Britain in the near future. If a preference is given of which the Irish millers can avail, it will be all to the good. I may say also that the giving of a preference to British goods in all cases may be good policy, but we have yet to be informed that it is the Government's policy. If it is the Government's policy, we should have an opportunity of discussing it, but if this preference is being given, not as a part of the general policy, but, as the Minister for Finance stated, to ease the marketing difficulties which the Free State millers may have to meet in the near future, it does seem that more serious consideration should be given to it than has been given to it heretofore, apparently, either by the Tariff Commission or by the Executive Council.

A preferential rate of duty should be given only when it is given in respect of a particular import in return for a similar concession from the country with which we hope to do the most profitable business. The figures given by the Tariff Commission, and the figures contained in the trade statistics published by the Department of Industry and Commerce, show that the Irish woollen manufacturers since 1924 have been rapidly losing their position in the British market, while at the same time they have been much more rapidly gaining a much more profitable market elsewhere. Between 1924 and 1927 our total export of woollen cloth declined by 2.2 per cent. During the same period our export to Britain declined 39.9 per cent., while our export to the United States of America increased by 212 per cent. There was an even greater increase in respect of a number of other countries, notably Canada. The Imperial preference rate would apply in the Canadian case. We import practically no woollen cloth from Canada or from the United States of America, but in 1927, the last year for which we have full and accurate figures, we imported other goods from the United States of the total value of £4,600,000, which was more than four times the value of our imports from Canada. I would ask the Dáil to give serious consideration to this question. If there is to be any preferential rate in the case of this duty we should give that rate in return for a similar concession from the country or countries with which we hope to do the most profitable business. If during the last four years our exports of woollen cloth to Great Britain have decreased by 30 per cent., it is only to be expected that the decline will be much more rapid after the duty comes into operation in Britain. Our exports to the United States have increased by 212 per cent., in spite of the very high tariff wall around that country. The same applies in other cases. According to the figures given by the Tariff Commission, the value of our exports of woollen cloth to foreign countries has remained stationary, because of the fact that countries other than Britain have been buying cloth in increased quantities, thus making up for the fact that we are rapidly losing our market in Great Britain.

I do not know, but I would like to be informed, whether this preferential duty is being given as a part of the general policy of giving a preference to British goods. I am not arguing against that policy. There might be, and can be, very sound arguments advanced for it. I would like to know, however, if that is the policy of the Government, or whether they are merely applying a preferential rate in this case for a special reason, and if so what that special reason is? Do they think it will help to restore in any part the lost market in Great Britain for the products of our woollen milling industry? If that is their only purpose in applying a preferential rate in this case I think they are making a serious mistake. I think they can use the possibility of that preferential rate as a point to work from to secure a special reduction as regards Irish woollens in the case of the American tariff wall.

I believe if we got such a preferential rate from America it would be much more valuable to our woollen millers than a similar preferential rate from England. We have reduced our sales to England by 30 per cent. during a period when no tariff was in operation, and if any tariff comes into operation in Britain, even though we get a preferential rate, we will still have difficulties to meet that we never had before, and our sales will decline very much more rapidly than during the past few years.

I put these points before the Dáil for serious consideration. I ask Deputies not to adopt the recommendations of the Tariff Commission with the same haste and lack of examination with which apparently the members of the Executive Council did. I may say, of course, that, irrespective of whether these suggestions are or are not adopted, it is our intention to vote for these Resolutions. We will vote for these Resolutions, knowing if they are carried in their present form it will kill an Irish industry and put 3,000 workers into the ranks of the unemployed; and knowing also that that undesirable consequence can easily be altered or prevented by increasing the duty on wearing apparel, not by 5 but by 15 per cent., for the purpose of giving firms here the same rate that they enjoyed heretofore, under which they built up the industry to its present position.

When these Financial Resolutions were before the House on a previous occasion, I ventured to criticise the action of the Minister and also the action of the Executive Council in launching Resolutions of this character without giving the Dáil an opportunity of considering the Report of the Commission. The Minister did not agree with that criticism, and I cannot say that even the Fianna Fáil Party or the Labour Party agreed with it. The position is rather strange now, a week after the Government's proposals were introduced into the House. I need not draw the attention of Deputies to the circumstances prevailing when the Resolutions were brought forward. We had Fianna Fáil Deputies throwing bouquets across the floor of the House at the Ministry. We even had Deputy Flinn selecting special posies to throw at the Minister.

I would rather throw a couple of bricks.

We had nothing but kind words from the Labour Party on that occasion. But now as soon as we have got the Report of the Commission, what is the result? We have Fianna Fáil throwing bricks at the same Minister, because his proposal is going to cause widespread unemployment instead of giving the additional employment that we all heard of when the proposition was introduced. I have pointed out on many occasions that the ramifications of commerce are exceedingly wide, and, therefore, anything that has to do with commerce needs very careful consideration. One must carefully try to follow its different ramifications and endeavour to visualise the effect of a change in policy. To-day's debate has shown us very clearly—more clearly than I could have shown to the House— the necessity for great care in dealing with matters of fiscal policy such as this. May I also point out that all parties in this House are anxious to see considerable industrial development in this poor country of ours? If we want to get capital to flow into industry, and it is needed in many industries in this country, we want a settled policy in fiscal matters, a settled policy in financial matters, a settled policy in industrial matters, and, I may add, a settled policy in political matters. All these are essential if we want capital to flow——

Sensational speeches.

If you start disturbing any one of these factors by proposals of this kind, do not be surprised if, as a result, they are followed up by extremely unsettled conditions. I do not think I need emphasise that fact. Deputy Lemass told us that in the Minister's effort to provide employment for 1,000 unemployed in the clothing and woollen industry, he has jeopardised by his action the employment of over 3,000 in another industry. Let us follow that a little further. Capitalists were encouraged a couple of years ago by reason of the tariff in the ready-made industry to sink large sums of money in machinery and buildings in our city in order to develop that industry. Within three years the whole of that is jeopardised. Deputy Lemass has told us to-day that the result of this tariff proposal will tend to jeopardise the 3,000 and odd men who are employed in a certain industry.

I would like to correct the Deputy. I did not say that the tariff on woollen cloth would necessarily have that result. I said the failure of the Ministry to increase the tariff on ready-made clothing sufficiently would have that result.

The Deputy said that the effect of these Financial Resolutions——

— would jeopardise the employment of over 3,000 hands engaged in the ready-made industry. That was the Deputy's statement to us to-day. I do not blame the Commission for taking two years to consider their report on this matter. The ramifications are exceedingly difficult and complicated, and, to my mind, although I do not agree with the report, the Commission were justified in taking time to explore a difficult problem. I must say the report they have put before us is an interesting report in many respects. I was glad to find that in the last year for which figures are available, the year 1925, out of a total production by the mills in this country of 1,198,000 yards of cloth, 526,000 yards were exported, and 671,000 yards were used in this country. In other words, almost 50 per cent. of the output of the mills—526,000 yards out of a total of 1,198,000 yards—was exported. That figure is very important from my point of view.

I have warned the Government on more than one occasion, when speaking on this particular subject, of the danger of retaliation. Ministers have told me it was idle to talk of such matters, and that there would be no retaliation. It is rather a curious coincidence that we adopted this Resolution a little over a week ago, and in the Press of yesterday we saw that an application had been made to the Board of Trade in London, by the woollen and worsted manufacturers of Great Britain, for an extension of the Safeguarding of Industries Act to their particular trades by the imposition of a tariff of 33 1-3 per cent. on all imports of woollens and worsted into Great Britain. Over 28 per cent. of the exports of cloth from this country go to Great Britain. Practically one-third of the output of the mills of this country goes to Great Britain. Great Britain now proposes that 33 1-3 per cent. import duty be placed on the cloth going into Great Britain from this country; at least that is the proposition before the Board of Trade at the moment. Will any Deputy tell me what will be the effect of that import duty? If the effect of that duty is, as one fears it may be, the killing of that export trade from this country to Great Britain, what does it mean? It means that practically one-third of the employees at present engaged in the Saorstát in the woollen industry will be thrown out of employment except alternative markets be found when that market in Great Britain is closed. I do not want to stress this matter unnecessarily; but what will be the effect of the adoption of this Resolution? Deputy Lemass says it will jeopardise the employment of over 3,000 employees engaged in the ready-made industry ——

Will you support the amendment I suggested?

If our export to Great Britain is cut off by an import tax in Great Britain, it means that one-third of those engaged in the industry, 1,000 of the employees at present engaged in the industry, will have their employment jeopardised. These are matters that ought to be seriously considered by the House. We pressed the Minister on the last day to tell us whether the object of these Resolutions was to find work for the unemployed or to find money to enable him to balance his Budget. I do not think, on the face of the figures which have been put before the Minister to-day, that he is going to tell us the result of the passing of these Resolutions will be to provide additional employment. To my mind it is going seriously to jeopardise the amount of employment given at present, and, in addition, it is going to tax those using cloths coming from England to the extent of £150,000 in the coming year.

As one of those who supported the original motion imposing this tariff on woollens, I desire to say something now. I do not intend to indulge in any hair-splitting or fault-finding so far as the speakers who have preceded me are concerned. I welcome those speeches; but it appears to me that in matters of this kind, no matter whether the Minister adopts the attitude suggested to him by those who want a tariff, or, in the alternative, adopts the attitude of those who do not want tariffs, fault will be found with him in either case. I prefer not to indulge in destructive criticism as to what the intentions of the Minister were, or what would be the result of this tariff. Rather would I prefer to say something of a constructive character that might eventuate in the tariff not having the ill-effects suggested by Deputy Good, for whose opinions I have very great regard and respect. There is undoubtedly something to be said for his view-point when he speaks about the ramifications of commerce and the results of a change of policy.

Personally, I have always been of opinion that in approaching matters of this kind we should be meticulously careful to examine proposals, not alone giving them a first or cursory examination, but bringing to bear upon them our very best judgment, and above all to keep in view what the ultimate result of these tariffs is likely to be. I agree with the suggestion that the whole economic fabric of this country is of such a delicate character that it should be approached with the greatest care and subjected to the minutest examination before we indulge in any change of policy. I think that has been the case all along because, as far as I can recollect, in the course of discussions in this House it has been frequently stated that applications for a tariff have taken a very long period of time before the Commission gives a decision. Here we have the Tariff Commission reporting at the end of two years as to what they think is economically right in so far as the woollen industry of this country is concerned. Surely after two years the Minister responsible must have foreseen that such a crux as this must have arisen so far as it relates to the ready-made industry.

From conversations I have had with those engaged in the manufacture of ready-made clothing in the Saorstát I gather that, as mentioned by Deputy Lemass, the cloth used in the making-up trade in the Saorstát cannot be procured in this country. In giving my support to this tariff on the last occasion, I did suggest that there was a demand for a particular class of cloth used in the making up of cheap ready-mades, and that this demand would continue. I also stated on that occasion that if that demand were present, and if it was a good proposition for English manufacturers to make that class of cloth and send it into this country, it should also be profitable for some Irish manufacturer to set up plant and machinery for the manufacture of cloths of such a character. Now, these people engaged in the industry, both operatives and employers, say that the woollen manufacturers in this country have definitely refused to make up cloth suitable for their trade. I think that is a state of affairs into which there should be some inquiry.

In my view, as one who has supported this tariff, the woollen manufacturers owe a duty to the State. I am not speaking on behalf of my Party in this matter at all: I am giving purely a personal opinion. As far as I am concerned, the attitude of the Irish woollen manufacturers will considerably influence me in any other application for a tariff that will come before the Tariff Commissioners or find its way into this House. If the Irish woollen manufacturers or any other manufacturers in this country think that by getting a tariff they are going to get rich quickly, then they will not have my support. It is also stated by those engaged in the ready-made industry that it would be cheaper for certain firms to have their ready-made clothing made up in England and imported into this country. That, of course, is a very serious aspect of the whole question, and one which in the last analysis, can only be met by imposing a still higher tariff on ready-mades. It all boils itself down to this: the effect of this tax has been such as to induce Deputy Lemass to suggest that it would be a disastrous thing. Whilst he has welcomed the tariff on woollens, it would be a disastrous thing if that tariff were to result in putting out of employment a very large number of operatives in that industry, as well as frightening off capital in the near future, which is quite a corollary to anything in this nature. If the conditions become so unstable that the effects of a tariff may mean the closing down of some other industry, then I suggest there is something to be said for that side of the argument. For that reason, I think, in connection with what Deputy Good has said, though I find myself very rarely in agreement with him, there is something to be said for his point of view. I feel in a matter of this kind that what will serve the whole community best is the thing that should commend itself to us, a thing that will be for the communal good. As far as I can see, the only way in which this crux can be met is to raise the tariff from the existing 20 per cent. to 30 per cent. on imported ready-mades.

And so on.

I do not know about the "so on" portion of it. These people in the industry suggest, in relation to cloth, used in the making up trade, which must be imported, the average price of which is from 2/6 to 4/6 per yard, that it should be allowed to enter the country free of tariff. I do not agree with that. I think the onus is on the Irish millers. I do not stand for inefficiency either in the worker or in the employer.

Or the Dáil member.

The sooner we recognise that, I think, the better it will be for this country. If our Irish mills are not prepared to face up to their responsibilities, I, for one, am not prepared to hold for that artificial stimulus in the way of a tariff. They also suggest that if this cloth, which they say should be imported, the cheaper class of cloth from 2/6 to 4/6 per yard, which should be allowed to enter the country free of tax, cannot be secured, the Minister should proceed to allow such cloth to enter free of tariff until such time as the Irish mills are equipped to produce suitable cloth for the making-up trade. That would not satisfy me—I speak, of course, personally—because we might wait until Tibb's Eve for some of the Irish mills to wake up to a sense of their responsibilities to the operatives and to the Irish people as a whole. I am not going to stand for that.

I have also been assured by operatives and others in the industry that, so far as their knowledge went, the price of ready-mades in this country has not gone up as a result of the 20 per cent. tariff. Rather do they suggest that the price of ready-mades has decreased. We do know that there has been an increase in the amount of wages distributed to the extent of £150,000. We also know that there have been many other activities brought into being as a result of the tariff on ready-mades. The only solution which appears to me possible is a further tariff on ready-mades, that to be a tariff of at least a further 10 per cent., all the time getting the assurance that the prices of ready-mades would not go up. I do seriously suggest to the Minister that a conference should be brought about with the Irish mills to see where we stand so far as the Irish woollen industry is concerned, at any rate, because if it means that a number of operatives have to be thrown out of employment and that a number equal to that disemployed will not be engaged in or added to the woollen industry, well then we certainly have a grievance. I suggest to the Minister that he should get some undertaking from the Irish woollen mills that they will at some very near date equip their factories or a factory in the Saorstát to manufacture this particular class of cloth and thus obviate all the unemployment and other economic disturbances that apparently are about to ensue as a result of the imposition of this tariff.

After the remarkable sequence of Deputy Anthony's statement, that he was partly in agreement with Deputy Good, and that he therefore favoured a tariff of 30 per cent. on imported ready-made clothing, I rather hesitate to profess agreement with Deputy Anthony on anything, but I do agree with him that to impose a tariff to enable a small number of manufacturers to get rich quickly is not a tariff which can be easily justified. Speaking for myself, as I think Deputy Anthony spoke for himself, I would vote more easily for tariffs if they were accompanied by some machinery in the nature of pricefixing, at any rate, for such tariffs as concern the necessaries of life— clothing and boots. The Tribunal of Prices Commission did not deal with clothing, but I think if their recommendations or somewhat similar machinery were created to deal with every tariffed industry, we should be in a very much safer and sounder position.

I would like for a moment to deal with Deputy Good's argument. Deputy Good warned us of the danger of British retaliation, and gave as an instance the fact that the manufacturers of wool in Great Britain had applied to the British Government for a safeguarding duty of 33? per cent., and the inference might have been drawn from his speech that that was in consequence of the introduction of this Resolution. As a matter of fact, the application for that safeguarding duty was made over six months ago, and evidence has been taken on it for the last three weeks, at any rate.

But the application was made here two years ago.

Quite so, but as I say, they were actually discussing this matter. The Report of the Commission was not known, but the evidence was actually being taken more than three weeks before the Minister brought in this Resolution.

I have read that evidence as reported in the Press—I have not read it verbatim—very carefully, and I have not found any reference whatever to Saorstát competition. I have not found any reference to the type of tweed that we import. In a great many cases the bulk of our exports to Great Britain is in the nature of sports tweeds, and nearly all the arguments apply to things like face cloths. So I do not believe this is an instance of British retaliation. I believe it arises possibly out of the fact that the manufacturers of woollens in Great Britain have decided that the manufacturers of woollens in this country are more up-to-date and progressive than they are and that they have decided also to look for a duty. I do not think it is retaliation. Even if it were it would not be quite so serious as Deputy Good suggests, because the application made is for a tariff of 33? per cent., that is on foreign goods. But we are, at present at any rate entitled to Imperial Preference—of course, if the position Deputy Lemass is visualising is rapidly approaching that cannot be—and that duty or tariff should not be 33? per cent. but something in the nature of 26 per cent. Therefore, I think we can put retaliation out of the question when discussing this matter.

It seems to me that there are certain reasons for this tariff that do not apply to a great many other tariffs. One is the fact that this industry is a widely scattered industry. Deputies who have read the Report will see that it is carried on in from some ten to a dozen counties in the Saorstát. It is scattered all over the country. Therefore, if you increase employment you are not only increasing it in one industrial centre but in the country districts. It was carried on once in more than a dozen counties. I can remember quite a prosperous tweed mill in the county of Sligo where now there is none. That brings me to a second advantage. In a great many cases this industry is carried on in small places where it makes an enormous difference to the industrial development of the place. It is largely a village industry. When the mills are working, girls come in and earn an addition to their parents' incomes instead of having to go to the States. That seems to me a second justification.

There are dangers in this tariff, as there are dangers in every tariff. I have never been an idealist as regards tariffs. I have never expected tariffs to do half what the advocates of them say they will do, but in this case I think the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. There are one or two difficulties which I would like to point out to the Minister. The first is in the third paragraph of the first Resolution the word "contract" is used. This is in connection with re-exports—where a firm brings in tweed and then exports it in the form of a suit outside the Saorstát. Would "contract" apply to an order for an individual suit? Would it apply to an order given, not by a business firm, but by an individual to a tailor in Dublin or Cork? There are a number of people who have left this country and who are still in the habit of dealing with their old tailors. These tailors send over patterns once or twice a year, and possibly a traveller to solicit orders. The orders are given and suits are made in Dublin or Cork, and give employment in Dublin or Cork. If the tailor has to pay a duty on the tweed when it comes in, it will be impossible for him to compete with the tailor in England, Scotland, or Northern Ireland who has no duty to pay on the raw material. I suggest that the word "contract" should be given a wide meaning, that it should apply to even individual orders, though that may put a certain hardship on the Revenue Commissioners. I believe evasion could be largely avoided. The second point that I should like to put to the Minister is with regard to Resolution 2. When we were discussing the original duty which is now being increased I called the Minister's attention, and other Deputies called the Minister's attention, to the hardship imposed on very poor people who receive parcels of second-hand clothes from relatives living outside the Saorstát, and sometimes also from charitable institutions outside the Saorstát. It was a very considerable hardship for these people to have to pay 15 per cent. on these charitable parcels. The Minister met me very sympathetically and went into the matter, but now the hardship will be increased. I got a complaint on this matter about a week ago from a responsible man, a member of the Cork County Council. He said that a great hardship was felt in his neighbourhood by people who got these parcels.

In future the duty will be 20 per cent. instead of 15 per cent., and I would suggest to the Minister that he should evolve some machinery in this matter. Practically all these parcels come by parcels post, and they pay sixpence as well. Would it not be possible that a declaration of means made before the postmaster, or, if necessary, before a Peace Commissioner, would meet the matter? If these poor people were of the statutory age they would be eligible to receive Old Age Pensions, and they should be eligible to receive the cast-off clothing of their better-off relatives without having to pay a tariff of 20 per cent. It is a heavy charge even though these parcels are not intrinsically of great value. I would urge the Minister to devise some machinery to meet this. It is a widespread grievance, and one that is felt very keenly by people who are not in a position to pay the sums required, and sometimes have to return the parcels.

I would just like to ask Deputy Cooper, before he stops, if he would not mind dealing with the point of the relation between Clause 2 and Clause 1. That seems to be the whole crux of the question. What does he propose we should do in relation to the crux which has arisen—the conflict of interests between the woollen manufacturer and the ready-made clothing manufacturer? This is the crux of the question?

I think if the Report of the Tariff Commission is read carefully it will give the answer. I am not in any way in a responsible position here. I am merely giving my views. Surely the person to answer that question is the Minister?

I am asking would you suggest what the Minister should do.

The manufacturers of clothing have, apparently, approached Deputy Flinn. They have not approached me. I do not know their case. I have heard part of it from Deputy Lemass. I have learned that there is something more in the case than Deputy Lemass presents, though he does not leave it out accidentally. The matter has only arisen in the last week, and I could not go into it more closely. I am certainly not in a position at the moment to give a decided opinion on it.

My inquiry was a sincere one for information.

I should say, first of all, that I would be false to my constituents and my principles if I did not oppose these Financial Resolutions; but the debate, so far, has certainly to me been very interesting if not refreshing. We have had Deputy Lemass, one of the high priests of whole-hog Protection, floundering between the woollen manufacturers and the factories for making ready-made clothing, and finding himself so tied up between the weft and the web of tariffs, that he could not extricate himself in any possible way.

I showed the way out.

We have Deputy Flinn, who is so confused by this tariff question that he does not know where the Government Benches are, and looks for Ministers on the back benches.

That was anticipated, but it did not come off.

Deputy Lemass deplored the hasty consideration of Ministers in putting on this tariff at once. I should have imagined that that was one of the things that Deputy Lemass would have clapped the Minister on the back for—putting this tariff on before the House had an opportunity of discussing the report of the Commission. Now, after a week's interval, he finds that the reactions of tariffs are far different from what he considered them up to this. While, according to the report, one thousand more people are to be employed in the woollen industry, which I question very much, Deputy Lemass, the high priest of tariffs, and perhaps I should say the still higher priest on the Labour Benches, are afraid that three thousand people are going to be disemployed in the ready-made business, which goes to show that those people who do not really understand the economic conditions of this country should not meddle in them, and these are the people who are in favour of tariffs. From start to finish of this debate, we have heard about the effect of tariffs on the woollen manufacturers and the workers in the woollen mills, and of the effect on the employees in the cloth manufactories, but we have not heard one word about the effect on 75 per cent. of the people who have to pay the higher prices— namely, the farmers and the workers. I notice that there are not three farmers' representatives in the House at the present time to safeguard the interests of the farmers.

Because they would have to vote against the Government.

Send for Deputy Gorey.

Send for Deputy Heffernan.

As to the hasty slapping on of the tariff by the Minister, we find that the Tariff Commission, after carding, combing and scouring the woollen industry for two years, and after they had been urged by the Opposition for the last twelve months to produce it, produce this report at the psychological moment when the Minister is very hard pressed to balance his Budget. This is not a report in the interests of the woollen industry, but in the interests of the coming Budget, to give the Minister a chance of slapping on another tax. These tariffs are nothing but extra taxes on the people, without knowing where the money is to come from. I have read every bit of this report, but even if I had not read it, I would on principle be against the tariff. Taking it on its merits, however, what are the findings of the Committee? The Tariff Commission have found that the Irish woollen manufacturers are at no disadvantage. The technical knowledge of the owners and managers of the mills is well up to standard. The skill of the workers is up to the standard. The power is as cheap for the Free State woollen mills as it is elsewhere. They are not at a disadvantage with regard to the cost of raw material. They are not in any way handicapped as regards mechanical equipment, and for the larger output they will not require to spend a penny. We have cases where mills have actually spent thousands of pounds, and have not turned a wheel yet in anticipation of the tariff. In the design and colouring of materials they are practically at no disadvantage. But the most extraordinary fact of all is, that there is no want of capital in the woollen industry here. We have it stated in the report of the Tariff Commission that the mills that applied for this tariff have liquid assets at this moment of £300,000 to put the industry on a proper footing, if they use it for that purpose. This capital has been withheld for years. while the workers have been put on half-time for two or three years past for no other purpose than that the men who have been withholding this capital should get a means of doubling their profits at the expense of the workers and the farmers.

That is the conclusion I come to from reading the report of the Tariff Commission. I say the Dáil would be doing a grave injustice to the people who are finding the sinews of war for everything, who are keeping the bread and butter in everybody's mouth, if they put on this tariff which, on the findings of the Tariff Commission, is not justified by one iota. In what particular does the report find that the owners of the mills have failed, and in what respect have they failed? They are at a disadvantage in no respect, but they have utterly failed in the matter of their sales organisation. That is the strong point made in the report. What is the sales organisation? Here are manufacturers of Irish tweeds who will not listen to the wholesalers who want to distribute these tweeds and sell to the workers and farmers tweeds suitable to their requirements. They have turned down the suggestions of the men who are going to distribute their articles. They have made enemies of the distributing agents, and the result is that most of the people who buy Irish tweeds, if by accident they do buy them, from the tailors in the country, have to buy them from a bunch of patterns sent to English warehouses. It is by accident that a man can get an Irish tweed suit in Dublin because of the ineptitude and want of salesmanship —deliberate or otherwise—of the tweed manufacturers of the country. There has been too much manipulation on this tariff question. We have heard a lot about selective tariffs. What does that mean? We have on the Opposition side of the House the whole-hog tariff reformers, who are getting repentant, and are now afraid to go the whole-hog.

They have not gone far enough.

On the other side we have what is known as the selective protectionists. What is selective protection? It means that they will just put the tariff on what suits them for revenue purposes, and nothing else—that is selective protection. The Government do that in lieu of straight and fair taxation. Here we have the whole-hog protectionists, who are people who do not know what they are talking about.

There is another strange fact in connection with the management of their business by the woollen manufacturers to be found in this Report. An attempt is made to excuse it, but it has not been explained away. It is a most extraordinary fact that the average price to the home consumer and the price paid in Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and in other countries, operate to the amount of 2s. 2d. per yard as against the Saorstát consumer. In other words, the Irish manufacturers who are looking for the Irish trade, and who want a tariff to swell their profits, have been already bleeding the Irish consumer to the extent of 2s. 2d. per yard as against the foreign consumer, whom they are supplying at lower prices. I hold that if this tariff goes through —and I am glad to see a considerable change in the tone and feeling in this House with regard to tariffs generally, as exemplified from the Chief Opposition and Labour Benches, and also from the Cumann na nGaedheal Benches—it will be the beginning of what Deputy Good spoke about—of a dangerous, if peaceful, upheaval by the people against being blistered by tariffs while they cannot get from their own industry sufficient to feed their children. I oppose this tariff very strongly. It is refreshing to me to find those who two or three years ago were saying that tariffs were going to be the salvation of the country now hedging a little, so that I believe in twelve months' time we will not have any tariff supporters in this House.

Mr. O'Reilly

The woollen industry is one of the industries in this country which has behind it a great tradition. It has been attacked for many generations by British interests, and evidently the attack has not ceased. There have been attacks made upon it already in this House. We have heard from Deputy O'Hanlon all about the consequences to the farming population. So far as that is concerned, it is not so many years ago since in the rural districts of Ireland one seldom or ever found a single bit of waste wool in the fields. Changes seem to have taken place, and to-day anybody, especially at this time of the year, passing through the country, will find wool scattered about in all directions. There seems to be a very definite reason for that. At one time that wool was carefully collected, cleaned, washed and taken to the local mills, and for it the people— workmen, herds and farmers—got in exchange manufactured articles, like rugs, blankets and such things. That ceased completely because our woollen industry was unable to compete against the highly organised mills of England and Scotland.

A tariff on woollens, I take it, means nothing else than an equalisation of the cost of production and superior organisation acquired through the continuity of the industry in the competitive countries. But there is no doubt that in the question of tariffs serious mistakes could be made. I do not see that in this particular case there is any great danger of mistakes being made. I believe one of the principal causes of the downfall of the industry was perhaps the strained relations that seemed to have cropped up between the producers and their distributors. In the report that state of affairs seemed to be emphasised frequently. You have cases where manufactured woollen material was sent to the British market and returned here. I believe myself that the fault seems to be with the distributors. The tendency, I know, is for producers to eliminate distributors. But all distributors do not seem to be bad. Distributors who render services certainly deserve a substantial fee for their services and are most important to any industry. But strained relations seemed to have arisen between the producer of the woollen article and his distributor. There does not seem to have been co-operation as regards advice on fashion and the class of cloth to be manufactured for the coming season. I take it that in the woollen industry the only competent and available advisor to the manufacturer would be the distributor. He seems to be in intimate touch with the user of the cloth and probably in intimate touch with fashion. It is noteworthy that in recent years fashion in men's wear has more or less taken the same direction as fashion in ladies' wear. It seems to change a great deal, and I believe that was one of the weaknesses of the industry. There is another weakness, and that is the superior organisation that British manufacturers have had for generations. It is well known to the House that deliberate attempts were made to stamp out this industry in Ireland. Another thing is that for generations the inclinations of the people who had the interest of the country at heart were all turned towards the land. The land seems to have been the Irishman's aspiration for generations. I do not believe that that should continue to the same extent. I believe that we can be an industrial nation—we certainly have been one.

I believe that a serious effort should be made to revive industries as well as paying attention to the division of land. If possible, one should go hand in hand with the other. Land is useless without consumers for its products, and the nation that has not home markets cannot succeed under any conditions. It is, therefore, necessary that an effort should be made to develop all the industries possible, especially those with traditions behind them.

There is another point. I have not read the whole of the report, but I did not notice that this point was referred to in any part of it which I read. The State has come to the assistance of the manufacturers and has made an attempt to put them in a secure position to produce. Therefore, the State has carried out its duty towards the manufacturers. That being the case manufacturers have a decided duty to the people of the country, and so have the distributors. I believe that some form of guarantee should be insisted upon that the tariff will not simply be added on and charged to the consumer. The consumers will be the majority of the people and they need some form of protection.

The whole business of tariffs is simply a method of changing, as far as possible, the old system under which we lived. We had an economic system in this country hitherto—part of it has already broken down. That system would seem to the casual observer to be a direct protection for the distributors of foreign goods in the country. I believe that that system gave him superior advantages over the producer and that, fundamentally, that was one of the reasons why we ceased to produce. If you examine the system of indirect taxation that is adopted you will find that it has a very serious effect upon production, because in the past, and to a certain extent up to the present, we are taxing commodities imported into the country, and we are taxing these commodities after we produced them in the country.

That would seem to be a muddled policy. It may have some advantages, but I have failed to discover any, except in the case of foreign producers who have this market to a large extent at their mercy. We have heard a good deal about different methods and different tariffs. We were told that one side of this House had for its policy selective tariffs, and that on this side of the House we are what is known as whole-hog protectionists. Then we have the other portion who insist on complete free trade. Somebody by accident mentioned that famous word "safeguarding." It is certainly a new term, and I wonder why it is used instead of the old and better known form, "complete protection." There are opponents here of protection, and there are strong opponents in Great Britain of protection, but those men to a certain extent are trying to deceive themselves by using the word "safeguarding" instead of "protection." I think the same atmosphere pervades this House. I think there are a good many people who would like to deceive themselves on that point. Most people, including myself, in this country believe if we are to revive industry and take the burden off the land of having to support too many people that protection is the only method that can be adopted to do it.

I am afraid that the Deputy is going into the general question. Perhaps he would keep to the Resolution.

Mr. O'Reilly

I will come back to the Resolution. I thought it was a question of protection. Deputy Good stated that 28 per cent. of the woollen-manufactured stuff went from this country to Great Britain. That is quite so, but, so far as Great Britain is concerned, part of it is manufactured and sent back here, and I take it that that is not done free, gratis and for nothing. In regard to retaliation we are told that the woollen industry in England will retaliate and will find a means of safeguarding themselves to our detriment. That is a threat that has been used for a great number of years, perhaps for generations, and remember that in regard to this industry at one time in our history England closed her ports not only against our woollen products, but also against our cattle, and I notice that we are here still, even after that terrible operation. I also notice when reading about those periods that certainly Ireland did suffer to a great extent, but after she suffered to that extent her trade and population increased enormously. Probably some of the most prosperous periods that Ireland enjoyed were in those years. I certainly agree with a tariff on woollens, and I will support the Resolution.

Mr. Byrne

This has been a very valuable debate, because it shows a very clear disposition on the part of both great Parties in this House, when the economic development of this country is in question, to use the united brains of this assembly to the best advantage for the common good, although there may be a difference upon details. I listened very carefully to the speech of Deputy Lemass. I thought it was a very well-reasoned and well-delivered contribution to the economic question. In dealing with this question of protection for woollens, we have one simple question to ask ourselves, a question that on former occasions when economic questions were being considered here, I was bold enough to ask—is the country going to gain more by the imposition of this tariff on the one hand than it will lose on the other? Deputy Good, rightly in my opinion, pointed out that the ramifications of tariffs are exceedingly difficult and intricate. Anybody who has given any study to the question knows that there is bound to be loss, and also bound to be gain. Deputy Good went so far as to suggest that the imposition of a tariff on woollens meant that while we were going to employ probably 1,000 extra hands on the one hand, we would disemploy about 3,000 on the other hand. Deputy Good is a shrewd business man. I happen to have some little training in business myself, and I suggest to Deputy Good that that is a most untenable proposition. If there were no other outlet and if nothing could be done to safeguard the employment of those 3,000 hands, to whom Deputy Good referred, I would be in complete agreement with him. The remedy, however, is in the hands of this House. The remedy is quite simple, and was clearly pointed out in the speech of Deputy Lemass.

We can follow one of two lines of action in order to rebut the effect of tariffs operating from one branch of industry to another. We can, on the one hand, increase the exemption limit, if we wish, in regard to the raw material coming in to a higher value than that already laid down in regard to this tariff. On the other hand, we can increase the duty on ready-made clothing. Then we will be told, if we do that, that no regard will be given to the cost of living. It was my experience many years ago to go through the great tariff campaign fought out in England. I remember an American telling a story which is very applicable to the question we are now discussing. He referred to the cheapness of meals in London restaurants, and said: "No doubt in this free-trade England of yours, the cost of living is very cheap, but if you go abroad you will see more diners in one Broadway restaurant than in three or four in London. What does it matter to a man, if he has a hundred or fifty dollars in his pocket, whether a meal costs a copper or two more? It makes a great difference, however, no matter how cheap a meal is, if he has no money in his pocket." That is applicable to this question of tariffs. Are we going to gain more or lose more by this tariff? It would be well to remember that unless we develop the industrial arm of the nation we can never hope to find employment for our people.

Deputy Good told us on one occasion that every year there are from three to four thousand young people who cannot be absorbed in this country in industry. What is the remedy to prevent thirty thousand young people from going abroad every year out of this country? The remedy is that advocated in the imposition of this tariff. There is no difficulty whatever in dealing with the threat on the one hand to disemploy people in the ready-made trade and at the same time to maintain and develop the woollen industry. If either course of action to which Deputy Lemass referred be followed, letting in a higher priced grade stuff than what is in the tariff or the imposition of an increased tariff on ready-mades—then the whole problem is solved and the contention of Deputy Good absolutely falls to the ground. If we are to stand aside in every instance where we attempt to put industry on its feet, simply because a small difficulty of this sort arises, then I for one can see no hope for the industrial future of this little State. I remember reading a very interesting article some years ago which dealt with the sending of the first bicycle to America. The people there had never seen a bicycle before and they had no tariff to prevent its being imported. They had, however, a tariff on sewing machines and they decided to treat the bicycle as a sewing machine until such time as they were able to set up plant for the manufacture of bicycles themselves. That is a very interesting fact for countries which have to deal with problems like this woollen problem that is now before the House. It is a very simple problem and it does not require any great ingenuity for any business man to see what remedies should be applied. The industries of this country have to be set on their feet. We have America highly protected. France, Germany, and other countries are also highly protected while we have in our own country a dumping ground for everything they like to send us.

Deputy O'Reilly referred to that marvellous word "safeguarding" as applied to industries in England. I know one industry, the Lucas industry, which deals with cycles and out-fitting, in which, as a result of safeguarding, 7,000 extra hands have found work. The point we have to consider is: supposing there is a small increase in the price of garments, is that increase going to be counter-balanced by the general good that will be conferred in the number of extra hands who will find employment? A thousand hands will be employed in the woollen industry. What figure will that mean in the increased circulation of money in this country as a result of that extra employment? That extra circulation of money, in itself, will more than counterbalance any small increase that there may be in the cost of wearing apparel. Remember, if this tariff is effectively worked that we have on the one hand, as Deputy Lemass pointed out, a ready-made industry progressing. We have something like 3,000 extra hands in that trade. If this tariff is properly adjusted, it means that in a very short time we will be able to supply the raw material for the ready-made industry itself. If one takes into account this extra 1,000 hands, the wages earned by them, and the wages also earned by the extra 3,000 engaged in the ready-made trade what sum of money does it mean in circulation in the country? How many extra homes are benefited by the tariff in comparison with the small burden that may be placed on the general body of citizens?

Deputy Good is what may be called a whole-hog free trader, but at the same time we have to deal with this question in the broad general light of what is good and what is bad for the country. Deputy Good expressed the wish to see industrial development in this country. Is there any sane man who would put a shilling into Irish industry as it stands to-day? Deputy Good might answer that. I suggest that no sane man would put a shilling into Irish industry as it stands at the moment, if our markets are to be left absolutely open to the whole world to dump goods on them. Deputy Good expressed a desire to see what he called the policy of the Government in regard to financial matters, fiscal matters and political matters clearly set out. I think the Government's policy on financial matters has been definitely set out time and again in a way in which there could be no misunderstanding. The Government has been willing to raise money for any reproductive industry in this country. They have steadily set their face against the investment of money in any scheme that is non-productive. Surely there could be nothing saner than that policy laid down by the Government. On the question of fiscal matters, it has been stated time and again——

We cannot discuss the general fiscal policy on this Resolution.

Mr. Byrne

With all respect, I am replying to a speech made by Deputy Good, and one of the matters alluded to by Deputy Good——

I suggest the Deputy should not follow his bad example.

Mr. Byrne

I will say only one thing.

The Deputy cannot go into the general question.

Mr. Byrne

I will not go into the general question, but I will finish with Deputy Good in one sentence. The policy of the Government has been called a policy of selective tariffs, and that policy is illustrated in the imposition of the woollen tariff which we are discussing to-day. I suggest to the House that as far as this tariff is concerned, there should be no difficulty whatever in any man who gives it fair, unbiassed consideration agreeing that it is for the undoubted good of the country. Anybody reading the report of the Tariff Commission can see what Deputy Good called the ramifications of commerce. One of the ramifications of commerce, as far as this tariff is concerned, was the opposition to it by the Irish Wholesale Clothiers' Association and the Merchant Tailors' Association. Why? Because they wanted the extra profits for themselves and they did not care a penny about the good of the country. I believe that the ready-made clothing industry of this country can do with a much heavier tariff than it bears. I believe that more ready-made clothing is coming into this country from Czecho-Slovakia and other countries than should be tolerated. What do we get from Czecho-Slovakia or other countries that we should throw our markets open to them? Why should we buy goods from countries which never spent a brass farthing in this country? It is refreshing to see in the Report of the Commission that the machinery of the Irish woollen mills has kept abreast of the times, and has done so despite the tremendous opposition and competition of other countries. One thing I have always argued in this House is this, that one of the greatest difficulties that the Minister for Finance is always faced with in dealing with a tariff is the smallness of the home market and the small value to be derived from a small market. I note on page 16 of the Tariff Commission's Report that in 1918 the total production here was 3.447,369 yards, and in 1926 it had fallen to 1,358,721 yards. One can readily see that this was not due to that great bane that is always thrown at the people of this country, the bane of inefficiency.

The Report has told us that the woollen mills are efficient; Deputy O'Hanlon has told the House that the capital at their disposal was sufficient, and, all things considered, any fair-minded man can easily see that this is undoubtedly a reasonable case for the imposition of a tariff. What does a comparison of the value of the home market with a comparison of the value, as far as this State is concerned, of the British markets show? From 1909 to 1913 the average production was 2,710,000 yards, the home sales were 1,663,000 yards, and the sales to Great Britain and Northern Ireland were 737,000 yards. Now, it is clearly shown that the home market was twice as valuable as the markets in Great Britain and Northern Ireland combined. If that is the case, is it not sound commonsense logic, plain, ordinary, everyday business, that we should protect the valuable home market, whether we lose or whether we gain as far as the markets in Great Britain and Northern Ireland are concerned?

From 1921 to 1923 there was a slump in the woollen industry, and the position of the Irish manufacturers was rendered exceedingly acute. The Report of the Commission tells us that the home market of this little State was left completely at the mercy of British and foreign competition; that many mills lost their trade and that many closed down. How could anyone blame any industry, working under such conditions as these, if its trade failed and passed away? Now that we have come to the period when we have got complete autonomy in fiscal affairs, surely it is the duty of this Assembly to come to the help of the Irish manufacturers when it sees that we are being dishonestly beaten not alone in the home market, but in the export trade? The year 1923 showed a considerable improvement on 1922, but it also showed that the home sales fell by 57 per cent. and that the sales in Great Britain and Northern Ireland fell by 60 per cent. I would like this House to remember that the produce of Irish woollen mills has gone to Holland, Belgium, South Africa, China, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United States of America, Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Does that not show that in the woollen industry we have a very valuable asset that would enable us to deal with this acute problem of unemployment?

If one looks at the figures in this Report, one finds that in 1925 there were exports to the United States of 153,953 yards, that in 1926 the exports were 209,000 yards; to Great Britain, in 1925 the exports were 601,000 yards, and in 1926 they were 461,000 yards, which shows that the exports to Great Britain have been steadily declining, while the exports to America have been steadily increasing. I do not think that, in view of these very simple facts, any man of ordinary common sense, any man who stands for the welfare and the advancement of this country, can hesitate for a moment and can say that it is not a very wise move on the part of the Minister for Finance to impose this tariff. It is all very well to say that the cost of living may be somewhat increased. No doubt it may, but as I have pointed out, the huge circulation of money that will accrue from wages earned in the woollen industry and in the ready-made clothing industry, which can still be efficiently protected, despite the arguments put forward by Deputy Good, will do a great deal of good for the country.

We all know that Deputy O'Hanlon is an exceedingly rabid free trader, who believes that every little thing that is to be done for the betterment of this country will put costs on to the backs of the farmers and will injure their business. This House has done a great deal to help the farmers, and I think it is high time that they did something to help the manufacturer. As one living in the City of Dublin and knowing how small the average earnings of the people in the city are, knowing how the city is affected by the small spending capacity of those who come into it from time to time, I have definitely come to the conclusion that the industrial arm of the country must be strengthened by the wise measures that the Government have been steadily taking as far as the question of tariffs is concerned, and I shall have no hesitation in giving my vote in favour of the motion.

I wish to congratulate the Minister and the Tariff Commissioners on their wisdom in putting forward this tariff. I think it will be the redemption of the woollen mills, and will enable them to capture the home market which they have to a considerable extent lost. It will enable them, if they are wise enough to get proper designs for the material that is likely to be worn by the people next spring, as the English and Scotch manufacturers will, to obtain a good deal of business—not by getting these designs a season or two seasons after the English and Scotch cloths have come in. I do believe that this tariff will help them very materially. With regard to the effect that this tariff will have on the ready-made tailoring industry, some people seem to think that our mills cannot manufacture cloths for this trade. That is not true. What is called highclass ready-made clothing material has been manufactured by our Irish mills, sent across to England, and has come back made up into ready-made clothes that the people buy. These suits cost anything from five to six guineas each. It is true that the Irish manufacturers do not make the material that is used in ready-made suits that are mentioned in the Report—the cheap suits. The class of material that is used in these suits is mostly cotton; about 70 per cent. of cotton is used in this type of ready-made suit, and our mills are not prepared at the moment to manufacture that class of material At present they manufacture woollen material, but not cotton material.

Some of the manufacturers stated in evidence before the Tariff Commission that they could manufacture tweed at from 3/- to 4/- per yard. That may be quite true, but the tweed that they could manufacture at 3/- or 4/- per yard would not be of a design that would catch the eye as well as that made by the English manufacturer, which comes in here made up into suits. That is the position. The people who are in this industry asked us to bring before the House the desirability of removing the tariff on goods costing from 2/6 to 4/- a yard. That is a suggestion I am not prepared to put forward.

A big number of people in this city who worked in the business that I belong to, the handicraft business, have unfortunately gone into the ready-made clothing industry during the past two or three years, and what I suggest is that, if the Minister could see his way to increase the tariff on wearing apparel coming into the Saorstát by another 10 per cent., that would solve the whole problem. You have in this city a firm known as Burtons, with eight or nine shops, and with four or five shops in other cities in the Saorstát. The people believe that the suits they buy from this particular firm are manufactured in Dublin. They go into any of their shops and choose a pattern that they would like to have made into a suit. Their measure is taken, but the suit is manufactured in Leeds. Whether it costs 55/- or five guineas, that suit is manufactured in Leeds. As I suggest, if the Minister could see his way to impose a further 10 per cent. on this class of apparel, firms like that would be compelled to have a clothing factory in Dublin, and employment would be found for a couple of thousand hands. That would solve the difficulty. As I said before, the Tariff Commission was wise in putting forward this proposal. It has been proved in the Report that the cheapest class of suits that a Saorstát clothing manufacturer could make would cost, with the duty, 28/8. The same class of suit imported would cost 30/-. There is a difference of 1/4 in the price of the two suits in favour of the manufacturer in Dublin. I understand that the firms in England who import ready-made clothing have, during the past week, since the additional 20 per cent. was put on, sent word to their distributors in this country that they are prepared to reduce prices of ready-made suits by 10 to 15 per cent. If that is the case, people in Dublin, as has been said by other Deputies, will be compelled to close down. If the Minister could either increase the tariff on imported wearing apparel to 30 per cent., or give a chance to the people who are now in the cheap ready-made clothing industry by removing the tariff on tweeds, with which they usually make up, costing from 2/6 to 4/- per yard, it would meet the case. The Minister might consider that suggestion. However, I am prepared, on the vote of the Commission, to vote for a tariff on woollen and on worsted goods.

I have listened to the speeches of various Deputies, and to the points put forward, and I have been wondering if Deputies who in particular criticised the remarks of Deputy Lemass, have really considered the situation that has now arisen as a result of this recommendation and of the new tariff advocated by the Tariff Commission. I met members of the Clothing Manufacturers' Association and I met members of the Woollen Manufacturers' Association. I discussed the question with people in the ordinary ready-made and made-to-measure trade, and I have come to the conclusion that, while I welcome, and am glad to see, the imposition of a tariff on woollens, I feel, as Deputy Lemass pointed out, that either the Tariff Commission erred, or that they had some reason for not recommending that the existing tariff on ready-mades be increased from 15 per cent. to at least 27½ per cent. In the first instance. I would like to draw the attention of the Minister for Finance particularly to the examples given by the Tariff Commission. In Example 1, they refer to the position that would exist in connection with a 4/- cloth and the difference that would exist as between a domestic maker-up and a maker-up outside the Saorstát. Then they give an example in connection with the 6/- cloth. Had the Commission gone to a little further trouble, and compared the position that existed before the tariff was put on, they would find that in the case of the 4/- cloth, under the system of 15 per cent. protection and free importation of cloth, a domestic manufacturer had actually 15 per cent. protection, or in other words, on the 4/- cloth he had a margin of 2/4½ per suit. Then, if you calculate the same cloth under the new conditions, it will be found that his protection is reduced from 2/4½ to 11d., so that the actual protection of the maker-up is reduced from 15 per cent. to a nominal amount, whereas the intention was to convey the idea that by increasing the old tariff of 15 to 20 per cent. his protection had been maintained, the status quo was there. That is a simple calculation and exemplifies the situation. While everybody wants to foster industry in the country, or to support legislation to do so, everybody is reluetant to foist on the working community extra impositions in the shape of indirect taxation or excess profits which would be levied. As Deputy Lemass pointed out, there is an alternative: you can either increase the value of the cloth allowed in free, or increase the margin of protection for the maker-up.

Personally, I do not suggest that it would be wise or good to allow in free any material other than that suggested by the Tariff Commission, and having read the report from cover to cover, I see very good reasons for that. They refer to the inadvisability of people wearing shoddy material, which has adverse results from the health point of view. The report also speaks of shoddy not giving service or value for the price paid for it, as compared with materials made from virgin wool, or from all wool. I agree with that. On the other hand, Deputy O'Hanlon points out that the Minister for Finance wants an extra source of revenue to enable him to balance his Budget. Deputy Good sees in the imposition of this tariff less importations of English cloths, and possibly, if Deputy O'Hanlon is right, the Minister will not get the amount he expects from the tariff on cloth, and therefore welcomes the importation of garments from the other side which have hitherto been made in this country, out of which he will also get revenue. I do not know whether that is the case or not, but these suggestions have been thrown out, and I would like to feel that the position that has arisen is really due to lack of foresight or an error in calculation, and that it can now be rectified.

There is no question but that at present, and for some years to come, the present manufacturers of cloth will not make the lower grade of shoddy. They frankly stated that themselves to the Tariff Commission. It may be possible that the few who start to make it with this protection will increase. It may happen also that others will set up in the manufacture of this kind of shoddy—a cloth mixture of cotton and wool. If there is one industry that can be cited as an example of the good that a tariff can do, it is the making-up trade. That trade has made a claim, and it is referred to in the report of the Tariff Commission, to the effect that it has brought down, to the extent of £600,000, the importation of ready-made clothing, and that it has given employment to, at least, 2,800 extra hands since the tariff was put on. That is an example of how a tariff, if properly levied and applied to an industry that is efficiently worked, can produce good results for the general community. If that industry is going to be sacrificed by the imposition of a tariff in order to protect another industry, then I say that is a rather sad state of affairs. I suggest that the Minister might consider meeting the situation by increasing the tariff, not from fifteen to twenty, or from twenty to thirty per cent., but by the actual figure which would put these people in the same position as they were before. According to my calculation, the figure required to do that would be in or about 27½ per cent.

With regard to the position that will exist under the operation of these new duties, I have worked out some calculations for myself which can be verified by anyone wishing to do so. What I find is this: that the manufacturer who makes up his own cloth into readymade suits will be obliged to carry on under tremendous difficulties. He will not only have lost the protection that he enjoyed up to this, but will also be faced with the difficulty of finding the extra capital required for the purchase of his materials and the payment of the duty on them. With regard to the makers-up here, they make up for people who buy their own cloth. They will now find that their clients will consider getting the cloth made up in England where they buy it. They will get it made up there and import it as finished garments because, from their point of view, once the extra protection is removed from the makers-up, they will be able to get their suits made up in England as cheaply as if they got them made up here. They can also get their deliveries made to suit their requirements, and in such a way that they will not have to meet immediately the outlay involved by the tariff. All this counts in business, and affects business.

The Minister may not have considered that aspect of the question. I do not believe that anybody, and particularly the Tariff Commission, is desirous of affecting adversely an industry already helped and advanced by a tariff. The Tariff Commissioners say themselves that it should be given protection, that it is not sufficiently well established to warrant the taking away of protection from it. At the same time they do the thing that they say should not be done.

The Tariff Commissioners suggest that certain classes of material should be allowed in free. I have gone to the trouble of getting from a few makers-up a list of the cloths that they have used over a particular financial year. Having made a calculation as to the prices, I found that, except for a very small percentage, not one piece of cloth that they had imported during the financial year in question would be affected by this recommendation which proposes to allow in free a certain kind of material—that is, the 2/6 cloth. In the case of one factory that I took at random, I found that the number of suits they made there during a particular financial year was 30,500. Of that number, 3,500 suits were made from material that was priced at under 2/6 per yard. The balance of the material cost 3/-, 3/3, and as high as 5/3 per yard. All this goes to prove that these manufacturers of ready-made clothing in the Saorstát deal chiefly in cloths priced at from about 2/6 to 6/- per yard, the average being 4/-. This duty will hit men's readymade coats much harder than it will suits or boys' clothing. I discussed this matter with some people whom I met in conference. Deputy Cooper said that he did not consult with anyone. He was asked to, but did not attend the conference that I attended. If he had done so he could have got all the information and material to work on that I got. The manufacturers of ready-made clothing definitely state that, unless they are put back into their old position, whether they like it or not, competition will force them gradually into a state of decline, and that the extra 3,000 workers, who now find employment in the industry, will gradually find themselves in the ranks of the unemployed.

I do not want to enter into a long debate on the question of tariffs versus non-tariffs. I was very glad to hear Deputy J.J. Byrne this evening as an advocate of protection. He disguised his advocacy under the mantle, as it is called, of selective protection. It was refreshing, at any rate, to find that he had at last discovered an industry which was being helped by a tariff and which he now saw was being threatened because the measure of protection it is receiving was not to be maintained. He joined with those of us on this side of the House in expressing the hope that the Minister would take steps to put that industry back into the position of security and protection it had enjoyed before the Tariff Commission decided to recommend a measure of protection to the woollen industry. We on these benches are glad to see that measure of protection being given to the woollen industry. It is high time that it was given. There will be a slight increase in cost to the consumer. That is inevitable, but I say this for the people in the particular trade, that when the tariff of 15 per cent. was put on the ready-made clothing—and that is also referred to in the report—the cost to the consumer was not materially increased, if it increased at all. That is something to their credit. I believe the people who took proper advantage of protection gave the benefit to the community, not only in the shape of employment but in non-profiteering. I contend they should not be put in the position of finding themselves fighting against superior odds and unfair competition. I hope that if the Minister is not in a position at the moment to accede to the suggestions made from this side of the House he will at least give them favourable consideration.

I am mainly concerned with the argument, or the assumption I think I might call it in most cases, that this tariff means a higher price for woollen cloths, and ultimately for clothing. I listened very carefully to the remarks made on that particular aspect of the matter. It seems to me rather extraordinary that responsible Deputies should, in effect, intimate to the woollen manufacturers on such an occasion that, "We expect you to put up prices. We will not be surprised if you put up prices. It is quite a natural thing if you do so." It is amazing to find Independent Deputies, and Deputies who adopt an attitude of superiority to the rest of the House in their independence of all party ties and detachment from any partiality to the things most of us are known by, adopting such an attitude as that. Then, when we find so superior a Deputy as Deputy Cooper suggesting that the recommendations of the Prices Tribunal for the protection of the public from the effects of high prices should be enforced, we do not know where we stand. As far as I understand, the Prices Tribunal actually found that one of the reasons for the high prices of most of the commodities in the Saorstát was that there was free trade in shops. They actually recommended that free trade in shops should be stopped and that every shopkeeper should be licensed. Yet Deputy Cooper says he is not satisfied with any of these tariffs, and regrets the Government are not protecting the public against higher prices by putting the recommendations of the tribunal into effect. That is a rather amazing suggestion coming from a Deputy who claims to have long experience and very extensive knowledge of these economic subjects.

I think it would not be difficult for Deputy Cooper to see that with regard to most things mentioned in the report of the Prices Tribunal, and dealt with by that tribunal, the prices here are phenomenally high, notwithstanding that they are free trade articles. For instance, everybody knows that the price for fruit is extravagantly high in this country though free trade in fruit prevails. I think, generally speaking, that the prices of butter and bacon, and things like that, essentially Irish products, are higher here than in Great Britain where they have to be imported, and where, in a sense, they may be considered protected from that cause. To my mind it is anything but a responsible thing that a message should go out from this Dáil that a certain effect of this tariff is higher prices from the woollen manufacturers and higher prices for clothing. It is even more astonishing when one considers that as coming from business representatives, because one thing that would seem obvious is that if you guarantee a man a certain market his overhead and general expenses should be rather less than previously, and, speaking on the subject generally, there ought to be strong reasons for the prices coming down rather than rising. As a matter of fact that is borne out by an article in the "Irish Trade Journal," which was recently circulated to Deputies, but which very few Deputies, apparently, either bothered to read, or, if they did, they ignored anything said on the subject. I quote these remarks from an article on the working of the Australian Tariff Board:—

"Applicants frequently claim that an additional duty will not increase prices, as the anticipated increased output will decrease costs of production and enable existing prices to be maintained, if not lowered. Experience has shown that when applicants have given an undertaking not to increase their prices in the event of duty being increased, these undertakings have been honoured and, indeed, consumers have frequently been enabled in consequence of an increased duty, to purchase commodities at lower prices than would otherwise have been possible."

Later on it is remarked:

"Where there is a large demand for any class of goods and the market can be secured for Australian manufactures by curtailment of imports, mass production and internal competition result in reduced costs."

But Deputy O'Hanlon, who apparently makes it a profession to oppose anything in the way of protection for Irish industries, has no use for remarks of that kind. They are merely propaganda to his farseeing and more educated mind. Another thing that seems to run through this debate—at least it was found in Deputy Anthony's remarks—was that this tariff was being given to the manufacturers. I think something of the same sort of assumption can be found in a good deal of the Tariff Commission writing, and it certainly seemed to be in the report on margarine, where they recommended, I think, that if there was any increase in prices the tariff should be withdrawn. I do not think we ought to admit for a moment that these tariffs are for the benefit of manufacturers. They are much more for the benefit of the workers not merely in the industries concerned, but for the benefit of all workers. I think the assumption I have referred to seemed to prevail when the Tariff Commission Act was going through the Dáil.

The whole procedure of the Tariff Commission, in fact, lends force to the idea that that was in the minds of the Ministers when they were framing the Act. For instance, it must be an interested party who is to bring forward an application. I think I could easily show that many of us who are not in industry at all would be much more concerned to see industry protected than the people established in it. I know instances where men have closed their mills in recent years and are now living very well without them. They made plenty of money while in it, and they do not seem to worry that they had to close down the industry, but it was a very great worry to those employed in it and those who might be employed in it, as well as to the traders who benefited by the wages coming out of the mills, and it is an obvious loss to the growing up people in the town where a mill was situated. It is astonishing to see Deputy Anthony, a Labour representative, warning the woollen manufacturers that we are not prepared to help them with a tariff if they are not prepared to act up to their responsibilities. Helping the woollen manufacturers with a tariff! I think that most of us here are less concerned about the woollen manufacturers than we are about any other aspect of the question. We are very much concerned to see the woollen mills working, but we are not extra concerned with the woollen manufacturers, apart from any other claims they may have towards our sympathy. There is one point I want to raise in connection with this tariff, and I hope the Minister for Finance will be able to give me some information on it.

took the Chair.

The point is with regard to British preference. I suppose it is quite possible that there would be a finishing business in England, now that you have cloth partly manufactured on the Continent imported into England on which there would be only a certain amount of British labour employed in the finishing. What is to be the basis of the preference? In the Finance Act of 1919 it was left to the Board of Trade to determine what the percentage would be. I suppose that duty now falls on the Minister for Industry and Commerce. If a standard of 25 per cent. is what would be allowed, then I think it is just possible that there would be good reason for raising that percentage. I notice in the "Trade Journal," by the way, that Canada seems to have raised the percentage to 50 per cent. for all goods going in there. The Minister for Industry and Commerce here did it in the case of a particular article, and I do not see why it should not be up to 50 per cent. for most things. I think it would save the temptation to indulge in sharp practice, as I think is not unknown to the Revenue Commissioners in connection with other goods imported. However, I wish the Minister would make that clear.

Deputy O'Hanlon tried to make it appear that Fianna Fáil had got cold feet on the question of protection because they found that one reaction of the woollen proposals as they stand is that they possibly may injure the ready-made clothing industry. I can tell Deputy O'Hanlon and any other Deputy who is interested that so far from getting cold feet on the subject of protection we are more and more protectionist the more experience we have. Our only regret is that this protection was not brought in four or five years ago, when the woollen mills were in a better position, when they had more of their skilled workers available, when they had more of their reserves available, and when they were generally in a better position to avail of this import duty. Obviously, it would have meant a great deal in wages. It would obviate a great deal of the misery that has taken place since. I would say from reading the report of the Tariff Commission that there is not very much in it that could not have been ascertained in any month during the past five or seven years. There is not very much of real importance in it that could not have been ascertained in that time.

I, therefore, say that the Government has a good deal to answer for in regard to the fact that this tariff has not been in operation for years past. However, we are very glad that it has come now. We hope with regard to the other applications for tariffs, that they will be speeded up and a decision given with as much haste as possible. I think that if, in the circumstances of the country, there are many more instances where a thousand men could be employed without injury to any interest, then we ought to be rather ashamed of ourselves that we allow such conditions to exist simply for the sake of a formality, simply because we must wait for the report of our Tariff Commission, simply because we have adopted the procedure of a Tariff Commission and we are too proud to go beyond it. It is rather a cynical attitude for the Government to adopt and I hope that they will not continue in that attitude.

There appears to be such an overwhelming feeling on all sides of the House in favour of this tariff that it is hardly necessary for me to say that I am in favour of it. However, there were one or two statements made here that perhaps it would be no harm to counter. One statement was that this tariff would inevitably cause an increase in the price of clothing material. In speaking on this the other night that was one of the matters which I touched on, and I expressed the wish that the Government would make an effort to prevent that. Since then I noticed that one of the manufacturers in the County Cork stated that not only will there be no increase, but that the price will be reduced. Well, that is a good example and I hope that it will be followed by other manufacturers. It is not the manufacturer alone that is benefited by the tariff. All interests, including both the employer and the employee, benefit by the tariff. Our reason is, to a certain extent, a selfish one, because we believe that the more employers and employees we have in the country, the more money will be circulated through the country.

It is not very often that I agree with Deputy Byrne, but I agree with him in the statement that he made a short time ago. When speaking on these Resolutions he said that even if the cost of living were to increase slightly it would be far better for the country as a whole if we could reduce considerably the amount of unemployment, and if we could bring about a condition of things in the country where practically everyone would be employed. In such a condition of things more money would be circulated. The result would be that even if the cost of living increased slightly, that slight increase would not be at all felt. I am not admitting that the cost of living will increase. The cost of living does not necessarily increase as a result of a tariff, but even if it did, the benefit to the country would be greater in the end.

I think it was Deputy O'Hanlon who stated that the Irish manufacturers were not enterprising; that they would not make an effort to hold their markets; that they were actually allowing their businesses to run down so that they could put up a pitiable case for a tariff. I do not agree with that. If the Irish-manufactured clothing could get over such a high tariff wall as they have in the United States, and do that by sheer merit, surely that in itself is a proof that the Irish manufacturers are able to produce as good an article as is produced in any part of the world. The reason the wholesale distributors are not co-operating more in the matter of Irish manufacture might to a great extent be due to the fact that fashion in this country is more or less against Irish manufacture. There is an unfortunate tendency in this country not alone against Irish-manufactured cloth, but against many other things Irish. Many of the people seem to believe that anything made in this country cannot possibly be as good as the article imported from abroad. This is a sort of inferiority complex, I suppose. In connection with cloth in particular, and in all matters relating to clothing, the idea is that the foreign article, and especially the article made in England, is superior to anything that we can produce here. If the people, unfortunately, have that idea, we can only try to compel them to get their stuff at home by making it more expensive for them to use the imported article. As far as men's clothing is concerned, at any rate, I hold that we can give them as good material as they can get anywhere.

The Irishman who is not patriotic enough to support what is made in his own country cannot complain if it is made more costly for him to support the foreign article. Such an Irishman does not deserve any consideration whatever. In the county from which I come there are two mills idle, and they have been idle for the past 15 or 20 years. If there is nothing wrong with free trade, if it is such a panacea for all ills, how is it that these mills in Waterford have been idle? The men who ran these mills were not very big capitalists and they were not able to keep them going owing to the severe competition from outside. These mills are ideally situated in the country. If we are ever going to get back to the ideal in industry it will be by taking the mills from the big towns and establishing them in the country. We have in the country ideally situated mills, and it would be far better to have our people employed in such mills than that they should be brought into the city, building up another slum problem and creating another social difficulty for the future. The proprietors of those mills told me that unless they got a tariff they would never be able to reopen. Take the case of the Ardfinnan Mills in South Tipperary. But for this tariff the Ardfinnan Mills were about to close down. When the people there got the information about the tariff they lighted bonfires in the districts in celebration of the event. If the tariff had not been imposed that mill would certainly have closed down, just the same as the other mills in the South of Ireland, and the people of that particular district would be thrown into a state of destitution.

Deputy Cooper made a plea in respect to second-hand clothing, and I agree with him. There is, however, one danger in respect to second-hand clothing coming into the country. It is no harm to call attention to that danger. I refer to the danger of infection. I once happened to be on a local board and an outbreak of fever occurred in a certain district. The Local Government Board sent down a doctor to investigate the matter, and he was inclined to attribute the outbreak to second-hand clothing that came into the district. It is very desirable that clothing should be made as cheap as possible for the poor of a district, but at the same time every effort should be made to see that it is properly disinfected before it enters the country. Of course, there are many people who receive parcels of clothing from friends or relatives in America. In those cases the Customs duty is frequently more than the clothes are really worth. I do not think it is necessary to stress that point further.

I am of the opinion that this tariff is essential. I observed in the papers this morning that I, a Fianna Fáil Deputy, was described as supporting the Government on this question of tariffs. Of course we must not always take the papers seriously. I am a supporter of tariffs, but I certainly am not a supporter of the practice of taking two years to examine the merits or demerits of a tariff on a single industry. The Press, of course, is only too glad to have a chance of making anyone out as a supporter of the Government.

One thing has been emphasised in this debate, and that is the danger of tariffs—the difficulty of adequately protecting one industry without adversely affecting another. Nearly a week ago, when this Resolution was introduced, every Deputy in the House—there were very few exceptions—felt gratified at the imposition of this tax. To-day we have the reaction. Every speaker to-day, either for or against the tariff, has emphasised the difficulty and the danger that surround tariffs. Attention has been drawn to the effect that this tariff has on another industry, the ready-made clothing industry. The difficulty I see in tariffs is much the same as that which Deputy Good sees—the difficulty of attracting capital when there is an unsettled condition of affairs. Any man who proposes to invest money in an industry in this country must have some prospect of stable conditions. Let us say, for example, that a man invests a considerable sum in an industry in which, protected or unprotected, he sees a possibility of prospering. In the course of a year or so a tariff is imposed on an industry closely allied to his industry. Then the existence of his industry becomes imperilled because of the tariff. Where is the attraction for any other investor putting his or her capital into an industry here?

Supporters of this proposal have made some rather confusing remarks. Deputy Anthony said that we should seek to bring about what would serve the greatest number in the community. I make bold to say that a tariff on any particular industry, while it may help that industry, does not necessarily serve the greatest number in the community. For instance, this woollen tariff may be highly desirable and it may very largely affect advantageously the woollen industry, but it cannot be proved to me that it will benefit the great majority of the people in this country. Will it benefit the small farmer or the labourer? Will it not rather add to the number of bootless and ragged children who are now running about? The most that can be said for the tariff is that it will provide employment for an additional 1,000 hands. If, by the imposition of any tariff, I could provide employment for 1,000 hands without adversely affecting thousands of others employed in other industries, or without putting other people out of employment, I would certainly vote for that tariff. We have Deputy Lemass now telling us that even though we employ an additional 1,000 hands there is a very great danger of putting 3,000 men out of employment. Deputy Byrne emphasises the case made by Deputy Lemass. He said we were either going to gain or lose, and he argued that we were going to gain. He said that very much was made of the difficulty in regard to ready-made clothing, but he pointed out that the House could remedy that matter by increasing the tariff. Of course, that was a very simple remedy, the simplest possible. To-morrow the same argument could be applied in regard to other matters, and increasing tariffs would proceed ad lib until you would arrive at the position when tariffs would become unbearable to the community at large.

My main object in intervening in this debate is to point out that the people I represent, the farmers and agricultural labourers, are not in a position to bear any additional impost, even though that impost may be of advantage to a small section of the community. If there were any industry for which a good case would be made, or for which a case might have been made which would be less dangerous to the rest of the community than any other, then I know it is the woollen industry. Its promoters made a good case for it, and I believe the Tariff Commission, having heard all the evidence for and against, could not probably have come to any other conclusion than the one to which they came. The great farming industry I have the honour to represent, and the men and women dependent on that industry, are not going to benefit by that tariff. In no part of that Tariff Report which I saw is there a mention of any possible advantage to the farmer or the labourer who depends on the farming community. I think in one paragraph it is implicitly stated that there can be no possible advance in the price of wool, and wool is the only product of the farming community that could be directly or indirectly affected by this tariff. If we who are farmers in this country are anxious to help the industry, and we are anxious to help it, there must be some quid pro quo and——

You got it, too.

The agricultural grant is one.

That is not a quid pro quo. However, the Ceann Comhairle will rule me out if I get on to that subject.

It is not Deputy Bennett that I was going to rule out at all.

Deputy Davin knows as well as I do that the agricultural grant was imposed long before there was any mention of tariffs in this country, and under a set of circumstances with which a tariff had nothing whatever to do.

That is conclusive proof that it ought not to have been brought in here.

There might have been an addendum in this tariff to make it effective. There might have been a provision in the tariff proposals that all the tweeds made in this country should be made out of Irish wool. I did not hear any advocate of a tariff on this side get up and say that the woollen mills must be compelled to mill Irish wool and no other, although in another tariff we heard some time ago that all Irish products were to be used. There was no mention in this where it was possible that we were to use Irish products of any description. We are going to have boys and girls in this country clothed in Irish suits of English, American or any other wool and booted in Irish boots of foreign composition at a dearer price than they would have been without the imposition of this tariff. We are going to have a large addition to the already definitely numerous boys and girls of this country who are bootless now and who, because of the imposition of this tariff, will be ragged in a year or so if there is not some quid pro quo for the farmer and farm labourer. I hope, although I suppose there will not be a division on this tariff——

There will.

Why not?

——that the Minister will, later, having regard to the large revenue that will accrue from the imposition of this tariff, bear in mind the difficult position of the farmer and farm labourer in the country and apply at least some of this revenue to the lessening of the burdens of those poor, unfortunate people.

As I said, my main reason for intervening in this debate was to emphasise the position of the farmer. Deputy Good got up to emphasise the position of the kindred industries. I might say the kindred industries are not going to be so advantageously affected by the imposition of this or any other tariff, but the industries have sufficient backers in this House without my butting in. I am interested mainly in the farmer and the farm labourer, and until it is proved conclusively to me that any tariff on any manufacture is at least not going to affect them adversely, I am afraid I will have to be in opposition to any increase in the burden on the agricultural community in this country.

In certain conditions I am opposed to tariffs. The reason I am rising now is more or less to support Deputy Bennett. He says, and I agree with him, that this tariff will increase the cost of living to the small farmer and the agricultural labourer. The agricultural labourer, on account of the conditions in the country, can only be paid a small wage. Agriculture is the biggest industry in the country, and I am sorry to say the agricultural labourer is the worst paid class of labourer in the country. I am sorry for it, but the conditions are very hard. The industry cannot pay. It seems to me that this tariff on manufactured tweed is going to benefit very few at the expense of the many. No matter how optimistic Deputies on the far side are about its not increasing the cost of living, etc., I do not believe it. The Minister for Finance expects £150,000 from this. Then there is the cost of collection of that, which I suppose will be another £50,000, making £200,000. I am afraid another thing will occur. Our middlemen in distributing clothes in the near future will say, "there is a tariff on now and we cannot sell them as cheaply as we have." That will represent another £150,000 or £200,000 to the wearers.

Deputy Anthony said the manufacturer had a duty to the public and that he should not increase the cost of clothes to the public. Deputy O'Hanlon nearly exploded an old theory of mine when he told us that the manufacturer in this country paid no more for his power than the manufacturer on the other side, that his machinery was as efficient, that the output of his operatives was as good, and that he was in as good a position as his competitor in England.

That was Deputy O'Hanlon's argument. I was always under the impression that the manufacturer in this country had two disadvantages, first, as regards cheap power, and secondly, what I might call the tradition of industry, the operatives who are brought up to the trade. There are several parts of England where they specialise in the production of certain articles. The operatives in these parts are better than in other parts. One part of England can beat another in boot-making. These two conditions exist which are a disadvantage to our manufacturers. Deputy Anthony said that the manufacturers had a duty to the public. Might I suggest to Deputy Anthony that organised labour also has a duty to the State? If we have these certain disadvantages in manufactures, is there any suggestion from organised labour that if we get this protection our operatives will accept a little lower wage or work a little longer time in order to make up the difference in the cost of manufacture and leave the price of the manufactured article to the consumer no dearer? If there was any suggestion or gesture of that sort from organised labour not alone would I be in favour of a tariff on woollens, but I would be in favour of a tariff on anything we could produce in this country as cheaply as our competitors.

I would like to ask the Deputy if he knows the wages that are paid in the ready-made clothing industry.

I would like to ask the Deputy if it is his suggestion that it is organised labour that controls the price to the purchaser.

I am not sure that I follow the question. Does organised labour control the price to the consumer?

To a certain extent.

Where does the middleman's profit come in?

Do you accept my argument that the manufacturer here is at a couple of disadvantages as compared with the English manufacturer? Something has to be made up as regards the difference in the cost of production between the British and Irish manufacturer. I am suggesting to Deputy Davin that the operative could afford to contribute a little of the difference. Would it be any great sacrifice to him, considering, according to the last statistics I have seen, that 65 per cent. of the male population is engaged in agriculture? Are you going to have a very small percentage of the population in this country spoon-fed, to the detriment of a very large section of the population? That is what tariffs on manufactured articles come to.

Two farmers have already spoken on this matter. As one who does not agree with the policy laid down by the two Deputies who have spoken, I welcome this tariff on woollens. I regret the delay in putting on this tariff, a delay which cost the farmers in my district something. As a member of the South Cork Board of Assistance which has to deal with the ratepayers' money, I know that we have the unemployed workers of Douglas, Blarney and Riverstown Woollen Mills pouring in each week looking for home assistance and all for want of a tariff and because foreign material is being brought in. If we employed a thousand extra workers in this country there would be a thousand extra mouths to feed and that would mean an increase in the home market for the farmers' produce. If those who are representing the farming community here in the different Parties worked together as well as those who represent other interests—the manufacturing interests —the farmers of the twenty-six counties would not at the present time be groaning under an unbearable burden. I will give every credit to the manufacturers who come in here, make their case and get their tariff. If, for instance, we looked for an extra twopence in the lb. for wool it would mean something like £117,000 a year to the Free State farmers, according to the figures given here, about the same amount of money as that which is dragged by the Irish Land Commission from the unfortunate farmers. If by a combination of the representatives of the farming interests here we succeeded in getting a tariff of twopence in the lb. on wool we would be doing something for the farming industry. Instead of that, when a proposal is brought in here by one side of the House the farmers on the other side will vote against it. I hope that the lesson which has been taught by the manufacturing interests here during the past four or five years to the farming interests in this House will have a good result sometime. I can promise the representatives of the farming industry here that I will bring in enough proposals for them, if they are kind enough to follow me and if they will not crawl into the Lobbies after one Party or another. I will give them plenty of opportunities.

I would not have intervened in this debate if the real interests of the farming community had not been misrepresented here. I maintain that the interests of the farmers are served in this instance through the relief in rates. Every reduction on the burden of home assistance is a definite relief to the farmers. Every young man that we can keep from going to America, and every increase in employment, means a help to our home markets. If the farmers would consider the farm produce that is coming into the country every year and get a tariff to prevent its coming in, they would be doing more benefit to themselves than by creating increased unemployment. There is unemployment enough already in the country.

There is general agreement as to the advisability of reviving our industries. The only difference of opinion that arises is as to the means to be employed. In this instance a tariff is being imposed on the import of woollen goods. That seriously affects many ready-made clothing factories which have recently been established here, and for that reason I am prepared to vote against this tariff. In my own constituency one of these ready-made clothing factories exists at present and has been doing a very successful business in a town that has been seriously affected owing to many causes, but principally by the setting up of the Boundary. It is an old saying that charity begins at home, and as this tariff will seriously affect the working of that factory, as a Deputy representing that constituency I must perforce vote against it. I have an open mind on the general question of tariffs. I am of the opinion that it is the duty of the Government to pass legislation that will have the effect of preserving our native industries, but, as I said, in this particular case you are running the risk of imposing an impossible burden upon other industries that have been started during the last four or five years. References have been made to the number of persons who will get regular employment as a result of the imposition of this tariff, but, as has already been pointed out by many Deputies, even by those who favour this tariff, the chances are that the number who will be disemployed as a result of this tariff will be greater than the number who will receive employment.

If I might correct the Deputy, that second number he speaks of will not be disemployed as a result of this tariff. They will be disemployed in consequence of the fact that the tariff on apparel has not been increased sufficiently.

I appreciate Deputy Lemass's point, but then arises the question: where are we going to end as far as the imposition of tariffs is concerned?

When they are all on.

Are we going to ascend every day in the week? I have an open mind on tariffs, but I think that any tariff that increases the cost of production or the cost of living will not be to the advantage of the people. A statement made by Deputy Goulding deserves some little reference, and that is the ever-increasing tendency of our people to buy everything of foreign manufacture. If our people would only act up to the slogan we heard so much about some few years ago of "ourselves alone," there would not be the ever-increasing necessity of imposing tariffs. At present our people seem to ape at everything that is foreign. It is my candid opinion that no matter what tariffs are imposed on foreign manufactures, owing to this tendency of the people to buy everything that is of foreign make, the tariffs will not prevent them from buying foreign manufactures, even if they could procure them at home at a less cost. I think the time has arrived when some plain speaking must be indulged in, and the people must be made to realise that a duty is cast upon them, as far as the support of home manufacture is concerned, and that they must not be allowed to be imbued with the idea that the only hope for the resuscitation or the revival of native industries lies in the imposition of tariffs. The sooner they get away from that idea the better. So far as I am personally concerned, unless the Minister is prepared to make some definite proposal that would clarify the position in so far as the imposition of this tariff affects the ready-made clothing factories, I will be compelled to vote against this because I believe that as it stands, as Deputy Lemass has already pointed out, it will ultimately increase rather than decrease unemployment.

Listening to the speeches of Deputies Bennett and Mathews, one would imagine, if he were to believe what they said, or to agree with what they said, that the average farmer's son or daughter was not anxious to secure employment outside the farm. The average farmer's son or daughter, so far as I know, is extremely anxious to get away from the farm and to secure employment in some other sphere of life, such as in a bank, or in an industry, or in some other place other than the farm, because the average farm is only capable of maintaining a certain number of human beings. That being so, the question we are confronted with is, whether the Government is anxious to provide that employment at home or abroad. I am perfectly satisfied that the imposition of a tariff for the sake of developing a particular industry is not going to develop that industry unless the capital is available to provide the machinery necessary for its development. Take the case of the furniture industry. It is an admitted fact, and I am sure Deputy Lemass and other whole-hog supporters of the tariff policy will admit it, that the 33? duty which was imposed would not have left the furniture industry here in any better position than it was when the duty was imposed were it not for the fact that the Government, through the Trade Loans (Guarantee) Act, made a reasonable amount of capital available to firms engaged in that industry. Therefore, a tariff, without a guarantee of the necessary capital being forthcoming, is useless in itself. I believe that the average farmer, who has given any thought or consideration to the question of the development of industries, is prepared to pay his share in order that industry may be developed here to provide a better home market for his products. Cheap power is also absolutely essential for the development of industry, and it is to be hoped that that cheap power will be available in the near future through the development of the Shannon scheme, for which the farmers, as well as the agricultural and other workers and the taxpayers generally, will have to make a fair and reasonable contribution.

Deputy Mathews made a point with which I am particularly anxious to deal. He more or less insinuated, if he did not actually state, that organised labour was in a position to see that the cost of the article which had got the benefit of a tariff could be controlled. I have in mind a tariff proposed in the case of boots, and I am personally of opinion that that tariff has not, up to the present, justified its existence or has not justified the duty which was imposed at that particular period. I say that because I believe that the boot manufacturers in this country have undoubtedly got the benefit of that tariff. They have not been able to procure capital which would provide the machinery that would enable them to turn out the boots required by the inhabitants of this State. That is clearly the case because there has been an increase in the amount of revenue derived from the importation of boots, which shows that there is no decrease in the quantity of boots imported into the country since the tariff. Is Deputy Mathews aware, and is his Party aware, that that in itself helped those in a position to import the boots required by the majority of the population to increase the price of those boots to the middle-classes in the country? I am not now making a case for the tariff as such. I have here a case of the firm of W. Barratt and Company, manufacturers, of Northampton, and that firm has an advertisement in the "Daily Mail," of the 9th/12/1928, of boots at a cost of 16/9 a pair. The same firm has a shop at 5 Henry Street, Dublin, and they advertised for sale on the same date, in the "Irish Independent," the same boot at 18/9.

Deputy Mathews knows well if the Government, of which he is such a strong supporter, would only put in operation the recommendation of the Food Prices Commission dealing with the control of prices, that it is the Ministry that he supports and not organised labour that can remedy that particular evil, and that it is an evil which must be remedied and controlled so far as the application of a tariff is concerned. If the boot manufacturers of this country were in a position to turn out 85 per cent of the requirements of a particular type of boots, then these people would not deem it good policy to charge a higher price in the Free State for their boots than at Northampton at present. But so long as it is necessary for the people of this State to purchase boots manufactured outside the country and not inside they are giving a lever to the people who will continue to send that type of boot into the country to add the amount of the tariff to the cost of the boot or other manufactured article, unless the particular clause in the recommendations of the Food Prices Commission is put into operation. Therefore, I suggest to Deputy Mathews, it is the Ministry that can remedy this particular evil he complains of rather than organised labour.

I had no intention of intervening in this debate at all, but there are a couple of points in connection with this tariff that I would like to bring forward. It has been brought to my notice by some people concerned that as soon as this tariff is imposed it will be necessary for them, of course, to buy their cloth in this country. Hitherto some of their material has been bought across the water. I have been informed by people who are sound business men of instances in which they have written to firms in the Free State. In one particular instance two letters were written to two different firms. One firm never answered the letter at all, another firm sent samples, and each sample was about two inches by four. In the case of cross-Channel firms, what did they send? They sent samples that were absolutely sufficient to show the whole pattern of the cloth. That is a word of warning to the manufacturers in the Free State. It will be absolutely essential if they want to develop their trade in the proper way that they should cater for their customers in a proper business-like way. I heard the term "whole-hog protectionists" used by Deputy Davin. Probably he did not mean it in the light it is generally used.

I was only repeating what a number of other Deputies said before I spoke.

The objection we have to that is this. A number of people are under the impression that when Fianna Fáil advocates tariffs they advocate tariffs on everything. In other words, that we are "whole-hog protectionists." That is not so. We are protectionists only in so far as protection is going to be of benefit to the country in a considered, calm way. When it is considered in a calm way and if it is thought the proper thing to do, then the expression "whole-hog protectionists" can be used, but only then.

On the other hand, so far as the Government is concerned, they, of course, treat all these things in a very calm, deliberate way. But what they succeed in doing is this. Where tariffs are needed they refuse tariffs. Where they do put a tariff on, it is generally not enough or it has not been considered properly. It reminds me of what used to happen in the country—when a dog is found to eat eggs, the cure for him is to make up a mustard egg and if he tastes that he will never taste another egg again. That reminds me of the Government and their tariff policy. They make up a kind of mustard egg in order that they may sicken the people of the Free State against tariffs.

We cannot discuss the general question of tariffs on this resolution.

Nor eggs. As far as the people of the country are concerned, if our advice were adopted —if there had been a tariff control board——

You are not giving me a chance because you do not know what I am going to say.

I do know what the Deputy is going to say.

It would be impossible to have what some Deputies are afraid of in connection with this particular tariff. In other words, it would be impossible to have such a thing as profiteering. If there are Deputies on the opposite benches afraid of that—Deputies who are crying out that the farmer does not want to pay an increased amount for his clothing—these people have not considered what has been suggested from these benches, the employment given through increased industry and the home market opened for the farmers. They should also think of the protection that would be given to the consumer if a proper board were in control to see that there would be no profiteering.

Rather than interfere with the Minister's tea, ordinary humanitarian instincts induce me to intervene. I think, however, I should at least have the bench of bishops present. There ought not to be in the discussion of an important tariff of this kind a beggarly array of empty pews in the sanctuary. It ought to be important enough for some Minister who has contact either with finance or industry to be present in his place. With every possible respect to the Minister for Justice, it is not the function of the Minister for Justice to sit in judgment on arguments that may be offered in this matter.

Because justice as defined in the practice of the Minister for Justice is the kind of justice which ought not to be meted out to a tariff.

I am glad to hear that.

Would you like to back it up?

Perhaps it would be well if the Deputy came to the motion.

A Deputy

Stick to the motion.

I do not object in the slightest degree to interruptions so long as they are either intelligent or intelligible, but when they are neither I do object. I propose to approach this question from probably a different point of view from that on which it has been approached up to the present in this debate. In the last debate I called attention to the fact that men of different parties and of divided political policy had found it possible on a previous occasion to agree in relation to this particular tariff. I expressed the hope that in the discussion of this tariff exactly the same attitude of mind would be adopted. In other words, we should come to the discussion of it in the spirit of men who are broadly in agreement as to principle, who are prepared to discuss in front of each other the difficulty of its application and to find a method of solution of those difficulties. It is perfectly evident that this particular tariff, which has its origin in the actual resolution offered to the House, does present that difficulty. What I am suggesting to the House is that we ought to consider this, not as a matter of controversy, not as a matter in which men try to score unnecessary points off one another, but one in which men of different politics would help one another in solving an admitted difficulty. It was for that reason that I appealed to Deputy Cooper before he sat down to face that particular issue. This side of the House, so far as I understand its position, is thoroughly in favour of a tariff on woollens, is thoroughly in favour of this particular tariff on woollens except in so far as it is possibly five per cent. too low. It is not, however, in favour of a condition being produced by this particular tariff on woollens, in relation to the provisions made in that tariff for dealing with an existing industry, which will, in fact, apparently imperil that industry.

The Tariff Commission considered this question for two years. The Government considered it for five minutes. They accepted it and the House on the last occasion came to consider this Resolution in the same spirit in which they discuss budget resolutions, that is to say, as a thing which was to be done and which had to be accepted at once for the purpose of enabling certain machinery to be put into operation but as a resolution which had eventually to pass through its own further stages and through the further stages of a Finance Bill which would make it law. Between now and the passing of the final stages of the Finance Bill concerning this matter it is up to the House to find a solution of that difficulty and in co-operation to find a solution by which we can build up the woollen industry to more considerable dimensions without destroying the industry of ready-made clothing which has already made considerable progress.

It has been suggested from this side of the House that a tariff, instead of fifteen per cent. upon imported ready-mades, should be a tariff of thirty per cent., and the feeling is that that would increase the cost to the community of the tariff. I am not at all clear that it would do so, and I am speaking exactly in the spirit in which I suggested that the House should do so, subject to correction, examination and suggestion. The fifteen per cent. tariff has already reduced the imports of those goods by seventy per cent. That leaves thirty per cent. now being imported. Fifteen per cent. on that thirty per cent.— multiply the two together and you get 450. I am taking what I may call the Good method of estimating the cost of tariffs, that is to say, the method which suggests that the revenue obtained represents the burden on the community. I do not agree with it, but that is supposed to be the ex cathedra, free trade method of estimating the figure and, for the moment, I will not go outside that estimate. If you multiply fifteen per cent. by thirty per cent., the amount that is coming in, you get the figure, 450. If you put thirty per cent. tariff on and if a fifteen per cent. tariff has reduced the imports by seventy per cent., is it too much to say that by doubling that tariff you will reduce the imports by another twenty per cent.? If it does, you get these figures. An import of 10 per cent., multiplied by a tariff of 30 per cent., gives you 300, so that the actual cost to the community is reduced from 450 to 300, which does not seem to be very obvious proof that an increase in this particular case, having regard to the history of the effect of the tariff on imports, will result in the actual cost.

Take another case. Take the particular suit of clothes which, I think, ought to be famous since it appears in the report of the Tariff Commission. You find this suit on page 56. The cloth in it cost 13/-. The cut and trim cost 10/6, that is material and labour. Let us assume for a moment that we are dealing with the 20 per cent. tariff, which we now have under the regulations already made, and the 30 per cent. tariff which is suggested. In the one case, the 20 per cent. tariff will go on the 13 plus 10, or 23, and the figure will be 460. In the other case, 30 per cent. will go on 13 and the total is 390. There again, though you have increased the tariff, you have not, apparently, increased the burden. I personally, as you know, am not a whole-hog nor any kind of hog in this or any other matter. I know that there is very real danger in any readjustment in a complicated economic system.

From the first time I spoke on tariffs I warned the House of the danger and the wide-reaching ramifications of those reactions. I am thoroughly and completely in favour, so far as I can understand the position, of a woollen tariff per se, but that woollen tariff per se must now be so arranged and so fitted into the system that it will not destroy the other industry. The solution which has been offered by Deputy Lemass is that the tariff on ready-mades shall itself be raised. If the Government, or any member of it, or any of the widely-varying hybridised collection of supporters, adjuncts, or any other name which would be parliamentary to describe them, can find another solution, we are anxious to consider it. It is up to the House, however, to find that solution in co-operation, and, until some other solution than that of Deputy Lemass is put forward to deal with the matter, it holds the field. The Minister for Finance, when he does return, may be able to tell us what a week or ten days of meditation has enabled him to work out as an improvement on his education of five minutes. This tariff came at a very fortunate moment. I do not know whether I would be in order in saying that it came at an almost providential moment. It descended as manna from heaven on the hungry and aching void of the coming Budget. It was a great temptation to be hasty in its acceptance. If it comes in now it will not have to come in on the Budget. I mean that when we come on that sad day to add up the number of new taxes which are going to be imposed we will not have to mention this one. I can imagine the Minister for Finance saying: "Well done, thou good and faithful servant. After two years, at the very psychological moment, you have produced me £150,000. That is the amount I estimate it at the moment, and I am certainly not going to look that gift horse in the mouth." He has had a fortnight to look this gift horse in the mouth.

Does Deputy Flinn object to the imposition of new protective tariffs? If so, he is rather out of key with his leader.

I was looking for Deputy Cooper and I see he has come back. I have some notes about him here. I am not objecting to this particular tariff. I am congratulating the Minister upon the providential arrangement by which, at the psychological moment, it appeared, and I am trying to explain to Deputy Cooper and to others how I can understand how, in five minutes, he could accept that particular proposal—I mean taken as a whole—and overlook its defects. I mean it would have been unkind, it would have been inconsiderate, it would have been ungrateful to look at a report of this kind in any critical spirit, having regard to the time and the manner of its production. Now that he has got over that moment of enthusiasm and that the House knows exactly how and why he was induced to make that quite understandable mistake, we suggest that he should meditate again on the little figure of 15, 20, 25 or 30 per cent., or he should produce for us, as providentially as the Tariff Commission produced this tariff for him, his solution by which a tariff which he is prepared to impose, on five minutes' examination, a solution by which that tariff can be fitted into the maintenance of the industry to which it is now given. I believe he will be able to find that solution, and failing that solution, that he will be able to persuade Deputy Heffernan and the other members of the Farmers' Party to accept this as they accept every other bolus which their Party may require.

It has been suggested that this, like all other tariffs, is going to fall hard and heavy on the farmer. If there is one thing which is common in this House it is the profession of the belief that you want to benefit the farmer. Do you benefit the farmer by hiding from him the fact that he has got to maintain in this country every idle and non-productive unit in it? Do you benefit the farmer by hiding from him the fact that he, the producer, is the worstpaid of the whole of this community? That is, the small farmer and the farmer's labourer, the farmer as a producer, the labourer as a labourer, relative to any other class of producer or labourer in this country, who in proportion to the work they do in production in this country, are the worst paid people in it. Are you helping the farmer by hiding from him that the real reason that he is under-paid is because out of the produce of his labour has to come the maintenance of the other people in this community who are there idle or who are there working? That is the issue; everything must come out of production. I am taking now the case stated by the farmers themselves. Up to a point it is true, that they are the primary producers. As long as they are the primary producers, and, remember, as long as they are in possession of the only means of production which they will consent to have developed in this country, they not merely do, but they must, and they should, maintain everybody else in this community. Let me put that proposition dead clear again. As long as they are in possession of the sole means of production in this country which they will allow to be developed, they not merely will, but they should, maintain the rest of the community. I am concerned with tariffs and with every other economic expedient purely and simply by that test—does it produce some other means of maintaining the people of this country? The idea that out of the land in this country you can maintain, at a high standard of comfort, a large and increasing population in this country, is, in my opinion, ludicrous.

You can either say to yourselves: "We will have in this country a couple of millions, or a million and a half of people, efficiently working the land and getting paid for it, and the rest must get out," or you can say: "The land and the other industrial possibilities of this country shall be developed, and out of the production of each of them we shall maintain a population." It is said that the question that is at issue here is the efficiency of your producers. It is not. What is at issue in this question is what you mean by the efficiency of your producers. If you define production, say, in relation to land, as that means which will produce the largest amount of goods of the highest quality at the lowest price, that is a sound economic definition, but it does not need in this country 500,000 people. It certainly does not need a million. The Farmers' Party themselves, with an engineer and a business man with them, given the area of this country and asked merely to produce from it the agricultural values which now amount to about £110,000,000 in total. would not require three or four millions of people to do it. And that would be your definition of efficiency. My definition of efficiency is that method of the use of resources which will manufacture the largest number of internally consumed livelihoods; in other words, which were maintaining the largest number of people upon a widely distributed standard of frugal comfort. It is by that standard of efficiency that I would ask you to judge tariffs and other matters.

We have got to find some other way by which our people can be maintained, or the little farmer with his land has still got to maintain them. It is because this particular tariff in relation to woollens did seem to me to be a promising avenue of increased production, a promising avenue, not merely of increased production for here, but of increased production for export, because it was an industry which was widely scattered through the country, which had personal associations, personal and local loyalties which make it difficult of attack, that I was more enthusiastically in favour of the woollen tariff than probably of any other that has been offered to this House. But it must not be said because we have found a means by which we can develop that particular industry that that means must be a means which will wipe out another industry. Again, you are back with the responsibility upon the Minister for Finance either to accept the solution that has been offered from these benches or to provide a different solution.

This tariff was not introduced by him for the purpose of destroying the ready-made clothing industry in this country. I think that is perfectly clear. The suggestion is that that will be its effect. Then it is up to the Minister to find a means by which something shall be added or done in relation to this tariff which will prevent the destruction of one industry while it is building up the other. He has our offer. It is up to him now, or up to some member of his Party, or some member of the House, to make a suggestion which we will accept which will be put against the alternative that has been offered. But unless and until some better solution is offered by the Minister for Finance, he has to meet the responsibility that he has been offered a method which would do it, and it is up to him to accept it.

Let me re-state the issue. We are enthusiastically in favour of the tariff on woollens. We recognise that the imposition of a tariff of 25 per cent. on woollens by the method adopted by the Minister for Finance will create certain dangers in relation to an existing industry. We think that a tariff put on for the purpose of protecting woollens should not be so constructed that it will endanger an existing industry. We have offered him our solution of that difficulty, and it is up to him either to accept our solution or to provide one more acceptable himself.

When faced with this tariff I, personally, feel that I am placed in a peculiarly difficult position, and I feel that those upon whose behalf I speak are placed in a similarly difficult position. In arguing this case, and in endeavouring to make clear the attitude which I am taking up and the attitude which those on whose behalf I speak are adopting, I would ask the Leas-Cheann Comhairle to allow me a little more latitude than is allowed to other speakers in this debate, because the case which I intend to make for the outlook on this tariff and for our attitude towards it must be based not altogether, not even to a considerable extent, upon the merits or the demerits of the tariff before the House, but upon the general effect of tariffs as applied to the industries of this country, as indicated by the policy of the Government in power, and as indicated by the statements of the main Opposition Party. When the question of tariffs in general, which has developed into a particular tariff now, was first mooted in this House, we of the Farmers' Party took up a certain attitude towards it. We have seen no particular reason to change or to modify that attitude to any considerable extent, except perhaps slightly, in the light of the facts that have emerged by means of the inquiries by the Tariff Commission.

Our attitude with regard to tariffs is general, and as applied to this tariff, has never been that of doctrinaire free traders. As far as I can see the doctrinaire free trader is a practically extinct politician, if not an extinct animal; he is practically as extinct as the dodo, with the possible exception of the Liberals in the English Parliament. But while not doctrinaire free traders we were distinctly, and still are, anti-tariff. That may seem a distinction without a difference, but it is not so. We realise that in certain circumstances, and under certain conditions, a Government may see fit, for reasons other than purely economic conditions in the first place, and also taking into account economic conditions and the burden which must be cast upon certain members of the community, to impose a tariff, or more than one tariff, in the interests of the national ideals to which they are endeavouring to live up, and the structure of the nation which they were endeavouring to erect. But we realised early on that it is practically an axiom of the tariff policy —and I think it has not and will not be denied by any person who honestly and fairly examines the tariff question, even though he be a strong partisan on the protection side—that the usual effect of a tariff is to increase the cost of the protected article. I am convinced, having read the statement of the Tariff Commission with regard to this tariff, that there is no reason to hope that its effect will be any different. I may say at this stage that I acknowledge that there are exceptions, and that being so, one must acknowledge, even though one holds oneself up as the most absolute and complete free trader, that a tariff which does not increase the cost of the article protected, and which does stimulate production in an industry which was not working to its highest level in the country, is a development which nobody could oppose; nobody could possibly oppose any endeavour or any governmental action which would result in greater production, and which production will not cost the community anything extra. But it is acknowledged, generally speaking, that the effect of tariffs is to increase the cost of the article protected and thereby increase the cost of living and the cost of production on people who are not favourably affected by tariffs and who do not derive any particular advantage from them.

Having that in view, we visualise that a Government must have at the beginning a conception of what their ultimate aims are as to the eventual type of economic unit, or economic structure, which they are working to erect, and I think that it is upon that conception of the final end to be attained depends our whole attitude towards tariffs. For that reason I feel in regard to this particular tariff on woollens, that, possibly, it is as justifiable a tariff as has ever been introduced into this House. Possibly, if not probably, it is the most justifiable tariff, but I cannot believe that the Tariff Commission, which was set to examine into this tariff, was able to establish a frame of mind, and to impose on itself a mental conception of the ultimate economic structure which they were working to build up, as the instruments of the Government, when dealing with questions of tariffs, because it seems to me that there is a real fundamental difference between the type of politician or economist, who is practically a free trader, who is willing to concede that you may deliberately impose a limited number of tariffs, in the knowledge that the cost is not going to be noticeably felt by the producing community, that you will build up a more complete national edifice by so doing, and those who are out for general tariffs. On the other hand. I should say that perhaps a man having the former conception has not a conception of a country selfcontained, a country of a kind that I can imagine in the mind of the leader of the Opposition Party, a country that practically endeavours to produce everything that it requires, or that can possibly be produced. I would see that that type of economist, imagining a country which would endeavour to produce a limited number of articles, in addition to primary production, which could be produced not at a loss, and hoping eventually to compete on equal terms with other countries——

I do not think the Deputy should pursue that line any further. I allowed the Deputy to state his own position, as he pleaded when he started, but I think he should now confine himself to this particular tariff.

I will endeavour to get back to the particular tariff, if you will allow me to develop this argument a little further. I will lead back to the tariff in this way, that I am opposed to that type of politician. I visualise the type of politician who wants, or thinks he can, practically produce every possible article which can be produced in this country, who visualises a position in which we shall endeavour to manufacture every article that we can possibly manufacture, with the natural result that we could do so only with a lower standard of living, and on a much lower level than we would by carrying on with a limited number of tariffs. Dealing with this tariff, as I said, I have felt that this is a tariff which is possibly the most justifiable, or at least one of the most justifiable tariffs, of all that have been yet introduced into this House. As far as my personal opinion goes, that is the opinion I have formed of it. The woollen industry is almost as old as the primary industry of agriculture; it is an industry which is, so to speak, rooted in the soil, by the fact that we have factories engaged in it scattered all over the country; it is an industry in regard to which the raw materials are available at their doors, if the factories, as they should, see fit to use them. It is an industry in which there is a tradition of craft in existence in the country, and such being the case I feel that, as far as any demands for tariffs are justifiable, the demand for this tariff is justifiable. But, at the same time, the debate which has taken place to-day, and the discussion which followed the introduction of this tariff, has indicated clearly what I felt in the beginning and what I gave voice to in my first statement in the Dáil on tariffs—it has indicated that one can never visualise the reactions which will be brought about by a particular tariff. We have this recommendation of the Tariff Commission that the duty should be increased by 5 per cent. being added to the import duty of manufactured wearing apparel, increasing the existing import duty to 20 per cent. Undoubtedly 20 per cent. is in itself a considerable imposition upon the wearers of such articles. The wearers of ready-made clothes have undoubtedly to bear some proportion, and now you have the case made that because the imposition of 20 per cent. or 25 per cent. on woollens is not sufficient to maintain the ready-made clothing industry in this country, we will have to increase the tariff to 30 per cent.

That is a claim that is lightly put forward here as if it were not going to cost the community anything. Take it, for instance, that the manufacturers did not see fit to increase prices to the full limit of the tariff, which works out at 6/- in the £, but that instead they increased prices by 5/- in the £. That would mean that, in future, a suit of clothes costing £4 would cost £5. That is an aspect of this tariff which ought not be lost sight of. In view of the serious condition at present of the agricultural industry, the main producing industry in this country, I suggest that we should think well before we agree to any measure the effects of which would be to impose a charge of that kind upon our main producers. It is accepted that the agricultural industry is not prosperous at present. The Leader of the Opposition Party, in a statement of general policy which he made recently, referring to the agricultural industry, said: "The industry which was so overwhelmingly important in the economic life of the community was at present profoundly depressed. The workers engaged in it were existing on a lower standard of comfort than probably any other section of the population, excepting the unemployed."

That is an acceptance of the present condition of the agricultural community. Yet the Party, led by the Deputy who made that statement, is prepared to increase the cost of an immediate necessary of life on a class of people at present existing, as he admitted, on such a low standard of comfort. He is willing, and the Party which he leads is willing, to impose a tariff that may result in an increase of 4/-, 5/- or 6/- in the £ in regard to one particular article. Not only has one to consider the effects of that particular tariff, but the cumulative effects of other tariffs put on from time to time. I am reasoning on this question from the point of view that the real danger is, that once you start with tariffs you cannot stop. I liken the position of a government which starts imposing tariffs to a man sliding down a toboggan slope. He starts slowly, but soon gains speed, travelling faster and faster as he goes along. In the same way, once you start imposing tariffs you do not know really when to stop until you come crash up against an economic crisis. It is true that the Government did put a brake on when they appointed a Tariff Commission.

I, personally, and the members of our Party, opposed the appointment of that Commission, not that we regarded the Tariff Commission as a disadvantage in the imposition of tariffs. Our position at the time was that we regarded the creation of a Tariff Commission as the acceptance by the Government of that particular item of policy. The Tariff Commission can only deal with a particular tariff. It cannot deal with tariffs in general. I am convinced that several industries could make a good case for tariffs.

I am afraid that the Deputy is getting into the general question again.

The position is this: that a government dealing with tariffs will have to make up its mind and say: "We can go no further with tariffs." Dealing with the particular tariff before the House, all the discussion that I have heard on it to-day has been by way, not of criticism, but of approval. There has been some little criticism of it, but there has been approval of practically everything connected with the tariff, with the exception that some Deputies asked for additions. I would like to point out that the recommendations of the Tariff Commission, as they appear to us, are not above criticism. I want to make one or two criticisms which I think ought to be borne in mind even though the House does decide to impose a tariff.

The Tariff Commission points out that the production of woollen and worsted cloths in the country decreased to a considerable extent at the end of the boom period following the Great War. They point out that, whereas the English and Scotch manufacturers had shown great enterprise in regard to their business, in extending their markets, etc., that owing to political conditions here the same enterprise could not be and was not shown. That is a rough paraphrase of what the Tariff Commission said—that the same enterprise could not be shown by our Irish industrialists.

I am strongly of the opinion that the very considerable home market lost to us since the boom period following the Great War, is not altogether due to the many reasons ascribed for it. If our woollen industrialists had shown the same enterprise and energy in endeavouring to keep up-to-date and keeping alive to market conditions by producing the latest designs that they had shown in their propaganda for a tariff, then I think the condition of the industry would not be as bad as it is. There is another criticism that I have to offer. With regard to the woollen industry, we have at the moment a considerable export market. If not increasing, it is, I believe, at least holding its own when compared with the home market. A very considerable proportion of that export market is in Great Britain. Undoubtedly, one of the real dangers we run in imposing this particular tariff is, that it will cause the British Government to impose a self-protective tariff in opposition to it. Everyone is aware that the woollen and worsted manufacturers in England are making a case before the Commission set up there in connection with the safeguarding of industries in England for the imposition of a tariff. One cannot avoid thinking that the members of that Commission will be influenced by the fact that we have imposed a tariff here which, if not actually prohibitive as regards the supply of English woollens into this country, will at least hamper, to a considerable extent, their export here. They are likely to consider retaliating by imposing a tariff which will in all probability close up the English market to us. While the control of the home market is, in my opinion, a worthy object to be aimed at, it is altogether undesirable that in our efforts to achieve that we should take any steps likely to lose us one of the main export markets that we have. I think we might very wisely consider holding our hands in this matter until we have got an indication of what the attitude of the British Tariff Commission is to be on the application now before them.

I want to touch lightly on another aspect of the question, which I think it is my duty to mention for what it is worth. I notice that in the tables attached to the Tariff Commission Report we have a comparison of the cost of production and of wages. I find in the woollen and worsted industries in other European countries now competing and considerably injuring the market for the English woollen manufacturers, the operatives are being paid at a rate of wages which on the average is not much more than half the rate in Great Britain, and the rate paid here is slightly less than the rate paid in England. It is for us to consider whether we can subsidise and stimulate an industry and place it permanently in the position of being able to maintain operatives who are enjoying a rate of wages which is almost double that paid in the competing European countries. I offer that suggestion for what it is worth.

It is not worth much.

I offer that suggestion for consideration. As another indication of the effect of this tariff, it is stated by the Tariff Commission that it is estimated if the full requirements of this country were met in regard to the production of woollens and worsteds we can consume 2,500,000 yards, valued approximately at £1,000,000. A rate of 4/- in the £ would on £1,000,000 yield £200,000. In all probability the manufacturers will not raise the price of their article to the limit allowed by the tariff, but taking it that they raise it to 3/6, the increased cost of the article to the consumer will be in the region of £175,000. I find by reference to the tables showing the wages paid in the woollen industry that the wages paid to operatives in 1925 in this country was £173,999, or 28 per cent. of the total cost. That means that the amount of the tariff that will be borne by the consuming public, provided the manufacturers increase the price to the full limit, will pay practically the full amount of wages which is being paid at the moment.

Having dealt with the question of tariffs I want now to deal with the particular difficulty in which I and those on whose behalf I speak find ourselves. We have consistently disapproved of anything in the nature of general tariffs. We recognise that while at the moment there is no great volume of vocal opinion against tariffs there is at the same time a very considerable body of opinion in the country against anything in the nature of general tariffs, and against even the tariffs already imposed, or proposed to be imposed. We recognise now as much as ever that the effect of the imposition of tariffs is detrimental to the industry of which we hold ourselves up as the representatives, but we have to face up to the existing political conditions and to deal with realities and actualities and not political ideals. We in the Farmers' Party feel that we have looked into this question of tariffs very fully, and have considered the effect of taking an attitude of complete and absolute opposition to this tariff. We can only see one effect that would follow from such an attitude on our part if we were to follow it out to its logical conclusion and oppose the Government on this particular tariff and on their general tariff policy. We have considered that, and we wondered— we did not wonder very long—if we took that attitude would we really benefit the people on whose behalf we are speaking? Would we prevent the imposition of this particular tariff, or prevent the imposition of some still greater tariffs? We could not say that we would. The only effect we could see in our absolute and complete opposition to tariffs would be to make it possible to place the main Opposition Party in a position for dealing with tariffs. We know something of the policy of the main Opposition Party on tariffs as expounded by their leader, deputy leader, and various other Deputies.

I am afraid the Parliamentary Secretary is wandering altogether.

I am dealing merely with our attitude towards tariffs.

The Parliamentary Secretary explained the position as regards those for whom he speaks in the introduction to his speech on this motion. I do not think I can allow him to go further along that line.

If the Leas-Cheann Comhairle would allow me, I only just wish to emphasise this point and finish with it.

My difficulty is that if I allow the Parliamentary Secretary to continue in that line I will have to allow other Deputies to do so. For that reason I want to confine him to the motion.

I appreciate the latitude the Leas-Cheann Comhairle has given to me. I want to point out that our opposition to these tariffs is governed by our knowledge of what that opposition would be. We feel it would not prevent the imposition of this or any tariff, but would only let loose the particular policy of the Opposition Party in regard to tariffs in general. I hope you will allow me, sir, to examine their policy. I want to say that so far as I have been able to judge of it, it is going to be much more elaborate and rigorous than anything proposed by the Government. It is a policy tending to what has been described as whole-hog. I have heard the words "whole-hog" used by leading Deputies on the Opposition Benches. Such being the case, we feel that we cannot logically oppose this tariff. We feel that the state of affairs which would be brought about by opposition on our part to this tariff is not the state of affairs which those who put us in here to represent their interests want. If we got any mandate when coming up to this Dáil, it is this, that the people who sent us here did not feel that the time is ripe to give a chance yet to the Opposition Party to develop their policy.

Surely that does not arise on this.

Such being our views on this particular tariff, and as applied to the question of tariffs in general, we of the Farmers' Party do not intend to oppose it.

I am sure that every Deputy who was listening to the speech of the leader of the Farmers' Party felt the greatest possible sympathy with him in his efforts to revive that Party, and to prove to the country, what the country seems to be in danger of forgetting, that we actually have a Farmers' Party in this House. During the past twelve months I am afraid that the country was beginning to feel that the Farmers' Party was being swallowed up or had been swallowed up by the Cumann na nGaedheal Party. The fact that it has come to life again on such a momentous occasion as this, and on such an exceptionally justifiable tariff as this, is a matter for congratulation, and I, on behalf of my colleagues, desire to extend our hearty congratulations to Deputy Heffernan on the re-birth of the baby. We have the greatest sympathy for Deputy Heffernan in the arduous task that seems to lie before him of nursing this baby, and in the prospect before it, as to whether it is going to get pink pills for pale people from Cumann na nGaedheal, or whether it is going to get castor oil presumably from the Fianna Fáil Party.

It seems to me that Deputy Heffernan perhaps could go back to the people whom he says he represents and ask them what do they think of the respective remedies that he suggests are available but about which he is not able to make up his mind. He said in the conclusion of his remarks that those whom he represents do not want this tariff. A meeting was held at an industrial centre in Deputy Heffernan's constituency a fortnight ago. The Deputies for his county were asked to go there and give their views on tariffs. It is a most extraordinary thing, if Deputy Heffernan felt that the farmers of Tipperary were so strongly opposed to tariffs in general, and possibly, as far as we can understand from his remarks, to this tariff in particular, that he did not go there and state his case. He absented himself, and there can be no doubt in the world that his absence on that occasion showed clearly, whatever the feelings of his constituents may have been, that he himself was opposed to the tariff, and that therefore the Farmers' Party, whom he represented, were also opposed to it. He did not turn up there a fortnight ago. He was not in favour of a tariff on woollens then, and to-night he is in the difficult position that he is against tariffs in general, but prepared to accept tariffs in particular when they are proposed by a particular Government in which he holds a position. He is in the position that he is going to accept tariffs now for fear that he might prejudice the Government. That is what it comes to.

But if his case is a strong one and if he and the farmers of Tipperary and the farmers of the other counties whom his Party represent, are opposed to tariffs why does he not go down to Tipperary and get the opinion of the farmers on the matter? If there is going to be a change of Government, I do not know what is going to happen in the way of tariffs. Would it not be well for Deputy Heffernan, while the free trade section of the community have such advocates as he and his colleagues in this House, to go forth to the country and try to rally that opinion? If the farmers in the Saorstát are so strongly in favour of a free trade policy as Deputy Heffernan makes them out to be, then there is no reason why a Government that would neither be a Fianna Fáil nor a Cumann na nGaedheal protectionist, neither a selective nor a whole-hog protectionist, but simply a free trade Government, a Government that would resort to the ancient condition of affairs of letting everything we require into the country free of tax—it is obvious that such a Government, if what Deputy Heffernan suggests is correct, is a Government that it is possible to create. But I do not agree that the farmers of Tipperary or any other county in Ireland are behind Deputy Heffernan in this matter. In the first place, the small farmers of the country are having their homes depleted by emigration or else their sons are leaving to secure positions in the towns. They cannot find this work or those positions at present in the towns. Therefore, as Deputy Flinn suggests, the small farmers of the Saorstát are looking to a protectionist policy, however much propaganda may help to throw dust in their eyes. They have at heart the feeling that what we had in this country in the time of Grattan's Parliament and in older times ought be possible to have again.

If we surrender to the other conception that because there is mass production and gigantic capital in other countries against us so that we cannot compete against it, then where is the remedy? What are you to do with your unemployed? If you take up the attitude of Deputy Heffernan, then the logical conclusion is that we have no industry. We have only one industry. The problem was stated definitely by Deputy Flinn. How are you going to provide for your existing population on the land —even for your present population? If anybody will show us a better policy, a policy which will maintain our present population as well as the increase in our population, then let him come forward now when things are moulding themselves in a certain way; after a certain time it will be hard to go back. If this remedy of tariffs is not the proper way of helping in this matter, then let us hear the other one. I cannot believe that Deputy Heffernan is very sincere. If he is sincere it is an extraordinary thing that he comes before us on every single occasion on which tariffs are under discussion here and that he makes the same old statement which, presumably, he reads in the daily newspapers and which has no better foundation than that there has been an increase in the cost of living. Now the figures issued by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce are against him in that statement. The decision of the Tariff Commission, based upon the evidence put before them in this particular matter is against him, and what is the use of his coming here and saying there is an increase in the cost of living? Let us know where there has been an increase?

What do you want a tariff for then?

And in regard to the particular matter of the ready-made clothing, if the tariff secures the position for you that you do away completely with the importation of ready-made clothing into the Free State, then how is that tariff raising the cost of living? The manufacturers of ready-made clothing are prepared to guarantee that there will be no increase in the price of clothes.

If the imposition of a tariff will cause no increase in the cost of living, what does the ready-made clothing firm want a tariff for then?

They want it for the same reason that the English manufacturers whom you have quoted here to-night want it—they want it to protect them against foreign competition. In the same way as the Bradford manufacturer claims to be protected by the British Government against cheap German shoddy, Irish manufacturers claim the right from this Government. If you do away with the importation of ready-made clothing, I hold there is no reason why there should be an increase in price. There have been no arguments produced of any value, and certainly no evidence has been produced, to show that there would be an increase. We have this talk month after month about an increase in the cost of living. Let those who speak of an increased cost of living come forward and show us where there has been an increase.

Deputy Heffernan used the argument which a great many people who seem to be constitutionally incapable of supporting Irish industries also use. They see so much good in the foreign product, and are so absolutely resolved to buy it, that no common-sense argument and no evidence that can be produced will help them to change their opinions. Deputy Heffernan misquoted a statement made by the Tariff Commission in regard to equipment and progress in the development of the designing and production of new woollens, and he suggested that after the war, and especially in 1922-23, the Irish manufacturers of woollens fell behind. As far as that went, he was quite correct. The manufacturers themselves admit that after the war troubles they did fall behind. But the Deputy forgot to make an important addition to the statement, and that is that since 1923 they have pulled up. Since 1923 they have improved their designing department and put a great deal of technical research and, presumably, a great deal of capital into that branch of the industry. Here are the actual words of the Tariff Commission: "They now sold cloths equal in colour and design to anything produced in Great Britain, but in achieving this progress they owed very little to the co-operation of the Irish wholesale houses."

It is an extraordinary thing that Deputy Heffernan and his Party, so much interested in the cost of living and in reducing prices for the farmer, have not said a single word about the Food Prices Tribunal and the tribunal which was suggested from this side of the House that should be set up in connection with the Tariff Commission. The suggestion was that the Tariff Commission should not alone have power to recommend tariffs, but from time to time they should have power to inquire into the operation of these tariffs in order to see whether profiteering exists, whether unfair advantage is being taken of the imposition of a tariff by the manufacturers to whom tariffs are granted, and that the Tariff Commission should be empowered to recommend that steps be taken to deal with any such case, or else deal with it themselves.

It is extraordinary that the Farmers' Party have not had a definite suggestion to make about the way in which this whole question of the cost of living should be tackled. It is extraordinary that they never can think of the cost of living or of profiteering which, as Deputy Moore pointed out, is rampant in lots of commodities and even in respect of eatables which the farmers themselves produce. These include the articles which the farmers are getting less for than the cost of production, and yet they know well that these very articles are being sold at two or three times their original price by the retailers. Until the farmers turn their attention to that aspect of the question, build up their organisation, and try to cut out the waste of the middle-man, it is presumptuous, if I may use that word, on their part to make any suggestions in regard to the Irish woollen manufacturers or retail clothing manufacturers, who are in exactly the same position as the farmers— primary producers. It is presumptuous for the farmers' representatives to abuse the manufacturers because the wholesale distributors or the retailers take advantage of a certain position to increase prices. No sooner was the tariff imposed than the prices fixed by the Leeds manufacturers were immediately reduced, so that our friends on the other side could have arguments that the Irishmen were profiteers. What they really ought to dwell upon is the matter of dumping, and they might, with advantage, have dwelt on such incidents as that of the Leeds manufacturers. The very moment the tariff was put on the English manufacturer tried to take advantage of it. I do not wish to labour the question further.

I submit that Deputy Heffernan and the Farmers' Party are on the wrong trail in attacking tariffs. They ought to let the tariff policy have its way. If they have definite objections to certain tariffs, they ought to state their case before the Tariff Commission. If they represent the farming community, as they claim, it is extraordinary that the farming community did not take steps to oppose this tariff before the Commission. We have not heard any definite proposals from them in regard to the cost of living. We have not heard any solution of the problem of establishing industries and relieving unemployment. If there is a way to deal with those matters, let us hear of it. I want to congratulate Deputy Heffernan on getting up to speak, although I do not agree with him. If the Farmers' Party think there is a body of opinion behind them in the country, let them demonstrate the support they have and let them turn out this Government if they think it is worth while doing so. If the Farmers' Party consider that the question of economy is a serious one for their supporters—as serious for instance, as tariffs—and if they are so vitally interested in the cost of production and the cost of living, then I hope on the next occasion they will go a little further than merely making a pious resolution to the effect that they are opposed to tariffs in general, but when it comes to one particular point they are going to throw their weight with the Government and not on the side of the people they represent.

I think Deputy Derrig misquoted Deputy Heffernan. Deputy Heffernan did not, in fact, say he supported the tariff, because he did not want to prejudice the Government. He rather said he failed to oppose the tariff because he did not want a policy of general tariffs. That is what he said. Deputy Derrig congratulates him on that discovery. Well, more than Deputy Heffernan have made a discovery. Certain members of Deputy Derrig's own Party have made a discovery. From what I have read in the papers, it would appear that Deputy Little, at least, has learned some sense, and Deputy Goulding also has made a certain discovery.

On a point of personal explanation——

Mr. Hogan

On a point of order——

I was not reported in the papers as saying anything about it.

What is the point of order?

Mr. Hogan

The point of order is this: the Deputy has not spoken yet, and he will have an opportunity of answering me if he wishes.

What is the Deputy's point of personal explanation?

On a point of personal explanation, I said absolutely nothing about tariffs and I was not reported in the Press as saving anything about them.

Mr. Hogan

I never suggested that. What I said about the Deputy was that he was learning sense, and he seems to object to that. That is the only statement I made about him. I do not know why Deputies on the other side are so sensitive. The Deputy has not spoken. Has he such a poor case? Is he afraid of his ability to put his own case? Why am I to be always in this fashion interrupted? I am at least entitled to get up and make my case. Now, to come back to the point, I said that Deputy Little was learning sense. He seems to be surprised himself that he is, but I repeat it. Other members of the Deputy's Party are also learning sense. I read a statement by Deputy Goulding. He was reported as saying that it was time to stop this policy of whole-hog protection. I do not like that word whole-hog. But that is the way he was reported. He said this policy of general tariffs is all wrong, suggested that, said we were going to oppose any tariffs. I read that in the paper yesterday.

Have you the quotation?

Mr. Hogan

Does the Deputy expect that I will haul in all the editions of the "Independent" and the "Irish Times"? Let Deputies explain afterwards what they did say. (Interruptions.) I did not interrupt when Deputies were speaking. If my points are good, get up and reply to them afterwards. That is the manner adopted in debate amongst all civilised communities where people think anything of themselves. Deputy Little recently stated that tariffs might increase the cost of living a little.

Mr. Jordan

Most appropriate.

Mr. Hogan

Will he go a little bit? If he does consider the question a little longer he will find that general tariffs increase the cost of living a lot. I have some hope of Deputy Little. He is learning. Deputy Goulding is also learning. He has announced to his Party that we must go a bit slowly. I wonder where did he make this discovery. I do not believe that it was by reading up text books or by an examination of the Tariff Commission's Report and a weighing-up of the facts. I believe that they were down the country also, and I believe that they learned that the farmers of the country are not extra pleased at having to pay more for their boots and clothing. I will say this for the Fianna Fáil Party, that they are very quick to react to political influences. This policy of crazy and indiscriminate protection is beginning to be found out in this country, and Deputies across the way are beginning to react. You have Deputy Derrig making a frantic attempt to justify his policy of general tariffs as against our policy of selective protection, and as against Deputy Heffernan's clear implication that while he was opposed to tariffs possibly there might be a selected number of tariffs—that weighing the pros and cons of this particular tariff he was not prepared to take any action that would open the door for the absolutely crazy and indefensible policy of general tariffs, and, in particular, tariffs on farmers' raw materials.

None of the three speeches is relevant to this debate.

Mr. Hogan

I want to make this point. I am not considering whether I am entirely relevant to the Resolution on the Paper, but I have listened to Deputy Derrig's statement and to other speeches, and I am answering points made by these Deputies. The whole of Deputy Derrig's speech was a general disquisition on the advantages of tariffs and a general criticism of the attitude of other speakers who opposed general tariffs. Surely I am entitled, if Deputies on the other side are entitled to make points in that way, to answer them. That is the only claim I make. Of course, I am entirely in your hands, but I say if points like that are to be made in the Dáil I at least am entitled to answer them. Here is a specific point that was made.

We were told by Deputy Derrig who apparently does not agree with Deputy Little or Deputy Goulding that the farmers of the country are breast high for tariffs, breast high for this particular tariff, that they see that their sons and daughters are emigrating and that the only way to prevent emigration is to impose general tariffs. I must say that I admire Deputies who can make such obviously foolish statements as that, with all appearance of seriousness. Do the farmers of the country want to pay more for their boots? The farmer with a £10 valuation or the agricultural labourer who has to live on £1 a week when he goes into town to buy boots and finds that he has to pay more for his boots, is he delighted? Does he think it a tremendous advantage in itself that he has to pay more for his ready-made clothes? Come to the only point which I suggest is relevant, that is the case of the ready-made clothes. The Tariff Commissioners suggested an increase in the tariff from 15 to 20 per cent. on ready-made clothing. What was the immediate reaction on Deputies across the way? Bring it up to 30. Not a single thought of the unfortunate man who was to buy. What is the point of bringing it up to 30?

To make them cheaper.

Mr. Hogan

Exactly. The argument is this, if it is 20 the maker of ready-made clothing can only charge 5 per cent. extra. Make it 30 and he will charge 10. That is what passes for argument on this question. The tariff at present is 15 and, therefore, the maker of ready-made clothing can only charge 14. Make it 30 and he will immediately charge another 5 per cent. extra. That is what the argument comes to. The reason you want to bring it up to 30 per cent. is to enable the ready-made manufacturer to charge 25 to 29 per cent. extra. Really there is sufficient education, intelligence, brains and capacity in the country to see that. There is no use in Deputies suggesting that the reason they are advocating increasing the tariff on ready-made clothing from 20 to 30 per cent. is to enable the maker of ready-made clothing to charge less. That is simply childish. It takes in nobody.

There is only one industry in this country — agriculture. That is, speaking generally. Perhaps there are two or three other big industries. It is necessary to have more industry in the country. It is absolutely essential, and the farmers do not object. Farmers who have the leisure to view the situation and to think over it, though they may object to paying a little more, see the necessity of taking a longer view and of paying a little to establish industries other than the agricultural industry in this country. What they do object to is to be fooled.

Does the Minister believe that the farmers in any part of Ireland have the extra capital to boost up any industry at all?

Mr. Hogan

I do not. I believe that the farmer has very little to spare at the moment. But I believe it is important to take the long view to establish some industry in this country. After all, we have to be content to be second best in this country. I would go more slowly if I could. I believe it is essential from every point of view—I need not go into it now—to establish some non-agricultural industries in the country, but I believe this policy of general tariffs is not only going to kill the farmer, but is going to kill the ideal of establishing some non-agricultural industries. I do believe that this policy of rushing into general tariffs, at the bidding of people who have vested interests in tariffs and call it patriotism, is going to kill any chance whatever that we are going to be anything more than a pastoral country. I think Deputies on the other side, if they want to see this country prosperous, to see it anything other than a purely pastoral country, ought to take that into account, and I think there should be some other reaction to the woollen tariff than to point out that the tariff on ready-made clothing ought to be increased not only from 15 to 20 per cent., but from 20 to 30 per cent., as if the agricultural labourer who has to rear a family on £1 a week or the farmer with a £10 holding who has to rear a family of seven or eight children, would welcome it. Generalisations are easy.

I admit that Deputies on the other side have a rather easy task at the moment. They can make debating points and can draw distinctions between free trade and tariff reforms. They can pretend that that is the only distinction. We are thirty years behind the times. Every country in the world has forgotten the debates between Adam Smith, and I think the protectionist economist, List. Everyone knows it is a question of degree, but when you come to make political speeches you have to say a thing is either black or white. You cannot treat it as a business matter. Business is a question of detail; success is a question of attending to details, of doing the right thing at the right time, and of doing only the minimum necessary. No one ever got any benefit by throwing money about. No man ever made money out of investment made from the point of view of lavishing money on something. No nation ever made money by throwing it about. We cannot afford to throw money about. If we are told we must develop industry we must get this fixed in our mind that the industry must not be developed at the expense of the farmer. Farmers, as Deputy O'Hanlon said, have no money to spare. I want to know who has money to spare from the needs of their household to make a contribution to anything. When gentlemen with patriotism on their tongues and their own interests in their hearts go around quoting the late Arthur Griffith, of whom they never read a line until the other day, in favour of tariffs, I do not take it all as gospel. I am not taken in. I know, as everyone with any experience knows, that tariffs call up very often—I will not say the most undesirable elements, but I will say this, that in every country where this policy is being debated there is a realisation that tariffs have to be approached very carefully because there are always strong vested interests in favour of tariffs and of making money out of them. When you can make money out of something by reason of some State action you will always find a party to back it. You will always find people to put money into the furtherance of such a policy, and in no country in the world but this is the pretence made that tariffs in themselves are patriotic. They are not patriotic. Very often they are the exact opposite—extremely selfish.

There was another point. We are concerned with the cost of living. Have we control of the cost of living? Deputy Derrig wanted to know from Deputy Heffernan. What is the suggestion? That we ought to control prices? Is it the policy of the Deputies opposite that we should have a bureau in this country to control prices? Is it possible to control prices in normal times to any extent? That is the sort of argument that goes on down the country. That is the sort of argument that Deputies who have considered the position do not believe in, but still it is used because it takes in the uneducated man. Everyone knows, except in rare cases, you cannot control prices. And even in these rare cases the administrative cost of doing it and the dislocation of trade caused by doing it bring greater calamities than would have been caused by allowing prices to reach a competitive level. The suggestion here is that we should set up a body to control prices.

Who suggested it?

Mr. Hogan

That was Deputy Derrig's suggestion.

You know that is not true. Try and speak the truth.

Mr. Hogan

I do not wish to misquote him. What was his suggestion?

took the Chair.

Deputy Derrig's suggestion was that the Tariff Commission should have the power of examining the operation of tariffs to see that there is not profiteering.

Mr. Hogan

What else does that mean? It means control of prices, or nothing. The farmer through the country is "codded" into the belief that if there was an efficient Government machine you would not have to pay more for your woollens or your boots or any other tariffed article, because the Government would say what the prices would be. That is supposed to go down.

Finally, I will give Deputies just a small bit of advice. I have the greatest interest in the future of the Fianna Fáil Party—the political future, especially. You may persuade the majority of the country that they are Republicans, but take it from me that you will never persuade the majority of the country to adopt the policy of general tariffs, because, as everybody on those benches knows, you cannot protect a single article that the farmer produces at the present moment. There has never been an attempt to name a single article that the farmer produces at the moment that can be protected.

Will the Minister state if the agricultural grant does not constitute protection?

Mr. Hogan

We are talking about tariffs.

Protection you said. You ran away from it.

Mr. Hogan

I will put it this way: The Deputy's interruption proves conclusively that he himself admits there can be no tariff to protect any article that the farmer produces.

While the Minister is in his present position.

Mr. Hogan

In any circumstances. In that state of affairs, take it from me you will never persuade the majority of this country for any length of time to adopt the policy of general tariffs. My final advice to Deputies on the other side would be: whatever they do about the Republic or these other political issues no one takes seriously, but the sooner they begin to hedge on this question the better. And when it comes to hedging, I have the greatest confidence in Deputies opposite.

I rise to oppose these tariffs.

Unless we are going to conclude the debate, it will now be necessary to move its adjournment.

I move the adjournment of the debate.

When is it proposed to finish the debate?

It would be necessary to finish the debate to-morrow. Of course, this matter can be debated further on the Bill. If I got fifteen minutes after Deputy Myles concludes, I would be quite satisfied.

We have no objection to the debate being concluded this evening. We rather got the impression that it was being talked out, as a number of Deputies are engaged in North City to-night.

That is not so.

Unless there is objection, we can continue the debate on the understanding that the Minister for Finance will be called on to conclude.

In opposing this tariff I might say that, although I am not a member of the Farmers' Party, I think that if a count were made it would be found that I probably represent as many of the farming community as any other Deputy. Farmers have already been placed in a very awkward position by these tariffs. I refer to farmers along the Border and to some astride the Border. These men have greater difficulty in disposing of their produce than those in the southern counties. Owing to the geography of the country they are compelled to sell their goods in Northern Ireland. Their competitors in Northern Ireland have many advantages over them, chiefly owing to the tariffs; but they have other advantages besides the tariffs. They have lower rates, for instance, and now they are promised a de-rating scheme which, I believe, is going to work wonders. In any case, our people in Donegal look upon that with a very jealous eye, and if I went back and told these people that the increased tax on ready-made clothing and the new tax on woollens would not increase their cost of living they would not believe it. We have been told, time and again, that tariffs do not increase the cost of living. I wonder whether any Deputy who makes a statement like that has ever seen these unfortunate people buying boots and paying not alone fifteen per cent. tax, but another percentage on top of it. The same thing applies to ready-make clothing since the tax was imposed. The fifteen per cent. tax was bad enough, but it is adding insult to injury to increase it to 20 per cent. I do not know whether the Minister is aware of the real effect of that tax. It may have established a few factories in Dublin, but the people in the City of Dublin are not interested in farming.

We are told that the farmers will benefit by the circulation of money and the establishment of new industries. But such industries will only be established in places like Dublin, Cork and Limerick, and you are drawing further away from the poor farmer of the West and South and putting him further into the mire by increasing his cost of living. When the ready-made clothing tax was imposed, I do not know whether the Minister was aware of the enormous number of people in the West who purchased clothing as the result of advertisements in the "Daily Mail." Undoubtedly the bulk of the clothing at that time came from London, and very good value it was. The tax has not quite killed that. People are still prepared to pay the tax on top of the English price for their clothes. If people are prepared to pay 3/- in the £ extra on clothes purchased in London it shows that there is something wrong. I think the Minister has gone off altogether on the wrong track. If you want to sell Irish tweed and Irish clothing you want first of all to get the value. I do not say that the people do not get the best of Irish tweeds, but you want to convince the people that they are getting value and you want to put a bit of sentiment in it so that they will buy home manufacture. I will give you an instance. Some years ago when I was at a seaside town a man came up to me with a couple of bundles of Donegal homespun and asked me to buy the makings of a suit. He told me I was the only man he had seen in that town of seven or eight thousand people wearing homespun, which is manufactured in their own county. I suggested to him that there was an Irish-speaking battalion stationed within a couple of miles of the town and that if he went there he would probably sell all that he had left. He told me that he had been there and could not sell a yard, and that during the previous week he had been in Derry and had sold over £50 worth to an English regiment. I give that illustration to show that the people will not wear their own tweeds—they are not good enough for them. They will not wear Donegal homespun, the chief trade for which is in England.

Then as to shoddy, it is to be allowed in free of duty up to a certain price. It is said that ready-made clothing will now be made of a better material. But the poor cannot afford to pay for Irish tweeds as they are made at present, and, to my mind, by allowing shoddy in free you are going to encourage the importation of ready-made clothing made of shoddy, and in that way you are going to nullify, to a great extent, any benefit that may be obtained from the tariff.

I want to take the opportunity of giving a point-blank contradiction to the statements made by the Minister for Agriculture about my views on this matter.

Mr. Hogan

On a point of order. The only statement I made about the Deputy was this——

That is not a point of order.

Mr. Hogan

On a point of explanation. The only thing I said was that he had stated that tariffs increased the cost of living a little bit.

I hold very strongly that the only defect in the present tariff is that it is not high enough, and that the policy of the Government is not a whole-hog policy of tariffs. I am not going into the matter in detail, but if the Minister thinks that the farmers in County Waterford have taken any different view I can assure him that whenever we have discussed this matter with our constituents they have been entirely in agreement with us. Of course the Minister speaks on behalf of a much richer type of farmer than we represent. It is a curious thing that it is the extremely well-off people in this country who seem to be more interested in the cost of living than the small farmer and the worker. The small farmer or the worker sees some opportunity of bringing more money into his house by having his children employed in industry when tariffs have been put on, and that, even if he has to pay a slightly higher price, he is going to get more into his house through the employment that is going to accrue from the tariff than he has had before. That is not a matter of theory. He has the experience of the late war to support it. At that time, although prices rose considerably, there was plenty of employment and good pay, and the rise in prices did not matter in the least.

I hope the Minister will not be impressed by this appeal for putting an increased tariff on ready-made clothing in proportion to the tariff on woollens. We have heard arguments to-night about finding employment for the son of the smaller farmer and the agricultural worker, whom Deputies opposite think they alone represent. I question if they represent any intelligent man in the country, either labourer or small farmer. The statement has been made that 3,000 extra people have been employed as the result of the duty on ready-made clothing, and that this tariff on woollens will probably result in some of these people being disemployed. I should like to know how many people it is computed it will disemploy. In the same breath we are told that 30,000 people are leaving the country annually, and that they want employment found at home for these people. How many of the 30,000 are they going to find employment for as a result of their tariff policy? That kind of thing may be good enough for the crossroads in the country, where they think they will find people foolish enough to listen to them. When they tell people that they can absorb 30,000 people annually with a scheme of general tariffs they must think they are dealing with a lot of fools. I hope the Minister for Finance has not been impressed with that kind of silly, ignorant clap-trap. It is time for politicians talking about 30,000 people leaving the country to tell us if we had a whole scheme of general protection how many people would be employed. They have been two years studying this question, at least, and it is about time now that they told us the approximate number that would be employed under a scheme of general protection.

What I rose for was to suggest that the Government have done their duty with regard to the woollen industry and to the other industries that have been protected. Admitting that they owe that duty to the industry, and admitting that they have carried out that duty, I want to go further and say that they have still a duty to the State and, of course, by the State I mean the people of the State. The tariffs imposed, up to now, do not represent the difference between the cost of the article on the other side of the channel and here, and while I do not, by any means, advocate a system of controlling prices, I do suggest that some system should be adopted whereby the general public should get information as to what is the difference in price in the different lines of articles—boots and clothes and the rest—here and on the other side of the channel. The fifteen per cent. on boots, to my own knowledge, does not represent anything like the difference between the price here and the price at the other side. Perhaps that is the best explanation of the dumping on this side. If the State has done its duty to the manufacturer, it owes a duty to the people also to give this information with regard to the difference in prices. We heard the argument from Deputy Derrig, amongst others, that this tariff is not going to increase the cost to the consumer. The Government could give evidence on that that would be accepted here, but no Party could give it. For instance, we would question the evidence put forward by Fianna Fáil, and they, in turn, would question the evidence put forward by us. Some Government Department or trade department could give figures that would be accepted. I say it is the duty of the State to protect its citizens from any unfair treatment with regard to the operations of these tariffs. The public ought to be given an opportunity of seeing the difference in prices between the different articles here and on the other side, and then they could allow for the tariff. I say to my own knowledge there is a very much wider margin between the prices than that represented by the tariffs.

I think the criticism of these Resolutions, apart from those who oppose them because they are opposed to tariffs, falls mainly under two heads. Deputy Lemass talked at some length about the clause in the first Resolution which provides for Imperial preference. He asked whether this represented the Government policy, whether it was the intention of the Government that Imperial preference should be given in all cases; and he proceeded to say that if we were giving preference we ought to give the preference to America. I already told the Dáil that I had not the slightest idea that the Tariff Commission were going to recommend an Imperial preference rate, until I saw the Report. No arguments in favour of the Commission's recommendations are contained in the Report. I asked a member of the Commission what was the reason for their recommendation, and the answer I got from that member of the Commission was the answer I have already given to the House. I think it is a good answer. I think that quite definitely. In view of the British market, and in view, particularly, of the possibility of the imposition of a safeguarding duty in England, it is a wise step to give Imperial preference here. Our attitude in regard to that matter has been, in the past, that we would decide in each individual instance whether it was desirable on the whole to give Imperial preference or not.

I think amongst the new tariffs which we have imposed, there is provision for Imperial preference only in the confectionery tariff. All the others are flat-rate tariffs. It was thought at the time—I need not go into the reason—that there would be some advantage in having an Imperial preference in respect of confectionery. When other tariffs were imposed subsequently, a flat-rate was adhered to. In this instance, the Government propose to accept the recommendation of the Tariff Commission.

It would be an entirely pointless thing to fix a preferential rate in favour of the United States. It is true that we sell woollens to the United States, but we do not buy woollens from the United States, and if we gave a preferential rate to the United States and tried to obtain any exchange for that rate, some concession from them, naturally their reply would be: "Thank you for nothing." It would be absurd and pointless to give any preference to the United States in this particular matter. We might very well, in a trade treaty with the United States, arrange that we would impose a lower tariff on some goods imported from them, in exchange for a concession. But, so far as the present instance is concerned, there have been no negotiations and we simply do it in the interests of our own manufacturers in the belief that it will enable them to sell. There is no use, at all, in doing it in respect of a country from which we do not import woollens. We import a substantial quantity of woollens from England and Scotland. It is quite probable that even a 5 per cent. difference will be an advantage to the manufacturers of woollens in these countries. If it is an advantage to the manufacturers of woollens in these countries, I am quite satisfied that the giving to them of that advantage will assist our manufacturers in marketing their goods there. It will be valuable from that point of view. As a matter of fact, we are likely to get the advantage of the preferential rate from Great Britain whether we give it or not. Nevertheless, the question of atmosphere enters into the marketing of goods and I think it would not be the best policy to neglect it.

Deputies on the benches opposite have argued that the proposed rate of 20 per cent. is not nearly high enough for the manufacturers of ready-made clothing, and that if the Resolutions go through in their present form the clothing factories are going to shut down. I discount that entirely. I think that that suggestion is ridiculous. I am satisfied that the Tariff Commission, who have given a great deal of consideration to this problem of a woollen tariff, and the problems arising out of it, during the last two years, have adequately considered this matter, and have been in a position to consider it much more carefully and thoroughly than Deputies on the opposite benches, or for that matter, than Deputies on these benches. I would not be prepared to depart in the least from their recommendations unless they themselves were satisfied that there are some facts or factors in connection with the matter which they had overlooked. The clothing manufacturers will, I understand, make representations through the Advisory Committee which was organised some time ago in connection with that trade by the Department of Industry and Commerce. When their representations come to hand it can be seen whether or not there are factors and facts which the Commission did not consider. It there are such facts, perhaps we could ask the Tariff Commission to consider them specially, but I certainly would not move from the 20 per cent. without having the views of the Commission on the matter.

The example set out on page 56 of the Commission's Report shows that in such a case, even if the Saorstát manufacturer had to import his cloth and pay duty on it, he would still have quite a substantial advantage as compared with his foreign competitor. If such a case were typical I would say that he would have quite an adequate advantage. I do not think that we need pay very serious attention to such matters as a reduction in prices by a particular English firm to which Deputy Lemass referred. Undoubtedly firms which have been doing a certain trade and which are suddenly confronted with obstacles will frequently make some sacrifice to retain that trade, but if they have to make sacrifices which cause that trade to be unremunerative they will do what many other manufacturers have had to do. They will look around for other methods of disposing of their goods, or will come inside the tariff barrier. They certainly will not continue for any length of time selling at an unremunerative price over a tariff barrier. It is not right to assume in the case of the example set out on page 56 that the manufacturer will have to continue to import his cloth. He has had to buy that cloth from England in the past. Irish manufacturers did not manufacture it because they had not the surety of sale which a tariff would give them.

I would think it likely in such a case that the clothing manufacturers in future, as a result of this tariff, will be able to obtain cloth from the Saorstát manufacturer who will take up its manufacture. It may be that he will not get his material in this particular class of cloth as cheaply as before the tariff, but, assuming that the manufacturer who started the manufacture of this article produced it at 10 per cent. higher than the British price, the position would be that the clothing manufacturer would be in almost the same position as before the imposition of the tariff. Deputy Lemass pointed out that that example shows that whereas he had the advantage of 2/11 before, it now falls to 1/4, paying 20 per cent. on the cloth and his rival paying 20 per cent. on the suits manufactured. Supposing he is able, as he well may be, to get Saorstát cloth for 10 per cent. over the British price, he will have an advantage of 2/9, which is 2d. per suit under the previous advantage. There are certain manufacturers who use a considerable quantity of Saorstát cloth at present and, so far as they are concerned, the carrying out of these changes will mean that their protection will increase from 15 to 20 per cent. and they suffer nothing. There are other manufacturers using an appreciable quantity of cloth which is exempt from the operation of this new tariff, chiefly on the ground of price, and they will be better off than before in respect of that part of their trade. If they are slightly worse off in respect of another part of their trade things will even up.

Taking it all in all, having regard to the fact that certain classes of clothing are exempt and that a tariff of 20% on readymades will put the manufacturers of them in a better position, taking into account that there are certain manufacturers using Saorstát cloth at present and that the change will put them in a better position, having regard also to the fact that it is highly probable—I should say, certain— that certain cloths not produced in the Saorstát at present will be produced hereafter, I think that the recommendation of the Tariff Commission is entirely reasonable. It would not be practicable or easily possible to differentiate between clothing which contains cloth that was exempt and cloth that was taxed. Consequently all clothing containing woollens or worsteds must be taxed at the higher rate. The higher price would be charged in respect of certain clothing which would not be made here at all, and it is highly undesirable that we should increase the tariff on ready-made clothing any more than is absolutely necessary. For my part, until I hear a great deal more than I have heard so far, I am prepared to take the view that the Tariff Commission has adequately explored this particular matter and that the recommendation for an increase that they have made is sufficient. If something is shown immediately to require further examination perhaps the Tariff Commission could examine it quickly. If there is no such thing shown, and if the clothing manufacturers want a further increase, they must apply to the Tariff Commission and have their application considered in the ordinary way.

There may be some slight difficulties encountered by these manufacturers in adjusting themselves to the new tariffs. They may incur some trouble in getting cloth from the manufacturers and they may have to show some preference for Irish manufactured cloth which, I think, they do not show at the present time. They may have to give orders for special amounts or qualities of cloths, but I feel satisfied that they will be able to surmount these difficulties. In any case a 20 per cent. tariff really means that 5 per cent. extra is the utmost that the man who is poor, and who can perhaps ill-afford it, can be charged. That is the maximum of the additional amount which should be charged for clothing. I should hesitate very much to increase that additional amount. So far as the clothing manufacturers are concerned, I would naturally, and I think everybody should, take their representations in this matter with a grain of salt. It would undoubtedly make things beautifully easy for them if the tariff could be increased to 30 per cent., but I think if the tariff were increased to 30 per cent. they would be put in the position, and subjected to the temptation, to do a great deal of profiteering. Our experience, and the experience of anybody who has had any connection with tariffs, is that persons, except those who directly benefit, cry out against them and try to get unjustifiable compensating advantages. I think that what is happening is that the clothing manufacturers want more than 20 per cent. if they can get it, and they have opened their mouths as widely as they can. So far as the allegation that 3,000 people are going to be thrown out of employment is concerned, I would not think of it. I believe there will not be the slightest danger of it. It may possibly be that some little unemployment will be caused, but even that possibly will be speedily rectified, because I think that even the 15 per cent. tariff has enabled a very rapid advance to be made by the classes who have taken advantage of it. It has been a fairly adequate advantage, perhaps more than a sufficient advantage, and I believe that when the adjustments necessary have taken place, these manufacturers will be enabled to go on as they were before.

Will the Minister state whether he is satisfied that the clothing manufacturers are in the same position of protection now as they were before the alterations were made?

I think some will be in a better position and some will be worse.

Has the Minister any idea of what proportion of the £150,000 that this tax will yield, will fall upon ladies' clothing under this seven-ounce scale?

In that case it will not apply at all.

I mean over the seven-ounce scale.

I am afraid I could not tell the Deputy. These estimates on new tariffs which are prepared by the Revenue Commissioners are generally made up of a number of items. They are obtained by two or three men sitting down separately calculating in different ways and averaging the results. They are generally speculative. They are sometimes near the mark, but one could not analyse them into their different elements. That can only be done after the tariff has been a year in operation.

Would the Minister consider giving this £150,000, which he says he will get in revenue, as a bonus to producers of wool in the Free State?

A small quantity of the wool only could be used for clothing.

Question put. The Dáil divided: Tá, 107; Níl, 12.

Aird, William P.Allen, Denis.Anthony, Richard.Beckett, James Walter.Blaney, Neal.Blythe, Ernest.Boland, Gerald.Boland, Patrick.Bourke, Daniel.Bourke, Séamus A.Brady, Seán.Briscoe, Robert.Broderick, Henry.Brodrick, Seán.Buckley, Daniel.Byrne, John Joseph.Carey, Edmund.Carney, Frank.Cassidy, Archie J.Clancy, Patrick.Colbert, James.Collins-O'Driscoll, Mrs. Margt.Conlon, Martin.Connolly, Michael P.Cooper, Bryan Ricco.Corkery, Dan.Corish, Richard.Corry, Martin John.Cosgrave, William T.Crowley, Fred. Hugh.Crowley, James.Crowley, Tadhg.Daly, John.Davin, William.Davis, Michael.Derrig, Thomas.Dolan, James N.Doyle, Edward.Doyle, Peadar Seán.Duggan, Edmund John.Dwyer, James.Egan, Barry M.Esmonde, Osmond Thos. Grattan.Everett, James.Fahy, Frank.Fitzgerald, Desmond.Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.Flinn, Hugo.Fogarty, Andrew.Gorey, Denis J.Gorry, Patrick J.Goulding, John.Hassett, John J.Hennessy, Thomas.

Henry, Mark.Hogan, Patrick (Clare).Hogan, Patrick (Galway).Holt, Samuel.Houlihan, Patrick.Jordan, Stephen.Kelly, Patrick Michael.Kennedy, Michael Joseph.Kerlin, Frank.Killane, James Joseph.Killilea, Mark.Kilroy, Michael.Law, Hugh Alexander.Lemass, Seán F.Little, Patrick John.Lynch, Finian.McDonogh, Martin.McEllistrim, Thomas.MacEntee, Seán.McFadden, Michael Og.McGilligan, Patrick.Mongan, Joseph W.Morrissey, Daniel.Mulcahy, Richard.Mullins, Thomas.Murphy, James E.Nally, Martin Michael.Nolan, John Thomas.O'Connell, Richard.O'Connell, Thomas J.O'Connor, Bartholomew.O'Kelly, Seán T.O'Leary, Daniel.O'Leary, William.O'Mahony, Dermot Gun.O'Reilly, Matthew.O'Reilly, Thomas.O'Sullivan, John Marcus.Reynolds, Patrick.Rice, Vincent.Roddy, Martin.Ruttledge, Patrick J.Ryan, James.Sexton, Martin.Sheehy, Timothy (West Cork).Sheehy, Timothy (Tipperary).Smith, Patrick.Tierney, Michael.Tubridy, John.Walsh, Richard.Ward, Francis C.White, Vincent Joseph.Wolfe, George.


Alton, Ernest Henry.Bennett, George Cecil.Coburn, James.Cole, John James.Craig, Sir James.Good, John.

Haslett, Alexander.Mathews, Arthur Patrick.Myles, James Sproule.O'Hanlon, John F.Thrift, William Edward.Wolfe, Jasper Travers.

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Duggan and P.S. Doyle; Níl, Deputies Good and O'Hanlon. Motion declared carried.

Might I call the attention of the Ceann Comhairle to the fact that a section of the lights has gone out, apparently in sympathy with a section of the Government Party.

There has been a fusing, A Chinn Comhairle.