That the Customs Duties (Boots and Shoes) (Provisional Variation) Order, 1932, made on the 22nd day of April, 1932, by the Executive Council under Section 1 of the Customs Duties (Provisional Imposition) Act, 1931 (No. 38 of 1931), and a copy of which was laid on the Table of Dáil Eireann on the 27th day of April, 1932, be approved with and subject to the modification that the following paragraph be substituted for paragraph 3 of the Schedule to the said Order, that is to say—
"(3) Twenty-two and one-half per cent. on the value of the article on the following articles, viz., boots, shoes, slippers, goloshes, sandals, and clogs intended for wear by young children and of any size from 7 to 1 (inclusive)."
Resolution No. 5 and the new Financial Resolution referred to in the paper go together. I will explain the situation in a moment. A provisional order was made imposing duty upon boots and shoes in excess of the duty heretofore in operation. The effective difference made was to increase from 15 to 25 per cent. the duty operating upon boots and shoes and we left unaltered the duty on children's shoes and shoes manufactured not of leather but of rubber and other materials. It is intended now to remove entirely the duty on children's shoes up to size 6. That requires the introduction of a new resolution because that duty was imposed by the Finance Act of 1924-1925 and has been in operation since. It is also intended to remove for a period of six months the duty upon the manufactured parts of children's shoes from size 7 to size 1. I will explain the reason for that.
When we were discussing this alteration in the Budget duty, I had certain discussions with the boot manufacturers and it was my intention at the time to ask them to concentrate their activities upon the production of adults' boots and shoes and to leave the market for children's shoes to be supplied by imports so that for a period we could remove the duty on these boots and shoes altogether. Since these discussions have taken place, however, certain people have come along who propose to erect new factories in the Saorstát for the manufacture of children's shoes only. They advert to the difficulty, however, that they would have to train their labour and ask for a period during which that training process will take place. It is proposed to admit free of duty all the cut parts of shoes for six months. At the end of that time the duty will be reimposed on those parts and possibly a duty put on the entire range of boots and shoes and brought up to the present level of 25 per cent. There will then be in existence, we hope, factories engaged in the manufacture of these shoes capable of supplying the greater part of, if not the entire, requirements of the country.
We are also making for the moment no change in the duty on rubber shoes, but again it is only a temporary arrangement, because we hope to have the manufacture of these rubber shoes also undertaken in the Saorstát in the near future—certain discussions in that connection are in progress at the moment—in which case that duty will also be liable to an increase. There is probably no duty among all the duties imposed by the late administration which was more unfairly criticised than the duty in relation to boots and shoes and on some occasions, criticised by those responsible for its imposition.